My Bucket List for the Year

It’s a new year – a total clean slate. It’s a time for new beginnings, goals, resolutions, and bucket list items. I am, for sure, an optimist, and I totally get into thinking about things I’d like to change in my life, how I I want to grow, what I want to do and accomplish and how it’s going to happen. *Let me just stop right here* and acknowledge that all of us with young children are totally in survival mode and just getting ourselves and families fed, dressed and out the door in the morning is an accomplishment. But, as I come through the fog of having an infant (2 toddlers now!?!), I have a newfound burst of energy to tackle some of the things that were on hold for the last year or so.

So, to be completely honest, I have found some of my inspiration for my New Year’s resolutions from The Bucket List Family.  If you aren’t familiar with them, they are a family who sold everything to travel around the world, learn about different cultures and give back.  I first learned about them as they partnered with Disney and reviewed resorts in their 30 Stays in 30 Days videos. I really appreciate their goals for the family: Adventure, Service and Culture (and health). (I also absolutely love the idea of living with less “stuff”, but that’s another post for another time. 😁) This was completely inspiring to me, so this year, my big goals for myself and family are Adventure, Service and Healthy Living.

Adventure

The wanderlust is real, you guys. Traveling is my happy place! While John and I aren’t going to sell everything and travel the world with our kids, this year my goal is to experience something new each month. While some of our adventures may be big, like a trip to New Zealand, some will be as simple as a visit to a new museum or new art class.

The last few years have flown by! If you are like me, you would love to slow things down (especially those sweet moments with your babies). You know how everyone says, if you want to slow the years down, take some time to learn something new? Here’s my attempt to make the most of the time with my family and have a really fun time doing it!

Service

Some of us are better at giving back than others. I love giving to charities and good causes, but getting down to the nitty gritty and rolling up my sleeves? Not as good. This year, I’d love to show my kids the value of getting involved in hands-on church and community projects to make our town a great place to live.

Healthy Living

Every year I make the resolution to lose weight, but this year, I am committing to a healthier lifestyle. Without health, we are really super limited to what we can do. Whether I like to admit it or not, I feel better when I exercise – I have more energy for my kids and am generally in a better mood (“Exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins make you happy. Happy people just don’t shoot their husbands, they just don’t. -Elle Woods). I am working on incorporating both strength training and HIIT training into my workout plan. Not only will that help keep me feeling good but I will be able to keep up with my kids!

Throughout this year, Jill and I will take you on our personal journeys and show you our fun (and hilarious) fitness adventures, life hacks, beauty tips/tricks, healthy living ideas and a lot more! Coming up is a series on fitness. Check back for our post on AcroYoga!!

Thank you all for taking the time to keep up with us and we look forward to hearing your resolutions, goals, and great tips for making 2018 a great year! Don’t forget to subscribe (below if you are on your mobile device and to the right if you are on your PC) and get the latest updates!

XOXO,

Lauren

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What I Wish Everyone Knew About Motherhood

“You are the trip I did not take;

You are the pearls I could not buy;
You are my blue Italian lake;
You are my piece of foreign sky. //

You are my Honolulu moon;
You are the book I did not write;
You are my heart’s unuttered tune:
You are a candle in my night. //

You are the flower beneath the snow;
In my dark sky a bit of blue;
Answering Disappointment’s blow
With ‘I am happy! I have you!'” -Anne Campbell //

 

 

For me, this sums up #motherhood and parenthood in a nutshell. The sacrifices we make as mothers are real. The sacrifices are costly. Perhaps you’ve had to put certain hopes and dreams on hold to prioritize current family needs. Perhaps life didn’t turn out quite as rosy as you once upon a time imagined it would be. I can sometimes be hard on myself about where I think I should be during this stage of my life. Being self-motivated certainly has its pros and cons! It’s tempting to entertain these futile “coulda, woulda, shoulda” thoughts. But I take one look at my kids, I see what amazing miracles both of them are, and all those fears and regrets fly right out the window. My kids have a way of keeping me centered. Their love and trust in me as their mama humbles me. They help me to remember what is most important in this world and that life, as hard and messy as it can be sometimes, is beautiful.

 

Guest Contributor Sarah Brown is a happy wife, proud mama, and relentless real estate agent living la vida loca in Washington, DC. In her spare time, she enjoys working out, pretending like she knows what she’s doing in her garden, spending time with family and friends, and perfecting her sea salt caramel chocolate chip cookie recipe. You can find Sarah on Instagram @sarahbrowndc!

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18 Random Things You Don’t Know Until You Have Kids…

 

When you found out you were pregnant, you may have read up on all the latest information, talked to all your mom/dad friends and you may have even taken child care classes.  However, in my experience (with input from the Husband), there are just some things you can’t prepare for. In the words of the old MTV show Diary, “you think you know…but you have no idea”.

 

 

  1. When kids get a cough, they will sometimes cough until they throw up. This leaves you to run for water and scream, “don’t throw up!!” each time you hear a cough coming on.
  2. A runny nose is a nightmare when your child doesn’t know how to blow his/her nose.
  3. Stomach bugs + pull-ups = certain death
  4. Babies are able to defy gravity with their poo (aka bowel movement or BM).
  5. BM becomes common vernacular.
  6. Onsies can be taken off by pulling them over your baby’s head or more importantly in light of #4, down over the shoulders.
  7. Sometimes your 8 hour work day is the most relaxing part of the day.
  8. You will enjoy certain toys more than your kids do.
  9. Some babies don’t like baby food. It’s super fun trying to figure out what a person with no teeth and a sensitive tummy can eat.
  10. It is a privilege to mow the lawn.  Peace, sweet peace.
  11. Sometimes, NOTHING, even something they really really want, will motivate them to use the potty.
  12. A grocery store run, after school, with 2 kids, is a kamikaze suicide mission.
  13. You gain a supreme amount of appreciation for your dog. She doesn’t talk back or whine and generally obeys.
  14. You should include the following brands in you retirement portfolio: PROCTER & GAMBLE (Pampers) or Kimberly-Clark Brands (Huggies), Abbott Laboratories (Similac) or Mead Johnson & Company, LLC (Enfamil), Nestle (Gerber) and Baby Gap. The amount you (and every other parent) will spend buying products from these companies will certainly secure a plush retirement.
  15. You will have to choose between personal time and sleep.  (Lauren: sleep wins / John: personal time wins)
  16. Buy (at least) two of whatever comfort item your child has. Losing this item = no sleep for 3 weeks.
  17. Sprinklers are magic mood boosters for kids. (Tip: buy one from the home and garden section not the toy section.)
  18. Kisses and hugs from your child and the random “I wuv you momma/dada” will melt you and make you want to be a better parent.

Did I miss any?  Comment and let us know the surprising things you’ve learned since becoming a parent.

Don’t forget to share this post and subscribe to Glitter Jungle so you don’t miss out on our exciting new posts coming this summer!

XOXO,

Lauren

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Momma Got Her Groove Back

Parenting is mandatory, uncompensated employment that can bring you extreme highs and severely frustrating lows.  Every day we wake up hoping for the best while preparing ourselves for the worst.  As we mentally check off the laundry list of chores, errands and obligations that each day brings, we constantly find ourselves making sacrifices to simply get.things.done.  In true “momager” fashion, guess what goes on the chopping block first?!  ANYTHING that pertains to Mom.  We constantly red-shirt our own needs to make sure everyone else is cared for.  This instinct is as basic and primal as the urge to feed and protect our baby cubs.

By always putting our own needs on the back burner, we eventually end up feeling neglected, unappreciated and run down.  We let our hair color appointments go weeks past due until we’re literally hiding our roots with eyeliner and dry shampoo.  (You all do that too, RIGHT?!  Or is that just me?)  Months go by and we can’t even remember the last time we painted our nails.  Sometimes we’re still wearing a hint of last summer’s color on our toes in January.  Ponytails become the norm and makeup becomes a luxury we rarely indulge in.

After the birth of my second daughter, I went into survival mode.  Two children is no joke.  I can still remember the total panic I felt when my husband’s paternity leave came to an end and I knew I was going to be left alone with these two tiny, demanding, loud, needy but insanely sweet humans.  I can remember the postpartum  emotions and how everything made me cry.  I can remember the fear of knowing that I was responsible for keeping them alive!  Who trusted me with this kind of responsibility anyways?!

Those first few weeks were a real struggle.  A struggle trying to help baby adjust to the world and a struggle trying to help big sister adjust to the new screaming, pooping machine that we so kindly referred to as “the baby.” (For the love of everything holy, don’t make this mistake.  Call the baby by his/her proper name.)  It took us a while to realize just.how.much this upset our oldest daughter.   Everyone who had always treated her like a princess and put her on a pedestal was now suddenly stopping by our house to see “the baby.”  Big sister was getting very little attention while “the baby” was constantly oohh’d and aahh’d over.   To be honest, this took a toll on our oldest.  The good news is, we soon found our groove and things started to settle down; but those first few weeks were rough.

The further we got into this parenting multiple children thing, and the more sleep I missed out on, I slowly started to take less care of myself.  I was doing the bare minimum to get by.  For a while I chalked it up to “it is what it is.”  But then I realized that my happiness was just as important as anyone else’s and that I need to make myself a priority.  I also realized that I’m a much better wife and mother when I’m fulfilled on the inside.

I’m normally not a New Year’s Resolutions kind of person.  I usually laugh at resolutions because, let’s face it, those things never last.  But this year, I decided to get on board and make one of my own.  I vowed to spend more time on myself!  More workouts, more healthy living, more girl’s nights, more fun and only positive energy.  I’m happy to report that it’s April and my resolution is still going strong!  Most importantly,  I’m much happier than I was before.  I’ve learned that it is crucial to take care of myself.  It wasn’t my husband or my kid’s fault that I was neglecting myself, it was my fault.  It was that mom guilt that rages inside of us.  But I’ve learned that I’m a much more productive and patient mother when I’m feeling accomplished on the inside.  Take time for yourself.  It’s not selfish, its imperative.  Find time to pamper yourself.  Get a mani/pedi.  Go to the salon.  Join a gym.  Spend time with your girlfriends.  Get a spray tan.  Plan a kid-free vacation.  Splurge and buy something you wouldn’t normally buy for yourself.  Whatever it is that makes you happy, do it; because you deserve it.

XOXO
Jill

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