Everyday-ness

“Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, savor you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it will not always be so. One day I shall dig my nails into the earth, or bury my face in the pillow, or stretch myself taut, or raise my hands to the sky, and want more than all the world your return.” – Mary Jean Irion, Yes, World 

I’m an introvert through and through. Most days I’m scheming how to find just a few moments alone to clear my mind and organize my thoughts. I’m so thankful that I can be home with my little ones full time, but having to talk to and interact with a 3-year-old and not-quite-2-year-old all day long can be emotionally tiring for me (as I’m sure it is for most people).

Some days, after mediating yet another brotherly battle over something excruciatingly small, I feel brittle, stretched beyond my natural abilities, and loathe the sound of my own voice. When those days overwhelm me in their everyday-ness, I try to remind myself that someday, I will miss the smallness of our world together, and the thousands of sweet moments when all they want is for me to sit next to them, talk to them, notice them.

Lately I’ve had a few mothers of teenagers confide in me that they would trade the older years (with all the drama and emotional complexities they bring) for the toddler years in a heartbeat. Granted, they have years of distance from those younger, physically demanding stages. But I think there is something to this. We all yearn for a simpler time, an easier time, don’t we? Whether we long for the foggy, rose-colored seasons of the past, or for the yet-to-be-experienced seasons of the future, it can be challenging to be thankful for the season we’re in.

Over the last few years, the quote above has reminded me how brief and precious these years are and to be thankful for the simplicity of our lives, right at this moment. I hope you find some comfort in it, however you spend your everyday.

 

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Flying with little ones

Last week, the boys and I headed to NC to visit my family while the Mr is away for work. Flying with little ones (especially alone) is no joke, and I’ve spent the last few years honing my traveling skills with squirmy babies and toddlers. Here are a few things I’ve learned. :)

1. Bag of tricks. This one has never failed me. A few weeks before the flight, I browse Amazon for new small toys and activities and put them in an opaque bag (these are great) that fits into my diaper bag. The boys love digging through it and discovering something new every hour (or few minutes, haha). Other favorites I bring are stickers (hours of fun, if not a bit annoying to tidy up), a few new lightweight books, and snacks (obviously).

2. Get organized. On the subject of bags, I’ve found it really helpful to organize every single item in my carry on / diaper bag into its own smaller, categorized bag – a change of clothes in one, snacks in another, etc. It helps me stay sane and allows me to grab what I need at one glance instead of rifling through everything. I’ll often just use clear, gallon-size plastic bags so I can easily see what’s in them. They can also serve as wet bags for any unforeseen / inevitable accidents.

3. More is not more. It’s taken me years to become a more efficient and minimal packer (and there’s still much room for improvement!). But now having to pack for two kids as well as myself, I really have to resist the instinct to overpack. It can be tempting to bring every single thing we might possibly need, but I have regretted overpacking way more often than I have regretted not bringing any particular item, or extra pair of whatever.

4. Schedule flights around naps (if possible). This one hasn’t always gone in my favor, but scheduling flights in the late morning / midday sometimes means my little ones are able to pass out at some point on a long flight. The older they get the less often this happens, but it’s always a nice break when it does!

5. Direct vs. layovers. Does your little one do better with a break to stretch her legs and run around for a while? Then a layover might be best for you. Personally, I’d rather deal with one longer flight than managing the stress of boarding, deplaning, boarding again and possibly missing a connecting flight. Taking the time to think about your babe’s development stage and unique personality can help you make the best travel plans possible.

6. Take a deep breath and relax. I used to stress to the max about flying with my little ones – I was so terrified of annoying people. But in the last 3 years, I’ve never had anyone be rude to me (I think people mostly feel sorry for me, haha!). Fellow travelers are most likely to be kind and understanding, and will probably even offer to carry something for you! So give yourself some grace.

We are heading back to California later today, so wish us luck on our cross-country flight!

Do you have any fool-proof tips for traveling with kids? I’d love to hear them!

A Few Favorites

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Last week I wrote about my love for early mornings. I’m also really fascinated by other people’s morning routines, and recently found this site – it’s so interesting!

Another great post about building a morning routine.

If you love coffee (like me), here’s the healthiest way to drink it.

This shirt + cutoffs have been my uniform this summer.

I’ve been dying to try this ice cream; have you tried it?

I loved this post about motherhood.

The Mr is currently traveling for work, so I took the opportunity to take the boys on a last-minute trip to visit my family on the east coast (a month before our littlest turns two and needs his own seat!).

Until next week! xo

Backyard Haven

Last month, the Mr began a huge undertaking – demolishing our old back porch, tripling its size, and adding a roof to create an outdoor oasis. Although it’s been a slow process so far, the dream is to create a relaxed and cozy space with a surf shack vibe, that provides plenty of room for a huge dining table and comfy seating round an outdoor fireplace.

Here are a few images that have inspired me lately:

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I’ll share before and after progress photos as we go. It will be a several month process, since work and little ones don’t always allow for hours spent on home improvement projects. ;)

To see more of our backyard haven inspiration, take a look at my Pinterest board!

xo

Morning Routine

balcony2The view from our bedroom balcony.

A few years ago, I wrote about my great love of quiet mornings to start my day. Now that we have two little ones who are early risers, having some time to myself before they wake up has become even more important to me.

Most mornings I wake up around 5:30am, go downstairs to pour a cup of coffee (programmed to brew before I get up – it gives me more incentive to get out of bed!), and head back upstairs to read and wrap my head around the day. Sometimes if I bring a cup for my hubby and put it on his nightstand he will get up to join me, which is always welcomed company. By 6:30 the boys are up and at ’em, so we’ll play and have breakfast before we begin our day.

That stillness in the quiet and cool of the morning has become essential for my wellbeing, especially since I spend my days with two toddlers, who are anything but still and quiet! :)

What’s your morning routine? Are you an early riser or a night owl?

Hello There

7:26:17_workspaceIt’s so nice to be back! I took a bit of time off from the blog (enough time to have two (2!) babies). Although my sweet boys are a full-time job, I’ve been craving the creative outlet of blogging and missing the community around it.

I’m very excited to spend some time here again, connecting with you, writing about things I love, and curating beautiful things I find. And I hope you enjoy the new layout!

Thank you for reading. :)

Dreaming of Fall

white-pumpkinI always enjoy summer and all the fun it brings (ie, beach days, margaritas made with fresh grapefruit juice, and falling asleep to the sound of Sea World fireworks to name a few). But hands down, fall is my favorite time of year. For several weeks I’ve been itching for cooler weather, cozy fall clothes, and that sweet crispness in the air (of which we get very little here in San Diego).

Here are a few things I’ve found that are getting me even more excited for the next season…

Above: white pumpkins are one of my favorite ways to decorate for fall (image via).

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A warm cable knit headband for warm ears and easy hair days.pumpkin-whoopie-pies

Pumpkin whoopie pies with chai-spiked ice cream filling (or let’s face it, anything pumpkin will do).

cider-caramels

Apple cider caramels (these sound like HEAVEN).

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An oversized sweater is a must to make every day cozy.

What are you looking forward to this fall?

Loving: Sevenly

anchor-braceletHow sweet is this delicate anchor bracelet? It would look lovely with a stack of gold bangles, watch, or just on its own. You can find it at Sevenly, a brilliant company that donates $7 from each purchase to a different charity every week. Isn’t that lovely?

I hope you had a beautiful Labor Day weekend. We certainly did! Southern California has been in the throes of a heatwave recently, so we spent our time lounging by pools and going to the movies. It will be tough getting back into the work week! xo

Sound Check: Remember My Name

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This lovely Malaysian singer named Yuna is worth a listen – I’ve really enjoyed listening to her sweet voice the last few weeks. I also wish I could pull off a head scarf like she can, don’t you? She picked up songwriting at the age of 19 while in law school. I’m so glad she did!

Happy Friday! xo

Smoothie Series: Summer Peach

peach-smoothieThis simple, tasty smoothie has been a favorite as of late, since I’ve been able to take advantage of our peach tree in the back yard. You can add more protein powder or plain yogurt to add more substance if you like, but I really enjoy the sweet, slushy, summery goodness of this one on its own. Enjoy!

In a blender, combine until smooth:

1 fresh peach (or 1/2 cup frozen peaches)

1 medium ripe banana

1/2 cup orange juice

8-10 ice cubes

1 scoop vanilla protein powder

Be sure to take a peek at the other two smoothies in this series! And tell summer to slow down… I’m not ready to say goodbye!

Do you have any smoothie recipes you love?