5/31/14

running to summer

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I can see it, off in the distance in a blurry haze of golden sunlight. Summer. With her vibrant green grass, her dewey warm mornings and cloudless blue skies. She is like a painting in a fine museum. Well within our view, yet slightly out of reach.

I can see summer holding onto the horizon.
I can smell the blossoming peonies and lilacs.
I can feel the warmth growing each day.

We have one week of school remaining and we are eagerly running to summer. This winter was long and harsh and we are beyond ready to embrace the summer days.

Let the count down begin!

5/28/14

21/52

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"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Jonas: So close to catching the ball.
Joshua: So close to the llamas and so happy.
Jessica: So close to nature.

Thank you Jodi for hosting this series.

5/23/14

Hello Weekend

Babiekins Magazine | Street Style
Babiekins Magazine | Street Style
Babiekins Magazine | Street Style
Babiekins Magazine | Street Style
I don't know about you, but we couldn't be more excited for the weekend to finally be at our fingertips! A long weekend at the end of a busy busy week is the best feeling. We're looking forward to a night out, live music, family gatherings, good food, soccer games, bonfires and, if we're lucky, some swim time.

Enjoy the weekend friends!
You can see more of Jessica over on Babiekins Magazine Blog.

5/22/14

we've waited

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We've waited.
To dig our shorts and t-shirts out of basement bins.
To pack away the winter layers and trade them in for lighter clothing.
We've waited for the sun to shine and the days to warm.
We've waited for blossoming flowers and tones of green to spread through wooded forests.
We've waited for spring.
And now we wait for summer.

5/20/14

sunshine daydream

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jess yellow
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Sunshine, daydream, walking in the tall trees, going where the wind goes
Blooming like a red rose, breathing more freely,
Ride our singin', I'll walk you in the morning sunshine
Sunshine, daydream.
Sunshine, daydream.
Walking in the sunshine.
Sugar Magnolia / The Grateful Dead

We're ready for lazy mornings, afternoon picnics and walks in the tall trees.
We're ready for cool breezes and hot lingering air.
We are ready for summer.

*This post is in partnership with FabKids
FabKids is JustFab's children's fashion club, started by a team of parents including mom and actress Christina Applegate. FabKids is a convenient way for busy parents to shop. It's an outfit club -- so parents get monthly selections of super affordable, high-quality fashions personalized for their kids. Check out more of their spring and summer trends, for boys and girls, at Fabkids.com

I can personally tell you I have had a wonderful experience with FabKids and I highly recommend them to anyone!


Sugar Magnolia by Grateful Dead on Grooveshark

5/19/14

20/52

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"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Jonas: Helping prep a lobster clam bake in our backyard. Sunday is for food, friends and family.
Joshua: Early Saturday mornings are always a bit of a struggle and a rush.
Jessica: Sometimes, her head is in the clouds and that's okay.

Thank you Jodi for hosting this series.

5/15/14

thoughts on mothering

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With Mother’s Day this past weekend I’ve had several thoughts swirling around in my mind. Mothers strive to offer their children happiness. While there is endless meaning and factors that drive a mother, she always wants her child to he happy. A simple concept.

But what makes one happy? How does one offer the gift of happiness?

I suppose there are endless answers to these questions. There are several ways to offer happiness to your children or even to other loved ones. You can give them your constant attention, shelter them with love and affection, buy them material objects, travel to vast mountain tops or sandy beaches. The possibilities are endless.

I want my children to be happy, but I also want them to know that happiness does not come from material objects or being given what you want. Happiness comes from the heart. The best way for them to be happy is to see and feel happiness in our home. If I am happy then I am able to pass along my joy to my children. How can I parent and tell my children to be happy if I’m not happy myself? That equation just does not make sense.

I know the journey to happiness does not always come easy for everyone, and I feel blessed to have such happiness in my own life. The older I get the more I realize that it truly is the small moments in life that make you happy. Late Sunday dinners spent with family and friends where time slips away because you are lost in conversations. A round of baseball in the backyard that turns into tag that turns into firefly catching. Morning cuddles in bed and the sound of crisp pages of a new book held by your fingertips. The scent of vanilla and freshly picked apples that patiently wait on the countertop calling to be made into a pie. Late afternoons spent in the garden, with little helpers running circles and dogs laying on cool dirt grounds. Morning coffee in the backyard or late record player sessions in the living room.

These are not grand moments, but they are my moments. They are my moments of happiness. And it is in these small moments that I hope to teach my children the key to happiness.

///

I've been thinking about making Thoughts on Mothering a regular series here. Is this something that would interest you? Are there any topics that you would like to hear more on?


19/52

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"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Jonas: We explore, we adventure.
Joshua: Sensitive eyes can sometimes see the tiny details in life.
Jessica: Independent and proud.

Thank you Jodi for hosting this series.

It's been one of those weeks, or even months, that I feel like I have been pulled in every direction. From my job of mothering, to the housework, to the garden we're planning, to the restaurant, school, meetings, work and deadlines. Sometimes I wonder how I have time to breath. But when it comes down to it, I like the busy life. I'm not one to sit by and do nothing, I like to keep busy and that's exactly what I've been doing. Now let's hope all this hard work pays off...

5/7/14

yes, i'm a soccer mom

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The truth is revealed. I'm a soccer mom. And a baseball mom, a swim team mom, a cub scouts mom, a golf mom, a ballet mom, a music mom and let's just throw in super mom for fun because sometimes that's just how I feel. I never imagined that I would one day be hauling my children all over town (and other towns) to attend practices and games. I never envisioned that I would frantically run around each day packing up sports equipment, filling nalgene bottles with enough water to last through multiple games or writing out checklists just to make sure I didn't forget anything or anyone.

My days of working in corporate America are long gone, my heels traded in for a worn pair of converse, my suits collecting dust in the back of my closet (add to checklist, get rid of suits). My boyfriend jeans and white tees, usually stained with something, are my new uniform. I also said I would never be "one of those parents" that signs their child up for every single activity. It sure sounds like I'm that parent, but it just happened to turn out this way. How do you say no when your child is asking to be active? We don't watch much tv in our house and video games are very limited, the only activity we request as parents is that each child participate in one sport. We enforce a healthy lifestyle and getting out and being active is a part of our belief system. If our son happens to like four sports then awesome, I say go for it! I also know, or hope, that number will dwindle down over the years as he focuses his attention on one or two activities he loves.

So I'm a soccer mom. I refuse to drive a minivan but I do, indeed, label my children's clothing. Again, something I never thought I would do. Until the day Jonas earned a spot on the U9 boys soccer team and proudly came home showcasing his new uniform; striped jersey, shorts, socks, warm up pants and jacket. Fast forward to the first game when he came home with a different jacket. An older and worn jacket, not the brand new jacket I spent probably too much money on. That was the day I began labeling my children's clothing.

A huge thank you to Stuck on You, the place for the coolest kids labels and gifts, for helping me get organized. Jonas' jersey pictured above? Now labeled! His soccer bag? Now tagged with a smile face and his name! Josh's baseball bag for water? Name right on the front. Boom! No more coming home with other's kids clothing, equipment or uniforms. Today we made a trip to the sports store for a new baseball helmet, soccer balls (because you know, it's so easy to forget them at practice) and a bat. As soon as I'm done typing I'm off to label and claim all this gear.

Thank you Stuck on You for keeping me organized!
You can find Stuck on You on:
Facebook
Twitter
Google +
Pinterest

*This post is in partnership with Stuck on You

5/5/14

17/52

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"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Jonas: I will never forget the day of his First Communion.
Joshua: I will never forget his bond with Bailey.
Jessica: I will never forget the way she holds onto bunny so tightly that there is a permanent mark around its center.

Thank you Jodi for hosting this series.
Still catching up and a week behind over here. One of these days I'll catch up, but right now I am just too busy living life and enjoying every second with my family and friends. Stepping away from the online worlds feels wonderfully refreshing.

5/1/14

diy flower crown

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PicMonkey Collage
Happy May! Awhile back I posted a fun DIY on Babiekins Magazine blog on how to make a flower crown. I thought the first of May would be the perfect time to repost that crafty tutorial here on my personal blog.

You will Need:
faux flowers or fresh (I used nice faux flowers for this crown)
green florist tape
green or natural florist wire
scissors or shears
wire cutters

STEP 1: Gather your supplies! Cut flowers from the stems, leaving about an inch or so to work with.

STEP 2: Take your floral wire and make a circle shaping it to fit your head. I used two wires. Wrap the extra wire around to make a strong circle base.

STEP 3: Begin to arrange your flowers. Use the green florist tape to secure the flowers in place. You can either set out the flowers how you would like them arranged or just work as you go.

STEP 4: Continue taping and wrapping the flowers in place. Get creative and remember, there is no wrong way to arrange the flowers.

STEP 6: Once you are happy with your crown double check that all the flowers are securely taped in place and then you’re done! This delicate flower crown also makes a cute decoration to hang or place on a bed post. Happy wearing!

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You can see the original post here.

16/52

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"A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2014."

Jonas: Sneaking in a moment of tech time.
Joshua: My little baseball player.
Jessica: On the search for Easter eggs.

Thank you Jodi for hosting this series.
Still catching up. I'll post 17/52 this weekend.

I don't know about your household, but the limitations that I put on technology are an ongoing battle. I am constantly reminded that I am the only parent who sets a timer for video game or tv use. I am the only parent who strictly enforces "technology free" days (mondays and wednesdays) and we are the only household that has to ask permission to watch a show or play a video game. I know my boys are being dramatic. I know that I can't possibly be the only parent out there with these rules and regulations. I am always trying to find the balance between allowing my children technology time and creative time. We have tried out several different routines and during different times of the year the routines may vary.

Our ideal schedule for the spring has been no technology on Mondays and Wednesdays. On Tuesday, Thursday and Friday the kids come home from school and we have a snack together and talk about the day. After they change out of school clothes they are allowed a half hour (sometimes I stretch it to forty-five minutes) of shows, video games or iPad. When the timer goes off we move on to a new activity. Reading, crafting or playing outside. While I prep and make dinner the boys do their homework, practice instruments or play in their rooms if they are caught up on work. But on most days you will find me at the stove and the kids sitting at the island working away on math, science or reading. I love that we are able to all be in the kitchen together working independently on separate activities, especially since after dinner the chaos tends to begin.

The kids are shuffled off to soccer, music or baseball. It's a rush to get home, get everyone bathed, pass out bedtime snacks, read books and tuck in all three kiddos. If I actually step back and look at our schedule, we don't have much time for technology. And that's okay with me.

What does your schedule look like? Do you enforce time limits when it comes to tv or video games? How do you balance the technology with your daily schedules?