Parenting is Still Hard

I’m not exposing any breaking news here people.

Parenting is hard. It started hard, and although my kids are older than toddlers, is still hard.

When my kids were young I felt pressure to make the right decisions on their behalf. I figured these decisions would absolutely shape who they would become in life. I thought parenting was like being handed play-doh and I’ll be damned if I wasn’t going to mold it into the Paris skyline, with bonus Ferris wheel.

With every decision I found myself circling the living room waving my hand sewn flag with the words “My kid is going to be President” chanting;

-Will this decision rot my kids teeth?

-Will this decision ruin my kids sleeping patterns for life?

-Will this make my kid an asshole?

Spoiler Alert!   No, No, Maybe.

Then one day you wake up and notice they are growing and become who they are meant to be. Themselves.

Also not breaking news,  this “themselves” thing comes with a healthy dose of opinions, ideas, self made decisions, 54 bags of chips, 3 cartons of ice cream, a hidden stash of Hershey bars, and the next size pants waiting on the sidelines. That last part is for me. Ahem.

Sound annoying? Control freak, meet reality.

It gets even worst. They form their own outlooks and when they stumble upon on that fork in the road, decide themselves which path is meant for them.

Can you even.

Let me tell you, navigating this reality is a new level of parenting challenge so buckle up and drive to that really crappy parking lot that holds the Trader Joe’s and grab a six pack or 12.

I’ve gone from making decisions solely based on how **I** want them to be to assisting in their decisions.  Don’t get me wrong, at this point, it’s a team sport. They definitely can’t do this themselves (Because those chips don’t buy themselves, kids) and I don’t feel un-needed. It’s just different.

Parenting now involves a balance between listening to who they are and guiding them towards who they want to become. It’s about letting them have their own success and failure. It’s about supporting and loving them more than I thought was possible.

All of this while ignoring paying attention to the latest research on the amount of sleep kids need, how to limit screen time, count their carbs, brush, floss, and air dry their teeth before bed only using organic free range air molecules.

Raising kids in this age of information is equal parts educational and ridiculous. I can’t even find any organic free range air molecules within 60 miles of my house.

Also, I have to come to terms that my older son is reading Ben Carson’s book ON PURPOSE and my younger sons arms are always at a right angle to his head. #Dab

Oh, and we’re now a TWO rotisserie chicken family.

But I digress.

As my children become these people who make their own decisions and shape their world, I sit here in the closet with my Hershey’s bars feeling proud of them. Their strength. Their sense of self. Their friendship towards each other. Their ability to now feed themselves on a Saturday morning.

I realize, you know what? It’s hard and it’s not going to get easier. Each stage is just different and that’s ok. I get to sleep in on Saturday and that feels pretty great too.

pool

National Parks turn 100. Go. Discover.

The national park system turns 100 today!!

We’ve traveled a lot in the last calendar year. How much?

This much:

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Mount Rushmore National Memorial

Custer State Park

Badlands National Park

Glacier National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Tetons National Park

Saguaro National Park

So when people ask me if we’ve traveled this past summer I respond with an enthusiastic HELL NO.

The bulk of those were done during my husband’s 11 week sabbatical in a 3 week road trip which is a totally different post because OMG WE SURVIVED 5 THOUSAND MILES IN A CAR TOGETHER.

Anyways.

When my husband and I were planning on our travel agenda, many options came across the board both here and oversees. Ultimately, we both agreed there was so much we hadn’t seen in our own country. I started sewing our set of 4 American flag shirts and off we went!

You’ll notice a lot of national parks on that list and I’m here to tell you, they live up to their hype. While I am not a photographer by any means, these parks make it hard to not get a great shot. Maybe these will inspire you to get out and #FindYourPark.

You’ll never regret a road trip that ends in views like this.

Though these are my pictures, I highly recommend you follow these accounts on Instagram. You won’t regret such beauty in your stream.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

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 Badlands National Park

Follow Badlands Instagram

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Glacier National Park– Our favorite. You must visit this in your lifetime if you get a chance. It was magical.

Follow Glacier Instagram 

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glacier

Yellowstone National Park

Follow Yellowstone Instagram 

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Grand Teton National Park

Follow Grand Teton on Instagram 

barn (1 of 1)

Husband and I were out looking at this barn and I get a text from our son who is in the car. “Mom, there’s buffalo running down the road” WHAT?? We run to the car just in time. They came out of no where and were large and in charge.

bison 2 (1 of 1)

Saguaro National Park

Follow Saguaro National Park on Instagram 

kids rocks (1 of 1)

I tell the kids “So, cross that stream and then climb the rocks until you can sit on that big one. And watch out for snakes and spiders!” #BestParent

sunset (1 of 1)

Ready for a road trip?

I found this link to pre-planned national park trips. 

So get out there and find your park! We can’t wait to find more.

 

 

 

WELCOME! to my House

This post is sponsored by Sherwin Williams and when you paint as much as I do, you JUMP at the chance to work with them. No brainer. Of course this is my website and my own words and if you need proof of that, look for the 3ft doll cameo.  Would I really have it any other way?

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We put new flooring in over 2 years ago and I still haven’t repainted my front entry to go with them. (I’m looking at you, life)

The existing color had a lot of yellow in it and it just didn’t go with the new flooring at all. I also really struggled with what to do with that front table of mine.

I had a Halloween table, Xmas table, but my everyday table set up was a snore.

before

 

When Sherwin Williams wanted to work together for national painting week, they actually suggested doing my front door.

We just had our porch rebuilt and a new front door put on last year so I reminded them of its current awesome status.

That door color is like a smile on the front of my house. It’s staying.

Entry 1

Then they asked if I had an entry…..and although small, I do.

I would be lying if I said I was all LET’S DO THIS because I could not find inspiration for this project in the last 2 years. On the other hand, I felt like this was the push I needed to FIND the inspiration.

And I did.

Right in my own backyard.

wood

That pile of wood is my neighbors old fence. You can see his new fence in the background. He offered some of the wood to us when he took it down and I said YES! I figured it could be good fire pit wood.  Or home decor?

So I started with a pile of wood and then worked from there.

Listen, I don’t understand my brain either.

I decided that although the black table worked for other holidays, for my everyday look, it was just too dark.

So I fixed that too.

Entry 2

Can we all say ahhhhhhhhhhh

The walls without the yellow hue, the new light table color and some old fence art.

Our family is word focused and it’s sort of our motto that anything goes around here.

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Funny side story, I wanted to paint the back of the front door and told my husband that I was thinking about a grey.  He says “More grey? I feel like we’re just not grey people.”

So let it be known that I listened to him once.

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Paint Colors:

House: Retreat SW 6207

Trim:  Alabaster SW 7008

Wall: Useful Grey SW 7050

Entry Table: Raindrop SW 6485

Back of Front Door: Mariner SW 6766

I’d like to thank Sherwin Williams for being so great to work with and getting me to finally have a decent WELCOME to my home.

Want to see another project? Check out my friend Monica’s gorgeous office doors.