Ready or Not

This time last year I was put on bedrest in preparation for George’s arrival.

Now in two weeks, George will no longer be a baby.

What the heck? How is he a year old?

While I am trying not to get emotional about the fact that this year just flew by, there are moments where I am just overcome with tears of sadness, joy, fear…all of it.

But the joy is getting to celebrate this cutie:  the life he has lived so far and what is yet to come for him.

And I think that is what birthdays are all about.

I am one of those people that started planning his party once he was born. (And yes I already have his 2nd birthday planned in my head.) It’s just the creative planner in me that I just gets so excited about ideas! Judge me if you will. I will be over here enjoying the hotdogs at my kid’s birthday.

Luckily my sister-in-law is a party planner, and we jumped on the party planning bus together. She is helping bring life to some of the ideas. We have had a lot of fun coming up with things for his…(ready for it)

Baseball Themed Party!

I am sure there are no surprises there.


Birthdays are a big deal for me, and I want my kids to feel special and surrounded by the people they love on their day.

So we are starting this first one off with a bang.

Really, it is going to seem a little ridiculous to everyone but us what we have in store for this birthday. What can I say, his Auntie Em loves him very much, and it is a bonus that she is pretty much a walking Pinterest board. Also, I just want to do all the ideas.


We are making a lot of the things for the party, or I found things on super sale throughout the year so honestly the cost has been pretty low considering all that we have planned. The nice thing about having a party theme picked early is that I can watch for good deals and not have to spend so much the last minute. We are keeping in mind that there are a lot of other littles coming to the party that need things to do besides watching George Hulk Smash that cake. Our family LOVES to get together, so we want this to be a fun afternoon for everyone. And many of the decorations will be used in his room later on as well. Double usage-I am in.

Plus I need things to take pictures of, and a big birthday seems to fit that bill.


I can’t wait to share everything with you all. It should be a good time.


The first thing I will share with you are the invitations I made. I searched for months for the perfect layout for his invitation. I knew what I wanted, but I could not find anything that was cheap. It was ridiculous what people would pay for invitations.

So I just gave up and made them myself in Publisher. ALL the invitations and envelopes cost me a whopping $5 at Walmart. Deal.

First Birthday Invite

I am pretty happy with the way that it turned out for having no design skills whatsoever.

I am so excited to watch George become his own little self, and I cannot believe that he is almost one. I am going to be that mom that makes birthdays an extravaganza. It can be that one day of the year that he is truly spoiled beyond what he could ever imagine. We only live through this life once, why not have lots of cake?


Fun fact, Tom’s family has this field named in their honor in his hometown. So we took all these pictures there. I thought it was a cute personal touch for our family. The only problem was that it was awkwardly high, and George just wanted to eat the ball instead of look at me. He also had so much fun playing in the dirt and would not stay still for most of the shots I wanted on the diamond, but we made it work. And I saw that my future will be full of baths to clean up a mud-caked George.

Do you go all out for birthdays? Do you like themed parties? Would you like to make a bet on how George will react to cake?

To My Mom

Today is my wonderful mother’s birthday.


Y’all, seriously hands down, this is the most amazing woman.

I can’t even begin to explain what she has meant to me over the years.


She is a woman who has always been there, for the good days and bad. She has made us laugh with made up songs, kissed away booboos, and spent Saturday nights making mac and cheese with chicken nuggets so we could watch Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman as a family. (Mac and cheese is still my go to comfort food to this day.)

I remember summer nights riding our bikes in the Kauffman stadium parking lot. I remember going to the zoo to see our favorites:  the tigers and elephants. I remember the time spent in the kitchen making cranberry salad and banana bread. I remember the picnics. I remember the Friday afternoon taco runs before we picked up my brother from school.

Now that I am a mom, I am starting to realize what she went through with us. I strive to live up to the standards that she has shown us as a parent.

She is a Godly woman to so many people. She was always “adopting” other kids as we grew up. Our house was always full and always fun. I don’t think she even knows the lives that she has impacted over the years.

You see my mom has been working in the preschool setting (in many capacities) for over 30 years. She directed hundreds of church programs over the years, which are some of my favorite summer memories growing up. She has taught probably thousands of young kids how to write and recognize their colors. I remember spending many nights and weekends in her classroom trying to set things up for her kids or paint the elaborate backdrops for the musicals. (Let’s be real, my brother and I usually watched Lion King or begged her to get out the tumbling mats…) But more importantly she has made every kid who has walked into her classroom feel special and loved.


She is humble, generous, and is more likely to stay in the background so others can shine. But little does she know that her support has meant the world to so many. She has always lived a fairly simple life so she can provide for not just my brother and I, but to so many other kids and families who have come through her life. She always showed us what it meant to be a servant of the Lord and serve others fully.

I only hope that I can be half the mom and woman that she is.

And it is so fun to watch her in her newest role as Gammy to Addison and George.


I feel like I am just rambling because it is hard to put it fully into words what she has meant to me as a mom and a person of guidance in my life.

So simply put…

I love you Mom! You deserve the best on your birthday!


360 Months

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My brother and I on my 6th birthday.

Since we are marking George’s age by month currently, it made me think about how many months I will be tomorrow.

On my 30th birthday.

That will make me 360 months old.

That is a whole lot of months.

30 seems like an age where everything is different. The pressure is on to really start adulting. It is time to be serious about family, about planning for retirement, about other adulty things that are oh so serious.

Does this look like someone who is ready to be adulting?


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Some think not…but all of us in these photos have reached this time. And we are going to make 30 look amazing!

(Because most people think we are are in our early 20s…)

But to get serious with you for a sec, I think about my life in that 360 term.

There is something poetic about it.

As I turn 30, I really have made a lot of 360s in my life. I have developed and made complete turnarounds.

You make 360s as you go through different phases.

I am not who I was at 5. I am so glad I am not who I was at 15. I wouldn’t even recognize who 20 year old me was. And while at 25 I thought I had myself figured out, there was still so much for me to learn.

But then again, all of that is still a part of me. Even though I have changed every year, those pieces are still part of my inner circle. (See what I did there?) I realize what I have learned over the years has made me who I am today as I enjoy my last day in my twenties.

I have learned that play is important. 

I have learned that drinking from a straw is really the only way to go. 

I have learned that a good belly laugh can make everything seem ok. 

I have learned that N’Sync is really the only boy band that is important. 

I have learned that sometimes you have to put yourself out there even if talking to a stranger is the scariest thing. 

I have learned that a headband will fix any bad hair day. 

I have learned the right way to ride a roller coaster.

I have learned that sometimes that person only needs you to listen to their story, and that “Tell me more about that” is really the best question to ask. 

I have learned that it is really not a good playground unless there is a swing set. 

I have learned that there will always be room to improve, and that I will not always be perfect. 

I have learned that a good book is one of the best escapes. 

I have learned that making a list helps bring down my anxiety.

I have learned being a Royals fan is really the best kind of fan, and the wins are so sweet. 

I have learned that I love teaching but not in the traditional sense. 

I have learned your taste in things may change over time…Hello and Goodbye to that velour phase. 

I have learned exercising can be fun when you find the right activity and/or people to do it with.

I have learned that sometimes you just need to eat a whole bag of Twizzlers. 

I have learned music is a beautiful expression of emotions. 

I have learned ice cream cake is the best kind of cake. 

I have learned that it feels good to dance like no one is watching (even when people are watching).

I have learned that you haven’t experienced real joy until you become a parent. 

I have learned that there really isn’t a bad pizza. 

I have learned to show gratitude.

I have learned that there is so much joy when you hear someone you know is selling Girl Scout cookies.

I have learned that the good stuff in life doesn’t always come easy.

I have learned that I should wear sunblock.

I have learned that dogs are the most loving creatures. 

I have learned that you cannot please everyone, and that you will be miserable trying to do so. 

I have learned that education never stops. 

I have learned that God is the ultimate redeemer. 

I have learned that love is really what life is about. 

So here is to the first 30 years and the lessons I have encountered. High Five Self. 

Some people may think of 30 as a death sentence to the fun life and a time to stress about what they have not accomplished and that it is just the beginning of being old. I don’t believe that is the case at all. First of all, being able to celebrate another year on this earth is such a blessing. I LOVE birthdays! Secondly, I would have to say I have never loved my life as much as I do right now. I am fairly confident in who I am as a person and finally feel that things have fallen into place. Yes there are more responsibilities in this time of my life, but there is some sweetness in that stability that I am really enjoying. I feel like I can enjoy life a little more freely because I know what I like and am more put together in a sense. And seriously who wants to be a teenager their entire life?

Not this gal.


So 30 doesn’t seem so bad. I am not going to have a nervous breakdown or an existential crises because of being the big 3-0. I am ready to make the thirties my best decade yet!

And apparently I am in good company of people who are also turning 30 this year. 85 and alive!

PS. Derek Hough, we need to have a joint party some day. Just saying, our birthdays are a weekish apart. And I would make a great dance partner.

Now bring on the desserts!


10 Days of Tom

Tom has never been a big birthday person. Usually we do something fairly low key, and there have been years Tom has removed his birthday info from social media so people wouldn’t know.

But this year was Tom’s 30th.

I wanted to do something to make a big deal about it but also be sensible.

Enter the idea to do small gifts over 10 days.

10 Days of Tom

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First, I am no expert wrapper. Just get it covered is my motto. Second, I had already given Tom day one’s gift before I had the forethought to take a collective picture.

Here is what each day brought him.

Day 1: Funfetti cake and Coldstone gift card. He needed his birthday sprinkles.

Day 2: House shoes. We love being old.

Day 3:  Gum and travel teeth cleaning items. My husband doesn’t like to have bad breath or a yucky mouth, and since he will be out of the house a lot these will come in handy.

Day 4:  Undershirts. He has been using his army tans for his undershirts. No thank you. He needed to update his closet since getting out of the Army.

Day 5:  Mike and Ikes. His favorite candy.

Day 6:  Nalgene. This is Tom’s favorite water bottle, and they have been lost (err I lost them) in the last few years. So it was time they were replaced.

Day 7:  This one was just for Tom. But it had something to do with birthday suits. Keeping the romance alive.

Day 8:  Chipotle gift card. This is his favorite place to eat. Always be bulking.

Day 9:  Two wallet sized photos, one of our family and one of just George. Tom’s has always kept photos in his wallet, so he needed some updated ones with George. This way we can always be with him.

Day 10:  Pre-made date cards for the entire year. There is one for each month. We have had a hard time finding time to go on dates and be just us. We usually end up staying home watching a half hour of TV before the dogs or George need us to do something. With this one I wanted to make sure we do something fun and different each month to reconnect. I wanted to be intentional on putting focus on that “us” time. Some of them are random, but they should be fun. Tom was upset that I gave him a gift that he couldn’t fully open since we will open each month one at a time when that month rolls around. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!

This was really fun to do for both of us. I liked doing some fun and some practical gifts. It went over well, but now I have set this standard…whoops.

Have you done anything like this? Here is one my friend did. (She was a lot more awesome about her coordination than I was.) How do you celebrate birthdays with your significant other?

Hitting Thirty

There is something about 30 that seems so adult.


It is appropriate that the year that we (Tom and I) turn thirty is when every thing came together for us as adults.

Today is Tom’s birthday.

My Tough Guy

He has the job of his dreams.

He has a miracle baby.

I am a pretty good catch if I may say so.

Yep his adult life is pretty good.

I think that his 30th year is going to be his best yet!

Tom, here are some things to consider now that you are in your thirties.

I am so proud of my hubster and all that he has been through to get him to where he is today.

I hope that he has the best day. (He will say it is pretty awesome. They are at the gun range all day at his job, and we will end it at a Mexican restaurant tonight.)

Our family pitched in to give him an Xbox one for Christmas and birthday, but I wanted to do something from just me too.

And who doesn’t love celebrating birthdays but also extending it into a birthday week (or in this case 10 days)? I saw a lot of people do 12 days of Christmas with their families, and I thought it would be easy to do something similar for his birthday.

I have 10 days worth of gifts. If you want to see what he gets, I will post the goods once he opens them on Instagram.

Here is today’s gift.

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Because nothing says your thirty like an early Taylor Swift.

Here are birthday posts from the last two years here and here. So much has changed since those posts!

Happy Birthday Tom! Here is to many more together!