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Future Class of 2028

August 27, 2015

((cue pomp and circumstance song…))

This week, we walked our smart, fun, loving, easygoing 5 year old into his kindergarten classroom and he hasn’t looked back.  I cannot believe that he’s in school.  For the past 5 years, I dreamed of what this day would be like…heading into some of the most formative years of his life.

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(Landon and his cousin, Harleigh, heading into their first day!)

He’ll learn to be independent and responsible.  He’ll adjust to new environments.  Every day is an opportunity for him to be a great friend and a great student.  I’m so proud of this little boy and I know that he is going to be a success in school.

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Happy First Day of Kindergarten, Landon Dean. Your daddy and I are so proud of you.

(And while he isn’t smiling in this pic, Dean said he had a huge grin on his face as he hopped of the bus.)

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Landon Kindergarten First Day Interview:

What was the best part of your day?  The bus ride and eating lunch in the cafeteria.  (can’t help that he takes after his mother – lunch is important!)

Did you like the teachers?  Yes they were all nice to me.

Did you meet lots of kids? Lots of kids wanted to be my friend.  What were their names?  I don’t know. (hmmm… this is my friend, No Name.)

Did you get any homework?  Not yet.

What do you want to be when you get older?  A trash man

What do you want mom to pack in your lunch each day?  Mac N Cheese.

(P.S. With the exception of a lump in my throat as I walked into school, all parties did great and no tears were shed!)

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I love…

August 26, 2015

I love that we’ve had a couple cooler mornings recently, reminding me that fall is right around the corner. I love fall.

I love when I head to the ‘expensive’ nearby grocery store for two quick things and they both happen to be on sale.

I love a random, unexpected note of encouragement/text from my husband.

I love when my kids use great manners without any prompting. “Yes ma’am, mom. I’ll do it.”

I love when I go to check on the kids and find that Brooks has snuck into bed with his brother and is tucked under his arm.

I love my husband with two days of facial hair – a solid 5 o’clock shadow.

I love freshly showered little boys snuggled with mom and dad in the big bed reading a bedtime story.

I love a great date night. Recipe = fun + humor + hot date + good food

I love when I come downstairs to find a clean kitchen.  (Thanks Dishes Fairy!)

I love the excitement on my kids face when we do something extra special and you can tell they feel on top of the world.

I love the drive home after an especially great day at work.

I love car trips with my husband.

I love that my kids live so close to their cousins and family that we get to do extended family activities so often.

What do you love?

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Different Kind of Best Yes

August 24, 2015

I’ve been thinking lately about how we ended up where we are today.  We all have so many decisions to make each day, week, year – big ones and small ones.  I’ve been reflecting on some of the best yes’s I’ve made over the past years to put me where I am today:

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Photo by: Love the Schultzes

saying yes to Dean – Dean knows this already, but I never thought I’d be married to Dean. I’d always thought my future mate would be more outgoing, a little more ‘openly romantic’.  But I’m glad that who I thought I’d be with isn’t who I ended up with.

I got a million times better than what I thought I’d have.  While he doesn’t tango with a flower in his mouth and isn’t always the life of the party (although sometimes he is!), he is the absolute perfect mate for me.  He’s a best friend. He’s a partner. And I am so lucky that God helped me see it.

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choosing UNC – Wilmington – I was definitely a homebody in high school and hated the idea of leaving home to go to college. I wanted my safety net nearby. I’m glad my parents pushed me out of the nest and forced me to pick a school. I’m also glad I didn’t take the easy option and choose UNCC because it was close to home. But instead, I picked a school that was perfect for my personality – UNC-Wilmington. It’s also where I made some great lifelong friendships, found my future mate and really fell in love with marketing – helping me determine what I wanted to do with my career.

playing volleyball
– I played competitive volleyball for many years growing up, but I never thought I’d play in college.  I wanted to do my own thing when I went to school and didn’t want the extensive commitment that college athletics requires. While it was great that I got to do my own thing freshman year, I’m glad I went out for the team my sophomore and junior years.  Having the structure of volleyball and getting to play competitively for a few more years was a great choice.  Plus, I am almost positive I would have never met Dean if I hadn’t played, even though he lived in the townhouse across the street from me!

waiting on the right home – we househunted for 3+ years.  Never in a rush, but always dipping our toe in the water when something good came along. And while we put offers on about 10 houses over the years, God definitely orchestrated an awesome family home for us.  From great neighbors who’ve become friends, to a great school program within walking distance, lots of kids and more. We are so glad we didn’t settle for some of the other homes and waited it out so that we could end up in our current home.

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(an ‘outtake’ from our firm’s photoshoot last year… haha!)

leaving my job to work with my dad – 8 years ago, I made the crazy choice to leave a comfortable job with a big company to start working with my dad at a brand new company he’d just started.  I knew it might be risky and not pan out long term. I knew it would be working with family 40+ hours a week. I knew it would be hard work and sometimes stressful work. And I am so glad I did it. I’ve learned so much and our company has grown so much over the years and I’m proud to think back where it was and what it’s become. I love being able to work with my dad. I love that he’s such a great boss not just to me but to everyone in our firm.

having an in-house nanny – when I first started working for my dad, we worked out of his house.  When I had Landon, I’d just bring him to work with me and he’d play next to my desk and with my mom who was home for the summer from teaching.  He mostly just slept in the room next door in the pack n play to start but as he got mobile, it made sense to find childcare. I’m so glad I was able to find a reasonably priced in-house nanny who loved on him all day while I was just a room away instead of having to send him to a daycare at such a young age. With him at the house with me, I got to take “Landon breaks” throughout the day and see him hit many of his first year milestones while still getting my work done. I was able to keep both boys with me at my home-office (at least part time) until Brooks was about 2 1/2 and it was such a great yes for me to have them with me so much. Really the best of both worlds.

It’s good to reflect on those yes’s and see how God really had his hand in so many things to get us where we are today. How a decision made my senior year of high school would so greatly affect my path 15+ years later. I’m grateful for the way He’s planned and orchestrated my life and the special people who are part of it.  I can’t wait to see how some of the yes’s we make in these coming years will play out in the next 15 years.

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DIY: Nursery Initial Art

August 21, 2015

We all know I love a quick DIY project.  When I found out one of my friends was naming her son Colin Charles (and their last name also starts with C), the first thing I thought of was “C3” – kinda like RG3. Instead of getting the usual onesie or rattle, I decided to get a little more crafty with my baby gift.

Here’s what I came up with:

C3 tab

I chose orange and gray because she said those were her nursery colors.

It was super simple to make. Here’s how it came together:

1/Here’s what I started with. A wooden “canvas”, a wooden ‘C’ and then a small wooden ‘B’.  Why a ‘B’ you ask? Well, I couldn’t find any small letters, so I figured I could cut the side off of the ‘B’ and turn it into a ‘3’.  I just did this with a serrated kitchen knife. Then I sanded the edges to round them out.
2/ Here’s what the 3 looked like after it was cleaned up.
3/ I painted my C and 3 different shades of orange with craft paint I had on hand.  Then I painted the wood background white. I just used wall paint with primer built in.  I’m sure spray paint would also be awesome to use or craft paint. I wanted to use what I had.  After the white dried for 24 hours, I taped off lines so that I could add the gray stripes.  To figure out the distance between my stripes, I actually traced my background panel and tried out some different sketches on the cardboard. Once I was satisfied with the distances, I made little, tiny marks down both sides of the panel and then taped across. I think I ended up doing 1.5″ gray stripes with 1″ white stripes (which worked well since the painters tape was 1″ thick).

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4/ I painted a couple coats of gray.
5/ Then immediately took off the tape to see my stripes.
6/ The last step was just using wood glue to attach the C and 3. I laid them out first to confirm my spacing without glue and then once I felt good about it, I added the glue and let it sit for 12 hours (overnight) just to make sure it dried completely.

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I think it turned out cute.  And here is a pic my friend texted of it hanging in her nursery:

C3 final

What other gifts have you given in lieu of the usual baby outfit or toy?

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Missing…

August 19, 2015

I came upon an old paci of Landon’s this week.  He was very particular about his paci’s and would only take a certain one.  In emergencies, we tried other kinds but he’d just scream and spit it out.

Finding that paci reminded me of all the things I don’t even realize I already miss as my boys are getting bigger.

Their train tracks.  Landon used to love making long winding paths for his trains but neither of my children have touched them in the past year.

Their baby bottles.  As much as a pain as it was to wash all 4 parts of those Dr. Brown’s bottles, I miss the sweet cuddles that came along with giving my little boys a bottle. Before they could hold it by themselves.  When they were still just baby blobs who needed help doing everything.

Their strollers.  We haven’t used a stroller (with the exception of an occasional jog) in so long. There were so many miles put on the umbrella stroller and sit and stand stroller when they were younger. We’d take almost-nightly walks through the neighborhood where they’d point out every dog in the street and every airplane in the sky.

Diaper butts.  Granted both my kids still wear diapers to bed, but there is something sweet about having a big diaper popping out of your kids little onesie as they scoot around the floor.

Falling asleep in your arms.  I miss the occasional arm nap.  I remember being in those moments when it was a daily requirement to carry a sleeping baby around and I remember thinking I couldn’t wait for them to be able to sleep out of my arms.  Now, I’d love for a day or two where I had a sleeping baby who wanted to nap in the crook of my arm.

Funny how you don’t realize you are missing out on things until you really think back to what life used to be like.

I think it would be so sweet to live life for a week with my boys at age 6 mos, 1 year and 2 years old again.  Now that I know what their personalities are like, I’d love to see how many glimpses of 5 year old Landon or 3 year old Brooks I’d see in their younger versions.

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It was quiet this weekend.

August 17, 2015

This weekend, we celebrated Landon heading off to kindergarten with a special Mom-Dad-Landon trip to the beach.  (Details/pics to come soon!)  Brooks stayed at home with Gigi and Papa for his own special – ‘only grandkid’ – time with them.

We spent our time on the beach, in the pool, on rides and I realized that despite all the activities, our weekend was very quiet.

The boys usually banter in the backseat together. I can count on Brooks for a few “out loud chuckles” while watching their movies in the car. 

Landon played in the sand by himself.  Not that I didn’t try to play with him a little bit but he wanted to do his own thing – digging a big hole.  I know if Brooks was there they’d have been so loud and crazy running all over the place.

There weren’t any fights over who had the biggest ice cream or who got to go first at putt putt. 

No one was competing with Landon for pecking order. He was basically living as an only child for the weekend.

While I loved the lack of fights and craziness for a little bit, I was more than excited to get home and see my loud wild child and hear all the fun he had with Gigi and Papa.  And those boys were inseparable the rest of the night, busily catching up on their two days spent apart!

I’ll take the chaos over the quiet anytime.

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What I’ll miss by not having a daughter.

August 13, 2015

I love my boys. I’m the momma of two awesome boys and I think that I have the perfect personality to raise boys. But before I had kids, I always thought two boys and a girl was my ideal situation.  There is something that is special about the relationship between a girl and her mom. And I love the relationship I have with my mom – it’s just different that the relationship that my brother and mom have and I think a lot of that has to do with being the same gender and relating to many of the same things.

So here are the things I think I’m going to miss out on by not having a little girl:

  1. Planning a wedding. I always envisioned planning a wedding with my little girl and watching her try on white gowns, help with the seating chart and plan DIY crafts for the reception.
  2. Passing along my recipes. Not to say that boys don’t hang in the kitchen, but typically the dishes that are served in my family are the recipes I learned from my mom and extended family.
  3. Hitting the salon. I like to get a mani-pedi once or twice a year and always envisioned that one day I’d take my daughter with me and we’d do a day date out of it.
  4. Cute clothes. Little girl dresses and shoes are so cute.  And I don’t even dress up my boys – except to go to weddings and special events – but I will miss not hitting the dress aisle for prom or back-to-school shopping with her. And in the future, I won’t have a daughter that I can share shoes and dresses with like I did with my mom!
  5. Mother-daughter friendship. I really appreciate the time that I get to spend just being friends with my mom. And that’s not to say I won’t be a friend of my boys, but especially after becoming a mom myself, I really have come to appreciate the role she played in my development and it’s something that I think would be a sweet dynamic if I had my own daughter.

Yes, I am so very glad for my boys – for their roughness and silliness, for the way they love monsters and trucks, and for the way that I am the only special girl in their life.  But there is just a teensy piece of my heart that knows it’s going to miss out on some of these special mother-daughter activities.

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