my weeks are filling up right nicely in this wintry state.  i was scared of winter time a little bit. especially coming straight from the land of summer dresses and flip flops.  i wasn’t sure how i was going to entertain my crew without the convenience of a zillion outdoor playgrounds and splash parks.  but if you hang with me through the next dose of sappy, girlishness, i’ll show you how i’ve converted into an illinois-mama.

a little sap:

i’ve really started missing my florida girlfriends lately.  i’d be a weirdo (although i kind of am) if i didn’t miss those girls.  they were my family down south.  while i plan my little heart out for my sweet lucy’s third birthday party, i began to tear up just thinking about the fact that lily and bailey wouldn’t be attending. 

then i started missing little parts about each one of my girlfriends, and how i separately cherished each one of them.  i just love how funny this one is, or how much i like making this one laugh.  i just wanted to jump on the next flight, hit up the cupcake shop, splash parks, and all-things-florida.

but it’s healthy to miss my friends.  i want to always revisit feelings of missing them.  because i do.  and that is real.  so, if you are one of my florida friends (or a cousin!!), please know that i deeply miss you all.  and my heart hurt a little for ya this week. 

and would someone please send us some seashells and sand, i have a little craft/home project i want to do.  please!!

but you can count on me to not sit around.  yeah, that’s not going to happen.  i’m a go-er and a do-er.  this crew loves to party just like their mama.  nathan wakes up every day and the first thing out of his mouth is usually, “mommy, what are we doing today?”, while he waits for me to start rattling off a list a mile long.

and by list, i usually just over dramatize our activities with a super enthused tone.  even though i said, “we’re going to do morning lessons then play in the play room while mommy get’s lunches packed.”, it’s all in the delivery.  if you say it in a very enthusiastic tone, you’ll excite the dickens out of those littles. 

but of course i always throw in all the extra stuff i have on the agenda to keep them excited about the day.

for instance, on monday, i added in that we were going to hit the library and have a carpet picnic with auntie dawn. 

they were over-the-moon.

listen, may i please interject with a confession?  i’ve stumbled upon a new iphone app that allows me to put actual writing on my photo’s (it’s called ‘phonto’).  it takes all of thirty seconds to scribble a little note on a pic.  and i’m pretty addicted.  so be prepared to see lots of pics like this flying around.

you were warned.

and if you read the text on the above picture, then you’ll better understand me.  it’s true.  i wake up and i begin to dream.  and my most recent dream that became a reality was when i had this thought:

how cool would it be to wake up to a living room converted into a fort??

after running the idea i had by the husband, he got excited.  and if you know my husband then you know that he was making that fort to last.  it was going to be able to withhold hurricane winds by the time he was done with it.

he started barking off commands like, “babe, go get me some rope…do we have a pole…i’m going to need a few more blankets if were going to do this right!”.

we made memories that morning.  they loved it.  it was filled with freshly checked out library books from the day before. 

bless those little bed heads.

what a fabulous tuesday morning.

we filled wednesday up with an extra special hour at the gym.  after my workout, i took them to the “secret” room.  only the kids that have mommies who work there have access to.  and we did a little yoga and soccer action.

we didn’t leave until all were clammy and exercised out.

then wednesday….oh wednesday.  wednesday delivered!!

the moment i have been waiting for since the day i found out lucy was a girl.  i immediately saw visions of teenie-tiny tutu’s.  i saw leg warmers.  i saw tap shoes.  i saw pale pink.  i saw this:

and her first experience with the wonderful world of dance was truly magical.  she’s the youngest in her class because it’s for three-year-olds.  sister isn’t three for a few weeks, but she was ready. 

as i learn new turbo kick rounds, i watch how she mimics me.  it blows my mind how quickly she catches on.  i see talent.  pure. raw. talent. 

sister just has it.

you be the judge, watch her go (the one in the head wrap and leg warmers, of course):

a day that goes down in history for me.  my teensie-weensie dancer.

after about five months of being here, i’m starting to form new friendships.  and i look forward to watching them grow.

i look forward to many weeks of half-marathon training hours ahead with my fellow gym rats.

a few little tweaks in our normal, day-to-day routines have served to positively affect our family life.  and really, they were areas that i needed to work on.  i’ve been going unplugged on the two days of week that the husband is off work, which is tuesday and thursday.  which means i pretty much shut social media out of my mind, with the occasional reply here or there while i nurse the baby, but even then i’m trying to focus on my prayer life.  i’m sold out to placing my entire focus on the five of us, and i know that going unplugged is a great way to do my part on those days. 

and i’ve been planning separate meals for just the husband and i to enjoy for after the kids are in bed.  and with a quick flick-of-a-lighter later, you have a candle lit dinner, a glass a vino, a re-visit of family goals, and a vegan meal demolished in no time. 

no, we aren’t vegan, but we’re super close.  it’s a destination we’re slowly headed to…….but then there’s cheese; goat cheese, gorgonzola cheese, fresh milk mozzarella, and blessed cheddar.    we like cheese.  and i like to be able to say yes to a dang doughnut from time to time.  or a muffin.  or a cookie.  or any sweet treat.  and those are almost always made with egg and milk.  so, yeah, not sure i’ll ever be able to fully commit, but i don’t mind staying super close.  being vegan is a huge commitment, if you’re going to do it right.  unless you find vegan-friendly restaurants, you better prepare meals (all of them!) ahead of time.  it’s doable.  but not sure we’re ready for that just yet.  husband is actually pushing it more than i am.  which is just hilarious considering i’ve been a vegetarian for 10+ years, and he has recently joined me all of four months ago.  funny how things change.  okay, i’m rambling.  sorry. 

back on my weekly recap…

no, wait…can i keep rambling?  i have to get this off my chest. 

i’m constantly fighting the mommy/wife role.  i want be a great wife, it’s important to me.  i want to be a great mom, that is important to me as well.  i have three kids that can consume (and drain!) my entire focus, and if i’m not careful, i can tune the rest of the world out, including the husband.  but i try like the dickens to fight that battle head on.

with a little effort, it’s actually pretty fun to work on being a good wife.  i mean, if i’m willing to google or pinterest up a fun craft/activity for the kids, isn’t the husband equally as worthy of my efforts? 

listen ladies, if you try, he’ll notice.  and you’ll be amazed at the response.  a family that is united, goal-driven, and headed in the same direction, is powerful.  trust me, i’ve been married for almost nine years and we haven’t always been headed in the same direction .  and i willingly admit that because i don’t want to paint this picture that seems unobtainable.  our marriage is great, yes, but we’ve had our seasons of drought.  if you’re in a drought, then i’d love to challenge you to change a little something to make him notice.  give up social media on his days off.  demand that he takes a half hour after he gets home from work to release his work day before he transforms into daddy/husband.  brag on him.  leave him a love note.  just try.  

show him that he is appreciated and that you are thankful.  it’s just the way men were designed.  they need to feel empowered.  so, empower them.  i swear you’ll be empowered right back.  trust me.

anything worth having is worth working for.  and since i’m trying to obtain and achieve a strong, tight, family unit, i’m willing to work for it.  and sometimes most of the time, working for it requires putting myself last.  and in doing so, it just makes the husband notice.  and when he notices, he automatically puts me first, and himself last.  so there, i’m first.  he’s first.  and we are trying.  together. 

oh wow, i really did ramble.  okay, back to a recap…

i loved my friday morning phone call to one of my illinois favorites.  as soon as my sweet friend/cousin dawn answers the phone, i blissfully blab, “good morning, are you wearing your positive shoes today?”.  and she laughs.  after a brief conversation, we decide to hit the mall after i go to the gym. 

and just like that, it was a date.  our local mall has a great area for the kids to play and get the winter wiggles out.  it’s a win-win.  they get to play, i get to shop.  what’s not to love?

and just as soon as i spot these fabulous, coral skinny jeans, i hear this loud clank on the ground.  yep, it was the hand of the mannequin in the showcase window.  broken.  my kid did it.  so yeah, i gracefully handed the hand back to the lady working at the express, saying, “ummm, here…sorry…and we’re leaving now.”.

oh motherhood.   

we were invited to join our cousin’s family bowling later that evening.  i’m so glad we accepted the invite.  it was the funnest family night we’ve had in a very long time.  i love piggy-backing off of my childrens joy.  it’s infectious.  they wore permanent smiles and bowled for two solid hours.  i loved every last second of friday night. 

nothing on this earth is more fulfilling than observing genuine, childhood fun through the eyes of your children.  i love those kind of nights where you are certain that memories were made.  and i believe that we made quite a few just this week alone.

i’m thankful to have the reigns on their childhood.  i’m giving it every single thing that i have (with a butt load of mistakes along the way).  they only have one memory box.  and i’m going to see to it that they remember a mommy and daddy who are in love with each other, living room forts, yoga and picnics at mommy’s work, and family bowling nights. 

and so much more.

here’s to rocking out a fabulous (and fashionable!), illinos winter.

  and here’s to making a delicious batch of family memories.  even if the husband is sleeping through some of them.

man i’m blessed.

pause button please!



  • cris

    I like the randomness and positivity. You have a TON of positivity! Thanks for inspiration and laughs.

  • k.mart

    Love that you are making so many friends and fostering such a great married life! Both are worth striving for. We've met many awesome people here, and I am so grateful. But I, too, really miss my (last state we lived in) friends and am hoping God sends me (or helps me find) a genuinely kindred spirit friend here, in a similar place in life as us. You know, the kind you call up on a whim and there's no production to it… just throw it all in the van, craziness and all, and enjoy the ride. Or show up at messy doors and simply hang. He's done it before, and I know He'll do it again. :)

    Lucy, I die. Alysse truly is dying to start classes next year! I just bought my ballet girls some leg warmers too because the temps have been so frigid. Plus, I mean really, they are too stinking cute.

    Rock on, beautiful woman, broken store window hands and all.

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