Seven

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Seven years. Three homes. Three sons. Two dogs. Changing jobs. Sickness. Vacations. Countless memories and hundreds of moments of grace and love. It’s passion and love and family and community. It’s a covenant. It’s a commitment.

Happy anniversary to my best friend and partner in life and parenting. I love you, Todd!

Friday Favorites

I’m joining Andrea, Erika, and Narci for Friday Favorites today. Here are some of the things I’m loving!

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I’ve been a little obsessed with Noonday Collection for the past year. To be honest, I never thought it was really my style because I don’t wear a ton of jewelry with color and I really just like big earrings. But then I attended a trunk show hosted by one of my favorite friends and found so many things that I loved! I’ve gotten a couple of emails asking about these earrings, so I thought I’d share the details here. These three pairs of earrings are in constant rotation and I am just obsessed.

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Empress Earrings

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Moondrop Earrings

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Octagon Hoop Earrings

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And I have my eye on these¬†Ivory Drop Earrings… hint hint!

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I got an email last week from a reader named Andrea and she wanted to introduce herself and tell me a little about her blog. And I am so glad she did! Her blog, 127 Things – Life Lessons Left With Love, is one of the sweetest things I’ve ever seen. Andrea’s mom passed away from cancer 9 years ago, and¬†before she did, she gave Andrea a journal. The journal is titled “127 Things I Want My Daughter to Know.” So, after a few years, Andrea decided to share her most prized possession and her mother’s wisdom through her blog. Each blog posts touches on one of the 127 things and how it impacts Andrea’s life as a mom, wife and teacher. Grab your tissues!

As a mom and as the daughter of a mom who is so courageously battling cancer, I just adore this blog.

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Yesterday, the brand new Influence Network site launched. Y’all… it’s fantastic! It’s so easy to navigate. You can easily find the forums, where to sign up for classes, a directory of the other women in the network who are so excited to meet you! There’s never been a better time to join the Influence Network because there’s a huge, incredible FREE event for all members on May 14. The Creative Women’s Summit features incredible women like Lara Casey, Lysa Terkeurst, Lindsay Sherbondy, Hayley Morgan and Jess Connolly. They’re sharing their experiences, their faith, their wisdom and all members can watch for free right from their homes. So… pop over there and check it out.

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James Walker has started giving us some sweet little smiles. But, the other day, Hayes asked to hold him and this is the face he made. If he could talk, I think he’d be saying, “You let this guy hold me?”

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Happy Friday, friends! I hope you all have a great weekend!

from two to three

Hey there! So I’m trying to find a little rhythm in my days so I can have my own little routine. Some days that works and some days it just doesn’t. This morning I’ve gotten a lot done, but I’m still in pajamas and just decided that half of my to-do list probably wasn’t going to get done. But sitting down to write is good for my soul. Whether I sit down and write on this blog like I’ve done for over seven years (whoa!), or if I just write in my journal.

But things here are good. They’re different, but they’re good.

I have had a few people ask me about what it’s like to go from two to three kiddos, so I wanted to share my experience… so far. Remember that I’m only five weeks into being a mom of three, so I’m hardly an expert and I hardly know anything about what I’m in for.

James Walker is a great baby. He sleeps great for naps and he is sleeping great at night- only waking up once at night now. And he’s just a sweet little squishy love.

Hudson is almost 6 and Hayes is almost 4. I think their ages have a huge impact on what our experience is like with three kids.

Another big thing to remember is that my mom was here for three full weeks after James Walker arrived. And she was here for almost two weeks before he arrived because I was carrying around an 11 pound baby and my hips felt like they were breaking. (Thank you, KK! You saved us!)

I had heard from a few friends that going from two to three kids would be a game-changer. It would overwhelm me and just be about the hardest thing ever. So I was kind of prepared for the worst.

My experience going from one to two kids really did rock my world. If you read my blog back when Hayes was a baby, you probably remember many posts about being overwhelmed and tired and feeling like a failure. It was hard! I really struggled with knowing how to raise a 23-month-old and an infant. Two extremely needy children that I loved desperately and equally. But we did survive. Of course we did!

My experience so far going from two to three is completely different. Hudson and Hayes are at school in the mornings, so I have three full hours to bond with James Walker, take a shower, fold laundry or catch up on sleep. Hudson and Hayes aren’t all that needy. They can do a lot for themselves.

So, all in all, it’s been a good experience so far. Watching them all together is my favorite thing in the world. And the moments that James Walker is napping and I can sit and play with the big boys or read to them are so much more special to me right now because my hands are so often full with James Walker. I think it does make me appreciate all of them for who they are and what they need.

I do need to share this story, though. A few nights ago, Todd was gone during bath time and bedtime, and I was doing bed and bath by myself. Todd usually bathes the big boys, and since the baby was born, he has been putting them to bed by himself while I bathe, feed, and put James Walker to bed.

So I was on my own. I bathed the big boys, got them dressed for bed, and decided to let them stay up and watch TV until I finished up with James Walker.

They loved coming in to see James Walker getting his bath and they thought it was so funny that he uses this tiny bath tub. They were in and out of the bathroom about fifteen times before I finished up with James Walker’s bath. They were getting extremely loud and wound up, too. I asked them to just go sit and watch TV and I’d be finished in just a minute.

I finished up with James Walker’s bath, wrapped him up and came out of the bathroom to see Hudson sitting and watching TV, but couldn’t see Hayes. Hudson said he didn’t know where Hayes was. And then I heard the doorbell. It was ringing over and over and over again.

So I bolted downstairs while holding James Walker, and there was Hayes. Standing on the front porch ringing the doorbell. He was just in the bathroom less than three minutes before that! But he’d just unlocked the front door and walked out to chill on the front porch because ringing the doorbell is so funny.

I about had a heart attack. I told him all about why he can’t ever do that again. And then I sent Todd a text about how we needed special hotel locks for all of our doors because Hayes thinks it’s hilarious to walk outside and scare me to death.

So we’re definitely outnumbered. But this transition has been pretty smooth so far and this family of five thing is pretty fantastic.

(Let’s revisit this topic when James Walker is 1 and mobile and trying to learn about obedience.)

 

Easter 2015

With a newborn this year, I wasn’t really sure how our Easter celebrations would go. Last Easter, Todd and I said we wanted to host an Easter egg hunt for the kids in our Sunday school class on the grounds at his office. It’s a huge space and it’s beautiful and perfect for an Easter egg hunt.

We did the hunt on Palm Sunday because everyone usually has family commitments on Easter Sunday. We kept it simple and did it pot luck style. Everyone pitched in and we had chicken and tons of delicious sides and desserts and ate picnic style outside. It was a little chilly that day, but all the kids had the best time!

All the families brought about 50 eggs filled with candy and then the men hid them before lunch. There were TONS of eggs and the kids found them all. At one point, I had to remind Hayes to pick up eggs because he was just running with his basket and following the bigger kids.

I love this picture of all the kids before we yelled “go.”

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My parents came back into town to celebrate Easter with us. They don’t like missing holidays with the kids. We’re fortunate that Todd’s parents live here and can celebrate holidays with us, too.

A few weeks ago, my mom and I were flipping through the new Southern Living magazine and we saw this recipe for a beautiful coconut cake. I don’t even like coconut! I don’t mind the smell or the flavor, but I can’t stand the texture of coconut shavings. So I’ve just never eaten coconut things. But this cake looked amazing because it used toasted coconut flakes!

My mom was determined to make that cake, and it was a true labor of love. With all the steps and waiting for it to cool, it took all day! And after Easter lunch, we had the reward and it was amazing. Seriously, make this cake– even if you don’t like coconut!

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When my brother and I were growing up we always dyed Easter eggs the day before Easter. I can remember pretty much every time we ever did it. We even did it when we were in high school. I’ve done it with the kids, but this year I thought we’d just skip it. Hudson and Hayes hadn’t asked about it and I really just didn’t feel like doing it. But my parents really wanted to do it, and wanted to uphold that tradition and make that memory with the kids.

There were some moments of sheer terror as Hayes splashed the dye repeatedly, but no white shirts or furniture were harmed and they had a lot of fun! And, yes, my dad and the boys have on the same t-shirt. We got those t-shirts in Orange Beach, Alabama last summer and when the boys saw that their Poppie was wearing his shirt on Saturday, they both wanted to put theirs on, too. (There is a Golden Retriever on the back.)

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On Easter morning, I was up early feeding James Walker and the boys got up early to discover that the Easter bunny visited our house and he hid eggs in the yard! That crazy bunny– or crazy daddy!

There was a little bit of dog poop on the sidewalk that someone forgot to pick up, and we told the boys to be careful not to step in it. But we didn’t say it was dog poop, so Hayes kept saying, “That Easter bunny pooped on our sidewalk!!” He was pretty upset about it. We got a good laugh out of it.

(We wear Christmas jammies in our house year-round.)

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We rounded up our crew and went to church. It was a great Sunday at church as we celebrated the resurrection of our Savior. I love the excitement of Easter Sunday at church, but I honestly feel the same way on Easter that I do every Sunday. Just so full of gratitude for the sacrifice and the hope and freedom that we have as a result of knowing and having a relationship with Jesus Christ.

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After church, we all came back home and had lunch with my parents and Todd’s parents and grandmother. Then we played a rousing game of BINGO. It was a great day! I’m so thankful for the three little boys in that picture. I can’t believe there are three of them!

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