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

My husband is the kind of person who would rather make anything than ever buy it, something I love so much about him.  It also drives me crazy.  At least once a month I bring something home & he tries to send me right back with it because he is convinced he could do it on his own, and better.  Which he can, and will, but you better believe I’ll be waiting at least three more months for it, because he’s such a perfectionist he is going to be make sure every detail is perfect.

In the meantime, can’t I just buy out the home decor section at Target???

That was totally the case with this bed.  It was my Christmas present a couple months late, he worked so hard on it every night after the girls & I went to bed and was so excited to put it in our room come February.  Per usual, the wait was more than worth it, I LOVE it so much and most of all, love the fact that it is meaningful and something we can have in our home forever.

I knew I wanted something wood with a bit of a rustic feel, and also something that was timeless, and I think he nailed it!  Literally. 🙂  I only asked for a headboard but he ended up adding a matching footboard as well, which might even be my favorite part!  I’ve asked him to summarize what he did to share here, the steps are below.

1 – To get the measurements for the bed frame, he used our old one, which was also wood and about the size of what we wanted.
2 – He cut the inlaid pieces first, which are all just randomly cut wood pieces from other house projects that we have done.
3 –  The bed frame, headboard frame, and footboard frame are built out of fir, bought at a specialty lumber yard.
4 – He glued and screwed a piece of 3/8″ plywood to the frames, then started gluing & toenailing all the pieces to the headboard and footboard.
5 – He used a router to install these brackets to connect the bedrails to the headboard and the footboard.
6 – He bought 1″x4″ common boards from Home Depot to span left to right of the siderails, which is what supports the boxspring and mattress.
7 – After everything was built, it was finished in a heavy coat of lacquer.

With the start of fall coming, we are itching to start some new projects and hope to be sharing some soon!  And happy weekend, friends!

The weather here is finally starting to really warm up, and to say we are loving it is definitely an understatement!  Like most kids, my girls love the outdoors, and almost any activity that we do outside rather than in keeps their attention at least double the amount of time.  We have been using our back porch more than ever, for picnic lunches or just simple things like doing puzzles, and we love it!  It’s especially nice because it keeps them contained while getting fresh air, and I can be around the corner making dinner or doing dishes in the kitchen.

Since we’ve been spending so much time out there, over the weekend, we did quick mini-makeover to make this loved spot in our home even more loved! 🙂  We started out by focusing on adding some lights, which makes for a fun detail during the day & of course, they are functional at night.

The lights we used were the Enbrighten Cafe Lights by Jasco, which we love so, so much!!  The look of cafe lights just fits our design aesthetic perfectly, I want to use them in other places of our house now!  They are durable & won’t break if they are dropped or stepped on, and the best part, they are guaranteed for life.  I mean, how wonderful is it to never have to replace a light bulb again?!  They also put off a significant amount of light, I was shocked at how light it was out there once the sun went down.

My husband & I decided to do a wood accent on our trim to hang the lights from since everything was white, we thought it would add a bit of a rustic element!  He got wood cedar siding planks from Home Depot & cut them to fit the perimeter of our porch.  Afterwards, he screwed the lights in using the mounting tab provided in the package, which was so convenient.  

I was inspired by the new look of the lights and got a new rug, chairs and table, I love the final result and am so excited to spend lots of time out there all summer long!

And here’s the fun part!  Cafe Lights by Jasco is giving two lucky winners a room makeover valued at $400.00!  Ten winners will also receive one 24 foot string of cafe lights, which is what we used for this project.  Enter below & good luck!!!  XO

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #SnuggleUpMoments #CollectiveBias

Without a doubt, one of the greatest parts of my new part-time schedule this year is being able to spend the mornings with my family.  As much as we love to get out, to be outdoors & to experience new things together, we love being home just as much.  Probably even more.  It’s been so nice to be able to slow down some, to enjoy each other, and to soak in all the girls’ sweetness that comes with the mornings.  It’s definitely the happiest part of their day.

Over the weekend, we treated them with a surprise breakfast in bed, just the four of us.  And they loved it!

It’s crazy how changing things up just a little bit can mean so much to them, Waverly thought eating in bed was just so amazing & Avalon’s down with anything that involves food, so of course she was happy as ever.  These are exactly the kinds of memories that I love making with them, I never want to forget how Waverly insisted on a tutu (in purple, because that’s her favorite color in the world), or how she wanted nothing more than to “help Avalon. because I am her mommy and she needs my help eating”.  And of course, how Avalon could have cared less who was helping her, she was just going to town on the bagel, sucking away like it was the greatest thing that ever happened to her.

Of course nothing makes snuggles in bed better than a set of soft, comfy sheets, & ours have been better than ever lately thanks to Snuggle® Ultra Blue Sparkle Fabric Conditioner and Blue Iris Bliss®
Snuggle Scent Boosters®.  Before finding these, we had never used fabric softeners and they truly have made the biggest difference, I have been consistently using them since.  It’s one extra step to make your laundry softer and to make for more snuggable moment like our breakfast in bed!  Both the Blue Iris Bliss® and the Snuggle Scent Boosters® are such a good value and are best paired together.  Even better, the Snuggle Scent Boosters® are super convenient in a single use pack, something I love so much!  Be sure to follow the directions on the package and loosely pack your laundry in the washer to maximize your benefits.

You can get these at your local Sam’s Club, which has been out go-to lately since growing our family!  During the month of March be sure to check the Instant Savings Book for discounts on these Snuggle® laundry conditioners.  And to share your own “snuggle moments” with others, check out the Bear Den for more opportunities to interact with the brand and to start your first mission! 🙂

Please share, do you use fabric softeners?!  And if so, are they making for special moments like breakfast in bed with your loved ones?  XO

We will forever remember this Christmas as one of our best yet.  The combination of Waverly being able to really “get it” (which was so, so fun!), & it being sweet Avalon’s first just made everything extra special.  We also were able to spend lots of family time which I cherish more than ever these days, since my brother moved to Colorado a few months back.  And also, on a side note, it was our hottest Christmas yet, a record 80 degrees!  We complained about it being too hot to feel like Christmas all day, but it was actually nice that it was warm enough for the babes to be able to play with their new toys outside.

Christmas Eve, we spent most of the day wrapping last-minute gifts & grocery shopping, then went to my grandparents house for dinner.  The girls were a little crazier than normal – Avalon got her first tooth for Christmas & was fighting a cold, and Waverly was overtired from too much excitement to nap, and you know, she’s three – but we made the most of it!  I have been going to my grandparents for Christmas Eve since I was little and I love that I can bring my own daughters now.

My Dress – On Sale!
First thing Christmas morning, I heard Waverly moving around in her room and then her little, high-pitched voice say “did Santa come?”.  Best ever.  We brought them both down and I’m convinced there is nothing quite as magical as Christmas morning with your kids, they were so cute & excited, I wish we could relive it over, over and over again.

We hosted both sides of our family for dinner, which is always so much fun.  Waverly loved having all of our family there & showing off all of her new toys.  Her favorite gift so far has been a set of princess dolls my mom got for her, they haven’t left her sight since! 🙂  We played games and relaxed, and when it was time to go to bed, couldn’t believe Christmas was over.  It always goes too fast, doesn’t it?!

Waverly’s Dress
Hope you all had the most amazing, special, fun-filled holiday with your loved ones.

PS – The napkins I used at our dinner table are from a tutorial that can be found here, so easy & cute!