life + style

We are surviving the HOT days of summer. This week it was 115 at one point.  OUCH!  Yesterday, we were so hot we decided the pool was the only remedy.  I dove in waiting for the refreshment to kick in – the pool was 90 degrees. Blah.  There is no keeping cool in 115 degrees, I tell you what.

I have really grown to love where I live, though.  We have a great community surrounding us and we live in such a beautiful place.  Even the heinous heat has it’s charm.  I tell you, there is nothing better than a fresh rain over a hot desert.  It makes up for the scorching heat any day of the week.

We are 3/4 of the way done with our big back yard renovation.  I am soooo excited to have it done and to make memories on the patio, entertaining, playing, riding bikes, playing basketball, jumping on the tramp, swinging on the tree swing… I know my girls will love growing up with a great backyard.  I am so excited! (did I say that already?)  The curbing just got finished and the sod will come Monday!  After that we just have a few loose ends to tie up and a lot of styling and summer livin’ to do.  It will be so nice! We have a wonderful crew working round the clock to get this done for us in this blazing heat.  I sure have a whole new appreciation for the landscaping profession!  What hard work!

Because of the heat, I am surviving on lots of skirts.  I can barely stand to look at skinny jeans, and I’m not much of a shorts wearer, so skirts and dresses are my summer remedy.  I have also recently teamed up with one of my favorite favorite shops Scout and Cloth along with my talented best girl Ashley Flowers Photography to bring to you some awesome styled shoots.  I am basically working on having a closet full of scout and cloth because every single piece is awesome and unique and oozes with flavor.  This outfit is my new favorite outfit.  I am refraining from wearing it every single day of the week.  Also, I feel I am teaching my daughters a very important lesson that you are NEVER too old to wear a tutu. ;) 

outfit c/o : Scout&Cloth | Hair : Bellami Extentions | Photos : Ashley Flowers

 Also! Did you notice my hair grew two feet since I chopped it last fall?  Just kidding, I just plunged into the world of clip-ins and I am IN LOOOOOOOVE.  I am hoping to share a lot of fun styles and ways I’m using my clip ins. :)


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These pictures say so much about my girls and their personalities and dynamics.  They slay me!


Harlo continues to be one of the best big sisters I’ve ever seen.
She is especially helpful with Grae, and Grae absolutely adores her!
This has been such a special relationship to watch unfold.
She gets a little spicy with Stella though, recently.  Some days they play together with not a single problem and some days they wake up at each other’s throats.  I can always tell how the day is going to go by breakfast.
Harlo loves helping around the house.  Making dinner, baking cookies, folding laundry, organizing closets.  That is right up her alley!
She knows how to straighten up well.  She can look at things that need to be done and do them.
I know this quality will serve her well in this life!
She will do pretty much anything for ice cream… and ipad time.
She has grown up so much.  The TV shows she likes to watch now are more the pre-teen type like Good Luck Charlie and Liv and Maddie, as opposed to the cartoons on Disney Jr. (but she’ll still watch them on occasion).
She is swimming like a little pro! Although, when I ask her if she wants to go swimming now she’ll say “no, I already know how.” ha!
Harlo is reading like a mad woman!  She can officially pick up any book off the shelf and read it to her sisters.  She’ll sometimes get stuck on a word or two, but that’s it.
She has broken out of her little shell quite a bit from when she was younger, but she is still very much my most reserved of the group.
She has started recognizing the label “shy” and will now sometimes use it when I remind her to use her manners, “Mom, I’m just shy.”
I quite dislike that label, and very much dislike it as an excuse to not use manners.  I tell Harlo she needs to smile and say hello when she is greeted, and answer questions when she is asked (what’s your name? What grade are you in?).  I tell her we’re all a little uncomfortable to meet new people, but that doesn’t mean we can be rude.  I have started urging her just recently and it’s made a big difference.  (I think at 6, she can see the logic – I wouldn’t be requesting this from her at 3.)
She loves discussing ideas with me, whether it’s how she wants to redecorate her room, helping plan for Stella’s birthday, what we should do for summer.. she could talk to me all day.
I love it!
She is getting so mature.  From the things she likes, the things she does, the things she’s interested in.  I just see her blossoming into a little lady.
If I ever get after her about something she’s doing wrong, she’ll say “okay mom, I didn’t know.” simple as that.  We’ve come a looooong way in the disciplining department.
She is working on riding a bike with two wheels.  We took the pedals off the bikes so they could learn their balance and she does super well.  Now we’re working on the pedaling part.
I have seen Harlo grow so much this year.  She is truly a little lady.  She understands things more, and asks deeper questions.  I know she is going to be such a special friendship throughout my life.
Harlo is a little home body.  She almost always would rather stay home than go somewhere.  She almost always would rather stay inside than go out. (completely opposite from Stella)
She has been asked to give the prayer, scripture, theme several times at church and she usually won’t do it when the time comes.  Stella readily accepts the responsibility for her (enabling much? ha!).  A few weeks ago though, she was asked to say the theme (which she has wanted to do for a while) and asked me if I would please not come into primary while she does it.  Broke my heart a little bit, but I agreed to her fair terms.  I got the report later from the girls that she did it!  Sad I wasn’t there to see it, but I totally understand. (In fact, that sounds like me – not nervous in front of strangers, but choke in front of close friends or family.) I was so proud of my girl!
Harlo is going into first grade and she is so thrilled! I can’t even imagine what I will do with her gone for a full school day, even the thought makes me choke up, but it’s been so fun watching her excitement grow.
She is nervous about using the bathrooms at school – she hates the sound of the flushing toilet! I am trying my best to get her ready for that.  Poor girl! ha (again, just like me at that age!)
We had a rough time with school last year, and I am so anxious about starting over another year.  I have been pray-pray-praying that this year is a little smoother than the last.
We have found out that a few of her friends will be in her class though, so that is good news!
Mostly I am just so awe-struck by Harlo.  She is so gracious and calm.  She has endless patience for her sisters, she is almost always willing to help, she is so well behaved.
She makes my life easier, happier, more fulfilled every single day just by being her.
She is my little angel.


Stella is the sunshine in our home.
She is almost ALWAYS in a good mood.
If she’s ever unhappy, it lasts about 20 seconds.
Last week she was unusually whiney and complaining.  I hadn’t ever seen her act that way before in her whole life.  Later that night, she started running a fever.
Cute little thing is never ornery and if she is, something is wrong.
Although she’s usually always in a goood mood, she is by far my most drama.
She always has a big long dramatic story to tell me about something that happened.
I just have to say “okay, play nice.” and she’s skipping off into the sunset.
Stella is so spiritual.  She is always telling me about Jesus and God and asking questions about them, or heaven, or the holy ghost, etc.
She has deep rooted faith and I have no idea where it came from, but what an example she is to our family – me especially.
She loves church and learning more about Jesus, she loves saying prayers and will often tell me when she said a prayer silently and it was answered.
Such a precious soul she is.
She also loves Grae – probably too much.
We have to tell her often not to hug too hard, or try to pick Grae up when she’s playing, or that one kiss is plenty.
Grae gets smothered by Stella most of the day. Ha.
Stella is a L-O-V-E-R through and through.
She still goes through phases coming into my room at night.
She is the hardest to put to bed – bar none.
She’ll come out to tell me she’s thirsty, or for one more bedtime kiss, or to tell me she loves me, or she’s scared, or she thought she heard something, or she remembered she needed to tell me something….
The list goes on.
I have been giving rewards for getting in bed and staying there til morning.
It’s only happened one time, but I think the incentive is working.  Bedtime has gotten easier.
On Sunday, my mom sang a solo at our church.  Stella was specifically moved by it.  Later that day she told me, “Mom, Grandma has a wonderful voice, right?  I loved hearing her sing at church.  It sounded like someone on TV!”
Sweetest little thing.
Stella is always telling us how cute we are, how pretty we look, how good we are at this or that.
Stella is our little anchor to positivity.  She is just happy about life and all that’s around her.  She is such an example to every one of us.
We recently went and saw the movie Inside Out (which was so cute) and I told her when we left she reminded me of Joy (a character that plays the emotion of Joy/happiness).
That is Stella.  Our little light.  Always happy and always keeping the mood light.
We are so lucky to have her.


Our little golden girl is 15 months old!
Where has the time gone?
Grae has definitely grown into the one year old attitude.  She is a little spice girl!
She is constantly looking for food.  For a good couple months, she would sign “more” while saying “cracker!” Especially if she saw Grandma who she knows always has a snack handy.
The last week or so, I think she’s slowed down a bit.  She must have been going through a growth spurt.
A couple of weeks ago, I was thinking how she was probably my latest talker.  My other girls were talking quite a bit at this age.  I swear, the next week her little vocabulary just exploded.
She can say mama, dada, harlo, stella, grandma, grandpa, papa, nana, auntie, kitten, up!, more, thank you, no, drink, okay, night-night, hi! and buh-bye.
She will also try to imitate any word you ask her to say.  This is new just this week.
I swear on Saturday morning, I woke up to a toddler where my baby used to be.
She is standing and THIS close to taking steps.
She’ll walk around if she pushes something or if she’s holding hands… reminds me of someone else I know.
Her new thing is when she doesn’t like something, she’ll say “owwww!” like she’s being hurt.
At church on Sunday Brady was speaking and she saw him up on the pulpit. She immediately started screaming for him, so when I went to sit her back down to tell her to “shh, shh, shh” she started yelping “owww! OWWWWW!” making it look like I was pinching her or something. Oh dear!
Yesterday at the grocery store, anytime I would roll past something she wanted me to stop at, she would say “owww! owww! owww!” I had to keep saying “That’s not what oww means!” so people wouldn’t think I was hurting my one year old asking for something.  Sheesh!
She has somehow become the easiest to put to bed and naps.
She is still transitioning between 1 and two naps.  Some days one, some days two.
She quit nursing just past her 14 month birthday.
Since she quit nursing, she is finally sleeping through the night consistently.
A quick note about her quitting nursing: I got PPD really bad after Stella quit nursing.  I have been worried about it this time and found myself praying and praying that I would feel ready when it was time for her to wean.  After one specific heart felt prayer of worry, I woke up the next day to Grae biting me.  Hard.  The next feeding the same, and the one after that too.  Grae would get more upset than I would after she bit me.  She gets her feelings hurt if I yelp or even flinch in pain.  All day long, I kept trying and she kept biting followed by a 10 minute long tantrum.  By night time, she was refusing to nurse at all (and I must admit I was quite timid to even offer).  The next day, she refused to nurse and then only every once in a while would she latch if I offered in the middle of the night.  Pretty soon, two weeks had gone by since we nursed and I felt us slowly moving into a new normal and a new phase.
I am feeling fine with it, and I know, I know, I know it was an answer to my prayer.  A very odd answer, but an answer none the less.  Biting saves the day (and my breaking heart)!
She just got two molars through and is working now on another two.  This will make TWELVE teeth.  My earliest teether by far.
She has fallen hard for her Daddy.  I have said it before, but watching little girls and their dads is probably the greatest gift on the earth.  They are so in love with him, they look at him in a way they don’t look at anyone else.  It melts me into a puddle.
Grae girl has been such a necessary addition to our family.  I am so grateful she is ours, she was worth every bit of the wait and more!
We love our sweet Golden girl!



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guess who?

It’s 7am and I am awake and ready for breakfast.

Do you know who I am?

I am always hungry.

I think my sisters are hilarious and also infuriating.

Do you know who I am yet?

I flip around like a mad woman when my mom changes my diaper.

I say “ow! owwwww!” if I don’t like something about my current situation.

I love to eat red lipstick.

Do you know who I am?























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swimming lessons 2015

Last week we finished up our yearly swimming lessons for the girls.

Last year, Stella did okay and Harlo HATED swim lessons up until the last few days.  She is very cautious and hated going underwater and the feeling of losing control.  It was pretty miserable for the poor girl, but she pulled through right at the very end.
This year, they were both excited to start swimming lessons and did SO well.  I have two full-blown swimmers on my hands.  Harlo even jumped off the diving board, which is huge for her!
Stella still struggles a little bit when she runs out of breath, she’ll put her head out of the water and then panic just a bit and I have to remind her to “put your face in and swim!” and she pulls through.
Harlo is swimming the full length of the pool with no problem.
I am so proud of these little swimmers!
Little known fact about me : I can’t swim.  So it is extra important for my girls to learn! During their lessons, Brady took me out for a lesson of my own and I was surprised by how hard it was, it gave me an extra appreciation for all the girl’s hard work!  I hope I can learn to swim as well as they can soon! Ha.

This year we also did it at our neighbor’s pool with the girl’s best neighbor friends.  It was such a fun time.  A new tradition for sure!

 If that’s not the cutest little swim team, I don’t know what is!


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