Friday, May 29, 2015

Five on Friday: Guest blogging, lipstick, pictures and decor.

Ah, Friday. Bless you. How are you folks this week? It's been pretty breezy for us over here, I'm starting to figure out our schedule for the summer and I am excited to soak it all in with my boys: pools, zoo, water parks, hopefully some workouts for mama- all squeezed in between our two-nap-a-day schedule. Should be special.

I'm back linking up today with the Five on Friday crew, sharing more randomness from the week!

One. I'm over at Her View From Home blog this morning, guest posting about the greatest gift we can give our kids. Hint: it's all about numero UNO. Check it out!

Two. Found a new lipstick I adore. Brave by Mac. It's like a Twig, which I consider a colorful neutral, but more summer-y. You know for the two nights a month I put on makeup. I don't even recognize myself anymore!

Three. The sun is out here in Denver, hallelujah! I mean, these two are cute right?

Four. I talked about my favorite Memorial Day shopping snags on Wednesday but can I just reiterate how much I love these shoes? They are the perfect, lightweight, summer shoe. And they're cute on, I love them.
Five. Decor is on my brain every day. So much to decorate around here, folks! Anyways, at long last I've ordered what I think will be THE pillow cases for our family room. 
They'll be going on this stone colored couch.
Reminder: this room looked like THIS when we bought the house:
I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. And, yes, I am a neutral gal and my rooms start with a neutral palette. I plan to add pillows with pops of color seasonally. E-ventually. I'll be sharing more of the house reno next week, next up, staircase! You'll be shocked.

Wishing everyone a great weekend!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Mid-week ramblings: monologue from a threenager and weekend purchases.

Back again this morning with "shit my threenager says." I mean, people, you just can't make this up. Lately we've been talking- correction, HE has been talking, about what his "weenis" (but it starts with a 'P'), will and will not do.

"Cooper, go potty and wash your hands before nap time please."
"But mommy, my weenis doesn't want to go potty! My weenis says, 'nope! no potty for me, sorry!''" 
"Um, okay Cooper, just go wash your hands please."
"OK mom."

I mean, how you can I argue with his weenis you know? YOU KNOW?

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week so far. I wanted to share some pictures of my favorite cowboy from his last day of school.
And my favorite baby who is finally recovering from a terrible virus over the last four days. Ben scares me when he's sick, y'all. He's mean. And ladies who have young babies, take lots of pics now when they smile on command. Because when they become threenagers, they get weird.
In other news I snagged some shoes this weekend during Nordstrom's annual sale. I love Nordstrom so much.

And the K&K flats have already arrived and are SO comfortable. I'd highly recommend if you are looking for a summer flat. We'll see if the other two will be staying or going back.

I shared this article on Facebook this week from One Thousand Gifts author Ann Voskamp. Here's an excerpt:

"We won't act like what's happening with ISIS isn't the story of our times, isn't the story that defies geography, isn't the story that threatens the cradle of civilization." 

Deep stuff, heavy stuff, but important STUFF. The organization she talks about is doing incredible work, I was glad there was some small thing I could do from my little part of the world. "I am only one, but still I am one. I can't do everything, but I can do something. I will not refuse to do the something I can do." -Helen Keller

And THAT my friends, is a whole lot of RANDOM. Happy mid-week!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Am I a mom-hole? Raising up tough-minded kids.

I am so curious your thoughts on this post; mainly, if you think I'm an asshole after reading it.

I heard a quote once that literally changed my perspective on fear and parenting. More specifically, the fear of the obstacles my children will face, the fear of poor decision-making which could somehow lead my kids down the wrong path in life. What can I do to set them up for the greatest opportunity to succeed? I asked myself.  Put them in the right schools? What is the "right" school anyway? How can I make sure every single friend of their's is a good influence? I mean it's exhausting. And OBVIOUSLY, I can really control none of these things.

Then I heard this:
"You can't prepare the journey for the child, you must prepare the child for the journey."

It helped me let go of my need to make sure my kids were constantly in what I deemed the "right" situations.

You've met those parents. The ones that do anything to make sure their child has the edge over other kids in sports, organizations, any type of activity. I recently read an article one mom wrote about kindergarden, saying she won't start her child until they are 6, turning 7. I mean, what about the rest of the classmates who are 5? What are we doing to those children? And listen I think there are definitely situations when younger kids should be held back, after all, I did grow up in Texas where it is commonplace to hold kids back who have end-of-May birthdays. So let me be clear: this not about my opinion on kindergarden, this is about the growing movement of parents to shield our kids from uncomfortable and challenging situations. It's the constant need to keep our children one step ahead (of what, I'm not quite sure).

Our children will face adversity, and people will be better than them physically, academically and socially. THEIR WHOLE LIVES. No matter what we do as parents, there will be tough times for our kids. I know, I don't like it either, but I do not subscribe to the mindset of trying to do all I can to avoid little Sam from ever getting his feelings hurt or not making the team.

That's the reality of the journey folks and it's a tough one. Haven't we heard, "Life is 10% what happens to us, and 90% how we react to it?" We are forgetting to teach this to our children.

Here's what I believe I CAN control: making sure my children have the means to deal with rejection. To laugh it off, to learn from it, to use it as fuel to drive them further towards learning where they excel. I can teach them that most of the time, nothing is really that big of a deal. There is always a solution, a Plan B, and a silver lining.

See these two?

They will do many things well. In fact they will do great things. But, they will be challenged, they will fail, and my proudest mommy moment will be when they realize that it is all OK.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Mornings: the most wonderful time of the day.

I never thought I'd say this, not in a MILLION years. But I love mornings.

Out of all the somtimes-long hours of the day staying at home with my boys, THIS part of the day is by far the happiest and (gasp!) the most relaxing. Here's why:

Coffee First thing I do is make a cup of coffee. See right there I'm already starting my day on a high note.

Kids are happiest in the morning. And then we know it all goes downhill from there. Maybe it's because they are fresh off a 12-hour siesta, but kids are in the best moods in the morning. All smiles, all giggles, all joy. It's great.
Good Morning America First thing I do after I get the boys and get my cup of coffee, is turn on Good Morning America. I only watch about half-an-hour, but I love this ritual of feeding the baby a bottle, sipping on some caffeine, and getting my news headlines. Oh and I should note this is typically the first and last time I get to watch TV. So there's that.
The baby never is too far away though. Hi Ben!
Breakfast routine.  I love our breakfast routine in the morning. It is Cooper's favorite meal of the day, and he wants the same thing, prepared the same way, on the same plate, erryday. In fact, nowadays he likes to help. This may sound boring to you, but oh contrare! This equals no surprises (ie tantrums if all goes to plan) for mommy. And Ben loves sitting at the table watching his most-favorite-human-of-all-time, the Coop-man. It's awesome to watch.
Morning nap-time. As I type I fear this might be changing for me, but currently, Ben naps from 8:30-10:30 like a boss. So after the happiest of mornings (see above), I put him down for his morning nap and Coop and I have two-hours of quiet time. Usually I eat breakfast, check the computer, and he gets some coveted time of Team Umizoomi in. And before you judge me, he can count backwards from 30 thanks to that show, so I consider this an educational time.

And as quickly as the quiet morning came it is gone again. But I sure do cherish our calm mornings. Anyone with me on this? Or is the opposite story at your house?

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

7 Things I'd Tell My College-Aged Self

Happy Wednesday friends!

My Wednesday posts are few and far between lately, and if you follow those I do apologize. I blame the children. Who make me tired. I digress.

It's been funny lately, I feel like I've either ran into young women who remind me of what it was like to be an insecure 19-year old or I am just hyper-aware of them.

While at lunch this week I overheard a couple (hungover) college girls chatting about the night before; let's just say they were dehydrated from a crazy MONDAY night out. It was all boys, booze, boys, boys, booze. Listen, I get it, heck I lived it, but we all know that is a crazy road that leads to nowhere.
As I was sitting there, waiting for my friend to join me, feeding Baby B a bottle while picking out the chunks of banana in my hair, I found myself kind-of judging them; I mean, y'all, who goes out late on a school night? But mostly I felt sorry for them. 

It reminded me how little you know about yourself at this age. 

Young girls tend to look for affirmation in all sorts of wrong places, and adventures are gauged by the number of friends (and boyfriends) they have, or nowadays how many Facebook likes a picture gets. I mean how lucky was I to experience NO social media throughout any point of schooling? It's a self-esteem game changer. 

It got me thinking about what I wish my 18-22-year old self would have known.

1. Get to know you and learn to love yourself. You're young and this may seem tricky. But a good place to start is with your feelings, because in a brand new place all by yourself you will have a lot. Listen to what you are feeling, and work your butt off to understand WHY you are feeling that way. This can help you understand your insecurities so that other people can't use them against you. Be gentle with yourself, but always hold YOU to the highest standard. Don't let other outside influences determine your self-worth.

2. Find what you love. Spend time searching for what makes you tick. What brings you joy. If there's a certain class your drawn too, sign up for another similar one. And once you find that part of schooling that brings you joy, work your butt off to pursue that professionally.

3. Build your village and put them first, not boys and booze.  You will learn as much from your college girlfriends as you will from your classes. Building new friendships and being a good friend to others is a critical part of happiness. 

4. Assume the best in people. You hold yourself to high standard and others around you as well. But cut people some slack and work to have your first reaction be to assume people have good intentions. The other way creates bitterness and sometimes paranoia. Remember that your personal perspective is not always the right one. Give others the benefit of the doubt.

5. Don't take anything personal. ANYTHING. We women tend to do this anyways, but add on college insecurities and breakups and failing grades, and you get it, times can be tough. Just don't take it personal and refer to point number 1.

6. If you haven't got the message yet, work on you. You won't find the dream job, the dream man, or live out your dreams until you know, YOU. Knowing who we are and focusing on building up our character is the only way we can move forward and find success. Take part in activities that interest YOU, pursue YOUR interests, nourish YOUR friendships. Try to be the right person, and you will find the rest of the things you want in life will naturally fall into place.

7. Don't go out on a school night. Lauren, don't go out late on a Monday. Trust me.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday morning what-have-you's.

Happy Monday friends!
"Mom, you just farted in your mouth." 
I was just minding my own business feeding Ben a banana. To clarify: no burping.
"Don't talk to me that way!" 
I just asked him to wash his hands.
"It's okay Ben, here I am." 
To his brother when he is crying.
"Look mommy, I picked you a flower!"
You can see we are on the roller coaster ride that is having a three year old. Anyone else in this boat?

Some close friends and I have a monthly-ish dinner and rotate who hosts. This weekend it was my night. I went for a tapas theme and loved an excuse to get my table dressed up. Er, set. And what is it about fresh flowers that makes life a little brighter?
Appetizer Plates / Placemat / Jars / Table
I'm starting to focus on getting my master bedroom decorated, finally. This has fallen way to the bottom of my to-do list since we moved and I'm ready to hang things on walls and make it a cozy space. It needs it! I love this space from Megan's home at Honey We're Home. I'm a neutral gal and love her neutral master. How simple and classy?
Go get 'em today, friends.