Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Bennett's Birthday Letter - Age 4

Well gang ... I'm here today to report our first born has turned another year older and we woke up with a four year old living in our house. And per tradition, I'm here today with a birthday letter to my little bear.
Previous Birthday Letters to Bennett:

My sweet, kind hearted, strong willed, brilliant little B. While you're still "little" our B bear really isn't all that little anymore.  With every passing day you're shedding your "little" and you're really becoming a boy all your own. Your personality has remained the same from the moment you were born ... and yet it continues to blossom year after year ... as you grow and fine tune who you are and learn to utilize the talents God has blessed you with.

Son, this year has been a year. A real, grab you by the face mask, get your head in the game, year (that's a varsity volleyball quote my coach used to say that still rings in my head when stuff starts to get real). And you, my little fella have impressed me through it all, in both small and big ways.

Soon after your third birthday, we concocted the perfect peace out paci plan, and in true Bennett fashion ... once you were able to reason with how, why and understand the entire situation you were over it and ready for the next thing. You are the most logical little guy I've ever met! Truthfully, almost to a fault you have to understand EVERY single detail of every situation. You need to evaluate things from all angles before making a decision and it's really an admirable quality of yours.

Your memory is IMPECCABLE (seriously though!) - you literally still talk about our summer vacation with GoGo when we headed to Chicago last summer. And we still hear stories about your "old school" ... I can remember your first day of Preschool Threes like it was yesterday! You excelled at school with your buddies and I was constantly getting good reports from your teachers at pick up.

September and October life slowly but surely started to feel somewhat back to normal. Lainey was a bit older and we were really settling into being a family of four. And you began to really really recognize and have interest in your little sister. Through fun fall activities, pumpkins and Humpty Halloween celebrations your role as big brother grew and you were proudly telling everyone you met Lainey was your baby sister. Your relationship with her melts me completely, and she is so lucky to have you to learn from.

Even if that means setting terrible examples on really fun trips like NYC ... because I know one day I'll look back and miss my babies. HA! You were SOOOOO into Elf on a Shelf and Christmas this year. Your imagination is AMAZING. Your love for a good story and your way with words always impresses me ... so you totally grabbed a hold of the Christmas season and you had that magic sparkle that made everything so much more special than it already was.

January was a really tough month. For all of us, and especially you. We threw you into so many new things so fast. At the time, it seemed like the right thing to do. We wanted to keep you busy and keep you distracted ... but looking back on that ... whew, I feel like I owe your sweet self a big hug! A new school, new friends, a new house, a new city, a new karate class, and a new basketball program all in one month?! Good grief - what were we thinking! Bless your sweet heart ... again ... you impress me. You went to it all ... smiling and making the best of the situation, when in reality you were probably incredibly overwhelmed. You teach me a lot little man :) I'm so very grateful for you.

February and March we started to settle in and we made the best of the rest of the winter. Come April, we were ready to cut loose and we made your Disney Dreams come true. I'd imagine we'll be back to the magical Disney in the future, but the memories of your first trip are forever etched in my memory ... and your sweet crush on Tinkerbell is the perfect example of your sweet soft heart.

We said adios to your Three Day Three's Preschool program and kicked off summertime. We've been making the very most of our summer days and spending this time with you (while exhausting a lot of the time) is so rewarding and genuinely fun. Like I said, your imagination is off the charts ... and chatting with you and seeing your brain tick is such a pleasure. You love to learn, and as long as you're not using allotted iPad time you LOVE to hold a good conversation with just about anyone. You play so well by both yourself and with others (especially little Lainey Lou), and you are truly the sweetest little fella.

Your current loves include: Trolls, Star Wars, TMNT, Spiderman/Batman - any superhero really :), and Moana. You LOVE music (you can thank your Daddy for that) and we listen to a soundtrack, Taylor Swift or a Disney Pandora station nearly every time we're in the car and you can sing along to most of the songs (which totally melts my heart - or "cracks it up" - as you like to say).  You're still a total sweets lover when it comes to food and other than sweets mealtime is still a bear. I hope one day you learn to like food as much as the rest of your family!

But even if you only eat chicken fingers for the rest of your life we'll love you all the same. You bring so much laughter to our days, and you make us think a little deeper than sometimes we were planning ... you challenge us, and are the perfect mix of strong willed and people pleasing. Figuratively speaking, you color inside the lines for the most part, and laugh hysterically when your sister colors all over the page. You are supportive, loyal, and aware of others around you in the best possible way. You are so very smart, and we are so blessed to have you as our son.

Year after year, signing off so very proud to be your mommy.

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Friday, June 23, 2017

2017 Father's Day Recap

Well, it's Friday ... and I'm just now getting a chance to recap our fun Father's Day weekend. Better late than never, right?! I'm such a lucky gal to have so many great men in my life. What a great day to celebrate the extra special dudes and let them know how thankful we are to have them in our lives.

This year, we had a full weekend of daddy-centric festivities. I started out by taking the kiddos to the local pottery paint store and letting them pick out their favorites items to decorate. It was so cute hearing Bennett tell my why every person deserved each special piece and the significance behind each one.

We left the pieces at the shop to be fired and picked them up Saturday so we could wrap them up and give them to our special fellas Sunday!

Saturday, I gave Shane his early Father's Day gift and we finally pulled the trigger on something we've been talking about for a long time ... BUYING BIKES! We went to the shop and had our bikes fitted, picked out all the things and are so excited to start riding.

After some lunch, we headed home to get cleaned up for the soccer game and cheer on our favorite boys in purple, Lou City FC ... because what would Father's Day be without some sort of sports activity?!
Sunday morning we woke up and made our guy a yummy breakfast, complete with snuggles and some fun gifts. And then we got cleaned up to head to Churchill Downs ... because growing up in Kentucky, you learn to have a love for the ponies at a young age.
I had to snag a pic of little miss' braided piggies! Hehehehe!
We met up with Shane's dad and headed to the Rose Lounge for a fun filled day.
 It was our kiddos first time at the track and they LOVED it!!

 But, when Churchill Charlie came to visit with the kiddos Lainey pulled a Disney World and HATED the character! HAHA! So we admired from a afar.
And then distracted them by letting them choose a horse and placed a bet. And wouldn't you know ... Mister B won! Lucky little fella!

Around midday we headed down to the paddock to meet up with my family and say Happy Father's Day to another very special fella in our life, PaPaw!
And little monster had fun with Uncle Jon Ryan and Aunt Brooke too!
 Plus, GoGo!!

 Heart is full.
 The kids loved seeing the ponies up close.
 And Lainey learned how to handicap.
 It was a great way to wrap Father's Day 2017! We love you all!

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Monday, June 19, 2017

The HOME Stretch

Well gang, I'm here today to nervously report we're in the home stretch of house renovations! We're turning a sharp corner and finishes are FINALLY happening! I'm going to be honest with both myself and you, my readers, I have absolutely no idea when we will actually move in ... BUT I do think it will be soon :)

If you need to catch up, here ya go:
I'm waiting to purchase any new furniture, rugs, decor, etc. until we move into the house and I have a true understanding of the space. Because, I personally think it's better to learn the flow of the rooms and what not before I make big time purchases like that. I have a good idea of what I want, and several options picked out, but I want to get a really really good feel before pulling the trigger, but walking through the house and seeing things come together is making waiting SUPER DUPER HARD! But instead of getting ahead of myself, on furniture purchases... I will share some exciting photos of what's happening at the casa, because I am getting soooo excited! I simply cannot wait when I get to publish the official BEFORE | AFTER photos!


You may recall the great color debate a couple of weeks ago deciding the exterior paint color of the house. We were pretty strongly between colors #1 (SW 7075 Web Gray) and #6 (SW 6251 Outerspace) ... Shane was 60/40 Outerspace and I was 60/40 Web Gray. And to be honest, most of the feedback we got was pushing us towards Outerspace as well. However, after MUCH debate we decided to play it a little safer and stick with Web Gray. We had the painters start on the trim so we could go back and forth longer on our great debate.

So, all of that simply to say ... WE MADE THE RIGHT CHOICE! YAYYY. We went back and forth SOOOO many times. Literally up until the painter took his brush and started on the wood we were second guessing ourselves. We left the house and agreed we wouldn't come back until a wall was finished and when we came back we were PUMMMMPED. The color turned out wayy more blue than we anticipated, yet still gray enough to achieve what we were hoping for. Winner winner, Web Gray Dinner!

We also polished and refinished the copper dormer covers and I'm loving them!! They've still got to finish painting the rest of the exterior and do a few more coats -- but I'm loving the direction! I think the white trim changes the entire look of the house!


Most of the inside stuff is pretty :) and making me so excited too! Cabinets are being installed, trim work is almost complete, most of the tile has been laid, the hardwood floor has been patched in, and we're working on final tweaks and built-ins as we speak. Along with finalizing granite choices, door knobs, pulls, etc. It's all coming together, FINALLY!

They began patching and completing the hardwood floor in the new great room addition.
 Then they painted it :)
 They painted the office.
They started the kitchen cabinet install.

 And my little helpers came to check on the progress with me of course!
My contrast island made it's appearance! EEk!!
 And my contrast bar area made an appearance as well ... and I raised everyone's eyebrows when they asked why cabinets were missing their inside panels and I told them I'd be gluing chicken wire to them! Ha!

 The kiddos and I also made a trip to the granite shop (they love it there...wonder why, HA!)
 And we picked this beauty for the kitchen!
They started laying the tile in the master bath. 

 Then put in the bottom of the cabinets.
 And then we picked this pretty slab for that room, LOVE that vein in the middle.
And after I picked it out I learned we'd have to have a seam in the granite (RATS!) so I had to head up to the shop to work with the vinyl templates to ensure we'd be happy with the final product. I'm a little anxious about this one.
We painted the laundry room this fun little shade!
 And added pretty cabinets.
And decided to add a pretty marble to the room for a subtle finish. 
 They started laying my most favorite tile EVER in the hall bath.
 And I'm in love with it.
This room gets a wood wall accent and also an apron front sink ... so I kept the granite simple and found an awesome dark honed remanent with faint lines running through it. So, hopefully it'll keep the focus on the floor and wall, while keeping the counter top clean. 

 We worked on some trim options to make the weird angle in our great room work. 
We got our cubbies! To which when I sent my girlfriend a picture she replied: #momporn hahahaha!
We're finalizing the kiddos bonus room.

 We're painting the guest rooms ...
And picking out sweet granite for that bathroom:
 Painting Bennett's bathroom,
 And finishing with this top:
And we're working on little miss Lou's room too.
 And her bathroom tile is completely swoon worthy.

Plus working to find a granite that will fit into her monochromatic scheme as well ...
Here's a look at her bathroom cabinets, still at the warehouse and about to be installed.
And our contractor built her the most adorable little window seat/chest. I've been trying to pick out the most perfect fabric for a cushion that will adorn the top. I can picture her (or maybe myself) reading a book and enjoying a warm cup of hot cocoa in the winter :) ... maybe she'll invite me in sometime!
 And last, but certainly not least ... we've  been working to pick out all of the final details (door knobs, stains, carpet, etc)  for the house ... and again I have the best helpers :)
And that's where we are folks! The HOME stretch (see what I did there?!).
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