Wednesday, July 20, 2016

At one of Tyson's birthday celebrations, we gave him a simple, basic scooter.
He was absolutely excited and wanted to take it for a spin, ASAP.
It was of course 'just what he's always wanted', also, and he was gliding and near-balancing in no time. 
He'll occasionally ride it to check the mail with me and the other day he was telling me how much he loved his new scooter. I told him, 'Oh good, mom and daddy picked it out special, just for you.' 
He paused, and said, 'You gave me this scooter?'
I replied, 'Yes, mom and dad gave it to you for your birthday.'
He stepped off the scooter, and drug it a few steps over to my side, gave me a hug and said, 'Thanks mom!!'
We've been trying to really stress the importance of WHO a gift is from and how thoughtful and kind it was of them to give the gift. We take time to express gratitude and hug that person, so I was melted into a puddle of pride to see him take that action on his own and thank me for his gift.
These moments have me thinking four is going to be my favorite age yet..!!

Birthday Celebrations: [Turning Four]

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Catching up on all the happenings since we now have a FOUR year old in 'da house.
That's right, a little kid - his clothing size is no longer followed by a 'T', he's scheduled to take part in organized sport camps, and will soon enough attend a new, big-boy school.
Someone hold me..!!
I can't believe we are taking on this next, new phase as parents, but we couldn't be more proud of this (not so) little one of ours.

Ready for 'party' overload..?!
Tyson got to have two birthday celebrations this year since we were out of town, one with each side of our families.
We celebrated early with my family and had a little Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle party. I was excited to find turtle stuff at the Dollar Store/Dollar Spot, so I grabbed a plastic cup and pair of socks for Tys & Harp each, and their two cousins that would be at his 'party'. We did bubbles, played outside, ate pizza, and had cake.
We had to explain that it wasn't yet his actual birthday, we were just celebrating beforehand. Which set off mild confusion as he kept asking, 'is this my real birthday or a pretend one?'
For his actual birthday, we were in Florida (helping celebrate his great-Mimi's birthday; she and Tyson are birthday twins, 90 years apart). 
Even though we were not at home, I hoped to make the day special for Tyson. 
We, of course, still had his annual donut birthday breakfast.
(Previous donut breakfasts - 1st // 2nd // 3rd)
Then we had a Lego party complete with cousins, water balloons, tape-the-head-on-the-Lego-guy-body, and pizza and cake (yes, again).
We had such a great time celebrating Tyson and his special day, on a few different days.
Happy 4th, buddy!!

Summer Birthday Gift Exchange: [Turning Four]

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

One of my favorite things about blogging has been the community I've been fortunate to become a part of; I've been welcomed into a group of successful, encouraging, friendly, and wonderful ladies that were exactly what I needed. We share common phases of life which includes the ups, downs, joys, and 'sufferings' of motherhood. Specifically, a handful of us all with summer 'babies'. 
A few years ago a gift exchange started and it's now in it's third year, how fun is that..?! 

This week my baby turned four. FOUR. It's been so fun to follow along with these families as their babies have grown also, it's hard to believe how quickly these years pass. Now on to a very special package, all the way from CA..
Tyson received a package from the beautiful gals at Work it Mommy - Whitney, Kinsey, and Breilana. Let me just say, they sent the sweetest gifts of pure perfection..!!
Whitney mentioned she was a little nervous to come up with gifts for a boy, coming from an all-girl household, but she NAILED IT!! Seriously. 
Bubbles + gun = little boy heaven!!
Dinosaurs?! NEVER enough dinosaurs. 
Whitney filled the box with some extra-large, colorful pom-poms. They were the go-to for Homegirl, she gathered up as many as she could and kept a death-grip on them while we continued through the package. 
We lovedplaying games as a family, so I know we'll have a good time with this connect four game.
 I just love watching Tyson open gifts. He's filled with such genuine excitement, gratitude, and joy. 
He kept exclaiming, 'this is what I've always wanted!!' When it came to this super-cool fireman Lego set, I especially believed every word he said. He's already got it put together like a pro and is such a fan!!
Whitney, Kinsey, and Breilana - Thank you so much for the awesome package filled with the most thoughtful gifts. You guys seriously nailed it..!! Did we already mention that?! Everything was so perfect for Tyson and will be thoroughly enjoyed, I mean it was 'exactly' what he wanted!!
Thank you again!! xoxo
Also, check out all the mommas and their (not so) little ones celebrating special birthdays this summer!!
Ashley and Waverly // Being Brickner
Elizabeth and Mason // Chasin' Mason
Laureen and Tyson // Chateau Deveau
Brittany, Charlie, and Maddie // Just Another Day in Paradise
Desiree and Julia // Macke Monologues
Natasha and Ethan // Schue Love
Sarah and Brantley // Seeing All Sides
Vanessa and Arden // Sunflower State of Mind
Julia and Myles // The Everyday Mama
Traci and Charli // The Hallway Life
Amanda and Lily // Tickled Pink
Laura and Liam // tiny toes, little nose
Whitney and Brielana // Work It Mommy
Big thanks to Elizabeth for organizing this super-fun exchange!!

For more fun, see our previous birthday exchanges:

Weekend Fun: [Independence Day 2016]

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

We had a WONDERFUL long weekend at my parents', doing small town stuff, taking it slow, and running wild; and of course sneaking fresh peas out of my mom's garden.
Here are a lot of little bits that I want to remember from the weekend.
The rainy start to the weekend was calming and refreshing. Plus, the humidity had Homegirl's hair curling up in the back a little bit more than normal so that was adorable.
Tyson was so excited and SO PROUD to shoot along with his Dad and Grandpa.
We had failed attempts at taking pictures, but success in letting it go and just playing on the swing set instead..
 I love this picture because it includes my grandpa's old truck, and the swing set my dad grew up on.
Sparklers and (20+ year old) fireworks my mom found in the garage made for a fun vintage show at dusk. It was perfect and so entertaining to watch the kids watch the sparks fly. Even after burning his arm with the very first sparkler, Tyson loved whipping them around and holding them as a family.
Tys & Homegirl had their first parade experience and besides it being hotter than Hades, it was a hit!! I just love the small town vibe and sharing that with my kids.
We drank from the hose and had water fights. We laughed til we cried and had sore cheeks.
One more attempt at taking pictures. Homegirl hated when the bench would swing, but Tyson loved making the bench swing. (Eye rollllllll.)
Whew, what a weekend!! We also had a little 'ninja turtle' early-birthday party since we won't be able to be with my family on Tyson's birthday. It was simple, low key, and just right. Maybe I'll share some of that someday soon too; you all would be SO impressed with the turtle cake I whipped up at nap time. ;)
We came home late Monday night, with a car full of dirty laundry and snoozing little kids, the Mr. and I watched fireworks all over the horizon as we drove into town, exhausted and not ready to head back to reality.
Family and our freedom are such blessings and something we don't take for granted. 
We are thankful for all those who have and continue to fight for our freedom. 
Happy Independence Day!!

Eight Years: [It all started with a..]

Monday, June 27, 2016

After hearing this song on the radio the other day, it had me thinking about us, and how we all started. Instead of a beer..
It all started with a shot of Southern Comfort, a reference to a 7 Up commercial, and tattoos.
Sounds like a promising start to a relationship for sure, huh?! 
Well, today we are celebrating 8 years of marriage..!!

The Mr. and I both played sports in college (at the same school); we had common friends, common grounds. I knew I wanted to marry an athlete and someone taller than me, so the basketball team was a perfectly vain place to start looking, right?! Well the Mr. caught my attention with his looks, demeanor, and tattoos. His height was certainty acceptable so I asked my BFF and teammate (girlfriend of one of the guys in his group and teammate), about him.

We finally had opportunities to get together - he treated me like a queen and made me laugh..
Eight years later, that's still the case.
This week we'll be celebrating by going to see--at one of the top venues in the nation--the guy who sang the song we danced our first dance to at our wedding and named our daughter after. Pretty ideal way to celebrate if you ask me.

To my Mr., 
Thank you for picking me and thank you for this amazing life!! 
You are my best friend, my support, my love. 
We aren't always perfect, but we're perfect for each other.
Happy Anniversary, honey buns!! xo

Weekend Fun: [Breakfast] + A Giveaway

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

It's no secret, I love my weekends..!! It's so nice to have the mornings together and start slow.
Saturdays are the only mornings we don't have to be up, dressed, and out of the house at a particular time (unless we have something planned), so I like to take that day to make a sit-down breakfast, maybe catch some 'toons, take care of things around the house, and chill out.
We always do eggs and either sausage or bacon - give us all the protein!!
Sometimes I'll get fancy and whip up a batch of pancakes, I love using this super simple recipe (which works great with gluten-free flour) or a fun mix from Trader Joe's. And of course coffee..!! We got a cheapie frother, it works perfectly and makes my morning caffeine seem a little more special.
Homegirl is in a major picky phase but will usually devour any/all meat; she tends to eat a big breakfast, then tapers off throughout the day so we load her up while we can. Occasionally, she'll take extra bites if she has a utensil (plus it's great practice), so I have no problem with letting her stab or scoop as much as she'd like, to help sneak in a few more bites.
Tyson is a pretty good eater and it's obvious when he's growing..!! He loves breakfast, but otherwise will always at least try whatever we are having, even if he thinks he doesn't like it.
I love our time together as a family, around the table, sharing a meal. It's always been a place of fond memories for me - between my love for food/drink and my family, can't go wrong!! I hope to make mealtime a place of fulfillment, in more ways than one, for our kids too. When we are usually up and at 'em and running out of the house every other day, Saturday mornings are an especially sweet way to start my favorite time of the week, together!!
Sometimes we sneak in guilty pleasures, like frozen waffles/pancakes and movies while eating breakfast, I mean it's the freakin' weeken'..!! 
I always offer their fruit last, otherwise I think that would be all they'd play with eat.
We love our new Re-Play Recycled set which adds some fun flair to our meals. The quality design and fun colors are perfect for kids of all ages, plus earth-friendly!! Tyson was especially excited for his new plate with compartments and Homegirl was able to maneuver the silverware perfectly, helping to encourage more bites. I can't wait to add to our collection!!

Disclosure: The green dish set was given to me free of charge, all opinions and lax weekend behavior are my own.

Re-play Recycled has offered a set to one of you!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Happy Hump Day - half way to another wonderful weekend!!

affiliate links may be used

A Correlation Between Raw Meat & Mohawks

Friday, June 17, 2016

In the locker room before a basketball game with our rival school, Coach wrote the numbers of the 5 starters on the board. I'm pretty sure I had to look down and double-check the number on my jersey because I thought mine was one of those written on the board..
I was in 7th grade and this was an 'A team' game, it was time to run with the big guns. I remember Coach recalling the story and saying, 'I've never seen someone's face turn so white so fast! I was afraid you might have just shit your pants.'
As seasons passed and I grew into my own, it was a joke that they'd have 'raw meat' in the locker room, for me, before games. Feed that hunger, build hype, turn on those animal-like instincts.. Naturally I'm a rather quiet, mild-mannered, introvert of a person, however something changed once the shoes got laced up and we'd hit the hardwood..
Dare I say, Tyson has had a little taste of that 'raw meat', in the form of a half-mohawk.
Since the moment the little shaved sides of his head got breezed with fresh air, it has seemed to turn him into a certified bad @$$.
After our hike, we sat in the parking lot of the 'haircut shop', googling pictures of Chuck Liddell. So I guess you could say we asked for it.. We asked our mild-mannered Tyson if he wanted a mohawk; he sat there quietly, slightly grinned as he looked from side to side, and said, 'yes?!'
He came out with the most perfect haircut, a new attitude, and looking even closer to the 4 year old he will soon be. I absolutely LOVE the cut, in fact the Mr. just touched it up again this week to keep the distinct 'hawk-ness. It may bring some extra attitude, but I'm hoping seeing that might pass as we approach and take on his 4th year of life.
(I mean, we can agree 3 year olds are kinda the worst and are a**holes. Bring on #4..!!)
 Watching this kid grow and come into his own is a privilege, entertaining, and challenging.
He's driven and determined. He's passionate and has a strong personality. He's also sweet and sensitive.
 Of course it's not just the 'raw meat' or a new 'do, time and experiences bring about exciting things and I'm happy to be along for another ride - this time with a white board full of daily responsibilities and smiley face magnets and I'm on the coaching staff.. ;)