July 2014, Latest & Greatest News

Liam’s 3rd Birthday Fun

Hard to believe a whole week has gone by now, since Liam’s 3rd birthday! While Stephen & I were pretty wiped out by Sunday night, we definitely had four fun-filled days of celebration with our little guy πŸ™‚

If you caught my last post, then you know that he had a special wake-up call on his big day. Most of those balloons are still hanging around his room. Not sure we’ll ever be able to pop those little suckers….haha! He’s really enjoying them.

2014-07-31_3rd birthday morning 005

We kept his birthday day pretty mellow, and it was just the 3 of us. We ventured to the movie theatre for Liam’s very 1st experience with the “Big Screen” and chose to see Disney’s ‘Planes Fire & Rescue’. He is in love with the Cars movies, and we watch those repeatedly. We got the 1st Planes movie through our DMC, but he wasn’t as into it. Thus, we weren’t sure how this trip would go over.

2014-07-31_3rd birthday_1st movie_Planes 004

Walking into the theatre was exciting for him & we had to explain what everything was. We got lucky & had almost the entire theatre to ourselves so he could walk around. There were SO MANY previews! — that definitely was a bummer….lost his interest a bit.

2014-07-31_3rd birthday_1st movie_Planes 001

Thoroughly enjoyed the movie theatre popcorn & his Hi-C drink πŸ™‚

But folks….we only got through about 2/3 of the movie and he asked to go home….literally! Ha!

He was done. So, we headed out & went to lunch at Crispers. We’ll have to catch the end of the movie on DVD πŸ˜‰

2014-07-31_3rd birthday_1st movie_Planes 003

After nap, we headed over to Sweet by Miss Holly for our most fav cupcakes. I think you tell by this super awesome smile that we enjoyed this treat!

2014-07-31_3rd bday cupcakes_sweet 003

Later that evening, we enjoyed a visit from Mimi, Aunt Heather & cousin, Sierra. Liam was thrilled to get some awesome birthday gifts, including the Radiator Springs town from the Cars movie, as well as play with his cousin ❀

2014-07-31_3rd bday_with Sierra 002

The next day, we headed over to Grammy & Papa Rock’s house for a visit. Of course, this guy got some more presents and was all about it. This time, it was Thomas!

2014-08-01_3rd bday visit with Grammy 003

My little conductor! All Aboard!!!!

2014-08-01_Conductor Liam 004

2014-08-01_3rd bday visit with Grammy 008

The fun continued on Saturday, when we got to celebrate one of our very bestest friend’s graduation from UCF with her doctorate degree in Education!! We are SO very proud of her. I am loving this pic below, but have to laugh because Liam was NOT happy that I pulled him away from playing in the pool to snap a quick pic. Can you tell? LOL

2014-08-02_jenni grad party

We have TONS of birthday party pictures to share! I am working on those posts now.

Stay tuned!!


July 2014, Latest & Greatest News

Happy 3rd Birthday Liam!

Happy 3rd Birthday, our sweet little man, Liam Michael!

We love you SO much & are so proud of the strong individual you are becoming. It is definitely amazing to watch you grow right before our very eyes. Many times, I wish I could freeze time & hold you tight just a little longer before you take that next forward πŸ™‚ …you are the light Mommy & Daddy’s lives!

2014-07-28_36 months teddy bear pic

A few nights ago, we sat down & “interviewed” Mr. Liam. That was pretty fun. He was both very thoughtful & serious with his answers. HA! We are going to start doing that from now on each year on his birthday.


I found this FREE printable interview sheet here via Pinterest (my fav!).

Other notable things these days….

1. He has started to do “pretend play” with his toys. He will talk to (or among) his toys as he is playing. Cutest darn thing. You can hear him making up stories now as he is playing.

2. He wants to do everything himself… or at least try. Makes for some difficult decisions, at times, but we manage. Gone are the days when I can pick out his outfits, too (insert my sad face…LOL).

3. Most recently, we have entered what I’ve been calling the “why” phase. He has started asking “why” to EVERYthing. Since we don’t want to diminish his inquisitiveness, we are answering him as best we can, but oh my gosh, dude….sometimes, it’s just because we said so πŸ™‚


Thanks to my obsession with Pinterest, we put a bunch of balloons in his room last night while he was sleeping and streamers on his door so he had something fun to wake up to this morning. He also got his present from us — his 1st watch (he had requested that).

When he came into our room this morning after waking up, he said: “Santa brought me balloons & a present” ….hahahaha! That was so cute!

2014-07-31_bday fun wake up collage

Lots of fun planned for this little man the next few days. I’m sure he’ll be all tuckered out by the end of the weekend πŸ˜‰


July 2014, Latest & Greatest News

Just Keep Swimming: Our Little Fish

This post has been a long time in the making. Mainly because it took me forEVER to get all these pics & videos off my phone & organized πŸ™‚ …However, I really wanted to share the journey we had a few months back of Liam learning to swim. It really was quite the experience — fun, tiring (for ALL of us), hard work for him, for sure, & at times, emotional for this mama.

We started lessons on Monday, April 7th & he finished the program on Thursday, June 4th. In our area of town, there’s a few companies that we could have selected. Obviously, some might say, why not just teach him yourself & save a few bucks…..Well, good point, I guess, but we just didn’t feel comfortable doing that. Florida is surrounded by bodies of water. We wanted him to be taught life saving skills in the water. In a split second the unthinkable could happen. We wanted him to be prepared for that, and bottom line — We don’t feel that you can put a price on your child’s life. Teaching him these skills was just too important to us, so we made it happen.

We were thrilled that we could get him onto the schedule with SwimSprout. This is THE most fabulous group of ladies, and I am saying that because I am a happy mama whose child can now swim…not because anyone asked me to say that. Liam loves these ladies, and evenΒ two months since he finished lessons and he is still asking to go to Ms. Heidi’s house for swim lessons when I pick him up from school. To me, that tells you something special πŸ™‚

What Liam was taught over the 9 week period that he went for lessons (our schedule was extended because of weather delay’s & sickness) was basic water safety & survival. I feel like I could write you a book about all that Ms. Heidi & Ms. Katie taught us, butΒ I’m not the expert in all that jazz, so if you’re interested in it for your little one, please go to their website or link to their private Facebook group from their site. If you’re not in our area, you can find more info by searching Infant Self-Rescue.

Now, for the good stuff! Here’s some highlights from our swimming adventures πŸ™‚

Waiting patiently to start lessons on Day #1

Β Our lessons started with correcting Liam’s posture in the water from us using one of those puddle jumper vests all last summer. Oops! We honestly had no idea that it was actually “bad” to use that and does nothing to teach a child life saving skills if they fall in a pool without it on. You just don’t think about it. Lesson learned! πŸ˜‰

Week #1
Week #1
Week #2
Week #2

It was a running joke that Liam would smile & say “yes” to anything that Ms. Katie or Ms. Heidi asked of him. Hilarious! Besides the first day or two, this kid never cried. He loved it!

The puddle jumper vest just allowed him to kinda float along in the water and not use his legs, so it was hard to get him to start kicking at first and get moving. Here’s some early video of that process….

2014-04-23_swim lessons_week 3 004
Week #3 — learning to float with Ms. Katie
Week #3 -- floating with Ms.  Heidi -- 'airplane arms'
Week #3 — floating with Ms. Heidi — ‘airplane arms’
Liam really loves his SwimSprout shirt from Ms. Heidi & wears it frequently to school. Here he is one day before school during mid-point of our lessons.
Liam really loves his SwimSprout shirt from Ms. Heidi & wears it frequently to school. Here he is one day before school during mid-point of our lessons.

Once we got his feet moving, we couldn’t get them to stop πŸ™‚ — part of learning to float is having what Ms. Katie called, “quiet toes” Β — Liam did not like having quiet toes…lol, as you can see in this clip below:

Week #5 -- listening closely to Ms. Katie
Week #5 — listening closely to Ms. Katie

Once he got the floating down, he was taught to roll from his back into the water and swim again. Essentially, putting the whole process together was called swim/float/swim. Here’s a clip when it first clicked and he put it all together — then, in a rare moment for him, he got ticked off at the end πŸ˜‰

Week #7 - cheesing it up!
Week #7 – cheesing it up!

Toward the end of his lessons, he got to be quite the strong swimmer and got awesome at holding his breath. Almost, too good! Ms. Katie had to keep putting him further and further away from the steps because he kept reaching them so fast AND not rolling over onto his back to take a breath….what a stinker!

 6/4/14 -- quick selfie to show how excited we were on swim test day -- NOT so excited once he actually got into the pool, but he did AWESOME!
6/4/14 — quick selfie to show how excited we were on swim test day — NOT so excited once he actually got into the pool, but he did AWESOME!

June 4th was his swim test day & he did great! I think it was harder for us to watch than anything. I video-taped it, but it’s a looong video & the lighting is terrible so I chose not to post. Instead, here’s a clip of little man from just over a month ago. We are proud that he is still swimming strong & having fun in the pool. On this day, he wanted to swim in the deep end with Daddy πŸ™‚

the FABULOUS SwimSprout teachers who made all this possible -- Ms. Katie & Ms. Heidi. WE LOVE YOU!!!
the FABULOUS SwimSprout teachers who made all this possible — Ms. Katie & Ms. Heidi. WE LOVE YOU!!!

What a great experience this has been for our entire family!! We can’t wait to catch up with Ms. Heidi & Ms. Katie in the fall for a refresher session.


July 2014, Randomness

Throwback Thursday: Murphy Birthday Memories!

We are officially ONE WEEK away from Liam’s THIRD BIRTHDAY!! The excitement is definitely building around here πŸ™‚

In honor of this most special day (and, of course, TBT), I wanted to take a look back at his last two birthday’s because ya know that’s always fun!

His 1st birthday party was a big to ‘do at our house and we opted for a “Baby Mickey” themed party. It was a very special celebration….

2012-07-28_family pic

I was “that” mom who didn’t let him have cake leading up to his birthday, so he had NO IDEA what to do with it once we gave him his little smash cake. Hilarious!

Liam_1st bday party_56_7.28.12

That’s more like it πŸ˜‰


This was THE most perfect birthday boy outfit that our great friend hand-made just for Mr. Liam.

Liam_Mickey Mouse


Last year, for his 2nd birthday, we opted for his 1st trip to the Magic Kingdom instead of a big party. It was magical day….

Liam 2nd Birthday_ 011

**I can’t believe how tall he’s gotten since last year looking at these pictures! Wow **

2013-07-31_disney trip_family collage


Disney_7.31.13_ 050

Disney_7.31.13_ 085

Disney_7.31.13_ 064

He had fallen at school a few days before our Disney trip so you can see the nice goose egg right smack in the middle of his forehead for most of these picks. Oh well πŸ™‚ …

I remember it was so hot last year trekking around the park. I don’t know if we were more crazy or brave for doing that, but we had a blast. You can check out the 2-part original post from our trip here & here.

Lots of fun is planned for next week!!! Can’t wait to share it with you all! ❀


July 2014, Latest & Greatest News

Weekend Adventures

This little man is like a sponge when it comes to learning. In the midst of playing this weekend, I asked him if he could still count to 10 in Spanish for me and this is what he rattled off…..

We were honestly astounded that this little tike counted all the way to TWENTY!! I’m not even sure he could make it all the way to twenty in English but he’s got Spanish down pretty good. Thank you to his teacher, Ms. Laura, as this accomplishment is definitely due to her skill πŸ™‚

We spent some time SundayΒ afternoon playing picasso out back with chalk. He was drawing rivers with sharks in them….because ya know, that’s how we roll πŸ˜‰

2014-07-20_chalk collage

We ended our weekend by celebrating National Ice Cream Day with a tasty cone! Yummy!!

2014-07-20_ice cream day 2

2014-07-20_ice cream day 1

Hope you all had a great weekend, too!


July 2014, Randomness

Throwback Thursday: Murphy Memories!

In continued celebration of my Grampy’s birthday this week, I thought it would be fun to share pictures of his birthday party from two years ago — 2012. This was when we had just moved him out of the house he shared with my Grammy & into his own apartment in the retirement community where he still lives. He quickly made friends there and we had a large group gather together that day to enjoy his cake with us. It was a really nice afternoon. Liam was just shy of his 1st birthday that day, as well. Look at that face….I could just eat him up πŸ™‚

2012-07-14_grampy bday_3

2012-07-14_grampy bday_4

2012-07-14_grampy bday_72012-07-14_grampy bday_6


~ H

July 2014, Latest & Greatest News

Recent Happenings

Today, I would like to wish my Grampy a VERY Happy 89th Birthday!!

I am so thankful that are we able to create wonderful new memories with him. For those of you who know, the last few years have been rather difficult since my Grammy passed & we figured out that he was progressing with Dementia. It’s gotten worse more recently, and I give huge kudos to my mom for taking such great care of him. It’s definitely not an easy task on a day-to-day basis.

However, we had a great afternoon with him on Sunday to celebrate his birthday, and I was thrilled that he was feeling good and seemed to really remember everyone. We took him out to lunch and met up with his sister, Frieda and her two daughters (his nieces).

Liam colored a picture on his own birthday card for Grampy. Β It was really cute. We all know you can’t make an almost Β 3 year old do anything he doesn’t want to do, so it was awesome that he said yes to me when I asked him if he wanted to color a picture, and then he told me when he was done πŸ™‚

2014-07-12_Coloring Great Grampy Bday Card

This was our group picture taken at lunch. It came out really awesome!

2014-07-13_Grampy Bday Lunch

The last few times that we have visited with Grampy, I have asked Liam to take a picture with Grampy but he has been too shy. So, I didn’t force. Let me just tell you that he was very loving and affectionate to Grampy on Sunday. It was awesome!! I know that in those moments it really made Grampy feel special. It warmed our hearts! I am treasuring this picture. When we brought Grampy back to his apartment that afternoon, Liam even went over to him and gave him a hug & a kiss all on his own. It was adorable ❀

2014-07-13_Liam and Grampy 1



So, I was a little behind last week with my posts & didn’t get a chance to put up our 4th of July pictures. After much debate about where to go to catch fireworks, we ended up going back to Lake Eola & it was a great time for us, again….despite the rainy afternoon. Thankfully, all that cleared up just in time for the sun to go down πŸ™‚

Here is me & my little man hanging out on our blanket and waiting for the festivities to begin.

2014-07-04_Lake Eola 4th of July 001

Snack break!

2014-07-04_Lake Eola 4th of July 002

Even though Liam has seen fireworks on tv several times since we saw them here last year, in person, nothing compares to the BOOM you experience live…well, it scared our little guy at first this year. This picture shows that emotion. I actually think it turned out pretty sweet. After a few minutes he settled down and sat up and watched the rest of the show. Afterwards, he said he had a good time and liked it πŸ™‚

2014-07-04_Lake Eola 4th of July 005

It really was a good show!

2014-07-04_Lake Eola 4th of July 009

Hope everyone’s July is off to a good start….can you believe we are already half way to August?!?! Where is the summer going?? Crazy!!


July 2014, Randomness

Throwback Thursday: Murphy Memories!

This little gem is one of my all time fav videos of our little man. It was taken when he was 1 1/2 years old (Feb 25th ’13), and this was before his vocab really took off. So, this is his rendition, at the time, of singing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. That was one of his fav songs at the time and we had been trying our darnedest to get this on film up to this point, so this was a VERY exciting moment.

When I was looking at this video last night, Liam walked up to the computer and looked over at me after watching for a second and said, “he’s cute!” ….hahaha!!! πŸ™‚ …he totally didn’t realize that was him! LOVE IT ❀ …I then told him that was him as a baby and he was like, “yeah” and walked away. Typical.

Love you, ourΒ little dude!


July 2014, Randomness

Throwback Thursday: Red, White & Blue!

In honor of our upcoming Independence Day holiday tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at the last few 4th of July’s with our little man πŸ™‚

Today is actually “Red, White & Blue” day at school, so here’s a quick pic of him before school this morning…

2014-07-03_Patriotic Boy

Liam celebrated his 1st firecracker holiday when he was just shy of his 1st birthday. Wasn’t this just yesterday?

Β 2012-07-04_1st 4th of July

Last year, 2013, we were inching towards birthday number 2! We decided to venture out to Lake Eola for his 1st experience seeing fireworks. It was magical. He is already talking about it for tomorrow night πŸ™‚

2013-07-04_4th of july with words

2013-07-04_4th of july

2013-07-04_watching fireworks

(notice an old friend, paci, in this one above? ….I have to tell you this quick story…..While looking for a lost train over the weekend, Daddy found a random paci on the floor way in the back under Liam’s bed. When we did the great paci purge, I thought I had gotten to all of them, but this little booger escaped me, apparently. He was gonna just toss it, but I told him to let Liam see it. Liam’s reaction was priceless. He started to laugh & was like, “Daddy found a paaciiii…hahahaha!!!” We asked him to throw it out & he promptly walked over to the kitchen garbage & tossed it in. Nice one! …Was I secretly a LITTLE sad that he wasn’t sad or missing it?? …I shall never tell πŸ˜‰ )


We are definitely looking forward to having some fun on the 4th tomorrow. Hope you all do, as well, no matter where your travels or adventures take you! Stay safe & have a fab holiday weekend!


Awesome Fireworks!!
Awesome Fireworks!!