Today seems like a good day to finish up some "lasts". Some last thoughts, pictures, and thank-you's before the weekend! I'm headed on an annual Girls' Trip with my two BFF's this weekend! My twin and my friend from college and I are going to head to Tulsa...so if you need us, instead of blogging I'll be eating and thrifting :). Oh yeah, and not letting myself think about my girls, even for a second because it always (without fail) makes me cry. I love time "away" but am WAY too much of a softie when it comes to my sweeties to be worrying the whole time. Brett is an amazing Dad and I know they'll have a blast too!
(you can follow my adventures on Instagram! I'm sunshinebysara !
(you can follow my adventures on Instagram! I'm sunshinebysara !
Last year everyone in my family moved, locally thank goodness. My parents, my two sisters, AND my mom-in-law. We were the only crew that stayed put. So last weekend we had our first official cookout at my parent's new place and it was fabulous! They moved from the country to a subdivision and they have their place looking amazing! Plus, all the fun toys in the yard so the kids can run wild and free. This is my niece, who is performing in the Sound of Music at our local arts center this weekend!! She has been working so, so hard! I am beyond proud of her.
(This is the Arts Center of the Ozarks for the local peeps! Check it out!)
You KNOW I loved this bike in their yard....
and resisted posing by it. :)
I'm so grateful for family and cousins who all live close. What a blessing!
(our real life is still as real life as yours. While there we discovered a gas leak that Daddy and Brett had to dig and locate! All is well now, but kind of put a change in the party plans!)
Last week I also added hand-painted Steno notebooks in the shop! I am taking custom orders for these if you have a certain color scheme in mind. These would make awesome gifts for a group of friends going through a bible study together!
For the past few years we've had our eye out for an easel at the thrift stores. Both of the girls, as different as they are, love to paint and draw and venture into anything artistic. I mentioned on Instagram how Anna Ruth looked up at the thrift store and excitedly said "There's an easel!" Sure enough, there was!! A $5 easel!
We scooped it right up and had a great talk on the way home about how God blesses us with the desires of our hearts. I was beyond proud of Anna Ruth for this particular painting because she drew a curved line with each color of paint and told me she made a rainbow! Then she added green stickers on the bottom for grass and yellow stickers at the top for a sun.
Watching the girls play is one of my biggest joys in life. It's hilarious to see how their little minds work. My older sister gave us a bunch of magazines which I love because they have so many uses! I set them out where the girls could reach them and this particular morning Anna Ruth worked so, so hard to load up her shopping cart with the magazines and then go pay at her cash register. She even propped Care Bear up in the cart too. Adorable.
The last big question I got asked on Instagram was about my cleaning schedule. I've had every kind of "schedule" and non-schedule under the sun since being a mama! When I'm in the stage of newborns, the house just barely gets cleaned. Barely. And that is ok! It is tough to have a newborn and clean and do laundry and cook and.....you get the idea.
Now that the girls are older it's still pretty challenging but not impossible. I've seen signs galore that say the level of mess in your house determines the amount of fun your kids are having...or something like that. While I am ALL in favor of a "happy mess" (a mess that has a purpose, like play-dough, painting, or pretend play with magazines!) I don't believe in using my kids as an excuse to keep a dirty house. I think there's a fine line of balance between the two.
So with all that said, what is working for me RIGHT now (with a 19-month old and a three year old) is to have ONE day a week that is cleaning day. On this day I wipe the surfaces in the kitchen, dust the furniture in the downstairs, vacuum, clean the bathrooms, sweep, and mop.
The rest of the week I make it a point to do dishes and laundry every single morning, six days a week. I used to skip weekends and then I'd end up with mountains of laundry on Mondays-so discouraging. A few nights a week I wipe down the kitchen counters and most nights I sweep the house (we have tile and hardwood in the entire downstairs)
I looooove to create little cute and cozy vignettes like this in the house! I like to think of a really appealing store that just causes you to pause and take it all in. Like the effect Anthropologie has on me, creatively speaking. That's the effect I want to feel with my own home!
Some weeks we have too much fun or sick babies going on and the cleaning day doesn't go very well and that's ok! Most weeks, we stay at home all day and make it happen! The girls either help me clean (both are great at wiping off surfaces with paper towels!), play, or watch a movie. On cleaning days the t.v. stays on WAY more than on a normal day. It's something I feel a tad guilty about but try not to dwell on. The girls are learning how to be good helpers too! I think it is so important for them to see Mama clean and know that we take care of our things and home.
This beautiful sunflower picture was gifted to me from a blogger friend! I saw it on her blog and it instantly reminded me of our trip to Italy. I asked if I could buy a copy of the picture and she just sent an attachment of it to me instead! How generous and sweet :)
For the record, twinkle lights just make things feel better.
Add in some color, some craftiness, my mama's quilts.....
heaven on earth.
We have pictures EVERYWHERE in our home, which is such a happy thing for all of us! I often catch the girls staring at the pictures and jabbering away.
It's also very important to me that our home feels just as much about the girls, as us. I've been in a few homes where the kids or babies have a teensy tiny area of the living room sectioned off to play and that's it. We aren't that home. I say do whatever works for you! What works for us is to have a comfortable, carefree home that is our definition of beautiful and where our girls are free to be kids and roam about and play!
I love to "organize" little collections and inspiring reads in wire baskets like these also! It keeps my mind fresh to have items like Click magazine ready to grab and flip through for a second or two!
Have any more questions for me? Ask away! (about anything. Err..almost anything, lol)
Last, but not least-
thank-you. I wrote my last blog post for me, but it was YOU who encouraged, lifted, and healed my negative thoughts towards my artistic self. You'll never know how much your sweet words have meant to me. Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you. I send all that happy talk right back at ya!
My prayer is that this weekend you'll just be.