December 8, 2017

Christmas Tree Farm

We headed to the Christmas tree farm almost as soon as the turkey was gone on Thanksgiving day. There's no hiding that this time of year is my absolute favorite! One of our family traditions we  started when Raleigh was itty bitty was heading to Whitfil Nursery once their lot is filled like a pine tree forest. Now that the crisp air JUST hit Phoenix, it's the best place to walk around taking in the scent of the pine trees, drinking their complimentary hot chocolate, sitting by the fire and having the girls run around. Speaking of walking around, there's not much these day I can get around in feeling comfortable and semi-put together. I recently found these maternity pants from Preggo Leggings and I've worn them just about every (other) day ;) With my belly continuing to to get bigger and bigger, the less I feel "cute" or at least trying to, but these pants have made me feel both comfortable and put together in the simplest way. Any time I can get my hands on maternity clothes that don't look completely maternity then I'm in. 

Another tradition we have on the night we find our tree is grabbing pizza from our favorite Spinato's Pizzeria, then head home to decorate the tree, eating pizza and listening to all the holiday tunes. So the leggings are not only good for the growing baby inside me, but also a good excuse to eat all the delicious pizza I can and not feel like my pants are going to burst! ;) 

Now our house smells almost as good as the nursery and I'm ready for the rest of our family traditions to begin. 

What are some family traditions you have done or have started with your family? I always love to hear more ideas and see what others do too!

November 29, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Giveaways

I'm so excited to kick off the start of December with this amazing giveaway I've rounded up just for you! I've teamed up with a handful of my favorite small businesses around (seen above) to bring you some fun items that you can win for yourself or a loved one. There's items for just about everyone you can think of on this list so its also a great way to grab some ideas on unique gifts you can give this season! The best part of this giveaway is that you have a chance to win not just once but TWELVE times! 

How it works:

Starting on December 1st and running through December 12th on my Instagram, every day will have a different giveaway for you to enter. Each day I will feature an item (or items ;)) from my shop along with an item from the shop I am partnering with that day for you to win. 

The kicker is that these are just peeks at who is involved, but I won't share what it will be until the day of their giveaway (trust me, its gonna be good!). So be sure to follow along to stay tuned on which shop will be giving away their item each day so you don't miss out on one of your favorites!

After the giveaways starts at 9am (MST) you will have until 11:59pm to enter into that giveaway for the day. The winner of that day will be announced on the same post the next morning. 

Check back on my Instagram each day to find out how to enter! It's super simple, I promise!

So mark you calendars for this Friday to stay in the loop. We're starting it off with a reeaaallly good, perfect for the start of Christmas! 

November 21, 2017

Dear Daughters October

We ventured through California a couple weeks ago for about 10 days and are finally starting to feel back to normal being back home...just in time for the holiday chaos to take over! haha! We went from Phoenix to San Diego to Santa Barbara and LA, traveling with Shane's basketball team, sleeping at a new house every other night, spending hours upon hours in the car. I couldn't be more proud of how the girls took it all on, going with the flow of things and taking on the adventure. Of course, we all had our moments of being completely over it, but for the most part they were the best troopers around. We've been doing this tour with Shane every year since Raleigh was a newborn so I guess its just been embedded in them that traveling is part of our family nature. These pics were taken on a day we spent in Carlsbad while Shane and his team were out all day. We met my parents down by the beach and the girls couldn't wait to get their feet in the sand! I forget how much I love being by the ocean this time of year. The beach is practically empty and being cozied up with blankets and a hot drink watching the girls run around felt like the perfect way to spend the day. I sat there watching them each individually seeing their different personalities play out and laughing at all the silly details of their differences, yet admiring how they could be having so much fun together just rolling around in sand! So I decided to use this day to document my dear daughters post for October...

Dear Raleigh, 
I think I'm just starting to realize how you being a 4 year old means you're not really a toddler anymore. I don't know when it happened exactly, but there is so much about you that seems so grown up. Its a weird/hard thing to grasp. I feel like I'm so sentimental for you to be so little again, yet so in love with you at this age too. Like I'm feeling torn in my heart about not wanting you to grow up just yet and at the same time wanting to discover more of who you are as you mature. I guess its something that can't really be explained in words, but only felt through the experience of it. I love looking back on some of our videos of you when you were barely talking and still seeing how parts of your personality and mannerisms are still so much a part of you today. The way you never stop singing and laughing and climbing and love being silly. You could've spent the whole day playing on the beach. You don't mind the messiness of sand in your hair or water on your jeans, you embrace it all. You live fully in the moment. You soak in all the fun around you and draw the fun out of any situation. I love our conversations lately. How you are seeing the world around you. How you see every person we meet as a friend and call them that too. You are testing the waters in new ways with us too. You are smart enough to know right from wrong, but seeing what you can really get away has been our new challenge. Maybe thats the part where I want you to be little again, like it was easier to just give you the answer 'yes' or 'no', but now there has to be more reasoning and understanding for you in it. I always want to be in a place of trust with you (and all of your siblings). As I parent and learn along with you how to do this dance of ours, I want to be able to give you reasons that make sense to your heart and allow you to trust me more. Not sure if that makes much sense to you now, but someday I pray we look back on this season, re-reading these notes together and knowing that this was the time that deep trust was being formed. I want to be my best self for you, but I also want you to see how I mess up and make mistakes too. I want you to remember the days when I had to say sorry to you, when I had to own my mistake and ask for your forgiveness. I want you to see life this way, that we're all human and no other human is superior or more righteous than another. I think you have a tender heart that wants to understand and listen and I'm seeing as we transition into these new seasons with you that that's something I can't and don't ever want to take for granted. 

Dear Joci, 
Watching you this day on the beach was something I'll never forget. I've never experienced someone who loves and hates the sand so EQUALLY!! You loved running around in it, but the second there got to be too much on your hands or feet you couldn't take it! You spent a solid 20 minutes trying to brush off every grain on your towel just so you could lay down on it, pretty entertaining! But its just another way I see your intricate, detailed, unique personality playing out. I love that I get to learn from you in new ways, seeing how you view the world differently and praying that I'm able to nurture that in the best way I can. You have been more into drawing and painting lately which is so fun for me to see. The ways you draw tiny circles all over your page and pay close attention to each one of them shows again how well you pay attention to detail and the smallest things that may otherwise go unnoticed. You may also be the strongest personality of your sister clan, which can be so hard, but at the same time I see how being able to speak your mind and be confidant in who you are can be a beautiful thing down the road. I know that I'm in for a lifetime of learning from you and I'm so thankful for how God chose and created you to be the one to teach me so much. I love you sweet girl. 

Dear Jaelynn,  
These pictures embody who you are so much! Full of laughter, full of joy, full of silliness, full of life! I don' think you stopped jumping, running, and laughing for a second the entire time we were on the beach. I'm starting to be more conscious of writing down all the things you say that make us laugh so hard it hurts sometimes! I continue to be blown away at how your little brain can retain and remember so much! Things I've long forgotten about, you talk about like it happened seconds before and you remember every detail. Something I've always seen in you is how observant you are and your memory of people or situations around you shows how true that still is. You bring so much joy into our family. You embrace your crazy, humorous side and it brings you joy to make others laugh. You don't care if it makes you look ridiculous, but the fact that you make yourself laugh and embrace the silliness of life makes other people not care either. You make it easy to feel safe around you. I can see so much of your future at how people will always want to be around you. You naturally make others feel better about themselves just by being in your presence. It brings me to tears the ways I see how God can use you. Gosh, I pray you never lose that spunk and joy that exudes so easily from your being. I'm so in love with you my sweet girl. 

Dear Sage, 

You are so cuddly and sweet as ever. You take the world on in your own timing. You observe everything around you before you decide to go all in. You are still the center of attention with your sisters, they love you like no one else! You make them laugh harder than anyone. Your smile is the brightest its ever been. You are most yourself when its just the 6 of us. You come alive when you feel safest in our presence, laughing at your playfulness and letting you be you. I'm so curious how you will take on the role of being big sister because being littlest sister has fit you so well and you love it. You crave my attention and affection so much that I wonder how you will handle it when I'm needing to attend to a new baby in just a few short months. Watching you take care of your "babies" and play "mama" with your sisters makes me think you'll be just fine, but I'm also wanting to be sensitive to the big change for you and not let you feel forgotten in the new transition. I notice you so much, even when you think I'm not watching. I notice when you say something funny or copy a phrase one of your sisters says when you think no one's looking. But the second you see me looking at you, you glow with the biggest smile on your face and it's my favorite thing to watch about you right now. You are a delight my sweet girl. I love being in your arms and holding you in mine. 

I love you girls, more than life itself.