How do you get your patience back?

Truly, all my moms out there, what is your secret? You know that moment when you know you’re just out of patience and the next time something breaks or your kids dump the garbage can out, you’re afraid you’re going to explode? How do you get back that Monday morning patience you have after a nice long weekend with your hubby helping you, if it’s totally gone by Wednesday?

Fortunately it does come back eventually and you can come out from hiding under the covers and laugh at the peanut butter that your daughter is smearing all over her legs. I’m just curious to know, what do you guys do when you need to restart your patience? 

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“The Gift Wrap and the Jewel”

The new year brings hope, new beginnings, and resolutions, but every where you look everyone is telling you how to act different, look different, feel different, be different, and no one is telling you that it’s okay to be who you are. Your hair and your skin and your whole body will only last so long, but your soul and your heart will live forever. I am all for eating healthier and exercising more but make sure you aren’t looking in the mirror and constantly criticizing yourself and thinking about the things you want to change because as fun as it might be to get a new haircut or lose a couple pounds, in the end it will never be what matters the most. Instead, make a resolution to be happier, kinder, more patient, more loving and more forgiving of others and of yourself. These are the things that will polish the jewel inside and matter forever.

I just heard about this poem today, but it was posted on YouTube in August last year by a 92 year old woman, Wanda B. Goines, and I thought it was so beautiful I just wanted to share it with all of you. It is called “The Gift Wrap and the Jewel”.

“I looked in the mirror and what did I see, but a little old lady peering back at me. With bags and sags and wrinkles and wispy white hair, and I asked my reflection, how did you get there? You once were straight and vigorous and now you’re stooped and weak. When I tried so hard to keep you from becoming an antique. My reflection’s eyes twinkled as she solemnly replied, you’re looking at the gift wrap and not the jewel inside. A living gem and precious of unimagined worth. Unique and true, the real you, the only you on earth. The years that spoil your gift wrap with other things more cruel, should purify and strengthen and polish up that jewel. So focus your attention on the inside, not the out, on being kinder, wiser, more content, and more devout. Then when your gift wrap is stripped away, your jewel will be set free to radiate God’s glory throughout eternity.”

Belated Birthday Post (Part 2)

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Nicholas and Ava turned 1 back in June of last year so it has been a while now but I still remember it like it was yesterday. I’ve been thinking about their first birthday a lot lately because it already feels like their second birthday is right around the corner. When I was trying to plan for their birthday party, I found all of the information online helpful but also extremely overwhelming. It seems these days with Pinterest and Instagram, everything looks perfect. Perfect birthday pictures, perfect birthday outfits, perfect birthday parties, and as a perfectionist first time mom I felt so much pressure for everything to be perfect. I eventually had to let go and realize that whatever I did for them would be perfect in its’ own way and as long as the babies enjoyed it, I was happy.

One of the first dilemmas I had was deciding on a gender neutral theme that the babies would like. Their scrapbook cover just happened to be Noah’s Ark and I immediately thought “two by two” would be an adorable theme. Then I saw online other Noah’s Ark parties that were also Rainbow themed and I was sold.

I saw so many cute DIY ideas on Pinterest for first birthday parties and I wanted to do them all but we did not have the time so I picked a few things to do. My favorite thing we did was a photo banner made of black and white pictures of the babies different facial expressions over their first year. It was pretty time consuming, Nick and I stayed up every night working on it after the babies went to sleep.

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I cropped pictures of their faces from our pictures and made them black and white and then printed them and cut them out. We used pink and blue construction paper to make their hats, with sparkly pink and blue paper to make the little balls on the hats. We had a little shape cutter to help make them more quickly and we colored the hats with rainbow colored markers. Then we strung them all together with rainbow ribbon. They really showed the different personalities of the babies and they were a big hit.

Next I saw an idea for making a little book that everyone at the party can sign and write a sweet little note to the babies so I did that. I just ordered a plain white book off of Amazon and then colored on it with markers and taped one of their pictures from when they were first born to the back.

The party itself was the most stressful part, I have never thrown a party before and I’m very lucky that we live with my mother in law and she helped a lot. She handled most of the food we just got a few subs from the deli, made some baked ziti, salad, and had chips and dip and all that. We had to push the party back a week from the original date because Ava had roseola but most everyone could still make it. We just set up a few tables in the back yard and we were lucky enough that a neighbor had a big tent they let us borrow. We bought lots of rainbow decorations from Party City and then went crazy decorating the morning of the party.

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Our cake was beautiful thanks to Nick’s very talented aunt, she made a big cake for everyone and then little cakes specifically for Nicholas and Ava to smash.

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We also did a pretty rainbow made out of fruit. (Pinterest obviously)

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Nicholas and Ava loooved their cake. They were so messy that afterwards we just took them inside and threw them in the bathtub.

All in all, I was really happy with how our party went. A baby’s first birthday is a big deal, but the party isn’t as important as knowing that time is inevitably going to pass and we should spend every second enjoying and loving our little ones because they won’t be little for nearly long enough. Luckily sometimes after a long, fun, cake-filled day, you still get the chance to just hold your little one as they fall asleep in your arms.

Happy belated birthday my loves, the first year of your lives was the best year of mine and every day since has been just as wonderful thanks to you.