Holiday Season is in full swing over here, and boy does our family like a good party. We celebrate everything big and small, these past few weeks have certainly given us good reason to cheers our glasses! Along with all the holiday partying, my brother and his wife had a little girl and my baby sister got engaged to an amazing guy and great friend of Gavin’s so we are feeling blessed! As I’ve mentioned before, I have 4 siblings ( Patrick, Kj, Scotty, Jenna) and 4 cousins who we share a property with ( Rachel, Madi, Grace, Jack) that I consider siblings and over the holiday season we spend basically every waking moment together. Family is by far the most important thing in our life and I’m grateful I’m stuck with ones I like to be around!

LRG_DSC08070

Last night we got together for one of my favorite traditions, Gingerbread Houses! This isn’t your average decorating party, its hosted by the best babysitter in the world, Gina! (seen below in red) Gina actually babysat me when I was a little girl and she now babysits my kiddos once a week! She is the best, I have never met someone like her and probably never will. She goes crazy as soon as Halloween ends and ends up with 50-60 tubs of different candies! She hand makes every gingerbread house with love, and literally creates a party in our dining room!

LRG_DSC08064

LRG_DSC08067

Wyatt and the kids went crazy, they were eye level with the candy so of course by the end of the night the house felt like a zoo of animals on a sugar high. Watching kids decorate the houses is always so representative of their personalities. Wyatt was very detailed and meticulous for about 5 minutes, then forgot all about his house and  started eating the frosting. I let him. If I can binge on candy once in a while, so can he. Thankfully he relaxed and today is a new day, no candy for a long time!

LRG_DSC08034

 

LRG_DSC08050

LRG_DSC08028

Holiday season is such a happy time, I hope you are all enjoying the time with your loved ones participating and creating new traditions! I’ve been having so much fun celebrating, that I have not finished my gifts! If you are in the same boat, check out my Amazon Prime gift list for kids of all ages here!

LRG_DSC08075

LRG_DSC08061

Hope you all have a wonderful day! I see people from different places around the country and world reading on here and would love if you would comment below where you are from! Writing for my blog has been so much fun and I am so grateful for all of your suport!

xoxo,

Stephanie LRG_DSC08053-2

LRG_DSC08051

LRG_DSC08065-2.jpg

I opened my door yesterday morning and the beautiful orange sky caught my eye so like any millennial, I took out my phone to snag a picture. If only the reason behind the beautiful sky was as beautiful as it looked, unfortunately that’s not the case at all. That same fire that beautifully lit up the sky is destroying lives and homes just under 100 miles away from my warm home full of Christmas lights and cheer. While I put up my Christmas Tree, gather with family and friends, others just a few towns over are walking on ashes of what was their holiday decor, years of memories, and the areas where they were going to celebrate this wonderful holiday season.

FY8A3557

I knew I wanted, and had to do something…I just wasn’t sure what. My friend Abby texted me about finding a family and I knew that was the perfect thing. With ALL that I have this season, the least I could do is help a family who have lost so much.

Gavin and I prayed, he left for work and I got to work. I took to Instagram, searched #ThomasFire and scrolled and scrolled looking through pictures hoping I could find someone who had posted of the mess. I found a picture that shook me, a home torn to the ground with the fireplace just in tact. It was the friend of the survivor who posted it, and I instantly searched for the girl who she gave PC (picture credit) to. Her name was Lauryn. Long story short, I messaged her on a few different social media sites and got in contact.I verified it was her, I stalked her social media and saw it flooded with comments from friends and families, a few go fund me pages set up. In this cruel world I knew I needed to double check this was for real and sadly, it was as real as it gets.

Her family lost their entire home. The cars were burned and the metal still looked hot. It was a horrific picture I saw on her website here.

 

FY8A3570

FY8A3560

FY8A3562

Her sweet sweet demeanor and humble sense inspired me so much to help her out. She was the face of the Thomas Fire. Sometimes its so hard when it seems so big to find an actual person because it seems like “everybody” needs help. It’s hard to help everybody, but its not hard to help a single person. She was a fan of my brother in law Chris Burkard so I got in contact with him and like the good hearted person he is, he reached out. It’s little actions in times like this that go a long way.

I decided to create an Amazon Wish List, and a Go Fund me Page. Her request was not for the small things because the donations are plenty but the need for her family to buy a house and get on their feet again by buying things like beds and dressers. Of course she wouldn’t tell me exactly what she wanted for Christmas but I comprised a list and I hope you can find it in your heart to buy something for this sweet girl and donate to the Go Fund me page.  I can only imagine the gifts she was supposed to receive were burned as well. All items that are bought through the Amazon wish list and in the Go Fund Me Account will be delivered to her by hand with all of the donated names on it.

Let’s show Lauryn and her family what community and good people are all about.

Click HERE for the GoFund me. 

Click Here for the Amazon Wish list

SO much love,

Stephanie

FY8A3578

FY8A3570

FY8A3574

FY8A3580

FY8A3554

Ever see that girl on Christmas Eve in a minor panic, awkwardly shoving an embarrassing amount of items in her cart at Target? That’s me. There are certain things in life I have a very hard time understanding, and how people finish their Christmas presents before December is one of them. It will forever remain mystery to me how people can be that organized.  In fact, being a mom you would think nap times would allow me to shop like crazy but honestly the situation goes a little like this; adds 162 items to my cart, get anxiety, click exit. Anyone with me?! anyone haha? I swear the happiness of the holidays is equally paralleled with Holiday Mom Stress.

So what do I do when I’m literally headed in the same boat for the 10th year in a row?! Rally up my girls and ask for help! Y’all, meet my team of mom elves..prettiest elves you’ve ever seen! Together we have worked hard, taken a few trips to the North Pole and back, and created the PERFECT list for anyone buying gifts for children 0-10! No need to do the work, we got you covered!

A mom elf representing each age and gender picked ONE toy or gadget that would be their choice if they only had the option of choosing ONE TOY for their child! Grandmas, Aunts, Mamas, Friends, this is a goldmine and these mamas did such an amazing job you won’t need to look any further! Plus, its not a list full of items from a million websites.. one stop shop all from Amazon.com! Not to mention, if you’re like me you love Amazon Prime, we have plenty of items that will arrive to you in no time! Scroll down to see the amazing  faces behind this golden list and the details on each individual item!!

So take a look around, find your age and gender and get your Christmas shopping done!! These mamas were so much fun to work with and gather ideas from. There is nothing better than uniting and coming together and this mama list is just that! Special thank you to ALL the beautiful mamas you see above, I think we made Santa proud! Take a look around and click on the corresponding links below to go directly to the item!

xo,

Stephanie

 

book

0-3 month / 0-3 Month Boy /

3-6 month old girl  / 3-6 Month Boy /

6-9 Month Girl 6-9 Month Boy /

9-12 Month Girl /  9-12 Month Boy   /

1 Year Old Girl   /  1 Year Old Boy    /

2 year old girl  / 2 year Old boy  / 2 year old boy (option 2) 

3 Year Old Girl  / 3 Year Old Boy 

4 Year Old Girl  / 4 year old Boy 

5 year old girl  / 5 Year old Boy

6 Year Old Girl   / 6 Year Old Boy

7 Year old Girl. / 7 Year Old Boy

8 Year old Girl   / 8 Year old Boy

9 Year Old Girl    / 9 year old Boy

10 Year Old Girl  / 10 Year Old Boy

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four months ago you could find me with an In N Out double cheeseburger, animal style french fries and a big ice water all balanced on my 9month pregnant belly. The days approaching delivery were a total free for all and I took serious advantage of it. Fast forward to today, 4 months postpartum, exactly! My In N Out order looks a bit different, and my belly not so big. The adjustment has been tough. I’ve had my great moments and not so great but all in all, completely worth it.

Postpartum fitness can really suck, I equate it to our bodies being thrown into a blender with little to no direction of how to put all the pieces back together. To be honest, it’s much harder going back to working out when your main priority is being a mother, and your body feels so different. Somewhere in our brains is this giant area called mom guilt and I don’t know if you have it, but I do and it weighs heavily on me! I felt like investing in “me” was a bit selfish but boy was I wrong. Taking care of myself means taking care of them.. Gavin Wyatt & Rosie. The second I realized that, I pushed through.

Three pieces of advice I would give to you that work for me are:

1. Get Up Before them or Stay up later: I ️ ️ found that if I worked out during a time I wouldn’t normally be with them made me feel much better. Mornings for me are by far the best time, I set my alarm and pack my clothes the night before. I literally roll out of bed, brush my teeth, and roll to the gym. My alarm is set at 5:30AM with the quote “Now or Never. Get Up.”

2. Tighten my Ponytail and get after it: Y’all better watch out when you see a girl tighten her ponytail, it generally means it’s about to get serious. When i’m at the gym, I work hard. It is my time, I want to use it wisely. It’s easy to get distracted on your phone or doze off in distraction but I know the time I have is limited and if I don’t use it wisely, it’s gone before I know it.

3. Get Ready! immediately after! Once I get home, it is no time before my babies wake up and my job is back on. When I get back from the gym I jump in the shower and get “ready ” even if that means putting leggings and a tee on. It makes me feel like my day is beginning and even if I don’t leave the house, I still feel ready and I don’t smell haha. Being dressed is a small act that really changes my attitude and outlook on the day ahead. That brings me to my favorite pair of leggings that have aided in my postpartum journey… Lalabu Leggings.

Today I’m teaming up with Lalabu, featuring their leggings because these suckers are life savers. Not just for postpartum bodies although that is what they are intended for, they suck in and push back, work their magic. If I could wear leggings every moment of my life, these would be them. I’ve tried all brands of leggings, and these certainly win. They are high up reaching just below the belly button, perfectly hiding the kangaroo pouch that held my babies. They are thick and dark for full coverage, because nothing is worse than a pair of see through leggings. I’ll continue to wear them for months because they squeeze tight in my abdomen area and give good support to my back as I lug around my kids! Check out their options here

I am doing an awesome giveaway on my Instagram, go here and Enter to win your own free pair!!!

Hope you all have an amazing weekend!

xoxo

Stephanie

This morning I woke up to the cry of my little boy, picked him up, kissed him and within seconds he was soothed, happy and full of smiles telling me about his dream. Yesterday he fell and scraped his finger, I was superwoman and made it better with a single kiss. Last week I sat with him, held his knees and cheered as he pooped in the potty, then wiped his bottom.  Three years ago I spent every single day tracking his growth in my belly, investing every bit of my life into the idea of having a son. Two years ago, every single emotion flew threw me when he was born. Nobody questioned where his crying 7 pound eleven ounce body was to be laid in order to comfort the cries of a newborn, I was his mom, he goes to me.  The closest, most comforting person he had in his life, and 20 plus years from that moment (years being his soother, guider, teacher, superwoman, protector) I’m supposed to “happily” take the back seat. To my future daughter in law, give me grace.

I have prayed and prayed for you, but nothing seems more terrifying than the moment I’ll realize he’s met you. His dad and I will spend every day  teaching him the importance of you, his future wife. Praying for you at night, teaching him that he must put you before us all, and treat you with respect, kindness, and most importantly unconditional love. Give me grace when you come around and all I want to do is hug my son a little tighter, keep the little boy I’ve spent my life loving, my little boy a little longer.

Give me grace if I overstep my boundaries. I’ve dug through his backpack for years by this point, been a part of every basketball team, the main contact for every single thing he’s taken part in, and known his life down to the details. I’m supposed to, that’s what I’ve been taught a good mom does. His happiness is mine, his pain I’ve felt, and his frustrations I’ve done all I can to understand. If I overstep, please give me grace because turning off these emotions and hiding them to let you take them over is new to me. I’ll get the hang of it I promise, but it won’t be easy.

Give me Grace when I get emotional at your proposal, bridal shower, wedding. I would like to say all these tears are happy but they won’t be. I think a part of me will cry a tear or two of sadness that my little boy is no longer all mine but my wish is that they will be overcome by happy tears that you are here. What a bittersweet feeling the idea of all this is. I’m sure you’ll catch my eye, chop it up to the fact I’m his emotional mom, and then all I ask is… please give me grace.

Give me grace when your child is being born and I want to be there. The mother in law always gets jipped, I know. But when you are quietly talking to your husband about how you don’t want me there, give me grace. I love my son, I love you and I understand you don’t want me seeing your hoohaw but I do know the feeling of love you’re about to experience. I hope that the love you’re going to have when they lay that baby on your chest gives you an understanding that is the same kind of love I’ve experienced too. Except that tiny baby is now a big hairy grown adult man about to have a baby of his own. Give me Grace, because that love you’re about to experience doesn’t fade,  it grows. I feel the same way I did all those years ago as I do today, if not more yet  I have to channel all those emotions differently, so give me grace.

There are books and podcasts, magazines and movies about being a mother, but so little talks about how after 20ish years of doing all that we have to change it all. Mothering is easy, to most like myself its the most natural feeling I’ve ever experienced. However, the letting go.. not so much. So all I ask is that you give me grace, I know ill make mistakes, overstep, and bother you that’s what mother in-laws do. I’m well aware that mother in laws are the easiest ones to take frustration out on, I’ve heard endless stories. Please know that I’m doing all I can to grow through this, to understand my new role and be amazing at it. Because you deserve it, and so does my son.

You see, I’m one of the lucky ones. In fact, I wouldn’t feel comfortable writing this if my relationship with my own mother in law  wasn’t as great as it is. She is respectful, loving and finds comfort knowing that we both love Gavin but in different capacities. There is no need to compete for a spot in his heart because there is room for both of us. Give me grace as I navigate through it all and follow the example she has taught me.

This very awkward balance will be difficult to master but give me grace as I figure it out. It’s all out of love, and I pray you will see it. I can’t wait to meet you someday, but for now ill hold on tight to what’s all mine, my son.

Love,

Your Future Mother in Law

TSA2i1511118356.jpg