Friday, April 29, 2011

Who Needs a Royal Wedding When You Have Jane Fonda?

Happy Friday Friends!
So, who is sleep deprived from getting up to watch the Royal wedding? Not gonna lie, I said I wasn't going to watch it but I totally got sucked in the last couple of days. Yes, I did see how stunning Kate looked in her Alexander McQueen gown. I am pretty sure I would have looked just as good in that gown. Right? 
{Ahem}
So today is the BIG DAY. It has nothing to do with a wedding and there wont be millions of people watching but let me just tell you the Brits have nothing on us girls. Tonight is a night I look forward to EVERY year. One of my fabulous friends always puts on 'theme' birthday parties. It is always an absolute blast. No kids, No hubs, a lot of craziness and laughter.
The costumes are so hilarious. {shh... I am bringing my camera.}




This years party theme is "Get in Shape Girl' {old school style}. 
Jane Fonda, Richard Simmons... I can hardly wait. 
There is just something about a time to laugh, look ridiculous, and simply enjoy your girlfriends. It's good for the soul.
So tell me do you have big plans this weekend? 





Wednesday, April 27, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday {Ruffle Affair}

It has been chilly and oh so rainy here in Ohio the last few weeks. 
With this past weekend being Easter I think it's always such a fun time 
to get the family all dressed up and fancy. 
Well, as fancy as 3 little boys can be. 
If you don't know by now there are three things I LOVE... Diet Coke, Ruffles and Boots. This week I wore one of my favorite dresses from H&M.
  Here take a look...


Oh the ruffles...


Oh the boots...


I just need my Diet Coke and I will be set!


There you have it another week of What I Wore Wednesday. I will say I have had 
so many great comments and emails from all of you. It makes my heart happy! I look forward to this post every week... Most of all because I LOVE hearing from you! So, here's a question for YOU...
What is one thing you LOVE? 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Out of the Mouths of Babes





Seriously, sometimes kids just know how it is. They have ways of saying and doing things that are candid and absolutely hysterical, but oddly full of a tenderness and honesty that adults should be more capable of achieving in their communication. I find myself only wishing that I could just blurt out what I need to say with the candor and innocence of a child, but sadly, I'm often just too concerned about what other people think.

What brought all of this on was a brief conversation my older boys were having. {They had no idea I was listening}  I am good like that. 

Like every hour of every day at our castle the boys were playing basketball. Mason was complaining about how he hasn't made a 'three' in awhile and wanted the basketball. Brady, being the older more mature one, told him 'No' and then proceeded with these words as Mason began to throw a fit. Mason, "you get what you get and you don't throw a fit."

Both of my boys have thrown that saying around quite a bit and I will say I like it. It got me thinking though. How many times do I 'throw a fit' instead of being grateful for 'what I get'? Sometimes, I am so focused on what I don't have that I forget about what I do have. Better yet, sometimes I am so focused on what I 'want' that I forget that ALL of my needs are met. Do you ever do this

Recently Coach W got a new job. A huge, ginormous answer to prayer. He had been looking for over a year and this new job is fantastic. BUT he no longer gets to come home everyday and have lunch with the boys and I. For me, this makes me 'throw a fit'... it makes my days longer, it makes the boys more rambunctious, it means I can't run out for 15 minutes if I need to .... you get the point. This is me pretty much throwing a viral fit. This is when I need to learn from the truth that comes out of my sweet boys mouth. I need to be thankful and grateful for what I do get because of this new job. Awesome flexibility with his work schedule, still able to coach basketball and awesome retirement....

So, here I am saying it to all of you .... "You get what you get and don't throw a fit". This means with your job, your family, your friends, your kids, your house.... you get the point! 

Happy Tuesday Friends! 


Monday, April 25, 2011

I say YES!

Our castle was SO excited about this weekend.
Lots of Easter Egg Hunting. 
Sweet time with family.
Lots of eating candy.
Chocolate smeared kisses.
Sugar high little boys running a muck.
A special time of celebration at church.
So, rain and all it was a great weekend. 

I am ready for this week to begin.
Spring Break is almost over.
The older boys will be back in school tomorrow.
So this week... I am saying YES.
Yes to holding this sweet little boy.


Yes to spending some much needed time with just him.
Yes Yes Yes to kissing his chubby cheeks.
Yes to letting him splash around in the bath tub for as long as he wants.
Yes to letting him have ALL my attention.
Yes to holding him for as long as he wants me to.
Yes to sneaking in his older brothers Easter baskets and getting
his favorite mini M&M's for him to eat.
Yes to little boy dance parties.
Yes to just him.
All of my attention. All of my heart. All of my hugs. All of my kisses.
All for only...him!

So tell me...What are you saying YES to this week?

Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Struggle. A Truth. A Love.

I wake up to start my morning, wiping the sleep from my eyes. As I get out of bed I begin to rattle off the list in my mind of all the things I need to get checked off for the day. I walk past a mirror and stop. I don't notice that I have really white teeth or that I am slowly starting to get my body in better shape. I notice EVERYTHING that I don't like about myself. I find fault in so many things. I find myself being not good enough. I struggle and battle my mind on a daily basis.

Maybe this just a struggle I go through? For me, it's easy to encourage and love on my kids, family and all of YOU! I can type out words of encouragement to all of you but for myself it's a different story. I always thought that after having kids this would stop. I would stop comparing, stop looking to others for approval. That I would realize that I don't have to be perfect or look perfect. That I would learn to be content and love who God created me to be.

As I struggle, I continue to cling to the truth of how God sees me. That I am fearfully and wonderfully made. I want to be able to look in the mirror and embrace who I am. Love all of me. Love ever freckle, ever fat cell that I have. I want the reflection in that mirror to be one that is of my heart not my body.

It's so easy for me to 'put on the face' of confidence but not truly embrace it. So, for me this is the real deal. The gritty grimy part of who I am and what I struggle with. The one thing I promised myself when I started writing is that I would be real. This is one of those times.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 {ESV}
9. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10) For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardship,persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

Do you ever struggle with loving yourself? What are some things that help you? 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday {Triple Threat}

Yep it's week #3 for me of What I Wore Wednesday and I am having such a fun time with it.
My boys keep asking me why I am taking a picture of myself in a mirror. 
Valid questions I guess.
So, this week I title it the 'Triple Threat' because one of my personal goals in shopping is to buy an article of clothing that I can wear dressy and casual. 
I work part-time so I have to have a semi-dressy wardrobe to go along with my 'hawt mom' attire.
{i kid, i kid}
Here's is the same shirt {that I got on clearance for $4.99} 
worn three different ways this week!

Here is the main piece:


Option 1: Church Attire


Option 2: Mom Attire 


 Option 3: Work Attire


Here is where I got the fabulous goods:
Shirt: Kohls
Skirt: T.J. Maxx
Boots: Macy 
Skinny Jeans: Forever 21
Gray Dress Pants: T.J. Maxx
Hair Accessories: Forever 21
Camera Strap {that I adore}: Eclectic What Not
  
There you have it... easy enough right? I think if I am being honest some of my favorite things to 'wear' are grace, patience and a smile. It's amazing how those three together can make any outfit so much better! Don't ya think? 


Well, it been raining like CRAZY around here! So stay dry and enjoy this fabulous day!
Happy Wednesday!! 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Things That Just Fit

I feel like my mind is like a million little sticky notes. All color coordinated of course! I have a million different things going on, places to be and things to remember. But for this brief second I will just sit and enjoy my keyboard, my starbucks and the cool air that is starting to smell like rain.


Have you ever stopped to think just how certain things in your life just fit together? I haven't either {until now}... Here's a light hearted list I started to write. Enjoy.



mom's arms
an old pair of torn, perfect jeans
rocking your baby to sleep
laughing with girlfriends
a caramel frappuccino on a rainy day
a small quiet corner in a library
merry-go-rounds
movies at midnight
the pitter patter of little feet running around
tiny handprints on a freshly clean window


    So, what is it for you that just fits? Maybe it's your morning coffee or  what about an old t-shirt you wear to bed? I would love to hear your list. So do tell...

    This post is linked up to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda. Go check out some other fabulous Top Ten lists!

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    A Letter.

    He still runs at me with his arms out,
    he still wants to be held when he's sick. 
    He still will whisper in my ear and say, "Mom, I love you."
    He takes a break from whatever he’s doing
    and he says hey 

    mom mom
    over and over while he sprints
    from across the room... To me.
    He is starting to get to 'cool' to dance when other people are around
    But for me he never turns a dance party down. He smiles. He dances.


    Today was a first.
    The first time he asked me to help him write a letter.
    I didn't ask questions, I simple said okay. 
    He sat. He asked questions how to spell. He thought of all the words to write.


    I helped only when needed. 
    Today he wrote a letter to a sweet 'girl' friend who
    He has adored since birth. 
    We celebrated her today at a Skating Party.

    he thinks.
     he writes.

    I wonder how many more times he will ask me to sit
    as he writes?
    As he writes today, I pray. 
    I pray for his future Bride. The one that's made just for him.


    That he will love her, lead her and show her grace every day. 
    That he will always open the door for her and hold her hand.
    That he will pray with her and protect her.


    I know, It sounds crazy but I have prayed for my boys brides
    since the day I held them in my arms. 
    I believe 100% there is power in a momma's prayer.
    So I will not stop. Ever. 
    There is no greater gift I could give them than Jesus.


    Do you ever pray for your kids future spouses?

    Friday, April 15, 2011

    Oh Happy Day

    Thankful. 
    Off to a weekend full of Birthday parties, 
    soccer and just plain fun!


    Did I mention one of the Birthday Shindigs is a roller skating party?
    Did I mention it's been 12 years since I have laced up these babies?
    Here's to hoping I live to tell about it!
    Enjoy your families!
    Soak in your sweet kids smiles.
    Your job this weekend is simply to LOVE.
    ... on Jesus.
    ... on your Kids.
    ... on your Family.
    ... on those who need love.

    Happy Weekending!!! 

    Thursday, April 14, 2011

    Things I Love Thursday: Etsy Edition {Jewelry Love}

    Can you believe it's Thursday? I feel like the weeks are flying by. The trees are finally blooming and my favorite purple and yellow tulips are beginning to show their lovely faces. It makes my heart happy. Are you enjoying all these fabulous Etsy shops that have been featured lately? I know it has been a blast for me finding modern, trendy and just plain fabulous handmade yumminess that I get to share with all of you. 


    Who doesn't love jewelry? What if I told you Studio Jewel has all contemporary sterling silver jewelry made for today's modern woman. That's us lovelies! The beauty behind this Studio Jewel is known as, 'The Bead Girl' she uses recycled silver, copper, gold and gemstones to create these fabulous pieces. Seriously, look at these...

    handmade.
    modern.
    classic.
    What I love about her line is that you can put any piece of her jewelry on and it will add a special something to EVERY outfit you wear. As a mom of three little men I want to be able to put on any outfit add a necklace, ring or bracelet and be on my way looking as fabulous as ever. That is what her jewelry does! Love it!





    Go check out her fabulous blog called Studio Jewel, Journey of a Jeweler, where you can see her process and what goes in to making all of this beauty.

    You can also follow Lisa {The Bead Girl} and Studio Jewel on Facebook and Twitter @thebeadgirl

    Until next week my lovelies. Enjoy this fabulous day and have fun shopping at Studio Jewel. Don't forget if you own an Etsy shop or know of some fabulous finds contact me and you may be featured on Things I Love Thursday Etsy Edition!

    Hugs to you all!

    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

    What I Wore Wednesday {Sunday Best}

    I am LOVING this series of 'What I Wore Wednesday' over at The Pleated Poppy. After reading all your comments from last week I didn't feel nearly as insecure about this weeks post. So, {muah} thank you! This week I thought I would show you an outfit I wore to Church.

     Simple. Cute. Chic.

    It was a little chilly out so I added my go to denim jean jacket that I LOVE.
     One of my favorite things about this dress are the fabulous ruffles and it had pockets! What mom doesn't love a cute dress with pockets?


    Here is where I got the goods:
    Dress: Gap {Clearance: $6.99}
    Cropped Denim Jacket: Forever 21 {On Sale: $12.99}
    Flower {in my hair}: Forever 21 {$2.50 for 2 flowers}
    My Favorite Boots: Macy's {On Sale:$79.00}


      Can you tell I LOVE me some boots?
    Happy Wednesday!! 

    Tuesday, April 12, 2011

    Cookies and A Open Tomb

    How has the beginning of your week been? We have Spring Break coming up next week and I am super excited to spend some much needed down time with my sweet boys. As I was trying to figure out some fun ways I could incorporate Easter and the resurrection this upcoming week an awesome women at our office told me about a recipe that I just had to share with you.


    You will need:{Make sure and make these the night BEFORE Easter}
    •  1 cup whole pecans,
    •  1 cup sugar 
    •  1 tsp. vinegar
    •  zipper baggie 
    •  3 egg whites
    •  wooden spoon 
    •  pinch salt
    •  tape 
    •  Bible 
     1.) Preheat oven to 300.  Place pecans in zipper baggie and let girls beat them with the wooden spoon to break into small pieces.  Explain that after Jesus was arrested he was beaten by the Roman soldiers. {Read John 19:1-3} 

    2.) Let each of your kids smell the vinegar.  Put 1 tsp. vinegar into mixing bowl.  Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross, He was given vinegar to drink.{Read John 19:28-30} 

    3.) Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand.  Let them taste it and brush the rest into the bowl.  Explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus’ followers and the bitterness of our own sin. {Read Luke 23:27} 

    4.) So far the ingredients are not very appetizing.  Add 1 cup sugar.  Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us.  He wants us to know and belong to Him. {Read Psalms 34:8 and John 3:16} 

    5.) Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed.  Explain that the color white represents the purity in God’s eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. {Read Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3} 

    6.) Fold in broken nuts.  Drop by teaspoons onto a cookie sheet covered with wax paper.  Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus’ body was laid. {Read Matthew 27:57-60} 

    7.) Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF.  Give each child a 
    piece of tape and seal the oven door.  Explain that Jesus’ tomb was sealed.{Read Matthew 
    27:65-66} 

    8.) Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus’ followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed. {Read John 16:20} 

    9.) On Easter morning open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite.  The cookies are hollow!
      
    10.) On the first Easter, Jesus’ followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty. {Read Matthew 28:1-9}


    What a GREAT tangible way to explain the meaning of Easter! I can't wait to do this activity with my boys. Brings a new meaning to making cookies. Don't you think? How do you explain Easter to your kids in a real tangible way?



    This post is linked up to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda. Go check out some other fabulous Top Ten lists!

    Monday, April 11, 2011

    Taking a Hard Left... Journey of Motherhood

    Have you ever had a day when 'motherhood' gives you a swift kick to the heart? If not, trust me you will. Today was the day for me. It's one of those mornings were I clearly see my little boys being not so little. It's exciting and yet at the same time it makes me sad. It's funny how, as a mom, you look forward to your kids doing 'the next big thing' but I am ready for those 'next things' to be put on hold for just a little bit longer. 

    As I am writing this to all of you I have a sweet little boy who learned on his own how to hike his chubby little leg up on the couch. As I look back over my shoulder he is sitting with his paci and with a blanket HE put on himself. He is as happy as he can be. The look of independence on his face is priceless. 

    For about two weeks now my two older boys have asked EVERY morning if they could go into school together. A lot of the older kids parents pull up and drop their kids off. So, today I said okay. Everything in me wanted to say, "No, I take you into school." But I knew they were ready. They had talked about it all morning. As I was listening to them get ready for school this morning I could hear Brady asking Mason if there was anything he needed him to do in his class, like get out his snack or his folder. It was a moment for me as a mom I don't think I will ever forget. Why? Because at that very second they didn't need me. They had each other. That whats brothers are for, right? 

    I have known that this crazy thing called Motherhood is a journey. One that has many peaks and valleys. As my role continues to change I am learning to embrace the continual change. 

    Seeing what makes my boys tick, what makes them unique, what makes them beautiful, that is my gift as their mom. And I am thankful that in Christ, He gives me the confidence to recognize it. This 'new' experience will be character building for all of us. It’s scary. It’s going to be difficult for me but it also is so exciting. To see my boys depend on each other and lean on each other fills me with overwhelming peace. 

    Life is constantly changing, our jobs, our relationships, our children. Today I am choosing to wrap my arms around it and embrace it. How do you choose to embrace the constant changes in your life?

    Thursday, April 7, 2011

    Things I Love Thursday: Etsy Edition {Pom. Pom. Time.}

    Things I Love Thursday: Etsy Edition is a new series where I link up with Jill from Diaper Diaries and show all of you lovelies some of the fabulous new Etsy shops I have been swooning over! This week I am so excited to show you a easy way to add a splash of color and cuteness to any fun event you may be hosting! If your like me with three little men running around my 'fun hosting event' may be a play date but who said play dates can be whimsical?

    Look at these adorable pom poms! The fabulous Etsy shop who make these beauties is called Party Poms.   


    They are handmade from recycled tissue paper {which make them even more fabulous then they already are}. They are made to look like flowers and can quickly and easily bring a spring/summer feel to any area of your castle. So, if you are planning on hosting an outdoor barbeque or having some girlfriends over hang a few of these beauties outside from the trees or inside above the table! {Remember to hang them at different heights to add interest and depth.} They are sure to be the talk of the party!



    We don't have any little ladies here in our castle but if we did I would have this pom garland hanging in her room! Adorable. 
    So, there you have it. What do you think? So cute, right? Don't forget if you have any fabulous Etsy shops that you have been swooning over PLEASE let me know so you and that Etsy shop can be featured on Things I Love Thursday: Etsy Edition!



    Wednesday, April 6, 2011

    What I Wore Wednesday {Soccer Mom Edition}


    Hi Friends~ Here it is... The day in which I attempt to show you all of the fabulousness that is me {and my thunder thighs}. I have been wanting to link up with Lindsey from The Pleated Poppy for a while. One of my girlfriends suggested I do it and I thought well why not? I try not to take myself to serious so here you go.

    Who says going to a soccer practice you can't look hawt. So, this week I wore this fabulous get up to my boys soccer practices. It was FREEZING and wet but you can still be fashionable and be a soccer mom {literally}.







    Here is where I got the goods....
    Headband Ear Warmer: Anthropolgie {Clearance $12.99}
    Fleece: NorthFace Khumbu Jacket {Kids XL $45} *the kids NF are a ton cheaper*
    Hoodie Under the Fleece: H&M {Clearance $9.99}
    Skinny Jeans: Forever 21 {$10.50}
    Rain Boots: Kate Spade {T.J Maxx $75}

     Happy Wednesday!!!

    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

    What say you?

    I know two posts in one day. Who knew? Here's the deal I kinda need your help. Remember my new friend? Well, the girl needs a strap so I am ordering one today from Eclectic Whatnot. I of course can't decide {SHOCKER} so will you help me? 
    Pretty Please. I have narrowed it down to these beauties...







    Who knew camera straps could be so chic, stylish and just plain fabulous? So, I kinda need your input fast. I have to order it today {she is having a sale... whoot!!} Which one should I get? Ready. Set. Go

    What Are You Doing To Make A Difference?

    It's been on my mind. Alot. My heart has ached and yet for me at this point I don't know exactly what 'it' means. I am still praying and working through it. I want to do more as far as giving not only with this blog but just in general. There are SO many people, adults, tiny babies and children hurting. So, what does that mean for me? I have been blessed with not only things that I need but things that I want. I don't stay up at night thinking about how my kids will have to be without shoes or that the ones they wear make their sweet little feet blister. I don't worry about having clean water or where my boys will sleep tonight. What does this all mean for me? What does it mean for you?
    Right now I am feeling ...  
    ... thankful
    ... unworthy
    ... called
    ... blessed
    ... needed
    ... humbled
    ... in need of prayer
    ... wondering what it would be like 
    to know I was giving a child a chance
    Right now I am praying...
    ... for direction
    ... for peace
    ... clarity
    ... openness

    Have you ever just felt like you needed to do more? For me maybe that is this blog adopting a child from this organization or maybe it's supporting someone who is on the front line of going and wrapping their arms around these sweet kids who just need to be loved on. One of my friends just got back from Uganda. I have seen her pictures and can hear through her words the change in her. As I continue to pray through this I thought I would begin to share with you what I am thinking and feeling. I am excited to see the outcome of this burden that is on my heart.


    Here is an easy way for you to make a difference today! Check out TOMS shoes. Today is TOMS annual One Day Without Shoes Event! The challenge is to go one day without shoes and when someone asks you why you aren't wearing any shoes you can tell them. Unbelievably awesome! Every pair of shoes you buy from them they turn around and provide a pair for a child in an impoverished country. How great is that? Plus the shoes are ADORABLE!


    What will you do to make a difference? We are all called to be bigger than ourselves. Thanks for letting me share my heart. 


    xoxox,

    This post is linked up to Top Ten Tuesday at Oh Amanda. Go check out some other fabulous Top Ten lists!

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