Hello hello! I hope this post finds you well this mid-October Monday.
Our crew spent a long weekend in Indianapolis with Jamie’s extended family (he was born in Fishers, if you’re familiar with the area!) and had a wonderful time. Looking forward to sharing a few pictures on the blog hopefully tomorrow since it was Jillian’s first ever road trip (and I’d like to document it!) It was our first time to go out of town as a family since we vacationed in Grand Cayman over Spring Break, so it sure felt good to break up some monotony and spend time together.
I started putting together this post last Wednesday and ran out of steam. I have a bit of time today to finish it up, so here’s a slice of our lives lately. 🙂
It’s been blazin’ hot here in north Alabama the last few weeks, with highs hitting 98 degrees when the average is typically high 70s. I think there were four days in a row where the high smashed previous records. This has allowed us to keep swimming and spending max time outside though, which hasn’t been terrible. I think parenting is so much easier when it’s warm than when it’s cool (i.e. PUT YOUR SHOES ON – OR DON’T – AND GO PLAY IN THE BACKYARD), so I haven’t hated the lingering warm temps.
It’s hard to hate a late September swim with cousins!
Or running out to get melty, delicious ice cream cones because Daddy has a random sweet tooth. 🙂
I’ve gone to eat lunch at school with Hadley twice this year so far, and Sadie got to join in the most recent time when I went to do duty-free lunch for her teacher (how am I old enough to play this role already?!) She thought eating lunch with all the big kids was absolutely the coolest thing in the entire world. And Hadley thought showing off her two little sisters to all of her friends was pretty cool too. 🙂
I clearly lost a few brain cells during pregnancy that help you make good decisions because for some reason I thought signing up for Orangetheory’s bi-annual Dri Tri event was a fantastic idea. 😉 We were out of town the last two times they offered it, so when it came rolling around again, I decided to go for it.
This event is basically an indoor triathlon, where athletes complete a 2k meter row, 300 body weight exercises, and then finish up with a 5k treadmill run. My goal was just to finish; that’s it. The idea was to do the best I could this time around and then do it again in March 2020 to see measurable fitness improvement between now and then. We’ll see if I actually sign up to do it again. 😉 It felt so good to accomplish it and have my family there to cheer me on.
After the race, I rushed home to shower and clean up because three of my favorite people in the whole wide world were en route to Madison to see us! These girls are some of my closest friends from college, and having them drive from all over to spend the day with us meant so much. We had the best girls day catching up on everything and anything and then enjoyed a great dinner kid-free outside in downtown Huntsville. They all sacrificed in various ways to come up to see us, which went far from unnoticed. Friendships like these are worth their weight in gold.
This is the silliest picture that I’m honestly only including for my own memory keeping. 😉 The power went out at 4:30 a.m. a couple of weeks ago, and the girls thought it was AWESOME. Hadley got up before Sadie, and we heard Hadley telling Sadie that the lights didn’t work. Sadie then goes “Do we need to change the batteries?” Jamie and I overheard this conversation and both absolutely ERUPTED with laughter. We gave them each a flashlight, and their giggles and games were endless. Seeing things through the eyes of a child (like an annoying power outage) gives everything a silver lining. To kids, a power outage is super fun. 🙂
Some friends had a couple of families over for dinner recently, and I loved what they did: pizza immediately for all the kids, and then they put the kids in their big bed to watch movies while the adults hung around the kitchen island and stuffed ourselves with this charcuterie board an hour or so later. They cooked the meat and threw it all together while we all stood around the island and talked. Another girlfriend and I commented multiple times about what a flat-out fabulous idea this was. So casual, delicious, and just plain fun.
My friend Laura and her precious fam live in downtown Madison, where our local Madison Street Festival parade runs right through. She decided to have a few families over for breakfast and to enjoy the prime parade spot, and the kids had a ball. The adults did too! 🙂
After the parade, my sister and I met up with my mom with the kids and perused the festival a bit. It was insanely (!) hot and crowded though (Madison is far, far from a well-kept secret anymore!), so we did a quick walk around before calling it good.
The main reason we wanted to walk around the festival was to find this little artist’s artwork! I had gotten an email earlier in the week saying that her work was selected to be displayed, and my heart about stopped. I know that sounds SO SILLY because it’s just Kindergarten artwork, but this felt like her first little accolade, and my heart was just so proud and so happy for her.
She has always LOVED art, which is something neither Jamie nor I have an interest in or are good at. We’ve tried to encourage her natural interest though by making sure she’s stocked with coloring books, paint stuff, art classes, etc., so to see her continue to excel in this area made me just REALLY freaking proud. What a dork I am. But MAN, these moments make parenthood THE BEST.
Jamie and my brother-in-law Josh took off from the festival early to go watch the Army football game with the West Point society of grads in Huntsville, but Jamie made 100% sure to dart around the festival to find her artwork before leaving. He loves his biggest girl so much.
After the street festival, we took it easy before heading to the pumpkin patch that night. Jillian fell asleep in my arms and I decided to just let her stay there and snuggle for a few hours. There is just nothing better.
Cara from Taking Cara Babies says that if your baby can put themselves to sleep at least one time during the day, that it’s okay for their other naps to be in your arms, in the car, etc. So I often take her advice and soak this RIGHT UP. The things this girl does to my heart. We had no idea how much we needed her.
We matched in these “sisters” shirts for the pumpkin patch, so we decided to take a few pics at home incase we got too busy to take any there. My bestie Jessica custom ordered these for the girls, which I thought was the best idea! She gave them to me when I visited her in New Hampshire in April, and I DIED! So sweet.
A big storm threatened to ruin our night at the pumpkin patch with my dad’s company, but we still had the absolute best time. Sadie and my niece Carly are just five weeks apart and are truly best friends.
We went to Tate Farms in Meridianville and absolutely love it there.
Love this picture of my parents and all the grandbabes!
After church a couple Sundays ago I went to pick up Hadley from her class, and I saw her and all of her closest church friends together in the same area playing. I grabbed my phone quick and asked them if I could take this picture, which they happily did.
These girls right here are answers to my ongoing prayer for Hadley (and Sadie and Jillian) to grow up with girlfriends who are kind to her, who love Jesus, and who have families who are raising them the same way we desire to raise our girls. I love each of their moms so much too. This picture just makes me smile. They’re going to be world changers.
I would say one word that sums up our new lives with three kids is intentionality. We were definitely not good in the past about giving Hadley and Sadie one-on-one time with us, but we’ve tried to keep our eyes WIDE open for opportunities ever since Jillian was born. Hadley and I had a little date a couple weeks ago that included some shopping, dinner, and game playing, while Jamie and Sadie had a date to Dunkin Doughnuts after he surprised her at preschool pick-up (Hadley and I went out that evening).
We have talked about maybe making this a monthly thing where we switch off kids (i.e. I’ll take Sadie this month and he’ll take Had). We’ll see!
We made this craft in our MOPS group in 2015 or 2016, and I knew it would be something we’d hold onto for many years. I saw this note I’d left myself last year when packing up the fall decor, and pulling it out this year made Jamie and me SO happy. To be honest, I have zero memory of writing this last year, but I’m so glad I did. It’s miraculous to think about how microscopic she was at six weeks pregnant and to now hold her in our arms as a big baby girl just one year later.
My friends are SO creative in all the ways I am not! Ha! Some of the birthday parties they throw blow me away! My girls love birthday parties, and they especially loved this one for their close friends Emerson. She started the party at a nearby friend’s apartment, where she served mac and cheese and cake, and then did little makeovers for all the girls. From there the girls walked over to Bridgestreet (our beautiful outdoor shopping plaza) and paraded around in their dresses, rode the carousel, and got loads of candy. They had such a ball. Sharing this incase you need birthday ideas!! This was a good one!
This group. I love these kiddos and their mamas! I didn’t really know any of them until a year ago, but now our girls have been dancing together for a year, and they’ve become some of the sweetest friends. Chick-fil-a on Tuesdays after dance class has become a routine thing and something Sadie so looks forward to (me too!)
This is my niece Carly, and she is a doll. We have built such a special bond over the last three months while they’ve been living in Alabama and I’m thankful for that foundation before they move. We had a great morning recently just the two of us shopping and playing at the playground, which was so fun.
Finally!! Did you see on IG last week when I shared about this obnoxious water bottle? I bought it back in July on Prime Day when Jillian was a week old because I knew I needed to drink more water while breastfeeding. Up until last week, had I ever finished the entire thing in a day? Nope, not one! I was determined to last week though, so I put it on Instagram as accountibility. Would you believe that I received more DMs about this water bottle than I ever have about anything I’ve posted on Instagram before? I COULD NOT BELIEVE people were so invested in what this water bottle was! Apparently many of us are on a quest to drink more water! Here’s the link if you want to check it out. This thing is a doozy though, so I’m warning ya!
Are you a good water drinker? How much do you strive to drink in a day?
Have you been to or thrown a creative birthday party recently?
How do you get one-on-one time in with your kids?
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to three little girls (ages 7, 4, and 1) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo