Happiest Friday, babes!!!  First, I wanted to extend the most heartfelt thank you for your sweet words & support after my post earlier this week.  Some of the comments I received honestly brought tears to my eyes.  Watching the news and hearing horrible stories all of the time can make you a little scared for your babes to grow up in such a place, but it’s moments like those (when you feel so much love!) that remind you that there is SO much good.  I am forever grateful for your positive support, it means so much to me and to our family.  Thank you, thank you, thank you! 🙂

I’m also super excited to finally share some of my favorite images from a family photo shoot we did about a month ago, these pictures are so special to me and I will treasure them forever.  My husband and I were married at my great aunt and uncle’s home five years ago, it is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever been and it’s still so magical to me that we actually got to have our day there.  Sadly, my great uncle passed away earlier this year and my great aunt has decided to sell the house, but was so gracious to allow us to take some pictures there as a family of four before it’s on the market.  She is the sweetest lady and their marriage was absolutely an inspiration to us, we are forever thankful to them both.

 My friend Shawna absolutely killed it with these photos, there are so many more and I had the hardest time narrowing it down!  We got some in the backyard where our reception was, the side of the house where we took our engagement photos, the dock where we had our first look, the garden path where I walked down the aisle, and finally, the steps, where we actually got married!!!!!  It’s just so crazy to think that’s where we were five years ago saying our vows, and now we get to stand there with our two beautiful girls.  We had big dreams when we started our life together that day, this surpasses any of them.

If you live in the VB area, you must check out Shawna’s website!!!  She is amazing and just the sweetest person to work with.

Wishing you the happiest weekend!
XO

I have been really hesitant to write this post.  Partly because I had some struggles with it, partly because I just haven’t had the time to really sit down and think it through, and partly because I just really wasn’t sure how much I wanted to share.  But it just didn’t feel right not being 100% honest about all of my life.  This blog is about our family and my journey through motherhood, the wonderful, crazy roller coaster that all of that is, and this is just another stage of it.

If you have been following us for a while, you know that I was a fashion marketing teacher at a high school for eleven years.  After having Avalon I went part-time, and then at the beginning of 2016, I resigned completely to accept a position as a part-time bridal stylist and pursue my own wedding planning business.  So starting last January, I would work about three days a week at the bridal salon, usually afternoons/evenings, and pretty much every single weekend.  The other days I stayed home with my girls, while somehow trying to figure out how to be a business owner for the first time in my life.  To market & promote myself, to keep myself organized with the clients I already had, and to attend meetings to coordinate the weddings I was planning.  Plus of course, the weddings.  I also was trying to continue to manage this blog, which has always been such a great outlet for me.  A place that I feel so grateful to have for my kids to look back on one day, where I have made so many great relationships with inspiring ladies and fellow mamas, and also, a place that has turned into a side-business for me (which we really needed when I was no longer working full-time).
I am sure there are tons of people out there that manage all of this (and more), but it didn’t take long before everything started piling up & I was left feeling pretty overwhelmed.  Above anything else, the biggest reason that I decided to make the change was to give me more time with my girls and even though I was physically there with them more than before, there is no doubt that I was getting way less quality time with them than I ever had.  I was stressed, I was trying to fit the biggest to-do list ever into an hour naptime, and when that didn’t happen, I felt anxious the rest of the day while I was trying to accomplish things when they were awake.  They needed me, all of me, and though I did everything I could to make it work, most days I was stressed and overworked, and trying to manage way more than I could handle.
Ultimately, I found that all of the things I thought I would love about this new schedule were exactly the things that I found the most challenging.  And with that, the things that I thought I didn’t like about teaching were exactly the things that I so badly wanted back.  I missed having a set Monday-Friday schedule.  The benefit of always knowing when I was going to work (and that I would always have holidays and summers off!) was something I completely took for granted for so long.  I also really hated working nights, I thought I would rather have the mornings with my girls, but after this experience, I would take getting work out of the way in the morning and then getting to spend each afternoon & night with them ten times over that any day.  I always thought I would love working from home, especially after I became a mom.  I don’t know that my personality lends itself to not working at all (though we could probably make it work without my income, we definitely wouldn’t be able to give our kids what we want to, to be able to have the freedom to accomplish all we want to, or to grow our family), so before all of this, I truly felt like a job from home was the best of both worlds.  That was definitely not the case for us.  I now have the UPMOST respect for moms who run a business while taking care of their kids, to put it simply, my high-maintenance little divas (love them so much!) need my full attention and I want to give it to them.  We all did better when I could just be with them I was home and then get my work done at a job outside of the house.  And lastly, working weekends was really hard on me and even harder on the four of us.  Spending time as a family is what we value most, and with my husband gone all week at work and then me gone on the weekends, our times together were few and far between.

SO!  Very long story short, after getting down on myself for a couple months for messing up a really good thing that we had, I decided one day out of nowhere to look into going back into teaching, but in a different field.  While I loved teaching fashion when I was younger, as time progressed, I really felt like I needed a change, something that would give me a new challenge and motivation but that would still leave me in education, because I really did love it.  I took a class to get certified to teach something different (while still working at the bridal salon, planning weddings, and blogging to make money!), and somehow, all the stars aligned and I got hired at an elementary school eight minutes from my house teaching early childhood education, PRESCHOOL!  Which was crazy, since that’s exactly what I hoped for when I decided to take the class this summer.

I officially started at the beginning of this month, the same day Waverly went back to school, and still can’t believe I went from teaching high school juniors and seniors to little ones who are the same age as my own kids (!!!).  It’s been absolutely crazy and definitely a huge adjustment to learn everything new again, but it’s also been so wonderful.   I have always believed that everything happens for a reason, and though it was a crazy road to get here, I really wouldn’t change it.  After having Waverly, there were so many times that it was painful leaving her, and especially after having Avalon, I thought how much better life would be if I could just work from home, or have some sort of different situation.  Well, the grass is not always greener on the other side.  More than any other experience in my life, this taught me to not dwell on the things that you think could be better, but to truly be thankful for what you have.  I have always felt like I am a “glass half full” kind of person, and even on the most challenging days this past year I found so much positive, but the past few weeks have just been some of the absolute best we have ever had.  Even though I obviously still miss them when I’m at school, I have finally been able to have hours upon hours of uninterrupted, stress-free moments with my girls every afternoon, and to appreciate it more than ever before.  We have had our weekends back as a family, including my husband, who is always 150% supportive of everything I do and right by my side. I really love my new position, the people I work with, and of course, the sweet little babes that are now in my class.  I have no doubt that this is exactly where I was supposed to be all along (and I can assure you, there will be no more job updates from me, this is it!). 😉

I will always be supportive of ALL my fellow mamas, whether you have a full-time or part-time job outside the house, are running a business at home, running a household staying at home with your little ones, or at a crossroads trying to figure it all out.  Every situation is different.  We all have our challenges and triumphs, we are all just trying to make the best life for our babes, the best way we know how.  I’m forever thankful for mine. I just couldn’t love them one bit more, they are the light of our crazy life!

 

PS – Obviously I am no longer working at the bridal salon, but I am still planning weddings & styling, just on a much smaller scale!!!  My goal is to take just take one every couple months or so, I will try to share some pictures when I do. 🙂

PPS – These images are from a session we did with my friend Shawna Bielat recently, can’t wait to share the rest!  Happy, happy Tuesday friends! XO

Other than the occasional holiday outfit or a piece to match Waverly, I really try not to buy Avalon that many new clothes.  We really lucked out with two girls close in age, and also that they both have birthdays in the summer, so most of what Waverly wore works perfectly for what size Avalon is during whichever season.  But every once in a while, I come across something that I just can’t resist, or something that is special for just Avalon to call all her own.

Like these little beauties.

Bloomers on little girls are just my favorite, I love love love how versatile they are, how you can make them work year-round (with tights!), and of course, how unbelievably precious their little bootie and legs look in them.  Waverly wore rufflebutts until she was at least two, and passed so many pairs down to her sister, but the ones that are actually embroidered for Avalon just make my heart skip a beat.


Our friends at rufflebutts also sent over this adorable peplum top to go with them, I adore it so much.  The fabric is so stretchy and high-quality, it was even better after washing it once.  Both these pieces will definitely be in rotation all fall & winter long, they can be paired with so many other things too!  You can shop the look here.

Wishing you all the most happiest first weekend of FALL!  We are hoping the weather cools down enough to go pick out a couple pumpkins for the front porch. and of course we will be watching lots of football. 🙂
XO 

Happy first week of fall!!!  The weather hardly feels like September here, it’s been rainy, hot & humid, but we have our fall decor up and are brainstorming Halloween costumes, so there’s that. 🙂  Hoping you all had a wonderful weekend!
I’m stopping in to share some recent pictures, these first ones are from the most glorious beach evening ever, it was one of those nights where you miss it before it’s even over.  Our girls LOVE exploring down at the ocean, and this is one of our favorite times of year to take them since it’s not nearly as busy after all of the tourists go home.  And not for nothing, beach evenings require way less packing than 90 degree beach days, so that’s always a plus.  We are going to try to do this at least a couple more times in the next few weeks before all of the craziness of Halloween and the beginning of the holidays hits (!!!!!!).
And soccer.  We signed up Waverly last week.  It was completely last-minute, but she’s already more athletic than I ever was, so we thought it would be a good thing for her.  We got her schedule and told her Thursday night, her first game was Saturday, and her only response was “we have to get my costume together”.  Love her so much.  She picked out all of her things with my husband at the store, was so freaking excited about it all, and Saturday morning, the first thing she asked about was when she got to go to her game.
Then we got there.  She wanted nothing to do with it, like really nothing, and wouldn’t even step near the field.  She’s always been nervous about things at first, she is not shy at all but just slow to accept new situations, and that was definitely the case with this.  Part of me felt so bad for her and wanted to just throw in the towel and take her home to put her tutu and leotard on where she feels most comfortable.  And the other part of me just wished she would have gone out on the field with the other 900 kids who were playing.  Ultimately, we decided not to give up and let her try again next week, there’s obviously a life lesson in that.  Hoping I can come back here with a good report!

Also, I’m kind of a soccer mom.  That’s just crazy.

A couple pictures of our ladies before I sign off, Waverly’s little finger pointing at Avalon is my favorite and just so true to how seriously she takes her role as big sister.  A nice lady at the mall the other day was helping Avalon with something and Waverly came over, picked Avalon up and then looked straight at the woman and said “oh thank you so much, you are such a sweetheart”.  If I could just bottle up every little thing she says.

Happiest Tuesday, hope your week is off to a great start!
XO

Happy, happy Friday friends!!!  We are welcoming the weekend with very open arms today, three of the four of us got sick this week so we have been rolling with lots of tissues and very little sleep.  On the upside, Waverly started back to dance class, she looked way too adorable in her tutu & little sister tagged along with a leotard of her own.  Always too, too cute!

Thought I would share a few of my fall fashion favorites at the moment, sometimes I wish everything wasn’t so cute!  I am convinced it gets better every single year.

Off The Shoulder TopPendant Necklace Peplum TopWedgesHat Tutu DressTights Embroidered DressMoccasins

I’ve had my eye on those wedges, they are perfect for looking halfway put together while running after kids, and they are super affordable!  Target does it again.


Lastly, I wanted to share one last favorite, the bento boxes I shared a picture of earlier this week.  They can be found here and are from Pottery Barn Kids, I have used them so much already and love them!  They are also currently on sale! 🙂  Wishing you all the happiest weekend!
XO