Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Kels Every Day: Week 4

Happy Wednesday y'all.  If you follow me on Instagram and you follow my blog, I'm sorry to bombard you with double photos of my little fam via my #KelsEveryDay2014 Insta-obsession.  But I'm not that sorry because I'm going to be ridiculously happy when 2014 is over and I have all of these to look back on.  And I can't even believe that week 4 of 2014 is already over!  It's almost February, which means it's almost Kollyns' birthday month, which means she is almost three. I can't even.
Snow days in VA don't come around too often so I'm a wimp when it comes to driving in it, therefore I make my husband drive me to work on snow days.  And he gets so excited about snow, he even woke up that morning and cooked me breakfast...which explains my ridiculously happy face.   

Oh, we are way past Kollyns letting me paint her nails.  She paints her own now.  Beautiful.

It has been so extremely cold lately.  Which is why my kid is bundled up like an eskimo.

A BFF mini shopping trip was much needed on Saturday...

during which I bought this absolutely perfect devotional book Jesus Calling. Sunday morning wasn't exactly a chart topper, and this is what I opened the book to before church.  The Lord really does  have impeccable timing when he reveals things to me.    

I loved watching her make Valentines for the people she loves.  She put serious thought into the bedazzling of these precious cards.

And lo & behold another little snow came through yesterday.  I managed to snap this right before it started to fall.  Because this little cutie in leopard, denim & riding boots is just too stunning for words. ;) 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Ribbons, Hearts & Sparkly Things

My BFF and I took a much needed trip to Lynchburg Saturday.  This is actually the first time we have been shopping together without Kollyns in 3 years.  I had forgotten how fun shopping and a lunch date can be without my sweet girl trying to jump out of the shopping cart, heading straight for the toy section and staying there for a good 30, running from mommy & what not.  I love shopping with Kollyns, but I must admit it was refreshing to shop solo.  I'll have to make sure I do this again before another 3 years pass. ;) But since she wasn't there and I really did miss her the whole time, I brought her home a little surprise.  Tarjay had a bangin' dollar section this weekend.  Filled with Valentine goodies like sparkly poms, pretty ribbon & heart shaped things..  I really just couldn't resist.  These sat on the counter and tempted us all weekend, so today I caved and let Kollyns go ahead and make her Valentines.  They turned out too cute.  The grandparents will love me forever for these little treasures.

dollar section, poms, crafts, sparkles, hears

poms, sparkly, ribbon, Target

poms, sparkly, ribbon, Target

poms, sparkly, ribbon, Target
poms, sparkly, ribbon, Target

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Kels Every Day 2014: Week 3

This kid has my whole heart.

Sometimes we like to match.  And sometimes, she is way too prissy for her own good.

Friday I ventured to the vet with these two pups and Kollyns.  I got there only to realize I had one leash.  Imagine holding a kid and a dog while trying to hold onto the leash and a purse as an angry pit bull in the waiting room is trying to lunge at us.  Everyone at the vet got quite the show that day.

There's nothing cuter than a blue eyed girl in a blue jean jacket.

Sunday after church!  We were both ready for a nap.

Kollyns will be so ready for preschool this fall. 

I can't even believe we finally got some snow Tuesday night.  Devin, Kollyns and I piled into the hunting truck and rode back roads for hours.  Clearly it didn't excite her nearly as much as it excited us. :)

Thursday, January 16, 2014

For My Daughter

My daughter is my sunshine.  My pride and joy.  I find peace in her embrace, and comfort in her kisses.  She fills my heart with so many wonderful emotions and makes me the happiest person in the world.    She is my first child, and maybe my only depending on God's plan for my life...which is why I want to get mothering right the first time.  Today I sat and thought about just how deeply my influence will affect her little life, spirit and soul.  I want to give back to her what she has given me.  I want to be her inspiration, her confidant and I want her to find her home in my matter where life takes her.  I'm learning as I go, and praying I will always give her the best of me.  I don't want any choices that I make to hinder her becoming who she is meant to be.  So I vow to be the best, most loving and encouraging mother I can be.  I vow to let her live life and discover things for herself, all the while guiding her and pointing her in the right direction. 

I will...

Let her pretend-  I will let her dig in my makeup bag and spread eye shadow from her nose to her chin.  I will paint her nails and then not say a word when she digs them into the dirt or smears the polish all over her fingers.  I will teach her to take care of her appearance, while letting her know that enjoying life and having fun are far more important than what she looks like.  I will let her pretend to be me, then let her be herself.

Get messy with her-  She can help me bake cakes and sling batter and flour all over the kitchen, we can jump in puddles and splash mud from our head to our toes, or finger paint her playroom table.  Sure, I'd much rather avoid the mess altogether.  But messes make memories that last, and ones she probably won't forget.

Let her make mistakes-  I won't stop her from dropping an armful of toys in the floor because she tried to pick up too many, or from spilling her drink on herself because she was too impatient to wait for me to put the lid on.  Or dating the wrong boy, or finding the right boy too early.  I will always remember that I have been there, and learned from every wrong thing I have done.  And I will let her do the same.

Be there-  I will be there for every recital, game, graduation, and big moment in her life.  But I will also be present in the small moments.  While the big moments are great, they are few and far between.  She needs my smile and encouragement every day, not just when great things are happening.  I will always be her safe place, her home and she will know that this heart, the one that is so full of pride and joy for her... isn't going anywhere.

Love her father-    I will show her how to love and respect a good man.  For someday she will find one of her own and the love between her mommy and daddy will be the example she follows.

Teach her how to love-  I will cover her in kisses and sweet hugs, I will love her with everything that I have.  I will love her father and our family passionately.  I will express my love without reservation and teach her to do the same.

Teach her how to respect and be respected-  She will learn by witnessing my kindness to others.  I will teach her that everyone and everything has value, and should be respected.  She will learn when to use her words in her defense and when to be silent since both are equally powerful.  I will teach her to be the better person in every situation, even when it isn't easy because dignity and good heartedness will go a long way.

Believe in her-  Sometimes she might feel too small and she might just need me to believe in her enough for both of us.  I will do that.  From the first day of school to her first job interview, she will know that I have confidence in her and I will be standing right beside her in spirit no matter what challenges come her way.

Comfort her-  On her saddest days, my arms will be wide open.  From boo boo's to broken hearts, she can always run to me.  My love for her will be so strong in those moments that it will pull her through the worst of times.  I will be her strength during the times when she can't find her own.

Tell her she's beautiful-  Every girl wants to hear that they are beautiful.  And there is no one in this world that will ever find her more beautiful than I do.  I loved her before I even saw her, when she was inside of me and I could only feel her.  I will tell her she is beautiful when she is mismatched from head to toe because she just dressed herself. I will tell her there is no one prettier when she is covered in mud from playing in the river.  I will tell her she is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen on her wedding day.  And I will mean it.

Teach her self-worth-  I will teach her that beauty isn't just what we can see and that real beauty comes from within.  Real beauty came when Christ breathed life into us and created us all to be unique and different in our own perfect way.  I will teach her that there could never be a more beautiful 'her', because she is the only one of her that God made.  She will know that she doesn't need validation from anyone because she is a masterpiece, and there is no one else on Earth like her.

Pray for her-  I will pray for her as much as I breathe.  I will pray for her to make good choices, and learn from the bad ones.  I will pray for her to grow in wisdom and have a heart for Christ.  I will pray for her to be the best she can be, and to be a light in this dark world.  I will pray for her to be blessed with as much joy and happiness as she has brought into my life, because it is simply immeasurable.

[Photo Credit:  Crystal George Studios]

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Kels Every Day 2014: Week 2

Wednesday started off absolutely great because we got to work and my little cousin MarLee was there!  Mar is so sweet to KollyBelle, and Kollyns just loves spending time with her! :)

Thursday night we went to Red Lobster with a party of 12.  It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes to get seated (mehhh), but at least I had some quality time with my best friend and her nephew while we waited for our table.  

We left work early on Friday.  It was a super nasty day so I thought a movie date was appropriate and we headed up to the mall to see Frozen. Such a good movie, I was totally impressed.  But Kollyns wasn't as impressed, and if we hadn't had the theater to ourselves, we probably wouldn't have made it through the last 20 minutes.  She did pretty well for her first movie, but I think she needs a little more age on her before we try again.  And as a reward for her somewhat good behavior, she played at Bounce About for a good 30 minutes, she is so into bounce houses.  She loves that place.

Saturday night we headed up to New London Steakhouse to have dinner with the fam.  That place is delish.

Sunday I had Children's Church and my cutie cousins helped me out with it.  Love these two.

And after teaching my Sunday School class and Children's church and chasing Kollyns through the grocery store for an hour as I attempted to get my shopping done for the week... I had zero energy.  I made myself put on workout clothes and went straight to the gym.  After I worked out, I had crazy energy again.  Yesss.
This girl loves her daddy.  And moments like this make mama glow.

Tuesday was a funky day, but that didn't stop Kollyns from posing for a little mini photo shoot.  She loves having pictures taken of her about as much as I love taking them. 

Thursday, January 9, 2014

It Comes and Goes...

I've been having waves of baby fever this past month.  Some days I sit and actually allow myself to envision life with two, and other days I kick the idea like a bad habit.  Kollyns will be 3 within a matter of weeks.  I feel like once my kid hits 3 everyone suddenly thinks I'm due to get pregnant anytime now.  I get asked way too frequently if we are trying, to which I snap out a too quick NO.  And Kollyns points to my belly on a daily basis and asks when she's going to have a sister in there.  Say what?  Last night the conversation went something like this...  "Not yet sweet girl, I'm not ready to share the time I have with you."  To which she responds "Well then can we put one in my belly?" and I spew a mouth full of water into her face.  "Geez mommy, are you okay? I'm just kidding. (With a mischievous smirk) " The kid has jokes.  I guess I can blame the 25 pregnant people I know for that, because Kollyns is enthralled with the idea of someone having a baby inside of their belly.  She has even named her baby sister and talks as though she already plays with her.  Deep down I long to give her what she wants.  I want her to have a best friend to grow up with and play with.  I kind of think I might want 2 kids eventually.  Devin and I have talked about it, and then we decide to re-visit the idea after we are settled in our new house.  Although I know another kid would bring so much joy to our lives, this is my actual thought process when baby fever arises...

Oh look, a sweet little beautiful baby.  I want one.

But I just got my boobs back.  I'd like to keep them for a while. 

Do I really want to start over with a newborn?  Kollyns just started sleeping really well since she quit breastfeeding, and I've been sleeping really well.

Aww but Kollyns would be so cute playing with her little brother or sister.

Oh no, she wants a sister.  What if she gets a brother?  What if we start trying and we can't get pregnant at all?  What will that do to me emotionally?  Never mind, I'll leave that in God's hands...after all His will is always what is right.  Why am I even thinking about this?

But what if I get pregnant immediately.  That would put me smack dab in the middle of trying to move into our new house.  I would really love to be settled in our new place before we even try to get pregnant.  If we try.

Well, Kollyns will be in preschool starting in the fall.  So that might not be a bad time to have another kid.  But preschool is only 2 days a week.  So three days a week I will have 2 kids at work with me.  Then it would be more like daycare, not work.  Then my dad might decide I shouldn't bring kids at all.  Then I'd have to quit and be a stay at home mom because I refuse to miss any moments in their early years.  But no, can't do that either...We're building a house.  Okay, I'll wait until she is five and in regular school.

Oh my gosh, 5 years apart.  That's a long time.  They won't have anything in common and they probably won't even get along.  So instead of a little brother, she will feel like she has a little bother.  I really need to stop watching the cartoon Olivia with Kollyns, I'm picking up on the lingo.  But 5 years is good too, Kollyns can be my helper.

Wait, that's not fair.  She supposed to be a kid, not a helper.  I am SO overthinking this.

I was fine with being an only child until I was 10.  No, I don't want my kids 10 years apart, but I don't feel like I missed out on anything by not having a sibling close to my age.  I kind of loved my life and the way everything turned out.  The idea of having only one child doesn't bother me one bit.

On top of that, Devin's schedule is so crazy at work and I wouldn't have ANY help.

Devin, oh my gosh.  When would we ever have any time alone?  It's already pretty tricky squeezing in "us time" now, but we finally have it perfected.  What will happen to our alone time?  A strong marriage is the best thing for our kids.  How will it affect my marriage?

Okay, I'm done going over this in my head and clearly if I'm having to think about it this much...I'm not ready. 

::Brain is switched off from baby fever mode::

Oh my goodness just LOOK at that sweet little beautiful baby.  I want one.

So how many of you just read that and now think that I'm certifiably insane? 

Am I being selfish?

Why am I making such a big deal out of this?  I know moms of two that rock that role and make it look like a breeze. 

Baby fever has gone away for now.

And I hope it stays away until we are really ready for another little one.  In the meantime...cute pregnant girls and beautiful little babies need to stay far, far away from me. :)

And since it's #throwbackthursday in InstaWorld.  Here's the first picture of me and Kollyns at home, one week after she was born.  My little angel.  Life has been so sweet since she came into our lives. Crap, I'm catching it again.  Why do I keep doing this to myself?
baby fever, throwback thursday


Kels Every Day 2014: Week 1

I have been inspired by many other bloggers to use Insta to capture one positive moment from each day of the year.  It has been fun looking back on our week, so I can only imagine how awesome it will be when the year comes to an end and we have an entire year of photos to reflect on and enjoy! 

I brought in the New Year with my favorite girl because of course daddy had to work!

One of my favorite parts of each day is that I get to spend every moment with my KollyBelle.  I love that I can bring her to work with me!  She is already the boss! :)
Our date nights are few and far between, but when we have them we enjoy them.  Kollyns spent the night with Nanny and Papa, and mommy and daddy rented a room.  Bowchickawowow.  Keeping the love alive.

The next night we had a family date night.  Kollyns was set on ordering a cheese quesadilla at a Japanese restaurant.  She wouldn't touch her chicken and rice...and at midnight she tapped me on the shoulder and asked for a peanut butter sandwich.  Of course.   

Sunday snuggles after church are my absolute favorite!  Especially when it's super gloomy like it was this past weekend. 

This week started off cold as all get out.  I mean it was ridic.  We bundled up good and headed to work on Monday.

Tuesday it was colder than cold.  The county schools were even closed.  Even though I strongly believe I should get honorary days off when they are closed because I have a teaching degree, I still went to work.  So instead of dragging Kollyns to work in single digit temps, I dropped her off with her Nanny Shawnee and she stayed in her jammies all day long and played.  Oh to be a kid again and spend the whole day at Nanny's house.  Lucky girl.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

10 Ways I've Become a Better Mom

better mom, tips, embracing, parenting, melissa and doug, happy mom, happy kid

So here's a not so awesome fact of motherhood.  A lot of moms spend more time pinning blogging about thinking about cool things to do with our kids than actually doing them.  I will admit I'm so guilty of this.  I've missed many moments playing with Kollyns, dancing with her, dressing her dolls, baking wooden Melissa and Doug cookies, watching her work her way through a puzzle because I was on the computer pinning a new craft to try with her or looking up a new recipe that she would like.  Good intentions, yes...but still missing moments.  So I quit.  Last year I broke up with Facebook and it was the best thing I ever did.  Nothing against Facebook, I think it's a great way to connect with people, but I spent more time connecting with other people instead of my own family.  I still have an Instagram account because I absolutely love the idea of looking back on the year in pictures, and obviously I still have a blog.  But right now as I'm typing this, Kollyns River is asleep.  I will no longer waste moments with her.  Because sure having a blog is great, but relishing precious moments is greater.  On top of this, I began to think of even more things I can do to start enjoying life more and savoring sweet moments with my little one.  So then came the question...How can I be a better mom?  And I started working through things and figuring out how to make it happen.  Ultimately it amounts to this: Happy Mom, Happy kid. 

1.  I use her 'sleep time' as my 'me time'- Lucky for me, Kollyns sleeps until I wake her up.  On week days it's 9am, weekends 11am.  On week days I wake up at 7am which gives me two hours to myself before she wakes up.  If daddy is home, I go workout or go to the grocery store.  If not, I drink 2 or 4 cups of coffee and watch Good Morning America and spend time in the Word and do chores.

2.  I get ready for the day before it begins-  I don't wait until she wakes up to take my shower, get dressed, put my makeup on and do my hair.  If I'm ready when she wakes up, I'm already my best me and I'm not stressed to the max because I have to get ready while my kid whirls around me or because I have somewhere to be and look like I just rolled out of bed.

3.  I keep my eye on the clock-  When I'm late, I'm moody.  And if Kollyns is the only person with me, who will I take it out on?  I want to be the best version of myself for my girl.  The best way to avoid a snappy attitude and a crying kid because she senses my stress, is to avoid the stress factor.  The best way to avoid the stress factor is time management.  The end.

4.  I become a kid with her-  When she plays, I play.  We have dance parties, we build castles out of toddler mega blocks, we read fairytales one right after the other and talk about princesses and magic.  We color until the crayons break, we do 15 puzzles in a row, she rides her scooter through the house while I follow close behind on the plasma car as she squeals with excitement because I'm 'chasing her'.  Fun stuff.  And it takes me to a happy place better than any happy place I've ever known.

5.  I don't major on the minors-  A plate of spaghetti face down on the floor won't matter 20 years from now.  But what will matter is how she saw me handle the situation.  She learns from me, and patience is a virtue.  Patience I shall have.

6.  I keep myself healthy-  Eat healthy, model an active lifestyle, don't be a couch potato, practice good hygiene.   Yep, these things make me feel good about myself...but they are also a great way to model good habits for my kiddo. 

7.  I learn from my mistakes-  I will fail, and I accept that.  No mom is perfect, and there is no perfect way to parent.  There will be mountains and valleys in parenting and in life, and as long as we savor the mountainous moments, and learn from the valley moments....everything will be just fine.

8.  I roll with the punches-  Oh yeah, she will have a meltdown in Target that will generate stares from a gazillion people.  Or you might catch me sprinting through the grocery store trying to catch my little escape artist. But I refuse to lose my cool.  Number one, I've seen first hand the moms that lose their cool in these situations and it is not a good look.  Number two, I realize every parent knows what I'm feeling so I can't feel like I'm being judged.  And Number three,  I don't want my kid thinking that when life get's crazy, it's okay to act crazy.  If I stay calm, it's much easier to calm her down.

9.  We grow together spiritually-  A nightly devotional and prayer time with Kollyns is my favorite part of the day.  We go to bed 30 minutes early, read her princess Bible, talk about the Bible story and she gives me her prayer requests for the day.  There isn't anything sweeter than hearing prayer requests from the mouth of an almost 3 year old.  She listens to me pray out loud, and then she prays.  Talk about a happy mama.

10.  I appreciate every moment-  Whether it's the spilled spaghetti, the Target tantrum, the Barbie Hair Makeover, or the devotional time.  I appreciate all of it.  Because deep down I know that she won't be little forever and I will miss this.  Every little part of my little girl being little. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Get Fit 2014: Choose A Healthy Breakfast!

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day!  And if you're always late like me and choose an easy sugary option, it can mess up your eating habits for the entire day.  If I start the day off with a bad breakfast...I might as well chalk it up to a screwy eating day altogether.  So I try to avoid the donuts, Pop Tarts and chocolate chip waffles at all costs.  These are my favorite healthy options to replace those popular [so dang yummy] calorie loaded breakfasts. 

Replace French Toast with Ezekiel Bread French Toast

2 Slices Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread
1/2 C. All White Egg Whites
Tsp Cinnamon
Dash Nutmeg
Sugar Free Syrup
Sugar Free Cool Whip

Beat together Egg Whites, Cinnamon and Nutmeg.  Coat Ezekiel Bread in Mixture.  Brown both sides on nonstick griddle over medium heat.  Top with sugar free syrup, berries and sugar free cool whip! 

Replace pancakes and syrup with Banana Walnut Protein Pancakes and Sugar Free Syrup
[No photo because I can't get these to turn out pretty to save my life, but they do taste yummy]

1 Egg
2 Egg Whites
1 Mashed Banana
1/3 Cup Plain Oats
2 tbsp Whey Concentrate
1/2 tsp Baking Powder (sodium free)
2 Packets of Stevia
1 Tbsp Syntha 6 Vanilla Ice Cream Protein Powder
Bit of Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk (To achieve preferred pancake mix consistency)

Mix all ingredients and cook on a nonstick griddle! 
Top with Sugar Free Syrup and Chopped Walnuts [Optional]

Replace Instant Flavored Oatmeal with Baked Pear Apple Oats

1 Small Pear
1 Small Apple
1/3 Cup Oats
1 Egg White or Liquid Egg Whites Equivalent
Cinnamon (desired amount)
Stevia (2 Packets)

Core and dice pear and apple into small pieces.  Combine all ingredients, sprinkle with water to moisten oats and bake in a baking dish at 200 degrees for 20 minutes!