There are 4 weeks left (or less) until the birth our newest family member. I’m cleaning, washing and sorting in eager anticipation of welcoming BabyFish into my home.

I am in full-on nesting mode. I remember doing this before KidFish was born, but this time is SO different. Last time, I collected clothes, blankets, diapers, books, toys, gear, furniture, etc. I collected any and every thing that seemed remotely useful for me or a new baby. This time, however, I’m not collecting. I’m purging and simplifying. Not just baby stuff, but my stuff, kitchen stuff, household stuff, stuff in storage…everything.

Why?

In the past 4 years, I’ve learned that kids (and I) don’t need much. At least, I don’t need nearly as much as I’ve collected over the years. In fact, I’ve learned that too much stuff actually stresses me out.

I’ve learned that the things I need most aren’t things at all. I need love. I need hugs. I need laughter. I need space to be creative. I need to explore. I need to go outside and soak up sunshine. With this knowledge, I gladly let go of my unnecessary possessions to take hold of the things I (and BabyFish) need more.

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My Mother’s Day Gift

Today, people all across America are celebrating Mother’s Day. Daughters and sons are bestowing gifts of love, appreciation and gratefulness upon their mothers in the form of flowers, cards and hugs. Husbands are showering their wives with jewelry, dinners and spa days for bringing their offspring into the world.

This year, I’ve decided to give myself a gift—the gift of permission.

I’m giving myself permission to…
…not be “pinterest perfect.”
…say no.
…not do it all.
…to parent from my strengths, not my weaknesses.
…be the mother that I am, not the mother people expect me to be.
…admit that I don’t have it all figured out, and likely never will.

I hope this Mother’s Day is filled with grace, hope, love and freedom for moms everywhere.

Happy Mother’s Day!

The Great Purge of 2015

Over the past few months, PapaFish, KidFish and I have been getting rid of our belongings like it’s going out of style.

Here is a partial list of things that we’ve either sold, given away, donated or trashed:
– 1 large metal filing cabinet
– 2 desks
– 2 floor lamps
– half my wardrobe
– kitchen gadgets
– 3 boxes of books
– window curtains
– exercise equipment
– kids clothes & toys
– 4 large boxes of miscellaneous household items
– art/craft supplies
– 3 boxes of old paperwork
– expired pantry items
– old magazines

It’s been a month, and to be honest, I don’t miss any of it. In fact, I’m really enjoying the space, both physical and mental.

I used to think that I needed more space for my stuff, but now I know that I need less stuff for my space.

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Favorite Books This Week

It can be difficult to find a good children’s book with art that’s equally as good. Sometimes the stories are great, but not the art that goes with it. Sometimes it’s the other way around. This week, KidFish and I went to the library and found a few simple, creative, imaginative stories with amazing art! I hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

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1. Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson
This was my favorite book when I was little. Now, I finally get to share it with my own child.

“One night, after thinking it over for some time, Harold decided to go for a walk in the moonlight.” Armed only with an oversized purple crayon, young Harold draws himself a landscape full of wonder and excitement. Full of funny twists and surprises, this joyful story shows just how far your imagination can take you. It’s a must read that sparks creativity and imagination.

2. Art by Patrick McDonnell
A rhyming tribute to a budding young artist named Art…and his art. KidFish enjoyed this book so much that she asked me to read it over….and over….and over.

3. Not a Box by Antoinette Portis
When is a box not a box? When it’s a mountain, rocket ship, sail boat, or anything else you imagine it to be. KidFish loved this story…especially the pages that said “It’s NOT a box!” because those were pages she could “read.”

4. Not a Stick by Antoinette Portis
This is a follow up to Antoinette Portis’s book “Not a Box.” A stick is a stick….unless it’s NOT a stick!

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Date Night with Mr. Fish

Sometimes I’m so focused on being “Mom” that I forget to be “Mrs.” 

Sometimes I don’t hold my husband’s hand because I’m busy holding my daughter’s.

Sometimes I’m too tired to care for my husband because I’ve spent all my energy on my daughter.

Sometimes I have no patience, grace, or encouragement for my husband because it all went to my daughter.

I must remember that before my daughter, there was my husband. It’s easy to forget who came first and who should get priority.

Recently, PapaFish and I took a break from being “Mom & Dad” so that we could be “Husband & Wife.” We held hands, ate pie, talked, laughed and smiled. It was an intentional moment in time where Mr. Fish got the best of me. Life should be filled with more moments like this one.

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7 Week Countdown

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It’s been a little quiet here the past few months, and there’s a very good reason. In 7 weeks, life as we know it will change forever. We’ve have had 33 weeks to prepare for the change, but it’s the kind of change that no one can ever be truly ready for. If you haven’t figured it out, 7 weeks + 33 weeks = 40 weeks, the time it take for a baby to be born! In mid June, we’ll finally get to meet our little man face to face. We are so excited!

Valentine’s Day is coming! Celebrate the special day with these free printable Valentine’s Day cards. They’re all 5×7″ and fit into an A7 envelop.

If you like these simple, minimalist greeting card designs, check out my Etsy shop. It’s filled with greeting cards and wall art that would be perfect for the superhero or princess in your life.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Click the links below to download:
“You make me happy” card
“I like you alot” card
“Hello Handsome” card

(You’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader to print these files)

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