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Thursday, July 10, 2014

I gotta brag on my boy for a minute

Hayley is my daredevil child. Nothing she does surprises me anymore, but I am sure with the amount of mini heart attacks she causes, I will die before I'm 35 from heart failure. Jaxon is my safety kid, he scares easily and he is overly cautious.

Less than a week ago, we went to my inlaws house where they have a 4' deep above ground pool. We got the kids life jackets and Jaxon was just fine treading above water, but he wanted to hold on to you.

As the days went by that we were there, they both learned how swim in their life jackets, Jaxon took a little longer than Hayley, but he got it. Then came jumping off the stairs. Hayley took right to it, so much so that she would jump and didn't care if
she touched the bottom, at one point she jumped right over Mat who was apparently in her way.

Jaxon was a little more eh, maybe about it, but he would jump off the bottom step if someone was there to catch him.

So. Fast forward to today, I overhear the swim teachers saying that the kids will be down in the deep end of the pool, and eventually jumping off the diving board.

Knowing my kids I went, "Oh shit," silently to myself. I knew Hayley would have a blast which meant more heart attacks for me, but I knew Jaxon would have an issue. After a couple of jumps off the side where Jaxon would only jump in if the teacher held his hand, I went over and told him not to be afraid, it was just like jumping at grandma's house. He went back over to jump in and was ok as long as his teacher was there to catch him.

Then came the diving board.

Jaxon was first and I watched him walk slowly down the board. Then to my surprise, the boy jumped! HE JUMPED! Right off the board, no hesitation. 

Seriously, watching your kids do something new every day is amazing. This kid seriously impresses me each and every day. He has come a long way from my little small NICU baby. He's now my big boy who is constantly reaching new milestones and trying new things, all while being a little more cautious than this sister.

I am super proud of this kid today and can't wait to see what he does during his last week of swim class!

Now for a few more pictures from their swim class this week!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Rainy day

A few days ago, we had some rain.

Ok. We had a lot of rain.

For days.

And for two toddlers who love to play outside, they were tired of being cooped up.

I decided to open the back door and tell them to go play if they wanted to, in the rain.

Hayley told me she wanted her boots on so she could jump in muddy puddles and Jaxon, my safety guy, decided to just sit in my lap and watch.

So, Jaxon and I, armed with my camera, hung out on the dining room floor while we watched Miss Hayley have a blast!

Pure happiness.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

In My Backyard

I know. I know.

I have been MIA.

But my photography business has seriously taken off the past couple of weeks. I have been buried in editing, uploading, messaging, etc. It has been amazing.

I also have another crazy couple of weeks coming up with travels and shoots so bare with me. Not a lot going on around here to write about anyway :)

So, I will leave you with these beauties that I snapped in my own yard :)

Saturday, June 21, 2014


Just dropping in for a minute...

Hope all of my readers are having a fabulous weekend.

It's pretty lazy around the house.

We made some brownies.

We licked bowels and played video games.

After a 4 day weekend, I'm not sure I'm ready for Monday...

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

I love him, but....

This guy right here. My husband, my baby daddy... The man I have been with for 8 years.

For the most part, the house is mine. What happens inside of it is my responsibility.

I moved into this house alone while he was in Germany.

I unpacked this house alone while he was in Germany

I set up this house alone while he was in Germany.

I kept this house up for 9 months while he was in Afghanistan.

I did it.


He comes to me the other day and tells me that I am putting the dishes away wrong.


How can that be possible since I am the one who set the house up and organized it.

He thought he would be helpful and reorganize what he called "his kitchen."

Excuse me?

I don't think so.

Let's just say that reintegration over the past 3 months has been fun!

Anyone else have a husband like this?

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Time Flies

The kids are off to my parents for a few days and Mat and I decided to have a date night tonight. I found the picture below while looking for another picture. This was taken almost exactly 8 years ago, right after Mat and I met. I was 22 and he was 25. So young, so new.

It's hard to believe that just 8 short years ago, we were two young kids, slowly falling in love, not knowing where our future was headed or that we even had one.

The only future we knew was that he was leaving in a few short weeks after we met, off to Korea for a year, and we had to take full advantage of what little time we had with each other. We knew we wanted to give us a chance, we just never knew that us would lead where it has.

I remember, the more I thought about him leaving so early in our relationship, the more I just wanted to up and walk away. I didn't want to be alone, I was so scared, and so frightened. But something kept telling me to stay, it would be worth it.

And it has. That first year apart really prepared me for what life would be like after we got married. I think it helped make me the independent woman I am now, that in turn, has helped with all of our separations since our first one.

I definitely no longer wonder if I made the right decision years ago. I know that I did. I no longer worry about what will happen to us if/when he leaves again because I already know. He will spend his time wherever, ready to come home to me, and I will be at home, waiting impatiently for him.

No one else in this world will ever have my heart and my love as much as he.

To 8 years together, and 80 more years in our future.

Friday, May 30, 2014

DIY Entertainment Center

I have been dying to not only do this project once I found it on Pinterest, but dying to share it with everyone. The only thing that has stopped me is that I wanted my house to look like other bloggers, like they live in a magazine, but with two toddlers, 2 dirty, hairy mutts, and a husband that works more hours than he's home, that just never happens.

So. I have decided that on my blog, we're gonna keep it real.

Like this. We keep our cords taped down with ACU duct tape and have paint splatters on the floor. 

Judge me.

With that said, I would like to introduce you to our newest DIY project (and I say our because I pretty much just shopped for the pretties on it)...

Before I go any further on how this beauty came about, I must give credit where credit is due. I found this on Pinterest, here. When I found it, I knew I had to have it. After a little convincing from the husband, a trip down from my father in law, and as hopping trip with my mother in law, this little beauty became mine.

Just a quick before that I snapped while we were putting painters tape on the wall to mark off where we wanted the shelves to go.

You can also get an idea from this photo

We have been using this little entertainment center that I picked up from someone in Germany and spray painted black. For a 20' wall, it definitely didn't fit the room.

I gave Mat two options, one was the one that we did, and the other was a big, massive entertainment center with the huge cabinets. With how small our living room is (even though, in this picture there are 5 adults (#6 is me behind the camera), 4 kids and 6 dogs), he figured that would be too bulky. So.. The shelves it was!

We did our shelves a little differently than the inspiration found online. They used metal brackets, and we used wood. We bought 1x12 pine boards that we painted white. The bottom boards are 10' and the two smaller ones are just under 3' long.

My FIL then took scrap board and nailed to the underside of the shelves to make brackets. They were spaced evenly along the boards to line up with our studs.

You can see that in the photo above, and below. We painted them the same color as the wall so they would blend in.

I had been real skeptical about how this was really going to work out. I couldn't really picture it in my mind, and I was really nervous. My MIL took me out shopping and when I came home and saw what had been done, I was so happy.

I'm pretty sure there was joy.

And jumping.

My loving and patient husband hooking up our entertainment systems (that frustration is coming).

Before anyone asks, we used decorative hooks instead of the hooks the original poster used, and we also used a decorative rubbed bronze chain instead of the heavy duty chain.

The hooks ARE screwed into the drywall for extra support.

Notice the paint job? I told you. We keep it real.

We used the eye hooks on the shelf and hooked the chain through it. We will eventually close the chain...

Once we find the pliers.

My husband put our satellite receiver and dvd player on the shelf and even though the boxes measured right at 12", they still hung off because of the cords. With two toddlers, I could only imagine one of them running along and knocking it off.

To fix this problem, this was the solution.

They found a scrap piece of wood up in our attic, cut it to be just a little longer than the systems, rounded the corners, nail glued it on the front, and then secured it with metal brackets on the bottom.

Unless you are right up on it, it looks amazing and like it was originally part of the design.

While I was out buying our TV mount, we stumbled across these really cool things from Patronics. There is this piece that sticks your wall and then you smush all of your cords in it, then take the cover and cover it. I have tried to find them online, but can't. If I do, I will share it with you. We painted them the same color as the wall so it blends in.

I still have some more cords to hide, and I will be looking for a box like the person in the inspiration link, but until then, we have cords.


Keeping it real.

As if the big box of toys didn't give that away.

But there you have it. It was easy. Simple. And it cost me $90 (minus all of the goodies I bought for the shelves).

You can't buy a real wood entertainment center for that anymore!