Expectations…. Lowered.

This is going to be a really hard post for me to right, but I feel like it’s something that more moms need to hear. So many times we browse Pinterest and Facebook… and we see what other moms out there are doing and we judge OURSELVES for it. WHY do we do this? Why do we feel the need to compare our lives to theirs? Ugh! Anyways, here goes nothing…

This past weekend, J and I decided to take the kids on a vacation to Pigeon Forge, TN. We left Thursday afternoon and came back this morning (Monday). It was fun… but more than fun, it was stressful. We had lots of fun with the kids, we went to the zoo, went shopping, played outside, and just had a good time spending together as a family. However… I think this weekend was also a huge wake up call for me.

I won’t say that I think we’ve done a poor job of parenting, my kids are very well behaved most of the time… in public and for other people. When we’re alone, things get ugly. Both of my children are as hard headed and stubborn as J and I are… so that’s two whammies from the genetic pool. Boogie can pitch one like you wouldn’t believe. She’s also a master manipulator. Bubby is attached to my hip, and when he’s not he can be the absolute monster that he got his “Monster” nickname from. I’m not saying this to be harsh, truly… it’s my life.

The kids and I spent the morning at my inlaws on Thursday, during that time J went to work and the van was at the shop getting a tune up before our trip. Those 8 hours were hell. Small space, hyper kids, big mistake on mommy’s part. Bubby was into everything, and every single time that child is told no or is scolded, he throws himself in the floor and pitches an absolute fit. Boogie was fine until it was time to go, she loves spending time with both sets of grandparents… which means when it’s time to go it’s a battle. So, on Thursday afternoon we needed her to go to the bathroom so that she didn’t have an accident during the trip. There’s a long strip of interstate where there is NO where to stop, seriously… nowhere. She refused. She screamed. She flung herself on the floor. She threw a fit. End result…. I wrestled her into a diaper and shed many… many… tears.

Saturday wasn’t so bad, my in-laws came down and J and I were able to go on a date to the Melting Pot (our favorite restaurant). We had never been by ourselves, so that was a nice treat. The next day we planned on making a trip to the zoo, but getting there was a battle and a half. Thankfully, once we arrived and the kids were settled and enjoying the animals, it wasn’t half bad.

This morning getting Boogie up and going to get home… wasn’t fun either, but we managed and now we’re home. We had errands to run today… and that wasn’t much fun either. So I can’t say our vacation was a blast, but it was nice to get away. I don’t look forward to getting the kids back into routine, but hopefully once we do things will go a little smoother.

But back to the topic on hand… as I said, this weekend was a huge wake up call for me. Today especially. Bubby screams ALL the time. He HATES his car seat (so imagine the screaming we heard on vacation). He HATES to be told no. He HATES being told he can’t have mommy milk right now. He HATES pretty much everything. Ok… maybe that’s a little drastic, but sometimes it totally feels that way. He just seems SO unhappy, which is crazy, because generally he’s SUCH a happy kid… when he gets his way. Boogie is such a fun, happy go lucky little girl, and so incredibly smart… but boy she can get mad.

My moment of truth came this evening at bedtime. I had nursed Bubby to sleep, unlatched him from my breast and he just flipped. Flung himself backwards, whipping his head back and forth, head butting, scratching, smacking. I had to hand him off to J to try to get him calmed down. While J did that (to no avail I might add), I had the fun task of trying to get Boog ready for bed. This resulted in her throwing herself on the floor and me basically ripping her clothing off of her body to get her jammies on. In the midst of that, I broke down. I was screaming and yelling, Boog was in tears, screaming and flailing around. Here I was fighting with my child to put pajamas on. Screaming and yelling… just being downright ugly. To MY child. Why? Why was I doing this? How could I treat my little girl this way? She’s THREE Sarah. THREE. I kept telling myself that. With her fighting and flailing, her nightgown halfway on, I pulled her close to me, held her like a baby and sobbed.

I cried. She cried. I told her how very much I love her. That I don’t like making her sad and that I don’t like it that she makes me sad. I told her that we both have to stop being so ugly to each other, and those big brown eyes looked up at me and she said, “I love you mommy.” I can’t tell you how thankful I am that God has given me this little girl, who despite the way I have treated her, she can still tell me she loves me and MEAN it. My husband brought my still screaming son into Boog’s room, and he sat down with him and asked me, “What is wrong with our children?” My answer? “It’s not our children… it is US. WE are the parents. WE have to do better. WE have to show them how to act.”

After that, Boogie did what she was asked, she finished getting dressed, brushed her teeth, brushed her hair, and went to bed and waited for me to get Bubby down so I could read to her. Bubby wasn’t as easy. He screamed and flailed, and for once I didn’t lose my cool. I sang. I worshipped. I praised my God while my child did everything to make me stop. I didn’t get him to sleep, but I got him calmed down enough for J too.

This night was both awful and liberating. And ironically, I knew it was coming. I knew I was going to breakdown soon. I knew it. While shopping in Knoxville I found this book:

51WUx28sbWL

The moment I saw it, I had to buy it. I couldn’t walk out of that store without it. I do not like the mother I am becoming. The once patient woman is no longer here, and I have to change. I have to change before it’s too late to change. I have to do better so that my children can be better. I have to do better so that my children will know what a Christian woman is supposed to act like. I have to do better so that I can teach my children how to treat other people, including their future spouses and children.

I HAVE TO DO BETTER. It’s on me, and I’m laying it down at HIS feet. Pray for me… pray for my children. Pray for my husband…. We ALL need it right now.

FINALLY! I’m Back!

Longest. Week. Ever. Seriously.

If you’ve been reading my blog, even for just a few weeks, you may know that we closed on our house on the 31st (yay!). We moved in a week later… (last week) and then “Snowmageddon” came to town, otherwise known as Winter Storm Pax. Yea. So, since we live 30 minutes away from J’s job now, and that commute is up and over a curvy mountain (yes, on the interstate…. it’s way curvy and a steep mountain!) we made the decision to take the whole fam to my inlaws house. I’m so thankful that we went, not only did it give us the chance to actually see J on a daily basis, but it meant I got a semi-break from the kids in the evenings. If the kids and I had stayed at our house, I would have been snowed in and alone with them for 3.5 days. Not horrible, but I would have gone a little crazy probably! I’m very glad to be home now, I truly missed blogging and now I’m WAY behind! I have 3 guest bloggers waiting to get their posts up, several reviews to complete, a few giveaways to create, and lots of updates to post! So bear with me!

I’ll have some new snow pictures up soon, I’m working on editing them now. I’ll also have some family photographs that my friend Brandi took for us at our new house! I think we may make a tradition of it… it was a LOT of fun!

In other news, I just wanted to remind my readers who enjoy entering the giveaways that I post…. I DO check to ensure you have followed the rules and actually completed the tasks in the giveaway widgets. Just because you click “enter” on each task, doesn’t mean you actually completed it! You have to like the facebook fan page and THEN enter the task… I had to regenerate 5x on the Purex Detergent giveaway today! Sheesh!

Anyways, lots of great stuff coming soon, I can’t wait for you to see what I have planned! 😀

We Are….

HOMEOWNERS!!!!!!!!! I never thought I would get to type those words. J and I are HOMEOWNERS. We bought a HOUSE! It’s OURS. We can paint it however we want, we can maintain it however we want, we can make it our own and nobody can say a thing about it! I cannot thank you enough for the prayers that have been prayed over us these past several years. When I started this blog in 2008, we had been married less than a year, our future was unsteady and nerve-wracking. We bounced home to home trying to find where we belong… we had two children along the way, we each attended college in one form or another, found the jobs we love (yes, I do consider doing THIS a job… blogging is a LOT of work! Even if I don’t get paid…). But we honest to goodness thought that this day was a long time coming. God’s timing is PERFECT, and we are BLESSED. And as you can tell by my excessive CAPS of so many words…. WE ARE EXCITED!

Now, we are so excited, that we have decided to jump the gun and go ahead and get moved into our new house THIS week! So, with that said, there will be fewer posts this week than I planned. I have 3 upcoming guest posts that I’m excited to share with you, but they will be posted after I move. Until then, I have 3 review to post that I’m going to try and write and schedule for this week. I’m also hoping to get my WWDP link up ready to go prior to our move so that you can still link up while I’m gone, otherwise, you can go to last weeks HERE and go to one of the other wonderful ladies’ blogs to link up this week!

Thanks again for your prayers, and don’t forget to check back this afternoon for our Sunday Prayer List! God Bless!

10 Steps to Keeping Your Sanity During a Move

In the almost 7 years of our marriage, J and I have lived in 8 homes, 9 if you include our soon to be new house. That’s ridiculous isn’t it? We are so glad to be settling down and even more glad that this will be the LAST time we pack boxes, move boxes, and unpack boxes again. Hallelujah!!! So, I thought it would be fitting to share some tips. Tips we’ve learned over our several moves, and tips I’ve gathered on Pinterest. Moving along now… (ha, see what I did there?)

Untitled-1

1. Don’t wait until the last minute. Seriously. Just don’t. It’s stressful, it’s tedious work… and it will be SO hard to find everything you need once you move.

2. Reserve a bigger truck than you think you’ll need… most likely you have more stuff than you thought you did. Trust me.

3. Label label label… I would love to take the time to color code all the rooms, and use stickers… etc etc. But “nobody got time for that!” So, what we do is label the boxes with the room they go to (Boogie, Bubby, Master, Kitchen, etc.), and a list of what’s in the box. Simple, effective, gets the job done without the extra hassle of being overly organized (yea, I really did just say that…. who would have thought?!)

4. Use towels, t-shirts, baby blankets, washcloths etc to pack breakables… soooo much cheaper than packing paper and bubble wrap… and you’re packing two things at once!

5. Use a towel between picture frames and stack in boxes. I double up on the towel on the tops and bottoms of the boxes and remember to write FRAGILE on the box. Duh.

6. Pack a box or backpack with the essentials. For us, this would be toiletries, extra cloth diapers and wet bags that aren’t in the diaper bag, change of clothes for everyone, bills and paperwork (we have a family binder for this), wallets, checkbook, pens, notepad, address book, cash, take out menus and snacks. Yes, you’ll start unpacking as soon as you get to your new home if it’s not far away, but seriously, it’s nice to have all that in one place instead of trying to dig for it. It’s all there ready to go!

7. Leave clothing in drawers! I’ve never done this but hello! Genius! And use trash bags to combine hanging clothes! We are DOING this.

8. Create a checklist of everything you need to accomplish at your old house before, during and after the move. And then create ANOTHER checklist of things you need to at the NEW house before, during and after the move. Lists rule the world people.

9. Gather boxes from local grocery stores, the boxes we get from our local grocery store are the ones they get the gallon jugs of milk in… they are the BEST. Perfect size! Freecycle and Craigslist are also GREAT places to find free boxes. Or if your husband manages the dietary department of a nursing home…. you can get lots of boxes there too! Ha!

10. Start one month prior to moving, pack 1-3 boxes a day for the first 2 weeks, and then start hardcore packing the last 2. We have already packed all of our (mine and J’s) books, CD’s, and random decor that was in our bedroom. That’s a start!

For more tips, check out my Pinterest board!

What tips do you have for moving?

Hello 2014!

Hi! It’s been a while, right?! I really missed blogging, but I’m thankful that I made the decision to take a few weeks to enjoy the holiday season and my sweet babies! It’s been a crazy month for us… lots of big changes! My last few posts were about Bubby turning ONE… still can’t believe that!

01 jan

 

J celebrated his 27th birthday, we did so by going to see this really awesome light show in town. Boogie was a little grumpy during it (she was hungry and we were heading to dinner after the show) but she LOVED the 12 Days of Christmas lights they had on display. We did lots of Christmas and winter themed crafts of course, built a gingerbread house, made lots and lots of cookies (which we shared with all of J’s staff at work) and thoroughly enjoyed spending time together this season. Boogie is finally at the age where she REALLY gets Christmas and Santa and Baby Jesus’s birthday, so it was a lot of fun this year. She also knew that once Christmas came that her birthday was next, so that was very exciting for her as well.

02 feb

After Christmas we took Boog to see Frozen, this was her first time to the movie theater… she LOVED it. She was a little frightened at first with how loud it was, but once she sat down, started enjoying her juice and popcorn, she was set. The movie was GREAT, if you haven’t taken your kids, do so! It’s a wonderful movie! After that she wanted to have a Frozen birthday party (thank goodness I hadn’t already purchased Sofia party supplies, haha!) so we stocked up at Walmart and Target with snowflake and winter themed decor (I will post about this more thoroughly another day!). My big girl is THREE…. AH! I can’t believe it!

03 mar

 

So, birthdays were celebrated, Christmas was celebrated…. AND we are buying a house 😀  I cannot begin to explain to you how excited we are. We have completed the inspection and the appraisal, working on completing paperwork at the bank, and we are set to close at the end of January! This will be our FIRST house, we have always rented, so this is just INCREDIBLE!

04 apr

 

I’ve always been disappointed that we weren’t able to buy a house prior to having children… but now that I have children, I’m thankful that we weren’t able too until now. I’m sure the house we would have purchased years ago would be drastically different from what we have chosen now. And I imagine I would not have been focused on what would work for a family, but what would have worked for ME. This house is incredible, I can’t wait to share pictures of it once we get settled!

05 may

So that’s about it for the past month, these coming few months are going to be super busy… so I’m hoping to have a few guest posts pop up here and there while we pack, move and get settled into our new home. If you’re interested, there’s a contact button at the top of this page, just click that and shoot me a message with your info and I will get back to you with more information!

06 jun

 

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Year, be looking for more updates, guest posts and hopefully some giveaways in the near future! Until then…. here are some more pictures of my babies from this past year!

07 jul

 

08 aug

 

09 sept

 

10 oct

 

11 nov

 

12 dec