Thursday, August 30, 2012

Grandma Dottie's Ring

This morning, as I was getting dressed and ready to go to a play date, I thumbed through my jewelry box, in search of something that would make my "mom" outfit, slightly less mom'ish. The jeans and t-shirt that I had on seemed to scream "stay at home mom", "gets a shower, if she plans well" and "look at that tummy, is that girl pregnant or does she need to lay off the carbs?" As I picked through my jewelry box, I came across Grandma Dottie's ring. She's been gone for a little over 2 years now but, the legacy that she left is just as big as her personality was.
Grandma Dottie lived enthusiastically. She loved passionately and she lived life with purpose and excitement. As a former model, she loved all things fashion. She also loved cars, particularly red convertibles. She listened to music loudly and she danced without a care.

When I was a teenager, she would try and hold my hand when we went into the store. It wasn't that she thought I needed to have my hand held, it was because she loved me and she wanted to be close to me. Often I would drive down to see her and we'd have car washing parties together. Afterwards, she would offer me an ice cold Diet Coke and she always served it in a cup with ice, because drinking from a cup is far more sophisticated than drinking from a can. 

When Judah was born, she insisted that he has her chin and her hair. She loved him with every ounce in her body and although she never met Paisley, I know that they would have the best time together. She and Paisley would most likely be out tearing up the malls together. I'd have to watch her with the boys because I'm sure she'd try to sneak by me and let them test drive her red convertible. 

Today, I slipped on her ring and I haven't taken it off since. When Paisley woke up this morning, I showed her the ring and told her it was Great Grandma Dottie's. All morning, she pointed at my finger and said "Grandma Dottie's!!!", over and over again. Hearing her Great Grandma's name said with such love has brought me a lot of joy today.

I miss my Grandma but, what hurts the most is that I wish I could tell her what a wonderful legacy she left and how a day doesn't go by without us thinking about her. I wish I could tell her how every time I go outside, a white butterfly floats by and it makes me think of her. I wish she knew how fun and incredible Judah and Paisley are and I wish she could play with them. I wish I could spontaneously call her and share funny things that they say or tell her about the amazing deal on boots that I just scored. 

She was always just a phone call away and no matter what "it" was, she always "got it". She showed me that it's important to dream big, that you'll succeed if you follow your bliss, and that life can be so beautiful. 


Wednesday, August 29, 2012

The thing about Motherhood that I can't get over

It's been a little over 3 1/2 years since I officially became a Mom. From the moment Judah was conceived, I believe that I fell into the "mommy" category but, minus the stretch marks and my giant body, my life didn't drastically change until we welcomed that sweet little guy into our lives.

I remember the first time just he and I went to the grocery store. Oh, I was nervous. Not nervous that I would forget something or that I would like loose him,  I was nervous that he would cry and that everyone around me would notice that there I was, the new mommy with a crying baby. Looking back now, I can't remember if he cried or not but, I know that our first trip must have gone reasonably well since it isn't stamped into my memory as one of my most awkward moments.

Fast forward to when we had Paisley. When I took her out for the first time, Judah came with us. She must not have been more than a week old and he was only 21 months. I don't remember worrying about if she was going to be fussy. By this time, I realized that babies fuss and that it's nothing to get embarrassed about. Babies cry, it's part of life and when you're a new mom, it feels good to get out of the house.

A couple years have gone by and most things that come with Motherhood seem natural by now. The fact that I hardly ever go grocery shopping alone is just part of life and it's not a big deal to me. Going to the bathroom alone or without someone banging on the door has become super rare. Answering 30+ questions each day like "Mommy, did you sleep with your tummy last night?", has become the new norm.

Although so many things seem natural by now, there's at least one thing that I just can't get over. I can't get over how many messes they make. I know, I'm beyond blessed but, for the love of Pete, how can two  little people make so many dang messes? 
Today, all before 8:30am, I had cleaned throw up off of the carpet, pee from the bathroom floor (because he wants to "go like a Daddy"), sticky oatmeal from the dining room floor and a mess in our bedroom that was made while I brushed my teeth. This was all before Paisley was even awake........
 After Paisley finished her breakfast, I had to literally hold her over the kitchen sink and wash her toes. I don't know how she does it but, that sister is a great and messy eater.
All morning long, I cleaned mess after mess. I taped up a library book so, the library cop won't get us and I cleaned potty off of the bathroom floor for a second time. Finally, we headed out to the library, where Paisley ran around like a mini tornado, tearing books off of the shelves. My quiet hushes of "NO MORE BOOKS, Paisley!" were far from effective but, I was too exhausted to think of a more effective approach.

I have a couple friends who are super laid back moms. They're okay with the messes. Heck, they might even see the messes as art and their children as artists, learning to express themselves. I respect those moms and I honestly love them.

Every night, I check on my sleeping mess-makers before I go to bed. I kiss their heads and thank God for how perfect they are. I would much rather have a full and messy life than a boring and squeaky clean life. But, I'm not going to lie, the messes drive me nuts.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Project 365 {+1}: Here's to Getting Caught Up

Oh, Project 365{+1}, how I love and hate you at the same time. If you've read my blog for any amount of time, it might be a just little obvious to you that I have a big 'ol Type-A personality. That means, I don't like committing to things and then not finishing them. I actually really hate it.

First I fell off the wagon when it came to posting my Project 365 {+1} photos on Facebook. I didn't want to be one of those annoying people that posts a ridiculous amount of photos of her very cute kids, like daily. So, I stopped posting my pics. Should I have continued to post our pictures? Maybe. I guess I figured that most people know I blog anyway and if they actually enjoy looking at my pictures and seeing what we've been up to, they can stay connected with us on here.

Then I stopped posting the photos on my blog. Sigh. Was it because not all of them are great pictures or even very interesting at all? Maybe. Was it because these Project 365{+1} posts take a long time to write and edit sometimes? Partially. Was it because I thought everyone might be sick of seeing our pictures? Um, yes.

Well, here's the bottom line. I committed to Project 365{+1}, I've still been snapping away and I'm determined to get caught up again. My last post was here and it showed the photos for the 23rd week of this year. In this post, I'm going to finish up the month of June. Next post will cover July. The following one will cover most of August and then I'll most likely start posting them on a weekly basis again.
Yuck, I hate being behind but, here's to getting caught up!

A Jamba Juice date to celebrate Judah not having any accidents. 
 Paisley at our friend Cade's 2nd Birthday party! 
 A morning at the beach. Hello summer, we love you. 
 Judah, admiring my toes. 
 Decorating cupcakes at Fred Meyer for Father's Day. 
 Why hello there, big garlic!
 Bedtime is extra fun when Auntie Sally is the one reading the stories. 
 Happy Birthday Mom!
 A morning at the playground. 
Dress up time. 
 An ice cream date with just the kids. 
Summer sunset. 
First time having a booth at the flea market. 
 Kissy cheeks. 
He loves to vacuum, I can't complain. 
 Happy Birthday, Rosie. For the record, this is the first and only time that she's joined us at the table. 
 Chalk artists. 
 Brother/sister book time.
 Future swimsuit model (NOT).
 Stack 'em up and knock 'em down.
Now to get caught up with July and August!

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Here I Grow: Week 9

How I'm feeling: This week is pretty much the same as last week. I still have all day nausea but, I'm possibly getting used to it. It hasn't been fun, it's actually made me cry a few times but, last night I asked God to help my attitude change. Instead of focusing on how awful I feel, I prayed that instead, I would focus on how thankful I am for this baby.

Weight Gain/Loss: This week my weight stayed the same so, I've still gained just the 2lb. Don't worry, I'm not going to be one of those bloggers who claims to not gain weight when she's pregnant. Oh baby, I do gain....I'm just trying to put that off for awhile.

What I'm wearing: Still wearing regular clothes.

What I'm eating/craving: What I'm craving is so all over the place. One minute I wish I had a huge lemon popsicle and the next minute, I'm wanting something totally different. My poor hubby can hardly keep up with what sounds good or sounds awful to me. This morning before church, I made the best salad with zucchini, tomato, onion, bell pepper, salt, pepper and Italian dressing. I was eating that at 10:30am and it was so good that I was Instagraming about it. A lot of foods sound awful but, if something is good, then it's like really, really good.

How I'm Sleeping: I'm sleeping well. I've been going to bed way earlier than I used to and while I miss the productive late nights, I know that extra rest is good right now. I'm still getting up to pee once a night but, I'm sleeping well besides that.

Emotions/Thoughts/Feelings: This week was extra exciting because we got to have our first ultrasound. When we saw this precious little baby, my heart was so full of love. Seeing that little heart beating away gave me so much peace. Once again, I'm amazed at the never ending supply of love that God gives us.

Friday, August 24, 2012

First Backpack and a Back to School Countdown Printable

Around here, we've been getting ready for a new adventure in our life.....preschool! As I get my big boy ready to start this new season, I see that I could easily be really emotional. Instead of just being sentimental and a typical emotional mommy, I'm trying to embrace this new adventure with total enthusiasm and excitement! And all jokes aside, I'm sure I'm going to cry my eyes out that first day, after I drop him off.

Today we shopped for a new backpack and as you can see, he was very excited to try them on.

While backpack shopping, my eye was drawn to the new school supplies. What is it about these gorgeous colors that's so enticing? I just couldn't say no! We needed new crayons and markers anyway....
Normally I love to have flowers or candles on our table but, I'm going to try something different for awhile. I took spray painted mason jars, painted chalk labels onto them and I'm going to keep a few of our art supplies on our table. I love the colors and I'm going to see if the kids ask to use them more often, if they're always in sight.
Hopefully they'll want to color more because they can always see the crayons, markers and coloring books.
To help Judah recognize when his school starts, I created a back to school printable for him. After I made it, I printed it off and then framed it. Everyday, I'll change the number of days left, by using a dry erase marker to write on the outside of the glass.
If you would like to use this printable, go for it! Just click here to download it.
Linking up here

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My Guilt-Free Pregnancy Protein Bars

One of my main goals for this pregnancy has been to eat healthy. Since the morning that I took that happy little test, I've wanted to feed myself (and our growing baby), as healthy as possible. But, with all-day morning sickness, super healthy foods honestly don't always sound appetizing. Today I'm sharing this totally simple recipe for what I call my Pregnancy Protein Bars. These bars are jam packed with whole grains, fiber, protein, and even Omega-3s and I've been keeping a pan of them in my fridge for a little snack, whenever a craving hits. They're totally guilt-free and you certainly don't have to be pregnant to make them.

Whole Food Protein Power Bars:
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup coconut flakes
3 oz extra dark chocolate
1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup prunes
1/2 cup peanut butter
3 tablespoons flax seed oil

Put all ingredients into a food processor.
 Blend thoroughly-until mixture is crumbly.

 Line a pan with waxed paper and then firmly press the mixture down into the pan.

Place it in the refrigerator to chill for at least and hour and then it's done! So easy, right???
Keep the bars in the fridge, where they'll be ready for whenever you or your kids need a healthy snack.
When you make these bars, keep in mind that you can use raisins instead of prunes or if you like them a little more sweet, use chocolate chips instead of the extra-dark chocolate. Heck, you could even add dried fruit and I'm sure they'd turn out awesome. The main idea is always the same: Add a bunch of healthy foods (with a little moisture), into a food processor, blend well, push into pan and then chill. It's that easy and so good!
Linking up with some of these creative link ups. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

What I'm Saying YES to this Fall

Yesterday I made the most amazing Pregnancy Power Bars and I had it all planned out that today I'd write about them and share the recipe. However, I'm just not feeling it and if there's one thing I've learned about blogging, it's that you need to write what's on your heart or at least be genuine with what you're sharing.
So, on that note, I'll share my recipe with you another day and if you're looking for a delicious, easy and super-guilt free protein bar recipe, you'll love it. As for today.....I'm just writing about life and where my heart is at.

This morning I sat with my cup of coffee and reviewed my list for today. It stressed me out and I felt like something had to give. A few moments later, I read a little post from Blue Eyed Bride titled "My Grace Year". Her post was all I needed to remember that I'm a firm believer in saying "No" and that it's okay to not sign up for everything that it seems like everyone else is signing up for.

Immediately, I canceled a few things that I was obligated to and instantly I felt lighter. Yes, those things that I had planned on doing would've have been FUN but, were they necessary? No. Did I need to be there or do them? No. Were they something that God wanted me to do at this time? No.

I feel like God gives me a few "Yes's" for each season of my life and I want to use those "Yes's" well. It's like a kid in a candy store with a small budget. This kid has $1 and he wants to spend it wisely but, he also wants to enjoy his candy. He could get lots of Jolly Ranchers for his dollar but, Jolly Ranchers aren't his favorite. He really loves Snickers but, you can't get as many Snickers for $1. He ends up buying the Snickers and although he doesn't get the same quantity, the quality is so much better.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I want my "Yes" to be a quality yes. If I spread myself too thin, I'm not giving the best and it's the quantity of what I'm doing over the quality of what I commit to.

This fall there are a few things that I'm eagerly saying YES to:
•I'm saying YES to Judah being in preschool and I'm jumping in 100% to be excited for him and help him succeed in every way possible.
•I'm saying YES to Awana for our family. Awana was a big part of my life when I was younger and I'm very excited for our kids to be part of it!
•I'm saying YES to MOPS. I love MOPS and I can't imagine not saying yes to MOPS.
•I'm saying YES to spending quality time with Paisley while Judah is in school. We haven't had much one on one time and I'm looking forward to it.

Earlier I walked around my house and snapped a few pictures with my phone of little things that make me happy. If you're ever having one of those days where you feel like nothing is good enough, you should try it. You might be surprised with what you come up with!
 A pumpkin spice candle picked up from Target yesterday. This makes my pregnant nose very happy.
 A pile of clothes dropped of by a friend, just because. We are so blessed. 
 Our kitchen chalkboard. 
 Candles on our table, given to us by my Dad. He specifically asked us to burn them during dinner time. What a great way to make ordinary family dinners feel special!
Dahlias from a local u-pick place. 

So, what are you saying YES to this fall? 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Here I Grow: Week 8 and Snippets of our Weekend

How I'm feeling: This week has by far been the worst in regards to morning sickness. I don't remember being this sick with either of my older kids.....Maybe I was and I just don't remember it or maybe this really is the worst that I've been sick. Either way, it hasn't been fun, especially because I have the two older ones to try and keep up with. I try to keep positive and remember that this will pass but, when nausea even wakes me up during the middle of the night, I get really frustrated with it. Besides having all-day nausea, I'm feeling well! Ha! I have pretty good energy and I'm thankful for that. 

Weight Gain/Loss: Despite being sick, I went up 2lb this week. To be honest, I hate seeing the scale move....especially because I just recently lost all my weight (plus a little!) from my first two babies.

What I'm wearing: Still in regular clothes and like I said last week, I hope to stay in these for awhile. I'm so not ready to break out the maternity clothes yet. I'll be walking around with my pants unbuttoned before I do that!

What I'm eating/craving: Pretty much everything under the sun sounds gross right now but, I know that will change. Even Facebook or Pinterest can nauseate me with the pictures of food. However, I did have a really yummy bowl of Cheerios earlier.

How I'm sleeping: I'm sleeping well. Last night I did wake up from being so nauseous but, that hasn't been happening a lot.
Emotions/Thoughts/Feelings: This week was extra fun because I had my first midwife appointment. I ran into an old friend who happens to be a medical assistant at her office now and that was an extra bonus. Pretty soon we'll have our first ultrasound and that'll be super exciting.
Snippets of Our Weekend
First, I just want to say thank you to those of you who shared your opinions with me, regarding "Is Blogging Safe?". Reading your comments has helped me sort our my own thoughts on this matter. You all are so smart and I love hearing what you think!

Basically, I've come to the conclusion that nothing is ever really 100% safe but, you can do all things with caution and try to use your best judgement. Everyone has a different comfort level so, I think that there isn't one way that's best, when it comes to how much or how little you share. On my blog, I share what I'm comfortable with and as time goes on, what I'm comfortable with might change. So, the bottom line is that what works for one person, won't necessarily work for everyone. Write with caution, remember that anyone can read it and do what works for you and your family, while respecting other people's privacy.

Our weekend has been a bit different. My husband attended a Men's Retreat that had him gone all weekend so, basically I was a single parent. I tried to make the most of it though and the kids and I survived just fine. I figure that if he's going to be gone, a Men's Retreat with our church is a darn good reason to not be here.

To make the weekend seem special for the kids, I took them out to get a little treat after dinner one night. 
They were so good and we had so much fun!

We also had a nice visit with my sister and her family. I got to snuggle that new precious baby and the kids had fun playing. Later, the kids and I laid on the couch together and watched The Pioneer Woman. On her show, she made wraps for her girls and Judah thought they looked amazing. He asked me to make them for dinner and I was amazed and how they both gobbled these up....veggies and all! My kids are not raw vegetable eaters so, seeing them eat uncooked bell peppers and carrots totally made my night. We will be making these again, for sure!

I feel like just recently we've started to turn a corner with the way that J&P treat each other. Now that Paisley talks more, they're able to communicate better and they've really been playing together so much better. It makes my heart so happy when they're actually getting along!
(I know this is a horrible, blurry picture but, I like it because they were having "book reading" time together and I was spying on them with my camera).


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