Mom Needs Grace

Musings on the life redeemed & purpose redefined

fabulous four March 4, 2012

Filed under: Milestones,Stuff — dayna @ 11:55 pm

The other morning my four-year-old took me by the hand and pulled me into her room. She wanted to show me what she would be wearing to play in our backyard that day. Here’s what I saw:

A little later, she actually rocked the outfit. The only thing I can take credit for is the clumsy ponytail.

Her attire held up quite nicely to all of the day’s activities. The Jolie-esque lips are courtesy of a concrete faceplant the day before. The girl is tougher than she looks.

I only hope she is tough enough to allow nothing in this world (including her mother) to diminish that creativity and confidence.


It’s strange but true… October 7, 2011

Filed under: sisters,Stuff — dayna @ 5:01 pm

…that some of my favorite pictures of my girls are when they are belted side by side in a Costco cart.

Maybe it’s because they are both actually in the same frame…

Maybe it’s because they will occasionally cheese for the camera phone…

Ok, more than occasionally.

They are even apt to snuggle a little. (The blustery produce section gets them every single time).

This shot from the past week keeps me laughing! Don’t they look terrified? (Of the total, perhaps…I usually am.)

 Then something got them laughing…

Next they “laid back” and chilled a little…

Until they read. A lot.

It’s always an adventure at Stuffmart! Oops- I mean Costco :).

*Anyone catch the movie reference? Got a witty caption possibility? I was fresh out today, but I know they are out there;)


DownEast fashion fun October 3, 2011

Filed under: Blogging,Stuff — dayna @ 5:30 am

Have you heard of DownEast Basics? Until a few weeks ago, I never had. Now I can say that I’m officially a fan.

A couple of Mondays past, this mama enjoyed a real treat: a night out shopping with some fashionable and fun ladies!

DownEast Basics was launching its new store here in the Old Pueblo and wanting to spread the word about their LIVE for Pink campaign. They invited some notable Tucson bloggers ,(who then graciously included me!), to check out some of their fall fashions.

In searching their website, DownEast Basics was described as Anthropologie style clothing with Target pricing. That sounded great! I was also impressed by the fact that now through October 16, they are donating 50% of all proceeds from sales of their Live for Pink tee line to the cancer awareness organization Needs Beyond Medicine.

So, after a fun crosstown carpool with the lovely likes of Becca, Kelly, Darcie, & Linsay, we descended upon the little boutique. The staff welcomed us with gift bags containing $25 gift cards (I KNOW!), chocolate, and promotional pricing. Uh, brainwashed much? (Just kidding. I vow to always give my completely honest opinion over here, even if the goodie bags start flying around).

The clothes were adorable basics with lots of vintage-inspired details. They were reasonably priced, and I got the impression that the company regularly offers sales and deep promotional deals. They were doing buy one, get one half off on accessories the night we went.

I planned ahead of time to take full advantage of the child-free, opinionated-friend-heavy shopping night if I fancied any of the clothes. DownEast Basics didn’t disappoint. And neither did my friends. I was glad to see Nicole, Chelsea, and Karen and happy to meet the stylish Val, the glowing Leah, and Sharla with her gorgeous newborn in-tow.

Unlike my usual shopping companions, these ladies managed to refrain from urgent “Mommy!”s, hiding in clothing racks, or deconstructing elaborate displays. There may however, have been some delighted squeals which served to put me at ease 😉

I brought home clothes with just enough pizzazz to invigorate my standard jeans and t-shirt wardrobe. I may even be inspired to play dress up a little more often.

My resident paparazzi was out-of-town when I went to model, so I learned a lot of lessons about taking bad self-portraits in my first solo fashion shoot. I’m sure you’ll notice that my head is cropped out of all these shots. The squinty eye and camera strap thrown over my hair just didn’t look so hot with the cute fashions.

Here’s my haul:

They had this lacy overshirt in unexpected colors. I chose “kangaroo”. I also got a turquoise capsleeve t-shirt to go underneath.

I think I may wear it with this copper flecked snap cuff because I am trying to look grown up and accessorize lately.

I did cave and grab my one of my uniform t-shirts with pretty details. But this one is super-soft indigo and has a velvet ruffle on the scoop neckline.

Maybe I’ll dress it up with these romantic looking chandelier earrings.

BTW: Do you know that it is pretty much impossible to take a picture of your own earrings while they are on your head?! Oh well, I still thought they looked more interesting here than just laying on their merchandising card;).

And finally, I brought home this little black dress with rosette skirt that makes me want to channel my inner Audrey. Updo and ballet flats, if you please…

Now, I’m not quite sure how these clothes will hold up to my laundry boot camp; it is pretty much sink or swim around here: no special treatment.

But I am happy that my choices still thrilled me when I tried them on the next day after the glow faded. No returns necessary, thank you!

I like my purchases so much that I am not-so secretly excited to explore the little girls clothing and home goods on their website.

All in all, it was a lovely experience and I can’t wait to get together with this fun bunch again.


the stuff of inspiration May 2, 2011

Filed under: Better life,Faith,Motherhood,Stuff — dayna @ 5:00 am

I always enjoy learning about other people’s favorite things. Just in case you were wondering, here is some of the stuff that has been inspiring me lately…

  • This necklace I found on clearance in the hospital gift shop the day before my birthday:

 – It says “she follows her dreams.”  I wear it for me, and pray it for my little ladies as well.

  • This line of journals and stationary that Target is carrying. I am at risk for a serious paper goods habit! (Always have been…)

– It says “We write to taste life twice.” (I picked one up for you too. See below.)

  • My talented cousin’s art. Cara is described as “a visual artist with a writer’s addiction to words.” Is it possible that motherhood has made her even more brilliant and creative? Pretty sure you know what my answer to that question would be …

Time is the Guide

– Check out more of her work over here. I keep wishing she designed blog themes…

  • These little (printable) gratitude journals from Ann Voskamp are quietly (but radically) changing my perspective. Every single thought this lady puts into words seems divinely breathed.

– Print your own here. And here is a link to the slightly tricky folding instructions.

  • Of course, these little ones are a never-ending source of inspiration:

– I just can’t get enough of  ’em.

  • And lately, I’ve been leaning heavily on this word:

– It reassures me that, even when I am failing miserably, I can still be of use.

 What has been inspiring you lately?  Leave me a comment by May 11th, 2011 and I’ll mail one of the pretty writing journals to a randomly-selected contact-able person. 😉 

Congratulations to Stephanie! She will receive the journal. Pretty sure she’ll fill it up quickly:)


Friday for Frances (a giveaway!) April 8, 2011

Filed under: reads,Stuff — dayna @ 4:35 am

Have you met Frances? I sure hope so.

I’m sort of a nut about kid’s books. Or “children’s literature” if you want to be really proper about things. Thanks to my somewhat sentimental, majorly bookish type parents, I still have many of the actual copies of my favorite childhood books.  This is slightly less weird now that I am a parent myself.I often find myself recommending a book that I adored as a child; only to pause, wondering if it will still hold up under the scrutiny of my “now-a-mom” filter.

I am pleased to announce that in 2011, Frances doesn’t disappoint. In fact, she delivers.

Frances is Russell Hoban’s precocious young badger. She captures hearts and entertains as she faces the challenges of early childhood with her clever, often pointed songs. Although most of these books were written in the 1960’s, Frances’ parents remain brilliant in their calm, affectionate, and logical dealings with their youngsters. Frances learns her lessons in her (humorous) own time.

Now for a little overview of some (chronological) Frances antics:

In Bedtime for Frances, Frances struggles with learning to “put herself to sleep” and pulls all the usual tricks to delay bedtime. The always perfect Garth Williams’  illustrations are especially sweet in this one.

In A Baby Sister for Frances, the new big sis decides that “things are not very good around here anymore” after little Gloria joins the family. She proceeds to run away (to under the dining-room table), and eventually learns of her own special place in the badger family.

Bread and Jam for Frances is probably our household’s favorite. When Frances decides she wants to eat nothing but bread and jam, her unflappable parents lovingly ensure that this happens. Meanwhile, Frances receives brilliant counsel from her ahead-of-his-time “foodie” friend Albert.

Frances tries to cope with her younger sister’s spotlight in A Birthday for Frances. Her songs, spelling, and dialog in this one are spot-on hilarious. You just have to read this book (and laugh) out loud.

In Best Friends for Frances, our heroine learns some bittersweet lessons about childhood friendships and family. Although the gentle messages in this book are well-taken, there is a little name-calling (which made for some important discussion with our three-year old).

There are a few Frances books that we have yet to read: Egg Thoughts and Other Frances Songs, and A Bargain for Frances. I would love to hear your comments if you have read those…


(No, she isn’t incarcerated, I’m giving her away!)

Leave me a topic related comment by Friday 4/15/11, (which book you would like perhaps:)).  I’ll contact the randomly selected winner by e-mail to get your mailing address and… voila! Free Frances of your choice delivered to your door.

P.S. Don’t books make the best gifts?

Congratulations to Becky and Amanda who are both getting some Frances! You never know what’s going to happen around here;)


hats March 30, 2011

Filed under: Stuff — dayna @ 11:53 pm

I try my best to avoid Target’s dollar spot, but these hats are really earning their keep…






Girls love horses (on pajamas) March 17, 2011

Filed under: Stuff — dayna @ 3:21 pm

The girls’ brilliant and well-traveled equine-vet auntie recently sent them these little gems…

She said that she found them in Vancouver in a boutique that carries nothing but “horsey” clothing for little girls. Oh my!

They are cute, comfy, and clever. These super softies are made by a neat family company called Hatley.

I hope you’ll take a minute to check out their website. If you know a girl who is horse crazy, (and who doesn’t?), they have some very unique gift items

Look at some of the special details on the pajamas:

The company logo is part of the grippy feet!

These little hearts are sweetly stitched on the shoulder.

The site has all sorts of fun stuff worth at least window shopping.

(Insert awesome bloggy giveaway here… Sorry, just kidding! I know, that was mean. Maybe someday when I get my act together;) For now, the company just gets a little free publicity.)

Please indulge me in just a couple more silly gratuitous kid shots:

Uh-oh… starting to get the look…

Aaaaand, we’re done!