Dear Life… Letters from a Tired Mama

Today, I am choosing to write letters of “concern” to the areas of my life in which I am struggling. Think of it as the angry holiday shopper, who is being rude to the store employee’s, demanding something or other at customer service and who is voicing their concern…loud and clear!  Yep…that’s me! That’s where I am!

 

Typewriter2

Dear Daylight Savings,
Give me my baby back!  I can’t solely blame it on you, but I will.  Ever since you appeared, McKenzie fails to sleep past 5:45 a.m.  We’ve been uber productive recently, but that’s because we’re up, fed,  and dressed all before 7.  Give me back my baby that used to sleep until 8:30/9.

Dear Sleep Regression,
I want my baby back as well!  You know…the one who used to sleep soundly throughout the night. This tired Mom needs a break.  I need the baby that would sleep 12 plus hours.  Not the one who now finds it fun to wake up any time between 1 and 3 each night to check in on me. The toddler that likes to be rocked, but refuses to fall back to sleep until 4:30, when my alarm goes off at 5.  At that point, if I’m lucky, I can get dressed in peace.  Most mornings, I have a sidekick. Drying and styling your hair with one hand (because someone needs to be held) is a fine art.   I’m begging, let my toddler sleep!

Dear Molars,
I believe you are breaking through.  I also believe that you are working hand-in-hand with Daylight Savings and Sleep Regression.  It’s not nice to gang up on people.  I don’t have solid proof of your arrival, (because checking could mean possibly having one less finger – due to a crazy toddler chomping down) yet I believe that you are here.  You, my friend, are a part of her moodiness and sleepless nights.  Just show up already so we can be done with this whole teething thing.  It seems as though you are also friends with Karma…because we basically survived all other teething sessions without incident yet somehow you want to really drive the point home with this one.

Dear Tantrum Throwing 19-Month Old,
Mommy loves you so much, but I’ve had enough.  I’m so thankful that you are a healthy and independent little person.  I love that you have found your voice, but the constant screams of “Stop!” and the screaming every time you don’t get your way has to stop.  You’ve made your point.  You’re mad.  I get it.  I still doesn’t change the fact that you have to get in to the car seat to get home.  Now let’s move on, so we can end our day – at home and preferably happy!

Dear Husband,
Thank you for sharing the duties with me and getting up with McKenzie in the middle of the night.  You’re probably doing this more for your own safety, because you’d truly have a crazy person to live with if not…but nonetheless, I’m thankful.

And in the true spirit of the holiday season…

Dear God,
Thank you for giving me McKenzie.  I’ll take the sleep deprived nights, the tantrums and the fits, because that means that I am blessed.  Please give me the strength and patience, and maybe even a few more hours (or minutes) of sleep each night.  Amen.

Merry Mail Holiday Exchange

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend! This week is my last full week of work before having some time off and I absolutely can’t wait!  Here’s hoping the week goes quickly!

Merry Mail Ornament Exchange Banner

Today, I’m linking up again with Kenzie over at Chasing Happy for a Christmas Ornament Exchange! Kenzie graciously organized, grouped and distributed contact information for all those participating.   I was paired with Jess from Objessions and Kendra-lee Roger from Rogers Family Assemble. Without further ado – here are the ornaments that I received:

Jess from Objessions sent me this sparkly Santa belt ornament.  It turned out perfectly even though she was injured!  She cut her finger while making pies, but still managed to create this amazing ornament – even with a bandaged finger!

Love from Objessions!

Kendra-lee from Rogers Family Assemble  sent me this adorable felt Christmas tree! I wish I was crafty when it came to sewing, but since I went to a private school, home-economics classes were not a requirement – therefore I never learned how to properly sew!  It’s never too late, right?  Kendra even managed to do this with a 5 month old baby to take care of as well!  Love!

Perfect Tree from Kendra-lee

Although not assigned to my group, I realized that Jasam from The Opulent Owl was also participating in the swap.  We decided to exchange with one another as well!    Here’s the adorable gingerbread house that she sent me!  I slightly ruined the surprise when I saw a sneak peak on Instagram and liked it…oops!  So much better in person, now that it’s completely finished and on our tree!  I love it!

Love this little house!

Thank you all so much for participating in the Merry Mail Ornament swap!  I love these ornaments and they will be added to our family tree for many years to come!

Wondering what I sent them?

I wanted to do something different than the traditional ornament, so I re-purposed a spoon and created a snowman!

027

I’ll check back in with a tutorial on how I made them!

5 on Friday | December Edition – Week 2 – Gift Edition

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

Happy Friday!  Only one more Friday until Christmas!  I can’t even believe how quickly this holiday season has gone! This week I wanted to highlight a few gifts that I love this year!  Here’s hoping they inspire you for some last-minute shopping!

One.
Color Me Monthly!  

CMM 2

If you or someone in your life loves nail polish, than this one is for you! Color Me Monthly is a box subscription for nail polish.  For $7 a month, a new color is delivered directly to your door step!  The colors are incredible and the nail polish is non-toxic and carcinogen free!  Plus, the polish itself holds up just as long…if not longer…then brand name polishes!  I absolutely love this and the surprise that each month brings when the box arrives!

Each month, a simple box will arrive.  Color Me Monthly believes in no-fuss packaging to keep their cost low.  Once you open your box, you’ll receive you nail polish and a Haiku to accompany your new perfect color!  What’s not to love!  You can sign up for monthly subscriptions or give 6 or 12 month gifts.  It’s a perfect gift for those teenagers and women alike!

CMM 3

Two.
Alex and Ani

alex and ani
Love, love love Alex and Ani.  I know that these have been around for some time now, but I absolutely love their bangle bracelets.  Each bangle comes with a charm.  You choose what represents you!  Currently, my bracelets consist of May’s birthstone, the letter ‘M’ for Mom and/or Megan, the path of life charm, and the key to my heart charm.  Each has a special meaning to me and each reminds me throughout the day of who I am and why I do what I do.

alex

Most of my charms are the Russian Silver finish, but I plan on adding some color in the near future!  I love these because they are a great reminder and piece of jewelry for me to wear each day without being over the top.  It goes great with my work clothes, as well as casual weekend wear – plus McKenzie loves playing with them!  Great distraction technique!  Plus, I get so many compliments on them!


Three.
Sloane Ranger

sloan ranger

Looking for the perfect crossbody bag, tote or weekender, then look no further.  Sloane Ranger has it all.  With a variety of patterns to choose from, these preppy bags are perfect for those with the need for style, yet functionality.  Printed on durable canvas, these adorable totes are as functional as they are stylish and fun!

Four.
May Books

may books
For those of you who love carrying a notebook with you (because inevitably you’ll always need to write something down!), then May books by May Designs are for you!  Completely customizable, these 5 x 8 canvas coated paper covered planner are amazing!  

You can choose to design your book online in real-time. You pick out your color, then choose your monogram, font and color!  Amazing!  You easily could spend hours on this site designing multiple books.

After you are done designing, you choose the kind of pages that are right for you.   There are 15 options that include planners, lined pages, blank pages, exercise journal, wedding and bump diaries and more!

Check them out today and have fun creating!  I’ve created one for McKenzie.  I was going to keep a written journal of each month’s milestone’s, but then have been doing so on the blog.  It’s new use will be to jot down all of the hilarious things that she says as she starts to talk more and more!  I can’t wait to fill the book as a journal to look back on as she grows!


Five.
Personalized Otterbox Cases
iphone cases

As Mom’s, we know that our phones no longer are our own.  Despite our best efforts, little hands grab our phones.  The same little hands also drop and throw our phones.  I’ve learned how important it is to have a tough case that can withstand all of the drops.  I love Otterbox’s but hate that they were so generic.  Well…problem solved!  Lipstick Shades offers customizable Otterbox cases!  You choose the color, the background, the monogram and more!  Amazing!  If you’re looking for a tough case with a feminine look, than this is the case for you!

Happy shopping and happy weekend!

Holly Jolly PJ Party

I’m linking up with DarciAshleyJennyJulie and Natasha for their Holly Jolly PJ Party Link-up!

I can’t even begin to tell you how many pairs of Christmas pajamas this little girl has.  Fair warning…picture overload.  I just couldn’t choose.  There’s something so innocent about a little girl in cute pajamas in front of a Christmas tree!  Some of these are my favs of the season so far!

Love how big her little belly looks in this one…although it’s really just the PJ’s

048

074

It was even fun to decorate the dog! He’s such a good sport!

We didn’t get through all of the pajamas that she has, because I started taking pictures later than I wanted, but you get the idea!  Amazingly adorable!

036

046

Happy Holidays and thanks for joining me for another amazing pajama party!

Fabulous Holiday Fun!

What a weekend!  Busy yet so much fun!

Kenzie is in love with Christmas lights.  She ohhh’s and ahhh’s as we pass houses with lights.  She points out her window and giggles.  As more and more people are putting their lights up,there’s even more to look at.  Friday night after dinner, we decided to drive to the Herr’s Factory to look at the light display that they put up.  It was a great night, filled with Christmas music on the radio, and pretty lights to see.  Kenzie loved it!  It was raining, so we didn’t get a chance to get out and walk around, but still so worth it.  Here are some pictures that we captured!

025 026 028 015

Saturday, we spent the morning doing laundry and cleaning up the house.  We were hoping to get the outside decorated, but ran out of time!  We’re hoping to get it done some time this week so that McKenzie has time to enjoy them before the holidays are over.  As an aside, I have never been a fan of lawn decorations at Christmas and I refuse to get a blow-up one, but a simple light up snow man or reindeer may be in our future.  Kenzie would love it, since she’s obsessed with Frosty!

snowman

A-Ra, Jessica’s Aunt, spoiled her by buying her every Christmas movie possible.  We’ve watched a few of them, but Frosty is her favorite!  She marches around the house they way Frosty and his crew marches around town.  Her stomping is hilarious…she only marches with one foot.  It’s adorable!

Saturday evening, we went to dinner to celebrate my Mom’s birthday.  It was a great evening had by all and we are lucky to have her in our life.  After dinner, we stopped at a local creamery that makes homemade ice cream.  Kenzie’s patience was starting to wear thin, so I downloaded the JibJab Elf Dance App.  I quickly snapped pictures of everyone and created an elf dance sketch.  She loved it!  It kept her laughing for the rest of the evening!  Oh technology!  I highly recommend this distraction technique!

jibjab

On Sunday, we took McKenzie to have breakfast with Santa and Mrs. Claus.  From a distance, Kenzie thought Santa was the coolest.  She would point to him, smile and wave.  Up close, she didn’t care for him too much!  She didn’t scream, but was really unsure.  Look at her clenched little fists.  I think Mrs. Claus was our saving grace!  Very cute little breakfast put on by our local volunteer fire house.

santa 2

santa 1

It started snowing around 11 yesterday and didn’t stop until the evening. Then we had bouts of freezing rain and sleet overnight.

Snow

We spent the day making cookies with my Mother-in-law, Mom and sister.  It was such a nice way to spend a cold, winter day.  There is more baking in store, but we had to call it quits so that we could get home before the roads got too bad.

cookies 2

Kenzie is currently spending the day at home with Brian and loving life!  I can’t even stand how cute these pictures are!

Kenz snow 1

Kenz Snow 2

Hope everyone had a great week!

To Switch or Not To Switch!? WordPress vs. Blogger

As I was attempting to update my blog to a holiday theme…you know, the sand and barefoot beach pic isn’t cutting it for the winter months… I became super frustrated with the limitations and restrictions that WordPress offers.

As I started researching and looking for alternatives, I’ve heard that blogger allows for more customization.  I’ve also been looking for a new blog design and many of the designers that I’m finding will only design and install on Blogger sites.    I’ve found a designer that I love, Megan from Yammering Yankee, and she’s almost convinced me to switch!

That’s why I’m coming to you for help!  Do you have any opinions on which is better?  Anyone make the switch?  Did you lose followers?  How did you alert them that your site was moving to a different URL?

Any help or feedback that you could give would be great!  I’m almost 99% sure that I’m going to make the switch, but am just terrified to make the leap!

Help a blogger out and let me know your thoughts!

Thanks so much in advance!

5 on Friday | December Edition – Week 1

THE GOOD LIFE BLOG

So excited to be back in the swing of things and doing 5 on Friday’s!    This week, my 5 are a few of my favorite things – holiday edition! In the coming weeks, 5 on Friday will continue with the holiday theme, including gift ideas for adults and children!

One – Cookies
Each year, my family gathers together to bake.  We make more cookies than we can possible eat.   We spend hours in the kitchen – talking, sampling, and baking even more.

The cookies are the bi-product.  It’s about spending the time together. It’s about enjoying the time we spend together. 

Our little cookie baker last year!


Two – Lights
Each year, we spend time riding around and looking at lights.  It’s one of those things that I know we will love more and more ask Kenzie gets older.  Last year, she was a tiny little baby, who slept most of the time.  This year, I can’t wait to hear her point and talk about the lights.

One of our favorite places to go and drive through is the Herr’s Potato Chip Factory.  They set up the beautiful light display below and you can drive through and walk through their grounds.  Each year, I am so amazed at the amount of timing and lights it must take the person that wraps the trees.  Incredible!


Three – Trees
Choosing, Cutting Down and Decorating our Tree!  Brian and I started the tradition a few years after we were married.  It’s gotten a little harder to do now with McKenzie, but I think it’s still worth it.  I want her to have special memories of the holidays.  I want her to have traditions…even if it means more work for us and less ornaments on the trees than normal!

Christmas Tree Farm 030


Four – Christmas Countdown
I was so excited when I unpacked the Christmas decorations this year.  This Christmas Countdown was one that I used as I was growing up.  I would look forward to moving the little Christmas mouse to each day.  I knew that the closer we got to the end of the calendar, the closer we were to Christmas!  Growing up, we also had an Advent wreath and a little prayer-book that my sister and I would fight over to read.  It’s on my list of things to buy for next year!  We also always had an Advent countdown that had Hershey kisses attached to it.

081


Five – Christmas Music


I may have started listening to Christmas music right before Thanksgiving.  Don’t judge!  I love the classic versions of the Christmas songs that I grew up with, but I also love newer and updated versions as well.  See above.  Pentatonix is amazing.  I’ve loved them since they were on the show, The Sing Off, and I love them even more now.  If you’re looking for updated Christmas music, check out this acapella group! They have an entire Christmas album!  Amazing!

Happy Holidays!  Have a great weekend!