4.29.2015

What's Up Wednesday

I love when there is prompted writing. About everything!

Linking up with Mix and Match Mama!




What we are eating
Chicken and lots of it. My husband makes the best chicken quesidilla's ever. He uses taco seasoning (homemade to avoid a ton of sodium) and whole wheat tortilla's. I love them we have them at least once a week!



What I'm reminiscing about

Our anniversary trip last year. It was so much fun just the two of us and I know we won't be doing it this year because our focus is paying off debt so it will be a date night. I love Cleveland and loved the Rock n Roll Hall of fame!


What I'm loving

Real Housewives of NYC. The B is back and I love her!
What we've been up to

Family time and organizing! I got my closet almost all cleaned out and Grayson's is pretty much done I just need to pick up a few more bins to pack away old clothes! Spring cleaning at it's finest!

What I'm dreading

Michael playing guitar tonight. I love that he has a hobby but lately Grayson has been having a witching hour from 6:30-7:30 and it is brutal. He cries for no reason and having to go it alone and handle that might send me over the edge.


What I'm working on

My outside area. I need to pull out some dead plants and start my veggie box again. Spring is here!

(last years flower shopping)
What I'm excited about

The weather! I love when it is in the high 60's low 70's it is perfect outside play weather and we go out every day before and after dinner


What I'm watching/ reading

19 kids and counting I love this show because I'm fascinated by them I mean 19! kids wow!
I'm reading Not a fan. It's amazing and eye opening.

What I'm listening to

The life of a mom. Mr Golden Sun and Jesus Loves me and both on repeat at our house all.day.long


What I'm wearing
Jeans. I love the office I work in we dress casual as in sweatshirts and jeans in the winter and shorts and tanks in the summer. So I get to be comfy all the time

What I'm doing this weekend

Flower appointment for my sisters wedding! So excited to start making plans

What I'm looking forward to next month

We start swim lessons! I want G to love the pool so I'm hoping this will help

What else is new

Michael is working 6 days until the end of the year. It's a tough routine but it helps us get to our end goal of being debt free that much faster!
So thankful for this man
What I'm giving for Mother's Day

Hanging flower baskets. My Mom loves them up on her pool deck so every year I take her shopping and buy them for her. It's our fun little day date and we get to flower shop together.
My momma!

4.28.2015

Working on my heart-Mom Talk Tuesdays

To really understand how I want to share my faith with my little one you have to understand where I have come from.


This is a post about my religion. I'm just sharing my story, my struggle, my life.


Background:

I was raised in church (Methodist to be exact). I was baptized (at 3 weeks old), we went to church every week. When I was 10 I knew that God was my savior and I started my conformation classes to become a member of the church. I stayed going pretty consistently up until I got married. We got married in the church I grew up in and did all of our marriage counseling through that Church. Michael was baptized in that church one month before our wedding, which to make a long story short through our marriage counseling he found out he had never been baptized (his mom told him he was but when asked for the church she said it never had really happened) and it rocked him to his core so he elected to be baptized before getting married. It was so awesome that I got to be there to witness it and that he and Grayson were baptized in the same church! Anyway once we were married I attended here and there and then I had a long gap of not going, well when I went back I was not greeted with open arms more like a "oh nice of you to show up this week" (no really that was said to me) I was humiliated and felt judged and it was very hard for me. I stopped going.


One of the ladies that my Mom works, her husband is a pastor at a Lutheran church so my Mom and I started going there. Then I got pregnant. I felt like I really wanted to raise my baby in my home Church. But I was struggling with being there. I knew I wanted Grayson to get baptized so I went back to the church I grew up in and met with the pastor about baptizing my son. To say that the meeting was hard is an understatement.
She asked me why I was not a regular in her church service on Sunday's. I brushed it off with some mundane answer and moved on. 10 mins later and she asked me again why I had stopped coming to church. I blew so to speak and started crying and saying that I didn't feel welcome and I didn't feel God there anymore because of how I was treated. She was kind and gentle and told me that I had given her the inspiration to do a sermon about judgement. My mom and I went the weeks leading up to Grayson's baptism and then that day it all changed yet again. Once Grayson was baptized a comment was made that "we better not let more time pass or the church would fall down when we walked in" I was devastated. This was very hard on me. I was asked why Michael was never with me when I went to church and plain and simple he works. He works every single Sunday. He works hard to support our family and for that I'm grateful. I stopped going to church all together and struggled with my faith.


I got angry with God because of things that had happened. I stopped talking to him. I just didn't get what he was doing.


Then I stumbled upon a blog. Reading through her posts made me sit back and think. I thought the answer was to do a bible study and sit back by myself and work with God one on one. So I e-mailed Shay and asked her recommendation for a bible study. What she sent me back was not what I wanted to hear. She told me that church was a great foundation and cornerstone for faith. I was not sure what to do. I prayed for months. Then our church got a new pastor. I met her I felt a connection and I made my way back to church.

I cried my first day back. We sang a hymn and I could not control my tears. I felt him working within me. I don't make it every Sunday. But I do go every other for sure. I started reading Not a Fan, and that book is doing wonders on my life right now.

The thing is that God is working on me. I'm not perfect. I lose my temper, I question him, I get upset, I'm not a perfect mom or wife. But He loves me. He is walking with me through everything. I have a hard time trusting everything but we are working on that too. He is such a force moving in my life right now.

I knew once I had Grayson that I wanted him to know the Lord. I had such a strong relationship with him when I was younger and loved my Sunday school classes. Grayson is 2 and he does not fully get Jesus yet. Just this past Sunday  he told me that the pastors husband was Jesus because he was playing a guitar. But he loves going to church his favorite song is Jesus loves me and he says the best Aaaaamen when we are done praying. He goes to a daycare run by a non denominational church and they talk about God everyday. They only play religious music or nursery rhymes and they pray before every meal. I would say that his foundation into faith is strong right now. We are searching for a children's Bible to start reading with him. It's a strange thing to sit back and realize how much you have to teach this tiny person in front of you, but teaching him about God and his love is at the top of our list.

I say I did this because of Grayson but really I did it for me too. I'm blessed that God saw me through my dark times. He led me to Shay's blog that spoke to my heart. He put me at that craft show to meet the new pastor and He put that hymn in my face that day.

I'm not perfect I make mistakes but I am whole because of Him.

And just in case it gets asked,  my husband very much believes in God just as much as I do. He struggles with not being able to go to church with us however he knows that supporting our family is a job that he has to do and so he works on his relationship in his own way. 


linking up with Stephanie

4.24.2015

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday!


It's been a crazy couple of weeks and I'm so happy that we have no plans for Saturday and Sunday! 
I'm more than ready to catch up on laundry clean my house and just relax!


Linking up with Andrea for Friday Favorites



One
I got this magic bullet a few years ago for my birthday but I never used it all that much until the last month and now I use it everyday! I made a smoothie for Grayson and I in the morning and it gets us a good dose of veggies in before we even head to work!

Product Details



Two
This moment between my two boys. Grayson has started to really show affection more unprompted lately and it is just the sweetest thing. He climbed up on Michael lap and said "I yove you daddy" and then snuggled and kissed him. Brought tears to my eyes.




Three
I made this meal from Mix and Match Mama site. She is genius. Simple meals that can be made fast I love it. I have been trying at least 2 of her reciped a month and this one was a huge hit! I found ground mild italian sausage at the store so I grabbed that and the only other change I made was I roasted my assparagus first because I like it nice and crispy. It was awesome I can't wait to try it with some other veggies or meat!



Four
Grayson's Art night at school is tonight and I can't wait to go and see all his paintings!


Cheers to a good weekend!

4.21.2015

Show and Tell Tuesday- Names

I love names with a meaning and a little bit of quirkiness. 


I was born Katlin Kimberly Gray. Kimberly is my half sisters first name and so my mom wanted her to feel included when it came to the new baby and that is how that happened. Katlin was a name my mom read in an Irish romance novel and it was spelled just like that. My grandmother (dad's side) is as Irish as the day is long and once her and her brother heard and saw the spelling they were thrilled. If I was a boy I would have been Jeremiah Thomas Gray. My name gets misspelled a ton because people want to had an i or throw in a y or start it with a c but I love my name and it's spelling. When I got married I became Katlin Kimberly Smith and I honestly thought about changing my middle name to Gray because it was part of me for 22 years but I like the initials KKS so it stuck. 


My sister is named Halli Katlin Gray. My mom decided to stick with a good thing when she found one and my first name is my sisters middle name. Halli is from the movie The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and my Dad fell in love with that name so much so that he watched the credits to get the spelling. The character is Miss Halli and we call her that a ton. Again if she was a boy she would have been Jeremiah Thomas Gray.


My husbands name is simple really he is a 2nd so he is named after his biological father. His full name is Michael Shawn Smith II. He is MSS and I'm KKS and I kind of love it.


Now our baby names. When I was pregnant we could not decide on any names for a long time. Smith is a pretty hard last name to put a first name with. I mean our dad's names are Thomas and Joseph and those paired with Smith sound like a credit card scam. So we brainstormed like crazy and then one day  it his me. Grayson. My maiden name is Gray and Michael's step dad's last name is also Gray (no relation to my family at all) and so it just felt like the perfect way to honor both families in one name and so Grayson Michael is was. For a girl it was Lorelai Halli. I wanted my sister to be a part of my little girl so it was a no brainier that Halli would be the middle name. I thought that I was going to have a girl 75% of the time I was pregnant. We chose not to find out the gender until the day we had our nugget and that was when Grayson Michael was born.


Now God willing that we have a second (no I'm not pregnant) we have new names. If it's a boy Marshall Thomas Joseph Smith. Marshall we just like. Thomas and Joseph both after our dad's and then my brother is a TJ so we get him in there too. If it's a girl we are all over the place. Oliva, Lorelai and Anna are all contenders but really the girl name stumps us. 

I can't wait to read every one's story and maybe get some inspiration!

Linking up with Andrea!

4.20.2015

Our Mini Weekend Trip

This weekend was jam packed. I need another few days off to recover but it was a ton of fun!

Friday I got out of work a half an hour early and grabbed some food for our trip, champagne, and a tarp (for our muddy boots). Then I grabbed Grayson and headed home to get his bags and let Michael say a quick goodbye then took him to my parents house for the weekend.

I have to say it is nice that Grayson is so comfortable at my parents house. I was in and out in less than 10 minuets because hew as just happy to play there. I got home and grabbed our last few things and we jumped in the car. We were on the road by 4:30 and had about a 4 hour drive ahead of us. We only stopped once to stretch our legs and us the restroom and then we were back on the road. We made it to the cabin at 8:45 and unloaded.
Our trip down

We drank some wine, played cards and had such a fun night. We went to bed way to late but memories are worth it. It was an early day Saturday and I have the hardest time sleeping in anywhere that isn't my own bed. So I was up and making breakfast by 6:30. We were in charge of that meal so I did simple breakfast sandwiches and mimosas. We ate got dressed and loaded up. We were on the wheelers by 9:15 and on our ride. It was a blast but a rough ride. We went through everything snow, creeks, mud, dust, dirt, fields, roads. It was nice to say we did the Snirt Run at least once. We got stuck once and both fell off the wheeler. No one was hurt but really I was done at the point it was a long day. We rode for 10.5 hours and did 97 miles total.
Before we left since we are still clean and so is the wheeler

About 4 hours in dirty

Our Crew at one of the stops

On tops of a mountain and dirty as all get out


We were exhausted and the only thing I could think of was my own bed so we decided to make the drip home that night. We ate dinner and then headed out at 9:15. We pulled in out driveway at 1:00 am and my bed never felt so good. It was the best choice we made because we got some good solid sleep (7 hours is a lot when you have a toddler) and got Grayson much earlier than we would have if we had stayed the night.
And what was Grayson doing while we were gone? Having the best time feeding birds, playing in the sand and eating ice cream he even peed on the potty 3 times so he had a pretty big weekend!
Papa and Grayson getting ready to fill the bird feeders

Love that little face

Sand playing
He's happy now but GIGI said when he had to go inside he had a fit


Once we got Grayson Michael and him stayed outside to unload the truck and trailer and I got to work on laundry and unpacking all of us. We had that all done by 12:30 and when G went down for his nap so did we. Then we went out for a family dinner and ice cream.  It was a wonderful weekend mixed with family time and alone time.

Now I'm back at work missing my boys.

4.15.2015

Lists to look at lists

I'm OCD about somethings. I thrive on organization. I like to know what I'm doing when. I'm not a huge surprise person.

The only time I'm not like this is when I'm on vacation and everyday is a cocktail and beach day.


So we are gearing up for a weekend trip and I have lists coming out of my ears



I had one sitting on the counter that was my master list so to speak


My wonderful husband who has two things on that list the trailer and the gear laughed at me because I have a list to look at lists.


This is where my OCD comes in I like nice and neat lists that I can check off. If I made one list with everything to pack it would look like a hot mess. So I make my master list and then have my sub lists.


I know it's kind of crazy but I write down everything I need to pack. Right one down to socks and underwear and the # I'm bringing.

This way I can pack us all up in about an hour and half and be done. Because it's just going down a list instead of running around grabbing things as I remember them. My other big time saver. I do what I can in advance. I have a little station set up in our bedroom and one in Grayson's room and I start putting things in that I can ahead of time. Grayson already has all of his diapers and food (that's not cold) packed up and in his bag. I already have all of our toiletries and towels packed up. This makes my day before a trip a lot easier.

A few side notes about my Master list. Riley is our dog and he stays with my father in law Joe so I pack his bags in serving sizes and send them with him and I make Joe dinner and dessert as a thank you for watching him, I always always clean my laundry room and bathroom before we go on a trip because I know I'm coming home with clothes to wash and I like it to be easy to get that done when we get home. My handwriting is sloppy, I think faster than I can write and it comes out as a print/cursive mixture that can get pretty bad in a second.

So while my husband thinks I'm insane because I write a list to look at a list he knows that I rarely forget anything and he does not have to pack himself to go on trips.

4.14.2015

Sweet Sweet Sun

It got up to 78 yesterday which what like heaven.

It was nice to do all my running around and not have to wear a huge bulky coat. I felt so free and light.


I got home and my boys greeted my in the driveway. They played outside the whole day. Grayson came running up to me with a stick and Riley had a mouthful of dirt and stones. Michael was working in the garage on finishing up getting everything ready for this weekend.


I carried the groceries into the house and took a deep breath. I just love the way my house smells when it the windows are open. I could hear the boys running and playing outside while I put the groceries away. I pulled out shorts to put on and it felt nice to have my legs out for once!



We had dinner at C&T's house last night and Grayson went with us and it was great to not have to bundle him up. He just headed out in a t-shirt and his baseball cap.


I can already tell this summer is going to be so different from last. Grayson is all boy and is all about exploring, mud pies, and sticks. He loves to run and splash in the mud and riding on the 4 wheeler is his favorite thing.


When we got home from dinner last night Michael got G in the tub because he earned his bath last night and I got to packing lunches and looked down to see muddy little boots in the back entry way. Sweet boots that my boy got to wear all day because the sun came out, or as Grayson calls him "midder gowden shun".

Thank you spring for coming around even if only for a day we needed you and you refreshed us.

4.13.2015

Just a bunch of random stuff

Friday I went to the library that my sister works at and we did a paint and sip. It was so much fun. There was a wine tasting and we painted a picture. I have no artistic ability what so ever so my expectations were low. But I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.






Saturday we had some running around to do. I had to get all the birthday presents for my Mama's birthday and we made a very big purchase for Grayson. Big Boy Underwear!!!! We were at Kohls and I asked him if he would like to try big boy undies and he said "yesh peez mommy". So we bought 2 packages of undies one Mickey Mouse one Pixar (they included Mike and Sully from Monster University) and he was so happy. We got home that night and he wanted to wear them. So I put them on him and he was so excited.




Sunday we got up and first thing on the potty. He got up to grab a toy and started to pee on the floor but I got him onto the toilet to finish and bam he peed in the potty. M&M's and toilet flushing all around plus we called daddy for some more encouragement. Then Libby and Brayden came over and he went back into a diaper because he had  no time for the potty with cousins around to play with. Then after nap he peed again in the potty and he was so proud. He wore his underwear until he went outside and helped Daddy with the 4wheller. He is on the road to no diapers and while I know it will be a long road I'm ok with dipping our toe in. Speaking of 4 wheeler our trip is this weekend and Michael put my pack on and I'm in love and can't wait to ride!




This week is full of craziness which includes looking at a hall for my sisters wedding, getting my hair done and packing us all for our trips (G is going to Gigi and Papa's). We pull out on Friday at 4:30 and I'm looking forward to 3 hours in the car with my main man!

4.09.2015

I'm a routine person

I never really knew this about myself until the other night I was mid melt down with a 2 year old and realized he is just like me.


Michael is sick and that rocks my whole world. We have a routine that we do everyday. It's small things but it is what keeps me sane.
Michael gets home about an hour to two hours before we do. I always pick up G and he does a few things around the house. On Tuesday he came right home and went to bed only waking up to eat.
So after dinner he went up to bed. He needed sleep in the worst way I know that but inside I was freaking out.

Michael always gives Grayson his bath when he is home and I was not mentally prepared to be doing that last night. Plus bath time is when I pack our lunches and get everything around for the next day so I knew I was in for a long night. Dishes needed to get done before I could pack lunches and the house was a disaster.


I never realized how much my husband does before we even get home every night. He fills the Keurig, he does dishes, he picks up the tornado that I left from the morning, he starts dinner, he brushes Riley, he showers, and he empties all the garbage's.



Not having any of that done was like oh my gosh I'm in a downward spiral. But Grayson and I survived. But even yesterday we were still adjusting. I didn't get to shower until 10:30 on Tuesday night which is almost 2 hours past my normal shower time. I was exhausted yesterday. Michael is on the mend. Thank goodness because two days of that would have killed me.


This opened my eyes. Michael does so much and I don't thank him enough. I'm not cut out to be a single parent. I know that if I had to I would adjust but goodness me it's not for the faint of heart. Kids sense any thing different and then turn into hyena's. Grayson knew it was just me and he acted like a crazy person.


I like my little routine and I'm so super thankful for my husband who is a rock star. I'm happy he's better because I need him to do this life with. He is truly my partner in every sense of the word.

4.07.2015

Debt Update

I have not forgotten about Dave Ramsey. In fact we are still very much following most of his rules. 

The number one thing I took from reading Dave's book, was that you need to stop going into debt further. 
Sure you have all this debt but in order to be successful you need to stop that cycle ASAP and do whatever it takes to not add more debt to that pile.

Well the last 2(ish) months have been just that. 

We live in WNY and February was the coldest month in the record books. Which means our furnace ran non-stop. We use oil as our heat source and well it's expensive. In years past we have charged it on the credit card and tried to pay it off $50-$100 payments at a time. Well this year as of today we have no debt due to oil!


My amazing husband started working 6 days a week(temporary) to help prevent more debt and to knock of some already existing and we have done just that!

No more credit cards for us!! Plus we have made some extra payments on our smallest loan we have!


I will be 100% honest it was annoying having to put the debt snowball on hold to pay for oil because it felt like we were treading water and not snowballing anything.

However it is nice to know that we worked hard and prevented future debt!

Now our hopes are to get that smallest loan paid off and my car loan is next! I can't wait to see where we are in a year!

This is a process and it can be annoying. But I just know it will be worth it. Sure I have bad days. I even went on a little shopping spree because I was having a I don't give a crap let me spend money. I went home and felt awful. I returned every single item I bought and felt so much better. Sure it's fun in the moment to be frivolous however it's not worth it in the end.

Our account slowly leaking money every month has been good as well. We don't use our debit cards unless we talk to each other first and usually we have the money to put back in the account or we sacrifice somewhere else. 

Here's progress!

4.06.2015

Easter

It was a good ending to the week last week.

Thursday after dinner we took Grayson over to my parents to spend the night. Once he was finished eating he grabbed his coat and shoes and said "okay I go Gigi and papa now". I love that he is that way with them. They are the only ones that he spends the night with and so I'm glad he is comfortable. Then it was home for us and just relaxing. It was nice to not run around and have a million things to do.



Friday I got out of work a little early and then headed home to watch some re-runs of Real Housewives of NYC. They are my favorite. We left our house and picked up dinner then went to my parents to dye eggs and do our Easter baskets that night.


Saturday my Grandma and Aunt stopped over. They had Grayson's Easter present which is this awesome solar owl for out in the yard. He flipped over it and this Mama appreciated a no candy Easter present. Grayson and Colleen played blocks and it was nice to visit with them. My Grandma will be 90 in October and I hope that I'm half the woman she is when I grow up. She still goes to church every Sunday and gets out almost everyday to do something. She plans all of her church circles trips and knits like crazy. I'm blessed to have her in my life.



Sunday was Easter! We planned on going to Sunrise service but it was 26 out and with Grayson decided against it but we still made it for Easter breakfast at church and it was so nice to have that fellowship. And  look at this studs lonigan in his Easter outfit. He ate it up. He loved wearing that suit! Plus he asked to wear his hair "wike dadddy" So we threw in some gel and he loved it! After breakfast we came home and read books until nap time. Then while he was sleeping the Easter bunny came or if you ask Grayson Jesus brought him a basket because he is creeped out by the bunny #idon'tblameyoukid. I made my Easter Bunny cake then we headed to my parents house for Easter dinner. It was nice and relaxed. A perfect weekend even if it was cold and snowing on Easter



Happy Monday!

4.03.2015

Friday Favorites-Our Family Pictures

I love our photographer. She is amazing and fun and does the best job. We get our pictures done once a year and while I would love it more once a year is the comprimise in our house. So here they are my favorites!



I love everything about this picture

This wrinkled nose smile melts me everytime

So blessed to have him in my life



I think this a front runner for a canvas






My whole world in one picture



Mommy's sweet boy

Him and his sweet GiGi

Love!

Typical 2 year old so over pictures

My love


Erin has taken this picture of us every time since his newborn photo shoot and I love it so much!

Linking up with Andrea for Friday Favorites

I hope everyone has a wonderful Easter weekend!