Not A Perfect Mother

Can I tell you a secret?

I’m not a perfect mother. I could tell you a thousand reasons why. And then I could tell you some more. I try to do my best, but it never feels good enough. All too often I compare myself to other mamas who seem to have it all together – and I, very clearly, do not.

I’ve got stains on my tee shirt, and my eyes are beyond tired. I haven’t showered in a day or two (or three…sometimes). The clothes that I used to wear – well they don’t fit anymore. I’m often impatient, and I snap too quickly. I get frustrated when things don’t go my way, and I usually set my expectations too high. Many days are long and lonely, and sometimes I question if this will ever get any easier.

And did I mention?

I don’t read enough.
I don’t clean enough.
I don’t exercise enough.
I don’t cook enough.
I don’t know enough.
I don’t eat healthy enough.
I’m not organized enough.

I could go on, but I’ll spare you.

I know I’m not a perfect mother, and I know I’ve got a lot of things I need to work on. However, I also know that God placed these sweet babies in my arms for a reason. He chose ME – with a plan and a purpose.

As their mama…

I will fight for them when no one else will, and I will cheer them on – even if I’m the only one cheering. I will protect them when they need protecting, and I will pray for them on my hands and knees. I will teach them courage and how to stand up for what they believe – even if they are standing alone. While they are still little, I will encourage them to pursue their passions – even if others laugh at them. I will teach them the value of a heartfelt apology, and that “please” and “thank you” are still kind words. I will love them with all that I am and encourage them to grow in their walk with the Lord.

One day they won’t want me to catch them at the bottom of the slide, and they won’t need me to push them on the swing. The day will come when I’ll no longer need to kiss their owies, and they won’t want to dance with me in the kitchen. Eventually they won’t need me to tuck them in at bedtime, and they will be too embarrassed to hold my hand. All too soon their chalk art won’t cover the driveway, and they won’t give me a hundred dandelions a day. Soon I won’t be able to scoop them up in my arms, and I’ll miss their sweet giggles as they run through the sprinkler. One day, their room won’t be cluttered with toys – it will be empty.

I don’t want to take another second for granted. They will slip through my fingers all too quickly, and I will be begging for just one more day like today. Just one more kiss. Just one more bedtime story. Just one more dandelion. Just one more hand hoId. Just one more snuggle. And just one more dance.

So for now, I’m going to hug them a little tighter and hold them a little longer. I’m going to soak in these precious days with them – even the ones that feel like an eternity. I will give them an extra kiss any chance I get, and I dance with them whenever they want. I’ll read another book, and rock them to sleep another time. I’ll wipe away their tears, and encourage them to try again…

Because right now they are here in my arms. I know that all too soon I will blink, and they will be grown and gone. Although some days I feel like a failure in my own eyes, I need to remind myself that I AM enough. I’m not perfect, but I’m exactly who God created me to be, flaws and all. He knew I would make mistakes and fall down, and that I wouldn’t be perfect. But He also knew that I would need these sweet children and that they would need me. They will always be my precious babies, and I will always thank the Good Lord for choosing me to be their mama.

Explore Sawyer

When I think about my childhood, I love to remember the endless summer days. I spent nearly all of my time outside: running, playing, exploring, imagining, dreaming, and swimming. At the end of the day my hair was full of sand, my feet were dirty, my skin was sun kissed, and I sure slept well. I am fortunate – I was blessed with a very happy childhood. I treasure the many unforgettable memories that I made running barefoot every day. I miss those days when I didn’t have a care in the world and time didn’t seem to matter.

Now, as a mama – I absolutely love watching my own babies relive those sweet memories that I often long for. They spend almost all day outside, and they sure are filthy when they come in at night. But I love it. It is my hope and prayer that one day they will look back and treasure these precious days of childhood – just as I do.

Sawyer is a children’s brand of clothing named after the one and only Tom Sawyer – a perfect picture of adventure and a “quintessential youth explorer.” I love that I can clothe my kiddos with a brand that encourages kids to grow and learn through play and exploration of the world around them. They emphasize the importance of connecting with nature and realize that “valuable life skills are gained by learning to pick oneself up and try again.”

The nostalgia of childhood all comes rushing back when I see the awe and wonder in my children’s eyes as they explore the wild. I’m so grateful that I can witness these priceless moments of exploration and discovery. For in these moments, I know they are making sweet memories that will last a lifetime.

Hopscotch Avenue

Hopscotch avenue

I recently discovered Hopscotch Avenue and their “Woobies,” and I couldn’t be more excited to share more about these with you today.

First off, Hopscotch Avenue is an up and coming company (est. 2017), creating boutique quality baby products RIGHT HERE in the USA! I came across Hopscotch Avenue on Instagram while browsing small shops. Their products stood out to me right away. As you will see – the goal of their products is to “make life as a parent a bit easier and help others along the way.” I already know that their Woobies and wet bags are going to make life for this mama much easier!

What is a woobie?

A Woobie is designed like a burp cloth, but it is so much more! Sure, it can be used as a burp cloth – it is a generous size to catch almost any size spit up. It has a handy loop attached making it simple to roll up your Woobie to contain any messes before tossing it in your diaper bag or wet bag. Woobies are also perfect for tummy time, bathing, changing, and SNUGGLING.

Each Woobie has a pocket – perfect for storing and keeping pacifiers, small teething toys, or other necessities safe and protected. How many times have I dug through the diaper bag or my purse searching for a pacifier?! WAY too many to count. With the Woobie, I know right where to find that darn pacifier. The pocket itself is easily my favorite feature of the Woobie. It will save me (probably) HOURS of digging and searching for a pacifier when we are out and about.

There are many beautiful colors and patterns to select from when choosing your Woobie. Each Woobie is backed with organic bamboo – making it ultra absorbent and easy to clean. It actually gets softer with each wash! No harmful chemicals or finishes are used on the Woobie – it is 100% eco-friendly!

Hopscotch avenue gives back

“Hopscotch Avenue was driven to existence on the premise of helping others, and this is why we choose to give back a portion of every sale. We are committed to helping families with sick little ones, warrior babies, preemies who arrive a little too soon, angel babies, and those who arrive as a different kind of perfect.” #HopscotchFor Humanity

I don’t know about you, but I love supporting a company with a good heart and a good cause. If you or someone you know has a little one or is expecting, Woobies make the perfect gift! I’ve got a couple of little ones due in my extended family this year, and I know one thing for sure they will each be getting (but, shhhhhh….). If you are like me, always looking for ways to simplify parenting, do yourself a favor and grab a Woobie (or two, or three…). You’ll be so happy you did!

Hopscotch Avenue also offers wet bags for soiled Woobies or clothing. Check these out too! ^

Instagram: @hopscotchavenue



Easter Basket Finds 2018

One of my favorite things to do every year is to put together an Easter Basket for each one of my kiddos. I’m a planner at heart, so I love getting ideas and finding unique things that I know they will love. Today I’m sharing a few of my favorite Easter basket finds for this year and where you can find them too!


My five year old son, Jake, is ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS building or constructing something. He loves to work with his hands and is always busy creating. Someone recommended “Iggy Peck, Architect” so I checked it out on Amazon and fell in love. The story of Iggy Peck using his creative mind to construct things from a young age reminded me EXACTLY of Jake. For his Easter basket, I went with the “builder’s dream” theme. As I said, the book and “Big Project Book” pictured here are both from Amazon, and you can find them HERE. The #demoday hammer and metal DO GOOD WORK sign are both from Magnolia Market (along with the contractor pencils). You can find the sign HERE and the hammer HERE. The Contractor stencil is from daddy’s desk (shhhhh….). I think this builder’s inspiration kit will be perfect for my little contractor in training. 🙂


Awhile back on Instagram, I shared a post on my daughter Taylor and a shirt she was wearing that USED to be a dress she wore often. She has been wearing the said shirt/dress for almost three years now, and I often wonder what we will be able to turn it into next. So when I came across the book “I Had A Favorite Dress,” I knew it would be perfect for Tay’s basket this year. The story of a little girl having a favorite dress and it eventually becoming a scarf (…and everything in between) seemed oddly familiar. This was another Amazon find (Amazon has some awesome books, FYI!) and you can find it HERE.

If you aren’t familiar with Maileg, you ought to be! I am new to the whole Maileg line, but I learned of “little sister” mouse through a group on Facebook that I am in. There are many characters in the Maileg line, and lots of accessories to go with them! I ordered “little sister” mouse from, and can find yours HERE. The tiny little ballet dress is from the same site, along with MANY other fun accessories! If you’ve got a little girl who loves dolls and pretend play, I highly recommend Maileg!

I finished off Taylor’s basket with Skye the Mermaid from Cuddle + Kind (pictured above). Each Cuddle + Kind doll is handcrafted by incredible artisans in Peru, and the purchase of each doll provides 10 meals to children in need. Tay has been eyeing up this mermaid for quite awhile, so I thought this was the perfect occasion to gift her Skye. Find Skye HERE.

For the baby brother…

This is Easton’s first Easter. I wanted to find a few special and unique things for him that we can save for him as he grows up, and hopefully he can pass these things onto his own children some day. I’m probably overly sentimental, but I save a lot of my kid’s special toys and/or outfits in hopes that maybe they will be in the hands of my grandchildren one day. One thing I like to do when I gift them a special book, is to write a short message on the inside to them and date it (YES – I know this probably devalues the book, but to me it’s worth it). I know I won’t save EVERY single book we ever own – but I want to save the ones from special occasions for sure. “Cat & Bunny” was, of course, another Amazon find, and you can find it HERE.

Next, I picked up Wyatt the Fox from Cuddle + Kind. Being from Minnesota, this “lumberjack” fox was the perfect find for my little man. I’m pretty sure Easton has the same exact outfit as Wyatt, and you will probably see it sooner than later. 😉 Grab your Wyatt the Fox doll HERE.

I have recently become obsessed with Bannor Toys, so I was super excited to grab this adorable wooden camera for his Easter basket this year (find it HERE). The cactus teether is from the Itzy Ritzy line at Target, and when you have a teething baby – any and all teethers are welcome in this household.

I’ve got a few finishing touches to add to their baskets (like maybe a few treats!), but I just wanted to share with you these fun items I found for them this year!

I hope you, my friend, have a wonderful and blessed Easter with family and friends celebrating the true meaning of Easter, our risen King! May we not forget the blood shed on the cross that day and God’s great love for us. We love to celebrate and take part in the Easter festivities, but we also take time to remember what this day is really all about. I hope and pray the same is true for you. 🙂 Enjoy your holiday! Happy Easter! <3


Talking ‘Bout My Girl

Our threenager, Taylor, is a girl of many expressions, and she keeps our days interesting, to say the least. She’s full of sugar and spice. First she’s sour, then she’s sweet. She takes care of her baby dolls with such TLC,  but she can also take down her big brother in a wrestling match. She’ll go from playing barbies in her bedroom to racing cars with her big brother without missing a beat. She’s a country girl, and she loves tagging along in the woods with her daddy; but she also loves twirling in her girly dresses and all things pretty. She’s got a big personality, and I love watching it develop more and more each day.

Just recently, I was trying to capture a few photos of Tay wearing a couple pieces of beautiful jewlery she received from The Orchid Fox, and she had me rolling with some of her silly facial expressions. These photos are just too good not to share. So, here I am sharing some of her best shots along with some of her silliest. I hope you get a kick out of them, just as I do

Enjoy! XOXO

Jewelry: The Orchid Fox (@orchid_fox_)

Bow: Wunderkin (@wunderkin_co)

Top: Matilda Jane Clothing (@matildajaneclothing)

Boots: Smallwood Home (@smallwoodhome)

Leggings: Gap Kids

Master Bedroom Makeover: REVEAL

Nearly two months ago, we  demo’d our master bedroom and began a project we had *hoped* would go quickly and smoothly. It went smooth for the most part, but much of January and February were spent fighting various strains of illness in our household. Needless to say, progress took longer than we were hoping. But alas, the room is complete, and I’m thrilled to share with you what we’ve been up to. Better late than never, right??

As you will see, we made quite a few changes. We started by putting a fresh coat of paint on the walls (Benjamin Moore, Gray Owl), followed by all new trim and (drumroll please)…SHIPLAP. If I said I wasn’t completely obsessed with shiplap, I’d be lying {thank you Joanna Gaines}. If I could shiplap every wall in our home – I probably would! With this makeover, we decided on just two walls of shiplap – one with vertical shiplap and one with horizontal.

We built our home just three years ago, but with three kids and a dog – our carpet had seen better days. I cannot even tell you how excited I was when my amazing hubby agreed to tear out the carpet and install burrow oak hardwood floors, even though it meant much more work for him. He is so amazing and put so much time and hard work to make my dreams come true. 😉

Without much further ado, I’ll let the photos below do most of the speaking. You will see I kept our quilt (because I still LOVE it – you can find it HERE) and our nightstands (from Hobby Lobby); but we changed out the majority of our light fixtures, I painted our dresser, and we added a BARN DOOR! Have I said yet how amazing my husband is?! For real, though. I really do appreciate him doing all of this in the very little amount of spare time he has!

For BEFORE photos, click HERE.

Master Bedroom: AFTER

You can find our semi flush ceiling light in-store at Menards, OR a similar one HERE, and our wall sconces HERE. 

Our sliding barn door was made locally by a friend of my husband’s, and it is exactly what I wanted! Find the large, distressed “Family Tray” online HERE, and the beautiful “Fresh Joy” mugs HERE.

Another huge thanks to Joanna Gaines for my love of stacked books. I pick up old books at yard sales or antique shops any time I can find them reasonably priced. The clock is from Hobby Lobby, and you can shop the “Queen Anne’s Lace Pitcher” (pictured above) online HERE.

Another one of my favorite new pitchers, the “Fresh Joy Pitcher” (pictured above), can be found online HERE.

I was thrilled to “win” the antique chair pictured above at a local ladies’ event. It was just what I was looking for to fill this little corner of our bedroom, and it was perfect timing. The quilt above is ED by Ellen Degeneres, and the large, hand blown glass lantern can be found HERE. It’s such a gorgeous piece and I love changing it up seasonally! The lantern comes in three sizes.

I had been on the lookout for a small ladder, and I have to give a shoutout to my mom for finding this one for me at a local repurposing shop. It’s just what I was looking for! The “good morning gorgeous” and “hello there handsome” signs are from Hobby Lobby. Here you will also see a glimpse of the dresser I painted white, and my husband added the new hardware.


In the master bathroom, we finished one wall with vertical shiplap, and we continued the paint color in from the bedroom (Benjamin Moore, Gray Owl). We also added a new light fixture above the mirror that can be found HERE.

My husband built the beautiful, industrial shelving after I showed him a photo of what I wanted. I should never doubt his skills. 😉 The sign and the & on the top shelf are, of course, another Hobby Lobby find. I also sort of have a thing for vintage Ball jars. I have a cupboard full of them, and I hoard them! You never know when an occasion may arise where you need 27 Ball jars, am I right?!

The rotating memo board above is one of my favorite pieces. One side is printed on, as you can see, with the verse, “Be filled with fresh joy from the Lord. Isaiah 29:19” What a beautiful reminder for us each day! The back side is left blank and can be used as a chalkboard or a magnetic board, since it’s metal. The “Fresh Joy Rotating Memo Board” can be found HERE.

And just because I can’t say enough about how great my hubby really is…

 A few photos of our project in Progress…

My man hard at work…isn’t he cute? 😉

Our five year old, Jake, loved “helping out” on this project. He loves all things construction related, and he’s definitely following in daddy’s footsteps! One of his favorite lines comes from Chip on Fixer Upper…”It’s demo day, baby!” 🙂

Easton @ Eight Months

Today officially marks Easton’s 8th month of life. It was an exciting last month with him officially sitting up on his own and learning to scoot – he hasn’t quite mastered the crawl. I know that him becoming more mobile means more work for me and babyproofing, but I really love this stage.

I love that he can entertain himself a little longer and can scoot around to watch his siblings play. I can’t wait for the day he can run and keep up with them. Although they smother him with their love on a daily basis, he is their biggest fan and he loves the attention. He also just started giving “kisses,” and this mama will take as many as he is willing to give. 🙂

The past month also held his first ER visit for a respiratory infection. Although it gave us a little scare, we were thankful it wasn’t anything more serious.

Each day he is getting more and more fun. I love his sweet baby giggles when we tickle under his neck and those big, gummy smiles first thing in the morning. I love the way his chubby little legs kick as fast as they can in the bath tub and how is eyes light up when he sees daddy come home after a long day of work.

The past month held several new and exciting “firsts,” and part of me just wants time to slow down – babyhood goes by far too fast.  He’s growing rapidly and changing a little every day. Even though it is bittersweet, I absolutely love watching him grow, and I cannot wait to see what the next month has in store for this busy little boy.

I love you so much, little buddy! Cheers to 8 months, and here’s to another exciting new month full of many new firsts! XOXO

Valentine’s Mini Shoot & Bloopers

As the mother of three, I have learned that getting a “frame worthy” pic of my littles can be quite the trick. I’ve also learned that for every one GOOD photo we capture, there will be about 200 to scrap. Someone is usually blinking or whining or fighting or coughing or moving or crying or drooling or laughing or pushing or bored or “CHEESE-ing” too hard or…you name it – and it’s probably been a part of our photo sessions. But…it’s teaching me patience, that’s for sure!

I’ve come to absolutely love the candid shots, and as I was going through the Valentine’s photos I snapped of the kids, the “blooper” shots had me giggling. I just had to share a few of our outtakes. So here you are – the best, the worst, and the bloopers…

Happy Valentine’s Day!! <3


A little over a year ago, my family and I packed up and set off on a road trip to Texas. Yep, that’s right. An eighteen hour drive with a two and a four year old, AND I was pregnant. A road trip from Minnesota to Texas. A total of 1,056 miles. EACH WAY. But we were not just going to Texas – we were going to WACO, Texas and it was going to be worth it. (If you don’t know why we were going to Waco, I’m not sure we can be friends. 😉 Kidding. Waco is the hometown of Chip and Joanna Gaines of the HGTV hit show Fixer Upper. Now you know.)

So the day after Christmas, we got up way too early (3am to be exact) and hit the road in a snow storm. Fortunately, we drove out of the snow and the kids slept for several hours. We told ourselves we would take it slow, stopping as needed to give the kiddos a break from the road.


We invested in a couple of iPad minis for Christmas for this road trip specifically. HELLO, if we are going to drive across the country – I’m GOING to use any form of entertainment/distraction possible. Judge me if you want – but it was completely worth it. I loaded their favorite tv shows, movies, and games onto their iPads prior to Christmas so that when they opened them up on Christmas morning, they were all set to go for the next day. It worked like a charm for our four year old. He put on his little headphones and hardly made a peep. Our two year old did get a bit antsy and the iPad didn’t work as well with her, but we had some other toys and tricks up our sleeve to distract her.

Somewhere in Iowa…

The first day we made it about 12.5 hours to Tulsa, Oklahoma before we called it a night. It was good to get into a hotel room and let the kids play and run around. We ordered a pizza and enjoyed being out of the truck for awhile.

The next morning we headed out for our final stretch to Waco. Just five and a half hours to go. Except there was Dallas. Just a word of advice – try NOT to hit Dallas at rush hour. There’s nothing like six lanes of backed up traffic, all headed through the heart of Dallas. That was quite the experience, and let me just say – it made me extremely thankful for my one stoplight, rural hometown in northern MN. I really don’t think I could deal with that regularly! Once a small town girl, always a small town girl. 🙂

We arrived in Waco by the early afternoon and were all set to see everything there was to see. We checked into our hotel, Hotel Indigo, which is located just about three blocks from THEE Magnolia Market. Hotel Indigo is a wonderful place to stay and close to many attractions. The rooms are beautiful, modern, and clean, and I highly recommend staying here if you are planning a trip to Waco. It’s a five star hotel in my opinion and a reasonable price to stay. I would stay here again in a heartbeat.

The only slight downfall to the hotel was the outdoor pool. It would have been great, but it was unseasonably cold for a couple of the days we were there, making it tough to climb into a cold pool when it was only 60 degrees outside. We enjoyed the hot tub instead (or as our four year old would call it – the “hot pool”). The pool really wasn’t a make or break for our stay. We spent very little time at the hotel anyways. I’ve also heard that the Gaines family frequents the restaurant in Hotel Indigo, so you never know who you may get lucky to see during your stay.

After check in, of course we headed straight for Magnolia Market. We were there about an hour before closing time, and as we soon found out, it was the best time to visit the store. The crowds were quickly dying down, as opposed to the mile long lines earlier in the day. Magnolia Market is really a beautiful place to visit. You can tell they have put much thought and effort into making it a destination for travelers. I was in awe to see the Silos at Magnolia, which I had seen for so many years through my television screen. The Magnolia shop is absolutely perfect and gorgeous. The farmhouse style is what I’m all about, so I could basically just live there. If you need me, I’ll be on the lower floor napping in the twin size bed covered with the gorgeous “Matilda Jane by Joanna Gaines” bedding. Oh, and I’ll probably snacking on some freshly made kettle corn.


Behind Magnolia is a large, grassy, back yard area with giant swings, yard games, food vendors, a covered shelter with picnic tables, gardens, and Magnolia Seed + Supply. I could literally spend hours here just hanging out and taking it all in. It is such a fun and inviting environment.



The Silos Baking Co. next door is super adorable, but the lines are so LONG to even get in – unless you are there at 7am when they open! My husband went on an early morning run a couple of times during our stay and stopped in right when it opened, in hopes to find something for breakfast. There weren’t too many breakfast options, but he did bring a box of delicious cupcakes back to the hotel for us. Cupcakes for breakfast? YES, PLEASE. While on vacation…right?!

While in Waco, we took in as many sights and experiences as possible – many of them being “Fixer Upper” related. We drove by several of the homes that have been featured on Fixer Upper, including Chip & Joanna’s Bed & Breakfast, the Magnolia House, in the nearby small town of McGregor, Texas. It would be a dream to stay in the Magnolia House, but it books out months in advance so getting a reservation can be a little difficult.

A recent news article(at the time) shared that the Gaines had purchased a local restaurant that they would be transforming – so we stopped by that and took pictures outside (then: Elite Cafe, coming soon: Magnolia Table). The Elite Cafe was a historic diner in Waco that is said to have been frequented by Elvis Presley in the 1940’s. How cool is that?? I’m super excited to see the way Chip and Jo fix this one up.

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COMING SOON! Master Bedroom Makeover: AFTER

Here is a little sneak peek of our master bedroom makeover. We started this project in early January, and unfortunately we ran into a few setbacks. However, despite the unforeseen setbacks, we were still able to make a lot of progress. There are just a few odds and ends to get finished up before I can give you the official reveal.

So stay tuned! We are hoping to have this bedroom makeover wrapped up in the next 2-3 weeks, and I will be sharing more photos with you then.