Monday, May 11, 2015

Motherhood: A Messy Celebration

It is a good thing that Mother's Day does not depend upon the perfect brunch out...because needless to say, our experience wasn't. After forgotten dishes, replacements, a mimosa with no champagne {?!?!?!} and a few other mishaps, it did become quite comical. But, as my lovely mother in law said "I didn't have to cook it or clean it, so I'm good." {Plus the company, paired with the half off check in the end, wasn't half bad either ;) }

And, I couldn't agree more. {It doesn't take much to make this mama feel special.}

I use this not only to remember and laugh about our eventful celebration, but as a jumping off point. Because, much like a meal gone awry, motherhood can sometimes feel the same. All of the ingredients are there for a perfect and picturesque story to play out, but sometimes it just doesn't.

you forget something that might seem little and it turns out to be something big to someone.

you run out of someone's favorite thing and you have to find something less desirable to make do.

one thing sets off the domino effect and it all comes crashing down around you.

a little bit of stern criticism goes a long way {as does a bit of understanding and kindness}.

admitting your mistakes and being accountable for them is the real apology.

you just need extra dessert.

No matter the journey, the end result is what is most important. You want your kids to be cared for, to not go hungry, to experience mistakes and failures, to laugh and learn despite the frustrations.
You want them to see past the mess and see the beauty and the service that goes into family and life. You want them to know that one event does not define who they are or who you are to them.

So, I've said it once and I will say it again here {with a few edits}...Mothers everywhere and every kind- you are awesome! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise (especially yourself). 
To those who are hurting because of the scars of motherhood or wanted motherhood, we hurt with you. Your pain is ours in this sisterhood of mothering. I hope you find some bits of peace and love.
And, to all of the wonderful mothers who have and continue to directly impact me daily, I love you. You helped create the mother I am and hope to be and I am eternally grateful for every bit of it.

Mommy and me.

My, my father's mother and me

Grandmother Layton, my mother's mother and me

Great, my great grandmother and father's grandmother{and namesake} and me
Fast forward a few years to the daily...

And of course, thanks to my own 2 little munchkins, who because of them, I am a mother. You are pieces of my heart walking on the outside.

Saturday, April 11, 2015


Four years old, one finger away from a whole handful {although behavior sometimes dictates otherwise ;)}, a step closer to independence and moving further and further away from babyhood and toddlerhood. A full fledged pre-schooler on the brink of entering the school world in the next several months. Our compassionate, spirited and sometimes surprisingly shy first born- Mackenzie.

MC loves...
-playing with friends and family. She loves being around people, although it occasionally takes her a bit to warm up and get going in places or around people she hasn't been around in awhile or at all.
-singing! Oh, the singing. I think she makes up a song for just about everything she does or hears.
-coloring, drawing, and crafting. She can sit for hours and color pictures, gluing, stamping, or sticking stickers.
-building, making patterns, stringing beads
-pretty much anything to do with princesses, the colors pink and purple, and sparkly things.
-reading books
-being a big sister and helper
-watching Disney movies and things on PBS (plus a few other "family" shows like the Voice, the Middle and Master Chef Junior)
-eating! Luckily she is still a pretty good eater when it comes to healthier options (although we have our battles here and there)- some of my favorites that she loves right now are raw green beans, sautéed broccoli and the occasional roasted brussel sprouts. (I will take it while I can!)

MC doesn't love....
-when people try to make choices for her
-when people don't want to play with her
-when some things seem too far away (time wise)
-Quesadillas or many toasted things
-getting paint, marker, etc. on her hands

At the beginning of March we got to celebrate her. The countdown seemed like an endless one to her as birthday after birthday came before hers...but, we finally got there. ;)

And, as requested, we had a Little Mermaid birthday party complete with perfect springtime weather- which led itself to outdoor play, sand art, and overall...more fun/less mess.

The spread included starfish sandwiches, sea cucumbers, crab legs {carrots}, seaweed {broccoli}, goldfish,
sea oysters, worms off the hook {gummy worms}, and of course the island {chocolate cake} and Ariel's underwater castle {white cupcakes}. 

These "sea oysters" were so easy and yummy! Nilla wafers, icing, and edible pearls
on a bed of brown sugar "sand".

A funny thing about these sandwiches- turns out trying to use a star cookie cutter to cut out PB&J
is a tad bit tricky. Starfish sandwiches in the shape of triangles had to do.

Happy 4th Birthday, beautiful one! We love much!

Friday, February 6, 2015


We have been entrusted and invited to watch, nurture, and experience the relationship of sisters. Adam and I both come from families where we each had a brother, so this is new territory for us both. It is sweet, exciting, and I must admit, a little intimidating at times to know what lies ahead for them and for us.

Life with two littles now is a mixture of emotions: tiring, restful, frustrating, rewarding, and a true balancing act at times. There are times when I am amazed at how easy something is and then there are moments when everything comes crashing down around me and I am in the middle of tantrum city with no exit in sight. {pardon the cliche', but it seemed fitting}

But, I know that this is only a season. I know that one day I will wake up and I won't be needed by someone 100% of the time, and that is when I pray that they turn to each other. That they discover what sisters can and are meant to be. And, until then, I will enjoy watching it unfold.

A sister can be seen as someone who is both ourselves and very much not ourselves — a special kind of double. ~Toni Morrison

Thursday, January 29, 2015

December Dreams.

December was a bit of a whirlwind...the usual holiday concerts and festivities, mixing in our Anniversary and Christmas.

Each year with kids I am more and more excited to experience it through their eyes- the lights, the magic, the mystery behind it all. Trying to find a balance between the overload of things and trying to rest in the season's true meaning, its ultimate gift. It may be January, but Christmas is still being talked about in our house- the gifts, when it will happen again, and thanking baby Jesus.

I love reliving old traditions and making our own as a family. Memories living on in the next generation; parts of my heart walking outside of my body all over again.

Decking the halls.
Black Friday may be one of the biggest shopping days of the year for most, {and we sometimes venture out when we are up and about} but the Friday after Thanksgiving in our home is usually reserved for bringing out Christmas. Daddy gets the honor of putting the angel atop the tree and little hands hang ornaments close together on the bottom branches.

Downtown in December.
This was the first year that we ventured to downtown OKC to participate in their Saturday festivities. We went on the 20th, our anniversary, and relished in all of the {free} holiday arts, crafts, sights and sounds. Bonus? Anna and Elsa were there with some vocal entertainment...Oh, and Sven made an appearance too:

Giant ornaments outside the Devon Tower

Cutest little peek a boo Rudolph I"ve ever seen. 

Our very own "Olaf"

I spy Daddy.

There is a story behind this picture- turns out you have to take a number to take a picture with Santa and they were all full for the day- rookie mistake. However, we got this pic with Mrs. Claus instead, and this was as close as I could get MC to her. So, sorry big guy, maybe another year. No tears for you.

These two. I love watching their relationship change and grow more and more...especially since Mommy is a bit preoccupied lately with sister.

Christmas has come.

"The one who is the true light, who gives light to everyone, was coming into the world." John 1:9

We spent Christmas Eve preparing our hearts for the excitement ahead. Each year we attempt to practice Advent- the month of preparation, and some nights are better than others at it with two littles. The next story/verses of our countdown might not always get read every night, and I might not light the next candle every Sunday before, but I hope she is starting to get it. I hope that the simplicity and reason don't ever get lost in the excess of everything this season can bring. I want her to pick through it all and to find out the real reason behind the gifts. The real reason behind the magic. The real reason it is okay to have fun and believe in fairy tales. 


Because He came, we get to celebrate. We get to enjoy giving and receiving. We get to enjoy traditions. We get to enjoy life. So, here is a peek into that celebration. The fun and magic. The fairy tales. 

Christmas Eve traditional jammies. Little bird's were sister's first Christmas ones too.

and Making Memories.


A side note about this picture:
This angel is another honor of Daddy's - it is on his parents' tree,
made by his sweet 3 year old self.

A very Happy Christmas indeed. May the laughter and joy carry us through all year long.