All you need is Love and a JORD Wood Watch

img_1956Valentine’s Day has always seemed a little silly to me. I never understood why society needed a designated day to celebrate love. After all, Ryan and I celebrated each other all the time with dates, sweet notes, random flowers, and just laughing and enjoying life together.

It sounds like it was all sunshine and roses because for the most part, it was. We very rarely had any sort of an argument and we did everything together! We wrote love notes; he brought me random bouquets of flowers; we had date nights every single night, even if that just meant we were at home; we took trips together; we watched entire movies together; we went on runs together; we went wine tasting like every other weekend.

Then we had a kid.

Ok, I started to sort of get it. But still, Valentine’s Day seemed a bit blown up to me.

Then we had a second kid.

And now, I GET IT.

I finally understand that Valentine’s Day serves a purpose: It forces you to designate time to celebrate your special relationship, even while entrenched (maybe even drowning) in parenthood.

Honestly, Ryan and I can barely have a conversation when the kids are awake and by the time they’re in bed, we are pretty drained. Our feeling of togetherness is constantly interrupted by a chatty three year old, diapers, picking up toys, cleaning up messy floors 700 times a day, the never ending laundry, the time-outs, the crying, the kissing of the boo boos, the frantic “what’s in Preston’s mouth!” It’s no big shocker why marriages statistically suffer after having kids.

We’ve had countless discussions about how important it is that we make time for each other, but that’s easier said than done when you have young kids. Never before have I cherished moments alone with Ryan like I do now. With one kid, all we had to do was put Porter down for a nap and boom, alone time. But with two, there’s a good chance their naps won’t overlap, giving you zero breaks and it’s exhausting.

Romance has become less grandiose and more about the tiny moments that the kids can’t take away from us, like when Ryan comes up behind me while I’m cooking dinner to give me a kiss; or when we bring each other drinks; the rare occasion when we write each other a note by the coffee pot; the hug that lasts way longer than normal even though Preston is fussing and Porter is saying something completely ridiculous; the offering to take one or both kids to the store so the other parent can get a break; the sharing of tasks when it’s time to get the kids bathed and in bed; couch snuggles during that small window of time between the kids going to bed and us passing out – this is what parenthood romance looks like for us.

And while I’m so very grateful for these sweet moments, it’s not enough. I want more.

I want more of Ryan all to myself. I want more of what we used to have, without giving less to my sweet babies. I want it all.

How the heck do we do this? Literally asking the question because I have yet to find the perfect solution. If you’ve found it, please comment below and tell me what you do. If it involves hundreds of dollars in babysitting money, your advice won’t help me.

I think the answer could be something really simple though; carving out time. If we want more time together, we just have to reserve it. It sounds so simple, so why can’t we do it? Even if it’s just a quick trip out to lunch, a picnic to keep it simple, a movie, a hike, whatever. All we really need is some quality time together that doesn’t involve our little humans we made. I want to recommit to this on Valentine’s Day.

I decided to give Ryan a JORD Wood Watch for an early Valentine’s Day present because it perfectly commemorates how important quality time is for our marriage to stay strong. I want him to look at the watch everyday and remember how much I love spending quality time with him. I gave Ryan this one, but there are so many awesome designs to choose from. It’s a unique watch because it’s literally made out of wood – I love that it’s sleek but rustic at the same time and Ryan’s obsessed. You can click on the links below to see all the different cool watches. I’ve even been eying the women’s line and I like what I see!

JORD Wood Watch Links:

GIVEAWAY – win $25 towards a watch just for entering, could win up to $100!

Men’s Shop 

Women’s Shop

Luxury Wooden Watch
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This is a sponsored post, but all thoughts and opinions are my own

Why I love Freshly Picked Moccs

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When I was pregnant with Porter and found out he was a boy, I became very focused on finding cute boy clothes. In my head, boy clothes meant ugly spider man shirts, onesies with teddy bears on them that say “mommy loves me,” bulky Velcro shoes that light up, and whatever other hideous thing you can think of.

Thankfully, all I had to do was a little Google searching to find cute, stylish clothes I now exclusively dress my boys in, aside from occasional ugly footie pajamas (pajamas get a free pass because they’re warm and not worn in public for the most part).

One of the first brands I fell in love with back in 2013 is Freshly Picked, and I wasn’t the only one. Since then, the brand has expanded and it’s become wildly successful.

At $60 a pair, I admit it took me a little while to bite the bullet and buy a pair for Porter when he was a baby; he didn’t have his first pair until he was about a year old. Once I had them, I regretted not buying them sooner because they are AMAZING. They made my life so much easier because they’re super easy to put on (even with squirmy baby feet), they’re made with real leather with solid construction, they’re durable, they’re stylish AND they stretch, so your babe will be able to wear them for longer than he/she would a more traditional shoe.

logo (1).jpgSince then, Freshly Picked has blown up. They’re so successful, they were able to reduce the cost of making some of the classic colors and they passed that savings on to their customers, because they’re awesome. They also frequently have sales, so you can always get your hands on a pair for less than $60. Check www.freshlypicked.com to see the latest prints and styles, and also to find the reduced priced moccs! Needless to say, my second son Preston has been wearing Freshly Picked moccs since his first month of life. Now that he’s almost 10 months old, he practically lives in them.IMG_2048 2.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I should mention that there are a gazillion knock-off Freshly Picked moccs being sold out there and I have to admit, I did succumb to ordering a pair once and the quality just didn’t compare. They didn’t fit his feet as well, the material felt cheap and they weren’t nearly as durable. I would take one pair of genuine Freshly Picked moccs over 10 pairs of fakies any day!

 

Post sponsored by Freshly Picked, but all opinions are 100 percent my own.

 

I Lost My Two Year Old

That moment we as parents fear the most. You hear about it, but hope will never happen to you.

That moment you look around at a store, park, mall, beach – WHEREVER – and you suddenly realize you don’t see your child. You are immediately consumed with shear terror. With tears streaming down your face, your blood pressure sky rocketing into panic mode, you start asking if anyone has seen your child. You provide a brief description. He’s two, has light hair and wearing suspenders. A tiny thought passes through your mind — will you ever see him wearing those cute suspenders again?

It hits you like a ton of bricks and it all happens in seconds.

Your sweet child you love so deeply — someone you would willingly die for — has vanished on your watch. The guilt/fear/panic/hope – you are flooded with these all-consuming emotions, while trying to stay rational enough to find your child.

Holy shit. I lost my two year old while at The Fountains playground. Did this really happen to me? Did I actually lose track of THE MOST precious gift God has given me? Well, yes. Yes, I did. What the hell is wrong with me.

I’m the parent who’s always right there IN the playground with Porter. The frequency of occasions I’ve judged other moms who actively ignore their kids at the park/playground is embarrassing considering that I can’t stand judgey moms. Hypocrisy at its finest.

I was there that day within the confines of the fenced off playground area, being a slight “helicopter parent”. I was RIGHT THERE! I wasn’t the mom sitting on the bench OUTSIDE of the fenced playground, looking down at my cell phone, or chatting with a friend completely oblivious to my hysterical toddler who hit her head on the slide (yes, that was something I witnessed that day).

How did this happen to me? Well, that’s precisely why I decided to share my story and risk being majorly judged by other parents. I looked away for maybe three to five seconds at a time while I attempted to chat with my nine months pregnant sister-in-law, who was sitting uncomfortably on a bench just next to the playground. My neck was getting a major workout, as I was constantly looking at her, then back to Porter and sometimes my four year old niece and nephew. Porter was happily going up the ladder, through the tunnel and down the slide over and over again. I knew he was having fun, since he kept yelling “fun” at the bottom of the slide.

Suddenly, I looked back to the playground…scanning…scanning…scanning…no sign of Porter. I do a lap (thinking he’s just in the tunnel portion of the playground). Nope. Is he on a slide? Nope. After a couple panicky laps around the playground, I realize he’s gone.

There were about 15 kids packed in that playground area, so the gate was being opened and closed on a regular basis and apparently Porter decided to make a run for it. And boy does this kid know how to sprint! With tears streaming down my face, I began asking other mom’s if they had seen my boy.

While I was inadvertently creating a mom search party, my sister-in-law ran over to the splash pads (not far from the playground), which was when she saw him wandering into the roundabout (yes, where cars drive) heading straight for the large fountain he loves so much.

She found him and brought him to me. I don’t think I’ve ever squeezed him so hard in my life. All the other mothers watched with sympathy, some maybe with a little judgment in their eyes, but that’s ok. I don’t care. I have my sweet baby boy back in my arms.

My normally squirmy two year old let me hold him as I cried a cry that was new for me. Dear God, let that be the one and only time I cry that cry.

THANK GOD. And thank you to my sister-in-law. This lesson was learned with a happy ending and I’m well aware of how lucky I am. If you have kids or plan on having kids, I hope you can remember my experience and that it gives you a little extra jolt of precaution so that this doesn’t happen to you.

18 month shoot - Ashley Spoor Photography

18 month shoot – Ashley Spoor Photography