July GBOMB

What a good and exhausting month! This month has left me feeling refreshed and so tired all at the same time – which I’m guessing is the sign of a good, memorable month..

Lets get into it, shall we?

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GOOD

  • We had a really fun 4th of July party with Wild Man’s family and my family. It went so smoothly, the food was delicious and it was so relaxing and rejuvenating.
  • Our puppy is doing actually really well! Training isn’t perfect yet, but she’s picking up on things SO fast! Best of all, she and H are seriously the best of friends and she is so patient and loving with him.
  • I had my big 22 week ultrasound this month. Its always so much fun to get a little peek at your sweet baby. Everything is looking perfect and he’s measuring and developing just how he should. It makes me really grateful. The whole drive over to the ultrasound place I was in constant prayer just begging for everything to look good and when we saw that he is perfect I was flooded with gratitude and a calmness I didn’t so much have before.
  • H has started racing and its the best thing. He’ll stand against the wall and give us this look which we know means we need to say “on your mark, get set, go!” then he runs as fast as he can to us with the biggest grin on his face.
  • We toured the new MTC (missionary training center) and it was incredible. The art and quotes on the wall were really inspiring and moving. It was especially neat to hear Wild Man and his brothers talk about how the new MTC compared to the old one. It was a very cool experience and I highly suggest you get tickets to tour it too!IMG_6533

BAD

  • Poor H went about 2 weeks not feeling well at all. It seemed like we could hardly go an hour without diarrhea or throw up and it felt like it was never going to end. Luckily he was still able to mostly act himself unless some bodily thing was about to happen. It was sad to witness. I know its cliche to say you wish you could have a sickness instead of your child, but its true. Its hard seeing those sweet things feel sick.
  • I’m not sure what I did but I think I pulled a muscle or something in my stomach at the end of the month. Its so achey that its become a constant pain and is making taking deep breaths really, really hard. Lifting even light things is a bit more of a struggle and there is no comfortable position I’ve found so far that makes it feel ok.
  • Why is church so hard again? I felt like we finally had a system down that worked and H was decently behaved and I didn’t feel like having an emotional breakdown while there, but then all the sudden everything has changed. We sit down in Sacrament Meeting and almost instantly H loses it and there is NO way to make him happy. It is a long, long hour. Thankfully he still is loving nursery. IMG_6813

ON MY BRAIN

  • My mom and one of my sisters went to the D23 Expo this month (a big fancy, exclusive Disney exposition) and it was a really long week for me. I know I could have gone but opted to stay home to be a mom. Decisions like that are tough sometimes. But they had an amazing time, learned many really neat things and had some phenomenal experiences. Maybe I can join them for the next one!
  • Can dogs tell if you’re pregnant? I swear our dog knows. She treats my belly different. That sounds weird – but I really think she knows theres a little tiny human in there.
  • Our laundry room is odd. Its this huge, weirdly empty space besides the washer and dryer. This month we have been slowly making it a better space. We painted a wall, my sisters doing some amazing Up artwork on it, we are putting in a nice soaker sink, some cupboards and places to hang laundry and put in new baseboards. I know its just a laundry room but I’m really excited to see it all finished. Its also made me really gung-ho about personalizing the other spaces in our house I’m not crazy about. Something amazing about being a home owner is that there aren’t really rules. We have the creative freedom to make the space exactly how we’d like it. Its exciting and has my creative wheels spinning.
  • I’ve been extra mindful of the gratitude I have for my family this month. There have been a few personal things that have happened recently that have made me realize I need to not take family for granted. Not just my husband and sons, but my own family and Wild Man’s family. I’m really lucky to be surrounded by amazing, supportive, happy people. I genuinely love every member of my family – immediate and extended. How many people can say that and really mean it?? IMG_6738

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

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Mom and Dad

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Today my cute parents are celebrating yet another year of their marriage!

I know this is so cliche to say, but I really owe a lot of who I am to my mom and dad. They have always been very involved parents who religiously put their children first and established really great relationships with the three of us. I never went through the phase of life where my parents embarrassed me or where I didn’t like them – and I think I can safely say my two little sisters feel the same way. I never understood how rare and special that was until I got older and realized a lot of people had much more rocky, complicated relationships with their parents. We all learned at a very young age how important and valuable family is the way we all translated that was by being very best friends. My parents always created a lot of trust between us so I was never afraid to tell them…pretty much everything. I didn’t feel like I needed to keep secrets from them because they were so understanding, not pushy and patient.

My relationship changed with my parents after getting married. I definitely saw that they recognized I was an adult, living with my husband and growing our family and they have always been so respectful of that big change. They have never tried to control me and my families decisions in any way, they have always allowed us to feel pride in the fact that we are adults and our own family unit now and ultimately get to decide what is best for us – even when that means they get the short end of the stick. They offer advice when asked and offer help every time its needed.

I have always known what incredible parents they are, but I saw that love grow to a new, special kind of love once I had my son. They are the cutest grandparents. They love my little boy and I know they will love all of my future kids the same way and it has provided me with so much comfort and joy. Just like they did with my sisters and I as little ones, they have created a meaningful relationship with H and he knows they love him, care for him and are there for him. I can’t put into exact words just how much I love knowing that we live so close to them and my kids can grow up with their grandparents so close and so caring.

Happy Anniversary to two of my favorite people. You have taught me so much about the kind of parent I hope to be, about the kind of person I should strive to be and about how to create happiness in my home, my marriage and my family life. I love you both!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

My Little Boy

I have been hit pretty aggressively with the realization that we are down to just a few months of having just one child. Our sweet baby H. The perfect little bundle of joy who made us parents and introduced us to a happiness and overwhelming feeling of pride we never could have known if it weren’t for him. 

My heart is feeling torn in so many different directions. Of course I am beyond thrilled to have our second little boy in November. I’ve dreamt my whole life of having several kids and that’s still my dream! I am so excited to see H become a big brother and to finally meet this little brother of his. I am so anxious to see his face, to learn his personality and to soak all of him in. I actually feel more excited this time around, probably because this time I’m not so clueless. I know how special my children are now. I know how much I love them and how much I love being a mom. I can’t let myself dwell too much on this or else I turn into an emotional puddle. 

But then there is the part of me that knows how much H’s world is going to be rocked. Life as he knows it is going to drastically change and a part of me, in a weird way, feels a little bit guilty. People who often joke about how H is going to be second place, etc certainly don’t help the way I feel either. He is very accustomed to being the one and only. He’s used to undivided attention and snuggles on demand. I know it’s good for him to learn that the world in fact doesn’t revolve around him…but there’s still guilt!! 

I hope he can figure out quickly that he’s still so loved. Our love isn’t going to lessen for him even in the slightest. In fact I’ve heard the love we have for him will even grow! Our hearts are just going to get bigger so we can have the same amount of love for little brother! I hope he sees that he’s still our world, our joy and our tiny best buddy. Because he is – he always will be!

I know that especially once the baby is here I will feel differently. I’ll just know our new family of four is perfect and meant to be. I know that now, come to think of it – I’m just.. I don’t know. Am I even making sense or do I just sound crazy? I am so in love with this crazy 20 month old and I want him to never feel that his value has decreased just because another baby joined our family. It’s giving me so many emotions I honestly wasn’t anticipating. It’s funny how I am so far past elated for this new addition but at the same time feel a tinge of guilt. 

Please tell me I’m not the only one who’s ever felt like this? Also please tell me it’s just hormones or a phase or something and I’ll get over this before November?!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles 

Magical Monday: My Favorite Places to Eat

You have no idea how many times I’ve started a Disney Dining post then ended up deleting it. Disney Dining is a HUGE category that could really turn into a novel (for me at least). I still plan on covering all of Disneyland and California Adventure’s Dining options in a later post, but for today I’m going to be going over my favorite places to grab a bite to eat in Disneyland and California Adventure. These range from table service options to quick serve options and fast snacks to grab on the go. But these are what I love and what I hate to miss when I go on my magical getaways to The Happiest Place on Earth.

My Favorite Places to Dine in Disneyland

  • We’ll start on Main Street. Hands down my favorite place to eat on beautiful Main Street is Carnation Cafe. I can’t say enough good about this place. Its adorable and its delicious. This is a table service restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. I recommend making a reservation. My favorite thing to get here is the Chicken-fried Chicken. It is life changing.Carnation1-20120618-BW
  • Another favorite is Blue Bayou. Located in New Orleans Square, this is another table service restaurant that I recommend getting a reservation for ahead of time. They serve lunch and dinner. This is the restaurant located right beside Pirates of the Caribbean – the restaurant you see at the beginning of the attraction, which means while you dine you can watch other guests ride by in their boats on their voyage. The ambiance is unbeatable. My favorite thing to eat here is their iconic Monte Cristo.  The-Blue-Bayou-toursdepartingdaily.com_
  • If you’re looking for similar food to Blue Bayou but want to save a few bucks I highly recommend Cafe Orleans. (also in New Orleans Square) They also sell the delicious Monte Cristo! They are a table service restaurant that serves lunch and dinner. My favorite thing there are their Pommes Frites. This is a MUST. You’ll never eat anything like it. Please try these next time you go if you haven’t yet. You can thank me later. thumb_600
  • Stage Door Cafe is a classic for me and my family. Here in Frontierland, you can buy an iconic Disneyland corndog. Who doesn’t want that kind of goodness in their life? This is a quick serve option that is open for lunch and dinner and obviously my favorite thing to get there (and possibly the thing I crave most from Disney) is the corndog.
  • In Critter Country you can find Hungry Bear which is a delicious quick serve option with nice, shaded seating, beautiful scenery and yummy food. It is open for lunch and dinner and I am a big fan of their classic cheeseburger or chicken sandwich.
  • So I guess this isn’t a meal but it’d be a tragedy not to include this iconic, amazing snack. At the Tiki Juice Bar you can get yourself my favorite thing – a Dole Whip. There is never a bad time for this delicious snack and you probably need a few throughout your trip… Just sayin’.
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My Favorite Places to Dine in California Adventure

  • I’m starting with my favorite which is located in Cars Land. The Cozy Cone Motel is my #1 place to eat in DCA. They are a quick serve option that serve various snacks and quick bites to eat but my very favorite thing to get there is the Chili Cone Queso. Its a California Adventure staple in my family and it never disappoints.
  • Staying in Cars Land there is also Flo’s V8 Cafe. Flo serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and the ambiance is so cute. Its a colorful, exciting diner with great food options. My personal favorite thing to get is Brioche French Toast for breakfast! I would also suggest their outdoor seating where you get either a great view of Cars Land or if you move to the side of the restaurant you can watch the cars zoom by on Radiator Springs Racers.
  • On Paradise Pier you can find Cove Bar. This is a table service restaurant (that you have to wait in line for to get a table – just a warning). You get an amazing view of Paradise Pier and tasty food. My favorite is the Cotton Candy Lemonade. They also have amazing Lobster Nachos.

*these pictures are not my own

Where are your can’t-miss places to eat in the Disney Parks??

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Stop the Comparisons 2017

We have a cousin who’s daughter is just three weeks older than H. We are very close so we see a lot of each other and for the first several months of their lives I realized I was always comparing our babies to each other. Not in a who’s baby is better than who’s kind of way, but in that I was always comparing their milestones and achievements. I always felt like H’s cousin was progressing faster than him and it freaked me out and I spent way too long worrying that maybe, heaven forbid, there was something wrong with my perfect baby. I (thankfully) eventually came to realize that there wasn’t anything wrong, but that they are two different people who do things differently than one another. H was farther along on some things and his cousin was farther along on some things. Sometimes I feel like I spent so much time on worrying that H wasn’t just like his cousin that I missed out on really enjoying the current stage he was in.

Since I became mindful that I was doing this, I’ve come to realize I actually do it…like a lot. With so many different areas of my life. I cannot even count how many times I have made myself feel small and inadequate because I have compared myself to other people who I swore had it more together than I did. I’ve really felt this as a mom and housewife. I have one child and am pregnant and its seriously a struggle for me to always have my whole house clean. Then I think of my sister in law who is pregnant with her fifth child, or 99% of my friends who have more kids than me – and they all have these clean, organized homes. I’ve spent countless hours crying while I clean my kitchen, feeling overwhelmed that I’m a bad wife because I can’t do this one thing as good as so-and-so. Its draining and its debilitating. I am SO good at comparing myself to others and its a really rotten talent to possess. I could give you so many examples of times I have compared myself to someone else who is seemingly very near perfect at something, then looked at myself and have felt instant misery because I wasn’t at the same place they were. It takes you to a place of sadness, heartache, depression and a loss of self respect and love.

I know my husband and son love me and appreciate me, but so often its easy to feel undeserving of such feelings. How could my husband truly appreciate me when the sink is full of dirty dishes, theres toys all over the floor, I don’t know whats for dinner and the bed isn’t made – and lets not even mention the laundry. How does my son still idolize me when I stick him in front of the tv so often while I have a meltdown or try desperately to catch up on housework? Its feelings like these that start piling up way too easily and swiftly drag me down to a place of feeling so bad.

Not that long ago I became really aware somehow that I was letting these spiraling thoughts into my mind way too easily. So I decided to try and actively fight these evil thoughts. Its really hard not to compare yourself to all the ‘perfect‘ people in your life. Believe me, I know this from experience. Its hard to feel like you’ve done some good in your life and the life of your family when someone else has an immaculate home, perfect child, well-trained dog, a homemade meal on the table and has perfect hair and makeup every day.

But guess what? That perfect person most likely feels just like you do. Who knows, maybe they even think you’re the perfect person they keep comparing themselves to. Its very likely there is something you do really well that someone wishes they, too, did just as good. The things you think you’re bad at, someone could be wishing they did more like you. The reality is that none of us are perfect – we are all just trying. And its a lot easier to try and be the best version of ourselves when we only worry about ourselves – not about the neighbor. Everyone is struggling somewhere in their life. They have days where they feel awful, too. Even that Lifestyle Blogger who only posts the pretty and perfect things going on in her life.

Actively reminding myself of these facts was a game changer. I obviously don’t always remember this and have plenty of pity parties. But when I do remember that everyone is just trying to get better and the only person who I should be worrying about is myself, I do a lot better.

Its so easy to compare and its really hard not to. But oh my gosh when you stop worrying about what someone else’s home and life is like – life gets 100% better. I have been able to take more pride in what I’m doing around the home. I am able to see why my family values me. I am better able to go throughout my day with a clear mind and light heart. I am happier and calmer and have a lot less anxiety. It makes me more confident and relaxed. It takes concentration, mindfulness and focus but forgetting about all the other perfect people makes my life seem a lot more perfect.

It has been the biggest blessing to be able to feel like I’m sort of getting a grasp on this. I know myself, so I know this will be a constant, lifelong struggle for me, but I am so glad I know how to combat these feelings too. Also, talking with family and friends has worked wonders. The people around you who love you will really boost you up and remind you of your worth and will be able to help you see that no one is as perfect as you fear they might be.

I imagine I’m not the only one who feels like this from time to time. If you’re one of these people I really hope this post gave you some ideas or gave you some hope. We are all just doing our best!

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

Back to Me!

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Finally at 22 weeks pregnant I am feeling almost 100% myself, again and I want to shout this good news from the rooftops! When I got pregnant with H, though I was really sick, I still felt *normal* as I could. I was able to get things done, I was able to find motivation even if it was just in small bursts, I was still myself more or less. But this time around it took me so long to feel that way. Like I said, I’m still not 100% but I can see and feel the changes finally. I’m able to keep the house clean, stay on top of laundry and do the dishes regularly. I can put effort into dinner again. I just feel so much better. So much more me!

This all came at the perfect time really because this past week poor H has been the sickest I’ve seen him. He got hit with a nasty bout of diarrhea and then also started throwing up. Just when I think he may be on the mend he has another yucky diaper or throws up again. Its kind of heart breaking. Seeing him laying on the couch for hours at a time just watching movies is sweet but also really sad. But thankfully now that I’m able to be motivated I’m able to keep up on the dirty laundry this poor sick boy has created in ever growing piles. I’m able to keep his room and bed (ohhh the messes that have happened in his crib) clean and sanitized and feel like I’m doing all that I can and should be doing to hopefully help him along the road to recovery. Its a good feeling – feeling like I’m able to give my all to being the best mom I know how to be to my more than deserving little guy.

I know this is a short, random little post. But I’m feeling really jazzed about feeling good. And really hoping H can join me soon in this feeling good party. ::fingers crossed::

xoxo

ceeceesparkles

 

Magical Monday: HAPPY BIRTHDAY DISNEYLAND!

Full disclosure: I’m emotional as I’m writing this post.

Sixty-two years ago The Happiest Place on Earth opened to the public and in my opinion, the world has never been the same since. Disney brought a magic to the world that it lacked before and it continues to sprinkle magic through its parks, its characters, its apparel, its music, its movies and so much more. I am seriously so grateful that Walt Disney had a dream and that he stuck with it and didn’t let opposition get in his way – because a world without Disney sounds… depressing.

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I am sure I sound like a broken record by now because I’ve been saying this my whole life but I am so glad that I was born and raised in a Disney crazed family and I’m glad that my husband decided to fully embrace this lifestyle so we can raise our family the same way. Disney is the way to go. Its happy, its magical, it encourages curiosity, bravery, individuality and so much more. Theres a reason I fill my home with Disney quotes, pictures, toys, books, music and all the other paraphernalia I can get my hands on – because its truly the best and no matter how hard other companies try, there is nothing else like it.

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Happy Birthday, Disneyland! Thanks for all the magic.

xoxo

ceeceesparkles