Sunday, January 31, 2016

Learning to Crochet in the Mountains

I have done the impossible! I have become crafty!

A few of my blogger friends (and by a few, I mean 14 of us…) decided we needed a weekend away. An epic girls trip in the mountains where the only thing we had to worry about was where to eat and which pjs to bring.

Our view from the room at Big Horn Meadows. It looked like a painting!

Now, when I say epic girls trip it may bring about different connotations than the reality. This was the type of girls trip where we shopped at the thrift shop, ate at the local cafĂ©, ordered pizza, watched Pitch Perfect 2 and crocheted. That’s right, we crocheted.

One of my dear friends happens to be a very talented crocheter (is that a word? Spellcheck says it is not. What do you call people who crochet?!) and she was crazy enough to volunteer to teach me. I will tell you, it started off very rocky. Somehow I managed to keep adding stitches upon stitches when I should have been keeping them the same. It is a mystery. HOWEVER, it did eventually get easier, and I managed to make this amazing little hat.



It turns out I find it very relaxing and therapeutic and so now I am attempting to make a blanket. Erin has tons of easy and awesome patterns on her blog (www.mrsbrits.blogspot.com) if you want to check them out!

Why on earth did I not turn my phone around for this pic? Because I was too cozy and chill, it's my only excuse.  

In Radium we were so fortunate to be hosted by Big Horn Meadows Resort. This is not just a clever name; there was  actually a herd of Big Horn sheep that wandered around the grounds the entire weekend we were there. Hello guys!!



The rooms were awesome. They were 3 bedroom units, and were spacious and gorgeous and cozy. They would be perfect if we took the kiddos out to Radium with us, as they could have their own little room, and we could still hang out in the living area and kitchen and not worry about keeping them up. The rooms were so large they fit 14 of us comfortably in the living room/dining room area and we were even able to do yoga on Sunday morning! So perfect.

This may be the only time you will see a photo of me without my trusty glasses. 


Nothing refills your batteries like a weekend in the mountains. I honestly cannot recommend it highly enough. We of course went to the Radium Hot Springs for a soak, and also I went every single day to Kicking Horse Coffee headquarters. Because COFFEE.


So a huge thank you to Big Horn Meadows for hosting us crazy ladies! I can’t wait to go back. They also happen to have a special on to save 20% off room bookings for 2 nights (or longer, because you will not want to leave), so if you want to check them out just let them know you want the Blogger Discount. It's good until June 23, 2016, but it's not valid on long weekends. 

~Amy

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

I'm a Good Mom

Ah, the week before New Year's. This is a time where I traditionally reflect on all the things I do wrong, and how I'm not going to do them wrong the next year. It's a time when I think of all the things I am NOT (not healthy, not good with money, not fit...) and how I am going to attempt to change all of those things starting January 1st. But this year I actually surprised myself. 

Being a mom is probably the largest part of my identity at this time of my life. And generally, since I have been thrust into that role, I have never felt like I excel at it. I always have felt that I am surviving; some days better than others, but surviving nonetheless. 

Good Moms definitely make sure to take Instagram Selfies. 
Despite all of the reassurances to the contrary from my husband, my family, my friends, my therapist, the internet, the piles of parenting books and my other parent friends, I still believed I wasn't doing a great job at being a mom. I was doing an adequate job; I was the world's okayest mom. 

But reflecting back on this year, I had the shocking realization that I don't really feel that way anymore. In fact, I think I'm doing a damn good job. Even if my kids watch too much Netflix, eat McDonald's, and are not fully potty trained. Even though I hate the park, I don't make cute little presents for preschool on holidays, and I often don't shower for more days in a row than is probably healthy. Even if sometimes I feel like I want to scream, and sometimes I do. Even if I need some precious alone time from my children, but then sneak into their rooms and risk waking them up just to get the goodnight kiss I missed. Now, when my children throw an epic tantrum in the middle of the grocery store and all eyes are looking at me and how I will deal with it, I know that no matter how it ends I AM A GOOD MOM. 

I am not perfect, but as someone once said to me: "if there was such a thing as a perfect mom, you would hate that person anyway". There is no need to be perfect, because what my kids need is me, crazy and all. All of those times I felt like I was barely surviving, and doing a horrible job at raising tiny humans, I was actually just being a great mom. Because that is what great moms do. 

I have told myself this countless times before this day, and never ever truly believed it. I would say it, and then think of all the things that I needed to fix about myself, to make me "a good mom". This doesn't mean that there isn't a bunch of things I can do better, because of course there is. But not doing them doesn't mean I am failing at all. That is a very freeing thought. 

So this new year, I will still start it off with wishing I was more healthy, more fit and better with money. But I will not be feeling horrible about the year I just gave to my children. I actually feel really proud of it, despite all the rough spots, because it means that I have been lucky enough to spend it with the people I love the most in all of the world, and I know that they (and I!) am better for it. 

So Happy New Year to all of the Great Moms reading this. I wish you another year of joy, tears, tantrums, messes and LOVE. 


~Amy

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Lazy Mom Fall Decorating Reveal

My front door area needs a lot of help. The door is just awful; full of marks and old stickers. I am desperate to replace the door with one with a window to let some light in because I have zero windows on the front of the house on my main floor. But replacing a door seems like a normal person DIY project, which means we are not capable AT ALL of doing it. So it will wait. 
So beautiful...

But it is a bit sad. I have a dead hanging basket hanging on the front and a generic black rubber mat that says "Welcome". That's it. I wanted to spruce my stoop (is it a stoop?) up for the fall season.  So here is the before photo:



See? It needs some help. There is a lot of space for really cute fall decor, and it has a lot of potential. So I did some decorating that fits into my busy lifestyle:

All Fall-ified

 Isn't it amazing? Here, I'll show you a side-by-side comparison just so you don't miss it. 


And here, my dear ones, is an example of setting small, achievable goals. You too can have a blog worthy front porch with minimal effort! Here is a handy tutorial: 

Step 1: Purchase pumpkin.
Step 2: Place pumpkin on step. 

Happy Fall Everyone! 

~Amy

Monday, July 20, 2015

Hello...it's Me

Whoa. So normally I kind of hate the "sorry I haven't written" type posts, but considering the fact it's been about 2 years since my last post, I suppose there should be SOME sort of catchupiness happening here. 

So. It turns out blogging when you have 2 small boys is hard, yo. I mean, I had a lot of balls to juggle, and blogging seemed like the best one to drop. Because the other two were my boys (and that isn't a good thing, I am pretty sure we can all agree), or my ever-loving mind. I have managed to escape with that one somewhat intact, though it hasn't been without a struggle. 

Depression and anxiety are not great for my creative juices. I had opened my laptop many times and stared at the blank screen with my hands ready to type and literally nothing came to mind. It was almost like someone had deleted the writing program from my brain. I have not really written much of anything for 2 whole years, and that is pretty crappy. Because I do love to write, even if it is dumb little anecdotes. 

So, here we are. 2 years later. After therapy, and group therapy and medication and many, many, many tantrums (both from the kids and from me), and tears and laughter and joy and fun and sadness. We have made it through, and are at a point where I can put them in front of the TV to watch Penguins of Madagascar (I mean, how hilarious is Dave?!) and sneak upstairs to write this. Because the days of my children needing 140% of my time and attention are gone, and now they only need about 110%. So maybe I can use that -30% to concentrate on myself for about 20 minutes until someone needs something. I mean seriously, how many times a day can you hear the words "Mom, I'm STILL hungry!!"!?!  You are tiny little humans with stomachs the size of lemons*. I mean how much can you actually fit in there for crying out loud?? 

*please note, I have no idea what the actual size of a preschooler's stomach is. 


You know what? Parenting is hard. Being a person is also sometimes very hard. It's even harder to be a parent and also a person at the exact same time. I haven't got it mastered yet, but I am getting better at it. 

I'm sure it's been hard, in my absence, to not know what my thoughts were on (trying desperately to think of parenting issues that have happened in the last 2 years...) the Royal babies, celebrity baby names and *insert hot-button parenting issue here*, but I am sure you managed somehow. And thank you to all who wrote me a note to check in and see how I was doing, and to those who requested I start to write again. I am sure you will regret your decision soon enough. 

So here is where we are at now. Peanut (Finn) is turning 4 next week. New Baby (Q) is now 2.5 and Hubby and I are still basically the same, just with a few grey hairs. Also, Kitty is still alive and well (she is still not quite right in the head, but that is her normal, and we generally love her anyway). We moved into an awesome house last year where we finally feel completely at home. Despite my terrible past as a plant serial killer, I am trying my hand at growing some fruit and veggies in our gardens and not completely failing. So far my success rate is about 60%. The plants are being lulled into a sense of safety. I am still at home with my boys, which means I basically sit on my butt all day and watch Maury Povich (is that guy still on TV? Because Oprah isn't, right?) and eat bon-bons. 

So there we have it. When written down it sort of sounds like I haven't done much these last 2 years. Which is basically true, lets be honest. Sometimes just surviving is all the busy you can handle. 

Much love to you all. I've missed you, darlings. 
xoxo

~Amy

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Why Leaving the House is The WORST

Ok. Upon reading the title of this post, you may assume it is because of my recent struggles with anxiety. But it's not. It's because of these 2 little angels: 


Sweet, right? Yep. They generally are. Until we have to leave the house. As if my sanity wasn't fragile enough, I also have to wage fullscale WAR in order to walk out the door. No matter how much strategy I employ, no matter how clever I think I am being in preparing hours in advance, I am always outwitted, outlasted and outplayed. I am the weakest link, there can ONLY BE ONE!!!! and it's not me. 

Let me explain.
 
Sometimes, we just have to leave the house. Maybe we have an appointment, maybe I'm crazy enough to think an outing would be nice, who knows. In any case, I have to be somewhere at some time. I try and start at least an hour before we have to leave, but this has proven to not be sufficient. I get them changed, which is like trying to wrangle an octopus into a ziplock bag, but twice. I eventually succeed, and then it is my turn to try and make myself presentable for the outside world. 

This is impossible. The oldest is running around and throwing toys and dumping puzzles and pushing his brother and chasing the cat and evil laughing while dumping a glass of milk on the carpet. The youngest is screaming and crying like I have abandoned him in the wilderness despite the fact that he is 2 feet away from me. If I have to go to the closet to get a sweater, he crawls after me with his head up screaming and wailing at the ceiling. The 10 minutes it takes me to get dressed and run a comb through my hair is the loudest and most chaotic 10 minutes that has ever existed in space and time. It never fails either. I can have a ton of well-timed activities planned, I can even resort to putting Thomas the Tank Engine on...it doesn't matter. None of this holds any power compared to the innate instinct to make mommy lose her ever-loving mind. 

This is usually the point where I start to really lose my composure. I shut down into a resigned zombie with no feelings on auto-pilot. I think it's a coping mechanism. "No Finn, don't hit your brother, Q, you are ok sweetheart, Mommy still loves you even though I am not physically touching you" while I smear eyeliner on and pull my greasy hair into a "messy bun" (understatement of the year). 

After this, the hunt for the boots/coats/hats/no-not-the-green-ones-the-blue-ones-mommy-mittens begins. This is where my adrenaline starts to kick in and I wake up out of the zombie-state and start to get into a state of panic. I have usually noticed that if we don't leave the house in exactly 5 minutes, we will once again be late. But of course this one boot cannot be found. How can it not be there?! It's always in the box with all of the stuff. Could it be in the closet? I have checked absolutely everywhere, including the places that is doesn't even make sense to look. Maybe it's behind the toilet in the bathroom?! Any attempt at recruiting help from the toddler is just enlisting him to run around yelling "where's my boot mom?"about 30 times. Eventually, with one minute until we have to leave I unearth the missing boot from underneath the couch in the basement (I have no blooming idea how it could have gotten there) and get it on. 

I put Q in his bucket seat and begin to buckle him in. Maybe I'm actually going to make it this time!! I can't even believe my luck...my hair is in disarray and I have non-matching socks on, but we may have actually done it. Just as I clip the last buckle, I hear the tell-tale rumble and know that it is not to be. Somehow the diaper which is designed for the specific purpose of not allowing everything to explode everywhere has failed, and it requires an entire change of wardrobe for the babe. Any chance we had at being semi-punctual is out the door (unlike us). 

Once we get that settled, we all head into the car, and I strap the toddler in, while he tries to escape so he can drive Francesco Bernoulli. Why my toddler thinks our tiny little Honda Fit is a Formula One Racecar from Cars 2, I have no idea. 

I finally sit in the car and heave a sigh of exhaustion. We haven't even pulled out of the garage and I am ready to go home. 

And this happens every.single.time. 

So THAT, my friends, is why leaving the house is the WORST (and also why I will be late every time we arrange to get together...sorry). 

#momlife

~Amy

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