Thursday, April 26, 2018

The book I’ve been thinking about

We go to the library at least once a week, and sometimes, the books I choose are just

A few months ago, I picked up about 10 books, and MOST of them were excellent.  I thought I’d share the titles along with a quick review....and I will very soon, but there’s one book that I read that needs a post all to itself.  Mainly to process feelings about it and hopefully to start a conversation with your thoughts as well.

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I picked this up because, in my mind, this is what I think Sadie might look like when she’s a little older.  Once I started reading, I was hooked and became terrified.  Maddy is a beautiful, popular, smart, Ivy League athlete and commits suicide after one semester of college.  A few of my personal take aways from the book....

  • I think kids get a bad rep these days, but honestly they are taking on a whole new world of challenges that even people from my generation know nothing about.  And I’m just in my 30s.  A study was done that showed that freshmen in high school now experience more anxiety than a psychiatric patient from the 1950s.  That’s a big deal.

  • Social media needs to be monitored often and WE need to do a whole bunch of self monitoring.  If we’re feeling some kind of way about a blogger in California (who we don’t even know) laying on the beach of Hawaii while we’re folding laundry and letting that affect our day....we’re in no way qualified to tell our kids “don’t worry about what so-and-so from your HS is doing!”  It starts with us!

  • The author talks about how she was also a college athlete and how her identity was based on being a basketabll player...and that’s it.  My thought after reading this comment and after reading Maddy’s story was, how do we make our children (and ourselves for that matter), realize that we are not one-dimensional...that we are more than just ONE thing?  That their identity doesn’t revolve around being just a boyfriend or girlfriend (if they have a breakup), a great student (if they have a bad grade), an athlete or dancer (if they have an injury), etc. etc. 

  • This is an ignorant thought on my part, but over the past few years with suicide becoming the spotlight of all conversations, I’ve attributed it to sadness and despair.  This is not the case with Maddy.  Hers was complete overwhelm.  Feeling as though her only escape from perfection and constant approval was to end it all.

  • Even though I loved the book, I felt like there wasn’t a “so now what???” or “how do we prevent our kids from thinking they have to be perfect at everything they do all the time?” 
    • So I came up with my own “and now what”....and it took me a month to have an ah hah moment.  We need to teach children how to handle their feelings.  So when they’re feeling overwhelmed, they know to do “this”.  When they’re feeling excited, they know to do “this”. When they’re feeling sad, they know to do “this”.  ALL the feelings are normal and okay, but some feelings need to have an action plan to go along with them.

And that’s that!  Would love to know your thoughts if and when you read it! 

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Favorite back to school tradition

Before I even had school age kids, a friend told me about a really special tradition she started with each of her kids, and I've started the same one with my kids.  I'm so glad she shared!

Before school starts, I take each boy by himself to get school supplies and a special treat while school supply shopping.  I love it!!  And so do the boys.  This is the first year Walker got to go. :)

It's just a little thing, but that alone time is so incredibly important and special.  And school supplies are the best.

Happy school year everyone! 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Summer Fun

^fun sculpture built for kids to play on at the NC Art Museum

This has been such a great summer!  The polar opposite of last summer when I was throwing up every day from secretly being pregnant with Sadie while Noel was prepping for the bar.  Oh the difference a year makes.....yayy!!

Summer is winding down a little too quickly (less than 2 weeks) and I'm trying to decide if there's anything left to do that we haven't done.

Here in NC we've gone to the beach a few times, done all the story times, read tons of picture books and chapter books, and have seen several shows

The boys have been to preschool camp, golf camp, flag football camp, tennis camp, and basketball camp...all the camps!!

We've done the pool, parks, science museum, baseball games, bowling, putt putting, visited family, and eaten all the ice cream!! 

The boys have played tons in the yard and drawn hundreds of pictures....why does summer have to end?

In these next 2 weeks, I'm trying to slow things down a little bit to prep for the new school year- dejunking and organizing things as well.  But!! is there anything you've done this summer that you loved that we should add to our "DO before school starts" list?!

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Skirts with stretchy waists

I'm still at the point, post-baby, where I'm not loving zippers.  Some people drop weight like crazy while nursing, but I tend to drop mine *after* I stop nursing (crossing fingers it goes the same this go around.)

Anyway, because of that and because summers in NC are brutal (I saw people outside the other day wearing jeans and I thought-HOW??!), skirts with stretchy waists are my everything.

If you're in the same boat as me, or just like stretchy waist skirts (because, who doesn't??!),  I thought I'd put together a few cute ones for you to take a look at.  Honestly, I've googled "skirts with elastic waists" so many times these past few months.

Here are the links for the skirts above!  And if you see any you love, please send them my way! Or, if want to have a virtual shopping date and talk about which tops should be matched up with these, let's do it! :) 

Top to bottom: L to R


Monday, August 7, 2017

This is going to save my motherhood

I was in Greenville a few weeks ago, feeling very nostalgic since I was in my old college town, when I started thinking...

I absolutely loved my college days.  I was in school before iPhones and social media were a thing, and I felt like I really lived those years. 

I had a thought-"that's what I want my motherhood to be like!"  I truly love being a mom-it's the greatest gig in the world.  These years are physically exhausting, and yes-there are challenges, of course-but they're also amazing (I'm still the coolest to them!) and I know this time is going to pass by way too fast.  I want to look back on these years and think....I really lived those years when my kids were young.

So!  What to do?  How to change?  

For the past few weeks, I've only checked email and social media in the morning for just a few minutes before I get up with the kids and at night after I put them down for bed.

Since I've had baby,  I've been spending a huge chunk of my time sitting and nursing.  As I would sit, I would scroll through social media, and pretty soon, it became an actual habit to grab my phone and scroll.  (By the way, social media scrolling during nighttime/early morning newborn feedings is an actual lifesaver, so there's that...)  

Waiting in the Chick Fil A line, I would grab my phone to scroll through Facebook.  Sitting down to feed Sadie, I would scroll through Instagram.  Getting in the car, I would check my email before we drove away.

The absolute worst. What a waste of time.  

I was one of the last people to get an iPhone, (seriously I had the free phone from Verizon for FOREVER), and I vowed I would never become addicted to it.  I even turned off all my notifications immediately after getting it.

Don't get me wrong!  I love social media.  I was just telling my friend, Anna, that the only thing I didn't enjoy about Chip and JoAnna's book was that they talked about never watching tv.  I think that's weird considering the reason they have the lifestyle they do is because people watch tv!!  So I'm not one of those bloggers knocking social media.

I love seeing new babies, funny memes, cute outfit ideas, and exchanging ideas. I just prefer checking in at the end of the day instead of letting it become a huge part of my day.

I have to tell you....these past few weeks have been amazing.  I feel less frustrated, and as a result-more patient.  When I feed Sadie, I read my book or read books to the boys.  I have done ten times more in the past 2 weeks than I've done in the weeks before.
I was telling my sister about this and I asked her, "you know what I've missed?" And she said, "nothing?!".....that's right...absolutely nothing from social media during the day.  

At the end of the day, it is more important for me to answer with all my energy what my 3rd favorite meat eating dinosaur is than to see what a random person is eating for lunch.  It is more important for me to meet a new person in the smoothie line and listen to their interesting story than to scroll through Twitter a couple of times.

At the end of the day, I feel like I've spent my time wisely and have had less "I need to do much better tomorrow" days.  

While cleaning out a dresser the other day, I found a letter from my friend, Mary Beth, that she wrote me from France. She included the quote from Victor Hugo, 

"It is nothing to die.  It is frightful not to live."

And that's what I want to do!  Live the absolute best life I can.

Find out how to live your best life!  Figure out what you might need to tweak in your life, and do it! 

Have a great week y'all.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Last Things...

The last-

Thing I bought-

This cute wrapping paper from Home Goods.  I'm in love with wrapping paper and Home Goods and TJMaxx has some good stuff.  

Thing I laughed at-

Well...maybe not the last thing..... but still funny.  I explain to Crew during the week, every week, that we sit still and sit quietly during church so we can think about Jesus.  Also, because we're grateful for Him, and so others can think about Him.  I take and sit with all the kids by myself each Sunday because Noel sits on the stand, and they usually do a great job. This past Sunday, I whispered to Crew that I was so proud of him for being quiet and that Jesus was proud of him too.  He responded (loudly), 

"Jesus not here!! Jesus not have a CAR!!!"

Cute.  Also funny.  But so loud.

Show I watched on Netflix-

While eating chocolate, of course.  I thought it was great, honestly.  I think they did a great job portraying the truly damaging effects of anorexia on not only the individual, but the entire family.  Side note:  there is a scene in the movie, where the kids go to an art exhibit, and it is breathtakingly beautiful. 

Dress I swooned over-

This one from ASOS.  I do love a good ruffle and this color is IT.  Debating on whether to get it now- even though I can't really wear it for a long time until I'm done nursing Sadie.        

Color nail polish I tried-

Mad for Madness Sake.  Sticking with thinking pink.  I won a giveaway (I actually won something yay!!!) from my go-to beauty expert and sweet friend, Hannah.  I can't wait to show you everything in the box, but this nail polish was in there and it is SO cute!

Picture I took that I can NOT stop looking at-

I really can't.  It's so much sweetness.  Walker loves his little baby so much.  He's always playing, reading, and singing with her.  It's the absolute best.

Monday, July 31, 2017


Oh my gosh-isn't this the truth?  

Parenting really is such a wonderful/interesting/exhausting/exhilarating thing.  With all sorts of advice coming our way, it can also be overwhelming.

I read a book this month called Unselfie, that teaches parents how to raise their children to be more empathetic, and therefore more successful in life.

I liked it and I'm glad I read it, but it was a little....much.  

There were tons of thoughts, ideas, and practices to implement with your children.  The author also gave takeaways to practice with your children, but there were way too many to actually apply, in my opinion.

Here are a few of my thoughts from the book....

*It really is extremely important for children to understand how to sense how other people are feeling. 
            -The biggest way to do this (reduced to one sentence instead of an entire section) is to point it out to your children.  Sometimes quickly and sometimes it needs to be discussed. Did you see that what you did made him sad?  Do you like to feel sad?  Things like that.

*Find a way for your child to decompress after school and/or during a busy time.
             -I think this is super important for all ages...adults and figure out.  Life can get a little crazy and it's good to have a spot in the house or an activity that is good for winding down.

*I do love her idea of starting a kindness journal.
              -Yes, this is one more thing for parents to supervise, but! with this, kids can record, at the end of the week, something/multiple things they did for someone else.  It's a great idea for keeping service in the forefront of their minds, I think.  This can also put family service projects to the top of the priority list.

*She also mentioned the idea of a family meeting each week.
              -This is actually a concept that our church has focused on for a while.  We hold family council meetings every week (super short, of course, because...4 kids...) where we talk about what's going on for the week. Schedules/thoughts/expectations/etc.

Those are my main thoughts.  Happy Parenting!
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