it’s ok to ‘date’ your kids.

I cannot tell you how trying it can be to be a parent… I mean it is by far the most wonderful thing I have EVER done and they are my everything. There’s not enough time in the day to profess my love for them here… but you get it. I love being a mom and I can’t imagine life without these crazy boys. Chris and I are so beyond blessed and we’re thankful!
However. It’s HARD. I’m talking cry in the bathroom, run outside to scream and bang your head against the wall hard. And I hear all the time ‘well it gets easier as they get older…’
….or not…
It just gets different… the challenges change. But getting easier?? I’m not so sure I agree. Just as they’re changing so are we as parents… as people, we’re all growing together. Let’s throw into our personal family mix… military deployments and dad being gone… lord have mercy. The emotions that run through this house are always on high. Boys need their dad and I’m not him nor do I try to be, they have him! But we’re are here, and the wheels on the bus do not stop when he’s gone! So we have to keep it going for dad! Emotions, learning and growing – all of it, the good, the bad and the ugly. You’re all in!
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As a family we have always been close knit… we’ve been through so much over the years! It’s something that I would not ever change though because it has made us so close and so strong! There’s not a thing we can’t get through together, as a family! We are ONE! This doesn’t mean it’s all sunshine and no rainy days… like I said… it’s hard. And I know we’re not alone… which leads me here:
I’ve been through a little bit of a rough patch lately with the boys and I really got to thinking what I could do better. They’ve been arguing with each other, not listening to me… just in their own little worlds. Doing less to help me out or not doing things when I ask. Which is always a struggle of course… but now just noticeably worse. HA!
The more I thought about it (which I’ve told you guys how I recluse and think before) I realized… I needed to spend more time with my boys. We needed to reconnect! We’ve become self-absorbed and therefore annoyed with each other. What happens when you become distant with someone, a spouse? You get annoyed and argumentative… you’re growing apart!
So think about how you try to reconnect with your spouse… what do you do?? You spend time with them, you talk and spend some one-on-one quality time right?! You schedule date night!! I thought it was worth a try anyway!
IMG_1498So I started this weekly routine of hinting to the boys that I’d like to do something and get out of the house! They run with it! Before I know it we’re out the door and headed to do
something fun and something they WANT to do! While we’re on our mommy & me date… of course, NO phone and NO games! We talk, we laugh and we dream! REAL conversations! And they can’t just inhale their food and hop up like they do at home… they’re stuck with me!
TIME! COMMUNICATION! ATTENTION! How simple right?! All this time I thought just ‘momming’ at home and dinners at the table would be enough. Which not saying they are not important… but I think there is just something about getting out of the house and it being a special occasion makes it different! They’re so adorable too… opening doors and doing things they really should be doing ALL the time. But it’s giving me confidence that they’re going to make some pretty little ladies really happy one day! I look forward to my dates with the boys!
No… of course this isn’t the magical answer to everything. It has made a HUGE difference though. BIG time.
Every day there is SO much going on in every direction, constantly, I feel like we forget to pay attention to what we should be. We miss little details at home, days go by like seconds… Ever looked down at your phone or at the T.V. only to look up again to notice an hour went by?! Two?! Our kids are no different. Time stops for nobody…. I mean good grief Christopher is going to be 14 this year… Nathan 11. Wasn’t I just pregnant with them YESTERDAY?! Feels like it. Eh… maybe it’s just the ever lingering baby weight. But still time flies.
Hug your babies, date your kids and give yourself a pat on the back. You can’t be perfect… just try your best! Parenting is HARD.
Xo,
Kate

 

Sometimes Selfish is Necessary

Ever feel like you’re just spiraling out of control? Or just going through the motions without really accomplishing what you want?! Ever feel alone in this?? You’re not.
I used to be the person that was SO naive about everything. I gave more than I should to everyone. I said ‘I’m sorry’ when I wasn’t wrong. I tried so hard sometimes in SO many areas I couldn’t keep up. Sometimes trying to be helpful and present in so many situations to different people is counterproductive. So you just shut down. And I did, but shutting down may be the best thing that I’ve ever done…
When you completely shut down a few things happen… at least they seem to for me…
1) I can breathe…. I take mental note of what I’ve done, what I need to do and what is important. It’s like a moment of clarity that we can’t unsee.
2) I can function…. I’m talking ALL cylinders. I feel fulfilled and productive. I feel human instead of like a machine! I’m totally ‘Type A’ so sometimes I ‘DO’ until I’m sick… always getting things done. But if they’re done without love or thought, sometimes they just need to not get done. I love functioning as a wife, mom and a friend in this zone…
3) I see the truth…. I’m sorry sunshine but while there is SOME good in everything and everybody… some things just aren’t as they seem. In these wonderful moments of reflection I can process people and situations and see what can stay and what needs to go. Which is always hard… but necessary.
4) I dream…. we’re talking dreamer dreams. BIG, clear and detailed dreams. I love it. I see who I want to be, who I can be and who I think I’m supposed to be. I see what I can do, what I should do and most importantly what I WANT to do.
There’s nothing wrong with self-reflection. It’s healthy. I’ve been told I’m too young to feel the need to re-evaluate or to question directions in life… but I call bullshit. I’m not your average 30 something first of all… BUT it’s always a good idea to check on yourself. I used to be insecure in talking about these moments but I’ve come to realize that they’re normal. Everyone goes through it no matter if they’re comfortable talking about it or not, they still go through it.
At the moment I’m in now… I’m looking for specific growth out of 2018. Also things that I’m sure are common… which is why I thought I’d make them public. I don’t for one second think that I’m the only one who’s looking for health, balance and clarity as part of their New Years Resolution.
Health
Of course I’m ready to shed extra weight… blah, blah, blah. But I’m also ready to become a healthier version of myself and inspire that same change in those I love. Less technologically bound socially and MORE wrapped up in moments! Getting outside, moving and MAKING memories. Not just scrolling them.
Health is also mental… it’s making sure that I check my balance and stay grounded in the center. Not letting my personal life struggle while my professional life soars and vice versa. Balance. This is usually the source of stress and anxiety for most and it’s no different with me. I’m ready to find true balance. It’s possible… I know it is. I may not ever be perfect at it… but I’ll just be ok with striving to make it manageable!
be you, fearlessly.
Ever been afraid to say or do something just because you’re worried about judgement?! This is me. Every. Damn. Day.
Which is so completely annoying because it holds me back… keeps me from being who I am and it’s also bit me in the ass more times than I care to admit.
Naturally I’m loud as hell, I thrive on making others laugh, I love HARD, I enjoy making things (including myself sometimes) look pretty, I am a people pleaser and I can get lost in a good craft, a good book or a good recipe in the kitchen.
But then I think about how many times I hear, read or experience mockery towards people just merely trying to be themselves and I get SCARED. We’ve become so publicly mean that I personally think it’s changing who I am. Which I can admit that is equally my fault… which I’ve taken plenty of time to reflect on as well. I’m just here proclaiming that I no longer care about the hate, mean and uncultured comments that anything I do procure anymore.
I’ve read and/or heard some pretty nasty, vicious and just plain relentless things that have been said about me before… Everyone’s got ‘haters’ right?! And while they’ve broken me every single time. I don’t care about anyone who doesn’t care about me… ANYMORE.
You shouldn’t either. Make 2018 the year that instead of complaining about how ‘the world is going to shit’, the year that people actually DID SOMETHING. Share positivity and things that are AWESOME. Build up that person you see trying their hardest. Be REAL. And if you don’t know what that is… then it’s ok to take a moment and be selfish. Let what happens, happen. Reconnect with yourself and realize what is important.
Someone today said to me ‘I’m never ‘the friend’ or ‘the best friend’ and instantly (but honestly) I said – what are you doing to cultivate those relationships?! Are you being a friend to those who genuinely try to be yours? Is it one-sided…?
In 2018:
Be Real
Be Honest
Be Kind
Be You
Be Extra
Live Positively
Hug More
Help Others
Laugh Often
Give
Lift Someone
Prioritize (What is Important?)
&& Love Always
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Sometimes being selfish is necessary in order to recenter, refocus and find balance. “It’s ok because I am enough, I am worth it and I am important.” — My morning mantra.
With me?!
Xo,
Kate
#selfcare #women #rebuilding #journey #self #focus #reallife #realtalk #balance #family #entrepreneur
#love #bekind #blog #blogger

holiday vibes

The tree, having it lit with presents underneath, candles lit and novelty treasures filled with memories decorate the house every holiday season. But each year it all feels so different. Each year it gets a o much more sentimental!
Maybe it’s because I’m a mom and the boys are getting so big. Nevertheless, holidays give me all the feels!
Tonight I was picking up ornaments that fell off the tree as I was trying to fix some burnt out bulbs and I caught myself reminiscing about ornaments. So beautiful! The boys little Christmas socks they wore on their first Christmas…. ornaments Chris and I pick out, ornaments from trips and special moments!
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Am I the only one feeling like life is flying by?! I find myself enjoying little fun traditions within our family even more and even some of the things I said I’d never do!
I used to be such a perfectionist I hated making a mess doing things with the kids… I just wanted to do them myself. But how do you make memories this way?! How do you pass down recipes or teach them traditions about the season?! You can’t. So time to get messy!
Last night I made this Gingerbread Slime with Nate and it was SO FUN!
We made a bunch for his friends st school too! It smells delicious, however not edible. I can’t deny I also kept a little for myself… so soothing to just fiddle with it!
Tommorrow we bake the traditional holiday snacks and treats! I hope I can make them faster than the boys eat them! Hoping to keep myself from enjoying too many too! Sheesh who watches their weight during the holidays…. 😏!
I look forward to the two weeks between Christmas and New Years to love on family, focus on them and enjoy every moment! We sometimes forget what the season is really about and get caught up in presents and receiving gifts. Remember the gifts of family and friends are irreplaceable. Squeeze those that love you extra tight and look for ways to give and provide for those in need. Don’t lose sight of what’s really important!
While you’re squeezing your loved ones and enjoying wonderful feasts, what holiday traditions or treats do you enjoy?! Bonus points for recipes or instructions!!
Merry Christmas
Xo

t h i r t y ONE

“3 Cheers to my 31st Year”
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I woke up this morning yet another year older, hopefully wiser… and maybe a little finer. Fine like wine… aging to be a little better, a little prettier and more bold as time goes on.
Today I’ll have amaretto in my coffee & champagne ALL day.
I have SO much to celebrate today. I’m the happiest I’ve been in a long time, we’re all healthy, I’m working hard to bring the shop up and running, Chris and I are on cloud nine and doing what we can to get through this deployment and I’m managing to keep the boys alive and fed. Kidding… but no seriously… the bigger they get, the harder it gets. HA.
In years past birthdays have only been getting harder, because honestly I loathe the idea of getting older. Anyone else!? I can’t be the only one! However for some strange and unknown reason this year I’m celebrating it and all that comes with it. And while I have no clue where the change has come from… I’m totally ok with it.
So here’s to my 31 years and all the lovely, wonderful people who make this life so easy to love. Here’s to new adventures and big changes.
Xo

 

A little old… a little new.

I took this photo in December 2014 when all I wanted was to document outfits I was wearing to work and out and about.  I get asked ‘where’d you get that’ a ton with certain pieces in my closet… so what better way to share than social media right?

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I only posted 9 photos on this blog. N I N E… that’s hardly much of an effort on my part right?! LOL.

Well overthinking got the best of that idea until I was given the creative freedom to start my own shop. Before The Little Chic Shop… I had another little successful shop that I loved and still love, but it was a season and it brought me to this.

Without that stepping stone, ordering inventory, media, styling outfits and branding would have just been a lost cause. Like my previous effort at blogging…

But the last few days I’ve been ordering the prettiest pieces for the shop… I cannot wait to try them on myself… style them and offer them up! It’s so liberating. I’m not going to pretend it’s not been a lot of work already… and I have a lot of hard work in front of me. I’m thankful for this blog space and the ability to document the process as I’ve been going through it. If it’s never even read… I’ve already read through these posts a ton and just smiled. Real life. As I’m doing it. Changing my route and setting forth in a whole new direction as I’ve wanted to for SO many years.

Real. Talk.

The ‘Kate Brain’ is not always an easy one to comprehend or even put into words… but man it’s entertaining. And just the way it seems to flow here… it feels like HOME.

Xo.