A while ago I posted my Sunny Day Faves and now I want to share with you some of my favorite things to have for summer fun in the sun. I don’t know about you, but I love product posts. I feel like you can get a little glimpse of who a person is through the products that rock their world. Also, it’s always fun to possibly learn about something new.
1) Stearns Puddle Jumper Deluxe Life Jacket
We just scored these awesome floaties at Costco the other day and I am so excited! My niece and nephew had them last summer and I was so impressed with how great they kept them afloat without riding up and strangling them like standard life jackets sometimes do. I remember feeling suffocated and panicky when swimming in a vest style one as a kid. These bad boys are coast guard approved, too!
2) Some Light Summer Chic Lit
There is nothing better to me than sitting out in the sun, preferably near water, reading a simple, light-hearted novel. If it has a little romance and humor in it, even better. This past winter I read The Beach Club by Elin Hilderbrand and I kept thinking how much better it would have been to read in the summer! It was an easy read that I thoroughly enjoyed. Right now I’m reading Time of My Life by Allison Winn Scotch and I’m only a few chapters in, but I LOVE. Perfect summer read. Check it out.
3) Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka + Lemonade
YUMMO! Hot weather screams for a cool drink and this concoction does NOT disappoint. We picked some of this sweet tea vodka up last weekend and have been drinking it in lemonade. Add some cute kids playing in a kiddie pool and your summer is set.
4) Good ole classic Redvines Licorice
I don’t know what it is, but I HAVE TO have chewy candy when I go to the beach. My go-to choice is Redvines. It’s funny because I hardly ever eat this stuff, but I totally crave it as soon as summer strikes. I think it’s linked to my childhood in a happy way. Yum. Now I wish I had some.
5) The Shade Shack!
Seriously, this is like the greatest invention ever. Okay, maybe not ever, but it is pretty dang sweet. We purchased this last summer for our week long trip to the lake. I wanted something to keep Landon out of the sun (he was still so little!) and I didn’t want a stupid umbrella that I had to drill into the ground. This baby pops up instantly and folds down into a little circle. It has little stakes you can use to attach it to the ground if it’s windy OR, you can just fill the little pockets on the sides with sand! So cool. It’s super light weight, too. Love it.
Have you kicked off your summer fun yet? It’s kinda funny because you think of summer being a time of slowing down and relaxing, but I’m busier than ever! Ha! At least I have my sweet tea vodka to keep me company.
After work yesterday, I was exhausted. I could feel a headache coming on and I could hear an early bedtime calling my name. I fed the kids Lucky Charms for dinner. After bath time, I lounged on the couch while they climbed all over me and proceeded to dump bins of toys all over the living room floor. I didn’t care. By the time I got them both to sleep I was ready for bed myself. And then I started thinking…
Am I really enough of a mom?
I’m not the mom who devotes every waking second to her children;
the mom who plans daily fun crafts or cooks a well-rounded dinner on a regular basis.
I’m the mom who works because I want to;
the mom who wings it day-by-day in terms of meals and activities for her children.
And just when I was starting to question my lifestyle, my “momstyle,” I tried putting my feet in the shoes of one of those “perfect” mothers. But when I tried, I remembered that they don’t exist. We all have our off days. Even the seemingly perfect, Pinterest-worthy stay-at-home momma has days when she questions her parenting, days when she is so tired she feeds her kids Lucky Charms for dinner. Nobody is perfect.
And even on days like yesterday when I question whether I devote enough of my time and energy to my children, I am confident that my parenting style is what works for my family. I see it in their smiles. I must be doing something right.
When my kids grow up they may not remember me as the mom who packed the perfect school lunches or the mom who was there for them 24/7, but I know they will be inspired by my dreams, by my determination, and most-importantly, by my love for them. After all, there is at least one thing all great moms have in common. No matter the amount of time we get with our children, no matter what we can afford to provide our children, no matter how we choose to parent our children, the one thing we all have in common is the love we have for our children.
If you have that love, you are “mom” enough.
Ummmmm, in case any of you are like me and didn’t realize that 2013 is already half way over with… HELLO! We have less than 6 months until 2014! That means I’m in my last 6 months of my 20′s! #$*&%*@@#%$!!!
Okay, I feel better now.
The first week of June was a blur of work, warmer weather, and anniversary anticipation. It wasn’t until just yesterday that I really realized it’s 6 months into the “new year” (i.e. that’s what it still feels like to me. I mean, weren’t we just watching the ball drop on TV?). So, I’ve been doing some reflecting back on my hopes for 2013 and doing some analyzing over what I’ve accomplished and where I want to end up.
The result? It’s happy here. That’s my motto for this year. Last year was not my favorite year – it was just a tiny bit dull and uneventful. But this year? This year I’ve just focused on really being happy in everything I do. And I’m “happy” to report that the first 6 months have been a huge success! Cheers to not having a new year’s resolution!
In other news, there’s been a whole lotta this going on around these parts…
That last shot? A staged picnic shot for a post I’m working on for Daily Mom. I’m so excited to be getting started as a contributor over there! Something this blog has led me to is a love for writing and sharing helpful information. Can’t wait to do more of it! I’ll keep ya posted on my work over there.
How are you feeling about 2013 so far? There’s still 6 months to go, so let’s make the most of it!
As of yesterday, I’ve been married for 5 years. But considering we’ve been in a relationship since high school and I graduated 11 years ago… well, I’m not sure this post will be a completely accurate representation of just 5 years of marriage. Either way, as of today, right now, here’s what I’m thinking…
I am so thankful that I’m married to my best friend. And I’m not just saying that because it’s what you’re supposed to say about your husband. For us, our lives are in a completely different place than 5 years ago. Back then we were broke, Andy was in college, we didn’t have kids, we didn’t live together. And now we own a home, we both work full time, and we have two amazing children who are the center of our universe. When you pop out two kids in a short amount of time it rocks your world. Romance is tough to maintain at times. Andy and I have only had a small handful of date nights since becoming parents. And that’s why I am so thankful that he’s my BFF. If you don’t have that friendship, that stick-by-each-others-side-no-matter-what connection, then I don’t see how your marriage can last.
Marriage is tough… but exciting! People always say marriage is hard work, and it is. But it isn’t always. You have your good days and your bad days, your good months and your bad months. It’s a roller-coaster. And you really just have to ride the wave and stick it out through good and bad, for better and for worse. Not going to lie, there have been moments when I’ve thought, “how the heck are we going to make it together the next 50+ years?” And then the next day I forget ever thinking that. I think you just have to take it one day at a time and always say “I love you.” Make it a point to connect in your love for each other each and every day. Even if it is literally in the only 2 minutes you have together all day in the midst of morning get-ready-for-work-and-school chaos. It’s worth it.
There is only one other person in my life who really “gets” my life. My husband. We have the same bills, the same kids, the same home. We are each others backbone. This is my favorite thing about marriage. Even though we are two completely different people with very different interests and hopes and dreams, we share one life. We are family. It is the most comforting thing I know. Even when I feel alone, I am not alone.
I’m looking forward to the next 5 years of marriage (and an EPIC Bora Bora 2nd honeymoon in 2018!) and the next 10 and the next 50. I can’t wait to get to know my husband more as we continue to grow up. We still have a long ways to go.
Happy Anniversary Babe! I love you more and more with each passing year – no joke!
For fun, here are links to the hubby & I’s relationship posts – some of my favorite posts on my blog!
Our Love Story: How We Met
Our Love Story: Falling in Love
Our Love Story: Perfect Proposal & Dream Wedding
I leave work at 5pm with a brain full of projects to complete and stuff that needs to be done around the house when I get home. In the car on the way to pick up Leila & Landon from daycare I try my hardest to quiet my mind. I have the next 3 hours to soak up with my kiddos before their day is over – just 3 hours out of their 14 hour day to focus all of my energy on them.
Once they are in the car with me, I am theirs. I try my hardest to push aside my phone and forget the clutter in my mind. We eat dinner and take baths, sing songs, color, play chase, talk about the events of our day, and say “I love you” more times than I can count.
Sometimes these are the most stressful 3 hours of my day. Sometimes everyone is cranky and tired and ready for the day to be over. But mostly, these 3 hours offer me the perfect excuse to escape… to escape the stress of being an adult – a working mom. They are as much dedicated to myself as they are to my children. A perfect reminder to be selfless and to have fun.
I know that in just a few years my evenings will be very different. I’m sure there will be after-school sports and activities and homework and children who just want to do their own thing. But for now, it’s just us and our home and 3 hours to fill. The best 3 hours of my day.