seven

My Sweet Oldest,

I just can’t really grasp that you are seven-years-old. Oh, you seem seven. You fit the profile of a first-born to a tee, and I may be biased, but think you are quite mature for seven. It’s the part where I have been a mom for seven years that I can’t quite wrap my head around. That you’ve been alive for longer than I was in college (because that seemed like such a large chunk of time). That you’ve been alive for more than 1/5 of my life. I remember Meme telling me once, when I was a teenager, that it seemed like I had been alive her whole life – and I think I’m beginning to understand that sentiment.

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You are a wonderful big brother. To be honest, I really don’t have a clue what that must be like. To be the oldest brother of three boys. I know that we place high expectations on you, and I also know that you believe we love you unconditionally, and we do. Your brothers ADORE you. The Middlest is always thrilled when you are done with school for the day, admires everything you do, and wants to be just like you (even though he has his own interests).

The Littlest, well he just thinks you are the coolest kid ever  – and thank you for treating him like he is the coolest kid ever. You two have had a bond since the day The Littlest arrived home from the hospital, and it has truly been a blessing to see that relationship flourish (I’m really sorry he bites you when he’s angry, working on that…).

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At age seven, you desire to be a professional golfer when you grow up. You also want to be a scientist. Both are admirable, and for a seven-year-old, you’re an excellent golfer! But, you also LOVE to create. I’m not sure you know that about yourself, but I am interested to see how God uses that in your future. You remind me of your aunt. Writing books and stories. Illustrating and imagining all through the day.

You are a social boy, at age seven. You thrive in a crowd (not a strong suit of mine, so that must come from Dad, along with your handsome blue eyes and your work ethic). You are kind, and you are sensitive. You are learning your way in social settings; learning lessons in pondering your words before you speak them, and learning to choose behavior that glorifies God. It’s hard, as a mom, to watch you navigate that journey and I know that I often fail to be a good example. But I have no doubt that you know how much I love you – and at the end of the day, that is motherhood.

You fascinate me. Being the first born, every single stage you enter is always a new one for me and you teach me so much. Sorry you have to be the guinea pig in this my parenting journey, kiddo, when you are frustrated you know where to find my older and wiser sister.

Love you more than words can describe, happy birthday!

casual fall fashion

My husband and I are newly involved in leadership of our local Young Life chapter, and last night was a hayrack ride and bonfire. We meet at 8 PM, which (if you know me in real life, you’re aware) is darn near my bed time. So, I was admittedly not as energetic as I’d have hoped, but it was still so awesome to see all of these teenagers who aren’t ashamed to make it known that they love the Lord or are coming to know His love. It also put me in the mood for fall clothing…

I am a fan of the change in seasons. As much as I’d love to live in warm climates all year round, there is something about a touch of crispness in the air that makes me feel refreshed and energetic. [We can talk again this winter when I’m all, “can’t it just be 90 degrees outside?” I’ll be singing a different tune]. It has been warmer than average this month, which has felt strange. In the mornings and late evening it starts to feel like autumn outside, but during middle of the day, we are still well in to the 80s. If you saw my instagram yesterday, you’d know that I am a bit anxious to wear boots and scarfs, but I am also content to soak up this gorgeous mild-summer-like weather we are experiencing. However, as soon as Mother Nature decides to turn down, here’s a bit of fall fashion inspiration for you.Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 1.46.25 PM

sources for all of these items below my ramblings, or access this set via Polyvore

One of my favorite fall trends/eighties-come-back is the denim-vest/hooded sweatshirt combo, and I have also been eyeing this plaid zip-up. However, I already own a flannel shirt, a gray zip-up hoodie, and a denim vest, so I can create both looks without purchasing anything new for my closet & also have the option to wear each piece separately [good for my wallet and simplicity sake].

I have been loving Urban Decay makeup products, lately. I started with the Naked Palette a couple of years ago, when they were all the rage [and still are, apparently]. Recently, because I was so impressed with the quality of the eyeshadow, I decided to try their foundation, and I love it. The makeup has a very light texture, but the coverage is amazing and builds well if you need extra coverage. And, I do. If I could tell my teenage self one thing, it would be STAY OUT OF THE DANG TANNING BED, because all of the age spots by thirty-something. <<insert weeping emoji>> Anyway, because I was so impressed with the foundation, I also ended up purchasing the UD pressed powder and it goes on like a dream. [Hey, Urban Decay, if you’re reading this hook a girl up with some free product or commission, mmmkay?] But seriously, if you can make these products fit your skin care budget, I highly recommend them. Skin care, to an extent, feels to me like a “you get what you pay for” type of product.

The jewels featured are from Rocksbox [my referral code is: marybff367]. This is essentially a jewelry “rental”. You pay a small fee, Rocksbox sends you a jewelry set with three pieces [styles based on a survey you fill out + wishlist created by you]. As far as I understand you can keep the pieces for as long as you’d like [for the monthly fee] and either decide to purchase the pieces or send them back for a new set. It also appears that you receive a $10 credit toward purchasing pieces from your set, each month. I took advantage of an opportunity to try my first Rocksbox for free, and those are the pieces that I am receiving. The box is in the mail, I’ll let y’all know how it goes!

I’m digging the “fancy” headband for second or third day hair in a messy bun & a baseball cap for the third or fourth day hair [or the my face is breaking out like a pre-adolescent forehead look].

I recently purchased those cognac booties at Kohl’s, on sale + another $10 off. I think I paid maybe $25 for them. Score! It hasn’t felt appropriate to wear them yet, though, due to warmer temps. I’m digging the Michael Kors cross-body because of the color and style [hello hands-free, yes please, thank you cross-body purses for making a comeback]. I likely wouldn’t purchase that handbag new, but if I could find it on consignment/used it’d be mine. For now I’ll seek out the Target version because I’m fancy like that. Those sneakers? I’d love to have that exact pair, but have a mild obsession with athletic shoes and probably shouldn’t be adding more to my collection right now. Christmas wishlist? Yes, ma’am. And finally, the blanket scarf. Need I say more?

I noticed I’m missing pants on this little collection. If you’ve got a great pair of leggings [that aren’t see through, friends] and a rockin’ pair of skinny jeans, you can wear all of the above!

sources:

plain button-up H&M // weekend zip hoodie J. Crew // denim vest AEO // sweater fleece pullover L.L. Bean

urban decay :: naked pallet, pressed powder, liquid foundation [these are items are linked through Polyvore, but all available via sephora] // Rocksbox jewels [my referral code is: marybff367] // Ray-Bans // headband Forever 21 // quilted baseball cap Madewell

cognac booties Kohl’s // Michael Kors cross-body bag // New Balance for J. Crew // blanket scarf

 

summer favorites

Sweet summer time. My favorite season. I’d rather be sweating than freezing, so this is my happy place. Mid-June in the midwest. Warm enough during the day to spend the whole thing in a pool, and cool enough in the evening to sit around the campfire. So far, this summer, these are some of the basic items that I default to, daily.
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basic racerback tanks >> because I can wear them with a sports bra, which is so much more comfortable for summer, but they still look classic + casual // simple necklaces // Ray-Ban RB3136 Caravan Sunglasses 55 mm >> smaller than the traditional aviator and a better fit for my face // denim cutoffs // longchamp le pliage handbag >> it’s a bottomless pit, I’m pretty sure my kitchen sink would in fact fit inside and disappear // Sephora perfecting ultra-smooth primer >> LOVE this lightweight serum underneath foundation, especially in the summer! My pores disappear once this is on // EOS Organic Lip Balm Sphere – Sweet Mint // AEO cross-strap sandals >> equally as comfortable as my Birkenstocks & I love the feminine touch of gold.

And then, because let’s be honest, I spend probably 90% of my time in gym clothes, here are my current favorites for the easy going days and mornings at the gym:
Screen Shot 2015-06-19 at 3.15.40 PMPowerbeats 2 wireless headphones // Nike Women’s Nike Pro Tank // Nike running shorts // Nike Women’s Free 5.0 Running Sneaker // BlenderBottle SportMixer

I highly recommend the Powerbeats. They are pricier, but if you check them out on Amazon, there is a link to refurbished Powerbeats, they are sold through Amazon warehouse and just as good as the originals. I bought mine refurbished and saved a pretty penny! The sound quality is amazing. I can drown out whatever music is blaring over the speakers at the gym and lose myself in my workout. My favorite feature, though, is that I don’t have to strap my phone to my arm and have the cord of my headphones conflicting with my lift.

I clearly have a Nike problem. In my defense, I bought this pair on eBay. Because frugality, sticking to a budget, and all.

looks we are loving

wild + bear
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Bold tees for your little man, inspired by living wild and free — as a boy’s life should be. Launching: August 1, 2014

[instagram shop started by @shopthewildthings, sweet mom to those handsome boys up there, and @bestdressedbear // keep this shop on your radar because there are bound to be good things coming from them]

carter’s

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[I am giddy over the back-to-school looks coming out. I mean, I realize it’s July and you might want to punch me for even bringing up back-to-school/fall weather, but I am a nerd and I love the supply shopping and the wardrobe updating and the smell of fall in the air. I do not love winter, so if we could pause at autumn and resume late spring that’d be great. I popped in to carter’s quickly the other day and drooled over that jacket and the new plaid.]

crewcuts [by J. Crew] + peek kids

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[I am definitely going to attempt to dress The Oldest in this outfit on the left, based on pieces we already have in the closet | these jeans are on clearance at peek kids, I purchased and adore! I love the bleached out wash and the slouchy-yet-fitted look | I am a sucker for all things raglan/baseball tee and oh, New Balance, you are knocking it out of the ball park with shoes this season seewhatididthere]

for her

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[After putting this collage together, I can only wonder if raising Three Boys is rubbing off on me a bit, but on the other hand, all of these pieces have such a feminine touch. I do know that I like to feel put together, but also comfy. I’ve had my eye on this hat for a couple of months, waiting for it to go on sale! >> nike sneakers | old navy cropped sweater | chambray cap | boyfriend jeans]

let freedom ring

We hope you all had a wonderful time celebrating Independence Day!
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We celebrated a birthday for our not-so-little firecracker [which, really, describes his personality, still].

[shirt | we also love this one | oh, this romper]

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We celebrated with some picnicking and of course dressing in the red, white, & blue.

[turquoise stripes | striped shirt, jeans, proudfoot moccs similar | crewcuts tee, gap cutoffs similar, genuine kids camo shorts, tee tagged above]

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A bit of my patriotic littles inspiration.

[saltwaters | baby gap tank similar | shorts and striped tee tagged above]

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This post is brought to you by Three Boys’s bleach-blond hair and sunkissed cheeks + my love for a good nautical look. Specific pieces pictured are referenced below, but chances are good you could recreate the look with items you already own. I picture those ruum jeans cuffed and am loving those sandals.

nautical

[crewcuts striped sweatshirt | crewcuts chambray popover | peek this land tee | ruum venice loose fit jeans | carter’s cotton flat front shorts | ruum sporty slip-ons | zara leather bio sandal]

//how I would style//

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boy basics // wardrobe staples

If I had to choose just a handful of items for my boys’ day-to-day, below would be the items that I consider year-round basics:

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v-neck tee [american apparel | old navy] ::: raglan tee [crewcuts | american apparel] ::: cardigan [gap | american apparel]

denim shorts [gap] ::: slim-fit jeans [crewcuts | gap] ::: bright shorts [gap | target]

wayfarer sunglasses [gap] ::: sneakers [saucony ‘jazz’ | puma for crewcuts] ::: baseball cap [crewcuts]

outfitideas