Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List

We’re about halfway through the summer, and about halfway through our bucket list. Here’s a recap of some of our summer fun! ZOO TRIP We visit the zoo about once a year. It turns out, May is military appreciation month! As a veteran, Tim was free, I was half price as a spouse, and the kids are still young enough they’re free year round. Admission for our family of four was only about $7. This was quite the bargain, and made me feel better about getting our money’s worth since we only stay for a couple of hours. The kids can only hang until about noon before it’s just too hot and miserable. In true Phillips baby style, Smith slept his way through the entire zoo trip. Graydon did the exact same thing on his first zoo trip at 8 months old. Graydon loved seeing the giraffes the best, but eventually ended up in the stroller more interested in snacks. That’s when we knew it was time to go. BRACKENRIDGE EAGLE TRAIN Before going to the zoo, riding the train is a must. This was Smith’s first time on the train, and he absolutely loved it! This sweet boy is always up for adventure with all smiles across his face. Graydon has ridden the train 3 summers now, and was all talk up to the point of boarding the train. The furrowed brows and sulky face took over for the entire ride. It was a little loud with conductor’s voice booming over the speaker right above us. I gotta laugh at the bottom left photo. Nothing says #momlife more than one... read more
All American Boys

All American Boys

To kick off baby’s first Fourth of July, we had an impromptu front yard photo shoot. Laying on my belly in my pajamas while the neighbors walked their dogs, watching me go all mama-razzi on my babes, I captured some of my favorite moments from the day. I gave them a couple of American flags to play with and mostly let them crawl around and do their thing. Our DIY American flag from last summer was the perfect backdrop for the day. Original flag tutorial here. My all American boys. Graydon is so proud of his “O-merican flag” as he calls it. We’ve been talking a lot about the flag and our country this week, and he can spot an American flag miles away when we’re in the car. He’s definitely into all things red, white, and blue right now, and even colors entire pages in his coloring books with just those colors. Smith was a sport about the photos, but was about ready for his morning nap. Though he barely slept all of 45 minutes the entire day. It’s like he could feel the holiday excitement in the air. Seriously, I think he could tell I was putting him down for nap, and then joining big brother out back in the splash pad, and didn’t want to miss out on single minute of fun in the sun. Since Graydon turned two, I’ve pretty much given up on getting him to look at the camera and smile. He’ll say “cheese” while looking everywhere, but the camera. I’ve grown to love the silly, uninterested, stop-taking-my-photo, are-we-done-yet faces that I capture.... read more
One Little Word

One Little Word

Each New Year’s Day my husband and I talk about how we want our year to go, what we want to happen, our wishes for that year if we could write it out for ourselves and choose what our year will be. We often make (and break) resolutions, not giving ourselves too hard of a time when we break them. But I know I can’t write out my perfect year. And I’m glad I can’t do it all on my own. That would be exhausting! I’m glad I have a God who doesn’t let me do it all on my own. I’ve heard about people choosing one word to focus on throughout the year, but I’ve never done it. This year, I’ve been inspired by and joined the movement One Word 365 in choosing a word to guide my focus back to Him. I’m still going to make some resolutions and goals (more on that soon); however, I want this one word to help me be intentional about achieving my goals with a God-centered focus. My word: Delight. I knew I needed a positive word. I made a list, prayer, continued brainstorming, prayed, and then kept coming back to the word DELIGHT on my list. I needed the opposite of what I often complained about last year (depression, disappointment, melancholy, sorrow, unhappiness). To choose a word meaning a high degree of pleasure or enjoyment is absolutely what I need in order to live a better year. I want to find the joy, happiness, contentment, gladness, gratification, and satisfaction that means delight in everything I do. I want to delight in... read more
Week 1: #dailystayathomeself2015

Week 1: #dailystayathomeself2015

One week into 2015, and I don’t have any real insight or revelations. I can’t even honestly tell you it’s any better or different from 2014. But I love the idea of newness and the hope that a new year brings. I also love having a January birthday because the year starts over and so do I. It’s nice of my parents to coordinate that for me. Day 1: It’s a new year and this boy has new things to learn. This year we are working on colors, shapes, letters, and numbers. LeapFrog fridge phonics is his very favorite toy from Christmas. Aunt Lauren did good! One week in and we haven’t lost a letter…yet. Day 2: Family dinner and then movie night after the boy goes to bed. I’m still getting used to having Tim home on Friday nights. For 2.5+ years, he had a gig every single Friday night, so I got used to being solo most weekends. Day 3: On Saturday, we had a playdate with our favorite twins. It was a gorgeous sunny day, and we got to try out the girls’ new see-saw and play in the back yard. Graydon’s shirt says it all. My little hunk. 🙂 One day I’ll get a picture of all three smiling at me even if it takes until they’re 18. At least they’re all looking in the same direction. Day 4: Sunday, we lounged around after church. I found him sitting in his upside down chair. Remember those super cute chair pics I’d post celebrating each month of his life? Yeah, this is about as good as... read more
Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

TGIF! I’m off to do some Christmas shopping sans baby. Woohoo! Tim is taking Graydon grocery shopping in order for this magical morning to come true. He’s a good man. I appreciate all he does for our family. He’s my number one FAVORITE! FAVORITE beverage this week is Yule Shoot Your Eye Out. “It’s a major award!” Gotta love a beer that’s themed after one of my favorite Christmas movies. Monday, we celebrated my sister-in-law’s new teaching job and the family’s future move back to San Antonio–YAY! My brother and Tim went out to get some celebratory supplies and dinner, and this is what they brought home for me. Karbach is a local brewery in Houston. Local as in we’re in the same state. It’s dark like a Guinness, but not that rich and you certainly won’t feel like you need a spoon to drink it. It’s more of a consistency like a Sam Adams Boston Lager. Ever since Graydon was born, I just don’t have a taste for liquor anymore—except a really good margarita— but I love a good, flavorful dark beer. Weird, I know. That college girl who only drank Miller Lite is branching out to the good stuff now. Maybe my tastes grew up…  So if you like dark beer, you should totally try it! Plus, the label is just super cute. Yes, I have been known to choose my beer and wine based on the label. Sometimes it works out. Sometimes. FAVORITE piece of mail. My Christmas Cheer package came in! Read about the exchange here. I’m looking forward to making sugar cookies with the family next week... read more
#phillipsfamily2014 Week 49

#phillipsfamily2014 Week 49

He’s giving some looks today. This little stinker was up 3 separate times last night, and then only took a 30 minute nap today. He’s pretty congested and not feeling well, so he spent a lot of time in my arms  or hanging onto my pant leg any time I attempted to get anything done around here. Needless to say, I didn’t get to finish the 25 Days of Christmas post, so today is an instagram recap. Stay tuned next week for Part 1 of our 25 Days of Christmas. Day 337: I’ve been telling him the nativity story as he plays with the figurines. Apparently, he really liked my rendition of “Away in a Manger.” Day 338: Nap time activities and a Hallmark movie. The cheesier, the better. As silly as some of them are, I still end of watching the same ones each year. Hallmark has 12 new movies this year! Several of them are super cute. What cracks me up in those movies is all of the strategic product placement. Characters will slowly sip their coffee and pose with their mugs right next to a big ol’ can of Folgers or the camera lingers on their Wal-Mart bags as they take them out of the car. Well done, Hallmark, well done. Day 339: If he’s not ramming his tractor into the tree, he’s removing all of the bows and tags from presents. Maybe this is why Santa doesn’t come until Christmas Eve??? I’m rethinking presents under the tree. #toddlerproblems Day 340: Waiting to meet Santa at Mimi’s library. All smiles…for now. Day 341: Praise the Lord this boy... read more
Christmas Cheer Exchange

Christmas Cheer Exchange

I always love seeing Rachel’s color themed DIY packages (this one is my favorite…the color is so happy). So when she joined up with Astleigh and Kaitlin to spread a little Christmas Cheer, I definitely wanted to join in and meet some new blogger friends too. My package came from Jacquelyn at Crooked Creek Colonial. I love getting snail mail, and a box of goodies at my door just made my day. I opened the box to find a cheery display of red and green. The baking theme is exactly what I need for the holidays. I’m already planning on making and decorating sugar cookies for part of our 25 Days of Christmas. The Santa towel with cookie recipe, cookie cutter, and spatula are perfect for this! And I know the cookies will look super festive on the Christmas doilies. Red and green chevron straws will be great for milk with the cookies (or in an afternoon cocktail with my husband). My very favorite part is the Christmas tree spatula. How cute is that?! I am definitely going to use this year round. My toddler also likes it, but I think that’s due to teething. Thank you, Jacquelyn! I love my cheer, and I’m excited to bake some cookies and enjoy my new goodies. Can’t wait to see everyone’s Christmas Cheer in the link-up! Thank you, ladies, for hosting the exchange. I’m already looking forward to next year. I had just as much fun putting together a Christmas Cheer package for Astleigh. Check it out here. My little elf even helped secure the box with his teeth marks on the way to the post... read more
#phillipsfamily2014 Week 47 & 48

#phillipsfamily2014 Week 47 & 48

What a busy two weeks we’ve had. Graydon’s first haircut, Thanksgiving, the start of the holidays, and some typical toddler life at our house. December has brightened our mood and brought with it new hope for the season. It’s only going to get more holiday-ish and exciting from here! Week 47 Day 323: Drumsticks in the bath. Sure, why not? Day 324: A baby with his first big fever and a husband who is still recovering from his back going out last Saturday. Our house needs some prayers for healing, and this mama needs more patience. Day 325: The prayers were heard! He’s feeling good enough to get into everything again. Also, check out the mullet. It’s going away…very soon. Day 326: Red cup therapy on this rainy Saturday. #clichestarbucksselfie Day 327: He loves nap time cuddles from his little boy. Day 328: Baby’s first haircut. The “before” picture still smiling in my arms. He was a good boy, but was done with his haircut. I’ve yet to get a good “after” picture. Day 329: Graydon has the best G-Mama who came over to play while I got a couple hours of housework done. Looks like he enjoyed his park time! Week 48 Day 330: This little guy is ready to see his cousins. Road trip! Day 331: Happy Thanksgiving! Thankful for this little family God has blessed me with. Day 332: This pretty much captures our Thanksgiving week with the cousins: action-packed, loud, blurry, fun, silly boys. It was perfect. Day 333: It smells like Christmas in here! #whyiloverealtrees Day 334: Even though Sunday mornings can be long and... read more
December Goals

December Goals

December is here! And with it, brings all of that magical holiday excitement that only this time of year holds. Tim and I already act like kids around the holidays, but I’m excited now that Graydon is over a year old, he can really start to participate in many of our traditions. I want this month to stay simple. I want to let my usual, unending to do list be put on hold this month, and simply enjoy the season. DECEMBER GOALS 1. Celebrate our 25 Days of Christmas Each year we write down 25 things we want to do, see, experience, make, etc. They range from free or inexpensive like baking, making a Christmas craft, watching a holiday movie, or having a picnic by the tree to minimal cost like a new Christmas movie or book. Some years there’s even a few splurges like seeing Trans Siberian Orchestra or going on a day trip. I print out our list, cut apart each activity, and place one in each door of our advent calendar. Some days needed to be planned and placed into the calendar on a specific date, but most are randomly put in. Even though I made this list, I can’t wait to open it each morning and see what our activity is for the day. This year’s advent leans more towards Graydon-friendly activities that are easy to do with a 14 month old. We’ll save going to The Nutcracker and TSO again till he’s a little bigger. 2. Slow down and Soak up family time I’m the first to admit that I can be a little... read more
Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Linking up with Andrea, Erika, and Narci today for Friday Favorites. #1. Circle E Candles I have been loving my new scents since our trip to Fredericksburg last week. I’m so glad we live so near to the Circle E Candle factory. You can smell the candles when you step out of your car in the parking lot. So good! My favorite scent that I’ve been burning this week is Orange Patchouli…and it’s fun to say! Try it. Patchouli. Did you say it out loud? Anyway, it smells cozy and warm like something you’d smell in a spa while relaxing during a massage, but also with a hint of orange. Perfect for a fall transitional scent. #2. Prayer Journal I’m really enjoying my Val Marie Paper Prayer Journal. I keep a prayer list on my phone, but I don’t always go back and look at it once I write it down, and then I noticed I have random prayer requests written in so many different notes sections. I needed some organization, and I found these. I even bought one for my husband (there’s a men’s version too!) and my best friend. The journal is divided into topics, and I like that I have an intentional place to write prayers down and it’s something tangible that I can refer back to. I keep the prayer journal on my end table in the living room next to my daily devotional, so I can see it each morning when I sit down with my coffee. #3. Homemade Iced Passion Tea Lemonade Sometimes I need a fun little drink to get me through the... read more

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