Noah's Bandaid Project

Amidst the hustle and bustle of every day life you may have missed the fact that September is Pediatric Cancer Awareness month. I wasn't aware of this until Brittany reached out and told the story of Noah and his band aid project...

Noah was a little boy from the Kansas City area who, at the tender age of six fought and lost his battle with cancer in June of 2015. 

However, during Noah's time battling leukemia and undergoing many treatments that required the prick of a needle, he discovered how uncool the traditional band aids were. And, Noah recognized there were kids on his hospital floor who were going through the same things as him, and not a single cool band aid was distributed to them either. 
That's when Noah began his band aid project. Noah began a drive to collect kid-approved band aids to bring to the hospital. What started as a small project turned into something much larger.
I wish I had the words to do justice to the compassion Noah had. Instead, I ask that you please take a few quick minutes to watch this courageous little boy, and listen to his story. Fair warning that you will likely need a tissue or two. 
In Brittany's email, she asked bloggers if they would be willing to donate to the band aid project. After hearing Noah's story, and watching the video there was no hesitation on our end. We loaded up a box with band aids and sent it out. This little boy, whom we've never met, has touched us in such a profound way. 
If you'd like to help with Noah's Band aid project there are a couple of ways to do so:
1. Send band aids.
If you'd like to collect cool band aids please send them to:
Noah's Band aid Project
119 North Parker Street Suite 110
Olathe, KS 66066

Please note, band aids cannot be sent directly to hospitals, as they are considered hospital supplies. Funneling the band aids through Noah's Band aid Project is the way to go.
2. Monetary donations are welcome.
The Wilson family is working to increase the lack of funding nationwide for pediatric research. Currently, only four percent of cancer funding is for pediatric research. Thus far, the Wilson's have raised $100,000, and that number continues to grow. If you would like to donate, please visit:
Listening to Noah's story certainly put life into perspective. And, I've been sure to hug my babies a little longer and a little tighter each night. 


Marcus || 4.5 Years


It's kind of incredible to think you're just six months shy of turning five. 

You, little boy have the sweetest soul. When people you care about are upset or hurt you are the first to try and remedy the situation. The compassion you have at such a young age is astounding. Please, never lose that. The world needs more of that. 

There are no adequate words to express just how great you are as a big brother. If I ask you to help with Julia - be it to cheer her up, or play with her, or help her out - you typically jump at the opportunity. You are so good with her, and I am so thankful for that.
I'm probably quite biased, but I genuinely think you are a pretty athletic little kid. It makes me so proud when you dive in and swim off into the pool, or when you pick up a bat and smash a ball over your dad's head, or when you legit dribble a soccer ball. And, you can throw a football with a better spiral than I could ever dream of. We've started soccer, and I love this little glimpse of what organized sports has in store for you.

You ask every day if it's a preschool day. You love going, and I think next year you'll transition quite nicely into full day Kindergarten. Your friends mean the world to you, and you love spending your days with them.

On the flip side, we do have our days, mister. You can be oh so stubborn, and have been known to throw some pretty epic fits. You aren't a stranger to time-outs, but thankfully we don't have too many of those. You're learning about boundaries, and how far you can push them.
You are all boy. Burp and fart noises are hilarious to you. I don't get it, but you sure do think it's some funny stuff.

Your sense of humor is priceless, and you love getting others to laugh and smile. Your giggle is contagious, and that alone can send me into a giggle fit myself.

As of late you've really been into coloring and drawing, cutting and pasting, and writing the names of your family members, pets included. You make all these little creations and then tape them to the walls. At any given point we will have countless items hanging from all locations of the house.

Outdoors is your preferred place to be, and many mornings I have to keep you inside longer than you'd like, as I'm fearful our shenanigans would wake the neighbors at 6:30.

While your sister naps, during our quiet hour in the afternoons, you'll often try to climb into my lap and snuggle in we read a story or watch a show. I love that you do that. It will be such a sad, sad day when you no longer fit.

One of my favorite parts of the day is one of which you likely are totally unaware. Long after we've tucked you in to bed, read our stories, and said our prayers I will sneak into your room kiss your cheek and whisper that I love you. Sometimes you'll sweetly nod your head, and it melts me every time.

Buddy, you are just so awesome. Thank you for lighting up our days by simply being you.
I'm pretty excited to see what year five has in store for us.



M & J Monday

I wanted you more
than you will ever know,
so I sent love to follow
wherever you go.
It's as high as you wish it. It's quick as an elf.
You'll never outgrow it... it stretches itself!
So climb any mountain...
climb up to the sky!
My love will find you.
My love can fly!
Make a big splash! Go out on a limb!
My love will find you. My love can swim!
It never gets lost, never fades never ends...
if you're working...
or playing...
or sitting with friends.
You can dance till you're dizzy...
paint 'til you're blue...
There's no place, not one,
that my love can't find you.
And if someday you're lonely,
or someday you're sad,
or you strike out at baseball,
or think you've been bad...
just lift up your face, feel the wind in your hair.
That's me my sweet baby, my love is right there.
In the green of the grass... in the smell of the sea...
in the clouds floating by... at the top of a tree...
in the sound crickets make at the end of the day...
"You are loved. You are loved. You are loved," they all say.
My love is so high, and so wide and so deep,
it's always right there, 
even when you're asleep.
So hold your head high and don't be afraid
to march to the front of your own parade.
If you're still my small babe or you're all the way grown,
my promise to you is you're never alone.
You are my angel, my darling, my star...
and my love will find you,
wherever you are.
~Nancy Tillman
Happy Monday!


The Best Week Ever Edition

The last ten-ish days could easily be some of the best, ever. 

Here's how it went down...

Disney x2
September is hands down the best month to go to Disney. The crowds are minimal, and the Halloween decor comes out!
Because Grandma was visiting we figured we'd better get to the parks at least a couple of times while she was here!
Seriously, just give me Disney every day.

We're officially in "organized" sports now. There's no turning back!
 Our first practice/game was this past weekend.
Seeing all those little shin guards and cleats chasing after a ball was comedy.
After the session was over, in the car Marcus proclaimed, "Soccer was SO much fun!" Music to my ears. I hope we spend many a days at the pitch.
Because I couldn't let this one slide under the radar... Julia was in on the field action as well. Except she just wanted to eat all the dirt.

Date Night 
For my birthday Scott surprised me with tickets to see Garth Brooks.
The last time I saw him was in Kansas City circa 2008. There he played nine nights in a row. After seeing him one night he was SO good I turned around and went a second night. The man is a ball of energy, and easily the best entertainer I've ever seen.
 Just like the last time, the show was amazing. We took our seats about 6:45, and didn't head back to our car until after midnight. SO GOOD!
It was unbelievable to have a night, just the two of us. I can't remember the last time that's happened.
Massive shout out to my mom for taking on the kiddos for nighttime duties!

Fall is my favorite season for so many reasons. When I lived in the Midwest it was because the weather cooled, the leaves changed colors, and cute clothes made their return. Now? Now I love Fall for the sunsets.
We will spend many evenings chasing the sun to the water to catch as the ocean seems to swallow it up.

Stained Glass
When I was little I remember spending afternoons in our basement as my dad would create works of art with glass. Not too long ago he took back up his hobby. For my birthday he sent the most magnificent stained glass butterfly.
I think the window by our front door is the perfect spot for this beauty.

Now we're celebrating Scott being back home after a few days away thanks to work obligations. Our weekend is shaping up to look nice and relaxed, just the way I like it.

Happy Friday!


Favorite Things Birthday Giveaway!

September is easily my favorite month. Football season is upon us once more, imost parts of the country (just not in SoCal) leaves begin to change color, the air holds a fresh crispness that can only mean Fall is being ushered in, and so many of my favorite people celebrate birthdays - mine included!

To kick off the festivities of the best month of the year I've teamed up with Elizabeth over at Chasin' Mason, and Courtney at A+ Life, who also have September birthdays. We've put together a fun little prize pack of our favorite things to giveaway to one lucky follower. How does $20 to Stitch Fix, $20 to Starbucks, and $20 to Target sound? Sounds like a pretty good way to get Fall started, if you ask me! 

Entry is easy, just follow the Rafflecopter prompts below!

Don't forget to stop by and wish Liz and Courtney the Happiest of Birthdays! 


M & J Monday

You are not a drop in the ocean.
 You are the entire ocean in a drop.
Happy Monday!


Current Photo Obsession + $50 Chatbooks Giveaway

A few nights ago I took a very rare trip down memory lane browsing the countless photos I've taken of Marcus and Julia. It all begin with scrolling the pictures on my Instagram account and I eventually worked my way over to my camera roll. There are thousands upon thousands of photos that have been taken, a few have been shared on social media accounts, and most haven't seen the light of day since I snapped them.
It was painfully sad to think that all these photos of my babes have just been sitting in folders on my phone and computer desktop, and buried in the Instagram archives.
The purpose of me taking all these photos is to document our lives, and for my kids to have something they can look back on. But, if every photo is buried somewhere, how are they ever going to see them? Sure, they could sift through the 54,000+ photos on my computer, but what are the odds? And, what if Instagram, and all those clever hashtags that have been created don't exists when the kids are older? 
My photos needed to be in something tangible. Something my kids can touch, flip through pages, and really feel
This is where Chatbooks comes in: the easiest little app where I can take all the photos I've 'favorited' in my camera roll, or all my hashtagged Instagram collections, and neatly put them into books that are organized exactly how I want them. 
With my phone I can create a book in minutes. I select the hashtag filters, choose from favorited photos in my camera roll, decide whether or not I'd like captions and dates included in my books, add a title, and bam, a book is ready to roll out.
Captions added.
Date included.
Title made.
Bonus points for the books costing a mere $8 per book. I honestly cannot remember the last time I bought something of true value and quality for under $10.
Currently there is a sweet little stack of 6"x6" books on our bookshelf, and it will continue to grow until I can no longer work my fingers on the camera.
My worries about where these photos will end up have dissipated. All those memories? Now we can literally hold on to what matters most.
Because Chatbooks is my current photo obsession and favorite thing ever, I've teamed up with them to give away a $50 Chatbooks credit. Simply head over to my Instagram account (click here to take you directly to the giveaway) to get entered to win! 


Fix #8 {The Birthday Fix}

Fix number eight! I was pretty pumped for this one, as I designated it my Birthday Fix (Friday is the day to bust out the cupcakes and pop some champs). Again I request Raquel (hi!!), as she's been so spot on for the past six fixes.

Since it's still so stinking hot here in Southern California I asked for some cute tops, maybe a couple of dresses for night out to celebrate turning another year older, and perhaps a cute pair of shorts.
Raquel did a stellar job paying attention to my requests, looking at my Pinterest boards, and checking out the blog. I'm a tiny bit bummed the specific item I requested couldn't be tracked down, but I was ready to see what pieces were included this month.

To the goods!

Loveappella || Renshaw Lazer Cut Detail Knit Top
I can't put my finger on it, but this top's texture just felt so weird to me. Kind of spongy, kind of heavy, and I just couldn't get on board with it. I was kind of big on me, and though the shirt had a very subtle waffle pattern it seemed kind of blah. The cutout detail was cute, but nothing to write home about, and didn't sell me on this piece.

Verdict || Returned 

Dear John || Finnegan Printed Cuffed Short
The second I put these on I knew they were going back. The pockets pucker out, and I hate when shorts do that! The stripes were a nice change from my typical shorts, but I'm pretty timid when it comes to pattern mixing, so I know I'd be resigned to plain tops each time I wanted to wear these.
Oddly enough, of all the pieces in this fix, Scott liked these the best. Though he liked them I didn't love them.

Verdict || Returned 

Market & Spruce || Hi-Lo Short Sleeve Tee
This shirt was so cute! I loved that the back was cut lower than the front, and the piece was nice and light. Layering this would be easy and fun. BUT. For $44? I simply could not justify a t-shirt for that price. I'm certain I could find something similar for much less.

Verdict || Returned 

41Hawthorn || Evander Dress
I really wanted to like this dress. I really did. The green color is unlike anything I have in my closet, the little cutout at the neck was a nice detail, but the orange flowers? Nope. Not even a little. Orange ranks as my very least favorite color. I also thought the waist hit at a really odd place. It didn't do much for my figure and I felt kind of frumpy up top.

Verdict || Returned 

THML || Abriana Colorblock Embroidered Dress
I was hoping this would be the piece that would end up in my closet. This I had pinned, only in the tank top form. I loved the navy and embroidered detail. I was even ok with the orange. However, it kind of fit like a flour sack. There was zero shape to the dress, and didn't work in my figure's favor. I tossed around the idea of returning this for a smaller size, but, I was really concerned it would be too short, as I was already a little uncomfortable with the length of this size.

Verdict || Returned 

So this fix was a bust for me, and I'm kind of disappointed. While it would have been fun, and awesome, to have a 5/5 they're just clothes. Plus, it's not like every single trip to the mall (like I ever go there anymore, ha!) produces winning threads each time.

Though this fix wasn't my unicorn we'll try again in a month or two! Maybe then the weather will have settled into more Fall-like temps, and cute layered pieces will make their return.

Not on the Stitch Fix train? Why not?!
For $20 a box, a personal stylist will hook you up with some fun, cute clothes. If you love what's sent your way, the $20 is then applied to your total. Don't love anything? The $20 is about what it would cost you in gas to head to the mall. Toss in the mandatory Starbucks you grab while shopping at said mall, and you've easily spent $20+. Not to mention, you get to have a little fashion show in the comfort of your own home (it is so awesome to be able pull pieces from your closet and jewelry box to see if they'll go well with a Stitch Fix item). Wins all around, if you ask me.

Give it a go! It's honestly one of the most fun things I've done for myself, even with an 0/5, it's still fun to see what someone else has selected for you.
Click here to get started on your profile (pssst, making a profile is free - you aren't charged a styling fee until you receive your fix).