Simple October

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Goodbye 2014 - Hello 2015

Coming to the end of twenty fourteen kind of feels like "thank, God, I made it".
You might not believe me when I say this has been the hardest year of my adult life.
When you see my posts here and there on Facebook and Instagram they are mostly positive or about good things but remember that internet lives are not the whole story. My thoughts about this may change someday but right now I'm alright with only showing mostly good things through social media. However, I would be lying if I said there weren't times I wished I could share the hard. I haven't shared as much because I'm truly afraid that if I start it will be hard to stop. Or it will only look like I'm complaining. Which I probably would be. I don't keep the hard to myself to make it seem like my life is perfect but rather to avoid extra damage to my already too sensitive heart.
So, with these thoughts I'll just say that this year was not what I expected it to was so, so hard.
When the new year started it felt full of possibilities and I was blissfully happy with my three week old baby, my twins, and my husband. Circumstances can change so much. And I've let my circumstances steal my joy, my life, and my hope. Too many times my heart has felt tortured and lifeless. I've let my mind stay in a place that's unforgiving of self and let it wreck my self esteem to some extent. I wish I could say that I've found a way out of the dark hole I've let myself sink to but I don't think I'm there yet. Filling myself with good. Reading things that uplift. Prayer. Yet, I remain here in this place. A place of hopelessness.
And yet, even in all of this hopelessness I know somewhere inside of me that there is hope. It's a constant battle within myself between knowing the truth and feeling desperate anyway. So much about my life has not turned out the way I thought it would. Most things are for the better. Some things feel like "what happened? how did I get here? Seriously, what happened?" I have said for years that I never wanted to come back to this town to live and yet here I am. Here we are. Don't get me wrong, I love that we are so close to family now. That part has been nice. However, even with that I haven't felt this alone in a long time. Even the short time we lived in Houston and I knew no one, I still didn't feel alone like this. Being back though, my husband doesn't seem to need me as much, my kids have other people (this is good though), and I am left feeling unneeded and without my best friend.  All the tears cried. Time wasted. Life not lived. Twenty fourteen, I have never been so happy to see you go.
I know that a new year is not the answer. It doesn't fix anything. Time is just moving onward.
Yet, I feel sparks of hope again with the prospect of the new year. And that is something.

So, in all my rambling thoughts there is this one thought that I shared all of this to get to. I'm tired. I feel like the new year is bringing some kind of rest. Bringing some peace. Bringing hope. I am looking forward to working towards some goals. Like reading more, making sure I get enough sleep, taking better care of myself, both physically and mentally. This is my last year in my twenties and I know time will go on after I turn thirty but it's hard to embrace the inevitable while feeling like you haven't accomplished all that you wanted to during the last decade. My resolve for this year is to make it one of my best. To work towards my better life, to be brave, to find my hope again, to see the awesome in my life again.

I am so ready for this year. A seemingly fresh start. My 29th year.

Hugs to you, friends, and cheers to a bright new year ahead! Hello 2015!

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Liam is ONE!

Oh, my gosh! This year has flown by and I think I might be a little in denial about my baby being one year old.
I mean, I've always been one of those people who just can't seem to understand how her kids are this age and that age, but this has seriously been a fast year. And honestly, I'm not complaining because it means we are that much closer to our goals and things like that, I guess, but the entire year has felt like a blur. I feel like I'm always so busy and I don't document as much of our story(ies) as I used to. Maybe a goal for the next year?!

However this year has come about, the fact remains that my boy is ONE!
ONE year old!

We celebrated his actual birthday with some new to him things like trays of Cheerios, cow's milk in his sippy, and finally getting outside to swing in his (new to us) swing. I think he had a pretty great day.

The weekend after his actual birth date, we celebrated a little more by having a party with our families.
My original theme for the party was Cows and turning one however there weren't too many cow related things other than the framed photo, by Meg Duerksen, I propped on the table and the black and white colors.
I have to say though, that I really love how it all turned out. Everything was easy and uncomplicated.
That's my favorite these days, uncomplicated.

Being about to celebrate with our families had to be the best thing of all. The twins first birthday was our last one together when we lived here before so, it was long overdue.

My sister, Holly, and brother-in-law, Kyle, graciously opened their home to us for the party venue. We are so grateful to them for being so wonderful during this transitional phase in our lives. Their home was a lovely backdrop for our photos and party décor. Thank you both!


These two photos were my favorite from Liam opening his gifts because his brothers wanted in on the action. Liam loved that they were right there with him and I loved that they wanted to be apart of the whole process. They have grown so much and seeing their development has been a definite highlight from this year.

He was so serious about this cupcake, and the singing, and all the attention. Oh, my gosh...cute!

Night and day from the twins' first birthday. This boy loved his cupcake. I had no idea how fun this is to watch. Feeling thankful that I was able to experience this with him.

And just like that my baby is one. Happy Birthday, Liam Bennett! You are sunshine and goodness and I love you so.

A few details about his party décor and food.

I free hand cut the letters out of black paper for the "Liam is ONE" banner and strung them up on some grey yarn. The white half circle bunting was made by folding over coffee filters onto grey yarn. My sister and I taped the ends of the coffee filters so they wouldn't fall off. Both were quick and easy to make and I love what they added to the décor.

Table cloth is 2.5 yards of black and white checkered fabric.

Pulled BBQ Chicken Sandwiches, I used this recipe but changed the dressing part to water.
Homemade Mac & Cheese
My mom made the baked beans and homemade coleslaw (not pictured)
Bags of potato chips

Homemade vanilla, vanilla cupcakes. This is my go-to recipe for vanilla cake but my frosting is a little different. However, I can't seem to find a link to it so, if you're interested, I'll add it later.

We also had an ice cream sundae bar with sprinkles, homemade buttery caramel sauce (I've made it before here but can't seem to find a link to the recipe. I'll try to blog it soon because it's seriously so good), candy, gummy bears, whipped topping, and cherries.

If you have any questions about the party that I didn't cover, just leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer them soon. Thanks for reading!

Merry (Belated) Christmas

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
With lots of love from,
The Kinsauls
David. Emily. Brett. Favre. & Liam.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Simple October Workshop - Chrismas Edition Sponsors - GIVEAWAY

Remember the Christmas workshop I hosted in November? Well, we had some seriously great sponsors send swag for each of the ladies that attended and I am long over due with praising them here on the old blog.

I wish I could send each of you a pretty little package with all these gorgeous products. (See below for a chance to snag a few of these goodies.)
These handmade shops are some favorites of mine. You will not regret following these ladies either. The creative inspiration they give is priceless.

1. Give with Joy

Aneta, from Give with Joy, sent each of our ladies these adorable "Merry and Bright" cards. The color and style are perfect. She was such a joy to work too. I love all the sweet hand lettered and digital items in her shop. Go check out her Give with Joy shop here. You can also follow her on Instagram and the Give with Joy blog. Thank you, Aneta for being such a blessing!

2.The Salvage Sign

I love seeing all the new signs that Danielle from The Salvage Sign makes. They are amazing! Danielle sent us this awesome "Dream Big" hand painted sign to give away for one of our door prizes. You can keep up with all her DIY projects on her blog, Two Little Superheroes , on Instagram @littlesuperheroes , and on Facebook here. Thank you, Danielle, for sending us one of your awesome signs.

3. Hazel Berry Paper

These lovelies are from the amazing Jillian from Hazel Berry Paper. She spoiled our attendees with her darling and witty cards. And these colors....oh, my! Check out her Etsy shop, Hazel Berry Paper. You can also follow her on Instagram @jilliandolberry, on Facebook, and her blog for updates and inspiration. Jillian, thank you for sharing your talents with our attendees.

4. Thatch and Thistle

We are big fans of the beautiful products from Thatch and Thistle. Brynne is always such a joy to work with. She sent these darling heart stickers seals from her shop. Go snag some goodies for yourself at Thatch & Thistle Supply Co. You can also follow her on Instagram and Facebook.
Thank you, Brynne for spoiling our attendees!

Photo credit: Susanne Sutton

The mini JOY banner was from my shop, Simple October.

This workshop was a blast and our sponsors made it that much better!
Thank you again, to all our sponsors, for spoiling our attendees with your beautiful products!

We had a couple extra swag items from our event and I would love to send one to YOU!
To enter, simply comment below with your favorite Christmas tradition. That's it!
I'll randomly select two (2) names from the comments below and send you each some extra sweet goodies. Giveaway closes tomorrow (Thursday, December 18th) at 9 pm EST.
Thank you!

Our randomly selected winners from the comments below are Nicole Hess and Deana Sutherland.
Congrats, ladies! Send me an email with your mailing address and I'll get these goodies on their way to you. Thank you to everyone who commented! I loved reading all the traditions.