Friday, November 2, 2012

The beginning of Fall for the Yates Family

We are officially into Fall now...even though we've had a few pretty warm days. These are all the pictures from our visit to the pumpkin patch & the girls' Halloween costumes. This is a picture heavy post, so I'll get started!! Happy Fall!!

This is our favorite pumpkin patch: Lavender Hill Pumpkins
It's a family owned place & all they have is lavender & pumpkins. It's simple & beautiful & they have amazing pumpkins!

Exploring the pumpkins

And they have a great tree swing that the girls love! This is the only ride & it's free :)




And now for Halloween! If you are a new friend to this blog, let me tell you about our Halloween costumes. Every year I challenge the girls to come up with something a little more creative than the latest character craze. We also try to come up with a theme. I make their costumes every year & we have had some good ones. (check out these posts for costumes past: years past, 2010, 2011)
The owl & the peacock...

I hope y'all had a great & safe Halloween & that your start to fall has been filled with chilly air, pumpkin patches, fun costumes, and lots of delicious fall treats!!!

Friday, October 5, 2012

**The giveaway is over** GIVEAWAY!!! Woohoo!!!

**The Giveaway is over! Congratulations to Mishelle!!! She's our big winner!!**

Hey y'all,

I'm doing a giveaway this week!! yahoo! I am celebrating the re-opening of my etsy shop...which has been on vacation for a long long time!
So, I'm giving away some items from my shop! Here's what you get...
*2 crocheted universal pacifier clips: any color combo of your choice (as seen in the pic)
*a crocheted matching baby hat: any color combo or your choice (as seen in the pic)

So...add your entries!! Giveaway ends Oct. 13 @12AM EST

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


This morning I found myself, on the way to school, helping my daughters navigate their relationship. And as I'm giving them amazing advice I started to think about my own relationships, especially the one with my hubby. So, I wanted to take this time & blog space to thank him & declare how much I appreciate him. I know, some of you will stop reading, but DON'T!!! I won't be mushy for long!

How often do we take the time to stop & think about how we are treating the people around us. Especially those we "love"? I mean really stop...not just the fly by "I love you's" or the quick hug. Now I know some of you are awesome at taking date nights or making a point to spend time with friends. But, I know that a lot of us struggle with really stopping & really appreciating those in our lives. We are all busy & running around trying just to make it through! This particular season in my life is nuts! I am running from place to place & job to job trying not to miss anything important.

As I gave my children this amazing advice about being kind & loving each other, I realized I was missing something super important. I do the fly by "I love you's" a lot & I try to make sure I connect with a hug or hand on the shoulder. But, how often do I stop, look into my husband's eyes (or my friend, family member, kids) and tell them "I love you because..." Especially those that maybe don't demand our immediate attention. I'm always joking that our dog gets more attention than I do. I believe that is because she will stand there, tail wagging, licking, until you acknowledge her. (and she's super furry & cute :) ) But, my husband is not one of those people that demands attention. He works hard & just keeps going & going. He rarely asks for anything & I think sometimes, maybe without even realizing it, I take advantage of that.

Sometimes in our relationships we can get to a place of "how did we get here?" I know we often get to those places in our marriage. Sometimes we're not as intentional as we need to be, life gets in the way, all of the sudden some life situation hits us like a 2x4. Whatever the case may be, we wind up somewhere we had no intention of winding up & we're lost. We're frustrated & angry & disconnected. For some reason, even if it's unintentional, it is so hard to come back from those places. And maybe we are even justified. I don't have great advice on how to make it back. I believe that our marriage is covered in prayer & stubbornness to make sure we never stay there long. But, we're not always great at recovering. I know that God plays the most important role in our relationship, but we're not always in tune with how He wants to fix things or how He would have us navigate this relationship. And a lot of times we're not on the same page together and frankly we are selfish. So, how do we get back?

One way, for me, is today. I am stopping & publicly saying...Philip I love you! I appreciate how hard you work & how much time you take with your family. I can't thank you enough for all the sacrifices you make everyday to make sure this family is well taken care of. And not just financially, but relationally as well. I appreciate the effort you have been making with Mackenzie lately. How much you have been trying to show her love & giving her what she needs in her own crazy little language. Thank you thank you thank you!!! I cherish our relationship & I know that I wouldn't have as much joy & laughter & comfort & security without you! I thank God that I have you everyday! And I want to make sure that I'm not taking advantage of you & all that you are willing to do for me & for our family! You are such a huge blessing in my life! There are so many other things I need to say thank you for and will make sure to do that before the day is over!!

I'm going to end this post with a song by Sara Groves (my favorite song writer!!!) This song just happened to come up when I was driving home from dropping off the girls & was a big inspiration for writing this post today. I pray that whatever relationship is on your mind right now, that you don't allow tenderness to disappear! That you would stop today & say "I love you because..." I encourage you to call, email or text your mom or dad, or siblings or husband, wife, best friend, whomever needs to hear from you!

It's Me by Sara Groves

Weather came and caught us off our guard
We were just laughing and feelin' alright
had such a great time just last night
We walked into a minefield undetected
You took a tone and I took offense
anger replacing all common sense

Oh run for you life
all tenderness is gone
In the blink of an eye
all good will has withdrawn
We mark out our paces and
stare out from our faces
But baby you and I are gone gone gone

Incomprehensible layers of isolation
Now your the man with a heart of stone
making me pay here by being alone
Seemingly justified righteous indignation
Now I'm the woman who holds all her pain
looking for somebody else to blame

We hold all the keys to our undoing
Cutting me down in small degrees
You know my worst insecurities
I'm making no effort to understand
No one can hurt you like I can
Deep down inside the girl's waking up
She's calling out to the boy she loves

Oh run for you life
all tenderness is gone
In the blink of an eye
all good will has withdrawn
We mark out our paces and
stare out from our faces
But baby you and I are gone gone gone

It's me
Oh baby it's me
How in the world can tenderness be gone
In the blink of an eye

The girl in me she's callin out
Oh the girl in me she's callin out
to the boy in you 

Baby come back
baby come back to me

Monday, August 27, 2012

First day of 2nd & 5th grade!!

We finally made it to the first day of school!! We had a good summer, but a bit long for this mama!! It's funny though, when I dropped them off, I had a hard time driving away. Trying to figure out what I'm gonna do with all this time to myself :)

Anyway, these 2 are getting so big so fast! I'm really having a hard time with 5th grade this year. It just snuck up on me. How in the world can she be in 5th grade!!?? It just feels like it's all down hill from here :) But, I'm so proud of her, making it through a really tough year last year. I'm excited to see what this year holds! And my little 2nd grader!! She's so excited for this year & I'm so glad. She woke up at 6:45 (which is super early for this little anti-mornings girl) without being coaxed. Think she was excited!!?? She was one big smile this morning!! They are going to a new school this year & I'm just a little anxious to see how it's gonna go. It should be a great year & I'm excited to see how much they grow & learn! I need to stop saying excited :) But, that's what the first day of school is all about!!!

Praying they have a great day & love this new & improved environment for learning!! I hope all of your first days went/will go great! I always love the first many possibilities & such an amazing road ahead of learning & new experiences!! Kinda wish I was going back to school :)

Happy New School Year to all of you!!
Daddy went to work late so he could see them off. Yearly tradition...thanks daddy!!!

Off we go!! Daddy's got the supplies :)

Here's the to a new adventure!

Kenz in her classroom! So exciting!

Hannah in her classroom...sitting with her friend Riley from church. A huge blessing that she knew someone!!!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Back to school means packing lunches!!

Normally this is one of my least favorite things about school. I know it's weird, but it just gets tedious for me. Because we are a gluten free household it also poses another issue of finding foods that we like & that aren't processed to the gills. So, I make a lot from scratch & get very creative. Not everything in our lunches are the heathiest, but I try to do as much as I can!
My other issue has been trying to stay "green"-ish. We haven't used baggies for lunches in a long time, but it makes my cupboards a total mess. So, I decided to try something new this year. And I'm actually excited about lunch making! We'll see how long that lasts :)
Anyway, I found these great bento-ish boxes at the dollar tree & went from there. They are similar to the ones you see all over pinterest. They have one big compartment & one smaller. As the school year starts. I'll share some of my lunch ideas, until are some links to great & healthy lunch ideas:
Tips for making healthy meals in lunch boxes.
Family Fresh Cooking

Out of the Box Food: This one does great comparisons with your typical kids' lunch items, with homemade or healthier alternatives. (like lunchables, fruit roll ups, chicken nuggets, etc)

The other cool thing I found on a blog (which I'm very bummed to say I didn't save or follow) was these silicone ice pop molds. These are so cool & have so many uses! Basically, just fill & freeze. I plan to do my own "gogurts", smoothies, apple sauce, etc. So much you can do with them!!!

Here are a few more things that I purchases to make my lunch making easier & a little more fun:
I don't plan to go crazy & make a hello kitty sandwich or anything like that. But, I need to keep it fresh, for me & the girls :) They love hard boiled eggs in their lunches, so I thought these egg molds were so cute & fun. They also love rice balls with a little nori or furi kaki. So these little silicon molds are fun. I bought a different plastic type of rice mold last year & they were just messy. So, I'm hoping these will be better. Those little soy sauce containers we use with the rice balls or I sometimes put a tiny bit of salt in them for their eggs. And we needed water bottles & these were so cute & cheap & easy to fit in their lunch boxes.
I'll be sure and post some pics of our first week of lunches! I would love to hear of any great ideas y'all have!!
I hope the beginning of school is a great time for your families! I always love the excitement of a new year, new school supplies, first day outfits and now school lunches :)
Have a great year!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

We're having a baby!!!

Well, I haven't posted anything since February! Things have just been crazy...but I thought this would be a great excuse to get back to blogging.
Yes, we are having a baby girl in January! We can hardly believe it! We keep going back & forth from being over the moon to moments of "Holy Crap, what are we gonna do!!??"
First of all, I haven't done this in 7 years. Being pregnant again is a mixed bag of excitement & being really miserable! I haven't felt all that great, with morning sickness, major fatigue & some other not so pleasant side effects I won't go into in mixed company!
Our girls are so excited! It was a really cool experience to take them to the ultrasound! One of the perks of having older kiddos is that they get to experience everything with us. Well, another is that they are great helpers!! They have been serious troopers in all of this...especially when mommy doesn't feel good or is super cranky!
But, overall we are super excited to meet this little baby girl & we're anxious to see who she looks like, what kinda hair she's gonna have (we have a variety in our little family :) ),  what her name will be (still have to decide that), & just how God is going to bless us through her!