port aransas: our first family vacation

With the opening of Lunar happening soon, Mark and I realized our downtime is about to decrease significantly and a family vacation before all the madness seemed like a good idea. So we booked a vacation in one day…and we left one week later. haha.

The drive there was partial hell because, I mean…9+ hours in a car with two toddlers. I don’t think I need to say any more. But we had so much fun once we got there!

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Solid attempt at a family photo. 😉

– amanda

momma + cora + dex

Being a mom to two under two remains the hardest thing I’ve done. Our first year was very tough for me emotionally and there were multiple times I wondered what the hell I’d gotten myself into. And then, almost overnight, things got easier. And easier. And then things got fun! And I know now that we’ve made it out of the toughest part.

Back in April, Ashley of Aspen Blue Photography (a photographer I love and have known for years) offered mommy and me sessions, so I snatched one up and had photos done of me and my babies to celebrate the fact that we are all alive and thriving. I told Ashley I had very low expectations because I knew a 2.5 year old and a 1 year old totally weren’t going to sit and smile for the camera, so we would take what we got. And I’ll be damned if she didn’t get the sweetest smiles and silliness from my little devils.

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Thank you for these photos, Ashley! They mean the world to me. ❤

 

– amanda

um hi.

Boy howdy.

It’s been a minute.

I have no good excuse. I’ve had time, I have things to blog about, I just wasn’t feeling it for whatever reason. Since my last update (in FEBRUARY WHUT?!):

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– Dex turned one! He is such a handful but he has developed the FUNNIEST sense of humor for a one year old. And he’s currently the size of a two year old but it’s fine. 😛 We had a cute little diner-themed party for him, complete with a cheeseburger cake.

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– We announced our next adventure: Lunar Music Supply! This is Mark’s dream, Mark’s baby, I just made her look pretty. ❤ We’re still awaiting inventory (hoo boy, that’s quite a story) but should have our doors open soon. My dude has been working HARD on this since last October and I’m stoked to watch everything come into fruition.
Follow us here: insta. fb.

– We briefly debated having one more baby. It was short lived. haha.

– I LOST WEIGHT! (*kicks a chair over in excitement*) Mark and I started the Keto diet and I’m a believer. It’s totally changed the way we eat and we no longer have random health problems. We’re both feeling pretty fantastic.

– I ditched my capsule wardrobe. Not because it wasn’t working, but because I accomplished my goal: Find my style and have a wardrobe with functioning, easy to mix-and-match pieces. It took me two years, but I can officially say I not only love every item in my closet, but I love the way everything fits. And I know what I like! I can walk in any store and pinpoint which items I would gladly wear on a daily basis.

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– Our family grew! Cora and Dex are racking up on the cousins. Selah Ryan was born March 17th, and Easton Dwayne was born July 20th. Building that toddler tribe, y’all.

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– My sweet Baron was diagnosed with cancer. We have roughly 2-6 months with him, depending on how fast everything spreads. I can’t imagine a world without my Brown Bear, but we’re taking everything one day at a time and spoiling him while we’re able.

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– We did some traveling. Austin in April with Cash and Heather (we spent a weekend there and it wasn’t near enough!), and Port Aransas with the kids in June. I’ll share our Port Aransas pictures in another post because they’re totally still on the camera. Whoops.

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– I got some tattoos. And they’re fucking beautiful. Brandilyn Dunning at Blackmint Collective is the tits. THE TITS. She’s officially my forever-artist. ❤

– I’ve changed hair colors like 14 times and gave myself bangs randomly on a Sunday morning, it’s whatever.

 

Here’s hoping my next post isn’t 4 years from now. *thumbs up*

– amanda

shot out into the sunlight

voyage

 
For the first time in almost a year, I finally feel…stable.

I started taking Paxil about a month ago after being tired of feeling like I was drowning 24/7. I’m not sure if it’s the meds or that the kids are getting easier to manage, or maybe the combination of the two, but I feel genuinely happy and less batshit crazy lately. I worry less and play more. I yell at my kids far less. I don’t feel like I’m buried in chores and I’m finding more time for myself.

Yes.. TIME FOR MYSELF! The dream.

Dex has started taking one long nap a day instead of two shorter ones, so he and Cora nap at the same time now for 2-3 glorious hours. 3 hours to myself every day! This is something I dreamed of months ago. Yearned for. NEEDED. And Dex is now walking (still a little wobbly, but we’re there) so he can keep up with Cora a little better and they entertain each other more. I can cook dinner without someone losing their mind now, guys!

I also joined a couple of 2 under 2 mom groups on Facebook and wish I had done it sooner. It’s so nice to know I was never alone and most of these moms feel like they’re slowly going crazy too. Every now and then there’s a reassuring post from a mom whose kids are now 4 and 5 and you can see how much easier things will eventually be. Hope! haha.

And now I’m coming out of the fog and seeing that we’re going to make it. I don’t regret going the 2 under 2 route one bit, but man this last year has been one of the hardest of my life.

– amanda

3 Products I love: January

I always love seeing what products other bloggers love, though it’s usually things like beauty products or food. Don’t get me wrong, I love those things (there’s a beauty product on today’s list!) but the products I REALLY love here lately are the things that make my life easier. So here are three things I’m digging this month. 😉

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The iLife Robotic Vacuum

We have three dogs (two with long hair) who are in and out of the doggy door all day and two kids under 3, so you can imagine what our floors can look like if they’re neglected too long. I was using our cordless Dyson every other day spending about half an hour just knocking out our downstairs, which is primarily hardwoods with some tile and a huuuuge Moroccan rug that of course sheds like a bitch. I put off getting a robot vacuum for so long because A) I was afraid it wouldn’t work in our messy household, and B) they’re stupid expensive.
I saw a few friends post about their iLife vacuums and when I finally looked it up, I was shocked that it was under $200 AND they make one for pets. I hit “buy” so fast, but I was still hesitant when it arrived. I actually kept the box out because I just knew we would be sending it back.
It took one week before Lupita had me sold. Yes I named her, slapped some googly eyes on her, and consider her one of my best friends now. I like to give her a few words of positive encouragement when I empty her “purse” in the mornings. We run her at night after we go to bed and I get to wake up to clean floors, then I run her in our bedroom when the kids go down for a nap…otherwise they chase her. The kids love Lupita too. Once a week I do a quick once-over with the Dyson so I can get the stairs and behind the kids toys, but it takes all of 20 minutes for me to knock that out.
I’m in love with a robot vacuum and I don’t care who knows it.

 

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Shea Moisture African Black Soap

I joined a few beauty groups on Facebook recently and constantly saw girls talking about this so I decided to give it a shot after having breakouts off and on ever since I had Dexter. I’ve exclusively oil-cleansed with coconut oil for two years now, so it dried out my face a little at first but a good moisturizer took care of it pretty quickly. I already see a huge difference in my skin! I’m a fan. (And it smells good!)

 

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Carbona Fat and Cooking Oil stain remover

As if the robot vacuum wasn’t the most “mom” thing to share ever, I’m sharing a stain remover. Not sorry. My family has a real knack for getting grease on their clothes (*cough*MARK*cough*) and this stuff ALWAYS works. Even for set in stains that I don’t notice until the shirt has already been washed and dried…which is what happens 9 out of 10 times. haha. I just rub a little bit in with an old toothbrush, let it set for a few minutes, and toss it in the wash like usual. Life saver.

Cheers to less messes and clearer skin in 2017. 😉

– amanda

coming up for air

It’s been awhile. And I’ve started this post probably nineteen times in the last 3 weeks but never have a moment to finish it. 

Momma’s been struggling a little. Maybe it’s Seasonal Affective Disorder (what a bitch these short days are), maybe it’s the season in itself when my family remembers all the loved ones we’ve lost in the past around this time, and maybe it’s just the stress of the holidays. 

Either way, I’ve been feeling like I’m drowning a lot. The kids have been a handful. Like significantly more than usual. Cora literally has me banging my head against the wall on a daily basis. Dexter is so happy, but so ornery and so curious. Mark has been busy. And honestly, I don’t feel like I’m getting out of the house enough or getting enough time to myself. But then when I have it I feel like shit. 

Mom guilt, mom guilt, mom guilt. You evil bitch. 

I didn’t make any New Years resolutions this year and I don’t have a word or phrase that I’m focusing on for the year. I just want to stick to what I said back in November and take care of myself. That’s it. And I’ve been saying that for so long but it’s so hard. I am awful at waiting until I feel like I’m drowning, having a breakdown, and demanding a break instead of slipping in breaks when I can. I need to not feel guilty about it. I have to remind myself constantly (no really ALL THE DAMN TIME) that I’m taking care of a family but I’m the only one who takes care of me, so it’s okay to put myself first every now and then. This will include getting on some meds. I’m a better mom when I feel like a person and not a shell of a person who does nothing but clean and change diapers all day. I deserve happiness, hobbies, and things that are for me. (I posted about this on instagram the other day and was sadly shocked at how many other moms struggle with finding something for themselves.) 

The kids didn’t go to Mothers Day Out today because #snowday, but their naps collided just enough for me to take a bath. (Ignore my toes that haven’t been painted in forever.) There are dirty dishes in the sink and our living room looks like a toy tornado plowed through it. There’s laundry waiting for me in the dryer and I badly need to go through our bathroom drawers and get rid of shit. But right now I’m going to fill my cup a little while I have a few fleeting moments to do so. 

P.S. I would love to find time to write and post more. I need to make that a priority. 

– amanda