Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Blue...

As a mother, there are certain memories you feel pressured to try and create for your children. You know what I'm talking about. Pictures with Santa Clause and/or the Easter Bunny. Pumpkin patches at Halloween. Dyeing Easter eggs. 

I often dread and avoid these things, as they almost always involve crowds, messes, a screaming child, and/or uncomfortable clothing.

In Texas, taking pictures of your child frolicking through the bluebonnets in the spring undoubtedly falls within this category of "mandatory" moments. I skipped them the last two years because I just figured they wouldn't go well. Based on our experience last weekend, I probably was not wrong.

Gracie mostly just wanted out of the bluebonnet field, and I could not get her to crack a smile for the life of me. But I have to say, we still ended up with some really adorable pictures. So maybe it was worth it, after all?

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(I think this picture may actually be evidence of a criminal offense. You're not supposed to pick the bluebonnets. Oops.)

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Her hands in those pockets. I die.

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Poor kid. Ha.

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Hallelujah! She broke free from the bluebonnets.

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Maybe next year we'll get a smile. :)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Pretty on the inside...

My mother tells me that she spent a lot of time when I was a little girl telling me how beautiful I was. No matter what awkward stage I was going through at the time, she always made an effort to remind me that I was beautiful. 

She never gave it a second thought until one day she when said, "You're so pretty, Ry-Ry," and I turned around, flipped my hair back with my hand, put my hand on my hip, and said, "I know." Ha.

It was then that she began her quest to make sure I understood how important it was to be pretty on the inside. I seriously can't even tell you how many times I heard her say "pretty on the inside," as she encouraged me to be a person of kindness and character. 

Now that I am the mother of a young girl in an age where appearance is so often prioritized over all else, I see why my mom thought it so important to instill in me this idea that beauty isn't everything.

It's honestly really hard. Because every time I look at my daughter, I want to tell her how pretty her little face is.

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I mean, seriously. It really is the cutest.

But what I really want is for her to be kind. Generous. Selfless. Honest. Genuine. Hard-working. Thankful.

I want her to be trustworthy and creative and quick to offer an encouraging word to people around her.

I see flashes of so many of these qualities in her already, and it's so much fun watching the shape of her little personality begin to form.

I don't really know that this post has a real point. Mostly, I just wanted to remind myself what a weighty thing it is to be entrusted with a little person to raise. All I can do is my best to make sure she knows that it's who she is—at the very core of her being—and not what she looks like that matters.

How do you teach your kids to be pretty on the inside? 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Pretties...

I mentioned on Monday that my family and I went to the Dallas Arboretum this past weekend. Just before we ran out the door, I grabbed my big camera and actually managed to get a few pretty pictures while we were there. 

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We tried so hard to get one of all of us looking at the camera. We clearly failed.

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There were tulips for days.

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The two trouble-makers on the left and sweet Blakely on the right.

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Gracie basically jumped into the fountain. Like every other toddler on the planet, she loves water.

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Gracie hugged the Easter Bunny for approximately .5 seconds before she screamed bloody murder.

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And a certain little blue-eyed beauty was loving her some Uncle Micah. (I think the feeling is completely mutual.)

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After Grace adorably smelled these gorgeous flowers, she pulled all the petals off and threw them on the ground.

And that's how you do a garden with a toddler.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Happy feet...

Honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect when I opened the package I received in the mail from Lipton Publicity. They had contacted me about doing a review of some Kushyfoot products, and while I don't often do product reviews or sponsored content, I had heard of Kushyfoot and thought it'd be worth giving the products a try in the hopes that they'd send me some of their Flats to Go. (I had seen them somewhere and really wanted to try out a pair.) 

Turns out, they actually have a lot of cool stuff, and they were kind enough to send me several things to try.

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I was pleasantly surprised by the peep toe foot covers, which fit really well under my favorite pee-toe booties. I had expected them to be really uncomfortable, but I hardly felt them.

The extreme low cut foot covers held up to the name. I put on my skimpiest flats and they barely poked out of the sides.

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I will definitely be wearing these this things often, as I adore wearing low-cut flats, but I do not adore the way they start to smell by the middle of summer.

And, to my delight, they did, in fact, send some of the Flats to Go I had my eye on.

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Am I the only mom who leaves work, runs to the grocery store for a few things and wishes every time that she had stored a pair of flats in her car so she didn't have to run around the store in heels? This is precisely why I'm thrilled about these flats. They're even small enough to fold up in your purse. We often walk to a nearby food truck park for lunch at work, and you'd better believe I'll be taking these with me on days when the weather is pretty so I don't have to make the trek in four-inch stilettos. Also, they feel like legitimate ballet flats, which makes me feel dainty.

I've also got my eye on these athletic socks for the gym. So fun, right?

So if you're in the market for any kind of sock, they have anything you could possibly want at really great prices. And everything they sent was really comfortable. Go check them out, friends.

* Lipton Publicity/Kushyfoot provided all products. All opinions are my own.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Up for air...

Hi there.

I've been MIA because work has been a nightmare lately. There's just so very much of it, and when I finally get my head above water, I mostly just want to sleep. And kiss Gracie and Micah.

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On nights and weekends, we're playing and singing and dancing and laughing. And disciplining. My sweet girl has a mind of her own, and we're always working on obeying with a happy heart. (I stole this concept from my sister-in-law because I just love it. I'm not trying to raise an automaton, but I also need her to not shout, "I DON'T!" when I tell her to stop pulling Lilly's tail. Ha.) Mostly, Gracie has been really sweet and funny lately. She's saying all kinds of things. The other morning, she walked into the bathroom and said to Micah, "Hi, Daddy! I like your hair."

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We've also had some success in the potty. And, yes, I remember promising not to regale you with tales of Gracie's potty successes in too much detail. I will not break my promise. Suffice it to say, we've had potty victories of vary kinds in the last couple of weeks, and we're all excited. It's ridiculously hit and miss, so we're not pushing it. But it's progress.

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(She's not yet sure how much toilet paper is appropriate. When in doubt, the whole roll will do.)

I've eaten like crap for the last month and a half. Mostly because I haven't had time to go to the grocery store, much less plan and prep Paleo-friendly meals. But I feel like I'm slowly pulling myself back together. Tonight we had a delicious creamy lemon and kale soup that I'll enjoy for lunch this week, and we've got several other yummy things in store.

We spent this past Saturday at the Dallas Arboretum with my family. I'll have a whole post on that later this week, but I couldn't resist sharing this one.

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Aren't these sweet cousins the cutest?

I will also confess that I've got a slight baby name obsession at the moment. I'm not pregnant, I swear. Not even close. But I've got a list going of my favorite boy and girl names. Because it's always good to be prepared.

What are your favorite baby names?
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