Monday, November 30, 2015

A Quick Reminder {Bits of Cheer Link Up}

Hi, ladies! We are not quite ready to be done with our holiday break yet, so no post today. Just a quick reminder to be sure to visit the blog tomorrow and participate in our holiday link up, "Bits of Cheer" with me, Amy and Alisha. We'd love to see any little bit of holiday goodness that you have to share - be it home decor, gift ideas, sweet moments with your kiddos,  a snap of your tree covered in twinkling lights...anything!

See you tomorrow!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving! {2015}

Wishing you all a very happy and blessed Thanksgiving, from our family to yours!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Thankful {Thanksgiving Week 2015}

Free Thanksgiving Printable | Psalm 107:1 | Hearts & Sharts

We are off! Off on a holiday adventure as a family, and a much needed mini vacation with some sweet friends. We can't wait to share our trip with you all when we get back, but until then, you can be sure I will be sharing photos of our trip via Instagram.

Since I won't be back in this space until after the holiday, I thought I'd go ahead and share a few things that I thankful for this year. There are so very many blessings I could list, but these are my greatest treasures for which I thank the Lord every day, but particularly at Thanksgiving.

|| My Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. So thankful for the redeeming love of the Father. My life would look a lot different without that.

|| My husband. My love. My rock. My partner in crime. My baby daddy. My provider. My supporter. My number one fan. So thankful for the never-ending patience and love that this man shows me.

|| My son. The joy in our home. The roaring, giggling, grinning little wild man who brings so much happiness and life into our lives.

|| My daughter. The sweetest little cuddle bug, whose endless capacity for love and being loved on makes my heart swell. She's the little light of our lives. 

|| Family. So thankful for loving, supportive family on both sides. Family that loves to love on us and our children, and are always there for us.

|| Friends. Friends who call and check in. Friends who care. Friends who remember. Friends who are there when you don't even know you need them.

|| A warm, safe home and food on the table.

|| Opportunity. Endlessly thankful that both B and I are able to pursue the things that we love and are passionate about. And that I get to pursue mine while also being at home with our children.

|| The United States. I don't say it enough. But proud to be an American. And oh, so thankful.

Monday, November 23, 2015

5 on Fri...Errr, Monday {And a New Link Up!}

Hi, ladies! Happy Monday:)

It's been a little quiet here on the ol' blog for the past few days. Things have been a bit crazy around here, as B was in Los Angeles since last Wednesday. The kids and I picked him up at the airport last night, and my goodness, are we glad to have him home. It was not easy being apart from Daddy for that long. The kids and I actually spent the last few days at my parent's house, so we were able to get some good quality time in with both Mimi and Poppy and my sister and her husband. Thanks to them, we weren't feeling too bereft without B. Since I missed the Friday links ups, I thought I'd share a few things that have been going on lately.

1| An Annual Holiday Link Up
That's right! The link up that Amy and I have hosted for the past couple of years is back this year! And this year, it's going to be even better because sweet Alisha will be joining in the fun:) We will be hosting this link up every Tuesday in the month of December, so plan to join us starting next Tuesday, December 1st! You are welcome to share any little thing that makes you happy around the holidays - anything that brings you a "bit of cheer." It could be holiday decor, it could be a gift guide, it could be a sweet moment with your kiddo(s). We know you've all got some cheer to share, so be sure to stop by one of our blogs next week to link up and join in.

2| "THEE" Boots of the Year
I know you've all seen these boots - you know, the ones that every fashion blogger and their mother are wearing right now. I won't lie. I love them. I've mentioned them before. But that price just ain't gonna fly in this house. So, I did what every savvy shopper does, and found some lookalikes. And I think they are a pretty good substitute.  And, at about 1/18th of the price, how could you go wrong? I love them in this grey shade. I needed a black pair, and they were out of my size in this stretch option, so I snagged this over-the-knee pair. I'll let you know what I think about them when they arrive, but this grey option may be making it's way into my cart very, very soon at that price!

Apparently, I am having boot issues right now. Because, despite having more boots than I probably need, I keep finding ones that I love right now. Guess the boot game is on point this year. I mean, look at this gorgeous pair! Loving them in the chesnut shade, which is the perfect gold-cognac. This does not bode well for our monthly budget. 

3| P&M Holiday Hours & Family Plans
Those of you that follow me on Pearl & Monroe may have noticed that the boutique has closed up for the holiday week. I thought I'd re-state that over here just to be sure! We will be open again on Black Friday (with some amazing deals, I might add!) And if you placed an order after Wednesday of last week, it has already shipped or will be shipping out today. 

As far as family plans go, well, we have a super fun family trip planned tomorrow with some dear friends of ours. We will be heading off on a Polar Express adventure with our kids and I can't wait to get back and share it all with you after Thanksgiving! We will be back in time to celebrate the holiday with family on Thursday, so the next few days are looking to be super fun:) After a hard couple of weeks, with B gone every other night and then out of town for several days, you can bet we are looking forward to soaking up some fun time together as a family.

4| A Smocked Deal!
I posted this on IG, but thought I would share it over here as well. Our sweet little Viv is just so, so tiny. She barely fits into 6 month clothing, and is nowhere near 9 month clothes yet....which means that all of her Christmas stuff is just too big. I will be keeping a lot of it, in hopes that she will be able to wear it next year and just wear dresses as tunics, etc. But certain styles just can't be worn at a later point, and this sweet dress is one of them. It's from Smocked Auctions (and is still available on their website - it comes out to over $40 with shipping). It's new with tags and size 9 months. I am asking $30 plus $3 shipping. I loved it so much, I actually re-purchased it in size 6 months, so Vivi will still get to wear this style (unfortunately, Smocked Auctions does not do returns or exchanges). Let me know if you are interested or know anyone who might be! I can ship it today if so:)

5| Scenes from Our Weekend
Waiting on flu shots. Sissy always wants to be within viewing distance of her brother. 
 At Caleb's pre-school Thanksgiving feast last week
This girl's going to be crawling any minute now
 On our way to Mimi and Poppy's house! Sitting in stopped traffic
Vivi getting loved on by her Mimi
Waking up to this lil bit of sunshine every day isn't terrible;)
Sissy watched the kiddos so I could get the locks back to blonde-blonde

 Girlfriend's learning to love IKEA
 And so is her brother
 Can you tell how tiny our peanut is in the context of a picture like this?

 Ivory, gold and tulle. The stuff dream's are made of.
 Wandering the mall with Poppy
 Vivian getting her first experience with Pottery Barn at Christmas

 Dinner with Uncle Chris and Aunt Nay-Nay (the table game was a hit, if you can't tell)
 My little man loving on me before church yesterday!

Wishing you all the happiest of Mondays!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Letter to My Son {30 Months}

My sweet, sweet boy:

As of Monday, November 16th, you are 30 months - or two and a half years - old. Mommy hasn't been doing monthly updates on you for over a year now. But I do want to remember some of the wonderful things about you, because you, my dear, are pretty stinkin' amazing. I was sitting in front of my computer last night, watching pictures flash up in front of me, and noticed some of you that were from exactly one year ago. You popped up on my screen, wearing a pair of footed Christmas jammies. And looking a whole lot smaller than you do now, with rounder cheeks, chubbier hands, and a much more baby-faced grin than the one you are currently sporting. It hurt my heart to see how much littler you were just one short year ago. I like to think there's still a hint of that baby in your sweet face at times, but I only get a glimpse of that once in a while now, and I know it won't be long before even those flashes of the baby that I once snuggled on and held and are completely gone.

I took some of pictures of you yesterday in hopes of catching a few good shots to include in this letter-style post. It occurred to me that I should have brushed and styled your hair, or put on a cuter outfit or something. But then I realized that this letter is real life. A real glimpse of you, my sweet baby, at 2 and a half years old, and I want it to be a true representation. I'm glad that these photos caught your wild hair (just like your Daddy's), and your clothing covered in stickers (which you were so proud of), and dirt (that Mommy will likely never get cleaned out of those jeans). I love that you are wearing your little blue rainboots in these photos, because those are your very favorite shoes - rain or shine. I love that these photos capture the blur of movement that is constant around you. Always moving, always full of joy. And I love that the first picture above captures your impish grin. Perfect? No. Real life? Yes.

My precious boy, you have grown and changed so very, very much in just the last couple of months. You are so tall and heavy. You weigh over thirty pounds now, and are in 3T shirts and pants, and size toddler 10 shoes. You are wearing size 5 diapers and size 2T underwear (though that is a story for another day - you aren't ready for the potty, and you've made that very clear). You are having full conversations now, and saying absolutely everything. You are a little sponge, and soak up every little thing. We have to be very careful what we say and do these days, because you are definitely watching and repeating. Lately, you have even been surprising me with some of the things that you say and do. The other day, I told you we were not having candy until after dinner, and you held up your little hands toward me and said, "Okay, okay, okay" - almost as if you were exasperated with me. It was too funny. You also randomly bust out the word, cool, and have made me laugh a few times by using that in unexpected ways. I asked you to walk to the mailbox with me one day, and you said, "Cooooo" and went running to the door. And the other night, your Daddy and I were dying laughing when, after dinner out a Mexican restaurant, you were sitting in your car seat, hugging the balloon they gave you in the restaurant and saying, "I luh yooo, bawoon." 

You're getting better and better at following instructions. Daddy asked you to clean up a whole box of your sister's toys (that you'd strewn across the floor) the other day before you two left in the car to take Ellie to Pop's house. You ran over and starting tossing the toys back in the box, saying "hoowy, hoowy" (hurry, hurry) the whole time. You were genuinelly worried that Daddy would leave without you and it was just the cutest thing ever. You have the very best manners, and are always saying "Please" and "Thank you" lately. Which sound like "Peas" and "Thank yoooooo" when you say it. It makes my heart swell when I hear you saying these things. You also tell mommy and daddy that you love us on the daily now, and I could hear that all. day. long and NEVER tire of it. Your tiny little "I luh yooooo" just melts me. You've even started mimicking Mommy and will sometimes say, "I luh yooo more, Mommy!" to me. And it kills me.

You live life to the fullest, my sweet boy, that's for sure. You love to race around the house and outside in the yard. You love to stomp your feet and jump around. You love to interact with your favorite tv shows, and jump and dance like they do. You have one default volume setting and it is LOUD. You laugh loudly. You roar around the house. You talk loudly. You even mumble loudly in your sleep. The constant loudness can be frustrating - especially at 5:45 in the morning or when your sister is sleeping - but it's a quirk in your personality that fits you perfectly, and I love your quirky self. You wake up in the morning requesting "popteats" (Pop-Tarts) and milk. You hate having long sleeves pushed up on your arms - even just to wash your hands  - and vests creep you out. I guess because they don't have arms? You love Paw Patrol and can name each dog on the show and tell us what color vehicle they drive. You also love Toy Story and are always requesting "Buzz and Woowy (Woody)". You went through a Frozen phase a couple of weeks ago and were always asking to watch "Chozen" but that seems to have worn off a bit, and you are actually back to loving Mickey Mouse again now. We have watched the "Mickey's Twice Upon a Christmas" movie on Netflix and you loved it.

You are learning a lot sweet boy. You know all kinds of animals and the sounds that they make. You can count to four or five now, and when asked how old you are, you know to say two (but still have trouble only holding up two fingers to show people). You know lots of colors and shapes, and love your flashcards we have at home to practice this. And you are an old pro at parts of the body, and can identify where any body part is on yourself and on others. 

You love to play with friends, and are always asking for certain ones - you have three friends whom you play with on a weekly basis who are your favorites. You like going to school every week and to play dates at toddler gym. You also like playing outside with our next door neighbor, and keep a lookout for her whenever we go outside. You absolutely love playing outside whenever you can, and are always in a better mood when you get a chance to be outdoors. You play very nicely with friends, and are usually very good about sharing. Playing with sissy is a different story. For some reason, you are not into sharing with her, and instead are always taking toys from her and trying to roughhouse. Still working on that;)

Caleb, I could write so much more.  I could fill up a book with all of the amazing things your Daddy and I think about you, and all of the wonderful things you've done lately. Your sweet joy and effervescence is such a blessing in our home. Any time you are ever gone for more than an hour or two, I find myself missing your cheerful exuberance and lively spirit. You've brightened up my life more than I could have ever imagined - and I never knew life could be any brighter until I had you! 

As much as Daddy and I love you, I hope that you will always know that there is someone who loves you even more than we do. My sweet boy, I pray this over you (and should pray it even more than I do), but I hope with all my heart that you will know the love of Jesus in your life and will have a relationship with him.  We are so very thankful for the blessing of you in our lives, and can't wait to watch you continue to grow and do!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Help Me Choose! {Holiday Cards with Minted}

Alright, ladies. It's officially the most wonderful time of the year. I can't wait to see our home bedecked with an array of amazing cards featuring the smiling faces of the ones we hold so dear. It's one of my very favorite parts of the holiday season. On that note, our own family photos should be arriving today, and I am itching to see them. We've had a couple of sneak peeks, and I can't wait to see the rest....

In the meantime, I've decided to narrow down my Christmas card options so that when that perfect picture pops out at me, I will know just which card design to pair it with. This year, our Christmas cards will be coming from Minted. I've seen other bloggers work with Minted in the past, but have never ordered from them myself. That's about to change. As soon as I saw all the gorgeous options that Minted has to offer, I knew our card would be coming from them this year. 

Now, here's where you all come in: I need your help! I'd like you to help me decide which card to use this year. Yes, you! Partly because I am indecisive. And partly because there are so many amazing options to choose from. How do I pick just one? I'm hoping that you guys can help me narrow it down to three options, and then I will pick from there. Sound good? Okay, here's the ones that have really caught my eye:

Christmas Star Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards
Classic Script Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards
Classic Charm Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards
Cremini Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards
Fancy Christmas Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards
More Joy Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards
Winter Brush Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards
Modern Rustic Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards

Splash Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards

Classic Stripes and Swashes Foil-Pressed Holiday Cards

As you can see, gold foil will be making an appearance on whichever card we choose this year. There's nothing more merry than a bit of sparkle, am I right? And right now, all foil-pressed cards are 20% off right now at Minted. This is the perfect time to snag your cards if you're looking to choose a card with the beautiful foil-pressed template. 

Aside from gorgeous foil-printed designs, Minted is also offering several other new and different options this year. Photo letterpress cards are now available, as are 100% custom cards using handmade drawings by your children. My kiddos are too small to create anything for me to use on a card this year, but how fun and meaningful would that option be? Love this example of a card drawn by sweet "Lucy" for her family:)

Merry Scriptmas Completely Custom Cards

Another reason I've decided to choose my card from Minted's vast array of options? Their free recipient addressing! Fellow busy mamas, can I get a collective, "Hallelujah, Amen!" Such a time saver! In the past, I enjoyed hand addressing each card - looping and swirling each letter of each name and address carefully. Now, I have night sweats just thinking about all of the things that could go wrong while attempting to hand write a hundred or more names and addresses on cards. Spilled drinks. Spit up. Misplaced cards. The list is endless. So, free recipient addressing? Yes, please.

So, I've shared my favorites. Now it's your turn. Help me narrow it down! Leave a comment below with the number of the card (or cards) that you like the most, and I will narrow it down based on your comments. And once we pick our card, I will be sure to share the winning option:)

And if you're on the hunt for Christmas cards this year, and haven't already popped over to look at what Minted has to offer, be sure to do that now!

*Our family is generously being provided our Christmas cards by Minted this year, but all thoughts and opinions of the products and company are solely mine!

Monday, November 16, 2015

Things That Bother Me.

I wanna cry and yelling at some! Then eat and laugh until I cry then yell at someone again. But all I try to say is MEH!!!:

I'm in a bad mood. B has been on q-2 call (meaning he has been gone every other day for over 24 hours) for the last week and a half. It's frustrating. And exhausting. And once again, I have had it up to 'here' with residency. Even my IG has been a little quiet lately, because I'v been lacking the inspiration and motivation needed to snap some daily shots. I try to be a really positive person, but you know what? Sometimes, you just need to rant. And today is that day. So, today, I'm letting the bad mood take control and talking about things that bug me. #reallife

Here we go...

Residency. Update to come, but suffice it to say that I'm annoyed.

When I call someone, only to get a text a minute later that says, "Sorry, can't talk. What's up?" No. Just no. If you can't talk, then don't text me.

Jello. Gross.

These boots. Which cost $798. Which every "big name" blogger has. And which I secretly think are so stinkin' cute. But nope. Nope. Nopity-nope on that price. Cray.

The word peek being spelled peak. I've probably done it myself, but I've seen it done so much lately, I've started noticing it more and more and it's become a pet peeve.

Duck face selfies. 'Nuff said.

Going into a store and feeling like I am inconveniencing the employees who work there by, gasp, buying something. Or worse, by asking for help. In some places, I swear, you feel like you've got to negotiate a peace treaty just to buy a freaking shirt. Ridic.

Non-stop toddler whining. I think it might be comparable to Chinese water torture.

Being the model for my own clothing at Pearl & Monroe. I never considered that I would have to model so much of my own clothing, and gals, as you've probably noticed, I am not a model - and would never profess to be. I mean, what do I do with my hands? With my face? With that odd strand of hair that always sticks out? Or the angle of my legs that always looks awkward in photos? Guess I need to start enlisting friends!

When people say one thing, and then do the exact opposite. Ugh.

Putting something in my online cart, only to get to checkout and be unable to buy it because it's sold out. Really? You couldn't have told me that before I got all excited an added it to my cart thinking it was available? #firstworldproblem

Political strife. Can't we all just get along?

Being given a fruit bowl instead of grilled nuggets. Which happened on Saturday night after running through the CFA drive through for dinner. And which was not realized until I got home. Fruit for dinner sucked. Total fail.

Dum Dum suckers. Caleb got a million for Halloween. They're terrible.

And finally...the leg posts on social media (IG). You know. The "I was just sitting here on my white duvet, with my book placed a perfect two inches from my unsipped-on coffee, and my legs at the most unnatural angle ever. Oh, and wearing shoes, because everyone wears shoes in bed, right?" L. to. the. O. to. the. L.


I know this post was a bit uncharacteristic for me, but we all have "those" days, right? I'll be back tomorrow with a post that's a lot more merry and bright - and gold foil stamped:)