Thursday, August 28, 2014

Five on Friday

Happy Friday everyone, and a three day weekend ahead at that!  YAY!!  So while I was on my blogging hiatus A. Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm started a link up party called Five on Friday.  I believe the link up is still on a summer break but see other bloggers still participating in the Five on Friday blogpost.  I’m not one to miss a party so here goes…

1.        Mint M&Ms: my go to afternoon snack at work.  Or who am I kidding, breakfast with my coffee too.  So bad, but man they are good.
2.       James popped his first tooth:

 And although he is not fully crawling yet, he's managing to find a way to get where he wants to be.   (Under this chair)

3.       Hunter V has taken to wearing his bookbag when he walks in and out of school.  I’m slightly obsessed with how adorable he looks doing it!
4.      Also obsessing over some Rompers right now and Loft has some adorable ones.   My mom just purchased this one for me and you'll likely see pictures of me in it this weekend via insta!

5.       And lastly….This post is brought to you by the CAR! We are on our way to THE BEACH!!  My sweet family of 4 is in desperate need to get away from it all so we planned an impromptu beach trip at the beginning of this week.  4 Days, Three nights of fun in the sun with my boys.  Not to mention some awesome waterslides that Hunter V is going to LOVE.  We can’t wait. 

Hope you all have a wonderful Labor Day weekend with you and yours as well!

Monday, August 25, 2014

The First Day of Kindergarten

This first day of school doesn’t effect our family yet, hunter is in daycare aka “school”. However, I’ve teared up twice already in the past two days just thinking about having to send him off to kindergarten one day. The thought of him opening his little lunch box at a lunch room table with a bunch of kids he doesn’t know yet gets me every time. I know I need to get myself in check because we are 2 years away from this reality (thank goodness) and he will do a lot of growing in those next two years which hopefully will make me feel confident that he’s ready. BUT I know in two years I still won't be ready.

It’s going to be sad, but then it will be all like just wait until he goes off to college…and then I get to thinking about my parents and now I understand why my mom balled her eyes out the entire car ride home after dropping me off at college, and I turned out okay (Thanks Mom and Dad). So I guess the point is, I’ll be fine, Hunter will be awesome, it will all work out in the end but man it’s going to be sad until it’s the new normal. In the meantime, I’m thinking about all you mom’s out there sending your kiddos off to their first day of Kindergarten. Your in my prayers and don’t forget "good job," and "great listening," and "you're so brave," and "I'm so proud of you,"

Do you all follow Sweet Southern Prep? She’s sending her little girl off to Kindergarten today and posted this article that will absolutely hit home to all you mommies out there.  I’m saving this to read again in two years.

Dear New Kindergarten Mom,

This morning, I bundled my boys into the stroller and went out for one last impromptu morning walk. Max will be starting kindergarten next week, and the days spent hanging out in our jammies and meandering to the nearest park or Starbucks are almost over. My best friend texted me a picture of her own 5-year-old a few minutes later, standing in front of his new elementary school. "How did we get here?!" I texted back. It was yesterday that we were pregnant together. Visiting the fire station with toddlers together. Welcoming second babies together. "How did we get here?!"

Well, Mama, I want you to take a break from packing lunches and tucking pencils into binders. Click out of Pinterest for a minute, and stop reading the list about the Top 10 Lessons You Need To Teach Your Kindergartner. Put down the chalkboard frame that you're making for the perfect first day photo shoot, and listen up. This one is for you.

Kindergarten might be the beginning for our little ones, but it's a graduation of sorts for us.

How did we get here?

We waited and we worried, reading the BabyCenter emails each week that compared our rapidly growing babies to kiwis and oranges. We mourned losses and said goodbyes to the babies who grew in our hearts, but not our bellies. We labored and breathed and screamed and prayed as our littles made their way into our arms. We ate celebration dinners in hospital beds, or put on our best outfits and brightest smiles as a judge declared us a forever family, or opened our hearts to new dreams as we embraced our partners' children.

We cradled impossibly small newborn bottoms in the palms of our hands, cut hospital bracelets from tiny ankles and learned to swaddle little limbs into baby burritos. We winced at each bad latch, and exhaled with each great one. We filled bottles and emptied breasts, measured milliliters into droppers and g-tubes. We pumped and we mixed and we forgot to feed ourselves. We fed our babies with love.

We rocked, we paced, we sang. We woke every three hours, or every three minutes. We shushed and we danced and we dozed. We may have spent more time awake than asleep.

We cut grapes into tiny cubes. We cleaned pasta from the carpet and yogurt from their hair. We made sure that the green veggies weren't touching the orange ones.

We were Batman and Thomas and a dinosaur and a policeman and a princess. We stepped on 47 Legos and built 72 towers and 298 spaceships. We hid in blanket forts and behind closet doors. Sometimes we hid in the bathroom, because it was the only quiet place we could find.

We drove to preschool and playdates. We practiced our goodbyes and perfected our hellos. We caught slippery bodies at swim lessons, and twisted perfect topknots for ballet. We played the tambourine at music class and sang the "Hello, friend" song at Mommy and Me 341 times.

We held chubby little arms and legs tight as the doctor gave each shot. We counted ounces and inches and celebrated each step. We met with speech therapists and occupational therapists and oncologists and radiologists. We elbowed our way down paths that we never thought would rise up to greet us. We fought fear and doubt and guilt. We woke up each day, and put one foot in front of the other.

We yelled at our partners and cried to our mothers and fell into the arms of the friends who became our family. We learned to let other grown-ups love our kids, and struggled to accept a night out or a lasagna or a hug. Or a mimosa.

We worried about TV time and Vitamin D and developmental stages and hearing tests. We celebrated birthdays and did the potty dance and doled out stickers and ultimatums.

We kept going. We got better at it. We surprised ourselves.

We've been exhausted, and fed up, and overwhelmed, and overjoyed. We've cheered for first words and first steps and first date nights in months. We've fallen asleep during Dumbo and memorized Goodnight Moon and Horton Hears A Who.

We've bargained with God over stitches and lab tests and "routine" operations. We've soothed bad dreams and inspired bigger ones.

We've stepped on 4,724 Goldfish crackers and 3,193 Cheerios.

We've kissed scrapes and cheeks and noses. We've bathed squirmy bodies and cut tiny bangs. We've whispered I love yous against giggling bodies. We've hugged and we've helped and we've explained. We've answered 17,000 whys and why nots.

We've made it.

They've made it.

There will be thousands of firsts that follow this one. Our jobs aren't even close to being done. But on this first day, for the hours that stretch between squeezing his little hand goodbye and welcoming him back to the arms that he began in, be gentle with yourself.

In your heart of hearts, you know that he's ready.

But I'm here to tell you that you are, too.

You might think this first day is all about him, friend. But it's also about you.

How did we get here?


You rocked and you fed and you soothed and you worried and you taught and you cuddled and you counted the nap time minutes and added up the ounces and marked the passage of time with pictures and gasps and tears.

So as that brave, crazy kindergarten teacher ushers you out tomorrow and closes the door behind you, be proud.

You did it. We did it.

That classroom of amazing, brilliant, imaginative, loving, self-sufficient (well, sort of), hilarious, unpredictable, completely capable little people? We made them that way. So before you walk away to worry about all of the first days to come and the homework and the life lessons and the setbacks and the TV time and the reward charts... come find me on the playground.

I'll be looking for you.

Let me be the first one to tell you "Good job, Mama. You survived. You watched as your heart grew outside of your body, and then you prepared him to greet the world alone. He is ready, because when they placed him in your arms, you were." For all of the times that we've told them "good job," and "great listening," and "you're so brave," and "I'm so proud of you," not once did we say those things to ourselves. So on that very first day of school, as you take one last look over your shoulder to make sure that your little one is safely tucked into her classroom, and you wipe away the tears as you climb back into your (suddenly very quiet) car, remember this.

You did it. You are so brave. I am so proud of you.

Just look how much you've grown.

Happy graduation, Mama.


A Kindergarten Mom, bawling her eyes out in the car parked next to yours

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Home Tour: Living Room...Help us decide!

Settling and decorating our home is one of the several things that’s kept us busy this past year and half. We did a lot at first with big ticket items like rugs, furniture, paint etc….but then backed off to have James and are now starting to get back into the details. There are empty walls that need to be filled, window treatments that need to be hung, lighting to be changed out and even a few totally empty rooms still. And I should mention it all takes forever to do because I don’t have one of those “whatever you want hunny” husbands. Hunter is OPINIONATED when it comes to his home…everything takes convincing and I have to show him exactly what it’s going to look like before it gets done. The man has zero ability to be able to imagine what something will look like. However, I am grateful he has an opinion because I do think it keeps me from doing things like picking out hot pink guest room bedding and then regretting it months later (true story).

I’m going to start a home tour series…focus on one room or hallway etc at a time and hope it helps me also complete these areas!

First up is the living room, where we spend most of our time! Enjoy the pictures but at the end help us decide on what to put on the bare wall above the couch!

Our original idea was this….
and I still really like this option. Hunter on the other hand wants to do art work. My fear with art is we already have so much going on with the pillows, rug, and wall color it needs to be simple art which is hard to find. I feel like I would want abstract and have been looking along these lines….

What do you all think? Mirror or Art?

Couches: Macys
Coffee Tables: Ballard Designs
Rug: Potterybarn
Wingback chairs and Trunk between them: Potterybarn
Floor Lamps: Potterybarn Outlet
Pillows: Etsy, Target, and Potterybarn
Floor Basket: Serena and Lilly
Decor: Mostly Homegoods

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

James Penn's Baptism Weekend

I have the urge to blog! So you know what... I'm gonna just go with it. Maybe this means I'm back, maybe it doesn't. I have NO idea! Only time (and how much time I have) can tell. But if I can find the time I truly miss what a great outlet it was for me. It helps me process all that is going on in our lives, allows me to look back and count our blessings when life gets crazy. And most importantly helps us keep out of town family in touch with our lives and be able to see the boys grow all too fast.

Where do you pick up when you haven't blogged in over a year? Well, there is no way in heck I can catch everyone up on the past year so how about we start out with last weekend. :)

We baptized James Penn and had lots of family and friends in town to help us celebrate this joyous occasion and baby! Of course, I didnt take any pictures of his cute cupcake cross, or the yummy food we made, or our pretty wedding china we used, I have some work to do if I am going to get back into this blogging thing. I used to take a ton of pictures and just don't anymore...perhaps knowing I want to blog about an event or the kids will force me to pick up the camera a little more often too.

So without further a-do, James's baptism weekend.

Thursday night started out with a rare and I mean RARE mama's night out. After a happy hour with co-workers I had to a besties birthday party. Happy Happy Birthday KV!! xo
Mom and Dad also came into town Thursday night. Friday Mom and I had a nice mother/daughter day shopping while Papa and James held down the fort.
Friday night we went to the club house for all you can eat crab legs.
We live on a golf course and our house is literally right across the street from the club house. We love to go eat outside there and while we wait for food Hunter IV and V work on their golf game over on putting green....
After dinner and the kids we're down we enjoyed drinks on the back deck (this is our pretty status-quo friday/sat night). Love this Mama of mine!

Saturday Dad and Hunter got up and attempted to take Hunter V for a hair-cut. HUGE I mean HUGE fail! Hunter V is PETRAFIED of getting hair cuts so we have been cutting it at home. He's been getting better with allowing us to cut it at home so we thought maybe just MAYBE he might be ready to go back to a barber. Hunter said he stepped one foot into the barber shop and froze. Enough said.
While the boys we're off failing miserably at getting haircuts Mom and I cleaned house and prepped for James's baptism celebration.
Saturday afternoon, Hunter's family hosted us at their condo on Lake Norman, including a nice long boat ride. Little man LOVES to "go ride big-daddy's boat" He also Loves to swim in the lake!
Just seeing Hunter, Papa (my dad), and Big-Daddy (my father-in-law) all interact together with Hunter V really gets you to thinking how blessed my boys are to have such great men in their lives who are true role models and love them so much!
Sunday morning was James's baptism. We woke up, prepped a few things for the party afterwards and headed off to church.

After church we had a little celebration at our house. Everything was beautiful, and huge thanks to all our family and friends who came out to show their love and helped with the party! God is so GOOD!
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