The season of Advent came upon me so fast this year. Usually I am waiting for it to begin. This year, I feel as if I didn't even really get a chance to prepare myself. But that is the beauty of this season and that is the exact reason why Advent happens. So that we can prepare our hearts and our whole beings to meet Our Lord on Christmas day. After all Jesus is the reason for the season! So in our home, we are all preparing for Christmas during this Advent season by making sacrifices. Sophia and I are giving up all forms of sweets until Christmas day. She agreed to do it and let me tell you, she is doing a much better job than me. We were at In & Out the other night and she forgot about her Advent sacrifice and asked if she can get a milkshake. I felt so bad but I reminded her and she quickly complied and didn't even argue with me. I was so proud of her!
But not all of our traditions are penitential :) We obviously decorated our tree and have been saying our family rosary each night near it and reflecting on our empty manger [on Christmas morning we put baby Jesus in] that we put up above our fireplace.
Another fun tradition that I have been doing for a few years is putting chocolate coins in the girl's shoes on St. Nicholas day [which is tomorrow!]. I have the girls put there shoe outside the door when they go to bed and when they wake up, they find chocolate coins inside. Btw, Trader Joes sells chocolate coins but they also sell chocolate coals for the naughty kids! I was tempted to buy this to put in Mike's shoe, haha!
^We also light an advent wreath ^
A new tradition I want to start with this year is to also celebrate St. Lucia's day [on December 13th] with having a small candle procession and make some Lucia bread.
I love small traditions like these and hope to continue to do them each year even as the girls get older.
What are some traditions that you do during the season of Advent? first image found via interest.
Last week, [thanks to instagram] I got inspired to let Sophia sleep with socks in her hair. We rolled her dry hair after a bath into some little old navy socks, tied the ends together and then I sent sleeping beauty off to bed!
^^Taa daa!!! Perfect curls the next morning!!!^^
^ The curls only got better through the day! ^
So there you have it blog world! First hair tutorial by a four year old :)
Just a few conversations and quotes by Sophia as of lately...
[mike walks out the door for work]
Sophia, "Daddy i love you, come back!"
[mike pops his head back in]
Sophia, "Make sure you come back for the girls party"
[mike leaves for work]
Me, "Oh, he's invited to the girl's party?"
Sophia, "no, i just need his help"
Me, "With what?"
Sophia, "The drinks. And the decorations"
apparently, she's already expecting her father to help her out with the drinks ;)
[After crock pot has been cooking dinner all day and taking her first bite]
"Mama, i think you are going to be a famous chef one day"
Hope everyone had the most wonderful thanksgiving! We had the very best thanksgiving this year. My family came to visit and we had a wonderful time spending the day cooking, laughing, eating, and playing outside together. As I get older and as each year passes, I realize that I get less thankful for the materialistic things in my life and more for just what I have. I thought my heart would burst with joy and gratitude on Thanksgiving morning at church as I had everything I wanted right there with me. I had my family who was healthy, happy and who loved our faith all in one room giving thanks to God. Counting my blessings always makes me realize that life is good. So very good.
^ Just mini mason jars for wine glasses in this house ;) ^
^ like father, like daughter :) we both got the turkey leg this year! ^
^ We played this ridiculous game (aka too much wine) at the table after dinner. We took a large pomelo fruit from my yard and all took turns balancing it on our heads. I don't know why we thought it was so funny... once again the results of too much wine :) ^
^ The two full and happy girls ^
My brother spent a few extra days with us and we got to spend Black Friday eating our way through the San Francisco! My brother is the master of finding the best places to eat. So we followed his stomach and started by grabbing delicious subs from Ikes and walking to Delores Park to enjoy them there. The sandwiches were the bomb! Make sure to get extra dirty sauce :)
^ Mike, Sophia and Zaylee were all supposed to go down this awesome slide together...BUT Sophia accidentally let Zaylee go and she went down first by herself. Which is why you still see Mike and Sophia still at the top :) ^
^ We walked to Bi-rite ice cream afterwards for the best salted carmel ice cream. It was amazing! ^
^ shopping inside the ferry building ^
^ Hog Island Oysters! The oyster stew is pretty dang good too and so is their grilled cheese!!^
on the weekends. I don't like to brag about this too much because each marriage is different. But, I have to say that I'm pretty thankful that I married a man that makes one heck of a dad. This weekend was a good one in the fact that I felt more refreshed and it was because my hubs takes full charge on the weekends. He makes us breakfast, dresses the girls, plays with them full time and gives me a nice little break. Is it wrong to say that I don't even change a single diaper?! Yeah..he spoils me ;) And you know what makes this weekend even better?! Its going to be a shorter work week...thanks to thanksgiving! Woot! So...last week it rained a couple days and it was nice. We read a lot of books, drank hot cocoa, built (and smashed, thanks to Zaylee) a lot of blocks. But that gets old after a while, and then my kids will start to beg to play outside. Rain or shine my kids love to play outside. Actually, I think they like to play outside even more when it rains. I mean, these poor deprived Southern California children only get to experience rain twice a year. So, is it the cool moms that let their children play outside in the rain? Or is the stupid ones? No comment.
^ my Mary Poppins! ^
^ She walked around like this for a while keeping her sister covered from the rain. Such a good big sister! ^
^ Umbrellas only lasted so long. Practicing soccer! ^
My bathroom is starting to look like my kitchen. I'm starting to have more natural (almost edible) beauty products in my bathroom and its making me realize I'm turning into a hippie. But let me tell you, these products are worth more than what any La Mer product has done to my face. So I'm ready to tell you about 3 products thats been making my hair and skin looking mighty fine.
Olivia Garden Eco-Friendly Bamboo brush: This hair brush is the best thing to happen to the ladies of the Frank household. I'm not really into brushing my hair (its an embarrassing fact, but I just don't have patience to comb through my tangled hair). In the past, I just used a wide comb and combed after showers. My girls are the same and lately brushing hair has become a big deal in our house. All three of us are growing our hair out and no de-tangler spray can beat Zaylee's wild mane. So, I decided to grow up and invest in this nice looking brush. Its changed our mane! Sophia, the biggest baby in our house about hair brushing doesn't even wince when I take a whack with this brush. No tears, no whines and best part... beautiful hair! My hair has turned into a frizzy mess after having children and let me tell you, after brushing with this brush, its like my frizzes are gone. I'm actually wearing my hair down more.
Aura Cacia Grapeseed skin oil: I love this natural oil moisturizer. I use it right after the toner and the oil just sinks right into my pores and stays and moisturizes. I have very very dry skin and I have tried a lot of different products. Honestly, I have even used a jar of coconut oil but it just leaves my skin super slimy and the oil is almost dripping down my face instead of sinking in and doing its job. I actually use the same cotton ball that I used from my toner and squeeze some of this oil on it and swipe all over my face and immediately glowing skin. With the weather being so cold and dry lately, I will still use this oil during the day (its so light) before my normal sunscreen and moisturizer. *i know i attached a link for the toner and grapeseed oil, but I bought mine at Whole Foods. Yep..buying beauty stuff at the same place I buy groceries now. ;)
Happy Friday Friends! I am ever so glad that today is finally Friday! Its been one of the longest weeks. We just started this week on the wrong foot and it just kind of went that way through the whole week. Monday was one of those really really awful days where by nine o clock in the morning, you kind wanted to go back to bed and start the day over. Have you ever had one of those days?? Well, let me tell you i have NEVER had one of those days before. Really, I never ever wished I could go back to bed and start the day over (especially by nine am). I think its mainly because of the lack of sleep we have all been getting over here. The family that doesn't sleep well together...stay cranky together, right? Right. So all week I've been trying to wrap my brain around my cranky state and not let the mom guilt get to me (because let me tell you, I've been the most no good very bad mom of ever and ever). Most of the issues of this week has been dealing with a whiny, cranky, tired, attitude giving four year old (who I wont name). And, taa daaa!! Last night before I went to bed a resolution came to mind! A chore chart is now coming our way...starting tonight! This four year is about to get hit with some responsibility along with positive reinforcement. Thank goodness I was a teacher in my past life. I'm almost done with weaning Zaylee too. I also realized last night that my milk supply finally got the hint that I'm weaning and slowed down its production progress. It made me so sad. This weaning is all too hard for me...more emotionally than anything. I have two more feedings to cut out gradually and than I'm done nursing my baby. I hate it so much, but once its all done and my hormones are back to normal... its all kind of nice :) Although my two children have been driving me a bit nutty this week, I'm thankful for my crazy husband. He's been my bit of sanity. He took me out for fatty food and ice cream last night, along with some good laughs and the world felt right again. So yeah, thats been my week in a nutshell and thats why I'm extra grateful that today is Friday! I'm ready to put this week behind me and have a wonderful weekend! And a blog isn't a blog without pictures, so here's some pictures of us in San Francisco last weekend. I love that city so much, especially the good seafood (yay to delicious oysters and clam chowders!). But sorry there are no food pictures, I ended up gobbling them up too fast and realized that I forgot to take some snapshots. My bad!
^ giggling from going down the slide fast^
^ Ferry Building!^
^inside the Ferry building.. it was filled with delicious shops with lots of goodies!^
^ hand in hand strolling together through the building. She was leading the way, obviously ;)^
Last week we had one of the most beautiful fall days here. There was a slight breeze yet the air was warm. The sun was shinning giving the leaves around us a even more beautiful hue. I couldn't help but to let the girls play outside for hours and then have them collect some of the outdoor treasures we found around the yard and turn them into a craft. This house has the most beautiful trees that shed the brightest red and yellow leaves and drop the biggest acorns. I sometimes think we live in the theme park for squirrels. They are always around our yard, climbing our trees and eating our acorns.
I can't help but to smile or laugh when I watch the girls play at this age. Sophia at age four and half now is very curious and bright. Her use of imagination is completely out of this world (literally she pretends she's in outer space) sometimes...but she can puts logic and reason together very easily. She is one of the daintiest four year olds with a voice and laughter that can triumph over any lion. Lately, she's been loving flowers and cannot walk pass a field nor a bush without picking a flower. I love this sweet girl of mine. She challenges me daily to be patient through a gazillion questions she asks (especially the "why's?"). She is in such a hurry lately to grow up and it makes me sad. She say's she wants to be six-teen! I guess she see's the world with so much opportunity and she wants to try it all.
Zaylee is so stubborn, strong willed, tough as nails, yet the most joyful and sweetest child. She loves to smile, laugh, be funny, and the only child that laughs over spilled milk than cry about it. I love her wild spirit. She is such an incredible little person right now at only nineteen months, so full of life and sweetness. She is her sister's little shadow...following her throughout the day and copying every little thing she does. I can't help but to chuckle as she mumbles baby talk to me with a complete serious face as if it is something very important. Her speech is getting better each day as I see her trying. She can't make out all the words clearly but I see her little tongue trying so hard. :)
As our Fall days are getting shorter and our nights longer, I don't want to forget these days and moments with each of my children. They keep me very very busy everyday but these small moments don't go unnoticed. Small conversations, small joys and trials are not forgotten even though the sun has left us for the day. Its these little things in life that make life so big. These small fleeting moments when my children are only four and half and nineteen months that seem so big in the moment but will once again be small when they become a day, month or a year older the next day.
my kids are napping...so i'm seizing the moment and eating their leftover halloween candy and blogging! Someone please come and take the rest of my candy! Last night I went to bed knowing my husband set his alarm earlier so he can get to work earlier today. I woke up to him kissing me good bye and felt a bit depressed thinking my day was going to be a long one. But, I walked into the kitchen to start making breakfast and I quickly changed my depressing attitude to gratitude. And it made me instantly happy. I looked over at my two girls playing and I was like, "i have two beautiful healthy and happy girls. wow, i am so thankful." What in the world did I have to be depressed about?! Absolutely nothing. Since we have moved up to Sacramento, my role as a mother has become even more defined. Mike has started this incredible opportunity of a great new career and I too restarted my motherhood journey. But today, I realized it takes more than just feeding, nurturing, clothing, educating and playing with my children everyday to call myself a "good mom." All of these things must be done with joy. So, I've been changing my heart in small ways to serve with joy and it truly is making me happier. The world that I need to serve right now needs to be done right here in my own home, with great joy. While these thoughts were running across my mind all day, I happened to read this quote on Kristin Roger's instagram... "...very largely does the wife hold in her hands, as a scared trust--the happiness and the highest good of the hearts that nestle in the home...Her spirit gives the home its atmosphere. Her hands fashion its beauty. Her heart makes its love. And the end is so worthy, so noble, so divine--that no wife should consider any price too great to pay--to be the light, the joy, the blessing, the inspiration of her home!" - J.R. Miller
And a blog isn't a blog without pictures...so here are a few as of late.
^ this was actually a few weeks back when we visited so cal.. girls love a good dance party. Look at Zaylee bustin her moves! ^
^ The Princess and the Frog for halloween ^
^ Painting and doing preschool activities ;) ^
^ these two have been napping so well lately...praying this continues!^