Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Getting Gutzy!

So my girls have been in school for a full week now. The house has been blissfully quiet. Mama (ME) has gotten most of her work done. YAY! A party tonight was definitely in order. We grabbed some neighbor kids and invited them over to a backyard party hosted by Gutzy Gear!

I used to love decorating my backpack in school. Everyone had a backpack, but it was what you put on your backpack that made you stand out. Gutzy Gear offers Velcro straps that you put right on your backpack strap. Did ya' hear that Velcro! That's awesome because I hate to iron. Like super hate, hate, hate it! The kids can pick the patches they want and stick them right on their backpack. You know what else this is good for?? Some good ol' fashioned patch swapping! How easy! Kids can just trade patches with each other easy peasy! There was lots of patch trading going on tonight.

The kids at the party ranged in ages from 4- 12 and Gutzy was a hit with every single one! We somehow have a few leftover and my girls are super jazzed to take them to school and share with friends. Thank you so much for giving us some awesome gear to try out Gutzy! And of course Mom select!

Disclosure: My family was given Gutzy Gear by MomSelect. This post has not been reviewed by a third party and all opinions are my own as they always are. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

So its Tuesday

Its 6:30 am. I need to go make my coffee still. Its another day of record breaking heat in the valley. meh.... So If we were really meeting for coffee I would talk about the fact that my youngest little girl is getting ready to turn four. She is such a little pistol. Her spunk and zest for life keep me on my toes every day. I think we are keeping the day low key. Cake, ice cream and presents with grandma and grandpa at Mcdonalds. Thats what I love about four year olds. They are easy peasy to make happy.

Lexi brought home a cello yesterday! She is so gutsy. i always wanted to play the cello but never had the guts to go for it. So in all honesty if we were meeting for coffee I would spill my guts to you Lexi. About how hard 12 has been so far. I know pre teens are hard to deal with. Its not like I am expecting her personalty to be sparkles and rainbows all the time. I know she will argue about chores, homework, phone rules. BUT I never thought the arguments would go so far. Or that her words could be so hurtful. That a single conversation with her could leave me questioning every decision I have ever made in parenting her. I'm lost and frustrated. Every day feels like an emotional battle field. The end of the day is leaving me drained and defeated. This is a season God is allowing us to walk through right now. I know he will walk with me. This too shall pass. But this is one of those seasons that I cant wait to be over. I dont want to be here. I want God to skip over this part of refining me. But thank God that God is control of me and my life and Lexis. He is trying to do a work in both if us. But I am totally ok with learning this lesson as fast as possible so life can resume.

Random fact: The dictionary just added the word f- bomb and sexting. They are official now!

Friday, August 10, 2012

And Just like that its Friday

Thinking about seasons this morning. Mainly because its reached 117 degrees here for the past three days and there is no end is sight. So gross. So unfair. I am dreaming of fall, or at least Arizonas smallish version of it.

School started!! So far the girls love it. I can not believe Lexi will be in Jr. high next year. That will be the first time the girls have not been at the same school.

Here are a few highlights from the week.

  1. My guys.
  2. I took a meal to a new mama. Such a simple way to bless someone. Its the Pioneer woman's chicken Spaghetti.
  3. I had coffee with two amazing friends, they both are fellow bloggers. You could tell when kate was taking a picture of her cheese cake. hehe
  4. coffee with naked Ken....totally normal.

Happy Friday! 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

First day of school eve

When I was kid school started in September. Here in the fiery inferno called Phoenix it starts in early August. And ya' know what? Thats fine with me. This summer has been rough. I am happy to see the kids go back. I have some emotion, sure. Lexi is in her last year of elementary school! But for the most part I am sending them out the door in newish clothes, with a high five and a lunch money check.
My dudes.

I am parying that this is the best year yet for my girls. That life long quality friends are made and that they both work hard and play hard. 6th grade was my favorite year ever in school. I am hoping it will be the same for my girl. Myka is a little left out. But at least she has pre -school to keep her busy.
So heres to first days and freshly sharpened number two pencils! To magical school years, and hope that they will like the teachers. When do your kids go back to school ?

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Out to dinner

Today was decent. As in real good friends. Lots of good news. And in a season of my life that is demanding, stressful, and chaotic. These good news days are truly golden. After an exhausting day of running errands with a four year old and a baby I was spent. As in all emotional energy gone. Turns out even happy news can be overwhelming. So we decided to bribe a babysitter and take the big girls out to dinner.
It was good. For about 20 min. It was a glimpse of the future. I have to keep telling myself that someday we will be able to go out to eat as a family. Dreams people. Dreams. It was Olive garden. It was meh... but the 20 min of fun made it all worth it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

You know what I love

Eating dinner alone. I know this sounds strange. I also know that there are so many hurting lonely people out there, who wish they had someone to eat dinner with. But for me, the amount of noise that goes on inside my house and inside my brain on a daily basis is insane. I feel like I never get the chance to fully comprehend a thought. Yet alone a sentence. One of my favorite gifts ever is the gift of time. Time with my lap top and a hot cup of coffee. Time with a good book. Time to text a friend.

I am up late tonight. I am curled up in my favorite red chair with my lap top. I am patiently anxiously awaiting the software update to Mountain Lion. I think this probably puts me in the nerd hall of fame. But its ok.

and spotify is on in the background. If I could keep my eyes open a little better this would be my idea of Heaven. Blogging, music, Beyonce to be exact, and my thoughts.

Thoughts about how much I love my kids. But how hard being a mama really is. How at 18 having a baby was way easier then being 30 and having a 12 year old. How I remember having all the same feelings she is having. And how much I wish I could make it all better.

I am thinking a lot about teaching our children. I mean really teaching. I am feeling a heaviness on my heart that Christians are lacking classes for our young people that really teach them about serving. Serving others and our families. I know the main responsibility is on the family, but the saying that it takes a village to raise a child is so true. And sometimes I feel like my village is pretty small.

What programs does your church offer? How big is your village? 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


My baby is one. One year ago today I was holding the sweetest little baby in my arms. My hand was sore and swollen from a poorly placed IV and I was beyond exhausted. But I was happy, oh so happy, Happy to not be pregnant, happy to finally be able to say I had a son.

His big party is on Sunday. We gave him a cupcake yesterday so he could have sweets on his actual birthday. He choked on it. Then he pooped all over.

Good times.

I need pictures. maybe I will get some done this week. We will see. I am super excited for his party. My sweet friend Katie from sweet Rose studios made some adorable printables for Isaiah. I can't believe this is the last first birthday I will ever be planning.

This pic is from Friday. Isaiah had a tear duct issue we needed to clear up. The waiting room had this little car and man did he love that thing. The surgery went great, Still waiting to see if it cleared it up. Sometimes I look at his eye and think it worked and other times it still seems goopy.

But he is still the cutest one year old I know!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

my new goal

 My new goal.
I will start running.
I will learn how to ROCK my off camera flash.
I will write more.

What are you trying this week?

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

life lately and coffee

Good afternoon! Just popping in to link up with Amy for coffee Tuesday. Myka is at preschool and Lexi is babysitting for a friend of mine. Lexi is babysitting!! So huge! She is almost 12 and she is honestly pretty awesome. Hormones are no joke at this age, but there are also a lot of wonderful things about kids growing up.
It's been raining and cooler here this past week. I love it!! Every afternoon I turn my eyes to the sky and scan for clouds. Monsoon season is crazy like that. The sky will be a perfect shade of blue and the BAM dark skies and pouring rain. The bummer part about a monsoon is it only lasts about 15 min or so. But we had a system move through this past week that left us with rain for days. In fact, last Saturday I was shooting a wedding in Sedona, Arizona and it rained for hours and hours. This was probably the one circumstance where I was very ungrateful for rain, but when I am home, tucked in with my sweet family, its probably my favorite thing ever.

My two middle girls have been very sweet lately. Having my oldest girl become a preteen has really made me appreciate the sweetness of little girls. I love how obsessed they are with Monster high dolls lately. They will do unthinkable amounts of chores to earn money for dolls. Ashlynn has always been a huge doll fan. Thats why when I got an e mail earlier this week from mom select that i was chosen to host a party for Hearts for hearts girls dolls. It will be right around Ashlynn's ninth birthday. What a fun idea for a party!! I will post all about it.

what Sedona looks like without buckets of rain!

Happy Tuesday! Link up with Amy here!!

Sunday, July 8, 2012


I just have a quick minute to pop in. But I want to post some camping pictures. I used my "real" camera a handful of times this last week. I need to do that more. My iphone is just so darn handy.
We had a great trip. It amazes me that a place like Pinetop, Arizona exists in the same state that we reside in. Its so hot outside right now. I feel better in cooler weather. But if you have read this blog for any amount of time I am sure you know my love/hate for Arizona. Love the people, and hate just about everything else. But this last week. I was pretty happy with it. Kids running around barefoot in the grass and a light sprinkle sprinkle while we waited for fireworks.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Remember the day you jumped in the pool with all your clothes on....

Yes, This happened to me. I don't want to talk about then other then we are all fine. Super funny... maybe someday, it might be. This has been a rough week. Things are changing and I'm not sure I like it. One part of me is totally ok with the rhythm of life. The changes of the seasons. Bt the other half fights to hold on. To blow back at the winds when they threaten to blow in a new season of my life.

My baby boy is one at the end of the month. I am so happy about this. He is my last baby and I am so ok with that. I have drank in every ounce of his sweet babiness. The way his head smells after a bath. His big blue eyes, The way he giggles when I blow on his tummy. But I am ok with saying goodbye to sleepless nights, lugging a 25 pound diaper bag with me everywhere I go, and heavy strollers hogging all the trunk room in my car. ok, so I know some of thesse things I am not giving up because he is one, but we are one year closer.

Then next month my girls have birthdays. Lexi will be 12! 12... Such a great age. So many things changing. Struggling to be a kid and a young adult. I love this kid so much. This kid changed my life. She made me a mom. Even though lately I am pretty sure she hates me. I keep telling myself its normal, but its hard.

Ashlynn will be 9! This is a fantastic age I have decided. She is definitely still a kid. She spends hours playing with Monster high dolls and her new BFF Piper. Her imagination is fantastic and her computer skills are better then mine I think 9 is an age I want to bottle up and keep forever.

Myka will be 4! This is an age I cant wait to see on her. cause honestly this kid does nothing half way. She is going to be four in full effect. She is a princess, pop star, karate master , and soccer player all rolled into one. She also thinks she can swim. I assure you she can not. See my title....

I am feeling a little emo tonight. I am loving my kids and my family. We are going camping tomorrow and words can not express how excited I am to leave behind the scalding Arizona heat for a few days of relief.

Will check in later this week from the cool Mountains of Arizona.

Friday, June 22, 2012


  1. This is actually from two weeks ago. It was 6 pm and on a whim we headed to the park so I could play with some camera lenses I had rented. It was nice enough outside that we stayed for about an hour. Definitely a rare treat to play at the park on summer break. 
  2.  Taking two littles shopping is HARD! I swear I left with half my list. 
  3. Riding the 6 dollar Merry Go round.
  4. Sometimes I see pretty things and actually snap a picture of them.
  5. Starbucks is my office. I am hoping to get some studio space soon. Big plans for LaurenJean photography in the works.
  6. Oh dear Lord. Myka held onto this balloon from the store for two days! It came everywhere with us! Heaven hep the little boy who started playing with it at the mall play land.
  7. Happy baby. Always
  8. Big world. Little boy
  9. AT least adults could ride free on the six dollar Merry go round.
Linking up here

life rearranged

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I would like some cheese with my whine

I may crack.
Summer may do me in.
Kids stuck inside with nothing to do.
Despite my best pintrest intentions the heat is rising.

Today was rough. It was all i could do to muster up the will power to go to the store. Its hard to go outside and feel like the air is suffocating you and your children.
I know I whine a lot about the weather on here. Its more then just the hot temps here in Phoenix. Its a discontentment in my soul. a longing to give my kids the same experiences I had as a child. Will said once that I needed to remember that my childhood was mine and theirs was theirs. That they will have happy memories, and I shouldn't think that because It didn't look like mine it wasn't good still. I have been thinking a lot about his words and while, I think there is a lot of wisdom in it I also think its really normal to want to share your past with your kids. To want them to feel a connection to you when you were their age.

I need to learn to be content with this. I am praying that God will show me a way. I think the desire to not settle in the desert is from him. But its being made very clear that the Desert is where I am meant to be for now.

Please God let me stop hating it.

I do feel like I need to clarify that while I hate the climate i adore the people. I have some fantastic friends and family here. Thats what I need to focus my thoughts on.

and cute babies with THREE new teeth

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Just stopping to say hi! I spent today in bed nursing a horrible ear infection.But it was kinda nice to sit in bed and do nothing. My mom and My man really stepped it up and took care of the kids. Hopefully tomorrow I will be better. Cause we all know Mama's can not be sick!!!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Doing- A whole lot of nothing. I am on day three of not feeling well. My throat burns like fire when I swallow. Its like razor blades on one side. Miserable. I am debating going to the doctor. Its such a pain to go with kids. But I may crack and go to urgent care. Razor blades in my throat are not okay!

reading- just finished The glass castle. So great! I read this in just under four days. And considering all my reading takes place on my iphone while nursing, or in the wee hours of the night. Four days is quite the feat. Now I am reading " The best exotic marigold hotel". I checked it out on my kindle app from our public libray. Have I mentioned how cool checking out books with my kindle is? Its pretty awesome. Especially for someone like me who is notoriously bad at remembering due dates.

looking forward too- The wedding I am photographing on Saturday. Just seriously hoping this sore throat clears up by then

looking at- this little guy.

wishing- I was somewhere with lots of green trees. Trying not to let the 100 plus degree days get to me. But its hard. Summer memories for my kids are going to be what I make them. Thats why we have spent ALMOST every day at the pool. If we go at four and take shade breaks its almost bearable. Yesterday was pretty hot though. The heat rises from the cement and makes you feel like its hotter then it really is. Yesterday we all left the pool at hot mess. We were just too hot.

did I mention it was hot????

praying for- friends who are grieving and friends who have babies with health problems. Kids should not be sick EVER! Praying for wisdom. And for trust. I just need to trust God for my future. He will provide. Why do I worry?

what are you currently doing? Got this idea from Danielle.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Sunday links

Fun stuff to do this summer

Bubble stamping with Myka
wind chimes with Lexi and Ashlynn
Braided head bands with all the girls
Make your own magnetic paper dolls for Ashlynn and Myka ( doing this STAT)
A crown for Isaiah
Create with my girls every day

Lexi taught me how to do beachy waves

Today was great. Work deadlines are met and that makes me want to dance a happy jig. We spent the day in the pool at Wills aunt house. Will swam with Myka and I hung out with the baby in the shade. Occasionally we went in the water for just a moment to cool down. Aunt Tami lives in the cool part of town. Its an older part of Phoenix and the houses all of unique shapes and personalities. No cookie cutters. i like that. I sat in the shade of the Ramada with my baby listening to the happy giggles of my girl and all was right with the world.

Tomorrow is the first day of swimming lessons. Lexi wants to be on swim team in the worst way. She is close being ready. I am excited to watch her tomorrow, even if it is in the 110 degree weather.

Random thing of the day. I pulled up the yahoo weather on my iphone and it said New York was 17 degrees today. I reloaded it and it said the same thing. But then i googled it and it was 69. Go figure.

Happy Sunday

Thursday, May 31, 2012

summer lovin

When I close my eyes I can still feel the cool wet grass on my feet. The smack of the cement on their bare souls as I ran down the pavement towards My best friend Jenny's house. The burn of her black paved driveway as I rounded the corner. I can hear the slam of her screen door shutting behind me after I was let in. My feet were cooled the instant they touched on her parents hard wood floor.
Summer reminds me of lawn mowers and the smell of fresh cut grass. I seriously love the smell of freshly cut grass.

I seriously loved summer.

I am trying to grapple with the fact that summer is very different for my kids. They will remember the dry dusty air and the monsoon rain storms.The smell of citrus trees and the prickly cactus in out neighbors yard. It will be splash pads and swimming every day. Palm trees instead of lush green ones.

But it will still be friends and late nights and mornings to sleep in. It still up to me to make memories even if they differ from what I view as a perfect summer.
it's been a good first week of summer. Excited for a playdate tomorrow.

You guessed it .... at the POOL!!

linking up with Emily