Moving With Kids

Moving With Kids

Oftentimes we think that our children don't feel the weight of a move. Especially with little tiny kids and babies, ignorance is bliss right, but is it really? If mom and dad are under stress, so are the little ones, and this can't be taken lightly. While moves happen sometimes without expectation, and sometimes they're abrupt, there are things we can do to mitigate the emotional strain that weighs on our children.

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Giving Our Children An Active Childhood

Giving Our Children An Active Childhood

An active childhood isn't something that we can tangibly hand to our children through a gym membership or a spot on the soccer team, it's something we do with them. An active childhood is created by making carefree memories together, through exploration, play, and adventure. 

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Our Families Need Nature

Our Families Need Nature

The beneficial reasons for spending time in nature as a family are quite endless. In nature together we can experience things that we aren't able to experience indoors, and we're able to break away from the pace of life that often prevents emotional connections with those we love most. 

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3 Simple Ways to Rest

3 Simple Ways to Rest

This was a time before cell phones were clutched in palms, a time that was fast paced in respect to it's time, but much slower compared to the lives we live today. 

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33 Lessons in 33 Years

On Saturday, I'll be 33.

 My brother Ryan and me. I think here I was about the same age as Ester is today  (17 months old). 

My brother Ryan and me. I think here I was about the same age as Ester is today  (17 months old). 

I feel younger than 33, but I also feel as though I've lived ten different lives. I've moved at least twenty times, some of the moves were big, and others were just from one apartment to the next. With age, as they say, comes wisdom. I may not be "wise" yet, but I have learned much in my short life, and I hope to continue learning and growing.

 Almost 33 here - Easter 2017

Almost 33 here - Easter 2017

Through pain and adversity I have learned the most; the harder things in life have consistently proven to birth the greatest blessings. Life's fires shape us and keep us raw, they keep us closer to God.

33 Lessons in 33 Years

1. Keep Eternity in Mind

2. Forgive Daily

3. Listen to the desires of your heart

 I have always loved hiking. A hike with Sam in Oregon, 2015.

I have always loved hiking. A hike with Sam in Oregon, 2015.

4. Let people take pictures of you

Growing up I watched the women in my family hide from the camera; they thought they were too fat or not pretty enough for a photo. I'm still working through this. I want to be a confident example for the generations that follow, even to my teen sister. And once I'm old it will not matter, and I'll be thankful that there will be photos to share. 

 One of those photos I could easily criticize, but would rather just appreciate the sweet moment that was captured. 

One of those photos I could easily criticize, but would rather just appreciate the sweet moment that was captured. 

5. It's okay to be introverted

It really is, and I'm embracing my introverted ways 100%. The world requires all types. 

6. When you get married you start your own family

The better care given to your immediate family (spouses and children) the more genuine energy you'll have for your extended family. 

 Sam and me - Fall 2014 - three years married

Sam and me - Fall 2014 - three years married

7. Dog hair is annoying, but worth it

 The Three Amigos

The Three Amigos

 Out of control

Out of control

8. Listen

9. Live within your means, or beyond them, it depends on the season and the circumstance

Yes, it's important to save, but it's also important to spend.

10. Cry

As Jim Valvano said:

“To me, there are three things we all should do every day. We should do this every day of our lives. Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day. Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought. And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy. But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. You do that seven days a week, you’re going to have something special.”

11. Break the rules that need to be broken

12. A college degree isn't always necessary

13. It's okay to go to college for the experience and never use your degree

14. Buy flowers, it's not a waste of money

 See, they're so pretty. 

See, they're so pretty. 

15. Trust in the Lord, step off the boat

 Oregon coast -  August, 2015

Oregon coast -  August, 2015

16. Eat Real Food and occasionally the Hot Cheetos

17. Let your daily life be a testimony

18. Wear your rose colored glasses if you own them

I keep mine on almost always, but Sam will sometimes remind me to take them off and face the facts. I listen, but quickly put my glasses back on, I'd rather find the beauty. 

19. Follow through with people but it's okay to walk away from projects

20. Water your plants, but not too much

 Ester and The Plants (January 2017)

Ester and The Plants (January 2017)

21. Each day is a gift

22. Lessen your expectations but have high expectations

23. Not everyone will agree with you, and that doesn't mean that they're bad people

24. Pay your bills 

25. 90% of the time vegetables will rot in the fridge

So why even bother? Just kidding :) 

26. Parenting is a sacrifice, but not automatically, you have to choose to give of yourself

 Thankful for my mom and sis during these early days. 

Thankful for my mom and sis during these early days. 

27. Address your guilt and shame quickly, and often

28. People do change (sometimes)

29. You are creative

30. Set boundaries

31. Take a sabbath

32. Always leave a generous tip, even if the service is bad

33. Try not to think of yourself too often, we're merely dust

 Colorado sunset - Summer 2013

Colorado sunset - Summer 2013

What lessons have you learned in your time spent on this Earth?

The Easiest Baby Book

 The cover of Ester's "Baby Book" designed by my little sis <3

The cover of Ester's "Baby Book" designed by my little sis <3

Nobody warns you about "mom guilt" before you become a mom. Well, maybe they do, but it's probably not something you can fully understand until you're swimming/drowning in it. Ester was about three weeks, I was sitting on the bed nursing and someone texted me, it read, "did you write that in her baby book???" I lost it, nobody was present to witness my meltdown, well, except the tiny six-pound "bee bee", and she didn't mind. 

All moms experience guilt, even the ones that tell you they have nothing to feel guilty about. In a way those seemingly composed moms are right, we shouldn't feel guilty, but we do, because we care. We care so deeply about our children that the thought of making one mistake or having any weaknesses seems unforgivable. But that's why we have grace, and in order to give grace we must receive grace. If you never wrote anything down in your child's baby book you're still a wonderful mother. 

 One of those early days with lots of snuggles and little rest.

One of those early days with lots of snuggles and little rest.

After my baby book meltdown I decided that I didn't want what a traditional baby book offered, and I realistically wouldn't be able to keep up with one. Plus, I didn't like the idea of opening up Ester's baby book and realizing I hadn't recored information about ______. Instead I decided that I would keep a journal.

I had already started a journal when I was pregnant. We went on a short road trip for my 31st birthday; we had just found out I was pregnant. On our way out of town we stopped at the store to grab a journal so I could write to our baby. I bought one of those huge five subject spiral notebooks, nothing pretty. I didn't write often, only occasionally, but I wanted something tangible that I could share with our children later in life. 

 Just days before our Ester arrived (three weeks early)

Just days before our Ester arrived (three weeks early)

 Ester still snuggles, at sixteen months. &lt;3

Ester still snuggles, at sixteen months. <3

Physically writing in Ester's journal was challenging early on, but it reassured me that I had a designated place to record stories, facts, thoughts, etc. Nursing her around the clock was hard, and when I had time to rest I didn't want to write, I wanted to watch TV or sleep. That's when I realized I could use my phone to journal, and I began typing little notes on my phone. Every few months I print the notes and tape them into her journal. It works really well. When our next child joins the family I won't make another journal I'll simply continue writing in the same journal. Once we're old and our children are grown I will make copies, with the added photos and other keepsakes. It will make a beautiful gift for them to treasure.

 The journal, typed notes I haven't taped inside quite yet, a card from her friend, and place cards from her first Thanksgiving dinner.

The journal, typed notes I haven't taped inside quite yet, a card from her friend, and place cards from her first Thanksgiving dinner.

 How I plan on adding photos to the journal eventually.&nbsp;

How I plan on adding photos to the journal eventually. 

Our children may not be able to go back and see how much they weighed at a given age, but they'll be able to read stories about their lives. For example, I wrote about the weekend that we went to an outdoor family wedding and Ester had to chew the sunglasses of anyone who was holding her. (Even during the ceremony). By the end of the weekend everyone expected her to take their sunglasses off. It's just a silly but sweet story that I thought she'd like to read years from now. 

All you need is a journal and a phone with a notes app. Someday you'll find the time to print your notes and add in pictures, cards, and other keepsakes. The journal could be something that the entire family shares together, and adds to as the days move along. Know and trust that you are a beautiful mama and you are doing your absolute best.

Happy Mother's Day!

Embracing Home - Adapting With Little Ones

Adjusting to life with a baby, and now a toddler has been our greatest adventure! We shared a little about how we're adapting our home as Ester grows and changes... read more at Field and Forest Design...