Lemonade leftovers


S W E E T S: collins 2nd birthday pineapple bash | cowabunga with just the boys | helping ky at the store | family reunion with the webb's in lewiston | "Mom, riggins pushed me off the couch" -j | lunch date with elease + millie | grandma's new patio furniture | jon signing maverick | surprise visits from laura + the girls | BIG J's raspberry shake | stylin friend-hand-me downs | when the temperature drops right before the sun goes down | mo tipping backwards off of her chair TWICE | sporadic sprinkler running in jammies | barefoot all day every day | jumping off the mobile free fall FOUR big times + jonboy's backflip | candy catapult at idaho days | ash's sugar cookies + cody's mean grillin | 

now, the sours. because I think they are important to document + just as fun to look back on.

S O U R S: lotoja training | more teefs for riggins | BIG J's strawberry shake {when raspberry was on the menu} | permanent juice mustache on jonah | missing grandma webb every single day | no nap jonah | staying up until midnight napping jonah | broken dish remote | pinki toe nail hanging by a thread, as well as stubbing my toe when no one is around to complain to | driving to target, loading the cart, waiting in line AND THEN realizing my wallet was still at home | broken glasses

6 secrets to being a happy mother


 - - - - - samantha kelly photography - - - - - 

I got a very sincere, very heavy-hearted email asking me how to be happier mother because I am very happy all of the time. Although I instantly wanted to send back a picture of my tired, saggy eyes + a defensive rebuke on why I'm the wrong person to ask, I knew she deserved more of a heartfelt answer than a list of reasons why I'm not ALWAYS happy ALL of the time.

The recent trend seems to be to air your dirty laundry on social media to show how real you really are. I totally get it. We're not happy 100% of the time. We're not supposed to be. We all have crappy days where we'd really like to throw in the towel. I'm no different. If it helps to relieve stress to write about it, that's great, pour your heart right out. Share your story + be proud of it. I'm in no means trying to bag on people who parade their laundry like so because I tend to find most anything with sincere passion behind it incredibly inspiring. Party on! I guess I just choose to show our real moments in the most positive light possible. With that said, this specific email just took me a bit more off guard than usual. It made me stop, sit down + analyze my life while questioning deep down what + where my internal joy comes from. I've really had to step away from my comfort zone to explain it to you guys. Kind of a really scary thing for me, but here we go. Why am I happy? How am I happy? I've broken it down to 6 not so little secrets that have lead me to a happier life. A happier motherhood if you want to be specific.

1. Choose to be happy - Happiness is a predetermined choice in my book. You've got to make up in your mind that you're going to be happy no matter what life throws at you. You've got to want to be happy. You can find something positive in even the worst situation, but only if you are looking for it. If you wait to let the emotions of the moment take over it'll be a constant battle with why life isn't fair. Choose to be happy before crap hits the fan.

2. Learn to let things go - the milk will always spill, but the grocery store is not going anywhere. You can always buy more. My trick during the spilled milk moments - take a picture. Document it. The spilled milk, broken picture frame, the gossip started from Missy down the block, whatever it is, snap a picture of something to remind you of the lemon. Chances are it won't be as sour when you look back on it a week or two down the road. I enjoy writing my feelings with pictures. The sooner we can train our mood + our mind that little things that are out of our control don't need to control our happiness, the happier we will become.

3. Remember to play - I'm currently reading a book called Hands Free Mama + I can't get enough of it. A thought that really resonated with me went something along the lines of - - - "What are you quickest to carry with you to the next room, your cell phone or your child's hand?" Get down on the ground + play with your kids. Paint, color, run, cry + leave your phone in the other room. At the end of the day, you will never regret the time you put aside to play with your children. We love making lists. Our seasonal + weekly bucket lists help keep us on track + give us immediate ideas when we feel like the ipad seems reallllly nice. I'm far from perfect in this category, but I know that I never regret the time that we set aside to play as a family.

4. Build your village: Motherhood takes a village. Hand pick your army wisely. Surround yourself with friends who encourage you to be yourself + who genuinely care about your well being. They say misery loves company + I totally agree. I tend to flock towards positive people. Have you seen the quote "you become like the 5 most people you spend the most time with" floating around on pinterest? Who are you becoming? Think about it. Which friends would you feel comfortable with showing up unannounced if your steps hadn't seen a vacuum in 2 weeks with + the last 3 days of dishes are rotting in your sink. Are your friends genuine friends? Are you a genuine friend? Friendship is a two way road in my life. Not enough time to please everyone in the world. Eliminate the unnecessary. That doesn't mean you can't be nice to everyone. Just, surround yourself with a strong, positive village.

5. Find your creative outlet -  something makes your clock tick. I believe my creativity is the battery inside my internal clock. But what's your battery? When I became a mother, my universe turned to my children. They are my whole world. After Jonah was born, I remember catching myself talking baby talk to a grown adult at church. In a high-pitched voice like "Ohhhh Hi, how are you today?" Embarrassing. The truth of the matter - I didn't get out of the house much. In fact, I didn't talk to a single adult until Jon got home from work. But I have always loved to talk, whether it's to people I know really well or don't know at all. In hair school I turned in my essay on job interviews, my instructor wrote a note on top with a big smiley face telling me that I write exactly like I talk. I think that's why I enjoy blogging as much as I do. It's like talking out my feelings with no one to interrupt. haha BINGO. Blogging is totally my creative outlet, my battery. Your clock might might tick when you join a thursday night soccer team or jump into the neighborhood book club.  I don't really know, I just know we're all totally different + that's what makes us so neat.

6. Take time for yourself - For whatever reason, this one is the hardest for me. I feel like for a while I had convinced myself that in order to be a the very best mom I could be, I needed to be hands on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If I wasn't, I wasn't doing enough + the mom guilt would eat me alive. Literally. It's not hard for me to schedule a pedicure or a dinner with my friends, but it is hard to admit that I NEED to do it. Remember control + alt + delete when things were just TOO much for your computer? We are the same way. You'll be a better mother + a better friend when you take time for yourself to gather a big breath of fresh air + remember that in order to care for anyone else, you best be taking care of yourself. ---A few weeks ago Jon asked me for a day to just unwind + relax after work. It happened to be the same day we had planned to go out of town. I got 120% offended. But what happened in the end really intrigued me. He helped us pack up the car + we went on our way, without him. He got off work that night at 5:00 + at 6:15 I got a text asking what the kids were doing because he missed them. He missed us. ----- Point proven.  Taking a few extra minutes for ourself to regroup helps organize all of the tabs you have open in your minds + maybe even re-prioritize the chaos running around like a wild banshee up there. Men work the same way.

With my most sincere happiness project out on the table, my best friends + my family will tell you straight up that I'm not always happy. I will tell you I'm not ALWAYS happy. I have bad days + sad days + throw me a freaking bone days. But the one thing that I try to remind myself as often as possible is to focus on the positive + the happy! Make up your mind right now that you're going to be happy today + you will be, I promise.



Holidays are usually my favorite thing to look back on. I always want to remember what makes them special for us, at this exact point in life. So why do sharing our traditions on the blog make my mind spin a million miles a minute? I don't really know for sure. I kinda figure it's because I take around 350 pictures on fun days like this + don't put aside nearly enough time to divide them down to our favorites before the next holiday arrives. Kinda like how there have been 2, borderline 3, holidays since Easter + I'm barely posting about it. yeeeaaahhhhhhhhhh forgetaboutit. 

I loved laying out the boys outfits on the bed this year. I know they don't care, but it was special to me. I remember receiving a special dress every Easter when I was little. {of course we milked it when we were older too} My cutest mom text me for an outfit picture before Church this year. It made me smile, she knows me so well. Please bless I can be just like her one day.

We didn't just go to one easter egg hunt this year, we went to five. It sure made for one heck of a weekend. This Easter I didn't make it home to Logan. For the first time ever. Ever as in my entire life of Easter's. As hard as it was to be away, it felt good to be here at home with my boys. Merging two very family oriented holiday grower-uppers has been a little tricky for Jon + I. We have a tendency to always go back home for everything. But at what point do our kids get that same experience at their home rather than at my home? I'm grateful that we see eye to eye on family traditions because it has made this transition into our own little traditions a lot of fun.

Jon + I stayed up kind of late wrapping a few little treats + hiding baskets for the boys. Jonah's was in Jon's closet + Riggy's was on top of the washer. Jonah wasn't super into hunting for his basket. He got pretty bored real quick + lifted up his shirt to say "SEEEE I'm hungry, time for breakfast" as his excuse to stop hunting. Riggins couldn't get enough of his plastic eggs. But the pitching machine was a total hit + we invited the fam over for dinner so that we could try it out afterwards at the park.

Although wrangling our crew on the Church bench alone tests the very depth of my patience every week, I know that blessings will come for being there. Easter Sunday was no exception. I had to bite my lip watching Jon make a mustache at Jonah from the stand + laughed when he looked to me for approval before making one back. I melted as he quieted right down when the primary kids sang their special musical number + dismissed the thought as quickly as it entered when I remembered that he'll be up there himself next Easter. I will never forget the way he came running down the hall to give me his hand-picked flower after nursery. We still have his card on the fridge + he was sure to remind me every morning to give the special flower a drink. He calls everything special {spesheel} + I love it so much. 

I love my boys. I love my Savior, Jesus Christ. I am so grateful for Him + for my knowledge that because of Him I will be with these sweet sweet boys forever. 

Weekly Lemonade


S W E E T S: summmmmerrrrrrr | alt summit | sleepovers with ky 4 nights in a row | "Hey Grandpa, where is my family?" | coming home from family reunion to a spotless house. thanks again, mom | listening to joy cho speak | pace popsicles | hands free mama - i think the world would be a better place if everyone took the time to read this book | new friends | not knowing how to spend our new target gift cards with mom ky + dann | family reunion in Boise: including the temple + the pride fair that left us sitting in traffic for 45 minutes | first day of summmmmmmer | swig sugar cookies at alt | new business plans, new dreams, new goals WRITTEN down - this is huge for me | "Haaaaands, haaaands, hands!" Jonah while stretching over as far as he can to get riggins to hold his hand in the car seat | michelangelo popsicle at the lake | family goal brainstorm session on the back of our pizza box | shelby moving back to utah | "mom take my picture" --- "hold on boyyyzzz" - jonah jon 

now, the sours. because I think they are important to document + just as fun to look back on.

S O U R S: being away from the kids all week | growing pains in jonah's legs + arms at night  | scary monster dreams again | business card printing chaos + not having them done in time for alt | riggins eating sand at the beach | missing young women | my shellac skills | "please stop talking. you're turn is over" - Jonah from the back seat on the way to Boise | earthquake - say whaaaa?! | deleted snapchap - can't decide which list this belongs on | my email inbox | jonah's habit of saying freaking | deleting pictures off of my camera because there isn't enough room - how am i already back up to 6,800? | not unpacking from our trip before it's time to start packing again 
Pin It button on image hover