"Today you are you! That is truer than true! There is no one alive who is you-er than you!"
And you are absolutely perfect just the way you are.
You are kind and loving.
You are cautious yet fearless, a trait that comes with having older brothers.
You are silly and quirky with the best laugh around.
It starts deep down inside, working upwards slowly, steady.
And when you don't expect, it shouts its way out.
It shouts pure joy and pure happiness.
It spreads smiles every where we go.
Your joy is contagious, never forget that.
You are gentle and caring.
You are a good friend, a good sister, and an amazing daughter.
You are you.
Maya Angelou once said,“I would like to be known as an intelligent woman, a courageous woman, a loving woman, a woman who teaches by being.” I know that you are well onto your path of becoming this woman, of becoming a confident, intelligent, courageous and loving woman. I know that you will teach and share this message to all who surround you. You may only be five, but your strength already amazes me. Happy fifth birthday my love!
Our days are filled with hints of sunshine and cool, crisp winds that gently dance through the autumn trees. Late at night, when the window is cracked just enough to let the outside world into our bedroom, I can hear the wind talking to the dark evening skies. I can hear a faint rustle of leaves falling slowly to the ground and an occasional animal pitter-patter across the back patio. Autumn is in the air.
October in Ohio is one of the finest around. When the sun makes her appearance and glistens over the multi-colored trees bright hues of gold, orange, deep reds and bold yellows illuminate the horizon. We look forward to these days all year long and when they finally arrive we never want to let go. We stay outside as long as we can; soaking in the morning sun and running hard until bedtime. And on special nights, we light a fire with friends and gather round the soft glow to keep warm and make s'smores.
We're quickly jumping into autumn, but I always wish it could last just a little bit longer. Right now the sun is shining, the leaves are almost in their prime and the park is calling our name. We're adventure bound!
*This post is in partnership with SKECHERS. As an active mother and avid runner, I know how important it is to invest in quality, comfortable shoes. SKETCHERS offers a wide selection of athletic, casual and dress styles for men, women, and children.
SKECHERS // Website / Twitter / Instagram / Facebook
Now that we are officially in our back-to-school routine, I am trying to keep our mornings organized and calm. Starting the night before at bedtime we set out our uniforms and clothes for the next day, pack our backpacks, check our homework and, in rare cases, prep or make breakfast. Starting the morning off organized usually keeps us on track and on time.
Now that the little lady is off to school too, we have to spend a few more minutes getting ready and doing hair. I have turned to a few simple hairstyles that I rotate throughout the week. While it's so easy to rush out the door with her long locks hanging in her face, I make a daily effort to get it out of her face so she isn't fussing with it all day long. Try these simple styles, add a bow or headband and you're set for the day!
ONE | Brush dry hair, using a curling iron or wand make large ringlets all over. Run fingers through hair and add a bow or headband. You can put the curls in at bedtime and run fingers through in the morning to save on time.
TWO | Brush dry hair back towards the crown of the head, add a headband, gently tease the crown to add volume and definition.
THREE | Start with a side part, twist or roll hair over to the opposite side and secure with a ponytail holder. Take the side pony tail, twist it and then wrap it around into a bun. Secure with bobby pins. Add a bow.
FOUR | This is very similar to three but with a braid. Start with a side part (I part it more to the side than usual for this style) and french braid it along the side of the head. Keep the braid going over the back of the head and end at the opposite ear. Secure hair with a ponytail holder, twist the pony tail and wrap into a bun. Secure with bobby pins. Add a bow or headband as an accent.
*This post is in partnership with Little Kate Designs. With their wide selection of bows you are bound to find something for every outfit. Each style is unique and made of quality material, including 100% leather. Head on over to their etsy shop to view all styles and make sure to check them out on Instagram here.
Things have been a little quiet around here, which means that life is full and busy. We've settled into our fall routine, and surprisingly, it's a bit slower than I expected. We decided to hold off on a couple activities this year so we wouldn't have to rush around as much. And, I'll be honest, with Jonas getting sick last fall our life was quickly turned upside down for several months. I've learned that I need to be prepared and one step ahead of what could happen.
This summer was good, really good. We were happy and healthy, we were carefree and active. So imagine the surprise we went through when some elevated test results came back the first week of school showing inflammation in the small intestine. And just like that, bam, the feelings of stress and fear rolled in like harsh winter waves on a rocky beach. It is difficult to express how a mother or father feels when their child is sick. It is difficult to put into words the weight you carry around daily.
At this point we were symptom free, but with autoimmune diseases life can change over night. Just as quickly as his test results, he suddenly started having stomach pains. Thankfully, they only lasted one week. As soon as we saw those test results I knew it was time to go back to a strict lifestyle of clean eating. Like I said, this summer was good. So good that I started to turn a blind eye and let him eat foods that he and I both knew he shouldn't. But he had no symptoms, no typical IBD indications, no stomach pains, nothing. So what caused this inflammation? Was it the foods I allowed him to eat? Was it the stress of starting school? I'm not sure we'll ever know, but we do have an MRI scheduled for this week and would love all the prayers and positive thoughts that you can offer. In the past all his MRI's have been good so I hope this one is no different.
Now that we are back on the strict diet of clean eating and SCD (Specific Carbohydrate Diet) I thought I would open up a bit more and share this journey over on a new Instagram account. You can follow along here for updates on our son, what we eat, recipes and more.
And just like that, we are sending summer off. Our house is now filled with the hustle and bustle of the start of a new school year, our days have fallen into a routine and in the evenings we are exhausted. While I fully admit I am never ready to see summer end, I do love change and the start of a new season. And this fall I've decided to start off in the right direction; organized and prepared.
Since our soccer schedule consumes most of the week and my husband works nights at our restaurant, I run a tight ship and keep to my schedule the second the kids come home from school. A routine is certainly important, but in my opinion a balance is better. We balance our schedule between a strict routine and impromptu play and adventures. We balance responsibility and chores with downtime and free time.
“Live a balanced life – learn some and think some and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some.”
I have found that finding balance truly is the key to life.
*This back to school post is in partnership with FabKids
FabKids is JustFab's fashion club, started by a team of parents including mom and actress Christina Applegate. FabKids is a convenient way for busy parents to shop. It's an outfit club -- so parents get monthly selections of super affordable, high-quality fashions personalized for their kids.
FabKid's back to school selection includes quality clothing for affordable prices so you can shop must-haves for the school year! Check out more of their back to school trends here.