Turning 2...A Day for Mason

January 29, 2013

Well my little munchkin turned 2 on January 25th and I decided that while he’s not in school, I will spend each birthday spoiling him.

We started the day by letting him sleep in which meant this mama could sleep in a bit. ;) After he woke up we cuddled in bed watched some cartoons and let the little guy wake up a bit. Once he was ready to jump out of the bed and head to play we led him to the living room for a birthday surprise.

The night before I covered the living room floor with green and blue balloons and Jordan put together his big birthday gift. We decided it’d be fun to let him have his big gift first thing in the morning. So, we told him to close his eyes for his surprise and then we brought out a really cool Retro Radio Flyer Tricycle. He was SO excited! It was the cutest thing.

We followed up his gift with some warm cinnamon rolls for breakfast then got ready to continue on with some birthday traditions.

Each year I plan to spoil Mason by taking him to my favorite local bakery to pick out a yummy treat. This year he picked out a big heart shaped cookie covered in pink frosting. I’m bummed to have not gotten a picture of his cute little face covered in cookie crumbs.

We ran a few more errands then ended up at home for a nap filled afternoon. However, there was no napping for this party planning mama. I had cleaning and decorating to do for his Little Mister Mustache Bash. There is a little preview of his party d├ęcor up above. {Birthday party blog to come later this week.}

We ended the evening by opening more presents, eating pizza and cupcakes with family, and enjoying the precious moments of our sweet boy’s 2nd birthday.

I’m blessed to have these moments in my life. Whether I take a ton of pictures or not; these memories will never fade and they will always hold a special place in my heart.

Pin It

Happy 2nd Birthday Mason!

January 25, 2013


6 months

1 year

20 months

Today my little miracle munchkin turns 2! I just can't believe how quickly times flies. {tear}

When I think about this day 2 years ago I’m full of emotions. My heart grew more than I ever could've imagined that day when I first looked into the eyes of my precious Mason Jordan Kerns.

This little boy is so full of happiness, personality, and he’s a love bug. He’s moody, particular, and picky just like his mama. He is my true joy and I’m so thankful for all the joy he’s brought to my life.

Happy birthday my precious little man!
We love you so much!
Mama & Dada

Nicole Mehl Photography winner announced here
Pin It

Stressed Out? Me? Nooo…

January 23, 2013

Oh my crazy, busy, stressful week and it’s only Wednesday. Help! Do any of you other mama’s feel that way some weeks? Well, this week I’m busy inside and outside of my full time day job and this mama is spent.

I decided that in order to get through the rest of this week I needed to relax and rejuvenate, but when do I find the time to do that!?! Simple answer: make time.

I found 10 simple steps that I can do at any point of my busy day and/or night and they help more than I realize at the time.

Hopefully they will help you as well.

1. Meditate
If you're thinking meditation means twisting your body into an uncomfortable position and uttering "oohs" and "omms" for an hour, guess again. Any repetitive action can be a source of meditation; this includes walking, swimming, painting, knitting -- any activity that helps keep your attention calmly in the present moment.
When you catch yourself thinking about your job, your relationship or your lifelong to-do list, experts say to simply let the thought escape, and bring your mind back the repetition of the activity. Try it for just 5 to 10 minutes a day and watch stress levels drop.

2. Picture Yourself Relaxed
Is your mind too talkative to meditate? Try creating a peaceful visualization, or "dreamscape." To start, simply visualize anything that keeps your thoughts away from current tensions. It could be a favorite vacation spot, a fantasy island, that penthouse in New York City -- or something "touchable," like the feel of your favorite silk robe or cozy sweater.
The idea is to take your mind off your stress, and replace it with an image that evokes a sense of calm. The more realistic your daydream -- in terms of colors, sights, sounds; even touch and feel -- the more relaxation you'll experience.

3. Breathe Deeply
Feeling stressed evokes tense, shallow breathing, while calm is associated with relaxed breathing. So to turn tension into relaxation, change the way you breathe.

4. Look Around You
"Mindfulness is the here-and-now approach to living that makes daily life richer and more meaningful," says Claire Michaels Wheeler, MD, PhD, author of 10 Simple Solutions to Stress. Mindfulness means focusing on one activity at a time, so forget multi-tasking! Staying in the present-tense can help promote relaxation and provide a buffer against anxiety and depression.
Practice it by focusing on your immediate surroundings. If you're outdoors, enjoy the shape and colors of flowers, hear a bird's call or consider a tree.  As long as you can keep your mind focused on something in the present, stress will take a back seat.

5. Drink Hot Tea
If you're a coffee-guzzler, consider going green. Coffee raises levels of the notorious stress hormone, cortisol, while green tea offers health and beauty.
Chamomile tea is a traditional favorite for calming the mind and reducing stress. And black tea may be a stress-fighter.

6. Show Some Love
Induce the relaxation response by cuddling your pet, giving an unexpected hug to a friend or family member, snuggling with your spouse, or talking to a friend about the good things in your lives; when you do, you'll be reducing your stress levels.
Why? Experts say social interaction helps your brain think better, encouraging you to see new solutions to situations that once seemed impossible, she says. Studies have also shown that physical contact -- like petting your dog or cat -- may actually help lower blood pressure and decrease stress hormones.

7. Try Self-Massage
When your muscles are tense and you've no time to visit a pro, try this simple self-massage technique. Relax, and travel straight to Zen-land.
·         Place both hands on your shoulders and neck.
·         Squeeze with your fingers and palms.
·         Rub vigorously, keeping shoulders relaxed.
·         Wrap one hand around the other forearm.
·         Squeeze the muscles with thumb and fingers.
·         Move up and down from your elbow to fingertips and back again.
·         Repeat with other arm.

8. Take a Time-Out
Adults need time-outs, too. So when you sense your temper is about to erupt, find a quiet place to sit or lie down and put the stressful situation on hold. Take a few deep breaths and concentrate on releasing tension and calming your heartbeat. Quiet your mind and remember: Time is always on your side, so relax. The stress can wait.

9. Try a Musical Detour (this is a favorite of mine)
Music can calm the heartbeat and soothe the soul. So, when the going gets rough, take a musical stress detour by aligning your heartbeat with the slow tempo of a relaxing song. And you might want to make that a classical tune. Research shows that listening to 30 minutes of classical music may produce calming effects equivalent to taking 10 mg of Valium.

10. Take an Attitude Break
Thirty seconds is enough time to shift your heart's rhythm from stressed to relaxed. The way to do that: Engage your heart and your mind in positive thinking. Start by envisioning anything that triggers a positive feeling -- a vision of your child or spouse, the image of your pet, that great piece of jewelry you're saving up to buy, a memento from a vacation -- whatever it is, conjuring up the thought will help slow breathing, relax tense muscles and put a smile on your face. Creating a positive emotional attitude can also calm and steady your heart rhythm, contributing to feelings of relaxation and peace.

I’m still in need of a spa day; I don’t think a self-massage is comparable. ;)

Pin It

Something New

January 18, 2013

There are several goals that I want to accomplish in my life. However, being a full time working mama makes it hard to find the time to do the things I’d love to do, but little by little, slowly but surely; I’m getting there. It’s such a great feeling when I’m able to check something off my list of “dreams, goals, and wishes”.

Putting this blog to life was one of those bigger goals and I’m thankful to have each of you as readers, followers, encouragers, and supporters. You have no idea how much this blog means to me and how much joy it brings me to see people reading my posts and hopefully finding joy and encouragement.

Anyway, enough of the mushy stuff and on to the “something new”!

Well, I have always been very crafty and have always found joy in hand making items. From gifts to party favors; I find that handmade items tend to be more meaningful and honestly, more cost efficient at times. So, when I decided to launch this blog, I wanted to spotlight some of the things I make and I wanted to make them available to my readers.

There will be items that I will teach you how to make and there will be items that I will have available on my brand new Etsy Shop!! Yay for me! I have an Etsy Shop!!

For those of you who know me well, you know my addiction to Etsy. ;) So, I couldn’t be more thrilled to have my own little shop. My Etsy Shop will be directly connected with the things I post here on the blog.

Right now I have one lonely item on there that I haven’t even posted on the blog yet. It’s a party favor that I made for Mason’s Little Mister Mustache Bash coming up next weekend. I’ll spotlight the item and the party after the bash is over, but you can view and purchase the item already.

If there are things you see on my blog that you’re interested in and you don’t see available on my Etsy Shop just contact me. I’ll make anything for any of you. :)

To visit my Etsy Shop just click here.

Thank you all for being faithful readers. It’s because of you that I’m reaching goals little by little.

Pin It

A Home for Durye

January 16, 2013

Today I get the honor to share an inspiring story with you of a family that I just adore. Ready? Here we go.

The Toth family is one of those families that just make you smile. I have known Andy since high school and met Erin shortly after they were married. They are full of love, joy, compassion, and their passion for life is contagious.

They have two absolutely adorable boys, Nahum {age 5} and Oliver {age 2}. They are a family chasing after the will of God without reservation. Their hearts desire is to go wherever the Lord may lead them and right now that path He has given them is leading them in the direction of adopting from Ethiopia. What an incredibly exciting and overwhelming journey to be on.

I’m not closely familiar with adopting, but I have several friends that have adopted and I know the process can be long, financially draining, stressful, exciting, emotional, etc. The Toth’s have been nothing short of joyful throughout this entire journey. They are such a huge encouragement to those around them considering adoption. They display courage, patience, and trust; 3 key things in the journey of adoption.

Things change, processes change, paperwork gets messy, dates get pushed forward, get pushed back, excitement rises only to be changed the next day with frustration, financial help seems hopeless; the list goes on. I have seen the ups and downs of the adoption process, but this family remains strong, remains focused, and remains faithful to the Lord’s will for their life. It’s such a blessing to follow this story.

Throughout this journey the Toth’s need our support.

Here’s how you can help:
Prayer {Continual prayer that God’s hand will be on their future family member(s), for God to prepare and protect their hearts, and to provide financing}

Financial Support {The average cost of an Ethiopian adoption is $25,000-$35,000}

To donate please click here and hit the donate button on the right side of the page. 

If you don’t have a debit or credit card to make a donation you can email Erin at erinrtoth@gmail.com.

Please keep an eye out for future raffles and fundraisers. If you have a service or item you wish to donate for raffles please contact Erin via email erinrtoth@gmail.com. Feel free to email any fundraising ideas as well.

To read more about this amazing family you can follow their story by visiting http://ahomefordurye.blogspot.com/.

Pin It

Nicole Mehl Photography Giveaway

January 14, 2013

I’m so excited about this giveaway and to be honest, a tad jealous that I can’t enter the giveaway to win. {Insert whining}

All whining aside, I couldn't be more honored to spotlight one of my favorite photographers, Nicole Mehl, owner of Nicole Mehl Photography. She is a dear friend of mine and has captured some of the most precious moments in my life. I’m a tad partial to her. She is incredibly beautiful and has an equally beautiful family.

The first time Nicole photographed my hubby and I, it was for my maternity photos. I was blown away with how the pictures turned out; they were absolutely stunning. There are not enough words to explain how talented this beautiful lady is. You just have to see for yourself just; view her portfolio here

I count it a privilege to call her friend and I’m so thankful for her talent in capturing special stories in my life. Some photographers may feel like just “photographers” to their clients, but I hope Nicole knows just how much she means to our family.

When photographers capture moments like Nicole has captured for us, they become so much more to us. They become a part of the story, they become someone you value and appreciate, someone that you are so thankful for, that you could just squeeze them each time you look at a picture they have taken that’s hanging on your wall or posted as your wallpaper on your phone or on your computer at work; they become one of the biggest blessings in our lives.

I’m looking forward to working on one of my 2013 resolutions just so that I can get another session in with Nicole. Hmm...I wonder what session I'm thinking of. ;)

For now though, one of you lucky readers gets the opportunity to have Nicole capture a special moment for you!

Nicole has offered to give to one lucky winner a session for yourself and one for you to give away!

Two 15 minute mini studio sessions
Up to two people
5 images delivered by email
Printing rights included
Must be redeemed in March 2013

Each session valued at $100

How’s that for a giveaway? 

Leave a comment below stating who you would gift a mini session to and why.

ADDITIONAL ENTRIES (leave a comment for each additional entry)
Like Nicole Mehl Photography on FB
Like Grateful Imperfections on FB
Share this giveaway via FB


Pin It

Slacking At Its Finest

January 11, 2013

Ok, lovelies. I know I have been a little MIA this week, but I promise it’s all to benefit you! I promise I haven't been relaxing on the beach somewhere even if that's really where I'd like be be.

I have some exciting new things coming up for you guys to be a part of; a beautiful story of adoption that you get to be a part of, some really awesome giveaways, fun party planning ideas, more ways to help spread the awareness of Spina Bifida, and a new business venture for me.

Stay tuned. You don’t want to miss any posts.

I hope all of you enjoy your weekend. It’s going to be close to the 60’s here, so I plan to get my tooshie outside to enjoy this odd winter weather.

Pin It

Making a Difference

January 7, 2013

I saw this picture online & fell in love with it. So precious.
This year I’m making a personal goal to get more involved in the awareness of Spina Bifida. I used to be more involved in the Spina Bifida Association when we had a local chapter, but the closest chapter is now in Indianapolis.

Obviously living with Spina Bifida makes it close to my heart. It’s something I think about every day; some good days, some bad days. It’s the reason this blog came to life and it’s the reason for becoming the woman I am today.

Over 2013 I want to raise more awareness and I would like your help. October is Spina Bifida Awareness month and I’d like to do a big awareness party where all of you will be invited. I want to educate you between now and then so that when October hits we can spread awareness about the disability with confidence. I don’t want a pink ribbon to be the only ribbon we see during the month of October; let’s get those pale yellow ribbons familiarized with people.

Who’s with me? J

What is Spina Bifida?
Spina Bifida is the most common, permanently disabling birth defect in the United States. The neural tube defect (NTD), a group of serious conditions of the brain and spinal cord, affects one out of every 1,000 newborns in America. NTDs, like Spina Bifida, occur during the first month of pregnancy – before most women even know they are pregnant. Spina Bifida literally means “split spine." Put simply, Spina Bifida occurs when the spinal column of the developing baby does not close completely while still in the womb; the spinal cord and back bones do not form as they should. When this happens, a sac of fluid comes through an opening in the developing baby's back, damaging part of the spinal cord.

Quick Facts on Spina Bifida in the United States:
-Each day, an average of 8 babies are born with Spina Bifida or a similar defect of the brain and spine. That amounts to approximately 3,000 pregnancies each year.
-There are 65 million women at risk of having a baby born with Spina Bifida.
-An estimated 166,000 people currently live with Spina Bifida and I am one of them.

Living with Spina Bifida
The effects of Spina Bifida are different for every person and depend on the location of the lesion. It is a medically complex birth defect affecting the orthopedic, urologic and central nervous systems. Conditions may include paralysis of the legs, loss of bowel and bladder control, learning disabilities, depression, latex allergy, and social and sexual issues. An estimated 90% of children with the most severe form of Spina Bifida, myelomeningocele, also have hydrocephalus (fluid on the brain) which requires surgery to insert a “shunt” that helps drain the fluid – the shunt stays in place for the lifetime of the person and often requires surgical revisions or replacements.

As recently as 35 years ago, most babies born with Spina Bifida died. It wasn't until the early 1970s that babies diagnosed with Spina Bifida started surviving in numbers never before seen. Thanks to new medical treatments and technology, today, 90% of infants born with Spina Bifida live – many go on to lead successful and productive lives. People with Spina Bifida have many challenges because of their disability, but their condition does not define who they are – they go to school, have careers, play sports, get married, and have children just like people who do not have Spina Bifida.

The exact cause of Spina Bifida is unknown. However, scientists believe a combination of genetics and environmental factors are involved. Daily consumption of the B-vitamin, folic acid, and prior to and during pregnancy is shown to reduce the occurrence of Spina Bifida by up to 70%. Folic acid helps build healthy cells. It is important for all women of childbearing age to take a vitamin with folic acid every day, particularly women with Spina Bifida.

For more information on Spina Bifida please visit here

Over the course of this year I will provide ways for you to get involved in Spina Bifida Awareness. For ways to get involved today please visit the Spina Bifida Association Website.

If you have any questions or any ideas on how to raise local awareness about Spina Bifida please contact me or leave a comment below. I’m looking forward to seeing my amazing readers get involved in a topic that is so very dear to my heart.

Please feel free to share this blog to anyone who you think would be willing to get involved. Let’s make 2013 a better year for Spina Bifida Awareness.

Pin It

A Year in Review {2012}

January 4, 2013

At the end of each year I look back at all the great things that happened and I realize how blessed I am. I look forward to making many more memories in the coming year.

This past year was a fun one as Mason turned one in January. The older he got the more fun we had as he enjoyed things more and more. We did a lot of things as a family and I’m not sure I documented everything like I should have, but here are a few highlights from 2012.

-We started 2012 with a big birthday bash for Mason’s 1st birthday.
-February we celebrated another year of life for my incredible hubby.
-Mason was able to meet the Easter Bunny for the 1st time in April. He loved it…ha.
-In May we bought our first home. It was such a wonderful accomplishment for Jordan and I. We worked really hard to find a great place to raise our family and we were blessed with a great home to begin creating memories.
-June began summer…a favorite season in our household.
-July brought us another birthday for me {blah} and the local county fair which is a favorite for me. Mason had so much fun this year enjoying the rides and seeing the animals.
-In August we took our first real family vacation to Gatlinburg, TN. Mason was such a great road tripper and we had SO much fun in TN.  Jordan and I visit Gatlinburg often, so it was great to take Mason and share with him one of our favorite places to visit.
-September rolled around which is one of my favorite times of the year. I love fall almost as much as I love Christmas. However, this year Mother Nature brought a summer of heat and drought which lead to a lack of apples and that meant no apple picking for us this year. {Boo!} We still enjoyed the wonderful events and beauty fall brings. ND football, bonfires, pumpkin chais…
-Trick or Treat? October brought pumpkin picking & Halloween. Halloween was extra fun this year with Mason. Though it was too cold this year to go out trick or treating, Mason still enjoyed dressing up as a little fisherman and passing out candy all night long. Oct also was the launch of my website!
-November began the countdown to Christmas for this Christmas fanatic! Plus, it brought us Thanksgiving; good food, time with family, and lots of shopping for Christmas.
-It’s the most wonderful time of the year! December brought CHRISTMAS!! Wahoo! Christmas was so much fun this year with Mason. He was so excited about Santa Claus, snowflakes, and presents. It was so stinking precious. I know this will be one of those Christmases I’ll hold tight to every detail because it was extra special.

I’m looking forward to all the wonderful things 2013 has planned and all the memories I will get to document.

May 2013 be a special year for you and your families as well!

Pin It

New Year’s Resolutions

January 2, 2013

It’s time lovelies, to start thinking about what New Year’s resolutions. I've never really been big into making a list of things that I want to change or accomplish in the New Year. I’m the type of person who gets things done when I want to get them done, but I’m also the type of person who will make a resolution only to forget about it. So, I usually just don’t make them. What fun is that though, right?

Ok, ok! I’ll make a couple this year! ;)

Resolution #1 Make eating dinner at the table together a priority every night even if the little munchkin decides he doesn’t want to. We have become accustomed to eating dinner in the living room in front of the television to help distract Mason enough so that he will actually eat. Well, he doesn’t really eat that way anymore so we are going to sit at the table like normal people and pray that Mason’s appetite for new foods will begin to appear.

Resolution #2 Have a date night with my hubby at least once a month even if it means just getting the munchkin to bed early and cuddling up on the couch watching a movie. I want to make sure that we plan something once a month just for us.

Resolution #3 Spend more time talking to my munchkin about the love of Christ. It’s never too early to plant the seed, and I want to make sure that I’m doing my part in teaching him just how great Christ’s love is.

Resolution #4 Exercise more! Of course I had to put some sort of healthy resolution in there. Isn’t that what everyone does? No seriously though; I want/need to exercise more. Exercising is greatly beneficial for me to keep issues with my Spina Bifida at a minimum. I need to keep my muscles strong and I’ve been quite lazy this past year.

Resolution #5 Get pregnant with baby #2! No need to elaborate on that one. :)

So now that I have made several resolutions public, does that mean I can count on all of you to keep me accountable to them?

What are some of your New Year’s resolutions?

Pin It