Camp Hooper

We had the b.e.s.t. time celebrating our boys at their Camp Hooper birthday party.  The weather was perfect and we felt so blessed by all of our friends and family that came out to celebrate.  This year we did a joint party for the boys and they loved it!  We will be making this a tradition for as long as they let us!  A camping party seemed like the most appropriate theme considering our current life situation 🙂  Corbin’s one request was to have fish on his cake – you got it kid!  My mom made the pinata again this year {one of my most favorite traditions}.  She made pinatas for us as kids, and I always thought I had the coolest mom because she knew how to make a pinata.  I love that my boys now have the coolest pinata making nannie 🙂  Chick-fil-a saved the day with a last minute party tray order (like 0920 order for a 10 am party), shiply’s drive-thru donut holes won over the kids hearts and nana provided some delicious fruit!  My one pintrest inspiration for the party was s’mores trail mix.  I put a box of teddy grahams, a bag of chocolate chips, and a bag of mini marshmallows in a bowl and ta-da.  EASIEST kid loving snack ever.  I pulled some of the kids stuffed animals out of beds and brought our play teepee for decor and viola – perfect camping party!  I have so much fun celebrating birthdays and something about celebrating your babies is just extra special.  I already have a boy filled fun theme planned for next year 😉  What are some of your {easy} favorite party ideas?!

Camp Hooper
cakes, hats, and flashlight party favors = big hit
s’mores pinata is one of my favorites so far!
corbin was totally into the pinata hitting this year. bubba, maybe next year….
it wouldn’t be a 2 year old party without a tantrum
love hate relationship with the bubble machine. they love it, i hate it {such a mess} 🙂
the innocence and joy that a Pinata brings out. I LOVE it!

xo,

j

and now you are four

F O U R.  I cannot even believe you have been a part of our lives for four years.  I don’t know why four seems so much more different from three, two or even that super special first year.  Four is like the big league of entering childhood.  You are starting to make memories (so maybe all these silly things I do and traditions I follow will start sticking in that sweet memory of yours).  Four has been a big year for you.  You have grown and matured SO much this year.  You love to help with everything.  You LOVE your bubba.  You love trucks of any kind, the garbage men, and anything to do with camping.  Your imagination is wild and you are constantly correcting me about the correct noises that trucks and tractors of the sort sound.  You are a great eater (you love to run up to the measuring ruler after every meal and see if you have grown) and love trying new things.  You are stubborn and that will of yours is a force to be reckoned with.  I try to choose my battles with you wisely.  I know these character traits will carry you far in life and try to remind myself of that often.  You are a great little problem solver.  You love your daddy so much and I love watching you admire him.  You strive to be just like him and I am totally ok with that.  The world could use as many of your daddies as possible.  Your laugh is deep and real.  You have a giant heart.  You love to cook and are always wanting to help and learn in the kitchen.  Your favorite color is blue, unless it comes to plates then you always demand orange.  Right now you are playing soccer, but at least once everyday you tell us how you want to play basketball, baseball and football.  I can see where our weekends are going 🙂  You love to start your morning off with a glass of chocolate milk (almond milk regular halfway and chocolate the rest).  You love visiting the auction barn and always get a grilled cheese sandwich there.  Lupe (tortillas as you call it) is your favorite place to go eat – and pretty much the only restaurant we can safely, aka meltdown free, visit as a family.  You love to end your days and get tucked in with a back scratch.  You love school.  You were the first.  You made me a mommy.  Your birthday will always be one of my favorite days to celebrate.  Mommy and daddy love you to the moon and back.

birthday cinnamon rolls
birthday chapel at school
your birthday present! your very own camera!

xo,

mommy      

Five on Friday – Election week edition

It’s Friday and it’s cold!  Well, cold for Texas anyways 🙂  I hope everyone had a great week.  We have a had a few house showings this week and I am trying not to get too hopeful but I am continuing to pray that we get an offer sooner than later if this is God’s will.  Having your house on the market is exhausting – ask Andrew.  Bless his heart.  Almost every showing we have gotten notice as I am going into work for the night.  He has totally rocked all the cleaning and organizing by himself so I can just wrangle the kiddos the next day and get everybody out of the house in time for the showing!  I could not do this life without him by my side.  I had lunch with a dear friend and was telling her my frustrations and shared with me this quote that her friend shared with her.  So much truth right here.  Finding the beauty in our wait.

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{one}

Trump wins.  I get it.  I do.  Some people are scared/angry and some people are happy/celebrating.  Regardless of the side you are on I think this election has {or needs to in some cases} taught the American people some important lessons.  One – God has been on control since the beginning.  As much as the polls and experts said otherwise – HE knew.  And, personally, I think that is awesome.  We voted, but ultimately he chose.  As I prayed with my boys in carpool line before drop off on Tuesday we ended our prayer with that whoever God willed to be in office would win.  I am at peace with that.  If it had been reversed I would have been at peace as well.  Why?  Because we can only TRUST HIM.  End of story.  No rioting, no worrying, no name calling is going to fix anything nor give the other side what they want.  Two – Love wins.  OR does it?  It seems to me that some of the large groups of people that preach from the rooftops that Love wins are the ones sending death threats and filling the streets with riots and hate towards Mr. Trump and his family.  I am all about Love wins.  Regardless of my beliefs and values I try not to judge others, that is not my place.  I don’t care what color you are or what you believe in if you are behind me I am going to keep the door open for you, if your tire is flat and you are stranded on the side of the road I can guarantee you my husband will the first one to flip a U-turn and offer you assistance – regardless if you have a Trump or Hillary bumper sticker.  WHY?  because we are all humans and it is our duty to treat EACH AND EVERY other human with respect.  So to the crowds out there throwing up their arms in hatred and anger – why don’t you try loving?  After all, love wins.  Right?!  Matthew 22:37-40 reads “You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your mind.  This is the first and greatest commandment.  A second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.  The entire law and all the demands of the prophets are based on these two commandments.”  NEWFLASH: Trump is your neighbor, Hillary is your neighbor.  We ARE ALL neighbors.  Let’s try love friends.  If you do nothing else, I dare you to try and step out of your comfort zone.  Say hello to every person you make eye contact with, hold doors open for people, start a conversation with a stranger.  As I waited {an hour} in the voting lines I got to talk to the person behind me and ahead of me and I really enjoyed our conversation.  I enjoyed their company to help the hour pass.  Did we ever once talk about who we were voting for?  nope (and one of them was wearing a shirt for the party I was not voting for).  And guess what – it didn’t matter.  We laughed.  They played with my son and made him laugh.  They helped me maneuver the stroller through the tiny door spaces into the voting lines.  Hillary and Trump are just as much your neighbor as they were mine.  Show love.  Natalie Grant’s song King of the world was my theme song last week.  This week I am choosing Tim McGraw’s song Humble and Kind.  I pray that the American people can show kindness towards Mr. President Trump.  I also pray that Mr. Trump can stay Humble and {grow in his ability to be} kind.  We all have room to grow in ourselves; let’s stretch that ability.

 

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Now, Let’s put all of these political wars aside and pay tribute to our veterans. THANK YOU!.  Each and every person and their family that has sacrificed their time {and lives} in order to serve our country.  Let’s make them proud and continue to make America great.

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{two}

Corbin got to vote at school.  I talked very briefly with him about the election and Wednesday morning we talked about the President that had won the election.  His response to me was “but I wanted chocolate and chicken nuggets (his vote at school).”  My sweet, sweet little boy.  Hang onto that innocent soul forever.

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{three}

I just discovered the best little coffee and lunch spot in my hood.  literally right down the street from house.  I felt super trendy there with my husbands laptop, my iced green tea, and actually being dressed in real people’s clothes.  I think I found my new kid free alone time hide out {which means I’ll be there maybe 3 times a year ;)}.  swoon.

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{four}

I am almost completely done with our Christmas shopping lists.  Once our Amazon points hit our account all I have to do is click buy, wait, and wrap.  I am feeling super on top of it right now and so excited to wrap gifts and have Christmas everything pouring out of my soul 🙂  I get Christmas isn’t all about presents but gift giving is one of my languages of love so that part of the holiday I just LOVE.  I love wrapping presents, I love watching my family open them.  I just love it.

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{five}

We are heading to a Christmas Market near our house with some of our best friends this weekend.  This has been a tradition for us for 6 years now.  My friend that we go with was actually my wedding coordinator at the facility we got married at and I was secretly hoping we could stay friends after I got married 😉  She invited Andrew I to dinner and this market with them a few months after our wedding.  As much as the boys were thrilled to go shopping with us – it really was a great night and it has become tradition ever since.  AND they are some of our best friends now and their kids and our kids are best friends.  So pretty much its perfect.

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Have a great weekend friends.  Thanksgiving is only 2 weeks away!!!!!!

friday link up

 

xo,

j

The Last Time

Y’all my babies are growing up.  Like at lightning speed growing up.  Am I right?!  Does anybody else feel like life’s time clock went into super speed mode once kids entered your life.  I try to soak up each moment I have with my kiddos and remember all the little things about the stages they are in that I love, but its hard.  Lets be honest, some days I pray the time away just to make it to bed time and then I tuck these boys away for the night and instantly start missing them.  Being a mom is weird and hard.  This week both of my boys decided to just grow up.  Tuesday night when Andrew came home from work we were all outside playing and Corbin wanted the training wheels off his bike.  He owned it guys.  He hopped up on that 2 wheel bike like he had done it every day of his life and just took off.  As I sat there is disbelief watching my little boy (he’s only 3) zooming away on his bike I couldn’t remember the last time I watched him ride it with the training wheels still on.  I tried so hard, but I just couldn’t remember.  In that moment If I had known it was the last time his little legs would be peddling away with the help of training wheels I probably would have soaked up every moment of the “little kid” left in him.  I suppose it God’s way of protecting us as mothers; guarding our hearts, to not realize when we are experiencing “the last time” with our kids.  If we knew every last time as it was happening life would be crippled to some degree and maybe we would shelter our kids so we could experience just one more “last time” before we let them grow up.

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you can watch a movie of his ride here.

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Wyatt is my baby.  He is a big snuggly bear with so much love and smiles for miles.  He also **loves** (or loved) his bottle something fierce.  This is my boy who refused sippy cups and was just as content with his bottle empty as he was with a full one.  He too decided to grow up on me.  He dropped his bottle love overnight.  As much as I dreaded washing bottles, I now miss it.  Had I known his last bottle was his last I probably would have rocked him to sleep as he drank it and taken careful note of his adorable chubby hand doing the one hand bottle hold as he chugged it down….bottoms up.  Alas, I did not know that would be our last bottle.  I thought for sure this would be the “battle” we had with him to transition him out of.  With that said, after 15 months of existence on this earth Wyatt has found a paci and developed a severe addiction to it in about 5 seconds flat.  The baby who acted like he was gagging every time it was offered to him as an infant is now acting like he has been deprived of life’s most precious gift his whole life.  I have no clue where he found his giraffe wub a nub….bottom of the toy bin?  a recent closet raid him and big brother did together?  All I know is that I am not going to fret the fact that my toddler is loving a paci.  I will embrace it and know that soon enough he will have his last night with his giraffe and I will miss that sweet sound of his little sucks on it and how it makes him still look my baby.

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Love your babies.  Embrace the season, it goes by all too fast.  I know the trenches are deep when you are trudging through them, but someday you make it through and look back and think what happened, how did we get through, how did they grow up so fast?  Each day is a gift from God, treat it as if it just might be the last time.

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xo,

j

 

Hey, Monday

Hey guys…IT’S MONDAY!  I am **LOVING** every second of the olympics.  Last night I was in heaven…swimming and women’s gymnastics all night!  I am also loving how Corbin is totally into it this year.  Twice now when swimming has come on he turns to me and says I want to do that mommy!  Well ok kiddo, lets do it!  Swim lessons have been on my agenda for WAY too long and this is definitely putting a fire under my booty.  Not that I am saying I am raising the next Michael Phelps, but I want Corbin to know we support all of his dreams ( and the sooner he can swim and gain that confidence the better for safety sakes!).  He has been in this “I can’t phase”  “I can’t put my shoes on mommy, I can’t get dressed, I can’t buckle my seat.”  I have been ensuring him that yes son, you in fact CAN do all of that and you have.  It is a daily struggle to coach him along through those moments when his 3 year old I can’ts really mean I don’t want to.  We have been trying to reinforce into him that you CAN do anything you put your mind to, you may not want to do it but you CAN.  I am trying so hard to eliminate the “I can’t” attitude  from our home.

dream big little boy
dream big little boy

Speaking of swimming we spent the most fun weekend camping at Splashway. I highly recommend this water park, even if you don’t have a camper a day trip would be tons of fun for the whole family!  This park is VERY family orientated and has a large number of small children’s pools, slides, and attractions.  However, it also vibes out to those thrill seekers and older kiddos with a HUGE wave pool and 7-8 giant water slides (tube, free fall, mat, etc..).  They have lots of shaded areas for free or you can rent a cabana for the day which includes an ordering service for food and drinks.  We did not get a cabana this year (we did not know anything about the park before going) but we will probably be investing in that if we go back!  You are allowed to bring your own coolers and drinks into the park, which is also big perk for those watching the family budget.  Another aspect of splashway that I just loved is how you can feel the christ centered family approach they are bringing to the table.  The world desperately needs God to be more on the forefront and this place and serving up just that!  Every day at 1 pm the whole park does a moment of silence followed by the national anthem in honor of our soldiers and veterans, every couple of songs played over loud speakers are christian based and Sundays on the campgrounds they have church.  We did not realize about church, but man what a joy it was to be coming out of the woods on our hike Sunday morning and hear the praises of Jesus blaring over the loud speakers at the campgrounds.  We will definitely be attending church on our next stay at Splashway!  The campgrounds also boast a HUGE catch and release lake (where you can also rent canoes and paddle boats), a few playgrounds, ziplines, tractor train rides, arts and crafts, live bands and so much more.  It is affordable family fun.  We booked this trip without much research but it will become  regular spot for us – even without the water park we plan on going back to the campgrounds during the off season!

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xo,

j