Absolutely overwhelmed with gratefulness today as I celebrate the life of my 2 little ones coming into this world a year ago. They have blessed my life with more joy than I ever thought I could have. I truly feel like I am living the abundant life the Lord promised because I am abundantly in love with my beautiful family.
Today I am grateful for the blessing of Zaya and Chase!
Sometimes I hesitate sharing the simple things. No major revelation, no life changing epiphany just everyday gratefulness, but then I got to thinking that's life. Life is ordinary and mundane most says and God is calling me to be grateful for those ordinary, mundane, everyday kind of things in order to keep my eyes on Him.
In Florida the scorching temps and uncontrollable humidity feels like they will literally melt you come October. You are so tired of it in revolt you start to wear long pants just because the weather should be cooler. Well, finally it is cooler. By cooler I mean in the 80's but at least I don't feel like I'm going to melt anymore. My prayer is the coolness lasts at least a couple days this winter.
Today I'm grateful the scorching temps are going and the cooler weather is coming.
The last couple weeks we've been looking back at old pictures of the babies as we've been preparing for their upcoming 1st Birthday. I really can't believe that it has almost been a year since the Lord blessed us with such an amazing gift. I remember during the sleep deprivation months thinking to myself, "Am I going to make it?" Life was turned upside down and I never cared as much about anything as I did about these 2 little lives. It was crazy taking care of two babies at once, getting to know what each cry meant, knowing how to comfort each one, how to play with each one and how to hold each one. Now their 11 1/2 months old and I finally feel like I know them. I know what each cry means, I know how to make them laugh and I know how to comfort each one of them and I can't believe we're here. We made it! I made it to the place where I feel good at being a Mom, where I feel like I actually might know what I'm doing and It feels good. All the crazy moments, and worried tears lead to this moment. All the moments definitely weren't all easy but they were definitely ALL Great!
I'm so grateful for every moment I have had with my sweet babies!
I first fell in love with fall in college seeing as I grew up in the desert and there wasn't really the change of seasons. Illinois had it though and I fell in love immediately with the crisp, chilly weather, the campfires, the wonderful goodies to eat, and ofcourse my favorite, the beautiful colors of the leaves. I would travel around campus and find my favorites and stick them in my bible for keeps. (I think I still have a few)
Fall in Florida doesn't really have the crisp, chilly weather or the wonderful hues in the leaves but it's still such a special time in our family. This is when we celebrate my birthday, our wedding anniversary and our babies birthday! As far as I'm concerned all good things happen in the fall and I love it! It's a time to reflect on the abundant blessings that the Lord gives out and a great time to be thankful for all of those blessings.
Today I'm grateful for Fall and all the blessings it brings with it!
Over the last month or so I have been reflecting a little bit on my needs; my needs as a mom, and a wife. What do I need to do for myself to make sure that I can be the best mom and the best wife I can be? I realized I need to start taking care of me a little. I'm sure I can fit it in somewhere between bath time and diaper changes, dishes and laundry but even if I can't I need too. I need to put my feet up sometimes, read a good book, watch a meaningless television show but what I need most is my friends. I have always been a social butterfly and am so aware of this as I watch Zaya smile at strangers and try to meet everyone she can even though she can't even talk yet. She is definitely my daughter. But I have always been energized by people, by great conversations over coffee, and loud music to dance to with friends. It's just who I am and the longer I ignore that the less energy I feel.
I'm grateful today for friends who have stuck through this crazy twin journey with me. I don't have much time to talk on the phone, I rarely make the first call, and when you’re with me I'm usually a little distracted. Jenn has been the greatest at understanding this journey. She delights in my babies and is so understanding and encouraging to me as a friend. She is always good for a laugh and will always help out with whatever I need even though she hasn’t changed a diaper yet. She’s the greatest though and I need more of her in my life. There is something stress relieving about friends. I need to make more time. I need to invest in my friend’s the way Jenn has invested in me.
It's been a while since I have blogged because it has been a tad bit crazy at the Hinton household. We went to visit family in Vegas and all brought home the lovely flu. It was wonderful as it took out our family one-by-one like the domino effect. Horrible!
So now that were all healthy again. I wanted to share with you my favorite part of Las Vegas. It's beauty! I lived there for my entire childhood and some adult years and I now know that I took it's beauty for granted most of those years. Not a lot of people think of Las Vegas as beautiful but really it is! Vegas is in a valley surrounded by gorgeous mountains and a big blue sky. I love that you can see the entire city just going on the outskirts a little. I love the sunsets with the beautiful colors that are painted behind the mountains. I wanted to capture the beauty with this photo shoot I did with the babies.
Today I'm grateful for my home-town and all it's beauty!
Christmas is right around the corner and I'm so excited to announce my Christmas Mini-Sessions. This is a great way to get some awesome pics of your kids or family and get your Chrstmas cards taken care of at the same time! And not just old boring christmas cards, but I will personally design a custom Christmas card for you using the awesome pics we take on this day.
And because this is for Christmas, and I love blessing people on Christmas, I want to offer a discount. The first 3 people to book a session will get $100 off! That's right it's the deal of the year so hurry and book your session today by e-mailing me at Jaime@candidlygrateful.com or calling me at 813-495-5430. See the flyer below for more details.
or not! If you see this determined look in her eyes and she is heading for you... HIDE YOUR TOES!
Yes this cute, sweet, adorable face will sneak right up on you and chomp on your toes. She is strategic in her planning as she stealthly sneaks up on you while you are completely vulnerable (usually while I'm nursing Chase) and then all of a sudden...CHOMP!!!
I got her when she was 8 weeks old. It was kind of a spur of the moment thing my best friend was moving across the country and I needed a replacement. Before then I confess to HATING dogs! Actually loathing dogs! I thought they stank, licked (which is gross), and left hair everywhere...EWWW!! I HATED DOGS!! So it's a wonder I brought one of those stinky, licking, shedding things home to share a house with me.
It was July 06. I had my own apartment and loved it but I went to pick up this tiny little cute thing and take it home to live with me. It was approximately 12 hours later that I called my best friend crying and said, "I think I have to take her back this is too hard!" Her response, "Jaime, I think you should give it at least 24 hours." A miracle must have happened in those next 12 hours because I have been in love with my Cola Bear ever since!
Cola was the first thing I had to take care of that wasn't me. Sounds silly but it's amazing how selfish you realize you are when another breathing thing is depending on you for care. I think Cola and I in a way grew up together. She has brought me so much joy for the last 4 years! Nothing is better than coming home to the greetings of a dog that loves you. And talk about grace...Cola has never held a grudge or gotten mad at me she just keeps on loving me.
When Phil and I got married Cola became our baby. We would take camping adventures with her and go to the dog park. We frequented the Dog Beach and took her everywhere she was allowed to go. We love Cola!
So much has changed in Cola's world and ours the last 9 months as Cola has become a big sister to 2 attention stealers. Cola hasn't been on many outings or many walks. She doesn't always get greeted at the door anymore because usually babies are in hand and needing something. Cola sits outside of their room just wishing she could come in and play. And I have began to hate it. Now when I look at Cola I feel guilty and sad I'm not able to give her the attention she deserves because she is such a great dog. I'm more worried than ever about all the hair she leaves everywhere because the babies are crawling around on that hairy floor. It makes me sad how our relationship has changed.
Phil and I have began to think that it might be better if she goes to live somewhere else. My heart breaks as we have considered this but it might be best for her. I don't know what to do. I feel like I'm abandoning her and the babies really love her! They are really building a relati9onahip with her too. I don't know what to do? Have you ever gone through this?
Today I'm grateful for my first baby Cola Bear Hinton!
It was about two weeks ago that my husband and I decided maybe we should see a financial consultant to make sure we were doing everything we could do to get out of debt the quickest we could. So, we arrived in fashion with our $5 Starbucks drinks in hand and quickly got slapped in the face with this old fashioned idea of a Budget. I don't know about you but that seems like a bad word! It sounds as good to me as a bath sounds to a cat. Kicking and screaming I went along as my husband set amounts for each necessity food, clothes, etc. but the hard reality sunk in when my money starting coming in cash form out of an envelope. When the envelope is empty you can't keep swiping it, if you know what I mean. Not quite the same as the always giving debit card!
So here I was scrambling through the week trying to figure out a menu for two weeks that would allow us to eat somewhat nutritiously but stay within the dreaded envelope. Sent to the store to fend for myself I ended up going over budget $3 and didn't get coffee. No coffee!!! Surely I would give up a couple of dinners for coffee! I needed to rectify this situation. Luckily my husband is merciful and picked some up before I woke up and I had a fresh, hot cup of coffee waiting for me as I drug my butt out of bed. I still needed to make up for my "overdraw" though. I had a birthday present I needed to buy. I decided to head over to Kohl's because I had a $10 coupon off of a $20 purchase, then I got a $5 coupon for signing up for e-mails from them, then I found online another 15% off coupon. Surely these should help me out. Popped the kids in the car and was on my way.
First I stopped in the baby section because I can never pass up buying my kids clothes and I needed to spend at least $20 so I picked up an adorable little jacket for Zaya, originally it was 20.00 but it was marked down to 8.99. Then off to the girls section for a birthday gift. I found the cutest little dress, originally 34.00 marked down to 13.60. I met my goal of over $20 and I knew I better get out while I was still in the black. I proudly lined up all of my coupons and handed the lady my items. Then she said it and I about jumped up and down..."6.90 please." WooHoo!!! 6 dollars and 90 cents for an original cost of $54! YEAH I should have jumped up and down and threw a party!!! I can be a bargain shopper! Maybe this budget thing won't be too bad after all. I just have to be a little creative.