A letter to my first born

I always knew I wanted to be a mom and I knew I didn’t want to be just any mom, I wanted to be just like mine. If I’m anything like her, my children will be truly blessed and I know I’ll be doing something right.

When I pictured it, you would’ve come when I was 24ish. Because I would’ve been married and then had 2-3 children before I was 30. He always has a greater plan than we do, doesn’t he?

Instead, I was blessed with you at 29 and I’ve often wondered how I survived so long with out you. Finding out I was pregnant was the surprise of a lifetime and each day I eagerly planned, shopped and decorated to make sure everything was perfect for your arrival. I’m fairly certain I made your dad borderline insane. Shrug, sorry babe. When you arrived, I had no idea how much you’d flip my world upside down and in the best, most emotional way possible.

My sweet boy, every single moment with you I have loved. It has been been both painful and beautiful experiencing this new world with you in it. Painful because I know time passes us by so quickly and I want so desperately to press pause. I live for the snuggles in the early morning when you’re avoiding getting dressed, the way you say “one more?” Six times before bed and we always end up reading six more stories. The harsh reality of “it won’t be this way for long” hits me like a ton of bricks. I want to memorize your silly faces, the way your tiny fingers wrap around mine and lead me to what you need, and I want to remember your laugh because it truly is the best sound in the world. That is when it’s painful, because I know it won’t be like this for long. At the same time, it’s beautiful. Watching you explore and figure things out on your own, the way you’re the BIGGEST boy and help your Daddy and I so much. Seeing you become this strong willed, independent little person is beautiful. I watch you in complete amazement quite often.

Each day I pray for your future and your heart. I pray that God gives me the strength I’ll need to let you go & continue to grow in your own way. I pray for your heart, that it is never broken, always wholesome and always full of life and love.

It has been the three of us for so long and in a few short days, the world as we know it will flip upside down again. I’ve been so afraid that I wouldn’t be good enough for you AND your new brother. But, the truth is, God gave me you first because he has always known the mom I would need to be. You have taught me a love that I never knew existed. One that is endless and reaches the deepest depths of the ocean. You’ve taught me patience (which I’m still learning. Every. Single. Day. Because, you’re a toddler). When you had your first ear infection and I spent hours trying to console you and finally I cried with you. This also taught me to stay off Web MD & Google. When I use to just stare at you in utter disbelief because you are here, you’re ours and you’re perfect…. I have prayed more in these two years than I ever have. That’s because of you, my Bub. You taught me that. You’ve taught me how to be a Mom. You’ve taught me to love unconditionally. Because of you, we will be ok when this new baby comes.

Motherhood has been the highest calling that I have ever known and I would give anything to live all of these moments over and over again. When our world is flipped upside down again, it will be just as beautiful as the day you were born. Probably even more so, if that’s even possible, because we will get to watch you grow in to a big brother. Our biggest helper, our strong willed little boy — you will have to show Brother the ropes. Undeniably, things will be changing soon. But you will always be my first baby, we will grow together and experience all of the pains and all of it’s beauty together.

I promise we will still have our time. Just me and you. Snuggling and eating way too many Graham Crackers, sharing little giggles before bed.

To the one who made me a mom, I love you. With every single inch of my being.

Ikea Latt table hack

If you’re looking for the perfect activity table for your toddler, the Latt table from Ikea is the way to go. It’s affordable (under $30) and it’s not character themed…. a win for me!
I was holding on to this table for my sons second birthday, I’m surprised I kept it a surprise for that long considering I had it for almost a year! This is how I hacked the table for Landon and it came in under $50 for the supplies and took about an hour and a half from start to finish!
Supplies needed:
  • 1” foam cushions. Micheal’s has a pack of two & it worked perfect!
  • Fabric: I chose an outdoor fabric from Joanne’s Fabric. It’s stain/water resistant because, let’s face it, toddlers are a mess.
  • Staple Gun 1/4” staples
  • Plexiglass: I went to Lowe’s and had it cut to size for free
  • Painters tape (if you wish to “dip” the legs)
  • Paint (I used Valspar antique white because it’s what I had on hand)
  • Krylon chalkboard paint
MONEY SAVING TIP!!!! When shopping for the supplies, make sure to use the Retail Me Not app. Joanne’s and Micheal’s had great coupons I was able to use and saved almost 40% at each place.
Before assembling the table, I painted the legs. It was such a quick process! I taped them off and painted on my lunch break. The chairs, I painted 3” from the bottom and the table legs were approximately 6” from the bottom. I didn’t sand the area or anything, the table comes ready to paint or leave as is if you choose.
table legs
The cushions were kind of tricky. I cut the foam pieces to 9 3/8 by 9 3/8. The seat boards measure approximately 10 x 10 so cutting the cushions smaller made it easier to assemble the chairs. Outdoor fabric is thick and it made it a little difficult, at first, to slide it in the slats of the chairs. I used two squares of fabric, each measuring 14 x 14. You’ll have some overhang, and once the chairs are assembled, pull the overhang tight and secure with a staple gun.
cushion
The table top was so simple and I loved the idea of having two surfaces with the chalkboard/plexiglass top. I did two coats of the chalkboard paint and let it dry outside over night. When it came to the plexiglass, I chose the cheapest option at Lowe’s and requested that it be cut too 17 3/8” by 23 1/4”. From what I’ve been told, they aren’t supposed to cut a thin piece that small (something to do with their cutting machine 🤷🏼‍♀️) but the man helping us was so sweet, he didn’t even question the size he just cut it for me! Since we have the chalkboard underneath, I wanted the plexiglass to be easily removed. If you don’t plan to do a double surface top, your plexiglass piece may have different measurements.
table top
One of my favorite ideas I came across when looking for table hacks, was the art paper roll underneath. I had a really hard time finding a paper roll that fit under the table but Micheal’s had one for less than $5.00 too!! I used a tension rod from Target and it has worked great so far.
paper roll
For the craft storage on the side, I used small screw in hooks (also from Target) and the buckets were from Hobby Lobby for $1 each! We keep Landon’s stocked with mini PlayDoh’s, stickers and cookie cutters for all the PlayDoh creations.
buckets
I really love how it came out & Landon really seems to enjoy it! From painting dinosaurs, to coloring and playing with PlayDoh, we’ve gotten a lot of use out of it so far. This project was so easy and affordable! I hope this was helpful in some way, let me know if you have questions.
dino2
XO.
Niki

When you don’t have a village

I was catching up on a guilty pleasure of mine, reality tv, and Khloe (yes, Kardashian. Not ashamed 🤷🏼‍♀️) said “it takes a village to raise kids”. She’s not wrong. We all know that to be undeniably true. I started thinking yeah, sure, but not everyone has one.

Hi, it’s me, a member of the village-less crowd. A village gives you a sense of community, friends you can text to get you out of the house. It means having friends to turn too for advice, friends who know when it’s time to leave the kids with their dads and have some MUCH needed and deserved adult time. Sure play dates with the kids are nice, but let’s be real, momma needs some adult interaction over some Mexican food & a bottle of wine….. once this baby comes of course. I don’t need a date to the playground, I need a conversation with someone over the age of two.

It’s easy for people to say “just put yourself out there”. Sounds simple enough right? But what if you don’t where to turn? Before it was easy. I lived across the street or down the road & when the time came, we all moved together! Friends are so crucial, they’re beside you for the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Whether you desperately need a babysitter or you need a pep talk after a stressful day, your village of ladies is so important. I have my tribe of ladies who talk me off the ledge and make me laugh until I cry but they’re thousands of miles away. Truth be told, I’m not sure where I’d be if God didn’t place those ladies in my world when he did. How I wish they were close so I could squeeze them!

So. What if there isn’t a village?

Truth is. Life gets hard sometimes and the days can be LONG! When we had Landon, we lived far away from family. My husband had duty every few nights & I couldn’t call my mom to come sit with my son because I needed a nap. Or a shower. But, I had my tribe then, my village. With our second baby coming in a few short months, the reality of being away from family and friends is setting in. It’s daunting and it is lonely. My husband & I very very rarely have date nights, we don’t have our families or friend families to spend holidays with. It’s just us. When we moved to the south, it was just us three. Our little tripod. Somehow the days got longer. Landon and I would go for multiple walks a day through the neighborhood because I just needed to get out of the house. I mean, how many times can you walk the same streets before someone wonders if you’re a creep or if you’re lost?

My poor best friends listen to fifteen minute long Marco Polo messages (the real MVP’s, let me tell ya) because I just need to feel connected sometimes. A huge blessing, for multiple reasons, has been I’m back to working full time! However, I work out of our home. I talk to people all day but it’s different than being next to a person, laughing in the break room or running out to grab a quick lunch together.

What can you do?

It’s easy to feel like an outsider, it’s easy to have a wave of jealousy hit you when you see other moms meeting up for a hang out. I know, because I’ve been there. Sometimes I’m still the lonely, depressed mom feeling like the ultimate outsider. It’s almost like being in middle school & everyone else is picked before you for the kickball team. I find myself avoiding social media sometimes because I know my friends back at home(s) are catching up over drinks, going on a hike or just supporting each other. It just drives it home and the tears start to fall.

I’ve started striking up more conversations at the park, finding people I can relate too, & paying attention to who Landon plays with when we go somewhere. I mean, maybe their parents are cool, right? Worth a shot. Surround yourself with people who GET IT, Mom’s who have been there and know what it’s like!

You won’t connect with everyone and that’s ok. It’s an unrealistic expectation to to assume you’ll find an instant bestie/friend soul mate in every person you meet. Especially if you’re like me and don’t really like many people 😜

Remember, give yourself some grace. Find your joy & take a few minutes to do something for yourself. Find a few women who leave you feeling empowered, who give you sound advice & women who will be there. Friends you can count on for the big things and the small things. The friends who will run to the grocery store with you because it’s the only time you can squeeze in to be alone and maybe have a little bitching sesh. Those friendships are rare.

It does require a push outside of your comfort zone and after a year, almost, I’m learning. Surprisingly enough, this little blog space I’ve been working to build is starting to give me a sense of community! I’ve been fortunate to connect with people who otherwise, I may have never spoken too. I am thankful ♥️

Life can be lonely, find your village and love them hard.

Xo

New baby must haves!

I remember registering for Landon, our first, and oh man. I had to have everything in sight! Seriously, someone should’ve taken the scanner away! I justified it by saying “well what if we end up needing this?”. No; just step away!

Trust me on this! It will all be just fine and you’ll have what you need // plus some!

When registering, I suggest keeping it simple and practical. Use your registry for the bigger items you need. You’ll acquire so many outfits and blankies, you won’t know what to do with them!

Side note: if you’re looking for the perfect swaddle blankets head on over to Modern Burlap I love what they have to offer & Samantha is the sweetest!

Planning for our second baby seemed so easy this time around! We saved a lot from Landon but I also have a better idea of what we truly need.

So, I’ve compiled a list of my TOP TEN new baby must haves!

Petunia Pickle Bottom Axis Backpack, Trio

Petunia Picklebottom Diaper Bag

I live for my PP Bag! It is so roomy, easy to clean and so convenient to carry. When choosing a diaper bag, I highly recommend a backpack. I’ve had many different styles and nothing even comes close to this one!

DockATot Deluxe+ Dock (Pristine White) - The All in One Baby Lounger - Perfect for Co Sleeping - Suitable from 0-8 Months (Pristine White)
Dock a Tot

Do yourself a favor and toss this on your registry, like ASAP! Makes for the perfect nap time spot, a removable cover that’s machine washable, breathable and makes baby feel snug! We travel a lot and this beats having to lug around a pack and play.

ComoTomo Bottles

These are the best! A  bottle that makes it easy to breastfeed & bottle feed. The style of the nipple and the soft silicone mimics the breast and, a huge plus… so easy to clean.

Boppy Nursing Pillow and Positioner, Notebook Black/Gold
Boppy Nursing Pillow

A favorite of one of my besties because it is so great & convenient for breastfeeding! We loved our Boppy for (supervised) tummy time play, and just lounging around with baby.

Dr. Bronner’s Pure-Castile Liquid Soap – Baby Unscented - 8 Ounce
Dr. Bronners Soap

I’m super cautious about what I put on our baby’s skin and Dr. Bronners has become my fave. It’s gentle, organic and no added fragrance (<— the no fragrance was huge for me!)

LÍLLÉbaby The COMPLETE Airflow SIX-Position 360° Ergonomic Baby & Child Carrier, Blue/Aqua - Cotton Baby Carrier, Ergonomic Multi-Position Carrying for Infants Babies Toddlers
Lillebaby Carrier

I cannot say enough good things! No inserts required for any stage, comfortable to wear and so much support for baby and Mom! I tried a different carrier first and it seriously looked like Landon was a bobble head when I wore it…. The Lille is still one of our favorite purchases ever!

Graco DuetConnect LX Swing and Bouncer, Manor
Graco Swing

Our swing is almost identical to this and Landon loved it! Several different settings, music, vibrations and it will turn in to a bouncer when you don’t need the swing any more. Dual purpose!

Motorola Comfort 50 Digital Video Audio Baby Monitor with 5 Inch Color Screen
Baby Monitor

Nothing gives me peace of mind more than our baby monitor. We love that ours lets us to talk to him through it and the large display is easy to see. This is not WiFi capable because — well, I’m paranoid and, have you read those hacking stories?! Not today, Satan.

Halo Sleepsack 100% Cotton Wearable Blanket, Huggy Bears, Large
Sleep Sack

Use a sleep sack in place of lose blankets and bulky clothes. Keeps baby warm and since it unzips from the bottom, it makes diaper changes a breeze!

Nursing Pads

Lets be honest, whether you’re breast feeding or pumping, leaks are going to happen! Nursing pads are a must and you can never have too many. These are durable and machine washable.

Also, registering on Amazon is the easiest thing! You can also link items from other stores to your Amazon registry; that way everything is conveniently in one place! I hope you found some things on this list that you loved! Share your baby faves with me. I want to know!

Xo.

Christmas Traditions

Since it’s finally December, I can really dive in to this with out too much judgement from the humbugs out there. Truth be told, I was ready to start ALL things Christmas on November 1st! My husband usually makes sure I dial it down a notch when it’s that early.

Christmas has always been so special to me and something I look forward too and plan for for months! Growing up, it was always a huge production in my parents house. By the time my mom was done decorating, the inside looked like something out of a classic Christmas magazine and my dad & brothers always made the front yard glisten with tons of lights. Some of my most cherished memories are from the holiday season and it’s something I’ve always longed to share with children of my own! We had Landon in January of 2017 and our Christmas that year was so special. Is it just me or is there extra magic when little ones are around?!

Our first Christmas was spent in Maine. It was quiet and filled with so much love, oh and TONS of snow! It was my first white Christmas, ever and it was just the icing on the cake. We traveled to Arizona right after Christmas for lots of sunshine and more Christmas fun with my side of the family. It truly made me so thankful for the people in our lives and made me long for them to be closer for all of the holidays!

*The way Landon is all bundled up here makes me giggle & think of A Christmas Story*

This year I’ve really been thinking about what Christmas traditions we can start with our boys? EEK! B O Y S! Next Christmas we will have two babies to celebrate with! What traditions can we continue from our childhood? Here are some fun things we plan to do!

Traditions to start this year

1. Decorate the Saturday after Thanksgiving:

In a perfect world, I would start decorating on Black Friday but I can typically get my husband on board once his food coma wears off on Saturday morning. I love to decorate early because then I can enjoy our decorations for longer. Keep in mind, you don’t have to have expensive decorations to create a warm and festive space. 90% of mine were handed down to me by my mom and they’re my favorite in my Christmas decor collection. I smile as I open up each tote and remember where each decoration came from! Growing up, I shared those moments with my mom and it was always so special.

2. Give a gift on December 1st:

We actually just started this one this year! We picked up some Christmas pajamas (doorbuster deal at Carters!) and gave a Christmas book that we can enjoy a few times this month. Grandma bought him Elf on a Shelf, and I’m learning what a big responsibility this Elf is. Thankfully, he’s still too young to grasp the concept but we are throughly enjoying the book together.

3. Pick out family friendly activities to do in December:

This is a fun one! There are SO many things to do this time of year. Let each person in your family pick something that they want to do to celebrate the holiday season. Our community has so many light parades, tree lightings, and light displays. Check out your Facebook Events near you or housing community and see what’s available to you! Many are free and such fun activities for kids! Each year we drove around with my parents and looked at lights in neighborhoods close to us. Even as an adult, it is still one of my favorite things to do. Grab some hot chocolate and enjoy the ride.

4. Volunteer in your community:

I love to give back and I’m always looking for an opportunity to help people who need it most. The holidays always open up an array of volunteer opportunities. If you live somewhere with harsh winters, gather up some blankets and gently used coats and donate them to a local shelter. Last winter, I kept fleece throw blankets from Walmart in my car and handed them out when I came across someone homeless and in need. This tradition will help your family shift back to the true meaning of Christmas; GIVING.

5. Family slumber party:

Pick a night and some of your favorite Christmas movies. Stay up late and build a fort in the living room (any excuse to build a fort, I’m there!) and pig out with your favorite snacks. This is probably one of my favorites. Put the distractions of the day aside and just be present and intentional with your family. Soak up all the laughs and snuggles, this is the good stuff!

6. Bake goodies together:

For as long as I can remember, we always did this with my mom. Hershey kiss cookies, peanut butter balls, fudge…. okay my mouth is watering. Nothing beat the sugar cookies that we decorated with sprinkles and icing. We are mediocre cookie decorators at best but wow. We had so much fun! A friend of mine recently shared a new cookie recipe that I am DYING to try. Check it out here: https://www.bigbearswife.com/hot-chocolate-cookies/

7. Ditch all the toy clutter and give something they want, can wear, need & can read:

I’ve seen this one a lot lately and I kind of love it. I’m typing this as I literally just admitted to going overboard the other day. But really, it makes the perfect sense to give this way! Pick 1-2 things off the Christmas list that they truly want. Grab a new pair of shoes or a coat they can wear. Pick up something they need; a new book bag, a bedroom make over (we did this for our little one this year, he’s in a big boy room now), and, something to read! Books are so powerful and a huge hit in our home. You can never have too many!

8. Make crafts with the kids:

My mom still has some of the things my brother and I made when we were kids. We’re now 31 and 27 and she still puts them out each year. She’s one of a kind, that lady. A favorite memory of mine was doing Christmas crafts with my aunt. Nothing is cuter than the milk jug snowmen and Pinterest has tons of adorable ways to make one!

9. A new ornament each year:

I absolutely love picking out a new ornament each year. Landon chooses one and Nathan & I pick one. Ok, I’ll admit, this year I chose ours. It was a Friends ornament and let’s be real, I couldn’t pass it up. It’s so fun to open up the ornament box each year and see how your family has grown over the years.

Seriously, this ornament! You guys! If you need one too, head to Target (Amazon has them also)

10. Open a gift on Christmas Eve:

We did this as kids and it’s definitely one I want to continue. On Christmas Eve, as we would wind down for the evening & get ready for bed, we were allowed to open one gift. It could be anything! A cozy pair of pajamas, a new pair of slippers or a book to enjoy before bed. Personally, I love a new pair of PJ’s to wear the next morning during the Christmas fun!

Having traditions is such a special way to be intentional as a parent and shift your focus and enjoy back to your family. As your children grow it’s something they will look forward to each year and it’s something everyone as a family gets to enjoy.

Last year when we went home to Phoenix, my mom had some photos done for us. Look how tiny our little guy was! I’m so glad we have a few pictures to hang on too from his first Christmas. ♥️

I hope you found some ideas here that inspired you to start traditions with your family! Don’t forget to share your favorite traditions and memories with me!

Xo.

My husband doesn’t watch our son….

Let me explain. My husband is not a babysitter, my husband is a parent. He parents our son. Meaning, he’s playing a very active role in raising our child and tending to his needs. When making plans I don’t have to ask him if he will babysit for me to run to the nail salon. Of course it’s common decency to make sure he/we don’t have any prior obligations but I don’t feel guilty asking him to hang with Landon while I get some “me” time.

People are always shocked when I say that he got up with Landon as a newborn to feed him, he helps me prep meals and clean up the kitchen. We also switch off each night who does bath time. We do bedtime together and read him a book. On weekends, my husband lets me sleep in and sometimes, I’m lucky enough to wake up to breakfast waiting for me. He also picks up my slack when it comes to putting laundry away, because I’m the absolute worst at that! Sorry, babe.

Someone told me once a while back “you’re so lucky that your husband will watch Landon for you”. I didn’t know how to respond aside from “he doesn’t watch him. He’s his father and that’s what he should be doing, spending time with him”. Both of us give each other the time that we need to just BE. He knows when I need a solo coffee date and I know when he needs to sleep in (so I scoop up Landon and we head out for the morning). He’s there for the meltdowns, he’s there for walks and playing soccer in the front yard. He teaches and praises. He’s present, he is a parent with me.

In our home, we are a team. My husband sets an example of what it is to be a husband and a father. He knows when it’s time to order take out & when I need a nap. Thank you for parenting with me ♥️ Sometimes it’s chaotic but we are in it together.

Xo.

Farmhouse on a budget

Before the movers came to pack up our Maine house, & shortly after my 30th birthday, I did what any grown adult does. I went to Ikea to wonder aimlessly and imagine what our forever home will look like. All while sipping Starbs and soaking up that delicious Cinnamon Roll smell (my Ikea fanatics you know what I mean!) A much needed girls day in Boston.

I know I know, when thinking of all the best places to find farmhouse decor and treasures; Ikea isn’t your typical spot. However, I found some great pieces to incorporate in to our new base house! A huge plus, it’s affordable too!

From hand towels, to greenery to wall hangings; I found several things I couldn’t live with out. Although my husband didn’t agree, I think he secretly loves it now!

Here are some of my favorites!

Sockerart Vase: At $19.99 it’s an elegant way to store your kitchen utensils!

Elly & Vardagen hand towels: At $3.99 for a pack of four (Elly) and $3.99 ea (Vardagen) these have become my FAVE kitchen towels. Decor and for use…. I can’t get enough! I recommend grabbing 2-3 packs on your next visit.

Socker watering can: I have mine on top of our cabinets with either faux flowers or Cotten stems! I love the galvanized metal look and this just fits! Only $5.99, too!

Fintorp Rod: Ok, this is easily one of my favorite pieces! And, $8.99! I grabbed a pack of hooks and hung some decor pieces from them. A perfect way to finish off our dining room (along with my ever growing Pyrex collection) All hanging pieces were also Ikea finds! That colander…. LOVE!

Plants: I typically stick with neutrals when I’m decorating but who doesn’t love a pop of color every now and then?! Greens, greens and MORE GREENS!!! It’s the best place to buy faux plants! Ranging in price. Grab several on your next visit! It’s worth it! Buckets and rod are from there, too.

Sandared Pouffe: Ohhh this Pouffe. We’re using an old trunk in our living room now as a “coffee table”, and I really love it! But, my toddler also loves to use it as his stage. The new Ikea catalog came and I found these beauties! Add to cart (x2)

and quickly check out….

Ektorp Sofa: Ok, lets be real. I have a toddler and two dogs. Oh, and a husband. How is it possible to have this perfect white couch?! I NEED to know. It’s so cozy!

Rast dresser: This adorable piece is only $39.99 and unfinished. If you’re the creative type, you can easily turn this in to a statement piece in your home! We’re grabbing two for our bedroom. A little stain, legs and knobs & voila!!! Elegant bedside tables. (I’ll post a hack on these once ours are finished!)

Any excuse to go, I’m taking it. Need new scrub brushes? Go to Ikea. Picture frames? You get the idea. It’s THE place to be! If Farmhouse inspired decor is your thing, I hope you found some things you love here. Where’s your favorite place to go for all things home decor?!

Xo.

Intentional living

Before having a child of my own, I had certain expectations and a perfectly painted picture in my head of how life with a child would go. For instance, co sleeping was a hard pass! Calm down co sleeping fans, this isn’t a bash against you; DO YOU! But for me, the bedroom was for me and my husband to unwind and connect with each other again ;-). I swore up and down that our son wouldn’t watch TV, like- no screen time. Period. My son wasn’t going to be a picky eater and sweets were out of the question. Hey, a girl can dream right?! I didn’t want to breastfeed but I felt this tremendous guilt that I wasn’t a good mom if I didn’t so; I drove myself insane, pumped exclusively and tried to get my newborn to latch even when we were both hysterically crying because he wouldn’t.

The perfect image in my head quickly started to wash away. Almost like it was written in sand or watercolor. We eventually started to co sleep (but now I think we’re done! Hallelujah!!) Our son watches Netflix, mainly The Secret Life of Pets, probably twice a week so I can focus on what I need to get done. He prefers fruit to vegetables but will eventually eat almost all of what is in front of him. We did breast milk bottles and formula, guess what? He’s as healthy as can be. Even though I was judged for it.

** Remember….. **

If I could tell my no-kid-having self one thing it would be, NONE OF THAT MATTERS! Who cares if you co sleep?! Just sleep! There are other rooms to reconnect in 😛 (sorry, Mom’s! Haha) If he watches TV it won’t kill him, or you, promise! If he’s eating, let him eat. Pick and choose your battles. A fed baby, is a happy baby. Don’t sweat it. What does matter is: •being intentional •engaging with your children •the most valuable thing to spend on your children is time.

Time passes so quickly and it is so easy for us as parents to completely disconnect. From our children, from our spouse, from our family & friends etc. When we do that we are missing out on a true relationship. There is immeasurable value in that.

Our church recently started a new sermon which focuses heavily on family dynamics and being intentional in all things you do for your spouse and children. Today, it has really weighed heavy on me. Not in a negative way; but more of a “wow- I really fall short some days. How can I be more present and intentional when loving on my sweet family?!” type of way. Ya feel me?

I can be more intentional by:

1 // Listening. I spend so much time telling my little guy what to do, how to behave, to be gentle and kind….. when it comes time for me to listen and turn off my voice, it’s difficult for me. Anyone who knows me will agree! Ha! I need to listen more when my frustrated toddler is trying to communicate with me, I need to listen when my husband tells me (in a round about way) what he needs from me.

2 // Put the phone DOWN. This typically isn’t an issue for me during the day. However, I’ve noticed when my husband comes home, I plug in to technology and “check out”. With his grueling work schedule, our time together is limited. I should pour myself in to him instead of the newest and latest on my Instagram feed.

3 // Meal time is family time. I grew up in a home where we had dinner together. I didn’t realize at the time, the value, in those meals together. We can truly connect and focus on each other, our son, talk about our day. Those simple moments are the most crucial, it fosters a community in our family. Strengthening our bond each day!

4 // Stick to a routine. I’ve never been one to plan my day around naps, I don’t rush home from a dinner with friends so I can get Landon to bed at 8:00 on the DOT. But it is important that we stick to the routine that we’ve found works for us. Like, alllll the oils at bedtime, extra stories because Landon is the master of deflection and lots of kisses.

What are you doing to be intentional in your home? Your marriage? I wanna know!

Xo!

I saw God today

I’m ashamed to say it but, it has been several years since I’ve gone to church to worship. Landon and I say our prayers together and we frequently read his bible stories; I just love how much he LOVES to read. I’ve felt like something has been missing so I reached out on Facebook for some suggestions of Churches in our area and we found one!!

Landon and I went together last weekend, unfortunately Nathan couldn’t make it. I’ve never been one to force religion on another person. I believe that each person has their right to find God on their own, or not. That’s a choice that someone should make on their own. With that being said, I didn’t have high hopes for Nathan joining us. I won’t share details of his experience but, his faith was challenged years ago and I knew his stance on it.

I was shocked when he looked at me and said “I told Landon I want to go with you guys next weekend”. I didn’t know how to respond. This man who felt so strongly was letting his walls down to do something for US. For our marriage, for our family. He said “it’s something we can do together”. That gesture touched my heart in such a profound way!

Today, we went. All of us together to pray and open up our hearts to God as a family. Landon did wonderfully in the kids center! He was nice and didn’t pinch anyone, huge plus haha! The message today was so powerful and I was so thankful to have my husband there with me to share it with. He grabbed my hand and I could just tell he was happy to be there, too.

He chose the perfect time to join us, too. We’ve started a new sermon all about how to love our families the way God does and how to understand the fundamentals of men and women. I am so excited to share this experience with my two guys.

•We tried for a few photos, this is the best we got. It was lunch time, nap time & well, he’s a toddler. So…. •

Xo.

First Fiesta

Because I’m feeling super nostalgic, I wanted to share Landon’s first birthday! I love Facebook memories, don’t you? Sometimes, though, they hit me straight in the heart. Lately, mine have been flooded with pictures of Landon from last year. I ask Nathan, “who is this baby?!” 😰 It always hits me how quickly time is fleeting us.

He’s so big and independent now! He brushes his own teeth, I find him reading so reverently in his room (I usually think he’s doing something he shouldn’t be and then find that!), he lathers himself up in the bath….. I feel guilty saying this, but I miss my newborn. The baby who needed me for everything. He’s 18 months now and his first birthday seems like it was ages ago.

*I need a time machine, to go back to these skin to skin moments with my peaceful, brand new babe*

Before we knew it, Landon was ONE!!! We had a small celebration at home (because it was January in New England, gross) with some of our friends. I love how everything turned out! A fellow Navy wife and friend made his adorable & delicious cake, my sweet friend Lauren made his cookies and everyone LOVED those! And, one of my besties did all the shopping with me and talked me down from spending a ridiculous amount at Party City 😛

No time to siesta, it’s Landon’s first fiesta!

Decorations were mainly Amazon and Etsy!

Nathan and I decided, moving forward, we will give him experiences instead of parties & gifts on his birthday. On his special day we will go pick out a new book and then take him somewhere fun to celebrate. Memories are far more valuable than material things and I want him to always cherish our family time together. I plan to put photo books together to document all the fun he had each year on his birthday and give it to him down the road!

Landon, you are our greatest adventure.

Xo.