The Harris Life

chasing life, one hilarious adventure at a time

September 23, 2016
by Tiffany
1 Comment

smh = scratching my head

Well, people, I am here to tell you our latest saga at The Harris House.

Lice.fe921f2d0ebe55b9eb981e45c6028f36

That is right, folks, lice.

Rory came home one day in the last few weeks (not disclosing the day so y’all won’t assume you are getting it if you saw us in the last 2 weeks) with lice.

So when I discovered this you can imagine how PSYCHOTIC I went.

Let us just say on a scale from 0-10 on the crazy scale I was a solid EIGHT HUNDRED AND TWENTY SEVEN.

I contemplated burning my house down for a good 2 days.

Instead, I put on my big girl panties (emphasis on big) and started washing every.dang.piece.of.fabric. in this house.

I swear if someone would have come into my home they would have sworn I was on the crack because ENERGY WAS HIGH. I was scrubbing and washing and spraying.

But the washing was the easy part.

Let’s move on to treating Rory’s hair.

Have you ever tried to wash, then wash, and then wash again THEN comb through a feral cat’s hair strand by strand?!

If so, you have come close to seeing how delightful it was to treat Rory’s hair.crazy-cat

(source)

Rory and I have the exact same hair type- medium thickness but coarse as all get out. So them suckers WERE NOT ABOUT TO LET GO. Bless her, I was in her hair treating and combing that crap out from 4pm to 10pm.  We did break for stretches and food. img_5924

Bless.

This is what I discovered about a child getting lice……

IT IS HELL.

That’s all I discovered.

After I was done with Rory, I treated Ryder, Andy, and myself JUST IN CASE. Because ain’t nobody playing around when it comes to lice.

We treated and combed until 11pm and the children straight passed out.

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Again, bless.

The RID and Tea Tree Oil fumes were at an insane level in our home and then Andy realized he needed to also treat his beard and he STRAIGHT FREAKED OUT (it may or may not be because I straighten freaked him out) and ended up completely shaving his beard off.

I haven’t seen that face since 2003, y’all.

The next morning Ryder woke up and came into the room and saw Andy and she LOST HER MIND.

She fell out on the floor sobbing saying, “WHO TOOK MY DADDY?! WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME?! WHY WOULD YOU MAKE YOURSELF SO TERRIBLE?!”

In other words, Ryder FREAKING HATES Andy without a beard.

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I kept them home because we were up so late and because I feel like if someone has lice they really need to stay home for a day even though that isn’t protocol at school anymore.

BUT we had a dentist appointment and y’all know it is an act of God to get Ryder set up for an appointment AND get her medicine called in and given to her before so I wasn’t about to cancel the appt.

We get there and they call Rory back but not Ryder therefore they expected her to go back by herself and Y’ALL…… PANIC MODE.

I was mad texting people saying, “They just called Rory back alone so I can’t control anything she says!”

Well, don’t worry.

I was correct.

Rory says to the hygienist, “Well my daddy looks terrible because he shaved his beard because we have lice.”

SWEET MERCY.

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So that was fun to explain.

After the dentist we came home and took a 2 hour nap that was so glorious I almost forgot about the lice of yesterday.

ALMOST.

The good news is that it hasn’t come back and we are enough time out to do the second treatment and no new lice have been found. Hallelujah and amen.

Not even kidding though, I paranoid scratched until I made my head bleed.

Thank goodness I have THE BEST FRIEND EVER who offered to look through my hair to help the paranoia settle.

Kristen, you are my girl.

Now that I have lived through a lice saga, I have some words of wisdom:

HIRE SOMEONE TO COME IN AND TREAT EVERYONE.

It is so worth the $. I know because I decided not to spend it.

And by I, obviously I mean Andy.

Happy Friday & You’re Welcome for that paranoia itch you are currently having.

September 7, 2016
by Tiffany
1 Comment

fearfully and wonderfully made

It was 5 years ago when we were learning the significance of Ryder’s heart problems and that surgery would be the only solution. It seems like yesterday and a lifetime ago all at once.

I thought getting through that would be the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but turns out, parenting is full of “hardest things I’ve ever done”.

As you all know, we have struggled for years trying to find solutions for Rory’s significant sleep issues. We finally have a good routine and she is sleeping decently.

Now that REAL school of first grade has started we have realized there are much more significant things going on with Rory.

A few weeks ago, Rory and I went to Chattanooga and spent the day together. She had an appointment with a developmental pediatrician to do some testing for some of our areas of concern.img_4162IMG_4174

That day Rory was formally diagnosed with ADHD and also Sensory Integration Disorder. Both things were not shocking to me- and even a relief, to be honest.

For years I thought it was me. My poor parenting. My poor judgement. My focus on Ryder’s health problems for so long that made Rory spin out of control. I truly believed my mothering was the route of all “evil” going on.

So when they finally diagnosed her I cried with relief. It wasn’t just me. This was bigger than me and out of my control. Of course I am sad that Rory has something that makes her “tick” differently, but I’m also relieved because that means we can get help and work on it in a different way.

School has been hard for Rory this year, and my heart breaks for her. I literally have a physical pain anytime I know she’s having a tough go of it.

Everything in this new world we have entered takes so much time. It took 8 months to get the appointment. It takes two months to get the Occupational Therapy evaluation done. It takes two months to have our next appointment to start medicine if we decide to go that route. It takes several months after that to tweak the medicine until it is the perfect dosage.

There is so much waiting.

Meanwhile, Rory is still struggling.

And my heart is breaking more and more every day for her. I feel like there is nothing I can do to help her.

I lose my patience too quickly. I am sometimes too lenient. I am sometimes too harsh. The balance hasn’t been found yet and I’m struggling with that big time.

Basically, we are a mess right now. Rory is fighting a battle and she doesn’t even know she’s fighting it. I’m having such severe inner struggles it is hard to find my breath sometimes. I wish I could sit with her at school and love on her and show her the right way all day. Sometimes I want to just pull her and homeschool her but I know that is not my calling and won’t get her the help she needs. I also have incredible guilt because right now my focus is so much on Rory that Ryder has been acting out and doing things SO out of character for her and I know its because she needs attention.

Today I was sitting with a new friend of mine and a lady we are trying to build a relationship with and I noticed a verse on the lady’s wall.

image_zpsd6b90b78 My friend noticed it too and mentioned it. She started talking about how she prays that over her daughter and it was all I could do to not just sob right there.

God made both my girls with INTENTION. He knew exactly what he was doing. They are made with love. There is nothing “wrong” with either of them. They are fearfully and wonderfully made.

I’m so overwhelmed with thankfulness that the God who created the universe created my girls and entrusted them into my hands. I feel so undeserving and feel like I am failing them every single day (and I am). God’s grace will continue to shine on us and I will grasp at it with every fiber of my being.

We are praying for answers and for the help Rory needs. She is such a delight and I’m so thankful she is mine.

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September 2, 2016
by Tiffany
1 Comment

Whole 30 Update- day 30(ish)

Tuesday was the last day of Whole 30!

If nothing else, I knew I would be so proud that I stuck with this for 30 days.IMG_4450

So, here are my results:

  • Clearer, glowy-er skin.
  • Less bloat.
  • Better sleep
  • No longer craving sugar or coke
  • No pain. Sometimes I get restless leg type symptoms and I had ZERO of this.
  • More confidence in my cooking. I’m a decent cook and like to cook at times, but I wasn’t super confident in it. Now that I’ve spent 30 days cooking nonstop and doing brand new dishes I feel so proud of my cooking skills.
  • This is a weird one- but I didn’t have as much hair fall out. Usually when I shower I get several handfuls of hair to fall out and on whole 30 this went way down.
  • LOST 22 POUNDS. Y’all. I just can’t even. I am still in such shock.

Before and After pictures of just my face- the “after” is with no makeup other than mascara (because I am naked without it):IMG_4628

I am still having a hard time believing the difference in my face.

Now. Let me put this in a disclaimer- I lost 22 lbs because I have weight to lose and sugar was such a staple in my every day eating. So was dairy. So this was a significant change for me.

I am now in the re-entry stage and the only thing I’ve eaten off w30 is gluten (had a hamburger on day 31) and well, I have felt terrible. My leg/back pain is back and I spent the last few nights awake with it. NOT FUN. So looks like gluten free is what I need to do.

So, to give you an overall review of Whole 30- DO IT. Seriously, just do it. I’ve had so many people tell me they could never do it and HELLO if I can do it YOU CAN CERTAINLY DO IT. Not even kidding about that. The first week was tough and there were days here and there that I thought JUST LET ME MURDER A PIZZA REAL QUICK but I am so glad I did this and stuck with it. I think its a good start to losing the weight I’ve wanted to lose for a long time. Now I just have to find a good balance.

The only negative to this is the cleaning. I AM SO TIRED OF CONSTANTLY CLEANING THE KITCHEN. But I think it was worth it for feelings so good and losing more weight than I thought I would.

Please do not go in thinking you will lose a ton of weight because most don’t. But everyone loses inches and feels better.

I wish Andy would have stuck with it because 1)I wanted him to feel as good as I did and 2) it made it harder for me but I did not do this for Andy. I did this for me.

Ladies, that is the key. It is great to want to look better for your husband, but YOU GOTTA DO IT FOR YOU. If you are feeling like crap and need a recheck on what you are putting in your body, this is the best thing you could do. I know it has changed my relationship with food so much which was my main goal.

Hope you’ve enjoyed the updates! I will be doing another Whole 30 after the holidays for sure!

If you have enjoyed the updates then maybe I will continue with this to help keep myself accountable and to encourage any of you in the same boat as me. Just let me know!

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August 22, 2016
by Tiffany
1 Comment

Whole 30: Week 3

It has been another week already! I cannot believe it.

This past week has been so great. I didn’t really struggle to stay on diet. Even when others were eating ALL OF THE FOOD around me.

I told you I would do better about taking pictures and well. no. ha! I didn’t do a great job, again. Oh well.

Highlights:

  • Still sleeping amazing
  • more energy
  • skin looking better/glowy-er (When you are detoxing it will look worse before it gets better so I struggled with some spots early on)
  • Clothes fitting different/better
  • less bloat
  • mood is better – at the beginning I really struggled with mood swings

I know some people say some cons to this but really the only con I have is how much I absolutely hate cleaning up all the mess from all the cooking. My kitchen is always a mess and it is driving me crazy!

The best meals I have made this week have been:

Cauliflower Fried Rice

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Egg Roll in a Bowl

IMG_4025(OMGOODNESS I CANNOT HANDLE THE DELICIOUSNESS)

Compliant Salsa and Plantain Chips

IMG_4058GAME CHANGER

8 MORE DAYS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

!!!!!!!!!!!

And y’all. I took this picture with Rory today and when I saw my own face I was shocked at the person looking back at me. My face for sure is skinnier, even if my butt isn’t! haha!IMG_4174

Also, I tried on clothes in a size I haven’t been able to fit into in a LONG time and they fit great! I was in tears over it from excitement!

IMG_4206 IMG_4209 Also. I resisted this- my very favorite food on earth with my favorite jam today. WIN.

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August 15, 2016
by Tiffany
0 comments

Whole 30 week 2 Update – HALFWAY THERE!

I MADE IT HALF WAY!!!!!!!!

Honestly there were times where I seriously did not think it was going to happen because MAMA WANTED COKE.

But I can honestly say now that I’m halfway through I’m seriously not craving Coke like I used to (I mean unless someone is drinking it in front of me or I’m checking out at Walmart then I’m like GIVE ME ALL THE COKE but it goes away fast).

The positive changes I have seen in myself are:

  • better sleep- we are ALL sleeping better. I don’t think I’ve slept more than 4 hours straight without waking up since I had kids. I’ve been going to bed earlier and sleeping all night without waking up unless a kid wakes me up.
  • less bloated, tummy issues
  • It took until the last two days but I’m finally feeling more energized. I woke up this morning and went and worked out and felt really good. And! I did not want to quench my thirst with anything other than water! (Side note: I gave up caffeine all together
  • Truly am not missing sugar. I never ever ever thought I’d be able to say that.

Now, you should know that I haven’t cheated. However… Andrew has. (He got a coke last week and I found it in his car and I told him it was the worst betrayal of trust we had ever had, hahahahaha!) He’s done pretty good while at home because, as I have said before, I’m not cooking more than one meal. Whatever I cook, everyone eats. Well let me tell you something- mister has had some serious changes.

You all know how much/how loud he snores- it has gone down SIGNIFICANTLY. The other night I didn’t hear him a single time. It is CRAZY.

I am so proud of him for trying to stick with it even though he doesn’t want to and hates it. I’m thankful he agreed to do it with me!

So this past week I slacked MAJORLY on taking pictures which I am super aggravated about. I swore I would do better and then this morning I was so hungry after working out I couldn’t even think straight enough to remember to get a picture. Oh well! I’ll do better from now on.

Breakfast is pretty much always the same- eggs, sweet potatoes, fruit, or some other leftover veggies.IMG_3873 IMG_3855

Lunch is leftovers because I cannot cook three times a day and not a salad fan.

Dinners are where I shine. This week I made both asparagus and green beans the same way and they were AMAZING. (Sautéed with light olive oil, salt, pepper, and a little onion powder until they are caramelized… my mouth is watering just thinking about it!)IMG_3967 IMG_3923

This week I’m trying some more creative meals and I cannot wait. My staples for sides are brussel sprouts, fresh green beans, and asparagus.

It was a better week, although there were times I wanted to cut someone. ha! Hanger is a real thing, y’all.

Overall I am feeling so much better and feel like the next two weeks will be easier now that I’m not craving sugar anymore. I’m hoping to stay with exercising to maximize my overall results too.

Being halfway through this gives me a mental pick-me-up and I’m so ready to tackle the rest of this.

Even if I do sometimes/most of the time feel like this… 😉IMG_3872My biggest encouragers and inspirations are these two precious faces. They have been champs through all of this!

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August 12, 2016
by Tiffany
0 comments

survived the first week of school.

WHEW SWEET MERCY.

It is Friday and we all officially survived the first week of school. We are all exhausted but also excited about the new beginnings of this year.IMG_3813

I haven’t talked much about this since it all went down, but last year proved to be a little rough for us. So many reasons that I won’t discuss here but we just felt with 100% certainty that it would be best for us to change schools. It is hard when your children get older to blog because the things I say here and on social media can really affect them now. I learned that the hard way. I want to be wise with my words and not vindictive over others who may have done me wrong. Especially because my reaction could and has caused chain reactions that aren’t what I want for my life or for my children’s lives. All that to say- I’ve struggled to find balance between my old blogging ways of hilarious honesty and also protecting my children. I think I’m starting to find the balance though.

We started our new school and it has been a wonderful week. Both girls absolutely love their teachers and cannot talking about how pretty and sweet they are. Oh, how I have prayed for these teachers even before I knew who they were.

Ryder’s favorite part has, of course, been the food.

Side note: FREE BREAKFAST AND LUNCH. Holla.

She has absolutely loved eating lunch every day and she cannot contain her excitement each day when telling me about it. Bless it.

Rory has actually enjoyed it too! She is really going through a growth spurt and eating well consistently for the first time in her life. But I also think that has to do with the Whole 30 we have been on. No sugar means better meal times. She’s been doing a great job with this diet change and I can really tell a difference in her.

I forgot to mention this on Monday but a few weeks ago when we went to get school supplies, new shoes, and new outfits for the first day I told the girls they could pick anything they wanted to wear. Well when we got to the store they both decided without my prompting to wear the same thing. They decided on the outfit because they said it would be easier for people to know they were sisters. IS THAT NOT THE SWEETEST?! They wanted to match every day this week but contrary to popular belief I really don’t have much that matches anymore besides dresses for church and a few outfits. So they were forced to wear different things and I think they survived it. ha!IMG_3763

All of this to say, we survived and I am just so proud of the girls for doing so well the first week. Some seeds of doubt were planted in my mind a few weeks before Ryder started Kindergarten and I really struggled with “are we doing the right thing?!” by sending her. I got a few papers back that confirmed she was ready because she did so great and got a little note from the teacher saying so. I’m thankful I trusted my gut.

Rory has done great too. Any time you change schools and don’t know anyone is so hard- I know from personal experience- so I was so nervous for her. We talked it up and prayed lots about finding new friends and I know that really helped to settle her nerves. The first day she hopped right in and she has already made a few friends. Rory is so resilient and I’m so thankful for that. She has also worked so hard this week and I’m very, very proud of her. We are excited about this new chapter. I’m also so proud of her for being such a great big sister and helping Ryder’s start to school. I know that has helped my heart and Ryder’s nerves so much!IMG_3809

This morning I was dropping them off and Rory helped Ryder out of the car and then they walked in holding hands. There is just nothing sweeter than that.

As for me…. well. Its been an emotional week. On Wednesday I pulled into the garage and sat and cried because I didn’t want to go up into the quiet house. I let the devil take over my brain and cried to God asking why, WHY, can’t I have another baby? That is the desire of my heart and coming home to a quiet house sent me over that edge. But God is always perfect in His timing and answers so I have to push that negativity out of my mind and keep on praying. One of my best friends just found out she is pregnant after the same struggle as me and I am so happy for them and know that it can happen for me too in the perfect time. God is good and I’ll continue to trust Him.

Also on Wednesday I crawled back in bed and went back to sleep until 12:00. I’m not gonna lie- I enjoyed that very much. I’ve been working on normal house things and just relaxing this week. Next week I’m going to tackle some major organization issues in the house. And who knows what else!

AWANA and choir start next week and soccer starts shortly after. I already miss the easiness of summer but also enjoy this season of fun activities. It makes the days we are together at home so much sweeter.

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Happy Friday, y’all!

August 10, 2016
by Tiffany
2 Comments

Whole 30: Days 1-10

 

I wanted to update every week on Monday and will do that the rest of the Whole 30 but the girls started school and this went to they wayside.

If you don’t know what Whole 30 is- basically it is a “diet” that helps you reset your body by eating whole foods. Here is the website to find out more of what you can or cannot have: Whole 30.

I’ve been wanting to start this for a while mainly because over the past almost two years I have been on a lot of hormones/fertility medicines that have caused weight gain and the over all feeling of CRAPTASTIC. I wanted something to truly strip the crap out of my body- both what I put into it by emotional eating during this hard time (yes, I am admitted that) and the medicines I have been on. I did a lot of research and this seemed like the best for what I wanted right now.

I will tell you upfront that it has been hard. Especially because, as I admitted, I am an emotional eater. It is embarrassing and humbling to admit that to the world, but it is true. This is probably the thing I am most ashamed of in my life, but transparency is what I always talk about so there it is. If you aren’t an emotional eater it is hard to understand and easy to judge. I will say this- the people I know who are this way don’t even realize they are doing it most of the time, it is as if they are on auto pilot and just snack on whatever crap is around.

ANYWAY. All that to say- I needed something strict and that would reset me. I needed something that would make me SO extremely conscious of what I’m putting into my mouth at all times.

Let us move on from that mess.

They key to Whole 30 truly is prepping for it. I researched and made a meal plan and tweaked it for about two weeks before we started. I’m going to show you some meals we have had and I’ll link recipes.

Note: I know a lot of people will notice that we eat on paper plates a lot. This is true. They are my fine china in this state of life that I am in called Young Children. This is my truth.

Breakfasts are all pretty much the same- eggs, fruit, avocado in rotation. Sometimes I eat just fruit if I’m not feeling the egg vibe but all but two mornings I’ve had eggs.IMG_3194 IMG_2939 IMG_2896 IMG_2925

Lunch is my hardest meal. My friend Erin is doing this with me and she agreed. I’m not a big salad person so I have to make sure I have leftovers or else I will just have grapes or something. WHICH IS NOT GOOD. I am telling you that I do this wrong so do not do this. The days that I don’t eat a good lunch are my hardest days. From now on I’m going to do much better about this because I know how hard it is to make it to dinner without it.

Dinners!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This, in my opinion, is where this whole 30 thing shines. I have cooked like crazy and have been really enjoying that. I am looking forward to finding even more recipes. I wanted to keep everything simple at first because I knew it would be so hard. I needed to be guaranteed good food in order to get through my withdrawals from sugar and coke and dairy and CRAP.

Night One: Taco Salad – homemade taco seasoning with ground beef, guacamole and cilantro. I forgot to pick up a compliant salsa/make one and that would have definitely made this meal better.IMG_2916Night Two : Chicken, broccoli, sautéed fresh green beans (olive oil, onion powder, kosher salt, pepper)
IMG_3621 Night Three: Chicken, Cauliflower rice (click for recipe– this is so good I promise), roasted sweet potatoes.

(I have never liked sweet potatoes until I roasted them and GAME CHANGER. Cube them, toss in olive oil, kosher salt, pepper and roast for 40 minutes-ish at 425.)IMG_2943Day 4  we went out to eat and I got plain BBQ and it was dry and gross and that is all I have to say about that. HA! We last minute decided to go and it was just not good. Especially when the table next to us had a huge plate of BBQ nachos and Rory said, “Don’t even look over there.”

Day 5 : Steak, leftover green beans, cauliflower and broccoli.

IMG_3141Day 6: We had an event at church and they provided Honey Baked Ham. So I brought grapes and had that for dinner and then came home and scrambled an egg. This is why you always have grapes or something in your purse! I also went to a movie last weekend and brought grapes with me to curb my craving for chocolate and a coke.
IMG_3662Day 7: Leftover steak sautéed with shrimp with a roasted potato with ghee and S&P. This was just ok. Basically I ran out of veggies and hadn’t had a chance to go to store.IMG_3786

Day 8: Leftovers.

Day 9: Pulled pork and sweet potatoes. IMG_3805

Today is day 10 and I’m heading to the grocery to pick up more veggies!

This is what I will say.

Day 2-4 were extremely hard for me. The coke addiction is REAL and coming off of that and sugar in general is hard.

Monday I had a moment where I was so thankful I was doing this because when I dropped the girls off to school all I wanted was a GIANT coke and a chicken biscuit from CFA or a donut. Again- that was my first thought because I’m an emotional eater and all I wanted to do was get that coke and cry into it.

I have made it 10 days and I can honestly say I can tell a difference. I am sleeping SO MUCH BETTER. I don’t quite have the most energy built back up during the day but I’m certainly not as sluggish in the afternoon like before. I am much less bloated and not having tummy troubles like before. The sugar cravings are going away- I do crave something more than water to drink but it isn’t as bad as the first few days. I am really feeling very good- and mostly because I am just proud I am sticking with it and haven’t cheated.

One more thing because I’ve been asked this a lot- yes, my entire family is doing it…. mostly.

Let me be clear on this- MAMA ONLY COOKS ONE MEAL, OKAY?!

I am not cooking something for me and then doing something else for everyone else. OH HECK NO HONEY. So the girls are eating what we eat and are 100% okay with that because 1) they don’t know any different 2) the food is freaking delicious. So far I haven’t had any dud meals that I have cooked. My girls have gobbled it up and asked for seconds.

Rory is a huge dairy eater. But I’m only allowing her to have it with breakfast with her gluten free cereal. Sometimes kids need a reset too! They haven’t complained at all. Winning!

Andy is doing it too and he is having a harder time than me and the girls because he really hates veggies. Bless. At one point he was actually YELLING at me (yes, Andy the one who never speaks) because he was so hangry and wanted a coke so bad. HA. I just stood there trying to stifle my giggle. Bless his heart. He is feeling better too and I can for sure see a difference in him.

Our motto right now is this:im_sorry_for_what_i_said_when_i_was_hungry_t_shirt_textual_tees_grande

On Saturday we went for a hike and I couldn’t believe how good I felt doing it this time. It was hard because I’m out of shape but I enjoyed every second pushing my body unlike the last time we went when I brought a coke for lunch.  I AM TELLING YOU IT WAS PITIFUL UP IN HERE.

Hope you enjoyed this update. The rest won’t be so long- I just had a lot to say about the first 10 days.

The main thing I am focussing on is that if I can do this extremely strict diet for 30 days then I can surely count calories and eat mostly whole foods with the occasional dessert or grain or whatever after. We need a lifestyle change and this has really motivated me.

I am dang proud of myself for sticking with this the past 10 days. It is hard but not impossible.

August 8, 2016
by Tiffany
1 Comment

Ryder goes to Kindergarten, Rory goes to 1st.

Oh my sweet girls, I cannot believe our summer of fun is over and it is time to send you to school every day! I couldn’t possibly tell you how much I am going to miss you! IMG_3737

A few years ago when you were tiny toddlers and babies that cried all day or got into all-of-the-things, I couldn’t wait for you to go to school! I had all these plans to enjoy my coffee in peace and not have anyone hanging on me all day.

AND NOW ALL I WANT IS TO DO THAT AGAIN.

Motherhood is a crazy thing, girls. One day you will understand.

Rory- you were so excited to start 1st grade! You’ve been looking forward to going back to school all summer. I can’t wait to see how you grow this year in your knowledge and self confidence. I spend so much time praying for you and your sweet heart right now. You have big emotions and I know you are just having a hard time understanding all these new feelings that come with growing up. I’m praying so hard that you find a friend that is so kind and dear to you this year in your class. You are so kind to others and I’m so proud of you for that. I know you are going to shine this year academically and with your personality. IMG_3705

This morning you SERIOUSLY did not want me to walk you in. But you weren’t ashamed to give me a huge hug and kiss in front of your friends. I will cling to that as long as possible! IMG_3707

Oh, Rory. I am so proud of you and cannot wait to see you grow this year in 1st grade! Never let anyone dull your sparkle, girl!

 

Ryder- oh my precious Ryder. HOW, how how how how how, are you big enough for Kindergarten? You were so excited to go today you barely slept. Then I had the hardest time waking you up!

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This morning you were SO SERIOUS about the whole process of getting ready and going to school. I love seeing you focus so intently and take every detail in. You are the silliest girl in the room but also can be the most serious. I love this about you. You looked so tiny walking the halls of school, but you are also ready for this. You have been so excited to start Kindergarten. I hope that excitement continues throughout the year. IMG_3687

My biggest prayer for you this year is that your self confidence grows and that you realize how smart you are. I think because Rory is so naturally smart and determined to learn it intimidates you so you think you aren’t as smart. Girlfriend, I have news for you. You are so smart and so brave and so amazing. I have prayed long and hard that you would get a sweet, nurturing teacher and I really think that is what God gave you. I cannot wait to see you learn and grow this year. I know you are so excited and I know you will completely dazzle everyone in your class like you do every single person you meet. We know you will keep everyone laughing and entertained all day long!IMG_3737

My beautiful girls – I am so incredibly proud to be your mother. I think you two are the most magnificent people in the entire world. I believe in you and know you are going to soar this year at school. I am so thankful I get to be your mama. Don’t ever forget that I love you more than anything. You are my most precious gifts. I am always here for you to listen, to hug, to wipe tears, and to cheer you on.  IMG_3763

I did a pretty good job holding my tears in and keeping it together this morning.

Until.

I was giving Ryder her last goodbye hug and she squeezed me tight and said, “Its okay mama- just be brave.” It flashed me back to all those years of doctor appointments and unknowns when I would whisper that into your ear. After you said that I straight up RAN out of that school because all the other moms were sobbing and I just couldn’t handle it anymore. I made it to my car with just a few tears trickling and then let loose. I SOBBED and sobbed and sobbed all the way home. This growing up business is just so hard! But I’m so proud of you two going into school brave and strong. That makes all these years of hard work as your mom pay off!IMG_3764 I am praying for you all the time and am so excited to see you two grow this year! IMG_3756

 

August 2, 2016
by Tiffany
2 Comments

the end of summer

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Not only is this the last week of summer, but it is also our first week of Whole 30.

It is a bittersweet time.

And by bittersweet I definitely mean there is no sweet to it because that is forbidden for the next 30 days.

Y’all.

I do not want the summer to end. It has been the most fun ever. Me and my girls have become such a tight little trio. We have thoroughly enjoyed sleep this summer (all but one week of random sleep regression for Rory) – sleeping for EIGHT SOLID HOURS or more each night. Yesterday she even slept 8:30pm-9:30am. I never ever ever ever thought I would see the day! More days than not we have slept in until 7:30/8am! I mean! For rest time almost every day we would pile into my bed and watch 3-10 episodes of Good Luck Charlie or some other show together. (One of my biggest mom accomplishments will always be teaching them how to binge on netflix the summer of 2016.)

The past two weeks I’ve realized that it is getting to be time to go back to school because the girls have been fighting about every.single.thing. And then tattling.

“MOM! RYDER PULLED MY SHIRT!”

“MOM! RORY KICKED ME IN THE FACE!”

“MOM! RYDER CHOKED ME OUT!”

“MOM! SHE WON’T STOP LOOKING AT ME!”

At the beginning of the summer I would tell them during their few quarrels that they only had one sister and they needed to treat each other better YADA YADA YADA.

Now it goes something like this:

“Girls. I could care less. If you want to fight like trashy girls GO RIGHT AHEAD but I do not want to hear about it. And if you pick a fight and then get hurt SORRY FOR YA.”

I’m such a caring mother, yes?

But even with all the fighting I am still not wanting summer to be over yet.

Needless to say, I am freaking doomed come Friday and Monday when the girls go to school. DOOMED.

I’ve been crying over the dumbest things.

Andy is totally loving this phase in my life.

I know it has been a harder transition for me because I truly thought I would have another baby or at least be pregnant by the time I sent Ryder to Kindergarten. When we found out we were pregnant in January I was delighted at the perfect timing because the due date would have been Sept 3. But here I am, with an empty womb and soon-to-be empty house for most of the day. It really has been tough to keep myself together, to be honest.

The one thing I can say is that even in this time of sorrow for me this year I’ve learned to cherish time more. It has changed my parenting significantly. I used to be much more selfish and always “need” breaks from the girls. I used to complain more about how hard it was to have two so close together. I used to lose my cool at home way too often when things seemed out of control. I used to be on my phone all day and never put it down.

Now we snuggle so much more. I read more books at bedtime and go all out with the silly voices and dramatic tones. We color more together. We play more games. We dance all the time- even in public. I cook more meals for my family. I sing more songs. I watch endless “fashion shows” and “rockstar shows” and “gymnastic shows” and clap like they just won a gold medal.

I’m proud of the mom I have become. I’m proud that I’ve worked hard on my family and fought for the important things and time together. I’m proud that I’ve fought off bitterness this year- which hasn’t been an easy feat. God has 100% carried me through this and I’m so thankful He always loves me enough to send the right people and nudges in my life to do better.

The summer of 2016 has been so good to me. I hope the girls always remember it as an amazing summer too. I’m already planning our road trip for next summer and can’t wait.

For the rest of this week we will be by the pool, going for pedicures, and binging on the last season of Good Luck Charlie.

Hope you had as great of a summer as I did, friends.

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July 20, 2016
by Tiffany
0 comments

Family Beach Trip 2016

I am still in a complete vacation hangover mode today and I don’t know if I (or my house) will ever fully recover.

We did things differently this year for our beach trip- we went with friends and we went somewhere we had never been before. Both were great decisions and we had a stinkin’ blast.

It seemed like it took us a sweet forever to decide on a place to stay that met everyone’s requirements (and by everyone I mean the men) but somehow we found a place in Indian Pass, Florida. Now, let me just tell you- I booked the place and there is nothing more nerve wracking than that when you have two families depending on it being a great place. So when I got there and the house was amazing and the beach was even better I almost sobbed with relief.

Honestly, I hesitate to even tell anyone how amazing this beach/area is because it is such  gem and I don’t want it spoiled by tons of people coming and making it exactly what we all wanted to get away from.

In short, it was absolute paradise in Indian Pass, FL. There was zero cell service and approximately 4 families total on the beach the entire week. IT DOES NOT GET BETTER THAN THAT, Y’ALL. Sam and Andy fished the entire week and I feel like I’ve never seen Andy so happy and relaxed on a vacation EVER. Like, ever ever ever. The seashells were huge and we brought home 20 or so full sand dollars (for which Rory has big craft plans with). We saw sting rays, sharks, and even a bear.IMG_2178 IMG_1648 IMG_1774 IMG_1672 IMG_1691

Katie has a 5 month old and I realized how easy it is for Andy and I now that we have “big kids”. I actually got to read a book and lay out and just watch my people play while relaxing. Katie- you will get there soon! Even dinners were not nearly as bad as I envisioned. Mostly because of the perfectly timed “sure honey you can play on my phone”. Works like a charm.

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The week was spent with mornings at the beach, then a swim in the pool, and a rest before dinner. We ate so much seafood and shrimp that by the time we left Andy declared he didn’t want to see a shrimp again for a long time. Ha!

We also did several attempts at beach pictures and honestly I don’t even know where to begin on the disaster of these things. I have a whole blog post about it coming soon. That is how passionate I am about this.

So here are some random beach pictures that are cute-ish…

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But my favorite pictures from the beach are the ones of the kids actually playing and having a great time. Watching them and Andy at the beach having fun is my happy place.

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We had an amazing week and can’t wait to go back!

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And yes, we did get one good family picture on the beach. But LITERALLY just one.

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