December 2016

ICE! at Gaylord Palms ~ 2016

It’s become one of our family traditions at this time of the year to head over to the Gaylord Palms Resort and check out ICE! This is literally two-million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures that we can walk through to a different holiday theme each year. There are also ice slides and the whole scene tells a cute story. Not to mention, the attraction is kept at a super cool NINE degrees!! BBRR!!

You can see our fun from last year HERE.

We were so excited to go this year, as it featured A Charlie Brown Christmas. This is one of our childhood favorites, and of course, now one of Liam’s ❤

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As we waited in line to enter the exhibit, the staff member literally reviewed this with us. Seriously, this was hilarious!! 🙂

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The details in the ice sculptures are just mind blowing. While the chilly temps will literally, at first, take your breath away, lol….walking around looking at these beauties will, too! So, so pretty!!

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While we laughed at being told not to touch the ice, little man kept asking to touch it…I mean, look at it….for a kid, even for us….you really do just want to reach out & touch it!

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They did such an awesome job of capturing all of our favorites moments from the Charlie Brown Christmas special. LOVE IT!!

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Charlie Brown & Lucy ❤

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This was the ice slide room! Super fun!!

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Schroeder!!

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Linus …and he was holding a real blanket ❤

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Both Liam & Stephen went down the slides (there were four). My hands were so cold that my phone didn’t register my fingerprints to take the video & it messed up (such a bummer). While I was waiting for them to slide down, another lady’s phone froze….THAT’s how cold it was in there! Really!! So, here’s a screen shot of when I tried to 1st start the video 🙂

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Say cheese! …It’s the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree!

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We were seriously just so in love with all of these vibrant colors & details!

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Once again, the last room was the Nativity Scene, and it was breathtaking ❤

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Such a fun-filled family day!

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Until next time, friends!

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December 2016

Priceless Memories ~ Family Pictures 2016

Last month, we got together, once again, with our favorite photographer, Dawn Geraghty, for our annual family pictures session. As always, she did not disappoint with the amazing shots  & moments she captured of our little family.

We love working with the natural light & elements outdoors, and Dawn does a fantastic job of capturing that vision. We are also just absolutely blown away by how much Liam has grown since last year. That is one of the main reason’s why I ensure we do these pictures annually because our little man is definitely changing right before our eyes. I want to capture every moment that I can ❤

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You can contact Dawn at: dawngeraghtyphotography@aol.com // facebook: Dawn Geraghty Photography // http://www.dawngphoto.com/

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We were anticipating this would be a fab session, so while we had his Kindergarten pics taken with his school, we really didn’t invest in a package with them. Instead, Dawn captured this image & it really show’s Liam’s true personality…..

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Total silliness but LOVE it ❤

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And, some more gorgeous updated shots ….

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Here is a look back on the family pics from the last few year’s:

2014 \\ 2015

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Until next time!

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December 2016

It’s Christmas Time!

As we wrap up this 1st full week of December, I am definitely feeling the Christmas spirit all around. Maybe part of it is because decorations have been out in the stores since August….#kiddingnotkidding

No, but really, we were completely excited to break out the holiday decor as soon as we wrapped up Thanksgiving. It was a busy weekend after coming home from my dad’s for Turkey Day, so it took us a bit longer than I had planned to get everything up, but the house is looking festive now ❤ …Of course, the kitty is keeping us VERY busy with his mischief & antics with the Christmas tree.

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Last week, we kicked off the season with our annual Gingerbread Decorating Party. This is always a great time with our friends. A few of us girls gathered together a couple nights before the party to put all the houses together & have a few laughs 🙂

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Liam was excited to get to work on his house. It was hard to even snap some of the pics this year because almost every time you asked him to stop and ‘say cheese’…he would reply with “I can’t, I’m busy.” …hilarious!

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I might have bribed him to get this pic ❤

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This was his, ‘can I eat another piece of candy?’ face 🙂

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He wanted to spread the icing himself this year and he picked out all the candies. He’s getting to be so big and he’s very creative. He also knows exactly how he wants things to be & look.

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Finished!

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And, of course, as soon as the kiddos wrapped up, the big kids jumped in. Lisa & Stephen have gotten very serious about their joint decorating adventure over the last few years. It’s quite amusing!

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We joked around this year that this party is going to turn into the kids just playing & only the adults decorating houses. Hahaha!

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I have to say that their house turned out pretty amazing! They were impressed with themselves, too, as you can see from their pic below 🙂

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The Bengel’s neighborhood has a cool Santa that comes by, and the night of our party was actually the night he came! It was SO exciting for everyone.

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We grabbed all the kids really quick and headed out front. Santa came up the driveway, greeted everyone, and gave each kiddo a little box filled with small trinkets & candy. It was so sweet ❤

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Afterwards, we headed inside & had our gift exchange for the kids with a few of our friends.

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Liam was stoked — he got his 1st NERF gun! ….P.S., Daddy was too 😉

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We’ve really enjoyed attending our new church home this past year, as I’ve mentioned in past posts. It’s such a blessing to share a deeper learning and understanding  of the Advent season with Liam.

We had a guest speaker, Brad Gray, last Sunday for the 1st of a two-part series about the meaning of Advent. Let me tell you ….it was so good!! He covered so much education & history about the Bible and what was happening in the world at the time of Jesus’ birth. I honestly had no idea. I can’t wait to hear the rest of his message this weekend!

It’s called the Fullness of Time and I highly recommend you take a listen, as it’s available online HERE

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Sunday morning, before church, Liam popped up & immediately declared he had to write his letter to Santa. So, that’s what we did ❤
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Had to grab a pic of these two putting the star on top of the tree 🙂

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It felt good to finally have the house decorated by the end of the week. This pic is kinda dark, but the living room looks so cozy with just the glow of the Christmas lights & the fireplace.

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Some of our other decorations….and Christmas cookies about to bake!

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Can’t forget the outside decor, too!

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And, this gem! If you read my last post, you know we went to see the big guy last month, so I’ve been saving this for awhile now. We LOVE our Santa at our local mall. Liam was a little nervous again this year, but he went up to him without any forcing. He asked him for Hot Wheels. Afterwards, you could see the excitement in his eyes, and he said to me, ‘that wasn’t bad at all‘.

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We have a lot to look forward to this month & much to share! This is truly a magical time. Especially when you share it through the eyes of a child. Hope that your Christmas season is off to a fantastic start, as well!

 Until next time, friends!

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November 2016

Thanksgiving Wrap-Up

Happy Thanksgiving! Our pastor said the following sentiment at church on the Sunday before turkey day, and I thought it so appropriate & super cute…..

We hope you & your family had a holiday weekend filled with the five F’s:

FAITH

FAMILY

FRIENDS

FOOD

FOOTBALL

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We took a road trip for the holiday & headed up to Jacksonville to my dad & stepmom’s. Keeping with tradition, we kicked off our morning with the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It was so cool that this year’s parade was it’s 90th anniversary!

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He drives us nuts at times, as any 5 year old does, but this boy is the most loving kid ever. Definitely take pause on this day to celebrate just how blessed and thankful our family is. There is MUCH to be thankful for each and EVERY day….all the little things that we all too often take for granted.

As I look back on year’s past pics — HERE , HERE , and HERE ….I am amazed at just how much Liam has grown. Especially since last year. What a growth spurt! His little baby face has changed so much ❤ …definitely tugs on this mama’s heart strings.

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These two silly boys 🙂 …They were permanent begging buddies in the kitchen. Hilarious!

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Cooking up some yumminess in the kitchen! Almost time to eat!

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We had a great spread for our Thanksgiving Day meal — all the traditional trimmings, and including both a turkey and a ham. Stephen helped with keeping an eye on the ham, which we cooked on the grill. So tasty! Liam even helped baste it at the end.

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The day after Thanksgiving, we took full advantage of living in the Sunshine State and went for a walk on the beach. It was a little cool but definitely refreshing. We even took the dogs with us, and Timber had a ball! It was his 1st time with his paws in the sand in years ❤

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Timber followed Stephen out to the sandbar and then swam back to me. So cute!

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Buddies! 🙂

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We headed home on Saturday. I had full intentions on putting away the Thanksgiving decor and putting up ALL the Christmas. LOL! — it was a good plan. It ended up taking me most of the week but no worries.

What was super fun was that Mr. Elf flew back to see us from the North Pole on Saturday night! Liam woke up to him hanging out here on Sunday morning ❤

He brought him some new pj’s and some candy. More about that next time!

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It was a great weekend, overall. We hope you all had a restful & fun holiday weekend, as well.

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We are THANKFUL you have taken the time to stop by our little spot on this great big cyberspace.

Until next time, friends!

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November 2016

Looking Back on October

I love this time of year. It’s filled with such fun family activities. Definitely makes the days and weeks fly by. Before November gets away from us, I want to take a moment, and share some snippets of the fall memories we made last month.

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We kicked off October with Liam’s Fall Festival at his elementary school. It was still pretty warm out that evening, but we pretended otherwise 😉 ….he thoroughly enjoyed the hayride they had around the field.

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There was no shortage of bouncy houses for the kiddos. He tried out almost all of them, of course!

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This one was an obstacle course….

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Then, there was the jail. It was literally all the rage with the kids, including mine. You could pay to put a friend in jail for a few minutes as a joke {& all money went to the school as a fundraiser}. My little? Well, he just wanted to put himself in jail 😛 ….totally hilarious!

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Later on in the month, we hung out with our regular crowd for our annual Halloween get together. Liam ditched his chosen Grease costume in favor of being Darth Vader for this party.

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That night, I actually put the camera down for a bit & just enjoyed the night. That’s rare for me. This was the only photo I nabbed besides the one of Liam. I’m pretty sure I ate most of that guac….LOL!

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Halloween night was on a Monday this year. For the 1st time, this was an actual school night for us, but we still made it work and had great night of trick-or-treating. We made the rounds with the Bengels in their neck of the woods, and the weather was beautiful! Liam looked fab in his Danny Zuko costume from Grease.

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This year, he was too cute with how he went door to door. In year’s past, he was a little timid and definitely let our friends kiddos, Alli & James (who are a little older), lead the way. This year, he was a trail blazer. He RAN up to the doors and rang the doorbells himself. Many doors, he didn’t even look back to see if the others were caught up to him. Then, he turned and literally RAN away and would yell out to us, “lets go! we have to go get more candy!”. It was adorable!

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Silly kids goofing off 😛 ….Liam was pretending to be a zombie. Lisa told him to smile in the second pic and he laid himself out on the grass….HA!

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One house made their garage into a haunted house. I think the our ‘big boys’ (aka the hubbies) were more excited for this then the kids.

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Checking out his loot!

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October went by in the blink of an eye, but it was a blast!

HERE is a look back on last year’s fun.

Happy Halloween!

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September 2016, Sponsored Post

Disney On Ice Fun — Follow Your Heart!

We recently had an afternoon of family FUN as we enjoyed Disney On Ice presents Follow Your Heart at the Amway Center downtown.

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We are always pumped to take a trip down to the Amway Center. Being downtown is just fun, in general, as we don’t frequent it often, and we love to check out the venue that the Orlando Magic calls home 🙂

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As soon as we stepped off of the escalator, these yummy sights & smells surrounded us. Liam chose the cotton candy & crown combo 🙂

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The show started off with a skating rendition of a hockey game to incorporate elements of Inside Out and the theme of Following Your Heart and doing your best. Riley made her appearance throughout the game and all the skaters were awesome! Liam LOVED it!

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And, of course, Mickey & the gang were there, too ❤

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It was very cool to see our favorite friends from Inside Out. Liam’s eyes definitely lit up when they came out!

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I’m pretty sure I said it last year, but my personal fav is Beauty & the Beast. I loved this rendition of ‘Be Our Guest’! Super excited for the live action movie next spring!!

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The Sorcerer’s Apprentice…we are big fans of watching this on Fantasia so it was awesome to see this on the ice.

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I was beyond thrilled to see Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs as a part of this year’s show!! Liam hasn’t see this movie yet, so it’s definitely added to our list …LOVE this one ❤

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Finding Dory ….so fun & such a great movie. We can’t wait to add this to our home collection.

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Toy Story is one of our family’s all time favorites and the performance they did for the show was SO good!

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It was fantastic to see our favs Rex & Hamm come skating out….Liam jumped out of his seat for that!

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All the Disney Princesses came out throughout the show and did fantastic performances. Ariel from the Little Mermaid’s performance, though, was one that we couldn’t take our eyes off….

What a way to close out the show….Frozen!

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Let It Go!!! ❤

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FINALE!!

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Smiles All Around!!

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Such a great afternoon with my boys! Always wonderful memories made with Disney, and of course, little man did not take this crown off all day! Thank you to Feld Entertainment for this amazing opportunity for my family!

Until next time, friends!

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I am a Feld Entertainment Blogger Ambassador, and in exchange for my time and efforts in attending shows and reporting my opinion within this blog, as well as keeping you advised of the latest discount offers, Feld Entertainment has provided me with complimentary tickets to Feld shows and other exclusive opportunities.

July 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Happy 5th Birthday, Liam!

Today, we celebrate our kiddo’s 5th birthday! It is definitely a magical time for all of us, as the excitement on his behalf can barely be contained. Stephen & I have just been watching him grow in astonishment…..1st, we seriously can’t believe we made such an amazing little man. 2nd, he is growing way too fast!

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Here is the latest teddy bear pic ❤

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If you follow our adventures, you know this teddy bear pic is a fun regular measure of growth for us. Check out all our past pics & updates HERE


We continued our tradition of a BIRTHDAY INTERVIEW. The free printable of this can be found HERE.

As with last year’s interview, some of his answers were both quite surprising & hilarious!

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More from the previous year’s questionnaire that we used:

What is your name?: Liam

How old are you?: holds up 5 fingers

What is your favorite food?: (taps cheek as he’s thinking) pizza

What makes you laugh?: When Daddy makes funny faces

What are you afraid of?: bears

What is the best time of the day?: summer

Where do you like to go?: the beach

What do you like to do with your family?: the zoo


Other notable things these days …

He still refers to both me & Stephen as ‘guys’ , or as ‘hey guys’ …I pointed this out in last year’s update & that has not changed. It’s hilarious!

He is still a whiz with the iPad.

Dancing and Music are his passions. At any moment, he will break out with his latest moves or sing his heart out.

We have seen a tremendous amount of growth in the last 6 months. Both physically {as in we had to move him into size XS/S clothes after spending this last year in 4T/5T and we’re about to go shoe shoppi g again} and also emotionally/mentally. I know I have always said how easy going his personality is, and yes, that still holds true. However, in recent months, he has also began to assert himself more and test his boundaries. I think part of it is being in summer camp and being around older kids. He sees more now and is trying his limits at times.

He officially gave up naps in June.

We are officially not in daycare anymore as of last month. This summer, he has been enrolled in a Junior Summer Camp with kiddos Kindergarten age through 2nd grade.

He will start Kindergarten next month!!!

He has been taking a soccer class with camp this summer & really likes it.

He has also recently taken an interest in basketball.

He definitely has his own sense of style & is excellent at matching his outfits each day. Gone are the days when I can buy just about any cute clothes that I like. He is VERY picky about his shirts/tops & most days, they have to be character shirts {superheroes, star wars, disney, etc}.


Here is a look back at the last 5 year’s of birthday pics….

1st Birthday

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2nd Birthday

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Happy 5th Birthday, our sweet little man, Liam Michael!!

Words cannot express how much love fills our hearts for this kiddo. He is a blessing to us each & every day ❤

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July 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Splashing Good Birthday Fun!

Last weekend, we had a splashing good time celebrating Liam’s 5th birthday with family & friends. While his actual birthDAY is not until this weekend, we opted to hold his party a week early due to venue scheduling. We had such a great time at the Oviedo Splash Zone last year for his party, that we held it it there again this year. It definitely did NOT disappoint!

Little Man selected STAR WARS for his theme this year. I found these clever invitations on Etsy:

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The quiet before the storm of kiddos. The weather was already hot at 9:00 am, but we were thankful for gorgeous FL sunshine! Wee-man was ready to get his 5th birthday par-tay on 😉

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 This place is seriously amazing. It wasn’t even a question to not come here again this year. It’s literally a playground in the water ❤

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Since we are surrounded by water and everyone is playing, we keep the decorations simple. We decided to go with cake pops this year in lieu of cupcakes, and they were THE BEST. Ms. Lauren from Little Boy Blue Bakery in Oviedo completely outdid herself with these fantastic Star Wars themed pops. Be sure to follow her on Facebook and Instagram (@littleboybluebakery) and see all of her amazing creations!

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What kiddos doesn’t love a good party favor? Keeping with the simple, yet fun, theme, I found THIS idea online and was thrilled with the result! The TAGS were another find from Etsy 🙂

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One of my fav shots of the R2-D2 cake pop! // photo credit: Little Boy Blue Bakery

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I really have to brag about these pops because all I told Lauren was the theme and she completely delivered. We had Darth Vader, the Death Star, Chewbacca, R2-D2, and Stormtroopers. And, of course they ALL were SO delish!!

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Here’s a snap of 4 of the 5 masterpieces ….all of the Death Star pops were eaten by the time I thought to take this…lol!

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Jase & Liam 🙂

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Liam & James….

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Trying to get these boys to stop playing for 5 seconds and say cheese was IMPOSSIBLE…hahaha! // Brandon, Bryce, Liam & Jase

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Love these girls! They always have my back ❤

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And this lady has had my back since birth 😛 …my momma! So happy she’s back in the sunshine state with us!

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Sillies….

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Liam & Matthias…

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double trouble 🙂 ….Liam & Kenadie

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My heartstrings….my boys ❤

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We had ordered a Darth Vader cupcake from Sweet! here in town so we could put a candle in it & sing to him. As cute as they made this for him…..he loved Ms. Lauren’s pops so much that he never ate this 😛 …he later declared that he “loves loves loves cake pops” ….so, I believe we have a new fav around here!

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Love this family of mine….

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Munchin’ on a Darth Vader cake pop!

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….and, back in the water to play some more! All the kiddos had a great time & played ’till the facility literally turned the water off on the playground equipment to signal the party was done. Then, all of us parents had to pry them out of the pool 🙂

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One VERY happy & blessed boy!

{who shockingly did not fall asleep even on the drive home from the splash park}

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Thanks to everyone who came out to splash around with us! It really was such a great day & a super fun time to celebrate this sweet boy turning 5.

Hugs!

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July 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Milestones & Memories to FIVE

Our sweet boy is celebrating a milestone birthday in just about a week from now.

FIVE!!

I have said it every birthday, I know, but I really cannot believe how fast time goes by and how quickly these babes grow. We began the festivities this past weekend with his party, and it was the best day (more to come about that soon)! He had friends in Pre-K throughout the year turning five before him, so he has been anxious for his turn to come. I, on the other hand, would love to slow time down…hahaha! 😉

Since I love to reminisce, here are some memories and milestones of our pride & joy! Literally starting from the VERY beginning ❤


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4D Ultrasound ~ 6.4.11 ~ 29 wks – this was our favorite image! Looks like he’s smiling at us.

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7.31.11 ~ BIRTHDAY!! One of his very 1st pictures! …While mr. man was expected to arrive on 8/20, he was bound & determined to make his appearance before July closed out. God blessed us with a healthy baby….he just needed some extra oxygen to get things going. I remember looking at him in this pic & he was so small. I couldn’t believe he was outside my belly & I was so afraid I would break him. ❤

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8.1.11 ~ 1st morning …we were already in total love!!

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12.26.11 ~ 1st time tasting rice cereal ….wasn’t the biggest fan. We soon changed over to oatmeal.

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3.8.12 ~ 1st ride in a shopping cart like a big boy.

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3.08.12 ~ tasting his 1st meat …Turkey & Rice. Look at the excitement on that sweet face! 🙂

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3.11.12 ~ Beginning to sit up on his own! Seriously, he has the BEST smile ever.

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3.25.12 ~ 1st time riding like a big boy in his stroller without the infant carrier….1st time with shades, too.

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4.5.12 ~ Passed out while playing in his pack-n-play ….this was hilarious to look down & see!

We said BYE BYE to paci on 12.11.13. More about that milestone HERE

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6.30.12 ~ 1st pair of shoes {still have those cuties tucked away, too!}

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6.30.12 ~ Crawling machine. When he 1st started to try to crawl, he went backwards 🙂

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8.18.12 ~ 1st haircut!! ….bye-bye curls

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9.29.12 ~ Pulling himself up to stand ….one of the 1st times!

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10.21.12 ~ Walking with his lion …P.S. he <3’d this toy SO much!

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1.13.13 ~ 1st bath in the big tub!

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1.13.13 ~ 1st time on a horse….Kira {at Mimi’s stables}!

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3.30.13 ~ Dressed up all spiffy for a family beach wedding …such a little man!

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6.9.13 ~ 1st night in his toddler bed. He also used to always sleep in that position ❤

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10.29.13 ~ Halloween costume after his fav bedtime buddy…Dalmatian puppy. This pic was also featured on the Babycenter’s IG & FB!

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11.26.13 ~ New raincoat & Lightening McQueen Shoes. Cuteness Overload.

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2.23.14 ~ Potty Training began!

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5.19.14 ~ 1st swim lessons with Ms. Katie!

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5.23.14 ~ Haircut fun ….he ALWAYS makes this face on the left when Miss Desiree cuts his hair ❤

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9.03.14 ~ Being silly with Mommy

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9.10.14 ~ Gymnastics class

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10.28.14 ~ Hanging with his best buddy

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5.3.15 ~ Healthy Kids Running Series

3.27.15

3.27.15 ~ Wasn’t it just yesterday that this little hand fit around my finger?

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5.16.15 ~ myGym class

5.24.15

5.24.15 ~ Magic Kingdom …always a magical family fun day at Disney

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7.08.15 ~ 1st visit to the dentist

10.22.15

10.22.15 ~ Pre-Kindergarten picture day ….so grown up!

12.18.15

12.18.15 ~ The boys & Christmas pj’s …a family tradition

1.19.16

1.19.16 ~ 43 degrees in the sunshine state!

dedication

5.15.16 ~ Dedication service at Church

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6.11.16 ~ Pre-K Graduation!


So many wonderful memories!! It was hard to just select these few to share. I could have just kept posting & posting. Thankful & blessed for each & every moment we have had with this amazing kiddo these last five years. He truly is a gift to us. We know time is going to keep flying by, so we just want to focus on staying present in the moments and building upon these wonderful memories.

Parenting is the hardest job, but it is, by far, the most rewarding & THE BEST job.

Hugs,

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July 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Star Spangled Fun ~ 2016

The 4th of July weekend has evolved into an important little family tradition for us. While it’s not a major holiday filled with all the hustle & bustle most of us are accustomed to, it’s one that we’ve definitely grown to look forward to with our little man. We usually have one or two low-key family hangouts over the long weekend, and of course, fireworks.

To link up to last year’s fun, click HERE

2014’s festivities — HERE

2013’s festivities — HERE


We kicked off our weekend with some birthday fun at Monkey Joe’s for one of Liam’s friends from Pre-K, Jase. There were several of his little buddies there from school, and some of them hadn’t see one another since graduation a few weeks back. Needlesstosay, these boys had a great afternoon!

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Sunday evening, we caught up with some friends for yummy dinner & dessert. Take a look at that smores dip! …it was delish! The kiddos had a grand ‘ole time with sparklers, too. I don’t think we could let a 4th go by without sparklers 😉

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All the holiday festivities didn’t start for us on Monday until later in the day, so I got a brilliant idea to go to the park & splash pad with little man…instead of the pool. I told him it would be fun to change things up. OMGEE….it’s been so hot…I think we both questioned my judgement later on 🙂 ….still had fun, though & was all smiles!

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We decided to give the fireworks at Avalon Park a try this year in an effort to stick closer to home since we had work & camp the next morning. We way underestimated the number of people that we thought would be there. Parking was crazy!!

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Despite the massive amount of people crowding the streets in Avalon, we managed to find awesome seats in the grass right on the lake. These two sweaty boys were still all smiles!

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Patriotic little man ❤

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Headphones make great noise mufflers for loud fireworks! 🙂 ….He really enjoyed the show!!

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It was a great evening celebrating our great nation’s birthday! ❤

Until next time, friends!

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