May 24, 2018

SPECIAL TIME FOR MADDIE | MOM LIFE

The kids love having one-on-one special time with either Mom or Dad! On Tuesday it happened to be "Special time for Maddie", that's what she likes to call it, because she had a dentist appointment and the other two were at summer school.

Out of the three, Maddie probably has the least amount of one-on-one time. Bryce stays up later than the girls and he does a lot of father-son stuff and Naomi has been home with me for over two years when the kids were at school all day. Maddie really loves these sort of days and I do too!

First stop dentist.

This was Maddie's first real cavity that needed to be filled. It wasn't a real bad one, but enough that she needed to be numbed. She is going to be our one that needs braces and other ortho intervention. They've already prepared us for what will be in our future. 


Fun Fact about Maddie: She loves to wear dresses!


The starting of the gas...which didn't end not working very well on her, hence the numbing, because her level of tolerance to sedation is very high. 
That's one thing the nurses have always told me from back in the Rady's Children Hospital days is that her body has a high tolerance.

Never the less, she handled everything like a champ and they let her pick 2 prizes out of the prize box for being so good!

Chick-fil-A for the win.

After her dentist appointment, I had a few errands to run and I was instructed by her Dad to let her pick out a little prize.

But first we stopped at Chick-fil-A for a Frosted Sunrise (it tastes like a dreamsicle) and some brunch! 


Next we stopped at Walmart.

When we went to Walmart, I gave her a $10 toy budget. Right away she picked a fur-baby. She has been wanting one of these for so long and I always try and talk her out of them because I'm not a fan of their eyes but, she loves them. 

As you can tell...I gave in and she was so happy!


Fun Fact: Maddie loves stuffed animals, a.k.a. "plushies" and small toys!

After this we went home because 1) She wanted to play with her new toy in her room and 2) we went from winter to summer and the humidity melts everything!


This was a selfie we took to send to Jarret, she wanted to show her Dad where she got her filling.

That concluded our special time out and about! When we got home she played in her room and I was busy doing stuff until it was time to pick up the other two kiddos!



Talk to you soon,

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May 17, 2018

GRADUATIONS & END OF SCHOOL YEAR FIELD TRIPS | MOM LIFE LATELY

Hi Friends, we are at the very-very end of our school year and I am so excited for our summer break! The last few weeks have been filled with field trips, activities, field days, graduations etc., so it will be nice to have a little slow down.

This summer will be a lot different for us because we don't have cows to take care of and Jarret is in the thick of starting his new career and can't take any time off. For me that means trips with just the kids and I, but we are going to try and make the most of it! Although we are going to miss Jer/Dad very much.

Here's what the last week has been like lately.

D.A.R.E. & Pre-K Graduations.

Bryce's 5th grade class has been working with the local sheriff's office and their D.A.R.E. program for the past 8 weeks. Last Friday was his graduation with the program and all the students took the pledge to remain drug-free and to just say no!


I'm very proud of Bryce and the type of student & friend his has become, he such a good boy.




Preschool graduation.


Yay, Naomi graduated Pre-K and is ready for kindergarten! We made it...I made it, lol!!! 


At the end of last preschool year, she was not ready, maturity or academically but, I can say with confidence that Naomi is hands-down ready for kindergarten and she can't wait!

I can't wait to watch her soar! 



The graduation theme was "red carpet". 


This is probably my favorite picture that I snapped from graduation. She has come along way!

This was from her first day of preschool is 2016, little did we know she required glasses back then!



That concludes preschool!

Field Trips.

The kids' school does such a good job when it comes to rewarding them for their A.R. Goals or Attendance. Just like last year their good attendance field trip was to Incredible Pizza. I like to go on this field trip to help Maddie, she has a hard time in these sorts of situations when it comes to games, tokens, tickets, etc. and there is always so many kids there!






And by default, Naomi gets to tag along!



Driving the go-karts was challenging for Maddie, but I knew she could do it and she did a great job! She might of brought up the rear and drove cautiously but she did it and I was so proud of her, this really pushed her out of her comfort zone.


Bryce was on the field trip too, but this is the only picture I have of him, lol! Fifth grade boys are too busy running around with their friends!

Bryce & Maddie also went to our local park, And indoor adventure park and Maddie went to Subway with her special ed class.

 Singing Happy Birthday to Maddie.

Maddie was the only birthday in her class that fell during the summer months and so her teacher asked if I wanted to bring in cupcakes & ice cream so they can sing to Maddie, like they did with all the other students. 

Of course I said yes, but this sure threw Maddie for a loop!


So my birthday isn't this month...?


This is Madison's best friend since kindergarten.


She loved hearing everyone sing her happy birthday!!!

Mom life. 

Mom life lately has been met with ups & downs and feeling at times that I can't do this all by myself. I've always been use to having family around. Then I get good days where I feel that I can do this and it recharges me! I have waayyy more good days than I do bad, but I am ready for everything to setting down. We have a lot going on behind the scenes with decisions and moving pieces so, it's been a bit stressful.

A lot has happened this year and it's brought big changes for us as a family so it hasn't been easy getting use to our new normal. I heard something yesterday that said, "It's ok to feel sad, mad, angry, depressed, defeated...let it out, but just don't stay there." And that's the key, don't stay in that state.

Jarret and I are making changes to better our family but they just can't all happen at once, even if we want them too! 


Today was the last day of school for Naomi and tomorrow is the last day of school for Bryce & Madison. 

Good days are ahead and I'm ready for lots of family time, meeting my nephew for the first time (hello, almost 9 months old already) and fun in the sun!

Talk to ya soon,

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May 8, 2018

7 STEPS TO FINDING YOUR HAPPINESS | REAL TALK

Hi friends, today I am excited to share with you the 7 Steps to finding your Happiness

Over the past year I've really been working on leading a happier, more content life. Learning what really makes me happy, working on my anxiety and my faith.  Putting some of my needs first because I believe, especially for Moms, if we don't take care of ourselves, how can we care for others: our spouse, kids, parents, family etc.

7 Steps to finding your happiness

Happiness is a practice, waking up happy-positive and grateful is something we all have to work on. For me it's easy to slip into a negative-nothing's going right funk or feeling parental guilt that I'm not doing enough with or for the kids. Or not feeling so great about myself, but you know what, it's all mental! 

Two of the biggest things I've learned is we have to give ourselves grace and that I am in charge of my thoughts. I am in charge of what I think about and what I decide to focus my day on.  

I am not a health & wellness coach, but these are the 7 steps that I've been practicing to lead a more happy, content and grateful life. (In no particular order)
    
1. Inspiration

Inspiration is the process of being mentally stimulated to do or feel something and the way I find that comes in many forms... 

•Watching inspirational videos on YouTube. Some of my favorite people to watch are BrenĂ© Brown, Tony Robbins, Shannon Kaiser, Amy Landino, just to name a few.

One of the stand outs for me is BrenĂ© Brown, she talks about being brave, having courage, daring greatly and being vulnerable.  I'm sure you've heard of her! 
Below is one of her favorite quotes by Theodore Roosevelt and I love the metaphor of the person that's in the arena. For me it's like, don't judge the person that's out there in it, don't judge from the sidelines, because you know what...at least he's trying!

If you are one of the people that are in "the arena" and being judged, hey-more power to you, because you are doing it. This should inspire you!




•Make a vision board so you have something visual to focus on! Like old school poster board, scissors, glue/tape, cutting things out of magazines or printing things off the internet. You can make it focused towards things you want to accomplish in life, how you want to feel, your favorite quotes, summer goals/bucket lists, experiences or even a health & fitness board. Vision boards are powerful. Place it where you will see it often!

Read or listen to audio books that you can learn or grow from! I am guilty of not reading enough, but I am trying to work on that and if you're not a reader than maybe an audio book could be your thing. 

The book I just finished was by Rachel Hollis called, Girl, Wash your Face. In this book she helps her readers break free from the lies that are keeping them from leading a more joy filled life they're meant to have.


2. Gratitude

Practicing gratitude helps us to be thankful for what we have or experience right in front of us.

"The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate."
-Oprah Winfrey


I practice gratitude by writing in my gratitude journal. It's actually a calendar from Erin Condren and where it gives you a few lines for each day, that's where I write what I was thankful for. I really try to not make it about "things",  instead I try for it to be more about experiences or moments. Like being thankful that I took time for myself to workout or rode bikes with the kids after dinner, etc.




You can use a notebook, a calendar like I am or an actual gratitude journal like this one.

3. A Morning Routine. 


A good morning routine can help frame your day. Setting your alarm to get up a little earlier, enjoying a cup of coffee or tea and reading a daily devotional can be the perfect start to your day.


If you're like me and have kids, then that little bit of quiet time before their feet hit the ground can make all the difference.

4. Health & Fitness

I know for me, when I workout or take a nice walk, I feel so much better during the day and about myself. 


When I eat right I have more energy throughout the day and don't feel that afternoon slump. For me that's limiting sugar, breads, watching my portions and focusing on drinking more water during the day. We all need to drink more water!

You don't have to do some crazy workout plan or crazy extreme dieting, but it's important to take care of yourself. The way you take care of your body is the way your body is going to take care of you!

5. Less.

Living with less is important because we don't need things to feel happy or content. This sort of loops back to gratitude because we don't need more and more things to be happy. We can be happy with the stuff we already have. But when we have a lot of clutter and stuff piled around us, it's hard to focus on everything we already have in front of us.


Go thru your clothes and a week later, go thru them again. Go thru your junk drawers, your hall closets, your kids' toy boxes, etc. you will feel better when you have less.

Another thing that's important is to set boundaries for social media and phone usage. Give yourself breaks from social media because what we tend to do is compare our lives to others or feel inadequate because we aren't living like the people we are following. 
Unfollow people that make you feel negative about yourself!  

6. Don't be so critical

Don't be so critical on yourself. We are so quick to judge ourselves but we give compliments out to friends & strangers. We all need to practice more self love. I know I'm guilty of teaching the kids this, but not always doing it myself. 


Don't be so critical and judgmental about other people too. Especially by the way they dress or by what they drive. Some of the most judgmental people are the ones driving the nice cars and  wearing the fancy clothes. We all can be a little more empathetic and think about what we say or how it may affect the other person.

When you are filling your mind with criticism you're taking up space where you can be thinking about positive and motivating thoughts.  

7. Mantras

Mantras are little positive phrases you say repeatedly. Like, I can do this, I can do this, I can do this...


Sometimes saying a positive mantra in your head makes all the difference in completing a task that scares or challenges you.

For me I just did my first 5 hour road trip by myself with the kids and when I started out I kept saying, "I am strong, I can do this. I am strong, I can do this." I took a deep breath, counted backwards 5-4-3-2-1, took another deep breath and drove off.

"When you start counting five, four, three, two, one-you awaken your prefrontal cortex. You begin the process of changing. You push yourself in a new direction." 
-Mel Robbins 

Positive self talk is important and remember we control our thoughts. As much as I let my anxious mind run wild, most times I need to take a deep breath and tell myself that everything will be okay.
________________________________________________




Here's something I learned: the healing is done when you get below the surface. It's the answers you are scared of or afraid to feel and admit. You need to ask yourself the why questions, because if you never get to that point, you are never able to break free and you keep dragging along the past.  

Those are my 7 Steps to Finding Your Happiness. If you are on a similar journey, my hope is for you to at least practice more gratitude for what you already have in your life.

I really enjoyed creating and sharing this blog post with you guys, I worked really hard on it. 


Have a great day and remember tomorrow is always a new day, a chance at a clean slate!

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May 4, 2018

END OF THE SCHOOL YEAR, HOME STRETCH

We've almost made it, we are on the home stretch to the last day of school!!! Woo-hoo, we made it-I made it, ha! 

Our school year was extended by 6 or 7 days due to snow and ice, but I am welcoming summer break with open arms...this has been one loooonngg drawn out winter!

Field Trips-

This is the time of year where all the big class field trips are happening, the field days, the rewards for reaching their a.r. goals and attendance incentives are happening; so just about every day there's something.


On Tuesday Maddie's class went to an indoor community center that had an indoor pool with a lazy river, whirlpool, slide and climber. 

I was so excited that I was able to go on this field trip with her, only because they let me bring Naomi along. Otherwise I wouldn't of been able to go. She was the only sibling that came along.











 I can't believe Maddie went down that big enclosed slide, this is the first time she has attempted one and she loved it!





  
For lunch break all the school kids enjoyed pizza! Naomi and I ate our packed lunch out by the pool and waited for the kids to finish. I had a blast watching them!

Doctors Appointments-

For the past 3 years the timing has just been that the girls' eye exams and all 3 kids' 6 month teeth cleaning fall in the end of April or beginning of May! Which is not the best timing on my part because then I'm running around like a chicken with my head cut off getting everyone to their appointments!

My plan now is to have the girls eye appointments in the summer if I can help it and all 3 kids go to the dentist on the same day, doctors etc. 







Visiting Dad-

Last weekend the kids & I went and visited Jarret instead of him coming home! We got out of the house and visited Manhattan, ks. This was the first time I did a road trip by myself with the kids. 



It was fun, we visited the local parks, swam in the pool, watched t.v. in the hotel, relaxed and spent family time together.













At this point Maddie was done! When Maddie is done, she is done and so she just laid back in Jarret's arms and looked up at the tree tops. When I'm done, can I just lay down and look at the tree tops? Ha.

It was great weather last weekend and our temperatures have been improving every week!

The track-

Our town doesn't have a high school running track, so if you want a designated area to walk, you walk the cemetery. When we first moved here 3 years ago I was thought it was weird, who walks the cemetery...?

But I guess it's a thing and you actually really don't even think about it...it's just kind of normal.



Since the weather was so nice this week, a welcome change, I decided to walk the "track". I love walking outside!


Thanks for reading my little check in and what we've been up to, where are almost at the end of the school year, yah!!!

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