how I master the grocery story with a toddler

Let me clarify the title of the post...

How I Master Survive the Grocery Store 
Before Nap and Lunch With a Toddler that Usually Loathes Sitting Still

We have finally gotten down a pretty consistent grocery-going routine during this stage of toddlerhood and our weekly schedule.  And I feel at this point I can say there are quite a few things I have found work well for us! (Disclaimer: Work well most trips.  It's not always consistent with a toddler!)

We almost always go to the grocery after our Toddler Time at the local library.  This works for us because it gives us just enough time before nap and lunch and we are out anyway.

What's working for us and often lends itself to a successful shopping trip:

-McDonald's french fries and an apple juice box for Adeline/large Diet Coke for Momma (or let her open a pouch or snack that I pay for at the end)

-choosing a "yay-yoh" cart (Adeline's talk for a special cart with the fancy seats for kiddos- either one she can sit up facing ahead or one she can "drive")

-talking up something she looks forward to shopping for while we are shopping for the "not-so-fun" items (sometimes it's cookies we are buying, sometimes it's a new box of goldfish, or sometimes it's a small toy treat that I am going to let her pick out)

-reusable bags (we don't have a garage...easier to lug inside)

-bag of coupons/set aside...or my favorite...use the Cartwheel app at Target if we shop there

-let Adeline "help" pay


-cash envelope ready

-double/duty store (wal-mart) to shop toiletries and groceries in one trip

-talking as we shop...there are SO many ways you can teach and be intentional while you shop- point out colors, names of fruits and veggies, talk about boxes being up high or down low, encourage them to talk and say hello if someone says hello to them, etc.

-toys to hold

Not a fool-proof system...but it's working for us...so I'll take it!

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to blog or not to blog

...that's seriously the question.

I have this constant battle in my mind.  This battle to capture every waking moment of this life.  This beautiful, blessed life God has gifted me.  This life that I am to live to the fullest for His glory.

And then I have this side of me that says "take a break! For goodness sake, take a break!" (As if I have religiously blogged the past, oh, say two years.)

So I continue this pondering into the beginning of 2014.  I want to enjoy and soak in these days in a carefree, no strings attached, kinda way. I wish my mind would just let me leave those moments be and just take them for what they are.  Because as a blogger, as a writer at heart, I never live a moment of this life without thinking, oh I need to blog about this! Or I look at those moments as a "what can I share from this moment? what metaphor is there here? I gotta keep this captured. I surely have something to say and share about this."

So as we inch closer and closer to 2014, there are many things I am pondering.  I'm pondering for what I truly have a passion.  What He wants me to do with this season, these moments.  What I feel God has given me talents and equipped me to do better than other things:

-being organized
-being thrifty
-being a mommy
-being productive
-being efficient
-being creative
-studying God's word
-PR for our store
-loving and caring

And I have a list going in my journal of areas I want to improve on for our family's well-being over the next year:

-getting active as a family
-less social media (especially during sacred night time at home)
-saying no to the unnecessary and excess things, events and commitments
-packing Justin's lunches (so he doesn't have to grab things)
-meal planning/eating intentionally healthier as a family
-letting go of what I'm NOT doing

And that's where I'm leaving my thoughts right now.  Trying to figure out how all these goals work together and how God can best be glorified amidst this.  What does He want me to really tackle and what does He want me to push to the side so I'm not glorifying busyness, but I'm glorifying Him.

I'm listening to Him. I'm waiting upon Him.

The next steps are to be determined.  Praise the Lord for being a work in progress that is completed in His grace.

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december blessings.

I'm hosting with Natalie, Beth Ann, and Jordan to share the blessings
God has placed in our paths during the week.

(One.) I'm blessed by this sweet girl's zest for life.  There's not a moment that goes by that she's not taking it all in and squealing with delight.

(Two.) I'm blessed by impromptu, unplanned memories that will last a lifetime.  Adeline went to bed early the other night because of no nap.  It was a snowy night and we got the urge to go ahead and put up the tree.  We had started putting up the tree and I decided we would get it up just to the point of where Adeline could add some ornaments when she got up.  She decided to wake up at 10 pm and wouldn't go back to sleep.  So what did we do? We decorated the tree, baked cookies, and set up the manger!


(Three.) I'm beyond blessed to spend my days with my favorite girl.  You just never know what kinda of shenanigans may happen.

(Four.) I'm blessed knowing that my little one will grow up knowing a church is a family.  That God's house is a place of love, laughter, grace and fellowship.  A place that propels us to go out and love on people like crazy in His name.

(Five.)  I'm blessed with these two.  I'm daily overwhelmed by His goodness that shines through these two.  This family.

(Six.)  I'm blessed that I still have my grandparents on my Mom's side in my life.  That Adeline has two great-grandparents to love and learn from.  We spent Monday afternoon (Adeline still in her Christmas jammies) with my mom at my grandparents' eating lunch (my Grandma is the best cook) and helping them decorate their tree.  The joy this brought them and the memories added to our Christmases because of this day are priceless.

image by Adeline
I'm also linking up with [the good life blog] today for the virtual Christmas Pajama Party.

We would love to have you join us! All GOOD things come from above...how has God blessed you recently? Make sure to grab the box at the top and link-up with us today!

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a list

I'm hosting with Natalie, Beth Ann, and Jordan to share the blessings
God has placed in our paths during the week.

ONE.  This past Saturday, I completed my current Grad School class, which means I have 30 hours toward my 36 hour grad program to become a Reading Specialist.  I was about halfway through when I found out I was pregnant with Adeline, so it is so nice to be so close! I will take a class this Spring and a class this summer and be FINISHED!!!! My state requires teachers to get their Masters by their 10th year to keep their teaching certificate, so to have this behind me will be a huge accomplishment.

TWO.  I have mentioned many times over that we are big Dave Ramsey fans and have seen Financial Peace work in our married lives tremendously and bless our family.  So with that, we have paid cash for all of my Grad classes and I feel SO blessed to be debt-free with my masters, and know that we are almost completely finished saving for my classes.  Lately, I have sold on IG, sold on eBay, sold on our local Facebook selling page, and crafted to make money to fund my classes.  It hasn't been easy but it has been so fulfilling.
Three. We have started the Radical (by David Platt) small group study in our Sunday School and it has rocked my world.  It is so challenging (in a good way) and is causing me to constantly lift my prayers to God to renew and mold my heart for His glory and His purpose.

Four.  I am a part of the Body Back challenge with quite a few blogger mommas and our close friends.  We are in week 3 and it feels SO GOOD to have a fitness goal to be healthier and more toned.  The 12 week program ends near our winter beach trip, so that is motivation at its finest.  I'm so thankful for my personal trainer, Jillian! ;) 30 Day Shred anyone?!
Five.  Friends.  I feel so blessed to have such wonderful mommy friends that have such sweet babies (ahem, Toddlers) for Adeline to be friends with.  Whether it's Toddler Time at the library, texts about how sore we are from workouts, or laid-back play dates at our homes, I am so blessed by the sweet friends in my life, which also means the sweet girls Adeline has as her friends growing up!

We would love to have you join us! All GOOD things come from above...how has God blessed you recently? Make sure to grab the box and link-up with us today!

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birthday girl's day

I'm hosting with Natalie, Beth Ann, and Jordan to share the blessings
God has placed in our paths during the week.

We would love to have you join us! Make sure to grab the box and link-up with us today!

Saturday was Adeline's 2nd birthday and we spent the day letting her enjoy herself and tell us (as much as she could) what she wanted to do! We had quite the fun day before her party that evening at our house (more to come on that in another post)! Because the day was such a blessing, celebrating our sweet little thing, I thought it was only fitting to share on the Blessing Box post!

balloon surprise to wake-up the birthday girl!
checking out the beginning of the birthday table decor for her party
 sprinkle covered cinnamon rolls for breakfast!

 opening her birthday shirt!

her favorite...qdoba for lunch!

 Our next stop was Cabela's to see the fish...one of Adeline's favorite places!

Adeline decided the aisle of bobbers was crazy exciting! She picked out a pink one as her birthday treat from Cabela's. ha! Love this girl!    

Finally, after a long nap and some errand running for her party, we surprised Adeline with her very own fish tank with three fish! She was a (tad) happy as you can tell!

Such a blessing of a day spending it with our special 2 year old!

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Happy 2nd Birthday, Adeline Grace!

Happy 2nd Birthday to our sweet baby girl today!

I didn't realize how much my heart could love.  I didn't realize how much my world could be blessed.  I didn't realize how much I was meant to be a Momma.  To be this girl's Momma. 
Until November 9th, 2011.

A heart like no one I know.  A joy like I've never seen.  A little soul that reaches others with her smile and huge personality more than anyone I've met.  How did we get so blessed?!

Happy Birthday, Adeline Grace!

As long as I'm living...my baby you'll be.

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