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...
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....
Bluebonnet Pictures 2014

Bluebonnet Pictures 2014

I’m so excited to share our first family photos. Not just of this year, but EVER. Can you believe it?! We’ve never taken professional pictures as a family. Actually, Tim and I don’t even have professional pictures as a couple. Not even wedding photos since we eloped. We have plenty of snapshots, but one of us is usually looking a little wonky or the lighting is off. So I was super excited when our newborn photographer offered a bluebonnet session. These photos are extra special to me. My sweet Graydon boy was 6 months old. Can’t get enough of those blue eyes with the bluebonnets! He wasn’t quite sitting up yet. We got him to perch in the bucket. And then this happened… Yep, pretty adorable for the photo! Not so adorable for his diapers for the next week. I’m wondering if bluebonnets are poisonous…either than or the dirt he ate didn’t like his tummy. My little Texas boy. Now for the family pictures. It was super windy. Had to give up on any kind of hair style and just let it go. Graydon wasn’t so much into smiling but had a lot of worried eyebrows. At the very end of the session, I got him to smile that smile that only mama gets. LOVE this shot of us…post-baby double chin and all. These last two are my absolute favorite. Definitely framers! Huge thanks to the incredibly talented and patient Chelsea Lietz. She was even 7 month pregnant with baby #3 moving around in this field with her adorable belly totally focused on making us look good. If you’re in...
Another Fantastic First

Another Fantastic First

Every first I’ve had being a mom to Graydon has been a fun, exciting experience. My first Mother’s Day was no exception. We kicked off the weekend with the most beautiful sunset. Usually, by the time dinner is over, cleaned up, house picked up, Graydon bathed, nursed, and asleep in bed, I’m exhausted and just want to go to bed…even though I always end up staying up much later than I should. Friday night Tim had a gig and Graydon wanted an early bedtime. After putting him to sleep, I noticed how bright the sky looked coming in through our windows. So I did what every exhausted mom does, and grabbed a beer and headed to the front porch for some alone time. I got to enjoy this. A gorgeous sunset (iPhone pictures don’t do it justice), a cold Shiner Bock, and a quiet front porch all to myself. Happy Mother’s Day weekend to me! The sunset got prettier and more vibrant as it went down. Saturday, we celebrated Mother’s Day with our little family of three. I’m starting to like our new tradition of celebrating on the eve of holidays. Since Tim is gone so early for church on Sundays, he wanted to make sure we had family time without rushing to and from somewhere. He took Graydon to run errands for a little while in the afternoon, so that meant I got to shower and get ready in peace and quiet ALL BY MYSELF…that was a gift in itself! Then we had dinner out as a family and Graydon gave me his present… He slept almost the entire...
Happy Mother’s Day

Happy Mother’s Day

My very first Mother’s Day is this weekend, and I’m totally pumped. Last year, I was 20 weeks pregnant and just days away from finding out we were having a boy. Tim and I were both still 100% convinced it was a girl…OOPS! It was a busy month with us preparing to move into our house and I was driving to Katy to take care of my 3 month old nephew (such a special time I got to share with him) every other week while my sister-in-law went back to finish the school year, and we just ended up not celebrating. So this year really is my very first Mother’s Day to celebrate with my little guy. I’m excited to see what my husband and baby have planned for me. I feel loved and appreciated by my boys every day, but I like that they’re taking a little extra time and care to show that appreciation this weekend. Today, I have a few thoughts for my little boy. Dear Graydon, Thank you for making me a mother. I waited my whole life to be a mommy. I waited almost two years for YOU. Although it was difficult at times, you were absolutely worth the wait. I know God gave you to us at exactly the right time. I’m so happy that He chose me to be your mama. Sometimes it scares me a little when I think about what it means to have a son and raise a man. The gravity and importance of it hit me the moment I found out you were a boy, and from that moment...
Road Trip to the Coast

Road Trip to the Coast

Last week, we took a family road trip to Rockport. This trip had three purposes: 1. To see my mom’s new home 2. For Graydon to meet his great-grandmother 3. Baby’s first trip to the beach I still can’t believe we have this much stuff packed into the Expedition for just a couple of days. This is our third road trip with Graydon. For some reason, the bigger he gets, the more stuff I seem to have to pack for him. And yes, I brought the exersaucer. That thing is a lifesaver and will keep Graydon happy for hours! And we’re off! Driveway selfie.  As long as Graydon’s got a wubbanub and his Sophie, he’s pretty happy in the car and sleeps for a few hours. I hope he’s always a good car traveler. My mom and stepdad moved to Rockport last summer and split their time between here and there, so we always try to make the most of our visits. This is the first time we’ve been able to travel to them. Graydon loves spending time with his G-Mama and G-Pa. He’s always listening intently to the stories they tell. This boy was immediately at home enjoying the coastal breeze on the patio. My oldest brother and his family also live in Rockport. Tuesday evening, we had a good old-fashioned family dinner and all sat down at the table together to enjoy some ribs that had been smoked on the grill all day. Yum! Of course, we had to get a few family pictures. My oldest niece, Reese, a.k.a. “Little Chandra” since we look so much alike. She’s...