Highlights of 2015

I can remember perfectly our last New Years Eve. Cheney was in a sweet little tutu outfit & the boys thought they were big stuff because I let them drink sparkling grape juice. How has a whole year already gone by?? 2015 sure was good to us. Here are some of the highlights from our year:
Watching this baby grow from a sweet little baby into a spunky toddler has been so fun. Especially since she is our last baby. I definitely savored it a little more this time around. Cheney developed quite a big personality over the last year!
In February we decided to put our first home on the market in hopes that we could move to Brentwood and find a much bigger yard for the kids. It was the longest process & nothing about it was easy, but we found a great house in the neighborhood we love on a little over an acre. It is a work in progress but we LOVE our yard and our neighborhood. We also have friends that live a couple streets over which is fun. This will be the house our kids grow up in & I can't wait to make years & years worth of memories here!
I declared the winter of 2015 as the COLDEST WINTER EVER. We had so much snow and ice. It wasn't always fun being stuck in our house with 3 kids, but the boys thought sledding was so fun.  We are prepared this year & have snowsuits for all the kids and we even bought 2 sleds. It better snow!!
Our family vacation is always a highlight of the year! This year we went to Gulf Shores with my parents and had so much fun. I love escaping for a week. Griffin loved digging in the sand, Grayson became a little fish in the pool, & Cheney was obsessed with the beach!
Grayson played 2 seasons of baseball & just started his first season of basketball a few weeks ago! This boy is so athletic and it is really fun watching him play.  This picture is from him birthday when he got the game ball!
One of the biggest changes of our year was that I went back to work part-time for the first time in 4 years! Teaching the 3 year old preschool class has been such a fun change. I have the best co-teacher who has become a great friend and a precious group of kids! It feels great to contribute a little to our family, use that part of my brain again, and still have a few days at home during the week with my kids.  Honestly, I was feeling pretty burned out from being a full-time stay at home mama. I definitely appreciate my 3 days at home more now!
This year went by SO FAST. We had some hard moments but we had lots of really great moments too. I can't wait to see what 2016 holds for us!


December fun

We have had a fun December full of Christmas activities! I feel like this is the first year where I didn't try to cram in every little Christmas activity. We didn't get around to doing some things, and I am totally okay with that. I am learning that quality is really better than quantity!
We are at such fun ages this year. I know that Cheney was here last Christmas, but I really feel like this her first REAL Christmas. She is obsessed with the big Christmas tree this year. The first week it was up she would walk into the foyer, her eyes would get big, and she would yell "WHOA!" I love experiencing everything through their eyes...it is so magical!

We have the best library right in our neighborhood. It's beautiful and always has fun activities going on! Earlier in the month they had a magician there performing & we got to see Santa! Cheney is very unsure about new men in general, but the guy with a big fluffy beard really bothered her! I love a good crying Santa picture!
I have waited 5 years for this...but I am happy to say that I finally have kids that love to do crafty things!! Our big kitchen windows are full of cute Christmas things made by the boys. I love it!
One of my favorite things about Christmas is matching Christmas jammies! Luckily, G still thinks it is cool to match his little brother and sister. I am sure that will end soon, so I had to live it up this year!
We have had some crazy weather this month. Thunderstorms and tornadoes last night...yikes! It has been so warm outside and we have loved being able to play in the cul-de-sac.
 Our afternoons consist of picking up sticks, riding scooters, playing hide and seek outside, and exploring the backyard. I am a big fan of a warmer December!
This year our preschool did something new! One Sunday afternoon we had a Journey to Bethlehem. We had different rooms that the preschoolers got to walk through & they learned all about the birth of Jesus. It was so fun! I love that our preschool is so focused on the Lord...our kids get to hear about Jesus all day! The boys are still singing the songs from that day. They enjoyed it!
I also got to spend time with Grayson at his Gingerbread Party at school! He ended up covered in icing and sneaking lots of marshmallows and candy!
I love making Christmas memories with these kids. When you are little, being a kid on Christmas is THE BEST.  It's so much more fun though as a mama. I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas!!


our halls are decked!

I was pretty excited to decorate for Christmas this year since I had a new house to decorate! I was so excited that I may have started 2 weeks before Thanksgiving. OH WELL. I am a firm believer in keeping my pumpkins on my porch until Thanksgiving but having Christmas trees on the inside! 
Merry Christmas from the new May house!

Different house, same situation. I still hate having a tv over the mantle. BOOHOO. I do love having all of our old Christmas cards on the mantle though!

This tree is Ben's dream come true. He has always wanted a spot for a HUGE Christmas tree and now he has a 2 story foyer! This 12 foot (!!!) tree is our newest addition. I love it and surprisingly had enough ornaments to fill it up!
I can't wait to make so many memories with our kids in this home. I just love it so much. Merry Christmas, y'all!


Halloween (a couple months late...oops)

Pretty much all year long our boys talk about what they are going to be for Halloween. This was our first year to trick or treat in the new neighborhood & we were pretty excited. It's definitely different! Our new neighborhood has really big lots, no sidewalks, & isn't as well lit. BUT, some of our best friends live here and we were excited to have buddies to trick or treat with!
This year our crew was Iron Man, Hulk, & a sweet ladybug.

We now live within walking distance of one of my high school best friends and it is so fun! Our kids get along so well & they were excited to trick or treat together.

We started off at their house and did walked a LOT further than I thought we would. I was impressed by this 5 & under crowd! I guess when candy is involved, they will do just about anything!
I love these girls! So happy they will grow up together!

We ended the night with a few pieces of candy, books, & Halloween jammies. Love these kids so much!


real life

My poor blog has pretty much been abandoned. (Hi Granddaddy! I'm posting!!) I do plan on playing catch up soon.
We spent Thanksgiving in Atlanta with my family. I tried to take a picture of all three kids outside before our big lunch & I figured I would share what it is REALLY like to capture 3 smiling kids at once. For every cute picture I get, I get about 37 funny ones. Sometimes the outtakes are my favorite because they resemble real life so much!

Can you tell who the family comedian is?


That Time We Bought Superheroes with Pacis

If you've been around here for the last 3 years, you know that Griffin was very attached to his paci. I mean, it was attached to him on the beach. For the longest time it was with him at ALL times. He used to sleep with about 10 in his crib because heaven forbid he lose one in the middle of the night.  Just last spring, at over 2.5 years old, we finally cut the habit down to bed & car. Griff was no longer allowed to have a paci in his mouth at all times & even that transition was rough! We heard a lot of "I tired. I wanna get in my bed with my paci!"
Earlier this summer the pacis started dwindling. Sometimes he bit them & they had to be tossed, sometimes I found gross ones & tossed them, and I'm sure we lost some in the move. I knew our stash was shrinking & I was definitely not buying more. We told Griff that when he was ready, we could take all his pacis to Toys R Us and he could use them to buy a new big boy toy. He talked about it some & would tell me what he would pick out......but he wasn't quite ready.
Then Thursday night happened. Griffin declared that IT WAS TIME. He told us that on Friday he would go to Toys R Us ad trade in all his pacis for a toy. I was skeptical. But, sure enough, he helped me gather them on Friday morning and before our trip to the dentist, we made a pit stop. Griffin proudly held his pacis in a little bag & carefully walked up and down the aisles. He stopped on the superhero aisle (of course) and picked out a new 3 pack of Iron Man guys. I really thought he would change his mind, but he didn't! He marched up to the counter, handed the guy his pacis, got a fist pump from the nice employee, & was SO SUPER EXCITED about his new superhero guys.
That is, until nap time.
I'll just say that I sent many SOS text messages to my husband that afternoon, my ears were nearly bleeding from the screaming, and I stopped for a bottle of wine on our way home from a fall festival that night.
BUT HE DID IT. We made it over the hump of a really hard first day, kind of hard second day, & now I feel like it is smooth sailing. My sweet baby boy who had the signature paci face for so long no longer has any pacis. Griffin is so proud of himself & how big he is.I'm proud too, because honestly? I kinda thought he may go to college with those pacis.
and that's the story of how we bought some new superheroes with a Ziploc full of old pacis.


Friday Happies

It's almost the weekend and that always makes us very happy around here! Here are some of the highlights from our week:
-Cheney took her first GOOD nap at school yesterday! She usually sleeps less than an hour (which is nuts) but yesterday her nap was an hour and a half...go Cheney girl!
-Grayson had his last game on Monday for the season & his team had a pizza party afterwards and he got a new trophy!
-School picture day was yesterday & they did sibling pictures. From what I hear, my 3 took some really cute pictures together! I can't wait to see them!
-I am back on My Fitness Pal and am excited to have friends that encourage me to get my booty to the Y more often! I still loathe the step sculpt class while I am doing it, but I love the feeling afterwards. I've got a goal in mind before Christmas so here's to hoping that I can reach it!
Happy Friday, everyone!


a little update

Well, somehow it is now October & I am not really sure how that happened. School is zooming by & it is almost fall break even though I feel like we just started! I am loving my new job & feel like it is the perfect fit. I love who I work with and we have 10 sweet little 3 year olds. Some people have told me that I am crazy for wanting to "get out of the house" by spending time with even more preschoolers; all I have to say is that it is completely different when they aren't your kids! I find myself enjoying our non-schools day more now. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right?
Grayson is really enjoying pre-k & loves his teachers. I am not sure what all they do all day, but he is exhausted when we get home! Grayson just finished up his 4th season of baseball this week. We bumped him up to the 5/6 year old league this fall & he did great! He really does love it! He is also signed up for basketball at our YMCA this winter. He has been begging to play basketball for a year now & was so excited that he is finally old enough!
Griffin is off to a great start at school. He is enjoying his teachers & class! I see him in the hall sometimes and he cracks me up. He refuses to wave to me or say hello...he acts like an embarrassed teenager! His teachers tell me that he makes funny faces all day long. We call him our little cartoon character...he is so expressive & makes the funniest faces! We went to Franklin's Family Fun Day over the weekend at Harlinsdale Farm. As usual, our little animal obsessed boy was SO HAPPY to see all the farm animals. He loved the petting zoo & thought the tiny bantam rooster was the best. I love this age so much! He's getting more independent, but he is still so much of a little boy. 3 is hard but can be so fun.
Cheney baby is still our wild one. I used to think Griffin was the wild one.....until she was born. The past couple of weeks she has really started to talk more. She's 14 months old now & saying dada, mama, bub (for the boys), hey, yeah, & bye. She can also nod her head "yes" and "no." She seems to do the "no" nod a little more frequently. No surprise there! She has become quite the climber! She is absolutely fearless and will climb up on anything & likes to stand on her booster seat the second I turn my head. She is also going to be my first child that needs a leash. Cheney disappeared from my side last week while I was at Carter's and scared me half to death. This girl will be the one to give me gray hairs! She is the definition of sugar and spice. Cutest, sassy little thing!


third time around

 I have realized how different things get with each baby you have. We're on the third baby, so this certainly isn't our first rodeo. By now, I've learned a lot about which things are really important: a bed for the kid to sleep in, clothes for the kid to wear, some diapers.  I also realized some things that were not really necessary by the time Cheney arrived: little containers for pacis in my diaper bag (forget it. PACIS ARE EVERYWHERE), paci wipes (I promise this is a thing. I let pacis have a general 30 seconds on the floor rule before they get a good ol' wipe on my shirt), pee pee teepees (Cheney didn't need these, obviously. But if we're being honest, neither did the boys. Being peed on is a right of passage for any mom & I guarantee that a little felt teepee wouldn't protect you)
It is just so funny now that I think about how I acted when Grayson was a baby to how I act now with Cheney. I was SO SUPER scheduled with G. To a fault. Cheney definitely has a nap schedule and a bedtime but I have realized that she will survive if we get her off of that schedule.
I think I let things slide a lot more with Cheney too. As in, don't freak out about much. When Grayson would put anything in his mouth that didn't belong to him it would make me crazy. I just KNEW he would get sick. Cheney found old bubblegum at the splash pad this summer and decided that it looked tasty. Yes, you read that right. SHE PUT SOMEONE ELSE'S CHEWED GUM IN HER MOUTH. Now, I may have gagged a little at the thought, but we threw it in the bushes and that was that. She also frequently eats dog food. Luckily, I think we are at the end of that fascination/obsession....but for awhile, Beneful Fiesta was her favorite snack. Oh well. It has to be safe if the dogs eat it, right?
I'm glad I've loosened up during this parenting thing. Maybe a little too much at times, because we definitely ran completely out of diapers last week. That certainly never happened with the first two.  Oh well. Hopefully Cheney will make it in this life despite me not obsessively wiping pacis off, keeping her away from the dog food, and allowing her to wallow on the floor of Monkey Joe's (see above).  Something tells me she will be just fine.



I just spent most of my weekend at the dotMom event here in Brentwood. I have been wanting to go for years & was so excited that I could actually do it this year! It definitely did not disappoint.
I am walking away from this event feeling like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. My spirit feels renewed & my mama heart feels refreshed. I so needed this time of worship & learning. Sometimes being the mama of 3 young kids feels a little bit like the movie Groundhog Day. Am I right? Sweep up crumbs. Refill milk in sippy cups. Wipe poopy bottoms. Sweep up more crumbs. Referee. Taxi the kids around to various activities. Sleep. Repeat.  Now, there are plenty of sweet moments. Please don't get me wrong. BUT, sometimes my not-so-great attitude makes it hard for me to find those sweet moments.
I know that God put me at this conference for a reason this weekend. Every single breakout session that I went to were areas that I feel inadequate. Areas where Satan creeps in & whispers to me that I am not doing a good job. Areas where at times I feel LOST (especially this whole raising boys thing. those creatures can be so strange!) Areas that cripple me with fear sometimes (raising godly children in a broken world?? making sure my beautiful girl knows where her beauty is from)
My journal has about 10 pages of notes from the weekend and I can't wait to just read over them this week & decompress. It was a breath of fresh air. I went in to dotMom feeling tired, inadequate, & stretched thin. I left remembering just how important my friendships with the girls around me are.  I left understanding that I need to give myself & my children more grace. I left with SO. MUCH. INFO on raising boys and girls. whew. My brain is still on overload...in a good way!
I am so thankful I got to spend the weekend with great friends & be surrounded by hundreds of other mamas with hearts for Jesus. There's just nothing else like it! It also helped that Melanie Shankle and Sophie Hudson were there....and that I hugged (!!!!) Melanie.
I could write a novel on every single think I took away from the weekend, but I think I will just share Karen Kingsbury's words on how to best live our life:
Love well, laugh often, look for the miraculous, & lift our children to Jesus.