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I can be a really sentimental person. It is hard for me to put into words all of the amazing things that my life now holds having become a mother. I always knew I wanted to be a mom, but I never knew the absolute change and meaning it would truly bring to my life.

Having just celebrated little M’s second birthday is awesome. I get to take a moment to reflect and give thanks for the incredible blessing she is to me and my husband. To our whole family. To our friends. And even to people that she has never met. She is a bundle of joy, a genuinely goofy kiddo and one that has humor and stubbornness that I know is purely God-given (although she gets both from her mom and dad).

I feel so lucky to be her mom. For 730 (+1 because I’m late to post) days, she has been on my mind and heart 24/7. I miss her every second I’m not with her and I adore everything about her, even the sound of her chewing. Which I usually haaaate the sound of people chewing. It makes my skin crawl. But her, I could listen all day.

We can’t wait to see the little lady and woman she becomes. I pray health, protection, and for her to know Jesus and have a faith stronger than her dad and I could ever imagine every night. I thank Jesus for his blessing of giving us this little M. I love getting to experience the joy she brings people already in her short 731 day life. I pray that she has a million more days to come to do just the same.

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The plague that is toddler eating utensils and supplies had officially taken over my kitchen.

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I could not. handle. it. any. longer.

So I did what any sensible adult would do and I went to The Container Store. OK, this may come as a shock to some of you, but it was the first time I had set foot into that store in my adult life. And I was in HEAVEN. I told my husband that this was my new guilty pleasure. My eyes were darting all over. I couldn’t comprehend all the organizational beauty. It was overwhelmingly wonderful!

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I had an idea of what I was after and it involved tiered, sliding drawers. I found a great unit in the kitchen aisle, bought two, and skipped out of the store. OK I didn’t skip, but it felt like I was walking on air, whatever, same thing. I was so excited to get home and take out all of the mayhem and organize the toddler-craziness into bins by category, size, color even?! Ohhh the possibilities. When I had everything all organized and ready to put back in — the true horror set in.

They were too tall.

And my shelf is apparently so custom built in, it is cut into the sides of the cabinet. Fantastic. I sat them on the counter for a few days trying to figure out where else I could stash these magical tiered baskets, until I gave in to the fact that it would not work in my kitchen and I bagged them back up to be returned. Depressing.

I was browsing Target a few days later and strolled through the $1/$3 aisle {glorious sometimes, right?!} and found these cute, pink, rubber bins that hit that sweet spot of “this could work” in my brain. I grabbed four and went on my way.

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They are perfect for wrangling the toddler gear! They are deep, which fits a lot, and since they are rubber and flexible, they can fit side by side well. It was a quick and easy fix, that happened a bit by accident, but that saved me about $40! The Container Store items were $25 +tax each and these were $3 each! Sure they are pink, due to it being Easter timing, but heck, it works for me!

The bamboo utensil holder was a cheap find at Marshalls as well. I had that for a while hoping that I would figure out some way to hold all of the other items!

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Perhaps we are approaching the “terrible two’s”? Or maybe it’s because I am raising a daughter? There, I’m sure, are many reasons why my sweet, goofy, little girl has turned into a waking dictator, who, at the crack of dawn, decides that her wrath of unknowns is ready to be unleashed. 11014991_10101758473192693_2560095276888936951_n

I am coming off of two straight weeks of shortened sleep cycles, crying first thing in the morning and trying to get a toddler to just eat and poop something, in a normal pattern. I know, I’m crazy for thinking this is possible. I believe we are teething, constipated, battling a cold, dealing with knowing what we want to say but not having the full ability, and two labs that just ruin the world.

My mornings have started by tears, diaper-change refusal, 7 books read, and one of the last two binkies being clenched in mouth as little M hollers her orders of leaving the room, then going back in, then turning on the light, then grabbing a toy, then throwing the toy {which makes more tears flow}, then smacking the dogs who are licking her face. By the time we make it downstairs to try to get a drink and food, no one is keeping calm.

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M is going through food refusal so she and I sit with the fridge and freezer door wide open as I use her as a homing-beacon to figure out what she may want to eat. {Meatballs and ice chips? Sure! Why not…} After I get them ready to eat, she walks around with the bowl sideways so everything spills out. Back to zero. Deep breaths. Keep calm and what?

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The rest of these mornings I tend to be followed by a very hangry toddler, who is refusing to eat, can’t poop and teeth hurt. I feel her. I really do. I’ve come to work looking a bit disheveled for the past two weeks, and I think this is just the new look I need to learn to rock.

As much as life during these mornings can be difficult, I wouldn’t trade them for anything and I secretly love every minute. Cheers to you moms and dads that can understand and goodonya for being able to have the humor to get through!

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Since I am currently a full-time working mom, I have limited time to get to go out and enjoy the outdoors, with my little M in tow. My time to get out and explore is limited to the weekends, which will have to do for now.

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We recently went out to a local spot, pre-Spring, that was fun to explore and had plenty of gravel and stairs to keep two young gals busy. Visiting a local Botanical Garden is the perfect way to get outdoors, and give little ones a fairly safe environment to let loose.

They had a blast running around the open grass, practicing balance on inclines, and smelling the flowers. Well, the only ones that had bloomed.

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I hope to get out again and explore more of the PNW. We did try to do a little hike last weekend, but apparently didn’t find the right trail and putting M in rain boots was not the best plan. She insisted on being carried for the majority of the “hike” and cried whenever there was a mud puddle. I guess we need to get out more!

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“Giving Up for Lent” …. some may read that as “what are you going to give up for Lent?” or you may read it as “I give up from giving up things for Lent”.

I grew up in the Catholic Church, which took Lent very seriously. We all looked forward to Ash Wednesday, where we would all giggle at each others ashen crosses on our foreheads, but we never were actually being reflective and grasping what the next 40 days meant for our eternal life. It is all a bit heavy for a crew of 26 elementary school kids.

As my faith journey has progressed throughout my life, I still don’t have the best grasp on Lent, but the one thing I have always had an issue with, is that Lent became something very materialistic and social. Everyone would post and boast about the chocolate, soda, alcohol, etc. that they were going to try to give up for Lent. I highly doubt when our time comes that the gates of heaven are going to swing open for all those years of chocolate you gave up.

I have turned to wanting to be more reflective during Lent, finding something I can give up or “take on” during Lent that help my community, my faith, something more deep than my waistline or health. While giving up unhealthy things are great, let’s not use Lent for doing something that only really benefits ourselves.

I know it’s about a week behind, but this Lent, I am going to read a devotional and work on my faith and being reflective on what Lent really means. I am partaking in this Lent series that is beautifully put together and can be downloaded through an app on your phone {ok that’s amazing!}. Here is a link to the plan that you can read through to figure out how to get the app on your phone.

This site has some awesome devotionals that would be good to take part in any time in your life, but Lent is a great time to start!!

 

{Note: This is NOT a sponsored post. The plans appear to be free online. While the app is free on phones, you do have to pay a small fee for the plans. It’s worth it, I promise!}