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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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. )

if we were having coffee. round 3.

long time no talk! i feel like i haven’t posted in forever, but it really hasn’t been that long. two months, maybe.

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but let’s face it, life got on top of me. the beginning of the year has been chaotic with life changes, and even though its been quite the ride, they’re what was needed.

“making a big life change is pretty scary. but you know what is even scarier? regret.”

 

but hey! i’m back! i have things to say. posts to post.

so let’s get to what this post is about…pull up a chair and grab whatever you’re drinking; i’ve got some more to share with you.

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if we were having coffee, i’d tell you all about how my youngest just turned 7, and i still can’t believe it. there are days where she’s more sour than sweet, but i wouldn’t change a thing.  she’s becoming into her own personality a lot lately and i’m really love her free spirit.  she’s got such a good heart,  is creative, and makes me laugh till i cry often. it’s hard for me to accept that my baby girl isn’t really my baby anymore, but i can’t wait to watch her grow up and become the best version of herself.

if we were having coffee, i’d want to tell you about something that i did that i’ve always been hesitant to, but just took the leap. and i can’t say this  enough…i’m so glad that i did. i booked myself a boudoir photo shoot with Leigh Photography (Rockford, IL).

i’ve had so many people express their opinions about my choice to do so; some were extremely supportive, and some…not so much.  but, if other people’s opinions affected half of the things i chose to do, i would have missed out on so many amazing opportunities and adventures.

Alyssa, owner and photographer of Leigh Photography, said it best…

“Life is short, do the photo shoot. If I had one piece of advice to my potential Boudoir babes, that would be it! I don’t care what age, size, color, height, bra size, or nationality you are. Boudoir is for everyone. Everyone deserves a little ‘feel good’ action! Do the photo shoot!”

if we were having coffee, i’d share with you all about my recent visit to the Wndr Museum in Chicago.  never heard of the wndr museum and curious what it is? it’s the newest experiental museum in the city; a place where art meets science. for all social media users, it’s full of perfect photo ops, including 19 art installations.

my friend and i took the train in and met our friend from wisconsin at the train station.  we made a night out of it by grabbing dinner at one of chicago’s staples, lou malnatis pizzeria, had a few drinks, and then ventured to the museum. if you haven’t checked it out already, i’d highly recommend taking a trip to wndr.

if we were having coffee, i’d rave all about how my girl’s rocked their basketball season this year. and honestly, i’m sad that it’s over. both of my girls played this year, and i LOVED being their biggest fan on the sidelines cheering them on every saturday morning. they both said they’re playing again next year, but until then, i’ll be their cheerleader through soccer season.

if we were having coffee, i’d chat all about how lucky i feel to have the support system that i do. days have certainly been wild lately, and some have been extremely hard. but i truly believe that those who really matter, have been there for me through it all and helped kept my head above water. i’d much rather be with them through any storm, then warm and safe all alone. only surround yourself with people who lift you higher.

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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