Birthday Weekend + Blogging Thoughts

8.12.2018

Over the weekend we hosted family for R's birthday! She turned 3 on Friday, and we had the party on Saturday. I took short video clips all day both days and hope to put together a 3rd birthday video collage soon. For whatever reason I think making videos is so fun and love doing it. (Here is how I make them, if you're interested!)

I haven't gone through all the pictures yet, but maybe soon I'll share a post with pics from the day. It was pretty low key with minimal decorations, and mostly everything was recycled from my "party cabinet" where I keep all the decorations I've made over the past few years along with paper goods and other Target dollar-spot finds I collect. We did a taco bar and had pink cupcakes. It was really fun!
Right before the party my brother noticed that the side fence in our backyard had fallen over in the storm the night before. The only reason it wasn't completely over was because it was being held up by our neighbor's shed. We have had a few house projects lately, and we are not the type of people who enjoy doing house projects. And by "we" I mean Jordan. I've tried to be handy and end up hanging things unevenly and putting giant holes in the wall on accident, so I leave all the handiness to him, but since he does manual labor all day at work, he doesn't so much want to do it at home. 

Anyway, we clearly need to pay to get our fence repaired (yay adulting!), but in the meantime he rigged up some rope, and the fence is at least mostly upright at the moment. We also have a broken pillar off our front porch, and our front screen door is busted so there's a piece of packing tape holding the lock down. In June we used our cash emergency fund for the very first time to pay for maintenance on my car, so we are Very Excited to pay for a new fence.

I need to sign us up for one of those home improvement shows before Jordan goes insane from the stress and pays someone to burn our house down so we can collect insurance money. (He might have mentioned doing that, but I think he was kidding.)
We are pretty stressed out at the moment, to be honest. As I mentioned in my last post, this summer has been so full of wonderful things and awesome family time, but it has been FULL nonetheless, and we are tired. We really packed it in this summer, and all four of us have a birthday within 2 months of one another so that adds a bit of extra excitement too.

But how are you? No, seriously. How are you doing? Are you feeling stressed out by anything, or are you in a relaxing season at the moment? It's so easy to get caught up in the stress of daily life, going from one thing to the next and not really paying attention to how other people are doing. If I can be an encouragement to you in any way, let me know!

Blogging is weird. You get a glimpse into someone's life that you haven't ever met (in most cases), and if you follow them for long enough you begin to feel like you know them a little bit. But you may not know this about me: I can get insecure about what I say online. I'm not really all that afraid of confrontation usually, and I often say/write what I think. Sometimes I feel like I offend people, and especially online it's hard to accurately convey tone of voice and meaning. I also hate to go back and reread old posts because I get super embarrassed by how dramatic I sound. But those were my honest thoughts at the time, so that's what I wrote! haha. Plus also if you don't know me in real life, I can be kind of dramatic ;)

Just know that I do appreciate everyone who comes and reads. I've taken a huge step back this past year in the frequency of my posts, but I still enjoy sharing in this space and hearing from you! 

I'd like to try and get some photos from R's party edited and posted, but in the meantime I wanted to let you all know about a new Facebook group I started for anyone who loves books! The group is private so you have to request to join, but I'll accept anyone as long as you love books and promise to be a nice person in the group :) It's not a book club, just a place to chat books. Join here!

Happy Monday!


Skip the Store with Essentials from Amazon

8.08.2018


This post is sponsored by Kleenex, Scott, Cottonelle, and Viva, but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.



I cannot get my life together right now. This summer has been full of so many good things and so much family time, but it has been FULL. And since we both work full time, the daily grind of alarm clocks, daycare dropoffs, and morning commutes marches on even in the summer. I don't think R will be going to an official preschool next year because she's at daycare full time, and they do basically everything there that she would at preschool, but I know once she starts elementary school, things are going to get even crazier!

If there is one thing I said I would never do it, write a sponsored blog post for something like toilet paper. But you know what? We had two rolls left, and I had no time (and no desire) to go to the store, and I was offered an opportunity to buy toilet paper from Amazon and have it delivered to my house the next day so yes I took it. I DID. And I have no regrets because, let's be honest: Cottonelle is actually the best. Also the best? Having things arrive magically on your doorstep.

I also bought some Kleenex facial tissues, which are going to be great for keeping in the diaper bag and backpack. R has gotten into a habit of swiping across her cheek with the back of her hand, and the side of her face has constant gunk on it so....  I need these.

I asked her to test the Kleenex wipes out on her face, and she was such a good model! Then she wanted to try them out on her feet haha ;)

Shop smarter and quicker on Amazon for Kleenex, Cottonelle, Scott, and Viva products! There's this handy page with everything in one section for easier shopping. There are even coupons to clip up, and you can get 15% off by signing up for the subscribe and save.

I suppose I should, as they say, never say never. Because sometimes you do run out of toilet paper. And sometimes it's nice to have it shipped right to your front door and waiting for you when you get home from work. 

Sometimes being an adult is awesome and means eating ice cream for dinner. And sometimes it means getting excited about toilet paper in the mail. Life is weird.

Stock up with household and back-to-school supplies on Amazon and save here!

Vices

8.05.2018


I was hanging out with some friends a few months ago, and one of my friends mentioned another friend of hers who had recently gotten a new car. "I'm really not ever jealous of people," she said. "But I'm a little jealous of her awesome car."

My first reaction was to think, Wow I'm jealous of people all the time. I wish I was never jealous. My second reaction was to realize that by wishing I were able to not be jealous like my friend, I just proved my own point.

This is one of the things I really don't like about myself: my constant comparing. It's nearly instantaneous when I see or hear something, and it's an embarrassing thing to share because it sounds so... so ungrateful. So entitled.

The truth is, I'm not at all unhappy with my life. I've been blessed in so many ways, and I'm so thankful. But I really struggle with comparing and jealousy. Social media in particular can be a big trigger for me. I go in waves where I consider deleting all of it, but I do like parts of it too,  and I just haven't figured out the balance. It seems to be all or nothing with me, and I wish I could find a good solution!

I shared this struggle with my mom some time ago, and she said that it's easy to pick and choose pieces of someone's life that we'd like to have, but you can't just switch out parts you want and leave the rest. If you want to trade one aspect of someone's life, you have to be okay with trading all of it: their family, their spouse, their kids, their job. And of course I don't want to do that. I'd just maybe like to replace a few of my things with a few of their things, but I don't want it all.

I honestly get so frustrated with myself. Philippians 1:6 says: "And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it at the day of Jesus Christ." I love that verse for the promise it holds that Christ is working on me, perfecting my weakness and giving me grace to wake up and try again the next day, next hour, next minute.

I don't know if this whole thing sounds lame or sad or just pathetic, but I share with the hope that if you struggle with this too, you aren't alone. And the awareness of the struggle is a gift from God, allowing our eyes to be opened to our sin so that we can ask for help from the one who is, even now, doing a very good work. It's an encouragement to me, and I hope it is for you too :)

*Comments turned off. Sometimes I just like to share without the pressure of comments, but as always I'd love to hear from you if you do have a response!

top image via

Bye, July

7.29.2018


How is it the end of July? JULY. Anyone else find this crazy? 

June was packed full for us, but July flew by like a blur and I don't even know what happened. J's birthday was over a month ago, and we are planning R's 3rd birthday, which is coming up in a few weeks.

Real talk: if we had another baby the same age gap as R and J, I would already be pregnant right now. NOPE. I am not at all ready to be pregnant again. Jordan and I have said multiple times this past month that we aren't totally sure what we were thinking. It's crazy to think about how little R was when I was pregnant and had J. That said, I am loving their age gap and how they've started interacting more with each other lately. It's so cute and fun!

We just came back from a weekend in Texas, so I figured I'd share a quick "currently" post.

taking: pictures of the kids for their birthdays! I still have to take J's 1-year pics. I know I'm behind since he's over 13 months at this point, but I haven't for a few reasons (nothing to do with him being a second child, I promise!). But I went with R yesterday to take a few, and I think I got some good ones! It is, however, incredibly challenging to take pictures of a toddler by yourself. I need to take someone with me when I go with J. I was a sweaty mess when we were done, but I am here to tell you that bribery works. Amen.

reading: The Alice Network by Kate Quinn. I'm only a few chapters in, but I am loving it so far! I started it on the drive to Texas Friday night and was super bummed when it got too dark to read in the car after the sun went down.

loving: family time. On Saturday night my family was all together in Texas having a birthday dinner for Jordan and I. At one point I looked around the table and just watched everyone talking and laughing and felt like I was in a scene from Parenthood where the camera pans the table with a fun soundtrack in the background. My mom made ice cream pie from Pioneer Woman and it was soooooo good.

laughing at: J's new trick. He can't walk yet (or even stand unassisted), but he has learned how to climb  up the three steps on our Little Tikes slide, turn around at the top, and slide down all by himself. My MIL bought us that slide to play with outside, but it stays in our playroom full time, and although I don't love how it looks, the kids have so much fun on it!

I barely posted on the blog in July, but I hope to not have such large gaps between posts in August. We will see! Our nighttime routine with R has vastly improved in the last 3-4 months, but it still takes about 30-45 minutes to get her to actually stay in her bed and go to sleep. I have limited free time in the evenings if I want to get to bed at a good time, and I haven't felt much like blogging. But I do enjoy sharing snippets of our lives on here. I know my mom loves it, anyway. Hi, Mom! :)

Hope you all have a wonderful last few days in July! August, I see you.

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