Five on–Saturday?

Oh, hey there little ol’ blog! So nice to see you again. Sorry, I’ve neglected you for the past several months. What can I say? Time got away from me, life got crazy and I haven’t been very good at taking time for myself & the things that bring me joy. But–I’m back now, so let’s get right to it!

{one} I hate winter. I don’t do cold. I only think the snow is pretty long enough to snap a picture and then I’m over it. Plus as a mom, winter always means that my children are sick for what seems like forever and Kennedy has been no exception. Poor girl has been sick twice in less than a month–high fevers, runny nose, cough and feeling just plain miserable. Both times, it has only been a viral infection and within a week she’s been back to her happy, ornery self. Lucky for us, she’s been all smiles–even while awaiting her flu test results at Urgent Care.

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{two} Last night, we took the kids to the Liberty Light Show. We had never been before, but I stumbled across the event on Facebook and thought we’d give it a try. I’m always nervous to try new things that we don’t know much about, especially with the kids in tow. The Type-A, obsessive planner in me gets a little anxious when I don’t know what to expect. But let me tell you, this event was FLAWLESS!!! Pleasant Valley Baptist Church did a phenomenal job, not only with the light show itself, but just the overall organization of the event. If you are in the Kansas City area, I highly recommend checking it. You won’t be disappointed.

{three} Confession: I’ve had a package delivered every single day since Black Friday. Awesome deals + the ability to shop from the comfort of my couch–I couldn’t help myself! Bonus is my Christmas shopping is almost done. Of course, I did make a few purchases for myself, and all from Old Navy. They are really hitting the mark lately. My current favorites are this awesome hoodie and these leggings. I haven’t received these jeans yet though, but I’m super excited to see how they fit.

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Funnel-Neck Pullover Hoodie

{four} Maverick’s 3rd birthday is 1 week from today! I don’t even know how that is possible, but it’s happening. He has been requesting a Lightning McQueen party since October and I’ve slowly been collecting things to make it happen. I haven’t quite figured out the cake situation yet, but it will come together. Until then, I’ll be crying over his newborn pictures if you need me.

{five} Remember when I said I haven’t made a lot of time to do the things that bring me joy? It’s true. My self-care has been lacking (and that’s an understatement). I’ve been going non-stop in an effort to take care of and please everyone, but me. I know that is oftentimes a part of motherhood, especially during the holidays, but this week I’ve hit my wall. So I’m taking a step back and re-evaluating what’s important–to myself & to my family. Sometimes it’s not easy to let go of what weighs us down, but it is what is necessary.

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Happy Saturday, friends! Remember to take care of yourself.

xoxo

4th of July | 2017

It’s almost August and I’m just now posting about our 4th of July–that’s cool, right?

Anyways, we really did have a great holiday, despite rain keeping us from enjoying it like we had planned. We still made sure to have fun though.

Every since I can remember, the city of Parkville, Mo., has held a 4th of July carnival and a parade. So on Saturday before the holiday, we met up with my Mom & stepfather to take the kids to the carnival. I’ve never been very good at paying attention to the weather, but I REALLY should’ve at least stepped outside before loading my littles into the van and dragging them to a carnival, in no shade, on blacktop, during the hottest day we had had yet. WE WERE MELTING!

Maverick didn’t seem to mind, but all of us adults were miserable and I was worried about Kennedy getting too hot. So we very quickly hit up some carnival rides before bailing & heading to my mom’s house for some pizza and air-conditioning.

Shawn insisted on taking Maverick down the big slide. I was absolutely terrified, but I remember going down slides like this with my Dad when I was little so I let Mav go. Naturally, they both loved it.

Maverick also rode the carousel with me and did the mirror house with Grammi, but his favorite was by far the games. I can’t blame him though, I mean, look at that skill!

On July 4th, we were hoping to take the kids to the Parkville Parade, but we woke up to thunderstorms. So at last minute we decided to take the kids out for breakfast (which always sounds like a better idea then it actually turns out being) and of course, I still had to get them dressed up in their red, white & blue.

I didn’t go too crazy with the outfits this year. I picked up Maverick’s shirt at a consignment sale because I’ve learned that every time I spend money a cute outfit for him, he ruins it–somehow, someway. Plus, he will currently only wear Kansas City Royals shirts, so the $2 consignment sale shirt was perfect since I know he won’t ever wear it again. Unless of course, he starts wearing only flag shirts, then I’ll be prepared.

For Kennedy’s outfit though, my mom found it at Cracker Barrel and picked up for her when she was still a newborn. It fit perfectly and the headband was probably the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen.

By the time the evening rolled around, the rain had cleared, but Shawn and I had already decided that the kids are still a little young for a big firework show. I think next year Maverick will definitely be ready, but this year, we opted for some small fireworks (smoke bombs, sparklers, poppers) in our driveway.

I’m afraid Maverick is a mini pyro in the making because he wasn’t afraid of the fireworks at all. Not even when our neighbor started setting off the big ones when we were outside. He kept asking for more and getting him to go inside was a little bit of struggle.

After the kids got to bed, Shawn & I sat on the back patio and watched the fireworks from all over the neighborhood. It was a good way to end a relaxing holiday and I’m excited for next year, but hopefully with less rain.

Kennedy | 5 Months

5 months old? How did this happen? How did we make it to this point? There have so many times that I thought we’d never survive the early newborn days and yet it seems unbelievable that it’s already been 5 months since our little princess joined our family.

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It’s funny to me how different Kennedy is from her brother. I know they are 2 different people, but they really couldn’t be more opposite. When Maverick was little, he was easy-going. He would sleep anywhere, loved to eat & was just so happy. Kennedy on the other hand is a little more particular.

When she’s tired, she’s screaming, but she can’t sleep just anywhere. She needs to be in her room, with her white noise machine & preferably held with a pacifier or nursing. When it comes time to eat, she can’t have any distractions– no TV, no brother running around & definitely no talking. Sometimes she even gets really picky and likes to have her feet positioned just so on top of my arm. I wish I was kidding, but I’m not. Girl just knows what she likes and really, I can’t blame her.

Overall she is a happy baby. She wakes up smiling in the morning and as long as she isn’t overly tired or hungry, she’s happy to play. If she had her pick though, she’d prefer to be held and walked around so she can take in the world around her.

This month Kennedy has really started teething though. It’s obvious she is cutting her 2 bottom teeth, as they are just below the gums, but haven’t broken through yet. Poor girl has all the classic teething symptoms too–constant drool, diarrhea, fussiness & chewing on everything. I have given her Tylenol a couple of times, but it hasn’t seemed to help much. Her favorite forms of relief are her pacifier and sucking on receiving blankets.

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Weight: 13 lbs. 7 oz.

Height: Unknown

Currently Wearing: 3-6 months clothes–if the outfit has feet, like her pajamas it has to be 6 months, otherwise they are too short. I think she might be taller than her brother!

Hair Color: Dark brown & getting thicker

Eye Color: Dark brown and eyelashes for days

Likes: Chewing on her hands, her Daddy (he is her favorite!), sucking on receiving blankets, playing in her Exersaucer, playing with Daddy & brother & being walked around so she can see the world

Dislikes: Naps, being left alone, tummy time, getting dressed & teething

Milestones: Kennedy can roll from her belly to back, with a little bit of help, but she hasn’t mastered back to belly yet–probably because she HATES being her on belly. She will put weight on her feet if you stand her up & she is reaching and grabbing for anything in sight. We have started to implement the “Baby Radius” at the dinner table because she isn’t afraid to grab food or utensils right off the plate. She has also started to grab at Maverick’s ears if he is close enough and it’s creating quite an issue because he wants to do it back to her. She loves to coo and is trying hard to sit up. If you lay her down & she doesn’t want to be laid down she will lift her head & legs up, making a little V and try to get up herself.

Favorite Food(s): Mommy’s milk still

Sleeping: I don’t think I’ve ever been so exhausted in my whole life. Kennedy is the worst sleeper…EVER! We’ve done every sleep training, self-soothing, comforting technique we can find. We’ve rocked, walked, bounced, swung & drove her. She’s been swaddled, partially swaddled and not swaddled. We’ve purchased blackout curtains & white noise machines. You name it, we’ve tried it. She goes to bed every night at 7 PM, only to wake up again within a couple of hours and from there she’s up every hour to two hours until her day starts at 7 AM. Naps–if we can even get her down for one–are considered a success if she sleeps for an hour. I’m praying this gets better soon. It has to, right? Because Kennedy, momma is so very tired.

Favorite Mommy Moment: When she wakes up in the morning, she plays in her crib until I come in to get her. As soon as Kennedy sees me, she flaps her arms really big and has the best smile & when I pick her up, she reaches out & grabs my face like she’s trying to give me a hug. She usually ends up pulling my hair, but it’s still the best moment of my day. It’s as if she is saying, “Good morning Mommy” and I love it! She’s so happy when she wakes up.

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Happy 5 Months, Miss Kennedy Joy! We love you xoxo

xoxo

Kennedy | 4 Months

One of these days I will get Kennedy’s monthly update posted on time, but not this time. I’m so sorry baby girl! Mommy loves you, but goodness, you and your brother are keeping me busy.

Anyways, on May 28, Miss Kennedy turned 4 months old!

 

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As you probably know, the last 3 months have been rough. The first 2 months of Kennedy’s life were nothing short of a nightmare with the constant screaming and month 3, she spent recovering from her lip & tongue revisions. But thankfully, all of that is behind us now, and we are finally getting to see what a happy little girl our Kennedy is!

She hardly cries (which is a drastic change from screaming 20 hours a day), unless she is hungry, tired or feeling left out. Girl has a serious case of FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out). She is so curious and always wants to be in the middle of the action. When we are out somewhere, she needs to be held so she can see what is happening and she is constantly looking everywhere to take in all the sights & sounds. People always comment on how alert she is and it’s simply because she has to know what is happening. I can’t blame her, because I’m the same way. Shawn would say we are nosy, but really we are just curious creatures.

Kennedy is also starting to recognize familiar faces. She knows my mom and has become really comfortable with her. She also ADORES Maverick. It doesn’t matter what she is doing, if Maverick walks in the room or even makes the tiniest of sounds, Kennedy is observing his every move. It’s so cute, but also creating quite a problem when it comes to nursing her because of how easily distracted she is. Plus, Maverick isn’t quiet (ever), but he is slowly learning that when Sissy is eating we need to not be running around the house with the corn-popper.

Overall though, Maverick is doing an exceptional job being a big brother. If she’s upset, he will put her pacifier in for her. He isn’t the best at sharing toys and she is NOT allowed to touch his blanket at all, but he is always more than willing to cover her in slobbery kisses and full body hugs. Recently he has started to try and share his snacks with her, which is kind of scary because of the whole choking hazard thing, but we are working on it.

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Weight: 13 lbs. 5 oz.

Height: 24 and 1/2 inches long

Currently Wearing: Still in 3 months clothes, but they are getting really tight & her sleepers are too short. It’s definitely time to do some 6-month clothes shopping!

Hair Color: Dark brown & getting darker like Mommy’s

Eye Color: Dark brown like Mommy’s

Likes: Chewing on her hands, her pacifier, Maverick, Grammi, being apart of the action, playing outside & her play mat

Dislikes: Her carseat, hair bows, getting dressed, feeling left out & tummy time

Milestones: She is officially smiling at all times and she is SO close to rolling over. She can get on her side, but then just stops. It’s going to happen soon though! Kennedy is also starting to cut some teeth. She is constantly chewing on her hands and drooling. She’s holding her head up without any support now and is reaching & grabbing for items. She can take her pacifier out and almost put it back in her mouth (but usually ends up hitting herself in the nose). She’s also cooing & babbling all the time, but she’s only laughed for her Daddy, which I don’t blame her. He is pretty silly.

Favorite Food(s): Mommy’s milk–although she will make chewing motions with her mouth when she sees someone else eating so we are getting closer to trying some baby food soon!

Sleeping: Worst. Sleeper. Ever. We are definitely in the trenches of the 4-month sleep regression. She’s up every 1-2 hours at night and really only naps during the day if in the car or being held. Mommy & Daddy are so very tired.

Favorite Mommy Moment: Can I be completely honest here? I feel like this is the first month that I’m actually getting to bond with my daughter. The first 3 months were so hard and now that she is feeling better & truly acting herself, we are finally getting to build a relationship. I absolutely love that when she wakes up in the morning, she’s full of smiles. She’s a sweetheart and a definite Momma’s girl. I’m just really loving this month (even with the no sleep part) because I’m finally getting to enjoy my daughter.

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Happy 4 months baby girl. We love you so much!

xoxo

 

Day Out With Thomas 2017

Maverick is obsessed with all things that have wheels–cars, trucks, motorcycles, bikes & especially trains. So when I found out that the Midway Railway was hosting a Day Out With Thomas, I knew it was a family outing we had to do.

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From our house, the Midway Railway is about an hour away. We figured we could leave first thing in the morning, ride Thomas the Train, do ALL the activities and be back on the road by nap time. In theory, it was a really great plan.

We hadn’t told Maverick that we were going (mainly because I didn’t want to listen to him asking 800 times an hour all day, every day leading up to it), so when we woke him up that morning, we just told him that we had a special day planned. Lucky for us, he’s still at the age where he doesn’t question where we are going when we get in the car. Plus, he was totally content with an hour long drive, thanks to some QT donuts!

Baldwin City was a great host to Day Out With Thomas. They have clearly been doing this awhile because as soon as you pulled into town, there were signs everywhere directing you to the free parking lots. I had read online that shuttle buses ran every 10 minutes to take to you the railway. Now, I’m one of those people who don’t like to feel rushed. It makes me anxious and as luck would have it, the second we parked, the bus pulled up to take us to the railway. Since we hadn’t even gotten out of the car yet, Shawn & I were scrambling to get everything & everyone together and we were hot messes. I still don’t know why we didn’t just tell the bus to go ahead & wait for the next one, but we didn’t & in the mad dash, we left behind necessities–snacks, water cups, Maverick’s hat, sunscreen–but we made it on the bus.

Maverick still had NO idea what was happening, but he was so excited to be riding a school bus. I mean, really, we could of just skipped the whole Thomas part & rode the bus all day and he would have been just fine.

Anyways, we pulled up to the railway and after unloading, we told Maverick that we were going to go ride Thomas the Train. Shawn was recording Mav’s reaction on his phone in hopes of having the next viral video and of course, Maverick responded with, “Okay.” Kids, I swear.

Rushing to get on the bus, threw us off and when we entered the railway, the announcer was calling to “board Thomas” so of course, we ran to get in line. We were hoping to get one of the open cars, but they were full so we settled for a closed car. We boarded our train car & the whole thing was decked out in Thomas the Train decorations–complete with the Thomas soundtrack playing. At this point, Maverick’s excitement kicked in and thank God, because it was 100 million degrees inside that old train car & I was going to be really pissed if he wasn’t LOVING every minute.

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As we were waiting for the “All Aboard,” Percy passed us on the railroad.

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Maverick loved waving to Percy & the passengers on the train. We didn’t get tickets to ride Percy too, but I think in the future, we definitely will.

Percy & Mav

While we sat there & I collected my nerves, Shawn looked at me and goes, “What time is our ticket for again?” I said, “11, why?” When we purchased our tickets, you have to select a train departure time. Shawn looked at me and said, “It’s only 10. We are on the wrong train!”

At this point, I couldn’t help but laugh. Our perfectly planned morning had been nothing short of a disaster & we hadn’t even left the train station yet! We had been running around, forgetting things, hustling the children about & we were a whole hour early! I was just praying that nobody would notice because over my dead body was I going to drag my train-loving 2-year-old off that train without it leaving. Can you imagine the meltdown?! Thankfully, nobody noticed (or cared).

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The train ride was 30 minutes long & on the way back, we had to help Thomas get back to the station by yelling “Pull Thomas Pull.” All the children were rewarded a Junior Conductor Certificate for helping and clearly Maverick was VERY pleased with himself.

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He’s excited, I promise.

After we got off the train (and saw everyone lining up for the 11:00 train…oops!), we got to enjoy all of the activities. They had train tables for kids to play with, a petting zoo, train cars to play on & a movie area to watch Thomas the Train. Maverick was most interested in playing at the train tables & watching the movie. Shawn did take him to meet Sir Topham Hatt though.

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I snapped this picture seconds before Maverick realized who was next to them and started screaming. He was terrified of Sir Topham Hatt. Poor guy!

We ended the day in the gift shop tent, because of course, we had to buy another train while we were there. While I walked around with Kennedy, Shawn patiently waited with Maverick while he examined EVERY train they sold before settling on Connor–who he calls Thomas.

The bus took us back to our car and our already cluster of a day ended with me nearly breaking my ankle by taking the short cut to the car through the uneven grassy terrain. I was fine, but it was really the icing on the cake. Now I can laugh about the whole day & really the main thing is that Maverick had no idea that most everything went wrong & Shawn and I are MUCH better prepared for next year.

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Memorial Day in Ellis

Does anybody else feel like they are still recovering from their long weekend because I sure do?! I know it’s already Wednesday, but my goodness I need a vacation from my vacation.

We spent Memorial Day weekend in Ellis, Kan., which is where Shawn is from. It’s a very small town about 4 hours west of Kansas City. We left Friday afternoon, around nap time, so the kids would sleep in the car and only had to make 1 stop the whole drive! Kennedy woke up from her nap outside of Salina, Kan., so we stopped at a gas station for diaper changes & snacks.

This trip was the first Brack Family Road Trip in the new minivan and words cannot describe how much I love this car! Not only did we fit ALL THE THINGS that my 2 tiny people require, but I had feet space in the front seat & nothing was blocking Shawn’s view in back! Plus, when Kennedy lost her shit with about an hour left to go, I just jumped in the 3rd row so I could entertain her (and clean up the entire Starbucks cookie that Maverick let melt everywhere).

The main reason we traveled to Ellis for the weekend was because it was Shawn’s 20th High School Reunion! On Saturday, we went to the reunion lunch and I got to meet Shawn’s old friends. It was so good to hear stories of high school Shawn (spoiler alert: nothing has changed in 20 years) and finally meet some people that I only knew through Christmas card exchanges.

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Ellis High School, Class of 1997

There was a reunion dance that evening, but at last minute we scraped those plans & decided to take the kids to the races with Shawn’s best friend, Christy. It was cold, the cars were loud, the track was muddy & Maverick LOVED every single second of it.

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He kept saying, “Fast cars. Very fast cars” and when 2 of the cars crashed (very minor crashes), Maverick got excited & kept saying, “Crash.” He was very into watching the Jeeps tow the crashed cars away.

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Kennedy had not napped all day (shocking, I know), so I put her in my Tula for the races & strapped some headphones on her. It was so loud, even when we sat far away & I was worried about her little ears. I don’t know if it was the muffled noise or being strapped to my chest, but Kennedy had the best nap of the entire weekend while we were at the track.

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Sunday we spent the day with Shawn’s mom. We went to eat lunch at one of Shawn’s local favorites, Taco Shop, and we had to check out the new snow cone shop in the mall. I will say, those snow cones were some of the best we’ve ever had. They were the perfect ice to syrup ratio. After naps, we finished off the day at Shawn’s grandmother’s house for dinner & some outside play time.

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I love that Maverick & Kennedy get to spend time with their great-grandparents. It’s something I never got to do & I know it means the world to Shawn.

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And it’s pretty cool to see 4 generations of Brack’s together.

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Overall it was a great weekend, but we were all very excited to home. There’s just nothing like sleeping in your own bed, you know?

Hope everyone had a great weekend too!

xoxo

 

Mother’s Day Weekend 2017

How is it already Wednesday?! I was hoping to get this post out earlier in the week, but I blinked and suddenly the week is half over. But I still wanted to share all about my Mother’s Day weekend, because it was pretty perfect (despite all the crying from my children).

We kicked the weekend off on Saturday with the Kansas City Northern Railroad’s National Train Day. Just a few minutes from our house is a miniature railroad track that runs during the summer months and for National Train Day, they had free train rides, as well as inflatables, food trucks & other family-friendly activities. It was so hot and crowded, but the lines moved super quick and Maverick had a blast.

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Of course we had to ride the miniature train. Kennedy slept in her Tula and Maverick sat with Shawn. Last summer when we rode the train he was a little scared, especially when it goes through the tunnel, but this time around he was all about it!!

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After the train ride, we visited the model train museum that was there. I think Maverick would have stayed there ALL DAY watching those trains. He was in awe!

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We had planned to eat lunch there and enjoy the sunshine, but it was so hot and Maverick was quickly approaching the point between Nap Time & Overly Tired, so we hurried home to get the kids to sleep.

While I laid down with Kennedy, Shawn decided he was going to run to a car dealership to look at yet another minivan. Quick backstory–we have been shopping for a minivan for about a year now. We knew the exact one we wanted & had a price in mind, but nothing ever seemed to pan out. Shawn, the eternal optimist, continued the search over a course of a year and every once in a while would make trips out to various dealerships to see if it was “the one.” I had long given up my dream of driving a mini, so when he told me he was cleaning out the SUV “just in case,” I just smiled and let him be.

Fast forward to an hour later and Shawn called me asking if I can meet him at the dealership to sign the paperwork!! I could NOT believe it! I woke the kids up, threw them in the truck and before the dealership closed, I drove away in my brand new 2017 Toyota Sienna.

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I swore I would never drive a minivan, but you guys, I’m driving one and I have never been more in love with a vehicle. Maverick can get in and out of the car all by himself and I don’t have to worry about him running out into the parking lot while I get Kennedy in and out of her carseat. Not to mention, I can fit both the double stroller AND the groceries in the trunk. I mean, seriously, it’s the little things that make my heart go pitter-patter.

And what else says Happy Mother’s Day better than a grocery getter? Oh, that’s right, the fact that my children were absolute nightmares the whole day on Sunday!

Like a lot of moms, I had high expectations for Mother’s Day, but when my children woke up extra early and crying, I knew my dream of having a day of not “momming” was over. We had plans to meet my mom & my sister at Ted’s for lunch that afternoon and I’m honestly surprised we even made it out the door. It was as if my children knew I wanted a day off and revolted by having epic meltdowns over nothing. When we finally did make it to the restaurant, we all had to take turns defusing toddler tantrums and walking around with Kennedy to keep her from screaming. I was supposed to go shopping with them after lunch, but I knew there was no way Shawn could handle this on his own (I mean, I could barely handle them) so we came home.

Lucky for me, we did eventually get Maverick down for a nap and Shawn pushed me out the door so I could go to Target for some alone time. I spent almost 2 hours cruising the aisles and shopping for new car accessories for my mini van (and no, I’m not joking either).

While the actual Mother’s Day wasn’t perfect, the weekend as a whole was, because it was spent with my family. Plus, my kids quit acting like lunatics for 3 whole seconds so I could snap this picture on my first Mother’s Day as a Mom of 2.

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And how can you possibly not love that?

xoxo