Griffin is 13 months old!

Poor second child. I opened my TimeHop app yesterday and saw Griffin's 1 month pictures from a year ago. Then a light bulb went off...OH! I need to take his 13 month pictures! Oops. 
Well, Griff, you are now 13 months old!
I feel like you are officially a 1 year old now. I still call you a baby but I know that you are on the brink of that toddler phase. I just can't wrap my mind around it!
Here's what has been going on this month:
  • you got 2 top molars! You not have 10 teeth. Those molars made you miserable for about 10 days. It was rough!
  • You eat everything in sight. But what else is new?? Your newest food love is scrambled eggs! 
  • You are WALKING! No longer toddling; you are a full time walker. You can't stand up without pulling up on something, but we're working on that. It is still so strange to see you just walk around the corner. You look so tiny! You are loving being able to walk all over...you are into everything!
You are loving...
  • the big kids in our neighborhood! Eli is one of your favorites & you always walk next door and bang on the Garlington's garage. It's pretty funny! You also LOVE Emma & Walker! 
  • TRUCKS. You sit and play with trucks and make a "vroom" sound just about any time we are playing inside.
  • the play kitchen. You love "cooking" with G in the kitchen!
  • dancing to any kind of music!
Happy 13 months to our busy little boy!
....and just for good measure, this is what 13 months really looks like!


No Spend September

 This post could alternately be titled: WWWAAAAAHHHHHHHHH.

For the last week or so Ben and I have been talking about doing a No Spend September. We've never done this but we are making it happen starting next week! 

Obviously we have to spend some money, but we are cutting out all the extras. Gas, groceries, essential baby things...that's pretty much it. Do you know what this means? 

No random shopping. 
No browsing Hobby Lobby or Target.  
No Sonic Happy Hour. 
No going out to eat. 

Alright, I need to stop naming things because I may back out.

I will say this: We will have to cheat a little because a certain toddler turns THREE in September.

Anyone else want to join us?!


Letting Go & Letting Them Grow

My friend Jen just wrote a great post on fears that consume you. I feel like my fears change as Grayson gets older. 

I never really understood why moms would cry when their kids went off to kindergarten. That is, until my oldest started inching his way to kindergarten. Thankfully, since the cut off dates have changed here, we now have 3 years left before Grayson gets on that yellow school bus & heads off to elementary school. 

Grayson is such a special kid. He is SUCH a boy but has such a tender heart. We have lots of play dates & venture out to playgrounds quite a bit & it is always interesting to watch him interact with other boys close to his age. 

Grayson is a lot like I was as a child & I will tell you why this makes me feel uneasy. I was painfully shy as a kid & never stood up for myself. Ever. I let mean kids walk all over me. I had a hard time talking to people outside of my neighborhood friends that I grew up with. I really didn't break out of my shell until the last few years of high school. 

I know how mean kids can be & it literally makes my stomach churn just thinking about how G will eventually have to face that. I hope I can teach him how to be kind to people AND how to stick up for himself.

I know he is going to cry. I know he'll tell me some day that someone was mean to him. I know he is going to hurt sometimes. I want so badly to shelter him from all the crazies & mean people in this world. If being a total helicopter mom wasn't frowned upon, I would probably be that way. But I know I have to let him learn things on his own.

I've decided that I think this is the hardest part of parenting; letting them go a little so they can grow up & figure some things out on their own. Goodness, just typing that out and I get a little panicky. That fear just has a grip on me. I am so afraid of letting him spread his little wings & then experiencing some kind of hurt. Grayson just seems so innocent now & I can't stand the thought of that being broken.  This is a fear I know I need to give to the Lord & I'm working on that. Is this a fear for you??


Five on Friday

Clearly I have been a superb blogger this week. sarcasm. BUT? It's Friday! It's Friday AND my husband is off for the next 3 days. and the people said, holla.

I am linking up with Darci & some other ladies for Five on Friday!

1. The past week & a half have been a doozy. Want to see why?
This, my friends, is what we call the Teething Monster. My poor Griffin was ALL out of sorts for about 10 days. He is usually happy & smiling 90% of the time. He did a switch to screaming 90% of the time. I was so desperate I even took him to the pediatrician on Monday hoping for an ear infection. I'm serious. No such luck. I did learn that his top molars popped through! I think we've gotten past the rough part & have our happy baby back!
2. It's official. I am going to Kentucky to see my blogging sista from another mista in September!! Me & the boys will be venturing up to the country for Carsyn's 3rd birthday party. I can't wait to spend time with one of my favorites & let all four of our kids play!
3. It is almost college football season, y'all!! I'll be putting my Ole Miss flag out next week but this little polo got me really excited yesterday! Have you guys heard of JV Clothiers?? They have the best collegiate clothes for boys! G is ready for the Grove!

4. Two of my best friends have had precious baby boys in the past 2 weeks. I have been asking for regular squishy newborn pictures. This does not bode well for the fever. 
5. My favorite part of ages 1 & {almost} 3? THEY PLAY TOGETHER. Makes my mama heart so happy. 


Menu Monday

How is it already Monday again?? After a full week of a very sad & out of sorts Griffin, I was all about easy this week. I went with things we already had on hand or that were just simple to make. Here's what is on our menu this week!
Monday: Baked Chicken Parmesan with mashed potatoes (never got around to this meal last week!)

Tuesday: Spaghetti with garlic bread

Wednesday: leftovers

Thursday: General Tso's chicken with fried rice (sauce is from Trader Joe's & rice is from Whole Foods...easy!!)
Friday: the famous Pinterest Honey Lime Enchiladas (we've never tried these & I am so excited about this meal!)

Saturday: dinner with our Sunday School class!

Sunday: pancakes & bacon



For the past week or so I feel like I've been dragging. I've desperately needed to be recharged. I literally have felt like someone unplugged me & my battery life was slowly running out. 

This motherhood thing is hard. It can be isolating. I've been thinking about this feeling over the past few days, about how I felt defeated before I even got out of bed, and it dawned on me. I only feel like this when I stop putting the Lord first.

The word "recharged" has been popping into my head over & over again this week. Honestly, my first thought was that maybe I needed some solo mama time one night after Ben got home. Time alone to decompress. That would do the trick, right? no. I had my solo Target trip on Tuesday and it didn't do the trick. (although it was fun to browse without a squawking 1 year old)

My priorities have been all wrong lately & I'm feeling the impact of that now. God is the one who breathes life into me & He's the only one that can truly make me feel recharged. He is first. I am second.

...and just because God is really funny about throwing things in our faces when we really need to hear it, this is what Jesus Calling said a couple days ago: 

"The more you focus on My Presence with you, the more fully you can enjoy life." 


Playroom Inspiration

Our bonus room is upstairs in the middle of all of our bedrooms and is just a huge, open space. When we first moved in to our house, we went a little crazy with color. Okay, fine. We went a LOT crazy with color. Our downstairs was lime green & bright yellow while our bonus room was mustard yellow. We've toned down the entire downstairs & went back to its natural khaki roots. The upstairs however? Well, you needed sunglasses. It was that bright.

Our first order of business was to sell the massive sectional that took up all the playing room. check! Our second order of business was to buy a new, smaller couch. check! Our third order of business was to paint,  paint, paint. check! Our favorite painter came yesterday and had the staircase AND bonus room done in 3 hours. Boom. That's why we hire people.

Now the real fun can begin! Right now this room is just a big mess of toys. We have tons of organizational space, I just haven't figured out the best way to utilize it. I'm looking forward to making this space a fun playroom for our boys & a nice area for us to relax together at the end of the day. Here are some ideas that I am loving:

bonus room
I love how there is room to play here & room for adults to sit. I love all the bins. We actually have these same exact storage bins, I just need to figure out a way to label them and organize them.
Love this color scheme for our bonus/play room. Minus a slide;)
I love the color scheme in this room. It's peaceful and relaxing. I do hate the slide though. No slides inside, please.
Kid's room.... Love the framed books idea. :)
I have been saving the book jackets off of our favorite books for about year. I knew I wanted to display them somehow & I love this.

Hopefully I will have a finished playroom before the end of the summer!


Menu Monday

Apparently I have my brain is going south of the border right now, thus the theme of Mexican food throughout the week! Truth be told, I could Mexican food every single day & never tire of it. 

Here is what we're cooking up this week:

Monday: Quesadillas using the leftover filling from Taco cups!

Wednesday: Chicken burrito bowl

Friday: leftovers

Saturday: Chicken Parmesan & mashed garlic potatoes


5 on Friday

I'm linking up with the lovely ladies behind 5 on Friday again! I don't always look forward to the weekends because a lot of times Ben has to work. But, he's off this weekend and I am so excited to get some family time in! Public schools here started today & the summer is officially winding down. I thought I would talk about my 5 favorite memories from this summer! 
1. Our beach trip to Florida. I loved spending a week with my family at the beach & I loved watching our boys play together in the sand. It was such a fun week!
2. Spending the weekend with our Louisiana family & watching my cousin, Robyn, tie the knot! 

3. Our many fun playdates with friends at parks, our church playground, & the pool!
4. Getting to see my very best friend, Carly, & having some great girl time in Atlanta. I had not seen Carly in years because California stole her away from me. I am so thankful for these girls. Even though we are all spread out & are in different stages of life, we always pick up right where we left off.

5. Celebrating Griffin's first birthday! I still can't believe how much our lives have changed over the past year!



  • Well, folks, we have a semi-walker on our hands! Griffin has perfected the zombie walk & looks awfully cute doing it. He can walk across the room but he is so cautious and goes very slowly. He's still crawling a bunch, too. I forgot how much I love this beginning walker stage. They just look so cute taking stiff steps with their arms straight out! Makes me laugh every time.
 Stride Rite SRT Soft Motion Tony
  •  Speaking of walking, Griffin had to get some new kicks last night. We have the Sun San sandals that are great for just walking. They don't bend much though & since Griffin is still crawling a lot, he needed something different. These teeny tiny Stride Rite sandals cost way too much for him to only wear for 2 months. PSA: Kids cost a lot of money.
  • Our new couch arrives on Friday! We also have a painter coming to give us an estimate of redoing our bonus room. I am so excited for this project to get underway so I can actually make it a room! 
  • If you know one thing about Grayson, it's that he is a sports enthusiast. He loves football & baseball. We are friends with one of the back up quarterback's for the Titans and Ben took G down to their practice this week to see Mr. Rusty and the other players. They had been to a practice before, but this time he got to stay afterwards and get autographs and meet the players.  He came home with the biggest smile and a big football full of signatures. He had the best time!
  • Schools start at the end of this week & I will admit, while I love my current gig, I do miss the beginning of the school year. School supplies are my favorite & I loved getting to decorate and organize a classroom every year. I also miss the 25 minute lunch breaks with my very entertaining friends. Maybe I could be a professional classroom designer as a new profession? Hmm....


Build 'Em Up: Why I love MOPS!

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I am so excited that the Build 'Em Up series is back! This week the topic is all about mama groups. This is right up my alley because I love, love, love my MOPS group!

Whenever I talk to people about my MOPS group, I always get asked this: "what is it??" MOPS stands for Mothers of Preschoolers and it is basically a group of mamas who have kids birth-preschool. It's an international organization & you can find groups all over the US! It's a ministry for moms & it has blessed my life tremendously. 

I think it is so important to keep your friendships alive after you get married & especially after you have kids. I have so many friends that are in different stages of life than me & I was a little nervous about making "mom friends" when I quit teaching. My neighbor told me to sign up for the MOPS group that meets at our church twice a month and I didn't hesitate. 

I joined 2 years ago & went in blindly to my first meeting. I had no idea what to expect. It was like the first day of school & I was a little nervous. But? Everyone was so warm & welcoming. I made some great friendships that first year & so did Grayson! It is so encouraging to be in the throes of toddlerhood & have moms all around me that get it. I love having a group of women that I can run to when I have a mom question or if I have a prayer request.  I crave the fellowship time I get with these ladies on Wednesday mornings; it's good for my soul.

I am about to start my 3rd year being a part of this ministry & I can't wait! I encourage you to see if their is a MOPS group or something similar near you. It's one of the best decisions I have ever made!


Menu Monday

I've had a few people snicker at me when I tell them about how I plan out our weekly menu. So, I thought
I would explain why I plan it out & how I do it. I haven't always been organized with meal planning. When Ben & I got married we went grocery shopping every Sunday. We would make a list and talk loosely about what we wanted every night for dinner. I never wrote meals down, I would always forget things, and I would end up at the grocery store like 5 times every week. That gets expensive. And annoying.  

Enter in 2 kids and making grocery trips are no longer easy. I mean, I only have 5 minutes of "quiet time" while they eat their free cookies. Then the real fun begins. And by fun I obviously mean a complaining toddler & screeching baby. I need a meal plan to save money and my sanity. 

I figure out our menu on Sunday & we go grocery shopping on Monday morning. I'm trying to get back to planning what we eat around weekly sales and I try and make things using stuff we already have in our pantry. If we have a plan for each night then we tend to eat out less. Just don't look at our track record lately. So, there you have it. Pretty simple. But pretty life-changing. seriously.
Monday: Ground Turkey spaghetti

Tuesday: leftovers

Wednesday: Ground Beef, black bean, & corn quesadillas

Friday: The Fair...so, fair foods!

Saturday: Lemon Thyme Chicken, Baked Potatoes, & fried okra

Sunday: Honey Chicken with Fried Rice (from Whole Foods)


5 on Friday

Hello, hello! It's finally Friday. I feel like I have been dragging all week. I've been so tired...I think I'm still recovering from Griffin's birthday party! I'm linking up again with Natasha & some other ladies for 5 on Friday!
1. Griffin's actual birthday was a success! We did all his favorite things: ate donuts for breakfast, had a Chick Fil A lunch date, played with his new toys, & ate pizza for dinner! Can you tell what makes Griff happiest? Food. Haha, that's the way to his little heart!

2. After 4 months of listing our huge sectional on Craigslist, we finally sold it last weekend!  It has been in our upstairs bonus room for 3 years and took up way too much room. It has been our playroom since G was a baby but the couch literally took up all the playing room. Now that the huge couch is gone I get to play decorator and make it a real playroom! We bought a much smaller couch today and it should be here in the next few weeks. I'm excited to actually make it look like a real room!
Love the slinky white sweater top w/ skinny and thigh high boots. Added soft scarf and aviators perfect for fall
3. I get to this point every summer when I am over the heat & ready for fall. Football, jeans, boots, & scarves. Can I get an amen? (sidenote: how in the world do you embed pinterest imaged now??? I can't figure it out since they've changed everything.)
4. Do you have the Timehop app? If you don't, you should get it. It pulls things from all social media you're on & gives you flashbacks every day of what you have posted in the past. It's crazy. Lately it has been literally making me ache for newborn baby Griffin & little blonde newly big brother G. I looked at it yesterday & it reminded me that exactly one year ago we brought Griffin home from the hospital. He was so fresh & new and, MY GOSH, how was that already one year ago?!

5. Speaking of new babies, here is a legit worry of mine: what if I never feel done?? The non-existing baby #3 is most likely our last but I am so afraid that I will never feel done. I love being pregnant (hush, I know I am weird) and I love that new baby stage.  I honestly feel like I could do this a thousand more times. But don't worry, Ben won't allow is to become the Duggars!