Fall Family Photos 2014 + feeling thankful

Runkle fam 1


Do you make resolutions at the end of each year for the coming New Year?
Some years I do, others it passes and I realize I haven’t thought about it at all.
Each year however, the thing that I desire most is a feeling of balance.

So I set out to create systems and ways to feel more balanced, and organized.

But it didn’t really help change how I felt inside.

At the end of each day, week, I felt like I had not accomplished what I had set out to, which created
frustration and discontentment.  I began to see that what I was truly craving was peace.
Peace for me came in the form of my faith in God, accepting today as it is, and living one day at a time.


Sounds like I have got the unbalanced thing beat, I don’t.  Not at all.

But by keeping things in perspective, taking better care of myself, and relying upon a wonderful,
beautiful group of friends sisters I am not alone in this whole Mom-who-feels-tired-and-just-wants-to-sleep thing.
I don’t have to be perfect, and that is so freeing. [Read more…]

How to have an epic summer + commit to way less

Let’s face it, we all find ourselves in a rut sometimes.
There seem to be many ways to arrive in burn out land.

Especially as we transition into the summer months and may
be trying to figure out how we are going to enjoy time with family,
friends, lots of activities, travel, visitors, planning a fab BBQ or two,
and perhaps some time to relax.



Here are a few that you may be able to identify with:

  • not enough sleep
  • too many commitments
  • not staying true to yourself
  • having grace with others, demanding perfection from ourselves
  • wanting it all now

I am guilty of all of these, usually three or more at the same time
just to keep myself stressed out and distracted from what really matters.
Since different stuff matters to all of us, but most of us have some common
things that throw us off track I can think of three things that are rut-busters
we can implement as we move into summer.

[Read more…]

DIY Mother’s Day Card | with Brooke from Blissful Roots

Happy May, twelveOeight readers!
It’s Brooke from Blissful Roots.  Isn’t May such a delightful month?
I love the perfect weather, the flowers, the anticipation of summer, and of course Mother’s Day.
I’ve always loved Mother’s Day, but it’s especially wonderful when you’re blessed to be a mother yourself!
DIY Tissue Paper Mother's Day Card from Blissful Roots
Today I have an extra special card you can make for all the mothers in your life.
A card that can double as decor after you’ve given it.
I absolutely love tissue paper!  I love the variety of colors, the versatility of it, and how dainty
and delicate it is.  It’s the perfect medium to use for anything Mother’s Day.

[Read more…]

My favorite grocery shopping app + a $50 Winco giveaway!

This conversation is sponsored by General Mills® via Burst Media. The opinions and text are mine

Do you remember what your favorite cereal was when you were a kid?
I still remember how good a box of Trix® smelled (like sweet lemons!) when you opened them,
and reading the back of the box, while devouring my breakfast.
I think my all time favorite has to be Cheerios® there was just something
about a bowl of cereal that always started the day right.  My kids love them now too, but
it’s a close tie with Lucky Charms® depending on who you ask!




I learned about the Ibotta app recently, which saves time looking for coupons and deals, plus it
pays me back every time I use it. Featured on shows like Good Morning America, ABC News & Katie Couric,
this cool app is the #1 choice for savvy shoppers looking to earn rebates, rewards, coupons, deals and
discounts that can all be turned into cash, with the ease of using your mobile device. [Read more…]

Potty Training 101 and our #CtnlCareRoutine

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and Cottonelle
but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #CtnlCareRoutine  http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO
Most of you know that my kids range in age from little guys to my eldest (who made me a Grandma almost four months ago)
which makes for an exciting journey as a Mom.  So let’s do a quick recap: I have a 22 year old daughter, my sons are 7 and 4, and my littlest potty trainer is 3 years old.  She’s the sassy redhead you see running around in my pictures.
My last success story was this fellow, who gave me a run for my money when it came to potty training.  He has very
sensitive skin and had this reaction to the idea of sitting on the potty initially:

And that was the reaction we had for a while until I came up with some ways for him to feel relaxed and in the mood to use the facilities.  [Read more…]

How To Save Money On Kids Clothes + My Sytem That Works Part 1

Clothing a large family can get expensive.  Real quick.
I have used a system like this for years, coming up with new ideas,
tweaked them over time and created a streamlined system that works
really well for me.

You don’t have to have a large family to reduce spending in some
important areas however.  Years ago, as a single mom, my daughter and
I were able to survive on one income that was partially commission so
it fluctuated from month to month.  I learned how to plan and forecast
then so every season was covered, and when the need for a new pair
of snow boots, or backpack arose, I wasn’t wondering how I would
fit it into the budget.

To take control of your clothing system (or lack of) here is the best
way to get going.  This is a little time consuming initially, but once you
have it down it’s much easier to manage and will save you time from then on.
Ready to get started?

[Read more…]

DIY Gifts Ideas For Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is quickly approaching!
I didn’t need to go any further than your amazing links 
every week to the Pretty Things Party for inspiration. 
Page after page of the most beautiful, creative projects
that any Mom would love to receive!
So, let’s check out some beautiful DIY gift ideas for Mom!!

Ann Marie shared her gorgeous wreath
 Decorate Me Diana made this pretty gold dipped vase
 Living Rich On Less shared a super cute DIY Rosette Necklace
The DIY Dreamer shows us how to make
these pretty Tea Bag Wrappers
Posed Perfection made these pretty Boutique Dishtowels
 Queen B Creative Me made this lovely T-Shirt Hoop Art
 My Love 2 Create made this wonderful DIY Wooden Crate
 Create Inspire Me turned old drawers into lovely Planter Boxes
VMG206 made these great Tile Photo Coasters
 And if Mom likes hand and body scrub, 
from simple kitchen ingredients
Now I have so many ideas I may have to make the wonderful Mama’s in my
life a few things since I cannot pick just one!
Do you have any traditions or plans for this Mother’s Day? Or do you prefer
to spend it more low key and relaxed?
I am not sure what we are doing yet, but it always includes spending time
with the people we love.
Hugs to you friend, have a blessed day!

A Time Of ReNEWal, Beauty For Ashes

New Year’s for me is exciting each year, but not because of a party (we are usually home in jammies)
Or because something magical takes place at midnight (I do love to snack and wait for the ball to drop in New York)
But because it reminds me of second chances, and what is to come.  New life, hope, the unknown, and a bit of wonder as I look back over the years behind me and think of the years ahead. 
None of us are immune to whole human experience.  We get it all. Good, bad and ugly.  Some of us are experiencing grief right now, and others incredible joy.  Some of us a mixture of both.

My New Year wish and hope for you, me and mankind is for us to be a little more tender.  To stop and decide if those words are going to bless someone or cause pain.  To see the impact we can have on our world and do something about it.  Sometimes it’s the little changes that have the greatest impact, don’t you think?
To look for the good.  There is always good.  And there is always someone who needs just a little encouragement from us.  A little note in the mail.  A warm pot of soup.  A phone call instead of a text (guilty, so guilty on this count!)
Our family has experienced struggles just like everyone else.  In one of our leaner times we resorted to utilizing area food banks in order to pay the bills and keep going while my husband was looking for work.  I was scared, embarrassed and afraid.  But the beautiful people who loved on my family and served us week after week blessed me with more than food.  They lifted my spirits and made me feel ok again.   I remember the kind words, smile, and care that the volunteers showed me.  That took the sting out of it, and my pride and shame were replaced with gratitude and hope.
My kids didn’t know where that food came from.  All they knew was mama went grocery shopping.  It didn’t last forever, and I did learn how to be a very frugal cook in the meantime.  We sat around our table in suburbia, bowed our heads and thanked God for loving us so much.  For providing for us in our darkest financial hour, and never letting us go. 
I was cleaning out my pantry a while ago and I came across a can of food and some dried beans, stragglers from this time in our lives.  Probably pushed to the back by the food we bought with that new job (praise God!) and in the excess and bounty we have there they sat to be found that day.  A wonderful reminder that I can help.  I can bless someone, as I have been blessed. 
I wish you and your wonderful family & friends every good thing, and every blessing from above. 
And when those lean and hard times do come upon you, you are not alone friend. 
You are never alone. 
Happy New Year to you, may it be a time of incredible blessing and abundance for you.  I adore you friends, and I am so blessed to stay home with my kiddos and author this little slice of blogland each week.
Thank you, hugs and blessings
xoxo, Tanya

Grace, Not Perfection

Do you ever have those mini-burnout moments where you are unsure just how to deal with yet another commitment or pressure? You know they don’t last, and you take a deep breath and give yourself that little “you can do it” pep talk that always seems to help.  But it just doesn’t help as much as it used to.  Probably because we all had less on our plates that we may now.  Before, demands were a challenge to be met and conquered.  I find myself there more often than I would like.  And while I am grateful that I have made it a point to live more consciously and intentionally this year, I long for more.  More strength to say no when I should.


Tell me if this sounds familiar: I am a mom, and a wife, and I love it.  I love my home, and I love to take care of it.  And while I am in a season of being pretty busy with little ones to take care of, I also see how quickly it passes as my eldest is now 21 years old this month.  I am not in a hurry for them to grow up or get to the next stage.  I really enjoy where each of them are at right now.  Ask me if I feel this way next time my three year old is having a rough day, my response could be slightly different!  I cannot change the need to grocery shop, do laundry or wipe down the kitchen table (again.) But I do have opportunities in my life that I can choose how I spend my time.  It may be during nap time, or after the kids go to sleep at night.  I am not implying that we should implement a rigorous time management schedule when we feel this way, but the opposite.  To do what we have to, and let some things go.  Letting go may be saying no to things we don’t really want to do, or releasing negative feelings and not allowing them to rent space in our heads or hearts. 
That’s kind of scary to think about, letting go.  I almost get a bit nervous thinking about letting go because I have lived in a world that worships “busy” for almost 42 years.  I think being busy stinks, and to be honest, I would prefer to have nothing to do with it again.  Not the fun busy, or the necessary busy, but the exhausting busy.  The kind that leaves me resentful and tired.  Spiritually drained and feeling kind of worthless.  All that busy ended up getting me nowhere.  Interesting.


So if I am honest with myself, and push my people-pleasing ways aside, some open space for more joy becomes suddenly available.  And in the meantime, how I am going to figure out what those things are to say yes or no to, is a prayerful process of trusting and believing.  You know what? I used to love being busy.  I would venture to say that I may have almost been hooked on the busy fix.  But it’s starting to go away, and a little more quiet, and peace is taking it’s place.  Even while I am knee-deep in chaos and craziness most days.  Seems impossible, but it’s working. 

I have always loved this passage, and over time I have become so thankful for the words “all things.” Because they don’t say “everything” or “a ton of stuff that you can’t handle at the same time” but simply “all things.” It means I can do what I need to, because He is the Giver of everything.  Including my life and the grace to live with the freedom to say no when something is not right for me.
Sounds way better than a busy fix any day.
Thank you for your sweet comments, and encouraging words.  I appreciate you so much, and pray for a fun Christmas season for you, with less stress and more peace (and fun, fun is my favorite!)
xoxo, Tanya
Thank you so much for reading, and as always, may your heart and home be full of everything you love! xo, Tanya         linking up to: http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/ And these awesome parties: http://www.twelveoeightblog.com/awesome-link-parties