April 12, 2013

Scrubba Scrubba Scrubba

We are finally to the point that MB and Manny can peacefully take a bath together. Or as Manny calls it, Scrubba Scrubba Scrubba time! (which he picked up from a Pajanimals book.) It is so cute to watch them play and it's basically like a little party.

I think they are the cutest things ever, of course, so had to share just a fraction of the million pictures I took the other night.

MB just squeals and sings the whole time. And how cute are her little neck rolls? I can't handle it.

I love these pictures so, SO much. These kids truly are something else.

And as with all good parties, they must eventually come to an end. Like when Manny decides to start pouring buckets of water on MB's head so I have to take the cup from him. Sad day.

Happy weekend, friends! :)

April 11, 2013

Thursday Randoms

--Have you seen the party section at Target lately? They are seriously killing it. SO much cute stuff. I saw this banner the other day and decided to pick it up. Just thought it'd be a good cute banner (don't be fooled by the horrible picture - it really is cute) to have on hand for only $4. I want to start the tradition of having a banner to hang up on the actual day of the kid's birthday, and thought this would be perfect since it's felt letters and will easily fold up.
Syndicated on BlogHer.com

--I was so surprised to receive an email from BlogHer last week saying they would like to syndicate my post on character clothing. Syndicate? It just sounds so...fancy! But I was honored. I'll be honest. I was a little nervous to write that post because I know people can be easily offended when it comes to kid's clothing. So thanks to everyone for being nice, even if you didn't agree with what I said. :) In case you missed it, you can check it out here.

--Maeva has this habit of wanting to pull her sleeve down over her hand. It's kind of a comfort thing, and it's always her right sleeve. It's so cute to watch when she has short sleeves on and she'll start pulling at her wrist for a sleeve out of habit. Anyway, I found her like this after her nap the other day. She must've been working it!

--I posted this picture the other day and have had some questions about my headband. It's from Brady Bands, which I heard about from Skinny Meg. I've bought several and love them. They are so reasonably priced, and shipping is fast and cheap. They are not too tight but also don't slip. I'm picky about headbands because they easily give me headaches. These are just right after I wear them once or twice though.  

--I've decided to make the switch to the Disqus commenting platform. I've tried before and chickened out, but I'm going to try to give it a legitimate chance this time. My main reason for switching is that sometimes I get questions on posts that I typically answer by email. Well then the answer isn't posted on the page for others to see, so I get repeat questions a lot. The other day someone commented on an old post, telling me how rude it was that I didn't take the time to answer the previous commenter and that they had the same question so it would have been nice of me to answer it. Well I had already emailed the previous commenter (the post was about 2 years old) but of course she wouldn't know that. And since I'm not good at keeping up with replying anyway, I'm hoping this will help. My understanding is my response will still be emailed to you - but it will also post in the comment section. I'm not certain if you have to have a Disqus profile, but I think it would be helpful? Still figuring it all out. So let's hope this works how I think it does, and that it will help me be more efficient in answering any questions I might get.

Happy Thursday, friends! :) 

April 10, 2013

Making time for Me


Today I'm joining in the Build 'Em Up linkup hosted by a group of sweet bloggers. (Don't you love their pretty logo, by the way? ;) This was different than anything I'd done before but I really enjoyed designing it!) This series is basically all about encouraging one another, which I know we can all use from time to time! The topic this week is Remembering You – taking care of yourself and keeping your identity. Originally I wasn't going to join in, because well...this isn't something I'm very good at. At all. But the fact of the matter is, I am trying to change that. I am finally starting to see how it's hurting me by not taking time to remember myself. So I look at this as a little bit of an accountability post as well, to start actively trying to make changes that will leave me feeling a little less frazzled and a little more refreshed.

Captain Obvious here with some earth-shattering news for you: motherhood changes things. I always put my kids and husband first, without even thinking about it. It's just a given, really. I absolutely love being a mother and wife, but I've come to realize I run myself dry if I am constantly about them. I think the hardest thing about making time for me is the guilt that comes with it. Because the reality is, my "stuff" is never completely done. There's always something else I could be doing, or doing better. Add to that the fact that I also have a tendency to over commit myself, and life was seriously becoming a never-ending whirlwind.

So in no particular order, here are some things that come to mind in regards to making an effort to take time for me.

Boundaries --- The biggest slap in the face came about a month ago at church. The pastor was talking about priorities, and being "yes people". He said something that has resonated with me on almost a daily basis since. When we say "yes" to everybody, even when it comes from a good place, it leaves little or no room for some of the most important things. It spoke to me because I like to say yes to people to help them out, but in turn, I was hurting myself, and more importantly, my relationship with God. By saying "yes" to so many, I was saying "no" to more time with Him. Since that revelation, I've tried to make a more conscious effort to say no to things when it's necessary, and realize it is imperative I set boundaries. It might sound simple, but I can really tell a difference in my general state of stress-level, and also just the fact that I have more time for me and the things that truly matter the most.

Exercise --- I've finally started working out again. I had started when MB was a couple months old, but it hurt my milk supply and nothing seemed to help, so I felt selfish and stopped. Then about a month ago my neighbor asked me to start going to Crossfit with her, so I decided to give it a try. And I absolutely love it. They are short workouts and even though it's a challenge to get there sometimes, I feel SO much better when I do. I still have quite a bit of baby weight to lose, and that will be an added bonus if that comes off. Working out was something I loved doing before having kids, but like so many other things, it fell to the wayside. Now that I've picked it back up on a semi-regular basis, I remember why this is something I need to be doing. It is such a huge stress reliever for me and I actually look forward to this time (most days - let's be honest).

Me Time --- I love my kiddos and my husband, but sometimes I just need a break. Patrick is really good about recognizing when I'm about to fizzle out, and he is very supportive at trying to get me out of the house by myself. Sometimes I go shopping, just roam around Target, or of course - go get a massage at my favorite mall kiosk. Part of the reason Patrick might be so quick to shoo me out the door is this motto that my dad engrained in his head ;)
 

The main thing I've come to realize is this: I do a better job at taking care of everything else when I actually take the time to take care of myself. The load doesn't feel as heavy, and I've learned all those things I felt guilty about putting off? They really can wait. There can be a balance, and I'm determined to find it, no matter how many trips to the massage kiosk it takes. ;)

April 9, 2013

The Proof is in the Pin: Volume 8

Somehow doing this every month has made the month's go by even faster it seems? Anyway. Here's what I've been up to via Pinterest this month.

Pin #1 - DIY Confetti Vase: I pinned this shortly after deciding the kids' birthday party was going to be confetti themed. I did mine a little different than her tutorial and just used glitter glue pens to dot the pattern on. I'm kind of underwhlemed with them, but it could just be because they don't have as much visual impact as I'd imagined. I might need to make the confetti a bit more dense. Or maybe I need to use them to display something else at the party. The party which I've done nothing for but make a couple of utensil vases. Love my priorities (or rather lack thereof.) You can see the tutorial on how to make these here.

Pin #2 - DIY Sequin Pillow: I thought this pin was such a fun and easy way to personalize a pillow. Plus I'm obsessed with all things gold and sequin/glitter these days. In hindsight, this probably wasn't the best project for a now mobile baby's nursery. She will try to tear those things off just as soon as she gets her little paws on the pillow I'm sure. So it's now safely tucked away on the top shelf in her closet. Sometimes I don't know what I'm thinking. Or maybe I'm just not thinking. However, I would like to pat myself on the back for realizing it's not exactly kid proof before she choked on a sequin. This project probably would've been better for our bed. It'd be the perfect addition to the 27 throw pillows we have that are piled on the floor since I never take the time to put them on the bed. The full tutorial by For Chic Sake can be seen here.

Pin #3 - Healthy Banana Oatmeal Cookies: I found this recipe a couple months ago from @adventuresofmamarazzi on Instagram. I thought I'd pinned it but I think it's one of those times Pinterest failed me because it never actually pinned. So I pinned it again so I always have it easily accessible because it is a definite favorite around here. Manny even begs for these! Don't get me wrong - this will not replace a good ol' fashioned chocolate chip cookie. But it will (at least in my case) satisfy your sweet tooth while keeping things on the healthy side. Go here for the recipe.

Pin #4 - Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing: I've seen this pinned more times than I can count. Ever the ranch snob, I always just scrolled on by when it would show up in my feed. But lately I've been trying to pay more attention to what exactly it is I'm eating, and in particular sauces/dressings/etc. SO many calories it's crazy. So I decided to give this a go. It is not identical as the Pinterest caption claims, but I do think it's a really good alternative. It has a little more tang to it than regular ranch, but I like it and will definitely keep this on hand now. The recipe can be found here.

That's all for today! If you've done anything lately you discovered via Pinterest, feel free to blog about it (whether it turned out good or bad!) and link up below. Happy Tuesday! :)

April 8, 2013

A Weekend to Remember

We were fortunate to have a simple weekend at home. No major obligations or places to be, and it was so nice. We didn't do a lot, yet we did...which I realize makes no sense. Bear with me. I'm working with a bit of a head cold that is making me crazy today. 
The weather on Friday was beautiful, so we decided to head to Bricktown. Manny had been asking to see the horses, so we thought we'd walk around and possibly take a carriage ride. You never know with him. Sometimes he's all talk and freaks out when he actually gets close to them. But Friday he had his game face on! We went straight to the area where they start the carriage rides and he insisted it was time to go for a spin. He was SO excited. The whole time he asked over and over, "What's the horse's name?" And we repeatedly said, "Bill" no less than 100 times. Wish I was exaggerating. I'm not. Despite how it may appear, Maeva-girl loved the ride too. She just looked around and babbled the whole time.

When we finished the ride, Manny kept saying he wanted to touch Bill's face, so the nice driver took him over to pet Bill. Manny was a little shy (I love how he's giving the driver the side-eye here) but he talked about it alllll night after that. After the ride, we had dinner then headed home. And of course, the whole way home Manny asked, "Where Bill go? I need Bill's face." His love for animals is definitely at an all time high these days.

On Saturday, Manny and I went on a little "day date". I asked him where he wanted to go and he said Hobby Lobby, Target, and Dollar Tree. It's so rewarding to see the fruits of my investment in his life. We had so much fun running around together. He thought he was such a big shot. Normally at Target he rides in the cart. Since it was just us and we were mostly just browsing, I let him walk. And he was on cloud nine, just strolling along looking at things, and singing Jingle Bells loud and proud. He was oblivious to all the people looking and smiling at him, and he just really was enjoying the moment. And I was too. He is such a fun, unique, little guy and it was a treat to get some alone time with him. When we were checking out, the lady in front of us in line kept turning around and smiling at him. At one point she told Manny he had a pretty singing voice (he was still singing Jingle Bells, with an occasional remix of Old Macdonald). She had her son with her - I would guess him to be about 14. She looked at me and said, "He'll be there before you know it," while nodding in the direction of her son. "I remember when my son would only wear rain boots too. I hated it and now I long for those days." And right there in the Target line, I started tearing up. Manny is a handful right now, but I also just adore this age. This time together was good for us and I'm so thankful for my silly little rain boot wearing, jingle bell singing buddy.

On Saturday night, Patrick and I went on a date to celebrate our 7th anniversary, which is actually today! We had dinner at Deep Fork, which was SO good. We had planned on going to a movie later and had some time to burn in between, so Patrick suggested I get a massage at my favorite little kiosk in the mall. I know, I'm ridiculous! But my back was so sore as I'd overdone it the day before lifting weights. So I jumped at the suggestion, and we headed to the mall. Romantic date night, huh? :) After that we saw Olympus Has Fallen, which was good but stressful. And I think it reminded Patrick why I'm not a good movie going companion. (I have a tendency to ask questions.) But it was a nice date night and so fun to just have a laid back night with no time constraints.

And then yesterday morning I woke up feeling crummy. (That word makes me laugh. I don't use it enough but when I do I think of you mom!) Manny and I seem to have some kind of sinus stuff, and I'm afraid his has turned to an ear infection. Needless to say, Patrick offered to go grocery shopping for me. I had basil on the list, and he came home with this basil plant and was SO proud of himself. He just kept going on about how cost effective it will be, and the whole time all I could think is...we've been married 7 years and you still don't know I can't keep a plant alive longer than a week?? BUT you better believe I showered him with praise and thanks on a job well done. He's so cute. :)

Happy Monday, friends!

April 5, 2013

Friday Fragments

I ordered some little barrettes/clips for Maeva from this place called Strawberry Hill. Her bangs have gotten SO long and these are perfect to keep them out of her face. I'm just not ready to think about a haircut yet! Anyway, the clips are the cutest thing ever on her and I adore this picture so much. My little peanut. :)
 
I'm finally starting to plan Manny and Maeva's birthday party. Because their birthdays are 5 days apart, and to make things easier for family coming out of town, we'll be having a joint party. Deciding on a theme has been a bit of a process, but I think I've finally settled on something. I found these napkins at Target and they kind of kicked me into gear for inspiration, so hopefully I'll have the chance to work on the invitation soon as I'm running out of time! Pretty sad that at this point prior to Manny's 1st birthday, I'd already mailed the invitations out. Such is the life of a 2nd child. :)
Our weather has been such a tease lately. So nice one day, and freezing the next. It was beautiful the other day, so I told Manny we'd go on a "wagon walk", which is his favorite. This was the first time MB got to ride along too, and she absolutely loved it. She just squealed and looked around the whole time. Unfortunately the temperature literally dropped 10 degrees within the time we were walking, so we had to cut it short. Manny has been asking to go on a "Bebe Sawyer Wagon Walk" ever since, which of course means her riding along in the wagon too. :) It's been raining all week but hopefully this weekend will be nice and we can take another stroll.
 
I decided to try Kenra Blow-Dry Spray at the recommendation of Big Mama, and I swear it has changed my life. Actually I believe she recommended the serum, but I mistakenly bought the spray. But I've been really, really pleased with it! Anything that claims to "dramatically decrease blow-dry time" is definitely something I need in my life seeing whereas it takes me about 4.5 days to dry my hair. But of course I can't leave well enough alone, and have ordered the Blow-Dry Serum too since it specifically says it's for thick and hard-to-manage hair (that would be me!) AND?! it claims IT REDUCES BLOW DRY TIME UP TO 50%. Yes I'm shouting. Do you know what this could mean for me?! I mean the spray definitely helps, but I can't wait to see what the serum does. I have visions of applying it to my hair and it instantly becoming dry. Too much? Obviously I'm far too excited about this. And hopeful. Throw lame in there too and that pretty much covers it all.


I'll be sharing my latest Pinterest projects on Tuesday for the Proof is in the Pin. If anyone has completed anything from Pinterest and wants to share about it, I'2012/09/the-proof-is-in-pin-pinterest-linkup.html" target="_blank">here.

Happy weekend, friends! :)

April 4, 2013

Love & Marriage: In the Beginning

A group of bloggers is hosting a series this month on Love & Marriage. Patrick and I will be celebrating our 7th anniversary next week, so I thought it'd be fun to join in when I can on some of these topics. This week is just about how "we" began. I've talked about it once or twice I think, so this might be old news to some of you. But if you haven't heard and you're curious, here we go!

Patrick's dad is actually from northeastern Oklahoma, which is where I grew up. Though Patrick never lived there, they still had family in the area and would come in to visit when they were kids. So technically, we "knew" each other as kids because our families went to church together, but since he was 1.) a boy, and 2.) almost 5 years older than me, we weren't so much hanging out when we were 5 and 10 years old. :)
 
Fast forward to May 2005. Patrick was living in Chicago at the time and just finishing medical school, and I was living in Tulsa working a job in airline marketing where I traveled quite a bit. Well Patrick had been in to visit his Aunt Treva, who went to church with my parents, and shortly after that, his aunt and my mom decided we'd be a perfect match and started scheming to set us up. Since I traveled often with my job, I wasn't in when he was, so we ended up not being able to meet right away...but then finally we did on June 5th, 2005. And as they say, it was love at first sight. :) 
 
Actually truth be told, he almost didn't ask me on a 2nd date because he thought I wasn't interested. Our first official date ended up being really late at night. He was coming in from out of town and didn't make it in til almost 10 pm. Well I figured we wouldn't eat at that point, so I'd already had dinner. Turns out he hadn't eaten yet so was starving, and wanted to eat anyway. I felt awkward sitting at the table just watching him eat, so I picked up a newspaper to look at. He claims I sat and read it the whole time, which is NOT true. I read little bits and pieces and would make conversation about those things. Yes, probably while looking at the paper...but I felt so weird just staring at him eating! Definitely an awkward situation, that we both interpreted and remember differently. But luckily he took a chance and asked me out again. :) However, he STILL talks about the newspaper reading to.this.day. It was somehow even brought up tonight. Every chance he gets basically. 
When we started dating, he was in the process of moving to Waco to start residency. I still lived in Tulsa, and about 2 weeks after we had been dating, I was offered an excellent marketing job with North.west Airlines in Minneapolis. I was torn because it was a great opportunity career-wise, but at this point I already knew Patrick was the guy I would marry...I just didn't know if he knew it yet. :) So do I take the job that would move me even further north from him, or stay put and see what happened with us? It was a hard decision, but our connection was so instant that I knew I wouldn't regret turning down the job to give us a chance. 
 
And I am sooo very glad I did. Because only 3 months later, we were engaged. Our engagement came as a bit of a surprise to me...he really blew me away! Patrick was living in Waco (I was still living in Tulsa) and things were pretty crazy. Since we had a long distance relationship, we often sent each other care packages, and I always joked that the FedEx man was quickly becoming my new favorite guy. A couple days prior to our engagement, he had told me he sent me a package so to be watching for the FedEx guy. Patrick was on his ER rotation, which meant he was working some long shifts. We talked on the phone one Friday morning, and he had told me he was getting ready to go in for his shift, so that he'd just talk to me the next day. Fast forward to that Friday night, where I was hanging out with my roommate eating Taco Bueno and watching Friends reruns. It was probably around 10 pm, and her phone rings and she takes off to her bedroom to take the call. In hindsight, I should've known then that something was up. She never came back out, and a few minutes later there's a knock at our door. I contemplated not answering since I was in my pj's and probably had hot sauce smeared all over me from the crunchy potato burrito I'd just inhaled, but I decided to answer anyway. Imagine my surprise when I found Patrick standing (actually kneeling) at the door when I opened it!! He had flowers, and the nurses he worked with had made him an official looking FedEx name badge that he was wearing. :) He said all sorts of sweet things, and I just stood there in shock, still not processing how he was here when he was supposed to be in Waco working. When he was done talking he handed me a clipboard that had what looked like a FedEx delivery confirmation on it, and said "Will you marry me?" The whole thing was so cute and unexpected, and just blew me away. I will never forget that night. :)
 
And just 6 months after that, we took our trip down the aisle. And now here we are almost 7 years and 2 kids later. It's crazy to think back on all of it and what we've come through. Marriage is work and anybody who thinks it isn't might be surprised. But the work is totally worth it. ;)

April 3, 2013

Easter Weekend 2013

We had a pretty full Easter weekend, but it was lots of fun! Patrick and I started off Friday night with a date night. We've tried to be better at making time for these, and I'd say we've done a pretty good job. It helps that we've found a good baby-sitter that the kids love. We just went out to eat and enjoyed a slow-paced dinner, which we haven't done in awhile. Before we went into the restaurant I asked this guy to take our picture. He seemed less than thrilled to do so, but there was noone else around. I couldn't stop laughing when I saw the "artistic" shot he got.

Saturday morning an organization I'm a part of had an event called Breakfast with the Easter Bunny. I had to get there early to work it, so Patrick and the kids came later. Not sure if it was the fact that I was tired or the smell of hot Krispy Kremes in the air, but for some reason I was extra emotional that day. I was working a station when I spotted Patrick and the kids walking through the crowd, and I just started crying. Manny looked so big and handsome, and Maeva was just sitting there so sweet. And Patrick looked cute as ever just walking with them all calm, cool, and collected...which is more than I can usually say when I take these two somewhere. Seriously though, just an overwhelming feeling of gratitude came over me. I am so thankful for our family that the Lord has built.

Neither of the kids were too thrilled at the sight of the Easter bunny. Actually Maeva was fine until we set her on his lap. Then she wanted no part of it. Manny just kept saying, "Bye, bunny! See you later!" I think he thought if he kept telling it bye, it would leave. He wouldn't get within 50 feet of him though. Much like the cow at Chick-fil-a. But that's another story for another day.

I wanted to get a picture of the kids in the shirts I made for them. These were a PROJECT, to say the least. Per usual, I waited til the last minute and ran into every.obstacle.possible when making them. I'll never understand why my machine hates me, but it absolutely does. It became more of a matter of I wanted to finish what I started, then actually wanting the shirts. In the end, it was worth it and I'm sad I didn't make these shirts earlier in the month because I think they are precious in them! It's totally acceptable for them to wear through April, right? ;)

Back to taking their pictures. All I wanted was one of them together, looking. I didn't even care about a smile. But that was obviously not on their agenda.

MB wanted to be held all weekend. She's fighting some nasty cold/allergy type stuff lately, so can't say I blame her. I gave up after these 3 shots because I just felt mean with how miserable she looked. And Manny was too busy to look at the camera because he was keeping an eye out for the Easter bunny who he was sure was going to attack him at any given moment. We went to a birthday party that afternoon and the kids had a blast there too. Manny was on a sugar high like never before, and it was a little bit frightening. That kid has a sweet tooth for sure.

Sunday morning we got up and headed to church. I couldn't wait to get Maeva in her SheShe Made dress and bonnet. Have you seen anything cuter?! I think not. 
 
And Manny in his matching bowtie. Of course no sooner had Patrick gotten him dressed, Manny immediately put his boots on. We were able to convince him to wear different shoes with a little bribing reasoning. Ridiculous, I know. But just once I wanted him to wear normal shoes. :) 
 
Sunday at church while we sang Amazing Grace, they played a video of the crucifixion, and it was so hard for me to watch. I simply cannot imagine what Mary felt like watching her son endure all that he did. I don't think I'll ever be able to fully grasp the sacrifice that was made for each one of us. It is overwhelming to comprehend, but I am so so thankful for the gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ.

Since Patrick was on call for the weekend, we weren't able to leave town. Some friends of ours invited us over for lunch and it was nice to be able to join them since we couldn't be with family. I still hadn't gotten a picture of the kids together, but knew they were tired so decided to wait until after naptime, thinking they would be in better moods for pictures. Jokes on me, apparently.
Neither of them wanted to take pictures, for different reasons. MB just wanted to be held, and Manny wanted to go throw rocks in the pond.

At one point, Manny started trying to calm Maeva down. It was so sweet.
So though none of these turned out "picture perfect", I still adore them.
I love this one of my handsome little dude!
And this is the closest we got to a family picture. :)
We ended the night with Easter baskets. The dollar spot glasses were quite the hit. As usual, I can't believe Easter has already come and gone. Next big event - Maeva's 1st birthday! :(
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