Friday, May 31, 2013

Splendor Shop is Re-Opening!


After taking a few months to gain some new inspiration and ideas, I am so excited to finally say the shop will be re-opening this Monday June 3rd.




I can't wait to share it with you and hope you all love it. If you have followed the Splendor Shop over the last 2 years, I think you will really see how it's evolved.  It reflects me and my personal style, while always trying to offer something different with a little bit of vintage mixed in between. 

I will be having a giveaway here on my blog next week, but you can follow the shop on instagram {@thesplendorshop} or "Like" bitsofsplendor on facebook for more giveaways, promotions and sneak peaks.

Have a Happy Weekend Friends!
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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Our Kid Free Day

My awesome in-laws took all 3 kids Sunday afternoon to spend the night. 
I tried to remember the last time we'd been without them. 
I think it was last October.  
I mean Bella or Asher has spent the night for a night away but never are we without all 3 kids for this amount of time. 
It just doesn't happen except for date nights when we get a babysitter and that's just a couple of hours.
I'm sure many of you can relate with this. We're mama's. 
This season of motherhood is a full time job with little breaks in between. 

So what do you do when you don't have kids for approximately 30 hours? {not that I was counting}
Well I shall tell you....
>>><<<

You find yourself watching 4 hours of mindless reality television on bravo and asking if people that crazy really do exist.

You make brownies just so you can eat the batter. 

You get dressed for dinner at 8 and are out the door in 20 minutes because the only person you had to worry about dressing was yourself.

You skip ordering an actual meal and go straight for Chili's chips and salsa and dessert. Their Chocolate Chip Paradise will be in heaven one day, I know it. And also not getting salt poured in your lap by your 2.5 yr old is always a bonus.


You go to a 10:30pm movie and wonder what the hay so many people are doing at a movie at that hour and then you realize how old you sound.
Especially when all you can think about when you spot the teenagers behind you making out is that their missing the movie and wasting a good $20.


You sleep in until 11 the next day. Not because you meant to but because 1) you stayed up till 2am and 2) your alarm clock didn't go off. AKA Mia standing at the top of the stairs at 7:30am yelling "mom, dad and I need you!" over and over until you finally wake up.

You go for a run in the middle of the day. Because even though it's blazing hot, you are just excited you can put your shoes on and go. But then you regret it, remembering the real reason you go in the evenings is because of the blazing hot sun.

You take your sweet time getting dressed and showered without interruptions from a certain daughter asking for more fruit snacks. Again. 

You obviously have to fit in a Target trip because when you need bread and a case of waters, you clearly need to go to Target to get them. Because any excuse for a solo Target trip is always a good one. And then you find that your normal trip time has been cut in half because you weren't stopping every two minutes to grab something off the shelf that will entertain your 2.5 yr old.

Normally hating road trips, you are actually excited about the mini one you have to take to go get the kids. A peaceful 1 hour car ride with the Dixie Chicks pandora station, feet on the dashboard, husband next to you and a Sonic Diet Dr. Pepper in hand made it one of the few times you've enjoyed yourself in the car in a long time. 
{I am not a fan of long car trips, I get too antsy}


At about the 24 hour mark you found yourself really missing your kiddos so by the time you walk in the door to see them you are so excited to feel their little arms wrapped around you. Even if the 3rd child was in one of the worst moods of her entire 2.5 year life.   
Worst. 
Because apparently when you're at Mimi and Papa's house with your cousins, 
life is too exciting to sleep. 

>>><<<

Despite the not so gentle snap back into reality by Mia's awesome mood, 
 I was so happy to see my 3 chickadees.
I really think motherhood is one of the hardest jobs on the planet, but I can't imagine one being more rewarding. 
Waking up to their rested,happy faces this morning and I'm once again reminded of how precious this time is with them. 

I wouldn't trade this season of motherhood for anything. 
But now and then some "time-off" to spend with just Brandon is so needed. 
It makes those smiling faces and arms wrapped around me
 that much sweeter to come back to.

Can I get an Amen?


Hope you all had a nice, relaxing and happy weekend. 
thankful to those who sacrifice, serve and protect our country. 

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Thursday, May 23, 2013

She would be 6.


Today was Grace Ann's day.
The day I first held her. 
The day I said goodbye.

In years before I've grieved over the tiny baby I held that day. The little one I never knew.
The one wrapped up tight in a newborn hospital blanket.

But the other night I sat in Bella's empty room alone. We had cleaned it all out to move her into the room with Mia. 
Things had been pulled out from under the bed, drawers and deep inside her closet shelves.

One of those things was the frame my sisters made me for Grace Ann. With all of her birth stats.
I sat down on the floor and stared into the words written in black ink.
Her tiny size. She was so little.



I looked at the date. May 23rd 2007.

I counted back the years...
6.
And then a thought struck me deep in my heart so suddenly I didn't have time to filter it and the words came out....
"She would be 6 years old this year"

I haven't let myself go there before.
Imagine what it would be like to have a 6 year old daughter running around here. 
Chasing after Asher. Calling out my name when he got on her nerves.
What would she look like. What would she sound like? What would her personality be like.

The tears started to come quicker than I could stop them until I was finally just crying.
Something I don't always let myself do. I think partly because I'm afraid I won't stop.
And partly because I fear people will wonder why I'm grieving so hard over a little girl I didn't know.
Especially since I have a beautiful one who came just a year after.

If I'm truthful that's really what it is.
 Guilt.
For missing Grace.
For imagining her here on earth.

Because if she were here, then we wouldn't have Bella.
And that thought alone is enough to stop me in my tracks and wipe away the tears.
Keep moving forward. Keep looking forward.

It's what I've always done.
It's what I know to do.
"Grace was sick. She's perfect and healthy in heaven now.
You have Bella. Sweet beautiful Bella.
Wipe those tears, you have no reason to cry"

I've cried many times for the tiny baby I held in my arms 6 years ago.
But the other night I let myself cry for the little girl who would be 6 now.  

There's a part of my heart that aches at the thought of her. 
Aches with guilt when I miss her.
But I have to know it's ok...

It's ok to miss a little girl I never knew, 
because I hold on to the hope that I will one day.  

It's ok to cry for what may have been while
 treasuring and loving every bit of what is now.

It's ok to say "She would have been 6" 


>>><<<<

I can't help but think today about the many of you who read my blog, because you know our story.
And because you can relate in some way. You've lost your own little baby too soon.
I want you to know that you are why I continue to write my story.
Every time I begin to doubt myself or start to want to step away, an email will pop up in my inbox, or I will hear from a mom who is hurting from her own loss. Or a sister, a grandma, an aunt, a friend who knows someone that lost a baby. Searching for something to hold on to. For hope.

Today, I'm thinking of you too. I'm praying for you. 
That the steps of grief are gentle but complete.
That you find ways to reach out to others who are hurting and help yourself heal in turn.

Don't be afraid to let your heart go where your mind won't often let it.
Allow the tears to come when they need to and smile with joy for the treasures in front of you. Because there are truly so many to find each day.
Keep moving forward, keep looking forward. 
Hold tight to His grace. To hope. To the knowledge that we will one day hold our sweet babies again.

And cry when you need to.

It's ok.


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Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Bella's Rainbow Birthday Party

We celebrated Bella's 5th birthday party this past Sunday afternoon. 
The theme was rainbows and I had a ton of fun finding ways to incorporate the theme. 
Dollar Store and Target were my best friends in planning. I literally wandered the party aisles looking for things I could use. 
That is always my favorite part to party planning---getting creative without spending a ridiculous amount of money.  
I don't think kids parties are an area to go crazy in and bust the budget. I also think they should be stress free, fun and open for error. 

I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist. But I have to let that go whenever it comes to things like this.
Because it was warmer that day we had to keep the food covered and we ran out of drinks and the rainbow and clouds I made {similiar to this
for the dessert table back drop didn't exactly "translate" when I tried to hang it. 
The clouds kept falling, the rainbow kept blowing like crazy. And I ended up scrapping the clouds in the end.

Oh Lawd. The perfectionist in me definitely wanted to cry.
But always always I remind myself it's not about the show or display, but about who we are celebrating.

And this day it was all about this girl.
 

I think she had just as much fun in planning with me as she did at the actual party. 
I could tell she felt proud to have had her hand in it so much. She did most of it all right along side me.


The food was easy to plan. 
There were so many ideas for incorporating the colors of the rainbow. 
It was a 4 o clock party on a sunday, so we just did snacks knowing people would likely not be too hungry after a late lunch. 

We had: 
White chocolate covered popcorn with sprinkles.
 Chocolate covered pretzel rods with sprinkles {a party staple around here}
Funfetti Cake Dip with animal crackers. {A box of funfetti cake mix, 1 1/2 cups of cool whip and 2 cups of plain yogurt} If you have never made this, you need to. It's addictive.
Rainbow Fruit Kabobs
Skittles with a little candy scooper and mini candy cups I found at Target.
Bubblegum
Chips and Dip
Freeze Pops
 
 
 
I found these gigantic lollipops at the dollar store. I took the original wrapper off because it looked sort of cheesy and generic. 
So we put our own on and just used those clear plastic treat bags you can find at Michaels.


They were obviously a hit with the kiddos. 
What kid wouldn't love a lollipop the size of their head. 
And the parents all thanked me for the sugar highs as well. 
Don't mention it guys.

The cupcakes were my personal favorite. They were so cute, and so easy to make! 
A little tedious yes, but fun.I went off a picture my sister sent me from pinterest.
I colored the white frosting with blue food-dye and used a pastry bag filled with white icing for the little clouds. 
The rainbows are airhead extreme sour belts that I cut in half.



From the second she got there, my niece Olivia 
was begging any one who would listen, for a cupcake. 
She finally got one after we sang happy birthday and I think she was pretty excited about it. 




I just love her.



And I love this picture because Mia wasn't understanding the concept that the presents were for Bella. She kept insisting they were hers too. 
Cracks me up how she has her hands on this one. When we got home and unloaded all of the presents she kept yelling "My toys!".....
Sweet Bella is thankfully so patient with her ;) 



We did face drawing, bubbles, chalk, and had big blow up beach balls. 
Anything to keep the kids going. It was so hot but they were all troopers and I think they had a blast nonetheless.


These two have been friends since they were around a year old. So special to watch them grow up together. My Asher boy is becoming more and more of a little man every day and it makes my stomach hurt. I make him promise me he'll always love his mama like he does now. He jumps on me with a gigantic hug and promises he will but I will remind him of that when all those pretty girls start chasing him. Lord help me. 


As I was  looking through these pictures, I realized how perfect this rainbow theme is for our Bella girl. She was the beauty that came out of some dark days. Our rainbow after the storm. May 23rd will be 6 years since we said goodbye to her sister Grace. Almost one year later on the 16th of May, we held Bella in our arms.


And since that day she has been a joy. A bright, beautiful reminder of God's promises. 
Our rainbow girl. 
Happy Birthday Bella Grace. 
I love you more than words could say.


{Here Comes The Sun print is from Pen & Paint}

Thursday, May 16, 2013

DIY Glitter Monogram

We decided to combine the two girls into one room now that Mia is ready for a big girl bed. 
 I've basically watched her grow up before my very eyes in a matter of days.
No more crib. No more rocking chair. No more baby. 
.....And sleeping like a champ in her new bed.

To mend my broken heart I've distracted myself with projects for their new room. 
I've had a lot of fun re-decorating Mia's room to make it a fun & new space for the two of them. 
She had the bigger room so it only made sense to move them into that one.

Truthfully I had no real direction for the look we were going for except bright and colorful,
with little pops of glitter.
Because my girls love anything glitter. 

Which brings me to this super easy little DIY I'm sharing today.  

 

I feel like little projects like this can seem pretty self explanatory, but maybe not to everyone.
For those of you who see something like this and think "That looks easy but I wonder how they did it"...
Well this one is for you my friend. 


You'll need:
*Paper mache letter. I got ours at Joanns but Hobby Lobby has them also. 
*Glitter {silver or gold}
*Mod Podge
*Craft Brush

I spread out some wrapping paper so that clean up would be easy. Glitter is so fun, but also so annoying to clean up. 
The paper made it super easy to make all the mess I needed on top of it and then throw it away. 


First spread a thin layer of your mod podge all over the letter including the sides.


Pour on the glitter. You'll have some spots that get little to no glitter. No worries you'll get it later. 
Let it dry for a few minutes and then add another layer of mod podge making sure to get the empty spots. Then add more glitter 


After you let the second layer of glitter dry for a few minutes, 
gently hold it at one of the edges and give it a good little shake to get rid of the excess glitter. 

I didn't wait until the layer was completely dry before I added another. 
Just make sure it's set and the glitter is sticking before you move on to the next step. 


Once it's set for a few more minutes go back and make sure you've got the whole thing covered. 
This is when you'll do your last little touch ups.
Just gently dab the spots that need it.


As the last step, spray the letter really well with hair spray. Be sure to get the sides and insides as well. You could also use spray adhesive but I didn't have any and the hair sprayed worked just fine.
Then let it dry some more. I actually put mine outside just to be extra sure it dried well.

Let it dry for a few hours before hanging it. 


I hung the letter in the middle of an Ikea Ung Drill frame over each of their beds. Even though they are sharing a room now, I want them to feel like they have spaces and little things just for them. I felt like these monograms were perfect for doing just that.


I'm still finishing a couple more projects for their room and then I can't wait to share the end result with you! 

 Hope you're having an awesome week! We're celebrating Bella's 5th birthday this weekend.
If you know how to keep these kids from growing up so fast, do tell ;)  

Monday, May 13, 2013

These 3 Are Mine

I remember when we brought Asher home from the hospital I couldn't believe he was mine to keep forever. Like any moment I would wake up from a dream, or someone would come to take him.
Too good to be true that this perfect little boy was mine forever. 

I still get that feeling. 
I look at all 3 of my kids and I think to myself--they are mine, forever. 

Mine to protect. Mine to love.
Mine to nurture and to teach.
Mine to hold on to and then to let go of. 
Mine to lead and be an example to.
Mine to care for.
Mine to have open hands with and to give to the world.

Precious, priceless gifts. 
I don't take the heaviness of that for granted. 

Motherhood is hard. Some days I wish for quiet or to be alone. But then I remind myself these long days are gone way too soon. And the years fly. One day I will miss all of it. 
I want to know I soaked it all up. Every little bit of it. Even the long days and hard moments. 
Because they make the good ones that much sweeter. That much more beautiful.

When the days are gone and the years have passed, I want my children to know how deep their mom loved them. That she would give anything to see them happy. 
That she was imperfect and made mistakes, but she relied on God's grace and asked for forgiveness easily. 
That what others thought of her was much less important than what her own children saw in her daily. 
That she loved the Lord and loved their dad with a fierce love. 
And that she held on to a real faith and hope that she so desired to share with whoever would listen. 




We celebrated Mother's Day yesterday. And it was full of smiles, handmade cards, lots of hugs and kisses and everything I love. At one point toward the end of the day, I looked at Brandon and said, as full and beautiful as our lives are now, we have more babies waiting for us in heaven. They know us as their mom and dad, and one day we'll hold them. 
Isn't that thought amazing?

I am thankful for that knowledge and hope.

And for these 3 here and now.
My treasures.
Mine forever.
My daily prayer is that I steward these gifts well.

I pray you had a special Mother's Day. That you were celebrated and loved. 
And for you mama's who have babies waiting in heaven...know that we'll hold them in heaven one day.  
That's a beautiful truth to hold on to...I pray that you do. 


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