Monday, December 30, 2013

The Best of 2013

The year just doesn't seem complete without some kind of look back of all the little and big things this year has brought us. I've been blessed with several new pairs of eyes around the blog lately so hopefully this will give you all a chance to catch up and see something new. For those of you who have been around…maybe you'll see something you've missed!


January was all about a new life with two. I wrote about Jackson's arrival and my first week being outnumbered. Life certainly picked up pace but was also smattered with lots of baby cuddles. My, possibly over detailed, "Day in the Life" post was statistically a big hit. I gave breastfeeding another go and made the horrific discovery that Jackson was allergic to dairy. January also brought our first big snow and we discovered just how wonderful Ethan took on the role of big brother.


February brought on the first round of the sickies. Honestly, if I had to sum up 2013, I would refer to it as the year of the snots. For the love…we still have them. Be gone already! Our family went into survival mode and we made the unfortunate discovery that Ethan becomes super hyperactive on any kind of allergy medication. Joy. I opened up and shared my "Just a Mom" moment and made the goal of focusing on patience during the season of Lent.


March brought us a new sense of normalcy. I had experienced a new love for my toddler and longed to bottle up his innocence. I shared my favorite baby items and some postpartum essentials. I also confessed to not being able to do it all…or at least not all at once. 


In April, I blogged about blogging (tsk, tsk!). I confessed to sucking at Twitter and emailing and urged you all to connect with me on Facebook and Instagram (@mythoughtsuninterrupted)…my happy places. I mourned the fact that I was entering the last year of my twenties. In case you were wondering, I'm over it now. I also shared a super cute 2.5 year v-log interview of Ethan (of course, I might be biased). 


In May I talked about life with boys and how I consider myself to be an adventurous parent. I lamented over the fact that I still did not have parenthood all figured out and proclaimed that for Mother's Day all I wanted was my own freaking time out. I marveled at the joy of sibling love and enjoyed a family fun beach vacation. May was apparently a roller coaster of emotions.


June apparently was a turn around month for me (minus the fact that the "trying threes" reared their ugly head a little earlier than planned). I urged you all to be confident mothers and wrote about why I thought second borns were the lucky ones. I also gave a little shout-out to my better half on our 5 year anniversary while we took a romantic get away to Asheville, NC.


July contained a wide variety of events. I shared 7 warnings about potty training. I also kicked off Operation Get Fit with some embarrassing post partum photos. I reminded myself to let my first born be little and shared some photos from a baby "love" shower I hosted. 


Jackson honed his crawling skills in August and Ethan began school after we took our last mountain vacation to Bryson City, NC. I wrote a review on the Dr. Oz Cleanse which is one of my most popular posts to date on a subject that isn't talked about much on here ever. I also shared a v-log with you guys about a parenting fail of mine and discovered that you guys do like v-logs…every once in awhile. I haven't done one since.


We returned to the beach and hit a parenting sweet spot in September. I shared a favorite recipe, attempted to teach my child to count and did a follow up post to Operation Get Fit. I also vowed to put myself on my priority list because as we all know: "If mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!".


Ethan turned 3 in October and I talked about letting go and striving to be a better example. I struggled with not feeling personally fulfilled and wondered if the grass might be greener on the other side. October brought us more sickness and cancelled plans and let's just say I wasn't sad to head into November.


We finally got over sickness enough to celebrate Ethan with a Red Tractor themed party in November. I reminded myself to take in the moment and I got rather crafty and broke my "no Christmas before Thanksgiving" rule by decorating early. I shared tutorials on painted mason jars and making an advent wreath. I did a final (for now) Operation Get Fit update and joined up with some other bloggers to form a local Knoxville Mom's Blog.


Jackson turned one in December and I did my final monthly onesie update. I shared one last craft (a DIY typography canvas) and then gave you a holiday home tour. My son reminded me that pretty came from within and then I took some time off to enjoy the holiday season with my family. 

Looking back, I can say 2013 has been a transitional year for sure. We did a lot of learning and adjusting and I think we have finally found our groove. Thank you all so much for the love and support you all show me and my family. I truly enjoy connecting with you all! I strive for this blog to be a place where you can feel normal and a little inspired and I hope I have provided that for you. I'm looking forward to 2014 and everything that it will bring. 

Just 10 shy from 200 on FB! You guys rock!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Jackson's 1 and Thoughts on More...

**This will probably be my last post until after Christmas so I can take a break and enjoy time with my family. I hope you and yours have a very wonderful holiday! In the meantime you can keep up with our fun here and/or here.**

So, I know I haven't mentioned this yet on the blog, but I HAVE A ONE YEAR OLD?!? How did this happen? Truly. I'm stunned at how fast babyhood passed by this time. 

I shouldn't really say "passed by". It was savored. It just went quicker than I would have liked. While I know he still is baby-ish at this point, the (and I use this term very loosely) experienced mama in me knows that in fewer than 6 months he will most certainly be exhibiting all the toddler traits. It will be an exciting time for sure, but I will miss babyhood. 

Since I just posted his 11 month update 10-ish days ago, there really isn't much to report…except that this happened just last night.

While I didn't exactly encourage it, I am so excited for Jack to be walking now. I have been waiting for the day that my two boys can run around the house together and really play on more of an even field. I know that the even-ness is still really some time off now, but we are getting closer right? These two kids are quite a pair and love each other so much. Just the other night, Jack crawled over to Ethan and gave him the biggest hug. Sweetest.thing.ever!

Jackson has been such an easy baby and seeing the two boys together only makes this mama want more. Seriously…I need another baby. Chest snuggles and chubs…well my babies are never chubby…and sweet giggles and newborn smells. Please don't tell me it's over forever! Michael on the other hand is having a mild heart attack, but no worries, God-willing we will be having at least one more. 

While the thought of additional mess makers does scare me somewhat, I have started to see how the transition from two to three might not be as, should I say, shocking? scary? as it was going from one to two. Mama's of three or more…am I right or just living in a crazy delusional, hormonal, sad that my baby just turned one world? On second thought…just let me stay there. It's probably better that way.

Tidbits about Jack: He is a true Christmas baby and is loving all things Christmas-y. Besides mama, dada and lola; he can now say tree, star and this. He loves, loves, loves Christmas lights and in fact we went on a little Christmas light walk as a way to celebrate his actual b-day. His party…well…that will be in January since this mama can't handle Christmas and birthday planning all at the same time.

This first year has been wonderful. I am sad to see it go, but I am looking forward to what's to come. I can't wait to see more of Jackson's personality revealed and more adventures with two!

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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Quick Poll on Blog Post Notifications...

In hopes of being more efficient next year, I have a quick poll for you!

How do you prefer to receive blog post notifications?

A. I know the URL by heart.

B. Bloglovin/Feedly

C. Facebook

D. Twitter

E. Instagram

F. Email/Newsletter

Pick all that apply :) Thanks!!! 

**Apologies to those who have already seen this elsewhere, just thought I should post here too for an accurate polling!**

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Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday Home Tour

I have to say this is the first year in a long, long time that I have truly enjoyed the Christmas season. Truth be told, in the past I've been a Grinch. I can't point directly to one reason, but I'd say a big contributing factor is that Christmas is super speedy. I like to take my time in everything I do. I like to give creativity my all and Christmas certainly calls for creativity. I also like to check all the boxes. Do every fun Christmas activity, bake, cook, incorporate every tradition, but sometimes, all of that just turns into pressure and exhaustion. So this year, I gave myself a pep talk before Halloween even rolled around. I would not be a Grinch. I would enjoy the season. Truly enjoy it and try so very hard to not put pressure on myself. 

What's funny is that I've done more than ever before. More crafting, more baking, more fun activities all the while succeeding at not being a Grinch. What was the turning point you ask? Oh wait, you didn't…I'll tell you anyway.

I changed my focus on the season. 

Instead of hating the holiday because of how expensive it is and how ridiculously commercialized it is I shifted my focus to the good. The true reason for the season is Jesus. In fact, I'm not even looking at it as a holiday, it's a birthday and you know I love to throw a birthday party.

I decorated when I felt like it, even if it was the week before Thanksgiving. I baked when I got the notion. Axed traditions that I knew would be too much for me this year like Elf on the Shelf and the "fun" advent calendar…too many daily commitments, too many rules to follow, to many things to "not touch". If I felt stressed…I dropped it. Called it quits. This year is for fun. 

We are fighting Santa's glorified position and trying to teach our awestruck, Christmas bug bitten 3 year old about the true glory. While he is still all presents, Santa and more presents we have made some progress. 

Instead of perfection this year, I'm striving for happy. Merry Christmas to you from us and I hope you too remember the reason for the season! 

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Wednesday, December 11, 2013

I'm Pretty and You are Pretty Too.

The first time your son tells you that you are pretty it hits you hard.

Or at least it did me.

Pretty is not something he hears all the time. It's not something I tell him or something that I refer to myself as. We might say the sky is pretty or that the Christmas tree is pretty, but we don't really talk about others being pretty. 

I tell him that he's handsome. That he's cute. But you don't really go around telling little boys that they are pretty. And I don't overly put an emphasis on looks with him.

You often hear people tell you that in motherhood, the days are long, but the years are short. I believe that…I tell myself that all the time, you know to remind myself when the days feel like years and the years begin to look like eternity. The day my son told me I was pretty was one of those looong days those people were referring to because, well, this happened…

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Long story short, he used a pair of small scissors to cut his baby brother out of the pack-n-play while I was vacuuming. Sometimes in parenthood, you don't know whether to laugh or cry. 

His reasoning was that he was upset that "his best friend" was in baby jail. His nearly one year old little brother, his best friend. My heart exploded.

While your hearts full of love and you are choking back laughter there is still a tiny part of you that is upset with this bad deed that has been done. There are still punishments to be dealt, life lessons to be taught and toddler mayhem (aka outburst of feelings) have to be exhaustively combated. 

A good day turns long in an instant. Tears are shed long after they should have been dried. Patience erodes. 

I had long handed them off to my husband that night when I was about to take Ethan to bed. I had taken a much needed mommy moment. The rare, peaceful shower. 

While my hair was half wet, half frizzed, Ethan grabbed my face and said "I like your hair. I love you. You are pretty mama.".

It was so unexpected. The words froze time just for a moment. I gave him the biggest hug while a tear ran down my cheek.

I don't feel pretty most days. I feel run down, used up and half put together if at all put together. Although I may not feel any older, I do look it. I try to keep my grays covered up as much as possible, I avoid mirrors more than I use to, my skin isn't as taught as it once was and I haven't seen a fashion magazine in years.

But my son doesn't define pretty in the way I typically do. 

He sees me as his caretaker, as someone who tries to make him happy. He sees me as his mama. And part of me, deep down, does think that he outwardly sees beauty in me. And while I might not win any beauty contests, I can walk a little taller and smile a little bigger. The inner beauty is shining through.

Yep, there is that overly expressive forehead that the dermatologist suggested calming down with Botox about a couple of months ago.

Mamas, we need to view ourselves less through the eyes of the world and more through the eyes of the child. Their views have yet to be clouded by others and truth spills out of their mouths without fear. Your children see you as beautiful because they see your inner beauty and that is all that should matter.

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Monday, December 9, 2013

DIY Typography Canvas

I created this typography canvas to go behind my Willow Tree nativity scene after seeing another type of canvas done similarly on Pinterest. I never dreamed it would be so simple and easy. This idea can be used for so many other purposes like kids rooms or everyday decor. 

Step 1: Get Your Font Ready

You can use any font you want, but I do suggest using something that has some width to it. You will need to cut out each and every letter which could get complicated with some script fonts. Also, some of the spray paint will creep underneath the letters so delicate font won't really work with this particular method. You will need to play around with the sizes…I believe I ended up using around 175. 

Once you have made your choice, cut out each word group and figure out how it will lay on the canvas. It is much simpler to do now rather than wait until you've cut out each letter. You may have to resize and reprint.

Once you have a layout in mind. Cut out each individual letter. I put each word in a separate zip lot baggie so I could keep up with them easily.

Step 2: Spray Paint Your Canvas

Spray paint your canvas whatever color you are wanting your font color to be. I used a Krylon Metallic Gold. It took a few coats and it never went on completely evenly, but it didn't end up mattering for this particular project.

Step 3: Apply Wording

Once the paint is dry use an adhesive spray to apply the letters. This was a learning process for me. In fact at one point I had to use goo gone to remove it and start over because I hadn't sprayed enough down the first time and the spray paint got under my letters a little too much. So be sure to give it a generous, but even coating.

Once you have the adhesive down, apply your letters. You don't have to rush…the spray adhesive lets you readjust for quite awhile without any problems. I didn't aim for perfection on my letter laying for this particular project.

Once they are down give it a couple of spray with your second color choice for the top coat of paint (off white in my case) and then carefully peel up each letter to reveal the undercoat. Let it dry and you are done! I put a little burlap ribbon around the edges of my canvas. I re-used a canvas from another "failed" project that did not have pretty edges. So you could leave that off if you want.

You can see that the top coat does get under the letters a bit. I was okay with this look, but if you'd rather it not, I would try more spray adhesive or a thicker font.

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Chronicles of the Onesie Stickers - (J: Months 10-11)

Thanksgiving really threw me off schedule apparently. I swear I was feeling all ahead of the game until December 1st hit and then just like that I felt like I was so very far behind. Seriously the Christmas cards are in the mail TO ME. Looks like they may be New Years cards at this point. Oh well. 

I've got a couple more Christmas related posts to come, but today I needed to do a little Jack update. Ya'll….he's going to be ONE in 8 days! What?!? I don't think it's hit me yet. Honestly, I'm pretending it's not happening until January which is when we will be having his party. 


Oh Jack, I am a terrible slacker when it comes to these monthly posts. We are just a few short days away from your first birthday. I feel like it was just yesterday that we brought you home. 

Follow us on Instagram here (@mythoughtsuninterrupted).

You have been nothing but an angel since birth. Other than the constant colds that have plagued you this year, you have been nothing but a dream baby. You are constantly happy, sleep through the night, take one nap a day and are always so content. You love cuddling and I still get those glorious moments where you fall peacefully asleep on my chest. 

You are so ready to walk. You glide easily along furniture, frequently stand up on your own and do awesome with us holding one hand. We are just waiting on you to get up the nerve then I know you will be off on new adventures. While Ethan was into everything, you are more of a sit and figure things out kind of kid. You love putting objects in containers, you are starting to stack things and are curious as to how all things work. 

You are wearing 12 month clothing, some 12-18 months as well. You weigh about 21.5 pounds and are measuring around 28 inches. Your head is in the 98th percentile, weight in 48th and height is around 6th. We've upped your formula amount in hopes of you lengthening out. I'm not worried though. You eat more than I do at times and besides your length you seem to have taken off everywhere. In fact your feet have grown 2 sizes in the last 2 months! 

You and Ethan are super sweet together. You love, love, love playing in his room and he enjoys waking you up every morning. This morning he ran up to give you a big hug and declared you his best friend. I have high hopes for you two!

Your favorite things include: bananas (which you ask for every morning), chasing and throwing balls, bath time, Christmas lights and the Row Your Boat song.

Here's a little live action…

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