Outside….

         ”Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is symbolic as well as actual beauty in the migration of the birds, the ebb and flow of the tides, the folded bud ready for the spring. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature – the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after the winter.”

Rachel Carson

   I have gone through many different phases in my life. Each phase may bring a new hair style. I’ve been a red head, brunette, and platinum blonde. I’ve rocked a pixie cut and I’ve rocked such long hair that I look like an extra from the Lord of the Rings.

  Each phase may bring a different jean size. I’ve been on both spectrums, too large and too small.

  I’ve gone through the Clueless phase thinking it’s cool to talk like a valley girl, the She’s All That phase thinking it’s cool to wear fake glasses only to find out later that I did in fact, need glasses, and the current phase of Rosemary’s Baby… I kid.

  My vocation in life has ranged from musician to counselor to youth minister to mama to author to mama again. My taste in men has ranged from the skinny-jean wearing musician to the boat-shoe wearing frat boy to the “Jesus is my Homeboy” t-shirt wearing Christian fully decked out in his worship leader goatee. (Thank God I didn’t land on that last one for the kissing chafing alone…).

   But through all of that, one thing has remained. I love being outside. I love being outside in every season. I love the crunch of leaves under my feet in the fall. I love that I can actually smell when it’s going to snow in the winter. I love hearing birds chirp, seeing new growth, and feeling the coolness of dew beneath my feet in the spring. And I love the pastel bathing suits on dudes in the summer….. wait, that’s not nature. Lets try that again. I love running full speed into the waves that cool me off in an instant in the summer. There, that’s better.

   The greatest thing I hope to pass down to our children is my love for the outdoors. It is something my father passed down to me and I hope to carry on. Sam and I hunt, fish, run, play outside together. It’s been the common thread that bound us together from the very beginning. It’s been the heartbeat behind our relationship together:

get outside. get outside. get outside. 

   The hardest adjustment to living in the PNW for me has been the weather. But it’s also brought forth a new level of commitment to my relationship with nature. Even in the rain and grey, we put our rain gear on and explore. The rain brings more green, more worms, more silence. Sometimes we go out without a purpose. Some days the goal is to find a four-leaf clover (my mother’s favorite outdoor activity).  Some days I make a scavenger hunt list and give Bud a paper bag and we bring back our treasures. I make binoculars out of toilet paper rolls and we search for the eagles in the trees.

   Even if our adventures require more laundry and my hair is so frizzy from the rain that I look like Lionel Richie from 1987 on a bad hair day, I am still glad we have walked the trails, got dirt under our nails, and shoved countless rocks into our treasure bags (which sounds kinda like an amazing band name The Treasure Bags… dibs!). 

All that to say, if you find yourself in a rut, feeling antsy or run down….

get outside. get outside. get outside.

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Beautycounter Giveaway

This blog has become really special to me not only because it serves as a digital memory book for my family but it has connected me to some pretty amazing people and opportunities. I feel incredibly blessed to review some amazing products and I always make sure that I only advertise products I truly believe in. And y’all- this is one of them.

My friend Anna reached out and told me about Beautycounter. She told me she was searching for “safe” shampoo & conditioner that actually worked and didn’t smell strange, as well as safe bath products for the whole fam, and she stumbled onto Beautycounter.  She briefed me on the company and after I researched and told her I’d be happy to try some out, she sent me the kid’s shampoo, body wash, lip balm, and an adorable tote.

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I rarely buy beauty products for myself so I tore into the lip balm and squealed when I saw the cute tote. The lip balm has now replaced my beloved Burt’s Bees. It’s that good.

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I have only used Aveeno’s body/shampoo wash for the kids because it doesn’t have an over powering smell and got the job done without irritating Bud’s sensitive skin. But I was excited about trying something new and we love it. It smells fresh but not like they’ve been bathed in grandmother’s perfume. It doesn’t sting their eyes. And I love how safe it is.

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I am definitely going to be ordering their kid’s sunscreen this summer because I’m aways on the hunt for safe sunscreen for the kids. And check out their other products because they have great stuff. They are coming out with a sunscreen this summer for adults and a full line of color makeup this fall.

Also, it is a huge opportunity if anyone is interested in selling, so if you are interested in building a personal business or joining the mission contact Anna Smith: annafsmith@gmail.com - & learn more about the mission here.

Anna wants to giveaway for one of my readers because she’s awesome. She’s giving one of you lucky hotties an adorable striped pouch and a kid’s shampoo and body wash. All together, that’s over $60 of goodness FREE to one of you! Enter… do it.

** Multiple Entry Opportunity!! Just leave a comment for each one you complete!

One Entry: Leave a comment with your name and email
Two Entries: Entry One + Share this giveaway on Facebook
Three Entries: Entries 1&2 + Follow Anna on https://www.facebook.com/annabeautycounter
Four Entries: Entries 1-3 + Follow me on Instagram: @marthametzler

There ya have it! Good luck and I’ll pick a winner on Friday, April 25.

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Bennett Rippy 6 Months

BR 6 Months

6 Month Stats:

26.5 inches long, 83 percentile
17.9 pounds, 57 percentile
17.75 inches in head, 83 percentile

You are such a joy Bennett Rippy. You’re starting to get the hang of this whole living on Earth thing more and more. You’re sleeping better, you have TWO teeth, and you still smile constantly.

You are loving playing with your brother Bud and just grab his head while he tickles you. I pray y’all are always best friends.

You are making more and more noises and interacting with us. You love to laugh and you shake your head back and forth when you want Dada to make his funny face (where he shakes his head back and forth and makes his cheeks flap).

You are eating 3 little meals a day on top of your 4 bottles. You love food! You had a pretty gnarly cold and cough this month that lasted for a week and a half and  took away your appetite which almost killed me. It hurt my heart to see you so sick and not want to eat for that long! But luckily you are back up and running.

You started sitting up on your own this month too! Still not even close to crawling but I have to remember your brother didn’t crawl until he was 10.5 months! Lazybones Metzlers.

We love you little man and are so glad you are ours. I can’t believe its been half a year since you made your entrance into this world.

Love Love, Your Mama

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Frozen…. not the movie

We have an amazing 12 year old boy named Malcolm that lives on our street. Malcolm loves to skateboard. Bud could watch him for hours. One day I was outside without the children (I know, I’m just as shocked as you are) but I saw Malcolm and asked him out of the goodness of his heart  paid him $10 if he would teach Bud how to skateboard one afternoon. I told Bud about it and he literally talked about it every. single. day. for a week and kept asking when “Malcolm skatebo-ERD wit me?” Finally, the sun came out one afternoon and Malcolm knocked on our door for Bud to come out and play (yah I died of cute overload as well).

Here’s how it went down in my head: Bud runs out of the door, throws his Lightening McQueen helmet on and hops onto the board with complete joy and bad-assery.

Here’s how it went down in reality: Bud froze.

Like, f-r-o-z-e. Frozen. No movement. FUH-ROZE.

The kid had talked about it until I thought I was going to have to hire Tony Hawk to come give my son a ride on a skateboard just so I didn’t have to hear about skateboarding anymore….  or up my payment to $20 to Malcolm. I’m not sure which would have been harder. And he FROZE!

Yall- I’m not talking the cute, shy toddler who looks down at his feet and whispers, “no tanks”. That would have been adorable. But instead, Bud stiffened up like a board, went pale, and for the first time in his 2 and a half years went silent. Then he looked up at me with his jaw dropped and mouth breathed for the longest 3 minutes of my (and I’m sure a 10 bucks richer 12 year old’s) life. I looked at Malcolm and told him that we’d meet him outside in a minute or two when Bud pulled himself back together…. or at least stopped mouth breathing.

So we shut the door and I wanted to look at Bud and in a really sweet tone say, “DUDE! You’ve been talking about doing this for a week now and what’s wrong??? Why are you freezing up?? Why can’t you breathe through your nose?!” Then I remembered I gave up being a jerk for Lent (kidding). So instead, I knelt down and took his hands and asked what was going on.

He couldn’t believe it was happening. He had hoped for this for a week and it was finally happening and he just couldn’t wrap his head around it. He was having a hard time accepting the goodness.

Does that sound familiar? Because it hit me like a ton of bricks. I realized I’ve been frozen because I couldn’t believe the Goodness. I was having a hard time accepting it because I didn’t think I deserved it. But as sure as Malcolm was still waiting on our front porch to take my son skateboarding, blessings were still waiting for me in spite of the fact that I don’t deserve them. Grace. Just Grace. 

After a couple of minutes of talking through what a happy time this would be and how special Bud must be for Malcolm to want to take him skateboarding, Bud shoved a granola bar in his mouth (whole) and ran out of the door clothed in his Lightening McQueen helmet and bad-assery.

Bennett Rippy and I sat on a blanket watching and I couldn’t get the smile off of my face. How wonderful life is when we just open our eyes to that Goodness that God so richly wants to pour on us. Can you believe it? Can you accept the Goodness? 

 

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Sleeping Package Winner!

Y’all are the best! Seriously I am loving all the advice and stories. I’ve been counting sheep and that alone has made me crack up so if nothing else, y’all have made me laugh instead of curse into my pillow at 4:30am.

The winner is Meredith! Yay Meredith! I’m going to email you and get your address and you have a ridiculous, full of random fun things in a care package heading your way!

Lets just say the last winner of my last care package got a package brought to you by the letter “C” full of chocolate, candy, condoms, and chew toys for her dog….. you’re welcome Leslie.

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Sleep Training

Bet ya think I’m going to go on a rampage about sleeping training my infant don’t ya? Well think again!

Yall- I need to be sleep trained. I’ve never had troubles sleeping in the past but the past 6 months I’ve been waking up around 4:30am…. for the day. It’s like there’s a switch that goes off inside of me at 4:30am on the dot and I’m wide awake.

I try laying in the bed, praying, reading, forcing myself to go back to sleep but nothing works. I turn off all screens 30 minutes before I go to sleep and read before I go to bed. I’m at a loss.

SO my friends, I’m going to do a care package giveaway of my favorite things if you can help me out.  If you have any good sleep advice then leave it in the comments! I’m going to randomly pick a comment on Sunday and send you a care package! It’s a win win! You get a hilarious care package and I get sleep advice. And lets be honest, it doesn’t even have to be real advice because at this point, humor is my medicine.

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Hunker Down in the Storm

“This will fly by…”

“This will pass…”

“But it’s such a short season!”

Confession time, I’ve said all of those things to people before and I have heard them a million times over the last 6 months. They are wise words, no doubt and certainly have their place. But, sometimes, I don’t want to hear them. Sometimes we need our friends to look up at the stormy sky and yell, “OH CRAP YOU ARE RIGHT! THIS IS ONE  HELL OF A STORM!” and sit right down in the storm shelter with us. Sometimes we need someone to grab their cans of pinto beans, radio, and bottled waters and realize this storm might take awhile to pass and there’s not much we can do to make it blow over quicker. We need someone to hunker down in the storm with us.

Now hear me on this, there will be times when I will need someone to grab my hand and pull me out of the storm and point my eyes towards sunnier skies. But what I’ve come to know is this. You can learn a lot from the storms.

Character, humility, and unrelenting hope are all born in stormy weather.

We shouldn’t rush that. And, I firmly believe that God blessed us with community for a reason and sometimes we need to sit with each other in the storms instead of ignoring the weather reports.

Next time you are going through a hard time, I will try and read your heart. Do you need me to point you to the tiniest clearing in the sky or do you need me to hunker down, grab hold of something bolted to the ground, and pray with you?

I think we have to learn that its ok to have stormy weather every now and then. Here in the PNW, we love the summer so much because we are seeing the sun consistently for the first time in about 9 months. We appreciate the sun because we’ve seen rain for a very long time.

This season in my life has been hard. Not because I have it harder than others, believe me I know I have it pretty damn good. But I think it’s been hard because I’ve recognized that I’m in a storm. I’m not running around in a summer dress with flip flops in the middle of the winter. I’m bundled up and facing it head on. I don’t know if it will blow over quickly or if I will be riding it out in the shelter. But one thing is for sure, I have what I need to endure it.

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Giveaway Winner

Yay! Kristen Scarbro you win you feisty redhead you! Email me your address and I’ll hook you up!

Thanks everyone for entering. I have a couple new giveaways coming up so stay tuned.

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TheIt Bag

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Y’all- is it possible to have a crush on an inanimate object? Because I have the biggest crush on my new camera bag from TheIt Bag Company. The amazing folks over there sent me this AMAZING, gorgeous leather bag that is the epitome of function and fashion. Granted its a huge step up for me since I used to wrap my camera in a t-shirt so it wouldn’t get banged up in my 8 year old purse but now, I can slip it right into its merry little spot and carry that bag around as if I’m actually fashionable and not wearing underwear from 2006.

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I cannot brag on this bag enough. I’m not a model, not even close to a “well she could be a hand model” type. In fact, when I look at this picture all I can think about it how glad I am that I don’t have my fly down and how desperately I need to start wearing lipstick BUT I had to snap some pictures for my friends at TheIt to show off this amazing bag they sent.

As a special gift to my readers, they have set up a special 15% off discount on all of their camera bags. Just enter the code, LOVEMM15 and it is good through the end of March. And, right now, they have a free shipping special for all orders $199+ to anywhere in the US/Canada (regularly about $28.95) so its definitely the perfect time to make the most of the special discount!

Thanks again TheIT for making an amazing product and y’all treat yo-self to that discount!

 

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GooseWaddle Review and Giveaway

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So admittedly, my kids are not “lovie” kids. They don’t get attached to blankies or specific stuffed animals for sleep. But when GooseWaddle contacted me about reviewing their blankets I was intrigued because they looked so dang soft! I figured Bennett Rippy would like it to play with but it wouldn’t be one of those things that he got attached to.

YALL- homeboy loves that blankie. I put it at the top corner of his crib just out of curiosity and I looked at the video monitor the other night and he had grabbed it and was just snuggling with it under his arm. I’ll watch him nuzzle it against his face and curl up with it. So sweet. And I have to say, these are the softest blankets I have ever felt. I have felt all the high-end blankets and the ones people swear by, but these are definitely the softest I have ever felt.
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Bud tries to steal the big blanket and the stuffed goose…. because he’s a big brother and that’s just what he does.

So my friends at GooseWaddle have GENEROUSLY offered to do a giveaway for my readers! They are giving away a GooseWaddle gift box which includes one big blanket, a blankie, and the toy goose! You even get to pick the color!
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I’ll pick a winner next Friday the 14th. All you have to do to enter is leave a comment with your email address! SO EASY! 

Good luck!

 

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