My little alarm clock

Some mornings I have the privelege of staying under my warm blankets until this little boy shows up. I love the way he sneaks into my bed and attempts to hide until I discover his presence. Then he wraps an arm around my neck and tells me, “The sun is up!” This child requires only stimulation from the morning sunshine to get him going…I might need to install a coffee maker on my nightstand so I can keep up!
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Live with intention

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As a new year rolls in, I love to reflect on the past year and imagine the upcoming year. It’s a reminder to set, or maybe reset, my intention. A little part of me wants to be spontaneous, but there is a bigger part who loves structure, routine, and a solid game plan! Which is how I chose my intention for the year.

Choose wisely! Imagine how you want to spend your time and commit to it. Set an intention each morning. Remind yourself. Write down your goals where you can see them.

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My family is the center of my universe. So, I intend to spend less money on my kids this year. I will make time to play more board games, skateboard and cook with them. I find joy in these activities…but sometimes I get stuck in the daily grind and all of a sudden it’s bedtime. I want them to understand that happiness doesn’t come from things, it come from experiences. I want them to value relationships over gadgets.

This year, I am reminding myself to set intention for the day EVERY morning. Sticky notes are good for this. What activities will I share with my kids after school? How will I spend my day? What is most important to me and my family? What do I want to accomplish?

I will make an effort to notice the beauty surrounding me, to notice the positive, and not dwell on the negative. The media showcases tragic stories because we, as humans, are intrigued by them. I will choose to spend my time doing something I love rather than reading the news. Positive thoughts breed positive outcomes!

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In a culture of abdundance, it’s easy to get caught up in over-consumption. We wander the aisles of Target mindlessly tossing items into the cart. Places like Bed, Bath and Beyond are even more difficult because you find things you didn’t even know existed, but suddenly you “need” them. I know, I get in trouble there too! This year, when I purchase something I will ask myself, “Will this make the ship go faster?” Maybe I don’t need another pasta-maker to sit in the pantry unused for 3 years. If you want it, give me a call 😉 I have a lot of purging to do!

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Am I the only mom who spent hours sifting through Pinterest last year? …looking for ideas to create the perfect home. I pinned so many gorgeous kitchen cabinets, organized craft rooms and sparkly bathrooms. There are lovely, but will it really make my life better? Or happier? Um, no. So I will ignore the blogs telling me that my kitchen needs updating. I will enjoy my fully functional kitchen. I will only spend money on my home when it makes life efficient or more functional…not for vanity. I will choose to be happy with what I have.

One more thing, what’s with all those ads in January telling us we need to take some supplement, join a gym and get fit to be happy?! Ignore them. Let’s play outside for the sake of playing outside. A hike, a game of frisbee…whatever does it for you. Be thankful for the body you have and it’s capability. Express gratitude for your surroundings. Daily.

Let’s spend more time being grateful and less time worrying. Let’s keep each other on track. You remind me and I’ll remind you.

Let’s live this year with intention! Let’s have a beautiful year!

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Capture your child

With so many digital devices at our fingertips, it’s easy to go overboard snapping photos mindlessly throughout your child’s day. Let’s change that! Let’s make photos that you will actually print and will be proud to hang in your home. Let’s make photos that you will want to share with your grandkids.

This year I challenge you to create better pictures, to put more thought into each image. Take a minute to look through your photos (or think about the last few you have made). I bet most of them are on your smartphone, right?! When was the last time you printed photos? Or made an album? Let’s embark on a journey together. I’ll share a tip. You go try it. At the end of the year we will make a beautiful album full of our gorgeous children enjoying life.

Below are a few of my 2014 favorites that will soon be printed in an album…and passed down to the next generation.

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This is my “little” brother (he’s not very little any more) and his beautiful children. I had the pleasure of capturing them on a recent visit. The silhouette is my daughter.

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…and all the cousins together.
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Kayla thrives in competitive endeavors, so I always have a camera handy for soccer games and cross country meets!
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Ready?! Step one: no more “Stand right here. Look at the camera. Smile.” Instead: Move. Play. Let kids be kids. Let them do things they love and capture their genuine happiness. No more stiff boring photos.

 

Snow, Sprinkles and…lots of Taylor Swift

As December rolls in, my anticipation for winter break builds. My kids and I watch as the town is draped in lights and dusted with snow. We dig out the boxes of Christmas supplies and lovingly cover the house with silver tinsel. I love to see the sparkle in my children’s eyes; the magic of the holiday season.
Creating new traditions and continuing old traditions becomes more important each year as I realize how soon they will be leaving the nest. I want our kids to think back to winter with memories to share with their kids. Some traditions remain the same: decorating cookies and constructing gingerbread houses. Some things change: Taylor Swift echoed daily through the halls this year. But the idea is the same: time as a family, doing things we enjoy…in our fleece pajama pants and fuzzy slippers!
Today I dropped my kids off at school with some sense of relief. Let’s face it, winter break is exhausting. While I vacuum the remnants of sprinkles under the fridge, I’m reflecting on the fun we shared over the past 17 days. Here is a little taste of our winter break!
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