September 29, 2017

The Friday Five

Just a quick post on some favorite finds/happenings this week! 

My look for a Rodan + Fields business event I went to this week. It's rare when I actually get to fix my hair these days! I went home after work and before picking up Jade with the sole purpose of giving my hair some attention because it's such a rarity! (I'm wearing the Bellami Bambina 20 inch extensions in "Dirty Blonde."

I found this dress for $10 at TJ Maxx! It's perfect for work and business affairs. It's actually an Abercrombie and Fitch dress, which has had some really cute things lately! It seems they've really changed their brand and look around in a positive way. 

Another great TJ Maxx find were these eyelash stationary cards! I bought them for my Rodan + Fields business to send out to my Lash Boost clients.  

I am loving these distressed skinny jeans for Jade! I love dressing Jade in clothes that I would actually wear because I think it's the cutest when toddlers dress like miniature adults! These are by Cat and Jack at Target. 

I placed some vanilla tea lights inside tiny bowls of coffee beans, which was a Pinterest idea I've had pinned for awhile. I love the subtle aroma of coffee they give off when burning.

Have a great weekend, everyone! Thanks for reading! 


September 18, 2017

Saturday Adventures and an 18 Month Update

Being away from my little one all day during the work week is tough. All you moms who work outside the home understand. But...they make weekends and holidays extra special and far from ordinary. 

During the work week, I try to get us out the door by 6:15. There's not a lot of time for morning snuggling and we certainly can't just take our time. Jade has become such a little snuggler and loves to be held and cuddled when she first gets up, so that is what we do on Saturday and Sunday mornings. Before we do anything, even before breakfast (but not always before coffee...), we just snuggle on the couch. Then after a few minutes, she will get up and walk me over to her highchair to let me know when it's time to eat! 

My favorite days include a slow morning where we don't have to rush off to anything, great coffee, and the perfect mixture of adventure and rest.  This past Saturday was just that. Jade and I started off our morning as usual with snuggles and breakfast and got ready to head to a local festival our town has once a year. They begin with a parade and have tents displaying local businesses, food trucks, outdoor games, and all the downtown shops and restaurants to go through. We sipped on iced coffees and grabbed lunch at one of our favorite Mediterranean restaurants. She is currently cutting two teeth so she was a bit moody and just COULD NOT be bothered with smiling to get her picture taken... good thing she's still pretty cute, anyway. :) Here are some photos from our day. 

Watching the parade. Poor bug had her fingers in her mouth a lot, since she's working on those two teeth. 

Love these two. 

I am obsessed with her little converse shoes! She actually LOVES shoes and when she's not walking around in mine at home, she wants to be wearing hers. 

She's reaching for a dog here...there were so many dogs out and Jade just didn't understand why she couldn't pet them! 

 We tried giving her a little flower to occupy her so she would look at the camera and smile...but no such luck! I think this is right before she flung me in the face with it... 

We came home and all three of us took a nap, which was GREAT! ;) And I actually woke up before Jade did which was also nice. I ended the day with a run with some friends in a park with a trail...we ran six and are trying to gradually increase our mileage. So yes, Saturday was the perfect blend of rest and adventure! 

Here's an 18 month update of our Jadybug:

  • She is starting to get CLINGY to me. When we're at home she pretty much freaks out when I leave the room, follows me EVERYWHERE, and is always putting her little arms around my leg. She is okay getting dropped off in the nursery on Sunday mornings, but has started to cry and cling to me when I drop her off during the week when I go to work. It makes it extra hard for this mama to leave her! I know she's fine once I am out the door, but I hate having to have her pried off of me and hearing her cry for me when I go. I know it's just a phase all kids go through and I am sure we will be past it soon enough. 
  • She is still obsessed with shoes. It was actually one of her first words, haha. 
  • She is also getting very interested in my jewelry, especially my necklaces.
  • She loves all animals and just wants all of them to love her too!
  • She does this thing where she moves multiple objects from place to place one item at a time. It might be the clothes in her hamper or the books on her bookshelf, but she will remove them one by one and start a pile somewhere else. Then once she has all the objects in a pile, she will start moving them again to a new pile, but only one object at a time... ??? It is so funny to watch and I just wonder what is going through her little mind. She seems to know exactly what she's doing and has a system and method for everything! 
  • Her favorite fruits are apples and blueberries.
  • We don't have a ton of toys for her, because honestly, she doesn't play with them that much! She prefers to play with "regular things," like my shoes, necklaces, her clothes, and the most random objects around the house. Of the toys she does have, she enjoys her stuffed animals, her books, any kind of ball, and this cat piano the most. 
  • She loves music, dancing, being chased, and playing hide and seek. 
  • She's in a weird phase where sometimes she takes two naps and then sometimes only one. I think she is in the process of dropping her morning nap altogether. 
  • She has a lot of love to give with frequent hugs and kisses! 
Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful week! 


September 11, 2017

Making Our Kids A Priority Without Making Them Our Identity

As moms, our kids are our world. Our kids should be a priority. I'm actually of the unpopular opinion that they should come after our spouses, but still, they should be one of the top priorities in our lives.

The problem is when they begin to shift from priority to identity. I see a lot of women who make their kids their everything, almost worshipping them. Maybe they are living vicariously through their kids. Maybe they need their children to make them feel validated as a person. Or maybe, with total pureness of heart, they've made martyrs out of themselves for the sake of their children. There is a fine line between the necessary sacrifices of motherhood and then complete martyrdom.

We are moms, yes. And that role is of the utmost importance. But womanhood is not defined by motherhood. 

We are beautifully complex, reflecting a complex God. God is a Father, but he is other things too: He is Love, Truth, a Son, a Spirit, a Helper, a Creator, an Author, a Savior...all of these traits and many more make Him Himself. To only define Him by His Fatherly role would be to miss out on all that He is.

We are mothers, but like our Creator, we are far more complex than that: we're friends, daughters, sisters, wives, CEOs, teachers, creatives, dreamers, readers, life long learners, ministers, entrepreneurs, comedians, athletes, bakers...but above all, we are Image Bearers. We need to stop solely defining ourselves by our children and our role as mothers. It's just as damaging to our children as it is to us. When we find our identity in our children, it does one of two things: 1. It teaches them that the world revolves around them 2. It puts unnecessary pressure on them to always keep us happy (that is NOT their job!) We don't want to add to the mix of entitled kids who think it's their parents job to keep them constantly entertained and happy 24/7. On the flip side, it is not our children's job to fulfill us emotionally and make us feel worthy and whole. You were worthy and whole before you became a mom. And you'll still be worthy and whole when your kids grow up and don't need you in the same way they once did. We can make our children our priority without making them our identity. Be a mom, but don't completely lose yourself being one. Self sacrifice is sometimes inevitable with motherhood...we know this well! Martyrdom is not.

So practice self care.

Find activities apart from your children that make you come alive.
Love on your husband.
Buy yourself the jeans that make your butt look good..without the guilt.
And please, for the LOVE, let your kids be bored!

Why am I writing this? 

Because I know how easy it is to start to lose yourself once you hold that precious little one in your arms. 

Because I want my daughter to have a strong mom to look up to, with the security of knowing that it's not her job to keep me happy.

Because I know that I am actually a better mom when I'm "Courtney," than when I am simply, "Jade's mom."

And finally, because I need this reminder more than anyone.

Thank you for reading! And please answer this question, because I want to know: What do you do for you?


September 05, 2017

Saying Goodbye To Summer In Black And White

 Today (Labor Day) felt like a regular summer day, but after today it looks like temperatures are really cooling off. I love fall, but I'm not like most girls who obsess over it. In fact, I'd take summer over fall any day. But summer must inevitably come to an end, so I am looking forward to the crisp air, trips to the pumpkin patch, a great cider and donut combo, and pumpkin flavored goodies. Today we took advantage of our extra day off and slept in, then took a trip to Barnes and Noble for Starbucks and time to look around at books. I picked up some books for Jade to give to her at Christmas time. I LOVE children's books so much and had a hard time limiting myself! She loves looking through her books too, which makes my heart incredibly happy! I'd rather spend money on books than toys... kids grow out of toys so quickly and they just cause clutter. But books stay special for such a long time. Plus, I've always heard that the best way to spark a child's interest in reading is to have an abundance of books around...fine by me!! :) 

These pictures are from when we took Jade to the drive in last weekend. This was kind of a risk for us because we knew it was going to be WAY past her bedtime and that there was a chance she would just be tired and cranky and not make it enjoyable. But we also knew there would be a chance for her to love it. I am SO glad we decided to go for it. We took her to see "Leap" and it was an amazing experience! This was her first movie and we figured taking her to the drive-in would be a better option than taking her to the theaters since she would probably be loud. She absolutely loved watching the movie. She giggled, bounced, and clapped her hands during so many scenes! She actually WATCHED it too, and it was such a cute movie! It was so much fun to watch her excitement and to see it through her eyes. 

On another note... I've missed blogging. It's something I do for me in the midst of life's busy schedules and various demands. But it's definitely something that makes me happy. Sometimes I get insecure putting myself out there, but I feel like I really need some kind of creative outlet that I do because it fills me up, not because I'm obligated to. So with that, I want to post more consistently. 

I hope everyone had a fun and safe Labor Day weekend. Thanks for reading!