Category: Daily Life

Summers are Our Jam

Summers Are Our JamWe’re starting to dream about warm summer days, long stretches of afternoon with nothing we HAVE to do. When school is out, we’re all like–  FREEDOM!!!!!

Well, except me. I’ll be working. 🙂

But because half of my heart is still at home all day, and because Jake is so awesome as to let me speak into the summer schedule, here are some of the fun (and helpful) things we’ll be doing this summer:

We will play outside. Explore. Ride bikes. Dig in dirt. Play basketball. Swing. Chalk. Picnic. Maybe work a little on our Park Challenge (visiting every park in our city). Anything that involves being outside of our cute and cozy apartment and basking in the warm summer sunshine. The kids are doing local camps this summer, which will give them a little bit of freedom and structure outside as well. (more…)

Parenting as an Art (and sometimes art gets messy)

Make your own-3

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared an update on our Year of Positive Parenting.

To be honest, it’s been really hard.

There’s nothing more I want in life than to get this parenting thing “right”. And of course, the reality of parenting is that there is no “right”. Math problems have right answers. Jeopardy questions have right answers. Parenting does not have right answers. (more…)

I Got Stitched!

After spending months seeing some of my favorite people model their Stitch Fix boxes on Facebook, I decided to jump in and give it a try. I had some extra birthday money, and thought- why not?

Here’s how it works:

  1. You sign up for a Stitch Fix account and walk through the steps. They ask you a bunch of questions about your clothing sizes and style preferences. It probably takes 15-20 minutes.
  2. You choose when you want your first box delivered.
  3. You choose how often you want a box delivered (every month? every 3 months?)
  4. You wait! 🙂

My waiting ended TODAY. I’ve been down with a cold, and so when Jake came in with my Stitch Fix box, I had a very important question to answer. Would I get off the couch to try these clothes on? Or just wait until tomorrow because I had big plans of laying on the couch all night and watching Gilmore Girls after the kids went to bed?

Stitch fix won my internal battle, and here is what is inside!

(more…)

Tripping Our Way Towards Gender Equality

1

On the way home from dinner tonight, Aly was telling us how a classmate gave her candy in celebration of Polish Girl’s Day.

Isn’t it so fun that girls in Poland have their own day? But that got us wondering– is there a Polish Boy’s day too? And of course, since it is International Women’s Day, I was quick to tell them all about it and the kids were intrigued. Why did such a day exist? What about an International Men’s Day?

These kinds of conversations are some of my favorites to have with the kids. I love their natural curiosity and how unhindered they are in talking about the world as they see it. I’m also curious as to how they perceive the world. I know the version of the world I’m trying to point out to them; but as we all know, it doesn’t always translate how we hope.   (more…)

The Gift Drawer: 20 Birthday Party Gift Ideas for Under $10

THE GIFT DRAWER_

Your child comes bursting out of the school doors and runs to you. In her hand is a bright purple envelope and as she climbs into the car, all out of breath, she excitedly tells you that one of her classmates invited her to a birthday party!

It’s the 3rd one this month.

I know some parents’ mojo is to ignore the invitation altogether. Grace and peace to you.

But us? If we can get our kid there and they want to go, we try to make it happen.

Because, well, you know this already- I love birthdays. I love celebrating others. So the idea of a kid throwing a birthday party, only to find a bunch of his friends aren’t going to be there? Soul crushing. And while I can’t help what other families do, our kids will be there, rain or shine. For better or for worse. It’s what friends do.

Which leads me to the topic at hand- presents. (more…)

What I’m Into {February 2016}

This month marked my first full month of working out of the home all day. We’ve been talking a lot about rhythms and babysitters and schedules and after-school pick-ups. Jake and I have texted more than we ever have, both to connect with each other… “you are never going to believe what I just read” and also to help smooth out the many transitions that speckle our days- “what time will you be home so dinner can be timed right?” and “hey will you grab the boxtops from the school office today at pickup?”

My window for hobbies and creative outlets is shrinking quickly. This month I’ve had to start sifting through all the “stuff” I did before working outside of the home all day.

Which ones are important? All of them.

Which bring the most joy? Um, all of them.

Which one can I not imagine NOT doing? Uhhhh. none of them?

Needless to say I’ve been awesome at figuring out new rhythms. 🙂

BUT whatever, all of that crazy work for another night. Tonight? I’m going to share all the little awesomes of the month. (more…)

Date Night In: Puzzlemania

e

One of my goals for this year is to be intentional about spending time with Jake. A big way we do this is by setting aside Friday nights for Date Night In.

We’ve done a variety of things for Date Night In, but if we’re not intentional about thinking up something creative to do, we end up on the couch snuggling and watching Netflix. While this is not a horrible way to spend a Friday evening after a long week of work and school, it’s always a good idea to change things up.

Date Night In Idea #1: Puzzlemania

This may sound lame to some, but listen– it’s NOT. (more…)

February Positive Parenting Challenge: No Yelling

No Yelling

I have a teensy bit of a confession.

When pushed towards familial chaos, my instinct is to start hollering.

And while I know why my first reaction is to do this, it doesn’t really matter. What matters is that I figure out ways to take a deep breath, count to 10, and with respect and firmness, speak calmly to my children.

Always.

And while I know we won’t be batting 100% on this one, that’s the goal. Because it really, truly matters that our home is a place of love and respect. And yelling quickly drains a home of those two things.

Does this mean we’ll never fight? No.

Does it mean we won’t have to ask forgiveness, sometimes multiple times a day? Nope.

Does it mean we’ll be all rainbows and roses and laughter? Ha!

It just means that we’re all aiming towards kindness and respect and love.  (more…)

Planner Stickers: Read. Pray. Scripture.

EC Planner Stickers

As I mentioned a couple months ago, I’m trying out the Erin Condren planner this year.

So far I’ve been bumbling around in it. I added a bit of washi tape this month to the bottom. I printed out some stickers for Feb and March to add for decoration. I made some of my own quote stickers with some of my favorite passages of Scripture and quotes from authors I love (Sarah Bessey quotes will be rocking my planner for the next 3 months!). Since the images aren’t mine, I can’t very well put them on here for the whole world to download, but if you wanna copy, message me on Facebook and I’m happy to email an unofficial copy your way!

In my search for what-fits-me, I decided I’d like some stickers that I can plop on my weekly pages that remind me what I can be praying for that week, what Scripture passages I’m on as I’m reading through the Bible, as well as some books that I’m wanting to read/needing to read that week. Especially when I’m using the kindle to read, I need the titles of the books staring at me or I find myself forgetting that I had even started them.

I couldn’t find stickers like these. None for free. One on Etsy but I didn’t really like the style. And while I’m no graphic designer, I decided to give sticker-making a try. And I love them! And because I made these, I can offer them for free to whomever my little heart desires… and I want to give them to YOU.

Screen Shot 2016-01-23 at 11.17.10 PM

DOWNLOAD STICKERS HERE

You can print them off on regular paper and glue them into your planner OR you can print them off on sticker paper, which is what I did. [Hint: I used this sticker paper and found it to be the most economical!]

What kinds of stickers are you looking for for your planner??

This post contains some affiliate links! 🙂 

Never Miss a Birthday Again {My Birthday Card Experiment}

BirthdayCardExperiment

I really love celebrating birthdays- friends. family. neighbors, my kids. Jake’s. Mine. Whoever. Birthdays are days of unfettered love and spoiling, a yearly reminder that for one day, your little world stops to celebrate the sheer wonderfulness of your presence on earth.

Case in point. I’ve try to throw great birthday parties for the kids each year. Ice Cream. Chess/Royalty. Monster Princess. Art. Woodland Creatures. It’s so much fun for me, mostly because I love seeing how exciting and celebrated my kids feel. (more…)