Friday, January 18, 2013

I am a MESS...

    As I read back on my blog posts it seems to me that I only blog on what we are doing... I mean that was my whole point to this blog is to keep our families who do not get to see the kids up to date. However, there is so much more behind the scenes than what new exciting activity we are doing. Yes, I would say for the most part we all stay busy between school, preschool, dance class, church, teaching children's church, small group, Iron Men, Women of Grace, Junior Woman's Club, MOPS, and this list could seriously go on and on. We are like most families with multiple kids we are very busy and over tired. All too often it looks as though we have it together and everything we do is fun. NEGATIVE!  I think that is just because as parents we want it to seem we have it all together and we have everything under control... WE DO NOT. Not even close... Our lives are messy... 
         Let's start with the obvious I have THREE kids if that is not enough they are turning 6, 4, and 1 this year. They are up early and they don't always go to bed on time or sleep through the night. So more often than not we are all sleep deprived. Add in 2 of the 3 are home with me most days and we already have a recipe for a mess. Not to mention these kids have me for a mom. I am a SCATTER BRAIN. I can never remember anything, I move way too fast, say really dumb things, and I am always late. I try to slow down, I try to be more methodical, and I really try to be on time. Sometimes I get lucky and it works but most time not so much. No matter how much time I allow it always takes forever to get ready. I am lucky If I have time to fix my hair and put on makeup and some days I am lucky to get out of the door in matching clothes. There is always a disaster of some sort before leaving the house. We are usually rushed getting out of the house and often we forget something. I probably always seem frazzled when I get to my destination. Often I am just scatterbrained and need a moment for my brain to catch up to my body. My children are young and they are loud. Guess what it's apart of the package when you have kids. They are messy and loud and that is JUST FINE for our family. However, sometimes as much as I don't want to be... I am always worried someone is judging us. I am sure you have been there just insert your kids name... Ashlynn is running around like a crazy girl talking to the top of her lungs, Everett just had an outburst because someone took something away from him, or Hunter found something to get into and dumped it everywhere. I often feel judgement from those with children which is awful because we are all in this together and should offer encouragements and I HAVE BEEN THERE vs. the stink eye. I am so glad everything is perfect for those parents. I have CHILDREN and they are not made to sit still, be neat, or quiet.

           Let's say I have a day I don't have to go anywhere (is there any such day?). I use that time like any other great stay at home mom to clean my house, organize, be perfectly pintrest crafty, make all the meals and snacks in our home from scratch, play with my kids, take and shower and perfectly groom myself, be a fabulous wife, study the bible, make sure homework, prayers, bath and bed are all done so I can be in bed by 9 pm. Are you finished laughing yet? Did you read above where I said I had children grade school, preschool, and toddler age??? My house is a MESS and I am too. Good for you perfect moms that keep a perfectly tidy and organized house I don't know how you do it all. In real life my carpet needs a steam clean and usually a good vacuum several times a day. Real life doesn't allow for that though. There is almost always toys scattered from one end of my home to the other even if we have cleaned up several times that day. The counters are usually messy and my sink is almost always full on one side if not both. My refrigerator could probably use a deep clean and my cabinets could too. My floor is always needing a good sweep even if its been done at least once that day. Again life doesn't allow for such luxuries. Most days I try to make sure the beds are made to some degree if for nothing else but to use the bed as a big shelf and not lose stuff in the sheets. Clothes are almost always piled in the basket, in the dryer, and usually a load in the washer waiting to be washed. Random things are usually scattered around the house and almost always this includes our pesky little friend DUST. Our grass is usually not as short as we would like and our bushes need to be pruned. Our garage usually stays a disaster as do our vehicles. There are probably clothes in everyone's drawers and closets that need to be weeded out the same with toys. There are so many things in this house that probably need to be sold or trashed but we usually fail to find the time to get it all done. I am sure my bathrooms which are pretty clean could use a deeper scrub (couldn't everything?). Our windows could use a good scrubbing,and lets add in the curtains and blinds since I am being totally honest. 

     Right about now I probably sound like we do not clean at all. I spend most of my days picking up, wiping down, cleaning, scrubbing, chopping, cooking, changing diapers, teaching, helping with homework, practicing dance moves, singing tons of preschool songs, working on my bow business, refereeing fights, driving all around Wilson, locating lost items, PLAYING with the kids, cuddling, rocking, feeding, and most important of all being a mom. I will never pretend to have it all together because I truly do not. I usually pick and choose what we will get done today because at the corner of real and life everything on the to do list doesn't get completed. Don and the kids will always win. Teaching, playing, cuddling, keeping them alive will trump a Martha Stewart craft and a Better Homes & Gardens home. I enjoy making food mostly from scratch (when I can) to a perfect manicured yard, and I will always prefer watching Ashlynn dance to a perfectly clean home. Cuddling the children will come before any chore or bow order. Sitting down and taking a few minutes while they nap to answer emails, reach out to friends, or even clear my mind with the rare game with win over organizing and over analyzing every inch of this home.

         I am learning that Ashlynn, Everett, and Hunter are growing up way to fast for me to be worried about getting every little thing done. I want to get all that I can out of life and experiences. If that means my house is not perfectly clean enough I am going to let that be good enough for me. I would rather have a play date, a lunch, fun at the park then worry about the household chores or some silly schedule. Messy counters and a full sink means I took time to feed my family, toys everywhere mean my children are healthy enough to get up and play, hand prints on every inch of glass in this house means my kids are exploring, dirt on the floor means we go outside and play. Now I am not saying that someone with a perfect clean house, scratch made dinners, and well-behaved children are wrong NOT AT ALL.  I am all in favor for doing what works for your family.  NO judgement here, EVER!!!  You just have to choose what is most important to your family because there is just no way it can all be done in a day.  All I am saying is we have evaluated the list and have chosen what is most important to our family. 

        Life is not perfect and I am not perfect. I strive to be that perfect Proverbs 31 mom and wife. I want a perfectly clean home, I want my hair/nails/makeup done, I want to do crafty things with them, I want to have a perfectly scratch made dinner on the table every night instead of some nights, I want to read more, I want to sew and be more crafty, I want to have enough time in the day to do everything I want to but that is not reality. Real life is messy and its hard and us moms need stick together and encourage each other rather than quietly judge each other for our shortcomings. If my kids are fed, alive, and happy each day then I have done my job as a parent. There will be time for everything else because one day they will be grown up and living their own lives. This is the season in life I have been blessed with and I plan to enjoy it instead of fret over what others think of my messy life. I will try to consciously choose to take my kids to activities, join clubs, be active in the church, volunteer for my community, take my kids places, explore, camp outdoors, play, make messes, and LIVE. My life is not perfect, my marriage is not perfect, my walk with God is not perfect, my home is not perfect, my children are not perfect, and I do not have it all together. You know what? THAT IS ALRIGHT WITH ME!!! So if you happen to drop by the Small Home chances are it's a little messy but very lively.  I will make you a cup of coffee and you are welcome to sit on my couch as long as you want to.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Where have we been???

Where has the Small family been? Going CRAZY!

      What a whirlwind the fall was for our family. I have no idea how we survived our crazy schedule. I would say our biggest adjustment was Ashlynn starting Kindergarten. I had no idea how much it would change our lives. Ashlynn is rocking kindergarten if any one out there was wondering. Ashlynn has performed with Heaven's Footprints ministry dance team. She has participated in the Festival of Faith, Whirligig Festival, and multiple Christmas parades. Not to mention her dance classes she takes on Monday and Friday of every week. She is getting ready to attend Dance Revolution in a few weeks with her ministry team and she is so excited. 

     Everett has not had as busy of a schedule as Ashlynn. He is happy to take part in preschool twice a week and do whatever I am doing the rest of the time.   Everett and Ashlynn both practiced over the fall and participated in the Wilson Community Church production of Cookin' Up Christmas. Both of my babies did a fabulous job. 

     We have watched Hunter grow and develop over the fall season. It is crazy to think tomorrow I will have a 1-year-old. He is growing from a baby to a toddler so fast. Over the fall Hunter has learned to stand, walk, talk, and eat on his own. Even though he is still technically a baby, anyone who knows Hunter knows that there isn't anything "baby" about him except his size. It was a fun season experiencing so many firsts with Hunter. 

     I would say the theme of the past few months has been children and church. Enjoying all the activities that the fall has to offer. We have continued to attend WCC and become more active in the church. Also Small group started back up over the fall so we have had fun attending our weekly meetings and play dates/dinners with our small group friends. We took the kids to the Wilson County Fair which was a lot more fun this year because Ash and Ev were both big enough to ride all the kiddie rides. Our family then took the kids the Hillridge farms to enjoy all the Halloween fun they have to offer. Of course this year was a lot more fun with Ash and Ev being older and experiencing these activities with Hunter for the 1st time. We took our annual family trip to the North Carolina State Fair again a lot more fun because the little people are getting older and they can enjoy more of the rides and exhibits. We especially enjoyed watching Hunter take in the hustle and bustle of it all.  

     We enjoyed our 1st Halloween with Hunter and even dressed up as a whole family and hosted a truck at the WCC Truck or Treat. Ashlynn was Snow White, Everett was Grumpy, Hunter was Dopey, Don dressed as Prince Charming, and I dressed as the Evil queen. We had a blast handing out candy to all of Wilson. Of course no fall season is complete with out Thanksgiving and this year we had a lot we are thankful for. Hunter was old enough that he even got to enjoy all the yummy food Papa cooked for the Thanksgiving meal. Our highlight of the season of course was preparing for Christmas. Christmas is so magical with children. They get so excited about the special Christmas shows, decorating, the activities, Santa, etc. Hunter was even old enough to really enjoy his first Christmas. We loved spending our first Christmas with our WCC family and really enjoyed the dinner and Christmas play. It really was a special Christmas this year with so many firsts mixed in with our continued family traditions. We ended the year ringing it in with some of our very special friends from WCC. Everyone made it to 12:00 to help ring in a brand new year for the Small Family. 

     As you can see the past few months have been spent making some awesome memories with our family that we are so very blessed with. We look forward to celebrating Hunter's 1st birthday and so many more fun activities in 2013.

Friday, December 7, 2012


Yes I know I have been away from this blog for awhile.  I have exciting news though my business Theresa's Bows has been selected to do a guest blog spot over at the The Ribbon Retreat Blog!

Check my Crazy bow tutorial here!!!

P.S. I promise I will get back to filling everyone in on the CRAZY few months we have had as a family of 3!!! 

Monday, August 27, 2012

The BUSY Small Family

The past few weeks have been very busy for the Smalls.  We started back to small group with our church at the beginning of the month.  We love our small group so much and are so happy that we decided to join.  WE have made a great group of life-long friends and so have our little ones.

We also took a small weekend getaway to Atlantic beach with the kids.  This is the first trip Don and I went on by ourselves with the 3 kids.  We always go with family or friends but this time we decided to brave taking 3 kids 5 and under on vacation.  IT WENT WONDERFULLY!!!  The kids had a blast on the beach playing in the sand, swimming in the pool, and going to the aquarium was the highlight of the vacation.

Then the biggest part of our month has been preparing our little Ashlynn for KINDERGARTEN.  We were not sure until recently what we were going to do about school.  My plan was to homeschool Ashlynn but she really wanted to go to big girl school.  Don and I have said for the past year we would homeschool unless she asked to try out school.  She begged to go so we gave in and decided to give it a try.  Not to say I won't revisit the homeschool option again but for now we are going to give public school a whirl.  Ashlynn's 1st day of school was today and she loved it.  I have been a mess for weeks because I wasn't ready for my baby girl to be 5 or to go to kindergarten.  However, she is so happy with her decision.  She loved today and went on and on about how much fun it was and how much she liked her teacher and how she cannot wait to go back.  So for now we shall see how big girl school goes...

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vacation part 3

The most recent vacation we were able to take was to Myrtle Beach, SC.  Some very generous friends of ours the Millers invited our family along on their family vacation.  This was perfect because their grandchildren are the same ages as Ashlynn and Everett and they are really good friends. So over the 4th of July week we packed our van and headed to South Carolina.  I will say even though we went south it was a nice escape from the 100 degree weather we have been plagued with all summer long.  I really dislike NC summers and cannot wait for fall.  We stayed right on the beach with pool access which was absolutely perfect for 4 kiddos 5 and under.  Hunter traveled ok he is not a fan of long car rides which means for now all traveling will have to be done as a team!!!  However, he did wonderfully staying in a new place, being on the beach for hours at a time, and he LOVED being in the pool.  He also loved all the extra attention from everyone else too.  The weather was warm but like I said not the 100 degree weather they were having back home.  The ocean was perfect everyday we were there but 1 which was great because I am a fish and Ihave come to discover I have 2 little fish babies who love the water as much as I do.  Being on the beach for the 4th of July was pretty awesome I would say it was the 2nd best 4th of July I have had.  I spent one 4th when Ashlynn was a year old in Houston, TX they have one of the biggest firework shows in the states and it was simply AMAZING.  If you ever get the chance it is well worth the trip to Houston for the 4th of July.  Anyway, the fireworks on the beach in SC were pretty good many of the hotels and people on the beach put on huge firework shows.  There was literally tons of fireworks going off in both directions as far as the eye could see.  This went on for over an hour and Ashlynn LOVED them.  Cian like the fireworks ok and Everett and Anya were not interested at all.  Hunter slept through his 1st 4th of July fireworks show.  The trip was wonderful and we are really grateful to the Millers for inviting us along on their family vacation. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Vacation part 2

If there is one trip we love it has to be camping hands down.  Don, I, and the kids absolutely love everything about camping.  The tent, the camp fire, the lake, cooking out doors, s'mores, it's all so much fun.  So we try to camp at our usual primitive campground at Badin Lake 3 or 4 times a year especially through the fall and spring when the weather is nice.  So for our last camping trip before the fall we headed out for a Friday through Memorial day Monday trip to Badin Lake.  Since we are in the Uwharrie Mountains (err hills if you ask me) so close to Asheboro we purchased a zoo membership that we keep up each year.  It comes in handy because we visit the zoo often and even get into other zoo's and aquariums across the US for free too. The weather was a bit warm for my liking but not as bad as Labor day last year when I thought I was going to COOK but I was also 5 months pregnant.  The kids both enjoyed helping set up camp, cook, catch fireflies, go for walks, and most of all visit the zoo. I would say that camping has to be one of my favorite vacations.