Since having my first child five and a half years ago, I’ve been wondering just how I would store my kids important papers/documents/keepsakes. Everyone has their own method that they’re passionate about, and I listened to so many ideas, but ultimately I (finally) landed on this, my own, method. I’ve seen this same idea all over the internet, so I’m not at all claiming it as my own. I’m just super excited about it so I’m sharing it with you in case you’re on the hunt for a good storage idea too! And believe me, if I can do it, so can you. It was super simple and very satisfying.
I ordered file folder boxes and files. The boxes I ordered came in a pack of 4, so I even have one ready for my next baby! Then I ordered a pack of files for each box – the packs I ordered came with 25 (I think) and there are several extra folders in each box, should we decide we need them for something in the kids future. I put the folders in the box and labeled them (in this order):
Then, with my cricut machine, I cut out their first initials in vinyl and applied them to the front and voila! Told you it was easy!
I don’t plan on keeping every single paper from school or piece of art they create (like adorable scribbles on scraps of paper, you know?) But I’m going to mindfully keep the papers that my kids worked extra hard on or are extra proud of. The papers that have a funny story behind them or are particularly adorable. The ones I think they’d be happy to see someday when they’re adults showing their own children their memories.
I have put the bracelets we wore in the hospitals for their births in the Baby folder, along with ultrasound pictures, etc. In the boys Toddler folders, I put the bag of clippings from their first haircuts. Things like that. I also knew I had to have a folder dedicated to their stats from doctors appointments. I’m obsessed with my kids stats so I wanted them readily available.
Around this time last year, the world as we knew it, changed. There is no way that at the end of 2019 we could’ve ever imagined that 2020 would look the way it did. Its all so crazy and surreal to look back at a whole year later. Remember when the world ‘shut down’ and it was supposed to only last a couple of weeks to flatten the curve? Even then, when everything was first shut down, I don’t think we truly had any idea what was in store for us. Did anyone look at this and think we’d still be in a very similar spot a year later?
I’m grateful for the progress. There is more knowledge and security. There is more peace and hope. I’m very, very thankful for that. But its still hard to grasp. I’m still in a sort of denial that this is the new normal we thought would only have to last a few weeks.
In the space of this crazy year, a lot of big changes have happened in our family.
We added our sweet little Flora to the family, thus having a pandemic baby which is the wildest of rides, and the thing that definitely rocked me the most in all of this. When I found out I was pregnant in October 2019, I truly had no idea that during much of my pregnancy I’d be stressed out about my health and a scary new virus taking over the world. I had no idea how much fear would be instilled in me about the health of my baby. I had no idea how overwhelming it would be to have a baby in the smack middle of a global pandemic. However, there were silver linings, too. Craig was working from home around this time still, so it felt like extended paternity leave. He got to help so much with the boys and the new baby. We didn’t see extended family quite as much as we would have liked to, but it forced us to really rely on one another in a way we’d never done before. It also helped me find my voice and be confident in my gut feelings, when it came to having difficult or awkward conversations with other people when it came to visitors, outings, etc.
We also moved, which is another thing we just didn’t see coming. Our new home has been such a blessing. It all happened so fast and was a lot like a whirlwind while it happened, so now that we are settled and comfortable here in our new place, I’m really seeing how great of a decision this was for our family. Our new home has space to grow and continue to build our family. This is where our kids will grow up and I’m so thankful we are in this place.
I’ve also learned a lot about myself in this year. We opted not to put Harrison in preschool this year and chose to do homeschool. Since Emmett is just two years behind him, I decided to do preschool at home with them both. I wasn’t sure how it would all go. I know I’m capable of teaching preschool level curriculum, but I wasn’t sure if I’d be an exciting ‘teacher,’ or if I’d be able to teach things in a way that my kids would be able to internalize. But thanks to online resources and approximately 8 billion prayers on my part, I found that not only can I do this, but I can be really good at it. The kids and I have had so much fun doing preschool together. I’ll admit, I’m a little bit sad that next year Harrison will go off to Kindergarten and Emmett will officially start in a real preschool.
We learned a lot about respecting others. I think we can all agree that wearing masks is a pain. They’re sweaty, they cause acne, they make breathing seem trickier, but I do think they’re something just fine to enforce right now. I’m definitely not against them. But even more than my feelings on masks, I’ve learned to see that wearing a mask in public is very much a way to show that I and my family love and care for others. Me wearing a mask is an outward way to show that I respect you and your health and well-being. Its also been a nice way to teach my kids about respecting others.
I learned that I’m resourceful. There was the period of time when basic food items were hard to find. I learned to be resourceful with the food I had in my pantry. I learned how to make fun, educational things out of the seemingly mundane things around our house for the kids. I was able to dive back into my love of scrapbooking in all the time spent at home, and made our families own Quarantine Scrapbook, that I really think I’ll cherish and hopefully my posterity will, as well.
My testimony grew tremendously in this year. I’m a worrier. My dad is a high-risk person. I was pregnant for a long time during this and wasn’t sure what Covid could do to a pregnant or breastfeeding woman. I imagined terrible things happening to the health of those I love, especially the people who didn’t take it as seriously as I was. I just worried constantly. I feared the worst happening. I knew the virus didn’t typically have bad things happen to young children, but I still wondered if my children would be the acceptation if they got it. I was a ball of anxiety. Well, I always am. But I was an even bigger ball. I would pray so many times a day and just beg Heavenly Father for clarity and calm. I’d pour my heart out for the well-being of my family. I’d ask for peace of mind, because at times, my mental health struggled so much under all the fear and uncertainty. Sometimes I had to learn some lessons first, or search hard for answers, but I definitely was comforted and felt peaceful. I was strongly reminded that God is in all the details and he is stronger than any earthly person, even stronger than a global pandemic. I was reminded that His plan is truly the plan of happiness, and He knows what He’s doing. I trust Him. I know He has me and my family, and everyone, securely in His hands.
We are a year into this now. I’m not sure when things will be ‘norma,’ again, or if they ever will. But I’m happy to report, that though this has all been crazy and unexpected, I’ve found joy, happiness and learning in the year of quarantine.
Love you all. I hope you’re all doing ok. Life is weird right now. Life is crazy. Things can be uncertain. But we can do this!
In our new house, we have a staircase that goes up to our top floor. It has been painted this pretty turquoise blue type color, and somehow within our few months living here, we have managed to really bang it up and chip a lot of the paint off. Seeing as we didn’t have the same paint to use to paint over the chips, we decided to change it up and paint it. It took us a little while of deciding how we wanted to paint it, but we ultimately settled on black and white. The hand rails, trim and larger poles (I don’t know technical names of any of this) would be black, and the middle, smaller poles would be white. You’ll get it when you see the pictures, haha. I’m not good at explaining this detail it would seem.
We started, well, Craig started, by taping it, which was no short task. With all the small details of the trim, it was a bit of a more complex situation than we originally anticipated.
Then we primed the entire area we’d be painting, and taped it so we could paint the white parts first. This was another long task!
Next, our plan was to paint all the middle, smaller poles white, but much to our surprise we learned that somehow we’d left Home Depot with two gallons of primer and one gallon of black paint, instead of gallon can primer, one gallon white and one gallon black. So, since we were still motivated to work and in our paint clothes, we just painted the large poles, and some of the top of the hand rail, the first coat of black.
After making an exchange, we finally got to paint the first coat of all the white parts! This is when we first were able to see it all coming together and we were getting really excited about this decision!
We ended with a lot of touch up work, tape removing and little fixes here and there. The trim provided many opportunities for paint to bleed and run over the opposite color. It definitely took work, but the finished product was exactly what we wanted!
We moved into our new home in early October. We loved our old home so dearly – it was perfect for us and had been the birth place of so many of our most cherished memories. I remember when we made the decision to move, I was sure we were making the correct decision, but I was also so nervous about leaving this home that we’d made ours. One day I was sitting in one of my favorite spaces in our old home, Flora’s nursery. I looked around at this little room we spent so much of our time making perfect for our baby girl and I felt a bit devastated, fearing I’d never love a room again like I loved her room. What if I never felt the love or connection to our new home that I did to our old home? It actually scared me. How could we love a place like we loved our old home?
Now it is January and we have been in our new home for almost four months. We took the first couple weeks making some changes to the home to make it fit us. I took time to really consider the way I wanted to decorate and put a lot of thought behind what I purchased to put around our new home.
Funny enough, the room we just barely finished, and now, one of my very favorite rooms in the whole house is…Flora’s nursery.
The second her happy, pink room was all finished, I sat in the chair in her room and surveyed the space. It hit me like a ton of bricks that, yes, a home and a room can be really special and seem irreplaceable, but what actually matters is the people in that home. I mean, yeah, a nicely decorated room can sure help how you feel about the room for sure. But I was so powerfully reminded of all those cheesy quotes, “home is wherever I’m with you,” and so on. It’s not so much about the home, the walls and the decor, but the people that are within those walls. It’s the relationships you have with them, the memories made with them and the bond you have with them. That’s what makes a home so special.
Eeeeeeee!!!! I am so happy to be able to finally announce this! We moved!! We are in a different home!
It’s so crazy. Honestly, a few months ago if you would have asked us if we had moving on our radar, you would have for a big ol’ NOPE for us! We planned on staying in our home for several more years. We knew how we could make it work and we felt good about it. But then an opportunity came up with the new house. It was an opportunity that truly, we would have been absolutely idiotic to have turned down. We didn’t make the decision quickly, and we discussed the heck out of the pros and cons. We came to realize that both options were right. Staying in our old home would have been fine. So would moving to a new house. So ultimately we just had to just decide which was more right.
We knew we’d be silly not to do it. So we did. We chose to move. This new home has so much more room. It is a good home in a good area. We feel good about our decision. It’s exciting!
We are still in the phase of trying to get used to it all. Quite honestly, it feels like it happened really fast. So now that we are in our new home and slowly making it our own and personalizing it, it’s all starting to really set it.
We feel really fortunate. We feel blessed and excited. Our kids (and dogs) have transitioned into the new home really well and things are going great. Now if only I could figure out how to decorate my new living room!!
I’ll be sharing more about the house and some of the projects we are tackling as we go. Thanks for following along! I really do appreciate you being here.
How did January both creep by excruciatingly slow, but also zip by in the blink of an eye? Anyone else feel me? I’ll tell you this much, I’m happy to give January a little kiss on the cheek and send it on its way. Its been a fine month but it also hasn’t been my favorite. I feel like poor January never gets a lot of loving, likely because it follows the very best months (October, November and December) so I even tried to cherish it a little bit more this year, and while it was still very good, I’m excited to move on to February.
I faced some fears this month. I had to mindfully will myself to get there and say some things that I honestly had planned on keeping a secret inside myself for my entire life. But this month I just felt a really strong pull to say some of these things. It wasn’t easy and I still cringe a bit thinking about how it all went down, but now that its all said and done, I’m proud of myself for being brave and doing it. Sorry this bullet point is so vague, I just wanted the reminder that sometimes I am actually capable of being braver and more courageous than I feel.
Our family has been doing so good on our daily Come Follow Me (our churches – the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints curriculum this year – focusing on the Book of Mormon). We got into the swing of things fast, found a method that works really, really well for us and we have been doing awesome at it. Its amazing to see just how much the boys are retaining, too! It makes it all a lot more exciting and fulfilling. Its been fun to view The Book of Mormon, a book I’ve read several times, in such a different way too.
I’m not extra in most things, but when it comes to planners – I am. I have two planners (a bullet journal and a Leafy Treetops Planner) and I adore them both. They’ve brought me so much joy this month. I find I get my most fulfilling me-time when I’m working in them. They somehow are helping my anxiety and the overwhelm I feel so easily. I’m also liking my layouts a lot this year (so far) so they’re just making me feel really good and happy.
My boys are just angel humans. Their friendship has changed a lot this month with both of them getting older, and while its exhausting and sometimes a little violent (boys *eyeroll*) its one of the best things to witness.
I’ve finally got some energy back. I forgot just how sleepy pregnancy makes me. I’ve really missed the alone time Craig and I get after the boys go to bed, because typically I’ve just gone to bed right after putting the boys to bed because I’ve literally felt as if I couldn’t keep my eyes open a second longer. But this month I’ve been able to stay up later and not feel like its killing me. Craig and I have been having amazing conversations, watching shows or just doing nothing together, but it was time I really missed with him and I’m happy to have back.
We’ve gone to our local Rec Center several times this month to let the boys swim and get some energy out. Its always kind of a marathon getting there and leaving there, but its been worth it every single time.
The sicknesses we had in January were all, thankfully, short-lived and I am extremely grateful for that. Germs scare the heck out of me and I’ve tried so hard to minimize them in our house and I think (knock on wood) its paying off!
My youngest sister is nearing the end of her Senior year of high school, which means she’s also nearing the end of her Drill Team career. She’s Head Captain this year and its been a lot on her, but she handles it all with so much grace. Its been so fun to be able to sneak away either with the boys or by myself to watch her do what she’s always been so good at.
We found out this baby is a baby sister!! It was totally a shock to our systems at first and it’ll be so different from what we’ve grown so used to, but we are so, so, so excited to meet little sister! I can’t wait to see how she changes the dynamic of our family and I especially can’t wait to watch her big brothers relationship with her.
Emmett had a broken foot and sprained ankle for a good portion of the month (it all happened on Christmas Eve when he jumped off our couch and landed bad). His boot he had to wear didn’t slow him down at all, but I just felt bad for him for so long. Feeling that kind of sadness for your kid wears on you after a while. It was a joyous day when we got to remove the boot!
I’m sure its the pregnancy – and maybe that it a girl? – but my emotions have been off the charts. I. cry. at. everything! If you’ve seen me anytime recently, I’m sure you can attest to it. If I’m not crying, I just look like I have been – and that’s because I have. Its not that I’m sad (I mean sometimes I am) but half the time I just cry because something is really beautiful or special or cute. Or there is absolutely no reason for me to cry and it just spills out. I’m tired of it, to be honest.
My heartburn. My heartburn is so bad. I’m to the point where I’d rather feel extra nauseated than feel any heartburn. I’d rather throw up every ten minutes then have this heartburn. Nothing has helped much so far. June can’t come soon enough.
Where is the snow? I’m sorry, but it is January and I have two little boys who would really, really like to play in the snow! So where is it, Utah??!
My word for 2020 is Home, and I’m loving it. I also feel like I’ve started the year exactly how I’ve wanted to with this word. A focus of mine has been to keep the house tidy (or as tidy as I can with my two tornado sons). Its a task for me because I just don’t feel good and my energy and motivation are still pretty low (where’s all that second trimester energy I keep hearing about?) but I’m doing enough thats making me feel accomplished and proud of myself. We have also been really focusing on keeping the gospel a very relevant topic in our home, as well as kindness, choosing the right, etc and its already helped the atmosphere in our home tremendously and its exciting, comforting and very peaceful.
I have to start this post with telling you I almost named this 5 Ways to Make Love in Your Home. Then I remembered what that meant. Wow. You all could have read that title and thought I was really stepping outside my comfort zone with this post! But alas I am not and this post is only about 5 things I keep in my home to help joy spread inside of it. Much cleaner. Much less graphic. Much more appropriate.
Wild Man and I are happy people and we have a happy child and I like to think we’ll continue to birth and raise happy children. As I was brainstorming ways I could go about this post I thought up five things that are in my home that I decided help us be happy, joyful people and wanted to share and maybe inspire. Enjoy!
Family Pictures. These are pretty routine to see in people’s homes, but to me they display our love of family. It reminds me how lucky I am to have mine and how close we are and of the wonderful relationship we have.
A Candle. Who isn’t happy when their home smells like a million bucks? I love when I have a candle on and my house smells so good then Wild Man gets home from work and comments on the pleasant smell. Even H likes them – it’s fun to try and blow them out all day! Even if you’re standing under the table that the candle is sitting on. They create joy and entertainment for the whole family!
Cozy Blankets. Blankets promote cuddling. A lot of times they’re used while watching a movie or tv show. They make us be physically close as a family and is there any better feeling than a fuzzy blanket on freshly shaved legs?
Games. I grew up in a game playing family and I swear those evenings playing games with our family brought us closer. To this day I still eagerly look forward to playing games because they tend to lead to lots of laughs and really awesome bonding time. Wild Man laughs at this because he claims that growing up games usually lead to fights and arguments.. So I guess we’ll see which route our family takes as it grows and gets older.
Uplifting Quotes. I have a Light Box, a chalk board and several (church and Disney) quotes up around the house. The light box and chalk board have ever changing phrases obviously. I love being able to read them and smile or get a quick reminder of what’s important or to feel inspired or motivated by what I read. I hope my kids grow up reading these quotes and find that they stick with them throughout their lives and motivate them to be kind, helpful, loving, go-getters with a good head on their shoulders.
What do you keep in your home that brings you joy??
Once November 1st hits (if not sooner) I bust out the holiday scented candles, plug-ins, air fresheners and I feel no shame for this. I have a candle lit in my house every day and I am all about a yummy scent in your home – it just makes it feel cozier and makes me feel more put together and mature. I have been so into my holiday scented candles this season (some are not marketed as holiday, but to me they just scream holiday baking, holiday goodness, etc) that I figured since I’m such a candle junkie it just made sense for me to do a post about my favorites.
Starting with my very favorite candle ever, from Anthology Candles, this is Main Street Bakery. These are Disney-themed candles (so obvs I’m all over them and have like 90% of their candles) and this one smells like the bakery and there is nothing better. It smells like a bakery, has a hint of coffee and I can’t tell you how many times I have wished it was an edible candle because its that good.
My mom bought this for me on Black Friday and I’ve only used it once but holy cow! This is the signature Christmas candle you need in your home. Maybe I’ll light this one Christmas morning – its bound to up the Christmas cheer by 100%. It is called, Celebrate and its from Bath and Body Works.
Look, more Anthology! This is called A Spoonful of Sugar and its lovely. It has a really delicate vanilla scent. This one isn’t overpowering and its not the kind of candle that hits you in the face with its scent so its nice when you just need a little hint of something.
Walter & Rosie Candle Co. is another Disney inspired candle company and I have a few of their candles, as well. While Anthology is still my favorite brand, I’m falling fast for these guys. My current favorite from them is The Grand Gingerbread House candle that smells like gingerbread (obviously) and it is heaven in a candle.
This is one of my newer candles from Anthology Candles called, The Matterhorn. When I first smelled it I was pretty sure I’d hate it. Its a more masculine smelling candle and reminded me of my husbands deodorant, but I still gave it a shot and I’m actually really into it.
These two Bath and Body Works candles are from last year but are still going strong this year. The brown one is called Pumpkin Pecan Waffles and the pink one is called Cranberry Woods. They’re both really strong and are stereotypical holiday scents and they are bomb.
Churros from Anthology Candles. Your house will smell like a Disneyland churro, do I need to say anything else?
And lastly, just in case you aren’t a candle lover (what?! how?!) then here is another festive, yummy option. Glade’s air fresheners are awesome. I feel like they work better in smaller rooms, but they last a while and put off a great scent. My current favorite holiday scent from them is Happy Glow which smells like apple cinnamon.
Two days ago we put up our Christmas decorations and I really couldn’t be happier. Wild Man texted me in the morning and said we should put our stuff up and that throughout the week we should stop at our storage unit to grab loads of our Christmas decor (yes we have loads of it). I got so excited that I went a little overboard and brought everything home and decorated the entire house. Wild Man’s only request was that I leave the star for him to put on top of the tree. I think we both expected our star pictures to be a lot cuter, but H really didn’t want to let go of the star while helping his dad — so they turned out kind of funny. Cute, nonetheless.
Decorating with H was just about the cutest thing ever. I’ve been really emotional lately for some reason and his wild enthusiasm for Christmas decorations did not help the tear flow! Oh, it was so cute. Now that everything is up he can’t look away from the Christmas tree. He blows on it all day long – thats what he does to things he thinks are cool and points in awe at all the festive stuff we have around the house.
This is really the most wonderful time of the year.