Thursday, March 29, 2012

A Tisket, A Tasket - What's in E's Easter Basket?

Let's talk about Easter Baskets shall we?

Usually I'm the crazy person running around last minute because I haven't found all of my perfectly researched and thought out items for whatever holiday has come around. (I don't just buy stuff willy nilly folks.) In fact, last year...I didn't even get Ethan an Easter basket.


Shh...we don't have to tell right?

Anyways... I was determined to step up my game and actually do something for my sweet little guy this year. So, my determined self decided to start collecting things for said Easter basket back around the 1st of March. The only problem is that Easter is candy holiday and I don't know about your 18 month old, but mine isn't eating candy. That just seems like a whole new level of mommy torture. I can barely keep up with him as it is without him being all sugared up. So,  I had to use my mommy noggin to come up with some alternative ideas.

Basket from Target $2.50

I think I did pretty well right? And don't worry, the messy but obligatory Easter grass will also be added before the big day!

Here's a more detailed list of what all I found. Most of this stuff was fairly cheap with a few "I just couldn't help myself" items thrown in.

1. Old Fashioned Trapeze Toy - World Market - $6.99
2. Coloring books - Walmart - $0.99
3. Angry Birds mini kite - Walmart - $0.97
4. No Spill Bubbles - Walmart - $1.99
5. Triangular No roll crayons - Walmart - $2.89
6. Wind up monkey swim toy -  World Market - $4.99
7. (Not Pictured/In Transit) - Todd Parr Feelings Flash Cards - Amazon - $10 

I can't wait to enjoy all of these fun little items with E. Hopefully they will keep us busy for at least a week or two! What are you including in your little one's Easter basket this year?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Chaa, Chaa, Chaa, Changes....

It's official and I can finally tell...we are moving. 

Yep, moving. 

When we moved from east Tennessee back to middle Tennessee I thought we were here for good. Settled I guess you could say. But, life is funny. It likes to remind you that you don't really know what you are doing after all. 

Michael and I both graduated from the University of Tennessee. I spent a total of 7 years in Knoxville and Michael spent 5. We desperately tried to get back near our family so we could start one of our very own and we've been blessed to live near both my parents and Michael's for two whole years, but now it is time to pack up and leave again. 

Where are we headed you might ask? 

Oh, well that would be back to east Tennessee of course. Life's got jokes. Seriously. 

It's a little further east than we were before and I'd give you the exact location, but I'm not quite sure what that is just yet myself. I do know that it will be somewhere within in that bright orange circle below though. Will any of you be neighbors??? We will be a short distance from KY, VA and NC as well.


We will now be 4.5 hours away from the nearest grandparent. Lord, help me. Although we will still be living in the same state, this will be the first time either of us have moved somewhere with ZERO connections. To say I'm nervous about that is a major understatement. 


There is no Target. 



The closest (depending on where we land) is somewhere between 30 - 45 minutes away. There is also a good possibility that our neighbors will consist of cattle. Yes, we are headed to no-where-ville. We are pretty much guaranteed to have beautiful mountain views though and that....I'm excited about. I have missed the mountains.

There is a lot to be done and a lot of decisions to be made in a very short period of time. Relocations happen in a flash around here so I'm sure things will be moving before I even get my mind wrapped around the idea. 

I'm very sad we have to leave our family, but this decision to move was a good one for us. It's the answer to many prayers we have been sending God's way. I hope we will be back again some day, but for now I am excited about our new adventure. 

Monday, March 26, 2012


There are times in life that call for one of two options: stay the course or leap blindly. It's a decision Michael and I have been wrestling with lately and it's not an easy one. I've always been the "stay the course" type of gal myself, but as I get older, I feel myself leaning more towards the opposite direction.

I'm at a point where I realize that I haven't taken too many risks in my lifetime. Risks are scary, they can sometimes be mistakes, but they can also sometimes be wonderfully rewarding experiences.

You see, I've always been a planner. I've had my life mapped out just the way I wanted it to go for some time now. Sure there have been a few bumps in the road where I might have had to adjust my course a tad, but really, I've followed the "right path" for most of my life. I've never really left much up to chance or taken any really risks when it came to big decisions. Life has been nice, planned and safe for quite some time now. 

As I get older, I feel myself wanting a little more adventure. I want to live a little more . I want to experience a little more. I'm beginning to get more comfortable with the idea of stepping off my self designated path. I guess you could say I have the itch (and I don't mean that seven year one)

I've finally decided to stop saying no, stop worrying about all the "what if's" and "what about's". It's time for us to "leap"...well, just a little bit anyways. A smidge, you might say. Maybe like a bunny hop? 

We said yes, to a little opportunity and we shall see where it takes us. More on that tomorrow hopefully when I can "officially" share. 

Sorry for the cliff hanger.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Little This, A Little That

It's funny how your mind can be so full of things, but when you sit down to write nothing comes out. Ideas have popped in my head sporadically throughout the day but now that nap time has finally arrived and I have a chance to sit and type them out, everything has escaped me. Things have been super busy around this household lately and honestly I think my mind has just gone numb. It seems like one thing after another has been happening both in the good and bad departments and all of it is unfortunately personal and not that sharable at the moment. Hence, the lack of things to write about! 


Ethan and I have been enjoying our morning outings which have increased from 3 days a week to daily. I even get a little twitchy in the morning if I haven't figured out where we might go that day. It's my only method of survival at this point (dramatic much?), but seriously... a whole day in the house is enough to drive me crazy. 


I have a few projects I'm juggling right now one of which is our yearly photo book. Yep, 2011. I always get it finished and ordered in January, but this one has been hanging over my head due to a lack of organization on my part as well as the overwhelming number of pictures I have to go through to make it. I've got about 5 pages done which equals about 3 events from last year so it's probably about 2% done although I'm just glad it's progressing at this point.


It's appearing as though we will not be having a spring this year. With temperatures hitting the upper 80's I'm pretty sure we can safely refer to this as summer weather. I'm loving it of course, but I am a little petrified of what summer will bring this year. I'm thinking high, high temps and lots of bugs....eeeks! For now though, I'm soaking up my humidity free sunshine and enjoying these unseasonable temps.


I've discovered lately that I may tend to be a rule setter. All of the lack of control over my life recently has tempted me to set stricter rules on myself. What I eat, what I do, how I do it...I've made up lists and rules for all of those things. The little boxes I have confined myself to are getting a little claustrophobic these days though and I've found myself breaking the rules more often than not and guess feels good. Very good. I'm such a rebel. Sometimes I just need to learn to give myself a break.


I stopped by Osh Kosh today to grab a couple more pairs of shorts today for E and was quickly reminded that children's stores drive me batty. I'm always on full rant mode by the time I leave I just don't understand why they don't think about their customers more. Mom's are busy, distracted and usually hauling around their impatient kids in strollers so it makes no sense to me why they cram the store chock full of racks that you can't fit a stroller between. If you do manage to fit the stroller between them, all the clothes are in reach of your toddlers grabby hands that are fascinated by the swinging delicate tags and are bound to end up in a pile on the floor. This is all assuming you even can get into the store with your stroller in the first place. Why can't they have that handy dandy handicap button that would open the doors automatically for you? And seriously...just put the real price on the clothing. If I have my kid with me, I simply don't have the brain power to calculate all the various percentages off....I can do 50% but anything else requires me to break out a calculator. 

Shew...nice to get that off my chest.


Mmmk, I think it's time to end this little brain dump. 

Happy Thursday Everyone!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Me and E are Headed for the Big "D"...and I Don't mean Dallas!

If you've ever wondered why there is such a thing as table etiquette just try eating with a toddler at dinnertime. Whether we are at home or out to eat there is always some sort of toddler destruction at mealtime. 

Ethan has always been a wonderful eater. That is, at least until about a month ago. He's still not super picky on food, but apparently he has decided that he only requires two meals a day. At dinnertime he would prefer to just drink his meal in liquid form. I have to admit that sometimes a liquid dinner would make me happy too except mine would consist of wine or Appletini's instead of milk but that's neither here nor there. 

I think what we are on the brink of is the dreaded "D" word....discipline...and I don't mean the "no, no" stuff I mean the time to be consistent, time for consequences type. Pre-E I always thought I would run a tight ship, but present day me knows that even though the tossing of food and refusal to eat anywhere expect on my lap and off my plate is beyond annoying the present day me also knows that the "D" word is going to bring an all new kind of hell. 

Can I be honest? I've gotten a bit soft. And maybe, even more truthfully, I've just been putting it off.

Let's not kid ourselves. I know that discipline is a necessary evil. It's a vital role of being a parent and I do not take it lightly. I just know that it's going to bring a lot of screaming, quick exits, uncomfortable stares from strangers and tears from both me and E before we get it all figured out. 

I think it's time to hit the books and gather a plan of action. Everyone told me that 18 months to 3 years would be a roller coaster of a ride and now...I fully believe them. So many rules, so many feelings and such a small vocabulary makes for one big mess for sure. 

You know what else present day me thinks? 

There will be a lot of Appletini's in my near future. Bottoms up!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Breaking Out of My Shell

Yesterday was a fabulous spring day. I'm not for certain, but I'm pretty sure the temperatures were pushing 80 and of course Ethan and I made sure to enjoy it. We headed out to the neighborhood park trail where a routine walk and stroll turned into something a little more.

This particular trail parallels a river that Ethan is fascinated with. I'm not lying when I tell you it took us at least 30 minutes to cross a very small bridge because Ethan was so enamored with running from one side to the other to check out the rushing river below. 

As we walked on, I was determined for him to experience the river itself. I very fondly remember splashing in creeks, making mud pies and collecting muscle shells. I want to pass on all of these childhood memories so badly to Ethan that I probably introduce them a little sooner than I should. We weren't dressed for river wading yesterday, but I didn't care. I couldn't fight the urge. So, I left the stroller on the side of the trail, walked carefully down to a shallow part of the river, kicked off my shoes and we got in! 

I've always been somewhat of a reserved person. I wouldn't be what you would call a fun-loving girl or maybe not even a go with the flow type of girl. I've always been the sensible one. The realist you might say. I'm the girl in the "make a crazy face!" picture that is still smiling her normal smile. 

Under all of my..."I'm too responsible of a person to join in on that" attitude, I'm super self conscious. I'm concerned with what other people might think about me. I curse myself for saying or doing the wrong thing. I over analyze situations that no one will probably ever even remember. I'm easily embarrassed and  have sat on the sidelines maybe more than I should have throughout my life in fear that I would look like an idiot for trying whatever crazy idea other people were doing.

It's funny how having a child can change you. People always say it will, but you never really know just exactly how. I'm determined to not pass my uber self-conscious traits onto Ethan. I'll pass a few on I'm sure. That's okay, a little self awareness does a person good. Showing strangers his belly button won't be cute forever and when the time comes, I'll be sure to let him know.

Ethan is a happy-go-lucky child who doesn't mind blazing his own trails. He's an explorer. He's a socialite. He's not afraid to express himself. I certainly don't want to stifle any of those amazing qualities in anyway.

I have to thank Ethan for bringing me out of my shell a bit. When it comes to him having fun, I really could care less about how it makes me look. In fact, I'm so wrapped up in the fun that I don't even feel the least bit self conscious. I know as parents we are suppose to be the ones doing all the raising, but I can't help but admit that Ethan might be doing a little raising too in the process. After all, there's always room to grow, no matter the age. 

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

My Experience with Acupuncture

I recently attended my first acupuncture appointment. I have to admit that it's something I never thought I would do and in fact, I'd probably list it as one of the craziest things I've ever done (apparently I'm not much of a risk taker since acupuncture is making that list)

After I posted about my struggles of wanting to get pregnant I received several emails from you all sharing your own struggles either past or present. A few of you recommended acupuncture and while I appreciated the suggestion it was something so foreign to me that I just put it on a waiting list of things to try later on when I'd run out of other options. I'm not much on needles (ok really, who is?) and honestly, in the back of my mind, I was scared of what people would think when I mentioned possibly getting it. Would it be considered a sign of desperation? 

As time went on though the word acupuncture kept popping up. I read about it in a book, it came up in random conversation, I heard about it on TV, I saw it in a magazine. It became something I honestly felt compelled to do. I don't know about you, but I believe in signs and when it came to acupuncture it seemed God was almost screaming at me to go.

My first appointment was almost 3 hours long. She did a very thorough intake exam asking all kinds of questions. Did I prefer hot or cold drinks? Was my skin dry or oily? Did I have any digestive issues? She looked at my tongue which told her that I was a stressful person among some other spot on issues for me. We went over all the details of my labor as well as other female and fertility issues. I can't tell you how nice it was to be asked some of the questions I was asked. I didn't feel rushed. I didn't feel silly for bringing up every little issue. I felt heard. 

After she finished her diagnosis, she thoroughly explained everything in detail to me. She was extremely patient when I asked her a million questions of what everything meant as Eastern medicine is a whole new way of looking at the body and its functions. She even explained how we could tie the Eastern and Western medicine together.

Then it was time for me to climb on the table. I was nervous. I wasn't sure if it was going to hurt. I wasn't sure where all I was going to be stuck. In fact I had no clue what to expect. 

She stuck needles in almost every part of my body (face, head, chest, stomach, back, hands, legs, feet and ear). They were in small groups so I didn't look like a ginormous pin cushion much to my husbands dismay. Some of them I didn't feel at all, some of them made me jump and some of them just felt like a slight prick. She also used magnets to help "balance" certain things and she "burned" an herb on certain parts of my body (don't worry I didn't feel anything). Finally she incorporated sound therapy using tuning forks around my body which was actually very relaxing.

At this point you are probably thinking I'm on the crazy train right?

To be honest I'm not sure how all of this will turn out. I can tell you that once I got off the table I felt happier and less stressed. Later on in the day I saw a few other family members who actually noted my increase in happiness. I initially felt light headed and maybe a little dazed. I was instructed to take an Epsom salt bath later that night to release toxins and order some essential oils to rub on certain areas of my body. I'll be the first to admit that I'm leaping blindly into this, but I feel good about it and right now that's all that matters. 

I head back to my regular OB in April at which point I expect we will discuss more options. I'm sure he will be recommending more testing, hormones or other drugs and honestly none of that sounds appealing to me. The testing is stressful, the hormones and drugs mess not only with my body but actually DO place me on the crazy train emotionally. At this point herbs, oils, sound therapy and acupuncture seem so much less invasive and if they don't work I don't have to worry about any crazy side effects and to me, that means a lot. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

I'm Back!

Hello everyone! Bloggy spring break is officially over around here and it's time to get back into the swing of things. I want to thank Erin, Lindsey, Laura, AP and Jenn once more for filling in for me. Without their help, I'm sure this blog and lack of posting would have hung over my head and spoiled some of my fun. 

While I enjoyed every.single.moment of my break, I am ready to jump back into things! I feel refreshed. I feel inspired. I feel like a new woman. It's funny how taking a small step back from your normal can really open your eyes and let you see things from a whole new perspective. 

I've always heard the secret to this whole mothering gig was getting up early, so I started getting up between 5 and 6 every morning. I reorganized my whole day and re-prioritized my life. This week showed me that I was the reason for a lot of my own stress and since that realization, I have been working really hard to find solutions. Once I started focusing on that, things just started to fall happily into place for me. My priorities have shifted and I think everyone in this household is benefiting. 

Planting vegetables with mommy.

Last Saturday I read something on a church bulletin that was really an eye opener for me. It was a simple fact stating that parents of newborns have less than 1000 weeks to raise their child before they leave their home. That number really put some things into perspective for me. At least 68 of those weeks have already passed by for Ethan and I. Did I make those count? It's so easy to get caught up in daily happenings and forget how little time we truly have with our little ones.

Feeding the cows at Grandma and Grandpa's. Pretty sure Ethan is #18's new favorite person!

I've been doing my best to take care of most of my work while E is sleeping. Things don't always go perfectly, but I can say that the amount of quality time we spend together has greatly increased. We've been getting out at least 3 days a week now. He practically begs me to go "ou-si" (outside for those of you who don't speak toddler lingo) starting the very moment he wakes up in the morning. It's been refreshing to get out and do things together whether we are at the grocery store, in the backyard or going to our new weekly parent and tot's class it doesn't matter. It's time dedicated to just me and E.

Making banana pancakes.You can go ahead and thank me for having that song stuck in your head now.

There are certain moments in life that make you realize you have been taking things for granted. Unfortunately, I've had a few of those moments this past week and while the things that cause those moments suck, I'm glad they have snapped me out of the fog that I had been living in. With spring practically on our doorstep, Ethan and I are making sure to take the time to create plenty of memories together, soak up some vitamin D, and most importantly...stop and smell the roses.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Guest Post: It All Comes Down to Moments by Cajun Cowgirl from When in Doubt Add More Salt

Have you enjoyed the guest post series? I know I have! I've certainly enjoyed my break, but am looking forward to getting back into the groove of things blog-wise. Our last guest poster for this week is Jenn or maybe you might know her better as The Cajun Cowgirl from When in Doubt Add More Salt. Jenn is a fabulously caring person and I hope you drop by her place after you get done reading here!


Hi y'all! I jumped at the offer when Laura mentioned guest bloggers because she's one of my favorites. I admire her a a mother, writer, and fellow rider on this journey of growing and raising a family.

I'm Jenn (who calls herself Cajun Cowgirl) riding the trails between TX and LA with my Cowboy and The Sheriff.  I've been blogging my way through toddler days, hot summers, Pinterest pin attempts, and a love/hate relationship with March Madness brackets, and I'm so grateful to share a bit of our lives with you today.

Setting up the specifics, Laura commented that we can write about whatever we want and particularly, maybe something that shows what our blog is about.

This last bit lit a spark that's been dancing around all weekend as "I need to write that post" danced around in my head.  That spark's got me thinking, well, just what is my blog about. I've heard lots of "write from your heart" lately and with that seemingly obvious tidbit, questioned the sincerity of my writing.

I took a step back, and then another, then another, and realized that yes, for the most part, I've carved a little space out that honestly represents that parts of me that I want to share, the moments that I want to leap, sometimes boldly, sometimes quietly, from my home and make a tiny dent in our world.  Looking back at these moments makes me smile, sometimes makes me cry, but always comforts my heart knowing that we are blessed with the opportunity each day to show up and live in these moments.

I'm not entirely clear on exactly who I'm meant to be in life, but I'm perfectly certain that I'm in the right place in crafting moments for and with my family, and that's what I love sharing in the blog world. It's what I love finding in the blog world. So many amazing women (and men) are creating, exploring, doing, making, experiencing, and they are capturing it all to share with others.  Some are even brave enough to capture the drudgery and capture the failure.

Because at the end of the day, moments are simultaneously the building blocks of our individual stories and the bonds of our humanity.

Today, I challenge us all to take these tiny moments (those that hold you down with chaos and uncertainty and those that make you feel like you are sailing the calmest seas on the clearest day) and

*show up and live in them.

*believe in them.

*make the best of them.

*know which ones to guard and which ones to release.

*never forget them, but allow yourself to grow in them and from them.

*realize each one is not an end but simply a piece of a larger journey.

Thanks again Laura for sharing your bit of blog world with me today! May your moments this week be refreshingly sweet and full of love and laughter.

(Now if you'll excuse me, the pile of dishes in the sink is asking to have a "moment" with me! )

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Guest Post: My Grey Hairs Are A Direct Correlation To These 3 Toddler-isms by AP from ILMTC

Today ya'll are in for a real treat because AP from I Love You More Than Carrots is guest posting today! We've been bloggy friends for quite sometime now and I just know you all will love her as much as I do. Be sure to leave her lots of love and head on over to her place after you read this post first of course!


Hi there! I'm AP and you can often catch me word vomiting over at my little slice of Blog Heaven known as I Love You More Than Carrots. I'm wife to The Husband and Mama to The Toddler, a 19-month old towhead who is the size of a 4 year old. No jokes. Some days, however, it feels like I'm much less The Mama and much more The Employee of The Toddler Slave Driver. 

As you can tell by that darling head shot up there, I'm also expecting baby boy number 2 whom we loving refer to as M2 because I cannot, for the life of me, get The Husband to agree on a baby name. 

Squishy hugs and sloppy Toddler kisses to Laura for allowing me to hijack her Thursday on My Thoughts - Uninterrupted. Laura and I go way back- back to when our lives were solely focused around Lola and Sheepie. I can hardly remember those days and I'm so thankful we blogged our way through them to remind ourselves of our simpler, skinnier and more carefree youth. 

Today I'm here to write about my three, count 'em, THREE grey hairs and speculate as to just how I may have gotten them. After all, I blame The Toddler. 

1. Kamikaze Acts of Toddler Fearlessness

I would venture to say that this may be the number one cause of my grey hairs. What kamikaze acts am I referring to, you ask? Oh, simply the ones that land my Toddler perched precariously on the back of the living room loveseat, simultaneously clutching a Sharpie Marker and Toddler spoon from-god-knows-where and pointing to the canvases hung high above his head, shouting "Baby! Baby! Me?" 

It is during these moments that I calmly ask The Toddler "Which ER would you prefer Mama to bring you to?" I have a funny feeling we'll have a preference nailed down in no time. 

2. Toddler Meal Time Defiance

I once prided myself on having a non-picky eater. In fact, up until two weeks ago, The Toddler would eat just about anything and everything I placed on his plate. This includes but is not limited to broccoli, salmon, cabbage, beets and any form of chicken be it grilled, boiled, shredded, etc. I do believe I once haphazardly and now quite regretfully exclaimed that it felt as if I had won The Toddler Eating Lottery since my child was so unbiased in his food du jour. 

Well, that all came to a screeching halt one morning late last week when The Toddler refused not only yogurt, waffles and scrambled eggs for breakfast but also bananas and apples which, mind you, as each was prepared and placed before him, he lovingly cast aside to the dog. It wasn't until I threw my hands into the air, exclaimed "SH*T, I'M ALL OUT OF IDEAS" and after 45 minutes decided to focus on my own breakfast of cinnamon oatmeal that I heard that resounding Toddler voice croak out the words "more? mama? more?" 

3. The Toddler Blur

If you follow me on Twitter, you may have overheard this Mama and I discussing The Toddler Blur. I coined that phrase in reference to how The Toddler appears during approximately 96% of his waking hours. That 4% of non-blur time is typically when he's seated in his high chair refusing to eat the meal du jour. 

You see, I happen to offer vendor services for a little side photography business that I launched last June. In exchange for clothing, Carter will often "model" samples and in return I professionally edit the photos and send them off to whichever company lovingly sent them to use for sales and marketing purposes. It goes without saying that in an hours time I will often walk away from an hour-long session with over 250 pictures. 

Just guess how many of those pictures are successful at capturing not only his charm and good looks but also whatever he's wearing. Did you guess? Was it 7? Because you'd be dead on. The other 143 pictures look as if I was chasing a short-all clad Tasmanian devil around my backyard. 

Needless to say if The Toddler keeps these behaviors up, I will be fully grey by the time he reaches pre-school. And let's not even talk about puberty. 

Happy Thursday! 

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Guest Post: On Prioritizing Time by Laura from The B Family Blog

How are you all enjoying the guest posting series so far? I know I'm loving it! Today's guest blogger is Laura from The B Family Blog. I very recently found Laura's blog and am so glad I did. Not only does she have a fabulous name, but she also has one very cute little girl! Be sure to head on over to her place after you read this post and check out all of her other great stuff. 


Hi!  I’m Laura from “The B Family Blog” and I’m so excited to be guest posting for the other Laura today!  I’m a full time working Mama to my beautiful 17 month old daughter Olivia and wife to my awesome husband Joe.  This is my first time guest blogging so, be nice and leave me some love! 

Lately around the blog-o-sphere there’s been a lot of talk about prioritizing your time as a mother so I thought I’d share my insight and some things that our family does to ensure that we aren’t “stealing” time from our daughter or each other.  Fits nicely since that’s why Laura is taking a little blogging break to organize things and find her groove! 

Bottom line, social media is addicting! 

Having a smart phone, the internet is just a touch away and it’s SO easy to check into Twitter, Facebook, BabyCenter or Instagram (just to name a few of my own personal favorites!) whenever you feel like it.  It’s so easy that I found myself reading status’ and looking at IG pictures without even realizing it.  I’d comment and “oooh and aaah” over other people’s kids without even realizing that I was taking time away from my own precious child who was right in front of me! 

My husband and I were both on vacation last week from work and got to spend the entire uninterrupted week with our little family and it was pretty awesome.  We made it a point to focus on each other and Olivia and not let the week slip away while we played on our phones or computers.  So, Friday afternoon when we got home from work, we made a conscious decision to not turn click on apps every 2 seconds to “check in” or post a picture etc.  …and I have to say, it was NICE!  We spent the week together as a family doing fun things and didn’t feel the need to stop and use our phones for anything since the most important people were already there!

We also got up earlier (I know “on vacation?!?!”) to do things we wanted without taking time away from our family activities.  Before Olivia even woke up, I’d showered, gotten dressed, had coffee, read a little and checked out facebook.  Once she was awake, our time was 100% hers.  …and that, my friends, is exactly how it should be. 

Don’t get me wrong, I still enjoy connecting with my friends on facebook and looking at pictures on IG, etc., but MY daughter, my adorable, growing, blossoming, impressionable daughter is right there in front of me and she’s better than all of that! 

I never want to look back on these years and wonder what I missed because I was too busy being selfish.  I don’t want Olivia’s image of me to be with a cell phone in my hand.  I want her to know me as an engaged Mama who gets down on the floor or in the grass or on the swing and PLAYS with her.  I want her to always feel my undivided attention.

I know everyone tells you when you’re a parent that “time goes by so fast” and they are absolutely right.  Time DOES go by fast.  Kids learn new things every single day and I don’t want to miss anything.     

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Guest Post: Top Ten Signs that Spring is Near by Lindsey from Something's Gotta Give

Today's guest poster is Lindsey from Something's Gotta Give. I found Lindsey's blog a few months ago and have thoroughly been enjoying her witty posts. Please go check her out and don't forget to leave her some love!

P.S. If you are stopping over from Tiffany's I wanted to say a quick hello and welcome! I'm currently in the middle of a guest posting series for my little bloggy "spring break". Be sure to check out some of my most popular posts on the right hand side bar and while your at it, check out some of the lovely ladies I'm featuring this week!


March is here! New Year's Resolutions are a thing of the past and Valentine's Day tears have run dry. For some of us, the temperature is already climbing and so are the weeds. Here are ten sure signs that spring is around your corner:

Top Ten Signs That Spring is Near

1. Flower beds all over town sport the aroma of freshly manured soil.

2. The awakening whirl of lawn mowers can be heard in the early mornings and during children's nap times.

3. Each deep breath of fresh air is a deep inhalation of pollen, causing sneezing fits and puffy faces everywhere.

4. Feared and loathed insects are having millions upon millions of babies.

5. Blood-thirsty mosquitoes are gearing up for backyard barbecues and summer pool parties.

6. School-aged children face a battery of high-pressure, yet unnervingly irrelevant standardized tests.

7. People who haven't watched a single college basketball game all season are filling out March Madness brackets and using the word "seed" without quite understanding what it means.

8. We are doomed to suffer months of reruns and to wait with baited breath between the season finales and fall season premiers of our favorite TV shows.

9. Spring Break reminds parents that they are too old and too responsible now to have the option either to go crazy or to do nothing during Spring Break ever again.

10. Devilish stores taunt us by simultaneously displaying eye-catching bikinis and hundreds of pounds of Easter candy.

Yes, spring is on the horizon...good luck with that.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Guest Blogger: Erin from Confessions of a Magnolia Mom

Today begins a little bloggy "spring break" for me and I couldn't be more excited to kick it off by introducing you to one of my favorite blogger mama's, Erin from  Confessions of a Magnolia Mom. Please be sure to leave her lots of love and head on over to her place (once you get done reading this fabulous post first of course)! Thanks Erin for filling in for me today!

Hi, I'm Erin, most days you'll find me over at Confessions of a Magnolia Mom, documenting life as a working mom with a baby boy about to turn one! Typically we're just trying to make it from on {mis}adventure to the next. You could say there's never a dull moment.

In fact, through the bustle of the past few weeks, I've found myself with far too many "unread" items in my reader. My weekend needed to be spent catching up on other blogs and scheduling posts for the week. But when Saturday night rolled around all I really wanted was a movie night with the husband.

Recently, bloggers have been talking about disconnecting. Jon Acuff has had an apparent impact on the ladies who attended Blissdom and just a quick skimming of his blog had me intrigued.

It's a funny thing, our blog world. The networks that seamlessly connect us each day {Twitter, Facebook, Blogger, Wordpress, Pinterest} are the same thing creating our greatest disconnect in life. You know, the life outside of the computer.

As Acuff put it, "Want to be a better parent in about 4 seconds? Hang up and arrive."

It goes further than being a parent though. Take a moment to disconnect to spend time with your loved ones. Heck, take a moment to spend time spoiling yourself. You know a good trip to Target makes you feel like a new person!

So, I requested just moment from the husband to jot down a post idea then we'd watch our movie. You know what happened? Before I could even get logged into blogger and title the post that man was sleeping on the couch! It was 8:30 pm!

Two failed attempts at waking him up left me wondering what to do. This was my go-ahead to blog, but instead I sat there soaking in the silence of our house, our life. And it was refreshing.

Laura, I hope you enjoy your spring break. Go to the park with that cute little boy, have a date night your hubby and spend some time relaxing! 

Friday, March 2, 2012

Moments I Don't Want to Forget

I do my best to make sure I have all of life's little moments documented, but there are some moments that you just can't capture with a camera. There are times when Ethan does something so sweet that I just want to lock that memory into my mind. I'd love to say that I'll remember all of these little moments 50 years down the road, but my memory has a tendency to fail me so instead I'll write them here. 

I want to remember...

- The way Ethan runs so freely when I take him outside. He spots airplanes, does happy dances and is thoroughly consumed with exploring his little world.

- Ethan is not much on cuddling, but yesterday he asked me to sit on the couch with him while he drank his milk and watched his shows. I put a blanket over us and he snuggled in for a good 30 minutes with his head on my chest. Seriously, I was eating it up. I would have stayed there forever.

- Last week Michael and I were playing with Ethan upstairs and as he ran past me he clearly said "I love mama". He said it in a way that seemed so natural, so unprompted. He just wanted me to know and my heart melted. It was almost his first sentence...he's saying "love Lola" for quite sometime now.

- I love getting fishy kisses through the shower door when Ethan takes big boy showers with his daddy. 

- I love getting hugged randomly throughout the day. This is new and very sporadic, but it's so nice he is learning how to express love and to know that he feels it.

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