A Book That Has Changed My Parenting….

A friend of mine recently told me about a book that I should put in my toolbox of parenting skills, “Parenting with Love & Logic” by Foster Cline & Jim Fay. Since Brent and I had a long road trip to and from Nebraska I decided that was the perfect time to read this book. I’m so glad I decided to read this book because it’s really changed how I have been parenting Charlotte lately. I thought since this book was so good, I would highlight some of the things I took away from this book. (Reminder, this is not my original content but highlights taken from this book). This book aims to teach children responsibility, self-confidence, motivation, and helps to teach them to solve their own problems.

  • Allowing our children to fail and learn from their mistakes when they are young and the consequences are small. “We can hurt a little as we watch them learn life’s lessons now, or we can hurt a lot as we watch them grow up to be individuals unable to care for themselves… The older a child gets, the bigger the decisions become and the graver the consequences of those decisions.”
  • When parents remind their children of their weaknesses the result will be erosion of their self-concept. “We must be uncritical and unprotective. Parents who raise irresponsible children do exactly the opposite! They’re critical and protective.”
  • Children learn every interpersonal activity by the modeling of their parents, how they handle fighting, frustration, language, etc; kind of a scary/empowering thought, huh?

One of the biggest things I’ve taken away from this this book is the power of choices. Giving your children two choices in which you can both live with and allow the child to feel like they are in control to decide their fate. “When they choose an option, they do the thinking, they make the choice, and the lesson sticks” Choices like; Would you like to put your boots on now, or in the car? Do you want to wear your coat or carry it?

I’ll leave you with one last thing I thought was a really great thought about self-concept. “Kids are born with a great capacity to learn to do things the way big people do. They observe and attempt to copy what they see. Their prime interest is learning and doing things just like their parents do them. All too often, however, parents discourage their kids in this.” Does this scenario ring a bell for anyone?  Little Tyler sees his dad sweeping the garage so he grabs a small broom to ‘help’ and in his mind he is feeling big and learning to use the broom. However, his dad just notices the ‘mess’ he’s making and tells him to go play with his friends instead. Well this message the father sends to his son is that he is incapable and Tyler will be discouraged to imitate adult behavior.

 

Parents who build on their kids’ strengths find their children growing in responsibility almost daily.

 

Anyone read any good parenting books lately? Please share

 

 

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Family Trip to Nebraska

Brent has family in a small town in Nebraska and we love to go and visit. Brent’s dad lives on a farm and Charlotte loves to run and play on the acres of land he has. Here’s a giant photo dump of our awesome trip!

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My niece fell asleep on the four wheeler, how is that possible?!

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This girl LOVES bugs

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Cousins and best friends

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Her auntie made her hair so beautiful, I need to learn how to do pretty things with her hair!

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Country girls!

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Making a mess at the mulberry tree

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Daddy took her on so many trips on this thing, down to the train tracks, to see horses/cows/lightening bugs

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One sleepy girl

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Out of all the years we’ve been traveling to Nebraska this trip had the best weather we’ve ever experienced. Nebraska is normally super hot/humid/buggy and we didn’t have any issues with any of those things! We really soaked up all the time outside and with our family. Until next summer, Nebraska!

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Our First Vacation Without Kids!

So, Brent and I went to Laguna Beach for 5 days without Charlotte. I was so nervous while preparing for leaving Charlotte for so long. Since having her I haven’t left her more than one day, so five was pretty intimidating. We had so many fun things planned and my nerves quickly subsided once we were on our way to the airport. I’ll tell you one thing, traveling without children is WAY more relaxing. All through the airport I felt as if I was missing something or forgot to pack an essential thing but it was just smooth sailing!

Wednesday we landed in Laguna Beach about mid-day, we got our super sweet (just kidding, it was a tiny neon blue car) rental car and headed to our hotel. After getting checked into our super cute hotel we took a walk down to the beach and played in the (cold) ocean, grabbed some dinner and called it an early night.

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Driving to our hotel, the ocean!!

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Does it get more beautiful?

 

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Thursday we spent the morning/afternoon walking around all the shops around Laguna Beach. We scored some really amazing local restaurants for both breakfast and dinner that we were super impressed with. Later that evening we had a couples massage that ended with an hour soak in a hot tub that overlooked the ocean at sunset, swoon!

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Hubba hubba! My handsome date at lunch overlooking the ocean.

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This drink was SO good! We enjoyed plenty of adult beverages.

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The really cool hotel our massage was at

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Champagne, husband in a hot tub, with a sunset view of the ocean, life does not get better

Friday was a super exciting day for us. We reserved to have a guide take us out on the ocean to do some stand up paddle boarding. We went to an awesome place for some coffee and breakfast for fuel to paddle across the sea! We ended up loving the lesson so much that we had lunch, a nap, and then went and rented our own paddle boards for the rest of the afternoon/evening. Funny story though, the waves are significantly smaller in the morning than they are in the afternoon, so we had no problem getting out past the waves into the flat ocean in the morning. However, in the afternoon it was a serious struggle. I ended up getting taken out, HARD, by a wave carrying my paddle board in front of an entire beach of people watching. My swimsuit was filled with sand, had saltwater up my nose, and scratches all down by back…ugh! But, I eventually made it out and had a great time (minus my giant fear of sharks). We found the most amazing rooftop patio for drinks and dinner and called it a night.

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The coffee here was so good!

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Standing was way harder than I thought it would be!

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He’s a pro

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View from our hotel room balcony

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Lunch with drinks and desert! Because, why not!?

Saturday was our last day so we soaked it up. We had a wonderful breakfast, golfed and did some nature walking, drank at the pool bar and had the best dinner I’ve had in my life, truly.

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Our room was so cute!

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Our room was so cute!

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Butter cake, the best thing I’ve ever tasted.

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Sunday we were up early to catch our flight home, we were ready to see our munchkin! We had such a wonderful time in Laguna Beach and hope to return again, it’s a magical place that holds a special place in my heart.

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This entry was posted in Travel.

A Letter To My Dad On Father’s Day

Dad,

We have such a wonderful, intertwined story that I love to share with people. You have always been an important part of my life since I was born and in a crazy twist of fate I had the opportunity to be adopted by you. After my dad died, life put onto your plate more than most men could handle, and you did a great job with it. You loved my mom like she deserved, and had a fierce learning curve going from no kids to having a preteen daughter who kinda hated life at the time. You handled all that you were handed so well and I’m so proud of you for that. Thank you for loving me like your own blood even when I didn’t deserve it. You are a wonderful Father and have really grown into your role as an amazing Father and now a Papa to my Charlotte. I hope on this Father’s Day that you feel loved and appreciated because many people love you, especially Charlotte and I.

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Happy Father’s Day, Dad! I’m blessed by the path life gave us to travel down together.

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This entry was posted in Family.

A Letter To My Husband On Father’s Day

Dear Brent,

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When I met you in 1999, I was 15 years old and so naïve about love and life. I liked you because you were cute, tall, sweet, and athletic-little did I know how those things would grow over time into what we have now. As our love grew so did the list of things I appreciated about you. I love how much you deeply care about people, not many have a heart like yours. Your sense of humor is contagious and beautiful-you have taught me how to not take life so seriously. You are insanely smart and it’s inspiring. I love to watch you read, think, make decisions, plan, because I know that you always think of your family first. You stand apart in our generation in so many ways, I love how hard to work to take care of your family. You are willing to sacrifice anything to make me and your daughter happy and are always putting us first in your life.

All the things I love about you I now get to share with our daughter. The way her eyes light up when you enter the room melts my heart. I couldn’t have picked a better man to help me raise our daughter. Any time you gone “too long” (in toddler time) Charlotte makes sure that I know how much she misses you. You are the only person that can make Charlotte laugh like she does, and it makes my heart swell. I’ll never forget the day I found out that not all dad’s help with middle of the night feedings, diaper changes, bath, or meals, because there has never been an event or moment you weren’t there for. It was completely normal for me to have you there staying up with our daughter all hours of the night and then turning around and going to work the next morning. I will never take for granted the amazing father you are and all that you do for our daughter and I.

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I am so thankful for the life we have created together and that Charlotte gets to have you as her daddy. Thank you for loving Charlotte more than I could have ever wanted or needed you to. This Father’s Day you deserve to feel loved, appreciated, and valued-because your daughter and wife love you so much.

Happy Father’s Day Brent! We love you!

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How Death Changes Your Perspective

How Death Changes Your Perspective

I remember it like it was yesterday……

It was four days after my twelfth birthday and I woke up from a normal nights sleep to find my grandmother, aunt, and uncle in my kitchen. Since it was really early in the morning I decided to go to the bathroom and head back to my room. I was still in a sleep induced fog and couldn’t quite comprehend why my family was in my house so early in the morning. As I was laying in bed my mom, grandma and aunt came into my room, and from the look on their faces, I knew. I was only twelve but I knew something God awful was wrong. I immediately asked “where’s dad?” and their lack of response was the answer I was looking for. It was then explained to me that my dad had been in an accident and didn’t make it. I really didn’t know how to respond, at twelve I had a really limited experience with death and I truly couldn’t believe that the day before my dad was here and today he was gone forever. How does your life change in an absolute instant? Everything you have ever known is just gone, disappeared, never to return.

In the coming days my family helped my mom put the few pieces of our lives back together, helped her create a new normal. My mom became my rock, my best friend, my only parent and we depended solely on each other for survival. I’m not sure either of us could have survived such an detrimental loss to our family unit without each other. However, even with each others support, our life changed, shifted-because it had to. The life we had created was no longer possible, we were unwillingly forced to change course and adjust in an unrealistic timeframe.

Now that I’m 30 (almost 31) and have my own husband and daughter I’m realizing how much this life shift changed who I was/am/could have been. Any time I can’t get ahold of my husband my mind automatically races to the worst possible scenario and I brace myself for the loss about to happen. Each time I kiss him goodbye for a business trip I try to memorize his face and the way his lips taste on mine, just in case this is the last kiss I get from my husband. Planning a vacation with my husband should be thrilling and exciting but to me it’s terrifying and gut wrenching because the thought of us not returning to our daughter is heart breaking.

I’ve come to realize that the day to day things most people do without a second thought are a little more challenging than I would like them to be. I don’t enjoy being a “worst case scenario person” but I can’t help it, it’s an automatic reaction. I don’t enjoy seeing life through a half-empty glass but I just can’t see it any other way.

We’ve all heard it a dozen times, knowledge is power. Knowing my predisposition to negativity and the worst case scenario I have been working for years to ‘rewire’ my brain. Learning to let go of control (that I really don’t even have in the first place) and live the life that is given to me in this moment is all I can do. I can only take back the powerless feeling I get at times by truly soaking up every bit of life given to me each day I wake up. No one is promised tomorrow, and I know that all too well. Though the thought of losing another person so intimately close to me is unbearable to think about, I cannot allow that to rule my life and keep me prisoner kept from the precious days I do get to spend with them, right here, and right now.

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Fun Facts Friday

Guys, it’s Friday!! I truly love 3 day weekends which make for 4 day work weeks! Let’s do a little Fun Facts Friday, shall we?

  1. My daughter has inherited my sweet tooth…..exhibit A

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2. The love Charlotte and her cousins share is truly special and I’m really thankful for them

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3. Brent and I have started watching True Detective, and holy moly, that is a GOOD show. The episode we watched last night was I.N.T.E.N.S.E. plus my boy Matthew McCongaughey is in it, WIN! 😉

4. My daughter always wakes up with some truly epic bedhead from nap time, doesn’t matter if she sleeps 20 minutes or 2 hours, it is a serious hot mess each time.

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5. Brent and I are going on vacation guys, for 5 WHOLE DAYS. We are flying out to Laguna Beach and doing a whole lot of day drinking, patio sitting, plus some Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Golfing (wish me luck), and lots of sleeping in. Mostly, I’m excited to not cook and clean and to be on my own time schedule for five days! Of course, we will miss the munchkin but some mommy and daddy time is greatly appreciated and greatly anticipated.

6. The older I get the more I’m noticing some changes….and they annoy the crap out of me. I got sunburned today you guys, this NEVER happens. I just don’t burn, but for some odd reason, I did today. And you know what? It’s not so much fun, there will be some serious sunscreen usage in California.

7. I just spent about 30 minutes getting lost in old pictures of Charlie girl, how did she grow so fast? She was so little!!

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If you want to see some pictures from our upcoming vacation connect with me on Instagram!

 

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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 😉

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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:

 

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  • 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 😉
  • 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! 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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