Friday, October 20, 2017

Being a Mom to Littles

It hit me last night, like a ton of bricks.  As I lay in bed, thinking about the day's activities and such, my mind began to wander.  I started to brainstorm ideas for my Christmas gifts; ones that would be fun to play with the kids like a silly board game.  I thought how Bradley is getting old enough to listen and possibly take direction.  I weighed the logistics of how often we'd play the game during the week, since Brooke is in school 3 days a week---and my mind went there.

It went to September 2018, where our little girl will be getting on a school bus and riding off to Kindergarten.  It seemed so far off up until this moment in my mind and I burst into tears.

Babies don't keep, this I know.

My littlest just transitioned from his crib to a toddler bed.  {Joe removed the big rail and replaced it with the small.} In an instant, it feels like my days of being a mom to littles is nearing an end.

I know I still have two full years of Bradley in preschool and the rest of this year, but wow---what a shot to the heart!  In the trenches, I always say, sometimes it is super hard.  The days where Joe works long hours and I felt like I never talked to anyone other than baby babble?  Gone.

I have two blonde cuties who can both talk my ears right off any given day!

I have an almost 5 year old who dresses herself.

Brushes her teeth.

Helps with chores.

Buckles herself up in the car.

Helps herself to water if she's thirsty.

But as I much as I get choked up at thinking of how all the "babyness" is gone from my house, my heart lights up as I began talking about Christmas cookies and all the cut-outs we wanted to make.  And in those moments I saw her eyes light up so big, and I realize that this too is a gift, this time of innocence, curiosity and wonder.

I suppose this is all normal, just the typical feeling mommas get as their babies grow into toddlers, into preschoolers, and into kids.

I'm savoring each sweet step and just wishing I could bottle the feelings and emotions right up!  In a sense however, I feel as if I already do.

This time of year I reflect on when I was pregnant, preparing for my January babies.  All it takes is a scent, or a sight and I am taken right back to when it was all so new and strange.

That's the thing about memories, they can creep right up when you least expect them.  They can bring tears of joy or a twinge of sadness.

Did I spend enough time loving on them? Teaching them? Holding them? Kissing their little heads? Letting them "help" me, even when I know it will be a bigger mess?

I vow to myself to soak up every last moment of these days with Brooke until we set her free in the land of full day school.  I know she'll thrive and flourish.  She's so eager to learn, to play, to become more.

But for now, I'll let her play and cuddle and be that little skunk or cat that she wishes to be.

Motherhood is such a beautifully strange journey and sometimes there are no words to truly describe how I feel.  I just know that I love these two little souls that the love of my life and I created, more than anything in the world.  Although it is not easy at times, it certainly deserves my time and attention.

They won't be little for long, and I already miss it.  I know that I will miss this stage too.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

Happy 6 Years Little Blog

Six years ago today, I sat at our kitchen table and decided to give this thing a try.  I had decided to stay home as a new wife, and not return to school as a teacher that year, but to stay home and be a housewife. We were incredibly happy with that decision and although some people couldn't understand why, Joe and I did what was best for us.  Looking back I 'busied' myself, but really it was a nice little reprieve from the daily grind and the hard work that was to come.

By 2012, we found out I was pregnant and this sweet little blog became my online pregnancy journal.  I shared my monthly/weekly updates and all news baby.

In 2013, we welcomed our beautiful baby girl into this world.  In typical fashion, my blog turned into a mommy blog where I shared her monthly stats, what I enjoyed doing with her as a now stay at home mom, and life.

Enter 2014 and I now became pregnant with our second, and learned how to manage a home, take care of a one year old and still be a happy wife.

2015 brought us our amazing son and now I had two kids, two and under! I often say I miss that baby phase, only because it goes by so incredibly fast and usually mom, you're in a fog.  Sleep deprived and heart full, you run on what little sleep you get and before you know, your youngest is one.

The year 2016 my family almost lost my sister, but she was saved.  Our oldest daughter started preschool and Joe and I were able to get back to Vegas one more time.

Now?  Here we are in 2017.  I haven't had nearly enough time to share my thoughts, stories, photos, etc. here on the blog, but I do what I can.  I also feel a shift in me, my writing and where I'd like to go.  What started out as a fun little hobby, turned into so much more.  I connected and bonded with likeminded ladies when I first made my blog.  It was mostly women who were happily married to their husbands.

Some of my closest women friends were made from blogging.  Women that I would have never ever knew existed unless I chose to put myself out there and create this silly little thing.  For that, I am eternally grateful.

It's kind of funny to think back to where I was 6 years ago---old blog posts are a little more than old time hops. To see what I felt, what I said, how I was spending my's eye opening! I suppose the best part is to see how much I've grown.  I have so much further that I want to go, but the Jenn from 2011 and the Jenn now in 2017 are quite different.  Isn't that the point though?  We have so much to learn and soak up in this great big world, I can't wait to see where the next 6 years take me.

So thank you, readers.  Maybe you've read every blog since I started back in 2011, or perhaps you just stumbled onto my post today.

Stay with me, as I have big plans.  They'll be different, but different is good.

Happy Birthday Bliss to Bean.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

The Six List

I mentioned last week I really was enjoying Sarah Mae's book Having a Martha Home the Mary Way.  Her quick tips, easy ideas and breath of fresh air are just what my soul needed.  I had a few takeaways from her book and one really has stuck with me (almost) daily.

She shared this $25,000 piece of advice of creating your own Six List every day.  She suggests that you write them down the night before, in order of which you will do them.  {I'll be honest, the night before and in order part are still a work in progress for steps!} 

Basically Charles Schwab was approached by a public relations expert Ivy Lee back in 1920.  Lee suggested if he met with Schwab's executives they'd be more productive, therefore making Schwab's business more profitable. 

It worked and Charles ended up paying Ivy $25,000 for his work.  

Why do I think it works?

Well, if you're anything like me, your to do list(s) are pages and pages. You never fully accomplish it all every single day and then you feel like a flop.

If you just focus on 6 (SIX) non-negotiable things you have got to get done for the day to feel as though you did all that you could, you'll have a great day and be productive.

It's kind of fun too...

Yes, I'm a dork.

My sample list for today:

1.  Workout at the Y
2.  Play/read with kids.
3.  Fold & put away all of the laundry (while watching This is Us)
4.  Read.
5.  Pay bills.
6.  Meal prep for the rest of the week.

Simply cross off each number as you complete the task.

What happens when you don't get to the last one or two?  

Just roll them over to the next day and start with those.  

It's that easy!

What will be on your six list today?

Monday, September 25, 2017

Advocare Cleanse Day 1, Fitness & Faith

Hey Monday!

Today I am finishing up my 10th day of antibiotics and starting my 10 day cleanse.  I haaaaate antibiotics and am so grateful for them healing me, but now get that bad bacteria out of my gut. Puhlease!  I should probably wait until tomorrow to start, but timing wise, this is what needs to happen, mmm k?

It's been a hot minute (90 days) since my last cleanse and I found myself picking off the kids plates just a wee too much.  You know what I'm talking about mama, I know you do.  "Just one bite," turns into "just one cookie" or "'I'll eat clean tomorrow" or "Well, I ate like crap all weekend so what's the point of it starting to eat clean now?"

Well the point is that you will feel a million times better and will thank yourself if you stick to and get back into a healthy regime.  If I use the word "diet" I refer to what I am eating.  I am never ON a diet, I will never be on a diet. I like to think of the 80/20 rule because back when my girl Nikki told me about that, my world was changed forever.

I always struggled with eating healthy or staying fit.  I usually carried an extra 10-15 pounds and would not have considered myself fat, but I was never really comfortable.  Unless I starved myself from carbs and worked out like a maniac, it was a challenge.

Enter in Advocare

Finding my groove back in 2013 was crucial.  After having Brooke and having A LOT of extra weight to lose, I was seriously ready for something.

I had no idea how much Advocare would teach me, the friends I'd gain along with the confidence that it brought me.

I am still a MUCH better person today thanks to Nikki for reaching out a hand, and Danielle showing her the way.

While I may not be building a business with it, I certainly fuel my body a lot better because of it.  (And still enjoy my 40% discount FOR LIFE)

At 36 I want to be in fantastic shape to run and keep up with my kiddos.

I want to feel the best in my own skin and treat my body well.

I want to be as hot and sexy as I can for my main man!!

It's true.

So you just gotta find what works for you.

Today I did legs and it felt oh so good.

I started with the probiotics, followed by the peach fiber (YUM) and then I was kind of mad at myself for, A.) Not eating enough breakfast and B.) Not taking a photo!

I had 2 eggs w/ spinach and one pc of dry wheat toast.  I needed more...

Meal 2 was one small chicken breast, a veggie & some brown rice at 10:45 haha.

Then I had to go stage one of our homes & knew I needed some energy to do it...

After my leg workout I hit up the vegan chocolate shake.

I'm not sure if I'll do chicken or fish tonight, but I made sure hubby grilled up chicken and venison yesterday so I will NOT be short in the protein department.

I'm starting to look into the whole Macros thing..still super confusing and do I really need a food scale?!

I also have a new girl crush...I don't watch TV really, but I tend to get sucked into You Tube and following people that I admire.  When I was pregnant, my feed was flooded with other prego mamas. Now I feel like I need to be surrounded by healthy, fit and inspiring ladies! She is hysterical and real.  I love her easy recipes and her dog is adorable too!

I must say that although getting sick kind of made me down in the dumps, now that I'm doing much better, I feel so much more focused and energized than before.

I attribute it to really starting to walk further along in my faith.  With some very knowledgable and intelligent ladies in my life, I feel as though I am starting to reach a place of such peace and serenity.

True alignment with oneself happens when you can pull apart all of the layers of and see the very core, meaning of life.  I will continue to work super hard at this level because I have never felt so good mind, body and soul.  Am I perfect? No.  Am I exactly where I want to be? Yes and No.  But I know I am on my way to getting there.  Slow and steady.

Enjoy your day friends!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Fashion Friday

Happy First day of Fall!!

Fall didn't get the memo up here in New York though.  Looking at the forecast, temperatures will be in the 80s and hitting even 90 next week. What?!

It did cool down a bit in August, so I was able to try out some new "Fall" items, but I have since been living in shorts and tees again.

Most of all of my tops are from Apricot Lane Boutique.  I find the small fits me perfectly!

I love this color combo-- a soft olive green and mauve.  I thought the Rebel pendant was perfection.

Scarves are the perfect accessory for this whacky weather.  It's chilly in the morning and then as it gets hot, most places have AC running so I find that having a scarf is pretty darn helpful!  This dress was a Fabletics purchase.

Joe calls this my lumberjack shirt.  I love it! It's super soft and kept me warm when it dipped a bit cooler.  The browns and mustard yellow are always a favorite this time of year. I paired it with my Covet Sunday Bag.

I wore white after labor day and paired it with a taupe/blush colored top. I loved how feminine it was! I still adore these Nila Chandelier earrings.

Simple date night was a black swing dress from Old Navy & jewels.  I am obsessed with S&D's new Druzy collection.

I am adoring the velvet trend, but I say to tread lightly.  Don't over do it!  I love it on a kimono or a tee.  Here I layered it with a white tank from Banana Republic.

I think all of these colors are so chic right now.  Dark olives, grey, black, blue jean and a pop of animal print and you can't go wrong.

My friend Ann sent me this and I about died.  I'm only 80%, how about you?

Have fabulous Friday!