Category Archives: Life


Be Still

5th June 2015


There have been a lot of days lately, where I catch myself holding my breath. When my brain takes over and becomes so congested with all that needs to get done, worry sets in, my anxiety peaks, and I forget that I have to breathe. This has only begun to happen since I became a mother and I wonder often, is that what motherhood is? Holding my breath and hoping I survive the day? Holding my breath, as I lay my little ones to sleep as not to disturb them and have to start the whole process over again? Holding my breath, as I sit down to stare at the computer and completely forget all that needed to get done during nap time (you know, that one precious golden hour that may or may not happen.)? Holding my breath, through the tantrums and tears, teething and colds, first falls and hurt feelings? When will I stop holding my breath in  anticipation of the worst scenario, and start to let go and be present for every scenario?

I have been trying to focus on being more present in the little moments, and worry about the future less. It is hard. I anticipate too much, my expectations are sometimes too high, and I constantly beat myself up over not being able to meet them. My mind wanders from one worry to the next. Is that crayon toxic? Does this cracker have gluten? What if they don’t nap today, then am I going to be pulling my hair out by days end? Oh no, my all organic ingredient deodorant has toxins that cause cancer and howdidInotknowaboutthistillNOW!!!!! What should I make for dinner tonight? Salmon sounds good. But what if L won’t eat salmon? Ah I’ll just do takeout (as I eye the mound of dishes in the sink), that will be way easier. My floor is a mess, I need to mop. I need to organize! I need to clean out the car, there are diapers in the trunk that have been there for a week.

These are the thoughts that pass through my mind every minute. This is why I am having trouble breathing, because when it gets too much I just stop. I just hold my breath and hope the moment passes with sanity.

Today, I read a verse that gave me pause. I have read it so many times before, but today, it spoke to me differently. “Be still, and know that I am God”, Psalm 46:10. As I read these words I felt myself breath out, the room became quiet, I could hear myself think, and I got it. I finally got it. He has this, HE is in control, and I am not. I can give myself permission to be tired, and breath out and give myself rest. I have permission to be still.

So during those moments that I catch myself holding my breath. I want to redirect my thinking from anxiousness to stillness. In that moment, I want to be still, and know that He is God, and He’s got this.

Our Growing Family

3rd April 2015

It has been a year since I wrote anything here. And within that year, our little family has grown from three, to four! We welcomed our sweet son Dax Rhodes, in December, and life has gotten so much sweeter since. I didn’t think it was possible to love a child as much as I do L, but I was so very wrong. This boy has my heart. He is a pure delight and I am so thankful for him.

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The adjustment in going from one to two has been stretching me in ways I didn’t think I could stretch. It has been full of joy and laughter, but also full of a lot of tears and anxiety, dark circles under my eyes, and a few more wrinkles on the forehead. That first month, I didn’t know if I could do it. I felt as though I was in this never ending fog and I didn’t know if I could keep two little people alive and thriving while maintaining some sense of sanity within myself. I am not out of the fog yet, but I am beginning to adjust to life with two, and I am able to see through those foggy days a little more clearly now.

Our life feels so much bigger! And I am truly loving every single minute of it. Keep checking back for more updates, rambles, and photos. I promise it won’t be a year till I write again.

**Photos taken by the lovely Cass of Artful Life Photography.


These Months

12th March 2014

Seconds. Hours. Days. Months. Where do they go so fast?

Our little girl is growing up before me. At 15 months she is at this incredibly fun stage of talking, laughing at silly things, and being friendly to everyone. Our days are full of blown kisses and sweet hugs. Her hair is growing into wispy curls along with her curiosity for all things. I love watching her explore and seek out undiscovered corners of her little world.

I am not the best at keeping up with milestones. I don’t have a baby book filled with firsts, but I take a lot of pictures and document our life when I can find the time.

I mostly want to remember the little things. The way her face lights up as she reads a book for the first time. The way her eyes get big as she sees  something that surprises her. I want to remember the feel of her hands around mine and the way she so sweetly nestles into my arms. Our afternoon walks, our fun adventures…I want to capture it all in my mind for safe keeping.

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I want to remember the not so glamorous things too. The nightly wakings, early mornings, the dark circles under my eyes, and the lethargic foggy feelings. I want to remember how every time I sit down to return an email or cook dinner, two little hands reach up and loud noises begin to come out of my tiny little human. The unclean floors, the dusty shelves, the always dirty dishes…I want to remember those too. They will remind me that its ok to not be perfect and its ok to let things be. Just let things be.

These are my seconds, my hours, my days…my months. Filled with ups and downs and smiles and tears. This heart is full and this life is joy.



Our Christmas Miracle

8th January 2014

Happy New Year! The Holiday season came fast and went even faster. We spent Christmas in North Carolina this year. On the eve before we were to head out of town, our dog Sophie ran off, got hit by a car, and then took off running. We spent the whole night searching for her, hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. We couldn’t sleep and our Holiday travel plans were held in limbo as we tried to figure out what we would do if we could not find her.

The next morning, R got up early and continued searching the neighborhood. As a last resort he decided to drive on out to the local animal shelter to see if someone had turned her in. After casing the rows of barking dogs in kennels and taking a look at the sheet of paper listing all of last nights road kill, he pleaded with the shelter to tell him what to do. She had mercy on him and put a call out to all the people that were out in the field at the time. By the grace of God, just as she was making the call, Sophie was being picked up by animal control. She was in really bad shape. If he had not been there at that exact time, she would have more than likely been taken back to the shelter to be put down.

Animal control brought her to the house and we drove straight to the vet. After weeks of recovery and more still to go…we can optimistically say that Sophie is going to be ok. It was a Christmas miracle, to say the least. We are so grateful that she is back in our little family and on the mend.


With the help of some very good friends to watch after Sophie, we were able to continue on with our Holiday travel plans and had a wonderful Christmas in NC with family. It was extra fun because L is a year older and could actually open presents. We are back home now and settling into this new year and all it has in store.


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I wish you the Happiest of New Year.


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A Winter “One”-Derland Themed Party

17th December 2013

We had such a lovely Birthday party for sweet L. I knew I wanted a Winter Wonderland theme with her birthday being so close to Christmas. Plus we don’t really get a Winter here in Florida, so I wanted it to be special, fun, festive and bring winter here to the sunshine state. I was inspired by snowflakes and silver with cool blues, mints, and mauves. I wanted it to have a wintery, icy feel.

I loved getting creative with the food and naming them things like “muddy snowballs” for the meatballs, “Ice chips” for the chips and dip and “snowflakes” for the popcorn. I made all of the party crafts myself out of card stock and I made the serving platters out of antique silver trays glued atop crystal candle holders.


Location: Sawyer Lake Park at Heathrow Country Club, FL

Photography: Artful Life Studios

Food: Friends and Family

Cake: I wanted to make a healthy cake and since we mostly follow the Paleo diet, I made a Paleo smash cake that was so good.

Winter 1-derland 2

Dessert Table

Winter 1-Derland 1 Krispie pops Desert Table snow pebble and puffs cupcakes Gfree cupcakes


Food/Drink Table

Food table fruit salad party penguins

melted snow

Crafts/Party Favors/Gift Table

popcorn and activities Gift table

Cake Time! I made L a Paleo coconut vanilla cake with coconut and maple butter frosting. It was soooooo good, and she loved it.

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A lot of L’s little friends came to help celebrate her turning one!

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We had such a great time! And I am still in shock that my baby is 1!!!







Fall is here.

16th October 2013

It is hard to get into the spirit of Fall when you live in Florida. Our Fall does not really show itself until Christmas, and even then it has its humid moments. This weekend we embraced the Fall for what it is here in the sunshine state, and went to an arts festival, ate kettle corn and pumpkin pie gelato, went to a pumpkin patch and took pictures, bought pumpkins and went for a drive in the country. It was festive and relaxing. While the rest of the Country is pulling on their boots and sweaters and raking leaves (I’m not jealous), I am still enjoying my sandals and warm weather. This weekend was perfection, and Fall is here, so I am embracing our warm weather version of my favorite time of year. DSC_0441MesmerizedDSC_0516Daddy's GirlDSC_0581DSC_0558

9 months and mobile-ish.

19th September 2013

L is 9 months!!! Seriously, I know I say this every month, but time please sloooow down! It goes way to fast. This month so far, we took a little road trip to NC to see Grandma and Grandpa, and catch up with some friends. Let me just say that road trippin’ with a 9 month old is waaaaaay different than a 4 month old. It was all I could do to keep her occupied for every single waking moment.

Hair pulling: an early form of flirtingFamilyLoving on Grandpa. #latergram

At 9 months L has become a serious eater of table foods, she does a cute little plank crawl, runs around the house in her car (walker), says “mama”, “dada”, “hey”, and other babble like words. She has a sweet personality, bobs her head to 90s alternative songs (her favorite being Smashing Pumpkins), and she is slowly becoming a better sleeper (kind of), sloooowly.
9 months!
Life is in hyper drive at the moment and I am busier than ever with some new projects on the horizon. I am learning how to juggle motherhood and working, so far so good, but challenging at times. I also turned another year older this month. September is in full swing and I am ready for some cooler weather.
Date Night.

Best part of my birthday.

Ready for Fall.

Boats, BBQ, and Babies

3rd September 2013

We had such a great weekend. On Sunday we spent all day on a boat, went to the springs, grilled out, and hung out with good friends. We rented two pontoon boats to hold 7 families for the day. I must say I was skeptical about taking an almost 9 month old on a boat ALL day long, but she did so amazing. The only challenge we ran into was the fact that she did not want to eat most of the day, so it was a struggle trying to keep fluids in her in the hot blistering heat. It was chaotic at times, but we survived, and we were glad we went. The rest of the weekend went by too fast and now I am in for a short but busy week.

I hope you all had a lovely weekend.

On a Boat! Blue Springs The Pappas Family The Dayton's Cruising with Daddy One tired baby nom, nom, nom passed out Springs


Friday Love

30th August 2013

Yay! For the weekend. I have been so busy this week and I am looking forward to some family time. We have a big day planned on Sunday with some boating and grilling out. I love three day weekends, don’t you?

Here is what I am loving this week. ~

* What a beautiful home in Norway.

* These Bags!

* Adorable handmade seahorse.

* I made these short ribs last night…and ohmygoodness. They are so yum.

Also Loving ~

* Hints of Fall.

* Frozen Grapes.

* Unruly Hair.

Have a lovely weekend!

Photo Credit: FLEE

A Quiet Morning

26th August 2013

There are some mornings that need to be recorded, today is one those. First of all, I cleaned the house yesterday and there is something about waking up in a clean bedroom that immediately sets the mood straight. I also awoke to a smiley, happy baby who slept pretty good last night compared to recent nights. After a healthy breakfast of eggs, avocados, and pears…I played with L on the floor. She is getting so great at scooting and crawling backwards and then sitting herself back up. Before long she will be entirely mobile and I will miss these moments of watching her put everything together and learning these new movements. She is so bright, and I am so incredibly blessed to be her Mother. The moments when I set aside my days agenda and just relax in the moment with her are always my favorite. This morning was one of my favorites. When I went to put her down for a nap she seemed genuinely excited about it! What?? She went down easy and is STILL sleeping. I hope we have turned a corner in the sleep department, because this is nice…this quiet mommy time is oh, so, nice.

After a fun weekend, this Monday is setting the tone for a pretty awesome week. I love being a Mom.

All smiles at Sea World

All smiles at Sea World



Date night!

Date night!