Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples


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Mama + Mini Monday: Hearts On Our Sleeves

It amazes me how much Ada has grown since her 2nd birthday. She has shot up like a weed and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. So all the clothes I bought last spring, a size too big, most likely won’t fit her this spring/summer. πŸ™ But there have been a few items that I have been able to use again this year. Like, my favorite “Fries Before Guys” sweatshirt and the navy sweater with heart elbows. Although, they only work on top of a dress because she is so freakin tall that they are practically belly shirts on her. Haha! So even though she has outgrown several of my favorite things, I can make them work for a little while longer. So this is our last time dressing in the same navy sweater with heart elbows. πŸ™

 

 

And just so you can see the difference between this year’s and last year’s, here are a few pictures from our Valentine’s Day photoshoot last year. She couldn’t even walk on her own yet, this time last year. Being a parent is so bittersweet. I love watching her grow up but at the same time it makes me so sad.

 

Valentine’s Day is such a fun holiday to celebrate with a kid; especially since the holiday blues have definitely set in. Ada has been worried about the disappearance of Christmas lights for weeks now. Hopefully, Valentine’s Day will help distract her from the passing of the Christmas season. So expect more heart shaped things, festive crafts, and sweets until the end of February – we are pushing this holiday out for as long as possible! πŸ˜‰ Happy Monday ya’ll!

Ada’s Sweater: similarΒ , similar

My Sweater: similar , similar

Ada’s Bow: similar

Ada’s Dress: J&J Dress

Ada’s Necklace: Hooray Everyday Necklace

Ada’s Boots: similar


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Valentine’s Fun

Now that we are all on the mend, we have been trying to squeeze in all the Valentine’s Day festiveness before the big day. To be honest, we are all about to go a little crazy during this flu season. We haven’t been able to play much outside & we have been avoiding people to keep away from germs. And it seems that we are taking turns with our friends – when we are sick, they are well and when they are sick we are better. Hopefully, this season of illness will pass soon, because being stuck at home all the time is starting to get to us! So to help entertain a two year old, we have been making Valentine’s to send to our family & friends. And I hope sometime we can make some pink & heart shaped goodies. Because how can you properly celebrate Valentine’s Day without sweets, right? πŸ˜‰

We started off with a simple craft, cut out hearts to color and put stickers on because Ada loves stickers. And an adorable printable for Ada to color. I hope that we can try to do this craft later. I can definitely use some Ada hands/hearts in my life.

Can you tell that she is super excited about doing a craft?

And of course, hop-hop can never be left out on all the fun. πŸ˜‰

I picked up a few Valentine’s Day goodies for Ada because just look how cute she is, all decked out in Valentine cheer! πŸ˜‰ How can I resist that sweet face?

I hope everyone is having a great week and that you are all staying healthy! Happy Hump Day!


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Holiday Recap + Life Lately

Well, hello everyone! It has been awhile. The holidays kept us busy and then the plague stuck our house. We have hardly left our house since Christmas and I have been working my tail off to kill all the germs. This was the first time that Ada was really, really sick. We had the stomach bug – which I don’t need to tell you how fun that was, then I caught the stomach bug followed by the flu and finished it up with a cold. But getting the stomach bug was one way to jump start weight loss in the New Year! πŸ˜‰ Just kidding! I wouldn’t wish this stomach bug on my worst enemy… it was seriously that bad! And then just when I thought we were out of the clear, Ada all of a sudden got high fevers. She has been fighting fevers for days now and I am hoping that yesterday was the turning point for her/us. Please keep us in your prayers! Life lately has been days filled with cleaning vomit, doing so much laundry, going to the doctor, sanitizing the house from top to bottom, doing more laundry, comforting a feverish baby through all the night, snuggling during the day (that part wasn’t so bad) and of course, trying to keep myself healthy so I can do keep doing all of this. Needless to say, I have been nursing a glass of wine every night this week. πŸ˜‰

But moving on to more pleasant things, our Christmas was awesome!Β Ada loved all that the Christmas season brought – she loved the Christmas lights, baking cookies, decorating gingerbread men, and of course, opening presents. There is nothing better than witnessing the wonder and joy of Christmas through the eyes of your child.Β On Christmas morning, I believe Randy and I were more excited then Ada. We got up before her and we wanted to wake her up so bad. So while she slept, I made my first nutty cinnamon rolls. This will definitely be something that I will do every Christmas morning because they were delicious! Ada loved all her presents; especially, her awesome pink Jeep! We are so glad that she loves it because when I got a power wheel at her age, I was absolutely terrified of it and refused to get in it. (Sorry mom and dad!)

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas and a happy New Year! Stay healthy! πŸ˜‰

 


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Christmas Cards

It is my favorite time of year again – Christmas card season! I love getting Christmas cards from everyone and look forward to the mail coming every day this time of year. I got our Christmas cards out a couple of weeks ago and love how we tried something a little different. This year, we used Randy’s drone to take our family photo. It was so much fun and I want to do it every year! But I think my favorite part was Ada singing at the top of her lungs while we got the cameras set up. It definitely got everyone’s attention at Jump Off Rock. But she didn’t care one bit and neither did I! I am so proud! πŸ˜‰

And of course; the only way to work on Christmas cards is by the fire, listening to Christmas music, while sipping on a festive drink! πŸ˜‰

I hope you all have a very merry Christmas! Happy Friday!


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Deck the Halls

Fa la la la la la la la la!

We are less than one week away from Christmas and we are all super excited… a little tired & a little wired (name that movie), but excited! I now understand why people start decorating for Christmas before Thanksgiving. Since it took me three weeks to get the house decorated, and I was only able to finish because I had help from family, I believe I am on board the Decorate Before Thanksgiving Train. Next year, I would love to enjoy the decorations for longer than two weeks! πŸ˜‰ So without further ado, here is our holiday home tour!

Scroll: Cotton Wood ShantyΒ 

Stocking Holders: Target

Stockings & Tree Skirt: Ballard DesignsΒ 

Candlesticks on Mantle: Magnolia Market

Bedding: Anthropologie

Bed Frame: Charles P. RogersΒ 


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Perfect Weekend

Snow truly is magical. When it snows the world around you seems to stop just so it can watch the snowflakes dance. The loud sounds of the hustle and bustle fade away. And you are left with the quiet, peaceful sound of snow falling. On snow days, it is perfectly acceptable to shrug off your responsibilities for the day and just enjoy the beauty of this new world. Because what makes it so special, is that it only lasts for a moment, so you better “carpe diem” this snow day while you can.

This past weekend was the greatest, most perfect weekend of all time. We felt like we were living in our own little snow globe. This snow was perfect for building snowmen, snowball fights, and building quinzees. And seeing the joy & wonderment through the eyes of child just makes it so much better. We were caught off guard a bit with this snow. The weatherman predicted just a few inches at the most for this storm. It ended being around a foot when it finished! Not that I am complaining! It was totally awesome! Luckily, I had enough food to get us through the weekend, so whew! But our diets mostly consisted of cookies and hot cocoa anyways, so turns out I didn’t need to worry about our meals. πŸ˜‰

It snowed non-stop on Saturday and continued for half the day on Sunday. Ada could barely contain her excitement so we were out in the snow before it really started to accumulate. But it was fun to dance with the snowflakes. Ada loved it and threw her head back & stuck out her tongue to catch the snow. At first, I wasn’t sure how she even knew to do that, then I recalled we have been reading books from the library about snow days. I have ordered Ada some gloves and boots for Christmas, this snow just came earlier than expected. Hence, the ginormous gloves. Although, I think she pulls them off!

I love how Ada thought that our chimenea was a snowman. She spent a long time trying to get these little gloves to stick into the snow. Meanwhile, Randy built a quinzee and I built a snowman. πŸ˜‰

After Ada went to sleep, Randy and I took our chance to play in the snow and in the quinzee.

We spent the weekend, playing in the snow, running back into the house to warm up with some hot chocolate, watching Christmas movies, then running back out to play some more. In our down time, we make our first gingerbread house/village. Both Randy and I have never made one before, at least, not that we remember. Ada was more into eating the gingerbread houses and candy then putting them together. I spent more time looking for candy she had thrown then putting together the houses. So Randy did most of the construction. πŸ˜‰

We are definitely missing the snow and we hope that it will come back soon. Around Christmas would be just perfect!


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Holiday Gift Guide for Him

And last, but certainly not least, a holiday gift guide for him. To be honest, I struggle the most with finding things for Randy. Not only are the things Randy is interested in expensive, but they are also things I have no knowledge on. Like, all the gadgets and tech he loves. Or all the gear for backpacking and biking. I can’t exactly go into REI and pick out something. He spends hours researching on the things he wants & needs. Even if I did pick it out, I would most likely pick out the wrong thing. What I can do is pick out clothing for him, but like a kid, he isn’t going to be jumping up and down at getting clothes for Christmas. So without further ado, here are a few of some of Randy’s favorite things, with a some added extras that I think he will love.

  1. Pants: Randy is particular about most things and one of them is his clothing. He only really loves clothes from Columbia, Patagonia, Arcteryx, etc. And since he is in desperate need of some new pants, these pants will fit the bill.
  2. Shirt: I love the colors in this shirt and Randy loves the brand/practicality of it. So win, win!
  3. Drone: This has been Randy’s most favorite toy ever. He has been researching for years on the perfect drone and he finally chose this one. He plays with it everyday and couldn’t be happier!
  4. Mug: This mug has our favorite quote, plus the design is really cool. And this mug is practical – it can be used on a camp fire, which Randy loves.
  5. MEEM: Ok, this little gadget is really nifty. It is a flash drive and charging cable all in one. It can back up all of your phone – photos, contacts, etc and charge your phone at the same time! Talk about being useful for when you are on the go! I imagine I would use this cable every time I traveled.
  6. Audible Gift Card: Randy and I use audible all the time and we just love it! Especially, when we are traveling together, we will listen to an audiobook in the car. (Puts Ada to sleep every time!) Randy prefers audiobooks over reading any day. And since he travels often for work, he loves having a book to listen to. So if you have a traveler, or a reader on your list – give him one of these!
  7. NEMO Stargazer Camp Chair: So this is a gift I want for myself as well. It is a hammock-like chair that swings/rocks and it also reclines so you can watch the stars. It is pretty awesome! I would be fine having some of these on the back porch instead of patio furniture.
  8. Fleece Pants: Now that Randy is working from home now, he really needs some comfy clothes to “work” in now. These would be comfy, warm, and they have pockets.
  9. Cocktail Kit: With all of Randy’s travel, I can imagine that one of these would come in handy every once in a while. I could use one of these when I travel because I hate flying! πŸ˜‰ This would make a great stocking stuffer!

Hope this helps inspire some of you still looking for the perfect gifts! Good luck ya’ll!


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Gift Guide for Little Ladies

Ok, buying for Ada is seriously the most fun… ever! But man, I could easily go over board in gifts this Christmas! There are so many cute and awesome things for kids these days. All I know is, that if I had a princess dress & shoes when I was little, I would have just died! Now, you can easily pick one up at Walmart. With that being said, I am afraid that the princess dresses will have to wait because my little girl is not into Disney Princesses just yet. But don’t you worry, she will be! πŸ˜‰ Instead of princess dresses, my daughter is into trains, cars, shopping, and bunnies. #thatsmygirl

This year, Ada’s big Christmas present is this jeep! I cannot wait for Christmas morning! I know Ada is going to love it because she loves cars and “driving”. She needs a car that can handle the steep hills and rocky terrain around our house; so I was thrilled when I found this one on Black Friday. And I will definitely be putting one of these stickers on the jeep!

Right now, Ada is really into shopping since I took her to the Children’s Museum in Charleston a few weeks back. She has talked about it non-stop and now wants to go shopping all the time. (I’m so proud!) πŸ˜‰ So this shopping cart would be so much fun for her. She can also use some cozy sweaters & socks this winter and these are perfect for her. Not to mention, Gap is having a 40% sale right now.

One of Ada’s favorite movies, is “Trolls.” No surprise there, since this girl loves singing and dancing! I snag one of these Poppy dolls during the Cyber Monday sales and I am so glad I did. I got it for 50% off! It is so cute and I know Ada is going to love singing along with her.

Every season I get Ada new books. I figured that we had to have “The Nutcracker,” for our Christmas collection and the artwork in this one is breathtaking. BabyLit books are some of Ada’s favorites. She always picks one of them for her bedtime story every night, so “A Christmas Carol,” is one I picked for Christmas this year.

The Advent Puzzle is just as much for me as it is for Ada. She loves puzzles and I would love to display it on my buffet. So we both win. πŸ˜‰ I think it would be so cute to use a mini Christmas wreath as the marker as you countdown till Christmas!

And last but not least, this PlayDoh Set. We just introduced playdoh (I was a little nervous at first, considering what happened not that long ago with the pine nut!) and she of course, loves it. I think this bakery set will make all her dreams come true, since her most favorite thing to do is make cakes and ice cream.

Well, I am off to have some hot chocolate by the fire and watch the snow fall! I hope you are enjoying this beautiful, snowy day (if you live somewhere that gets snow!) and happy Friday ya’ll!


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Gift Guide for Her

It is that time of year again, when you hear the same questions over & over, “What do you want for Christmas?” or worse yet, “What can I get so-and-so for Christmas?” It can be a bit difficult buying for others since we are all so very blessed. I know I struggle with new ideas for Christmas gifts every year. So I will be putting together some gift guides that are pretty much our wish lists for this year. Today, I started with the easiest one – my holiday wish list. πŸ˜‰

  1. Wall Calendar: This is a mix of both need and want in my life. This calligraphy calendar is gorgeous and I know it would be something that I would use every single day. Life just keeps getting busier and busier & we could really use a family calendar to help keep it all together. Plus, it is so pretty that I wouldn’t mind hanging it up in my kitchen.
  2. Wreath: The Hearth & Hand line at Target is just simply amazing. Everything Joanna Gaines touches is magic. #numberonefan But my favorite is this wreath.
  3. Zella Pullover: I can’t really explain how much I love Zella products. This pullover has everything I want in a cozy shirt – thumb holes, pockets, and a pretty design so I can wear it out & about. The perfect addition to the mom uniform.
  4. Promptly Journals: This is a new journal that I just discovered in the last month or so. It is a simple journal that you can fill out each year about your children. It starts from pregnancy and ends at 18. After you have filled it out, you can give it your child as a graduation gift. *cue emotional mom*
  5. Blanket Scarf: Now if you are anything like me, you really don’t need another scarf. But this one… I just can’t resist… just look at all the beauitful colors! And it is reversible so it is two scarves in one! (At least, that is how I am selling it to my husband!) πŸ˜‰
  6. Barefoot Dreams Pullover: I am sure you have all seen the craze over this brand, Barefoot Dreams. Their most popular item is their cardigan. Well, I saw this pullover and I am dying to try it! It fits all my criteria for a sweatshirt – thumbholes, pockets, and no hoodie! Not to mention, it is suppose to be the softest thing ever! #getinmycloset
  7. Candlesticks: As I mentioned before, Joanna Gaines is a rockstar and I can’t get enough of her pretty things. I have had my eye on these candlesticks since I saw them in her store during Silobration. They are extremely well made (forget the baseball bat when an intruder comes into your home, grab one of these instead!) and would match all the wrought iron in my house. And I just fell in love with them the moment I saw them.
  8. Camp Socks: Everyone can use socks for Christmas. And not only are these practical, but they are fashionable. πŸ˜‰

Well, I hope this helps provide some ideas on what to get all the lovely ladies in your life. Good luck shopping and have fun! Happy Thursday!


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A Perfect Parent

These past couple of weeks have been some of the hardest weeks of my life. I know that sounds a bit over dramatic… and maybe it is. But I have really, really struggled here lately. Parenting is hard. And as much as I love blogging, I simply haven’t had the time or energy.

I believe we have officially started the terrible twos and they truly are terrible. I thought we started them months ago, but that was a walk in the park compared to what we are facing now. Ada is usually the sweetest, the most easy going kid ever. But here lately, it is like my sweet little kid has been replaced with Jack Jack from The Incredibles.

One minute she is happily playing with her toys, the next minute she is screaming at me because she can’t get the play dough container opened. And of course, she is asking me to help her when I am busying putting her breakfast together, so when I ask her to wait a moment, all hell breaks loose. That’s when she starts throwing everything she can grab while screaming/crying at the top of her lungs. Then I ask her to not throw things and to not scream, then she starts wailing and falls to the floor. Or she gets angry with me because I don’t want her to grab butter knives out of the kitchen drawer or because I don’t want her walking in a parking lot without holding my hand or because I am trying to get her to eat a sandwich that she asked me to make for her. Stuff like this happens all. day. long.Β 

After several hours of this behavior is when I loose my calm, logical demeanor. It has then been replaced with a frustrated, overtired, overstressed mama – and let me tell you, it isn’t a pretty picture. At this time, my patience has been throw out the window and this is when I scream. I start yelling things like, “I don’t know what you want!” or “I can’t take this anymore!” or “Why are you not listening to me?”.

And about two seconds after I loose my temper, I get a nice punch in the gut from mom guilt. Because I know that how I respond to her tantrums and how I choose to discipline will forever shape her personality and behavior. Talk about feeling great at loosing it, right? So yeah, these past couple of weeks, I have pretty much failed at parenting. And that mom guilt, is real and it is disabling. I can’t tell you how many times I have just bursted into tears after yelling at my kid (or after she has yelled at me).

So why am I sharing my failures? Because this is real life… I am not perfect, as much as I wish I was. I am not the perfect parent. But there is one perfect parent and that is God. Can you imagine how difficult it must be for Him? I mean, we are His children and we are constantly and frustratingly disobedient. And yet, His response to us when we disobey is never sinful. He is slow to anger, His love for us overcomes His anger every time – showing us the right path. Talk about the ultimate example for us to look to when it comes to parenting (and everything else in life).

This really is a humbling thought and helps me put myself in my daughter’s shoes. Because I am just like her; rebellious and stubborn. Β I think it is important to teach our children that we are only human and that we are going to make mistakes. To be able to move our frustrations and anger aside and simply ask for forgiveness from our children is sometimes a Herculean task. At least it can be for me, because I suffer from pride and I want to be a perfect mom for Ada. But I need Ada to see me truthfully: as a flawed, sinful, imperfect human in need of God’s grace. This way, I can show her the way to God by walking the path to Him together.

So to all the parents out there, you are not alone, even though there are days that it sure feels that way. Not only are we imperfect people, we are imperfect parents. We are all in need of God’s grace, love, wisdom, and peace. It is ok that we don’t all have it together all the time. Because there is a perfect parent that does and He is there for you, to help you along on this wonderful journey called parenthood.