Stories of E

By 8:00 AM , ,
I have said it before but I will say it again…our two year old is two going on twelve. He has a crazy vocabulary and puts together very long sentences that are not typical for a two year old. You just never know what he is going to say...he pretty much keeps us laughing all the time. I just know my grandmother is right…if I don’t write these stories down I will forget them so with that being said I am long overdue for another segment of “Stories of E,” in which I share with you some of the funny things (that I can remember) that our two year old says.

**Last night we were reading his Veggie Tale version of The Nativity Story which features all the characters from Veggie Tales as Mary, Joseph, baby Jesus, the wise men, etc. (you get the idea). I was reading him the last page in which Baby Jesus is born in the stable and said see the wise men (which were Bob the tomatoes). He responds “No, no, Mommy those aren’t wise men. Those are tomatoes.”

**He is WAY into football. It is his favorite thing right now. However, he refers to all football as “Go Dawgs” (hey, what can we say we are raising him right aren’t we). He asks us every morning what time the Go Dawgs game starts today to which we have to respond that it is not on until Saturday. He asked me today as normal what time the Go Dawgs game is coming on and I told him the season is over and they won’t play again until their bowl game to which he responds by bawling his little eyes out. On the same note our daily battle right now is that he only wants to wear Go Dawgs clothes. The child has two full closets and two full dressers (no lie) full of adorable clothes and if it doesn’t have a bulldawg, football, or G symbol on it he doesn’t want to wear it. In order to get him to wear some other clothing we have told him that Mommy went to college with the go dawg guys and that all the other clothing is what they would wear to classes. So now if he is wearing any “normal” clothing he will say “I am wearing my Go Dawgs college shirt today.”



**The other day I picked him up from school and he tells me “I pushed my friend (insert friend’s name here).” I of course respond with “What? Why? We don’t push our friends!” He says, “He is always trying to talk to me and he doesn’t talk very clearly and it is frustrating.” Uh…excuse me but did you just say that?

***He loves singing and is ALWAYS singing. His favorite movie right now is Frozen and he walks around our house singing “Let It Go” all. The. Time. Other favorite songs of his include “Twinkle, Twinkle,” “Baw, Baw Black Sheep,” “Jesus Loves Me,” and “ABC” but he will also make up his own songs using the names of any of his friends or family members.

**Most all of his buddies in his class either already have a baby brother or sister at home or are about to have a baby brother or sister. E has decided he also wants one and has been telling everyone he is going to have a sister (NO I am not pregnant and YES it is super fun when your son goes to school at your work and tells everyone you work with he is going to have a little sister). Even though we have told him over and over he isn’t right now he will argue with you until your blue in the face and say “Yes I am!” We told him that is something he has to ask God for so he has been praying for a sister and the other day he says “how come God hasn’t brought my sister yet?”



·  **He absolutely loves his two older nephews and is in to anything they are- hence our Star Wars and dirt bike obsession. He walks around the house in his Storm Trooper mask and will “shoot you” with his light up gun and then will pull his mask off and say “here I am! I missed you!” 



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Christmas Traditions

By 10:20 PM , , , ,
I love Christmastime. I think one of my favorite things about Christmas is all the many traditions it brings with it. Below are 8 of my favorite Christmas traditions:

1. Christmas Cards
There is something so very sweet about getting old fashion mail. I love sending and receiving Christmas cards. I actually have a fun tradition where I hang ribbons up on all my kitchen cabinets and hang each card that I get in the mail on the ribbon with clothes pins. They stay that way until after Christmas so I can look at all of them everyday and then I take them down, punch a hole in the top of them, and make a book out of a ring binder for them. We spend the next year praying for one family from our binder book each night. It's such a fun way to remember to pray for our friends and family.

These year our Christmas Cards came from Tiny Prints. Tiny Prints has such an amazing assortment of Christmas and holiday cards to choose from...it took me a long time time to decide on which one I liked best but I ended up with the below and could not be happier with how it turned out.



2. Christmas Light Hayride
Every year we start the Christmas season off with a hayride on a trailer behind my dad's truck on Thanksgiving night through a drive thru light display at a house near my grandmother's. It's such a fun tradition. 


3. Santa
We love our Santa tradition. Our neighborhood has the best Santa that our HOA brings in every year to our clubhouse. This Saturday is the day Santa is coming and we couldn't be more excited. You simply show up at the clubhouse and put your name on the list and then sit down and make Christmas crafts and have snacks and they call your name when it's your turn. Perfect for little ones sense there is no waiting in line. 

4. Elf on the Shelf
We have a love/hate relationship with this guy. And by we I mean my husband and I. He returns to our house the day after Thanksgiving and it is a daily victory for my hubby and I to remember to move him. The way it works in our house is the first day he comes he brings a small present (this year he brought the Little People Nativity) and then every day after that he simply moves. I try to do 5 or so days a little more creative but usually we are doing well to just move the guy. However, it is so magical to see the Elf on the Shelf through my little guy's eyes. We watched the movie last night which I highly recommend by the way! 

5. Decorating our Christmas Tree
My husband is the Clark Griswold of Christmas tree decorating. We always go and pick out our perfect tree and then my hubby comes back and makes it his mission to up his record as far as how many Christmas tree lights he can get on a tree from last year. This year he managed to get 2400 lights on our tree. It's crazy. Then we decorate our tree as a family. We collect ornaments from all the vacations we go on and from milestones throughout our lives so we have a pretty fun collection to put up. We also every year get an ornament that is a photo frame with the year with a pic of our family to put on the tree so it's fun to see how we have changed throughout the years. My husband's grandmother started a tradition with her grand kids were every year since they were a baby she has given them one ornament a year and she gives them their collection once they get married so we have all of those to add as well. 


6. Nativity
I have awesome memories growing up from my childhood of playing with the nativity we kept on our hearth so I spent the last two years in search of the perfect nativity that would allow my kids to do the same. I finally found it. It sits on our hearth and our little guy loves to play with it. My father-in-law made the stable for my birthday gift this year and the figures I found at a local antique shop. 

7. Local Christmas Story Drive-Thru
Every year a local church puts on a drive thru nativity. We love to all get bundled up in our Christmas jammies and bring hot chocolate and go drive thru the nativity. We usually follow it up with driving through local neighborhoods looking at Christmas lights. 

8. Christmas Eve 
There is nothing quite like Christmas Eve candle light service to me. I just love it. When my husband and I first got married my mother-in-law came up with the genius plan to do Christmas on Christmas Eve so we don't have to run from house to house. It works out so great. We get two Christmas mornings! We spend the entire day from early in the morning until late in the afternoon with my husband's family and then go to candle light Christmas Eve service at church. We always do dinner with some close family friends and then go back to my parents house to spend the night. 

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? 

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Knee Pain Can Make You "Hit Pause"

By 8:44 PM , , , , ,
This post was sponsored by DePuy Synthes as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central, however all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Several years ago when Zumba was all the rage I was all about it...I went to Zumba class at least twice a week and loved every minute. That is until one day when I somehow managed to injure my knee while working out. The crazy part was it didn't hurt when I inquired it but I quickly realized (when trying to lift weights a few days later) that something was not right. Now, over five years later (and still not even 30 years old), it still causes me pain and I have to be very careful on what activities I participate in and which I choose to pass over. That means that I can't do any weight assisted squats and I have to be very careful when hiking which is one of my favorite weekend activities. 

Unfortunately, many like myself with hip and knee pain, can miss out on a lot when sidelined by their join discomfort. Simple activities like hiking, swimming, or dancing at a party may become painful and those with knee pain may feel like their life is on pause. Even in your everyday life the pain can be so severe that it causes you to say, "I'll just sit this one out" or, "I'll catch up with you guys later." Or, possibly worse, causes you to choose not to exercise or be as active as you should or would like to be. 

Thankfully we don't have to spend our life feeling like we are on the sidelines. You can "Hit Play" on your life and rejoin your friends and family doing the things you love. Don't keep missing out but instead talk to your doctor about treatment options today. Through therapy thankfully I am slowly but steadily working to regain the muscle in my knee and slowly increasing my activity level but I still have to be very careful and pay very close attention to when pain starts so I can stop it at the get go. Pushing it too hard has the reverse effect. You can find out more at TimeToHitPlay.com regarding finding a physician in your area who can talk to you about potential solutions for your hip or knee pain. 

Watch the below video and visit the “Physician Locator” after the video ends.

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Constant Balancing Act

By 11:54 PM , , , ,
Life would you slow down some? Pretty please...

Don't let anyone ever tell you that you can't do it all. It can all be done. Just not all at once. 

Life is a constant balancing act. It is a constant battle of picking which aspect of your life is the lowest at the moment and working to pick it back up. 

For me the last few months of my life have been spent pouring in to my full time job that has become more like a job and half over the last several months. Because of all the time and effort I am pouring in to work I have had to be even more intentional around doing everything I can to make the precious time I get with my sweet hubby and baby boy count (I know he is 2.5 but he will always be my baby boy, ok). I so look forward to our weekend full of fun family memories and crave those precious hours when I am not traveling that I get to curl up with my baby in my lap and say prayers, read books, and sing songs. That night time routine is one of the best moments of my day and I really miss it the days I am traveling. 

That being said I know this is just a phase and am oh so thankful to work for a company I love and am passionate about and to be surrounded by work "family" that truly is my extensive of family outside my immediate family. But at the end of the day my family always has and always will be my number one priority. That being said I feel like the blog has taken a back burner over the last few weeks and I am sorry. 

Just a great reminder to lean on God because He is the only one who knows the plans for us and the only one who can feel you up. 

I have so much to share with you sweet friends and so little time.

So why not start with what our life has looked like outside of work lately.

* We are in the VERY beginning process of designing our dream farm house to build on the land I grew up on - to say I am excited is an understatement - it is funny how your prospective changes over time, you would have asked me five years ago if I ever thought I would want to build on and raise my family in my forever home on the land I grew up on and my answer would have been an abundant "no." Now, there is nothing I would love more. We still have a lot of variables to figure out including timing, etc. but have just about settled on a house plan (hubs drew it himself) and are already falling in love with dreaming of our future in our own family compound in our dream farm house. 

This picture was taken a few weeks ago when we were out staking out where our house will go. This is our little two year old playing in the Little Tykes house I played in when I was two. It is over 25 years old! Pretty good plastic I would say. ;) 



* E, our two year old, has discovered raking and jumping in leaves and it is his new past time. This kid cracks me up. 





* Hubby's truck broke down (like literally stopped running) on the interstate in Atlanta this weekend with E in the back seat. HUGE praise they are both ok but we are bummed over the cost associated with repairing this new truck that we have already poured a lot on money in to this year. Goodbye vacation. Hello same money sucking pit of a truck. Hope we enjoy you as much as we would have Hawaii. 

* This past weekend we headed up to our family lake home for some much needed R&R. My grandmother recently purchased a new pontoon and we all approved. 




Well that's life for now. I am writing from a hotel room in San Antonio and falling asleep so must end for now. Goodnight friends. 

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Fall Family Photos

By 7:00 AM ,
Our amazing fall family photos were taken by Alena Hart Photography

Please vote on your favorite for our Christmas card in the comments.















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Current Favorites

By 10:23 PM , , ,
I love this time of year. It is finally starting to feel like fall in Georgia (well at least in the mornings and evenings). Today I thought I would feature some of my current fall favorites. 

1. This purse from Target

I debated purchasing it but decided to cave and have not regretted it... at all. It is the perfect size and I get a ton of compliments on it. Seriously love it!


2. Uninvited by Lysa TerKeurst



I have been reading through this book and can not say enough amazing things about it. I love it. So much amazing goodness wrapped up in one little book all written by a women I very much look up to. One of my favorite quotes so far:

"I am fully loved, fully accepted, and fully empowered to say no to my flesh."


Uh, goodbye cupcakes?!?

3. Drybar 


I was in a wedding this past weekend which should also make the favorites list because it was so awesome to see all my best friends from colleges over the weekend (oh and we are all married now, finally) but I also had my first chance to go to a Drybar. You guys it was AHHH-MAAAZZZINGG! For $40 you get a spa like experience (complete with glass of champagne) and can have any style done to you hair. 100% worth it. 

4. Pumpkin Carving

It's Halloween week. One of my favorite weeks of the year. Last week we had our annual pumpkin carving family event. This year our two year old's request was Mickey Mouse so that is exactly what we did. My hubby free handed the Mickey on our pumpkin and our two year old was quite impressed.



5. Walking Dead

Ok so maybe this should have made the "un-favorites" list this week because my gosh. Can we just talk about that episode this week? Off. The Chain. Like seriously I couldn't sleep. All that aside Walking Dead is filmed like 10 minutes from my house and my hubby and I saw Rick filming the other week on our way to small group which was way cool. Like Rick was standing 10 feet from the window of my car and the police officer had to get them to stop filming so we could drive down the street cool...It was way awesome - hence why it made the favorites list this week.

7. Talk about crazy shows I am loving Ben and Lauren.

The drama. So entertaining. 

8. Random moments with my favorite little boy. 

Especially if it involves a Target run with my grandmother who then gets to walk around Target with a storm trooper. Because...amazing!





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The Essentials to a Perfect Wedding

By 1:17 PM ,
Today I am excited to share with you a guest post around wedding planning and renting some of your wedding essentials.
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Your wedding day is the one day that no matter what, you want to be perfect. You want everyone there, everything set in place, and to make a memory that you will be able to treasure for the rest of your life. Part of getting the perfect wedding is to make sure you have all of the essentials covered. You need decorations, centerpieces, chairs and tables, and more. This part of the process can be daunting if you are not experienced with planning out the perfect wedding.
Simplify the Wedding Planning Process By Renting Some of What You Need
By renting some of the furniture you are going to need, you put someone else in charge of a portion of the process. This makes life easier on you, and keeps your costs down at the same time. Wedding furniture rentals can be found all over the place, but not every place is going to offer you the same quality of furniture. You want to find a place that not only offers wedding chair rentals, for example, but also allows you to pick from a few different styles. You should be able to pick from modern and vintage wedding rentals, multiple colors of each piece of furniture, and a few different styles to complement the d├ęcor you have already picked for your wedding.
When your goal is to find a company with a wide selection of wedding furniture rentals, you should turn to Archive Rentals at ArchiveRentals.com. They have many styles of wedding furniture to choose from, each of which will add a specific style and flare to your magical day. Once you have the furniture rented, you can then go on to focus on the minute details that are going to make your day one that you will never forget.

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Be the Best Possible Version of You

By 8:45 PM , , , , , ,
This post was sponsored by Nature Made® as a part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central.

As a busy working mom with a lot on my plate I want to make sure I stay as healthy as I can. Today (as the weather is starting to chill and actually begin to feel a bit like fall outside) I wanted to share with you a few of my tips and tricks to staying healthy as possible during this busy season of my life where I feel like I am always on the move. Below are a few of th way I go about maintaining a healthy mind/body balance. 

1. I drink a LOT of water. All day. Everyday. When I get sick of water I "trick" myself into thinking I am drinking water by drinking sparkling or flavored water. 

2. I strive to get 10,000 steps in a day. I don't accomplish this everyday...in fact if I do it four times a week it's a good week. I don't beat myself up if I don't make it but I do strive for it as a goal everyday. My Fitbit helps motivate me to get my steps in...my competitive nature loves trying to match the steps my friends get in.

3. I take Nature Made vitamins. Nature Made® is the #1 Pharmacist Recommended brand for many key dietary supplement categories* Specifically I take their vitamin C supplements to help support my immune system and often take the probiotics available at Walmart Supercenters. I even took their prenatals when I was expecting our son. Walmart is a great place to purchase these products because their everyday low prices don't make you feel like you need to wait for a sale. 



Nature Made® has a variety of vitamins, minerals, and supplements (VMS) to help support nutritional gaps with your health goals in mind ranging from Digestive Support, Heart Health & Function, Energy Metabolism, Women’s Health and much more!†

Nature Made® Probiotics: Nature Made® Advanced Dual Action Probiotic has been clinically studied and provides dual support to both your small and large intestine for comprehensive coverage to help support digestive balance and healthy gut flora.†

Nature Made® vitamins and supplements: An easy, convenient way to help your body get the nutritional support it needs every day, whether it be to support bone health, immune health or energy metabolism (helping convert food into energy).




4. I stay motivated to live a healthy lifestyle by joining several Facebook accountability groups. These are free and their are hundreds out there. Another great tool available is https://www.healthyhabitbuilder.com where you can join the Nature Made®Healthy Habit Builder program where you can get motivation and tips around your specific health goals.

5. I start and end my day in quiet time. This gives me time to pray, reflect on the day ahead (or the day I just had) and gives me a few focus minutes. This is crucial to my day and the days I miss this I find myself going a totally different way the days I make time to do this.

Be sure to visit http://shopcentric.influence-central.com/walmart/nature-made/  to enter to win one of 60 Walmart gift cards (each worth $50) by taking part in the sweepstakes on the site! (No Purchase Necessary)
*Based on the 2016 U.S. News & World Report – Pharmacy Times Survey.

†These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, cure, treat or prevent any disease.

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It's that time of year again...

By 9:11 PM , , , , , , ,
This post was sponsored by AstraZeneca as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.

Aw, fall has arrived. I love October for so many reasons, in fact it is my favorite month of the year. The gorgeous colors in the sky, pumpkin everything, and the cool weather makes me so happy. However, the one thing I do not like about this time of year is the illness the cooler weather brings. This week marked my first notices of strep, bronchitis, and the dreaded RSV from my son's school. 

RSV is a common, seasonal virus that typically occurs between the months of November-March in the United States and, scary as it sounds, is the leading cause of hospitalization for babies during their first year of life since the disease infects the lungs. It's no wonder National RSV Awareness Month is October. 

RSV Awareness Month exists to educate parents about the signs and symptoms of RSV disease as well as preventative measures you can take to reduce exposure. It is so important as parents to be armed not to be fearful but to know how to protect our precious babies from the season's biggest threat. Knowing the important facts about RSV can help us prepare to keep our babies safe and warm throughout the colder season. 

My little guy contracted RSV as newborn and it was awful. Little to no sleep for all of us and just watching him have trouble breathing was a very scary experience and one that I am extremely thankful we are past. Thankfully, there is a huge difference between contracting RSV and becoming seriously ill from RSV and we had the lesser of the two evils. Nearly all babies by the age of two in the US will contract RSV, however, severity varies. 

Did you know?

RSV spreads rapidly among children. Most children will recover in 1-2 weeks but can spread the virus for 1-3 weeks even after they recover. 

RSV, or respiratory syncytial [sin-sish-uhl] virus, is a contagious viral disease that may infect a person’s lungs and breathing passages.

In babies, RSV generally causes mild to moderate cold-like symptoms. But in certain high-risk infants it can cause serious lung infections and hospitalization.

Signs of RSV include: wheezing or coughing that does not stop, gasping for breath,
a blueish color around the mouth or fingernails, trouble breathing, and fever.
 1 to 2 weeks, but are able to continue to spread the virus for 1 to 3 weeks,
Remember, although there is no cure for RSV disease, there are measures you can take to help prevent it.!

For more details and information visit http://bit.ly/2bvRxSm to learn more about RSV disease adn how to keep your child healthy this RSV season! #LittleLungs #RSVAwarenessMonth

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Checklist of Baby Clothes Essentials + Giveaway

By 6:52 PM , , , , ,
This post is sponsored by Carter’s; however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.
One of my favorite parts of being a mom is getting to dress your little one in adorable baby clothes. It is honestly like having a live baby doll. Every since our little guy was born we have made Carter's our go-to shopping location for baby and now toddler essentials. Not only does Carter's have adorable, fashionable baby clothes (and a baby boy section that is just as big as the baby girl clothes which I so appreciate) but Carter's offers high quality and very affordable and durable items. 

Want proof? One of the main reasons Carter's is our go to clothing store for baby clothes is because they are some of the only clothes that last after the day in the life of a two year old little boy. Trust me if they can last after a little boy had a full day of school and then cheered on his local football team (and may or may not have played in the dirt) they are durable and deserve to be praised! All the clothes on our little guy below were purchased at Carter's. 



Carter's is hands down my favorite baby store to shop at whether you shop online or go to a store near you.  Carter's also makes shopping in store very baby and toddler friendly by having toys for your little one to play with while you shop. Thanks, Carter's! Here are some photos of my little shopping buddy and I during our most recent Carter's shopping trip.


"I think we should buy this shirt, Mom!"


The great news is that Carter's almost always has a coupon to save you even more money. Be sure to use the below current coupon when shopping to save some extra money.


Upon my most recent trip to Carter's I was able to pick up all of the pictured items below for only $50. I made sure to snag some Halloween and Thanksgiving Bodysuits while there because I mean, come on "Gobble 'Til you Wobble." ;) 



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If you are a soon to be Mommy or Daddy and are wondering what you really need for your bundle of joy I have put together a checklist of some of the baby clothes essentials for new parents below.

Checklist for Baby Clothes

1. Several Original Bodysuits; Carter's is the creator of the Original Bodysuit - this is the one staple item that you can't have enough of during the first phase of life - in fact we still have several that my toddler wears. They are great because they are so incredibly versatile! I'm serious if you only buy one thing make it the Original Bodysuit. 

2. Several pairs of pants - I would recommend some jeans and cargo pants and some sweat pants or "comfy" pants as my toddler likes to call them

3. A couple jackets and/or sweatshirts 

4. A couple t-shirts

5. Several button down shirts or Bodysuits for special occasions 

6. Lots of bibs - perfect for spit up, food, and drool I always made sure to keep a couple bibs on hand on at all time

7. At least seven pairs of PJs - because trust me - they will be dirty and you will need at least a week's worth so you aren't forced to do laundry more than once a week (here is a picture of the newest PJ set we picked up for E at Carter's).



8. Shoes, thankfully Carter's also has adorable shoes (my toddler found some he was so excited to buy)


9. A pair of sunglasses; we purchased the one's at the top of this post at Carter's during our shopping trip 

10. Several pair of socks from Carter's 
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Be sure to participate in the Pin Baby Pin contest which runs until 9/26. After the 26th 75 people will be randomly selected to each win a $50 Carter's gift card. To enter, participants must upload their favorite Carter's baby's first look look at this link
Happy Shopping and Good Luck! 

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