Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Project 365{+1} Update

Well, here we are, it's the last day of January and I've realized that I haven't posted pictures from my photo-a-day project for awhile. Project 365{+1} has been going well! It's actually been super easy for me to stick with it so far because I'm a bit of a picture nut. I haven't been exactly thrilled with the way each picture has turned out but, when I'm grabbing my camera when the opportunity strikes, I guess I can't expect for each photo to be professional quality. 

For February, I hope to focus more on capturing special moments. Moments that I want to always remember. The simple everyday life that makes being a mommy so special and so challenging at times. January has been a bit of a "blah" month for me and I'm looking forward to spring, fresh air and hopefully a little sunshine. It's exciting to look ahead and know that God has big plans for each of us in February. What are you looking forward to next month?
Judah's ice cream train Birthday cake. 
 One of his fun Birthday presents. He named this dinosaur "Cookie" and he loves it. 
 Our climber, the busy, busy little Paisley. 
 Flowers from MOPS. 

 The best squeeze ever. 

 Hide and go seek with Judah. 

 La, la, la, Levi!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Winter Garden and City Drive'n

This afternoon, I realized that I haven't watered my little winter garden in probably about a month. I haven't even looked at it and it's not good to ignore those you love.  
My husband built a beautiful raised bed for me and then my Dad made a cover for it. In October I planted lettuce, spinach, beets, carrots and garlic. 
Well, apparently a little neglect or snow and freezing temperatures haven't bothered it much. Here in the Pacific Northwest, this little garden is still pretty happy! I was like "Whoooaa!" when I opened it up this afternoon. Growing things makes me happy. If I'm not growing a baby, I mine as well grow some lettuce, right? :) This is what I brought in today. 

Here's my only problem with gardening......I don't like bugs. Sure, bugs outside are fine but, I don't like bugs on my food, at all. I also don't like pesticides and one of the highlights of growing a tad of our own produce is the fact that I know it has no chemicals on it. When I brought these spinach and lettuce leaves in, I must have spent over 10 minutes spraying off each leaf, totally OCD style. Seriously, there weren't many bugs on them but, I can't stand the thought of missing one. I think our water bill is going to be higher, just from me rinsing lettuce!
So, what does a girl do? Do I just get over it and rinse it off like a normal person? If you have a garden, how do you deal with the possibility of bugs? 
On a different note, last night, we attended my husband's company party in Seattle. We haven't driven to Seattle in about 8 months and it kind of freaked me out! We parked in a parking garage that has a 6'6 limit. Seriously, if you car is over 6 1/2 feet tall, you would scrap the roof. I was a little nervous and ducking down in my seat (not that crouching down in my seat makes our car shorter, it just makes me feel better). I realized that I need to get out of my small town more often because Seattle shouldn't be scary. It's actually an amazing city with tons of fun things to do. I apparently just live a rather sheltered life.

After we left the party, I drove us home. To get back on the freeway, we needed to drive on this road that was a HUGE hill, with stop lights on the hill. I've never almost had a panic attack while driving but, I seriously almost did. There's nothing like stopping on a HUGE hill in bumper to bumper traffic and then when the light turns green, you have to get going again, without rolling back and smashing into the car behind you. Oh. My. Word. My heart races just as I type this. I survived but, I was shaking, my hands were sweating and I think I still have sore muscles in my shoulders. Next time I go to Seattle, I will specifically plan my driving to not involve one of those huge hills with stop lights. No thank you. No way. I give major kudos to those crazy people who drive on those hills everyday. That will never be me and for the record, I do not drive a stick shift and yes, my car had a funny smell after I gunned it when the light turned green. 

Friday, January 27, 2012

Here we Go, Go, Go, Go, on an Adventure

This morning we listened to "The Cat and the Hat" sing.....Here we go! Go! Go! Go! On an adventure......

The sun was shining so, I told the kids that if we hurried up and got a few things done, we could go out on our own adventure. We got some laundry started, tidied the house and by 10:05am, we were all buckled into the car. It was 42 degrees outside but, that didn't stop us from heading to the beach and then the playground. It was so much fun that I think I might start to call our Friday's, "Adventure Friday's". I'd like to do something fun with the kids, even if we just pack a picnic to have outside, under a tree. Judah is all about "going on an adventure" and frankly, so am I. Here are a few pictures from our morning. 

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Valentine Wreath-Made with Yarn

The other day I got an urge to make a Valentine wreath to decorate the chalkboard that we have hanging in our kitchen. I'm a HUGE fan of using materials that I have on hand so, I cut out a heart from a piece of cardboard and then I wrapped some white yarn all the way around the heart. 
 After the heart was covered with the yarn, I cut out some pink felt hearts, hole punched them and then used pink ribbon to attach them to the wreath. 

Now our chalkboard is all ready for Valentines Day....although I'll most likely change it up a few more times. You know, just because it's fun!

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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

5 Mom-Inspired Driving Tips- Sponsored by Esurance

Esurance is teaming up with real life moms to talk about Mom-Inspired Driving Tips. As a busy mom of two little ones, I know first hand what it’s like to want to keep your children as safe in the car as possible and also feel like there are so many distractions. Today, I’m writing my 5 Mom-Inspired Driving Tips.

#1-Educate yourself on car seat safety. It amazes me how many mothers think they know how to properly strap their children into their car seats or booster seats but, they are doing it incorrectly. If a carseat is installed wrong or your child isn’t buckled in correctly, the car seat will not protect the child properly in an accident. Read the owners manual front to back. Drive to your local fire station or police station and have them inspect the way you’ve installed the car seat. Also, you can check with your local hospital and see if they do carseat safety inspections. I think a lot of the hospitals have special days where they can help you with care seat safety. Also, be a good example and make sure you’re always buckled up. 

#2- Keep your eyes on the road. Sounds simple, right? Well, keeping your eyes on the road when you have small children crying or screaming in the back seat can be a challenge. I know I’ve struggled with this while I have a child that’s hollering for more snacks or a crying baby. I try to remind myself that no amount of crying or whining is worth us being in an accident. Bottom line, keep your eyes on the road. 

#3- Give the car in front of you some space. It’s funny how we’re all in such a hurry and we feel like if we go just a little faster or follow the car in front of just a little closer, it’ll help us get there quicker. Driving too close to the car in front of us not only endangers us and our precious cargo but, it also endangers the people in the cars around us. Give them (and yourself) some space.

#4-Be aware of other drivers. It’s easy to assume that other drivers can see us and that they are paying attention to the road. Unfortunately, this is not the case and you never can know for sure if they other drivers around you are safe. So, pay attention and drive defensively. 

#5-Make sure your lights, signals and tires are functioning properly. We’ve all had it happen to us…someone turns out in front of us without signaling or it’s dark outside and another driver doesn’t have their lights on. Double check that your signals are working, that all of your headlights work and that your tires are in good condition. 

Writing this post has been a gentle reminder to me that I need to pay even better attention when I’m driving. Most of the time I’m driving with my kids in the car and there’s nothing more that I want, than to keep them safe. 
To learn more about Esurance or to join their safe driving conversation, you can visit them on their facebook page. 

****I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Esurance blogging program for 8,000 My SocialMoms Rewards Points. For more information on how you can participate, click here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Tea and Testimony

Some things I'm pretty comfortable with. For example, blogging. I like writing....a lot. It's actually like therapy for me. Other things, like standing in front of a room of amazing woman and sharing my life story make me less comfortable. I actually get totally freaked out. Cold hands, shaky voice, fears of fainting of throwing up or many other embarrassing things come over me. But, I did it anyway! I shared my testimony this morning at my MOPS group and it felt GOOD. Like, I'd totally do it all over again!

I'm not going to share my entire testimony here on my blog becauseI don't feel called to do that right now. What I will say is this..........
If you ever get the opportunity to share your testimony, I'd encourage you to jump on it. Even if you don't get asked, I challenge you to take some time and write down what YOUR story is. I spent a few nights writing out 5 pages of my story and it really made me think about what I've done wrong, how I've messed up and then, how God has FORGIVEN me.

Standing in front of a room of women and sharing some of my darkest times wasn't easy but, it was freeing. I want everyone to know that know matter what they've done and how many times they've messed up, they are still worthy of love. While I typed out my story, I listed to two songs on repeat. These songs speak so much to me and I'd like to share them here. 

"Desert Song" says that "all of my life, in EVERY season, you are still God. I have a reason to sing, I have a reason to worship". Those words are so powerful and they've helped bring me through some hard moments!

The second song I shared was "You love me anyway" by Sidewalk Prophets. This song has spoken to me so much, reminding me that no matter what I've done, I am still loved! Jesus is always there, waiting to forgive us and all we need to do is ask. I love that!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Our Train Party

Last weekend we celebrated Judah turning 3 with some of our friends and family. A month or so before his Birthday, I started asking him what he'd like to do for his Birthday. He always told me that he wanted a train party so, a train party it was!

My sister came over and helped me make a train ice cream cake. Making an ice cream cake is time consuming but, my boy loves ice cream and it was really fun to make this for him.
We also had chocolate cupcakes, pizza, bread sticks and fruit salad. 
I found some red containers at Target, in the dollar section. I decorated them to look like the animal car, coal car and log car. The animal car had animal cookies in it, the coal car was full of cookie dough truffles and the log car was filled with pretzels dipped in chocolate. 
A few days before the party, I found out that the favors I ordered from Amazon wouldn't be here on time. I ended up printing off coloring pages and making playdough to give to the kids. Also, I got all the supplies ready for the kids to decorate a train cookie to take home with them. Some of the kids enjoyed decorating a cookie and others were just too tired or interested in other things. 
For more of a vintage look, I used lots of brown paper. Last minute, I made little brown paper sleeves to hold the silverware in. These simple little holders ended up being one of my favorite things. 

The kids sat at small tables covered in brown paper. Pretty easy for cleaning up and it covered my paint splattered, ugly tables. 

Judah had a great time and he's still talking about how his friends came over and had a party with him. It means so much to me to see him having fun with his friends. Happy 3rd Birthday sweet Judah! 

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Prepping for a Party and Project 365{+1} Update

Well, the snow started to melt today. From everyone's posts on facebook, I could easily tell that I'm one of the few people that was sad to say goodbye to the snow. I'm happy to be at home but, I noticed today that Judah and Paisley were starting to get a bit crazy from being home so much. This afternoon they were getting into everything and I was trying to finish up the last of my projects for Judah's Birthday party. At one point, I sat Judah down at the kitchen table with a bowl, a Popsicle stick with a dab of frosting on it, a small cookie and a bunch of cheerios. I told him to decorate his cookie and it actually kept him out of trouble for a few minutes. 

I've been busy working on the last minute details for his 3rd Birthday party. I'd ordered a bunch of fun things off of Amazon and because of the weather, none of my items are going to be here before the party. I ended up figuring out a back up plan so, I've been busy making homemade playdough, train cookies for the kids to decorate, printing off coloring pages, making cupcakes and also making a surprise Birthday cake for Judah. My sister came and helped me with the cake after the kids were in bed last night. I am really excited about how it turned out but, I can't post pictures yet. It needs to be a surprise!
So anyway, all the party prep has been super fun and now I'm ready to party!!!

I haven't posted a Project 365{+1} update for about a week so, I better get on that! I've been snapping away day after day. It's fun and addicting. What's not so fun is the amount of pictures that I need to sort through and the fact that I'm going to eventually need a larger hard drive! So, here we go....this should bring me up to date. 


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