Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Why I Instagram

On December 29, 2010 I made my first Instagram post.  That caption read "Poor Poppin' Fresh."    My coworker had left this little gem for me to find when I returned to my desk from a long meeting.   Seemed like a funny thing to take a picture of and give a mysterious filter to!  I had no idea really what Instagram was but I knew they had fun photo editing features and I could make a feed of pictures that I wanted to share, whatever that meant!  I had no followers and I followed no one.

Every few months or two I'd post something like our adventure to Super Bowl Media Day with the Steelers, tons of photos of Lulu and for some reason, lots of my feet.  In 2013 I started posting more regularly of our daily life and mostly of our little Winston!  I began following friends and ladies whose blogs I read.  I started enjoying the little collection of photos that was gathering in my feed.  Then a few years ago for Christmas I received the sweetest set of two books printed at Artifact Uprising.  They were the photos I had posted to Instagram in a keepsake form.  Every year I get another round of books, pages filled with the images that show our family growing, laughing and living life together.  It is for this reason that I Instagram.

I do it as a way to preserve memories.  It helps me to be intentional about taking photos and associating a memory with it.  One of my favorite things has been to use it as a way to capture things that Winston has said.  #wacsays  I love looking back and seeing all of the photos of #winstonandhisjammies or #loveourgirllulu and nowadays #wacandtac.  A byproduct of this is that I have a really good way to look back and be grateful.    

Over the years I have developed what now has the term Instafriends.  Never would I have imagined to have found amazing prayer partners and encouragers, ladies who make me laugh and inspire me through an app designed around sharing photos.  There are quite a few ladies who I text  and email on a regular basis and look forward to hugging their necks in person some day!  Being part of chat loops and blog link ups has given me opportunities to develop relationships that I hold as dear.  

Instagramming opens you up to sharing of your life with an audience.  With this platform a user can influence their readers.  With Instagram I am able to offer encouragement, post a goofy video to watch {and hopefully have a giggle at!}, do fun giveaways, share favorite things that we love and use daily, share what the Lord is teaching me, suggest recipes and many more little things.  It's been a fun and unique way for me to share and preserve bits and pieces of what our days are like during each stage of life. 

Sure, I can scroll through my Instagram feed and look at these photos... but truly there are times in the week when I sit on the couch and thumb through the pages.  I enjoy looking at the photos and allowing myself to get wrapped up in the memories of the days past.  It warms my heart.  And Winston loves looking at them just a much as I do!  

How about you?  I'd love to hear if you Instagram and why you do it.  There are so many wonderful reasons to use this app!  Leave your IG handle and I'll give you a follow!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Kids Behind the Blog: January 2017

Another new year and another round of my favorite link up, Kids Behind the Blog!  This was one of my favorite things last year and I think the only thing I consistently blogged!  I was super pumped when the ladies who host this link up announced they were going to continue for 2017.  So without further ado:

1.  What is your favorite thing to do or play when inside?
Play with Play-doh, Monster Trucks and my brother.  I also love to do crafts.  Doing crafts is probably my favorite!

2.  Have you ever seen or played in snow?
No, not yet.  But we are going to visit my friend Jackson in Denver and there will be snow!  I want to make snowballs to throw them at somebody like Buddy the Elf.  

3.  What was your favorite gift you received for Christmas?
The little car thingy.  {The Ultimate Car Garage from Santa!}

4.  What's your favorite winter vacation you have ever been on?
We haven't been on a winter vacation yet, have we Mommy?

5.  Would you rather live where it's warm or have all four seasons?
I like Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.  Four seasons is better than one season.

Since we live in Houston, we don't see a ton of winter weather.  Especially this year.  It was an unusually warm winter... we had two days of what I would consider good, cold, stay inside and snuggle up weather!  I still have my fingers crossed that we'll get another burst of cold to come through.  These 75 degree "winter" days are crazy to me!  But then, I digress.  Winston has experienced snow one time - when we went to visit family in Pennsylvania over Thanksgiving.  He was just over one so he doesn't remember too much of it.  He had been asking quite a bit to see snow this year, thanks to snowball throwing scene in Buddy the Elf!  In a few weeks time, we'll be taking our little family to visit some sweet friends in Denver and fingers crossed, get to build a snowman!  

Thursday, January 5, 2017

2016 One Second Everyday

Somewhere around the end of May, I gal I follow on Instagram posted the coolest video of her family.  It was one second of video captured everyday mashed into a thirty second montage.  I found the app, 1 Second Everyday and started June 1st.  This has been one of my most favorite things that I did in the way of memory keeping for 2016!

There were a few days where I forgot to take a video but had taken photos.  The app is smart {and cool} enough to allow the use of daily photos in the montage as well!  Benjamin even joined in on helping remember to capture video on the adventures we took.

The app also allows for the creation of a freestyle video.  I used this feature to create mashups for a trip to the zoo and one of our family vacations.  I am looking forward to challenging myself to create more freestyle videos in 2017!

More than anything I love this video because it captures the growth of our sweet boys.  It's amazing how much they've grown this year.  It is precious to this mama's heart to see their sweet relationship and love for each other.

Cozads 2016 1 Second Everyday from Sara Cozad on Vimeo.

And there it is - from June to December of 2016!  Bring on 2017 and all of the entertainment it will have to offer!

How do you capture and store your family memories?  I would love to know!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Kid Behind the Blog: December Interview

Hall Around Texas

1.  Which Reindeer is your favorite?
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer!

2.  What do you want for Christmas?
Some new cars.... and that's it!

3.  What would you do if you caught Santa in your house?
I would want him to give presents to me and I would give him a hug.

4.  What if Santa got stuck in your chimney?
Well Santa might get a boo boo.  I would get him a bandaid and then try to push him out!

5.  Have you been naughty or nice this year?  Why?
NIIIIICE!  I've played with my Mom.  I'm a great big brother to Truman!

6. What is your favorite Christmas movie?

I just love Christmastime!  Everything about it is magical and special.  And this little human has caught my love for everything to do with it!  I was sorta surprised when he said his favorite movie was Frosty as we have been watching Elf and The Grinch on repeat for a few days now.  However I love that he still adores Frosty and his friend Karen.  :)  We visiting Santa last week and he told him that he wants a house full of people.... If anyone has any idea what that might mean, please let me know!  

I have had such a great time participating in this link up this year.  I have enjoyed hearing Winston's answers and being intentional about capturing them.  The days fly by in the blink of an eye.  I am amazed at how much he has grown and matured this year.  Makes my mama heart burst with all sorts of emotions!

Friday, December 2, 2016

Kid Behind the Blog: November Interview

Hall Around Texas

1.  What are three things you are thankful for?
I am thankful for my Mom, Dad and Truman.  I am thankful for food, for running, for music and race cars!

2.  What is your favorite food served at Thanksgiving dinner?
Stuffing balls are my favorite!

3.  If you could be President for one day, what would you do?

4.  How many feathers does a turkey have?
WAC: Six. Wait, Mommy... do they have five feathers?
Me: Their entire bodies are covered in feathers!
WAC: Well that would be one hundred feeeaaaathers! 

5.  Who is your favorite person to spend time with during the holidays?
My family!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Kids Behind the Blog: October Interview

Hall Around Texas

1.  What do you want to be for Halloween?
A glow in the dark skeleton!!

2.  Do you like handing out candy or collecting it?
I like going up to the neighbors houses and taking my bag and saying, "Trick or Treat! Yay! Thank you!" 

3.  What should Mommy & Daddy be for Halloween?
Halloween skeletons!

4.  Do you like to make a scary or happy faced Jack-o-latern?
Scary faces!!  Aaararrrg!

5.  What is the best part of Halloween?
Eating all the candy!!

From the first time I asked Winston what he wanted to be for Halloween, he was set on a skeleton!  We ordered glow in the dark skeleton jammies for everyone in the family and he was in heaven!  On Halloween, he wasn't really keen on going trick or treating - he was much more interested in handing out the candy and seeing all of the costumes that came to the front door.  He would say, "Oh, I love your costume!" or "I see you Batman!"  He is such a sweet soul to engage in conversation and make people feel special.  Truman was content to sit in a lap and coo at people as they walked by.  These are the days, these are the days!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Shopping with Groupon Goods

Disclaimer: This post has been sponsored.  However, the opinions in this post are honest and all mine!

I am always on the look out for a great deal on kid's toys.  Having two kiddos in different stages of life, I'm interested in learning toys, books, puzzles, anything that will engage their minds and imaginations!  Also with Winston attending preschool we are in season of birthday parties galore!  So it never hurts to have a few things in the gift drawer, ready to go at a moment's notice.  

Enter Groupon Goods.  Not only do they have a plethora of any kind of item you would ever need or want to purchase at great prices, they have an amazing variety of items for the kiddos!  These are a few things that are in my cart now to purchase!  

These foam blocks are amazing, not just for Winston to build and create, but also for Truman to start to learn how to stack....and chew.  #teethingproblems #cheweverything

The next time you are stumped on what to get for a friend's birthday {child or adult}, take a gander at Groupon Goods and be surprised by their selection!  And be sure to by something for yourself too!  #treatyoself

Have you used Groupon before?  I'd love to know what you purchased!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Kids Behind the Blog: September Interview

Hall Around Texas

1.  What is your favorite sport?  Why?
Swimming!  Because I can dive to find the squid and swim and swim.

2.  If someone gave you a million dollars, what would you buy?
I would buy a lot of toys!  A race car that I could drive all by myself!

3.  Tell me 3 things that kids do better than mommies and daddies?
Play with Truman, sleep in my bed and give Winston hugs and hugs!

4.  What is your favorite thing to do in the fall?
Dressing up for Halloween and going to the pumpkin patch at my school.

5.  Share with me three things you like about yourself.
Jesus is in my heart, my silly and my laugh.  That's it Mommy, that's it!

I wasn't sure how Winston would do answering this series of questions - but he aced it!  I am so thankful that I have done this series.  It's so fun to be able to hear what he thinks is important, fun and memorable to him!  

One of my favorite things that Winston has been aware of for a while now is that Jesus lives in his heart.  He says it out of the blue, when we are singing Bible songs, when we are driving around town.  My heart just melted when that was the first thing he responded to what does he like about himself.  I am just in awe of how aware he is of that.  My prayer is that he would continue to be sensitive to the calling of the Lord on His life.  

Next month's questions are all about Halloween and the link up is on October 12th!  Click here for the list!

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Pumpkin Decorating: Timmy the Turtle

Come every September, we receive a crafting pumpkin to decorate as part of our office's Annual Staff Pumpkin Decorating Contest.  Each staff member, doctors included, must decorate a pumpkin.  All of the pumpkins then get displayed at the offices for our patients to vote on during the months of October and November.  My favorite part is seeing the creativity of our staff and then trying to guess which pumpkin will be the favorite for that year!

Our first year we did the Cheeseburger {and won!}.  Two years ago we did Metal Mouth.  Last year we decided to keep it simple.  Since Benjamin loves turtles, we thought that might be something unique that no one else would create.  After slicing the pumpkin in two, we enlisted Winston's help in turning our orange pumpkin green!  We made sure he had on the proper hand protection and away he went!
Winston was properly supervised {with an empty spray can!} at all times.  Did you really think we'd let a two year old really handle a loaded can of spray paint?!  
Once satisfied with his work, we left the two halves to dry.  The next steps involved Crayola air dry modeling clay.  And quite a bit of it too!
I molded a head, fins and legs out of the modeling clay and attached it to the pumpkin.  Timmy was starting to shape up nicely, but his shell was looking a little blandish.  I busted out the paints and tried to make his shell have a little more depth. 
The last and final step for our little friend was to give him eyes!  What kind of eyes do I hear you ask?  Why, googly eyes of course!!  The only kind that exist in our house!
Timmy turned out perfectly!  Although he didn't place in the finals, he is one of my favorite pumpkins that we've made so far.  

Here are a few of my favorites from last year's contest:

Our blank pumpkin is staring at me as I type this and our ideas are swirling.  I'm excited to get started on preparing our creation for competition!  What are some of your favorite pumpkin decorating ideas?
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