Christmas Morning

Christmas with kids is so magical. So unbelievably special and so much fun. Every year as they get older proves to be more fun and this year was the best. As we grow older we lose the magic that comes with Christmas because we find out the truth about Santa and we forget a long the way how great it felt to believe in that magic. Well, have kids or be around a child at Christmas time. If you have kids then you know how amazing it is to witness the magical christmas spirit and they help us remember that feeling and to live it through their eyes is pure enjoyment.

This year JP, Jocelynn and Maddie all asked for one thing. JP-a bow and arrow, Joc- a “garbie” doll house (Barbie), and Maddie-a fire-breathing dragon. I seriously have the sweetest kids. They would have been fine if I bought just those three things but I just love Christmas time and my mom made it so awesome for us growing up, I would like to follow in her footsteps. I know present’s are not important and yes, I do know what is important about this time and believe me, so do my children. But buying for them and watching them  open the presents is so fun. The look on their face when they think “I really wanted this, how did santa know?!” can’t even be put into words. Thus, all the pictures you are about to witness in this post.

 

  

Maddie was so much fun to watch. She has so much personality and overtime she opened a present she made the best facial expressions. Jocelynn gets kind of nervous opening present’s and doesn’t like to show a lot of reaction and JP opened his presents so fast that Jocelyn and Maddie had just opened up one each.

JP got the coolest walkie talkies. They are face time walkie talkies. He had to show his pawpaw immediately when he came over!!

  

Maddie isn’t a big baby doll or Barbie kind of girl, I have mentioned before how much she loves her “pets”.AKA her stuffed animals. I found this adorable little wagon so she could pull around her pets and she fell in love with it!!

All 3 kids got so many great gifts!! JP got a big boy fishing pole, bow and arrow and more. Jocelynn got her Barbie house, baby doll, Barbie doll and accessories and more. Maddie got a Hatchimal, more pets, night gowns, and more.

They made it great for me and seeing their little lit up faces make me so happy. It was just a great family day.




Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve!! It was a little more laid back this day. We had some of Matt’s family come over around 2. I had so many leftovers from the night before that I just brought it all back out and heated up! Cathy, Matt’s mom, cooked some goodies too! I did however add one thing to the menu at the last-minute and that was mimosas!! Got to have them during the chaotic present opening:) We usually just do finger foods and snacks for this one because it is between meals.

A month or so ago me and Brooke, my SIL, wrote down all of their names and let them choose out of a cup. The name they chose would be the person they bought a gift for. They all had so much fun with this and put deep thought into their cousins gifts! So we let them exchange the gifts they had gotten for each other before opening Milly’s (what the kids call Matt’s mom).

Cathy always does the best stockings and is also a great gift buyer! She does a stocking for all of us including the adults! I love her stockings!!

The kids got some great gifts from their Milly including new tennis shoes, lincoln logs, stuffed animals, art ad craft stuff and more!

Jp got a new bow and arrow from his uncle Mark! He had to immediately go outside and shoot it. Can you say ALL BOY?

After Maddie opened her shoes I asked her to show them to me because they were precious and this is the photo I got….

I thought this was hilarious. Our little Joee Kate got a Barbie doll that was bigger than she was!!

The boys were pretty excited about their new HUGE nerf guns! Have I mentioned lately how obsessed JP is with nerf guns and “nerf war”?

Jocelynn is a sucker for arts and crafts, just like her mommy. She was thrilled she got a huge thing of gel pens. She looked at me and said “you can borrow them, ok?” Well, thank you Jocelynn. I sure do appreciate it.

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After everyone left Aunt Jill, Kyle and Aunt Anna stopped by and gave the kids their gifts from them. I’m overwhelmed by all the gifts at this point and can’t help but think how lucky and blessed my kids are to be so loved.

 

We went and delivered cinnamon rolls to a couple of our neighbors so they could cook them Christmas morning. Then we made a ginger bread house, decorated cookies and looked to see where Santa was on the Santa tracker! We were about to head to bed when we realized the Elves stopped by to drop the kids off some Christmas Eve jammies!

We placed their decorated cookies on a plate along with a glass of milk and celery for Santa and the reindeer. We went upstairs to tuck our little babies (yes, I know they are not little babies but they are my babies) in to bed!

Time for mommy and daddy to get to work!! I had a few things wrapped already but we had so.much.to.do. Including putting this doll house together, which ended up being first on the list

I am glad we did that first because it took a total of almost 3 hours. Phew!! Everything was pretty simple after that. Putting together the swing cars, blowing up the horse jumpers, blow up Maddies ball pit, wrap more presents and put together JP’s work bench. Oh and stockings too but that didn’t take long. After all that it was around 1:15 and we were ready to hit the sack. I was so excited when we went to bed, I couldn’t wait to see their little faces the next morning.

Each child had their own pile of toys. Thais how my mom always did it when we were younger. You might notice one more pile, that is toys for them as a group. I usually do a few toys that encourages them to play together so I’ll get a few games or something like that; this year I did play-doh factories and play-doh accessories. 




Christmas with the Family

We hosted my family Friday night. Hosting Christmas was always something my mom did for her family. I talked to everyone about it to make sure that would be ok if I could take over that since it was my moms and I love hosting as much as she did. Of course everyone said yes. It made me so happy and excited to have my family here all together, and being here for each other during the holidays; which have proved to be difficult for everyone.

Our menu consisted of bacon wrapped deer meat (venison), shrimp, honey ham, green bean casserole. potato salad, mac n’cheese, corn on the cob, salad and more. I made whipped feta crostini’s with marinated tomatoes, cream cheese sausage balls and spinach artichoke dip as appetizers. Mouth watering yet? I cooked so much more than I just wrote. Everything turned out perfect, everyone was here and it was truly wonderful.



After dinner my Aunt Jane bought the kids a gift and we let them open it! It was the softest blankets with an even more soft stuffed animal. They were precious and all of my kids are sleeping with them now.

After the opening of the gift’s I had a few games planned for us. I love games, y’all. I think it brings everyone together and if people end up laughing then that’s even more great. The first game was the paper plate game. I gave everyone a sturdy paper plate with a marker and told them to put it on their head. I then told them what to draw while it was on top of their head and it was hilarious!!

We then played a game that didn’t end up quite like I hoped. Heard of the game where you to try to roll doubles while the person next to you is trying to unwrap a ball full of goodies? I worked so hard on this damn ball and wrapped candy, gift cards, and all kinds of other stuff. I learned my lesson, I should have stopped the wrap every now and then because the first person who started unwrapping got all of the gifts!!! LOL!!! She was more than generous and gave a lot of it to the family but still!! I was so mad it didn’t work out the way I wanted! AT least everyone had a good time!!

I am so happy everyone got to see our new home and we all got to spend some much-needed time together. I love my family, they are all so special and the nicest people you’d ever meet. I love you all and I hope you know that!!!

After everyone left we were beat so we decided to let the babies sleep with us. They were in heaven as this doesn’t happen very often. They all love their beds very much and I was very strict about that when they were smaller. I love when I get to cuddle them all night, even though it does kill my back. So thankful for these 3 littles and my wonderful husband.




Christmas Hosts

We hosted 3 different Christmases this year! I am so happy to have a house where we can host everyone. It is all we have ever wanted, a place where our family and friends can come.

Our Christmas festivities started Thursday night with our friends. I think most people call it a “friends-ams”!

I got some beautiful steaks from Costco the day before and more goodies. The boys grilled the steaks while we cooked the rest of the sides inside and he kids played the Wii! This is what Christmas is all about, spending time with the ones you love and oh how I love these people just like family. After all, friends are your chosen family, right?

We all swapped gifts and let the kids open some too! April bought all of the kids super hero capes with their name on the back! They were awesome and everyone loved them!

After the gift giving we let the kids decorate sugar cookies! They had a blast. I did however catch maddie suck the icing right out of the bag instead of piping it onto her cookie! What can I say? She gets it from me…

The kids really did have so much fun. We did too. I love watching kids around this time, the magic that fills their little eyes and hearts is so special. I feel so blessed to have all these people in my life and even more so getting to witness these magical moments amongst cousins and friends.




Holiday Home Tour

Anyone interested in a home tour of our new place? I have one better, how about a holiday home tour! I love Christmas time so much, it’s just a truly special, magical holiday. My mom loved Christmas too and always went all out for it so I am following her footsteps and it literally looks like Christmas threw up all over our house and it makes me so happy! Some of the things have been in our family for over 30 years. Having them all in our home this year makes this christmas just that more special. So welcome to our home! Hope you love it as much as we do!

I LOVE having a fireplace now. I love it when it is actually cold outside but it is a lot of fun to decorate around too. 


Yes that’s a pool table. Right in the middle of the room. No we don’t even use it. Well, we’ve used it a couple of times. It is incredibly heavy so we can’t move it so we are trying to sell it. Eventually this area will be the formal dining area.

M favorite part of the house. I love having a big kitchen. I love cooking and so do my kids. I plan on years of wonderful memories making yummy food right here.


I had to throw in some cheesy ornament photos because we have so many memories on this tree. This gingerbread man was made by me in 1993. Then on the other side of the tree we have all the ornaments our babies have made the past few years. I love how something so small can mean so much and something so big, like a christmas tree, hold so many memories.

Do you remember these little light up trees when you were little? This one right here was my dads moms! Yes, over 30 years old. I got it out of my moms christmas decorations and it brought back so many memories. The kids have loved looking at this and playing with the bulbs.

There is a bedroom downstairs I use as my office, a playroom, bathroom and utility room. Ill show pictures of the playroom in the next post but my office? Yeah, that’s a different story right now. It has been used as my wrapping room lately! Hope everyone is having a wonderful holiday week!!




Our New Home!

I know most of you know by now that we have moved!! Especially if you follow me on IG or twitter, but if you don’t then let me tell you again, WE HAVE MOVED!!!

We have been looking for a very long time. We had a contract on a house that me and Matt fell in love with this past April but we needed to sell our house first in order for it to workout. Well, someone swooped in under our contract and we just couldn’t do what we needed to at that time to save it. Have you heard that saying “everything happens for a reason”? Well, in this case it is completely true. We have our dream home and if it wasn’t for us losing the other house we probably wouldn’t be here. We made our offer to the seller and actually ended up getting an offer on ours that same week. We closed on everything my birthday and it was the best.birthday.present.ever. I am so happy and ecstatic for our family. We are going to have a long life here full of friends and family to help us make memories.

We are still on the lake, thank goodness; that’s something we both did not want to do without. Theres just something about waking up and looking at the lake. Peace of mind I guess. We have a very big lot all to ourselves that makes a point onto the lake so it is very private which is great if Maddie is your daughter because you know…. all of the nakedness that goes on with that child. We have a pier and a boat ramp! We will build a boat house in the future but for now it will definitely do. There is a huge driveway!! Y’all might not think that is a big thing but it is to us who had a gravel driveway before and it is to our kids since they can ride their bikes right at home! The house has an amazing wrap around porch which is one of my favorites, I have always wanted a big porch. Matt even has his own little shop too! A building that’s up near the top of our lot and its all his! Complete with tools, a lawnmower and about to have a pool table in there too. He is head over heels in love with the fact he has his own space.

Our home has 4 bedrooms with an additional open room and 4 baths. Guess what? I have my own space too!!! I am using one of the rooms as a craft room. Why not a guest bedroom you ask? Ummm, because I have been working out of a closet for 4 years now and want to be able to move both my elbows up and down without hitting them on a door LOL. I have big plans and hopes for things I want to accomplish and me having my own space will help that. I might make it into a guest room one day but for now I am calling it all mine. JP has his own room and the girls share a room. All of our bedrooms are on the second floor and the craft room and additional room is on the first. The additional room is right off the kitchen and I have made it into a playroom.

I can’t wait to show everything. I am just not quite ready yet! I plan on doing a home tour soon but for now I am giving you pictures of the outside of the house.


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It’s been 8 years…

November 15th was our wedding anniversary. Our 8th one as a matter of fact. I have a lot to say about this man of mine and our marriage. It just keeps getting better every year, not even kidding. We keep saying we will go somewhere on our 10th but for now, just enjoying the day!

Tuesday was our anniversary. My baby brought me home a bottle of wine (I have learned I really like Riesling) and a vase of beautiful flowers. Oh, and stuff to make margaritas with queso and chips from the Mexican restaurant! He is the best. We had a ball just drinking, talking and watching the kids play. I cooked one of his favorite meals for dinner which was fried pork chops, green beans, mashed potatoes and crescent rolls. Not very healthy but I will say it was delicious.

Marriage is hard. It is trying, it is wonderful, it’s the best thing. It takes two people to commit and make a marriage the best it can be. You can make it as good as you want or not try at all. Well, we chose to make each other and our relationship our first priority. Many years ago we had a sit down and asked each other how we could make this relationship better. I am not going to lie, it is very hard after having kids and this is when that conversation occurred. He told me things and I told him. We both listened to each other, did those things and 4 years later we are the happiest in our marriage than we’ve ever been. All it takes is a little communication and a whole lot of dedication if you truly love the one you’re with, and I do love mine with all of my heart.

Matt,

You are my best friend. There is no doubt about that. You are my person I go to with everything, or nothing at all. You listen to me when I need to be listened to you and you’ll sit with me when I just want to cry and be held but not talk about it. You understand me, you know me just like I know you. You are the best father to our kids that I could have ever imagined. They see you as their super hero. You are strong and their security blanket; as well mine. I love the way our babies look at you and I love it when I catch you staring at them. We have been through some rough times but have made it out stronger and more in love than ever. We have three beautiful blessings that we thought would never happen and we are both head over heels in love with them. I thank God for you everyday. I would not have been able to make it through this past year without you baby. From losing Roxanne and then my mom passing months later, its been a terribly tough year. One that no one should have to experience at a young age. But you’ve been my rock through it all. I want to thank you for that. You are my everything and I cant wait to spend the rest of my life with you, my best friend, my soul mate, my lover, by my side.

Warning, there is about to be a picture overload. I have been looking through all of our old photos and it just makes me so happy. We started dating when I was 16 and he was 19 so we have so many memories already and I want to show some of them here through pictures!

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We aren’t the tallest people. I will never forget when we started dating you told me you had never had a girl look up to you. I thought this was so funny and perfect. I love looking up to you, you have a perfect spot right in your arms that I fit in. I love that spot, its my safe spot.

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We have so much fun together. I am so lucky to be able to say that because I know a lot of couples who need friends to have a goof time but we just love doing things together. From going out (when we can get a baby-sitter) to fishing. We usually end up laughing most of the time, or talking about the kids when they aren’t with us (why does everyone do this?) and having just a good time. Sitting here writing this makes me realize even more how blessed I am to have this wonderful man in my life. Looking at all of these pictures and remembering all the things we’ve done through and accomplished together, it’s so rewarding.

I know you might get annoyed of me sometimes, I do tend to talk a lot whenever we get to go places by ourselves. It is only because I don’t talk to a whole lot of grown ups during the day though hah. You understand I need that and I know you think I am funny too. I am pretty funny, I must say LOL. Ok not really but a dork I might be for real. I just love that we can make each other laugh like no other.

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We both knew we wanted kids as soon as possible. I hate to admit it but we had been shaking up for 6 years already, it’s not like we didn’t know anything about the other person. So as soon as we got married you bet your butt we started trying. 3 years passed by and we had one miscarriage and a lot of negative at home pregnancy tests. We decided to take that next step to see what was going on so we went to the A.R.T clinic at Brookwood hospital in Birmingham, AL; which by the way I would highly recommend. We found out the problem and learned we could not conceive a child on our own. We were both devastated and shocked. Another year passed and it was time to do our official round of IVF. Thank God it worked. We had our babies 9 months later!! I remember the first time Matt held them. They rolled me into recovery and this is what I saw…

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One proud daddy.

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Then God blessed us again….

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Talk about complete shock. Utterly shocked but so happy. Maddie was the best thing that ever happened to us after the twins. She has so much personality, she’s so much like my mom too, which I love. Maddie has been head over heels for her daddy since she was born and I know exactly why!

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I never thought the day would come where I would see Matt feel so natural being a parent. I knew he was good with kids and I witnessed his love for babies many times but seeing your own husband with your children together is something else. I fell in love all over again with him when I saw how good of a daddy he was and to this day he still finds ways to impress me with our babies.

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I understand this post is turning more into a story about our life but I want everyone to know how much this man means to me.

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We agree on parenting. I take his back and he takes mine. There is no good cop bad cop here, we are both good or bad at the same time. We are a team when it comes to the kids. I love parenting with Matt. He makes it fun and interesting for sure and has taught me a lot.

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Happy 8 years to my one and only. I cant wait to see what life has in store for us over the next 8 years. Looking forward to spending all my days beside you baby and living life to the fullest.




Halloween 2016

This marks the first Halloween of my kids lives that their mommy did not make some or all of their costumes. It really made me kind of sad. Although it is time consuming I really do love it and their past costumes have been awesome because of it. But my little ones wanted to be costumes they could buy this year. Maybe next year I can find something I will be able to hand make again?

To start out our Halloween festivities me and my sister-in-law, Brooke, took the kids to a fall festival the week before Halloween. It was at a local small church, Russel Chapel Church, and it was so fun. I was seriously impressed with everything they did this year. We started out at the trunk or treat, of course. Then they had a small pumpkin patch setup where the kids could pick a pumpkin and then sit at a table to paint it. How adorable?! And talk about right up my kids alley. While we waited on the pumpkins to dry we went and let the kids jump in the bounce houses. I told Brooke we should walk inside to see if we could win a cake for the cake walk so we could indulge in sweets too after the kids went to bed! We went inside and did the cake walk. The first time Brooke won a cake and the second time I did! Talk about meant to be, right? LOL. The cakes were delicious. We let the kids get their faces painted and jump a little bit longer before heading back home. They were all beat down tired so I hid the candy and put mine to bed while the cousins loaded up in their car to go home.

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During the week before Halloween, our preschool did some fun dress up days for the kids. We had farmer day one day and then Halloween parties the next. Farmers day was a day where the kids could dress up as a farmer or farm animal and mine chose to be farmers. I did what I could dressing Maddie as a farmer with her dress fetish.

We had a great Halloween. I spent the day with my girls cooking yummy treats and making memories. Just like my mom use to do for me. My mom loved Halloween so much. She use to make it so special for us when we were younger, as she did with everyone else. I am talking the works for Halloween though, from dry ice in punch, dry ice in cauldrons on the porch to green died cheese dip. She also use to have the best costumes, I remember one year she paid a lot of money to dress up as an alien who held its own head. It was hilarious but also very spooky. I thrive to be like her. Which is why I went out of my way to make a mess of our kitchen this year and just have fun with the kids making treats and getting Halloween ready.

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There isn’t much trick or treating where we live. We usually just take the kids to a few houses and let them experience the ringing of the door bell to sing that incredibly cute rhyme about underwear;).

When daddy got home from work we finished getting our PJ Masks ready to go trick or treat a few houses. We went to a few of our friends houses to show the kids off and then to our favorite house which is pawpaws! JP told his pawpaw if he didn’t have any candy he would just take a $20. We laughed so hard. I love these kids of mine. If anyone were to give him a $20 for not having candy, it would be his pawpaw because pawpaw don’t like feeling guilty. Turned out pawpaw had plenty of treats for them so they were just as satisfied with candy as they would’ve been with that money, possibly more. When we got home we ate our hotdogs, green cheese dip and other treats, I let the kids choose 2 pieces of candy to eat before bed and told them they could have more the next day. It was a great Halloween. Every holiday is great one as long as I get to spend it with the people I love the most in this world.

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Cheeseburger Soup

I posted a picture of the Cheeseburger soup I cooked last night on Instagram and it was a hit. I had a lot of requests asking for the recipe so I figured I would share it here as well! I have to say it was delicious!! Even the children approved and it helped us get warm on these chilly nights we’ve been having!

I did do a couple of things different from the actual recipe called for. I used canned potatoes and carrots instead of fresh because I didn’t have any on hand. The husband isn’t a huge celery fan and I did not have any of that either so I stirred in a can of cream of celery instead which made it so yum!! One of my favorite soups I have cooked in a while and so easy! Hope y’all enjoy as much as we did!

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Tuesday’s Random Ramblings

I have a lot to blog about. When I say “a lot”, I mean A LOT. So much has happened in our life and around us in these past months and I can’t wait to share it all. I am still having a hard time dealing with my moms passing and just haven’t wanted to blog as much and was comforted by the presence of family, my babies and my sweet husband. I have been thinking of my mom more often lately and I know she would want me to hop back on the wagon of something I truly love doing so here’s to hoping me and this blog can start a new relationship three times over and make it last, hoping nothing else bad happens. I have had enough loss this year to last a lifetime and I am ready for a positive happy year to come forward. Lets get to it…a few things I need to catch up on and then get to blogging some actual posts!!

  • My birthday was wonderful. It was also extremely hard. My mom made my birthday so special every year, no matter where she was. I missed having that phone call and her singing me the happy birthday song. Like I said, hard. We spent the day as a family of 5 and then went to dinner with my dad, his friends, my sister and her family, my brother and all of us at Outback. I’ve been asking for a laptop for a few years now and finally got a Macbook!! I was thrilled! Having an auto-immune disease causes me to have extreme fatigue sometimes so I lay in bed earlier at night to help that and my pains. Now that I have a laptop I can blog from my bed!

 

  • My babies were the PJ Masks for Halloween. They were unbelievably adorable and had a ball at every Halloween celebration we had. Cant wait to share photos!

 

  • Me and Matt started fishing a couples tournament trail together a few weeks ago and won! I even got big fish! Our next tournament is this weekend on Lake Logan Martin and Matt is pretty confident we will win that one too! Maybe we should just quit our jobs and fish pro together?

 

  • WE MOVED!! That’s right! We sold our little double wide trailer and moved into our dream home mid October. In fact the day we closed on it all was the day of my birthday, so it was a pretty good birthday because of that! Its been a long time coming getting this house. We’ve been working on it since before my mom passed. She wanted this so bad for us and we tried our best to make it happen but we couldn’t move it a long as fast as we wanted. I know she’s been tugging her strings in heaven and helping us out because everything went so smoothly. I know she had a lot to do with it.

 

  • I seriously cannot believe it is November. This year has gone by so fast and Christmas will be here before we know it! I haven’t even started shopping! I am usually done by now too. Have  you started yet? I need motivation!

 

  • This month is our anniversary month and we will celebrate 8 years. Hoping we will be able to do something special this year. Through everything this year I have leaned on Matt a whole lot more than I usually do or have and our relationship is stronger than ever. I can truly say I love him now more than the day I married him and more happy than I ever thought I would/could be in a relationship. I am a lucky one and hope to show him how much he means to me. Any ideas for celebrating a special anniversary in Birmingham??

I think that’s about all I need to catch up on before I write each post! Hope everyone voted today and no matter the turn out that this country come together and clean up whats going on. That we all find a way to get a long so we can raise our children in a world we feel comfortable in. Because frankly? Right now, I would totally dig a hole to live in than raise my children in this world right now. It has to get better at some point right? That or jesus will be coming back soon.