7/7/15

Slowing Down For Summer

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I am embracing the art of slow living and am doing my best to enjoy every moment of this summer. If you follow along here I'm sure you've noticed my lack of posts. Life has been good and I'm holding onto that goodness with both hands, clenching tightly and firmly. Jonas has been healthy and, well, amazing actually. He ended the spring session of soccer with some of the best playing I've ever seen out of him. He earned straight A's all year even though he missed fifty-two days of school due to his intestinal issues. I know that I'm overdue for an update on his Crohn's and overall gut, but I haven't' had the time to sit down and write through those details yet. And let me tell you, I could write a book!

We have been through so much this year, and it's very important we don't ever forget about that journey. It has changed who we are and how we live. It's also changed our thought process and has made us realize we are our children's advocate when it comes to the healthcare system. We have to be their voice.

We had many battles but I am completely satisfied where we ended up, minus the fact there are so many uncertainties about Jonas' health and his gut.

But right now, life is good and we're slowing down for summer.

We just returned from an amazing, much needed vacation and I'm looking forward to sharing some of the pictures and stories here. These are just a couple from the ferry ride and I have close to 700 others to sort through; a true sign of a good trip!

6/17/15

Flower Child

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“You belong among the wildflowers
You belong in a boat out at sea
You belong with your love on your arm
You belong somewhere you feel free”

from Wildflowers, Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers

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We're finally settling into summer break and embracing the sunshine and freedom of each day. Now that soccer season has ended swim season has picked up and most days we are rushing back and forth from home to the pool. But I'm certainly not complaining! My only goal for summer is to enjoy every single moment that I possibly can with my children. I want to play more with them, run through the grass with them, swim more with them, catch bugs with them, play baseball barefoot with them and read late into the night under a blanket filled with the soft glow from our flashlights.

I want to embrace summer.
I want to cherish childhood and hold onto every moment.

When we stumbled across this open field I knew we had to grasp the moment tightly. I knew we had to walk aimlessly among the wildflowers, picking them and smelling them as we wandered along.

The kids and I have been working on our summer bucket list and it seems to get longer and longer each day. We can now check off "run through fields of wildflowers!"

*This post is sponsored by FabKids

FabKids is JustFab's fashion club, started by a team of parents including mom and actress Christina Applegate. FabKids is a convenient way for busy parents to shop. It's an outfit club -- so parents get monthly selections of super affordable, high-quality fashions personalized for their kids.

Check out more of their summer trends, for boys and girls, at Fabkids.com

6/15/15

Music For The Soul + UncommonGoods

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"Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life."
Berthold Auerbach

For my husband and I, music plays a large role in our lives. In fact, at times it defines us. It helps shape the outline of our personalities and is the root of our souls. Every day, music filters and floats through the rooms of our home. Like a fleeting ship, it moves where we move. The sounds emerge from our record player, our iPhones and speakers like subtle waves dancing across open ocean waters. And just when we don't even realize it, our legs and hips sway in a soft movement.

And suddenly, we are dancing.

For Father's Day, I tried to think about the perfect gift to celebrate my amazing husband. With the help of UncommonGoods, I quickly had a wide selection of gifts for men to choose from. You can check out some great options for Father’s Day Gifts here and Personalized Gifts for Men here. And, you can click here for even more unique gifts for your husband.

When I came across the Bluetooth Droplet Speaker, I knew it was the perfect gift for my husband. We can now take our music on-the-go when we travel to the pool, hit the beach or lounge on the boat. This nifty little speaker is water and sand-resistant and connects to your phone or mp3 player via wireless Bluetooth. After trying it out this past weekend, I found it's easy to use, sounds great and is perfect for summer. And for a family like ours who loves to ski in the winter months, it will work great when we hang around the hot tub after a day on the slopes.

If you've never had the chance to check out UncommonGoods, I highly recommend going to their website. Founded in 1999 and headquartered in Brooklyn, UncommonGoods features a curated selection of unique designs and handcrafted gifts that are created in harmony with the environment and without harm to animals or people. They run all of their operations out of the historic Brooklyn Army Terminal, including their warehouse where the lowest-paid seasonal worker starts at 50% above the minimum wage.

As an independently-owned business, UncoomonGoods has the freedom to support causes they believe in and positively impact the world. With every purchase, they will donate $1 to your choice of their not-for-profit partner organizations. Since they started the Better to Give program 15 years ago, they have donated over $1,000,000 dollars to charities around the world! What an amazing impact from a small business straight out of Brooklyn, New York.

So basically, they are a great company with quality products who are striving to impact the world in a positive manner. Something I support whole heartedly!

*This post is in partnership with UncommonGoods.

6/8/15

Life Begins With Summer

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“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”
F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

I like to think life begins over again with each summer. I like to think it begins with the early morning sun shining through my sheer bedroom curtains, or the sound of my children's laughter traveling over warm open waters or in the late evenings when the soft glow from the shining moon gently dusts the freshly planted flowerbeds.

Our summer is officially here and we can't help but feel tranquil and at ease. It's as if that first day of summer break lifted my spirits and removed the weight that lingered upon my shoulders.

I feel free. Calm and confident.
I am ready to embrace summer, to hold her tightly and enjoy every single moment.

6/1/15

The Art of Jumping On Beds and Active Parenting

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Every morning I follow the same routine. Rise, drink coffee and walk from room to room making beds and putting away clothes. Yes, I fully admit I should hold my kids accountable for making their own beds and picking up their own clothes, but I am a mother of habit and it is my instinct to clean up. I'm also the type of person that has to make my bed and any other bed that happens to be unmade. I love order and the feeling of walking into a clean room, plus, who doesn't love jumping into a clean crisp bed at the end of a long day?

On the downside to my strict bed making habit, I have caught myself in several moments telling the kids to "get off the bed" or "please don't jump on the bed."

Please don't jump on the bed??
Did those words seriously come out of my mouth?


And that was the moment when I realized I was becoming the mom I didn't want to be. There are certainly parenting battles that I will have ahead of me or that I currently have on my plate (I could write an entire post on these new battles), but messy beds shouldn't be one of them. I have so many memories of jumping on my bed as a child, building forts with the trundle and draping a canopy over the back of the daybed. Have I denied my children these joys because I have become so uptight about keeping a tidy house? Have I seriously become that person?

When I entered parenthood almost ten (yikes!) years ago I made a promise to myself. I promised myself that I would always try my hardest to be a fun, loving and outgoing parent. I promised myself that I would crawl around on the floor, that I would play in the dirt, that I would run bare foot in the park, that I would dive off the diving board and that I would play any sport my children asked me to play with them. I promised myself that I would be an active parent and not simply observe from the sidelines.

This means jumping in the pool on cool days even when you are the only mother in the water. It means playing tag for the millionth time when you should really be figuring out dinner or putting away laundry that is piled to the ceiling. It means hanging out on a friday night to eat popcorn and watch Big Hero Six, again, rather than sipping tea and catching up on emails. It means skipping errands that need to be done because your son asked you to come into school and play kickball with his friends during recess on his birthday.

And you know what I discovered through all these experiences?

I sleep really really well after swimming all day in the pool. Playing tag actually counts as a workout and may even burn more calories than running my usual three miles. I have discovered that I love laying on the couch watching kid movies on a friday night with my legs intertwined with six other legs. And I've learned that I'm pretty darn good at kickball!

So here's to active parenting and getting up from the side lines and jumping into the game. And sometimes, even as a parent, it's okay to jump on the bed.