Friday, February 5, 2016

Monthday - 3, 4, 5?!

Despite my decision to put things on pause, I had one tiny reminder that time was still racing by... my adorable nephew, Mason.  You may recall my commitment to capture his monthly milestones in photos.  Remember some of our elements used in every monthday photoshoot?

Well, I was unable to be there on his actual monthday in December.  Mom and Dad took the photos for that month and I got a text update that he wasn't feeling it:

Sure, they had most of the ingredients for the shoot:  the baby, the giraffe, the sticker tie but... Islanders, you see his face.  You see Ryan's message. They were missing his auntie, duh!  OH, and speaking of MaseFace and his auntie... I received a pleasant surprise on my birthday.

Maseface made a birthday greeting card for me!  How awesome is that?!  I also learned Ryan's mom was able to capture his 4th monthday photos and Islanders, get ready for the milestones.

There's the giraffe.  The sticker tie.  The bright-eyed baby.


Who has also been trying to scoot around?!  You see the drool.  He's teething.

What's next?  DRIVING?!

Oh. My. Word.  When did this happen?  You know what else?  This past Monday, February 1, 2016, Mason started to attend daycare... Yep, he had his first day of school and *drumroll please* so far so great!

Oh, don't worry your pretty little head.  I've got photo plans for Valentine's Day.  It's goin' down.

Auntie OUT!


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Bearing Fruit.

      My life is like an apple tree.  Some of my fruits include follower of Christ, wife, mother, friend, sister, aunt, daughter, crafter, blogger, event planner, DIY-er, decorator, singer, youth choir director, teacher, playdate planner, homeowner, cleaner, cooker, baker, dog mama, cheer coach, gymnast mom, drum mom, fashionista, and so many more.  Over time, I became focused MORE on my fruits than I did on the rest of the tree… who cares about the leaves, the branches, the trunk or even the roots?  The only thing others care about is the fruit, right?  Thus, I cared more about whether I showed the signs of an apple tree that had it all and, more importantly, had it all to give away.  

      I mean, I had lots of apples hanging from my limbs and I freely gave my apples to anyone who needed them.  I compromised and sacrificed myself to be of benefit to others.  After all, I had apples.  LOTS of apples... but were they sweet?  Were they crisp and refreshing?  

     All of that changed when one of life’s storms left my tree bare.  You know what, Islanders?  When you take away the fruit and leaves, all you see are the branches and a trunk… I could’ve forgotten that I was even an apple tree… I very easily could’ve decided never to bear fruit again.  Do you know what life’s storm did?  It forced this ol’ apple tree to wiggle her roots and to remind herself that she has a groundskeeper who has been feeding the soil the entire time.  I’ve learned just how deep-rooted in my relationship with God I am.  Roots of faith, love, strength, forgiveness, friendship, and family reminded me of who I am at my core.  I seized the storm as an opportunity to strengthen the tree and to choose what fruits I wanted to bear.  For the past few weeks, I've allowed myself to focus on the roots, the trunk and the branches… The decision to take great care of myself reminded me of how critical the act of nurturing my own tree is to the quality of my fruit.  Guess what, Islanders.  I learned a valuable lesson.  

      I’d rather be the tree with a few amazing apples – crisp, sweet, refreshing apples – than to be the tree whose fruits suck the life from it (ironic how that works, huh?).  I’d rather be a tree who beats the odds of life’s storms and whose fruits are not compromised by the elements surrounding it.  

      AND THAT is where my testimony, my sweetest fruit, will grow… 

      Have you taken time to focus on your self-care?  Have you reminded yourself of where you are deep-rooted?  If not, let me sow an [apple] seed in your life. Storms are going to come.  Some of them will rattle your roots.  Remember, the rain makes you grow taller and the winds make your branches strong.   Just to be sure you don't forget, I made a printable.  

      Hang it somewhere and glance at it often.  Never mind for yourself, say it aloud to remind the rain and wind of how strong YOU are.


Monday, February 1, 2016

The Hiatus.

It's been forever. I know. I have lots to share and some things I won't but-- well, just know we've had hospital stays, life changes, monthdays, birthdays, holidays, a new year, an elf (who has a husband?!), new work commute, more articles on EGL, a centerfold feature in a magazine, and SO MUCH MORE.

We will catch up.  I will not leave you hanging long.  There is more to come and I promise I'm going to make the time to come back.  Soon.



Thursday, December 10, 2015

Munch Makes Moves - The Merengue

That's what Munch came home to report the day Merengue rehearsal started.  Each grade has a musical performance scheduled throughout the year at Munch's school.  On a performance day, the entire school (and parents) attentively watch the grade levels sing and/or dance; it's always a special day.  Last year, as a third grade parent, I was excited for the Grammar Rocks performance.  Even then, Munch couldn't stop talking about how excited she was to be in the upper grade musical performances.  Why, you ask?  Fourth and fifth graders perform a partner dance and, as you can probably tell from her quote, Munch was ready.

In the weeks leading up to the dance, she filtered information to Hubbs and me.  First, there was the news that she would dance with a boy.  Then came the demonstration of where his hands would be placed (they intertwine their fingers and he has to put his hands on her lower back).  Let's not forget the day she announced she was going to dance with TWO boys.  Yep, not one but TWO boys.

Everyday there was an update.  The week of the dance, we went shopping and it happened that it was on a sale day at The Village.  Oh, don't give me that look!  I'm not spending buckets of money on a dress she'd only wear one time!  I started there and planned to go to Burlington if, and only if, we didn't find anything that would work.  Would you believe we had three options?  Munch quickly decided the white and gold dress wasn't a good fit for what her partners would wear.  We sent the options to Hubbs as he was at work and it was settled.

The purple was the way to go.  $7?!  DONE!  I glued two bows together to make one large hair piece and she looked adorable.

Check out the performance highlight!

In the above Instagram post, she's dancing with Jamal.

Her other partner has a huge crush on her.  His name is Kevin.  Munch thinks Kevin is very funny. **eye roll*

I could tell he likes her because he seldom made eye contact with Hubbs and me.  Islanders, you have to watch out for the ones that don't look you in your eyes, lol!

Anyhoo, she performed in front of the whole school.  She danced with a boy.  She did it all in front of her dad.  TWICE!  Now, that takes courage!

Cheers to finding strength this week!


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Munch Makes Moves!

UPDATE!  Fourth grade is off to an awesome start.  Munch has shown some amazing progress academically and, as a reward, we decided to start gymnastics a few weeks ago.  She's showing some awesome progress.  She's training hard twice a week and really enjoying herself!

Just before we started gymnastics, Munch participated in a day camp to learn a routine for a performance during our local high school's Senior Night.  Included in the package was a t-shirt, a pizza dinner and entry into the football game.  Follow the bouncing cream bow, it's my kid.

She did very well during the big performance on the field and had a blast with her friends.

That's the update.  Munch has been moving and shaking.  That reminds me!  At her school, each grade has a musical performance and parents are invited to attend.  Last year's performance was all about grammar and this year's performance involved a partner.

Tune in tomorrow for a Throwback Thursday post for the history books!

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