Monday, August 31, 2015

The Talking Mom Series:: Lauren


I am pumped to introduce you to this weeks Talking Mom, Lauren. The story of how she and I initially met is quite funny. We were first introduced by a mutual friend. Then, I stalked Lauren on Facebook and in Blogland and then one day, I randomly picked up the phone and called her to see if she wanted to take a sewing class with me....I think I called her land line. 

Do people still have house phones?? Not sure, but I think Lauren did when we first met almost 5 years ago! 
Anyway, I hardly knew her, and I am sure she thought I was crazier than crazy, but she agreed to go with me and the following week picked me up for our first class together. Apparently good friendships can bud out of social media stalking and sewing classes as from there we started hanging out, our hubby's became friends and our kids loved each other. Now, we live over 4 hours away from each other, but I consider her one of my besties and we text often and of course keep up with each others blogs and more! 

You can find her at the links here:: INSTAGRAM and BLOG and make sure to pop over and say hello! 

Here is Lauren from A Page Is Turned Blog, pictures of her cute boys and answers to her Talking Mom questions!! 

1. Best Mom Hack?
This is a BRAND NEW one, but we have a kindergartner this year. And I am not a morning person. On Sunday nights we pick out our clothes for the WHOLE week. (The first week, I realized that means you actually have to do laundry on the weekends!) We put each set of clothing (according to my husband, boys do not wear “outfits”) into one of those hanging closet cubby things. Each morning, James can pick out ANY of those “sets of clothing” to get himself ready.

2. Where have you eaten your words? As a Mom, what did you never foresee yourself saying?
Oh my. I was the best mom before I was a mom. I wish I could go back to my teaching days pre-kids because I would be so much kinder and more understanding. My kids were NEVER going to pitch fits in public. I would LEAVE if they acted like that. Uhhh, hello. I get that he’s screaming, but sometimes you HAVE to finish the grocery shopping trip. I also say, “Because I said so!” a LOT. And I swore that I never would. I always thought it was a ridiculous answer. I’ve learned that it’s the best answer. You can’t, because I said you can’t and I’m the mama!

3. What is the most fearful you have been as a mom?
We have had one bout of anaphylaxis and that will scare the daylights out of you. James has a tree nut allergy (with a few other things mixed in) and he had an allergic reaction to a cashew when he was 18 months old. We had NO IDEA what to do. In hindsight, we should’ve taken him straight to the ER, but our pediatrician told us over the phone not to (his breathing was not affected). Going through the whole allergy-diagnosis was a bad time for me. I was huge pregnant with Will and already hormonal. I told one friend I felt like I was “in a pit of despair.” Drama, much? But really. When life takes a left turn like that (completely out of the blue!), it’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

4. Best registry gift received?
The Nap Nanny for Will. I know this has since been recalled (it’s been a while since we’ve had an infant!), but we used it on the floor and it was WONDERFUL. I think there’s something called the Rock ’n Play (maybe?) now that’s similar. I wanted Will to be able to sleep or lay down in something I could move from room to room and this worked like a charm for the first 2-3 months of his life. I wanted an adult-sized one!

5. Worst registry gift received?
A growth chart. I know that sounds crazy, but I think the only thing we didn’t use that we got as a gift (I tried to use EVERYTHING) was a growth chart. It was colors that completely clashed with James’ room. I never even pulled it out. The gifters had good intentions, but they didn’t have a clue what his room looked like (probably assumed it would be blue since he was a boy). If you’re gifting room decor, do a little asking around first.

6.Tips for moms making a baby registry.
Don’t throw everything in the world on it. Make sure it’s things you REALLY want or need. If you put 12 blankets on it, chances are you’ll get 12 blankets PLUS blankets from others who didn’t even look at the registry. And do your research before adding the big things.
7. Tips to new mamas out there.
Take it one day at a time! Motherhood is HARD. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Get yourself out of the house alone (or with your husband or a friend - just leave the kids!) every once in a while. It is ok to feel overwhelmed and exhausted - we've all been there! Just because you feel like that today doesn't mean you'll never get through it! Take a deep breath and keep trying!

Thanks so much for sharing with us, Lauren!! Yall don't forget to follow her (INSTAGRAM and BLOG) and stay tuned for next weeks Talking Mom, Rebecca!! 

Links below for more Talking Mama's! 

The Talking Mom Series:: Leah
The Talking Mom:: Elise
The Talking Mom:: Chelsea
The Talking Moms
The Talking Mom Series:: Carrie Beth
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Friday, August 28, 2015

Our Easter Anniversary

I wrote this post back on Easter, but I did not publish it then for a variety of reasons.

First, I wanted to think about it a tad more and second, I wanted just to ponder it in my heart. I have been known in the past to have word vomit tendencies when I get overly excited, and I wanted to make sure that this was prayed through and thought about before I just started typing away on the keys!

Now that we are a few months past April, I have thought about this off and on, forgotten about it, then remembered it and then thought of it a bit more. When I was thinking about it today, I decided it was time to hit the publish button.

Please forgive me if its a bit rambly! Some times its hard to convey feelings into words and this is one of those times.

{Written April 5, 2015}

This years Easter was also Hubby's and my seventh anniversary.

We had a great morning at church, ate sandwiches at home for lunch, the kids all napped and I napped myself! Hubby worked outside for a bit and then we all loaded up and went to the soccer fields and tennis courts to play before going to dinner.

I found an old Outback gift card that had some money left on it, so we used that plus a few extra dollars and treated the family. The kids behaved wonderfully - like best meal in public with all three that we have had yet. I mean, they are usually decent, but Brother sat in a booster, not strapped in, ate like a champ and was sweet as could be. Annie M colored for half of the meal, then ate well and Moose did well too! We were thankful and aside from frantically cutting food for all three {normal meal time happenings} Hubby and I enjoyed our steaks and the company!

The day was perfect from a relaxation and family enjoyment perspective, and all day I was filled with happiness. I know it was Easter and that I had resurrection thoughts and celebrations on the brain, but, that day, I truly felt like the Lord touched me with an overwhelming tangible touch of his love and it was something so filling that til now, I have had a hard time putting words to describe.

As I sat in church that morning, I listened to the message of hope. I heard the familiar {yet always fresh} story of Jesus dying on the cross and raising from the dead. I remembered the promise that those who believed and followed Him would have eternal life. I witnessed people baptized and I cheered as they allowed us to celebrate along with them.

I listened to the words that our pastor spoke about the reality of who Jesus was, what He did and the promise that was fulfilled. While unbelievable that someone would give His life so I could be forgiven and have life to the fullest, it was all so wonderful and sweet and a breath of fresh air in this world that is some days filled with doom and despair.

Though we go to church weekly, have seen lots of baptisms and yearly celebrate the power of the resurrection, this day it was all so fresh. It was like we were seeing it for the first time and the joy was overwhelming.

I listened to and witnessed all of the above on April 5, 2015, and as I celebrated Easter, I recalled April 5, 2008 - hubby's and my wedding day.


Wedding day was a day of anticipation. A day of preparation and excitement as each detail finally was woven together and displayed as a large tapestry in the form of a wedding. I woke up that morning and all of my best friends and family were at my house. People showed up with my favorite Starbucks drinks and chicken biscuits and we were all smiles, laughs and happy tears.

Months of work, energy, dedication, love, resources and time poured into this day and single event. One earthly event that would change my life forever. It was joyful and one of the happiest days of my life.

I had prayerfully waited for the man of my dreams, and he waiting for me. I remember when my husband told me that he wanted to get married. He told me that he prayed about us having more impact for Jesus as a couple than we would singly or on our own. Now it was our wedding day.

People came to the house I grew up in to get ready, to do my hair and make up and to celebrate. I was treated like royalty as everyone celebrated and cheered us on to holy matrimony. We went to the church where more people were waiting to document, photograph and witness as we committed our lives and spoke promises that would never be broken.


Seven years later, I reminisced all of that as I sat in church on this Easter-Anniversary day. As I did, I was filled with a new joy and an overwhelming, consuming love.

I felt the same feelings as I felt on my wedding day but more. A joy about the Lord that I have always known but one that took on a deeper meaning as I celebrated Easter and our Anniversary. It was a sheer giddyness like none other as I thought of the promise that lay ahead.

Because of what Christ did on the cross and because of His promise kept, He has gone ahead to prepare a place for me. For us. For all who believe in Him.

We are royalty we are His bride. His promises and commitments hold true today - just as my husbands vows that he made seven years ago hold true to me. Jesus has gone before me and the Father is preparing the wedding feast for when the bride meets the bride groom. That day will be a feast like none other. The best wedding celebration one could ever attend. It will probably have the most delicious wine and cake too.

...don't worry, I am not launching into any more deep theoretical, bride and bride groom thing or anything further as I am not edumacated enough in that regard! Still, knowing what our wedding day meant to me and that the Lord has that PLUS some in store for the church, and those who love Him is truly breathtaking!

As I thought about this all, I realized even more tangibly that as an in earthly sense, we prepare, celebrate and tell people of our wedding, I need to also prepare for the day I will meet Jesus.

I want to love and serve Him well on this earth. Out of His love, I want to love. I want to serve my earthy husband, my kids, family, friends and those I don't know well. I want to spend {more} time with Him and appreciate His goodness while I am on this earth. I want to love my kids the way that our heavenly Father loves us. I want my husbands and my ministry to others to glorify Him as we go through this life together.

I know {and have known} these things for a while, but on this day, their roots went a tad deeper in my heart. It was a sweet reminder of the multitude of goodness that is God, and the goodness of the things He has given to me. Salvation, my husband, my family, His love, and on and on.

I pray that I always remember the feelings of gratitude and joy that overwhelmed me that Easter Anniversary morning. It was honestly a humble physical touch of a beautiful heavenly thing. From celebrating new life and defeat over the grave to remembering the joy of a bride and the understanding that I can walk in that celebratory joy daily. It was like I "got" happiness all around.

Its been a great seven {and a few months!} years filled with adventure, fun, babies and challenges. Cant wait to see what the next infinity holds! I am thankful for my Hubby and for all the Lord has blessed us with!

Happy Friday to you and I'll see ya next week! 
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Thursday, August 27, 2015

Back To School

Bedtimes are earlier, wake ups seem to come faster and days are full of school, dance and other activities.

The summer was so much fun, but honestly, I have been ready to get back to school. My kids are in the "fight, bicker, whine and pick on each other" all day long stage and now that Moose is old enough to stand his ground, he is in on it too.

I think at one point during the summer when I wasn't doing my grocery runs in the Starbucks drive thrus, I considered adding customized, fancy, pretty whistles and referee shirts to my Etsy shop - since that seems to be my main job these days!

Anyway, school is back in session and the kids are loving it and Mama is happy!

School helps to structure our weeks and since mine don't go all day, every day, its a good balance for us. They get to do their school thing for a bit, have some space and then we spend our days and afternoons together at the house. They love their teachers, thrive in their classrooms and are learning and growing.

I bought a pair of tennis shoes for Moose and was trying to take a {still} picture of him in them, but all I got was images like the one below. It made me a tad sad as he is clearly a running, playing, ball chasing toddler - versus my itty bitty, nursing newborn.

....I keep telling hubs this means time for another and he is holding strong on his family of five is the perfect size!

I am not much into first day of school traditions. Not because I don't think they are adorable and precious, but because I am too all over the place trying to get ready for school and everything else, to actually do kids picked out their own clothes, I made them a crazy little sign and we snapped a few pictures and were off! I think they got cheerios for breakfast??

I did attempt to do a mini interview with the two bigs and it was cute {and humorous} so maybe I can remember to do that again next year and I will officially call that our tradition. 

Here were some of the highlights of their 2015 mini interviews::

Favorite Color?
Annie M:: Pink, Red and Purple
Brother:: Blue

Favorite Food?
Annie M:: Pasta & Pizza {but not mixed up} - she asked that I make sure to note that...don't blame her.
Brother:: Blue {um, okay!?} 

Favorite Movie?
Annie M: Frozen, The Sound of Music and Mary Poppins
Brother:: Mary Poppins

Favorite Sport? 
Annie M:: Every kind of sport in the world.
Brother:: Licking {what the........?????}

When I Grow Up, I want to Be A...?
Annie M:: A Mommy with all screaming kids - seven of them. 
Brother:: A basketball player and go running. 

Favorite College?
Annie M:: The one with Kristin's bulldogs. {Daddy wasn't thrilled with this response. I made her write "ROLL TIDE" 100 times before she was allowed up from the table...Kidding. Kind of. ;)}
Brother:: six, seven, eight, nine, ten {No idea what this means, but when he gets to college, he will for sure know how to count!} 

As for Moose, his favorite things are his new shoes and playing catch. He also eats goldfish for multiple meals a day and snacks. I am thinking if we drop the "gold" from the name and just call them "fish" then I can pretend like he is getting nourished and lots of protein? 

I wanted to send the kids with a little something for their teachers but knew I didnt have much time or money to invest. 

Back to school can already get expensive between classroom supplies and little things needed {Amen??}, so I wanted cheap and easy. I sent coffee mugs stuffed with a few instant coffee and tea packs. They were super inexpensive and cute and it was nice just to have a little back to school thing to tell our teachers we are excited about the year ahead with them. I used mainly stuff I had around the house, and will post a quick tutorial later on how I did them and where the supplies came from. 

Hubs took a day off so he could go with me to take them to school, meet their teachers and see their classrooms. He was traveling when I did the orientation and the kids were excited to show him their new spaces. 

After we dropped them off, he and I spent the morning hiking together and then an hour at Starbucks chatting, dreaming and scheming! It was weird and we kept looking for babies and wondering who we had forgotten where! Before we knew it, time was up and we were headed back to get our babies! 

Yay for great weather, back to school and new routines!  
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