Thursday, June 25, 2015

Are Your Roots Deep Enough?

I have to let you know that I had a completely different post in mind for today, but after we lost power from the storm on Tuesday, a lot of what I worked on was lost. I was really upset. I worked very hard on that post and it was something I thought was going to be very special. It took me a little while to get over the fact that I had just lost almost all of what I had written, but when I did, I realized that God had something else he wanted me to share.

On Tuesday, around 6:30 pm a really bad storm came through and created a lot of damage. I was on my way home around 5:45, when the national weather service came on the radio with an emergency weather announcement. They said that there was going to be high winds around 70 miles an hour with hail and lots of lightening and rain. When I got home, my husband had the news on and informed me that there was also a tornado warning. I didn't think much of it.

I have to be honest, living in New Jersey, I never really think to much about a tornado actually hitting us. We have had some pretty bad storms, including Hurricane Sandy that came through, but a tornado? I thought that this was just another thing that the weather forecast guy was going to get wrong.

I could see out the window and this big black cloud was slowly making its way toward us, but it wasn't anything that I hadn't seen before. We were getting a play by play on the news of exactly how many lightening strikes were touching down in all areas around us, and it was clear that this storm was coming right for us. The winds started to pick up ad I began to get a little more nervous. The sky was now completely dark, almost as if it were night. Then out of nowhere this thick sheet of rain moved in and you could not see anything in front of you. It happened so fast. The trees were bending like I had never seen before. Stuff was getting tossed all around outside. This was serious and I was really scared now. The lightening strikes looked like they were right outside our door and the claps of thunder were so loud they shook our house. Then the power went out!

For those of you who have experienced something like this, then I am sure you know the feeling. You see, when Hurricane Sandy came through where we live, I was actually on my honeymoon in Mexico. I heard all about it and saw a lot of the damage when I returned home, but I wasn't there to actually experience it first hand. This was my first time seeing a storm this bad.

After the storm finally passed and we were all able to calm ourselves, we went outside to see if there was any damage. At first glance, we were relieved to find that none of our trees had fallen and there was no damage to our cars or property. There was actually a beautiful rainbow complete from one side to the other, right out side our back door! It was beautiful and also a great reminder!

The next morning however, when I took Grey for a walk, I could not believe what I saw. There were trees, big trees, completely uprooted from the ground. Trees split in half and covering the entire street. Our neighbors fence was completely destroyed from part of a tree that broke off during the storm. Tons of road were blocked and so many were without power. I could not believe it. Thankfully, nobody was hurt and I am more than grateful that there was no damage to our house.

The take away from all of this is very real to me. We lost power for a day and a half. Not fun! Sometimes though, we don't realize how much we rely on certain things until we have to go without them. We are definitely spoiled as a nation and we need to start to learn living with less.

More importantly, I was able to learn something on a deeper level. I could not believe how easily and badly things were destroyed so close to where we were. There were huge trees that were completely uprooted from the ground because their roots did not grow deep enough. As a result, they caused much damage to the surrounding area, including the loss of power for days for many people.

It's a lot like that for me in my life when storms come through. If I am not completely rooted in God's promises and truths, many areas of my life are affected negatively. It is so important for me to read his word and communicate with Him on a daily basis, otherwise when times get tough, I fall a part much like those trees. My friends, family, attitude, and job are all affected and it's usually not in a good way. I want to be able to stand strong during the difficult times in my life. I want to see the beauty in God's promises and trust that He is control, just the like the promise of the rainbow He gave  to us so long ago! I hope and pray that everyone who was affected by this storm is safe and will get their power back soon!

Many Blessings,

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

My Summer Bucket List & A Giveaway

Summer is almost here and it's one of my favorite seasons. Growing up, I always looked forward to the summer. We had a pool in our back yard where I spent most of my time with my friends. We cooked out on the grill many nights and did lots of fun activities as a family. We also went to the beach a lot and traveled to another state at least once every summer.

Now that I have a little family of my own, I look forward to creating the same fun memories with them. This summer I have lots of fun things planned for all of us, so I decided to create a bucket list. There are a few things that I have planned for myself, a few things that I want to do as a family, and a few things that are just mama and little one.

One thing that I wanted to do as a family, was rent a shore house in Ocean City. We planned this awhile back and as an added bonus, we were able to rent a house with some of my closest friends and their little ones. We had a blast! It was the first time that my son had been on any rides, and he loved it. Watching him get so excited, made my heart melt. It is a memory that I will forever have in my heart. First family & friends beach vacation, check!

Chasing Uncle Den up and down the hallway was so much fun

A few other things that I want to do as a family this summer.

1. Take a trip to Stockton University and walk around. My husband and I both graduated from there.
     I know that a lot has changed since we were there and I think it would be great to go down for the 
     day and walk around.

2. Take a trip to Storybook Land. 

3. Go to Blueberry Hill and have a picnic lunch. I just found out about this little spot and it is so 

A few things that I want to do for myself.

1.  Spend one day a week working on blog stuff and finish random projects that I have been putting
     off for quite some time now.

2. Take some day trips to the beach with friends and go out to dinner.

3. Read at least 4 of the books on my "Reading List".

A few things that I want to do with my son.

1. Eat ice cream and watch the fire flies at night.

2. Go to the lake, and feed the ducks. 

3. Take a trip to Johnson's Farm to pick some fruit & see all the animals.

These are just a few things that I have listed, but there are also a lot of other things that we do together as a family and as mama and son every day. 

Grey and I at his favorite spot, watching the cars go by.

I have created a cute little bucket list for you to --> download and fill out with your ideas for the summer. Feel free to take any of my bucket list ideas and use them. If you have any ideas of your own that you would like to share, please feel free to leave a comment. 

Oh, about that giveaway!! So, I thought it would be fun to do a little giveaway to start off the summer. I had mentioned that one of my personal bucket list thing's to do was spend at least one day a week blogging and working on other projects. I have so many ideas and dreams to help grow my blog, but I never seem to have enough time. I am so glad that my hubby agreed to watch my little one all day, once a week, so that I can pursue those dreams. I got to thinking that maybe there are tons of others out there who have a dreams too. I created this 'Summer Dreams' Giveaway with that in mind. Stop over to my Instagram page (the.erin.elizabeth), for all of the details and rules on how to enter. I hope that you can find some time this summer to pursue your dreams.

Many Blessings,

Friday, June 12, 2015

Easy Peek-A-Boo Toddler Activity

I created this fun little activity for my son about two months ago. He loved it so much, so I thought I would share!

It's super easy to make. All you need are: two 12 x 12 pieces of craft paper, some pictures of family members, some scissors, and glue. I chose a piece of craft paper that had a bunch of cute little frames on them since I was putting pictures of people behind them.

First, I cut out about 10 frames on the one 12 x 12 craft paper, but I left the top attached so that it could act as a flap to lift up. After that, I laid the second 12 x12 paper behind the one with the cut out frames, but I didn't glue it together yet. I traced the inside of the frame onto the back sheet, so that I could measure where to put each picture. Next, I cut out the pictures of our family to match the sizes I had traced on the second sheet. I didn't go crazy trying to cut them out perfectly. I just made sure that none of the photos overlapped and I made sure that each person's face could be seen in cut out frame window. I didn't want to cut off anyone, lol. Finally, I glued the photos to the back sheet and then glued the edges of the top sheet to back sheet with the pictures. I also labeled the front of each frame flap with a number. You don't have to do this if you don't want to. 

Grey had so much fun lifting the flaps to find everyone. I included a picture of Grey, myself and daddy, both sets of grandparents, and his aunt and two uncles. Oh, and Saydee, our cat. After about a day or two he was able to recognize and find everyone. Now anytime we are with our relatives and I ask, "Where is (insert name of family member)?", he goes right up to them and smiles!

You can create a variety of different peek-a-boo boards with different foods, animals, and other house hold items. This is a great way to teach your toddler new vocabulary. After they understand what the item is, they will have an easier time verbally identifying the items when they see them in everyday life!

Happy Weekend and Many Blessings,