Turning Our Focus

You may have already seen one of these pictures on my Instagram a few weeks ago, but I wanted to share them here with more of the story-DSC_3814coDSC_3850c

Here’s what I wrote on Instagram, “Life around here has been hectic lately. Our basement flooded, kids have been sick, there have been a million Dr appointments and an unexpected tooth surgery, plus a million other normal day-to-day things we have going on. I’ll admit, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and focus on the negative, but then I come downstairs to find the boys playing piano together, and as soon as I put Ford down he wanted to be right there with them, and it reminded me that life is all about what you focus on. There is always bad, and always good, and I hope I will always remember to focus on the good.”

There is SO much good in my life, even when life seems overwhelming and like everything possible is going wrong. I just need to remember to focus on it, and in my mind, I feel like I do, but when people genuinely ask how I’m hanging in there, I tend to say something more like “well, lifes hard with three kids” etc etc, and it is, but I need to be better about what I focus on when I answer those questions. My children are a joy, I love them. Yes parenting can be hard, but that isn’t what I should be focusing on, and when I don’t focus on it, I barely even notice that parenting is hard.

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I had a really great conversation a few weeks ago with a good friend of mine about how we can easily get distracted by things that are good and lose our focus on what is best in life. Many times we spend so much time doing “good” things, that we end up not having time left for the things that are “best” like one-on-one time with our children or our spouse. One of my favorite talks centers on the “good,” “better,” and “best” things in life. I feel blessed that I was raised in a family that knew the importance of what was best in life, and we spent much of our time growing up either at church, at school, or spending time with our family. As Brandon and I have become parents and especially as the kids get old enough to want to go play with other kids all the time, we have had to start deciding what is better and what is best more and more often, and sometimes it can be really hard to know what is the best thing for our family, and for me one of the hardest parts is telling people no when they invite us to something that is a good thing to go do and would be fun but our family really needs that time as just Mom and Dad and our kids, so we turn down the invitation. Yes, at those fun things we would be together, but where would our focus be? Most likely, it’s not on each other. The kids are running off with friends or cousins, and Brandon and I are chatting with the adults. It’s good, and there are times when those activities are great, but nothing is as important as that time with your immediate family, especially if you’ve been missing out on that lately.

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Seeing how much my boys just enjoy that time as brothers really stopped me in my tracks and helped me to pause and enjoy that time that we have while they are little and to put down the vacuum and just be present and focus on them. They are what’s best in my life.

Hibernation

Hasn’t this weather been amazing??? We have been outside a lot over this winter, it was such a mild winter, no complaints here, but most of it was spent (at least by me) digging dirt in and out of our yard after our basement had to be dug out and repaired. Talk about a workout, but this kick into the high eighties has finally been enough to pull me out of hibernation and and get playing and photographing again. I’m also finally almost done with some other big home projects that I am getting ready to share with yall once they are finished and I think you’ll love them. I feel like I really am coming out of hibernation after a quiet but restful winter and am so excited for the Spring!Playing outside spring (3)Playing outside spring (5)Playing outside spring (6)Playing outside spring (7)Playing outside spring (9)I’m sooo glad I captured this moment because those lips!!!

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I know the last picture is blurry but it’s my favorite. That’s exactly how I feel when a ball is coming at me too. Also, yes my parents do have a boat upside-down in their yard that the kids have turned into a slide. It’s awesome. They are also turning an old four-wheeler into a toy for the kids to ride and it’s awesome. I’ll have to share a picture of it when it’s done but I’ll give you a sneakpeek and say that it is baby blue with awesome fake horns (the loud kind, not the antler type kind, although that sounds awesome) attached to the front. Coolest grand-parents award.

Perfect Holiday Outfits For Your Littles

“This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.”

With the holidays coming up, it seems like I bring the camera out more and more. Family comes into town and you want to get those great pictures with cousins or Grandma, you see them celebrating all of their “first” holiday activities, and it’s finally cool enough to go outside (It’s still been 85 degrees everyday here!). There’s just a certain magic and fun to the holidays that reminds us to get out our cameras and preserve those memories so we can have them forever. Ford has been growing so fast and so we needed some new baby holiday clothes for him, and I have been looking for some playclothes that would double as adorable photo outfits.
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I was able to check out Carter’s new arrivals for little guys, including their little boy pajamas, and found exactly what I was looking: stylish outfits that are baby-friendly. I love tiny shoes and flannels for winter and fall, and there’s not much cuter than a sleepy baby in Christmas pjs. We have already welcomed in the season of friends and family coming to visit; my cousin and his family stayed with us this last week, and we went on all kinds of adventures that were great for taking pictures and capturing the fun age that Ford is. We headed down to Senoia, GA, so they could see some film sets for movies and shows they are filming there and just take in the local scene. While they were walking around, my kids needed a little play break and I snapped a few quick pictures of him in one of his new outfits.DSC_8685

How cute is that outfit? I love that the jeans, and the whole outfit, as are comfy as they are cute, because goodness knows if he can’t play in it, I’m gonna hear it. Comfy clothes for the win, and they’re prices are great. While my cousin’s family was here, I took advantage of extra distractions running around the house and bit the bullet, and gave Ford his first big-boy hair cut.
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Doesn’t he look adorable, especially in that bowtie! I love that Carter’s sells so many outfits in sets, like this one, so it’s take the guesswork out of finding coordinating clothes. I would have never thought to pair this bodysuit, army green pants and cute bowtie together, but look how adorable it is, that’s why they are my go-to. I love that his bow-tie and pants are festive and have greens and reds, but it’s still modern and pretty neutral. This outfit can definitely be worn year-round.
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If you’re looking for great holiday pajamas and clothes, Carter’s is going to have awesome Black Friday deals, and their “Dash to Win” sweepstakes where the first 100 people to their Carters/OshKosh stores on Black Friday will all get promo cards to shop with. To help you get your holiday dressing on, Carter’s has made a great coupon for yall, and you can shop online or in-stores with it, below!

http://i1.wp.com/s3.amazonaws.com/carters-ecomm/prkit/CAR_HOL_PRKit_BloggerCoupon_1000x1600.jpg?resize=456%2C731&ssl=1

Best Halloween Ever

I shared this post on my personal Facebook on Saturday night, after coming home from our church’s Trunk or Treat and it so perfectly captured my exact feelings on how our night went, and our Halloween in general, that I want to share it again here. I was so humbled and touched by the response (look at the comments on that post). I received so many messages, comments, and shares, from friends, to the Battlebot community, to total strangers who were touched by Sawyer’s love for Battlebots and the tender mercies I saw unfold that night. God knew exactly what my little boy needed that night, and made it happen. My heart is so full. Here is the text of the post:

“Lately, this kids had a rough time. He needed a win, a pick me up, and tonight he got just that. For months, he has begged to be Chaos Corps – Bombshell for Halloween. Anyone who’s talked to him for more than five seconds, probably has heard him talk about BattleBots (he’s obsessed) and since he’s been awesome through some tough stuff lately, I wanted to make it happen. So for the last month, we’ve been drafting, building, painting, making this Battlebot costume together, and he’s been so excited, wanting to try it on every day and telling everyone about it. Then, this morning, the day of our church’s Halloween party, he got nervous that no one would know who he was (which they probably won’t- it’s not a super well known), and he got sad. All that excitement dimmed, and my heart hurt for him. I even considered texting a friend of mine to tell her what the name of his costume was, just so someone would seem to recognize him. I wanted so bad for him to just have a great night, and I didn’t want him to worry about anything except having fun.DSC_9608

I would have been happy for him just to be happy and proud of the costume he’d worked so hard on, but he got so much more than that. Before we even walked into the building for Trunk or Treat, a boy said “Mom! He’s a Battlebot! You’re Bombshell!” and I saw Sawyer’s eyes light up (Thank you Aundrea Baker DeMille for having an awesome kid who knows what Battlebots is). For the rest of the night, he was so happy. He was so excited to go on stage and show off his costume, and when he sat down, he looked at me and said “Mom, they clapped for me! They like it!” He was beaming. I was so happy. He’s a good kid, and he needed that so badly. He didn’t even hear when they called his name as the 3rd place winner for the kids his age, because he didn’t even realize there were winners, in his mind, he had already won, but he carried that ribbon around in his pocket the rest of the night. Best Halloween ever.14895692_10207798883426323_1161618209_o

PS- because it got asked so much tonight- google “Bombshell Battlebots” to see the Battlebot he’s suppossed to look like, and the hat, glasses, and beard are all meant to look like the guy who controls it. And, thank you @BattleBots on ABC and Chaos Corps for being an awesome obsession for my kid.”DSC_959714881592_10207798875546126_781011606_o

It really was such a good night, and all of your comments and nice messages just filled my heart to the brim, especially the amazing generosity and kindness shown to Sawyer by the Bombshell team, Chaos Corps, themselves. Earlier this month, I took him up to the Atlanta Maker Faire. He eat, sleeps, and breaths Battlebots (as in literally ask to watch it the second he wakes up and builds fake Battlebots all day and wants to fight them against me haha) and so when I found out that one of his favorites would be there for him to see it in person, there was no question that we were going. The team members who were there were SO nice to him. I was so grateful for the way that they showed him the different parts, explained to him how they worked, and let him touch and ask questions as much as he wanted. A lot of people would have just ignored the four year old kid who was shy at first, but they were awesome to us. He stayed at their display for about a half hour, inspecting each part and asking tons of questions and telling them his favorite fights from Season 2. Then, he went and got Rhett, who had been watching a racing event with my Aunt, and taught everything to Rhett that they had just taught to him. After that day, Bombshell has been his #1 favorite Battlebot and he has been building his own pretend bots at home even more, and trying to utilize some of the things that they showed him that day (like how he asked if he could have the chain off of my bike because he wanted to hide it in the shaft of a bot just like they did and use it to turn a vertical spinner, which he had already created by taking apart one of my pizza cutters. I love his desire to build things and know how things work but we’ve had to have some chats about what can and cannot be taken apart, I am running out of kitchen ware and his brothers are tired of their toys being dissected haha).

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Last night he had an awesome time Trick or Treating and was so proud of his costume and his giant bag of candy. He wouldn’t even take off the box part of his costume to sit down on the golf cart and he never wanted to stop trick or treating, so we stayed out 9:30 (there were still tons of kids out too! Yay for crazy fun families like ours haha). It really has been the best Halloween ever and gave this kid (and his Momma) and much needed awesome weekend.

(Last Minute) Lumberjack 1st Birthday Party

Poor Ford. He is totally getting the “third kid” treatment. I knew his birthday was coming, knew I should probably do something for it, but it wasn’t until two days before when I realized that if I didn’t use Amazon Prime to order things that day, that I would have to actually take my three rambunctious boys into a store, that I actually put something together. I’m not sure how actually “themed” this party can be called, but I was inspired by all the amazingly cute Lumberjack parties on Pinterest. Feel free to note the lack of decorations/games/silly printables and notice the most important thing- everyone’s happy. You can’t beat a birthday party that Mom didn’t break her back trying to plan and the kid is totally happy. He’s a baby anyways, all he cares about is that cupcake. Happy Birthday Ford!DSC_7000DSC_7074

He’s gotten so big! I can’t believe it and I see him every single day. Onto the food!

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Thank goodness for Publix and their delicious always ready desserts. Once again, (if you’re interested), I got the bow-tie, the little trees, and the buffalo plaid pants all off of Amazon Prime just two days before.

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I try not to brag on my kids much, but this kids adorable. Look at those eyes.

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Can you tell he liked it? We had some Publix cake for everyone else, and presents for the little birthday boy.

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Happy Birthday Ford!