Sunday, November 4, 2012

Halloween and Babyproofing

Hope y'all had a great Halloween.  It is no secret that Halloween is one of my least favorite holidays, but my girls loved it this year, so that made it fun.

Neely dressed up as Merida.
 And Lela as Minnie Mouse.
The girls got to dress up at school and then we trick-or treated with friends in our neighborhood.  Neely got so much candy and she is thrilled.  I'm giving the candy a couple more days before I throw it all out.

Now on to baby proofing.  Neely has always been a super compliant child.  When she was a baby, we put up a couple gates and were done.  All we had to do was tell her no a couple times and she never bothered things again.  

And then we had Lela.  And she is into everything.  We put gates at the bottom of our stairs & closed all the doors and thought that she couldn't get in trouble.  Until she started opening doors.  We have the lever style doorknobs & of course, she can open them super easily.  I looked at the knob covers, but they are $15 each and have terrible reviews.  One of the negatives is that if the lock is engaged, you can't use the door from the other side, so I knew that wouldn't work.  I knew I had to find a solution or she was going to drive me crazy.  I googled and searched pinterest...and nothing.  

So I came up with my own solution and I think it's genius.  I stapled ribbon to the top of all my doors & tied it to the lever.  This way, in order to open the door, you have to push up.  Lela isn't able to do this yet, but Neely can still easily open the doors.  And I did it to the inside of the doors, so from the main areas of my house, the doors still look the same.  I know this isn't a forever solution, but it was cheap and easy and will solve the problem until she is a little older and understands rules a little better.

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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wednesday Nights

Oh, how I love Wednesdays!

For the last three years, I have taught Awanas on Wednesday nights.  Last year almost killed me...between having a baby, working, eating dinner, going to Awanas & then not getting home until 8:00, I always was so exhausted and frazzled by the end of the night.

So this year, Brad and I switched places.  He takes Neely & teaches Awanas and I get to spend the evening with Lela.  I so rarely get one on one time with her because Neely always wants to be with her sister.  On the days that Neely goes to school, it seems like the days fly by with all the things going on around the house.  So now, our Wednesday nights are so fun!

We always meet Brad at Chick-fil-a to eat dinner.


Then Lela and and I go home and take a walk around the neighborhood.


And then we play on the swings in the backyard.


And she gets to take a bath by herself.


Then she gets in her pajamas & plays in the playroom until bedtime.


Totally off subject, but this week I finally went to the doctor for my foot I hurt in July.  Turns out that I have an extra bone in my foot & when I twisted my ankle, I hurt the tendon between my normal bone & my extra bone.  So now I get to sport this fancy boot for at least the next 4 weeks.  Please pray that it heals.  We are going to Disney in January and I need it to be better & don't have time for surgery before we leave.

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Favorite Songs

Last year for Lent, I gave up secular music.  I know that seems kind of random, but lots of people were taking on new tasks or giving up something for Lent & I wanted to join in.  (Kind of like this 31 days thing that we are going to pretend like I didn't start.)  As a Southern Baptist, this was all kind of foreign to me, but I thought that this would be relatively easy & not too painful.

Well, it was more painful than I thought given that there is only 1 Christian channel on the radio and only 1 that I like on XM.  When my music ADD started & I got tired of a song, I had nothing to turn to.     So I kept on listening.  Even if I didn't like it, I kept on listening.  And it was one of the best things I have ever done.  With the exception of Children's music, I have not listened to anything but Christian music since then.

And it changed my life.  There is something so peaceful in the message.  It made my days better.  It made me not get angry when I was driving.  It made me not stew over bad/stressful things that were going on. It made my 15 minute car rides a time of private worship.  And instead of some Justin Beiber song going through my mind all day, I had words about God.  Words about the bible.  And I like to think it made me a slightly better person.

For days now, the lyrics have been running through my head nonstop, so I thought I would just share a few of my favorite songs.  And just so you know, I am TERRIBLE with titles and singers of songs, so I had to google all of these by just the words I knew.  ha!  These songs may be brand new or a million years old, but I know these all touch me in some way.

10,000 Reasons by Matt Redmon
This song has been on my mind for days now & I feel like it should be my theme song that I start and end my day with.  Drive by me when this is on & I guarantee you'll get a show.

Blessings by Laura Story
I remember the first time I heard this song & it brought tears to my eyes.  I think it is so reflective of what most of us feel.  And I think it helps to put things in perspective when things aren't exactly what we want.

Good to be Alive by Jason Gray
If this song doesn't make you feel happy, I don't know what will.

Praise You in the Storm by Casting Crowns
I know this one is old, but again it is a song that puts things in perspective for me.

And there are so many more that I just love.  I challenge you to change your radio over to the local Christian radio station & see if it doesn't change the outlook of your days.

What are some of your favorite Christian songs?
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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Day 3 - Get up early

Oh yuck.  This girl likes to sleep.  Unfortunately, I don't go to bed early.  So every morning, I sleep until my first little monkey wakes up & then spend the rest of the day catching up.  I love our morning routine...I love waking up and having snuggle time while they drink their milk and eat their breakfast.  I don't like immediately thinking about when I am going to have time to take a shower, do my work, do laundry, clean the house.  I don't like hoping Lela will take a morning nap just so I will have time to blow dry my hair.

So my goal is to get up earlier.  I would love to give a specific time every day, but I think that is too rigid for me and will end with me living life exhausted.  And that's not good for anyone.  So my plan is to get up 1 hour earlier than normal.  For example, I usually get up at 7:30 to take the girls to school...now I will get up at 6:30.  For bible study I usually get up at 8...now I will get up at 7. 

What am I going to do with this hour?  Most of the time it will involve getting ready.  But that doesn't normally take an hour, so I am going to pull forward the events that distract me from focusing on the important things & do them before the girls get up. 

So how did it go?

Today stunk.  My alarm went off at 6:30.  I woke up but couldn't move.  I laid in my bed until 8:00 and looked at my ipad.  I hate hate hate mornings.  And now I am so so so tired, but can't go to bed.  Here's hoping that tomorrow is better.

Not sure what tomorrow's resolution is...but it's definitely going to be something easier.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Day 2 - Deleting Twitter & Facebook and What We've Been Up To

Wow.  I know to you I seem like I am always distracted by my phone & maybe I am. 

I always have my phone with me.  And when I have a moment of quiet, the first thing that I do is pull it out, check my email, scan through facebook, then check in on Twitter.  Although I try not to do it when I am with the girls, I find myself doing it a lot.

Girls are eating breakfast...read everyone's morning facebook statuses
Waiting to pick up the girls...see who is doing what on twitter
Cooking dinner...scan through my emails.

Do I do this all the time?  No, but I do it enough that I think it's an issue.  I would love to remove all data from my phone for the next 30 days, but my company pays for my phone and my data, so I have to be able to get my emails on go.  And I don't enjoy those emails, so they really don't count...right? 

So how did today go?

I have to admit, what I really struggled with was not talking on the phone in the car.  Tuesdays involve more driving & each trip is at least 15 minutes.  I found myself automatically picking up my phone to dial & then having to remember to put it down.  I have to be honest...it was great.  Neely never quits talking & we had at least an hour of conversation today in the car.  And she is so funny...I

As far as missing twitter and facebook, that wasn't so bad.  I didn't have a lot of downtime today, so I didn't really miss it.  Usually while I am waiting for Neely at gymnastics, I spend time scrolling through status updates, but today I spent that time visiting with my friends.  Much better!

The thing that I realized today is that by not talking on the phone in the car, I had to push off some work calls, which left me feeling behind later.  So I think I need to focus on time management & unfortunately, the only place that I can get some extra uninterrupted time is in the morning.  This leads me to...

Day 3 - Waking up earlier (yuck)

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And just a little of what we have been up to:

1.  Neely has become obsessed with having curly hair & loves her pink rollers

2.  Lela's hair is long enough for pigtails & I am obsessed.  Unfortunately, she takes her hair down almost immediately every time I fix it.

3.  I hung these empty picture frames down my stairway last January.  Last week, I finally put family pictures in them!

4.  Brad & Neely are in the process of transitioning to our fall flowers.  I love fall and beds full of pansies make me so happy.

Monday, October 1, 2012

31 days of being more focused & Day 1

As we all know, I have trouble keeping up with my blog.  So I've decided to link up with The Nester and do her 31 days series.  And luckily there was a topic that I had been struggling with that I can use as an excuse to blog about.  I'm hoping that I can make improvements in this area and also get into the habit of blogging again.

I'm a busy mom.  I have a 4 year old that has just started getting busy with extra curricular activities.  I have a one year old that still requires a lot of one on one attention.  I have a full time job.  I love my friends & want to be a good friend.  I'm close to my family.  I have a lot of responsibilities, but so many days I feel like I'm not doing anything well.

So for the next 31 days, I am going to try to live a more focused day.  Each day, I am going to add a habit, delete a habit, make a change.  Something.  Something that makes my actions more intentional.  Sometimes it will be big, but many days it will be small.  Hopefully in the end, it will make me a better mom, wife, friend.

So Day 1 -  Stop talking on the phone in the car when I'm with my family

Now this is hard for me.  I love, love, love to talk on the phone.  So many of the important people in my life live far away and the 10 minutes that I am in the car 10 times a day allow me to catch up with them. 

But what am I telling my kids by doing this?  That this conversation on the phone is more important than the conversation with them?  This one on one time, with no distractions is precious to my kids.  It should be precious to me.  I don't want my girls to look back at their childhood and only think of me on the phone.

So how did it go?  I'll admit today was an easy day.  My kids go to MDO/preschool on Monday, so we didn't spend a lot of time in the car.  But this morning on the way to school, Neely and I talked about how excited she was to see her friends & what her plans are for her birthday.  Then on the way home we went over all the letters & sounds that she has been working on.  Did she notice my new resolution?  Probably not.  But do I think she will notice in the long run?  I do.  I also think it will get harder.  There will be days where I need a few minutes to decompress & I know a few minutes on the phone with a friend will help.  But I need to do this for 31 days.  Just to get in the habit.

So, I hope you'll come back for the rest of the month.  Hopefully, I will also blog about the fun things that are going on in our life, things I love, things I believe this month, but I am committing to my 31 days posts.

Tomorrow...I'm deleting facebook and twitter off my phone.  YIKES!

Friday, September 14, 2012

A few of my favorite (beauty) things

I keep seeing posts with fall fashion tips and I would love to post some, but it's just not in me because:
  1. it's so stinkin hot outside that I can't even begin to think about fall clothes
  2. the extent of my fall fashion advice is wear a cardigan.
So, what you are getting today is a list of a few of my favorite beauty products.

So, if you haven't heard of Elf cosmetics and brushes, you need to run to Walmart right now and get some.  This is the complexion brush & this is what I put my foundation on with.  YES--my foundation! I had a girl at Sephora do my makeup this Summer and it's amazing the difference putting foundation on with this kind of brush makes.  Just squirt a little foundation on the top of your hand, dab your brush in and put it on in a circular motion.  You will use a lot less foundation this way.  Oh yeah, this brush is only $3!  You read that right.  All their products are $1 or $3.


Another $3 brush!  I use this with pressed powder.  Fabulous.

I promise that this is the last Elf item, but it's too great not to mention.  Another item that I loved from Sephora was an eyebrow kit.  I had never used an eyebrow pencil or anything, but was amazed by how much better my makeup looked if I darkened my eyebrows a little.  It's a little powder, then a little wax.  The only problem was the brand from Sephora was $35!  This is the exact same thing for...you guessed it $3! 

4.  MAC Studio Fix Foundation


I love this foundation even though it's not cheap.  But I promise that it lasts a long time.  One bottle lasts 3 or 4 months.  Great coverage!

5.  Revlon Colorstay Lipliner and Eyeliner

I have tried everything to keep my lipstick on and this is the best product that I've found.  If you put it on your entire lip before your powder and then reoutline afterward, your lipstick will stay all day.

I've been looking for a great, cheap mascara.  What is your favorite mascara that's less than $10?