Friday, June 30, 2017

Life of Lucille Violet: 2 Years...



Two years.  
Two years of rocking you
Two years of kissing your sweet cheeks  
Two years of looking into your beautiful blue eyes
Two years of your silly facial expressions and belly laughs
Two years of loving you so intensely it makes my eyes leak a little
Two years of thanking God everyday for you
Two years of loving you but it's as if I have always known you
Two years.




On the eve of your 2nd birthday, I swooped you into my arms when I got home from VBS and rocked you in the very chair I nursed you as an infant, the very chair we took your newborn photos in.  I pushed back your bangs and kissed your forehead.  Then I prayed and asked God to bless your future, that you would love Him with your whole heart and thanked Him for the gift it is to be your mother.






This year we have adored watching you blossom and your laid back personality shine.  You go with the flow and drive along to all your sibling's activities.  You miss naps or go down late and don't skip a beat.  You wake up happy to see us every single day.  You smile at me and pull your blanket by your check after we read no less than 5 books and sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.






You love macaroni and cheese, pizza and Mexican food.  You especially LOVE guacamole and will eat it by the spoonful.  You are not a huge fan of cake but your like cookies, chocolate and ice cream (just a tiny bit since your belly doesn't like it).






You LOVE to dance and are starting to sing along to songs.  Every time we sang Happy Birthday to you, you tried to sing along with.  You can blow your birthday candles out like a champ.  You love to be outside exploring, swinging (especially underdogs), swimming, and being "a big kid". You love to be the passenger in the power wheel and happily wave and turn on the music as you ride along.
 





You are a momma's girl and love to be at my side.  You are busy and like to get into things this day.  Case and point, yesterday you unrolled all the toilet paper off the roll and tattooed yourself with a red marker while I was reading the bible.







You are wearing size 3 diapers and just getting into size 2T clothes, wear a size 5 shoe and 17% for height and 64% for weight.   You love life and everyday you are a ray of sunshine.  Your favorite toys are purses stuffed with fun treasures, a baby doll and a stroller with an old phone of mine to take lots of photos.  You always say "cheese" when I pull out the phone.




We love you so much and are so thankful God gave us you!  We can't wait to see what you learn  next.  Our biggest prayer is that you seek God and ask Him into your heart and that you are always kind!  Keep shining sweet girl, you are a miracle and like your big brother prayed on your birthday, "we are glad you are alive!"


Happy 2nd Birthday Lucille Violet!


Catch up on her life here --












Linking up with Erika and Andrea today for Friday Favorites -- Lucy is certainly a Favorite!


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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

What's Up June...

Happy Wednesday sweet friends.  Today is a very special day at our house because my baby is TWO.  I am not sure how that happened but it has, such a bittersweet milestone.  She is sweet and spice and we just love her to pieces around here!  

I love this link-up and sharing a peak into our crazy and chaos so grab your coffee or caffeine of choice and let's get going, shall we.  Make sure to tell me what we have in common at the end? Are you loving summer as much as us????


{What We're Eating This Week}

This week it's a whole lot of cleaning out the pantry and refrigerator because I don't want to go to the store right before vacation.   We also have VBS at our church so it has to be quick!

Monday - BLT's and salads
Tuesday - ground turkey tacos and the fixings
Wednesday - LUCY'S Birthday so pizza, her favorite
Thursday - Whatever we can scrape together
Friday - VACATION - momma's kitchen is CLOSED


We did make this yummy oreo pie this month - you should pin it and make it with your kids!



{What I'm Reminisicing About}


Our Lucy girl's birthday is TODAY and she is TWO!



Here I was the morning she was born - we didn't know is she was a boy or a girl so we were all excited to find out!




Then just a few days new - our sweet miracle and answer to prayer - Lucille Violet.



Then one fast year later at one...


....and one more quick year later, she is TWO!


{What I'm Loving}

Summer....


From these fun activities at home...


...to hiking, camping and knocking some things off our summer bucket list!



{What We've Been Up To}


Vera and I headed to my cousin's graduation in Texas!


Playdates with friends!


Pool time with friends!


VBS at our friends church and Ours! We love VBS!


A trip to the farm!



{What I'm Dreading}

Getting back on a school schedule and getting two kids out the door this fall - let's not talk about it.  

#summervacationforever

#slowdowntime



{What I'm Working On}


I worked on this little garage toy storage makeover while the kids were at their friends' VBS.

I am also pinning away for because all our babies birthdays are in the next few months - first up a TWO CUTE MERMAID party.  Then, it's a basketball party for Solon and Vera is still weighing a few theme options ;).



{What I'm Excited About}


Speaking of birthdays, this week we are celebrating this girl.  Just looking at her, I am filled with such gratitude for the Good Lord's perfect plan.  3 years ago, this is how I was feeling and then 2 years ago this is how I was feeling.  

It's amazing what God can do in our lives.  It was such a hard road but I am so thankful for her and what God taught me along the way.  Our TWO CUTE MERMAID is going to have her 3rd and final party this weekend :).  She and her siblings are precious gifts from God!



{What I'm Watching/Reading}

I haven't finished my book (2nd in this series, read the 1st one last month) but hope to at the lake. 

I want to buy this one for vacation!

I am working my way through Gilmore Girls and in Season 2 now!

I just introduced my family to one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE movies - Pollyanna.  
Have you seen  it?  I strive to be just like her :).  

My kids are loving all the new releases on Netflix - Moana, Trolls, The Angry Bird Movie, Secret Life of Pets and Minions to name a few!



{What I'm Listening To}


This song and this song are my favorites lately!

VBS on repeat - this one and this one



{What I'm Wearing}



Here is a whole post of pretty much what is on repeat these days.




Let's be honest I pretty much live in these tanks , my favorite athletic shorts and flip flops or my new swimsuit.   (more on that here)






{What I'm Doing This Weekend}



We are headed to the lake for the week and we can't wait to wear no make-up, relax, float, hot tub, sit by the fire, shower before bed and play games with my family!  It's been a tradition to be at the lake since I was in 5th grade.  Moving around as much as we did, this tradition became REALLY important.  I have only missed twice in 24 years - when we got married and when I had Lucy.  4th of July is one of my favorite holidays - it's better than my birthday and right up there with Christmas (but Jesus still gets my #1 vote). 




I can't wait to see everyone and make more memories with my kids who love the lake as much as I do!  My sister and brother-in-law will be home from Seattle so we can't wait.  





{What I'm Looking Forward To Next Month}




My Father-in-law (pictured below with a one year old Vera) is turning 70 SO we are all headed back to the Wisconsin Dells.  We went back in 2012 and 2013.  The kids cannot wait.  We added 3 new grandchildren so all 15 of us will be staying together in a cabin at the Wilderness Resort.





{What Else is New}

Are you following me on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest.  I am doing a monthly FB live series.  This month we talked all about kids and chores.  Hop on over and listen in!  I also have been pinning like crazy, are you following me? 




{Bonus Question - Favorite 4th of July Tradition}



My favorite tradition is being at the lake (here, here, herehere, here and here).  Watching the fireworks in the middle of the lake in our boat.  We all snuggle up, my sister plays a very patriotic playlist of music and we enjoy!  We have some funny memories after 24 years of 4th of July's at the lake

There is no better way to watch fireworks rain down then on the lakes of Minnesota!  It might be my all-time, hands down, most favorite childhood tradition that is still my adult favorite!





On Friday, I will be sharing a little more about our TWO year old and then next week I will be popping in with just a post on Monday and then enjoying the rest of the week away!  Disconnecting is SO good for the soul, I hope you can too!




Don't forget that 10 on the 10th will be here before we know it and this month we are talking all about 10 daily habits.  I am so curious about what you do every.single.day!  Make sure to link-up Monday, July 10th!






Linking up with Sheaffer and Shay for What's Up Wednesday -- Check out their blogs for more fun!

Affiliate links used, meaning if you click and buy,  I receive a small commission.  Thanks for supporting this blog!
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Monday, June 26, 2017

Blogger Recognition Award...






 I was so excited when Angie over at Simple Healthy Mom nominated me for the Blogger Recognition Award.  It's always heart-filling when someone sees your efforts and encourages you to keep on, keeping on which is what our tribe is all about. #tribekoko (k-keep o-on k-keeping o-on = koko).  So, I am excited to pay it forward!

As part of the award, I get to nominate some other sweet bloggers who encourage and inspire me to keep on, keeping on so read all the way to the end :).  As part of the award, we were asked to share why we blog and give two pieces of advice to new bloggers (which is funny since I still feel so "new" to blogging for more than my family!).  


Why I blog?  I began blogging back in 2009 as a way to keep an online scrapbook for my family.  Fast forward to 2016 and almost 1500 posts later, I took my blog "public" so that I could share my love of Jesus (more about that here) and encourage women to keep on keeping on toward a joyful, faith-filled life. You can read more about me here.  Life can be hard and we all need someone to come along side us and whisper truth and encouragement, my goal is always to put the wind in your sails, provide practical advice, with humor and fun too! 






Two Four Pieces of Blogging Advice

1.  There is a learning curve anytime you start something new. 

When I started running, my lungs burned, my legs ached and by the end it was all I could do to just finish.  Then as I continued in my training, minutes would pass without me even thinking about my breathing, one foot in front of the other.  Any skill takes time to learn and become proficient in.  Keep on, keeping on!

2.  Don't let fear hold you back. 

Yes there are a lot of blogs out there. but if you feel a calling to blog, you should do it.  Just like we need more than one Pastor, more than one school teacher, more than one doctor.  Different people respond better to different teaching and writing styles.  Someone needs to hear your voice. 

3.  Connect with other bloggers and encourage them.  

I have found some of the sweetest friends (whom I have never met in real life but I hope to) and their encouragement, comments and advice have meant so much to me.  One of my favorite quotes is -- A rising tide lifts all boats.  Be a boat lifter!

4.  Take on one thing at a time.  

There are a million things you can be doing behind the scenes to promote and prepare your blog.  You will get overwhelmed quite quickly.  Feeling overwhelmed will quickly paralyze you.  Choose one thing to do well and once you get good at it (like I said in #1), then add on something else.  The fastest way to burn out is having too many things on the stove, amen?





I would like to give my Blogger Recognition Awards to each of these 10 ladies, who inspire me and have become sweet friends.  They raise my boat and put the wind in its sails as we all keep on, keeping on!  I hope you check them all out and encourage them today!


BYBMG Blog -  Becky is a fellow Iowa blogger and teacher so I felt an instant kinship to her.  She is so talented.  My favorite posts recently have been her pom pom DIY necklace and earrings.  She is always full of awesome budget-friendly fashion ideas.


Lindsay's Sweet World - I "met" Lindsay through a link-up and she has been a great mentor with Instagram!  She wrote a great post all about how to get started on Instagram!


The Imperfectly Perfect Mama - She just wrote about a post about how God met her in prayer and it was such an encouraging post for all of us who really want to seek God in our daily prayer life and read his word.  I connected with her since we both share a story of miscarriage.  


Tractors and Glam Blog - Jenna is such an encourager, I am pretty sure it's just the kindergarten teacher in her.  She always has a kind word and she is so creative.  She is always coming up with awesome activities for her kids, including this recent post.


Blogging the In Between - I got to know Molly via Instagram and she guest-posted on my blog.  Her story is incredible.  Her authenticity captures your heart.  She is currently training for a half-marathon and I am rooting her on!  She will help you find hope right where you are.


Home Sweet Hensley - She is the best cheerleader and so sweet.  I love watching her life unfold and learning all about pageant life on her blog.  She doesn't shy away from sharing hard parts of her life but she always has a smile and a funny for you!


Jasper and Willow - I met her right when I started to take my blog more public.  We just hit it off and have watched each other grow as bloggers, cheerleading along the way.  She is full of tips and tricks to make life easier.


Our Busy Little Life - Jenny is my go to for book recommendations.  She is an avid reader and likes the same types of reading I do.  She also lives in the most beautiful part of our country and I just love reading about her life, her family and her busy little life.  She is always full of sweet encouragement.


Mommy in a Nutshell - I love reading all about her family's adventures and my mommy heart could relate as she recounted her recent Niagara Falls trip!  She is so relatable and always has darling photos from all of their sweet moments together as a family!


This Happy Life -- Talk about going for it and succeeding, this gal just started a Facebook deals group and is rocking it.  She has 3 darling kiddos and I love all the deals she finds and hearing all about her life with her littles!  


For those nominated, here are the rules for this award. Keep it going!

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  2. Write a post to show your award.
  3. Give a brief story of how your blog started.
  4. Give two pieces of advice to new bloggers.
  5. Select 10 other bloggers for this award.
  6. Comment on each blog to let them know you nominated them and provide a link to the post you created.

What encouragement would you give a new blogger?  What blogger do you love to follow?  Has someone encouraged you lately?


Have a great day and as always keep on keeping on toward a joyful, faith-filled life! xoxo ERIN
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Friday, June 23, 2017

5 Friday Favorites: June...



Hey, Hey Friday!  Another summer week down.  It's been busy and full and at the same time, lazy and quiet around here.  I am wrapping up my last teaching license renewal class so we have been home in the afternoons while Lucy naps so I can get that done.

The kids don't seem to mind at all since there are some awesome new movies on Netflix - Moana, Trolls, Minions, Angry Birds Movie, Hotel Transylvania 2 and the list goes on and on.  Netflix isn't a favorite but it should be this week ;).

Oh and by the way, I did a fun Facebook live last night all about kids chores and cleaning with kids #oxymoron so go like my page and give it a watch.  I hope it encourages you :). I  have lots of fun things to share with you so grab your favorite form of caffeine and let's get this favorite party started!


{one}



These water beads are SO COOL.  My friend Karie gave us this bag with the teeny tiny little beads you see.  You place them in a bowl with water for 4-6 hours and voila - water beads.  They are so fun!  We have only just begun to figure out all the fun things to do with them.  Have you heard of them?





{two}



You guys Wal-Mart is wining me over (Target still wins in the customer service department ;) BUT Wal-Mart now has felt letter boards and light boxes for $9.97.  I couldn't decide which one to get - thoughts?.  My friend Karie said her daughter loves to play with the light box and got these emojis so  I think I could get the light box for V for her birthday and the felt board for me ;).






{three}



Once again, my friend Karie is FULL of amazing ideas.  She just threw a couple of birthday parties and instead of going some place or renting an inflatable, she bought this one at Kohl's and used her coupon to save additional money.  It came to about $250 shipped to her door!  I thought that was a genius idea if you have a bunch of summer birthdays - gift and party in one!




If your budget is smaller, I totally suggest these Dollar Tree shield floaties.  They work great for extra speed on your slip n'slide or as a shield in the sprinkler.  Some slip n'slides, like this one, come with them actually which is where I got the idea!





{four}



A favorite of Vera's this week is hair chalk.  I am telling you what, Vera didn't want to go swimming after our playdate because of her beautiful hair.  She now wants to do this as an activity for her party!  If you have a little girl or need a gift, this is a great one.  We have very porous blonde hair which tends to hold on to color, like chlorine, but this stuff washed right out!


Post playdate nap with her fries ;)


{five}



I ordered a swimsuit on Amazon.  My friend Emilie ordered this one (look at all the fun prints) with great success so I started looking.  Have you heard of the company Cupshe?  They sell on Amazon with free shipping and free returns.  The prices were too good to pass up trying them out.  Guess what?  I love the swimsuit!  





The cup inserts are a little more plush ;).  I went with a medium, which is a size up in the top but the right size in the bottoms.  I would say go with the size of your largest area if that makes sense.  They also have sizing charts online.  I read all the reviews to see if it ran true to size, etc.  I already wore it AND got a compliment so I am going to call this a MAJOR win.  

I totally suggest looking on Amazon for your next swimsuit, who would have thought.  I also LOVE Lime Ricki and their swimsuits!  I buy true to size on that website just an FYI.





{5 Favorite Blog Posts of June}

Here were the top blog posts based on your visits - if you missed one, check it out :)















Don't forget to follow me on Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook for all the fun!  I just did a FB live last night all about cleaning and chores with kids :).  Check out my FB live here.


Until next time, keep on keeping on toward a joyful, faith-filled life! #tribekoko xoxo ERIN



Linking up with Erika and Andrea for Friday Favorites, BYBMG for High Five for Friday and Five on Friday with Smidge of This.  Make sure to check out their blogs for more Friday fun!


**Affiliate links are used meaning if you click and buy, I may receive a small commission - thanks for supporting this blog!





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