I posted this on my facebook a couple weeks ago and wanted to share here.
I look at this blog as a scrapbook to look back on and this moment is something I want to remember
The holidays can be challenging. A couple weeks ago when I was holiday shopping, I noticed a Target employee trying to help an elderly woman who had wondered behind a counter of the cafe. It was evident that the sweet woman wasn’t all there mentally. About a minute later, an employee brings her husband her and the man simply said, “Margaret! I lost you” with the look of defeat filling his face.
I sat with the couple for a bit to help calm the woman and comfort her husband. After taking and praying with them, I gave the husband my business card and asked him to please let me know if I could serve them in any way.
Fast forward to today. It’s been an emotionally tolling day with my heart breaking for loved ones suffering in this season. I opened my email to a letter from that husband from Target. Apart of the email he shared the list of scripture that he prays over him and his wife. The timing of this email isn’t “fate” but God using this sweet mans trials and speaking his wisdom into my life.
As I’m sitting in tears over this sweet email, I’m reminded again to not look at this Christmas season with a tightened jaw based off of circumstances but how focus on how the significance of the birth of Jesus & how it’s given us the opportunity to have this unfathomable source of perseverance and peace in hard times.
My mom boss sent me a blog that gave me a plethora of ideas on outings in our area, which helped a sister out! #PraiseHandsEmoji
Anything that has to do with paint is a huge hit for my younger two. Thankfully, I found a craft that required NO BRUSHES! Washing paint brushes can become a pesky little task, so when I see a craft that entails paper, paint, and celery… It’s a winner in my book.
click on pictures to enlarge
Paint projects mean lots of paper towels. Empty paper towel rolls makes for yet another ocean creature craft!
Soon enough, we had an aquarium full of paper ocean creatures!
Finally, we ended the week with one of the messiest crafts I’ve done to date.
…It was me that made the mess.
Despite my butterfingers, the kids loved getting their fingers full of sticky substances and sculpting abstract versions of sea creatures and sea shells 😉
Every Friday is our Surprise Day! Though, I’m sure it wasn’t much of a surprise for my nanny kids, given the theme of the week.
We packed my little box car full of snacks, water, beach towels, and lots of sunscreen and headed to Hanna Beach.
Can I say Hanna Park is the place to go! I wanted to go to a beach that wasn’t crowded, to help my #NannyBrain and make it a smidgen easier to keep tabs on my nanny kids.
The park also has a pretty epic splash park and play groud that has a kid safe zip line.
So, there it is!
Under the Sea Week!
Full of messy crafts, multiple part trips, and beach day!
I’d say it was a good week 😉
Oh yeah, I also got to help Flash make a gift for his dad.
So if you’ve met me, you’ll typically gather that I’m a nanny fairly quickly.
I usually can’t go very long in a conversation with out telling some outrageously funny story about something that one of my kids have said or done. It’s gotten to the point where I try to make a conscious effort to not bombard people with endless pictures or stories of adorable children.
The last year and half I’ve nannied for multiple wonderful families, whom I love to the moon and back. However, this summer I’m with one super rad family of three little rascals. So, this summer I’m trying some new ideas I’ve seen other nannies implement into their summer routines.
Every week is a themed week! With that theme there are crafts and activities that correspond this it.
Can you guess what theme was the first to debut?
Now, before we dig into everything sports, I wanted to do a little something to start the summer off.
It’s no secret of how quickly kids grow up. You blink your eyes and they go from barely speaking full sentences to having a fully-involved chatter box personality. So I made this sheet to have a nifty “before picture” for our summer adventures. My hope is these tiny humans grow maybe a centimeter or two.
Stay young, you little ones!
Please note that last answer.
I grossly overestimated how long my activities and crafts were going to take.
On Monday, we’d sit down for a craft that would I anticipate would take about thirty minutes.
They did that craft in TEN minutes.
So, we may or may not have done all the crafts and activities I had planned for the whole week, in one day.
But boy did I learn my lesson! This week is much smoother and strategically planned out, after finding how quick these little humans are!
Thankfully, Pinterest is my forever saving grace! #PraiseHandsEmoji
I found more sports and rainy day (courtesy to hurricane season approaching) activities to fill up our day!
With little trips to museums and parks, I managed to get their energy out just in time nap time/quiet time!
Click here to find every thing sports-themed activities and crafts!
Can we applaud these kids on their resourcefulness? We couldn’t find scarfs or bandanas to serve as a blindfold. They improve with long-sleeved shirts!
One of the things I implemented through the week are these Kindness Jars as a positive reinforcement system.
How it works:
Through out the week I’ll jot down times when they were being extra helpful, kind, etc. Then, every evening the parents pull the jars down from the mantle and celebrate the kind notes.
My hope is for the kids to be extra motivated to be extra kind/helpful/etc every day.
The more “kind notes” the kids received, the more surprises they would receive on Fridays.
The Surprise Day!
It helps that the kids are naturally precious spirits, but I’d like to think that those little “kind notes” had a little influence 😉
So Friday was a rather full day!
The day was full of bakery visits, park visits, bowling, and topped off with some tasty pizza.
I’d say any week full of paper baseball crafts and chocolate pudding makes for a good week!
Growing up, I was always mindful of my weight. Thankfully, I can say that I never obsessed about the number on the scale, but I was aware of it. I was “gently reminded” by some about the importance exercise and eating clean. The subtleness was a tad lacking.
Starting in high school I went to the local gym a couple times a week and would chose salads about 70% of the time, but that was the extent of healthy choices.
In my early twenties, I was in a “auto pilot” phase of life; aka zombie mode. I was sixty pounds overweight and on a handful of medication courtesy of emotional eating and not taking care of myself.
That’s when my weight loss journey began. I’ve fallen off the wagon at times. Life gets crazy. It happens. Exercising and meal prep have been put on the back burner.
Though, without fail I’ve always found myself back to wanting to focus on my health during each chapter of life.
Over the last year, I’ve finally gotten to a place of consistency. I can accredit that motivation of that consistency to a series of health scares I’ve faced the last couple years.
Turns out have a handful of cancer scares can change a mindset when it comes to your health.
Who would have guessed such a thing? Haha.
All that to say…
Welcome to an inside glimpse of my new little venture!
This week I’ve started a new workout program called 21 Day Fix Extreme.
Why am I sharing this?
I want to keep myself extra accountable.
I also like to put my thoughts into words. I’ve found through writing and blogging, I can reminisce different adventures of life.
With this venture I’m sure that there are…
Others that have faced not so subtle remarks on your health.
Others that have worked themselves into the ground and found your health frail.
Others that battle emotional eating.
Others that have had health scares that have left you bewildered.
So, here we are!
Sharing my journey one post at a time. I’m currently on day four of this 21DFX venture! I’ll be checking in at once a week on where I am.
I will straight throw down on a wedding dance floor.
*Please note: I’m not claiming to have dance skills.
We’re talking about cupid shuffle, electric slide, & white people moves.
But I’m committed.
That has most definitely has NOT always been the case.
One of my friends once described “High School Emmy” as an introvert.
I was not the “first one on the dance floor” girl.
I might have participated if the dance floor was crowded and I blended in.
This week, I was talking to my BeachBody team about how I need to focus more on my nutrition and fitness because I’ve been teetering around the same weight for a bit too long.
Don’t worry, I’m not undermining my progress.
Though, at a point you need to improve your commitment and not give yourself too much slack if you want to produce better results.
While I’ve been talking to others and creating accountability, I’m finding that I’m not discouraged by where I am in this journey. I’m still able to acknowledge the progress I’ve made. One of those being, five year ago, you would have needed to drag me on to an empty dance floor.
While I still have those introverted ways,
… that odd introvert AND extravert life…
I can say I’ve grown in becoming more comfortable in myself.
At least, enough to let loose on a dance floor and embrace my goofy white girl moves.
I know that confidence in myself improves from actively bettering my health and continuously finding more freedom in my identity of Christ.
So thankful for that point in my life where my health was horrific.
Blood pressure medicine.
Weekly B12 shots.
Daily Anxiety attacks.
While that chapter in my life royally sucked, it forced me to begin on this journey of bettering my health. That motivation overflowed into my faith and emotional health.
Living a healthy lifestyle isn’t just our physical health. it’s our well being as a whole.
I wanted to give a big THANK YOU to everyone who has encouraged me while on this journey of bettering my health! I couldn’t have done it with out y’all!
The closing post from my Atlanta trip. That was almost two months ago.
I apparently like to take my time in posting my little excursions.
It is what it is!
As Katie and I headed back south, she knew of a good spot for some hiking before heading home. She said it was like a mini grand canyon.
She was right.
One of Georgia’s State Parks is called Providence Canyon has been referred to as “The Little Grand Canyon.”
*Click to enlarge photos*
Living in Florida, I’m used to everything flat. This little hike made my hiker’s heart flutter.
The gullies are a result of poor farming practices in the 1800’s. Though it didn’t work in the lands favor, it makes for a gorgeous site for people to explore.
Discovering water on the ground is a common find when walking in some of the deepest canyons.
Due to my work schedule we could only explore for an hour. So we got a little taste of the wonderful spot and definitely have it on my list of places to visit again for a time when we aren’t in a hurry.
With that little hike under our belts we had most definitely worked up an appetite and headed to Thomasville, Georgia to grab some grub. Downtown Thomasville is a quaint little city with brick-paved streets, unique shops and restaurants with tasty food for a pair of hunger hikers.
We ended the day with a spot to meet Katie’s dog crush from Instagram.
A few weeks ago I posted here about a baby shower I helped throw for one of my best friends.
You definitely could grasp the eagerness and excitement just about the shower.
Imagine my excitement after waking up to this voicemail.
Ecstatic is an understatement.
Here’s a little glimpse of my emotions in a Facebook post I woke in the wee hours of the morning while camping out at the hospital.
Dear sweet Susannah,
When I woke up to your dad’s voicemail saying, “You have a niece!” I did the happy dance as I blew up daddy and grandma’s phone until someone picked up. In my defense, I told mommy that I’d be obnoxious when I you’d get here. The amount of excitement has been too much to handle.
After parking in the garage and entering two wrong buildings, I finally found “the gold elevator” that would bring me to the Labor & Delivery floor.
I walked in to you in daddy’s arms talking to Aunt Amber while mommy was resting.
I got hold your 6 pound 7-ounce human self when you were a mere six hours old!
You were so eager to meet me you came a week early.
I don’t blame you.
I’m pretty awesome.
Don’t worry, I’ll teach you my ways. 😉
As the day progressed your mommy had some boo boo’s. But mom dealt with each boo boo with an unbelievable amount of strength and grace. Your mommy is indeed a super hero. And your daddy was a trooper. He doesn’t like all the yucky, sticky stuff but he stayed super strong for you and your mommy.
Can I tell you a secret?!
Your parents are super heroes!
You are just SO lucky.
As I sit next to your mommy, holding you at 2:15am while mom and dad finally sleep, I’d never anticipated the admiration and love I’d have for you and your mommy. Looking back at all the times your mommy and me shared. We knew each other in the stone ages when phones didn’t have Bluetooth OR even Internet.
One thing I always knew, even back then, was that Ali was going to be there great mom. So, you lucked out Ms. Susannah.
I can’t wait to see Ali mother you.
I can’t wait to see you teach her things.
I can’t wait to see daddy scare off your future boyfriends.
I can’t wait to see you grow.
I can’t wait to get in trouble with you.
Welcome to the world, Susannah Grace.
It’s a prettier place with you in it.
Seeing the hospital room filled with countless bags it reassured me that mom would always have any and every “baby essential” on hand all times.
Seeing people pack into the hospital room eating birthday cake to celebrate Susannah’s birth made my sweet tooth happy.
Seeing MiMi take thousands of pictures of everything made my photographer’s heart smile.
Celebrating Susannah’s life with sparkling apple cider in the hospital room made for precious Hallmark moment.
Seeing Ali fight through unforeseen post partum complications with a silent strength and grace made me admire her only 100 times more.
Seeing the Ali’s eyes light up when she saw the new dad hold their daughter made my heart want to burst.
Seeing Jonathan hold Baby Susannah to calm himself made my heart smile.
Seeing Ali staying up all hours of the night nursing and caring for Susannah reinforced what I already knew:
That she’s going to be phenomenal mother.
Being able to help the new mom and dad with baby made me cherish every moment of Baby Susannah’s first few days.
At the beginning of that week I had five cancellations. That has never happened. Three full days free of all nanny responsibilities. Usually I’d be rather bummed about that.
Now, I truly believe that was God saying I should be on auntie patrol.
Be on Doozer Duty and feed the pets at the home front.
Make runs home to grab things from the nursery.
Hold Ali’s hand through hard times.
Hold baby when mom and dad rest.
Steal their house key and decorate it with everything fall.
P.S. Ali has a gigantic obsession with autumn.
One of my friends was able to drop off countless homemade meals at the hospital and still accommodate my lactose intolerant self.
She asked, “How long should I stay? How long do people usually stay?”
My response: “Don’t ask me. I’ve been here for three days.”
The day came that I had to leave the new family of three behind and let them fend for themselves.
“We’re going to have something missing with Auntie Emmy not here tonight.”
P.S. Fall decorations combined with sleep deprivation made for a fairly hilarious DIY creation.
… that they’ll probably hide in the closet to insure no one sees it.
I may have swaddled this in their bassinet. You know, just to insure they saw this masterpiece.
Don’t worry. There were still goodies that the family came home to that they’d actually use.
Yes, I got treats for Doozer.
He’s no longer the center of attention. I figured some doggie treats would help ease his pain.
I spy a sleeping dad.
First sleep over!
Click on pictures to enlarge and see captions
To see the adventures of Auntie Emmy and Susannah Grace be sure to check #TheAuntieEmmy on IG for some epic photos.