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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

{stop the essays}

STOP. Just stooooooopppppppppppp. Enough of these essays already people; I can't take it anymore.  Here's the thing.  I am a wishy-washy person.  It's who I am.  Don't get the wrong idea, my core values are unchanging and unchangeable.  BUT when it comes to trivial things, I can go either way at any given moment.  I straddle many lines.  And my mind/persona cannot take being swayed by one more Internet essay.

For example, I am a born & bred Republican.  One of my favorite people in the world is a Democrat (don't worry, I won't publicly out you and reveal your secret!) and when she explains to me why she leans that way, it makes sense to me.  Perhaps because I am wishy-washy.  Or perhaps because the way I am created is that my heart bleeds for humanity and on some level relates to people wherever they are and for whoever they are.  I have many friends that are beautiful and charmed and wealthy and when I am with them, I can see and feel the world from that point of view.  It clicks with me.  But then I can turn and meet someone who is the polar opposite; who comes from nothing and lacks what seems like everything and my heart is instantly engaged and that clicks with me too. I "get" country club life, luxury cars, million dollar homes, designer clothes and over priced lattes.  But I "get" run down duplexes, public transportation and working six days a week at the deli to make ends meet too.  I am, by nature, an empathizer, seeing bits of myself in everyone....relating on some level to other people....seeing them where they are at and understanding it (even if only a little bit).  One of my best friends is a heels in the sand, dying on the mountain top for her cause type (and I love that about her). But it's so not me.  I may not agree with animal cruelty, but I would jump at the chance to take my kids to the circus. I don't have many mountain tops to stand on because the view, as I see it, is always changing and is always a little different.

Which leads me to me growing frustration with all of these essays floating around online. For the past several weeks, this has been driving me crazy.  Every day I wake up to new Facebook posts about the trend of the day/week in either mom defense or bashing.  If you tell me that it is terrible for me to be on my iPhone too much and that I am missing out on my children growing up, chances are I will tear up and swear off my phone.  But then someone else will tell me that being on my phone is my one chance as a stay at home mom to connect with the outside world; my one chance in the day for survival and I instantly resonate with that and feel entitled to scroll away.  Or I will go pinterest/party planning blog over the top holiday crazy and feel so accomplished and creatively satisfied only to read a article about how annoying it all is and can we please just stop and then I feel like I am doing something wrong.  Can't win if I am a pinterest worthy mom/can't win if I'm not.  You get the picture.  Oh, and then there is the "screen time" debate and whether or not we are frying our kids brain cells with too much technology...which is easy to say on a good day but on a day when the household is up at 5am?  Not. So. Easy. When you are raising a houseful of children, is there ever the same formula for success on any given day?  I think not.  Here's what I have to say to it all: please just stop.  Give yourselves and everyone else a break before we make each other crazy judging each person's each and every move.  For those of you that can read one article and stand on that mountain top forever, I commend you for your unwavering-ness.  But for the rest of us who are often unsure of ourselves (especially when it comes to parenting) can we please just let each of us figure it out for ourselves....to do what is right and best for each of our own lives and leave it at that?  Seems to me it would be a whole lot less stressful to just live in the moment without worrying if you are doing it perfectly or not.  Perfection, remember, can never be achieved.  Which makes me oh so grateful for never ending grace and a God who already has it all figured out....


p.s.  Three posts in one night. Either I'm making up for lost time or I have so much caffeine running through my veins that I will never need another cup of coffee again...or at least until 9am when I crash.

{currents faves}

Ok, I realized that I posted a blog update that was really nothing other me saying "hey, I'm gonna write again" which really is saying nothing at all.  2am has turned into 3am and my heart is still racing with yesterday's chick-fil-a iced tea and English toffee k-cups, so I will at least update with a list of my current favorites. Here goes....

1.  California. Ok, since I am not there yet, it is not actually California, but the thought of California. Ever since I was a little girl California, to me, has been the coolest place ever.  I love that I married a California boy who will always hold a big place in his heart for his home state.  This means that every few years we get lured back there for a visit....and the next visit happens to be taking place in t minus 26 hours!!!! Bring. On. The. Sunshine.

2. Loreal B.B cream.  Life changer.  My skin has never looked better...even got my mom, sister & aunt on the bandwagon.  There is no denying it...it's THE BEST.  Thanks Sara for the tip, I owe you!

3.  Kickboxing.  And old love actually, but one I've fallen in love with all over again. Nothing beats an hour of punching and kicking the crap out of a bag....best stress relief EVER.

4.  Spring clothes!!!!!!! I cannot stress this one enough.  I always find myself going a little crazy this time of year.  I hate winter clothes. Despise them.  And my kids?  Please.  They have worn nothing but grey and black for the past four months straight and with weird looking shoes to top it off.  I want to burn their wardrobes at this point.  I have been scooping up spring clothes like crazy and can't wait for us all to wear it all (and to sport tans to go with it).  Which leads me to....

5.  MAXI DRESSES.  This may quite possibly always be my number one love.  Enough said. (Oh, and I love that my little sis is equally as obsessed and every few days we share our finds with each other so neither of us is out of the loop. Wouldn't want to miss out on greatness!).

6.  My preschooler.  For the first time in a long time (since Madeleine was born, really) I have just one girl at home during the day.  I have been adoring every minute with Claire (even though she often talks until my head hurts)....she's my best bud and her affection is ridiculously addicting.  I am savoring every ounce of time I have with my last baby for as long as I have it.

7.  My friends.  Almost three years into our big move and I have my handful of go-to girls that I can't imagine living without...and for that I know I am blessed.

8.  Driving the girls to school.  Ever since Christmas break, we have been skipping the bus and I've been dropping them off at school.  For no other reason except they aren't big fans of the bus and I love watching them hop out of the car and start off on their day...and it buys me an extra 20 minutes with them in the morning.

9.  Serena & Lily catalog. Every page kills me.

10. Party planning.  It's my not so secret obsession and this time of year it sort of consumes me.  But when the big day comes and all the pieces fall into place it is sooooooooooooooo worth it!

11.  This blog.  When I couldn't sleep tonight, I spent hours sitting in a chair reliving the years when my girls were babies...remembering bits and pieces of our past that I wouldn't have ever remembered.  So thankful that I took the time to record it all down: the good, the bad and the ugly...because those times seem like a lifetime ago and at the very least while I read, I can kinda sorta get them back.  Even if it's only in my memory......

I'm off to (hopefully) catch a few hours of sleep before the little one wakes up.  It's so good to be back!


Tuesday, March 26, 2013

{surprise, surprise....i'm back}

Well hello there!  It has been too long. Waaaaaaaaay toooooooo long.  After several months of people asking me when I was going to start blogging again, the dreaded weekly blog stat emails {that I couldn't bear to open because I felt awful knowing that even a single person was logging on only to see the same annoying post staring back at them} and a little too much caffeine today,  here I am.  At 2am on a Wednesday.  After logging onto the blog for the first time in nearly a year, I was instantly reminded of why I started it in the first place.  Time moves much too quickly and the time I have with my girls is SO fleeting.  Heartbreakingly fleeting.  It is beyond precious for me to look back at the little every day-isms and phases & stages of their lives that always pass before I'm ready {ok, not ALWAYS before I'm ready...truth be told, some phases should end before they even start like 5am wake up habits} and to be reminded of the little things that I would've otherwise forgotten.  So I'm back to document our ordinary life and my attempts to see the beauty in it all.  Because any way you look at it, there's no denying it: life is a gift and IT IS BEAUTIFUL.


p.s.  It's birthday season around here!  For the first time, M & C will be celebrating separately which means back to back bashes and twice the obsessing for me over the next two months.  I am so excited about each of their themes....I can't decide which one I love more!  Can't wait to post my finding as they come....many stolen {thanks Pinterest}, some original.....and all making me way more excited than they should ;-)

"May The Lord bless you and keep you.  May his face shine upon you and be gracious."  Numbers 6:24

Thursday, June 7, 2012

{two feet running}

I have a little problem. For the better part of eight years, I haven't really slept. And it tends to make me a little grumpy. I used to daydream about being a stay at home mom and not needing an alarm clock because I wouldn't have any job to have to run off to. My time would be all my own and life would be like a permanent vacation. (In case you didn't know this by now, I tend to lean more towards the lazy side than the driven side...I prefer to think I'm just more fun than serious:)). What I didn't realize was that my need for no alarm clock would not be because I would be sleeping in until my heart desires and then drinking a lazy cup of coffee while my little angels played quietly in a sunlit room. Exactly the opposite in fact. The reason one does not need an alarm clock when living with young children is because they wake up EARLY. And if they are my children, they wake up more on the crack of dawn/borderline insane side of early. Oh, and there is no lazy cup of coffee but rather a cup that gets reheated ten times a morning before finally throwing the towel in on the idea all together. And have I mentioned that they don't wake up and play quietly in a sunlit room because 1. it is still dark when they wake up during most months of the year and 2. they are hungry and they want breakfast and they want it like NOW. For years, I have tried my hardest to deny this problem. Although my girls are up early, I set them up in front of the TV and crawl back into my bed and fool myself into thinking I can squeeze in an hour more sleep. What really happens is that someone is hungry or thirsty or fighting over what show they will watch or turning the volume up so loudly that sleeping isn't an option even for our neighbors. And so my day starts...with me being tired, annoyed, and disappointed that my best efforts have failed. Lately, I've decided to attack the problem head on and it has worked wonders. The new me bounces out of bed after the first girl (who am I kidding, it's always Claire) rises and jumps in the shower. We are talking full hair and makeup before 7am. Sometimes waaaaay before 7am. It's kind of amazing how a good hair day can change one's mood and outlook on the day. I am much nicer these mornings with a good blowout than with a bad case of bed head. I'm pretty sure the bus driver and everyone else I come across on the walk to the bus stop appreciates my lack of pajamas and bed head too. I've learned to just embrace the fact that while my girls are precious, adorable, great sleepers, just not great sleeper-inners I need to roll with the punches and sacrifice that extra hour of sleep so that I can give the best of myself to them. And on the days when I'm scatterbrained and forget that I have a parent teacher conference until ten minutes before it's set to start it kind of helps to be all dressed and ready to too. Oh...and my hubby gets to kiss a normal looking wife goodbye in the mornings rather than a sleep induced zombie. It's a win all around:) xoxo, ali

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

{for the love of COFFEE}

Today, all I want is a cup of coffee. A warm cup in my hands; a chance to wake myself up, clear my head and start my day. Preferably in peace. Not. Gonna. Happen. It's one of those days (ok, with three small children in the house everyday is one of those days) where it takes me two hours in to morning before I even have a moment to myself to actually make the coffee. Then it's a matter of finding the time to actually drink it. Typically, I have the first sip or two before I go off helping someone with this or cleaning that and the next thing I know another two hours has passed and I'm reheating the coffee over and over again before I finally give up. Or, like today, I sit down and actually try to down a few sips when Claire comes and kicks the mug over and spills the said coffee all over the living room floor. Agh!!!! One day my house will be empty and I'll have hour upon hour to drink my coffee in peace and quiet. I'm sure it won't be nearly as great as it sounds. Until then, I'm embracing the busyness and remembering the ones who are keeping me so busy are far greater than a cup of coffee ever will be. Happy caffeinating....hopefully you're coffee fix today goes better than mine did!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

{forever reign}

It's Easter week and this year I'm focusing on quieting my heart, slowing down my life a little and taking the time to reflect on what the death, burial and resurrection really and truly mean in my life. This is my favorite song of the moment and it perfectly depicts just why the work done on the cross is so essential to all aspects of my life.

Forever Reign by Hillsong United

You are good, you are good
When there's nothing good in me
You are love, you are love
On display for all to see
You are light, you are light
When the darkness closes in
You are hope, you are hope
You have covered all my sin

You are peace, you are peace
When my fear is crippling
You are true, you are true
Even in my wandering
You are joy, you are joy
You're the reason that I sing
You are life, you are life
In you death has lost its sting

You are more, you are more
Than my words will ever say
You are Lord, you are Lord
All creation will proclaim
You are here, you are here
In your presence I'm made whole
You are God, you are God
Of all else I'm letting go

This is Jesus. He is good, loving, my light and my hope. He is peace, he is true...he is my joy and my life. I can't think of a day that goes by when I don't need the Lord to show up and take over because I've got it all wrong and he's sufficient to meet my every need and shortcoming. If it weren't for Easter Sunday.....if he really didn't conquer death.....then he would've just been a mere man and I wouldn't have this indescribable gift. But He IS risen. And I will never be the same because of it.


Monday, April 2, 2012

{egg hunt}

This morning I took Claire and Madeline to the MOPS Easter egg hunt. SO. MUCH. FUN! There is a sweet couple that has a gorgeous property that they graciously lend out each year to put on this event for the kiddos. It was absolutely adorable. The girls decorated their bags for the hunt and then had the best time scouring the beautiful grounds to find their eggs. Once they collected their eggs, they got to crack them open, collect their candy and turn the empty eggs in for a prize! Next, they took a tractor ride around the yard and then we played games on the lawn (three legged races and spoon&egg races)....this was their favorite part. The mommies all had to race as well and it melted my heart to see the kids all cheering their moms on from the sidelines. PRECIOUS. I'm pretty sure Madeline wanted nothing in the world more than for me to win and I'm pretty sure a big gust of wind knocked my egg off the spoon and I lost at the last minute. Oh well! The very best part of the morning was when the sweet hostess gathered all of the kids inside her living room to share the Easter story with them and to give them a sticker craft on the resurrection to bring home. Such a precious morning celebrating our risen savior with my precious little girls. I am so thankful for the generosity of the Rementov family and for all the effort they put into making such a special time for our kids. I can only hope that when I'm older and my kids are grown I will make an effort to bless other the way they bless us. Lots of pics to follow!