Monday, February 29, 2016

The Men in My Life

I loved this prompt from Andrea and Erika's "Let's Talk" series and thought it was the prefect way to share a little more about The Men in my Life:

We all know Brian around these parts; sarcastic, silly, and my other half. The best Girl Dad to our sweet babes and a doting doggy parent, too. My best friend since I was a Junior in high school and he was a sophomore. The one I didn't know was The One until we shared our first kiss. I can't say enough wonderful things about him and am so thankful God joined our lives together.

My brother is 10 years younger than me. And the best baby brother I could have asked for. I was SO excited when my mom told me she was pregnant! Because of the huge age difference I feel like I was the jr mom and he pretty much was my practice baby ;) When Shay was 2, he started to display some concerning health issues and because of reading The Babysitters Club books, I strongly felt he was diabetic (a main character had diabetes and in one book it described her symptoms- always thirsty and urinating frequently, check and check.) After a scary incident when he was running and just collapsed and couldnt stand up, he was officially diagnosed as having Type 1 diabetes. My brother is one of the bravest people I know. And one of the smartest. It is awesome having a grown up relationship with him and seeing him with Kinsey and Brielana. He takes his role as uncle very seriously and they adore him. I will never forget when he told me I was the coolest big sister out of all his friends older sister's because I treated him nicely, unlike his friend's sisters. I will always carry that badge of honor with pride.

forgive the grainy, dusty picture, thanks ;)
My maternal grandpa is my father figure. He was the one who taught me how to ride a bike, bought me my first pair of roller blades and took me to my swim lessons. He is one of the funniest people I know and I like to think that's where I got my wit and sense of humor.
My papa walked me down the aisle at my wedding and when we picked out baby names the boy we never did have would have shared his name. My papa is 89 years old and has early onset alzheimer's and it breaks my heart to see him disappearing. He has good days and bad days but at least he still has days left with us. And he still has his funny bone intact!

My dad is a recovering alcoholic. I don't remember a time when my parents were together. I would only see my dad occasionally growing up and it didn't really bother me until I realized I was the only one out of my friends who didn't have their dad at home with them. My dad couldn't attend my wedding because he was at a detox center. But a couple of years after that, he moved to California and located about 90 minutes away and we have slowly worked towards a relationship. Two years ago he had a stroke that took away his balance and sight from one eye but gave him perspective. Our relationship is tenuous and at times awkward but I will take the small talk about the weather and the long laughes to fill the silence than never trying and feeling bitter and angry. It's the trying that matters the most to me even if there are missteps there is also mercy.

Brian's stepdad is a blessing in our lives. He came into Brian's life when he was 13 years old and has been his father figure ever since. Dave has the ability to make everyone feel welcomed and part of the family right away. He is hilarious and always ready to help us or lend a hand to anyone in need. He is Papa to the girls and has become a role model not just to Brian but to me as well. 

Linking up with Andrea and Erika.
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Thursday, February 25, 2016

The Man Behind the Beard// February

It's another round of The Man Behind the Beard. Not going to sugar-coat it, but these questions were not received well....

1. This year is Leap Year — what are you going to do to celebrate?
Brian: Um, nothing. That doesn't make any sense. Who celebrates Leap Year?

2. If you could create an obscure holiday, what would it be and why?
Brian: I don't know Whitney. There's national days every day. 
Me: Not even a Festivus or Swizzletag kind of holiday?
Brian: Nah.

3. Have you seen the movie Leap Year? If not, tell us about another romantic comedy you have seen.
Brian: Om my gosh, these are really dumb questions. I don't even watch romantic comedies. 

4. Tradition has it that women are supposed to propose to their men on leap day. Would you (or did you) say yes if your girl popped the question?
Brian: We're already married. N/A not applicable.

5. If you had to have a special event take place on leap day, what would it be (ex: wedding, birthday, birth of your child, etc)?
Brian: No, cus when would you be able to celebrate it?!
***That's what I always wonder too.***

Linking up with Betsy.
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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Currently// February

Watching// Season 10 of SyFy's Face Off with Brian.
Reading// Barbara Kingsolver's The Lacuna, still. I don't know why it's taking me so long to finish I just haven't hit a good reading groove yet.
Dreaming of// More rain and how soothing it sounds and how good the air smells after a good downpour.
Eating// All the sweets. It's horrible. Between Girl Scout Cookies, Kinsey's birthday and Valentine's Day, I just can't kick the sugar. Anyone been on the Sugar Detox? I need an intervention!
Learning// To be more patient with the girls. Both have gotten into some "ages and stages" that are new and not exactly the cutest. Deep breaths, deep breaths... 
Wishing// The crazy summer weather would just quit. I know my boots and scarves still have more wear in them and I miss them.
Obsessed with// My new Steve Madden Sneakers. So comfy!
Loving// Spending some extra time on Pinterest lately, hence the new "Pinning prompt".
Planning// Some fun preschool curriculum for Miss Kinsey.
Pinning// Spring and Easter activities.
Wearing// Summer clothes. And I'm not happy about it. One. Bit. I don't wear tank tops, I only have a handful of tee shirts. I'm a layering kind of girl. Always have been always will. (Ok, so rereading that sounds like the makings of a great Country song. Anyone else feeling that?! Haha!) 
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Linking up with ShaySheaffer and Mel.
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Monday, February 22, 2016

Beth from Our Pretty Little Girls {The Mommylogues Series}

I am so excited for today's guest! Beth is such a great friend and I am blessed that we connected last year because we are basically the same person living alternate lives ;)
The Mommylogues Series hosted by Work it Mommy
Hello Work It Mommy readers! 
My name is Beth and I blog over at Our Pretty Little Girls. Over there you will find a variety of posts from recipes & home school, to the random events that we call life. I am so excited to be sharing on Whitney's site today. I am fairly positive that Whitney just might be my long lost little sister and I hope and pray that one sweet day we will be reunited. Until then I will remain happy following her every move through the world of blogging. That didn't sound creepy at all, did it? ;)
There they are.
My family, my heart.
I have been proudly married to Russ for heading on 9 years now, but as awesome as he is we won't be talking about him today. Today for The Mommylogues Series we will be talking about those two blonde girls who have stolen my heart.
Marissa came into this world on June 17th of 2008.
She is a blonde haired, blue eyed, dimpled version of myself.
It is so eye opening (aka humbling) to see a miniature version of yourself walking around.
Fast forward 2 Years and 8 months later to February 21st, 2011 when Emily made her big arrival.
She is our curly haired blonde with a free spirit and a passion for life. 
So much like her older sister, but completely different too.
We were blessed beyond measure with two pretty little girls. 

And time passed by...

Yesterday my baby turned 5, F-I-V-E!
Please insert all the broken heart emojis here!

I've talked about it beforewe are completely content with our family just the way it is (and we still are). But, that doesn't mean it doesn't feel weird sometimes. Our family dynamics just keep moving on, growing, maturing. We out grow clothes and we sell them, our house is completely baby toy free and I haven't seen and episode of Elmo's World in over two years. Like it or not, they are growing up and perhaps that is the hardest part for this mama's heart to deal with. 

I don't want another baby. 
But sometimes I'm not so sure how I feel about my babies growing up either.

Babies don't keep.

The baby years were great. Hard work, but great. Sometimes I find myself wishing I could go back to those times just for one day. But these older years have brought something even more amazing than watching those little girls grow in size. Now I get to watch them grow as a person. The relationships that I have with the girls now mean more than I ever imagine they would when I was holding those precious little babies.
Maybe its because they are reasonable human beings now? Have you ever attempted to reason with a three-nager?! Good luck with that. Or maybe I've just learned to be the mother that they need, how to parent them better. Our relationship comes full circle now. I still give a lot but things aren't so one sided nowadays.

Whatever it is, it is beautiful.
And as long as they still want to hold my hand in public, play Barbies with me and snuggle in the dark talking about everything and nothing, we will do just that. 

Because soon enough this stage will be a thing of the past.
Just like those baby years are now...

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Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Best Week Ever Pt 3 {Mermaid Party}

The Best Week Ever ended with the culmination of Kinsey's 5th Mermaid Party! Affiliate links used. A small commission may be received if you purchase an item through my links. Thanks for supporting my blog!

I shared the inspiration for her party at the end of January. And by that date, I had nothing prepared(!!!) and was stressing just a bit. But I pulled it together, wrote out my lists and got to crafting. Here are the decorations:
Mermaid Party
I recreated the Welcome sign and had it on the guest table along with the guest book and favors. This sign now resides in the girl's room on the gallery wall, to say we love it is an understatement. Please feel free to download a copy here. You can print vertically or horizontally by adjusting your printer settings.
Mermaid Party
The favors were "oyster shells"- two Pepperidge Farm Lemon Homestyle Cookies stuck together with pink icing and a white Sixlet "pearl". The tags read "Thanks for shellebrating with me love Kinsey".
Mermaid Party, jelly lanterns
My favorite craft was making this jelly lantern, it looked SO cool!!! I actually took two different tutorials (here and here) and combined them to get the look I wanted. If I had more lanterns (a score from Target Dollar Spot in 2014) I would have made more. What can't you do with tissue paper?!
Mermaid Party, fish tail scales
I also love how this 5 turned out based off of this 2. I used a random piece of cardboard and had my mom sketch out a 5. Then I gathered up cardstock in the color scheme I had determined and punched out a bunch of circles using my Craft Punch! A few I cut in half for better fit and just used a glue stick to attach the circles to the cardboard.
The 5 was hung outside above the food table, so pardon the random shadow that is the power line ;) Also there was a bunch more food but it was crazy hot and we didn't think inducing food poisoning at the party would be a good idea.
I used Decorative Fish Net  to add some texture and it looked really cute. The shell is my mom's. And I have to point out that all the aqua paper goods were different brands but matched perfectly. It really is the little things, folks.

After the whirlwind of activity prepping for this sweet party, I took the rest of the afternoon off from being a paparazzo and just enjoyed 'being'. Kinsey ran around nonstop between the bounce house (first year of having one, will never go back haha) and her play house with her friends, ate exactly 3 bites of pizza and 2 bites of cake while consuming massive amounts of juice, and was tuckered out when we finally made it back home.

I was lucky to get this Family picture at the end of the day. Notice the sweaty heads and cranky (Brian and Brielana) expressions. 
Birthdays are the best celebrations.

You can catch up by reading Part 1 and Part 2 of The Best Week Ever.

Linking up with AnneAnnie and Natalie and Vanessa.

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