Belated Fall Photos and the Ramblings of an Exhausted Mom

12.06.2018




Being a mom is something I am deeply passionate about. I think I’m pretty good at it and it shows in my children’s character every day. I know I’m blessed, truly I do. I don’t usually share my struggles because to be honest I don’t really have many and those that I do aren’t big enough in my eyes to complain about or hold on to for long.
  

I wanted, however, to get real today and share a bit of why I’ve been quiet on here (and Instagram) so much. Being a mom again for a toddler is not without its challenges. Not long ago, my two older girls were independent, our house was managed, and things ran pretty well. Adding Isla has definitely changed things. I won’t say in a negative way because despite the new added craziness Isla makes me consider having one more (does that make me crazy? Probably). 

Today I’m behind in everything. My clean house is becoming harder to keep clean and if you knew me well, you'd know this drives me nuts. My laundry is so full some days I literally have to climb on top of it to get into the room. My bedroom has become a catch all, my closet too. Most days I’m in pajamas hiding from the outside world because I haven’t had time to wash my hair or let’s face it, even take a shower.




This year, I’ve finally taken the plunge and started homeschooling Piper. I've wanted to do this for so long! Not because Piper has problems at school or anything but because I love being around my kids. Let me tell you, it’s been a real learning curve. I love it but I still feel like I'm going at this blind. I'll report back at the end of the school year to let you know if we will continue it. And in the mix Piper’s been working through some frustrating (rebelling) middle child issues. I won't share more on here because I don't want to embarrass her but I feel at a loss right know. I know God will see us through this, I just have to be patient. I also find comfort in knowing Chloie went through a phase like this when Piper was Isla's age.

My adorable Isla is growing into a strong-willed child. Oh, how I love her fierce determination but it never gives us rest. This busy little bee never sits still unless she needs some cuddles. She's a climber and challenges her skills daily. We are presently going through a sleep regression like none other. She refuses nap time most days and will only sleep in her room 2-3 hours (if I'm lucky) before she wakes up crying to be in ours. Even as I type this at 12:30am, I am sitting in her room quietly waiting for her to fall asleep. Her quiet sniffles just melt my heart. I know this beautiful time; this age is fleeting. I try hard to remind myself of it daily. I never want to take it for granite.

 
And can we take a minute to say how adorable Isla looks on this rock?! She climbed up there and happily sat still for me while I clicked away. She posed for about 30 minutes or at least it felt like that. Seriously I considered dragging that rock home with me. And in the photos where she is grabbing her stomach she was saying, "Tickoo Tickoo!" Her way of saying tickle.



I stepped away from here and my Instagram (unintentionally at first) for traveling and to work on home projects (like literally remodeling our entire basement) as well as giving my family more of my time. It’s refreshing to step away. Giving up that nagging need to check in or post is liberating but I do miss tinkering with photos and seeing what’s going on. 




So, while I’m late with your replies and I’ve given so many excuses, the truth is, I’m still trying to catch my breath. In my head I’m totally convinced, I’m almost caught up. Tomorrow I can find a moment. Tomorrow I’ll be able to get ahead (and maybe I will) but most days I don’t and when I do, I usually choose to clean a corner of my home or am too tired to do anything more than Netflix. And while I share these completely trivial struggles, I don't want to come off as if I'm complaining. I'm just updating you, the reader, with my whys. I keep an optimistic outlook. I try to make time for those who've befriend me and keep our little adventures going. I wouldn’t change my little corner of chaos for anything in the world. Anyhoo, thanks for listening to the rambles of an over sharing exhausted mom, at now 3:41 in the morning... 



P.S. These photos are from September. I have photos as far back as July that I'd love to share. So, if time allows, I might try to wiggle them in here and there when I find a quiet moment.


Take Care & Enjoy,

Heather




Family Circus: Halloween 2018

11.03.2018




Well hello there readers! It has truly been a while since I last posted and while I won't lament on the whys I will say that I've missed writing and sharing photos. So with that out of the way, I'm excited to share our Halloween photos!

It's been a crazy year in the Gwinn house and seriously it's been exhausting! Incredible and accomplishing but exhausting. This year I tried to keep our costumes simple. I made Isla's lion hat and her tail. I also sewed and pieced together my coat but the rest was pieced together (non handmade). I know, I know, not what I usually do but this mama need to dial back a bit. Next year, it's game on!


That aside we really did have fun with our costumes. I think I've finally gotten Jedidiah into dressing up. He really got into his part ! He even expressed what we could do next year! Yay!


Isla on the other hand wasn't entirely sure about dressing up (even though she loves to do so at home). She let me put her lion bonnet and tail on but she said nope to make up. She was also really sleepy and didn't feel up to me taking photos. I will report she got into it as the night went on and realized everyone was giving her candy. LOL! Go figure.


Jedidiah was a mime, Isla my little lion, I was the lion tamer / ringleader, Piper a tight rope walker, and Chloie a fortune teller.


My photos aren't my best but I forgot my tripod so we all took turns taking photos. It was also surprisingly cold this year and hard to keep our hands still. The weekend before Halloween we enjoyed summery days. Then *POOF* snow! It was frigid and completely unlike the typical dry cold we get. The moisture in the air made it feel at least 10 degrees colder! Okay I'm rambling but you get the point.

Isn't Piper lovely. Her favorite color is blue, so naturally everything in her life is blue too LOL! Poor girl was the coldest of us all but rest assured she wore a coat and was powered by sugar.



Well I hope everyone who participated had a wonderful Halloween. We certainly did. More to share soon!

Take Care & Enjoy,
Heather Gwinn



Easter Isla

4.12.2018


It's been a while since I last posted and while I plan to get into that long story, I don't plan to share that in today's post. Instead I'm keeping it simple since this holiday has quickly past and I wanted to share these photos while it was still somewhat relevant.

I can hardly believe how much this little girl has grown in just 20 months. Our Easter was a quiet one that we celebrated at home with the family. Although I love large get togethers with family and friends I've really come to enjoy the smaller gatherings, keeping things simple and laid back.


I was really excited to discover Isla's bunny ears still fit her from last year. She must have liked them too because she kept going to the mirror to point at them and shake here head back and forth. At 20 months Isla does NOT sit still very long. She is a busy bee with a curiosity for everything. I didn't have high expectations for this photo shoot but ultimately I think it turned out really well. While she didn't sit still for long on any given photo, she did seem entertained enough to keep going back to where we directed her.


See that little face above? That is the face of pure mischief! She is up to no good for sure lol!


It became increasingly challenging to keep Isla still long enough to capture a few good photos. She discovered the eggs we laid out had candy in them and we spent just as much time taking the candy from her (that she ran back and forth to give us) as I did trying to capture a photo of her. But when she realized she could eat it she was happy to sit still longer.



 I cannot get over how much she has changed in these two photos a year apart.

Well, that's all for this short and sweet little post. More to come with updates about what I've been up to for the last four months.

Take Care & Enjoy,
♥ Heather Gwinn



**As a reminder these photos are taken by me and you do not have my permission to use them without my expressed permission, thank you.


Halloween 2017: Harry Potter Themed

11.03.2017

 

I'm so excited to share this year's Halloween photos. I'll start by saying this has got to be my most favorite Halloween ever! I've tried to coordinate costumes in the past but there was always someone who wanted to do their own thing. This year Piper begged to be Hermione Granger and I couldn't say no, she is at that perfect age to be her. This sweet girl was over the moon to be Hermione and wear her costume. I have no doubt she will wear this costume for dress-up all year.  


After that I thought how perfect would Chloie be, with all her crazy curls, to be Bellatrix! Of course their character is nothing alike but she totally looks the part. It took some convincing but I eventually won Chloie over.


 I decided to be Ginny, since by default my hair automatically made me a Weasley and also Ginny is awesome. The movies just don't give her enough credit.


That left Isla and Jedidiah. Jedidiah was my Harry Potter and we decided Isla would be warmest as Hedwig.


How stinkin cute is Isla as Hedwig?! She was like a little heater, warm and cozy under all those layers, which was a good thing since it was a cold Halloween (35 degrees). And how impressive is it to see EVERYONE looking right at the camera?! This almost never happens.


The photo above cracks me up! My husband isn't wild about being in front of the camera but he was a real sport with this photo shoot. My sister, Caitlyn, and her boyfriend Mitch also joined our Potter themed Halloween. Mitch was a perfect Draco!


 Some of my photos were a bit blurry and grainy but the sun was falling and we all took turns capturing photos. These were definitely more rushed than usual. All the same I hope you enjoyed this Harry Potter themed Halloween as much as we did.

Take Care & Enjoy,
♥ Heather




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