Friday, April 14, 2017

Halfway there



On April 1st, Gracen Marie turned 9 years old. My bright eyed firstborn that surprised me in the middle of the night, and made me a Mama, is half way out of my house. I can't help but think back on the first 18 months of her life when she was the sole star of the show. I got more parenting advice then I ever could have needed, some good, some bad. But absolutely nothing anyone tells you, or that you read in a book, could ever prepare you for the exact moment they place your baby in your arms. Your life is no longer your own. You are now responsible for this tiny human being that you love so fiercely, so immediately, that I can't think of a word in the English language that could accurately describe it.

I remember the moment of meeting her so vividly, because it was also the same moment that I gained a new appreciation for my own parents. My poor parents! As the 3rd born, I was a wild child, who did things my own way, and rarely thought of my actions and how they affected my parents. But as soon as you have a child of your own, you know exactly what you put them through. And so, the worrying begins.

I can't tell you how many times I checked on her when she was sleeping to make sure she was still breathing. I was the definition of a protective Mama Bear. And it probably got worse as she got older, and even more so with her sisters. I hear a lot of people get more relaxed the more kids they have, not me. Part of it is a struggle with anxiety, and part of it is my struggle of knowing time is so fleeting. I think when you lose your own Mother before you have kids it makes that sentiment of "enjoy every moment" even more urgent.

The hardest thing to remember is that it's not about me. Of course I've had ideas in my head of how she'd grow up, sports that she'd play, activities she'd enjoy. But, she's her own little person. And it's not my job to make sure you love K-State (although you do), or become a lawyer (I mean you could argue me under the table, and I am a pro at arguing), or cut your hair the way I want. It's my job to make sure you are kind, even when you're frustrated, use your manners, even when others aren't, and to use your ferocious determination for good in the world. To never take for granted the life you have been given, because you only get one. To treat the environment with respect, because every small act can add up to a big difference. I have no doubt in my mind that her bigger than life personality is going to change the world some day. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can, are the ones who usually do.

I can't wait to see what the next nine years have in store. I can only hope that she'll still want to have lunch with her Mom every year on her birthday.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

DIY Magnolia Leaf Wreath

I love Chip & Joanna just as much as anyone. I adore ship-lap, even if they say it's "on it's way out". I binge watch the show and cannot wait for the next season. But one thing I can't get behind, is the price tags.

I've been planning my road trip to the silos in my head, and couldn't wait to get my hands on one of the magnolia leaf wreaths. But when I saw online that they were $95, the proverbial record screeched to a halt. The real nail in the coffin was when I read all the reviews online. Poor quality. On almost every review. So, with the help of Hobby Lobby - $12 and an hour later - I made my own.

All you need is:
  • Magnolia leaf bunches (I bought 4, only needed 3) $4.99 each but they were 50% when I got them
  • Wreath form (I used a vine wreath, because I like the rustic look of it, but you can use foam too) $4.99 and then I had a 40% off coupon
  • Hot glue gun (Already had at home, but they're super cheap if you need to buy one)
Grand Total: $12 and some change (not including the extra leaf bunch)

3 easy steps:
  1. Remove all the leaves 
  2. Place them sporadically around the wreath 
  3. Hot glue them in place as you go

And the finished product:

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Sweet Summertime

As we find ourselves in September, and are full-steam ahead into school, fall sports and activities, we took a brief pause to soak up the last bits of summer and kick off our holiday weekend. We've had a blur of a summer, and every season I find myself struggling to catch up. Between tutors, swim team, tennis, softball, and a few mini weekend getaways, September crept up on us.

The transitions of seasons can be difficult for me, because I grasp so tightly to the familiar. The routines we establish. The feeling of comfort. Those sunshiney faces are just so beautiful in the carefree light of summer.

So while I do love fall - and boots and sweaters, and crunchy leaves, and pumpkin everything - I want to fully appreciate the summer for what it was to us, simply amazing.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

The First Day of School

The first day of school is always a mix of emotions. Isn't that par for the course in parenthood? It's like feeling all the emotions at once - anxiety, fear, joy, excitement - all rolled into one and just putting hope in your kids that you've prepared them well for the new adventures that await them in first and third grade. Having faith in the teachers that you so trustingly hand over your kids to for 7 hours a day.

I want to rewind the clock, freeze time, and skip ahead to the future all at the same time. The past 8 and half years feel more like months, while the anticipation of all the exciting things to come seem ages away.


So all I can do is freeze these precious moments in photographs, to remember all the emotions. Because every single one of them counts. Because I want them to know I was there. To share in that joy, and excitement of the new school year. But also to help alleviate the anxiety and the fear even though I was feeling it too. That even though I'm not physically there during the day. I am always there. With them, for them, cheering them on. 


PS: We finally did get a new doormat :) And Gracen took her bow out as soon as she got to her desk, and Hadley said she'd wear hers all day if I gave her a quarter. I happily obliged.

 First day of school 2015, Gracen 2014, Hadley 2014, Gracen 2012 (#fail, I didn't post Gracen's first day of kindergarten, or either of their first days of 3 yo pre-school)

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

4th of July Weekend

Summertime is always crazy. Add in birthdays and a long holiday weekend, and I'm craving a nap.

In a house full of princesses, where do you take the king of your castle for his birthday? Top Golf of course. Despite the rainy start to the weekend, we had no trouble celebrating our fave. He may claim not to like birthdays, but deep down he loves to be spoiled just like the rest of us.

We will most certainly be back, at least with the older gals. With the help of the Mr. they were both doing really well - and by the end, probably better than me. While I do enjoy golfing - I whiff the ball just as many times (if not more times) than I hit it. I'm really only here for the beer. Parker lasted all of 5 minutes, so she'll have to sit the next trip out. Sorry peanut.

On the 4th, we made it to the annual PV Village Fest. And while we love it, and the fact that it's free, it seems to get busier each year. I have to admit I was impressed with all three of my girls and their patience. It's a lot of waiting in line. Gracen wore her swimsuit this year because the water slides have the shortest lines because you get wet, and of course it was a "chilly" 70 degrees this year. #typical

The face paint was of course their favorite part, and the Mr. stood in line pretty much the whole time we were there for them. The littlest gal may look like serious sally but she had a blast. Only one little minor meltdown when she had to get off the train. But I totally get it - I mean we waited in line for a good 20-30 minutes for a 2 minute train ride.

That night we bbq'd at Aunt Nanie's, lit some fireworks, roasted s'mores, and had a pretty great view of the Corporate Woods fireworks show right down the street from her house. We played badminton, the girls did roman candles by themselves (!!!!) and we only had one minor burn from a close call with a sparkler.

Parker was surprisingly well behaved and sat on the steps most of the time watching. She did like to play the games, and of course loved the poppers. Two year olds are the best aren't they?

This is the good stuff. What summer memories are made of. Good food, family, and good old fashion fun blowing stuff up. #merica

It's a little bittersweet that it's already a week into July. Our kids are at really fun ages right now, and we have had a pretty great summer. We're busy of course, but enjoying the slowness of this season while we can. I'm not quite ready to head back into the hustle and bustle of the school year.

So until then, we'll keep on roasting marshmallows, catching fireflies, and sipping sun tea.