Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Brooks' Half Birthday

My sweet baby boy turned 2.5 on Monday, January 23.  I look at him all the time and think to myself, "How in the world can he be turning 3 this year?"  It makes me so happy to see him growing and thriving, but breaks my heart at the same time because my baby is THIS BIG!!  He has grown up so much to me in the last 6 months.  Brooks, these are my favorite things about you right now....

You count from 1 to 12...correctly. It's pretty impressive. :)

You are speaking in full sentences, and it blows my mind.  You are so smart!!  The things that you say that crack me up are, "Oh no, not again!!" or "Guys, guys...listen" (as both your hands are waving in the air).

You say the sweetest prayers.  You put both your hands over your eyes and spread your fingers so you can look around the room and tell God what you're thankful for.  It's always Mommy, Daddy, Reese, Brooks, Jovie, an occasional Amie, Poppy, Mimi, or Pawpaw, your juice, your paci, your trains, sometimes your plate or spoon.  You get the idea.... And then a long drawn out AAAAMEN to end it.

You are loving everything that has to do with trains.  Your favorite movie to watch over Christmas this year was the Polar Express...all because it was about a big train.  You love your train table and have at least 5 different train sets that you play with EVERY DAY. 

You still love to be held and ask me at least 3x a day to "hold me".  I love to hear that for I know it will end sooner than I want it to.

You have slowed down your eating tremendously but still eat very well. Tonight you had steak, green beans, two helpings of oranges, and a yogurt.  You don't really have much of a sweet tooth. You do like an Oreo occasionally and plain M&M's. (I will say I recently bought the white donuts from the store (MISTAKE) and you could eat a bag of those if I let you.) :)

Your favorite shows to watch in the car or at night (we limit the TV during the weekdays) are Bubble Guppies, Paw Patrol, Little Bear, Finding Nemo, and sometimes Mickey Mouse Club. Nemo has recently become one of your favorites.

You are so tender-hearted, my sweet boy.  I can get on to you for doing something (like hitting your sister) or telling us NO, and you just melt.  I can pull you aside and look into those deep blue eyes and talk to you.  You look right back at me and listen.  While I should be scolding, I often get lost in your eyes that reflect just how gentle your soul is.

You still have a pacifier and a lovey that you ask for consistently.  You don't bring either to MDO and if you have them with you in the car, you always leave them in your car seat.  Honestly, I don't care one bit.  I know you won't take it with you to Kindergarten :)  You MUST have them both when you go to sleep.

And speaking of sleep.... You've been in a toddler bed now for about 5 months.  We put you down in it every night, but every night you wake up and come down to our bed.  Sometimes you walk your little self right down the stairs and to my side of the bed, and then there are times when you wake and start crying.  It annoyed me for a while, but now I honestly wouldn't know what to do if you slept a whole night in your bed!!! We're about to put you in a full bed because this little toddler bed doesn't give you enough room.  You are ALL OVER THE PLACE when you sleep.

You give the best kisses Brooks Vaughn, and often want to hold our hands.  I could never have imagined loving a little boy this much! I thank God for you EVERY SINGLE DAY!  He knew we needed you to complete our little family. I pray for you (and your precious sister) multiple times a day.  I pray for your safety, your health, your future spouse, for you to always be kind to others, that you would never consider yourself better than anyone, and that you would always have faith in God.  It is so important to me and your Daddy that you and your sister never lose sight of the thing that matters most in this world, and that is our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  May you never fall away from Him, but trust in Him and have faith that He has wonderful plans for your life.  We love you so much and will always be here for you, no matter what. 

Happy Half Birthday, My Love!!

A little spaghetti and M&M's for dessert

Those sweet little gaps in your teeth :))


He always wants to hold your hand when he falls asleep, whether it's for nap time or for bed time. I pray he doesn't outgrow this anytime soon!

No wonder we don't get much sleep in our KING SIZE bed!!!

40 Never Looked So Good

So believe it or not, my handsome hubby turned the big 4-0 this month. Honestly, he still looks 32 to me and it's hard for me to believe I'm next (well of course in 3.5 years ;)).  I asked him last year to make sure he took off work, since his birthday fell on a Wednesday. To be honest, I had hoped to plan a little get away for the week, but time got away from me.  Instead, I had a day of pampering and spoiling ready for him. 

We started our day at one of his Crepe Paulette's. After breakfast, I took him birthday shopping at Cabela's and Academy Sports. He bought a lot of accessories for his guns. That afternoon, I surprised him with 3 hours at the spa. We had a couples massage, a bottle of wine, and pedicures together. It was Matt's first pedi and I think he was a fan. 

We had big plans to come home and get cleaned up so that I could spoil him at one of his favorite restaurants, the Pressroom.  However, we were both so relaxed (and it was cold and pouring down rain) that we decided to order in sushi and pick up a bottle of wine and spend the evening with our 2 precious kiddos.  I ordered a birthday cookie and we sang to him and celebrated our #1 guy before curling up in bed for a movie. I think he had a great day.

Matt, the three of us are so blessed to call you ours. Thank you for always giving us your all and loving us unconditionally. I'm so blessed to do life with you, and Reese and Brooks couldn't have a better Daddy! We hope your big day was just perfect...and we love you to the moon and back!


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

New Years Resolutions

I've never really been one for making resolutions.  Sure, I have the same goals as everyone else... eat healthier foods, exercise more, give back more frequently, etc.  But as far as writing them down, it's been at least 5 years since I've done that.  This year, I've decided to do things a little differently. I'm making a list.  My list includes a lot of different things.  I know each of us is in a different season of life, so some of these things may seem unusual to you, but they work for me. 

1. Read more.  I've been inspired by my two cousins, Kristen and Jocelyn, who read all the time.  I love it, and I've decided to take time to disconnect from social media before bed and focus on a good book.

2. Lose 10 pounds.  I don't say this in a "I'm fat and need to lose weight" way.  I say this in a "I want to tone up and get back to my weight before 2 kids" way. I'm going to be 37 this year and I've got two active kiddos to keep up with.  I have to be healthy for them. 

3. Eat cleaner.  You guys, I cater lunches in almost every day to physician's offices and EVERY DAY we have dessert.  I HAVE to cut out the chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and cheesecake that I can eat every day. So, I'm starting there.  ;)

4. Eat dinner together as a family.  Right now, our kids are 4 and 2 and we sit down each night together to eat.  We go around the table and each tell what our favorite part of the day was and what we are thankful for at that moment.  This is honestly the best part of my day. I love listening to my sweet girl talk about how she's thankful for her warm bed and her brother.  Brooks always says he's thankful for his trains. :) I want to continue this little tradition for as long as possible because I know the day will come when sports, homework, dance, or whatever it may be will interfere with our eating together. 

5. I want to do a better job of LISTENING to the Lord.  In a world where it can be so easy for us to compare ourselves to others, it is essential to tune out the voice of Satan.  Don't let him steal your joy!!  I choose every day to wake up and thank God that I have an awesome job to go work, that I have a roof over my head, can afford to feed my family, have a supportive, Christian husband and two beautiful, healthy kiddos. It's all about perspective!!  Be thankful EVERY DAY for what God has given you. Sadly enough, it can be gone in the blink of an eye.  I choose happiness and I choose to wake each day LISTENING to Him.  What does He need from me?  How do I need to minister to others TODAY?  Don't get me wrong, there will be days when Satan will throw his darts, and do his best to bring me down.  Honestly, there may be days when he does...but as long as my hope and my faith lies in Jesus, I will start the next day fresh and new and listening to Him. 

These are just a few of my personal resolutions.  I figured since I haven't technically made any in 5 years, I'll start here.  Next year, I can look back and read this blog and see how I did.  ;)

Monday, January 2, 2017

Closing down 2016....

 This break has been so nice! I am so fortunate to work a job that allows me to slow down at the end of each year to soak up time with my nuggets who are growing too fast.  Reese and Matt had a date night, the week after Christmas. It was the sweetest thing!  She chose one of her new dresses to wear with her new Uggs, and he let her pick the restaurant.  Matt came to the door, rang the doorbell, and had a bouquet of flowers for her.  She chose Chuy's for dinner and they had a wonderful time!

This was my sweet date...we had a little night in. 

Matt and I enjoyed a date night at the Preacher's Son off of the square in Bentonville, while the kids went to Mimi and Pawpaw's for a sleepover. ;)

They had the swankiest bar downstairs...I loved it.

My handsome date!

For NYE, we stayed in and ordered pizza and salads from Bariola's and just snuggled up by the tree. The older I get, the less likely I will be staying awake until midnight.  I think the last 3 years, Matt and I have both been asleep when the clock strikes 12. We had our hats and noisemakers and were ready to celebrate...all the way til 8:00, when the kids went to bed. 

New Years Day, we got up and went to church.  In my opinion, there is no better way to start a new year than worshiping our Lord with fellow Christians.  It was a wonderful morning, topped off with naps for everybody after lunch at Taziki's.  The weather was actually pretty nice that afternoon, with temperatures hitting 60 degrees.  We went for a quick walk to enjoy some sunshine. 

2016 was a great year for our sweet family!  We are looking forward to all the adventures that 2017 will hold.  HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

Celebrating Pawpaw and Mimi

Mom and Dad both have birthdays in December.  Dad's is December 15th, and Mom's is December 28th.  This was a big year for Dad...he turned the big 6-0. I can't believe he's 60!!  In my eyes, he's still 40-something.  My beautiful Mama turned 59, and doesn't look one day older.  

Bless their hearts, with birthdays in December, they seem to get lost in the hustle and bustle of the holidays.  Well, last Monday, we decided to get together with our favorite family (the Honea's) and celebrate the two of them. It was so much fun enjoying dinner, desserts, games, kids running wild, and just being together.  I sure do love this entire crew!!!


We had the BEST Christmas this year!!!  I feel like I say that every year, but it's true.  My kiddos are at the perfect ages, being 4 and 2, and really get into the holidays. This year, Santa brought Reese a Barbie Dream house and he brought Brooks a train table.  They both played for over 2 hours on Christmas morning and barely took time to open their presents from ole' Mom and Dad.

I wish I would've gotten more pictures of the four of us, but I was so lost in the moment.  The ear to ear grins that don't go away, the sparkle in their eyes, and the squeals of excitement are almost more than I can stand.  Christmas morning is my favorite!!

A little Christmas song to wake us all up....

Reese got tons of Disney dolls and this just cracked me up.  She put Ariel and Flounder in her Barbie house. Flounder lucked out and got the toilet. :))

Christmas PJ's for the day!

Maybe just one good picture??

After all our excitement, we loaded up presents, food, Jovie (our dog) and everything but the kitchen sink to head to Mimi and Pawpaw's house.  Mom had homemade cinnamon rolls, cheese Danish, fruit, breakfast casseroles, and so much more to eat. It was SOO good. When Kyndall and Blake arrived, the kiddos got to see what Santa brought them.  You see, these sweet 6 grandkids have no idea how lucky they are... Santa drops a toy off at Mimi and Pawpaw's house for them too! Brooks got a motorcycle to ride and Reese got the pink pram for her baby dolls.

Over the river and through the woods, to grandmother's house we go!

These 3 boys were about to get a big surprise...

Guns for all of them!  

After opening presents, we had a gingerbread house contest.  It was hilarious!  This was my first one to ever put together...good gracious, it was much harder than I thought. :)  Mamaw was the judge, and needless to say...we lost. Kyndall and Blake won, with Landon, Brandi, and the kids coming in at a close second. 

Eating all our icing...

It was a WONDERFUL holiday with those that I love the most!  We are so very blessed and I am so thankful for another magical Christmas!