Saturday, May 7, 2016

Happy Mother's Day, Mom

From the time I can remember I have always been a mama's girl. Growing up in a family of four she was my best friend and becoming a mom almost six years ago has made me appreciate her even more. 

Oh, my mama. The things that she's been through over the last few years breaks my heart but at the same time makes me grateful that God made her so tough. 

I guess it takes a strong women to move to this country with two kids not knowing a lick of English, working odd jobs but always, ALWAYS being there for every game, concert, school function. I will always remember seeing her in crowds looking at me with such pride, the same way I look at my girls. 

We didn't start "living the good life" until I graduated high school. And by "living the good life" I mean not having to worry about bills and finally buying her dream house. The house she always wanted for her grandbabies. 

And then all of a sudden, the life she knew (or thought she knew) was taken away. Just like that. At the age of 60 mama got herself a full time job and got herself back in school to make a life for herself. And I could not be more proud of the woman she is. 

I think of all the times she supported her family growing up, taking taxis with us to school, watching them repossess our beloved station wagon. Borrowing cars from coworkers to pick us up from basketball practice. Always telling us God had a plan and assuring us to the best of her ability that it would all be ok. 

And she was always right. 

And while I wish with every ounce of my being I could make it better for her, the woman appreciates everyday she is given. Everyday she gets to spend my girls is a perfect day. The same woman who would do everything for her family is now that same grandmother. 

And for that, it feels like we all won the lottery. 

Happy Mother's Day mama, you are so loved by all of us!! 

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Mamas still got it. For like 3 seconds.

Many moons ago, and one child less, my besties and I regularly attended late night yoga classes. We would put the babies to bed and meet up for a nice, relaxing, and insanely difficult class nearby. We got pretty good, if I do say so myself. And to be honest, the real reason I went was because I enjoyed the shavasana at the end with the lavender spritzed towel that was laid on my face. And not one soul asking me why bananas are yellow and why can't they be pink. 

Of all the exercises in the world, I enjoy lifting heavy things the most. Running I hate, but I do it because I enjoy not being winded as I chase my children. But when I did yoga on a consistent basis, I was just overall more flexible. My never ending lower back issues disappeared and I didn't feel "old" 

You know when you haven't worked out in forever and you roll yourself out of bed and you just feel "old"?! Yeah that. I didn't have that. 

So I am slowly starting to pick back up with this whole working out thing because Hazel is finally sleeping. I don't even think I can jinx it because she has been doing so well for a while now. So I definitely want to incorporate some yoga in there somewhere because my back has been an annoyance since I had Hazel almost 8 months ago. 


What better way to get back into the swing of things than with new yoga pants?!

Nothing... and I mean nothing motivates me more than some new workout clothes. I scored these Under Armour pants at YogaOutlet.com and they have quickly become my new favorites. They also have all the "real" yoga brands that people who are seriously into yoga will know about. I stuck with what I knew :)


So if you are looking for some amazing deals on some new yoga pants, head on over to Yoga Outlet. You will not be dissapointed!

PS. When you haven't done a yoga headstand in over a year and your core is pretty much at a zero on a scale of pre baby to 3 babies.... You will fall and your 5 year old who you asked to take your picture will continuously laugh at you and tell you that you are failing. 

These pictures took all morning haha! But I have to say it got easier and it was definite motivation for a workout that day!


Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Easter Fun!

Easter always sneaks up on me every year! I am also forever reminded of this Easter:


By far the scariest, most real parenting moment of my mom career. With a one month old Harper at home, I always think of how lucky we were to have our friends and my mama. My mom who basically watched Harper for three days straight, including all those night feedings! Thankful I had pumped so early on with her and had plenty of milk in the freezer. And so, so thankful for friends who took turns coming over, giving mama a break and making the best Easter basket ever for our girl. I get way too emotional thinking of these few days because it really showed us who matters and most importantly who will always be there for us. Ok, end sappy memory rant! 

We got to spend another Easter with my bestie and her family. The girls had way too much fun egg hunting and trampoline jumping! And Quinn "finalllllly" got to eat her beloved chocolate after a 40 day break thanks to JC. 



Those are some cute kids if I do say so myself. 

I swear she loves us. And she does smile. Just not for the camera. 


Can you tell Nolan was thrilled?!

Showing off her eggs!

Seriously, that face though.  P U R E   J O Y

Weeks away from Maddie making her debut!!!!



I love these rare family photos of the five of us! (WHOA)


This was Hazel after a 4 hour stretch of not sleeping. But right to bed she went and it was glorious! 


These three girls. I can't even put into words the feelings. Anyone ever catch a picture of your kids and just stop in your tracks because you can't believe you're so lucky?

This is one of those pictures! They may fight like WWE champions but my goodness do they love each other. And my God do mommy and daddy love them so!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter! Now bring on summer. 













Tuesday, March 29, 2016

In the trenches of motherhood

While I was volunteering at Quinn's school last month I was talking to a mom I had never met before. She had older kids in the school and was asking me about my girls when I told her I had a 5, 3 and a 6 month old. "Oh you're in the trenches!" she said as she laughed. She knew exactly the season of life I was in... she had 4 kids of her own!

But it got me thinking. Motherhood. Oh, motherhood.

You dream about it as a little girl. You want nothing more than to grow up and have all the babies. Me, especially. Growing up in a family of only four people I always knew I wanted a big family. As many babies as I could have (responsibly and within reason, obviously) because I wanted to be surrounded. I envisioned myself with a ton of kids, a ton of grandkids and pretty much the Braverman clan in real life.

Having Quinn was difficult in its own right. I mean, going from 0 children to any number is the most difficult transition in my opinion. As a first time mom you have no idea what the hell your doing. Holding it, burping it, making sure it's head doesn't fall off. The usual questions that pop into your head when you have your first child. 

I don't know if I am n the minority, or if it was a combination of 1.) Having the best big sister/helper in Quinn and 2.) Harper being the absolute best newborn anyone could ask for. Seriously, the child was mute and she was a great sleeper.... but I feel like the transition to two was a breeze. In fact, for me... two was easier than one. 

Quinn was a great baby in that she was super happy most of the time. It was frustrating in that breastfeeding was super brand new to me, I was not used to not sleeping (seriously, you guys have never met anyone in life that enjoys their sleep more than me and my husband) and she would go through the what I now know is normal, witching hour. So when Quinn drove me nuts... it was only her that drove me nuts and the feeling of being overwhelmed was intense. Maybe there was some baby blues thrown in there but with Harper it was as if I didn't have time to be overwhelmed by the infant because I had a whole other human to take care of. Quinn was seriously the best helper. She would sing to her, bring her toys, bring mama a cocktail (I kid.), whatever else I needed. 

She was a godsend. 

Three was a bit tricker. Especially because you know... 

YOU DON'T HAVE THREE ARMS AND HANDS. 

So far, this still proves to be the most difficult part of having three. You want to hug, carry, be there for all of them and you just can't. Your best bet is a mom pile on the couch and someone is always unhappy that they aren't sitting next to you. 

But this is the season of life that were in. And speaking of seasons of life... I am a blogger who has never been to a blogging conference so I am late to the party apparently of Jon Acuff. But I came across this video and boy did it h i t  h o m e



My job is a 24 hour a day job. While my husband has the massive responsibility of keeping this family afloat financially, my work day never ends. When Quinn scares the shit out of me and shows up at my bedside because she has a bloody nose at 3am. When Hazel needs another meal in the middle of the night. Or when monsters suddenly attack Harper's room. This is my job. I wipe butts, I make meals, I get all the kids to school, doctor's appointments, playdates.

Do I wish I had some time to help out and make some extra money? Maybe start that Easy shop I've always wanted to do?

Absolutely. 





But I am learning to embrace this season of life. And accept the fact that it's just going to be nuts right now. Moving, remodeling, tee ball games, church, school activities. It's just part of life right now.

And if some days all you do is keep them alive and throw some Cheerios in their direction?

It's ok. It is so, totally ok. 

I know one day I'll look at my spotless house with not a toy in sight while my kids say "goodnight mom" as they put themselves to bed, brush their own teeth, set their own alarms and that day will be the biggest reminder to appreciate the season of life you're in and embrace the crazy.....or quiet that will come.

And that we're all doing ok. 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Happy 3rd Birthday, Harper Grace!


Dear Harper,

My middle baby. We have been calling you "the baby" since you were born and I still quite can't shake it, even though you've become a big sister yourself! It was always "You get Quinn, I'll take the baby." or "Did the baby eat?" Always, always, my baby.

Words cannot even describe what a special little girl you are. You are so strong, stubborn, and insanely unpredictable. Your memory is something that we are coming to find is a little insane. 

Like, Sheldon Cooper insane. You may not give two hoots about learning to write your name or anything like that, but the things that you remember make me think we should have you tested. But apparently you are just like your father :)


You are and have always been our best sleeper. Which mama is more than appreciative of now that I haven't slept more than 3 hours at a time for over 6 months now. You love your sisters like crazy. To be honest, it's kind of something that surprised me the most. You are so independent I honestly didn't expect for you to be so attached to Hazel. You look up to Quinn and take such good care of Hazel that you just melt my heart on the daily. 

You are most definitely a middle child and I love every bit of it. You are the one that keeps us on our toes and the one that cuddles us the most. You need a little extra loving sometimes and I take full advantage of that. 

I still can't believe that I doubted having enough love for more than one kid when you were born. You showed me how insanely endless a mama's heart is for her babies and I hope to someday make you and Hazel middle sisters with just one more baby. We're working on Daddy! It helps that you and Quinn ask for another baby almost every day :)

Your obsession with baby dolls makes me think you'll be a mama to lots of babies one day. You never go anywhere or sleep without one. Baby dolls are for sure your most favorite thing ever. 


You are simply just full of joy and the laughs that you bring to our little family is so appreciated. You are so funny and full of love. And the love that we all have for you is something insane. We adore you, Harper Grace and I can't wait to see you grow and blossom that insanely feisty personality you have. And to quote your favorite song at the moment that you request on repeat all day long...

"may your heart always be joyful, may your song always sung... and may you stay forever young."

Love you so, so much,

Mommy & Daddy


Harper's 3rd Lion King Birthday!


We had our middle nugget's 3rd birthday party this past weekend and I am just now starting to recover. And by recover I mean finally almost done eating the cupcakes that were leftover. 

We decided that having a 6 month old at home this year and the craziness that has been our lives lately we would have her party somewhere other than our house. Seven birthday parties at our house and we finally decided to venture out, haha!

That's supposed to be a lion. Not a bear on fire. 

This lady was amazing. If you are in or around Howard County I highly suggest Paige at Green Valley Marketplace!

Harper wanted a Lion King birthday (not Lion Guard, Lion King) and I was super excited being that Lion King was my favorite as a child. We just came across pictures of me with my Lion King bed set and I showed it to Harper who didn't think it was as cool as I did. 

Anyway.

We invited all her best friends and girlfriend had a blast. I don't think I was quite prepared for how excited a three year old would get and understand as we heard all day long... "Is it time for my party yet?!"  "I can't wait to see all my friends!"

I told Anthony her face will forever be engrained in my mind because she just smiled the entire time. It was ridiculously adorable.

Aunt Tessa and Hazel! And Hazel's future bff, Madelyn is in that belly!

We decided to do it at Quinn's old stomping grounds, My Gym and I am so glad we did. The kids love this place so much and I honestly miss sending them there like crazy. 

They did a great job entertaining the kids for a little bit and then letting them run wild. Then it was pizza, cupcakes and we were out of there! It was a dream. I may never throw another house party again.


Handsome Nolie.

I MEAN REALLY.



"Oh nooo. My Kohl's top" I love you so much, Jammer.

Lanie is kind of like a Disney princess. All the kids adore her. 



Pure joy.



Words can't express how much I love this man. I am in all seriousness the luckiest woman alive. 



A 5 minute nap was all she needed!

I mean, LOOK AT HIS FACE. Sorry I'm kind of obsessed with him.

They paraded Harper around for a birthday parade and I just about melted. Her tiny little face and the fact that she somehow is turning three and all the emotions just.... BOOM. I don't like this one getting older. She has always been "the baby" since Quinn was born and I am having a really hard time with my middle being so close to not being a baby anymore. 

Sidenote: we recently pulled out the highchair for Hazel and Harper asked me "Mommy, when I'm a baby can I sit in the highchair too?" 

And then I cried. Because life.







I seriously cannot handle the cupcake cake. I was so sad to tear into it!

Thank the good Lord for Lita!


Hope you had the best birthday party ever little girl. Mommy and Daddy love you every little piece of you, you feisty little thing. 


And of course we had to be that family with matching Hakuna Matata shirts. And I don't even care how cheesy we look. 



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