Welcome to the Treehouse

Blogging is a very interesting experience. When I first started it was just a way for me to document the new life of motherhood I was experiencing with Baby Sam. It started to evolve into this great network of women (and a guy or two sprinkled in) where I felt like I was helping others by sharing the good & the bad, along with projects & recipes that can make the day a bit more fun & interesting. When I started to get sick I learned that blogging was not only a way I could feel good about helping other women know they’re not alone in this crazy life but it also became this amazing way for me to receive it in return. All of the support & sharing of your stories & well wishes, it’s been like having a great friend who’s always nearby.

Over the last few weeks this blog has forced me to gut check myself.

After we moved in the beginning of November I figured I’d need to take a week, or maybe even two, off from blogging to let myself get settled into our new house. Somehow those weeks have turned into a month & honestly if it weren’t for that uneasy feeling I get in the pit of my stomach that comes with the thought that I’m letting this amazing “place” be neglected I think I could have easily found myself stuck. Blogging here, today, is forcing me to push myself back into life again. I hate complaining outloud, or even in my head, too much because I know how fortunate I am. We truly are incredibly blessed, but I do think it’s ok to admit that the last few months have been much harder than I expected. If I didn’t feel the need to blog I think I would just slip from one day of hiding out at home while the girls are at school to days, weeks & who knows, maybe even months of not getting back to what I love. To being happy.

This blog insists on one thing, being honest. If I’m honest with myself I know this is one of those times where I can’t hide under the covers any more, it’s ok for a little while, it’s not ok when you can’t get out of them. Today, I’m getting out.

So, with that said, I’m happy to say (finally) welcome to what we lovingly call, “The Treehouse”

the treehouseWhile our old neighborhood & house had so many amazing qualities we always hoped for a home that reflected more of our own personal style & also was surrounded by nature. It’s hard to believe that after years of daydreaming, saving & searching we actually live in exactly that.

treehouse2the treehouseSo far so good, right? Well this is the part of the story where things might start to look a little wonky. No, you’re not drunk. (at least to my knowlege, but hey, if you are no judgement here. Well, maybe a little, come on friend, it’s not even noon!) I have yet to unpack everything which includes my real camera’s battery charger, so I had to take multiple shots with Sam’s ipad & then splice them together with picmonkey. Just gotta do your best, that’s my new life motto. TreehouseKitchenSee that wall on the right over the stove? That’s the other side of the soon to be gallery wall, one day we want to open this wall up so we can go back to having a open kitchen/living floor plan. I don’t like being separated from everyone else while I’m cooking dinner. Although saying that outloud now sounds quite crazy. What? A legitimate excuse that you can’t see/hear the ruckus in the next room?? Blasphemy.

TreehouseKitchen2the treehousethe treehouseThis giant picture window is one of my favorite places in the house. I love to look out & watch the deer families while I drink my coffee & get my head ready for the start of the day.the treehouse How amazing would it be to one day admire the view from a DIY built in banquette like this??Screen Shot 2014-12-04 at 12.07.44 PMvia homedidit

There are so many sun filled special spots in this house, it’s neat to think about which ones the girls will remember as their favorite nooks…the treehouseSpeaking of, on the other side of the kitchen is a narrow set of stairs Sam & Soph haved named “the little girl stairs” since they’re pretty much the only ones who can use them! I’m thinking about doing something really fun with these since we’re the only ones who see them. These ombre stairs from Pinterest have been burned in my brain for years!the treehouseombre stairsvia pinterest

And a quick view of upstairs, this is turning out to be a mammoth post!

Ok, this picture looks like we live in a jigsaw puzzle but cut me some slack, I’m working with limited resources here!the treehouseI’m going to leave you with Sam’s room because the picture quality is going downhill quick!

The first time we walked through this house she walked into the pink bedroom, covered with horse decor, rosebud curtains & a canopy bed & said, “Ok. I’m cool with moving now.”the treehouse

I love you guys so much for your patience. Hopefully life gets a whole lot more serene from here on out for us both. (:


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Duhnuhnuhnah…BAT GIRL!

bat girl costume by little pink monster

Just to clarify, she’s not actually BatGirl…she’s a BAT that happens to be a girl. Get it? I just can’t help but sing the Batman theme song every time I see her in her costume.

For those of you who helped me figure out how to whip this costume up last week on Instagram a big fat thanks! There really is something so special to me about homemade Halloween costumes. I love their imperfections & unique charm. Now don’t get me wrong, Sam’s Dorothy dress from Target is beyond cute (tell me she isn’t a perfect little Dorothy) but there’s something about a homemade, albeit slightly wonky, Halloween costume that takes me back to my childhood.

 Girl's Easy Bat Costume by Little Pink Monster(FULL DISCLOSURE: Dealing with that faux fur was almost the death of me!)

 What are your little munchkins dressing up as this year? If you’re still trying to figure it out than take a deep breath, maybe these posts from the past give you any ideas…

diy minion costumes by little pink monsterDIY minion costumes

diy siamese cat costumes from lady & the trampSiamese Cats from Lady & the Tramp

homemade baby octopus costumeI showed Sam this pic and she goes, “Who’s that??” Cutest little Octopus made from stuffed tights, LOVED it on her wobbly little 2 year old self!

Happy Halloween!

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Monogrammed, Chevron & Glitter Pumpkins…Oh My!

Wow, where the heck has October gone? Is it just me or has it seriously flown by?

That’s actually my thought behind these pumpkins. While I love some creepy crawly Halloween decorations sometimes I just feel like I don’t get to enjoy them long enough. These pumpkins on the other hand are working double duty. Halloween straight on through Thanksgiving. My kind of craft.

monogram chevron and glitter pumpkins:: by Little Pink Monstermonogram chevron and glitter pumpkins:: by Little Pink Monster

Two of the three pumpkins are actually revivals from last year, joining the bunch this time is the monogrammed pumpkin. Shhhh, don’t tell chevron & glitter but I might have a new favorite… (Reason #532 that you know you need to book a sitter & get out, you start referring to pumpkins as if they’re your kids.)

Last week on my Let’s Talk Live segment Kelly & I got you started with the chevron & glitter ones but we chit chatted too long & ran out of time for ms. monogram.

If you’re more a picture instructional kind of girl you can find more on the chevron pumpkins here. For the monogram, keep on reading…

This was one of those projects that I actually found the process to be very therapeutic. I guess there’s something about getting to poke perfectly lined little holes in styrofoam. Does that make me weird? Oh well, let your freak flag fly!

Super simple my friends, all you have to do is in a text file choose your font & play around with the size of the letter you want. It’s going to be pretty big, I think mine was around size 700. After you print your chosen letter simply cut away the negative space so you can fill in the space with your thumbtacks. While I’m at it I should clarify that these aren’t actual thumbtacks, they’re ‘brads’ from the scrapbooking aisle at Michaels.

monogram chevron and glitter pumpkins:: by Little Pink Monster

The pack I chose came with a variety of gold, black, bronze & silver. I LOVE the way the variety came out in the finished product. I used a little less than 3 packs of brads for the letter “S”. While the styrofoam pumpkins are fairly easy to puncture I found that I was bending too many of the brads by trying to force them through, what worked really well was to use a sharp pair of scissors to make a few holes, then insert the brads, make a few more holes, fill in with brads…you get it. I started with the outline of the letter & then to get the nice lines I worked in vertical stripes to fill in the “S”.monogram chevron and glitter pumpkins:: by Little Pink Monster

 That’s it! Can you believe Halloween is ONE week away?? This is the first year the girls won’t be going as some sort of duo costume. In fact, Soph is the only one who would let me make their costume. My little girls are getting big TOO DARN QUICK. Things are still crazy here but moving day is quickly approaching, I seriously cannot wait to have some order back in our lives! Well, let’s be honest, was there ever really order?

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Home is where the heart is…

…or at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself lately.

I think this might be the longest lapse I’ve had in posting. I’m so sorry.

The last month has been insane. There were lots of days where I wanted to sit down and write but when I would go to I just didn’t know what to say, have you ever felt like that? So overwhelmed with what you have to do that when you finally get to do what you want to do you just don’t have the energy or clarity to execute it. Before you know it tomorrow becomes next month…one of the many blackholes of motherhood I suppose. I think when I look back this will be one of those chunks of time where I selectively erase it from my memory. It’ll all be worth it in the end, right?

So…here’s our big news, and very much why I’ve been a robot for the last month…

We’re moving!

After 8 years of waiting & saving & waiting a little more we finally are ready to move into our dream home. Or as P & I call it, “Our grow old in house”

Remember in The Notebook (aka the fiction story that I secretly think is somehow about P & I, and I watch it whenever I want to wring his neck because I know I can’t stay angry at him after the characters take an eternal nap together.) Noah built the big white house with blue shutters for Allie with the hope that they would grow old in it? Ryan-Gosling-as-Noah-in-front-of-house-in-The-NotebookI thought about showing you the outside of our new home because it’s so beautiful & I desperately want to share it but then thought that creepy creepers might be able to figure it out. NO, I’m not paranoid…wait, did you hear that?

SO, all that to say I have been in way over my head handling not only the purchase of the new house (Oh the paperwork!) but also getting this house ready for it’s new family. Someone should seriously write a manual on ‘How to sell your house when you have kids still living in it’ because it has been BRUTAL. And we’re still not completely done with the process but we’ve made our way through enough that I can pull myself up & out long enough to catch a deep breath, let my shoulders drop a bit & do something else for just a minute. Like blog.

The last month has been like a blackhole. Between the houses, starting a new school & well, I’m not quite sure what else I’ve been doing come to think of it. Maybe a fresh start will be good for everyone.

I have to say, it’s going to be so weird to not live here anymore. We’ve been here for 8 years. We brought two little girls home from the hospital to here. There were so many nights where the growing pains of motherhood & marriage created memories of plopping down & having a fantastically dramatic ugly cry right in the middle of the floor here. Pets have come to live here & have also gone to heaven here. There have been birthdays & everydays.

So. Many. Memories.

little pink monsterlittle pink monsterlittle pink monster  little pink monsterbaby sam little pink monster little pink monster nurserylittle pink monsterlittle pink monster little pink monster little pink monster(Oh man, remember when we found the baby buns in the flower pot out back?!)IMG_2269-1001x1024

little pink monster little pink monster

It’ll be hard to leave.

Before we go I do have a few more before/afters that I really want to show you. Am I the only one who has waited until it was time to sell the house to spend the time & money on fixing it up? In fact if there’s one thing I want to leave you with today it’s if you can, and more importantly if you’re already planning to, go ahead & do *blank* now why you have the time to enjoy it!

So do you forgive me for deserting you?

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The last 48

48 hours that is…

(Well, actually the last 6 months is probably more like it)

It’s hard to explain exactly what has been going on with our family when I can’t really divulge everything, can you imagine some people don’t want to put their entire personal life on the internet?! Bizarre. What I can say is this, we have been changing. I don’t know when it started but somehow I can in hindsight see that through trials & blessings our family has been in the process of being carved & molded into something new, something stronger yet also very humbled.

Everyday life has been very consuming lately, I’ve had a few flareups that have set me back quite a bit, also an ER trip in there which always has ramifications, everything stops when I get sick. (For those of you who are also battling your own bodies & want to chat about details I can tell you more about it in the comments section but basically my connective tissue disease is screwing with my jawbone giving me a TMJ flareup that’s setting off some vicious headaches that my migraine medication doesn’t even touch.)

I’ve been horseback riding a few times a week over the last year for exercise, & honestly it’s extremely therapeutic, but I had to take this past week off to ‘rest’ which I hate. Now though, enough rest, it’s time to literally get back on the horse again. So cheesy but I just couldn’t resist. I’m starting to think life might always be like this, a series of 3 steps forward, 2 steps back, 3 steps forward, 2 steps back…but as long as I keep choosing to move forward after a setback it’s still progression, right?

little pink monster

Then there’s my relationship with my husband, which is by far the most exciting & treasured change in my life right now. There are lots of changes going on in our life that I can’t wait to tell you about (I’m literally squealing inside & completely panicking all at once) but by far the best change in my life is my relationship with P. It’s crazy, after 7 seven years of marriage this past month has shown mean that we really haven’t been doing it right & this new ‘us’ is what I always wanted. Our relationship over the last, geez, 16 years, has always had a good dose a drama. Passionate relationships often do. In hindsight I think I spent the first few years focusing on me, what I wanted out of life, what I was or wasn’t going to allow…I seemed to think that for some reason I needed to establish boundaries of what was going to be acceptable or not in our life, it was almost like a pet training mentality! It was all about me. You’re so selfish in your twenties, or at least I was. It takes a long time to crack the “what I want” mindset & actually think of someone else first. We have been through so much the last few years, aside from my trials P has had his own path he’s been trying to figure out. His show may sound so funny, easy going & give the impression of being off the cuff but it actually requires a tremendous amount of behind the scenes work. He works harder than anyone I know & gives his job beyond 100% dedication. Of course he loves his family even more…I can’t imagine what it’s like to be the ‘breadwinner’ of the relationship. I have my own challenges but he’s constantly being pulled in the opposite directions of wanting to spend time with family but also doing what is needed to provide for that family. Can’t even imagine.

I can’t really explain how it happened but somehow in the last few weeks we both have had a ‘come to Jesus’ moment where we realized we had drifted down our own paths. We were living in the same house, sharing a life, but also very much living our own lives. Simply co-existing is an easy trap to fall into during a normal time much less the daily storms we’ve been getting. Then something beautiful happened, through different circumstances we both were faced with a moment where we could pick the other up & offer them complete forgiveness & unconditional love or could choose to continue to limp through a life that was laden with resentment.little pink monster

I believe that it is only because we both have been going through trials that have showed us our weaknesses we were able to say, “It’s OK.” I hope one day, maybe even further down this road I’m discovering I can share more because it is a beautiful story but for now let’s leave it at, even though this stage of life is hard, even though you might have wounds from the past if you can get to a place to look at someone & say, “It’s OK.” and mean it, it can truly free you.

“And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. 10Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 12:9

So that’s the last 10 days. A certain relative has told me I need to post more happy stuff like I used to & not as much deep, heavy posting. And you know what, there’s so much more that I can’t wait to share with you like Sophie’s Queen Elsa Ballerina Party, some decorative makeovers, cute videos of the girls & all of the fluffy, yummy, sweet stuff in my life but I also feel very compelled to make sure that I always share the ‘real stuff’ too, because too often that gets left out & we go through the same trials side by side but feeling alone because we don’t know that the girl beside you has been there too, or maybe is in the thick of it now.

Now, off to give my 4 year old the best Frozen Ballerina Birthday Extravaganza ever!

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Mean Mommy

That’s what I call what I’ve been lately in the morning…”Mean Mommy”IMG_2962

I don’t wake up that way. Although your alarm clock being a 6 year old who’s internal clock is permanently set to 7:00AM on the dot who then decides to wake you up not with hugs, snuggles & whispered “wake upppp…” but instead chooses physically pulling your eyelids open & saying “C’MON MOM! TIME TO GET UP!!”. Or her new trick is a clever one indeed, we keep Sheldon in our bathroom overnight with a baby gate on the doorway, she’ll go to gate & call for him, waking him & riling him up “C’MON BOY! Want to go out?! Huh?! HUH?!” which of course solicits incessant dog barking from a very full bladder filled puppy that I know only gives me a limited window to get him to the backyard before my morning chores will also include cleaning the floors. SO I usually go from dreams of Ryan Gosling my dear sweet, handsome husband to wide awake & trying to bolt down the stairs. Oh & did I mention that there is usually a 3 year old who has crept her way into our bed during the night & curled up into the perfect ‘little c’ shape next to me & she does not feel the urgent need to go downstairs, she wants to wake up slowly, like normal people ((hand in the air waving wildly)) do. So in the midst of the barking & begging,  she starts crying that her snuggle buddy has jumped out of bed & before I can get to the stairs she’ll cry from the bed “Carrrry Meeeeee!” & I’ll swoop her onto my back like a baby sloth, all the while I’m timing in my head how much longer I have until the pup who’s already made it to the back door bladder explodes. ((TICK TOCK TICK TOCK POP GOES THE BLADDER CLOCK))

I feel fairly confident that I could stop here & have most of you uttering, “Amen Sister!” but that’s actually not what tips me into the dark side. Once we get downstairs the girls grab their cups (a sippy cup of yogurt & milk that either P or myself make the night before & having waiting on the bottom shelf of the fridge) & head to the couch to watch their ipads for a short while. I do actually get a chance to have a cup of hot coffee, sit down, & watch a bit of the Today Show. It gives me a chance to wake up & is quite nice…until it isn’t.

Here’s where things go bad…

I tell the girls it’s time to go upstairs & get dressed. They whine & complain, “just one more minute! I didn’t even get to see the fluffy kitty get into the spaceship yet!” ((note to self: check to see what are those kids actually watching online anyway)) After 2 or 3 “I mean it!” sent their way they begrudgingly make their way up the stairs. After that every single movement that gets us towards leaving the house is a battle. Somehow that perky, bouncy 6 year old now turns into a limp piece of spaghetti when I’m trying to help her get dressed. Have you ever dressed spaghetti? It is not fun. Of course as soon as I get one dressed & turn towards girl#2 the first will dive into her bed. “No! Do not get back in bed, go brush your teeth! Seriously, c’mon! Please?

Every single little thing takes effort…

Shirt over head, fixing pants that have been put on backwards, sending them to brush hair & teeth, having to go back & brush hair & teeth because as I’m trying to dress myself in my morning clothes (these are clothes that closely resemble & sometimes even include a piece of the pajamas I was previously wearing. Morning clothes will soon be swapped out for presentable attire & will be hopefully hidden from anyone who might know my name until kid morning dropoff is complete) I see this:

‘Little one who’s supposed to be “brushing teeth” is actually just creating large amounts of foam in her mouth & growling at the mirror like a rabid dog while ‘big one’ who is supposed to be brushing her hair, hair which she refuses to let us cut & is coming dangerously close to dreadlocks, is actually just passing the hairbrush through the air that hovers just over her actual hair. I give a deep sigh & look over at the bedroom cablebox to see that we were supposed to be in the car 5 minutes…ago.

THAT is when ‘Mean Mommy’ takes over all of my awareness. Now, let me clarify, I’m not talking about head spinning, corporal punishment type of parenting but Mean Mommy is someone I hate becoming & don’t want to be a daily part of my girl’s childhoods. She raises her voice, “PUT ON YOUR SHOES! SERIOUSLY, THIS IS THE LAST TIME I’M GOING TO TELL YOU TO STOP DOING THAT & PUT ON THOSE DARN SHOES BEFORE I TAKE ALL OF YOUR DOLLS AWAY! FOREVER! Mean Mommy is forceful, anxious & begins both her & her children’s day off with a less than loving start.

I’ve often thought that if I woke up earlier, before the kids, & started my day with some quiet time & peace I’d be better equipped to handle the chaos of the morning but the truth is I love my bed. I love being in my bed & it truly takes an army, or a least a pee filled dog & very loud little girl, to get me out of it.

So I wonder, what makes you become ‘Mean Mommy’? Or maybe I should ask, do you become ‘Mean Mommy’? What’s your trigger & have you ever been able to find a way to prevent the transformation?

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Kid Craft! How to make your own puffy paint

how to make your own diy puffy paint kid craftToday we’re going to be on TV. Yes, I said “we”, the girls are going with me to ‘Let’s Talk Live’ today so they can help me demonstrate 3 fun DIY projects to help keep your kids from uttering the dreaded “I”m BORRRRED!”

Although right now all I’m hearing from upstairs as I type is this,  “SOPHIE NOOOOO! Get out of my room! MOM!!!!!”

This should turn out to be an interesting morning! You can watch the show on News Channel 8 if you’re a DC area gal or online streaming live here, the show starts at 11a & we’re usually on somewhere around the middle. When I opened my eyes this morning I sat up & thought, “Oh geez, please don’t let Sophie call anyone a ‘Nut Squirrel.‘” like yesterday when she called daddy’s show to wish Mr. John a happy birthday. She got quite the reaction, not to mention Sam was crazy angry that Soph stole her thunder because SHE wanted to say ‘Nut Squirrel’ first. I assure you I have never used the term ‘Nut Squirrel’. So let’s just hope the focus stays on homemade play-doh, slime, puffy paint & not….”Nut Squirrel” revenge. Geez.

On to the craft! (look for the slime recipe & tutorial tomorrow)

This is SO simple & a ton of fun. If you have a bottle of glue, 1 or 2 cans of traditional shaving cream & some food coloring you have ‘DIY puffy paint’!how to make your own diy puffy paint kid craft how to make your own diy puffy paint kid craftThe recipe is pretty simple, first in a cup (I used small disposable ones so I could, well, dispose of them when we were done.) I added a nice big squirt of shaving cream (go for the traditional, striped can, puffy creamy kind) & then close to equal amounts of white glue. It’s kind of hard to compare shaving cream ratio to glue ratio but I’d say it’s about 1 cu shaving cream to 3 or 4 tablespoons of glue, you really can’t mess it up. The only problem you might run into is if you don’t have enough glue it won’t really dry…also add a few drops of food coloring & if you want a sprinkle of glitter that could be fun! We haven’t tried that yet but it’s definitely next on the list. For the ice cream picture I painted the cone first with regular paint & then dolloped the mint green puffy paint paint on top, after it had dried a bit I sprinkled on actual candy sprinkles. I’m kind of in love with it! The watermelon is made by first painting the pink half circle shape, then the green rind followed by little black regular paint “seeds” after it had dried a bit.how to make your own diy puffy paint kid craft

Wish us good luck today! Happy DIYing! That’s so not even a word.

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A MONSTER BASH! Sam’s Monster High Birthday Party (including water proof face paint!)

I can’t believe it, my sweet little Samster is officially a big girl, on Monday she turned 6 & over the weekend all of her little ghoulish friends joined us for a ‘Monster High’ Birthday Party at our local pool. Who new the prissiest of all girly girls would want a goth party?! It was actually pretty darn fabulous, here’s a short video P made to give you a little taste…

I know they’re my kids & all but I really could watch the videos he makes for me all day, such a talented one that Mr. is! Also, in case you’re wondering what the heck all this ‘Monster High’ nonsense is anyway, it’s basically a bunch of teenagers that go to High School…

Oh yeah, and they’re monsters!monster high birthday party bash! (monster high water proof face paint)

It’s actually a really cute concept, Dracula’s daughter is “Draculaura“, Frankenstein’s is “Frankie Stein“…you get the picture. The inspiration for turning all of these little girls into ghouls is a young lady who has a hit youtube channel that Sam adores, I printed out all of her transformations (I also included the standard skulls & zombies for the boy guests) & stuck them in some notebook sleeves & then let the kids decide which character they would like to be transformed into. The tough part was finding a face paint that was water-proof, this was a pool party after all. After doing my homework I decided to order the ProAiir Hybrid Airbrush Makeup kit off of Amazon, the product has multiple demo videos & great reviews. They are a bit pricey but since aside from swimming the face painting was going to be the sole entertainment for the party I felt it was justified. After I finish this post I’m definitely going to make my way over to Amazon & give my own 5 star review because these paints ROCKED. They went on smooth, coverage was beautiful (especially once I switched from the cheap triangle cosmetic sponges to those crazy rolley polley makeup blender sponges, those were wonderful!) & when it was time for the monsters to return to their sweet angel faces (::snort, gag!:: ahem, excuse. frog in throat) the makeup easily came off with face soap.monster high birthday party bash! (monster high water proof face paint)

monster high birthday party bash! (monster high water proof face paint)monster high birthday party bash! (monster high water proof face paint)

monster high birthday party bash! (monster high water proof face paint)(you know you have a very kind MIL when she volunteers to be your practice monster muse!)

monster cakeThis is our 3rd year having our family friend Oby from Bim’s Flavors make Sam’s cake. This year was yet another hit, she used a monster high doll & baked a fantastic pink velvet cake for the skirt. She also included plenty of the signature Monster High skulls made out of fondant both on the cake & adorning the mini cupcakes. Although P sweetly disagrees I feel like I really toned it down compared to Sam’s Katy Perry Party or Sophie’s Messy Party. Of course there were balloons & traditional party decor but when in the past you’ve included a shaving cream slide or a wig bin this was downright tame.

Don’t count me out yet however, I still have child #2 coming up in a few short weeks. She’s requested a “Frozen” party. Probably the most popular party theme of the year & yet the hardest to find when it comes to themed party supplies. I’ve literally been hoarding Elsa & Anna randomness in my garage for the last 6 months. Sophie’s party will have a bit of a twist that it’s a “ballerina Queen Elsa party”, I’m so excited I’ve found a ballet studio that not only is more than happy to turn their studio into a glistening ice crystal ballroom but they also might just have a personal connection with Queen Elsa herself. Now I’m not making any promises, I’m just saying…it could happen. (;

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The three legged girl

I’m curious if you can relate…

Everyone has ‘funks’ that they go through. Call it the ‘ups & downs’ of life, the ‘baby blues’, a ‘rut’ or just a ‘bad day’ that somehow seems to be lasting quite longer than 24hrs. Whatever you want to call these less than joyous periods of our lives most of the time we’re able to hobble along through them until the good outweighs the bad & we move onto the next chunk of time in our lives.

Whether it’s my health, arguments with my husband (let’s be honest, if you’re married for awhile & especially if you have young kids you’re gonna have some rough patches) or a tough time with my kids I always seem to be having one of the aforementioned in chaos, the thing is usually the other ones are doing well, or at least keeping afloat so I can still manage life by leaning on the solid legs & sometimes even move forward even though one aspect of my life isn’t at it’s best. The problem I’m finding is when more than one start to short circuit, I get into trouble. Let’s see if I can come up with an analogy to help.

When I look at myself I envision a 3 legged girl. It’s me, with a tripod bottom.me

(breathtaking likeness, I know, my talent is undeniable)

If one of the things that controls my life starts to break down I can still balance on the other two to keep moving & most of the time do what’s necessary to help the limp one heal. There have been a few times, one being now, where more than one of my legs has broken & I can’t balance anymore, the only thing to do is fall flat on the floor & sit there, not sure how to get up again.

That’s why I haven’t found the strength to blog…or create…or really take care of my health. I feel like I want to do these things but without a foundation to lift me up so I can move I just stay in the same place. Immobile. And the more time that passes in this position the worse it gets. Every day you sit stationary & don’t move forward is another day lost, it’s more opportunities lost & those realizations for me, well, they just make things worse because I want to blog, to take my kids to the pool, to expand my career, to workout, to have an amazing romantic relationship with my husband & to put the work into being able to do ‘clean eating’. (if you’ve done it than you know how much thought, shopping & prep is required to keep away from just going through a drive-thru multiple times a week)

But something clicked for me today that I think could help to change things…I need a new foundation.

While I love my husband more than I could ever express I can’t rely on him to hold me up. It’s not his job & it puts me in a vulnerable position to rely on someone else who has their own balancing act going on. That leg of my tripod is so fragile, it’s there, but it’s wobbly & wrapped in duct tape. (albeit pretty pink chevron duct tape I’m sure) It needs time to heal, it doesn’t need to have all the weight of supporting me put on to it right now.

Getting sick has taught me a very good lesson. My own strength is unreliable. Our health can easily dissapear & it be 100% out of our control. Can you do lots of things to make the best of it or maybe even resolve a health problem completely? Of course. But losing that leg on your tripod, even if it’s momentarily, isn’t something you can help.

For me, the third part of my tripod is my job. Being the homemaker is not only taking care of the children & the house because I have to (hello, we need clean underwear & someone had better feed that little one before she becomes hangry) it’s also something I’ve needed to fulfill me. I love being a stay at home mom, I would fight tooth & nail before I gave that up but it does have it’s downsides. One of them being the lack of fulfillment you get. There’s no one writing up an annual review on your ability to discipline, find creative outlets for your children or how many vegetables you can get them to eat. (I’m stuck at 3) There is no bonus if you finally sleep train them, (aside from the sleep of course…oh blessed sleep, how I miss thee.) & no boss pats you on the back after you pull multiple all nighters (and ‘all day-ers’) because one kid has strepp & the other bronchitis. While I can say I have tried very hard to not let my funk, you know what, let’s call it what it is, my depression, get in the way of giving them the best life possible I’m sure I could be doing an even better job if I wasn’t doing it while limping along from missing my other two legs.

There’s a second half to the third leg…it’s what I do here and as you can see from the cobwebs on the corners LPM has been a bit neglected lately & that really plays a part in how I feel about myself, every night that goes by that I don’t take advantage of the opportunities I have to really turn LPM into a career for myself make me sad & feel like a fool for wasting something I’ve wanted for so long. I have so much to share but I just haven’t been able to find that drive I had before to find time to edit photos, create new recipes or just to sit down & spill my heart on the page. Until today that is… (;

So we’ve established the problem, I’m relying on my support from the wrong place. Each of the those legs, while being wonderful, beautiful legs that I truly cherish, are not meant to support my happiness & strength. It actually needs to be vice versa…my strength should be supporting each of those legs so they can be nurtured & flourish!

So what’s the answer? When you go to sit down on your chair of life what do you put all of your weight on so it doesn’t break & leave you flat on your arse?

I do believe, because of my faith, that I have to rely on God to be my strength. For me, I’m starting to believe all of these trials were wake up calls to show me that I’ve been leaning to heavily on the love of my husband, my own health & strength, or the validity that comes from being a mother & also my work. That’s why each one of those is snapping, they aren’t meant to be leaned on, they are meant to be lifted up.

Whether you believe it’s asking the universe, or maybe the philosophy of ‘The Secret’ or anything else I think we can agree, ‘I am not enough.’ My weakness has shown me that I haven’t been relying on God’s strength. To be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever truly had to, maybe in a moment of hardship but not every single day like I’m experiencing now.

SO, this is where I share with you what I’m going to do in the hopes that maybe it will inspire or help you. I also hope not to sound like some sort of granola weirdo but whatever, here goes nothing:

For the last few mornings, after the girls are gone to camp & the house is quiet I’ve sat on my knees & before asking for anything I go through what I’m thankful for. Even if P & I got into a fight the night before & I’m still thinking he’s a giant poopy-head I’ll thank God for him. I’ll thank God for his dedication to this family, I’ll thank him that I have a husband who’s continually willing to try & help our marriage, I’ll thank him for giving me a man that truly loves me. I’ve found that if you sit, with your eyes closed & your hands open on your lap & you just start talking about what you’re thankful for you’ll surprise yourself at what you really have. Thankfulness can immediately change perspectives.

I’m also in the process of giving everything in my house to God. This is easier said than done. For example, the blog. There are the TV appearances, marketing I could be doing, I have a list a mile long of ways I could be expanding LPM but every time I try I just get stuck & mess it all up. So, while sitting with my hands open, I said, “God, I give you my blog. It is no longer under my control, I give it to you & trust that you will guide me with what you want to be done with it.”

Similarly, I’ve had to give my marriage to God, I won’t go into great detail because while I for some reason have no filter when it comes to baring my heart on the internet, others (for good reason) don’t always feel the same. Just know we were in an exhausting situation that I just could not fix…so I finally realized just a few days ago that I had to give it up. “God, I give you my marriage, please guide me as to what I’m supposed to do & give me the strength to accept your direction without question or pride, I trust you. Thankyou.”

Also I’ve really been wanting to move. (locally, but shhh, don’t tell anyone) Every time I think we’re making progress in that direction I end up facing another brick wall in front of me. It’s so frustrating. The getting excited only to be let down the next day over & over is emotionally decapitating. So I gave it up. I handed it over & said, “I give you the house, where you lead, I & my family will follow.”

That’s it, and I mean it. You have to. It doesn’t come easily & I certainly have repeatedly had to catch myself in the act of freaking out because on of my ‘legs’ is broken again & I can’t handle it but then I remember…I don’t have to handle it, I gave it up.

I feel great hope that this new foundation will change a lot of things. Heck, I’ll say it, I hope it changes my life.

Have you ever felt the same? What did you do?

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The Cross Eyed Robot goes on Vacation

Omgosh, you are so going to love this! So our vacation is wrapping up & while I was working on editing the video tutorial on how to dye hair tips fun colors P was doing a little video montage of his own…

Is that not the funniest thing you have ever seen?? Sometimes Sophie can be a bit ‘challenging’ but on the flip side of that festive personality you get a kid that out of nowhere starts rocking the cross eyed robot. I think we’ll keep her. Her aunties really want me to start a Sophie Vine account to catch all of her crazy antics, after this I think I might just have to…

On another note, is P not so good at editing videos?! I am majorly impressed with the way he chose certain clips (out of 1000′s, we have more video than we know what to do with) & then matched them to the rhythm of the song…it’s kind of a turn on to see him do something so cool with our family memories, is that weird?

He used a GoPro HERO3+: Black Edition in case you’re searching a gift for your tech geek. Heck, I actually think anyone could have a great time with one of these! You can also break up your video into still shots, there are some beach scenes that I really want to have a print made for over our bed.

So, more to come, I just had to share that video with you because the world could always use a little more cross eyed robots.

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