Maggie

Mabel’s Closet- Level up!

The worst thing to my budget just happened. A friend of mine introduced me to Platinum- By Matilda Jane. Seriously guys! If you have a little girl and love Matilda Jane you need to look it up!
Platinum are pieces from the designers at Matilda Jane. They only make a few quantities of each item and you never know when they will release more.  these are truly pieces of art! And depending on which item you buy it can cost you a pretty penny!

My friend added me to a Platinum Facebook group and I watched for a few days. I witnessed dresses and smocks going for 200+ dollars! (that’s crazy!)  Well, I started watching and learning and hoping to score a deal and re-sale, maybe then I could fund my obession for Mabels CLoset!  AND THEN it happened! I saw this pretty little dress! OMG!


I only paid $33.00 for this dress. And whoaza it is so sweet! Each Platinum piece has a number on the tag of how many of that style was made and what your piece’s number is. This dress is 13/14 which means only 14 of these were made and this was the 13th one made, making it pretty rare!

I can’t wait to get this and put it on my baby girl! Watch for a pic of Mabel wearing this beauty!

Maggie

Mabel’s Closet: Getting Ready For Fall

Check out the score I bought today for Mabel’s Fall Closet!
SO excited to see her in this adorable Jacket by Next and boots by Livie and Luca. I bought them used from a friend and fellow boutique addict.  $40.00 for both!
SWEET DEAL!
jacket and boots

Fall time in Michigan is THE BEST!
I can’t wait to share the beautiful pictures of the farm with all the fall colors! And this jacket and boots are going to make it easy for some great fall pictures!
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Maggie

What I Am Reading


Oh my goodness! Have you read these books?

So worth it.

When my husband and I first were married, the church we were attending did a small group with this book. We learned so much about each other. When we had children I knew I was going to have to read the children’s book. This is now my 3rd time reading this one! It’s soooo amazing, and I feel like every time I see a different layer and learn something new!

As my kids grow and change I find their Love Language really starts to show! I alway try to understand and respect how my kids are wired!  This book lays out what makes your child feel loved and respected. Often we treat people by our own love language instead of really trying to understand what they need to feel loved.  Do yourself and your family a favor and put this on your next to read list!
P.s Now, we have four children…. so WISH ME LUCK!

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Maggie

Sometimes My Kid is an Asshole, and that is OKAY. 

Let me start by saying, I would never ever ever call my child an asshole, so let’s get that straight right now before we even start. My husband and I are really against labeling our children in any way. But, when they act out I surely think it to myself! We parent in a way that we {try} to speak positivity and joy into our kids. We are not in anyway perfect but it is important to us to make sure we are the “calm” to their “wild”. But what happens when all the hard work behind the scenes doesn’t show to someone else?

We live in a crazy world where we post everything on social media. Every day I see numerous posts of amazing dinners and perfect-smiling children sitting with legs and arms crossed, wearing perfectly clean clothes, in a perfectly clean house. But let’s be honest, unless you are my sister, the picture was edited to not show the enormous pile of clean laundry on the floor.  Or in baskets that have not been folded and put away.

I mean let’s be real!

I am lucky I had the time to wash it.  But to actually fold it AND put it away?

FORGET about it.

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This is my life

What you also didn’t see in that picture is that just 5 seconds before the perfect smiling poses the kids were fighting, or that they were mad because one of the brothers farted. There was me, yelling at them to be nice to each other and to keep their hands to themselves, and it took 15 pictures before I got this one.

Let’s be honest; the little snap we see isn’t what life really is.  Our brains are being conditioned constantly to compare ourselves to these snaps. Mom guilt is heavy in this world. I think people forget it is OK to admit that we don’t always have it together. Just once, wouldn’t you like to see the post from that one person who you think depicts the perfect family saying their kid just got sent home from school for telling his 3rd-grade female classmate to “suck it” while pointing to his crotch?

I’m yelling from the rooftop that was MY KID!

It’s something my son heard on the bus and is against every feminist thought in my brain… MY SON? Really? After getting the call from the school I was soooo embarrassed driving to school to pick him up. I was worried about what “they” were thinking about us as parents, or wondering what type of environment my son lived in that he thought it was appropriate to say that.  Not only to another kid but to a female kid. I was worried about what I would say to my pastor in-laws the next day when they realized he wasn’t in school because of his inappropriate behavior.  What would people who knew me think about my kid? I don’t want them thinking my kid would be a bad influence on their kid. Or think I was a horrible parent, obviously exposing him to things he was far too young and immature to understand.  I had visions going through my head as to the direction his life was heading; that he was going to be the jock in the locker room degrading some girl, or breaking a girl’s heart for not putting out. I started thinking about him being labeled as a danger for daughters to be around.  Really, you said the words “suck it” and pointed to your crotch! Why is it that this bothers me so much? To be honest, it’s hilarious. I’m pretty sure I’ve said it to people I know on several occasions. I did it and I thought I was hilarious for doing so. Then why is it so upsetting that my son was sent home from school for doing the same thing?  I don’t know, but maybe it’s because I’m trying to raise boys who empower women, not degrade them and to not be that typical, chauvinistic male our society seems to desire. And then like being hit with a bolt of lightening I was empowered from within! It was like F@:k that! Life is not perfect and it IS okay for my son to make a mistake! I felt empowered to use this as a VERY powerful learning opportunity, teaching him that it is NOT okay to speak that way and by doing so, he put that little girl in a position to feel exposed and violated.  I had to explain to him what that expression meant (at a 3rd-grade appropriate level) and that is was used to belittle and make others feel victimized.  By the end of the conversation, he looked at me with tears in his eyes and asked if he could write an apology to the little girl and to his teacher for speaking that way.  He obviously had no idea the meaning of what he said. He only heard some older kid on his bus say it. And we all know anything that has to do with his penis is hilarious and of course, he decided to repeat it.

After the conversation with my son, I began thinking about the many years I have spent parenting out of fear of what others might think instead of realizing that kids are humans too. Just like us they have bad days. And they say and think stuff that isn’t a reflection of who they really are as a person.  I think a lot of times we punish our kids for being humans, for being kids… and the toughest realization of all is that we punish them for doing the same things we do!   Last night I was out to dinner with two of my most powerful, feminist friends and we started having the discussion about how swearing in front of your kids was not really a bad thing. One of them is a mother of two and the other has no kids and was discussing it from the perspective of her child psychology degree as well as her many years of nanny experiences.  My husband and are very mindful of what our children are exposed to. He comes from a very conservative Baptist family. His dad is a pastor. As a pastor’s kid, he was brought up in a very strict way and avoided all appearances of evil so that he would not provide a stumbling block to those around you.  He was raised without television, as well as no exposure to music other than the hymns he heard in his father’s church. We are both Christians. However, I say that very cautiously. I have evolved enough to say that I’m not a “Christian” but I believe in God and in Jesus as my savior. I also believe that we are called so that people around us would know we are God’s by our love, not our judgment. There are less “no’s” and more freedom given to us by God. We are called to love the broken and the sinners. We are called to live our life knowing we have to claim our decisions on judgment day. However, my husband was raised in such a way that we are very over protective of our children and what we teach them. But if you swear, does that mean you are not a “Christian” or that you are not a good parent for exposing your child’s innocent mind to less than “Christian values”? The discussion that evening was, wouldn’t you rather your child hear swear words being used “intelligently” from someone they trust than from some hoodlum on the bus? Don’t forget MY kid was the hoodlum the next day saying it to a poor, innocent 3rd-grade girl. My friend told a story about her friend and her daughter, explaining how the daughter was allowed to have conversations with her mom asking ANY questions she had. This mom explained stuff in an intelligent, none-emotional way, believing when you approach topics as “off limits” it then becomes a novelty, something kids want to explore to find out what the big deal really is. Does it encourage rebellion and the desire to rebel?  The next thing my friend said was what really got me thinking… she said, “you know what the most amazing part is? This little girl’s questions are evolving.  They are becoming more intelligent and layered because she is allowed to let her mind expand with knowledge. She is being taught things from the perspective of her mother who loves her and has years of experience.” And then my other friend said, “You know what I mean. I am a genius of sarcasm and perfectly placed “f” words.”  All of a sudden it occurred to me she was right!  Maybe I was approaching this parenting thing wrong from the very beginning. I not only want to raise intellectual, kind and all around good people, but I want to raise kids with witty sarcasm, human beings who some day I will enjoy sitting together around the fire.  I want to be able to have conversations that stimulate and debates that can get heated but end with saying  “I respect your opinion even if I totally disagree with you.” My kids have both sides of the fence to learn from. If taught and exposed to appropriate learning experiences they will choose what they believe by what they feel in their hearts and what is their truth. What an incredible, empowering moment to finally realize the mommy shaming and perfection trap was no longer going to control me as a parent.  I need to do “me” and I must give myself the freedom and grace to shout inappropriate words if the situation calls for it. That what family, friends or people of social media think of me shouldn’t matter at all! The realization that yes, sometimes my kid is an asshole, is more than okay!

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Maggie · Vivian

Mackinac Island Bucket List!

    One of our favorite places in the whole world is Mackinac Island.  We try to make it at least once a year. The island does not allow motorized vehicles, and with that the island has a slower way of life. It is truly like taking a time machine to a simpler time. History is at every turn on the island. Archaeologists have found prehistoric fishing camps on the island dating back at least 700 years before the European exploration, around AD900.

The main streets are lined with cool stores and restaurants for the tourists, but get off the beaten trail and you will see that the local’s life simple lives

CROSS THE MIGHTY MACK BRIDGE
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 In our humble and totally unbiased opinion and nothing to do with being born and raised in Michigan, there really is no other bridge that is as beautiful as the Mackinac Bridge. Not only is it a beautiful structure but the views of the straits of Mackinac, where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron meet are stunning. The beauty can feed the soul of any nature enthusiast. Check out mackinacbridge.org and read the history. It has an amazing story! If you feel really ambitious, come visit during Labor Day. They close down vehicle traffic and only allow foot traffic and you can walk the entire bridge! It’s an exhausting 5 miles walk but WAY WORTH the feather in your hat!

Take the ferry to the island

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Photo credit: Star Line Ferry

This is not much of an option as unless you own a boat that can handle the Great Lakes, your only option to get to the Island is the Ferry.  We love getting a seat on the top of the ferry. It’s uncovered so you can take in the beautiful views unobstructed.

Visit the Grand Hotel576234_10151042218263838_1731165509_n

 Or, stay if you can. You can also pay $5 to kick your feet up and enjoy the views from the world’s longest front porch. You can schedule an afternoon tea. Tea is a very formal event and if you have a little girl would be quite the little treat! But be warned you have to have specific attire to be able to attend! You cannot even enter parts of the Grand without correct attire. If you have the funds, book one of the 393 rooms and stay at the Grand, it is expensive but so worth it. Every single room is decorated differently.Try to soak in the history and feel the generations who have been in the same spot you are walking, over 100 years of history! The movie Somewhere in Time was filmed here. We like to think of what the conversations in each era would have been and what the walls of these old historic buildings have heard and seen.

Duck-pin bowling at the woods
This is a well-kept secret of the island. This is the oldest working duck pin bowling lane in the country. You can find this historic attraction at The Woods restaurant.

 Bike around the island

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An exhausted Vivian after biking the full 8 miles around the island.

We will warn you this takes energy! Mackinac Island is very hilly! But it is fun. You can rent bikes on the island or you bring your own over on the ferry.  Our advice is to not bike the perimeter of the Island. If you want good biking and see some of the interior we would suggest talking to Justin at the Bike Barn or Jim Fisher at Mackinac Wheels. Jim owns both shops and has lived on the island his entire life!

Take a picture in front of the Arch Rock limestone formation
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The formation was formed during the Nipissing post-glacial period.  Today the arch is 146 ft above Lake Huron, that’s nearly 15 stories! Depending on who you ask, this rock formation was created by the Great Creator when they blew life into the Earth, or wind, water and receding glaciers.

Go on the Legends and Lore Trek Island tour
Take the tour with Dr. Mary Patay.  She will take you on a 3 mile hike through the national park where you can visit Skull rock, sugar loaf and our personal favorite, Saint Anne’s Cemetery! (See # 13)
Music in the park
Check out the list of artist and dates for Music in the Park. Maggie’s Best friend plays there every year. If you have family with you, you probably don’t want to attend the bar crawls, so this is a laid back more family friendly way to enjoy some evening or night life on the island. But if you are “kid free” do the bar crawls!

Visit the Mackinac Island cemeteries

OOOOOHHHH boy, you all know how much we love history! This was our favorite part! There are three island cemeteries, two civilian and one military. St. Ann’s Catholic cemetery is the largest, the Protestant cemetery, which is referred to as the Mackinac Island cemetery and military post cemetery. They are all located in the center of the island and are conjugant to each other, super fun to explore.

The post cemetery has both British and American soldiers buried after the conflict of 1812.  From what we hear the Scout Honor Troop plays Taps and raises the flag each day, however we have not witnessed that.  The post cemetery flag flies half mast, and is only one of four National Cemeteries with this honor. You can see the cemetery from the carriage rides but if you want to really take in the history and read the stories you need to take a separate visit.  There is a fun legend that has been told by the locals that the arch entrance to St. Anne’s Catholic Cemetery was built to be the height of a horse-drawn hearse. It is told that they forgot to account for the driver and it resulted in a headless hearse-man that has been seen haunting the cemetery! Oooooooo…. Scary!

Sit at the Adirondack chairs at the mission point resort

Sit and relax. From here you can see people flying kites, watch the ferry boats come in, and enjoy the peace of the island.

Stick your feet in the water

Wade in the freezing cold water of the Great Lakes. There is nothing like it and its very grounding.  Sometimes these Michigan girls just need to feel the cool chill of the lake water to make everything right again.

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