The perks of being a Mom...

Last week Emmy attended Princess Dance Camp - it was her big birthday gift this year and she could not have been more thrilled. She was excited to pick out her new dance clothes and shoes, she was thrilled to wear her hair in a "Tiana bun" each day, and she was ready to learn more about being a Princess. And I was ready for all of those things, too. I was ready for her to have so much fun each morning and eager to drop her off and even more excited to pick her up each day and hear all about what she learned. 

She talked to us each day about her awesome new dance moves and about all the new words that she was learning about what it means to be the daughter of the King - the dance studio is a Christian dance studio started by a woman many years ago as her ministry - and I was thrilled that the message was about the inner beauty we possess and how THAT is what makes you a princess. 

She would demonstrate her new moves at night and was so ready to head back each morning. On Friday they had a recital to show family and friends all that they learned and I was not even prepared for what would happen.

I cried. Big, sloppy, happy tears. 

It was so unexpected; I mean, this was a 20 minute recital of dances that they had learned that week. It was more of a show and tell really. She had been at gymnastics every week for a year and I never once teared up. 

And then it hit me. 

I cried because THIS was HER thing. Hers. I will not deny that I wanted her to love gymnastics. I wanted her to want to cheer and tumble and follow in my footsteps. But she wasn't really interested. She didn't really pay attention and our gymnastics nights usually ended with a mini-speech from me about listening, trying hard, doing her best, etc... 

But this was different. SHE wanted to tell US about her day. And on Friday, I watched her do her thing and it was such an amazing privilege. She was so sweet and determined. She didn't need reminding about anything because her confidence and assuredness lead her through. Confidence is beautiful, especially when you get to witness it in your children. 

She was so proud to show us what she had learned and we were so happy to watch. Landry and Radley kept clapping for her and their pride in their sister was also a sweet gift to this momma's eyes and heart. 

I wasn't prepared for this moment. At all. It was overwhelming her moment to shine and shine she did. 

At the end of the recital, they prayed over the girls about their week and the upcoming weeks of being a "princess" and as she sat there surrounded by her tiny new friends in that big ol' room, I prayed right along about all the next moments of hers to come.

The perks of being a Mom never end and I am forever grateful for that beautiful gift.

1 Peter 3:3-4

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight. 


When you're the best of friends...

Having so much fun together
Neither one of you sees your natural boundaries

You're the best of friends...

It's true... sometimes you see besties and you think that they just go together and sometimes you see friends and may wonder how that works. But it doesn't matter, because it does work. And there is laughter and fun and shared stories and secrets. 

I prayed for lots of things for my kids, and still do, but one of the things I pray for most is for them to find friends that lift them up, that support them, that love them, and that make them better. And my prayers were answered. My kids are surrounded by people that do just that and more.

And, my children do the same for them. They bring out the best in each other and laugh and giggle and protect and claim them as their own. They are each other's people. And they know it. 

And if that wasn't enough, my kids' best-friends are our best-friends' kids. 

My kids' BEST-FRIENDS are our best-friends' kids. 

Even on the simplest mornings, doing the simplest things their days are awesome as long as they are together. They insist on buddying up. They even sometimes let Radley do what he wants. 

They have long thoughtful conversations about things like the World Cup or their favorite capri sun flavor.

And as the conversations get deeper and the hills get harder to climb...

I am so glad that they will have their people beside them every step of the way.



And absolutely adorable!


I'm actually posting this in "real time". Summer is awesome.

Emmy got brave at the pool last week - she decided to swim and go down the slide. I may have bribed her with a dollar, but whatever it takes, right? Now she's a pro!

I waited 25 years for this. Dirty Dancing on the big screen. 


I got to spend the loveliest of girl days with this petite. The big day had finally arrived - her first haircut - so we ate lunch, bought new shoes, got our toes done and had so much fun!

She was the hit of the salon!

This week she started Princess Dance Camp. Yes, that's a thing. An adorable actual thing. And she is loving every minute of it!

We are trying our best to stay on top of Radley's spanish this summer. This week: labels for common items in the house. He insists that we use the spanish word for each item, so that's a start. 

We got home from picking Emmy up at camp one day and Radley was bleeding. He has been wiggling tooth #2 nonstop and it finally paid off. He wiggled enough to pull it out and scored a visit from the Tooth Fairy. Between the lost teeth and how much he eats, I am going to be broke by the end of the summer!

But I make him earn his keep.

Tiny dancer feet. 

Emmy got to spend the night with the Munsons this week - it was her birthday gift (we are on a strict no gift exchange practice with the HMMs). She was THRILLED. Landry was not.

"Meeeemmmmeee... Meeeemmmmmeeee!" 

(That's Landry for, Emmy! Emmy!)

We had planned a pool day but Mother Nature wasn't a fan, so with the summer showers, we decided a PJ day was great. We all slept for 2 hours. It was amazing. Please rain every day.


I had the extra special treat of catching up with one of my dear sorority sisters. It had been much too long, but we made up for lost time by closing down one of my favorite spots in CS over wine, gelato and great conversation! Can't wait to do it again!

These two had a skate date at our local skate park. You're afraid right now... I can tell. 

I am trying to quit saying "be careful" so much. It's annoying. And quite frankly, we as a parental generation, tell our kids to "be careful" too much. We should let them skin their knees, fall down, make mistakes and learn from them. So I only said it like 5 times. And they did great. 

Plus, they are already missing teeth, so what's the big deal?

I walked in as they were practicing their hip hop routine. Oh my word the sass and cute.

And that's us in an instant!


Tiny Tales Thursday...

I am in love with my Italian heritage. I used to really want to be the leader of my own little mafia ring. But last year I realized that I should grow up and move on. It seems; however, that I have passed that little gene onto my kids.

Everyone knows that a good crime rings needs several types to be successful...

1. The funny guy, Radley "the Shark" King

"Mom, did they have this cartoon when you were a kid?"
"Nope, buddy."
"Oh, yeah... because it's in color."

2. The brut, Landry "Knuckles" King

Ryan was making Landry breakfast one morning and she got mad at something that he did (or didn't do) got up on her knees, kicked one foot out and said, "Kick, Daddy!"

He came to his senses and gave her the Fruit Loops.

3. The salesman, Emmy "Shorty" King

"Hey, Mommy. Want some grass? I got some for ya."

Look for the King Kiddo special on A&E this fall.


Summer Bucket List: Parks and Recreation

Our day just reaffirmed how its the smallest, simplest things that can bring the most joy. We finally got started on our Summer Bucket List which is a list of normal things because we like to keep expectations low around here. 

BCS has tons of parks to explore and discover and we have our favorites that we frequent, so one of our items is to visit three new parks. We started with the Sue Haswell park in Bryan. 

They were quick to start exploring and making new discoveries.

And of course play a little game called monkey-see, monkey-do!

Although Landry had to get a little help.

And girls aren't the only ones that like to do things alike. The boys were pumped about their matching World Cup inspired shirts (that I found in the boys section at Target) (so yes, my husband fits in clothes in the boy section). 

After a bit, some kiddos showed up that maybe had a couple different experiences than the King Kiddos. A couple were a bit older than Radley, toting around a baby younger than Landry because the moms were in "deep conversation". Ryan and I were rolling laughing at what our kids were being taught, and it actually turned out to be a good lesson for us. (Maybe more for me).

The kiddo in the white tank kept telling Radley to come follow him and Radley would give us sideway glances to make sure he wasn't going to get in trouble. White tank would say, "it's okay, buddy... you can do it" or "don't worry, you won't fall" ... and Radley would pick and choose what he would try and what he maybe knew better about.

And yes, we were sitting there. And no, we won't always be sitting there. But, I do hope that in 10 years when some kid is saying, "Come on, dude, it'll be fun." or something else that he will know when to go and when to say no. For today, it was merely climbing on the top of the slide, which me and Josh don't really love, but Ryan and Cindy are both ok with. (I'll let you decide who the "good ones" are in these pairs). (Just kidding). 

They all ended up in this little puddle looking at bugs and finding "water snails". One right next to the other, sharing freely, helping each other, and being kind. All because they are kids on the playground.

The heat started to make an appearance so we loaded them in the car and crossed off one more item by heading to the splash park. I'll let you decide if they had fun or not.

Once again there was a little family there, enjoying their day, playing and laughing and doing their thing. And once again, they all instantly just decided to hang out. They laughed and chased each other and just accepted the new kids. One of them had some social and development delays and I was nervous about how my kids would react, but they didn't care any more than if he didn't. When he got angered or needed redirecting, his mom stepped in and the kids kept playing. At one point, I looked up and saw the group doing this... all huddled together, arms wrapped around each other waiting for the water to fall.

Wouldn't it be great if adults treated each other this same way? What if we said hello instead of walking with our faces down? What if just the parents at the park had a conversation instead of ignoring each other? What if we all just took a cue from our kids? And opened our arms waiting for the water to fall? 

Wouldn't that be kind of cool? 

I think if we did, we'd walk around a lot more with this look on our face.

Radley convinced Emmy that the water bucket was fun, so she decided to give it a try, but only next to him.

Once she survived, she went alone... except she had to hold his hand.

And once again, I look at this and think ahead 10 years wondering when she will want to seek him instead of me or Ryan. When will she need his hand to hold and will he be just as willing to extend that support? I'm guessing yes. 

Meanwhile, Landry will have given up and already hit the snacks. 




And here we go... the last two weeks from my phone's point of view...

The first week of summer, Radley got to go to golf camp. He was the only kid that showed up with his own set of clubs. He basically means business. 

You know what's even more exciting than golf camp? 
Helping your mom slice fruit. With a REAL knife.
This was maybe his most favorite thing he's done all summer to date. 


We got a special treat with a visit from Miss Shanon! She is simply the best and we all miss her dearly. She's the so much fun, loves the kids, and will stick around and chat it up with us for hours on end. Go ahead and move back!

I was happy to hear/see in the comments that so many of you also wear a robe around the house. I HATE to be hot indoors, but I am basically always freezing. My solution is to just wear a robe. And I love it.

This kid has so much fun in the water and I loved watching him at swim lessons! 

These two look sooo cute next to the water! ;) Ha! They did not enjoy lessons as much as big brother, but that was kind of part of my plan. I wanted to get them used to the water early in the summer and be comfortable around adults other than me and Ryan, too. I think it sort of worked!

He fell asleep in his pirate ship. This kid loves to nap. And I love that he loves to nap, too! 

Some nights you just need to share a pint. (Of ice cream).

The birthday celebrating started a day early for Emmy with all her friends at school! Ice cream sandwiches for everyone! 

After our last night of swim lessons we were pulling onto our street when I noticed a turtle trying to climb up a curb. I did the only humane thing you can do, pulled the car over and hopped out to save him. As soon as I got him in the car "ninja rap" started to play and we realized we had just saved a TMNT. We set him free on hole 13 and let me just say when he finally decided to get in the water, he set off FAST!

The birthday celebrations then continued by opening a package from Miss Tori and lots of packages from Gigi and Pops!

And then it was PARTY day which fell on her actual birthday which is just so much fun. She had a great time celebrating with all of her friends and splashing around in the pool!

The second week of summer brought tennis camp and Backyard Bible Camp sponsored by one of our churches. It was so much fun to walk down the street and get to our neighbors in such a fun way. The kids had a blast all week and the counselors did a great job teaching them all about why Jesus loves us so much.

Yeah...I'd say he had a good time.

And this girl. Y'all. She kills me. She is so funny. I literally never know what she is going to do and just enjoy her so so so much. 

A little for you... a little for me. That is Emmy's butter philosophy.

Now if we could only work on her teeth brushing philosophy. 
Me: Emmy did you brush your teeth?
Emmy: Yes.

eight hours later...

We do lots of pool nights with the HMMs in the summer, it's one of my favorite things. And these two just love spending time together. Besties for sure.

Take care of your future patrons!

We kicked off Father's Day by heading to one of my favorite childhood places... Kiddieland! We had the best night hanging out and having fun!

And this guy. What a reminder he is to me to stop and just have some fun.

She asked me if she could wear this dress and heels to Target. 
I said yes. 

And I'm so glad I did.

So, I am on a summer mission of cleaning out. Not just organizing, but actually getting rid of things we no longer use or need. But then I came across these... and well, I'm not getting rid of them. Crazy? Probably. But I don't care!

I kind of had the best day ever this week... a day... ALL day... in bed. Catching up on writing this blog, reading blogs and watching TV. Heaven.On.Earth.

And that's us in an instant!