Friday, July 31, 2015

Friday Favorites: Last Week of Summer Edition

It's Friday!! Even though we aren't quite as excited to see this Friday as we would be if it weren't our last Friday before school starting, we're still thankful for the weekend and looking forward to a great day! =)

We've enjoyed our last week of summer lots! We wrapped up our summer break in much the same way we've spent our entire summer. Mostly at home, mostly low-key. It's been a great week and one I've really soaked up with my babies. Here's a look at my faves...

*On Monday morning while Layton was napping, the big boys and I did one final summer "craft" together. It technically wasn't a craft because it didn't involve art but I'm not sure what else to call it. Haha. We made mini fish aquariums! I can't remember where I saw the idea but it was originally part of my beach theme with Austin that we didn't get to. The boys loved it. You just squeeze hair gel into a small ziplock bag, then add food coloring to make it look like water, then squish it all around (their favorite part!), then add your little plastic fish. It was that simple!

Finished products! They loved the squeezing of the gel and the squishing around of it to spread out the food coloring. Sensory fun is always a favorite! You can hang them by a window to display or just keep them on the counter to be enjoyed at any time... which is what we voted for. =) Yay for a successful but simple activity! 

*I have loved seeing the sunrise every morning this week when I take Bailey out. I've started setting my alarm earlier and earlier in an effort to get my body adjusted to waking up super early... and so I'll have more and more time before my little loves wake up. The pink sky has been beautiful every morning!

*One morning this week while Layton was napping, these sweet boys invited me to a picnic! They had moved their grill into their room from the play room and had been grilling and cooking away like pro chefs all morning. They were thrilled I loved their feast and I was thrilled they included me. =)

*We decided to make a visit to our new park in town this week and the Selph fam gave it 2 thumbs up! The main attraction is the waterfall that you can walk through. BIG hit for all the boys!

Layton struggled with keeping his balance without his shoes on... hence the getting drenched after a fall in the water... but he loved it just as much as his big brothers.

*I put Layton in the stroller and moved him to the shade for a while and Garrison and Austin decided to follow the brick path and run around non-stop. Meanwhile I melted from the heat. Sooo ready for some cooler temps!!

And before we left they had to go through the water again. Leaping from rock to rock is so fun. =)

And Layton handled his walk through the rocks and water much better wearing flip flops. Looking forward to enjoying our new park lots more in the future!

*I found some small canvas bins to hold all of the boys shoes!! Not sure if this is what I want for the long term but it definitely serves it's purpose well for now. They fit in the space perfect, they don't hurt the door, and the door doesn't hurt them. Check, check, check! 

*The boys beat the heat with some playtime at the water table. They love this thing. And get soaked while playing with it... especially Layton Thomas who decided to pour water over his head more than once! Gracious. They all went straight to the bath tub as soon as it was time to come in.

*Garrison has recently gotten into keeping his bed nice and neat and making it up and lining up his little animals and one day this week he helped Austin make up his bed too! So sweet. And of course I love this. =) We've never made up their beds because BUNK BEDS and due to someone sleeping in them during naptime almost everyday. So this is a treat and a favorite this week!

*We made one last visit to see daddy and go out to lunch this week before summer ends. Such a treat for us to see daddy in the middle of the day!

*The big boys have enjoyed 2 week night movie nights this week before school starts back... Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast. Haha. My mom found these at her house and didn't realize she had them. The boys weren't exactly fans of the villains... especially Ursala, but they loved both movies! I think Disney may have toned down their villains a little. Some of the scenes were way more hard core than I remember. Ha!

*Favorite not pictured moment: A successful Open House! We are so excited about Garrison's teacher and his 1st grade year! Garrison was really nervous and shy on yesterday but loved his classroom and meeting his teacher. Last year at Open House he was the same way... super apprehensive. But on the 1st day of school he did great! So I'm hoping come Monday he'll be ready to go, confident, and excited. =)

We're looking forward to enjoying a pretty laid back weekend!! Happy Friday!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Summer in Review: One of my Favorites!

This summer has just been one of the best. One of my favorites and one that I'm super sad to see go. I've definitely experienced a few tough, exhausting summers and then I've experienced this summer. A summer where all 3 of my boys have been able to play together somewhat independently at various points throughout the day. A summer where all 3 of my boys have slept past 7:30 most mornings. A summer where we've done less but possibly had more fun. It's just been pretty wonderful if I do say so myself. =) 

That's not to say that I haven't experienced challenges parenting my 3 little men or that I'm not worn out come bedtime or that we haven't had our share of meltdowns, fighting, and drama due to being together 24/7.... it's just that this summer in particular has felt super special in the most simplistic way. We're finally home, we've enjoyed being together everyday, we've steered clear of summer commitments and busy schedules and just enjoyed being home. My favorite place. 

We still had some fun outings and a special vacation to the beach, but overall the theme of our summer was low-key and home-based. It was sleeping a little later, relaxing a little more, playing non-stop, eating lots of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, enjoying extra movie nights, experiencing imaginations in full swing, reading library books, and so much fun with best buds in the form of brothers. So, so, so thankful for God's blessings this summer!! 

So let's recap, shall we? =) Our summer in review...

*We kicked off summer with a fun-filled Memorial Day Weekend. We wrapped up the regular season for T-ball, celebrated the gender reveal of Piper Caroline with AnAn and Frankie, and enjoyed some family get-togethers. It was a great start to our summer!

*The biggest challenge for us this summer came in the form of our All-Star schedule. The evenings were so tough and so crazy for everybody!! But thankfully our days were pretty awesome.

*We enjoyed a fun visit to Dauset Trails with our friends-cousins. =)

*Terrell and I celebrated our 10th anniversary and had a really special, memorable anniversary weekend

*After our anniversary weekend the boys and I went on a few fun summer outings. We saw Iron Man at the library, visited a McDonald's playground, and then went on a lunch date and had tons of fun at a jumpy place.

*Next up was our All-Star weekend

*The week following our All-Star games was all about move-prep. We packed and packed and packed, then we closed on our new house and moved!!

*We enjoyed our crazy first week home so much and made lots of progress on things house related!

*Following our first week in our new home we were off to the beach for a week! Such a special summer tradition full of super special memories. (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3)

*After getting home from vacation our 2nd half of summer started and we truly settled in. We enjoyed our new home lots, we went swimming every week, the big boys spent a few days with Nana and Pops and their cousins, we played tons of games, we finally put together Layton's water table, we grilled out, we stayed in, Layton got his very first haircut, and we just overall enjoyed summertime. 

*And finally, in wrapping up summer, we've gone to the Braves game, made lots of hang-time progress with decorating the house, become imagination central with LOTS of fun play time here at home, and enjoyed our last big summer weekend

This summer will always be one of my favorites. Our first summer here in our forever home. Our first full summer back in the hometown. Our first truly laid back summer. (Mission accomplished!!) This summer has really rekindled my love of the season. Typically it isn't my favorite because it's so miserably hot and I do NOT enjoy being hot. Ha! But this summer made me appreciate and love summer again. What am I going to do without having all 3 boys home with me all day every day? I'm going to miss my babies being together all the time. And I know they're going to miss each other lots too. *Tear*

Even though I'm feeling a little emotional and anxious about seeing summer go, I'm also really excited about our upcoming school year. We're anticipating a really great first grade year, we're thrilled that Austin will begin preschool after Labor Day, we're looking forward to the Fall season, and we're thankful to be home and to experience so many upcoming memories here

Transitioning back into the school year routine will probably take all of us a little while to get used to. I can pretty much guarantee that this time next week we're all going to be exhausted and worn out. First grade is a big year. And soccer starts the first week of school. And choir starts the second week of school. And Baby A starts tomorrow! And hopefully I'll be working full-time from home this year. 

I know things will be crazy and will eventually get more busy than I'm comfortable with and will therefore probably get overwhelming, but I'm choosing to embrace it and enjoy it. Just like this summer, each season brings an opportunity for new memories, new adventures, new blessings. I'm overwhelmed with gratefulness at God's goodness and grace. Sharing my summer with these 3 was just the best. Craziness and all. =)

Today is going to be a busy one as we prepare for Baby A to start tomorrow and as we go to Open House this afternoon to officially meet Garrison's teacher, see his classroom, and introduce him to 1st grade!! 

Summer 2015 is almost a wrap. We sure have enjoyed it and this mama will definitely treasure it's memories. Even though it's bittersweet, we're still pretty excited to welcome Fall and the brand new school year. Ready or not, here we come!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Weekend of Summer Fun

We enjoyed a wonderful last weekend of summer fun this weekend! Even though we technically have 1 weekend of summer left before school starts back on the 3rd, we made this weekend our last BIG weekend of summer and it was lots and lots of fun! 

We took the big boys to White Water on Saturday and had the best time! I hadn't been to White Water in years and years but we have season passes to Six Flags-White Water and we have several friends who've been quite a bit so we decided to go for it. Thankfully we got there early and were able to enjoy ourselves to the fullest for the 1st half of our day. 

The boys took a while to warm up to things. Especially Austin. Thankfully after warming up to the cold water and us going around the lazy river once he felt safe and was good to go. This is where we spent the majority of our time on Saturday. =) By the time we left both boys loved the fast little tunnel slides and the red twisty slide!

Garrison and Terrell also spent some time playing at the tree house play area. Austin wasn't impressed and wanted no part of that huge bucket of water that dumps out. Ha!

The boys rode the slides that emptied into their favorite little play area lots. At first we did the slides with them but after a few times Austin was content going with Garrison. They had a ball!

 We eventually tried out the family ride "Runaway River". The boys didn't want to ride it right away so we waited until they were ready and then went for it. Austin was super apprehensive about it but we kept telling him we'd all be on a float together and knew he'd be fine. It was so much fun!! Although it's very likely Austin was a little terrified. Half the ride is through dark tunnels so you can't see a thing! Afterwards he was proud of himself for riding but didn't want to do it again. Ha!

After lunch and more time spent on the lazy river plus a quick visit to the wave pool and a few more of their favorite kiddie slides, we went over to the smaller kiddie area because it had gotten soo crowded. The definite downside to going on a Saturday. Thankfully this area was manageable and still lots of fun. =) 

We had a great 1st experience at White Water! Garrison loved it so much he told us the most sincere thank you while we were there in the midst of all our fun, plus decided he would really love to live close to White Water OR have White Water in Barnesville. Hahaha! It was a great final big outing of summer for our big boys. Even though our littlest couldn't go, he had a pretty great day too. Thanks to my mom for keeping him all day!!

Sunday morning we asked my sister to come over before church to get a couple of family pictures of us and our house. I need another family picture to frame but we also want to send out "we moved/here's our new address" cards soon. This was the 1st picture she got. Oh family pictures. Gracious. All you can do is laugh.

Home sweet home. My heart and my home in the same picture. So thankful, so blessed. 

Sunday afternoon was a lazy day around the house and then we enjoyed an official birthday party for AnAn! My parents hosted all of us and grilled for us and we had such a good time celebrating Anna's 30th bday. And one day my children won't take over and steal the blowing out of candles for the birthday person. Ha.

This sweet boy definitely enjoyed himself. Food is the way to his heart. Especially the sweet stuff.

Yummmm. =)

Such a fun summer weekend and great time with my favorite people. This week we're planning to soak up our last week of summer. Open House for 1st grade is Thursday, Baby A comes back Friday, and then it's time to gear up for the big first day on Monday! This summer has been a GREAT one. It's going to be tough on my mama heart to wrap it up but we're excited about our brand new adventures for the coming school year. Happy last week before school starts!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Friday Favorites: Imagination Central Edition

This week has been a really good one. Other than a little back to school stress from mama, we've had one of our best weeks of summer. It's been super laid back and mostly spent at home. And the boys have made the most of lots and lots of play time. It can be challenging being home with 3 busy boys but sometimes if you just stick it out, it turns out to be better than almost any outing you can think of. =) Other than the Braves game and a visit to the library we've been home all week and it's been imagination station around here. So fun and such a gift! Praising God for this summer and our extra time together!!

Here's a look at my favorite moments from the week...

*After church picture of my boys in white. Be still my heart. 

*This one wasn't even prompted by me. Totally spontaneous and totally precious.

*Kick-off to AnAn's 30th birthday week on Sunday night! We have more celebrating planned this weekend. =)

*All day Monday my big boys played treasure hunting. They were so creative making their little treasure maps. There are approximately 10 floating around the house now. And they were adorable planting/hiding the treasure and then searching for it. They took turns with the roles of "Captain" and "Me Hardy". Haha! It was so cute and so much fun for them. 

*A close-up of one of their treasure maps. Hard core stuff right here. If you're curious about the numbers, well that's the temperature at each location where treasure might be hidden. Imagination central I tell you.

*Watching these 2 experience the Braves game Monday night was a big time favorite!

*My littlest love even participated in some fun dress-up. Firefighter Layton is just too cute for words. =)

*On Tuesday the big boys decided to play "going to the Braves game". Haha! They made a little steering wheel out of construction paper plus a radio and pretended they were driving to the game. They even made a stop at Chick Fil A and listening to them order their food was like the most adorable thing ever. They basically re-created every thing they could remember from the night before. So fun!

*So thankful for my man! =)

*Pretty thankful for mama's little helper too! He loves when I vacuum. He also now insists that he get to clean with the little broom. Presh.

*Cutest assistant ever!

*When the big boys aren't playing treasure hunt or going to the Braves game, they're playing superheroes! They have had so much fun together this week and I've loved getting to be a fly on the wall for it all. We've had our share of some nasty fighting thrown in too because BROTHERS and TOGETHER EVERY SECOND OF THE DAY, haha, but they have had the best time this week here at imagination central. =)

*We finished supper super early Wednesday night and had some time on our hands so we headed down the street to the little playground. The boys rode their bikes and we pushed Layton in the stroller and enjoyed some time on the swings and extra bike time. We couldn't stay too long because of the heat but it was a fun family outing for sure. 

*Yesterday the boys were back at playing superheroes and decided to include Layton. He was SO proud when they put the little superman costume on him. I must say he was SUPER adorable!! He walked around with that cape flowing behind him like his big brothers had just made his week. So cute! We were all smitten. =)

Today we're tackling school supply shopping. As in, me and my 3 little men. Pray for me. Ha! Hopefully we can find everything no problem... no fighting, no drama in Target, no missing or out of stock items, no issues! On tomorrow we're taking the big boys on our last big outing of summer and then on Sunday we'll have another 30th bday celebration for AnAn! It should be a fun weekend as we begin our summer wrap up. =) Happy Friday!!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Hang Time! (And other House Progress/Previews)

For the past couple of weeks my hubby has been busy, busy, busy hanging things up for me. Oh how I love and appreciate him! After a year of having none of our things on the walls... photographs, favorite frames, special decor... I was sooo ready to get our walls filled with things we love. We got a few new things to hang for the new house but lots of things have just been collected over the past 10 years. So far we've made great progress! Progress I'm excited to document. =)

(I'm starting at the top and working my way down to the basement... but it should be noted that I am no photographer. Especially when it comes to taking pictures inside. Gracious. Please excuse my lack of skills. Haha.)

First up is our 3 frames of the boys' monthly pics taken each month on their birthday for their very 1st year. These are hanging upstairs in the hallway... also known as the wall of fame. =) Since there wasn't a place to hang all 3 side by side we had to split them up. Still, I'm so excited to have them displayed and to be able to enjoy them again. Such special pictures of all 3 boys as they grew from 1 month to 12 months. 

1st born!

2nd born!

3rd born!

Next we have the boys' bathroom. This bathroom is actually inside the big boy room but all 3 boys will be using it for the foreseeable future. (The hall bathroom upstairs is purple and currently not being used at all.) This bathroom is long and narrow but totally perfect for the boys. 

I had this canvas custom painted/ordered off Etsy to match the Pottery Barn Kids shower curtain when I first turned our guest bathroom in Covington into a bathroom for my 2 oldest boys. A favorite verse and a great reminder of one of God's promises. 

We also printed one of our beach pictures in black and white to hang in their bathroom. The frame was leftover from Garrison's 6th birthday party and came from Hobby Lobby. My favorite place ever for frames!

Now onto the main level and my favorite little nook in the whole house. Just inside the garage door (that we'll be using every single day after school) was the perfect space to hang 3 cute little sports wall hooks. These used to be in the big boy room in Covington but I've found that living in a house with an upstairs, things rarely make it up to their rooms like they're supposed to. So this will be the perfect space for them to hang their book bags every afternoon and during the Fall and Winter, their coats too. I'm so excited. =)  

And speaking of things never making it upstairs... their shoes come off almost as soon as we get home, DOWNSTAIRS, and then get scattered about and lost. We are currently missing one of Austin's flip flops. How did this happen?! It didn't just get up and walk away! We have searched high and low with no sign of said flip flop. So. I'm on the hunt for a really small, narrow shoe cubby. I would love something that would fit right under their hooks but it's a teensy space so not sure if that exists. If not, our plan B is to put one just inside the garage door for shoes. For now they're "home" has turned into the top of the washing machine or dryer... in my way. Ahem. 

This wall in our kitchen turned out perfect. Originally I wanted to have some canvases done of family pics to hang somewhere on this wall. However, my money-savvy hubs wasn't on board. Bummer. We may eventually do a canvas or 3 somewhere else but for now this wall is perfect and complete. As soon as I get a family pic to go in that frame. =)

We found the "family rules" frame at Hobby Lobby during our anniversary weekend and both knew we had to have it. It fits us and our family to a tee. The boys and I read it together about a week ago and then shared a group hug. They ate it up. =) The word family came from Hobby Lobby as well and the S and frame came from Kirklands. 

We also hung up our a little clothespin picture thing. We've had it for years and I think it came from Pier 1. We hung it right over the boys' table so that we can hang up some of their artwork or things they make. Right now it's mostly pictures plus one "S" I found on sale for just over $1. =)

All 3 of my baby boys around 6 to 8 weeks old! I'm in love. Please excuse the mound of hotwheels and the puppy dog. 

We chose to hang our clock between the big windows in our living room. I want to say this was a wedding gift or something we used a Bed Bath and Beyond gift card to purchase right after we got married. I still love a clock hanging in a living room. 10 years later. =) Just to the right is the wall of the baby pics of the boys. 

Still haven't found a valence for my big windows but not giving up yet. 

And now for my mini-gallery wall. It's not quite complete yet but it's my favorite. =) 

I'd like to find just a few more pieces but I also love it just like this. 

Last but not least is our office... otherwise known as the blue Georgia room. Ha! We aren't painting down here anytime soon so the blue Georgia room it will remain. We hung up all of Terrell's UGA framed prints plus our diplomas plus cleared out and cleaned up a little. It's starting feel like a home office should. =)

The bedrooms and dining room are the only rooms that still have bare walls. We're painting our bedroom soon so we'll decorate after that's done. As for the boys' rooms we're undecided. We have a lot we could hang but I'm not sure I want to use all of it. So I guess we'll see. The dining room is up next. Nothing major but just a touch of something to help make it complete. =) Loving making our house a home!!