A Full Quiver + Minnetonka Mocc Giveaway

IHOD Family - Minnetonka MoccsBoys Family - Minnetonka - Photo by Chelsey Heidorn IHOD | Chelsey Heidorn Photography IHOD Fam  IHOD Liesemeyer Fam - Chelsey Heidorn Photography Little V | Photos by Chelsey Heidorn Mini Moccs

Shoulder Ride  Moccasins

Growing up, when people would comment to my dad about having his hands full (there were 11 of us), he liked to refer to the verse “Blessed is a man with a quiver full of them..” Psalm 127:5 , so that each of us would always know that to him we were a gift.

I feel this each day with three little ones close in age. I have a full quiver, but instead of “having my hands full” or “you must be so busy,” that psalm runs through my mind. I see each quiver as cherished one. Some days Gabe and I feel like we aren’t worthy or don’t feel like we have what it takes to raise these little ones into fine men and women. That is a fear I believe that passes the hearts of many parents.

However, we have both have a strong will and share a passionate love for our children. Hopefully that will suffice. One day at a time, one moment at a time, we will raise them in a house where love will always be expressed, felt, and freely given. The building blocks that make strong and sturdy characters, right?

Speaking of strong and sturdy;)….Minnetonka Moccasin Co. sent us the most comfortable sets of their classic and newer styles, and we all feel pretty special when we wear them. Veronica perpetually puts them on backwards and requests to wear them to sleep, and Gabriel saves them for just the right occasions. Max attempts to eat his. A true demonstration of their personalities….

My husband Gabe’s first pair of moccasins were Minnetonka so this new pair are now like loyal pups at his feet. They are nostalgic for him. And as you know, Gabe only goes for quality. I have given up heels during the week as of late, so the fringe booties were the perfect addition to my every day life. A little sassy but incredibley comfortable. I wore them out to the concert last weekend and for the first time on a weekend night, did not have sore feet at the end of it :)

Minnetonka Moccasin company was such a pleasure to collaborate with. They are giving away a pair of moccs to TWO winners! Enter easily through rafflecopter below. (U.S. Residents only this time friends!) Best of luck!

All photos by our talented friend Chelsey Heidorn Photography

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Outfit details:
Gabe:  Denim // Shades // Moccs c/o
Anna: Tee c/o // Denim // Shades // Boots c/o
Gabriel: Shirt // Pants (consigned) // Moccs c/o
Veronica: Shirt: Flor de Luz c/o // Bandana: Seed Factory // Denim c/o // Moccs c/o
Max: Shirt (consigned) // Denim // Moccs c/o

Dating through your marriage.

Dating through marriage | IHOD

I was carefully warned by many to enjoy the fun years of dating because it ends after marriage. “All the extras slowly come to a halt once you tie the knot” so they’d say…
And I began to wonder if this would happen to us. You can’t be in the honeymoon phase forever, right?

Your love for each other does change after marriage, but if your lucky, it grows deeper each day because each consistent day is a building block in a very sturdy brick foundation. If you choose, it can be the kind of love that grows over moves across the country, losing loved ones, having babies, and still remaining devoted to each other. So through the longest days and the sleepless nights, financial strain, heart ache, and growing pains, one was looking out for the other. One would be a place of rest for the other. He would be a place of understanding and support, and I would be a listening ear at the end of a long day. Whatever your personality or love language may be, I think we can all agree that when you look for someone else’s needs before your own, love reciprocates and grows.

I like to thank some wise older friends who said that keeping your marriage as the priority (with God as the center), even before your own children, will ultimately be the key to a happy marriage and happy children too.Well here are just a few ways we have tried to keep it fresh! (Mostly Gabe and me being a moody stink eye sometimes trying to be as good as he.)

1) Bring home the faves. Whether its Talenti Gelato or literally (in Gabe’s case) real bacon, we both love to pick up each other’s favorite foods while we are at the store. A few small packs of peanut m & ms have saved a rough 5 o’ clock more times than I can say. When you know the other person took a minute to think about you and took the extra mile to make your day a little better, your love is a little renewed.

2) Saturday morning coffee. We have started to make a habit of having Saturday mornings as our time to just enjoy each other’s company and conversation. He will make the coffee (he has these really good combos down) and whether the kids are up or not, we sit in our living room and just listen to each other. I look forward to it so much.

3) Clean for the other person. This may sound odd, but while flowers and handwritten notes are still incredibly romantic, nothing gets to my heart faster than a man who cleans. Deep cleaning the kitchen is up there on the list of sure fire ways to woo a woman. Now this is probably not a priority for the men folk but Gabe always is thankful when I take care of his work shirts or clean his sink. Even though I know he could manage on his own, it’s good for me to practice service and it’s good practice for him to accept it;) Love is sometimes harder to receive than to give.

4) Plan surprises. We both claim to not like surprises, but we both seem to find ourselves planning them for each other. I really do love when Gabe tells me he has an evening planned and I don’t have to think about a thing…not even booking a babysitter. Being taken care of is something we girls love. I got the chance to redeem myself after a year of non-creative surprises by getting his best buds and brother here for a surprise birthday weekend. Sometimes life can get so crazy we forget to do something out of the ordinary for the other. Even the small surprises can renew that love and appreciation when you really need a lift.

5) Trying out the other’s interests. This started when we were dating, but it is a good way to keep things fun in your marriage. I know for a fact Gabe hates running, but he asked if he could start running with me a few years ago and he has on and off again since. He does it because he knows I love to run, and it makes me happy to do it with him. He even ran a 10K with me…honorable. Gabe has a loyalty to Brewers baseball that runs deep. Bob Uker is a regular guest in our household during baseball season. Although baseball really isn’t my sport, I make it a point to ask how they are doing every night and at least pretend to understand what he is talking about as he explains the current situation. I actually almost titled the post…“Letting Bob Uker be the third wheel in your marriage…” Jk.

Are we experts in marriage? Heck no. Just sharing what we are learning along this great adventure. Would love to hear the ways you keep the love going;)

 

*Photo thanks to our friend and super talented IHOD photographer Chelsey Heidorn

Packing for a Winter Week for a family of 5…

Packing Tips

Les Petites Darlings Packing Tips and Tricks | IHOD Smax
^^Max’s pants are from Les Petites Darlings!  (Patch Sweater and Hat from Old Navy)^^

As you know, recently we headed up to the great mitten and spent a week in a white wintery city with family. It was quite wonderful, although packing and unpacking were quite the feat. Packing for a family of 5 for a week in cold weather is not for the faint of heart. I did however have some fantastic tips come through when I was trying to figure it all out. As we gear up for another road trip for Christmas, I thought I would pass some of these helpful tips along!

PACKING TIPS FOR A WINTER WEEK:

Bag your outfits. A few people recommended I pack outfits in separate gallon sized bags. I put Veronica’s and Max’s outfits down to the socks/tights in bags so that I could keep track of what went with what for which day. It also made it easier for Gabe when he was getting them dressed for me. I only packed 5-7 outfits for them (they wear their clothes hard and usually need changed in the middle of the day), with a few extra tops and pants. When clothes are dirty they go back in the plastic bag.

Do your laundry. Simple but so helpful. My sister in law graciously let us do laundry while we were there so we could have it all clean before we headed home and ready to unpack.

Wear the same travel outfit. I put my kids in a comfortable travel outfit that they wore the same day they traveled home. I also did the same and it just keeps it easy to remember and saves a little room.

Repeat. I used to be a girl who would pack a different pair of shoes for each day. Excessive I know. I packed a million just in case things and for this, I have had some interesting stories happen from getting my luggage onto planes (for another time perhaps;)). Since becoming a mother and working on simplifying my life, I now want to make things smooth and easy if possible. So, I only packed a few basic tops, sweaters, and pants, and mix matched throughout the week. I brought one pair of boots and one pair of wellies for the snow. I managed to fit into one suitcase and did perfectly fine!

Hat & Glove Tote – I kept all of our hats, gloves, and scarves in this tote that was waterproof with lots of pockets. It kept everyone’s sets separate (for a day at least:)) and the kids knew where to find them when they needed.

Ask ahead. – If you have to pack larger items (in my case a pack and play and stroller), It might be possible that the people you are staying with have the items or have a friend who does. Hotels often have pack and plays as well. Think through what you will need and ask in advance if its possible to borrow larger items so you don’t have to pack.

FOR THE CAR:

1) SNACK BAG. The snack bag is filled with items that are easy to hand out and are mess free. We stagger them throughout a long trip and it keeps all parties happy. Including the driver.

2) Activity backpacks - We got some backpacks just in time from Paul Frank and the kids chose their favorite books and activities to pack in their bags for the trip. It was what I directed them to when they got squirrely. Magnet boards, coloring books, etc.

3) Mini DVD player. Gabe sings the praises of the mini dvd player all the time to his friends. Its been our favorite way to solve near meltdowns when that 7th hour hits.

4) Music – It’s kind of a given. I don’t hear a peep out of my kids when Raffi is playing:)

As for Gabe, he does his own thing…..which usually involves a stuffed backpack with a pair of shoes that doesn’t fit inside and randomly sits somewhere in the car;)

What about you all? Favorite tricks and tips for travel?