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celebrating us on mother’s day.

raising kids is hard. the thought of raising a child to have confidence, curiosity, knowledge, manners, purpose and empathy sounds both terrifying and exhausting, but i’d like to think i’m doing an okay job at it. like so many moms, i can’t count how many times i have doubted my ability to be successful and to have all the answers.

but kaylei and mahkena, seeing your smiles, your joy, and your big hearts is all the proof i need to know that i’m doing something right.

i’ve realized that mother’s day is not about me at all; it is a day to celebrate us, together.

i owe you girls a thank you for making me a better person, for giving me greater purpose and for showing me what life is all about. i cannot wait to experience all the wonderful things you’ll do in the world, but please… take your time my loves, let’s not rush this beautiful journey.

there’s nothing stronger than a mother’s love, baby girls. i’ll love you forever, to the moon and back.

love, your perfectly imperfect mother

*a huge thank you to my dear friend chelsea from chelsea marie photography for capturing these photos that i’ll forever cherish

last minute gift ideas for mother’s day.

sometimes it’s so hard to shop for those special women in our lives, and being a mom myself, what i could use more than anything on certain days is just alone time to catch up on some zzz’s or enjoy the peace and quiet. simply just offering her some of that time is honestly better than gifting her any material item sometimes.

but if you’re still wanting to give her something and haven’t done your shopping…

two words: amazon prime. it will become your best friend.

here are some favorites that i have stumbled upon and should help spark some shopping inspiration:

diffuser and essential oils

bath bombs

fresh flowers

kindle e-reader

custom jewelry

weighted blanket

hope this guide gave you some ideas of what to give your mom on her special day. and above all us, make sure you tell that woman you love her.

a photo journal – easter at the campground

growing up with weekends at a campgound wasn’t always fun…summer heat, more than enough bugs, and the lack of your friends being there to hang out with. honestly, growing up i didn’t like that my parents had a seasonal site at a local campground and we spent nearly every. single. weekend there for a majority of my life.

that was until i moved out and had kids of my own. now i enjoy the same campground i grew up at. it’s peaceful; it’s quiet, and my girls get to run around and burn off their never-ending energy.

my parent’s still have a seasonal site at that exact same campground. i love that they still do and i can bring my girls there to do some of the traditions that i always did. like easter, for one.

the past few years, if and when it’s nice out we go there for easter and enjoy a cookout and my girls get to enjoy an easter egg hunt. this year was no different.

us girls were in charge of bringing dessert this year, so we chose to bring our favorite funfetti cupcakes which meant for a morning of baking. and with two girls, LOTS of pink frosting.

it was one of the first nicer days of the year so we were all really excited to get there and enjoy the weather. dad had the grill going, mom was in the camper frying up some potatoes, and the girls were eager to hurry up and eat so they could get on with their easter egg hunt.

after being very spoiled by the easter bunny, the girls and i enjoyed some time at the park before heading home.

children only have one childhood. make it memorable and fill with traditions.

turning 30.

so many people have asked me how i felt as i approached my 30th birthday. and honestly, i didn’t know how to answer. i mean i’d be lying that by just typing out the words i’m turning 30 didn’t freak me out. what am i going to do when i have to say, “hi, im shayla and i’m 30 years old”?

i’ve struggled it with it the closer i got to closing out my 20’s. everyone has an opinion about it, and before really taking the time to sit down and think about it, my opinion was not one i’d like to admit; like i’ve got one foot already in the grave. my parents had me young; i remember them turning 30 and thinking “holy crap! that’s old.” but now, that’s me.

but why do i have to be so negative about it? what is so bad about starting a new decade; a fresh start?

my 20’s were full of so much life; it allowed me to discard the things that i needed to let go of and move forward. hell, i spent a lot of this last year doing just that. my 20’s were exciting, stressful , yet so full of adventure…marriage, expanding our family, graduating college, landing my dream job, divorce, buying a home, and finding myself.

in those years i learned the bounds of my life and exactly where i intended to be, which is the greatest gift my 20’s could have ever given to me.

i see a woman who has grown and changed so significantly. i can see a shift in my confidence, my purpose, my passions. most importantly i see a woman who has learned the importance of patience, kindness, an open heart, and love.

so being in your 30’s does NOT mean you’re old. i wholeheartedly believe that these are about to be the start of the best years of my life. so break out the party hats and tequila; i’m ready for you 30.

join along on my 30th chapter because in this chapter, i’m exactly where i’m supposed to be.

( my fun 30th birthday photo shoot was done by the most-talented, Chelsea Marie Photography. you can see her blog post about it here. )

life advice for my daughters.

  1. seek out the people and places that set your soul on fire.
  2. it’s okay to cry when you’re hurt. but wash your face, clean your mess, and get up off the floor when you’re done. you don’t belong down there.
  3. your body, your rules.
  4. naps are for grown-ups too.
  5. reserve your apologies for when you mean it.
  6. we are all different. it’s okay to be who you are.
  7. push through your fears.
  8. work for your passions.
  9. when you’re trusted with a secret, keep it.
  10. if it’s not going to matter in 5 years, don’t spend more than 5 minutes upset by it.
  11. use your manners.
  12. find your tribe, and love them hard.
  13. hold the door open for strangers.
  14. celebrate your successes.
  15. always trust your gut.
  16. tell people when you are proud of them.
  17. you will make mistakes, and that’s okay. learn from them.
  18. have “me” time.
  19. say goodbye to the people who don’t lift you up.
  20. laugh. a lot. life is too short.
  21. forgive your enemies, just don’t forget their names.
  22. don’t let your envy set your goals.
  23. stand up for what’s right, even when it’s hard.
  24. smile and use eye contact.
  25. always protect your siblings.
  26. know your worth.
  27. enjoy your metabolism while it lasts.
  28. magnify people’s strengths, not their weaknesses.
  29. have a few regrets. it’s what makes life interesting.
  30. remember that i love you. to the moon and back.