Friday, March 24, 2017

Friday Favorites

It's been a week and I am back!!! We had an amazing time at Disney...we never want to come home from a place so magical. Every year that trip keeps getting better and better. Being honest there were quite a bit of tears as we headed home and they weren't only from the children. ;( I will be posting about a trip next week. Stay tuned....

I linked up, like every Friday, with Erika, Andrea, and Narci to share a few of my current favorites.

I couldn't have a Friday favorite without share a picture of a THE castle. It's a favorite for sure!!! I took this picture the day we arrived. The weather was perfect, the sky was blue, and we were with family ready for a great vacation...AMAZING!!! 

This fuel rod was a lifesaver and such an awesome concept. I will be sure to add this to one of my posts about vacation. ;0 

No words needed...this picture = FAVORITE 

We got home late Tuesday night. Wyatt and Sloane went to school Wednesday morning. After school I picked them up and we went to my parent's in Jackson. It was time to celebrate March (and a late January one) b-days!!! Like always my mom went ALL OUT!!!!

Cousin LOVE - Sloane is such a little mommy. ;) Little Nora celebrated turning THREE today...where does the time go!?!?!?! 

Happy Weekend everyone! We actually had plans to be out of town again but things fell through. ;( We were sad to miss visiting friends but due to circumstances we are going to get to see them without traveling. We are planning a much needed relaxing weekend. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

The day off...

We are busy having an AMAZING time at Disney!!!
Be back soon. ;) 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Friday Favorites

It's Friday again!! It's time to link up with Erika, Andrea, and Narci. I have quite a few favorites of them being by the time you are reading this we will be on a place headed to the HAPPIEST PLACE ON EARTH!!!! Disney World here we come....

You can read about 2015 and 2016 trips as well. ;)

Also today is that guy in the middle's birthday...happy birthday to my brother!!! One of the very best guys I know and an AMAZING uncle to our kids~~

We did a lot of celebrating THIS girl last weekend and even into the week. She turned FIVE!! I wrote her a b-day letter on Monday and shared about her b-day parties on Tuesday. 

Yesterday I had a guest post as a part of They Call HER Mama series. Amy is a super fun Mama and a sweet friend. Take a second and read her AMAZING post. 

Sis and I prepared for vacation while having a little fun together. I love my one on one time with her. We had such a good time today!!! 

I saw this earlier this week and couldn't stop laughing! #truestory 

A MAJOR new favorite of mine is this fun cart I got from IKEA. I needed a place to keep all our school supplies and some craft ones as well. It's really easy to move and has been great for all our needs. I plan to write a post sometime soon!!! 

Later last week we had a Kindergarten mom happy's always such a great time! I love being able to chat with other mom's from Wyatt's class and even the other class as well. No kids, no husbands...just mom's chatting it up!!! So fun!!!

This is so cute!! Sloane is enjoying Upward Cheer, for the most part. ;) It's the cutest little thing to watch. Wyatt is loving basketball too!!! 

Happy weekend everyone!! 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

They Call HER Mama - Amy

I am super excited for my guest blogger today! Amy and I met through one of my best friends from childhood. She is super sweet and such a GREAT Mama...I was super happy when she said agreed to write a post for my blog. 


Hey y’all! I am SO excited to be guest blogger for Emily! I met Emily through a mutual friend and I just ADORE her! I love reading her blog and secretly wish that I was as organized and on top of things as her! The truth is that most days we just get by the best that we can around here! I am so excited to introduce y'all to my family, tell you more about what keeps me going, and my two biggest passions right now!


Meet my best friend, husband, partner in this crazy life, my Steve-O!

Steve and I have been married for seven years and together for a total of almost ten years. I am a southern girl from Alabama who fell in love with a boy from St. Louis. We couldn't be more different but yet, he's my bestest =) friend in the whole world! I am the dreamer, he's the realist…I am the spender, he's the penny pincher… I love ADVENTURE, he loves routine… I love the beach, he hates the sand…y'all get the picture! Most importantly, he is my best friend and I am so lucky I get to do this crazy thing called life with him! Steve is a high school Assistant Principal and Athletic Director.

Meet Miss Caroline Grace:

Caroline Grace, our surprise baby and also miracle baby. Caroline is 5 going on 15! Everyday she makes me want to call my mom and tell her “I am sorry” because I know we have it coming for us with this one! She is independent, smart, funny, and makes our days brighter. Caroline was a surprise baby and truly the best surprise we have ever had. Currently Caroline loves all things Princess, horse back riding lessons, gymnastics, school, traveling, and staying home with mommy!

When Caroline was three days old, she was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder called PKU. Talk about a shock to us as brand new parents! I will never forget the day she was diagnosed. The image of Steve and I sitting on our bed, as brand new parents, crying will forever be imprinted in my mind. I am going to share some information with you all about PKU before I go forward.

PKU: Phenylketonuria (fen-ul-ke-toe-NU-re-uh), also called PKU, is a rare inherited disorder that causes an amino acid called phenylalanine to build up in your body. PKU is caused by a defect in the gene that helps create the enzyme needed to break down phenylalanine.

Without the enzyme necessary to process phenylalanine, a dangerous buildup can develop when a person with PKU eats foods that are high in protein. This can eventually lead to serious health problems such as:

    •       Intellectual disability (formerly called mental retardation)
    •       Delayed development
    •       Behavioral, emotional and social problems
    •       Psychiatric disorders
    •       Neurological problems that may include seizures
    •       Hyperactivity
    •       Poor bone strength
    •       Skin rashes (eczema)
    •       A musty odor in the child's breath, skin or urine, caused by too much phenylalanine in the body
    •       Fair skin and blue eyes, because phenylalanine cannot transform into melanin — the pigment responsible for hair and skin tone
    •       Abnormally small head (microcephaly)

For the rest of their lives, people with PKU — babies, children and adults — need to follow a diet that limits phenylalanine, which is found mostly in foods that contain protein.
Babies in the United States and many other countries are screened for PKU soon after birth. Recognizing PKU right away can help prevent major health problems.

Wouldn't you be scared?!? Luckily, the good news Caroline will be OK and if you lined her up in a room full of five year olds, you would never know anything was wrong with her! Caroline will have to on a strict diet for the rest of her life. Her diet will consist of fruit, veggies, metabolic food, and metabolic formula. PKU is very expensive. When Caroline was first born, Steve was a teacher and I was a high school guidance counselor. Needless to say, we were on payment plans due to the expense of Caroline's metabolic foods and formula. Each month we spend anywhere from $1,000 - $3,000 on her food and formula. The state of Missouri did not offer us any assistance due to the fact that we “ made “too much money” - laughable, I know! Debt started piling up! Between this and my student loan debt for my Masters Program, I had no idea how we were ever going to get ahead. I cannot tell you how many nights I spent crying rocking her to sleep. How many nights I spent worrying about our future and my daughters future.

Rewind to three years ago when I came across an opportunity that kept reaching out to me! I was introduced to It Works through a mutual friend. At first, I was very skeptical and was unsure if this was a fit for me. I was very busy with my full time job, Caroline's doctors appointments, my role as the head volleyball coach,  and just being a wife. I knew something had to change! I joined It Works and the last three years we have just been so blessed by this amazing company and opportunity. It has allowed us to become DEBT FREE, I get to be a stay at home mommy, we have been able to travel more, give back more, meet new people, and truly understand what it means to have financial freedom. In 2016, I was named the Top 25 Income Earner for the entire company. I will forever be thankful for this opportunity and continue to change other lives because of the way this company has changed ours!

During our three year journey with It Works, we started trying for more more children! Steve and I both carry the recessive gene for PKU and because of this, we have a 25% chance that all of our children will have PKU. That initially scared us because we had NO idea how we would afford medical bills, daycare for two children, student loan debt, etc! It Works took all of those worries away and we started trying for more! After six months of trying, I was diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Insufficiency (POI).

POI: is a loss of normal function of your ovaries before age 40. If your ovaries fail, they don't produce normal amounts of the hormone estrogen or release eggs regularly. Infertility is a common result.

So that sucked, right?! We finally found a way to add to our family, provide for our daughter, and then we get hit with something else?!? Its been a crazy ride, y’all! PKU and Infertility are MY two BIGGEST passions right now! My goal is to spread awareness for both. Statistics show that 1 in 6 women are affected by infertility. This makes me believe that all of you reading this know at least one person who might be affected by infertility. Infertility is a long, emotional, raw, and an uncertain road to travel down. If my story can help ONE person, than I know that its all worth it!

One thing I know is that life is crazy and uncertain at times. You can spend a lot of time planning how you think your life should go and then BOOM, out of nowhere, something comes up that throws your “plans” out the door. This journey has taught me so much about myself. I realized over a year ago that I could wake up everyday and choose to be happy or unhappy. Two choices is what we all have each day. I choose to be happy and I know that through my faith in the Lord, everything will turn out the way it is supposed to turn out.

Romans 15:13 states: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

This has truly become my life verse and one that I repeat to myself weekly, if not DAILY!

I am just a girl that loves the Lord, my family, my friends, It Works, unsweet tea, reading, occasional TV, wine, and of course, all things southern! Steve and Caroline are my goofballs that keep my going! Everyday that I get to stay at home with Caroline, thanks to It Works, is another day that I thank God for allowing this company to enter into our lives! Advocating for others with PKU and Infertility is my newest thing! I will never understand why both of these things have to be so expensive to deal with and will continue to advocate for change.

Thank you so much, Emily for allowing me this opportunity to spread awareness about two things that mean a lot to our family! This was fun! Maybe one day I can create the courage to start a blog myself =)

XOXO - Amy 

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Birthday Fun!

Last weekend was the party that never ended...Sloane had a friend b-day party on Friday. It was at a bounce house venue. It was so much fun! It's so cute to see all the friends today. They get to bounce in each room for 30 mins then move to a room for pizza and cupcakes. Sloane opened her gifts and LOVED. EVERY. SECOND. of it. She was too cute!!! It was a super easy and fun party!!!

Sundat afternoon we had a party at Mark's parent's house. We invited his family. (We will celebrate with my family after Disney!) It was a perfect afternoon. It was low key and everyone was able to relax. 

She wanted a Cinderella party so that's what we turned out so cute! I know she loved it all....especially her cake!!! Can you tell??? 

It was a weekend full of parties and it pretty much hasn't stopped...can you blame us!??!? She is a pretty cute 5 year old! Ha!!! 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Happy 5th Birthday Sloane

Dear Sis,
   You turn FIVE today!!! I know I say it every year and I will continue to say it every year but goodness...where does the time go? 5 years ago today we were wearing shorts and it still stands to be the hottest March on record with 13 consecutive days at a record high. It was 87 degrees the day we brought you home from the hospital...and today...there is snow on the ground?!?!!? I woke up extra early and braved the snow to get donuts for breakfast. When I told you I had them for you your response was..."is that a healthy breakfast choice?" Wow!?!?! Really?!?!!? That's pretty crazy coming from someone who only eats about 3 different foods.

You are the most tenderhearted little girl EVER! Your smile is VERY contagious and we still get compliments daily on how beautiful you are. It's so true. You have a face that will light up a room and a personality that is so sweet. You are always watching out for others and want others to be happy. You are such a little mama. Baby dolls are high up on that toy list right now...

Peanut Pie, you are currently in Pre-K on M, W, and F. We recently had parent teacher conf. and your teacher says you are more than ready for Kindergarten. That makes this teacher mama happy!!! 
Dance is still #1 on your list of activities. You are really good at it too! You are currently dancing with other girls Wyatt's age. You totally hold your own and no one knows you are almost 2 years younger than them. Sis, you currently also tried Upward Cheer and love it...once you get there. It's the getting there that's tough. We have had many conversations about how we aren't quitters. ;) 

You adore your brother and still miss him so much on the days he is at school full day. You guys play together pretty much all day and for the most part get along really well. You can build a LEGO and ride bikes with the best of them but aren't a fan of getting your hands dirty. You prefer to use a different fork for each item of food. Speaking of are the picky one of the family. Your food groups are pretty much mac and cheese (but only a certain kind), rotisserie chicken, and oranges WITH the skin. ;) We are working on the food with you. LOL! 

You wear 5t clothes and a size 11.5 shoe. You are 43.5 inches tall and 33 lbs (on a good day;). People say you look just like your brother, who tends to favor your Dad but lately some people have said you look like me. I have to say it's nice to hear every once in a while. LOL! 

Even if you don't look like me you are attached to my hip REALLY attached. Some days I love it, other days I need to do things like cook, clean, do laundry, etc. Which you then tell me I can do those things while holding you and you will help me. Ha! Good thing you are a light weight!!! 

Your favorite Disney princess is still Cinderella and that was the theme for your 5th b-day parties. Yes, I said parties. You have the never ending b-day this year. It's totally fine though...I don't mind one bit! The past 2 years we have been at Disney over your actual b-day so this year has been so fun to celebrate you at all your favorite places at home! We leave for Disney on Friday so you totally get the best of both worlds our little LoanieLou. 

We love you so much and pray you continue to grow into a beautiful little girl...inside and out!
Happy 5th Birthday Sis!!! 

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Show and Tell - Party Time!!!

I am so exited about today's topic. I am linking up with Andrea to Show and Tell about your favorite kid parties!  I can't wait to read all the other posts that are linked up. I really enjoy reading and seeing how other people party. ;) 

I love to plan parties! I am totally not the mom that likes to throw a party at a place that does it all for me. This comes from my mom who is one of the best party thrower I know!! This year Sloane and Wyatt have both requested friend parties at places that "do it all." Thankfully we still have a family party for the kids. I get to have fun with the theme at those. ;) We let them pick the theme and thankfully we haven't ever had any disagreements. Ha ha!! I have a Pinterest board /Parties Where I have shared some of the kid parties we have hosted.

They Call Me Mama: Birthday Bash!:

Wyatt's 1st B-day

Wyatt's 6th B-day

They Call Me Mama:

Sloane's 4th B-day Party

They Call Me Mama: Valentine's Day Party:

We have also hosted some fun themed parties for certain holidays as well. THIS Valentine one was super cute! We also had a fun Halloween party when the kids were little too!

Like I said earlier my mom is the best at throwing parties...not only did she pass her love for hosting to me but my sister as well. Erin had a super cute PJ and Pancake party for Nora's b-day!

They Call Me Mama: Pancakes and Pajamas:

I can't wait to read other posts on this topic. I hope you gained some sort of inspiration from these parties. I love seeing how other people party!!

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