Ordinarily extraordinary....

Since the arrival of our Lovely Landry I have heard this phrase 1000 more times than is necessary:

"Wow...Looks like you've got your hands full!"

My response has always been "maybe - but my heart is full, too."

I get asked how I do "it" a lot. Ryan has been working lots of long hours lately leaving me and kids to create our own kind of fun in the evenings. I have been extremely lucky to have my momma here with me in August and she has been a HUGE help. 

I never really know what to say/how to answer that question, though. I guess I've adopted the Nike slogan and I "just do it". ;) Really - we just live big in really small ways. I'm okay with the kids playing alone while I clean out school bags/make dinner/change clothes/take 2 minutes to use the restroom...alone! :)

I think facebook, blogs, instagram, pinterest and all social media allows us to portray our lives in fantastical ways. If you've never met me you may think that my kids are always well groomed, I craft and cook the day away with a smile on my face, the house and yard are groomed to perfection and well that life is easy. 

Not while our life is not "hard" by any means - it's definitely not easy, either. 

I feel like I am just trying to keep my head above water lots of days. But, I use the time I am given with these three as best as I can. Our commute home can vary in time, but we use it to play games, sing songs, act silly and make our game plan for the night's activities (all while keeping my hands at 10 & 2, promise). 

Then it's in the door, shoes off, clothes changed, dinner preppin', cantstopuntileverythingisdone part of our day. Radley and Emmy LOVE to help me cook - so lots of times its them on the counter right next to me stirring (tasting), measuring (spilling food everywhere), and pouring (again spilling more food). 

If not helping - they are playing in our family room. We get creative (see picture above - Niki, please note the bottom right depiction of NYC) and LOUD while we are jamming from anything to the Jersey Boys soundtrack to Little Big Town to kids praise music

Laughter (and tears) can be heard. Mommy may have "a" moment but I cherish THESE moments. 

All these ordinary moments that make up our extraordinary life. The good, the notsogood and even the bad are part of the "fairy tale". 

And the bumps and bruises (that for Emmy require "icsh") always heal to reveal the beauty below. 

And at the end of the night as we head to bed and peak in on our prince and princesses... 

we realize our dreams have already come true. 


Tiny Tales Thursday....

::On the car ride home with Daddy Monday::

Ryan: Emmy - did you have  good day at school?
Emmy: No.
Ryan: Did you play with your friends?
Emmy: No.
Ryan: Did you take a good nap?
Emmy: No.
Ryan: Are you in a bad mood?
Emmy: No.
Ryan: Is 'no' your favorite word?
Emmy: Yes.


The Treehouse Project...

Maybe it's my obsession with The Swiss Family Robinson, but I have always loved the idea of a treehouse. I love the idea that it becomes a safe haven and an escape from "the world" - at any age. I also think it would be pretty awesome to take broken pieces of a shipwrecked yacht and make a mansion in the sky complete with a refrigeration system as well as hopping on my ostrich for a quick jaunt around the rain forest, but I digress. 

Treehouses. Yes. I love them. One of my projects on my "if I were a billionaire" list is to create a non profit organization called the "Treehouse Project." It's an after school program for at risk youth - our building would be a "treehouse" and we would provide a consistent safe space for kids. How fun would that be!?

But since I am not a billionaire - I will settle for a smaller version in our backyard. Radley turns 5 (!) next week and Ryan and I thought that was a great age for him to have a treehouse. And so the building began.... 

Uncle Pete ordered the lumber (thanks for that discount!) and the boys started building Saturday afternoon. Radley was P-U-M-P-E-D!

I kept having to come up with distractions for him so they could get the project started. 

And wouldn't you know it, when he was finally "allowed" to go outside to help, he tripped over the electrical cord and his head found our concrete steps. He bounced back pretty quickly though (the boy doesn't know how to not smile for the camera).

Then it was time to work! Pete, Pops and Daddy decided to build a deck around the tree as the foundation and then place a house on top. Day 1 was all about design and foundation.

(I will admit, in my head this seemed like just nailing some boards together and badda bing there you go. I mean the houses on my "Daddy Projects and Honey-Dos" Pinterest board seemed easy enough). 

It's about 4.5 feet off the ground so the kids will also have a shaded and pretty awesome play area underneath. The boys were creating all sorts of ideas to use this space for, so I kept having to redirect their thinking to "one project at a time".

This boy was seriously giddy.

On Sunday he could not WAIT to get out there and help. He grabbed his long pants like Pete and Pops (and Daddy after some convincing), a hat and a "work shirt" and went to town.

I loved watching the men in my life (missed you Jody) teach Radley the value of hard work. It made me miss my PaPaw soooo much. He could do anything with his hands. ANYTHING. He smelled like hard work. His heart was softer than his hands were rough. He grew the most amazing vegetables and built the most useful contraptions out of, well, nothing. Our summers in Baton Rouge were filled with zip lining out of trees, building frames and eating home grown goods. 

I just know that he was smiling down on those boys all weekend, filling the thoughts of Jeremy and Dad and guiding them in this process. He gave them the most gentle breeze and the patience to teach the next little generation the values that he held so dear. 

I know it's cheesy - but I hope this house is more to him than just a play area. I hope it reminds him of how much he is loved and adored. I hope he thinks about the time and effort they put in to this for him. I hope it teaches him the value of sweat. And patience. And giving to others. 

And I hope it makes him smile lots, too.

It was also fun to watch my Dad. I love that he chooses to guide in silence. You can see the wheels turning in his head ready to make a suggestion but he holds back letting Jeremy and Ryan figure it out. (And they may not think that's what he's doing - but I do). He is also eager to learn new things and share new experiences with Radley. 

And bit by bit it started coming together. When all is said and done he will have a treehouse that is bigger than most kids' bedrooms (note: I wasn't thinking as big as the boys). 

It will have windows, a seat, a back entrance and some steps from the tree on the right onto the deck. We will probably add on here and there as he (and the girls) grow.

I know that it is going to bring years of smiles...

that it will be his shelter from his storms...

And that it will always remind me just how loved my sweet little boy is. 

And maybe, just maybe... we can add a refrigerator in there, too.



A day of lasts....

So before he had his first day of Pre-K, he had his last day of, ummm.... daycare? 

I got behind on blogging (or really just forgot to post). Anyway... his last day.

He looked so much bigger than on his first day in Sunshine. I put out the same outfit and canNOT believe the difference. 

Radley loves school and he absolutely LOVED Ms. Prafull. She is just great with the kids - consistent and caring and provides great structure for them. 

Radley picked out her purple bag as a thank you and was even more thrilled when she had on purple to match. We are going to miss her (but are also excited about his new teachers, too).

We also said goodbye to sweet Davis. He is going to his mom's school for PreK. Radley made sure to let us know that Davis wasn't moving houses - just schools. He wanted to do something special for his friend so he made him a card and gave him a sticker book.

I still can't believe how "grown up" he is becoming. Makes my heart sad and happy at the same time! 

Let the "first days" begin...

As working parents, Ryan and I are used to sending our kids to "school". 

But today was still a big day.

It was his first official day of Pre-K. 

And it's a bit ridiculous because it made me sad to think about the picture we will be taking NEXT year.
::live in the moment Katy live in the moment::

He was all smiles this morning!

He was really excited about his new classroom and teacher, Ms. Kim. And he was very quick to point out his dinosaur on the door. 

He wanted to walk Emmy to her class before we left. Doesn't she just look too excited about learning? 

I about died at her class bulletin board. 

I mean, really?

Then we walked him back to class. 

He has seriously grown 3 inches this summer. 

How did that happen? And how do you make it stop?

Our big kid. Our first born. Our little man. 

This year he is just walking away, heading into a gym and going to face a day of writing his name, learning lower case letters, some simple math and sight words. He will get in trouble for not listening and rewarded for being a leader. He will cry because someone was mean to him on the playground and *maybe* cause a few tears himself. 

And before I know it he will be walking away from me to go to college. Get married. Be a daddy. I pray that he enters those feats with as much confidence as he has today. That he leaves with a smile. And that he never walks away before giving me a hug and a kiss. 

Pony Express...

Miss Landry got a special delivery last week! 

Her very first {and most definitely last} pony!!!!

She LOVED it!!!

Emmy was a little jealous. 

But Landry is so sweet that she shared with her big sister. 
(and yes, the pony is supposed to come off)

Thanks Aunt Sonya, Uncle Jody and Owen!!

Love and miss you!!!


Tiny Tales Thursday...

"You know what this is, Mommy?" slight pause 
"It's a megladon. And that's a seal decoy. And that's a real seal that the megladon is eating. And that's it's guts." 

Long live shark week. 


Soccer season...

Well, it's finally here. 

Radley is old enough to play soccer. 

And RYAN could not be more excited. 

My sweet husband grew up playing soccer and I'm not really sure if he has really given up the dream that he could be an international soccer player. I hear he was pretty good and I've seen him in action a few times and was impressed with his fancy footwork. 

However, he gets that he is beyond "old" in soccer years, so his solution? To raise the NEXT great American international soccer star. The one and only Radley King... whose name may have been chosen because it sounds like a "soccer name". 

So while I was recovering from the major migraine on Monday, Ryan took Radley on his first ever soccer shopping spree.  Purchased items included:

1. Shin guards
2. Shin guard "socks"
3. Puma's (but only because they didn't have the Adidas Kopa blah blah blahs)
4. Two soccer balls
5. Adidas flops (for before and after games)
6. Socks
7. And a bag to hold it all

I did not request to look at the receipt.

Ryan went through each item and explained why it was necessary/what it did. 

Radley seemed to be paying attention. 

And Emmy decided that she wanted to play, too. 

"I cool, Mommy," as she attempted to steal Rad's shoes. 

The boy was in heaven. 

And I have to admit that these may be the cutest things I've ever seen.

We did have to remind him that you don't use your hands. 

Check out her fancy footwork. 

He is an expert at posing for pics. So if sports don't work out, there is always modeling. 

Needless to say, the fall is going to be filled with soccer practice and games. I am so excited about my official status as "soccer mom". I can already smell the orange slices (because isn't that what soccer moms bring as snacks?)

My baby is growing up and I couldn't be more proud!


A case of the Mondays...

Oh my goodness. 

Did we EVER have a Monday. 

It actually started on Sunday when I woke up with a slight headache that I chalked up to old age/has been/can't hold my drinks anymore - but then thought twice since I only had a beer and a half the night before. (And now I want to watch this movie because I sound just like Phoebe Cates). 

So Sunday was kind of an ick day. The Big Kids were still at GiGi and Pops and Ryan and I did get the power freeze but I just felt awful all day. 

Cue to 2am and a lovely trip to the ER later for an IV drip to cure the worst migraine I have ever had. Thank God that GiGi is here watching Landry. I know my Dad misses her but we are so glad that she is here to take care of all of us. I know I'm a grown up but no one takes care of you when you're sick like your momma. 

Luckily the IV did the trick - I was out for the count and no more headache. 

That also meant that I had to stay home all day on Monday.

Which wasn't bad at all since I got to play with Landry, hang out with Mom, spend time with Ryan who also stayed home and I broke in this little beauty.

I think I have a new addiction. 

And I also think that Radley *may* have too many unnecessary birthday decorations for his pool party. 

I guess that sometimes a case of the Mondays can be just what the doctor ordered!


Someone is growing up...

And I'm not really sure how I feel about it....

Old friends...

We all have those friends that we {sadly} go lengths of time without seeing but can still pick up exactly where we left off when seeing them again. Well, this weekend we got to visit with some of those friends. 

Kadie and Dan are former students/forever friends of mine. She was the chief student leader in one of the organizations I advise. She and Dan were the first people we let babysit Radley at just 6 weeks old. They also watched him the first few weeks that I went back to work from maternity leave. 

Radley ended up walking down the aisle in their wedding as the ring bearer. They were living in Nebraska for the past five years so we haven't gotten to see much of them. They had never even met Emersyn which is crazy to think about since Landry is here too! 

They are pretty much two of my favorite people and a pretty awesome married couple. Kadie is finishing up her PhD and Dan starts dental school in September. The support they give one another is amazing - constantly lifting the other higher and higher. 

Each chance we get to spend even a short amount of time with them makes my heart happy. 

And they look pretty good surrounded by kids, don't ya think?

Love you guys! We'll be coming to visit you soon!