April 2017

Our Easter Egg-Stravaganza! {2017}

We had so much fun for Easter last weekend!

I had put up our decorations around the house earlier in the month, so we had been feeling festive already πŸ™‚

After work & school on Friday, we attended Good Friday services at our church. Brad Gray (@WalkingtheText) was back again to guest teach & his message was awesome! Liam hung out in the Kids Care area and did this cool art project while they learned about the significance of the day. It was a chalk handprint and of course, Simba walked all over it out of curiosity as I was trying to snap this pic πŸ˜›

We had a busy holiday weekend planned, and we jumped into it 1st thing Saturday morning. Orlando Mom’s Blog was hosting their 1st ever Egg Hunt out at Lake Meadows Naturals Farm in Ocoee. I loaded the boys up & we headed out to have some fun, and I was also working their craft station for the morning.

Would you believe there are 2000 chickens in this room?!?!

Well, hello little cow! Liam loved exploring the property and greeting all the animals. In addition to this cow, he saw a horse, a llama, ducks, goats, a pig and baby chicks.

This is such a neat little gem tucked away in our Orlando area. I can’t believe I never knew it was here. They raise cage free chickens and sell the hormone free eggs. They have a small general store on site, and even have fresh produce that is grown on property.

Once my work with OMB was done, we did the egg hunt together & had a great time! It was a fun morning!

When we got home, it was time to color Easter Eggs! Trust me when I tell you that this was THE FIRST TIME that we have done this with Liam, and seriously the first time Stephen & I have done this in probably 20 years. It was a learning experience for all of us to say the least, but we had a good time with it! Liam thought it was such a neat thing to be dropping the eggs in the colored water and watching them turn colors! By next year, we will be pro’s πŸ™‚

Liam’s 1st batch of colored eggs for Easter!

It was a long day so we all were tired that evening. It was to bed early, especially so that the Easter Bunny could make his rounds. He was pretty excited with his surprises for Liam this year and they didn’t all fit in his regular basket, so he had to leave out an extra one πŸ˜‰

We were up before the sun to check everything out. Not surprisingly one of wee-man’s favorite things was this stuffed poop emoji. LOL!

We had to be at church at 7:00 am, so we were out looking for the eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny with a flash light. Hilarious!!

Easter service was great! Here we are in our Sunday Best ❀ Β …we went for family breakfast at KeKe’s afterwards. It was so yummy!

That afternoon we were invited to our good friend’s Jenni & Delia’s for an Easter Sunday Lunch — Cuban & American style. We had an excellent time catching up with friends & hanging out. Look at these super cute cakes we enjoyed for dessert. They were courtesy of both Delia & Lisa — and let me tell you, these ladies duked it out to make sure they were on point! haha!

After lunch, it was our last egg hunt of the weekend. This one was serious business. I was trying to take pics while he was hunting and he literally told me,”No time for pictures, Mommy!”.

Afterwards, all the kiddos sat on the front lawn & were checking out their loot. It was all business talk, as they even were making swaps & trades. Too funny!

Finally — he posed for me!

Believe it or not, Liam was still not tired once we came home, so we made our very 1st trip to the pool for the year. I don’t think we’ve been in since September-ish. His swim instructor, Ms. Katie would be super proud of him because he jumped right in and swam like it was nothing. He remembered everything she taught him. I know I was very impressed! I could already tell it’s going to be a great summer!

We had a jammed packed weekend, but it sure was another Happy Easter! We are blessed!

Until next time,

December 2016

Our Merry Christmas {2016}

Merry Christmas!

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With Christmas falling on a Sunday this year, we had a whole weekend of fun-filled holiday goodness! Liam was out of school the week before, so he had a ball at winter camp with a few field trips & activities. Both Stephen & I had to work through the 23rd, and that evening, Liam had a very special celebration, but more on that soon! Once we wrapped all that up, it was full-on Christmas mode! I have been blasting Christmas tunes Β everywhere I go since just before Thanksgiving, and this weekend was no different. I LOVE Christmas music and it really tickled me this year because we noticed that Liam now knows many of the words to the songs we play on the regular.carpenterschristmasChristmas Eve, Liam woke up to a special present from Mr. Elf. He also delivered his good-bye letter to him that included a note that he could hug & kiss him bye again this year for a few minutes without his Christmas magic leaving. Mr. Elf was set to return to the North Pole with Santa that evening. Last year, Liam was VERY sad to see his friend leave, so we were anticipating that again this year. However, it was not as bad this time around because of the gift he brought Liam. He had asked Santa for a stuffed Mr. Elf toy, and THAT is exactly what he got from Mr. Elf! He was ecstatic!!

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That afternoon, we attended the Christmas Eve service at our church. Towards the end of service, there was a candlelight activity as we shared how Jesus is our light for the world ❀

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Some of our family was unfortunately sick, so thwarted plans landed us out to eat. We chose Bahama Breeze, and it was a perfect dinner! We beat the crowds, and the weather was amazing to sit outside.

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Liam was even able to play corn-hole while we waited for our food πŸ™‚

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Once we got home, little man helped me to make cookies for Santa! We even made them from scratch this year. If you know me, then you know that’s means LOT πŸ˜‰ …I haven’t made this cookie recipe in years, and was honestly so happy to do it with Liam this year. They came out so cute!

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After cookie baking, we put on jammies and put out the reindeer food in the front yard. Liam thought he kept hearing Santa’s sleigh ❀

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Even though he knew Santa wouldn’t come until after he fell asleep, Liam was not happy about bedtime. When we put out Santa’s cookies & milk, I asked him to smile for a picture. This was as good as it got. Ha!

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….and, once he was fast asleep — Santa arrived! ❀

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Christmas morning, wee-man slept ’till about 7:00am. Stephen & I laugh because, as kids, we can remember waking up before dawn with excitement. Not our kiddo. He {like his mama now} loves his sleep, and has snoozed till early morning every Christmas so far. When he did get up, he came into our room to wake us, and said, “I got presents! There’s a big bag & that’s my drum set! Come look!

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Daddy & Mommy picture courtesy of Liam πŸ™‚

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So, he went for the big gift bag 1st to open, as he was convinced that was the drum set he had asked Santa for on his list. It wasn’t {it was the castle in the pic below}. However, Santa did bring him that drum set, so he was stoked when he did finally open it!

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Silly boy….

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Liam’s BIG gift this year was one that we were SUPER excited for, as well — ANNUAL FAMILY PASSES TO DISNEY!!!!!

Liam had a special gold box to open with a few things inside to reveal the gift:

Santa wrote him a letter to explain that he was getting the passes & why.

A fun “ticket” that said, Liam is going to Disney!Β All by himself, he actually read it & that was awesome!!

A Disney autograph book to take to the parks.

Magic Bandits to put on his magic band once we get them.

His Mickey ears {fun fact: I found these in his closet from when we took him on his 2nd bday for his very 1st trip there, so this worked out perfectly. You can check out that post HERE}.

*special THANK YOU!! to everyone who helped make this happen ❀ *

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His face as he was reading his ticket ❀

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I would say that is the face of one happy, little man!

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The animals were not left out of the morning, either. Santa brought them some treats. Timber snoozed most of the morning, though, while Simba raced around stealing bows & pieces of wrapping paper. Don’t be fooled by this cute pic….the tree skirt later was dragged half way across the living room! By Wednesday, this year, the tree was down. We have always waited to take our decorations down until after the New Year, but this crazy boy kept me on my toes just a little too much πŸ˜›

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After a relaxing afternoon, we headed over to our good friends to have Christmas dinner. Plans turned into the three of us having dinner at home, but we are very thankful & blessed to have great friends who insisted we not be alone for Christmas dinner. We really had an enjoyable evening! Here’s a pic of Liam & James playing out back with James’ new boat.
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We are so grateful & have full-hearts as we wrap up another magical Christmas season! We had a lot more fun throughout the rest of Liam’s winter break this past week, & I’ll be sharing more of that soon.

For a look back on our previous Christmas celebrations —

2013

2014

2015

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Much love…

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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 Β & 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 //Β 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:

2014Β \\Β 2015

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Until next time!

Script Signature

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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 πŸ˜‰ ….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 πŸ˜› ….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 πŸ˜› ….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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November 2016

Welcome to Kindergarten!

To say that the last few months have flown by is an understatement for sure. I started this post so long ago, and it just kept getting pushed back. We are in a good season of life right now, but it sure is a busy one. A few of our friends told us over the summer….’just wait until Liam starts Kindergarten, your schedules are going to be so crazy.‘ I honestly think I laughed at them….Well, folks, they’re laughing now because they were so right.

It’s November, and the majority of this mama is still in denial that we’re here — Kindergarten. How did we get here already? I still remember dropping him off for his 1st day at daycare ❀

I know this year is going to continue to fly by, so I’ve been trying to soak up the highlights. Here is a little BTS Interview that I did with little man after he got home on his 1st day. The last bit? ….He literally came running up to me when I picked him up & said that! It was a GREAT 1st day πŸ™‚

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We had ‘Meet the Teacher’ on the Friday morning before school started that following Monday. The three of us went together. We found his classroom, met Mrs. Juarez, and dropped off all his classroom supplies. Stephen & I were cracking up because we had assumed we would drop off the bag of supplies we had to buy, but there was actually a page of instructions we had to follow for how to put them away. It was very efficient for the teacher ….but we immediately felt like we were the ones back in school πŸ˜‰

Liam’s room is a jungle theme & is super cute! He loved exploring & checking it out while we put everything away.

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Β The night before the 1st day, I got his backpack ready to go. He has a purple folder that goes back & forth between school & home each day. We already had forms from Meet the Teacher that we had to send back. I had picked up a cute Clifford book at Kohls to send as a welcome gift for Mrs. Juarez. This was also her 1st year at Liam’s elementary school.

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Little Dude woke up full of excitement on his first day!! — August 15th

I think I was the nervous one for us…lol! He picked out his own outfit and was ready to go. All smiles ❀

He was just THE cutest!!

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We dropped him off for his 1st day. Again, I was anticipating the standard tears & maybe even being scared….I mean, this was the 1st time we were leaving him at a different place in the morning. He had always only ever been at the same daycare. So, when the bell rang and the teacher opened the classroom door, he walked in …there was still only all smiles. He then looked back over his shoulder and waved good-bye to us……THIS.MAMA.LOST.IT

You see, he was fine. He was better than fine. He was great. He felt safe and happy, and I knew we had done our job. And so….I felt relieved and just lost it for a moment. I walked away, so he never saw my tears, but there were a few ❀

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His 1st week of school was awesome. He brought home the cutest projects that they did during the 1st few days. The Kissing Hand Story is one that helps kiddos who are feeling sad about missing their parents while being away from home. So so cute…..

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Love it!…

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We celebrated the end of a fantastic 1st week of school with our fav….sparklers!!!

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Right after the beginning of the school year, Liam went in for his 5 year check up with his pediatrician. He grew 3 inches since last year and gained 9 pounds! He had a great & healthy check-up …and for sure, he is keeping us on our toes with the growth spurts. Little man’s gonna be taller than me in no time {not hard to do, I know}….and then, I will cry. LOL!

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In the middle of September, we got to go back to the his classroom for Open House. It was nice to check in with his teacher & get an update on all that been’s happening, as well as take a peak around the school. Liam was super excited to show us where he sits each day in his room. We also got to see the Mangrove seedlings that his class planted outside with the help of a UCF professor πŸ™‚

We actually do hear from his teacher almost daily, as she emails updates on classroom activity, homework info, etc. That honestly was an aspect I didn’t realize until school started. Everything is SO electronic now. You even log online to add money to his lunch money account. I love it, but I had just not realized it. Things have definitely changed since we were in school!

During the school days, Liam participates in Gym class (PE — Physical Education), Art & Music. For Open House, we also got to visit these room and meet with his teachers for these ‘special’ areas.

Since school starts after we go to work and ends before we get out work, Liam does before/after care with the daycare/summer camp he had attended. So, we don’t actually ever go to the school. We drop him off & he rides the bus. He LOVES riding the bus, and we trust them so it’s a win-win. The times like this night for Open House, then, are nice to be able to catch up with what’s physically happening there. Sometimes, though, it does feel weird to me that I’m not dropping and picking him up from there daily, but it’s just not our routine.

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This note below was in the packet we took home from Open House & I just loved it. Such a thoughtful reminder…..

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At the end of September, he took his very 1st official school pictures. We’ve done pictures with the daycare the last few years, but these were special. Kindergarten pictures, people! ….There were tons of backgrounds we could select from, but Stephen & I thought this one was cool. When we showed it to him, he said…”how did a castle get behind me?” πŸ™‚

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Most recently, at the end of October, it was the end of the 1st grading period, and he received his very 1st report card. At his school, the kiddos don’t receive letter grades until 2nd grade. Thus, his marks are Satisfactory, Unsatisfactory, or W — which is for ‘working on it’, since they are just newbies in school and learning all these skills.

During progress reports in September, he had a few W’s, but mostly all S’s. For his report card, he earned all S’s and one W. We are so proud of how hard he is working, and you really could tell how proud he was of himself, as well. We also think that it helps that he had such an excellent Pre-K program last year that gave him a strong foundation going into this year.

I have to say that it’s really incredible the curriculum that these children learn in Kindergarten now. It is completely different that when Stephen and I were in school. He is learning things that I know we didn’t even begin to touch on until grade school.

They are already teaching him beginning reading skills, math that includes comparisons and less than & greater than signs. They have language arts, science, social studies….my mind is blown away repeatedly by the things he comes home and tells us. He also uses computer programs….we never even let him touch the computer before school began! What we are most grateful for is that he has a love for learning. He truly enjoys school and is excited about what he is learning about.

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On the day he received his report card, he was also honored with the Principal’s Award for making good choices. He was beyond excited to receive this, and he had his name called out over the loud speaker for the whole school by his principal. So cool!

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We are off to a fantastic start to the school year, and are eager to see what else Kindergarten has in store for this sweet boy ❀

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Β schooldayz_casademurphy

Until next time!

Script Signature

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! πŸ˜‰

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! πŸ™‚

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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 ~Β 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 πŸ™‚

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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

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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

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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

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

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

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1.19.16 ~ 43 degrees in the sunshine state!

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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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January 2015, Latest & Greatest News

The Moms Magazine!

Hi Friends! I am SUPER EXCITED to share with you that I am a contributing writer for the Winter 2015 Issue of The Mom’s Magazine! πŸ™‚

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I wrote my article — “10 Simple Tips for Positive Parenting in 2015”

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Please check it out from the digital copy of the magazine here

Also, you can request your FREE subscription to the magazine HERE! (includes FREE shipping & handling too….awesome!!) The magazine’sΒ goal is to share the incredible articles and information from every issue ofΒ The MOMS Magazine as far as possible within the continental United States of America!

I am so proud to be a part of this issue ❀

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Until next time, friends!

~H

Latest & Greatest News, October 2014

Week-In-Review

Last week was such a fun week at gymnastics! Liam overcameΒ his fear of flipping upside down and did his pull-over on the un-even bar with Coach Elyssa! He was super proud, as were we! Even more exciting was that his coach sent him a ‘star student’ certificate in the mail later in the week to recognize this awesome achievement πŸ™‚ …that really was such a sweet gesture from her! Much appreciated by this momma & daddy!!

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We enjoyed a busy, but super fun weekend, as we geared up for the upcoming Halloween celebration. The festivities kicked off on Friday evening with our annual bash at the Bengel’s. Liam sported his costume and looked awesome!!

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Lisa had the house all decked out and I was in love with her ‘floating candles’ in their family room. Great touch!

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The kids decided to break out some pretty sweet dance moves. Liam definitely has some moves of his own, people….so cute!

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On Sunday, we took our little guy out to UCF for ‘Trick or Treat on Greek Street’. This was the 1st year we made it out there, and it was fun for him. He definitely was happy about the early trick-or-treating, and he did pretty good participating in a few of the games that they had set up.

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Trick-or-Treating is hard work πŸ˜‰ …..water break!

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Sunday evening, the boys did a little pumpkin carving out back. Even the fur baby got in on the action πŸ™‚

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Posing with his finished ‘jack-o-lantern’ …the smaller pumpkin is a fake one but he insisted that it was ‘the baby’ and that the one Stephen carved was ‘the daddy’, so they had to stay together….LOL!!! Too Funny!! What an imagination!

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By the time the candle burned out on this guy on Sunday night, I was exhausted….such a busy weekend, yet so much fun…..and, so many wonderful memories! Lots more Halloween fun to come this week. We are looking forward to sharing with you soon.

Until next time, friends!

~H