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.

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Science Center

Sometimes vacations are exhausting. Like when you have to deal with hotel reservations on the phone for two hours. When you make an exhaustive list of all the family friendly activities with a breakdown of their hours and costs, and then forget it. When you pile everyone into the car and head out to Grant's Farm to see the Budweiser Clydesdales and you realize it's entirely possible you'll run out of gas from the AC before you make it through the line to park, so you scrap it all together. Exhausting.

But there's magic in the effort. There's beauty in the fascination of everything new as seen from the innocent eyes of your kiddos. There's a sense of wonder as you witness each little personality developing and finding their rhythm. What makes them glow, and become completely immersed in their surroundings.

It never seizes to amaze me how completely different my two oldest gals can be. While one thrives on adrenaline rushes, the other prefers the complexities of science and the intricacies of art. It is one of my greatest joys to observe the way they continue to define who they are and find a space for themselves as individuals. This world is a much better place because they're in it.

 And of course the littlest peanut, who was just happy to be out of the stroller and "helping".