My kind of holiday...

 Easter Sunday was perfect. We slept a little late since we attended vigil mass the night before, and the kids made their way into the kitchen to see what EB had left for them. Summer fun was the theme and that got them so excited about the months ahead.

We hunted eggs...

two in pjs and one in her new bathing suit...

and then spent time with framily crushing eggs, too.

We had my favorite springtime lunch - BBQ chicken, my moms potato salad and baked beans complete with my secret recipe BBQ bread. 

He has risen for us. For us to love. For us to feel. For us to delight. In the big and small of life. 


Texas Forever...

There's really not much I don't like about Texas. The people, the food, the weather, the football... so much about our great state just screams "home" and as silly as it sounds, I wouldn't want it any other way. This time of year, you can't get much more Texan than posing in the bluebonnets. Spring is crazy for us and I really wanted to snap a few pics of the kids before they were gone for the season so after our crazy and fun-filled morning, we loaded them in the car and headed to this sweet field in the neighborhood Jenni grew up in.

The girls were quick to smile but had the toughest time trying to resist the urge of touching those flowers.

Radley; however, couldn't open his eyes. Ha! This is total proof that my kids don't always take perfect pictures. ;)

I will say that we did this at 3pm, which is one of the worst times of the day to take pictures in the sun. Poor kids was going blind.

Good thing I love a nice profile picture. 

All these beautiful buds just bloom in the yard of one of our family friends. 

Landry was in absolute heaven. 

I think if I was a millionaire, I'd buy some land in hill country and load it up with bluebonnets. 

One of my favorite traditions each and every year!


Super Saturday...

Our day started with the celebration of this sweet soon-to-be EIGHT year old!!

This was how excited she was to have us take her picture. 

She had the most adorable dance party and all these sweet girlies got to dress up, learn a dance, play "FREEZE dance" and stuff their tummies with sugar and lemonade. 

Not a bad day for this crew. 

Love you, sweet Caroline. So so proud of the sweet young lady you are becoming!

After celebrating the great eight, we packed up the car and headed north to Waco to start our Easter weekend. Gigi and Pops are always prepared for this weekend with filled eggs all over the yard. The kids loved finding them and Radley insisted on doing it WITHOUT any help. He also insisted on taking our pictures. 

Next up, we got the kids prepped to dye some eggs. I always feel like there are so many eggs to dye and then we are done in 15 minutes. My mom always insists on boiling more in the middle of the process and y'all - warm eggs hold color so well. I mean, so what if you can't touch them.

Back porch days are my favorite... 

pretending, playing, putting your tiny bare toes in the soft grass... 

the sweetest moments are the ones we will remember. 

And the day wasn't done yet... 


Let's Talk: Moms

Linking back with Andrea at Momfessionals and Erika at A Little Bit of Everything for their monthly Let's Talk and this week is a topic near and dear to my heart... MOMS!

As you know, Shelly and I host our monthly Queen Bees link-up highlighting all the women in our lives that we know, admire, respect and LOVE for lots and lots of reason. Many of these women ARE mommas and many of them aren't - but they all hold a special place in our hearts. We would LOVE to have you link with us the second Tuesday of each month! Here's our schedule:.

I'm going to repost my Queen Bees from February here, because the topic our topic was about women that Love Well and there's no one that loves people bigger and better than my Momma. 

So here we go - who do you know that loves WELL?? A person that constantly supports and encourages her husband, children and/or friends? Someone that's just really great at loving others... When we thought of this category, one person instantly came to my mind. She may drive me crazy, she may ask me a thousand questions and do the exact opposite of what I would do (like shop for Christmas presents in advance) but there aren't many people out there that can love like my momma.

For over 46 years she's loved this man and loved him well. 

And in that time they've created a life filled with the "good times and bad" - and set an example for others to follow. Marriage isn't easy (and why did I ever think it would be) or perfect but even through the imperfect, she's loved and loved well. She worked so Dad could go to college, moved to this crazy foreign place called Texas (THANK YOU) for HIS job, and just always said yes and believed in him. She knows what he likes, and really is a Proverbs 31 woman. I mean, she makes the man's coffee, lunch, and dinner (and by make, I mean she literally puts the food on his plate and walks it to him - which is sweet but it's 2016). (Love you, Dad).


And she has three of the cutest, smartest and greatest kids ever born. (especially that little girl in the pig tails)

And this picture above doesn't even begin to describe the number of kids she's raised. Our house was the house everyone wanted to run to... it's been a sanctuary, secret hideout, and clearly a spaghetti factory. She helped us make everything from cinnamon suckers to crazy scientists made of boiled frogs (ew). PTO meetings, play dates, prom prep parties and potentially some "events" she wasn't aware of all happened in those hallowed walls. (And for the record, those events were held by a child whose name starts with J and does not end in ody). 

And I would have made a picture collage of all of those faces - but I just started down a long long long tunnel of FB stalking so I had to quit; you understand. But in case you need a visual, let me remind you of her birthday surprise last year. We collected 65 letters from 65 different people for her 65th birthday. Wishes and words from people throughout all walks of her life - family, friends, former teachers, and the cutest grands around. 

And I wasn't surprised by the words that were shared....

You welcomed me like I was one of your own children, and you've been doing that ever since. 
Throughout my years in the classroom there were few mothers I enjoyed working with more than your mom.
I have never had the honor of meeting anyone who is more loving, giving and thoughtful than she is.
One of the things I admire most about you is your thoughtfulness.
Thank you for sharing your family's love with our family.  
Every time I have been around you and your family since then you have made me feel so welcome and as if I was a member of the family.
You saw ability inside of me and assured me that I was doing the right thing.
You have been and will continue to be one of the most inspiring ladies I have ever know and I love you dearly!

No one has ever gone hungry at our house - she's not real good at saying no and she never worried about what people thought as long as she thought what she was doing was right. 

I'm the friend/wife/momma I am today because of her example. Dee and my mom were inseparable (mostly because Jenni and I were inseparable) and they loved each other well. They supported, challenged, laughed, cried, yelled, and laughed some more. They showed up for each other. They held each other up. And they spent a heck of a lot of money at Target. 

These women above are my rock. I met Jenni in kindergarten but we became besties in the first grade and we have been ever since. But only because my momma and her momma took the time to nourish that friendship. To find time for it. To let us spend weekends together and vacations together and every thing in between. I pray to do that for my kids - to always find the time to nourish their relationships and create a space for them to feel welcomed in. 

She also has 4 of the cutest grandkids ever born! (Which again doesn't include all those surrogate grands!)

And she spoils them well beyond any need they have. If my kids get hurt (or maybe a tad bit in trouble) it's not surprising to hear "I WANT GIIIIIIIGIIIIIIIIII". And it's not annoying at all. Landry is the most honest one telling us she wants to go to Waco because, "Gigi gives us whatever we want." HA! Rad pipes in, "Yeah - we can have oreos whenever we want." 

So yes, she loves well, y'all... 

but she is LOVED well in return. 

Thanks for setting the example of taking care of others. Of loving by serving. Of putting ourself third. Of being a great giver of self. We love you, Mom!

We'd love to have y'all join us each month! We want you to post about women who inspire you so feel free to post old posts - new posts... it's up to you!We have been planning ways to make this little link-up grow so that we can get more and more women talking, encouraging, praising and sharing other women! Remember, this is a place to come and share inspiring stories, words of wisdom, lessons learned, trials survived, victories won – grab all the seats you have because there is room for every one at this table, y’all! Here are the prompts and dates for the year, we hope you'll join us for each and every one!

So thanks, Andrea and Erika for doing that for all of us at your space! 


Tiny Tales Thursday...

Emersyn has been full of some words lately.

Last weekend we celebrated Landry's birthday with a party in the park. The morning of the party the girls decided that we NEEDED an Easter egg hunt at the party. Because, obviously. Luckily we had 100s of plastic eggs on hand, some unused stickers, packets of gum and other tchotchkes laying around. The girls are happily stuffing eggs when Emersyn comes up to me...

Emmy: Mommy, you see this egg?
Me: Yes - it's pretty. It's golden!
Emmy: Yep. See what I put in it?
Me: An American flag sticker?
Emmy: Yes ma'am - wanna know why?
Me: Sure...
Emmy: Because I love America.
Me: Me too, baby.
Emmy: But not as much as Texas!
Me: laughing So you love Texas then America?
Emmy: Well, then Jesus and God.
Me: So... Texas. Jesus. God then America?
Emmy: Yes!

#texasforever #shereallylovesjesus

She had a little issue with respect this week - she is heavy on the sass these days and this was the last straw. As a punishment I told her that she couldn't sleep with Violet, her baby doll.



(which is good to note).

But then well...

Emmy: I'm running AWAY!
Me: Where?
Emmy: I don't know. To Gigis. Or Tias. or KKs. or Aunt Jennis.
Me: How you gonna get there?
Emmy: Walk. And I'm going to pack ALLLLLL of my stuff.
Me: Ok... but what happens if someone stops you and wants to take you to their house?
Emmy: I have a secret hideout.
Me: Ok.... but what if a dog finds your hideout?
Emmy: Sky (Paw Patrol) will fly in and rescue me since she's a dog. I have her phone number.
Me: Ok...what is it?
Emmy: It's secret.
Me: Ok... we sure are going to miss you around here.
Emmy: I'll be back tomorrow.


Miss Elizabeth...

My favorite thing, hands down, about my job is the students I get to work with. They are some of the brightest, kindest, most giving young adults on the planet. I’m convinced of it. They never cease to amaze me and I am better all around because of them.

Knowing all of this, I try to have my kiddos interact with these Aggies as much as possible. So when we were looking for a new Spanish tutor, it was only appropriate for me to seek one within my reach at work. I asked my colleagues if they had any students interested as well and that’s how we met Miss Elizabeth.

Never in a million years would I have thought that a couple hours a week would have such an impact on my kiddos.  She has just been such an amazing part of their educational journey – far exceeding any expectations I would have set for her and on top of that, really caring about our kiddos.

One afternoon she spent two extra hours just to play games with the kids. They just adore time with her – even when they lose at bingo.

Thanks, Miss Elizabeth! We love you!


Tea for Twenty...

We talk about birthdays a lot around here. As soon as one birthday is over Emersyn is quick to remind us who is up next and then INSISTS on saying everyone’s birthday in order. Including the Munsons and Kents. (That’s a lot of birthdays to track).

So, we have been planning Landry’s birthday since MaMaw had her party. Landry went through several “themes” and then landed on wanting a tea party. For a split second I had the most darling party set up at our house planned – and then I threw that thought of my mind. Simple is my bestie these days and we have had the best time at the Munson park parties so I asked Cindy to reserve Tanglewood park for us and decided on a cupcakes and tea party for our girl. I consulted, Pinny, and found some inspiration for the invitation... 

And since she needs new toys like a cactus needs water, I wanted to do another party where we collect donations instead of gifts. Landry asks to put on dress up clothes every single day after school so I knew that collecting dress-up clothes would be fun for her and our local child advocacy center is always in need of fun clothes for the boys and girls that use their service.

The forecast called for rain all week and we miraculously lucked out with sunny weather. And wind. Lot and lots and LOTS of wind which caused a teensy bit of nerves as we were setting up, but luckily everything stayed in place and the table turned out so stinking cute!

My mom brought the darling tea cups and saucers from my MaMaw’s house and old mardi gras necklaces from when we were little for the kiddos to wear and take home. Landry picked the simple cupcakes with white icing and fun fetti and the rest just fell into place. Simple and fun. 

We had dress up clothes for the party friends to play with and then another basket to collect everything that kiddos brought. We were all set to celebrate our sweet girl... 

and we weren't the only ones...

That morning Landry and Emmy decided that the party NEEDED an Easter egg hunt and luckily we had enough left over eggs, tchotchkes and coins to fill them up. We scored darling bunny basets in the dollar spot on a last minute Target run and we were all set.  The big kids hid the eggs for the littles to find and the parents were all too thrilled about what those baskets were filled with. ;)

And if that wasn't enough treasure to take home, we brought out the piƱata next. You've basically never seen cute until you've seen a group of 3-4 year olds hit the heck out of a paper cupcake. If you listen closely, you can hear their actual squealing through the screen. 

After all that hunting and bashing they definitely needed a break for cake and some tea (which was actually lemonade, but whatever.. ha!) 

My favorite part of ANY kids' party is when their friends are singing to them. The pride and excitement on their face is adorable and the way that they feel so loved in that moment is one of the sweetest things you will ever witness. They each grabbed their favorite treat, a tea cup of lemonade, and found a spot in the sun and then collectively defined the term adorable in 5 seconds...

(Also, Landry, I apologize for the horrible job I did at taking pictures this day. I was just having too much fun enjoying watching you to worry about making sure I took great pics.)

Later that week we dropped off the collected items at Scotty’s House... 

...sans two pair of shoes that I let her keep. She really was so sweet opening all the gifts and telling me all about the boys and girls that would have so much fun dressing up in these clothes. And then she got to Hope’s gift – filled with 6 or 8 pair of Disney Princess shoes. Y’all. Her face. She was so brave and strong and in the sweetest voice asked if she could keep two pairs. And maybe I should have said no, but I didn’t. I let her keep those shoes. And when she went into her drawer she picked out four pair that she doesn’t play with and asked if we could donate those to someone else. And that’s when my baby really did become a big girl.

So love celebrating my kiddos – let the countdown begin for the next party.