Thursday, September 25, 2014

Little Guy, Big Personality.

Admittedly, the phase between years 1 and 3 are not my favorite as a mommy. It's not that my kids aren't cute during that phase (by dang, they are CUTE), but it's just that the phase is SO FREAKIN' EXHAUSTING.

However, there is a silver lining. Watching the personality come out in a little human is quite possibly the best thing to ever witness. Tyler is proving to us that the third born child does not have to be the complacent quiet one. He is a force to be reckoned with and will do all that he can to prove that he is the funniest one around.


for the record, he looks JUST like Brayden in this picture. It's crazy how much they look alike, but how much coloring throws people off.

Tyler Paul: he may be little, but he has about the biggest personality I know.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014


Currently, I'm sitting in my bed during naptime (which is quickly morphing into "rest time" since Connor is phasing out of naps. Please mourn with me on this...) eating lunch, because eating lunch at the park really turns into me getting angry quickly that I can only eat 1 bite every 10 minutes thanks to the inevitable cry to "momma" to help with something. So I waited to eat until I could eat in peace. It's all ok. But I'm not going to lie... it's all exhausting.

Which leads me to my next point... I just realized I last posted on September 11th. Which means I didn't post for 13 days. Can I just tell you that those 13 days flew by in the equivalent of what felt like 10 minutes to me? You may think I'm exaggerating, but really, I'm not. Life is just FLYING by. I have found myself utterly grateful, exhausted and sad all at one as to this fact. I feel like at no other point in my life have I had so many balls to juggle all at once. And I feel as though I'm doing rather well at it (at the moment), but obviously the ball of blogging has just had to be dropped during some of the moments when I have to literally chose whether to rest or whether to write or whether to spend time throwing the ball with my kids or spend time typing about it (for the record, I'll always chose the first option. I want my boys to remember me being in the moment with them, not just obsessed about recording the moments). With that being said, here's a bit of what we've done during the past two weeks during the "all the balls are in the air and I'm juggling and have to drop blogging" moments :)

My quarantine buddy (we both have the stomach bug... Blech). And you can't see it, but he's snuggling his football as he watches the movie. Love him so....
shortly after my last post, both Brayden and I came down with the stomach virus at the same time. I'm so very thankful that it happened to be the weekend. So while Drew was juggling the parenting/cooking/cleaning gig, I was holed up in the master bedroom with a sick buddy. It should be noted that when a 5 year old is sick with the stomach virus, it's not nearly as difficult as having a baby sick with it. Brayden was content to sit and watch movies most of the day. This was probably one of the rare moments I was grateful that my kids don't stay babies forever.
Lord have mercy... This child...
Tyler has continued to hone his exceptionally advanced climbing abilities. When he gets a little too high for my comfort (which I should add is considerably higher than most other parents comforts, noted by the fact that other parents tend to get a little nervous once he hits the second rung on the ladder).
climbing also has commenced on the table. So there's that...
and he's FINALLY walking!!! My back is so thankful. He also got a haircut, and now he looks 2 years old, which OBVIOUSLY is not ok with me.
"look Momma! I drew Mickey Mouse!"Oh my word, y'all. I just screamed like a little school girl when this big bug flew on me. Brayden, however, is in HEAVEN.
The weather here lately has been FABULOUS, which means that we are basically outdoors at all moments of the day. We have gone through two cases of chalk already. And the fall means bugs are in business again, which makes Brayden's bug-lovin' heart so happy.
We've hit up the Target clearance section, which means bubble fun for everyone. I felt like Oprah that day, giving wands and loads of bubbles to all members of my mighty small boy army as we marched down the aisle (a bubble for you, a wand for you, a bubble gun for you...). I got home and realized I may have gone a little overboard on bubbles. But hey, you only live once. And when at Target, I do believe I somehow morph into a red tag sucker. Hashtag: buy all the red tag things.
of course, bubbles don't last long around here anyway, thanks to a certain toddler who finds it wildly entertaining to both blow bubbles AND dump bubbles out. :)
we've had a few flag football games. Brayden is having a load of fun. Drew ended up getting to help out with coaching, so that's been fun for both of them to experience together.
Brayden's sweet little friend, Paige, came to watch him play one morning. They are the cutest, and I am trying to devise an arranged marriage between these two. So far, I've only gotten as far as Brayden wanting to marry Paige's mom. haha!
last weekend, Drew's dad, came to visit. The boys roped him into reading the bedtime story. (the boys Papaw came the next day, but I never got a chance to take pictures of them with him. They had a ton of fun playing soccer with Papaw!)
and last but not least, good weather means the boys get to have fun in the mud. Which they were so sad about (sarcasm font). :)
(and to be fair to Connor, I do have a lot of cute pictures of Connor in the mud fight too, but they're not exactly blog appropriate, if you know what I mean ;) )

Hope fall is starting off as well for you as it is for our family. As much as I am not looking forward to the cold weather, I could use a little relief from the allergies ;) Here's too a good rest of everyone's week! (and hopefully my next post will be sooner than two weeks!) :)

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Vintage Baby Girl Shower for Lydia

A few weekends ago I had the privilege of helping put together a shower for my friend, Becca.

And I should probably disclaimer that when I say "helping put together," that what I really mean is that I emailed and told the girls I would love to help and for them to tell me what to do. Ha! I am not a frilly details person, so sometimes I just need some direction and guidance and then have fun helping in the process :)

Lydia is Becca's third daughter, so we didn't really want to go over the top with anything, but we still wanted to make it special. Becca is going with a vintage girly theme for the baby nursery, so we (and when I say "we" I mean the other party planner girls... again-- no detail help here ;) ) went with that.
A few of the girls made wreaths for the front door out of baby diapers, and our friend Erin created several different chalkboards to put around the house as decorations (and can we just talk about her awesome handwriting? If I used a chalkboard, it would definitely look like a 5 year old drew it).
I loved how they used burlap to tie together the diapers on the wreath... such a cute vintage touch
we had access to several sets of vintage glass party plates and cups, and since the shower was smaller, we used those for drinks and platters for the food. I forgot to photograph the boxes for the glassware but it was SO cute. It was the original box and had the whole June Cleaver housewife on it.
Erin hung decorative cylinders from the light fixtures, and attached paper doiles to give them that vintage touch.
my friend, Katie, figured out how to print on burlap with a regular home printer. I designed this verse for her, and then she attached the burlap to a regular sheet of printer paper and printed it on her printer at home. It came out SO cute! vintagebabygirlshower_adollopofmylife_7
there were mason jars filled with daisies placed around the house
so, funny story about the cake. After a long time with the cake department, Erin picked out a pattern that resembled lace to be put on the cake, white on white. And then requested an initial, like what you see in this picture. When Erin went to pick it up, TWO HOURS BEFORE THE SHOWER WAS SUPPOSED TO START, she found a white cake that was smooth icing and a BLACK initial on the top of the cake (made with black icing). Thankfully they fixed it, although it was nothing like what Erin has originally requested. Good thing is, even a messed up cake tastes good. ;)
we asked all of the guests to hang a prayer/blessing on this little tree for Becca and Lydia. I am pretty sure most of these items were purchased at Hobby Lobby (the sticks aren't even real! I couldn't tell until I was .2 inches away from the branches hanging my little prayer card).

Becca got a lot of cute gifts... my fave was the little custom made piggy outfit ( think it's knitted or crocheted). Oh my word. I die.


we love you, Becca! And can't wait to meet Lydia!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

For the Love of Blogging | AWBU 2014.

(Bear with me as I iron out some of the kinks in my new blog design.... and I HAVE A NEW BLOG DESIGN!!! Yay for finally finding the discipline to sit on the couch for 4 hours and figure out html coding that was intimidating me!)

If you follow me on social media at all, then you know that this weekend I was tucked away in nearby Rogers, AR for the fourth annual AWBU (Arkansas Women Bloggers University).

I'm going to be honest and say that going into the conference I was a little nervous. The last conference I attended I was more on my blogging game (so to speak), and knew a lot more people that were going. This year I knew no one other than my good friend, Heidi, and honestly, I didn't really know what to expect.

I attended the Foodie Friday portion of the conference, even though I'm not a foodie blogger. We got the privilege of watching some of the local chefs create dishes (I was amazed at the ease at which they cut raw meat into 10 different pieces LIKE A BOSS. I can barely handle a raw chicken without gagging and simultaneously dropping it-ha!). My favorite part of Foodie Friday, was of course, the photography portion. I love hearing other peoples takes on how they work the camera, and I also got to help a few people out with questions on how to set their DSLR in manual (for the record, if that's something you're interested in learning, I wrote a tutorial on DSLR settings that you can read). I also had a bit of prop envy... Heather's Dish has some amazing food photography props. The turquoise wood piece?! AWESOME.
I wish the internet could share smells and tastes. This was absolutely INCREDIBLE.

I was already a fan of Embassy Suites before #awbu (hello, made to order omelettes!!), but the people of #embassysuitesNWA have exceeded my expectations. #RogersRocks #RogersAR @visitrogersarOh, you know, just listening to @alliworthington at #awbu at #embassysuitesNWA
I got to hear Alli Worthington speak again (I heard her last year at Blissdom). Can I just say? I feel like a lot of the women who are in the stage ahead of me are putting some good words out about saying no and creating healthy boundaries. I am LOVING it. I've not really been one to struggle with boundary creations, but it has been refreshing having so many women speak out and say that it's OK to say no and that saying yes to everything can be unhealthy and just as dream crushing as never saying yes in the first place.

Which leads me to my biggest take away from the weekend. Sure I learned a lot about SEO (probably more than I bargained for if I'm honest. I get stressed out with small details, and Lord have mercy, SEO is all about the small details) and various social media platforms and how they can grow my blog. But what I walked away from the conference with was that blogging is more about the numbers. It's more about the hits and stats and followers. It's about community and finding other people who are as passionate as you are about things and cheering them on regardless of their klout or presence online. I felt so encouraged when I told other bloggers that this year blogging has taken a back seat. I was afraid going in that it's either all push and big or it's nothing at all. And what I walked away with was that that couldn't be farther from the truth. I knew the truth, but sometimes when I get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life we tend to forget the small truths and instead believe the big lies. I'm so grateful for my new bloggy friends and my old ones that I've known for a long while. And I'm so grateful for those who have followed my journey of motherhood, whether you be a fellow mom in the trenches, a family member that I wish lived closer, or just someone who reads my blog :) I love blogging, even if I only get to do it when I have an unhurried second once a week and only a handful of people read it. And I have AWBU to thank for reminding me that that is good enough.

me with my two crazy roomies, one of whom I've known for over 3 years and one who I didn't meet until the conference. Both are awesome!

(A special thanks to companies who made this conference possible: Great Day Farms, Skippy Peanut Butter, Alliance Rubber, Riceland Foods, Petite Jean Meats, Kendall King Group, Visit Rogers, Taste Arkansas, Wet Nap, Arkansas Grown, Acorn and IO Metro)

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