Deals · Family · Food · Home · kids · pregnancy

Staying Hydrated in Pregnancy

Let me just tell you, I was ON IT when pregnant with my boys.

With Ford, I drank 10-12 glasses of water a day….and it was never enough! At 31 weeks pregnant with him, I had to be taken to the ER for severe dehydration….The doctor told me my baby was taking everything from me-and my body was suffering! After 2 IV bolus’s (Is that what they are called? If not, feel free to laugh at me) I felt like a new woman! So he sent me out, and told me to drink more water….Well 12 glasses a day was already putting me on the toilet every half hour or so, and working at a credit union at the time, (the bathroom was at the very back, and walking back there KILLED ME! Thanks swollen ankles.) It just wasn’t good. All the girls there were so sweet to me and never said a word about my frequent potty visits…but I hated it! But I did my best to drink more, and thankfully, never ended up in the ER again!

With Cash, water was my friend and I drank it up! I never once had a problem! But this pregnancy, yall, I have STRUGGLED. Drinking water the first 3 months was miserable and I couldn’t make myself drink it. Lately, I can stomach it, but I am not nearly as diligent as I was with my boys… I know. I’m terrible. Really. I do.

But if you are a fellow preggo, please know dehydration is so unsafe for you and your baby! Now your body will first thing, take care of your baby, thank goodness. But that leaves Mama NOT at her best, and it just isn’t doable when you have 2 other babies, or a husband, or anyone who needs you!

So while I have struggled so terrible in the beginning, I have finally found a drink that doesn’t make me feel guilty (the sweet tea was out of control) and it’s super hydrating for me and baby!

Insert *BODY ARMOR*. YALL. I’m obsessed. I drink this stuff nonstop. And yes, I am still drinking water throughout the day, but this is my saving grace right now.

Have you all tried it? My uncle swears by it for his workouts. My sister drinks them religiously (working night shift is a pistol) and everywhere I go I see people with one in their hand! There has got to be something good about it!

There are less sugars than other sports drinks, it has coconut water in it (que the extra hydration) electrolytes, vitamins, and NO caffeine!

If you are worried about the calories, there are a few lighter versions and they taste sooooo good!

And let me include, when I am dehydrated, the first place to show it is my lips. When I am being good about drinking these, my lips are smooth and my skin is plump! It makes such a difference when I am being naughty about drinking my water. (Please don’t judge. It’s just so hard this time around!)

I know this is so random, but I really wanted to share how I am staying hydrated this time. I wish I had these the first time around..It could have saved me a mini heart attack and an ER visit!! (I gave you the short version. It was traumatic yall.) And maybe, just maybe, this will help some of you all along the way! (Really that is all I hope from my blog-maybe I am being helpful to someone and that keeps me going!)

And really, they are good for anyone to drink..Not just the mama’s to be. (Obviously my uncle isn’t expecting.) So if you haven’t tried them, I promise, they are AMAZING and deserve you trying one soon! If you are close, come to my house and I’m happy to share one of mine with you:)

**Oh I forgot to share my favorite flavors!!! My top two favs are cherry berry and orange mango! That’s a start-and then try them all one by one from there!**

Ok yall, off to work…but in the meantime, go grab you one, and report back !

I’m out, but don’t forget,

All the love dolls 💋

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Family · Food · Travel

Elkmont Exchange

Knoxville-your mouth is about to get hit with some serious flavor…And not going to lie- little old K-town is getting hit with so many breweries lately, it’s hard to know where to turn. Well, let me guide you in the right direction-take a turn into the Elkmont parking lot, and let them take over.

Really, before you even hit the parking lot, Elkmont’s building design is going to rope you in……We were all so curious what was going in there when it was being built-the architecture is phenomenal! (Prepare yourselves, PHENOMENAL is probably going to be my word of choice throughout my post when talking about EE.)

Ok where to start?? Hmmm….Maybe appetizers? I’m thinking so…..

We started with an awesome charcuterie board..and the cheese yall…..I could have devoured all the cheese myself, but chose to share with my table mates (Hope you all appreciated that. This preggo can get RAVENOUS.) But seriously, try it out. If meat and cheese is your thing, start here and move around the gameboard bite by bite (rrrr….I mean…menu. But really. Bite by bite by bite.)

Next up…Boudin Balls (Ok the name isn’t something I was familiar with, but the taste I could totally relate to.) They are sausage balls made of ground pork, jasmine rice, and vegetables..then rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. Hello yum! The dipping sauce is beer based, so if you are here for the beer experience, you may as well start with your app.

Our next appetizer–WINGSSS….Yall, this girl loves her some wings, and these were just different enough to reel me in…They have a slight Asian flair as they are cooked in soy sauce, and then you get hit with a little kick. Perfect for those of us who like it slightly spicy….Here is what they look like Notice the pic below-no shame in my game. Finger licking.

Ok, possibly my favorite bit of the night….Was the Shrimp and Grits. And I do NOT LIKE GRITS. Should I repeat that?? Nah you got it….But when I say, this meal was one of my favorite dinners of all time, I kid you not. The grits are cheesy and not gritty in the least bit….Just smooth and the flavor hits hard. In the sauce on top, is catfish! You would never know it though–You almost would assume its tomatoes in the sauce! I can’t explain in words–all I have to say is, order this when you visit. You won’t be disappointed.

And while we have a second, let’s talk about beer. I, obviously, at the moment, can’t drink it. But every person there seemed to find one they loved! My bestie was with me, and she isn’t a beer drinker, but she even found one she really loved! It’s made with butternut squash and was so smooth (according to her and the other drinkers around me.)

Another cool thing? We got an abbreviated brew tour from Knox Brew Tours and it was so interesting! Even though I couldn’t drink, just learning about the process was fun…. And it helped that our tour guide clearly loved his job. To see someone enthusiastic about their job makes you love it too…..Even if you are just a pregnant spectator. Check them out for a Knoxville tour with your buds soon!

And while we are one drinks, I really wanted something fun but wasn’t sure what to get. The bartender was kind enough to whip up a concoction for me (and even made me another before he walked out. Literally-he wasn’t even clocked in.) This drink was so yummy and everyone around me wanted one! Wish I could tell you what it was, but I don’t think he even knew. Yeah- those are the good bartenders–the ones that whip something out of nothing and then can recreate it later. So tell him your pregnant friend came, he made a drink for her, and you want it now too.

So even though my eyebrows disappeared, ( see above) my drink was pretty and tasted great. Go nab one.

And this was hard to put in 2nd place, so let’s tie it for first, shall we? The blondie. Who doesn’t love a blondie? Well, believe me when I say there isn’t one better than this one. I was sad I had to share in all honesty. (Don’t judge.)

It’s made by the local Flour Head Bakery, and topped with butter pecan ice cream from the Phoenix Pharmacy. Now once again, butter pecan ice cream wouldn’t have been my immediate choice-but this was amazing! And if you haven’t been to the Phoenix, do yourself a favor and go this weekend. Even the nostalgia in it is intoxicating-not to mention how creamy the ice cream is. *Swoon*

So have any of you been to Elkmont Exchange? If not, NOW is the time. Food is phenomenal, beer is great (so I heard) and the environment is the perfect place to enjoy some quality time with friends and family. Hit em’ up.

* I also wanted to thank Yelp for having me! If it wasn’t for this event, I wouldn’t have made some awesome new friends, and found a new favorite to take my oldies!

Here are a few more pics for the road, and a huge thanks to Hayley at Sharper Photography for the amazing photos!

Go visit ASAP and of course,

All the love dolls 💋

Family · Home · kids · pregnancy

When it rains it pours

Not gonna lie, this isn’t the blog post I wanted to share today. But feeling like I need an outlet, I came to you friends on the blog!

Just hopping right in, Ford has been really sick for the past 3 days and we can’t figure out what it is. Cash had a fever on Wednesday, and by Thursday evening it was gone! Well, come Friday morning, we had another sickie on our hands, and his has been 100 times worse.

So Friday was his ONE AND ONLY field trip of the year. We have been looking forward to this day since he started Kindergarten! It was a day at the zoo, and I got to be a chaperone! We were so beyond excited, just for him to wake up feeling a little off on Friday. “Mom, are you going to make me stay home?” Is the response I got when I asked if he wasn’t feeling well. That totally broke my heart, so I let him go to school. Well, I met him at the zoo and gathered up my troop for our fun day!

Not too long into the trip, I could tell he was REALLY off. I felt his head and realized the poor child has a fever. It’s not good. He won’t smile. He hasn’t laughed. Did’t point out one animal. Wouldn’t eat. Not good. So I gave him a dose of Motrin and hoped he could last the 2 more hours. Nope not even close.

This kid is ACTIVE ya’ll. He loves to run and play and be outside, and when he told me he couldn’t walk anymore I knew it was bad. So we happened to run into his teacher not long after, and she let us know we could go home. I felt awful! I was the chaperone for the trip and had to leave…Thank goodness another Mom came and took over for me. So we made our way out and the poor child was so so sad. Which made me sad. And then began the tears. ( I’ll leave it to the imagination as to who was crying.)

So we came home and the rest of the day was miserable. I assumed by Saturday afternoon he would be back to normal like baby bro, but that wasn’t the case. (It seems like everything Ford gets is so much worse than Cash!) So late last night, he asked for a drink -I handed it to him and he could barely hold the cup up! So we went to the ER thinking the FLU was our diagnosis. Nope-it’s just something viral that somehow mimics the flu. No strep. No pneumonia. (Which-whew! Relief! But now they can’t offer him a medication to improve.) So we came home, he slept a couple hours then woke up throwing up. Sheesh.

So all we can do is give him Tylenol and liquids and do our best to keep him comfortable! We have tried baths, essential oils, cold washrags on his head, vinegar soaked socks (that lasted all of 5 minutes) and plenty of cuddles.

We finished washing all of the pukey things, and as soon as I started another load-the washer broke. Trying to look on the bright side here…at least we washed the puke-nastiness! So now we have a washer full of water and wet clothes, a sick kid, and a tired mommy. This is the life ya’ll.

Not to mention today is Monster Jam day! I went to Chick Fil A with my dad last week to try and win tickets for my boys…and somehow we won!!!!! But since he is sick, Ford is stuck at home with baby bro parties at Monster Jam with the grandparents. That makes 2 events in 3 days he missed on account of fever. (And it is killing me that he can’t go and enjoy. He loves it so much! )

This year has just been so awful for sickness for this kid–he has been sent home for fever more times than I can count, and most of them have been on the REALLY fun days at school. And let me tell you, no child deserves those fun days more than he does! (Ok overboard Mom moment, but really, he is phenomenal.) He works so hard, never has to be reprimanded and is always respectful….(All things I have been told by the staff at his school.) He deserves all the fun days. Low and behold, he has been sick almost every time. It’s not fair! It’s time for a break yall.

Thank goodness we leave for Florida in just over a month, and let me say, it is NEEDED. I am craving the heat and ocean! And I am craving a good time with my family–who is with me?

So I guess I just needed a way to vent and hope you all will send him all the well wishes and that tomorrow is a better day. Hoping your weekend is going well and I’ll have a more upbeat post soon! Thanks for letting me vent friends!

And as always,

All the love dolls 💋

Deals · Family · Home · Travel

Newest Local Obsession

Hey Ladiesssssss!!!!! (And gents of course) It’s Friday!!!!!!!

Gosh, have you ever had one of those realllly good days? I mean–reallly good days. They just start off right and keep getting better? Today was one of those days for me–and it started with the most simple text message, of all things. From the Hubbs of course 🙂 And it wasn’t anything sappy. Just a message telling me to look at the moon. Now where some wouldn’t think that is the most amazing message to get, I couldn’t help but smile knowing that my tall man saw something so gorgeous and thought of me. *Swoon*. Step 1 to my good day.

Step 2? Well, for my job, I work for a Non-profit Foundation here in beautiful Knoxville, TN. I am so K-town obsessed, it might be ridiculous. *When I say I never want to move-I mean-my butt needs to stay planted here forever. Everyone’s happiness depends on it.) But if you haven’t been, I’m TELLING you-come see us! ( and make sure to hit me up!) At any rate, I attended a meeting with some other like minded organizations and had such a wonderful discussion. It’s truly something amazing to sit and listen to people speak about something they are genuinely passionate about. And when you are talking with those people-you know it. Their passion is contagious. Even just an hour with some of Knoxville’s finest this morning had me on a high and I can’t wait for more meet-ups like that! Now all that being said, step 3 was my happiest moment of the day.

Step 3. We are going to call Step 3 “Ali.” Ok, really, her name was Ali and I fell head over heels in love with this girl from moment 1. I stopped into our local Juice Bar to have a quick meet up with Ali, to find her chatting with someone who was next headed to Nashville (Ali’s hometown!) I had never met Ali before and INSTANTLY knew she was who I was looking for. ( I’m telling you, I am pulled to people with this type of friendly energy.) This cute little lady then started chatting with me about where she is from, and how on every trip she wants to try the local places to get the “feel of the city.” Let me tell you, she picked the right place coming into Juice Bar ( and she knew it too.) Before she left, she was already on the internet giving the JB a great review on the internet. Still swooning over her cuteness and sweet heart.

Ok back to The Juice Bar. I found out that their first store was in Brentwood, TN and the owners are some of the coolest people out there. ( They are 100% on my list of people to meet.) Maybe I can share their backstory in the future! But know that I am so in love with all things local, and Juice Bar is as local as it comes. And just because they didn’t start here in Knoxville doesn’t mean FOR A SECOND they aren’t’ a local company. On the contrary. It’s the people who work in there who give it the local flair. It’s the fact that if they see you are having a bad day, they may give you a free shot. It’s knowing they want to get to know you on a personal level. Those are the things that give the local feel in my book. And on the corner of Market Square in Downtown Knoxville, it poses the easiest location to grab a quick and healthy lunch. And so so yummy! Score

Want to know my fav drink? Let’s call it my newest obsession. My newest obsession is the “Green Smoothie.” It has alllll the goodness in it your body needs and tastes like heaven. I always associate smoothies with the beach so if you hear me say “it reminds me of the beach” or “it reminds me of the ocean,” you know its a good thing. So if you haven’t tried it, make sure to order the “Green Smoothie” next time you hit any of the juice bar locations–thank goodness there are 3 locations that can satisfy your every smoothie desire . Turkey Creek, Bearden, and of course, Market Square!

Check out my drink

I barely remembered to snap a pic before I finished this–it was phenomenal!

Another item I tried was the Dragon Fruit smoothie Bowl….and YALL. With the strawberries and bananas mixed in, it was the beach. In a bowl. Remember how I feel about the beach?? Mmm Hmmmm…

And this pic for good measure….These lemons were beautiful! And I love how in some of the juice shots, I could taste the lemon. It wasn’t overpowering but just enough that they made their presence known.

I wish I could remember which flavors these were, (Pictured below) but what I can tell you , is they DID NOT have celery or beets. While those are some serious powerhouses, they aren’t for the faint of heart. So if you are feeling brave and needing a little health boost. Ask for beets. Ask for celery. They will know which to give you. But if you are like me and need them a tad sweeter, reach for the orange and green juice. (So sorry beautiful juices. I can’t remember your names. So rude, I know.)

Check these out. I made my way home with one, and its already cleaned and ready to be my new water bottle of choice. ( I have “cup babies” and I am way too happy to add this one to my collection.)

Overall, this day yall, has been top notch. Now I am home, ready to cuddle my little guy and play some Uno! Then after that, is Momma time (AKA-a bath/shower/foot soak) Anybody else doing things like this on your Friday night?

So overall yall, these juices can improve your health, your mood, your whole body. So try to include them in your diet! And maybe try to meet up with Ali, she defintely has that affect on you too. I left on a high -50% Ali / 50% juice.

Have you all been to my newest fav? How do you feel about juicing and smoothie bowls? Have you hopped on board yet? Let me know!

All the love dolls💋

Family · Home · kids

Alllllll about the pregnancy

You guys! I am so excited for this blog post- it’s what everyone has been asking me- and I promised a blog post soon! To be honest, growing this little human has totally knocked me OUT! It’s such a different pregnancy that what my other 2 have been, and I want to tell you friends all about it!

My stomach has been a mess–like nauseous NONSTOP. And headaches are on the menu as well. It’s fab. Not really. But let me say, with my other 2 boys, I had NO SICKNESS. I was happy. No nausea. No puke. No cravings. Now this time, I crave ALL THE FOOD. And I am so moody it’s unreal. Sorry world. Really, so sorry. (I’m in week 11 now and the nausea *I think* is gone! Thank goodness!)

So–lets rewind a bit…Say…..mid-January? We were headed to Ohio for the Cav’s game–remember? This was the first week I started to feel nauseous…I just wasn’t right-and I knew it! The couple weeks even before that, these boobs of mine-ya’ll. They KILLED me. All day, every day-HURT. So needless to say, I had a darn good feeling I was preggo-but still, I obviously didn’t want to let on that my gut feeling was right.

So we went to Buffalo Wild Wings for dinner, and I felt TERRIBLE after I ate…My bestie with me said ” OH geez-every time we eat at a Buffalo Wild Wings, you end up pregnant!” I laughed-because I felt it..but still couldn’t say… ** Our first pregnancy, I was out to eat with a group of friends, felt the weird urge to throw up, ran to the bathroom, puked, felt great, ran back to sit down. “That was odd..I just threw up…But I feel great now!” Oh then the comments came…”You are so pregnant. You are totally pregnant! Etc…” Sure enough…Preggo. (Also, the only time I remember puking with Ford!) So you ladies looking to make a baby-try BWW. Seems to work for me. Heehehe

Anyways, back to this baby. I kept it hid that I wasn’t feeling that great our whole ohio trip. I even took a test before we left (which at this point, I would have been past 6 weeks) that turned out negative so here is where I start to think I’m crazy. But oh well, life goes on.

So January 16th, we were all 4 camped out in the living room, pillows on the floor, tents made out of sheets, and watching Megamind for the 800th time. Before we get into the movie, we decide we’re going to all tell fun bedtime stories… So at some point, it’s my turn. I start out “Once upon a time, there was a princess, and she found out she was going to have a baby….” Dale turns to me so fast and whispers, “Are you serious??!” I just laughed and said ” No, no. It’s just the story. I took a test.” Well the stories continued and the night went on. We all fell asleep in the living room and as the night went on, we all made our ways back to our rooms. (Couch pillow are not that comfy but one fun memory was made for us that night.)

Well the next day, we put the boys to bed, and I just knew at this point I was pregnant. I had to take another test! So I took it, and within a minute, it showed. PREGNANT. I was in utter shock and totally prepared for that at the same time. Although I think the shocked feeling won over. I walked into the living room and started to tell Dale, “So once upon a time there was a princess…(slowly now) ……and she found out she was going to have a baby…” and handed him the test. Now his face—was pure SHOCK. “Are you sure? Are you kidding? Take another.” This always makes me laugh- every single pregnancy this is Dale’s go-to remark. “Take another.” So I immediately ran to the bathroom and took another. (Yes I can pee on command every. Single. Time.) Sure enough. PREGNANT.

We wanted to be excited. This was something we had talked about for a while now! Especially Dale! (((Lately, every night, dale had been rubbing my belly saying “That’s because my little baby is in there. That’s because we are going to have another little Bebe.” This is way before we even knew! This man-he knows all. Even though this was the running joke, I think he knew too. Deep down, he knows me way better than I know myself.)))) He has been talking baby girl for probably 2 years now… But this timing. Wow. We had JUST put our deposits down on a cruise to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. And I kid you not, were taking probably 30+people with us. They all had put their money down. How were we going to tell everyone? I was slightly devastated. And let me tell you, that is hard for me to admit. We love newbies! How could I find out I’m pregnant and not be ecstatic? It was so hard to get past telling everyone at first. We thought we would be hated!

After a bit, and Dale seriously acting as my therapist ( I’m talking, holding me on the couch, in the fetal position, and letting me cry and him telling me it’s going to be a great thing.) Which of course I knew, but I was so worried about everyone else’s opinion it got in the way of my happiness! After I realized that this was crazy talk, I slowly started to get excited and couldn’t wait to tell my family…Starting with our boys!

We waited until the night before we told our family, because Little Cashy boy CANNOT keep a secret. We pretty much threatened him with all his toys he would receive that weekend if he told a soul. ( Yall this is the way to go! This kid was a VAULT. All I can think is “Huh uh..I’m a vault baby, LOCKED DOWN.” Extra points if you can name that movie.) At any rate, we went to our room and shut the door ( don’t laugh, I am a weirdo) and told them we had something very important to tell them. We then showed them a couple pacifiers and asked them who would use those…And went on to explain that there was a tiny baby in Mommy’s belly! My goodness they were so excited- Cutest thing ever! But again, they had to keep the secret until we told everyone!

We never have gotten to do a big reveal, because I am so dang impatient, I can’t wait 2 days to tell people! This time I FORCED myself to wait..and let me tell you that was ROUGH. We are so close to our family and seeing them almost every day made it a difficult secret to keep on local-down. I almost let it slip so many times!

Ok, So technically we found out we were pregnant on January 17th. We told everyone on Feb 2..Here is how it went!

For 3 years now, my family has done a cabin on my grandparents anniversary and we all pick a name of someone to buy a gift for. This year I got my Granny. Yay! This ended up being so perfect for our reveal! So it finally came time for her to open her gift, and one gift had written on it “Open Last”. After all the other gifts, she got to this one, and inside it, was this! (We open gifts one at a time so we can all see what everyone got!)

(Please excuse the TERRIBLE pics. I just snapped them on my phone in the awful nighttime lighting.)

As she opened it, the whole family caught on. “I knew it! I knew it! She’s pregnant? Are you pregnant? Is this a joke? Oh my gosh you ARE pregnant!” FYI the “Is this a joke” comment is totally valid. We like to prank our family into thinking everyone is pregnant. But I promise, I would never do this to my 80+year old granny y’all. She is too presh!

So after all the happy tears and excitement cooled, we got to explain it all to everyone and then Dale immediately called his family. They happened to all be together as well, so that worked out nicely! (Kind of sad I didnt’ get to tell one certain person myself, but ya know, life goes on.)

So there it is yall! Our little story for the third baby! We are so excited and it’s so fun to hear our little guys tell people about he baby in Mommy’s belly. They want a girl 100%…So we are trying to let them know it could be a boy. Well they refuse to accept that so here in about 5 more weeks, our life could get interesting..

Now, I am on to start looking for Maternity clothes and needing to start stocking up on diapers! Life is getting crazier by the minute, and I’m kind of in love 😍.

Any thoughts? Questions? Let me know! And of course,

All the love dolls 💋

Deals · Family · Home

TGIF

Thank the lord it’s FRIDAY!

OH. Wait. I’m a mom. And have sick kids. Sooooo….

Yea. Not too much to celebrate here. But, I am so grateful we only have Bronchitis+ear infection+sinus infections here. It could be worse…My Mom has Strep throat, and my grandfather has the flu. Granny had bronchitis all last week-this family has been hit hard!

Remember that last post where I was so ambitious and was going to do allllll the fun things over Winter Break? You guessed it-those plans fell out the window. Hit hard. And rolled into the high grass next to the road to never be seen again. Let me just say, I have HIGH HOPES for next week..Guess what were doing?

Were heading to Cleveland for a Cavs game!

My heart just skipped a little thinking about it….We went last year and it was genuinely one of the most fun nights of my life. It was also the coldest night I ever remember! The wind was so cold it BURNED. It felt like my skin was being cut through my jeans–my poor thighs were ICE. I felt like those people trying to hike Everest. You are frozen but it doesn’t matter. You are on a mission and you DEAL.

We were some of the only few crazies who were walking around #TheLand before the game to soak in all the Cleveland vibes….and man did we get them. It was Christmas Day so everything was closed of course, except for a couple restaurants but we soaked in every breath of that cold air. Adored every piece of architecture. And cried tears that almost froze from giddy laughter! I am ready for another night like that. Honestly, I think I deserve it.

We have had sickness floating through this house for weeks…Technically months. Ford has been sent home a ridiculous amount of times for a fever. How does that happen? Who just gets a fever every week? I tried to talk the school into keeping him y’all. ( Don’t judge me. I need him to save all the excused absences I can.)

He gets 10 excused absences FOR THE YEAR. We literally have already used 8. That makes me so sick! I hated to miss school as a kid…and vowed my kid wouldn’t miss school unless we were doing something really awesome: like going to a Cavs game. Hehehe.

At any rate, the reason behind the post: THIS COLD WEATHER. I can’t remember a time where Knoxville has been so cold for so long! And you will laugh, because we have only been in the teens and twenties, but it feels so cold! Where all of my family is in Ohio, the windchill has put it at -14 DEGREES. Holy cannoli that is rough. Either way, us Knoxvillian’s must all be sissy’s because we can’t handle it. All I have wanted to do is wear the warmest clothes I have and snuggle on the couch with coffee and my favorite blanket.

Anybody with me? I know of so many Mom’s who are soaking up the time at home (because leaving the house is TOO MUCH WORK) and to leave might just threaten your cheeks with frostbite. I feel so badly for all of our friends who have to work outside in this mess. And think of all the ones who are stuck in FEET of snow. ( Ok I am actually kind of jealous of those people-I have never seen snow of the sort!) Either way guys, please stay safe this winter. It’s a mess!

Next order of business: I want to show some of my favorite people my FAVORITE snuggle blanket of all time. You can’t buy it at a store. You can’t order it online. It’s one of a kind. And I MADE IT. Me!

I am so proud of this thing. It was my first big quilt..and dolls, it is BIG. I made it big enough to fit on our bed buuuuttt…..it’s crooked. Like-really crooked. ( I had no idea what I was doing BTW.) And i was devastated at first. On top of it looking all jankety, I saw every. Single. Flaw.

But now, I have come to love this thing so much. When family and friends come, it’s the first blanket they reach for. People visit for the first time and ask where I bought it. (Now that one makes me feel great.) I love to be able to tell them I made it years ago when I first got a sewing machine of my own (and it has turned into a staple in our house.)

It took months to finish and I had no idea what I was doing–and I had to piece it together, triangle by triangle .Then attach batting to the middle. I also had to piece together a quilt of some ugly sort to the back because it was so huge there isn’t fabric at Joann’s big enough to cover it. Again-HUGE.

Either way, I don’t have too many THINGS that mean too much to me. I am actually a compulsive trasher/donator. I went through my drawers today and got rid of all the socks/undies I don’t wear. Baby SISSSSTER!!!!!! Get ready for a huge bag of knee socks! (The undies got thrown away. No worries yall.)

But this blanket y’all , it’s now a piece of me. Maybe even tradition if you will. It may be our newest ‘horse blanket.” I don’t expect you to know that that is, but I will happily explain:) My Mom’s grandmother made a blanket and we inherited it. It was covered in horses of different colors and tattered to pieces. As kids, we all used it and never thought a thing of it-til it was gone. I would kill to have that blanket back now. The sentimental value is irreplaceable even years after it has been gone.

I am hoping one of these days, this blanket of mine will be my kid’s “horse blanket.” The blanket that is used nonstop. The one people ask about when they come to visit for the first time. The one that means the most to them as time goes on.

Don’t ask my why I have become so attached to this large piece of fabric. It’s just smaller pieces of fabric sewn together. Nothing fancy. Even still, I am not realizing how important blankets are in this house. I made Ford a blanket when he was 6 months old. He immediately loved it and I was thrilled! He quickly became attached, and got to the point that he wanted a specific corner near his face to fall asleep-weird, I know. We couldn’t even tell the difference between the corners, but he could! So as we put him in bed, we would rub each corner on his cheek until he gave us the OK that this was THE corner. When he got to the point where he could talk, he would tell us he wanted his “corner”. Not even his blanket. He had to have the “corner.” Crazy I know-but totally true.

Looking at that blanket now, you know exactly which corner it is. Because it been sewn back together countless times. Because it’s tattered. It’s falling apart. But he still sleeps with it every night: religiously.

We have only had one instance where we left it at a restaurant in Florida. We noticed it about 20 minutes out and immediately ran back for it. Whew! That was a close one. I can’t imagine how that trip would have gone if we lost that blanket. Not good ya’ll. Not good.

Dale’s Momma knit him a blanket with a huge OSU “O” in the middle and he loves it. It the sweetest! It just goes to show how much we love our blankets around here! We each have one here that we love, and I hope it always stays that way forever-that there is something we each cherish.

Ok yall-the blanket rant over. Promise.

Is there any particular THING you have that you cherish like we do? Any items that have been handed down for generations that you love? Or maybe something you have that you want handed down? Let me know! I love knowing your stories!

All the love dolls 💋

Family · Home · kids

Ectopic Pregnancy -My experience

*This is another one of those Lady only reads y’all…Believe me . Men-step away.*

So what is an ectopic pregnancy?

Most women refer to it as a ‘tubal pregnancy’, and most women would never think it would happen to them! It is when pregnancy occurs in the Fallopian tube instead of the uterus where a healthy pregnancy has to take place. Tubal pregnancies only occur in 1-2% of all pregnancies and can be life threatening to the mother if not treated.

I know a few people already know, but in between my 2 boys, I had an ectopic or “tubal” pregnancy. It was one of the -for lack of a better word-weirdest experiences of my life. *Please know, this is just my experience and everyone’s will be different! Please don’t let this freak you out at all! I just wanted to share with you all. If you think you are having any issues with your pregnancy, see your doctor!*

Like I said, it was after I had Ford, and we were just in the process of talking baby #2. Want to know my whole story? Grab a snack because this is a long one…

I was going to be spending the day with my Mom, dropping her at a routine appointment and knew she would be a while. I decided to run to the mall for some fun shopping to kill some time!

The shopping fun ended up being short lived. I can remember exactly where I was standing when I got the most HORRIBLE pain in my lower left abdomen. I could pinpoint it, it was so direct. ( I also happened to be underwear shopping in VS..and 1 year old in tow.) So as I get this striking pain, Ford is running around VS like a wild man. I am doubled over next to a table of pretties, and feeling some of the worst pain I can remember. I knew something was wrong and right then got a call from my Dad asking for me to pick him up at his truck.

I book out of the mall to the car. As soon as I got to the car, it hit me. Oh shoot…. I have to poo..It’s bad. Gotta go. .. *Keep in mind–I never get this feeling. Ever.* So here is where it gets gross…Men, if you are still here, turn away now! I ran back into the mall, to the bathroom, and there was no poo. At all. Just total blood. The toilet was full and I was scared. So not knowing what to do next, I just got cleaned up, hopped in the car and drove to get my Dad. He jumped in the driver’s seat and I moved to the passenger seat and laid my seat back. He asked, “What are you all going to do today?” I was in allllllll the pain and still freaking out, but just said “ahhh…probably go to the ER.” He looked over at me and said “Why? What’s wrong with you.” Then I am shaking a little and say ” I’m in awful pain and I am bleeding.”

He goes into total Dad mode and says so matter-of-factly, “I’ll keep Ford. I’ll drop you off at the ER. Then I will pick up your Mom and we will be back over here right after.” *Her appointment happened to be right next door to the hospital, so overall, perfect conditions for this crazy situation*

I couldn’t get a hold of my Hubbs to explain to him that I was in the ER for quite some time, and while ‘ectopic’ was in the back of my mind, I didn’t mention it to him when I finally reached him! He was on a job pretty far away, and he said he would be over right away but I told him not to worry. “By the time you get here, we will be gone. No worries! I”m fine! I’ll see you in a few hours!Love you!”

In the meantime, I am getting all of these tests done. Ultrasounds. Bloodwork. Urine tests. Everything. I can’t remember exactly how it all went, but after so long one of the nurses asked me the million dollar question “Is there a chance you could be pregnant?” I proceeded to give her my million dollar answer. ” I mean, I’m married. Isn’t there always a chance I could be pregnant?” I am still in decent spirits at this point, mind you.

At some point, one of the nurses is finally brave enough to tell me what is going on. Before this moment, not a single one would leak even a smidgen of detail! I can picture them all now outside the nurses desk talking “Awww..how awful….I don’t want to tell her!……Well, I certainly won’t be the one.” Etc.

Whoever the brave soul was that stepped up, explained to me that I was experiencing an ectopic pregnancy. She told me my HCG levels were raised just enough to show I might be pregnant, but not like they should be. She then showed me the ultrasound of the tube with the tiniest little dot/blur ever! “You see that little tiny dot? That is the start of pregnancy-but it’s stuck in the tube. When babies come-in order for them to survive-they have to be in the uterus. I’m so sorry honey.” This is the vague explanation which was accompanied by condolences that I don’t quite remember, but I know they tried to console me in some very nurse-like way.

But at this point, I am in total shock. I can’t believe my first inclination was right.

Now I have to call Dale to explain, that I am technically pregnant, but our baby won’t live. So I make the call and I am crying and trying to explain this….”I’m pregnant but…” He is saying so happily, “You ARE?? You ARE PREGNANT??” And of course I lose it. “Babe, It’s an ectopic pregnancy. The baby can’t live.” He had never heard of one and was so optimistic “No I am sure there is something we can do. There’s gotta be something.” I had to tell him I would explain it all when I saw him, that it was the same thing that happened to our family member. We just caught mine extremely early. The nurse said I had to have only been 2 days pregnant or so and that’s why it was so difficult to 100% “diagnose”, hence every test known to man being done.

They told me as long as HCG levels were rising, the baby was still “alive”. When the levels started to drop, we knew the baby had passed. I want you to know how hard that was-to know I was still growing a baby that had no chance at life. And was just waiting for it’s life to end. It’s all I could think about! So over the next two weeks I had to continue to get blood drawn to check HCG levels ( I think I went twice before the levels dropped.) *This makes me feel so sick now to put in actual words for the world to see. I feel like there is no delicate way to say it.*

So now we knew the baby was gone, but it was still in the tube. The doctor gave me a couple options-and was so gentle and sweet with the way he worded it all. I can’t remember his name or exactly what he said, but I remember his demeanor and thinking how it was so crazy to me that a man could be this understanding to a mother. He said he would take all the time needed to explain to me the options as to what to do next, and would do his best to make us comfortable. That meant so much to me and I am still so appreciative!

We decided to go with a Methotrexate shot. It sometimes can be used when a person has Cancer, as it rids your body of anything foreign-anything it doesn’t recognize. In this case, the embryo of our lifeless baby. This was such a difficult concept for me to wrap my head around, but we talked with the older men in our congregations about it. They explained to us this shot would be ok since we already lost the baby, and would have had no way to develop as it was. One elder in particular, also couldn’t believe he was hearing this for the second time–as a close family member had an ectopic as well. They are so uncommon, and we both ended up having one. Hers, on the other hand, was much more severe.

She was further along (I think 7-8 weeks?) and knew she was pregnant for a bit. She started to have some pain and slight bleeding and finally made it to the ER for surgery to remove hers…Long story short…Her’s ruptured while they were operating. If she would have waited a few minutes longer, she could have died! Thank goodness all is well and she is healthy and great now! No problems at all. * I did get permission to post a little about her story, but since it isn’t mine, I will leave it to her to maybe guest blog one day. : ) *

Now mine was different in that it was so small and caught so early I didn’t need surgery. The ‘shot’ would take care of ridding my body of the embryo. *Once again, I feel like there is no delicate way to say any of this. It all sounds so harsh. I wish I could sugar coat it a bit more, but this is all I am capable of dolls.* (They did make me wait 2 weeks to get the methotrexate. This threw me for a loop, as I knew when my family member had one, once they knew what it was, they had to act fast. Not to mention, I had already had to sit and wait for a baby to pass that I knew would never make it. I just wanted this to all end and we could move on! )

Little did I know this shot would send me into full on LABOR. After so many hours, I started getting pain and pressure down low as if I was in full-term labor, ready to push! I was not prepared for that in the least bit. This went on for hours, every few minutes feeling this intense pressure near my rear, and after several bathroom breaks, suddenly, it was over. No more pain. Nothing. Over just like that.

After it was all over, and my hormones started to level out, we got ourselves back to normal! Overall, I look back and think how much worse this could have been. I am so happy I went to the doctor that first moment as I never go to the doctor for pain!

I also, as awful as it sounds, am happy I didn’t know I was pregnant going into it. If I would have known, even for a day-even for a minute-that I was pregnant, I would have been crushed to the core. This is also one of the reasons I think emotionally I bounced back as quickly as I did….. And now thinking back, we always wonder “Maybe that would have been our little girl! Or what would he/she have looked like?” Either way, give or take 6 months we were pregnant again with sweet little Cashy boy and can’t imagine life without him! While we were all thrilled when we first found out, we were also terrified it would happen again! (Your chances are higher to have another ectopic if you have had one before.) Low and behold, everything was perfect and he has been the craziest little addition to our home. We are so thankful for the boys we have, and just can’t picture life any other way.

Ok there it is. One of the craziest parts of my life is now public. As most of you now realize, I am an open book, but for a while, this is something I was not ok to talk much about, except with a few close friends. Now I am to the point I am ok to share, and welcome any questions or comments you all may warrant.

Thanks for reading through my craziness and know, it was over 4 years ago-so it’s not 100% a complete story, but it’s the best I can remember! Again, please, if you think you are having any type of complications with your pregnancy, see your doctor!

All the love dolls 💋

Huge thanks to Jeremy at Upsplash for letting me use this beautiful flower pic!
Family · Home · kids

Bad Moms

Any other bad mommas out there? Raise your hand….

You know, the ones who truly love their kids with every ounce of their being, but still get frustrated over tiny things. The ones who want to be patient, but can’t keep calm when the kids are pushing them over the edge. The ones who truly are trying to do what’s best, but struggle. It happens, I know. I’m there. It’s so hard for me to look back at being the parent of one child and remembering how easy it was. I know I have said it 100 times already, but ask anyone–I loved it. It was simple. We got every single line in the book when we told people I was pregnant-the biggest being “Your life is about to change forever!” First of all: that’s terrifying. Stop telling newbie parents that. Secondly: it isn’t always true. Our first baby was a breeze, and I literally can’t hardly remember getting frustrated with him unless I knew he was acting out on purpose. Now no one ever tells you baby number 2 will “rock your world” or “change your life” but maybe this is the time you should start sharing this knowledge with parents. Little cash money gave us a run for ours, and it was simple for a bit, but as time went on, life got hard and Momma got frustrated. You can see it on my face now-I show the frustration in a second. I can’t handle the noise. Literally, my children are walking, talking, noises. Make that YELLING noises. They tear the pillows off the couch and this. Oh this is my pet peeve. You know why? Because I end up picking them up. Me. Yup. Not the little tornadoes who wrecked the place. It’s. a nightmare. You know what else ticks me? The fact that any other person can tell them “No, no, Let’s not do that” in the sweetest little tone, and when I tell them to stop it has to be at the decibel of 100k UT fans screaming because of the last second Hail Mary catch to win the game.You want to know why I have to be so dad-gum LOUD?? Because they are CONSTANTLY YELLING. Literally-nonstop. Inside voices don’t exist here and it’s beyond my comprehension. Either way, every once in a while, i have these “I am a terrible Mom” thoughts. They sneak up, they take over, and they are the worst. I asked my husband a few nights ago, ” Do you ever get the feeling that you have failed as a parent?” And I am not talking about raising my kids to be decent. They are. But, I mean, feeling like you exploded too hard that day. Or ignored them too much that week. It’s a rough road ya’ll. I had my week last week, and I had my epiphany. When Ford was a babe, I had no smartphone. I had no job (except to be his momma) and I hardly ever got upset. Fast forward 5 years to now, and I have 2 boys who have screaming matches nonstop and send me over the edge sometime. But I can’t blame them. I spoke with a sweet momma friend yesterday who said she tells her son “When I get frustrated, remind me that you are only 5.” And he told his Dad not long after that, ” I am only 5 Dad.” This made me giggle, but I think it’s so important! We have to remember our kiddos are only kiddos, and sometimes life ain’t perfect.. K? I have made a goal for myself to be more present as a mother. To put the phone away as much as possible and really make an effort to be a better Mom. To play longer. To read to them more. To throw the ball for the 700th time. To listen the stories-because to them-those are the really important aspects of life. And you know what, there is some serious wisdom to that. All of us would do well to unplug for a bit. And while I realize, I have a blog, I have to be present in the internet world, I intend to do so at the right time. To not let it take over. I know this will be a long road, but I want to get better by the day. I truly think most of my most frustrated moments could have been avoided if the phone was down. If I wasn’t thinking about what to say to this person. If I wasn’t trying to respond to that email. It’s so hard to balance, but I wan’t to make a concerted effort to do so! In quick addition, can I take a moment to thank all of you all who say I’m “real and it’s refreshing”? That is huge for me . I do my best to be an open book and let you know about the real moments in my life–and be authentic. If you can’t be real, then what is the point? I also do this little bit on Instagram most day that I like to call “Carline Chronicles” where I just give the lowdown on my day. It’s goofy. I know-but you never know what I will say or share, and the element of surprise is always fun, right? SO make sure to follow fun journey Here. Nobody want’s to see fake perfection. So every post, (and Instagram story) I am going to try and be as real as possible. And hoping to improve every week. Anyone on board with me? Does every mama feel this way at some point? I can’t be the only one. Lord, please, tell me I’m not the only one. Fill me in ya’ll. Let me know your thoughts and let’s hope, we aren’t actually bad moms. Per the usual, All the love dolls 💋

Deals · Diy · Family · Home

Easy Door Upgrade

I come from a long line of DIY’ers. I’m a crafter and a do it yourself-er, and it doesn’t look like I am slowing down any time soon.

My sister and I used to come home from school to practically a new house thanks to my Mom. She would repaint walls/furniture, then move it all around just because she was bored with the look, all before dinner-time.

My Granny Judy has been known to knock down walls in the house by herself, (#demoday) simply because she was sick of looking at the wall. Funny enough ,later on-she decided the wall needed to be there-so she helped the foreman put it back up. (She couldn’t do this completely herself, but she was always there helping the foreman throughout the whole process. My hero.) She was ALWAYS the one doing projects around her home, and now if she sees we are doing things around our house, she is itching to help us, just like the old days in her own home.

9 years ago, little did I know, I married a DIY’er as well–and Lordy I am grateful! We have never ONCE had to hire a handyman for any issues around our house. And somehow, he can decipher all of my little ideas and sometimes crazy thoughts, and bring them to life around the house. (Would you like a post on that?)

The latest venture started with one of his ideas–Something as simple as changing the door hinges. Ours were old and brass–and at some point, he bought a box full of beautiful black hinges at a yard sale for $3.00. (Random, but Score) The following was our convo:

D: I think I want to change the door hinges.

B: Just the hinges?

D: Yeah, Why not?

B: I don’t know. I think if we are changing the hinges, we may as well totally update the doors.

D: Like how?

B: (Cue my excited voice) Ok so I really want to sand them down, add trim and-bare with me now– but I want to paint them flat black.

D: Whoa whoa whoa. Black? No!

B: I’m telling you-it will be gorgeous! Trust me. (Finds a pic online. Shoves IPad in his face.)

D: Lord woman. Ok, go buy your trim and paint.

(Brandi Silently squeals for joy at the triumph and immediately leaves for Lowe’s.)

Can I just say- I am EVER SO THANKFUL he takes my ideas and runs with them. And then helps me through all the little things I can’t do. Poor thing-he always thinks my projects will be so simple and they always end up being SO MUCH WORK. This was no exception. Nonetheless, I wanted to share with you all-because if you want to do it-more than likely your project will be 100 times easier than ours. So off I went to Lowe’s to but my trim and paint. Long story short, I bought the wrong trim, and had to take it back. (He ended up cutting us our own trim and I am so THRILLED with the outcome!) So our only expense was the paint which was 25.00 , and a door and cabinet roller which was $5.00. We ended up using a half gallon of paint–and I am so happy I have so much left over for other projects! So in your case, you will need:

  • A gallon of Black paint. (We used the darkest charcoal gray you can get)
  • Small trim
  • Brushes, door rollers, paint pan, etc
  • New hinges (optional)

Here is the process: 1. Take your doors off. I used the drill as it made the task ridiculously easy and saved so much time-but if you want to use the good ol’ screwdriver, go for it. Whatever floats your boat. (Side note-I am addicted to power tools. I love the drill and sander. Love. ) 2. Sand the doors.Now we had an extra step in here, because our doors were painted over varnish. The paint wouldn’t sand down. It just chipped away little by little so we had to scrap EVERY SINGLE OUNCE OF PAINT OFF. (Yup. Here is the extra work we didn’t count on.) (See that mess?? It grew to at least double this–but this husband of mine cleaned it up before I could get a picture. Saint.) This was such a pain in the rear, but totally necessary for our new paint to stick. So we chipped away, until all the paint was gone. And then I sanded. And sanded. And sanded. And sanded…and…..ya know….sanded some more. I used a palm sander, but if all you have is sandpaper, that will work as well! You just need to rough the existing paint up enough for your new paint to stick to it. 3. Apply your trim. I honestly didn’t have a single thing to do with this step. Hubby did it all! He took a 1×4 and cut it into even strips and nailed to the door. This step is optional, but I feel like the trim truly made the doors beautiful! If you decide to buy trim, you can get it at Lowe’s or Home Depot for about $4.00 per piece. I think you would need about 1 piece per door, but depending on how you do your design, every door will be different. Talk to your Lowe’s man for details! (See below for detail shot.) 4. Paint. Paint. Paint. I started with a brush and painted all around the trim on each door. Then I used a door and cabinet roller to paint the rest of the door. I think this roller was important to use, in that I had zero brush lines and the door is so smooth looking! 5. Hang the doors back upNow admire your work! I can’t believe how regal the doors look now. It’s a total difference! Want to see for yourself? This is the before…..Yikes. Ready for the after?????????? Ready…..set….feast your eyes on these babies……Is that not absolutely GORGEOUS????? I can’t get over it. I live for projects like this…and living in an older house-ours is a constant work in progress-and we secretly love it. Now the next project-paint the hallway gray. I can’t wait for the finished project-and I will be sure to share that too! So for everyone who follows on Instagram, now you see what we have been working on! And if you don’t follow, how about you check my page out now? Find me Here. What do you think? How does it look? Do you think you will take this project on? Make sure to pin to Pinterest and share on FB yall! Thanks again, and of course, All the love dolls 💋<<
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Family · Home · kids

Cereal and Hot Chocolate

It’s time for a shoutout.

Ready? It’s for my oldest baby. This kid is amazing. I mean like—phenomenal, and I feel like we as parents always seem to put child no.1 on the back burner for a minute to try and not let child no.2 be a total butthead. (We slack as parents on kid 2. Don’t deny it.)

But this first child? He catches on to everything. He is smart-beyond smart and his little mind goes where other 5 years olds don’t always wander. Ford is always digging deeper into issues than we could ever even imagine he would go, and at the same time, we find him digging himself deeper into our hearts. He wants to understand death. He wants to know how our heart/brain keep us going. He wants to know how trains can wreck if they are always on tracks. (This one I loved) His wonderment blows us away.

He has always had an interest in books and has loved me reading to him since since day 1! He was turning pages in books by himself since he was an infant ( Like hello Mom? You aren’t keeping up with me!) and talked early and clearly because of it!

At 2 years old, Like we had just met and wanted to make sure it was the appropriate way to address me, he looked at me and said “Mom…….can I call you Mom?” What kid does that??? At 4 years old looks at me and says “Mom I have to pee.” So i give him the look of -you can do this yourself/no need to ask permission and say “Okaaaayyyy”. He pops his head up and says “It’s NOT OK. IT’S A DIFFICULT EMOTION.” I could have lost it. Not saying that is some genius kid comment (He obviously didn’t quite comprehend his sentence–I’m just saying-he was 4 years old. What 4 year old says things like that?

And to top it off, his teacher thinks he is phenomenal and that means the world to us as parents. We had parent/teacher conferences last week, and she relieved us of any and every worry we have about him at school. I want to share all the sweet comments she said, but afraid she want’s to keep it confidential as not all kids may have had the greatest reviews. I will say this. She mentioned “I am a nice person, but I am also honest. I am here to talk about each child’s strengths, but I am also here to share the hard stuff with you parents…….And I have none of the hard stuff to say about Ford. He is truly a special child. He cares for everyone and is so good-hearted. I have taught for a long time, and every once in a while you will get one of those truly amazing kids-and Ford is one of them.” I swear there was light beaming from my head from the pride I experienced at that moment. And not even from the academic standpoint, (Which really, if you know me, this is SO IMPORTANT. ) But to know that he is good-hearted. That got us. We couldn’t help but smile when she said he was beyond smart, so helpful and cared about his fellow students. You feel like you are doing something right as a parents when your kids are praised like that.

But lately, he is gaining independence. It’s beautiful and saddening at the same time. So nice to know it’s getting easier around here, but sad to know he is growing so quick!

This past weekend the poor child has had a stomach bug that has knocked him out. Even still, I heard him tell Cash today “Cashy, You have to be quiet! Mom is sleeping!” He knew how exhausted I was from both of them being up several times last night. Then, he made a bowl of cereal for himself for the first time ever-without me knowing. He was so proud to tell me he did it himself! Then when we were standing in the kitchen, Cash wanted a bowl, and Ford said ” Mom, I can do it for you. So you don’t have to.” Sweet, sick angel child. “Ok-go for it.” He climbed up on the counter to get a bowl, reached in the fridge for the gallon on milk, and poured that bowl of cereal like it was for the first place trophy in the counter-climbing olympics. sorry, we used every single small appliance I own today-hence the counter mess

*So sorry–we used every single appliance we own in the kitchen today-hence the huge mess.*

Later, he came into my room and it sounded like I was about to get a multi-million Dollar business proposal thrown at me. “Mom, I would like for you to please show me how to make my own hot chocolate.” Hands folded, Eyes big.

Wow. What a way to ask! “That’s ok bud. I can do it for you.” “I want you to show me.” So off we went to the Keurig! He learned, and I am sure this is just the beginning of this independence. Cereal and hot chocolate. Cereal and hot chocolate made me realize my kid’s growing independence.

Now while this may not seem so huge to you all, it’s crazy hard on this mama to think the boy who made her a mommy, this tiny infant who needed me every waking second, is now wanting to help her.When did the tables turn? His teacher is right. He is phenomenal. Through and through. And tonight I just felt the need to acknowledge it.

And I know, all kids are amazing. We all think are kids are phenomenal. But truly, embrace the little tidbits about them that make them phenomenal! Prove it-talk to others about it. I feel like we all want to shy back from telling the great things about our kids in order not to step on any toes, but let’s share their strengths instead!

Now friends, your turn–tell me what makes your kid awesome. What are their strengths? What do they say that makes you melt? How do they show their growing independence? Let me know in the comments!

All the love dolls 💋