The Porch Swing

While were engaged, we met with our priest periodically to discuss our plans, future, relationship, etc. in preparation for our upcoming marriage. I remember he asked us, “Where do you see yourselves in 10 years.” Immediately I told him, “Sitting on my front porch, swinging on our swing, while the kids play in the yard.” That has always been my dream when I envisioned my future. I can remember telling that to my friends in high school.

One Christmas (last year I think?) the kids were opening all of their presents that Santa brought. When the excitement died down, Seth said ” I think Santa left one more present on the porch.” I had no idea what he was talking about.  I walked outside to a swing hanging on my front porch. How “Santa” did this without me knowing, I still have no idea. It was the sweetest and most thoughtful gift ever.

That swing has heard some funny stories, listened to some tough conversations, and rocked many kids to sleep. It has welcomed a porch full of friends, but also serves as a good quiet getaway when we need a minute.

It’s the audience during the fashion show, the wait for the bus stop, and (sometimes) the time out spot! It’s the “OMG what a day” relaxation chair. It’s the music playlist, the weather watcher, and the UPS greeter. The perfect spot for morning coffee or a good glass of wine…it’s all of the above.

It is one of my favorite places. It is a symbol of my dreams come true <3

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Easton’s 2nd Birthday Party – Mickey Baseball

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It was easy to decorate for Easton’s Mickey Baseball party – we had most of the baseball decorations from his room already…and I just added ears to everything! I bought cheap white tablecloths and painted baseball thread and mickey ears on all.

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Thank goodness I took pictures before the mini hurricane passed through right before the party started! It lasted about 10 minutes…good enough to soak everything. I was drenched, my hair was a hot mess, but Easton could have cared less! I guess that’s what matters the most!

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Even though we had a water slide blown up, my boy just wanted to play ball (shocker). His Pappy and Grampi threw and kicked ball with him while the other kids played on the slide. This is seriously what he wants to do all day long!

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He also loved playing ball with his cousins on his “real” baseball field Daddy painted for him in the yard. What a lucky boy :)

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The biggest surprise of all – Mickey Mouse himself – came to visit Easton on his birthday! At first he just stared…and then Mickey Mouse picked him up, and Easton freaked out! He was screaming. It took him a little while, but he finally warmed up to his idol.

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In no time, Easton was high-fiving, fist bumping, and hugging Mickey. He kept waving to him and blowing kisses! He absolutely loved when Mickey played ball with him, and also when Mickey danced to the “Hot Dog” song.

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Next we sang to the birthday boy – he was all smiles. He was singing along himself! He sure did like that icing ;) The cake was made by a family friend – and it was just as good as it looked. She did such a good job, and it was delicious!

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He was so excited to open his presents – he wanted to stop and play with each one!

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One of my favorite keepsakes from the party was his “game ball” that all of the guests signed. It now sits in his room as a reminder of all his friends and family that love him so much.

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He played hard that day – never stopped! When he finally sat and relaxed, it did not take him long to fall fast asleep…right on top of his new Mickey :)

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To Easton On Your 2nd Birthday

Baby boy,

You were just born…seriously. How has it been two years since we first saw your precious face? You are growing into such a little man. You have such a fun personality, and you steal everyone’s hearts.

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You are such a looker! Those baby blue eyes, white hair, and precious rosy cheeks will break the hearts of many one day. I could squeeze you 24/7 – just to hear that belly laugh. Your laugh reminds me of your sister, Jules. I can’t help but laugh myself when I hear that sound!

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You have two loves these days – balls and Mickey Mouse. The only show you watch on TV is Mickey Mouse Clubhouse…and sometimes you tell me which episode you want! You know and love all the characters and songs. When we try and change the channel, you cry for “Mickey.”

Your other love is balls…any kind of ball made on this earth. Baseballs, footballs, soccer balls….it does not matter. You want to throw, kick, catch, and hit balls ALL. DAY. LONG. You literally do not play with toys! Momma stopped buying toys for you a long time ago – they never get used! It was a no brainer when we were thinking of your party theme this year – Mickey Baseball!

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You are such a snuggler, and I love to cuddle with you every night. I know my snuggling days with you are wearing thin, so I’m trying to soak in those last baby moments. You are just the sweetest.

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You have the funniest personality. We love talking to you to see the faces and expressions you will make. You tell strangers “Hi!” and “Bye” anywhere we go. You like to fist bump everybody, and you love to show people all of your tricks. Such a ham!

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Your sisters just adore you – and vice versa. You follow them everywhere, and they love to play little mammas. You are lucky to have those girls! They sure do look out for their brother!

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I hope you have an amazing second birthday, baby boy! I cannot believe it’s been two years already. Momma loves you more than you know.

Love, Mom

First Days – Kindergarten & First Grade

The girls were up and ready early this week – so much excitement for the first week of school! By next week, I’ll be dragging them out of bed to get dressed.

Kennedy went to school first this week – Jules went a couple of days later. The highlights of Kennedy’s week were: the back to school pep rally, bringing a water bottle to school in her backpack (BIG DEAL), and using a highlighter “for the first time ever.”

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She’s growing into such a young lady these days. One day this week she has already asked for “no bow.” Dagger to the heart!!!

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My Julesy girl was super excited to start Kindergarten. She kept saying, “But, Mom, I don’t know how to do homework!” She’s so nervous about getting homework :)

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My Oh My how my Baby Jules has grown over the last couple of years. She, too, is becoming such a wonderful young lady.

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Easton was so excited that he tried getting on the bus too – in his boxer shorts! Not this soon, buddy!!

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We are hoping for a safe and successful school year for all of our family and friends…virtual ones, too!

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Last Days – Orange Beach 2017

Jules was up early the next morning to have breakfast and coffee with Mom on the patio – I love having talks with this girl!

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By this time, I didn’t even remember what day it was in the week – I was on beach time. We kept asking each other, “what day is it again?!”

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One of our favorite nights was when everyone played a BIG game of kickball. We took up the entire yard with our crew. The kids had an absolute blast – and we laughed way too hard at some of the adults :)

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Almost every night all of the kids would go “tootalooing” – they loved to catch crabs using their flashlights to see in the dark!

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We ended the week just as we began – waves, sand, and sun!

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One of our good friends made shirts for all of the ladies….”Bushwhackers Made Me Do It”… was the perfect shirt to wear for a ladies night out! We sure do love that drink :)

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Our last day was bittersweet. Even though we had a long week at the beach, did we REALLY want to leave!?

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Of course a beach trip is not a true beach trip unless you get an airbrushed shirt! The kids love to pick these out every year. We were missing a couple of families this year for our group shot, so our gang was a little short this year!

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We took some family photos by the Gulf and in the sand. For some reason my camera was acting up – I think the sand and salt water did a number to it all week. Thankfully another friend came to the rescue and let us borrow their camera to finish our pictures!

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Wonderful memories made at one of our favorite places every year! We are so thankful our kids have these friends and family to grow together!

Days 3 & 4 – Orange Beach 2017

On Day 3 we spent the morning looking for seashells and riding the waves. Seth used our friends’ inflatable kayak to take the girls for a ride in the Gulf. They were all smiles!

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Easton loved to watch the seagulls fly around looking for food crumbs. He kept pointing and screaming, “Bird!”

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The next morning we were out early again. This is the prettiest time on the beach! It’s so peaceful at this time (before the crowds come).

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We headed to Flora Bama for lunch. The kids enjoyed an ice cream treat! Easton was a beast on the dance floor…he could not stop laughing and dancing – he loved it! After lunch, we headed upstairs to listen to some acoustic music.

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To end the afternoon, the kids enjoyed looking for seashells and small fish!

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Days 2 & 3 – Orange Beach 2017

The waves on this morning were a little rough. The girls enjoyed jumping over them, but they spent the majority of their day playing in the sand.

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While the kids searched for crabs that night, some of the moms went to Flora Bama for a little too much fun. With a little liquid courage, I was able to check “singing at the Flora Bama” off of my bucket list :)

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The next morning we continued our morning beach routine! Kennedy & Jules were excited they now had their own boogie board to play with in the waves.

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When I look at all of these pictures, I giggle every time at how Easton’s hair matches the sand :)

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Of course, they performed their gymnastics tricks wherever we would go. Kennedy was excited there was a “beam” right in front of our condo!

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We had fun in the sun, but when we would get back to our condo, the kids would not stop! They played until they passed out at night – such fun memories.

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