family life, kids, story telling

THIS is my Motherhood

This is my Motherhood
Image Source

 

I saw this picture on Facebook in October. It has really stuck with me. In fact, every time I read it, I feel like the breath has been knocked from my lungs. The days are long.. they are SOO long. The years just keep flying by. I just looked at baby pictures of my girls. How did they become 7, 6, and 3 so fast?

I follow a lady named Ralphie on Instagram. GO FOLLOWER HER. She did an #Iamthiskindofmom hashtag where moms shared what their STRENGTHS are. Too often we focus on our shortcomings as mothers, which I believe robs us of a lot of the joy in motherhood. I often think about how I am not a patient enough mom. I’m not creative enough. I’m not fun enough. Her movement shifted my thinking. What kind of mom am I? That is the only way to not miss out on your children’s childhood; and your own motherhood. Focus on the good.

It is absolutely insane to think that my motherhood only has approx. 11 years left for Chloe. In 11 years (or more) she could be moving out of our house and starting her own life. ELEVEN YEARS. Seven years have gone by in the blink of an eye. I know I have fallen short in SO MANY areas. I have messed up and have regrets. But there is a lot that I hope my kids remember.

I AM the kind of mother who loves having my kids join me in the kitchen. I love baking with them and teaching them the life skills of preparing a meal. I am the kind of mother who tells my kids “the best chefs are the messiest chefs” so that they don’t feel bad about making a mess.. or me making a mess.

I am the kind of mother whose kids ask for their vitamins and probiotics daily. I teach them the best ways to take care of their bodies; because they only get this one.

I am the kind of mother who spreads paper, markers, stickers, etc. all over the table and lets her kids be creative. There is always a massive mess to clean up afterwards, but I love seeing what my girls create with some paper scraps.

I am also the kind of mom who teaches her kids to clean up after themselves. It’s important that they learn they are not “cleaning up for mom”, but they are cleaning up for themselves. We are a family unit, and everyone needs to do their part in order for us to function.

I am the kind of mom who lets her kids play in the tub until they look like raisins.

I am the kind of mom who gets festive like crazy for all of the Holidays. Food must be festive. Decorations must be festive. Colors must be festive. I’m completely bananas about any holiday.

I am the kind of mom who lets my kids get dirty. They can play in the dirt and throw leaves in their hair. The can jump in puddles and play hard. They learn best that way. Sensory play is my favorite.

 

We, as mothers (and fathers also), need to slow down. We need to realize that this is our one shot with our kids. What kind of parent are you? Make a list of all of your good traits. Don’t focus on your shortcomings. Focus on ALL of the good that you do!

 

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baby, holiday, kids, recommendations

Holly Jolly Kids Outfits

Holly Jolly Outfits

Santa Hat Dress // polka dot santa dress // striped deer shirt and pants // knitted deer romper // You Serious Clark? // Fair Isle leggings and ruffle shirt // CC beanie // Dinosaur shirt // earflap hat // cloth diaper // Christmas socks // hoodie outfit // bandana bibs //

Hopefully there is something there for everyone. If that Santa hat dress came in my size, I’d wear it all December long.

Someone better put their babe in that YOU SERIOUS CLARK? outfit. Mine are all too big, and it’s too good.

Happy Wednesday!! We are halfway to the weekend!

family life, kids, story telling

Harper Says

This little stinker is so full of funny words, phrases, and actions. She’s always saying or doing something silly and fills our home with loads of laughter.. and frustration.

 

The other day, Scott  had drawn a heart on me. I asked her who did it.
H: “I dunno”
Me: “Did Rocci do it?” (FYI: Rocci is our puppy)
H: “No, him don’t have hands!”

We are in the potty training trenches… candy is our bribery.
H: *sits on potty* ” Me go pee and me get CANDY!!!

She has been singing Elsa’s “Let it Go” at super speed.
“Let it go let it go can’t hold anymoooore”

Me: Harper, I love you.
H: I like you.

Again, potty training… She walks around with a bare booty most of the time. Rocci sniffs her rear with his cold, wet nose.
H “EW YUCKY DOG!”

After Mom had her knee surgery, Harper used her cane as a microphone singing “Sussa weens sussa weens” (super wings super wings)

Pointing to my belly “Mommy, you big”
Me “Yeah?”
H “Yeah. And Daddy big.”
Me “Is your belly big?”
H “No. It wittwe.”

As soon as she refuses allllll the food at any meal.
“Me want chiiiiiips.”

Good thing she is so snuggly and cute. 😉 She’s ornery as can be, but I am so thankful to have this girl in my life!

deals and steals, holiday, recommendations

Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday

 

Lego sets up to 30% off

Instant Pot (I’d love to hear what you think if you have one.)

Kindle Fire 7 ONLY $29.99

Kids Kindle Fire  We are buying these headphones

Edifier Headphones (fit kids and adults)

Crazy Vitamix Sale

Nursery Items Sale

TOOLS— the easiest husband gift

Lightning deal on building discs (will run out soon)

Really great deals on Hasbro GAMES and toys

Apple Macbook

Melissa & Doug train set

Micro Mini Scooter

Cars track set

Interlocking builder blocks

 

cybermonday

 

Gathre mats 15% off and free shipping            Code: MONDAY

Free shipping on Nickel and Suede

Lily Jade on sale

Tubby Todd 15% off  SOO good for eczema

CUTEST mugs by Rachel Allene 30% off with code CYBER30

June and January

 

I’ll add more to the list throughout the day if I find more deals.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

family life, holiday, story telling

Thanksgiving Recap

Isn’t Thanksgiving food just beautiful? I love making things from scratch. To me, it is really satisfying to see it all come together.

The day before Thanksgiving, I made a giant cinnamon roll for breakfast. (100% a tube of cinnamon rolls) The girls freaked out. I achieved cool-mom status for the first time ever probably. I put frosting on it and cut it like a pie. Sprinkles had to be added, of course. They gobbled the whole thing up leaving their poor cool-mom to starve. 😉

Cut to Thanksgiving, and all of its beautiful food. I didn’t get many pictures on that day. Scott and I really tried to soak in the goodness of having family around us… plus it was bananas. I took a few pictures while I was cooking. Cranberries are a beautiful color. They were frosted by the sugar and it looked like a Christmas decoration. They were SO tart, but yummy.

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My mom came over the day before, and we made pies together. She also helped me get sweet potato casserole assembled since I had never made it by myself. Mom made a really pretty apple pie that was equally as delicious. I also baked the rolls and heated them up on Thanksgiving so the butter would melt on them. (Note: this WILL dry your rolls out, even if you cover them in foil. Bummer.)

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This Thanksgiving was so bittersweet. It was our first big holiday without Jim. I think we all felt the hole where someone was missing. It was very sweet to be surrounded by all of our family that was in town. I really am thankful that God brought us back for this time. Everyone signed our Thanksgiving tablecloth with what they are thankful for this year. (Except Josh. Get your butt back here.) I think I will probably cry every year that I bring it out since it is so full of memories.

 

I also have to share this. When my mom came to make pies, she also brought a little something for the big girls. She made a carseat poncho for Harper, which we love. Chloe and Addi were jealous that they couldn’t wear a poncho.. which made me laugh. My mom, being who she is, quickly whipped up two more ponchos for the big girls. They were so thrilled, and it’s really cute to see them running around in them.

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Little stinkers.

 

I hope that you had a really blessed Thanksgiving.

deals and steals, Friday Favorites

Best Online Sales

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Today is Black Friday. I went out shopping with my mom bright (dark) and early this morning. We found some really awesome deals, that are only available in stores. I have found some fun deals online though, so if you are looking for gift ideas, click away. Shopping from the comfort of your own home is always so much better.

LILY JADE! I think I have declared my love for Lily Jade several times. EVERY bag is on sale. They have some new colors that are available for preorder at the sale price. Goodness, that magnolia green is stunning. Their essentials cases are also only $29. All genuine leather with a smooth red lining inside. These are so amazing and hold a ton. I have the square case in camel and love it. It holds a ton and can even be used as a small clutch for date nights.

Madewell is 25% off, and Nordstrom is price matching. Their items are typically really expensive, but their earrings are super cute and not terribly outrageously priced. I love the simplicity of these tassel drop earrings. These delicate bar & chain earrings are also really fun and simple.

This bra is also my favorite. I have never paid full price for it. Ever. I have found that $20 bras from Target are just really uncomfortable. This one is pretty and so comfortable. It does run small, so size up.  It’s also on Amazon for cheaper in certain combinations.

Tubby Todd is our favorite bath product brand for the kids. It’s so great for the eczema and free from all of the junk you really don’t want to put on your skin. Use the code TUBBYMAMAS2017 for 20% off through midnight.

The kids kindle fire is still less than $70 right now.  We are pairing them with these headphones, which feel really well made.

We got this Melissa & Doug table for Harper two years ago and it is still perfect. WE LOVE IT!! There are a lot of Melissa & Doug deals on amazon today, so check them out!

My FAVORITE hand sanitizer is buy one get one free!! Thieves waterless sanitizer is the bomb and smells like peppermint. 15% off 15mL Tea Tree and Lavender. 15% off 5 mL of sacred sandalwood. 15% off Savvy Minerals line. It’s such a good sale. And, if you want to sign up and get your premium starter kit to receive even more discounts, shoot me an e-mail and I’d be happy to help!

Nickel and Suede will be having their sale tomorrow for Small Business Saturday.

 

What are your favorite deals right now?

holiday, Uncategorized

Our Thanksgiving Menu

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Do you have your menu planned for Thanksgiving? It’s always really hard to narrow down what exactly to cook. I have had our menu set up for quite a while, because I am a planner. If you need some inspiration, here you go!

Appetizers:
Little Smokies
Gouda and White Cheddar Cranberry cheeses
Assorted crackers

Lunch:
Turkey (One smoked and one baked)
Stuffing
Green Bean Casserole
Green Beans (for those who hate casserole)
Sweet Potato Casserole
Mashed Potatoes and Turkey Gravy
Cranberry Sauce
Rolls from scratch
Fruit Salad

Dessert:
Apple Pie
Pumpkin Pie
Chocolate Silk Pie

 

Tomorrow, my mom and I are going to be baking our pies so that the ovens will be free for the rest of the goodies!

 

I would love to hear what is on your menu!

Uncategorized

Thankfulness and Finding the Good

Our autumn leaves have been so vibrant this month. I am loving it, and feeling a bit sad that they are quickly falling. Look at this picture from Saturday!

I didn’t use any filter.. it was super rainy and dreary, but they are still SO bright. Agh. Please never leave.

We also got some giant snow flakes on Saturday. What on earth? It was so gross outside, but I am so thankful to have a warm coat that keeps me super warm. If you are in need of a WARM and cute coat, go buy this!! Only, maybe wait for a better sale if you can? It’s not super puffy.. which I love. Who needs MORE fluff? Not me.

I am really excited for this week. I get to host Thanksgiving for my parents and Scott’s mom and brother. Our families have done SO much for us (especially this year) and it feels really nice to be able to do this… and to have our families together will be really special; especially this year.

We are really struggling with this being the first holiday without Papa here. They used to come visit for Thanksgiving really often, so it will be hard. We have a sketched picture of him in a frame. Addi made him a birthday hat when it was her birthday. He is now wearing a pilgrim hat. I think we’ll just dress him up for all of the holidays. If you think that its inappropriate, you really need to know him. He would have loved it.

We had our Thanksgiving feast at church yesterday. Our pastor has always allowed plenty of time for people to give testimonies of what the Lord has done in their lives. I wanted to so badly to say something, but every time I thought about it I would choke up.

My parents opened their home to my family without batting an eye. We gave them two weeks notice that we were moving in with them, and they went right to work making space for us and renting a storage unit for us to store our “life” in. They fed us and spoiled our girls rotten through a difficult transition. My mom helped me sew some projects I had been working on. We laughed and loved our time together. I miss sitting up at night chatting with my mom and dad. But, I live less than two miles from them and can go see them any time I want! I am always thankful for my parents, but especially grateful to them for this. My mom’s knee surgery went really well. She had surgery two weeks after Jim passed away. My uncle suddenly passed away after hip replacement surgery, so I was a nervous wreck. Not only did she make it through surgery well, but she is thriving with her recovery!  My dad had to have a heart cath and there was a possibility of more risky procedures on Friday. I was so worried, and am so thankful that everything went really well and he is feeling good.

My mother and father-in-law also played a huge role in helping us get back here while we are in this transitional time. This house we live in is all because of them. My father-in-law really fought hard to get us back to IL, and I am really grateful that he did. We got to spend his final months with him. We also got to be close enough to spend his final days with him; something I will never forget. They are some of the most selfless people, and have always done so much for us also. My mom-in-law has loved on the girls and been so strong through all that she has been through. I loved Jim dearly and love Denise dearly. I’m so thankful to have known them for the last 14 years.

My older sister stepped up for me and dropped everything to watch my girls while we dealt with a lot. She let us go on a date night. She let them stay for a sudden slumber party while we said goodbye to Jim. Her and my brother-in-law loaded up six kids and took them to a parade. They kept life fun and lite for our girls during a difficult time. Amy has brought me coffee and always stops by when I need a lift.

My younger sister had been farther away, but was a huge help. She has always been an encourager to me. She was always there when I would call or text her. She still is, even though she just went through a big move. Her move has gone much like ours did last year.. where everything goes wrong. But, she has continued to pray for me through it all.

Being close to family the last 6 months has been the biggest blessing.

I am so thankful to be back with our home church for this season. They truly are the hands and feet of God. They welcomed us back in as though we had never left.

This year has been hard. If I sit and list all of the reasons why 2017 has been awful, that list is long. But, the blessings really do outweigh the bad. It is just hard to see it sometimes. I will be glad to put this year behind us, don’t get me wrong. But, I am trying really hard to focus on all of the good. Because there is SO MUCH. I have so much to be thankful for, and I know that I am only scratching the surface with this list.

I pray that no matter how hard the year has been for you, that you can look for the good. If you are grieving and hurting, know that you are being prayed for.

Uncategorized

Thanksgiving Favorites- Crafts

Thanksgiving Favorites

I have little ones. Obviously. Crafts are our jam, and also the perfect way to entertain your littles while slaving away in the kitchen. Thanksgiving gets a little tricky to invite little ones into the kitchen. But, we let them help with the prep food days before.

I thought I’d share some of the Thanksgiving crafts and games that I’ve found around the Pinter-web. (Get it? Pinterest. Web. Yeah..)

Stuff the Turkey Game

Fabric Turkey Wreath– kids would love tying the knots on this one.

Pin the Gobbler on the Turkey

Don’t Topple the Teepee – we have tons of pencils.. easy peasy

Turkey Rocket Races

Turkey Windsocks

Make the Kids Table More Fun

 

Some of these would be really fun if you have a big group of kids at your house.

I hope you all have a fun and restful weekend before the official kickoff to the holiday season!

 

Uncategorized

Winter Wellness

Cold and Flu season is upon us. Holiday parties are coming where germs always abound. It’s the most stressful time of the year.. along with the most wonderful!

Usually, one of the kids will come home with the stomach bug; either from church or the store. We haven’t been to a holiday party in quite some time. I end up rushing to the store in a panic trying to get what we need. This year, I am determined to get a head start and not feel overwhelmed if/when sickness hits. I figured I’d share some things that I plan to stock up on to maintain our wellness this year.

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  1.  Fruits and Veggies– a healthy diet is obviously really important in maintaining wellness. This is the launching point. If you do nothing else to stay well, DO THIS!
  2. Probiotics– I am thinking I will give these a try for the girls. The best probiotics are typically  in dark jars that you have to keep in the fridge. We have limited refrigerator space, so this is the next best thing. Yogurt is also really great, but you have to watch the sugar content.
  3. Multivitamin– I have these for the girls. Most kids vitamins are full of junk. These have no artificial flavors or colors, just check out the label. I bought a vitamin from Sprouts earlier this year for myself, and got these for Scott.
  4. ElderberryThis combined with my essential oil regimine kept strep from spreading to everyone else in my house earlier this year. Amazon has a $2 off coupon for Zarbees right now!
  5. Vitamin D– I have never given my kids a vitamin d supplement, but realize how important it is for all of us. Most people are lacking vitamin D, so this is a great supplement for everyone; especially in the winter when you aren’t getting as much (if any) sunlight.

You should definitely check out Bridget’s homeopathic travel wellness kit. I saved her post immediately and have snagged a few of the items that she recommends. I always forget to pack anything for possible illnesses, and then stress when someone starts sniffling. I would definitely pack a thermometer. (This one is the best!)

Is there anything else that you would add? I am determined to stay well this year. We are under less stress and not moving, so hopefully that will help a lot!

 

It is worth noting that I am certainly not a doctor, and you should check with your doctor before taking anything.