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. 


my baby is FIVE!

FIVE. A whole hand. I can hardly believe it!
I always get nostalgic when birthdays are approaching & look at baby pictures. I was looking at pictures of Grayson earlier this week and it is just so hard to remember him being SO LITTLE. 5 years seems to have flown by but at the same time it feels like forever ago!

Grayson has looked forward to this birthday for a LONG time. We have been talking about turning 5 for many months. 5 just seems old, doesn't it?!

Well, G, it is finally here. The day you turn 5. My first moments with you in the hospital were quite a blur (thanks Ambien) but I remember just staring at you all the time during our first few days at home. I was in such awe of you. You were perfect & you were my dream come true. The baby boy I had always wanted!

At this moment in your life, you LOVE baseball. You're really good at it. You are a natural born athlete & it is so fun watching you play! You also love playing soccer in our backyard, football with daddy, & basketball in the bonus room. Let's be honest....at age 5, you just love all things sports related! You also love superheroes, power rangers, & anything rough & tumble boy related.  You are super opinionated about your clothing & dress like a tiny teenager. All things neon, Nike, & Under Armour are your favorite. You are definitely confident in your style!

You are also the hardest little worker I have ever seen! Your Friday night routine is helping your daddy in the yard. You help him mow, weed eat, & rake up all the grass. You are a great helper & you love it! You also love to help with your brother & sister. You've been a HUGE help now that I am teaching! Cheney on the loose at school could be a nightmare, but you help me in the mornings and afternoons keeping her out of trouble!

Grayson, you are such a huge blessing to your daddy and I. You are tender-hearted, kind, funny, and inquisitive. You ask no less than 5,000 questions a day! You have a heart of gold and we adore you!!
Happy FIFTH birthday to our biggest boy!! 


Back to school!

Well, our summer is officially over and school is back in session! This year will be a little different since ALL the kids are actually at preschool and the mama is too!
I started a few weeks ago with pre-planning & this is our second week with kids. It has been great so far! It feels great to get out of the house & use that part of my brain again. 3 year olds are definitely different than 1st graders, but it has been so much fun! I am working with a great teacher (who actually taught G when he was 3!) and have 9 precious kids. I am trying to find my groove with balancing everything, but I know we will figure it out! I'm just super thankful that I get to work where my babies go to school!
The kids are adjusting just fine! I was most worried about Cheney but she has been great. Her school naps aren't spectacular, but her teachers say she is happy all day! She is in the monkey class (isn't that so fitting?!) and her teachers are Ms. Tracy & Ms. Christy.
Griffin is in the penguin class this year with Ms. Pat & Ms. Vicki. He was SUPER excited that they were penguins because he loves them. He waddles like a penguin now all the time...ha! He has a few friends from his class last year & a bunch of new faces. It took a week for him to adjust & not be sad, but he does tell me he likes seeing me in the hallway. He won't wave to me but at least he likes to see me!!
Grayson had his very last first day of preschool EVER last week! I can hardly believe my first baby is in pre-k! Grayson has been so excited about pre-k all summer. His teachers are Ms. Patti & Ms. Shari and he has a lot of friends from his old class! He is definitely a creature of habit & was so happy to see so many familiar faces at orientation! He's had a great start & always tells me that school was so fun and that he is really tired at the end of the day. They must keep those 4 & 5 year olds busy!
These 3 look way too grown up. My heart can't take it! Here's to a GREAT school year! 


a party for two

We celebrated Grayson & Griffin at the end of August with a joint birthday party in our backyard. With 3 birthdays within 6 weeks of each other, we thought a joint party for the boys would make our lives easier!
Our new house has a huge, flat backyard and I knew it would be perfect for an outdoor party.  We bought an inflatable water slide as a joint gift for the boys & we ended up just having an outdoor water party! It was the most laidback, least planned party I have ever thrown......and it was probably my favorite! ZERO STRESS & lots of fun!

We had the inflatable water slide out, water guns galore, water balloons, & our trampoline. August in the south is usually the hottest month, but of course it was unusually chilly on party day. Luckily, the kids didn't mind! I am so glad that we did the party this way...everyone had so much fun!

We had a great time celebrating our 3 year old & almost 5 year old!