Tag Archives: Family

Our Weekend Project Life Pages

I made it a goal to get the pictures from our weekend right into a Project Life spread. I’m so glad I did.

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life

I realized how much I miss making time to scrapbook. It’s just good for my soul to sit down and get creative and think through the memories of the photos. It makes me grateful and I can be one of those people that misses the little moments because of a big to-do list on the brain.

Here’s are the pages I did for this weekend. I am always drawn to bright colors and my pages usually reflect that.

Left side:Project Life by Lindsay Teague Moreno

Right side:Project Life by Lindsay Teague Moreno

Here’s both together:Project Life by Lindsay Teague Moreno

This was made with only the Project Life and Ali Edwards elements. Super easy and quick.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Our Weekend in Black & White 2017

Every year, I do this thing where I remember I know how to take photos and I bust out the SLR to document what normal looks like to us. The first time I ever did this project I took some of my favorite pictures to date. I will continue to do it as long as I can remember how to work that camera!

Here are a few of the results I got:

Take out your camera and start documenting. Photograph the normal stuff for your kids to see and for you to remember. Don’t worry about the mess. Don’t worry about what they look like. Don’t worry about imperfections. Worry about authenticity. Worry about making sure you’re in at least one of the photos. Worry about missing something worth remembering. Pick the best and put them somewhere you will remember. For me, that will be a project Life page. I’ll share that soon.

XOXO,
Lindsay Teague Moreno

They Grow Up Fast

My little ones are funny. Especially, the smallest of the little ones, Kennedy. She tells me all the time she doesn’t want to get older. She asked if she could stay five this year when her sixth birthday rolled around in the serious way that five-year-olds talk about Disney Princesses being actual, real human beings. She believed it so it could be.

Kinda strange.

I can remember being a kid and I couldn’t wait until I was older to be able to make my own choices and not be parented. I could eat all the snacks and watch all the movies. No, I did not want to remain a kid. I wished those years away and you know? I wouldn’t go back to that.

Maybe that means M and I are too easy on our kids? I don’t know. We expect a lot from them and often I think we forget how young they actually are based on what we require of them. Our list of rules is long but I think they’re really good girls. I have to credit that to the standard of behavior we require and not my actual parenting skills because, friends, I’m severely lacking in the sympathetic mom category. I more closely relate to that tiger mother but without the actual follow-through because ain’t nobody got time for that.

Yesterday, Kennedy kept coming into my office at the end of my work day and kinda whining at me. Like a half cry and half whine but she didn’t know why, so I asked her to leave and check her attitude. Again, not sympathetic. She walks back in about 5 minutes later and says, “mom I’m tired.” School recess. That will do it.

I’m not cold to them but I don’t always love my kids touching on me and laying all over me. I like my space. I have 2 little girls who are touchy, feely, girly, sensitive and just generally affectionate. They look like me but I think they’re soft and sweet inside like their daddy. They want me to let them lay directly on me at all times including but not limited to eating dinner, watching a movie, work, picking up, driving the car, talking on the phone, showering. You name it, they want to be on me. That’s not usually Kennedy though. That’s her older sisters. Kennedy likes to play alone. Her teachers were concerned about it this year (even called us into a meeting about it) but  we know that’s just who she is and who she always has been. She doesn’t like to do what everybody else is doing, she’s fiercely independent. She asks a kid at church their name before she leaves just so she can assure us she talked to SOMEONE else that day but left up to her? She’d find something that nobody else was interested in and do that.

As my twins reach the ripe age of 8, they understand personal space and social norms more and more. So the demanded snuggle and consoling is less and less, which I’m both thankful for and fearful of in a strange twist of emotion. I opened my arms up to see if Kennedy wanted to sit on my lap yesterday while I finished work and she crawled up just like this.

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She wrapped both arms around my neck and shoulders. She laid her chest on my chest and she just put her head on me. I think she just wanted to hear me breathe and to hold her. I realize that soon she’s not going to be this small and she’s not going to want to crawl up on me when she’s tired. I had to let it happen. About 5 minutes later she was done, she unhooked herself from me and she smiled the rest of the night. This is not something I can ever remember doing with my mom as a kid. I don’t think I would have asked her to let me lay on her. Emotions and touching = awkward and uncomfortable. Better just avoid it.

I breathed in every moment of this time with her. I think I needed it as much as she did. Sometimes, as a mom, I don’t feel overly skilled or equipped. Often I feel awkward in motherhood. Sometimes, though, the girls tell me exactly how they feel about how I’m doing. This is one of those times.

I have to be doing something right. I’m reminded that we’re all doing the best we can with what we have. Many of us…ME…grew up in a crazy situation and our model of parenthood was anything but healthy. We’re trying to figure it out, aren’t we? Take these little hugs as a sign that you’re doing it. Give yourself some grace. They may remember that you yelled at them once and completely lost your shit but they’ll also remember that you hugged them and let them just be tired on you. They need to see that anyway. What kind of situation are we setting them up for if they think we always got it right as a mom? They’re going to be miserable when the reality of parenting smacks them across the face and kicks them in the chest on DAY ONE. They need us to be flawed.

I snapped this photo with my computer not 24 hours ago and I’m already at my end with my kids today. This feeling is fleeting. Capture as much as you can. Tell yourself to remember it. Try to think about it when you’re ready to let the neighbors have one of them for keeps.

That thing that moms with grown up kids say to us that we hate? The dreaded 4 words: “THEY GROW UP FAST.” We curse that horrible phrase when it’s said to us standing in Target while the kids beg you mercilessly for things they don’t need and then throw a complete attitude when the answer is no. The stranger looks on our terrible reality wistfully and sighs that annoying “you’ve got the life” sigh. That’s not what we want to hear but you know it and I know it…

She’s right.

It’s going by fast. Just look back and see how fast and yet how slow. As a mom, I tend to forget when I get it right and remember all the things I screw up. There’s got to be more grace, moms. When I say grace I simply mean forgiveness without merit. More grace from us to ourselves. We’re never going to be perfect so why are we expecting it from ourselves? Don’t pretend it’s all going to be 5-minute hugs and great manners. It’s the trenches. It’s hard. You’re doing it right, even when it feels all wrong.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Our Weekend in Black & White

I used to be awesome.

I used to take my trusty Canon 5D MarkIII out with me all over the place and capture my girls being who they are. The great thing about that is that they got so used to me taking pictures, they stopped posing. They just went about their business and pretty soon, I was just a fly on the wall. It has made for some great photographic moments. Like this one…

boston crying

Look at her tiny little crying face so mad because she couldn’t have something. She doesn’t really do this anymore because she’s older. She’s 7 and not 2. She doesn’t make the same sounds. She doesn’t have the same cheeks. She doesn’t hang on my leg like she used to. And this one…

teagan makeup

There’s still chubby in her hands. She was wearing my scarf on her head because she wanted long straight hair like me. Oh my gosh I miss these days. I can remember them because I took these pictures. It almost makes me lose my breath because, moms, how is it possible to miss it when all we wanted was for it to be gone? Is that not the most unfair and confusing feeling? To look back and miss what you only wanted to make it through alive? How? It’s a question I have for God because I cannot make sense of it.

In 2013, I stopped carrying my camera everywhere and started working everywhere. Isn’t it a cruel thing to do something for your kids at the expense of time with them? It’s turned out to be the right thing but as I was sifting through my old hard drives trying to organize them, I realize how much my creative eye has missed. I haven’t watched them though my lens and I see them the best though that tiny eye-piece. I see them as a beautiful piece of art, as a moment gone forever and not as a kid who’s whining and won’t be getting her way anytime soon. I see them as subjects and not my kids who must be “mommed.” I’m better with my face smashed into the back of my camera.

As I did more sorting, I decided now is the time to get back into it. To see them though my lens again and not just through the snap of my iPhone shutter button. It’s not the same, for me at least. God gave me the love of photography for a reason and I think it was to be able to give my kids the gift of their story before they were old enough to tell it.

So this weekend, I decided to do what I used to do and capture it. I used to call it “Our Weekend in Black and White” and that’s what it shall continue to be called. So here it is…

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

©Lindsay Teague Moreno

I challenge you to see your kids though your lens this weekend coming up. Just observe them and take pictures of what they do at this age. I’ll give you my black and white conversion tips this week so you’re fully prepared. It’s easy as pie. You’ll appreciate it in a couple of years when they’re 2 years older and 2 years closer to not being around to document.

Here’s to the hardest job I’ve ever had, Moms! This is just one step we can take in the name of doing the best we can.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Instant Pot Madness

So, it turns out that the Instant Pot is the Crock Pot of 2006. It’s everywhere and it’s madness. Remember how all the cool moms were making crock pot meals in 2006 like it was some kind of mushy food revolution? Well, we’re back, baby and this time, it’s the InstantPot (which is like a brand new, accessible version of a pressure cooker). If you don’t have one, there’s someone on the internet that will yell at you. I’m not that person. I am a little afraid of blowing up my house with a pressure cooker so I’ve been too lazy to really look into getting one and giving it a try. Sometimes I avoid new things. Who knew?

Look, I’ll be honest, I don’t really enjoy cooking. I like mixing all the stuff together like a mad scientist but measuring? That’s not my strong suit. Food prep? Nah, I’m good, thanks. When I was in charge of all the family meals, I used to buy my food pre-prepped because i’m a disaster when I cook. Food gets on the ceiling. Cleaning is not my best attribute. God made me for other things. Also, the more I work the lazier I become about wanting to cook. Michael has taken over as head chef.

He is working a lot of hours recently as well and overseeing the finishing of our basement which is taking a lot of time, so we did one of those direct to your door, everything-you-need-is-here meals from Hello, Fresh. It was okay. the portions were very small for our family and the flavor was meh. It’s good for maybe one or two nights a week, I’d say but if you have 3 littles (mine are 7, 7, and 5), I don’t think it’s enough food.

Michael had finally had enough and he broke down and got that instant pot. We got it on Amazon. We made our first meal in it last night. I did avoid the area of said pot while the food was cooking because seriously, that thing could blow up my house. It didn’t though. We made short ribs and mashed potatoes. It was actually good. I’ll give you the recipe we’re going to go with next time because, as we were warned, the instant pot can cut down on flavor if you don’t add enough. We found this to be true.

Instant Pot Short Ribs

Instant Pot Short Ribs:

Ingredients

Serves 6-8
  • 4 pounds Beef Short Ribs
  • teaspoon Salt
  • teaspoon Black Pepper
  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 3 cups diced Onion
  • 4 teaspoons minced Garlic, Cloves
  • 1 cup Red Wine (drink the rest while cooking)
  • 6 tablespoons Soy Sauce
  • tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • tablespoons Brown Sugar
  • 2 individual Thyme, Fresh
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Whole Tomatoes
  • 1 can (14 Oz. Size) Tomato Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes

Directions

Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper. Heat olive oil in sauté pan and sear ribs on all sides and remove from pan. Add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and cook for 1 more minute. Add pan ingredients into the instant pot and then place ribs back into pot. In a bowl, whisk wine, tomatoes, tomato sauce, soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce, red pepper flakes and brown sugar. Pour over ribs. Place sprigs of thyme on top of ribs. Lock cover into place and seal steam nozzle. Set to meat/stew setting or set manually for 35 minutes. Release pressure. Remove thyme sprigs.

Instant Pot Short Ribs…mmmmm from Lindsay Teague Moreno on Vimeo.

We served it over regular mashed potatoes with a little butter, salt, garlic and cream. Don’t need much on that because the sauce will flavor it.

Pretty bomb for a 40 minute meal.

Let me know what you think,

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Inspiring A Love of Reading

You guys, when I was a kid, I did not love reading. I am ashamed to tell you that I didn’t finish one of the assigned books for high school or college. Not one. Not even ones I liked. Worst student ever. I was a school failure. I didn’t start loving reading until I was about 25 and I started picking up books that appealed to me.

Authors like Jen Lancaster that made me laugh out loud in public. Authors like Jim Rohn and Zig Ziglar that made me think I could do something more. I like authors that make me feel things.

I don’t want that for my kids though. I want them to pick up a love of reading earlier than 25.  I wonder if loving reading is something innate or something they can learn? I wonder if I do better about reading in front of them, with them or basically making that a part of what we do, they’ll love it more?

Boston Reading

I can already see a couple of my kids gravitate toward the discipline of reading more easily than one. Boston, my little love. She wants to draw and create and make things. She’d rather sit with a blank sheet of paper and I want to foster that, too. Momming is the WORST sometimes. What’s the right thing? The girls’ new school is really pushing hard on academics so she needs to read but is that more important than drawing and being creative? I don’t know.

Do you remember the BookIt program from when we were kids? You got futuristic glasses and free Personal Pan Pizzas from Pizza Hut for reading? You best believe I did that as a kid. This summer, the library here in Denver, did that kind of program and my girls all did it. One begrudgingly and the others happily.

Reading Ivy + BeanHere’s Kennedy with a series she’s loving right now. If you have a little girl, Ivy + Bean and Bad Kitty are house favorites.

Ivy + Bean Books

BadKitty Books

Do you have any tricks to helped your kids love reading? Do you think you can inspire your kids to want to read more? How about other books your little girls loved? There’s nothing I think can inspire and help us be better at this thing called life like a book can. They’re necessary. They’re like air and water. We need the mind’s of genius people who share their truth with us.

I know my daughters can do better than I did on the reading and I really want that for them. Maybe I’ll go read a book on how to make that happen.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

A Child Bride

Here’s something you should know about me up front, I’m not a birthday person. I think it’s great when other people are, it’s just not how I was raised. So birthday parties are always an afterthought for my kiddos. I much prefer to celebrate Christmas in a big way. I do try to give my kids a little family celebration with a cake and a theme.  Each year, I decorate the table after they go to sleep so they can feel special when they wake up.

This year, for her 5th birthday, Addy (her name is Kennedy but we gave her the nickname Addy so people wouldn’t shorten her name to “Ken”) wanted a wedding theme. Yea, you read that right, she wanted to be a bride. A visit to etsy while on the road, a party store and hobby lobby back at home and we were set. She was going to marry her daddy and “it would be cute,” I thought. I didn’t expect the kind of emotion it pulled out of this self-proclaimed cold mom. I’m not really “cold,” that’s dramatic, I think, but I’m not in-touch with them feels that many women carry on their sleeves.  Not on this day, though.

little girls big dreams Lindsay Teague Moreno Blog

It’s little unexpected moments like this that make me breathe deep and know that I am so blessed to have the kids I do. Sometimes they drive me straight to the loony bin (and I’m not sugar coating that…sometimes I don’t like being a mom) but every once in a while I feel so overwhelmed with love and pride I can’t breathe. Today was one of those moments. As I took this picture I cried into the back of my camera.

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

How is she mine? How is she so grown up? How will I make the most of the last 13 years I have with her in my house? How can I keep this feeling?

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

I can see myself in 20 years pulling out these pictures of my little baby as she’s about to get married (if she decides she wants to…no pressure from me). I can see me crying then just like I did today as I watched her pretend to be grown up. I saw a glimpse of my future today and it was so sweet and beautiful.

Here are the pictures from the day. We tried to do everything a real bride would do on her wedding day:

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Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Child Bride Wedding 5th Birthday Party

Lindsay Teague Moreno

I See You, Woman!

Yesterday was one of those days. The one where you just want to throw in the towel. The day all of the work and intentions and negativity shows up at the door and demands to be paid in their currency known as attention. On days like that, you can’t escape the sadness and the curiosity gets the best of you.

Why am I doing this?

Why am I working so hard for this?

Why am I spinning my wheels?

Then you find yourself saying the one sentence you have been avoiding: THIS DOESN’T MAKE ME HAPPY. I’m not alone. I see women on the life treadmill everyday and while my treadmill is work, I see it in stay-at-home mom’s all the time because that was me.

I see you. Never sitting down. Jumping in the car for this or that. Running out to help the kids. Running around to organize for the next day. Constantly putting something away. Saying “yes.” Finishing this. Starting that. Thinking. Constantly thinking. What’s next? How late are we? I forgot this. I have to be here and there at the same time. What’s for dinner? How will I still be awake at the end of the night for that?

I. See. You.

You’ve put aside the little things you love for the household, the family, the clean house, the charade that your family has it all together. Let’s be honest, ain’t nobody got it all together. That’s true no matter how many perfect Instagram photos of perfectly packed lunches (in shapes and with all food groups accounted for) or freshly-bathed children sleeping soundly at 7:30pm or spotless kitchens in the background you scroll through every day. Those are lies. Yea, I said it. If that’s you and you want to email me with pictures to prove it, I’ll save you the time–you’re better than me, I get it. For the rest of us that don’t live in Stepford, it’s time to own the mess. I sure will celebrate with a picture when sleeping kids at 7:30 happens to me but it’s still strangely absent from my feed…hmmm.

Let's be honest, ain't nobody got it all together. It's all lies. Lindsay Teague Moreno

Let’s get back to you. I need to get back to me.

The things I let go of? Photography, scrapbooking and reading something besides business books. I’m no longer a professional in photography or scrapbooking (that was a past life) but that doesn’t mean I don’t still love it passionately. I miss it. My real life and my profession as a leader have overtaken my time dedicated to these two things because I haven’t made me a priority.

Recently, I picked up my big girl camera for a couple of occasions and it felt so good…like riding a bike. I’ll post more pictures of both of the things I photographed in other posts but I want to make a couple of recommendations to you based on what I remember as I sat down in my familiar seat at the computer to start on my favorite part of the photo process: editing. Loud music, pen in my hand, hot drink sitting on my desk. It’s so zen. It’s so…me.

Here’s what I think:

#1. If you don’t make time for the things you love, they sure won’t make time for you. Your kids will eat it up. The person in your life will eat it up. Your friends. Your co-workers. Your job. Your obligations. Your everything will eat up your time unless you don’t let it. It’s up to you to carve out the time without the guilt that surrounds that kind of activity. I know you have kids, responsibilities, jobs, commitments, things to do for others, a kitchen to scrub down. I know. Me, too. Spoiler alert: those things will all be there in an hour or two. As women, I don’t think we make enough time to do the things we love and I want to change that. We need to take back the us we were before we said too much yes. It’s our fault, guys. We did this to ourselves and we have the power to get ourselves out.

#2. I recently saw Jessica N. Turner speak about her book The Fringe Hours at a business event I put on in Scottsdale, Arizona. Why would I bring someone to talk about not working at a work event? Because it’s integral to sustained, high-quality work. Jessica talks to women about making time for the things we love. Something that we let go of so easily and yet can make such a big difference in our happiness. We have to do it. Read this book. It should be on every woman’s must-read list.

The Fringe Hours Jessica N. Turner Lindsay Teague Moreno Blog

So, let’s do this, yea? Read the book. Pick up what you miss the most. Find something for you.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Nope.

I’m that mom that wants so bad for my kids to be older and self-sufficient and at the same time gets upset when the kids actually become older. Anyone else? Nope. Probably just me.

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This picture tells that story. So dang cute now but the drool and the crawling everywhere and the diapers and the terrible twos and the mess and the decibel level. It’s like I want them to be able to tie their own shoes and feed themselves but remain 2-foot-tall, hilarious toddlers walking around the house without clothing at all times of the day, too. Where did that go? I can’t get my kids to stop with the dress up and the clothes now. Wasn’t it just yesterday I couldn’t force a pair of pants on them?

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Motherhood, I find, is full of this contradiction. The days drag on (painfully at times, if I’m honest) and yet the last seven years and blazed past me. I haven’t gotten that “seize the moment” and “enjoy this time, it’s the best time of your life” thing down. Nope. I’m the mom that misses my kids like a crazy woman when I’m traveling and then about 10-minutes after I’m home the noise and the fighting and the 3 little voices talking over one another and the sass…oy, I want to retreat to my office. How is it possible to feel 2 opposite emotions about motherhood at the same time?

We had our homeschool first day of school a couple of weeks ago. I finally got around to editing one of them. It’s the first photo of the girls where I can see what they’re going to look like as adults. The 20-year-old version of Teagan is in her eyes now. The 35-year-old version of Boston that has these same feelings about her own kids is staring at me in this picture. It’s almost easier to see these older versions than the 1-year-old versions of the past, now.

Moreno Girls
They’re getting older. Time is ticking by. I want to freeze it right now. For me that means I stare at this photo for too long while they sleep quietly in their beds. Tomorrow, I’ll have moments where I want them to be able to drive themselves to soccer practice. Not right now though. Right now I love the little 6-year-old and 5-year-old girls and I never want them to get a second older. Nope, not one second older.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

What Happens When You Meet Yoda?

Sometimes you meet a person who has a “name” and you’re super disappointed that they’re not what you’ve expected (not that your expectations are fair) or you’re all bummed that they weren’t quite how they portray themselves online. I am sure more than one person has felt that way about me in the past and I get that. It’s hard to know exactly who a person is from a few blog posts or instagram photos; you build a person up to be someone that they’re not. Michael always tells a story about how horrible it was to meet one of his childhood heroes, Ken Griffey, Jr., when he was a kid. Apparently he was a real jerk and it cut Michael deep. Working with people online for 12 years, I’ve had my share of crushing disappointment.

In May, I got the chance to meet a dude that I highly respect as a writer and a hustler. I read one of his books, felt like he understood where I was in my business and my life, laughed the whole way through (which, if you know me, you know is super important), highlighted pretty much the whole thing, finished it, opened it back up to page 1 and started again. That book was the catalyst to some major life decisions that Michael and I made for both our family and our businesses. I probably recommend that book to every person I encounter that asks what book they should read. I also posted an Instagram photo on my 2nd time though the book that said this:

I wanted Jon Acuff to be the dude I had built up in my head as I read his books. I wanted him to be hilarious and smart and full of Yoda-like wisdom that comes with somehow having conversations with hundreds of brilliant people around the country. I was willing to pay pretty much anything he asked me to for the people that I work with to experience what I did when reading not one but three of his books. So we booked him for an event we put on in Utah called Hustle Under the Stars and they LOVED him. He stood outside for hours signing books and taking pictures with us Lemon Droppers.

Lindsay Teague Moreno & Jon Acuff at HUTS 2015

You guys, he’s so much better than just a HilariousBusinessYodaGuy. He also cares about people. He’s a doer. He is willing to be vulnerable when he needs to be to teach a lesson. He spent his valuable time with us when we asked him to. He answered the questions we peppered at him at dinner one night. I’m baffled by his “someone told me once…” stories. I have so much to learn. Just 2 meetings with him and I know I have so much to learn. Basically, he let 2 strangers connect to him and where he’s going and what’s on his heart. Jon Acuff does not disappoint.

So all of that leads me to this: Michael and I are in this place right now where we are really reaching out to connect with our higher purpose. We have been able to give away more this month than we have in all the years we have been married combined. It feels really good and for the first time I think we can actually change lives on a massive scale. Since we lived in Reno, Michael especially has been moved to do work with women who find themselves addicts, involved in prostitution and human trafficking. When Jon mentioned an organization he is working with that connects to that same purpose, we knew it could be a great way for us to get involved.

This week, Michael flew out to Nashville to be a part of Jon’s campaign to give back to Thistle Farms. Michael decided to take one of our daughters, Teagan, with him to experience a service project for the first time (sidetone, HOW can they be old enough for this now?). They boxed and labeled 1,000 candles to help raise money and create jobs for the women of Thistle Farms. You can read more about what they do on their website but it is freaking cool what they’re doing for women in Tennessee. Jon has set a goal to sell 5,000 candles in the coming months to help buy much-needed supplies and hire more employees that need these jobs to survive. Quite literally, their lives depend on them. You can learn about his BHAG (big hairy audacious goal) HERE. Mad respect for such a big goal.

Michael and I struggled with saying “yes” to this event because when it comes to something as important as helping people in need, we want to make sure it’s done for the right reason and it’s not seen as “publicity.” So, we told about 3 people what he was doing and he went to see for himself what it was all about.  A few of you spotted Michael and Teagan in the photos posted on social media from the event, which is hilarious.

Thistle Farms

Knowing Michael would likely meet Jon’s wife, Jenny, at the event, I sent him with instructions to talk to her. You gotta know the person behind the person. There’s always a brilliant wife behind a husband that writes honest and hilarious things. There has to be, right? As I suspected, Michael told me that the Acuff family is legit awesome.

Michael with the Acuff Family

They’re sweet, real, funny, big hearted people…of course they are. Michael tells me Jenny has the best questions ever and is just as brilliant as I told him she would be. Teagan loved her. She told me she gave her brownies and Sprite – what’s not to love about that for a 6-year-old? They spent time with Michael and Teagan. They put themselves out there and used their voice to help other people even in the middle of the hustle and I can get on board with that. I can tell you from experience, putting your name on the line to raise money for people that need it is super scary and intimidating. I say “no” to almost everything people ask me to promote for this reason. The internal tape goes like this: “Am I enough to ask this of people? Do people really trust me? What if nobody shows up? What if it’s a flop? That’s on me. I would be disappointing people who need me.” It’s really hard. The Acuffs did it though and I have got a ton of respect for that. I’m proud to have had a small part of our family there to support that action because we need more of that.

You want form your own opinion?
1. Follow his blog because hilarious and awesome. www.acuff.me
2. Read his book Do Over because hilarious and awesome.
3. Tonight at 7:30pm (central), Jon is gathering the Lemon Droppers to do a webinar for us. He’s giving selflessly of his time for FREE to help us in our businesses. Who does that? If you want to be a part of it, you’re welcome to sign up and hear what he has to say. If you work or know someone that does, I know it will apply to you. No matter what, you will at the very least be entertained. You gotta sign up.

www.acuff.me/lemondropper

Jon Acuff Lemon Dropper Webinar

Bottom line, I’m blessed to have connected with Jon in my business and I have even more respect for his hustle now that I’ve gotten to know him even a little bit. I’ve never been more NOT disappointed in meeting someone I wanted to be awesome. Thanks Acuffs.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

I Was Just Me…

Michael and I just ran a marathon over the last 5 months.

We started traveling in mid-march and I kid you not, tomorrow will be the first week I will not have to leave my house since. You think you love traveling until you find yourself scared to death to fly and someone throws in 2 unexpected moves in the middle of your jam-packed schedule. NOT. MY. BEST. MOMENTS.

Let me just reiterate the most important part of this whole thing. I just traveled for 5 months straight and I am terrified to fly. Not just like, I’m scared. Like, I cry like I am facing certain death. Sweaty palms, my heart beating so loud you can hear it all the way in the tiny, tiny toilet stall, tears uncontrollably streaming down my face, shaking. I am awesome on a plane. Imagine how excited Mr. Moreno is to jump on a flight with me. Poor dude. 36 flights. I’m doing it anyway. Working seriously hard to get through it. In the last 5 months Mr. Moreno and I have seriously hustled our butts off. Flying all over the world. Not a ton of working on the computer; a bunch of working with people.

I have seen thousands of the people I work with online since March. It’s been totally worth it. I let the blog take the back seat, I let a lot of work stuff take a back seat, I even let time with my kids take a back seat. I learned about how big this business is getting; how many people it is touching. I learned how to spread out the work. I learned how to work though some hard stuff with my husband as we hit a rough few weeks though the stress and constant business.

If you don’t know my background, a little over 2 years ago, I founded a team of Young Living members called The Lemon Droppers. It has grown fast and furious and I’ve spent most of my time sitting in front of a computer creating and teaching and typing. You wanna know a secret? I have no idea what I’m doing. I’m learning absolutely everything about my job as I go. I have experience but not to this extent. I just have to trust my instincts and do what I think is best for my peeps. I’m making plenty of mistakes and I’m doing something right, it seems. This last 6 months my focus was people. Seeing people. Hugging people. Connecting with people. Being who I genuinely am and letting people see that. The good and the bad. I’m not covering up the blemishes; people learn from that. They connect to me by relating to the rough stuff. They’ve been there too.

Lindsay Teague Moreno | Young Living | The Lemon Droppers

I don’t know what it is that you do but with this lesson, I don’t think it matters. It’s applicable to absolutely every interaction you have with another human. Are you being truly vulnerable? Are you showing people who you are? Are you being genuinely you? Are you too afraid to let people see the chinks in your armor? Are you pretending? I’m so tired of trying to build relationships with people that are pretending. I’m so tired of this idea that to lead someone you have to be practically perfect; you have to know it all. It’s false. This past 5 months, I was just me and I brought to the table only what I have and it was amazing. As someone who prefers small groups of close friends, I have grown so much through it.

Being with my people has been amazing. I’m ready for some time with my family at home before we go into the fall and hit up 3 cities for the FUEL Life on Fire tour. I’m ready to be back to blogging and creating and thinking into the future. It’s time to get back to my regularly scheduled programming.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Normal is Bliss

You know, sometimes your life just goes off the rails. You move into something you’re passionate about, you find your spark, you are forced to really buckle down on something for a bit and you lose the person you were before, for a short while. I have noticed this kind of thing play out a few times in my life:
-During a breakup with an ex-boyfriend
-During my master’s program
-After my mom died
-When I took a big corporate gig
-When I was pregnant with my twins

I found myself in a “twist” in the plot of my life; a nice little curve ball that I wasn’t expecting. We become a chameleon for a bit, adapting to our situation and, I believe, just trying to survive until we can get back to who we are, what we love to do, the relationships we let slip on the priorities list.

Have you been here?

Welcome to my life since March 25, 2013. I let absolutely everything go for the last 2 years to create something out of a business that I believe God opened a one-way door into. I was at the point where my only choice was yes. When I say I let everything go, I mean it. Friends, family, health (outside of my oils, thank God), faith, my hobbies, the things I love to do, my obligations, even my kids…it was a life fire sale. “Everything must go!” I spent all hours on work. Building, striving, struggling, winning, losing, growing, learning, teaching, creating, thinking, dreaming…

All of those things were the opportunity cost of my work hours. I gave it all up willingly for a short term to earn the freedom to have all the time I want for those things in the future and you know what? I LOVED it. I found my passion wasn’t just in creating, it was in teaching women leadership. I wouldn’t have ever learned that without the work. Two years and I just knew this whole thing would work. I don’t know how, I just did. It was supernatural. There was a peace in me about saying to Michael, “just give me two years.” I knew it would be a 2-year process. Supernatural. I knew we were going to see massive success. Supernatural. I knew it would set our family up for a completely different normal when we came out of the other end. Supernatural. I am keeping good on my promise. God is keeping good on his promise. I like to think we’re high-fiving on this one.

To everything there is a purpose.

This is the first time I’m consciously making the effort to take a giant step back from something that is going so right. You guys, it is going so right. Sometimes I just stare at Michael in disbelief at how right it is. At the same time, if I want all to be right in the world again, it’s time to scale back on work and focus on the things I made a complete mess of in the process of building a business…or four. The biggest mess? Me. I made a complete cluster out of myself. It’s time to fix me.

This weekend I posted this instagram and it sparked this post.

I figured many of you can relate to those seasons in life where things just change for a little bit and you have to get back to that person that you are in your core. It’s a season, and you know what? I think seasons are awesome. We always come out changed. We have learned something new. We have new wisdom. We’re better for them. Even the really shitty stuff. The stuff that you think is going to break you. You’re better for it. You have to be thankful for it. By far the hardest thing I’ve learned through a season is being thankful through grief, but I am because I’m better for it. The broken parts of my heart heal but they leave a permanent mark. You know, it’s the scars that remind me of the bliss; the normal, average, everyday bliss. It’s time to snuggle up into that bliss of completely normal. It’s time to have a Saturday where I’m bored. It’s time to get back to me.

Tell me about the seasons in your life in the comments.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

The Deets on Project Life In One Place

I get asked a lot about what Project Life is, how I do it digitally, what programs I use, how I bind the books, etc. So I’m going to answer all of those questions here because this process is really important to me and what I want my girls to value as they grow up and have families of their own.

I was passionate about this project since the day I started and being on the creative team gave me the ability to infect others with the same passion. I thought I’d post a little intro and a recap of what I’m doing with Project Life in case you’re new to the LTM Blog!

What is Project Life?

Here’s a 1-minute easy as pie explanation:

Why do I think you should do it?

Because your story is your legacy and it’s important. Someday, your kids and your family is going to want to know this stuff about you and themselves. I promise. Kids have a way of wondering how you did it when they start families of their own. This is the way to show them. One thing I would love more than anything is to ask my mom, “what did you do when we were this age?” or “how did you handle this situation?” or “how much did you drink every night?” If she had done scrapbooking for us, I would have known even though she’s not around anymore for me to ask her. Someday my kids are going to want to know what our everyday looked like as an adult. They will. This will show them.

How am I doing it?

I am doing my pages digitally. It saves me the counter space (which is limited with 3 little ones) and the hassle of cleaning up. I just put everything together on my computer and then I print the book out at the end of the year. Also, the majority of project life users do the project weekly (2 pages to recap your week, every week). I, however, am taking a different approach this year. I’m just putting our major events into the book. There’s too much stuff going on in my life to have the pressure of keeping up and we just don’t do all that much stuff yet because my girls are so little. I’ll probably start the weekly layout format next year. You can read more about what I’m doing and the pages I’ve completed by CLICKING HERE.

What are the options for you?

There are two options for you if you want to give Project Life a try:
Traditional Paper Version
Digital Version

I LOVE traditional paper scrapbooking but I don’t like having the stuff all around my house. Digital is the right option for me but there is a learning curve to doing it since I am using photoshop. Without some desire to learn clipping masks and photoshop, it may be best for you to just go paper kits and keep it in a little caddy that you can move around to keep out of the way. If I was able to have the space and time for traditional, I would absolutely have those cards in my house.

With the traditional version you only need 4 things (there are FAR more than 4 things you can purchase, of course but you only require 4):

1. Core Kit

Core Kits are loaded with enough beautifully-designed cards to fill an entire album.

Becky Higgins Project Life Core kit

 

 

 

 

 

2. Album

The Project Life snazzy Albums, designed to coordinate with our Core Kits, will safely house your Pocket Pages filled with your photos and journaling.

Becky Higgins Project Life Album

 

 

 

 

 

3. Pocket Pages

Pick up a pack of Photo Pocket Pages to slip in your treasured photos and the cards from your Core Kit.

Becky Higgins Project Life Plastic Pages

 

 

 

 

 

4. Journaling Pens

My favorite pens in the world are the Zig Millennium Pens. They come in a pack with 5 sizes. Amazeballs.

Zig Pens

With the digital version you need 4 things (there are FAR more than 4 things you can purchase, of course but you only require 4):

1. Computer

I use my Mac Pro and my laptop for Project Life. Either will work as long as you have enough space to run photoshop and save your work.

imac

2. Photoshop

I use Photoshop Creative Cloud for mine but I know a lot of people that use Photoshop Elements and it works great for them (plus it’s less expensive and a bit easier).

photoshop cc

3. Digital Kits

Someone I know has a real problem with buying digital items for her Project Life album. I won’t say who, but she can’t stop. They’re so pretty!

Project Life Digital Kit

4. Printer to bind your book or Album with 12×12 Page Protectors

You can choose to bind your book and have it printed with a photo printer like i did at MPIX or you can have the pages printed individually and you can simply stick them into some 12×12 page protectors and a binder. Your call. I like the digital books because I can make copies of the book for the girls to take when they leave home.

Here’s a recent page I finished to give you an example of what your pages can look like:

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Becky Higgins

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Becky Higgins

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Becky Higgins

This was a super simple and fast layout. Used our pictures that Melissa Koehler took of our family and threw a couple of cards and brushes over them. Boom! Done.

I hope you’ll consider giving Project Life a try this year. There’s not commitment, there are no requirements. I know your people sure would love you for it one day.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Get Your Frame On: a DIY gallery wall project

I wrote this post a couple of years back but I still get a lot of questions about it so I decided to repost it here on my new blog for you DIY’ers.


 

I have been dreaming of this project for a very long time, but because M and I are renting a home here in Reno, I have put virtually $0 into home decor. It’s just not my house and I haven’t felt like putting too much effort into the house that we could potentially move out of at any moment. I love decorating, though, so I have really been wanting to frame some new photos. I think personal photos are the best way to make a house a unique home (outside of paint color). I love looking at other people’s photos in their homes when I visit. I want to make sure (especially as a photographer) that I have enough up of our lives to tell our story a bit.

So, I just decided that it was time to put together a gallery wall with some of our favorite family photos. I also decided I was going to go big. This is exactly what I had in mind when I set this project in motion:

DIY Gallery Wall

The wall leading up the stairs in this house is big, it’s high, and it’s bare. It’s also painted the grossest color of not-quite-white-and-not-quite-cream. The dude that owns this house was clearly not on the swiss coffee train when he picked out this color (he also doesn’t understand that different rooms require different sheens as evident by the touch-ups he did around the house, but that’s a different post). I decided that colored frames was where I was going to start. This foyer and staircase need some color in a bad way.

I love the look of scalloped frames. Going big on framing can equal big money, though, so I was sure I’d have to settle for only one shaped frame and just go square for the rest. I did a lot, i mean, a lot of hunting around. We’re talking months and months worth.

I started with Organic Bloom, Poppy Tree, and Zin Frames. All amazing frame companies. They make an amazing product. I would have snapped up the frames from these companies in a heart beat except one thing…it’s out of my budget for a home decor project right now. Like, way out. I wanted my center frame to be 20×30 (yea, big, see?). I’m looking at $100+ on that single frame alone and that’s not including prints.

So, it’s DIY time.

Enter Cut It Out Frames. $35.99 for the largest frame? Now that, I can handle.

STEP 1:

I ordered 8 frames from Cut It Out. All of them were unfinished so I knew I had some work ahead of me.

DIY Gallery Wall Project

Instagram: This is what they looked like out of the shipping materials. They were in perfect condition. Well done, Cut It Out!

I got the following frames:

Balboa 20×30
Chandler 16×20
Brooklyn 11×14
Newport 8×10
Brooklyn 8×10
Newport 5×7
Grafton 5×7
Newport 4×6

The total cost? $128.92. Yea, that’s right, people. What I was going to buy 1 frame for, I got 8. I am so drinking the Cut It Out kool-aid.

Problem: I won’t lie, because this place is so rad, they’re busy and it took my frames a long time to arrive. Like, a month and a half. Worth. The. Wait.

STEP 2:

As soon as they came in, I took inventory of what I was working with and I took the quilt I made for the living room to Michael’s Craft Store to grab some paint colors. I am trying to keep these colors consistent throughout the entire downstairs. I ended up with these colors:

DIY Gallery Wall

I should have gotten 2 bottles of each color (especially the orange because that seemed to take 17 coats), but I like to make projects harder than they should be by getting only one and taking a second trip to the craft store. It’s just how I roll. At $1 a bottle (coupon) I spent $7 on paint and $2 on foam brushes.

Problem: There’s no glass in these frames (just a cardboard backing). So I had to go on a little hunt for glass.

STEP 3:

I started at the dollar store for glass. Here I got my 4×6, 2 5×7’s and 2 8×10’s for $5 total. I then went to Wal-Mart for the 11×14 piece of glass for $5. I just threw out all the cheap frames and kept the glass. For the larger pieces (16×20 and 20×30), I found THIS PLACE. If I had found it before running around looking for large glass pieces, I would have just ordered it all from Glass4PictureFrames.com to save myself the trip to Wal-Mart (I hate this store). The 16×20 is $7.28 and the 20×30 is $13.65.

STEP 4:

Next, I picked the photos that I wanted to add to the wall and edited them. I converted them all to black & white to make the frame colors pop. I also created a little sketch showing the frame size, the photo in the frame and the color of the frame for future reference.

DIY Gallery Wall Project

Instagram: my photo order and gallery wall sketch

Let’s talk about photos. This is the place where I did not cut corners on cost. I ordered all of my prints through a professional lab, with the linen texture, mounted on board and coated with the non-glare coating. These pictures may well be in my house and on my walls when I’m old and grey. They will last this long. The board keeps them from warping in the frame, the coating keeps them looking beautiful. My mom had a mounted and textured photo of my brothers and I on her walls with no glass covering it for 25 years and it still looks as good as the day she hung it up.

DIY GALLERY WALL PROJECT

You can see the linen print texture in this photo. Also notice how it’s not reflecting too much light because of the coating.

Photo quality is not the place to skimp, in my opinion. If you had your photos taken by a professional photographer, order your wall prints through them. The professional labs make a HUGE difference (even in black and white photos). I promise you won’t be disappointed by the color and quality you get over non-pro labs. I would recommend Mpix to you guys if you’re not printing at a pro lab. Please, please, please don’t do Target, Wal-Mart, Costco or Walgreens. Please. The colors are just so different. Get your photos (at least the large ones) mounted. They’ll last forever. If you are interested in having your photos printed at a pro lab and are not a photographer, please let me know and I can give you my pricing list so you can have that option. I’ll even edit your photos a bit for you. It’s important.

DIY GALLERY WALL PROJECT

STEP 5:

Finally, I had a selection of my instagram photos printed in a collage from Paper Coterie. This print is the center 20×30 frame and the only one that is in color. It’s HUGE. I am in love with this part of the project. The collage is printed onto self-adhesive (and removable) fabric, so it matches the linen texture of all my other photos. It is amazing quality is very, very reasonably priced ($29.00 for 20×30). I simply peeled the backing off and stuck it down to the cardboard frame backing. Easy. Super cute.

DIY Gallery Wall Project

DIY Gallery Wall Project

Tip: I used the website www.instaport.me to download all of my instagram photos, pick the photos I wanted to use, and then upload to the Paper Coterie website.

STEP 6:

Then, I painted all the frames with at least 2 coats of paint (some more than others). Once the painting was done, I went over the edges of the frame with some dark brown ink from an ink pad to add some contrast. I put the photos in the frames and voila, done!

DIY Gallery Wall Project

I love how it came out. It really brightens up the foyer and brings some great memories to our walls.

DIY Gallery Wall Project

DIY Gallery Wall Project

What do you think? Are you going to do it too? I feel like I got more than enough “bang for my buck” with this project. It makes a big statement and the price was not as much as a piece of furniture…by far. I’m really happy.

DIY Gallery Wall Project
Lindsay Teague Moreno

In the Home with the Moreno Family

I was recently referred to Duston Todd by my friend Megahn for some family lifestyle portraits. I’ve wanted to capture us just being together for a while and immediately jumped on the opportunity when I saw Duston’s In the Home sessions he was doing. He is a true artist and what he created will remain on my walls for a lifetime.

Take a look…

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moreno_DTODD-6709 copy

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moreno_DTODD-6901 EDIT copy

moreno_DTODD-6918 copy

moreno_DTODD-6966 copy

I love these 4 people so much.

I am in love with these images. I hope we can recreate them throughout the years as we all grow. Thank you Duston for your eye and sharing your gift with our family.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

What’s Your Sentence?

As I was laying down getting a little massage this morning to try to rid myself of some of the work stress I’ve been feeling, I started thinking about a little speech I’m giving next week. I was asked to give a 7 minute talk on family. I could pretty much whip up a talk about anything and it would be passable. I’m not super nervous about talking in front of people, it’s just not my greatest strength. The kicker of that sentence is “family.” That’s pretty much the only thing I talk about that I can’t get through without crying like a big baby right there in front of everyone. Doesn’t even matter how big the audience is. I do it in front of one person, I do it in front of 500.

I started to wish they had asked me to talk on business because, honey, I could crush that. That’s my thing. Truth be told, I think I understand my business, marketing, sales and strategy with the best of them. Why didn’t they ask me to talk on that? I never cry when I talk about finding your niche market. I don’t get emotional when I talk about how people are doing direct sales all wrong. I’m righteously indignant about some of the things I “preach” about business because I just know this stuff…but not about family.

I started thinking about where to even begin and how I might make it through this talk (with people that, let’s face it, don’t have a lot of good things to say about me because they believe everything they hear) without looking like a grade schooler. I spent the entire 90 minutes thinking about it. I decided that most of my actions and decisions right now are based on the end of my mom’s life. I started wondering what people might say about me right now if the curtains closed on my life.

Let’s say it’s the end of your life. What is the sentence you want to be said about you? What is your legacy? How would you want to be remembered?

Do you have more than one? Are your actions saying this to people?

Some days my sentence is:
“She pushed the boundaries of possibility by kicking down the doors of what had already been done and paving new paths toward unique  personal significance for women all over the world.”

Some days it’s:
“She taught women that with heart and hustle, anything is possible no matter your background, circumstance, education, or experience.”

Usually it’s:
“She was relentless in her pursuit of really big dreams so her daughters would know she loved her life and that there’s nothing they can’t do.”

Lindsay Teague Moreno kids

I have a lot of work to do and I need to make sure my actions are conveying these sentences. I encourage you to write your sentence. What are you doing here?  What do you want in life? Write it down and keep it close to you. If you feel comfortable write it in the comments below.

I’m going to cry like a baby on that stage next week and you know what…that’s okay. Those 3 are worth it.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

All new Project Life addition

I am so in love with Project Life, you guys. Over the past two years, it’s been one of those things I love but just don’t make the time to do. This year, I’m making more time for it. Wanted to share a page I did not too long ago.

Last year, Michael and I had a little vacation in California after our first large event we put on. It was a really nice break after a lot of work. We went to one of our favorite places, The Hotel Del on Coronado Island and visited some of my favorite people (my cousin Adam and his wife, Stacy and their kids, Jackson & Savannah). Have you guys been to this hotel? IT. IS. AMAZING.  Tons of really cool original pieces in this historic hotel. The view isn’t half bad either!

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Digital

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Digital

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Digital

If you guys haven’t gone to this hotel, you gotta put it on the bucket list! It is so amazing. Totally throw back. We had a great time. We even did S’mores right on the beach at night.

Hope you guys are having a great Monday!

Lindsay Teague Moreno

 

Intentionally 2015 (read: I’m baaaaack)

In January, I decided I was going to take this year to do a few things very intentionally after working pretty much straight through for the last two years. Abstract stain watercolors

In 2015, I decided I needed to pick a word, I needed to set some intentions and I needed to stick to it. Thank you, Ali Edwards, for making things I can’t resist and sharing your ideas.

This year, I’m coming up on my 2-year-agreement with M. Let me back up a bit here. Almost 2 years ago (on March 25th), Michael and I were having a “discussion” (read: big huge argument) about my working all of the sudden after having sacrificed so much to land him his (at the time) dream job. We had both worked really hard to get him where he was and here I was ripping out the pages of the story we had told ourselves about the life we were going to have. After all either of us could say was said, I asked him, as the man I love and the person that loves me unconditionally to give me two years. “Give me two years to see what I can do with this. If it’s not ‘something’ in two years, I’ll walk away. I need you to let me do this.” Of course, being the man of pure gold that he is, he agreed. That was the day we were done fighting about it.

You better believe I laced up my shoes and started sprinting. I am coming up on two years of the hustle and I am literally almost breathless. My business is on FIRE; I mean it’s a raging forest fire, but I am out of breath. I had to fight off people that I believed wanted the best for me and instead wanted to use me and hurt me. I had learn to drown out the noise of those who wanted to tear me down with words and hurtful actions. I had to struggle with those who wanted to change the direction I knew I should be going. It has been a two year battle; the most amazing, rewarding, hard-fought battle of my life. I have sacrificed having other priorities, including my family. I have sacrificed all semblance of simplicity of life. I have sacrificed play. I have sacrificed focus.  I have been successful but I am tired of the criticism, it’s not supposed to hurt coming from people that don’t know and love me but it does. You know where I believe all of it stems from? A false sense scarcity and unneeded competition.

criticism quote

It’s important that I stick to my word with M. I told him two years and I meant it. So, I’m preparing to put plans in motion so I can keep good on the promises I made. I’m not quitting, let me just say that straight out. I’m not, but I can’t keep up with the amount of people that need me. I have to have a plan to be able to enjoy my life and enjoy my work, which I do. I love my work. I am so passionate about what I do. This is something that is so so hard to do. I’ll never walk away. It’s a part of me like my arms and legs are a part of me. The Lemon Droppers are an extension of me. I just need to get more organized and I need to make room for the new! I’m going to be totally honest with you, this  makes me worried about the fallout I’ll get from the 20,000 + people that depend on me. It makes me worry that I’m letting others down. You know who I’m really letting down? My circle. My family, my friends and myself. Each time I choose someone else that I don’t know ahead of them I feel shame and I know I show them with my actions that they don’t mean as much to me as someone on the other side of my computer.

this matters Lindsay Teague Moreno Blog

In order to help me keep good on my intentions, I’ve decided to blog again. I am going to make it a priority. I’ve decided to do Project Life because I love it and it’s important to me that my kids have it. I have decided to write more because it’s a great way for me to help and teach others. I want to help others. I want to teach and mentor others, I just have to have time to do it. Right now I feel like I’m not doing anything with perfection. There are tiny chinks in everything and the people that end up sacrificing? My husband and kids. My people get more time than they do and that ain’t right.

This year I will:

REEVALUATE MY PRIORITIES
STRIVE FOR SIMPLICITY
WORK HARD | PLAY HARD
FOCUS ON ONE THING
ACT WITH VALOR

Starting this blog and making this post is valiant for me. Am I ready to be open on the web like this still? Yes, I am. Am I ready to commit to this? Yes, I am. Am I going to make this blog kick ass? Yes, I am.

Welcome to LindsayTeagueMoreno.com. I hope you like it here. Throughout the coming month, I’ll try to fill up this blog with some of the best posts from my old blog before I shut that one down for good. I’ll be writing on business, scrapbooking, photography and my life. I hope you’ll follow along.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Project Life Book Reveal

Well, kids, I have my Project Life book printed and in my hand. Because I do this digitally, I have to delay the gratification of having the book out to look at and see come together. Everything’s tucked into a file on my computer (and my hard drive, and the cloud back-up system…I don’t take chances, folks), but I can’t actually touch it…until now.

I got my book back from my printer and I’m so happy with the way it came out. You ready to take a little look at it?

Project Life Cover
The cover. This book is hard backed and has think board pages. The pages are a bit thinner than a child’s board book,  but still thicker than paper.

Project Life CoverThe back cover. I took a little month by month look at the year and put down the major “events” that happened. Like a snapshot of what people might see in the book.

Project Life Book Printed
Okay, I’m not going to lie, the book is heavy. 12×12 thick pages. It’s so heavy I think it might just stand up to the beating that my 3 little girls are likely to give it throughout the years.

Project Life Book Printed
This is a lay-flat style of page. You can see how it’s not floppy like paper so my kids can’t rip the pages out. It also lays so nicely when it’s open so that the entire 12×24 layout can be seen together without a dip in the middle.

Project Life Book Printed

Project Life Book Printed

Project Life Book Printed

Project Life Book Printed

Really high quality photo printing on these pages. I’m very happy. They are darker than on the computer so this year I’ll be sure to lighten everything before I send it in.

Project Life Book Printed

Project Life Book Printed

Project Life Book Printed

Project Life Book Printed

Project Life Book Printed
I put the dedication on the back cover for my family.

Project Life Book Printed

Project Life Book Printed
The girls love looking at it. They ask if its them in every single picture, “is that me? is that me? is that me?” haha.

So where did I end up printing and how and how much and all that?
Well let me just say first, yea, it was pricey. It could have been done much cheaper on regular paper but I want this to last forever. I don’t want pages torn out. I don’t want dog ears. I just want it to look pretty when I’m old and I’m looking through this book for the 8,347,462nd time.

I ended up printing through Millers Pro Lab.
Miller’s Signature Album.
12×12 Size, 35 spreads (70 pages)
Wrap-around custom image cover
Thin pages (1/32″ thick, you can order up to 50 pages/100 sides)
E-Surface Photographic paper
Price: $450

So there it is. I figure that with what I didn’t spend on scrapbook product and all that this year, I’m probably still saving money doing it this way. No binder, no filler pages, no papers, no embellishments.  Plus, it’s nice and compact.

So there you have it. I hope you are loving your Project Life book as much as I am!!

Lindsay Teague Moreno

My Someday Photographer

We all have the one photographer in our mind that we say to ourselves “someday that person is going to take my family photos.” Right? Or is it just me? I don’t think it’s just me. You should make note of those photographers that you love and set out to have your photos created by them. They’re your “someday” photographer.

Well, I’ve drooled over Melissa Koehler’s photos for YEARS now (one tiny look and you’ll see why). When I was living in Colorado she was actually thinking about making a trip out and I was trying to scramble for ideas on how I might be able to afford to do it then. Melissa lives in California (San Diego to be exact) so getting a session with her would be tricky for sure. When we made plans to be in So Cal for vacation this year, a photo session with Melissa became a reality. I booked like 8 months in advance or something to make sure she had room for us and we drove from LA to San Diego just for this shoot. Look, when you want something, you gotta make it happen, right?!?! You don’t get the opportunity to have your family pictures done by someone you admire and love just every day!

Moreno Family Beach Photos
Here she is. How cute is she? She’s good peeps.

Well, folks, we did it and I’m happy to say that I love EVERY. STINKING. ONE. of the photos Melissa took of the family. She’s adorable and funny and sweet and talented and I could go on and on. Money well spent. If you’re in the San Diego area or you ever plan to be. Save your pennies because she’s worth 8 times what she charges. True story.

Who wants to see some photos, huh?

Moreno Family Beach PhotosStill can’t believe this is us. We’re like a real, live family and all that. I don’t know why it’s taking me 3 kids and 4.5 years to figure that out. Still feels strange.

Moreno Family Beach PhotosBoston (left), Teagan (right). 4-years-old. Identical mirror twins. Can you believe that? What am I doing with twins? That’s one question I’ll be asking God once I get to heaven. Believe that.

Moreno Family Beach PhotosKenendy Elise. My little ninja. She looks so innocent here. Like she’d be the last child on EARTH to stick unknown objects up her nose and sneak candy into other rooms to eat it.

Moreno Family Beach PhotosThis is one of my faves. Look at those colors all around us. So good, Melissa. So good.

Moreno Family Beach Photoslovin’ on my dude. yep. we still got it goin’ on.

Moreno Family Beach PhotosMe and my Addy girl. Still my baby. Don’t want her to EVER grow up!

Moreno Family Beach PhotosThese girls loved being at the beach with their daddy. It’s the thing they talk about the most about our vacation and considering we went to Disney Land, that means something. They ran away from waves for HOURS. He’s so good at being a girl daddy. That’s one question I never have to ask God about because the answer is so obvious. He’s just meant to be a daddy of girls.

Moreno Family Beach Photos

Moreno Family Beach Photoshaha. this makes me laugh. look at B & T laughing. Adorable.

Moreno Family Beach PhotosYea, I’d say this pretty much sums it up.

Moreno Family Beach PhotosDaddy & Addy. BFF’s. I’m pretty sure she’s his! 😉

Moreno Family Beach PhotosBoston Bean. Love this girl. She has decided to take the “give mom a run for her money” crown from Teagan lately. She’s lucky she’s cute!

Moreno Family Beach PhotosTeagan. Sigh. Can this possibly be the same tiny baby I held on December 7th at 4 pounds?

Moreno Family Beach Photos

Moreno Family Beach PhotosYep, he’s a superstud and yep, he still looks smokin’ hot in pink.

Moreno Family Beach PhotosMy little girls. This picture makes me so happy. I’m going to hang it on my wall and it will be there until the day I die. I’ll look back on it when I’m old and they’re having their own babies and I’ll remember how much I love them and that all the time and energy is 100% worth it. THIS picture right here is why you hire your favorite photographer and not the one that’s the cheapest. There’s just something different about it and it’s about the artist who creates it. Love you, Melissa, for this photo…well, all of them, but this one especially.

Moreno Family Beach PhotosHow long until they stop holding my hand? Hopefully never.

So who’s your “someday” photographer? Don’t let these years slip through your fingers, they’ll be gone before you know it.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Project Life Week 9

This was a totaly normal week except that we got a date night!!! I love date night!!! Also, I’m totally digging the fact that my kids adore old school cartoons. Anything made early nineties or earlier and the Moreno girls are digging it.

WEEK NINE

Week nine brought some sun so I took the girls out for a little photo shoot in their cutie clothes. Another card with our TV shows because I thought it was pretty funny that all of us were into some old-school shows lately. The girls love Tom & Jerry and M & I still into The West Wing.

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Digital

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Digital

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life DigitalClose-up right side. How cute that I got a pic of my hubs taking a very rare nap!

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Project Life Week 8

Continuing our catchup on on the Project Life front.

WEEK EIGHT

Back to my regular bright style here. This was a busy week but still very typical. I included a card about what we have been watching. The girls were into Wreck-It Ralph and M & I were watching The West Wing.

Project Life Week 7

Okay, time for me to catch up here. I have so much going on in my life. It always seems to work that way once Easter hits. It’s like non-stop for the next couple of months. I’ve been knee-deep in a new blog for my personal stuff, a new brand for my business, my fam and this oil business. I’m trying to learn as much as I can and out of NOWHERE it’s become and actual business for me. I just didn’t see this coming. It’s been crazy lately. I’m ready for fall to come and Preschool to officially start for my girls.

So I wanted to post my Project Life pages that I haven’t gotten around to sharing with you guys. Week 7, 8 and 9.

WEEK SEVEN

This was a fun one to put together. No specific kit on this one because I wanted to stick with that pink and aqua color scheme. Valentine’s week.

Project Life Lindsay Teague Moreno

Project Life Lindsay Teague MorenoClose-up left side. Sorry for Addy’s naked booty. It’s too cute not to have in the book. We have to make sure we drive her to therapy at some point in her life!!! 😉

Project Life Lindsay Teague MorenoClose up on right side.

I am in love with Project Life. I hope you are as well.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Project Life: Time for Print

Y’all, I’m finally getting around to printing my 2012 Project Life book. I am sooooo excited. Before I share some of the pages I finished recently for it, I want to answer some of the questions that I’ve been getting a lot recently:

1. WHERE ARE YOU PRINTING YOUR BOOK?

I’m printing at the pro lab I use for my photography clients. Although it’s expensive (yea, it’s really expensive), the pages will be on heavy board and high quality so the book should last through kids and grandkids alike! The bad part of this is that I can only print 30 spreads in one book because of the page thickness (think child’s board book) so I have to print in 2 editions per year. I think it’s worth it for the thick board book pages and high quality images though. I just haven’t liked the color quality at many other book places (though blurb does a great job for a high-quality paper option).

2. HOW MANY PAGES WAS YOUR ALBUM?

A lot, though not as many as it would have been if I had been doing the 1-page-a-week format like I’m doing this week. 2012 came out to 40 2-page spreads, so 80 pages all together). I’m printing the book in 2 editions to fit all of the spreads. I’m also printing a separate book to house my 2012 Week in the Life spreads and my 31 Things spreads (which were conveniently 30 total spreads between both projects, how about that?).

Alright, here are a few of the pages that I completed for the 2012 book and hadn’t posted here:

Let’s start with the Color Run that my friend Becky and I did.

The Color Run 2012

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Digital Design Teamboth sides together. I love that the Cobalt kit fits perfectly into the bright colors of the photos.

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Digital Design Team
left side

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Digital Design Team
right side

 

Next we had Addy’s 2nd birthday shoot:

Kennedy Elise | 2 Years Old

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life
left side

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life
right side

 

Then we moved to Seattle and I wanted to include this important story in the book so I copied my blog post about how we were sent to this lovely city to live:

Hello Seattle

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life
left side

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life
right side

 

Then it was time for the final 12 of 12 installment in the book:

December 12 of 12Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life
left side

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life
right side

 

And finally, Christmas day in our house:
Moreno Family Christmas 2012Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life
left side

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life
right side

 

How is your 2013 project coming along? I love the weekly format so much!!!

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Project Life 2013: Week 5

Welcome to Week 5 of Project Life. Seems crazy that we’re this far into the year. Don’t get me wrong, I’m excited about spring and summer coming right around the corner!!

projectlife2013

This week, I was out of town for the weekend for my grandma’s funeral. Even though it’s sad, I added it to the book. Additionally, I made Michael take the Archetype ME quiz and recorded both of our results. This is proof positive that he’s a better persona than I am and that he’s probably the better stay-at-home parent, what with his caregiving skills and my lack thereof! ha. Have you seen these results going around your social media feed? You can add it to your next page by taking the quiz HERE

Archetype Quiz

Lindsay:
1. Creative (Creator | Performer | Artist | Storyteller)
2. Intellectual (Scholar | Professional | Sage | Thinker)
3. Rebel (Maverick | Feminist | Seductress | Femme Fatale)

Michael:
1. Caregiver (Mentor | Teacher | Father | Coach | Rescuer | Hero)
2. Intellectual (Scholar | Professional | Sage | Thinker)
3. Spiritual (Mystic | Healer | Seeker | Religious)

See? He’s a better person! Not a mention of my most important job as a mom in my results. Whoops. Lucky me, I guess.

Here’s the full 2-page spread from week 5:

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life
Left side. Happy to have my extended family in the book this year. We don’t see each other nearly enough (they all live in Oklahoma). I love them! Plus, their kids are amazingly beautiful which makes my pages look goooooood! *wink, wink

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life
Right side

Lindsay Teague Moreno

 

Project Life 2013 Week 6

What’s up, week 6 of 2013! It was good to live you.

This week I was very photo heavy (20 photos), so I used a lot of mini templates (thankyouverymuch, Cathy Zielske). I don’t think it looks overly cluttered, though, which is why these templates are a must-have for my Project Life spreads.

Let’s get to it, shall we?

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Digital

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Digital
left side. How great is that cloud pattern? Thanks AC Digitals.

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Digital
right side. How great is that quote from my littlest?

 

Everything is “do it self, DO IT SELF!” She’s so independent and she does NOT want your help in life…unless you have cookies, then she wants your help in getting her hands on some of that.

Project Life Catch Up Post

Family Vacation May 2012

Project Life Digital
Both sides of the spread together. Again, I opted for the lighter feel on this one.

 

Project Life Digital
Left side close-up

 

Project Life Digital
Right side close-up

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Another Project Life 2012 Catch-Up Post

There are a few pages that I completed from 2012 that I haven’t shared yet and I figure now is as good a time as any! We’ll start with the wrap-up photos from our very first family vacation. An RV trip through California (Yosemite, Napa and Mendocino).

Moreno Family Camp-Out 2012

Project Life Digital
Full spread together. I LOVE the colors on this one. These photos were begging for a softer feel. Which is odd since we were so dirty for 10 days straight. Constantly dusty.

 

Project Life Digital
Left side close-up

 

Project Life Digital
Right side close-up. We don’t leave out any of the details…even sewage dumping! Ewww. I’d just like to thank God for my husband right here and now.

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Project Life 2013 | Week 4

Week 4. Does it feel like we should be this far into 2013?

This week Michael had monday off of work and we ventured into downtown Seattle for the day. Fun! My grandma passed away as well, which is so sad. I didn’t have photos of that, obviously, but I wanted to include it so I made a little collage (bottom left) of photos that mean a lot to me that she is in. Make sure you include your relatives, family and friends that are out of town in your PL book.

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Digital
Week 4 both sides together. This was a fun week and a sad week all in one.

 

2013page7

2013page8

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Starting Over

Take a good look at these photos.

Lindsay Teague Moreno 5 Generations
look how cute my grandma and great grandma are in this photo staring at me when we’re trying to take a group photo. Awww, they loved me (first grandbaby, great grandbaby and great great grandbaby…that’s a special thing).

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno 5 Generations

There are a few things you should know about them (besides the affinity my family had for the “wild west” motif, complete with shotgun mounted above the fireplace…you know how we roll):

a) you’re looking at 5 generations. That’s me as the youngest and my great great grandma (Mama Gee we called her) in the center. Pretty rare.

b) apparently a shirt with overalls is not required in 1985, who knew?

c) I remember taking that photo on the bottom and have quite a few memories of Mama Gee and even more of my great grandma (Pompoonzie we called her…don’t ask, my mom made it up when she was little) and my Grandma (Gram) and, of course, my mom.

d) My Gram died this weekend and I am the last one remaining of these women. I am really having a hard time wrapping my head around this fact. How can that be?

e) The next time we have the opportunity to take a photo like this I will be the oldest one in it and not the youngest. My girls and I are starting over where generations are concerned.

I’m sad and I miss these women. My Gram was sick for a long time and she stayed around much, much longer than most of us thought she would but it’s still so sad to say goodbye. The last time I saw Gram was in August. We took a walk together, we talked, I showed her pictures, we talked about Mom and Poppy (she thought maybe Mom and Poppy were playing golf together that morning). She was having some rare “old Gram” moments at that time. She told me she loved me so much and that I was a “good girl.” She told me she was so happy I came to see her and she got up early and dressed up for me to come see her the next day. I had a very similar happy goodbye time with my grandpa that went before her in 2005. I’m so grateful for these times to remember and hold in my heart.

4 Generations
Our updated 4 Generations photo after the girls were born (2009)

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Vintage
Me with Poppy and Gram in 1980.

My immediate family now consists of only my brothers and I. That is crazy. We were never a large family but I just didn’t see it playing out like this. Sad weekend. I’m half relieved that Gram is finally where she wanted to be and I find myself sad all over again that Mom’s not here to go with me to the funeral and just be with me on this one. I hope that was a great reunion for Mom and her parents.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Project Life 2013: Week 3

Here we are with the most recent Project Life spread. I have to tell you the new AC Digitals papers and elements are giving me such a creative boost. As most of you know (if you read here often), I’m obsessed with the Cobalt kit from last year’s Project Life release. Still love it. It’s still my favorite, even with the new sets and the sets that are dropping this spring. However, the new patterns and color combos are giving me a “new” feeling in my spreads and I’m loving it! I’ll get back to Cobalt, that’s for sure, but for now, I love the AC Digitals options.

projectlife digital

This was a very non-eventful week in the house of Moreno. If you feel like you don’t have enough pictures or your world isn’t very exciting, I hope these layouts might give you some inspiration. I purposely brought out my big girl camera one night to take pictures of our nightly routine because we were doing so little during the day. I also took series photos to fill. Notice the 3 photos of Kennedy in the tiny template all dressed up after her bath. That’s a good way to add variety even if you don’t have a lot of photo moments. I ended up with way more than I had originally thought I had.

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life
Week 3: Both pages together

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life
Close-up of left side
How fun is the little chalkboard? It’s just a chalkboard image and then I put the fonts over it. Love how it turned out. A great way to incorporate some verbiage with a busy pattern. I’ll be using this again.

 

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life
Close-up of right side

I’m focusing on getting down on the girls’ level to take photos of them. I want to see the world the way they see it. I remember wearing my moms heels when I was little and feeling like I could see so much more when I was “taller.” I think the same is true when we become smaller. I get down on my stomach, I crouch down, I lay down. Try thinking on their level when taking their photos.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Welcome 2013

So I wanted to update with my first few 2013 Project Life spreads before we get too far into the year and I finish catching up from 2012.

projectlife digital

Here’s my 2013 cover page:

Digital Project Life

This year I’m doing the weekly spreads so here’s what our Week One looked like:

Digital Project Life

Digital Project Life

…and Week Two:

Digital Project Life

Digital Project Life

2013page4

Lindsay Teague Moreno

More Catch-Up | November 12 of 12

So here we are with November’s 12 of 12 spread. It was moving days. Of course our day of the most chaos all year would fall on the 12th! I was so close to not doing it in November because I was so busy. So glad I did though!!! Since we were getting off the plane in Seattle at Midnight, I actually started my 12 of 12 before we had been to sleep! Pretty cool.

Without further ado:

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life 12 of 12

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life 12 of 12

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life 12 of 12

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Catching Up | October 12 of 12

Another few pages ready for sharing over the next couple of posts. We’ll start with the October version of the 12 of 12 project, which wrapped in December for me. So excited to have these in the books. Let’s just take a little look-see at what the Moreno’s did in October.

One thing that I will tell you, the little instagram icon is totally free and found online the instamemory font is called “Billabong.” Just search for social media icons to find the right instagram icon. Also, the deer graphics are an old House of 3 set that is no longer in business. Love them though. Miss that store!

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life 12 of 12

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life 12 of 12

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life 12 of 12

I’m about 1 or 2 spreads away from printing my book! Can’t wait to show you guys the finished product. My girls are going to LOVE it!!!

Lindsay Teague Moreno

All Settled + Project Life Update

Well, folks, we’re all settled here in our new home in Seattle, Washington. We love it here so far. It’s so gorgeous and the rain has been really cool. I, for one, am a huge fan of rain after living in the desert for so many years. This is literally the opposite of Phoenix. Ahhhhhh.

Digital Project Life Header

Now that the holiday season is over, it’s time to get crackin’ on Project Life. I have some pages to post and some catching up to do! Let’s take a look at a new page, shall we?

Lindsay Teague Moreno's Digital Project Life | 12 of 12

Lindsay Teague Moreno's Digital Project Life | 12 of 12

Lindsay Teague Moreno's Digital Project Life | 12 of 12

It’s funny to look back at these photos because even in the 4 short months since I took these photos, my girls have changed! The paci went bye-bye on Addy’s birthday and the girls got a much-needed hair chop shortly after this month. Crazy. Just another reason Project Life is awesome. We’re changing so much right now.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Dear Babies: 4-Years

I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that my little girls are 4-years-old. From teensy tiny little preemies at 3 and 4 lbs to walking, talking, thinking, independent, crazy, little girls. It’s nuts, I tell you.

Here we continue the letters that I’ll eventually give to the girls when they’re older and here they are together for their 4-year photo shoot:

Lindsay Teague Moreno Photography Twins Birthday

_MG_8174

This year for their birthday we had a family party at the American Girl store. They both picked out a Bitty Baby…the same one. I thought it fitting that they should be a part of the photos.

______________________________________

Dear Boston,

Here you are at 4:

_MG_8113

My little 4-year-old. I love you so much it hurts sometimes. You have really grown up this year into a person all your own. People get you confused with your sister all the time but you guys are really so different. I think because I’m around you so often I can see the differences more than the similarities. As you go through childhood and adolescence, I think people will group you and your sister together more often than not, but I want you to know that we see how different you really are from each other. You’re most definitely not the same person despite how much you look physically similar. You have many (okay most) of the same mannerisms, but you use them in spectacularly different ways. Even being similar to your sister makes you unique in a way that only you and Teagan will ever share. I love being witness to it every day.

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This year, Boston, you and Teagan really started to assert your own personalities and started taking interest in different things. For example, we have now taken both ballet and gymnastics. While Teagan really loves ballet (i think it’s the pink, the grace and the music) you love gymnastics (I think it’s the physical activity, the running and the variety of activities). You guys came to us to ask if Teagan could take ballet and you could take gymnastics. Pretty cool. You’re very good at gymnastics. You are strong and coordinated. You got out there as a very young and small beginner and figured that bar right out. Soon you were doing all of the required class circuits on your own. You overcame your fear of heights and swift movement this year in gymnastics. It is one of the memories of you that I will lock away in my heart forever. You declined the high swing a couple of classes in a row when you first started gymnastics (you don’t even take your hands off of us when we swing you by your feet…no way you were getting on that swing). One class, though, I was sitting and watching as your group got to the swing and you decided you were going to do it. You got up and I could see the fear in your eye but your determination to get up there was stronger. You asked the teacher not to swing you very high (the swing probably went 20 feet up) and you did it. All by yourself. You amazing, strong, brave girl. It might not seem like that big of a deal some day when you read this, but I think it’s a little glimpse of what is to come from you. If I had to guess, I think you’ll hang back a bit in life and let others be first (an amazing quality, I believe…I wish I had more of that in my own personality). You’ll observe first, but when it comes time, you’ll be brave. You’ll speak out when you need to. You’ll do things differently than the other kids, coworkers, classmates or peers. When you do something, though, you’ll be great at it. I can’t wait to see it. I’m so proud of you.

This year you and Teagan have fought a lot as you started to assert your independence and become your true selves. I think many people are under the impression that identical twins don’t fight and they’re surprised to learn that you act just like any other sisters. You fight. A lot. Sometimes it makes me crazy. You compete with each other at times. However, you also have an amazing bond. You still understand each other better than anyone else on this planet. You even understand Addy better than anyone else. If I can’t understand something she’s saying, I can ask you and you almost always know. You and Teagan can’t be separated for long periods of time. We thought about putting Addy with you to sleep because you both sleep more than Teagan does, but you both quickly put the kibosh on that. You guys get upset when one doesn’t wake the other up in the morning and you’re in your room alone. What one gets, the other gets in your eyes. What one can do the other can do in your eyes. I sing the “anything you can do I can do better” song to you at least once a day. You are both very attune to the other though. If one of you is sick, the other is sad. If one is hurt, the other is upset. You love each other very much. I am sure this will continue all of your lives and I wonder what it will be like if you decide on different colleges or when you guys get married. Will it be hard on you? I am sure it will.

You are very close with Addy, Boston. Closer than Teagan, who is the louder and more gregarious of the two of you most of the time (not that you’re quiet, because that is NOT the case). You love to be a caregiver for your baby sister. You tell everyone she is “your baby.” You make sure she’s taken care of. You concern yourself with her well-being and play with her one-on-one more than Teagan does. She loves Addy and I’ve seen them becoming much closer toward the end of this year, but there’s something between you two that is special. I wonder sometimes if the three of you will be inseparable when you get older. Will you share the same group of friends? Will you guys always do things together?

Boston, you and I are very similar in many ways and one of those ways is our love of sleep. You still remain my best sleeper. You go to bed without a fight (most nights), you’d take a nap if I let you, you sleep in, you hardly ever wake up in the middle of the night. You love your sleep. Me too, Bean, me too! You also blow your lid when you’re pushed too far like me and you get bored easily (but let’s ignore that right now). You’re amazingly similar to your dad as well. You’re very caring and sensitive like he is. You worry about people like he does and you are kind-hearted like him. When I see you interacting socially with other kids, I notice that you let others take from you and say nasty things to you and you don’t say a word. Daddy doesn’t like it. He wants you to push back at times, but I love it. I know it means that being nasty isn’t part of you. You’re very caring and I love it about you. These are some of the things I love the most about your daddy and I’m so happy to see these characteristics are part of your personality as well. Someday, if you choose, you’re going to be such a good mommy.

This year, you’re still sucking your right thumb, you are super tall and skinny, your hair grew so much I had to have 6 inches cut off of it, your hair is very fine and curly (which makes combing time a chore), you love fruit snacks more than life itself, you love to pray at dinner, you love to play pretend, you get so excited when your daddy gets home from work, you love disney movies and characters (especially Ariel), you don’t like pizza sauce (just like your mama), you want one-on-one attention from your parents, you love snuggles, you hate cleaning up after yourself, you hate clothes (all of them, no matter what…no), you love to dance and play games, and your laugh is infectious.

I love you Beanie Bean. I really do. You guys teach me something new every day. Being your mom is the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life and I’m worried that I am failing a lot, but when I see you being sweet to others and becoming a strong little girl, I know we must be doing something right. God blessed me with you. He knew that you were just what I needed.

Happy 4th birthday, baby girl.

Love,

Mommy


 

Dear Teagan,

Here you are at 4:

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What a big girl you are, Teagan. Of all my children you are the one that is most like me in personality. I know this because we butt heads the most of any of my children. You are loud, you are crazy, you are sneaky at times, you make a huge mess and don’t want to clean it up, you are the first to say you’ll do something (very brave), you’re a fighter, you’re witty and you love sweets. You also got some great qualities that I see in your daddy. You’re caring, you are very concerned about the well-being of others (especially feelings of animals and other poeple), you are very affectionate and you are silly. If I had to guess, I think that you and I are going to have a rough go when you’re a teenager and you’re becoming more independent but we’ll also become very close when you’re a bit older. Kinda like it was with my mom. Who knows, though, you could surprise me…I hope you do sweet girl, I want to be very close to you as you’re growing up. I hate fighting with you. I really do.

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Teagan. Look at this picture. It’s so you. SO YOU. You are sassy and full of personality. You’re so dramatic at times and you’re hilarious. When I told you to “go over there and stand so I can take your picture,” this is what you gave me. I love it. You keep us very entertained and busy, Teagan. You have great ideas for games and projects that you talk your sisters into playing with you (much to your mother’s chagrin, might I add). You’re getting so big. You love playing pretend and you’re an excellent mommy. If you were going to be a princess this year, you’d be Merida. You decided on Merida from Brave for Halloween this year and you really talk about her a lot still. I can’t wait to take you to Disney to see all of the characters. Of all of my kids, you’re going to love it the most, I just know it. You are all in on the princess thing so I know this trip is going to blow your mind. I am going to take a lot of pictures of it. I know this stage isn’t going to last forever and I want you to remember what it feels like to believe in fairytales. You might look back and think this is silly but it really is part of you. You wake up talking about princesses and go to bed talking about them.

This year you really showed me that you’re 100% girl. You love pretty things, fluffy things, cute things, tiny things, pink things…if it’s made for a girl, you NEED it! You loved ballet and you asked if you could take ballet over gymnastics this year. So, Addy got you some new ballet shoes for Christmas and we’re going to be starting in a couple of weeks. I hope you always love dance. I love to dance so much. I didn’t take dance classes when I was younger but I always wished that I did. I’m so glad that you like it and I get to watch you enjoy it. It’s one of the best parts about being a mom. We get to go back and be little every so often with you.

This year you and Boston have fought a lot as you started to assert your independence and become your true selves. I think many people are under the impression that identical twins don’t fight and they’re surprised to learn that you act just like any other sisters. You fight. A lot. Sometimes it makes me crazy. You compete with each other at times. However, you also have an amazing bond. You still understand each other better than anyone else on this planet. You even understand Addy better than anyone else. If I can’t understand something she’s saying, I can ask you and you almost always know. You and Boston can’t be separated for long periods of time. We thought about putting Addy with B to sleep because they both sleep more than you do (you’re killing me with the sleep, kid), but you both quickly put the kibosh on that. You guys get upset when one doesn’t wake the other up in the morning and you’re in your room alone. What one gets, the other gets in your eyes. What one can do the other can do in your eyes. I sing the “anything you can do I can do better” song to you at least once a day. You are both very attune to the other though. If one of you is sick, the other is sad. If one is hurt, the other is upset. You love each other very much. I am sure this will continue all of your lives and I wonder what it will be like if you decide on different colleges or when you guys get married. Will it be hard on you? I am sure it will.

You love Addy very much. You’re very protective of her (you’re the most protective child) and Boston. You will stand up for them and you will be the first to try something to make sure it’s safe. I love that about you. I hope you’ll always stand up for yourself and what you believe in…even if it’s not popular. It has been my experience that most things that are worth fighting for aren’t popular. Remember that. If it’s important…go get it, girl. You can do it. I am sure of it. I can see that if you want something in life, you have the personality to just go for it even if others might not. I hope you won’t let the failures that you’ll inevitably face hold you back as you learn and get older. That’s the thing with being the first to do something or trying something new. Sometimes you’re going to fail at it. The key is dusting yourself off and trying again, trying something new. You have it in you, I know you do.

This year you’re still sucking your left thumb, you’re sneaky, you’re very loud, you love to sing and dance, you have fine curly hair (which makes combing it a chore), you don’t want to wear clothes unless it’s a dress-up dress, you don’t love routine, you make huge messes and hate cleaning up, you want to stay up at all hours of the night, you decided you were done with naps, you take care of your sisters, you are learning very fast, you are changing right before my eyes, you’re very tall and skinny, you talk with your hands, you love sweets and treats, you like to run and wrestle with your sisters, you think you are going to become a princess, you are dramatic and amazingly sweet.

I love you Teagan. I love when you snuggle me and tell me that you love me. You teach me something new every day and most of it is about love and patience. God blessed me with you. He knew you were just what I needed on my path. I hope I am as good of a mother to you as you are a daughter to me.

Happy 4th birthday, T.

Love,

Mommy

Doin’ it Again…

If you’re a friend of mine in real life, this information is probably getting really old, but our life was totally flipped upside down over the past couple of weeks and we’ve just made a big turn in our direction as a family.

I’m going to give you the whole story, because it’s too amazing to be passed off as a “coincidence” or “luck.” This is a complete and total work of God. It’s so clear to me that God is watching out for our family and that this is part of His master plan for us. It’s just like the story of Kennedy’s birth and my mom’s death being too close to be a coincidence. It’s big, y’all.

Okay, let’s start a few months ago. M and I take the girls out to run an errand and we had to go to the mall here in Reno. As we’re driving away from doing whatever it was that we had to do, M was given a sign from God. He stops whatever it was he was talking about, turns to me and says, “We’re leaving here. We’re not staying in Reno. This is not the place for us. This is not where we’re supposed to raise our kids.” While I agree with what he is saying, I’m a little taken aback because a) we just got to Reno in November b) my business just started to take off c) M has been with this same company for nearly 10 years and has been very successful there and d) M doesn’t make statements like that very often. He doesn’t really speak in absolutes; we always make decisions like that as a team. We decided when we moved to Colorado (2009) that we’d go where the promotions took us until the girls got in school, but this would be doing a decidedly different thing. This would be searching something else out. This would be making a career move in a terrible economy.

There have been times in M’s career where he has thought about possibly moving in a different direction, but there’s always been something to hold him at UOP. When we got home that night, M started putting his resume together and looking for possible career opportunities. Clearly this was serious. He was searching in two places (Oklahoma-where we have some family and where I am from originally and Colorado-where we consider to be home). He diligently searched for jobs and applied to the few that would be a good fit for his skill set, education and experience. No calls. Clearly, this is not what God wanted for us.

He then finds an opportunity out of Portland, Oregon (though I have no idea how since we weren’t searching there) and a recruiter calls him at work one day to talk about the possibility of him coming to work there. M and this company go back and forth interviewing and talking about possibilities. In the end, M turned down the job because it didn’t feel right and he feels secure at his current position. At this point, I know God is telling M that this isn’t the job for him. It’s a way out of Reno and they’re willing to pay for us to move there, but this is not the place for him and it wasn’t the position for him. I have to admit that I’m kinda bummed because I think Oregon would be a really fun place to live.

The day he tells them he’s not interested in that position and that it’s just not right for him, they call him back and offer him the opportunity to interview for another position (which would be a promotion) in Seattle. He is hesitant but the door is open so he walks through it. There wasn’t really any kind of rush for this process because we’re contractually bound to stay here in Reno through October and M is busy in his current position.

Now, 2 weeks ago, M starts hearing rumors at work about layoffs coming with the release of the yearly numbers. However, his campus has made a huge turnaround since he started in November and are actually doing really well, so he can’t imagine that he or his campus will be a part of any layoffs.

Monday: Everyone at work is hearing the layoff rumors but everyone keeps their job…whew.
Tuesday: UOP closes 115 locations around the US and, you guessed it, Reno is one of them. Crazy. For the first time in 10 years, my husband and myself have no job. For the first time in 10 years, M isn’t working for UOP.
Wednesday: More people at UOP are laid off. M feels like taking the job at this Seattle school is the right choice, he let’s the school know he feels right about moving forward with them. He isn’t worried one bit that things won’t work out. I, on the other hand, start to lose my mind and spend a lot of time praying about where we’re going to end up and throwing up the details of our lives to my friends. Sorry friends!
Thursday: Still more people are laid off at UOP.

We wait out the weekend on this Seattle position before we start applying for other jobs and making plans to move ourselves back to Colorado or Oklahoma with what he was given in severance. We pray a lot about where God wants us to be and we trust that He will work this out as long as we’re willing to go where He opens the doors.

Monday: Michael is officially offered the position in Seattle and he accepts. Thank you, God. If it was just M and I, these past couple of weeks wouldn’t have been nearly as scary as they were but we have 3 little kids now. I have to tell you that we kept the faith and M had an amazing peace about how this was all going to work out. Truly. If you know M, then you know I’m the calm one and he’s the worrier of our relationship. Not for this though. He just knew God was going to handle it. He reassured me over and over again. We also knew that our “situation” was nothing compared to families who have a member battling illness or to the families who have been searching for work for months…years. We kept our fears in perspective and we prayed.

So, we’re moving…AGAIN. In case you missed the first 6 posts about this, here’s a little visual for you:

Moreno Map

Yea, that’s right. You’re looking at 6 moves in as many years. Wow. When I see it laid out like this, I can’t believe this is our life. It’s leading somewhere great though and each move as provided a little piece to our puzzle. God has a plan for us. I hope it includes an amazing church like we had in Colorado and some new friends that we love (in addition to the ones we already love that live in that area). I’m ready for this move and I’m very excited. Bring it!

PS. If you are from the Seattle area, I’d love to chat you up. We’re living in the Bothell area starting next week. I’m looking for some good churches (not an Acts 29 Chruch) and Christian schools in the area. If you know of any, let me know.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

How to Scrapbook a Photo Shoot

This summer I took the girls out for a little photo shoot at sunset. I love the summer sun! I wanted to capture them in their little girl pigtails and summer clothes. I hated thinking about leaving these photos out of my book just because they’re not everyday shots. So, I decided to include them in large format and write up a little bit about what we were like this summer; what we were doing and what the girls were like.

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life Design Team

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life Design Team

Lindsay Teague Moreno Digital Project Life Design Team

So, if you guys are having a family photo shoot, don’t leave those photos out. Why not take your little ones out for some photos of them as they are right now? Put those awesome photos of your family in your book so you can look back and remember this time in your life.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

Dear Addy: 2-years-old

Can it be possible that my baby, my tiny, little Kennedy, is 2-years-old?

2 Year Old Photo Shoot

The days are long but I tell you what, those years have gone by in the blink of an eye. I can’t believe Addy’s 2 today. Here’s the continuation of the letters I’ll write to the girls every year…

Dear Kennedy,

Here you are at the age of 2:

2 Year Old Photo Shoot

It is amazing to me how beautiful you are. I mean, I know I’m the mom so I’d think you were beautiful anyway, but really, Addy, your cuteness meter is off the charts! I used to worry that you’d get overlooked a lot with identical twin sisters, but people notice you just as much. I swear to you, I do not go out of the house without someone commenting on how cute you are.

Two-years-old. You’re such a big girl. It is amazing how different you are today than just one short year ago. You’ve been an amazing source of joy for your Daddy and I. We love you so much. You just can’t understand how your heart grows to accommodate the love for another baby until you’ve experienced it. I’m so glad you’re here, you’re a part of me and we were blessed with you.

This year you really showed off. You are still such an easy baby. You sleep like a champ, you nap like a champ, you’re showing me you’re ready to potty train, you eat well and if we’d let you, you’d do everything that Boston & Teagan are doing. Sometimes, you just can’t understand why they can do things that you can’t. Truthfully, it’s adorable and it shows me that you’re very confident and brave. I love it. I think you’re also very intelligent for your age. You speak very well (better than Boston and Teagan at this age, I think) and you are already doing puzzles beyond your age range. You talk in full sentences now when you really want us to know something and are fully versed on using an iPhone, iPad and Kindle Fire. The techie gene is strong in you! You love to sing and dance, Addy. It’s so cute when you do it, too!

Right now you love a few things: your paci (the green soothie that you were given in the hospital), your “bobby” (just like your older sisters), princess dresses, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, saying your colors, your big sisters, your daddy, praying, reading books before bed, pretending, fruit snacks, french fries, anything your sisters have, and Veggie Tales.

This year will come with more changes. Daddy and I are already making a game-plan for “project no-paci”and potty training (in that order). Then we’ll be moving to Big Girl Bed Avenue (you ask us for a big bed all the time). We’re actually thinking about putting you and Boston together in a room because you both seem to need more sleep than Teagan does. We will see if your big sisters will tolerate being separated (probably not).

You’re still so teeny tiny, Addy Girl. You still fit in your 12 month clothing but usually wear 18 months. We’re just starting to put you in the 24 month size. You weigh 23 pounds now. Ha. Where did these 3 tiny children come from? Your smile is an exact replica of your Daddy’s smile. It is amazing. Same teeth, same lips, same mannerisms. People tell me all the time how much you look like him. I think since I’m around you guys all the time, I don’t notice it as much, but you sure don’t look like Boston and Teagan (who tend to favor my side a bit, physically). Time will tell how much of his personality you will get. I hope a lot. He’s a good guy.

You’ve got many nick names, Kennedy. Your sisters still call you “Kenneny” and I call you Addy more times than not. Additionally, we call you Addy Girl, Ad, Addykin, Addykin Skywalker, Princess Poopy Pants…oh, the list goes on. I wonder a lot what your Ninny would be saying about you and calling you if she was here. One thing is for sure, she’d have your pictures ready to show anyone with eyes to see them.

Addy, we are trying so hard to raise you in the right way. We love you so much and really do try not to spoil you (tough going not to spoil the baby, I tell you…no wonder both our moms failed at this). We want you to be confident, loving, intelligent and to love God. We can do better, of course, but we really are trying hard to be great parents. Your daddy and I talk about it a lot. We love you so much. We hope you know this.

Love you, baby girl. Happy 2nd birthday.

Love,

Mommy

Yosemite: You Must Go Here

Here is my most recent project with pictures from our very first real family vacation:

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Becky Higgins

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Becky Higgins

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Becky Higgins

I ended up loving this spread. I started to put that large Yosemite photo into a small picture slot and then I just couldn’t leave it there. I had to go full-page on it. It’s just too amazing to fit into a small space! I love this place. We had an amazing family trip here and M and I already want to go back (when the girls are a little bit bigger and can go hiking with us). More vacation photos to come!

Lindsay Teague Moreno

 

31 Things | Joy & 3:35pm

Ali Edwards 31 Things Project

So happy to have this project done. I hope it has inspired you to write down your own stories. Keep an eye out at Big Picture for the second edition of the 31 Things class. I have heard that Ali may be putting one on.

Lindsay Teague Moreno Project Life Becky Higgins

Story 30: 3:35pm | “Feeling Happy”

• kennedy sleeping in her crib (but stirring so i know she’s almost up)
• boston, teagan and i hanging out in the kitchen eating some fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries & blackberries) for snack
• a new cleaning lady has finished cleaning the master bedroom and is onto the front bathroom
• adult Contemporary music playing on the satellite radio feed on the television in the living room
• the girls giggling over the word “butt”
• the smell of a clean house wafting through my house
• the hot afternoon sun pouring through the windows at the back of the house and in the bedroom
• i’m anticipating michael home from work pretty soon after a hard day
• dinner is prepped and ready for the oven (orange chicken, mandarin oranges and baby baked potatoes)
• the girls are finally feeling better after a 2 week battle with colds
• i’m so excited it’s almost the weekend (father’s day weekend)
• i’m feeling happy

Story 31: Joy | “I Don’t Belong Here”

recently, i’ve started to realize that my life seems to be a rollercoaster of emotion. i find that I’m never sitting in the feeling of pure bliss or agonizing heartache for long periods of time. i recover quickly from both to get back to this middle ground. i’m always feeling like there should be something more, like I don’t really belong here.
it’s because i don’t belong here. this is not my home. i’ve tried striving and i’ve tried being lazy. nothing seems to quell the feeling of ill-content. most of the time i just have this lingering feeling like i’m not settled. the feeling that i shouldn’t unpack everything because this isn’t where i should be. i believe this is more than just where i am physically. my place is not on this earth and my heart wants to be where God is. i won’t be filled by anything else on this earth. not my kids. not my husband. not the place that i live. not my posessions.

i know i need to experience the heartache and the joy of this life because it’s God’s plan for me. i’ve always said that it takes experiencing despair to fully understand and appreciate joy. i find that this is reiterated in my relationships and throughout my life. it takes saying the same thing over 31,267 times to revel in the feeling when your children actually learn the lesson you’ve been trying to teach them. it takes the loss of someone so important to fully understand the love you have for those closest to you.

i still have lessons to learn and there is still purpose for my life. that’s why i’m here. there is more heartache to come and there’s also uncomparable joy. 

right now my joy is my family. as long as i have them i can pretty much do anything and make it through any situation. they make me happy every day (even when they drive me crazy). i am blessed by God beyond what words can express. they make my life doable. michael, teagan, boston and kennedy – they are my joy.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

31 Things: Story 28 & 29

31thingslabel

Can’t believe we’re almost through all 31 stories. A lot of time went into these so I’m happy to see the project completed. I’m glad that my girls will have a very real and unfluffy view of who I am right now and what I’m feeling in this stage of life. I’m sure in another 10 years I’ll look back and give myself a facepalm over some of these stories (like I would if I had written these at 22), but that’s okay.

Today’s stories are lighter on content as far as deep, personal feelings go, but they’re still a part of me. The themes for the stories were “drink” and “smell.”

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Story 28: Drink | “Dr. Pepper and Sweet Tea”

there are a few things that i like to drink. one is dr. pepper and the other is sweet tea. both terrible for me but oh, so tasty. at certain points in the day or on occasion, i also drink coffee, water, milk and sometimes beer or wine.

i can’t believe i can actually say i have given up dr. pepper this year (actually, all soda). i had a few while camping in may but haven’t since we got back. i need to get my daily caffeine fix and i usually stop through mcdonald’s when i’m out for a tea. i’m trying to watch my diet so i’ve been ordering my sweet tea half cut. it doesn’t taste as good, but it has the caffeine i need and just enough sugar to taste good. mcd’s makes good tea.

i don’t drink nearly enough water…there, i said it. i should drink much more, but i have to choke it down after the first bottle. not a fan. i’m much better about getting water into my body since addy was born and i’m focused on losing weight.

in the mornings i usually have a cup of coffee with creamer. it has to be dunkin’ donuts coffee if i’m going to make it at home. if i am out and about, i can stop by the local donut shop for a vanilla cappuccino. they taste great and are only $1.25 (which is a far cry from the $4.00 starbucks price tag).

if i have cake, brownies or a rich dessert, i have to have a really cold glass of milk. mmmmm. milk. i think i might be the only person in my family that likes to drink milk, sadly. michael won’t touch it and i can see that the girls are following in his milk-hating ways.

as far as adult beverages are concerned, i’m not a big drinker. i would say i have about 2 drinks a month on average. if micahel and i go out, we will have a beer together and sometimes i’ll have a glass of wine on the weekends, but i would rather drink my calories in a sweet tea at this point. i’ve noticed that drinking (even one drink) tends to give me a headache the next morning. that is no bueno when 3 little kids scream your name at 7:30 in the morning and continue to do so throughout the day. i think giving up alcoholic drinks all together would be very easy for me to do.

 

Story 29: Smell: “Flowerbomb”

you know how certain smells can bring you back to a time or place in an instant? i kinda love that. i love going about my business and then all of the sudden i’m transported to my grandparents house in arkansas city, kansas. it makes me smile…usually.

the drawers in the dresser in boston & teagan’s room still smells like my great grandma, pompoonzie’s house. it was hers before it was passed down to my mom and last year i got it.

when i smell pipe tobacco, i am instantly sitting with my grandpa, poppy. i love that smell. when he died, i kept a little bit of his tobacco, but it didn’t keep.

sometimes i’ll run across the brand of perfume i wore when michael and i first started dating and i’ll remember how much fun it was to get to know him.

it has been 20 years since i’ve been there, but i can still remember the smell of my childhood friend, megan’s, parents house. i used to smell it every once in a while, but it’s been a while.

when michael is out of town, i sleep on his pillow because it smells like him and makes me feel better.

there is a cologne at banana republic that smells just like the monte carlo hotel in las vegas. strange that i know that.

the smell i’m most attuned to is the smell of my mom’s perfume (flowerbomb). when both michael and i walk by another woman wearing it, we are stopped in our tracks. one day at sephora (a cosmetics store), her perfume was on an end cap and i decided to put it on. it made me cry right there in the store. 

once, kelly told me that my house has always smelled the same no matter where i lived, which makes me think that i must have a certain scent. i hope that’s a good thing!

Cutting Back: Diner Baskets to the Rescue

It’s hard to put a price on convenience, especially when it comes to 3 little ones.

One thing we do to make our lives a little bit easier is use paper plates and paper bowls. It creates less mess, less dishes, less stress. I can simply throw everything away when the girls are done eating rather than have to spend a lot of time cleaning up. At this point, I only run the dishwasher once every 3 or 4 days.

Of course, paper plates and bowls cost more than running the dishwasher a few times a day. It’s the price we are willing to pay though. It’s my daily convenience fee. Still, M and I are trying to cut back on expenses right now, so I’ve been feeling a little guilty about the cost.

A few weeks ago, I posted a picture on instagram of a paper plate alternative that we’re using in the house to reduce the amount we spend on paper plates (we go through a costco package once or twice a month it seems). This picture seemed to garner a lot of positive response and questions, so I thought I’d post about it here if it was something that was working for us…and it is.

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We’re using the old school diner baskets and pre-cut wax paper sheets.

I simply throw the wax sheets with extra food or junk in the trash and put the basket back in the cabinet for the next meal or snack when they’re done with it. Easy as that.

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I got the Kabnet Wax paper sheets (2 boxes of 500 sheets) and the baskets (set of 5) from Costco. Sam’s Club has them also, if you don’t have a Costco in your area.

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Together it was around $30 for both the paper and the baskets. The paper plates were running us around $15 for 150 plates (also from Costco/Sams) so you can see that the price difference is pretty significant.

The girls are doing great with it. I don’t find that the paper sheets leak any more than the paper plate does and they haven’t made a comment about not liking it. So, for now, we’re sticking with it.

Lindsay Teague Moreno

31 Things: Story 26 & 27

Okay, here we are again.

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I think the first one is going to hurt every time I read it down the road, but it’s real and that is what matters. I hope the girls understand how much I value my relationship with them when they read this story. I also hope I look back at this and smile at how much better I feel about my family situation as opposed to how I feel right now. I’ve left some of it private because I’m not trying to put anyone on blast here on the ‘ol blog. Plus, that’s not the point of this story, it’s just to paint a real picture of what our family situation looks like.

The second story makes me smile about how scrapbooking has come full circle for me over the years.

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Story 26: Covet | “Maybe It’s the Grief Talking”

i know it’s a sin to covet, i’ve clearly not mastered this. there are a ton of things that i want. i’m selfish like that. it’s an area of opportunity in my life. fact.

the thing i want more than anything are family members that play an active role in our lives. really, i want family members that play an active role in my girls’ lives. i believe family is so important and yet, we find ourselves seriously lacking in this department.

this is probably a really serious and personal topic to be broaching in this kind of a forum, but i think it’s important to be honest about it.

look, i realize that my mom played an irreplaceable role in our family. she was the one that was fully invested in our happiness. she called, she video chatted, she saw us every month once we moved from arizona to colorado. she knew what we were doing and what was going on with us. i’m not sure why, but it feels good to be loved like that.

my brothers and i do talk more now than we did when mom was around…the same goes with michael’s siblings. michael’s sister crystal came to visit with her family and besides my aunt mary, they were the first and only family members to actually come and see us in reno.  i love that they came out here. i hope we’ll make this something we do regularly with her family. … michael’s younger brother jacob is great. he visited with crystal this year, but he is still in high school, which makes traveling difficult. … michael’s grandparents love the girls so much but they have a hard time traveling. my grandma is very sick and i honestly don’t even know if she knows the girls’ names.

…and there you have it. all of the dirty laundry, if that’s what you want to call it.

it’s strange to hang out with friends and their families. it becomes painfully clear what we’re missing out on. it’s the helping hand. it’s the environment where we can just let the girls go and be themselves without worrying that they’re getting on someone’s nerves. it’s being able to just leave the girls with someone for a few hours or a couple of nights because they want that time with the girls.

so, like a jealous little kid, i covet the relationships that others have with their family and i feel very, very, very alone. maybe this is just grief talking, maybe it’s not. either way, it’s hard.

Story 27: Hobby | “Priorities Change”

this book, right here? this is my hobby.

the best thing about it is that my hobby serves a great purpose. someday, i’ll look through these books and laugh at all the crazy things we did. i’ll cry because my babies are so grown up now. i’ll be so glad that my hobby involves recording memories.

i got into scrapbooking in my last semester at arizona state (2003). i got so into it, in fact, that it became my job for a while. i worked at scrapbook stores and i created layouts for publication. i loved that job. i was good at it. when i started at university of phoenix and broke up with my ex-boyfriend, i let scrapbooking go. i quit all of my design teams and i didn’t pick it up again until right before i got married. even then, i only did it here and there. as soon as boston and teagan entered the picture, my scrapbooking days were over. though i missed it, i just didn’t make time for it.

priorities change.

fast forward 3 and a half years. i’m feeling guilty about not getting memories and kid stuff into books for the girls. it’s important to do that because you never know what might happen in life (see “listen” story).  i came across the “project life” scrapbooking system and i immediately wanted to do it. i decided to try it digitally since all my scrapbook stuff is boxed up in the garage. i started in january and i’m going to keep at this. i hope i can catch up with my photos from the last 3 years and then give copies of these books to boston, teagan & kennedy when they’re older.

priorities change.

it is time for me to make our memories a priority again.

Lindsay Teague Moreno