Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Happy Birthday, Ella!

O. M. G.  Has it truly been a decade since I held a 6lb 5oz Ella in my arms?  Since we gave her a name?  Since we first met?  It’s an impossible thought.  The years have gone far too fast and my memory isn’t equipped to handle the rapid passing of time that has led us to this moment - her 10th birthday.

It’s hard to think that I’ll never see that tiny baby again, but it’s amazing to know what a wonderful little person she’s become.  That bittersweetness aside, this next chapter in her life is sure be an exciting one.  We are now in that fragile place that exists between childhood and the dreaded teenage years.  With a little luck and a lot of mutual understanding, I think we’ll make it through just fine and Ella will continue to be the awesome girl I’ve come to know.  I do not throw around the word “blessing”, but to be a part of her life and to have her play a starring role in mine is truly a blessing.  I am the lucky one.

For those of you who do not know Ella, let me give you a brief summary.  She is witty and smart.  She is in the gifted program at her school.  She is sensitive, sweet and extremely caring.  Ella loves to dance and sing and perform for people.  She’s very interested in art, especially fashion design.  Her favorite video games are MineCraft and Pokemon.  Her current favorite color (it changes periodically) is aqua.  Her favorite food is sushi.

As part of Ella’s birthday festivities, we had a mini photo shoot at the park.  Here are a few of my favorite photos…

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Summer Outfits Inspired by Our Little Ones

Happy Summer!  Here are three completely cute and season-appropiate outfits inspired by Ella, Hendrix and Sadie.  To shop these looks, select the numbered links below each description...

Ella’s long hair is feminine and natural, but her personality is more rockstar than understated.  I think this outfit blends those styles perfectly.
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Hendrix is both our little man and our little monster.  Both of his roles play into this adorable laid-back-yet-bold outfit.
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“Sweet Sadie” as my dad has nicknamed her, is the baby of the bunch and as such has become the little princess in our family.  This outfit fully encompasses that style.
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<3 n

Monday, July 14, 2014

Motivational Monday: Happy Thoughts

If you were a youngin' circa 1991, you should remember the movie Hook starring Robin Williams as Peter Pan.  In the film, Mr. Peter Banning, as he came to be known in his adulthood, had forgotten all the marvelous things he'd done in Neverland - including how to pretend, how to crow and how to fly.  The idea of flying was hard for the grown up Peter to imagine, but the Lost Boys offered a simple solution.  "Just think happy thoughts," they said.

Now, you and I might not literally take to the sky as depicted in the movie, but we can reach for the stars in the figurative sense.  Whether it's going hard at the gym while picturing that perfect beach body or putting in a long day of work while envisioning your kids' smiling faces when you finally get home, happy thoughts make us fly and see us through the toughest of times.

The beauty of thoughts is their ability to transport us to places where we can be excited, laugh and relax even when our present state or life situation doesn’t allow for such activities.  That ability is both powerful and important.  Feel free to share a few of your happy thoughts below and this week, try to use them as motivation to do something you may otherwise give up on.

Here are some of my happy thoughts…

Listening to Ella’s funny, creative stories and remarks
Hendrix saying goodnight before he runs to his bed
Sadie learning to stand
J coming home each night after a long day of not seeing him
Taking a long, pointless drive
Buying new cleaning/home products (I know I’m a weirdo…)
Going to Ikea!! ;)

<3 n

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Very Thankful Thursday: 525,600 Minutes

Today is my 29th birthday and I’m thankful for another year.  It hasn’t been the easiest, but I’m alive and surrounded by people who love and support me.  Sometimes we take for granted the simple act of waking up each morning, of seeing the sun and seeing our loved ones.  I’m so guilty of this.  I engage in arguments over small things.  I’m angered by events that hardly matter.  I sometimes feel I need time away from the very people I can’t bear to be without.

It’s easy to say that we are thankful for life, but it’s often difficult to truly feel thankful.  When the day-to-day hustle and bustle start to take their toll and fatigue sets in, we can become irritated with and even resentful of the things and people around us.  We sometimes forget how precious they are.  This life is not permanent and we are just passing through.  This is what we need to remind ourselves of every day, during every argument and every time we begin to treat life as if it’s less than golden.

My goals for my 29th year include treasuring my life and every person in my life - not just family and friends, but complete strangers as well.  I want to be happier, more patient, more kind, more understanding and more giving.  Life is too short to be anything but these things.  Life is too short to feel anything but thankful.

<3 n

R.I.P. Chris.  I didn’t know you but I know the people that love you dearly and I love them dearly.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Terrible Two

It was around 6:30pm on Monday night when I felt I may go crazy.  I limped toward a screaming Sadie in the playpen while Hendrix sat sulking in his highchair.  As soon as Sadie was silent and secured with something to drink, I made my way to my makeup bag and then hobbled over to the bed.  I unzipped the bag and fiddled around for a pair of pink tweezers.  I proceeded to fish out the small shard of glass lodged in the bottom of my foot.  Hendrix, one - Dinner Plate, zero.

These kinds of moments, comical and chaotic, are scenarios we couldn’t have imagined even if we’d tried.  When I’d gotten pregnant with Sadie, J and I thought about the extra diaper costs, we worried over where to fit another child in our apartment and we calculated the number of sleepless months we’d soon accrue.  We did not predict the greatest challenges and could not anticipate the amount of hair pulling, face smooshing and toy tug-of-war that would occur when two tiny people attempt to coexist.  And as Sadie has only just begun to crawl and be independently mobile, this is just the beginning.

At age 2, Ella was curious but cautious and gentle.  One of her worst habits was becoming extremely chatty just before she’d fall asleep.  There was nary a tantrum in the grocery store and rarely a need for discipline.  I was fearful that she’d be a tiny terror during her second year, but Ella’s terrible twos stage was mild at best.  This time around, I’m less concerned with the terrible twos and more concerned about the combination of our two little monsters.  J made an observation earlier this week about how different Hendrix and Sadie are from each other.  When angry, Hendrix fusses whereas Sadie screams like a banshee.

Two weekends ago, we attended J’s godson’s party at which a small Yorkshire Terrier was running around.  Hendrix spent a good chunk of our time there chasing the little dog, under the table and all over the place.  Sadie, on the other hand, snuggled in my lap with her eyes affixed to what I can only imagine she perceived as the smallest living creature she’d ever encountered.  Her neck whipped back and forth as she tracked the dog, focused and, you guessed it, screaming her head off.  If we had two likeminded children, we’d be ok.  Their unruly actions would be easier to predict and easier to quash.  Somehow, we were blessed with two opposite children whose activities brew from two opposite sets of motivations making it difficult to subdue them both at once.

Life with the two of them is an adventure to say the least.  From simultaneous crying sessions to pushes and shoves, they keep us - and each other - going.  As parents, we just have to enjoy every crazy minute of it and thank God that we have Ella, who presents her anger in arguments in lieu of tantrums and helps to wash the dishes instead of break them, to balance it all out.

P.S.  This is my first “Little Ones Wednesday” post!  Look forward to another one next week…

<3 n

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Little Monday Motivation...

This weekend, as I was driving home, a thought struck me.  Is my life in its present state what I want to look back on and remember when I’m old and gray?  The answer was unclear.  I’m happy, but I do feel that I could be doing more, accomplishing greater things.  Most of those greater things however, seem so far out of reach.  I want so many things that I’ve convinced myself I cannot have and that I needn’t try for because I’m not capable.  That type of thinking is exactly what holds me back from doing all the amazing things I’d love to do.

I found the above quote on the WordSwag app for iPhone.  I was feeling a little less than motivated to write this Motivational Monday post, so I sought help from WordSwag’s database of inspiration.  This one struck a chord with me because I’m definitely an “I can’t” sorta girl.  From the tiniest thought (I can’t do tonight’s blog post because I’m just too tired) to my biggest fear (I can’t be a writer because I’m no one special), I “can’t” myself out of doing so many things.

As I’m sure I’m not the only one suffering from a severe case of the “can’ts”, I decided to pass along this quote as my motivation for this particular Monday.  Do the things you think you cannot do.  Tell that inner voice that says you can’t that you can and you will.  Prove yourself wrong a little more everyday until you’re doing the things you dared not dream about.  And then, when you’re older and grayer, you’ll remember the wondrous moments that arose because you did the things you thought you couldn’t do.

Happy Monday!

<3 n