Friday, May 30, 2014

Five on Friday: Random

It's another Friday, so I am linking up with everyone! Lots of randomness going on over here with this post today, so let's just get started shall we? ;)

Tomorrow we are heading north to celebrate my nephews' birthdays.  Sweet Emmett James turned one yesterday and Graham will turn three on Sunday! I am so thankful to have cousins for our boys, thankful for the way my brother and sister-in-law are raising their boys to love Jesus.  My boys are all ready for some Monsters Inc (the theme of the party) fun and cupcakes! 

So I broke down and ordered a tankini.  I seriously am not a believer in living in a one piece or tankini after you have kids.  I totally think you can get your pre-baby body back (I've done and seen others do it too many times to count--many looking even better!) and rock a bikini.  I am also ALL for rocking a bikini while pregnant.  But, we are taking a couple of long weekends with extended family this summer and me strutting in my bikini 8 months pregnant in front of my father in law just doesn't sound like that much fun.  I ordered this looks a little orange but all the reviews said coral.  We'll see. 

Three of my closest girlfriends and I are planning a girls overnight! I met them all  my very first year teaching (taught first with one for four years).  They were all pregnant my first year and I got pregnant with Hudson the next.  Needless to say these past years, we've added babies, done a lot of life and have grown super close, as have our kiddos.  Between the four of us there soon to be 11 littles! So we are planning a trip away, sans kids and husbands! We are looking at a spa that isn't too far but far enough! I am so stinking excited!!

Anyone else do an annual girls trip?

Does anyone else become obsessed with eating outdoors when the weather warms up? I just love it. I swear we eat lunch and snack outside almost every day and lots of dinners too.  I am NOT one to take the food outside; no, no.  Keep the food nice and safe inside away from bugs.  Then move yourself and plate outdoors. Right? That is just how to do it! Plus I love how easy clean up is when my boys are eating outside for the crumbs to fall everywhere but our kitchen floor! :)

My biggest pregnancy craving, shaved ice.  Back home there were a few places to go get shaved ice and oh my, I just love the stuff.  Sadly, no shaved ice in our new town! It is definitely on my list to get some the next time we visit home. Plus I just know the boys would love some too! 

Have a wonderful weekend!! 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Weekend Recap: Memorial Day Weekend

I just love long weekends, don't you? I seriously think I could have Andrew home every day with us and not get sick of it {I think}. I just love family time and this weekend was no different.  It was a busy three days but oh, how I loved them!

Saturday we started early to make the trip to St. Louis.  It is only about two hours away but we weren't sure how hot it would get and we also weren't sure how crowded the zoo would be.  We left our house around 7:00 that morning and let the boys have milk and donuts in the car while they watched Jungle Book. {appropriate given the zoo day, am I right?}

I am really glad we got there early. It wasn't too crowded yet but the workers said it was generally one of their busiest days each year.  

We took our double stroller but the boys were not having it.  They wanted to walk and take it all in.  We did the reptile house and monkey house first.  Beau was so funny. As soon as we walked into the monkey house he started making his little monkey noises! Ha!  We really did see quite a few animals. The only disappointment was the penguins and bear exhibits were closed.  The bears are always my favorite because they are generally really playful and I think the boys would have loved that! We were there almost 4 hours and the boys walked a lot of it.  After the train ride and a snack though, they succumbed to the stroller.  Beau got a look on his face when we were viewing the elephants that said, "I'm done. We can leave anytime."

After the zoo we headed to Forest Park to have a picnic.  I don't love eating out all day long and I hate fast food so I packed a picnic lunch for us instead.  It was a really beautiful day.  Sunny with a breeze, high of 80.  We could not have asked for a more perfect day.  Our boys were fading fast after lunch so Andrew and I decided to head to Springfield.  We needed Benjamin Moore paint and the drive would allow the boys to nap.  We got our paint and went to the mall for awhile.  I could spend hours at the mall but the mall with two little guys is not the mall experience I enjoy if you know what I mean.  ;)

Check out how tired Beau was!

We had an early dinner before heading home. I don't think this mama really took into account all the walking (5 hours) and driving (5 hours total) that we were going to do.  Needless to say I was wiped.  As were our kids. They were in rare, but hilarious, form at dinner.

Sunday had been set aside to begin to tackle our outdoor project.  I mentioned on Friday that we were going to be finishing up the sprucing up of our outdoors.  The boys and I played outside and we got to work.  Our plans were delayed a tad due to the 30% chance of rain that turned into 100%. {Sorry, Andrew} About nap time though the rain stopped and I got to work priming the shutters.  My mom got to come over for a visit so the boys woke up to Gammy being there, which they loved! We spent the rest of the day playing outside and painting.  Andrew was going to grill but the thought of some burgers and ice cream sounded much more appealing so my healthy dinner went out the window and we walked to the Burger Joint in town.  When you are outvoted, you are outvoted.

Monday was a gorgeous day.  It was much more humid and sunny than Sunday so the boys got sunscreen immediately, even though it was early in the day.  I got water guns and buckets and their water table ready.  They were so funny squirting us all.  Hudson "washed" his car {cozy coupe}, bike and all our cars too! Beau was content to dump cups of water everywhere! After three hours outside, we hot, tired and hungry! My mom and I grabbed Subway and we all packed up and went to the lake for a picnic.  {We love picnics and eating outdoors.  I love the fact that my kitchen doesn't have to be cleaned up!} After our picnic, I gave our boys a bath. Yes, a mid-day bath, they were THAT filthy and sweaty from playing outside that morning!!

I got some things done around the house during nap and Andrew finished up our outdoor project.  I was just going to head out to take a picture when it started to POUR!!! We spend the rest of our weekend indoors playing and movie watching.

It was a pretty perfect weekend.  And, this morning, it was another gorgeous day so I popped out to take some photos! What do you think??

Here's before {again}:

And after:

Here are some close ups of the deets ;)

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend with your loved ones, celebrating those who sacrifice so much!

Friday, May 23, 2014

Five on Friday

Did this week just fly by?? Seriously! We have a busy little day planned to get ready for all the fun we are doing this weekend! Linking up again with Darci, April, Christina, and Natasha for Five on Friday! Love this linky party! Always so fun and I find so many new blogs. :)

Happy Memorial Day! I love the start of summer and our weekend is filled with fun with boys and some fun projects around our house but I always hope I remember the true reason for this holiday.  I have always respected the military, their families and the sacrifice but this past year even more so after getting to know personally so many military wives whose husbands are/have been deployed this year.  They hold a special place in my heart for sure.

Tomorrow we are taking the boys to the zoo in St. Louis.  The weather is supposed to be perfect.  And Hudson and Beau are obsessed with our small hometown zoo so I know they are going to be really excited to see even larger animals.  We have been talking about our little trip all week, even making a countdown chart for Hudson. {Sometimes we mamas can only hear the same question so many times :) }

We have been sprucing up the outside of our home the past couple of weeks.  While the boys and I were visiting friends, Andrew we did the very front flower bed area.  The boys and I went and got flowers for the window boxes and pots on our porch earlier in the week.  Now we are FINALLY painting the front door and shutters.  Andrew is now a believer that it needs done.  And since I systematically chose coordinating flower colors that would make the new door/shutters pop, he is totally getting my vision.  I wrote about the color ideas I had way back here.  And here is a little before teaser. I am hoping these changes make others love our house so when we are ready to sell, they are ready to BUY! HA!

I am planning on getting maternity/family pictures done before the baby arrives.  I have been terrible about getting the boys pictures  but my go to photog friend had triplets so has been pretty busy! I am trying to decide when to get these done.  I am due the third week in end of July? Beginning of August? How close to your due date did you schedule maternity pictures? I love lifestyle and candid.  These are sweet..

And, let's just wrap this up with a bump update, shall we?
25 weeks

How far along: I will be 27 weeks this week! Almost third trimester, what!?

Gender: Boy (#3)

Weight Gain: 15 pounds

Maternity clothes: I am still wearing basically all my regular clothes.  A few maxi skirts I have are maternity. I am sure I will need some more as my belly grows these last months!

Movement: ALL the time! Super busy little guy but more so in the evening post after-dinner walk.

Sleep: I am still sleeping just fine. I still sleep on my side.  I just have really weird dreams! Ha!

Miss Anything: My flat tummy! Ha! I am starting to feel HUGE!

Cravings: Ice Cream...but I have been resisting! I think it is more me than the baby!

Labor Signs: None

Wedding Rings: On!

Looking forward to: Getting more things ready for the baby.  This summer will be so busy so I am sure we need to prep a little more. Oh how things change by the time the third baby comes along! ;)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Midweek Randomness

Good morning! This week is just flying by! But this pregnant mama isn't necessarily complaining.  I love that we are filling our weeks and weekends with so many fun things.  I love how quick this pregnancy is going b-u-t I also know that this *might* be our last one and I feel so unprepared for this little guy.  Or maybe just three boys in general.

We have been playing outside A LOT this week. The boys love being outside and the weather has been perfect.  I am ready for this summer-like weather to stay.  Give me the sunshine and heat.  {I will probably be over the heat as it leaves this nice stage and goes into the miserable stage that seems to last most of summer, but I'm being hopeful}

My boys are showing me a sneak peak into our future, I think.  I always joke with Andrew that we will have to get a second mortgage as we raise three boys just to feed them.  Well this week, my boys have been ravenous.  I am sure it is because of the weather and all the play we are doing.  But seriously, during snack and lunch, my house is SILENT! They are so focused on their food they do not make a peep.  It is eerily quiet.  I find it hilarious!

This weekend we are going to the zoo and Hudson can not wait.  We are making a little day trip to St. Louis and we haven't been to the zoo there since before Hudson was one.  Every morning at breakfast we discuss the animals he thinks he will see.  We even had to make a countdown chart because the asking of when we are going every two minutes was getting a *little* much! ;)

Beau has been saying so much more lately {FINALLY}. It is usually prompted but he is repeating and it actually sounds the words more than his old habit of just grunting or squawking at us.  Unprompted- we have, "yes, no, mama, dada, please, ball, uh-oh" Love hearing his sweet voice and watching his expressions as he learns to communicate with words!

And obviously, I haven't been doing a very good job at taking photos.  But I DO have a reason.  I have been trying to put my phone down a lot more when playing with boys.  I want to be present.  I want engage with them and experience it all WITH them.  This sometimes means lack of photos {which I HATE} but it also means lots of memories in my heart.

Hope you are having a great week! :)

Monday, May 19, 2014

I need thee...

Happy Monday!  This weekend was a whirlwind as all our weekends seem to be of late. On Friday we headed back home to Decatur since Saturday would be so busy.  My brother-in-law was graduating from the electrical program he had been going through and there were events all day on Saturday surrounding that.  By Saturday night I was zonked!!

Since the events didn't end until late in the evening, we stayed Saturday night as well which meant that we could be go to our home church Sunday morning for service. Andrew and I have attended this church together for almost 10 years but I had been attending with my family for closer to 15.  It definitely feels good to visit and worship there.

This particular Sunday we had a guest come and sing with our worship team.  Y'all she was amazing.  The worship team, band and choir at our church are outstanding.  I love to feel the presence of God fill the room as we praise Him but yesterday I felt that even more.  It is so humbling.

During communion, our guest and two others sang a popular song by Selah, "I Need Thee Every Hour (Part the Waters Lord).

As I listened, focusing my attention on Christ, the words of this song became so very powerful to me.

It is so easy for me to call on Christ as I need Him.  As I see fit.  When my days seem chaotic; when the boys are being challenging; when my friends or family have requests; when my world seems to have problems too big.  But every hour? Do I live my life as though I need Him every hour?

Honestly, I don't.  But I do need Him.  Even without my acknowledgment, I need Him; desperately.  Isn't it easy to put God in a box and only call on Him when we see fit?  I am so guilty of this.

During the song, I could feel God challenging me to make Him part of EVERY part of my day.   "In joy or pain."  So that is my new focus.  I'm praying as I do that I can see some changes in myself, my relationship with Him and just my overall being throughout the day.

If you aren't seeking Him throughout your day, I challenge you to make Him a bigger part.  He deserves all of us.

Friday, May 16, 2014

Five on Friday!

Happy Friday! I feel like this week has flown by which I don't really know why because around here this week has been pretty low key! It is always the weekends that are jam packed and this weekend is more of the same! I decided to do a quick link up because I love linky parties and finding other blogs to read {in my spare time, HA!} so here we go...

This weather has a pregnant lady going INSANE! I did not show at all during the cold months. I fit into my clothes quite nicely so had begun to buy a few maternity things for spring/summer {more summer}.  Wouldn't you know we went from a high 80* day on Monday with our air blasting, to mid 60s, and today, well today I want to turn on the heat.  This makes choosing an outfit for ANYTHING a bit of a dilemma.  I also hate detest am not a fan of maternity clothes, probably because I feel like I look like a tent in most of them.  If anyone has some wonderful places and outfit ideas to get me through the rest of spring and summer- please, please- send them my way!

I am still keeping up with cooking.  I typically cook every night and this was the first week that I wanted to scrap every meal and order in! But I resisted.  I am sure there will be more of that growing feeling as our due date approaches and especially after the little man arrives but I am still trying to eat as healthy as possible.  This week I tried a new dish.  I was a total fan!

T H R E E 
I have been obsessed with painting my nails lately! I love bright colors in the summer.  I am not really a bright pink or red girl except on my toes.  I just don't feel like it looks great on me.  But orangey-reds, blues, and other odd fun girls totally take my heart.  Here are some colors I am dying over right now. 

Huge congrats to my brother-in-law, Aaron, {who will probably never read this!} but he is graduating this weekend from electrician school.  He has put in so much hard work these past years all while raising our two sweet nieces and being a pretty incredible husband and uncle! I know his family will be excited for no more long days of work then class! 

Summer reads?? I love to read and I especially love reading during summer time.  I feel like we are in the car going on trips or if I can lay in the sun during naps.  {Idyllic thinking?} Anywho, I need some summer reads to add to my list.  I just finished the Divergent series. Behind? I know! I love fun.  I love fiction but a good historical nonfiction or biography peaks my interest too.  Some of my favorite authors are Karen Kingsbury, Emily Giffin, Nicholas Sparks.  Oh, I also love parenting books! I loved Parenting Beyond your Capacity, Giving them Grace, What a Difference a Mom Makes. What are you reading this summer?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thankful for sick days

I had another post planned for today but as luck would have it, life happened.  And in the midst of that life, these thoughts overwhelmed me.

Let me back up.  Today's agenda was quite clear.  I needed to clean the house.  The boys and I had been back in Decatur a lot the last couple of weeks (and our family is going to Decatur again this weekend to celebrate Uncle Aaron's graduation) so our house needed a good, deep clean.  Andrew had done his best at keeping it picked up, but we all know the difference between picked up and clean, right? *Ahem*

So I woke up and got in gear. However, when the boys woke up, Hudson was a little off.  He is our morning person.  He practically bounces out of bed and sings his good morning to you.  This morning, not the case.  He looked a little meek and said his throat hurt.  Well, what can you do for a sore throat? Not a whole lot. And with the weather going from summer to winter to spring this week, I just chalked it up to weather changes and told him to take it easy.

After I cleaned up breakfast and got us dressed, I made a list for Wal-Mart.  We needed a few household items and cleaning supplies so just a quick trip but Hudson kept making whining noises.  This exhausts me  tries my patience.  I ask him, "Do you think you are going to get sick?" **Sidenote- Hudson is our puker. When he doesn't feel well, especially with a sore throat, we usually get vomit. He assured me he was fine.

Our Wal-Mart trip took about 15 minutes.  That's right, folks. Be impressed. In our small town, it is just a regular ole Wal-Mart, not the super kind with groceries and given that it was still early in the day, it was not busy at all. So we are on our merry way, with Hudson still whining, and me continuing to ask the puke question.  I assure him he will be alright, let's just get home and then he can rest.

We make it home and are in the house and of course, it's been an hour, and this pregnant mama has drank about half a gallon of water already, so is scurrying to the bathroom after putting Hudson in bed.

Are you there with me yet? Do you see where this day is going? Not even washing my hands yet and Hudson is bursting through the door in tears and I just know.  It is coming and there is nothing I can do to stop it.  My poor guy get sick all over the bathroom.  And then starts really crying. Which makes Beau cry.  And I am just trying to wash my hands so I can handle this mess and not join him in throwing up.

I'll spare you the details, but Hudson also had gotten sick before making it to the bathroom.  In his bed.  You know, the one with the clean sheets from this morning's chore?

Now, let me be honest.  Normally these situations overwhelm me a little bit.  I don't really know why except that I am really OCD, hate sick kiddos because I feel helpless, but hate puke even more.  But today, no feeling of being overwhelmed.  I calmed Beau and Hudson, got everything cleaned up and re-sheeted the bed.  Then Hudson laid down and fell asleep.  As Beau and I were cleaning (read: I was cleaning, Beau was running between my feet so it was more a game of how long before the pregnant lady tumbles) I kept thinking, "Thank you God."

Wait- what? Really?

Yes.  Because I was home.  Last year whenever one of the boys would get sick, it was a scramble to decide who should stay home, who's schedule was less demanding that day.  Or if the sitter would call, trying to get sub plans ready hurriedly so I could be out the door. {And any teacher knows that sub plans are almost a punishment so you go to work even when you are not sure you can make just to avoid having to write them.}  Not today.  Today I could be there to calm my kids down.  I got to clean up his mess and dry his tears.  No worrying or rushing.

God reminded me today of how great His plans are for us.  He reminded me of the way He proves His love me over and over, through honoring the desire's of my heart but pointing out ways to be thankful I wouldn't have recognized a year ago.

So yes, I am thankful for the sick days.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mom's Day

Happy Mother's Day!!

I am unwinding from my day with family.  It was such a sweet, simple day.  But first, let me back up to last night when I celebrated with MY mama!!  For that time was sweet too and also offered me a reminder that I so desperately needed.

As a grown up daughter, I don't always know what to get my mom on holidays or for special occasions.  One thing I have realized is I miss spending time together.  We still get together now but growing up we would go do things together just the two of us. As our lives have evolved and I have become a busy mom myself, it is harder to sometimes find time to do things together that are just our own without the littles.

I had been hearing about the movie Mom's Night Out and I knew that a night at the movies would be a fun treat for us both.  And a treat it was.  If you are a mom, GO SEE THIS MOVIE!! If your children are grown, you will recall the days of having little ones.  And if you have little ones, you will relate to the chaos of life the main character experiences in the day to day.

There were so many parts of that movie that resonated deep within me.  My mom and I both had tears at times.

I blog to document our family, our lives, and so my children will look back and have these detailed memories and photos all in one place.  But I also blog to connect to other mommies.  To read about their lives, their joys and their struggles.  But one thing I rarely BLOG about is my struggles as a mom. One of the scenes of the movie showed the mom talking with her husband about how she dreamed of a life as a wife and mother and how having that dream now she felt unhappy.  And y'all-- I have felt that way.

I grew up with that exact dream in mind.  Knowing that desire was placed in my heart by the God who created me.  It was the one desire I was most certain of and that never waivered.  But motherhood is hard.  And messy.  And it can be lonely.

That movie reminded me to that God created me and blessed me with these boys as my own because He choose me to be their mama.  Knowing all my shortcomings; knowing all the ways I would fail (daily); knowing exactly who I was, He choose ME!  That is quite a statement.  He deemed me enough, not in my own strength, but in HIS.

With that thought on my mind and expanding in my heart, I woke up this morning even more grateful to hold the title mom.  I came down the stairs (we are at my parents') and was greeted from Hudson with a smile and a "Happy birthday, Mama!" and a big cheesy grin from Beau.

My boys know me so well, running to give me a new workout bag filled with bright workout gear.
They greeted me after church with handmade finger-print flowers on paper printed with a poem.  Neither wanted to sit with Dad so the three of us were squeezed into one side of the booth at lunch (which Beau screamed through).  We played at the park and took their Gammy to get frozen yogurt. And throughout the day, I was reminded that though this day is a bit of a Hallmark holiday, these boys were the best gift I have received.

I hope you other mothers were blessed on your special day.  But more that that, I hope that you are filled with the knowledge and peace that you are enough.  That God is equipping you every day for all the challenges of motherhood that you are going to face.  Every stage, every phase, every mess, every tantrum.

I also can't end this post without acknowledging all the women out there whose arms are aching to hold their own baby.  Although I don't know the heartache of having to wait, I do know the pain of loss.  I can imagine that this day is hard and painful.  Feel my heartfelt prayers for you.