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Posted by on Jan 24, 2017 in Motherhood | 17 comments

My Secret

A few weeks ago I was leaving our weekly Bible Study and as I was herding the kids out to our car amidst the sea of minivans a friend stopped me and said, “How do you do it? You are always so put together and you make it look easy. I need your secret.” I laughed in her face and said, “Do you want to know my secret? Most days I feel like I’m barely keeping it together.” I’m not as put together as some may think (it actually surprises me to think that anyone believes I’m put together). But I guess if you saw me in passing, you may think I’m forging ahead with confidence, crushing all my life goals…maybe? I mean, you wouldn’t think that if you saw me in Target last week when I was in smelly gym clothes trying to explain to Atlas why he can’t have another toy while simultaneously trying to get Andi’s lip to stop bleeding because she threw such a fit that she ended up busting her own lip on the grocery cart. I guess it depends on when you catch me. If you’re looking at my Instagram feed, you may think my life is always pretty and I’ve got a great handle on things.

But if you’re reading this blog right now, I want you to know that my life is messy and I get confused and I second guess my parenting decisions on the regular. I go to bed thinking, “I was too hard on the kids today – they are going to wind up in therapy.” Or I go to bed and think, “I was too easy on them – they are going to wind up in jail.” I struggle. I doubt. I worry. I’ve got the adult acne to prove it.

Today I just want to be transparent with those of you tuning into read this little blog. Last week was a hard week. Actually, the last 2 weeks have felt extra draining. Nobody is sick. Nobody is hurt. But life with 2 toddlers has just been hard lately and sometimes when life gets really hard, insecurities overshadow the truth in my life.

Andi Rose is 18 months old and ‘no’ is her favorite word. We call her “Miss Personality” and that same personality that makes me laugh until my stomach hurts also makes me want to pull my hair out some days. Atlas is officially a threenager and he also loves to exercise his right to tell me no. He really likes to take it 1 step further and tack on the “I won’t do it and you can’t make me” line for emphasis. He plays hardball now.

I feel like motherhood is a game where the rules are constantly changing and just when I get into a groove and I exhale and think, “Okay! I got this now!” – The game changes again and I’m back to learning, googling all the things (rarely is that a good idea, by the way) and wondering what the next right thing to do is.

Last week I called my mom sobbing. I’m pretty sure she thought someone was seriously injured when she answered the phone. When I could finally talk, I only said 4 words: “Motherhood is so hard.” I told her how Atlas told me earlier that day that he didn’t like me because I disciplined him for throwing a bottle at his sister. I told her I felt like the kids were just running the house and bulldozing over me and any boundaries I tried to establish and things just felt utterly out of control.

She said, “That’s because you’re trying to be their friend! STOP BEING THEIR FRIEND! You are the PARENT!”

I’m not sure when it happened or how it happened, but somehow I slipped into the ‘friend zone’ with my kids – specifically Atlas. I love playing with my kids and I love taking them to do fun things and I hate confrontation, so I guess it isn’t surprising that I ended up in the friend zone.

What my mom said to me really clicked though. I am their mother. My job is to be a consistent teacher who guides and corrects them. My job is to love them. I pray that God blesses each of my children with precious friends, but I realized last week that right now, my job isn’t to be their precious friend. I am the authority. I am the boss. And things run better for everybody when I’m in charge.

But adulting is hard. Sometimes I see my children fighting and I’m thinking, “Good grief – I wish there was an adult around here to break that up.” But I’m the adult and as unqualified as I feel for this job most days, God (for reasons unknown to me) saw enough potential in me to give me not 1, but 2 babies.


I want to parent out of truth, but there are several times that I find myself parenting out of fear. For instance, the truth is God doesn’t need me to do a perfect job in order to lead my children to Him. He is more than capable of seeking them out. I sure hope I can help Him in His pursuit of their hearts, but His perfect plan for their lives isn’t going to fall apart because I can’t always keep it together, which is a real fear I struggle with. The truth is, if they don’t eat a vegetable for 2 days in a row (Hi Saturday and Sunday!), the world keeps on spinning. The truth is, sometimes as mothers we plant seeds of truth in the hearts of our children that don’t actually take root and grow to fruition for years to come. The truth is that sometimes things looks barren at surface level, but what really matters is how deep those roots are growing because at the right season we will reap what we sow. The truth is, I don’t have it all together and that’s actually okay. It’s okay for my kids to know that. It’s okay for you to know that. Because nobody has it all together. No woman out there truly ‘has it all.’ It isn’t possible. The secret is out. We are all doing the best we can and we all fall short at times and lose our way and I think the truth is, when we fall short and our kids are watching we are in the best position to show them how real life works.

You probably have never wondered what my secret is. But just in case you ever have, then lean in a little closer and allow me to share my secret with you. I struggle. I don’t get it right every day. My prayer journal is filled with the words, “I don’t know how to…” And the truth is, I think that’s exactly where God wants me in life right now because when I don’t know how to do something, I eventually go looking to Him to lead the way.

And one little random story for your Monday:

Dave has been cracking up the last few days because I am in full blown parenting mode (I’m getting the HECK out of the friend zone) and the kids are so confused by it. I usually ask them a lot of questions like, “Are you ready to go upstairs and take a nap?” (Spoiler alert: they NEVER are) or “Would you rather have green beans or Mac & cheese?” (Mac & Cheese: 372 // Green beans: 0) But now I’m all, “Alrighty! It is nap time and you’re going to take a nap and you’re going to do great at it!” Or I’m like, “It’s time to get in the car and I know you can do it with a great attitude!” Dave thinks it is the funniest thing, but it is working better for us all. There are still meltdowns and tantrums, but I have been taking a deep breath and saying “I am the parent” under my breath and for some reason that helps me feel more confident and I’m finding that the more confident I appear, the more likely my kids are to obey right away. By omitting some of the questions I ask them and replacing the question with a clear command it just sets it up that the issue is not up for discussion. I’m no expert (obviously you know that if you made it to the end of this post), but it’s working good for us right now so I thought I would share it here in case any other mama’s are looking for some inspiration.

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Posted by on Jan 13, 2017 in Baby Andi, Family Fun, Giveaway | 3 comments

Scenes from our Snow Day

Good morning and happy Friday! Friday is, without a doubt, my favorite day of the week. I’ve been craving a cheeseburger like nobody’s business, so we have plans to hit up this amazing local joint called “The Burger Bus” and then I plan to sweat all that goodness out Saturday in hot yoga. I haven’t done hot yoga in years, so I’m a little nervous about the class, but I’m going with one of my girlfriends so it should be fun. I wish I had a shirt that said, “I don’t really stretch, I’m just here for the heat.” Because really, I just want lay in child’s pose and sweat. I’ve been working out at home, but I haven’t ran in weeks and I’m starting to go a little crazy. My body just craves running. January is a super busy month for Dave so he hasn’t been around a lot to watch the kids, which means I can’t sneak off for a quality run. I actually spent time today researching treadmills because I think it would change my life if I had one at home, but Dave isn’t feeling that price tag right now. He’s so practical. I’m like, “Think of how often that thing would put me in a good mood. I mean it would practically pay for itself in a month.” He’s not buying it (“it” being both my logic and the treadmill).

Anyways, we got some serious snow last weekend in Atlanta. And by ‘serious’ I mean 6 inches. It’s already melted. By Thursday it was 70 degrees outside and to be honest, I’ve just felt incredibly lucky this week to live in this fickle environment. I love that we got to play in snow on Sunday and then on Thursday we were outside without jackets riding bikes. It’s like the best of all worlds (as opposed to Florida which was 90 degrees year round or NYC, which was blizzard conditions for 5 straight months). The mountains of Georgia are my jam. It snowed on Friday night and Saturday and schools were cancelled until Wednesday! We were snowed in for a solid 2 days, which meant we pretty much stayed in pajamas and played by the fire, which was magical…until we all went stir crazy and the kids turned against each other and I began dusting all the blinds in an attempt to make the time pass. But I got to wear my snow boots so I wasn’t complaining!

You’re probably wondering what the point of today’s post is. There is no point. I’m just telling you random things and sharing a few photos of our snow day. The photos are mostly of Andi Rose because she was dressed like a bear and I think we can all agree that nothing is cuter than babies dressed as animals (except for puppies in sweaters – puppies in sweaters trump all in my book).


KitLife Giveaway Winner

And now for the KitLife Giveaway! YAY!

I want to thank each of you for participating in my giveaway on Monday and I also want to thank the kind girls behind Kit Life Planners for partnering with me on this giveaway! I loved reading all your goals for 2017 and each comment left me feeling inspired! You are all really and truly the best! ❤

And now for the winner…🎉

Kimberly K

Kimberly, I have messaged you to get your address so we can get your planner in the mail to you asap! I’m so excited for you and I loved reading all your goals! I hope your Kit Life planner helps propel you forward this year as you tackle each of them! 🙂

I hope you all have a great weekend that goes by nice and slooooow! See you Monday, friends!

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Posted by on Dec 22, 2016 in Family Fun, Girly Things, Motherhood | 4 comments

Pajamas & Pancakes Party

Hey, hey, hey! I’m sorry things are a little quiet around Cupcakes n Crunches this week. Last night we made the game time decision to go look at Christmas lights at Lake Lanier and we didn’t get home until 10pm. I feel like despite my best efforts to immerse myself in the holiday fun, somehow the season slipped away from me, so I’m trying really hard to soak up these last few days of Christmas fun with my babies. (Although today they were super grumpy so I was all, “when the heck is nap time?!”) #fulldisclosure I’m hoping to keep the blog alive over the next few days but I may be tuning in and out and I kind of hope you’ll be doing the same and you’ll be swept away in family fun and holiday activities. 🙂

On Tuesday morning, Atlas and I headed to a ‘pajama and pancakes’ party at my friend Nicole’s house. Andi Rose stayed with Dave since she is wild and cannot be trusted in public places (or any places, really). But she sure is cute…

The kid-friendly get together also served as a cookie exchange and each guest was asked to bring 24 cookies to swap.

When we arrived in our pajamas (can I get a big ole’ ‘hallelujah’ for not having to get dressed before leaving the house?!), Nicole had pancakes, fruit and cheese for the kids to eat and a delicious frittata with a side of the most amazing cheese grits for the adults. She also had a coffee bar set up + the world’s best apple cider (it seriously tasted like Christmas in a cup and I couldn’t get enough).

After the kids ate, they played their hearts out while the women sipped on coffee and chatted the morning away (in our pj’s!!). It was such a lovely way to spend a Tuesday morning and I didn’t feel ‘guilty’ for relaxing with my girlfriends because Atlas was having a blast playing with all the kids.

Nicole also had cute Christmas crafts set up for the kids to do and then before we all left, we loaded up containers with cookies to take home.

I just wanted to share this idea on the blog, because I thought it was so adorable and perhaps some of you may want to recreate it with your girlfriends.

Oh, and the beautiful pictures of the cookies in this post were snapped by my girlfriend, Jessica. I stole them from her Facebook because the only photo I took during the party was of Atlas & his little girlfriend. Jess is super talented behind the camera. So, to summarize, I have 1 friend who is the hostess with the mostess and 1 friend who can take gorgeous photos…and my talent is…eating my bodyweight in cookies…

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Posted by on Dec 16, 2016 in Girly Things, Motherhood, Sprinkles | 2 comments

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! Can you even believe Christmas is only 9 days away?! I can’t. I feel like the season slipped away from me even though I’ve been trying hard to savor it. It is just passing by too quickly and I wish I could slow time down every December.

Anyways, I’m popping in today to share a quick roundup of some things I’m loving lately! As always, I hope you’ll participate in the fun and tell me some of your favorite things lately in the comments below!

  1. Kit Life Planner: O.M.G. This planner is the stuff of dreams, you guys! Here’s the thing – I’ve already been feeling the post-holiday blues with Christmas just over a week away because I know my favorite season is practically over and that makes me all kinds of sad. Is that weird? To get sad about the season ending before it actually ends? Anyways, this Kit Life planner arrived in the mail on Wednesday and it was just what I needed to get me excited for the New Year. After flipping through the beautifully crafted pages of my new planner I was pumped for 2017 and the goals that will make their way onto those pages. I know so many people use their phones and computers now for calendars, but I still prefer a handwritten planner. I’ve used an Erin Condren planner + an Emily Ley planner in past years (I prefer Emily Ley’s layout over Erin Condren’s, but I loved designing my own cover of the EC planner), but I think this Kit Life planner will earn the title of my favorite planner ever in 2017. It has a unique focus on healthy living and practicing gratitude and the cover is so gorgeous. If you are a handwritten planner kind of girl, then definitely check out Kit Life planners. #swoon
  2. Bare Minerals Matte Foundation: My face has been breaking out a lot lately (I’m pretty sure its because I never sleep) so I decided to switch up my foundation. I really love liquid foundations because the coverage just can’t be beat, but this Bare Minerals loose powder foundation is pretty terrific. I’ve been using it for the last 2 weeks and I feel like my skin can ‘breathe’ better with powder on instead of liquid. (Is it just me, or do you feel like liquid foundations clog your pores more than powder?) The coverage is surprisingly good for a powder foundation, although it obviously isn’t as great as a liquid. This foundation is great if you have oily skin and it also has SPF 15 in it. I wear it in ‘medium beige’ if you need a general reference. It’s lightweight, easy to apply and gives a super natural look! #winning
  3. Bare Minerals Gen Nude Lipstick in ‘Boss’: Okay, I swear this post isn’t sponsored by Bare Minerals – It is pure coincidence that 2 of my favorite things from lately are by the same brand. I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this lipstick on the blog or not, but even if I have, it bears repeating. This matte lipstick in the color ‘Boss’ is such a pretty and natural shade for winter and it stays on for a long time. It is a bit drying, so I’ll warn you of that. I have to wear a lipgloss over top of it to prevent my lips from looking too dry. But I’m not alone in my love for this shade because it is sold out or backordered everywhere. I got it for my mom today and I got the last one they had in the store and it isn’t shipping from Nordstrom’s website until after Christmas! The word is apparently out about “Boss.”
  4. Living Proof Full Dry Volume Blast: All my fine-haired friends, listen up! I’ve got a product for you! I got this Dry Volume Blast by Living Proof and I’m loving it! I have a lot of hair but it is very fine, so it tends to fall flat most days. After spraying this all over my hair, I had so much lift at my roots (make sure you follow the directions on the can and section out pieces of your hair to spray). I’m not the biggest fan of the Living Proof brand (I want to love it so bad because Jennifer Aniston is my girl but I’ve been underwhelmed with each product I’ve tried from the line), but this product is one I’ll be buying again for sure! It smells good and even though it isn’t a dry shampoo, it kind of works to absorb some excess oil, making it perfect for hair that hasn’t been washed in a day or 2 (*ahem* or 3). If you want bigger hair, try this product.
  5. Give Them Grace: This week I started reading the parenting book entitled, Give Them Grace (it’s a Bible based parenting book, FYI). I’m not very far into it, but it has already caused me to pause and think about how I approach disciplining my children. It’s been super convicting to read, but I love the way it is challenging me and stretching me. Here’s a little excerpt from the book, in case any of my mama friends are interested…

“We’ve transformed the holy, terrifying, magnificent and loving God of the Bible into Santa and his elves. And instead of transmitting the gloriously liberating and life-changing truths of the gospel, we have taught our children that what God really wants from them is morality. We have told them that ‘being good’ (at least outwardly) is the be-all and end-all of their faith. We aren’t handing down Christianity…this other thing that we’re giving them has a name – it’s called ‘moralism.'” 

Powerful stuff, right? It’s basically saying that we’ve managed to turn the Bible into a book of laws & we’ve reduced the Bible down to a “how-to” book instead of a life-giving story about redemption & a God who wants to rescue us & have a relationship with us.

And on that note, I’m off to bed! Hooray for the weekend!

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Posted by on Dec 7, 2016 in Baby Atlas, Family Fun, Trips | 5 comments

All Aboard…This is the Polar Express!

On Monday afternoon we got the kids dressed in their pajamas, drove 2.5 hours to Bryson City, NC and then waited in the rain to climb aboard the Polar Express (a.k.a operation ‘make Atlas’ dreams come true’).


It was such a magical experience for our boy and I was in Heaven watching him overflow with excitement and joy.


Andi Rose seemed to really love it too, which I was incredibly thankful for because if homegirl isn’t feeling something she has a special way of making sure nobody else enjoys it either. Luckily, she was entertained by the waiters who sang and danced and when she tired of them, we had lots of snacks to keep her smiling through our 90 minute train ride. I was fa-reaking before we got on the train though because I fully anticipated her to nap on the car ride there and she, of course, refused to nap in the car until 4 minutes before we arrived at our destination. I was bracing myself for the no-nap meltdowns but God had mercy on my soul and Andi Rose was in good spirits for our North Pole excursion.


Atlas got a special golden ticket (just like in the Polar Express movie) and then Santa got on the train and gave him a silver bell (again, just like the movie). I’m pretty sure Atlas hasn’t let go of either item since Monday night.



I woke up this morning to the sound of his bell ringing. He’s still on cloud 9 from his choo-choo adventure and I’m so thankful we were able to make that little dream come to life for him.

When Santa asked Atlas what he wanted for Christmas Atlas said he wanted cars and he also wanted cars to give to a little boy who didn’t have any cars. I’m telling you guys, that boy is precious! I mean, he still lives to annoy Andi Rose, but other than that…totally precious! 😉

As soon as the train arrived back to Bryson City, we loaded the kids back into the car and made the 2.5 hour drive back home. Atlas fell asleep shortly before we arrived home (close to 11pm!), but he never let go of that train ticket.


We didn’t get our babies in bed until midnight and we had to be up at 7am for Bible Study on Tuesday morning, but it was so worth it to make those sweet memories together. The only thing that would have made the experience better is if Tom Hanks would have been there. Can we all agree that Tom Hanks can do no wrong? I love all of his movies, but since having Atlas, the Polar Express movie will always have an extra special place in my heart because of how much my boy loves it. 🚂

The next Christmas item on our bucket list is to check out the Christmas lights at Lake Lanier. We tried to drive around and look at Christmas lights in some neighborhoods around our house the other night but Andi Rose was not having it so I’m hoping she will be more into the lights at Lake Lanier. Do you have a holiday bucket list? If so, what’s on it? 🎄

P.S. My apologies for the crappy i-phone photos. We brought our camera, but it was just too dark/fast-paced/rainy/crazy to snap any decent photos. So the i-phone pics will have to do for this post, but that’s real life sometimes, isn’t it?

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Posted by on Dec 1, 2016 in Motherhood | 4 comments

What I Believe about Santa Clause

I’m breaking up the gift guide series today to chat about another element of Christmas. The jolly old man himself: Santa Clause!


Throwback picture to Atlas’ first time meeting Santa – probably my favorite photo of all time

Atlas is 3 years old this year so the concept of Santa Clause is finally clicking in his little mind. YAY! Naturally, I had grand plans to use this to my advantage (*insert evil laugh here*). We downloaded a video from Santa (if you’re a mom, you’ve got to check that link out – it’s so cute) and showed it to Atlas and I’ve been joining millions of other moms in declaring, “You better behave, Santa is watching you!”

But that whole concept of “Santa is watching and you better be careful so you don’t wind up on the naughty list” hasn’t been sitting well with me (and it hasn’t been working with Atlas). Every time I say it, I cringe a little and it’s taken me a while to figure out exactly why it bothers me.

Now, don’t leave yet! I’m not knocking Father Christmas. I just realized I was using Santa Clause as a manipulation tactic to get my child to do what I wanted, rather than a motivating figure to inspire him to do good. I think Santa Clause is such a wonderful tradition and it is one I fully embrace and look forward to sharing with Atlas and Andi Rose for years to come, but I want to be sure I am presenting Santa Clause in a way that aligns with the core values I’m teaching my children. Values like grace, forgiveness and generosity. If I am telling Atlas that if he takes a toy from Andi Rose 1 more time then Santa Clause might just bring him a bag of snowman poop for Christmas and call it a day, then what message am I really sending him…about Santa Clause and life? That’s all very transactional and to be honest, it isn’t that magical when I think about it.

Santa 2015 - #goodstuff

Santa 2015 – #goodstuff

I think I would be robbing my children of so much if I denied them the opportunity to believe in fairy tales. There are so many wonderful truths and life lessons to be picked out of old stories. Jesus himself knew how much the human heart craved a good story – I think that’s why He taught in parables so often. He knew that we all long for something we can relate to, something that inspires us and moves us.

So that’s what I want Santa to do for my children. To inspire them. To teach them that sometimes the greatest gift we can receive is grace – perhaps grace in the form of a present we didn’t deserve or earn. And isn’t grace also one of the greatest gifts we can give? I want Atlas & Andi Rose to know that if/when they mess up, Santa offers forgiveness and he gives to those who are deserving and even to those who are undeserving. I want them to learn about a Santa who gives while expecting nothing in return. Mr Clause gives because doing good is its own reward and the same should be true for us – and any presents received are just an added bonus.

I’m certainly not opposed to effort from my children and repercussions for their bad behaviors are obviously vital to their personal growth. They should work hard at being kind and sharing (Actually, they better work hard at this), but I want their motives to be pure. I don’t want them growing up working towards getting everything on their Christmas list because that’s self-centered, which won’t leave them satisfied. I want them to grow up working towards serving others expecting nothing in return because that’s where the true magic of Christmas is found. When I share Santa with my kids, I want to highlight all that he gives, rather than all they might get.

This week I’ve been having some conversations with Atlas about giving to those in need this Christmas. I’ve noticed a big sense of entitlement in my house lately and it’s something I’m trying to tackle, not only in the heart of my 3 year old but also in my own heart.

I actually dug up some old pictures from a trip I took to Africa several years ago and I shared the photos with Atlas this week. When I pointed out that many of the children were not wearing shoes, Atlas quickly pointed out that he had lots of shoes. I asked him if he thought we should share his shoes with kids who didn’t have any shoes and he was so quick to say, “YES!” Then he asked me if Santa Clause would bring those children shoes. I told him that I sure hoped Santa would visit those kids, but sometimes Santa needs help from us to spread holiday cheer and we can act like elves and give special presents to those kids who need a little extra. He genuinely loved that idea and ever since I showed him those pictures he prays for those kids at night before bed.


Atlas & Andi Rose will get a ridiculous amount of toys no matter what this year because they have grandparents. If Santa, Dave & I all skipped Christmas this year, our kids wouldn’t notice because they have a group of people in this world who think they are perfect and deserve the moon. All kids should have those people in their lives, right? So, by no means am I saying Christmas will be downplayed in our house this year. It will be a full blown event and that’s the way I love it. I’m just trying to shift the focus this month onto the good we have the power to do for others instead of the gifts we may receive if we walk a straight line and I want to use Santa as my example, not my manipulation tool.

I guess the other point I’m trying to make here is that it isn’t Santa’s job to teach my kids to do good. It is my job. My job is to try every day to awaken their little hearts to the needs of people around them. I was being lazy there for a while and trying to use Santa as a throw blanket over all of Atlas’ behavioral issues and I was robbing him of the Christmas magic in the process…Because the magic isn’t in the gifts he might earn – it’s in giving out of the overflow of all he already has.

Training up the heart of a child is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but I think Santa Clause can definitely help me out during the month of December by reiterating and demonstrating some of the lessons I’ve been trying to engrain in my son’s mind all year long. Turns out I can still use the man in the red suit to my advantage, just not in the way I originally planned.

And you better believe I’m using Santa Clause as my excuse to perfect my cookie recipes. I’m all, “We need to bake cookies again today because we have to get them just right for Santa Clause on Christmas Eve. We want our cookies to be his favorite because I think he leaves an extra special present for the family with the best cookie recipe.” It’s a great way to justify baking cookies on a Wednesday at 10am. #noshameinmygame

Your turn! Thoughts on Santa?!

And sorry this post is late again. I’m down with a nasty cold so I’m in survival mode over here. Just counting down the hours until my kids go to bed so I can drink a bottle of NyQuil. Again…#noshameinmygame

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