Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dirty Laundry

"I hope my children look back on today and see a mom who had time to play.
There will years for cleaning and cooking but
children grow old while we're not looking -
So settle down cobwebs,
dust go to sleep. 
I'm cuddling my little girls
Cause children don't keep."

I love this quote for many reasons! I've seen several different versions and each time it tugs on my mommy hearts strings. And lets face it, who doesn't like a good excuse to hold off on housework. If I need to play with my kiddos and get down on the floor and play princesses then I do it. If I need to color and sing songs loudly then lets go. NO one likes laundry, dusting, dishes over playing. You don't have to have kids to agree with me on that one.

BUT lately I've been convicted. I'm not a housekeeper at heart, so I do all I can to avoid it. I LOVE being a stay at home mom, but the cleaning part is not my favorite part of my job description. All that to say, I wondered if that quote really forces me to put down the mop and play some more, OR is it something else that distracts me from my kids? TV, yes I watch some but not when they're up. Computer, nope Emerson likes the buttons too much! What about my phone? Hmm...the smart phone. A great tool to help moms keep in touch with the outside world while juggling the chaos at home. A great tool to converse with adults while singing Jesus Loves Me and Twinkle Twinkle all morning long. A great tool to confirm your new normal of yoga pants, dirty hair, and running shoes is acceptable attire ALL the time. I admit I love my phone. It keeps me connected and in-the-know. This journalist at heart needs that, wants that and has to have the connection.

BUT, and this is a big but, is it worth taking away that precious time with my girls?!? I know the answer. I left my job in broadcasting to love on their little hearts, so really the journalist in me knew what I was doing. I haven't regretted it for one second, not one. SO why do I let a silly thing like a phone be my distraction. I can use it whenever I want. It's always available. Lets be honest, I use it for calls on occasion, but it's the social media that drags me in. One minute I'm looking at a friends status update, then a friend of a friends picture, then an article attached to the cousin of a friend, and so on. You get my point. 

So, I'm giving up Facebook and Twitter (I did that awhile ago, but elections drew me back in) for the time being. I will not be on it when my girls are awake or really even during nap time. If I need something from a friend I can actually dial a number. I will check Facebook at night because that is how I keep in touch with some people about important stuff (more than just day to day status update). You'll still see pictures of my little ones because instagram connects it to those sites. I'm not telling you this so you'll jump on board. I'm telling you as accountability. 

I am in charge of raising our girls to the best of my ability. I'm pretty sure that ability doesn't include social media. Not to mention I don't need to compare my parenting skills out there with everyone else on such sites. I'm the best mom to Stella and Emerson and I don't need to worry about if I did this right or that right. I don't need to beat myself up for not being as creative or superhuman like other incredible moms out there. I just need to be me. God chose me for my girls and I want to play more.

Yes, the laundry will still pile up, cobwebs will form, Facebook statuses will go unread, but life will go on and I'm excited. You might be wondering what I'll do during the time when the girls are playing on their own and don't want me to color or dance around like a fool princess? Simple, I'll be praying!

I'm currently in a great Bible study that is studying the incredible women of the Bible. Recently we studied Hannah. What an incredible women! I will be praying like Hannah. If i'm going to be the best mom I can be for Stella and Emerson, I'll be on my knees. My heavenly Father is far better than any advice on Facebook or one-liner on Twitter. So, bye bye social media, you'll be missed but I have no doubt life is about to get even more exciting.

I'm aware that only a handful of people read my blog, but this is for me and my commitment to my girls. And don't worry I'll still update this at night :)

my new version:

"I hope my girls look back on today and see a mom who had time to play.
There will be years for status updates and tweets but
Stella and Emerson grow old while we're not looking -
Settle down smart phone,
screen go to sleep
I'm dancing with my princesses
cause children don't keep."

Saturday, November 3, 2012

We Found the IDOL!

 Well, yesterday I told you that Tom has decided he wants to get out and hike/explore more. He meant it. This morning we were out the door on our next adventure. It was super fun. This hiking trail is only 2 miles from our place and super fun. Stella absolutely loves it!
 Emerson warmed up to it, but when we first arrived she had just woken up from a quick car nap so she wasn't thrilled. I've always LOVED the outdoors so I'm game for these new outings.
 Tom took exploring to the NEXT level. I've never heard of this, but I guess geocaching has been around for awhile. Basically, if you're familiar with the show Survivor, it's like looking for the hidden idol. Guess what?! We found our first idol/treasure. Tom had clues we were following on his phone, but it wasn't super easy or obvious.
 For this treasure you sign this scroll and then put it back in it's holder and place it back in its hiding spot for the next lucky treasure seeker. How cool is that?
 Stella was proud of our findings. She's already talking about our next treasure hunt. Luckily, Tom says there are lots around here.
 Stella wanted to keep the treasure, but was also excited about making sure it was covered just like when we found it so the next person really had to look hard at the clues.
Covered in moss. I told you it's not super obvious. Anyway, it was another fun family outing before Tom had to head to work this afternoon. I have no doubt we'll be on another treasure hunt soon.

Tom says geocashing is everywhere so if you have little thrill seekers in your family check it out. I'd love to hear about other found treasures.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Family Exploring

 Tom's off today and the weather forecast looked good so we decided to go exploring (as Stella calls it). I'd heard about the Snoqualmie Falls and its not far from us at all so we loaded up and headed out. We were not disappointed. It was beautiful
 Ok, I know, I know. I said it was supposed to be nice weather...and it was! This is mist from the falls. Isn't that crazy? Some viewpoints were a bit wetter than others but so worth it.
 Stella loved it and wanted to keep exploring. I'm thankful we still have lots of areas to explore here.
 Emerson was not a fan of the "wet"spots, but did enjoy the other areas.
Love this little explorer. After checking out the falls we were on the hunt for a trail to explore. Unfortunately there's some construction around the falls so we couldn't hike around there, but we did find an incredible hiking trail closer to our place. I love getting outdoors with my favorite 3 people. Tom has decided he wants to get into hiking more, so I think this is just the beginning of family adventures.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Happy Halloween

 Pre-Halloween festivities. Emerson was pretty serious all night. Stella was stoked.
 Post dinner at the Beall's and pre-trick or treating. It is obvious the sugar is already kicking in for these little princesses.
 Stella and Piper striking a pose.
 The gang. Prince Charming (Cooper), Sleeping Beauty (Stella), Rapunzel (Piper), Hot dog (Summer) and Snow White (Emerson). Don't ask me what the girls are doing. I think they're saying cheese
 Headed out. Notice the rain boots with the princess dress.
 Waiting patiently.
 We divided our trick or treating into two outings. Courtney's sister and brother in law wanted in on the fun so we hit the streets with them, then we went home, sprayed our hair pink and then headed out again once Tom/daddy got off work. These two were SOOO proud of their hair.
 Emerson wasn't quite sure why it was ok to go up to strangers and walk away with candy. She took this job very seriously.
 About the wrap up the night.
 Happy daddy was able to make it.
 It was super fun this year. These girls knew what to do and by the end of the night they were yelling trick or treat and singing in the streets.
Family photo. I'm so thankful for these memories.

On a side note I'm also thankful for the Bealls. Court's sister, Whitney, walked into her house and asked us if we ever thought we'd live close together and be celebrating Halloween with our little ones. Well, honestly, no! Last year I was in Arkansas and Court in Washington. There wasn't even a thought that we'd both end up in the Seattle area. God is good and I'm so thankful that the Bealls have open their home to us as much as they have. I can't wait to get a house and show them the same hospitality.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

T-Ball Princesses

 As part of the sports class Stella is in they cover soccer, t-ball and basketball. This was the last week for t-ball and these two hardcore teammates dressed the part. Don't all t-ball players wear princess gear?
 Waiting for their turn at bat. Out of the 12 kiddos in the class there are 3 girls...and ALL were wearing princess shirts this week.
 There were no tears during this rotation so I think Stella understood how to play t-ball a little better than soccer.
 This little peanut was a big time cheerleader this week. It was super cute.
I know this picture is blurry, but I had to include it because I love the look of determination on her face and she is sticking out her tongue (something I did when playing sports).
Next week we kick off basketball...we'll see how these princesses do :)

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Trick or Treating Along the Seattle Pier

 A couple Disney Princesses traded in their high heals for rain boots for a little trick or treating. Today we headed down to the Seattle Pier with Snow White and Sleeping Beauty to jump start our Halloween sugar high.
 Stella got this dress for her birthday from my grandma for dress up but she's been saving it for Halloween. She loves Sleeping Beauty and kept telling everyone that she was Sleeping Beauty and her sister was Snow White. Stella loved every minute of walking along the pier.
 Snow White wasn't quite sure why people were giving her candy. Believe it or not it even warmed up for a bit to shed their coats (but only for a bit).
 Posing, but she got photo bombed.
 Saying cheese. This is the best I can get these days of this busy 20 month old.
 Sassy Sleeping Beauty.
 Loading up.
 And like any good princess in the pacific northwest, we finished our outing with some seafood and feeding the seagulls.
It was a perfect day for the family outing. We went when it first started so Tom could show us around before heading to work. It never rained and there were even breaks in the clouds and we saw some sun. Love making family memories...especially when it includes two very sweet princesses.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

4 Year Old Stats: Stella Lee

Stella's birthday post is finally up...CLICK HERE for some rainbow fun.

 I saved these pictures so I would remember to post Stella's 4 year old stats. Every year we mark our kids height on a wall at our house. Well, this year is a transition year for us with the move and before we left Arkansas Tom marked their heights on this tape measure. His parents were sweet enough to drive my car out to us and Tom was adamant that they remember the tape measure (we left it because we didn't think our stuff would still be in Arkansas). Oh the adventures of moving.
Anyway, they remembered it, so before bed on her 4th birthday Tom got to work.
This week we finally got Stella into the doctor for her check up (yes, I miss our peds in Arkansas) but we got through it :)

Our sweet girl is...

42 pounds...95th percentile weight
44 inches tall...97th percentile height

No shocker there. Stella towers over friends her age and even older. The doctor says she's on track to be 5'9, so we'll see.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Pumpkin Patch

 A couple weekends ago we bundled up in our rain gear and headed out to a local pumpkin patch. It was a good time. We met our friends, the Bealls, there.
 My pumpkins. Emerson LOVED the pumpkin patch...she got such a kick out of it.
 I love how E is looking at Stella here.
 Stella with her best bud, Piper. These girls have so much fun together. I'm so thankful for this friendship!
 Ha, my attempt at a group shot. Piper, Stella, Cooper and Emerson. (little Summer was bundled up in her carrier)
I LOVE fall and look forward to the pumpkin patch every year. I hope to make this family tradition. There are several pumpkin patches around here to choose from.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

I'm an Ugly Ole Troll...

 Creepy, I know!
Meet the Fremont Troll in Seattle. A couple weeks ago Tom mentioned there was a big Troll under one of the Seattle bridges. For some reason (I'm pretty sure it's linked to Dora) this spiked Stella's interest. She was asking pretty regularly to go see the Troll. This is NOT what I pictured at all. I had no idea it was so huge. If I'm honest I probably pictured something more like the cartoon troll from Dora :)

Anyway, after a few VERY early mornings with Emerson...Tom let me go back to  bed this morning and then ventured out with the girls to see the troll. Stella was a fan.
And poor Emerson hated the creeper. Tom said if he put her down she clung to his leg. This picture makes me laugh every time I look at it. Poor girl is terrified. I don't blame's a bit different than Dora's troll under the bridge :)

Stella has talked about the Troll all day. I'm sure we'll go back and Ill get to see it up close and personal.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Happy 50th Space Needle

 Today Seattle's famous Space Needle is celebrating 50 years. Tom was at work but sent me a text saying if you feel wild it's only $1 to go up the Space Needle. Ha, well boy did I feel wild. Both girls were not napping and just singing in their rooms, so I got them up and off we went.
 It was pretty busy but super cool. This is the view from the line down below. Stella was pretty pumped considering she points it out every time we're downtown. The girls did GREAT waiting in line. It was about an hour wait and kind of chilly. I was pleasantly surprised considering neither had napped and I was conquering this adventure solo.
 Stella was pretty excited about the telescope.
 My little explorer.
 Look at the view. The weather wasn't perfect but it stopped raining while we were on the deck and it was neat to see the storms in the distance.
 Emerson wasn't so sure of this place. Love the view of the city.
 Emerson, did however, love sitting in the middle of the floor inside and yelling cheese. I think we have a class clown.
 This is the view towards Tom's station.
And this was my view on the way home. They were tuckered out.
The only thing that would've made this trip better was if Tom had been there.

I should note, I'm thankful it was only $1 today. The Space Needle is amazing and I'd love to go back, but there's no way I would pay $12 for Stella (at least at this age). She loved it, but we weren't there long enough to justify 12 bucks. However, it would be an incredible date night. There's office up top and place to just sit and chat. I'm sure I'll be back. There's no doubt the Space Needle is a big tourist attraction.