12/29/15

Merry & Bright

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It's amazing how fast the holiday season goes. It seems like we were just trimming the tree, decorating the mantle and icing cookies, yet here we are packing away the Christmas goodies and delicately tucking them away for another year. As Nathaniel Hawthorne once said, "Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind."

With each and every day we create memories; memories that cast a fountain of shadows over ourselves. While time may pass with the blink of the eye, we are always left with our memory of shadows. And it's these shadows that I franticly run around and collect as quickly as possible, it's these shadows that I attempt to hold onto so dearly with both hands, and it's these shadows that I want to lock away forever.

This holiday season was good to us; we were blessed with good health (minus a family case of the flu), warm weather and joyful times. Unfortunately, this time of the year always brings stress into household. It is the busiest time of the year for our restaurant, which means I don't see my husband as often as I would like and neither do the kids. Not to mention, when he works overtime, I work overtime. As we all know, long hours in the day mean that stress is festering somewhere. But even though we are always faced with stress, we always manage to dispense it evenly until it disappears. And when Christmas morning arrives, it is always magical.

The holiday season may be coming to a close, but I would love its shadow to linger just a bit longer. I would love to hold onto some of that magical Christmas spirit and carry it around with me all year long.

I hope you enjoyed your holiday! This is just a small glimpse into ours, but I assure you it was good.

12/15/15

A Room Makeover with a Star Wars Twist

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I don't know about your household, but I'm starting to think that my boys are more excited about the new release of Star Wars than Christmas! It's certainly the topic of most conversations, the wish lists are full of Star Wars toys and legos and I catch my boys sneaking off to watch the trailer, just one more time.

I started working on Joshua's room over the summer as a project for Babiekins Magazine blog. As with any project I tackle these days, it tends to take me a bit longer and I move a tad slower, but his room is finally done and he is over the moon with excitement!

As far as renovations and makeovers go, I didn't actually do too much. I added a fresh coat of paint to the walls, hung new curtains that were a similar hue, switched out the bedding and added a desk so he has a space for homework, writing and Lego building.

For a full list of credits head on over to Babiekins Magazine blog by clicking this link.

12/4/15

December Days

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It certainly doesn't look like December days, but as the month rolls on the days grow a little bit colder. Eventually we'll get a white blanket that will cover the ground, dust the trees and rooflines and spread excitement and cheer for the season. And eventually, we'll get out the ski gear, dust it off and put it to use. But for right now, we're soaking up the warmer days and letting the sun shine down upon us.

While parts of me are eager and ready for the traditional winter weather, parts of me love the thought of coatless days, warm sweaters and cozy boots. We still have yet to make a fire, but we've certainly been enjoying our share of hot cocoas and soft snuggles under the blankets.

These days we're keeping cozy with FabKids

FabKids is JustFab'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.

New styles are in! Winter and Holiday pieces include quality clothing for affordable prices so you can shop must-haves for any season!

Thank you FabKids for patterning with us on this post.

12/2/15

Gratitude

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"Gratitude is the fairest blossom which springs from the soul."
Henry Ward Beecher


Sometimes in life it's difficult to find gratitude, it's difficult to wade through the thick nets of despair and discouragement that hinder our view. It's difficult to see through the challenges that have been thrown our way; challenges like Crohn's Disease and other difficulties we encounter. Sometimes it is easier to embrace them than pick them up and thrown them out of our path.

But I choose to clear my path and throw those challenges aside.
I choose gratitude.

This year at Thanksgiving dinner we were handed two pieces of paper to write down what we are thankful for; one piece for a serious note and one for a silly note. We placed them in a jar and at the end of dinner we read them aloud and shared in the thankfulness. It was the beginning of a new tradition.

Thanksgiving may be behind us, but I believe in carrying the gratitude on throughout the holiday season. If there is one thing I have learned over this past year, it is gratitude. It is a true belief in the magic of Christmas. The holiday season is not about gifts, glitter and trees. It's not about cookies, shopping and parties. It is about the spirit of the soul, it's about uniting together as a family, it's about sharing and it's about gratitude to what we have in life.

My list could reach for miles, but here are a few thoughts on what I am thankful for:

Our health | even though it's been a journey we are in a far better spot this holiday season than last.
My family | my husband and kids are my rock. Period. We are also so blessed to have a supportive family who are willing to step up and help us when we need them. From picking up kids from school, to cooking for Jonas to watching them while we are away. We couldn't do it without the loving support of family.
Our home | A home is more than just a house and I know that when I walk through our front door I am home.
Opportunities | I am thankful for opportunities we have been given in life and in our careers. I am thankful for the Babiekins Magazine team and the amazing support these women have shown me.
Friends| They are always there, always. I love them more than they know.
Food | Our lifestyle and how we conquer our son's Crohn's disease is unique. I am blessed we have the opportunity to eat and cook how we do; refined sugar free, preservative free, organic and nongmo. It has taken cutbacks in our budget but it's something I believe in.

What are you thankful for this holiday season?