by gillian claire: June 2014



this boy...

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i've been looking for a chance to share both of these photos so, here ya go.
this boy.
he is the sweetest sort of sweet. he is the boy who at six years of age, still loves to talk about how he came into the world. how he was a winter baby and how he had "milkies" for three years and has the softest skin to prove it.
even though i used to be a very touchy sort of mother and person in general, having a rather high needs toddler now leaves me feeling extremely touched out a lot of the time.
but this boy, is all about touch and love and every night on our walks he tries to hold my hand the whole time. sometimes i say that i want to take a little break from holding hands but when i do the "good mom" thing and hold his back, he tells me, 
"squeeze tighter, mom."
i can hardly even talk about the piece of love that this one is without getting crazy, and i mean crazy, emotional.
it's out of control the sort of desperate love i have watching roman come into his own.
or rather just grow as the one he has always, always been...
"i was made for love," he told me once.
these are the things that drive me to just plain crazy madness.
love is a dangerous thing.
(p.s. thanks for your wonderful comments on my last post about motherhood. i love reading your comments so much!)

We Are A Top Baby Blog

friday thoughts on motherhood.

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     it's been a pretty busy week for us. my husband has been working up in the mountains at a different location this week. that means longer hours for him and jealousy of his awesome scenery on my part especially when he saw baby big horn sheep - ugh! also, i started a new job this week as well! we are feeling super thankful that things might start settling financially a little bit for us the rest of the summer. it's a good feeling for sure.
     today, aaron will be at work and my plan is to take the boys to the park. we had been walking to the park pretty often in the beginning of spring but it's a bit far and i kind of stared losing the ambition. we usually go for a short walk while aaron's at work and every night we talk a long neighborhood walk as a family. i'm trying to step up my game though and strive to do a little more with the boys. currently in my life, i am just not that mom that religiously takes my kids to the library and park dates and splash pads etc. etc. i've never really been that mom and i don't think i really have to either but i also know that a small gesture such as taking my kids to the playground or for ice cream can feel like a big, fun event to them. 
     this year has been stress on top of stress on top of tragedy for me and often i'm left kind of going though the motions and wondering, "what kind of mom am i?" i've always felt so convicted and passionate about the way that i intended to be as a mother. i have always been super laid back when it comes to routine and rules but at the same time super devoted to ideas of how my boys would be raised. right now i just feel sort of lost between still being drawn to the attached and natural ideals that i've always held to - homeschooling and organic foods, sleeping with my babies + breastfeeding my toddlers; but also feeling drained by outside circumstances in my life and figuring out that things like public school, tv shows and spaghetti o's can be a necessity and a life saver. 
     this is certainly a struggle for my right now, one that often causes rapid feelings of confusion and even guilt. but thinking and writing through some of these thoughts, i'm left with the impression that as far as my children go; they really don't care about all of these "things" and "principals" and "ideals", all they really need and want is love. sure i'd like to feel like i'm doing the best always for my children. i'd like to say that they spend their days listening to classical music and having picnics by the stream. i'd like to know that i'm working hard on reading with roman and striving to figure out if asher has allergies. but really, as far as what "kind" of mom i am, right now i'm just being the mom that i can be. my kids are watching tv while i laze around this morning and shower and drink coffee. but later, we'll go to the park - and hopefully they will have a good day for their bank of childhood memories. today is just one day filled with promise for them and for me as well. perfection and ideals can be pushed aside until tomorrow.
happy friday, guys. thanks for reading along. :)

We Are A Top Baby Blog

june so far.

just a little update on what we've been up to this past month :)kansasskyjuneroman had his last day of kindergarten! ( water day ) i died with sadness at how big he is getting. :(
// we headed out to ohio that very same day after some car troubles that turned out to just be a drained battery. kansas sunsets are amazing! we took turns driving and drove straight through, 20 hours, without stopping for anything besides gas + food.ohioroadtripjunei didn't take many instagram photos in the midwest, but this is one of my favorite pictures: my littlest sister + my namaw and papaw in front of their house! i'm so glad that we got to spend 2 different days visiting with them; i love and miss them so much.
// after a couple weeks in ohio / indiana, we headed back. this photo is of asher sleeping somewhere on the road trip home. sleeping babies are by far the best kind of road tripping babies...kansasroadtripjuneon the way to ohio we drove through some pretty scary storms. on the way back, however, the storms in kansas were way too big of a deal to drive through. we saw the craziest lightening ever and threatening storm warnings were all over the radio. we stopped at a few hotels which were all booked and were told that all of the hotels were filled up until we found ONE room left in this crappy motel!
i was so thankful that we could get off the road but it was kind of a bummer having to shell out money for one bed in a smoky scented room only to stay up super late watching for tornadoes.
( ok, i was the only one staying awake, but seriously how could i sleep? )
// i love the colors of this truck wash in salina, ks. this is at my favorite  little stop on the drive - we have good memories here from our many road trips. :)targetroadtripjunegas station break! // stocking up at target for essentials when we got home.rockymountainsparkjuneour first visit to the big playground near our house this season. i love taking my kids to the park and getting this view! living here is awesome.  fortcollinsblogjunewe have been taking lots of neighborhood walks! also, we found a nice free stroller on the side of the road which has been a nice addition since we didn't bring ours out to colorado when we moved.
quick story: we had this stroller sitting outside of our condo one day and it disappeared. turns out that our neighbor took it thinking we were "getting rid of it" for some reason. still not sure of the logic behind that, but he returned it after thoroughly cleaning it so i guess we win in the end!
 // little boys checking the mail.fakidsreviewjuneplaying on the balcony one evening. both of my boys love dressing up, they are so much fun! they've been... dare i say playing together a little better lately??
// roman's new FabKids outfit came in the mail! always a happy day when that happens. :)
(affiliate link used)coloradomountainsjun i definitely missed these mountains while we were away. these are the foothills behind our house at sunset. i have never actually been homesick for a place until i moved here.
love, love, love colorado. <3 <3
( photos from instagram: are you following me?? @bygillianclaire )
would you vote for my blog today??
We Are A Top Baby Blog

brothers // style.

IMG_9460FabKids sent these matching outfits for my boys in April and I'm finally getting around to sharing these photos with you all! If you aren't familiar with FabKids yet, they are an awesome new subscription clothing company for kids! We have truly enjoyed the opportunity to work with this fun brand; my boys love picking new outfits each month!
     One of our favorite places to walk near our house turned out to be PERFECT for this shoot because it is so lush right now. Unfortunately, lush brings mosquitoes like crazy out here and we were fighting through swarms of them to quickly get these photos!
     I'll let the pictures speak for themselves this time, but if you'd like to learn more about FabKids, check out their site: here!
You can also see my boys looking adorable in their other FabKids outfits here + here!

IMG_9472IMG_9469IMG_9468IMG_9461IMG_9473IMG_9420-2IMG_9422-3IMG_9446IMG_9519-2IMG_9516-2IMG_9508-2IMG_9488-2IMG_9527-2*FabKids provided me with the clothing featured in this post in exchange for these photographs + this review. 
This post also includes affiliate links. Thank you so much for supporting my family and providing us with these fun opportunities! We truly appreciate it!*


sometimes i catch you in a moment of stillness and it is one of my favorite things in the world.
usually your mind and body are busy and fast, reckless and worried,
but many times you stop in gentle wonder and your sweetness fills me up.
like this evening, in indiana, where the flowers and the fence, the light and the still quiet world
were all just absolutely perfect.
and i'm certain that the only things that really existed then
were you and i, daisies and soft sunshine, your skinny little legs and soft blonde curls,
country roads and pebble roads,
peace and love for miles around...
i love these little moments; pockets of beauty in otherwise draining days.
it's nice to stop sometimes,
 and watch you shine.
shine on, little one, shine on.

"Shine" is the June writing prompt of The Mommy Blogger Collective. In addition to a monthly writing prompt, the collective hosts a monthly blogger featurette. This month we are featuring Christina of Mouse in Your House. A few words from Christina --- At Mouse In Your House, I’m bringing you stories about being a working mom, quirky family lifestyle trends, frugal living, DIY ideas and the talented people who make life something amazing. I hate getting bored and occasionally use Mouse In Your House to ask people very personal questions that I would, otherwise, never get away with. My goal is to find chicks and gents doing something cool and inspiring, which could lead to a feature about a family who took the year off to travel the world one day and the next day's post could be all about how to dress a stylish toddler. To qualify for a feature, I need only go, holy moly that is frigging awesome....and you may even get a long set of questions for our next Q&A. That's the way I roll. And P.S. I LOVE budgeting and it has taken over our lives in the past. We recently graduated from living in a 400 square-foot apartment to a 1,400 square foot house in my beloved small town of Knoxville, Tennessee. You can find me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. /// The Mommy Blogger Collective /// Christina, Courteney, Dena, Erica, Erin, Gillian, Katie, Misty, Nicole, and RenĂ©e. ///

happy friday!

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     just popping in to say that i'm back from my midwest travels and i have a computer again! i've been on a photo editing rampage and plan to be back to blogging next week to catch up and share!
happy friday everyone!


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