Monday, June 30, 2014

Dancing Queen

 This little ballerina stole my heart once again during her recital this weekend! The girl loves to dance. There are times I think ballet is too strict for her (she likes to do some crazy fun moves), but then she blows me away with her performances.
 This year the recital theme was Seasons, Stella's class was spring. Stella loved it. She loved it so much she has begged to go back to the same dance school so she can continue to learn from her incredible teacher, Diadra.
 Of course, Papa and Gaga came up from Oregon to watch their girl twirl.
 A proud daddy!
 My dad gave Stella this rose before they headed back to Oregon and she was SO proud. I mean SO proud!! I remember my grandpa giving me flowers after my dances, what a sweet memory for my girl too!
 Stella with two of her dancing buddies, Addy and Addison.
 Posing with her flower from Papa before the Finale.
 Hugs with Lily behind stage while the wait for their encore :)
 Stella's super sweet friend, Kaylin, performed the night before but came to Stella's night so she could cheer for her and give her a flower after the show. It is so sweet to hear her talking about that flower. Let me tell you a kind gesture like that DOES NOT get lost on my 5 year old. It truly makes her heart smile. It was so sweet.
 Grammie wins the prize for traveling the farthest to watch a 2 minute (if that) dance :) But she was so proud of Stella and Stella LOVED having her Grammie there. Of course the pink roses were pretty exciting too. It was so cute driving home with Grammie and Stella because Stella was talking a mile a minute about all the excitement behind stage and how she tried to find us to wave, but the lights were too bright and how she wants to dance this summer and stay with her teacher and friends and do more dances, etc.
So I guess we're in for more dancing. I highly doubt, she'll change her mind. And lets face it---non of us want her to stop because it's just so stinken cute to see her up on stage.
We love you Stell-Bell!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

CAMPING! What I learned While Surviving in the Woods

Oh my word y'all, we ventured out of the city  into the woods for the FIRST Yazwinski camping trip. To say it was awesome would be an understatement, to say it was perfect would be a lie, but in the daily life with a toddler and 5 year old this mama had a blast. I should was close to perfect. Ok, actually it probably couldn't have been better, but I need to allow room for improvements so I'll leave it at that.

I did, however, learn a lot on this trip in the woods with my family and friends. If I'm honest, I was and am super excited about camping this summer. I want to unplug and enjoy my family, really enjoy them. I want to get dirty with them, run around with them, laugh with them (I mean really laugh---the kind of laughing that leaves images of my sweet girls smiles in my heart forever), wake up with them (very early), snuggle up with them, explore with them, etc, BUT I was a bit hesitant. I didn't want to let it show. After all, I'm mom and I need to make sure we're ready to survive in the woods.

I grew up camping, so I knew I would like it, but could I handle being the one in charge? MY mom used to do all the preps and made sure we were fed (3 times a the woods, that's a lot:). She made sure we had enough clothing and the right options. I was confident going into this whole camping as a family idea, but then I started doubting my capability. What if we hate it? What if it rains (it did down pour one night, but it was awesome)? It went on and on...BUT you know what...we had an unbelievable time and I'm so excited for the next trip!

I learned some fun things along the way...

 Pack more clothes than you think are needed. You think you need 5 shirts...pack 10, ha!
 S'mores are yummy morning, noon and night!
 The dirtier you are...the more fun you've had.
 Enjoy the nighttime conversations. Our girls did so much during the day, it was fun to hear their stories of adventure before bed. Oh and bring extra blankets!
 Early morning, sharing-a-sleeping-bag-to-stay-warm cuddles are the BEST.
 Relax! Camping can be hard work for the parents, BUT it's still a break from the real world, so rest your eyes if need be.
 Brave the great outdoors with friends. Ditch the makeup, fancy clothes (since I have so many fancy things:)), and soak in the vitamin D.
 Get wet, splash around, THEN go play in the dirt. Make mud! Search for bugs! Dig! But always wash your hands before dinner :)
Have fun. Laugh it off. Unplug. While I did have phone service and brought out my lifeline (aka phone) to take pictures and keep you all updated on was so refreshing to soak in life. To really experience the fun. I didn't care what the rest of the world was up to. My whole world, Tom and the girls, were making memories. We were in God's beauty taking it all in.

I did walk away with close to a million mosquito bites and a killer farmer's tan, but the smell of sweet Emme's hair as she snuggled in so close each morning and Stella's giggles when helping me make tacos in a bag are memories not posted on Facebook or tweeted to friends---they're memories I'll cherish as the first time the Yazwinski Clan braved the woods with friends!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's day to some of the most incredible women I know!
Today--Mother Nature treated us folks in the pacific Northwest with a little vitamin D. Believe me it's was very much appreciated

 So I have been blessed by amazing women in my life, but no one compares to my MOM and Grandma! NO ONE! I know many of us are blessed to fight for the Title: My Mom  is the best! But my mom is perfect. Yep, I said perfect. She's perfect because even in her shortcomings (I've yet to find any, but she's human)...she's the PERFECT mom for ME. God knew exactly what He was doing when He blessed me with her. She's my rock, my sounding board, my cheerleader, my friend, my punching bag, my advice-giver, my listener, my "calm down Sydney"...she's my everything! And while we have ups and downs...She is the perfect mom for me.
 And the women who paved the way for my my grandma or as I used to call her Mom-mom. I'm beyond blessed to spend the day outside in the sun chasing after my girls while sipping lemonade with my mom and mommom. I know it's a blessing and I'm trying my hardest to not take it for granted!
 I just love that at 84 years grandma thought taking a "selfie" was super fun!
You know it was a good Mother's day when you get to hug your moms neck, grandma's neck, and return home with two worn out kiddos!

Like I said before I know I'm blessed. And while my mom and grandma are my favorites (and rightfully so) there are so many women old and state and out of state...raising toddlers and welcoming grandkids that have impacted my view on motherhood. Some of you help keep me sane during this crazy ride we call mommy hood while others impacted my life years before I had my own little ones that call me mommy.

I love you all! Happy Mother's Day!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

I Want to be Like My Daughter When I Grow Up!

Yes, I'm sneaking up on my 34th birthday, but I want to be like my 5 year old! I know many of you understand, but I'll still explain. 

It was a big week at the Yazwinski house. We're slowly (or not so slow if you ask me) approaching the elementary school stage of our lives. WHAT?!?!? I'm not quite sure how this has happened, but it's getting real...and it's getting real FAST! (ok, I know...slow or fast...I need to pick a speed, but I just can't wrap my brain around it!)

I digress. Anyway, I'm so proud of our first born. Stella is beyond excited about kindergarten and was ready for the open house to explore her future school and meet her potential teachers. Before we even registered for school she told me she wanted to ride the bus the first day. Gulp, but I'm proud of her confidence and eagerness to try something new.

 My heart skipped a beat as wee were heading into the school my independent Stella ran up and grabbed her daddy's hand. She wasn't nervous or one bit hesitant, but instead she was proud to kick off this new journey (and if we're honest, was probably reassuring daddy that this was going to be "ok"). It also reminded me that while I know she's ready to take on the world, she is still 5 and likes to hold our hand.

So while I knew Stella would know a few friends from preschool, the gym, church etc...I wasn't prepared for just how social she really is. As we were waiting for the "welcome" to start, Stella was working the room saying hi to friends she just met at the park THAT day, hugging "old" friends, introducing her gym friends to her buddies from church, and making sure WE noticed each and everyone of those little people in her life. She was smiling from ear to ear. Friends from "all" over coming together---I could just tell she knew kindergarten was going to be amazing!

When we moved here less than 2 years ago, I prayed the girls would adjust well and make friends. Prayers answered!

After a quick welcome to the Class of 2028 (wait, WHAT?!?!) Stella was off to check out the kindergarten classes and meet the teachers.

We checked out the art projects, work tables, desks, and even some tadpoles. She was soaking it all in while Tom and I were still trying to wrap our mind around this new adventure just a couple months away.

BUT, then she did it! She walked straight up to one teacher and said "Hi Mrs....I'm Stella! Thanks for letting me see your classroom." Then the next class, the same thing! She was so eager to know the teachers and for them to know her. She wasn't one dot shy, nervous, or hesitant. She stood tall, shook their hands, and never doubted this was right where she needed to be!

So, THAT's why I want to be like my daughter when I grow up. I want that youthfulness that isn't jaded or judged. I want to stand tall, walk into a room and never question my reason for being there.

As we grow older, we lose that innocence, we start doubting our purpose, we compare ourselves to a fault, we are friends with certain people while we aren't fans of others, at times we even forget who we are. Let's face it--- in a world where we're told how to look, act, parent, etc, etc we sometimes forget to stand tall and accept that no matter how flawed we may be we're the perfect version of who God created us to be.

So instead of letting those evil comparisons get in my head, Stella reminded me to LIVE life, stand tall and take on the world! Instead of getting caught up in cliques, or the he said she said dramas...I want to be confident in who I am and not worry about what the world or what others say is right or wrong. I want to be REAL.

While her world may include the ABC's, a new bus route, and fun art projects she's taking it on with gusto. She's ready to get to know the teachers, meet knew friends, introduce old friends to new friends, and  have fun.

This week Stella reminded me we were all innocent once. Yes, life happens and it's not always pretty but little reminders to accept everyone no matter who they are, how they dress, how they parent, what they wear, drive, where they live---you get the idea. I know we wont always play nice in the sandbox, but it sure is nice witnessing my daughter eager to see the friends she loves, love each other. I know they wont all be best friends and times will change, but right now it's refreshing!

I'm thankful for my social butterfly! I pray that she'll seek out the shy/nervous kiddos when kindergarten kicks off and be used as a tool to help that transition of to a new school be a little less scary.

And while I fully expect to go through a box of kleenex the first day month of school, I am excited  to see how God uses my little Stell-Bell.

Stella with her friend Addison. Watch out have no idea what's headed your way!

"Don't let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity."
1 Timothy 4:12

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Potty Training Part 2p

Well, Emerson is potty trained. It was easier than I expected. Nothing is easy with this munchkin, BUT is she really potty trained?

Poor girl loves her big girl panties, but going number 2 stresses her out. I remember this with Stella, but as soon as we put a diaper on her she'd go. We did that so she wouldn't hold it for too long. I know this is a lot  of TMI, but Em can hold it even longer. The diaper trick doesn't work. Any tips? We've started a sticker chart and she loves it. We're hoping this helps and I bought my last box of pull ups tonight (at least that's what I keep telling myself), so we're hoping she relaxes a bit with #2.

Besides that...I can't believe we're ALMOST done with diapers! What? Where are my babies?

Friday, January 10, 2014

We're all in...12th Man!

 If you've followed the NFL at all this year, then you know we're living in a very exciting time for the Seattle Seahawks! Emme is a very proud fan. And despite what you may think she's not jumping on the 12th man bandwagon...she has loved the SEA-HAWKS since we moved here. She is a loyal fan. How cute is her skirt? My friend Lindsay made it...and is selling them if you want one!
 In an effort to take in all the football hype, we bundled up today and showed our team spirit at the big pep rally nearby. The girls were so excited to meet Blitz.
 I think daddy was excited too!
And we may not have tickets to tomorrows big game against the Saints, but we've got our team spirit. We're IN! And we've made it official...we now how a Seahawk flag flying outside our house. GO HAWKS!!!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Prima Ballerina

 I know I'm bias. I know I'm her mom. I know I'm her biggest cheerleader. I know I'm her protector, BUT man on man this picture takes my breathe away. Stella truly is a beauty both inside and out. Her heart for her friends and family is worn on her sleeve. I learn so much from this sweetie everyday!
 Anyway, this ballerina had a Christmas dance for the other day. She was calling it her recital, but that's not until June. But what joy it was to see them strut their stuff. This is Stella's sweet friend Addy.
 Stella loves Miss Diadra. She is so patient with the girls.
 Oh these sillies: Lily, Stel, Addy and Addison.
 I love watching her dance. She gets so into it and very serious.
 I don't know if she'll always love dancing, but I love that she's learning about good posture and a positive self esteem with her friends while having fun.
When did she get so old?!?!?