Babies Under The Weather

2017-03-29 edited

My son may not be to too happy with me for posting this picture someday. And I am sure I will have some embarrassing pictures of me placed for all to see. I’ll take it like a big girl because it will be worth it! I am not putting this picture out to irritate my little man, but because it tells a story and sparks a memory.

You see, while it sounds exhausting and overwhelming, this day is a day I will cherish, vomit and all.

The plans for the day were to take my daughter to the hospital to have her tonsils removed because she kept getting strep throat, among other illnesses. This did happen. It was gory and gruesome and broke my heart to see her in so much pain. Then we were told she we was at an elevated risk because her tonsils were so large and damaged from the repeated episodes of infection.

After we were able to visit her in the recovery room, my husband returned to work and I was to check her out of the hospital and then take her home to sleep. But shortly after he leaves, I get notification from the school that my son is throwing up in the classroom trashcan! So, now I have one in the hospital, one puking at school,another one that has to be picked up, dogs that needed to go out, a husband that needs to return to work, and a partridge in a pear tree!

It was amazing how the story went from there. I called my husband who had to check out my son on his way back to work. He called MiMi (his mom) to wait with my son briefly, until I got home. As the day progressed, I had a post op little girl on part of the couch and a feverish vomiting little boy sitting on the other part cuddling with his trashcan. We ended up with her sleeping on the short part of the couch, the little dude on his mattress that we pulled to the living room floor and me on the longer part of the couch for the next couple nights. This let us have plenty of room to stretch out and rest, and allowed me to be present for my son’s high  fever hallucinating ninja kicks in the middle of the night!

Aside from that craziness, these days were filled with cuddles, nurturing, preparing special food, and simply taking care of my little ones. It seems so strange, but I had permission from my busy life to concentrate on their well-being. Everything else was able to be put on hold as I simply loved them. It seems so strange that I look back at this time with fond memories. Even if they were sick, we I got to camp out in the living room and just be together. I look past the gross stuff and the pain of seeing my babies suffer to bask in the idea of being able (for a short time) to let them rely on me for all the little things we have taught them to do themselves. My arms and hands can still feel me cradling them as their long extremities dangle freely because they can’t fit in the nook of my arm anymore. I took delight in giving them “custom” meals when, in healthy times, they can make their own. Being certain they would heal soon, I loved the warmth in my soul from being blessed by  knowing that they are capable of so much, but in their time of pain from injured bodies, they drew close to me and let me show my love for them.

It is amazing what all you can get from a picture of a little boy hugging a trashcan full of bodily fluids.  And it never ceases to amaze me that, even in rough times, the little tidbits of fondness shown in the moment can be how we remember the entire event.

Springs Smiles Post it

Check out these links for more stories on hidden blessings and simply loving your kids for who they are!

To Read or Not to Read?

Sports in our House

Ba- Humbug!

Muddy Memories

Super Easy DIY Post Earrings!

I have two daughters that love to wear all kinds of fun earrings (and I don’t let my younger one wear dangle earrings yet). Being the DIYer that I am, I thought it would be fun to create our own post earrings. Doing it ourselves was super quick and easy, not to mention it will make a great gift that can be tailored to fit the recipient. We were able to make a couple of the specific earrings my girls wanted and it was so much cheaper!!!  Post EarringsWhat you need:

  • E 6000 adhesive (Found with crafting adhesives, usually in the sewing section in big box and craft stores. On a side note, this little product is awesome to glue rhinestones on dance costumes!!)
  • Earring posts (They come in different sizes, so you will want to get the ones that fit the size of the object you are going to place on the front of the earring.  For the Christmas trees below, I used a post with a small attachment circle and still needed to trim the edges just a little bit.  For the larger round jewels and 3D stickers I used a post will a larger attachment circle.)
  • Earring backs
  • Whatever fun things you can find that you would like to see on an earring!

Post Earrings

Use the E-6000 to glue your earring ornament to the post and let it dry… That’s it!

My girls have been so excited to have fun earrings donning the colors of our favorite teams, seasons, holidays, and passions at a fraction of the price!!!  These are going to be perfect for stockings and Easter baskets!!

Happy Crafting!!


Springs Smile Post it


Party Silverware Organization

I am always looking for better ways of organizing my house, life, schedule; basically my entire life! One of the things we enjoy doing the most is sharing our home with our family and friends! We have people over often, and are always looking for something or someone we can celebrate just to enjoy our loved ones!  Sometimes we will simply celebrate a beautiful summer day or a fresh blanket of snow! One of the things we needed host our guests was a serviceware caddy, as the plates, napkins, and Solo cups holding the silverware took up too much space and the cups kept tipping over. I wanted to find a  compact and attractive solution. I was shopping at a local home goods store and found this super cute and potentially efficient kitchen caddy.  It is even portable! The problem? The dividers were only a wire at the top and open the rest of the way down! The plates and napkins fit beautifully in the back, but the “divided” front was a mess!  My solution was to recycle some orange juice containers and spruce them up with some fun duct tape to keep our silverware in order in an attractive way!

Partyware Organizer

Partyware OrganizerWhat you need:

  • Orange Juice Cans
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors

Partyware Organizer1.  Wrap the orange juice cans with the duct tape.Partyware Organizer

2.  Put the new silverware holders in the caddy!!!

Whew!  Mess averted!!!


Happy Hosting!!

Springs Smiles Post it

Ba- Humbug!

bah-humbugThe last few months for our family have been quite crazy. Between sicknesses and surgeries (both of which brought this Mama down), I can’t seem to get caught up with anything. Not cool when this Type A, busybody has taken on quite a few extra commitments while spearheading a house full of furry and non-furry kids. I seem to be
running in circles putting out the proverbial fires and not making the time to plan- and if I do circumstances keep changing.

Have you ever had that feeling of everything being out of control and not knowing where to start, so you just …don’t.  Maybe if you sit on the couch and stare at the wall it will all just go away…

Add the holiday season on top of all that and you might find yourself sympathizing with Mr. Scrooge. There are gifts to be bought and wrapped, decorations to go up, food that needs to be made, cards to be sent, cookies and candy to prepare, travel and holiday plans to be made while watching the budget, your waistline, and keeping a great big fa-la-la-la-la smile on your face because the holidays are a happy time. It can be a lot to handle on top of the bills, laundry, grocery shopping, work, basketball, piano, school (plus extra programs), gymnastics, dance, etc. still have to happen…and remember to keep being happy!!

Can you breathe right now?  I think I need to go hyperventilate in a paper bag! Earlier this week I sat down with my crew for a little family meeting. I told them that, regarding Christmas decorations, the tree was up with minimal adornments and they might get plastic bags for stockings…and that’s all. While I have been running in circles, they have been leaving food, trash, clothes, toys and papers everywhere. Their laundry comes to me all balled up, sometimes wet from whatever water in which they decided to play, and is typically quite disgusting. I found 2 half full cups of milk that were a single chunk of coagulation- one of which was growing fruit flies. Dishes were in every room, and since I had not been able to get to the basement after my ankle surgery, they trashed it- including my things! Mom finally met her limit!

As we discussed why I didn’t even care if Christmas happened this year. We actually all connected. I went through my flaming list and they listened (possibly because their dad was staring them down). I told them that my favorite part of the day is picking them up from school because I have missed them all day. I look forward to their hugs, kisses, stories and songs. I loved having them home over Thanksgiving, and am so excited to have them home over Christmas…but, they have to do their part. When I explained my frustrations in a loving way (and believe me it was a firm loving way), they got my point. It wasn’t nagging, but saying it like it was, “I want to enjoy you, and I am not doing anything else that will create more work for me if you don’t do your part because you guys have been disgusting.”

While they have, for the last few days at least, been “doing their part” my perspective has shifted. My stance on their household participation has not changed, but how I choose to view it has. There very likely will not be anymore decorations put up, a few of my non-urgent commitments my have to wait a little bit, there may not be as many cookies and candies, the house may not meet my standards all of the time and the Christmas cards… well, we’ll just see.

But it will all be ok.  

The Earth will not quit spinning or open up and swallow me if I don’t get the Oreo balls made.  And if more decorations don’t get hung it is less I have to put away. Ultimately, stepping back from the life/holiday chaos and seeing if for what it is helped me gain perspective and will allow me to remember what is important. My  faith, my family, and my friends. My babies will be grown soon, and I would be broken to know I got too lost in the busy of this world and missed those precious moments with them and my husband. I am thankful for this lesson. Not just for me, but hopefully it will be passed on  to my sweeties so that they will be able to keep priorities in place and FEEL the love of their family, of their friends, of life, and of the true meaning of Christmas.  love-1415561__340

Smiles- Merry Christmas


Super Mom: When Mom is Down

This summer was full of all sorts of fun!  Lots of time with my family (especially my little munchkins) and friends!  There was one small hiccup though. We barely got to go anywhere. That summer vacation that we were looking forward to, not to mention how many friends shared their amazing adventures with us….well, this was our vacation.

When Mom is Down

Where is the beach, the amusement park, the lake, heck…where’s the park?! Well, when mom is down for the count, vacation is surgery and a boot.

I was exercising at the gym when I heard 4 loud pops. Did I go to the doctor?  Of course not!  I’m Mom!  I can’t be down. After hobbling around for about a month and listening to the consistent popping in my ankle with each step, I was walking into church and I stepped in a hole and you know the rest of the story. I am Mom and I don’t have time for such nonsense! This time, no popping. It just felt like a very stretchy rubber band as it twisted oh so much farther than it was ever intended to go! OUCH! Luckily, my daughters were walking in front of me and I was able to catch myself on their shoulders. That kept me from falling in the middle of the parking lot as everyone was trying to leave from one service and park for the next. I managed to limp my way into church in quite extreme pain and grab a chair.

As Monday rolled around, did I seek medical assistance? Absolutely not! I am Mom and I have too many responsibilities to do such things! I am the one who takes everyone else to the doctor! I am the one who nurses my husband, kids, and plethora of pets.  What did I do? I continued to hobble (not even stopping my gym routine- but to my credit I did slow down the intensity of my workouts…at least a tiny bit). About two weeks after the second injury I was going full steam trying to get decorations up and sets made for Bible School at our church, which is quite large.  Holding true to form, I was the director over the decor, not only putting in tons of work, but guiding about 20 different people to lift, paint, tape, glue, build, etc. The whole while, my ankle is giving a loud crack with every step and I felt as if the pain was going to make me sick. With begging from my friends, co-workers, and boss, I finally did it!  I made the appointment and had it checked out.

Our doctor knows me quite well and is very much aware that I have a tendency to wait too long to take care of myself (e.g. two other sprained ankles, an infection from a hot glue wound on my hand, and a cut on my foot that was infected with staph and strep that nearly put me in the hospital). By this point, you may wonder how I have not learned my lesson already. Stubbornness or the expectation I put on myself to be Supermom. Probably a little of both. After reviewing my X-Rays and giving me a quick exam the doctor winced at the loud ankle pop, shook his head, and said I am so sorry but that is going to require surgery. He pulled out an anatomy book (because he is awesome like that) and showed me what he believed my injury to be, and then sent me on my way with the instruction to put zero weight on it, sit my butt down, put my leg up and to ice it, and go see a surgeon. ASAP. I don’t think he cared that I didn’t have time for such things or that  I thought I was Supermom at that point.

Well, I did see that surgeon and after my exam and an MRI revealed that I had torn a tendon and it would not heal on its own. So a week later I had surgery and spent two weeks breaking in our new couch, watching tons of Netflix and being more or less glued to my laptop.

You  would think this would drive this ultra “Type A” momma batty. I did make lots of plans for things I could do while being down. For example, I started crocheting again since I don’t have to stand at my craft table to do it! But, I still thought I would lose my mind and get completely out of shape without being able to be in constant motion and not having my daily dose of tension zapping exercise. In reality, it wasn’t too bad, and if I’m being honest, it was relaxing, refreshing, and a bit of a blessing. The “time off” helped me gain perspective about what life really is, what is important and where my priorities were vs. where they should be.

I do have this little agreement with God that if I get out of whack and my life gets too full of “busy” and I am neglecting my first priorities, that he has my permission to let the natural consequences of my spinning in circles smack me down a peg or two (I did just say give God permission didn’t I….Wow!  What a control freak!)  This is not the first consequence I have suffered and I am sure will not be the last, but this unexpected hiatus did its job. I actually slept 8 hours a few nights. I hung out with my kids the last couple weeks of summer. They had friends over to have a free for all at our house and I didn’t care. The house was a mess (I cared a little), but I was much more concerned that they were enjoying themselves, their siblings, their friends, and time with me. It really made me focus on how much I love them and for how many things I have to be grateful. I also was reminded that I am not invincible. My husband and kids picked up the slack at home. Dishes and laundry were done. No one starved. Animals were tended to. And everyone survived! Was it all exactly the way I would do it? Probably not, but does it really matter now? Apparently not, because I can’t even remember the differences.

As for my job at the church and Bible School, everyone pitched in. Decorations were put up and all of the children and volunteers had an amazing week! My kids, especially my daughters, learned that they don’t have to do it all. Life will go on if the towels are not all folded the exact same way or the dishes get loaded a little haphazardly. They saw how important having good work ethic, helping others, and contribute to those things you hold dear, such as family, community, and church are. They also learned it is okay not to be able to do it ALL.

It is okay to ask for help.

It is okay, NO – It is crucial to take care of yourself, to slow down and get perspective, to simply love life and do what brings you joy. They learned what it means to be grateful for what they do have and not to wallow in self-pity for what they don’t have.

While this injury may have messed up the plans I made for myself, what I learned and experienced was more refreshing for my soul than anything I would have learned sitting at the beach or riding a roller coaster. Maybe that kind of vacation will be in the cards for next year!

The best part of this whole experience is the realization that this Mom may not be able to do it all, all of the time, but that doesn’t mean I still can’t be pretty SUPER.


Have a SUPER day!

Smiles generic

SMILE of The Year!

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It’s time for the 2016-2017 Smile of the Year Contest.

Enter your child’s school picture for a chance to win incredible prizes! Including the Grand Prize of a $1000 college scholarship! 



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ELIGIBILITY: 2016-2017 Inter-State Studio Smile of the Year (the”Contest”) is open only to legal residents of the fifty (50) United States (including D.C.), who are at least eighteen (18) years of age or older at time of entry. Void where prohibited. Employees, officers and directors of Inter-State Studio and Publishing Co. (collectively the “Sponsor”), all advertising and promotional agencies and their respective parent companies, subsidiaries, affiliates, sales representatives, distributors, manufacturers, licensees or agents, advertising and Contest agencies, and their immediate family members and those living in the same household of each, are not eligible to participate in this Contest. Photographers who derive five percent (5%) or more of their income from taking photographs are also ineligible. Subject to all applicable federal, state, municipal, and local laws and regulations.

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