Wednesday, October 19, 2016

4 Ways to Celebrate Your Spouse: Jord Watch Review and GIVEAWAY!

This post was sponsored by Jord Wood Watches. All opinions are my own. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you know that we found out on Friday that Brad passed the Arizona Bar! We are beyond excited and I am so proud of Brad.

Something I love about our relationship is that we are always very aware of each other's goals and accomplishments and we love to celebrate each other. I think that finding reasons to celebrate your spouse is so important! You can celebrate good news, accomplishing a goal, or just plain being in love. Celebrate getting a new job, finishing a big project, or even something as simple as the fact that it's fall!

We love to celebrate in lots of different ways. Today, I wanted to share 4 of our favorites with you.

1. Go to dinner, just the two of you.
You guys. We actually hired a babysitter on Saturday night! We went out just the two of us to a fancy dinner and it was absolutely perfect. For three full hours we talked about things other than diaper changes and nap schedules! We reconnected and celebrated that life is oh so good.

2. Write each other little notes for the simple things.
Brad is especially good at this one. I am always so touched by the way he leaves me little notes letting me know that he is thinking of me. He is aware of my goals and he knows when I meet them. He tells me how great I am. He tells me that he is proud to be my husband. He celebrates all of the little things.

3. Do something extra special.
Take time to do something extra special that you wouldn't do every day. I went and got a special kind of ice cream that I wouldn't usually buy to celebrate Brad's accomplishment. I made his favorite meal. I got some punny Bar related gifts. Basically, just make a big deal out of little things.

4. Find the perfect gift.
I knew that passing the bar would be a So I wanted to make sure to get Brad the absolute perfect gift. When Jord Watches contacted me, I knew that I had found what I was looking for. Brad has wanted a wood watch for a long time now and these watches are seriously the best I have seen. I had so much fun picking out Brad's watch and waiting for it to arrive. For some reason, it was even more fun to select a men's watch than I though it would be!

Men's wooden watch.

I especially loved that Jord sends the watch ready to wear. We sent Brad's measurements in, and they fit the watch perfectly to him. If you're gifting this like I was, it's a little tricky to get a measurement without giving away what you're doing... just go with a "trust me. I just need your wrist size." haha. I promise that even if they hubby knows that a watch is on the way, he will still be blown away with just how amazing the watch actually is. We're talking beyond gorgeous.

Jord Wood Watch

The wood is all natural and hand finished which I loved. All of the men's watches are gorgeous, so I had a hard time choosing, but we eventually went with the Zebra Wood and White Carbon watch. It's really a cool watch! The wood is absolutely beautiful and classy. I thought it was a perfect gift for my new attorney!

Jord Wood Watch

Jord doesn't skip out on any details either. The packaging is gorgeous and it makes the gift feel even more special.

Wood watch packaging

For you men looking for something special for your lady this fall, Jord also offers an amazing line of women's watches here.

In all, I love that Brad has such a unique watch and that I was able to give him something truly special for such an amazing accomplishment.

Jord Wood Watch

I also have some great news for you all! Jord is offering readers a chance to win a $75 gift card to their store! And, just for entering, you automatically receive a $20 off code! You can enter here:
Giveaway ends 11/20/16, so enter soon! Codes expire 2/28/17.

A major thank you to Jord Watches for helping me pick the perfect gift for my attorney husband!

Wooden Wristwatch

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

To The Mother I Thought I'd Be

motherhood challenges and reality

To The Mom I Thought I Would Be,

 You might be feeling like a little bit of a failure right now. Things aren't exactly as you had planned on. In fact, some things are far from where you had imagined. But I want you to know that from all the planning and imagining you did, you could never ever have dreamed up just how amazing your life would be right now. It might not be going "according to plan," but that doesn't make you a failure. It makes you real, raw, and blessed.

You had planned on having a beautifully organized home. A place for everything and everything in it's place. You imagined toys organized by type and size. You envisioned clean floors, shiny windows, and empty countertops. Instead, you have toys strewn about on the floor as you build an elaborate, imaginative play area. The windows have little fingerprints from playing with window clings with your little one. Those countertops are only cleared off about once a week when you finally get around to it. But you were busy. You were having a tea party and playing dress up. You were reading books and coloring masterpieces. You had better things to do. The house isn't a total disaster. Well... At least it's not a total disaster all that often. But it isn't perfectly ordered. It's lived in. Played in. Laughed in. And it's amazing.

You had planned on having a child who would be perfectly behaved in church. One who would sit quietly and listen to the sermons. One who would quietly admire pictures of The Savior and fold her arms for the prayers. Instead, you have a wiggly toddler. One who gets through the first prayer and song okay but gets antsy after. One who you walk the halls with to keep her happy.  And just when you're on the brink of tears because you don't know what to do and haven't heard a sermon in a few weeks because you've been wrestling the little one and you fear you haven't taught her anything at all, she will excitedly point to a painting on the wall. "Jesus! Jesus!" She will say. She'll blow Him kisses. And you'll know. You'll know that you've taught her something. She knows, recognizes, and loves Jesus. You helped with that. So she doesn't sit for an hour nicely... She knows God, even if it wasn't in the way you had imagined.

You had planned on organizing activities that your little one would be engrossed in for hours. But you have a beautiful, opinionated little one who sometimes rejects the activity that you spent so much time preparing. But if you aren't careful, you'll miss the thing she does want to do. In your frustration, don't miss the book she's pushing towards you. You have probably already read it 5 times that day. Read it again. Embrace her love for learning and her desire to make her own choices. She wants to go to the park? Go. It's just around the corner and it will bring her so much joy. It's okay that life isn't as scheduled and planned as you imagined. It's raw and real. And that's a beautiful thing.

You thought you wouldn't let your little one watch any television until she was three years old. You stayed pretty strong until she was about 14 months. Every now and again it just makes life a little easier. She sometimes needs a break from the constant activities and play. And sometimes you do too. And that's okay. Snuggle up together and watch your 15 minute show. It's alright. Even if other people tell you it's not, you need to do what works for you. Even if the show sort of drives you crazy, she loves it. Enjoy that she's snuggling in to you and snuggle right back.

You thought you would always know what to do. You thought you would always make the right decision. But you don't and you won't. And it's okay. Allow yourself to be real. It's okay to admit when you don't know what you're doing. But give yourself a little credit. This is new to you. You've never been a mom before. As much as people will tell you about a mom sense, it doesn't work all the time. "You'll just know," is something I heard all the time. But you won't always know. You'll need help. You'll need advice. You'll need to take things to your Heavenly Father in prayer and pour your soul out. Tell Him when it's good. Tell Him when it's hard. Find the answers you're seeking and then just dive in and give it your best. You'll mess up a time or two, but you'll learn from it. Life won't be perfect, but it will be oh so good.

You are so very blessed. Don't plan and prepare your life away. Enjoy every moment. Drink in the disorganized beauty. Accept things as they are while working to be the best you can. Don't get caught up in what isn't going according to plan. Don't worry when things don't look absolutely perfect. They won't, and they probably shouldn't. That's the only what you'll learn. It will help you to grow.

So, to the mother I thought I would be... It's okay. You aren't. But you're doing an alright job. And when your little girl comes running to you, smile wide, and throws her arms around your neck, you'll realize that she thinks so to.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Free Printables-- October 2016 General Conference

I absolutely adored General Conference. I felt uplifted and like I received a greater determination to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. I felt like there were messages directly for me. I loved learning the things that our leaders prepared for us through the Spirit and I really felt like the messages came from God. I have been enjoying reviewing the messages and am touched by the things I've learned. I hope you're enjoying them too. I've been making some printables to help me remember some of the lessons I've learned and I wanted to share them with you. For last year's printables, go HERE. For General Conference Preparation Printables go HERE.

Get Printable Version HERE
 Get Printable Version HERE.

 Get Printable Version HERE.
Get Printable Version HERE.

These really inspire me to put my faith in Christ and know that through Him, all things are possible. I can do anything He asks of me. I can expand my vision beyond what I thought possible. I can be a true disciple. 

What was your favorite message from conference? I have a few more printables in the works that I will be sharing soon. Anything you'd like to see?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

DIY Fall Pumpkin

I have the easiest, quickest DIY for you all today. Seriously, I don't think it could get any easier. I wanted a simple Fall pumpkin and I didn't want to buy anything to make it, so I came up with something that used only things that I had on hand. So for me, this DIY was totally free. But even if you didn't have any of the supplies, it wouldn't cost you much at all.

fast and simple DIY craft

All you need is:
1 Plastic Pumpkin
Spray Paint (I chose Ivory)
Fall Leaves, Flowers, etc.

Now for the steps. Seriously, you guys. So easy.

Spray paint your pumpkin. Let dry. Paint another coat and let dry.
With the face to the back (though painted over, the shapes are still visible), arrange foliage.
And you're done!

DIY Fall Pumpkin Craft

Including dry time, I was done with this "project" in 20 min! Now if only my rental didn't have such stark white walls... But nonetheless, I am pretty happy with how this little pumpkin turned out!

What is your favorite fall decoration?

Friday, September 30, 2016

M&M World

We are loving the free family fun that we've found here in Vegas. Here's a quick tip for families who might be visiting the strip: try to park in/near the hotel that you will be visiting. Walking the strip is not the funnest thing ever with kids (even without them in our opinion), but the actual venues are a lot of fun. So try to park real close. In some instances (like with our trips to Miracle Mile and to the Bellagio Botanical Gardens) you can avoid the strip entirely.

The M&M Shop is such a fun stop for families visiting Las Vegas! There is a lot to see, including a free 3D Movie, which is way cute and the kids will love!

With four floors of all things M&M, you won't be disappointed with a stop in to M&M World. You will see an amazing wall of M&Ms where you can sample some of their newest flavors, the M&M NASCAR, M&M Characters, memorabilia, and more. You can even personalize your own M&Ms!

I appologize for such limited photos. Baby Girl loved the whole experience, until it was time to take pictures. Right when I pulled the camera out, she spotted an M&M Character (those guys in the costumes) and completely lost it. We're talking terrified. 

You can buy M&Ms by the pound from the amazing M&M wall. They have every color and flavor that you can imagine. When we visited, they were giving samples of Candy Corn and Smore's flavors. I was a big fan of the Smore flavor, but not so much the Candy Corn. A little too sweet for me.

In all, we had a blast. We took my younger cousins (8 and 10) and they really enjoyed the 3D Movie and the free samples. They filled up a bag of some of the more unique flavors to take home for their siblings.

If you are visiting Vegas with a family, make sure to add M&M World to your list of stops!

Monday, September 26, 2016

General Conference Prep

Since April, I have been looking forward to October. It is my favorite month of the year for many reasons, one of which is the General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It's the best two weekends of the year!

I was really intrigued with President Eyring's First Presidency Message in the April 2016 Ensign. He told about a General Authority who had fasted, prayed, worked, and labored over his conference talk, writing 22 drafts before asking President Eyring to read over it. President Eyring poured his heart into the assignment as well. Clearly, this was a labor of love for God's children. And then President Eyring taught this: 

"The servants of God fast and pray to receive the message He has for them to give to those who need revelation and inspiration. What I learned from that experience, and many others like it, is that to gain the great benefits available from hearing living prophets and apostles, we must pay the price ourselves of receiving revelation."

Wow. If the Prophets and Apostles are doing this type of preparation to give their messages, what are we doing to receive them? 

I don't consider myself a great scriptorian, or an expert on receiving revelation. But I do know for myself that revelation does come. That God speaks to His children. And that He loves us so much that He wants us to work a little for the answer. Because it is in the laboring that that truest answer comes. 

So I put together a little study for this week leading up to General Conference. And then I figured that someone else out there might want to join me in conference preparation, so I figured I might as well share it here on the blog! Some days are more detailed than others, but this is what I felt might help me prepare myself to receive the messages that have been prepared for me this weekend. I hope they will help you too!

Download a printable version of all 5 pages HERE.

How are you preparing for General Conference this weekend? I would love to hear your ideas!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

A Day In The Life: 18 Months

"Don't you get bored?" is a question I hear relatively frequently with my decision to stay home with my baby. Truth be told, if I am fully present, I don't even sort of get bored! There is so much to do and see as a stay at home mom, and I love it! Surprisingly, it's when I'm distracted or not "all there" that the days seem long. So I try my best to be present and immersed in the fun, and it is so.busy. My wonderful Mother In Law always says that no one is as busy as the mother of an only child. I'm her mom, teacher, playmate, etc. Seriously, never a dull moment!

I'm not saying that it's for everyone, and I do say "to each her own," but I thought it would be fun to share a little about my usual day with you all. I don't have pictures of everything, because sometimes it just isn't worth ruining the moment. And other times, it's just plain hard to snag a good picture of a super busy toddler! You'll also notice that baby girl's bow changes throughout the day. She loves to find and try new bows!

5:45 - Alarm goes off. Brad has been up already for about 45 min. I roll out of bed at 5:50. I shower and get dressed.

6:10- Scripture study/morning devotional. Today I studied about "mighty prayer." It was wonderful! And Kymri is sleeping great, so I get a decent study in before she's up.

6:50- Baby girl wakes up. She slept super well! She usually wakes up between 6:15 and 7:00. Today was a good day. If she wakes up before 6:30, Brad takes her so that I can at least read a little bit of scriptures. He's so amazing! Baby woke up super happy today, so I know she got enough sleep. We give hugs and kisses and change her diaper. She wanted to read a book this morning (you'll see that we drop what we're doing and read books a LOT. She loves them, and I couldn't be happier about it).

7:00- Breakfast. Little one eats toast, grapes, and milk today. She tells me about her dreams. She is uber talkative this morning and babbling away.

Daddy/daughter play time while I make Brad's lunch.

7:45- Brad leaves for work. Kymri had an extra hard time with him leaving today. She loves her daddy. After he leaves, we read a couple books to get happy again.

8:00- Baby girl plays on her own for awhile and I unload the dishwasher, sweep, and do the breakfast dishes. She plays really well on her own today, which is awesome. She's very into taking toys and moving them from one bucket to the next.

8:30- We head upstairs and I do my hair and makeup. Kymri loves this! She watches me and we talk about what we're going to do for the day. She likes to mimic me while I get ready.

9:00- Bath time for baby. She loves the bath! We splash and play with the bath toys for quite awhile even after she's clean.

9:30- Outing time. Since it's Thursday, we are going to the park. Each day, we do something different. Monday is grocery shopping/errands. Tuesday is the big park or a museum or something like that. Wednesday is story time at the library. Thursday is the little park. Friday is play group. Of course, this can and does change, but that's usually what we do. We have so much fun at the park today! Kymri is getting so big and loves to go down the slide all by herself! She's good about letting me help her to the top and then waiting to push off until I'm at the bottom to catch her. We have fun today chasing each other around. She loves to run around the pole and have me go the opposite way to "get" her. Nothing like those little squeals of joy!

10:30- Head for home, take a little extra walk since it's [finally] so nice outside!

10:45- Snack time. Baby girl wants a banana today. We don't have a very big morning snack, because she won't eat lunch if we do.

10:50- Play time. This play time is totally Kymri led. Whatever she asks for, we do. Today, she asks to play with Noah. She loves her ark and all the animals. (Shout out to my amazing mom for making such a fun toy)! We put them on the boat and practice making all the animal sounds. This reminds her of her favorite book, and we stop to read for awhile. We read the same book about 5 times. Then Kyrmi says "pa," and I know she wants to have a tea party. We clean up the animals and get out the little tea set. She loooves this. She chooses some of her favorite stuffed friends to invite to her party and asks me to get her some fishies. She puts the fishies in everyone's bowls and even tries to feed all of her friends. I'm feeling pretty adventurous today, so I let her put a little water in each of the cups. She thinks this is pretty great! Having a tea party with her is one of my favorite things. Then it's more books.

11:45- Time to clean up K's room. Brad and I do most of the cleaning while baby girl sleeps, but there are some things that are just unavoidable, like her room. So today, she "dusts" while I vacuum and then practices her somersaults while I finish dusting and tidying.

12:00- Lunch time. Baby eats some whole wheat pasta from last night, cooked carrots, and grapes. She insisted on the grapes, even though she's already had quite a few today. Choose your battles, I suppose. After she fishes eating, she goes off to play while I clean up the dishes. She comes back with a messy diaper. Good timing!

12:30- Diaper change, 2 books, 1 song.

12:45- Nap time. She falls asleep super fast. While she naps, I rotate the laundry, do a quick clean up job, and then blog or edit pictures, etc. Brad and I just started doing the deeper/more detailed cleaning together one evening a week, so that is super helpful (have I mentioned how great he is?? But seriously). So now, I just do 30-45 min of cleaning during nap time rather than using the full nap time for cleaning, which is great! Maybe that means I'll get back to more consistent blogging! Kymri's naps are super inconsistent, and range from 1 hr to 3 hours.

3:15 - Kymri is awake. Great, long nap! Diaper change and a book. Then it's downstairs for a little snack. Peas and crackers today.

3:25 - Afternoon playtime is a little more guided. I like to try to teach Kymri something new or practice something she's been working on and then have some creative/artistic time. Today we play with her felt board that I am slowly making. She still doesn't totally understand how it works, but she's having fun with it. Then it's music time! We love to play our instruments and sing songs. We play the drum and recorder. We march while singing "The Ants Go Marching." We sing Tootie Ta. We sing some other favorites. We also play the piano and sing "Heart and Soul," one of our very favorites. Baby girl has a bit of a breakdown and I can't figure out what is bothering her. After a mini tantrum, I realize that she wants to sit on my right side rather than my left on the piano bench. Yep... she's an opinionated little thing! Next we take a reading break. Then it's coloring time. Kymri loves to color, but gets pretty distracted.

4:30 - Walk to get the mail. I don't bring the stroller on this one. The mailbox is just at the end of our street, so it's a short little walk and Kymri is good about holding my hand. She likes to be in charge of the mailbox key on the way down. We go her speed and take our time to look at the trees, find the birds, etc. Kymri is super funny and if there are any rocks on the sidewalk from people's yards, she has to take the time to stop and put them back. When we make it back to the house, we usually stay outside for a bit. Today it is super windy, and Kymri is loving the wind on her face. So we go to the backyard and just enjoy, until a messy diaper calls us inside.

Did I mention it was super windy??

5:15 - Kymri plays on her own while I make dinner. Sometimes we have to turn on a little show for 10 minutes if I'm doing a lot of cutting type prep (for some reason, she doesn't like when I'm cutting things). But usually, like today, Kymri is happy to sit in the kitchen with me and "help" make dinner. She loves getting out a bunch of spoons and bowls and stirring up something delicious. Once it's in the oven, we play blocks for a bit.

6:00 - Brad is home!!! We all sit down and eat dinner together. It's fun to talk about our days and catch up on how things are going.

6:30 - Daddy Play Time. I think it's so important for Kymri to get some one-on-one play time with daddy, so they play while I start cleaning up the dinner plates.

6:50 - We clean up the toys, then it's Teeth brushing, hand washing, lotion, diaper change, pajamas, daddy reads a book, family scripture reading, a song, and family prayer.

7:15 - Brad and I take turns rocking Kymri. Tonight is Brad's turn. The other goes down and finishes the dishes. We rock Kymri while singing her songs and then lay her down to fall asleep on her own. We usually have to stay in the room in the rocking chair while she falls asleep (this is a new thing she's doing... doesn't like when we leave before she's asleep). She's usually asleep by 7:30 or so.

7:45 - I love getting to spend the evenings with Brad. We might play a game, watch a movie or show, or just talk. It's time to relax after a busy day and just be together.

9:30 - Couple scripture study and prayer.

10:00 - Bed. With such an early rise (5:00 for Brad and 5:45 for me), we try to get to bed relatively early. We don't always make it on time, and we don't always wake up with the alarms... but it's a work in progress.

So there you have it. A little glimpse into my daily routine as a stay-at-home mom of an 18 month old. It's busy, it's fun, and it's wonderful. I fully admit that there are times that it can also be tough, messy, and frustrating. But at the end of the day, I love it!

Tell me about your day. If you're a stay-at-home mom, what is your routine? I'm always looking for new ideas and thoughts.

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