Friday, October 24, 2014

thrive moms

Have you connected with the Thrive Moms community? If you are a momma, and you haven't, you should. I'm loving it. I'm loving a lot of little blogs lately that inspire moms and wives. We have a very important role in our family and in society and receiving inspiration and boosts from other women like ourselves is a great encouragement. Something I would really love to do is be a part of a community with other ladies to use my gifts to encourage others. Today I found out about an opportunity to be on the team of photographers at Thrive Moms. I am far from professional in my photography, but I put my heart into it, just like I put my heart into being a momma. I am not a professional at that either, even though I have three littles. I still have a lot to learn, but I hope to always grow in both mothering and photography. Here are a few photos I am sharing with the team at Thrive Moms. And, you can follow me on Instagram @ciaomarezy to see more glimpses at life our little life!

Friday, October 17, 2014

five things friday: meet marisa

Today I want to introduce you to my friend, Marisa, owner of Griffin Family Farms. I'm really not sure where I'd be as a mom without her. Honestly. She has helped me get through the little and the big and she is always always there for me. She's crazy generous. No lie. And, to make her even better, she has the greatest line of homemade organic products for your family. Shampoo for you, moisturizer for your sister, salve for your baby's bottom. Heck, she even has laundry detergent! Do yourself a favor, and check her product line out on Facebook

As a momma to three little ones, I use her products daily on them. I use them for myself as well. So does my Hubs. And I'm here to share my five most commonly used products from Griffin Family Farms. 

1. Lavender Rose Lotion: I use this for myself and for my baby girl. Great smell, fabulous texture and amazing results.

2. Teething Oil: No one likes a hurting/teething baby. This stuff goes a long way and will do wonders for those sore little gums.

3. Gripe Water Tea: This has helped my littlest one with her tummy tremendously.

4. Elderberry Syrup: Hello cold season! This is a must have in our house. The kids (including my oldest 30 something year old) all love it and constantly ask for more. 

5. Miracle Salve: I saved the best for last. We all use this. It is amazing for diaper rash, or just rashes in general, cuts, bruises, burns. Oh burns. I'm telling you, I am blonde in the kitchen and always end up burning myself. And this salve is It helps quick healing and the pain! 

She has a wonderful little business going and I am happy to watch it blossom. She has helped so many people through her products and her kindness, including myself and many of my friends. You won't be disappointed. And she is always willing to answer your questions, gives great details and instructions on using her products and she will ship to your house so you don't have to be local!! Now go check her out!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

ten truths tuesday

I don't know if this will become a weekly topic or not, but for this Tuesday, here are ten truths about myself. Feel free to join along and share ten truths about yourself!

1. I have a slight obsession with handbags. I have had to really detach and clean out. Simplify. There is still a little way to go to lose the obsession, but at least I’ve admitted it. That’s the first step, right?

2. I’m not a slob, but I am not the neatest person either. I can keep the house neat and tidy, but my bedroom is the catchall, specifically my dresser. Whatever hasn’t gotten done, needs to still be done, you name it, it goes there.

3. I don’t shower every single day. I would LOVE to. But these days, even a quick 5 minute shower with a shower cap so I don’t even wash my hair (dry shampoo is a must in my routine) is a luxury.

4. I am a HORRIBLE meal planner and cook, except if I have a great recipe, all the ingredients and the time to prep/cook. Then I do an okay job. I wish I was better at it and I am working on compiling a binder of all my go to recipes that I know are either good or I am good at cooking. - If you have any fabulous, easy recipes, send them my way!

5. I am guilty of letting my kids watch too much tv. I am very selective in what they watch, but sometimes I need time to get things done without a baby in my arms (she doesn’t watch the tv) and two two year olds hanging off of me. They don’t watch hours upon hours a day, but I’d rather keep it less than it is. Hopefully in a few months when the baby is a little older and I’ve figured life with three out a little better, it will lessen.

6. I am not good at finishing projects. I get tired, distracted, and bored. I’ve been known to paint pictures, but not finish them because of the above reasons or because I am not happy with how it’s coming so it just gets put aside.

7. I’m incredibly forgetful. Now even more with three kids. I write EVERYTHING down in my planner. I cannot wait for January to roll around when I can start using my new Simplified Planner from Emily Ley.

8. I wish I had a talent or knew how to do something to have a little side job/etsy shop to bring in some extra money. Any ideas?

9. I’d love to be part of a joint mom/life blog. Where you take different topics and share days to write. That way I feel like my blog isn’t so neglected, yet I could still blog. We’d share stories, frustrations, inspiration, DIYs, recipes, etc. I’d SO love to do that! Anyone want to join me? :)

10. I fall asleep during movies, even if I love them. My poor husband. It drives him crazy and he totally does not get how I can fall asleep during certain movies. 

Monday, October 6, 2014

momma mondays: naptime

Whether you have one little one, three, or seven, what do you do during nap time? Do you take that time to rest, exercise, eat, shower, get housework done? I was talking with a friend of mine a few days ago, sharing our thoughts on this. A momma's time is truly not her own. I wake up between 4-5:30 with Z to feed her, go back to sleep for 1-2 hours and am up with the boys for the day. They nap for 1 1/2-2 hours in the early afternoon, but on most days, Z is up at that time and needs to be fed or held or loved on in some way. If they are all sleeping at the same time, the question comes up of what do I do now? Sleep is precious to me, but I also have housework that needs to be done, a shower that would greatly be appreciated by myself and the Hubs. It's no pretty sight coming home to a tired wife still in her pjs, when you can't tell if I just woke up or am dying to get to sleep. I try to plan my day out that most of the chores are done before the boys go down for a nap. Make our bed. Undo last night's dishes from the dishwasher and put them away. Put any breakfast dishes rinsed and in the dishwasher, make sure all the counters are clean. At least one load of laundry is in the washer. Hopefully, if it is a good day, a second load can go in, the first load can be dried and folded. The putting away waits until the evening. So I know by nap time, the kitchen is tidy, laundry is on its way to being done and then I tidy up the boys toys with them before they head for their nap. If all of that is done, and nap time either falls at the same time for the three littles or the boys are down and Z is quiet, then I use this time to try to make phone calls (so I don't have a little boy making animal sounds in one ear and another making car sounds in the other ear), pay bills (so the companies don't get bills with crayon drawing on them as well... Though if I was a worker at one of these companies and received a bill with a drawing by a little one, I think it'd make me smile!), and tidy up anything else that needs to be done. I like the house to look clean by the time the boys wake up from their nap so the second part of the whirlwind day is off to a good start. Usually in the time the boys are napping I also get lunch ready for us and the Hubs if he can make it home. And all in between this time of the boys napping, there are always interruptions to love Zelie when she needs or wants me. Once the boys are up from their nap, that is it and it is go, go, go until bedtime. For all of you mommas of multiple little ones, how you juggle and manage it all? How do you find balance in getting it all done, while showering love on your littles?

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Three years ago at this time, I was up bright and early. Like before the sunrise early! I was hoping and praying with every bit of me for a beautiful day, but instead I was looking at facing a cold, rainy day. The extreme early hour wakeup call and the nasty weather were not going to take over my excitement though! I waited for this day for a long time and finally it was here, rain and all.

I was about to go from a Miss to a Mrs. and that is all that mattered.

I have a million pictures I could share, especially on our anniversary (but really, I'd post them all the time without an excuse since I love them so much!)

I don't need pictures to remember the sweet moments of our wedding day, but they are wonderful to have. I do love to look back at them often and see our loved ones in the pictures, catch our expressions, and remember the really small but special moments that were caught on film... like this one. We were both so, so happy!
 I do! And, "I do" again, three years later!
 Between being excited and giggling that I slightly messed up my vows, I had a real smile on my face!

The new Mr. and Mrs!
 I loved my dress so very much. I wish it wasn't packed away so well so I could take it out often and even put it on... not that it would fit me anymore!
 I love these people! As it was we had a huge bridal party, but I still wish I could have added a few more special people.
 I like this picture because it reminds me of the ease of the day and the comfort and happiness of being married to his cute guy.

 Here's my dress again. I had to post another picture of it. If you live in the South, or are willing to make a trip, definitely head for The White Room Bridal Salon in Birmingham, Alabama. They are amazing! Really. Trust me.

This one is special for the Hubs! He loves nothing more in the world (other than the obvious things) than milkshakes. I had a whole milkshake bar set up at our wedding for him as a surprise. So this one is for you! A great moment, a milkshake in one hand and I am happy to be holding your other hand! I wish I could treat you to an extra large milkshake today, but we will celebrate with one... or maybe two, as soon as this diet is up!

So, now that I've shared a few of my favorite pictures, now here are a few thoughts. Just like with wine, life with him gets better with time. Our life has been wild, WILD since we got married. How can it not be wild with three babies in three years?! Marriage is not always easy and being a parent, especially to two two year old toddlers and an infant, certainly comes with very difficult days, but at the end of the day, they are all so wonderful. Some days are better than others, some crummy when we just want to get to bed to start fresh and be rejuvenated the next day, and others (most days) nothing short of being great. 

I am blessed to be married to a man that loves me no matter what. 

On shower-less, bad hair days.

On days when my dresser looks like a tornado dumped everything it sucked up and plopped it on there... and this says a lot. The Hubs is an incredibly organized, neat and clean guy. I'm pretty sure I've never seen someone like this, especially a guy! Some days I wonder how he chose me knowing that I'm not like that!

On the most difficult days being a mom, when my patience level is negative 20.

On the days where I have gotten nothing done around the house and dinner is not ready, yet I've some how been busy

On the nights that I want to watch 7 episodes of HGTV shows or a chick flick that he can't stand.

On the nights that I just want to take a nap on the couch as soon as the kids go down for a nap.

On the days I make him do the many messy dinners from my meal prep that piled up.

On the days that I make him run endless boring errands with me, many of which he has to stay in the car with sleeping kiddos.

He loves me even when it doesn't feel good.

He works hard for our family so I can stay home and raise our little ones.

He even gives up his favorite football games knowing how much I want him with me on an outing... now that's love. 

Our days aren't always easy and it isn't always easy to show love, but no matter what our days are like, he is always there, he is always faithful, he always loves me. And for all of that (and more), I am grateful and blessed.

Happy Anniversary, Love!

 And the pictures are thanks to this talented and lovely lady. Do yourself another favor (besides going to The White Room for your dress) and hire Megan as your wedding photographer. You won't be disappointed! 

Friday, September 26, 2014

closing out on week two

We are almost through with week two of life with Momma and three kiddos (and the Hubs, of course, when he gets home after work). We've certainly had our good moments and our bad, but we made it! The hardest part is not having a moments break until bedtime. The boys and Zelie don't have the same schedules, so when they are napping, she isn't. She's still a tremendously wonderful and easy going baby, but like all, or most, babies, they like to be held and need to be loved on. Yesterday for the first time I had a brief moment where she was asleep and the boys were watching part of a movie. But in that time, I had to get dinner cooking. They say nap when they nap. I'm pretty certain whoever first quoted that was not a mom of multiple children. Sure, you can maybe get a nap in while your only child naps, but when you have multiple children, especially on different schedules, that is just not possible. At any given "break" that is when the cooking, cleaning, bills and paperwork must get done.

We're dealing with things like picking up and saying whatever they hear, biting, fighting, wrestling, negotiating. But on top of that whole mix of crazy, we're dealing with an immense amount of sweetness. As the days and weeks go on, life will settle in more, a routine will develop and there will be a new normal. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

the journey to (post-pregnancy) better health

As you know, my baby number three was born almost exactly one month ago. And two years prior to that, babies one and two were born. My body never went back to the way it was on my honeymoon... and probably never will. But when I was pregnant with Z I knew I wanted to do something to get myself into better health and better shape again, and soon. I don't have a number I want to hit or an exact size, and I don't have a desire to be too skinny. I just want to feel good again, know my body is in a bit better shape and eat a little better... to make a more conscious effort this time around.

I also have the incentive that I have a matron of honor dress to fit into in a few months. The whole bridal party was fitted months ago... while I was about 40 lbs heavier with a huge baby belly! So I found out the latest I could go to still have my dress in time. Thankfully that was after Z arrived. I'm still not in the shape I am hoping to be in at my cousin's wedding, but at least the dress size will be somewhat more accurate. So it is a good reason to get the ball rolling!

I knew with my recovery time and help for only one week after Z arrived, that I wouldn't be able to do much exercising, so the progress had to begin with what we were eating. We eliminated all of the good stuff and all of my favorite things, like chocolate milk (which is like my glass of wine at night), pasta and goldfish crackers. And instead it's all water, salads, meats, fruits and veggies. Not that I don't like that stuff, but I'd appreciate a little variation with added goodies on occasions. So we are doing a kick start for 30 days to eat super strict and healthy. And then after that, re assess how we feel and adjust our diet, maybe adding in a treat or two. And at that point, I can get to exercising a bit more. I'd love to be able to easily take the three littles for a walk each day, but our neighborhood isn't really walking three kids friendly for an out of shape momma! Too hilly!

So, we are 11 days into eating healthier and it is going pretty well so far. I do miss my chocolate milk and wish it could pop in the diet even just a few nights a week. You know, after the really stressful days with the little ones. I am also really wishing we could add in a few spice muffins, pumpkin breads, etc... the warm, homemade treats we love to enjoy in the fall. The treats you love to wake up to with a warm cup of coffee, the cool air flowing through the open windows with your Autumn Leaves candle burning. Ahhh, such sweet thoughts. ;) Once our 30 days are up, maybe we can add that in once a week.

I certainly don't think I could do this without the Hubs doing it with me. To lessen the stress of it, I don't have the boys eating this way. They eat what we do for dinner, but if they want chicken nuggets for lunch, or it is a quick day I need to make something fast, they get the good food they like, like cereal for breakfast.

This is what my meals look like:
 And this is what I would like them to look like:
My neighbor had a baby two weeks after I had Z and I made her family a meal and while I was baking the bread and making the pasta I was salivating. I wanted to tear up slightly after I dropped it next door and walked home to make our carb-less meal.

So, we will see what the next couple weeks look like. I think we will survive! No, I know we will survive! The harder part is going to be putting exercise in. With little free time, already waking up early and going to bed late, not having the same nap times, and just the hate of exercising, it will be hard.

For any mommas out there that have had to make adjustments to get back to better health after a baby, do you have good tips for fitting things in, healthy eating or just tips in general how you bounced back? I'd love to hear!