Summer is in full swing so I thought I’d go back in the old blogging vault and share some of my favorite summer posts. I hope you enjoy and if you try one, I’d love to hear all about it!
It goes without saying that summer is just hot. But here in the south, we get hoooooooot! So we’re always trying to find ways to stay cool during these humid and hot summer days. One thing we have a lot of around where we live are splash pads (or fountains) and my boys love them! All I have to do is pack up the sunscreen, towels, and our favorite Nuby water canteens to stay hydrated and we’re off!
I think Gav and Ro would play at the splash pad until their whole bodies were nothing but one giant wrinkle. But every now any then they will take a break for some water and, of course, a snack.
The Nuby Thirsty Kids 12 oz. Freestyle water canteen is made of durable tritan from Eastman and is ideal for kids on the go! The water canteen features a silicone band that allows your child to get a firm grip while drinking and a push top that keeps the straw clean when it is not in use. The water canteens are NEW at Babies R’ Us stores!
These water canteens from Nuby are great for both my boys. Even though Ro is 3+ years younger than Gav, these bottles are easy for him to hold onto and he can/will do it while running too! Also, they have a great variety of prints so I was able to chose something that both boys would like. (Because heaven forbid they look the same or *gasp* share!)
What’s also great about this particular splash pad is that it’s a stone’s throw from my parents’ house where we like to go for lunch on occasion! (Ok, ok…we go a lot.) This also happens to be where we keep Ro’s Nuby Silicone Mat.
The Nuby Sure Grip Miracle mat features super gripping action that keeps the mat on the table and not on the floor! The 100% silicone mat allows for easy cleaning and the fun characters and design make mealtime fun!
My parents have a glass table, perfect for making finger prints and banging on with little hands! Nuby to the rescue! My little destructor can have his own plate now that involves no banging, no throwing, and easy clean up. He tries to pull it up but after seeing that it’s not budging, he goes back to eating.
Nothing beats these easy summer days in the sun! (and staying hydrated, of course!) Be sure to check out my INSTAGRAM for a giveaway for your very own Nuby Thirsty Kids 12 oz. Freestyle water canteen!
It’s that time of year again, Easter basket time! For a while, to be honest, I was a little against Easter baskets. It felt almost like Valentine’s day to me. Easter is a time of rejoicing and celebrating our risen savior, not bunnies and baskets and eggs filled with sugar. But, eventually, the excitement got to me and I figured it was all in fun, we definitely teach our kids about the meaning of Easter (well, right now, the 5 year old), and I decided I was being an Easter scrooge. Today I’m getting in the spirit with some cute and easy DIY bunny baskets. Continue reading
I love celebrating holidays. Not necessarily in huge ways but I do enjoy heart shaped items for Valentine’s day, green colored things for St. Patrick’s day, pumpkins, and fireworks…you get the idea. That’s why I started my cookie tradition with Gav. I was able to take those little pieces that I love and turn them into a tradition. There are a few holidays, however, that I enjoy more than others. Christmas is pretty obvious, but I also really enjoy the Easter season. Continue reading
It feels like yesterday that you needed me for just about everything other than walking. I would wake you up, change your diaper, get you something to eat or drink, give you cuddles when you were tired, get you dressed, etc. I would push you on the swings and you would crawl up in my lap when you started to get sleepy.
Now things are different. Not a bad different just…different different.Continue reading
My alarm clock goes off somewhere between 5:15 and 5:30 everyday. And by alarm clock, I mean Ro and/or my phone. Sometimes my phone will actually beat the little man to the punch but lately, it’s been Ro who wins. I used to get some time in the morning to myself but more often than not, I have my little buddy with me. My mornings start right away because Ro waits for no one. Changing the diaper (if he’ll let me), getting him milk, trying to make my coffee, and sometimes getting the dishwasher emptied and filled from the night before. Gav has always been a late sleeper so I can pretty much depend on him to sleep until 7:00 most mornings. But before I know it, it’s out the door we go to get to school. After drop off, it’s on to the next.
Mondays are Gymboree for Ro, Tuesdays and Fridays are workout days for me, Wednesday is small group, and Thursday is usually grocery day. Somewhere between these things and work, Ro takes a nap and I try to do house work and any orders or projects that need to be done. Unfortunately, Ro has been refusing a second one for awhile now so I haven’t been getting that extra time. Three days out of the week I work at the dance studio and then there’s tae kwon do for Gav twice a week and church activities on Sunday.
Why in the world did I tell you all this? Maybe to give myself a little perspective, maybe to cut myself a little slack? But it’s basically to say that I’ve had too many plates spinning in the air. That’s why I haven’t been able to find the time to sit here post about, well, anything! That also had a lot to do with the fact that we had a computer that was 10 years old and was slowly but surely dying before my eyes. Like seriously, that thing was on life support! This meant that any time I wanted to post something, I would need a block of about and hour just to boot the thing up and get the page open to type. Add another hour if I wanted to add pictures, which, of course, I do! But I’m happy to report that we took the plunge, made the investment, and I’m posting from my shiny, beautiful, and super fast new computer!
I’ve been feeling like I’ve been drowning in “plates” and I haven’t been able to get a balance but I’m figuring it out. I’m often asked how in the world I do it all. I don’t. Often times one thing gets sacrificed for another (a lot of times it’s the laundry because that requires climbing two sets of stairs) and that’s just how it is. Sometimes I have to sacrifice a chore and the blog because I have a deadline for a shop order. It all depends on the week but I’m starting to find a bit more of a balance. I have a fabulous new planner (thanks bestie!) that I make a point of looking at each day. I find little moments to brainstorm and have a nice list of ideas ready to go. I’ve also learned the beauty of saying no. It’s still not easy for me and I totally need to finish reading The Best Yes, but I’m working on it. I’ve picked my plates back up one at a time and they’re starting to spin again. I’m one of those people that likes to be busy, no idol time for this mama. I’m ready to get back to pouring more time into this happy little space of mine. If you’ve stuck around, you’re the best and I love you!
This past Saturday was our precious firstborn’s birthday. The last time his birthday fell on a Saturday was his actual BIRTH day. The day he came out! You can read all about that HERE. What was the theme this year? Why only one of his favorite things to do, tae kwon do! Gav started taking tae kwon do last summer and immediately loved it. His masters are so encouraging yet firm and he thrives under that sort of discipline. This practice has been so good for him and lucky us, they throw birthday parties! We knew this would be perfect. We literally had this party booked in November.
Low and behold, time got away from me and I rushed to get the invites to his class mates and some of our outside school friends. I tell ya, I love me a Pinterest party. You KNOW I love a Pinterest party! (See Gav’s construction birthday and Ro’s lumberjack bash) But there is something very liberating about only doing a few details and just letting go of the rest. So basically all I did was stick with a red and black color scheme, made some super simple black belt treat bags, and got creative with his cake topper. (Want a custom cake topper for your little? They’re available in my shop!)
Gav had so much fun taking class with his friends and showing off his crazy awesome skills. Just watching him smile made my heart happy.
The kids had so much fun running around, as you can see in the pics, and the looks on their parents’ faces were priceless. They said something to the effect of, “My kid is going to be so worn out….thank you!”
But let’s not forget that he also got to be an honorary black belt for the day and cut his cake with a samurai sword. Yeah, you read that right, they gave my 5 year old a sword to hold. Highly supervised of course!
Thank you so much to everyone who came out to make Gav’s 5th birthday one to remember!
So, clearly there’s been a big change and I’m ridiculously excited about it! I have officially switched to WordPress, rebranded a bit and I’m so ready to get back to more consistent blogging. There are still parts of the site that aren’t quite up to par yet (oh you know, like my about page that has been MIA for about 3 months! *facepalm*) but they are coming! Now that we’ve had the chance to be in the new year for one whole week, I thought I’d take a look back and share some favorite moments from 2016 and some of the things I’m looking to accomplish in the next year.Continue reading
I’ve see many posts about the importance of teaching young girls to have a positive body image. With all of the magazine covers, social media, and all of the things we watch on TV, there is plenty of of fuel for negativity to thrive. Our social standard for beauty in America is a bit twisted and realitively unattainable, even for the rich and famous. Once I found out I was having a boy the first time around, I was relieved. Thank goodness that was one thing I wasn’t going to have to deal with like girl moms do. Thank goodness I wasn’t going to have to worry about a daughter having an eating disorder or constantly worrying about her weight and appearance.
But later, after another pregnancy and getting back my body after breastfeeding stopped, I started to think much differently. Boys can have these same problems. Just because the statistics are much higher for girls, doesn’t mean my boys are exempt. I already see a perfectionist streak in Gav and it worries me. I know what that feels like and it’s not that fun. The urge to constantly be the best, or do everything, or be good at whatever you try can be exhausting. Part of that, at least for me, was in my appearance.
Part of me hesitates to write this because I do realize that I am not a big person. I’m short and have a realitivly small build but I can honestly tell you that that is not what I always see in the mirror. I can’t help it. I struggled with bulemia in college and that was a very hard place to be. I grew up in the dance studio where being thin is longed for and praised. I still struggle with it at times but never act on it. Having a positive body image is a constant battle for me but I’m getting there. Oddly enough, I’m the most confident in my body now, after two children. But what does this mean for my boys? I want them to learn two things from having a positive body image. One is the obvious. I want them to love themselves exactly the way God made them. For them to know that they were fearfully and wonderfully made. That they’re worth lies in the Lord, not some image that they feel they have to meet. I want the same things for my boys that girl moms want for their daughters. I want them to have self confidence, to own who they are.
To add to this though, I want them to see me as a woman who values herself. Who finds her own worth in the Lord, not some image I feel I have to meet. I want them to see a woman that respects her body and that a woman’s body is to be respected. It is why I don’t ever act on my negative thoughts. It’s why I pray for self control and courage. It’s why I eat as best as I can and stay active. I have to model this behavior for them as their mother. I know that I can’t shield them from ever feeling badly about how they look feeling doubtful about they’re appearance. Self consciousness is natural, especially in t hose oh so glamourous teenage years. Not to mention how grateful I am that I didn’t have to be a teenager when social media came about! (Seriously, thank goodness!).
As an adult, I have witnessed the negativity on multiple occasions. I watch my students at the dance studio complain that they are “fat”, when they’re clearly not, more times than I’d like to count. It breaks my heart, yet I know how they feel. I’ve seen girls go through feeling hurt when the boys they hang around with or once dated call them names or belittle them. Neither situation will be my boys. They will learn that all bodies are beautiful. That all bodies are on a journey. It’s that old cliche, be nice to everyone because you never know what they’re going through. I’m not naive to think that they will never have these feelings. I just pray that when they do, that I have set the example of positivity. That I have been an example of finding my worth in God and not the cover of a magazine or movie poster. I pray that they see that others are to be lifted up, not torn down and that each body is sacred, made in God’s image.
“I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14
It was late afternoon on Black Friday. We had had a wonderful holiday the night before filled with family, playing, and even a little “slapping whip cream in the facing”. As we came back in from an errand, there they were! Santa’s scout elves had arrived! But there was something different this year.
First of all, there were two elves instead of just one and each came with his very own scarf. One with a G and one with an R so we can tell them apart. Gav immediately knew which on was his. And they also had a note, tell the boys who they were and why they were here. The note read as such:
All story telling aside, I’m so excited about doing kindness elves this year! I’m really working on getting Gav into the spirit of giving rather than getting this year. He’s almost five (insert big crocodile mama tears) and he understands a lot more now. It’s a super hard lesson to teach as a parent, heck, it’s difficult as an adult sometimes but the reward to so amazing. I want my boys to experience that, the joy you get from seeing the joy in others. And speaking of JOY, that’s another Christian lesson my hubby and want to instill in our children. It’s the Christian order of giving/caring/loving/etc. Jesus, others, then yourself – J O Y.
This year, since it’s everyone’s first year doing this and I have two young children, we’re starting off small. However, I don’t want my boys to see it that way. I want them to see that even the smallest thing that they do, if it is for the wellbeing of someone else, they can have a big impact. A simple smile can even make someone feel a little less invisible.
Some of the kindness acts on our list include:
Drawing pictures for others (Gav loves to do this!)
Making blessing bags
Painting word rocks to leave at the park
and a few more!
I plan to do one a week, and then leave Gav a piece of candy or a note of encouragement the rest of the time. They are still elves after all!
What are your elves up to this Christmas season?
PS: These are $3.00 ornaments from Target with felt wrapped around like scarves.