Sunday Words To Inspire

Happy Sunday!  It is supposed to be in the 60’s here today!  Hallelujah!  🙂

Here are a couple pictures from our Saturday.  We visited the Eastern Shore and got to see the sun rise and set on the Chesapeake Bay.  The sunset was so pretty.  It was hard to capture while riding long in the car but definitely able to be appreciated.

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Here are a few stories for your Sunday inspiration…

This man.  I was amazed by his determination and story of walking 21 miles to work in the Detroit area due to a bus system cutbacks and a car that gave up on him in 2005.  His matter-of-factness and loyalty {perfect attendance for 12 years!} are simply inspiring in our current whiny culture that sometimes can be ungrateful.  You won’t be sorry you read his story here.

This father.  A true father in every sense of the word made a decision that would change his life and also gain publicity to expose how children are treated in other parts of the world.  Read about how he chose his son before anyone else here.  

Natalie

Library and Living Museum Visits

Good Sunday morning to you!  I’m up nice and early thanks to a couple early morning leg aches for the little one.  I’m thinking it must be growing pains.  Possibly, he just ran around like a crazy guy with the animals too much yesterday.  We so wanted to get out of the house yesterday and just enjoy the outdoors, but it was kind of chilly for a little dude to be out for very long.  We settled on a trip over to the Virginia Living Museum in Newport News, Virginia. We got there a little before 10 and stayed until just about 12.  Holden had NO interest in the Story Time going on when we first got there.  He wanted to see the “ANIMALS!”  🙂

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The solar fountain was so cool.  As you angle the solar panel towards the sun, the water would go higher.  It stopped completely when the panel was pointing away from the sun.

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The family expert on birds, trees, animals in general, life…;)

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Some gobblers – 1 male with lots of ladies following him around

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The Mr. said this was just about the oldest deer ever.  Check out those crazy antlers!

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We enjoyed lunch at Chik-fil-a afterwards, and we stopped by Bass Pro Shop for the Mr.  I confess that I really hate a Bass Pro Shop, but….  Holden loved to look at all the animals, fish tank, boats, ATVs…basically a boy child heaven.

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After all this excitement, we had one tired turkey of our own.

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What a fun-filled day!  We still made it home in time for the Mr. to do some yard work while I went to the gym.  Here are some pictures our playtime at the library and our “creations”

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To round out this post, I wanted to leave you with some good quotes for those that are blessed to work with children or have children in their lives…

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Source

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Love this one as well!  Source

Have a great day of rest!

Natalie

Weekend Inspiration

Good Saturday morning!  I’m so excited about today!  One reason in particular that I’ll share later.

I wanted to share some weekend inspiration to start you off right.

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And a few randoms for your viewing pleasure!

Great story about a family reunited with its dog after she went on a cross country ride!

The condiment that makes every food better is…

The sad truth about the state of our oceans and the plastic in them.

Make the most of your day!

Natalie

My 2015 Want Tos

Here we are at day 2 of 2015.  I love, love, love fresh starts, goals, agenda, progress, self-improvement, etc.  My sister and mom joke on me a bit about it since most of the books I read are in the self-improvement genre.  I can’t help it!  I just love the possibility that we have as humans to make choices and to ultimately change to course of our lives by our free will.  I don’t want to get too bogged down in the ultimatums that some people give themselves this time of the year.  I admittedly cringe when I read the seemingly unattainable goals and resolutions that litter Facebook.  As a special education teacher, I definitely know the importance of achievable goals.  Here are my “want tos” things I want to do in 2015.

I want to lessen my coffee habit and switch to more green tea (notice:  I did not say eliminate!).

I want to continue my 3 regular work-outs a week habit.  Gym workouts are best, but I take what I can get.

I want to grow something (I’m thinking green beans?) this spring with Holden.  If you know me, you know that gardening is so not my thing.  I want Holden to be able to have fun with it, so we will grow a very small something that we can eat.  

I want to quit have dessert after dinner (okay, maybe lunch too) every night.  Instead, I want to make or buy one nice dessert on the weekend.  Treats shouldn’t be everyday.  That is why they are treats!

Be more in the moment with my family.  This can be tricky as I often multitask with Holden.  Is it more important to listen to him and look him in the eye when he talks to me or scroll through Instagram or race around doing a chore?  The same goes for Jake.  He does get neglected and put on the back burner sometimes (okay, maybe a lot of the time) behind the kid and the dog.

I want to continue my less meat eating.  We usually do at least one or maybe two nights of the week as meat free nights.

I want to commit to nightly (mornings are just too crazy for us!) time with my journal and devotional book, Jesus Calling.  

I want to give more a priority to sleep.  I can be very neglectful and brush aside my body’s need for rest.  

I want/We want to have a second child.  We have plenty of space since we moved into our new home in June 2014, and we are so ready to welcome another little one into our family.

I want to do another mud run this spring, but this will totally be affected by the “want to” above.  We’ll see how it goes.

I want to continue working as an elementary special education teacher.  In this realm, I want to focus on being kind to those I work with.  We spend so much time in our workplace, and I confess my first tendency is to be on the offense when various problems come up as they tend to do.  I also want to focus on kindness and patience with the kids.  This can be a doozy sometimes!

I want to visit family and friends this year.  I’m currently cooking up a visit to Staunton to visit Jake’s family there this spring.  I’d also like us to be able to visit the Natural Bridge near Lexington, VA.  Perhaps Charlottesville as well?  I’d also love to see my college roomie best friend again.  I visited her in Atlanta last Memorial Day, but I so want to see her again.  How inconvenient that we aren’t neighbors?!?!

I want to get ready of the rock/flower garden in our front yard.  It has a less than desirable shape and could be considered somewhat phallic.  Yikes.  I can’t wait to take that on some warmer day.  We also want to remove the glass doors from our tub. I hate bathing Holden, the dog, or myself for that matter!  It makes me feel claustrophobic, and Holden (and Roscoe!) are quick to take advantage of it and scamper down to the other end where they can’t be reached.  The Mr. is also in hot pursuit of a new roof.  Ours is looking a little worse for the wear.  I’d also love to add a kitchen island with some stools.  I’ll plop those pictures in below.

I want to make some type of DIY to showcase Holden’s artwork or schoolwork.  I found one that I love {pictured below} on easy, but I’m thinking I may try my hand at making one.

I want to date my husband more.  This is hard to do.  Holden has never been left with a babysitter besides his daycare/preschool ladies whom I trust completely.  He doesn’t even go to the Kids’ Club at our local gym.  So…if we want to go out to dinner or to a move, we wait until family visits.  This is hard too, because we want to hang out with them!  So far, I’m planning to ask my inlaws to keep H on Valentine’s Day.  They gave us an awesome gift certificate to a nice, grownup restaurant.  I’m hoping I can scrape together another date or two this winter/early spring.

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Images from Pinterest

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Link to Island

Link to Stool

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Link to Kids Artwork Display on Etsy

Happy Day 2!

Natalie

Thankful Day 5 and 6

Hi there!  You know you’re an adult when you rise and shine early despite it being the weekend.  Ha!  I’m super mature then.  The Mr….no surprise there!  He’s a year younger than me, and he’s still snoozing along with the baby boy.  We had a very busy Saturday, but it was also a lot of fun.  First of, I went to my eye doctor’s appointment, and my vision becomes  just a bit better with every yearly visit.  Now, I’m hardly in need of glasses/contacts!  Say what!  I’ve been wearing glasses since 6th grade {what a way to begin middle school} and contacts since 8th grade.  It is hard to believe that my eyes are getting more “normal.”  The doctor asked me what I was doing yoga, drinking lots of water???  Ha!  None of the above.  If you know me, you know I could go without water for days, but I do force myself to drink it.  I haven’t completed any yoga practice for over a month.  Boo to yoga.  Probably explains why I’m a little stiff and sore this morning.

In other news, I did birthday duty number uno with the Mr. doing number dos.  Here’s Holden playing at a fellow preschooler’s house…

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He was most upset to leave.  We had to leave early, so he could get to party number two.  Way, way, way more going on in his social life than me.  Then, he went to a fun party at the Virginia Beach Field House and proceeded to eat two cupcakes.  Which the Mr. allowed…hmmm, that was a tad bit not mom-approved.  He took a funny picture of Holden still eating his cupcakes at the party table with all the other kids missing.  Just chowing down.  Yes, my child would eat himself into a food coma.  He packs it away in his legs I think.

While they were partying it up, I worked on my essays (!) for Teacher of the Year.  Oh yes, my friends.  When you are teacher of the year, you get MORE paperwork to do.  Hardly seems fair.  I also visited the mall and debated about some tops from the Limited which were 40% off.  In the end, I didn’t get anything, but it was nice to peruse for a bit without H’s helpful hands.  A trip to the gym rounded out my afternoon.

Yesterday evening, Holden’s C-PA and Meme came over for dinner which was so not prepared by me…unless you count the take and bake bread and a salad.  🙂  We had venison pot pie by the Mr. and went to see the Town Center Illumination.  We went last year, just the three of us.  It made me reflect on just everything that has changed since last year this time.  Good gracious.

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Before and After of the Town Center Tree – The parade was nice too.  I didn’t get a picture, but Holden got 2 hugs from Elmo and absolutely loved the fire trucks.

We went to The Royal Chocolate afterwards for hot chocolate and treats.

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How about that turkey for Thanksgiving!  I thought H’s chocolate covered Oreo was super cute, but he wouldn’t eat it all due to the fact that silly Mommy picked out white instead of milk chocolate.  #highmaintenance

The night finished with our first fire {thank you easy peasy gas logs}.

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I am thankful for such a wonderful day, time to myself and time with family, special holiday memories, and the feelings of anticipation that come with each holiday season.

Even though we’re a week and a half away from Thanksgiving, it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action. ~W.J. Cameron

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all the other virtues. ~Cicero

“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations.”
― Oscar WildeA Woman of No Importance

“Thankfulness creates gratitude which generates contentment that causes peace.”
― Todd Stocker

Natalie

Seeing Old St. Nick

It really feels like Christmas season is upon us.  There are Christmas trees all over Facebook.  The mall was insane this evening, AND it was absolutely chilly this weekend.  We started off the season with a trip to visit Santa at the Founder’s Inn in Virginia Beach.  It was a fundraising event for the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.  We enjoyed French toast, eggs, breakfast breads, fruit, sausage, and even a hot chocolate bar!  Everything was decorated beautifully!  Holden loved the model train with his favorite characters from Thomas the Train.  The only cray cray part was the line to see Santa.  The event staff had a text message plan set up that quickly fell by the wayside as it be came a free-for-all to get in line and see Santa.  Unfortunately, we didn’t make the whole magical thing without a slight bathroom meltdown due to the automatic flushing toilets.  They are way, way, way scary by the way {to a 2.5 year old!}.  We did disengage from the toilet bowl in time to get up there with Old St. Nick.  He was wonderfully authentic, and I must confess the whole thing made me wish I was a little girl running around there.

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It’s true, Christmas can feel like a lot of work, particularly for mothers. But when you look back on all the Christmases in your life, you’ll find you’ve created family traditions and lasting memories. Those memories, good and bad, are really what help to keep a family together over the long haul.

Happy {almost} Holidays!

Natalie

Decisions Decisions

Well, I stayed home from church today to get ready for some lunch guests.  As usual, I wish for two more hours in the day.  Hoping to get some quiet time later today once Holden naps!

1e7da9205e9adc5ae580b4f15a33b3eaPicture from Pinterest – Picture from Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park

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Graphic from here.

Have a fun (and maybe relaxing too?) Sunday!

Natalie