Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Play Dates and Striped Skirts


Chunky Sweater | Verona (thrifted) similar here
Striped Skirt | Ann Taylor Loft
Ankle Booties | Walmart (ON SALE for 50% off!)
Bag | (thrifted) similar here
Earrings | Nickel + Suede 

Play dates are so, so good for my soul. I love getting together with my momma friends and chatting about life, motherhood, and marriage. I always gain so much encouragement and perspective from visiting with other women who have walked, or are walking, the same road I am. I know I've said it before, but, how IMPORTANT is it to have like-minded friends to lean on and share with. They're really such a blessing and the most inexpensive form of therapy. If you think about it, all it really costs you is a lunch meal and some time helping to tidy up. But, what you gain? Oh my, so much more.

I had the pleasure of having two sweet friends over this morning and we had such a great time. Chatting about life and how much we've changed over the years and comforting each other on all the sadness in the world. It was kind of last minute and I found myself in a tizzy yesterday evening while trying to get the house into a presentable state. I ended up completing my list, aside from a few things, and counting the rest as loss. As long as I had clean bathrooms, a clean enough kitchen to eat in and contained the piles (and piles and piles) of laundry to their drawers and closets, I didn't think they'd mind the layer of dust on the tv stand or clutter on the mud room counter.

I love that I have a group of ladies I feel comfortable enough around to be able to leave those few missed items in the back of my mind when they come over. I'm not stressing over them or trying to be sure they don't notice them or pointing them out so they know how badly I feel about not getting to them. None of that is necessary. They don't come over to inspect my house or check my laundry baskets. They're there to see me and my kiddos and to encourage and to gain encouragement and to share. The triumphs of the time since we last got together and the little failures we encountered along the way. And it is always so refreshing.

If you don't have a few close friends you can fellowship with every few weeks then I HIGHLY encourage you to find some! You don't even realize what you're missing out on. Don't worry about your toddler being the bully or your baby crying the whole time or your kids not eating whatever is fixed for lunch. Just show up, encourage one another and the kiddos will more often than not have a blast together. Sure there may be little quarrels to referee and a diaper blowout or two but, there will also be lots of good, good conversation (albeit with a few interruptions lol) and some serious relationship growth. If you want to know where all the big problems of the world are solved, go to a good play date sometime. ;)

About this outfit.. It's everryyythinnng. Soft and cozy, a little flirty (for the hubby only though) and complimented by some of my favorite accessories. Plus, these side zip ankle booties are on major sale right now! They're from Walmart but are seriously great quality and go with everything. I've gotten so much wear out of them these past few months. I love the mix of preppy and hipster here too. The chunky sweater with the fitted skirt and the ankle boots add a little something unexpected. Also, they're so comfortable! Basically you should go get yourself a pair right now. Happy Tuesday and have a blessed week mommas!

Image result for chunky navy blue sweater Chicwish Candy Dots Cable knit Sweater in Navy Blue (145 BRL) ❤ liked on Polyvore featuring tops, sweaters, blue, long sleeves, navy blue top, cable-knit sweater, navy polka dot sweater, polka dot sweater and cable knit pullover sweater LOFT Dresses & Skirts - Loft Navy and White Striped Skirt Lip Gloss Nickel and Suede Leather EarringsFaded Glory Women's Zipper Boot

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Spring Romance

Sweater Dress | Forever 21 (similar)
OTK Boots | Charlotte Russe
Earrings | Nickel + Suede
Purse | Jane.com (a gorgeous option)

I know Valentine's has passed but, something has gotten me on a romantic kick lately so, I wanted to share my look for our casual (kid-free) dinner out and some inspo on outfits I'm loving to take me into spring. I've been crushing hard on blush, cream, muted and neutral tones lately. Like MAJORLY. This super soft and comfortable sweater dress fits that bill perfectly. It's not too huggy, fits like a charm and has a great length. Especially when worn with OTK boots. I shared a few posts back that I'm gaining more self confidence since finding a workout routine that I love but, I still want to be modest and respectful of others when I'm choosing what to wear. It can sometimes be hard to find pieces that fit my style and budget while still making me feel great but, it's always worth it in the end.

These boots were part of my birthday gift to myself and they have been perfect! They're everything I was looking for in an OTK boot and more and the price was the best I've found in months. Thank you Charlotte Russe! Another absolute FAV part of this outfit are my new Nickel & Suede earrings!! Hubby got them for me in Lip Gloss for Valentine's Day but gifted them to me on Sunday so I could wear them to church. (How sweet is he!?!) He said he knew they would go well with my outfit and, since he kind of told me what he got me a couple of days before he decided to let me go ahead and open them. Yay! They're size large and they're perfect! I have Scarlet Suede in size medium and love them as well but, something about the size large just speaks to me! I actually recently used the rest of my birthday money to purchase a pair of Navy Woven in size large from Brickyard Buffalo while they have a selection on their site for the next few days! If you're looking to try them out, I highly recommend hopping over there and grabbing a pair at 33% off before they're gone! I cannot WAIT to style them with some fun pops of color for spring after they arrive. 

Target has a collection of ballet inspired pieces that I'm loooooving lately and it's given me some major inspo for spring outfits as well! I'm 99.9% girly girl and the other 0.1% hunter. Which basically means that I love to hunt (I'm especially excited to use my new Avail this coming deer season that the hubby got me for my birthday! But, that's another post entirely..) but the hubby has to remind me that we're only going to the woods and there won't be anyone there to see my cute outfit. lol 

None the less, take a look at some of the pieces I'm loving for this coming spring and let me know if there's anything you think I'd be interested in! If there's one thing I love about the change of seasons, it's all the new outfit possibilities! 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Thursday Thoughts :: This Life Though

photography by my talented Aunt, Jeanette McGuire (Thank you SO MUCH!)

Let't talk life. It's hard. Of course, no one ever said it was going to be easy, did they. I think that too often we assume that what we see on the outside (or out in public) is how it is for everyone and that it just sort of happens. We like to skip all the messy, sticky parts and jump right ahead to the part where everyone is happy and getting along and doing their share of the chores without any fuss or complaining. The truth of the matter is, that's just not always the case. In fact, it rarely is.

I would hate to think that someone, anyone, especially not another Momma or young woman thinking about motherhood, would look at my Instagram or Facebook account and think harsh thoughts about her own ability to become who she wants to be or how able she is to mother her family. That she would get any sense of disappointment in her own life versus the life she sees showcased in those tiny squares or two line FB posts. Now, I'm not saying my feed is an incredibly cohesive or overly gorgeous one, I know it's not. But, I tend to only share the happy, heart bursting moments over there. The ones that I want to remember forever but I'm afraid I won't be able to so I put them there to look back on more easily. The thing is, my family has tough times too. We have days, weeks and months that are just plain hard and while I want to encourage others that it's completely normal, that doesn't make it any less difficult.

So often I get the question, "Do they ever fight?". I think there's this sort of generalization that goes with homeschooling that gives the idea that your kids are the best of friends and they do everything together and they always get along and maybe they're singing a little song together while they clean and cook a five star dinner for the whole family. While some of that is true (obviously not the five star dinner part), they do have an incredible friendship and they love spending time together, at the end of the day, they're still kids. They have their good days and bad days and while we do our best to turn the tough ones around, it just doesn't always happen. So, yes, they fight. Yes, there are times when I lose my temper and feel completely overwhelmed with the house and scheduling time for school and getting all that laundry washed so I can fold it and put it away and trying to carve out just FIVE minutes in the day to have to myself. Believe me, there are days. But, while I try my best to keep it all together, I don't want to put on a front or be dishonest either. I want to be completely genuine and real and honest about who I am as a mom and who we are as a family. But, it wears on us, doesn't it.

So, in the days when I'm constantly refereeing fights or cleaning up spills or trying my darndest to organize the house one little corner at a time, I'll remember to do my best to do it all with love. To use those moments to show my boys how to have a happy heart. Even if it means counting to ten and taking a deep breath. And I'm going to lean on the ones God has given me. My friends and family. The mothers in my life that know all too well all the little failures and triumphs I'm dealing with every day because they've walked it before or are currently walking it with me right now. Why not navigate it together?

And, I'm going to try harder. Not that I'm not giving it my all right now. Maybe I've just got my priorities mixed up a little. I want to be intentional about giving my family and friends the absolute best of me. My happiest and most genuine moments but, also to share in sadness and regret and feel free to get our emotions out there. Raising boys (and families) is not for the faint of heart. And, while I pray daily for the Lord to add a daughter to our crew, I am so, SO thankful for these little men that he's so generously blessed me with. They are seriously the coolest and I don't know where I'd be right now if He wasn't truly in control of it all. Share with a Momma friend today. Let her know where you're at and maybe she won't feel quite so alone with what she's going through either. Happy Thursday friends.