Friday, May 31, 2013

May's Favorite Things

1. Narls is reading at a third grade level. He write notes to his teacher requesting more "non-fiction" chapter books. So proud of this kid!
2. Lunch date with my queen.
3. Hot husbands mc'ing football games.
4. Working at Narls' book fair.
5. First yoga class with boobs! It was a success.
6. My kind of sexy talk.
7. Feeling so very "typical midwest". Welp.
8. May Ipsy bag.
9. Can't win 'em all.
10. Tiny gymnasts.
11. The abeautifulmess app.
12. Icy drinks in mason jars.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Tiny Dancer

Our excited little girl had her second dance recital recently.  Her first without Narls. The preschool she attends, the same that Narls went to, puts on an annual Preschool Recital complete with a graduation for the Pre-Kindergarten children.


This year's dance had an all American theme, and the kiddos held tiny flags, pinwheels, and ribbons on sticks that resembled flowy fireworks. The girls even danced a song to Katy Perry's Firework, which has been on steady repeat in my car for the last month. Seriously, if Em's this demanding with music at four, I can't imagine her at fourteen.

Seriously though, they did amazing.  These girls danced their little hearts out.


Although Narls and Carter found the iPad much more entertaining than their sisters' dancing.

What post is complete without some throwbacks?

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

The Gafford Wedding

Congratulations, Becky and Phil.
Clay and I wish you the best as you set off to Texas and your happily ever after.
♥ ♥ ♥

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Dating My Kiddos: Theater

This is the second installment of the Dating My Kids series. I want to carve out special time with my kids, at least once a month, where we do something special and fun, where we can hang out with each other distraction-free. And by distractions, I mean technology basically: no ipad, no video games, no cellphone, no tv...

but theater, now that's totally approved.


Confession: I had never been to a theater until I started dating Clay. He took me to my first show, Les Miserables, and I've loved it ever since. I have amazing memories of seeing Chicago with my bestfriend, and Clay got me a trip to New York to see Phantom of the Opera on Broadway for Christmas a couple years ago. Good lord it was spectacular! This is something we both want our children to experience, and we've vowed to take them to at least one live show a year.

We are lucky that we have a beautiful auditorium within minutes of where we live that brings in many Broadway musicals and plays, so when we found out that Disney's Beauty and the Beast was coming, we knew it'd be perfect start to Narls and Em's theater experience. They're both huge Disney fans, and Beauty and the Beast is a big favorite in our house.

The show was absolutely beautiful. The acting was perfect, especially Gaston's character, and the singing and dancing scenes were exceptionally incredible. My kids were mesmerized. Clay and I were mesmerized.

That's not to say that this date didn't encounter its fair share of problems. First, both kids were scared of the large, dark theater. And by scared, I mean Em was crying, and she's been talking about going to this performance for months. It took a reassuring talk with her dad to convince her that there was nothing scary in there.

And as much as they enjoyed the show, they both got antsy near the end. During the last fifteen minutes, Clay and I were probably asked fifteen times when it would be over. Luckily there were cocktails during intermission.

Overall, I'd say for Emerson and Narls seeing their first full-length play at 4 and 6 years old, they did amazingly well.  They were scared of the Beast, they laughed at Gaston, their eyes never left Belle, and there were exclamations of "how did he do that?!" when the Beast turned back into the prince at the end of the show.

We talked about how we should clap at the end to let the actors know how much we enjoyed the play, we talked about how plays are different from movies on TV, how the story we saw was different than the book we read.

There were so many great opportunities to learn and spark curiosity and have fun together as a family at the theater. And believe me, having your daughter take your hand as you're walking out and tell you this was the best day of her life will make it one of the best of your life, too.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

How To Be A Mom

Narls wrote me a story for Mother's Day entitled How To Be A Mom. It's a sweet story scrawled in his six-year-old handwriting that I cherish. It includes gems like "you kiss your kid goodbye" and "you cook dinner for them". 

I appreciate his advice. Being a mom, specifically a good mom, is something I strive for. I rarely feel I achieve it, I lose my temper, I zone out, I occasionally choose to go to spinning instead of baseball practice, but I try. Every single day I try.

I've only been a mother for six years so I know I'm not an expert at parenting. I have been a daughter for 34 years though, and those are the years I reflect upon the most when parenting my children.  I remember situations of my youth and how my mother and father handled them and how those reactions left me feeling; I then try to mimic, or completely change, my reactions in similar situations for Narls and Emerson's youth. 

There are similar themes that I notice pop up time and again. In honor of Mother's Day, I thought I'd share some of them with you today.

Show affection. Let them know they are loved. Snuggle on the couch while you watch a movie, hold their hand on walks, give goodnight and good morning hugs and kisses. Let them see you kiss their father and hug their grandmother. Talk nice and be nice.  Teach them how to love.

Let them be their selves.  Let them cry and laugh and shout and whisper.  Support their natural talents and help them strengthen their weaknesses.  Encourage them to play dress up and to imagine they are doctors and dancers.  Let them learn who they are and what makes them happy. 


Believe in them. Be their biggest supporter. Hang their art work in your home. Let them know that you are over-the-moon proud of them. Encourage them to try new things and be independent. Give them the confidence of knowing you will be always be there.
Always be there.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Mother's Day Gift Guide

Tomorrow is Mother's Day. My family typically celebrates all weekend long, because let's face it, mothers have a tough job. We deserve more than a day, more than a weekend even, of love and adoration. 

Clay's upstairs getting the kiddos dressed; we're about to head out and have lunch with his mom and my sister-in-law, two really amazing mothers that I'm honored to know.  I have a couple minutes to myself, so I thought I'd share a few gift ideas if you're a last-minute shopper struggling to come up with a gift for mom.

I cannot stress enough, mothers LOVE LOVE LOVE handmade, homemade gifts. They're the best of all. So make your mom's card; trust me, she'll adore it.

Now onto the gift guide.

1. Lush bath bombs. What mom doesn't enjoy a mini-spa-night in her own tub? And Lush's bombs are the bomb(dot)com.

2. Heart rate monitor.  Wrap this baby up with a six-pack of yoga or spinning classes.

3. Nail polish.  Essie's 2013 neon collection is six shades of summer fun.

4. Booze. Tie a ribbon around a bottle of champagne and a bottle of oj, and you're the instant golden child.

5. Handbag. I'm personally coveting this Tory Burch hobo. Bonus points if you spring for the matching wallet.

6. Florals. You cannot go wrong with flowers. Ever.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Essential Bras Every Girl Should Own

You know what day it is? ThrowBack Thursday! So I'm sharing a picture of my bra drawer, taken last year. None of these lovelies fit me today. Sad, but totally worth it.

And do you know what I got to do this week? WEAR A BRA. For the first time since getting my boob job 3+ weeks ago, I got clearance to wear a bra. An only-cotton no-underwire bra, but a bra nonetheless.  This is something I never thought I'd be excited about, but seriously, not wearing one at work - my corporate banking job - is probably one of the most awkward things I've encountered in my life. 

Buying an only-cotton no-underwire bra was a bit tougher than I anticipated because almost every bra out there contains some element of padding and/or lift; I finally tracked one down in the training bra section. Kidding! But it totes reminds me of my first training bra (that 13yo Ami begged her mom to buy her- out of desire, not need), only you know, much much bigger. 34C bigger! ::cue happy dancing::

Shopping for this bra did get me completely excited for when I can wear any old bra I want and how fun it'll be restocking my undergarment drawer.  In honor of this momentous occasion, I've compiled a list of essential bras every girl should own.

A few comfortable everyday bras are must haves. Look for smooth silhouette ones that can be worn under cotton t-shirts and pretty lace ones for pairing with work blouses. Necessary in black & nude.

Add a little vah-vah-voom to date night. Perfect for when you want to feel sexy.

Something silky and lovely to make you feel flirty and feminine.

We all agree that leopard is a neutral, so a gorgeous leopard bra is a staple and deserves a category all its own. 

Perfect under strapless maxi dresses, summer tanks, and formal wear.

Yoga, running, spinning, weight training- whatever activity you partake in, you gotta keep the tatas secure.  Look for something bright and fun for some extra workout motivation.

What do you think? Are there any I missed?

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