Tuesday, April 30, 2013

I Won!

I am so excited!  I enter online giveaways all the time, but never win.  So when I logged on to Facebook and saw that I won, I had to keep checking to make sure it really was me!!

This is what I won!

An amazing bracelet from Kiel James Patrick

I can't wait to get it! 

Have a great rest of your day!


Monday, April 29, 2013


The last four months have held a lot of changes for us.  The two biggest changes are - Gwen is now pacifier free and completely potty trained! We are so proud of our big girl.  Both things happened rather quickly.

Two days before Christmas, Gwen announces she needs to give all her pacis to Santa.  Joe and I were completely in shock.  We thought for sure she would be taking them to college with her :) We went shopping and bought her a little treasure box to put them in and then on Christmas Eve we left them on the counter with a letter to Santa.  Santa was to give all Gwen's pacis to other little children who needed them.  On Christmas morning, in place of the pacis, there were all kinds of big girl presents - nail polish and lip gloss as well as all kinds of princess items. As of that moment we have been pacifier free!

The second big, big change is that Gwen is completely potty trained!  I do owe some of this to my mom.  Gwen spent the last weekend in January at my parent's house and my mom got Gwen to try and use the potty.  I had been trying since her second birthday, the January before, but to no avail.  I was hoping this was the start and she would be potty trained by the time we went on vacation the second week of April.

So on February 1 Gwen and I started potty training full force.  It was definitely frustrating the few days, for both of us, but we made it!  I moved her little potty into the living and set an egg timer for ever 15 minutes. She would hear the timer go off and sit on the potty. We did this for about a week. Next step was just urging her to try every 30 minutes.  We were doing really well.  The other key was to have her wear her big girl undies.  If I put a pull up on her, she would just wet the pull up. We also used dum-dum suckers for her rewards.  I know some people use m&m's, but Gwen doesn't like chocolate. A side note too, Gwen had been waking up dry in the morning for months, so night wetting thankfully has not been an issue.

Week three we moved the potty back into the bathroom and she was doing very well with that. We were still having a few accidents here and there, but on the whole she was doing well, even with pooping on the potty!

We made a deal with her, when she was having no more accidents, she could get a hermit crab when we got back from vacation!

Two months after we started, we are completely potty trained and we have two new additions - Nick and Sally the hermit crabs!


Very Happy Big Girl!
My baby is now a big girl.  This fall she starts preschool. I am not going to think about that today, though!  Today is suppose to be beautiful. Time to get outside and play.

Have a great rest of your day!


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Mini Fashionista

My little fashionista posing in her nautical inspired ensemble. 

Gwen's outifit:
Top -  Old Navy
Jeans -  Target
Shoes -  Nine West (mommy's and really old!)

These would look so cute though!

Have a great rest of your day!


Monday, April 22, 2013

Sunny Day

Sweepin' the clouds away
On my way to where the air is sweet :)

Last week was a long week.  The first week back after a vacation is always difficult - trying to get back on schedule and back to a routine. Then add a pesky little virus to the mix and now we all need another vacation.

Gwen was running a fever for a couple of days and was just not herself. She built herself a little nest and just snuggled up in the big blue chair. She is a really good sharer and now I am not feeling fabulous.

Today is sunny and finally warm enough to open all the windows and air out the house. Hopefully all the pesky little germs will fly away on the breeze!

I am so ready for summer.  This winter and spring have been so cold and miserable.  I want to get rid of the sweaters and boots and break out the cute sundresses and sandals.  I got a pedicure from my husband as one of my birthday presents while we were on vacation.  Now that we are home, my pretty toes are hiding beneath socks and closed toe shoes :(

So in honor of the nice weather I put together an April wish/want/bought list. Some of the items I did get already, some are in transit as we speak (I am a bit of an amazon.com junkie!) and others are just things I really, really want!

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7.

I am hoping to post a recap and some of the photos from our recent trip to Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana later this week.  We are still sorting all the photos out!

Hope you have a great rest of your day!


Friday, April 19, 2013

Finding Purpose

The older I get, the more I try to live my life with purpose. I just celebrated another birthday and it has me really looking hard at my life. I have been pondering the same questions I think we all do as we get older.
What have I done?
What have I learned?
How have I made a difference?

Life has not turned out the way I had imagined it would when I went off to college almost 20 years ago.  Somethings have surpassed my expectations and others have fallen extremely short.  I had such grand plans for my life. When I graduated, I was either going to work for a big newspaper as a photojournalist or be an advertising executive.

Upon graduating, which I did in 3 1/2 years, I took a job in advertising.  It was amazing and taught me so much.  One of the biggest things it taught me though, was I was not meant to work in advertising!

In the last 16 years I have had several jobs, all in the graphic design and marketing field. Three years ago though,  I began the best job - being a mom. I am so blessed to be able to stay home with my daughter (I still work part-time from home and do freelance photography and graphic design on the side). My daughter has brought me so much joy and fulfillment. Fulfillment which I never felt in any job position I have ever had.

My husband and I waited to have our daughter. We were not always sure we wanted children. We love to travel and do things on whims, which with having children is not as easy. We both agree though, that we feel complete now that we have her. All the sacrifices are so worth it. We give thanks every day for the gift of her.

So to answer my questions:
What have I done? I have a college degree. I have worked continuously in my field of study, in one way or another.  I may not have done anything ground breaking, I didn't win a Pulitzer for any of my photos or Clio for any advertising campaign I designed.  My career path has afforded me the ability to work from home and take a lot of pictures of the cutest model ever :).

What have I learned? I have learned that above awards do not even compare to my greatest accomplishment, being a mom. I never thought being a mom was what I was meant to be when I grew up. I have learned that the most important thing is family. I work to live. I do not live to work.  I want to enjoy what I do, but I don't want my job to be my life, except for the job I have now!

How have I made a difference?  This one I am still pondering.  I hope I have made a difference in the lives of my family.  I guess for now though, that is all that really matters.

If at the end of it all, my sole purpose in life was to be a good mother, daughter, wife, sister, granddaughter, niece and friend, I am completely fine with that.

Each morning upon waking, I say my prayers and thank God for the life I do have, for the new day I have been given and for all the possibilities that the day holds.