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Friday, June 23, 2017

Family Fun: May 2017

This is our family's monthly recap from May!

Morgan's shower was technically in April but she shared the pics from it this month and I wanted to included them here. Britt and I had such a wonderful time celebrating baby Baylor and LOVED getting to visit Julie's beautiful new home! 

When I was growing up I don't remember Teacher Appreciation Week being a thing? I just always remember my mom getting really awesome end of the year gifts for my teachers. I've kinda always done the same. This year I finally got my butt in gear and did a little something for the teachers during Teacher Appreciation and then did a nice gift for end of the year. One of my favorite go-tos is a Starbucks gift card in a Starbucks cup with a card saying "Thanks a latte!" :)

I found these this year and LOVED them! I stuck a gift card on each and think they were super cute :)  You can get your free printables here!

This month was when we first met William and he came to hang out with us for the first time! I mentioned in one of my weekly summer posts about his mama and their tough situation. Their family just moved to our area in November and when they were moving Sara noticed a pain in her neck that she assumed was from the move. Went to the dr and found out she has stage 4 cancer. She's currently just finished up her 4th round of chemo. Please keep this family in your prayers. If you'd like more info on how to specifically pray, here is the Go Fund Me account in their honor! 

It's cr-azy to see the van loaded up with 4 car seats but it'll be our reality sometime in the future! 

Welcome to Spring in Valdosta! 

The girls and I were coming home and got stuck in some crazy rain...turns out we were under tornado warning (which I always get confused but that is worse than "watch"). I took this video then bolted for the house and made their lunches which they ate in the bathtub!

It shows what a stellar friend I am that I'm willing to drive in tornado type weather to go say hey to you haha! Larissa and I went to high school together and she now lives in HAWAII (I know...JEALOUS). How could I pass up the chance to give her a quick hug on their way to Disney?!?! I was drenched but it was worth it ;) Maybe if we end up going to Hawaii in Oct I can see her on her turf!

Our girls were fast friends, so so cute!

Payton was the first speaking part in her school play! She was SO into it and it was so adorable seeing her up on that stage! Here's a video of her speaking part :) So proud!

Tess is so funny how she's just doing her own thing haha

After the play Tess wanted to get on the stage! 

Water Day is one of my kids' favorite days at preschool! The girls had a BLAST and Britt is already sad that they probably won't be having a water day in kindergarten at her new school next year. 

When we built our house we kept things basic and simple and sllllllowly have been changing things over the years. Improvements here and there. One thing we HAD to do was add rocks along our fence line. Due to the amount of dirt we had to bring in to build our house, we have some run off issues and such and the rocks should prevent any long term problems. We have a corner of our yard that can't grow any grass so we filled it with rocks and thought it'd be a good spot to add a hammock! I usually research stuff like CRAZY and debate over things for a long time. But when I searched for hammocks on Amazon? This was one of the first ones that popped up. The colors match our color scheme perfectly and it was right at $100 and had great reviews so I went for it! You can see it here :) 

Keeli came over and hung out one afternoon this month and looked SO pretty that she totally inspired me to go to Sephora and have a little makeup makeover to learn some new tricks and see about changing things up a bit. I took the girls after Britt's graduation and they did SO awesome! I told them if they sat still and were patient that they could choose a lipstick to wear after I was done. So fun having girls b/c they were ALL ABOUT THAT. Britt chose a super bright purple (Yet somehow it looked SO good on her. She's prob gonna be all about some lips when she gets older) and Tess chose pink! 

The girl who did my makeup was VERY heavy handed with it all but I did pick up some new tricks and my friend Danielle helped me with figuring out some new products and such to try. 

And, duh, we got cookies for treats too :) 

Privacy doesn't exist in mom life! 

This month was the last time that Britt and Tess will be in school together for a few years. I will miss having Britt home with us for lunch and nap time. She's SO excited for kindergarten and all day school but I'm not quite ready ;) I have enjoyed sending the girls to school in little matching outfits this year (they both love it too) and made sure to end the year strong! 

Mini photographer!

So funny!

The rest of the month was covered in my summer recap weekly posts! You can see those here: Week 1, Week 2, Week 3


Thursday, June 22, 2017

Get To Know The "BFBN"

If you've been reading my blog for awhile then you've probably been made aware that I'm a member of the Babywise Friendly Blog Network. We are a group of bloggers who often do themed days or guest post on each other's blogs. More than that though, this group of AMAZING women have become close friends for me and have provided endless insight into both Babywise and blogging. Today we are devoting the day to sharing more about WHAT the Babywise Friendly Blog Network is and WHO we are!

Let's first cover: What exactly is this whole "BFBN" thing???

In 2007, I started by blog in order to help parents with their Babywise questions. The internet was not a friendly place for Babywise inquiries and I wanted to be a voice for people who needs help and encouragement. 
Four years later, in 2011, I wanted to expand that vision just beyond myself. Hearing from one person who does Babywise is nice, but wouldn't several be even better? So I started the Babywise Friendly Blog Network. My vision was to have a group of bloggers who all follow Babywise who could work together to create one massive resource collectively for Babywise parents. Everyone has different life experiences in general, and this is especially true in parenting. Among all of us, we could more fully address the needs of parents out there. 
Nearly 6 years later, the Babywise Friendly Blog Network (BFBN) is stronger than ever! We have had so many great bloggers join over the years and we have a fantastic group today.
When I started my blog I was pregnant with Kye (2008) and hadn't even heard of Babywise. Once I read the book (when he was around 3 weeks old) I was SOLD. However, I found it difficult to actually implement the Babywise techniques by just reading the book. I needed help and that's when I discovered Valerie's Blog. It is THE reason I've been so successful in using Babywise with all three of my children. Her blog is an invaluable Babywise resource and a few years ago when she personally contacted me about joining the BFBN I was beyond excited and thrilled. Valerie is someone I look up to so much and to  be included in such a tight knit group with her is such an honor! 

Members have come and gone over the years, but the friendships have stayed strong. I'm so thankful for these women. It's a blessing and a gift to learn so much from others who have walked similar paths and who have similar goals in their parenting. It's been so great for our readers too! When parents come to one of us with a Babywise question, we can help them through many resources and perspectives. While we aren't in a baby stage right now, once we have another baby at home I know all of these blogs will be SO helpful to me!!!

Ready to find out just who makes up this awesome group? I'm providing a bit of info about each of my fellow members (I'm assuming y'all know who I am and what I'm about ha!) as well as some links to Babywise related contact from each of them too! 

Valerie blogs over at Chronicles of a Babywise Mom. She has 4 children (Brayden age 12, Kaitlyn age 10, McKenna age 8 and Brinley who is almost 5). She lives in Utah and has a degree in English with a degree in technical writing. She loves to sing, organize, watch football and direct musicals. All of my group of friends who do Babywise refer to her simply as "THE Babywise Mom." She knows her stuff y'all
Carrie blogs at Wiley Adventures. She is married to Kyle and has four children (Laure Kate age 9, Shepherd age 6, Fischer age 4 and Archer who is 2). She is passionate about raising kids to be world changers, surviving by a good routine and schedule and loving God and people. She is a girl after my own heart who loves Disney and is actually a Disney travel agent! I'd love to visit Disney together at some point and keep suggesting a BFBN meet up at the happiest place on earth ;) 
Cole's blog is called Twinning Babywise but it's about SO much more than just twins or just Babywise ;) She has 4 kids as well (man I need to hurry up with my 4th kid huh?) and their names and ages are: Vera (4), Abel (2), Mercedes and Samuel (1). She lives in San Diego and loves to cook and read. She's just survived the first year of twin hood as well as having four kids three and under so she also miiiiight deserve a trophy of some sort ;) I love Cole's writing style and her blog is always a fun and insightful read. 
Katrina blogs at Mama's Organized Chaos. She has Caroline who is 2 1/2 and is also expecting her second child this December! Her blog has been such a flashback to me of the days where I could focus on just one child and it's great to have her perspective in the group as so many of us have multiple kids and don't always remember life before the crazy ;) She's a former engineer and high school chemistry teacher and now is a stay at home mom. She's very passionate about breastfeeding, cloth diapering, making her own baby food, baby wearing, and sleep-training/ scheduling (proof that crunchy Babywise mama's do exist! Ha!)
Kim blogs at Team Cartwright. She's married to Pat and has three children: Benjamin (3) and Alison and Samantha (17 month old identical twins). Her goal is to help parents find solution that work for them and fit into each family's individual priorities. She's a former chemist and accountant and is very passionate about helping people embrace STEM fields and get past their fears of math and science. 

Natasha blogs at Let's Be Brave. She lives in Texas and is married to Gary. She's a foster/adoptive mom as well as an IVF mama too. She is a CPS and adoption lawyer in Texas. She has four children (Laurel age 6, Bennett age 5, Christopher age 2 and Everly age 2 months). Her calling is so awesome and reading her blog has been so inspiring for me while we walk our path of adoption. She brings such a different perspective to the table and I'm thankful to have her as a great resource!
Caitlin blogs at Rogers Party of 5. She is married to Ben and has three children (Theo age 3 1/2 as well as Josie and Margo who are 16 month old twins). She is a former music teacher with a masters in flute performance. She loves to eat healthy (who lists kale and quinoa as favorite foods?!?!) but also loves a good fancy cupcake (all about that balance!). She is not a sugarcoater type person (which y'all know I'm all about) and strives to make her blog a judgement free zone. Caitlin is our newest member and she's already added so much to our crew! 
If you're in the Babywise trenches then this post should fill you with hope: you are NOT ALONE! You have all of us who have gone through it ourselves and who love to share our personal insight and experiences! Be sure to visit all of my fellow Babywise Friendly Blog Network friends and next time you see "BFBN" you'll know what it means and who it includes! ;) 

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