Monday, April 20, 2015

Vacations and Water Leaks

Hello, everyone! I'm still in shock from the response of my first post. I can't thank you guys enough for the love and support of this endeavor for me! I have been seriously thinking about what type of blog I would like this to be and to be honest, the most important thing to me is that it's real. So, I've decided to deal with real problems, real happiness and real life. I hope everyone had a great Easter and enjoyed celebrating our risen King with your family and friends. My husband and his awesome team put together a beautiful service for Sunday morning and then we went out to the lake to have lunch with family. It was a nice break from the stress of everything going on at home. Oh, did I forget to mention our house flooding??? It never ends. :)

Say hello to the latest drama at the Cleveland House, Mr. Water Leak:

And of course, this had to happen less than a week before Chris and I left for vacation without the babes. Oy vey. To keep a pretty boring story short, we had a pipe burst and are now in the process of being kicked out of our house for about 10 days to have all of the repairs done and new carpet installed. Yuk. 

Anyways, back to the fun stuff:
I would obviously love to call this a fashion blog, but let's be real: two kids and some saggy skin later, ain't nobody got time for that. I have always loved anything and everything design, from clothes to throw pillows. So, shopping has always been a passion for me and although I love my children dearly, they have changed my body into something a lot harder to dress than when I was 20 years old. After my husband and I booked our first trip since getting married, my mind starting racing to dresses and worst of all bathing suits that would make this momma not look like she just gave birth. That being said, I decided to take today to share some things I found that made dressing for vacation after baby a little easier. Whether you've had kids or not, most women don't jump up and down at the thought of swimsuit shopping, but we'll get to that later. So, first things first, click your way as fast as you can to and buy this Piko V-neck Shift Dress.
PIKO V-Neck Shift Dress in Black

 I have this in multiple colors and it has quickly become a staple in my wardrobe. I love the Piko brand, but I really love the fit and how comfortable the shape of this dress is. Not only is it forgiving in the stomach area, but it can be dressed up and down all day and night long. Also, if you are looking for some great, cheap summer dresses, I always have luck at Old Navy and they are always doing 30% off! Can't beat it!
Okay, now for the not so fun stuff. I won't lie, I never thought I'd let a picture of myself in a swimsuit appear on the internet after having my babies. My son being just under 10 pounds at birth and having an emergency c-section with my daughter has left my poor stomach looking like something out of a horror movie. I know there are pictures popping up every other day on your newsfeed praising these women as heroes for showing off their scars and stretch marks, but that doesn't make slipping on a bikini and parading down the beach any more comfortable. (props to those women by the way, just not my thing) That all being said, I tried on just about every kind of swimsuit in search of something I would be comfortable in and I have great news ladies, I actually found some!
I went with a classic one piece first, so that no matter what I knew everything would be held in, but being taller it was more of a challenge than I thought it would be. Now, this suit is not a bargain by any means, but J. Crew offers the long torso option and to me it was definitely worth the splurge. And if you're lucky, you can catch them on a sale.  Like right now they are doing 30% off your purchase. Okay, not a huge discount on a $100 suit, but at least you can tell your husband it was on sale. ;)

I wanted to have a few options for our trip, so I decided to venture into the world of high waisted bottoms and they actually became my favorite over the saftey-net one piece I brought. I found an awesome pair of basic black bottoms at Urban Outfitters for about 42 bucks and I paired it with some cute printed tops I found at anywhere from Old Navy to PacSun. Easy and comfortable. There are so many other colors and prints in these bottoms that I have a feeling I'll be ordering a couple more before the summer is over. 

Now, this last suit is my all time fav and honestly, I stumbled upon it a week or so before we left and I'm so glad I did. I found it at Aerie and paid a total of $45 for the top and bottom. They had so many other cute swimsuits and cover ups too, I wish I would of started there for my vacation shopping! 

Here are a few pictures from our amazing trip to Ocho Rios, Jamaica. It was so wonderful having some much needed alone time with my husband and reconnecting with him. It didn't hurt that I fell in love with the people and the culture of Jamaica, oh and that it's absolutely gorgeous. We made new friends, ate some amazing food and played in the ocean. I couldn't have asked for a better or more relaxing trip with my best friend. I can't wait to do it again, but I sure did miss my babies!


Hopefully next time we talk I'll be back in my house and no new drama to report, but who am I kidding?
Xo Mackenzie

P.s. here are some links to the stuff I was talking about :)

Sunday, March 29, 2015

So, I guess I'm doing this...?

As if chasing around a 2 year old and almost 9 month old isn't enough, why not attempt to write about it? (and I really do mean attempt, bare with me) I'm actually cringing as I type this, but I'm hoping I can make you people laugh as much as I think I can with a little insight to my sweet and mostly crazy life I've got going on over here. First off, let me give you a little introduction to the contents of my heart and home. I'm married to my best friend, Chris,  going on 4 years. He also happens to be an incredibly talented musician (yes, I'm biased) and the worship director at Asbury United Methodist Church in Tulsa.
We have two beautiful and perfect babies together and I think we would both agree that they are our greatest accomplishment either of us will ever achieve. Our son and oldest, Kingston, is newly two and is the definition of boy. Chris prayed for a rough and tumble little boy and oh boy did God answer that prayer! To complete my little family, we welcomed our beautiful daughter into the world just about 8 and a half months ago. Parker Jo is the perfect contrast to our rambunctious little man, she is just as sweet and loving as a baby can be. As perfect as all of this sounds, let me be the first to tell you, I'm no Pinterest mom and my house is never clean. I hate to cook and I hardly ever have my hair or make up done. But, as you will read, I love my family and I love the craziness that this life brings week to week. And let me tell you, I mean CRAZY.
This is actually a perfect time to start this after the events of the past week in the Cleveland household. Here's a quick summary before we get into the nitty gritty of it all. (insert monkey covering his eyes emoji)
Sunday Morning: Kingston's first ER visit.
Monday Night: Kingston escapes from his crib 3 million times, leading to...
Tuesday: Kingston gets his crib turned to a toddler bed and takes another step in potty training...on the floor.
Wednesday: Kingston locks me out of the house.
I know what you're thinking... actually.... I don't. Because to me, this is all normal or I guess it's my normal. All the while, precious P is being just that, precious. Seriously, the girl could make me want a million more babies she's so good.
Parker Jo, happy as usual.
So, it all started as a regular Sunday morning as I was attempting to shower while home alone with two babies (my first mistake). I hear Kingston rummaging in our bedroom and get suspicious, so I hop out and go to check in the play room to see every mothers worst nightmare. Kingston playing with scattered pills and pill residue all over his face as if he'd been sucking on them like candy. The tears are streaming down my face just thinking about how terrified I was. As moms we are so hard on ourselves, but nothing comes close to that moment for me. In the minutes following it was seriously like something out of a movie. I'm running around in a robe trying to count the medicine, call poison control and do anything to make myself believe it's not as bad as I think it might be. I run back into our bedroom to find Kingston, standing at the pack n play where Parker is, holding a plastic bag and about to put it over her head. All I could do was just laugh, mostly to keep myself from screaming. Thankfully, God was watching over my little maniac and after 4 hours of observation at the ER, Kingston was totally fine. Now we can look back and laugh (kind of) and thank our lucky stars it wasn't gasoline he swallowed, like his father did at that age.
Kingston napping during our ER visit.
And folks, that was just our Sunday!
To be honest, the rest of the weeks events were pretty mundane in the life of a two year old, I just don't think they usually happen in the span of 4-5 days like it did at our house! At least, for the sake of all mothers out there, I hope it's not the norm. We spent the rest of the week training Kingston to sleep in his toddler bed and let me tell you, I almost prefer my screaming 8 month old waking me up in the middle of the night. I do have to say though, the best parts about Kingston escaping from his bed are A. he's too adorable when he walks in the room, blankie and Elmo in hand saying, "hi, omma" and B. we wake up with him sitting on the floor by our bed, playing games/watching Mickey Mouse on our cell phones. What is this world?? For how much of a wild child King is, he's actually been doing really well with the transition, but I'll let you know how long that lasts. We've also been trying little by little to implement any kind of potty training or hints at using the potty. That is if you call dumping his "poopoo" from the diaper to the toilet and Kingston saying, "bye bye poopoo", potty training. I thought we were getting somewhere when King asked to go do this after he finished his business, until he decided to go for round two on the floor while we were still sending off round one down the toilet. So, there's that.
Did I mention that all the while I've also been battling a horrendous sinus infection? Ain't no rest for the wicked. Since I'd been stuck inside sick all week, I decided to get out of the house Wednesday and go for a walk when the kids got home from Mothers Day Out. Sounds pretty anticlimactic, right? ha. ha. ha. Chris had just left to return to work and I walked out to the garage to set up the stroller. I have to think things out strategically when I'm alone with the babes, Kingston can run way faster than me and Parker is catching up quickly. So, I shut the door behind me to get everything set up for our walk and turned around to go back inside as I hear, 'click', the door to the house locking. Yep, he locked me out. Once again, for the second time that week, my heart and my brain start racing and that sickening mom fear washes over me. Kingston was inside laughing his ornery little butt off, have I mentioned that he is a stinker? You should have heard Chris' voice when I had to call him to tell him what happened, but can I really blame him? I managed to get our kids into some pretty dangerous situations all under my watch. It was a great week in the mom business for Mackenzie Cleveland. The only thing that saved me from crying into hysterics was my mom's reaction when I got her on the phone. She laughed for a solid 2 minutes straight, no joke. I think only one mom to another could laugh at that situation, especially a mom who survived four children, two of which are twin boys. Like I said before, we are so hard on ourselves as moms, so it's refreshing to hear from someone else that you're not a screw up. That these things are completely normal in this wonderful ride called parenthood. Our kids will swallow things they shouldn't, do everything you tell them not to and basically make you feel like you're going to screw them up or possibly kill them every single day. So, it's important for me to remember that I will make more mistakes and that it's perfectly okay. I'm just so thankful that I have a forgiving God, an amazing husband and an absolutely amazing support group of fellow mommas and family members. I was brought to tears this past week when I received the sweet messages of affirmations and support after the traumatic events of Sunday morning. And all of the laughs I got when they heard about being locked out on Wednesday. (rightly deserved) Maybe that's what really spurred me to begin this blog, the fact that I could feel like I had failed so hard as a mom and still be lifted up so highly by my loved ones. I think that is such an important factor in parenting, it truly "takes a village". By the way, if you were wondering what other shenanigans Kingston pulled at the end of the week, you'll have to ask his grandparents. ;)
King and his friends trying out the new digs.