Life Lately or LOTS of photos

Hello friends! It’s been awhile, hasn’t it?! Well, it’s finally sunny and gorgeous and here and I’ve had a hard time staying inside long enough to write anything. Since it has been a bit since I’ve posted I thought I’d do a little update…..

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Jr. Preschool is officially over and we are on summer break. Her school pictures just kill me, she looks so grown up. I still cannot believe that she will officially be in preschool this fall. We are really going to enjoy the extra time together over the summer.

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I got a Nespresso machine for Mother’s Day and I’m super in love. Brent and I had originally planned on getting another Keurig coffee maker but we were sold on this fancy device by a very convincing sales woman in Macy’s. I’m super impressed with it…

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So my baby had her first hospital trip and it totally sucked. Charlotte got an ear infection and Croup which made her super sick. We had a very scary incident with a coughing fit and her not breathing. She needed to get a breathing treatment to help her breathe but fortunately that really helped her feel better. I really hope that this is the only hospital trip we have to go on with her.

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I’m ridiculously thankful for finding MOPS and for this group of women right here. We had our last meeting until September and I’m really going to miss it.

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We built a new house and closed back in December and we FINALLY got some grass in the front yard!!! As you can tell, we are super excited about it!

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Charlotte’s cousins came over Friday night and we decided to have an impromptu slumber party. Brent and I were worried had a temporary lapse in judgement but we were pleasantly surprised when the girls were in bed by 10pm and even slept in until 8. The girls even helped me make breakfast in the morning, we didn’t even mind the extra crunch in our pancakes from the egg shells šŸ˜‰

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Charlotte and I stayed busy when Brent was out of town for a week traveling for work. The weather was gross but we had to walk the pup anyway since we have no grass in our backyard yet. We made trips to the park and bookstore and even had lunch with Neena (my mom).

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My best girlfriend homeschools her three kiddos and decided to add two baby ducks to their family! Charlotte was so excited to meet these cuties and even had a few toys picked out for them, so sweet! I don’t think there can be anything cuter than this picture.

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Sorry for the grainy picture but I had to include this one. I let Charlotte stay up late so she could see daddy when he got home from his work trip. She was so happy to see him, it truly melted my heart. Charlotte told me “Mama, take our picture!!”

 

Brent’s dad is a really great DIYer and he came over this weekend to help us install our sprinkler system. It feels pretty good to say we did our own sprinkler system in our very own house! Charlotte had a great time helping grandpa. After putting Charlotte down for nap I crashed too, hard, for about an hour and a half. Yard work is sure exhausting, next weekend we are getting soil and laying sod!

Let me hear from you….

Have any fun ideas for our new backyard?

Do anything fun this weekend?

 

 

 

 

 

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Mother’s Day Gift Guide

There is something so special about honoring the women in our lives that are mother’s. Now that I am a mother, I truly appreciate feeling valued in my role as a mother, since it is not always an easy job. Here are some ideas on what to give the mother’s in our lives:

 

coffee mug pictures Zulily Copperfalls-giftcard-2013

 

 

  • This coffee mug is so cute! My mom and I share a huge love for coffee so mugs are a great gift idea for those like us who love coffee (or tea, or wine-I won’t judge šŸ˜‰
  • Time! Make the effort to spend time with the women in your life that took on that mothering role. I know my grandma appreciates time spent with her more than any gift I could buy her.
  • Photos!Ā There is something so special about having pictures of those you love around your home.
  • Clothes– I’m pretty sure every woman loves clothes, and clothing that’s on sale-well that’s even better!! I shop Zulily daily and find so many great deals.
  • The Spa is my mom and my favorite way to celebrate Mother’s Day. Our husbands have been getting us both gift cards to the same spa and we go together for a relaxing day or pampering.

 

 

Also, I have a special offer for just my readers. Take $25 off any $75 purchase using the code 25SAVE at checkout. Click on the picture below for direct access:

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Remember to bless the mothers in your lives! Share any ideas you love below…

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Do You Believe You Are Not Enough?

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We live in a culture in which most of us fear being enough. There’s this fear among us that we will never be extraordinary enough to belong or to be loved. I see it everywhere in messages thrown around social media, that ordinary life isn’t good enough. I am a sucker for the reality show “The Bachelor” but this show is the perfect example of this mindset. Having men and women be flown off to exotic locations to have candlelit dinners on the beach and helicopter rides to private islands with champagne flowing and this is all to create “love”. When these men and women return to reality and quickly realize that love isn’t about these grand amazing gestures and butterflies they realize it wasn’t enough.

I believe, as women, this fear starts to control our lives. Are we good enough wives? Good enough mothers? Thin enough? Beautiful enough? Smart enough? Extraordinary enough? I didn’t get enough sleep, I don’t have enough money, there isn’t enough time, my child doesn’t eat enough vegetables, I don’t workout enough, I could seriously go on and on…

When does life start to become enough?

I believe life starts to become enough when we stop comparing it to others highlighted/edited lives. When we learn our true identity, passions, and goals. When we pursue the Lord in our daily lives and then choose to serve others before ourselves. I believe it becomes enough when we stop striving for perfection and learn the power of contentment. I believe life starts to become enough when we learn to work and fight for the things we believe in.

I want you to hear this today, you are enough. You are not a failure, no matter how many times you fail.

Do you ever stop to think about how unstoppable you would be if you really believed in who you were created to be? Daughters of the most high king, conquerors through Jesus, we were given the gift of an abundant life. That my friend, is extremely powerful. Our lives are meant to be more than just ‘enough’.

 

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I’m Still Here….

Hey guys! It’s been awhile huh? Life has been crazy to say the least which has kept me away from my beloved blog. But let’s be real sleep>blog, sorry not sorry. Also, how in the heck is it Monday again and almost May, ahhhh!

 

So, let’s do a little update, shall we?

Most of the reason I took an unplanned break from the blog was due to some serious sleep issues we’ve been having with Charlotte. It started about two months ago but has progressively gotten worse over the past few weeks. We are having major struggles with nap and bedtime, pour me an extra cup of coffee will you? You may remember that we moved Charlotte into a big girl bed back in January and didn’t start to have issues with it until a few weeks ago. Charlotte has now realized that she can get out of her bed and venture out around the house at her leisure. Needless to say, each and every nap time became a major struggle and if I could get her to stay in her bed and fall asleep it didn’t end up happening until maybe 3 o’clock meaning she would sleep until 4:30/5 making her not tired for bedtime at 7:30. So we’ve been experimenting aka going crazy…..okay fine I’m beingĀ a bit dramatic. We’ve been playing with moving back her bedtime to 8/8:30, well that didn’t help either. So right now where we are at is Charlotte has “quiet” time in her room for at least 45 minutes to an hour. This means she has to stay in her bed/room and either read or lay down for some rest. Honestly, this seems to be working other than the few times she’s passed out cold from being tired…..sigh……

Here’s what life has looked like lately…

We tired to bribe her with treats to sleep, what has my life come to?!

We tired to bribe her with treats to sleep, what has my life come to?!

Rainy day fun!

Rainy day fun!

Came upstairs to go to bed and found this...her sleeping outside our bedroom door, ugh!

Came upstairs to go to bed and found this…her sleeping outside our bedroom door, ugh!

Somersaults, and go....!

Somersaults, and go….!

I'm not sure I can dig the texture of the chia kombucha

I’m not sure I can dig the texture of the chia kombucha

Mom Olympics at MOPS!

Mom Olympics at MOPS!

We love warm days!

We love warm days!

Gymnastics

Gymnastics

This was yesterday, after no napping and no quiet time, she passed out randomly

This was yesterday, after no napping and no quiet time, she passed out randomly. But guys, she’s “not tired” ;)

Attempting the quiet time with reading in bed

Attempting the quiet time with reading in bed

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Fell asleep on the way to a birthday party. She stayed asleep even inside the noisy party

Fell asleep on the way to a birthday party. She stayed asleep even inside the noisy party

But don't worry she eventually woke up to have some birthday fun!

But don’t worry she eventually woke up to have some birthday fun!

 

And just for some laughs, these sum up how I’m feeling right now….

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PS, I’m open to any suggestions you may have regarding this whole fun sleeping adventure we are having right now. If you don’t have any, well at least have a cup of coffee orĀ a glass of wine for me, or both!

 

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Whole30 Recap

Phew….! 30 days you guys, 30 days of no sugar (HUGE for me), 30 days with no dairy, 30 days with no wheat/grains, 30 days no alcohol (WINE!) and it was amazing…no really!

When I first began the Whole30 journey I was really skeptical and nervous for cutting out so many different types of food out of my diet. I wasn’t sure how my body would react, well let’s be honest, I was more nervous about how my mind would react to not having my favorite comfort foods.

I truly love LOVE my coffee each morning (and sometimes afternoon), I would have a packet of stevia and 2 tablespoons of Simple Natural Salted Caramel creamer, so I obviously like my coffee pretty sweet. Whole30 coffee is either black or you can add some coconut cream, coconut oil or some almond milk (unsweetened) in it. So each morning I would do a tablespoon of coconut cream, a teaspoon of coconut oil and a dash of cinnamon, I would say my coffee was something I struggled with the first two weeks.

Breakfast was usually eggs, bacon or sausage, and avocado; chia pudding; or an apple with cashew butter.

Lunch was either dinner leftovers from the night before or salad.

The snack I had daily was either a Larabar or some fruit topped with cashew butter and coconut chips.

Dinner varied, think of any combination of protein and veggie and I’m sure we had it.

It definitely took a lot of planning, meal prep, and self control to make it through the 30 days. Full disclosure-I had 1 drink with friends at dinner one night and that was truly the only cheat I had.

Results

  • I lost a lot of inches, I really wish I would haveĀ taken measurements to know the exact number but my pants are falling off.
  • My energy levels during workouts are ridiculous, although I didn’t notice a big energy surge outside my workouts (like during normal day to day activity)
  • I lost 11 pounds, 11!
  • One of the biggest things is I no longer have headaches. I used to get headaches DAILY, popped Advil DAILY. Not anymore, it’s amazing.
  • I sleep like a rock, I fall asleep when my head hits the pillow and I wake up in the morning. No tossing and turning, no troubles sleeping.
  • My face is clearer.

I think I had my post Whole30 day planned out by the end of week 1. I indulged in Mexican food, and ice cream and I felt like total crap after that meal. The next morning I got a Starbucks coffee and scone and I couldn’t even drink my coffee-it was too sweet! After the little bit of coffee and scone I had a horrible headache and was super nauseous.

Going forward, my plan is to eat Whole30ish, I’m still kinda figuring out what that looks like but I know it will include coffee creamer and wine plus an occasional treat.

Tell me….

Have you done Whole30? Would you?

 

 

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Building A House 101

 

When my family and I moved back to Colorado in January of 2015 we had no idea the housing market was such a disaster. We moved in with my parents with the mindset that we would be living with them for a few months until we were able to purchase a house. A few months later we realized we were in trouble, we would find homes we liked but were getting majorly outbid (people offering vacations, 10’s of thousands of dollars above appraisal price, etc). The Denver area was majorly lacking inventory for home buyers so everyone would go crazy over ANY (and I do mean any) house that hit the market, homes were being sold in hours not days. By this time it was March and we had originally anticipated being in our own home by then, or at least under contract.

Brent and I had never considered building a new home before this time, we didn’t think we could afford it nor did we really have the “time” to invest in such a project. Well, we found a new home site not too far from where my parents were living at the time and decided to take a look. We absolutely fell in love but were still so unsure about the process. Since the housing market was so crazy the new home builders were insanely busy too, we had to get on a wait list.

outside of house

 

Once we were on the list things started to get real, we learned a lot through the process and I thought I would share what we learned with you guys.

Find out what comes standard and what is extra…

We quickly learned how building a new house could easily bust your budget if you aren’t careful and do your research. We were fortunate to find a builder who had an awesome standard package that we could build off of.

Honestly, the lot we wanted was about 10k more than we wanted to spend, so we ended up getting a less expensive lot so we could put more money into the house itself.

Go through the option list with a fine tooth comb and truly do a gut check to decide what you can and absolutely cannot live without. Brent and I made sure to involve our realtor in order to decide what was worth the initial upgrade investment or what could wait and even be cheaper if we just did it ourselves.

Stay in communication…

When builders are so busy you can easily be forgotten about, make sure you stay fresh in their mind by keeping tabs on what’s going on. I emailed with our builder once or twice a week, even if it was to just say hey I’m still here waiting for you to dig our foundation…..

We were in a unique situation with our build since the market was flooded with people wanting to build and the entire trade itself was swamped. We then had a random and almost unheard months of rain here in Colorado which pushed our dig date by about 4 weeks (talk about torture).

Know who to talk to and when to talk to them, we had our sales consultant, our realtor, a front end construction manager and a back end construction manager.

Be patient…

Whew…this one was really hard for me. Building always takes longer than they initially said because there will always be some sort of snag that takes time to recover from.

Steps

  1. Sign the contract!
We were so excited!

We were so excited!

2. Go to the design center and choose everything for your house, this was by far my favorite part!!
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3. Dig and pour the foundation! This part is fun because you can really start to visualize the house.

IMG_0291 IMG_0357 IMG_05044.Ā  This is when the real fun starts! Rough framing….

IMG_0647 IMG_0666 IMG_0673 IMG_07145. Rough plumbing, electrical and HVAC

IMG_09356. Insulation, dry-wall and texture

I apparently didn’t take pictures in this stage….even though it was really fun to see actual walls being put in place rather than just wood beams everywhere.

7. Trim, paint, driveway

IMG_1262 IMG_1263 IMG_12108. Countertops and cabinets, this is when most builders will tell you it’s about 30 days until closing.

IMG_1260 9. Final touches for bathroom fixtures, cleaning, paint touch-ups and a final walkthrough before closing.

The whole process from the day we signed our contract to closing was 10 months, a LONG 10 months, but it’s now over and we are so thankful we built!

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Have you ever considered building? Why or why not?

 

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Photo An Hour-Day In The Life

I’m always intrigued by these types of posts and have been wanting to do one for awhile now, enjoy!

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6AM Coffee, water, blog, and favorite book at the moment

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7AM Breakfast

8AM Getting ready for school

8AM
Getting ready for school

9AM Workout!

9AM
Workout!

10AM Killer Workout!

10AM Killer Workout!

11AM Walking the pup in the snow!

11AM
Walking the pup in the snow!

12PM Lunch!

12PM
Lunch!

1PM Nap

1PM
Nap

2PM Afternoon pick me up!

2PM
Afternoon pick me up!

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3PM The kids play while mom does laundry!

4PM Putting together clothes for a MOPS event

4PM
Putting together clothes for a MOPS event

 

5PM Making dinner

5PM
Making dinner

6PM Goofing around

6PM
Goofing around

7PM Jokes with Daddy before bed

7PM
Jokes with Daddy before bed

8PM Making A Murderer

8PM
Making A Murderer

9PM Lights out!

9PM
Lights out!

 

This is the wild and crazy life we lead!

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Beauty in the Normal

Beauty In The Normal

“The true secret of happiness lies in the taking a genuine interest in all the details of daily life”-William Morris

 

I have no idea if the two are related, however, since starting Whole30 I’ve realized that I’ve been appreciating the little things more than I usually do.

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Finally getting the kid sized shopping cart for Charlotte (they are always being used when we go)

IMG_2814The way her hair gets super curly after swim lessons

IMG_2809How beautiful food can be

IMG_2797Picking out her first leotard for gymnastics!

IMG_2786This beautiful site on the way home from the gym. But really, sunrises and sunsets are so amazing to me, I’m super grateful for the beauty they bring.

IMG_2790The amount of love this girl has for the dentist, it’s a little weird haha! We even did x-rays with no issue at all.

IMG_2691 IMG_2558Having a neighbor friend for Charlotte. Yes-we are that close that they can talk to each other like this.

IMG_2689(sorry for the grainy picture) the bond these two share is truly magical

IMG_2671Growing up with cousins who also happen to be your best friends!

IMG_2657Doing experiments with cousins and aunties (homemade bubble gum-it actually turned out!)

As I’ve been trying to practice more mindfulness and gratitude I’m really starting to see the beauty in the normal day to day life and activities, plus it makes life more fun!

Tell me some beautiful things in your normal day to day lives?

 

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The Fight Against Perfection

ALEX

Perfection is everywhere in our society…..how to be the perfect wife….how to be the perfect mom…..get the perfect summer body….plan a perfect birthday party, I could go on and on…

Honestly, it’s exhausting and completely unattainable. I consider myself to be a “recovering perfectionist” and have learned some things through that journey. Perfectionism is really more about seeking acceptance from others rather than striving for self-focused improvements. The amount of pressure we put on ourselves to not mess up, not be criticized, is so great that individuals suffer from depression/anxiety because of it.

What would truly happen if we allowed ourselves to not be perfect? And be okay with not being perfect? I think what comes from that is self-acceptance, self-compassion, self-love-all important things that most of us lack. Every single one of us struggles with something, some more than others, so why not just embrace our struggles. How awesome would it be if we were gentle with ourselves and with others WHEN (not if) failure occurs, what if we recognized that we are all human-with emotions, down-falls, strengths, weaknesses? Instead of getting into the cycle of beating ourselves up and then feeling bad about it then beating ourselves up about beating ourselves up (see the nasty cycle here?) we acknowledge our mistake/failure and move the heck on! When did we become such a sensitive society where we can only accept things when they are perfect?

Striving for perfection is the worst enemy of getting things done. Instead of saying “that mile I just ran wasn’t fast enough” you say at least I ran a mile today, instead of “I didn’t make my son’s birthday cake from scratch” you say it was a wonderful birthday and everyone enjoyed the cake that was served. Making effort-any effort-is better than nothing at all, the effort doesn’t need to be perfect in order to be made. Let us freely give grace to ourselves, and others who are just trying to do their best at life and acknowledge that perfection is a waste of our precious time.

“There’s a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in”- One of my favorite authors BrenĆ© Brown

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Perspective

wishing you loveand more birthdaysto come!

 

A few weeks ago at a MOPS meeting a mom had a heart-felt message to tell our group of women. What I learned from that messageĀ was life changing and I wanted to share some of that message with you today.

The mom pushed her daughter who was in a wheelchair up to the front of the room and began speaking. She spoke of the many fears she had when she pregnant, will the baby be healthy? Will I deliver prematurely? Will we adjust to parenthood well? Little did she know those questions would be the least of her concerns. When her daughter was just a few months old they noticed some abnormalities in her behaviors and body language. After a meeting with a doctor, and a few weeks later a specialist their biggest fears were realized. Their daughter was having hundreds of seizures a day and would not have the opportunity to develop normally, she would need a wheelchair, not be able to move much on her own, wouldn’t speak to her parents like most children can, the details are hard to listen to.

As I watched this mother tell us women about her daughter I couldn’t help but lose it, my heart ached for this mama. As parents all we want to do is protect our children, provide the best for them, and this mama couldn’t protect her daughter. The entire room had tears streaming down their face as this mama told us her and her daughter’s story but something almost unbelievable came out of this mama’s situation for her. She learned to completely trust in God’s goodness even if this situation didn’t seem good. She learned to give her children to God because in reality they aren’t really ours, we cannot control what does or doesn’t happen to them in their lives-even if we try. She has accepted their situation and started to use it for good things, her attitude was extremely inspiring and she shared with us how her daughter has been able to bless other’s lives in many ways.

So today, I have a challenge for us parents…..

Instead of getting frustrated that your kiddo has gotten out of bed for the 10th time when they should be going to sleep for the night….be thankful they are able to walk with their own two feet.

Instead of getting upset that your child won’t eat all their lunch….be thankful they can eat food on their own at all.

Instead of having a hard time when your child is having a tantrum….be thankful they can speak to you at all (can you imagine never being able to hear your child’s voice?)

Instead of living in fear of trying to protect our children from the dangers of this world….trust, trust that the amount of love you have for your children the Lord loves them even more.

Today let’s have perspective, let’s live with gratitude and enjoy the many blessings in our lives trusting that God’s goodness prevails even if it doesn’t look like it in the moment.

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