Tiny Tales Thursday...

This space is usually reserved for the funny things the kids say, but today I need to remember a not-so-funny moment.

I alter between a night owl and senior citizen. Meaning I will either stay up until 2am binge watching Netflix or I am asleep exactly 3 minutes after I've tucked the kids in. Sometimes Radley has put me to bed. I basically go and go and go until my body forces sleep.

Last night was one of those night owl moments and I was going strong in some OITNB when all of a sudden I heard something.

By nature I am an over-reactor but talked myself down from grabbing my trusty letter opener.

But then I heard something again and this time it was screaming. All I could hear was Landry shouting, "Where are you? Where are you??"

I threw the computer down, jumped out of bed and ran to her side of the house to find her trying to get into the garage. It was the oddest thing. She was terrified. So I was terrified.

Two seconds later Emmy and Rad joined us because her screams had woken them up, too. She wouldn't stop crying and my heart was racing. We all sat down for a second to gather our breath. Landry had already requested that she sleep with me and I was begging Rad and Emmy to do the same because SISTER SCARED THE PEE WINE OUT OF ME!

**note, I don't actually know what that saying means, but I feel like my momma has used that expression lots so it's what I know**

She had no idea what she was doing, why she was trying to get in the garage or what her dreams had been about. She said she heard the garage door open and thought we had left her home alone.

Poor girl - I scooped her up and snuggled her tight. And proceeded to stay awake all night long because, well, she kicks a lot in her sleep.

Summer days...

One of my favorite movie quotes of all time comes from Steel Magnolias. Shelby is talking to her momma, defending her choice to have a baby knowing how dangerous the risks are... when she looks at M'Lynn and says...
Well, yesterday I felt like we had a lifetime of wonderful and the irony is that the day was filled with a whole bunch of "nothing special" - just an ordinary day filled with something a little extra. We slept late, put on our red, white & blue gear and headed out the door. Landry went to school, me and the bigs just hung out all morning. They counted money in all the piggy banks, ate lunch and enjoyed the calmness that only a summer storm brings. 

We grabbed Landry early from school and headed to the library, each kiddo finding their own little happy place not relying on the other to bring them joy but finding it within. Their confidence in choosing their own path making me smile as much as the fact that they can bring sunshine to any gray. 

The trip gave us two books each to enjoy over the next three weeks and they couldn't wait to start reading. 

All that money counting had them asking what they could buy, so we set a limit and headed to our next stop. We walked up aisle after aisle looking for the perfect thing for them to spend their money, making sure they picked exactly what they wanted. That meant two movies for Rad, doll clothes for Emersyn and dance clothes for Landry. 

To end the night, we headed straight to Sonic, so momma could enjoy a stress free night of dinner and they could enjoy using their very own gift cards. 

Please note we still used Whataburger ketchup because #Texas. 

As we were getting ready for bed I heard Emersyn SQUEAL...

"MOMMY! You have to see how ADORABLE Violet looks in her new clothes!" 

She was so proud, so overjoyed, so happy... exactly how I felt. 

These days with tiny humans are hard - more days than not it seems. The bickering, the tears, the impatience... and let's not get started on the kids' behavior (HA!) ... but all days are good. And some days, some days are truly made up of wonderful... even the ones that have nothing special planned. 


Spiel the Beans: Favorite Summer Salad

I'm so stinking excited about this week. I have my notepad ready to write down ingredients and my finger ready to pin away to save these recipes for later. I know you all will not disappoint!

Speaking of pinning for later - y'all - BLOWN AWAY at your suggestions for travel planning. Shelly and I have a board just dedicated to all of our favorite Spiel the Beans posts ...

My favorites from last week:

How to Plan a Fun, Successful Family Vacation (Yes, really!) from Guilty Chocoholic Mama
Camping with Baby from These Kids' Mom
10 Tips for Traveling with Tweens from While I'm Waiting

Today we are talking all about our favorite summer salad today and my pick is a no-brainer.

My all-time favorite salad is the simplest salad in all of the world - cucumbers, tomatoes, oil, vinegar and a little salt and pepper. I prefer more vinegar to oil - enough to give a little kick but not so much that you choke. I LOVE that we have our own tomatoes to add to the mix but nothing will ever compare to eating this salad at my MaMaw and PaPaw's house in the summer with veggies straight from his garden. It was simply heaven in a bowl.

My favorite way to enjoy this salad is to pair it with jambalaya and crunchy french bread with some real butter.

There is something about the crisp salad paired with the spicy jambalaya that makes this meal perfect. I like to save the bread for last and just scoop up every bit of flavor in that one slice. 

With July 4th around the corner, everyone is bound to have a perfect potato salad recipe. My favorite *besides my mommas* is to brown potatoes in the oven with onion and garlic, and then toss with ranch dressing and serve warm. Seriously so darn good. 

BUT, this next salad may even beat that. 

1 pound campanelle pasta
2 Cups mayonnaise
4 Tbs yellow mustard
2 tbs brine from pickle jar
6 large hard boiled eggs
3 ribs celery
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1/3 cup sweet relish
salt and pepper to taste
paprika for garnish

Prepare pasta according to package directions.
Dice eggs into large chunks.
Combine all remaining ingredients and pour over pasta. Fold in eggs. Garnish with paprika. 

Now, you can serve this cold and it's fantastic, but y'all. I about died when tasted how good it was warm. SOOOOO good. It would be perfect with pulled pork sandwiches. 

And then I have one more that I want to share but haven't tried. There is just something about summertime and watermelon and this recipe from Recipe Runner just caught my eye...

Doesn't that look amazing!!!

Now it's your turn to SPIEL THOSE BEANS! Please place a link back to your specific post URL and not your blog homepage and use the hashtag #spielthebeans on other social media!

Please place a link back to both hosts in either your post or on your party page so that others can link up too. It's a party, try to visit at least 2 other posts and show them some love!  This is the fun part! Be inspired, inspire someone else - don't just link and run!  

We would love, love, love for you to follow us on some form of social media!

Follow Shelly: {Instagram} {Bloglovin} {Pinterest} {Facebook
Follow Katy: {Instagram} {Bloglovin} {Pinterest} {Facebook}

An InLinkz Link-up

Can't wait to read your recipes! Join us next month when we're talking about our fav summer looks and indulgences! *My look may have something to do with how much I indulge....


Let's Talk: Red, White, Blue

Leave it to me to forget until my early morning blog browse that today was a super fun link-up with Andrea and Erika that is ALL about the red, white and blue. I made to Shelly's bright and early and then did a face palm because

1. I forgot about the post and
2. I HAD NOT PUT ONE SINGLE decoration out for the summer yet.

I know, right? I mean, how can I even call myself a blogger/American with no July 4 decorations?


All kidding aside, I love sprucing up two spots in our house - the front porch and our mantle. So, I put on my big girl pants, struggled to open the attic door and got to decorating.

I purchased this bench for $14.99 at Walmart in 1999. I'm not sure I'd trust it enough to actually sit on it, but it has made the perfect little decoration spot in our front flower bed since I brought it home. I just draped a bunting on it from HobLob for the summer and it couldn't be cuter.

(Now if I could just work on those gardening skills).

The porch still looks a little bare - I couldn't cary the coke cooler down from the attic without dropping it, but once that's down this space will be ready for summer. In the meantime, I hung this darling yoyo bunting flag that I got me and my momma at Cracker Barrel years ago. 

I die at the cuteness. Anyone know how to make these? Or want to learn? Or want to teach me?

And then I set out some stacked star dishes, a chalkboard and a tacky Uncle Sam nutcracker. 

I moved inside and just set up a few things in the kitchen. You really can't go wrong with just stocking up on mini-flags. 

And while this technically isn't red/white/blue, it does contain some American things, like a Junior's cookbook... 

and a waltermelon candle counts, right?

and clearly the best part of this union of ours... 


I finished by setting up my favorite spot in the house. I loved the way our mantle turned out last year so I cheated a bit and just recreated the same look. 

I was able to find some baseballs and I loved how sweet it turned out.

So, there you have it! A bit of red,white and blue totally brightened up my day and now I feel officially ready for the season! 

Don't forget to head back tomorrow as me and Shelly Spiel the Beans over our favorite summer salads! Can't wait to add some great recipes to my list!


Our week started with this tiny dancer heading to Mary Poppins dance camp! She was so ready for a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time! 

We've been hitting the pool a TON this summer - my goal is to bring the kiddos at least twice/week. I was so excited to get a fun treat from my friends at Dr. Smith's complete with some summer essentials. Y'all - I can't recommend enough having this spray in your beach bag. The summer was when my kiddos had their worst diaper rash - the heat and moisture mixed with sun and sometimes sand = OUCH. Spray this stuff on every time and those beachy buns will be well protected!

Thanks to Shelly's awesome summer celebration post, I was all prepared to make ice cream sodas with the kids - complete with some homemade ice cream! All the fun went down on Snapchat so feel free to follow along with our day to day chaos - you can find us @katygking. 

If you're wondering how it turned out, well... let's just say my kids basically drank a cup of half and half with some sugar mixed in... and didn't complain one bit. Next time we need to use more ice

On Tuesday, the bigs did some good at our favorite volunteer spot while Landry was perfecting  her dancing feet. 

You know it's summer time when the ENTIRE family (momma included) spends 24 hours with friends. We drove about 25 minutes to our sweet friends, the Pattons, enjoyed some pool time, sunshine and beer (for the moms)... then ended our night with pizza, music, brownies and maybe some more beer. We woke up and repeated the morning and left in time to make it home for lunch and THREE HOUR NAPS!!!! #winning 

It was time, we introduced the kiddos (mainly Radley) to Scrabble. Hoping to make this a weekly game event until he eventually gets good enough to beat me and then we will quit. 


Saturday we were on our way to PAR-TAY in Waco for our friend, Ryan's, FORTIETH!

How in the world are we old enough to be married to 40 year olds? Seriously, we were JUST in high school. We had the BEST night celebrating our sweet friend that, bless his heart, was stuck with all of us when he married in. (Just like all of the husbands.) We laughed all night long - I don't know who had more fun, us or all of our kiddos that were out running around until well after midnight. The whole night was perfect, right down to the fireflies that kept sparkling throughout the evening. 

Ryan could tell I didn't want to leave - the next day he even said, "I can ask for a transfer to Waco or Belton, I know you want to live next to your friends." Y'all - I never thought I'd be the girl that moved back home, but there really is just something so special about a home town. I love it. I love my friends. I love how easy it is with them each time we are together. There is zero planning needed, we just show up, eat, laugh and love. And BONUS, our mommas usually clean up the mess!

HA! ;)

That's us in an instant! Have a blessed week!


Spoonful of Sugar...

Landry had the best week ever - it was finally her turn for dance camp and her smile couldn't have been any bigger. 

It helped that she knew her bestie would be there, too, but they ended up in different rooms and I was proud that both of them still had smiles on their faces. Also, let's reflect on this height difference. These girls are only 5 months apart. 

#likemotherlikedaughter #oralsotheirdads

The theme was Mary Poppins and clearly our love for all things Disney paid off because who else just has a Mary Poppins dress laying around?? She wasn't convinced that this dress was the better option for dance which is evident by that tutu hanging out the bottom. 


There is something about seeing your child in her element and this, for now, is hers. She just shines - she literally radiates joy when she is here and because of that, all of us radiate joy, too!

I mean, can you even handle this cuteness?

I couldn't squeeze her hard enough, I was just so stinking proud!

Her entire cheering section was!

And, Mary Poppins was, too.... she was Practically Perfect in Every Way!


Dad's Day...

We had a great weekend long topped off with an exceptional Sunday. Ryan wanted nothing more than to clean out the garage - so we obliged. While we were busy throwing the most random stuff away like old paint brushes and instructions to things that we don't even own anymore,  the kids set up a giant fort made out of every single umbrella we own. 

And this is the part where I remember that I didn't take one dang picture of it. 


It was amazing. Seriously so cool - they spent hours in that thing. Reading, playing, changing clothes(!), you name it. Just normal fun. We paused for lunch, cooled down for a bit and then headed back to finish our work. Then it was time for a family water balloon fight. 

Which basically ends in tears because those things HURT y'all. Radley and I started using them as baseballs and busted them with the bat - that was actually pretty fun!

And then we went around back, set up our WT water tower, and enjoyed the view. 

I walked over to Ryan, handed him a beer, pointed to the trampoline and said, "Happy Father's Day - I got you some kids." 

And he replied, "that's all I've ever wanted."

Fearlessly creative...

We dropped this girl off at Carolina Creek last Wednesday and she and I were both a ball of nerves. She just seems so much littler than Radley ever was and sane or not, it felt harder. Their personalities and self-assuredness are so different from one another and I wasn't quite sure that I was gonna make it. She on the other hand, well... as SOON as we got there, her excitement took over and she was ready for a week of fun with her fellow Giraffes!

It also helped that Anna was with her. 

She scored the top bunk and once she figured out how to climb up and jump down, she was good to go! Her brother was incredibly jealous because he ended up with a bottom bunk this year - ha!

One last little kiss goodbye and our girl was facing a major milestone! I was already counting down the days until we picked her up on Saturday!

Carolina Creek does an awesome job of posting pictures every night - Emmy did an awesome job of making sure her hair was well represented! :) (She's bottom right). 

We did get to see her face on Jersey Thursday representing the Aggies of course!

That giant smile on her face put a giant calming in my heart. What a great big, strong, confident, brave kid we have in her. She had been so nervous and we had prayed for two weeks about filling her heart with courage and seeking Him in fear - and those prayers were answered!

Each picture was a tiny glimpse into her big days of fun and I couldn't help but giggle each time we found a new picture of Emersyn. She was definitely in heaven - her hair was down and she managed to wear every article of clothing we sent with her (even the extras - including BLUE JEANS which is crazy.) Radley's first year of camp, I'm pretty sure he didn't even change clothes. 

Saturday morning finally arrived and we were able to sneak a peek into their breakfast routine... 

and watch them walk out of "The BEASTro" back to their cabins for awards. 

She was so excited to see her Daddy - he had a District meeting during drop-off and wasn't able to hug her bye. She's used to not seeing him during the week at this point, but it never really gets easier. She couldn't jump in his arms fast enough!

Twins. For real. 

Each child is given a biblical characteristic that they exhibited that week and it was no surprise that Emersyn was recognized for her creativity. Our girl creates new games and activities all day, every day. She is a teacher/chef/mom/worker girl (that's someone that builds things)/sister at all times. She is such a light and I love that they recognized this gift in her. 

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Listening to each gift these girls were recognized with was another answered prayer - we pray that our children are surrounded by people that build them up and set positive examples and that is exactly what this week sounded like. 

I think they also had a **tiny** bit of fun, too!

She's already started her letters to Miss Tabby and Miss Kellie - complete with some drawings of course. 

We headed to the Ark for one last worship time and she insisted on walking with them. 

CCCC did it again and posted closing day pics on Sunday - check out my sweet girl and her friends singing their praise for Jesus. I love this!

Radley managed to make his way down to his counselors for this part of the program - we could seriously leave him there all summer. 

So glad these two had such a great week!

And so so so glad this crew was reunited!!

This isn't goodbye, though, something tells me we will be seeing this place for years to come.