Monday, September 30, 2013

October Bucket List

It's official Erika and I are hosting a link up party! We are so excited to be doing it together. Erika is one of my best friends cousins so we have known each other for a very long time. I can't even remember the first time we met each other. Thanks to social media we have been able to stay in touch and watch our children grow. Tab and Erika live in TX and have 3 super cute kiddos!! So don't forget to check out Erika's bucket list as well!

We are hosting a new series titled "Monthly Bucket Lists." I always enjoy reading what fellow bloggers like to do with their family during certain times/seasons. Each month on the last day of the month, we'll blog about the things on our bucket list for the upcoming month.  Next month, we hope to have our linky party stuff ready so that you guys can link up your bucket lists too!

Our October Bucket List:

1. Pumpkin Picking: I love this so much! There is a really fun pumpkin patch with lots of fun activities. We I have lots of fun ideas/crafts for the kids to do with pumpkins so we can't wait to be able to spend an afternoon at the pumpkin patch! Not only do we have some fun crafts planned with pumpkins, as a tradition, we will carve pumpkins with my family during Sam A. Baker weekend! SO FUN! 

2.  Take a few fun Fall pictures of the kids. I would be lying if I said I didn't have some cute outfits waiting for a little fall picture taking. ;) I have had my eyes out for a fun place to take the kids to so I can check this off my list! 

3. Bake an apple pie and if I am feeling really Martha Stuart bake some fall cookies. I think I put this on my list every year and still haven't checked it off. ;( We don't really eat apple pie around here so I can never bring myself to make one but I REALLY want to this year. I have no reason not too...I even have all the "fun" tools to make the baking easier! 

4. Boo at the Zoo...we have always gone to the Boo at the Zoo event at the STL Zoo. Going again is a FOR SURE on my "to-do" list. 


5.  Last but not least, Oct. is Pregnancy and Infant Loss month. We will participate in the Walk of Remembrance for Ryder. I always see the #pictureaday pictures on Instagram and other social media and this month I want to participate in Carly Marie Project Heal this month. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Chi-town pt. 3

Sunday morning we woke up and packed our things to leave. We met Kyle, Shelly, and the kids for breakfast and then checked out. They went on to meet one of Kyle's friends from school and we headed to the Field Museum! We were all super excited except Wyatt was more than any of us because he wanted to see all the dinosaurs! ;) It's such a fun place with SO MUCH TO SEE!!!


It took us a bit to park and finally get into the museum but once we were there we all had a great time. Sis wanted to take a ride on Daddy's shoulders. Ha! We had someone take our picture together before we headed back to the car. 


We had such a great weekend with family! It was all made possible by Mark's parent's...we are all so blessed!! 

Friday, September 27, 2013

Chi-town pt. 2

Saturday morning we got up and had a great breakfast at the hotel. We loaded up the cars and headed to the Shedd Aquarium. Mark and I had been there once before but it was before children. We love aquariums and zoos so we were all really excited!

The guys dropped us off at the door and went to park...to kill a little time we took pictures. Duh!

After looking around the gift shop we didn't waste anytime beginning to walk around. It was so fun to be together and looking at all the different fish. We spent some time looking at different fish/animals that live in saltwater and fresh water as well....(picture overload)





We had tickets to see a movie in Ice Age 4D so while we were waiting the littles, aka penguins ;)  played on a playground area! They were so cute and Wyatt even wore the costume.


We also had tickets to an aquatic show. It was so pretty and the kids enjoyed it. We were able to sit and rest for a bit.


They had a tank to pet stingray and sharks just like STL....




Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Chi-town...pt. 1

A few weekends ago we took a quick 48 hr. trip to Chicago. It was made possible by Mark's parent's ;) and we had a wonderful time! We loaded up early Friday morning and headed North....


We got there about 2pm and checked into the hotel. We all got settled...the kids didn't waste anytime to begin playing. The love spending time together! 


After getting settled in we bundled up and headed to the Navy Pier. We planned to eat lunch and take the kids to a few fun shopping places. (American Girl, Lego, Disney) 



We all love Bubba Gumps and couldn't wait to get seated...it's such a fun place with a great atmosphere and awesome food.


After Bubba Gumps we were all ready for a little shopping. All the littles were so excited!!

LEGO STORE: Thanks to Maw Maw and Paw Paw everyone even got a special toy! 

We also went to the American Girl store as well. Sis was OVER THE TOP excited. She is really into babies right now so it was fun to see her running around picking up everything!

Last but not least we headed to the Disney store! The kids obviously had a blast there as well. It was also a momentousness trip as well. Sloaney girl got her first "real" Disney princess dress, Thanks to Aunt Shelly and Uncle Kyle!


After shopping we all walked back to the hotel. We ordered Chicago style pizza for dinner and had it delivered to the room. We hung out, played with our new toys, and enjoyed just being together with family! 




Monday, September 23, 2013

Working Mama- Emily


I guest posted today over st Stafford Stories...read what I wrote below: 

Hey everyone! I am Emily,  you can keep up with our day to day journey over at They Call Me Mama. I am so happy to be a part of Melissa's "Working Mommy series." I have been following her for about 3 years now. We have children about the same age so it's always so fun to watch and read about others that are close to the same "life stage"as you. ;) I started blogging about 4 years ago when my husband and I moved 2 hours from my hometown...away from all my family. I will admit I used to wonder what the big deal was and actually didn't even understand the purpose. Now 4 years later I LOVE IT! I love the community, the encouragement, and the fun way I have been able to document (with pictures) our DAILY life.


January of 2008 I was just a small town girl who was SUPER blessed to marry an awesome city boy! I wouldn't have it any other way. We were attending the same university when we met (2005) but within months he transferred to another school about an hour away to continue playing college golf.

(West Palm Beach vacation 2006)

We did the whole "long distance" thing until we got married in 2008. We both finished school that May, graduated college on the same day, within a few months bought a house, and moved to STL. I started teaching at a charter school in the city of STL. I quickly found out city schools weren't for me. Mark began Logan School of Chiropractic and I stuck out the entire school year teaching. (Yes, there will people quitting on a daily basis) The next fall rolled around an I got a job at a SMALL private Christian school minutes from our house. Mark continued at Logan and I began teaching 5th grade...everything was great.



Mid 2009, SURPRISE...I was pregnant....first ultrasound....DOUBLE Surprise TWINS!!! You can read their birth story HERE. The pregnancy was pretty normal a few minor bumps in the road but nothing crazy. God guided us though the entire journey. I taught school until Feb. (5 months pregnant) before I had to transfer jobs due to the school's financial issues. I then worked short term as in a daycare/sub in a preschool until I was 33 weeks. I went into pre-term labor and the Dr. suggested I stop working. The Lord provided....



I went into labor 36 weeks to the day...checked into the hospital 5 cm....4 days later we left the hospital FOREVER CHANGED.


When Wyatt was about 8 weeks old the Lord provided an awesome oppurtunity for Mark and I. We began working together with some friends of our who started a business that ships/delivers IKEA items for less. There isn't an IKEA around our area so this service is in high demand. We were able to work with them for a few months before taking over the business. They are amazing friends and have NEVER been anything short of a miracle to us. They listened to the Lord and because of them we are, 5 years after it's "opening," the owners of ExpediteSTL.


Within 30 days of Wyatt turning a year old we made the big announcement...


Mark graduated Chiropractic school in Aug. 2012 and we continued to run ExpediteSTL. He started working at Schmitz Chiropractic in Sept. of 2012. During this time I continued to work from home with the task of daily e-mails, phone calls, and paper work Expedite requires.

March 13, 2012 our lives changed again...we welcomed Sloane into the world:


After Mark started working and we were complete with Sloane we started REALLY getting into a routine...

A current day day looks like this:

I am awakened with a screaming child from her crib..."Ma Ma Ma," about 6:15. I have no clue how she is such an alarm without fail almost to the minute. She is a mess! I get up with her and begin my day. I unload the dishwasher and get dressed. I usually change her into her clothes when I change her first diaper. This is just one of the many ways I get ready for my day early. I don't like to back track AT ALL and this keeps me from having to fight to get dressed. I do the same for Wyatt when he wakes up. He is potty trained but wears a pull-up to bed. When I change him into his underwear I put his clothes on as well. Both kids are dressed, eating breakfast, watching cartoons by about 7:15am. I use the cartoon watching time to get ready myself. Getting myself ready is really just clothes, make beds, and brush teeth...depending on the day. I check e-mails and try to return as many as possible.  Mark will be getting ready for work or getting dressed to ride with us to take Wyatt to preschool. About 9am we run errands, I get a diet coke, do something fun (park, mall play place, etc.), and then usually grab a snack. We head home about 11:00 depending on the day. Sis is usually sleeping so I move her from car to bed for the rest of her nap. Wyatt has a quiet time in his room looking at books or watching the iPad. During the rest time I "regroup" as much a possible. This is usually when I return phone calls and return e-mails. If we have traveled to IKEA the weekend before I have pick ups during this time and will have even used some of the time during errands to make deliveries as long as it's something I can carry. They kids are usually back up and ready to play by 1pm. I try to do something fun at this time. Do a craft, go outside, play down stairs, or play a board game (Candy Land is big at our house right now.) are a few things we do. I start to get a game plan for dinner as well. The laundry usually needs to be moved and I also try to iron Mark's work clothes once a week. We don't really have a bath time routine but we usually get in the bath around 4pm. I take the laptop into the bathroom and work while the kids are in the tub. The enjoy this time so I am really able to return e-mails and check work social media as well. Mark gets home around 6:30 two days a week and 7:30 the other 2. He is off on Friday's. The kids usually have dinner before us and I sit with them while they eat but then when Mark get's home we eat together and the kids snack or sit with us. After dinner I get Wyatt in bed and situated...Mark usually rocks Sis while I clean up dinner. When I am finished I go lay with Wyatt. On a good night both kids are in bed and asleep (in their beds) by 8:30. Mark and I sit on the couch, watch tv, and I return e-mails and discuss any business issues that have arrived though out the day. This is our time...we usually head to head to bed between 10-11pm. We closed our eyes just in time to hear Sis start screaming....;)
(Jan. 2013)


When it comes to household tasks...to be honest...it's me. Mark takes out the trash on Thursday evenings and also enjoys cooking breakfast sometimes but other than that...I take the jobs. At this point in our lives it is what works for us. I am home during the day and can find time to get certain things finished. Selfishly once Mark get's home I don't want him to continue "working." I enjoy time on the couch with him. I don't sit during the day. I don't nap and I don't rest or usually have "me time," that time is used to complete chores and work on EXPEDITE. My mom says it best..."everyone has the same 24 hours, it's how YOU CHOOSE to spend it." I find myself saying this to myself a lot. 

I make lists. I love lists. I put things on my list that have already been completed just so I can check it off. I know...I am weird but it works for us. We we lead a crazy but schedule but we also make it a point to spend time together as a family and WITH family. It's what is important to us. We surround ourselves with people that also have the same priorities. Sometimes when I think we go too much I try to evaluate what we are doing...as long as it's doing things I want my kids to remember and enjoy I take a step back and breathe. I want them to spend time with family...not just our little 4 but with FAMILY. It's important to make time for them. When Wyatt and Sloane grow up I would be devastated if they no longer wanted to spend time with me. With that said Mark and I try to lead by example....this leads me to:

SPENDING TIME WITH MARK:



Mark and I feel really strongly about this subject. We know leading and teaching by example to our children is the best. We value and LOVE every second of being with our children,  we do not love them any less than the next person but we also value our time as husband and wife. We want our children to grow up understanding the value of time alone as husband and wife. We have to be gone from 5am-10pm one Saturday a month and the weekend of "travel"we have little, if any, time is spent together as family. It's a tough one! We try to have date nights often but don't really keep track of how often/not often this happens. We spend time together with Kelley and Tyler as a couple quite often. Wyatt has started asking where we are going and we use this time to explain to him why it's so important to have time as just Mommy and Daddy. We have gone on one small vacation without the children as well. It's just a recharge...not saying it's easy but I cling to the precious time alone with my husband, trust the children are in good hands, and know with all my heart this is what's best for everyone. I mean really...in 25 years my husband will still be the one sitting on the couch with me in the evenings, I want to still have the awesome relationship that is Christ centered, not child centered, with my husband.

Spending time with my friends and alone are tough ones. I have never been someone who feels comfortable with lots of friends but someone who likes to have a few CLOSE friends. Everyone is different and as an adult I have learned more about "friends." Some people view age as a deciding factor, some choose where you are in life as a factor, others just are friends no matter what. I will be COMPLETELY honest when I say making time for friends and myself is something I have to make a major effort to do. It's NOT because I don't want to or don't enjoy being with friends it's because I am tired. So lame right?!!?!? Having one weekend a month taken by business, then usually one or two with family functions, it's just tough to leave my family/children. I get stressed and feel bad that Mark has to be alone with the kids. Not that I would ever say he was "babysitting" or such...since he is their dad....LOL, but just because I have that wonderful thing called mom guilt. Ha! Not one can do it like we can...right!?!?!? With all this said I make it a point to make plans with friends, keep in touch, etc. I am not saying I am always the best but I truly try to make sure my friends know I am always here for them. Some of the fun things I do with friends or myself lately: there is a group of friends we try to get coffee or enjoy breakfast once a month, I have a friend who we have special time together getting nails or toe done, ;) etc. Trying to stay organized with my alone time also helps me stay fresh and enjoy time with other mama's as well.

Spending time with the kids is something that should come easy for me...right?!!?!??! I mean, I stay at home. I hate to admit but I have to make it a point to sit down and play with them. I am terrible at make believe. ;( I  wish it was easier for me but it's not. The type A personality wants to move the laundry, clean, etc, instead of sitting down with them. I made have made it a point to stop and hold a little the second they ask...even if it's for 5 mins. but I TRY REALLY HARD to not say "hang on, just a min, etc." I have tried to create fun crafts and we go lots of fun places throughout the week. We go to the zoo, magic house, parks, etc. and I love playing and interacting there with them. Once again it just takes planning. I try to sit down on Sunday evening and make a plan. I look at weather and try to come up with a fun thing for each day. Sometimes it's just baking cookies or helping me with dinner but it's still something.

Thanks for taking the time and reading about my crazy but fun life! There are times when I want to pull my hair out but I know we are so blessed! I would love for you to take a second and follow my blog, www.theycallmemama.com,  and even join me on my daily journey on Instagram @emschmitz.
Hope you enjoyed!





Friday, September 20, 2013

SEMO Fair Parade


I mentioned in an earlier post I went to the fair parade last week. The kids and I loaded up and headed to Jackson for a quick trip. We had a BLAST! We loved being with family and participate in something so fun. My family used to participate in the parade...like actually ride antique scooters (rebuilt by my g-pa) in the parade. It was always SO FUN and people loved us! Ha! Since we no longer are IN the parade I thought it would be super fun for the kids to watch the parade. 



He was getting ready...he had no idea....and wasn't quite grasping the "candy throwing thing." 



They were singing and dancing and LOVE the farm equipment! 




Look at big girl Z standing unassisted....;)




It was so hot but the little didn't care one bit. There were even freezer pops given out...they loved that as well. Look at Poppie's girl. 


Excuse the hair...we are currently in a standoff at the beauty shop. ;( 


It was an amazing evening spent with family making memories to last a lifetime. I am so happy and blessed to be able to make a drive to spend time with family, even if it's just for the afternoon/evening! 






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