Traveling with Little Ones

8 11 2015

Last week, I had a work conference that took me to The Homestead Resort for 3 days. Last time I went, I traveled with a friend, and we had a great time, so this time, I invited my family along. It was a nice escape from our daily routine, but taking the kids out of that routine throws all of us off! The Homestead is pretty spectacular:

IMG_6135

IMG_6130

First off, what should have been a 90-minute drive took us 3 hours. Our little guy screamed for the entire 3 hours, so we were forced to make pit stops in a few places, including a tiny diner halfway there. The boys were all keyed up and definitely entertained the workers – luckily, we were the only ones dining in. E kept swinging his corndog around, yelling about his “horndog.”

IMG_6097

Luckily when we arrived, the valet handled our car and luggage, and our room was ready with a nice Pack n Play already set up. Of course, I wish I could say this was the scene, but he didn’t go to sleep for several more hours:

IMG_6145

Even though it was late, we decided to explore the hotel and easily walked about 7000 steps just by looking around.

IMG_6102 IMG_6105 IMG_6107 IMG_6111

It was a late night followed by an early morning, as I went to early sessions and listened to the keynote speaker of the conference the next day. All of my sessions were SO good this year! I came away with lots of practical ideas and freebies. Meanwhile, my husband spent lots of quality time with the boys – lots of snacking, napping, and trips to the playground and the Village.

IMG_6128

I thought our evenings would be full of dining out, downtime to explore the hotel and the town, a swim in the heated pool or a trip to the gym, but there never ended up being time for that. The conference schedule kept me busy, with receptions lasting until 9 PM. When we did have a break, it would only be for a few minutes here and there. I don’t think we got much sleep because of the boys, and then we would start all over again the next day.

Well, we attempted to dine out twice, but Sage cried almost the whole time both nights.

The second night, we ate at the Casino, right on the property.

IMG_6122 IMG_6123 IMG_6124

On the third night, just before leaving the resort, we ate at Le Cochon d’Or (The Golden Pig) in the village of Hot Springs. I was late to our dinner reservation because my session ran over, but my family was seated right there in the window and I was able to snap a pic of this happy scene before all the meltdowns started.

IMG_6149

I kept it simple with a French onion soup because I knew the kids weren’t going to last long in there – YUM! So hot and cheesy!

IMG_6150

One of my favorite places in the hotel was the Christmas shop. I picked out this year’s ornament and took lots of pictures of E with the gorgeous tree. At the end of November, The Homestead will ceremoniously bring a real tree into the grand lobby.

IMG_6133 IMG_6134 IMG_6143

I’m so glad that I was able to show my husband The Homestead, and I’m thankful that he was able to spend real quality time with the kids, but I wouldn’t call it a “vacation” by any means! It was pretty stressful for me to find a balance between being a mommy, spending time with my husband, and still attending all my sessions.

IMG_6132

IMG_6119 IMG_6148





Brew of the Day

19 10 2015

For the first time in years, we found ourselves with a free October weekend! October is usually filled with celebrations of fall – festivals, craft shows, races, and out-of-town trips, but we ended up having the whole weekend to explore the peak of foliage in our town. Normally, I would have been running my favorite half marathon, the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon. But sadly, the race featured a great white on their medal this year, and alas, I have a huge phobia of all things sh*rk – it’s no joke. So no trip, no race. Getting over endless sickness made us also postpone plans with friends to make our annual trek to what would have been a cold, crowded, windy apple orchard.

Instead, I stumbled across an ad for a local craft festival that featured all things vintage, handmade, and shabby chic – of course we had to check it out! (We loved their brick-and-mortar store, too!) From there, we walked around downtown, checking out a beer shop, grabbing a coffee, and poking in lots of small local businesses. It was so nice to chat with the owners of each shop – from boutique baby clothes to fair trade stores. So much better than big-box stores!

Downtown 10.17.15

E always insists on “coffee water” whenever I get coffee anywhere. It’s just free water in a to-go cup but I’m sure moms of toddlers everywhere are giving him the sidelong.

Downtown 2 10-17-15

IMG_4731

IMG_4832

Downtown 3 10-17-15

After a full day of gallivanting and an impromptu family photo shoot in the woods, we stumbled upon a pumpkin sale benefitting the church that does so much outreach for my school community – we decided to spring for one of their pumpkins this year instead of a wagon-full from another local patch. Our pumpkin came from New Mexico!

Pumpkin patch 10-17-15

My husband and I both returned home remarking that Saturday had been one of the best days we’ve ever had!

Despite our week of sickness and sleepless nights, we didn’t want to miss out on a single gorgeous fall day (fall is so fleeting!!), so after church Sunday, we headed out on a scenic drive, stopping only for fresh kettle corn and breathtaking overlooks. We originally wanted to hike, but we were just too tired.

We visited my favorite trees on our way out of town.

WHS 10-18-15

Gosh, my boys have changed since the last time these trees were red:

DSC_0282

2014

DSC_0298

2014 DSC_0466

2014

We continued our scenic drive and climbed all over the mountain rocks! I took pictures in every possible light.

Parkway foliage 10-18-15

IMG_5029

Fall-themed blogs are my favorite kind to read – thanks for cozying up to read along with me!





Pumpkin Scales, Pig Races, and Pink Skies | Very 1st Field Trip!

14 10 2015

Despite a little one at home whose temperature was flirting with the 104-degree mark, I took a personal day from work to accompany my 3-year-old on his very first field trip. The trip was to our favorite farm, but I still wanted to be there to catch all the sweet moments! As a teacher, I won’t always be able to do this, but this milestone was really important to me and was so worth forking over one of only 2 precious personal days we get each year.

But first, a look-back: last year’s and this year’s trip to the farm:

Back Home on the Farm 2014 2015

The morning sky promised a perfect fall day on the farm:

IMG_4625

IMG_4627

Listening intently to his favorite preschool teacher, clutching the brown bag lunch he wouldn’t let me hold.

IMG_4629

Digging for potatoes and exploring the new kiddie play area!

IMG_4633

IMG_4637

IMG_4638

IMG_4640

IMG_4641

IMG_4650

10-14-15 pumpkin patch

He found the best vantage point on the hayride up to the pumpkin patch!

IMG_4650

IMG_4665

The entire class rode the carousel twice… it was a long ride… and fast…

IMG_4671

IMG_4685

Front row seats for the pig races.

IMG_4690

Finally getting to eat his lunch. We capped off the day with a zillion trips down the 40-foot underground slide, everyone’s favorite attraction. 🙂

And just like last year, he slept in the car all the way back.





Juggling Act Lately

13 10 2015

Maybe it’s life with two who are getting just a little older, maybe it’s just the busy-ness of fun fall activities, but we have been go-go-go lately, with sickness to boot. So yes, this blog post is all over the place, too. Just like my thoughts these days.

Home

On the homefront, the children’s clothing app where I sell my kids’ outgrown clothing featured my shop last week (yay!), so I gained about 250 new followers and had lots and lots of sales! A lot to manage, even with a shipping scale at home. My friend’s shop was also featured, so we teamed up to do a giveaway, which brought in a lot more followers and sales. I’ve been busy packaging up items to send to sweet little fellas all over the country!

My husband has also been diligent with his business, participating in lots of fall craft shows and sales, so he’s usually off doing that in the wee hours of the morning, when he’s not running. It works out well when the baby is up with teething pains from 3-6 AM each day after nursing with me all night.

My family attempted our first mini photo session with a professional photographer, which went by too quickly for my liking, so we hung around the farm an extra 2 hours so that I could take more photos of my own at our own pace and more my style – less props, more letting the kids play while I followed them around. The day was gorgeous, and the setting was breathtaking. I spent forever trying to coordinate outfits for 4 different people and finally went to Target the night before to purchase some last-minute items, another reason I wanted to take pictures while we were all dressed at the same time!

IMG_5768

IMG_4472

Our neighbors hosted an Octoberfest celebration for the neighborhood after we got home from pictures, so we stopped by and met some new faces.

IMG_5786

We recently had a hurricane, and my yard flooded – we were so fortunate that the only thing we lost was our garden, which was nearing the end of its season, anyway.

IMG_5694

E’s curly red hair was really starting to look completely unkempt, so I attempted to cut it but am not sure if I made it better or worse. I finally got mine cut, too, by someone legit.

IMG_5801

We took our son to his 12-month “well-baby” checkup Monday, but he was actually very sick.  The doctor was concerned that he might have pneumonia because of the way his voice was catching when he breathed, but she monitored him for 3 hours and determined it was more likely an ear infection and upper respiratory infection, topped off with a 103.6 fever that is STILL going strong at over 103 even tonight.

IMG_5805

Parent-teacher conferences at the boys’ preschool are tomorrow. plus we have all kinds of appointments in the next week – eye doctor, dentist, chiropractor, the works – and a new friend from church (whom we’ve never met) is coming over Friday to learn more about cloth diapers. I’m exhausted just thinking about getting everyone where they need to be while still putting in all my hours at work. On top of it all, I’m sick, too and barely have any voice left for teaching! I’m sure my immune system is down – I blame severe lack of sleep, a lotta nursing, a whole lotta coffee, not enough water, and not enough time to eat real meals today. I’ve been putting lemon EOs in my water and using Thieves EO for my whole family.

IMG_5803

At work

My husband and I are missing all kinds of work this week – I took off early Monday for the baby’s well visit, took a half day today for our preschooler’s field trip, and I will miss again tomorrow to stay home with our sick baby. Meanwhile, my husband already has missed two days of work being at home with him this week.

My school has had some festive fall programs in the evenings. Last week (before all this sickness!), our family literacy night was a huge success. Students came and picked up a free bagged dinner, which they ate on blankets while visiting 4 different storytelling tents. Afterward, they attended an assembly while their parents attended a workshop, then came back together again to pick up free books and make s’mores over fire pits. Afterward, they viewed Saturn through a telescope! The literacy night inspired me to take my family to a seasonal book fair, but I was too sick to walk around, so we didn’t stay long.

IMG_5752

Tonight was also my school’s Spirit Night at Chick-fil-a, so I just got home from facepainting for 2 hours.

IMG_5829

I have so many posts I want to write about – hopefully they’ll come soon! Blogging has just not been a priority lately:

  • My latest Stitch Fix.

IMG_5720

But instead, I think I’ll go fill my empty tank with food, infused EO water, and what bit of sleep I can catch before someone wakes up crying or needing their next dose of meds!





Tink + Key | My Review!

20 08 2015

I truly believe that every child is a miracle from God. And I appreciate this sentiment so much more now that I’m a mommy. I was drawn to the company “Tink and Key” on Instagram when I learned of their heart for miracle babies, rainbow babies, zipper club babies – and all babies – and for their encouraging and positive messages of faith.

My body had to undergo a lot before I was ready to support a pregnancy. A few days after my 17th birthday, my orthopedic surgeon performed a spinal fusion to treat my severe case of spondylolisthesis, a condition in which my lumbar spine was perched precariously on my sacrum. I had to immediately quit ballet, running, and even PE at school for the years before and after the surgery until my spine could be stabilized. He used a cadaver bone pin to fuse my L5 and my sacrum together, supporting the fusion using bone he grafted from my hip. Recovery included wearing a plastic body brace that covered my entire torso and hinged to a second piece that encased my leg that whole summer and through the fall of my senior year of high school. I also couldn’t drive. I began physical therapy several times a week after school. In college, I continued to have spasms in my lower back and lots of pain and scar tissue until I finally got things under control in my mid-twenties by going to a chiropractor for the first time. The first time he took X-rays, he shared with me that my spine was still not strong enough to support a pregnancy. He explained that we would have to put off our dream of having children, that my spine could not handle it. I was devastated. I drove over the mountain almost every evening in those early months until I began to feel progress. Over a year later, he gave me the clearance I needed to hear, that my spine was much stronger, strong enough to support a future pregnancy.

But we lost that first pregnancy. Later, obviously, I would go on to have 2 healthy baby boys. My oldest is now 3 and is considered a “rainbow baby” because he was born after a miscarriage.

Tink & Key celebrates these miracle babies (and their mamas!) in their unique designs and graphic tees.

Here is what I’m currently drooling over in the Tink & Key line:

Rainbow Baby tee

Proverbs 22:6 tee

My Heart is Full hoodie <— LOVE!!

Fearfully and Wonderfully Made tee

Obviously I was so excited when Tink & Key sent me a shirt for my own rainbow baby to review.* In love with all things teepee/arrows/feathers/gold these days, I chose their “teepee” raglan because of the true meaning behind the shirt:

“This simple tent (teepee) is a reminder that the tent is our earthly home, and that we will endure struggles and hardships, but we can be of good courage because we know where we will dwell eternally.

2 Corinithians 5:1-10 ESV”

IMG_5072

Love the chevron and gold detail!

IMG_5073

I have all the heart eyes for their navy shirt with gold printing option, but for this review I was sent the three-quarter sleeve shirt printed on the softest American Apparel raglan. I love the clean lines and fonts they use in their designs. Both boys’ bedrooms have similar decor! The rolled edging is just too cool, and the black baseball-tee sleeves make it pop.

IMG_5074

IMG_5079

The shirt is comfortable and stretchy. I sized up to a 4, although E can still rock most of his 3Ts. If I had sized way down, it could have made a cozy sleep shirt!

Each month, the company donates a percentage of their earnings to a designated charity. Read more about the causes they’ve supported here.

Thanks, Tink & Key, for supporting our journeys. All of them.

————————————————————————–

*I agreed to publish a blog review in exchange for this awesome shirt, but all the gushings are expressly my own!





3rd Birthday | Under Construction

5 08 2015

With my oldest, I’ve always said every new age and stage is a favorite, but so far I’m really loving three. My son can dress himself, put his shoes on, get his own snack, buckle himself into the carseat (we always double-check), and is completely potty-trained. It certainly makes life with 2 little boys that much easier! So there was a big reason to celebrate turning 3. 🙂

But first… I just had to sneak in his room to transition him from age 2 to 3.

IMG_4127

He was very excited to wake up as a 3-year-old!

IMG_3210

Here’s a quick glimpse at his “Under Construction” birthday party, which was a month ago!

7-5-15 birthday collage 17-5-15 birthday collage 2

We are having a year of no-donuts, so we sent the leftover spare tires home with family. 🙂

IMG_3178IMG_3190IMG_3223IMG_3246IMG_3233IMG_3225IMG_3196IMG_3207IMG_3216IMG_3230IMG_32517-5-15 birthday collage 3We were excited to give him a scooter, since he had been showing interest in them, but for now, he still prefers his bike! I also finished making these growth chart rulers for the boys’ rooms, just in time for his birthday. Ignore the crazy clipart overlay across the photo. (Sage might outgrow his.)

Growth chart rulers 2015 Looking forward to what’s in store for T-H-R-E-E! 





Five on Friday

3 07 2015

Linking up with September Farm and The Farmer’s Wife (she has news!) for oh hey, Friday and April for Five on Friday!

This week brings so much celebration – my brother-in-law got married, one of my best friends had a baby (and I held him!), obvi the 4th of July, and then my son’s birthday and mine fall the next 2 days! So this morning will just be a quick recap of our week:

IMG_3035

one | My “Mommy and Me” yoga class inspired me to get a yoga mat ($2 new at a yardsale) and a workout DVD (free at library). Neither of which will get me any steps toward the challenge I recently registered for with September Farm, but at least I’ll be motivated to train for two upcoming races.

two | I took the boys on a lake outing. It had all the benefits of the beach, as far as toddlers and babies are concerned, without the long drive. They loved it!

IMG_3708

three | We’ve been going to a nearby peach orchard each week for their children’s program. Since my husband and I are on a “no donuts for a year” kick, I bypass their peach cider donuts and get a slice of fresh, homemade peach pie or a peach milkshake. Heavenly.

7.1.15 peach orchard

four | I stumbled upon this playground not far from my house through a library program. I cannot BELIEVE we didn’t know about this place! We were also excited to get free lunches, and the boys each picked out brand new, free books to keep!

6.30.15 playground

five | We also went to our first $1 movie at Regal! Sage loved the movie but then nursed for the last half. E was terrified and shouted loudly every few minutes, “I want to go home and get in my bed!”

IMG_3826

And now… off to celebrate the 4th and party on my little guy’s THIRD birthday! Weren’t we just celebrating his 1st birthday with our matching birthday smashcakes?

IMG_1148

 

Have a safe and happy Independence Day!





Sage | Nine Months

28 06 2015

Sage 9 months nine onesie

Sage. You’re a smiley, giggly, chunk. You’re nine months today and wearing size 18-24 months. There is so much to love about you! Look at that hair, for starters. Blonde and wispy and way too cool.

Teething: 4 teeth came in at once and you’ve been gnawing on EV.ERY.THING. You’ll pull out dresser drawers to chew on, and today when E kicked the drumset cymbal you were chewing on, it cut into the top of your gums. You love Pumkin Butt teething oil and your chocolate silicone teething bar.

Eating: 3 meals a day with lots of nursing and snacks in between. You might have tried wedding cake last night. And loved it. So just pretend on your birthday like it’s all brand new.

IMG_3067

New tricks: Crawling forward! I didn’t want to rush this, but clearly you don’t want to be left out.

IMG_3077

Sleeping: You’re not big on daytime naps, but you stick to your bedtime. You’re usually up to nurse a lot throughout the night, but I don’t mind while school’s out and we’re not rushing to be out the door by 6:45 AM. You’re still in our room!

IMG_3607

Playing: Endless giggles shared between you and E. You are the very first person he looks for every morning when he wakes up. You have also said his name several times! Your giggle is much deeper then E’s, and your eyes absolutely sparkle when you look at him. And your dimple!

IMG_3324

IMG_3474

I can’t leave the two of you alone together though. E likes to say, “Baby’s all locked in!”

IMG_3468

Loves: Movies in the theatre, Taylor Swift, listening to the sermon at church, reading board books, dancing at weddings, puppets, your brother, your parents, babywearing. How do we know you love all of these? Your arms and legs FLAIL. WILDLY.

During the last month, you have: been to 2 weddings (but the rest of us have been to 3!) and a rehearsal dinner, you were dedicated at church, attended a “Mommy and Me” yoga class, spent time with our LifeGroup, picked strawberries, went to Busch Gardens, went to a library kickoff program, helped Mommy teach Sunday School, went to yardsales and a Food Truck festival, ate lunch and watched puppets at an elementary school, went to the peach orchard, saw Paddington at the movie theatre, danced at the library, fed ducks at the park, enjoyed playgroup at church, swam at the lake, went to a birthday party, visited puppies (you LOVED), had several playdates and time outside, went to the river, and played on many different playgrounds. I love being at home with both of my boys for the summer!

Sage nine 9 month collage

Month by Month

birth | one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight





Five on Friday

19 06 2015

Linking up with Karli and Amy for oh hey, Friday and April for Five on Friday!

Now that I’m off work just for the summer, I try to leave the house everyday with the kids, which can be exhausting at times, but rewarding. It’s a lot of work to pack up everything for the day and make sure they’re fed/changed before we leave, but more fun than chasing them around the house all day long! And certainly more fun than packing up their stuff to be away from them all day while they’re at daycare – plus no pump parts and bottles to wash! We’ve been able to do so many things this week that I normally can’t do when I work during the school year, from trips, to playdates, to starting fun projects and trying out new recipes.

It makes me a little sad to see how close the boys get to me, and how sweet they are to me and to each other throughout the day. When I work, I come home to tantrums that last all evening after we’ve been apart for 10+ hours, and I miss out on all these little moments.

one | We scoped out a new-to-us playground. E always prefers the big kids’ playground to the toddler ones!

IMG_3572

two | After visiting a puppet show and signing up for a couple summer reading programs at local libraries, we went to another program at an elementary school. They provided a free lunch during the puppet show, with BBQ sandwiches, chips, cookies, apples, carrots, and water bottles for the kids and for the adults!IMG_3628

three | I don’t have a green thumb, but I’ve been diligently checking our garden each day for progress. We planted tomatoes, cucumbers, melons, basil, lemongrass, and peppers. My favorite, though, is the sunflower my son brought home from school. I love that it was tiny when he brought it home, but it will eventually grow taller than he is!

IMG_3680

Using my basil, I made a one-pot pasta dish this week with most of the little plant. It was so good, so easy, so PRETTY, and a keeper for sure!

IMG_3634

four | Water balloons – fun to fill, fun to throw, but not sure they were worth the meltdown that ensued when I threw one at his little piggies!IMG_3684

five | I must have caught an exercise bug, because yesterday I got up early and ran on the treadmill, and last night, I attended my first free “Mommy and Me” yoga class at a natural parenting store taught by a friend from church. My midwife suggested I try yoga after several recent bouts of tachycardia. At the time, I just laughed, but I loved, LOVED it, and so did Sage. He was fascinated by the poses, laughing and clapping (probably distracting), and he loved participating and being held all the different ways. I was also surprised to learn that the instructor began yoga because of tachycardia, too. This might be something new to try!

Happy Friday!





Finding “Me” Time

18 06 2015

IMG_2999I just finished an excellent book that I borrowed from a friend – The Fringe Hours, by Jessica Turner of The Mom Creative. I highly recommend this for moms of little ones, for when it seems like there is never time to get anything done for yourself! I journaled alongside reading it but would still love a copy of my own! And no, this is not a sponsored post. Just thought it was great.

First – finding the time to read the book. Luckily, it’s a quick read because of its workbook format. I spend a LOT of time nursing the baby while (sometimes aimlessly) scrolling through my phone. I set social media down for about 2 days and put this book in my hand instead. BOOM. Done. Checked it off my summer bucket list and on to the next book.

Since reading Jessica’s book, I’ve actually found some of those hidden pockets of time to work on several little DIYs that I’ve been wanting to do… projects that all seemed daunting before reading this book because I was waiting til I had entire afternoons or days to devote to completing them. I realized that every time I have a pocket of 5 minutes, instead of spending it scrolling through my phone or cleaning up toys, I should put that time toward a checklist of little tasks that add up to a completed project! Like reserving books online at the library when I have 5 minutes, then running in and grabbing them when I’m there a few days later for storytime with my kids. It just takes some planning ahead.

For another example, to make some jean shorts – I broke up that project into little tasks that each took less than 5 minutes:

  • go in the attic to find old jeans to cut up to make shorts
  • find my sewing tape measure
  • watch youtube tutorials on the best way to distress denim
  • cut the jeans to the desired length
  • ask hubby for sandpaper
  • practice distressing the unused denim using a variety of techniques to find the best method
  • look online at the best way to stain the shorts a darker wash

While I did these tasks, I watched a movie on my summer bucket list (reserved online from library) in short, 5-minute increments until I finished it! I am rarely one to sit and watch a full movie, and never at home. In fact, I’m not allowed to – my orthopedic surgeon told me never to sit for more than 2 hours because of my spine condition. So even at the movie theatre, I sometimes have to get up and walk around the lobby.

IMG_3579 IMG_3581 IMG_3582 IMG_3583

Another similarly-executed project was the process of lanolizing wool overnight shorties for my new little heavy-wetter! The shorties sat around for weeks because I didn’t think I had the time. But I finally broke the project up into DAYS of 5-minute steps until the shorties were lanolized and ready to use!

IMG_3608

Even trying a new recipe! First, I found a recipe using the search term “easy basil dinner.” Another time, I wrote a list of ingredients needed. BOOM. It was ready to make after the next shopping trip.

IMG_3635

My husband and I had an Amway Ribbon gift catalog from our baby shower that is older than our 8-month-old. I think in theory, the concept of the gift is to make it easy for the parents to select what they really need. Well, the baby has long-since outgrown most of the newborn and infant items in the catalog, but I finally broke the process of selecting a gift into 5-minute tasks:

  • browse the catalog
  • lookup the actual items on Amazon to compare retail values. The variety of price ranges is insane!
  • log in to the website
  • realize all of the items in our catalog were no longer available, all replaced with newer items
  • start process all over again
  • select an item that we both wanted (bonus: it was also the most expensive retail item)
  • order the item – a waterproof, easy-to-clean, play mat! This wasn’t even listed in our catalog.
  • our gift arrived today! Went outside and got it off the porch. Just before the baby turns 9 months old

Ribbon Gift

Jessica’s advice has really helped me to streamline the party-planning for my son’s 3rd birthday. I had actually considered taking him on a fun trip instead of dedicating the time and effort into a party, but I also don’t want to skip celebrating this milestone with his little friends! Party planning was broken into a series of 5-minute tasks:

  • gathering ideas
  • making an invite list
  • making a list of things to buy/make
  • making a food list
  • designing simple invites in PicMonkey using a free template
  • finding free printables as party decor that fits my theme – so easy!
  • printing the printables
  • cutting out the printables
  • addressing invites, etc.

My next big project might take the whole summer, but my goal is to finish it in the next 2.5 weeks. When I listed it on my summer bucket list, it seemed daunting, but the trick was just to START. Start with the first step! I give myself grace to know that it’s not going to happen all at once. I may never see a 4-hour chunk of time to myself in the next 18 years, but 5 minutes here and there eventually adds up to the time I will need to complete the things that matter to me, things worth doing.

I’m not talking about the big things – going to my women’s Bible study, volunteering (and I’m learning to say “no” more often now that I have little ones unless I know what I’m doing is truly meaningful), spending time with family, going to work — all that stuff is LIFE.

IMG_3471

In fact, if my kids are awake, I try to prioritize so that I’m spending almost all my time with them. Don’t get me wrong, I want them to know I have hobbies, and I want them to be able to entertain themselves and be creative and have their own outlets, but when they’re grown up, I also want them to remember me and my husband playing with them, reading to them, listening to them, and including them in everyday tasks – like cooking, or our garden.

IMG_3431

IMG_3684

The little projects or hobbies are just little things that give me an outlet for myself in a crazy infant/toddler world when that time to myself is SO.HARD. to come by. And as an introvert, I NEED it. I’ll be interested to see how this works during the school year when I’m working and not at home with the boys.

And no…  I didn’t write this blog post all at once! And yes, all I still want for my birthday is this breakfast at Panera BY MYSELF! 😉

IMG_3499