Friday, July 26, 2013

My FIRST 5 on Friday!

So I have been reading all my fave bloggers' posts every Friday and they are linking up with the fun crew doing Five on Friday. I am loving it!  I finally had a Friday where I had a few hot seconds to do my own this week!!!
FIVE: Check out at my brand new blog design by sweet Leslie at Sweetie Baby's Blog Designs!! I was looking for a clean new look that was still cheery and she surely delivered!! With me walking away from Suburban Strut for awhile, I still plan to update here as much as possible so I needed an new look.  Go get you a new look too!!!

FOUR: I mentioned this on twitter yesterday, but all this Christmas in July stuff going on zulily and the other sale websites gave me crazy anxiety this week!  Yall know I am all about being prepared and some good holiday attire, but LORD HELP, this is too early.  I am happily ignoring it, buying nothing and waiting awhile. I have not bought any pumpkin outfits yet!! Some of yall may love it and more power to you - but this mama was not ready for it!

THREE: With that being said about not ready for Christmas, I am ready for Fall.  I am ready for football, pumpkins, cooler weather and putting away the summer clothes.  Owen playing football has gotten me ready for the next season and over summer. To think I have my own personal little ball player to cheer for this year makes me so excited!  I think I am also ready for November and my baby niece to be here (see number one in a moment :) ).  And if you read my last post, I am craving the back to school routine like woah!  Fall is the best season of the year and we have so much to look forward to this year!

TWO: Well we are coming upon the busiest part of the year and my two young'ns birthdays!! Owen will be 7 on August 14th and Bree will be 4 on August 21st!  I am in full on party planning mode (you know if my free time ;) ).  We are having a combined party this year in our backyard for the two of them. It is a Splish Splash Bash!  We rented a huge water slide, will have water balloons, and let the kids and their buds have fun in the water! Check out the super cute invites Sarah made me - love them!
sidenote - Friends and family don't think you were not invited - these puppies are going out this weekend :)

ONE: I cannot tell you how excited I am about new babies in the family.  At the beginning of the year, I was feeling a little sad that we did not have babies anymore and that I was DONE.  My kids are so grown up now and it makes me a little sad.  Well then Tara announces she is pregnant and I was cured!!!  Then Shane's brother and his wife find out they are not only pregnant, but having twins!!  I think it is safe to say that I am going to have my baby fix for sure ;). Finding out that Tara is having a girl and being able to buy baby girl stuff again has brought me so much joy and I can. not. stop!  Ask Tara, I have lost my mind and have bought Live Mae so many cute things!  I cannot wait until she is here and I can spoil her rotten :). The Lord is truly blessing our family over the next year and I am so thankful!!
This weekend, Shane found an old wallet that he carried when Claire was a baby. It was full of Claire baby pics and I cried when I saw them...she is such a big girl now!

Happy Friday friends!!!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Routine Cravings

This Summer has been a great one.  We have had tons of fun, made great memories and enjoyed the kids being home with an easier schedule.
But let me be honest. I need the routine back like Owen Brown needs bacon - I am craving it!!  I received my new Erin Condren planner for 2014 about a month ago and I am dying to get it going, it starts in August! There is nothing better than a clean, brand new planner just dying to be filled!   Not trying to wish my days away, but the lack of routine is about to do me under.  I have been getting all the kids schedules for the Fall the past few days from dance hours to ball practice as well as starting to think about school. It is all set and written neatly in the planner...just waiting.
I have not cooked a meal at home in a month weeks!   We have been living on the fly and as much fun as it was in June, we need some order again.  I feel like the kids are even starting to get bored and they are anxious to start school and their activities.  They would never admit that, but I saw the excitement when their brand spanking new back packs came in!!  
Ask me how I feel come March and I am ready to drop kick this pretty planner across the yard and crying about school projects ;).
In other news, if you follow my insta, you know that our life lately has been revolved around two things: football and getting Bree to sleep in her own bed.  Two things that are taking years off my life :).
First football. Owen Brown is the one of the toughest kids I know. He LOVES football.  But it has taken him about a week to get this football thing figured out.  To spare you all the deets, he went from being apprehensive and scared to hurt someone his first week, to last night he was tackling like a machine, talking smack, and having an absolute blast.  I barely breathe at his practices as I am scared of him getting hurt, doing everything right, and also him hurting someone else :). He did so well last night, I thought his daddy was going to burst at the seams.  Also, I am on the football diet.  His practices are in the evenings and we eat after so Owen does not have a belly full of food before in the heat.  I am so stressed at the practice, plus this heat, I have not been eating dinner. Not hungry at all after that mess.  Shane thinks I am nuts. :)

So Bree will be four in a month and we decided it was time to get her out of our bed.  She has been doing really good.  We had to start first with us taking turns sleeping upstairs with her and now she will sleep in her bed with Claire.  She is not totally sure yet and we still have to get up with her some to take her back to bed, but for the most part, it is better.  Shane and I forgot how to sleep without an arm or leg jammed in our sides :).  I still feel like I sleep with one eye open because I am so used to having her right there with me at night, but I am sure I will get used to it soon :).  
Happy day friends!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

This Season

So if you follow me on insta (if you don't you should! I post tons of cute pics all the time :) ), you know that I took down Suburban Strut.  It was not an easy decision and it was one I thought about for a long time.  I am not trying to make the blog sound like it was some big deal or really important, it was just an extension of me and a fun hobby of mine. But, I had to make that decision yesterday and honestly, I feel better.
Things have really started changing for us.  We have entered a new season of life.  When I say we, I mean, our little family of 5.  All of us.  My kids are all growing up.  My last baby will be 4 next month. This will be the first time for us to have a 4 year old and not a baby as well. My oldest baby will be 10 in a couple months and my little boy is about to turn 7.  10, 7, and 4 are such big numbers, right?!  That right there is almost too much for this mama heart to handle.
As the kids get older, we have found that we have a new normal.  We have entered the next season of life.  We no longer have diapers, cribs, and sippy cups.  We have backpacks, dance shoes, football/baseball gear, and homework.  We no longer have time outs, we have "groundings".  Well, B does not really get grounded, but she does not spend much time in time out either :).  This new season of life revolves around our kids - not that our kids were not the most important before, but it is has reached a whole other level now.
Shane and I are already busy busy with both of us working full time and that work load all that time.  We both love our jobs and feel that the Lord blessed us with our careers so that we can be successful and at the same time be there for our kids.  Both of us have worked for different companies and at different levels and our current roles have proved be the best possible scenarios for our lives right now... and for a very long time. We both knew that as the kids get older that we would need to not only be able to monetarily  support their expensive activities, but most of all be there for their activities...or the money was never worth it to begin with.
Last year, Claire asked us to let her audition for a solo on her company team. Shane and I discussed it and we felt that she was not ready.  She had a tough year with school, was not keeping her room clean and overall her attitude when she was exhausted from school and dance did not prove to us that she was ready for the extra hours.  We told her this and explained that if she could change our minds this year, we would consider letting her next year.  Well she was pissed as you could imagine and told us she would prove that she could do it! Fast forward to a year later and Claire stuck to her word.  Bless that child and her determination!  She did so well in school this year, took on many household chores, and mastered many dance techniques/leaps/turns etc. that she listed for herself at the beginning of the year.  She gave us no choice but to let her audition for more this year.  The other part of letting her do this, was a huge commitment from me and Shane.  Doing more at dance means: more rehearsals at the studio, more time away from home during competition season, missing some school then, and of course more dollar bills.  Honestly, Shane and I spent many weeks going over it and trying to make the best decision for Claire and figuring out how much time we could dedicate to it.  Letting her audition for a solo was us dedicating our free time to letting our daughter do what she loves and letting her talents be showcased.  We are so proud that she auditioned and was given her very first solo for the 2014 competition season!  When I say proud, I mean I bawled like a baby and could not be prouder of her! She will be spending at least 5-6 hours a week at the studio this year - plus weekend rehearsals.
So, my normal - a full time working, dance mom....and Shane is a dance daddy :)
Owen played Tball for his third year this year and he really loved it for the first time. He loved it before, he just had no earthly idea what he was doing :).  When we were not at the dance studio preparing for nationals, or at nationals this summer, we were at the ball field. I learned that I could get used to being a baseball mom.  This week, Owen started his very first year of football. He is playing in a fundraiser league that has 3 practices a week for two weeks and then a weekend tournament.  Tonight is his third practice this week and we have all gone as a family to each one.  He LOVES it!! I know he loves wearing gear, a mouthpiece, tackling and running around with other boys the most, but I know that he LOVES that we are all there supporting something for JUST HIM!  It has been really fun watching him and I was made to be a football mom, I think :).  Because his daddy he is loving it so much, Shane is signing him up for a Fall Football league that will start mid August, right before school.  He will be practicing two days a week in the evenings with games on Saturdays. Then after football is over, Spring baseball will begin.  
So, that means I have a boy in practice and games all week and Claire in dance all week...oh and that J O B I normal - a full time working, dance and football (or baseball) mom...and you can figure out Shane :).
Now, this is all on top of that really important thing called SCHOOL!  Owen is starting first grade and Claire will be in 4th!  Both are very important, hard grades.  And let's not forget our most important priority- teaching them the Bible, being at church as much as possible and growing their relationships with Christ. If we fail at that, the rest will fall apart and never work.  
So you can see where I am going with this - this new season of life revolves around our kids and honestly, we are good with it. We realize that date nights or much time alone, nights with our friends, or time for ourselves period is going to be far and few between.  We are going to have to really value our quiet time at night when the kids are in bed more.  We have had to swear to each other that we will support each other as much as possible and make time when we can to get away and find ourselves.  With this new season, we have had to give up many things. One being my other blog, it was just not something I felt I could dedicate any extra time. I am also not able to spend as much time with girlfriends. I will never give up my girls' nights entirely, but I just don't have the time anymore to do them consistently. Plus, they mean so much more to me now that I don't get to do it as often!  What Shane and I have learned that when we do have a free moment, we just want to be home, comfy with the kids, and just chilling out. Or out to dinner with each other alone to catch up. 
Now I have not forgotten about Bree.  She is such a trooper.  She just goes from one event to another and loves it!! She loves to watch her sister dance and she loves to watch Owen play ball.  She has her own little schedule too that involves one hour a week of dance and she counts down the days!  We have decided to wait one more year on preschool for her.  She is on the age teeter totter where we could wait one more year so we decided that would be best for all of us. Plus, she really wanted to stay home with Nonna and Olivia Mae this winter :).  The Lord blessed us with a little resilient, go with the flow baby girl that just loves to be with her crew all the time :).
I know this can sound like too much and to some, pretty bad.  But here is the deal:  My kids are not always going to need me.  I am only going to have a 10, 7, and 4 year old once.  I am not going to miss this time, these moments.  Nothing is worth not being there for my kids.  The Lord entrusted these babies with me and their daddy.  We are going to raise them to be responsible Christian adults the best way we can. We are teaching them how to win, how to lose gracefully, how to handle disappointment, time management, self confidence, how to be a team player, and most of all to thank the Lord for their many blessings and achievements, as well as ask for His support during the harder times and disappointment.  We have been blessed with the ability to let our kids excel at the activities they love and we know the Lord wants us to take it and run with it.  I am not giving up any of "me" - this is just the new "me" that I prayed for many years to have .  If that means, being Claire's mom or Owen's mom or soon Bree's mom to most, that is okay with me. I will have many, many years to be just Rachel.  Then I will have some awesome memories to tell my grandbabies all about one day. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

4th of July is our FAVORITE

It was a great July 4th this year.  A really really great one!

Dallas Dance Nationals

This year, Claire's dance company went to Nationals in Dallas.  I had to step out of my mama comfort zone and send Claire down with our dear dance friends.  Shane and I both had meetings and we could not get her there for their trio performance.  She did really well and I handled it ok :). She had so much fun and the girls did an awesome job.  We met her down there a few days later and we had a great week!!

She sent me selfies everyday :)
 We had a really fun trip and we love our dance family so much!!!  Here a bunch of randoms from the trrip :)