24 May 2016

Where the Poppies Grow

More and more I'm finding that the smallest, most simple things in life are oftentimes the most treasured, especially in motherhood.  And last week, one of those small joys was waking Marin up one morning to see that her poppies had bloomed.  We planted a small box garden with my dad a couple months ago, and we have faithfully watered it every day since.  It has been so rewarding to watch Marin observe the whole process, starting with her tiny hands carefully (then not so carefully;) pressing each seed into the soil. Not going to lie, watching her prance around the backyard with her little picked-poppy trophy made my heart swell a bit because SHE made a way for that little flower to grow, from start to finish (with a little help from her Papa of course).  And on this very normal Tuesday, we are glad for the soil, the poppies, the hands, the simple moments that are building this life.
Hope your day also is being filled with all the ordinary moments that make these days so very extraordinary.  

17 May 2016

Mama Gone Chattanooga

Every now and then, when the winds of motherhood blow just right, I find myself in the car ALONE, and this past Saturday I embraced that very phenomenon.

Once upon a decade ago, I attended college in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where I also met some of my dearest friends.  AND just so happens that one of those very dear friends moved back to Chattanooga in recent years.  Our families have met up in both Atlanta and Chattanooga to hang out on various occasions and we've loved watching our husbands and kids become buddies in the sweetest way. Ahh, but THIS TIME (you see where I'm going with this) our husbands so graciously sent us on our way to have a mom's day out.  Insert choir of angels.

We went for a jog like we used to in college.  We drove a scooter like the die hard biker chicks we are. We ate oysters and fresh guacamole at a restaurant by the river. We drank up the warmth of the day and sharing about our babies. We got pedicures. We welcomed texts from our husbands that read things like, Everything is going great! Stay as long as you want.  {Also, the baby pooped in the tub. Hope you don't mind if I leave there to clean later...}  Can't win them all, folks.  Wink.

I guess the point of the story is that sometimes sh*t happens (in the tub), but sometimes a mom's day out happens too and when it comes time to clean up the you-know-what, you do with a big smile on your face while you sing Fifth Harmony's song that got stuck in your head during your drive home.  And you're singing because your cup is so full and you feel SO flipping blessed to have the kind of friends that are pure human hallelujahs, and to have squishy precious babies to miss during a day away, and a super selfless partner in life who so graciously offers up a day such as this.  And a most AMAZING one it was!

Thanks for another fun adventure, Er! Love you so much.

13 May 2016

Let's Party! Friday Favorites

Hip hip hooray, it's Friday! And if that's not a reason to talk parties, I don't know what is. ;) I have always had a soft spot for a cute party with all the fun details that make a celebration unique and special, so today I thought I'd share some of my favorite party supply shops.  I'm sure there are oceans of shops out there, but here are a few I've come to know and love.

Shop Sweet Lulu is an online boutique that carries on-trend and adorable party supplies, bakeware, etc.  Their prices are super reasonable too. Bonus!

Ultra Pom is a rental shop I used to rent the sequin tablecloth for Greg and Kaitlin's baby shower.  I was a bit nervous about renting a tablecloth (that would have desserts all over it no doubt) but I was SO pleased with this experience! They make the whole process really easy. 

Shop Meri Meri Meri Meri party supplies are some of my very favorites.  If you are looking for unique and precious party collections, you won't be disappointed with this company. Amazon also carries loads of their party supplies if that is a more convenient ordering method for you.

Beau-coup I used this website to order custom, white-chocolate dipped fortune cookies for Greg and Kaitlin's shower (in the middle of the Summer!) and they arrived, packaged to perfection and really yummy.  They are a fun shop for unique sweets and favors. 

Luna Bazaar is a shop I used to order pink vases for Marin's Third Birthday Party.  They have a large (and affordable) inventory of party decor.  

 Anthropologie is always a good idea, but I especially love finding unique party and hosting gems here, including the tablecloth and cake stands I used for Brite's first birthday party.  

Hope these are helpful for all you party people! Have a fun weekend and if you need us, we'll be at the poooooool.

09 May 2016

A Mother's Day Weekend Beach Trip

What a fun weekend we had! On Friday afternoon Andy texted me "Pack the bags! We leave for the beach tonight!" And oh how I LOVE this sort of thing. The girls and I did a quick Target run then zipped home for Brite's nap and packing. We were completely packed and on the road within two hours, a packing personal record. ;) 

The drive to Hilton Head is somewhere around a five hour trip and with these types of adventures the drive is always the most daunting part SO we were super relieved when there wasn't a single tear shed the entire way there. We pulled into our hotel around midnight, scooped up our sleeping babies and tried our best to make a peaceful transition to beds. Of course everyone was roused awake, squealing, and jumping on beds ten minutes later BUT hey, after the drive from heaven, dues must be paid. We won't discuss how long it took us to settle the monkeys.;)
We spent the first half of Saturday at the beach, enjoying the endless low-tide sand and sea. Marin has always loved the beach, truly living up to her namesake by prancing around in a joyful oblivion. And Brite Wren, well, she liked eating sand. ;)

Andy and I traded off time at the pool with Marin while Brite took a much needed afternoon nap. After playing at the pool we headed to dinner at one of our favorite restaurants on the island and ordered our favorite dish. Marin crashed in the chair next to her before our food arrived, such a sweet sun-kissed sight. We ended our day with golden hour on the beach and one more quick swim in the pool. Both girls were asleep by 10:00.
Brite woke up at a crazy early hour on Sunday morning, so she and Andy went to find breakfast for everyone while Marin and I slept in. I was greeted with a cup of coffee, breakfast, and sleepy-faced Happy Mother's Day wishes. I couldn't have dreamt up a better gift than that very moment and this beautiful little trip with the ones I love. We reluctantly packed our things (after one last promised pool dip) and we were on our way home.

At some point on Saturday Andy and I looked at each other and sang the praises of time together and shirked weekend duties like lawn mowing and grocery shopping. There are plenty of joys in those everyday responsibilities BUT every now and then a weekend like this comes along and fills our hearts with memories of sandy babies and endless sky that offer reminders of the goodness of God and how deep his love must run.

Thank you to a husband who made this weekend happen and who so lovingly captured some precious pictures that I will always cherish.  Sometimes it hits me that I live in the glow of him and the two little ladies who made me a mom.  So very humbled to be theirs.  

With a big grateful heart...Monday, here we come. 

03 May 2016

Favorite (little) Reads

There have been a couple new favorite books circulating during reading time with the girls, so I thought I'd share some of our new (and a couple old) faves.  Marin has always loved sitting down to read with us, and her increasing attention span is just making it even more fun.  I'm looking forward to the day we can sit and read a chapter book together.  Roald Dahl, here we come!  But for now, we love these sweet picture books, some sentimental and some quite funny.

 I Wanna Iguana We checked this book out from the library a few months ago and Marin has been asking to get it again so we decided to add it to our collection.  This book and the illustrations by David Catrow are SO good.  Hilarious! I actually giggle every time we read it.  It's a series of letters between a boy and his mom where he proceeds to try and convince her he should have a pet iguana.  Tons of fun.
 Oh the Wonderful Things you will Be Someday I'll read this book and not cry.  Someday.  Such sweet words and BEAUTIFUL illustrations.  "For all your tininess couldn't disguise a heart so enormous and wild and wise..."
The Girl Who Lost her Name If you haven't checked out this awesome company, you have to.  Marin got this book from her cousins for Christmas and it is so special.  Each book is personalized to the name you pick and character that looks most like your little one.  So when we read this book, we follow a little blonde-headed girl through the pages that tell the story of 
M-A-R-I-N.  Super special. Also, if you "chat" online with one of their staff, they'll gladly offer a 15% off discount code. ;) A really great gift idea as well.
 My Very First Book of Animal Homes Who doesn't love an Eric Carle book? Each page is split in half and the reader gets to match the animal to its corresponding home.   
 Duck and Goose: Goose Needs a Hug This simple and adorable story about friendship always makes us smile!
 Go, Dog. Go! We all have those books our kids love that we sometimes hide. ha! I bought this book for Marin before she was born because Andy told me it was his favorite book as a kid.  It never gets old for her! Since she is his mini-me, I'm not surprised in the least that she LOVES this quirky and fun book. Or that she will still pick it up to read even though we've read it 52,760 times. ;) 
 Ellie This is such a sweet story about an elephant that finds her unique talent and uses it to help save the zoo.  Super cute. 
 Mix it Up!  Marin will ask to read this book over and over.  She goes bananas for it and has memorized all the fun interactive parts.

Would love to know what some of your fam favorites are! Hope everyone has a happy Tuesday!