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 Zoneย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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ย 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 โค

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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 THISย idea online and was thrilled with the result! The TAGSย were another find from Etsy ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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 โค

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And this lady has had my back since birth ๐Ÿ˜› …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 ๐Ÿ™‚ ….Liam & Kenadie

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My heartstrings….my boys โค

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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 ๐Ÿ˜› …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 ๐Ÿ™‚

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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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Latest & Greatest News, November 2015

Fall Fun at Green Meadows

Things have been quiet around here lately but that’s not because we’ve not been busy. Just the opposite actually. It’s been hard to find time to sit down & collect my thoughts. We are definitely feeling the hustle & bustle of the holiday season….not a bad thing, though. Makin’ย some family memories, right? โค

Recently, we took, what’s become an annual trip, to Green Meadows Petting Farm in Kissimmee. It’s such a cute & fun family place. We especially love to visit during the month of October because each guest leaves with a pumpkin that they pick out on the property ๐Ÿ™‚

You can check out our past trips hereย and here

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Each year, I’ve tried to get Mr. Liam to milk the cow. He wants no part of it ๐Ÿ˜‰ …however, this year he did pet Mrs. Cow so that was something new.

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We spent the afternoon with our good friends and had the best time. Liam & Kenadie have been besties since they were babes โค ย ….I seriously can’t believe how much these two have grown up. Especially as I looked back at pics from our visits to the farm the last few years.

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Ah, the goats are always a HUGE fave for us ๐Ÿ™‚ …so stinkin’ cute! ….& always SO hungry!

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Liam got a kick out of the Llama this year because we are now reading the “Llama Llama” books. He thought this guy looked like the character from his books ๐Ÿ˜‰

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baby chicks are cool ….

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here piggy piggy …

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The pony rides are another fav for our little man โค …this was the 1st year we didn’t have to walk with him, as he was big enough to ride with just the staff member (*insert mama tears…lol*)

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Cheese!!

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Doesn’t get much better than this โค …we love this boy to the moon & back.

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Such a fun day at the farm! Definitely a great way to spend a Florida fall day.

Until next time, friends!

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Latest & Greatest News, October 2015

Happy Halloween!

Trick or Treat!

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Seriously, how much fun was Halloween on a Saturday night?!?! I vote to have it on a weekend every year!

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We kicked off the weekend with dinner on Friday night at IHOP. Liam got a FREE spooky pancake. So fun!

When we got home there was a special delivery from Papa G & G-Ma –> a Halloween tin of yummy flavored popcorn!

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On Saturday, the 1st thing Liam said was: “it’s Trick or Treat day!!!” ….heย could barely contain his excitement ๐Ÿ˜‰

We continued our annual tradition of hanging out & eating dinner with our good friends & walking their neighborhood. ย While Liam dressed up in a few of his different superhero hero costumes in the various holiday events we attended throughout the month, he had selected Baymax from Disney’s Big Hero 6 movie as his trick-or-treat outfit. He adores that movie! โค …I mean, it’s a Disney’s superhero movie, afterall, right?!?! ๐Ÿ˜‰ ….It was hilarious because some of the people handing out candy did not know his costume & asked him if he was an Avenger. He, very matter-of-factly, stated: “No, I am Baymax”. ย Then, he would turn around and yell down the driveway, “They thought I was an Avenger!!!”

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Halloween is the look of mischief…..

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Daddy did some cool modifications to the wings to get them to stick out and not be flopping around. We glued tongue depressors to the inside flaps & then, he painted them red. The mask also fit a bit tight & squished his nose. Stephen added a few foam pieces (such a thoughtful daddy!)….however, Liam still didn’t keep it on most of the night. Ya know, it’s still pretty hot & sticky here in FL ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Let the fun begin!

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Liam was so polite at every house. He said, “trick-or-treat” and then, “thank you” after getting his candy. Then, to each person, I also heard him say, “Happy Halloween!” ….my heart melted! We stayed out for about 2 1/2 hours. We even brought our wagon because we thought he would get tired and need a rest, but no, he trucked along & kept up the whole time. Heck, he even pulled the wagon (by his request) toward the end. The only thing he did ask for was to dump his candy bag and “start over” because his little bag was getting too heavy. This mama had thought about that ahead of time, so I did bring a bigger bag….lol!

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He ended up with quite the haul of candy by the time we got done. Here he is — tired, hot & sweaty…but so proud of his little stash ๐Ÿ™‚

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It was a great weekend! We were a tired little family when all was said & done, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. When Liam woke up on Sunday morning, he asked if it was still Halloween. I told him, no, it was now November. Then, he asked if was Christmas. I said no again. Little dude proceeded to cry….I felt so bad! Once I explained that Thanksgiving was next & reminded him what that meant, he was ok. Being a 4 year old is tough work sometimes ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here’s a look back on the fun from the last few years:

2014 // 2013 //

2012 (back before the blog …check outย this adorbs pic). This was Liam’s 1st time trick-or-treating!! We just pushed him right up to the doors. Haha! …but he held his little bucket!

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2011ย (also,ย back before the blog …Baby’s 1st Halloween!!)

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candy

Until next time!

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Latest & Greatest News, October 2015

Welcome October!!

1st week of October is in the books! Yes, this family is excited ๐Ÿ™‚ …I think I saw it posted somewhere last week that as of October 1st there wereย 30 days until Halloween, 58 days until Thanksgiving, and 85 days until Christmas. I’m ready for it! I love this time of the year โค

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We brought the fall decorations down from the attic & Liam was thrilled to help me put them up. I like to put up fun Halloween decos for October and then switch it up to more general pumpkin, turkey, and fall-leaved themed things for November.

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We have some fun family activities planned over the next few weeks, so that always helps to keep us in the holiday spirit….even when the temperatures here in FL make us sometime question it ๐Ÿ˜‰

Halloween Pumpkin

We kicked things off a few weeks back with a trip to Legoland. I had scored us an awesome promo deal for tickets through the Children’s Home Society of FL …we literally all got into the park for less than a full price ticket at the gate. So awesome!! Best of all, a portion of what we paid for went to their agency.

Loved seeing the cool Halloween Lego displays throughout the park! Can you see little dude’s head peaking out of the big pumpkin Lego below? ๐Ÿ™‚

Legoland

We were uber excited this visit because little man was tall enough to ride a few of the “bigger kid” rides. He chose ‘Merlin’s Challenge’ — a mini Himalaya flat ride. I think the smile on his face tells you how much he enjoyed it ๐Ÿ™‚ …this mama actually got dizzy…lol!!

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Since starting Pre-K, Liam has had some enjoyable events at school, as well. The 1st was Pirate Week, which ended with a fun Pirate Parade. We squeezed him into his ‘Jake & the Neverland Pirates’ costume to wear for it. Seriously, he was THE cutest!! They also had Community Helpers Week, and had special visitors to the school from Dr’s, Police Officers, and the Fire Dept. He LOVED it.

I’m not sure how/when it started, but Liam frequently asks me to tell him a story when he’s falling asleep about Super Hero Liam and Super Dog Timber. So, I try to be a ‘cool mom’ and make up fantastic stories of these great adventures that he & Timber go on. It definitely challenges my creativity and story telling skills ๐Ÿ˜‰ ….then, one day at school, we see this neon plastic guy with a dog. Clearly, I know it’s designed to flag parents to slow it down through the parking lot…..however, my child immediately says, “Mommy, it’s superhero Liam & super dog Timber! They are at my school!” He was thrilled! I thought it was hilarious that is what he thought of when looking at them. So….we took a picture. And, each time we see these guys, he says hello to his new friends. LOL! One day, I will definitely tell him this story ๐Ÿ™‚

Superhero Liam

In other news, we went to a good friend’s birthday party at a local Sports Complex last weekend….and yes, even in hot & sunny FL, we ice skated. Liam was overjoyed!! I, on the other hand, ….could not move the next day ๐Ÿ˜›

It really was so fun, though, and I am happy that I could introduce him to something I loved to do as part of my upbringing in New England. Next time, we’ll hopefully convince Daddy to get out there with us!

Ice Skating

ย Until next time, friends!

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August 2015, Latest & Greatest News

A Splashing Good Time

Last Saturday, we gathered together to celebrate our little man’s 4th birthday. Very early into the planning, he declared he wanted an Avengers party, so I was excited to find this invitation on Etsy.

The shop I worked with is called, Cupcake Tops. Now thru Sept. 30th, use code: casademurphy and you can receive 20% off any purchase of $5 or more in their shop ๐Ÿ™‚

Bday Party Invite

Liam LOVES to swim & play at splash parks, so we thought it would be fun to have his party at the Oviedo Splash Zone — part of the Oviedo Aquatic Facility. Basically, it’s like a playground in about 1 ft. of water. SO MUCH FUN for all!!

When we booked the party, we chose the morning time slot, as we thought there would be virtually no chance of Florida showers that early. Well…..Murphy’s Law — it stormed AND poured for literally the week & a half prior to and days after the party. I’m talking HEAVY rain peeps. Poor Tampa was under a state of emergency there was so much rain. I just kept praying it would let up for those few hours. We had no back up plan. Driving to the park, it started to sprinkle — I was less than thrilled, but Liam was so positive (as always). He said, “it’s okay Mommy. Sprinkles are not bad :)”. Love him! We were blessed as the rain stopped AND the sun came out. The weather was beautiful for the entire party โค …..and then, it poured again as soon as we got home….LOL!!

I have a lot of pictures to share, so be warned that this post is long ๐Ÿ˜‰

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This is one of my fav shots of the morning. I have to tell you that Liam was a little stinker throughout the party, and almost every time I asked him to pose quickly for a pic, he said ‘no’ or ‘after cake’ or made a face. We had to work HARD for this shot!

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Knowing that we would be doing a water party with lots of kiddos, I thought cupcakes would be best & most easy to manage. Publix came through like champs with these! I gave them little direction, and we were thrilled with the end result. They even surprised us with these fun rings as toppers.

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We had a table set up under a ginormous umbrella. Again, so fun! Perfect for shade from the sun or rain. Since it was a morning party, we opted for breakfast snacks and coffee for parents. Thanks to Dunkin’ Donuts for coming to the rescue! I called ahead and we walked in just before the party, and they had our whole order ready to go. HUGE time saver!

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How awesome was this park? The kids {and adults} thoroughly enjoyed themselves!

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Cute mushroom!

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Liam & his cousin, Sierra โค

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The orange slides were a definite hit with all the kiddos.

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It was SO hard to get any kind of a group shot. Even this is not the best pic of all 3 of these guys, but this is Liam with his bestie, Kenadie and a pal from school, Jase.

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Again….couldn’t get all to cooperate, but still so cute ๐Ÿ™‚

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Here’s a quick clip of Liam & friends playing…..

Amidst the craziness of the party, I completely forgot to take a pic of the box of favors I put together for the kids. However, I had taken this pic at home beforehand, so I had some saving grace. I was pretty pleased with how they turned out. I found the favor tags from an Etsy shop called ICandyEvents. The shop owner was awesome to work with & customized the tag for me.

I put a few of Liam’s fav things in there — glow sticks, stickers, temporary tattoos, and a ring pop. All superhero themed, of course!

Goodie Bag

Shortly before the party ended, we pulled everyone out of the water to do cake & sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to the birthday boy. You can see below just how happy he was that we made him get out & stop playing….hahaha!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

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We had such an awesome time celebrating Mr. Liam. Thank you to all who came out to have fun with us!

Happy 4th Birthday, Liam Michael — you are one LOVED little man โค

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Until next time, friends!

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July 2015, Latest & Greatest News

10 TIPS FOR A SAFE JULY 4th

Happy July 4th EVE ๐Ÿ˜‰

Today, I’m over at Orlando Mom’s Blog sharing my tips for keeping your Independence Day safe & fun! Be sure to check it out before you head out for your holiday weekend festivities.

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You can link directly to the blog post HERE.

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Until next time, friends!

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June 2015, Latest & Greatest News

Weekend Update // Happy Father’s Day

Friday was a fun day for these two // Donuts with Daddyย at school in the afternoon & Liam gave Stephen a super cute Father’s Day craft that Ms. Sumar helped make.

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โค BEST DADDY I EVER SAW โค

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On Saturday, we went to MyGym for class & this happened…Ms. Deanna asked the kiddos to do their forward rolls & then pop up & roar like a bear & try to scare all the parents….this child is HILARIOUS:

It had been a few months since our last trip to the park, so we decided to head over to Sea World in the afternoon to catch the beginning of ย their #SummerNights with some of our good friends. There was a nice storm just before we headed in, so it cooled it off a tad & kept the sun at bay.

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I’m not kidding when I say that these two little ones did this all on their own // Sweetest thing ever! // They both were so excited to spend the afternoon together & play — it’s all either of them talked about ๐Ÿ™‚

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Daddy & Liam in a version of a “teacups” ride ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Playing in the Shark Encounter area — seriously, these two are adorbs โค

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We caught our 1st show this visit, as well. Liam’s fav is feeding the Sea Lion’s, so it was fun to see their newest show –> Clyde & Seamore’s Sea Lion High

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Just as we were heading out, the sun made an appearance ๐Ÿ™‚

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….and, this –> ย a lucky rainbow!

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On Father’s Day, we decided it would be fun to take Liam for his 2nd movie theatre experience. Disney Pixar’s Inside Out — We all LOVED IT!! Definitely recommend it. He sat through the entire show and really enjoyed the experience…..including eating a TON of popcorn…LOL!

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Until next time, friends!

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Latest & Greatest News, May 2015

Memorial Day Weekend {Part 1}

Last week started off as any other week, but quickly went south for me, as I spent a majority of it feeling pretty crappy. I came down with a bug and it threw us all off. So thankful to Daddy for picking up the extra slack while I was down. Me and the fur baby bonded a lot ….as you can see below โค

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During the week, my heart melted for a minute when the little dude took Timberย on a walk solo for the 1st time (in our cul-de-sac) ….he was SO proud of himself. I was, too, & I was proud of Timber for letting his “little” bro take the reigns ๐Ÿ™‚ — really was a special moment for these two!

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By Friday, I was starting to feel half-way normal, so we wanted to kick-off our weekend. Let me begin, by first sharing with you this completely appropriate articleย I came across for Memorial Day that was posted on The Washington Post & written by a veteran. You can find it here. While many of us (our little fam included) often refer to this weekend as the unofficial start of summer, or a reason to have a cookout — it’s really NOT why we have this holiday. I want to ensure our little one knows about that as we bring him up & we take pause to not forget.

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We all had the day off of work & school on Friday, so Liam excitedly said we were on vacation throughout the long weekend….I was good with that. To get some fresh air for us all, we decided to go out to the beach for a walk. He had been asking for weeks (literally) to go, and since I wasn’t up to a full day in the sand, just yet —- this was the next best thing. The ocean breeze was beautiful, and the water was cool.

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tiny footprints in the sand โค …..

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On Sunday, we went to Disney!! ….more about that a little later ๐Ÿ™‚

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We enjoyed Memorial Day on Monday with good friends. Barbeque and poolside — couldn’t ask for a better afternoon & end to our long weekend.

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These two above had so much fun pouring cups of water from the pool on each other & their dads — just the little things, ya know? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Slip n’ Sliding Fun…..

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More to come tomorrow….stay tuned!

~H

April 2015, Latest & Greatest News

Our Easter Egg-Stravaganza! {2015}

As usual, I am a bit behind with my post but luckily, not as late as I was at this time last year ๐Ÿ™‚

April just ends up being a busy month for us. Lots happening — Liam got a new room, we just finished up his swim refresher lessons, me & Stephen’s anniversary, and all the other fun day-to-day business that keeps this family afloat. I will definitely be sharing some of this with you soon!

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We knew Liam would be doing a few Easter Egg hunts throughout the Easter week, so on Easter weekend, we decided to do something a little different & headed out to the City of Oviedo’s Annual Marshmallow Drop.

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It was pretty cool. Liam got to see a helicopter drop an enormous amount of marshmallows on the field & we ran out to gather them up in his basket. He just made the 3 & under age group, so that was fun. The event separated the kids by age, so there were several “drops”. The kids then got to exchange their marshmallows for candy. Cute!

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The Easter Bunny came while little dude was asleep….I’ve mentioned before that Liam does NOT like characters in costume (e.g, the Easter Bunny). We had told him he was coming while he would be sleeping to leave him a basket of goodies. Well, normally, he would come out of his room as soon as he woke up…not Easter morning. We had to go in & get him — he wasn’t scared but he definitely asked us to make sure the bunny was gone ๐Ÿ˜‰

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Most of his basket came from the Target dollar spot (so dangerous but I LOVE it!!) …he was super excited to see Baymax in the mix and the new Tinkerbell movie!

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After he had some time to explore the findings in his basket, we headed out front in our pj’s to discover that EB had left many eggs hidden all over the yard ๐Ÿ™‚

Later that morning, we enjoyed lunchย with several of our friends. Yes, I took a pic of the dessert — it was only fitting….haha!

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There was an egg hunt for the kiddos after we ate. Serious business, peeps! Some of those eggs were really hidden. So funny! The girls did a great job putting it together for them.

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Liam was thrilled to have his buddies, Allie & James, to play with. Here they are after the hunt exchanging their finding from the hunt ๐Ÿ˜‰

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There was even a pinata! Look at the swing on this kid! I think T-ball is in his future ๐Ÿ™‚

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We really enjoyed our Easter weekend and had aย great time with great people!

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Until next time, friends!

~H

February 2015, Latest & Greatest News

Valentine’s Wrap-Up

Last week was a lot of fun in Casa de Murphy….naturally, there was a lot of EXTRA love floating around, as we celebrated Valentine’s Day โค

Liam was super excited to have a party at school on Friday, as well as exchange Valentine’s with his friends. I had found two different Valentine’s that I thought he would like, but this is the one he picked:

 

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I found this awesome FREE PDF to use for the Valentine card from Simply Modern Mom. I bought a 24-pk of bubble sticks from Target for $3.99 and found a fun roll of washi tape, also at Target to tape the sticks to the card. It was perfect!

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I brought back last year’s fav bag toppers from Makoodle to use for our teacher’s gifts. This, again, is another awesome FREE PDF. I am so in love with Liam’s enthusiasm of the holidays this year! He was SO into walking around all the rooms and hand-delivering these bags….it was THE cutest!! โค

For a look back on what we were up to last year for Valentine’s, check out our post here.

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I was so tickled when I found Liam’s Valentine’s shirt from last year in his closet and realized it would still fit him this year. Ya know it’s just these little things that make us mommy’s super happy, right?!?!

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And, just for a little bit of lovingย  nostalgia of this heart-filled holiday, here’s a look back on our other Valentine’s with little man:

2013 vday

2012 vday

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On Friday morning, before we headed out the door, I couldn’t help myself on the cuteness overload โค & snagged a quick pic {thanks, Daddy!}

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After school on Friday, Liam had a ball looking at all his little Valentine’s from his friends, and a few from his teacher, Ms. Tamie. I loved that he listened very carefully, as I told him who each Valentine was from ๐Ÿ™‚

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Valentine’s Day morning started out as ย a sweet one. We had a few gifts for Liam to open when he woke up. He has really been into the Duplo Legos, lately, so he got a new set, as well as pretty cool Hulk mug that we found at Target.

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Stephen surprised me with this totally awesome black & white canvas painting of a picture of my two boys โค ….definitely an understatement to say that I am in love with it!

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This was done by a local artist, Nikki Bentley. For info on prices or how to order, you can contact her atย Bentleyspawprints@yahoo.com

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I am not going to post pictures or get into much detail, but since it happened & I am about sharing our “real” life here….I will tell you that ad mist this crazy love fest of Vday, we had an unfortunate accident later in morning on Saturday. My poor sweet baby splashed very hot water on his arm in the kitchen & got a 2nd degree burn ๐Ÿ˜ฆ …it was a scary incident but happy to report he is okay. We have a few weeks of healing ahead of us, but he is doing great. It was heart-breaking to see him in so much pain, though. I feel horrible that it happened and so many times wish I could re-do the whole situation, but I guess that’s why we call them “accidents”. Still hurts my heart.

The funny thing is that after we left the urgent care center, and we were on our way home….I was planning an afternoon of rest {well, at least, in my head}. I {honestly} felt like we were all emotionally spent by that point and it wasn’t even noon, yet! However, when everything happened, we had been preparing to leave to go to Sea World and Liam knew this. Sooo, he actually cried so hard in the car {again} when we told him that we didn’t think Sea World was going to happen, afterall. By that point, neither of us could watch him cry anymore, so we caved ๐Ÿ™‚ ….and decided to just go for a few hours. He was all bandaged up, and it seemed to really lift his spirits and take his mind off of what had happened. So…. win! I took a few cute pics, as this was our 1st family trip there, and will share those later this week.

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We hope you all had a fantastic Valentine’s Day weekend! Until next time, friends!

~H