Parenting …

Parenting … is hard.  Don’t let anyone tell you any different.  There are so many stages of our lives that we feel are hard.  The older we get the more I feel like we realize those were the “easy” times and we should have enjoyed them a little more.

Since we had the girls I have been a stay at home mom and I have loved it.  Sure I have days when I feel like I don’t do enough for the family, or I feel there is more I could have done around the house.  Lately I have been feeling pretty down and out and struggling with being the stay at home parent.  I have been getting frustrated easily and not understanding why he wont take a nap, why he wont sleep in his bed, why he won’t play on the ground for more than 5 minutes, etc.  There are so many things that go through my mind and I have been struggling …. a lot. I start to put self-doubt in my mind and really feel I need a “break.”  Matt gets his break when he goes to work every day for 8-10 hours and he also coaches softball and has homework to do.  I feel he gets a lot of breaks while I am with the kids 24/7.  I of course get little breaks here and there but a lot of times I am taking the baby with me or the girls with me, so one way or another I still have a child with my more than just being by myself.

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Last week my dad called and asked if I wanted to go to the book store with him.  We decided to go to the Lifeway Christian book store and while we were there, I decided on Emily ley’s book Grace not Prefection. The next day I sat down while Trevor was napping and starting reading.  I read the whole day and finished the book … oops!  Did chores not get done of course, did I not spend much time working with Trevor or course, but it was what I needed.  I needed this book in my life at this moment.  Her book is about slowing down and taking time to really appreciate what you are given and to simplify your life.

After reading this book I realized that I don’t need a break.  I need to slow down and cherish the time I am getting to spend with my kids.  Sure things get crazy at times and we all need a little break but I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else.  God placed these kids in my life for me to take care of and be a stay at home mom and that is what I am going to do.  I am going to slow down and appreciate every milestone we accomplish, every set back we have, every cuddle I get, etc.  There are so many little things that if I didn’t slow down I would never notice. I wouldn’t notice that when I feed Trevor he still likes to hold my hands.  Or that he likes to put one big toe between his other big two and second toe just like his daddy.  Or that he is starting to giggle and stick his tongue out at us. Or that he needs something to chew on because he is starting to get teeth.  Or that Brooke loves to see our reaction to the drawings she makes for us. Or that Kendall likes to trip over things and then blame whatever she tripped over.  There are so many moments that pass us by that we don’t cherish and realize that it is ok for us to just simplify life and live in the moment.  They grow up so fast and we can never get those moments back.

I am so grateful that Emily’s book spoke to me in the bookstore that day and that I decided to read it.  It made me stop and keep things simply. It made me want to just relax and soak up every moment that I have with my kids. If I have realized anything, it is that I don’t want Matt’s work break, I want to be home with my kids because ever in those 8-10 hours he is gone and most of the time Trevor is sleeping and the girls are at school he still misses out on so many little moments that I am grateful to see.

Cherish those moments with your babies.  Don’t take the time for granted, get off your phones, computers, etc. and spend the time with your kids.  Practice sports, teach them something new, simplify everything and just enjoy the time you get with your kids while they are young!

Mel

September Reads

This month has been crazy and went super fast in my opinion.  I wound up having another surgery and didn’t really get around to reading like I wanted to this month.

I read two books but am in the middle of two as well.

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This kids devotional Bible is pretty neat.  I originally chose the book to help the girls with harder, more intense reading of the Bible and concepts.  When I got the book it was perfect for what I was looking for.  You open the Bible and read a page or so of text and then it is followed by a devotional.  The girls are still doing toddler/preschool devotionals and they are getting older and starting to ask more questions so I thought it was time to amp up their reading and make it a little more “noteworthy.”  After receiving the book and going through it, I realized that I myself would love to work through the book as well.  It still is a little intense for them, so we are working through it little by little but I cannot wait to see what they do with the knowledge they will gain.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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OH Play with Fire how you speak to my heart.  I love a good read but what I love more about this book is Bianca’s heart.  I have followed Bianca and her twin sister Jasmine on social media for a while now.  When I heard that Bianca was writing a book I knew I wanted to grab it right away.  This book will speak to anyone’s heart.  It shows of a time and way to keep the faith.  Things didn’t always go the way Bianca wanted them to go, she went through easy times as well as rough times.  The one thing that never changed was her love for her family and the faith she had nestled inside her heart.  Even in the worst of times her parents showed her how to put faith first. They showed her that if she did this he would answer prayers and watch over them.

**Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

What did you read this month?

Mel

Day 7 … Joyful

Day 7 … Joyful

Today’s prompt is what brings you joy.  I could have taken the easy way out and just listed each person in my family including the pup but I didn’t. 🙂

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  • My family – of course they are my #1.  They are the ones I can’t live without and the one’s that bring a smile to my face each and every day.  Even Brutus who isn’t in the picture ;).
  • God – my faith always seems to be my saving grace.  If I am having a bad day or just need something uplifting I turn to the Bible or a Bible study.
  • Rain – I love the rain.  I love the smell of rain and could literally sit and watch ran for hours.
  • softball/baseball – my first love.  I have played the game since I was 4 and still play to this day.  It is my safe place
  • reading – I hated reading growing up, however, the older I have gotten the more I love to read.  I love being drawn into a good book and taken to a place I have never been before.

What brings you joy?

Mel

Day 6 … my playlist

Day 6 … My playlist

ok so day 5 I was out and about but looking at the topic, I can’t really remember a memorable birthday.  It was definitely not for a lack of having them, I just have a horrible memory and honestly can only remember about one of my birthdays growing up … and I was actually about 13. OOPS!!

Anyway … I haven’t been listening to music all that often but lately we have been listening to Blink 182 and Florida Georgia Line so Those two CDs would have to be my playlist right now.

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What are you listening to?

Mel

Day 4 … Currently

Day 4 … Currently

Reading… Home Game
Playing… yahtzee with the girls
Watching… Underground
Trying… to eat healthier
Cooking… not a lot … I hate cooking.
Eating… better
Drinking… water
Calling… my mom
Texting… Matt usually
Pinning… nothing lately … I haven’t been on Pinterest in the longest time.
Tweeting… my blog post
Going… crazy … 3 kids well 4 if you count the hubby.
Loving… life .. I have been super stressed lately but looking at my kids makes everything that much better.
Hating… my body … my back has been hurting and now I think I pulled a muscle in my shoulder.
Discovering… that life is full of ups and downs.
Thinking… I need to start saving money
Feeling… like my head might explode
Hoping (for)… that the girls and Matt have a good year in school
Listening (to)… football
Celebrating… little man being 3 months old
Smelling… stinky .. we don’t have central air so it has been super hot … this fall weather is much appreciated.
Thanking… God for the life I have been given
Considering… how to save money … and getting a job.
Starting… to eat healthy and work out again
Finishing… this blog post!!

Mel

Day 3 … Summer Favorites

Day 3 … Summer Favorites

So I have to say that this summer flew by.  It probably didn’t help that I had a baby the week after the girls got out of school, so things have just flown by for me.

Some of my summer favorites:

  • Watching the girls play ball.  I was really bummed this year because I couldn’t help coach, however, it was fun to be able to sit back and enjoy the games and really focus on them and what they could improve on.
  • Trevor – Of course, my precious baby boy.  He was born this summer and is 3 months old and time has just been flying by.
  • New friends and parties – we have made quite a few new friends through our softball board and hanging out and getting to know them has been such a blessing.
  • Swimming – Brooke has learned how to swim this summer.  She is not so great above the water but doing awesome under water … and I’ll take it 🙂

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What were some of your summer favorites?

Mel

Day 2 … September Goals

Day 2 … September Goals

As a teenager, I always set goals for myself.  I would write things down and really get a handle on what exactly I wanted to accomplish and in how much time.  The older I have gotten, the more goals have slipped through the cracks.  I have a husband, a dog, and 3 kiddos to take care, most days the last thing on my mind is what I want to achieve in the next coming month.

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Today, I am changing that mind-set.  I am setting goals and getting myself a step in the right direction.

GOALS:

  1. Start working out and eating right – I fell of this wagon a long time ago and then got pregnant so working out and eating right has not been on my mind lately.  I am ready to get back on track and get this momma back in shape.  I have also been looking into healthier options for the girls too.
  2. Start saving – This is something we don’t do.  We have 0% saved back for anything, the girls have a small college fund but other than that we have zip.  I know that it is important for our future so I want to start saving some money this month.
  3. itWorks – I started itWorks last month and have been in a little rut and not really working the business the way I should be.  This month I am going to get back on track and work the business the way it should be.
  4. Cherish time – so many things for me get passed in a day and before I know I am wishing that I would have done more.  I am wishing that I would have said yes to the girls one more time. I am wishing that I would do something they asked me to do with them.  Our time is precious here on Earth and I really need to start making the most of the time I have with my kiddos and enjoying it more.
  5. Unplug – lets face it  … it’s 2016 and everyone is glued to their phone.  If you say you aren’t you are a liar.  I want to unplug more and be with the kiddos more. (see #4).
  6. Date nights – Matt and I hardly ever get to go on date nights and it is one thing I want to start doing more of.  It is very important for any marriage to take the time for yourselves away from your kiddos.  We don’t do this enough.  It doesn’t mean you have to spend a ton of money, we can go on a hike or just a drive, etc.

What are your goals for this month?

Mel

Blog-tember … who am I?

Blog-tember … who am I?

OK so I can’t remember if it was last year or two years ago, but I joined Bailey Jean in her blog-tember challenge and I am so excited to be joining her again this year.

If you would like to participate or see what it is all about you can check out her blog here or find a complete list of topics here.

I just recently saw this so I have to admit that I was unprepared and will be doing this on the fly each day, I mean who has time to get blog post ready with a 3 month old??  I went to Bailey Jean’s page today and totally stole her idea but here goes:

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  1. Coffee or tea? Hot chocolate … tea and coffee are gross
  2. Black and white or color?  oo this is a tough one for me.  I love being able to see expression through color, however, I love having an untold story with black and white and the colors and story can be whatever you want.
  3. Drawings or paintings?  tough one again … I have huge respect for both because I can’t do either.
  4. Dresses or skirts? neither!
  5. Books or movies?  Books. I still watch the movies but 99% of the time I will take the book over the movie any day
  6. Pepsi or Coke? Coke
  7. Chinese or Italian? Italian hands down
  8. Early bird or night owl?  Night owl
  9. Chocolate or vanilla?  depends on what it is but I am going to say vanilla.
  10. Introvert or extrovert?  Extrovert
  11. Hugs or kisses? Both
  12. Hunting or fishing?  Fishing
  13. Winter or summer? Winter, I hate the heat
  14. Spring or fall?  This is another tough one.  I love spring because of the rain.  However, I would ultimately have to say that the fall chilly weather and bonfires steal my heart!
  15. Rural or urban? hmm I think a little of both
  16.  PC or Mac?  PC because I’ve never owned a MAC
  17. Tan or pale? Pale .. just ask my family
  18. Cake or pie?  Not a huge fan of either but if I had to choose CAKE
  19. Ice cream or yogurt?  Ice Cream
  20. Ketchup or mustard?  Love them both but choosing one would be ketchup, I use it more.
  21. Sweet pickles or dill pickles?  Neither …. I HATE pickles!
  22. Comedy or mystery? I like both.
  23. Boots or sandals?  hmmm  I would say sandals only because I have huge legs that makes for finding boots that fit very difficult.
  24. Silver or gold? Silver
  25. Jazz or classical? I don’t listen to either
  26. Dancing or singing?  Dancing while singing.  The girls and I have dancing/singing parties all the time.
  27. Checkers or chess? Checkers
  28. Board games or video games? Board games.
  29. Wine or beer?  Wine
  30. Freckles or dimples?  I have dimples my hubby has freckles so I will say both 😉
  31. Honey mustard or BBQ sauce?  BBQ sauce
  32. Body weight exercises or lifting weights?  A mixture
  33. Baseball or basketball?  super easy one BASEBALL 100%
  34. Crossword puzzles or sudoku? Either one, love them both
  35. Facial hair or clean shaven?  Facial hair!
  36. Crushed ice or cubed ice?  Crushed is the way to go
  37. Skiing or snowboarding?  I have never done either one but I would probably be better at skiing.
  38. Smile or game face?  Smile
  39. Bracelet or necklace? Necklace
  40. Fruit or vegetables?  Fruit
  41. Sausage or bacon?  Bacon
  42. Scrambled or fried? Scrambled
  43. Dark chocolate or white chocolate? White chocolate.  Dark chocolate is too bitter for me.
  44. Tattoos or piercings?  Tattoos
  45. Antique or brand new?  Antique
  46. Dress up or dress down? Dress down
  47. Cowboys or aliens?  Cowboys
  48. Cats or dogs? Dogs
  49. Pancakes or waffles?  Pancakes
  50. Bond or Bourne? Never seen either one of these movies 🙁
  51. Sci-Fi or fantasy? Not a huge fan of either
  52. Numbers or letters?  Letters, they are more fun
  53. Star Wars or Star Trek?  Again … never seen either
  54. Fair or theme park? Fair
  55. Money or fame? Money
  56. Washing dishes or doing laundry? Laundry.  Both are never-ending tasks but I would definitely choose laundry over dishes any day
  57. Snakes or sharks? ummm neither
  58. Orange juice or apple juice? orange
  59. Sunrise or sunset? 100% cannot chose between the two.  I have seen both be the most beautiful sight I have ever seen.
  60. Slacker or over-achiever? Over-achiever
  61. Pen or pencil?  Pen
  62. Peanut butter or jelly?  Peanut butter
  63. Grammys or Oscars?  Grammys
  64. Detailed or abstract? Detailed
  65. Multiple choice questions or essay questions? Essays
  66. Adventurous or cautious? Adventurous … but as I am getting older and have had my kids I have become a little more on the cautious side.
  67. Saver or spender? Spender … just ask Matt
  68. Glasses or contacts? glasses
  69. Laptop or desktop?Laptop
  70. Classic or modern? Classic
  71. Personal chef or personal fitness trainer? hmm both please but if I had to choose chef … I hate to cook.
  72. Internet or cell phone? Don’t these two go together??
  73. Call or text? Text
  74. Curly hair or straight hair? Curly … and frizzy
  75. Shower in the morning or shower in the evening? In the evening
  76. Spicy or mild? Mild
  77. Marvel or DC? don’t kill my but a comic is a comic.
  78. Paying a mortgage or paying rent? mortgage
  79. Sky dive or bungee jump? BOTH!!  I am dying to do both
  80. Oreos or Chips Ahoy? Chips Ahoy
  81. Jello or pudding? Not a fan of either but I do like Vanilla pudding so I guess pudding
  82. Truth or dare? dare
  83. Roller coaster or Ferris wheel? BOTH!
  84. Leather or denim?  Denim
  85. Stripes or solids? Stripes and solids. I am boring.
  86. Bagels or muffins? Muffins
  87. Whole wheat or white? White
  88. Beads or pearls? pearls … I am an old soul.
  89. Hardwood or carpet? Hardwood
  90. Bright colors or neutral tones? Neutral
  91. Be older than you are or younger than you are? um not sure on this one.  I like where I am now, don’t want to go back to the past, it has made me who I am but don’t want to go to the future for life is short already.
  92. Raisins or nuts? Nuts
  93. Picnic or nice restaurant? Picnic
  94. Black leather or brown leather? Brown
  95. Long hair or short hair? Long. Although I always seem to want it short, but as soon as I cut it I regret it.
  96. “Ready, aim, fire” or “Ready, fire, aim”? Ready, aim, fire
  97. Fiction or non-fiction? BOTH .. love to read anything
  98. Smoking or non-smoking? Non … can’t stand it!
  99. Think before you talk or talk before you think? Think before you talk … although sometimes it winds up being the other.
  100. Asking questions or answering questions? Answering questions.

PHEW!! That was fun.  Tell me about you!

Mel

August Reads

Today I am bringing you my August Reads.  I have to say this month was rather slow with reading.  We were all over the place trying to get Trevor on a schedule and preparing the girls for back to school.  Needless to say, I haven’t had much down time to read but I did get 3 books in this month :).

  • Present over Perfect
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    I love, love, loved everything about this book.  I am definitely a huge fan of Shauna Niequest and her writing.  I own every single one of her books and true to order I couldn’t put this one down.  I love how she can take her life situations and make you feel welcome and invited to whatever is going on in your life.   These situations are not always fun or what we expect but we learn and grow from each of those situations. She takes her raw life and shows us that even her, a famous writer, has hard times.  She isn’t always 100% on board or gung-ho about what is going on in her life.  She like everyone else needs to take breaks and refocus on what is truly important in this life. She takes time when she needs it and focuses on her writing as she sees fit.  It is nice to see that we aren’t alone in this world and that priorities can slip from anyone in this world whatever you do, famous or not.

    **Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • Uninvited
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    hmmm what can I say about this book.  I also love Lysa’s writing.  I love how she can captivate an audience with a few line starting her book out.  I love how down to Earth she seems and how she isn’t afraid to share what she has been through.  We have all had those moments where we haven’t been invited to something, been turned down for a job, been told no, etc. Those are all moments we have felt unwanted, unneeded, unappreciated, however, even in those moments God still needs us.  We are still a part of his plan and have a mission set in front of us.  Lysa turns her negatives into positives throughout this whole book.  She shows you how you can make the most of all those bad or negative situations in which we sometimes get put in.  She shows how to stay positive and not get down or turn away from those NOs. I now have a new outlook on how I will take those rejections, go with the flow, learn, and grow for next time.

    **Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher through BookLook Bloggers in exchange for my honest review.  I was not required to write a positive review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

  • First Comes Love
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    ok so I love Emily Giffin and her writing.  I seriously can read her books from start to finish in one day if given enough alone time.  I love how she can draw me in right from the beginning.  I always feel like I am one of her characters or a part of this book and I am sitting at the table or in the store shopping with them side by side.  This book left me a little short and disappointed though.  I always love her writing and her books and this one was no different, however, I hated the ending.  I don’t want to spoil the ending for those of you who have not read the book but I wanted so much more.  I wanted to know more about the way things wound up with each sister.  The book is about a family who loses a son in a car accident, then his sisters who are complete opposites grow up and have to learn to cope and deal with things head on.  It has a great message on how love should always come first and how everything all boils down to love!  It was a great book I just wanted more.

Mel

Faith Fuel Box Review

Today I am bringing you the Faith Fuel Box Review

I love a good subscription box.  I think I have literally tried almost all of them out there at one time or another.  Stitch fix is amazing of course, I just recently tried Le Tote and Honest Beauty.  I wanted to find a subscription box that has meaning behind it or something that would send a lasting impression on me.

A few months back I won a giveaway with Chamel and fell in love with her products.  I immediately wanted to go to her store and buy everything she had to offer, I still use all the items I received from that giveaway.  When I saw that she had started a faith fuel box, I knew right away I was going to purchase one to see the amazing products she had lined up.

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I just love the box in general, you can tell that each piece has a unique quality to it and it is all so uplifting.  I have pieces from this box all over my house so I can find daily reminders that I am ENOUGH, that I am perfect in his eyes.  Each piece is hand-picked and has a purpose driven message behind it.

*** If you want to place an order use code: MELISSA and you will get an extra little happy in your box!!  WOOHOO!!!

I would highly recommend the Faith Fuel Box.  If you are looking for a new subscription box or even if you just want to try one month go check it out! If you are a business owner and want to get involved, reach out to Chamel via Twitter or Instagram.

Mel