"We dish about everything, 'cuz we've got a lot on our plates!"

Our Linkyversary! Moonlight & Mason Jars Link-Up Party #52 & $100 Target Giftcard Giveaway

Posted by on Apr 23, 2014 | 1 comment

Moonlight and Mason Jars Link Party Button

Welcome to the 1 Year Linkyversary of Moonlight & Mason Jars (#52)!

What a year it has been! Words can’t express how thankful we are for each and every one of you who has linked up with us over these last 52 weeks. You continually inspire us with your creativity and we have made a ton of new friends through this link party. THANK YOU!

$100 Target Gift CardTo show our gratitude to our lovely loyal blogger friends, we’ve teamed up to give away a
$100 Target Gift Card!

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It’s So Hard To Say Goodbye to… Baby Clothes?!

Posted by on Apr 21, 2014 | 4 comments

A week and a half ago, Matt’s brother and his wife welcomed their second baby into the world. It is their first little boy, and my very first nephew! Already having two girl cousins (who they love very much), Brady and Cole were excited to have their first boy cousin as well. I can only imagine the fishing and camping adventures these little dudes will go on together one day!

I was especially elated to receive the “it’s a boy!” text that morning (the sex was a surprise) because I have boxes and boxes of tiny blue sleepers and onesies and blankets and burp clothes and on and on and on… in my loft, that I have been dutifully saving for the next baby boy to arrive. I thought, “Yes, he has finally arrived! (and I can finally clear out some space).” Yay!!!

Right??

When my in-laws arrived in town this weekend with 2 big bags to offload my loot, there was definitely some “yay!”, but there were also some (unexpected) tears. And not joyful ones.

These weren’t “I want another baby” tears, there is absolutely no confusion on that one. I am still 100% confident in our decision to stop making our own little boys (‘cuz that’s what we do). But as I was going through all the outfits, I saw my little Brady and my not-so little Cole in every single one them. I remembered who wore what and when. I saw myself holding them, or lying on the floor next to them, or pushing them in the stroller. I recalled how some of the items were worn only one time, before they were quickly outgrown, and how many of them never fit Cole at all. As all the memories of those newborn days flooded my mind, I was overwhelmed with sadness over giving it all away. Like the memories were somehow tied to the fabric.

I couldn’t help but lift them all up to my nose, just to see how they smelled. Weird, I know.

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There was a part of me that wanted to just put them all back in the boxes, so that they could remain safely in my loft. So the memories would stay here, with me, forever. But I knew it was time to let them go. After all, they are just clothes. The memories will live on in my heart and in my mind, and I can replay them time and time again, every time I see my nephew in them (and perhaps another nephew in May!)

I have keepsake boxes for each of the boys that contain their hospital blankets, coming home outfits, and other special onesies, hats, and shoes. We can look at them together when they get a little older, and they will stay with me until they are ready to go their little ones one day. I was just so surprised at how hard it was to say goodbye to those boxes that have been cluttering up my loft space for the last 2 years. I even cried over bibs and socks. C’mon, what is wrong with me?! :)

Maybe it was just hard because it was literally the first time I had ever shared my kids’ clothes with anyone before. I have to imagine it will get easier as time goes on. I mean, who gets emotional over 2T gray mesh shorts? There’s just something so amazing about those teeny-tiny newborn sleepers with their little footies and the little doggies on them… oh, here I go again!

Has anyone else ever gone through this? Please tell me I am not alone!!

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Moonlight & Mason Jars Weekly Link-Up Party #51

Posted by on Apr 16, 2014 | 2 comments

Moonlight and Mason Jars Link Party Button

Welcome to the Moonlight & Mason Jars Link Up Party #51, hosted by myself, Jennifer, Ashley & Samantha. It’s hard to believe we are one week away from our 1 year anniversary of this wonderful weekly link-up party. So many of you have been linking up with us since the very beginning and we cannot thank you enough for sticking with us. To help celebrate our big milestone, the hosts of M&MJ are going to be hosting a big giveaway next week, so be sure to join us!

But before I get ahead of myself, are ya’ll ready to party?!

Don’t forget that we have ONE new guest host each week. If you’re a blogger and are interested in participating, please send me a message on Facebook. We average about 200 link-ups per week, so that is great exposure for your blog. Don’t miss out!

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Welcome Mindi from Simply Stavish!

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Preparing for Easter Morning

Posted by on Apr 15, 2014 | 0 comments

If your house is anything like ours on Easter morning, you’ll be up at the crack of dawn, with your little ones begging you to go outside to find the eggs that the Easter Bunny placed all over the backyard lawn (assuming the snow has melted, yikes!) It’s super fun, but we are up bright and early! Then, after the fun of the Easter egg hunt, we have to scramble to get ourselves showered and dressed in our best attire to head to Easter Sunday Mass. I’m not complaining about this at all, I love our family tradition, however it leaves me very little time to mess around in the kitchen to prepare holiday brunch for our families.

So what is an exhausted Mama to do in order to make the family meal a tasty success with some holiday design and flair added to the mix? I prep everything in the days leading up to the holiday, so we can get up and enjoy each other’s company.

Here’s what I do:

-Shop for and wrap Easter baskets the week or two before (then find a good hiding place)

-Plan the menu the week before and grocery shop a few days prior to the holiday

-Arrange all the food and appetizers and store in refrigerator until the morning of

-Set the table the night before

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{Beautiful centerpiece via Williams-Sonoma}

This year, here’s what we’re eating:

 

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Quiche Lorraine {via About.com/Busy Cooks}

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 Spinach, zucchini and tomato quiche {via Scandi Home}

Ham and Cheese Egg Casserole 800 6089 Egg, cheese and ham casserole {via Yummly}

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Mixed Green Salad {via Picky Cook}

I will also make a fresh fruit salad (blackberries, strawberries, oranges, cantaloupe, honeydew, kiwi, blueberries and grapes) and have plenty of hot buns, croissants, bagels, and muffins on hand!

I try to keep it simple yet elegant since it’s a holiday brunch and we are all dressed up and fancy from church. I love entertaining, especially at my home, but as a busy mom I need to keep it simple or else I just don’t enjoy the day. And after all the running around and craziness, we should get to enjoy it too, right?!

How do you prep for your Easter Holiday celebration? Do you proactively prepare for kids activities, hunt goodies, family meals and entertainment, or are you more of a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants host? Or are you celebrating Easter at someone else’s home this year?

Natalie

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Catch the Moment 365: Week 14

Posted by on Apr 14, 2014 | 2 comments

You may be surprised to see this, considering the last Catch the Moment 365 post I wrote was for Weeks 5 & 6… but I’m definitely back. I have given myself grace for missing so many weeks (and to be fair, it’s not like I haven’t taken any photos between day 40 and day 91 (man, was I really gone for 51 days?!), I just didn’t get them posted here.

But starting back on April 1st, I recommitted myself to the project and I’ve been doing really well the last 2 weeks. I’ve only missed 2 days so far, and that’s because I was super sick and the Hubs was out of town. And yes, I may be a little late getting Week 14′s photos up on the blog, but I’m here now and that’s all that matters.

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91/365: Rainy day in NorCal and all we want to do is play with puzzles. Great for education, not so great for photos.

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92/365: The rain subsided for a bit and I went outside for a little peace and quiet. I was looking at this swing, that doesn’t get any use anymore, and I got a little sad. Our boys are too big for it now. Time to get rid of another “baby” item. Sigh. Also, the wisteria is in full bloom!

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93/365: There’s never. enough. ice cream.

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94/365: I finally took my camera out in public! Friday mornings at Gymboree with my #2 son. Love this shot!

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97/365: After a few days of being miserably sick, I was finally coming around, but still not 100%. This means that the boys were able to eat breakfast on the couch, ‘cuz I just didn’t have the fight in me that day.

I’ve already started editing my photos for week 15, so I should be ready with the next 7 days this Friday. Unless I get sick again :)

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I’m participating in this challenge/project to 1) catalogue the daily life of my family, 2) find more joy in our day-to-day lives, and 3) get more practice with my dSLR. I am getting better at using my camera every day, but there are some days I just… forget. Because I am simultaneously doing a #catchthemoment365 project on Instagram as well, some days those photos will have to fill in the blanks (and vice versa). Follow along at @hleatherton #EFam365 #catchthemoment365

If you would like to join in on Catch the Moment 365 project, you can start at any time. It doesn’t have to be on Jan 1. Just start today and take photos for the next 365 days… and, link up of course!

Catch the Moment 365 hosts: Mindi from Simply Stavish, Sarah from Nurse Loves Farmer, Stephanie from Behind the Camera and Dreaming

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