Church with me...

One of the greatest gifts my parents ever gave to us was their support in our pursuit of Jesus. Not just at our own church events and services but anywhere we could find Him. Whether it was attending mass as a family, my brother going on a ski trip with his best-friend's baptist youth group, a Bethel Methodist weekend retreat or Sunday service with my bestie at her Assembly of God church. We knew Jesus. 

We knew Him through communion.
We knew Him through prayer.
We knew Him through worship songs with hands extended.
We knew Him kneeling before the stations of the cross.
We knew Him in confession.
We knew Him in tongues. (That may have been my favorite)
We knew Him in Heaven's Gates and Hell's Flames.
We knew Him in RAs and GAs and Daisies.
We knew Him in CCD.

I could go on and on. The point is we knew Him. We were encouraged to know Him in any and all ways. I never once felt like I couldn't worship along my friends at their church. I event attempted to bring some of that "revival" to mass but I **may** have been shut down when I tried to clap during the Ave Maria. ;)

Not until I was in college did I start to focus on our differences in Christianity. I wasted time on dissecting what drove us apart rather than focusing on what brings us together. 

His body. 
His blood. 
His sacrifice. 
His grace. 
The Holy Trinity. 

I was able to attend a live taping of one of my favorite podcasts, Sinner Saint Sister this weekend. Allison, the host, brought an amazing group of women together to talk about how we stand united in Christ. Catholic, Protestant, non-denominational... there was a seat for all of us at this table. Just like there is a seat for all of us at His table. 

We heard from a variety of pastors and community members all challenging us with one idea - to leave that sacred space we created in unity. To bring light to our sameness instead of shining down on our differences. Because God wants us united through Him, with Him and in Him. 

As I thought about this, I thought about all those times I went to church with someone else and what an intimate moment that really is. To share your faith with another is sharing the most sacred parts of yourself... 


The actual greatest show...

I know that I talk about my "favorite day of the year" in about twenty different ways... but y'all... this may be my actual FAVORITE day of the year because it was KINDERGARTEN CIRCUS DAY!

I'm sure that we can all agree whether or not you are sending your first kid, your third kid, or even your 10th kid through kindergarten, the year kind of feels like a great big circus! Crazy, fun, a little scary but totally awesome... this event perfectly sums up the entire year in one tiny, ridiculously adorable package. 

The "green group" in dual language showed up ready to be snakes, snake charmers, seals, seal trainers, jugglers and ring master. I mean, can you even with this cuteness?

We took our seats, turned on our cameras, talked about our favorite acts and waited patiently for the actual greatest show to begin and before we knew it, elephants, painted horses, lions, tigers and even some bears began marching in!

Emersyn even got a little weepy this year... "Mom this is the LAST Kindergarten Circus for the Kings. Can you even believe it??" 

I have no idea where she gets her drama from... but I agree with her 100%. There is just something so sweet and special about this school tradition. A momma sitting behind me was talking about when she was a horse in the circus, grandparents talk about when they were in kindergarten at College Hills... I just couldn't love that more!

This show just keeps getting better every single year, and while all the acts are darling, my favorite this year had to be the seals and seal trainer. One in particular was especially talented at getting those seals to clap and flip. 

And of course no circus is complete without strong men and woman(!) ... 

tigers and lions... 

 and of course... painted horses, jugglers, acrobats, clowns, snakes and tight rope walkers!

After the show the talented youth took one more lap around the gym and headed back to real life.

After greeting fans of course!
(Not pictured, a proud daddy that had to return to work and two proud siblings that begrudgingly went back to class!)

But the proudest momma of all managed to snag a picture of the loveliest seal trainer around.

And if you want to take a walk down circus lane


Swim Mom...

Soccer mom.
Dance mom.
Art mom. 
Basketball mom.
Gymnastics mom.

and now...


Radley has finally ventured beyond the field and dove head first into a new sport and we are all loving the change of pace! His biggest cheerleaders have quickly adapted to their new role and can be heard shouting "KICK KICK KICK" and "STAY STRAIGHT" on the sidelines of that pool.

And y'all... Ryan may be loving this the most! I'm honestly here for any sport that allows me the opportunity to sit next to a pool... especially if the choice is between that and being IN the pool. I went to his practice the other day and nearly died just watching.... they swim NONstop. Like hundreds of yards. Back and forth... back and forth... back and forth. Feet never touching the ground. 

Y'all. Just no. 

He's already got a sweet crew of friends and support showing him the ropes and cheering him on and his sisters are there every literal step of the way. Hopefully next summer they will be joining him on this team because beyond the competition, this is fantastic exercise! 

(See the practice reflection above). 

So here's to a new adjective to add to the list of "mom"... my favorite and most treasured title of all!



Here's what we have been up to according to all the pictures on my phone... 

We celebrated this guy on his 69th birthday!!! He's real fancy and decided that all he wanted was chili dogs and homemade tater salad!

Emeryn's class is studying city planning and each kiddo was given a type of building to design and create using any medium they chose. The structure had to be bigger than a school milk carton but smaller than a cereal box. She was given "restaurant" and I am so stinking proud and amazed by her creativity!

She was also proud of herself and that's my favorite part of anything my kids do!

We hosted a Camp King dinner one more time before lots of this crew graduates - I impressed them with my culinary skills of homemade sloppy joes. I get my fanciness from Pops. 

I have added four more things to this calendar during the last two weeks of school. Why am I even going to work those two weeks?!?!?!

Shelly is hosting a style challenge on the instagram this month and I have had such fun playing along!  I’d wear blue jeans every day in any temperature. I prefer them to shorts. My favorite denim is ridiculously long and belled bottoms. (Clearly part of my dream for long lean legs)

Emmy completed all of her first communion preparation work and had an awesome dress rehearsal complete with pictures before the big day....

She also chose and designed her own cake!

We could not be more proud of our amazing little lady and this next step in her journey of faith.

Landry INSISTED that I change into the "romper just like hers" for one more picture and who am I to deny such a request?!?

The day would not have been complete without Miss Elizabeth there to celebrate, too. What started as a random email request for a Spanish tutor has resulted in the blessing of an amazing mentor and auntie for my kids!

Speaking of nieces... Ryan finally held Keirstyn and then quickly took a nap with her!

I decided to get back into exercise and woke my sleepy booty up to get to the neighborhood boot camp.

I'm pretty sure every favorite thing I own in my closet was free - including this clutch that came with a bottle of cologne I bought for Ryan. (Actually, I think the gift was a wallet, but I talked them into this clutch since I was a girl). 

This day was my favorite... 

(I threw my new denim jacket over it to be appropriate for work). 

Do yourself a favor... RUN to your nearest Trader Joe's (or drive if you're like us) and buy the amazing cauliflower gnocchi. SO MUCH GOODNESS!!!

My favorite kind of office visits are the unplanned arrivals of some of my favorite Aggies. Sure do miss them when they graduate and leave but am ever so grateful for the opportunity to be a short little stop on their brilliant life-long journey!

This darling pink shirt was going to be my inspiration for Shelly's "pink" prompt, but you know I decided on showcasing my pink fuzzy crocs instead! ;)

I am loving this navy and white striped t-shirt dress from Old Navy and it paired so perfectly with my orange wedges and S&D tassel necklace. 

And while "true colors" can mean 1000 different things, I clearly need to showcase the colors that matter most... 

And then there was this prompt... 

No worries, Radley had me covered... 

and that's us in an instant!


For the boys...

Ryan has a big birthday coming up... and I have bled my brain dry thinking of what to get him. We're at the age where if we want or need something, we just get it. And if we don't, it's because we can't afford it! HA! So when I sat and really thought about what to do for him, I kept coming back to what he has done for me. 

He is a yes husband. 

Let's drive 1000s of miles to hit all 50 states - yes.
I want to go on a girls weekend with friends - yes.
Can you drag a bed out into an orchard in May, put it together, make the bed and then smile and take pictures - yes.
Here are all the matching clothes you need for Disney - yes. 
Will you bring me a glass of water - yes. 
But I'm in the kitchen and you're in our room - still yes.

(Seriously, I should be nicer to him). 


I wanted to do something that shows him I recognize all the times he says yes and all the ways I want to say yes even though he never asks.

So... I planned a little pre-birthday guys weekend for him and y'all... he was so adorably excited!

I don't know that I've seen him more relaxed or content in years. AND, because he's such a darling husband, he made sure to send me texts and updates because he knew I'd want to document the weekend. 

They apparently did a whole bunch of nothing... that included a morning of golf... 

an afternoon on a boat... 

a later afternoon of naps and then some late night poker and pizza. 

He even made it home in time for lunch for my dad's birthday because... yes. 

A thousand times yes. A thousand different ways a million different times. 

Here's to saying yes to celebrating you, Ryan... today and always. I love you ... happy early birthday... can't wait to keep the celebration going!


The middle...

 In a few short months Radley will begin the sacred right of passage of middle school. I wasn't even a tiny bit prepared for how absolutely unprepared I am for this change. A few weeks ago he had "orchestra open house" so he could choose which instrument he would play. And y'all. 


I mean. I know I'm a cried, but come. on.

But here we were... in this giant room filled with instruments and big kids and I just kept looking at my own big kid and was in complete denial of what this means. 

They just keep growing up!

Why is that even an option? Shouldn't they be forced to stop? I am 1000% positive that I lived at home for 1937 years (at least that's how long it felt for me to "grow up") (and not in some negative way, just in a "time has actually stopped and I will be 14 forever kind of way).

And here my kids are being full grown adults at the age of 10. 

Just WHY!?!?

And honestly, these tears I felt hot on my cheeks were more happy than sad. More proud than disheartened. Because I got to see him in his element. Surrounded by new things and new people and so eager to learn and make new friends. So confident to try something new. So ecstatic to experience what comes next. 

And then I cried some more, because in all of the mess and madness, I was just grateful that somewhere in my own fit throwing and losing it, I had shown him that he is wonderfully made, incredibly loved and absolutely capable of anything he wants to do. 

And then I cried again. 



First Communion...

Emersyn got to experience a major first in her journey through the Catholic faith last weekend. After months of preparation and prayer, the time for her first communion had finally arrived. I was so proud of how well prepared she was for this sacred step in our faith. 

When people meet Emersyn, they are instantly struck by her beauty. That long hair and those deep brown eyes just pull people in; however, the beauty that lies within her far outshines any beauty she projects without.  She is whole heartedly kind. She sacrifices. She cares deeply. She sacrifices and puts herself last...especially for her baby sister. She works hard. And most importantly, she loves God.

They hold a complete dress rehearsal before the big day and I loved watching her silently prepare for what she was about to do - she gets really shy and serious... she deflects the attention at the biggest moments almost frightened that she may disappoint someone because she so badly wants to make others proud. In these moments is when we talk about Christ's love for all of us. How we have already gotten the only approval we ever need in Him. How even through the times we disappoint through actions and words, His grace was ours long ago. 

In the biggest of moments when most people want to be seen...she looks straight ahead... focusing on what matters. 

But no matter how hard she tries to blend in.... this sweet child of mine was absolutely born to stand out. ;) 


I love that she got to experience this big first with one of her first friends. Caleb has been in her life since she was a baby and I'm so proud of the big kids that they have become. 

The big day finally arrived and we were up and ready to celebrate with her early enough for some pre-church pictures. 

Of course Gigi and Pops were there...

we were all ready to walk right next to her in this next big step...

and she was ready, too!

I love that the first time she walked down the aisle in a beautiful white dress was to receive Him. I love that she knows what it feels like to be excited and nervous while trying to prepare for an important day that focuses on being closer to Him. I love that she wanted a little blush on her cheeks and curl in her hair. I love that she picked out high heels. I love that all of this time and energy was spent preparing for Him. Because in preparing to receive Him and recognize Him in what we do, we are then prepared to live a life that honors Him before any others. So when the time comes for her to walk down that aisle in another white dress, her foundation has been set. 

Catholicism is a mystery to most non-Catholics. We sit and stand and kneel in unison. Our songs of praise are more traditional and we seem to say the same things every week. But the reverence and respect that is intertwined in mass is beautifully holy. The same words have been spoken for 1000s of years. The same actions taken. Over and over again. 

I'm so honored to share this with them. 

If we do one thing in this journey of parenting, our hope is that we teach each of them how precious and holy His sacrifice is for us. 

And we are so lucky and grateful for the village that supports and shares in our journey of teaching the story of Christ to our kiddos. 

Regardless of where they go to church or how they choose to worship, our village is one unit in teaching Christ's story and showing His love. And that is most precious gift of all. 

I am so proud of this sacred first in her journey and I am eager to see all the firsts that are yet to come.