Traveling tips for your summer vacations with kiddos

Recently my family and I traveled to Austin, Texas. It was our first big trip as a family of three and Eleanor's first time flying. I was little hesitant because I wasn't sure how Eleanor would do on a plane and being away from home for so long. However with a little planning ahead we were able to have a great trip. So today I want to share with you some things I learned while traveling!

1. Plan ahead what everyone will wear

Comfy clothes are a must on trips but practicality is just as needed. Going through security can be a daunting task especially when you have little ones. I made sure that Eleanor had clothes that were easy to get on and off and didn't have any buckles or things that would go off in security. She wore a simple little dress that was perfect for the trip. For me it was important that I wore something that I could easily breastfeed her. A button down shirt was great because I didn't need to lift up layers upon layers to be able to feed her. 

2. Bring new books/toys/shows/movies

On road trips when I was younger I remember my mom always had a little special something for us on our trip. It usually wasn't anything extravagant but it was fun for me as a kid to have a new little toy, movie or book to explore when we were on the road. For Eleanor I got her some new books and downloaded her favorite show from the Netflix app. Her Usborne books were a hit. She loved having something new to look at and it was easy to stash in our bag. It doesn't have to be anything expensive but having something new (could be from the dollar store) is a sanity saver. 

If you are interested in some great books for your road trip or travels this summer check out Usborne books! They have something for every age! You can shop my link here or if you are interested in earning free books by hosting a party comment below and I will be sure to get in contact with you :) 

3. If you are staying with friends or family ask to see if they have extra carseats, strollers, and pack n' play.

One of the best parts about our trip was the fact I knew I didn't need to worry about the carseat, stroller or pack 'n play. My sister, Amber had extras of all these for us and it was such a lifesaver. If you are able to check with family or friends to see if they have friends or family willing to let you borrow those big items so you don't have to worry about checking them when you fly or stuffing them in the back of the car. 

4. Pack smart

It is so easy to over pack especially when you are a new parent. I packed Eleanor's bag multiple times before I finally knew exactly what I needed. One thing we decided to do that was a big help was that we only packed enough diapers and food for the flight going to Texas. We knew a Target was close by and could stop and pick up a pack of diapers and get her food for the week there. It saved us a lot of space, which was really helpful.

5. Dont stress

It is so easy to think about all the things that could go wrong with your trip and stress about it. I know the stares that other travelers give and how unnerving it can be to have a crying baby in public. However when you keep calm it helps babies and kids know that everything is going to be alright. Other passengers can wait, it wont hurt them when you have to take the extra moment to calm yourself and your kiddos. Don't stress about other people around you and what they might think. And remember if the lady in front of me could travel with 5 children ( all under the age of 9) by herself you can do it too!


Out on the town: A family adventure to Lynchburg's Old City Cemetery

Happy First Day of Spring! Today I'm sharing with you a little family adventure we did yesterday. Going out as a family does not have to cost a thing and can be a lot of fun. With little ones it is hard to get out but it's so worth it to get a new scenery and some fresh air. Yesterday, my husband, my daughter and myself went on a little adventure in our downtown area. We walked around our Old City Cemetery. This area is chalked full of history and it a perfect place to get some pictures taken. We didn't get to see the entire cemetery (someone got tired) but its a beautiful place with an old chapel, museum and fun swing. We are hoping to go back in some warmer weather and see the rose garden (the largest collection of antique roses in VA) in full bloom as well as swing on the swing. Enjoy some of our pictures and get out and enjoy the sunshine today! 


If you ever find yourself in Lyncburg, VA, check out the Old City Cemetery and stay tuned for pictures of the antique roses! Have a great day! 



A little throwback...

Here is the fun swing at the park. This is pre-husband and pre-baby! 

Here is the fun swing at the park. This is pre-husband and pre-baby! 

Chasing Motherhood: In My Own Strength

That season. The season where you can barely find the time to run a brush through your hair on most days. The season dependent on "coffee saviors" and instant macaroni dinners. 

The season when you can only find the time to muster enough strength to just crawl through your day. You know, the strength that you gained from two hours of combined sleep that you must ration throughout your day. Yeah, that. 

I've lived in this season for nine years as motherhood has multiplied faster than I can keep up with. 

Sometimes you just do that day. You don't even know if you accomplished anything of worth during that time, except for just survival. 

You don't have time to include God in the day. You just don't. Yeah, everyone gets the same amount of's what we do with it that counts. We've all heard that before. But when you're swimming up current, the rapids fill your mouth with water as you scream for help, your arms waving and you push and push and push through, but you never clear the rapids. It's so incredibly hard. Motherhood is unforgiving and brutal. 

We can't hear God when we're screaming and flailing about. We are so tired and weak, but it seems the respite never comes. It never comes. Until God breaks us. 

It hurt so badly. I'll go ahead and say that I thought I was doing it right before. I thought that thinking about God during motherhood was enough. After all, how was I supposed to be expected to consider and co-parent with an invisible being?! I could barely recall the last time I saw my keys or if I had paid all of the bills every month. Those things are tangible. That was my normal. My "mommy brain" ruled my life and I got used to the "fogginess" that settled. 

When He broke me this year, I thought "wow, really? Motherhood is hard enough, God. This is the last thing I need right now. Go away!" 

I became bitter and kept trying to desperately glue those broken pieces back together on my own. Only I wasn't staying together. I kept falling apart. I realized that only God had the right glue to fix my brokenness. There were too many teeny tiny pieces to mend. Pieces that I wasn't equipped to piece together on my own. I really can't do motherhood alone. It is, indeed, too much for me.

And as for Supermom, well, she's been murdered. RIP, old girl. You weren't serving me well, after all. 

So, I decided to cling to Him. My heart, replaced with His. His thoughts, my thoughts. His will, my will. His strength, despite being exhausted and no more equipped to face the day than before, became my strength. And so on, and so forth. 

So now we dance through every moment of everyday. We are finally co-parenting these children He loaned to my care. His children. Not mine. Never, ever mine. Remember that. These children are not yours. Never. 

I fall, several times a day, in fact, and I feel His strong arm, the strongest arm there ever was, gently lift me back up. "Keep going, daughter. I love you. You have Me here with you. We can do this together. These children are worth the struggle." And sometimes, I don't know the steps to this dance at all. In those moments, I simply put my feet on His and allow Him to dance for me. 

He's right. These daily "in's and out's", "high's and low's" are worth every "dragging-myself-out-of-bed" days. They're worth all of the "I don't wanna" days, and days that begin with meltdowns instead of "good morning, mommy"'s. 

The struggle of motherhood will always be there. It will always be waiting for us each and every day He offers us. But it's better to always consider yourself broken, than to live thinking you're wholly complete on your own. Save yourself the trouble and just grab His hand each and every day. 

He must be the center of our motherhood. No one is Supermom. But He is greater. He's always a better dancer. He knows all of the steps. Allow Him to lead you.