Thursday, December 5, 2013

Family Photos- Fall 2013

Apparently, since I can't do anything legitimate to keep my children small, I've decided to quell my urge to stop time by taking a rather unnecessary and grossly inappropriate number of photos of them. 

Enter our Fall 2013 photo shoot with my wonderful long-time friend, Michelle from Michelle C Photography
Michelle and I went to high school and college together and were even in the same sorority. She is an absolute gem and we loved the time we got to spend with her in this beautiful Florida park over Thanksgiving.

No, I cannot believe how big my crazies look in these pictures. But I love them. I especially love that she so accurately captured who they are right now. 

This smirk is so Davis. Always giving us a little attitude but in the most adorable way. 

And I cannot even take Madelyn in those boots.

This is what they are like 1/3 of the time- loving and sweet. But the rest of the time they're more like this- perfecting the fine art of snuggle wrestling...

I'm so grateful for this little reminder of where we are right now and I cannot wait to fill our house with these beautiful images!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

And then they grow...

Life has been so good and so sweet lately.

I am just loving the kid's ages- they are becoming best buds and it is the most precious thing to watch. I love to spy on them and catch little bits of their conversations. Sometimes I hear Madelyn tell Davis something like "Davis, we need to be kind to each other" and I really feel like I'm killing this parenting thing. The next sentence she yells something like "holy smokes!" and I humbly step down off my pedestal.

I don't know if I'm just more conscious of it now because I see how fast they're growing  or if I just have more time to reflect as they become increasingly independent, but it is so so bittersweet this parenting thing.

I absolutely crave the smell of their sweet baby heads. I want to rock them to sleep. I want to kiss baby rolls and put them in footed jammies forever.

I want to rub their tiny toes while I feed them and then hold them curled up on my chest, marveling over their perfect little features.

They are definitely not my babies anymore. They are rowdy, hilarious, loving, little crazies. And as quickly as my heart starts to break at the loss of what was, it swells with the goodness of where we are now.

There are so many wonderful things about this season, so many reasons I love where we are and the adventure of our every day together.

Life truly is so so good.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The freedom to say no

As you can tell from my last few posts, I've kind of been going through some stuff lately. Mucking through the everyday rigor of being a working mom. Finally winning the battle of feeling content and settled in our current home instead of incessantly wanting to be somewhere else. Constantly trying to suppress my type-A personality that is at this point doing more harm than good. 

A few weeks ago I had a little moment. A bit of a pity party about being a working mother. I guess I hit my breaking point and just got plain overwhelmed. It happens. I declared there would be no more intricate meals, just heated convenience foods. That we'd have house cleaners every two weeks like clock work. That I was taking a major break.

But something funny happened when I said those things out loud.

Somehow, giving myself the freedom not to do them, made them seem less daunting. Once I gave myself permission not to clean, I actually felt myself having the urge to do it myself. After taking a full 7-10 days off of cooking, I wanted nothing more than to get into my kitchen and whip up a good meal. 

I suppose sometimes we just need to feel like we don't have to do these things. Once it becomes our choice, it's somehow less overwhelming. 

The same thing happened a few weeks ago when Matt and I were discussing Christmas. For a year now I've wanted a new fridge. Ours is really old, it's not well organized, and the freezer just doesn't have enough capacity for us at this point in our Costco-shopping lives. We've had a less than ideal year financially, with a lot of house issues needing attention, and I decided with complete certainty that we were going to make this one completely unnecessary and over the top purchase for ourselves. We earned it, after all. We work hard. We rarely splurge on anything. We were going for it.

And in the past few weeks, something changed. The thought of spending that money when we could use it to replenish our savings started to seem ridiculous. There are things that need financial attention now--like our vehicles --that are much better suited for those funds. It was like I'd only wanted the fridge so badly because it had been an impossibility for so long.  Once I gave us permission to buy it, I realized we didn't need it. I cleaned our current fridge from top to bottom and now it sparkles like new. And to take care of the needed freezer space, we're getting a small chest freezer for the garage. That will cost a whopping $150. 

Maybe I'm the last person to learn this lesson, but it's been a valuable and humbling one for me personally. As someone who strives to practice gratitude daily, and who is truly living the life they always dreamed of, I sure do carry around a long list of "wants". I want more time with my kids/I want a bigger kitchen/I want new boots for Fall/etc etc etc.  It's not pretty, but it's honest, I'm working on it. 

I'm looking forward to a holiday season of LESS. Small, thoughtful gifts. Big time spent together doing fun things. Less wanting, more gratitude for what we have, and doing as much as we can to help others. I think it will be good for all of us. 

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Heart Change

A few years ago, one year ago even, I would have sworn all I wanted was to move to a new house. I (we) really needed more space, a bigger kitchen, the better school, something newer than this 1982 house that was merely a place I was stuck in as a side effect of the housing market crisis.

It was unnerving. We had our house listed for two years with only a handful of showings. We knew where we wanted to move- we even had a floor plan picked out for our new build. I had a plan. 

I had a plan, and I could not understand why things weren't going my way.

Here we are now and I've spent the last year praying, really praying, about God's will for our family. And somehow, somewhere along the way, something changed. My heart changed.

We got more involved in our church and started to build a community. We put Madelyn in soccer and made new friends. We continued to work on the house with not one room left untouched. I started to notice the charm in this small town- the little farmer's market on the corner, the way they decorate the town square every holiday, the lake with the walking path and huge playground. The quiet. Our big yard with gorgeous old trees that literally rain leaves in the fall. And suddenly, I feel like this is exactly where we're supposed to be. Where we were supposed to be all along. And I'm grateful my plan didn't work out. 

I don't think it was financially the right time for us to move, but we would have done it anyway. I don't think the place we were moving to was right for us, but we would have built that new house with no hesitation. Because I was so convinced I knew what was right for our family.

I'm grateful for heart change. I'm grateful that I was wrong, and we were saved from a string of poor decisions. It's been humbling, for sure. But the way I feel content, settled, and happy here, is an incredible blessing that far outweighs the damage to my ego. 

This house is all we need. And honestly, the older I get, somehow the less I want. Would I like a larger kitchen? Absolutely. And seriously, I'd pay ten fold for an extra guest bedroom. But I know we'll have those things one day. When it's the right time, and we know it's the right thing for our family, we will.

And when we do, it will be all the much sweeter. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

My Lazy Mama's Guide to Couponing

My recipe binder, and where the week begins
Meal planning is one of those things that seems really overwhelming to a lot of people. For me, it's like a comfortable anchor in my week that I've come to look forward to. A few months ago I added some subtle couponing to the mix and have been really surprised at the difference it has made.

Once a week I put on my comfy pants, make a cup of coffee, and go to town. It makes the daily hustle a little less painful and avoids the 5 p.m. dance of screaming hungry children. (Note: it's less of a dance and more of an unbridled meltdown, just in the essence of full disclosure).

Here's my method.

1. First I go to this website and see what is on sale at Publix, our local grocery store, for that given week. We only shop at Publix and Costco. While I'd love (LOVE) to have a closer Trader Joe's or Whole Foods, it's just too difficult for me to get there right now. I base my list fully off of what's on sale that week. And here's the real shocker- I only do printable coupons. I don't get the newspaper and spend hours cutting and storing them. I print what I need for the week and that is it. This site makes it incredibly easy, and I always save at least $25.

2. After making a list of what's on sale that I'd like to buy, I take a look in my freezer/pantry and see what else we need to make meals for the week. I browse Pinterest, my cookbooks (favorites: 1,2,3,4), and a list I keep in my recipe binder of our favorite go-to meals. I try to cook really simple things with few ingredients and I always take our schedule into account. Wednesdays and Fridays are busy for us, so these days are always leftovers or a crock pot meal.

3. I try to buy the majority of our produce at the farmer's market either on Friday or Monday. I find the cost just slightly lower than at the store, but since we eat very few processed foods I like knowing the produce we consume isn't coated in waxes and nasty chemicals.

4. I also check these sites for coupons. One offers a good variety of natural and organic options and the other focuses on Amazon, which I love so much I would marry if given the chance.

5. I also check Costco's coupons. Our goal is to make one trip there a month and stock up on gluten-free granola, organic chicken, organic eggs, cheese, frozen organic berries, fish, and other dry goods (paper towels, Lara bars, stuff like that).

I then post our menu both in a weekly calendar on the fridge and in my planner.

For me, it's worth the hour of work in cost savings. But as you know, my time is incredibly important to me and if it took any more than that, I'd likely stop. I'm never going to be the person that can only spend $60 a week at the store. I have to growing children who both eat more than I do, and eating organic is extremely important to me. But, any little bit I can save is a win for us.

I am far from perfecting this process, but I've definitely found what works for us. We still eat out once a week, and there is always one night a month that gets too crazy and we wind up eating pizza, and that's ok. It's about Grace Not Perfection, ladies.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My Thoughts on Children's Birthday Parties

I think it's time we address how completely out of control we've all gotten with children's birthday parties.

At what point did ordering pizza, having cake and celebrating with your immediate family become totally unacceptable? Here we are, us moms, complaining that we have too much on our plates, and all we do is continue to add to them.

I did not grow up having a big to do on my birthday, and thus, I am perfectly content with a very small acknowledgement and perhaps a solo trip to Target.

My husband on the other hand, comes from the land of big birthdays. His birthday is his personal equivalent to Hanukkah and requires a minimum of seven day of celebratory activities and fan fare.

For our kids, we've had moderately-sized, casual, and fairly easy birthday parties. Family and closest friends, some coordinated decor and fun food, and always, always cupcakes.

But the more I put it all together, the more it stresses me out. I want our kids to feel special on that day, but they don't need a big party feel that. I want them to know that there are a lot of people who love and pray for them, and that their birthday is as much for us to celebrate as parents as it is for them as growing kids. They certainly do not need a buffet of fancy food made from scratch and 50 presents to open. That is so not the message I want to send.

Yesterday, we celebrated our little miracle boy turning two. We had a small group of people to the house, ate hot dogs and fruit skewers, and the only thing I did to decorate was put out some pretty fall flowers and nice ribbon on the utensils and vases. When anyone asked them what to bring him I said nothing, and I meant it. I wanted everyone to celebrate him, and what a blessing he is to us. And honestly, it was the best birthday yet.

We spent a whopping $30 on decor, we ate easy, simple food, and we spent the afternoon talking and visiting and it was wonderful.

And you know what I was doing two hours before everyone arrived?


I wasn't prepping food, or hand stamping thank you cards. I was smelling his sweet breath and rubbing his soft little head while he napped. It was my favorite memory of the day. I was relaxed, and had I been a manic party planning mess, I would have missed it.

I think going forward, and as they get older, I'd like to let our kids pick an activity to do as a family on their big day, and get back to the special family meal and small celebration. In my quest to simplify every other area of my life, this seems like an easy next step.

Here are a few pictures from our day. This first one makes me melt into a puddle on the floor.

Clearly, he enjoyed himself :)

He had his eye on cupcakes. I don't blame him. 

The lazy mom's decor. Take that, Pinterest. 

No Davis, you may not play football. But please pick any other non-combative sport you'd wish. Preferably, golf of swimming. Love, your mommy.

Moms- let's give ourselves a break here. If you want to do the big party, if you enjoy it, then by all means please take joy in that. But if you find it stressful, borderline excessive, and if you spend the day running around like a crazy person, take a step back. I've seen the other side, and it is nice :)

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Defeat and Margin

Girls, I am having a week

And it's Tuesday.


The good news is, I'm not a stress eater. The bad news is, I am a stress drinker, and three nights in the past week my dinner consisted of wine and chocolate chips. 

So, there's that. 

I am just feeling plain overwhelmed. A feeling not foreign to working moms, or probably any moms for that matter. But honestly, I just feel like working moms get the worst of it. 

The constant juggling. Constant feeling like you aren't doing enough at home/at work/with your kids/for yourself/for your husband/etc etc etc. Constant cleaning yet still never feeling like the house is clean. Never having enough time for anything (or so it feels). It feels like trying to squeeze 48 hours of activity into a 24 hour day 

And this week, I broke. I hit my threshold. It's mostly my own fault, and I realize that, so I've decided to make some changes. I'm simplifying. My kids are going to be this little for like six seconds in the scheme of our life, and I absolutely refuse to be stressed and stretched anymore. 

I'm creating some margin and taking some of the pressure off of myself. As a self-professed control freak, type A perfectionist, you can understand this does not come easy. But when mama's happy, everyone's happy, right? RIGHT?!

  • For starters, I'm giving myself a break from this self-imposed pressure to cook fresh, healthy, balanced, instagram-worth meals every single night of the week. I'm sick of rushing to get dinner ready, doing dishes every night, all of it. So, the two days of the week I'm in the office I'm going to pick up a ready-to-heat meal from Whole Foods on my way home. I'm also going to commit to one crock pot meal a week. The rest, I'll deal with as it comes. And ya'll, I'm buying paper plates (as the hippie in me shudders with disdain). 
  • And two, I'm re-instating the monthly house cleaner and strongly considering asking them to come every two weeks. I put them on "hold" this month knowing we had some extra expenses in the hopper (don't we always) but spent a good part of our home time this past weekend cleaning, which meant I wasn't playing with the kids, reading to them, practicing soccer with Madelyn, hanging with Matt, you get the picture. I'm over it. 

If the worst thing my kids eat all week is an organic rotisserie chicken or Applegate nuggets, and I have to shell out more money so I can have more time with them, so be it. I can't be freakin Ina Garten in the 20 minutes I have to get dinner ready each day. I just can't. 

Everything comes with a price, or a compromise rather. I love to work, but it does affect my ability to be the "homemaker" and mother I see myself as. It just does. I love my job and I think the benefits to our family outweigh the negative aspects, but I also have to admit I can't do it all. None of us can. 

And with that, I'm off to pour myself another glass of stress wine. Cheers, ladies. Here's to a new day and a fresh perspective. And maybe even a little more time and a little less crazy. 

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five on Friday

It's time for Five on Friday again, girls!! Here's what's been happening at the homestead this week.

1. I've been making a few updates around the house, include sprucing up my front door wreath for Fall. After gushing over expensive wreaths on Etsy I walked my cheap self up to Hobby Lobby and make one myself. Is it a little crooked? Yes. Did it cost less than $15? Yes. Am I dying to paint my hunter green door and shutters? Yes Yes Yes. 

2. I'm working on a big post about how I meal plan as well as about how I coupon. A quick teaser? I'm the laziest couponer ever and have still managed to save at least $30 every week at Publix. Stay tuned. 

3. I've searched for years (years) for the right chambray shirt. I wanted something that was medium weight, with a tiny bit of stretch, and long enough for my long torso. And where did I finally find The One? 


Duh. Why am I even surprised?

Don't be jealous of my wrinkles. Or my 1982 bathroom counter tops with BLUE veining. 
4. We made this for dinner last week and it was super delicious and healthy. I highly recommend.

5. And lastly, I painted my nails last Friday using an Essie color and Revlon's gel top coat and they are still chipless! This top coat is a dream. Don't tell me what wonder chemicals are in it, I don't want to know. 

Happy weekend, ya'll!! Bring on the wine and football!!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

GameDay, Baby

In marriage, we all make compromises.

We compromise our tastes in food, decorating, vehicle preference, to better suit the one we're with. We go to Nascar races, camp in the woods, and watch the kids so our husbands can attend their fantasy draft party. 

I'm like to think I'm a pretty accommodating wife, but one area where I will not compromise is College Football.

Anyone who's known me for more than four minutes probably knows that I went to the University of Florida, that I am a true and true Gator fan, and that I fully intend to brainwash both of my children into sharing my love of this beautiful establishment.

But my husband, bless his heart, has been a Georgia fan since he was in utero. He grew up in Athens where the school is located, his grandfather worked at the dairy factory on campus, and he shames our family by barking at the TV every time they do that God-forsaken cheer. 

So what are two people who share a love of conference rivals to do? 

They choose a neutral ground, a safe place so to speak. For us, this place is Clemson.

I have cousins who went to Clemson, they are an ACC school, they have a beautiful campus, and we've been season ticket holders for the past five years along with a group of our friends who love this school the same way I love Florida. 

This past Saturday we left the kiddos with the grandparents and spent the entire day tailgating and watching the game with a big group of friends. It was an insanely long day, I am still (still) exhausted, but it was an great day. 

Here are a few pictures of our adventures. 

We hung out in front of the stadium to watch the players run in onto the field from the buses. This is a Clemson-specific tradition and one I'm glad I got to see/Matt and I at the tailgate (did I mention Clemson played Georgia? And they won? I was trying to contain myself but I was pretty excited)/Our group in front of GameDay

A few of us heard that there were nice (read: non porta potty) bathrooms at the baseball stadium and walked right into the press box which I'm confident was supposed to be locked. It felt very collegiate and sneaky and fun. Here are the boys calling directions down the dugout, naturally./ Matt and his brother Luke. Brothers can still dress alike when they're grown up. It's cool. 

It was a super fun day. Not one I'll be dying to replicate anytime soon seeing as how we didn't get home until 3 a.m. but fun nonetheless :)

Friday, August 30, 2013

Five on Friday!

Since I can't seem to get it together enough to actually write a legitimate blog post, I thought I'd link up with adorable Darci for her Five on Friday series. I can handle a post in bullets. In fact I swear that's how my brain is organized most of the time.

1. Ya'll, I started making my own coffee creamer. I feel like such a Martha. I used this recipe and can vouch that it's easy, cheap, and delicious. I only did this because I couldn't ever find a yummy flavor that didn't have tons of artificial flavors and chemicals and it's been a very welcome change to our morning. 

2. Madelyn started soccer this week. Watching someone try to teach four year olds soccer is like watching them try to herd cats but it's freaking adorable. And I'm so proud of her. She worked really hard and did so so well.

3. I realize I'm late to the party here (just like I was with chevron prints and twitter) but I am Ob-Sessed with the Mindy Project. It's funny. Watch it.


5. And last (but certainly not least), I got to celebrate six years of marriage to this guy a few weeks ago. We went to an amazing restaurant that serves Krispy Kreme bread pudding for dessert, which means it got an instant approval from me. I of course had a cold and couldn't taste said amazing food, but can assure you we'll be returning for round two. 

Hope everyone has a great Labor Day/first-college-football weekend! Gooooooo Gators!!!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Sweet Spot

I feel like we've ventured in to the sweet spot of parenting littles. It's this happy place where the kids are getting a little bit more independent and their personalities are just exploding, and while our life is loud and chaotic (did I mention loud?) our job as parents is feeling a little bit easier. In some ways I feel like we've hit our stride.

We've done the sleep training. We know how we want to discipline. We are the proud parents of two very good, very healthy eaters. And there probably hasn't been a single time in our lives when we've laughed so much on a daily basis. Those two crazies bring an unthinkable amount of joy to our life.

Yes, there are tantrums. There are constantly messes to clean. My kitchen floor is literally always dirty. Someone always needs me and I've come to think that it's Davis' personal mission to see how many times he can call "mama!" in any given day. The laundry and dishes never end. Ever. But I know this time is  precious. And I know it's limited.

With every bit of independence that they gain my heart breaks just a little. In the span of your life, the time you get to spend with little, squishy, loving babies is so so short. Now on the other side, while our life may be a little bit easier, I grieve for that time with them and I'll never get it back. 

Matt always jokes that I panic when I have to be away from them, and that's partly true. But it's because I see them changing so quickly and I know my time with "babies" is coming to an end. Let's be honest, it's probably been over for a while now.

I will appreciate this stage while it lasts, knowing that every stage is a phase that eventually passes. But it's bittersweet to say the least. 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Friday Fun List

If you're wondering what we'll be up to this weekend, this is it.
No cleaning, no laundry, just FUN.
Want to join?! 

recipe here
Make watermelon slushies
Plant flowers for the back deck
Run through the sprinklers
Go to church
Watch Charlotte's Web
Go to the farmer's market and strawberry patch.
GET MY NAILS DONE. (justalittle excited about this one)

Thursday, May 23, 2013

...and then my heart exploded

While on vacation in South Carolina earlier this month (more on that later) we hired a sweet photographer to attempt to capture family pictures. My mom and sister were in town and it's rare that we're all together since we live in three different states, so we took advantage.

I had low expectations. I mean, low. The only way I can get Davis to sit still is if I'm feeding him and I wasn't dying to have his lunch included as the fifth family member. It was unusually windy outside,  so much so that we had to change locations at the last minute. I was wearing white jeans, a questionable choice, and I hadn't even had a glass of wine yet (#FAIL).

And then the pictures came back.

And my heart exploded.

I'll spare you from having to look through everysingleone and force myself to just include the favorites. But really, I could have shown them all. For your sake, I'm trying not to be that mom.

Gigi and her girls

I die. I am literally dead.
I swear she gets prettier every day

Love his little expression

Daddy's girl

Few things will make a girl feel just plain lucky like looking through pictures of the beautiful family you helped create. This world would never be complete without those two little smiles and I dare you to convince me otherwise.

When I was younger and dreamed about having children I could have never imagined this joy and I'm so so grateful to have it documented.

If you are ever in the Charleston area I highly recommend using Amy for your photos. She was an absolute doll to work with and as you can see, knows her way around a camera :)

This Week's Menu


Wednesday, May 15, 2013


I am having a mad mad love affair with an app. You may think it's Instagram, my usual drug of choice, but there is a new girl in town whom I can't help but think may be aptly named after my life.

Please do yourself a favor and go download BeautifulMess right.this.minute.

And when you're done, come back and enjoy the above picture taken in a field of wildflowers on Sullivans Island, South Carolina- where sounds of the ocean filter in from just beyond the trees and where my crazies found great joy. Thanks to Bob Goff I'm learning to embrace adventure at every opportunity and this little spot provided the perfect backdrop :)

Thursday, May 2, 2013

May Goals...and beyond

I've been working through Lara Casey's power sheets, approaching my plan for the year in a different way. Rather than looking at one week or one month, I'm spending time thinking on what I want to do this year. When I look back on 2013 at Christmas time, what do I want to be able to say that I accomplished? What activities make me the most happy and how did I infuse them into my every day routine?

I can't even tell you the clarity that has come from working through these goals in such depth. I'll definitely elaborate on that process another day.

For now, I want to clearly state my goals for May so that I am fully accountable for them. I'm also listing a few of the goals I'd made and completed for the year, purely so I can have the satisfaction of crossing them off :)

May Goals

1. Plan and book our trip to Walt Disney World for later this year. I want to plan this far in advance to ensure we have meal reservations at all of the fanciest princess-approved venues. This trip is going to be EPIC for Madelyn and I definitely don't want to wing it.

2. Finish Love Does by Bob Goff. Ya'll, this book is incredible. It's a quick entertaining read but it will change your life.

3. Update the picture frames in our house.

4. Finish painting the kitchen.

5. Send cards with updated pictures of the kids to grandparents, great-grand parents, and other extended family members.

6. Sell our baby stroller, car seat, and bases. Yes, I know what you are thinking. And yes, this is the official "we are done" battle cry of two parents who have decided we are elated to have two incredible children and that is enough for us.

And lastly, a few things I have crossed off my list for the year:

1. Paint the master bedroom and bathroom
2. Open 529 accounts for the kids and fund monthly
3. Book a family beach vacation

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Little Miss turns four

Last weekend we celebrated the fourth birthday of our sweet baby girl.

 And let me tell you folks, four feels old

It is uncharted territory- parenting this little person with strong opinions that she can articulate
 in long detailed sentences.

Beware- sassy girls on the loose
One minute you're stressed over sleep training your infant and the next your baby can get themselves fully ready for bed and put them self to sleep without much more than a hug from you. 

It's bittersweet to say the least.

Oh, but how she just light us up with joy everyday. 

She loves pink. She wants to be a Disney Princess. She insists on wearing dresses as often as possible and will scowl should I suggest she don anything other than a glittery shoe on her foot. 

A princess pinata. Naturally.

She loves to take care of her baby dolls and knows just how to turn her daddy to mush. She likes to tell him he's handsome and say the prayer every night before dinner. And she's just dying for her little brother to get a little bit bigger so he can stop pestering her, though I tell her that's not likely to happen soon. 

If what they say is true- that God lets us pick our parents- consider me forever indebted to her. 

Special thanks to Heidi and Beverly from Sweet Birdie's Nest for the insanely cute invites and door decor. 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Worthy Reads

Beautiful verse courtesy of Emily Ley

Lately I'm really seeking wisdom from those around me- on the interwebs and elsewhere. Trying to focus less on the daily chaos and more on being a better person while I'm in it.

Every once in a while I stumble upon a post that feels like something that everyone should read. Here are a few of them.

This post is by Paige Knudsen who lives locally here in Atlanta and is the mom to four beautiful girls. This woman has a story to tell, and she recalls the challenges she has faced with incredible grace and wisdom (there's that word again). She wrote this post on her anniversary to her second husband and it has really stuck with me. If you are married- read it. You won't regret it. 

This post was one of those articles that showed up on my Facebook feed because another mom I know (and highly respect) had commented on it. It discusses why sometimes it's good to let your children play alone---GASP! I know. A shocking revelation in a society where we often feel like we need to cater to our child's every need and provide their main source of entertainment, all the while forgetting that the ability to learn to do these things for themselves can lead to incredible character development. Obviously more applicable as your children get a little bit older, but a good dose of perspective no matter how old your kids are.

And lastly, a post that spoke right to my gut. Emily Ley is a designer, entrepreneur, mother, among other things, who's blog (and products) I have really enjoyed. She wrote a post about why you have to take time to nurture the things you love, in the midst of mothering, working, and everything else we manage as women. Taking time for yourself will always make you a better mother in the end. I've talked about this before and I've really seen the benefits. Let the guilt go, moms. Your kids don't want you to be stressed and harried. They want you to be happy and relaxed. Make that happen.
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