These are the days....

Hey friends! The past month or so I've really felt the pull to get back on the blog. And here I am, finally sitting down to hopefully crank something out before all the kids wake up. So what have the Starbucks been up to? A lot!

We just moved again. What a surprise! Hopefully this is it for awhile but since I keep saying that and we still keep moving I'm just going to tell you that we love our new place. Lots of open space, natural light, wood floors, white walls etc. an Instagram dream really.... But in all seriousness, it's quite perfect for us and it'd easy to see that it was meant for be. 

My new office and studio! Needs some work haha

My new office and studio! Needs some work haha

Ok so baby Emma... Emma, she's 7 months now and still has the most gorgeous blue eyes. Her hair is still blonde and her leg rolls are delicious. She's got two bottom teeth and prefers to chew on books over anything else, much like her brother Peter did when he was a baby. Her laugh is just the sweetest and she lights up around her siblings.

Aria, or "Angry Aria" will be 2 in just a few weeks. No idea how that happened. Aria is obsessed with all things Frozen and loves to read books. You will often find her with a sippy cup filled to the top with almond milk. Aria really is very sweet and her laugh is contagious. She's just a tough cookie (and a little sassy) but would we really expect anything else with two older brothers? Of course not.

James is still our cuddly little "Jamie Bear". He LOVES the little bit of preschool work we do at home and is often sad when it's over. His favorite Marvel Superhero is Ironman and favorite DC hero is Superman. Oh and his favorite Ninja Turtle is Leonardo. He is still our best eater 90% of the time. He's like the really rolly puppy in 101 Dalmatians "Momma I'm hungry...."on repeat all day long. He is definitely a gentle soul and even the slightest bit of teasing from his brother makes him cry. James has still not figured out that he could very easily take Peter down.

And Peter....My oldest child. Oh the tide is changing. Peter is filled with questions about everything, stories about anything, and absorbs ALL THE THINGS. We have to be so careful now about what his little ears hear. There are already things we've had to explain that we thought we had more time on...It's a joy to see him grow up and thirst for knowledge but Andrew and I are all too soon realizing what our children are up against in today's society. Sorry, didn't mean to get all doom and gloom. Anyway..... Peter loves to build with his Legos or draw pictures in his notebook. Andrew and I can actually tell what his drawings are now and it is mind blowing. Didn't we just bring him home from the hospital?!

Speaking of Andrew.... that man you guys....he puts up with so much of my shenanigans. But it goes both ways so it's a good thing we found each other. But in all seriousness, he is very supportive and helpful in all my endeavors and is just such a wonderful father to our kids. So wonderful that I literally feel like I'm losing my mind when 6:00 p.m. rolls around and he isn't home from work yet and I'm frantically calling him to check on his ETA. He's still working away at Starbuck Design (Check out hat smokin' new website he did!) and enjoying his position as Associate Youth Minister over at St. Thomas the Apostle. He is SO GOOD at youth ministry and his passion for those teens and God is one of the many reasons I fell in love with him. Does it make for some difficult nights during the week? Oh for sure. But you know "offer it up" amIright?Doesn't make it any easier but I know that there's only grace and mercy flowing. Even if I can't see it/feel it during the 13th melt down of that day he's working late at the church.

Mmmmkayyy. I digress. As per usual. And now me!!! Let me start by saying.... I am not pregnant. It's around that time when people start asking and hinting (which is fine, you're bound to be right at some point). So in case you were wondering... I am not. Ok now on to other stuff. I'm obviously trying to get back to blogging woot! I'm IN LOVE with our new house and I'm already dreaming ways to decorate it. If you're a small shop with decor items, drop your link in the comments! I'd love to support small businesses as opposed to you know...big ones. I've done a few recent projects that were a lot of fun. Hoping to get those here on the blog so I can share them! The LuLaRoe biz is going well too. I love how I can unite my creativity with my love for clothes. The new house actually has a room for all the LuLaRoe which is nice. If you're local, let me know if you want to drop in and try some stuff on. So you know, just raising four children and running two side hustles. No big deal. We've been doing Dave Ramsey and we like to joke that LLR is my "Dave Job" lol. But in all actuality? It only makes sense that I have so much going on. It's just my personality. I love working hard, being creative, and pushing myself. If I didn't have LFS and/or LLR, I'd probably go crazy. I'm a better mom because I have these things that are all my own. When I've completely pored myself out as a mother, I recharge by doing a photoshoot during nap time. Or blog! Like I am now!

So here's to hopefully some more posts within the next month. I've really missed this and it feels like the right time to jump back in...

Five

I was trying to think of a clever title for this post but I came up pretty empty. I think it's because I used up all my clever juices while writing Andrew's scavenger hunt last weekend. So aside from the fact that the title to this post is completely lame and bland, I did want to talk about marriage, specifically ours. Right now you're like "ok sister you've been married for five years...big whoop, what advice could you possibly impart upon us?" Please. Simmer down class. Maybe not so much  advice, but just things I've learned and ways I need to improve. 

When I first met Andrew he was actually in a period in his life where he had sworn off girls. After a particularly searing burn from his current (and then quickly ex) girlfriend he had called time of death. He threw in the towel and said "no more" at least for a little while. Then we ended up on a retreat together and I came up and innocently started bugging him about the book he was reading. And that was it. From that moment it was clear that there was a plan for us bigger than we could have ever imagined. 

It's those little moments that make a marriage. It's those tiny seemingly insignificant decisions that shape our relationship. My decision to go out of my comfort zone and actually talk to Andrew set everything in motion. Andrew's decision to swear off girls set him up to see the one that was actually "the one" *fist pump*. So here we are at 3 years of dating/engagement and 5 years of marriage and it's still all about the small moments. Marriage isn't made on the day you say "I do", no on that day the journey is only beginning. Marriage is made and built upon the small moments of our day to day.

Moments like when we were first married and we'd curl up together on the couch and binge watch Netflix without a care in the world.

It's the small moments like when Peter was first born and Andrew would get up at night for every feeding to help me burp and change the baby.

Small moments like when Andrew leaves for work every morning and I remind him to drive safe and he says "maybe".

Moments like when I'm super pregnant (again) and I'm a crying mess because I can't decide between Dairy Queen or Culvers and he makes the choice for me and it's always the right one.

Small moments like when I let Andrew grab an extra hour of sleep Saturday morning.

It's the moments when Andrew takes the kids out on an "adventure" so I can get a couple hours of peace and quiet to myself.

Moments like when I ask Andrew to change a poopy diaper and without hesitation it's done.

Small moments like when I'm just over it by the end of the day and talking on the phone with Andrew he says "What should I bring home for dinner?"

It's moments where I entertain the kids for a little so he can unwind with his favorite computer game (yeah NERD alert).

Moments like when Andrew cleans up and vacuums without me even asking.

The list goes on and on. Marriage is saying "yes" and "I do" every day. Marriage is not easy by any means. It takes a lot of work and sacrifice. It takes two people dying to who they were before and coming to an understanding that they are now "in this together". Two people that bring out the absolute best in each other. Push each other to be better, encourage each other to dream, and help each other to believe. And it's not done in these big Hollywood moments. No, it's done in the smallness of life. The tiny places that no one will ever even see. That's where a marriage is made.

It has been a CRAZY five years. There is no way Andrew and I would have guessed that we'd have four kids under four by our fifth anniversary. It has been tough on our marriage there is no doubt about that. But it's not just the kids that have made it tough. I think these first years are supposed to be hard and difficult at times.

So I'm not pretending to know it all or have it all figured out. I just know that marriage takes work and that's ok. Marriage is hard at times and that's ok. Marriage takes sacrifice and THAT'S OK. Your marriage will not always be the perfectly filtered and cropped pictures you post on Instagram (looking at myself here). I was dreading getting pictures done pf the family because I knew that it was going to be impossible to get the images  I wanted. But you know what? I got something even better. My sister captured our marriage and family as we really are. It's chaotic and hectic at (most) times but it is so worth it. There is no one else I would rather have by my side steering this crazy ship with me.

Cheers to Five. And many more.

Hands Full, Heart Full,

-Susana

Weekend Notes

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I know that we did. Want to know how I know? Because our Monday has been terrible! Lot's of whining, crying, and fighting. All the byproducts of a great weekend filled with family, friends, and too much sugar. But here we are, pushing through our case of the "mondays" and hoping for a better start tomorrow. 

Saturday started off with me out the door to the first session of the Creative Tribe Workshop Photography series. We had a great morning filled with lots of great information from our speaker and then time to practice what we learned. If you want to see more pictures from the morning, just search the hashtag #createtucson on Instagram. And if you're in Tucson (or near it!) you can buy your ticket for the next session now!

After the workshop ended I went home to do some finishing touches on Andrew's bday surprise. We aren't able to celebrate his birthday on the actual day this year so I put something together a week early. Andrew loves puzzles and riddles so I decided to surprise him with a scavenger hunt leading up to a surprise bday party/ultimate frisbee game. The scavenger hunt was a huge success and he had a great time. Andrew is so good to me and the kids so it was nice to give something back and show him how much he is loved. If you want to see more pictures of the hunt, you can search the hashtag #andrewsjesusyear (because he's turning 33).

Then lucky Andrew got ANOTHER day of celebrating his awesomeness. Sunday was Father's Day and we spent it loving on Andrew. It was SO CUTE hearing Peter and James say "Happy Father's Day!" to Andrew through out the day. 

We went to the 10:30 mass at our parish. The kids were pretty well behaved, which we took as a Father's Day Miracle. Our church is still under construction (isn't it always though? haha) so mass is being held in the hall. I think everyone is finally adjusting to the new normal and hopefully everything will be fixed soon.

And a quick little pause for outfit details.... Shirt-Jane//Skirt LuLaRoe

Annnnnnnd we're back! After mass we went to my parents house for a Father's Day celebration with good food and lots of pool time. Like, lot's of pool time. Tucson was 115 degrees yesterday. Yeah. That one hurt. 

That's how Emma deals with 115 degree heat. Nap it out.

Sorry for that blinding white light that is my skin.

So that was our weekend! Two days of our usual crazy but with some extra partying. Summer is just the best.

Full hands, Full Heart,

-Susana