Sunday, April 26, 2015

1/52

 “A portrait of my children, once a week, every week, in 2015.” 

Friday, April 24, 2015

The Sisterhood of Motherhood.

Recently my good longtime blogging friend Heidi started a Facebook group called Mamas + Coffee and recently the topic of mom on mom judgement was brought up. We've all experienced it, we've all caught ourselves doing it, and we all know better! So today I thought I would talk about the importance of sisterhood in the mommy community and how "mommy shaming" has got to end. Now!
I've heard it all. In the mommy community I've had so much going against me, so much to be judged for. I've been a teen mom, a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, a homeschooling mom, a crunchy granola mom. My journey has always been an unconventional one. I've heard the whispers. I've felt the glares sent my way by women who decided I was less than or wrong because of the path I have chosen to walk. I have felt defeated. I have felt guilt. I have questioned my choices time and time again.
It's easy to get swallowed up in the negativity that the mommy world can create. It's easy to look at a mother and tear her down because you aren't feeling 100%. It's easy to tell a mother she's wrong because you don't personally agree with her choices. It's easy to be envious, it's easy to be catty, it's easy to throw sticks and stones. Sometimes we don't do it intentionally, it just happens because our society conditions us to praise perfections and tear down flaws. Sometimes the need to feel accepted leaves us hanging another mom out to dry. Sometimes we are just wrapped up in our own messes and we can't see that mother in need.
We've all been there. The house doesn't get clean, the kids are a mess, you've skipped shampooing for the third day, you're on your last thread of sanity, and you feel so defeated. Those are days we need just a little bit of forgiveness, a little slack to keep us going. Those are the moments when we realize how wrong taking the easy road is. We realize how much we need the encouragement, support, and love from other moms. We realize we need each other.
When I think about motherhood, I think about all of the women who have held a space for me, who have shown me true compassion, who have taught me patience. If it were not for those women I would not have the skills to be a mother myself. I needed their knowledge, I needed their honesty, I needed their guidance. These women came in all forms; teachers, family members, friends. They painted beautiful pictures of all the different paths I could take on my journey through motherhood. They helped me decide what kind of mom I wanted to be and for that I'll be forever grateful. When one mother assaulted me ten more would come to my rescue and assure me that I was doing the best I could. You see ladies, we all need each other. We need the support and understanding that only a mother can give. We need all of the wisdom from the mothers who came before us. It takes a village, it really does. Motherhood is the ultimate sisterhood; we are all bonded by our love of our children and the sacredness of our role in the family. No matter the path we take at the end of the day what matters is the end result. Are our children loved and well cared for? If you're answer is yes then congratulations, you're doing alright!
When I see that mom, the one who is pushing her shopping cart through the grocery store, a baby screaming, her hair and clothes a mess, I don't look at her and see a mother who is less than. I see myself on those days where I'm falling apart. I see a sister in need and I send her all the positive energy and love that I can. I tell her she's not alone. I hold a space for her.
As sisters we must walk along side one another, no matter what path we take. We shouldn't try to "fix" each other, we should celebrate our differences and give unwavering support no matter what our personal preferences may be. We must learn that family, parenthood, and motherhood are not "one size fits all" and that just because it works for you doesn't mean that it's "right". We must recognize the importance of respect and empathy. We've got to be kinder to each other, and ourselves. We've got to stop tearing each other apart.
The next time you see her, that frazzled mom in need of encouragement, be the one who steps up and tells her it's going to be okay. Give her a hug, buy her a coffee, cheer her on, let her know that she is not alone. The next time you see her, don't take the easy road.
And the next time you are her just remember,
Sister, it's going to be okay.

"There is no way to be a perfect mother, and a million ways to be a good one."
-Jill Churchill

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day everyone! This week the kids and I have been celebrating Mother Nature and all of her wonder. We've spent time outside, tended to our growing sprouts, talked about pollution and recycling, and started work on our Earth Day projects. This year we decided to spoil our birds with homemade and completely biodegradable bird treats and two new, very fancy homes for them to enjoy! The little ones picked out their houses and spent so much time painting them and decorating them. The birds in our yard have the most colorful houses around, that's for sure! The treats we made are so easy and I had everything on hand! If you want to make your little birds a super sweet treat you can follow this recipe! We decided to use clementines instead of large oranges so the kids could work with more ease. I used an all natural hemp to string them up and then we headed outside to adorn our little tree. 
Now we are just waiting for birds! The kids have been checking out the windows, they are so excited about their little Earth Day projects! How are you celebrating Earth Day today? Leave us a comment and let us know!

 "When we feel that we’re fragile, not stable or solid, we can come back to ourselves and take refuge in the Earth. With each step we can feel her solidity beneath our feet. When we’re truly in touch with the Earth, we can feel her supportive embrace and her stability. We use all our body and our mind to go back to the Earth and surrender ourselves to her. With each breath we release all our agitation, our fragility, and our suffering. Just being aware of her benevolent presence can already bring relief.
On the verge of the Buddha’s enlightenment, he touched the Earth with his hand and asked her to bear witness to his awakening. Flowers sprang up in celebration at the very place where his hand touched the ground. At that moment, the Buddha’s mind became so free and so clear that he saw millions of flowers everywhere smiling at him.
We can be like the Buddha, and in difficult moments touch the Earth as our witness. We can take refuge in the Earth as our original mother. We can say, “I touch the pure and refreshing Earth.” Whatever nationality or culture we belong to, whatever religion we follow, whether we’re Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Jews, or atheists, we can all see that Mother Earth is a great bodhisattva. When we see her in this way, with all her many virtues, we will walk more gently on her and treat her and all her children more gently. We will want to protect her and not harm her or any of the myriad forms of life she has given birth to. We will stop wreaking destruction and violence on Mother Earth. We will resolve the question of what we mistakenly call “the environmental problem.” The Earth is not just the environment. The Earth is us. Everything depends on whether we have this insight or not."
-Excerpt from Love Letter to the Earth by Thich Nhat Hanh

Friday, April 17, 2015

Cooking With The Littles // An Adventure In Lemonade.

Marli saw this cute little lemon shirt at Target and instantly fell in love with it. Every time we would walk by it she would say "I want to get that shirt and then make lemonade when I wear it, wouldn't that be awesome mom?".
To make a long story short, I ended up grabbing the shirt and all the ingredients to make lemonade from scratch when I was out and surprised Marli. She was so excited and couldn't wait to give it a go. I stayed totally hands off for this "Cooking With The Littles" and let Marli take over except for slicing with the "super sharp knife". Hunter was a wonderful assistant and took his assigned task of stirring quite seriously. We ended up with very delicious lemonade and two satisfied kiddos. Now Marli says shes ready for a lemonade stand, oh boy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Date Night // The Grove.

Jared's birthday is right around the corner so last night we went out to celebrate. We wouldn't usually plan a Tuesday night date but one of Jared's favorite bands were playing a small club in the city and we couldn't miss it. We drove into St. Louis a little early because this club in newer and in a fun "up and coming" district full of old school tattoo parlors and funky eateries called The Grove, I wanted to explore. We had such a good time stopping in record stores and checking out all of the murals painted on bars and businesses. Then it was show time! This was our sixth time seeing Between The Buried And Me and they were fabulous. I'm not really a "metal fan" like my husband but I really love BTBAM and never mind being dragged along to their shows with the guys. All in all I think we had a wonderful time, date night success.
If you're ever in St. Louis and looking for a fun area to explore make sure you head down to The Grove. Support our local businesses and help downtown flourish! 
(also we are getting our first IKEA in The Grove, woohooo!)

What do you like to do on date night? We are always looking for ideas!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Marli's Room Makeover!

This post has been a long time coming. Marli's room was one of the main reasons that we bought our house. It has built in bookshelves and a window seat that spans an entire wall, such a great focal point for a room. I envisioned Marli growing up in there from the moment we walked in. It was such a dream. The room was painted a rusty orange, I knew immediately that it had to go. I'm not a fan of very dark or super rich colors in bedrooms, especially children's rooms. When it came time to paint the room I had a few colors in mind but ultimately I wanted to leave the decision up to Marli, it was her room after all. I showed her a few coral colors peachy pinks but she had something different in mind. She ended up choosing a really muddy reddish salmon color that I only ever describe as disgusting. I absolutely loathe the color and since the day we finished painting it I was NOT happy. But Marli had chosen the color and I was going to respect her choice. As parents we are supposed to let our children make their own mistakes so they can learn from them. This was one of those great lessons. For two years we lived with this color and several times Marli wanted to re-decorate but couldn't find any bedding that matched her crazy wall color. Everything clashed with it, it made her room look small and dark, it was an awful time. I know I sound so dramatic but nothing is more frustrating then a great room ruined by bad color choices. This room drove me nuts.
For Marli's sixth birthday she was finally ready, she wanted me to give her room a makeover as her gift. I was so happy and I immediately started collecting ideas for Marli to look at. I started a Pinterest board, which you can see here, and let her help in the process. We slowly started buying bedding and accessories and over the last couple of months put everything together. The last step was paint, this time Marli agreed that white was the way to go. Boy, did it make a difference! Her room feels so open and fresh now. It's everything I knew it could be. We have a few more little details to add, like a rug and a few pictures but all in all it's a great improvement.
We went with a sort of vintage whimsical theme. I've been collecting funky vintage dolls, barbie cases, and art her whole life and using it as decor. The flea market was my best friend for most of the redesign. We also got a lot of her stuff at Target. Her bedding, lamp, and storage are all pieces from Circo, and I found the fun floral garland by Threshold on clearance for $1.69! What a steal!
I am so happy that this project is basically done and now Marli has a cute little "big girl" room enjoy. She is so happy with how everything turned out and has been spending a lot of time in there playing and relaxing in her new space.
What do you think of her room transformation? Do you have a room in your house that you can't stand? I challenge you to tackle the project, it will make you feel so much better! Trust me!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Weekly Wear // Mom-On-The-Go.


Being a stay-at-home mom can mean staying in yoga pants for days on end, at least in my house. SO when the weekend comes it's time to get out, break out the jeans, and dress up "mommy style" for errand running and family fun. The classic jeans and t-shirt combo is very much my uniform on the weekends, a lot of comfort and not a lot of fuss! Fun accessories always spruce up a basic outfit, I'm especially in love with druzy crystals, caramel colored leather, and this great bag from Nasty Gal (I've seen a few similar styles at Target lately). Huge bags are always a must for me, we are transitioning out of diaper bags and I always end up throwing wipes and other essentials into my purse. I also make sure that I throw my Stress Away and Joy Young Living essential oil roller balls into my bag for on the go use. Running errands can sometimes be stressful with two kids and those oils are perfect for times when we've been out all day, a nap has been skipped, and "so and so won't stop touching me!". Throw on some great sandals and a pair of sunglasses and you're ready to take on the weekend momma!

1. "World's Okayest Mom" Tee
2. Black skinny jeans
3. Strappy leather sandals
4. A.R. Trapp Sunglasses
5. "Dusty Roads" duffle/weekend bag
6. Druzy stud earrings
7. Kate Spade watch
8. Stress Away and Joy essential oil combo

Monday, April 6, 2015

Little Bits No.3


This Easter weekend was spent with friends and family, enjoying beautiful weather, and making our own natural plant based dye to decorate our freshly laid eggs with. So many laughs, cuddles, pieces of chocolate, and good times were had by all. Easter done right in my book.
I hope you all enjoyed a beautiful weekend. 

1. My little bunnies.
2. Preparing Easter baskets full of Annie's Fruit Snacks and giant sugar cookies.
3. Easter egg dye in the making.
4. These eggs were about to take the plunge.
5. I love how vibrant our natural dyes turned out!
6. The perfect Easter egg palette.