posted on: Monday, December 31, 2012

I'm a firm believer that New Year's Resolutions are matters of the heart. Each year, intentions are set to lose weight, give more-take less, eat healthier, spend more time with loved ones--each goal focused on the end result of bettering oneself.

Last year I aimed to a create a more focused life. While I fell short in a few areas, others have flourished thus altering my own paradigm. Isn't that what it is really all about anyway? Making a conscious effort to change. For the past month or so I have been tossing around the idea of this year's resolution. Usually I settle on something generic like weight loss or less candy consumption. However, I found that I am content with those areas of my life for the time. Instead I decided to focus (there's that word again) on simplifying my life. Nothing to dramatic, just simple things like a more minimalism lifestyle, i.e. toys that don't require batteries, more books and less television, meals that are fresh and not pre-packaged, buying quality instead of quantity, and ultimately going back to the basics of my marriage. 

Laying in bed a few nights ago John confessed that he's felt as though he's been replaced by the children--that any love that I once had for him was being now channeled in our children's direction. It stung and hurt, but truth be told, I knew that I wasn't finding the proper balance between being a wife and a mother. Since the arrival of Addison it has seemed like such a juggling act where if I look away for one moment all the pieces in my life crumble to the floor. 

With that said, I hope to simplify things in my marriage by setting aside time for one-on-one interaction, letting petty nonsense not develop into full-blown battles, and trying to see the daily good in my husband. Someone once told me that if I would set aside five minutes of my time everyday for my husband when he arrived home from work I would start to see small (yet positive) changes happen in my marriage. It's been hard, but the results have slowly begun to resonate. 

Here's to am amazing (and simplified) 2013. Be safe tonight!

Christmas 2012

posted on: Thursday, December 27, 2012

Usually I hold out until after the new year to dismantle the holiday clutter, but our Charlie Brown tree went without water for four days and it's dismal state upon our return from my parent's home was beyond repair. Thus the tree is down, the decorations are neatly stocked away and the lights are (somewhat) organized. 

This year Christmas brought the added joy of having a toddler who could unwrap presents by himself, albeit he didn't grasp the concept of unwrapping and then moving onto the next gift. Once he understood the idea that all the presents required he attention havoc broke out and a carnage of wrapping paper, bows and bakers twine almost buried Addison alive. She was spared--I just had to search through the chaos for the shiniest tissue paper of which she was ravenously trying to devour.

While gifts were fun to unwrap his heart was ultimately set on playing with a 50 year-old Fisher Price train from Grandma's toy box. go figure.  This year also marked the beginning of Santa Claus, the kid is stubborn and is quite skeptical of the white bearded man. I am sure by next year we'll make him into a bona fide Santa believer.

I could ramble on and on about my mom's home cooking, and the pounds of coconut shrimp, crab, and turkey that was devoured by all, but my laundry seemed to breed during my sabbatical. Wish me luck and Happy Holidays to all of you! 

Merry Christmas

posted on: Friday, December 21, 2012

We are leaving for my parent's house is T minus two hours and I am in a state of panic right now. There are still gifts to be wrapped, clothes to be packed, and dishes to be done. My parent's live in an area where dial-up internet still exists. Insane, yes? Which makes writing or  uploading pictures virtually impossible. Have you ever watched paint dry? It's basically that slow. It only seems fitting then to leave the computer at home and spend the next five days and spend time gorging on food, lovin' on my babies and relaxing with my family. 

Enjoy the egg nog (of which I have never tried *gasp*) and a Merry Christmas from our home to yours!

Instagram+Three Things

posted on: Thursday, December 20, 2012

{check us out on Instagram}

I imagine this week has served as an emotional roller coaster for everyone. The Christmas season seems so trivial compared to the bigger questions that are being asked right now. I know in our small little family we've begun to reevaluate our reality and what is really important to us. I'm sure it's a discussion that has taken place in many homes in the wake of such devastating loss.

This week I found a few things that made me smile. I am sure we could all use that right now. 

one//Photographer Francois Brunelle took a series of photos of individuals who might as well be siblings, but yet are not related. Totally ca-razy!

two//this is by far one of my favorite Youtube videos of all time. This week required a good overdose of laughter and the "Kid History" series was just what the doctor ordered. 

three//Such a sweet blog, with an even sweeter post on how to strengthen your marriage. Love it.

three-and-a-half//If you haven't read this article please do. I initially found it via The Huffington Post, but then redirected myself to this woman's blog, where she gives a portrayal of her son and the need for a drastic overhaul of our nation's mental health system. In light of the Connecticut shooting it is truly an eye-opener and a must read for everyone. 

God Bless.

Seven Months.

posted on: Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Oh baby girl,

I wish you could understand how reflective these pictures are of your life right now. Your personality has blossomed into that of a typical girl. In a blink of an eye you can revert from laughter and giggles to full-blown sobs without the slightest inclination of what went wrong. When not darting back and forth between trivial melodrama, your little mind seems to be so in tune with your surroundings. Recently, you've begun pick up on the slightest social cues--if someone is yelling you cry, whereas laughter from the television sends you into a fit of giggles and when your brother's temper tantrums begin to boil over you stare at him with a sense of confusion and worry. All signs point to the development of genuinely caring and alert personality. I wish I could say those attributes came from me...

Your fascination for the world around you also shows no bounds. You've started to rest on your haunches with all intentions of crawling soon and just this week you started to eat crackers. Sister, slow down! I want you to stay tiny for a bit longer, okay? Between your love for feeding yourself and your fascination with your brother's toys (which he is not enjoying) you have most certainly begun to gain your own independence.

Watching you grow has been one of the greatest blessings of parenthood. Your eyes gleam with delight when you learn a new task and your love for Brecken melts my heart daily. In a world that seems to be speeding downward into a chaotic abyss you hold a glimmer of hope that there is still so much good in the world.

I love you.

To my babes.

posted on: Saturday, December 15, 2012

My beautiful babes,

Yesterday something terrible happened. Twenty small children, not much older than you, and six adults lost their lives. Selfishly, I am thankful you can't comprehend that magnitude of the shooter's actions. Unfortunately, this will not be the last shooting to happen and my hope is that I will be with you to the bare the burden when the next one occurs--whether it be to protect your innocence or to answer the questions that may inundate your little minds.

Yesterday's attack has hit our nation like a fast moving rail car. The death of any human being is tragic, but to have a life taken that hasn't experienced all that the world has to offer is devastating. I am sure many of these parents dropped their children off that day with plans of gingerbread making, caroling and sledding in mind for the weekend. I don't want to speak on their behalf, the notion of trying to comprehend their loss and sadness is something I can't begin to understand, and quite frankly it breaks my heart to their imagine pain.

As you Mother I want you to know that from the moment you were born I made an unspoken promise to always protect you {as I am sure every parent does}. I realize that as you grow I will have to let you go--leave you at kindergarten, hand you the keys to your first car, walk away from your dorm room, give you to another to marry. When each of these milestones take unfolds I will be placing your protection in the hands of another and I pray that our Father in Heaven will stay be your side to lighten your load and protect your precious lives.

Please understand that we live in a world where real evil does exist, but that doesn't mean it has to prevail. While tragedies like this may shake us to the bone, we have the choice to put aside our differences and ask the bigger question of "how can I help?" I understand that my role as your parent is to teach you right from wrong.  Ultimately, I have a duty to make sure you are cultivated into a productive citizen, and with that comes the responsibility to reinforce the notion that the world is not perfect and that you will be faced with many trials and tribulations. I hope you will face these obstacles with open eyes and hearts, knowing that God has a plan. Years from now when you have children of your own I hope you will teach them these same principles as well. While we may never be able to eliminate evil from the world, we can try to live our lives in a way where we help to make it a better place.  You will always be my little angels for now and always.

I will never stop loving you.

p.s.   here is my favorite momma quote...


The hashtag post {& family photos}

posted on: Monday, December 10, 2012

{Bon Ton Photo Co.}

Last week I managed to delete a whole slew of photos from my blog #winning

Have any of you had that little nasty box pop up in Blogger that declares you've used up all your photo space?! The solution seemed so simple--just delete photos from my Picasa Web Albums which would then   create more space for additional pictures on my blog. Don't do it, your pictures will be gone. dissipated. good bye, finito--you get it. Once I realized what I was doing the damage was already done. I briefly thought about throwing a full-blown temper tantrum, the kind where you lay on the floor kicking and screaming, but then I regained my senses again and realized Brecken's mimicking personality would mop up my outburst like a wet sponge. #iamcryinginside So I have been spending the last four days trying to figure out what pictures go with what posts. I've also started to upload my blogger pictures to Photobucket, but the process has added on at least three additional steps. #blah

On a happier note we finally got our family photos. Can I just declare this to the whole word--Amy, you are freaking rock star! You wouldn't even know that throughout a majority of the session Brecken was running around like a mad man, Addison was sneezing and a Fall storm was starting to blow into town. Amy solidified my belief that a truly great photographer is the one that can capture perfect moments within chaos. If you are ever in the Bozeman area and are looking for a wonderful photographer make sure to check out Bon Ton Photo Co. #sheisamiracleworker

Happy Monday.

P.S. if you have any suggestions for my photo dilemma I would love to know!

Oh baby boy...

posted on: Wednesday, December 5, 2012

I knew that the day would come where my behavior would be a reflection of my son's actions. I honestly didn't think it would happen so quickly! Just the other day Brecken picked up a old fisher-price camera and with a swoop of his hand he lifted the camera to his face explaining, "Hold still! Move your hand! Smile!" Astonished I played along--all the while trying not to laugh at how my behavior must look like to him when I take pictures. Occasionally, the picture taking would cease while he would "check" his shots.  Being unsatisfied, he would tell me to hold still again and again until he got the perfect "picture."  After losing interest in his Momma he moved onto Addy who wasn't the best model, her urge to try to eat the camera was too much for him to handle. After finally succumbing to Brecken's new found hobby John also had to pose for his pictures too. Thank you baby boy for continually reminding me that I need to double check my actions each morning. 

The Great Christmas Tree Adventure

posted on: Monday, December 3, 2012

Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket

In the six years that John and I have been together we've developed a knack for picking out the trademark Charlie Brown Christmas tree. {It really is a fine science if I do say so myself}. Take the year our tree only had branches on one side, or last year's tree which had height on it's side but lacked substance in the needle area, it then proceeded to get blown over while we rested it against the house--which left us scrambling at the last minute to find a new tree. So our weary bones ventured to Home Depot where we picked through the last-of-last hoping that the perfect tree was somehow hidden amongst the needless/crooked/branch-less trees. But to no avail, we again were left with a tree that managed to loose most of it's needle on the short jaunt home. 

This year I vowed to find the perfect tree. You know the one, plump and full, perfectly symmetrical, branches sturdy and strong for the heaviest of ornaments, maybe a few pine cones {I'm dreaming, right}? Fate seemed to be on my side, early Saturday morning the first round of Christmas trees were delivered to our local grocery store and within minutes I pulled John and the littles out the door to retrieve my vision before it was snatched up by another eager Christmas tree adventurist.

So we looked and scoured and John remarked that it just seemed too easy. After poking and prodding we finally decided that Christmas wouldn't be the same unless we went to cut our own tree. so we set out on an adventure and this year's recipient seemed like a match made in heaven--a little sparse, slightly tilted, and missing branches here-and-there. Charlie Brown would be proud.

Instagram+Three Things

posted on: Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Certainly my husband can't hold out much longer on depriving us of a Christmas tree, right? My Instagram feed is chuck full of ornaments, beautiful trees, stockings, and neatly wrapped gifts--John said until December 1st hits our house will remain Christmas-free. #dreamkiller It just means that during my down time I will be DIYing myself into a Christmas spirit frenzy. 

what's your opinion on real vs. fake tree? Farm bought vs. cut from the mountains tree? Any inspiration on what direction I should take this year would be helpful. Keep in mind I have Brecken who is prone to climbing/grabbing/ripping/pulling/tugging. You know--the "usual" for a three-year-old.

Three things I am loving about winter:

one//I just bought this beanie {in white} and a cowl similar to this one. Definitely worth every stinking penny

two//as soon as this lovely comes back in stock I am getting it for the little miss.

three//Brecken may be getting this boy-ish cardigan in every color


posted on: Tuesday, November 27, 2012

I had every intention of chronicling our Thanksgiving with pictures of the turkey, pies, amazing table arrangements, basically the whole fiasco from start to finish. But after a series of unfortunate events and forgetting my camera's SD card at home the only pictures that were snapped involved Kelty's hideous Thanksgiving sweater (#classy), brief moments of the kids playing with family and Brecken's trip to the emergency room.  

He decided that the best way to kick-off the Thanksgiving weekend involved having an asthma attack at two in the morning. He was the hit of the ER--telling stories, laughing hysterically, making jokes.  If we weren't so tired it may have been funny... after the early morning visit to the hospital John cracked out his inner Martha Stewart and proceeded to fry the eleven pound beast of a turkey. Have you tried fried turkey? It's sinful. Then his brother decided to feed the whole crew smoked turkey the next day as well. The proceeding days were kind of blurry due to our turkey coma...

Spunky Junky Black Friday Sale

posted on: Friday, November 23, 2012

Happy Black Friday! Is it just me or does it seem very anti-climatic this year with many of the sales having started on Wednesday? For the next three days I will be offering amazing steals in my shop. Check them out and save 55% off your entire order! The discount is valid from Black Friday to 11:59 pm on Cyber Monday. just use coupon code BLACKFRIDAY2012 at checkout

Happy Holidays

My favorite things giveaway...

posted on: Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Did you happen to watch Oprah's Favorite Things this year? Ah-mazing. The lady sure knows how to shower strangers in love {and gifts}. I got kind of teary-eyed listening to the woman whose husband was a wounded warrior and because of their sacrifices was not able to give Christmas to their children and because of Oprah's generosity her kids would actually get presents this year. I can't give Tempur-Pedic beds and metallic Michael Kors shoes, but I would love to give one of you my favorite items from my shop. 

Just leave a comment with what you thankful for this year. 

{winner will be announced on Tuesday, November 27th}


Six months

posted on: Monday, November 19, 2012

It seems like just yesterday we were leaving the hospital to the chirping of birds and the appearance of green grass after a somewhat mild winter. Now, we are dredging through snow trying to remember where the warm summer days went so quickly. Oh, it's been a busy half-a-year. We moved (two days after you were born), your Dad and I celebrated five years of marriage, your brother turned three, potty training was accomplished, you took your first airplane ride, we took you on an extended road trip, and you tasted a french fry (for shame).

Oh my goodness baby girl, you hold my heart--all of it. You are such a joy in my life. Bare with my cliche, but I really didn't know what I was missing until I had you. You always seem to nestle into my neck and it melts my heart every time. You are finally starting to grasp the idea of sitting on your own, and you've become a lover a food.  So far you have enjoyed beans and sweet potatoes, but you are not particularly fond of pears and those nasty meat baby food (I don't blame you). You've also developed stranger anxiety, this was never an issue with your brother so we are now in uncharted territory. I hope it doesn't last long--I would like to go on a date with you Dad occasionally...

You are my bright-eyed baby girl, you babble continually, and laugh until you are wheezing for air. You are all I could have asked for and more. I love you.

p.s. your brother fed you play-doh today. sorry about that.

Love, Momma

Oh time, you sneaky devil...

posted on: Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wouldn't it be nice to make time stand still? I am really stand still. To the point where you could take in every part of a specific moment--where you could somehow bottle up all the emotions, sounds, smells, and words from an exact time. This was that moment--it was fleeting, but perfect. They were cuddling and laughing with one another while watching Blues Clues. He kept kissing her and telling her that he loved her, she would giggle all the while trying to make her flimsy arms grab his face. The moment was long enough to capture a picture or two, but then it was gone. 

Moments like that are like the stages of life. Short and brief--but lasting in impression. Just yesterday, Addison starting to babble--the once screaming baby who'd just found her voice now says "da-da" incessantly.  My only reassurance is that she doesn't understand what she is saying yet. I still have hope that her first word will be "mama." 

Even Brecken seems to transforming before my eyes. Last night when tucking him into bed I realized my little boy was also no longer a baby. No diapers, no naps, no longer running like a toddler--he has become a tiny (and feisty) little boy. While the days may seem too long and the nights too short it seems like each stage they go through happens too quickly. 

The years together have also been etched on the faces and hearts of John and me--oh, we've had our ups and downs, but there have also been stages that I wish I freeze in time. We've both become a little wiser, learned that differences are what makes a marriage worth fighting for everyday. The pounds gained are signs of contentment and hours spent making and eating meals together. The trials have shown us that faith is the cornerstone to moving forward. The once shy boy and overly flamboyant girl have morphed into learning-as-they-go parents. As I am sure that is true for all of you too. 

Time has been good--but I'd still like a machine to stop it for awhile...

Happy Thursday.

Instagram+Three Things...

posted on: Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Well, potty training is complete, Brecken was a rockstar and powered through it like a champ. Unfortunately, the little guy still needs up getting his pants up n' down. Have you ever seen a little boy running around white tighties?  holy cuteness. 

Here are a three things you may love this week:

one//Do you need some new cool and hip fonts? Check out pixelpixelpixel lots of fun stuff...that's free!
two//Have you ever noticed the cool arrows and paint brush water marks everyone seems to be adding to their pictures? Here are some Photoshop brushes for free as well.
three//Want to add washi tape to your photos? Check out Pugly Pixel.

Happy Hump Day!

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