05 December 2012

Appreciating Wholly

Christmas is upon us and I am definitely in the holiday spirit!

Christmas is such an amazing and magical time of year! I love watching as neighborhoods transform from their dismal ordinary look to Christmas and winter wonderlands. The lights, the decorations, the music, the upbeat and festive feel in the air; it all makes me so happy. 

Last weekend we went Christmas Tree hunting. We met up with Kevin's kin and made a family affair of it. Growing up I always had a fake store bought tree, so looking for a Christmas tree to cut down is still something very new to me. I have come to realize that this activity is not something to do in your nice suede boots (as I did last year). It will be wet, you will get muddy, and the memories you make will be oh so worth it. This year we went to Trees and Bees, a magical and amazing tree farm filled with the most kindred of souls, neatest ornaments, sweetest honey, and most delicious apple cider. I am all about tradition and and the warm fuzzy feeling that comes with it. So we Tatum's have decided to make this Christmas tree farm our permanent one. We will be back each year with all of the same people, ready to hunt down the most perfect Christmas tree to fill our house with the smell of pine and holiday spirit.

Grandma and her grandbabies at Trees & Bees

Growing up there was a lot on inconsistency in my life, but Holidays always had some form of tradition. I was never surprised to find an apple, orange, walnuts, candy cane and one special goodie in my Christmas stocking. It was what we got each year. Looking back now, I realize that this tradition was due mostly out of necessity. My mom couldn't afford to fill the stocking the way she would have liked to, so she did what she could to make them look full. Fresh fruits and walnuts is what we ended up with and never was I disappointed. It was what I knew, and that was ok with me. 

I have decided I wanted to keep this same sense of humbleness in my children. I don't want our holidays to be filled with the expectation of gifts and sense of entitlement. I have come to understand that if I start now, then they will be none the wiser to anything else. Just as I was growing up. So, lately I have been scouring the internet, asking friends, and reading magazines; trying to find a good tradition to have for the kids when it comes to gift receiving from mama and daddy. In my searching endeavors I stumbled upon a clever saying that I have decided to incorporate into our Christmas Holiday.

Something you want, Something you need, something to wear, something to read.

I fell in love with this gift giving idea the minute I heard it. Four simple gifts...
...well five simple gifts; I think I am going to add a category of something to create. 

I feel by limiting the number of gifts the kids receive and putting much more heart, thought, and creativity into the ones they do receive will foster a sense of appreciation. Or so I hope :-) This is a Christmas gift giving tradition that I think will be easy to maintain, fun to do, and a great way of helping us stay within a budget. 

Kaydence's Christmas Wish List...and an amazing find by Kevin!

The kids will always have more than what they need between us, their aunts, uncles, grandparents and friends, so I want to teach and encourage them to give back to those less fortunate. I have decided during the holidays season we will be making baked goodies, and buying simple gifts to give to the community. I want them to know and appreciate the hard work of the people in the hospitals, firefighters, police men, etc. I also want them to know that there are many less fortunate than us, and Christmas is a great time to give to those. We will be doing a few Random Acts of Kindness this year that I think the kids will enjoy.
I know they are much too young to truly understand and appreciate what we are doing but I want to instill these values early. 

I love the holidays and I am so excited to pass down old and start new traditions with the kids. Traditions are the things my kids will remember when they are older and hopefully carry on with their children. I hope growing up humbly will teach them to appreciate wholly!

Kaydence's First Year of Christmas Tree decorating

Happy Holidays!

04 December 2012

Chaotic Bliss

Life has been busy, stressful, and a blur. It almost seems as though someone has pushed the fast forward button. In the blink of an eye, minutes turn to days and days turn to weeks. I am desperately trying to slow down this speeding train of life, but try as I might it keeps going full speed ahead. The kids are growing by leaps and bounds. Becoming smarter, funnier, stronger, and even more amazing each day. Kevin and I are trying hard to keep up with their milestones. Documenting their firsts, savoring their lasts, and not taking for granted these once in a life time moments. 

Mr. Kameron is a full fledged toddler, months before he is supposed to be. About a month ago (9 1/2 months old) he decided that crawling was overrated, and took his first steps. We haven't been able to catch him ever since. He has totally given up on crawling now and waddles drunkenly every where he goes. He can now say "mama" which makes me happy. Kaydence said daddy first and refused to say mama for months. It is sweet revenge :-) He is a major drama king and will throw a massive fit at the drop of a "no." He gets that from his sister and I don't know where she get it from ;-)  He is still as plump as ever and a loves to dance! At his 9 month well baby check up he weighed in at 25lbs and 29in long. Still only 1lb shy of his sisters weight and 4in shy of her height. He is a beast and a bully, not afraid to push around his weight to get what he wants. He is such a happy boy, and loves affection! His smile is contagious and lights up his entire round face, and his bright blue eyes continue to melt my heart each day. I am so in love with that little guy!


...Oh my sweet girl has hit her terrible twos! She is the queen of negativity, and "no" has become her most favorite word. Kevin and I have been hard at work combating this Negative Nancy, by taking out all negatives from our vocabulary. We are staying positive, making polite requests, and giving options. We are starting to understand that children are more responsive when they are told what TO do instead of what not to do. The word "no" tends to lose its effectiveness when used a lot. In addition, you say "no", and leave the child thinking "why" or "Well, what CAN I do?", or "What am I supposed to do instead?". Speaking in the positive gives them a more concrete message. And often just saying "no" makes things that much more alluring. Saying "yes" is also about embracing their childhood and trusting them (ultimately teaching them to trust themselves and know their capabilities).

So instead of saying..."No, don't touch the fire!" we would say something like..."Beware of the fire. Do you see the flames. That is very hot. Your hands need to stay off. If you want to get a little closer you can look with me"...Pick her up and place her hand where it is warm. "You feel that? That is hot. Our hands need to stay away from the fire."

We have just made this big change in our lives so it is still a work in progress, but hopefully we can turn our Negative Nancy into a positive speaking girl :-)

The December month has brought in influx of orders into my small online business. My crochet needles have been busily working and I have been all over a 50 mile radius gathering tulle, yarn and ribbon for orders of Christmas tutus, house slippers, and beard hats. I am happily occupied with all of the orders, and loving that I am making money doing something I love to do. It is also pretty neat to think that my homemade items are traveling across the world (Isreal, Norway, Canada and all over the United States).

Check out FulLoveIt Boutique: Click Here

I recently finished my second half marathon. I trained for 18 weeks for this one and felt more than prepared for the upcoming challenge. Although I injured my foot only 8 days before the race, I was luckily able to nurse it back to running condition just in time. My finishing time was almost one hour short of my last half marathon, and under 3:00 which was more than I had hoped for. I somehow am still surprised by my own determination and abilities. Never in a million years would I ever have though I would run 13 miles, let alone for fun, and here I am. I have decided to take the big plunge for my next race and will be running a full marathon in just 6 short months. I am excited and very energized by my new past time and hope that my commitment and determination helps to inspire other people to get moving, fit and healthy.
Ready to Run


My short hiatuses recently are not intentional. We Tatum's have just been busy creating memories staring traditions, and making the best of our chaotic bliss!

A very messy Spaghetti dinner:-)

Shaving Cream Window Paint...It's a family affair:-)

Christmas tree hunting and new Christmas traditions blog soon to come! 

01 December 2012

{this moment}

Better late than never...

{this moment} - a Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Inspired by: Soulemama