Thursday, August 16, 2012

First alone trip...

I am a stay-at-home mom.  I have been living that life for 8 years now! (yikes).  I could not imagine the day I would go back to work.  But, two years ago I made a decision which surprised me.  I signed up to be an Independent Consultant for Thirty-One Gifts.  I loved the products and thought, I can do this a little bit.

Two years later and I am LOVING it still.  Hubby and I made the decision months ago that we would make it work to have me go to the National Conference at the beginning of August.  Now, this was a hard decision.  Hubby and I have left the kids for a weekend or so for little trips.  The kids have gone to grandparent's houses for weekends.  But, I have never left them.  Hubby has never been "in charge" for more than breakfast - dinner. was a big deal to think about going somewhere, by myself for 4 days.  But, I did it!
 It was the most amazing experience.  My children and hubby survived without me and I without them.  It made me realize that I can indeed let go a little bit :)
 This company is amazing to be a part of.  Yes, I took away great knowledge on sales, recruiting and booking parties.  Yes, we got A LOT of great free products.  I got to meet my Director and other ladies I have talked with for 2 years but never met in person. biggest take-away?  Priorities.  It is ok to say "no" to things.  It is ok to say "no" to business opportunities to focus on family.  It is ok to plan in those special days with friends.  To hear all this coming from the founder of the company and her husband is pretty powerful.
 Sitting in an arena with 17,000 people all jazzed about products and learning....yet feeling not overwhelmed at all.
 I got to know these three ladies and built wonderful relationships.  It was a huge jump out of my comfort zone...but so good!
 We even got to meet Scott, Cindy's husband.  Cindy is the creator of the company and her husband as just around to chat with ladies and connect.  I never once felt like I was one of the numbers to help them succeed.  A company who has it's base in their faith and leads by example....amazing!
 I was able to spend a little time in the city after the Conference was over and before my flight.  It reminded me of my college days when I would travel home by myself and not even think twice about it.  Now,as a wife and focus is on others.  It was also pretty cool to walk around a city which hosted the Olympics in 1996 while the current olympics was going on. 

The sights of the city were quite pretty.  Last time Hubby and I were in the state, we did not have the time to sight see downtown.  I loved walking around and taking it in. 

Coming home was amazing.  I missed my family.  But, I have a feeling I have not had in a long time. I have the motivation to really work my business and see where it can take me.  i have the confidence to be able to leave my family more often! (Don't know how Hubby will feel about that take-away!)    I am super excited to see what this next year will bring for me now! :)

Monday, July 23, 2012

First Day of 2nd Grade...

It seems like yesterday I was in tears with this girl starting preschool...
 Now, she is in second grade!  I can not believe how fast these years have gone by!  She is now on the "bigger" playground and a different part of the school.  She was super excited to go back to school.  The huge benefit of modified-year-round school is the only 7 week summer.  By starting in July, we do not face a lot of the summer boredoms.  While it is sometimes hard to plan vacations and such with family out of state, it is worth it not to deal with the summer heat for longer with them out of school!
 In order for her to agree to a picture with brother, mom and dad...had to take a picture of her with our cat!  This girl has such a big heart.  Since we have said good-bye to two of our cats in the past 2 years, she has become even more loving towards this guy. 
 I love that we started the tradition of taking pictures by our front door.  It is amazing to me how much she grows each year. I am shocked that I no longer have to bend down to take a picture with her!  I am dreading the day she is as tall as I am! 
 While they had a great summer, they were both ready for the break from each other with school!  They have such different personalities and sometimes can get overwhelming for each of them to spend too much time together.  I love that they love each other, but also love that they know when a break is good!  I am not even going to think about the fact that next year I will be sending them both off to school.  He will start Kindergarten and she 3rd grade! in the world did that happen!
I am no longer "allowed" to bring my camera to school to grab a picture. last one with the backpack before heading out the door.  She was so excited since a lot of her good friends are in her class this year.  Off to a great start of 2nd grade!

Friday, July 6, 2012

The 4th

Every year for the 4th, the kids and I head up to my parent's house.  They have a great neighborhood fireworks show.  The bonus is that we don't even need to leave their house!  We can give the kids baths, and walk outside right before the show starts.  No mess, no traffic, no sweat!  It is awesome!

Plus, we get to hang out at their house all day and swim and relax.  The kids were complete fish this year.  I could not believe that Critter started the summer not knowing how to swim and ended it being able to almost swim across their pool by himself.  Plus, Pumpkin was scared to dive at the beginning of the summer....not so much at the end!

This was the weekend we were trying to get her to actually jump and opposed to just lean in for the dive.  It worked pretty well!
 The joke for the summer started the first time we swam at the beginning.  Critter said he was going to "cool off" by laying on the side of the pool.  Now, when it is 100 out of the pool...."cooling off" isn't outside the water.  So, the rest of the summer the joke was he would sit on the side to "cool off". 
 Even more progress with diving!  You can really see that she jumped off on this one.  Once she decides she wants to do something, she will put all her effort to it.  The hard part is getting HER to want to do it! :)
 Not much better than a 3D movie at Nanny and Papa's house!  Even though only 2 of the 4 glasses were working.  Have you ever tried to watch a 3D movie without the is a little funky.  The kids loved it though
Did you know the best way to dress for yard work is with a bathing suit, tall socks and sneakers?  It is the latest style :)
 The best part of the fireworks at my parents house....sitting outside and seeing them!  Waiting only a few minutes in the heat is awesome!  One of these years we will battle the crowd somewhere, but for now this is the best.  Especially since Hubby usually works, I am not battling the craziness by myself with the two kids!

Plus, I have established the tradition of bringing by tripod up there and getting firework pictures every year.  Each year I try to improve my skills and get great pictures.  It is so much fun to see what I end up getting

It is amazing how much entertainment two light up rings can bring!  These were the entertainment before the fireworks started and the next day.  

It was a super fun time, as always! It seems like the 4th is always one of my favorite holidays.  It is about the simple things in life and celebrating wonderful times.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Catching up...

I am finally catching up this blog a bit.  It would be a lot easier if I was not as crazy about the pictures I put on here....but I am.  So, it takes me awhile sometimes.  I could make excuses, but I won't.  I also have just not been taking as many pictures.  The summer seems to quickly be going away.  Pumpkin only has 7 weeks of summer, so there is not a lot of time to fill.  It seems like after a week of Vacation.Bible.School we have not much summer left!  She goes back to school on July 23rd.  We are going to make sure we take advantage of each day we have.  I will see how much better I can be with keeping this blog updated....but if I don' is because we are out having fun! :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Last day of first grade...

It seems like each year I always say that time is going by too quickly.  It is just always the case.  I can not believe that Pumpkin is finished with first grade.  She has grown up so much this year.  It was a really great year. Once again, we lucked out with an amazing teacher.  She has learned so much and grown so much.  It is really amazing to see. 

 Sometimes it is hard to smilse normally at 7:45 in the morning :)  This girl has a style of her own, that is for sure!  I love her fearlessness.  I have not picked out an outfit for her all year.  Her favorite things to wear are long skirts with her socks pulled up or crazy boots!  It is awesome to see her confidence and her style.  It is something to see some days, that is for sure!

We had a sad day when we got rid of her backpack.  It lasted for first grade.  She has a big exciting one for second grade.  This one got a little torn apart during the year.  It had to retire.  But, one last picture is always necessary in this house!

It is going to be a great summer filled with grandparent weekends, swimming, movies, crafts, and lots of other things (if I can think of them).  Can't believe I have a second grader!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Trip up North...

Whenever we get an itch to get out of town, we try to go North to visit Hubby's brother and wife.  This time we also got to go a baptism too, so it was extra awesome.  It is usually a great break from the heat, except it was a chilly weekend.  We struggled to find clothes for the weekend.  Pumpkin wore Critter's sweatshirt!  Not sure which is more humerous, that we just don't have many warm clothes or the fact that my 7 year old daughter fits in her 4 year old brothers sweatshirt!
 The first thing the kids ask when they get to their Aunt and Uncle's house is when we can take their dog for a walk.  We don't have a dog and they LOVE giving theirs attention.  He is super patient with them.  It seems like the kids have endless energy up there too.
 Considering Hubby and I don't camp and there are not many woods by our house, I am always amazed at our kids.  They come alive running through the woods and being in nature.  I sometimes wish it was not so hot during school breaks so we could do this more.  It is really amazing to see this other side of my kids. 
 It is hard for me to let go during these little adventures.  I am way to Type A to let go and just let them roam.  I try, but it is not easy.  One of these days I will learn....but it is really a work in progress! :)

I really love seeing their smiles and laughter when we head up North.  It is just different and more free.  I am especially amazed at Pumpkin.  For how much she loves her dresses, fancy shoes and pretty headbands....she loves to dig in the woods, find flowers and chase their dog.  It is great!  We have been making more of an effort to head up there more often.  It is really worth it!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Last day of preschool...

I can't believe Critter finished his first year of preschool!  He loved it.  It was nice since he was in the same school and class that his sister was in.  He was comfortable from the beginning.  I was amazed at how much he learned through the year.  I have to admit that I was not as consistent with him before he started school with working on letters, numbers and letter sounds.  But, by the end of the year he knew all he needed to!  It was pretty amazing to me. I can not wait to see what he learns next year in Pre-K.  But...I can not even think about the year after when he starts Kindergarten!

 It was the same at the beginning of the year with these two!  She did not want to take a picture with him, but could stay out of the pictures either :)
I love the fact that I catch moments like this....he looks at her like he has no idea what she is thinking. I know he thinks that quite often :)  It is just nice to catch it in a picture. 

I am sure looking forward to a great summer with these two!