FIRST DAY OF SUMMER + SOME GOALS

 

It’s finally here. The day we have all been waiting for.

The first day of summer!!

This is going to be an exciting summer for us. We have a lot of things planned for the next couple of months and I am really excited.  We are celebrating my 31st birthday, taking a road trip back home to Florida, and there’s there’s talk of skydiving in our near future. We’re also planning on taking a couple of days and checking into a hotel without the babies… something we haven’t done in a long time.

I was looking back at last year’s Summer goals and I can’t help to think about this past season in our life.  It was a season of change, of unpredictability, of trust in Christ and a lot of solitude.  We have come far friends.  A year ago I was pregnant with Emory and just focused on having a good delivery and a smooth transition for all of us at home. Little did I know that a few months later we would be packing up our bags and everything we owned to move across the country. So many changes!!

This year I thought I’d share a few summer goals and when next summer rolls around, I can count the fruit and see how far God has taken us.

Here are my Summer 2017 goals. 
  • Finish reading Present over Perfect: Leaving Behind Frantic for a Simpler, More Soulful Way of Livingby Shauna Niequist  with my sister-in-love and go through two more books before the fall (any recommendations?)
  • Get outdoors with the kids once a day- phone-free and engage them. Love on them by giving of myself.  By running with them, chasing them and making memories
  • Continue on our clean eating plan- and share more #whole30 approved meals on the blog
  • Open my home and embrace community- Let down my insecurities and give of myself through relationships. Trust more.
  • Stick to a three day content calendar. Solve problems through my posts. Serve my readers. Point them to Christ.
  • Celebrate turning 31. Thank God for his blessings and embrace this body that He has gifted me with
  • Spend time taking better care of myself through exercise, healthy eating and taking breaks.  Let go of the guilt of thinking that it’s never about me and remember that I can’t give if I’m not refueling
I know some of these are a little broad, but the main topics are there and I’m excited about the next few moths. We’re also looking forward to the fall in NE.  I hear it’s the prettiest of all the seasons!
Here’s to a wonderful summer filled with eating al-fresco, water balloon fights and all things cold!

 

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SUMMER DAYS AND PLATTE RIVER STATE PARK

Last Friday, we spent the day out visiting different parks in Omaha and we somehow stumbled upon Platte River State Park. It was such a lovely coincidence that we just happen to find that park along our car ride and we decided to go in and explore. We stumbled upon the prettiest creek and found a separate trail with a hidden waterfall.
The kids are becoming littleexplores. Grace gets really excited when we tell her we’re going “trailing” and she is always looking for treasure. Most of the time she finds tree branches and stones and brings them home and then collects all of them.
A couple of days ago Haddon twisted his ankle and has not been able to put much pressure on it so…. we’ve had to carry him everywhere. We have the option of staying home and taking it easy, but it was a perfect day and there was no way we were going to stay indoors. We distracted him by sticking his feet in the water and letting him splash around. It was fun seeing him and Alex playing with sticks and building a dam with stones.
I think there’s something so special about being outdoors with your kids and enjoying nature, breathing in the fresh air and getting dirty!
I know it’s not easy for everyone to get outside to a state park with little ones, but If you do, here are a few things I like to keep in mind.

Also, if a big adventure is not your thing, here are my tips on taking your kids to the playground.

  • Fuel up. Having kids makes you realize how important it is to have proper nutrition.  I make sure the kids have a good breakfast before heading out and I bring plenty of snacks for them. I usually pack bananas, raisins, apples, fruit pouches and lots of water! I also pack snacks for myself like protein bars and coconut water.  Having the right snacks and energy keep our blood sugar level, keeps the crankiness away and allows all of us to really enjoy each other’s company.
  • Get in the game. Your kids want to play with you, take the opportunity to engage them.  Take a few pictures and then put the phone down because you’ll never get this moment back. Your kids will never be this little again, and I know for a fact that your kids will have a better time with you then without you.
  • Use your tools.  Bring your stroller, bring your baby carrier, a blanket, a tent… Bring whatever tool you need to be able to participate.  I like to bring my Ergo and carry Emory in there. That way I have two hands ready to lift another kid or two tie someone’s shoelaces or to give someone water. It takes a toll on my back, but when I’m able to use these things to my advantage, it’s easier for me to participate and have a great time with them.
Of course there are a few other tips, like if you can bring someone with you it would help tremendously and always watch your surroundings. What’s important is that your present and that you enjoy them!!
Anyway, we are looking forward to spending most of our weekends out and about this summer.  So, if you need us that’s where we’ll be!

 

 

 

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FAVORITE THINGS + A SUMMER GIVEAWAY

I am SO excited about this giveaway for you! I have teamed up with several wonderful businesses and artists to bring you an assortment of goodies you are going to love this summer!

Before I jump into what is up for grabs in MY giveaway, you must know about the 8 OTHER giveaways that are all happening right now. To see each gift up close, and to enter to win, visit each site to fill out their entry forms.

It’s possible you could win more than ONE!

When you visit each blog take a look around. This is a great list of amazing bloggers and I know you’ll love each one of them. These precious bloggers (who all love Jesus!) are tearing the blog world UP with their commitment to helping women know God more, serve their families well, and be encouraged on the journey. Plus, their giveaways are AMAZING, so make sure you enter to win their giveaways, too!

**Click any AND ALL of these links to enter to win the incredible giveaways going on at each of these fabulous sites!**

1. Happy Home Fairy // 2. Ale & Tere // 3. The Littles and Me // 4. Erika Dawson – Faithful Moms // 5. Filled with the Word // 6. The Olive Tree Blog // 7. The Purposeful Mom // 8. Meaningful Mama // 9. Frugal Coupon Living

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THE ULTIMATE EASTER BASKET

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #SpringItOn #NestleKitchen

The ultimate easter basket

Grace is old enough to understand seasons and look forward to holidays. This makes it very exciting when it comes to getting ready for spring and Easter! This year we are introducing the Easter basket and have been really looking forward to delivering them to friends and family. We have come up with the Ultimate Easter Basket and are so excited about gifting them to our friends!

 Here’s the Ultimate Easter basket in four easy steps. 

The ultimate easter basket

 

  1. Use a functional basket. When choosing a basket I’d like to look for something that is practical and can be repurposed. I think cubby box for toys, planter box for herbs in the spring. It doesn’t have to be expensive, just practical.
  2. Add something handmade. Grace and I like to add a few personalized hand written notes. For this basket we added a few Bible verses and a fun picture of a butterfly.
  3. Fun candy. You can’t build the ultimate Easter basket without adding candy. We choose Nestlé, because they have the best quality infredients and they’re easy to pick up on pur trip to Walmart. I grew up eating SweeTARTS and they’re still my candy of choice! A pioneer in taste innovation, SweeTARTS delivers the original flavor combination of delightfully sweet and delicately tart in an array of colorful candy creations. For this basked we included their Easter shaped Chicks, Ducks & Bunnies! They’re also great for decorating and filling candy dishes, eggs and for decorating cakes! We are also adding a Scrambled Egg (with Nerds, Laffy Taffy, and Runts), Springtime Fun Dip (I remember eating these as a kid all the time!) Nerds Rope and a few colorful Easter eggs filled with SweeTARTS, Laffy Taffy and Nerds.
  4. Toys. What kid doesn’t love toys? Because it spring and everyone is starting to spend more time outdoors, we added a bubble machine and some sidewalk chalk. Our hope is to encourage play and creativity
  5. Include dinner. This is my secret ingredient to making the ultimate Easter basket because it is a treat for both mom and kids. When we deliver this basket, we will also deliver this Stouffer’s Family Style Macaroni & Cheese! As a mom, I know what a treat it is when I don’t have to think about what I’m serving for dinner.  Bringing over some Mac & Cheese will really give the whole family a chance to play together and enjoy all of the Easter goodies in the basket.  Also, because Stouffer’s Family Style Macaroni & Cheese is made with freshly-made pasta in a 100% real cheddar cheese sauce I feel really good about sharing it with a mom-friend! (I also stock up for myself… because you can’t go wrong with Mac & Cheese!)

 

The ultimate easter basket

That’s it guys! It’s a super easy and fun way to brighten up someone elses day.

Here’s the good news… you can make your own Ultimate Easter basket too! Follow those five simple steps and use these awesome coupons! It doesn’t get any easier friends!

You can also check out Nestlé Pinterest Page here and get some really cool inspiration at their social hub!

The ultimate easter basket

the ultimate easter basket

the ultimate easter basket

The ultimate easter basketThe ultimate easter basket

 the ultimate easter basket

the ultimate easter basket

 Happy Easter friends!

Can’t believe that this was Easter 2015! Look how little Grace looks!

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