July 2017

10 Tips For a Safe July 4th!

Happy Birthday, America!

I want to share another post I wrote a few year’s back for Orlando Mom’s Blog, as the tips are still relevant for each & every 4th of July holiday. Many of us choose to celebrate with fireworks (who doesn’t love them, right?), so let’s always remember to be safe while we are having fun celebrating this great holiday for our nation.

When I think of the fourth of July, I think of fireworks. Yes, I realize that we are celebrating the birth of American independence, but ever since I was a child, I have always associated this holiday with those beautiful colors that light up the night sky.

Even at 34 weeks pregnant a few years back, I made my husband take me out in what seemed like 100 degree Florida heat to gather around Lake Eola here in downtown Orlando to see the spectacular fireworks show. Now that we have our little man, we have continued the tradition of returning to see this show each year. I truly love seeing my son’s eyes light up as he watches what he believe to be magic!

Whether you are like our family & choose to go to public fireworks events, or you like to do them at your home, please always remember to be safe! While fireworks are fun, we must not forget that they are dangerous. Only adults should handle them, and children & pets should be closely supervised while around them. Children like to do sparklers, and admittedly, we let our almost 4 year old do his 1st sparkler this past weekend. We made sure we stood right next to him & he held it far away from his body, but I will tell you that this momma was still a tad bit nervous. If you are not comfortable with it, don’t do it. Simple as that. Little arms are short, and sparklers can heat up to a staggering 1,200 degrees. A great alternative to sparklers is glow sticks! I know my little one LOVES them & never turns one down.

Here are my TOP 10 Tips for Fireworks Safety this July 4th:

1. Obey all laws regarding the use of fireworks.

2. Always use fireworks outside and have a bucket of water and a hose nearby in case of accidents.

3. Point fireworks away from your body, other people, homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances.

4. Light one firework at a time (not in glass or metal containers), and never relight a dud.

5. Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they’ll run loose or get injured.

6. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.

7. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.

8. Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.

9. Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.

10. Never try to make your own fireworks.

Did you know there is a National Council on Fireworks Safety? Many of my tips were taken from the recommendations on their website — www.fireworkssafety.org

I hope you & your family have a happy & SAFE Independence Day holiday!

February 2017

Valentine’s Week Wrap-Up

Our Valentine’s last week was everything BUT quiet 🙂

I started things out with putting up our usual few decorations around the house to spread some love & cheer. However, this year, I wanted to do something new & started THIS project I found on Pinterest. I put one heart up a day from Feb. 1st through Feb. 14th. for Liam. Each heart listed a positive attribute for him ❤ — he loved it & that made us happy! He said, “Thank you so much, Mommy!” after he saw the heart on the 1st day & gave me a great big hug! I hope to do this every year now.

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For his class Valentine’s this year, we looked through a ton of designs, and he chose THIS astronaut valentine, and we thought it was super cool & fun! The free printable was found online, so I printed it out on card stock. I literally ordered a bucket of astronaut men from Amazon and then used neat, sparkly black washi tape to secure them. LOVE IT!

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Since Valentine’s was falling during the week, we took advantage of the weekend before and had a date night. Bahama Breeze patio seating was perfect! 🙂 — Wee Man enjoyed a night hanging with his karate friends while we relaxed!

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After church on Sunday, we had a family Valentine’s breakfast at Keke’s — YUM!!

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Then, on Valentine’s eve — everything got turned upside down for the rest of the week 😦

I got a call at work that our sweet boy had fallen off of the slide at his aftercare program and hurt his arm. Not the best type of call you want to get, but you drop what you’re doing and go get your love.

After a visit to Urgent Care, it was determined that he had fractured his humerus bone in his left arm. They put a splint on it for the night.

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I didn’t even realize until looking through Facebook memories throughout the week that his burn on his little arm also happened during this week two years ago. Ugh…we need some good vibes on this week from now on.

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The next morning, the doctor and staff got him all fixed up with a shiny, red cast {he picked the color…his fave} 🙂 — he’ll be wearing this baby for 3 weeks. The doctor said for this type of fracture, it is very common to need surgery, but he does not. We are VERY thankful and blessed for that news!! We are also hugely grateful for the care and compassion for everyone at Nemours Urgent Care and Pediatric Orthopedic Clinic — They have been just absolutely amazing during this difficulty time for our little family.

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For the rest of the week, little dude insisted on sleeping on the couch. As long as he was comfortable and resting, we were ok with that ❤

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His teacher and class were so sweet and collected all of his Valentines while he was out 🙂

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While we had an adventurous week, we are very thankful that everyone is okay and that what is broken can be healed. Little man’s injury definitely could have been much worse. Being a parent will always keep ya on your toes. Kiddos are full of surprises and definitely don’t come with an instruction manual 🙂

Hugs,

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January 2017

A Look Back on 2016

So here we are, at the tail end of January — another year gone by and now we’re welcoming in 2017! I feel like so much happened in 2016. Maybe it’s because we’re a young family? Maybe it’s because I’m just a sappy, sentimental kinda gal? ❤ — I like to take the good with the bad so while life isn’t all roses, we choose to be thankful for what we have & what we have experienced ….and we look forward to another year that we are blessed with! Cheers!!

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A recap of our NYE 2016 ….

We ran in the New Year quietly at home with just the three of us, but we had fun. The boys were playing with Christmas toys {Hot Wheels} gifted from Mimi & Papa D, so they were in heaven. For the 1st year, we let Liam stay up as late he wanted {or could stand it….he’s a light weight 😉 } ….he was getting a kick out of watching New Year’s Rocking Eve with me, but by 11:00ish, he crawled into our bed with Stephen at the commercial and that was all she wrote. The two of them passed out. LOL!! I watched the ball drop with the cat 😛 — I recorded it so they could see it in the morning. It was hilarious! ….We had done a family toast with sparkling grape juice waaay earlier in the evening so it was all good!

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Some highlights from 2016 ….

In January, we went to the Amway Center downtown to see Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey® Presents LEGENDS. Little did we know, that this would be our last Ringling Bros. circus, as they are actually closing down in May.

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In March, Stephen turned 40!! 🙂

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In May, we dedicated Liam at our church. We are also so blessed & thrilled to say that we now have a church home for over a year. We’ve been consistently going each week & it’s been wonderful for all of us. This was definitely something that Stephen & I kept wanting to do and find a place that felt like home, and it was very important to us with Liam getting older. ❤

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In June, this little blog celebrated it’s 3rd birthday. It’s always fun to look back on past posts & pictures. Love to see the memories! As I have said in the past, I appreciate those of you who follow along with our adventures. As fun as it is to post, it actually is a lot of work to maintain this blog, but it’s something I enjoy & continue to do for Liam as a way to keep track of our memories for him ❤

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In June, Liam graduated from Pre-Kindergarten. I cried at his graduation ceremony when they all walked down the aisle to Pomp & Circumstance…..all I could picture was his 18 year old self and I lost it, like a baby!

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Liam turned 5 at the end of July, and {holy cow!} started KINDERGARTEN in August!! I thought last year’s start of Pre-K was a crazy milestone, but this is over the moon! We celebrated his birthday with a splash park party that was a super fun time with friends and family. We also went to the Jacksonville Zoo on his actual birthDAY. Kindergarten is proving to be a mindblowing experience for Stephen & I — seriously, it’s NOT the Kindergarten we went to as kids. I remember naptime, snacktime, and playing with toys. Fast forward to today’s Kindergarten and it’s serious learning …..and the kids LOVE IT! That is the awesome part for us. While we are trying to wrap our minds around it, Liam is thriving and loving life. It definitely makes your parent heart happy, and you just try to go with the flow. Things are just much more advanced and technology based than I anticipated they would be, but that’s ok!

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Since he wasn’t in daycare during the summer for the 1st time EVER, he spent his 1st summer in CAMP! He had a blast 🙂

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At the end of June, I celebrated two-year’s of writing with Orlando Moms Blog ❤  ….So, at this point, it’s now been about 2 and 1/2 years that I’ve been on board. You can can link over to my posts with them HERE

In September, Orlando Moms Blog also celebrated it’s 3rd Birthday! Such a fun night 🙂

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In September, we added a new member to our family! — at the time, Stephen brought home an adorable 2 lb kitten that Liam named Simba. We originally intended not to keep him but well, ya know how that goes. He’s now trying to play with Timber on the daily 😉 — more details & pics to come soon!

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In September, Liam started martial arts classes! He is loving it and it’s something we are engaged in with him, as a family, as well.

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In November, Timber celebrated his 14th birthday!! ❤

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Looking ahead to 2017….

I’m not one to really choose a single word or resolution, but I like to have goals. For this year, I want to focus on calm {which can mean a plethora of things on any given week} and organization. I have a few tools to help me get there. My trusty Emily Ley planner {for home}, Erin Condren planner {for work}, and Lara Casey PowerSheets to plan those goals! I think of it this way — Life is busy but it doesn’t have to be messy 🙂

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Liam will be turning 6 this summer and then off to 1st grade! He’s already talking about both. I can’t even think about summer camp options right now, let alone, the next school year.

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We are continuing to enjoy our new church home, and in doing so, are becoming more engaged through serving and participating in events. We are excited to see what this year has in store as the church also continues to grow!

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We got annual passes to Disney for Christmas, so we plan to pretty much live there on the weekends. Hahaha! — Seriously, we’ve already been there every weekend this month. Definitely already developing an obsession, but it’s super fun! This is the very 1st time that Stephen and I have ever had annual passes there, so we are, for sure, just as excited about this as Liam is 😛

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Not every part of every year is wonderful, but find the joy in each day. Focus on the positive. Don’t let negativity bring you down.

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LOVE,

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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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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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October 2016

Spooktacular Fun :: Jacksonville Zoo

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Happy Halloween! We recently had a great time looking for tricks & treats at Spooktacular at the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens.

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We headed up their opening weekend & it really was a fantastic time. We went with my dad & stepmom, who also live up in Jax. You can read more on our road trip in my latest post with Orlando Moms Blog HERE.

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Over the summer, Liam started watching Grease a lot …like ya know, how kids are when they hone in on a movie or show. It becomes an obsession. It was definitely like that for us with this movie. It’s a classic & we were pleasantly surprised he became so fond of it. When we acquired a bag of hand-me-down clothes recently from a friend for him, there was this black leather jacket in it. Little man immediately grabbed it out and said, this is Danny’s jacket!!! {a.k.a. Danny Zuko} ….He then declared that he was going to be Danny for Halloween, and it stuck. A few more miscellaneous items later & the transformation was complete ❤

Ladies & Gentleman, let me present ….Danny Zuko

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The entire gardens were decorated for Halloween. It was impressive to see the amount of pumpkins that were carved! This scarecrow was a real person 🙂 …Liam was not too sure of them. We tried to get him to take a picture with it, but that was a no go. LOL!

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Several different themes were displayed throughout the park, and were definitely from movies we all know & love. First up was The Wizard of Oz!

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LOVE THIS! Catching up with all the gang ❤

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This event was event was at night, so almost of the animals were asleep. Only the nocturnal animals were out.  Totally ok & understandable. We did, however, get to see some of our favs, still. The giraffes were hanging out when we 1st got arrived. The baby’s are adorable!

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Also snuck a peak at Mr. Elephant 🙂

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It was a gorgeous night. A cool breeze was coming through & the moon was full & bright. I loved the lights that were up all around. Such awesome atmosphere & so pretty!

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Glow in the Dark Cotton Candy! …super fun, but oh my!!

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Spooky Bridge all lit up for the night

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Liam’s all time favorite Halloween movie is The Nightmare Before Christmas. We were all over the moon excited to see the section the was decked out for this movie, including his fav main characters, Sally & Jack Skellington.

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Look! We found the Lost Boys 😛 …don’t tell Peter Pan

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Fantastic night & great memories made! The holidays are busy times but we really love to get out there & adventure through our community….there are awesome events to experience together!

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Until next time, friends!

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Latest & Greatest News, May 2016

Our {Long} Weekend Recap

We headed to my dad & stepmom’s up in Jacksonville for Memorial Day weekend, and we had a great time with them. We don’t get a chance to take many overnight trips, or ‘get-aways’ so it’s always nice to head up there when we can.

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It was a relaxing & laid back weekend, overall. Those are always the best ones, right? Liam loved helping his Papa-G and G-Ma with various tasks around their house 😉 …Here’s a pic we snapped of Liam helping bake some cookies ❤

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We all enjoyed some fun in the sun out at the MOST gorgeous beach house in the Ponte Vedra area. The weather was beautiful & the we soaked in the rays & splashed in the water. This view will never get old….

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Love this sweet boy ….

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He was the best swimmer all weekend. We were so proud & we know Ms. Katie would be, too 🙂

Hanging out with his Papa…

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Swimming with G-ma…

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The house had it’s own private boardwalk out to the beach. So very nice….

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We played on the sand & in the waves for a bit. The rip currents were pretty strong, though, so we didn’t go too far out.

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Love this family of mine ❤ ….

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We will definitely be frequenting the beach this summer! Liam loves it just as much as I did as a kid, and still do!

Until next time friends 🙂

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Latest & Greatest News, May 2016

Memorial Day ~ Past & Present

Memorial Day Weekend is upon us , friends! While many of us celebrate this as the unofficial start of the summer (my family included), let us not forget that this holiday weekend is not really why we are all taking a pause from work & the dailies….

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Here are some facts I found to begin to teach Liam about the holiday:

It started on May 30, 1868.
Union General John A. Logan declared the day an occasion to decorate the graves of Civil War soldiers, and thus, was called Decoration Day.
Twenty years later, the name was changed to Memorial Day.
President Richard M. Nixon declared Memorial Day a federal holiday in 1971. 

Going through our pics in recent weeks, I found that we have made a tradition of photographing this holiday. So, here’s a look back…

2012 — 1st Memorial Day at 10 months old. He didn’t want to keep the hat on & wouldn’t give up the paci for this pic 😉

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2013 — We placed American flags in our yard to help begin to teach our little man about the importance of this holiday.

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2014 — I will admit that this weekend has become our family’s tradition of our 1st beach trip of the year. Even living in Florida, we do take a break from the sand for a few months, so this does kinda kick things off for us for the summer. I think it’s more because it’s the 1st long weekend we have off of work in a while.

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2015 — Last year, we did American flags & pinwheels in the yard. Liam was a great helper!

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And now, a look at this year…

2016 — It was essential that we got our American flags, again, this year. Liam actually saw them in two different neighbors yards earlier in the week, first, while we were driving to school. He remembered that we had put up our own flags, and specifically requested to get ours out after school that day. You bet we did 🙂

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Happy Memorial Day, friends!

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February 2016, Latest & Greatest News

Our Happy Valentine’s {Recap}

Last weekend was such a fun-filled weekend for us. We hope you all had a lovely (total pun intended) Valentine’s Day, as well! ❤

Hop on over HERE for a look back on last year’s festivities, as well as previous year’s photos of this sweet day.

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Our fun began on Friday, as little man had his Valentine’s party at school. He was super excited for this. Party days always mean fun treats for all friends, and we were bringing special plates & napkins to share this time 🙂

I tried to get him to wear his Valentine’s shirt from the previous 2 years but he was NOT having it. When I showed him the shirt with the heart & the truck (see last year’s pics) and told him he would still fit into it….he said ‘No’ 😦 …this mama was sad. Not gonna lie. He basically said the shirt was for babies and his friends weren’t going to have shirts like that. Sooo, while I can still get him to humor me with the holiday shirts, I got him an updated, more ‘big boy’ shirt to wear this year 🙂

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We are big into coloring right now & all things crayon, so we made these super cool heart-shaped crayons to give out to his classmates for Valentines. I wrote about it over on Orlando Moms Blog 🙂 …Liam even did extra work this year and signed all his cards!

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Party time at school!

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My boys surprised me with flowers ❤ …Liam picked them out all by himself!

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Checking out his valentines from his friends. We made a box for the 1st time this year that he had brought to school so he could have a place to put all the cards in. It was a lot of fun decorating it together….although, he did get distracted a bit in the process. HA!

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An awesome surprise arrived in the mail from his Pepe Murphy….a personalized Valentine’s book. LOVE IT! I always had wanted to make one of these for him. Such a cool idea.

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While Daddy worked on Saturday, we made cupcakes. Someone couldn’t wait to get his hands on them.

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Always being silly 🙂 ….even when I was trying to get a nice, smiling photo of the two of us to show off our finished products. I have to tell you that he chose to eat a cupcake with NO frosting. What?!?! …complete nonsense.

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This cutie was waiting for me Valentine’s morning. I love that Daddy helped him to work so hard to write everything out himself. Liam hand-picked the card, too. ❤

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We let him choose where he wanted to go for a family Valentine’s Day brunch after church….he chose Golden Corral because of the chocolate fountain (i’m totally not kidding….his words). Hahahaha!!! Gotta luv it! ❤

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Our weekend was filled with many smiles and a whole lotta love. Wouldn’t have it any other way. Hope yours was, too!

Until next time, friends!

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