I can’t believe our sweet K.C. is 11! My, how time flies!
I can’t believe you are turning ELEVEN today! I still picture you as that blonde baby boy with huge blue eyes asking me to feed him cake at only three years old, but yet, here we are on your eleventh birthday.
Daddy and I are so proud of the young man you are becoming. You are thoughtful, smart, athletic, and very witty. You think deeply, ask questions, and always try to find the best way to do things.
You love to read, ride your bike, play soccer and FortNite, and fish. Your favorite place is still the beach. You love Mexican food, vanilla milkshakes, and cereal. You are the best big brother to Kaden and Caleb.
You are conscientious about everything you do and always want to do your best. You are a great helper, particularly when it comes to your baby brother.
K.C., you are growing and maturing so fast. You notice everything and I’m so thankful for the thought you put into things and the good character you show. What a joy it is to watch your grow!
Happy birthday, my sweet one! I love you more than words can say!
This week, we’ve had Vacation Bible School at our church and it’s been so fun! It’s been a few years since we’ve participated due to vacation being the same week, so I was so excited we were home this week!
Kevin and I volunteered in the toddler room. We had around 10 kids each night! This was also the first time I’ve seen Caleb around a big group of other toddlers for an extended period of time. Let’s just say that at 16 months, he held his own with the two year olds. I’ve also felt an increased pressure to find a copy of a good parenting book for strong-willed children. (Any recommendations?)
Our big boys were in classes of their own this year and both seemed to really have a great time.
Since this space is a scrapbook of sorts, I’m going to let the photos do the talking. (Warning: Picture overload!)
I’m so thankful for the incredible blessing Vacation Bible School has been to me my whole life. It brings me such great joy to see our boys making so many memories and growing in the Lord due to VBS.
I’ve read some really great books recently and can’t wait to share them with you! From an inspirational biography to what I’ll call a self-help book (that I didn’t know I needed!) to a good beach read, my recent reads have been great!
I’ve talked about my love of all books Elin Hilderbrand a time or two before and this book certainly didn’t disappoint. It sucked me in from the very beginning. It’s a story of a bride who lost her mother but was left behind a notebook pertaining to her future wedding. I smiled and cried my way through the entire book. The relationship intricacies among the four siblings, their father and step-mother, and her fiance and his family were so relatable to me even though those same relationships don’t exist in my life. I read this book in a matter of days. If you’re looking for a quick and easy read that ends well, run and get this book!
I’m perhaps the last woman in the world to read Girl, Wash Your Face and I have no idea what I was waiting on. I really purchased the book on a whim because everybody has been reading it, but had no clue how much I needed it. I tend to try to make myself believe I’ve got it all together, but reading this book made me realize I’m not alone in that. Fake it ’til you make it is great, but sometimes, you just need to see other women struggling with the same things.
This was another awesome book that spoke to me on so many levels. I’ve shared briefly about this book before, but it deserves another shout out. I’m fairly hard on myself in some aspects — and not necessarily the “right” aspects — and this book showed me the importance of giving myself grace. I can’t do it all or be it all. Sometimes the best thing is to just be and give myself grace. If you struggle with a Type A personality, I definitely recommend reading this book.
I really like Ainsley Earhardt. She grew up not too far from where I’m from and I’ve always enjoyed her interviews. I picked her book up and was startled at the similarities in her life and mine. It was so refreshing to read her story and gave me so much hope. I always like a good “feel good” book and even though this isn’t typically the type book I’d refer to as “feel good,” I couldn’t wait to finish it. Seeing how she has overcome obstacles and struggles in her professional and personal life was encouraging. I also loved how she shared how God worked things out for her at just the right times.
What are some good books you’ve read recently?
Happy Monday, friends! It’s time for another week – make it count!
I thought I’d share a few snippets of our life lately today. Between birthdays, end of school, and one of our little ones being sick, I haven’t had much time to blog lately.
Kaden’s school did a wax museum a few weeks ago and he had to dress up like a famous South Carolinian. He was assigned Josh Turner (country music singer) and he couldn’t have been cuter!
I stopped by the mall to pick up a few birthday gifts with Caleb in tow without my stroller and he was so good! Thank goodness he likes to walk! He was getting hungry (it was about his normal snack time) as we were leaving, so I treated us to a snack at the Barnes and Noble Cafe. Times like these are priceless to me! Each time I’d hand him a bite, he’d say “thank you.” Melt my heart!
Last weekend was a weekend of celebrations! Our niece turned 17, we had a graduation party for my sister, and my mom had her birthday. I dubbed it party weekend! My sister’s graduation party was at the farm and Caleb “caught” a fish!
This one loves his snacks!
Kaden’s class had their end of the year party last week. I went to help with the ice cream bar and Caleb joined me. To say Kaden was excited to show off his brother to his class is an understatement.
We celebrated K.C.’s end of school year with an award’s ceremony. He was recognized for Honor Roll and our district’s gifted and talented program.
The big boys’ last day of school was Friday and they were so excited! I’m pretty happy about not packing lunchboxes or having to get everybody out early each morning for the next few months!
Caleb was really under the weather last week. He started running a high fever Tuesday and ended up having a double ear infection. This was his fourth ear infection in a year. I’m hopeful he won’t have more. On Friday, he broke out in a bad rash, so we went back to the doctor and he had some type of viral infection. He literally just wanted to be held and slept so much this weekend which was a drastic change for our normal energizer baby. Thankfully, he seemed to be almost back to himself yesterday. Kaden was about the only one who could get him to play.
My cousin got married this weekend and I was asked to direct her wedding. It was the sweetest wedding! Unfortunately, I didn’t snap any photos at the rehearsal dinner and only got a few at the wedding.
We filled up Caleb’s baby pool yesterday. He may have taken Bun Bun swimming with him. I’m also not sure who enjoyed the water more – Caleb or Kaden and our neighbor!
There’s a little life lately for you! Here’s to a fast work week, long weekend, and good health this week!
There are officially six more days of school for my kiddos which can only mean one thing — it’s almost summer! Summer is one of my favorite seasons (ok… I can really find something I love about every season) and I can’t wait to have so much fun. Here are just a few things I want to do this summer. (I should add that while I stole this idea from my sister, it’s funny to see how we both included so many of the same things.)
Read a book on the beach
Take the kids to the zoo
Make jam with my mom
Make homemade ice cream and boiled peanuts
Go to a baseball game
Stay outside all day
Read ten books
Run 250 miles
Have one date a month to somewhere new
Learn to play six more songs on the piano
Have a picnic
Take a day trip to the beach
What are some of the things on your bucket list for the summer?
Ok, ok, I know it’s been four dayssince the Royal Wedding, but I still want to share my recap so I can remember how I felt about it years down the road. And I may have rewatched some of it last night for the third time, but who’s counting?
Who woke up bright and early Saturday to watch the Royal Wedding?
I did. And it was fabulous! Here are just a few of my favorite things about it.
Like the rest of the world, I couldn’t wait to see what Meghan’s gown looked like and I wasn’t disappointed. I love the classic, sleek lines. Having flowers from every corner of the Commonwealth embroidered on the veil was a beautiful touch.
As much as I loved the wedding gown, Meghan’s rehearsal dress was just — if not — more lovely. It made me wish for another reception and way longer legs because my 5’3 self would never look good in a dress like that!
Prince Charles escorting Meghan down part of the aisle was beautiful. Truth be told, it made him endearing to me. Regardless of the relationship Meghan has with her father, not having him there to walk her down the aisle had to be sad for her. I loved that her best friend’s sons trailed behind her and then Prince Charles took over.
I thought Bishop Michael Curry was fabulous. His message was great and I loved that he shared the Gospel. I did wonder when the candles were going to be knocked over though!
The children were all precious!
I love anything John Rutter.
Amal Clooney’s dress.
Gorgeous, just gorgeous.
Overall, the wedding was fabulous! It was so touching to see their love. And I have to admit, I was really excited to see my favorite royal, Kate, less than a month after having Prince Louis.
What were your thoughts on the Royal Wedding?
I had an awesome Mother’s Day last weekend! My boys showered me with love and I enjoyed every second of it!
I went on a field trip with Kaden to WonderWorks yesterday. It was so much fun! I love seeing my kids in their daily environments that I’m usually not around. Not that I didn’t know it already, but Kaden is the life of the party!
My sister graduated from college last week! We had an awesome time in Clemson celebrating her!
The Royal Wedding is tomorrow! My alarm is set and I can’t wait!
I remember getting up early to watch Will and Kate get married. Did you?
I’m officially counting down the days my kids have left of school this year AND the number of days until we go on vacation. Mama needs a break!
If you’ve read my blog for any length of time, you know I love to read. I particularly enjoy books that come out this time of year. There’s just something extra special about reading by the beach. We have a few trips planned this summer and I can’t wait to dive into these books!
I love, love, love Dorothea Benton Frank and can’t wait to read her newest novel, By Invitation Only. This book is about the differences between the haves and have nots, and from the looks of the reviews, it’s going to be awesome!
I discovered Elin Hilderbrand about two summers ago and can’t believe I waited that long to read her books. Since then, I’ve devoured nearly every book she’s written and can’t wait to read her newest novel, The Perfect Couple, when it comes out June 19. I also really want to go to Nantucket and visit the spots she writes about so beautifully.
I’ve bragged about this book a few times on here already, but seriously, it’s so good! I’ll share my review of it shortly, but go get this book. And if you haven’t read the first book in this series, Slightly South of Simple: A Novel (The Peachtree Bluff Series), go get it right now!
Mary Alice Monroe is another of my favorite writes. She makes the Low Country of SC (one of my favorite places) come alive so beautifully in all of her books. Her newest novel, Beach House Reunion, is sure to be a great read. I can’t wait!
I gave my mother-in-law A Nantucket Wedding for Mother’s Day. She’s a huge fan of beach reading, too, and I thought this one looked like something she would like. I’ve not read Nancy Thayer yet, but this book looks like it will be a great first read for me.
Karen White is always a great read. I love the intricate details she weaves throughout her books. I always find myself wanting more when her books end. Dreams of Falling looks to be just as good as The Beach Trees, my favorite Karen White novel.
The book I’m most excited to read is Emily Giffin’s All We Ever Wanted. I love Emily Giffin, and it’s been far too long since her last novel. You better believe this one will be on my doorstep the day it’s released.
Between Me and You
Between Me and You is a novel I stumbled across when I was ordering another book on Amazon and it looks so good. The cover and title drew me in, but when I read the brief synopsis, I knew I had to add it to my reading list — please tell me you keep a running tally of books to read.
I have to admit, the first Debbie Macomber novel I read was picked because the cover was pretty. (What? You don’t pick books based on their covers?) Since then, I’ve really enjoyed everything I’ve read by her and Cottage by the Sea looks to be another hit in my book.
The Devil Wears Prada was one of my favorite movies back in the day and this new novel, When Life Gives You Lululemons, by Lauren Weisberger is sure to be great!
What books are on your summer reading list?
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Being a mom is the best and most rewarding job in the world. It’s also the toughest job. I had an awesome time celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend. I didn’t take a ton of photos like normal – in fact, I didn’t even get a photo of myself with all our kids together – but it was fun!
Kevin, Caleb, and I spent a few days in Clemson around my sister’s graduation. We drove up Thursday afternoon and had dinner with everyone at The Cheesecake Factory. It’s safe to say Caleb enjoyed his first visit. I also enjoyed my White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cheesecake at midnight.
Stephanie graduated at 9:30 Friday morning, so we were up early to make it from our hotel in Greenville to the graduation at Little John Coliseum. Graduation was great. Senator Tim Scott gave the address and included three points that are good for all of us to remember:
- It’s only failure if you choose to quit.
- Stand up for those who can’t stand for themselves.
- Hold tight to your dreams.
After graduation, we went to Joe’s Pizzeria for lunch. It was so good. The dessert pizza was to die for! It basically tasted like cookie dough on a sweet crust. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
We decided to stay an extra night and go to the Clemson vs. Austin Peay baseball game. Even though we didn’t win the game, we had a blast. Caleb made friends with the family behind us and even crawled up in one man’s lap. I guess it’s time we start teaching him “stranger danger!”
Since we had no plans Saturday, we took our time driving home. We made a few stops in Columbia to look for some Mother’s Day gifts to no avail. I’m looking for some new decor for our mantel and also would like some new bathing suits, but couldn’t find either. We made it home mid-afternoon and just chilled the rest of the day.
Mother’s Day started off awesome with breakfast in bed. My sweet husband cooked scrambled eggs and toast and sliced a kiwi for me. It was divine! Why is food so much better when someone else cooks it for you? Also, our sweet baby slept until almost 8am, so I was able to sleep later than normal, eat breakfast, and get ready for church before he was up.
We had a nice service at church and grabbed something from Grouchos for lunch. I made the mistake of letting Caleb have a little of my sweet tea with his lunch. Let’s just say about .5 seconds after he drank it, he went absolutely crazy. He was so funny! Thankfully the restaurant was empty and he was able to run around wild.
For Mother’s Day, I decided I wanted a new bike, so we picked out one of those. I also got a seat for the back so Caleb can ride with me. Our big boys love to bike and I usually go along with them running, but I thought it’d be fun to bike some, too. Growing up, my dad biked and I would ride along with him. Some of my best memories come from those days. When the big boys got home yesterday afternoon, we tested out the bike and went for a short ride. It was fun!
Last night, my father-in-law grilled ribs and chicken and had all of us along with my parents and sister over to eat dinner. It was delicious! We sat outside most of the night. K.C. found some old water guns which turned into the boys all getting soaked. They had a blast!
_ _ _ _ _
I’m so thankful for my sweet mom! She has always loved me, guided me, and encouraged me. When I think back on my childhood, I have so many awesome memories because of my mom. I’m so grateful God made me hers. I am who I am today because of her love.
I’m also thankful for my sweet MIL. I know I’m blessed to have not only been born into an awesome family, but to have married into one as well.
_ _ _ _ _
These three boys are my heart. What a great privilege it is to be called mama by them. They constantly amaze me and fill my life with so much love and laughter. They teach me, mold me, and stretch me every single day. I hope and pray that they always feel my love. What a great blessing it is to have sons!
How many times have you answered, “We’re doing good! Staying busy!” when someone asks you how you are? Maybe you haven’t ever done that, but I sure have (way more often than I’d like to admit… or basically anytime I’m asked that question.). When did it become the norm to be so busy?
While I was talking with my mom (Hi, mom!), she made the remark that she hopes I enjoy life and won’t be so busy all the time which really made me start thinking about my life and busyness in general.
I don’t really remember being busy growing up, nor do I remember my mom being that busy. She was a stay-at-home mom and I just remember being able to go and do things, but not feeling a sense of busyness. Yes, there was homework everyday and after school activities, but I enjoyed all of that and it didn’t feel like my life was busy at that point. I also didn’t have any responsibility to anyone but myself which was probably most of it.
Today, though, I just feel busy. I feel like I go from one thing to the next and some days, barely have time to breathe.
Our society places so much emphasis on what we do and how we fill our time. We’re encouraged to volunteer in our kids’ schools, we’re supposed to get at least thirty minutes of exercise each day, and we need to cook a balanced dinner every night. Don’t forget that we should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep each night, spending time outside, taking time for ourselves, staying up on the news, and keeping our homes tidy. We also have that big thing called a job to contend with every day which brings along with it a commute, childcare arrangements, and clothes that must be ironed. Most of us have children we want to spend quality time with as well as a spouse. And finally, there are those things that we really can’t not do like eat, shower, and sleep.
When did the equation that busyness equals success become true?
In my own life, I look back at movies and shows I watched along with books and magazines I read and in my mind, I thought doing it all well all the time was something to strive for. I marveled at successful women in corner offices who wore heels all day, played with their babies all night, and went on lavish vacations with their spouse all while looking like they stepped off of a runway. Busyness became a thing to strive for because if I’m busy with almost every minute booked, I must definitely be doing so much good — and have an incredibly full life. Right? Wrong.
Busyness does not equal success.
Busyness does not equal value.
Busyness does not give you worth.
Sadly, busyness seems to be the way so many of us signal our worth to others.
The myth that busyness means quality, worth, success, and value has to stop. So how do we stop it?
For a moment, picture your perfect life. What does it look like? My bet is you aren’t chained to a calendar or a to do list. You’re probably on a beach somewhere without a care in the world (What? Is that just my perfect life?). While what you immediately pictured may not be possible for you at this very moment (Hello, I have to work to provide for my family unless someone out there wants to send me an endless supply of cash!), the way that makes you feel is entirely possible. It’s just up to you to make it happen.
So how do we make it happen?
Let go of the idea that being busy is a virtue. It’s not. Being busy whether you’re busy doing good things or busy doing idle things isn’t that great. Yes, I understand there are some times in our lives where we truly are so busy that we can’t see straight because of circumstances around us, but for the most part, we control how busy we are.
Decide what’s most important to you. What things/people in your life are most important to you? What do you do just to say you do it or so you receive some type of recognition? What can you back out of? Before Kevin and I got married, I was really involved in my local Junior League. I enjoyed getting to see friends and volunteer in some neat places, but when Kevin and I met and eventually married, I decided to drop my membership. With meetings and volunteer hours, I knew I wouldn’t be able to devote the time I wanted to to my family and that commitment, so I did what was best for me.
Take charge of your time. There are 168 hours in a week. 40+ of those hours are spent working and 56 are spent sleeping (if you sleep 8 hours/night). That means you have 72 hours to do all the things. What things? The things that are important to you. Get a paper calendar if you don’t already have one. It can be fancy or plain; just get one. Look at each day and see where you have those 72 hours and let them work for you. Don’t become a slave to your time.
To start with, I encourage you to think about the things you know you waste time on. For me, that’s my phone. It’s so easy to say I’m just going to scroll through Instagram real quick and then 30 minutes later, I’m three months back on someone’s feed. There’s a great app I recently heard about (I can’t remember where) called Moment that tracks your screen time. It will blow your mind when you see how much time you spend on your screen.
After that, think about other things that are time suckers for you and determine whether or not you can automate them or at least, make them easier. I’ve shared before how Walmart’s Grocery App and pick up service has given me back at least an hour every week. My kids know to write what they need on the list on the fridge and it’ll get ordered. Amazon Subscription delivers diapers to my door once a month. My big kids pack their lunches most days which means they are not only developing responsibility and independence and getting what they want (within reason) for lunch, I’m also not having to decide what to pack and spending 15 minutes each night packing it. If cleaning your house sucks time out of you, see if your budget will allow for a housekeeper every so often.
Determine what things in your life aren’t negotiable. For me, I need some time with Jesus everyday (and just to lay it out there, when I’m superwoman busy, it doesn’t always happen), I want to spend quality time with my husband and kids, have time to run 4-5 days/week, and have some set aside time to read or do something else just for myself. Those things aren’t negotiable. Yes, there will be days when I have an event for work or the kids will be sick or I just won’t have the energy to run after my boys are all asleep, but as a general rule, these things are most important to me.
Make margin and begin to live your best life. Hold yourself accountable for your time. It’s your job to make sure you have time to live your best life. Daydream, swing in the hammock, go for shaved ice, have an impromptu date, walk around your neighborhood, watch the sunset. Do those things that make you happy. Work hard while you’re working, but enjoy life when you’re not. Prioritize those tasks that have to be done and do them now so that you are able to relax without a million things hanging over your head. Put your phone down and actually have a conversation with your spouse and kids. Sit around the table and eat together as a family. Bake some chocolate chip cookies. Curl up on the couch with a book. Just talk. Live.
While it’s overwhelming to think about slowing down sometimes, it really is the only way we’ll be able to live our best lives. You can’t be your best for yourself or your family if you’re not taking time out. Invest in yourself. Invest in your time. You won’t be sorry that you did.