Sunday, March 31, 2013

Welcoming Spring as a Family of Four.

What a beautiful Easter Sunday it turned out to be! Family, laughter, sunshine, happy little babies, and delicious food. (Of course!) 
That's only the beginning to this new spring & summer season I've been looking so forward to !
These days are so special, days that I can't get enough of. I'll always crave hugs and kisses and I'll do anything to see my children smile. I watched excitement wash over Brady J today so much that his little legs couldn't stop jumping and he couldn't catch a breath to say what he was too excited to say. 
He ran as fast as he could searching for eggs and yelling
"HAPPY EASTER!" to anyone who listened.
He was happy and covered in chocolate.
And that to the perfect day!
That's when it becomes clear 
where your heart lies.
It lies with my babies enjoying life as they should, 
as much as they should.
And letting them know, I'm here to enjoy it with them.

The cake turned out just like I hoped! It was delicious and SO easy to make (You know I don't even bother unless it seems simple...) and how fun is this to look at?!

Happy Easter to you all!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Thinking Chair.

What a beautiful time of day.
Out of her bedroom you can watch the most peaceful sunset...
I called Brady over tonight to see for himself just how lovely it was.
He's learned a new word lately-
We're blessed.

So I sit in my thinking chair (Marcy's rocking chair) to feed and rock the little one to sleep. This is most calm and quiet time of my entire day. I think. I reflect. I plan. I watch her pretty little face slowly fall to sleep, I hold her tiny fingers and think every night just what a blessed life our family is living. 
Nothing more or less, simply grateful for this life.

My sister is heading home, folks. She's coming home. God's plan never failed her- she's been surrounded by angels since she left this town. "Real world" things are falling into place for her and I couldn't be more thrilled to spend this summer close to my Ellie. We've Skyped, we've emailed, planned summer outings, concerts, all while she's preparing to jump into the "real world" she calls it. 
It's not so bad really, it can be whatever you make it to be. 
With the imagination, creativity & love for life like my sister has,
 I'm sure to say many sunny days lie ahead. 

Seems like every conversation I had today somehow led towards the upcoming summer and our excitement for it. Friends, cookouts,  fun in the water, concerts, just so many things to look forward to!
Spending this summer around people I love, I just can't wait to do. I've also thoroughly surprised myself with the "diet." I should know myself well enough to know I'd never actually follow a diet, so I'm headed in the direction I was meant to follow in the first place. 
Eating clean and exercising.
It's doing me well.
(The simple way always wins.)

I'm spending this weekend with the whole family and looking so forward to it. 
Just to hug my sister and hear all the stories she has to tell. 
My thinking chair held lots for me tonight.
It reminded me just how good it is for me to slow down and take a look at the life I'm living and the beauty
 God creates for me every single day. 
How many days to we stop to enjoy the sunset? 
Or cuddle our babies while they fall asleep? 
I crawled in bed with my Brady too, where I can't help but cry almost every night. 
He holds my hand and sings us to sleep. 

I just don't know who I'd be without these three blessings in my life. 
He shows me He loves me in so many ways.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

For A Rainy Saturday.

Even though I'm off limits to sweets like this,
 I have a husband who might love this.
(I had three small bites exactly...I had to know if it made the cut.)
One could only assume it came from Pinterest, and you'd be correct. 
I followed the recipe as directed, and I became a fan.
Brady was napping and Marcy was in her carrier, so carefully I bounced around the kitchen with my little lady making something sweet for her sweetheart...her daddy.

-One box of strawberry cake mix (plus water, oil, eggs as directed on box)
-8oz Regular Cream Cheese (or reduced fat of course)
1 packet (0.23 oz) of Kool-Aid Lemonade
-Yellow Food Coloring gel (as desired for color...really not necessary..)
-2 cups Jet- Puffed Marshmallow Creme
-8 oz Cool Whip Topping
-Fresh Strawberries

-Make cake according to box and bake in 2 9" round cake pans. Turn finished cakes over on cake racks and allow to cool completely.
-Cream together cream cheese, lemonade and yellow food coloring until smooth.
-Mix marshmallow creme and then mix in Cool Whip until completely smooth. Refrigerate until cake is cooled and cut.
-Cut each cake layer in half. 
-Alternating layers of cake with layers of filling. Top with Strawberries!
-Refrigerate and serve chilled.

--Because I'm not a huge fruity fan to begin with (this was for Brian) the strawberry was great and the filling was tart. To me.  I think if I would've left the lemonade mix out of the recipe, I would've loved it a little more. Learn as you go!
A new recipe for a lovely spring!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Dear Mom.

Here's the thing...
It's just bound to happen some night when you're washing your face...You look in the mirror, the only word that
 comes to mind is just too bad to say. 
Where did it come from and who caused it? 
Next thing you know, you're buying a $23 face cream and using it so sparingly in disbelief that that jar has found a home in your bathroom drawer.
I'm not going to say the "W" word because it's just ugly.
...but on the other hand...
Who really cares. Really.

Then there's coffee. I remember mom making a pot every single morning and pouring a cup in the morning rush to school... and always spilling it on the way out the door. Always. I wondered really why is it so necessary to bother with something that tastes so bad? I've learned. 
I'm hooked and I even use the same creamer she does with every cup. 
"Told ya so."

I'm expressing my introduction to motherhood and beyond here.
This life is never boring.
I'm a wife.
I'm a mom.
And I can't imagine being anything else.
Well, maybe a hairstylist.

Here you go mom, after random tears throughout the day, (yes, from myself) 
bottles, diapers, tantrums, laundry, dishes...
I owe it to you...
Thank you for all you always did for Ellie & me.
This is definitely the most exhausting and rewarding job God created. 
You always encouraged us, laughed with us, and never failed us.
And here I am...raising two kids too. 
And drinking the same coffee.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


First of all, I'd like to state that I've never paid over $50 for jeans.
And once I became a mother, $50 is a heck of a lot to spend on any type of clothing for myself.
Not that I haven't wanted to, of course.
If you're a mostly thrifty shopper like myself you can find the deals. If you want a deal bad enough, you spot out those special places that hold the treasure.

So here I am, three months after giving birth and I'm stuck.
Stuck in two pair of jeans that I hate to wear and nothing else that I feel comfortable in.
I was headed out the other day with the my little one, who was content enough for me to focus...
I was on the lookout for jeans.
Transitional jeans.
I hate that word. I just want to be there NOW, darn it.
Anyway, I found a deal. I've never bought designer jeans because I refuse to pay the INSANE amount they retail for. The Joe's Jeans above...I just found retail for $165. 
Folks out there who actually pay've lost your mind.
Once I found two pair of amazing jeans for two amazing prices,
 I realized they're also two sizes too small.
Immediately my mind turns into a list of pros and cons for buying the things.
Giving up my Reese's, really. It's almost too much to handle.
But then I remembered, back in the day, when I felt so good in my jeans.
The jeans you love (designer or not) actually fitting you in all the right places.
That was enough incentive to run to the checkout counter and never look back.

(I used to buy inexpensive jeans and have them tailored. If you're at the size you're comfortable at, 
do this. Just do it, you'll feel like a million bucks, I swear. You'll look it too.)

SO here I am with brand new jeans I can't wear and 23 lbs to lose.
I'm ahead of myself compared to my first round losing baby weight, so I know it's all possible.
The only time I'm able to make it to the gym is 5 a.m.
Marcy's is still waking up once during the night, usually about 4 a.m.
Feeling like a complete zombie isn't wonderful, either.
But I know, yes, these are all excuses. I need to suck it up, and jump back in the gym.
Some of you mothers are running marathons...something I can't even wrap my brain around.
I figure the least I could do would be to TRY.
Here I go. 
Two or three sizes to drop.
23 lbs to shed.
2 pair of jeans to squeeze this toosh into.

And I passed up Krispy Kreme. 
That'a girl.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Simple Pleasures.

This morning I promised myself to 
make the most of this Sunday.
The weather was heavenly, and there were no plans to follow.
I spread a blanket out in the yard and
dove into a new book I grabbed while thrifting a while back. 
We played in the sunshine.
Of course, enjoyed bare feet all day.
And even though we still aren't residing on the countryside,
that doesn't hold me back from hanging 
 bed sheets to dry in the back yard.
Maybe an eyesore to the neighbors, but boy oh boy, will we all sleep so good tonight.
(I have dreams of hanging clothes on the line...)
The family ate both lunch and dinner outside together,
and I fried okra for the first time for the boys.
I love life at home.
The most simple things are what we need most.

Brady J brought to me my favorite surprise.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Quick Bathroom Update.

I mentioned to Brian that our bathroom cabinets had to be next on the list of projects!
They were awfully chipped and scratched since we had painted them the first time.
Unfortunately I have no before and after shots because he started painting them as a surprise.
(That's not unfortunate.)
I came home to brand new cabinets!
Such a good man he is.
I ran to Hobby Lobby this morning in search of some cool hardware.
Found it, at 50% off!
The place just gets better every time.
The amazing herringbone pattern below is the scrapbook paper
 I grabbed to line all of our bathroom drawers. 
Both master & kids for only $7!
It's a quick update, hopefully to be finished this weekend.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bare Feet & Dirty Jeans.

If something out there could make my heart happier, 
I can't imagine what it would be.
 The air was warmer and the sun was brighter.
Bare feet and dirty jeans.
We shared his favorite cuties and read books in his "fort".
Threw rocks, just because he wanted to.
He told me that little orange bugs lived under the fuzzy rocks.
Played with cars on the front porch. 
And a walk in the sunshine with Marcy Lane.

These days mean more to me than I have the words to tell.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Days At Home.

 I've got one too big for his britches, 
and another who just wants to be cuddled.
I swear they plan their meltdowns together just to frazzle me.
His shirt is covered in the marker he found. So was the sofa.
She smiles when her brother throws a ball at her, so I know they're going to be 
a hilarious train wreck of a pair in a few years.
Our days at home are so wild and wonderful.
Potty training hasn't really started yet. 
I honestly don't even want to go there.
Marcy Lane is staying awake so much longer during the days!
She's so close to sleeping through the night.
All the chaos, all the mess. The dishes, the laundry, the toys, the diapers, the tantrums...
it becomes so much a part of you that as soon as you step away from it, you want it back so bad it hurts. 
Sounds crazy, I know. 
When you learn to juggle every day life, chores around the house, two babies, work, (oh, yeah!) your marriage PLUS having a social life... someone please tell me what happens when they go off to school. 
Are you bored out of your mind? 
Do I go back to work more often? Do I take up a hobby?!
Our days at home are pretty special.
Two kids taking a nap at the same time is too.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Brady J.

It's been far too long since I've spent an 
afternoon in the sun with Brady J. 
I've missed him so much my heart aches. He's growing and learning and talking like crazy, and I'm scared to death to miss a beat. He loves to hold hands and play with cars. He loves to eat Cuties and beets, omelette's and chocolate milk. 
If you ask him "Where did you learn that?" He says "Jesus." 
He's hilarious, unpredictable, and 
loves everything about life.
He takes care of his little sister in all sorts of ways.
He'll do anything to play outside, and he's started singing a lot lately.
That's my favorite.
He loves to learn, and will carry on a conversation with just about anyone.
The faster time passes, the more I realize that nothing compares to the love between a family.

I always want to remember the silly things like his handsome hands like his daddy's and his amazing eyelashes. 
Oh, those eyelashes.
When I look at Brady, I will never understand all the blessings or why God chose me to to be his mother.
He stole my heart and made life beautiful.

About Me

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Living with intention. Life in the south as a wife, mama, hairstylist, and food lover.