Sunday, July 29, 2012

Custom Invitation Giveaway!


So, Everett's 2nd birthday is just around the corner and thanks to Alicia at nowanorris I have some amazing party invitations to hand out!  Alica hosts this amazing 'Invitation Station'!  She creates custom photo invitation designs for all of your party needs!  Birthday, Baby Announcement, Save the Dates, Graduation, Holiday, etc.  She creates them and then sends you the PDF/JPEG file for you to print to your hearts content or send to a site like Shutterfly or Winkflash (She told me about that one!).  She is so reasonably priced and the product is awesome!  Take a peek at my invite below:


Is that not the coolest?!  I just snipped the edges and Wam Bam, it's a baseball ticket!

nowanorris is giving away one custom invitation design of your choosing!  Check out her shop, she has so many to choose from!  Have an anniversary coming up?  Need baby announcements?  Heck, wanna just throw a party and send out cool invites?  Comment on what you would use this prize for to enter the giveaway.  Giveaway ends Monday 8/6!

Good luck and party on! :)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Armommy giveaway winner!

Congratulations to:


SHELBY!

Since there were so few, we did it old school and the little man helped me pick the lucky winner.....before he promptly crumpled up the paper and threw it clear across the room yelling, "NO!"

Hmm, so he may have mixed feelings about the winner...hehehe.  He's been a pretty tough love kid lately--don't take it personally :)

Shelby, please email me your address and I'll get that to our friends at Armommy and they'll get you your goodies!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Soren.

So, I have a new 2 week old nephew that I got to take some pictures of today and it was a blast!  He is so teeny weeny and reminds me of Everett when he was just a scrawny lil peanut---oh the memories. I just wanted to share a few of my favorites from the photo shoot----then you too can see his cuteness! :)













Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Armommy giveaway!

Giveaway has ended! Thanks for the comments! Yay! for giveaways!
I am completely infatuated with my new giveaway sponsor ARMOMMY!
No lie, when I got the email for this giveaway opportunity around midnight the other night, I stayed up till about 1:00 a.m on my little i-phone exploring their site, blog, etc.  It's super awesome and you HAVE to check it out! 

ARMOMMY is a lifestyle company creating products that provide style, design & function for motherhood.  "We are eclectic in our designs, merging timeless concepts with a modern twist & a little whimsy.  The inspiration for ARMOMMY lies in our own desires & experiences as moms, & the mamas we know and serve."

Armommy is kindly giving away the following:
A smib (genius!!)

 AND 3 months of the monthly spread....and yeah, it's pretty great.  Check out what the monthly spread is all about HERE!

Do check them out now!...like right now!  Then leave a comment on why you would love to win this giveaway.  One comment will be randomly picked on Tuesday 7/24!

WEBSITE
BLOG
PINTEREST 

I'm crushin' over these smibs...and the door bumpers....and the meal plans....oh Lawd!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

MINE!

Remember in Finding Nemo when those birds all start 'My-ing'.  You know...."myyy, myy, my, my, myyyy, my, my, myy..."  (ok admit, you just read it like they say it in the movie....I may or may not have done the same thing while typing it.)

Well, it's annoying.

Kind of like when I'm driving and I have a toddler strapped in the backseat of my car screaming, "MINE, MIIIIIINE, MINE, MINE, MIIIIIIINE"  Although it sounds more like, "MY-EEEEN".  Over and over and over and ugh.

Moments like that, I wish I were deaf.  Or had long enough arms to reach into the backseat to cover his mouth---even if just for three seconds of silence.

So. Annoying.

Know what though?  I am no different.  My selfishness screams out just as annoyingly, but in different ways.

Stuff...."MINE!"
Time...."MINE!"
Money..."MINE!"
People..."MINE!"

In the same way I am annoyed by Everett's tantrums and shouts proclaiming everything under the sun as his,  I would think my Heavenly Father is pretty disappointed....to say the least...in my selfishness in thinking, well, everything under the sun is mine.

"The earth is the Lords, and everything in it"  1 Corinthians 10:26

Well, hello truth, there you are.

So many things fill my home and closets, but they don't fill my heart.  they are a temporary satisfaction--brought on by the adrenaline rush to buy new things.  Stuff doesn't satisfy, and it's not mine.  It's all just keeping me from my greater purpose of giving more and getting less.

In my own way, I try to be less of a "MINE" person by not being attached to stuff, being generous towards others and striving to live without clutter and over-abundance of the unnecessary things.  But then, I go to the store and see a top...or a book....or movie....or craft supplies....or shoes and all of a sudden, it come's again..."MINE!"

This roller coaster of selfishness.  Where does it come from and how on earth does it start in a one year old's brain?

We live in a world of stuff---we are bombarded by it and it may consume us.  While this stuff may be of the world---we are not.  We have a greater purpose while here and part of that is to be generous and live with giving hands outstretched to those all around us.

"Are you listening to this?  Really listening?  Listen carefully to what I am saying--and be wary of the shrewd advice that tells yo how to get ahead in the world on your won.  Giving, not getting, is the way.  Generosity begets generosity.  Stinginess impoverishes."  Mark 4:23-25 (The Message)

I LOVE to give.  Gift giving is so much fun for me and I love to put thought and creativity into gifts for others for birthdays, Christmas and random---ooohh, those are the best to give! But in the end,  I feel like I'm getting more satisfaction out of giving than the receiver is getting, and isn't that, well, selfish?

Can altruism be 100% pure, or are there itty bitty monsters of hedonism in our efforts of generosity? 

As humans and Christians, can we really live a life fully free of the "MINE!" syndrome or would that make us...Jesus?

Jesus, forgive me for filling my life more with material objects and things that don't matter than with you and your goodness.  Please daily remind me that I am a leader and my child is following in my footsteps--please help me to lead him to be more of a giver than a getter and display this very attitude in my own actions.  I want to be like you so very much.
  


Friday, July 13, 2012

Awkward.

Wanna know a little fact about me?

I ooze awkward.

Really, it's one of my biggest personal handicaps in social situations.  Call it introverted.  Call it social anxiety.  Or call it awkward.  It's really all the same to me.

I will even sometimes try to avoid certain social situations because I am paralyzed by my awkwardness.  This is THE major and primary reason why I am so poor at supporting Curtis at his softball games.  I can't stand the thought of being my awkward self in front his friends I hardly know.  So, I just assume hardly never go.  Sorry Curtis....sorry Curt's friends.  :(   I think to many, this can come across as, say...bitchy.  I don't blame them--I probably look cold and uninterested on the outside, but on the inside I'm thinking about what they think of me...and how to act....and what to say....and so on.

When Curt is around and by my side, it eases my anxiety and helps me to be a bit less awkward.  He is so good at the whole people thing.  He asks the right questions, makes people laugh, makes others feel comfortable and is just a little social butterfly.  But when he is not around or say....on the ball field while I am on the bleachers, it's just awkward.  Ugh, I'm so ashamed.

Tonight, I was flying solo and almost let my anxiety take over me enough to make me stay home from a dear friend's birthday party.  BUT, I gave myself a pep talk and said, "hey you, grow up and get over there because it's not always about you."

I went, and it was great (as usual---silly me.) and I got to see old friends and meet new ones and watch my little dude enjoy other kids.  Aaaaaand, I was awkward. Struggling with starting up conversations, struggling to show an outward interest that matched the inward and struggling to just be me.

Maybe me is just plain awkward?

Can I blame someone for that?  Hm, I'd blame my dad---he's pretty awkward....er, I mean awesome  :)

Oh well.  It is what it is right?  Looks like I will need Curtis to accompany me everywhere and babysit me so I don't make other people feel comfortable.

Or, I can try to work on it.  

So, please just know that I'm really not a bitch, I AM interested in you and your life and I DO like to have fun.  I'm just awkward.
 




Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Taste the Rainbow!

Many moons ago, I lived in a tomboyish, colorless wardrobe.  I wanted to standout--so I veered into the dark punkish style (Avril wannabe).  I stayed there well into the beginning of our marriage. Lots of greys and blacks.  It wasn't until Curtis started commenting on how drab and dark I seemed that I really started to think about my clothes and how they portrayed me as a woman.  I slowly started to add in color and dare I say dresses.  Holy moley.  Five years ago the only dress you'd see me in was my wedding dress!  Now look at that picture below...there is like 15 in there!


 And now here is some color!  Its like a rainbow threw up in my closet....and I like it! :)  When I put on colors, I feel so happy and positive and I think that is the point of clothes, isn't it?---to make you feel good!


So, thank you Curtis for encouraging me to bring happiness to my wardrobe and taking it from an Avril wannabe to a rainbow on steroids!

I think my wardrobe also speaks to who God is molding me into as I grow older.  God created me as woman and its bout time I start dressing like one huh?   I have become more feminine, more creative and more unique!

Monday, July 9, 2012

barbitch.

Well, we have now ventured into that point in parenting where our child will say a word which to most anyone would sound like jibberish, however to the knowing parents it's like, "well duh, he's asking you to throw that away."  Everett has a number of words that we feel priveledged to be the only ones that know what they mean.

barbitch: garbage
guck: truck
peash: please
dah doo:  thank you
bipper: diaper
bahrdy:  Barney
beer:  up here
foyditch:  Soren (his new baby cousin)  yeah...he lost even me on that one...


He cracks me up.  I mean, most women would be appalled to be have "barbitch" yelled at them, but I know my guy just wants to throw his junk away.  

Keep at it little man.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Affirmations.

There are times where as a working mom, I feel as if I am on a teeter totter balancing my priorities, desires and passions in life up and down--back and forth.  One week I am convinced I should be a stay at home mom and the next there is nothing I want more than to spend all my time, energy and heart into my job as a counselor.  It gets real taxing on my mind and  on my heart.  I think God knows this though---well, actually I KNOW he knows.  It's these times where I doubt my roles that he comes in and affirms what I am doing. 

Even though summer is still in its beginning stages,  I'm already falling hard for the 24/7 time with Everett and find little seeds of dread creeping their way in my mind when I think of work starting in the fall--which is crazy because I adore and LOVE my job!  God has given me two amazing roles as mother and counselor and while I feel blessed, I also feel like I constantly have to choose.  Where does this come from?  I don't know.  Will it ever stop?  Not sure of that either.  What I am sure of though is that when I start to doubt myself and my God-given roles, God comes in and uses something to affirm me and keep my head and heart in the game.

This evening, I received an email from a former student I worked with this past year (now a 7th grader)--it totally warmed my heart and fueled my love and desire for my amazing job!  Here is what the student wrote:


What a sweet kiddo, huh?!

I thank God for using affirmations like this in my life because they drive me to be better at what he has destined for me.  And while I am not sure if the conflicting feeling of this balancing act will ever go away, I would much rather be balancing these two great roles than none at all!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Home. Sweet. Home.



I am happy to be posting this from the comfort (though lack of air conditioning) of my own home!  We survived the trip back and would be happy to not ride in the car again all summer :)  Here are the last snaps from our adventures in Colorado.  We went hiking in the mountains on our last day.  Nothing like a hike in the mountains thousands of feet above sea level to make you realize you are way out of shape.  Ooftah!















It was a hot, tiring and hard hike, but the view was so worth it! 

 It was nice to have a vacation (though I didn't get to see my husband much :( ), but it seems even sweeter to be home sweet home!  We have just enough of a break before our next little adventure to Northern Minnesota for our family reunion!  Until then I've created a new rule.... no car trips should be longer than 40 minutes!

THE TOP 10 THINGS I'LL MISS ABOUT COLORADO:
(In no particular order)

10. Sleeping in a king size bed every night.  Though I love my husband very much, sprawling out in the bed without hitting a dog or human is the bomb.

9. A yummy and free breakfast every morning. We're talking fruit, eggs, bacon, potatoes, french toast. yeah, that's the stuff!  I never eat breakfast, so I am sure I added on a few extra pounds, but hello....free bacon!

8. No cleaning up crumbs, garbage or messes.....someone else did that for us!  And...fresh towels daily!

7.  Visiting friends.  We were so lucky to sneak a visit in with some amazing friends we miss very much!

6.  Hearing the gravel and dirt crunch under my feet while hiking.

5.  The mountains!

4.  Colorado Mills mall--complete with outlet stores, bungee jumping, kiddie rides and carousel!

3. Exploring Denver with my favorite little dude and mother in law.

2.  Denver Children's Museum. Simply awesome!

1. Being on Vacation with my family!



( To see more snaps from our vacation, find me on instagram @lauralilarson)

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