September 30, 2016


the cove: hallway bathroom

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Check out that before photo! It might be hard to tell, but you can totally see where the previous owner tried to touch up paint; there are several big patches of paint that aren't the same color. I don't know if they tried to color match, or the paint they touched up with was old, but it just wasn't working. And y'all, that's how the whole house was. A big paint disaster.

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This hallway bathroom is the kids bath. The room where there will eventually be four kids brushing teeth, showering, primping and wasting time. So this is kind of a mini-makeover if you will. Because let's face it, one sink? Is simply not going to cut it!

But for now, some brighter paint to lighten it all up helps a ton. There's no natural light in this bathroom (but hey, a really cool light fixture circa the mid 90s!), so bright colors was a must! A fun shower curtain helps too. One of the first things we did when we moved in was to replace the toilets. I can't even imagine how much water the toilet in this bathroom was using with each flush. The one we bought is much quieter and flushes a lot faster. And well, cleaner, ha!

Our plans in here are to eventually add a double sink, new light fixtures, new bathtub and tile, tile the floor and add a barn door. The way the door is currently positioned with where the toilet is located causes some hassle – you have to shut the door to get to the tub. And it's a little annoying to always have that door in the way. There's plenty of room in the hallway and should add some character to the space.

For the time being, we're happy with how the mini (and somewhat cheap) makeover went. We're slowly Dave Ramsey-ing our way out of debt and I think this room will be the first that gets a full gut when we're able to save some money.

September 28, 2016


fall soccer, 2016.

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We didn't play fall soccer last year. It was the first year in three years that we hadn't played fall soccer and it just felt... weird. So come spring, we played in a league we hadn't tried, had a good time and decided that if the boys wanted to play fall soccer that we would suck it up and find the money for city league soccer.

And y'all, spending that extra money (about twice as much!) on city league has been worth every penny so far. We used to play in a city league, but since the move last summer, we're in a new city. So new city league. (You following? Cause I think I'm confusing myself, ha!) Anyway, old city was fun and Cayden liked it enough to want to keep playing. But new city? New city is legit. We have referees and goalies. And everyone is checked pre-game to make sure they have the correct shoes and that shin guards are in place. This is new for us and I really like it. And their uniforms? Well, they are perfection. Perhaps a little on the bright side, but we can't lose our kids. So win?

We've had several practices and just finished our second game this past weekend. Before the game, Jeremy kept showing Cayden and Sawyer inspirational videos – professional soccer players performing tricks – and we think it might have inspired them to play a little harder! Because y'all, I've never seen our boys play like that! Cayden's come a long way since his Start Smart days – he almost (so close!) scored his first goal of the season. And Sawyer, who's never played in a city league? Dribbled that ball down the field by himself and came close to kicking a goal. I may have cried a little from being so proud! We're looking forward to an exciting season. Also? We're super-glad these two are able to be on the same team. Makes practice and game day just a bit easier. Ok, a lot easier.

September 27, 2016


awake baby alert.

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Now that Miss Tatum is seven weeks old, she's decided to stop napping so much during the day. I mean, she still sleeps quite a bit, but the time she's awake, she's definitely more alert. And definitely staying awake in longer spurts. We even pulled out the activity mat to try to give her something that would entertain her, but it seems she still prefers other people's faces as her primary form of entertainment. And since she's starting to smile a little more often in response to said faces, I'm okay with providing mine for her to look at. The boys are also starting to realize that she sees them and reacts to them. That's causing a lot of close-talking around here, but it's so cute that I can't be upset.

Some of my very favorite alert time? When Jeremy throws her over his shoulder. She'll pop up on her elbows and practice her head control (which is getting really good!) and look at everything over his shoulder. She's still not above using a good eyebrow raise to control the noggin and I love that forehead wrinkle too. Of course, she looks pretty stinking' sweet like this too.
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September 22, 2016


cardboard box.

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People always say the only thing you need to get your kids to keep them happy is wrapping paper or a cardboard box. And I can agree with those people. At least on the cardboard box thing. Our kids love them. So when we had one this past week that they could actually get in? The possibilities were endless. I just took it out to the recycling bin today... only because it had gotten pretty much destroyed. But it was everything before the destruction. A place to hide, a car, a place to push each other around, something to fight over – you name it and our boys made it that.

Also, I'm trying to reach for our "real" camera a little more often than the iPhone (a Nikon D610 for anyone that's interested). Lifestyle shots are now becoming a goal of mine and slowly, but surely, I'm starting to capture more of those in a medium that I think we'll be able to do something with. Don't get me wrong, I love capturing life with my iPhone and sharing those on Instagram with you, but there's just something a camera with a lens can do that I don't think a phone will ever be able to do.

Now, if Jeremy and I could get our acts together, maybe one day we could actually make some income from this. Maybe. One day? I'll also praise our home on its natural light again. And all the days. Because windows galore and that makes me happy. Unless we ever have to replace all of them and then I'll probably just want to live in a cardboard box.

September 19, 2016


one big happy hello.

A big 'ol thank you to Gymboree for sponsoring this post! Loving these clothes? You can enter for a chance to win their baby bundle sweepstakes and get your own clothes and more!

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Parenthood. It's one of those things where you can prepare as much as you want, but never actually be fully prepared. And y'all, you would think with four kids we'd be experts at the whole parenting thing. Truth? It's different every time. And just when you think you have it figured out, things change again. It's a crazy little thing...

But! Preparing is key. And since we were welcoming baby number four AND a girl (which was completely new for all of us), we knew there were some changes coming. We encouraged the boys to love on my belly as much as they wanted, hoping that love would transfer to Tatum once she actually arrived. I don't know that it completely worked, but I will tell you that our boys love Tatum fiercely and are always asking to hold her. (Well, except for that one time in the hospital when Graham didn't want "him" at all. But you know, two.)

We also knew that we'd want the baby in her own room so that she wouldn't be waking anyone else up in the middle of the night. Because we only have three bedrooms in our home, that meant the three boys would need to share a room. We moved them all in together about four months before Tatum actually arrived. Since Cayden and Sawyer were already sharing, we slowly started moving Graham's clothes and toys in their room. Once they were used to that, we moved another mattress in and Graham started sleeping in there at night. Thankfully it was an easy transition from the crib to his new room. But it was one we were a little worried about. Making sure everyone was comfortable with the new arrangement was key for us. Start early, and take it slow.

Adding another carseat to our car was another adjustment for everyone. Kids had to change seats and we went from everyone on the middle row to two kids in the back and two in the middle. We even put Tatum's car seat in the car early just so everyone could get used to there being another carseat in the car. And we let the kids know that once Tatum arrived, we might need their help remembering to get her out of the car. Letting them be a part of helping us? They loved that.

I know a lot of second/third/fourth-time moms don't feel like they should get a lot of things for the new baby. I say if you're feeling like you want to do that, then do it! Buy all new things for your itty bitty. Go all out on that fourth nursery design (totally did that!). Have fun stockpiling newborn diapers – they are super-cute after all!

But y'all, nothing could prepare us for them meeting their sister for the first time. It was (mostly) magical...

Speaking of, these clothes! The boys had a blast opening all the orange boxes that Gymboree sent over. I think Cayden told me five times while getting dressed "how comfy" everything was. Which is awesome. And everything is really soft and feels durable. Like, we'll be able to pass down the clothes through the boys – which is hard to do with boys... because they destroy everything. I can't get over how cute everything is. Tatum's little outfit just gives me the warm fuzzies – so cute and cozy! I'm ready for it to cool off so we can put these clothes into full rotation. As it was, I couldn't get the boys to take their jeans off when we got done taking photos. So they ran around the house with jeans and no shirts, ha!

And did you know September is one of the most popular birth months? To celebrate, Gymboree teamed up with 5 popular brands to bring parents the ultimate bundle for baby. They're giving away over $2,000 in prizes from Gymboree, Land of Nod, Seventh Generation, 4moms, Baby Bjorn, and munchkin. If you want a chance to win, go enter this amazing baby bundle sweepstakes now! I mean, look at everything you can win.

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