Life, Motherhood & Parenting

My Family Introductions: Chase Eugene

I am in some serious denial today. My baby boy is turning seven tomorrow. I have yet to find a way to bottle them up. To freeze time. As I prepare this post I am looking at all of his old pictures and all of his warm soft squishiness comes rushing back. Those deep blue eyes, that bright blonde hair and that sweet smile. At the same time, my mother’s heart is torn as I watch my baby grow into such a young, spirited boy. With his birthday tomorrow, I wanted to share with you and document our youngest son, Chase Eugene. Trust me, he is worth getting to know!

Family Introduction: Chase Eugene | loveandmessiness.com

Chase was born four days late, in typical Fiely child style, on March 24, 2010. For some reason, Erik and I were sure we were having another girl. After Marlee & Milo, it seemed my pregnancy mirrored that of Marlee’s. Even until the end, we had settled on a girl’s name and just had the mind set. Two weeks before he was due, we came across the name Chase and decided that would be the name for a boy, but we figured we wouldn’t need it.

As it turns out, God had other plans for us! And if you have ever met Chase, you know that his name fits him perfect, as last minute as it was! This boy is ornery to say the least. Full of a wild spirit I wish I had some days. He can put a smile on anyone’s face that is for sure! He is light hearted and silly but completely sweet at the same time.

Chase Eugene | loveandmessiness.com

After we had Chase we had our hands full with three babies (in three years!) but man, if there is ever doubt a mother’s heart can’t grow, he is proof. He was my boy! While tending to the baby, Erik played with Marlee and Milo more so my bond with Chase was great! I had more time with him to enjoy him as a baby and I enjoyed each stage he was in!

The years when all three were young are kind of a blur but as Chase grew, so did his bond with his brother! My boys, often mistaken as twins, are thick as thieves. They are only 17 months apart in age and are back to back in school, Milo in 2nd grade and Chase in 1st. I foresee them being great friends, sharing friends and all kinds of memories in the years to come!

Chase Eugene | loveandmessiness.com

One thing that really sticks out in my mind about Chase is when he broke his leg. Obviously there are many reasons why I remember that time (so scary!) but when something like that happens, you learn so much about the person someone is.

The way he handled himself in all of that pain is amazing. He was so patient with his limitations, as he sat on the couch and missed out on school, field trips and birthday parties. He was so brave to go to school in a wheel chair, drawing all of that attention and taking it in stride! (He even needed help in the bathroom because he couldn’t use his leg at all and the cast went from his foot to mid thigh!). When he finally mastered crutches he whipped around the house and the school halls with ease! It was a long, three month recovery and we were just as glad as he was to be totally back to normal and to be able to be himself again! He probably won’t remember much about that time when he gets older but I will never forget!

Chase & Vayda | loveandmessiness.com

More About Chase:

He loves hugs, random hugs at any time of the day. And no, I will never give these up!

He is a bit of a dare devil. He is the first and only one of the kids to have a broken bone, breaking his leg riding his bike.

He has the biggest, ice blue eyes I have ever seen.

He also has the hardest head, and trust me, he has tested that!

He loves playing baseball and football with his brother. Even though they are nearly the same size, he really looks up to him!

His nick name is Chasey-Bear…and he will hate me for that for sure.

He is a Minecraft freak. Building, playing, watching videos, you name it!

His favorite cartoon is Teen Titans Go, but he also likes to watch Andy Griffith with his dad.

He loves fire…which is mildly frightening. He jumps at any chance he gets to help with a campfire, loves tending it, cooking on it, watching it. He’s an outdoorsman!

He is an awesome big brother. Just ask Vayda.

He will never stop eating breakfast, but doesn’t eat much for lunch or dinner.

He is a drinker. Drinks all of the things and fast. Makes me fear those teenage years…he will be a hit at parties I am sure.

Well, that is a (somewhat) brief peek into our Chase. We love him more every day and love watching him grow into such an awesome person. Happy Birthday Chase Eugene!

Chase Eugene | loveandmessiness.com

Life

Walk MS: Multiple Sclerosis Affects Me & Countless Others

Many of you may not know much about Multiple Sclerosis. Some of you may have heard of it and not really understand it. And some of you may know it all too well because either you or someone you know suffers from the disease. MS is a neurological disease. One that affects millions of people and one that, for me, hits close to home.

2017 Walk MS | www.loveandmessiness.com

 

I am one of those millions of people whom it affects. I don’t personally have MS, but one of the greatest woman in the world does. The person who raised me, who taught me to walk and ride a bike. Who showed me how to bake cookies and how to keep a clean house. My mom. My mother was diagnosed with this stupid disease years ago. And along with her, I am fighting to find a cure!

Multiple Sclerosis: n. a chronic, typically progressive disease involving damage to the sheaths of nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord, whose symptoms may include numbness, impairment of speech and of muscular coordination, blurred vision, and severe fatigue.

There is so much unknown about MS. There is no cure but over the years, with donations and research, they have found ways of treating the symptoms. One thing working against all of these doctors and researchers is that each case is unique, not one of them the same. A perfect example, my uncle and godfather and my mom’s brother, was diagnosed with MS at a younger age than her and died at a young age, with young kids, do to complications from the disease. Even though they cannot link MS to be hereditary in any way, my mother found herself diagnosed years later but with somewhat different symptoms. Her’s doesn’t seem to be quite as severe and she has actually been in remission. She was diagnosed at a later age, much later than most ever are, and has been controlling her symptoms pretty successfully so far…although there are days.

Each year we have made it a tradition to join other families and our community and walk in our local MS walk. I love the feeling of community and support that this walk brings! We rally together and all do our best to raise money to fund research and to fight to find a cure!

I invite all of you to please take a moment, do some research, become aware, get involved and maybe most importantly, DONATE. Donate to help find a cure. Donate to the countless hours of research. Donate for my mom. Donate for my late uncle and the children he left behind. Donate for my friend. Your friend. Your neighbor. Anyone and everyone.

Please also pray. Pray for the sufferers. Pray for their families and friends. Pray for the doctors and researchers. Pray to end the suffering and pray for a cure!

You will find a link here to donate. Anything and everything is appreciated. God bless!

Holidays & Parties, Motherhood & Parenting

7 Great Lent Ideas for Kids

The Lent season is fast approaching and if your family celebrates Lent like ours, you are probably trying to think of ideas of things you could sacrifice. It is especially challenging to come up with good ideas for the kids to give up! I took some time and put together a great list of Lenten ideas and sacrifices for kids!

Even if you don’t celebrate Lent, these ideas are a great conversation starter to have with your kids. You could work together and learn more about gratitude and sacrifice in everyday life. Below is a list of 7 different ideas your children could consider!

7 Great Lent Ideas for Kids | Love & Messiness.com Continue Reading

Life

Updates! Dental Work, Home & Blog Updates & More!

It has been a busy couple of weeks! Sometimes everything can go by so fast and its all a blur! As I sit here tonight alone, Erik is gone and the kids are all in bed, I am running a recap of the last week in my mind. Before I know it another weekend will be in the books and the little moments will be forgotten! Here is a quick recap of some of the moments of the last week!

February Updates | loveandmessiness.com Continue Reading

Life

Appraisal Prep: The Kids’ Rooms Get Fresh Paint!

Man alive this was another busy weekend! We have been busting our butts getting ready for this home appraisal and this weekend was no different! My weekends have been one big blur lately. The kids’ rooms have been easily neglected because they are upstairs and people rarely see them. We keep them clean and organized but they are a mish mash of unmatched bedding, hand-me-down furniture and worn out paint. To get the best results from our appraisal, it was important to finish up a few eyesores and give them a fresh coat of paint!

Appraisal Prep | www.loveandmessiness.com

The kids were super excited by this (which made me a little guilty for not taking the time to make it more ‘their’ space!) but they had no idea the work that it would take! We did Marlee’s room first. Both bedrooms have paneling on the walls (with slats and plaster behind, which is why they are still paneling!) but Marlee’s paneling has this wallpaper type covering. That was peeling off on two of her walls so it needed fixed. After scraping, sanding and priming, she got a pretty coat of light purple! Her walls were still painted the nursery colors! (Yes, she is almost 10…no judgement!) Her room is more her own space now and she loves it! Here are some before (or during) and after pictures!

Before & After Marlee's Room | www.loveandmessiness.com

This weekend I tackled the boys’ room. They have paneling on the walls too but its just typical paneling so it was ready for paint. The ‘fix’ in their room is the chimney ran up through it. We had that taken out and duct work ran up and we never finished covering it up with paneling so we finished that up! For them, I chose a really light gray to lighten and brighten up the space! After vacuuming up about a million Legos (because I am super OCD and have to deep clean while the furniture is moved, oh and #boymom), we put everything back in order and the boys are loving it! Here are some before (during) and after pictures!

Before & After Boy's Room | www.loveandmessiness.com

Obviously these two rooms need totally redone and they are for sure on the list. Drywall, better closets, new carpet, etc. but with other, more used rooms needing done, they are low on the list. Our home is a work in progress! I really love that we are making it our own though. And hopefully our hard work these past few weeks will pay off with a great appraisal and a BIG addition this spring!

Do any of you live in a fixer upper?! If so I would love to hear all about it!

Life

Our Newest Home Renovation: A Garage Addition!

Things have been crazy around here lately! But who am I kidding…things are always crazy! Well, they have been a little crazier than normal because we have officially started planning our next BIG home renovation. A garage addition! And you know, since it is a garage, the ‘man’s’ thing, it has to be the biggest and best!

Home Renovation | www.loveandmessiness.com

I will admit that I am excited for it too. We have never had a garage…or a useful one anyways. The house we bought had a very small, one car garage that isn’t attached. I am not even sure a normal vehicle would fit in it! We use it for storage and that’s about it. We do have a carport attached to our covered porch and it’s nice to atleast have that to park under! It’s a life saver in the rain or when it is icy. Unfortunately, it’s only big enough for one vehicle so Erik has to park on the street. This will be a big step up because it will be ATTACHED!!

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Motherhood & Parenting

A Beautiful Mess: Motherhood & Getting Closer to God

Motherhood is a combination of love and messiness. That is the perfect title for my blog because that is what my day to day life entails. Being a mother is the best thing that has ever happened to me and with each child, my heart has grown even bigger. With that being said, that doesn’t mean its always the best thing. In fact, there are many days where I feel like everything is going wrong and I have no idea what I am doing. Lately I have learned that on days like this, the best place to turn is upward!

A Beautiful Mess Bible Study | loveandmessiness.com

One of my goals for 2017 (along with being more organized, among a million other things!) is to actively become closer to God. I have turned more toward faith these lasts few years but I want to really become more active in it. Read the Bible, attend church more regularly, pray more with my husband. Those kind of things. One day I opened Facebook and there it was! The perfect opportunity! Some local girls were putting on a bible study. Normally I wouldn’t have thought twice but something called me to it and on a whim, I signed up!

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Holidays & Parties

Happy New Year : A Wrap Up of 2016 & A Fresh Start

Happy New Year! I am back! It’s been a few weeks since I’ve gotten behind the keyboard! The last few weeks were just as crazy as everyone else’s…all of the Christmas things happening! But it is 2017 now! Christmas is a magical haze and we are on to bigger better things, and better yet, back to routine! To start the year off fresh, I wanted fill you all in on our last few weeks and how I want to start off the new year!

Happy New Year | www.loveandmessiness.com

Christmas was nothing less than magical. Celebrating the holidays with children makes everything that much better! I wrote previously about how we limit our Christmas gifts and this year was no different. I always have last minute hesitations though…because I hear what others are giving and I get nervous they will be disappointed! But they were no where near disappointed. They loved everything they received and never questioned anything! They were so grateful and happy…and that is all I ever wanted!

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DIY & Design, Holidays & Parties

DIY Advent Calendar: One of our Favorite Christmas Traditions!

One of my favorite family holiday traditions is our Advent calendar! A couple of years ago I decided that this would be so fun for the kids! After looking around on Pinterest, I put together some ideas and got to it!

DIY Advent Calendar | www.loveandmessiness.com

The easy part was making the calendar. I went and purchased some material and ribbon. Then I laid it all out and measured and cut all of the pieces and then pinned it the way I wanted it. Next I took it to the expert…aka my Mother in Law…to be sewn together! I sewed on the ribbon tabs and Erik cut down the dowel rod. Finally I finished it with some long red ribbon to hang it. I LOVED how it turned out…but the hard part wasn’t finished.

DIY Advent Calendar | www.loveandmessiness.com

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Holidays & Parties, Motherhood & Parenting

Our Christmas Gift Limit & How Why We Changed Our Ways

A few years ago Erik and I seriously downsized Christmas. We never really went overboard but the kids always got plenty of gifts! One night, as we were walking through what was then our toy room, we looked around in awe of all of the toys the kids had! We had two entire closet shelving units on one wall, full wall to ceiling of toys!

We stood there and tried to remember the last time the kids had played with all of them. Some of them we knew they had outgrown and others we hadn’t seen them play with in ages. The next step was obvious…sort and clean!

Our Christmas Gift Limit & Why We Changed Our Ways | LoveAndMessiness.com

As we were going through all of the toys, I kept feeling guilt. I was worried they would miss them, or that they played with them sometimes. Finally, it got late, and Erik told me to just head on to bed and he would finish. Although a little concerned…haha…I went on ahead anyways.

When I got up the next morning I was mortified! He had literally cleared out over half of the shelves. The top half was empty! I was beside myself! I went to him explaining how upset the kids would be and how would we explain this?! Then, I got an even bigger surprise… Continue Reading