Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Mom Camp

Scott and Steve (Laurie's husband) left on Friday morning for their annual hunting trip.  They are down on Scott's family land in south AR and the kids and I are headed down this morning to join them for Thanksgiving.  (Steve will join Laurie at her parents 30 min away).  

I feel like since Scott has been gone - I've been running "Mom Camp".  Just trying to have as much fun with the kids as we can! 

We kicked off the fun with Harper's run Sat morning.  Then we picked up one of Hollis' friends who spent two nights with us.  Because if I'm going to be alone with three kids - I might as well add a few more kids.  

Saturday night the weather was so nice so I took the kids to a park to play.  They had the sign language alphabet on one side.  

We played, ate and then went for ice cream.  

Sunday we went to church and then I had a really fun rest of my day! 

I had a sitter Saturday afternoon so I could meet some friends for coffee.  This is Everett.  He's my favorite boy on the internet.  I can't get enough of his cuteness! 

I had the BEST time with these girls.  This is Three Kelly's and a Amy.  Kelly Rucker is next to me. She lives in Austin but was in town.  She runs the Mama Well instagram account (which you need to follow if you aren't).  Every week, a different mom does a couple days of stories and it's so neat.  The other 3 of us have been on there.  Kelly Stuckey on the far left owns a salon and is such a beautiful person inside and out.   And y'all may know Amy Hannon.  She's a cookbook author and speaker.  I adore her.  I could have sat and talked to them for hours.  

But I had to run after a couple of hours because I had a date that night with another group of friends for dinner.  We rarely get together and this was just the day that finally worked.  So my kids had another sitter that night but there were 7 kids at my house that night so they had a blast! 

Sarah Kate spent two days with us and they had the best time.  They wanted her to spend another night but after three nights of sleep overs I had to finally draw a line.  I needed everyone in bed early. Of course - Will Holden was loving the house full of girls.  

Monday afternoon, we met Laurie and the girls so we could take their Christmas Card picture.  Anyone who knows me knows I hated coffee until recently and now I'm an addict.  I'm actually an Onyx addict.  It's my favorite.  I took the kids along to get coffee before I met Laurie.  

I love these three! They wear me out some days but they are also such great kids.  

When did Laurie's girls become so OLD????? Aren't they GORGEOUS???

After we took pictures, we walked down to the square and got ice cream with our friends.  

These two have been best friends since they were in our stomachs and they are turning into the sweetest young ladies.  I love their close friendship.  

Yesterday I spent half the day cleaning and trying to catch up laundry and then we went to see The Grinch.  Will Holden was so excited. ha! I put them all in Christmas clothes because why not.  Nothing in my house is decorated yet but we are ready for christmas. 

This girl is such a book worm.  She is CONSTANTLY reading. She took a book to the movies with her to read while we waited for it to start. I love her love for books.  

After the movie, we walked over to Flying Fish.  I had their gumbo for the first time and it was SO good.  Except I've created another gumbo lover in Harper and she begged until she basically ate most of my bowl.  

Sweet girls

Me and my little man

After dinner we walked around the square.  Our square really is magical this time of year.  We will make MANY trips downtown over the next month.  I'm not a big "present" person at Christmas but  I LOVE Christmas experiences.  I want my kids to have great memories so I love doing all the things with them.  They won't always want to do all of this so I'm soaking it up while I can.  

Of course we emphasize the real meaning of Christmas above everything and they totally get it.  

We walked over to our skating rink.  I've promised them a lot of skating in our future. 

And then we got hot chocolate and headed home. I love living in a sweet town where we can walk around and see people we know and feel safe.  

We are excited to celebrate Thanksgiving! I hope you have a wonderful holiday! 

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Run Like A Girl

Harper has been in Girls on the Run this semester.  It's such a great program.  Our school does it for 3rd and 4th graders and it's after school two days a week.  They have been training to run a 5K.  But they also do a lot of character building and encouragement for the girls.  Harper has LOVED it.  

The 5K was this past Saturday morning on our town square.  It was SUCH a fun event! Here is Harper and one of her besties.  

All the local schools participated.  I have no idea how many girls and their running buddies participated but it was a ton.  

It was chilly but the weather was actually perfect! Hollis made signs for Harper and we held them along the way.  

Will Holden was dying for a "snack" so as soon as the race started we walked over to the downtown Walmart and got a few snacks and he and Hollis sat and ate while I watched the finish line for our girl! 

She finished in 40 minutes and ran the entire way.  I was so proud of her.  Harper is not super into sports but she has really pushed herself to run.  

Her 2nd grade teacher is one of our favorite humans.  She is home with her baby girl these days but she still came and coached GOTR.  I have known her since she was a teenager because she grew up in our church and I adore her.  She offered to be Harper's running buddy and I can't imagine anyone who could have encouraged her more.  Harper was THRILLED to run with her! 

I probably get emails or messages WEEKLY from moms of babies or toddlers who are newly diagnosed with hearing loss.  People send them my way and they are almost always scared and sad and unsure about the future.  I know EXACTLY how they feel.  Because when Harper was 2 and I was told she would need hearing aids for the rest of her life, I cried my eyes out.  I wondered if she would be able to do ordinary things.  

And now I know she can do EXTRAORDINARY things.  There is nothing she has wanted to do that she hasn't been able to.  It hasn't been easy.  I thought she would NEVER wear her hearing aids.  She hated them as a toddler.  She would hide them or throw them across the room.  Her speech was terrible and we put in hours of driving to and from speech therapy.  

And I love LOVE to encourage those moms that they will be amazed one day at how normal life is and how the hearing loss will be a small issue if they just advocate for their kids and refuse to let it define who they are.  

Monday, November 19, 2018


Y'all know that I love to match make! My favorite thing on my blog is the Singles Day that I host and I love LOVE LOVE that 13 couples have met and married through this special day! 

Marriage is a gift.  It's amazing to have a partner to walk through life with and to share kids with and to love and cherish. But marriage can also be HARD! When you are in the trenches of little kids - it's hard to have energy to give to your partner at the end of the day.  Or when you are in the middle of the taxi service known as parenting teens - it's more about matching schedules than meeting needs sometimes.  

I think every couple can benefit from marriage counseling.  Whether you are walking through something difficult or just need someone to help you communicate better, marriage therapy is something every couple can benefit from.

But it can be difficult to get to therapy sessions.  They can be expensive.  Or you may have a hard time finding time to make the appointments.  If you work full time or if you are a SAHM with little babies - it can be tough.  

I'm partnering with an app that I think you will love! The app is created by the people behind The Knot and The Bump.  They have a desire for marriages to LAST.  

After downloading the app - you take a quick assessment of your marriage.  You can have your spouse also take the assessment and then it will give you sessions based on results to encourage you and help you through areas in your marriage that you can work on.  There are hundreds of sessions that walk you through ways to strengthen your marriage.  It pairs you with your spouse so you can both have the app and work through the same sessions.

I was working on one and it asked me about how Scott had showed me love that day and I have to admit - as I started to type up the things he had done - I started smiling and it really helped me overlook when he didn't load the dishwasher. ha! 

It also offers you "moments".  These are quick helpful tips you can read in about a minute to help you with issues that come up in your relationship.  It will also send you reminders thoughout the day for things like "remind me to listen to my partner vent without trying to fix things at" or "remind me to ask my partner how I can help them".  Sounds simple but these reminders can turn into healthy habits. 

I'm a big fan of this app.  It's $12 a month.  That's a TINY fraction of the cost of marriage therapy and worth every penny when it means your marriage will get stronger! Our kids will all leave the house one day (or maybe they already have) and we want to love being left with our spouse!

 Lasting gets to know your relationship and creates a program to help you build and maintain the health of your marriage. Whether you want to deepen your connection in new ways, repair a broken part of your marriage, or learn specific skills, like communication and conflict, Lasting will walk with you every step of the way with counsel based on decades of research. "Lasting is like a gym membership for your marriage."

And a strong marriage is one of the best gives we can give our kids.  So a few minutes on an app every day can really make a difference - isn't it worth a try? Version 2.0 JUST released for a new and better version! 

Try it out today! Click HERE!