Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Easter 2015

Easter time is such a precious time of new life and fresh beginnings. I absolutely love Spring time and all that comes with the warmer weather. It's not too hot, not too cold. Lots of fun activities, picnics, bbq's, ice cream dates and the list goes on. I always look forward to Easter because it is such a sweet time to celebrate the real meaning of new life and God's blessings.
I tried my best to just enjoy the holiday and not try and be the "pinterest mom" and overdue it. I didn't do big baskets, instead we went on a playdate to Pretend and Play for the day and to lunch after. We didn't do a big Easter egg hunt at the church because Christian was working and it was too much for me to do by myself. Instead we had a small egg hunt at the park with just the four of us a few days before Easter. I didn't even take Bre to her class party at school because it was on a day she didn't go to school and at someone's house I didn't know...so we just skipped it and played in the backyard.  I didn't stress about coordinating outfits or trying to find the perfect dress...we really just played the entire weekend low key and it was so nice.
 I think sometimes as moms we think we have to do it all or live up to some high standard when it comes to holidays and it totally just ruins the magic of the moments. I am finding that low key and easy going are so much more fun for everyone and I can actually enjoy my kids and not stress myself out.  I did really want to dye eggs and so I made a huge deal out of it and really talked it up, and it turned out to be a HUGE mess and a disaster of dye and paint. It was fun for all of about 2 minutes...then it was just chaos.  I am learning that sometimes the best laid plans for traditions are just not practical with a one year old and a three year old. There will be a time when traditions are fun and exciting, but for this season...it isn't a necessity. Relieving myself of that pressure makes things so much more enjoyable.
We did have a blast spending time with family and enjoying a good bbq, a park picnic and a special Good Friday service at church. I really tried to teach Aubrey the meaning behind Easter and focus our attention on the cross instead of eggs, bunnies and candy. I wasn't entirely successful, but I had to laugh when she told me "Jesus died, was buried and then died again!" Close Bre...but not quite!  We will keep working on the correct version of the resurrection.
Here are a few pictures from our Spring Break week.
Fun at Pretend and Play!
Not so much fun when mommy says no playing in the dirt.
Enjoying some pool time and feeling like a king!
Can't keep this boy off of the table tops!
A little nail date with my princess!
Found a new Minnie dress on sale and had to have it!
Snacking with daddy
Picnic, park and egg hunt with my loves!

Easter 2015 
And because I can't help myself...a little Easter flashback. Time please slow down!!!
Above all...I am thankful to serve a RISEN Savior. A Savior who loved me enough to lay down the life of His one and only Son. I can't even begin to understand that sacrifice, but I am so thankful I can reap the benefits of the cross. Knowing eternal life awaits me is a comfort beyond words...this life is wonderful and amazing, yet I have faith and hope that eternity will be even more incredible.
Happy Easter!!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Own your Zone

I recently went to a woman's conference at our church and the speaker was someone I had never heard before. Her name was Charlotte Gambill. She gave one of the most powerful messages I had heard in a long time, speaking to women about being aware of the "clothes" they are putting on each day.  Not fabric clothing, but rather your attitude and emotions. It was extremely powerful to hear about how I have the power and ability to decide each day how I will act towards myself, my children, my husband and even God. When you step back and think about it, it is quite liberating and intimidating at the same time to think that my attitude and perspective can make such a difference in my family. It is so true. When I am in a bad mood, whether just tired or kinda down, it greatly affects my entire family and the direction of our day. When I choose to put on the right attitude and clothe myself in patience, love, kind words, generosity, and grace I have the power to transform not just my own path, but the path of those around me.  She also spoke about our closets...what are we allowing to be hung in our spiritual and emotional closets. I think about how often Bre loves to go sorting through my clothing and shoes trying stuff on and playing dress up. She can spend hours playing in my closet. She loves to try on my high heels, my jewelry, my dresses and just transform her little self. I have to consider that she also sees and takes notes of what I have in my closet when it comes to my attitudes, my beliefs, my thoughts about myself and my body...all those things are in my closet and my children see and sometimes even go in and "take inventory" if you will.  We were challenged to really make sure that the things we are hanging up are worthy of shelf space. Are those thoughts/attitudes something I want my children to try on? Lots of times the answer is no...so I need to get rid of them...forbid them from taking up room in my closet.  I was totally inspired to make sure the things I do and say on a daily basis line up with what I want my children to be wearing out...because they are looking to me for direction as to what is "fashion worthy".

I loved her message so much that I viewed some other conferences she had spoken at and I found her to have tons of other inspiring messages . She spoke at a teen revival and usually I would think I wouldn't be able to relate to any of the content, but I was totally rocked by her words. She spoke on taking ownership of your life and your "zone". The fitting title was "Own your Zone".  This little motto got into my head and I have been proclaiming the goodness of its power.  She spoke about how we tend to go about life in a kinda passive, timid way...using the phrases "it is what it is" or "that's just where we are at" as our way of tackling life's issues and problems. She instead insisted that we get fierce...get involved and get serious about where we are in our own particular life or walk. For instance, when our child gets sick, instead of just saying, "Lord, please heal my child...touch her body" we need to remind ourselves that these children were a gift from God and the devil will NOT have a place in our home. Instead our prayer should be one of power and declaration against the devil, more like, "devil, I will not allow you to enter my home, by the power of the Holy Spirit I command you to leave and forbid you from stealing health from my family. In the name of JESUS, I am telling you to get out!!" She talks about taking ownership of our children, our homes, our families and speaking boldly against the devil and his attacks on our physical and emotional states. She encouraged us to pray with a fierceness that would speak with authority and really proclaim the power that we have in Christ.  I love the picture of standing at my door with a sword and slaying any opponent or opposition that is trying to get in my house. ..get to my children's thoughts or behaviors, get to my husband or our relationship. I won't allow it.  I think we need to begin to see where we are in life as our mission, our warzone, if you will and begin to claim the power of the Holy Spirit over those around us.  God has us in specific seasons and He equips us with the power to make the most of where we are and not just "get by" or "make it"...but rather be over-comers and conquers in our current situations.

As I walk this road of being a wife and mothering two little ones and planting seeds of faith and hope in them, I find these encouraging words to be fuel for me. These words of wisdom encourage and empower me to face each day with boldness and awareness of what is going on in the lives of those in my "Zone".  So let's begin to clean out our closets, toss out the junk and begin to own our zones!

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Valentine's Day and Catch Up

Whew! Has it really been almost a month since I last posted? I am terrible! Things are just so busy, that when I get once ounce of free time, I am usually doing laundry, dishes, work or perhaps trying to catch up on my favorite show!
We have had lots of sickness this past month and I honestly am so over it. I used to be deathly terrified of throw up and vomiting, but I have been exposed to so much vomit over the last three years...it is kinda just expected and normal in my world. I absolutely hate when my kiddos are sick and it is pitiful to watch them no matter how small the illness. I am praying and proclaiming health and wellness over these babies. Any suggestions on building their immune systems...please tell. We have tried everything from vitamins, to oils, to medicine and even to hibernation but nothing keeps them well!  Oh well...I guess it is just part of having toddlers.
We haven't had all depressing days...this past month has been filled with lots of special memories and fun times. Aubrey and Weston are at such fun ages, that doing anything is a blast. Crazy and chaotic...but a blast.
Valentine's Day was so much fun and incredibly special. Christian and I did a "date-in" and enjoyed a fabulous steak dinner, movie and even a small nap...talk about wonderful. It was so special because on Valentine's Night, Christian took Aubrey Lane on a date...just the two of them. She was so excited and could hardly wait to get dressed up and go eat with her daddy. They went and got pizza and ice cream. She was all smiles....all night. This means so much to me because my daddy used to take me out on special dates as well. One time in particular, he put an ad in the local paper..asking me to dinner out with him. He rented a fancy mustang and picked me up for a night out on the town. I remember I had my hair done in special braids and wore a velvet dress. (I wasn't quite the fashionista I am today). Talk about melting a daughter's heart. I absolutely LOVE that my girl has a fabulous daddy just like I do and gets to experience being pampered and treasured by her father. Those are memories that she will cherish for a lifetime. I know I sure do.
This one is blurry but I just love the smile that she has...so special.
We have taken several trips to the zoo and had a blast walking around enjoying the warm weather.
We also have enjoyed taking Bre to the LSU gymnastics meets on Friday nights with our Uncle D. She has a blast and the atmosphere is so electric and exciting. They are on fire this year and are actually ranked #2 in the country. Weston has fun too, but mostly he is just there for the popcorn.
We have had lots of lazy days at home, just enjoying the sunshine out in our backyard. I love nothing more than just exploring in our yard and letting the kids get dirty and worn out. Those are some of my favorite times with them. In fact, Aubrey spent half the day out in our ditch, in her rain boots and just her underwear...it was priceless.

And lots of days at home, just playing and enjoying life. These are the best days of our lives!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

A Day in the Life of (3 years old and 1 year old)

Our lives seem to be flying by faster than a speeding bullet. I just blinked and January is gone and we are halfway through February. Why, oh why does time have to go by so quickly? I just wish these days could linger a little longer. These days with my two cuties are by far the best days of my life and I am savoring each and every moment with them because I know in just a short time, I will turn around and they will be in school full time. 

**These picts are kinda random.

I want to document what our days look like right now. It is totally nothing fancy or outrageous but you can bet the days are full of excitement and chaos!!

Here is the rundown of how our Monday went. Christian worked 7-7 which is very typical for weekdays, so this was a fairly good example of what most of our days look like.

6:45: Aubrey taps me on the head and says, "mommy, can I get my IPad?" It never fails that she is at my bedside at exactly a quarter til 7:00, I swear she has an internal alarm clock set for that time. I usually make her get in bed with me and snuggle for about 30 minutes, and then I let her get her IPad and watch a show for about 30 more minutes.

7:30: Weston Hayes begins to stir and talk in his bed. He never cries, just begins to talk and I usually hear him on the monitor. He is such a happy little guy...he just wakes up in a good mood.

7:45-8:45: Breakfast. We usually do oatmeal or poptarts for Bre. Weston usually does a cereal bar or a banana. I try my best to unload the dishes or put a load of laundry in while the kiddos are contained and fairly occupied. I'd say my kiddos eat best in the morning, so sometimes they will eat for 45 minutes straight. I just let them.

8:45: I attempt to get myself and the kids dressed and presentable. On this particular day, we headed to the gym so I just threw on some workout clothes and loaded up the car. (Who am I kidding...that is my wardrobe everyday no matter what!)  I always try and pack lunches and snacks for the day because chances are, we will be out during lunch. The kids love to snack in the car.

10:00: Gym time! This has become my new favorite thing! I try and go workout twice a week, and they have a fabulous nursery so I know the kids are having a blast. I either do a class or just workout on my own. It has become such a stress reliever for me. As a bonus, my sis is a member, so it is so fun to get to workout with her and chat.

11:30: We load up the car and head out to do a few errands. Aubrey is starving, so I give her a packed sandwich and pretzels. Weston snacks on some veggie straws.

11:45: I make a quick run into Home Goods to return a few items. These "quick" run ins always end in disaster. At the register, Weston pulls all the candy off the shelf, while Aubrey reprimands him by pulling his shirt and dragging him away. Weston throws a fit and begins to sqeal. I pack up my things and make a mad dash for the exit with a screaming baby in my hands and toddler walking behind trying to lecture her brother. Always fun times.

12:15: We stop at our favorite place to grab a few drinks because mommy needs a refresher. I get a diet coke and Bre gets a Sprite.

12:45: We make it home, unload and decide to enjoy the beautiful weather outside until naps. Aubrey swings, Weston waddles and we just have a blast out in the back yard. Those are some of my favorite times...just piddling out in the yard while Bre and Weston explore.

2:00: NAP TIME!!!! The most glorious part of any mother's day. The absolute cherished and looked forward to time of the schedule!  I have both of them on the same nap schedule (Weston sometimes takes a morning and afternoon nap, but it isn't a must) and it is a life saver. Both will normally nap around 2 hours. I mostly use this time to get work done. I try and do my graphics and catch up on the books for my brother's construction company. Naptime is always gone in a flash and I never seem to get everything done. Occasionally on a Friday, when I am all caught up, I will take a nap with the kiddos or watch a Fixer Upper. Again...naptime is a gift from above!

4:30: both kiddos usually wake up and want to be held. It never fails that they both wake up minutes from each other and both are grumpy and need mommy. It usually take between 15-30 minutes for them to really wake up and not need to be held.

5:00: We decide to take some of our leftover bread down to the pond and feed the ducks. I know Bre has been wanting to see the ducks, so I decide since it is warm outside, we will take the plunge. We walk down the street to the front of the neighborhood (Aubrey is in her princess dress and heels) and to the pond. Bre has a blast feeding the ducks and Weston stands back and takes it all in. He keeps pointing to the ducks and saying, "dog". Apparently every animal is a dog. We make the treck back to the house and I attempt to get the kids inside. It never fails that Weston throws a fit when we have to go inside. He would prefer to stay outside all day if I would let him.

6:00: Dinnertime. By far one of the worst times of the day. My kids are not great eaters, so I feel like dinner is a struggle. Doing it alone is even worse. Since Christian is getting home late, we do leftovers.

7:00: bathtime...another crazy and chaotic time. Both kiddos like bath time and usually have fun together. Nothing makes me happier than smelling my clean babies after bath.

7:30: Daddy gets home and all is well with the world! There is usually a ton of screaming and hollering for joy when they see daddy pull in the driveway. Daddy gets hugs and kisses and I usually try and sneak off for a relaxing bath. C will usually put a movie on for Bre and then bring Weston to me to feed.

8:00: I nurse Weston and then put him down. He is the easiest thing ever to put to bed. He just lays down and goes to sleep without a peep.

8:30: We begin putting Bre to bed. This has been a challenge lately and we are really working on making bedtime easier with her. She tends to want to push the envelope at night and likes to get the last word in. She ALWAYS has to have a hug, kiss and an ugga mugga (it's where you rub noses and say those words...from Daniel Tiger). That is her big thing and if you don't do those three things correctly... she will throw a fit. Can't tell you how many times she has gotten a spanking because she threw a fit about getting the perfect "ugga mugga" LOL!

9:00: C and I usually read or watch a show for about 30 minutes and then we both crash. We are just so busy that we don't have the energy right now to make it past 10:00. I know things will settle down and get easier, but for now...we need all the sleep we can get.

There ya have it...a typical day in the life of our little family! I am soooo beyond thankful I am getting to stay home and experience these days with my babies. It is truly a dream come true. When I am knee deep in tantrums and dirty diapers...I just remind myself that I will miss these days very soon.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

A new decade has begun...

Well there is no use denying it or trying to pretend it didn't happen...I am officially out of my twenties and into my thirties. Can't say it was an easy transition for me, but I sure did celebrate it big!
We celebrated pretty much for a week straight and I felt so special and loved on. My mom and sis put together a special dinner and craft night with my dearest and closest girlfriends. We had dinner at Stab's in Central and then went back and had a blast doing crafts and eating dessert. It was absolutely the best night ever! I didn't get home until after midnight and I can't even begin to tell you the last time I stayed up past 9:00!  I felt like I really let it loose that night! HAHA!
How adorable are our crafts? My sis is pretty amazing with her craft abilities. She lives up to her last name! I just love her!
Christian and I took a little trip to Covington for the weekend and celebrated our birthdays. He turned 31 just two days after me, so this was our gift to each other. A night away with no kids is a priceless gift.  We stayed at a bed and breakfast, ate out at a fancy restaurant, shopped and went and saw "American Sniper". It was an absolutely perfect weekend. It was actually our first time away overnight in THREE years. Yeah...that is terrible.
Our adorable bed and breakfast. Can't say I would stay there again...(no hot water was not my idea of luxury)...but it was all about the escape!
My yummy steak at Ox Lot 9. It was devoured in 5 minutes flat.
My all-time favorite place..."the Berry Patch" in Hammond. Food to die for.
Life has been so busy lately, but oh so fun. I am loving these days home with my two little munchkins. My days are incredibly stressful, but so so fun. These two keep me smiling!
Here is to my 30's. I know it will be a fantastic ride!