Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples


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Mama + Mini Monday: Spring Favorites

Happy First Day of Spring ya’ll!

Even though it is officially spring, it takes a few more weeks for it to feel like spring here in the mountains. So while I wait for the beautiful spring weather to come, I will be shopping for mine and Ada’s spring wardrobe! And today, Old Navy & Gap are having a 40% sale online! Woo hoo! Perfect timing!

1. /2. Mustard dresses for mama and mini: Are these not the cutest? And they come in my favorite color! Not to mention the eyelet detail is so pretty!

3. Pink Lace Tank: I am so in love with the lace detailing on this tank. Perfect for spring under a cute cardigan!

4. Lace Top: This lace top for mini is the cutest ever! I think Ada would look darling in this!

5. Pjs: There couldn’t be a better pair of pjs than these bunny ones. Not only does Ada love bunnies and calls them, “Hop-hop;” she also says, “Happy!” all the time! And, Ada’s favorite song is, “Because I’m Happy!” So these pjs are definitely coming home with us!

6. Pink Bow: Swiss dot bows are my favorite! (Remember, Ada’s first birthday yellow bow?) This pink one will go so well with all of Ada’s spring pinks!

7./8. Denim jackets: Everyone girl needs a denim jacket in their closet! Here in the mountains, you always need a jacket, no matter how hot it is outside! I love pairing mine with summer dresses, but it looks good with anything!

9. Jellys: And of course, every little girl needs jellys for summer!

10. Romper: I thought this romper was adorable and it will be perfect for playing at the park, once it gets warmer! The purple one is a gorgeous color, FYI!

Well, I hope you are all having a wonderful day! And let’s hope and pray spring weather comes quickly here! Happy Monday ya’ll!


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Mama + Mini: Snow Day

It is sometimes difficult to live in the mountains around this time of year. With spring around the corner, you are teased with adorable summer dresses, sandals, and a few warm days. Then the day after you have beautiful 70 degree weather, you get snow. That is why I don’t pack away my winter things until April; maybe later. 😉 But Ada loved the little snow day we had this past weekend and her enthusiasm was contagious. She was so excited to see the all the snowflakes dancing around her. She just kept running around say, “Snow, snow!” It was pretty much the best thing ever!

I got my sweater during the winter sale at Nordstrom a few weeks ago and have been pulling it out every time the temperature drops. It is the perfect oversized sweater and is so soft and warm! And the best thing – it is 100% cotton and not acrylic. (I have a rather large dislike to acrylic sweaters.)

Ada’s dress is from Old Navy and it is a favorite of mine. I love all the colors and the peachy pink matches her bow so well! Her gray sweater cardigan is from Old Navy, too.

After walking around outside, we came inside to enjoy some hot chocolate and watch the snow fall. Just look at those adorable little tippy toes!

I hope you all have a wonderful week! Stay warm or if you are out of the mountains, enjoy the spring weather! 😉

 


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This Is Real Life

Social media has a way of presenting your life to others in the best of light. Not that it is a bad thing, but majority of people only post the good photos or share the happy moments. I do it too. But what most people don’t see, is how I seriously don’t have everything together. I have always been very responsible and organized, but since becoming a mom, I feel like I can’t remember anything any more. It is like I am stuck in this mom mode and everything else is just noise in the background. Like, my brain can only focus on Ada therefore, other things slip my mind. This became a problem for me this past week while Randy was away on business.

A few days ago I went to Target, which I use to love to do, but now it is an almost Herculean task when all Ada wants to do is scoot and climb all over the store. But this trip, I went quickly and Ada was pretty great for most of it. So I figured I could push my luck and make one more stop before going home. I wanted to go to REI to pick up Randy a birthday present for him to open when he returned.

Well, I pushed my luck too far. As soon as I got Ada into the store, she started screaming. So here I am, trying to juggle a wiggling, screaming toddler into a cart, my diaper bag, the car keys, and Ada’s precious lovie. When I finally got her into the cart, I started trying to pacify her with snacks, books, toys, and my car keys. I walked around the store for about 5 minutes when I remembered that I gave Ada the car keys. When I looked down, she no longer had them.

This started the panicky search for the car keys. I mean, I was crawling all around REI trying to find my keys. Ada was having a blast scooting around and climbing onto stairs, chairs, tables – you name it, and pulling merchandise off the shelves. I finally got an employee to help me search for my keys, but still, no luck. So now I am sitting on the floor digging everything out of my diaper bag and checking my pockets for these keys (including my bra, because who knows where I could have stuffed those keys in the middle of a toddler scream fest). After about 30 minutes of searching, I begin to cry. Yeah, sitting in the middle of REI, with my stuff dispersed all around me, with my toddler terrorizing the store and me crying. I definitely felt like my life was nothing but a sh*t show.

For a moment, I seriously didn’t know what to do. We were stranded in a store with no way to get back into my car, Ada was in a desperate need of a nap, Randy was across the country, and I have no family nearby. And even if I called a locksmith to get me into my car, I still couldn’t get us home. Oh, and to top it all off, I had groceries in the car, melting away. Yeah, I was in a pickle and I couldn’t figure a way out.

Fortunately, I have a wonderful, fantastic friend nearby who came to mine and Ada’s rescue. I am so very thankful and blessed to have such a great friend. A friend, who drops everything to come help, even when she is trying to figure out how to juggle life with a toddler, too. I am so grateful that I have a friend to share motherhood with, where there are no judgements allowed! 😉

So what is the point to this post? Nothing really. Just to share that I really don’t have it all together all the time. Most of the time, I feel like I am in survival mode. Every once in a while, I feel like superwoman – on the days I can take a shower, dress out of my yoga pants, and get dinner on the table all the while, keeping my kid in one piece! But most of the time, I am lucky to remember to brush my teeth in the mornings! After this week, I think I need this coffee mug in my life!

One thing is for certain, I am so glad that it is Friday! Happy Friday ya’ll!


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18 Month Snapshot

Today my sweet, little baby turns 1.5 years old! And what better way to celebrate, then with donuts for breakfast!?

mmm… which one?

We went to a local restaurant called, Hendough. They serve homemade donuts and fried chicken – yeah, it is awesome! Ada loved her chocolate donut and couldn’t stuff it in her mouth fast enough!

And about two seconds after this photo was taken, Ada decided to grab the basket of donuts and fling them around. Resulting in a chocolate donut and coffee fiasco. The hot coffee went everywhere, including my white jeans. Note to future self: Never, ever, ever wear white around a toddler. Besides feeling like a hot mess (see what I did there? haha!), we had a great birthday breakfast.

Age: 18 months

Stats: Last time we were at the doctor, Ada was in the 95th percentile in height and weighed 22lbs. She is one tall little girl. So tall, that I have had to start buying 2T clothing for the length – even though the 2T shirts hang off her shoulders.

Favorite Foods: pasta, bread, cheese, crackers, apples, black beans, sweet potatoes – just to name a few. This girl has always enjoyed food and will pretty much eat what ever I put in front of her.

Favorite Words: hi, belly button (bee-boo), no, yes, snack (nack), beep-beep, hop-hop (what she calls her lovie), and bath (ba-ba) – Her vocab has always been extensive. She probably can say about 30 words consistently and can repeat everything that we say. So we have to make sure that we watch our words around her! 😉

Favorite Activities: Ada has been a bit motor delayed. She isn’t walking on her own yet, but she is cruising along the furniture and is getting stronger and better everyday. She can walk around while I hold her hands and she loves to climb the stairs. Her favorite toy right now is the Little Tike car. She loves to be pushed around in it outside in our driveway; all the while screaming, “Beep! Beep!” It is pretty darn cute and I can’t help but smile whenever she does this. Ada loves to color and her favorite is the, “My First Crayola Mess-Free Marker & Paper.” I love that I can leave her alone with this and not worry about my walls getting marked up. One of her favorite activities, is playing tea. She has a tea set for the bath that she just loves to play with. She also loves to wrestle and roll around on the floor with her daddy. They do it every night and I just love hearing them both laugh and Ada squealing in delight!

Least Favorite Activities: She hates getting her diaper or clothes changed. She will scream at me just about every time. Now when she needs a diaper change, Randy and I will go back & forth on whose turn it is to enjoy the scream fest. Ada has started tantrums, which are just wonderful…. She gets so mad when we have to end a fun activity to go eat or take a nap. The worst is when I won’t let her scoot around on the floor in public (like the grocery store). I know we are both getting frustrated that she can’t walk on her own yet. I am hoping that this will give her even more incentive to learn to walk on her own even faster!

Signature Moves: Blowing kisses and saying muah, waving hello and goodbye to everyone, dancing when she hears music, and singing when we sing a song she “knows” together (she usually just says, La la la!), and making silly faces to make us laugh.

This has been such a great age, but also pretty trying. I am hoping that once she starts walking on her own, things will be just a little bit better. But who am I kidding? When she starts walking, I’ll just be exhausted from chasing her all day! 😉 I do think when she starts walking on her own, it will help with some things – like, the tantrums in the grocery store! But I love being a mom and I am so incredibly grateful that I get to spend everyday with this silly, sweet girl of mine. Happy 18th month birthday Ada Marie! You are so loved!

 


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Mama + Mini Monday: Lace

I am in love with these mama + mini outfits! Both of these lace tops are so beautiful and my red cardigan has been on repeat here lately. And what better way to enjoy a beautiful, windy day; then by dressing up and taking pictures! 😉

My top is from Anthro and I love all the beautiful lace details. The top is so feminine and vintage – just my style. My red cardigan is from ChicWish and is the perfect transition piece. It is warm without being too warm, it is super soft, it has pockets, and the tassels add a unique flair – need I say more? 😉

Ada’s top is from Crazy8 but I purchased it on Kidizen (have I mentioned how much I love this app?!). Ada’s red hair bow is from Ellia May Designs.

My little girl is getting so big! She is always on the move now and is so close to walking on her own! We are all so excited about it!

I hope you are enjoying your long weekend and all the awesome President’s Day sales going on! Happy Monday ya’ll!

And just so you can see where Ada gets all her funny faces…

 


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Life Lately + Valentine’s Day

What a week! This past week, Ada was sick – like, first time having a fever and all, sick. All she wanted to do was snuggle with me and sleep. It was so terrible to watch and I felt so helpless; especially when she started whimpering. The only good thing that came from Ada being sick was all the snuggle time. Luckily, she was only sick for about 3 days and was her sweet, silly self in no time. Just in time for mine and Randy’s night away.

We have been planning a night away for about two months now. Randy’s mom offered to watch Ada around Valentine’s Day and we jumped at the offer. We haven’t had a night away, just the two of us, since our 30 birthdays last year. So needless to say, we were practically giddy when we drove out of the driveway. Randy and I stayed at the Westin in Greenville, SC. I forgot how beautiful the city of Greenville is. Last time I was there, I was getting my bridal photos done at the Westin. The hotel is beautiful! It is like stepping back in time and I love very inch of it! From the polished brass, to the delicate tiles, and to the intricate iron works – just beautiful!

Here is a photo from my bridal shoot:

We had a wonderful time strolling around downtown and admiring all the beautiful architecture. But I am pretty sure that the best part was sleeping in! It was glorious!

The following morning, we enjoyed a Sunday brunch at Westin’s restaurant. The breakfast room is breathtaking beautiful and the food doesn’t disappoint. Although, I am pretty certain that I spent more time admiring the room than eating. 😉

After breakfast, we headed back home to our sweet, happy girl.

Ada had a great time with her mimi and we felt rejuvenated, mostly because we got to sleep in. Yay for more sleep, am I right?!

We had a low key Valentine’s at home as a family. We enjoyed cheese & crackers (Ada ate most of the cheese), a nice home cooked meal by the fire, and the best angel food cupcakes for dessert.

I hope you all had a wonderful Valentine’s filled with love, family, friends, and fun! Love ya’ll! 😉

 


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Mama + Mini Monday: Valentine’s Sweaters

I love little girl’s clothes around Valentine’s Day. All the red, pink, and heart patterns… so stinkin cute! I look forward to Valentine’s just for the clothes! I even enjoy sporting hearts on my own sleeves. 😉

I found my cardigan last year from ModCloth and I love how easy it has been to find matching outfits for Ada. Navy and red go so well together. Last year, Ada wore the cutest navy and red bloomers to match my cardigan. This year, I literally squealed in delight when I found her navy sweater on Kidizen. It is the cutest sweater and it matches my cardigan perfectly! Gosh, I am going to be so sad when she outgrows it! Hopefully, someone will make a sweater similar to this next year. If not, there are plenty of other options out there, like this chambray dress with a heart print.

My striped tee is from Gap and Ada’s leggings are from OldNavy. Ada’s adorable heart hair bow is from Ellia May Designs. And Ada’s sunglasses are from Babiators.

As you can see – Ada is kind of walking!! Super big deal here! It won’t be long till she is running circles around me. We are all so happy for her right now.

And she can now climb the stairs all by herself. It is one of her favorite things to do. Way to go Ada!

 

I hope you have a wonderful Valentine’s Day ya’ll!


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Making Valentines

Sorry that I have been a bit MIA lately. We have been super busy visiting grandparents and traveling for business. This mama is exhausted from hotel living with a toddler! We are all so happy to be back home and we are getting back to normal around here. Even though traveling was tiring, it was nice to take a little break from social media and just enjoy being with my family.

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I put together a little craft for Ada this week. Ada loves to color and she is fascinated with stickers. Even though she does panic when she can’t get the sticker off her finger. 😉 For her Valentines, I cut out some hearts and bought some stickers that I knew she would like; she loved the owl stickers!

I plan on sending these Valentines to friends and family. They might get them before Valentine’s Day. 🙂

This face… wow. I can’t imagine what kind of looks we are going to get when she is a teenager!!!

I hope you are all having a great week! Happy Hump Day!


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Mama + Mini Monday: Hearts

‘Tis the season for heart-shaped everything! It is so easy and fun to celebrate and decorate for Valentine’s Day. And with all the Christmas decor gone, Ada is loving all the heart shapes and fun colors! She has been loving how I cut her food into heart shapes. She just points at her pancakes saying, “Heart, heart!”

Not to mention, all the clothes for littles’ this time of year are so adorable! I just love all the hearts, cute sayings, and cheery colors!

Just like this sweatshirt and leggings from Old Navy. Not only are they super cute, but they are soft and warm. Perfect for this wintry rain we have been having lately.

We celebrated with our friends last weekend, by taking fun photos and eating homemade heart-shaped pizzas. You can find my favorite pizza dough recipe here. I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out pepperoni hearts (it was harder than I thought it was going to be!). But they turned out cute and delicious! 😉

The photo back drop was just plastic tablecloths and the two banners came from Target. The heart garland was something I made using my Cricut machine and bakers twine.

My t-shirt is from Hello Apparel and I have had it for years. They no longer carry this design but they have a sweatshirt that is similar that I love!

As you can tell, Ada was thrilled to have her picture taken with me. 🙂

But I was able to get a few good ones of Ada.

I hope you all have a wonderful week full of love and hearts – lots of hearts! 😉

“But the greatest of these is love.” 1 Corinthians 13:13


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A Broken Home

I come from a broken home.

My parents are not divorced. I have been so very blessed to have been raised in a home with two loving parents and siblings. I couldn’t ask for a better family. The broken home that I am referring to, is my home church.

When I was a child, my family and I went to an amazing church. The church itself was nothing much to look at. No tall spires, gleaming towers, or bells. Just a simple brick church with a small white steeple and tiny stain glass windows. What made this church so great, was the people. I bet you never heard of a child begging to go to church every single Wednesday night and Sunday morning. But I did. I remember one Wednesday night a snow storm came in and my brother and I were begging – no crying for our parents to take us to church. Of course, my dad took us and church services were inevitable cancelled. We were devastated. That is because going to this church, was like coming home.

This church was my second home. It was the most comforting, most secure, and the most happiest place of my childhood. I instantly felt better the moment I walked through those doors. The people that made up this church were the most loving, genuine, supportive, God-loving people I have ever met. It was the one place I felt like I belonged. And to a middle school kid, that meant a lot. Because isn’t that what we all want in life? To belong?

In this church, we did have separate groups and classes arranged by age. But a lot of the time, we spent it together as a whole congregation. One of my fondest memories, was getting up before dawn for a Easter sunrise service. We all met at the top of the hill behind the church and watched the sun rise, while our pastor would give a short sermon about the resurrection of Christ. Afterwards, we all headed back down to the church for huge potluck breakfast. All 250 of us, crowded into the fellowship hall and enjoyed a warm meal together at long tables – family style.

The youth group that I was involved with, is what made this church so special to me. We were a group of about 80 kids, ages from 6th to 12th grade. I know you won’t believe me when I tell you, but this youth group did not have any cliques. Unheard of, with a bunch of teenagers, right? But we did not split up into a bunch of different groups – we were one group. Everyone truly loved one another, respected one another, and most importantly, had a passion for Christ. It didn’t matter where we came from, how we looked, or how we dressed – everyone accepted everybody for who they were.

Every year, the youth group would go on trips called, Youth Tours. Over the year, we would put together a drama, filled with dances, songs, and skits. It was quite the production. We had costumes, fog machines, black lights, strobe lights, and all kinds of props and backdrops. We would then all pile into church vans and travel around the country to perform for other churches. I always had an absolute blast on these tours. I could go on for hours telling you funny stories about these trips. But the one thing I think I remember the most, is how many lives we touched with our stories and how our own lives were forever changed.

The youth tours taught me a lot. They taught me how to be brave, how to work together with others, and most importantly, they gave me a different perspective on life. Going to different places in our country, helped me to become more aware of the world around me and it opened my eyes to see the world as it really is. And to be honest, the world is a pretty sad place. But the youth tours also gave me hope. Hope that the world can one day see the Light, as long as we can continue to be the Light for the world.

Everything sounds so perfect, right? And it was for a long time. But as you all know, humans are not perfect. Because of our imperfect natures, my church fell apart – just like so many others. I do not know all the details on what happened and to be honest, I do not want to know. All I know is that I watch my home, my sanctuary disappear right before my very own eyes. What was suppose to be a normal Wednesday night service, quickly dissolved into people arguing, pointing fingers, and discord. It was like watching parents argue – the argument that you know down in the pit of your stomach that this is it. This is the argument that will forever change my family and my life. And just like that, my home church was no more.

Going through that was very hard for me and thinking about it now, it is still hard for me. But I believe that God gave me my childhood church when I needed it most. At a time when I was still figuring out who I was and figuring out my faith. I am so thankful that God put people in my life, as a child, to help guide me and to help my faith grow. It is because of them that I now have a strong, passionate, unwavering faith. When I look back on all my memories from that church, I remember them with fondest. I imagine that heaven will be something similar to what I had at that church. A big, happy family – laughing together, crying together, eating together, learning & growing together – but most of all, praising & worshipping the Lord together.

I know this post is different from the norm. I don’t really enjoy sharing these intimate thoughts to the world. But this past week, the pastor of this wonderful church, was killed unexpectedly in a car accident. So here I am, grieving over the loss of a friend and mentor. All the while, I am reminded of the loss of my home and my family. I will never, ever forget the time I had at that church and I will especially; never forget the fire, the passion, and the love that my pastor had for his church and for Christ.

I didn’t write this post to point fingers or to cast blame. On the contrary, I wrote it to share the deep appreciation I have for my childhood church. To publicly thank all who helped make me the person I am today. And even though my home church is broken, I still carry it with me everyday. Everything that I am, everything that I believe – it all started in that little brick church.