Monday, August 31, 2015

Weekend Recap

Happy Monday! Our day today was jam-packed with Gabe's one year well baby visit, the grocery store, soccer and my fitness class. Luckily I had dinner in the crock pot of it is the week of our sweet cleaning lady to visit! After our busy weekend, I am ready for a fresh house!

Friday morning we had Hudson's preschool orientation. It was an hour long where he and I got to see his room, meet his teacher and classmates, and go through some fun activities. He is so excited for preschool and I think he is going to have a great year!

We spent the rest of our morning running errands; going to the store, the post office and taking Lexi to the groomer. By the time we got done with all of that it was time for lunch and naps! While the boys napped, I caught up on some work and housework.

Naps ended all too soon and we picked up our girl from the groomers. Andrew left early afternoon to head to our good friend's bachelor party so it was a night with just me and the boys! We baked brownies, went on a long walk, and decided on a pizza picnic and movie night together! The boys chose "Home". I love listening to the big two laugh at funny parts. I think it is so fun to watch them understand humor.

After the boys went to bed, I took a long shower, did my nails and read in bed. It was a pretty perfect night!

The boys and I woke up and had breakfast and readied for the day. I got all their things ready and took them to my parents' for a play-date/sleepover.  I love that my boys' love spending time with my parents. I also love that my parents are always willing to keep all three boys, even for an overnight. I know three little guys can be a lot of work but they always  handle it like champs.  And it was just my mom this weekend. So she really had your hands full.

Thankfully my mom sends lots of sweet updates so I don't have a chance to miss them too much. :)

The day was chilly for August in Illinois and quite overcast but the plan was an afternoon of boating and that is what we did.  All the ladies met up and drove to the marina.  It was a fun afternoon on the lake.

Heading out

Super sweet swag bags. 

Most of the girls

After the lake we drove back to the hotel and got ready for the night. We chowed on pizza and showered the lovely bachelorette with some lovely goodies to get her all ready for married life!

Before going out. Loved the cute tanks (and that it was a comfy, low key attire, night)!

Then we went out for the night. It was fun to hang out with some great girls, many who I hand't seen in a long time!

Sunday morning I got home pretty early and cleaned up around the house. Always in mom mode! But my mom took the boys with her to church so I had some time to kill. Since it was quiet and the house was clean, I turned on the TV and found Step Up had just started. You better believe I sat myself down with a bowl of cereal and enjoyed that little flick. I love that movie!

I headed to my parents' where the boys and I stayed for lunch, played some and then headed home for naps. Andrew got home shortly after that and we spent the rest of Sunday playing and hanging out together.

It was a pretty great weekend but I can say that I love when our whole family is together. It makes it hard to be a part.

Hope you all had a great weekend too!

Friday, August 28, 2015

Friday Favorites- An {exciting} list

Oh happy day! It is Friday!

I am especially excited about this weekend because it is one of my dearest friend's bachelorette party this weekend! {Wahoo}

Can I just be honest about a few things?
1. I have only attended a handful of bachelorette parties in my life.
2. The last being while pregnant with our firstborn.
3. None of which have come after a week where two days were spent with sick kiddos (and by sick I mean pukey.)

Her oh-so-cute sister, and MOH, planned the whole thing and I can not wait for a whole lot of spoiling of the bride-to-be to ensue!

Besides the weekend, other things that have me excited...

{O N E} 
Hudson is starting 4 year old preschool up right after Labor Day. We are in the district he will actually attend for preschool this year so I am really excited to meet lots of other moms and kiddos that he will be doing the school thing with for years to come!

I know how hard teachers work and will always appreciate what they do! I like to send a little something their way the first day to let them know how much they mean to us as they care for our littles and help them grow into brighter kids! 

I took this cute idea and adapted it a little. I put the "C" essentials in a tumbler instead of a mason jar. I seriously can never have enough tumblers, especially when I taught! 

{T W O}
Do you feel that change in the air?? Fall is coming and I couldn't be more excited! My pinboard has been growing by the day. If I could live in a season of clothes I would always and forever choose fall. Layers, boots, scarves, plaid, vests, texture. It is all just too much! Some of the looks I am coveting right now are (and by coveting I mean sitting in my virtual shopping bag waiting on me to checkout):

Not this exact one and I should have shown the back but I love a good layered look. 

I love a good button down. 
Add a vest. 
Throw a sweater over it. 
Wear it open or buttoned.
A scarf. Can one ever have enough? 
The correct answer is no. For our friendship, the answer is no.

{T H R E E}
Speaking of fall fashion, my Fit For Fall Fashion Accountability Group is kicking off soon and I am really excited to get started with the ladies that have already made the commitment. I think we can get so wrapped up in being fit for summer that we forget that our bodies need proper nourishment and activity all year long.  It really is a lifestyle to be lived out!

Interested? There are still a few spots left!

{F O U R}
My friend got me started on essential oils.  I had heard all the chatter for awhile and have been on the fence but her love of her oils and just her knowledge base pushed me over the edge. I got my oil starter kit in last week and have since already placed another order for other oils I want to add to our stash. I can tell this may become an addiction.

{F I V E}
This is one I need some help with...
The excitement part--one of my good friends is getting married at the end of September! It is a going to be such a blast to watch him say I do and share in he and his fiance's special day. It is at a vineyard and will be such a beautiful day. They are both so laid back and in love I couldn't imagine a more perfect pair!

The help part...
I can NOT find a dress! I haven't come across anything I like. So--suggestions? Have you seen a fabulous dress that would be great for an outdoor wedding at a vineyard? End of September here in the Midwest?? Send your suggestions my way! I would be forever grateful (and stylish)!

That is it for me! Hope you have a fabulous weekend! I will be posting up a recap of our shenanigans from the weekend, I'm sure. And did I mention my husband is off to a bachelor party this weekend too (for said friend who get's married at the end of September?) What are we even going to do with ourselves??? :) 

Linking up

Andrea and the gang

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Favorite Summer Reads

I love books! Reading has always been something I have enjoyed. I could literally devour a book in a day. I hate putting a book down and will often trade sleep to keep reading. 

Sadly, between motherhood, running my own business, teaching group fitness and just all life has in this season, I don't get to read as much as I like.  In the summer months however, I seem to be able to get more reading done. Whether that is because of time spent in the car traveling to weekends away or vacation, time out in the sun where I can read (and watch my kids play) or just a more lax schedule, I read books like it is no one's business. 

This summer was no different. I got to read several books and had some that I really loved and others that left me a bit disappointed. 

In case you are looking for some good reads to add to your list, here are my favorites; in no particular order. 

1. Nobody's Cuter Than You by Melanie Shankle 

Last summer I got hooked on Melanie's first two books. When I saw she had a new book out, I immediately added it to my Kindle and got to reading. The style of her writing; the way she can tell a story so you feel like you know the people involved and were actually there; the friendship she creates with her readers through pen and page, all reasons I love reading her books. 

This book about friendships had me in stitches from laughing so hard and then in deep reflection over my own friendships, both past and present. 

Nobody's Cuter Than You is one I will read again and one I am picking up for some of my besties!

2. The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty 

Liane Moriarty was an author who I'd never read before this summer. I read two of her books and enjoyed both. Her character development was wonderful. The twists and turns in this story, and the next on my list, were ones I appreciated. Sometimes when reading, we can call the plot twists from just chapters in.  Not with this book. The story took it's time to develop but also never drug on. I love suspenseful books and this one didn't disappoint. 

3. What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

Another great read! Completely different. I was so enthralled with the concept of this book and Alice's situation I couldn't put it down. 

4. You're Made For a God- Sized Dream by Holly Gerth

One of the aspects I love most about my job is the emphasis put on personal development. To continue to grow and learn and strive to be your best possible self is not something that we all naturally do on our own. Often, after schooling, we stop seeking ways to improve in our lives. Not just in what we do professionally but also as people. I try to read at least 10 minutes each day in whatever personal development book I am in at the time. This summer, I picked up the book named above and I LOVED it. I felt like the book was written to me, for me!

If you have ever had a dream placed in your heart but doubted yourself, the dream, if it is God's will, how to attain it--pick up this book.  One aspect of the book I probably loved most was that the dream itself wasn't what made it God-sized.  That not everyone is called to cross the ocean and be a missionary.  Sometimes being called to motherhood is the God-sized dream placed in our heart. 

Seriously--pick this one up! 

I am going to try to attempt keeping up my reading throughout the remainder of the year.  My goal is three books a month. One personal development, one parenting or devotional sort of book, and one for fun!

What did you read this summer? What are some must reads? 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Gabe turns ONE!

It happened. Saturday our sweet baby turned one. The first birthday is always really hard for me. I reflect on how fast the first year goes. I feel as though the stage of being a baby is over. All things baby seem to end (in our house): bottles, pacis. They seem to sprint into those next stages of learning and grow up over night.

Typically, the first birthday was eased because we were planning our next member of our family. But this time, although the door isn't closed on another baby, Andrew and I are both shelving adding to our family right now. We love being a family of five and the stages of our boys so want to focus on that for the time being. Which made Gabe turning one, just a little bit harder.

Friday night I snuck into his room to take a photo of him on the last night as a baby. He looked so big and sweet. I walked out of the room with tear-blurred eyes.

We had planned to have an outdoor party. Being that it is August in the Midwest, my husband was immediately concerned that the weather would be sweltering as it typically is in August.  Luckily, and surprisingly, the weather has been beautiful. Sunny skies, cool, mild temperatures, and less than average humidity.  The day called for clear skies and the same beautiful weather. 

We choose a carnival theme for Gabe's first birthday. It was whimsy and fun, bright colors. It was one of my favorite parties to plan. 

We rented a bounce house for the bigger kids and had a face painter come. There were also a couple of carnival-esque games; a giant ring toss and bucket toss. 

I wanted the food to match the theme. I also wanted to serve foods that people could walk around and eat while they watch their kids play and converse easily. We did corn dogs, giant pretzels, fruit cones, veggie cups, popcorn and peanuts.  I served cupcakes for dessert too. 

We kept the decorations simple. The backdrop for the food table, balloons, a carnival sign, tissue poofs above the cupcake table. Really simple and easy but the bright colors were eye-catching. I also drew up a little stat and fact sign about Gabe and his first year favorites. 

I loved sharing this day with some of our closest friends and family! The kids all played so well. Their sweet faces were so cute painted. Our face painter was a doll and did faces, their arms, legs; seriously whatever.  They looked so cute. 

Hud and his sweet friend

Gabe was such a great sport. He is the most lovable, easy going baby. He rolls with it all. which makes him perfect to be the third guy in our line-up, since our family seems to be on the go often with all of our schedules. He was loved on by everyone, passed around from arms to arms. 

Not sure if it was all the excitement, or if he takes after his daddy who also doesn't like to be sang to, he wasn't a fan of being sung too!

Is that not the sweetest sad face though??

Singing?? Not a fan. The cupcake? HUGE FAN! He scarfed the entire thing down. Icing in his nose style scarfing!

Although the weather called for clear skies and no rain, it was overcast the entire afternoon leading up to the party. With about half an hour left to go, the skies opened up!! So we moved inside to open presents.  Gabe had no interest after about five minutes but my sweet niece, Paisley, was all about helping! She was a hoot!! Loved hearing her commentary as we opened gifts! Gabe did love playing with all his toys as they came out, however!

It was such a sweet time celebrating our Gabers. I can't believe the day has come and gone. 

Here is to another year as a family of five!