sweet cheeks + steak n shake hat + camera = bobblehead

you’re a little late, i’m already torn

we all have our own thought process.

we are all entitled to our own beliefs, attitudes, and opinions.

i do think that a majority of our beliefs are not necessarily our beliefs at all, rather are passed on from generation to generation, from grandparent to parent to child, through genetics and example.

i know that once we, ourselves, enter into adulthood, we have the choice to change who we are and change our own personal beliefs and opinions. i think a lot of that happens naturally with exposure to the world and experiences.

i changed as i aged. though i still see so many similarities between my parents and myself, i also now see so many differences. i did not rush out into the adult world with the intention to change myself, it was just a natural progression with life.

one thing that is still similar, and won’t ever change, is the fact that we both want to provide for our children to the absolute best of our ability and instill values within them.

i am torn as to just how much of our own opinions we are allowed to teach our children as being exact and correct.

i am a mother, and without words, sweet cheeks knows so much about me, my thoughts, my beliefs, and my opinions through my behavior and actions. i am ok with this because, though far from perfect, i know i do my best to be a good person, as well as a good example.

what do you do when you know parents, who may be very good parents, but their opinions of others different from themselves are so poor, and those exact opinions and attitudes towards others are now being expressed through their children?

do you say something to the parent?

do you say something to the children?

or… do you keep your mouth shut, say nothing, and impatiently wait for that child to grow, experience, and eventually form their own opinions?

i welcome comments, so please share them.


a life in balance

i really believe in the yin & yang of life. sweet cheeks is the complimentary balance to my stressful moods.

she makes me smile.

i thank her and love her so much for that.


family matters

sweet cheeks was fortunate to spend a lot of time with her cousins this past weekend.

friday night we had dinner out with my sister, her husband, and their two kids to celebrate my sister's birthday. after dinner, we took the kids to get ice cream and they had so much fun playing chase and having races.

the kiddos on the bench outside the ice cream parlor. they have so much fun together, as seen by those happy faces.

saturday, sweet cheeks and i made the two hour drive up to my parent's house to see my dad for father's day(sadly he wasn't feeling that well that day). my sister was there with her kids, and 3 of my brother's 4 kids were also there. so sweet cheeks had a great day playing with 5 of her 8 cousins.

here she is on the porch swing with her cousins and her uncle jeremy!

sweet cheeks took this picture of me with my mom. my shirt looks weird because i had to try to photoshop my weird, tori-spelling-like cleavage out of the picture. not sure how that happened!

sunday, sweet cheeks, the dogs, and i were all out in the front yard for a short stint of time. none of us could take more than 5 minutes in the 90 degree heat. it was brutal. i was quick though to try to get some good swing shots of sweet cheeks!

here she is swinging, while the dogs were lounging! you have to squint to see bodi there in the way background. blue always lays in the same spot.. in the way!

adorable in her new orange and white carter's dress.


she is the purse princess

sweet cheeks has a new favorite purse.

i ordered her a my first purse from an etsy vendor, mushy bug.

she has been using it for over a week now, so you know the purse princess has got to love it.


a day with these animals and with those animals

sweet cheeks had a great visit on sunday to the zoo. we went with some friends of ours and their twin boys. we invited our friends to go with us, and they in turn got us into the zoo...for free. how great is that! they are members and had passes for us. doesn't get any better than that. thanks friends. in the end, the day was great, though full of tantrums and time-outs.

the beautiful giraffes-

sweet cheeks and the boys in a nest. the day was a lot like this picture, the boys together and sweet cheeks keeping her distance!

as the boys got onto the bench, sweet cheeks slowly slid herself to the other end of it. her actions spoke louder than her words, right boys.

she actually played along with them on the playground. here they are being spiderboy and spidergirl.

mini rock climbers-


these are my new favorite pants. i easily fall in love with a pant that can make my legs feel long and make me feel slender! they must be magic.

these are lightweight striped hip slung pants from the gap. love them.


and the oscar goes to...

this is a common phrase heard in our house. i really have to wonder where (no, please, don't point fingers) sweet cheeks learned to be so dramatic. she really kills the husband and i sometimes with her behavior and the things she says.

tonight, after a very long, busy, napless day, i was putting sweet cheeks to bed. we walked into her room, and immediately things went down hill. how does that happen so quickly? all it took was her asking me if i would play with her. i told her no, since we had come upstairs to read and go to bed.

then the drama. oh the drama...

"but you are supposed to play with me. when someone doesn't have a brother or sister, the mommy or daddy has to always play with them."- so says sweet cheeks.

she may as well have been on her knees, hands clenched, knuckles white, while staring me straight in the eyes.

she was seriously pouring rain down her face saying this to me. as sweet as this really was, the fact that she really thought those words would work on me and i would give in and play with her because she was indeed correct. she is an only child.


if you're in the mood to spend $100 on a dress, and i am definitely not but...

if i was, this is what i would buy for some little girl, one that isn't sweet cheeks age because i think they would be cuter on a 1-2 year old. i think little girls around sweet cheeks age start to look kind of silly in these outfits, like said child's parent wants them to look cute and baby-like still when in reality they are now a kid dressed like a baby. not a look i support. not that sweet cheeks gives me any say in her attires these days anyway.

the pajama squid has these cute and colorful smock dresses. i love the contrast of the collar print with the all over dress print, as well as the felt animal appliques. A-dorable.


and i'm gonna swim swim swim swim swim...

just got back from a super vacation with the husband and sweet cheeks, as well as my sister, her husband, and their two children. it was such a fun trip all together. and as close as i am with my sister, this was actually our first family vacation together. we won't wait so long to do it again!

i know sweet cheeks absolutely loved having the kids there to play with. they played games, swam (a lot!), rode bikes, and were just all around silly together. it was great.

just a few pics to share of our vacation-

beach time. sweet cheeks rocks in her barbie shades

sweet cheeks and her cousin playing a game

swim time- that is sweet cheeks with the yellow swimmies on

sweet cheeks absolutely loves the ocean- for swimming, sand time, and snacks!

my girlfriend drove down with her two kids to visit us for a night. here are all the kiddos together!

here we are out to dinner- love the kids faces

me and sweet cheeks


love this new shop for kids clothing, decor, and accessories- it is called hijkids.

sugar cookie dress in green

pixie top in chocolate dots

ric rac blouse

verta rae scarf with embroidered flowers


take a seat, take your life

growing up, i had a stay at home mom who did lots for us kiddos- drove us to school daily, made all of our meals, did our laundry (till high school –i think), and kept us living in a very clean house. she really set some high standards though, my mom, and still does. my sister and sister-in-law both became stay at home moms. of my girlfriends with children, only one worked full time. i really just thought i would do the same since that was what i saw all around me.

when the time came for me to have sweet cheeks, i really wasn’t interested in going back to work. however, our finances had another idea. the first year, i will not lie, absolutely sucked. i really hated leaving sweet cheeks in someone else’s care. whether they did a good job or not (which they did) had no bearing, it was just the simple fact that it was not me. i wanted to be with my baby every second of every day. i wanted to see everything new and old that she did. i cried when she would come home with any sort of booboo knowing it wasn’t me there kissing that booboo to make it better, knowing any paid worker would not give her the immediate love and affection that only her mother could give. the hardest days to leave sweet cheeks in daycare were the ones when i knew she didn’t feel all that great, but as a working mom you really have to choose those sick days carefully, as crappy as that sounds. it was hard because in her first two years of life, i didn’t take any sick days for myself and took what felt like 4 months total for sweet cheeks in that time because she was sick A LOT. she got everything imaginable and i just couldn’t stay home with her on the days that she was just ‘off.’

since then, thankfully, her immune system rocks! i don’t want to jinx her as she still occasionally gets sick (like strep on our key west vacation!), but nothing compared to what it was before.

anyway, it was super hard that first year being away from my child but that is part of parenting, doing what you have to do to provide for them (including those health benefits which we used weekly!). when sweet cheeks turned one, had i not have worked, i definitely would have gotten her involved in some sort of mother’s day out program or school. not necessarily because i would have enjoyed the free time (which i would have) but because i honestly think she would have bored of me quickly at home. she really enjoyed, and still enjoys, interacting with other children, one thing being an only child doesn’t provide much of. sweet cheeks flourishes at school and i am now so glad she goes.

but this brings me back to the question, would i stay home now if i could? i can easily answer no, at this point in sweet cheek’s life, but it would have been yes for the first year of her amazing life. life had other plans for us as parents, but you work with what you got. it wasn’t worth it to live so frugally, paycheck to paycheck, without any fun extras in order to stay home. i wanted more for sweet cheeks. the husband and i did not want that kind of life for our family.

now do i think being a stay at home mom is easy? absolutely not. i am sure it takes a great toll on every mother mentally and physically. do i think being a full time working mother is easy either? definitely not. it is very difficult. it is difficult being away from my child all day long, not knowing every piece of her day. plus, i do not get that extra time during the day for housework. i have to squeeze it all in at night and on my weekends. who wants to clean on the weekends? not fun. so i will never know though which is easier but can only speak on my experiences. where we are now though, it works for us. that is what matters.