April showers bring May flowers...but lots of other good things come with May as well! We will be celebrating Hale's 8th birthday on May 23rd, along with several other family birthdays - our niece, Emma, turned 10 on May 6th, our sister-in-law (Emma's mom), Jodie, celebrates her birthday on May 16th, Kevin's mother shares Hale's May 23rd birthday, and our nephew Ryan will turn 11 on May 27th. But perhaps the most important date in May for us is May 20th, on which Kevin & I will celebrate ten years of marriage!
Ten years has gone by in what sometimes seems like a flash. However, when I think about all that we've done and accomplished and how much we've grown in these past ten years, I am simply amazed! Our greatest accomplishment is our marriage itself. We work hard on it. We struggle in it. We can't imagine life outside of it. We praise God for it.
After ten years as a "real life grown up", I feel like I've finally come into my own. I am no longer trying to be my mom. I don't mean that disrespectfully...I just believe that I have come to a point where I have gained the confidence to be who the Lord wants me to be, to use the gifts He has given me, and to follow the path He has for ME. I feel comfortable in my own skin, I feel empowered as a wife and mother and I know that it all comes from the Creator!
These days I also find myself with SLIGHTLY more time on my hands. No more diaper-changing or potty-training will do that! So I'm really enjoying doing some things that I've put on the back burner for quite a few years, such as cooking and crafting and decorating and reading! The internet is my #1 source when I'm looking for a project idea, instructions/recipe, or item to purchase. My favorite food blog and the source of recipes for the majority of our family meals these days is Cooking with Krista. I love this site for a couple of reasons:
- Kevin personally knows (and I have met one time) this blogger, Krista. She is the granddaughter of a dear friend of ours, and Kevin also works with her dad. So there is a familial connection there, not to mention the fact that she features down-to-earth, family-friendly recipes and her writing style is entertaining and easy to follow. Gotta love that!
- Wait, I think I listed all my reasons under point number one....
I've also been inspired by another friend-of-a-friend and fellow blogger, Ashley, to beginning crafting again. Not so much "crafts" as much as items for my kids. Ashley is a very talented mom to two beautiful girls and she has started a side business in which she designs and makes-by-hand hair bows for little girls. I recently placed an order for 4th of July bows, and I've already received them! As I told Ashley, they are adorably perfect! Each one is unique for my three unique daughters! Ashley is taking a "production break" while she prepares for a move, but if anyone is interesting in seeing her work, I'd be glad to put you in touch. ANYWAY, the point to that was that I've been inspired to make some special things for my kids, starting with some shirts for 4th of July (hence the need for coordinating hair bows)! I made shirts back in 2008 for the fall season for the kids, using an idea from Family Fun Magazine. They turned out great and I'm looking forward to doing more! I'm also going to try my hand at some real sewing to make some sundresses for the girls. If they turn out well, they'll be featured in our family vacation photos! Fingers crossed!
Kevin surprised me with a KitchenAid classic stand mixer for Mother's Day! What a gift! I have wanted one for ten years, and I'm THRILLED to now own one! I've already made whipped cream and chocolate chip cookies with my new mixer. I'm looking forward to making mashed potatoes later this week (today's rain and cool temperatures put me in the mood for soup, so I'm making family favorite Cheesy Potato Chowder for tonight's dinner)! Cooking is another area in which I feel as though I've come into my own. I am excited about cooking, something I never would've imagined a few years back! I think there's something in the fact that I just feel good about preparing home-cooked meals for my family to enjoy together each evening. Of course, there are still the occasional evenings when Pizza Hut calls out to me, and I can't fight off the urge! But I do enjoy trying new recipes, changing up old ones and enjoying those that are best left as they've always been! I think I'll start posting some of my favorites on here....hmmmm, definitely something to consider.