I've been wanting to write this post for a long time. Since this blog serves as a journal for our kids, I thought it would be interesting to share the results of my ancestry testing that my dad got us for Christmas. Has anyone reading this done one of these tests? I'd love to hear your thoughts as well... especially if you did a different kind.
We did the ancestry.com spit-in-a-tube test and mailed it off. I've been into working on my family tree for a whole decade now, and it has been very interesting to me. I've found criminals and queens and that my paternal grandmother is first cousins 8-times-removed with Elvis.
I found the exact town in Ireland where my maternal grandmother's family lived before immigrating. When I took her there, I was able to say, "Well this is it! We are driving through the town!" It was basically just a farming area with not much to see... but it was special to us.
"Suddenly all my ancestors are behind me. 'Be still,' they say, 'watch and listen. You are the result of the love of thousands.'"
So to my results...
Happy first day of SPRING! In honor of my birthday month and the official start of spring, I'm really happy to be hosting a $100 gift giveaway to use on the JORD site! One person will win $100, but everyone who enters will receive a consolation code worth $25 once the contest ends! [Scroll down to the bottom of this post for more giveaway details.]
After wanting a wooden watch for a few years, I was really excited when JORD contacted me about reviewing one of their new styles. I've been wearing my watch for a few weeks now, so here are my thoughts...
In 2016 I had a resolution of working harder to lift up others instead of being in my own emotions all of the time. On a day to day basis, we are all just trying to survive adult-life/mom-life that we hardly have time to make grand gestures for our friends beyond big milestones like baby showers or birthdays.
The Leslie-Knope-created "Galentine's Day" holiday is a perfect excuse or reminder to lift up your gal pals. Let's be real... most women being really emotional puts a big hurdle for female friendships. We keep tabs of things like "well they haven't initiated hanging out with me, and I've asked 2 times. Fine I guess they never want to hang out with me."
Well that's not how Leslie Knope thinks, my friends! She will bombard you with friendship and make a binder about all your favorite things. She doesn't take things personally and skulk back into a surface level friendship. It's definitely a lesson in being more intentional and thoughtful with your friends.
Bertha from Chic in Academia ran with this idea and hosted a fun "mom's night in" Galentine party at her house this month, and it turned out so sweet! I was able to do some calligraphy origami place cards for the dinner table, and they turned out exactly like I pictured in my head! whew!
Before I begin this story... I'd like to say that I am not a "ranty" type of person. I hop on soap boxes very minimally and briefly, and I like to keep it that way. I also like to keep it within real life conversations and not in long, annoying facebook statuses. With that said, I just needed to get a parenting dilemma off of my chest.
So you know that baby or toddler who's been so loud in a restaurant, on a plane, or at a coffee shop... the one who caused you to think to yourself "MAN! Why did that mom bring that kid in here? Or why don't they leave or give some discipline?!" Well, today my kid was the one crowing like a rooster in the middle of a quiet, trendy coffee shop, and it just came out of nowhere! His little 1 year old cousin who he hasn't seen in a while was there, and he literally COULD NOT help but show off with all of his (to him) hilarious jokes and animal noises. Also he was super excited about going to the zoo, and was not having much patience as we let the rain pass.
This is where you guys come into play...
We are big fans of snow days over here! They usually only come once or twice a year, so we don't usually have time to get sick of them. Our city also doesn't have enough salt trucks or plows to handle all of the icy roads, so we get to completely shut down for a day or two.
It's even better when no ice has weighed down power lines, and we are still cozy with all the comforts of home (internet, heat and all) like today.
Rowan wanted to sled like the big kids for the first time, so we had to improvise with a plastic storage box. It was a pretty good solution thanks to Zack's ingenuity, and he didn't topple out even once! I'm also proud of myself that I didn't take any pregnant-falls on the ice, even though everything is pretty much like ice skating.
I don't really have anything monumental to share other than our funny storage box idea.. hahaha! But I just wanted to remember this day, because it's been really fun. I also have a recent obsession with Enneagram tri-types and instincts this week, and I just really want ALL my friends to take Enneagram tests so I can know what everyone's dominant type (and wing) is. In between building snowmen, taking naps and playing board games, you should get on that right now and tell me what you are. If you don't, then I'll feel like a big piece of my friendships are missing -- like the type 4 wing 3 that I am. Ha!
Reading my 2015 recap post almost seems like reading another person's life. I'm not really sure how to pinpoint why I'm in such a different place, because honestly this year has been a bit of a blur with not a lot of reflection time.
I do know I've been overall a lot more optimistic (or at least aware of my pessimistic, dramatic responses to things), and I definitely feel like an intense, sassy mama bear more than a broken shell of myself. To the first-time mom of an infant, this might not be your most favorite year, and that's okay. More amazing memories are coming. I've come to realize the tiny baby years are not my favorite. It doesn't mean I don't think they should be savored for what they are. I'm just personally really glad God makes that part go by fast. haha!
The toddler phase is so fun, exciting, and entertaining -- even with all of the daily tantrums and mama vs. toddler stand-offs. Watching him run and jump and explore new places makes traveling even more magical and totally balances out any scenes he may cause along the way. Even with his lack of words he's a great communicator, and I love talking to him!
If you're wondering why my blog has been a little quiet the past month or two... I've got some pretty good excuses like morning sickness, sleepiness, and extreme irritability! Ha! We are finally about to start our home addition (after months and months), and it will literally come *just* in time for our other addition that's on the way -- due July 1, 2017.
That pea of an ultrasound is a few months old, so I'm really looking forward to our half-way ultrasound in a few weeks. Right before Christmas, we got the call about healthy chromosomes + the baby's gender, so we had an exciting Christmas day surprising our families.
I’m so happy that today Heather of My Life Well Loved asked me to share one of the most adorable, easy, and HEALTHY party treats I found this year.
In honor of a fun weekend enjoying the premiere of another J.K. Rowling story, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, I thought I'd share more about our little experience in the wizarding world. Over in Scotland, the Jacobite Steam Train known to many as the "Hogwarts Express" is packing up its coal for the winter. However, if you are planning a Scotland trip for this upcoming summer, tickets for the 2017 season go on sale today, November 18th!
The train will run from May 1st to October 27th next year (with the exception of special Christmas rides) and all of those months are prime for visiting Scotland. We especially loved our September visit (as opposed to our last trip in March), because everything was so colorful with loads of purple heather and red rowan tree berries in bloom.
So here are my top tips for including this excursion into your Scotland itinerary.
Rowan turned two this month, and we had a birthday breakfast picnic with our family + a few of his little friends. And I did it! I finally did it! I threw a low-key party without stressing (except once for five minutes), no crafting, and zero let-down expectations.
The only theme I did was everything in dark blue (his favorite color). So I used picnic blanket plaids in blue and had lots and lots of blue balloons around his birthday present -- a teepee! (I figured this was the last year before he was fully talking and submitting birthday theme requests, so I took it and ran! One last, easy, cutesy party before dinosaurs invade my life!)