{Thanksgiving Menu 2011}

Friday, November 25, 2011
Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving! Ours was unique for sure, but it turned out great! More importantly ... what was one every one's menu? Monday I'll be sharing our tablescape, but for today, I'll show you our menu ... I made it totally last minute, but I think it turned out great!

Anyone else create a menu for Thanksgiving? Wish me luck, I am leaving the house at 12 AM for some holiday shopping with friends ... better yet, pray for me :)


{Halloween Trick or' Treating 2011}

Tuesday, November 22, 2011
Can not believe that I forgot to post about the boy's Halloween. Let me first say that my kids were the cutest on the block ... ok, proud mamma here, and I am allowed to say that.

Every year I struggle with the kids costumes ... what will they be, will they wear it, are they going to be too cold, etc. This year was no different. Let me backtrack ... My son Braeden is obsessed with super heroes ... something I really despise. So it wasn't a hard decision for me to ban them in our household after he started acting them out, and having trouble at school. That being said, did anyone happen to notice the trend in kid costumes this year? ALL SUPER HEROES ... are you kidding me? Where are the cute costumes for younger boys? Do they all really need to be fighting costumes? I was a little disgusted to be honest. And to be fair, I almost let Braeden be Spiderman this year, he saw the costumes everywhere and didn't understand why he couldn't dress up as him. But I stuck to it, and decided I would start talking up "real heroes." Yep, REAL heroes are the men and women who protect our country and community. Like Firemen, Policemen, Soldiers, etc. It caught on pretty quick and it was long after there school had "Fire" week where Braeden was talking up Fireman. "Stop, Drop & Roll!" So I ran with it. I found the BEST fireman costume online that was an exact replica of our community ... it was the bomb!

Now Bayler is still at the age where he can be talked into anything. The only problem that I may face was him wanting to be the same thing as Braeden. He LOVES animals, especially dogs, so I started talking about dog costumes with him and showing him ones online ... he loved it! SO of course I had to get the Dalmatian costume to go with his brothers ... the cutest costume ever! Seriously, he was the cutest little puppy I have ever seen :)

So there you have it ... for Halloween this year I got one handsome fireman and one cute puppy ... couldn't have worked out better! They had SUCH a fun time too. It took Bayler a little while this year to get used to his costume, he would put it on, but would want to take it right off. That was until he realized he got candy for wearing his costume ... I didn't think I would ever get it off of him! I can't tell you how many people stopped us either. They were the perfect combination. And the number of Fireman that wanted to buy Braeden's costume from me was unbelievable.

Hope everyone had a GREAT Halloween!!


{Fall Cleaning}

Monday, November 21, 2011
Anyone else go into full nesting mode when the leaves start falling? It's like that first Spring like day where you open up all the windows and start dusting and ti dding things up ... but in fall. The leaves start changing and the feeling of being trapped inside the house for months overcomes you. I for one start throwing things out, putting things on craigslist, and just have an utter dislike for things in my house. I think it's my bodies way of telling me "It's almost Christmas and you have NO WHERE for the new toys to go .... time to start purging." Which I guess is a good things since it's true.

It's not only getting rid of items in the house, but cleaning is in full effect. Yesterday I took every single mattress off the bed, cleaned under the beds, put a mixture of baking soda and lavender all over the mattress and vacuumed them entirely. I told you it's like nesting ... but I promise I am not prego... PROMISE this time :)

Many of you asked me yesterday about the baking soda and lavender mixture ... so I thought I would let you in on my little secret for "Deep Cleaning" those mattresses ... which by the way, should be done at least twice a year!

Go to the store and buy the large box of baking soda ... you'll need it if you are doing multiple mattresses. Then purchase some lavender oil [really any nice oil will do, but I use lavender because it technically means "clean" and lavender helps the body fall asleep.] I will add 2 cups of baking soda and about 10 drops of lavender oil to a food processor. I use a processor because I like it all mixed together really well. Once everything is mixed, apply it to your mattress. It should be applied to the mattress itself. Now, let it sit for an hour. This will take out all the moisture and bacteria. While you are waiting, wash all of your sheets, you don't want to put on dirty sheets to a clean mattress :)

Once you have waited and cleaned the sheets, bring in your hand held vacuum and clean up all of the baking soda. You're room should smell fresh and clean! Make sure to get it all! Afterwards, put back on your clean sheets, and get really for a peaceful nights sleeps! This also takes care of bed bugs,etc if you have a problem with those!


{Little Bit Funky's Open Letter ...}

Friday, November 11, 2011
I found this open letter yesterday on Little Bit Funky's Blog. Isn't it funny how you can just sit there and relate to every single word she is saying? This particular open letter is to new moms. Although I am not a "New Mom" anymore {at least I was told I could no longer park in the new mom spot at the mall... rude,} I still related. I also have a TON of new moms in my life. All of them are fabulous women, and I think to myself ... they are going to be wonderful moms! BUT ... there are some things they should know after birth, and this is an excellent open letter to them!


So here is an open, honest letter to all new moms out there addressing some of the things that no one ever tells you. From a mom who had a pretty run of the mill birth and normal little babies.

Dear new mom,

The first thing you should know is that you are normal. Everything you are feeling is normal. Millions of women have been in your shoes and for some reason just don't ever talk about it.

It is OK to feel happy, elated, sad, weepy, angry, frustrated, exhausted, energetic and all that in a span of 10 minutes.

It is OK to question your choice to have a baby in the first place. Every mom has those moments. The whole "what have I gotten myself into"? feeling is normal. It's a HUGE change. YOU CAN DO THIS.

It is OK to have moments where you don't like that baby. It's true, hard to write and read but so very true. You are learning to take care of, and anticipate all the needs, wants and desires of a whole other person. On top of your own. It's only natural that you have moments of annoyance or anger towards the person who is demanding so much of you. That does not mean you love them less, it just means you are a human learning to do a HUGE task. It is OK to put that baby in the crib, crying or not and walk away until that anger passes. It will get better. It is OK TO TALK ABOUT THIS TO SOMEONE!!!!!

A crying baby will be fine. No baby is allergic to crying.

Please say OUTLOUD the ways that your husband can help you. Do not assume that he will magically read your mind. I bet he really WANTS to help you but he feels as lost as you. A simple kind suggestion to what you need or want done can go a long way to making everyone a little bit happier. Talk about how hard it is to be a parent!

You will feel like a crazy person. You have insane amounts of hormones literally raging through your body. You will literally, simultaneously say something that sounds like a deranged woman is talking WHILE hearing your inner voice yell "WHAT ARE YOU SAYING YOU CRAZY WOMAN?". Take a deep breath, say "I'm sorry" and move on. Don't beat yourself up over it. It will get better.

You will leak milk at the least appropriate times. You will probably expose yourself to a stranger at least once. Don't worry, you WILL get the hang of it. When it's all said and done you may end up with less cleavage than you started with. Sorry, it can be true.

If you are going to breastfeed please try for at least a month. I hear SO many people say "I tried for two weeks and quit"...it gets SO MUCH EASIER after two weeks. It really, really does. Your body needs at least that long to adjust to this strange new thing that you are doing.

Your hair will fall out. Not all of it but a lot of it. All the hair that you didn't shed while pregnant. Pony tails help.

Your bladder will never be the same. Go when you need to, don't wait.

Mylicon is a lifesaver. There are a million uses for plain cloth diapers that don't involve using them as diapers. When trying to decide what you NEED for a baby think about life on the prairie and how little they needed and had then. A bed, some clothes, some bottles/boobs and diapers are all a baby needs. Don't give into pressure to buy it all.

Attending to things other than baby does not equal neglect (like taking a shower or eating or washing a dish). It is also OK to skip all those for a nap. Take a nap when you can. Sleep changes everything. EVERYTHING. If you nurse in bed, do it knowing that you will probably fall asleep...adjust baby accordingly.

Your baby will probably fall off the bed. At least once. You may also drive without having them buckled in the bucket carseat (unintentionally), baby talk to your husband and your once amazing memory will start its exit routine.

You will regularly have in depth conversations about poop. When, where, how much, texture, color...all of it. And it won't feel weird until you do it in front of non-kid having people.

You will be pooped on, puked on, spit-up on and drooled on. Oxiclean will take care of most of it.

Don't ever thank God that the baby is finally asleep.
Somehow that is code for "please make him cry right now!".

Middle of the night bargaining never works.

Never say anything that starts with "My kid will never...".

Most of all, I want you to know that you can do this. God chose YOU to be the mother of HIS sweet precious baby. You were handpicked by the creator of the universe to have your own little disciple to minister to. Admit when you have made a mistake, ask for forgiveness from God and that baby and keep trucking on. You are stronger than you know and before you know it these days will be in the distant past.

Find someone to talk to, email me if you have to.


Love, Been there and done that.


Pretty dead on right? Loved it! Head over to Little Bit Funky's Blog and check her out!


{Family Photos 2011}

Thursday, November 10, 2011
Ah, what can I say? A few weeks ago now, we met up with SilverBox Photographers to take some family shots. It has been a year since we really sat down and took some decent photos, so I was super excited to get this done. The boys are at the best ages to capture, and I just want to remember these days forever!!

I personally think they turned out great ... I am in love with them :)

Thanks Kim!!


{Braeden's 4th Birthday: Part 2}

Tuesday, November 8, 2011
I am finally getting around to sharing Braeden's 4th birthday party. I have been completely insane with the amount of work on my plate at the moment, that I had to drop the blog for a few days. That AND my computer stopped working for a bit, which had to be fixed ... thank goodness I was able to save everything, and continue where I left off.

Here are the extra shots from Braeden's party ... I still can not believe he is four years old!!

What do you all think? It was a low key night with just family, and I think it turned out exactly how I planned. The mini pizza's were SO yummy, and I have to say a big thank you to our Papa Murphy's here in town, they really hooked me up! Most importantly, Braeden had a great time, and I am so thankful I have a healthy four year old boy! Check out the rest of the party here.

Happy Birthday Braeden!!

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