Thursday, March 26, 2015

Taking Care of ME

So often we think about how to best care for our children and we are quick to neglect taking care of ourselves! Here are some simple steps I take to help be the best ME each day!


Getting Enough Sleep: When I am well rested I feel better. It's easier to avoid eating the not-so-good-for-me foods. It's easier to remain patient with my children and it's easier to just be HAPPY! Sleep is important. I revolve my children's days and schedules around making sure they have enough sleep...shouldn't I be doing the same for myself? My goal is to get in the bed by 10:30 and I am usually up around 6:30 each morning. 8 hours is always what I aim to get and I can tell a difference in my day when I get less sleep than I need!

Getting Ready for the Day: I know the "typical" mom attire is yoga pants and a pony tail but I feel better about myself when I look my best. Getting up a little earlier each morning gives me time to do my hair and makeup and pick out a cuter top to wear with those yoga pants ;) It's amazing the confidence boost it gives me! I have also found that by having a spray tan I feel drastically more confident. I try to spray tan once a week (I have this home system) and I love the way it makes me look!

Keeping a Clean Home: I feel SO much more stress when my house is messy. I have learned that a clean kitchen is critical for my ability to remain calm and have less anxiety! I try to "clean as I cook" and I cannot stand to go to bed with dirty dishes in the sink. My whole day starts off on a bad foot when I walk in the kitchen and find dirty dishes (yes sweet husband...I'm talking about you and those dishes you "let soak"!). Keeping a clean house is for the whole family, but it's also for myself and my own sanity!

Having a Healthy Lifestyle: It's easy to get trapped in the cycle of eating crappy food. It's quick and easy and can be habit forming. I've been living the Advocare lifestyle for over 2 years now and I can tell a BIG difference in how I feel (as well as look!) when I veer off the course. I use the products to lose the baby weight and I truly just enjoy eating healthier. I am AWFUL about drinking enough water but find when I am mindful about drinking water, that I look less bloated, feel healthier, and have a better day! Water helps SO many things and it's so important! I have also been trying to spend 30 min on the elliptical several nights a week. While it's not so fun while I'm doing it, I love the way it makes me feel afterwards!

Having Time for Myself: I've been really trying this year to have time with the Lord each morning before the kids wake up and it really helps set a positive, God-centered, tone for my day. I'm working my way through Jesus Calling and it's perfect because it's short and quick but has some great lessons! I also have enjoyed reading in bed before I fall asleep. I'm currently (finally!) reading Childwise and it's really awesome! Usually in the evenings I spend my time with my husband but nap time is MY time. I don't know how mamas make it through the day without nap time! I spend this time blogging and I feel so much more rejuvenated and ready to face the rest of the day with the kids once I get that time to recharge.

Having a Life Outside the Home: I have learned that it's important for me to take time out to have a LIFE. It's SO easy to get lost in the role of motherhood, especially since I am home all day every day with my children. I try to remember that one day my children will grow up. They will have their own lives. Then what will I do? Spending time with friends has been a huge way that I take care of myself. I try to have one night out a week to do something FUN that doesn't involve my babies! While some of our conversations may end up coming back to our kids, it's important to have other interests than just parenting. Movies, tv shows, fashion, anything other than parenting is really a good topic of conversation for these nights out! I can tell a HUGE difference in myself on the weeks when I don't get this quality time. I am more patient, more fun, and just a better me when I have some time away!

Make Future Plans: I love to travel. With my husband, with my children, just any sort of traveling. I find so much joy in planning these vacations and having the anticipation of the trip is sometimes even more fun than the trip itself! By planning in advance we are able to save a lot of money and utilize our vacation time in the best ways possible. The planning process is something I really enjoy and even though the vacations benefit our whole family. they are especially important for myself. I love making memories and I love going and doing and experiencing the world. I love seeing new things through my children's eyes and I love the quality time my husband and I get together when we travel just the two of us.

Guilty Pleasures: We all have them. A favorite reality tv show. Some romantic comedy movies. Music that takes us back to our teenage years. Romance novels. I've found that even just a drive to the store, by myself, blasting some of my favorite songs can be so refreshing! Little, simple joys can be found in our "guilty pleasures!" I also love to watch movies when we travel. Airplane movies are THE best! I leave the flight feeling very connected to ME because I got to enjoy some entertainment just for myself. Not a Disney movie for the kids (not knocking Disney of course!). Not some show with my husband. But a movie that I enjoy, just for me! Indulging in some good old guilty pleasures on occasion can really lift your spirits and allow you to let go of all your parenting responsibilities...even if only for the length of a movie :)

Quality Time with my Husband: My love language is quality time and it's really important for me in order to feel loved and appreciated. When we get in a rut and aren't as connected, I don't feel as happy with myself. When our marriage is at its best, I am also at my best, and our whole family unit just functions in a more positive, happy way. It's really true that a happy marriage is the KEY to a happy family! Finding out the love language of yourself and your spouse can really have a huge impact on your marriage.

What are some ways you take care of yourself? Being our best selves allows us to also give our children our best! Are you neglecting taking care of YOU?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Valentine's Day 2015

Valentine's Day this year fell on a Saturday and was the same time the kids had a couple days off from school (I think they call it "Winter Break?"). If I'd realized all of this sooner I probably would have tried to convince Zach to let us leave town for a couple days! But instead we had a fun weekend at home :)

Matching sisters means double the love!



Britt had so much fun at her class party!

Valentine's Day, to me, isn't a major deal. I do LOVE the idea of taking time to show others how much we care about them. It's easy to get caught up in the day to day and not tell the people we care about just how much we love them. I'm hardcore about our family unit showing love and appreciate towards each other and Valentine's Day is a great excuse to focus on that! 

I saw an easy card craft in a magazine so the big kids and I had fun making special cards for each other. I just took some toilet paper rolls and bent them to be a "heart shape." The kids dipped the end into red paint and had their own heart stamps! It worked great and was SO easy! And, even better, FREE!





Valentine's Day spent at home meant: messy hair for Kye, crazy hair for Tess, and tons of accessorizing for Britt :)



The past few years I've been making "Christmas cookies" on Valentine's Day but instead of Christmas themed cut outs we do hearts and decorate them as a fun Valentine's Day activity. It worked out where we even got to give some away to some of our favorite people! Casey came by to bring the kids little V-Day treats from Carter (SO sweet!) and G-Mama came by too so they all went home with cookies :) 


Britt's decorating skills have already greatly improved since December!


We all know who takes it the most seriously ;)




We both love baking and crafting :)





G-mama stopped by with lots of goodies, of course!
The kids were also able to give her the cards they made for her and Big Papa!


My mom made a Valentine's Day box when I was a kid and I have great memories of it sitting out in our home and we'd all sneak in little gifts and cards and such to each other. Then on Valentine's Day we'd open it all! I LOVE passing along this tradition with my kids. Kye really got into it this year and made cards several days in a row :) 

Something I'm trying to work on with our goals of spending smart is to cut back on what I spend on random holidays. I tend to over due it with gifts (my love language is gifts remember?) and I'm trying to not feel the need to get so much for the kids. G-Mama's love language is also gifts so they just end up with WAY too much at each holiday! 

For Valentine's Day I bought each kid a fun card (Britt's had stickers and Kye's had a search and find game) and then stuck to the dollar bin at Target for everything else. They were JUST as happy and I spent under $10 total for everything! 


Tess's first Valentine's Day!








Kye also made his own "wrapping paper" and wrapped several of the things he made for us


He made gifts for us and gave us some of his toys too :) Tess loves her new whistle ;)
He wrote on her card "here is a little something for you" so sweet!


I try to keep a Valentine's theme without going overboard. I used the same heart cookie cutter that I used for the cookies to make heart shaped sandwiches at lunch!



Kye and I have been saving broken crayons since he first started coloring. Anytime a crayon breaks we stick it in a bag and hold onto it. I saw on Pinterest years ago about melting them down and thought it'd be a fun thing to do "someday." Kye and I talk about it from time to time but always forget to actually do it! Since we had the time we made it our mission for the break to make the crayons!

It was actually really fun and very calming for me for some reason? The kids and I sorted through all the crayon pieces and picked out the ones that were already "naked" and set them aside. 



Then we put the ones that still had the wrappers into a bowl of warm water. We let them soak and almost instantly the wrappers peeled right off! Some were more stubborn but we easily removed with a little effort. Our hands did get a little grimy and some of the crayons had a bit of residue on them so I used an old dish towel to wipe them off.


I preheated the oven to 250 and used cupcake liners in a muffin pan. We mixed up the colors and broke up the larger crayons them put them all in the liners. 



I let them bake for 15 min then checked on them. Since some of the crayons were rather thick they hadn't all melted. I think it ended up taking closer to 30 min for them all to be melted down. I took them out of the oven and let them cool and dry. I tore away the liner paper and we had some new-to-us rainbow crayons! 

I was a little worried about my muffin tin as the wax from the crayons did seep through some of the liners. I was able to get it all out though but be warned that if you do this it is best to use an older tin that you aren't worried about getting waxy ;)


When it comes to gifts for each other, Zach and I keep Valentine's Day simple. We spend $20 or less on a gift for each other. I like for us to open the gifts with the kids. They need to see us appreciating each other more than they need to see us appreciating them! We had a miscommunication this year and I gave Zach my gift to him on Valentine's Day with the kids but he wanted to wait to give me mine (yes, assumptions are correct: he didn't have it yet ha! But to his defensive his gift went with his plans for our date!).

Casey and Jordan have been trading off with us for child care for date nights. Zach goes to their house so they can go on a date then on another night one of them will come to our house so we can go out together :) Free childcare is awesome!

When I was getting ready for our date Zach told me that we would be having a special guest join us. I instantly assumed it was my dad. Haha I know that's random but I mean there really aren't many special guests who I'd want to see on a random occasion?

When we went to leave Zach said the guest would be driving me to the location for dinner. Um. Okay? I got in the car and he went inside. He told me to go ahead and read his card from me and open my gift.

We are pretty hardcore into The Bachelor franchise. I know it gets a lot of heat and I've been told that as a Christian I shouldn't be watching it...but we love it and while it's not a show I'd allow my children to watch, it's one that I feel is fine viewing as a Christian. Even better? Sean Lowe was The Bachelor and used it as a platform to help spread God's love. I really adore him and his family (Shay, his sister, is like my style idol ha!) and straight up told Zach that I wanted his book asap. It's called For the Right Reasons and it was a great Valentine's Day gift! It's a quick read and has a lot of insider scoop about The Bachelor plus a lot of personal stuff about Sean. He's not some amazing writer or anything, but it was a fun read for sure!

I also recommend viewing his video on I Am Second and checking out his blog. I wish more "celebrities" used their "stardom" in such a positive, uplifting way! 


Anyway I read the sweet card (which was seriously PERFECT. Like one of those cards you just want to frame and display by your bed so you can read it every morning when you wake up!) then opened my gift then waited for this surprise driver. 

Zach came out with his back to me and snuck in the driver's side of the car and turned to face me and this is what I saw:


I. About. Died. It was hilarious. "Sean" drove us to dinner and we had some great conversation. Poor Sean quickly realized I knew more about him than he knew about himself. 

We got to dinner and Sean let Zach escort me inside. We sat down and before the waiter even walked up JEFF appeared as my dinner date. Y'all may not know this about me but Jeff is my celebrity crush. Jeff who? He was on Big Brother several years ago. I started watching Big Brother while up late nursing Kye and would watch "After Dark" which is where they just show live footage of the houseguests. Every time I fed Kye I'd watch it and I just felt like I knew Jeff and fell in love with the love story of he and a fellow houseguest (Jordan...who ended up winning the season). You can read more about my celebrity crush here :) 

It was HILARIOUS when the waiter came to our table and Jeff was still sitting there with me hahahahaha. I'm sure the guy thought we were either super lame or on some kind of drugs! Not many women can say they've gotten to have dinner with their celebrity crush though right? ;)


We had the BEST date. We laughed SO much that my face hurt. We went to leave and realized we hadn't got a pic together. I have NEVER laughed so hard as when I saw the photobomber. Like people were staring and I was crying. I still am cracking up just seeing the pic haha. It was awesome!


For the drive home Justin was my driver! He and Sean were good pics for drivers as I really like and respect them both but they def don't have that "celebrity crush" appeal like Jeff does for me ;) 


It was a GREAT date night and so, so funny. I'm not typically a really big laugher. I appreciate a good joke but I'll say "oh yeah, that's funny" and not actually laugh at it. I found this whole situation hilarious though and just laughed and laughed and really played along which I think both surprised Zach and made him happy. Even after all our years together he keeps trying to make me laugh and on this night he succeeded ;) 

He had to work late a few nights later and I sent him this and told him not to rush home bahahaha!


We had a wonderful Valentine's Day! I'm so thankful for my sweet family. I know many people who talk about their dreams and passions and I truly have found mine. My family completes me and is truly my dream come true. I never take any of that for granted and am thankful for a holiday as an opportunity to show my love and appreciation to them :) 


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
 
Blogging tips