Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Belated Christmas celebration!

We finally celebrated Christmas this past weekend with Brent's family. Between his dad being in the hospital and the flu hitting my inlaws, we steered clear until all was well in Beaufort county. 

We stopped at Hayes Barton on the way out of town for some lunch and hellos with Brent's work peeps. I can't say enough good things about the pharmacy staff and the restaurant. If you haven't been, you're missing out on some great food and pharmacy care. 

Emma made Grandaddy a necklace and he wore it! We are beyond thankful that he is home. Please continue to pray for his health as recovery is still a long road. 

Emma did great all weekend. She slept next to us in her toddler aero bed. 

We did manage to pick up these books at the Beaufort county library sale. $2 a piece! 

I have many more pics on my nice camera, but Brent and I are currently on our way to Ikea so this mobile post will have to do! Picking up some last minute big girl bed items......super excited and scared for this new change!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015


I have been behind on posts, but rest assured...a lot's been going on!  Emma was having a hard time over Christmas break - just really moody and defiant.  She has leveled out some (THANK YOU GOD!).  She has decided to stop napping (insert loud whaling here).  We try and have down time, and maybe one day a week she will nap at school.  As depressing as it is, it was harder for me to fight her during naptime.  She would jump up and down in her crib, play, sometimes scream.  I may try doing some modified down time in her crib with books, but for now - she sleeps great at night so I won't complain.  We are getting ready for 2 major transitions - potty training and big girl bed - so I am sure there will be some chaotic times ahead!  

I am still beyond blessed to work part time.  It allows me to spend so much more time with Emma at home doing fun things.

One day, we headed to buy books and stumbled upon story time - complete with a craft at the end!

Last week, my hair appointment started before Brent could get home.  So I took Emma with me for the first 40 minutes.  She did awesome!! 

She is OBSESSED with Olivia - the books and the show.  I don't mind it.  There are way worse things out there!  How cute is she here with her book and legs crossed??

We also went to the Mebane outlets one day.  Like a dummy, I forgot to bring any change or cash so we couldn't ride any of the cool animals there.  I almost started begging other shoppers for spare change....

The ladies at the Coach store were so enamored by Emma that they gave her some stickers and a little bag.  Emma thought she was sooo cool!

Of course, she fell asleep on the way home, so I took the back roads and enjoyed myself.  

She woke up around the Jordan Lake area, so I stopped so we could enjoy the sunshine.  It feels like it has been rainy all year.  It was heavenly to be outside with this pretty little one!

Emma loves Brooklyn, who lives next door.  She's always wanting to say hi to her.  We feel very fortunate to have the Winslows next to us and love hanging out in the driveway together!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015


Last Wednesday was supposed to be a snow day...but mother nature decided to wait a bit longer:)

I had already planned on staying in that day, and stocked up on food, wine, and craft supplies for Emma and I.  We stayed inside all day, got messy, and practiced a lot of patience (have you ever painted with a 2.5 year old????)  We yelled at the cats when they came too close to our paints, and laughed a lot.

First, we made these heart crayons from Pinterest.  We will give them to her classmates for Valentine's day.

Then, we made these salt dough ornaments.  It was super easy, and a lot of fun.  (did I also mention cheap?!) Some of them will be little ornaments, and some magnets for the fridge.  I also plan to do other holidays, like Easter and fall.

And since we are on this crafts kick, I thought why not make this barrette holder for Emma's small hair clips?  (She already has a larger one for her bows).  I just painted an unfinished wood frame and hot glued some ribbon onto the back.  Brent will hopefully hang it on the wall next weekend.

And for myself, I decided to get back into some jewelry making, but this time with clay beads.  I had seen an awesome necklace at a boutique in Raleigh and knew right away I could recreate it.  I used polymer clay that you bake to make it harden.  Then just stringed the beads on leather cording.  You can add other metal touches, and change out beads - the possibilities for color combos are endless.

They make really fun, unique, and whimsical necklaces.

Not a good picture...I need to practice my Instagram outfit selfies (!!!), but you get the idea!

I love doing crafts and sharing them with Emma.  I can only hope that she continues to want to do them with me:)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A New Year

I've been struggling with this post for 8 days now.  I felt like it should be profound, full of goals, and meaning, and hope.  But honestly, I'm frazzled.  I'm sad, tired, and feeling down.  Motherhood is hard.  There's no way around it.  It's a constant struggle to block out what I wrongly think motherhood is supposed to  look like.  Like all the cutesy, picture-perfect pictures I see on Instagram...you know, the ones where mom is insanely beautiful and skinny.  The kids are ALL smiling, wearing non-stained/dirty outfits, and the house is immaculate.  There's no evidence anywhere of yelling, piles of laundry, clutter, toys everywhere, greasy hair, or time-outs.

Emma has been a challenge.  I know, I know.  You don't believe me.  You've all been doped into thinking she's an angel (probably from all my Insta photos).  This age is really hard, and I'm just not sure how to handle it.  She's been super-defiant towards me.  She doesn't listen to me very well, and doesn't respond to any of the approaches I am taking - timeout, humor, ignoring, popped bottom, and yelling (Yes, I am losing my temper way more often than I want and it's killing me).  
I even tried whispering...yes, like a toddler whisperer.  
Do they make those?  
If they did, I would pay A LOT to have one.  
The week of Christmas, it was tantrums...full, blown up tantrums - 2 or 3 a day.  Laying on the floor, screaming, thrashing, complete chaos.  After that, it's just been defiance.  No napping, and simple requests are challenged.  It's extremely frustrating.  I'm scared to go anywhere, I hate that I can't control or handle the situation, and I hate the feeling of not wanting to be around my own child at times.

To make matters worse, she has been favoring Brent over me.  I know it's normal and it's a good sign of development but it stings.  Really badly.  I'm in the trenches getting crapped on, and then all she wants is to do the fun stuff with dad (who she also listens to better).  Whenever she gets mad at me, she just yells "Daddy, I want Daddy!"  Then when we are all together, she tells me to go away and "let daddy do it."  You have no idea how painful this is, and how rejected I feel (well, you probably do). Yes, she's only 2.5 and she probably doesn't mean it.  But I'm also human, and I love her to pieces.

It's a daily battle.  I've been Googling articles on parenting like crazy, and trying anything, anything at all that might help.  I want to instill respect in Emma, and she must obey me as her parent.  But am I asking too much of her at this age?  How can I get Emma to listen to me?  I know all the other seasoned parents out there are laughing at me right now.  But I'm struggling, help a defeated mama out:)

Have I mentioned that she has only napped TWICE in the last 3 weeks?????

So, obviously the first thing on my mind this year is being a better parent.

I'm also struggling with how little time Brent and I have had together.  December just plain sucked.  Brent's dad is still in the hospital, although in rehab now. He may get to come home this week, where we will begin another long road of recovery for his heart and hip.  I am beyond grateful that Brent still has an earthly father here.  But it's been a hard road of taking care of family that thankfully is only 2 hours away.  Between his work schedule, the holidays, and being down there. Brent has been gone a lot (cue why parenting Emma during this difficult stage is so hard also).  Supporting one another has been a challenge.  We desperately need some time to ourselves, and some good quality time as a family (where Emma isn't giving me the death stare while clinging longingly to her Daddy...)

Last year, I made date nights a goal of ours, and we did do better.  I think now that I am part time, it is easier. And in the fall, we spent a lot of quality family time together that I look back on with great memories.  Bring back the park trips and weekend outings, please!!!

But as I keep thinking about how little time we spent together, I realize we had some really great moments too.  And I also realize that I'm not enjoying them fully because I'm too busy being peeved about the times we haven't had (confession). 

My second hope for this year is to savor the moments I have with everyone - family, friends, those at work.  
I can't control everything, but I can try to control how I approach it all, how present I am, and how I react.  This is something I will always struggle with (who doesn't), but I want to lay down each night feeling content with my choices and how I lived life that day.

I came across this on another blogger's post, and it hit me hard.  She wrote it so simply and beautifully, and so I share it here.  It will be my prayer, every day.

As I've mentioned before, I'm not one to make resolutions to kick off the year since I feel like each day brings opportunities to reflect on ways I can be a better mother, wife, friend, daughter, etc.  Am I giving and showing love the best I can, am I creating a warm and happy home for my family, am I giving my time and energy to things that make a difference, are my expectations and goals both for myself and my family in check, am I present and available to my children when they need me, am I modeling patience and kindness even when it's tough...  These are things I pray for and I'm grateful for the fresh start each day brings, not just each January.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Party Animals

I'm not going to lie...I'm not a huge fan of New Year's.  If it were a party that counted down to 10pm, then yes, I would go all out and enjoy myself until 10...get crazy, dress up, be a party animal.

But I'm old.  
No, seriously, I have never been able to stay up late.  
This year, we went to dinner with the Winslow's and left the kids at the their house to frolic.  We went to Primal, and LOVED it.  I really love their food and can't wait to go back.  And I'm very thankful for these friends that just happen to also live next door (Lucky us!):)

We came home from dinner by 9pm (such party animals!!!!!!!!), changed into our comfiness (ladies...you know what I mean...stretchy legging goodness and soft sweaters), and drank champagne while playing Cards of Humanity - it was hilarious!  We even stayed up until 10:45...sound the alarm!!!

Brent woke me up with 30 seconds to go...I opened my eyes just in time to hear the 10 second countdown, then snoozed back to sleep with my Hubs snuggled next to me and my Emma all cozy in her crib...not a bad way to start the New Year:)

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Christmas 2014

I haven't really known where to start, it's been so long since my last post.  The holidays were busy for us, and quite honestly, all a blur.  December seemed to blow past like a speeding tractor trailer and I'm still lamenting that Christmas is over...and that I didn't quite get to enjoy it's peacefulness like I wanted. (Don't we say that every year?!?!?)

Nonetheless, we managed to spend some great time together as a family, and despite the stress of travelling and having a sick toddler, we were grateful for the memories made.

The weekend before Christmas, we took Emma out to look at lights.  She also enjoyed her first chocolate milk.

We also made a gingerbread house from the kit I had bought at Trader Joe's.  Emma had a blast, and loved looking at it throughout the holidays.

Monday night, when Brent got home from work, we set out on our drive to Pennsylvania.  We left at 7pm and stopped just on the north side of DC in Maryland.  Emma slept most of the way there, and then it didn't take her long to fall asleep in the hotel once we got there around midnight.  We bought her one of these to sleep in (since she isn't in a big girl bed yet and the pack n play is too small).  She loved it and slept great in it..I highly recommend it!

The next morning, we hit up Starbuck's for some fuel before the rest of the drive - only 2 1/2 hours.  Breaking it up made it super easy.

The hotel was gorgeous, and always is decorated beautifully for Christmas.  It really isn't like staying at a hotel...it's not informal or sterile, and the best part...no cooking or cleaning!!

I tried very hard to get a good tree pic...but Emma was just not having it at all.

We walked to dinner at this cute cafe, where you bring your own bottle of wine.  It was delicious, and Emma did really well.  It was a fun dinner with my family!

Emma was so cute copying Brent here....

Somewhere between NC and DC, Emma developed a nasty bug.  She feel asleep in NC, and then woke up HACKING in DC.  It was the most awful cough you've ever heard.  We shrugged it off, until Tuesday night when she coughed all night and developed a fever.  Needless to say, we got no sleep (because she coughed all night and we were worried about her) the whole trip.  We worried it was the flu, but meds seemed to help and reduce her fever.  We also worried it might be croup.  It was nerve-wracking because we didn't want to take her to Urgent Care (germs), but we also needed to know if she had something that needed attention.  In the end, we decided to ride it out and wait until the day after Christmas.  She ended up being fine, but it made Christmas eve and Christmas day more challenging.  We were all tired, and she was cranky most of it.

We took Emma to the Children's Lovefeast service, where she did pretty well.  Then we took a drive with her so she could nap (Emma doesn't really nap well right now anyway, and certainly wasn't about to in a strange place).

BAH HUMBUG family church selfie:)

Again, trying for a good photo...not sure how people get them with multiple kids...they must take like 400 to get one semi-good one to post on social media:)

We also took her to the Candlelight service that evening, and she did better there than at the earlier service.  I was really proud of her:)

Before heading up to the room, we stopped at the bar to get some drinks (because who doesn't do that with their toddler?!?)  It was a lot of fun, and everyone thought Emma was so cute (So cute that one gentlemen bought all our drinks...).  Everyone down there was in such a great mood....it really was Christmas cheer all around.

We ordered room service and then went to bed.  It was heavenly...laying around in our pj's, watching Christmas on TV, and eating fatty pasta.

The next morning, Emma was a bit cranky...probably from all the meds we were pumping in her.  She opened 2 presents and was over it.  

We did have a visit from Santa at breakfast...and she was super happy about that!

We packed up around noon, and headed out.  I captured this as we drove out of the hotel....a view of our church.  It was so sad to leave and even more depressing that the sun was finally out the day we were leaving.  It had rained the ENTIRE time - from the day we left, all the way up, to the last night.  And quite frankly, I was more than over it and a little peeved that it ruined any chance of being outside in such a beautiful place.  Either way, the beauty that Christmas day brought was just a reminder of it's real meaning.  Those days leading up to Jesus' birth were scary, tumultuous, and dreary.  Then with His presence, the sky cleared and it was a new day...