Parker + Jolie | 4 years

FOUR YEAR STATS: we go for our well visit this week!  update on a couple of growing weeds to come:)
Parker and Jolie's fourth year has been a year of SO MUCH FUN.  they have gained a rather hilarious toolbox of words and phrases and the conversations we have just kill me with emotions that basically run the gamut of shock, grace, love, adoration, and hysterics. and they know how to use at the most opportune times to just knock me off my feet with the things they know.

Parker and Jolie visited the dentist for the first time.
Parker got b a n g s:)
we went to the ZOO! (one of many times)
..and our first Rangers baseball game for a big girls date night..
spent a week with their favs while mama + daddy took a trip
swimming, family, friends, sparklers, and sun kissed cheeks- we celebrated an entire weekend of the 4th of July!
we celebrated our littlest sister turning ONE and went to the aquarium for the first time.
..and brought a new dog into our crazy mix!
they started preschool three's. and walked into school on the first day like they owned the place..
cool weather came upon us and the fall festivities began- many days spent at the pumpkin patch + the arboretum.
h a l l o w e e n.  was. THE best time spent with our little friends.
they spent some quality time with Nana + Duke..
..and went to the Texas State Fair for the first of many years to come!

these are just a few of the highlights over the last 12 months.  our life is so full.  with so much fun in between.  these sweet girls have made our world spin for the last four years- the good.  the bad.  the terrible.  
we couldn't imagine it being any other way.
you are f o u r!

Jolie Grace
my goodness, how much you have grown this last year.  looking back at pictures and watching videos, its just amazes me to see how your personality and intellect exploded.  not to mention your little face has nearly lost all the baby chub and innocence and you are quickly becoming a little girl right before my very eyes.  your vocabulary is full.  your understanding is impressive.  your organization and thought process through certain things is unique and much different than your twin sister's
you still wear your heart on your sleeve.  little things can absolutely break your heart, but a bit of silliness will bring you right back to your usual happy self.  when when you smile- my sweet girl, you smile with your entire face.  your eyes squint up and nearly disappear into your baby girl cheeks.. (they are still there if I look hard enough).
   I was overwhelmed with love for you from the moment you took your first tiny breath.  watching you grow from a little wee nugget into the marvel you are today has been the greatest, most fulfilling, most enlightening journey and the very, very best thing I have every been through.
you have overcome so many milestones that, looking back, are just unreal to remember on.
you remain quite the diva in this house- Baker gives you a run for your money when holding that title, but the moment you open your mouth with something abrupt or matter of fact, as you usually do, its crystal clear who has earned it- you carry it well, my sweet girl.  
you are pretty opinionated and mostly independent.
..and then there is bedtime you simply cannot go to sleep without seven sugars and eight hugs.
..and we have to count them out loud or they just do not count.  
"mom, you arent counting with me.  one..two..threeee.."
you definitely feel the need to speak your mind, and most of the time it has me and your daddy in giggles.  while your sisters would rather be outside running like crazy kiddos, you don't mind to chill out on the couch with a snack (you are all about the snacks!), cuddle with mama, and watch movies all day long. as long as you have Puppy, you are happy as a clam.. you have fallen in love with many little animals and dolls have come and go over this last year, but Puppy still remains number one. and that thumb sucking is still in full force.  someday we will have to break the habit. but not today. 
 you absolutely do everything with an exclamation point! your little life is an exclamation point. keep that up my sweet little love. your enthusiasm in life should be the way everyone should live the life we are given. and for that, I am so proud of you.  I thought I was here to teach you, but you are teaching me every day. I am so in love with you, birthday girl. 

Parker Jane
still my tomboy. still your daddy's right hand 'man'.  wherever he goes "I'm coming too!!"  
never ending and always your dad's favorite thing to hear.
it's hard to imagine what life was like before your funny lines, epic tantrums, and ear bursting screams took over our house. year three has been a year of growth and change and experience for all of us.  you have gotten stronger, smarter, funnier, and braver- and keep changing dramatically as the days go on.  you have become quite creative in your ways- making up stories as you go along and always excited to share them with anyone that will listen.  you have such a creative brain, building and creating and designing is what you do best.  your coloring and art work just keeps getting better and better- you are SO excited to show me your completed color pages, with the rainbow array neatly tucked within the lines of the image.  I am so proud of you.
your imagination runs wild- and you beat to the tune of your own drum.  I used to get frustrated with you for "not listening" or acting like you "dont care", but as we have both gotten to know the growing Parker over this last year, you are just taking it all in before you make a decision to move or act.  your teachers at school have said you are the observer.  you want to know about everything that is going on around you. this characteristic has developed into you having the most gentle and sweet and kind heart. always wishing everyone to be included.  your heart is bursting with love to share. 
Jolie is your best friend.  your rock. and the person you look to for support in everything. you have a keen love for that twin sister of yours and your bond grows stronger and stronger as the days and weeks and months and years go on.  
Baker is your little side kick.  she follows you everywhere and looks intently for you when you cannot be found. you always include her, even when she is destroying your building blocks or demolishing the feast you have prepared in the play kitchen.  she's always there, and you never mind.
you talk about "baby brother" all the time. you talk about how silly he is when he moves around in my belly and it broke me to tears the other day as you were helping me fold tiny baby boy clothes in his unfinished room and you touched my tummy and said "I sure hope he loves me.." 
of course he will, little love.
everyone loves you.

no matter how old you are, you will always be our sweet baby girls.
no matter what you do, we will always love you.
I am so incredibly proud to be your mama just because you sister girls are you.
you can be anything you want to be.
you are amazing in so many ways.

you girls have a laugh that is contagious- and I can hear it from miles away and know that its you.
you each have the most amazing personality that make both of you unique and so perfectly you.
you are incredibly talented in so many ways - coloring in the line, puzzles, billions of hugs, and double that in kisses, the busiest bees..running, climbing, singing at the top of your lung and dancing your giant little hearts out!  some of our most favorite moments of the day is listening to you two sing, play, dance, and just be together- your imagination is unreal.

my wish for you, my sweet sister girls, as you enter your fourth year of life, is that you will keep being my Jolie Grace + my Parker Jane. that you will keep dressing up like a princess, toting high heels and jeweled crowns, while chasing your daddy around the backyard looking for spiders and snakes and in the same moments harassing your mama for "haircuts" and playing beauty parlor. that you will continue your best friendship with each other, but still finding comfort in your independence that impress me every day.  

the characters can change to whoever you would like them to be, just don't stop pretending. keep telling your wonderful creative stories you tell. don't ever stop telling me all about your dreams when you wake and about your imaginary "family" that lives in a pink house with a pink mommy and a blue daddy and purple sisters and most recently.. a new baby brother has come into that imaginary family mix. keep laughing and smiling.
you two are the lead character in 4 years worth of the most colorful memories one can imagine.
we love you with all our hearts, big sister girls.  we are so excited for this next year that is to come!
happiest birthday to you our precious girls!


holiday gift guide | for him

Jordan is the easiest guy to shop for.. but yet at the same time he is so difficult to shop for.  he wants big things.  expensive things.  and when he decides he wants these things, he straight up goes out and purchases them. well.. that leaves me with a whole lot of nothing for ideas when it comes to Christmas, birthday, and anniversary.
that being said- he's a pretty simple guy.  a simple guy that is happy with the little things, too - outside of clothing, he would rather spoil his wife and little girls and now future little man than allow me to buy him ANYthing.
I'm okay with that:)  this year we opted to skip really elaborate gifts and stick to the simple.  after all, we have three girls to buy for and a nursery to fill, so saving monies everywhere we can is most important, right now..

a man's mug // a couple months ago I got Jordan a campfire mug just for fun and he drinks his coffee every single morning out of it!  if your boy is a coffee lover this is a "manly" mug that he is sure to love.
quality leather goods // for father's day this year I had an old friend make my hubby a new wallet that he desperately needed.  he doesn't love a "big' wallet that makes his pocket bulky, especially when he's carrying his phone as well.  when she announced on FB that her hubby was starting a new biz, gunnar & co., making handmade quality leather goods I might have been first in line!  Jordan has carried it everyday since then and it still looks brand new- aside from the amazing look that leather takes on as its weathered with age.
just porter // I was recently introduced to Just Porter brand backpacks and bags and knew instantly that this would be something that Jordan could get some great use out of.  aside from toting a bag to and from the fire station, Jordan also works one shift/week as a medic in the ER of a hospital close to our house.  his ipad and snacks and even his lunch go in this bag- its like the best thing to ever happen to the "man purse" :)
a good pair of slippers //  about seven years ago I splurged and got Jordan a pair of double leather lined slippers and he still wears them to this day.  it is time for a new pair- the bottoms are looking rough (holes all over the place-ha!), but who can say they wore a pair of slippers for seven years?  every husband, father, brother could use a great pair of slippers, am I right?
tech finds for your guy // Jordan has a bose speaker from last Christmas and they have come out with a new one- that he probably needs, too.  while Jordan is a lifeproof case for life type of person, nothing like a good trendy case for his phone.
dollar shave club // if you haven't caught wind of my (our) love for the dollar shave club - it is the most perfect gift.  after deciding to get Jordan a membership for Father's Day three years ago, I finally got a membership for myself (we do the $9/mo).   the razors are legit..and so cheap in price, but not in quality!  they have since come out with hair products and body wash- Jordan loves the hair paste the best.  throw in some of their amazing shave butter and you're all set for the perfect gift set for your guy!
..and if you have never watched their marketing videos, they are hilarious!


five on friday

one. twinkle twinkle
last weekend we started the process of decorating the house for the holidays.  it is definitely a process!  thankfully I had the hubby graciously hang the garland on the mantel (because that thing is heavy!) and fluff and light up the tree for me.

we also got the twins their very own tiny pink tree for their room this year!  it is so stinking cute and they LOVE it.  besides it was less than $10 at Hobby Lobby so we couldn't resist. 

two. chicken parm in the crock pot!
it was another delicious pinterest win for dinner this week!  I posted a picture to my insta story and had so many people ask for the recipe.  I made it on a whim because I happened to have all the ingredients on hand and I finally felt like I could eat something different than cereal for dinner..
it will definitely be in our rotation this cool weather season!
the Ragu pasta sauce makes it a little sweeter than what I would normally prefer for chicken parm, but the saltiness of the parmesan balances it out.
check out the recipe HERE and thank me later:)
AND while you are at it.. let me know some of your FAVorite crock pot meals.  I'm down for anything easy.

three. sister love
we went out and about last weekend for a bit of Christmas shopping the day after Thanksgiving and just had the best time.  the girls were in such great spirits and it was just the five of us for the entire day.. Parker and Jolie have really started to included Baker in everything they do, and its basically making my heart explode.  Parker has started calling her "Bakes" and everything from coloring to blocks to playing with Barbies, Bakes has become "one of the girls". 
this week I heard P+J talking about how much they love each other. and their little conversations and the voices just KILL me.  never gets old.  ever.
I love this picture.. until I realized Jolie was playing with chewed gum she found on the ground.

four. makeup by Jenna
girls night this week was FUN. my friend Jenna has been giving me facials and doing my brows for years and she has recently gotten into professional makeup and hosts classes to teach the basics.  ya'll! I learned how to contour. and have a much better understanding for what all these different shapes of my brushes are used for:)
I've got her on the books to glam me up for my maternity photos next month and it wouldn't hurt to see about making her travel to the hospital on D Day!
too much?

five. holly jolly fitness

camp gladiator is offering BOLD members a special code that can be redeemed for a free camp in January.  Jordan and I both LOVE CG and I have been able to continue working out through this pregnancy and really have seen results and friendship come out in our commitment to this bootcamp.  shoot me an email me if you are interested! you wont regret it!
see my other posts about CG HERE and HERE.

Happy FRI-YAY!


december first

december first marks the start of so many FUN things.

the start of the list of all the delicious recipes I have pinned on pinterest in hopes to make for the Christmas season.
"baking everyday!" is the plan.
reality is that I'll end up picking up one of those betty crocker bags of sugar cookie mix two days before Christmas.  my mom used to make these amazing homemade sugar cookies; dolloped with homemade buttercream icing and I was in charge of the sprinkles and decorating them.  our counter tops would be lined with dozens of these cookies for family and friends and teachers.. and santa! of course!  I would love to recreate that memory and tradition with my girls (and boy!)

our home in constant twinkle- I always get a little sad at night when I am shutting the house down and the tree and the mantle and the kitchen lights have been turned off the first time in 14 hours.  morning cannot come soon enough!

Parker and Jolie celebrate a birthday! the twins will be FOUR (next week!) and these two girls that made me a mother have allowed me to grow and learn and change in so many ways- more than one would expect a couple of four year olds to do.  plus, party planning is my j.a.m., if you didn't know.

we will make several attempts to visit santa claus before deciding on yet another screaming + terrifying photo of my children.  part of being a parent, I suppose.

christmas music all day er'day. we all know Parker's love of Jingle Bells and she about has a stroke any time michael buble starts his crooner voice for that song on my Pandora playlist.

cool crisp mornings.. and afternoons on the playground requiring a beanie + jackets.  now if only Baker would get 100% on board with wearing a beanie we would be great.  
I don't know where I failed with this child and her headgear.

hot cocoa runs through the starbucks line- because mama needs the coffee and the big girls deserve something, too!  jolie loves hot cocoa and Parker loves it about half the time.
shopping, shopping, shopping!! we put money into a savings account we call the Christmas Fund all year long, so on the day after Thanksgiving when that money is automatically dumped into our checking account- let the present buying commence!!  my mailman loves me throughout the year, but he really loves me when he comes to my door with a load of packages every day.  Jordan just stops asking by the first week in December.
Mickey Mouse Christmas and Polar Express quickly become out favorite movies and we watching them over and over and overrrrr throughout the month.  
covering the cabinets in our kitchen with the christmas cards from family and friends we receive.  I leave them up well after Christmas and keep them in a plastic bag with the year on them- its so fun to look through the cards from years past when we are pulling out the Christmas decor for the next year.  
speaking of cards..among my top Christmas card photo contenders:
nailed it.
happiest December First!


holiday gift guide | toddler (1-4 years)

having kiddos during the holidays is literally the most fun everrr.  I have so much joy in spending this time with my girls and the magic of the season. I get a little hyped up about all the shopping and browsing and decorating.. 
and eating..
my girls have really changed their interests over the last 6 months. I feel like Baker doesn't care about all the age appropriate toys and activities, mainly because she just tags along with the big sisters all day and wants everything the two almost 4 year olds have.  and the twins are getting into things that I am completely clueless about.. obsessed with shopkins and after staring blankly in the Target toy aisle, and clearly looking lost, I had a polite mom school me on these tiny toys, which helped a lot, actually.

for my 16 month old, I kept her Christmas list simple.  I wasn't super worried about getting
her a ton of new toys- we still have so much from the twins, even after donating buckets and bags of toys.  we do have lots of Little People toys and the big girls still love to play with them! when I came across the farm house I thought it would be perfect for all three of my girls.
a couple weeks back at a birthday party the little girl got one of these beat belle toys and Baker basically confiscated the toy for the entire time- so I added it to her list!  this toy is apparently super popular this season, and I was excited to snag it on sale recently at Target.
there are always jammies on our Christmas List- and HOW ADORABLE is this pom beanie?!  baby Gap, you KILL me.
if you are looking for a couple of gender neutral gifts, you can never go wrong with the B. Blocks - I love this brand of toy, and the Tickle Monster book set is a giant hit in our house.  Auntie got the twins this set for Christmas when they turned a year old and we have never tired of this silly book.

for the big girls.
arts + crafts. building. coloring + painting..
you name it and my big girls are way interested.  I randomly grabbed a couple of new coloring books while picking up a few more sets of lights for the tree at Hobby Lobby and their day has started and ended with these coloring books for the last four days.
sticker books and an awesome mosaic activity book I saw on Amazon while browsing for artsy things are definitely going into their stockings this year.
Parker somehow picked up the interest in building legos.. not the big blocks like I would expect, but the tiny little lego pieces that I have stepped on and bruised the bottom of my foot about a million times over the last month or so.  I grabbed a big box of lego juniors at Costco and have since seen it at Target for a great deal.  how awesome is it that there are legos for girls??  we did not have that option when I was a kid.
on that same note, floor puzzles are a big deal in our house, too!  Jordan has such a fun time putting these puzzles together with his big girls- and Jolie is remarkably good at them!
AND- baby gap.. once again.  do those slippers come in my size??


holiday gift guide | for her

I'm sitting here covered in glitter from head to toe after decorating my house over the last two days for the most wonderful time of the year!! (!!!) I fall into one of those categories of "uber fanatical" about the holiday season- party because of the pure magic of the season and also because I LOVE gift giving.  over the weekend I was out and about shopping with all the crazy people  for that perfect gift to give the people I love.  this weekend marked the start of the amazing sales and deals on a few of our favorite things and I'll be sharing them on the blog this week for my annual holiday wishlists..
starting with the lady in your life.. or yourself:)
nothing wrong with that.

here is a great start to your holiday shopping- and everything is $200 or less!

as I've gotten older, and keep adding numbers to the bunch, my wishlist gets shorter and shorter. this year Jordan and I even exchanged the idea of not getting anything for each other.  we have a nursery to plan and paint and fill with all the baby boy things, so focusing on that and on sharing this last holiday with our three little girls is all I want.  
that being said.. 
my newest obsession has become dry bar.  I used to have to drive into Dallas to get a blow out but they are popping up all over the place and I completely appreciate it!  my checkbook isn't super impressed, which is why this would be the best gift ever to the lucky gal in your life.  I find every reason to make a trip- and a great blow out will last me three or four days before a wash.  ohhh I'm telling you this is a great idea!
every year I always want a watch.  and I always want a new handbag.  mainly because I'm one to wear the crap out of those items until they are basically falling apart by the next Christmas after repeat wear and tear.  I do the same with my shoes.  I wear the same neutral pair over and over.  I saw the shearling TOMS sneakers on zulily last week and snagged myself a pair because the last time I bought myself a pair of casual sneakers (outside of my cross trainers) was probably before I had kids.  I was due for some shoes, I think.  
of course there is the most comfortable and affordable grandpa cardigan in the basically neutral olive color- I have a thing for oversized cardigans and even wear them around the house over my pajamas.  I have linked the one shown above and a couple more I love love love and have found them to be super cozy, too!  
you can also find my favorite lip gloss (Dolly is a great color to go with if you are unsure) and a staple pair of drop earrings from the one and only Kendra Scott.  rose gold errythaaang.
lastly.  for my fellow list making ladies, these are most most favorite notebooks.  I use them for everything from grocery lists, to reminders, to jotting down my daily thoughts or taking notes at a meeting. I got a set of three for my birthday a couple years ago from a co-worker and have bought several sets since! 
its cyber monday!  what are you shopping for??

Pin It button on image hover