Tag Archives: Friends

happy fourth of july

4 Jul

It is HOT out today.

Actually, if you’re Jason, you are miserable and wondering why in the heck do we live in Arizona again?? It’s over 115 degrees out and not getting cooler anytime soon. He often says that it feels like we live in one giant blow dryer.

Which I would have to agree. It DOES feel like that.

I, on the other hand, am CRAZY. But I really, truly, LOVE the heat! I love Arizona summers and one of my favorite holidays ever each year is the Fourth of July! It’s a day that, for some reason, marks the beginning of TRUE summer to me. It’s a day of swimming, grilling, popsicles, fruit, veggies, flags, bathing suits, frosty beverages, and coca cola out of the bottle. I love summer food like veggie burgers, pasta salads, fruit salads and ICE CREAM after you get out of the pool. It’s awesome. I can totally stand the heat to have days like this.

This is such a great day.

It’s also the day we celebrate not only our freedom but ALL of the men and women who have sacrificed their families, lives, loved ones, and time to fight for our freedom. Isn’t this something we takeĀ for grantedĀ so often? I know I do. So as we celebrate a day off with family and friends, enjoying in all the yumminess of grilling and swimming and ice cream, take a second to remember how blessed we are that so many have fought for us to have freedom in this country.

Happy Fourth of July! From our friends and family, to all of yours!

get out

18 May

TIP #9- GET OUT OF THE HOUSE EVERY DAY. WITH KIDS.

This tip can seem a bit daunting at times. At least to me it does. It takes a lot of time, energy and work to pack up both of the boys, get us all ready, and to actually get out of the house keeping the feeding/napping schedule in mind. Usually we need to go quickly and come home quickly. And being out doing whatever activity it is that we are doing is usually anything BUT relaxing!

But it’s definitely worth it.

Although this isn’t really a tip that will help your work flow or organize your home or workspace, it IS essential for the morale of your whole family. Firstly, it forces you to get everyone ready for the day. No staying in pajamas all day long, although, days like that ARE fun and totally necessary at times too. And it forces everyone to be outside a little bit, usually. Which can’t do anything bad for anyone. But mostly, I find that my kids just need a change of scenery! As hard as it is to actually get out, isn’t it so much easier to be out than be stuck at home with cranky kids who are tired with playing with their own toys?

Yes, it’s totally necessary to get get out almost every day in this household. We all tend to get slightly stir crazy.

PLUS. Doesn’t it just help wear out your kids?? It does mine. And that is one huge key to successful napping! And like I said in this post, it’s important to work while they’re sleeping. So what’s the harm in making sure they sleep well? Wear them out! Plan fun activities! Get a group of moms together who have kids the same age and hang out often. I’ve actually have this in my life now and I love it! I have the same group of friends who have kids all around similar ages of mine. And we hang out multiple times a week in the mornings. I love it! The kids love playing together, and it gives me some adult time with my friends. We don’t usually do anything super expensive. We all have passes to the zoo (a MUST!), or we’ll hit up local splash pads, play areas and parks. Or we’ll grab lunch at the mall or usually Chick Fila. I’ll even just run errands in between Rider’s naps to help get us out. And I’ll try to plan something fun for Cruz even if it’s just the three of us grabbing ice-cream or a quick lunch or something. Simple stuff that’s not far away from home, but that gets all of us out of the house to break up the day.

It’s such a better day when my kids can be outside, running around and with other kids. Instead of cooped up in our house all day with the same walls to look at. So I encourage you! Take some time to plan out your week. Call a few mamma friends and meet at the splash pad! Getting out is good for everyone. And if you’re a stay at home mom, it really helps to have contact with adults outside your house. I know it does for me!

Get on out there! And call me if you want to hang out.

*Images taken with my phone.

be who you are

4 May

This sums it up today. Sometimes I leave conversations thinking and feeling insecure about any and everything that I said. Did they like me because of the things I said? Do they not like me because of the things I said? Are they going to talk bad about me behind my back because of the things I said?

You know you think it too.

I hate insecurity. So much. But this rang true to me today. And reminded me that I am the one who chooses to surround myself with people who either like me FOR ME or don’t. Those that stick around regardless of what comes out of my mouth are the keepers anyways.

Not that bad things are coming out of my mouth. I just like to speak my mind and I’m not afraid to say what I think. I don’t mean to be intense, it’s just who I am.

It’s a work in progress. Aren’t we all?

* Image from HERE.

whoa.

12 Apr

Moving is kind of intense. But we made it and we are getting settled as we speak! We love our new place and I’m pretty happy that we won’t have to move again for awhile. At least that’s the hope! Internet is hit or miss because we are still waiting for ours to be reconnected. But once it is, I’ll be posting Tip #6 on my series for the Working/Stay-at-Home Mammas. So, stay tuned for that.

Until then, aren’t you enjoying this gorgeous weather that is AZ this time of year??? It’s going to get hot so soon!

But actually, secretly, I really love the summers here. I know, I know. Most people hate it. I’m an odd bird. Monsoons are my favorite.

I can’t wait for summer. And all that it always brings!

the beginning of summer

30 Mar

Doesn’t your day just sometimes start wrong?

Mine did. Geesh. I THINK Rider might be getting sick. AGAIN. Just what I need. And Cruz woke up screaming at 5:30 am for no good reason; at least not one that I could figure out.

It ended up being a fabulous morning outside with friends, all of our babies and sprinklers. It was awesome. I love that summer is upon us. I love when days can start out shaky and end up actually being ok. I love when your kids nap well at other people’s homes. I love good food, good friends, and good conversation. I love cookies and coffee. I love sunscreen and water guns. I love the beginning of summer.

This is what my morning consisted of.

And thank God because I really wasn’t in the mood for a bad day.

*Image taken with my cell phone.

book club

26 Jan

I am a part of a book club with three other ladies, who I just love to pieces. We’ve been in this book club together for I think 4 years! And we’ve met every single month over good food and good conversation about whatever book we just finished. It’s so much fun and something I think I’ll be a part of a long, long time. I don’t get to see these three ladies that often, but we can always count of hanging out once a month for sure. And I love it.

After I had Cruz, I totally stopped reading for book club. My days were crammed full with being a brand new mom and being a brand new business owner. Finding time to read was really hard and something that was put on the back burner. I hated it because I love to read and I missed it. I still went to book club and always came saying, “Yep, I didn’t read… AGAIN.” The girls started not being surprised that I hadn’t read that months selection.

But I FINALLY am getting back into the swing of it. And I actually read our last book!!! We met up last night over pizzas, salads and wine and I was actually able to join the conversation about the book! I’m telling you all of this because I want to encourage you to read the book we just read, and to maybe start a book club of your own! It’s truly one of those things that I only do for me and it’s something that I do that doesn’t require being a mom or talking about being a mom. It’s just 4 women getting together as friends to discuss something other than that.

Which is refreshing.

Of course, we all have kids and it comes up- obviously- but it’s a nice break for all of us to catch up, relax and laugh together as girls and as friends.

I’ll always be friends with these three. They are fabulous ladies.

The book we just finished is called ‘True Colors’ by Kristin Hannah. I know you’re probably wondering when you’re going to be able to find time to read, but if you enjoy reading make time for it. It refuels me in a lot of ways and knowing that three other people are reading the book with me is really a lot of fun!

Check it out. It’s a good read!

not just a mom

13 Jan

I had a great day today.

Part of it had to do with the fact that I was able to get out of the house- ALONE- today. I went to coffee with a client/friend and I went grocery shopping- ALONE.

So that was refreshing. It was just really nice to get out kiddo free for awhile.

Things are getting better, I think. I guess it’s hard to tell just by a few days. But I honestly am starting to feel better. There haven’t been many tears shed by yours truly in the past few days and I’ve actually gotten some sleep too. I re-started doing Weight Watchers again, since I severely fell off that wagon weeks ago. I started going to a Bible study and I’ve set up a weekly coffee date with a very close friend of mine who I can confide in about anything. I’ve known her for years and she’s one of the people I’ve really been missing since she used to live down the street from me. So it’ll be great to have adult time with her every week. I started reading again- I’m in a Book Club and have been for the past 4 years. Ever since I’ve had Cruz, I have really slacked at finishing reading the books that we’ve read. And I love to read. And I’m obsessed with my amazing girls that are in the Book Club with me. So I’ve committed to myself to reading again and I cannot put the book down that I am reading right now. I’m enrolling in a dance class. That’s right- you heard me. A dance class. I majored in dance for two years while I was in college and I started dancing when I was 6. Here’s a picture to prove it:

I love to dance and while I’m absolutely not anticipating going professional with it again, it IS great exercise and something I really enjoy doing. And it’s a huge goal of mine to get rid of the baby weight. I don’t have much to go, but I really gotta get rid of the rest of it. So I’m going to dance. Not tap, but probably jazz or maybe ballet again.

So what’s the point to all this?

What I’m saying is that I’m figuring out ways to focus on ME more. I am a mom, yes. But it’s not ALL that I am. And while I haven’t forgotten this, my life was starting not to reflect this as much. Meaning, I haven’t really been taking care of myself much. I’ve been too focused on getting the hang of having two kids and working. And that means I’ve just been in the apartment a lot, focused on EVERYONE else but me and taking care of myself.

So after I went to the doctor, I took a step back and evaluated what my week looked like. And there wasn’t really one single thing during my week that didn’t include Cruz & Rider in it. It didn’t take me long to take a mental inventory of all the things I used to do the fulfilled me and enriched my life before I had kids and I realized that I had started to abandon those things. I haven’t really had anything that I’ve been doing that is just for ME.

And that’s not the mom I want to be.

I always want to be the mom that has other focuses, dreams, goals, activities. I don’t want to be the mom that ONLY talks about her kids, their schedules, their sleeping/eating habits etc. Because after all, I AM my own person still, you know? Just because I’m a mom doesn’t mean I’m not still a women. And while I have changed a lot since having kids, I’m not ONLY a mom. It’s not what defines me. It’s a huge part of me and my life and I’m super proud of it. It does take up most of my day, every day. And it will for the rest of my life. But there’s still a huge other part of me that is still ME and still likes doing other things and has other interests. I know this is so incredibly simple. Everyone knows this stuff, right? But it’s so easy to get caught up in the day to day of being a mom, the stresses, exhaustion, and chaos that follows having children, and to forget what life was like before them.

I was starting to do that.

And I just really started losing sight of all the things that I loved prior to them entering my life. So I readjusted a few things and on top of feeling better, I actually am starting to feel excited about doing several things that are just for me. It’s so important to remember who you are as a women, and not just a mom. Being a mom is something that I am and something that I do. But it’s not all that I am or do. It’s not all I want to talk about. It’s not all I want to think about. While it is something that I love doing and cherish every day, it is really nice to have breaks where you can just be a woman. Someone who still has hopes, dreams, and desires for herself that aren’t only about being a mom. It’s nice to do things for yourself that you loved doing before they were born. And it’s ok to be away from them to do them. Not only is it ok, but it’s good for you and for them too.

I’ve just been caught up with being a good mom and wife that I’ve completely forgotten to take care of me.

Well, a few things are changing. And I am so glad that they are. I know I can be a better mom if I focus on myself a little bit. It’s so important to still nurture yourself. You can’t give of yourself if you are empty. And I’ve got two little boys that deserve the best from me.

I can feel the weight lifting a little bit. And it’s an amazing thing.

PS: Andrea & Alex, we NEED to go to Sedona again. Seriously. How fun was that?? And remember this?

He was SO little and SO cute. Aw.

cruz’s 2nd birthday

27 Nov

I keep saying it, but I seriously can’t believe that I have a two year old. It’s pretty amazing how time flies and how much they change so quickly. I was looking back at pictures of him, and it’s hard to even believe that he was that little once.

It goes too fast.

We had such a great day on his birthday and at his party, which was a few days after his actual birthday. He was actually in a great mood all day long and he was very obedient, which was relieving because I thought for sure he was going to get his fair share of time outs and discipline, due to the nature of the stage we are in (terrible twos). But he was such a good boy all day which made the day a lot of fun and very enjoyable for all of us! Getting presents first thing in the morning probably helped a little.

Then we ate breakfast and I packed up the boys to head to the zoo for the day! I brought so much stuff into the zoo (the joys of having a newborn) and so I wasn’t able to take AS many pictures as I would have liked. We did recently get a new flip video camera, which is super easy to use, so I did manage to get a lot of videos while we were at the zoo, but taking pictures was a little harder. I managed to snag a few though! We went with some ladies, Kristen and Christine, who I have made very good friends with and they have kiddos that are the same age as Cruz. He loves Reagan and Braden and talks about them all the time! It’s always fun when we can get them all together. They’re such great little buddies. I hope we have years of playing with them.

Christine was SO sweet and made cupcakes for the kids so we could celebrate Cruz’s birthday while we were at the zoo. She knows how much he LOVES Toy Story, so she made a few cupcakes and drew the alien from the movie on the cupcakes in frosting. I wasn’t sure if Cruz was going to actually eat the cupcakes. He’s totally hit or miss with what food’s he’ll actually eat. But he dove right in and loved it!

That following Saturday, we had his birthday party at Peter Piper Pizza! I chose to have it here because it’s a fun place and I knew set up and clean up were going to be relatively simple. And I was right! During this season of our lives, I’m all about making things easy. And it was actually perfect. We reserved an entire section for his party and I brought Toy Story decorations for the table. I made super simple cupcakes, we ordered pizza, and I was actually able to relax and talk to our friends and family and didn’t have to worry about refilling chip bowls. It was really great.

Cruz has actually never tried pizza. If he did, it’s a guarentee that he would love it. Who doesn’t love pizza?? So he was the kid that sat and ate yogurt, pretzels and a granola bar while all his little friends devoured yummy pizza. We tried to get him to taste it, but it wasn’t happening. So I let it be.

Everyone ate, played games and it was great to catch up with people we haven’t seen in awhile, as well as with some we see all the time!

I was wondering if we should actually sing to Cruz. I know that’s a stupid thought- OF COURSE you have to sing to the birthday boy! But I know my son well, and I knew that he would not understand what was going on and that he would get upset if everyone started singing. This is him looking at all of us as we were gathering around him, all eyes on him, preparing to sing to him and wish him into his 3rd year of life.

And this is exactly what happened once everyone started singing. Ha! I haven’t figured out what it is about a lot of people singing that he doesn’t like; I think he gets easily embarrassed, but I’m not really sure. We just try to reassure him that everything is, in fact, OK and not to baby him to much. But he got a hug from me because it was his birthday and I didn’t want him to cry. But I DID want Jay to keep snapping through it all. And I’m so glad we captured his infamous lip!

Then we opened presents. He’s finally figured out how to rip into the wrapping, so his birthday this year was a lot of fun in that aspect. He was so blessed at his party. We were surrounded by so many amazing people, he got some really fun new toys (and THREE Buzz Lightyears!) and were able to relax and eat and enjoy the Saturday.

It was such a great birthday for him! We are so blessed by such amazing family and friends; people who genuinely love us and our boys. This season of motherhood has had very difficult moments for me, but it’s also been full of many fantastic moments as well. I feel like I’m always talking about the bad, because it’s so easy to feel so overwhelmed at times. But it’s days like this, that we were able to celebrate our little man, which I’m reminded in a huge way about how awesome this journey is. That we are making memories of his lifetime that he will look back on (in pictures) and remember forever. It was such a fun day for him. When we drive by Peter Piper Pizza now, he points out the window with his little finger and shouts, SHOUTS (in the car!) “BUR-DAY!!”.

And every time he does it, I smile and remember that ALL of this is worth it.

Happy 2nd Birthday Cruz! You are such a blessing to our lives and to our family! I’m so blessed to have been chosen to be your mamma, and I am so excited to watch you grow and to celebrate your life each and every year! We love you so much!

pen pals

11 Nov

I am proud to be able to say that I have had the same pen pal since I was in the fifth grade. How awesome is that? I met my pen pal, Carissa, when I was ten years old. Our fifth grade teachers were good friends, but lived in separate states. I lived in Arizona while Carissa lived in Illinois. Our teachers thought it would be a fun idea to pair up their classes and assign a pen pal to each student. We had a couple of assignments to write to one another a couple times, had certain questions to ask etc. And I’m not sure what it was, but Carissa and I just totally hit it off! And believe it or not, we’ve been writing to one another ever since!!

Her sister has an old friend who actually lives in Arizona, so almost eight years ago Carissa and her sister were able to come out to Arizona for my wedding and I met her IN PERSON! We had been writing for years and years, since we were little girls, and we were actually able to meet face to face! What a special meeting it was. Here I was, meeting someone who knew SO much about me, but who I had never seen in person. We had swapped pictures of course, but I had never even had a phone conversation with her. It was so special that she was able to come to my wedding.

This past September, the week of my due date with Rider actually, she was in town again! I was so thrilled that we were able to meet up once again and catch up on life IN PERSON. It’s only happened twice in our lives, and it’s always so special when it does. This friend is such a special friend to me. We’ve seen each other through A LOT. We’ve been life long friends since we were little girls. Now we are both grown and each have two little boys of our own and we are still in touch. I love it because I just know that we will always be friends. It’s truly a special friendship- a unique friendship that I don’t have with anyone else.

I mean seriously. How cool is that?

Carissa, it was so great to see you in September, even though I was bigger than big! Ha! Your friendship means tons to me and I’m so happy we’ve kept writing all these years- 18 years to be exact! Crazy, right?!

And I promise, one of these days I’ll come to Illinois to visit you! I promise!!

pumpkin painting

5 Nov

I’ve been meaning to post this ever since we did this! We were invited to go paint pumpkins and have lunch one morning last week before Halloween. I was thrilled! I’m always looking for ways to get Cruz out of the house and to hang out with other mom’s that have kiddos Cruz’s age. It’s hard right now for me to get out as much as I did prior to Rider’s arrival, but I’m trying to do the best I can. So when this opportunity came our way, I thought it would be a great outing for Cruz. And I was stoked to spend the morning with some amazing women as well.

All the kids were so cute and everyone was so excited to paint pumpkins on this day. I thought for SURE that Cruz would be all over this project because he’s been slightly obsessed with pumpkins ever since Sesame Street did a segment using pumpkins to count to the number seven. So I just envisioned him diving in with both hands, making a mess and painting the entire pumpkin.

And that’s where I was wrong.

Cruz DID paint the pumpkin. But barely. He painted a few adorable stripes onto his pumpkin and was the first one to jump down and be all done. I had to snap pictures super fast to get any good pictures of him because he was done and onto other things so quickly! I’m not sure why I was surprised, I should have seen it coming. His attention span isn’t very long, especially when it comes to crafts, but I guess I thought he’d see all the other kids painting and want to paint too. But he painted a little bit and just wanted to play in the rocks. That’s my son!

After he jumped down, I snapped a picture of his masterpiece. It actually melted my heart a little bit. He’s such a sweetie.

All of the other kids that were there painted for quite a bit longer and I loved snapping pictures of all his little friends. We had such a fun morning doing this! And while Cruz only painted for a fraction of a second, I know he had a great time. We placed his pumpkin up on our counter top at home and he would always point to it and talk about painting pumpkins. So I know that it was memorable for him, even though it didn’t last too long for him. I had to post a few of my favorite pictures that I took that day to share. And if you were one of the mammas that were there that morning, I have a disk of all the pictures I took for you.

We are so incredibly blessed to be surrounded with great, amazing friends in this new community that we are still adjusting to a little. I only wish I could spend more time with everyone! It was such a great day!