Favorite Pictures of 2015

This year I have learned a lot about photography. For most of the year I perfected photography using my iphone. It was not until October that I got a beautiful canon camera. It was like starting all over again. I have so much to learn and I am far from where I want to be as a photographer.

Since today is a day about reflection, here are a some of my favorite pictures that I have taken in 2015. A picture truly is worth a thousand words. It has the ability to tell the mood, the lighting, the emotions, the love, the dislike, the imagination, the scenery. Everything in a picture can captivate but also one single aspect can create the same emotion in a person observing it. I can not wait to see what 2016 brings and I am eager to continue this wonderful path to photographer!

 

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Tenth Anniversary

I am madly and deeply in love with my husband. Sometimes it sickens me of how much I love my him. I never thought it was possible for a person to continuously give me butterflies, but it is. I never thought that a person could make all my dreams come true, but he does. I never thought I could be even more in love with him today than yesterday, but I am.

Today we are celebrating ten years of marriage. Ten years ago my life changed forever. I longed for that day. The day that I would stand before God and my family and marry my best friend. The day where I would wear a gorgeous white dress and dance the night away. The day where my tears would be from pure joy and happiness. It was the greatest day of my life. The day that changed my path. The day that would lead eventually to my two beautiful children.IMG_9488

Through all the ups and the downs, the tears of joy and the tears of sadness, we have come a long way. We have watched each other grow and mature. We have learned so much about each other and what we want for our life. So here is a few things that I have learned about marriage.

  1. Communication is key. I know everyone hears this. But it truly is so important to a marriage. When first married I did not realize the seriousness of this factor. I thought, “Communicate?? That should be easy. I will see him every day so I will talk to him.” Goodness I was wrong. It is so much more than just asking him about his day. It is so much more than just talking. It is being able to listen to him and to take in what he is saying with no judgement. It is understanding his feelings about the topic and making sure that my reply will not offend those feelings. It is so easy in a marriage to get too comfortable or too busy to pay attention to communication. But communication needs to be continuously worked on. It needs to be nurtured. It is the one thing that can not be ignored or walked away from.
  2. Commitment. Marriage is not a joke!!! Unfortunately I often think some individuals do not take it so seriously. It is not easy being married. It is the hardest thing that I have ever had to do and it will continue to be hard.  But I am committed to making this marriage work. I will fight every single day of my existence to make sure that this marriage continues to be strong. He is worth the fight. It takes an understanding of what commitment is in order to make it through the rough patches.
  3. Laugh and let go. At the beginning of our marriage I could hold a grudge like no other. I would never let go. I would stew in my own misery before I would give my husband any satisfaction of winning. I am not sure when my turning point was but it happened. Some conscience effort on my part and I was able to learn how to let go. I was able to move past arguing about the silly things and laugh a little. This I think has made me a better wife. To not let the little things get in the way and to laugh about them.
  4. Expectations. From the beginning of our relationship we talked about our expectations. From children to roles within the marriage. From short term goals to long term goals. Every thing is talked about and our expectations are laid out. This helps in getting a better understanding on each others thoughts and feelings about each topic. I often times can be stubborn and have extremely strong opinions so it is important for me to talk to my husband about what I am expecting in a certain situation. It is also important for me to listen to his expectations and together form a cohesive conclusion about that certain topic .
  5. True love. In these last ten years I have experienced true love. Before him I thought I was in love. I thought I experienced it. However I could have not been further from it. True love is something that is hard to explain. It was like something that clicked inside my brain, letting every part of me know that he was the one. He creates this bubble of peace around me. Even when things are going horribly wrong, his love protects me and comforts my pain. It is the most beautiful experience. He is my one true love.

These are just a few things that I have learned in these ten years of blissful marriage. There is so much more adventure left. There is so much more to this story that we are writing. I look forward to the next ten years!

The Temporary Tattoo

Oh how I despise you temporary tattoo. The way you look after two hours. The impossibility to remove you. The everlasting mark you leave on my children. I cringe when I hear your name. I hide you places where I think my children will not find you. However they always seem to have a secret stash just waiting to torture me with.

 You always seem to gravitate to the arm. The place for all to see. “Hey look at me” you say. You are so absolutely modest. I ask the girls “how about your tummy or your leg?” But I believe you whisper child talk to them, causing them to ignore my suggestions and move forward with yours. Put me where your mom has to see me at all times. Put me in a place where I will transform into a blob, a splatter of pieces, a hodgepodge mess.

I have scrubbed. I have used magic potions. I have used everything that I have found on google. Nothing seems to work. The temporary is not so temporary. You always manage to elude disappearing. You are cunning, you are my worst nightmare, you are simply something that I would completely do away with. Unfortunately my daughters love you. They love when you come in Frozen characters or pretty butterflies. Snowflakes, flowers, stars, cars, superheros. Nothing is off limits for them to enjoy. So I will continue to put up with your shenanigans. I will continue to look at how disgusting you are. I will continue to scrub and concoct potions. All for the love of my daughters.

First Snowfall

This past weekend we experienced our first snowfall. The girls bounced from window to window to get a different perspective of the snowflakes. They were excitingly happy and thrilled to see it falling from the sky. My husband and I not so much. One of the traditions that I have upheld with the girls is to go outside and embrace the first snowflakes of the season. So here is a quick and impromptu photo shoot we had!

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Yet Another Year Goes By

I have a confession…today I am another year older. I am now comfortably sitting in my 30s wondering how did I get here? Each year continues to get faster, whipping by before I can even embrace my new age. I love where I am in life. it is beautiful and chaotic. I am exactly where I want to be. Married to an amazing and supportive husband and mother to two intelligently wicked children. This past year has given me good and bad experiences.  Each experience has given me the ability to grow and gain greater understanding. I am wiser. I am older. I am looking forward to the next year.

With that being said I am writing out goals to accomplish within the next year. These goals are not only personal attempts to better myself but also fun goals to make the most out of life.

  1. Work on my patience. I have absolutely no patience. I think this has greatly hindered my ability as a mother. I am so quick to freak out that many times I know this is only hurting my children. I need to take my time. I need to remember that these beautiful souls are still babies and learning. My greatest joy is being a mother. I want to be able to calmly look at a situation and work through it with my children with ease.
  2. Learn how to play the piano. I took piano lessons for a split second when I was 13. I was able to play a few songs and then I quit. I know how to read music but the two hands playing different notes at the same time, mind-blowing! I have a beautiful piano and want to be able to play beautiful music on it and then be able to teach my children.      IMG_9016
  3. Explore more. My girls are 5 and 4. I want to take them on more adventures. To see Greenfield Village, museums, nature walks, shipwrecks, waterfalls. Whatever it is I want them to have the love of exploring and learning about the things around us.
  4. Read more informative books. I am such a book lover. I always have been. Classics, girl lit, suspense. Pretty much anything that grabs my attention and I will read it. However I have a number of books that focus on parenting and personal struggles that have been collecting dust on my shelves. I want to be well informed. I want to be better educated. These books have the possibility to give me tips and strategies to make my life easier.
  5. Focus on my relationship with God. I have yet again faltered. I am not sure if the death of my father has set me back but I have fallen. This is the goal that is so vital for my life. I need to draw closer to God especially during this time.
  6. Date my husband. Hopefully my husband is reading this. We are a month away from being married for ten years and since children we have had a difficult time setting aside time for just us. This next year I want more me and him time. I want game nights, movie nights, dinner dates, driving around aimlessly. I want to be able to talk uninterrupted. I want to gush over our children when they are not around. I know this is a challenging one. But I think he totally deserves to spend more time with me!
  7. Practice with my wonderful new (to me) camera. My love for photography has always been there but I only really started exploring with my picture taking abilities since 2013. Up to this point all of my pictures have been taken with my iPhone. However my husband just bought me an actual camera! I have never been so excited. I can not wait to learn about the camera and take stellar pictures of my life!

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So I think that is a good start. It may be a short list but with the year going quickly, it gives me plenty to do until I turn 34!

Wish me luck as I start my journey as a thirty-three year old!

Happy Fall Y’all

Today is the day. It is the day to start celebrating the leaves falling, pumpkin spice everything, and cooler weather. Fall is my favorite time of year. I love planning fun activities to do and this year is no exception. This year I decided to make a fall bucket list so that we will make the best of this fall!

Here is our fall bucket list:

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The day I almost threw everything away.

It was a beautiful and sunny Sunday. Anticipation of the first football Sunday was upon us. I had high hopes for this Sunday. A list was made. Unfortunately I woke up with a terrible head cold. Every part of me ached and moaned for anything to ease the pain. Determination was within me just the night before. But nothing was going to get accomplished.

The day moved slowly by. I had no energy. No strength to play. My children most definitely got a lot of free range. I prayed to make it through the day. It all appeared to be going smoothly until early afternoon. I wanted to get something accomplished. I had a spark of determination. So as I weaved in and out of the hundreds of toys sprawled across the entire house, I made it to my closet. Today was apparently the day for the girls to set up most of their toys in my bedroom. There was not only all of their barbies but all of Barbie’s friends came over and had a big bash. It was chaotic.

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I went to my closet for a simple piece of clothing. Socks. Just two little pieces to keep my feet warm as I went downstairs to work on my project. As I grabbed my socks I hopped on the bed thinking “hey this will be an easier way”. Boy was I completely wrong. As I hopped out of bed I realized quickly that there were still toys all over my floor. The land mine exploded. It happened so quickly yet seemed to occur in slow motion.The wobbles, the trying to gain balance, the attempt to not let any swear words slip. The toys won. I was defeated in about five seconds. I literally shot back up to make sure nothing was broken. Then the aches and pains. The looking down at my toes and seeing one quickly begin to swell. The indescribable pain pulsating through my arm. The girls were staring at me like they were front row at a freak show.

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This was the day that I almost threw everything away. Anything in my path I was tempted to toss in the trash and not give it a second thought. I was furious at being sick. I was furious that I let the girls create such a mess. I was furious that I was so clumsy in my thoughts that I tripped and fell. Nothing was safe. I have never gotten so close to this point. The girls could feel this. It must have been something they saw in my eyes because without any effort on my part, the girls put away every single toy that they could find. No complaints. No whining. They knew they went to far. They were lucky.

Obviously when I hurt myself the girls will clean their toys. I do not want that to be a reoccurring event so that the girls will clean with no issues. So moms, what are some ways that you use to get your children to clean without the battle?

First Day of School

Yesterday, school officially begun for us. I did not feel anywhere near prepared but we went for it. They were so excited to start this adventure. Of course the first day would not be complete without pictures.  They were all smiles yesterday but I think it will all quickly fade when they realize this is an every day thing! Here is my kindergartner and my pre-kindergartner!!!

  
  
  

September Goals

A new month is upon us. With a new month comes a fresh start. An ability to look ahead and create a list of things that should be accomplished. I have always been a person with lists and goals. I many times falter on completing those lists and goals but find it extremely important in creating a starting point.  Goals I believe are important. Goals have the ability to push me to the finish line. There is something so satisfying in looking at a list and being able to cross something off. Accomplishment. Success. The moment where I can secretly say “boom baby”!!!

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So here are my top five goals for September!

1. Set and stick with a homeschooling schedule. Oh this will be a fun one. I want to get into a morning routine with the girls so that we are starting school at a consistent time. I want to have a curriculum mapped out so that the week goes smoothly. I want to create fun projects and lessons so that the girls stay focused and interested.

2. Re-vamp my blog. This is something that I have been meaning to do but have been so busy that I have not gotten a chance. I want to buy a domain that actually matches the name of my blog. I want to self-host. I want to dedicate more time to my blog to watch it grow.

3. Go through my dad’s belongings. Till this point I have not been able to empty the bag that carries my dad’s belongings. I stashed it away in my closet so that I would not have to deal with it. I was not ready. I was not prepared. After two months, I feel as though I am ready. I am ready to put things away and up throughout my house.

4. Paint my pseudo fireplace. At the beginning of the summer I bought a pseudo fireplace at a garage sale for $5! I thought it would be a perfect decor piece for my home. My intentions are to paint it and then antique it! I have never done it before so I should beg my mom to help me!

5. Put up my gallery wall. I have been collecting pieces to put in my entry hallway for quite a while now. I have a wall decal that says “live well, laugh often, love much” I put it up over four years ago so I can officially say I am over it. So I want to get a new look up on the wall since it is the first thing that people see!

So here are my goals! I am sure I will have more goals pop up along the way but if I get these five accomplished, I will feel like I have had a successful September!

School Decision Pt. 2

As parents when we have made a decision, usually we have felt confident with that decision. Secure and able to move forward. However that is not always the case. I cannot begin to explain the magnitude of our emotions. A few weeks back we made the decision of sending our five year old to public school.

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At that moment we did feel confident. We felt as though we were able to move forward from that point. However that quickly became not the case. We felt conflicted. We felt uneasy. We were not 100% confident. We struggled back and forth with the decision again. Which path was going to coincide with our beliefs and our faith. What was going to benefit our daughter the most and ensure her attitude and demeanor would stay intact. From the moment that we changed our decision and decided to home-school, a weight did lift from our shoulders. For the first time since the back and forth of this weighty decision, we felt at ease. We felt comfortable. We felt confident. Some may disagree with our decision and I know it is out of love and concern. I thank each and every person for showing so much love for our daughter. It truly does mean the world to us. But for this year we will home-school. We will take on the task of teaching our children. There is no turning back. There is no changing this decision. So be prepared for an overload of home-schooling posts!