Posted on November 25, 2015 by Cari
Categories: in MOTHERHOOD
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family! If your day goes anything like mine, it will be jam-packed with good food, conversation, a little bit of travel, and (the best part) quality family time.
After seeing so many Facebook and Twitter "thankful" posts, I felt I needed to craft my own list. These last 12 months have been quite a wild ride, and I've found myself most thankful for these along the way....
- My husband - This man is the backbone of our family and my biggest supporter. I can't imagine sharing this wonderful, crazy life with anyone else. When you marry your best friend, everything else about life seems to fall into place. <3
- Our home - We've finally embarked on the long-awaited adventure of building our new home, and it's been a labor of love. We can't wait to see the finished product & consider ourselves incredibly lucky to be making our dream come to life.
- Friendships - No matter the time or distance that life wedges between the friendships I have, I know the ones I hold the dearest are only a phone call away.
- My family's health - This one. If I could make this bullet point a thousand times bigger than the others, I would. Up until last year it was something I'd always took for granted.
In late August 2015, at 22 weeks pregnant with my daughter, the doctors incidentally found a mass in my right kidney. That was the biggest blindside I'd ever experienced. Can I be honest with you? Last Fall/Winter were some of the hardest seasons of life for me. That finding introduced the possibility of my baby being a micro preemie & me doing radiation treatments. Lump all of that together with bi-monthly scans to monitor the tumor growth, closing my business for a while (I was told to be prepared to deliver anytime after 28 weeks), and medical bills piling up, I found myself really struggling with thankfulness this time last year.
Yet even though I lacked a grateful heart, the Lord continued to provide me with SO MUCH to be thankful - those weeks turned to months of scans & never yielded any tumor growth (best case scenario & answered prayers!). I was finally cleared to carry full-term. The cancerous tumor and kidney were removed a few weeks later with zero margins & no additional treatments needed (just scans/xrays every 6 months from here on out). If it were possible to jump up into the clouds and give the Lord the biggest hug, I would have done so. I've been blessed with more days to enjoy life and watch my babies grow up.
My heart is now eternally filled with gratitude.
- My daughter - I strategically placed her here on the list for good reason. You see, the tumor mentioned above might not have started causing so much pain (what led to it's discovery) if I hadn't been pregnant. Who knows how much longer it would have gone undetected if it wasn't for this sweet little girl growing inside me. This little miracle may very well have saved my life, and she doesn't even know it.
- My son - I am so amazed (and a little jealous) at how he faces this world so fearlessly. He is a social butterfly, always up for talking to new people and trying new things. While I can't relate to his extroverted tendencies, I admire them so much. He has me wrapped around his little finger with his sweet "please"s and "thank you"s. He's my world.
- My doctors and nurses - This one is pretty self explanatory. They were instrumental in my healing process this year & I am so grateful for the level of care and compassion they've all extended to me and my family.
- My clients - All of you contribute to this fun and challenging career path I've chosen for myself. You help me sustain my stay-at-home mom role. You force me to grow outside my design "comfort zone" (a good thing!) with ever-changing styles and design concepts. Meeting with each of you and watching your big day come together piece-by-piece through the planning process never loses it luster. You are all appreciated and valued. Thank you for allowing me to play a small role in one of your biggest life moments!
- Parents - As I get older and dive deeper into parenthood myself, I become ever the more grateful for my mom and dad. I finally realize the extent of their love, generosity, and selflessness. When I'm up at night rocking the baby or cuddling a sick toddler, I picture my parents in the same scenario 30+ years ago. It makes me tear up thinking about all the unseen sacrifices they've given, just to make sure my sisters and I were safe, happy, and healthy. Parenthood - now that's love.
I could probably go on and on with a few dozen more things I'm thankful for this year, but these top the list. I just had to shout it from the rooftops (or at least from my blog) how thankful I am this Thanksgiving.
What are you most thankful for this season?
Posted on October 19, 2015 by Cari
Categories: in MOTHERHOOD
To me, I hear "Fall" and picture colorful leaves, pumpkins, hot chocolate, hoodies, and lots of cool days spent outdoors. The other weekend we were able to enjoy all of the above, as we visited one of our local favorites - Beasley's Orchard!
Have you been? It's tucked away in the outskirts of Hendricks County & is an absolutely delightful little spot to visit in the Fall. During the first two weekends of October, they host the Heartland Apple Festival. It's one of our yearly traditions - and this year, we were able to share it with Autumn for the first time! Both kids had a blast. Hopefully next year, we'll actually be brave enough to tackle the corn maze with 2 kids in tow. =)
Brady is obsessed with the corn crib! Goodness, I didn't think we'd ever be able to pull him out of there. Put him outdoors with any sort of monster truck or tractor toy, and he's pretty much set for the day. Ha! Once the giant jumping pillow opened up (it took them a while to dry it off), that was pretty fun for him, too.
Even if you missed the festival, a lot of these attractions are staying open for the remainder of the month. Here's what else they have going on this season...
Every weekend in October
Take your turn at the games in the Barnyard Bonanza, and enjoy a rustic Hayride to their 15-acre Pumpkin Patch. The popular 8-acre Corn Maze (this year's maze theme is Mustang Muscle, which celebrates the 50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang!) will also be open! (Hours: Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday Noon-6pm)
3rd Annual Dog Daze at the Maze - 10/24 & 10/25
Each day from Noon-4pm, bring your dog to our corn maze and help raise funds for local rescue groups! 50% of the proceeds from the maze during this event will be donated to local animal rescue groups (many rescue groups will also be visiting with adoptable animals). What else will you find? Delicious food, Hayrides, Vendor booths, Barnyard Bonanza Family Activity Area, Face Painting, and be sure to check out the Pet Costume Contest at 2:00pm each day on the stage! #dogdazeatthemazeâ€¬
We also love to visit the orchard often to shop their wide selection of apples and other goodies. Fall is the perfect time for homemade applesauce, baked apples & apple bars (here's the BEST apple bar recipe - my mom's version - courtesy of my baby sister's blog).
Keep an eye on their Facebook page, too! They always have the best apple and cider sales, and Santa even comes to visit later in the year. =) You should definitely mark your Fall calendars for a trip to this sweet little spot in our neck of the woods!
Posted on April 6, 2015 by Cari
After the birth of our daughter on New Year's Day, along with my surgery in Februrary, we've pretty much been on a self-imposed quarantine for the last 3 months. With the risk of the flu (and now measles?! What the heck? Vaccinate your children, please.)...we didn't want to take any chances. It probably goes without saying that we've been getting a TAD restless.
Thanks to Spring's timely arrival, we are finally ready to bust out of this joint for a weekly outing or two. In addition to our usual spots (local libraries, parks, and the Hendricks County YMCA, I've been keeping a growing list of "to do" items, mainly places to visit with the kiddos. Some spots we love + a few new spots I want to try out this year are....
SkyZone - This place is just down the road from us. Hooray! I have high hopes that it'll turn out to be the perfect place for a toddler who can't. sit. still.
Children's Museum - Need I say more? Multiple floors of endless, interactive exhibits. I anticipate that naptime may arrive earlier than usual after a visit here.
Rhythm Discovery Center - There are musical instruments, and children are allowed to play them to their hearts content. Yeah, I think this will be a toddler favorite!
Indianapolis Zoo - We are only a short drive from downtown, so we always purchase an annual membership. After my son's first dolphin show, he wouldn't stop talking about it for days! The new orangutan exhibit is pretty neat (as long as the crowds aren't bad) and we love watching people feed the giraffes in the "Plains" area. Plus, there's a wonderful playground just outside the dolphin aquarium, as well as near the Birds observation area.
The Urban Chalkboard - This past Friday, we finally had the chance to visit this adorable play spot! I have nothing but good things to say about this place. There were lots of play areas & options, including an enclosed baby play area. They also have a classroom, where they host a variety of interactive activities throughout the day. (TIP: Watch their Facebook page for activity dates/times.)
Holliday Park - This is one of my favorites. It's a bit of a drive from the westside (about 25 minutes), but is SO worth the trip. I personally love making a stop in here after running errands on the northside of Indy - it's the perfect cure for Restless Toddler Syndrome, which my son seems to contract every time we visit a mall.
Stay-at-home moms, what are your go-to activities? Do you have any recommendations of other places to take a restless toddler (that's also baby -OR- baby-wearing friendly)? I'd love to hear what keeps you and your tots sane during the Spring & Summer months. =)
I’m a country girl, small business owner, wife, mother of three, and a proud alumna of Purdue University (Boiler Up!).
Wondering what life is like for a busy mom with a graphic design & laser cutting business? My days are filled with pretty paper, blissful brides, half-finished sketchbooks, half-eaten lunches, and lots of cuddling with my little ones. I look forward to sharing with you all of life's fun happenings (both in & out of the studio) here on the blog!
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