2015 Holiday Festivities

We had a great time celebrating the holidays. It’s no surprise that I am a big fan of Christmas. Anyone that knows me knows that I love the whole shebang. The music, the decorating, the lights, shopping, Christmas outings with the fam, cooking, visiting Santa, hosting parties, and all the holiday festivities that go along with it!

IMG_9155Lake Lanier Under the lights 5K
The first thing we did to get into the holiday spirit, was run/walk the Lake Lanier Under the lights 5k.  We did this last year, and it really is a fun event to do. Not only that, but I love the time I spend with Dan, running and being goofy out there together. You get to see lots of light displays during your run, and the jolly man himself. It’s a great atmosphere. It’s something that we enjoy and would like to continue doing every year!

 

Tree Lighting of Avalon

We enjoyed a tree lighting ceremony in Avalon. This was our first year attending the tree lighting ceremony there, and it was nice. It was super cold, and a bit crowded, but we ran into some friends, and it turned out to be a really fun evening.  This may end up being a tradition each year leading up to Christmas!

Parkway’s Children’s Program

Mason and Sienna took to the stage with their classes to sing Christmas songs for the holidays.  This was Sienna’s first time singing and she did great! She loves singing, and is always animated with her movements when putting on a performance, and Mason isn’t shy about singing either. It was super precious and we enjoyed every bit of it!

 

Cookies with the Clauses

It was kind of sad this year going to Cookies with the Clauses because I remember taking Parker as a toddler, when Mason was just a baby. My how the times have changed. Now Mason and Sienna are attending without big brother because he’s in Kindergarten. In a blink of an eye! Next year Mason will be in Kindergarten as well!

Sienna and Mason had a great time. We met a few friends there, but we were waiting in line for a while for Santa and Ms. Clause that we didn’t get to visit as long as we would’ve hoped to.

 

Getting the Perfect Christmas Tree

No Christmas would be the same without our annual visit to Kinsey Farms. We decided to go on a weekday this year because it’s always been super busy on the weekends. Although, this is a Christmas Tree farm, they’re not typical Christmas trees that they grow there. They’re leyland Cyprus, and other green trees, but Fraser firs are what people typically get, and they aren’t grown in this area. They’re mostly grown in the Appalachian regions of NC. They are trucked into Kinsey farms, but we still love the atmosphere of the farm, and it has certainly become a tradition of our family.
Even though Mason and Sienna managed to dump hot chocolate all over them, and they burned their marshmallows several times, we still managed to laugh about it all. I love our crazy family!


When we got home, we got busy decorating the new tree! We decided to do colored lights this year, which is the first time we’ve done this. I noticed that they don’t photograph as well as the white lights, but it was fun to use the for a change!

 

Meeting Santa in Avalon

We had planned to visit Santa at North point mall, but they are just too fancy. I mean, for realz, fancy!! In order not to have to wait in a line for a long time, I planned to do a reservation. Except this year in order to make a reservation at North Point Mall Dreamworks Santa, you had to pay ahead of time for the pictures too. Say whaaaat? Who does that? I mean… this year happens to be the first year that we don’t have a kid afraid of Santa, but if we did then we’d be up a creek with crappy photos. I’m just not a fan of paying for photos you’ve never seen. I think I’m pretty normal in that degree. It is a fancy set-up though. They allow you to design your sleigh, and you go on an interactive ride in your sleigh prior to meeting santa. We may try it next year, but Dreamworks needs to get a reality check before next year and not require the pre-pay for photos in order to reserve.
So, we went to Avalon instead, which turned out to be a great experience anyways. The only thing that was a bit of a let-down was the weather. It was literally 70 degrees! Not very Christmasy but we made the best of it. After a sweet visit with Santa, and a wonderful staff that allowed me to take MY OWN photos for free, Parker begged me to take him ice skating. It was so expensive that we could only take one child, and we told the others that they weren’t old enough and they’d have to wait until next year. Dan took them to the soft play area and Parker and I took to the ice. It was so slushy from the weather that Parker fell several times into the wet mess. However, in true Parker fashion, he laughed and laughed and didn’t mind one bit. Just like when he was learning to ride a bike. He never got upset or frustrated, he just laughed, got back up, and tried again! I need to remember this when I’m frustrated by the fact that he’s a goof ball and won’t be serious…I’m thankful that he also has the type of personality that doesn’t take himself too seriously and knows when to laugh it off, even if it’s the hundredth time falling in slushy ice and soaking your pants from the waist down!

Christmas Eve

We were overjoyed to be able to host Christmas Eve in our home this year. We typically go to Angie’s house, but we asked if we could host, and we were so thankful that she not only agreed, but was happy that we offered. I know we live a little further out, and we were excited that everyone was able to come up and spend such a special time in our home.  We had a table full of appetizers and desserts, and we enjoyed catching up with family, and we watched a short clip from the movie Nativity that talked about the birth of Christ, and the true reason why we celebrate the holiday. In years past, we have done everything from reading scripture, to singing Christmas Carols, to sharing prayers, and we decided to change it up, and put our stamp on the night. All the young kids are excited to open “stocking stuffers” from family members, of course too. Truthfully, I may be equally excited to see the joy and smiles on their faces!  Overall, it was a big success! We were exhausted, but everyone had a great time and the kids were tired by the end, but still excited for Santa to come and for Christmas morning.

Christmas Day

We enjoyed a relaxed morning at home Christmas Day.  The kids big gifts this year were a dollhouse for Sienna, remote BB8 for Parker and Mason got a Lego AT AT.  Aunt Angie hosted Christmas lunch at her house this year, which was really nice because typically the family Christmas Day lunch is held at the farm, which is too far for us to drive with the kids.  It was nice to visit more with family and get to see my grandparents that weren’t able to make it on Christmas Eve. We had a wonderful relaxing Christmas!

Year-end Catch-up!

I know, I know. I’ve been terrible about updating my blog. I apologize to you loyal readers and also to those of you who merely scroll through half heartedly wondering if I will post anything noteworthy.

I haven’t been blogging as much because my old laptop was running extremely slow and I was having issues importing pictures because my hard drive was overcrowded and the operating system was old and outdated. Dan and I decided it was time to upgrade, so I got a Macbook Pro as my Christmas present! I love the solid state hard drive, with a faster processor and a fresh new hard drive to start. This makes updating my blog, so much easier!

So, since my last post in September we had a few more life events that I feel are blog worthy.

Our Disney Vaca

This was Sienna’s first time and our first time as a family going. We went over Fall break, which made the crowds less busy. We loved it! Seeing the smiles on our kids faces are priceless.  While I took Sienna to do all things princess, including dining in Cinderella’s castle, Dan took the boys to Legoland for one day.  We stayed a few nights at the Embassy suites, and about four nights at the Art of Animation Resort (I highly recommend!). We spent time as a family at Magic Kingdom, and with Dan’s parents at Hollywood Studios. The boys were over the moon excited for all things Star Wars related at that park! We also tried pin trading for the first time, and that was really fun to look at and trade while we were waiting in line. Overall a great vacation and experience!



Coal Buddy

A new family member joined us in October. Coal! We wanted to get a puppy for a while but we were waiting for the right time.  Dan needed more convincing. We all finally agreed it was the right time.

We sold our townhouse, the kids are older now and could help out.  We didn’t want a big dog, but not a tiny yapper dog either.  We found the perfect fit with Coal. He’s small, but not tiny.  We went to the Forsyth County Animal shelter, and we met ten month old “Vincent” super sweet and gentle with the kids.  We all went over name options because we didn’t think Vincent suited him.  We came up with Coal because of the charcoal color of his fur, and Parker loved the name because it is the name of the black ninja on the show Ninjago. He doesn’t bark much, and he loves to play with the kids.  He’s been a great addition to the family! He did need some house training in the beginning which took about a month, but all in all, he has been a sweet pup, and we love having him around.




The Pumpkin Patch and Halloween

In October, We enjoyed a few pumpkin farms, one with Mason and Sienna’s school field trip to Uncle Shuck’s and we also enjoyed our annual family trip to Kinsey farms to pick out our pumpkins.  We enjoyed a pumpkin painting playdate in Wills Park, and of course, we all dressed up in costumes this year for Halloween.  I was the witch from “Room on the Broom” Parker and Mason’s favorite Halloween book, Dan was Sub Zero, Parker and Mason were ninjas from Ninjago, and Sienna was her favorite princess, Princess Sofia the First. We had a neighborhood gathering and the kids had a blast trick or treating!



Sienna Turns Three

When I really think about it, I start to get sad. My sweet girl  has turned three and is looking more like a big kid than ever. She wanted to have a Sofia the First birthday party, so we had a few of her friends over and she enjoyed games and celebrating!  We did bobbing for apples, making magic wands, making bracelets with pipe cleaner and beads, and dancing to Sofia music. Sienna had a great time celebrating!



Thanksgiving

This year for Thanksgiving we had my brother come down from NC to visit, so that was really nice! The rest of the holiday was pretty typical. Lots of eating, cooking, visits with family at Aunt Angie’s house and just enjoying having the kids out of school and spending time together!



Ear Piercing and Ballet

Sienna got her ears pierced for the first time (she did great!) and she started ballet, which I feel like is pretty noteworthy! These are a few things that I have been waiting for, and now that she’s three, we thought she would be old enough for both. She has loved showing off her ear rings, and showing off her moves that she has learned in ballet. We have signed her up for lessons every Monday until May and she has loved taking the class with her best buddy Kenzie! Her Mom and I are friends and gym buddies, and the girls are the same age, and just love spending time together too!




 

I am hoping as the new year approaches that I can resolve to blog more. Not just about things we did or particularly noteworthy events and milestones (although those are great) but be able to use this blog as a sound board for internal struggles, ideas, encouragement, etc. and hopefully allow me to get back to writing more posts that inspire everyone to be the best they can be, but also allow me to be more grateful for where I am in my current journey.

 

My oldest started KINDERGARTEN!

This back to school season was a big one for us because Parker started Kindergarten! Parker was super excited to go, but I was a mess. A. MESS! It’s yet another reminder how fast he is growing and how our time is so precious while they’re young. He’s so ready, with him approaching six, he waited as long as possible with the cut-off date being August first (thank goodness!) he had to wait one more year before starting.

So, with me having more jitters that Parker did about him starting this new endeavor, we thought it would be fun to make bracelets together so that he could remember me while he was at school, and so that I would feel comforted when I started feeling sad about him taking such a step in going to big kid school!

Parker's First Day of School

It also helped that he has lots of friends that joined him on the bus, too. I don’t think I would’ve been so accepting of doing the bus if it wasn’t for the fact that there were so many people we knew riding. Also, I heard that it was strongly encouraged because of the super long carpool line during drop-off. It was still really hard for me realizing the fact that I had to just let go of control and trust the driver of the bus, and his teachers and know that God was watching over him through all of it. I wasn’t so sure about the bus on the first day because the windows were so tinted on the new bus models, that I couldn’t even see where Parker went, much less wave to him as they drove away. Not exactly what I had envisioned. I called the bus driver mid-day (I know… I was THAT Mom) but it really helped calm my fears to talk through some of the things that made me nervous (no bus numbers, not seeing my son in the first few rows like he promised, no adult “helper” on the bus to help get the kids seated, etc.).

So far, Parker has loved school and has made lots of friends. That part usually comes easy for him! Maybe a little too easy, actually. There is a neighbor friend that is in his class that he didn’t know well, but they quickly became good buddies. The two of them had to be separated for excessive talking and goofing off in class. It doesn’t surprise me a bit because Parker may be the goofiest out of all the kids and he doesn’t miss an opportunity to make someone laugh or be silly! It’s almost to his detriment. While I love his enthusiasm and positivity, he lacks the self control at this age to harness it and only use during appropriate times like recess, PE or lunch. He’s working on it though, and I am confident that his positive attitude will serve him well as he grows and matures. So, the first few weeks we got a few frowny faces on his behavior chart, but we have since worked through these issues, and I am super proud of his recent efforts of self control and focus in the classroom!

I’m coming to terms with the fact that my boy is growing up. He’s going to be six in a few weeks, and he’s becoming more responsible and his sweet personality shining through. He’s a great helper in the kitchen and he’s doing great learning how to keep up with his chores and duties around the home. I honestly couldn’t be more proud of who my sweet boy, my first born baby is becoming!

 

 

Summertime… Livin’ it Up and Lovin’ it! {{PART 1}}

It has been my intent to update for some time now, but with all the new things going on in the Christiansen home, (Starting School, Selling our townhouse, consignment sale preparation, etc) I haven’t been able to carve time out of my schedule.

Well, Sienna is in school two days a week (a school post coming up soon!) and that has allowed me to catch a breath and have a little bit of free time! Wohoo! It only took six years! This has allowed me to finally do some blogging. So, prepare for a 2-3 post update over the next few days!

So, this summer, we enjoyed some great times with our friends! We kicked it off with an ice cream social, that you see in the post below. For those who know me well, it’s no secret that Summer is my absolute favorite season! I know most people love spring and autumn, but there is just something about the warmth of the sun, the smell of sunscreen and chlorine in the air, beach and sand, unscheduled free time, and of course, my birthday is in the summer! So, in order to live our summer to it’s fullest, without over booking ourselves and allowing us to enjoy being lazy and schedule-free, I booked weekly summer playdates with friends in order to have some fun time with local moms, and let the kids enjoy time with their friends. We really had a great time with it!

The kids also attended Birthday parties, cook-0uts, and I was even a mean Mommy and made them do school work. I know, I know…It’s summertime, but they wanted to have iPad time too, and I felt like a good compromise was to make them work on some worksheets instead of napping and earn their iPad time. Most of the time it worked well! They even got stickers that allowed them to earn special gifts for doing good work.  All practice for what was to come in their new school year!  Here’s an unfiltered iphoneography glimpse into our Summer activities:

{Sims Lake Park}

{Dan and the boys visit Hershey Park with the Daymans}

{Sienna and Mommy enjoy a Mother-Daughter Weekend}

{Summer Cookout at the Leiby’s}

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{Earning iPad time and stickers for special summer gifts}

{Fun with Farmer Sue at The Art Barn}

 

 

{Sophia’s Fourth Birthday}

{Crafting bracelets at the Library}

{Playdoh and puzzle Fun}


{Sarah and Gene’s Bridal Shower}

 

 

{Playdate with Horstmeyer and Hunt Boys}

{Gary Pirkle Park}

{Catch Air Playdate}

{July 4th with Family and Friends}

 

 

{Central Park}

{Chuck-e Cheese Playdate}

{Copper Creek Bunco Night}

{Cow Appreciation Day at Chick-Fil-A}

{Cumming Aquatic Center Playdate}

{VBS and snow cone fundraising for missions}

Pool fun

The boys are really blossoming into swimmers this summer! They are gaining confidence and I’m loving how independent they are trying to be! Sienna loves to practice kicking, floating, holding her breath underwater and jumping in. She doesn’t like floaties and just wants to be held and continue practicing with me!

This afternoon I got some pictures and a slow-motion video with my iPhone in a life proof (waterproof) case. 

   
            
   

   

      

   

Girls Trip to NC

Jess and I didn’t go on a girls trip last year, so we wanted to try to get together this year to hang out and get some time away. We decided it would be fun to go to Wilmington (Jess lives in Charleston) since we haven’t been there since our high school reunion back in 2010. We thought it would be fun to hit up some of our old stomping grounds that we used to frequent as well as relax at Jess’ beach house in the nearby Oak Island. Jess couldn’t get off work as early as she had originally planned to so I ended up meeting up with Rennie, Dad and Christopher for a visit. It worked out perfectly since it had been some time since we saw each other last. Dad made his amazing Louisiana style cajun jumbalaya and it was delicious!

I planned to meet up with Jess later that morning, so I decided it would be fun to catch up with an old friend I have known since elementary school that I went to church with!  My friend Sara go way back and it has been at least 13 years since we’ve seen each other last.  We’ve reconnected on Facebook of course, but due to my tight schedule while I was in town, I was never able to pay her a visit.  Until now!  We enjoyed a delicious breakfast and it was so nice laughing and catching up just like old times again!  Our lives have changed dramatically, however in some ways, we are the still same girls we were from the same ‘ol beach town. IMG_4952Jess and I met up later that morning and we enjoyed catching up downtown walking through stores an grabbing a bite to eat for lunch. One fun fact… We wanted to go to our favorite pizza joint “Slice of Life” and we were so bummed when we arrived to it’s usual spot and saw that it was no longer there and had turned into something different.  How could that be? We asked each other.  It was a favorite throughout the town and certainly our favorite place.  We begrudgingly ate there anyway.  I got a salmon sandwich and Jess got a salad. Not the same as the yummy pizza we had set our minds to, but it would have to do. We left the restaurant with full bellies only to realize that directly across the street from where we were standing was in fact… you guessed it. “Slice of Life”. Ugh. Really? Of course they didn’t close! They just expanded to a bigger building! So… we must partake in the delicious pizza another time but at least we know now that our beloved pizza place hadn’t gone under. We met up with Jess’ Mom and her boyfriend for a delicious dinner that evening.  They suggested Oceanic and I wasn’t going to complain since it was arguably one of the best restaurant in Wrightsville Beach.  We had a tasty dinner with beautiful views and great conversation.  It has been many years since I had seen Jess’ Mom and I really enjoyed talking with her. After Dinner we picked up my brother Chris for a night out.  We had so much fun taking shots, playing pool, bar hopping, dancing, doing some Karaoke.  So much fun! Chris recently turned 21 in February (so crazy how time flies) and it was our first time out on the town together!  He was so fun to have along with us and I’m not sure we’d have as fun of a time without him!

After a late night out, we decided to take it easy the next day, and then drive up to Jess’ beach house in Oak Island.  We were pretty beat so we did a lot of lounging around. I rented a movie from red box, the Nicole Kidman flick “Before I Go To Sleep”.  It was really good. It is very suspenseful and keeps your interest.  After that, we enjoyed a walk on the beach with her sweet dog Ruby and then met up with Jess’ Mom again for dinner in South Port which is pretty close to Oak Island. The next day we decided to go paddle boarding in Davis Creek, a nearby inlet that funnels to the waterway. There were rumors of alligators there, so I was a bit nervous but everything ended up just fine and it was a nice relaxing time in nature.  Just what the doctor ordered! We ended with some shopping in South port in some of their cute shops that had clothing stores, antiques, a lunch by the water and ice cream! Even though sometimes people change and they end up not being who you think they are, it was still a fun trip and can’t wait until I can make it back up to Wilmington again.

Over a decade of Love!

It’s hard to believe that it’s been ten years since we’ve said “I do”!  We celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary on March 19th! Our journey has been anything but easy, but I know without a shadow of a doubt that my life got infinitly better the moment we decided to take our vows in marriage!

Danandsharonwedding

In ten years, we’ve gone through some challenges.  Between the deaths of several family members that are close to us, miscarriages, surgeries, health issues, job changes and other marriage strains… we’ve had our fair share of heart ache.  We’ve also enjoyed some amazing blessings; welcoming three healthy babies, getting to be a  stay-at-home Mom to them, finding a great church home, moving into our dream home,  meeting some incredible people, taking memorable vacations and watching precious milestones… we’ve been by each other’s side through these immeasurable blessings!

There is one thing I am absolutely sure of.  Cliche or not, we couldn’t have done any of this without us leaning on God through the ups and down. Relying on him again and again to help us with life.  I seriously wonder how unbelievers get through the struggles of marriage without having God in their life! Whether it was bringing the right people in our life at the right time to love on us, encouraging us through our church, small group, or our pastor’s message or prayer.  Sometimes it was allowing us to make mistakes so that we can further rely on God for his purpose and plan.  We certainly couldn’t do it without his guidance! We are still working on submitting ourselves to one another and to God {We are FAR from perfect} so that we can be a better spouse, child of God, and a living example to our children. We are constantly a work in progress.

One of the passions that Dan and I both share is our love of travel! We wanted to get away for our ten year, but we didn’t want to be too far away from our three munchkins so we decided to head up to the Georgia Mountains. Helen to be exact.  I had been there as a young child, but I don’t really remember it much, and we go to Dahlonega so frequently that we decided to try something different.  My Mom offered to watch  the kiddos so we could get away, and we are so thankful for her. The kids love spending time with her, and they were so happy to have her stay for a night.

Dan gets major brownie points for finding this amazing Bed and Breakfast outside of Helen with some of the most beautiful views of the mountains I’ve ever seen! The name of the place is called Lucille’s Mountain Top Inn and Spa and it is absolutely everything they claim that it is. A beautiful retreat with amazing views, a delicious selection of desserts in the evening and a delicious breakfast in the morning.  We got a fairly standard room and it was really all we needed.  We also took advantage of their spa and enjoyed a nice couple’s massage on the last day.

We drove up on Saturday and we decided to take a short trail walk up to Ana Ruby Falls.  It was beautiful and the weather was in the 60s and warming up, so it was perfect for the hike.  The falls were beautiful and it was so nice and peaceful being in nature together!  After the hike, we went to explore Helen.  It is cute town with the German inspired charm but a little more touristy than we would’ve liked.  Touristy in the sense that almost every store had cheap souvenirs instead of real mom and pop stores that housed mountain art or authentic house ware goods and/or designer boutiques.  Not that I need a boutique-style shopping everywhere I go, but I could do without the cheap shot glasses, lighters, tshirts, etc in every shop. I did buy myself a selfie cam in one of those ridiculous shops.  I couldn’t help myself!

One of the best things we did while we were there was go to Habersham Winery.  The wine was great and it was just nice getting to try some wines and learn more about them.  The winery was right beside a huge antique mall, and we took our time roaming through the various vendors to see.  After wine, antique shopping, mini golf, and relaxing some more at the Inn, we headed to dinner at Mully’s Nacoochee Grill.  The food was delicious, the owner and staff were wonderful, and they had live music that made for the perfect setting.

One perfect day!

 

 

Our little get-away was just the thing we needed to reconnect as a couple and celebrate our ten year anniversary!  I’m so thankful that God brought Dan into my life, and I look forward to many more adventures to come in our marriage and family!

Stitch Fix

So, one of my good friends, Danielle over at Bitter Me Lovely inspired me to try  Stitch Fix out for the first time.  If you don’t know what Stitch fix is, this is basically what happens:

  • You go online to stitchfix.com and you create a style profile (You can even link to clothes you’ve pinned and styles that you have on pinterest!)
  • You are charged a $25. styling fee that will go towards whatever you decide to purchase
  • You’re sent a box of clothes. I got two tops, a cardigan, a bracelet and a pair of jeans
  • You decide within three days what you want to keep, and send the rest back in pre-addressed envelop free of charge
  • If you decide to keep everything that was sent you get 20% off
  • If you refer a friend that does a stitch fix, then you get $25. off your next purchase (hence the link BELOW…help a sista out!)

So, if you’re wondering what the style profile is like, they’ll ask  you what your opinion is on several groups of clothing.  Just for a reference, out of the different groupings, this is what I said I LOVED. The others were either not my style AT ALL or just a little meh..

style2 Stylegroup1

 

They also will of course ask what your size, weight, and height is. They also ask you how you like to wear your clothes. For instance, do you like to have your tops fitted, or more loose, do you like to show your arms, show cleavage, show legs, or keep covered, etc. They’re very specific, which I love! In addition to all those questions, they also ask you how much you like to spend on clothes, whether or not you are looking for clothes to be more casual, for date nights or professional. The questions are great. 

 So, without further adieu, this is what was shipped to me.  The packaging was very professional and pretty!

The first thing I opened was this cute cuff. I loved it but I already own something similar to it and it was $38. so I decided to return it.

This cardigan is cute and edgy and good in theory.  However, when I tried it on, it did nothing for my figure and was way too big. Maybe in a smaller size, and possibly a different cut. It definitely has the boho tribal vibe, which I love.

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Okay, for the pants, I got a pair of denim jeans.  I really wasn’t too excited about these, and the price was over 70, which is pretty pricey. I tried them on and again, I wasn’t overly impressed.  Then when I was about to pack it up to send back, I realized that they had a style card in there and they were supposed to be ROLLED UP. They were called boyfriend jeans. Man am I out of the loop!  I just started getting into skinny jeans, and now I need rolled up boyfriend jeans?  But you know what? When I tried them on again rolled up, I loved them. I’m still perfecting the skinny tight roll (It doesn’t look quite right in the picture) but I’ll get it eventually. They’re not too tight and fitted, they’re super comfy, and honestly they’re my new favorite pair of jeans!

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In the box was also this comfy knit shirt, but the fit was all wrong. I have a long torso and the shirt was super fitted right around the chubbiest part of my stomach, when it should’ve sat closer to my belt line.  It is a pretty color (my favorite) but the fit just wasn’t right. It was also super tight around the elbows with it being more loose in the shoulder… giving you the batman wing-ed arms… not really my thing.

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I love this top! The colors are certainly my colors and I love the style. It’s perfect for the spring and I love the cute triangle cut-out details in the back of the top too.  I feel like I need a long silver casual necklace to jazz this up a bit, so I’ll be on the lookout for an inexpensive piece that I think will help complete the look more. This top is a keeper along with the jeans.  I love them both!

It was overall a great experience for me.  You should definitely check it out.  If you have already and you’d like to share what you got, comment with a link to your blog post!

For those of you that would like to try Stitch Fix, please help me out by using my referral link: https://www.stitchfix.com/referral/4771062

This Winter

I’m so glad Spring is on the way! This winter hasn’t been as bad as last in the sense that we didn’t get the amount of snow that we did last year, but the ice was a lot worse. We even lost power a few weeks ago, which was surprising and unexpected because our entire neighborhood has buried lines.  It was from 7pm until about 11 the next morning, which totally freaked out the kids!

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We made a fire for Dan and I and made the best of it.  After lots of snuggles (especially Parker, who knew?) and songs, and also the help of light sticks, we got them to fall asleep.  Whatever light sticks that were left, we let them use in the tub for a cosmic tub time.  That was a big hit!

The very next week we had snow forecasted, conveniently the same night as my consignment sale, but fortunately I still sold quite a bit of stuff, but I think my sales weren’t as good as they could’ve been if the weather would’ve been better. The kids liked the snow, but It wasn’t quite enough snow for a snowman. We got enough for a few silly snow angels, though!

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We’ve also been trying to make the best of our indoor playtime and we’ve been continuing to go to storytime, the gym and also Catch Air occasionally with friends. We joined our friends Kialer and Kinsey one Thursday and with inflatables, dance floor, and slides galore, the kids were able to have fun while the Mamas could catch up on conversation! We’ve really lucked out with our neighbors. We have some great ones! We also love having neighbor friends over for playing in the playroom when it’s cold out. Nothing can cure the chilly boring day blues like a little friends, dress up time, and kid music to dance to!

Another way we’ve been trying to stay warm this season is trying new winter comfort food recipes. Here are some yummy ones I’ve tried! Mostly thumbs up from the fam! I thought they were so good recipes that were easy for me to prepare for the kids. Also, I’m not a huge beef fan, so I usually tend to make a lot of chicken dishes.  These two are a great way for me to incorporate beef into my meals. I’ll certainly make these two again!

One thing I had on my inspiration board that I wanted to do more of, and we’re reminded of during the marriedlife seminar, is to date more often. So Dan and I have been enjoying more dates this year, one double date with our neighbors where we ate at Kona and went to Andretti’s. It was a lot of fun to have dinner and conversation with them without the kiddos, and to share laughs and connect as couples!

Another date we went on, was when I accompanied Dan to his favorite shooting range Sharp Shooters. We did some target practice, and I got to learn a few things about how to load a gun, etc. It was a lot of fun, but I have to admit that I was nervous the entire time!  I don’t know how to shake the nerves about others with guns around me. It’s not the guns that I’m shooting I get nervous about, it’s the random strangers around me with guns that I have a hard time with. I wanted to do it though because I know how much it means to Dan! We also discovered a new yummy pizza place called Crust in Alpharetta that was fabulous! We will definitely go back there. It was very good food and great service.

 

Parker started spring baseball practice, but due to the nasty weather it’s been cancelled all but three times, one of those times P has Strep Throat and couldn’t go, so he’s gone twice. The start of baseball as well as this burst of warmer weather here and there is makinging me super excited about the new season! The few days have been warmer  the past few weeks, we’ve jumped at the chance to get outside and enjoy it!  We had fun time celebrating our friend Kim’s pregnancy with baby Xavier, her first baby boy! We’ve also loved going to Sims Lake Park as a family, the greenway, and simply playing in the yard with the kite, little neighbor friends and our new sandbox!

 

Come on Spring and Summer, we miss you and we have BIG plans for you!

Enough

How is it already March?  I feel like January and February was such a blur. Now we’re thinking of plans for Mason’s birthday (turning four…eeek!!), Easter plans, Spring Break plans, etc.  Life is moving at a blur.

At the speed that things are going, I always try to savor the moments and enjoy this season of our life.  In February, we went to a Marriage seminar at North Point called Married Life, and one of the main points the speaker was talking about, had to do with being intentional in your marriage. Fifteen minutes to check in each day, Date nights away each week, an escape together each year.  It’s a reminder to make life exciting with one another, yet also intentional and heartfelt.

After this “married life” date it got me thinking, and I know that the busyness of life we may wonder… are we doing enough?  Am I doing everything I can to be the best Wife, Mother, Friend, Family Member, Christian, …contributing member of society?

I think that I’ve traveled down this road quite a bit with several of these areas, and of course coming to the conclusion that I fall short in ALL areas to some degree.  However, the one that seems to be on my mind quite a bit lately is the last one… contributing member of society.

I know that I pour into my children, that remains true.  However, I can’t help but feel very vulnerable and feel as if I’m falling short in being a contributing member of society.  In plain english, having a real job.

In hopes of not offending every SAHM out there, I want to say, I know I have a real job. I know what I do every day IS in fact enough. The playtime I have with the kids, the chores, the carpooling, child rearing- cooking, etc. Yes, I get it. However, my time with my kids while they’re young is fleeting.  They will soon be all in public school and gone all day.

I feel this urge to get out in the work force again. It’s not even so much as for financial reasons in the sense that we need the money. I mean, the extra money for savings as well as other extras would be really nice, no doubt. However, I think my urge to want to go out in the working world again has more to do with wanting to create an identity for myself outside of being a Mom. I want to know that I’m good at something other than taking pictures of my kids and posting them on social media, taking them to story time at the library, building lego towers/houses/spaceships, tea parties with a little girl and dolls, working out at the gym, blogging, the occasional jewelry making, etc.

Before we decided I would be a stay-at-home Mom five and a half years ago, I worked as an Interior Designer in the corporate world. Now that I have three kids, I get nervous about devoting my time to a job like that again. My fear is that if I pour into a job like the one I had before kids, then I won’t be able to be there enough for my kids. This may be something that a lot of Moms struggle with.

I know that my current skills are in fact enough, but it doesn’t feel like I’m using them to their full potential because of the life stage that I’m in. Being with my kids is the most rewarding (albeit challenging at times) and fulfilling job I’ve ever had. However, I know that being a mom is not all the skills I want to be good at.  I’ve been out of the workforce for so long, it begs the question:  Am I becoming weaker in my job skills, or just stronger in others?

These are some things that have been spinning in this brain of mine over the last few months.  Among this trying to tell myself that no matter what happens in my future career or lack thereof, that I am doing what God has created me to do, and that no matter what, that I will be enough for Him. For my kids. For my husband. For my friends.  My identity isn’t held up in what I do, but in who I am. How I treat others.  As my grandfather Brown would say… in my character. I’m trusting God that when the time comes for me to have a career outside the home, then he will provide clarity and provision for that.

Stay tuned on my career path in the years to come… Until then, I’m going to keep on, keeping on.