An Alligator Took Woody’s Boots: A Lesson On Listening


This morning

around 4 am

at our house

an alligator took Woody’s boots….

You heard me right.

An alligator





As in Woody from Toy Story.

His boots!


Oh the tragedy!

The loss!

The drama!

It was Charlie’s first bad dream

that she was really able to explain.

She woke up and wanted me to lay with her

and after explaining the basics-

an alligator took Woody’s boots-

she fell easily back asleep.

When she awoke this morning

the dream must have been still

very clear

and vivid

in her mind.

She kept repeating

an alligator took Woody’s boots

an alligator took Woody’s boots

an alligator took Woody’s boots

an alligator took Woody’s boots

and oh did I mention

an alligator took Woody’s boots???

It was borderline hysterical

and pretty cute.

More and more of the dream

came out.

Her and Woody were swimming.

They didn’t have a boat.

An alligator chased them.

It got Woody’s boot!

But not Woody.

They had to get the boots back!

What an adventure she must have had.

She wasn’t really scared

and didn’t cry at all.

She just needed reassurance

 not understanding


a dream is.

Is it TV?

Is it real?

Must be confusing

having dreams

about all the new stuff

toddlers are encountering every day

and not even know what the heck a dream is.

So as much as I would love to say

I KNOW!!!!



Be quiet now!!!

I don’t.

I listen.

I act surprised.

I ask questions.

I reassure her it’s not real

that it’s like a TV

that it can even be kind of fun.

She needs to know it’s ok

and that it’s normal.

That mom has dreams too.

That it doesn’t mean an alligator will really get her boots.

Kids repeat things for a reason.

It’s not to annoy us.

It mean

“I need something.”


your attention,

your reassurance,

your help,

your guidance,

to know where boundaries are.

Let’s stop telling our kids to be quiet

and listen to them.

Dream or just in general.

Don’t we all want to be listened to?

If we want our kids to listen

when we speak

then we have to model that behavior

to them.


how will they know how to listen?

They aren’t going to magically wake up

and know how.

We can’t expect more from our kids

then we expect from ourselves.

Let’s focus on really listening

to what our kiddos

are telling us.

Even if it is

an alligator took Woody’s boots…

did I mention an alligator took Woody’s boots?

He did.

He took Woody’s boots.

Those boots be gone.

Ruby Bleu Boutique Black Ponte Leggings: Review and Giveaway


here it is ladies

the moment you have all been waiting for.

You had a chance to win

a knitted head wrap,

you still have a chance to win a

mustard infinity scarf

by sharing this link to 906 E. Chic

on Facebook until 10:00pm tonight,


you have the chance to win your own pair of

black ponte leggings



this grey oversized tunic dress!!!


A complete outfit!!!

How awesome is that?!!?

Pretty awesome

I should know because I love the ponte leggings.


Easy to dress up

or down.

They are versatile and well made.

I love to throw on a long sweater

or sweatshirt

if I am being completely honest

with mine.

They look great with heels,


or boots

or booties

heck they look great with anything.

And they make your legs look fantastic

and hold everything in place

without looking like athletic pants.

Important right?

Also the customer service at Ruby Bleu is top notch.

I got a size small in the ponte leggins but couldn’t tell if I needed to go up a size.

So Mandi mailed me a medium to try

and let me mail back the pair I didn’t end up wanting.

In the end I ended up keeping both and use one pair when I’m bloated

and one pair to wear when I’m not.

I use them both pretty often.

When you wash them they come out black still

not faded.

I hate when my leggings fade.


they are a great purchase for any mom.

A piece this versatile is going to make getting dressed

that much easier.

And comfier.

Enter to win below you have until next Thursday at midnight to enter all the possible ways!!!

Good luck!!!!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Grand Prize Game: A Ruby Bleu Giveaway Extravaganza…

Sorry I was MIA

last Friday.

But we were getting broadband internet,

in the COUNTRY!

It was pretty amazing really.

I open my computer and click on Safari

and bam!


Goodbye 1997

hello 2014!

So I have some giveaway making up to do

which is why without further ado

I will announce the first winner of

one of these adorable

Twisted Knit Head Wraps


All of you who commented on Friday were entered to win one…

and Katie

you won!!!!

Katie wrote that her favorite things right now are:

watching my two boys play and laugh together. I love sweatshirt weather, 5am workouts, family night, crock pot meals, my job!!!

And I happen to know her and her job is a really awesome important one!

She definitely deserves a reward.

Just send me a Facebook PM and let me know your address and color choice!

I will have the headband shipped straight to you!!

Now a new challenge to win one of these Mustard Infinity Scarves:


Share the link to this post on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you did earns you one entry.

Next go over to Ruby Bleu and Pin your top three items and again leave me a comment letting me know you did.

To gain another entry share link on your Facebook wall to your favorite item at Ruby Bleu.




And remember to come back later today

to enter to win

the Grand Prize of the Ruby Bleu Giveaway Extravaganza!

It’s gonna be good.

So come back later….

A Few Of My Favorite Things…


Leggings from RubyBleu // Long Seemless White Cami from Ruby Bleu // Sweatshirt N/A from Forever21

When the dog bites,

when the bee stings,

when the cramps come,

I simply remember my favorite things

and then I don’t feel so bad.


to be honest

I take 800 mg of Ibuprofen

and stay connected to my heating pad for like 2 days

feeling pretty sorry for myself.

But I did take some time to write a few of my favorite things…

<<< THIS BOOK >>>


<<< HOT COFFEE >>>




(yup its coming this week and I’m pumped!!!)










What are some of your favorite things?

Leave a comment and gain 1 entry into our surprise giveaway this FRIDAY!!!

Indie Fringe Cardigan Ruby Bleu Boutique: A review


While my sister

was back to looking like Gwen Stefani

a week after giving birth

carrying a diaper bag and wearing biker boots.

It took me a looooong time

to get my clothing mojo back.

I am gonna be real honest here

I have born boys sweatpants from Walmart for the better part of 2 years…

So this week I am going to be sharing

with you my favorite picks

that got me out of my fashion rut

and into pants with an actual buckle.

Ruby Bleu Boutique

and this Friday a


of a mystery piece

of your very own.

Could be this cardigan


could be some socks

{just kidding I promise it won’t be socks}

But you better cross your fingers and kiss your elbow

that it’s the

Indie Fringe Cardigan

modeled by myself above

This cardigan has become

my go-to fall piece.

Pumpkin picking?

Wearing ma cardigan.


Wearing ma cardigan.

Looking cute around the house just because?

Wearing ma cardigan.

All time time.

I wash it on hand wash

and it comes out looking like brand spanking new.

Keeps it’s shape,

keeps it’s color,

doesn’t unravel or ball up or wrinkle.

I feel so chic running errands

and when you live in the boonies of Illinois

it’s pretty dang important to look chic

running into Walmart.

But seriously,

as my fashionista sister-in-law said,

this cardigan is everything.

Easily worth Ryan

thinking it was ok to have the guys over for football night

on our wedding anniversary.

His loss

was my indie fringe cardigan gain.

Thursday Night Football vs. 4th Wedding Anniversary

The fight went something like this upon hearing that we were watching Thursday night football

instead of celebrating our anniversary:


Ryan: It’s Thursday night football what did you think we were going to do?


Ryan: You know about Thursday nights.


Ryan: Would it make you feel better if you could spend some money?


Ryan: Fine.

me: fine.

Ryan: That offer expires at midnight so don’t fall asleep.

And the win goes to Ashley and the 4th Wedding Anniversary!!!

We won’t discuss numbers here

but let’s just say

he paid for it.


You can’t wear dinner over and over again like this cardigan.

Thank you Thursday night football!

May you inspire many more deals

in the months ahead.

Mama wants a brand new hand bag!!!

Aww man,

it’s sold out!

See guys you gotta get it fast

the good stuff sells out quick!

What is a homemaker???


Earlier this week I posted a quote from a new blog I came across last week.

“You are a homemaker by definition. You are a homemaker if you are a woman. Whether or not you have kids. Whether or not you work outside the home. Whether or not you are married. You are a homemaker because God has designed your role to be a keeper of your home.”

Jamie Balmet

So I had already been mulling all this

SAHM vs Working Moms

stuff over in my brain

before yesterdays post.

I think we are all fighting trying to prove the same thing-

that no matter how we choose to live our life

one thing is still true

as a woman

we are innately

the keepers of the home.

I can imagine cave woman

sweeping the cave,

hanging a nice tiger hide on the wall,

maybe doing some cave art

to make it a little more cozy.

You know a cave man isn’t the one doing that stuff.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all started to identify as homemakers?

Instead of being a working mom,

or stay at home mom,

or stay at home wife,

or work from home wife,

we all are still homemakers.

Which is really our most important responsiblity

no matter how we go about it.


instead of being on one side

or the other

we all just start playing for the same team?

Team Homemaker!

Do you think we would see a difference in our families?

What about our communities?

What about our country and the future generations of women

we are role models for right now?

It could be amazing.

If we all started focusing on our home

instead of what is going on in someone else’s.

I have been thinking a lot about

what it means to keep a home.

To me

it means making this space,

our house,

a place of refuge for my family.

I want them to feel ultimate comfortbility.

Clean sheets,

warm food,

good smells,

snuggly blankets,

fun and laughing,


We really set the tone in our home don’t we?

You don’t have to be a SAHM to do any of this!

We all can set the tone in our home.

We all can make our homes special and tranquil places of peace.

Let’s all get on Team Homemaker

and start making our own homes

the change we wish to see in the world.

Because as homemakers we have that power.

Kind of exciting isn’t it?!

Here are some ways I like to make my home right now some are simple some take more work:

Pumpkin Scented Candle

All day, every day, I have spicy mulled cider, or pumpkin, or something fallish scenting the air.  Greeting whomever might wander to our door. Instantly give the house a cozy vibe and setting the mood.


For me an organized home means an organized mind.  I cannot relax if my house is cluttered.  If my toilet needs cleaned I can sleep just fine but clutter makes me crazy. There is also research showing how beneficial it is for children to see their house, aka their world, put into order at the end of the day.  It shows them that even though life gets messy, we clean it up, put it back in order.  Lessons for the world.  Children learn these simple life lessons through every day actions.  Putting up clutter or a “ten minute tidy” as my dad use to call them are important to me.


There is always something to snuggle or play with you at our house.  I cannot tell you how many times we have had a sibling come over feeling terrible and one of our kitties jumps in their lap and snuggles in.  Instant mood lifter.  Again science shows that petting an animal for just 10 minutes brings down your heart rate and stress levels.  We love animals!


I think sometimes as women, we defeat ourselves before we even get out of bed in the morning with our OWN expectations.  I don’t know about you but I could never meet my expectations for the day.  So I stopped having them.  Sure, I have important things that need to get done, but at the end of the day that’s what they are- just things.  People are the most important thing to me.  So if at the end of the day my people are happy I call that a good day.  Regardless of if I made dinner or got all the laundry done or met every responsibility and obligation that I was expected to do.  I let myself off the hook.  I let it go.  I try harder tomorrow. You know what? I get a lot more done that way.

Pace of Day

I think we have to own the fact that we set the pace of our day.  If life feels too busy and hectic there are always ways to cut back.  So you have to take ownership that you are letting life be that crazy and hectic. I set a pace of day that I can handle.  One that makes my words kind, one that makes me walk slowly in the parking lot so that Charlie can keep up without me pulling her, one that gives me times to stop and pray and be thankful.  I choose this pace.  It isn’t easy and I am sure there are a lot of people who think I should do more but thankfully I don’t answer to them at the end of the day so it’s not my job to make anyone but God happy with how I spend my time. I keep a pace that makes me able to be the peace keeper of my home.


Do you feel like your family needs more kindness?  Are you modeling it?  Modeling kindness is the best way to get it in return.  I am making a real effort to model genuine kindness to Charlie.  It is amazing what a toddler will teach your about yourself.  Putting others ahead of yourself isn’t easy, especially if you are a mom and you always seem to come last.  But I dare you to go home and pour out love to your family and see where it gets you.  Do something you don’t want to do that you know will make someone in your house happy.  See what happens in your home as you watch the kindness spread.

That’s all I got today folks.

I gotta say

peace out

and paint some walls.


Be kind!

Be bold in your home!

Be homemakers!

Dear All Moms Shut The Eff Up…


Now mother,

before you get all upset at my choice of title

for this post

I am referring to this little gem

Dear Stay At Home Moms Shut The Efff Up

that I found a link someone shared on Facebook this week.

This is something I am really,






sick of hearing.

The article basically says

that because stay at home moms are doing

what every other mom wishes she could,

(which isn’t true there are lots of moms who do not wish to stay home)

that we should shut up and never complain.


let me tell you something,


Why do working moms feel like they have the right to judge a stay at home mom?

Why does a stay at home mom feel like she can judge a working mom?

Why does a work from home mother feel the need to put down a mom who is a full time homemaker only?

This is the war on woman

and we are fighting against ourselves.

It’s not a about contraceptives,

it’s not about making the same amount of money as men,

it’s about how we treat each other.

I think there is an epidemic of

I want what she has.

I want a bigger house,

I want granite countertops,

I want a cleaner home,

I want to be crafty,

I want to cook,

I want more time to myself,

I want to stay home,

I want a great career,

I need more help,

ect, ect,ect,

Do you know what the only difference between you

and the woman who has what you want?

She didn’t settle for less she settled for more.

There is a little Megyn Kelly thrown at cha.

Settle for more.

Not less.

If you want to stay home

quit getting mad at stay at home moms

who don’t meet your expectations of gratefulness.

Get to working on how you can make it happen.


not her.

Focus on YOU.

Your choices.

Your decisions.

Your lifestyle.

Because if you really want something

you can make it happen.

Not right away

you may have to work for it for years.

And if you don’t want to do something

then own it.

There is nothing wrong with providing for your family.

There is nothing wrong leaving your child in the care of someone you trust

to do work that makes you a happy, fulfilled person.

Because that is what it is really about.

Our kids don’t need stay at home moms

or working mothers,

or work from home moms,

they need moms who are happy and thriving.

We are never going to thrive

throwing stones at each other.


And the men are going to continue to make more

and progress further in their careers

because we are too busy bickering

and being envious,

instead of doing something to change our circumstances.

It’s easier to sit still and complain about someone else

then it is to be grateful for what you have and work for more.

So no,

I won’t shut the efff up.

I am a full time homemaker.

I stay home sometimes all week

never leaving the house except to go to walmart,

looking a mess,


counting to 10 over and over again,

teaching that blue is not purple,

folding laundry,

getting bodily fluids on a great outfit

which is why we end up in yoga pants

and sweats

and then complain about it.

Because we would love to wear something cute

but when you are home all day,

vacuuming and playing pirates,

you would love to look like Heidi Klum while doing it

but lets be real

it’s just not practical.

But sometimes it wears on you.

Sometimes you get in a rut.

Sometimes it’s a hard job even though its what you love doing.

So does that mean that you have to just keep your mouth shut and never complain?

That’s just not realistic.

Stay at home moms,

work from home moms,

working outside the home moms,

we all face problems,

we all have terrible days,

we all think there are times when we could do better.

Let’s quit holding each other to different standards

let’s quit thinking about ourselves

when someone else says they had a bad day.

Let’s start encouraging each other.

If you are a working mom and

a stay at home mom friend is having a hard time.

Give her encouragement.

Tell her that sometimes getting out helps you and that is why you work.

Maybe she needs to get out for a mani/pedi

or a lunch with the girls,

or start a little side business to be happy.

Let’s help each other

not tell each other to shut up.

We are suppose to motherly,

full of compassion,

and we are treating each other terribly.

I have a cousin who works.

She doesn’t work because she has to.

She works because she wants to.

She has never treated me different because I stay at home.

In fact she does the opposite.

When she needed a babysitter

and we were low on money

she asked me to watch the kids when her daycare was on vacation.

I make her son’s preschool class treats sometimes because I am crafty and love stuff like that

and she loves it and pays me!

And it’s something fun for me!

And she loves the stuff I make

she isn’t all

“I wish I was crafty”

she enjoys the fact that I am and the time I saved her.

I have the her kids stay the night for movie night

so she and her husband can get out

and sleep in.

We both complain together about how hard kids are,

how they make you worry,

how much you love them and want the world to treat them good,

how husband can be annoying and say stupid things (sorry guys}

our work differences has never been a topic of discussion

or cause for awkwardness.

I mostly attribute this to the fact that we both own our choices.

My choice to stay home doesn’t make her feel guilty

and her choice to work doesn’t make me feel like less of an important person in the world or less intelligent.

We work together to help each other be better moms.

It’s a great relationship of give and take.

So I ask-

Why are we fighting each other so much????

Why are we so adamant to prove our way is the only way

instead of accepting there are many ways to do one thing?

We are never all going to be the same,

there will always be someone with something you don’t,

doing something you can’t.

Let’s not focus on that.

Let’s focus on what we can do.

We can do things to improve our life.

We can work towards things we want.

And the first step is to quit thinking about what everyone else has or is doing

and get to work

on what you want done in life.

So yeah,

don’t shut the effff up,

get to work.

Expect more from yourself

not someone else

and quit judging the mom to your left and to your right.

It has to stop.