Sunday, December 30, 2012

New Year Changes {a mom-day post}

Sunday, December 30, 2012
Clay ornament I was asked to make for my friend.  It's her husband in his Boy Scout gear. 
The new year feels like a good time to shake off old habits, organize the chaos that has built up over the holidays and start fresh.

I'm ready to make some changes, some will be easy, others will be harder.

I'm not sure how successful I will be at them, so I hesitate to put them in writing on here for the world to see.

This holiday season was chaotic again for the third year in a row.  I want that to change- desperately.  Not sure how to make that happen, but I have some ideas.  

My blog has suffered over the last year.  I want to change it's trajectory, clean it up, update the look.  I'm excited about what's coming.

My home has fallen apart.  A year ago on Labor day weekend we started the basement project, add in a pregnancy and baby and any semblance of routine has flown out the window.  Time to bring it back.

My poor body has suffered.  I'm not sure I'm ready to do anything major (no marathons this year) but I can definitely treat myself better- more sleep, more water and better food.  

It seems overwhelming when you start putting it all in one place.  But one bit at a time, I know it can all be done.  

I'm ready to start a journey and I would love to invite you all to join me.  The thing I love most about blogging is the community that exists here.  If we all band together we can make amazing things happen.  We can support, encourage and help each other.  We can be the light for someone else when their skies are dark, and in turn- when it's stormy where we are, there will be someone to lift our hearts.  

Who's in?  What mountains are you hoping to climb?  How can we help you achieve your dreams?  2013 looks to be a good year- let's make the most of it!

xoxo,
Amy
p.s. I'll be picking the winner of the Grandway Apron Monday night- hurry over and enter- time's almost up.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas Eve!

Monday, December 24, 2012
Merry Christmas Eve Everyone.

I Hope you're enjoying your family, friends and the wonders of the season. 

I'm here with one last Christmas gift for you- an apron review and Giveaway!  I just love playing Santa.

I had the chance to review a Grandway apron.  I chose the Grace and I love it.  It's got such cute details like the faux bow in front, the ruched bust and the brown accent trim.  I really like that the neck is made with two ties so you can adjust for your body and it doesn't pull.  Even my husband agreed it was pretty cute, which for him is saying something.
So now, the good stuff!  You can win one Grace apron of your very own.  Entries are easy and the giveaway will be open for one week.  Good luck!!  


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Merry Christmas everyone!
xoxo,
Amy 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Love Notes- a gift wrapping idea

Thursday, December 20, 2012
My daughter is getting older.  

In fact, it's her birthday today! 
 Happy Birthday- H!!

I don't know if any of you have noticed this, but it seems that as children get older, their wants and tastes get more expensive.  
My darling H wanted something pretty pricey for her birthday.  She's old enough to understand a bit about our budget and means and knew it was a long shot at best.  I decided that if she really wanted it, it could be her Birthday gift from us and her Grandparents, as well as her main Christmas gift.  She thought about it and decided that it was what she wanted.  But, that means only opening one gift.  Which is sort of a bummer to a kid- especially when they already know what's inside.  So I decided to up the fun factor to the opening.

I took some tags that I cut out using my Cricut.

Wrote some love notes on them to my daughter.  
 Wrapped them up in layers of paper.  6 to be exact. (should have done 11, since that's how old she is now ;) )
 Then gave my very special daughter her very special present.

It would also be fun to wrap small treats or tickets or money in the layers.  But, honestly, I think our children need to know how much they mean to us, and this is a lovely way to let them know.  

As she opened the layers, my daughter carefully found and read each one and set them aside.  She pointed to the pile of notes when she was done and said, "This was a good idea!"  

I can't finish this post without a tribute to my sweet girl.  She is such an amazing sister, daughter and friend.  She has a tender heart and is wise beyond her years.  She has taught me so much on my journey through motherhood and I would not be the person I am today without her.  I love you so much H- and I hope you have a very Happy Birthday!!

xoxo,
Mom

Monday, December 17, 2012

With Love

Monday, December 17, 2012
XOXO,
Amy

Friday, December 7, 2012

Point of View Reveal Nov/Dec- ORNAMENTS

Friday, December 7, 2012
I can't believe we're already into December.  The days and weeks and months just fly by.  I hope you're all more prepared for your Holiday celebrations than I am.  But, I still have a couple of weeks left, right?  Anywho- Are you ready to share some ORNAMENT goodness?

POV-Decemberr-2012 Pretty awesome right?
This is my full project.
Wait- you want links?

 Okay:
Gwen: Gwenny Penny
Leanne: Organize and Decorate Everything
Amy: scroll down past the link party
Jonie: Just Between Friends
Ashlee: I'm Topsy Turvy

And now you:  Link up your ornament goodness right here-

Now for the Details about my project.
 There is this opening between the kitchen and the family room in my house.  I really like that it helps keep the children and their messy eating habits corralled in the kitchen, and it's a fun place to decorate.  This year however, we needed a little change.  First, with the addition of the homework station, there is a lot more color this area is exposed to.  Second- we moved our sofa so it's right under this opening, which means anything that gets put there is fair game to be touched/ grabbed and/or handled in some way by small children.  This necessitated the creation of some new decorations.
These babies were quick, cheap and virtually indestructible.  The triple threat of holiday decorations in my house.

I have just two tutorial pictures.  The rest I think you can handle on your own.  First, I cut out various sized circles out of boxes.  This gives the ornaments some stiffness.  Second, I traced the circles onto a double layer of felt and cut them out.  *Two bits of advice: Pin, pin, pin.  I know I typed it three times, but it's just the first bit of advice. ;)  The second is, don't do what I'm illustrating and cut the felt larger, once you've traced the circle onto the felt, cut your cardboard template just a bit smaller so it won't show through the sides.
The rest of the project involves hot glue and your imagination.  Have at them and hang them all over.
Here is a closer look at my three largest ones.

I hope you're having a wonderful season, full of cheer, family and happiness.  I look forward to seeing you and what you've been up to.
xoxo,
Amy

Monday, December 3, 2012

Getting into the Spirit {a Mom-day post}

Monday, December 3, 2012
Saturday was a no-good-very-bad kind of a day.  A lot of arguing, tantrums, crying and grumpiness- oh, and the kids were acting up too.  I was feeling un-loved, un-appreciated, and unhappy.  I was ready to call it quits on everything- my business, my mothering, the holidays- Bah and Humbug!! 

I pouted all day.  If no one else was going to be happy, well then, by golly, I wouldn't be happy either.

Sounds like a good plan, right?

After a good cry, a good venting to my sweet friend and a good dose of church I was ready to begin again.  After all, it is Christmas.  And I am the mom.  And if we are going to make memories, get in the Christmas Spirit and enjoy the holidays, well, that's my job. 

We were going to take a train ride, but it started raining, and with a 4 month old, we just didn't feel like it was a good idea.  So, we opted for a family movie night instead.  After deciding on that activity- I would like to say it was magical. But we had to have some arguing first over which movie we were going to watch. 

Awesome.

I ended up learning something.  The less I leave open for debate, the better.  So, I picked the movie and the treat. :)  We ended up watching Christmas Oranges which led to more tears and protests.  But I held firm.  If they wanted treats after the movie, they were going to have to watch this one. 

So, here is where the happy part of the story comes in.  The movie was wonderful.  It was delightful to watch the children and see how involved they got in the story.  My 6 year old was indignant about how the little girl was treated, and everyone was happy with the end of the show.  Then we went upstairs and made these:
Yum!

My purpose in telling you this story is one of encouragement.  Motherhood is frustrating. And this time of year seems to magnify that frustration.  You see pictures, movies, commercials and cards- all showing perfectly happy families, enjoying perfect moments, with perfect smiles in perfect settings.  Everyone wants that feeling- that moment.  And it seems like is should be much easier than it actually is to get there. 

The reality is much harder.  And messier.  And full of a lot more tears.  But, it is also much more worth it, and more enjoyable knowing how much effort it required to get there.  You have to be determined, and thick skinned, and persistent.  It is possible, though.

So, don't give up.

The moments will come and go.  So make sure you see them.  And enjoy them while they last.  Because once you've had your moment, you'll have to clean it all up. ;)

I hope you're all having a wonderful holiday season.  I'd love to hear about the special things you do with your family, or the things you try to do, or the things you want to do but it's just not the right time or season.
XOXO,
Amy
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