Wednesday, May 25, 2016


It is no secret that Disney World is one of my favorite places on earth. So it should be no surprise that the second installment of Disney Collection by Jamberry is one of my very favorite things. OMGGGGG. I love everything about it. This one will be available through the summer (and then there will be more!) so grab what you need before you load up the family for your visit to the Magic Kingdom. You can see the whole collection HERE.

Friday, May 20, 2016

First and Last, Take Two!

James had a great morning at school and then got checked out early just for fun! He wouldn't claim first grade status until 3pm, though. Hard to believe he's a first grader! He's been strutting around all afternoon!

Thursday, May 19, 2016

The Last Day of Kindergarten Eve...

I have been ALL KINDS of emotional this week. I am not a crier by nature, but I do cry at the weirdest, most random things. When we left James at kindergarten on the first day of school, I did not cry. I went to my house and fixed breakfast for a friend who was {8.5 months pregnant and} sobbing her eyes out, but I did not cry. I did not cry all day long while I wondered what he was doing or if he was making friends. Do you know when I cried? When I picked him up. I busted out in the ugly cry when I saw the parapro walk him out of school that first day and put him in my car. Boooohooooo! I've been feeling sappy all week long.

My baby is about to be a first grader.

This year has been awesome. It has been hard. It has been fun. It has been exhausting. We have cheered for James. We have disciplined James. And we have let go of James just a little bit more. Because that's what happens when you send them off to school. I'm not there to tell him to PUH-LEASE wipe the sloppy joe off of his face after lunch. {Side note: Cafeteria food has been a shock for us. JAMES LOVES IT. He was the pickiest eater but he will try anything from the cafeteria. I KNOW. Sloppy joe day is his favorite day.} I am not there to hug him when his best friend would rather play with someone else on the playground and tells James that he can't play with them. I'm not there to remind him to sit up straight or listen to his teacher. I'm not there when they announce he's the student of the month. And I'm not there when he gets in trouble for something not-so-nice and has to deal with the repercussions.

I don't get to be there for those things. And that's ok! Because that means HE CAN DO IT. Y'all, kindergarteners can do those things!

{Remind me to write a post to parents in the YMCA t-ball league. They're going to need to know that in two years when their kid is playing rec ball, they can't BRING THE WHOLE FAMILY TO STAND ON THE FIELD DURING THE GAME. Remind me. I'll tell you about it.}

We are SO PROUD of the things James has accomplished this year.

This year, he has:
* Learned to read!
Allow me just a Mama minute to brag here. He was reading sight-words-only at the beginning of the school year. Somehow, just a few weeks in everything clicked for him. They score kids in our county using the Founta Pinnell Literacy Collaborative program. That means that they break reading levels down into letters. You start on Level A. Kindergarteners SHOULD be reading on a Level E by the end of the year. James benchmarked around an F a month or two into school. He is currently reading on a LEVEL M. Almost the end of second grade! We are so proud!
* He was Bulldog of the Month for the month of February!
* He had more than 20 AR points. Pretty good for a kid who didn't take an AR test without me until January. And I only helped him three times at the beginning of the year.
* He played Upward Basketball for the first time - and LOVED it.
* He played t-ball for the third time - and EXCELLED at it!
* He had two choir performances at church - Christmas and Spring. And he could've been the understudy for some of the older kids because he knew all of their lines!
* He tested into the GIFTED program - one of only eleven in kindergarten.
A note from his gifted teacher on Facebook:

* He turned SIX {and then's important, y''s on Cacky's calendar!}
* He lost TWO TEETH! {Also a big deal.}
* We also took a ton of fun trips this year!

The year hasn't been without its hangups, but it has been great. I am so sad now to let kindergarten go. And I was so sad to let it start just nine short months ago!

Tomorrow is James' last day of school. Our summer is jam-packed and is going to be GREAT. But this first year of kindergarten has been wonderful. And I hope that he always remembers it.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

First and Last.

Last Friday was Will's (and my!) last day of school! Hip! Hip! Hooray! No rest for the weary around here, though. My house looks like a war zone because I've been cleaning out closets, drawers, etc. If you stop by just know that half of the mess is going to a yard sale ASAP. My office and garage are FULL of yard sale stuff.

Will had a GREAT year at 3 year old preschool. He went five days a week again and really thrived. This year he:

* Learned his letters!
* Learned his numbers!
* Played soccer AND t-ball for the first time.
* Had his first choir performances.
* Had FOUR best friends - Will, Liam, Jaxson, and Bentley. (He often includes himself in the list, too.)
* Improved his behavior SO much. He really came out of his shell, listened, and obeyed at school. He is still a rebel, but he reigned it in this year a little more.
* Started speech! (Today was our last day until the fall!)
* Turned FOUR. My baby is FOUR, y'all.

First Day, Last Day
Who doesn't look like a baby anymore?!?!?!?!?!

His class had a "fruit bar" and Will probably thought it was sent from Heaven. There are two dairy allergies in their class so they skipped the ice cream and just ate the toppings! Strawberries, bananas, pineapple, etc. plus chocolate syrup, whipped cream, sprinkles, and MORE. Whew!

After the fruit bar they went to the gym to play on the slide and bounce house. It was a super fun party. The best part MIGHT have been his daddy sliding down with him. 

After school we went to the park to play with his buddy. They are such sweet friends! 

Wild Will played his little heart out, took a bubble bath when we got home, and crashed in the car when we picked up James. It was a good day!

Monday, May 9, 2016

May Goals.

Last month I wrote a list of goals at the beginning of April. I didn't mark everything off of that list (it was LONG), but I did focus on those things for the whole month and I'm so pleased with how it turned out that I thought I'd do it again! Because THIS IS THE LAST WEEK OF SCHOOL (for Will and me), I'll have a little more time this month to get 'er done.

1. 100 miles logged on my FitBit.
2. Sign up and pay for the boys' camps.
3. Update teacher certification!
4. Organize master closet
5. Organize office.
6. EIGHT books read.
7. Two books read to boys.
8. Finish X-Files Season 3 & 4. (I have a little Netflix obsession going on.)
9. Finish Blue Bloods.
10. Read Bible in a Year through June.
11. Blog 15 times.
12. Cross 5 things off our summer bucket list.
13. Front porch makeover!
14. Get Jamberry and Keep businesses organized.

I love the accountability of making my lists. It has given me a TON of focus and clarity recently. If I have a few minutes during the day I focus on taking care of a few things on my list and it's such a welcome change! Eddie and I joke that I never got my feet back under me after I had Will. I was a very organized stay-at-home mom with James. I had a routine, supper was almost always cooked, I just had it together. For the past four years I've been flailing a little bit and he has COMPLETELY picked up my slack. I think it has a lot to do with the anxiety that I deal with, but I'm hoping this helps.

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Gift Season!

It's time for gift-giving season! I know it isn't Christmas, but let's face it...May is FULL of gift-giving. We have Mother's Day, Teacher Appreciation, bridal gifts, bridesmaid gifts, and graduation gifts on the horizon! I try to keep the chatter about Keep Collective to a minimum on here, but I wanted to put a bug in your ear about it today for upcoming events!

If you'd like to browse our online catalog, click HERE. Contact me for more info!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Summer 2016 List!

Every summer for a while now I have made a list of fun to-dos for our family. It gives us some ideas on days when we're so bored and it gives our summer a little structure. This summer is SLAP FULL {there's a Southern expression for you!} of structure. We are so busy we don't have a ton of time for anything else, but I HATE that and want to make the most of our days and enjoy the time I have with my kiddos. I'm working all summer long. It isn't REAL work, but I'm the director of our preschool's summer camp this year so we're busy five out of ten weeks of summer just with that! We also have several trips planned, a week of VBS, two weeks of kids' camps at a local museum, and a week of baseball camp planned. And then school starts back AUGUST 2nd!!!! Can you believe that nonsense?

Our summer list begins May 1st and ends September 1st because I like to try to make our summer longer than the school system thinks that it is. It's 105* here for six months so summer should last longer than two months. are the things we'll be marking off the list this summer! I'm happy to share the non-water-marked version of this, just shoot me an email and I'll send it your way. And I highly recommend making these lists for your family. It's always fun to hear what your kids want to do and it's a nice way to set some goals for the time you'll have off!