Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Framily Vacay: SSI 2017

Our 2nd Annual Framily Beach Vacation is in the books!
Last year, we had so much fun beaching it with the Hutcheson's, we decided we needed to do it again this year. 
Our Stipulations:
We must stay on Oceanfront property.
We must have fun.
Check! Check!

Though we were living in closer quarters than what we were used to, (6 of us in one condo!) it was fun. The babies really enjoyed each other and kept each other entertained. Only a few hits and snatches thrown in over our 5 day stay. 

I can't write pages about our trip, because we pretty much did the same thing everyday.
Eat. Play. Beach. Pool. Sleep. Eat. Sleep.
We may have changed up that routine a bit, but not much! 
So for the most part, this post is pictures.
Unfortunately we only had 1 super sunny day, the other 4 contained rain at some point. Only one of those days was the rain an inconvenience. To be expected when the weather guys are calling for the busiest Hurricane season in years! 
A rainy day at the beach is still a day at the beach, however. :)
Ella B & Bo loaded up for the beach haul!

Ella B showing off her selfie taking skills. 
Girlfriend even posted to her mama's snapchat story.

Bo has become enamored with dinosaurs this summer. In an effort to introduce him to something besides Mickey Mouse, I played Jurassic World for him one day. He LOVES it. Now, we watch that  435,634,545 a day. We'll be watching and he'll say, "Something is going to happen!" And we are working on a dinosaur collection as we speak. We had like 3 on this trip and that's he and Colby playing with some. 

Being a stinker when Courtney told him to smile at her! He'd smile but would not look at her.

"Love Ella, Bo."
He goes for it and she rejects him.

"See ya later, guys!" 
Literally what Bo says everytime he says bye now. 

Our one and only out to eat night. Also, our one and only family pictures.

The Hutcheson's.

One of my most favorite outfits. I bought this for him when he was 4 months old and I was afraid he was going to outgrow it before he ever got to wear it. It fits, but not for long.

Love our Ellabees!

He wants to be moving and she's content to ride. #whateverworks

Vacations always pass too quickly for me. We've been planning this trip for 6 months and now it's done. No worries, there's always next year. (Or next month. :))

Monday, June 5, 2017

Books & Books

So, I've just finished my 2nd batch of books for this year!
I've read more in the last 2 months than I have in the last 2 years.
Summer is the perfect time for reading for me because I can use nap time & I don't have any shows going on.
I'd love to have a set day for when I'll be posting about the books I've read but I can't promise I'll be done reading by this day or that. So we're just going with it for now.
On to the books....
(Girl is getting her life together in Texas and has no time for love, until she literally walks into it. He knows her, but she doesn't no him. Some confessions are for keeping. :))
Well, I've yet to be let down by Colleen Hoover.
Confess was so good & in true Hoover form, I didn't call some of the curveballs she threw. Courtney said she had more of an idea of what was to come, but I must confess, I did not. :)  
I like how she can twist up a love story with a little tragedy and suspense. I'll be reading one from Hoover every month until I finish them all, I believe.
(Mystery surrounds the deaths of several women who have died in the 'swimming pool,' in this town. All but one of the deaths have been ruled suicide, so it seems like the perfect place to commit a murder and cover it up.)
This was the first dark & twisty book I've read since Girl on the Train. I loved that one, so I thought it appropriate to read Into the Water as my inaugural dark & twisty book this year. While it was good, and I was into it and needed to know what happened, it was my least favorite this month. For one, I felt there were too many characters to keep up with. I like hearing the story from different view points, but not from what felt like 20. I couldn't keep up with who was who and had to go back and re-read sometimes. It got confusing. Also, I had a *pretty* good idea about the ending a good while before I got there. But, I still recommend reading it. 
 (The perfect couple living the perfect life in the perfect house. Life must be perfect for them, right? That's why she's never alone and she doesn't answer the phone and she doesn't work.)
Behind Closed Doors was one of those I had to hear 100 times that I needed to read, but couldn't commit. I kept going back and forth because some people said they couldn't finish it because it was so dark. It was definitely creepy. It was definitely dark. And it was definitely twisty. But I DID like it! It didn't feel as dark & twisty to me as some others, and I guess because you KNEW the who the pyscho was the entire time. He wasn't hiding in plain sight. I get more creeped out wondering who did what and knowing it can be anyone around than knowing who the creeper is. (If that makes sense.) Anyway, if anyone is on the fence about this one like I was, give in & get it! I can't wait for Courtney to finish it so we can talk about it. 
(Hannah has lived in almost every city in the continental U.S. but hasn't found home. So, she decides to return to the one place, or person, who is home; her best friend, Gabby. She has to make a decision leave with Gabby one night at a bar, or stay behind with Ethan, her former, first, and only love. Whatever decision she makes will change her forever.)
Another win! Maybe in Another Life was different in that it gave you the chance to see the 'What if,' that you can't in real life. I LOVED it! I still don't know what decision I wanted Hannah to make, I fell in love with both lives she could've had. 
That's it for now! If you have any recommendations on what I should be reading, please share! 



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

What's Up Wednesday: May 2017

{What We're Eating This Week}
I used Mix & Match Mama's Memorial Day Menu for a couple of things this week.
The  Tortellini Pasta Salad is super good & just as Shay said, the perfect summer lunch. I made it Sunday night and have eaten it for lunch since. 
I also made her Mama's Corn Salad for our Memorial Day cook out & it was a hit! 
Tonight, I'm making Chicken Chili Tacos and I've got high hopes for that as well. :)
{What I'm Reminiscing About}
A few things actually...
 Courtney and I had the best time during our Weekend Away.
It's amazing what 2 nights of good sleep and a few meals with no interruptions can do for a Mama's brain!
 Also, SSI 2016 trip is on my mind because...
VACAY in 9 days!!! 

{What We've Been Up To & I'm Loving It}
Swimming, swimming, and more swimming. This little dude is a fish and just loves it! We are already loving what summer is all about; sunshine, a little extra sleep, and lots of swimming!

{What I'm Dreading}
Not a doggone thing!

{What I'm Working On}

I mentioned last week that I got a new job, which means new classroom! I'm working on ideas for the new decor and my first purchase was that teacher life sign from That Inspired Chick! I'm 99.9% I'm going to be ordering a sign or two more before school starts in August. :)

{What I'm Excited About}
Umm..Vacay. In 9 days!!

{What I'm Watching/Reading}
Now that all my TGIT have ended until fall it's time for...
 And I just finished this goodness. Aaagghh! 
Love. Love. Love. It'll be in my next book post.

{What I'm Listening To}
Yep. Still this. 
I finished Serial, and while it was definitely good, UAV is my #1. 
This case is crazy!!
{What I'm Wearing}
It's a toss up between Nike shorts and my bathing suit. 
{What I'm Doing This Weekend}
It's our sissy girl's 2nd birthday celebration! 
She's not mine (but she kind of is) and I honestly have no idea where the time went.
I mean, this just happened. 
{What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month}
Beach. Beach. Beach.
{What Else Is New}
Nothing comes to mind! 

{Favorite Vacay Spot}
Obviously, we love SSI. I've only blogged about it twice now, and we are headed there at least twice more this year. It's the perfect home away from home; it's not a long drive, it's a small town feel, and plenty to keep the babies happy. 
However, I do miss the white sand and crystal clear waters of Destin, Florida! Growing up, our family's vacation destination varied from Destin to Panama City. Not a huge difference in beach, but a difference in atmosphere. I would say Destin has a more family friendly atmosphere. Anyway, our plan is to *hopefully* visit Destin again next year; it's a long haul & tackling that drive with Bo just doesn't seem fun quite yet.

Happy Last Day of May!
(Where IS the year going?!?!)

This post is part of a link-up done with Shay, Sheaffer, and Mel.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Splashing into Summer!

 Hey there, Summer 2017!
We have been living in the pool on the weekends, and now, we'll be there all week long.
Good thing this boy loves it! I expected Bo to enjoy the pool because he loves anything outside, but I had no idea he'd love it so much. So much so that he cries sometimes when I make him get out. And he seems to have no fear; he's already been off the diving board and loves to jump off the side and do his 'trick' on the 'floak.' (Trick being rolling off the float head first into the water.)
 Something that is also cool is his love to play fetch with himself. He will grab any toy that floats, throw it in, and then jump in to get it. Shouting the entire time, "I do it! I do it!" And then when he gets whatever toy he's thrown, he screams, "I did it!"
He also loves to tell me that it's, "Mama's turn. Mama get in."
And of course, I oblige.  
As you can see, he's a little bossy. :)
He loves the swim out, too. Its perfect for him to stand and walk on, and he can jump off of it and climb right back on with no help.
The puddle jumper is as much of a necessity as diapers and food around here. I thought he may not like it, and it did take him a time or two to get used to it. He kept falling forward in it. But once he figured out the freedom it gave him, he was ALL about it!
 This boy of mine. 
I'm so excited for the summer of fun ahead.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Ending or Beginning?

Tomorrow, I will graduate from a very happy place for the fourth and final time. 
The picture above was taken 22 years ago. It is of my co-worker/friend/cousin, and I sitting in our Pre-K classroom.
My first classroom as a student, and my first classroom as a teacher.
Pretty great, right? 
Shannon and I were a part of the first Pre-K class to graduate from our little school, and God worked things out so that we were able to teach at the same school together 22 years later.
This was the first place we were students.
 The first place we were teachers.
I will be forever grateful for our boss, (our once Pre-K teacher!) for hiring us as newbies 3 short years ago. 
Both Shannon and I had a difficult time finding jobs right out of college because everywhere we went, they wanted someone with 'experience.'  
But then we came back to the place where it all began...
It's been so fun. Really, my job is fun.
I don't dread going to work.
I don't wish it by too quickly. (Well, most of the time. ;))
I have loved this little school for the last 3 years and I am going to miss it so very much.
I'm a fan of change.
I'm SO excited for this new adventure.
Getting a job in the local school system has been a prayer of mine for the last 3 years.
Before I did my student teaching, I was weary of grade level above 3rd. The age of the students kind of scared me, not gonna lie. 
Then I was notified I'd be completing my student teaching in a 5th grade Math & Science classroom.
I almost cried. 
I was afraid.
Math was not my favorite subject.
But GOD, God knew better!
Those 5th graders became my absolute favorite. I LOVED the personality and the independence they brought.
And teaching Math? Teaching math was pretty fun, too.
(This note was left on the board as options for students after completing a task. One student added that last point. 15 weeks I spent with them, and they still couldn't spell my name!) After graduating, I dreamed of being a 5th grade teacher, but I would've taken any grade offered.
But GOD, God had a classroom for me already picked out, I just had to wait for it.
The waiting is the hard part, amen?
So while closing the chapter on the little school where I had many beginnings won't be easy, I'm continuously thankful for God's plan.
His are always so much better than mine!
God is good, all the time! 

Monday, May 22, 2017


Bo was born a perfectly healthy baby and continued to be a perfectly healthy and thriving newborn. 
However, his breathing was a little different.
He never turned blue.
He didn't struggle with reflux.
He was always gaining weight and growing.
He just had noisy breathing. 
I noticed it when he was around 2 or 3 weeks old, and my mom mentioned it, too. He didn't make the noise all the time, mostly when he was sleeping and on his back. 
When my mom made mention of it, my response was, "He just needs to clear his throat." 
That is what it sounded like, though! 
So, at our next doctor's appointment, I asked some questions. Of course, Bo wasn't breathing noisily, then.
I kept asking the doctor at each visit up until he was 6 months old. At his 6 month check, he was making the noise while we were in the office. 
His doctor then asked me questions about frequency and when I noticed it most. 
She told me she was almost 100% sure it was Laryngomalacia (Lair-in-joe-malaysia) or a "flimsy windpipe." 
She told me he would grow out of it. 
However, she also suggested we visit a lung specialist to have a chest x-ray. 
Bo was scheduled to have tubes placed in his ears for recurring ear infections and she wanted 100% certainty on his lungs being strong and able to handle the anesthesia.
Also, Colby had childhood asthma and Bo seemed to be a 'cougher,' already. 
We agreed that we checking his little lungs would be beneficial, because babies and anesthesia isn't something to be taken lightly.
So, off to the lung doctor. 
Praise the Lord, Bo's lungs were given 100% clearance and this doctor also said he, too, thought Bo most likely had Laryngomalacia. He told us to mention this to the ENT as well and he could do a quick check while placing the tubes. 
So, we did.
The ENT looked down Bo's esophagus while he was under and said that indeed, Bo's little larynx was a little flappy.
Thankfully, Bo never suffered any discomfort or had any major problems with Laryngomalacia
He was just a noisy breather, and yes, he did grow out of it! I noticed his breathing was less noisy around his first birthday and then I kind of just quit hearing it. 
It's funny because I've met 2 other moms who've mentioned that their little boys have 'rattles in their chest,' but no cough or drainage.
One was told it was acid reflux and the other just talked about the noisy breathing. 
 So I told them what we learned. 
I've also met a mom who's little boy was diagnosed with Laryngomalacia and had to have life saving surgery to correct it. This little boy would quit breathing and turn blue and it took several months to reach this diagnosis. After the surgery, however, no more problems! 
My purpose in writing this post is to put Laryngomalacia on someone's radar that has a baby with 'noisy breathing.' I sure had never heard of it, or heard of anyone who was diagnosed with it. I've learned that it is a very common thing, and is most common in Caucasian males. (Check, check!)
I've learned that more often than not, it self-corrects, or babies grow out of it. 
I've also learned that it can be difficult to diagnose, if you don't really know what you're looking for and your doctor can't hear or see it!  
Isn't it crazy the things you go your whole life not knowing?!
A baby truly changes everything. :) 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Friday Favorites

This time next week, it will be my FAVORITE Friday of the year. THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!!! Hanging on by my fingertips, but hangin' on.....
Now for this week's favorites!

I'm a known lover of books, so doing a review over the ones I've read lately was one of my favorite things I did this week. You can read that post here. I love reading and am always on the hunt for the next good book!

I ordered this teacher life sign from That Inspired Chick's  Etsy shop for my new 5th grade (!!!!) classroom. New classroom means new classroom decor!  I CAN'T WAIT!!

I owe this favorite to my fabulous co-worker, who is always on the hunt for a deal! Brace yourselves, but they are on sale for $13.59. YES MA'M.
Just go ahead and click here.
While I was it, I swooped these up, too.
Get them here.
You're welcome.

I feel like I won the lottery with this little Jon Jon. I'm part of several FB groups that re-sale smocked clothing and had inquired about a Jon Jon similar to this one. (Actually, it was last year's "Oh, Toodles.") However, the girl who was selling it went completely MIA and never responded. Boo. So I did some research and found the company who originally sold the Jon Jon. An email and a day later, this baby was on it's way to me! 
Bo is ALL about Mickey and friends and I just thought this was the cutest thing, so I'm really excited he'll get to wear it this summer. 
If you're in need of any kind of cutesy clothes, I can't say enough good things about The Smocking Bug. Super customer service!!!

7 more sleeps til Summer!!!

Happy Weekend! 

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Books on My Shelf

One of my goals this year was to read more. Once upon a time, Bailey read books all the time.
 And then Bailey had a baby...
Now baby is bigger and I have a bit more time and freedom and free hands to hold something besides baby. 
Anyways, on to the books.
*Note: I'm one of those who has to hear from 5 people how good a book is before I can commit. And then, if the author lives up to the hype, I'm all in. That's why, this month, I read only Colleen Hoover and Taylor Jenkins Reid.

First up, It Ends With Us. I realize that almost everybody and their mama has read this book by now, but if you happen to be one of those who has not, stop whatever your doing and read it now. This book was my favorite out of the group I read over the last few weeks. (I found myself sitting by my shower at 5:30 one morning because I just had to know what was coming.) I had 0 expectations when I started it and I think I experienced every emotion while reading it. It made me blush and then made me fighting mad and then I was just melting into the floor. Hats off to Hoover for ending the book in a real way. (I was on a Team, but I can't say who for sake of someone who has just gotten back from Mars with me and not read this book yet.)

Hopeless didn't disappoint, either! While I wasn't completely attached to the characters in the first chapter like I was in It Ends With Us, I was definitely interested. Again, didn't really know where this was going, though I had more of an idea, and was really surprised and happy with the way it all played out. There were some curveballs! (Lesslie made me really sad. Anyone else?) This book comes in 3rd out of this group, but only because of how great the next one was...
Emma Blair, I feel so sorry for you and yet I want to be you! One True Loves came in close behind It Ends With Us; I was sucked in by the end of the first chapter. If you don't know, a girl loses her husband, and then is engaged years later to find out Hubby is still alive. I didn't know how I wanted this to end when I was in the middle of it, but I was completely satisfied with out it turned out. There was no #TeamJesse or #TeamSam. I loved them both. 
 Forever, Interrupted was different than all the rest, but still in the same category. It was love story but you knew that sad ending from the very beginning. When I was telling Courtney about it, I compared it to Steel Magnolias. We all know what's going to happen and yet we can't save ourselves and stop watching before the big ugly cry parts. This book was like that. I felt kind of overbearingly sad while reading it. Sure, there were happy parts and a sweet love story, but I couldn't shake the sadness. I think this book was very well written and it wasn't one of those I struggled to finish, I just don't think I'll be reading it again.

Next Up:
This is on it's way to me now! I told you, once the author wins me over, I'm committed. I've heard some pretty good things about it and Hoover is up 2-0 with me, so I'm excited to get into it.
And apparently I've read every book of Kristin Hannah's EXCEPT this one.