DIY Dreamcatcher

If you would have told me three years ago that in a few years time, I would be hanging a dreamcatcher made from an old Chick-fil-A soup container on my daughter’s wall, I probably would have laughed in your face. I’m all for DIY projects but a soup container? Not my medium of choice. 

Thankfully, motherhood has a funny way of changing you. Since having children, I’ve been able to step of out of the “everything has to be perfect” box and now really enjoy turning our “trash” into treasures. 

As a member of the 2016-2017 Chick-fil-A Mom’s Panel, I was recently challenged to take our empty Chicken Tortilla Soup container and create something fun with it. I wanted to make something that I could do with my little crafting queen, Lyla, and since we have been working on getting her “big girl” room set up lately, I decided that we would use this opportunity to build a dreamcatcher together. 

Materials:

1 Chick-fil-A soup lid

craft knife

string in two different colors

Process:

We started with a clean, washed lid and made small cuts around the perimeter using our craft knife. We thread our first string choice through each of the holes and continued to go around until we were happy with the design. After tying up all of the loose ends, we then made a longer cut along the base of the lid for our more decorative string. We cut pieces of that string, attached using a simple knot, and were good to go! Our string had some fun texture and glitter pieces already inside, but next time we might go through and add some feathers and sea shells for a little extra pizazz 😉

 

There are tons of creative moms on this year’s panel – you definitely want to check out their upcycle projects by following the #chickfilamomsDIY on your social media accounts!

What would you make?

 

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Happy New Year

Well, here we are. My first post of 2017. What in the world took me so long?

Things in a word have been…busy. 

Did you notice the new blog layout? I’ve finally made the switch on my social media accounts to “Bringing up Byrds” and have been updating the website mostly on my own. [I am so thankful that I have a computer literate husband that can fix all my tech mistakes ;)] If you notice something that is broken or in the wrong place or something like that – please let me know! 

Mid-January, I took off for my first weekend away from the babies. I met up with some friends in Los Angeles and we spent a few days at Disneyland and participated in the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Light Side! I say participated instead of run because, well, let’s just say I seriously underestimated how much harder 13.1 miles would be at 22 weeks pregnant. But! I finished! More on this later 😉

Back in Hawaii, Alex and the kids got to spend the whole weekend with Papa! We passed each other in the air (literally) both ways so I didn’t get to see him but I really enjoyed all of the photos and videos that Alex sent to me while I was gone and I’m so glad that they all got to have some quality time together. 

I’ve been making an attempt to get us on a better schedule as far as naps and housekeeping goes. Slowing down, being more intentional with our time and soaking up as much of Lyla and Simon’s sweet little personalities as I can. 

Mid-February we took our first family vacation to the Walt Disney World Resort and had an amazing time. While there, we were lucky enough to see more family who was vacationing at the same time and got to catch up with great friends who live there now. It was dreamy and just what the doctor ordered for these Byrds. 

Speaking of doctors, we all caught something nasty on the way home from vacation and it hit me especially hard. So hard that I earned myself an extra “vacation” in the ICU for 6 days. It was scary, and obviously not ideal, “…but the Lord stood by me and strengthened me” (2 Timothy 4:17) and I am beyond thankful for that. 

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Christmas Tea Party

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Little girls love their tea parties, don’t they? Lyla definitely does and after having countless tea parties with her stuffed animals and Dad, I decided it was time to host Lyla’s first “real” tea party. 

We invited a few of her little girlfriends and their mamas over for a Christmas Tea Party at our home yesterday. We set our dining room table for the girls. Each place setting had a sugar cookie for decorating, a candy cane and a festive hair bow to take home. The girls also had a plate of PB&J tea sandwiches and a pot of tea Capri Sun.

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Lyla was so patient while we set everything up. She loves tea parties and she loves Christmas, so the table was very tempting but she left everything as it was until her friends arrived. I was impressed. 

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I was just as excited to have my friends over as Lyla was. I set out my tea set as well as a spread of tea sandwiches – ham, apple and brie and the classic cucumber cream cheese – as well as some cranberry orange scones. 

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Right on time, all of the little girls showed up in their Christmas dresses. They all looked so cute. A lot of the moms dressed up too which was fun. I think us stay at home moms appreciate an excuse to get dressed in something other than sweats once in a while 😉

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^ aren’t they the sweetest? I love that the moms even dressed up the little sisters 🙂

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It is so sweet to watch Lyla grow and develop friendships. We really had a great time and are already looking forward to hosting another next Christmas and making this a tradition. 

What is your favorite Christmas tradition?

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Happy Birthday, Simon

One year ago, after a quick Thanksgiving lunch at auntie’s, we checked into the hospital. Later that night, we welcomed our sweet Simon Earl into our world. 

Just like when Lyla turned one, I am blown away by how fast a year can pass. How quickly they transform from this…

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…to this…

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Our little “bubs” has rounded out our family in the most perfect way. His sweet disposition almost immediately put to rest all of the fears and anxiety that I had about adding another baby to the mix. 

From the get-go he showed us that the old saying “boys are wired different than girls” is SO true. I am constantly amazed at how different the two of them are from the way that they play with their toys to their physical and mental development. 

Mister Simon is an explorer. He is so curious about his world and spends lots of time everyday examining his surroundings. 

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He loves us all but Daddy is a clear favorite. 

Simon can give kisses and high fives. He also says “hot”

He scoots around and gets where he needs to be. Just before we put him to bed last night decided to stand up and play with a toy unassisted. 

He has the cheesiest, most contagious smile. 

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Simon loves to play with his sister. Until she takes a toy from him (which is almost always, we’re working on it). He fights back by pulling her hair. 

He is a champion sleeper at night. Naps are a different story. 

Our boy scoots toy trains and cars around the house making the cutest little motor noise you’ll ever hear. And he loves groovin’ to music. Doesn’t matter which kind. 

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He is a nature boy. Has loved looking at trees since our trip to Michigan this summer and still points them out on walks and hikes. 

He is also a sports guy. Give him a ball, throw the King’s game on TV and he is good to go. 

Simon is so easy going and is a great sport about being tagged along on Lyla’s playdates and such. 

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My sweet boy, 

I am so thankful that God put you in our lives. You have already brought so much happiness to the world in this short year. Being at your side while you learn and grow is an amazing gift. I love you “bubs”. Happy first birthday!

 

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Life Update

Oh hey there. It’s been awhile. 

I bet you’ve been wondering what these Byrds have been up to, huh?

If you answered “yes”, then you are in for a treat. If you answered “no”, I’ll see you next time 😉

Alex had a birthday and we celebrated with cookie cake, a “birhday” banner (it came like that) and a painted elephant. Thanks to some great friends, mom and dad got to sneak away for dinner which was a nice treat. 

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We celebrated our five year wedding anniversary with a quiet dinner at home and dessert picnic on the beach. Five years, 2 kids and a million life experiences later I am still so in love with my best friend. He’s a good’un.

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My birthday was last week. I played with the kids at the beach all morning and had a nice evening out with Alex. 

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Last, but certainly not least, we announced to the world (ok, our Facebook friends) that we are expecting Baby Byrd numero three next May. AKA #thirdbyrd.

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This pregnancy has been kicking my butt – physically, mentally and emotionally – which is why things have been pretty silent around here. Slowly but surely my energy is starting to come back (yay) and I have been finding myself craving some sort of out outlet so I think I’m back (double yay)

For now at least 😉 

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Don’t Be Afraid, Mama

A photo by Pineapples. unsplash.com/photos/Q7PclNhVRI0

Too often I hear other moms tell me that they are afraid to take their kids out on their own. Whether it be on a trip to the grocery store or a day at the beach they will wait until they can go with a friend/spouse/on their own. 

To an extent, I get it. I really do.

Toddlers are overwhelming. Wiggly babies who don’t want to sit in the cart while you shop are frustrating. Simple errands take double, maybe even triple the time that they used to.

It’s hard. 

But mama, don’t be afraid…

…of being outnumbered || Before having Simon I wondered how I would ever go out in public with two babies. Two of them > one of me. I’m not very good at math but I know I at least got that down. I quickly learned that it is very unrealistic for me to wait until Alex is home to do things like grocery shopping while still being able to prepare meals and enjoy time together as a family so, I just dove right in. Sometimes, we double stroller. Sometimes, Lyla walks and Simon is in the Ergo. Sometimes, I’ve got a crying baby pulling my hair on one hip and a limb-flailing toddler on the other…you know, whatever works. 

…of your kids crying || Kids cry. This isn’t news to anyone. They cry in their carseats. They cry in the stroller. They cry because their shoes aren’t sparkly enough. They cry because they hear other kids crying. You get the picture. As long as you’ve made sure they are fed, changed and not in any sort of pain just try to drown it out. Easier said than done, I know, but sometimes you’ve just gotta let the choir sing! 

…of tantrums in the store || Gosh, these can be embarrassing. You will probably get some looks, maybe even a comment or two, but hey – tantrums happen! It’s part of the game. This is your chance to teach your kids what sort of behavior is acceptable in public and what is not. Are they going to listen the first time? Probably not (unless you are really effective, and in that case, sign me up for the first copy of your parenting book!). Will your child throw another tantrum the next time you don’t let them open three bags of Goldfish before you even leave the snack aisle? Probably. Just take a deep breath, stick to your guns and roll with it. 

…of being tired || It took me two and a half years but I have finally resigned to the the fact that I will never feel rested again. Between the kids and the house and the dog and the husband (kidding, babe) there are simply not enough hours in the day. It’s easy to brush off invites to fun outings or playdates when you are feeling “tired” but don’t let that be a reason for missing out on life anymore! Yes, you are tired. So is every other mama, so pour yourself a mug of coffee and get out there. At least you will be in good company 😉

…of being unprepared || One of the hardest things for me about having two kids is how disorganized I feel ALL THE TIME. On a recent outing, Simon had a huge blowout. No big deal, right? Right. Until I realized that I didn’t have any diapers OR wipes in my backpack. I was carrying around this big backpack, that I swore I had packed full of essentials (and backups…and backups for the backups) that morning, for no reason because it was empty. So, I took Simon into the ladies room, wet some paper towels to wipe up the mess and then made a makeshift diaper with a bunch of wadded up toilet paper. Definitely not my proudest moment as a mother but it did get the job done and did not interrupt our family fun time. 

…to ask for help || I am not superwoman. You are not superwoman (I don’t think so, anyway). Sometimes you are going to need help. In those moments, you are going to be cursing under your breath wondering why you ever tried to get out in the first place. You are going to vow to never do it again. But, in these times don’t be afraid to ask for help. Wherever you are, chances are that a lot of the people around you are parents too. They get it. They want to help. Don’t be shy. 

Don’t let the fear hold you back.

Get out there. Enjoy life. Embrace your gifts.

Laugh off the crazy. 

This season of life is going fast. Too fast. Before you know it, we will be meandering through the aisles at Target alone and wishing we had some little crazy people in our carts (OK, maybe not – solo Target does sound pretty fab 😉 )

Make memories. Take photos.

Smile, laugh, and dance with your kids.

Thank your spouse for these beautiful gifts. For this precious time. 

Lean on your friends when you need some help. We all do. 

Don’t be afraid, mama. You’ve got this. 

 

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