Friday, December 2, 2016

Favorites on Friday

We're smackdab in the middle of the holiday season, so I thought I'd share some things I'm loving right now in case you're looking for some gift ideas for someone in your life...

*My Plum Paper Planner.  I am obsessed with this thing and how it keeps my chaos somewhat organized.  It has the option to customize your rows for each week, so I have a row for each family member, a row for my job, a row for meal planning, etc.  I ordered my 2017 planner on Cyber Monday and can't wait to get it!

*Ebates!!!!!  If you do ANY online shopping, you have to use Ebates.  All you do is go to the website, click on the store where you're going to shop, and bam, you earn money back on your purchase.  It is that easy.  And I've gotten numerous checks in the mail from them, so I can assure you it's legit.  They even have a button you can install on your web browser that'll pop up when you're online shopping to remind you to activate Ebates.  Win-win!  And you'll totally help me out if you sign up using this link, just so you know. :)

*Any workout gear from Athleta.  It's my FAVE.  There are so many things on my Athleta wish list right now!!

*These headphones.  I have tried several wireless headphones while I run and these are the only ones that do not budge, even on the windiest day!  I scooped up a pair on Black Friday for a steal from Target and I am so excited!

*Ugg slippers!  My sister-in-law introduced me to these a couple years ago, and I love love love them.  I always bought cheap slippers and thought it was silly to spend so much on house shoes... but now I am a believer.  I've had these and these and love them both and honestly I wear them every single day while I'm at home!

*Gap Body pajamas!  I am usually a scraggly-tshirt-and-old-pajama-pants kind of girl, but lately I've been trying to wear cute jammies instead.  I am obsessed with this style from Gap body:  shirt and pants.

*Rodan + Fields Last Boost!  I know, I know, hashtag shameless plug.  But for real, this stuff is legit.  I have the worst lashes ever and am absolutely floored by my results already.  And check out my older sister's results after just five weeks:
Obsessed!

*Mrs. Meyers Hand Soap!  I'm usually all about some Bath and Body Works foaming hand soap, but I think I'm officially switching teams to this brand.  Love it!

*All things Yeti!  I use my large Yeti tumbler every single day and night, and for Christmas I'm asking for some Yeti lowballs for my cocktails.  It takes me forever to sip my happy-hour-I-made-it-through-the-day-as-a-mama-of-three-cocktail and I'm always having to refill the ice.  I'm hoping maybe a Yeti lowball will fix this first world problem!  Or maybe one made by RTIC.  Has anyone tried that brand?  Is it just as good?

And speaking of cocktails, t-minus 3 hours until 5:00!  TGIF!!

Friday, November 25, 2016

Friday Confessional!


~I don't understand outside dogs.  Why get a dog if they're just going to be outside all day, everyday?

~I am one of those people who absolutely cannot decorate for Christmas before Thanksgiving.  I don't judge others who do it... it just doesn't work for me.  Probably because Thanksgiving is my FAVORITE.  But now that Thanksgiving is over?  Let's deck the halls!

~And speaking of Christmas, it is so, so important for me to have our family wake up in our own house on Christmas day.  Especially now that there are three Peele kiddos.  It's just something I feel passionate about and am so excited for - creating memories and traditions that will last a lifetime, and that they will hopefully carry on with their own families one day. <3

~I am obsessed with Everette, and I am a total sucker for him and his shenanigans.

~I am loving some Deep Eddy's Grapefruit Vodka.

~And speaking of my new favorite cocktail, I took all three kids to the liquor store to get it.  #motheroftheyear

~I have a love/hate relationship with family meals.  It's important to me for us to eat altogether as a family most nights, but right now it is so chaotic and the meal time ends up looking like a whack-a-mole game while T and I try to keep everyone happy/fed/in their chair/etc.

~Most of the time when I bake it is prompted by my desire to lick the bowl.

 ~I have FOMO when it comes to Christmas shopping.  Will I get the best deal?  Am I missing the best sale?

~Not only did my hair stylist give me a great therapy session last week, she also gave me a great haircut!  Isn't it crazy how refreshed you can feel after a new 'do?  I needed a change - and although it's not drastic, and although shorter hair makes me feel a little fat - it feels so good to have some of my long, thin, stringy hair chopped off.

~When we went to the zoo for E's birthday I forgot to wear a bra.  #truestory

~CK was off of school this whole week, and it was honestly so helpful having her around to help with the boys.  She is such a little mama!

~T and I are constantly assessing the state of Brooks' head - we're both paranoid about him having to get a helmet like E. 

~So, last week I got a call from a cleaning lady who said someone had anonymously gifted me with a house-cleaning.  How amazing is that?  I got off the phone and cried, you guys, because we all know I had a rough week.  I have since figured out who the amazing anonymous person is, and am absolutely blown away by her selflessness and thoughtfulness and I cross my heart that I am going to pay this forward somehow, some way.

~I really like Aldi's cheap wine!

~I don't understand when houses don't have kleenex.  Do you not ever need to blow your nose?

~I always, always, always have to go Black Friday shopping.  I'm not up with the crazies (I say that affectionately) at 4am, and I refuse to go on Thanksgiving night.  But growing up, the ladies in my family always went out shopping at some point mid-morning, were treated to lunch by my Gram (with Bloody Marys of course), and took advantage of the sales.  To me it sort of kicks off the Christmas season and I like the hustle and bustle of it all.  Well this year, it was just me and my girl.  And it was fun and special and I just love her and any chance we get to spend some one-on-one time together. <3

TGIF!  Have a wonderful weekend full of college football, Christmas decorating, and family!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thankful.

Thanksgiving is my favorite, you guys. <3

I love everything about the holiday, and I especially love spending the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving talking to my kids about the word "thankful."

As is tradition, we documented their thankful thoughts everyday, and hung them in our living room so that we can all focus on keeping a thankful heart amidst the chaos of life.

Without further ado, here are their lists:

Cameron Kate:
All of my uncles
James
My cousins
God
My toys
All of my grandparents
My friend Olivia
All of my family
Grammy and PaPa
My teachers:  Ms. Cox, Ms. Brooks, and Ms. Kelly
My stuffed animal friends
Raleigh
Jesus
Everette and Brooks
Mommy and Daddy
My water
Bammy and Digby
Bailey

Everette:
The doctor
My swing
The potty
"Jesus loves me this I know"
My basketball hoop
Uncle Damon
Jesus
"Cool" (school)
My toys
Hugs
Monkeys
Halloween
Sissy
Riding my bike
My Milk
Applesauce


As for me?  My heart overflows with thankfulness this year.  I am so incredibly blessed, especially because of these people... oh how I love them:

<3 Happy Thanksgiving to you and your families <3

Thursday, November 17, 2016

I am the BEST BREAKFAST MAKER EVER.

Do I think I'm a decent mom?

Yes, yes I do.

Do I think I'm doing a good job as a stay-at-home-mama of three?

I'm not sure...

--

This week has me feeling all kinds of ways, and I have had such a pull at my heart to just sit down and write.

Not to be all woe-is-me and not to look for sympathy, but just to put my thoughts on a screen and try to make sense of all the things I am feeling these days.

I've had a rough week.  And I hate even saying that, because it's been rough for good reasons, for all the right reasons...

...rough because I have three kids who need me.  But I have THREE KIDS who need me!

...rough because the house is a disaster.  But I get to live in a BEAUTIFUL HOUSE that needs cleaning!

...rough because there is laundry to do and dinners to cook and lunches to pack and medicine to give and a business to run and holidays to prepare for and budgets to crunch.

But we have clothes!  And food!  And school!  And doctors!  And a job!  And families!  And money in the bank!

I just can't seem to get myself right this week, though.  As we settle into life as a family of five, I find myself questioning every single day if I am doing ok, doing enough as a mama of three.  And this week - honestly - I haven't felt like enough.

I'm a stay-at-home mom, but my house has been a mess, dinners have been shoddy, I haven't played with my kids, I haven't given my husband the attention he deserves, and I've had to restart the washing machine three times because of a forgotten load.  It's just been one of those weeks where I can't figure out where the time is going or why I'm feeling so inadequate and overwhelmed.  It's like I go-go-go from the minute I wake up until the minute I pass out asleep at the end of the day and I just can't give enough to any part of my life.

It hit me yesterday when I felt myself in tears because I missed my kids.  I'm home all day, yet I missed them.  I missed laughing with them and running around with them and rolling on the floor with them and just being present with them.  I missed them because I was so overwhelmed with taking care of all of the other "stuff" - the cleaning and the laundry and the organizing and the shopping and the general to-do's of life - I just haven't been able to actually be with them like I want to be.

And yes, the days are long but the years are short and yes, the laundry will still be there and who cares about the dust bunnies - but the truth is, all of that stuff still has to get done at some point, ya know?  It is my job - to be a mama and to take care of all the ins-and-outs of our lives - and I'm just not feeling good about how I'm performing these days.  As a wife.  As a mama.  As a housekeeper.  As a business-owner.  As a friend.

--

Last night I literally high-fived TJ to tag him in as he walked in the door from work and I walked out to go get my haircut.  And the angels sang HALLELUJAH, because I got an hour ALL BY MYSELF.

And y'all, it was glorious.  And not just because of the way she massaged my head in the shampoo sink... but because she was my therapist for the entire hour.

"So, what's been the hardest part since Brooks was born?"  She asked.

I'm not sure she intended for me to absolutely spill over with all I had on my mind, but boy did she get an earful.  And she listened and offered advice and made me take a step back and give myself some grace and we laughed and came up with some ideas to help me feel better about things.  And I kept telling her I felt guilty for even complaining about it all.  It all feels like such first world problems... and I can't help but go back to where I was four years ago, when we battled our infertility and yearned to have a chaotic life with a house full of kids.

But just because this is hard, just because I have a bad day, just because I am overwhelmed to the point of tears sometimes - none of that means I'm taking this for granted.  That I'm not grateful for the chaos, the noise, the exhaustion.  And my therapist hair stylist made me realize that last night.

"Your worst day with them is better than your best day without them."  Which is so, so true. <3

--

It's okay to not feel like enough sometimes.  It's okay to actually not be enough sometimes.  I can't do it all, ya know?  Some days I will rock that laundry.  Some days I will make a delicious, well-balanced dinner.  Some days our house will be clean.  Some days I will succeed in making my husband feel loved and adored.  Some days I will spend hours playing with my children.  But I cannot do it all today.  I cannot get it all done, all of the time.  

And I guess that's ok.

I remember the days I prayed for what I have now - and yes, one day the house will feel too empty and too clean and too quiet.  So I will love every second of this season of life.  But it is hard, you guys.  Beautiful and exhausting and hilarious and messy and overwhelming and just plain hard.

But I just hope, with all my heart, that my people - especially my husband and my three children - know that they are so incredibly loved... that they are my happy thoughts... that they make my world go 'round... even if that world is upside down most days.

--

Yesterday I ate lunch while nursing Brooks and simultaneously pumping the other boob and I had to take a picture and laugh at the hilarity and absurdity of the moment.  Multitasking much?
And yes, pizza for lunch because who needs to lose baby weight?!

And I also have to disclose that about two minutes after I snapped this picture I nearly knocked my plate of pizza off of the tv tray and in an effort to grab it (SAVE THE PIZZA!) the entire bottle of pumped milk spilled all over Brooks and me.

And yes, I did cry over spilled milk.  Because #liquidgold.

It was basically the icing on the cake of a week that has kicked my butt.  But a week that has taught me a lot about who I am right now and who I want to be and what I want to do better... for myself and for my family.

--


This morning CK told me I was the best breakfast maker EVER.  All I did was toast a piece of bread, you guys.  But you'd better believe I picked up that tiny little 5-year-old compliment and put it in my pocket because today I need all the atta-girls I can get.

Today I want to soak it all up - the good and the bad - I want to keep our house afloat, I want to laugh with my kids and kiss their boo-boos and teach them right and wrong and apologize when I lose my temper and give myself some grace and learn to love each fleeting moment.

And I want to wake up tomorrow and try to do it all again, just a tiny bit better.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Woohoo Friday!

Woohoooooooooo Friday!

O N E
Although Daylight Savings Time kicked all of the Peele butts, I am so excited to be smack-dab in the middle of November.  It is my most favorite month with my most favorite holiday, and I love spending so much time talking to the kids about the word "thankful."
Life is still pretty chaotic these days as I continue learning how to be a mama of three, but I'd really like to continue our tradition of doing our Kindness Inspires Kindness project.  It is one of my most favorite traditions we do as a family this time of year!  We kicked it off yesterday by filling up our Operation Christmas Child box for a 5-year-old girl (CK's choice, of course).  It was just so sweet watching her pick out toys and surprises that she thought a little girl her age would love.
Let the kindness and love and joy and awesomeness of the holiday season begin!!

T W O
Speaking of my Cameron Kate, she is just so grown up you guys.  And just the sweetest little mama to her little brothers.  As soon as she gets home from school she wants to play with Everette.  It is so cute watching her guide him through her imagination and world of pretend.  And don't even get me started on how much she adores Brooks.  I think her little heart almost exploded when T let her give Brooks his first bottle last weekend (which he took like a champ, by the way)...

T H R E E
I finally started running again - yippeeeee!!  Oh how I've missed it.  My body is like WHAT, but it feels so good to get out and run.  It really is therapeutic for me!  And I'm ready to start fitting into some clothes, so I'm trying to get back into a good running and workout routine as best as I can... which is tricky while trying to meet the needs of three littles!  So I guess I'll have to be patient with these hips that don't lie and trust that time and exercise and a few less handfuls of M&Ms will eventually lead to a little less postpartum jiggle.

F O U R
Guess who started "cool" this week?!  My big boy E!  Well, it's really only Mother's Morning Out, but don't tell him that.  He thinks going to school is just about the best thing ever.  He's going one morning a week for a few hours, and he absolutely loves it.  I missed him so much!  But having him run full speed into my arms with a huge smile on his face when I got there for pick-up?  Oh, my heart.

F I V E
And I'll leave you with this:
Our little caboose is two months old!  Can you even believe it?!  And I guess I shouldn't say little, since he weights more than both of his siblings did at this point (even though he was the smallest at birth).  He is just such a sweet baby, y'all, and is really starting to be so smiley.  He's even starting to try to "talk" and it is adorable.  We are all just obsessed with him and so glad he is ours. <3

Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, November 7, 2016

How we Celebrated our E!

Y'all, we had the best time celebrating our E!  We opted not to do a party this year, and instead soaked up the day with just the five of us.  Here is how Everette spent the day turning TWO...

He woke up to the only thing he'd asked for... CUPCAKES!  And four presents from us - something he wants, something he needs, something he wears, something he reads.  (This is what we always do for birthdays!)

He also woke up to a room full of red balloons!

He loved opening his presents this year!  One tiny piece of wrapping paper at a time... ha!  His something to read was a book about superheroes...

His something to wear was his very own helmet, which he wanted to wear all.day.long.

And his something he wants was this awesome truck that sings and moves all around by itself!

Cupcakes for breakfast!!

And then we surprised our birthday boy with a trip to the zoo!  We knew we wanted to do something to make the day feel special, and this ended up being so so perfect...

Trying to hold up TWO fingers...

<3

He'd had about all the fun he could stand and didn't last long on the way home, falling asleep in his now forward-facing car seat!

Once home it was time for more presents from grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins, playing with new toys, macaroni and cheese for dinner (by request!), and some happy-birthday-singing and chocolate-cupcake-eating...

Sweet boy slept hard that night under his "something he needs" gift - a superhero blanket - made for a superhero little boy with love by his mama:

It was a very low-key birthday, but my hope is that our E felt loved and special and spoiled as he turned the big 0-2. <3