Friday, May 22, 2015

Friday Favorites

Happy 3 Day Weekend Friday!

I'm waking up this morning in my very favorite city...Boston :).  Really and truly, that makes this Friday a favorite for me.

Today, I'm linking up with NarciAndrea and Erika and sharing a few favorites with you.

I hope you have big plans this weekend that include friends, family, food and a moment to remember those men and women that serve or have served in our armed forces.  God bless these brave soldiers and their precious families that support them from home.

UPDATED: Hey look what I just found 40% off...

I bought both of these shoes this spring.  To see the heels, click here and the wedges, click here (available in other colors too!).  I ordered true to size with both :).

Also, don't forget, Wednesday is What's Up Wednesday!  Don't forget to answer the questions and link up...

Memorial Day always brings back memories for me.  On Memorial Day 2007, I found out I was pregnant.  After a year of fertility treatments and an IUI, I took a test that morning and found out we were (finally!) having a baby.  It was a great day :).

Unfortunately, on June 25, I miscarried.

Fast forward to Memorial Day 2009...

...I had a precious 8 month old baby and unbeknownst to me at this time...but I was also pregnant with Smith :).  I'm sharing my infertility story over at The Baby Wait today.  I know there are many, many, many of you who are trying to get pregnant right now and my heart truly breaks for this season in your life.  I'm praying for you and your journey today.

And speaking of me becoming a mama...God has truly shown me that you don't have to birth a baby to be its mother.  Sweet little Ashby is no less mine than Kensington or Smith.  When Dawn reached out and asked if I would share this with you guys...

...I didn't hesitate one bit.  She is making custom address stamps and the proceeds go to her family's adoption from China.  Another child is being adopted into a heart gets full just thinking about that.  I'm sure you could use a custom stamp for your mail (think of the Christmas cards!).  Support Dawn and her family today!

One of my favorite things to pin are quotes...some are silly, some are serious...but they're always meaningful to me.  I thought this one was very fitting for those of you struggling with fertility, adoption or really, anything in life...
You can see all of my pinned quotes here...

 If you still don't know what you're making this Memorial Day weekend, you can check out my suggested menu here.

And you can also check out my Simple Summer Grilling here...

And because it's been raining for two months straight here...I'm having to create my own sunshine.  I found this cute bracelet and thought it was a nice little happy touch on even the rainiest days (and won't it look cute when it's actually sunny outside?!?!).'s just one bracelet... have to make your own sunshine even on gloomy days :).

I ordered it on May 13 and it's already sold out.  I blame the Nordstrom Half Yearly Sale.  If it comes back in stock, I'll let you know.  I love a fun bracelet!

Here are a few more similar ones...

Stretch Bracelet (in 4 colors)// Turquoise Bracelet// Beaded Bracelet

And dinner tonight...

...a Strawberry Jam & Goat Cheese Turkey Burger.  It will rock your world.

I'm taking Monday off to be with my family, so from Boston to you, Happy Memorial Day!


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Life Lately.

Life lately has been eventful...but not necessarily in a good way.  We've had a crazy week and this mama is just happy to be on the other side of it.  Let's recap...

My next resume will say "professional chauffeur", and I don't mind one bit.  I'm always dropping someone off or picking someone up.  This is Kensington just about to step out of the car to head into school.  Love those three smiles.

Because Kensington is in school every day, it's typically just Ashby, Smith and me.  These two are so sweet together.  Smith has turned into one rock start big brother!

They help me get my stuff out for my class at the gym.  My little cone heads :).

See the rain?  We've had more rainfall so far this year then we had in all of 2014.  It's pretty much rained non-stop for 8 weeks.   Ashby loves to sit up near the window and play while I make dinner.  Sweet girl.

Such a special kid :).

Flowers will never be the way to my hubby surprised me with coffee during the day.  That's true love.

Kensington and I eating popsicles and checking on our veggies after we walked home from school.

On Thursday evening, I was making dinner and randomly snapped this picture of Ashby.  About 10 minutes after I took this picture, everything got a little crazy.

Ashby has a Vascular Malformation (which means her heart created more veins on her right side going down her right arm into her right hand).  The biggest concern for Ashby are blood clots.  These aren't the kind of blood clots that are fought with aspirin. These clots form because she has an abundance of blood trying to get through her arm and her blood can get stuck and stagnate therefore forming a clot.  They're concerned about clotting all over her right side but the doctor told us at her last visit that up near her right armpit is the most dangerous place because that's where the top of her right lung is.

Well...right after I took this picture of Ashby, she turned around and said "ow Mommy" and pointed to this egg-like bulge coming out of her right armpit.  We have been instructed to take her to the ER any time we think she might have a clot, so we immediately took her straight to our local ER.

Let's talk about how amazing God is and the blessings that came from this situation:
  The ER doctor that was on call when we arrived is a great guy we know from church.  He is perhaps one of the most serious and intense (while sweet at the same time) guys I know...and I about cried when I realized he would be seeing her.

 They called in a radiologist and sonographer to do a sonogram that lasted an hour.  I held Ashby the entire time they looked around and they seemed very convinced it was a blood clot.  Meanwhile, I noticed on her chart that was open in front of me that at the top, it said Emergency Care level 1 2 3 4 5 and on her chart 4 was circled.  In my mommy brain I was thinking "four!".  That's really close to five and I'm assuming gunshot victims and such are a four is pretty freaking close and I don't want my baby to be a four.  You know...I was all rational and stuff while I sat there...

The radiologist and ER physician really couldn't see through Ashby's "normal" in order to gauge what the bulge was.  They showed me with the sonogram one particular spot where you and I would have one vein but Ashby had at least 30.  So, at this point, I had already called Ashby's doctor at Scottish Rite but it was 9:00 PM and they said they wanted to call him back themselves before they transferred her to Children's Medical Center in Dallas.  Thank you Lord for modern technology.  They were able to get Ashby's doctor on the phone at home and he was able to discuss the sonogram they just did on Ashby AND view her MRI we just had done on Tuesday at home.  He reviewed both things and determined that she had a very swollen lymph node that was surrounded by a cluster of veins.  He told them to discharge us and send us to his office first thing the next morning.  Even though he wasn't seeing patients the next day, he showed up to check on Ashby.  Thank you Jesus.

So...we went home around 10:00 and then went straight to Scottish Rite Children's Hospital the next morning for him to look at her.  It was determined that she had a massive lymph node under her arm but no clot.  We were also able to go over her MRI with him at that time (2 weeks earlier than expected) and formulate a game plan for the future.

After we left Scottish Rite, we had lunch with these two and a massive amount of gummy bears.  Thank you Jesus for the health of my kids.

And then on Saturday, Ashby was like a kid in a candy store :).

A diner brunch with my little family.

You have to indulge those boys ;).

Look at her looking at Kensington.  True love.

Speaking of true love...this was my view from the recliner in our play room.

Kensington's new bulletin board arrived on Saturday, so she spent Sunday afternoon fixing it up.

 And on Sunday night, we introduced Ashby to Play-Doh.  She only ate a little bit of it...I consider that a win.

We met Erika and Narci at Chick-fil-a on Monday and they were having craft time.  My girl seems pretty proud of that American flag, right?

No rain!  We enjoyed a sunny (and HUMID!) afternoon outside.

Love these three.

That's life lately.

Today on my foodie blog, we're celebrating Grilling Season!

Click here to see my favorite recipes from the grill.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May Book Review

Happy Book Day friends!

I really look forward to this post each and every month.  The books you ladies suggest have filled my spare time with so much joy!

Confession: I read fewer books this month for one reason and one reason only...

...I had to finish binge watching Gilmore Girls.  Sigh. I'm honestly relieved it's over for two reasons: one, I now know how it ends...I was dyyyyyyying to know!  And two, I can focus on other things know, like my life.

And bonus today...Narci is starting a new series where you link up with posts about books, so today, I'm linking up with her too!  To participate in he Carpool Book Club, click here., here is what I read this month...

Well, I've read all of Bethenny Frankel's books, so when her new one came out in April, I thought I should read it too.  I Suck At Relationships So You Don't Have To is a book with 10 rules for not screwing up relationships.  She pretty much tells you what she always does wrong in a relationship so that you can hopefully avoid her mistakes.  If you love Bethenny and have read her other books, you'll think this one is pretty funny too.  She's very "Bethenny" in this book...and if you know Bethenny, then you know what I mean.  

I mentioned Flash on my What's Up Wednesday post.  This is such a sweet little memoir about a mom who finds a homeless donkey and in raising him, really realizes a lot about herself, her faith and how the Lord is working through her.  This is really a feel-good book.

I read Beyond Orange County this month too.  This author was on the Real Housewives of Orange County, but her book is more about her faith and living a life for Jesus than the TV show.  She even includes Bible study questions in case you want to use this book as a study.  I loved this book!  I thought Lydia was very sincere and genuine, I appreciated how she used a lot of scripture and really showed how the Lord worked in and through her.

I feel like I must apologize.  You ladies have been recommending Elin Hilderbrand books to me for almost a year now and I just now read my first one.  What is wrong with me?!?!  These books are EXACTLY what I love to read most!  I've already bought a second Hilderband book to read and plan on reading many more after that. I started with The Matchmaker and it is the perfect little read.  I highly recommend it if you're going out of town or need a beach, love, love her writing!

And then I read Let. It. Go. by Karen Ehman.  Oh mamas, this is a great book for you to read!  Not just moms, but all of us ladies can benefit from this book on faith.  In fact, after I read this book, I quoted it several times to myself during the month.  Sometimes, you just have to let it all go and focus on your faith.  Such a great read that can truly be life changing.

So, there you have it friends!  My five books for May.  As always, I covet your recommendations in the comment section.  Summer is here!  I have places to go and many more books to read :).

As always, you can see a complete list of the books I've read in 2015 here.  
And you can follow me on Goodreads here.

And on my foodie blog today... suggested Memorial Day Menu!

Have a great day!
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