Thursday, July 28, 2011

A Roller Coaster of a Ride.

You know, when I was twenty-four,
 I jumped on a roller coaster. 


So scared, So excited



Never expecting how full my heart could be.


 I am so thankful that I was able to begin the
 ride that will never end. 


The beautiful, crazy ride of being a mom to
 these three loves of my life. 

**A special thanks to Nikki James Photography for taking such beautiful pictures**

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

Happy Wednesday!
It is time once again to link up with Lindsey and all of the other beauties. Can I just tell you I love looking at your WIWW posts. I get so many fun ideas. As I am writing this I have on the movie 27 Dresses in the background. I am typically not an old movie kind of gal but lately I have been such a sucker for these Chick Flicks. 

So this week it has been CRAZY hott. In fact, I feel like if I was truly being honest I would put pictures of myself in my bathing suit because we have been swimming so much. As much as I love doing these posts there is NO way I am putting that on here {you're welcome}. 


Tank- Target
Skirt- Express
Jacket- Forever 21
Jewelry- Macy's
What I love about this outfit is that I like it with the jacket or without. That comes in handy since the weather here has been 190 degrees but I am always cold in inside everywhere I go. So, I have work this outfit twice this week {shhh.. don't tell}. 
So back to the good stuff... movies. 
What is your all time favorite girl girl movie? 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

10 Things You Can Learn From My Crazy Themed Photo Sessions

All of our clothes are lined up, the props are put in the back of the car, the bribes have been offered. Can you guess what we are prepared for? Yep, another fabulous photo shoot. You would think by now I would have it all together and know what I am doing and how to prepare my boys. That is so not the case. Each session I am learning more of the do's and don'ts. I thought it would be a great idea for me to pass along what I have learned. That way you wont make the same mistakes I did {yep, I am that nice}! 


1. Be Prepared. Have everything laid out the night before. Make sure all clothes have not only been laid out but tried on by ALL family members. Make a detailed list of what you need to bring to the shoot.  
2. Snack it upGo to your session with well-rested, well-fed kids. Don’t forget some snacks and drinks for them. You never know when you may need them and help stop a potential melt down from occurring.
3. With kids, timing is everything. You know your kids so you have to do what’s best for them. I have found that first thing in the morning or right after nap time is usually a safe bet, kids seem to be pretty smiley when they are well rested {and bribed with cookies}. 
4. Slow to Speak. Don't talk to much about the session before hand. Yes, giving them an idea of what is going to happen and what they can expect is one thing. Talking about it days in advance is another. 
5. Allow your kids to work with the photographer and assistant. You don't always need to chime in and answer the questions. There is a reason they are asking your kids questions. Allow your photographer that trust. They will often attempt a shot if the photographer is the one asking not the mom.
6. Think outside the box. Do your kids like being super heroes? Is their favorite movie UP? Create a theme for a photo shoot that shows of the personality of your family.
7. Planning. Just because you plan the way you want things to go doesn't mean that you will get that and that's OK. While it is good to have a plan you must realize when photographing kids it almost always will not go as planned. :)
8. FlexibilityExpect to be the nose wiper, funny noise maker, and wardrobe fixer.  The photographer and the pictures will really benefit with mom’s help.  So gear yourself up for some hard work. Don't forget... Mom may need to step away and let the photographer work her magic. Be prepared to be flexible and have fun!
9. Relax. Relax. Relax. This is where I fail terribly. I want everything to be perfect but nothing is ever perfect. Your kids can sense when you are stressed. So take a few deep breaths and try to make it fun for everyone. 
10. Be yourself and Have fun. Yes, it can be stressful but make it fun. Like I said before, the best shots are ones that aren't usually planned. It's the family being connected and being themselves. After all, that’s what you want to remember in ten or twenty years, right?


Friends, I just can't wait for you all to see the photo shoot from this morning. It turned out just adorable! 

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

Monday, July 25, 2011

I am saying YES {Five Love Languages}

Happy Monday!
I hope you weekends were filled with some rest and relaxation. It has been crazy hot here. So, we have spent some oh so fun times at the pool. For some reason everything, even swimming, turns into a competition at our castle. I hate to brag but I am pretty sure I finally found something I can beat my hubby in! 


{Oh, that face. You can't help but smile.}



As I was trying to figure out what I was going to say "yes" to this week. I remembered a post from a while back.  All of us have an emotional need to feel love, but we all don't feel love in the same manner. I would say this has something to do with the reasons so many children often see their parents argue and fight and why the divorce rate has skyrocketed over the years.  Not understanding how someone feels loved can hurt/end marriages, friendships... 

So, here is the gest of the book called, "The Five Love Languages".  All of us have "Love Tanks". They need to be full, if they aren't we feel hurt, frustrated, resentful {you get the point}. However, in most cases, the spouse, friend, parent doesn't know what your love language is and therefore can't fill your 'love tank'. 

Here are the FIVE love languages:
Acts of Service
Gifts
Physical Touch
Quality Time
Words of Affirmation
So, this week I am saying YES to making sure {because I think I know but not for sure} what my Chris' love language is. I am also saying YES to really trying to figure out in my friendships what their love language are. Yes, it is different in some was in compared to a spouse but what if this entire time I have been buying them gifts to show them how much I appreciate them and all they really needed was me to tell {words of affirmation} them I appreciate them. So, there you have it friends. What are you saying YES to this week?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

A Mental Snapshot

Sometimes...


I look at my three boys and take a mental snapshot.


Praying....

 

I never forget this short time I have with just them.


This is by far the toughest job I have ever had but friends the reward and joy it brings outweighs my hardest most trying days. Embrace this time with your kids. There will come a day when your house will be still and you will only have these sweet memories that you are making right now with them! 


linked to Things I Love Thursday
All pictures taken by Nikki James Photography

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

Happy Wednesday Lovelies!
It's time to link up with the ever so talented Lindsey over at the Pleated Poppy. Time for myself and other beauties to share some of there fabulousness with all of you! Here's a fun question for you all... Have you ever went to a party or girl's night out and felt like you were WAY over dressed. Well, this week that happened to me. It was one of those I so should of worn jeans but instead I was that super hot girl {i kid i kid}.  I guess it was clear who doesn't get out too much. The event was our Annual Ultimate Mom's Night Out. A super great mom and friend was one of the two fabulous bloggers who put on the extravaganza. It was a great time with some fellow bloggers and awesome women. We had great sponsors, great swag and a lot of laughter. What could be better, right? So here I was in all my fabulousness.


 I bought all of the jewelry and the dress at Charming Charlies. Did I mention this is my new favorite store? You MUST see if you have one in your area. Just think accessory heaven. Speaking of accessories what is your go to accessory {if you had to choose only ONE}? My go to accessory would have to be earrings. What about you?!  


Of course I had to show you all this picture from the photo booth that night. My real life friend and blogger Family Fun Mom and my hilarious girlfriend {should be blogging friend} Carrie. Not sure why I was holding a microphone but it gave us all a lot of laughs. So it was worth it. xoxoxo

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

10 Fun Ways to Use Mason Jars

If you haven't already you must get the invite to join Pinterest. Yes, I know it's another way to waste spend endless amounts of time on the computer but it is really a great tool you can use to get fresh new ideas. For example, I have had a few mason jars sitting in my garage. I knew I wanted to use them around the house but wasn't sure where or how. I had a few ideas but once I was on Pinterest.... oh sweet mercy. I knew there was a reason that these little glass jars were never thrown away. They are timeless, versatile, and an inexpensive way to easily create a fun, classic atmosphere. With summer in full swing I thought I would show you via Pinterest some great creative ways to put those mason jars to use! 

Source: google.com via Moriah on Pinterest






Source: katearends.com via Sarah on




Source: crafted-love.blogspot.com via Bella on Pinterest











Source: flickr.com via AJB on Pinterest






How fun are these ideas? If you have these adorable jars laying around you must put






them to use. They are way to fabulous not too. So tell me, have you ever used a mason jar 






for decorating?















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

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Yes. Yes. Yes.

What if I just said yes? What if I just gave up stressing about or resisting what is {and what may be coming}? What if I choose to embrace it. To simply say YES. 


Recently, I recieved an email from a sweet woman who had just found this blog. She went on to tell me how encouraging my "Say Yes" posts have been to her both in her personal life and in her professional life. Then last week, I received an email from a friend asking to use some of my "Say Yes" posts in a college movie she was making. Of course I said... YES! {ha}. I thought right then and there how thankful I was that a small change in my perspective has helped me and others to overcome some of the fear, anxiety and stress and allowed me to embrace my days and future in a whole new light.


How nice would it be for me to exchange my Sunday night worries/whines/stress of a new week and instead roll over, run my hand under my crisp white pillow and be grateful for the rest and sleep ahead. Life is all about choices. It's about the way you take what you have, what you don't have and simply embrace it -- Say YES


I thought it could be fun for all of us to come together on Sunday nights and simple say YES to whatever it is we have to tackle in the upcoming week. A way to put down your list of 'to do' and exchange them for a list of YES'!
So, will you join me {yes}. Ok, great. Let's see how different our little worlds can be with one simple change.   
This week I am saying yes....
... in counting it all joy
... I am saying yes in trusting that I believe that 'enough' is truly enough
... I am saying yes in choosing to have patience when I know that it will be quickly gone
 {by morning}
... I am saying yes to Jesus. yes to prayer
... I am saying yes to having a few dates with my i-pod and running shoes
... I am saying yes to enjoying this short amount of time 
that my boys are all home with just me
... I am saying yes to confidence in my ability and calling to be a mom to my boys 
... I am saying yes to eating a healthy breakfast each morning


So tell me, What are YOU saying yes to this week?

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Things I Love Thursday {Etsy Edition}

This week I have been on a hunt to find modern, affordable decor for the house. I was so excited when I stumbled upon the simple and lovely creations coming out of the Etsy shop known as Uncommon. What I love about this shop is the mix of modern and vintage-inspired decor.  
I totally agree with shop owner, Jessie, as she describes her shop as, "your source for colorful, cleverly designed decor in the style of anthropologie and urban outfitters." Sounds like a piece of decorator heaven to me.

One of the complaints that I often hear about a 'modern home' is that it doesn't feel warm or inviting. That is where Uncommon steps in. They provide that added warmth to any home. 

So, look around and get ideas for your own home. You may even be inspired to create some of these yourself! Look at this dainty, simple, adorable doily clock...

Please 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!
Happy Decorating! 

linked to Things I Love Thursday

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday

Hellooo my sweet friends! I’m linking up with Lindsey for What I Wore Wednesday, a fabulous fun way to show off some of the fun outfits you wore throughout the week! It has been CRAZZZY hot here!
 The kind of hot that you literally are sweating within 30 seconds of stepping outside. 
This week I had a little fun trying new ways to post some of my pictures. Remember my awesome friend E? She is the one who kicked cancers butt. Well, I went to her 'I am cancer free' party on Saturday. Such a great time celebrating life and how good our God truly is!


Black Tank: Express
Skinny Jeans: Forever 21

I have been wanting to wear this fun yellow tank for a while. I LOVE the sequin stripe. Seriously, how fun is that? Can you tell I am really loving the sequins and ruffles this summer?!
Tank: Macy's
Capri's- Forever 21

So after this week I think I am pretty much NEVER wearing jean material. Sweat plus tight jeans... not good. I think I may just live in my dresses and of course this is a Target dress. If you have been reading my blog for a while I didn't need to tell you where it was from did I?! 


These WIWW posts make me smile. So, thanks for stopping by! Enjoy your day and tell me if you found $10 in the street what would you do with it???? xoxox

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Healthy Eating Never Goes Out of Style.

Hi Friends! I hope your Tuesday is going fabulous! I have been on a mission lately to clean up my eating and make a valid effort to start forming healthy eating habits. I am a snacker by nature. I would prefer to ONLY snack {on candy} all day! I am convinced I could live on it but I have three little boys who are watching my EVERY move and I need to not only talk about being healthy and active but show them what that looks like. My friend, Jenna from Wholesome Bits has inspired me to take on the challenge of eating clean. I am so not there but I am taking teeny tiny baby steps. I love what she said last week, "80% of what you look like is due to what you are eating." Yikes... Chew on that one for a minute.


So to kick off our healthy eating we have been on a MAJOR smoothie kick lately. All of my boys {even baby Cole} LOVE them. Plus, I find that they’re a great way to get several servings of fruits and sometimes even a few veggies in. I am not a fan of drinking my calories but this is one exception I will make! 


We switch it up quite a bit and I add in different fruits {blueberries, peaches}. I thought I would share some smoothie recipes that I can't wait to try. Warning: Your mouth WILL start to water and you will begin to crave... 

Here are my Top Ten!
1. Strawberry, Mango and Yogurt Smoothie
2. Pom-Berry-Banana Smoothie
3. Berry-Orange-Smoothie
4. Banana Blueberry-Smoothie
5. Banana-Yogurt Smoothie
6. Orange Glorious
7. Citrus-Berry Smoothie
8. Apricot Smoothie
9. Wake-Up Smoothie
10. Strawberry Soy Smoothie

How great do those sound? So quick, easy and most importantly healthy. What are you doing to develop healthy eating habits? Are you a smoothie drinker? If so, please let me in on some of your favorites!! 

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


Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy Birthday....

To the woman who taught me
... how to press on and pursue Christ no matter what circumstances you face
... to NEVER compromise what I believe
... how to be a caring, sacrificing, loving mom
... how to put on false eyelashes
 ... to laugh a lot
... that family is everything
... that mistakes are ok if you learn from them


To the woman...
... who I laugh with 
... who I cry with
... who I talk to 3 times a day {at least}
... who I talk like
... who I look like
... who is my #1 shopping partner
... who my boys adore
... who I laugh like
... who knows me better than anyone else
... who encourages me
... who prays for me and my boys
... who still makes my bed {whenever she is over}
... who loves my boys with every bone in her body
... who is not only beautiful on the outside but radiant on the inside
... who ages with grace and beauty


There are few words that can express how much I love you, need you and treasure the time we spend together and the time you spend with my boys. You are truly a woman of great character and beauty. You inspire me, Mom, to be a better mom. I see all that you do for me and the boys {all that you have done} and I am amazed and forever grateful. My prayer is that I make you proud. That I make your heart happy. I love you and truly believe this will be your best year yet!
 I love you with every ounce of my being!
To the woman I am so grateful to call Mom:
Happy Birthday!!

*A special thank you to Nikki James Photography for taking such beautiful pictures of my mom*

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Race.

In a little town in Ohio there is an annual 5k that takes place every year. There is an entire day devoted to the race, parade, festival and fireworks. Many know it as the Americana Festival. Our family looks forward to it every year!


I have never 'officially' run in a 5k before and I had never dreamed that I would be running with my six year old. Until, I randomly asked him if he would want to run in the race with me. Early this Spring we had started jogging together. I found that during our jogs/walks he would open up to me and talk not stop. I didn't have to ask him a million times how school was or what was on his mind. He literally would start to run and start to talk.  


Immediately when I asked if he would run with me he said, "Ya, do you think I can do it?" I said,"without a doubt, lets do this." As we walked up and saw the runners {over 1100 of them and only three 6 year olds} we both looked at each other. We said nothing, he smiled and honestly I became excited and a bit nervous. His little number was on, laces were tied and he was ready to run. 


The gun went off and we started this little journey hand in hand. To say that I was proud of this little boy would truly be an understatement. He ran and ran. When he would get tired he would grab my hand and we would walk {for about 4 steps} and he would start to run again. As we were running so many people were cheering for him and encouraging him. You could see he was tired but he didn't stop {the encouragement from random strangers was incredible}. I kept telling him I was just so proud of him and we were so close to finishing. We talked to pass the time. We counted flags along the parade route. We ran through a sprinkler in the middle of the race. 

What a joy. As we started to run into the high school where we would take one lap around the track to finish he said, "Mom, this is dad's old high school. This is perfect."  As we crossed the finish line hand in hand I couldn't help but pick him up and squeeze him as hard as I could. I was surprised at how emotional I felt. This was truly one of the best days of my life with this little man. God has so graciously allowed me to be this boys mom and I am so thankful. 


Have you ever run in a 5k? If not, I encourage you to try it. You wont be disappointed and if a first grader can do it... I promise you. YOU CAN TOO!! xoxoxox
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