Blog, Family, Holidays, Kids, Mom blog, Mom Life, Motherhood, Parenting, summer, vacation

While in Biloxi

I’ve been MIA for awhile because, well, life has been unusually hectic. Our schedules could be likened to the Twister sequel, so I haven’t had much time to update much of anything. If you follow me on Instagram, you likely know where we vacationed over the weekend. If not, this past Wednesday we decided enough was enough and that we all needed a change of scenery. We didn’t have much room in our budget for a huge vacation, but we still wanted to do something that all of us would enjoy. A beach trip sounded like the ticket and, with that, off to Biloxi we went.

The boys had a blast on the beach and they love “camping out” in hotels. Mason did surprisingly well even though he did battle “travelers tummy”. Luckily, we found a Walmart near our hotel for a remedy and that seemed to fix his tummy woes.

 

 

We hit up some great new-to-us restaurants (Slap Ya Mommas BBQ) and some family favorites (lookin’ at you, Waffle House) and took in the sights over the pier. Evan even found a train & Lego museum just outside of Biloxi in Gulfport and the boys were in love.

 

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After a long but enjoyable couple of days, we headed back home for The Boot. It was a nice, much needed break and the little guys can’t stop asking when we’re going back.

Family vacay for the win!

Hit me up with all of your family adventures below! I’d love to hear from you.

Birthdays, Blog, Family, Gifts, Holidays, Kids, Links, Lists, Mom blog, Mom Life, Motherhood, Parenting

My Favorite Gifts for Kiddos

I’m a mom of three boys — invites to kids’ birthday parties come with the territory. Ditto on my own boys’ parties. There’s not a month that we don’t have at least one shindig to attend, and I’m totally fine with that. I need the socializing as much as my kids do, and what better place to connect with other mom friends than at a place where there’s guiltless cake and probably wine of some sort? (I’m in the south — don’t judge.)

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Because I’ve got three kids with ages ranging from 6 months to 8 years, I’ve definitely got my favorite “go-to” gifts for other kids. I try to stray from trendy items because:

A) Often times, they already have those toys, or

B) I’m not 100% sure what he or she is into.

Look, we all want our kids to enjoy themselves. And it is totally fine for our littles to be drawn to the latest, greatest, & loudest. But coming from a mom whose children are surrounded by loud toy guns, trucks, video games, and Legos (if you think Legos can’t be loud, then clearly you’ve never been around a boy with Legos), sometimes I prefer to give other kids fun activities (with minimal mess) and their moms a much-deserved break from all things battery operated.

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The things I’ve got in store for you today still allow kids to be kids, but it also provides an opportunity for fun family experiences. I hope you find something cool for your little guy or gal’s next birthday party adventure!

  1. Zoo passesgift1
  2. Fun subscription boxes

    *The above boxes are from Kiwi & Co. I am not affiliated with nor am I receiving any sort of compensation from Kiwi & Co.

  3. Movie passes with enough for drink/snack
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    Image found here: https://www.etsy.com/market/movie_ticket
  4. Age appropriate arts & crafts sets.

    *Brit+Co Metal Stamp Necklace Kit

    *Discovery Kids Crane Tower Set

  5. Board games

    *The Oregon Trail

    *Where in the World is Carmen San Diego

    Speak Out: Kids vs. Parents

I also love incorporating books of some sort into my gift, especially for little ones. What are some of your go-to gifts for kids? I’m always game to add to my list of ideas.

Birth, Birthdays, Entertaining, Family, Holidays, Humor, Links, Lists, Mom blog, Mom Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Relatable, Uncategorized, Writing

30.

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Today, I am thirty.

….sooo…. why do I feel no different today than I did yesterday, at 29?

Probably because my kids went to bed squabbling and woke up squabbling.  Thanks for keeping it real, kids.  You da real MVP.

But I digress.  Today isn’t just that huge of a deal for me.  It is what it is.  My best friend made a valid point this morning — 40 will probably be my epic meltdown birthday.  So, there’s that.  Ten additional years to prepare for being a complete basket case.  She also told me to party like a rockstar — little did she know that I woke up laying in puke that wasn’t my own (thanks, Mason!) and to an unwelcome foot down my pants (thanks, Connor!).  So while I’ll likely not party like a rockstar, I certainly woke up like one.  Same difference, right?

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I’m pretty sure my body is just in shock that I’ve made it thirty years through three c-sections, a slew of super-stupid life choices, and a nearly completely pickled liver.  The “dirty thirty” birthday bonanza will probably hit me like a semi-truck later when I’m kicking children out of the bathroom so I can just take a damn shower.  So for now, I’m going to leave you with thirty things about myself that, like ’em or not, have made me who I am today.

  1. I was born May 30th, 1988 at 8:15 AM.  I only know the time because my sweet mother has hammered that into my memory for, oh, thirty years.
  2. I have three siblings (two brothers and a sister), all of whom I am extremely proud of.  No, their accomplishments are not my own.  But they make me proud to be their sister.
  3. I have always rooted for the underdog.  That hasn’t always worked out in my favor.
  4. I am a momma to three beautiful and slightly deranged little boys.  They are my reasons to get up every morning — largely because they wake me up at the buttcrack of dawn every. damn. day.
  5. I love Diet Coke and would drink it by the case if I didn’t think it would kill me on the spot.
  6. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a writer.  …that clearly didn’t pan out.
  7. I also wanted to be a pilot and an interior designer.  I don’t mean to brag, but I chauffeur my kids around like nobody’s business and I can feng shui the hell out of some Legos.
  8. My most favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird.
  9. love murder-mysteries in any form — except for in real life.  Don’t nobody got time for that.
    • Murder, She Wrote is my JAM.
  10. I love to explore and would pack my family up to become adventurers if given the chance.
  11. Ireland is on the top of my “Places to Go” bucketlist.
  12. I talk with my hands.
  13. I’m a hugger (comes with that Southern territory — sorry, not sorry).
  14. Daisies are my favorite flower with tulips following at a close second.
  15. I love all things history, emphasis on Early American and European history.
  16. I am fascinated by the lives of people from the past.  I think I romanticise it all and get it in my head that they lived these super intriguing lives when, in reality, they were probably pretty ordinary for the times.
  17. I romanticise a lot of things, come to think of it.
  18. I was a single mom for two years.  Not a very long time at all by most standards, but it taught me a lot and helped me really appreciate life and, more importantly, my son’s life.  On a more serious note, he truly did save me from myself.
  19. I met my husband through my ex-brother-in-law via Facebook.  Truth be told, I only met Evan to shut Jake up.  Little did I know…
  20. My abhorrent punctuation skills aside, my favorite subject in school was English.
  21. I plan on taking the leap one day and writing a book.  God bless the editor that is assigned to that hot mess!
  22. I am terrified of deep water.
  23. I wish I were a bit bolder.
  24. Sometimes I feel altogether useless as an adult and parent.  But don’t we all?
  25. I really love deep conversations.  I know that’s not a super popular thing these days, so I have to censor myself lest I become a real buzz kill.
  26. My mouth is absolutely horrid.  Seriously, I don’t even realize I swear half the time.  I’m working on it.
  27. One day I hope to explore an old house and find a secret passageway.  That would be the equivalent of finding gold for me.
  28. I have no idea what I’m doing most days.
  29. Writing this list made me realize how little I really know about myself, which is oddly scary.
  30. And finally, I hope to lose minimally thirty pounds by the end of the year.  Not just for myself, but for my kids as well.

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So there you have it.  If you made it through that somewhat redundant list, then bless your heart.  I’m off to celebrate the morning at IHOP with my kiddos, because prying sticky pancake off of my four-year-old is the best thing EVAH.

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A SAHM’s take on her three-ring-circus and the three Converse
 wearing monkeys who live there.

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Education, Holidays, Kids, Mom blog, Mom Life, Motherhood, Parenting, Teacher Appreciation, Uncategorized, Writing

And Chances Are, If You Give a Teacher Some Appreciation…,

…she’ll want some pencils to go with it.  

All too often these days, our educators are ignored, bullied, and passed over.  They are the forgotten link in our kids’ success stories.  To be in such full view, they are certainly kept behind the scenes.  I really, really hate that.

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All my life, I grew up loving school (with a few years exceptions, of course).  All my life, I had amazing teachers.  I also had amazing parents who never blamed my teachers for my own shortcomings, and they never let me not accept my own blame.  My parents, my very first teachers, taught me to love and respect the people who would shape my mind for many years to come.  My aunt, a teacher for many years, unknowingly taught me to admire and listen to those who had lived a life before my own.  As is such, I have the utmost respect for quality education and the fine women (and men!) who provide it to my own little ones.

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As most of you know, Gabe has had some learning struggles along his admittedly short school path. I am glad to say that we’ve had some, for lack of a better term, crappy teachers. I am thankful for them because those women gave me the sight to see what AMAZING teachers he has also been exposed to. Women (and men!) who have fought tooth and nail for my stubborn, hard-learning little guy. They have loved and fussed, held up and nailed down my Gabe in a way that I so appreciate. Their sticktoitiveness and gumption have made more of a difference in Gabe’s life (and that of my own!) than I’m afraid they’ll never fully know.

Connor began his first year of “big boy school” this year.  He has loved everything about this new experience and is so eager to learn.  While he will not face the struggles that our Gabe faces, he will one day fight his own battles.  I am so hopeful that he will have awesome relationships with his teachers in the same way his big brother has been blessed with.  So far he, himself, has gotten to know and love the people who surround him at school, and I am so happy that he will get to spend his days in a learning environment where little guys are not only taught but lifted up, as well.

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I have grown to not only respect these people but also treasure them. They are special people with some of the most enlightened souls I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. In addition to their own very busy, hectic lives, they choose to take on my, what some would call “hard” (hell, what I would sometimes call hard), kiddos with the gusto that I cannot fathom. And not just mine, but countless others. Today, in the world we live in, so many parents place blame where blame is not called for. Our teachers catch the brunt of lazy parenting and, by due course, ill-behaved children. It is unfair, hard work. But they attend to it with grace and their own brand of stubbornness and make their way home with heads, and red pens, held high.

A simple thank you seems insufficient but for now, that is all I have. So thank you, ladies. Thank you so much for reaching out to my boys. Thank you for your time, your patience, your encouragement, and most of all, your care. From the bottom of my heart, I am eternally grateful for all you have done.

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To all you other teachers out there whom we’ve not yet met, apologies and thanks in advance. I am sure we will encounter our fair share of even more mediocre individuals attempting to pass as teachers, but I do so look forward to meeting you nurturers. The soul seekers. The up-lifting, no-nonsense, believe in you-ers. The mind shapers. The EDUCATORS.

Happy Teacher’s Appreciation Week. You are SO needed.

*I originally posted this on my very first blog about a year ago.  You can find it here.

Decor, Entertaining, Family, Gifts, Heirlooms, Holidays, Links, Lists, Mom blog, Mom Life, Mood Boards, Motherhood, Parenting, Uncategorized

Mother’s Day Gift Guide pt. 4

Hey, y’all!  So sorry for the long absence; the past few days have been absolutely crazy.  However, I’m back with our fourth edition of the Mother’s Day Gift Guide.  Today, I’m going to share with you two of my favorite brands from two of my favorite leading ladies: Joanna Gaines & Ree Drummond.  I love these two mommas’ charming personalities and am constantly impressed by their moral compasses — even in the face of their individual fame.

Joanna’s line “Hearth & Hand” (a Target exclusive) is simple yet stunning; her attention to detail is absolutely exquisite.  Ree’s “Pioneer Woman” takes a different approach, but is equally charming and detail oriented.  I have provided two separate boards each complete with links to the products.

What momma wouldn’t love getting some new decor inspiration?!  I know I sure would.  Here’s to finding some beautiful ideas for mom that I just know she’ll enjoy for years to come.

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Joanna Gaines’ “Hearth & Hand”
  1. Stoneware Trays: Set of 2
  2. Stoneware Pedestal Bowl
  3. Covered Cake Stand
  4. Magnolia Table Cookbook
  5. 2-Tier Cake Stand

 

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Ree Drummond’s “Pioneer Woman”
  1. Cookbook Stand
  2. Batter Bowl
  3. Pioneer Woman 2-Quart Pitcher
  4. Pioneer Woman “Food From My Frontier Cookbook”
  5. Jade Cake Stand

 


Previous Posts
Mother’s Day Gift Guide pt. 1
Mother’s Day Gift Guide pt. 2
Mother’s Day Gift Guide pt. 3

Holidays, Links, Lists, Mom blog, Mom Life, Mood Boards, Motherhood, Parenting, Uncategorized

Mother’s Day Gift Guide pt. 3

There are days that us moms feel like dressing up (read: the good leggings and non-stained top) and there are days that we have to shave our legs, put on good jeans, and a nice blouse.  But I would say most of the time, for me anyway, the go-to uniform is a kitschy t-shirt, lightly distressed denim, and trusty Chucks.  I love a cute tee that expresses my mood for the day — whether that mood is light or dark is generally pretty up in the air.  But today, for lightness’ sake, I’ve rounded up a few of my favorites.  You may be thinking, “Who on earth would get their mom a TEE SHIRT for Mother’s Day?!”  Trust me.  If she has toddlers, puking babies, or if she’s recently cleaned a toilet, she’d love the new top (and you!) forever.

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  1. Raising Wild Things tee
  2. Mom of Boys tee
  3. Mom of Girls tee
  4. They Whine I Wine tee
  5. Walk Across Legos tee
  6. Diet Coke Helps tee

Not Pictured
Gabriel Clothing Co. Mom Box
Bonus Mommin’ tee

Family, Gifts, Holidays, Kids, Links, Lists, Mom blog, Mom Life, Mood Boards, Motherhood, Parenting, Women's health

Mother’s Day Gift Guide pt. 2

We’re back for the second part of the Mother’s Day gift guide.  Most moms these days are either into fitness for fitness’ sake or, if they’re like me, are into fitness because: toddlers.  Either way, there are so many great gift options available that encompass fitness and health.  You don’t have to weigh mom down with dumbells and gym memberships in order to meet her interests (although if she’s into that, the what the hell).  Today you can find neat water bottles that infuse natural fruit flavoring, punny tops that motivate, fitness trackers, etc., etc.  I’ve rounded up a few of my personal favorites to show y’all today.  I hope you find something for mom so she can have her cake and eat it too — so to speak.

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  1. Ellie Activewear Subscription Box
  2. Qalo Stackable Silicone Wedding Band
  3. Avocardio Gym Bag
  4. Drink More Water (make more milk) Water Bottle
  5. MisFit Smart Watch ($199.99)

 

Come back tomorrow for more great Mother’s Day goodies!

Previous Posts
Mother’s Day Gift Guide pt. 1