1/30/14

Random Friday


{one}

I sort of feel bad that I didn't do weekly updates this pregnancy like I did last time. I still enjoy going back and reading those and I think I will regret....well I DO regret that I didn't do it. I could come up with a million excuses but I just didn't do it.

I'm currently 30 weeks (I have been SO messed up on my weeks this time, I actually thought I was 30 weeks last week) and feeling good. I plan to do a full update next week because there are just some things I need to actually record.

Here is a look at me 30 weeks with Eli and then now, I think I'm bigger this time around, but it could be that the striped shirt is doing me NO FAVORS and the camera is at a weird angle cause I set the timer on my phone and did this real quick before rushing out to the door this morning. (excuses, excuses)



{two}

I've been trying to stay somewhat active this pregnancy. I didn't do ANYTHING productive while I was pregnant with Eli and gained a lot so I decided to keep up my normal jogging/walking routine. Well when we found out I had a low placenta I wasn't able to jog anymore but I have continued to walk (with doctors permission).


But let me tell you it is getting HARD. I thought I would keep it up but mama is struggling. I was doing two miles a day but today only went a mile and a half. But I don't think it is making a difference, I have still gained the same that I did with Eli. Oh well at least I'm doing something!

{three}

Today is the last day to order any of these BBMB scents. If you were wanting to try one or stock up on an old favorite be sure and do it today! You can order HERE.



{four}

I haven't done anything with Anniston's nursery. I have a color scheme in mind and some ideas of what I want to do but I'm lacking motivation. My best friend came up last week and we discussed ideas and she tried to push me forward and even wants to plan a craft day to come help me, but I'm still lacking motivation. Plus I know Anniston will sleep in our room for the first month (ahem 5 months) anyways, so why rush it?

{five}

It is supossed to snow here again next week. This is where I would insert the crying emoji and the one that looks like its crying with no tears. I'm done with snow and ice. Last week it was icy and I misjudged the ice while driving and ended up spinning around down a hill towards two cars at the bottom. Thankfully I ended up in the ditch and all was ok but it was just the icing on my I'M DONE WITH WINTER cake.

Plus winter just isn't as fun if you can't bend over to put your cute boots on. True story.

1/29/14

Sitting Around All Day

"So what do you do all day?"

"Don't you get bored just sitting around all day?"

"I could never just sit at home and do nothing."

These are just a few things I've heard or been asked since I quit my job and started staying home with Eli a year and a half ago.
And honestly, at first these questions didn't bother me too much. I get it, staying home isn't for everyone. Some moms choose to work, some dads choose to stay home, some moms work and want to be home - everybody has a different situation and does what works for them in that moment. Why judge what another person chooses or needs to do?

However, I reached a point where the questions started to get on my nerves. I wasn't necessarily offended by the questions or sometimes clear disapproval of my choice to stay home but it started to get on my nerves that people acted like I sat around all day or I did nothing.

There are times when I want to read off a laundry list of what exactly I do to the person but it's not worth it -  because realistically I actually DO sit around a lot of the day.


Yes there are days where household chores and errands take a backseat because I'm too busy "sitting around"  I'm sitting on the floor playing trains, or I'm sitting in my comfortable blue chair reading a book. There are other times where I'm sitting down at the table eating lunch or even sitting down to watch TV.

Yup, I chose to step away from my job outside the home to just sit around.

However, all those times that I'm just sitting during the day I'm never alone - they are with my toddler, my son, Eli. The person that I choose to stay at home with every single day. The person who plays trains with me, or lets me read a book to him, or sits on my lap while we watch a cartoon. We sit and eat lunch together and sometimes we sit together in the car while waiting in line at the bank.

I'm not saying any of these things to create some sort of argument about working vs. staying at home. Each has pros and cons and each has its own battles that are neither here nor there. But what I am saying is that it bothers me that our society has put some sort of negative connotation on "sitting at home".

We have created a world where we feel like we need to constantly be busy or doing something or going, going, going to prove something, maybe our worth? I'm not sure what we are trying to prove, but it seems that we are chasing a whole lot of nothing all in an effort to make sure we stay busy.
Believe me there are days where I am plenty busy - and I do enjoy my side job that allows me to pursue my own goals.  But to me, the fact that I get to "sit at home" all day is a blessing to me and there is nothing negative about it.

I'm past the point where I feel like I need to list off all that I actually do to someone who thinks that I don't do anything. I once wanted to explain how I actually do work with my business or how we sacrifice A LOT so that I can stay home or how this is what I prayed for and I feel thankful and blessed everyday that I get to do what I always wanted to do. 
But I've quit trying to explain it. It really doesn't matter. I'm ok with other people thinking I just sit at home all day, because right now I know that's where I'm called and frankly it's what I want to be doing.

I know there will come a day when the trains will be in the attic collecting dust and my lap will become too small for my children to sit on and the books we once sat and read will be way below their level. So for now I will enjoy all this sitting around we do. I know that all the busyness and on the go and the chasing endless to do lists will come later. But for now I'll "sit around" for a bit and enjoy these short years.

1/28/14

The Train Ride that Never Ends

During the holiday season I like to fully submerge myself in all things Christmas.

If I'm watching a movie it needs to be a Christmas movie.  Christmas music is the only thing you will hear in my car from the end of Thanksgiving till the day after Christmas. And if I'm going to Starbucks I only want a peppermint mocha. Yes I am aware they serve them all year long but they just taste so much more magical during Christmas.It's ALL thing Crhstiams ALL December.

Then once Christmas is over I'm done with it all. I don't want to see a Christmas movie or hear a song and I won't touch a peppermint mocha. Its all a mental thing, but I just don't like that stuff come December 26th. I even try and take my tree down as soon as possible. It was fun while it lasted but by the day after Christmas I'm ready to move on.

Well rewind back to the beginning of December. When the holiday season rolled around  I couldn't wait to introduce Eli to several Christmas movies that I thought he would enjoy. It was the first week of the month and I turned on Netflix and decided to show him Polar Express. I had never seen it myself but I've read the book and being that it is about a train I figured he would enjoy it.



If only I could turn back time. If only. I never would have introduced that movie. I would have moved on with life

Since that fateful day that Eli first viewed Polar Express we have watched that movie countless times. I'm thinking it has to be somewhere around 100 times that the movie has tortured me. Forget Curious George and Super Why and all his past loves. Polar Express is the only thing he ever asks for. ALL THE TIME.

I even made the mistake of putting the soundtrack on my phone. It was in a moment of mom desperation when Eli was crying to watch Polar Express in the car and instead of putting up with the crying knowing it would pass I got desperate and downloaded the soundtrack to my phone.

I know every single word to that soundtrack.

Let's not forget the fact that I do not like Christmas after Christmas. I would even venture to say that it gives me the heebie jeebies.  So the fact that I partake in listening to Polar Express multiple times a day is the complete picture of a selfless mom. I am dying inside a little bit each time I sing Christmas songs in the car, all in the name of Eli's love of Polar Express.

And each time Eli watches the movie it's an experience. He isn't just sitting there staring at the TV, he's up acting out each scene, or signing along with each song (his favorite is the Hot Chocolate song) or he's yelling at the boy to get on the train.

If you aren't familiar with Polar Express (you lucky dog) there is a scene where the boy almost doesn't get on the train to the North Pole and every single time Eli watches it it's almost too much for his little heart to handle. I caught his reaction once:


Although I truly am sick of the movie and the songs I could listen to Eli sing the songs all day long. Have you ever heard a two year old belt out a Josh Groban song? It's a strange mix of pure sweetness and a little bit of creepiness. Eli knows every word to Believe and sings it with passion.

I do hope we move on from this phase soon - I miss the man in the yellow hat and George and all his crazy antics, however I know I will probably miss watching Eli dance to Hot Chocolate once the phase is over.  Perhaps I could get him to watch it in moderation.

In the meantime Merry Christmas from the Tree household. Apparently it's Christmas here all year long.


1/27/14

A "big boy" now

Last week I attempted something I had been avoiding for awhile. Well actually two "things" in particular.

Before I tell what it is that I avoided I have to give you a little bit of a backstory. I'm not good with milestones, or shall we say change. I've never been good with them in my own life, and now that sort of transfers over into Eli's life.

Obviously I won't ever hold him back in any area because of my own desire for NO CHANGE, but that doesn't mean I won't go kicking and screaming into each new phase of life.

Moving Eli from baby food to regular food just about did me in. In fact if it was socially acceptable and filling to him I would probably still try and feed him baby food. If I find something I'm comfortable with I like it to stay that way.

His graduation day is going to be awesome. 
Which brings us to potty training. Oh dear goodness the potty training. Eli had shown some signs earlier in the year that he was maybe ready to be potty trained but I wasn't ready, and my doctor told me not to rush it so I took that as my cue to NOT RUSH IT.

Then this past weekend a friend who has a son Eli's age told me this was her weekend to potty train and for whatever reason I decided to go for it also. it was a split second decision.

Thursday afternoon I went and got the necessary potty training ingredients, big boy spiderman undies and fruit snacks for bribery. Then Friday morning before Luke left for work we made a big deal about how Eli didn't need "baby" diapers anymore and he was a BIG BOY now and how exciting this was.

And then around noon it all went to crap.

The morning was smooth. There were a few accidents which is to be expected but it seemed ok. And then around noon Eli described he was done with potty training, and started acting in a way that I can only describe as a RABID CAT.

I won't go into details because I don't want to relive it again, but it was ugly for a few hours. Eli inherited his mama's trait of being resistant to change. It was just Eli and I in the house and it was like two magnets of the same force trying to come together. We both hated change yet we were trying to make this work and it wasn't coming together. 

I'm gonna be honest and admit that I wanted to give up right then and there, but I also thought about how we will save money not buying diapers (for at least another two months) so I powered through.

Then Saturday morning Luke suggested we go ahead and move Eli to his big bed.

TOO MUCH CHANGE.

I tried to talk Luke out of it, but he shared his pros and cons for wanting to do it and I could see that it only made sense.

We stuck with the potty training and by Sunday afternoon Eli was pretty much trained all the way. After our epic afternoon on Friday it all seemed to go smoothly. That's the thing with change, we tend to be so resistant but once we get through it the other side isn't all that bad. 

So in one weekend Eli became a toilet using, sleeping in a big bed boy. And mama cried.

This seems to be the theme of motherhood, I am so proud of Eli and proud that he "got it" and moved forward in his tiny little life however it didn't come without some tears on my end. My baby boy is getting a little bit bigger everyday. 

Eli has been so excited telling us "I no wear diapers I a BIG BOY'. It's such a joy to watch the excitement in his eyes as he conquered something that he didn't want to do at first. I pray that throughout his life there are many more moments of watching him achieve something that seems far off or lofty.

And I'm sure with each of these moments I will cry a little. Tears of thankfulness, tears of joy and tears of realization at just how fast this all seems to go.

Now to figure out what I will do with all the extra money we are going to have since we don't need to buy diapers anymore.

1/23/14

Maternity Clothes for Me

When I got pregnant this second time around I made a bold proclamation that I was going to get all new maternity clothes.

I was a working mom the first time around in this pregnancy thing, so a lot of my clothes are geared more towards an everyday business lifestyle. Something that I’m so far removed from I don’t even really remember it.

I get excited about doctor appointments because it means I have a reason to put on makeup. Business clothes are not required here.

Well when I made this proclamation I think I forgot about the ‘b’ word; budget.

Getting an entire new wardrobe of clothes just wasn’t in the ole budget, nor did it make sense to get a ton of new clothes for a limited amount of time. I would like to say I only wear them for nine months, but last pregnancy my maternity clothes became post-delivery clothes for far too long.

So I decided to share what has worked for me this pregnancy. I do not think I am a fashionista – nor do I want to be, but I always like to hear from other women about what works for them and what doesn’t so I thought I would share my likes here.

Jeans:
Oh jeans. I’m so picky about jeans, I only like Skinny jeans and I don't like them to "bunch" especially when I wear boots. I really should get my jeans altered so they are the perfect length, but I just never get around to doing that. This time around I have really preferred the under the belly fit of jeans. As seen below from Old Navy's website:


Gap and Old Navy have been my go-to place for all my jeans. I got a pair of good skinny black pants from Motherhood Maternity....not the best pic of them but the best I have:


I still don't feel like I have found that "perfect" pair of jeans. It's funny because when I was pregnant with Eli I only wanted jeans that had that big fabric that went all the way over my belly - but sometimes that big fabric doesn't go all the way over my entire (large) belly so it created this little lump of skin that wasn't flattering. Under the belly has worked better for me.


Layering:

One thing I love to do while I'm pregnant is layer. I would say this is because layers make a cute outfit, but it's really because I'm the sort of girl that gains weight everywhere not just my belly and I need something to cover up my backside.  Very rarely do I wear a shirt without a jacket or cardigan or one of those puffy vests over my shirt. It's just my comfort zone.

 (the shirt in this pic is from Target but I can't find it on the website)



I clearly also like a good scarf. 

I primarily wear only maternity clothes with the exception of cardigans and jackets. I just don't see the point in being uncomfortable just to squeeze myself into some of my old clothes.

Shirts:
Like I said I pretty much only shop at Target, Gap and Old Navy for maternity clothes. However this time around I discovered Pink Blush. I found them on Instagram and was a little skeptical because they have such great prices but went ahead and took a chance. I ordered three shirts and love them all.

I wore this one to Luke's work party but still haven't worn the other two. I will soon though. 


So basically that's my two cents on maternity clothes. I think you should wear what you are comfortable in. I have some friends who try and stick to their regular clothes the whole pregnancy and that works for them, not me! I also still have around 10 weeks left so my preferences could change, but I can guarantee I will always love a good cardigan with an outfit!

I am determined to get some cute nursing clothes this go-round. I never felt comfortable nursing and maybe if I looked cute it would help? Probably not but a girl can try.

Any other stores you like to shop at for maternity clothes? And has anybody found that perfect pair of maternity jeans?

1/15/14

No Goals

I have been thinking a lot lately about what I want the next year to look like.

Usually I sit down and write out a bunch of goals. Sometimes I even color code them and section them by categories. My mind is crazy.

But this year I'm not making any goals. I'm not even choosing a word of the year as I've seen other people do.

I'm just not feeling it this year. In the past I never, I mean EVER stick to my goals.

And then at the end of the year I will glance back at a list that visually looks pretty because of all the colored pens I used but it's basically useless. I list of things I wanted to do and for whatever reason didn't do them.

So this year I decided not to make a list of goals just to fail, or give myself a word of the year that I will forget around mid-February. Instead I want to go into this year with an idea of what I want it to look like.

Which honestly is scary. The beginning of the year is always a little scary to me, because we make these grand plans and then life happens, and sometimes our own plans go out the door.

I don't know what the year holds but what I do know is that this year I want a deeper hunger for God's word. I want to be better about sending people cards and I want to grow in my business. I want to be the best wife and mom that I'm capable of being.







I don't want to make a list of goals to just check off, I want to set a precedence for myself, a way of life, who I want to be for this next year and on.

I have felt God placing this verse on my heart lately:

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.      
John 15:5

I think I've spent a lot of time lately trying to do things without God. Sometimes I think it seems easier to try and figure things out myself. It's easier to sit and stare at my computer or TV or whatever it may be instead of actually going to His word.



But this verse clearly states apart of him I can do nothing, so this year I want to make a conscious effort to put Him in everything.


Not sure what that will look like, but I have a feeling that just putting Him first I will experience peace.



So here's to a year with no goals. No "run a 5 K" written in blue ink, or "memorize 2 scriptures a month" that I NEVER DO. Here's to just hopefully becoming a better me this year.

1/13/14

2013 in Review

I just spent the last 15 minutes or so going back through my blog and reading my yearly end of the year reviews (well actually by the time I do them they are beginning of the year, reviewing the last year reviews).  How special it is that I have so many memories and thoughts recorded here.

I'm not sure how to describe our 2013…maybe transition would be a good word for it? We were in transition a lot with selling our house and moving several times between, and then also preparing to transition from a family of three to four.

But I could also describe our year as incredibly fun, challenging, growth-inducing and blessed. I sometimes get annoyed with the word blessed because it's so cliche and one that seems easy to throw around, but I also can't think of another word (perhaps I'm not creative enough). We truly are blessed.

A look back at the year:

We were able to go on several trips:

In May Luke and I went to NYC on a trip that I earned through Scentsy. It was completely free and we lived it up! I still dream about going back to there, we had such an amazing time. .
 

I was able to fulfill my life long (or 5 year) dream of being on TV on GMA. It was everything I dreamed it would be!

 

In July we joined Luke's family in the mountains for a week or just relaxing. Eli was able to experience fishing for the first time, we rode around (very slowly) on some 4-wheelers and Luke's mom graciously gifted me a day at the spa. It was a great trip.


Right after we got back from Colorado I left to go to Indianapolis for the big Scentsy convention. I seriously love this business and love that I am able to work and earn money for my family while continuing to remain a full time stay at home mom.


Then the next month in August we drove for what seemed like FOREVER to the beach to spend a couple of days with my family. It was a bonus trip because my sister got married while we were there and we welcomed Anthony into the family.





We had a couple of big life events:

We sold our house in May after it being on the market for only six days. Nobody was more shocked than us as we assumed it would take at least several months if not more before we sold it. We found a rent house quickly but it was being remodeled so we weren't able to move into it for several weeks.

We spent several weeks living with family outside of town, and only one suitcase to our name. That was fun….

Then we moved into house we rented for an indefinite amount of time. And it was hard. Hard not having a timeline, only having about a quarter of our belongings. It was just hard on me, not going to try and deny it or sugarcoat it. But we learned a to during that time.

July was a big month for us because it was when we found out that we would be adding another baby Tree to our family. This was something we had been praying would happen in the year 2013. I found out really early that we were pregnant (because I'm crazy, this is a known fact) so it seemed like we had to wait forever before we could share our news!




After finding a house and then facing a couple of road blocks we finally closed on Halloween and then moved in that weekend.


Since moving in it seems that we have had a steady flow of activities. Lots going on while we've been getting settled in our new home. It was a good end to the year.

The year was full of awesome happenings like both of us getting new cars, I was able to lead a couple of bible studies and we spent lots of time developing relationships in our church family. We also had a couple of low moments such as Luke's car getting broken into and us both losing our phones and my purse with EVERYTHING in it. That was a mess! Moving was stressful and there were some days we fought more than we didn't fight but we learned a lot.

All in all it was another wonderful year.  I fell deeper in love with Luke and the husband and dad he is and watched as my love for my baby boy continued to grow everyday. How is my heart capable of this much love? I'm not sure.





2013; It was a great year!

1/6/14

Starting 2014

Brrr! Is there a place in the United States that isn't freezing right now?? From what I've seen on social media (which obviously knows ALL) people everywhere are experiencing below freezing temps.

It is currently 8 degrees here, and I took care of everything this weekend (grocery shopping, errands) to make sure I wouldn't have to leave the house in the cold. But then when I woke this morning up I had such a hankering for a chocolate donut I had to satisfy it. So I warmed up my car and Eli and I ventured out for a sweet breakfast (and a coffee for me). I never had to leave my car (drive through) so it was well worth it.

Lately I've been trying to figure out how I'm going to approach the ole blog in 2014. Last year (2013) I blogged less than I have since I started this whole thing. I just started having a lot of conflicting thoughts about why I do this, what I should share, etc etc. I still don't have the answers and still not sure what this will look like this year, but I do know I enjoy blogging and sharing so we will see....

Anyways, while thinking about everything I want to blog about right now (recap of 2013, new years plans, getting ready for baby Annie) I realized that we are already six days into the month I still haven't shared the specials of the month for Scentsy. So I'll do that now, and hopefully it will get my blog writing fingers going for the other posts.

1. January is Bring Back my Bar Month which means the following scents that are discontinued have been brought back for this month only. There are definitely some big favorites in here so check it out and see if one of yours is in there!


2. The January scent and the warmer of the month are Valentine's Day inspired.

3. Lastly, Scentsy is offering the best join special I've ever seen. If you've ever thought about doing direct sales of any kind I would love to talk to you about my experience with Scentsy and how much I enjoy my team.


You can visit my website HERE to see the rest of the warmers and scents!

1/1/14

Christmas 2013

It's always funny to me how once Christmas is over, it feels like a distant memory. We spend so much time anticipating it and then before we know it Christmas is here and then before we even blink it's gone in a flash.

And we are left with memories of yet another Christmas come and gone. In the past I would get sad at this point, perhaps it was a Christmas hangover? However as the years have gone on I've realized to enjoy every season completely. Christmas was wonderful and now I'm looking forward to enjoying winter, enjoy all the activities that January and February hold and continue to prepare for baby Annie who is on her way.

Christmas is always a whirlwind for us.....we do not live in the same town as any family so it makes for some magical juggling to get all schedules together to where we see everybody and not feel worn out. This year we did a lot of running around but thankfully we do not feel worn out or run down. Instead we feel thankful to have so many people to spend our lives with.

We spent Christmas eve day until Christmas night with my family. We hosted Christmas in our house for the first time and it was so much fun. I made chili and several dips and my mom brought desserts and lots of finger foods and we spent all day eating, watching the little boys play, playing games and just enjoying our time together. I love that we are able to host people in our home.


Santa came on Christmas morning and Eli got a train table. Santa had a hard time trying to decide what to get Eli but eventually decided on the train table and it was a hit. As soon as Eli saw it he said "oh mom you got my train table!". Verdict is still out on how long the Santa thing lasts over here.


We then spend the next few days with Luke's family. We always have such a good time at their house, and Eli loves it because he is able to spend almost all his time outside running around on all their land.


This year we spent some time trying to give medicine to a cow which is pretty much equivalent to a trip to Disney World in my two year old's mind. He was in cow heaven.

                                       

                                                  

We then had our annual college friends get together which is always so much fun. It's crazy how you can go a year without getting together with people and then when you see each other it's like no time has passed.

The get together was the last big "hurrah' of the season so the next day we loaded up and headed back home. I had arranged for a cleaner to come to our house so when I came home it would be nice and cleaned. This was probably the best decision I've ever made.  And probably needs to become a tradition.





 It was a wonderful Christmas.

But now I'm home all Christmas has been put up and stored away for next year and now I'm ready to begin the year!




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