a not-so-typical Easter

Oh, hello there little neglected blog! I remember when you were my first love. Now I'm so busy with a billion other things. Like THIS. and THIS. Also, I hate to admit it, but I cheat on you with Instagram on a daily basis because I love me some insta-blogging. Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 10.19.13 PM

This past weekend was Easter weekend. Saturday was awesome, filled with Easter egg hunting and fun at Mimi & Poppy's house. But Sunday?  It was TOUGH at our house. Every little thing seemed to fall apart and the behavior from the tiny humans was off the charts awful. It's like a (not-so) gentle reminder that raising people is hard and it's just a normal day in their world. From digging up their new plants indoor, to the donut order being wrong (after my fancy bunny pancake plans fell through) and the hours spent in time out over fighting and disobedience. It just WASN'T a favorite day of mine.

THEN.....

I pulled out our hard drive where all of our pictures are backed up, because I wanted to look through pictures from when we were in Israel and visited the tomb where Jesus was buried. That's when my world came crashing down. Half of the pictures were GONE. 2007-2012 to be exact. Wedding, births of two kids, all the good stuff. I was in complete meltdown mode all day and my amazing husband worked so hard to restore it and figure out what the issue was. Thank goodness I found our wedding pictures elsewhere and I'm so glad I have blogged every moment of the kids lives. BECAUSE OUCH. That stings.

I know it's just "stuff", but I love that stuff. 

At least I got a couple of cute pictures to cherish of the good moments from the weekend, and I will back those up 5 times instead of two. Because apparently 2 back ups isn't enough. UGH.

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Ok, a couple of announcements for this lovely Monday before I start crying (yet again):

TOMORROW is the last day to order Mugs + Journals for the Thrive Moms Retreat! And there are only a handful of mugs left so HURRY!

Use the code "MAMALOVE" for 15% off Mother's Day Collection cards this week!

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Happy Monday!!

 

bold: vision

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It's so easy to jump on the "one word" train and then completely forget what your word is a few months into the year. Last year I chose the word "Thrive" and man oh man, did God ever use that word. I will never forget how 2013 rocked me in so many ways. I decided to focus on a different area of my life each month for my word this year.

My word this year is BOLD. There are so many areas of my life I want to be more bold in and I'm excited to see how God uses me as I break free of some bondage and be bold in my calling as a wife, mother, friend, writer and so much more.

For January, I am focusing on a BOLD: VISION. To look at the year ahead with a more open mind and heart. To have open hands for what God has in store for me. The scripture that God brought to me is Isaiah 55. At first I pulled just a few key verses, but really I need the entire chapter. Take a minute to read it with me?

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I want to walk boldly into my vision for this year. To allow my vision to be completely in tune with what God's plan is for me. To boldly approach the throne with confidence in my journey.

Are you starting out your year with a bold vision?

 

taking time for the game of chase

I would say over the last year I have transitioned into a work at home mom. As my blog has continued to grow over the years (hey, thanks guys for putting up with me!), and I now co-run Thrive and am a part of The Influence Events Team and am about to launch my shop....well I do a lot. So, I spend quite a bit of my time working and writing. I always thought I would be a working mom. My mom was, and I couldn't wait to have a career. But after working many years as an event planner and learning that the hours were a bit ridiculous if I ever wanted to see my kids, I decided to stay home.

Oh, and random and off topic but we've had some GORGEOUS weather this week. Way to go, January. 

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Anyway, I've been able to take a day or two a week to just get away and work. It's wonderful and hard at the same time. It's also hard for me to take off my mommy hat for a few hours. I tend to be a control freak and have trouble being away at all. BUT I get time by myself, to sit, sip sweet tea and write, design, dream and plan. Perfect way to recharge my batteries.

And the best part for me?Getting to come home to my babies. 

When I walk in the door and they go crazy (you know, the good crazy), I understand how daddy feels every day when he comes home from work. I feel excitement to be a mom again. I can't wait to wrestle, tickle and play chase. When I spend every waking moment at home with the kids, I find myself turning into a robot. I go through the motions of motherhood without really stopping to enjoy it.

Last night I took the time for a game of chase.Although I'm insanely out of shape, chasing my hilarious girls around the house is worth every breath sucking moment. I need that time away to remember how great I have it. How blessed I am by these tiny people that I have the amazing joy of raising.

What can you do to remind yourself to play chase? What helps you remember how much you love being a mom?

Our Favorite Things: Blogger Gift Guide {and giveaway!}

Welcome to Our Favorite Things: Blogger Gift Guide!Ten Bloggers, tons of gift ideas & 10 incredible giveaways (each blogger is giving away their entire basket of favorite things!!). Be sure and go check out each gift guide & giveaway and get to know all of these fun bloggers!

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the busy budgeting mama  |  jenny collier  |  the mom diggity  |   just a girl and her blog  |  house of rose

view from five two  |  blue eyed bride  |  dance parties in the rain  |  chasing big dreams  |  coconut robot

And now for my basket!!

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I'm so excited to share some of my favorite things with you!! I hope you get some great gift ideas for stocking stuffers, or gifts for your girlfriends! I've selected items from 4 of my favorite things to do: me time, hostessing, baking & writing! 

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A few things that help me feel great!

Dove Dry Shampoo  |  Ghiradelli Chocolate   |   Citrus Fresh Essential Oil   |   Gold Nail Polish

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I love baking, and it's more fun to bake when you have some fun tools to use!

Squish Mixing Bowl (It "squishes" flat and has a silicone bottom so it doesn't scoot around when you stir!) Pretty baking cups   |   Tasty treats recipe book for yummy goodies! Cupcake pen for filling cupcakes (or making fun pancake shapes!)

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I love party planning and hosting dinner and girl's night. These items make it even more fun!

Make a frothy latte at home with the Aerolatte milk frother! Glass charms |   What's a party without paper straws?

fav1Writing makes my world go 'round, and these are my essentials! 

Journal   |   Washi Tape   |   Fun Markers for highlighting   |    Note cards

WINIT

a Rafflecopter giveaway

preparing: hearts, minds & circus-like lives

With Influence around the corner in just a week (AH!), I have a lot of prep to do. It's an honor to be a community leader again this year, leading a workshop and be coordinating the volunteers. Thrive is also helping out and we are doing all of the name tags, so I've been pouring over the list of attendees and designing & printing name tags for everyone! So, yeah. Lots of good stuff going on! And not to mention attempting to not ignore the tiny humans in my house and prepare my home for 5 days away. That's the scariest part of all!! As I began thinking about my time away, I started thinking about all of the mamas (there are LOTS) that will be attending the conference as well. Some maybe leaving their babies for the first time. It can be a VERY stressful and overwhelming time. It can even hurt your time away if you become too wrapped up in the details at home.

I've compiled a list of things that help keep my mind and heart calm as I take some time away from my family!

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LEAVE A SCHEDULE: If your husband works full time out of the home, he may not be familiar with your day in and day out routine. This will not only calm your nerves, but help him out. Write down some important things he may not know that you do every day. BUT, remember, he is your partner not another one of your children. He is perfectly capable of hanging with the kids for a few days by himself. Be as helpful as he needs to make his life easier!

LET SOME STUFF GO: Give them some breathing room. Time with daddy should be FUN time! Most likely, daddy time looks a bit different than mommy time. And that's how it should be!!! As long as they are fed and happy...who cares?! They will love Daddy time!

LAY OUT CLOTHES: I have THREE babies. This is kinda key for my kids being dressed. Which, most days they aren't dressed with me at home but you get the idea. In case he decides to venture out for a trip to the donut shop, at least they won't be in mismatched clothes or the 3 year old wearing the 6 month old's pants? Yup.

CLEAN & FORGET IT: Leave the house in better shape than you will find it in. Yes, that's right. Unless your husband is one of those Mr. Clean folks (which I find to be like 1 in 50), just know it won't look the same way you left it. AND THAT'S OK! Leave him with clean laundry, an empty sink and a vacuumed floor. When you come home? Look at those smiling faces and thank him for keeping everything (or most things) in one piece! Let him know you want him to have a great time with the kids and you can have a cleaning party when you get back!

PREP SOME MEALS: Even if it's frozen pizza, get a plan for them. This will make life so much easier for everyone if they know they can eat! Have a crock pot meal ready, cook something so there are leftovers in the fridge. Leave out a box of mac & cheese. Just help him to not have to manage chasing kids AND cooking!

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As I prepare for an amazing 5 days away, I'm not only preparing my circus home, I'm preparing my heart & mind. I'm opening myself up to be rocked. To be open to what God has for me. What I love about Influence is that this isn't just your typical blogging conference. It's not just about SEO and social media. It's about life-giving, real connections. It's about using our online space to further the Kingdom. It's about more. While we all love (and need) a good SEO chat every now and then, we get the best of BOTH worlds.

We are inspired through our callings to make more of our online lives. That's pretty amazing if you ask me!!

The moral of the story? In the madness of preparing to be away: don't forget to prepare your hearts for what God will do.