HAPPY 4TH BIRTHDAY MASON ALLAN!

Sometimes people walk in to you life just when you need it most. That was certainly the case with you, Mason Allan.

When I met your daddy, I knew that part of falling in love with him was making up a whole lot more room in my heart for you and your sister. That was the easy part; loving you three comes so easily. The hard part, though? Watching you grow more and more every day knowing that time isn’t going to slow down; that these moments won’t last forever.

Today, you’re 4, and goodness, the past three years that I’ve been a part of your life has been have been the very best. I’m so thankful that I get the opportunity to watch you grow, watch you learn, and being able to be a part of it all. I never knew how much I needed a little boy in my life, until you came along. You light up my life, our life, and we adore you so! To the moon and back, buddy boy!

JUST A LITTLE CATCHUP; OUR LIFE LATELY

hey everyone! i hope you are all enjoying your summer months; can you believe fall is almost near? i figured we were long overdue for a catchup and i had a few minutes to draft something up.

i feel like our family is always up to something; so this is what our life has looked like a bit lately…

IOWA CABIN TRIP

over memorial day weekend my parents typically go to a campground in iowa with some of our family friends. this year we had the kids and made a family vacation out it. this was probably our first one yet all six of us together and we’re already looking forward to the next.

we rented the cutest little cabin nestled on the campground’s pond, perfect for fishing and letting the kids play on the beach. during the days we were there we did lots of playing at the park, dipping our toes in the water at the beach, and fished with papa. by the time the sun went down, the kids were all pretty tired so we’d enjoy a campfire here or there and then settle in for bed. it was the perfect little getaway and are already looking forward to going back next year.

4TH OF JULY

4th of july is always one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. it’s a perfect holiday to celebrate and really gets the summer going. this year we decided to have family over for a backyard party. we rented a large bounce house/water slide and broke all the kiddie pools. we spent most of the day in the sun and were all so exhausted by the end. i’d call that a successful day!

PUP-DATE!

winnie jo is almost 16 weeks now and is growing like crazy! i’m really trying to enjoy her still being on the smaller side and a big furball, but man, everyday we can tell she’s getting better. mazi and maci have really adjusted to her being around and are constantly playing. it helps out out so much by tuckering her out and lets us get a few more hours of uninterrupted sleep at night. she usually wakes up only once or twice at night now to be let out, versus the every-hour schedule she had when we first brought her home. going from two to three dogs was certainly an adjustment, but she’s fit in quite perfectly and we love giving her her FUR-ever home.

EASTER 2021

i hope you all had a wonderful easter whether you were celebrating at home relaxing, around the table with family, or alone. we were so lucky this year with amazing weather here in illinois; it always makes the day a whole lot more enjoyable when the sun is shining.

this year was a little different for us as we only had the two littles with us while the older girls were spending the holiday with their dad’s family. we missed them bunches and can’t wait to celebrate with them when they come home.

we started our morning searching around the house for easter baskets. it only took a few trips around each room for the kids to finally find them and i think they were more than happy with the surprises the bunny left them…new jammies, shoes, swimsuits, toys, and candy. they sure got spoiled!

the four of us made sure to sneak in some quick family photos in our matching outfits before leaving the house. i still can’t get over how adorable the kids looked with their hair all done and in spring colors.

aubrey and i got our matching dresses from amazon; you can find them here. i was pleasantly surprised with the quality of them and how comfortable they were. us girls sure loved that they had pockets too!

we went to family’s for a big breakfast and it was perfect. the food was delicious, the mimosas were tasty, and being able to spend that time with family was my favorite.

the kid’s got to do an easter egg hunt around the house after breakfast and finished with buckets full of candy and big smiles on their faces.

the rest of the day we just spent time together and enjoyed the nice weather with a cook out and a family walk. we had a great easter and sure hope you did too!

things we’ve been loving lately

hey all! it’s been a while since i’ve done a post like this; i figured it was time to share some of our recent favorites that we’ve been loving lately. you guys seem to really enjoy these and i’m sharing quite the variety of items today!

first, lets talk technology! with quarantine affecting us all; i’ve found new hobbies to enjoy and recently have been dabbling in digital illustration. i downloaded the procreate app on my ipad and using my apple pencil i’ve been slowly adding more and more finished pieces to my completed collection.

i’m really enjoy creating new art for our home, including some of our family and one of my craft studio. if you’re looking to have one done, shoot me a message; i’m sure we can work something out!

speaking of family, we recently got new family photos done and knew after doing some re-decorating within our home, we wanted to create a gallery wall using some of our new photos.

let’s be honest, large canvases are typically not the cheapest, but i stumbled across an online canvas company and have nothing but amazing things to say about it.

if you’re interested in ordering canvas prints, i’d HIGHLY recommend checking out CanvasChamp.com they are super inexpensive, offer a wide variety of sizes, and sell other custom items. they are always running great promotions and offer many different codes to save. my favorite is when they run their buy 2, get one free deal. interested in saving more? let me know and I can share a link with you.

our gallery wall turned out better than i had expected and it’s my favorite thing to walk into our home and see these. seriously check out CanvasChamp.com, you won’t be disappointed!

alright lastly, let’s talk about something near and dear to my heart…our pups! recently Buddy Bandana reached out to me about helping share their mission and i was immediately on board.

for those who don’t know Buddy Bandana spreads awareness and raises money for rescue organizations across the country. every purchase they donate a portion to no kill shelters to support and save animals in need.

i don’t receive anything from the sale, but am all about supporting a great cause! use code “OkayToBeShay” at checkout to save 40% on all orders and free shipping!

maci girl and I thank you @officialbuddybandana for the matching bandana/scrunchie set!

our stay home diary.

our quarantine life has become our new normal, for now atleast. i feel a lot more settled than i did when we first were told to stay home five weeks ago.

whether we like it or not, this will be one of the defining moments of our lifetime. and for that reason, i want to remember all the little moments, and thought i’d share.

obviously some parts are tough – missing family and friends, a different routine, the fear of someone we love becoming unhealthy, etc. this period of time has certainly reminded me of what’s important.

but there are so, so many positives – we’re healthy, we’re happy, and we’re together.

our kids are happy. they’re still learning, but having fun. they’ve spent plenty of time face-timing friends and family and we’re lucky that the weather has been pretty decent so they’ve been able to spend lots of time outside.

we’ve been doing more things together and i’ve been enjoying all the extra time we have together now. nearly every night we’ve been taking a family walk in our neighborhood. moments as simple as that are what i’ll remember from all of this; the memories we’re making.

we’re doing things around the house that we’ve put off. we’re doing lots of grilling out and enjoying eating dinner on the deck. trying new recipes have been a new hobby of mine, and i’ve even broke out the ‘ole paint and paint brushes again.

because the kiddos have been able to stay up a little later due to starting school (e-learning) later in the day, we’ve been using that time to have lots of family movies. we make popcorn and all lounge on the big couch. thank goodness for netflix and disney+.

enjoy a few more photos from our quarantine memory book…

until next time…stay healthy and enjoy all the extra time with your family. we’re all in this together!