I Got A Facelift…and Some Updates

Well, not me exactly, but my blog. :)

And oh my word….I love it. LOVE LOVE LOVE the new design. If you are reading from a reader {such as google}, or from an email subscription, I would love for you to hop on over and check out the new look. I think you will be so excited for our little blog. We look fabulous. Brooke, my graphic designer, really outdid herself. And not to mention the amazing photos by my brother in law, DASO photo. Seriously, the whole combo is simply stunning. Click on the header to see the whole thing…and be sure to check out the category buttons over to the right. Brooke is genius! :)

I’m so sorry I have been MIA recently…not that anyone is actually paying attention, ha. I have so much to catch you all up on…such as our Disneyland trip, our Christmas, some great vacation stories…but I have no idea if I’ll ever get around to blogging about them, so just trust me when I say, we’ve had a wonderful holiday season.

We’ve also been very busy. While the shop is shut down, I am doing my best to organize my life a little. I am a firm believer that the first step to success is to be pretty organized, and to be honest, last year was a crazy year for me and my organization skills, while already subpar, definitely became non existent. The poor studio was a disaster! The last couple weeks my girls and I have been tearing apart every nook and cranny and putting them back in the proper places, tossing things we don’t need and buying things that we do.

We’ve painted chairs, hung decorations, and Brandon built us some tables. Even my dad has come over and helped out by painting a little. We are nearly done and I hope to {finally} take some decent pictures of the studio so you can see where we create.

But the studio isn’t the only place I’ve been updating, I also cleaned out my pantry, which, if you follow me on Instagram, you probably already saw….

I am a horrible pantry keeper, unfortunately. Things end up being stuffed in and often I am finding things months later that I didn’t even know where there. NOT GOOD. With my New Year’s resolution weighing on my mind, I am striving to be much better with what I buy and simplify a little, so I took some little metal bins that we didn’t need in the studio and used them in the pantry. WOW…I know it doesn’t look a lot better, but it’s amazingly easy to see what I have now.

And while we’re speaking of my New Year’s resolution, I updated our budget. Last year was, as I stated, a crazy year, and unfortunately, I did not give the attention needed to our finances like I should have. I really, really want to wise in that area, as I’m sure you all do. Last week I poured over our books and set up a budget I feel will really work for us. As coincidence would have it, I’ve had more budget conversations with friends lately than I have in a really long time and I realized that I’m not the only one who is trying to find the proper way to manage their finances. I have always had a system, but sticking to it is probably the hardest part {amen, everyone?}. So in order to hold myself accountable…I am going to share with you my budget planning soon. Obviously I won’t let you in on all the hard numbers, but I am going to have Brooke make a downloadable of our budget worksheet so if you are looking for a good budget format, you can use it too. In my mind it’s useless to go to all that work if you can’t share it, right? :)

Speaking of budget, are you a small business or blog that has a budget for advertising? We would love to have you advertise here on the blog. We have a unique group of loyal readers who are interested in learning about new shops and blogs. We have two size ad spaces available…

along with giveaway and review options, all at very reasonable prices. I also do a blog post introducing all new sponsors once a month, which will include all your contact info, such as your website, facebook page, twitter, etc. You can find out all of our stats, pricing and information HERE. We would love to have you join us!

In closing, I owe you all some Evy’s Tree shop talk, especially regarding our manufactured goods. I will fill you in on that and much more later this week, but let me say this…manufacturing in the beginning is slllloooowwww going. Almost to the point where you want to pull your hair out kind of slow. It’s safe to say we won’t have the manufactured goods here this month as originally planned, but they are coming very soon and I think you will love what we have. I will designate an entire blog post to it this week so you are all in the loop. In the meantime, we WILL have a small handmade Spring 2013 line this month for you. I am SO EXCITED about the handmade Spring line. First, remember this big time seller:

After many, many requests, the Grace Wrap will be making a comeback.  Plan on seeing the is one coming your way with the rest of the spring items the end of this month.

PS.. we will be having a bunch of grace wrap giveaways next week… will you join us? :)

Regarding the shop reopening: I still have quite a bit of sale items, especially in kids sizes, so I will reopen the sale section with a bunch of items on Monday, January 21. The new Spring items will be announced, but most likely the following week. Please remember: all Spring 2013 items will be FULL PRICE. Our Save Evy’s Tree leftover hoodies are all gone and we are now resuming our regular programing. If you want a good deal, I suggest you snag one of the sale items coming next week. :)

Oh, wait, one more thing! Several days ago I made a call out on our facebook page to photographers…asking to trade some Evy’s Tree items for product photos. WOW!! You guys!! I have over 50 emails from photographers willing to work with us. I’m embarrassed to say I didn’t even think I would get five!! And you all are amazing photographers!!! So what to do now? Well, obviously, I don’t need 50 photographers, so I compiled a list of you all and will definitely contact you in the future if the need arises. I have contacted the ones we are going to use {I only needed 2 or 3}, so if you didn’t hear from me that means I cataloged your info and will reference it in the future. THANK YOU so much everyone for being so amazing and willing to help us. I sincerely am blown away by how many of you wanted to work with us. There are no words to explain my gratitude. I love you guys!!!!

Whew…I guess that’s it! Did I cover enough for you? So sorry for such a lengthy post. To recap:

  • Our Blog got a facelift! Click HERE to see it.
  • The Shop is shut down, but the Sale Section will reopen with items on January 21
  • We are now accepting advertising on our blog. Click HERE to check out all the info.
  • Need a photographer? Check out all these amazing ones HERE.

Love you all! xoxo

Choose Joy: A Guest Post On Surviving Infertility and Adoption

Happy New Year Friends!! I hope you all had a safe and exciting end of the year. Us Miraflors just laid low..we were SO TIRED from our Disneyland trip and Christmas. Are we the only parents who can barely keep their eyes open now a days? Sheesh! Anyway, I pretty much summed up my New Years feelings in this post, hope you had a chance to read it. 

I hope to catch you up to date on our holidays later this week and after I am able to finish all my end of the year duties for Evy’s Tree….so today, I want to start the year off with discussing a topic that I know many of my personal friends struggle with. I hope Emmy can inspire and encourage you. And I hope you sincerely think about attending the Choose Joy event. Please be sure to contact Emmy with any questions. 

Love you friends! Take it away Emmy….

* * * * * *

I’m Emmy, I’m 35, and I’m infertile.

Wait, let me back up.  I’m Emmy.  Amy has been so sweet to allow me to invade her space for the day.  I own Much Ado About You {where I used to sell printed day planners, and now I just sell printables}, I occasionally blog {Confesstions of a Paper Freak}, and I incessantly Instagram {@itsjustemmy}.  I am married to my high school sweetheart and as of this year we have been together for more than half our lives.

Almost 11 years ago I got pregnant for the first time.  Nathan and I were so excited, and immediately started planning that child’s future.  We were thinking of names… wondering if it would be a boy or a girl… hoping its due date of December 26th would not mean we were going to have a Christmas baby.

But just a few days later I started bleeding heavily, and knew in an instant that that baby was gone.

We had only just begun trying to get pregnant, but I had so many friends experiencing infertility and I begged God to spare us from that roller coaster.

Our doctor told us that since we were so early in the pregnancy I would not need a D & C, and that technically I could get pregnant as soon as my next cycle.

Which I did.

That pregnancy was such a relief, and I vividly remember thanking God that I was never going to have to walk that long and painful road of infertility.

A year after Beau was born we decided to start trying for a second baby.  We wanted four, so we thought we’d better get going!

God had different plans for our family.

The next six years were spent going from one doctor’s appointment to the next… from one surgery to the next… all in an effort to figure out why my young and seemingly healthy body was not working.

I have Endometriosis, a condition that basically destroys your body from the inside out.  During my final surgery my doctor made the painful decision to remove both of my non-functioning fallopian tubes, hoping it would increase the chance of my third and final IVF {invitro-fertilization} treatment being successful.

The next month we had our final IVF procedure.  It failed.  We were done.

We were physically {well mostly me on that one}, emotionally, and financially spent.  The chance of a natural pregnancy was eliminated with the removal of my tubes.  I was officially STERILE.  It is still strange to say those words.  I am a woman that cannot do what I was created to do… bear children.  That is a very strange reality to be faced with.

I spent seven dark years in the thick of my infertility {I say “my” infertility because the issues were mine… with another woman my husband could have had more children… more salt in the wounds}.  For some of those years Nathan and I were not on the same page.  He didn’t understand my desperation for a child when I already was a mom.  Those years I struggled with a deep loneliness that I had never known.  It is so hard to explain what infertility feels like to someone that has never experienced it, but the bottom line is… IT SUCKS.

However, God also used those seven years to challenge my character and bring me to a place of total trust and reliance on His plan for my life.  I came to a point where I had to say, “God, I love you and I trust you, and I know that {while very different from mine} Your plan is the best plan for my life.  So even if I never have another baby I will praise you and be thankful for whatever it is that you call me to do.”

And I really was at peace.  Without tubes I no longer had to live in two week cycles, wondering if each late period was the one.  I had an incredible eight year old that was the joy of my life, a loving, supportive husband, a thriving business… life was good.

Now since I have already babbled on for quite some time {and probably lost most of you} I will leave this next part of the story short and sweet {if you would like to read the whole story, you can find it here}.  Through miraculous circumstances, in March of 2011 we brought home the most beautiful baby girl that looks nothing like us.

And in the instant that I met her I understood every no that God had placed in my path.

If you are in a season of not understanding the circumstances of your life, please be encouraged that someday you may understand and even appreciate the painful path that you are walking.

Since experiencing infertility and adoption I have a heart for encouraging hurting women.  Several months ago I felt a calling on my life to do something to help other women that are experiencing similar trials, and the Choose Joy event was born.

Choose Joy is a one-day conference in Southern California for women and couples that are experiencing infertility and/or desire to grow their families through adoption.  I have somehow convinced several other women from all over the country to come and be a part of this event.  We have speakers on topics such as “God’s Heart for the Hurting; Waiting Hurts, Waiting Perfects”, “Having a Heart of Hope: Overcoming the Hurt of Infertility”, “The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly of International Adoption”, and much, much more.  My desire is for this to be a day of connection and community, and for women to open their minds to the plan that God has for their family.

The event will include a luncheon and a dessert, and at the end we will be raffling off a cash prize to help someone grow their family.

Tickets are on sale for $30 through the 25th of January.  {After that the price goes up to $40, so don’t delay!}  Please visit the website for all the details on the location and schedule, bios on each speaker, and to register for the event.

If you aren’t experiencing infertility, statistics say that someone you know is.  Please pass this website on to your friends or family that could use some support.

Thanks for reading my story.

XOXO,

Emmy

My Christmas Tree is Dying

So today, as I walked past my Christmas tree, I reached over and felt the needles. I do this periodically because I love the feel of Christmas trees, and I love the way it leaves your hands smelling like a Winter Wonderland! ;) But instead of that feeling of excitement bubbling inside of me, I felt dread.

My tree is dying. I took a picture of it from where I”m sitting here at my desk area. I’m sure you can tell right away its dying {I know, you can’t but humor me}

Continue reading

God Looks On The Heart

I think one of the easiest things to do is judge others and compare to yourself. I find I do this, sometimes, without even thinking. I find most Christians in general struggle with this. And why not, I guess? We are striving to live a Christlike life {which is sometimes mistakenly translated: Perfection}, and in our race to do what HE asks us to do, we sometimes fall into the pitfall of thinking “holier than thou” thoughts. I know, it’s hard to confess this, but there it is. I will speak for myself here, at least.

This past week I felt myself struggling with thoughts along these lines. I went back and forth between, “I’m not good enough, I’ve made too many mistakes, I have no idea what I’m doing in life” to “Thank God I’m not like HER. She’s a nightmare.”

Confession. It’s good for the soul, right?

I have felt the Lord deal with me about these things recently. Sometimes He is showing me how HUMAN I am. How I can’t do things on my own. How when I try live this life without Him I make a big mess of it. And how He is full of grace and mercy and will pick up the pieces when I have made a mess of things. Like my dad. You know how Dad’s do that? Well, that’s what HE’S like. It’s powerful.

He also shows us how important it is to look at the heart. Because if you were to look at my life during these times when I’ve tried to do things on my own, you’d think I’m a DISASTER. You’d think {or judge} that I’m a huge failure and you’d probably witness some of these mistakes that I make first hand. Pretty sure you’d not want to be my friend if you looked on the outside during these times.

And then sometimes…when life is going good…you might look at me and think, “oh wow, look at her life. She is so lucky. She has this and that {you fill in the blank}. Her business is booming, her kids are all put together, and her husband is blowing up.”

I can say this because these are the things when I look at YOU. Pretty sure that’s how many of you think when you look at some of those around you. I know this isn’t the first time we have talked about this subject here, but in this highly visually stimulating world, I feel it bears repeating. Looks can be deceiving. The OUTWARD can be deceiving. Because remember…God looks on the heart.

I was given a very good reminder of this last week. I had something happen with another mom’s reaction to Jake’s enthusiasm {craziness ha}that made me sooo frustrated. The protective mom in me was ready to let her know how I really felt about the situation {and her, ha}. But after I had a long text chat with another friend close to the situation {thanks friend, you know who you are}, I was reminded, “we all have our struggles” and I have no idea what that particular mom was going through that may have caused her to react that way. I really have NO IDEA what her heart is like. I only saw the outward…which is deceiving.

Today I sat down and read about Samuel anointing David to be king, and the following passages when David slays Goliath. So crazy as the last couple months I have been so addicted to the Old Testament, where for years and years growing up, I had such a hard time reading and connecting to the Old Testament. But lately, oh boy, it totally speaks right to me!

And you know what hit me…how HUMAN David was. I know, this is not new news. But I love the whole way Samuel questions God. Like, “Really, God? THIS KID?!”. And I love how David blows everyone’s minds by killing Goliath. He’s so you and me {ok, well, ME at least, you might be perfect, ha ;) }….he’s easily angry, misunderstood, impulsive {“I’ll kill that giant!”} and confident. And then as he becomes king and matures, he is still misunderstood …people think he’s perfect, look at his successes and are surprised at his failures.

Oh boy I love that David.

Because here’s the deal: I feel like him so much. So misunderstood some times. And other times I feel like I can conquer the world. And then sometimes I feel like looking at people and feeling sorry for myself…thinking they have succeeded and I haven’t. That I’m a huge fauilre as a mom, as a business woman, I’m not as pretty as them, or I as creative as someone else. My house doesn’t look like hers or my blog is poop compared to theirs. My business should be booming like that one, or how come her kids are more well behaved? Yes, I struggle too.

And David is SUCH a good reminder that you should never, EVER, look on the outward. You should always look at the heart. Because things are never, EVER how they seem. Until you walk in someone else’s shoes {right text chat friend?? :) }….

“But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height…. The Lord does not look at the things mans looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” I Samuel 17:7-8

Big hugs friends. xoxo

Looking For a Particular Hoodie?

So I know, shopping at Evy’s Tree is a bit frustrating at the moment. So sorry about that. Let me reiterate what’s going on around here:

Our manufactured goods are coming January/February 2013. Although I cannot guarantee an exact time, I can tell you I have paid for the goods and they are in the process of being made. This is my first time mass producing so I do expect delays. 

So what to do in the meantime…

Well, you may remember that I mentioned waaayyy back during the Save Evy’s Tree campaign that we had some left over raw hoodies and material. My seamstresses have been sewing up what they can to produce some inventory for the shop to get us through Christmas. But apparently, it’s not enough.

We have completely run out of most raw adult hoodies. Which means we don’t have much left to make. The question has been asked: why don’t you just place an additional order with American Apparel? Well, because right now, we just can’t afford it. To make it financially feasible for us, we have to order things in BULK…like 200- 300 hoodies at a time. That’s a lot of hoodies…and we don’t really have the space at the moment to house that, especially since we have rearranged our studio to house our manufactured goods.

But I know, it’s frustrating…many of you want to partake of the cyber monday great prices, but just can’t find anything in your size. I get it. So here’s what we can do…

Please leave a comment on this blog {or email me at amy@evystree.com} with the STYLE and SIZE of hoodie you would like, as well as your PAYPAL EMAIL ADDRESS. If we have the material for the hoodie you want, but not the raw hoodie, we will email you and give you the option to buy the item for the price of $54.95 +shipping cots…it is more expensive than the $39.95 cyber Monday price, but discounted from the $69.95 cost. Please do not comment with a style and a size if you are not willing to pay the extra amount. If we have the fabric to make your hoodie, we will send you an invoice. You must pay for the invoice within 12 hours, and then we will order the raw hoodie and make the item for you. Your items will ship the weekend of December 14.

This option is only available through tomorrow, Tuesday November 27. I will stop taking orders at 10 PM PST. 

I hope this helps some. Thank you, dear friends, for being such loyal supporters of Evy’s Tree. You guys are AWESOME!! I appreciate your love during this transition.

Brandon’s Mt. Whitney Trip Through The Eyes Of DASO Photo

You might remember me mentioning that Brandon was climbing Mt. Whitney with some friends and family {HERE} and {HERE}. Brandon loves extreme challenges like this…this is his 5th time to climb this mountain and his 4th time to summit. That’s a pretty big feat when you realize that Mt. Whitney is the highest mountain in the continental United States.

Personally, I don’t see the excitement in the trip AT ALL. My poor husband; he is always telling me, “Wouldn’t it be so romantic to climb Mt. Whitney together?”.

UHHH……No. 

I feel horrible telling him that, but I could just see myself attempting to climb that mountain. I can barely make it through one barsculpt class without passing out, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t make it on Mt. Whitney. Oh, and did I mention you don’t shower for like 48 hours? Right, reason #2 why I couldn’t do it.

On the past trips that Brandon has taken, he has only snapped a couple of photos. But this time around, our brother in law David {who, if you have read this blog for any time know,  is an amazing photographer}. I’m sure this will not make Brandon happy to hear me say, but after seeing these photos, although they are GORGEOUS, I absolutely, positively, could NEVER climb this mountain. No siree. Yikes.

I picked out a few of my favorites to show you. You can see the entire trip {HERE}. There are a lot pictures here, so brace yourself, but I think you will love seeing them. I asked Brandon to add in a little commentary.

Getting ready to head up the mountain! From left to right, David, Brandon, our good friend cory, Brandon’s high school buddy Rustin, his cousin Nathan, another high school friend Jason and Brandon’s brother Bryson in the front. 

Mountains all around!

A model of the mountain, stating the height. 

In Lone Pine, the town at the base of Whitney, eating dinner. Nathan in front of a super cool old pharmacy.

Eating at an old diner called Mt. Whitney Diner…a tradition for Brandon, he has eaten there every time he climbs the mountain.

Starting out on the trail at 3 AM the next morning. Bright and early and super, super dark. yuck-o. ha.

Head lamps are essential

Sunrise on the trail…

Brandon and Rustin….

Nathan hanging out…on a GIANT rock

Brandon and Jason resting….

Taking a moment to rest as a group…

Such a gorgeous picture with that sun shinning through! Nathan on the trail

A benchmark along the way…

Another reason why I couldn’t do this trip…the food! yuck! Stopping to eat….

Some of the group way in the distance. Sheer drop here..very scary!

The lake at the trail camp, where they spent the one night on the trail {the entire hike takes two full days, one night on the trail} was completely frozen over. Of course my husband was the brave one to venture out on the ice. Ugh. Sometimes I wish he wasn’t such a daredevil!

Camping out at trail camp the one night on the trail. According to Brandon, the first day is the easiest, the second day is brutal, so they get to bed early.Up and at them again at 3 AM….ready to take on the day. Sunrise as they start out on the trail

Their camp is way, way down this ravine. Sun is rising and light helps their trail. It is also very, very cold.

Added onto the steep, steep ravines is snow and ice.

Brandon taking a rest….

Beautiful, beautiful shot.

Altitude sickness starts to really set in, most of the guys are feeling it pretty badly at this point. Not to mention they are tired…having slept on hard ground with snow falling on them can’t be fun.

It’s very hard to see, but there are little “veins” of snow in these rocks. Those are actually the trail switchbacks, that is what the guys were climbing towards the top.

Nathan nearing the top

Finally, Brandon can’t handle the altitude sickness anymore and stops to throw up. Altitude sickness is the number one reason why people never make it to the top of Mt. Whitney. In fact, only one in three people will actually summit, thanks to the sickness {so it is a big deal all seven of them did}. Apparently, on top of vomiting, you can experience light headiness and hallucinations, and other very interesting side effects {HERE}. Brandon had been training so much this time that he didn’t get as sick as normal, but it still got him.

At long last…the team makes it to the top

They take just about 45 mins to enjoy this great feat…but not too long, as they still have to go the entire way back down, which took them an estimated 9 hours.

They signed the guest register….

Brandon said, “I love Amy, Jake and Evy”. Sweet :)

The shelter at the top, built by the Smithsonian, you can read more info about it {HERE}. It is over a hundred years old!

The hike down, David didn’t take many pictures. I think at this point, the group was exhausted, sick and done. This is them Sunday morning, after a good nights sleep at Comfort Inn. :) 

Brandon’s hands were chapped and peeling

Doesn’t this sound like something you want to run out and do?!? ha! Even though the preparation for this trip is a bit annoying {picture camping gear strewn all over your spare room for months before the trip}, I am so glad that Brandon has this experience to share with his close family and friends. This group of people has been particularly special to Brandon {in fact them all, with exception of Cory, were in our wedding} and even though it seems crazy, this experience brought them closer and gave them memories to share for years to come.

Although the wives who are left behind are bitting their nails the entire time since there is no cell reception…we spend many hours wondering if we will have to collect life insurance money or not. You might think I’m kidding, but I’m not! ;)

We love these guys! Thanks for joining Brandon on this trip! And to David…these pictures are amazing! {Amen readers?!?} Thank you for making this trip so special by documenting it so well! Remember, you can see the entire trip {HERE}

Do you love David’s work?!? Do you live in {or near} Santa Rosa, CA?

Well, you are in luck. He will be here on Friday and Saturday, Nov 23 and 24 and has a few slots available for family photo sessions. He charges $125 a session with a $50 photo credit. Want more info? Email him at: david@dasophoto.com to book your spot!

Big hugs friends! Thanks for following along! xoxo

31 Days: Persistence

One character quality I most definitely possess is persistence. I don’t give up easily, especially once fired up to do something.

Yesterday I was rummaging through some old papers and cleaning out a bunch of old boxes. I found this:

You might have to click on the picture to read it, but to give you an overview…this was a letter I wrote to Chase bank {then First Bank} regarding a decline letter I had received in response to my attempt to get my first credit card. At the time, all of my family had a United Mileage Plus credit card and was using the miles to go on all these fabulous trips. I figured I needed it too, so I applied. Not soon after I received the sad news that I was not given a credit access line with their company. Well, that got me pretty upset….I mean just look at one of my reasons why I should be accepted…

“Both my parents have a Mileage Plus First Card”

HA. Awesome right? I’m pretty sure that line alone got me in like Flynn, don’t you think??

Needless to say, I did eventually win the fight and was accepted with a healthy credit line, which I did max out once upon a time and then had to figure out how to pay off {long story for another day}. The point here is {besides the fact that 13 years ago I could write a darn good rebuttal letter!!!!} I didn’t take no for an answer and I kept pushing until I got what I wanted.

My Nannie and Gramps were 100% German. I hope to speak more of them over the next couple weeks as they have been my mind a lot, but I believe with all my heart that they passed down to me my persistence behavior. My Gramps started a music store called Wollmer’s Music in 1923. He was 23 years old. After a year or so in business, he found himself in $3,000 worth of debt and the bank came to his place of business and locked the doors until he could pay it off. He eventually secured a loan and was able to reopen…only to continue on to produce a successful business that flourished through the great depression, WWII and the record phase {he sold instruments and radios first, migrated to records once they became all the rage}. He and my Nannie owned the business until their retirement in the early 60′s.

This morning Brandon and I had a very long talk about persistence as today was the day we started the ADHD assessment process for our little bundle of joy, Jake.

The first meeting is a parent meeting to go over concerns and make sure the parents are on the same page. We met the therapist that would be assigned to Jake’s case and received all the necessary paperwork that needed to be filled out to properly assess him.

I think the therapist was a little surprised we were so eager to get the process started with Jake. You might be too. You might remember that I am a California state credentialed teacher and taught public school for 6 years. I saw many ADHD/ADD students come through my classroom doors. And I KNOW how powerful a formal diagnosis for those students was….with a formal diagnosis a student is allowed a special educational plan that gives them extra time to take tests, verbally assess if necessary, special seating arrangements, even the ability to chew gum to let out extra energy. Yes, these diagnosis are so powerful for those students and gives them the ability to succeed.

Sidenote: If you have a child who you feel has a learning disability or focusing problem…GET HELP!! PLEASE!! For their sake. It is not a sign of weakness to confess they might have problems, its a sign of strength and good parenting! With formal diagnosis’ you are just handing them the keys to success….forever! They will have these diagnosis’ with them all throughout their educational career and it will aid them in becoming thriving adults. Just my two cents :) 

So persistence, today I am thankful for it.  Because I know I will need a lot of it during this time of assessment. I know I will need to fight for my baby boy. I know I need to not be afraid but keep my chin up and make sure he has EVERYTHING he needs to succeed. Because he WILL succeed. Oh yes he will.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…” Philippians 4:13

* * * * * * * * *

In case you are wondering what’s going on here, I am joining up with The Nester and her 31 Day Challenge. I am challenging myself to write about Thankfulness for 31 days…every day be thankful for something, even if it’s little. A way to force me to look at the positive so to speak…if you want to see all the 31 day posts I do, click HERE.

31 Days: Soccer and Family

Tonight we were able to catch the last half of my niece’s soccer game. She subbed for the team since they were running short on players thanks to a few injuries and sicknesses. She is so athletic and I’m so proud of her. My sister and I decided that she did NOT inherit the Wollmer non-competive genes. She sure gets in there and takes charge. We love you Britt!

Note the gorgeous colors? Our small private school has the most beautiful field surrounded by the Sonoma County hills and lovely trees that are changing the leaves. So breathtaking and so much fun to sit and watch games there. 

After the game we went to Lepe’s Taqueria together. If you have never had food at an authentic taqueria then I’m pretty sure you have never had authentic Mexican food. :) Santa Rosa {and all of the wine country, really} is filled with them, thanks to the migrant workers to flood this area to work on the vineyards. We are so blessed that they bring their food with them…its AMAZING. Come see us, we’ll take you! :)

My sister, Jake and Britt

Britt, Jake, Evy and Niel, the niece’s and nephew’s good friend

Today I am thankful for soccer games and family. Because tonight, as I sat there…WITH MY HUSBAND {whoohoo!}, my kiddos and my family, I thanked God once again that I get to be in Santa Rosa and experience this time together. I feel so thankful that I am able to see my nieces and nephews play sports and I get to just spend a good evening together, without having to rush back out of town to get home. Thank you, Lord. Your ways and timing are always perfect! :)

Thank you to everyone who read yesterdays post and either commented or sent me emails or texts. I love you.

And have you entered in the giveaway? What are you waiting for?? Don’t forget, the giveaway is only for the Charcoal black Diana Wrap, NOT THE COLOR ONES…so if you want one, get one! {HERE}

xoxo

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In case you are wondering what’s going on here, I am joining up with The Nester and her 31 Day Challenge. I am challenging myself to write about Thankfulness for 31 days…every day be thankful for something, even if it’s little. A way to force me to look at the positive so to speak…if you want to see all the 31 day posts I do, click HERE.

31 Days: Saying No

I’m kinda tired today. Been staying up a little too late and been working a little to hard, I guess. I hate days like today. When I feel super overwhelmed with things to do. Ever been there?

I have learned about myself that I have to have at least one day a week to get my life in order. A day where I can stay in my PJ’s all day and make sure things are running smoothly. That means making sure all the laundry is done. ugh.

And making sure the house is clean {someday Jake will learn to pee IN the toilet, not ON the toilet. In Jesus Name. ha}. And that my bills are paid. And that we have groceries.

Because here’s the reality: no one is going to do that for me. NOBODY. If I don’t do it, {or Brandon hehe} then my family will be running around naked, unsanitary, and unfed. And regardless of how pressing matters are in my little world, it really won’t matter if we don’t have any clean underwear or socks, right?

I always say that the two most important rules you can live by when running your own business are:

#1. Don’t panic

#2. Learn to say no

I’ll address #1 someday, but I want to talk about #2 today. Probably because I had to say no quite a bit this week and it made me feel like poop. ugh. The reality is that sometimes I feel like my life is one big priority to do list. My to do list {probably like yours} is fluid. It gets shifted depending on how important things are. To do items are moved from top to bottom often. For example, two weeks ago my banker called me and informed me that I needed to take care of few details on my checking accounts. If I switched some things around I could save a little money at the end of the year make life a little easier for me. Super awesome right? Well, I made an appointment and guess what? Evy got sick, so I had to cancel. And then he called me to reschedule during dinner hour last week, so without really thinking I agreed to meet on the same day as the fire station field trip. Whoops. Reschedule again…for today. But as I woke up this morning, I looked around my house and realized that since we will be out of town this weekend, today is my only day make sure the laundry is done, and bills are paid. I really did not have the time to spend two hours at the bank. So I called and said I’d have to reschedule again.

Was I embarrassed? Uh, yeah. In fact I did the cowardly thing…I called and didn’t even ask to speak with the banker, I just told the operator I wouldn’t be there. She’d pass the message along I’m sure. In fact she probably knows me know from all the rescheduling I’ve done. ha. awesome.

But here’s the thing, I am the only person who really knows what’s going on in my life. And I have to take care of myself, because if I don’t then who will? So I learn to say no. And not stress over it. I’m sorry I can’t do it all. But I can’t. So there you have it.

Today I am thankful for the ability to say no. Because it makes me and my family better. And I love that. That’s what it’s all about.

And let me insert this…I always hope and pray that people can be understanding when I have to say no. But it hit me today, I have to be just as understanding when people tell me no. If I am annoyed, roll my eyes, complain on how much they inconvenienced me with their “no”…then how do I expect to get a kind response? Grace begets grace, mercy begets mercy. :)

Have you ever had to say no? How do you feel about doing it? What can you say no to today to make yourself and your family happier? Just a little something to think about. :)

Happy Friday everyone! xoxo

Oh PS…My trustly little white {I loved that it’s white!!} has finally decided it can’t keep up with my crazy life and freaked out on me. {I’m selling it right now, in case anyone wants it} This weekend Brandon is taking all my files off it and we are upgrading to a MacBook Pro. Anyway, I can’t access any of my pictures or photoshop to get the pictures edited for the Diana Wrap launch I had planned for today, so I am {saying no, ha} going to have them up on Tuesday, and hopefully have previews for you over the weekend and through Monday. I am so excited about them, they are beautiful!

Since you guys are being so patient, I have reactivated the 40% off discount code. Enter FORTYOFF at checkout. Shop here. 

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In case you are wondering what’s going on here, I am joining up with The Nester and her 31 Day Challenge. I am challenging myself to write about Thankfulness for 31 days…every day be thankful for something, even if it’s little. A way to force me to look at the positive so to speak…if you want to see all the 31 day posts I do, click HERE.

Our First Loose Tooth

I am so exhausted, this has been SUCH A WEEK! Sheesh. Good news: our guest bathroom remodel is ALMOST done! Whew!! :) My in laws {Brandon’s parents, his sister Bryony and her husband David, along with their kiddos} came up this weekend to help complete it, since Brandon was out of town until late Saturday eve. David and my Dad in law did all the electrical, installed the toilet and the sink. My mom in law stayed a little longer and is doing some sewing for me. Have I mentioned I love my in laws? I seriously feel so blessed to have the Miraflor family in my life. I hope I can be half as good to them as they are to me!

Before I went to bed tonight I had to document a very exciting event that took place in the Miraflor family today: Jake lost his first tooth!!

I have no idea why, but when Jake told me he his tooth hurt a month or so ago, and we realized it was about to come out, I got all teary eyed and the reality that Jake was REALLY  growing up sunk in. Really, really sunk in. In fact, sending him off to Kinder didn’t even affect me like the loose tooth did. Am I crazy? Hopefully I’m not the only mom who felt that way when their kiddo lost their first tooth?

The day we realized his tooth was loose…

ANYWAY….

The tooth has been dangling by a thread for a couple days…

…And today after church Emma Love came home with us to spend some time with Jake and Scout, and on the way home she tried to explain to Jake how he should just pull it out. The conversation was quite comical, with Emma saying things like, “You just have to pull really hard!”

Ignore the leftover doghnut on his face, yikes!

Later in the afternoon while the kids were watching a movie and I was in the garage painting a piece of furniture, I heard Emma say, “Let me get a napkin!”. My first thought was, great, what kind of mess did they make? So I jumped up and checked on them…only to find Jake laid down on the ground with his head on a pillow and Emma leaning over him with the napkin in her hand, trying to pull out the tooth!! I didn’t quite believe they could do it, so I left them to it, only to hear about two minutes later, ”IT’S OUT!!” come from Emma. ha!!

She was so very proud that she extracted the tooth and Jake was in shock I think!!! It was awesome!!! haha. I’m still laughing over it!

Tonight we wrote a letter to the tooth fairy, taped the tooth and pinned it to Jake’s headboard {after I made him clean his room. I told him the tooth fairy does not visit dirty houses, so awesome of me, right? yikes. ha}

So I have made it to the next level, I officially have a toothless kid. Words cannot tell you how my heart has been hit today. My little precious baby boy, who I helped soothe through the process of teething, has now lost his first tooth. {insert huge sigh} Dear God give me strength to make it through the next 13 years! ha.

xoxo