Sunday, September 30, 2012

Sunday is meant for cuddle time...

Spoiled pets live here!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Happy Saturday!

Never underestimate the power of a dance party in the kitchen....

Friday, September 28, 2012

Motherhood words of affirmation

TGIF! Today I'm linking up with one of my favorite blogs for a coffee date! If we were to have coffee I would tell you.....

I promise to share with you the beautiful pictures from our weekend get-a-way. They are coming, I swear. We're adjusting to a new schedule for the fall that includes way too many extra curricular activities for a 3 year old... forgive me.

It really was the perfect time of year to head to a mountain town- all the leaves were changing. Amazing. Our anniversary was Monday, but since we're without an overnight babysitter, E joined us on the trip.

While the entire weekend had sweet cuddles, unsolicited "i love yous," and family naps, there was a really kind moment that I didn't expect.

Friday afternoon, we spent time at some natural hot springs. It really could have been a romantic afternoon relaxing together. Instead, we played games of shark and "let's jump back and forth between mom and dad in the water." Ya know, no big deal.

At one point in the afternoon two ladies approached us on the side of one of the springs. They were of retired age and clearly enjoying a day of "girl time." One of them approached and said to me, "You really have the best attitude with your daughter, it is so wonderful to see. I hope you know what a good mom you are." With that, she just walked away.

I was so shocked by this all I could must up was a, "oh, gosh, thank you." Now, I wish I could tell that kind woman how much her words meant.

I've talked before about how I am not a naturally patient person, nor a naturally patient mother. I don't enjoy sitting on the ground playing dolls or coloring. Most of the time when I buy toys and activities I stand there weighing out the amount of time said activity will require from me.

Patience and quality time with E are things I struggle with. Active time was not something I got from my mom or grandma. I grew up in a house where they were willing to supply me with all the friends, activities, movies, and outdoor equipment my heart could desire.

So, to hear such kinds words from an observer really warmed my heart. There is something about getting affirmation from another mother that is priceless.

It gave me encouragement that I'm moving in the right direction. That I might not be totally screwing up my kid. And, it made me want to provide some affirmation to another young mother that is struggling.

It is so easy to not help a mama out. It's so easy to secretly judge her for not having it together. Why not acknowledge with her that this mama thing is tough? That we are really just doing the best we can. Why not tell her that yeah, it's tough, but she is doing great?

I've been really lucky to have this happen a few times in my short motherhood. It means more to me than anyone could know. Don't we all live in a little fear that we are raising monkeys, future serial killers, or ungrateful children? How about a little mama love, one mama to another?

If we as mothers and women took a few more minutes to help one another out or provide a few words of encouragement, wouldn't we all be a little better off?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Hitting our stride.

Today marks my 6th wedding anniversary. Can you believe it? I'm not entirely sure that I can. At this point, we've been together for nearly 9 1/2 years. So, it seems we've been together most of our lives.

We were truly babies when we got married. I had JUST turned 22, and Jason was just shy of his own 22 birthday. Like I said, babies!

I look back at when we were dating and truly wonder what the heck I was rushing for. Why was I so eager to get married. I'm not joking, I literally begged Jason to propose. I cried. At 19, I acted like we were never going to get married because he hadn't proposed already. It's truly embarrassing. But at that point I knew. I truly knew with my entire heart that we were meant to be and didn't understand why we couldn't just get on with it and start our lives. I've always lived my life in the fast lane in that way. Once I get it in my head that I want or need something, nothing gets in my way. Not even my boyfriend.

Poor guy, didn't stand a chance.

But, for a couple of kids, we sure do look happy and sure of ourselves on our wedding day, don't ya think?

Those early years were no walk in the park. We continued our trend of our years dating spending most of our time apart between his time in the Navy and my job traveling with St. Jude. We were young, wild and free. And, we didn't have a clue about what it meant to be married. We didn't communicate well - about finances, growing pains of living together, and handling our incredibly demanding schedules. It was tough.

I read more articles than I should have about how getting married so young pretty much puts the nail in the coffin on your ability to stay married. It seemed we had so many strikes against us.

And, between that and our inability to communicate, it was tough. We made mistakes. We fought, with each other and for each other. Somewhere in there we had an amazing little girl. And somewhere in the 3 1/2 years since she was born we figured it out.

Do we have a perfect relationship? Hardly. But, we have learned that our words and actions have consequences. We've learned that we are willing to fight for each other, because our family is worth it. We've learned that our little girl is the center of our world and she deserves the best version of us.

We've hit a stride. As hard as it is to say, moving away from our comfort zone a year ago changed the dynamic of our marriage, for the better. We've had to become a team.

We have moved away from our family, started new jobs, added a mortgage to our lives, and come out stronger. How is that possible? I'm not sure. But, I know that I'm so thankful for my partner. I'm so thankful that we've made it to our 6th anniversary and we are truly not looking back.

Summer 2012, a little chubbier. I call them love pounds, each one has been earned. =)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I believe....

The last year has brought complete upheaval to our lives. Everything changed and it was scary. But through it all there are certain things about life that always manage to stay the same.... these are the things that you can count on and believe in...

I believe in Sunday morning cuddle time in bed with my family. And, if you can fit, the fur children should really be apart of this...

I believe in date night, although it doesn't happen as often when you have to pay a babysitter and are without free babysitting (thanks mom!)

I believe in volunteering my time to causes and organizations that capture my heart.

I believe in friendship. I truly have small, but amazing group of girlfriends. Time or distance can not change the love we share.

I believe that making new friends is TOUGH! Are we are cynical, too cool for new friends, or what?! Moving to a new city without a large "friend" base has been a huge challenge and really heavy on my heart lately. Please be my friend!

I believe that no one should take themselves too seriously. Being silly is WAY more fun.

I believe in love. Forgiving, passionate, best friend, really silly kind of love. And, I believe that I have that.

I believe that I am raising a mini-me. A sassy, smart, and kind little girl that is like looking into a mirror...
I believe I have some really amazing women in my family to look up to.


I believe that motherhood is the most amazing gift, and the thing that I am most grateful for in my life. It is the greatest accomplishment I could ever hope for...

Monday, September 17, 2012

Mom Moment Monday - reading

Last week, I shared with you E's room in our new house. She is such a girly girl, so we are really happy with how well it has all come together (shout out to the hubs for his epic sanding and painting of the bed and dresser).

Included in that post was a picture of her new reading nook. My sister-in-law, Auntie Candace, bought her that adorable net last year. But, we were in an apartment and not putting up anything we didn't "need" so it sat in a box until recently. There is something about a comfy reading nook that just speaks to me. I think I always wanted one of my own, and when we got the net it just seemed to be a sign that my girl was going to get one.

 That giant pillow, another ROSS steal, is so big and awesome to rest against. E loves it. Coupled with a basket of books and as you can see she is totally loving it.

Reading has become a pretty big part of our lives. When we got into the house, we went through and stored away the "baby" books for a future baby (don't get crazy, we're talking 2014 here). We are left with a pretty awesome collection which includes Angelina Ballerina, Pinkalicious, Ladybug girl, and some Disney Classics.

E's big girl book collection started before she was born. One of my besties from college was a teacher once upon a time. She made it her mission to ensure that she had a good foundation of adorable reading material - an entire collection of Disney Princess Stories. Those are definitely some favorites.

However, currently, we are totally in love with the "Ladybug Girl" collection. We only have 2 of them, but they are well loved. Each night before bed E gets to pick a story. It helps her calm down and get ready for sleep. It's all part of our bedtime routine.

I want E to love to read. Some of my favorite memories with my Grandma Dotzie are going to the local library to pick out books. We checked out dozens of books. Mostly for my grandma who blew through them like crazy, but I always got a few too. My favorite was definitely Where the wild things are. Classic.

I went through phases growing up where I would read like crazy, and others where I couldn't be bothered. Some favorite series included Goosebumps, all the V.C. Andrew books (which were mostly wildly inappropriate at 15), and currently anything by Philipa Gregory. Both my parents are crazytown about Stephan King. I just couldn't do it.

But, more than anything, I just love that E has taken to reading stories so well and that she is enjoying her nook. Plus, I'm totally stoked that no one (cat, dogs, or E) have pulled it down yet....

I'm currently seeking an awesome book to read. Suggestions? My book club bestie is totally lagging on sending somethings my way. I guess that what happens when you are a total snob and only have one other member in your very exclusive club....

Friday, September 14, 2012

Those special childhood moments

You know those moments as a kid, where you were young, wild, and free. Doing something silly with mom or dad. Those are really important to me. I often find myself wondering if in that moment we are creating memories that E will think about when she is older and out of the house, or when she has her own babies some day.

Last night I promised my girl I'd try to be a better mommy. We were both in tears, it was tough. Yesterday morning we were running late, I was tired (as usual) and I yelled at my girl. She loves to put the car key in the ignition and because we were running late, I yelled at her and said no. She stood her ground, refused and did it anyway. I yelled some more. Put her in her seat and yelled just a little bit more. She cried. And I instantly felt terrible.

This isn't the first time this has happened. I am not a naturally patient person. Just ask the hubs. I pray for patience for my daughter. It's so tough. I like schedules and organization and while my kid has a bit of OCD, she is 3. And fiercly independent.

She told me last night that I made her heart hurt when I yelled at her. And that when I yell, she doesn't like me. I left her room crying. That is just about the meanest thing a mommy can hear - and the most honest.

It will continue to be a struggle for me. But, I love my girl, so I'm up for the challenge.

But, flash back to two weekends ago (yes, I'm just now getting to blogging about it) and E was able to create some super cute (and fun) memories with her daddy. Filthy car + super hot weather = bathing suit splash party

I know that as a whole, we are providing our girl with wonderful childhood memories and a home filled with love. But, my conversation was an important reminder to pray for patience and focus on creating special childhood moments - and to remind her each day that she is smart, she is kind and she is beautiful.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A room fit for my princess.

I have to admit, I haven't blogged about E's room yet because it hasn't been clean enough recently to take photos. We've been watching way too much Friday Night Lights  really busy lately, so house cleaning hasn't been a priority.

But, alas, I picked up enough during bath time tonight to snap a few photos.

Of course I'll always want to add a few things here and there, but I am generally really happy with how this all turned out.

Cute, right?

Her bedding is the Grace collection from Pottery Barn Kids.
Giant white E? DIY via moi
Adorable prints in the bottom right? PBK, with the Audrey Quote plaque from this gal
We have had the ballooning over paris pic FOREVER, it's Bed Bath & Beyond

E now has her very own reading nook. Complete with a net from her Auntie Candace.

No little girl's room would be complete without a kitchen, shopping cart, and baby high chair.

I got this little gem off Craigslist for $25. It is solid wood and was PAINTED BROWN. seriously. Hubs sanded and painted it white. We tossed on some adorable knobs and voila!

I picked up this wire mannequin from ROSS when we was a tiny baby. It is perfect for bows! Mirror via Ikea. My fave part though is the photo booth pictures that E keeps in her room of her and daddy.

E really loves her room. She spends a fair amount of time in there coloring and practicing her letter (and watching way too many disney movies).

What else might I add? I'm at a little bit off a loss on if it needs "something"

Friday, September 7, 2012

casualty of the heart (and headband)

I think I've pretty well document E's love of headbands.

Well, we've had our first casualty. One of our brand new glitter fabric headbands (in black) came home snapped in half yesterday. I didn't pick up E, her daddy did, but she came running in the door with said headband to tell me all about it.

Apparently Nick broke it. He pulled it off her head on the rug during story time. When she grabbed it and told him NO, his broke it. She declared that he was mean, not her friend, and that she was going to sit on another part of the rug from now on.

damaged goods....

First, I was a little bit annoyed that this kid thinks it's ok to grab my kids head and headband. I've met his mother, what the hell?! Manners?

Then I couldn't help but chuckle and think "So it begins....."

Any woman could tell you that this is just what boys do. I didn't realize it started so early, but I know that playfully being a jerk is just how boys communicate. E is particularly pretty, so she better get used to it.

I once had a boy throw a stick at my face during a game of chase. It was later revealed (in 2nd grade) that he had a crush on me. Funny way of showing it.

How do you explain to a 3 year old that he was just being a boy, while she is mourning the loss of a beloved headband. Being a jerk is just was boys do.

Men sure have a funny way of showing affection. Jason and I dated for 6 months and out of the blue he just stopped calling. We laugh about it 9 years later, but at the time I was totally confused. To be honest, I still kinda am. Hello? I'm awesome! ;)

It breaks my heart to know that I'll have to put her heart back together. And that the only man she'll ever truly trust with her heart is her daddy. But, thankful that at least he is showing her an amazing example of what love from someone can be.

E loves hard and wears her emotion on her sleeve. I get so sad thinking about her teenage years and helping her understand that while things seem like such a huge deal at the time, in the scheme of things, it isn't worth the tears.

Thankfully, she is surrounded by so much love at home and hopefully we'll keep our amazing relationship of communication where she can ask me anything. I want her to know that she can talk to me and that it is safe.

Motherhood and the worry associated with it is more stressful than I could have ever imagined....

How do you deal? Advise for the mommy of an overly emotional girl?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Headbands, an update

Remember when I shared with you our new love of headbands? Man, I had no idea. Especially since E's new haircut and inability to rock a pony, headbands are all more important. And, as I shared before, we had 2 headbands that consisted of one purple and one silver glitter. Not a lot of outfit options...

Now, I think we're covered... In about a week, we've gone from this...

to this...

I have no defense. I love to dress up my girl. She is cute. And she is a really good girl. So, I totally defend the purchase of 9 headbands this week. Yup, I said it. 9. Yup, I'm standing by that...

Monday, September 3, 2012

Monday Mom Moment

The last week has been a really busy one, in terms of "mom moments."

For a while, E has been asking for "little hair." She wanted a hair cut. Not just a trim. A CUT. I really love her long beautiful hair. It is was curly. It had has so many cute styles. Yes, was... had. I gave in. But, in an effort to save $15 I chopped it off myself. E had a great bath. We popped her into some panties, sat her on the side of the tub with a trash can underneath and I chopped of FIVE INCHES of my sweet girls hair. Well, 5 inches in some places, maybe 6 in others, and very likely 4 in a few other places.

To say that it was uneven it pretty much an understatement. I thought I "fixed it" the next morning when I chopped off a few more inches - or so. But, she loved it. She was so proud to tell her teachers that her mommy cut her hair. Look at that smile.

She seriously looks like a 5 year old. Between that and her missing tooth, she looks like a really big girl.

On a totally different, but still mommy moment, I tried to take a bath this afternoon. Well, actually, I did get to take the bath, but I had a hell of a time getting there. You see, when we bought this house, I was totally excited about a tub of reasonable size. So was E. She took one look at it and TOTALLY moved in. Her shampoo, body wash, toys, and towel all took up residence in our bathroom. In fact, she has never taken a bath in what was supposed to be "her bathroom." Jason basically moved in there and has his own bathroom that is toy, makeup, and generally "girl" free. 

So, when I decided to take a bath this afternoon I came upon this....

a family of ducks
the opportunity to play hoops

a variety of toys and tools
and yo gabba gabba wall stick toys...

I eventually waded through the toys (and cat hair) to enjoy a full hour bath reading. That, my friends, is the best mommy moment of them all...