Love and Messy Kitchen Chairs

Valentine’s Day: maybe my second favorite day of the year (behind Thanksgiving!). I had big plans to be really cute and make some crafty things. I had plans to make everyone around me feel really special and loved. I had plans to get the babies something small and sweet.

I didn’t.

I’ve been in that kind of place where you just get the stuff on your to do list done, and there isn’t much room for anything more. I’m normally in what Marc calls “Initiative Mode,” where I’ve always got something up my sleeve, but this week, and today, I’ve taken it pretty easy, soaking it all up. I spent hours in my craft room this weekend, just sitting and reflecting. So, Valentine’s Day kinda snuck up on me, and I spent the day feeling a little guilty about not making it as big of a production as I had hoped or planned.

After running errands and picking up the house, Marc, Maggie, and I hopped into the car and casually headed to dinner at my Mom & Dad’s, no different than any other Sunday. We ate a delicious meal, and at the end of the night, my sister Amanda thought it would be a good idea to lift the baby seats so we could clean the chairs. Sure enough, I lifted the seat, and there was a menagerie of prehistoric vegetables, thrown in protest on a previous evening. I told Mom we needed to leave some cash for her so that she could buy new  chairs, since this recently-purchased set already had loving streaks of who-knows-what from the babies. And then she said something that filled up my Valentine’s Day cup:

“It’s okay that they got dirty. It means we have good times here.”

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I LOVE it when one sentence wraps up all the thoughts in my heart and head. Often times, I’m caught up in the day-to-day, and the BIG picture, that I lose sight of the little things, or even the good perspective. My mom was totally right about the good times, and those are so much more valuable than any heart-shaped something I might have cut out and hung in our house.

I look forward to getting back into “Initiative Mode,” since I have shit to do around here. But for today, for now, I’m taking Mom’s advice. I’m seeing things for what they are, and learning to love that my kitchen floor is dirty, because Maggie drops her “nuh-nana” when she’s excited. I love that we have a ton of laundry to fold, because we got rodeo cow poop on our jeans, and Maggie learned to “moo.” I love that Mom’s chairs are dirty, too, because she feeds us food and love all the time.

Happy Valentine’s Day, from the girl who LOVES love, but gets a little tired every now and then too. xoxo

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Five Things (Under $10!) That I’m Loving Right Now

It’s February, one of my favorite months of the year! Not just because the weather is nice and it’s Girl Scout Cookie season, but because it’s Valentine’s Day season, and I LOVE love. I’ve often hoped that Valentine’s Day would be as big in our house as Christmas and Thanksgiving are, because I love being loved, and expressing love. BONUS: Everything is pink, and that’s my favorite color. So BAM! Happy February!

I thought I’d kick off LOVE Month with five little things that make all the difference to me. I have treated myself (or someone has treated me!) with these little goodies in the recent days, and I want you to know about them! It’s worth mentioning these are NOT affiliate links and I don’t get paid for any of this. I’m just honestly sharing these small, but amazing treats because sometimes, we need a pick-me-up. If you’re saving your money like crazy right now like we are, it’s gotta be something small too. So, here we go:

Five Things (Under $10) That I’m Loving Right Now
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What:
Caldrea Hand Lotion in Green Tea Verbena 
From: Target ($7.99)
Why I love it: Oh, Caldrea. I’m not sure I even say the name of this company correctly (Call-Dray-Uh?) but DAMN! They’re good at what they do. Someone I know once bought me the Herbs of Provence lotion for my birthday, and then “accidentally” kept it on her vanity forever. (I’m looking at you, Mom). The Green Tea Verbena lotion is SO bright, uplifting, and fresh. I keep a bottle at work, and it smells beautiful, but not overwhelming. Just lovely.

IMG_3149What: Mrs. Meyers Hand Soap in Basil
From: Target ($3.99)
Why I love it: Hey, no fair! Two hand products! But really, Mrs. Meyers Hand Soap in Basil will make you want to do the dishes, just so you can use it when you’re finished. And God knows I need all the motivation I can get to do those ever-looming dishes.IMG_3152

What: Lettermate
From: Lettermate.com ($9.95)
Why I love it: Don’t laugh at me for buying a piece of plastic with four rectangle-shaped holes in it. It’s so much more than that. I’ve already written THREE handwritten letters and used the Lettermate, and if nothing else, it’s fun to use a tool to make it feel more official, and more thoughtful. It helps keep your lettering straight when you’re addressing an envelope, and if you’re already going to the trouble of sending something snail mail, then you might as well make it look good.

IMG_3150What: Sworkit Workout App on iPhone
From: SworkIt.com (FREE)
Why I love it: Please don’t’ think I’m the working-out type, and that I’m qualified to judge any exercise program, like, ever. But YAY for Sworkit. Shout out to my friend, Becca, for convincing me, as I literally stuffed chips and queso in my mouth, that this app was not intimidating at all, and that I should give it a try. My FAVORITE part is that it gives you an option to do a five-minute work out, and I LOVE a product that openly allows me to call five minutes of exercise an acceptable amount of time to exercise, because HEY! Five minutes is better than no minutes, am I right?! (March Goals: increase to 10? Maybe.)

IMG_3151What: Greenroom Binder Notebook
From: Target ($5.99)
Why I love it: It could be that I *particularly* love this watercolored version of this binder because my Mama gave it to me, stuffed with family recipes and notes that made me cry, but I LOVE Greenroom binders in general. They are beautiful, but sturdy, and make you feel like you’re a BAMF when you’re organizing your bills. I have three already, but somehow think of a use for another one every time I’m at Target. Someone keep me off of the office supply aisle already, SHEESH.

I hope you find a small way to treat yourself this week. Heck, I hope you find a BIG way to treat yourself this month. Try picking up something small for someone you love – a cupcake, a coffee mug, a funny book. I’m guessing it will make a big difference.

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