Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Super Simple School Valentine's

January just flew by! And with an upcoming family trip, there is a limited amount of time for the kids to get their school Valentine's together. Sadly, they will miss the event but that's okay because it is always better to give than receive. And it's been fun crafting these goodies too!

First up...The most important people in our children's lives: 
Big THANKS to Skip to My Lou
for this easy and adorable Valentine.
 Sophia told me her teacher loves Dove chocolates.
How cute and simple is this?!
Can anyone resist a soft Gummy Bear?
And "thank you" Amazon for carrying these 1 oz bags! 
But did you have to make it in bulk of 72 count?!
So hard having these extras around.
Add just a little play on words:
Click here for the free printable.
How cute & fun are these?!
Hope this post gives you a little inspiration!
School parties should not be daunting. So have fun and make it simple!

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Ringing in the New Year

We just experienced our very first snowy winter break. Compliments of Park City, Utah.  With highs of 12-15 F and lows in the negatives, I can tell you for sure, I have never been so cold in my life! What made this first winter trip even more special was having our very first guests! So happy Dani and her family could join us. They were our first "guinea pigs". 
And I have made a few notes for subsequent trips with guests.

Our family had a wonderful and schedule free time. As soon as we landed, the girls were off sliding in the fresh snow in front of our house. It truly was a winter wonderland.

Our first days on the slopes were a little rough. Ski school was booked (poor planning during the busiest time of the year) and Kalista wasn't up to par to keep up with the 3 of us. But she was a trooper and we made the best memories.

I totally remember this day. It was freezing! But fresh snow was quite epic.
Kid free days! Thank you ski school!

Snow mobiles were a huge a hit!
Outdoor ice skating is always a treat. 
Something about having the snow covered mountains surrounding you.

 Cheers to 2016!

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

The Hardest Hug

Dear Daddy,

Tis the season. I usually end that saying with an exclamation point. But there are times, I just can't. Today is one of those times.

I was on a run and your hugs came to mind. How I miss those hugs. The meaning behind your hugs. You had given me countless hugs throughout my life, but there are 3 that stand out the most.

I was barely married, you came down for a visit. At the time, it seemed like any other visit. When it was time for you to leave we exchanged hugs, like we always had. It was different. Normally we let go at around the same time. But not that time. There was a linger. A hesitation. I was married now. No longer were you the primary person I would turn to for advice. No longer the person I would turn to when I was in a jam. No longer your responsibility. It was a bittersweet, uplifting hug. You had done your job. And I was the first to let go. Because in the end, you still knew what I needed. 

You were newly diagnosed. I was up for a visit. It was a hard visit. Life had changed. But you were still the stoic one. It was time to leave. And like always, we exchanged hugs. We drove away. I made David turn around just a couple of minutes later. I had to go back. Surprised you were to see me standing at the front door. I hugged you. I told you how sorry I was this had happened. How unfair it was. How much I loved you. You said, " I know. I know. It's okay." I hugged you like I was 5 years old again. And I was the first to let go. Because in the end, you still knew what I needed.

April 4th, 2013. The time was nearing. We held hands. We talked. We laughed. I cried. And like always, you told me it was okay. It was heartbreaking to say a final goodbye. I never wanted that moment. I never wanted to let go. But you were tired and ready. And you were the first to let go. Because in the end, you still knew what I needed.

I love you,

~ Your Little Girl

Monday, November 30, 2015

Six is Sweet!

Dear Kalista,

Absolutely no way has this happened! The fastest 6 years of my life just flew by me like I was standing still. 

Kalista, you are a true gem. Although you are only six, you have a great perspective on how life should be . . . carefree and FUN! Your nonchalant ways have me wanting to be more like you. I love how you are able to just move right along, regardless of the outcome. I know you will be someone who can truly forgive and move forward without hesitation. What a gift! I could learn a thing or two from you. 

Kalista, you have a smile that is so infectious. I admire your outgoing ways and ability to be personable with anyone. You are definitely not shy! hahaha You don't have a care in the world of what people think about you or what you are doing. That is so rare. Hang on to it!

There is no doubt in my mind that you will be happy all of your life. Whether you are 6 or 76, you will be at peace. And that makes me feel so good. If everyone could be like you, the world would be a wonderful place.

Happy birthday my sweets! I love you!

~ Mommy

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Building Confidence

Some people have that certain ability to always be confident no matter what the situation. Even if they know things may not pan out the way they want, they still exude confidence. And then there are some people who struggle to feel an ounce of self confidence even when there is a 99.9% chance things will be in their favor.

As a parent, aside from happiness, there is nothing more I want for my children than to have them be and feel confident. It is definitely something I lacked as a child. And if these things are inherited, well then, Sophia has me to blame. And she can also blame me for the early childhood shyness. If she gets anymore of my traits she is going to need a lot of therapy later. : )

I wish I had a magic spell to cast upon Sophia; a confidence/self-esteem spell. I wish there was more I could say or do to make her believe in herself. To my friends, family, and other parents Sophia seems to have it all together. She's smart, determined, beautiful, funny, athletic, and I could go on forever. But, there is just one piece that makes all of these things irrelevant to her. Confidence.

For those who know our family well, it's no breaking news that Sophia enjoys club swimming. We think she is pretty awesome, but as Sophia has pointed out to us time and time again (not just with swimming), "You are my parents. You are supposed to say that kind of stuff." Ouch! Well, she doesn't know her mom well enough in that department. I stopped handing out meaningless compliments a very long time ago. Any hoo. Club swimming has been a blessing and a curse. It has sparked a little bit of positive self-esteem. But because Type A people are never satisfied, it has produced a lot of tears because of unrealistic comparisons/goals (but realistic for an 8 year old) and the lack of confidence knowing it will happen some day.

So in comes social media. Yes, that's right. Social media is used for so many reasons. It's a way to share thoughts, milestones, gratitude, and every day life (or unicorn life - lol). I enjoy posting about my children's accomplishments, but not for the reasons some may think. Confidence. There's that word again. In general, I think kids tend to "hear" your words when other people say them. Just like most kids behave differently (hopefully better) for others than they do for their parents. So I am adding social media to my confidence teaching tool. And yes, it has been working. Slowly (like turtle slow - Sophia is a tough nut to crack), but surely.

So to all those who click on that "like" button (yes, I share these with Sophia) and give her props when you see her - THANK YOU! It warms my heart seeing Sophia smile from ear-to-ear when someone acknowledges her latest accomplishment. She is starting to sporadically feel good about herself. Confident. And that's all I want.