April Link Love

April is almost over. Despite not being nearly as exciting (read: chaotic) as last month, this month was packed to the gills with as well. Spring is in the air though winter is still hanging in there (it snowed huge flakes on Tuesday). Love Bug and Sweet J are loving the warmer weather and have been using their new scooters to race around the development. There is a group of similarly aged children they run around with and it’s great. Pipsqueak is nearly two months old already and next month brings the start of birthday season for my big babies. Life never ceases. I feel like I’m getting my feet back under me after March’s upheaval and it feels good however I would love a few days where everything else is on pause so I can catch up. Oh well. I’ll get there eventually. Until then, check out these bright links I found this month!

April Link Love | this heart of mine

 

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Digital Creativity & Children with HP® Sprout | this heart of mine

This post is sponsored by HP® Sprout

I am certain the new HP® Sprout is the exact computer I dreamt about when I was younger. I can remember many times wishing I had something that could capture my creations exactly, not like a photocopy, or could turn a three-dimensional object into a two-dimensional image so I could use it on a card (like cool rocks and other priceless items). I knew how to work with my hands but my drawing skills have always been lacking and this was before digital cameras or any understanding of digital creative programs. Who knows what I would have done if I’d had the Sprout in my youth. The Sprout is this whole new system with combines physical creating with digital. It’s part hands-on and part magic (as labeled by Love Bug).

So I introduced it to my children.

Digital Creativity & Children with HP® Sprout | this heart of mine

It was kind of a last-resort, end-of-the-day, give-me-five-more-minutes-to-work idea and for not being well thought out, it was a great decision. Living with me, my children are exposed to the various aspects of a creative and online career. They watch me make lots of items, style photos, take photos, edit and manipulate images and they are eager to try all those things too; I’ve taken a number of photos of scenes they’ve set up. After shunning digital programs myself for so long, I am keen on them learning about digital creation and the Sprout is a great device to get them started.

Digital Creativity & Children with HP® Sprout | this heart of mine

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You Are Enough

you are enough | this heart of mine

Do you believe it? I sure have a hard time accepting my enough-ness. I am perpetually striving to do better and be better in all areas of my life. I aspire to be a better wife, a better mom, a better daughter, sister, in-law, friend, member of my community. On top of that, there is so much I want to accomplish and do too. Grow my business, create, cook and bake more, travel, learn about the bajillion topics I find intriguing. Unfortunately, my striving often leads to feelings of failure. And when the days come, the ones when my only accomplishment is managing to keep my three children and myself alive until the next day, accepting my enough-ness is hard.

But accept it we must. If we stay down, down in the muck of our shortcomings and imperfections, it’s harder to get back up. One lousy moment leads to two, one day into more and then we are just wasting time.

No one is perfect. No one does it all. So believe it. On the good days and the on the lousy days, the days when we aren’t our best self, the days where we just survived, we are enough.

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Confetti Dipped Champagne

Confetti Dipped Champagne Bottles | this heart of mine

We are in one of those periods where we are on the receiving end of a lot of gifts. First the new baby and then our move, people have been kindly showering us with thoughtful gifts. In a few short weeks, we will enter what we call the birthday season in our house when Sweet J and Love Bug turn another year older only 20 days apart. I get really festive feeling during birthday season; celebrating my children’s birthdays makes me so happy. This time usually inspires me to think about gifts I can give to others too. Enter: confetti dipped champagne bottles. Champagne already has a correlation with celebration and dipped in confetti, the outside now conveys the party waiting on the inside.

Confetti Dipped Champagne Bottles | this heart of mine

There are so many things to celebrate! Babies, moves, graduations, birthdays – I can’t think of too many events when these confettied bottle would not be enthusiastically received. Getting through a Monday is reason enough to pop a cork. And as long as the recipient is over the legal drinking age, I think it works.

Confetti Dipped Champagne Bottles | this heart of mine

Maybe champagne isn’t your thing. Don’t fret. Apply this trick to any bottle you prefer. The options are endless.

Confetti Dipped Champagne Bottles | this heart of mine

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A Refreshing Change

Office 1

My office space from the last house. I miss the light from its window.

As you know, we recently moved to a rental townhouse after closing the sale of our home of 9-ish years last month. The situation isn’t exactly what we wanted – without a permanent residence and more than likely moving twice in a short period of time, etc. – but since the ball started rolling, rolling we went. I’ve shared parts of our house story over the years but here’s a quick, condensed version:

MJ and I bought our ‘starter house’ at what was then the top of the market back in 2006. The plan was to own it for a few years, gain equity and then sell it for a profit and move on to our forever home. Of course, we didn’t know the market was inflated and would crash immediately after our purchase. We are forever grateful we purchased something we could comfortably afford but getting out and moving on has been frustrating, lengthy and heartbreaking.

Finally, at the start of 2014, we could financially afford to get out so we started looking at houses. All of last year we looked. We didn’t list our house right away because I was afraid it would sell before we had somewhere to live. Since I work from home and (now) have three children, I didn’t want to be homeless. However, it seems we were destined for that no matter what.

Office Bulletin Board

Then, last fall, we found a house we could really see our little family in. We put our house on the market immediately and put in an offer. The offer was conditionally accepted, the condition being that our house sold. That didn’t happen and we lost the house we wanted. This all happened right around the time of my awesome emergency appendectomy. :)

It was disheartening but we consoled ourselves with believing it wasn’t meant to be and everything would work out in the end. We pulled our house off the market during the holiday season but when the new year arrived, we decided to list it again, not really expecting much. So imagine our shock when it sold in five days. We sweated and worried through the inspection and appraisal but everything passed and the official closing was at the end of March.

And now we are here, kind of blowing in the wind. We have this rental, a six-month lease, outside the bounds of our school district but close to the beach we frequent during the summer months and we’ve filed all the appropriate paperwork for everything under the sun. So.Much.Paperwork. We are still house hunting however being stuck in a home far longer than we planned has made us very picky apprehensive about buying another one. But what’s next? Will we be here only six months? Longer? Will the right house come on the market for us? All I can say is, I don’t know. And the I-don’t-knows might just break my brain.

I get asked if I miss our old house. After being in this rental for about a month now, I can say that I don’t miss the house itself. It was only the outer shell that housed the most important things in my life and I got to bring them all with me when we moved. I do miss the familiarity we had there. Everyone knew where to find things and we understood how the space worked. We are still getting into a rhythm here and in the near future, we’ll be learning a new one.

I do miss the feeling that the house and the space were ours. MJ and I changed a lot about the house in our time there from flooring to paint to window dressing to hanging pieces on the wall. We made it our own. I don’t feel that here and don’t expect to.  I do look forward to making a new space for us, in fact, I’m really itching for it.

Some kinds of change are fun and inspiring, others hard and uncomfortable. This move and the unknown aspects of what is coming is uncomfortable but it’s also refreshing. It’s a learning experience and an adventure. We’ll get to where we are supposed to be soon enough.

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