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On The Last Day: You Were There

To the parents of students receiving school awards but were not present — you were there.

Let’s face it… with elementary aged kids the last day of school is EPIC, right? Most of the last week of school is filled with end of the year accolades to further boost their esteem for summer break.

Today I got dressed extra early just to get to school two hours after I dropped my kids off to watch them receive special recognition at the end-of-the-year school awards.

I got there 20 minutes early to grab a decent seat. This year the award ceremony seemed faster than before. I watched each student receive an award and receive applause from peers and the gathered assembly.

There were smile’s and cheers. There were kids that were told to stand still for pictures with their teachers.

But there were also students that received their award and quietly sat back down in the gym.  Whether by accident or design they there was no extra picture taking or parental hugs or pats on the back. No matter what direction they looked.

And that is OK too.

It’s OK for kids to understand the importance of work ethic. It is important for children to see their mothers put in hours so that they can value higher achievement and future opportunities.

As mothers we can’t be everywhere all the time. But we can celebrate the milestones in our own way.

So whether or not you were present at the school assembly is irrelevant. Because you were there along the way helping them to success.

You were there for homework time banging your head against the table for them to finish the worksheets. You were there when you got the discouraging teacher phone call from school about your child’s class behavior. You were there when they brought home the A+ spelling test.

You were present when they ask you questions about life. You responded when they acted out of pain and anger. You comforted them on their darker days. You help them to prioritize things that matter.

All of these things are greater achievements than sitting in a chair for 30 minutes. In this self bubbling world it is our obligation to keep our children planted in the things that matter. Do not succumb to the customs and behaviors of this world. (Romans 12:2)

To the parents of students receiving school awards but were not present — you were there right there with them, dancing/smiling /fist pumping in the place that matters most— their hearts.

Go get’em 🙂

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Mamas: You Are Enough

Mother’s Day is always a little harder for me.  Not because I’ve lost people that were mother figures for me but mainly because the idea of being tied down to something other than myself gave me a negative connotation about motherhood.

In college I was a fiery young liberal who never wanted to have kids because I spent so much of  my youth surrounded by my pool of cousins that I became “responsible” for, for summers on end.

I look back at my own childhood and constantly thought of how much my own mother ‘toted” us from one community event to another …  never really knowing what was happening just tagging along in a never-ending cycle of “one more thing” that I had to smile / sing / stand / sit / be quiet for. It didn’t matter how noble the cause… I didn’t feel a part of it.

I swore with my first child that I would not do what my mom did to me. Three kids later I’ve softened my approach but still, its a goal. Each child has taught me something different about myself and about the world around me.

When I look back on Mother’s Day a lot of times I see the short falls, the disappointment and even past relationship resentment before I can even begin to see the smiles of birthdays, Christmas baking or the deep unconditional hugs in our random lazy weekend chats.

The week leading up to Mother’s Day this year was rougher then usual. Kids bickering, demands of my career and all the household shuffle in between. But that’s what we do right? As ‘wonderwomen’ we put on this mask that we can truly do it all without hesitation. Every. Day.

Let me be the first to admit: I’m human.  And in being human in this self prophesying world we tend to drink our own kool-aid. At times we feel we need to out perform even ourselves to justify doing more for our children. To justify our legacy in this temporary world. We feel less than even when the bible tells us differently.

Because of my family’s foundation of faith I always use the quick spiritual guides, inspirational words and faithful thoughts of the day to help root my day in the spirit to which gifted me this opportunity of the blended family life.

I just went from me, to Him in one sentence y’all.

And in that shift I constantly have to reinforce my own insecurities of being enough. I am enough. It’s hard just typing it here.

I’m still learning.

In being a birth mom and a adopted mother I have learned to parent in ways that I thought was not possible for me. I believe it was the Holy Spirit disciplining me just as much as I was disciplining them. Teaching me patience and compassion. Molding my anger and frustrations into peace.

In this instantaneous culture I’ve come to find the mysterious rooted ebb & flow of peace throughout parenting my beautiful children along side my amazing ‘ford tough’ husband. And it brings me to share this post about being enough. Because we are.

We don’t have to be everything for everyone… we just have to carry on what God sees in us. And that alone allows God to carry the ones we love.

That’s all my mom was trying to do. And I’m grateful that I get to pass that on to my children.

To all the moms / aunts / grandmas /  caregivers / neighbors / foster moms / etc in the whole world… you are enough. ❤️

Bask in it today! #happymothersday

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Franzetti Photography: 17 Must-Reads for Dreamers & Hustlers

17 Must-Reads for Dreamers & Hustlers

Goals are a really amazing thing because they mean HOPE. When everyone makes their goals for new years, it means that even if just for a few weeks, they believe something can be better about themselves or something around them in the new year. Sure, sure… I know most people fall off the wagon pretty quickly, but to me it would be far worse to not even try at all.

READ: 17 Must-Reads for Dreamers & Hustlers

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Easter Therapy: It. Is. Finished.

Finally…The finished product. For days I attempted to put something in this blank canvas. I asked for prayer and then it just flowed out of me as we approached Easter. It was meant as a social media giveway for Easter. As I read and reflected on the Torah during Lent the word ‘Panim’ kept replaying in my mind as I stared into the blank leafy canvas. What does it mean you ask? Panim is a Hebrew term meaning “to face” or to stand in presence of (referring to God).

The leaves transported me to the beauty of The Garden of Eden. Calm and serene. Lush and bountiful. I could feel His presence there. The more I studied Panim the more I was beginning to understand that this painting/ artwork /therapy  wasn’t meant for me to giveaway… it was meant for me treasure. What a beautiful reminder of the presence of God all around me. Inside me. Inside my children. Inside my Husband. Inside anyone.

Over the past months I felt a little lost. I had a miscarriage. I was pushing to lose weight (not knowing I was pregnant– yikes). I felt career pressure. My older kids were acting out …. and up. A lot of times I felt like retreating but didn’t really know where else to retreat. I talk to God and my husband daily but it felt like, at times, neither of them could really handle ‘one more thing’ from me. I assumed wrong.

I believe this was a spiritual reminder that all I need do, is seek Panim.

Wherever you are in process of Gods presence in your life, know that His presence is all around you. He overcame DEATH for you. His love runs deeper then the temporary fixes of today and tomorrow. Your burdens, are His too.

My hubby and I refer to our children as our ‘greatest adventures’. Deep down no matter what “short change moment” we feel we endure we know that Our Father’s greatest adventure, is always us.

For what is our hope, our joy, or the crown in which we will glory in the presence of our Lord Jesus when he comes? Is it not you?
-1 Thessalonians 2:19

#MSfamily #HappyEaster #Panim

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Franzetti Photography: Joseph is O-Fish-Ally One!

More adorable babies, please! I have never really experienced baby fever, but I love getting to steal some time with other people’s babes. This little nugget and I have met three times and every time he is such a happy baby and he has the most beautiful blue eyes!! He is going to be the big O-N-E in just a few shorts days and his mama decided to celebrate with some photos and a cake smash.

READ POST: Joseph is O-Fish-Ally One!

 

 

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Glamorous Bell House Bridal Shower

Octane had the pleasure of ‘glammin’ out’ a perfectly pink and gold bridal shower in the ever beautiful and historic Bell House in Lexington Kentucky.  We loved EVERY BIT of this event from the glasses of champagne, to the luxurious food, to the collection of “goodies” at the end! We’re still swooning! Let’s review!

The Details

From the moment you see the beautiful gold confetti welcome sign you know this event is something special! The lush gold painted wine bottle vases with soft pink florals accented simple white linen tables and the ‘crystal’ glassware.  The pink foil “Mrs” napkins and simple itinerary made each seat welcoming and extra special.

The bridal table was complete with a simple and glamorous pink sequin table linens and accented gold wine bottles with fresh florals. The event was elevated further with the beauty of the venue itself with beautiful victorian fireplaces,  grand ballroom chandeliers and moldings.

The Bubbly Bar

This was a specific ‘must have’ for this glamorous bride to be! She wanted everything gold, pink and white. From the ‘best day ever’ foil tags to the elegant champagne flutes filled with pink champagne; each detail showcased the brides love for detail and splashes of her own glamorous personality.

Signage & Paperie

What’s a bridal shower without some entertaining games? Octane created all the fun paperie including the ‘how well do you know the bride’ multiple choice quiz, word search, welcome signage, table signage, itinerary and advice cards. Each game winner won a custom goodie box each themed by the bride to be!

A really unique feature provided by the party host was having instant polaroid cameras for people to “mix and mingle” with and leave a note inside the future brides bridal scrapbook. Octane applied matching custom vinyl to make the album covers extra special and to tie in all the details!

Food & Cake

What made this event wasn’t just the glamorous paper and decor but the food! Privately catered by Casey Mader (Chef It Up Catering) each dish was made fresh and complimented the brides sense of style and luxury. From the shrimp cocktails to the strawberry cheesecake parfaits Chef Casey easily satisfied the serious munchies these ladies had!

Did we mention this beautiful cake yet? This cake was EVERYTHING and made by Confused Confections based in Lexington. The simple flowing of gold dripping down the cake with the elegant writing “The Mrs” placed so quaintly has us in total cake envy! Take notes y’all.

The ‘Future Mrs’ balloons (by Oh Shiny Paper Co ) made the backdrop to eat a pleasure to mingle around!

 

The Favors

Another fantastic bridal personality stamp was truly in the bridesmaids ability to put together the bridal goodie bags, filled with all the things that resembled the bride and prepped you for their Floridian destination wedding! From simple chocolate kisses to the custom earbuds for the trip, this simple ‘thank you’ was well thought out! My personal fave though had to be the adorable wine bottle lip gloss AND the personal mini bottle of champagne to take home, #ftw!

#BestDayEver
#GlamorousBridalShower
#TheEnd


The Vendors:

Linens: Modern Affairs & Bryant’s Rent-All 

Signage & Paperie: Octane Design Studios

Catering: Chef It Up

Cake: Confused Confections

Themed Game Boxes: The Bride

Goodie Bags:  Maid of Honor & Bridesmaids

Event Photography: Octane Design Studios