Monday, September 28, 2015

It's Fall! | Sudara

I can't believe it's officially fall.  I love this time of year more than anything.  This afternoon (you see below) I went with my MOM (who is back in the states after their stay in Germany!) and we went apple picking with the kids.  I'll share pictures of that later.  I was feeling sick here but when my mom came in my spirits were lifted a ton!  Love her.

Last fall I shared about a company called the International Princess Project.  Since then they rebranded and are now Sudara.  Since then they've also expanded to making more than just pajama pants.  I love their tops and wraps - like the one you see on me here!  (It's on SALE on their site!) My boys love their "Punjammies" pants; and I love that they are made to be rolled so as they grow so do the pants. :)

Their clothes come in the cutest cloth bags and are seriously comfortable!  They are made extremely well and I am just a believer.  What I appreciate the very most is the cause behind this company which I wrote all about here.
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*While these clothes were given to us, these opinions are 100% my own.

Monday, September 14, 2015


It's been a long time coming for me to talk about this but it's something I finally think I can do.  Years back I was in a conversation with a girl who was upset at me for something I didn't do.  She was hearing things through the grapevine, jumped to conclusions, and got really mad at me.  I didn't even know until I reached out to talk to her, noticing she was being standoffish.  (I noticed because I cared, by the way!)  Now let me just say I am not a dramatic person.  I would happily avoid conflict at all cost- but If there IS conflict I will address it and make it right.  Side story: in high school there was a girl who said to me, "remember when we HATED each other in P.E.?"  She was laughing about it because she realized I was actually really nice and we got along really well in another class we subsequently had together.  When she said that, I was confused.  I laughed along, awkwardly agreeing, but honestly in my heart I had no problem with her... ever.  So back to my original point...

I was talking to this friend on the phone... she was mad... but it was all a misunderstanding.  Even after explaining to her that I didn't do what she was accusing me of, she seemed skeptical.  I'm fine with disagreements in relationships.  It's healthy for people to overcome things together!  Would I rather this not be a "thing"?  Yes!  It wasn't fair to me at all!  But it was happening and I was willing to work it out.  She wasn't.  I told her, "I would never do that, we're friends."  She told me, "Connie, we aren't even friends!"  I was dumbfounded.  Sure, I had only known her a few years.  No, I didn't grow up with her like the rest of her friends but how does that not make us friends?   We got each other birthday gifts, we had play dates, birthday parties, talked about our common interests, and did girls nights.  Hanging out lessened as I became a busy mom, also going to school at the time (and had other really tough hardships going on), but I considered us friends.

It got me thinking of how unfortunate this title "friend" can be.  Why is it unfortunate?  Because people look at it like it's a relationship title you don't just throw out, it's exclusive.  If you start considering someone your friend you had BETTER be ready to do some service for them.  You might as well start picking their kids up from school and baking them birthday treats, right?  Ain't nobody got time for that- so keep the friendship circle small, right?  OK OK, I will digress with the sarcasm and continue with my original point.  My point is... calling someone a friend SHOULDN'T be exclusive.  It doesn't mean you HAVE to hang out all the time... but it should mean there is a mutual respect for each other.  You can take it a step further and include them in things, isn't that the Christlike way?  I admit I've neglected to do this at times because I've considered some people different than me and figured we wouldn't possibly connect.  But, how can I know right away?

Friendship should have no limits and the title "friend" shouldn't be limited to only certain people.  As I have gone from growing up in California to living in Virginia, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Kentucky (and some of those back and forth for a long time) I have really appreciated those people willing to extend a hand of friendship to me- even if it was for just a short month or two.  No, I haven't really been able to generate a non-family-female-best-friend since college, but it's been important for me to find friends, and to feel like I am someone's "friend".

People in general, and I'm sure I can do better too, need to open their hearts to others and love.  Christ, our best example of how to be, would consider EVERY SINGLE PERSON a friend.  On earth Christ would look past the imperfections and weaknesses of everyone, and love them.  He does that even on the other side of the veil.  I think people would be a lot happier within themselves if they looked at everyone as equals and gave everyone an equal opportunity to feel the hand of friendship extended toward them.  I wish I could go back in time and befriend "the new girl" in school- whoever they might've been- now that I know just how much it means.

Friday, September 4, 2015

There's Always Hope

After finding out about these videos I just felt (a couple times today) like I needed to share this.  I went on my church's website and noticed they came out with new addiction recovery videos.  These stories break my heart and I can't imagine what they had to go through.  But, at the same time I can imagine.  I do understand being human and hardships in life... having personal struggles and weaknesses, shortcomings and trials.  Life is hard sometimes!  Forgiving yourself and others is not easy!  But it's all possible.

I feel so deeply for people who are in a dark place and I just hope that someday they can see there is hope.  I know there is hope for everyone, no matter what.  There are proper steps to take when overcoming huge obstacles like these; but, it is up to each person to make that choice to better their lives and come to know of God's love for them.  Each of us has a choice to do wrong and a choice to do right.  Here is the trailer to all 12 short videos.  And here is where you can see all 12:  I hope someone needed this today because I really felt like I should share.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Super Hero Birthday Party

I've had these images in a draft forever.  Thought I would finally post them for posterity sake.  We did a super hero party for Brody's 6th birthday (so yeah over a year ago).  It was a lot of fun although I overestimated how many kids would come and I made WAYYyy too many superhero capes.  For activities we had the kids play "build the skyscraper" and whoever had the tallest before it fell, won.  They also had their own masks that they decorated how they wanted and then of course we did a photo booth.  I can't remember if there was anything else at this point.  Good times!
(The announcement I obviously spent several weeks on. Heh heh.)
Brody turning 6 IMG_4461 superhero photo booth

Summer Time

I've wanted to fill our jet tub up for the kids to play in since we moved here.  Summer is the perfect time for that!  So we put their swimsuits on and added some bubbles.  Our summer has been great so far!
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Tuesday, July 14, 2015

One month old

Remember how I did these for H?  And I did them for my daughter and posted them all on instagram (@connieballuff).  One of these days I might get a whole post up of hers for posterity sake.  Well, I couldn't get my last child grow up without at least making one "blue blanket picture".  I wish I had the time to do one every month but that ship has sailed!  This was taken nearly a year and a half ago.IMG_9602- Greyson.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Happy Summer

I hope your 4th of July was wonderful as was mine.  We had my brother and his family over for a BBQ and swimming/slip-in-sliding and the day before I got to take my kids to see the "Candy Bomber" make his potential "last drop".  It was a great weekend!

I wanted to add:  I love my life and my family.  I WISH I had all the time in the world to accomplish everything ever... including blogging every. little. thing.  I never left this space because I didn't love doing that- I left it because I wanted to refocus and live my life without a blog post being scripted in my head.  It's been so refreshing and wonderful to do that.  Instagram has been helpful in blogging less/not at all.  I can log the most important stuff without having to spend so much time writing posts.

Anyway it's hard to believe by year's end I'll have 9 years of marriage under my belt, a 7, 5, 3, and 2 year old, 6 years of my photography business, AND next month I'm turning 30 (that part kinda freaks me out).  It's a good little life!
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