Tuesday, October 6, 2015

#candymail...WHAT'S THAT??

I am sure that I have FLOODED your news feed with my #candymail post. 

(Yes, I totally used a bitmoji that looks nothing like me...in my blog. )

Ok, seriously...I have been asked numerous times "What is Candy Mail?". So...here's the secret...It's candy..mailed. 

It is a 5x7 hand drawn envelope addressed to the person you choose, inside it has a note card with a personalized note (like a valentine or a card on flowers), and CANDY! It's extremely simple...and super fun!

I have always loved getting mail. Ask my husband, I am totally guilty of ordering things when I could easily go purchase them in town...JUST so I can have that brief Christmas morning feeling when I come home and there is a package by my door. The week of my birthday I tend race to the mailbox...I know that my Grananna is sending me a special card!

I wanted to pass that same love on to my boys...so I started mailing them things and ordering things for them. I would draw the envelopes up pretty and watch them race to the mailbox to get their prizes!

The idea soon spread and I was sending them to my niece and nephew...and my friends kids...and then it caught on with other people. I added a listing to my Etsy Shop and it has grown from there. 

Kid Stuff + Candy + Mail = Best thing ever!

So what is #candymail....it is only the coolest thing ever! It's a no reason, candy filled...valentine-wanna-be! 

To everyone who has ordered/sent #candymail...Thank you! I have seriously LOVED getting to make these and send them to your kids...almost as much as I have LOVED the photos of them when they get their mail!

If you want to send one (it doesn't have to be to just kids) check out the listing HERE and share the fun!

When you check out please make sure you provide the information below:
-Name of Child
-Address to be sent to
-Note inside & Who it's from

I can do any theme...as long as it is "cartooned"...I am not a real artist and can't draw "real" stuff. HA!

Thank you again to everyone who has helped share and spread the word, who has bought #candymail, and those who have encouraged me to pursue doing what I love! You guys are the best!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Behind the scenes....

I was told the other day that I make motherhood look easy and fun. I seriously had nothing to say to that...I could only bust out laughing. I mean being a mom is hands down the best thing ever, but let's face it there is NOTHING easy about it. Well, except for loving your kids...that part comes easy..and often saves their lives!

"Beth, you make motherhood look so easy and like so much fun..." that statement just kept replaying over and over in my head. It helped me remember (and laugh....now) at some of the most embarrassing times, the hardest times, and the times I really wondered how I was going to make it until my boys were grown! I wanted to share a few of those with you!

When Bryson was about a year old (he started walking at 8 months so he was really mobile by a year) I got in the shower and left him playing with his toys. I had "Bryson proofed" everything and knew I had about 10 minutes to shower before he would pitch a fit. I was washing shampoo out of my hair and saw this neon green hand pry its way through the shower curtain...it was at this moment I wished I could have just turned into water and washed down the drain! I open the shower curtain only to find a curly haired, green monster  that is laughing hysterically. That was the day Bryson found a bottle of neon green craft paint and decided to empty it and finger paint my kitchen. It was also the day I realized he was smarter than any child proofing system I had tried.

Soon after that he found the baby powder....I had a powdery fresh house for months after that!

It wasn't long after that when Bryson and I moved back in with my parents. I was folding laundry one night and Bryson walks in with a chocolate covered face and black sharpie all over him. It was at that point that I learned he had discovered that my brother stashes sharpies and snacks in his room. Bryson felt that the best place to test out the sharpie was on the "big chair" in my parents living room. I don't know that I have ever prayed so hard...I basically cast the ink out of my parents NEW furniture!

And then along came Houston. From day one this child has never made things easy. Houston was an all natural child birth and he had colic for the first six months of his life. I am seriously not certain how Danny or I survived those six months...I don't know that we slept or could even talk over his constant screaming. I wish I could tell you that it was just as wonderful as a Lifetime movie portrays it...but the reality looked more like two zombies carrying around a cat in heat (yes, the screaming was a close second to that sound).

Ah...and Houston, also, found baby powder. Only he decided to empty it on our BRAND NEW tile floors with BLACK grout. We then had grayish grout....

Along with the arrival of Houston came the CONSTANT bickering and fighting. Fighting over who sits in which booster seat, fighting over who rides in the front of the shopping carts, fighting over who has more drink in their cup. I swear sometimes the way they show affection for each other is to bicker. Recently we went to Target. I got both boys a dumb little Power Ranger toy (they pitched fits for them) and on the way home they began arguing over which one had the red toy and which one bought the green one. The fighting got worse, and worse...when we arrived at home I told them to stand in the drive way and fight it out. When they were done they could come inside. Some how in their tired minds that turned it into "Mommy kicked us out of the house" and the MAJOR melt downs started....long story short when I couldn't stop the arguing over who got them "kicked out" (this all started over the green power ranger) I decided to "run away". I took my purse and handed Bryson the house key and started walking up the street. I told them to stay at the house...as I walked further and further away they just screamed louder. Needless to say...they didn't fight anymore that weekend...and if one of them tried the other would say "NOOOOO mommy will run away if we fight".

While we are on the subject of chaos...let's just talk about getting ready in the mornings. 

It is nearly impossible to get ready in the mornings. If we don't fight over their hair, or if we don't have an all out war over their outfits (which are usually the wrong seasons clothes), or if we successfully make it out of the house without leaving something or spilling a drink/food....WE HAVE HAD A GREAT DAY! By time I get Bryson on the school bus and Chubby to daycare I feel like I am suffering PTSD. (I say that jokingly...I know how serious PTSD is)

Once, Bryson hated the outfit I put on him...so he laid it on the floor in the bathroom and pee'd on it. Little sucker out smarted me...or so he thought...I just found the ugliest plaid pants I could find and made him wear mix matched clothes. Once he got to school he intentionally poured milk on himself so the teachers would change him. Try explaining to your boss that you have to leave work to go discipline your strong willed three year old...

See this photo? Shortly after this photo was taken Danny and I had to each throw a kid over our shoulders and literally run out of the ice rink. I am not sure what went wrong that day...we decided to enroll the boys in hockey lessons...about 10 minutes into that lesson they both completely lost it. EXTREME crying and sobbing...I have never been so embarrassed! I'm talking bawling so loud that the entire ice rink got quiet except for them! All the other parents were staring at us trying to figure out why the boys were so upset.  If I could have crawled under a rock...I would have!

I was washing my car a few months ago and Houston came up to me..."Mommy I color you car". I half way listened and said "Wow...thank you" and kept cleaning the passenger side of the car. I walked around to the drivers side only to discover that he has located markers and colored all down the side of my white car! My suburban looked like one big piece of fruit stripe gum!

Houston has also swallowed money (two pennies and a dime...in case you missed that update), we were sifting through poop for a few days.

Speaking of poop....I went to the mall with my friends this summer. We were letting the kids play on the rides in the food court and I went to order my food. I was in mid-order at Subway when my friend walks up behind me and whispers in my ear "Houston has had an accident and it's everywhere". I slowly turned and see my other friend (who shall remain anonymous) with a child on her hip violently gagging. I walk over to find Houston sitting in the little ride, surrounded by and covered with poop...he says "I sorry mommy"...

Managed to get that situation cleaned up without making a scene...HA!

My life may "look easy" but know that behind the scenes it is often chaos. My house is rarely picked up, my car is always full of cereal, my eyes constantly have bags under them...life as a mom is simply not easy. I never want to paint the image that my life is something that it is not...

I am just like every other mother out there....some days my life is TOTALLY fun...and others it feels like I have spent the day fighting  for my life in the Hunger Games. 

It's not always easy....but it is always worth it!

Here's to all the mom's out there! Please share your #momfails with me...so I don't feel as bad! LOL

Friday, May 8, 2015

Mother's Day

With Mother's Day coming up this weekend my news feed on Facebook has been flooded with all of the super sappy videos about what "Mom is to me". 

The one that really got me was the Pandora Jewelry video...holy moly I cried like a baby! You can watch that video here . Try to not cry! I know that I know my mom well enough to be able to find her blind folded. I know the sound she makes when she is walking...so this video was extra precious because of that!

Rather than some sappy video I figured I would share a few of my funniest and favorite memories of my mom. Which is probably more fitting since she isn't an emotional, huger, sappy-lovey-dovey type of mom.

One of my first memories of my mom is of her eight or nine months pregnant with Johnnie. She drove a two door Cutlass and I remember watching her try to pry herself out of that car. If you knew my mom back then, you understand why that image was so funny to me!

It wasn't long after that I remember walking through the hospital with my Dad to go meet my brother for the first time. I remember telling her that I didn't want a brother...

After having Johnnie home for a few weeks I "supposedly" walked into the living room in the middle of the night while they were up with screaming Johnnie (Johnnie cried so much as a baby) and informed them that they needed to take that baby to Maw's. My poor mother...raising a diva child and a child who had chronic ear infections.  That sounds fun :)

One of my next favorite memories of my mom is her trying to fix my hair when I was in elementary school. One morning she was trying to brush it and pull it up, I was obviously being dramatic and screaming "ouch" every time she tried to touch it. Next thing I know...WHACK...right on top of the head with the hair brush. Needless to say my dad ended up fixing my hair for a while...and he had zero sympathy when it came to tangles. Thanks to this experience I am not tender headed...HA..

I remember accidentally punching her in the nose one morning while she was trying to wake me up by tickling me...

I HATED the color red...and can't count how many fights we had over "I hate WED clothes"....

I have also been told that around this time period I may or may not have thrown a lizard on my mom at the park. I believe that I have blocked this memory, rumor has it that she was NOT a happy camper and I should be thankful that I made it through alive. 

Unlike most other moms in the world mine is special...she gets a pass when it comes to doctoring boo-boo's. Well...she can doctor your boo-boo IF you want to pick her up out of the floor when she faints. Which makes the night that Johnnie needed tons of stitches in his arm even funnier to me.

He came to the kitchen (showered and dressed) with a towel wrapped around his arm and said "Mom, don't look...but we need to go get stitches". She of course wouldn't look and drove him to the ER...I'm sure that she left sweaty hand prints on the steering wheel. Still don't know how she made it through this without fainting...

This fact about her also makes it so much more special that she was able to be in the room when both of my boys were born. Actually SHE was the ONLY one able to stand beside me during Houston's dramatic entrance. (Linda was having to make sure Danny and my mom  didn't faint)

One of my favorite things to do is to obnoxiously hug my mommy...we all know how much she loves hugs! (She hates to be hugged) I get so much joy out of watching her "tooth breathe" and growl at me after a huge bear hug. She can act mad...but if I was gone she would miss that annoyance! (You're welcome mom)

Speaking of tooth breathing....another favorite memory is when I was a teenager and I parked my car in her spot in the garage. NEVER EVER make that mistake. My mom, who is the most well balanced person I know, totally went tooth breathing mad on me. Since then I have never parked anywhere near her spot again! 

As a child it was not uncommon for her and my Aunt Lynn to chase me, Johnnie, and Brittany down and give us benadryl (when we were so tired we couldn't stand ourselves). According to those two benadryl was a cure all. "Ah you have a sunburn...here's some benadryl" 

Those two always were into something...remember the Sun-In days? Aunt Lynn convinced my mom that it was a great idea to use sun-in on her DARK BROWN hair. Enters my mom's red hair phase...

One summer (shortly after my parents built their house they are in now) Johnnie and I were home and decided that we would use the shower rod as a pull up bar. We ripped it off of the wall. That same summer we kept trying to turn her dining room into a "hospital" with bags of red food coloring and water mixed as pretend IV's. She didn't share our same creative thought process...her grown up mind was only worried about her brand new almost white carpet. 

That was also the year that I gave Johnnie a black eye...I learned really fast that Johnnie was "the baby" and NO BODY (not even Beth) messes with "the baby".

Growing up my teachers were constantly calling home or sending notes home to my parents. I was..umm...strong willed and active (sounds like Bryson). One year a teacher called home and told my mom that he was calling about her son....she laughed in his face and told him he had called about the wrong child "If you were calling about my daughter I would believe you...but that doesn't sound like anything my son would do". 

Of course I covered a few of my funny memories of her...but there is no way for me to cover the thousands of times she fixed my hair the right way. There is no way I can recall all of the times she survived a "Beth Fit" and no way to repay her for saving me from my blue eye shadow phase. (Yeah..that wasn't cute Beth)

The truth is our family wouldn't be what we were today if it wasn't for my mom holding down the fort. She cooks dinner for us every night, keeps our house clean, works a full time job, never misses a ballgame, takes care of her mom (and used to care for her dad), helps with my kids, and balances church/friends in with that mix. You all think I am super mom....WRONG...I am nothing compared to my mom.

Happy Mother's Day to my fancy mommy! It's been a fun 29 years of pushing you to your limits and a wonderful 25 years of fighting over which kid is your favorite. There is no one else that could have raised me and Johnnie! Only you were strong enough! (Now you get to do round two...with my boys)

We love you!

Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy POPday!

"I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us. We are formed by the little scraps of wisdom."
-Umberto Eco

Most of you know my Pop and the majority of you can say that you have learned something from all of his scraps of wisdom. Some may have learned that it is not wise to use fire pots near fake plants...it will set the stage on fire. Others may have learned how to be Mr. Fix It's or how to correctly open and store ice cream in the freezer.

One of the first things he told me when I found out I was expecting Bryson was "oh I can teach him to throw rocks and pee outside"....and believe it or not he did!  When I asked Bryson what he learned from  his Pop he said " everything...like throwing rocks and baseball. How to fix stuff and why air planes make smoke"....

In honor of his birthday this coming Sunday I wanted to take some time and write about some of the things I have learned from him...

At an early age I learned that I held his heart in my tiny small hands. This didn't mean that he gave me everything I wanted...okay, okay so maybe he gave in the majority of the time. What this meant to me was that I knew he loved me if he trusted me with his whole heart...and I knew he always would!

As I grew up I learned what a husband should be...and how he should treat his wife. For over thirty years he has loved and been loved by this lady. I am so grateful for the home that they have built together and the example they have set in my life.

 I learned how to be direct and how to stand my ground form my Pop. Got to stand for what you believe in....even if what you believe is that your truck isn't a trash truck!

I learned that despite what I thought...at the age of 18 your dad can STILL beat your butt! There is no amount of running through the house trying to avoid him that can save you...he can and will catch you. 

I learned my confidence from Pop. He always believed in himself...if he can do it then I can do it. There is nothing that we can't do...and if we can't do it alone then we can do it together.

I learned what the true meaning of servant leadership is...and it wasn't from a book. Honestly, Pop could have written the book on Servant Leadership...YEARS AGO!

I have learned that loving people is what makes my Pop so special. My entire life I have watched my dad love and welcome so many of you into his heart and his home. In his eyes you are his family....you may not be blood...but you are family!

Happy Birthday week Pop!! May you have many many more so that I can continue to learn from you! 


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Adventures of the GREEN BOOTS

I am Houston.
I am two...and a half.
I am invincible...when I am wearing my green boots.

My green boots found me last August.
I have been testing their limits since then.
You won't believe the places my green boots have taken me.

Together we have tested the depths of the deepest puddles.

We have been a super hero and saved the world.

We have hit grand slams..and struck out a few times.

We have worked at the shop...and been so filthy you couldn't tell my boots were green!

We Christmas shopped...until I dropped.

We have made my mommy laugh...uncontrollably. Probably made you laugh, too!

We have hiked the Blue Ridge Mountains...and shot bears.

We toured the Mayfield plant..and ate wore an ice cream cone as big as me!

We drove all of my mommy's co-workers crazy...after we drank coffee.

We learned how to ride a scooter...and didn't get any boo-boos!

We have copied Pop...and made sure we ate candy from a bowl.

We attended a wedding and were hands down the best dressed there.

We have saved the garden from evil villains....with the help of our trusty side kick, Memphis.

We dream big dreams every night...and anxiously await the adventures that tomorrow will bring.

Most importantly we have made memories...and stories to tell! One day I will be too big for my green boots...but for now I will continue to explore the world one adventure at a time. Just me...and my green boots!

- Houston