Friday, August 26, 2011

my giant family

 for Christmas 2010 we gifted our entire family with a photography session with Jackie Wonders. we really wanted to give something lasting and thought this would be perfect. so in February of this year we made a trip down to San Diego and gathered everyone together in a little field and make Jackie, who was pregnant at the time, huff and puff while we did 445645684567 family arrangements for pictures. 

let me prepare you by saying that there will be A LOT of pictures. my husband and i both come from divorced parents. both of his parents are remarried, and my dad is remarried. you won't see my real mom in any of these pictures because she is not a big part of my life. being from broken homes has had it's great struggles over the years, and also many blessings. while there is a lot of love... there is also a lot of pain. we are not perfect, but God's strength is made perfect through our weakness (2 cor 12:9). and just like i said yesterday about God knowing what he was doing when he made me my daughter's mother, he also knew what he was doing when he placed each and every one of these people into our lives... and us into theirs. 

and we love them. 

my husband's side

my side

an EPIC picture of my giant family
my sister and her boyfriend

my sister's family and my brother

my husband's sister and brother-in-law

husband's sister's family

i like this one too

my dad and stepmom; my parents. 

stepparents are a gift straight from the Lord above. 

i don't know where i'd be without their constant prayer and support. 
not just a couple, but proud parents

my husband's mom and stepdad. 

i like this one.

i like this one too.

my husband's dad and stepmom.
this is a good one.
all the men on my side
all the men on my husband's side
all the woman on my side
all the woman on my husband's side




i love my nieces

my brother!
these pictures will be treasured, forever. 

Thursday, August 25, 2011

channeling a Britney song...

...something along the lines of, "she drive me CRAZY"! 

fits. everyday. every time i'm preparing food. EVERY. DAY.
first off... i want you to know that i love my daughter something fierce! she is an answered prayer and a perfect fit in our family. she is sweet and soft spoken, and rough and boisterous all at the same time. secondly, you should know that you should not be fooled by her sweet little face... she is crazytown. she is super strong willed and will explode if you even think about telling her "NO". 

tear stained face
i love her. i love her. i love her. 

i also struggle with her, beyond words. it's a wrestle in my heart on a moment by moment basis. i want so badly to have a sweet relationship with her that will be lasting, even into adolescence. beyond that even. i know it can be done, i've seen it. and i know that the hard work must be done now. i'm super thankful for friends who have travelled this road and give me wisdom on how to deal with her. it's just REALLY. HARD. 

she always wants to hold my hand, even while we're eating.

sometimes i wonder if i put too much pressure on our relationship because i want it to be more than what i had with my mom. sometimes i wonder if it's just a phase and she will snap out of it. sometimes i have terrible thoughts that it will last forever and i will snap. 

girls night out. 

one thing i know for sure is that God knew what he was doing when he made me her mom and she my daughter. so i am thankful for her and i cling to Him during these hard stages. she needs me. she needs me to delight in her, encourage her, discipline her. teach her how to be a wife, how to be with her own daughter someday. 

He knows what she needs better than i do. He knows what i need better than i do. if i don't cling to Him i will be lost. all i want is what's best for her. even if it's hard work. 

but tonight, she's in bed, and i will be soon because, i'm tired. 


Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Back-to-School Party

today, after i picked my son up from school, we had a little Back-to-School party... a day late. i had every intention of doing it on the first day of school, but plans changed when we ended up looking for homes the entire 3 hours he was at school. that left me no time to bake cupcakes or make a mini-bunting. starting this tradition is really important to me, so i figured better late than never? 

we are currently not eating any grains and trying to follow the Paleo diet as closely as possible, so making yummy cupcakes was a little challenging. i have tried making carrot banana muffins recently and while they were a mighty tasty breakfast treat, they just don't have the right umph to make them party-worthy. so i took my trusty old Betty Crocker cook book and flipped straight to the recipe for carrot cake. i substituted 1cup almond flour + 1 cup tapioca flour for the 2 cups all-purpose flour and they turned out AWESOME. i will state here that these are NOT PALEO... but i tried. 

i also schmeared them with lots of cream cheese frosting, straight up. what? cheat day or whatever. 
i know you can't read the fact that the mini-bunting says, "back to school" because i used a silver marker. i will be fixing that before next year!

Big A was so excited. he gave me the sweetest "thank you" look then burried his face into my midsection. 

right now, i feel like a good mom. 


Monday, August 22, 2011

First Day of School

it's official, my boy is a Kindergartner. 

this morning he woke up at 6am and was dressed and ready to go by 8am. sounds nice but it actually made for pretty frustrating morning since he didn't have to be at school til 11:45. he followed me around the house all morning, literally. he told me, "mom, i'm following you around the house.". not cool. i was still preparing everything, since i would have "all this extra time since he has an afternoon class" to get him ready. 

yeah, right. 

then, we decided to walk him to school {the whole family} since it was only a block away. about 2 minutes into it i was kicking myself for not doing a practice run. my daughter stopped to look at fallen acorns a few times, then requested to be carried. and i practically had to drag my son because, all the sudden, he didn't feel like rushing. ha! after realizing he would be late my husband ran back and grabbed the car. 

even though it was pretty stressful, we made it through and got him off to his first day on time. he was welcomed by two friends he already knew, which i think is a great way to start a new adventure. 

i didn't cry. but i'm also still in denial. this will be a big change for our "fly by the seat of our pants" kind of family. but change is good. 

i welcome this new season of being a school-aged-child-mom, and all the after school snacks that will come with it. 


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Before & After: little girl dresser

i'm totally thrilled to be done with this major project! i recently purchased an old dresser from Goodwill that cost $65 for my daughter's big girl room. i usually have the habit of undertaking a large project {such as painting furniture} and then it sits around for half a year {or 5} before getting done. my husband usually tells me through gritted teeth lovingly reminds me to get it done or throw it out. so this time around i had the whole thing done in under a month! what progress!

i had a hard time nailing down the color i wanted to paint it. i really wanted to go bold and paint it a pretty aqua color, but knew i would probably get sick of it in 6 months and want to paint it all over again. i decided to go with a more timeless look and paint it Bedford Gray from the Martha Stewart line at Home Depot. then i painted the border Picket Fence White from the same line. i got my inspiration from this room below.

i love these color combinations. next on my list of things to do for my sweet baby girl: get her a big girl bed. i've been on a relentless hunt for a twin size metal bed frame, and i will not stop until i find the perfect one! 

happy sunday!


Saturday, August 20, 2011

Smitten Saturday: Back-to-School

yeah, i know my "business blog" had a weekly inspiration board called Smitten Saturday... but i really want to have one for this blog, too. but, i like doing it on Saturdays but i don't know what to call it. so for now, until i can figure something else out, i'm just gonna have two Smitten Saturdays... one here and one there. do you have any suggestions for what it should be called on Always Underfoot? hmmm....


my son will be starting Kindergarten on Monday. what the!?!? i know, i don't look a day over 20 and i have a kid starting school. crazy. but for reals, i am kind of freaking out. it's a mixture of emotions really. like, should i have home schooled? will he be cool? are there going to be bad boys that he will be attracted to that will badly influence him? can he flush the toilet after using it at school? is he too young, should we have waited a year? what if he's bored? 


let's revisit that "will he be cool?" question. i think about that one A LOT. i know it's shallow, but i do. i was NOT cool at all, so i want him to be cool. but not so cool he has a chip on his shoulder. he needs to be the right level of cool... like show choir cool. like me. show choir made me cool. ok, i was kind of cool, but not cheerleader cool. yeah, that would be good. 

wowzers. maybe i wasn't as cool as i thought i was. 

anyway, i love it when little boys are stylish and if i had the means i would buy him all this stuff. also, his birthday is coming up so if any of my family is reading this consider it a wish list. (obviously this stuff is pricey, but you get the idea!) wink!

No.1} stylish kicks
No.2} loving the layers on these boys. i just want to pinch their cheeks!
No. 3} coolest boy umbrella i've ever seen.
No. 4} this is adorbs. minus the chin strap for a big boy. but does it look too much like a bonnet?
No. 5} my mentor started a tradition of throwing a back-to-school party for her boy and i really want to do it too. and i think mine will look like this
No.6} these shoes are rad. 
No. 7} love stripes. love this backpack
No. 8} i also want to start a tradition of taking a "first day of school" picture each year. Blonde Designs blog has a free printable.
No. 9} one can never have too many shoes. never. 
No. 10} i basically want to dress my son head to toe Crewcuts. (if anyone from Crewcuts happens to be reading my blog *crossing fingers* and wants to send me free clothes i would happily oblidge!) hahahaheeeeheee ehhh. 

welp. there you have it. all my style dreams for my son. 

do you have a child starting school for the first time this year? crazy how time flies, huh? happy Saturday!

kiss kiss,

Friday, August 19, 2011

my favorite eight years

last week my husband and i celebrated 8 years of marriage. man, oh man... i feel so old. 

1998 + 2010

our wedding day

we were blessed with an overnight stay at a bed and breakfast in Oakhurst, CA. first time for both of us. it's one of those small towns that takes all of 2 seconds to get through, and you would never know it even existed (in fact, it probably wouldn't exist) if it weren't for it being the gateway to Yosemite. there were people from all over, speaking every different language, in this little blink of an eye town.

we enjoyed a night away from the kids, a mini-road trip, and dinner at an awesome BBQ restaurant called Todd's Cookhouse, where there is always a line and when they run out of food... they run out of food. it was TASTY.

i treasure these little getaways, as well as my loving husband. 

if i had to do it all over again i would still choose him. 


Thursday, August 18, 2011

well, hello there!

fancy meetin' you here. 

welcome to my new little blog. you could have previously found me blogging over at Smitten Stationery, which i will update periodically, but you can find me most of the time over here now. i plan on documenting my travels through the muck and mire of being a woman, wife, mom, sister, daughter, friend, and everything in between... but mostly i plan on documenting the joys! i hope to find joy in all those things that get messy, like my sweet baby girl above, wasting our precious and expensive organic milk on the hardwood floors learning how to poor her own milk!!! (see that? that was me finding the joy in it!)

the bible says, "Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. She opens her mouth in wisdom, And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.  She looks well to the ways of her household, And does not eat the bread of idleness. Her children rise up and bless her; Her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many daughters have done nobly, But you excel them all.” proverbs 31:25-29

that is my prayer, we'll see how i do!

if you know me, you know i have control issues and crazy OCD... but more than that i hope you know i love my family and seek to serve the Lord. if you don't know me, you will. 

just keep reading.