Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Memorial Day Weekending

We had a lovely long weekend celebrating Memorial Day and remembering why it is we celebrate: to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice serving our great nation. 

We had an extra long weekend {and are admittedly still on weekend time with Brandon taking today off -- all the praise hands!} and other than poor Knox being diagnosed with an ear infection at the children's urgent care on Saturday, we had a great weekend together. Thankfully the little guy is on the up-and-up now, but an ear infection + teething just makes for a pitiful little boy. 

Here's a bit of what we were up to: 

+ Friday afternoon pool dates at my in-law's with the boys {complete with a picnic on the deck} while Brandon was en route home from his business trip.

+ The boys enjoying spending some time with Brandon at our local high school outdoor complex: running the track, pushing a big tire around for exercise and running the bases of the softball field. 

+ Some Saturday morning yard work: laying new sod and putting some new weather stripping on our front door. 

+ While I did approximately 234 loads of laundry with this little sidekick pulling up to watch the clothes tumble around in the dryer. 

+ A trip to the children's urgent care, where sweet Knox was diagnosed with an ear infection and the beginnings of an upper respiratory infection; antibiotics to the rescue! 

+ And while we were doctoring it up, my other two boys were enjoying our neighborhood pool's opening day. 

+ Sunday brought with it a big rainstorm, and that, coupled with a sick baby, made for the perfect day to stay home and cuddle and let the antibiotics kick in. We did venture out for lunch at Mooyah, where I found my new favorite burger ever: the veggie ice burger -- a black bean veggie patty with Swiss cheese, sliced avocado, tomato and onion, wrapped in a big ol' piece of Iceberg lettuce. So delicious! 

+ And after the rain surely comes the sunshine; we enjoyed watching this beautiful Texas sunset on Sunday evening after all the nasty rain we had during the day. 

+ Monday we celebrated Memorial Day and of course, couldn't let the day pass without remembering why it is we truly celebrate. We are so thankful for the many men and women who lost their lives serving our great nation. We are forever indebted to them. 

We spent the day at my in-law's pool letting the boys swim {and being careful to not let Knox's little ears get wet}; and then enjoying a fun time at my in-law's annual Memorial Day party. 

Hat; Sunglasses; Earrings 

+ Today we're running lots of errands while Brandon is home...one of which is dropping my car off at the body shop since someone decided to hit my car in the parking lot at Target and drive off without leaving a note -- or just waiting for me. Sigh. Thankful for uninsured motorist coverage on our car insurance, but man, it sure is a pain to have to deal with. But, we're making lemonade out of lemons; Walker thinks Mommy is getting a brand new car {ha, the sedan rental!} and we'll be zipping around in a smaller car this week. ;) 

I hope y'all had a fun, safe, enjoyable weekend. We truly are the land of the free because of the brave! 

Linking up with Biana 

Friday, May 26, 2017


Happy Friday, and Happy Memorial Day Weekend! I am beyond thankful for those many who have lost their lives serving our great nation. We truly are the land of the free because of the brave. 

My husband comes home today from a week-long business trip and we are all so, so excited to see him! He's been gone since Sunday evening and I know two little boys {and me, of course!} who are going to welcome him home with open arms. It's been a really full month of him traveling: a week-long trip the last week of April, in which he got home Friday and left again Monday, May 1 for a quick two-day trip; then a trade show the next week; and then his trip this week. Whew! He's taking Tuesday off to just be HOME and we're thrilled for that; an extra-long weekend? Yes, please! 

But in all seriousness, I'm beyond thankful for this man and how well he shepherds and leads our family. We are so blessed to have him in our lives! 

On a not-so-sappy note, Netflix is releasing the latest season of "House of Cards" on Tuesday and I am ridiculously excited! I love me some Frank Underwood, but I was a little disappointed in seasons 3-4. So I'm hoping Season 5 is going to live up to the hype. Does anyone else watch? 

Did you catch Wednesday's post about what's in my beach bag? If you missed it, read it here

I saw April had on this cute top recently and when she blogged that it was from Old Navy, I had to go scoop it up! It's so cute! {And cheap!} And let's be real, if I'm not in yoga pants and a T-shirt, I'm wearing jeans and a cute tee that can be dressed up for when I need to go out and dressed down for when I get home and throw on my yoga pants. ;) 

If you know me well, you know that I love anything and everything British: TV shows, documentaries, history, candy... 

Perhaps it's because I studied abroad in London in college, or perhaps I'm just a history nerd or perhaps I grew up with Prince William's pictures on my wall and dreamed he'd one day break royal precedent and marry an American {me -- ha!}. But either way, it totally intrigues me. Which is why I was just loving reading all about Pippa Middleton's wedding last weekend! 

Her dress was so gorgeous: 

And I loved this picture of her sister {you know, just the Duchess of Cambridge ;) } "shushing" the bridesmaids and page boys before the ceremony. {Kate's dress was so pretty, too!} 

Annnnnd, when I saw this picture on Instagram, I about died. See, even princesses get frustrated with their kids! Ha! 

I'll be back on Tuesday with a long weekend wrap-up. Have a wonderful, safe Memorial Day weekend! 

Linking up with: AprilAmanda, Andrea and Katie 

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Thoughts for Thursday: Coffee Talk

If we were sitting down at a table having coffee together this morning, there would be a lot on my heart to share with you. A few things we would talk about: 

\\ Walker's last day of school was last Thursday, and let's just say I'm missing it already. ;) In all seriousness, he had a great school year. We loved his teachers, he learned a ton and he enjoyed going so much. I mentioned it two weeks ago, but he will be going three days a week in the fall and I think it will be good for all of us. He's also going to a one-day-a-week summer camp there in the month of July, which he's already asking me tons of questions about, including, about three times a day, "Mama, when is camp?"

\\ He's been calling me "Mama" a lot lately, which, with his little Texan accent sounds a lot like, "Mooooom-muh," and I just want to bottle that sweet voice saying that right up. 

\\ Speaking of Walker, his sleep has gotten much better. It was a definite regression, and we still have some one-off nights that he either has a hard time going down, wakes up in the middle of the night crying, or wakes up at the crack of dawn {or sometimes, all of the above, yawn}, but for the most part, it has really gotten better. The incentivized sticker chart and the lack of screen time {I totally hid the iPad and he hasn't been on it in almost three weeks} has played a huge factor, I personally feel. Thank y'all for your sweet comments on my post two weeks ago, however. Y'all made this tired, struggling mama feel like she was doing something right! 

\\ This day last year, I had a three-day-old baby. A THREE-DAY-OLD BABY. While those days seem so long ago in some ways, they feel like just yesterday, too. Because Knox was so tiny last summer -- and because we live on the face of the sun in summer here in Texas -- we were holed up inside a lot. This summer, I plan to slather sunscreen on my babies and be at the pool, splash pad and just enjoying summer this year! Knox is definitely my water baby and practically dive bombs out of my arms to try to touch any and all water: fountains, pools, splash pads, the water coming out of the faucets...

\\ Speaking of summer, Brandon gets off work at 11 a.m. on Fridays from Memorial Day to Labor Day and I am SO RIDICULOUSLY EXCITED for that. Reinforcements + a longer weekend + more time to take a road trip if we want to? Yes, please! 

\\ Brandon and I are due for a date night, y'all. I mean, sometimes he comes home and I feel so awful for not even greeting him and instead just practically handing him a child and barking instructions at him on how to best help me. This stage of life we're in is just hard sometimes, and I hate admitting that it's not all "Leave it to Beaver" up in here when he gets home from work daily. June Cleaver I am not. It's Memorial Day Weekend and I'm thinking about calling the babysitter to come over Saturday night. I totally took date nights for granted before I had children. 

\\ Our pastor said something at the conclusion of his sermon last week that really stuck with me and I've been replaying it over and over in my head: "The reality is, there is nothing more exhausting in all of life than trying to get from others what others can never give you. Much of the bitterness in our heart is caused by someone not meeting our expectations. Let me just tell you something: every person will disappoint you. Even a mother. Every father, every friend, every brother and sister. You will constantly be disappointed if you have placed all of your hope and all of your desires in a person. If you haven't found the freedom of being fully accepted and loved by Christ, you will never be able to be like Christ in His unity." I mean, mic drop, right?! My husband always tells me, "You expect too much of people and it's going to disappoint you." He doesn't mean it ugly, he just knows me and knows I do expect a lot from certain people, only to find me disappointed because I didn't get from them what I expected them to give. So when our pastor said this, I just started crying right there in church because that's me. I do struggle daily with allowing the Lord to rule and reign in every single aspect of my life; I'm trying to learn to let go, but am definitely a work in progress. So for that, I'm thankful for His grace. 

Thank y'all for "listening" to me today! 

Linking up with Annie and Natalie

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: What's in My Beach Bag {Kids Edition}

We are entering that beloved season in which my beach bag practically stays packed in my closet until early September, save for the towels and swimsuits I wash and replace and the snacks and drinks I refill daily. And I love every minute of it. 

Thankfully we live in a state where we can be in the pool, at the splash pad or running through the sprinklers from about May-September; sometimes even earlier or later depending on what the weather decides to do. And while I know I'll be complaining about the 100*+ days by about early July, it is nice to be able to put our swimsuits to good use for these months. 

So here's what I keep in my beach bag for my kids during the glorious summer months: 

What about you? What are must-haves for your kiddos in your beach bag? 

Linking up with Jessi and Jenn 

Monday, May 22, 2017

Weekending: Knox is Officially ONE! {Plus, Giveaway Winner!}

It's a Happy Monday in this house today, because we are celebrating our precious Knox's official first birthday today! At 8:37 a.m., William Knox Whitacre will be O-N-E. That was probably the fastest year of my entire life, and I am thrilled to celebrate this sweet, feisty, funny, precious boy always, but especially today. Happy Birthday, Knox! We love you to the moon and back! 

Find all the details from Knox's 1st birthday party here!

I'm also excited to announce that the winner of my giveaway with Megan Made Designs is Emily from Three Boys and a Girl Blog! Congratulations, Emily! Megan will be sending you your shirt soon. :)

As far as our weekend went, here's a bit of what we were up to: 


+ We had the laziest of all lazy days around here. The weather was so iffy and just perfect for staying at home in our jammies, cleaning and doing laundry. And because my kids were so crazy on Friday, I went out ALONE when Brandon got home to get a pedicure and eat by myself. Seriously, it's the little things, and this mama came home so relaxed, refreshed and totally enjoyed 1.5 hours of alone time. :) 


+ Yet another icky, rainy morning, so we packed up and headed over to have a quick lunch at Rosa's before trying out the massive, new Nebraska Furniture Mart. {Seriously, it's gigantic.} The highlights for Walker included riding the escalator approximately 603 times and sitting in front of the massive TVs in the electronics department. But seriously, Brandon and I decided that, when we're ready to shop for our new home in 1.5-ish years, we'll be leaving the kids with a babysitter and spending a day in this place. It's great! 

My shirt is from HomeGrown

+ The sun finally decided to peek out and we quickly threw on swimsuits and headed to my in-law's pool to swim! It was Knox's first swim of the season and quite perhaps the cutest thing I have witnessed from him! He is most definitely my water baby and just loved splashing in the water and riding around in the baby float. We even made a little evening of it and had a picnic lunch on their patio with sandwiches, watermelon and pretzels, and the boys just ate it up...literally! 

Knox: Sun hat, swim top and swim trunks from Old Navy {no longer available}
Walker: Sun hat, swim top and trunks are from Snips & Snails, Puddle Jumper 


My bathing suit is from Victoria's Secret {no longer being sold} and sunglasses are here


+ We went to church, where I sported my new Laura Cox Designs earrings the boys got me for Mother's Day: 

+ And then we came home and Brandon grilled hamburgers and I served them with baked beans and sweet potato fries. 

+ We spent the afternoon getting ready for the week: laundry, cleaning, organizing and going over calendars for the next couple of weeks. You know, all that fun adult stuff {not}. ;) 

I hope y'all have a great week! I'm off to celebrate my precious little guy's FIRST BIRTHDAY! 

Linking up with Biana 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday + A Giveaway!

Happy Friday! 

I blogged all about Knox's first birthday party on Wednesday, so click over and take a peek at my sweet baby's precious little party. How on earth have we already celebrated his first birthday?! I'm thankful I still have a few more days until he's actually one. ;) 

Well, I broke down and finally started "Southern Charm" when Season 1 was running on Bravo recently. (The original, not that awful Savannah replica. No thank you!) I recorded all the episodes of Season 1, and we are hooked! But we couldn't find the rest of the seasons and we were so bummed. But, Brandon and I finally found a way to watch it: thank you, Bravo OnDemand on DirecTV! I just love Cameran and Shep. Why did it take me so long to get into this show?! 

Have y'all ever heard Leon Bridges's music? When Brandon and I were in Charleston last month, the bar at Zero George was playing his music and we both immediately asked Siri who the artist was, and have since been blasting his music on repeat {typically on our Amazon Echo Dot as I'm getting dinner ready or when we're playing outside}. Download some of his stuff; you won't be disappointed! (Our favorite song of his is "Coming Home.") 

We have started to play a nightly game with Walker in an effort to A) encourage better sleep {no screen time before bed} and B) spend some special one-on-one time with him after Knox goes to sleep. I asked some friends for their ideas for little kid-friendly games, and y'all, they delivered! All I could think of were Candyland and Chutes & Ladders, and they suggested Count Your Chickens, Sneaky Snacky Squirrel Game, Zingo, and Hi-Ho Cherrio. So I quickly got on Amazon and ordered these so we can have a full array of fun nighttime games. Do those of y'all with kids have any of your favorite non-screen-related games? Hit me up!

And now for the most fun part: a giveaway in partnership with Megan Made Designs! I actually went to high school with Megan and have known her my entire life. She's the sweetest mama of two precious little boys and probably one of the craftiest people I know. She just opened her new business, Megan Made Designs, where she makes the cutest T-shirts for adults and kiddos, tote bags, and even little cut files that you can download and DIY! 

Megan has been so sweet to give away one T-shirt to a lucky winner here {applicable to U.S. residents only}, so use the Rafflecopter tool below to enter! I'll announce the winner on Monday. Good luck! 

I mean, how cute are these?! 


Thursday, May 18, 2017

Thoughts for Thursday: My Favorite Spring Tops

A couple of weeks ago, I shared with y'all my favorite spring dresses. And y'all, it took every bit of my will power to not scoop them all up {because they're all affordable!}! 

But today, I'm sharing with you my favorite spring tops. Because let's face it, spring/summer clothes are ridiculously cute, am I right?! And yes, I'm totally still loving the off-the-shoulder trend. ;) 

Here are my favorite spring tops: 

one || two || three

four || five 

six || seven || eight 

What about you? Which is your favorite?

Linking up with Annie, Natalie and Julie

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What's Hap-pinning Wednesday: Knox's 1st Birthday Party Rewind

I can't believe that we celebrated our sweet Knox's first birthday this weekend! His actual birthday isn't until Monday, but we celebrated this past weekend because he was being dedicated at church on Mother's Day and we didn't want my family to have to drive four hours one way twice in two weekends. So! We celebrated, and celebrated we did! 

We held his party in a pavilion at a local park, and thankfully we had great weather. May in Texas is so unpredictable, but we made a gamble and won in the weather department, thank goodness! Our house is just so tiny and there's seriously zero room for anyone to stand, much less sit, so a third-party location was key. Bonus: I didn't have to clean up before or after, so win! It was such a gorgeous day and I'm so thankful! 

We kept the party small: family and a few very close friends, and y'all, it was perfect. My family {parents, brothers and sister and aunt}; Brandon's older brother, his wife, their three daughters; Brandon's younger brother and his wife; and three close couple friends and their kiddos. I'm seriously considering doing parties like this moving forward because it was so low-key, relaxing and such a deviation from the giant shin-digs I usually throw and end up being just exhausted when it's all said and done. I read a quote the other day somewhere that said, "Your normal is your kid's magic." And it just hit me. I may think the party is small and nothing to write home about, but to them, that's what memories are made of. I mean, I had a birthday party when I was little at McDonald's {McDonald's!} and still remember thinking it was the coolest thing getting to go behind the counter to help the lady make ice cream cups for my friends. It truly is the little things, y'all! 

So, here are some photos from the event, and all the details are below. If I missed something that you have a question about, just comment to let me know and I'll get back to you! :)

The party theme was "Snips, Snails and Puppy Dog Tails." I didn't go overboard {unlike Walker's first birthday...sorry Knox}, but I do love me a good party, so I did it up just a bit. 

I found these baby shower invitations via Olive & Star on Etsy and thought they were just precious, so I asked the Etsy shop owner if she could make them into a birthday party invitation, and she did! They were good-quality card stock and I mailed them out in late March since May is absolutely crazy. 

I totally went the easy route this year {#secondkid} and did Chick-fil-A catering. Since the party was at noon, people would definitely be expecting lunch! So, I ordered a chicken nugget tray, a wrap tray, a fruit tray and had their tea and lemonade, as well as bottled water and juice boxes. Nothing better than being able to throw away plastic containers when you're all done! 

I ordered Knox's smash cake, the guest's mini cupcakes and the "1" cookies from a local bakery and she did a great job! I was really impressed with their quality and the taste was excellent. I didn't do a big cake for everyone -- and instead did cupcakes -- so we wouldn't have to worry with cutting and serving. It just made it so much easier!

Since it was outdoors at a park, I really didn't have too much space to work with {nor time to set it up}, and quite honestly, it was a bit refreshing! 
  • I had a chalkboard that my mom made on the table, as well as this little sign I ordered from Amazon. My mom also made the little "ONE" highchair banner. {Knox's highchair is from Ikea.} 
  • The little "ONE" cake topper is from Amazon, as was ONE balloon. We got the green and blue balloons from Kroger the morning of the party. 
  • The plates, napkins, tablecloths, goody bags and cutlery were from Target.
Knox's John John and party hat were from Dainty Couture on Etsy, and his sandals were purchased on Amazon. I wore these shorts, this shirt, these earrings and my Walmart sandals. Brandon wore his Columbia fishing shirt with some shorts from TJ Maxx and his cheapie flip-flops, while Walker wore a monogrammed "W" shirt I found on the Snips & Snails Facebook group, these denim shorts and his navy Natives

We loved celebrating our sweet boy and can't wait to spoil him on his actual BIRTHday on Monday! 

Linking up with Jessi and Jenn 
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