A Christmas to Remember

Y’all.  I LOVE Christmas.  SO SO SO much – LOVE IT.  I LOVE birthdays too – maybe that is why Christmas is my favorite.  It is like the ultimate birthday party for our Lord and King.  I finally got the last of our decorations packed up and put away and I am feeling the post-Christmas blues. I am missing all the family time – guys we HAD an untold of amount of time off of work to just be together.  It was the best gift of the season.  My living room is looking pretty barren, I miss the soft glow of the tree lights, and I miss my boys turning them on and off 10934375 times a day and being equally amazed each time they would light up.  I miss it.  This Christmas also brought so much bittersweet emotion with it as well.  It was our last Christmas in our first home and it was also my parent’s last christmas in my childhood home.  So many lasts and so much excitement for the all the firsts to come next year.  We really had fun digging into the family traditions with the kids this year.  I know it is only going to get more special each year.  We started with our annual polar express ride that you can read about here.  My mom hosts cookie decorating for Santa every year on the 23rd.  Once my kids reach the glorious age of FOUR I can drop them off and enjoy some momma time while they decorate but until they become of age to attend Nannie camp alone I get to go swimming in sprinkles and frosting and it. is. messy magical.  Corbin actually totally surprised me this year and was totally into it.  He took his time dumping the entire jar of sprinkles onto his cookies.  I expected him to either not care, just eat the cookies or throw sprinkles everywhere and then lick them up.  So, I was pleasantly surprised.  Bubba on the other hand.  He lived up to every expectation I had and then SO much more.  He was in his happy spot.  He claimed the jar of rainbow sprinkles immediately by licking the entire thing and then proceeded to eat cookie after cookie with and spoonfuls of frosting here and there and then would tip the sprinkle jar back like it was an ice-cold beverage and wash it down with rainbow sprinkles.  I lost track of how many cookies he ate, but I am pretty sure he is still feeling the effects of the sugar high.  We left with some pretty special cookies for santa.

this cookie front and center is a Christmas staple at moms. A york mint in the middle of chocolate heaven with frosting on top. Fights ensue over these cookies ya’ll. My mom’s tree is one of my absolute favorites. Every ornament has meaning and a story and I can’t wait until one day my tree is filled with treasures that tiny hands made….like this glitter star I made in kindergarten.
my most prized Christmas treasures. I would totally run into a burning house to save these…

Christmas Eve we attended church, and by we I mean Andrew.  The kids must have been experiencing some post sugar withdraws or something terrible because they were acting CRAY.  straight crazy.  It immediately resulted in us worshiping in the car while Daddy enjoyed church.  After church we changed into our tacky Christmas sweaters for the annual Hoopers go tacky Christmas tradition we started a few  years back and then headed to my parents for Christmas Eve.  Christmas Eve is just so special to me.  I LOVE being with my family and I know the kids will cherish these memories of running around with their cousins and getting their magical PJs from the PJ Elves before we leave Nannie and grandpa’s house.  It is a night filled with red beans and rice, birthday cake and songs for baby Jesus, gifts, lots of laughs and lots of little kid squeals.  It is perfect.

Hoopers go tacky 2016
PJ elves left urgent packages at the door and then the blurry excitement that ensued to put the PJs on ASAP
a handful of sweet memories from the night

Christmas day we will always spend at home.  I want the kiddos to have that memory of going to sleep at home and waking up to Santa at their house.  It was such a fun morning this year because Corbin was SO excited.  I know next year will be even more magical.  Santa was good to us and we are so blessed.  Andrew spoiled me rotten and sent me on a scavenger hunt through the house to find my gifts (that we weren’t supposed to give).  He is so creative and it really made me feel so loved and so special.  I even got a Christmas poem with my final gift – an apple watch – eeeeeep!  SO exciting.  I am actually meeting Andrew for lunch tomorrow and we are going to pick it out!

One of my favorite memories this year. Bubba could care less about the presents but he was in HEAVEN when he saw some leftover cookies and milk. Cookies for breakfast. smart kid.

Mama getting spoiled. Not pictured was my fancy new die cutter(and lots of fun stocking goodies) – can’t wait to get crafty
Christmas Poem

December 2016

Tis The Season Of Giving

No Matter Which Form It Takes,

It Could Be A Simple Hug

Or Delicious Cupcakes

It Could Be A Trip

To A Place Near Or Far,

It Could Be A Nice Conversation

Over A Drink At The Bar

It Could Be Toys Galore

Or A Handwritten Letter,

But I Bet A Poem From Your Hubby

Makes This Season Much Better

I Know That We Said

No Gift Exchange This Year,

But Again I’ve Broken The Rules

Please Don’t Shed A Tear

You Make Me So Happy

And I’d Give You The World If I Could,

You Know That I’m Serious

And You Know That I Would

But As This Isn’t Practical

You’ll Have To Settle For This,

All I Ask In Return

Is One Helluva Kiss

The Present I Got You

Oh What Shall It Be,

I Hope You Like It

It’s To You From Me

Merry Christmas To You

My Sweet Loving Wife,

I Can’t Wait To Pass The Time

With You In My Life

Love Hubby

We headed to Andrew’s parents Christmas night and did Christmas with his family on the 26th.  We all piled into his Grandma’s house and ate chili and stew and shared lots of laughs and lots of memories.  The cousins LOVE exploring through all of grandma’s treasures and it so much fun to see them all together.  We do a white elephant gift exchange and it is always so much fun.  This year we did the oven mitt gift game.  We had to open a gift with an oven mitt on while the person next to you tried to roll doubles with the dice.  Once doubles were rolled you passed the oven mittens and gift onto the next person.  Whoever opened the gift got to keep it.  It was a riot and had us all laughing.  Andrew’s grandma is an AMAZING baker and y’all she made PIES.  Her pies are like heaven.  No lie.  They are just SO good.  She gets her merengue like a foot tall and its heavenly.  They are beautiful and they taste even better.  We have the recipe for her chocolate pie and it lives in our safe – because it is just that good.

daddy and his mini-me

nothing more beautiful than the sunrise and sunset in the country

We spent the rest of the week at Andrew’s parents out in the country and it was nice.  Andrew worked himself silly putting up fence and doing jobs around the farm with is dad.  The kids ran themselves silly running around and breathing in all the fresh country air and chasing cows.  It was a good week and a perfect way to wrap up the year.

LONG days and HARD work gets you a new fence
country fun. fires, wood collecting, leaf playing, tractor rides, cow calling…..
he’s an ole’ fishing pro now 🙂
I know a good mechanic if you need one

 

hardest workers

I brought my fancy camera and had so much fun playing on it 🙂  I am a work in progress learning all the settings on it, but I am having fun.

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in his happy spot
honk honk
just hanging around
checking out the tractor tires
little worker
playing

I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas.  Enjoy this year, next year will be here before you know it.

xo,

j

Yogi Bear Jellystone Halloween

We spent our weekend at Yogi Bear Jellystone RV in Waller.  We have camped at this RV resort before, but this was our first Halloween experience there.  It was a BLAST!  It was so much fun to just be surrounded by family and friends all weekend and to watch the kids play and ride bikes/scooters until their little bodies just couldn’t take anymore.  We played hard…and we ate lots of candy {perfect weekend}.  I recommend Yogi camping for sure.  If you don’t have an RV they have cabins to rent.  We usually tend toward the state parks without all the activities and hustle and bustle but the kiddos sure do love this place.  They have water slides, pools. a lazy river, a train, fishing in the lake, outdoor movie, a HUGE play-set.  I mean from the eyes of child this place is basically heaven on earth 🙂 I would say overall the park amenities can be updated a little bit, but overall this is one of our top close to home go to family fun spots.  We already pre-booked Halloween for next year.  Let the tradition making begin!

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We had a washer and dryer unit installed for when (hopefully sooner than later) we go full-time.  I was nervous to use it, but man I love it!  A little dude gave us a very special first load when he decided to get sick in the middle of the night-that was fun.  BUT it worked like a charm and Andrew and I were feeling especially grateful at that moment.

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We had our annual RCR Halloween party.  Pizza, treats, friends, pictures and trick-or-treating.  One of these years our clan will get it together.  Last year we were struck with a hand foot mouth outbreak and this year the moo-cow child of mine decided to lose his dinner right as we walking out the door and the little sheep made it to 3 houses with our crew before he promptly chucked his candy bucket across a yard and threw a fit because I wouldn’t let him eat EVERY piece of candy as it was put in his bucket.  It was awesome.  I have a feeling next year will be our year – except we will have to loan a house on RCR to host our bash at because HOPEFULLY we will be full-time by then – any volunteers {ahem, misty?} :).

snapchat filter fun and goofball brothers
snapchat filter fun and goofball brothers

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Corbin chose our farm animal theme this year and assigned us costumes!

Hope everybody is enjoying their post candy crashed kids today 😉

xo,

j

It’s Monday

 

It has been TOO long since my last post.  I know.  Lately I’m drowning in this whole life gig.  Life has been busy and I have been SO tired.  Last night I called it quits and went to bed at 715.  10 hours and 47 glorious minutes later (according to my fitbit) I feel somewhat refreshed and ready to tackle on the coming weeks.  I had the privilege and honor of being the Maid of Honor in my baby sisters wedding this weekend.  She was the most beautiful, most happy and most humble bride I have ever seen.  It was so surreal to watch her walk down the aisle and is now one of my favorite memories.  I celebrated and celebrated and celebrated – until about 5 am in the morning.  It was the most fun time visiting with our family from out-of-town and I will cherish that night forever.  I get a few awesome pictures at the after party that I am holding onto to for a later date, but did capture a few pictures of this special day 🙂picmonkey-collage

I loved getting to see my family all dressed up and looking so handsome.  Corbin rocked his ring bearer duties in rehearsal but wanted nothing to do with it wedding day.  He ended up walking down the aisle holding my hand – it was just as adorable.  A BIG thank you to my in-laws for picking the kiddos at the reception so Andrew and I could kick back and enjoy ourselves!

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We got to rehearsal super early (gold star for mom – and 5 gold stars for Andrew for rocking the day weekend and helping me be where I needed to be, the kids where they needed to be and keeping the house clean for showings/open house/etc – he rocked it ya’ll).  I loved my time with just Corbs and he loved the fact I pulled out the snapchat filters.  #snapchatforthewin Andrew and Wyatt had a fun daddy/son night and both the boys got to go to the car show with Saturday morning before the wedding.

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picmonkey-collageThursday night kicked off the whole wedding weekend with a night of bachelorette shenanigans.  We had a pallet sign making party and it was a hit!  Pizza, pie, pallets, paint, and booze.  winning.  I made a few gems but this is by far my favorite.  When our house sells and we go full-time I plan on hanging it from our 5th wheel hitch.

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Sunday was filled with family, Mexican food, naps (for me – thanks Daddy) and some outside play time.  It was the perfect end to a truly perfect weekend.  I love you Shannyn and Jared and wish ya’ll nothing but happiness.  #newbrinkersontheblock

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xo,

j

 

Palmetto State Park

We spent the weekend camping in Palmetto State Park and boy did we have a great time.  This little gem is hidden just a few miles past the    Buc-ees in Luling (so stop and get you a slurpee, some golden nuggets and a candle on your way).  We had the most perfect little spot at the bottom of the hill.  The boys had SO much fun riding their racers and bikes down the hill.  The hiking trails in the park were perfect and we escaped only having one snake encounter (yikes!) and one of us getting poison ivy (ahem, Andrew).  But seriously, they were wide enough and nice enough that I could have pushed the double stroller through them no problem.  Corbin rode his bike through them (he’s a little mountain biker in training – he rocked it), I wore bubba and Andrew wore the camel back.  I give this park a 10/10 and highly recommend a visit if you haven’t made it by yet!

our soon-to-be (hopefully) full time home

our soon-to-be (hopefully) full-time home

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100% boys. 100% dirty.

best hiking trails
best hiking trails
campsite fun
campsite fun

Sigh.  It really was the best weekend.  The lightning bug catching, the s’more eating, the laughs and the memories.  I’m {SO} ready for this to be full-time {and simple} life for a bit!

xo,

j

five on friday – back to school edition

{one}

The boys are required to use large canvas tote bags from the school as their bag.  Over the summer, the thought popped in my mind to handprint (or footprint for wyatt) the back of their bags at the beginning and end of each school year and when they graduate from pre-k into elementary school I will be able to use these bags with their handprints of growth to store some of my favorite childhood memories of theirs (art work, outfits, etc).  I am kinda bummed that I didn’t think of this idea sooner when Corbin was first starting school, but better late than never! ( mom confession – I couldn’t find Wyatt’s bag until the day before school started hence the name written with sharpie.)

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{two}

I am going to make this school year less frantic and more happy smooth for everybody involved.  I am going to make a conscious effort to pack lunches and prepare bags the night before school.

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{three}

I ordered these laces off of amazon for Corbin’s sneakers and they are lifesavers.  Gone are the days of forever untied shoe laces.  Of course when he is old enough to do the tying we will convert back but for now these are a lifesaver (and time saver!)

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{four}

My pre-school moms group met again today for the time this year and it was oh so good for my soul.  I treasure these two Fridays a month of mom time.

{five}

Corbin rocked his first day of school.  He hopped out at carpool and didn’t shed a tear.  Wyatt, however, cried all day.  Bless his poor sweet self.  It broke my heart when I heard that but I have faith that he will adjust and it is good for both of us.  On my first kid free day I met a dear friend for breakfast and celebrated a new venture in her life and my kid free-ness with martinis, queso and breakfast tacos ( yes, I made an expiation for my September spending freeze – our schedules never match up and we were celebrating life!).  It was the perfect combo and the perfect date!  I then went to pilates and took a nap.  Perfect day?  YES!

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We have  SUPER busy but great weekend ahead.  Have a good one friends!

friday link up

xo,

j

Tuesday is the new Monday

I think 3 day weekends should be a state mandate.  anybody?  yes?  I mean I feel like my family was so much more refreshed and happier after 3 days together to just be.  I will keep dreaming.  We lived it up the country this weekend and it was SO nice and simple.  Can our house just go ahead and sell so we can make this our forever?!

corbin wyatt crusing2 trailer cows crusing curls stelladot brothers

Corbin had a fight with a piece of barb wire fence…but he won and it looks like his hand will remain attached to his body 🙂  We wrapped up the weekend by inviting ourselves over to dinner at some of our best friends house 😉  it was delicious and the kiddos were so happy to see each other and dig in the dirt and eat mulch ;).  It was really a great weekend.  Have a good week guys!

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xo,

j

FRI-NALLY

IT IS FRIDAY! PTL! I am tired and so looking forward to the long holiday weekend with my family. I plan on watching some sunsets from the back porch in the country and making some memories with my kiddos.

  1. These are jeans from college. They are my inspiration right now. Whether or not I can actually ever button them again is beside the point. I tried them on today as I was hauling out my closet and I was actually able to pull them all the way up. So yes, I am dating myself as I hang my pair of  a&f jeans up for me to see as inspiration to keep on trucking.

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2.  We visited the Gallery Furniture by our house this week and it was ah-mazing. Like air conditioned zoo with free ice cream and a kid zone mattress jump area amazing. There was a giant aquarium, a tiger, birds, oversized furniture for climbing. My kids were in heaven. Did I mention the free ice cream….and cookies. I don’t know if all Gallery Furniture store are like this but if they are go have yourself the best FREE play day ever. Thank you Mattress Mak.

PicMonkey Collage

3.  We had meet the teacher this week and I totally didn’t get ANY pictures #momfail, but I know one puppy that is pretty darn excited, one clueless fish who is going to be in for the shock of his little life, and one momma who is praising the Lord for a day when she can just be and miss those kids for a little bit. Absence makes the heart grow fonder 😉

PicMonkey Collage

 

4.  I really need new scrubs. Like I have been a nurse for almost 10 years and have not updated my scrub bottoms in about 8 years. They ones I have right now are just SO soft. When the day comes (probably in the next year…maybe ;)) I have had my eyes on these bad boys because you can custom order the length – awesome fix for the tall girl.

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5.  This motorcycle rocker has already earned its spot as a family heirloom. Both of my babies are stunt devils on it and I think it is SO adorable. Sorry daddy this one is staying in the attic forever 😉

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xo,

j

Weekend Time

It’s Friday!  Hooray!  This week has been pretty low-key.  I am looking forward to some family this weekend as we head out to the country for the weekend.  Happy Friday guys and stay safe this weekend!

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1.  These tie dye shirts Ri and Corbin made at Nannie’s house are the best!  They had so much fun (and Corbin made a huge mess – shocker).  My mom got her tie dye kit and shirts at Wal-Mart but here is a similar at Amazon.  Corbin response when we un tied his shirt was “WOW!  Mommy it’s so blue.”  I think it is safe to say he is happy with his creation.

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2.  I am trying a new class at Club Pilates (a new studio that opened right by our house) today and I am so excited.  I took a reformer class at the YMCA many years ago before our wedding and I LOVED it. I am excited to see if this place is as awesome, if not better.

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3.  I am pretty much in love with Circle E. Candles (I buy them at Bucees) and I am totally digging this new scent I am trying.  Its smells so good and I feel like I am absorbing caffeine through osmosis 😉

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4.  I have 2 birthday parties and a baby shower in September and I already finished gift shopping for them.  This is HUGE for me.  I am usually a last-minute shopper and wrapper and I am really trying to change that habit.  Plus, I am going to test out doing a No Spend September (more on that later).

5.  Corbin and I tested out a pretty fun science experiment involving skittles and water this week (Thank you for the fun idea Miss Sandi).  My sweet neighbor told me about it and he LOVED it!  I want more toddler friendly experiments to do with him so if you have any favorites send them my way!

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Have a safe and DRY weekend y’all.

friday link up

xo,

j

 

 

 

weekend recap

I seriously love the weekends.  Nothing beats two full days of family time and fun time (especially when I have the weekend off)!  Two days is never enough.  Our weekend was nothing out of the ordinary but it was extraordinarily perfect.  Saturday was a LAZY day.  So Lazy in fact I really can’t remember what we did, haha!  I know Andrew mowed the lawn and after the kids went to bed Andrew and I had date night catching up on old movies from his childhood that apparently I was deprived of as a child 😉  We watched Man from the Snowy River and Return from the Snowy River. They were good classic westerns.  I enjoyed the simplicity of them how they were genuinely good clean family movies.  I only dozed off once (or twice).  Sunday we went to church (YAY) it has been way to long since we last went and I missed it.  They boys did SO awesome in kids Sunday school and Andrew and I really enjoyed the sermon.   After church, we swung by Walmart to pickup groceries.  Like literally, just pick them up.  I tried out their new service and it is AMAZING!  I ordered my groceries on line Saturday night and set up my pick up window Sunday.  You park in the designated spots, call them and tell them what number spot you are in and they bring  your groceries out to you and load them up in your trunk….for FREE ya’ll.  It was such a great experience. They even walked all of my produce/fruit and eggs up to the window so I could inspect and approve or they would trade it out.  I was skeptical.  I’m not typically a Walmart shopper, but I am converted.  My bill was cheaper than HEB/Kroger, I didn’t forget anything because I had time to create my cart in peace when my kids were sleeping Saturday night, AND  I didn’t have to deal with my 3 year and one year old in the store.  For all you other momma bears, I highly recommend this service.  (thanks Ali for telling me about it!).  You can follow this link here and receive $10 off your first trip! (Once you try it you will get a link to share with your friends and family as well!)

Andrew and I decided to conquer and divide the rest of the day.  I love it when the kids get one on one attention.  So, Andrew and Corbin went to Red Lobster for lunch and then scoped out Bass Pro shops.  Corbin LOVES that store – what boy doesn’t?  He loves to “test” drive all the 4 wheelers and boats 🙂  Wyatt and I hit up my favorite store, Trader Joes. I buy all my meat and chicken from Trader Joes.  I probably will continue to do so even after discovering the awesomeness of walmart.  I just LOVE Trader Joes quality, its affordable, and I just buy enough for the month when I am there and load it in the freezer when I get home.  My other staples from Trader Joes – fresh flowers and yogurt.  They have the cheapest and most beautiful fresh flowers and their brand yogurt is the bomb.com.  We reunited at home and went of a family power wheels/bike ride.  It was LONG but the boys did awesome and Corbs drove his racer around like nobody’s business.  After our ride, Corbin helped me make an apple pie and then we watched the olympics (its been on 24/7 since the opening ceremony – we are olympic lovers).  It was a perfect weekend. I am always so sad to see them end.  Hurry up Friday!  Happy Tuesday ya’ll!  Keep on truckin’

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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