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

Motherhood & Parenting

New Family Pictures!

We got some quick, new family pictures taken and I am so excited! I wish I had the chance to take these more often because our family changes so much! But unfortunately time is not on our side and our crazy life gets away from us!

And let me tell you…as many of you other mama’s know…taking a decent photo of a moody toddler is not an easy task! I usually take the kids pictures each year and at every milestone. I love that I am able to do this and I love the photos so much more than those standard school pictures!

This year I had big dreams of how they would turn out but I was rushed trying to keep Vayda’s attention. This means we came away with one good picture of each of the bigger three, a much of pictures of the four of them where the lighting was even too bad for Photoshop and a few snaps of a blurry toddler.

After this attempt, I contacted an ‘expert’…a great friend and family member who has some experience under her belt! I was hoping with me dancing like a fool behind her, we could get one shot of Vayda with a smile! Plus it’s hard to take a photo of the six of us and be behind the camera! Ha!

So we went out and tried again! We were still rushed, with the sun setting so soon any more and Vayda’s short attention span, but we came away with some good ones! Between my shots and hers, we came away with a good family photo, a good shot of the kids and a good picture of each of the kids separate! Here they are!

The Fiely Family | LoveAndMessiness.com

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Motherhood & Parenting

Our Thankful Poster: Teaching the Kids to be Grateful

I am always trying to find different ways to show the kids how important it is to be grateful. There are so many children in the world today who don’t think to be thankful for the things in their lives. I feel that as parents, it is our job to help them understand this concept.

We always incorporate thank you’s into our prayers and every once in a while I will bring the topic up at dinner or during a car ride. It is kind of fun to see their minds work at the concept!

Thankful Poster | www.loveandmessiness.com

Each year, when November comes around I think it is really important to teach the reason for the Thanksgiving holiday. There are so many reasons for every one of us to be grateful for our lives and the people and things in them!

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Life

Our Wedding Anniversary: How It All Began

Erik and I will have been married for 11 years this month! It is so crazy how fast time goes by…especially after having kids. We started dating 15 years ago this past summer so that means we have been together for nearly half my life! In honor of our wedding anniversary I thought it would be fun to share with you all the story of how Erik and I met!

Erik & Kristy's Annivesary

THE PURSUIT…

I was always very shy, definitely the most shy of my friends! As we entered high school I got better and better with time but not near as outgoing as everyone else. We had a large group of friends and we hung out all of the time! Most of them had boy friends on and off and we had a lot of guy friends but I never dated anyone.

It was the summer before my 17th birthday and I was working at the grocery store in the neighboring town. I had made some new friends and was meeting lots of new people. I loved it! I got to know all of the regulars and me being the modest young girl I was, I didn’t notice one young man coming in quite frequently…

As it turns out I was being pursued and I had no idea! Erik came in almost every day (and always bought Dr. Pepper!). We would chat every time but I never thought much of it. I really never thought that anyone would really be interested in me. I honestly wasn’t even thinking about it!

Erik & Kristy's Annivesary

 

Eventually one Friday night Erik came in and asked if I was going down to the Jubilee that night and if I wanted to meet up or go with him. I explain that I had to go home and eat dinner with my mom (she was making pork chops and I promised to be home!) but that I was going down later and I would see him then! At this point I had no idea how naive I was!

That night I rode down with my mom to find my friends. I found one of my guy friends from the store and I was walking around with him because we were both looking for our friends. As I was walking around I ran into Erik! We chatted a bit and then he said he was just going to go home for the night. I just told him goodbye and proceeded to look for my friends.

Erik & Kristy's Annivesary

THE CATCH…

Time passed after that and I would still see him here or there but I was thinking of him more! One evening my sister and I were driving around town and we happened to drive by his house (I didn’t know where he lived) and he was outside. We kept on driving and I kept talking about it and finally, as we were nearing the edge of town on our way home, my sister said she would stop and knock on the door if I wanted her too. I was too big of a chicken to stop but at the last minute I said ‘Okay!’ and we went back! (Yes I was mortally embarrassed that my baby sister went to the door and not me but it worked out!) Erik came out to talk and we set up our first date!

And the rest is pretty much history. We got to know each other and fell hard fast! We spend all of our free time together! He became friends with my friends quickly, took me to my proms, dated as I went through college and asked me to marry him the summer before my senior year of college! We were married the following fall!

Long story short: First boyfriend, last boyfriend, forever. I am not sure what I would do without him! Do any of you have funny stories of how you met your significant other?! I would love to hear them!

Erik & Kristy's Annivesary

Motherhood & Parenting

Fall 2016: We Finally Made it to the Pumpkin Patch!

Yesterday we FINALLY made it to the pumpkin patch! I have to be honest, I was beginning to wonder if we were going to have time to go before they all closed for the season! We had yesterday free and the weather was absolutely perfect so we loaded up and headed out to explore!

Fall 2016: We Finally Made it to the Pumpkin Patch!

We invited my mom and step-dad to come along and I am so glad we did! I think it’s so great when they get to see things through the kids’ eyes. I know I love it!

The pumpkin patch that we visited had all kinds of fun activities for the kids. In fact, our school takes the kids each year in kindergarten to this same place! They had playgrounds, swings and a corn sand box. They also had a hay mound to play in, a lawnmower pulling a train of cars and a place to pump water and race ducks!

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Holidays & Parties, Motherhood & Parenting

Milo’s 8th Birthday Party: A Football Theme!

This past weekend we celebrated Milo’s eighth birthday and it was so much fun! Milo decided he wanted a football theme and that was so fun and easy! I had a blast planning and preparing and Milo had a blast playing all night with his friends!

Milo's 8th Birthday Party: A Football Theme

I took Friday afternoon off of work and started prepping! With four busy kids, it’s hard to find time to give the house a good, deep clean so I was so excited to have the house to myself for a few hours to have at it!

Friday night Erik and I took Milo out to dinner (and unfortunately for the birthday boy, to get some groceries!) which is a tradition that we started awhile go. We take each of the kids to dinner by themselves so they get some special time with just Mom & Dad! So Milo got pancakes, we got groceries and then headed home to rest up for a big day Saturday!

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Motherhood & Parenting

Some of my Favorite Things!

It’s funny…Marlee came up to me last night and randomly started asking me what some of my favorite things where. I will be honest. It totally stumped me! As a wife and mother of four, I don’t really think about ‘me’ a whole lot. I struggled to answer her! After some thought I gave her some things I could think of but walked away thinking, how could that be such a hard question?

With today being my birthday, I thought what a great time to sit down and really answer Marlee’s question! It have been blogging for 6 months now and I have made so many new friends! This is a great way for them to maybe get to know me a little better as well. So here goes! A list of some of my favorite things!

favorite-things

Favorite Drink: Coffee. All things coffee, but especially iced coffee!

Favorite Food: Chocolate.

Favorite Place: Home. Seriously…home with my family.

Favorite Sports Team: GO BROWNS!

Favorite Color: Purple or Teal…I can’t decide

Favorite Season: Fall (Hello?! October birthday here!)

Favorite Movie: My Best Friends Wedding (and the sound track!!)

Favorite Music: I love Adelle, the Beatles, Dean Martin, Eric Church…just about anything!

Favorite Superhero: Batman…I am not sure why, but he as always been my fave! I think I like that he doesn’t have powers.

Favorite TV Show: The Big Bang Theory…even all of the repeats!

Favorite City: Indianapolis: My husband and I made this our go-to place and we try to go every year for our anniversary. We love to explore more each year!

Favorite Website: Amazon: Proud Prime member here!

Favorite Restaurant: Harry & Izzy’s…this is an amazing restaurant Erik & I found in downtown Indy. Melt in your mouth filet mignon!

Favorite Cartoon: I have always been a big Scooby fan! My favorite episode is the one with the Creeper…I mean, the baby chick things Scooby is his momma! Love!

Favorite Sport: Football to watch, volleyball to play!

Favorite Book: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I love this story!

Favorite Holiday: Christmas. I love the decoration, the gift giving, the smells, the smiles, the lights, the love and Jesus. The best!

Favorite Pastime: Hanging with my family…playing outside with the kids, enjoying a campfire!

There you have it! Some of my favorite things! Some of these took some thought! When was the last time you stopped and thought about some of your favorite things?! Please share some of them!

Holidays & Parties, Life

October: A Look Ahead!

How is October here already?! This is by far my favorite month of the year but it is one of our busiest! We have a lot going on and a lot to look forward to! I thought I would share a quick overview of our month ahead!

Calendar of October

This first week of the month is all about preparing! Preparing for parties, preparing for the cooler weather and preparing for fall & Halloween! The girls and I went shopping this past weekend to get everyone some fall clothes. When the weather turned this past week I realized each of the kids had about two pair of pants! We also picked up part of Marlee’s Halloween costume!

Next weekend we hope to catch up around the house and do a little more shopping. Milo’s birthday is October 14th and we are celebrating with family and friends on the 15th. We hope to get out and pick up his gift and some supplies to decorate for his football themed birthday party! It will be so fun! Below is the fun football ticket birthday invite I created for him! (He loved it!)

Boys Football Birthday Invitation

My birthday is coming up as well! A few days before Milo’s. I am going to be turning the big 3-2 and I am pretty sure it makes me feel older to know that Milo will be 8 than me turning 32! How is that even possible?! It as just yesterday that he was toddling around after Marlee right?!

The end of the month marks our 11 year wedding anniversary! We always try to get away for the weekend (this is the one weekend all year we stay away from the kids!) This will be the first time since we had Vayda (I am kind of a baby and didn’t want to leave her last year when she was just six month old!) More details on our plans later! (When we actually make them…hehe)

That is just a quick wrap up of our month. Of course, mixed in there is homework, cheer, council meetings, football games, hopefully a trip to the pumpkin patch, pumpkin carving, Halloween & Trick or Treat, a few other parties and (gulp) preparing for the holidays!

Wish me luck! I will be sharing all the details of the month as they come along! Happy Fall!

DIY & Design, Motherhood & Parenting

Marlee’s Student Council Election

Marlee is so excited to be running for student council! Each class room gets to vote two council members and they get to hang two campaign posters and they have to give a speech before election day. She ran last year but she was pretty nervous and didn’t give it much thought. But this year, she is all excited and was mapping out her poster ideas when she brought the sign up sheet home!

We got her all approved and signed up and then it was poster time! I must say, this is right up my alley! (Hello Pinterest!) It was so fun to browse the internet with her and brainstorm ideas. The very next night we got some supplies and got started!

img_3956

The first poster we did was the ‘Call Me Maybe’ poster. She was nervous about everything, making straight lines, tracing the stencils right, coloring it…it was hard not to do too much for her! She took a quick shower that night while me and Dad laid out the lines and stencils. By time she got out, I had two lines stenciled so I gave her a pep talk and got her coloring! The finishing touch was her handwriting on the bottom. I told her it would make it more personal!

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