. . . for Lauren and Lauren: July 2015

July 29, 2015

Missing my old purpose

The other day I was pulling into the dentist (the first problem) and there was a lady walking out of an office building across the street.  In a cute skirt and heels and looking beautiful, and accomplished.  I was pulling up wearing a t-shirt and jean shorts, after spending my morning playing with Addilyn at a friends, putting her down for a nap and bringing the five year old I babysit with me to the dentist, while my mother in law watched Addilyn.  I felt nervous, frazzled, ugly and so not accomplished.  It made me miss dressing up.  Putting on nice clothes, getting to work, feeling purposeful in a career.
A few months ago, my close friend that was on my third grade team got to downtown for a three day conference, learning about a new math method, then got to come back to school to present it.  She did so well that they want her to work with some other schools and present at another conference.  Not that I would be close to as knowledgeable in this subject, but we used to do a lot of planning, creating and teaching together.  If I was still at school I would have been the one that went to the conference with her.  It made me miss teaching.  Miss the opportunity to impress people, to feel proud of an idea, and to make a difference in a ton of kids' lives.  

The same week when I was tutoring one of my students I asked her if she was sad that school was over or happy for summer.  She said both, and that she was only said about leaving "Mrs. Rempert."  Again, I felt sad.  I used to have students that said that.  And as time goes on, the majority of the students do not know who Mrs. Vale is.  

Later that week my timehop picture was of me and six students that moved up with me when I went from teaching second to third grade.  Six of my favorite students ever.  When I think about my first few years of teaching, it was so much of who I was.  I loved teaching so much.  Of course there's parts that weren't great, but it was what I was meant to do and I loved it.  

About 85% of the time I feel really confident and content with my role as a stay at home mom.  I know that God has made me to be Addilyn's mom and that even though I have no idea what I'm doing many of the times, that I'm a good mom.  I feel so grateful that I am able to stay home with my daughter and don't take it for granted, when I know so many people would love to be able to do the same.

But I think I'm surprised that I still have feelings like this.  When school started back up last year, I went through a phase where I had some second thoughts about staying home.  I felt like I missed the beginning of the year excitement, felt like maybe I should have tried to find a part time teaching job and wished that would have worked out at my school.  Seeing back to school stuff and pictures of teachers setting up their classrooms, brings back some of those same feelings again.  

The older I get and more experiences have it's clear that I struggle with change.  With leaving something behind and accepting that things are different.  I struggle with this in terms of blogging.  I miss when blogging was filled with deeper connections, more validation, more success.  I struggle just accepting that it's just different now and that's fine.  I struggle with change in relationships, circumstances, anything.  I think that I expect to feel completed confident and satisfied in my "new" role by now, and I don't.  I think that I need to start accepting that I'm probably always going to have a part of me that misses teaching because it was such a big part of who I am.  And there's a good chance it will be again.  But I'm reminded over and over that this is where God wants me right now and I sure am thankful for that.  

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July 27, 2015

I Scream, You Scream . . .

ice cream birthday party

I loved Addilyn's first birthday party.  I loved making invitations, crafts, planning it and having a huge party to celebrate her (really our) first year.  But it was a lot of work!  So we knew we wanted to do something super simple and easy (and cheap), but still celebrate our baby girl turning two!  We decided on having an ice cream party with just our immediate family and it was perfect.  We had it at 3:30, so no need to worry about feeding any dinner.  Maybe just ruining some dinners?  Oops.  But it was great and I'm so glad we did it just like that!  

ice cream birthday party
ice cream garland
ice cream chalkboard
ice cream birthday party

I used a lot of her polka dot decorations from her first birthday and hung polka dot garlands around our house.  We bought tons of candy from the Dollar Store and Target and cut them up in little pieces and put them in cute little bowls I found at Hobby Lobby.  The mini chalkboard signs came in packs of four at the dollar spot from Target.  I found the ice cream garland online here for free!

Someone woke up from her nap pretty excited to see all this candy.

ice cream birthday party

After ice cream we opened presents, which I have lots of pictures but they all include blurry kids and a naked birthday girl with goggles on.  

It was such a great party and I'm leaning towards an ice cream celebration with family every year from here on out! 

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July 26, 2015

The end. Again.

 top: c/o sheinside   jeggings: gap   shoes: kohls   watch: c/o Jord watches    leather bracelet: nickel & suede

Last night I finished the last episode of Friday Night Lights.  For the second time.  And I was just as sad, if not more when it was over.  That show may be the best show ever.  I watch one episode before I go to bed almost every night and I don't know what to do with myself before bed now.  I'm thinking maybe starting Parenthood over again.  I think I've watched all the good Netflix shows, but I could be wrong, so please fill me in if I'm missing one.  Important stuff here, I know.  

In equally important business, I love this top.  It fits my standards of long, baggy and comfy.  If it wasn't so sheer I'd wear it as a dress, but leggings and jeans it is.  Plus it's under $12 so win, win!

Hope you all had a wonderful weekend.  I can't believe it is already the end of July!

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July 23, 2015

I think I have enough

embroidered dress
embroidered dress
 dress: c/o sheinside   sandals: old navy  cuff: nickel and suede

I'm pretty sure my closet does not need any more embroidered things in it, but I love them all.  And will happily take more.  I love the pattern on this dress and it is super comfy.   It is a tad too short if I plan on doing any kind of bending over, but I think it'd be perfect for a beach cover up.  And even better with leggings or even skinny jeans in the Fall.  I am sure I will regret this but I am already ready for Fall weather.  I can not wait to wear leggings and by Fall I mean not even close to Winter.  I am no where near ready for that.  

embroidered dress

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July 21, 2015

Soft Pants

 top: target  pants: kohls   necklace: purple periodot    sandals: old navy

I'm not positive if soft pants is the correct name for these pants but I love them.  I debated buying them because of the tapered bottoms and something just doesn't seem right about that.  But thanks to a coupon they ended up costing me 80 cents so I figured I couldn't lose.  My shorts legs often mean dragging, baggy pants so the tapered bottoms are perfect.  Plus they have pockets and an elastic waist, so soft pants for the win! 

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July 19, 2015

Addilyn turns two

Addilyn's birthday was Tuesday and it was such a perfect day.  Chris took her to get a donut before he had to go to work.  Then after we were dressed and ready (she picked out the tutu outfit) we meet some of our friends at the park and brought donuts, which Addi ate her weight's worth that day.  If not on your birthday than when, right?  We had a birthday party for Addilyn this weekend but it was just our families, so it was fun to celebrate with Addilyn's friends. 

It was so simple and easy, I think we may be doing this every year!

After coming home for Addilyn's nap, Chris got off work early and we went to the pool.  All of Addilyn's cousins on both sides met us there and it was so much fun.  She absolutely LOVES the water and is so good at holding her breathe.  Her and Chris would go under water and kiss and then come up.  It was adorable.  

Chris, Addilyn and I went to Culver's on the way home for dinner and ice cream.  All day when you asked Addi what day it was she'd say "My birthday! My birthday is coming up!"  Not sure she gets that today was her birthday and then she has to wait a whole year again!  

I've learned many times already that you can't control special days and they don't always turn out how you hope (like last year's birthday ending in a 911 call and trip to urgent care).  But today was perfect.  I laid her down that night and said "goodnight birthday girl" and she said "goodnight birthday mama!"  I love her so much and am so glad she is mine! And am so thankful for such a perfect day!  

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July 16, 2015

JORD watches - my new favorite thing

JORD watch
tank top: old navy  skirt: target  necklace: ebay  watch: c/o Jord Watches  leather wrap: nickel and suede

I've been able have some pretty sweet opportunities and work with some great companies through blogging, but this one may just be my favorite.  I've seen a handful of bloggers write about and share about these beautiful wooden watches and spent some time looking on their site, wanting one for myself.  I can't tell you how excited I was when they contacted me about working together.  

JORD watch

I of course had a hard time picking as they all seem like such beautiful watches, but I decided on the fieldcrest in natural green.  It is beautiful.  It even came in this fancy wooden box.  I don't think I've been that excited to check my mail every day, as when I was waiting for my watch! When it came it was a tiny bit lighter in color, but it's changed into this beautiful greenish wood color since I've worn it outside.  Each watch shade will be a little different, depending on the wood grains used to make it.   When you order your watch, you give them your wrist size so it will fit perfectly when you get it.  It came with the links too in case I need to add them at some point.  

It's been a long time since I've worn a watch consistently.  Even when I was teaching I felt like I did not have a watch that was comfortable, appropriate for every outfit and didn't get in the way when I was doing things.  I think only one day has passed the last week and a half that I haven't worn my watch.  I absolutely love it and know I will be wearing it all the time.  Plus I think it looks perfect with my new leather cuff from Nickel and Suede.

JORD watches also has watches for men.  Chris loved mine and told me I should've picked a watch out for him for the review.  Sorry Chris, but no way! I do think these would make awesome birthday presents, Father's day presents, anything.  Check out all their beautiful watches here.

Thank you so much JORD watches.  I absolutely love my watch and loved working with you.  One of my favorite companies I've worked with!

Luxury Wooden Watch

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July 15, 2015

Mystery Craft Challenge - I need your votes!

personalized wine charms

Jennifer has been a blogging friend since I started blogging years ago.  She is unbelievable talented and I want her to come decorate my house and plan my parties.  She came up with this super fun challenge where she sent participants old school crafting supplies and they had to be transformed into something you could use.  I was kind of stumped when I got my mystery item, but think it turned out pretty good.  Super easy and cheap.  My favorite kind of project.  Plus there is voting and a winner and prizes! (Check them out here and please vote for me - I'm number 8!) 

Spray paint the charms on both sides.  Let them dry and then personalize them.  There were a ton in the bag, so it'd be easy to make these for an event and sent them home with guests.  Or you can write numbers on them and keep them to be used again.  They are small so the numbers were definitely easier then the names!  Initials may be a better idea too!  
personalized wine charms

Now is where I need your help!  Jennifer shared my craft as well as the 8 other ladies who participated.  The winner gets some pretty sweet prizes, like a Michael's gift card and some awesome prizes from generous etsy shops.  Can you do me a huge favor and vote for me?  Vote HERE!  (click on the link and I'm number 8!)


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