Thursday, May 30, 2013

(not your average) Lucy is 10 Months Old (post) (swear)

Oh Louie-Girl. 

You're 10 months old now and one day, when you're bopping around as a teenager and you ask me to look back at your 10 month post (you won't ever do that, I just pretend in my mind that you will), I hope you can take one look at this picture and just GET IT

Get that you were, at this age, a hilarious, witty, silly, mischievous, freaking gorgeous kid who can get away with anything because of those deep blue eyes and wispy perfect hair. I think you have some inner lion in you. Hear me out. You're a growler. You are feisty. But not in a "I cry a lot" feisty, because, that would be annoying and I won't use words like 'feisty' and 'spirited' to make that point. You just really don't cry much at all. You....well, you growl a little when you're being silly (no really), and you climb and crawl and sneak-attack ON EVERYONE with the biggest, cheesiest grin ever. You beat up, I mean, lovingly play with your big sister on the daily. It's hilarious to hear her whine about you pulling her hair for the 129308209th time that morning.

You can hold your own and I promise that trait will come in handy one day, so I don't squash it. 

One day you suck at sleep, the next day you're decent. You are so confusing in that area, but I really don't care. This is where I'm thankful that I'm laid back about stuff like that, and I know you're gonna be a-ok and so will my sanity. When I hold your little chubby body on me at night I find myself thinking my god how has this little newborn gotten soooo big? You see, little girl, it's so strange to be, well, not the first kid. No offense or anything, it's just--that first kid? They had all eyes on them, all the time. Her babyhood seemed slower because I could watch every single moment.

But with you? I swear, I swear it just flies by. Thankfully I have moments each day where I sit and think a few things.

 1) My goodness, you are breathtaking. Your sister will be jealous of your darker skin tone one day when you're getting nice tans at the beach and her beautiful fair skin fries at the sight of Mr. Sun. I apologize in advance for the fights this may cause. 

2) Your eyes are so dark & sparkly blue, they literally captivate me. I pray that boys don't look too close because it makes me nervous. I can't go there. Shut up, Katie. Shut up. 

3) Wait, why are you moving, again???? I get confused on the daily how you went from being a floppy newborn who had little neck control to free-standing in the middle of the living room while waving at me excitedly. It truly is this moment of I THOUGHT I JUST BIRTHED YOU YESTERDAY, SIT DOWN. Daily. 

4) I should probably teach you something. Hear me out. You are learning, that is quite obvious. But it goes without saying, sometimes I forget to do important stuff with you. By this point in your sisters life, she knew baby sign and how to count to ten in spanish . You know how to stare me down across the kitchen and give me the panicked look of MY TRAY IS EMPTY, WOMAN. Sometimes you bang your fists, too, and that means S.O.S. That's okay. We communicate, and that's all that matters in the end, right?

I think these things, and many others on the daily about you, kiddo. Sometimes I pick you up, just to squeeze your guts a little, and get a little love-squeal out of you, and I think how did I get so lucky with another beautiful, squishy kid? I have to bring myself back to reality and replay the fact that I have been there for it all. I lived through another pregnancy, all 9 months of being sick and feeling awful, and dressing a bump, and the pains of labor. I have to bring myself back so I don't get knocked up again because women forget the pains of carrying a baby and childbirth and that's why we keep having more. It's a real epidemic. I'm mostly kidding. But the truth is, you're still my baby and right now I really like it that way.

When you're a teenager and reading this (I'm still living in dream world), I hope you know that even though I'm fishing foreign objects out of your mouth all day (dude, this part is so much harder with an older kid), and even though you swallowed that tiny little doll shoe that one time, and even though it's likely I'll miss your first steps because I'm too busy putting sister in time-out again, that you know you were insanely loved. That you know that every time I look at you I feel this love ooze up in my heart. Your little smirk. Your toothy grin. Your wrist creases. The way you pinch my face when you're nursing (ouch). The shrieks that may make me have hearing aids one day. I loved it all. Well, most of it. 

You are the perfect second kid. Perfectly slotted in our family. And also? I won the battle, and we call you Louie ALL THE TIME now. Even your daddy. I am sorry. I know it's a boys name. It's really cute though.


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

confess-fest happening up in hurrr.

It's Monday, I mean, Tuesday. I always get so messed up with Monday holidays. Anyway. I figure we should keep it light today. I wrote one time last week because of vacation, and I do have a desire to post some deeper things this week (we'll see if it happens), but I also am bubbling up with confessions. A totally shallow, non-important-to-the-world post.

It's been so long since I've had a good confess-fest. So here it goes.

I wince a tiny bit when I see big kid bare butts on my instagram or facebook feed. I guess I just picture them being all Mommmmm OMG my butt is on the internet! one day. Or maybe it's because I have my own baby and toddler tooshies of my own at home. My personal mantra is after newborn phase, keep them in your at-home photo albums. Because, dude, there could be creepers out there.

Speaking of at-home photo albums. What are they?? I don't even have one. Okay, I lied. I have two Shutterfly books I made, one for each of my girls' birth-day & hospital stay/first-few-days. After that? They all live on the internet or on my external harddrive. If the apocalypse happens, my girls will have nothing tangible to take with them and that makes me feel like a big old loser mom.

I feel led astray a little on the whole Chobani Greek Yogurt Flip thing. I have tried two flavors and while they are okay, they are not phenomenal. I feel like everyone is obsessing over them, so of course, I had to buy two to try in all their overpriced glory. Instagram, you mis-led me a little. You owe me my $3 back.

This morning I woke up feeling really refreshed at 6:30am. I knew it was weird since I'm used to feeling like a complete trainwreck after waking every 2-3 hours with my back-to-newborn-ways sleeper. I went to grab the monitor and realized it had come unplugged during the night and died. No wonder I felt refreshed, I probably let my kid scream at least one time during the night and didn't hear a darn thing. I HATE knowing this happens. I'm a huge sucker and basically tend to her every whine during the night. The only part that makes me feel slightly less guilty is the fact she's 10 months old tomorrow and, well, she's kind of old. And she woke up chatting and with a huge smile. Oh, and I got really decent sleep, so there's that.

We go on family runs a lot now and I love it. I love it mainly because my husband pushes the stroller the whole time and I get to just run next to them chatting with my 3 year old about bunnies and birds. Two days ago I tried to take the stroller from my husband for a minute so he could have a rest (I never do this, ha)--and I nearly died. I have no idea how women push strollers AND run a 10 min or under mile. NO IDEA. I feel strong most days. I did NOT feel strong at all for those 3 minutes I pushed that stroller and attempted to run. ouch.

Last night on our way to the park to run, Emeline started saying what sounded like, "I'm a b*tch" and she repeated it 3x. We had one of those moments where we're sitting there, hearing it, thinking, there is no wayyyyyy she is saying this right now but ohmygosh we have to acknowledge this. I do not use that word, I don't. I don't know how she would have heard it. So Declan goes, "Emeline, we don't use that word. We never ever say that." When she innocently said, much more clearer this time, "But Dad, is there water under that bridge?"

Fail. What sounded like b*tch was actually bridge, and we just told our kid to never, ever say that word. OOPS.

I probably should have known she couldn't have had the word in her vocabulary, but still. Toddler speak can be confusing sometimes.

What are you confessing to, today??

*** Since Google Reader is gone July 1st, I've switched to Blog Lovin--so make sure to click below to keep following.
Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Alert the media, cute baby on the beach.

I'm sitting here in my king sized bed at the rental house, a little sunburnt, with the cool yet a little warm still post-hot-tub-feel. We're on vacation, and on the downslope now at that. It's been mostly enjoyable, my kids have been mostly okay, and we've had mostly decent weather despite a previously sketchy forecast.

A part of my heart has been struggling though, hurting, really. I know that devastation occurs all the time, in ways under the current, daily. Or in big ways-like the tornadoes this week. I've maintained this wanting-to-know-what's-going-on, but not-being-glued-the-tv balance because of being away. I hate it because I feel ridiculously disconnected and in a way that's part of what vacation is about, and yet it kills me knowing the hurt and pain people are going through, losing loved ones, children, or the place they called home. I have trouble wrapping my brain around it, and I just have to acknowledge that my heart and prayers are with those affected. This article gives some good organization suggestions that you can donate to if you're looking for ways to help.

Besides catching some news clips here and there and facebook updates/videos, we've mostly done exactly what people do on vacation. Well, at least our people. A lot of nothing. Except that it's really not nothing when you have kids. It's like a WHOLE lot of nothing. Because, being away with kids is hard--and the truth is, we're comfortable at home. Comfortable with all the things out and around, knowing that Lucy can crawl around and get into it and be safe, or whatever. Here? No. That's not the case.  You have to be hyper aware. Danger lurking around every corner. Kidding, mostly--but you know?

Anyway. My kids like to make sure we get the best use out of every day because they wake us up ridiculously early. Thankfully, there's something about the beach that makes it easier to get up. Ok, let's be honest, it's mostly coffee that makes getting up easier--but I digress.

I have thoroughly, and I mean thoroughly enjoyed watching Lucy enjoy the sand. She even thinks it delicious (but does not condone sand eating, ahem). She wiggles her toes when the sand gets between it. Rubs her hands together. Digs in for more. Repeat. It's stinkin cute.

Emeline is mostly enjoying running right near the water edge, anticipating it coming up on the shore, and running away from it while squealing that it got her toes! She's obsessed with the fact that she's on vacation with her cousins. She loves them to death, but they fight about the stupidest things, and constantly--we are putting out little toddler battles every 2.5 seconds and it's exhausting. But mostly, they're still cute. So we forgive them.

emeline & ian, 5 weeks apart. they fight like siblings. maybe worse. ha ;)

My husband is just busy being awesome. I'm going to be mushy for 2.5 seconds but I have decided I love him even more than I ever knew, and it absolutely grows deeper every day. He is totally and completely my rest in the midst of insanity, and he's so amazing and helpful, non-stop hands on and proactive with the girls, I love it. When he's not busy being Super Dad, he's been cooking family breakfasts for everyone, being all pancake-master'y and enjoying the occasional hot-tub cigar. 
he's so gonna hate that I shared the right picture, but I kind of love his confident pancake-skillz-makin' face.

Me? Well, I'm just behind my camera a lot. Catching up with family. Enjoying naptime out by the pool to the fullest (what? kid-free time is the only real relaxing time). Digging for sand crabs by the ocean. Eating too much junk and drinking too many lime-a-rita's. Feeling semi neglectful of my 'healthy' lifestyle, but knowing it's okay to relax a bit. Refusing to feel stressed about certain things. And catching myself amidst the crazy still having those moments of kairos time (as momastery affectionately refers to it). Realizing that, whoa this is my life. My family is so beautiful. Noticing every detail of Lucy's adorable rounded cheeks and perfectly rolled thighs. Or the way Emeline's hair curls into amazing little spirals with humidity and a little pool chlorine. Catching that guy above kiss boo-boo's and have sweet, quiet before-bed silly jokes with our big girl. 

I like those moments.

When I come home from vacation feeling anything but the cliche "refreshed, renewed, rejuvenated" (because, dude, I'm tiiiiired)---I remember these things. I do. It's still good.


Thursday, May 16, 2013

The case of the pre-vaca sick & can I get a stunt double?

We came home from the gym yesterday morning and Emeline started acting Stage 4 Clingy. Complaining in the car of a bellyache, and already whining and complaining that "you need to hold me and not Lucy, I can't waaaaallllkkkkk", just prepping me for the fun (eye-roll) it will be getting two kids in the door & up the stairs.

One who physically cannot do it herself. The other who, in her little feeling-sick mind, felt she couldn't.walk.another.step either. These are the times I want to clone myself. Or have a huge double garage to just make life easier. Or have a sister-wife I can shout, "hey! help me with the kids" (but who doesn't sleep with my husband). Instead, I breathe deep and thank God I've been working on my arms for the last two months because I can carry two heavy kids up and down our million townhouse steps like a boss. (insert buff arm emoticon here) (they aren't buff, really. but I am getting stronger)(enough with the parenthesis already)

She immediately wanted to lay down on the couch. Whenever she says she needs to lay on the couch (versus jump, crawl, throw pillows around, use it as a trampoline), you know she really isn't feeling well. She's not the type to stay still for long if she feels good. So when I sent Declan a picture of her laying still, under a blanket, he responded with an Oh No, she must be legit-sick, dang. And I had the same type of thoughts. Funny how you learn your kid so well, isn't it?

Sure enough, I took her temperature and she was rocking a fever. I went up to put Lucy to bed for about 5 minutes and came down to find her snoring on the couch. That never happens.
Shoot. She really wasn't feeling well.  

We had a really decent winter in the sickness department if you ask me. Both the girls got insanely sick before christmas (the whole pneumonia/bronchiolitis debacle) and it sucked. Then we were good until February, right before our mini-trip to San Diego, where Em got sick with something viral and it was a wait-it-out thing. Trip not ruined, we went, had a blast. Then we had a clear run again until early last week where she almost had a sick birthday, but recovered just in time to ring in Age 3 with a Hello Kitty Party and friends. Now, we're leaving for our (early) summer vacation (with Declan's whole family) and my girls are not in tip-top shape.

I get it. It seems to be a trend. Sick before vacation or something, and obviously I've whined about pre-vacation sickness a few times since it was mentioned on my comments on my photo (which I don't mind, by the way :) ) But it leads me to believe a few things.

1) I need to shut-up. I overshare. WHYYYY DO I DO THIS? (I get it from my mom. Thanks mom. It's my fault for making fun of you for this growing up.)

2) I usually take a picture when they're sick, not to complain necessarily, but because she's.lying.still and I never, ever get a sleepy toddler picture because I have the kids who wake up at the click of a button, or the first ray of sunshine in their room. And I sleep them like they're in caves (hello room darkening curtains) so we all get more sleep, and it's too dark for sleepy kid pics in their dungeon rooms. I hate grainy, dark, non-focused pictures and try to avoid them as much as I can.

3) If your kid is only sick 3 times from the months of December-mid May, but if you post about it, talk about it at all, or whatever, it will seem like they're sick/germ-ridden a lot more than they actually are. For attending germ-ridden places all the time, you know, like preschool and the gym childcare.

This post has lost it's meaning, whatever. The bottom line is, we leave for vacation in 2 days. We're driving this time. My kid's aren't in 100% tip-top shape, but they will survive, and they'll be better in a few days, I believe it. Their well-check ups for age 3 and 9 months are tomorrow morning. I believe that was perfectly ordained timing so even if our well check-up turns into sick-check-up, at least we know if everyone is a-ok, if we need meds, etc.

The real problem here is this. Packing is hard enough with kids. But how do you pack with one kid who demands, Lay wif me, mommy, I neeeeed you--and one who is pulling down the contents of every shelf on the first floor? Totally impossible.

Which leads me back to my original thoughts. I need to clone myself.

Or get a sister-wife.


*** Since Google Reader is gone July 1st, I've switched to Blog Lovin--so make sure to click below to keep following.
Follow on Bloglovin

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Here's the thing.

I like pictures.

I like pretty moments.

I like artsy stuff. And making things. And creating something out of nothing. Crafting to redo little areas of my house. I like party planning (although, admittedly it stresses me out at times). I like moments when my kids smile. I like the fact that my husband and I have a silly joke going about the stupid pancakes we make on (some) Saturday mornings for our kid. It's lighthearted, it's fun. I like snapping a picture when Emeline is wearing a cute outfit because we haven't gotten out of pajamas in days. I like it when I finally do my hair after gym'ing it 5 days a week, because I sort of feel human.

You know what I'm getting at. And I'm sure you're as sick as me about reading about this topic so I apologize in advance for writing about it. But.I.can't.NOT. You follow?

You guys.

I KNOWWWW it's in lighthearted nature when someone comments on a picture like, "You win!" or "Mom of the Year" or whatever about a photo. But, I just have to say--I would friggin' HATE if somehow one of my pictures ever made someone feel bad about themselves as a wife, mother, or woman in general.

BUT the problem is....

I can't control how other people feel.

You hear that?

I can't control it. 

I promise you, I would never try to make anyone feel inadequate. I AM INADEQUATE ALL THE TIME.

I am exhausted. Not present enough with my kids. Have gotten interrupted sleep for way too long. I hate cleaning. My house hasn't been cleaned in a month. I actually pay someone to clean for me because I'm incapable and working from home is hard. Judge me if you must. I am ridiculously bad at organizing. I don't do planned, fun activities with my kids. I was an art teacher and I secretly hate when my kid asks me to do play-doh. It is not all rainbows and butterflies. My kid does not get a fancy pancake every morning. In fact, she mostly gets a frozen waffle, and sometimes she doesn't even want it toasted. (Gasp. Shock. Horror.) Some days, I have to remind myself to have more conversations with Lucy so she gets some socialization because second kid syndrome is a real thing, and she'd rather be off crawling and getting into nonsense herself anyway. My house is never ready for random visitors. Never. There are about 30 people on a list I need To Call about important stuff, and yet I'm typing this instead. I fail miserably at loving well on a daily basis. I apologize to my kids when I'm out of line (which happens). I get the double-pat and "mommy look at meeee", too. Yea, the one that makes mothers feel guilty, but sometimes we are doing other things, and HOLD ON FOR A SECOND, HONEY.

That being said.

Let's stop, puleeease. I think it's stupid to blame social media for how we feel about ourselves.

If I see someone who planned a pretty party, I think Dang, that's awesome. She must have gifts and talents in that area

When I see someone with a well organized HOME MANAGEMENT notebook, I think--holy crap, that would make my life SO AWESOME and managed!so!well! But the reality is, it will never happen for me. It is their gifting, not mine. It would never work for me. BUT I am glad it does for them.

When someone is out there kicking butt running half marathons bi-weekly I am amazed and in awe, but I certainly don't feel bad about myself because of it. No, I don't. But I do think they're high-five-super-awesome-status for it. 

When I see photos of kids licking drippy ice cream cones in little rompers and everyone looks perfectly happy and sweet, I think AWWWWW that is the best! And I also think "oh my gosh, drippy ice cream cones stress me out". Because they honestly do and I'm a fun-suck sometimes about that stuff. BUT BETTER THEM THAN ME. 

I do not think anyone has a perfect life. Despite perfect pictures. I do not see a perfectly planned and crafted party and think that the party actually went perfectly from start to finish. I do not see a girl 30lbs less than me and feel awful about myself. I don't see a clean home and feel jealousy about it. I don't feel bad that I hate messy stuff more than I like to admit for being a former art teacher. 

I feel confident that you guys who are reading this now know this about me. That when you see a pretty picture you know it's followed up by a chaotic moment. That when you see a smile, it's often followed by a whine (unless it's Lucy, because kid is ridiculously happy--can't lie about that). I know that you see a cool pancake picture on Saturday or Sunday morning but know that I feed her scraps (joke) the rest of the week. 

Thank you for knowing my heart is to never make anyone feel bad. Thank you for remembering that we all thrive in some areas, we all fail in others. 

love love

a sweet "moment"....just a moment ;)


Monday, May 13, 2013

Emeline's Hello Kitty 3rd Birthday Party

A Hello Kitty party.

The truth is, I don't love throwing parties. I really don't. When I think about it ahead of time, I get excited. When it comes down to the wire, and doing stuff....I get stressed out. I hate that. I was really hoping to avoid having a party this year. But a few months ago Eme got stuck on this idea of a "hello kitty birfday party" and

Declan, light heartedly said, Babe, I don't think you're getting away with this one. He was right. She reminded me of this daily. Therefore, a Hello Kitty party she was given. I'm a sue me.

It started with beautiful invitations made by my friend Kristen from Little Laws Prints. I told her I wanted a classy Hello Kitty vibe (thinking it wasn't even possible to make HK not so, um, tacky)--and yea, she totally blew my mind with these.

(use discount code LLPeep2013 for 10% off your Little Laws Prints order!)
She also provided matching Thank You's which was above and beyond. I love that lady.

We always use my parents home for parties. They have an amazing backyard, and our limited townhouse space makes it really hard to host. Instead of people coming in through the front door, I decided to make a cute sign so people could follow the path along the back to where the bulk of the party was held. I just painted it quickly on some foam board, and hot glued a piece of balsa wood as a stake. Easy, easy.

and lots of pink & white details...

The "Emeline 3" tags were my favorite party addition. I used them on EVERYTHING. Favor bags, flower vases, etc. They're from Cinnamon Bay Ltd on Etsy. Bradley was awesome and easy to work with....he has a cool little Gift Company with so many neat products.

I made this little crepe paper/balloon wallscape thing just to pretty it up. It was so much easier than I expected. Just lay out a big piece of packing tape, tape the strips on, THEN hang on the wall....twist each one, and tape the other end down. Blow up a few balloons to cover up the top, and voila. Such a fun little background.

More adorable labels (on vases) from Cinnamon Bay Ltd, Gift Company.
My sister-in-law, Lyryn made the wonderful cake based on a design we found on Pinterest. She opted to do buttercream instead of an entire fondant cake, and I loved the result! She's so talented.

the amazing Hello Kitty cookies are by TheKakeLady, a local friend who does insanely gorgeous work.

We had a Decorate a Cookie table. My sister helped me out by making a ton of heart & flower sugar cut-outs that morning....and then we let the kids go to town with frosting and sprinkles. It was messy and sugary and I'm sure the parents loved me. ;)

photo credit: Lyryn
We also played Pin The Bow on the Hello Kitty, had some yard games, my parents playset, and the kids ran around playing bubbles and sneaking cookies and juice boxes.

photo credit: Lyryn
We served hot dogs, chicken sausages, chips, veggie stix, potato salad, fruit, homemade salsa & guacamole, pasta salad and more. My mom went overboard on some of the extras, I love her for her generous heart though ;)

This amazing banner is from Celebration Paper on Etsy. She's offering my readers free shipping on orders over $25 with code FREESHIP713 (use by 7/31/13) Carrie was super duper awesome to work with and I highly recommend her shop. 
The birthday girl? Well...she had an amazing time...and she looked darn cute, too.

It was such a blast celebrating this sweet girl on her birthday. We ended up moving the party up a day due to weather and it was the best decision. I'm so thankful for the great, warm day and the fun group of friends & family who could make it out.

photo credit: Lyryn
so...hello kitty party, you were had. it worked out, and turned out pretty fun. the end ;)


HK Labels for Favor Bags & Flower Vases- Cinnamon Bay Ltd
HK Happy Birthday Banner- Celebration Paper (code FREESHIP713 for free shipping on $25+ by 7/31/13)
Invitations & Thank You's- Little Laws Prints (10% off code LLPeep2013)
HK Cookies- TheKakeLady

Friday, May 10, 2013

and with that, She's 3.

My first baby-love. You're 3 today. It hurts just a little to see time go by like that, but I'm also honored, and feel so privileged that I got to watch you grow without missing a beat. You've completely changed my life, kid. For the better.

I love so many things about you, Emeline. I'm not really sure where to start.

I love that you notice every little detail. You make me stop, often, and just soak in every little good and happy thing around me. Thank you for slowing me down.

I love how you love well. Girlfriend, everyone comments on how warm and welcoming you are. You make even the sad and loneliest people feel loved and appreciated. Whether it's through a warm smile, a sweet little hug, or a shy little wave. You love everyone. Sometimes, when you see a stranger who waves back at you, is kind, shares a smile, you'll profess loudly (in Walmart), "Mom, I LOVE HER!!!", at the time, it might feel slightly embarrassing, but I know your heart. It's good, so good. 

I love how, unprompted, all throughout the day, you'll tell me how much you love me. How much you love your daddy, or how much you love Lucy as your sister. You stop, look at us in the eye, say it and mean it. You encourage with your words--the other day you patted my arm and said, "Mom, you are so special"

Oh you are such a silly and fun sister. I love that about you. You have truly made me one delighted momma to see you gladly accept Big Sister status and rock it out hardcore. You're amazing. Lucy is lucky.

I love how you can empathize with other people. You feel sad when others are sad. You radiate when others do. While I know this can be a challenging thing as you age, to feel others emotions, I pray that somehow you can use this as a gift to minister to people and help love them even better than you already do.

You are stylish and fashionable and girlllll you know how to pose. But yet, I love how much you also love soccer and playing baseball with your daddy, and digging in the garden with your ma. I love how you know you can do and be anything and I pray that you never lose the ability to see that you're truly capable of anything you put your mind to.

I love that you're persistant. While this can be completely and totally exhausting at times, I have to remind myself that in the future, this is a quality I never want you to lose. As a female in this world, persistance will get you far, and I'm proud of you for possessing such a quality. Sometimes in toddlerhood these gifts of stubbornness and persistance and drive can be misconstrued---but in the long run, I'm glad you have passion and fire in your bones. someone remind me of this during the next tantrum ;)

I love how you've expanded my heart and caused me to dig deep into this motherhood thing. I love that you taught me that long, hard nights will pass. That in the morning, it will all be okay. I love that you taught me more about what the Father's love for us looks like. I love that you've changed my perspective on life, and my goals. I love that in you, I see Jesus. I see love. I love that I can call you mine...ours. You are such a treasure and having you as a daughter makes my heart swell with pride & joy.

Happy 3rd Birthday, Emeline Kay. YOU are a gift.


Thursday, May 9, 2013

And, more snippets of life. (birthday stuff, wedding pictures, oh my!)

I spent an hour and a half wallpaper'ing a dollhouse last night.

Yea. A dollhouse. I am preparing to blow my kid's mind.

My fingers are covered in modge-podgy glue and hot pink spray paint. If that, in combination with the random craft crap strewn about my kitchen doesn't shout it must be a birthday week, then I don't know what does. Because holy cow, my life is a mess right now. In only the way that celebrating a special birthday can produce.

I've decided that birthday weeks and party prep are like finals week for college students. Pulling all nighters, needing lots of coffee, eating junk food, you know--cramming for...well, you get it. It's a lot of work. Even if you've convinced yourself you're doing just a simple little party. Simple still = work. All parties take work.

I've decided to move the party up an entire day, so that doesn't help my chaotic party planning.

The good news though? The household is generally happy and healthy enough to have a party at all, and for that, I am so so grateful.


Yesterday was Em's last day of school for the year. I want to do a whole post about this, and the changes I saw in her from attending preschool only 2 days a week for a mere 2 hours. I am going to--for now, let's just talk about how big my girl is.

And also--what am I to do with her on Wednesdays and Fridays from the hours of 9:30-11:30am now? just kidding. sort of.

Oh, and tomorrow. She is 3. Trying to let that one soak in, because my brain is like her attitude has been 3 for a loooong time. I mean, I can't believe she's going to be 3.

Stop. Hold the phone. Remember when you all asked me Where are the good wedding pictures from your sister's big day??!?! Well the official blog post came out yesterday, and I am telling you, it is the BEST recap of her day. It will make you feel like you were there, thanks to the amazing Joy Moody Photography. (also--totally gives a behind the scenes sneak peek into the tv show filming and stuff!)

Go look at the pictures, and then watch this adorable video.

Susan & Jeff's Wedding from JoyMoody on Vimeo.

And in the video? The guy singing for the first song? That's my little brother :) If the whole world didn't already swoon over his (single) cuteness then, now they really will be.


It's my momma's birthday today, she's the best. These next few days are intense. My mom's birthday, Emeline's birthday, breathe, then Mothers day. I always end up forgetting a few things because admittedly I become hyper focused on Eme's birthday. Also, it's been ONE YEAR since we've been in Disney World. That makes me feel like the year went fast because I kind of feel like I was just there.

Whoa baby belly. Hello tiny baby Eme.


Alright. Did you look at the wedding pictures? Did you cry? Were you amazed at the gorgeousness of everything? Are you in as much shock that an entire year flew by that fast like I am?

Happy, happy day friends. I'm off being a crazy nut with last minute stuff.

love love.

*** Since Google Reader is gone July 1st, I've switched to Blog Lovin--so make sure to click below to keep following.
Follow on Bloglovin

Monday, May 6, 2013

This week, you're kicking my tail and it's only monday.

This is birthday week. Remember, this exact day, three years ago? No--you don't? How dare you. just kidding. I was off work, hanging around the house doing odds and ends, preparing to welcome our first baby into the world. Making bassinet covers. Cleaning the nursery (for the zillionth time). Dreaming about what I could have never expected. An entire life change. Thinking that, for the love, will she ever get here?

And now, I'm like. Holy mother. I'm about to have a 3 year old. I remember thinking people with 3 year olds were like, old wise moms by then. I mean, 3 years?!?!? Well ha-ha on me. Because I'm only a tad the wiser. ;) But I guess I am older. And sometimes, I feel really, really old.

Like this week.

We've had a weekend full of sickness. High, scary fevers. Sad, limpy girl who just wants to cuddle and could hardly form a sentence. Sore, burny throat. Lots of smoothies. Lots of Finding Nemo. And two doctors appointments.

But I feel old, homely, and tired. I am that mom who goes out looking like a train wreck to the doctors office, because I just can't even manage to do anything else besides slide up 2 day old jeans (or yoga pants), plop my air dried hair into a gnarly ponytail, and hopefully put on a bra.  My fingernails and toenails are in a state of disgust. I'm blaming the fact that I've washed more dishes in the last 5 days than in my entire life (thanks to broken dishwasher)(and only the fingernails part, no I don't wash dishes with my feet, but how cool if I could). My face? Oh, I'm like a 16 year old, all broken out--which hasn't happened in years, not even while pregnant. In fact my skin is amazing when pregnant (take that stupid old wives tales about carrying girls).

Basically, I'm a royal train wreck of a human the last few days.

We're supposed to be ringing in age 3 with a bangin' Hello Kitty party (her choice) this weekend.

She will finally (I hope) be fully recovered and ready to celebrate.

There is rain, rain, rain on the forecast for her outdoor party. I kind of want to cry.

I am contemplating moving her party up a day, pulling a completely last minute up-the-party-date-move solely based on weather. Classy, aren't I?

I just put Lucy to bed with a low grade fever.

Am mildly panicking and praying she isn't getting sick, too.

Am not doing well at not panicking.

Am hoping to God I don't have to cancel the party.

Am hoping not to devastate Emeline.

Am a hot mess, minus the hot part.

Tell me it will be okay.

I just want a happy birthday week for the girl, darn it.

*** Since Google Reader is gone July 1st, I've switched to Blog Lovin--so make sure to click below to keep following.
Follow on Bloglovin

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Did that really just happen?

Baby. Baby. I need a baby. NO NO--not me (chill yourself. I'm not even a tiny bit ready!) But you've certainly heard people say that before, right? They want a baby. And rightfully so. So squishy and cute and ohhh a little sweet bundle to love. I, too, wanted a baby. Each time. And I got two little beautiful girls.

But the thing is? They are babies, for like, four point two seconds. Then, they are kids. They don't stay babies for long. They're kids for a good bit of the time they're in your nest, and then they're tweens, and then they're teens (and oh God, hold me)....and then they're off to college and like, Mom, who? (I may hold back tears just typing that. Ouch. My girls better not do that to me. Sob.)

It's a very short, trust me, VERY short time until they are telling you their opinion, verbalizing everything they absorbed that day (mostly through your parenting mistakes...speaking from experience, ahem), and causing you to fear the future, and/or pray for wisdom daily---because parenting ain't no joke, kids.

I struggle every single day with the things I realize that my not yet 3 year old (but too soon for my liking) absorbs. I mean, it's everything, basically. And I totally, TOTALLY understand why parents have full conversations spelling out every letter of--

S-H-O-U-L-D W-E G-O T-O T-H-E P-A-R-K T-O-D-A-Y- ???

Because God-Forbid, you change plans, something goes awry, or whatever--you will never live it down.

Also, I suck at following along with secret parental spelling contests. I'm slow, I guess.

But that? That's the easy stuff.

It gets harder. And my kid isn't even 3 yet.

The other day, Emeline came across a photo from my senior year. I was in a bikini, giving a piggy back to my friend, also in a bikini--on the beach. We were young and cute. Yes, we were in our glory days, if you will. We looked good.

She looked at it. Paused. Looked up at me.

Then she said, "Mom? You were skinny?" (while pointing to the picture), in a sweet, innocent voice.

I sat there, blink-blink-blink. Did my 2 year old just say that? Skinny? Where did she hear that word? Have I said that without even thinking? Oh, sweet Jesus, why am I having this conversation with her already. She is too young. This is all my fault. 

In shock, I just very calmly said, "Oh, you think?" (not sure if she even knew what she was saying)

She looked at me. Looked at the picture. Looked back at me, and said...."Oh ::giggle::, you're skinny now, mom!"


Shock doesn't even begin to describe it.

I scrambled. I started telling her about health, and how taking care of your body doesn't mean you are skinny. I talked to her about eating well, and exercising, and how it makes our bodies strong so we can do fun things. It's more important to be healthy, I emphasized that over and over and OVER.

Then she said, "Oh, yea, you're helfy, mom!" and then bopped away like she does without a care in the world.

I was left there feeling awful, honestly. Not about myself. Not about my body. BUT THAT MY KID JUST USED THE WORD SKINNY.

You know, I've thought about this, over and over. I don't use that word in reference to my body. I can't remember ever saying it out loud in front of her. The only thing I can remember talking about are stupid skinny jeans. Which, honestly--I need to come up with a new name for them. Because it is NOT OKAY for my kid to use the word skinny.

The truth is, though. She probably picked it up from adult conversation. Someone saying, "oh you're looking skinny" (while meaning a compliment, obviously, or paying tribute to hard work)--things that girlfriends say to one another, or family members in quick conversation.

It made me realize, even more so, those ears are always listening.

And I could not believe that I was already having, essentially, a talk about body image with my toddler.

It sucked.

Every day is a challenge. A challenge to remember to choose my words properly. These kids are smart. They soak it up. The fact that they are sponges, as I told my husband, is both amazing and the worst thing ever all rolled into one.

When they can count in spanish, you're all BEAMING from ear to ear with pride.

And then they repeat something utterly embarrassing you thought you said in private to your husband, in front of all your family, and you want to go hide in a corner.

All this to say. Every single day my kid teaches me more. Babies--they turn into kids, fast. And soon issues like sleep deprivation will feel more like a minor annoyance than The Worst Thing Ever. The real things you deal with as your kids age--those are the toughies.

...and she's not even 3.

Seriously. I pray for wisdom now, for my future.

This ain't no easy thang.


*** Since Google Reader is gone July 1st, I've switched to Blog Lovin--so make sure to click below to keep following.
Follow on Bloglovin

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Such a hodge podgy mess of thoughts.

Can I be hodge-podgy for a today? I've got random on the brain and the desire to write. Which doesn't exactly make for a graceful combination--but to that I say, so be it. And, roll with it. So rolling we go.

There are so many mini problems right not at my house. Do you know what I mean by that? Things that are not Real Problems--but nuisances. Yea, that. Our brand new dishwasher is giving me the flashing sign for The Drain Is Clogged. And--well, that sucks. The entire thing is full to the brim. There's water in the bottom of it that won't drain, obviously--and I have a sink full of dirty dishes. A real problem? No. Annoying to my everyday life. Slightly.

Something random leaked in my fridge door and I cannot find the culprit. Not to mention, there is nothing worse or more disgusting on my list of Disgust than sniffing out issues. Gross. Okay, one more worse out dirty tupperware containers. THAT is equally as nasty.

Bees. The weather gets warm, and BAM. My house becomes The Place For Bees to Make Hives. And we're talking the mean, aggressive, yellow-jacket type bees that sting. And don't you dare tell me to try to get rid of them naturally. They are every-where. I almost can't get into my house without dodging a million, getting shaky-leg-syndrome (from fear), and hyperventilating about my kid's lives and that they'll be traumatized with bee stings. I'm not exaggerating, they are bad. I am having the pest dude come spray today for the second time in two weeks. I'm not messing around. They won't ruin my summer, I'm determined.

Switching gears. Don't worry, I'm glad, too. That was complain'ey--forgive me.

I still love the gym. In case you were wondering.

I kind of love that my kid begs to go. It almost forces me out the door (not quite), but it's great. I made it there 5x last week, and am on track for the same this week. It feels good to get in a routine. I've added the Mama Laughin Arm Workout and boooooiiiii does that hurt so good. I love it.

After going to the gym yesterday morning, running 2 miles, doing the arm workout & such, Declan and I decided to go out and run the trail after he got home from work, too. We took the kids (obviously), and did 3.1 miles---it felt great, until this morning. My legs are sore, and I didn't stretch good last night. Yet? I am going to Zumba this morning, huzzah.

Despite working out so much, I have to say--I've been feeling kind of down about my body. I know that doesn't quite make sense, and I don't know if it's hormones or what. But, yea--downer days (weeks) suck. So yesterday I made myself side-by-side some photos because I needed to see how far I've come and feel some confidence in that.

I'm telling you, if you've been working hard, getting healthier--and feel down about yourself. Side by side the ish out of your photos, I promise it helps.

Also, if talk about weight loss and all that is annoying? That's fine. It's a huge part of my life and I can't just ignore it.

Moving on, again. I told you this would be random.

I just want to share a cute photo of my kid.

TYPICAL LUCY. Always doing the silly attack thing. Babies are so fun at this age--so, so stinkin fun.

Oh, It's MAY, guys. In case you didn't know.

You know what May brings? Oh, a 3 YEAR OLD. Yea. So, we have a Hello Kitty party coming up in less than 2 weeks and let's just talk about all I've done for it for a minute.



Yea. Nada.

So, if I go MIA, I'll be off birthday crafting, or something. I'm hoping the motivation hits for that, because right now? It's not there.

Ok. I gotta go--my kid just locked herself in the bathroom. Never a dull moment :)


*** Since Google Reader is gone July 1st, I've switched to Blog Lovin--so make sure to click below to keep following.
Follow on Bloglovin