Well my husband declared this Fourth of July as the best ever, and I have to agree! Rhett is learning so much every day so everything is awe-inspiring to him. I love watching him learn and experience new things. We went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast together then to our friends for a lunch cookout (I forgot to take pics there), and finally to the Patriot for food trucks and fireworks with friends. Rhett tried his first popsicle and saw fireworks for the first time and wasn’t scared! Needless to say, he had a blast so prepare for picture overload from our day.
Also, this post is a week later than I wanted to publish it, but such is life when your kid is down to one nap for 1.5 hours a day :/ Photo credits to Scarlett since she was able to get Rhett to smile in our family pics towards the end of the night even when he hadn’t taken a nap all day long. Best laid plans sometimes fail..
Once Rhett found the basketball goal, we couldn’t keep him away!
Recently, I won an Instagram contest for a free tee shirt from a college friend’s online boutique. I was really excited because a) who doesn’t like to win? and b) her boutique is full of adorable mom shirts.
As a new sahm, let’s just say the “mom life” is in full gear at all times. It is full of so much joy, but also comes with trials. I was just telling Brian how I wished there was a handbook with all the right answers for parents. I’m such a black and white rule follower, and it sure would be easier if the rule book told me when to put Rhett to bed, what to feed him, and why he all of a sudden hates bath time?
Erica’s goal with Honeybee Boutique is to encourage all moms in their every day life and let them know that what they are doing is important. She likens moms to being like busy honeybees who work hard and change our children’s lives for the better. Regardless of if you work outside of the home or inside the home daily, you are making a difference. I love the quote that my pastor’s wife often says about how your greatest contribution in life may not be something you do, but someone you raise. It sure helps to remember that during the days when you are cleaning food out of the babies hair, spilled coffee out of the carpet, and wrangling your baby like an alligator just to change a diaper. Oh wait, was that just my day? haha
Erica has graciously given my readers a code to get 15% off any shirt from her boutique until October 1st. I’m definitely eyeing the “Mom Life” tee myself! Use the code “BEAMING” at checkout to take advantage of this offer. You are doing a great job, mamas. Keep it up!
Ok this post has been sitting in my draft folder because I’ve been terrible about blogging lately!! So this might have been from the first weekend in September……………….. yikes!
This weekend my sis and her husband came to visit and my parents did too. It was so much fun! So busy but so fun!! I wish they lived closer to us so we could do it more often. My parents got in late Thursday night and we stayed up too late chatting. The next morning we went to the mall to look for jeans for my dad and tried on every brand in Dillards. Did we come away with jeans from there? Sadly, no. Did we have some awesome commentary that I wish I would have filmed? Absolutely. My dad is just a little bit picky when it comes to jeans. They cannot be too low, too tight, or feel like pajamas. Shouldn’t be too hard, but the “feeling like pajamas” category was killing our shopping trip, not to mention, cracking my mom and I up the whole day! After that we went to Goldie’s (for the best cheeseburger in town in my opinion) and baby tried his first pickle. It was great! That evening my mom and I (mostly my mom) made homemade pizza.
The next day, Hayley and Bryce flew in to town. We had a big brunch at the house and enjoyed some back porch sitting while the weather was cool (please come back cool weather), before hitting Namebrand Clothing. Anyone who knows us will tell you that my family loves Namebrand. The thrill of the hunt coupled with being together can’t be beat. Besides, you never know what the Lord may provide.
We had such a great day: shopping, walking, painting, eating. It was perfect! My mom brought up some canvases and all her paints so we could have our own Pinot’s Palette party.
I love every one of our paintings! So unique and different.
The next morning after church, I forced everyone to go to Williams Sonoma for their open house. The whole store was decked out for fall. I CANNOT WAIT for fall!
We had a small get together Sunday night for folks to see Hayley and Bryce and watch football and the Miss USA pageant. We were so sad Miss Tulsa didn’t get to the talent part because she is a wonderful pianist!
Monday we went to brunch with Bryce and Hayley and Christina at First Watch. So good and the babies did well then back home for naps. That afternoon, Hayley and I went to the magical world of Costco. I still don’t have a card yet and don’t quite know if I need one yet, but I enjoyed walking around the store!
and just like that our weekend was over. We had so much fun with family!
This weekend my whole family was in town and staying with us for a wedding so we decided it would be the perfect time to have a baby shower for my little sister too! Talk about a wild weekend, but it all came together perfectly. Many hands make light work, and I was thankful to have so much help with this shower. We decided on a brunch theme with pinks and gold and white. I really wanted to use my the dishes that my grandmother gave me (apparently they were my great-grandmothers).
Strawberry wafers with white chocolate and gold sprinkles.. no, they are not supposed to look like 2 pink lines on a pregnancy test
Who doesn’t love a good cookie cake?
Fruit and yogurt parfaits
the table settings
I could not resist buying this adorable elephant for the baby’s room and a centerpiece of course
sisters aka hostesses
my sweet friend Kari brought this vintage gold coffee carafe for the party
signing in for the guest book
her baby book coordinated perfectly with the invitations and we didn’t even plan it!
“Guess the Baby Food” game
Katy is smiling because she is the only one that didn’t try the nasty baby food
Kari made this gorgeous car seat cover for PKS
My bump at 25 weeks and Hayley’s bump at 29.5 weeks
I’ll miss this sweet friend when she goes home to South Africa
Hand on my bump still didn’t help it show more in this sister pic
Worker bees cleaning up after the shower.. Way to go Dad & Kate
Thanks to everyone who came out to make this shower such a success and bless baby Smolen! My mom did a great job taking pictures on her new camera even if that meant she didn’t enjoy the shower as a typical guest. We had such a great time this weekend being with family and soaking up the time together.
A couple weekends ago, my family took a trip to Beaver Lake in Arkansas. We’ve made this trip before and it is always a good time of relaxation with the family. The boys “fish” all weekend and the girls relax with walks, crafting, and chick flicks. I say “fish” loosely since they never seem to catch much, regardless of paying Big Bob, the fishing guide, to take them to the honey hole spots. At least they have fun being out on the lake though?
We started the weekend off at AQ Chicken House in Springdale, Arkansas. It was so good, and we were so hungry since it was nearly 3 pm before we ate lunch.
Brian and I wanted to stop by Pinnacle Hills Mall to look for boots and a really cute shirt that could only be found in Arkansas so we dropped our “kid” off with mom and dad and made our escape to the mall. Brian found a fabulous deal on some outdoorsy boots that were $180, but on sale for $43.00! Unfortunately, I had to order my shirt online because no stores in Arkansas had it.
Two of my favorite things- Arkansas and the Irish
We made it back to the house around 6 pm. It was rainy the first evening, but we still enjoyed the view. We made dinner and played games that evening before the boys had to go to bed for their early morning fishing trip.
For the record, I am the purple piece and pretty much stayed there the entire game! Dad whooped us in this game without even trying.
The next day, the boys headed out in the cold to fish and the girls slept in. We made breakfast, took a walk, and watched Anne of Green Gables while making bunny ear napkin ring holders.
It was pretty cold on our boat ride
These turned out soo cute! I’m glad I did not pay $8 per napkin ring at Pier 1!
That night my dad grilled steaks and we enjoyed hanging out together. The next morning the boys went “fishing” again. More walks and Anne of Green Gables for the girls. Brian left to go home on Sunday, but we spent one more relaxing evening there.
gorgeous views on a boat ride
Self timer shot by Grant
finally wearing makeup for a pic with my brother
We went in to Rogers to shop for a bit before heading home. The boys spent the entire time at Cabela’s, while my mom and I shopped all the stores in the Pinnacle Hills mall. We had pizza in Springdale and finally made it home. It was such a great weekend relaxing with my family 🙂
Well before you know it July will be gone.. It’s nuts to think about that. I figured a little catch up photo post was in order before July escapes me!
We had the great beanie baby pick with my cousins over July 4th! Yes, these were mostly all my stuffed animals.. 3 tubs full. I kept one tub and then let the cousins all pick some animals. It was like Christmas morning for them 🙂
This is my thrilling new (old) china hutch! Thrilling because I have wanted one since we got married, but we didn’t have room (my china has been stored in the original boxes in a closet for close to 5 years now). Also thrilling because my mom’s friend from college GAVE me this beautiful piece!! I’m going to stain it and change the hardware and it will be perfect in my dining room 🙂 Look for that post later on the staining process.
Back porch sitting with my man and my pup
My house is beginning to feel more like a home these days. This piece of furniture getting a facelift is thanks to both of my sisters! Kate is a DIY-er pro when it comes to furniture. She and Hayley took a piece that was left with the house and made it pretty again! I still want to do something to the back of the shelves to give it dimension though.
Gotta brag on my husband here. He is so good to me when it comes to letting me shop. He speaks my love language when it comes to new workout clothes 🙂
My coworker left us a couple weeks ago so I made her this “blowquet”
My favorite dinner right now: Zoe’s steak kabobs with side greek salad and fresh veggies. You should try it!
Brian took me on a date night to see Wicked. I love Wicked! It was my third time to see the production, and I’d see again in a heartbeat. It is that good! And not really “wicked” like the title implies.
Oh and he had connections that got us backstage!! Here we are with the great and powerful Oz
I got to hold Elphaba’s broom! It was incredible!! Obviously a real smile in this pic since you cannot see my eyes 🙂
So far this summer has been really great! We even got a cold snap that felt like my favorite season ever, Fall! Looking forward to the rest of it 🙂
So what have I been up to? Well mostly showers, wedding planning and a wedding. Our best friends said “I do” about 2 weeks ago. Brian was the best man and I was the matron of honor. Talk about busy with all the parties, events and general planning!
The wedding turned out beautifully. The whole week had been rainy and nasty, yet it stopped the afternoon of the wedding. Thank you Jesus for that! We were able to get some great pictures outside with the photographer even though it was super humid. Everything came together so well. No frantic moments except for when I walked down the aisle and realized I forgot the groom’s ring! I remembered the tissues and forgot the ring! Thank goodness a friend got the ring and passed it on up the line so we had it in time.
Brian and I really got to bond with Todd’s med school friends while wedding planning. Seriously, they are wonderful people, and we love them already. We did a lot of designing and planning and coordinating together. Not to mention setting up and tearing down the wedding venue. I’m so thankful for them all and the gift of service that they gave to Todd and Scarlett. I don’t have a ton of pictures from the wedding, but friends sent me some of their pictures 🙂
Pedicures with the bridal party
The only picture I found from the rehearsal dinner
Hair & makeup
Todd’s medical school friends decorated the venue the day of
John Cloud saved my life when I forgot the groom’s ring
Kari was our creative designer for the reception.
Katherine & James were making sure the tables looked perfect
Thanks to Amber Lobaugh for taking getting ready pictures of the bridesmaids
photo credit Amber Lobaugh
photo credit Amber Lobaugh
Matrons of Honor with the Bride photo credit Amber Lobaugh
Pillow fight! Favorite picture right here photo credit Amber Lobaugh
Meanwhile the guys got ready at our house photo credit Amber Lobaugh
Arriving at the chapel
Love this pic of my man and his momma!
My mother in love
Brian and I with Lindsey and Grant
Let them eat cake! It’s the only thing they got to eat that night 🙁
Love these girls so much! We snagged the bride for a quick picture
New med school friends
Cake table photo credit Amber Lobaugh
I loved Todd’s grooms cake! Shout out to Tiny Cakes and Truffles for doing a fabulous job on both cakes photo credit Amber Lobaugh
Beautiful rosettes photo credit Amber Lobaugh
Bouquet toss photo credit Amber Lobaugh
Dancing the night away! Get it Claire 😉 photo credit Amber Lobaugh
And they’re off! photo credit Amber Lobaugh
Sleeping in was the main thing on the agenda for Saturday. I needed to return Scarlett’s wedding jewelry to a local jeweler so Sharon and I got to look at lots of bling just for fun while they cleaned our jewelry. Then we returned Brian’s tux, went to Utica Square area for lunch and hit up the New Balance store for some new kicks that are better for weight lifting.
Burn Co BBQ with the folks
New shoes for all
We had some folks over for a cookout to celebrate Brian’s birthday on Saturday. Sharon made homemade blueberry and apple pies. So good!
Bear loves these two! They need to get him a friend in February 🙂
We had such a busy, fun weekend with family and friends! I know it wasn’t my wedding, but I still couldn’t help but feel so thankful to everyone who helped pull this wedding together. From the generous people who let us borrow décor to those who gave of their time and put in sweat equity for this wedding, we cannot thank you enough. It was definitely an affair to remember.
Why is this an Eggstravanganza? Oh just because we had 14 family members at our Easter Dinner. It was wonderful and crazy at the same time! My mom, dad, grandparents, and aunt all came up on Thursday night. My grandparents and my aunt were continuing on northward for a funeral, but would be back on Saturday for Easter dinner. We had dinner with my grandparents at Pei Wei on Thursday night. My brother and his girlfriend joined us before going to their wing dance party.
Alexis and Papa are looking good.. Grant? not sure what he is doing?
Mom and dad got in around 9:20 and we chatted for a bit before hitting the hay. They got up and went to Arkansas to see our family friend Michelle’s senior art show. Friday we hit the grocery store and started meal prep for Saturday’s dinner. Saturday morning we were able to go to our favorite store, Namebrand Clothing for a couple hours then home for more cooking.
I love making cut out cookies.. making them with my mom and sis was ten times better 🙂
pastel colored deviled eggs
adorable cheese tray thanks to Hayley! I love that it has bunnies on it 🙂
Carrot silverware and bunny glasses
Dessert station- cut out cookies and “carrots”
not as beautiful as they are on pinterest, but not quite a #pinterestfail
Bunny rolls.. yes, we know they kind of look like snails
Table One- Grant, Alexis, Aunt Leslie, and Caleb
Table Two- Papa, Dad, Mom, Kara, Brian, Greatma
Table Three- Bryce, Hayley, Julianne, Adam
It takes a lot of cooking when you are preparing dinner for 14. My mom did tons of prep work before they came up here to ensure things would go smoothly. She knows her stuff when it comes to cooking for groups.
My mom also prepared some games for us to all play. For the first game, she made the Easter story fit in 14 eggs so we could each read a verse of the story and show our corresponding token. It was a great way to make sure we focus on what Jesus did on the cross for us instead of just on Easter bunnies and eggs.
The other game had nothing to do with Jesus, but it sure was fun! It was called “Don’t Eat the Peep.” Basically the group chose a peep to be it and the contestant had to choose dimes (keep what you earned) without choosing the dime on the “it” peep. My grandma won with having only two peeps left on the board.
Pretty sure Greatma is the cutest! And pretty darn good at this game 🙂
So I can clearly not choose the wine in front of me?
Dad did the best of the “lucky” McNamaras
Hayley guessed the “it” peep on the first try.. No dimes for her
Sunday we went to church then home for leftovers. No need to stress over Sunday lunch, since we had leftovers. It was wonderful to host Easter at our house this year. We loved having all of our rooms filled and having quality time with the ones we love. I cherish all the memories we get with our families since we live in different towns.
We had some major snow and ice earlier this week so guess who got a snow day?? And I loved every minute of it! I slept in until 10 am then watched an old movie with Bear while checking work emails and voicemails.
Yes, he sits in my lap still as a 60lb dog 🙂
Then I started hanging some pictures around the house. We’ve been in the house for over a month now, so it was about time. My little brother and his girlfriend braved the snow and ice to come bring me a Starbucks (bless them!) and be snowed in with me. We hung some pictures, made cookies, watched Father of the Bride II and then made a healthy dinner. It was such a relaxing day!
my new “B” from Scarlett
Portia got me this sweet picture for a housewarming gift. Yes, we hung it a little high, but I was covering the previous owner’s leftover holes in the wall.
“Healthier” M&M monster cookies
We finished off the evening with another movie by the fire before Grant & Alexis left. Back to reality we all go, but it sure was a great day!