Thursday, January 31, 2013

Friday's Letters

Dear Friday- Seriously how did we get here so soon? Better yet, how is it February already?!

Dear Thursday night- I am so over you! Between the child who blew out her diaper while I was in the middle of making dinner and got it ALL over  and the dog who drug you know what in on himself after dinner..... I am glad you are done with!

Dear Cupcake Cabernet - Thank you for providing me with your deliciousness when I was through dealing with all the poo!

Dear Husband- I can not thank you enough for putting the kids to bed and staying up late when you had to be up really early the next morning all so I could go out with some friends. came home last night from working over 12 hours and told me to go to bed and get some rest since I had a headache. Love you!

Dear Sock Bun- I finally took the time to master you today and was quite pleased with the results! I forsee us having a long future together.

Dear Saturday- Can not believe Saturday commemorates 10 years of hubby and I being an item (married 5 1/2)! It seems so crazy to me that it has been that long. Our big ole plans consist of furniture shopping and then an early dinner, maybe a movie. I know, we are crazy, right?!

Dear Mom- Thanks for coming to my rescue (again) when I realized that I was all out of toilet paper. I didn't realize this until I was sitting on the toilet. Thank goodness for baby wipes. Oh, and did I mention I was at Costco earlier and totally spaced on getting toilet paper. Oops. That is what moms are for.

Dear Jaxson- I was so proud of you at preschool on Tuesday when you were VIP. I loved spending the day at school with you and observing you. I got to see you in your element when you forgot I was there. Although, I did catch some naughty behavior I was beyond proud when I overheard you telling your friends they were doing a good job and seeing how encouraging and uplifting you were. Heart Swell!

Dear Kendra- Man oh man! You are such a little spitfire. I don't quite know if this is good or bad, at times. Shy? No. Humble? No. A bit vain? Yes, but I love how self confident you are. I caught you saying to yourself, " I am smart, pretty and always beautiful." I hope you never forget this, ever.  Photobucket

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

On A Quest To Simplify

For some time now it has been in my head and on my heart to step back and simplify things around here. I think this plays right into the word that I chose for myself this year; BALANCE. I think these two go hand in hand.

I feel like some days I have so much internal "clutter" because there is lots of external clutter. Now, I don't stress as much (emphasis on as much) about the house being  as clean as I used to. There is always glue, glitter and paint remnants around here and you better believe that the floors are covered in toys. With that said, though, I feel like there are certain aspects of our lives that could use some simplifying and more organization, which in turn will help to restore more balance around here.  Catch my drift?

I don't know about you, but I know I breathe easier when I feel like everything has a place and there is order to most things. If I don't stay on top of things then all chaos ensues and I forget things! Seriously.....if I don't write it down it's not happening. Like forgetting to pay bills...oops!

I went through my house and realized that the main problems I have are keeping our closets organized. Sure...I go through them every few months ,but I have yet to come up with something that just works. I don't want to do a major overhaul every few months. I want something that is going to stay organized and work easy. So, that made me realize we have TOO MUCH STUFF. Really, it is a bit excessive. Why do I keep some of the things that I do? Borderline hoarder, maybe?
The worst by far, though, is the complete lack of organization when it comes to my hall closet which I basically just open and toss things in....for real. If I can't see it, it isn't there, right?!

The other day I started the process of going through it and you won't believe some of the things I have been finding. Christmas presents from LAST year that I never wrapped and gave out. Oops! gift certificates never used (looks like we will be going out!). So many papers to be shredded or filed. Side note.......I have broken every shredder I have ever owned. Really! I don't know how I do it, but I do. So, I have taken to saving up LOTS of things to shred and then I burn them (legally, of course!).

I have made it a goal of mine to go through this house room by room, top to bottom and get some major cleaning and purging done. I have slowly started the process and have no end date in mind, because, let's be honest, I can be a procrastinator. I am pretty excited about the progress I have made so far, and some of things I found that I forgot I even had!!

I have gotten rid of (sold and donated) so much stuff already and it feels so good!

My goal is to get rid of at least one bag/box of "stuff" every two weeks. Pretty hefty goal, right? I really think I can do it because it is amazing how much stuff  a family of four can amass. Sometimes I feel a bit guilty and ashamed.

I hope to keep you all updated on some of the organization projects going on around here and if I can manage to stick to my goal.

Monday, January 28, 2013

How do You explain death to little ones?

We have experienced two deaths in two weeks in our family. On Friday evening Brandon's Great Grandma, who was 98, passed away.

She lived a full, wonderful life and was lucky enough to be surrounded by so much love! She lived at her home up until a few weeks ago. My kids were very close to her. How blessed were they that they got to know their great great grandma.

We decided that we would tell them that she had gone to heaven but try to gloss over the details. There are some things they just don't need to know at this age. However, I didn't want to lie to them, either. It can be a fine line and a tricky one. Kendra seemed to accept this (she really just doesn't get it) but Jaxson has asked ALOT of questions and they were questions I wasn't prepared to answer.

The hardest part about this is seeing that they don't quite grasp it. Their questions bring us to tears.
All I can keep telling him is that she went to heaven and that we will see her one day again. Jaxson is a thinker though, and he wants to know EVERYTHING. While I love and appreciate this about him, it has made it hard to explain the concept of death to him. I, of course, had hoped it would be much later in life when I had to. 

I hope I am saying the right things and doing the right things.

How do you or how have you explained death to little ones?

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Whistler getaway!

I know, I know, I have been slacking BIG TIME in the blogging world, but that is only because life has been so busy lately. Also, I haven't had too much to say. I have hit a bit of a wall when it has come to posting.

But............with that said I thought I would give you a quick recap of our trip to Whislter, BC. As some of you may or may not remember we took the kids last year. This year they stayed with grandma and grandpa (thank you !!). I thought I would have a pretty hard time, but it was easier on all of us than I expected. My parents kept the kids so busy they hardly knew we were gone; Chuck E Cheese, children's museum, shopping, dinners out and new toys! Geeze, I don't think they wanted us to come home. ;)

I cried a little bit when we left, knowing I wouldn't see them for three days, but after that wore  off I started to get excited at the prospect of having that much time with the hubby uninterrupted. It was amazing and just what we needed. Seriously! We waited far too long to have a weekend away. Four years, people, four years!!

We made the drive in about four hours. It would have taken about three but we made a few stops and just enjoyed the scenery.

It is so neat to be where the Olympics have taken place!

We enjoyed dinner and drinks out nearly every night!
We spent most evenings walking through the shops, having dinner and drinks and just enjoying the company. The lights are so beautiful and the village is so nice. We stayed right in the center of the village so there was no need for cars. We could walk everywhere.

It was a wonderful chance for us to reconnect and relax in ways we haven't been able to do in a long time!

We booked a group sleigh ride just a few miles from our resort and when we showed up we were shocked to find out that since no one else had booked we got to have the romantic private sleigh ride for the same price! It was a beautiful trail around a lake (which was frozen) near some gorgeous homes.

The weather was crisp and clear the whole time, but unfortunately it didn't snow while we were there. Boo!

Anyhow, I have SO much stuff to catch up around here. When we got home yesterday we pretty much had to go straight to the store since we had no groceries. I have piles and piles of laundry and just can't get out of vacation mode.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What the (almost) apocolypse taught me....

We all heard the stories and saw the headlines.....the world was set to be ending on December 21, 2012. Well, it didn't (right now you are thinking, duh!).

Rewind five years or so ago when we were in Cancun at the Mayan ruins. There was some talk about it during our tour and it stuck out to me. Yes, me who can be a bit of a hypochondriac at times and add in my anxious state. So, it was always in the back of my mind.

As the date grew closer so did my fear. Now, let me clarify by saying that I really didn't think the world was coming to an end (honest) but it freaked me out. It got me thinking about ALL sorts of things. Like, if and when something did happen. It made me realize how unprepared I am to cope if ANY sort of natural disaster struck. I had no emergency kit  in my car or even a will made up yet.

These aren't topics I generally like to think about, because, honestly who does?

I am not saying I went all Doomsday Preppers on you, but I thought that it would be smart to make myself more prepared. I did some research and put together an emergency kit. What better time than when we are headed up into the mountains. Just in case. I feel better knowing it is there.

More importantly though, the thought that life could be ending any second, really really made me reevaluate some things. I realized so many things I had been focusing on just didn't matter. If the world had ended, how would I have wanted to spend my last days? Certainly not nagging my kids for the millionth time about cleaning up.

It got me thinking that, despite the obvious fact that I love my kids more than anything, I hadn't been spending enough QUALITY time with ALL of my loved ones. I hadn't been doing things daily to fill my cup and theirs. This shook me a little bit. Why did I need a faux apocalypse to remind me of this?I don't know why, but shame on me. Those few weeks before the 21st I put my heart and soul into spending as much time as I could doing fun things with my kids and being more intentional. You know what, it was the best two weeks! This should show me that when I make even the smallest of efforts that I feel so much better at the end of the day.

There has been a lot of loss in lives around us (I know I have said this before) and it has just been another glaring reminder that no day is guaranteed and that I really really need to stop focusing in on the smallest details and start looking at the bigger picture more. I am so guilty of this. If I stop and let loose and let things go I really can relax. I feel a different side of me emerging.

 I have since found it easier to say no to things, to say yes to  staying home more, saying yes to cereal (and fruit) for lunch, having more picnics inside and for learning to let things go.

I vowed to start fresh this year and try to let go of past hurts and disappointments and I feel as though I am on the right path.

I want to start living my life more as if it were the last day to live.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Those moments that make you stop

Do you ever have those moments where you just stop

You look around.

You wonder how you even got here? How did this get to be your life?

I have had a lot of these moments, lately. Not bad....but more reflective, in a sense.

You chart a course early on in your life and have an idea of how you think things are gonna be. But, then life does actually happen and it is harder, different, not what you expected, but so much more than you ever thought it would be.

Did I think I would be married at 22? No. No way. I thought I would be just graduating college and getting ready to go to law school or some sort of grad school. I never even came close.

I thought I would be married around 25, take some time to establish my career and then start having babies around 27 or 28.

Well, here is 28 and I have no degree, no "career" so to speak of and have two babies already.

Would I trade it, for even a second? No. Not even a chance.

My life is so full. So blessed. So much better than I could have ever envisioned. I had no idea what being a mother would do to me or how it would make me feel. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I revel in this time and am so thankful that I get to be home with my kids.  This is a short season in my life and I want to savor all of it.

Lately, our lives have been full of pain and loss and it seems that all around us people we care for are hurting. It is hard. It has made me question some of my choices and really think about my future.

Do I know what the future will bring for us? No. I know what I hope for. I know what I envision and I am going to try hard to make those hopes and vision come to life.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

That's What He/She Said

A child's honesty can be so refreshing, but it can also be hilarious and sometimes cringe worthy. I wish I would take the time to write things down more, because I would love to make some sort of quote/photo book for the kids to have when they are older.


Let me first preface this by saying I never know what is going to come out of this girl's mouth. She has taken to making up little lies already!

While talking with her auntie last night she leaned over and said really quietly. " I will be your best friend forever.....only if you let me wear your hat". She then reached over, smirked and took the hat off her head and proceeded to walk away. Oh boy!

She had a doctor's appointment yesterday and while he was attempting to get her to open her mouth she proceeded to rip off her socks and shoes and tell him that he can't look at her mouth, but he should probably check on her toes. Why? I have no idea. He obliged.

Whenever I ask for Kendra's help cleaning up or doing some sort of task she simply replies with " I am too busy, sorry." Excuse me, what? I asked her what she is so busy doing and she said, "playing. It's my job". Which, I guess, in a sense it is.

When we play restaurant she always ask me first if I want a double double iced coffee. She knows me all too well, already. No joke, these kids could put my order in at Starbucks for me. While I find this funny, I also find it a bit horrifying too. Resolution number one: cut down my coffee intake!

Kendra has also discovered she can roll her tongue. She shows everyone! I can't, however, do this. She seems to think if I just tired hard enough that I could. I assure you, I can't. She tried to tell me that when I get older and become a grown up like her, that I would be able to. Ha!


Last month when we took the kids to the Lights of Christmas ( an extremely extravagant light display complete with petting zoo, trains, pony rides and lots more) Kendra wanted to ride the ponies. Jaxson, of course, didn't. Him and I stayed to the side to watch Kendra and I kid you not, they put the littlest girl on the biggest horse they had. She loved it. She sat up there like a little pro and talked to the pony, pet the pony, all while waving. Jaxson, on the other hand, literally paced back and forth watching her like a hawk. When she got down he said, "Sissy, you can never ever do that again! I did not like you riding the biggest scared me!" . I laughed out loud but was overcome by his protectiveness and his worries for her. :)

When I tell him it's time to clean up or time to eat or basically just when I tell him it's time to do anything he doesn't want to do, he looks at the clock or book and says, " well, this says it's time to play or this says I need to watch this show now". Just this morning as I was grabbing a cutie (those little oranges) out of the box he says, "Mom, cuties are just for's says so on the box. I am sorry you can't have one.". Umm....not so fast buddy!

According to Jaxson he will be building a tree house in the backyard that is bigger than our house, has a t.v and refrigerator in each room, cages for zoo animals and a room just for flowers for me. I like the last bit.

When we were busy cleaning and organizing his room after Santa had made his visit and brought new toys, he turned to Brandon and said, "Daddy you have a lot of work to do tomorrow building me new shelves....I can let you have water when you are thirsty, but that's it, there is too much to do" No one had even mentioned shelves, but he had it stuck in his mind for some reason.

Well, I guess that is it for now. What are some funny things your kids have said lately?

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Five Wishes For 2013

The lovely Lesley (who happens to be one of the cutest pregnant women ever!) over at Everyday Moments tagged me to participate in sharing five of my wishes for the new year.

I can honestly say I have a lot of "goals" I wish to accomplish this year, but wishes.....that is a different story. Wishes are things I hold closest to my heart and even if I accomplish none of my goals I would be happy to have a few of my wishes come true this year. :)

Wish one:  I wish to be the mom to my children that they think I am. My kids adore me and love me and think I am the greatest momma. I feel so undeserving of that sometimes. I know I try hard and I am focusing on being more intentional, but I can do more and I should do more. They will only be this little for such a short time that I need to give them all they deserve. I wish to live up the standard they have set for me. I am so glad that they push me to a better version of myself every. single. day.

Wish two: Really learn to let go. I struggle with this one and if you have been around for awhile here then you would know this. I have gotten so much better at forgiving people, but there is a part of my heart that holds onto things that I know I shouldn't. I would feel so much better if I could just learn to let things go....more for myself, and not for those that have hurt me.

Wish three: This one is a biggie to me. I need to be more intentional in my marriage. It is easy, so easy, to get caught up in the day to day routine and to let each other slip away, especially with two young kids. Marriage is hard work on a good day, but throw in extra stresses (which, we have had our fair share of this year) and it can be next to impossible to find time. Sure....we make time for date night twice a month, but is that really enough? No. We need more quality time to get back to the basics of why we fell in love ten years ago. I struggle with feeling guilty that if I am being a good wife I am somehow being a bad mommy and vice versa. I need to learn they go hand in hand. I can not feel guilty for leaving my kids with a sitter so I can spend some time with my man. That is why (despite my nerves!) we are going away in two weeks for four days without the kids. Something we have never done.

Wish four: Be better at telling my loved ones how much they mean to me. I think I take the fact that my family will always be there for granted. They will not always be there. There has been a lot of loss in our families this year and a few loved ones aren't expected to make it much longer, either. I know that not one day on Earth is guaranteed and this year has been a shocking reminder of that. I want to be better at telling people everyday that I love them and appreciate them. I don't want words to go unsaid that should have been said. I want no regrets.

Wish five: I need to get healthy! I am not just talking about losing weight, which I need to. I am talking about putting more focus on better habits ; more sleep, more exercise, more outdoor activities, more cooking from scratch and being more conscious of the world around me. I have yo yo ed back and forth the last 7 or 8 years with my weight and I am over it. If I don't lose a single pound this year then fine. What I want to do is be more aware of how I am treating my body and more mindful of what I am putting into it.

What are some of your wishes for this year?

NYE, My 28th Birthday and Finding Balance...

Perception Is Everything

You know the old saying that time seems to fly by faster the older you get? It really seems to.

I don't know about you, but I feel like it was just 2012!

I always feel this sense of relief when I ring in the New Year and it truly is the beginning of a new year for me because it also happens to be my birthday. So, when you are all counting down to the New Year I am counting down to my birthday. :)

So, my 28th (yikes!) birthday has come and gone and this year truly was wonderful. I was surrounded by so many loved ones and got a little spoiled. :)

I think Jaxson was more excited than I was for my birthday. The first thing he said to me in the morning was, "Don't get up mom. You can sleep. Daddy and I are gonna get your birthday ready".

They made me quiche, hash browns, orange juice and had coffee waiting for me when I got up. Jaxson had picked out a new plant for me.

I made a quick trip to shop the Kohl's clearance with my mom. Of course, the only things I bought were clothes for the kids! Seriously though, shirts for $2.00, pants for $3.00. I couldn't pass it up.

Our next stop was Panera for lunch. You guys, I have never had Panera before! This one just opened a week ago and I can tell I am already going to be in trouble. ;)

I headed home for an afternoon celebration of chocolate cream pie, cherry cheesecake and gifts from my family. :)

After cake hubby and I headed to a nice restaurant and were lucky enough to make it right before six and were able to do the four course sunset dinner. Yum. I ate so much food yesterday it is ridiculous.

I was going to take a picture of my roasted pear martini but I drank it too fast. ;)

Unfortunately when we got home both kids were awake and super grumpy. What can you do? That is life with two kids. :)

Our New Year's Eve was low key, which it usually is. I don't like being out on the roads when I know there are lots of drunk drivers. Just not worth it to me. We had an early dinner at home, went out for frozen yogurt, tucked the kids in and stayed up to watch the Bourne Legacy. We toasted with a glass of champagne and made into bed by 12:30. Perfect, by my standards.

I am gonna switch gears here for a minute and talk about my word for the year. Everywhere I look (okay, just blogger and facebook) everyone seems to be choosing their word for the year. I have thought and thought about it and it's hard to choose just ONE word. There are lots of things I want to focus on and aspire to do this year. That's when it hit me. Balance! I need to find a good balance so I can fit in all those things. So, BALANCE is my word for the year. I think once I can get a better handle on balancing my roles as momma, friend, wife, organizer, self (that is a big one...finding some "me" time) and Christian then all the pieces will fall into place. I have struggled with going through periods of time where I do too little and then do too much and try to be supermom. I have found that days when I just step back a bit more and not get too caught up, then we all feel so much better.

So, what is your word(s) of the year?!