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

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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.

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.

first day of school interviews.

there is no rule book to prepare you for these days. the days where summer comes to an end and you send your kids back to school. the days where all of the love, guiding, laughter, tears, and discipline you’ve poured into them is what you hope is enough to carry them through.

summer is already over and it’s back to school time. my girls started fifth and first grade this year. we kicked off the new year with some rain in the forecast and our typical “first day of school photos”.

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this year i wanted to try something new – i thought it would be fun to start a tradition of first day of school interviews; something to look back over the years and see how they’ve changed.

i asked both of my girls these questions and i thought i’d share with all of you:

Kaylei

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  1. name: kaylei
  2. age: 10
  3. grade and teacher: 5th – mrs. reecher
  4. what i want to be when i grow up: owner of a animal shelter rescue
  5. favorite color: red
  6. favorite movie: spy next door
  7. favorite place to be: in my bed sleeping
  8. favorite food: bacon
  9. favorite subject in school: social studies
  10. what do you love: animals and books

Mahkena

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  1. name: mahkena
  2. age: 6
  3. grade and teacher: 1st – mrs. armstrong
  4. what i want to be when i grow up: not a mom, but a teacher at home…a home school teacher
  5. favorite color: teal and purple
  6. favorite movie: sharpay’s fabulous adventure
  7. favorite place to be: with mommy
  8. favorite food: strawberries with sugar
  9. favorite subject in school: art
  10. what do you love: animals

 

“say yes to one more book, one more hug, one more kiss goodnight, tuck them in and snuggle them tight. one day you will tuck them in and they’ll be grown. they will smile and tell you they can do it on their own.”

10 things i’ve learned as a mother.

you can’t really prepare yourself for becoming a parent and you should always expect the unexpected. motherhood is certainly not easy, but it truly is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever have.

my baby girl turned 10 this week and i’m using it as a time to reflect and share 10 things with you that i’ve learned over the past decade.

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you can never take enough photos. Of the same thing.

take those photos. capture those memories. you’ll cherish those photos forever.

you will lose friends, but treasure the one’s that stick around. 

there will be friends that you thought would be in your life forever that will disappear when you have kids. and that’s okay, because if they’re not supportive, they were never really your friend.

but with losing friends as you become a mother, you will also make some. and those, the ones that you can laugh and tell anything to, the ones you can compare mom stories with, those, those are the one’s worth treasuring.

things can get overwhelming. don’t be afraid to ask for help.

there will be so many times where you will defeated and run down. don’t be too ashamed to ask for help. you can’t take care of your babies if you don’t care of yourself first. you have little ones that are counting on you.

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there are two types of 3 A.M.s

the stumbling out of a bar when it closes at 3 A.M. and the “mommy, i need a drink” 3 A.M.s. but, those types of middle of the night wake ups won’t last long and are exactly what naps are for.

time passes really really fast.

time moves so much faster after you have children. they’re born, you blink, and the next thing you know you’re registering them for middle school. cherish every moment before your babies don’t need you anymore.

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coffee will become your best friend.

even if you’ve had to microwave it a dozen times because you keep forgetting to drink it before it gets cold. drink it. even if you don’t like it…you will learn to LOVE it.

you will become your child’s #1 fan.

literally. every milestone. every sports game. support and be proud of every one of their accomplishments.

you will change.

both mentally and physically. permanently.  your priorities change and you learn to become a whole lot less selfish. but in the end, you wont want to change a thing because it’s all worth it.

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sneaking food becomes a thing.

it’s totally okay to sneak into another room and enjoy your snack, to yourself. there is absolutely no shame in that.

you can handle more than you think.

you learn to multitask and you become REAL good at it. when you think you’ve hit your limit and can’t possibly take on any more, more things will get thrown at your plate. but don’t worry…you can handle more than you think.

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