Saturday, July 6, 2013

Hot fun in the summertime

So clearly I have failed my goal of writing one post a week seeing as it's been a month since my last one. Whoops. Oh well, back at it!

It's hard to believe that summer is in full force. The 4th of July has already come and gone and I can already tell this month is going to fly by and we'll be staring August in the eye before we know it. They're already advertising Back to School supply sales! Umm, didn't school just end? I guess it's like seeing fully decorated Christmas trees next to the pumpkins in October. They just can't wait to start moving onto the next holiday.

We have definitely had a busy summer so far! We started with sending our boy to his first time at summer camp. He enjoyed three nights and days at Camp Spalding and he had such an amazing experience. It was clearly harder on me than him considering he gave me a quick hug and sent me out of the cabin so he could be "on his own." He had a great counselor named TJ who he hasn't stopped talking about since. His favorite cousin Ella was also there so they got to enjoy that time together!

Following summer camp, we got to enjoy another full week with my dear sister-in-law and two nieces while my nephew, Jaeden, had his week at Camp Spalding. Charlie and Scarlett are only two months apart, so we definitely have some adventures with those two. Lots of fighting and loving within minutes!


A couple days ago, I came down with a nasty summer cold. I don't know what it is about colds in the summer, but they are so much worse than in the winter. It started with a sore throat and headache, which then turned into a bad cough, which then turned into having barely a voice. Thankfully it has been tolerable so I have still been able to function, but I'm ready to feel like myself again! This also came on the few days that Eric had to work the super early shift so I had to find ways to keep these crazy boys entertained. I ended up at this amazing little park that is literally four blocks away from our house. It was just built last year and I cannot believe I hadn't been to it before yesterday! It was fantastic! The boys played in the water for hours and I just loved watching them enjoy the beautiful sunshine. 






Have I mentioned I absolutely love summer?



Sunday, June 9, 2013

Turning a house into a home

We have lived in our house for a little over eight years. This is something that is very hard for me to believe - how has eight years gone by that quickly. I remember the day I received the phone call from our real estate agent informing us that we were the official owners of our new house. I remember waiting excitedly for Eric to get home from work so I could video tape his reaction when I told him we got the house. I remember the rainy day in April when we packed up the moving truck and moved all of our things in. We moved into this house just four months after we got married. We then proceeded to build our family in this house. Eight years later, we have two beautiful boys, a lovely dog, and more memories than I can possibly count.

Now this is the embarrassing and ridiculous part to admit. Eight years we have been here and today was the day I finally got some things put up onto our walls. Yes, you read that correctly. The walls in our living room have been completely bare from day one. Why? Well, lets just say that I have a small case of OCD when it comes to getting things just right. Every time I started thinking about finding things to put on the walls, I would get overwhelmed and then absolutely nothing would happen. My mom finally said something to me that made total sense - "You're not marrying the art work." I can change it if I decide I don't like it!

We got three beautiful pieces hung in the living room today and I am beyond thrilled with the result. You see, we really have been putting a lot of work into our house over the last year or so. We replaced the floors last year and that kind of got things in motion. We followed with new living room furniture and rugs for both living room and family room. Pretty funny that it's taken me eight years to start turning our house into a home....

The living room before - disgusting doggy stains and all.


After - still a work in progress!


Family room before

After


New artwork in the dining room!


Needless to say, I am very happy with how far we have come with the house. We plan on being here for at least another two or three years, so I plan on continuing the transformation. The work is far from over. I am so grateful for my incredible mom and dad who have helped me in so many ways. My dad's handy work is something I will never be able to repay him for. And my mom's great eye and nesting instinct - what would I do without her?

We've been in this home for almost a decade and I am just now truly falling in love with it.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The joy of a thunderstorm

Can you remember the excitement of a good old fashioned thunderstorm when you were a kid? Let me tell you - I have an up close and personal reminder in my son. This boy has the greatest fascination with all things weather, especially thunderstorms. He absolutely has to check my phone's weather app every morning upon waking up to find out the forecast for the day and the week ahead. I wish I could explain through words the excitement in his voice when he sees that tiny little lightening bolt on one of the days. It's absolutely hilarious and brings a smile to my face. The inner joy and delight from such a simple thing as the chance of a thunderstorm.

And when the dark clouds actually start rolling in and it begins to rain? It's literally a party in this house! Next thing I know, I'm going to catch him out in the backyard performing a rain dance...


Who needs TV when you have a thunderstorm to watch through the window?



Friday, May 24, 2013

How to cope with "Mommy Guilt"

I'll cut right to the chase - today has been a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. I really don't know what has been going on with Jackson today, but it's like he's a different kid. From the moment we woke up this morning, it has been nothing but complete defiance and disrespect. We've had bad days many times before - but this has just been different. He is such a challenging child sometimes and it's days like today that I just feel like a complete and utter failure as a parent.

I have a horrible case of Mommy Guilt right now. I'm not proud of myself when I yell at Jackson. I try so hard to keep my cool with him, but today I just hit my breaking point. It was like I felt something snap inside of me and I screamed at him like I never have before. And it didn't just happen once, twice, or three times. I finally lost count by late afternoon. The worst part is even as it was happening, I knew it was the most deconstructive way of trying to get him to listen to me. It's a known fact that children absolutely do not listen when you yell. So why do we do it anyway? I think the answer is we yell not because they've lost control, but because we've lost control. I think we also yell when we're angry with ourselves, not just them. I've been so unbelievably upset with myself today and I definitely don't function well as a parent when I feel like that.

I'm trying to tell myself that tomorrow is a new day and I will do everything possible to make it different than today. In the end, I know it all starts with my actions and my responses to him.

Parenting is hard. So hard.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Making a promise to myself

I met up with a very dear friend for lunch yesterday afternoon. I hadn't seen her in over three years. Yet the moment we sat down and started talking, it felt like barely any time had passed since I had seen her last. We got to talking about our blogs and how difficult it is to make the time to actually write anymore. Having a couple kids running around on a daily basis makes it difficult to carve out writing time.

But I realized something as we were discussing it. I've always had such a hard time writing in my blog because I've always had that small part of me that was writing for other people, not myself. I always felt the need to be clever in my words and exciting in my stories. And you know what? Sometimes my life just isn't that exciting. Sometimes it is completely and unbearably monotonous. Such is the life of a stay at home mom I suppose.  But because of this, I never wanted to write in my blog because I was just too exhausted trying to come up with ideas before I even began.

So I'm making a promise to only myself - I will begin blogging again. I will stop putting so much thought into it and just write from my heart. Someday I will look back on this blog and it will bring me back to this wonderful time in our life. A time when our boys were young, energetic, fun, curious, frustrating, exciting, and silly.

I'm starting with once a week. I can do this.


Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Hello First Grade!

I suppose now that it's already the month of November, I can say that I am officially the proud mom of a first grader. I put that in bold because I will have to read that sentence about twenty times over before I can truly believe it. Yes, Jackson started the first grade on September 5th, 2012. The emotions I experienced were actually very unexpected. I went through the entire summer excited for him and getting everything prepared for him. It wasn't until we attended the open house the night before that everything suddenly hit me. My little boy is no longer my baby. He is truly a big kid. When did that happen? How did it happen so darn fast?

Needless to say, I was a complete and utter wreck the night before. I ended up calling my mom and sobbing on the phone for about thirty minutes. It had hit me that he was going to get on his very first school bus the next morning. That he was going to a school with hundreds of other kids in different grade levels. That he was a real part of the public school system now. Yikes. Was he ready for this? Would he be okay?

Thankfully my fears didn't rub off on my boy. He woke up the morning of school with the brightest smile on his face. He anticipated this new year with so much joy, it made my heart soar. We made sure his tummy was full with a healthy breakfast, got him dressed in his cool new clothes, and we walked down to the bus stop for the first time ever. As I watched him stand in line with the other kids, I just smiled to myself. We've had our struggles with him, that's definitely an understatement. But as I watched him, I realized something. We've done good. We're still doing good. He's such a great kid and I'm proud of myself and Eric as parents. Now to prepare myself for the time to be on warp speed - we have an elementary school student now.





 


 




Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fall has come and gone.

Over the last couple years, I've noticed that I have a difficult time transitioning into a new season. This fall for instance. The leaves started to change colors, the air began feeling crisp and cool - yet my mind was still stuck in summer mode. By the time my brain finally adjusted to it being fall, Halloween was already over and snow was getting ready to fall. Now I'm having to switch into winter mode. I guess it's because it seems that time is going quicker each year. Is that part of getting older? Or is it that I'm so insanely busy with two boys that I don't even have a moment to notice the time that is passing?

We did have a really great fall though. We started out with an amazing photo shoot with our very talented brother-in-law. I was blown away by the shots he got, especially of our beautiful boys. I'm working on getting a wall arrangement up in our living room right now with a lot of those pictures! The boys and I did a couple fun baking sessions involving pumpkin. And finally, we did our annual trip to the pumpkin patch to pick out our pumpkins. That was such a wonderful day. The weather was impeccable. Jackson and Charlie had a blast running through the pumpkin patch, attempting to find their perfect pumpkins. Eric and I enjoyed standing back and soaking in that wonderful family time.

Pictures tell more than words!