8.06.2014

| I'm a FOMO |

I'm a FOMO // I don't think this is actually an acronym in real life but it's a real one in my life. 

You know what it means?  Once you hear what it means, you'll be like...OH!!! Yeah, I'm totally that person!  Or you'll be like...OH!!!! That's totally Shawna ;-)

F O M O // Fear Of Missing Out

Living in a social media world there is plenty that I see that I'm not part of that I "miss out on" -- not that I was even invited but woosh, that feeling or pang of "I would love to be there, to do that...etc"

For example, two of my friends took their daughters to get their ears pierced yesterday; one was her first holes the other was her third or fourth...but the overwhelming feeling to go and pierce something came over me. 

I may or may not have gone upstairs to see if my belly piercing was still able to receive the stud.  For your information it was completely able.  Shock and awe I know! 

It wasn't that I want to have a daughter to go get something pierced with..that actually didn't even cross my mind until I started writing this post. It's just about "ooooh, I love piercing...what else can I pierce?!" {I can hear my parents cringing as they read this! LOL}

While I live my life and do what I love when I want to, I end up missing out on other things that are going on.  For instance when we are on our family camping trip this august I will miss a baby shower and a wedding shower.  I'm SO sad to be missing out on these events; not that I won't be so happy to be away with my family doing our own thing but just that I'm sad I'll be missing out. 

I'm a total FOMO 

All this came to mind while I prepared the gifts to drop off to the appropriate locations for both parties.  I'm so so sad not to be everywhere I want to be when I want to.  See, cause ideally I would be camping and at the showers & visiting with out of town guests.  But realistically I have to choose one over the other and at the end of the day I'm perfectly happy knowing I've done my best to show my love to the couples parties I'm missing out on.  I don't think my absence will be missed; I'm just a FOMO. 

As I've aged my FOMO-ness has relaxed.  I want to do it all, be it all, make it all -- that's just my nature.  Realistically I just end up double booking myself all over the place and nobody {especially my Mr.} is happy.  

So I'm content to wrap up these gifts and send my note of FOMO sorriness along with the gift.  Maybe I've turned into a SFOMO -- Sometimes Fear Of Missing Out..because realistically my family are the ones that are at the top of the chain for me; and that's exactly where they should be. 

It's okay to miss out on things that are important to me because making memories for my boys is what's more important right now.  

Thanks to having majorly talented friends to whip together sweet little gifts // my friend Olga made a delightful hat for my sweet second cousin that is about to arrive..{I'm a sucker for great packaging too // makes my life that much easier!}


Off I go to deliver these gifts and to let go of my FOMO-ness ;-) 

XoXo
Shawna

8.05.2014

| Camping Traditions |

Summertime is in full swing and we have been out-and-about quite a fair amount this summer. 

We have done a solo trip {sans kids} to Harrison lake.. 
Since it was such a beautiful place to rest we returned home for 5 days only to return back to Harrison lake with the boys...
We also had a family wedding that we attended in Washington state last weekend and we were lucky enough to have stayed in a beautiful little resort, again {thanks to G&G} sans kids. 
 
We are again packing up {this time not in a tent or a lovely ocean side resort} in my parent's trailer {camping with class or glam = fondly known as "glamping"} -- We are off to Port Townsend, WA...it's an idyllic spot for camping, it's seaside, it's basically in our backyard and it's tradition. 

Truthfully tradition has a lot to do with what we do in our house, both of us are sappy sentimentalists and love doing & going to the same places every year.  

At any rate I'm the one that does the planning and preparation for these *ahem* "vacations" -- yes, now that our babies really aren't babies it's much easier to "vacate" and rest but it's still quite a bit of work to pack up and make sure we don't forget any of these special items...some of which are traditions.  

So today it was the first day of preparations; cookie baking.  
We don't always make the same cookie recipe; usually it goes between three different recipes.  The nestle toll house recipe, monster cookie recipe and this recipe for dad's cookies.
 
For this recipe {as for almost all of my recipes} I just throw everything in the mixing bowl and mix it up.  I don't follow any of the directions and bake at 350 degrees.
Since Mr. L is working for all the vacation prep I depend on lists, lots of lists to get us ready to vacate.  This is the best way to ensure there isn't any spending on food or things we already have at home.  This morning I came down to find my list vandalized by a little man in my house..
Better be sure we don't forget the most important items "guns" & "cookies" too sweet! Ps. both items were already on the list(s) the little man just didn't realize that list he added them to was "boys clothes" ;-)

Hope you're having a great summer and not getting too exhausted from the preparation to have fun & vacate ;-) 

XoXo 
Shawna  

6.25.2014

| Re:Post // Big Crumb Rhubarb Cake |

Happy Summer Y'all!!!  

We are busy being not very busy...there is alot going on but since it's spread out through the week and not all smashed into one day it's not a crazy and much more manageable // it is glorious! 

Anyway, I picked up a few pounds of local rhubarb the other day and since today is "hump day" I decided that my Mr. needed a fresh baked cake {as I can't eat it, it truly is for his enjoyment} and so referred to my very favorite most amazing recipe for rhubarb coffee cake. 
I have posted this recipe before but it's THAT good it needs to be posted again! 

‘Big Crumb’ Coffeecake with Rhubarb
Adapted from The New York Times 6/6/07
Not rhubarb season? Don’t fret. I think this cake would be amazing with a blueberry, raspberry, sour cherry or any other tangy fruit filling you can think of. Simply adjust the sugar level accordingly–most of these will need far less than rhubarb does to make them palatable.

Time: 1 1/2 hours, plus cooling

Butter for greasing pan

For the rhubarb filling:
1/2 pound rhubarb, trimmed
1/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

For the crumbs:
1/3 cup dark brown sugar
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup melted butter
1 3/4 cups cake flour (I was out and used all-purpose and it worked great)

For the cake:
1/3 cup sour cream
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour (ditto on the all-purpose flour–worked just fine)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons softened butter, cut into 8 pieces.

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease an 8-inch-square baking pan. For filling, slice rhubarb 1/2 inch thick and toss with, cornstarch and ginger. Set aside.

2. To make crumbs, in a large bowl, whisk together sugars, spices, salt and butter until smooth. Stir in flour with a spatula. It will look like a solid dough.

3. To prepare cake, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream, egg, egg yolk and vanilla. Using a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add butter and a spoonful of sour cream mixture and mix on medium speed until flour is moistened. Increase speed and beat for 30 seconds. Add remaining sour cream mixture in two batches, beating for 20 seconds after each addition, and scraping down the sides of bowl with a spatula. Scoop out about 1/2 cup batter and set aside.

4. Scrape remaining batter into prepared pan. Spoon rhubarb over batter. Dollop set-aside batter over rhubarb; it does not have to be even.

5. Using your fingers, break topping mixture into big crumbs, about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch in size. They do not have to be uniform, but make sure most are around that size. Sprinkle over cake. Bake cake until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean of batter (it might be moist from rhubarb), 45 to 55 minutes. Cool completely before serving.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings.


Hope you're enjoying the Summer thus far and get a chance to bake a cake and have a cup of coffee with friends, everything is better when 
shared ;-) 

XoXo,


2.25.2014

| Winter Days |

This morning we woke up to this beautiful sight. 
After three full days of snow {which by the way I much prefer snow to 3 days of rain!} we woke to beautiful blue sky and a layer of white reflecting the beautiful light. 

So much to be thankful for. 

Yesterday was a pro-d day for my boys so they were home.  
 We had a wonderful day enjoying movies, organizing, building snow forts and shoveling the drive. 

So much fun in fact that after dinner when we went to tuck the boys in Jacob was already sound asleep in his bed.  Oh, to not forget these precious days. 

So since the snow stuck around and having the boys with me for a 4 day long weekend just wasn't enough, I wrote their teachers and asked for permission to do their work from home today.  "Just one more day with you please Mama?"  How do I resist that request.  Not many more years and they won't want to be around me at all! 
So we hunkered in to a plate full of pancakes and their school work to get it out of the way.  It wasn't dreamy but we got it done and a speech written for the district wide speech competition. 

Now we are waiting on fresh baked cookies and a walk in the snow. 

Seems like a perfect winter day to me. 

Xo

1.05.2014

| Project Life |


I have made a resolution to not make a resolution this year -- weird, I know.  But my theory behind it is that I always fail at my resolutions..I can't remember anytime that they have ever taken root and actually happened.

Example: Last year I made a resolution to document our years {with kids} into multiple albums I have owned for 7 years {I bought them with this plan in mind}, I have moved these albums through three houses and two renovations and they are still empty.

So in my quest to not resolute my resolutions, I'm going to complete {and admit my failure from last year & 5 other years! LOL} I'm going to take a good kick at the can and document our lives.

This isn't going to be costly, I already have the page protectors, plenty of papers, the albums & anything that I may need to produce these 6 albums.

I have seen "project life" albums {that's the brand name for this specific way of documenting aka: scrapbooking} I LOVE the way they look...but..I don't want to invest in papers, pockets, washi tape if I'm not 100% committed to it.

I have also seen friends who just print off a few photos every month and keep them in an envelope and on New Years day they do up a two page spread of their whole year.  I LOVE this idea too...and initially I thought I could do this...

Yeah RIGHT!!!  What was I thinking!?!  I take blinking photos of everything! I enjoy documenting our lives through photos, my boys {all three} LOVE to look through albums and re-live our adventures. I adore digital life, but truly my heart belongs to paper...list writing, journal keeping, photo albums, worn pages of my favorite books...there is just something about holding it in your hands.

So this is what I've done thus far; I've organized the year in photos..hokey stink that's A LOT of work!  I had over 10,000 photos from 2013 alone.  Ridiculous!

But I did it and now I'm compiling them onto 12x12 sheets to be printed. I will add some journal details on scrap paper once I get them back from the printers.  

 So here, since I've sucked at keeping up on my blog for the past year I will just post my project life pages here...Here is our trip to Hawaii in three pages:




1.04.2014

| New Year // BE |

2013 has gone with the wind, just like that it was here and now it's gone.  Sometimes it's sad it goes so fast...those rich moments fade, other times I'm thankful that the cheap moments flee just as quickly. 

 | 2014 |
 You're a blank canvas
You have potential and yet are still unknown
You bring promise and new beginnings 

 Along with all that you bring fear of the unknown and unrest of what is yet to come. 


See, I know we have not been promised anything.  We just need to have faith. We trust. We stand guard and prepare for what we think is to come, but at the end of the day we just have faith.  That faith can overwhelm everything else.  So with that I will rest. 

I will just BE

2014 // I will just BE 
I will be free to be me, free to love Him, free to love unconditionally & be loved unconditionally.

- - - 

Back a few weeks before Christmas I was watching Ellen, I'm not a huge fan of Katy Perry but she was on Ellen and was actually dressed, so I watched. 

What came next absolutely astounded me. I saw a young beautiful broken girl singing, not just any song but a song about unconditional love. 

There is conditions on everything in life. That's part of this whole deal, but Christ is unconditional with His love for us.  So when I first heard this song it brought tears running down my cheeks.  I didn't hear it with ears of a worldly love but of a love from the Father to his daughter.

I hadn't heard this song before this version on Ellen...that may be why it made it so obvious to me as to the intention of the song -- my mind wasn't comparing the way it sounded on the radio etc. I just heard the story of the song.  

I'm worthy of His love and that it's unconditional. 
I sat with tears streaming from my face to my heart at a new revelation of His love for me, for you, for Katy.

It's my hope that this year, this fresh 2014 is filled with unconditional love from our Father, that He reveals His love on a new level; that there are no strings, no stipulations but just unconditional love felt in every aspect of your life and that you're able to slow down and revel in that love.  

Accept it.  Accept Him.  And just BE


{here is the song clip from Ellen, please listen then read the lyrics as if God was writing it to you}

"Unconditionally"
Oh no, did I get too close?
Oh, did I almost see what's really on the inside?
All your insecurities
All the dirty laundry
Never made me blink one time

Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
There is no fear now
Let go and just be free
I will love you unconditionally

Come just as you are to me
Don't need apologies
Know that you are worthy
I'll take your bad days with your good
Walk through the storm I would
I do it all because I love you, I love you

Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
There is no fear now
Let go and just be free
I will love you unconditionally

So open up your heart and just let it begin
Open up your heart and just let it begin
Open up your heart and just let it begin
Open up your heart

Acceptance is the key to be
To be truly free
Will you do the same for me?

Unconditional, unconditionally
I will love you unconditionally
And there is no fear now
Let go and just be free
'Cause I will love you unconditionally (oh yeah)
I will love you (unconditionally)
I will love you
I will love you unconditionally 

- - -

Much Love, 
{XoXo}

5.29.2013

| Recipe // Chicken Soup |

 Today is another rainy May day // Yesterday was a doozy of a day {at least weather wise!}

So in the midst of the blah weather, crazy days between school & family I had grabbed all the ingredients I needed for a quick crock pot chicken soup.  I had seen it on IG a few weeks ago and put it in the back of my mind to make one day this Fall.  But since the rainy days are upon us it just felt right to go ahead and make it! 

Here is the recipe thanks to Brandi

Easy {Crock Pot} Chicken Soup

5 Cups Broth {veggie or chicken
2 Cups cooked chicken
1/2 Cup chopped Carrots/Celery/Onion
1 Can corn {or 1.5 cup frozen}
1 Can cream of chicken soup
2 Cups egg noodles

Cook on high for 4-5 hours for the last hour add the uncooked egg noodles & salt/pepper to taste. 
Serve with baking powder biscuits.  
 I didn't have liquid stock so I just boiled water and used my knorr cubes..worked like a charm! 
We had reached the bottom of the celery and carrot supply but it was just the perfect amount to add to the soup.
 Here's the soup warming in the crock pot // Hint: I cooked 2 chicken breasts on a skillet with salt and pepper and a little poultry seasoning..it smelled like a big 'ol turkey dinner in here by 6 o'clock! 

And voila...easy peasy chicken soup! I'm not a big fan of using premixed/canned soups but I figured one can wouldn't hurt seeing as it made enough soup for 6 people!
 
I'm off to finish up some laundry and get going on my biggest littles birthday cake.  He is turning seven; be still my heart!

{XoXo}

5.15.2013

| Keep my eyes above the waves |

Today is a normal Wednesday, make beds, pack bags, kids to school, pay bills, get groceries, lunch with friends..nothing special or exceptional. 

Except that I've been listening to this song on Itunes for the past 24 hours {yes, I'm one of those!}
Back when I chatted about purpose here I spoke of the waves coming and pulling you one way to the next.  I don't have life figured out, I'm just a girl trying to figure out what Father God desires for my life.  

Where my passions lye and what He has in store for me and my boys. 
I'm preparing my heart for change if He so chooses or for things to stay the same, but whatever it be may it be in His will with His blessing and protection. 

I hope you can grab a cuppa something and take a few moments to dwell in Him while you listen to this song.  Praying it touches you as it has me.  

You call me out upon the waters.
The Great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find you in the mystery;
In oceans deep my faith will stand.

So I will call upon your name
And keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise my soul
Will rest in your embrace,
For I am yours and you are mine.

Your Grace abounds in the deepest waters.
Your Sovereign hand will be my guide.
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me;
You've never failed
And you won't stop now.

So I will call upon your name
And keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise my soul
Will rest in your embrace,
For I am yours and you are mine.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my saviour.

I will call upon your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in your embrace
I am yours and you are mine.

Much Love to you lovelies! 
{XoXo} 

5.13.2013

| Expectations // Mother's Day 2013 |

  I have seen many people’s posts on social media about Mother’s Day and what it means to them.

I have seen disappointment, contentment, excitement…the list goes on to express the feelings everyone feels on Mother’s Day.

It’s bittersweet in many ways; if you’ve lost a Mom, if you have been adopted and don’t know your “birth Mom”, if you had to give a child up, if you can’t have children and long for it so much or if you’re a Mom and you’re feeling underwhelmed at the attention paid to you on this specific day…it’s just kinda a crap shoot.

Yes of course there are the warm fuzzies that come with being a Mom on Mother’s Day, the home-made necklaces and cards, the extra cuddles but through it all the bum still needs to be wiped, the children still need to be nurtured and reprimanded, the dishes and laundry still need to be loaded and unloaded and as a Mom those chores are what we do.  We are MOM “Masters of Mayhem!”

 
{Good morning Mama!  Happy Mother's Day!}

The expectation: We expect that on Mother’s Day we are going to not have to do anything but what we need to do for ourselves…This is a lie from the pit!  How the heck do you think our husbands are going to do all of what we do when they normally don’t do much of it!?!?!  We have brought our expectation to lofty heights and in the meantime made our husbands feel like they aren’t good enough and there is no way they can actually reach our unspoken expectations
 {My boys}
I don’t know if your husband is the same as mine but mine wants to make me feel like I’m worth the world, but frankly it’s going to be done through his eyes not mine.  This means I’m still going to get the children washed and dressed as well as myself on Sunday morning, even though it’s Mother’s Day…that’s my job; it’s what I do. 
 {Snip-its from my day /Mom & I at brunch/Mr. L with our new fire pit/meeting Miss. Carmen VanD at brunch/Coley in waffle heaven/my boys/rise 'n shine/playing in the rain/getting ready/JJ at brunch}

Mr. L tries very very very hard to make my Mother’s Day feel enjoyable and lovely.  And frankly he does a great job!  But the reason I think he does a great job and feels equally gratified is because I don’t pin him to a wall and say “now listen Mr. I’m the queen of this hive and you better make sure the drones are in your care tomorrow cause I’m taking off my Mom hat and just wearing the queen hat for the W H O L E day!”. Nope I don’t and by being fairly passive {although I do drop gift hints // not that it matters, he usually has a plan already made up in his mind} about what I expect, it makes my day that much better!

{On our way to church}  
There are surprises and little joys that make me feel loved and adored.  That’s really all that matters.
 
I still dress the kids, discipline the kids, rock the kids, wash the dishes, wipe up the floor, do the garbage, make the bed, organize book bags for school, make lunches…all that is why I am Mom, so why would I expect him to do all that when that’s the role I play in our home?
Yesterday morning at church our Pastor challenged the husbands to pray over their wives and to edify us in the role we play in the home.  Such a great word and amazing things will come out of a husband praying over his wife.  I’m thankful that I had both my little munchy boys and my Mr. pray over me last night.  Truly blessed.
 {in between it all I had made a mess of milk in the garage that my Mr. was cleaning up and we had found a leak in our car...see not perfect but keeping it in perspective!}
 
 {Time to veg out with my book, HGTV and an ice coffee was perfection especially since the boys were sleeping}

I always say it’s a matter of perspective.  My day wasn’t outstandingly amazing and awesome.  It was lovely.  It was nice. It was taking in all that has made me a Mom and who I am.  It was resetting myself on what I do and why I do it.  My perspective enhances the tone of my home and I want that tone to be beautiful and light.  So my response to everything that happens {or doesn’t happen} on Mother’s Day is with that thought in mind. 
 
 {The boys took me shopping to Chapters, they actually just wanted to play on the train table so I wandered around and did some shopping myself!}
I hope all of you had a wonderful day being celebrated and if you didn’t “feel it” this year, just wait…maybe next year your perspective will be different and you too will feel cherished and loved {with or without all the pretences and perfection}.

 
{this was the best shot we could get of me and the boys! Oy Vey!}

 And here we are again, I'm standing at my sink ready to do the dishes again.  But choosing joy when doing it cause one day they will be grown up and gone and I won't have any dirty dishes to clean! 

Much love and happy Monday Lovelies! 
{XoXo}

5.10.2013

| Home Making // Lunch Kits |

I was out for a friends birthday last night and as most ladies events go we talk about parenting, disciplining, kids being home vs. being at school, the crazy things our kids say, packing lunches....the list goes on.
 
One of the common denominators between my friends is that none of us really like to pack our kids lunches {we hear angels sing when we see the reminder that today is "fun lunch day" at school!}.  It's not that it's hard to do, but it does take time and well I don't know about you but I'd rather spend my extra time not packing lunches!  

I choose to pre-pack my kids lunches, this usually happens from 5-6pm the night before school...usually when I'm in the kitchen already preparing dinner.  This helps it so I'm not grumpy with one more thing to do before we leave the house in the am. 
In our discussion last night we spoke about kids not eating their food and about the discipline that follows.  This brought me to the boys lunches, if they don't eat what is given to them then they have to eat it before they eat their afternoon snack once home from school.  Fair right!?!

They get choices in their lunch, they can choose to eat their veggies first or last, doesn't matter to me but the rules are: you don't eat all the "good stuff" and not the veggies and you NEVER throw out food.  
My friends thought I was a little crazy when I told them my kids never throw anything out; now let me say now that our school has a strict recycling program so if perfectly-not-eaten food is thrown out it's obvious and the teacher will hold the class responsible until the person that threw it out admits to this.  

In two years of school only one of my kids tried to throw something away and it was a homemade date square.  He was full. 

Someone commented to me and said that she gives her child only what she knows he will eat at school.  I do too but I also expect that if they will have cucumbers at my table on Saturday for lunch that they will do the same at school.  I'm my kids parent, not grandparent.  My job is to prepare them so that when I'm not looking {like at school or with said grandparent} that they will still make a balanced choice. 

So I thought I would share how I take the "blech" out of making lunches and actually having the kids eat their lunch!

1. Pack their fave's // My boys don't love sandwiches so a wrap or pepperoni & crackers will do
2. They get 1 treat in their lunch // today it's fruit snacks {this changes seasonally}
3. There is always veggies and a fruit...I even raisins count as a fruit to save time and not cut up fresh fruit
4. In Kinder at our school the kids are only aloud to bring water, but JJ is able to bring juice boxes in Gr. 1 but I still just send a water bottle and just put a touch {2 Tablespoons} of ice tea in with the rest water so he'll drink the whole bottle // Each day I do this his water bottle comes home empty!
5. They get to choose at least 2 items for their lunch kit 
 And most days I send a little note personalized to each of them // I just use a recipe card that I get from the dollar store along with a sharpie that I keep in my junk drawer in the kitchen, again it is easy and adds a little sunshine to their day!
 Well That's all for today!  Let me know if any of you lovelies have any tricks up your sleeves for packing great school lunches...I'd love to know some of your tricks too!  

I'm off to go for my walk on this beautiful day then I'll be up to my eyeballs in alligators trying to make a cake for my nephew and prepare for Mother's Day. 
Hope you lovelies have a beautiful weekend and feel celebrated for the amazing job you do raising and loving on your littles! 

{XoXo}

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