Little Blake got his first hair cut… he did so good!
Starting our easter egg hunt… dropping jelly beans everywhere… the boys were in heaven!
Hanging out on our tramp… we had a great day
Hi all! I am here and have been re-inspired to keep up with this blog… but I’m making some changes. I’ve decided to rededicate this blog now on to my friends and family. Since most are far away and don’t get to see us in our day to day, I want to bring our days to them. Enjoy! Here’s what we’ve been up to so far this year.
(please forgive the no make up- morning sickness look I’m rocking here.)
As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been a bit of, well, not here. But with good reason. Here’s my story…
It all started when my computer broke. Three months ago to be exact. And since then I’ve done a lot of thinking. From the first day I started this blog I have loved it. It was my creative outlet, my new-found hobby. It was all very exciting and fun. I met some incredible people, started following and being followed, increased my views, was featured on a blog, got nice comments, not so nice comments, found friends, got inspired and hopefully inspired some others. A day came just before my computer broke that made me step back and look at my life, and I saw that it wasn’t very balanced. I read somewhere that time is limited and if you fill it with blogging, something else will have to be given up. I knew that and for the first while it seemed like blogging was a worthwhile thing to put into my life. It was okay that I was giving up other things.
Until one day.
I felt like all I thought about was MY BLOG… it was becoming this all-consuming identity. Everything I did was “for my blog.” What I was going to cook, what activities I was going to document, what pictures, how I looked and what my kids were doing, what articles I read, new health advice I discovered… all through the eyes of my camera and then on to my blog. I was either writing a post, thinking about what to write, taking pictures of my next post, or again, writing and working on a blog post. That’s how it worked. I can’t tell you how many nights dinner was somewhat cold because I spent 30 minutes getting the “perfect” picture of the meal, for my blog, yet again. My hubby was so supportive through it all, patiently waiting, never complaining. My kids handled it somewhat okay. A lot of times they would sit and cry at me until I was done or they’d spend more time watching tv so I could finish my post. I would try to only work on my blog while my two boys were napping or sleeping, but it was never enough time, so I would work on it while they were up, usually needing my attention, but having to wait until “mommy was done.” Things like “just give me one more minute, go play with your brother, almost done” were the words coming out of my mouth. Instead of, “let’s go play, what did you find?, Oh, look!”
Either my hubby, my kids, or I were being neglected in some way. Not big ways by any means, dinner was always there, the kids were always dressed and fed and played with, I managed to keep the house somewhat together… but it felt like second rate to me… I did those things after focusing on my blog. This blog. So then it happened… just like the universe always takes care of things for you…
my computer broke.
And just like that I couldn’t blog. The funny thing was, I wasn’t disappointed. I was weirdly relieved. It was like all the sudden a burden was lifted and I saw my life not through my blog, but through my own eyes. Real, present, eyes. During this time I also got back into the things that I really love to do… things like reading, crafting, designing, preschool, and playing with my boys a whole lot more. I started to be more present in the moment. Started to not worry about the next blog post or what my stat views were for the day.
It was real life again.
At the same time period I decided to discontinue Facebook (I know, crazy, right) and Pinterest… (or in other words, the never-ending black hole.) I stopped checking and getting on Facebook and Pinterest because, honestly, it just took up too much TIME. It was this love-hate relationship I had. I would get on for one minute to look at one or two things, and then hours later I would finally close out of it feeling more overwhelmed and depressed than when I started. I would leave feeling less amazing, and more stressed that I wasn’t this or didn’t have that. After a while you just have to say, enough is enough.
To sum it up, both were intense distractions from what was real and what was present.
I wanted to take in my surroundings and my life, instead of filling my day with other people’s lives.
For the last three months I was really able to “get out of the loop” in a way. I didn’t know what was being pinned or who was traveling, crafting, status posting, instagram taking. And you know what? It was actually kinda nice. I started to see my day and goals more clearly and my own creativeness came through. My hubby and I spent weeks redecorating three of our rooms and not once did I go to Pinterest for ideas. They came straight from our combined brains, figuring it out together. And it ended up being completely us and completely amazing.
We just got a new computer this week. And here I am on my blog once again. Yet, it’s not really to say I’m back… because in a way I’m really not. I’ve decided this was a great journey and experience. I learned a lot. I had fun. But it’s just not worth it to me. Not for the things I have to give up. But that is just me. I might post here and there if something really inspires me to share. But for the time being, my house, my yoga, my other hobbies, and especially, my boys (hubby included), need my main focus. So that’s what it is. I hope this post helps someone else out there trying to find the balance in their own life. It’s been fun. Thank-you everyone for the ride. Now, if you’ll excuse me, my boys and I are off to the park!
I was so inspired by this post from joyful on purpose … I just had to share it. Let us see and love our own beauty we posses. We are loved and we are beautiful.
Flowers don’t worry about how they’re going to bloom. They just open up and turn toward the light and that makes them beautiful. ~Jim Carrey
I’ve been thinking about beauty lately… how obsessed we are with beauty and the current standard. For me, beauty is so easily seen in nature: the glorious colors of flowers, the texture of moss or tree bark, even the cycle of birth and death as the seasons change. I find it much more burdensome to see beauty in people, especially myself. Like many people, I can point out every single flaw in myself, all the imperfections that don’t quite meet the definition of beauty. (Who gets to define it, anyway? Who are “they” and can we fire them?) Trying to reach the acceptable standard has taken a toll on me over the years, and it is still difficult to change my mindset even as I become more and more aware of what true beauty is. It is a daily chore, a conscious effort, for me to wake up and have a healthy view of myself and others.
I wish we were all more like flowers. The quote above rings true in my heart and my mind. Flowers don’t worry at all about how they will open up, how they will be seen as the petals unfold and reveal what is inside. Flowers also turn toward the light without thought, craving its warmth and knowing that it provides life as well as illumination.
As human beings living in a gorgeous world, surrounded by beautiful objects, we should take better care of ourselves and of each other by being less obsessed with unrealistic standards. A geranium never tries to be a rose. A thistle doesn’t strive to be like a lily. Each one is simply beautiful in its own way, its own very perfect way. They all turn toward the light, open up, and radiate beauty. I wish, for myself and for you, to follow the way of the flowers. I want to turn my face toward the light, all that is positive and wonderful. I want to smile and open up my heart and my life, letting the beauty within reveal itself. Perfect in its own way, just as it is.
-written by joyful on purpose
“Day out with Thomas” came to town!
This was one of those days that I’ll remember for a long time. My sons were in heaven. It doesn’t get much better than meeting Thomas the Train in real life! My three year old, Makay, was a little concerned about the “no-talking” Thomas though. My son kept waving and talking to the Thomas train, and then he’d turn to me and ask,
“Mommy, why won’t he talk to me? I think his face is dead!”
I had to tell him that Thomas was just being shy and didn’t want to talk that day. Thomas did blow a whistle to say hi though. He seamed a little less concerned after that.
Looking for Thomas…
Thomas is in the background… my son can hardly wait!
We met Sir Topham Hat! (I’ll be honest, my son was kinda scared of him… I don’t blame him!)
We all got train tattoos!
My son had a map to get around to all the stations. He felt very in charge.
Handing his ticket to the conductor. All aboard the Thomas train!
And we’re off!
Exploring the trains…
Free balloon animals… one of his favorite parts of the whole day!
All in all, a wonderful family day. A must for all three-year olds!
What fun activities have you been up to this summer?
To my little brother, Jake:
Ok, so I guess at 19 years old and 6’3″ you aren’t considered so “little”, huh? But just between you and me, you will always be my cute, blond-haired little brother, happily smiling and singing (with that incredible voice of yours) through life, bringing fun (and destruction) wherever you go.
The boys and I sure had a fun time spending the week with you and the family. The boys adore you, you are their favorite “Uncle Jakie-Poo.” I’m afraid that name is going to stick for quite a while. Once a child decides on a name, it usually does. Honestly, I think it fits well. You really are a good sport about it, what other 19-year-old boy lets his nephews call him “Jakie-Poo.”
Can I just say what an inspiration you are to me?! You choosing to serve a two-year mission for our church is pretty remarkable. And not being compensated for your time, and saving up to pay for the whole thing yourself shows a lot of sacrifice and dedication. It’s a pretty incredible thing when I think about it, to give up two years of your life to go and serve others. You are an example of incredible faith to me and everyone else.
I just wanted to say thanks for being who you are. For teaching me to de-stress, relax and enjoy the ride. Thank-you for being so authentic, tender-hearted, and genuinely full of love… and especially for being so absolutely funny. Your optimism and zest for life is contagious and you are a joy to be around. Thanks for bringing such sunshine to this earth! You are going to do and have some incredible adventures! Jake, have an amazing time! Enjoy every day and serve with all your heart. I will miss you! I sure love you. See you in two years, Elder Jacob Downey! You’re a stud muffin!
your big sis, becca
Dear blog friends, sorry for the long absence. I’ve been gone spending the week with my beautiful family. But I am back, camera in hand, ready to blog away!
Dear plane ride… you were an adventure. By. my. self. with. two. kids.
Dear iPad… you are handy. I couldn’t have done it without you.
Dear trampoline, I used to have a lot of fun with you, now you only cause me pain. But my little boy had a tremendous time, so you are good.
Dear Uncle Will and the sprinklers, you are the best little buddy a boy could ever want.
Dear Papa, Blake loves kisses. You are the best.
Dear Papa’s BIG LIFTED TRUCK, Makay thinks you are the best thing since peanut butter and jelly. You are pretty cool.
Dear sticks in the yard, who knew you could entertain a three-year-old for so long.
Dear little race cars, you create endless delight.
Dear Uncle Bradley, you are a stud-muffin.
Dear iPhone case, glad you are somewhat “slobber-proof.”
Dear Siblings of mine, you make me smile.
Dear sweet moment with big brothers and little sisters, you are priceless.
Dear baby Blake, I love your chubby little cheeks and cute two little teeth that just came in.
Dear Salt Lake City temple, your architecture is beautiful. Your presence, powerful.
Dear flowers, you remind me of my sweet hubby that I missed every second of every day. Dear Hubby, thank-you for the beautiful flowers. I love you forever.
Dear family of mine, I sure love you. Dear siblings in Denver and Tennessee that weren’t in this picture, I miss you.
Dear fun week, you made me happy.
Happy Memorial Day weekend, hope you have some tremendous fun!
I really love the simple things… you know, those everyday things that bring some sparkle and smiles into our day. If you take a moment I know you can think of some. It’s the little things that create what our lives are today. Do we recognize these things, these moments?
When we see these simple joys of life we are filled with gratitude, and where there is gratitude, there is happiness!
I’ve been thinking about the little things lately and I thought I’d share them with you. Some are silly, some are sweet, but all are simple, all are things that everyone can and does experience everyday if you choose to see them. There are so many, but here’s ten of mine (in no particular order):
#1. Fluffy Blankets. There is nothing better than snuggling up with a fluffy down comforter or curling up in a fleece blanket. Fluffy blankets make everything better…a book, my boys, nap time, talking on the phone, thinking, relaxing. Life is better with fluffy blankets!
#2. Chopsticks. Two reasons: One, they make you eat slower, and thereby less. Two, everything just tastes better with chopsticks. It’s like magic.
#3. Frozen Yogurt. There is this “make it yourself” frozen yogurt place that I am in love with. I seriously go just so I can sample all the flavors. I realize I sometimes get a little carried away as the bowl is overflowing with the kiwis, strawberries and mangos I have piled on… and I can see my hubby’s “oh, man, this is going to be expensive” face coming on… and I just smile and say “thanks dear!” But let me tell you, it is worth every penny… or dollar.
#4. Free Samples. The person who came up with such a lovely idea is truly brilliant! And a great big THANK-YOU to Costco… you make my day every time I visit!
#5. Playing Games. My favorite date night consists of cuddling, homemade M&M blizzards, and a few rounds of SkipBo. And Sundays wouldn’t be complete without a few games with the family.
#6. Hugs. What is it about a hug that just makes all the day’s worries go away? Sometimes it’s all it takes to make life immediately better.
#7. KettleCorn. There is just something about sweet and salty that makes my taste buds do a little dance.
#8. Sunshine. Energy, growth, life, playtime, summer, water, spring, suntan, park, picnic, hike, nap, garden, beach, pool, ocean, lakes, walks, runs, biking, travel… and the list goes on… sunshine is apart of our life in every way. I love the sunshine!
#9. Love Letters. Nothing melts me more, brightens my day, gives my heart a smile, or fills me with joy than the written words from my prince. Out of all the extravagant gifts, a simple love letter is my favorite. I treasure every single one.
#10. Rain. It cleans, refreshes, renews, and gives life to the world… I am thankful for the rain. This quote says it best:
What are some of your favorite joys of life? Go ahead and share some happiness…
Being a mother makes you Beautiful.
I know, because my mother is.
She is beautiful not only in the way people can see,
but also feel.
My mother is beautiful in every way.
With make-up, or without,
In p.j.’s or all dressed up.
She is beautiful because of who she is,
And who she is makes the world around her more beautiful.
From the inside out and outside in, my mother is truly beautiful.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!
Thank-you for teaching me what true beauty is all about.
(Inspired today by this simple post from Mindful Balance.)
“Drop into the moment that is now…
Just be here, drink in all that this moment has to offer
as if it is the only one that you have– because it truly is.”