Tuesday, June 27, 2017

All The Feels After Forty

At forty, I'm probably not supposed to wake up to eat cake with my coffee, but would you look at this delish, delish strawberry cake!!! I have to brag on my sister real quick... My family told me how she stepped up to help my husband pull some details together, including decorations and this homemade cake that apparently took her days to complete because of the bake, freeze and then ice process. Mmm Mmm Mmm, it's so good, and I think you'd also eat it for breakfast! (Maybe I can get her to provide the recipe? Ya'll be sure to check back here for a link.)

So, today, I woke up having ALL. THE. FEELS. Have you had these days? You know, sentimental like?

As I stand in the kitchen, in one that my mother raised me, freezing left overs from this fabulous surprise birthday party from my husband, I can't help but to remember all the other birthdays I shared here with my family and some other really good people.

I am so very thankful for the people God has put in my life. You've all helped mold me into who I am today. It might sound selfish to say "I am proud of who I've become", but without self-worth & self-appreciation, who would we be? So, I say it loud & proud. Sure, I have flaws, areas that still need a lot of improvement, but I also have acknowledgement & awareness of those things that need special attention. (Can't say I had such self-awareness at 21 or even 30.)

So, to be at 40, under a very special roof, celebrating with friends both old & old (because let's face it, the newer friends in this crew have still been around about 17 years... and that's just not so new) is just a feel good, feel good feeling!

If the new people in my life have been around for almost twenty years, how cool is it that I am still close with some people I've known for my entire life? And it's VERY COOL that some of them were here celebrating another milestone with me. Seriously, some of my friends were in this room with me when we celebrated my 15th, 16th, 18th, and maybe even 21st; and to be here at 40, having some of the same faces around, was just an incredible feeling!

Some people who learn that we co-habitate with my folks or that we live in Luthersville, GA ask me "why?" or look at me funny. This last weekend was a prime example of why we do. So we can be close, so we can share life, and so we don't miss out on each other. Of course, there are days that it's weird to live in the basement of the house my grandparents & parents built together, where my parents raised six children, but mainly because it's not my own. Other days, I just wish it was my own, so I might not ever have to leave. Would you look at this beautiful view and tell me that you wouldn't want to live here or raise your children here?

Reflecting on the life that I've been fortunate to live thus far, I'm feeling super blessed to cross into my forties, where my parents were when they crossed into their forties, both of us having the opportunity to raise our children in the middle of this beautiful piece of property, sharing family & milestones... Better yet, my husband shares my love & desire to be here in this environment (...and oh, is it so fun to see him in his element)! For this season, we are right where God would have us to be.

I'd love to hear back about from you about what part of forty got you reminiscing and having all the feels! Start sharing below.

#AllTheFeels #Blessed #Loved #Happy #Fortunate


Thursday, June 15, 2017

At Forty...

borrowed image from GoodReads.com

Let's be honest. As our birthdays approach faster & faster throughout the years, they bring a range of emotions that might look a bit like a heart rate - up & down, up & down. Though depending on your attitude, you might hear the music behind that beat!

As my B I G  4 O approaches, I find myself listening to the music from my almost forty year old library because when I was young, I truly expected forty to be have that "over the hill" feeling or maybe even "life is over at forty" feeling. For me, thirty was much harder. The music I hear today reflects acceptance, adventure, authenticity, change, gratitude, kindness, love and an abundance of memories! Maybe I see the glass half-full, as compared to thirty I saw the glass half-empty. It doesn't really matter. I'm here. I survived the last decade, and I have a boatload of experience, wisdom and memories to prove it.

I am looking at 40 as 4 perfect 10's because though there maybe a lot of difference between twenty & forty, some things that are the same-same-but-different. So, if you're about to hit this milestone, as I will in a week, think about some facts that are resonating with me.
  • At forty, I still cherish memories as if I was creating a high school yearbook, but at forty, that yearbook is in pieces. The memories are spread throughout drawers & boxes because I printed pictures, I saved a magazine clipping, but I no longer have time to even put them in one place, much less find time to put them in a photo album or a scrapbook.
  • At forty, I still dream like nothing can stop me, but at forty, I dream for others more than myself.
  • At forty, I still think of others, but at forty, the hand written note that I wrote them is found under a pile of mail that was misplaced and might never make it to the mailbox, much less get handed to them.
  • At forty, I still look at my surroundings trying to notice the beauty in this world, but at forty, my goggles are forty years old. I see with more clarity. At forty (not at thirty), I love swapping my forty-something goggles for toddler goggles.
  • At forty, I still say I am sorry, but at forty, I don't wait for perfect timing.
  • At forty, I still get disappointed, but at forty, I seek God's wisdom & comfort, rather than justice.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Moving Day

I technically relocated to the country almost two years ago, but the market wasn't in great shape and our home was in need of some minor attention. Since my husband's work is on our old side of town, it helped having a place for him to stay a few nights a week. However, the updates to the house were pretty much complete and the commute has definitely taken it's toll. Time to sell.

The Lord blessed us by allowing us to cross paths with buyer's who were renting in our neighborhood. Though it's been an unconventional process, we remained faithful asking God to bless this transaction and our efforts to sell to them. Finally, we are scheduled to close.

With a closing date drawing near, we are making arrangements to start packing and moving, so tons of questions are crossing my mind. How will I pack the remaining items in my house with a 2 year old who requires A LOT of attention. Will he unpack the box I just closed? Can we get away without a storage unit or will we have to splurge on that too? If we do need a storage unit, will it need to be climate control? Thankfully, I have an adaptable set of people working with me to help us find all the answers we need during this transition.

Some obvious things on the to do list include packing, but I had to determine if there was any furniture that we could let go. Determined there is, I start photographing and listing items that can go from our current living arrangements, and, later, I'll add the items from the house we are selling. It doesn't matter if I'm yard selling or online selling IT IS STRESSFUL & NOT my forte.

Combine Stress Away, Orange & Peppermint in the Diffuser for a sweet stress relief!
If you're in the Luthersville, GA region and need a couch, faux leather chair, chest & nightstand or baby crib, let me know by sending an email. Here'a re pictures, but you can also find them on letgo or 5miles.

Antiqued Black Chest & Nightstand - $150 OBO

34" W x 21" D x 48.75" H
Good Condition, yet bottom drawer is in need of minor repair.


22" W x 18.25" D x 27" H
Faux Leather Chair with Ottoman - $200 OBO

Chair: 50" W x 37" D | Ottoman: 24" x 24"


Sturdy Couch - $100 OBO

88-90" L x 38" D

Sturdy Baby Bed - $75 OBO

Regular Size Crib

Folded: 6' L x 52" H
I am surely not the only one who's lived this, but if you know of someone who is looking for any of these items, please have them make me an offer. We are ready to letgo!!

What essential oils do you prefer in a stressful situation? Frankincense is also on my list.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Transitioning from Crib to Bed

I’ve been told there is no set time to transition my toddler from a baby crib to a regular bed, but let me just tell you… This is an area I didn’t know I had preconceived ideas about, until I did.

Since before #MyBoy turned two, I felt the need to get him out of his crib. This urge to get him into a big boy bed just creeped in and wouldn’t leave. It was probably me worrying about what other people thought more than anything, but I’ll tell you this… you can’t make parenting choices based on other people’s opinions. So, I chose to look for a few signs before transitioning #MyBoy from his crib to a bed, and I feel comfortable with the timing and results.

  1. Is he climbing out of his bed? I knew once this happened, we had safety concerns on our hands.
  2. Does he get out of bed at naps or bedtime? Once he started showing signs that he was becoming more confident climbing and getting in & out of the crib was approaching, I tested his obedience. Test him in a regular bed (at home or away) during bedtime (naps too). Does he stay in bed without testing authority or does he get up and down, drawing out the bedtime process? I tested this theory during a 3-night weekend away. We were lucky because #MyBoy stayed in the bed when I laid him down for naps and bedtime.
  3. Does he get excited when you talk about a big boy bed? If he gets excited when you mention a big boy bed, he may be ready.

As I waited for the safety need to arrive, I enjoyed the phase of having an immobile toddler. In other words, he wasn’t getting out of bed after naps or first thing in the morning without my knowledge. If you’re living it, enjoy it, right?  However, my intuition slowly informed me that it was time for the transition. I confirmed his readiness by testing the three areas mentioned and BOOM! We successfully transitioned him this past weekend.

We live in a 2-bedroom space, but we have extra space in a small 10x8 room. I used the small room as his baby room to designate our 2nd room as a guest space. Since it was time to transition and we already had a king size bedroom suite in our guest room, we transitioned him straight to a new room at the same time. I am happy to report that this has been a parent win! He is sleeping great in his new space and his old space is the perfect playroom, housing a lot of the toys that use to take up extra living room space.

Now, let me acknowledge that my theory may not work for your 2.5 year old. Ages for making this transition vary from home to home, family to family. There is not always an easy answer. While I was trying to make the best decisions for our family, I read the different blogs & baby-site articles. You may find your answers elsewhere. For instance, CafĂ©Mom.com gives 5 signs your toddler is ready for his own bed, and BabySleepSite.com says the average age for making the switch from crib to bed is between 3 and 4 years. Regardless of where or who you get your encouragement, trust your gut. A parent’s intuition will guide you through those choices that don’t need to be perfect. So give yourself a little grace, time to be sad when the time comes to move your toddler from a crib to a big boy bed because it is sad, and then move on. Enjoy the win and the next stage.

Tell me how you knew your child was ready for this transition. 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Parenting Dilemma

After a day outside with the family, playing hard, this mama needs some prayers. My sweet boy fell into the lake, not once but twice, yesterday. (Hold-on, haters! He was under adult supervision.) He definitely panicked, probably swallowed some nasty water, and may have created a healthy fear of water for the time being... Lake water intake may have also led to #pukeonislefour. That's right! I cleaned this up twice, after bedtime. YAS! Moms know what that means; clean the kid and get him comfy, oil him up (Thieves essential oil blend on the feet and Tummygize... well, you get the drift), strip the bed, wash the contents of the bed in the sink and then throw them in the washer, remake the bed... but wait, all his favorite blanket are in they wash... so, oil him up again (Valor to the rescue) and snuggle long enough to see if he can go back down without puking! No? Okay, round two...

You get the picture, but wait; then, I am told about secondary drowning which I've never heard about. Panic! Google! Panic again! Is my kiddo gonna survive the night or drown in his sleep? I had to check him 10 times before finally going to sleep at 1 am. Did I mention, I had the monitor volume all the way UP for the first time ever? Oh, and I was up checking him every few hours throughout the night... I'm a tired mama today, who is still a little stressed out (enter Stress Away essential oil)!

#MyBoy has remained himself, showing no signs of troubled breathing, fatigue or other odd behavior, since incident one. So, here's the dilemma... am I being too confident in my parenting by avoiding a trip to the doctor? Should I be "better safe than sorry" and take him in for overnight observation even though we are safely past the 24 hour mark? What would you do, if you're a mom and in my shoes?

Use the comments to share your stories or give me feedback about what you would do in this situation. I look forward to the dialog because I'm only a mom of one, yet the eldest child of 6. I don't panic often, and I typically choose trust in my intuition.