Letting Go and Reaching Out

2013 started off pretty awesome for us.  Little Guy was able to transfer into an awesome school, we found out we were expecting (!), and we were all in a great place mentally and emotionally.
Mid-year everything took a turn for the worse, and feeling betrayed and hurt, I spent the summer in a dark and lonely place. 

As my pregnancy progressed, I remembered how much I dislike pregnancy.  It just seems to be so hard on me for some reason, but we were overjoyed to welcome our new baby boy to the world and we love getting to know him and watching his relationship with his big brother blossom into something truly beautiful.  

As this year comes to an end, I look back and realize that once you see, you can never unsee.  
Those closest to you can hurt you and your loved ones and make no apologies.
Forgiveness is hard - it really is.  
And I'm working at it everyday.  
Seventy times seven. 

In 2014, I'm going to let go.  
Let go of the emotional ties to the people who aren't good for me.
Let go of the stuff we've accumulated, but don't need.
Let go of the need to have things "just so."
Let go of the anxiety I have about bringing the baby out.
Let go of fear.
Let go of grudges.
And let go of this darn baby weight!

And I'm going to reach out.
Reach out for a healthier me.
Reach out to positive relationships.
Reach out for a stronger spiritual relationship.
Reach out to things beyond my comfort zone.

Tonight, there will be no parties - we probably won't even make it until midnight.  I'll be at home, just snuggling with my boys.  My beautiful boys.  My love for them is so strong it hurts. They are my world, and I can't wait to spend another year with them.

*Are you letting go of anything in 2014?



Time spent with family is time well spent.
I hope you had a very Merry Christmas.

Holiday Dough FREE Printable

My niece and nephew are at that age.  Too old for toys, but still young enough for the magical parts of Christmas.  I know that anything we get them probably won't be what they want, but at their age, giving them money in a card for Christmas makes me feel like I may as well shout, "I don't believe in fairies!" (thud) as they open the card. 

Last year I gave them one dollar bills all taped together, lengthwise, to form one long strip, and folded the strip accordian style and placed it in a tissue box so that when they pulled the first dollar, the rest kept coming.  Sort of like when a magician pulls a scarf out of his pocket.

This year I needed another cute way to give them their gift of green, so naturally, I headed over to Pinterest. There, I came across an adorable little poem with a gingerbread man, but couldn't find where it originated, so I decided to make my own to print out.

And since it is the holiday season, I've added my printables here for you!  I made a boy version and a girl version, so just right click and save the image you'd like to your computer and print.

Gingerbread Boy

Gingerbread Girl
If you're using a standard sized sandwich bag (as pictured above), print at 5x7 size.

Fold in half and glue/tape to the top of the bag.

Super easy, super cute, and best of all - you'll be guilt free by avoiding the impersonal, "money in a card" gift!

Linked up at Mostly Homemade Mondays

This Moment

This moment.  A single photo - no words, capturing a single moment from the week.  A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.  Inspired by Soule Mama.
I'd love for you to leave your moment in the comments.

The First Month

My sweet baby boy.  The first month took foreverrrrr as it was happening, but as I look back, it flew past so quickly that much of it is a blur.  Breastfeeding was such a challenge for me.
 Not for you - you always seemed to know what you were doing. It seems that it took most of my attention away from what was happening.

While I was worrying about latching, clogs, and supply, you grew.

You grew into a one month old and all of our problems seemed to fall away.

We stuck it out, me and you.

And I'm so glad we did.


Merry Christmas, Ya Filthy Animal (FREE PRINTABLE)

Christmastime is here.

Happiness and cheer.

This year marks a rite of passage for Little Guy.  He has discovered Home Alone (cue beams of light and a singing chorus).

Home Alone was released when I was in 2nd or 3rd grade (I'm so old I can't exactly remember) and it was awesome!  When the video tape came out (yes, video tape - it was the olden days), it came with a map of Kevin's house, showing where all of Kevin's traps were set up.  It was so cool.  Every kid in our neighborhood dreamed about rigging their house in to a giant version of MouseTrap (also popular at the time).

Needless to say, the Hubs and I are loving that Little Guy is so into Home Alone this year.  What makes it even cooler, is that Little Guy is constantly quoting the movie at random.  The other day, we were on the way home from school and he said "He's what the French call, les incompetent" about the school bus driver in front of us.

Call it bad parenting, but we can't help but laugh when he busts out with "Look what you did, you little jerk," and "Keep the change, ya filthy animal!"

To try and combat some of the commercialism of Christmas, I've been making most of our decorations myself this year.
In keeping with the spirit, I thought I'd make a printable for my buffet!
And, since it's the season of giving, I've made it available for you for free!  All you have to do is right click on the image below, and save to your computer!
merry christmas ya filthy animal

There ya go!  Merry Christmas, ya filthy animals!


This Moment

This moment.  A single photo - no words, capturing a single moment from the week.  A moment I want to pause, savor, and remember.  Inspired by Soule Mama.


Nursery on a Budget

Oh, the ways we change from being a first time parent to a second time parent.  When we were pregnant with Little Guy, we went all out.  All of his nursery furniture was from Babies R Us, and his bedding and decor was all matchy-matchy Amy Coe stuff.  
It was adorable. 
It was expensive.  
It was needless.

When we found out we were pregnant with this baby, I vowed not to get ridiculous and spend a fortune on baby stuff, and you know what?  
It was much easier than I ever thought!
I didn't even have a baby shower because I didn't need or want anyone to spend money on baby stuff that we didn't need.

How did I do it?

By utilizing Craigslist and a local SwipSwap facebook group for babies.

  • I found Baby Boy's crib on Craigslist (and it has the attached changing table with drawers and shelves).
  • Instead of a mobile, which can run from $30+, we found this adorable circus tent from IKEA.
  • I made a circle bunting with scrapbook paper from Michaels, and it happens to be one of Baby Boy's favorite things to look at in his room.

Nursery on a budget

  • I was given a TON of baby clothes.  Mostly hand-me-downs from my nephews, and some new outfits from family members.  We've really only bought a few items ourselves.
  • I scored a Moby Wrap from the local swipswap for only $5!  This was probably one of my favorite deals yet.

I bought the changing table for $10. It was a dirty, ugly, pepto-pink, so I cleaned, sanded, and spray painted it this fun orange color, and use it to hold these bins from Babies R Us.

I bought these seriously economical Cloth Diapers ($5-$8 each!!).

We also bought a pack n' play (which, alternating with our bed, is where Baby Boy currently sleeps) for $30, and a Fisher-Price Cradle 'N Swing, My Little Snugabunny, (which is AWESOME!!) for $50.

All together, Baby Boy's gear has cost us less than $350!!  How amazing is that?!

Next time someone tells you babies are expensive, I'll be here to tell you that certainly don't have to be.

Priceless, yes.
Expensive, no.

**Did you have anything for your first baby that you found to be a huge waste?


Pumpkin Pickin'

It just isn't Fall without a trip to the Pumpkin Patch.  Much to our dismay, many of the places in town that usually have pumpkin patches either didn't this year, or were waiting until much closer to Halloween to open. We were thrilled one Sunday, as we were headed home from a walk around downtown St. Augustine, we passed a pumpkin patch!
As soon as we arrived, a family that was leaving offered to take our picture!  How nice was that! 

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