Monday, June 27, 2011

Pre School and Random Ramblings!

I am so excited to begin Pre School with Lauren and even though we won't "officially" start until this fall, I already have a bunch of fun ideas and plans in the works for this summer! I am using this time to ease into a school routine and to see what works and doesn't for our family before we go all out in the fall! Today will be our very first day of intentional learning time. I am so excited and I hope that little brother cooperates and lets us have some fun! Plus, we have already had the TV on way too much this summer and I am really over it!

We've been experiencing some a lot of whining around the house lately and I am desperate for some relief from it! Enter the Marble Jar! I'll post pictures soon. Any time I catch Lauren speaking like a big girl or doing something with a happy heart or what-have-you I will let her put a marble in her special jar. Anytime a fit occurs or whining beyond a warning happens she will get a marble removed from her jar. Oh how I hope this works! :) I'll keep you posted!

I've been loving Pinterest! Are you on there? If so, let me know and I would love to follow you!!!

I'm in the middle of a complete organization and life-management overhaul around here. One of my favorite new blogs is I Heart Organizing. Check it out...fantabulous!!! I've ordered a few of her adorable charts and I am feeling SO much better already about keeping our house in check. I can't wait to post some of my before and after pics as well as my new and WAY improved Recipe Binder and Home Management Binder!

My motto lately has been - If it Takes Less Than 30 Seconds, Do It. I read that somewhere in a book one time and it is working! I have a bad habit about walking by something that I could totally pick up. I've found that if I follow my little motto my house stays much tidier!

My little man has slept 6 hours straight the last two nights. I realize that by posting that, he will never again sleep for that long in one stretch but I am just giddy with excitement over it. He will be three months on the 4th and I just can't believe it. I love that little man so deeply!

My friend Mandie posted some great homemade cleaning supplies on her blog today and I am anxious to try a few of them out! The other day I cleaned my stainless steel sink with a paste of baking soda and vinegar and I cannot tell you how shiny it is! Nothing I have ever used on it has left it as clean as that simple mixture! I'll never buy another expensive cleaning product for my sink for sure!!!

Has this post been random enough for you? Kelly over at Kelly's Korner started posting all the details of a day in her life so that she can look back one day and see what her life looked like with two little ones. I am seriously considering following in her footsteps. Would anyone be interested in hearing about my mundane life? There is sure to be at least 50 diaper changes in it! In all honesty though I think it would be fun and I just might do it. For the two of you who read you might want to find something else to read those days if I am too boring!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bible Study

My friend Kelly told me about a Bible study called Duty or Delight  she and a friend were working through this summer and as soon as I heard the premise of it I knew it was for me. My spiritual life has been lacking lately because I've been filling the time when I could be studying God's word with picking up a never clean house and lamenting the fact that I. Will. Never. Have. A. Clean. And. Organized. House. Again. Ever. 

When I told my friend Miranda about it she said she'd like to do it along with me. The cool thing is that she lives in Hawaii and so we are going to hop on iChat once a week to discuss what we've learned and been challenged by. I love it! I thought I would give you a little excerpt from the book that jumped out at me and I have just not been able to shake.

"Here's the revelations: God deeply, deeply loves you. He loves who you are right now. The broken you. The one who wishes she was perfect. The one who beats herself up because she's imperfect. The woman who desperately wants to go up that mountain she's been circling for years. The one who can't seem to get her spiritual act together like all the "good Christians" she knows." ~ Tammie Head

Wow. I can't even begin to express what those words did to my heart. Especially in this new season of motherhood with a little one and a toddler and no time and a lot of mommy guilt and a lot of being frustrated with myself.

I can tell you that I have made it through the first week and It. Did. Not. Disappoint. At. All. In fact this study has been balm to my soul and water to my thirsty heart.

I will leave you with one of the most profound moments for me in the study so far. It happened from a few verses in Genesis that I have read a million times because every Christian knows the story of the Fall of mankind. Honestly, when I figured out she was leading us to that part in Genesis I kind of groaned inside. I mean, I know that story. Eve ate the apple. Bad Eve. Eve led Adam to the apple. Bad Adam. That choice caused sin to enter the world and it's been downhill since then. I get it.

Thankfully, I decided to go with Tammie and hear her out. She asked us specifically to read the verses again (Genesis 3:7-10, 21-24) but to concentrate on the heart of God. What? Not the sin of man? As I did that, focused on the heart of God, I got goosebumps. The story says that when God met the man and woman in the garden he gave them the consequences for their sin. He didn't turn his back from them. He didn't lash out at them. He didn't disown them or rub their faces in their sin. (All things I expect from God when I sin.) Then, he made clothes for them and sent them on their way. Do you see what I saw there that gave me goosebumps. He, the God of the Universe, made them clothes. He made them. He didn't speak them into being (well maybe He did, but the word is "made" and I am definitely not a Bible scholar but that makes me believe that he put his loving hands on their garments). So, Adam and Eve sinned and God lovingly made them clothes before they had to walk in their consequences.

I don't know about you, but that hit me so hard. Our God is loving. He loves me when I sin (even though that is so hard for me to comprehend) and if He would stop and create garments for the two people who committed the first sin in the world, why would he not do the same for me?


We don't have access to a pool around here and Easton is just too young for me to venture out to a public pool with both kids. So, we decided to pick up a cheap blow up pool for Lauren to enjoy this summer. It's been a pretty good ten dollar investment so far.

We've been thinking of getting Lauren in swim lessons this summer to help her feel more comfortable in the water. I was excited to find out that they offer parent and child lessons in the evenings so that Shawn and I can both go and one of us get in the water with Lauren and one of us stay on the side with Easton. I am going to try to get signed up for the next session today!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thumb Sucker

Yep, that's right. I have a thumb sucker on my hands. Lauren never found her thumb at this age so this is my first experience with it. Easton loves his thumb. And, as much as I cringe about having a thumb sucker, it is really so adorable. Plus, I am hoping it might help him self-soothe a little better than a pacifier since he will actually be able to find his thumb in the middle of the night. Here's to dreaming, right?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

The Lake, Baby!

If you know me very well at all then you know that most summer weekends I can be found with my family at the lake. We are a lake loving family. (I know there are some of you out there who aren't and I try not to hold it against you.) We eat it up. Seriously. Sometimes, we do eat the water...on accident of course.

When I say that it is a family affair, I mean it. My dad and mom have a permanent camper down there that our whole family pile into when we go. We sleep on air mattresses, fold out beds, whatever...just to be there. Then, my aunt and uncle have a camper set up just a few yards away. We meet each other on the water, play in coves, and tube until our arms are jello.

I wasn't exactly sure how this summer would go considering I. Just. Gave. Birth. and all, but I really wanted Lauren to have the experience of riding her Big Papa's (yes, that is the name she gave my dad, haha!) boat, tubing, and swimming in the lake. So, I bucked up my fears and pulled out Lauren's old life jacket that was the right size for Easton and we went. We went to the lake with a two month old! And, he was perfect. He didn't mind the life jacket (which we kept on him at all times and had hearts on it) and slept most of the time. We kept him under the big canopy of the boat so he never saw sun and the constant moving of the boat kept him nice and cool. I think we have another lake lover!!!

Lauren did fantastic. I was absolutely so proud of her. She has a really awesome life jacket that doesn't rub up against her neck. It is very comfortable for her and there were no complaints that she didn't want to wear it.

Mostly I was so proud of her because she rode the tube!!! My dad didn't go very fast at all but she thought she was something else. I really wanted her first tubing experience to not be scary at all. She loved it and rode the tube more than anyone else got to that day.

She loved swimming in the lake. It really hit me how grown up she is getting. (I know she is only almost 3, but that is way closer to Kindergarten than I even want to think about and Kindergarten just leads to her High School graduation and can we just not talk about it already?)

But should we talk about it...don't you think this would be the perfect picture to put in her yearbook?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Wedding

Saturday, June 4th, was a very exciting day for our family. My brother got married to the absolute sweetest girl ever. We have loved her for a while now so it was really special to get to officially call her a part of our family.

Zach and Victoria decided to get married on my parent's farm. It was absolutely gorgeous and everything turned out so perfectly.

I loved this picture display that Victoria created. Their parents and grandparents' wedding photographs were displayed and it was just too cute!

Lauren was the flower girl and she was just too precious for words. I love this picture of Victoria and Lauren before the wedding.

Easton and Zach before the wedding.

Lauren made it down the aisle even though I was worried her shyness might hinder her. She never smiled or threw any flowers, but she made it down and it was almost more sweet that way.

She didn't stand by the bridesmaids but instead went straight to her Nammy. :)

The ceremony was beautiful. There were even butterflies that fluttered around Zach and Victoria.

Their first dance...

Lauren danced the night was so cute.

Our faces were bright red because of the crazy heat, but this is the only picture I have of my mom and me together.

Mom and dad were so cute.

I thought this picture of Zach and mom (although a little blurry) was really sweet.

The wedding was beautiful and we are so happy to have Victoria as a part of our family. I honestly cannot imagine a better woman for my brother. I have no idea how he snagged her (ha) but I am so glad he did. She is such a perfect fit for him. I hope and pray that they have many many years of happiness together.

If I could give any advice to Zach it would be to love her. Love her more than you think you can. Show her you love her every day. When she least expects it. When she needs it the most. Love. Her.

Victoria, my advice for you would be to never stop having fun with Zach. Do crazy things together and always respect him as the head of your home.

I love you both and cannot wait to spend many fun memories together in the years to come!!!

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Our Day in Pictures

Today was a day. A. Day.

I almost lost my mind four million times. I might have shed a few tears. Thank goodness there is tomorrow.

I can't find my camera, so I decided to snap pics of our day on my phone. I want to remember these tough days just as much as I want to remember those days that are just as sweet as can be. The truth is, our day started out pretty good. I even got a sweet picture of my two loves...

And then I looked around our house and felt all panicky inside because well, it is a mess. And, I hate when my house is a mess. It makes me feel messy inside. I get all frazzled and irritated and just a smidge extremely overwhelmed.

Exhibit A: one small section of our living room

Exhibit B: Laundry, laundry, laundry....ugggg

After too much time inside we decided to brave the heat to get some fresh air. I needed it because my house was suffocating me. And, my (absolutely darling) children were driving me a little bonkers.

The sunshine helped my attitude a little, but it was SO hot that we had to get back inside before we melted into the concrete or this mama had a heat stroke.

Lauren went down for her nap and Easton fell asleep at the same time. I was ecstatic until he woke up screaming 19 minutes later. 19 minutes? Seriously, son? How in the world am I ever going to get the basics of keeping up a house done? I'm not talking deep cleaning, people...I'm talking just putting some dishes in the sink or creating a clear path from one room to the other. I love him so much, but today I had a bad attitude about his lack of sleeping. It doesn't help that he is still waking up every three hours at night so I am getting approximately NOT ENOUGH SLEEP these days.

He would go from this....

to this in no time flat

I had that same face several times today.

One REALLY super sweet thing today was that Lauren decided to draw a picture of her daddy...want to see it? I think it is absolutely FABULOUS! Honestly, I was SO proud that she did it all by herself I hung it on our fridge and just had to take a picture to remember her first drawing of a person! How sweet that it was of her daddy!!!

He looks good, doesn't he? Those legs are suhweet!

After Shawn got home and we made a trip to the grocery store I treated myself to one of my favorite things right now.... a frozen strawberry lemonade minus the strawberry syrup from McDonald's. I can't drink my beloved coke, so I've switched to this new jewel. I crave it so much. Yum!

It was late, but I didn't hit the spot!

Here's to tomorrow!!!

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Happy Two Months, Easton!!!

Dear Easton,

What in the world? How are you two months already? You are growing way too fast for this mama's liking. :) You are so much a part of my heart and I cannot imagine my life without you in it. You bring so much joy to our family.

In the last few weeks you have started smiling at us. We will do almost anything to get you to flash one of your famous smiles but you are pretty stingy with them. I guess that makes them all the more special when you decide to share one. You've also started cooing at us. I. Love. It. You have the sweetest little voice and you seem so happy when you "talk" to me.

You are a BIG boy! At two months you are wearing size 3-6 month clothing and are in size 2 diapers. You really aren't all that chubby, but you are really long and solid. :) I am not sure exactly how much you weigh but we will go next week for your 2 month check up and I am really excited to see how much you weigh then.

You have the sweetest disposition. Really the only time you get really upset is if you are hungry. You sure love to eat and I am so thankful to be able to nurse you.  Most of the time though you are just so sweet. You love to be held, but you also really love to lay on a blanket and watch the world around you. You especially love to watch your big sister. She fascinates you. :) You like the bouncy seat and the swing too!

You are still sleeping in a bassinet by the side of my bed. I love having you right next to me and I am a little sad thinking that one of these days I am going to have to move you to your bed in your room. For now, I am soaking up my baby cuddles in the middle of the night.

You are eating every three hours during the day and will sometimes give me longer periods at night. I really don't mind getting up to feed you in the middle of the night with you because I know that these days will go by all too quickly.

Easton, you are so precious to me. I thank God every single day that he chose me to be your mama. I love you to the moon and back fourteen million times...