9.28.2018

friday favorites {cozy fall edition}

Happy Friday!! We've had cooler weather all week and it has me dressing our girls in cozy sweaters, leggings and boots and I just had to share all my favorite pieces for the season with you guys!! Dressing three little girls is so much fun, and because living minimally is so important to us, I always search for pieces that are simple, timeless and can be mixed and matched easily (aka: neutrals) so we can maintain a capsule wardrobe. Each season I add a few new pieces that will pair well with what they already have and my #1 rule when shopping for them: I only buy pieces that I LOVE!!
one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten / eleven

Our girls are 5, 3 and 20 months so right now I can shop across baby girl, toddler and girls -- such a wide variety!! I tried to include pieces above for all different ages since mine are in such a range.

Give me all the cable knit tights, pom poms and buffalo check this season. Oversized sweaters, simple tops and items for layering keep our girls comfortable, stylish and of course, warm & cozy as the chilly air sets in. What items are you loving this season?? 

9.20.2018

hold the moments

It's thunderstorming outside, all the windows are open and my babies are napping. The sound of nothing but the rain falling always puts me in such a place of peace and inspiration. I feel like it's been quite some time since I've written here (like, really written) and with a lot of opportunities for reflection over the past few weeks, I wanted to share something that is so apparent in my own life right now that chances are, as a Mom you are facing too.


On our way to Kindergarten last week, on Olivia's first day, as I was driving she said to me from the back of the car, "Mom, you don't need to come in with me. You can just drop me off at the curb. I'll be just fine." 

Cue all the mama emotions. (Spoiler: I still went in that morning and proceeded to walk her in all week long. Oh and I told her she isn't allowed to call me Mom until she is at least 10, it will be Mama until then). Then today for the first time, I pulled the car up and dropped her off at the curb and watched as she walked in on her own. I trusted that she would make it to her classroom all by herself, that she would find her hook and hang up her backpack and put her lunch where it needed to go. And that she could do it without me. As I drove away from the school, I thought to myself, "I just did it. I just took one more step of letting my baby girl go." Even though it may seem silly or small, for whatever reason it was so significant to me. And it was then that I realized such a core truth of motherhood -- you learn to let go a little at a time, and how we hold the moments we are given with our children is what matters most.

Maybe you're as sad reading that as I am writing it, but over this past Summer and in to Fall I have found that to be so true. It is what shapes how I approach every single day of motherhood. Even the chaotic, overwhelming, messy, noisy days. The ones where you are totally late to everywhere you're going and forget your kids' shoes or snacks or move from diffusing one tantrum to the next (maybe even because of the lack of said snacks). The ones where you're totally convinced you could handle another baby or the ones where you aren't sure how you kept all of your kids alive. The ones where you feel like you're sinking and flying at the same time. The ones where your youngest refuses to get off an elevator and then you're trying to jam the doors open as they begin to close so she doesn't get trapped inside without you and then you drop your parking ramp ticket down the elevator shaft in an effort to pull her out. Yes, that happened yesterday. The ones where you don't know what you're doing but you're just so grateful you get to do it. That God trusted you with these tiny humans that are imperfect yet so very perfect all at the same time. Do you ever have any of those??

For the first time in 5 years, we no longer need a stroller everywhere we go. I can run errands without a diaper bag and pregnancy seems like a lifetime ago. I've since forgotten the fog of the newborn days and exahustion of the sleepless nights and I may even appear like I have it more together than I did back then (another spoiler: I don't). 

We no longer have bottles on our counter or swaddles in our laundry baskets. And to be totally honest, I feel equally excited and sad about that at the same time. Let's get real though, I want like 10 more babies so mostly just excited.

Adaline is now 19 months and when Penelope was that age, I also had a two month old, so it feels very different + unfamiliar to be entering a season without a baby in my arms. Olivia is in 5 day Kindergarten and we celebrated Poppy's 3rd birthday earlier this month, though she seems so much older than 3 to me with the things she does and says. And sweet little Della, who we call the silent partner, copies everything her big sisters do so even though she seems so grown up, I tell her everyday she is my baby and needs to stay that way forever ;)

I have often heard it said, "The days are long but the years are short" and I don't know if I've ever found any quote to be more true.

I had friends ask me how it felt sending Olivia to Kindergarten and if I was happy or sad and it got me wondering: how did we get here?? How did we get to the point that my first baby, the little girl that made me a Mama back when I was just 23, was already 5 and going off to Kindergarten?? I realized that so much had happened over the past 5 years and I began reflecting on how I held on to the moments I had with her. The small, simple ones where she'd come and sit next to me on the couch without saying anything or tell me her three favorite parts of the day at bedtime while holding my hand. And the big, exciting ones where she learned how to walk and talk, write her name and fold her own laundry, paint and draw and then to teach her baby sisters how to do all the things she had mastered and loved so much. And the everyday moments in between. The hundreds of meals we have shared and the countless times I have braided her hair and snuggled in bed or listened to her pray with a soft, gentle voice. The moments I rubbed her back or sang her a lullaby or rocked her or read books to her or watched her play with bubbles in her bath as a little baby. Her first giggles, first smile and first curls. 

In only a matter of minutes, hundreds, thousands of moments came flooding back to me. I'd held on to each and every one; I'd been present in the moment with her, and after living it, tucked each one away in my heart for a day like today. A day where I had to let a little more of her go. I could grab hold of these memories and look back on them with so much joy and it lessened the sadness of the letting go.

If you are a mom, you certainly know this feeling well. Maybe it's sending your baby off to preschool, kindergarten or elementary school. Maybe it's a certain age or birthday celebration (doesn't 5 seem so much older than 4??). Maybe it's something they accomplish or something they say that makes you realize how much they've grown. Or maybe they go to bed one night and just wake up looking like a big kid instead of your little baby and you find yourself with a pit in your stomach wondering how so much time passed and how you can slow it down or stop it altogether.

So whether the moments come easy or land hard, are loud or silent, hold on to them. Let them happen and be present. Laugh with your babies and cry with them. Let them be little and be quick to forgive their mistakes and messes. Focus less on correcting and more on connecting. Chase each other at the playground instead of observing from the bench while your husband chases them. Say yes when they request to sing a song to the baby you're rocking instead of getting in to bed. Read them the extra book, snuggle for 5 more minutes and just lay in stillness with them in your arms and hold on to the moment. 

It is in these small, seemingly insignificant moments that we are truly alive. That we are truly in our calling. That we can truly let it sink in how incredible it is to be called Mama and to have the privilege of raising these children. It is in these moments we cultivate a heart of thanksgiving. Of contentment. Of joy. Of connection. Of peace. Of significance and purpose. It is these moments that make up a life well lived. And how wonderful that we get to live it well, with our babies, every single day. 

9.05.2018

poppy's birthday wishlist

September is HERE and it's one of our favorite months of the year! Olivia starts Kindergarten next week, the temps are dropping (yessss), we've got lots of birthdays to celebrate, our favorite apple orchard just opened for the season and so much more!! Hello, FALL! You're our favorite and we missed you.

I've shared a lot about how minimal living matters so much to us and I often get asked about how I handle gifts for the girls, especially for birthdays & holidays. I thought it would be fun to share a few tips on giving + receiving gifts if you are pursuing minimalism and then also share what is on Poppy's wishlist this year! She turns 3 next week and she requested to go out to the original pancake house for breakfast and have balloons, confetti and brownies. Girl after my own heart. Her two favorite things ever are princesses and art (especially painting), so those themes are what her gifts center around.
one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight / nine / ten

Poppy asks to paint, color and do watercolors pretty much all day long. We can most often find her sitting at our kitchen table with some kind of art project out. Covered in whatever art she is doing ;) Olivia has a set of Kid Made Modern watercolor paints that Poppy always wants to use so of course we put her own set (9) on her birthday list this year. For her, it's a major bonus if the pictures she is painting are of princesses and the "Fairest of All" watercolor book (10) is one of the girls' favorites so I ordered another set that came with two other princess books. Something new we are excited to give her this year are Ooly watercolor crayons; they look like so much fun with (hopefully) little mess. My parents got her the glitter set (3) and this classic, neon & metallic set. By far my favorite gifts to give are "activity" gifts -- things that will be used often and enjoyed over and over.

Other favorite things of hers are beads, stickers (7) and legos. This new Petit Collage bead (6) set looks so darling. We also love the B. brand Pop Arty beads, which Olivia and Penelope sit and play with daily. Olivia received a lego set for her birthday back in May and since then we've added a few to her collection for sticker chart rewards. She sits for hours building the sets, following step by step instructions and having so much fun seeing what she can create. Poppy always sees Olivia doing legos so she asked for her own set for her birthday. There are so many fun Lego Juniors Sets (4) and even some for 5-8 year olds that she will be able to put together with a little help from us. This Surf Shop set is a favorite of Olivia's and I recently picked up this one on sale for her for Christmas this year.

Beyond art supplies, we are giving Poppy a new rainbow pillow for her bed (8) from one of our favorite shops, BlaBla Kids, because she is all about green and blue lately and the girls talk about + draw rainbows nonstop. She also loves Maileg mice (just like her big sister...noticing a theme here?!) and I thought this wooden pram (2) was so darling to add to her collection.

Last but not least, the tea set (5) is a toy we already have but thought it would be perfect to share. We've had ours for years in the girls' play kitchen but about a month ago I was trying to come up with a way to make bathtime a little more exciting without buying new bath toys. I had the idea to set up a tea party for Olivia and Penelope and their green toys tea set (5) became the perfect bathtime toy. They love having tea parties in the tub with lots of bubbles and because the set is so lightweight, it floats in the water!

Here's how I handle gifting:
For whosever birthday it is, we let each of their sisters pick out a small gift for them (such a fun tradition) and then I also create an Amazon Wishlist for friends & family. If you haven't yet heard of this, it is a game changer when it comes to gifting!

On Amazon, you can create a custom Wishlist (under LISTS) and add whatever items you want. I have an ongoing list for each of our girls and whenever I come across something I know they'd love, I add it. Then as birthdays approach and family starts asking what they can get our girls, I just send them a link to the wishlist! They can order directly from Amazon and everything is marked off once it is purchased so you don't end up with the same item twice. I absolutely love this because then our girls are given gifts they will actually use and enjoy -- and because Grandparents seem to insist on buying things for them to open, this is the perfect solution.

Another tip for gifting if you are pursuing minimalism: ask for 'experience' type gifts instead of toys. Let your family or friends know you are wanting to purchase a Zoo pass for your family or a Children's Museum pass and that anything they are willing to contribute would be put toward it. Suggest a friend buy a giftcard to a favorite kids bookstore where your child can pick out their own book or to family-friendly restaurant for a special date night out with your son or daughter. Gift an experience to your child in lieu of presents -- let them pick out their favorite movie, put on their coziest jammies, pop some popcorn (a favorite treat in our house!) and create a fun movie night at home. Or take them to a movie in theatres, a special play or performance if they're old enough. These offer the opportunity to make memories and mean so much more than toys. Plus they don't create clutter ;)

Do you have any upcoming birthdays in your family this month or next?? What is at the top of their wishlist?? We love making our girls each feel extra special for their birthday and finding ways beyond just giving gifts is so much fun for me as their Mama!! Hope your September is off to the best start!! XO

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