FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL INTERVIEWS (2021).

well, it’s that time again for another year of school and one of my favorite yearly blog posts.

our three brave girls weren’t so ready for summer to be over, but were excited to be back around their friends. i am so looking forward to watching more of them and the lessons that they learn – both in school and in life.

our girls started eighth, fourth, and second grade this year. we kicked off the new year with some of our typical “first day of school photos”.

and just like previous years, we made sure to do our first day of school “interviews”.

i asked the girls these questions and had to include mason too!

Kaylei

  1. age: 13
  2. grade: 8th
  3. what i want to be when i grow up: interior decorator
  4. favorite color: green
  5. favorite movie: fast & furious
  6. favorite place to be: at: in my bed
  7. favorite food: every food
  8. favorite subject in school: i don’t have one
  9. what do you love: mom
  10. favorite memory from this summer: going to florida

Aubrey

  1. age: 7
  2. grade and teacher: 2nd – Mrs. Timmerman
  3. what i want to be when i grow up: a vet
  4. favorite color: teal
  5. favorite movie: home alone
  6. favorite place to be: at: our house
  7. favorite food: hot dogs
  8. favorite subject in school: math
  9. what do you love: everyone in this house
  10. favorite memory from this summer: celebrating kaylei’s birthday so i could see how much money she got

Mahkena

  1. age: 9
  2. grade and teacher: 4th – Mrs. Binning
  3. what i want to be when i grow up: a plant shop owner
  4. favorite color: pink
  5. favorite movie: jurasic world
  6. favorite place to be: at: the plant store
  7. favorite food: mcdonalds
  8. favorite subject in school: art
  9. what do you love: family
  10. favorite memory from this summer: getting winnie jo

Mason

  1. age: 3
  2. what i want to be when i grow up: captain america
  3. favorite color: blue
  4. favorite movie: harry potter
  5. favorite place to be: at: hotels
  6. favorite food: candy and cinnamon rolls and pancakes
  7. what do you love: daddy
  8. favorite memory from this summer: snuggling with my family

“say yes to one more book, one more hug, one more kiss goodnight, tuck them in and snuggle them tight. one day you will tuck them in and they’ll be grown. they will smile and tell you they can do it on their own.”

AUGUST 2021; OUR MONTH IN VIDEO

August was full of more birthdays, mini getaways, and football games. Here’s a peek at our month and the life I’ve thankful for.

JUNE 2021; OUR MONTH IN VIDEO

Happy June ya’all!

This month was full of celebrations between Father’s Day and birthdays, backyard adventures, and bringing home our new Winnie girl.

Here’s a look at our month; hope you enjoy!

Our first few days with Winnie Jo; a photo diary.

John and I have been tossing around the idea for a while of adding another golden retriever to our family. As our girl Maci Bo gets older, we wanted her to have another dog around to keep her young. And yes, we have Mazi, but let’s be honest we don’t call her “Big Mama” for nothing. She plays with Maci, but she can often show her cranky-old lady personality and isn’t always a big ball of energy.

We did some research and came across a farm in Wisconsin that had some puppies that were available to go to a new home. Saturday, June 19th, we woke up and VERY spontaneously decided to make the drive and “look” at the puppies. Look is the keyword, but let’s be real, we were coming home with our Winnie Jo.

Winnie was the third puppy introduced to us and it was one of those things that when we met her we just knew. All the other puppies when we would walk away would wander off, but Winnie wouldn’t leave John’s side. Ultimately, John had told me to make the final decision, but as soon as I saw how much she just wanted to be around us, the decision was easy.

So, that started our story with miss Winnie. It was a cuddly ride home; the whole time she sat on my lap and was just begging for love from John and I. She enjoyed staring out the window and took many breaks in between for a quick nap curled up on my lap.

I swear it was like bringing a new baby home and introducing her to the family. She’s the cutest ball of fluff right now and the kids are all obsessing over her. We’re excited to watch her grow, but hopefully not too fast…we are loving this puppy stage.

Enjoy these photos of our first few days together as a family. We sure love you, Winnie Jo…even your terrible, stinky puppy breath.

MAY 2021; OUR MONTH IN VIDEO

Can you believe that May is already over and summer is officially here?

This month was full of celebrations between Mother’s Day and birthdays and a whole lot of fun in between. We ended our month with a family vacation and man, we’re already looking forward to another one.

Hope you enjoy this little video of our month, #LeParteyof6 style!

32 THINGS IVE LEARNED IN MY 32 YEARS

32 years old today, and there has been quite a few things that I’ve learned through the years. I’ve made good choices, stupid choices, and learned that sometimes the only explanation for your actions is, “it seemed like a good idea at the time.” But through it all, I’ve learned.

And firsthand, from my own experience these are some of things that I’ve learned:

Seafood is still disgusting.

Your children pay attention to EVERYTHING that you do. Literally EVERYTHING. Don’t say anything in front of a 3-year old you don’t want repeated.

Soul mates do exist; believe me. I’m one of the lucky ones that found mine.

Having a big family is such a blessing. A benefit too; more kids to pay for a fancier nursing home when you’re older.

Life is much better with a golden retriever.

Work at a place where you actually like your boss and co-workers. Life is way too short to deal with Karens.

No matter how old you get, shots still suck.

Record your life. Have those memories to look back and smile at later.

Friends change and that’s okay. Sometimes the unlikely friends are the best friends.

Grey hairs come a whole lot sooner than you expect.

“One more episode” actually means four more episodes.

Hanger, it’s real.

Kitchens are made for dancing.

I will never be as happy as my two dogs.

McDonald’s Coke taste better than any other coke.

The person who invented Grocery Pick-up is a genius and all we mothers appreciate you.

At this age, you can pull a muscle in your sleep.

Costco is a very glorious place.

Airfryers are the bee’s knees.

Have date nights weekly with your significant other; make that time for each other.

Don’t get drunk and order food on Doordash; you will probably end up with $70+ of Chipotle on your front doorstep. Oops.

Spend as much time as you can with your grandparents. That time is so valuable.

Even if it scares you, still do it. Try those new opportunities.

It is possible to wrongly cook macaroni & cheese…sorry kids.

Sometimes those college degrees aren’t worth it.

Chips and salsa are the best snack.

Dad jokes are actually funny.

Never turn down the opportunity to take a good nap.

Caffeine is your friend.

You don’t need to buy every single houseplant you see.

Getting forehead kisses will never get old.

You can never say “I love you” too much.

a recap of our year – 2020

2020 was definitely a year we will never forget. it started off like any other year, but then the infamous COVID-19 changed the world. and as difficult as it was as all the changes took place among the world, i’m taking this year as something that i will look back to, and be grateful for everything that i have. it turned out to be the year that i learned to appreciate what i had.

i took a few minutes to look through my year in photographs, and wanted to share some of my favorite moments with you.

ringing in the new year with friends – way before we knew what 2020 was going to be like and celebrating the start of a new year with some of our favorites.

celebrating mahkena’s birthday – our little lady turned 8 this year and wanted to celebrate with a puppy party and a donut cake. she’s growing up way too fast!

working from home – we had no idea this was coming, nor how long it would last. but we’re making the best of it and enjoying all the extra time at home with our family.

a few weekend trips to the city – before the country went on lockdown john and i got to enjoy a few weekends away together. looking forward to when we can do things like this again when things get back to normal. in the meantime, these memories are some of my favorite.

lots of family time – this is truly the best thing to come out of 2020 and having to quarantine. it taught us all to slow down a little bit and enjoy the extra time we got together as a family. here a just a few of my favorite photos capturing these moments.

celebrating aubrey’s birthday – how in the world did this girl turn 6 this year?! we celebrated with close friends and family and tried to make her feel as special as possible during the pandemic.

trip to iowa – john and i took a weekend trip to iowa with some family and friends. we rented the cutest little cabin on the lake. we look forward to taking the whole family there sometime soon.

teaching the kids how to ride their bikes – all the girls learned how to ride their bikes without training wheels this summer. now we got our own little girl bike gang cruising through the neighborhood.

summer fun – because we were all stuck in the house for so long, we enjoyed as much time as we could outside this summer. plenty of fun in the backyard with the pools, trips to the campground, adventures to the zoo, and strolls through sunflower fields.

trip to see grandma – we took a quick weekend trip down to missouri to visit my grandma and some of our family. it was nice to take a little roadtip and spend some much needed time with them.

celebrating kaylei’s birthday – our girl turned 12 and due to the pandemic we couldn’t do much, but we sure made the best out of it. we rented a few rooms at a local hotel and took full advantage of their pool.

house renovations – we spent some time this year painting the entire house, putting together new furniture, hanging new canvases, and creating a craft room. this house has become more our home this year and it’s exactly what we pictured.

family photos – we updated our yearly family photos before the weather got too cold. it sure is difficult getting four kids to all look at the camera and smile at the same time, but they all did great and made for the perfect pictures for our christmas card this year.

buying a new car – our biggest purchase of the year! it’s so much more convenient having all six of us being able to ride together and take one vehicle.

mason’s birthday – goodness, i want this precious boy to stop growing up so fast. he turned 3 this year and is always making us smile.

halloween – one of our favorite times of the year and kept the tradition going with a themed family costume; this year we were all superheroes!

getting bun bun – we added a new furry addition to the family this winter. it was quite the surprise to the kids, and they’re already so attached.

christmas – christmas was spent at home, celebrated with our immediate family. lots of gift-opening, happy kids, and yummy food.

and in 2021, i’m ready for more, more of this happy life.

things bringing me joy during lockdown.

lockdown; a word we’re all hearing a lot lately. five weeks in and i think we’re slowly becoming used to this new “normal”. everyday is different; some days i have a hard time wanting to turn off netflix and get off of the couch, other days i’m beyond productive and feel like i can take on the world.

this whole thing has certainly taught me to find joy in the little things. so what joys have i been finding?

no make up / no bra

with no where to go or no one to see wearing makeup and a bra has been a thing of the past. i still find myself occasionally throwing on some mascara and lipstick just to feel more human, but it feels so good to not spend so much of my time in the morning getting ready.

working from home

i didn’t think i would adjust so well to working from home, but its been glorious! my favorite part has been just being able to roll out of bed three minutes before work starts and tossing open my laptop. again, really enjoying the aspect of not having to spend so much time in the morning to get ready.

working on things that were put off on the to-do list

i’m certainly not complaining about all the extra time we’re getting to knock things off on our to-do list that we’ve been wanting to get done. we’re really doing our best to take advantage of this weird period of time.

ozark

netflix in general, but holy crap. we started ozark and it’s been soooo good. what shows have you been binging during quarantine?

walmart grocery pickup

it’s a lifesaver during this time. seriously, if you haven’t taken advantage of walmart grocery pick-up, you’re missing out. the contact is so minimal which is perfect for quarantine and much more convenient then dealing with the chaos of going in to the store.

interested in trying? use the following referral code to save $10: http://r.wmt.co/v/Shayla_1

extra time with john and family

with no where to run off to and no events to attend, we have become a more relaxed family. we have more time to enjoy just being together. quarantining has forced me to slow down and appreciate the moments; the memories that we’re all making together.

nice weather

truthfully, i don’t think lockdown could have come at a better time. the weather is becoming warmer and we’re seeing a lot more sunshine. i’m super thankful for that; it means we don’t all have to always be cooped up inside. we’ve been taking advantage of it with lots of cookouts, lunch picnics, and family walks.

all the money were saving…gas, no trips to the craft store, etc

i swear our gas tank has lasted nearly a month. with no where to go and no where to spend money, i’m really liking watching my bank account increase. but don’t let me fool you…i’m severely missing my tj maxx and homegood hauls.

more time to be creative

i’m also finding a lot more time to be creative, which i thoroughly enjoy. i’ve done some painting, some writing, and even planting. lockdown has reminded me of how much i enjoy these hobbies of mine.

what have you been finding joy in during lockdown?

gardening with my girls

if anyone knows mahkena, they know how much she loves plants and growing things just like her momma. she’s been asking for a while when we can grow another garden, so she was super ecstatic when i told her it was time to go pick out some seeds, and our other two girls were excited to join in on the fun.

we made a quick trip to walmart to pick-up a few supplies. this was easily the girls’ favorite part; they enjoyed picking out their own vegetables to grow.

they eached picked up a few packets of seeds…carrots, peppers, peas, green beans, tomatoes. because it’s currently too cold outside, we picked up some pots to plant them in and keep indoors until we can move them outside. while were there we also grabbed some soil and plant label stakes.

once we got back home, each of the girls helped pour the soil in to each of their pots, planted their seeds, and topped them with some water. a fun little project that i hope they’ll be proud of once they see their seeds starting to sprout.

february favorites.

february has been busy, but a fun month. between holidays and birthdays, this month has been flying by. with the end of another month approaching, i wanted to share with all of you a few of my favorites; a few new, a few old:

love is blind on netflix – so i’m hooked. it’s a series based off of finding love, soley basing their feelings for one another just on communication. i’m a sucker for those cheesy, reality love shows and this one was no exception.

this bag – need i say more? michael kors did it once again…this one is a beauty and my new go-to.

lunch box notes – one of my sweet friends recently gifted me a pack of lunch box notes for our girls, similar to these, and they were a huge hit. i enjoy being able to write them a quick note, throw it in their lunch, and hope they get a smile from it later.

ham and cheese hawaiian slidersthis recipe is a new family favorite. we tried it out for our new year’s party and have had to make it a few times since. it’s super simple to make and so delicious!

shein – shein is an international online clothing store. they focus primarily on women’s clothes and have such an array of styles, so the variety is definitely there. i’ve purchased a few swimsuits from there so far and am quite impressed.