Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Moving Forward in 2015

pc: I'mKristen

This year has proven to be physically and emotionally, one of THE most challenging I've ever experienced (click here and here to read more on that). The hard parts, however, have shown me how loved and supported I really am. My husband being top on my list. He's not only taken a front seat and watched me first hand, he's jumped in whole heartedly in a way that's shown me a whole new side of him. My surgeries have been an opportunity to see how much my husband really cares for me. I knew he loved me, but to see and feel a love so deep, has only pointed me to my savior with a heart full of gratefulness. Not only for him, but my other family and friends who've stepped up to care for me, come beside me, regularly check in on me, and who weren't afraid to see me at my worst. I've been practically cared for with meals, gifts, visits, laughter, and also I know I've been cared for in many prayers. This year has changed me. I've tasted a small hint of how fragile life is. How the end is so very near. Every moment I've had with my husband, and my kids I've treasured in a whole new way. Something we all say we want, but until you experience that threat of it all being taken away, its so hard to really do it. I'm not saying I'm perfect now at all in the way I treat my kids on the daily! I still yell at them and can get upset about the dumbest stuff. But I'm quicker to see that they're "dumb stuff" more now than I ever did before. Death is such a negative, bad, scary word. Just looking at it on the screen gives me this tiny, sinking, out of control, even a little angry, type of feeling. But for the first time, for me personally, its so very real and close. Not some far away, worry about it later, act like it'll never happen type of thing. Therefore, it's shaped my life in a way that gives everything more life and value. I look at my husband in a completely different way. I treasure him like I never could before. He's bathed me, cleaned me up, he's seen things... ugly, awful, scary things. The things he's had to do for me, I wonder if I could for him. He's challenged me to love harder and freer. Even my children have jumped in at such a young age to show their care and love for me. They still pray for my healing every single night all on their own. It's mind blowing, and yet its all real. It's the biggest gift and totally worth all of the scary, painful, scarring, discusting things I've had to go through. I wouldn't dream of going back, not even for a second.

In light of all that's happened this year, I think I have more new years resolutions than ever before haha. I'm writing them down so that I can come back to this to keep myself in check. Just a little reminder.

1. I want to keep loving harder. That includes my family, my friends, and anyone else that comes into my life. I want to love people more in prayer and in practical ways. I want to reciprocate the love I've felt over this past year. I want to be someone who loves like Jesus does. No judgements. No strings attached.

2. I want to date more. My husband obviously is at the top of that list, but I also want to make time to date my three small ones. I feel like I do an ok job of that with Nyah, but the boys don't get dates with mommy and that needs to change STAT! Time is so precious and with two out of three in school full time already, I need to start getting in the habit of slotting out time to stay close to them.

3. I want to spend more time in the word. I've SO been slacking in this area, but I truly want to change that. I need God's word to equip me and I want to know him more. I miss it and so need to be reminded of truth!

4. I want to take better care of my body. I started doing really well with this last year and very slowly have crept back into old habits. Totally normal, I feel like most people have to reset over and over. I'm going to focus on staying active (teaching dance and a barre class is a start), but also I'll be starting another round of whole30 tomorrow! So hard, but it was so worth it the first time I did it. So here we go again. This time Neil is going to see how long he lasts with me! Never thought that day would come :)

5. I'd love to keep tackling debt! With hospital bills now adding onto what we already had... it got real! I want to find a balance of saying "no" to certain things to save money to keep putting a dent in our debt, but also want to live life with my favorite people! I think we've done pretty well with this, but I want to get better organized and make sure we are still making room to help others with our money as well.

I think that's it! I seriously have never had a list to even write. Normally I think of one thing I want to tackle in the new year, but all 4 of these areas have flooded my mind and I don't want to forget or focus only on one. They are goals of course, and really just directions I want to try and stay focused on, so I'm sure I'll have to come back to this list and make sure I'm still paying attention to these things.

Thank you to those who've been on this journey with me and have written me such loving comments in support of all I've been through. You have no idea how much it means to me and to know that it's provoked some of you to look into your family history has truly made me being open about everything that's happened so worth it! If you ever have questions you can email me! I'm no doctor, but I'm totally open to sharing anything that might help or give you direction. I'm thankful for this past year and all the new, amazing people I've met! Hope you all have a blessed New Year and that 2015 brings many new unexpected, incredible adventures!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Meet Keri // Litte Big Dreamers

She's cool, she's multi-talented, creative, giving, funny, thoughtful, and a busy little bee. Meet the amazing Keri from Little Big Dreamers! It's been such a joy getting to know this gem of a lady and watching her business grow! I'm happy to show you all of what she's made of and help you get to know this beauty a bit better! First, if you haven't checked out her IG (@littlebigdreamers) or her website, I HIGHLY suggest you do so! She has a lot to offer the little cuties in your life! From cold weather accessories, to leggings, to witty tees, she's got you covered ;) Here's some of our favorites from her!

 Let's start with her soft, stretchy, classic head wrap! I told my daughter as I was tying this polka dotted beauty on her, that I was sure to soon be stealing it! Er borrowing it.

here it's wrapped and tied in simple bow
here I twisted the wrap at the forehead and tied/knotted it in the back.

This time I finished with a knot at the forehead and simply tucked the ends under.

a closer look at the previous look

It's so perfect and wrapped nicely on her 9 year old head. I'm a huge fan of a classic black and white print, but she carries other options as well! I love that It can be worn so many different ways. I'm obsessed with it basically.

Then there's this "awesome-tastic" long sleeved pull over! It's super soft and cozy! Of course he feels extra awesome when he has it on ;) It's perfect for either girls or boys which I love!

This scarf is another favorite! Of course the colors are perfection, but really it's also extremely soft and so easy to put on, my three year old son put it on all by himself. He was so proud of himself and now he feels like such a big boy with his new infinity scarf :) bonus points that it matches his favorite baseball cap! The best part is his big brother and sister can also wear it! It's the perfect fit for any little neck and so so warm!

Now that you've seen some of our personal favs, Let me introduce you to the lovely gal behind this great shop!

Keri and her cutest ever winter fresh fam!

Where did the name, Little Big Dreamers come from? 

To be honest, it just came to me as if I had had it picked all along. I always kinda have the saying "dream big" in the back of my head and I wanted to play on the word "little". Secret, I have thought of changing it because the shop has evolved and changed so much since, but I feel so connected to it:)

What inspired you to start your own business?

Easy, my kids. It's funny, because I couldn't afford to go back to work with the cost of school and daycare (special Ed teachers don't make a lot of money)  and I have always been very ambitious and risky so I took a HUGE leap of faith! 

What is something on your bucket list that you're dying to check off?  

Hmmmm no one has ever asked me that. Crazy huh? Australia! Visiting Australia has always been the ONE place I don't and won't stop begging my husband to take me. Other than that I feel like I've accomplished my dreams when I created 2 amazing lives. 

How would you describe your own style?

Simple! I LIVE in jeans, t shirts and infinity scarves. It's insane how many I have. I don't leave my house without one. I call myself grandma now bc my neck is cold without one on. Ha ha. I just feel like they complete an outfit and are  interchangeable!

What does a typical day look like for you?

Coffee, drop off at school, play, park, library, kid naps, pick up, play, dinner, play, work. And when I say play it mostly means singing and dancing. And many breaks peeping Instagram because I would lie if I told you I didn't check in. 

What advice would you give to someone considering taking the jump and starting their own business?

Research! Do NOT get caught up in what everyone else is doing and believe in your product. The rest will fall into place. And be happy doing it! If you don't like it, don't do it, because it's 24/7 365 days. We live in a "always connected" world. Be prepared!

What is something super quirky/unexpected about you?

Hmmmmmm, I'm obsessed with the show friends. Anyone who knows me knows I watch it at least 2x a day. STILL. I'm goofy. I have a weird vocabulary of silly words that I speak to my kids in. For example, "mooka chathcy" (phonetically spelling haha) and my kids do it too. My older sister does it too -guess it's in the fam.

Yes! The secret nonsense language is awesome! Thanks for sharing a little about yourself and giving us a little peek into your life and your shop! Your not only a hard working mama, you have some great talent and a heart of gold! I'm so looking forward to seeing how much you continue to grow in 2015! I'm so honored I had the chance to showcase some great items of yours and I truly hope everyone reading is inspired by your story and provoked to shop small :)

Keri is offering all you lovely readers a discount code to use toward a purchase, so I'd hustle on over to if I were you! Just use the code "littleslife15" at check out to recieve 15% off! Discount expires January 1st!