I love the things that my phone is able to capture... I love that instagram helps me celebrate the every day part of my life. No pomp and circumstance. No set up. No show. Just real life, right now. I LOVE it. I love the simpleness of it all. I love getting a peek inside the lives of my friends and family. I know some people feel that it's just a show, or another way to prove to "the world" that one persons life is better than another. But I don't buy into that. I choose to see it as a way to celebrate the ordinary. Because in celebrating that...life becomes pretty extraordinary after all. 

Like picking up in Radley's room and coming across his "appointments" in his calendar. Apparently Carlos, Jackson and him have a pretty important play date lined up.

And being able to celebrate birthdays at work. February happens to be my favorite.

Have you seen this girl? Apparently she has a twin named Landry that was born about 33 years later.

This is found in the Starbucks section of Proverbs.

You know what's a super fun way to celebrate the every day? MAILING FUN STUFF!!!

And being able to remember when your husband asks you out on a date. 


Tiny Tales Thursday...

Mom... but if you yell to get my attention, all you are teaching me is to yell to get yours. 


What truth in those words. But they came straight out of Radley's mouth and I had nothing to say except, "You're right, Rad."

And he is. I didn't even justify it by saying that the only time he listens is when I yell, because is that an excuse? Not really.

I have such a love/hate relationship with those times that my kids teach me a lesson in grace and patience and friendship and forgiveness. The guilt that accompanies the feelings of pride is overwhelming, yet that guilt is a gift in itself. It's a reconciliation with myself of how to be better and grow closer to the type of parent that I hope and pray I can be for them.

Yelling is sometimes my default. I am good at it. I am loud. I use it to grab their attention. But I wonder if my silence would be just as loud. If my whisper would garner more attention and better yet, a more positive reaction.

Would my gentleness in their chaos create more peace within their heart? How do I turn the switch down? What can I do differently to teach them to do differently?

When does my loud voice skip over getting attention and lead to getting feared?

All I can do is learn from this tale. Really soak in the moral of the story and move forward with a softer voice and more loving heart.


Selfie Sharing...

My week nights are filled with goodness, goofiness, giggles and glee. Ryan and I have a pretty good partnership and balance thing going on with work schedules, volunteer commitments or just random stuff. But as much as he would like to be home every night by 5:15 - that's just not our life. 

Sometimes it's 7, sometimes 8... And sometimes hours after I've even gone to bed. And I miss him but I am so thankful for his work and example to our kids. And I do get to soak in all of them... 

And their sweet smiles, sticky kisses...

And silly faces. 


You are so beautiful to me...

can't you see...

You're everything I hoped for...

You're everything I dreamed...

You are so beautiful ...

To me.

Sweet, Landry... may you always love the reflection you see in the mirror. And may the brightest reflection of yourself be the joy that you bring to others. 


GiGi's Garden

On Sunday the only thing on our to do list was.... hmmm... nothing! We knew we had to make the drive back home at some point, but there was no rush. Which was perfect since the weather was amazing and since Charis dropped by with Grace and Corbin for a visit. My kids are basically obsessed with them which meant that they were all self-entertained for hours. 

With dirt. 

I'm pretty sure my parents either use some type of drugs in their air duct system or have magic dust sprinkled in their yard because they have the house that everyone wants to be at and the kids want nothing more than to play in the dirt. 


At one point I went to make sure everyone was still breathing and didn't need hydration when they informed me that they were working on a special project for GiGi. 

(And then Radley said, "Mom...take an action shot.)

Everyone was content and happy which is the gift that just keeps on giving.

And I love how we all act around babies these days. Meh...they are fine. Just give them the nilla wafer and poke your head outside every once in a while. 

After about 2 hours, the garden was done...the space where my parents' giant Cottonwood tree used to be was the perfect location.

GiGi was brought outside for the big reveal...

And she may have been more excited than when a certain six-year-old got some golden tickets

(But I am totally over that.)

I think she likes this present best of all.

So glad we got to celebrate you, Mom!


Happy birthday to you with a day at the zoo...

We got to Waco early on Saturday morning and more than ready to celebrate Gigi!!! And, as a surprise for us - she had PLANS! (Y'all this is huge...she is totally the person that wants everyone to be happy which means she hates make decisions.) She and Pops had decided that it was perfect weather for a trip to the Cameron Park Zoo!! And they were right!

Jenni, Karli and Cooper were able to come which meant that Gigi was in happy heaven with most (not all) of her grandbabies!

(As a side note, I think this picture perfectly describes how much more relaxed you get the more children you have. Landry isn't even attempting to look at the camera but she's in the picture so that's a win.)

She's eight months older, he's 1/2 an inch taller. And they are both T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

Love that I got to spend the day with my two best gals! Days like this I really miss Mrs. Tuley and all the fun that she brought with her. Her friendship was such a blessing to my mom, just like Jenni is to me. But we are always connected and that is what matters. 

Landry had no real need for the stroller that we rented. She loved all the animals and sites and sounds. And I love that she is entering such a fun stage of serious learning and growing up. I never cease to be amazed by all the knowledge little ones soak up. She was definitely taking it all in. 

Dad was prepared for anything to happen - but I am very glad that he brought that backpack.
(Now that purple and gold attire... well... maroon and white is a much better combo!)

After the zoo and lunch, we met Jeremy, Cristina and Kailyn back at my parents house and lined up for some fast and furious races. 

Radley takes it very seriously.

Emmy makes a fashion statement.

And Landry was just happy to finish. 

She ran back and forth to that fence about 100 times it seemed. Never once stopped early...even when we told her to turn around. She wanted to do just what the big kids were doing. 

We of course ended the night on a sweet note with Pops' made birthday cake (!) and a lovely rendition of Happy Birthday. When I think of all the pictures in front of cake taken at that very same table (with someone awkwardly positioned in the background - sorry, Dad) I can't help but smile. 

Years of wishes coming true right there!

Hope all your wishes come true Mom! Love you!


I wasn't very InstaHappy last week... 

I am also not very happy about this.
I know. Sounds crazy. But hear me out...
1. I'm lazy
2. She really only wants to wear the panties, pee on the ground then run to the potty
3. This means that she is growing up. And I don't like it.
(Complete with foot stomp). 

(But how adorable is that toosh in those panties?!)

I did a whole post about this Sunday Sweetness... more to come of this!

I love this. A lot! I loved it so much, Mom...that I "sent" it to Melanie aka Big Mama via the Instagram.
(This means I tagged her in the pic, Mom). I wanted her to know that she has your official seal of approval. Which is always good since you want your momma to like your friends. And clearly me and Mel are besties in the making. 

So I got this in the mail... it's my visa. To Qatar.
Half way around the world and I am so excited! I am taking a group of 12 Aggies on a leadership exchange for Spring Break. Going to be amazing...and I promise it will be safe, Mom and Dad!

What? You don't go to the Dollar Store on Friday nights? Well, you are missing out - especially if you show up in pjs. This seriously may been one of the kids more loved activities. We took them all to get some FroYo at Spoons and then walked over to the Dollar Store. Tia made it an educational trip telling everyone to find packages with letters from their name. Then they got to "play" and then pick something to take home. 

We headed to Waco this weekend to celebrate my Momma's birthday. Out of all the things she could have picked...she chose to go to the zoo. Such a Gigi! :) It was the perfect weather day for this little outing and everyone had such fun!

Then after a quick trip to the mall (where she spent money on me(!)) we talked her into getting Chuy's take out so we could grab a drink at the bar. She loved it. 

And scored a free mango margarita! 

Love you, Momma!

That's us in an instant!


Tiny Tales Thursday...

This series of post is dedicated to all the love we celebrated last week.

We were driving home from picking the girls up from school and Radley asked me if it was ok for him to have a girlfriend. He just wanted to know if he would get in trouble at school. (Clearly, the rule follower). I told him I wasn't sure of the rules at school but wanted to know if there was someone he was interested in particular. He assured me there was not because of course he wouldn't tell me. But then Emmy pipes in. I have a boyfriend. Two. Ethan. And Jacob. Jacob is brown like Daddy. 

Atta girl, Emmy.


Emmy was excited about her Valentine party at school and she knows that I always set out their clothes the night before. Mommy. My party is tomorrow, so pick out something cute. Okay?!?


I was fixing Emmy's hair for the party mentioned above and told her I was going to give her pigtails. She begins crying... WHY DON'T YOU WANT ME TO BE CUTE??? I want a Tiana bun. 

If this is 3, then dear LORD help me at 13. 



Hey good lookin'...

We've always got something cookin' in the kitchen. We are that family that does the meal plan together, shops together, and cooks together and we all love it. 

We aren't afraid to get messy and be loud. 

We have REAL music blaring... you know Frank and Otis and Etta. 

We have smiles.

And determination.

We have math lessons. 

And curiosity.

We have joy and patience.

We have muscle building.

And rule breaking.

We have sneakiness.

And last licks.

And maybe just one more bite.

No matter what we have cookin - it's always finger licking good!