Monday, October 13, 2014

Fun Family TV Spots

Apparently letting your kids jump in their beds can be a good thing. Pampers thought my girls were pretty cute bouncing around in there, so a couple of clips from right after Zoe came home made it into an online Pampers commercial. This mommy is pretty tickled about the whole ordeal. And it gave us a little cash to start college savings account for each of them! Way to be cute kiddos... #babygotmoves



Mommy also did a little tv spot for a great organization called Child Advocates. Child Advocates speaks up for abused children who are lost in the system and guides them into safe environments where they can thrive. I am proud to represent them in this PSA along with Houston Texan, Chester Pitts, and Houston Dynamo, Brian Ching.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Oh How We Love the Pumpkin Patch

Since Arella was an itty bitty baby, we've been going each year to the Pumpkin Patch at the Old Christmas Tree Farm not too far from our house. It's cheap and full of awesome.

Last year I posted pics from the first three years because it was fun to watch Arella's little face grow and change inside that pumpkin cut-out. But this year, with three kids three and under, well, we had mostly outtakes. Which are really the best kind of kid pictures anyways!

I did sneak a few sweet ones in there, but Arella was leading the charge in a silly mood so silly is what we have. This is the best picture of the three of them together I could get. Apparently sticking your head in a hole can capture attention for .2 seconds.


This is the same cutout that you can see Arella and Zoe in from last year.


We attempted a classic group picture of the kids in the pumpkins, but it was too bright. I love how they're being sweet to each other, though.


Snagged a couple of fun ones on the train.



Got lots of silly faces.




Discovered we have a flasher in the family.






Performed a plank on a pumpkin pile.


And scored a few sweet smiles at the end, too.




Oh how we love the Pumpkin Patch.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The Fog Is Lifting

The last three months have been a bit foggy. Jobs were lost and sleep disappeared. We've been stumbling along, hands out in front attempting not to bump into anything, slightly disoriented in the haze of our sleep-deprived and over-stressed brains.

We've been down this road before. No jobs, no insurance and pregnant. It was a scary time, but it turned in to a beautiful, wonderful season of trust and growth. Because we trusted God, He grew us right out of our comfort zone and into dependence on Him and not this world.

I'll admit, it's still a bit scary. But because we've been down this road before, it makes it easier to trust God with the outcome. I know this time around the road has a different destination, but I trust the Driver 100%. I just threw the map out the window and have decided to enjoy the ride and any scenic stops we make along the way.

The fog seems to be lifting slightly, and we're starting to see a vague idea of what lies ahead.


That was a text conversation with Hubby this afternoon. This journey reminds me a lot of the first time I jumped off the 10 meter platform. I was scared and intimidated. My friends that had already jumped were watching and waiting for me to go. I didn't want to let them down. I didn't want to be a chicken. But I kept looking over the edge, and I was so overwhelmed with fear I was nearly paralyzed.

But in those moments at the top, I remembered I had climbed up there determined to jump off. My desire to jump was greater than the fear holding me captive at the top. Even though I was still scared, I gathered up the little bit of courage I did have and jumped.

This was my home on the 10 meter at the Woodlands Athletic Center
where I trained for 15 years.

It was terrifying and awesome all at once. And I wanted to do it again. I was hooked. When I got back to the top, the fear crept back into my brain, but the difference this time was I knew I would enjoy the free fall.

So this time, I'm choosing to enjoy the jump, the journey, the road ahead. Every time I have trusted God over believing the lie of fear, He has caught me. When I keep my eyes focused on Jesus, I don't sink below the waves of this world.

Thank You, Lord, for giving me the opportunity to take another leap of faith. Thank You for stretching me, growing me, encouraging me, and reminding me that You are bigger than any fear I face.  Thank You for telling me to join you on the water so I can focus on You instead of the storm.


Monday, September 29, 2014

How NOT to Prepare for an Event

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend my first blog conference, Blog Elevated. I was super excited to learn all things blog, meet new people and just have a fun little weekend.

l-r: Me, Justina, Kristen, Jessica

In preparation for this new adventure, I read a lot of great blog posts like 8 Tips to Rock Your Blog Conference and In My Conference Bag and When Your Style Goes From URL to IRL. Ya'll, I'm a seasoned traveler and a preparation nerd. I'm an over planner. I have been since my competitive diving days, and it's carried over into the few family trips we've taken.

However.

Something has started concerning me in recent weeks. I've been trying to deny it and keep it a secret. But it's gotten to a severe enough stage that I can no longer avoid discussing it. I seem to have developed a mild-to-moderate health condition.

There's this old wives tale that when you become pregnant you can develop a condition called "baby brain." I scoffed at this. I never had any issues remembering things in my first pregnancy. Then I birthed the kid. And not too long after, we went and got another one. Just a year later, we had number 3. In the months since number 3's birth, my brain function has severely depleted. In fact, I've discovered that my mental state seems to be a direct reflection of the number of times number 3 wakes up during the night. If number 1 or number 2 get up as well, I'm almost catatonic the following day.

I've mentioned my Mommy Burnout on here before, but now we're beginning to see the fallout.


I think some all of you parents reading this can probably relate. If you can't, well, I may not be able to talk to you for a few years out of sleep envy.

The conference was just a hop, skip and jump from our neck of the woods down to Galveston, so we decided to make a family trip out of it. I researched Moody Gardens til I had it memorized. I knew everything there was to know about our destination AND the conference. But in my sleep deprived stupor, I apparently neglected a few important details.

View from our floor at the Moody Gardens Hotel.

Every once in a great while, we will have moments of brilliance. Unfortunately they are generally followed by equally incredible moments of absurdity. We packed every single thing in the house needed to possibly take care of the kids while we were away. We managed to leave right at nap time which meant all three kids promptly fell asleep in the car. Perfect. Beautiful. Hubby and I even got to have long conversations on the drive down while sleep was happening in the back seat.

When we arrived at the hotel, I bounced happily into the lobby to check us in while my family patiently waited in the car. I gave the lady my name and waited. And waited. She asked me if it could be under a different name. I tried my maiden name. She looked concerned. I started to panic. She asked if I had a confirmation number. I started to look through my email on my phone and dread set in. I didn't remember ever getting a confirmation email. As many times as I checked out the hotel and called to ask questions, I don't remember ever going through the booking process. And there it is... we didn't have a room.

Fortunately there was a room available, though, phew...

Me with the littles in the sprinkles wandering around.

We hauled everything up to the room, wandered around a bit, ate dinner, then went back to the room so I could get ready for the welcome reception. After discovering that I had forgotten to pack some... ahem... unmentionables, we also realized that we hadn't really told or prepped the girls that I would be leaving at bedtime for an event. So my poor husband was left to put three mildly upset kids to bed, in one room, in the dark, in a strange place by himself. This became the norm for all sleep and nap times for the weekend.

But this is why I'm nominating Hubby for Daddy of the Year. Count 'em- 1, 2, 3!

All three sleeping peacefully in the hotel room.
 
Although I was up almost every hour each night we were there, I had the honor of an early breakfast date with a daughter each morning.

Friday morning with Zoe.

Saturday morning with Arella.

And I met awesome new friends each day and night.
 
l-r: Me, Becky, Maureen, Bon, Cathi

Although I wasn't all put together and may have been sporting super attractive bloodshot eyes from lack of sleep, I still received a boatload of education, had a blast and left feeling more confident and with a lot of very cool new friendships.

Thank you Blog Elevated (Bobbie and Lisa) for creating such an awesome conference that I could enjoy and learn from even in my current state of lunacy.

Hoping to check it out again in 2015 with a little more sanity in tow.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

10 MomNinja Skills

When you become a parent, you magically acquire a set of skills, kind of like you just powered up on Super Mario Bros. You are suddenly able to do things you could never do before... or maybe just never thought or tried to attempt.

I've talked about our alter egos before in Mission: Impossible Baby. But with these alter egos comes a set of weird and fantastic skills that temporarily turns us into MomNinja and the occasional DadNinja.

In my short three years and three kids worth of parenting, I have so far acquired the following set of skills, some of which are temporary but, I believe, some may be a permanent new talent:

  1. Catching mosquitoes with two fingers.
  2. Hearing a crying child through brick walls from a block away.
  3. A look that stops a child in her tracks.
  4. Kisses that heal wounds.
  5. Ability to sense a fever by swiftly brushing my cheek against a forehead.
  6. Catching throw up with a single hand without looking.
  7.  Sensing a urine stream or poopsplosion about to strike before taking off a diaper.
  8. Ability to complete any task while almost fully asleep.
  9. Holding sleeping baby in awkward position for long periods of time with little to no fatigue.
  10. Immediate knowledge of where any lost toy or blanket can be found.

More experienced ninja parents, what have you acquired that I may look forward to in the future?

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Another Great Mom Parody- "All About That Bass"

As I'm sitting at a cafe having some much needing "space" from family, I stumbled upon this.


"I Just Need Some Space" by Meghan Trainor
"All About That Bass" Mom Parody

You can follow her over at mylifesuckers.com


Monday, September 15, 2014

An Enchanted Journey

This sign hangs above the front desk at the girls' preschool.
It's pretty much their life motto.
So it made me want to share with you a peek at
the enchanted journey they're on... together.






O
nce upon a time
, there were two little girls in a land called Texas.


They came from very different places, but their love was instantaneous.


Though they loved each other, some days they tried to hide and not let their feelings show.


But they soon realized that they were better when they put their heads together.


They came up with an idea, to take a giant step of toddlerkind...


...and set off on a journey together.


On their quest, they ventured into magical lands,


discovered new creatures,


seized castles,


and rescued their little Prince Charming.


Along the way, they realized they were stronger together, an unbeatable team.


They learned to wait out the storms of life,

 

lift each other up,


shelter each other from the rain,


take care of each other when they're sick,


and face the waves head on.


When they do life together, they can conquer mountains.


Some days they feel invincible, like they can fight crime


and fires.

 

They're just kool kats.


 Then there are days when they feel conflicted,

 

like they need a get-a-way car instead.


 The journey may not always be comfortable.

 

They will need someone they can trust to listen,


someone whose shoulder they can cry on,


someone who will pray for them at any time,



and someone they know will walk out this life right next to them.


They want to love on people of all sizes and stations in life,


and to give that love away


until their cups overflow.


 "Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another."
-1 John 4:11


"
May the God of endurance and encouragement grant you to live in such harmony with one another, in accord with Christ Jesus, that together you may with one voice glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore welcome one another as Christ has welcomed you, for the glory of God." -Romans 15:5-7