Love, sweet dreamer.
We know how to par-tay around here. Or at least I think we do. Anna Ruth had the best THREE year old birthday EVER. It is funny and cute and adorable what things are such a big deal to her at this tiny age. Two more years and she's off to school. Am I ready? N-O-P-E.
She will be though. She's already talking about her school friends she's missing from last year. I like that. :) The balloons are still all over the kitchen and dining room floor, because why not? !
One of her biggest requests was a scooter. LOL. She saw it on Little Bear I believe and knew that was exactly what she wanted. Except for she calls it her "pony" and doesn't quite understand that you're supposed to scoot yourself along. Instead she hops on with BOTH feet on the scooter and says "I want a tony ride"....over and over. And then when Betsy finally catches the scooter open she stands on it too. It's cute in all kinds of ways.
I made her blow out her candles more than once so I could get a picture because she was so fast! Anna Ruth is, and has always been, my little rule follower but did NOT like me asking her to do it over and over again. She said we were only "sposed" to do it once.
Brett and I also got to do a bit of celebrating and enjoying each other's company this weekend with a date to Eureka Springs. What a treat that was! I don't really know what we were celebrating.....but in my mind I told myself raising our sweet girl and ending up with a healthy, happy little gal at age THREE is something worth celebrating for the parents too!
I'd been wanting a Kelly Rae Roberts art print for a long time and knew a shop carried them in Eureka. Glory B's to be exact, which you must visit the next time you're in Eureka!
I ended up picking this one out. It says "She could barely believe the JOY that came with practicing gratitude every single day." The wings also say "Be Present". Yes and yes. Our attitudes determine so much, don't they? I was proud of myself at the store because I struck up a quite lengthy conversation with the sweet shop owner and even had the words "I'm a mixed-media artist" come out of my mouth. That was a first for me and I didn't shake too much when I said it. A little bit of confidence at a time......baby steps.
With the start of summer we are continuing to enjoy the best of food. About once a week at least, I like to roast two big pans of veggies to have on hand for lunches and dinners. We usually roast squash, carrots, asparagus, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas. I mix them with extra-virgin olive oil and a bit of seasonings and salt. I'm currently loving something called "Salmon Seasoning" that was about $4 at our local grocery store. That's more than I usually pay for one canister of seasoning (I'm cheap!) but it is delicious and the first one I've found that Anna Ruth doesn't say is "sticy" (spicy).
We like to eat these roasted veggies over brown rice/quinoa mix with hummus as a dressing on top! This, along with a smoothie, is my go-to lunch.
I'm proud to say I still haven't had any extra sweets! I get a lot of questions about that so let me define "extra"--for me it means peanut m and m's (MY FAVE), any candy, cakes, pies, cookies, brownies, ice cream, mochas, hot chocolate........even syrup.
Weight loss is not my motivation. I don't count calories...I just feel so much better since cutting the sugar! It's been close to a month and I have only had a couple of days where I really missed it. For the most part my cravings are gone. A few things I have been eating/drinking I'd still like to cut back on or out completely are Diet Coke (don't scold me in the comments, I know, I know) and when I reallllllly want sugar I've eaten a few graham crackers. Those aren't the worst things in the world, but don't leave me feeling great afterwards anyway so it's something to think about.
With no sugary treats to look forward to I have been enjoying more bread with bruschetta, and cheese, crackers, and pepperoni on the weekends. Or homemade popcorn. Yum.
One of the most awkward parts of quitting sugar for now has been the relationship between food and community. I always feel so guilty turning a dessert down that I know someone worked really hard at making.
I want my girls to grow up knowing that life is delicious and meant to be enjoyed, and that it doesn't just include food to be enjoyed either. Experiences, adventures, discovering....all await our senses! This week we went on a little "treasure hunt" (call anything a treasure hunt and it instantly becomes a hit) in the hay pasture. The hay was freshly baled which is a favorite of mine for reasons I cannot explain.
Both the girls enjoyed sitting on the hay bale (are you freaking out that they're up there by themselves?!) and then off we went skipping along to see what we could find. We came up with: the prettiest flowers EVER, wild of course, a snakeskin, wild cactus, blackberries, ladybugs, and one giant feather. OH! And interesting tree bark. A treasure hunt indeed....
Afterwards we came in for lunch and my girls always enjoy getting to watch a show while they eat. This is when I get back to the "grind"--dishes and laundry. My two favorite friends. (not really)
I consider napping time my working time. I'm going to be honest, I had a pretty discouraging moment this week with my art. I just got in my head too much, if you know what I mean. Over-thinking things is NEVER a good idea for me. Ever. I mean sure, you need to have a well-thought out plan, especially when it comes to business. But when well-thought out turns into worrying....eeeeeek. It wreaks havoc on my creativity, confidence, and spirit. Then I went into the craft room one rainy afternoon and painted this little star print and I fell in love with it. I remembered how much I DO love painting and that I need to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and the details of marketing, selling, etc. will fall into place.
I always feel so much more like myself and happy and a good mama and wife and friend and sister...
when my days include good food, art, and music. Oh, how music does a lot for my soul.
Do you have any good suggestions? I like all kinds. When the girls are awake we listen to audio books, Praise Baby, or the Sound of Music soundtrack. When they're asleep I enjoy country music, folk, rap, pop....all kinds. But probably country the best.
We think Anna Ruth will grow up to play the violin. Brett has one and she was begging for him to get it out, which he did of course. She then wanted to play it! "You just move the string across" she told us. Betsy Grace wasn't far behind, as you can see.
She never is, my sweet little Bets. Want to know a sweet secret? Sometimes she smacks me right on the lips and it's my fave.
This art print is available in my shop here!
This week my goal is to create some bookmarks and postcards to list in the shop, to create more variety and price points. I'd also like to list a few originals.....
I'm just having such a hard time wanting to let go of any of them. They are very meaningful to me. :)
And of course, with the weekend will come:
AGT (America's GOT Talent, my fave. show EVER),
cheese and crackers,
hopefully a new painting book (UPS, please come!),
prep for my first Rosy Retreat (I'm hosting the first one EVER for some friends next month! I'll give you details soon on how you can come to an additional retreat as well!),
lots of coffee,
back deck sitting,
pool time with my sweeties,
another birthday party....
What are you looking forward to?
I'd love to hear.