Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Project Life: Wks 28-30

Okay, so I have to admit that around the 4th of July I got a little overwhelmed with Project Life. Mainly it was because I had SO many pictures I wanted to include and that meant a lot of editing and decisions to make. And me and decisions? Well, let's just say we aren't the greatest of friends.

Once I got through that MASSIVE week of pictures and inserts I felt a bit better but still needed to take some time away. But then the Dear Lizzy, 5th & Frolic kit came to Michaels and I got all excited again! :)

Week 28:

I used the new Dear Lizzy kit and I really like it. I can't believe I am going to say this, but it is almost a bit too muted for my liking. Don't get me wrong I am ALL about the florals and vintage elements, but some of the cards just seem too washed out. I still love it but I think the cards will have to go with certain themes or weeks.

I used two inserts in this week's layout.

Week 29 brought me back to my all time favorite kit: Honey. Oh my goodness the colors are JUST PERFECT for summer and it just makes me so uber happy! I ended up using two inserts this week as well. One shares some fun summer instagram pics while the next one is dedicated to our 9th wedding anniversary! Woot Woot baby!

I added in some stickers this week too...they are pretty tall though so I should have attached them to the outside of the page protector.

I LOVE including iphone screen shots in my layouts. It's something that just makes each week even more personal. This week I got to include the text I got from my friend Desiré that Caleb was going to get a heart!!!! (I just print these off at home on photo paper)

So, Lauren's birthday technically fell in week 29, but I had SO many pictures I decided to do a whole special insert for her!!! You can see how I did this for Easton's bday here) This week I got pretty crazy with my new Elle's Studio goodies. I seriously LOVE their embellishments. Too darn cute!

I printed off the birthday interview I did with Lauren and slipped it in an 8 x10 page protector from Becky Higgins. On the back, I included her bday invitation and guest list (only the little kids). You can also see a letter peeking out...that's Lauren's 5th birthday letter I wrote and shared on the blog. I just printed it out and put it in a regular page protector.

This insert includes what we did on her actual birthday (since her friend party was held the night before her real birthday) and I used a card from the childhood kit as well. 

***Edited to add: I caught the misuse of the word our in the top 2x3 card and have since re-written it! ;) The world is right again. :)***

There was some white space in this pic so I journaled a bit about how sweet Lauren was when she opened all her presents!

Week 30:

I went back to the Dear Lizzy kit because a lot of my pictures were more subdued and muted this week. I think it worked out really well in this case!

We had SUCH a busy week and I wanted to remember every detail so I used this calendar card from 5th & Frolic to record it all!

Okay so I know I have one more week to finish (the week we are in right now) but I went ahead and worked on my last page. I've busted the seams on this binder so I am going to have to face the fact that I'll be using more than one binder this year! It's all those inserts I tell you! :) Anyway, here is the last page of my project life volume one! (I got the idea for the stats cards here)

So - I still love it. And I am just beyond proud that I've kept up with it for 30 weeks (I'll finish week 31 this week!)

Linking up to The Mom Creative!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

On Your Fifth Birthday

Dear Lauren,

I've felt the words to this letter burn in my heart for over a week and yet I haven't been able to make myself sit and write them out. They are painful for this mama because I feel this fifth birthday like the growing pains of growing up. I look at you and feel the lump in my throat, the tightening in my chest, and the overwhelming feeling of wanting to hold on tighter to you as you want to express your independence from me. I am face to face with the reality that I am raising you, training you, and loving you to leave me. I want nothing more than for you to be a remarkable woman, but I want nothing more than for you to stay my baby. It's a delicate balance.

Oh I know you are only five. Many will say I am being over-emotional. Maybe I am. But, for some reason, this birthday feels like a huge milestone in our lives. Five! A whole hand! You are no longer the infant who never slept, (I'm just now forgiving you for that, wink) the toddler who taught us true joy, or even the pre-schooler who welcomed a baby brother into her life with open and oh so tender arms. You are a little lady. A beauty, inside and out.

You made me a mama. You came into my life like a tornado, re-arranging all my ideas and plans and opening my heart in ways I never thought were possible. Those first months were hard. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I will look back on those days forever with a bittersweet feeling. You never slept at night but you sure loved to sleep curled up on my chest on the couch or next to me in the early morning hours on my bed. It was just the two of us navigating this new world we found ourselves in. I think we did a pretty good job for the newbies we were. And somehow we survived and grew and thrived in our new roles.

You welcomed your baby brother into your life with no hesitation, no reservation, only love. I was so scared that bringing him home would hurt you or my relationship with you. Little did I know it was the absolute best thing we could have ever done. I've heard it said that a sibling is the best gift a parent can give a child and I believe it. I've watched the two of you from the very first moment you laid eyes on him until now and you guys have a special bond. It's one I will never understand as an insider but will always watch and thank God for as a bystander. Easton adores you, Lauren. He pretty much assumes you hung the moon and whatever his sissy is doing is what he wants to be doing. Thank you for loving him so wholly. Thank you for believing the best in him and sticking up for him and making him feel so special. You've got a built in best friend for life in him.

One of my favorite things about you is your love for other people. You truly have such a tender heart. I love seeing you with other kids, especially little babies. You'll stop what you are doing to make them smile or laugh. When we are out shopping you see things and think of friends of yours and how much they would like that particular item. I pray fervently that God uses your heart for others mightily for His kingdom.

You love to learn! Almost every day you ask what we are, "gonna learn 'bout today." You are much better about keeping me accountable in your learning than I am. Most of the time it is totally initiated by you. Although you love doing school at home you aren't sure at all about real Kindergarten. Thankfully (for you and for mama) we aren't sending you to the big school this year. That gives us a whole year to work on getting you ready for that huge step! You are so smart. I really am not too biased on this one. ;) You have an amazing memory. You remember things that your daddy and I have to search our memory banks for! We can be driving, see something on tv, or you can even just hear something in a conversation and remember the most amazing things!

You are WAY into princesses and dressing up and being long as it is play clothes. Your favorite princess is Aurora even though you've never even seen Sleeping Beauty. We think you like her best because of her pink dress. :) You hate having your hair done and have refused to wear bows for at least two years now. I can still sneak in a cute hair accessory in the way of headbands as of now. Most days you want to wear comfy clothes or your pajamas and only want to get ready if we are going somewhere. You truly have your own perception of style! :)

You are the most darling little girl and I am so proud of you. It's an honor to be your mama. It is my greatest joy. I'm thankful (and oftentimes scared and overwhelmed) that God entrusted me with raising you. I will love you forever and no matter what.

I love you to the moon and back fourteen million times.


PS: For fun here is your 5 year birthday interview....

Monday, July 15, 2013

When You Lose Your Passion

While the last few months have been worlds better than those that came after the birth of my son, I still find myself feeling discouraged and tired on this mommy journey I'm on. I still struggle with patience and giving my children all of me. Sometimes I'd just like to hide under the dining room table and escape into anything other than the constant and h-a-r-d job of parenthood.

Anyone else?

Sometimes getting one more snack or changing one more diaper (yes...we're back in diapers) feels like more than I can handle. I'm a selfish person. I don't like it about myself, but I can't deny it is true. I like my "me time". I like my quiet. I like things the way I like things. And you know what? Children do not go along with my selfish desires. They need things. They need me. There are days when that feels like almost too much.

When I look at the last few months I feel as though I've lost my passion. My passion for training them, my passion for teaching them, my passion for playing with feels gone. I'm tired and there are never ending dishes and laundry and my floors will seriously never stay clean. And so the TV goes on again and I mop the kitchen floor.

I've believed the lie for too long that as soon as I get the house cleaned I'll feel better and be able to give my children my everything. It's a lie. The house will never be clean. There. Will. Always. Be. Something. Else. And all I'm missing are days with my babies. All I'm missing is their childhood. 

So what's a tired mama to do? I mean I can't just leave the house to itself. Oh my would that be a disaster. But, I can't only worry about cleaning and check out on parenting. Being a parent is my highest calling. It's what God has me here in this very time for. And my goodness, my babies are precious and worth it.

I don't have a five step program to get out of this rut. But, I do have a God who loves me. One of my favorite verses EVER is Isaiah 40:11. Listen to this:

He tends to me. He gathers me close to his heart. He gently leads me! He sees me and he knows this work of motherhood is no small thing. He knows I'm struggling. He knows he is the only one who can bring me back to life in my mothering. So, I'm praying to him and trusting that he can change my heart. That he can restore my passion. 

I'm praying James 1:5-6 over my passion-less season right now....knowing that God will give me wisdom and restore my passion, but only if I ask and am ready to receive!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Free Thank You Notes!!!

I was so excited when Shawn forwarded me the 12 Free Thank You Notes promo from Shutterfly! I immediately knew exactly what I wanted to use them for.

Lauren's big 5th birthday is coming up and it's her first real friends party. She is getting so big and loves writing notes to people so I thought it would be perfect to use the thank you cards for her to send to those who get her gifts!!!!

Saying thank you is very important to me and I want my kids to grow up with thankful hearts. I feel like starting them young is a great way to imbed in them this character trait!

Okay...SPOILER ALERT for anyone reading this who might happen to get one of these darling photo cards in the mail. :) Isn't she the most beautiful thing ever!? I'm biased I know. 

3x5 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Hop over to Shutterfly to grab your own set of cards! You will have to pay shipping, but mine was about $4. :)

Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Project Life: Week 26

Last week was a bit hectic and crazy, but I wouldn't have traded a single day for anything else. I got my pages done last night for the week and it's quite picture heavy, but that's what I love about Project Life. It doesn't have to be fancy and embellished to the's just a place to share our lives. And, honestly, I love it so much more than any of the "real" scrapbooks I've done.

So, without further adieu, Week 26:

Here is what the spread looks like when you open to week 26. The first page is really all about my trip to St. Louis to visit with Desiré and Caleb. Please be in prayer for this sweet family. Caleb has come down with pneumonia while waiting on his new heart and needs to heal completely so they can move forward with transplant. Go HERE to read more of his story.

Here is the week layout without any inserts. The back page is all about the swimming we did this week.  We have the best neighbors and they let us use their pool while they were away. The kids and I enjoyed two wonderful, lazy, sun-filled days splashing and playing!

Since we spent three days at the lake and I took a TON of pictures, I decided to use the smaller inserts to share about our time there.

I LOVE the instagram page protectors that include the 2x3 card for journaling!!!!











Yes, that's a ton of inserts. :) But I had a ton of pictures that I wanted to include. {Side note: how precious is the bottom picture of my mom and dad? Love them!!!!}

Project Life is amazing. I HIGHLY recommend it if you are looking for a way to scrapbook without losing your mind! :)

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