Wednesday, May 25, 2016

When Is Enough, Enough?

Having a child requires having lots of things. Clothes, diapers, toys, food items, furniture, etc.

Heading into a different season in the north means looking through our closets and figuring out what we have and what we need for the next literal season of life.

But where do you stop?

Call me a newbie (because I am; I will claim that), but at what point do we as mothers say "My child has all she needs and the rest, well, isn't needed?"

When I look through Mazy's closets, we are so blessed to be able to have clothes to put on her. I know that in some countries that is hard to come by. When I looked at what we had for her for summer, I realized we had a lot of "very" summer clothes (for the hot days), but not much for the in between because the rest was long-sleeved. In other words, we were short on t-shirts. It is a simple dilemma, but it begged a different question. It led to something deeper.

How much DO we need? What can we make do with? What can't we live without?

I turn that back on myself when I look at my own closet. I have been in the LONG process of trying to downsize my clothes and sticking with a certain style. Lets face it, I am never going to be a trendy dresser. Never have been, probably never will. Trends fade and die off. I don't want to be tight-rolling my jeans with high socks because I am trying to be cool (come on, you remember that, right?). There is just no way to keep up with the trends, unless you bought a whole new wardrobe every year.

Yet as I look at my closet, I realize I am faced the with same question that I was asking when I looked at my daughter's clothes:


I am starting to be more and more convicted about my thought patterns and how I live my life. How I live is how Mazy will learn to live (for the most part). How I view money and stuff is how she is going to view it. What worldview am I created in our home and representing to her?

That has really challenged me. Am I trying to dress in the latest and greatest? If so, is Mazy going to be begging me to help her do the same? Well, it will come at a cost. Will I teach Mazy what "enough" means? Will she have a boundary?

Will I have a boundary when it comes to enough? Do I even have one?

All questions that I continue to ponder as a parent. I realize it is a never ending battle, but it is something I always want to be aware of. What is enough? When is it enough?

What are your thoughts?
P.S. I have restrained myself from buying t-shirts. I am seeing how far we can get before I have to (in hopes that I won't have to!)

P.S.S. I happened to have written this post a few hours before youth group, but didn't post it. Well, I got to youth group and one of our leaders said she had a bag of clothes for us, that had 18 month-2T and up clothes. Can I just tell you what was in it? Summer clothes and t-shirts! Trust me, we can afford to buy new clothes. God has blessed us with plenty of money, but I just wasn't going to cave yet. So what a gift those clothes are! She had no idea and what a sense of humor God has! What a joy it was to tell her that story too.

Looking to organize your life documents?
Smead has offered to giveaway one Life Documents Organizer Kit to one of my readers! 

  • Giveaway starts Monday, May 23 and ends Friday, May 27 at 11:59pm.
  • One winner will be chose via
  • Open to U.S. residents only and must by 18 years or older
  • I will email the winners and each winner has 1 week to confirm.
  • Winners will be shipped 1 Smead Life Documents Organizer Kit, free of charge.
  • Please enter below! 
 a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Around The Home

Loving the warm and spring/summer like weather here in Minnesota! That means we are outside almost all day. This past week we decided to make the hole where a tree once was, into a sandbox. When we walk past the back door, Mazy always points outside, to that sandbox. She ends up in there sometimes 3 times a day! To say the least, it was worth it! Though we have learned to put pants on her before putting her in there b/c otherwise literally mounds of sand comes out of her shorts and diaper! 

Mazy has also been MUCH happier, since finding out she no longer has an ear infection! She is napping great and has also slept through the night 2 nights in a ROW! She hasn't done that since we were gone on our 10 year anniversary trip (and of course it was a grandma's!). I honestly can't remember the last time she has done that, due to her ear infections. So thankful!!!! I find that she sleeps better during the day when she gets a better night's sleep too. We are making progress!

Here's some pictures from the week:

Mazy likes to brush daddy's hair!

Somebody generously gave us their little tikes car and oh does Mazy LOVE it! She knows she is big stuff in there!

It is sometimes hard to get Mazy to eat fruits and vegetables, but we found a way for her to eat watermelon - straight off the rind! She first thought she had to eat the green side, but she quickly learned that didn't taste good.

The watermelon dripping from her chin says it all! Yes, it gets very messy and she refuses to wear a bib, so it's a messy process! Pick your battles, right? Messy kid or have her eat her fruit? I think I'll choose fruit.

Loving her new sandbox!

Forget sippy cups - she likes the Camelbak! In fact, she has her "own" that she uses for her water cup everyday

Not the best quality, but someone got a hold of the toilet paper! Hence...

This sign:

 She is very fascinated by boxes. New package means new box for Mazy to play in!

I thought I loved the baby stage, but boy do we both LOVE this age! Mazy is learning new words everyday and oh is she fun to play with! So easily entertained, but honestly, just so much fun to hang out with! Love being a family of 3!

Smead has offered to giveaway one Life Documents Organizer Kit to one of my readers! 

  • Giveaway starts Monday, May 23 and ends Friday, May 27 at 11:59pm.
  • One winner will be chose via
  • Open to U.S. residents only and must by 18 years or older
  • I will email the winners and each winner has 1 week to confirm.
  • Winners will be shipped 1 Smead Life Documents Organizer Kit, free of charge.
  • Please enter below! 
  • a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, May 23, 2016

How To Organize Life Documents

This post is sponsored by Smead. All of these opinions are completely my own. I received this product for review in exchange for this post. Know that I only review products I personally use in my home.

Paper clutter is one of the areas that most people struggle to keep under control. From mail, to junk mail, to the kids' homework, to essential life documents. Not to mention the time-sensitive papers and the permanent records that are to be kept. Paper clutter is difficult to stay on top of; especially when they are papers that you know you shouldn't throw away, but do not have a clue how to keep organized.

Life documents such as mortgages, estate plans, passports, bank records, vehicle titles, etc., are all documents that are not referenced often, but in the case of an emergency, need to easily be found. 

Think of it this way. If something suddenly happened to you, would your spouse, family, or children know where to find all of the information they would need to plan for a funeral and/or take care of your personal items? Would they be able to find the information they need to close out accounts? Questions you hope to never have to deal with, but questions that are inevitably going to have to be answered someday.

Now you may be wondering where to even start? You are envisioning all of the places where these life documents might be stored, but wonder how to neatly organize them all in one place?

That is where Smead's new Life Documents Kit comes in handy. This kit helps organize all of those life documents you have always wondered how to organize. The kit comes with a black case with a secure clip:

6 standard colored hanging folders, and manila file folders to store all of these important papers in and on top of that, it also comes with preprinted quick-fold tabs that are also color coded with the labels: Financials, Contact Information, Communication and Wishes, Personal, Ownership, and Health. These labels are attached to the hanging folders:

Then there are also 24 pre-printed oversized folder labels to apply to the manila folders, which are also color-coded to coincide with the colored hanging file tab. These labels include Emergency Contacts, Health Records, Housing, Vital Records, Key Directive Documents, Digital Assets, Bills, Investment Records, and many more: 

These folders really do cover every life document you can think of. Sometimes these type of kits can take weeks to organize because it is difficult to think of what categories to include, but Smead has thought of them all! In organizing my own, I have not found a category that I have needed, that it did not include.

The only downside to this kit is that it is not fire or waterproof. Of course then it would require a whole different look and cost, but some of my documents I do still want to keep in our fire and waterproof case, for the just in case. Other than that, it has been very handy to have and it is very easy to now locate these important life documents.

If you want to buy this product now, please click on this link: Life Documents Organizer Kit

Smead has offered to giveaway one Life Documents Organizer Kit to one of my readers! 

  • Giveaway starts Monday, May 23 and ends Friday, May 27 at 11:59pm.
  • One winner will be chose via
  • Open to U.S. residents only and must by 18 years or older
  • I will email the winners and each winner has 1 week to confirm.
  • Winners will be shipped 1 Smead Life Documents Organizer Kit, free of charge.
  • Please enter below! 
  • a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Our "Agains"

Still digesting.

The more I have thought about what God has done to my heart (again), the more I realize how significant this is (again).

Not just because we were given the green (again).

Oh the beauty of saying the word "again". Truly, we are content. A few days ago, I felt this urge to quickly have another child, just in case my heart got worse. I felt this urge because I was in a healthy place in life and wanted to take advantage of it. But really, it was for all the wrong reasons.

I know that it is our business with what we decide to do about children, but I am learning more and more, how many others are in the exact same position we are in. Do you sacrifice health for another child? Do you take the risk?

Those are questions we think about and we understand that many in this world don't even have to think about those questions. But for us, these are deep questions to consider. Questions that could set the course for the rest of our life.

And that is why about 24 hours after feeling that sense of urgency, I realized I was going about it all wrong.

I was living in fear. Living in fear of what might happen if we don't, living in fear of what might happen if we do. And that is not where God wants me to be. So that afternoon, I told Dan that I had a few things to work through and that I was at peace. I thought I was at peace before, like the day we found out about my heart, but things in my head quickly sped up.

Then I looked at Mazy. Not just glanced, but really looked at her. Looked deep with her and who she is. She needs me. She needs me as her mom. Dan has said the same thing. And he wants me here too. I was not okay after having her and looking back, it was a scary time for our little family.

Do we really want to risk it again?

We don't know. And that is why we are just going to sit back and enjoy our little sweetie. Enjoy every minute of her, whether or not she is our first or our last or both.

As my dear friend Brenda often told me in difficult times, God sees, God knows, God hears. God put us in the position we are in, for a reason. He has designed this part of our life, uniquely for us, and for us to enjoy. 

I am going to enjoy my health. Enjoy the ability I have to exercise and get even healthier. Enjoy the time I have with my loves - my husband and my sweet Mazy. Could it get any better? I still tear up over the blessings God has given us. And even more so now, a healthier heart. Yes, there are still issues. Heart issues that may always be there. But I look at where I was and where I am now. 

Again, God has healed and again, He is faithful. Couldn't be more thankful. So if you've been wondering when that announcement is going to come of another child, the only announcement right now will be announcing His faithfulness and working in our life, through our little family of 3, until we feel God leading us down a different road.

So to those who are walking a similar journey, know that God knows, God sees, God hears. And God knows what your future will look like. Enjoy now. Enjoy the moment.

How has God acted "again" in your life? Through another clear cancer scan? Through another hospital stay? Arriving again on the other side of a marriage struggle? How has God been faithful AGAIN in your life? 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Learning To Let It Go

It was just a pair of pants.

I would say I have a perfectionist side to me. I like things done on time and done the right way. I like things to be just so. I like things organized and for things to have a place.

I like to take care of what we have, not only because I feel God has called us to be stewards over what He has given us (since everything really is a gift from above), but also because it's just not that simple to go and by it brand new (at least not all of the time).

Mazy loves to play outside. We have designated "play" pants already because she is a scooter, not a crawler. That means the butt on many of her pants is wearing out.

Well, I remember one day being disappointed that a new pair of pants that she was wearing for the first time, got stained. I mean I tried EVERYTHING to get that stain out, but it just wasn't happenin'. I was disappointed because first of all, it was brand new, but I was thinking that it would be a cute pair of pants to sell someday or give to someone else.

Then I realized:
A. It was a gift. I didn't pay a dime for it.
B. The joy and fun Mazy had that day was irreplaceable.
C. It is just a material possession.

Let it go, Kristin. Let it go.

We had ordered one of those $.01 + shipping dog books off Amazon, and the day we received it, our daughter ripped the leg off one of the dogs. At first I was like "oh shoot, there goes a new book," but then I realized it was already used and you know what? It's JUST A BOOK!

Through blogging, I have been able to receive some pretty amazing gifts and free items. One of them, being a very high-quality pair of sheets. Well, one time I put them in the dryer and the top sheet must have gotten hooked on something because there was a hole in the sheets when I pulled them out.

Have you ever had that happen? You have something what you would deem as "nice" and all of a sudden it isn't "nice" anymore? That taught me a lesson. No need to buy expensive things because even "nice" things can get destroyed. I had to let it go.

What material possession do you hang on too tightly to? The thing is, with material possessions, they can be destroyed in an instant. It just is not worth it to hang onto things too tightly and to get worked up over the little things. Like a pair a pants.

That day, I loved because Mazy taught me about the joys of life. Seeing her scooting around, despite what was happening to her clothes. She was exploring the outside world, soaking it in. A priceless moment.

A priceless moment that was worth the price of the pants.

And, it was just a pair of pants.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

My Baby Registry Checklist

How do you even begin to prepare to have a baby?

I remember being completely overwhelmed when Dan and I stepped foot in Target, with the scanner in hand, and tried to register for everything we thought we needed. I think we maybe registered for 15 items and then said "that's it". Not that those 15 items were all we needed, but we realized we didn't have a clue what we needed.

I honestly thought we could just walk in and figure it out ourselves. Boy was I wrong! I realized that night in Target that I didn't know what I was getting myself into when it came to having a baby and that babies needed a whole lot more than what I thought they did.

I ended up going online after we got home, looking at different "registry checklists" and ended up having a pretty comprehensive registry. Though what I wish I had was a practical registry guideline list. There were lists out there that had a crazy amount of things on them that I either:

A. Could never afford and...
B. Knew I did not need

Like with everything in life, what are the necessities? What are the things you can live without? With my registry list, trust me, there are plenty of things on there that you could live without. These are just the things that I found helpful.

Here is a link to my baby registry:

Print Baby Registry List

A few other things that I personally have found helpful:
  • WubbaNubs - I know, it's a weird word, but this pacifier has been a life-saver! If your child constantly loses their paci at night, throws it while in the car, or if it just plain gets lost, the WubbaNub is worth every penny! We even bought a spare in case our daughter lost hers! Plus, they come in the most adorable stuffed animals too!
  •  Buy used. I have found that babies grow out of clothes SO FAST. In fact, there were times when Mazy was only in clothes for a few weeks and I had to put them away. Buying clothes from garage sales has been so worth it, where I don't feel guilty if she only wears it for a week.
  •  Beware of the "have to have it all" mentality. Already, I find myself seeing toys and thinking oh, Mazy should have that. Really? Does she really need it? Or is it ME that THINKS she needs it? You could spend a fortune on toys, clothes, and gadgets, but really, who is the one who needs them? If there is something I think we need, I first see if we can get it used (depending what it is) and try to not fulfill the instant gratification at the store, but try to find the best deal.
  •  You are in charge of what comes in and out of your home. If one thing comes in, one should go out. If you feel your house is getting cluttered, remember that you allowed those items to come in. I sometimes feel like our house is like a daycare center, but when it is all put away, I realize it is pretty manageable. 

If you are pregnant and are looking to register, I hope you are not overwhelmed with everything there is to get, but excited about what this change will bring! Looking back, I had so much fun revamping our registry every week! It truly is a time to celebrate and enjoy!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Around The Home

I just LOVE Spring and so does our daughter! It feels so good to be outside again (even though it's been cold this past week), but it's just good for us all! Mazy can't get enough of the outdoors and the only time she wants to go in is when she's signaling for a nap.

Unfortunately Mazy STILL has an ear infection and now we are referred to an ENT. So hopefully they can help us get to the bottom of this 2 month long ear infection! We just feel so sorry for her because we can tell she is in pain, she does not sleep well at night, and she struggles to nap somedays. So we are hoping to find an answer sooner rather than later!

UPDATE: As of today, after taking her in yet again, she does NOT have an ear infection! God healed her too! So hopefully this will continue to be the case and we will be on our way to healthy ears! Still plan to see an ENT, but we sure are excited and thankful today!

And of course we are still rejoicing over a good report about my heart! I felt a sense of urgency to have to make a decision for some reason about our future, but really, our future, just like before, is in God's hands. We are going to enjoy the health I have, enjoy our time with Mazy and if God calls us to another, so be it. Until then, we are just going to love this sweet little girl to our fullest and enjoy a healthier heart. I still have an irregular heartbeat, palpitations, a weakened part of the heart muscle, and a small leak yet, but before I had two valves that malfunctioned, a heart function that was not good, and was classified as having heart failure. To now not have to go back to my cardiologist for a YEAR, says to me that I am on my way to a healthy heart. There is an incredible amount of relief in that! So that is what we are going to continue to celebrate! Thank you too, for giving God the praise for the great things He has done!

On to pictures...
I caved and bought a swing to go on the clothesline! Anytime I went to the park with her, she loved swinging, so I decided why not get one for our house? She can't get enough of it!

 I planted our garden this week and as I looked up, I saw Mazy lying in the wood chips (from a stump). She was just playing in them and basking in the sun. Silly girl! Yes, she was FULL of them!

It was our 10 year anniversary this past week, so my love bought me roses. What a week of celebration and what love I have for my main man! 

Mazy still loves her baths! She likes to put her face in the water and here she gave herself a santa beard (hard to see in the pic). Goofy girl!

Not many pics this week, but oh what fun we had!