Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Easy "To-Do" Chart Magnets DIY


Georgia will be in first grade next year and over the course of the last year in kindergarten she's become accustomed to a pretty scheduled day--and really likes it.  And in all my years in education I'll tell you that for the most part--all kids like some structure and consistency and scheduling; no matter what they tell you.  They like it.  It feels safe, and expected, and calm, and anticipatory.

I fully embrace the loveliness of summer with its lazy mornings, pool days, ice-cream truck treats on the lawn, and late nights playing in the yard….but I also know that we need a little structure, albeit loose, to these days or we all start to climb the walls a little bit.

I've seen a lot of ideas for 'chore charts,' and so many of them are really cute, but they also require quite a bit of work and DIYing.  I'm not afraid of that but because I knew Georgia would be handling this chart in that she would move her items from the 'to-do' list to the 'done' list it needed to be pretty durable and not fussy.

I used the Beautfiul Mess app to create my 'pictures' on my phone because they have great backgrounds, fonts, and little doodles, e-mailed them all to myself (you could also post them all to Instagram and save yourself a step), and then printed them using Sticky 9; a website that turns your instagram pictures into magnets.  Sticky 9 will let you upload pictures from your computer--which I did--or it can pull directly from your Instagram account.  I chose the bigger option for my magnets--they come in two sizes.

The gist of this is pretty simple.  There are a bunch of things we CAN get done in a day and some things that I want done in a day.  It's your choice.  When she completes the things I really want her to get done (making her bed, brushing her teeth, picking up clothes off the floor, practicing piano, doing a summer smart page, and reading two books) she can earn something I know she really likes to do.  If she completes more things she can earn more down-time activities.  And I'm pretty loose about it.  This isn't meant to strong-arm our summer days.  Just to give us a loose outline and make sure it's not noon and we've done nothing but watch Peppa Pig (which is hands down my new favorite kids show).





And now--we're off to the pool!  Enjoy this Tuesday!  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Chris. Georgia & Crosby's Dad.


We've got two kiddos this year for Father's Day!  Two!  Two babies who are lucky to have this guy as their dad.  A little girl and a little boy who light up when their dad walks into a room.



When I married Chris almost fifteen years ago I knew I loved him and we were together forever--the best feeling.  And then, nine years in, Georgia was born and this new layer of who we were and who we were to each other was peeled back.

Parenting is hard to do together….and easier.  And through all those nit-picky conversations that sound like, "why didn't you remember to bring her blanket-you always forget that kind of stuff, why are you holding him like that--it's not helping, I really need you to put the laundry away in the drawers--otherwise it just gets all messed up and I can't--I just can't, and I need ten minutes alone--like really alone….can you give me that?," there are more conversations that sound like………….


"you should have seen her face when you told her you'd make something else with her in the easy bake oven---so great!"



"You show her everyday how she should be treated by someone one day…..I love that."  


"Oh my word--his giggle around you is amazing."


"I loved watching you guys out there today--you make her brave."


"He sits with you so peacefully--like he just knows--he's where he wants to be."


"She loves you babe….she's so crazy about you."


"Seeing him in your arms…..and he's so little….I just feel so much peace when I see that."

I feel humbled on a regular basis that I have the honor to parent our children with you Chris.  You make me laugh at the end of the day when laughter seems 1,000 miles away.  You step in to give me a breather when I need it most.  You are patient when I am insane.  You instill confidence when I feel like the last shred of it has been stripped away.  And you are committed to making this house the most incredible home for our kids.  A place where they feel safe, loved, confident, taken care of, free to be themselves, creative, listened to, allowed to make mistakes, and ultimately….where they want to be.

And I love you everyday for that.
You are the greatest and most perfect dad for us.

Love you forever.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

When people love your kids…...

Crosby's adoption finalization was yesterday!  And it was as amazing a day as Georgia's was five and a half years ago.  And not because we could breathe a huge sigh of relief that he would forever be our son, he was our little boy the moment we met him in the hospital, but because celebrations of family and friends and support and excitement and love are always a good idea no matter the occasion; adoption finalization's, open houses, weddings, anniversaries, and all the in between.  When you love your family, and you love your friends, and they love your kids--celebrate it!

It's a pretty fantastic day when over fifty six of your friends and family come downtown with you and fill up the back of a court room and the judge proclaims with a huge smile on his face, "that this is one of the biggest finalization hearings he's ever presided over and it's going to make his day." And to hear those friends and that family each talk about Crosby and how amazing he is and how important family is really can't be beat (either can fantastic family court judges who know how to make these days special).

Georgia has been looking forward to this day for a few months now and for her to be able to experience a finalization as a six year old and have it be something she'll remember was so important to us.  She asked numerous times, "Is this what mine was like?  All these people?  All this fun?"

Sure was little girl.  Sure was.















The judge gave Georgia an official 'big sister' certificate, signed it, and presented it to her.  She walked so confidently and so proud up to his stand.  Didn't even give it a second thought, which for my introvert girl, means it was a pretty awesome thing to get and she wasn't letting the moment pass.






Adoption is this wonderfully intricate, emotional, life-changing, soul stretching, eye-opening, sacrificial,  and sacred thing…..and that's putting it so lightly.  Our social worker said in court that she loves to watch how we love our kids and how we love their biological parents and desire so much to have them a part of our lives--and that made me cry the most.  Because it's so true.  Without their amazing birth parents we wouldn't have our kids, we wouldn't be who we are today, we wouldn't know that there are never too many people to love a baby, and we wouldn't know how fear of the unknown could be conquered in such a powerful way. 

So we absolutely celebrate our adoption finalization's.  
Because loving your family always deserves to be celebrated.  
And letting your kids see how many people support them, love them, and cheer for them is a such an incredible gift!   

So Chris and I thank everyone who came downtown with us yesterday and back to our house afterwards.  Your love of our kids is something so incredibly special to us and your support of adoption--every part of it--is inspirational, encouraging, and affirming.  Love you, Love you!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Those Boys.

When I first started shopping for Crosby--because we owned nothing for a little boy when we brought him home from the hospital--I was convinced that baby boy clothes designers were for sure at the bottom of their class in design school.  When I say nothing--please know--there is no exaggeration in that statement.  When your first kid is the first grand-child and a girl…..there is no gender neutral about anything you get.  But uh--frogs, and trucks, and paw prints, and monkeys abound in the boys departments and right across the aisle you'll find super great things for little girls by the same brand. But I know--we all know that.  Someone told me--you're good at the Internet--just wait--soon you'll love shopping for little boys.  

And you know what?  I totally do.  There really is some great stuff out there if you know where to look.  But that's the problem sometimes--these great little pieces exist in independent web or Instagram shops and they don't make themselves super well known--they're like a jewel to be mined.  I mined some for you.  Some obscure--some more well known.  Crosby owns a lot of these pieces and I've learned through the years, that just like adult clothes, the better they are, the longer they last.  Stains come out of them easier, they look better after a trillion washings, they hold their shape, they feel better because the fabric is higher quality, they don't shrink, they don't wrinkle up, and they are more versatile.  So sometimes…it's really worth it and you'll save some money in the long-run because you aren't replacing things as quickly--and you can sell them for more money at consignment.  

Happy shopping and happy Tuesday!  Big day for us tomorrow--adoption finalization day.  I'll post some pics later on this week! 

Moccs--watch for good sales.  But really the only baby shoes you'll ever need. 
Striped beanie--all season in my opinion.
Rags to Raches Geo Star Mint Romper. 
Grey diamond sleeveless hoodie.
Real tiger tank.  Love this whimsy.
Patch pocket tank body suit.  I can't get enough of baby boy tank tops. The arm rolls/'muscles."
Color block cardigan.  Mr. Rogers-esque and great for chilly summer nights.  

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Luke 2:19. The verse for moms.

A couple years ago I stumbled upon the verse Luke 2:19.

….."but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often"….

She was a new mom….people were coming to visit her brand new baby……she knew who he was and who he was going to be…..and yet…..she had these secret mom thoughts…..moments that were all hers…..that she could bring back whenever she wanted to….whenever she needed to……because that's what moms do.  

I'd read it before but it didn't have a big impact--probably because I wasn't a mom yet and maybe because there are some various opinions on what it means.  But I remember reading it as a new mom and I thought, 

This.  This verse was written for moms.  This verse was written for moms who contemplate and think about and love their babies to the ends of the earth.  This verse perfectly describes the two hundred times we kiss our babies heads while we rock them to sleep and drink in how amazing their little heads smell….hoping to never forget that scent for as long we live and inevitably conjuring up that memory when we think about our kids, miss them, and long to hug them just one more time when they get on that bus for the first day of school or when we check on them at night before we go to bed.

As moms we all have those 'things in our heart' and we think about them often--because they belong to us--just us.

The way Crosby's feathery soft fingers feel when he brushes them along my arm while I'm feeding him a bottle.

The way Georgia shouts, "BEST DAY EVER," if I let her have ice-cream.

The way Crosby smiles with his mouth shut and his cheeks puff out so big he's lucky I haven't eaten them both.

The way Georgia mumbles she loves me when I kiss her on the forehead before I go to bed and she stirs in her sleep.

The way Crosby lays heavy against me when we sit on the blue couch and listen to Georgia play the piano--and he's mesmerized by her.

The way Georgia shakes her hands and nods her head when she's really getting into telling me a story.

The way it feels when my kids grip my hands, by shoulders, my legs, my face when they need me--when they need to feel safe and reassured.

The way Georgia tells me quietly that her stomach hurts a little bit when she gets nervous and can I pray for her to feel brave.

The way Crosby slaps the bed with his feet at the same time when he sees me peek over his crib to get him in the morning.

The way he giggles when I put a blanket over his face and ask where he is.

The way Georgia hunches over artwork and I can see her think so hard about what she wants to add to a picture next…..and next.

The way she reaches forward from the backseat and extends her hand signaling she wants to hold mine.

All those moments and what it really feels like to be in them--they're all mine.  I can list them for you, paint a picture kind-of--but really…..to live them, breath them, feel them…….they're mine.  You can't possibly know what it does for me, to me, and in me.  Just like I can't know yours.  They become part of the rhythm of our mom hearts and set the beat that keeps us going and each of us has a little different beat.

I'm reminded of verses like this and how deeply I love them at the beginning of a summer; when I have weeks stretched out ahead of me with everyone home where I can be present in so many moments that I want to store in my heart forever…..and think about often.

A few from tonight……
Two little amazing friends having so much fun on the trampoline, Disney radio playing on my phone from the lawn, the trees blowing in the wind, and just these two giggling and plotting 'moves' together as they jumped.












Get ready to store some moments this summer.  When they happen, you'll know it.  You'll know they're the ones.  The ones you'll think about often and always and that are all yours…..how it felt to be in them, how they made you love your kids even more, how grateful you were for those giggles, those little hands, that kiss, that wink, that question, that sigh, that smell, and that look.

Luke 2:19 this summer.
It's my new verb.  

Saturday, June 6, 2015

This & That, That & This. It's the weekend!

This is a hauntingly beautiful story and the photographer in me is so moved by this.  Make sure to watch the clip at the end.

COULD NOT LOVE THIS ARTICLE MORE.  I'm so sick of the "Raise Kids Like the 70's" posts, and "If only it were 1892," parenting mantras.  I'll just be over here continuing to hover and being just fine with it thank you very much.

Thinking about getting one of these for Georgia to make her own summer scrap-book…through her eyes.  If you have one--do you love it?

This made me cry this week. 

Boom.  The first one about walnuts is spot on.  I know, I know….language.  But Anna Kendrick is hilarious. Keep reading.  

Because I know you need another way to print your IG photos.  But seriously--these are rad

Some of my favorite baby board books are on BB this week--super great addition to a baby shower gift.  We have the Huck Finn & Alice in Wonderland Version.

This is $22 and it's striped.  So, there's that. 

Crosby's shorts with suspenders from our family photos that I've had some people ask me about.  


What's that?  I should post some more family pics?  Oooooookay.






Happy Weekend to you!!!  I have some DIY posts I'm working on--but gold leaf--it's kind of a butt kicker so it's taking me a while.  

Georgia has three more days of school and then it's officially summer for us!!


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