Wednesday, April 16, 2014

"We aren't in a hurry"

Photos Credit: Amy Hess Photography
Persunmall top c/o// Express jean shorts// BabyBeau bag c/o// c/o (similar)// Express jacket (old)//

After dinner last night, Nolan and I ran to the store for a few things. You know when you run to the store for one thing and end up with 10? Yeah it was one of those nights. And one of those items obviously had to be a Cars helmet for him so he could ride his bike outside. 

We got to the checkout and the cashier couldn't find a barcode on the helmet. She turned on her blinking light and headed to find another one that would scan. A woman and her daughter had just come into line behind me and I did what I always do, I apologized for holding them up. 

And the woman's response totally shocked me.

"That's okay, we're not in a hurry."

And I had one of those moments that just stopped me in my tracks and made me think. 

I'm always in a hurry. Always. Whether it be because someone needs to go potty or someone else needs to nurse, I'm always rushing. The dogs have been locked up all day, or we're going to be late to gym class again. I am always rushing. 

And for what?

Having two kids and two dogs has been extremely crazy but that woman last night made me realize that I'm missing out on the little things. 

While we waited for the cashier to come back with the helmet, Nolan and I laughed as he sang his ABCs. He kept hugging me so he could lift himself out of the cart. I let him pretend to pay by swiping my card and signing his name. We just sat and enjoyed something we couldn't control. 

And that's a huge feat for me. 

I'm a control freak and I'm constantly losing my cool when things don't go my way or as planned. And marrying someone in the military has taught me some patience and that I can't control a lot of things most of the time. 

But this woman reminded me that sometimes, I need to slow down and enjoy the moments that are right in front of my eyes. I rarely get to leave the house with just Nolan these days while not worrying about what's going on at home. This little "Mommy and Nolan" date was something that I needed, that he needed, and it was meant to be enjoyed. 

I couldn't make that cashier move any faster and had that been another customer, they may have huffed and puffed and rolled their eyes at us for holding them up. They could have packed everything back into their cart and switched lines and worked themselves up over nothing. 

That woman didn't know it, but she taught me a lesson. 

Things are going to happen in life that I can't control. But as they say, the only thing you can control is how you react to it. And I am going to work on reacting more positively and taking my time enjoying life's little blessings.

Every time I'm hurrying to this place or that place, I'm causing myself unnecessary stress and missing out on the beautiful little moments that we call life. As frustrating as it may be, I'm going to take a deep breath and have a sing-a-long the next time we're in traffic. I'm going to wait in line for 20 minutes because I promised my kids frozen yogurt after the doctors. I'm going to be more patient when we're playing Mancala and he just wants to pick up the pieces and put them in the wrong holes. 

I've been high strung for most of my life and it's time to stop and smell the roses. Because one day, the roses aren't going to be in bloom and I'm going to wish I had done it more.

So thanks to the woman who checked out behind me yesterday... your kindness and sweet words meant more than you'll ever know. 

"To learn life lessons from a student, animal lover and self-proclaimed wine connoisseur, go on and visit The Eclectic Vet (Student)”

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

DIY "Welcome Home" Kit for Soldiers

“This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and Scandinavian Tobacco Group Lane, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CuberoLuxury

When Zach returned home from Afghanistan, he was greeted by myself, our son, and our friends. I ran to hug him, buried my head in his chest, and thanked God for bringing him home safely. I watched other friends reunite with their loved ones and slowly, the auditorium emptied as families headed home together for the first time in 12 months. 

A lot of Zach's friends were single and I asked him where they were going after the ceremony had ended. He told me they would be heading back to their barracks rooms, new rooms, which means they would be completely empty and bare. Most of them had no family to greet them because with the military, there's never a guarantee they will be home when they are scheduled to be. So these men and women, these selfless men and women who had just returned from war, would be returning to a room with four walls and nothing more.

And this broke my heart. 

Although I feel every soldier returning home should receive rockstar treatment, that isn't always the case. And on top of everything else, "redeploying" (integrating back into life with spouses, kids, etc) can be difficult as it is, and sometimes big parties aren't the best idea right off the bat.

But with that being said, soldiers returning to empty barracks room should at least have something else waiting for them!  

Soldiers receive a ton of items like the ones above when they are deployed but like I mentioned above, once they return home and are headed back to the barracks, they will have nothing. By purchasing just a few of the items above or below and writing a thank you card, these soldiers will at least have something to make them smile when walking into their empty rooms. 

These Cubero Cigars would be the perfect touch to welcome these men and women home from a long and stressful year. Returning home safely is such a gift and these men and women deserve to relax and celebrate their accomplishments. Cubero is a high quality tobacco brand within the cigar industry with multiple different products... and they can even be purchased at your local Walmart! 

You can donate these items to any United Service Organizations (USO) or Family Readiness Group (FRG) nearest you! If you have any questions, I'd be happy to help direct you in the right direction as well! 

Thank you to all of those who serve our country... you're all heroes in my eyes :)

“To learn life lessons from a student, animal lover and self-proclaimed wine connoisseur, go on and visit The Eclectic Vet (Student)”

Monday, April 14, 2014

Weekend recap by a Blogger, Shot Caller + $75 to Forever 21

IWYP: By Whitney Ellen top c/o// Pac Sun skirt// Sassy Steals shoes// Groopdealz clutch


I'm so excited it's Monday (said no one ever), but this time, I really am. After months of waiting, it's finally the week when my parents are coming to visit. EEK! I am beyond excited!

My sister-in-law was here over the weekend and it was so nice to catch up and show her around our new little town. But because we were so busy catching up, we didn't realize how late it was and missed hip hip. Soooooooo, my first class is going to have to wait until next week!

We took Nolan to Chuck E Cheese's on Friday and I'm pretty sure he had the best time of his life. Well that's what I thought anyways... until we discovered a music festival Saturday that included two bounce houses and a 22 foot inflatable slide. But I'll get back to that.

Friday night we were all exhausted so we grabbed dinner and fro yo and headed home for bed by 9:45. And I'm not even mad about it.

We headed to Nolan's gym class Saturday morning and then headed to the market downtown Columbus. We walked around before settling at a brew pub for a quick beer tasting and appetizers. And by quick, I mean Nolan didn't want to sit still so we literally took a sip of beer, packed our apps to go and headed home. But lucky for us, it was 80 and sunny so we sat outside listening to music and this vampire skin got a little bit of color.

We had planned on heading to a local carnival that night but once we got there, decided it wasn't worth it. It was dirty, crowded, and way overpriced. So we headed to a nicer part of town to a festival we had seen them setting up for earlier and I'm pretty sure it was the most fun we've had in awhile. It was more expensive than we would have liked but Nolan was occupied, there was live music, and cold beer on tap. Mix all of that with good company and the sun setting on the river next to us and I would say it was a great success.

So now, we have a few days to clean, recover, and prepare for our next set of visitors! I absolutely love hosting and having visitors and my heart is just so happy right now.

Oh and that super sassy top I'm wearing above? My girl Whitney over at I Wore Yoga Pants To Work is the genius behind this. If you haven't seen IWYP: By Whitney Ellen floating around Blog Land, you've probably been living under a rock... just kidding!! But seriously, you should probably check it out.

Not only is it super soft and comfortable, but I la la la loveeee this month's design. Gold glittery metallic? Sign me up any day. Supporting fellow bloggers in their endeavors and celebrating our community just makes me happy as a clam. SO you should probably get this shirt so we can be twinnies, k?

And before you go, some of my gorgeous sponsors and I are giving away a $75 gift certificate to Forever 21! Because I mean, it's spring and we can all use a wardrobe I right?! Good luck!

"Be sure to check out this month's featured blog!"