Dreams To Do

Archive of ‘Holidays’ category

Merry Christmas 2016

It’s the eve of Christmas Eve and I’m sitting in the waiting room at my son’s therapy with extra time on my hands so I thought I’d write. The snow is dumping down outside and Christmas music is playing lightly in the background and I can’t help but feel happy. My favorite thing about Christmas is the feeling- it’s the pause on all the horrible annoyances of life that normally bring you down, but for some reason are so much easier to handle when Christmas is in the air. I don’t want it to be over! At the same time, I’m so hopeful and excited for the new year on the horizon. I’m excited for new opportunities and goal setting, and the hope that a new year often brings along with it.

This year I kept with my tradition of making a creative family Christmas card in photoshop, but unlike years past where I’ve mailed out 50+ cards to family and friends, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it this year. Something about the perfectly staged happy family photo just didn’t feel right to me. Sometimes I get sick of putting on a happy face all the time and playing into the expectation that my life and my family should be perfect. It’s far from it. I’ve been through a lot this past year and there have been moments where I truly felt like all the good in my life was falling apart.  It was hard to keep up with the “perfect” persona we all feel compelled to slap on our faces out in public or on social media, but I still did. I think a lot of us do just that. I’ve been a lot more conscientious as I pass people on the street, or meet up with friends, or see a perfectly posed photo on Instagram that what I am seeing is not the whole picture. Life is messy. Life is tough. We are all suffering in one way or another and I hope each of us can be more aware of that.

I hope this Christmas finds you surrounded by love and the people who lift you up. I hope that even in the stress of the holidays you can see and feel the true gift of the season.

Merry Christmas from my less-than-perfect perfectly posed family to yours! 😉


There’s always something to be thankful for.

Time to interrupt this little blogging break to talk about thankfulness on the eve of Thanksgiving. Yes, I know I’ve bored anyone who actually reads my blog with the tales of my awful year (well, awful in my little charmed world), but yet again we dealt with another doozy when the worst wind storm in the history of my city struck and left my family without power for an entire week during the coldest stretch of the year. Let me tell you, I have never felt more grateful and thankful for modern conveniences like lights and washing machines and refrigerators and furnaces than when I had to go without for several days. But ya know what? If we didn’t experience struggle and strife now and then, how would we ever truly appreciate all of the good? The truth is that through all the inconveniences in my life this past year, there’s been twice as much joy and happiness. Sure, I could have let circumstance get the best of me all the time (and sometimes it really did), but for the most part I chose to take the struggle and use it as fuel to focus on what I have that I am so, so, so thankful for.



To really drive this home, I thought I’d take a few minutes to sit down and type up my annual list of 100 Things I’m Thankful For. This is a favorite exercise of mine to re-center myself on what brings me joy and what I am so lucky to be able to experience.


  1. Hands down #1: My Family
  2. My friends
  3. Electricity
  4. A roof over my head (even when it’s freezing cold with no power)
  5. Getting to stay home with my babies
  6. Freedom
  7. Coffee
  8. Drive-thru windows
  9. Goldfish
  10. Endless opportunities
  11. Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator
  12. My fancy camera
  13. YouTube tutorials
  14. Blogging
  15. The Internet
  16. Love
  17. Chocolate
  18. My faith
  19. Weekly lunches with my girls
  20. Travel to tropical places
  21. Getting to experience all four seasons
  22. Amazon Prime
  23. DVR
  24. My health
  25. Nap time
  26. Modern medicine
  27. Roman’s amazing urologist
  28. Social media
  29. Fiction novels
  30. My big, cozy bed
  31. A warm rice pack or heating pad on a cold day
  32. Tea
  33. My neighbors
  34. Living in America
  35. Christmastime
  36. Getting to be a mommy and living my dream
  37. Seeing the world through my children’s eyes
  38. My past, this present moment, and what is yet to come
  39. Macaroni and cheese
  40. Pizza
  41. All the carbs
  42. Chocolate covered gummy bears
  43. Mid-week playdates
  44. Our membership to the children’s museum
  45. Leila and Landon’s amazing teachers
  46. My car
  47. Walks around the block
  48. Target
  49. Insurance
  50. Music
  51. Pandora
  52. Cleaning dance parties with my crew
  53. Bedtime
  54. Essential oils
  55. Medicine
  56. Andy’s job
  57. Fresh air
  58. Television
  59. My memories
  60. Childhood friends
  61. Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
  62. Disneyland
  63. Netflix
  64. Anticipation
  65. Hugs
  66. Late nights with my hubby
  67. Hearing my kids laugh every day
  68. Montessori education
  69. Cultural experiences
  70. Photo books
  71. The Cloud
  72. Clouds
  73. Sunsets
  74. Leila’s creativity
  75. Roman’s sense of humor
  76. Landon’s snuggles
  77. My self confidence
  78. Growing up
  79. Makeup
  80. Hot showers
  81. My marriage
  82. Growing up in the same small town as Andy
  83. Visiting our parents on the weekends
  84. Weekly visits from my momma
  85. Playing cards
  86. Inspirational quotes
  87. Diapers
  88. Almost being done with diapers (well, in another year or two)
  89. The thrill of uncertainty
  90. Mixed drinks
  91. Smoothies
  92. Costco
  93. Being able read to my babies
  94. That Leila can read to me
  95. Calligraphy
  96. Kisses
  97. Starbucks
  98. The sun, moon and stars
  99. Knowing how to appreciate the little things
  100. Realizing the power of thankfulness


The other day right after the crazy windstorm, the kids and I got in a fender bender with another car. I was an emotional mess coming home from the wreck to a cold, dark house. I was angry and sad. As I walked through my kitchen on the way to the garage to get yet another armful of wood for the fire my flashlight hit the small chalkboard sign I had just recently changed the quote on…


The perfect reminder to me at the perfect moment. A reminder I had unintentionally given myself! My house may be dark and cold, but we have a roof over our head. My car may be smashed up, but it still drives and most importantly, the three most precious people in my life are giggling in the other room. There is always, ALWAYS, something to be thankful for.

Dreams for a New Year

On New Year’s Eves past I’ve breathed a deep sigh of relief to say goodbye to a less-than-perfect or uneventful year. However, this year I’m a little bit sad to see 2014 go! This is a year that has brought me huge amounts of joy and life change: A new baby. A new car. Leaving my job. Potty training Landon. Sending my firstborn off to kindergarten. Overall feeling more comfortable with who I am.

At the same time that I’m sorry to turn the page on a wonderful year, I’m super excited and hopeful for the mystery of 2015. Unlike the start of 2014 where I looked forward to a new baby and a possible job change, with 2015 I have no clue what’s around the corner. I have no big plans or hopes or dreams. However, I do have some little dreams to get done. 🙂 I don’t want to say these are “resolutions,” but rather just some things that come to mind when I’m thinking about the immediate future and what I want to accomplish.

De-clutter & simplify our home: I want to learn to live more simply and get rid of all of the crap we really don’t need.

Meal plan: Yes, I want to try my hand at meal planning yet again. I can never seem to stick with it, but I know it would make my life so much easier if I could.

Find a new workout routine: I hate to admit it, but I haven’t taken a Bar Method class since Roman was born and it makes me so sad. Life staying home with three kiddos has thrown me off more than I thought it would. I’m finding it harder than ever to make time to get out of the house and get some exercise in. However, now that Roman is a little bit more predictable, I’m determined to get back in shape.

Get photos organized, printed, and backed up: I am SO bad at this!! I have thousands of photos that need to be backed up somewhere online (as an extra precaution) and I would love to actually try printing some out. Haha! Apparently Amazon Prime members get UNLIMITED photo storage (including RAW files!!!), so I really need to just make the time to do it already.

Get back to blogging regularly: This past year has broken my heart a little in terms of my blog. I’ve really neglected this space and it makes me sad! I’m hoping to bring back my Monthly DIY in 2015 and start posting regularly again. This is my happy space!

Update this space: Along with posting here regularly, I majorly need to update this blog! Pretty sure I’m still calling myself a working mom of two. Ha ha!

Find my weekly routine and rhythm: What I miss about working outside the home is the consistency it provided my life. I had a strict routine for each week day. Now? Now my days are a cluster with no rhyme or reason. Part of this has to do with having a baby, but part of it is me not planning in advance.

Take a family vacation: We need to get away BIG TIME. I’m seriously craving some tropical relaxation.

Dabble, dabble, dabble: I started this blog on New Year’s Day 2011. It was started to get me off my lazy ass and actually working towards accomplishing some things. It is my point of accountability in making myself happy. As a mom, it is too easy to forget about yourself – about your interests, hopes, passions, dreams. I would like 2015 to be a year of experimentation for me. I want to continue to dabble in different hobbies and ideas and just enjoy myself!

I expect 2015 to be a simple year for my family and I. I want to continue to settle in as a family of five and possibly start planning for our future. Will we move out of our first home that we have quickly outgrown? Will I return to work in some capacity? These are things I want to sit on this year. There’s always a bit of excitement with the unknowns!

And now, I want to say goodbye to 2014 with a look back on some of my favorite moments and photos…

Growing a baby… & Seahawks won the Super Bowl!Favorite2014-1

Finding out we were getting a baby boy…Favorite2014-2

Finally gave our master bedroom a makeover!Favorite2014-3

Easter cuties…Favorite2014-4

Enjoying my last months as a mom of two…Favorite2014-5

Lots of pregnancy self-portraiture…Favorite2014-6

A fabulous mini-vacation right before Roman’s arrival…Favorite2014-7

My last moments pregnant… probably forever…Favorite2014-9

Meeting Roman Michael. My #1 favorite thing about 2014…Favorite2014-10

Leila turns FIVE…Favorite2014-8

A HOT summer in a newborn daze…Favorite2014-12 Favorite2014-13

Adjusting to life with three…Favorite2014-14

A beautiful fall…Favorite2014-15

Landon turns THREE…Favorite2014-17

Our first photo as a family of five..Favorite2014-16


Another Christmas come and gone.

The few days following Christmas are so strange to me. The building anticipation leading into the holiday consumes every aspect of your life until all of a sudden it’s just over and all you’re left with is a huge mess and a bunch of extra stuff in your house (okay, and maybe a few awesome memories, too).


This year, Christmas was extra special for me because it was my last “baby’s first Christmas.” It was so surreal to see all six stockings (yes, our dog has one too) hanging by the fireplace, knowing that our family is finally complete. From here on out, we would be creating Christmas memories for three little ones. And honestly, you don’t even know the true magic of Christmas until you’re able to help create it for your own children.


My older two were SO into it this year. This was Landon’s first year of really getting the whole Santa thing and he fed off his sister’s excitement perfectly. Every morning they excitedly checked the advent calendar for their daily countdown treat and spent many hours dancing to Christmas music in the kitchen with me. We made cookies, wrapped presents, talked about Jesus, sipped cocoa under the Christmas tree and anxiously awaited the big day.


I stayed up until midnight on Christmas Eve wrapping presents, watching Elf, and setting up our living room perfectly. And by the time I hit the sack, I was too excited to sleep. My poor husband was really sick on Christmas day, but we made the most of family time and relaxation and enjoyed just sitting back and watching our kids experience the magic. For once I fully soaked up the moment and failed to take more than a couple of photos on Christmas day.


Now that it’s all over with, there’s a bit of sadness in the pit of my stomach. The post-Christmas blues. At the same time, I’m anxious to pack up the decorations, tidy up our home, and mentally prepare for a new year full of new possibilities.

2014 Christmas Card

A couple of years ago I made the mistake of getting a little bit creative with our Christmas card. I say “mistake” because I set a high bar for myself – people now expect to get a unique and funny holiday card from my family each year. {See 2012 HERE and 2013 HERE.}

With three kids keeping me very busy along with around 30 (!!!) holiday guides over on Daily Mom, I didn’t think I would be able to get a creative card put together in time. BUT, I did! I used the free time I had on my birthday to snap some pics of my family and kick back in Starbucks for a couple of hours working on it. And I’m so glad I did!

Now I wish I could take full credit for this funny idea, but I’ve actually seen several versions of this on Pinterest, so that’s where I drew inspiration. However, mine is the first I’ve seen with both parents and the family dog in the pic. 😉 If you’re wondering whether I actually taped the kids to the wall, the answer is no. Haha! Here are the shots I took straight out of my camera (super crappy photos that I doctored up in photoshop).

kidscard A&Acard

My kids are such troopers! (Although Landon did require some candy bribery to let me tape him down on the floor.) Now to figure out what we can do next year! Ha!

Anyhow, MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!! I hope you are taking some time to disconnect from life’s little stressors and reconnect with your family. I know that’s exactly what I intend on doing! Wishing you and yours a very happy holiday!

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