Monday, February 20, 2017

Parent Appreciation Day

Phew, it's Monday again! I took a few days off blogging last week as we closed on our house and are "settled" as we begin the process of finding a new home. The process for us was 38 days from start to finish...from sign in yard to closing day. It was CRAZY! Mark and I moved pretty much everything ourselves into his parent's garage. We successfully put almost EVERYTHING we own on ONE side of the garage. It took both of our packing skills, which I have to say are have to say are pretty great to make that happen but it did....that's a post for a later date. ;)

With all that said we did our best to not add any stress or out of routine for Wyatt and Sloane...there was SO much going on at school the past few weeks. I can't wait to share. One of the events at school is "Parent Appreciation Day." It was so cute. Mark was able to be off for the morning and join the fun! We pretty much just follow the students around in a normal day but they added some fun activities that involved parent's in there as well. 

It was so cute to spend time with Wyatt with his friends. It's fun to see them interact in a setting where we aren't usually with him. They painted for us and we played a few fun games!

Each child had a puzzle piece that their parent's had written a special secret message to them on...They painted the puzzle piece and could read their message. After they were all dry everyone worked together on the puzzle...

Which created a giant heart.....;) 

Wyatt is a half day student so we ended our time with him playing a few minute to win it games...Valentine style! It was such a sweet morning with our boy. ;)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

They call HER mama- Erin

I am SUPER excited for my guest post today. It's the one and only SISTER!!! Her post is great. I am so happy she took the time to share some amazing mama tips because she KNOWS!!! Thanks again Sister. ;) You rock!!!


Hi all! My name is Erin and I am Emily’s younger sister. First off, I will give you the extra short version of our family timeline thus far: Pete and I married in October 2010. November 2012 we had our first precious baby girl, Zetta Mae. Shortly after our sweet surprise, Nora Katherine arrived in March 2014. God surprised us one more time with another baby girl, Willa Faye in July 2016. Needless to say, we are in the midst of toddler/baby chaos. I work full time as the office manager of a local non-profit. My husband, Pete, also works as the Finance Director at a local car dealership. We own and manage multiple rental properties together as a family. Pete and I have moved seven times together, and four since having children. Friends, let me tell you, we are BUSY. We aren’t the most organized people, but we get the job done. Today I am going to share a few things that I have learned in my (short) few years of being a full time working (outside of the home) parent household.

The truth is, I am still as crazy as ever. I feel like there aren’t enough hours in each day, and I’m ridden with mom guilt (although, three babies later and I have accepted it never goes away). My life has changed so much in the past 4 years and I still don’t feel like “myself”, but I think instead of getting back to who I was, I am becoming someone new. Life shapes us as we grow, so I am accepting this season of life for what it is, chaos and all. It’s beautiful, fun and I love it even if I feel like my head is spinning in million different directions on the daily. I like this new, mom-ified version of myself. Sure, I could really use a haircut and manicure, but that’s for another day.

Here are my tips to maintaining sanity with three kids age four and under:

It took me three kids to get here, but I have accepted it. I have accepted that I am not perfect. I use to want everything to be perfect. I wanted to make everything perfect for my girls. An organized, clean house, a home cooked meal 7x a week, play dates, my house decorated for all the holidays big and little, their outfits, hair..etc, etc. Once I let go of the guilt and accepted that I am doing my best, and it is okay if the dishes aren’t done and choose to head downstairs to play Barbie's for 30 minutes before bedtime instead. I want my girls to look back and see their mom being present in their life and not a mom who is always saying “just a second” as I am sweeping every last crumb and putting their shoes in the exact right place.

I hire someone to clean for me. Do you have a house cleaner? If your answer is no, stop reading and start searching for a cleaning lady right this instant. Worth. Every. Penny. Before I had someone else helping out I had a cleaning chart for myself and I completed one small task per day (vacuuming, bathrooms, kitchen, dusting, washing sheets, etc) rather than trying to get it all done in one day.

Meal prep. And I will repeat, meal prep. I know it is as annoying as trying to get a fitted sheet on the top bunk mattress, but the accomplished feeling is the same when it is completed. I cook about four nights a week. I have about the same thing each week. Some sort of Mexican on Tuesday, one pan chicken on Wednesday, seafood/pasta Thursday, and pizza Friday. I just turn on some music and knock it out. If you need more meal prep how to’s just comment below and maybe I will do another guest post on just that topic! I have a lot of info to share!

Finding some “me” time and not feeling guilty about it. I started a monthly supper club with a group of friends after having Willa and it has been good for my soul. Most of us are in the midst of toddlerhood and it is great to have a scheduled day each month that I know I get to have dinner with friends. I get to order what I want and don’t have to worry about sharing, wiping noses, 10 potty breaks, and at least one drink getting spilt all over the table. Okay, maybe drinks are being spilt but for totally different reasons! Ha. Find a group of friends that understand your current life and make them a priority, it is worth it!

Set a family day and stick to it. Since Sunday is the only day that Pete doesn’t officially go to work we have deemed it family day! The girls literally call it family day instead of Sunday. We wake up, go to church, and then knock the rest of our errands out as a family. Pete will drop me and two girls off at the grocery store and go do his errands with the other or we will work on a project around the house. Even if we aren’t doing fun things necessarily, we do it together, and that’s what makes it fun!

If I have learned anything in my four years of parenting it is to find what works for your family, and then do that. It is so easy to get caught up in whatever everyone else is doing via social media, but most people only post the good stuff. No one sees the behind the scene toddler fits or junk that is shoved in the oven for that picture-perfect kitchen photo. Once you can accept that every family is different, and you’re giving it all, then your life will get remarkably more fun and happy. At least mine did anyway!

Well thanks so much, sister, for having me today! It was fun! If you would like to follow my crazy family, you can find me on Instagram @erin.ressler

Have a fab day! 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Workin' It - Marriage Strong

It's the second Wednesday of February and that means Workin' It Wednesday with Erika and Shay. This month we are talking about how we work it to keep our marriage strong. Last month's topic was New Year's Goals and I had so much fun sharing!  This topic is so fitting with everything that's going on in our life right now. Selling your house and having to be out completely in about 35 days (and into your in-laws until you can find a home for yourself)  from start to finish will require some ways to keep your marriage strong. ;)

Mark and I just celebrated our 9th wedding anniversary. 2018 is the big TEN year mark. Obviously we don't have everything figured out but are so blessed to both come from parent's that are together and who love each other so much 30+ years of marriage. Mark and I were both raised in Christian homes which is a HUGE part of our life today. One of the MAIN reasons we work it together is because we have the same values and beliefs. When it comes to the "big" stuff we feel the same way. I am not saying we always agree but things such as church, discipline, what we expose our children to, etc. are things that we mostly agree on. This is something that REALLY helps us work it together!  

Again, I am totally not claiming to have marriage figured out I am simply sharing what works for us...but another way we work it is to create "us" time. This is super important! Not only for personal reasons but for kids to see their parent's loving each other. For kids to see their dad putting their mom first and their mom serving (in a biblical meaning of the word) their dad and both working together as a family. As kids come and schedules get busy sometimes we don't get a full date night but we make time to sit on the couch (the same couch;) when the kids go to bed and talk, watch our shows, and catch up from the days events.

Having fun in life helps too! LOL! This guy is just fun to be around...Mark is just that kind of guy. Other's enjoy being around him as well. He is kind, genuine, and totally a glass FULL kind of guy...that helps us work it day in and day out.

Mark and I have different roles as far as housework goes. It took us (well me)  a while to accept these roles but totally know to ask for help when we feel overwhelmed. Mark can cook, clean, and do laundry with the best of them and is always willing...I just have ask. We work it together as a team in this area and it just makes things go smoother.

Try new we know what makes each other comfortable!?!? Totally!!! Should we only do what makes US feel comfortable through life? NOPE!!!! Growing up Mark and I vacationed different, experienced different things, and even had different schooling. As we begin to travel and do new things together I love that he and I are both open to trying new things. He had never snow skied before he met me but now he can hang with the big guys. ;P  He is wiling to try new things as well as pushes me to try new things as well! This is a way we keep workin' it together! We make memories while trying NEW places and experiences together! 

Friend time...Mark and I haven't ever been a couple to keep tabs, tally, or even "allow" each other to do certain things. Thankfully trust hasn't been an issue and we desire each other to have fun. I want him to have time with friends...everyone needs that. He encourages me to do the same. Having friends, like really good friends, other than your spouse is another way we work it

Again, this post has been fun to think about Mark and I's relationship, by no means do we have it figured out. We have been through things most couples will never go through and I know without a doubt that the bond we share through the loss of a child is something that only made us stronger. We put Christ first and he will pave the way for us....

Thanks for reading how we are WORKIN' IT!!!! 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Nothing bundt baking...

If you have followed along for any amount of time you know how much I love Mix and Match Mama's cookbooks. One of her books is called Cakes. There are 101 recipes for a bundt cake. When I first opened it I knew automatically I wanted Sloane and I to bake our way through the book together. I make iced sugar cookies "on the side" and Sloane LOVES helping me. She is a baker for sure! ;) I thought this would be something fun to do together.

At first I set a time of 1 year but Mark ever so kindly reminded me that means I would be baking about 2 cakes a week for an entire year. ;/ Yikes! That's a lot of cake...I didn't want to be wasteful either and there is no way we would be able to eat that amount of cake. So I scratched the "time-limit" and just decided at some point we would finish the book...slow and steady wins the race right?!?!

I will share the ones we have baked so far and then share as we bake a few do another post. It's been something so fun to do together and Sloane loved trying them once we are finished. Also a little side note: I am not a food blogger-I am terrible with lighting when taking pictures. So embrace the rookie photos, hope you enjoy!

The first one we made. ;) It was so fun! 

Irish Cream
Mark's FAVORITE so far!!!! 

Red, White, and Blueberry
This was made for a 4th of July get together but was a FAVORITE for sure! 

The icing was the BEST part on this one! 

Chocolate Coffee Hazelnut

Pecan Pie

Red, White, and Blue
We made this during 4th of July week for one of our parties we attended! 

We have also baked the Original Chocolate Chip, Cabury Creme Egg, Dr. Pepper, Mississippi Mud, Pumpkin Spice Latte, Snickerdoodle, Mint Chocolate Oreo, Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, Sweet Potato, Red Velvet, Praline Cinnamon Spice, and Pistachio.

We actually have 2 lined up for this week...thanks to Valentine's Day approaching us soon! We have have had so much fun and I can't wait to continue to share our fun with you. ;)

Monday, February 6, 2017

Weekend Recap

Whew! What a weekend. We had so much fun crammed into 3 days...Friday seems like forever ago. LOL! Friday morning Mark and I took the kids to school and headed back home to load up the car. We ran a few errands before dropping some more items off. Packing, packing, packing!!!

We picked up the kids and went to lunch. Wyatt requested crab legs so we grabbed lunch at Red Lobster. They love it and eat well so it's a win win. ;) After lunch we took the them to a movie. They wanted to see: was cute but not the best movie I have ever seen. Being honest I could think of A LOT more things I would spend $$$$ than having to see this movie again....BUT the kids LOVED it! Go figure!

Friday evening the boys built a Lego and the girls went t o the mall. Sloane needed a few last min. items for her Daddy/Daughter dance that was Saturday night.We knew Saturday was going to be a busy day so we kept bedtime as usual. Mark and I continued watching Homeland until WAY too late!

Saturday we were up bright and early for Wyatt's basketball. 8am on a Sat morning is early! When I signed him up for basketball at school I didn't realize it would overlap church basketball. #momfail So we have 3 CRAZY Saturdays of overlapping schedules!

After 2 basketballs we headed back home to pack up another load to take to store. Then we grabbed lunch before going back home. We have been working on using every last bit of food in the house and I think I have almost succeeded. LOL! I have most of next week groceries purchased but should need much else to get us to closing day.

I got Sloane ready for the school Daddy/Daughter dance...Hawaiian Theme

And Wyatt got ready for our date night. Which really meant changing from basketball short to his sweatpants. He wanted to go to the mall with the Lego store, sit in the massage chairs, and eat dinner at Panda Express. Date night for him (and me!) was GREAT!

Sunday morning we were up and ready for church...we were ahead of schedule then somehow we ended up being late. It's crazy how that happens?!?!?!? Sis has been dealing with a little separation anxiety lately so she asked to sit with us in "big church."

After church we ate lunch at our regular spot, McAllister'sn Deli, before going home to get another load of stuff. We often eat lunch with Mark's brother's family after church...Ariel spent the night with a friend so the 3 of them sat together on one side of the booth. #nopersonalspace

Later in the afternoon spent some time at the house and I prepared Super Bowl food while they rest played. ;) A little before the game started we headed over to Mark's brother's house. Super Bowl Party!!!! I don't have any pictures at all...;( #partyfoul We all had a great time at the party! We came home a little after bedtime so straight to bed for Wyatt and Sloane. They were asleep within 5 mins.

Phew, what a weekend! It was fun but busy! We are 7 days and counting from our official move out day. Praying for peace and calming for the days to come....bring on another week!

Friday, February 3, 2017

Friday Favorites

It's Friday again and I am SOOOO happy! I worked hard all week so I can relax and enjoy this weekend without any guilt. Mark and I have a few packing/moving chores while the kids are at school this morning but then as soon as we pick them up it's FRIDAY FUNDAY!!!! They have been asking to see the new movie Monster Trucks (it doesn't look terrible, lol) so we have a movie in our plans. ;) Anytime we ask Wyatt where he wants to go to dinner he mentions somewhere with crab legs or the Melting Pot so.......we are working on that. Ha ha! I am excited to link up with Erika, Narci, and Andrea this week to share some of my favorites. I am sorry in advance because my favs are all over the place today.

Up first is an AMAZING giveaway...My sister and I are sponsoring this AWESOME Valentine's giveaway. A Starbucks giftcard and the amazing XOXO felt balls from Hello Maypole are up for grabs. All you have to do is head over to my Instagram (and my sisters) account and follow the directions on how to enter. Good luck!

It's *almost* that time again...Sloane's b-day! March is a SUPER busy month for us so I am getting a little head start on party planning by finishing it in February. ;) She has requested a Cinderella party. We shall see how it all turns out! Ha ha!

I had another guest blogger this week. Ashley is a friend of mine from long ago and it was so fun getting a sneak peek into her daily life as a mama. I am really enjoying my They Call HER Mama series. 

I love Andrea's book club ideas. This one didn't disappoint. We all enjoyed all the activities over a span of a few nights. The book was SUPER cute too! 

Another fun post from this week was How Emily does cleaning. Erika shared her tips and I thought it would be fun to share some of mine. I am by no means an expert but thought it went well with one of my current post topics, Maximize your space

Lastly, I am loving this polish. I love how well it works for an in home kit. It stays on and the color options are endless. It keeps my nails strong too! If you are looking for something that stays on longer than just regular polish but is cheaper than the salon OPI Infinite Shine is your answer. (No, I didn't get paid to say that. LOL!) 

Happy Weekend!!!! 

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