Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kindle Fire giveaway coming soon!

Coming soon! I'll have a chance for you to enter!

mother's day giveaway
**1 Winner**
Kindle Fire HD
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Bloggers --
Want to participate in an amazing giveaway to give one awesome mom a great gift? Come and join in on this opportunity with Mama Foster.

Sign-ups close 4/28

**The blogger with the most referrals will receive the additional links at no cost
Click HERE to sign up and for more html info.

**Only a certain amount of co-hosts will be taken, so please sign up as soon as you can so you won't lose a spot!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Family birthday fun @StoneMtnPark #Atlanta

We spent a beautiful spring Sunday at Stone Mountain recently to celebrate my mom's birthday with some quality family time. We lucked out with gorgeous weather (it's headed back down into the 30s tonight - eek!) and had a lot of fun checking out the various activities.

Amelia, now a brave 6-year-old, is still talking about conquering Sky Hike, the sky-high ropes course that can get your heart pounding. We had lunch at Campfire Grill and laughed through the surprises in the 4D theater. We also Rode the Duck for the first time!

For information on Stone Mountain Park attractions, check them out online. You can also follow Stone Mountain on Twitter.

Posing with my babies!

Sweet Granddad moment

Thursday, April 10, 2014

She ignores her kids daily

I read a lot of great blog posts from other parenting bloggers, many of whom I have the pleasure of knowing in real life thanks to the Georgia Social Media Moms. I do not often have the chance to comment or share their posts, but I do read. I really appreciate perspective form other busy mothers and some of the interesting questions they pose to all of us.

On of my favorites from this past weekend was this one:
I Ignore My Kids Every Day - Real Mom Talk
(click to read her post)

Oh my, how she speaks the truth! I only have one big kid to "ignore" these days; I can only imagine the chatter she is bombarded with each day with six offspring to entertain her.

Is it so wrong to need ME time? Is it a crime to want to look at a silly game on my phone, read blog posts, check Facebook, respond to email...?  I don't think so. Often, I am in a digital world of work, getting stuff scheduled for some random house need, or maybe planning a party or a vacation. It is all part of my always-struggling-to-balance life. It's just busy! So when I do have a free moment, I might just want to veg out with the Where's My Piggie app and talk to - or listen to - nobody.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

We've always said you aren't allowed to turn six...

Our sweet Amelia,

Happy birthday! Daddy and I have told you for years that you are not allowed to turn six. We want you to be five forever. But today, you turned six. Nothing we could do would stop you - you have been looking forward to this day for months!

This past year has been full of many big events: new house, moving, kindergarten, and a baby brother! You have handled each big event with your amazing compassion and understanding. You are wise beyond your years.

When we had your first parent-teacher conference after kindergarten began, I could not have been more proud. The teacher said that you were not only smart and eager, but also truly kind to everyone. She showed such pride in your abilities and your heart. That makes a parent so very proud.

I have no choice but to let you move on, into your six-year-old year. Keep walking down your path in this world with a smile. Always keep that truly compassionate heart. Stay proud of who you are.

You are loved!


Friday, April 4, 2014

Family dinner: A quick and easy hamburger solution

I suspect I am not the only busy mama who often finds herself with few ideas for family dinner. You know that late-week dilemma, when you just didn't make it to the grocery store, and you have few options to cook? I know it well.

The other day, I had green beans and ground beef. Not much else. We enjoyed extra playtime due to a gorgeous day outside, so I had a hungry almost-six-year-old and wanted to fix something fast. Spaghetti is a usual go-to use of hamburger meat for me, but I was hoping for a lower carb choice. Meatloaf was going to take too long. So... what if I made a version of really tiny meatloaf?

I found a bottle of favorite meat marinade (in this case, KC Masterpiece Classic Steakhouse), spotted my mini muffin tin, and invented a new recipe.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

#WW: Almost a year ago...

Almost one year ago, we closed on our new house. We moved to our favorite school district area on this side of town for Amelia to begin kindergarten. She is almost finished with that kindergarten year already!

This is our forever home, barring any unforeseen job issues that would require us to go out of state. We plan to be here for the long haul. Both children will grow up here. Our next home will be the empty nest solution - downsize!

This house is wonderful. Despite the dark hardwood floors that I quickly realized show every piece of possible dirt (funny how they gleamed gorgeously when the house was being shown!) and the light switches that seem to be in really odd locations, we are happy here. The huge floor-to-ceiling windows in the family room, the wooded area outside, the deck, the cul-de-sac with friendly neighbors... it's all good.

May - closing day...


Monday, March 31, 2014

Behind the scenes @GeorgiaAquarium - a great adventure!

Spring break began with a fun family weekend, topped off on Sunday with a visit to the Georgia Aquarium. We always enjoy our time strolling through the lovely world of water creatures, but this time was extra special. We were able to do a Georgia Aquarium behind-the-scenes tour! We were fascinated to learn more about how the aquarium supports over 500 animal species in 10 million gallons of water.

Before our journey inside the aquarium, Amelia insisted on a photo shoot with the dolphins:

Friday, March 28, 2014

For that I thank you

I have an acquaintance, hopefully she'd say a friend, a fellow blogger in the Atlanta area. I sat by her at an event this past weekend. She met my baby boy and we talked about the upcoming birth of her third son, expected within the week.

She gave birth to that precious boy yesterday. Thursday, March 27, 2014. Baby Gage fought a valiant fight with some breathing difficulty and an infection. But he left our earthly world about eleven hours after he was born.

This is not about me, but I am hurting so much for her. For the baby's father. For the children who were anxious to meet their new sibling. I am barely functioning today because that family is all I can think about. I want to pour my heart out with the words currently pounding in my head. I suppose I'm seeking relief from the sadness, a relief I don't even come close to deserving. It isn't "my" crisis.

I cannot stop staring at my own newborn baby boy. Irrational as it is, I feel guilty. How can I post his photo to Facebook? How can I share his milestones? I know she would not want me to feel this way or hold back my proud moments, but I am afraid of causing her even a touch of additional pain. She does not deserve the pain she is suffering right now and all who know her wish they could help to take it all away. Humans are selfish, and we want this baby boy back. Despite God's will, we so want him back.

For all the amazing women out there who have suffered infant loss, my heart aches for you too. May you find peace and loving hearts to surround you, especially the days when you have more 'downs' than 'ups'.

Baby Gage touched so many hearts in his short time here. He made us all hold our children, young and old, a little tighter. He made me calm when my almost 6-year-old was a sassy and disrespectful nightmare. He made sure that I will never stop being thankful.

For that, baby Gage, I thank you. You are beautiful in every way.

Spring is lovely in #Atlanta! Two favorite outdoor family attractions

Spring break is almost here! It is funny, I was not thrilled with the seemingly gazillion snow days this winter, yet I am counting the moments until Spring Break. Even more time for the child to be out of school... why is it different this time?

It is different because the baby is 2 months old and sleeping much better. I am more rested and able to have fun with Amelia again. It is also different because it is SPRING! Cold, gray days stuck at home with snow and/or ice are not nearly as appealing. I am hoping for sunny and blue Georgia skies during the upcoming break.

If the imminent springtime loveliness makes you want to do a little happy dance, then I would recommend the Atlanta Botanical Garden.March and April are simply gorgeous because all the bulbs are in bloom. Children will enjoy romping through the Children's garden, and everyone will ooh and ahh in the orchid house. The botanical garden makes for a really fun and happy day.
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