Oh boy…here we go

What a great January!  I can’t remember a better January…EVER!

WEATHER:  Shhhh…I haven’t posted this on any social media but the weather has been insanely amazing!  I really and truly feel bad for my friends who rely on snow for income during the Winter but I have to say…it has been really nice.  I do think we’ve had enough of the good weather and need some snow or rain asap.

HOTEL FUN!  We started the month with a dance competition in Downtown KC and stayed at the Sheraton.  The kids got to swim, Carter got to ice skate with his friends and our family got to hang together away from the hustle and bustle of a normal weekend at home.  Then I closed the month with a girls SCRAP weekend at the Drury in OP.  Super relaxing and I put together a Christmas and Valentine’s Day album.

WORK: I got four super nice people jobs in January!  How great is that!  Getting people jobs makes me absolutely so so so happy!  To know I am directly impacting someone’s family in such a positive way makes me so happy.

SHAVED EYEBROWS = Gracious Tween: Whitney Jane got busted by her brother for shaving her eyebrows!!!! Yes, I know GASP!  She used this little tool I warned her over and over and over and made her pinky promise not to every use alone…and shaved her eyebrows halfway off.  Jessica and I told her a million times NEVER TOUCH YOUR EYEBROWS WITHOUT HELP!   So my little Miss Me Jeans and Uggs wearing snotty totty got her TAIL tied in a big time knot!  After a week of being grounded from everything including her makeup she came around to the normal Whitney.  She is now gracious, happy, kind and helpful.  Who knew mascara had such a power over her.  This mama learned a good lesson in that one.

And a new fun thing to do…many years it is calendars…I create like 5 calendars…this year it is photo challenges.  I’ve decided to add this one and it will help me with my 365 challenge too.  I’ve fallen a little flat lately.

From Zero to Hero on Valentine’s Day

I had one of those weekends.  The kind that I feel like a cowgirl in the Wild West riding around town conquering baseball and soccer practice on my own with all 3 kids in tow plus two more basketball games and a few stops in between.  I did it on my own and the kids, especially the littlest were very sweet and helpful.

The next day my sidekick, Daddy, was home and helping but we were all so tired from the running the day before and had limited time before a super terrific friend’s 40th birthday bash…well there just was NO time, ZERO left for Valentine’s Day shopping.  Soooooo, I woke up on Monday, February 14th empty handed…cue the WA WAH.

Thankfully I happened across Vintage Love Coupons, a *FREE* printable from http://www.keylimedigitaldesigns.com!!  BINGO!  I also found some House of 3 printables from last year with a cool peek-a-boo wheel.  I ran out to look for goodies and once I saw the $3 price tag on “store-bought” cards I knew I just had to get it together and put these darling cards together for the kids.  Thankfully it only took me exactly 30 minutes to create the three cards and 4 sets of coupons (hubby got some too.)  I picked up some McD’s gift cards because they always love getting a treat at the “Golden Arches.”  Them spending their own money tends to make it just that much more appreciated.

Whitney's loot and decorated Valentines Box for School

And the trio of darling wheel cards.

Valentines for my Sweetie Peas

The very best…I told them they can gift them to other family members if they want…guess what, Carter cashed in his coupon for a *kiss* from Mommy right on the spot! oxox

And the cutie pie, warm my heart antics of my three monkeys making cupcakes and a valentine cake.  Russell was CRACKING UP at Carter and Whitney!  I can’t express in words how much these photos warm my heart!  I remember when Whitney was first born, I hoped so badly that she and Carter would be close, love each other and be good friends.  The spread between me and my siblings is so vast it took us until we were all grownups to truly appreciate each other.  I adored them as babies…OF COURSE *queen of baby fever*…but when I went off to KU they were 12, 6 and 3.  That is just too young to remember your long lost sister at KU who seemed like light years older at the time…and I think even still *wink*!  So, I just have to say, the dynamics between my children is absolutely cherished.  It is probably the thing I cherish most in the world because it is organic, it is something I made with the help of Brad.  These little beings came from us and now share this awesome light and spirit.  A friend the other day told me I won the “children jackpot.”  What can I say, I can’t argue.  I know other families that probably feel the same way but I am thankful and feel extremely blessed by this gift.  I didn’t dream about the big wedding and all that stuff.  I dreamed about having babies that turned into amazing people.  I’ve got a good head start…

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OPEN…my little word

I saw this quote today on the Brave Girls Club forum   www.bravegirlsclub.com

“The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance, but live right in it, under its roof.”
— Barbara Kingsolver

With my word as OPEN in the year-long “One Little Word” project plus going through this Brave Girls Class, “Soul Restoration,” I’ve found that I am REALLY centered and in the moment these days.  Even if I’m super busy during the day I find that I can turn off the “NOISE” of the day and be present at home, getting stuff done and paying attention to my children.  I’ve gotten a lot more hugs and snuggles from each of them so they must notice that I’ve been more OPEN to them.  I try not to beat myself up over not being OPEN always and am just glad I am.  Sometimes I cook too much or read blogs too long but I feel like I’ve been able to have a true connection with each child and my husband at least once a day.  That’s not easy to do when I’m being pulled in so many directions.

This quote has inspired me to get it together and work on my One Little Word project.  It has been a bit neglected although I’ve been thinking about it.  That’s what I do, create it in my head then go for it.  I am thinking that my necklace from Lisa Leonard http://www.lisaleonardonline.com/word-of-the-year-necklace-P213C8.aspx is helping me stay centered.

Mine looks like this but says open.  I need to get a better pic of it but it is always on me so that is a bit hard.

This is my OPEN Scrapbook showcased in my kitchen. With all of this around I think my little family is catching on and being more OPEN too.  Isn’t this such a cool experiment in attracting what you really want by being an example?  **See honey, these classes are really inexpensive since we are all benefiting…right?!**

*wink* to my husband, Brad

And finally, a picture of my sweet Carter snuggling with his mama.  We are the two least photographed people in our family.  Whitney, Russell and Shadow tend to be the most captured and Brad kind of runs from the camera.  I’m so glad to have these two memories documented.  The last one of the three kids snuggling is not all that rare since my bed is like the one on Willy Wonka with the entire family in it.  I usually have to remove one of the “bigs” if I plan to sleep in my king-size bed.  Not that we won’t all fit (Brad has given up, he finds solace elsewhere usually) but if me and the three kids are in there at the same time there are lots of bony little appendages flailing about and usually end up stabbing my head, stomach or wherever.  I endure sometimes, just to treasure them wanting to be close to me.

I always know I can count on my sweet Carter to give me some love.  He totally gets me ❤

And thank goodness for these three, they are never in need for company because they have each other.

I am so blessed.  I hope you feel blessed today!