Nov 21, 2017

Toddlers: A Mother's Helper

If anyone needs accountability when it comes to cleaning up the table after meals, might I suggest soliciting the help of a toddler? They often volunteer without asking and as an added bonus they will *not* utter a nagging word.

 Quietly and courteously they will show you the work you've left undone, by un-grudgingly licking that deserted dessert plate or making sure every spoonful of the leftover bowl of yogurt longer in the bowl. (They might even endearingly use their yogurt covered hands to grab the kitchen towel and smear/wipe their mouth- how helpful! You've probably been meaning to wash it, anyway.)

Soon enough you will shoot out of your chair like a rocket to clear every last remaining item on the table and your days of post-meal clean-up procrastination will be over. 

Next order of business: the toddler will help remind you to always keep the bathroom door shut and your beauty products our of reach.

Nov 6, 2017

My Getting Dressed Two Pence

Almost Nine years ago I flew from California to Virginia for my Grandpa's funeral. It was January so I brought along my coat I had bought the previous year- it was a lovely long, off-white, belted coat that I had shelled out $$$ for because disposable income and because I wanted something of good quality.


The morning of the funeral I suddenly felt that I probably shouldn't wear that coat. I thought it wasn't respectful look for attending a funeral (never mind that I was wearing a black dress + shoes, and a dark cardi, and were he alive my Grandpa would not have cared in the least!), and I didn't want to feel like I was standing out. We were in a rush so I went to my parent's coat closet and grabbed my old navy blue pea coat from high school. Once we were in the car I realized it had a large amount of mud rubbed on it and the lining inside was torn. Suffice it to say I did not feel great wearing that at all.  

To think I thought my white coat was not subdued enough, so instead I wore a muddy, torn coat to my Grandpa's funeral. I chose poorly.

I probably could go on and on about times in my life I haven't felt great about what I was wearing in situations where I had complete control over how I dressed and what items of clothing I placed in my closet!

I think I can pin my sartorial issues down to this:

And something I know a lot of people voice, which is: impulse buying/ not putting enough thought into what your wardrobe needs. 

Incidentally, two books I've read recently (this and this) and this Verily article all highly encourage dressing well in your own personal style. A much needed boost for me!

The past several months I've really been trying to only buy clothing I REALLY like- that has always been an ongoing process but I think I'm getting better at it! It finally dawned on me that I won't be "saving" outfits if everything in my closet is something I want to wear. 
Along with that, if I need something, like a white top, I try to think about what exactly I want that top to be (more fitted, loose, v-neck, collared, etc.) and then be super picky when I'm searching for it. It's not always easy to say no over and over but the final outcome is better that way, I think. Praying has been fruitful too- asking God for help finding "x" for myself or the girls on the cheap, and so often He has provided. Often there's a wait but waiting helps me determine how much I like the idea of what I'm looking for- if that makes sense.

I'm not sure if it's information overload or what but power-house, fashion-minded blogs I used to regularly follow aren't my thing any more. I reached a point where hearing about the latest clothing trends and where to buy them from multiple different sources felt overwhelming. I've decided I like what I like! :) (There's still a handful of fashion-y blogs that I follow whose content I really enjoy reading and whose lives I like to hear about.)

Since we have two family weddings coming up in the new year I've been looking for a LBD and just bought this one (less than $20! and also comes in a million other colors and prints). The fit is great and I'm hoping to get lots of use out of it.

 A funny aside- Tim commented on the middle cardigan above when I was last wearing it and I told him I found it at a Goodwill.
Tim: "It looks kinda clean for Goodwill..."
Haha, Goodwills are definitely some of the cleaner thrift shops I've been in!

Here's to getting dressed on insignificant days. :)

Nov 4, 2017


Last Saturday we attended the annual kids' Halloween party the Knights at our parish host.

The girls enjoyed the crafts and games and did most of them themselves! I feel like we've turned an autonomy corner for events like these; sitting and watching was a nice change of pace. :)

We had a fairy, Cinderella, and Belle, and Evie decided to go dressed as a mom. :) I think my favorite part about her ensemble was the "mom" items she put in her wallet: library card, chapstick, and money. 

 At one point Cora wandered off and I eyed her standing in front of several of the Knights, staring at them as they talked to her. #toddlerlyfe

On Halloween we had dinner at my parents' and went trick-or-treating with cousins.

 Elena of Avalor, Elsa, an artic girl, a bunny, pumpkin, and Princess Anna (not pictured: Princess Isabel)

It was a fun evening with lots of good sugary loot! The girls don't get out much after dark, so they kept commenting on the moon and stars, which gave me a chuckle.

The next day Evie had a saint project due for which she chose St. John the Evangelist. They made the "saints" out of paper towel rolls, and then had to bring in small artifacts that represented parts of their story to present to the class- I thought that was a cute idea!

On All Souls' Day Audrey mentioned a few times how excited she was to go to the cemetery. I eventually asked her what she remembered being so exciting to which she replied, "hide-and-go-seek and things". I had to burst her bubble that that was not going to be on our agenda while praying for the Poor Souls...

And on a completely unrelated note: I have found my very favorite La Croix flavor to date- Blackberry Cucumber!

Hope the rest of your weekend is swell!

Oct 20, 2017

Heidi Jo Turns Three

At the end of September Heidi turned three. Save for some bumpy stages two was a cute age on her. :) There are a few things I want to remember:

When we're praying saint litanies she often pipes up with, "Saint Is-is-dore the Farmer"

For some reason a while back Tim and I started rhyming things we'd say to her- like "Here's your cup, Mrs. Bup" or "Get your shoes on, Mrs. Blues-on". Not long after we began she started declaring, "I not a bup... (and then proudly) I'm Heidi Jos-fina!".

She has her little posse of dollies that she sleeps with and carries around, all of them sans clothing.
A while back she was very big on having them all around her at nap and bedtime. Sometimes when she'd go to lie down the dolls would be taking up all her pillow real estate and she'd cry out, "Heeyy, there's no room for me!"- as if nothing could possibly be done about it. 😁

She loves to wear bracelets (when they can be found!) and I'm so glad I snapped a photo of the one day where she accessorized to the max:

She loves to do whatever her big sisters are doing and often quietly follows along. Recently we were at an Oktoberfest celebration where older kids were involved in a game that required the participants to be blindfolded as they crawled on the floor banging a soup ladle (grown-ups yelling out "hot" or "cold") until they hit the big soup pot- candy underneath for a prize. Evie and Audrey eventually had their turns and as the game was wrapping up Heidi turned to Tim and asked, "Can I be older?". The organizers let her have a go at it, as Evie and Audrey eagerly aided her along. I couldn't help being surprised that she just went for it with no trepidation- blindfold and all.

On her actual birthday we had her favorite dinner and opened some presents. In an effort to do something "exciting" I made one of those large cookies for dessert which worked out perrrfectly, since there weren't enough chocolate chips to make a batch of cookies (my initial plan).

That weekend we celebrated with my family. The weather was nice, so the kids were able to play outside in between food and cake.
In the months leading up to her birthday whenever I would ask Heidi what she wanted she'd tell me, "Chocolate cake! With a number 3 candle!". I love the sweet simplicity of the younger ages!

She is such a pleasant little soul and we're so lucky to have her in our family!
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