Blasting off...

We got to celebrate a very special first birthday for sweet baby Kyle this weekend, and as usual, Krista did not disappoint in the party decor. Every tiny detail was put together to create on the cutest party set ups ever!

She even made the adorable cake! (I really do have the coolest friends in the world).

It was a gorgeous day for a party! The kids got to play outside and blast off in this adorable rocket. Which pilot do you think is really in charge?
(Didn't Ryan do an excellent job of hiding as he held them both up?)

And of course my favorite astronaut was there, too. 

I have only cried at the first birthday of my own children until now. So many prayers were said for sweet Kyle and now he is one... what a wonderful blessing and constant reminder he is of answered prayers.

Happiest of birthdays, Kyle!!!



Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. Sharing a meal with the ones I love is one of my most favorite things. 

I also love that instead of worrying about presents or candy or love letters or prizes, everyone is more focused on how they can help.

So much effort and love goes into each dish - and the hands that prepared it are focused on serving others more than pleasing him or herself.

And even princesses contribute!
(Outfit mandated by Pincess Emmy).

No one is too old...

or too young to help. 

And once the meal is prepared we gather together to celebrate in one day what should be celebrated all year long. We expose our thankful hearts and come together in gratitude. 

On my list of thanks this year? 

Happy kids...

Healthy parents...

A handsome husband...

And a home to share with our friends...

and family!

Especially thankful for the tiny crew that keeps smiles on our faces and love in our hearts.

Hope every day is filled with thanks giving for you and yours, too!


Turkey Day Prep...

Do you have any Turkey Day prep rituals? 

We sort of do - I clean the house (because clearly that makes sense since 20+ people are about to embark on our home tracking in lots of stuff from the outside, but hey...I still do it), make desserts, and get most of the sides knocked out. 

But mostly we just hang out as a family, with no pressing "deadline" or project or task looming. And then I always ask myself why we don't treat every day like the holidays. 

Because we should. Life would be lots more fun. I imagine that is what Europe is like all the time. 

The kiddos finally met sweet Harper and each of them wanted to hold on her and snuggle as long as they could. 

And it's easy to see why. Because she is ADORABLY scrumptious!

Then Pops and the kiddos got to work cutting celery for the stuffing. 

And maybe stealing a few bites here and there, too. 

And that's about what we did. 

A whole lot of nothing special.

Which in my book, makes it the most spectacular thing in the world!

Gray squirrel...

The girls school had their annual Thanksgiving Day celebration - complete with entertainment. 

I can't believe that Emmy is in the big kid classes that get to sing and dance during lunch.

And she ROCKED it. Seriously, she was so into singing and dancing...we may have to look into dance lessons instead of gymnastics. (I know, I know. I am so sad). 

Then, as Thanksgiving should be celebrated, we broke bread with friends...

and gave thanks for all the blessings in our lives!

We are especially thankful that our children are cared for and loved each and every day by some of the greatest young ladies we know!!

(Here is the LIVE school performance ... quality isn't that amazing)

(And here is her encore performance complete with a video bomb by Landry)

Happy Thanksgiving!


Queen Bees...

If you haven't noticed the tabs across the top of this blog, take a peek. 

There is one specifically that I am super excited about. 

This is where I pay tribute to women that look like this:

Us "queen bees" have to stick together and if you are looking for some motivation then this is the place. Check out these beautiful friends that I get to share in this wonderful journey of motherhood. So far, I have given shout outs to some of my lifelines. The people who do life with me, near, far and virtual! :)

AND, I am so excited to launch a fun new link-up to other bloggers out there ...

(I actually have no idea whether or not it is actually the Queen Bee's responsibility for doing that in real bee hives. There I said it. But it sounds fun, and rhymes and goes well with my blog title.)

Hopefully this tab will grow to honor Momma's everywhere for their hard work at "keeping the hive alive".

The plan is to host a link up the first Friday of each month. So, that gives you, dear readers and fellow bloggers, ample time to think about the first Queen Bee you want to honor! 

Stay tuned...


Freezing fun with friends and family...

Our weekend was in fact filled with freezing weather, tons of fun, and time spent with friends and family. 

Friday night we kicked off our holiday season with the annual Lights On! event in Bryan. (Yes, before Thanksgiving. I am not saying I support this, but the kids have fun and it's free). This year was slightly less amazing than previous experiences because it is legitimately freezing y'all. And raining. But not snowing, which is clearly not fun.

So not fun that even Landry wouldn't smile... 

The events got shifted a bit, but we still got to meet Santa. 

And he was a great Santa!

Once we moved out from the rain, Landry managed one of her famous cheese smiles and all was right in the world again. 

Can this count as meeting Santa this year? 

The rest of the weekend was spent with us being us.The girls walked around with babies in their bellies pretty much all day on Saturday. This was clearly hilarious. Every now and then a foot would pop out from under their shirts and well, that would be no fun for anyone involved. Emmy is excited that Miss "Legans" (Maegan's) baby is out of her tummy now and read to meet Harper, but now she has a baby in her tummy. 

Girls are funny.

We ventured out for the grocery store and church but stayed dry and warm inside for most of the weekend with a lovely fire going, Christmas tunes playing and easy living filling the empty spaces in the air. The kids were content to entertain themselves while I cooked and did laundry. 

Radley aged 10 years overnight when we logged onto Ryan's laptop and told us all about PBS online - so now I get to add "limit computer time" into my daily mix. 

And Ryan got started on re-finishing his great-grandparents oak table. The kids and him sanded and cleaned for hours on Saturday and Sunday and got it nice and clean and read for the first coat of stain. Hopefully this weekend he can add the leaf and we can have a new dining room table! 

Emmy took the "let's have a slow and easy weekend" memo too seriously. This girl takes so long to eat dinner. Every single night we are all done and Emmy is basically sitting there bowl untouched. And she likes the food, she just takes her time. Eventually Radley and Landry (and maybe Mommy and Daddy) run out of patience and are allowed to leave. And she sits there and bite by bite finishes her food. 

Dear Lord, I don't want a lesson in patience. 

And like they do every single time... even though the kids fought hard to stay awake for just "five more minutes."



So here we go again... another look at us from my phone!

As if our neighbors weren't amazing enough... they bring home tiny, sweet, angelic baby Harper for me to snuggle with! Isn't she lovely?

Radley's school did an amazing job at celebrating Veteran's Day. Students were invited to ask veteran's in their life to eat lunch and come speak to the class. Uncle Pete was happy to serve in this role and Radley was more than ecstatic to have him. The entire school was decked out in red, white, and blue with banners and signs everywhere. What a great tradition!

Ryan always warned me that "soccer weather" was a thing. Well, it finally happened and we played an entire game in the rain. And by we - I mean Radley. But WE stood there and watched! 

My graduate school cohort had a little reunion a couple of weekends ago and only the ladies ended up making it. Sad to not have the fellas but always love some girl time!

If you haven't heard... I was in New York last week.

I found this cute note in my running shoes. He's pretty cute sometimes.

Night one we attempted a facetime session. What a crazy hot mess. 

Clearly worth it!

Cindy joined me in NYC and we talked about it over on YMM. Be sure to check it out!

 Add this to your list of "must eat here"... it will not disappoint!

Anyone else notice that burgundy/wine/MAROON is the color of the year? Because it is EVERYWHERE!

All too soon, we said goodbye...

But I was quickly comforted by these sweet beans.

Radley had his first "race" through his school. His running buddy was great motivation to go fast!

Sweet Kayla surprised him for his last soccer game of the season. These two are stuck together forever...whether they like it or not!

Isn't this the greatest Sunday sweetness?

And then this happened. 

This means that "peak season" is here. And I better get organized!

They love NYC "thiiiiiiiiiiiiiissssssssssss MUCH!"

And that's us in an instant!