This Is Life Lately – 4.22.19

Well hello there! It’s Monday – one of my favorite days… despite the bad rap that Monday gets, she’s really a good one because of the fresh start that she represents! And what better kind of Monday than a Monday spent on vacation which is exactly what THIS Monday is for me! We’re headed over to Destin, Fl for a little family vacation, but I wanted to pop in this space and give you guys a brief run down of what’s been going on for us lately.

At the end of March I got to spend some time with my bestie and her boyfriend while we watched some of our friends play in their band at the IP Casino Chill Bar.

It seems we’ve been celebrating Cooper’s birthday since the beginning of April! He had a mini celebration the actual day of his birthday and then two different parties (one for family and one for his classmates/friends).

We did his friend/classmate party at a local crafting store called Create A Craft. The kids got to each pick out a figure to paint and then take home with them. I think it turned out really well…and all the kids seemed to have a blast! And I think the kids and I will definitely come back sometime. They host parties, but you can also just drop in and create something. There’s no need to plan an appointment time! I wrote about his family birthday party at home here.

Not only did we celebrate Coop for weeks, but we also had my sister’s birthday and Shaun’s birthday in the mix! It’s always fun to celebrate your people on their birthday and I know I’ve enjoyed this birthday season in our lives…but also I’m ready for it to have passed. LOL Between family and classmates’s parties this introverted momma has planned and been to enough birthday celebrations to last for a while over the past two months!

We hired a landscaper to come out and update our yard which I am just loving. It makes me the house look so put together.

That’s MoMoMonkey in her hand. He’s a treasure that she must have at all times.

Sophie had Spring pictures .. I haven’t gotten the actual pictures back from the school but when I took some before school that particular day – she was ready to slay. hehe 🙂 We got so many compliments on her sunflower jumpsuit. My mom found it somewhere online and it was just the perfect outfit for picture day!

We’ve also been spending lots of time outdoors soaking up the extended daylight hours and warmer temps!

What have YOU guys been up to?

— Ashley

Landscaping Update

Hey hey, it is officially the middle of the work week and I somehow managed to FORGET to blog on Monday?! I just don’t even know what to say other than it’s been a long week already.

However, I am here today to share with you an update on the progression of our landscaping. I don’t know if you remember, but a few weeks back I posted about being inspired by Azaleas during a trip to Lucedale, MS. That inspiration solidified My ideas for what I wanted to do with the front yard – so shortly after writing that post I went to work finding the right landscaper to execute my vision.

Do it yourself, you say? Well listen, I’m all for that and totally envy those who have the ability and will power and time to do so…and yes it probably would have been a lot cheaper. But, we just aren’t work in the yard kind of people. And I really have zero experience + a bad track record with planting/keeping alive plants. Sooo, I called in an expert.

We ended up going with Impey’s Lawn Care, and I just can’t say enough about how great of an experience it was! He got out to the house quickly to get an idea of what I wanted and give me an estimate. We are also using them for bi-monthly yard maintenance (i.e. cutting the grass, weed eating, etc.) which is nice to not have to worry about that on top of all the other things we have going on. Our yard is super tiny – and we don’t have any kind of outside storage to put yard tools in… so we figured at this point in our lives it would be easier to just pay someone to come out and take care of it for us.

So what exactly did we do? Well, we got the beds defined and filled with black mulch. There are 8 cute little mini Azalea bushes along the edge of the porch. We went with minis which will grow and fill out the space versus a full size Azalea bush that would eventually overwhelm the area. The blooms are pink, per Sophie Grace’s request. That was the first thing she said when Mr. Impey arrived to give us the estimate: “I want PANK flowers.” She’s three and southern so pink is prounced, p-ank. 😉

Shaun wanted ferns hanging from the porch, and I have got to say that they are probably my favorite part of the whole thing! I just love how southern it looks. Seriously, all the heart eyes.

We also have a small bed in the back of the house by the drive way, that he defined and added mulch to. We didn’t change any of the plants there.

Our house is only almost four years old – and has had one previous owner who seemed to live there alone and traveled a lot. So when we moved in we were left with the remnants of builder grade landscaping that had not been taken care of. The changes we made were not huge – but it just makes a big difference. And it feels so nice to have that checked off our to do list!

Now, all I need to do is find the perfect furniture and accessories for the front porch to complete the look. Are you guys doing any sprucing up to your yard or porches? Have any good leads on cute outdoor furniture? Let me know in the comments!

— Ashley

This Is Life Lately 3.25.19

Hello there! I hope that Monday is treating you well, and that you’re really enjoying beginning the week that lies before us! I know that I’m ready for this week and of course I’m already looking forward to the weekend. 😉 I’ve got some fun plans with bestie who is in town for the week – among other things!

But – before I jump ahead to the week and weekend to come… let’s take a look back at the past two weeks around these parts:

Since I last left off with my previous TILL post – I’ve done some real concrete wedding planning which has me just all kinds of excited. What have I done exactly?

-Well we set a date!
-Booked a venue + photographer
-I did some serious work on my Pinterest Board and got my head around my theme
-I set my Bridesmaid dinner to do my official propose to them!

As always, the kids and I have been soaking up our after school afternoons together. The extended daylight hours have really had me in the mood to take advantage of that extra time with the sun. We’ve been doing things like staying after pickup to play outside the school with friends, going to the park, getting a couple popsicles from Pop Brothers, and taking spontaneous trips to Target + Chick-Fil-A for a little mid week date. 🙂

It seems like it’s birthday season for everyone … we celebrated mine and my brother’s birthdays over the past two weeks, and we also attended one of Cooper’s classmates’ birthday party which was a total blast for the kids. The party was held at Middleton Farm which is a local family owned dairy farm in Mosspoint, MS. Not only are they a functional farm, but they also do things like host educational tours, birthday parties, and fall farm-y activities. The kids had so much fun during the party that I had to literally drag them away!

This past Friday night, Shaun and I ate at Patio 44 in Biloxi to celebrate my Birthday while the kids spent the night with Grammy and Ppop.

The following Saturday we (Grammy, Ppop, and I) took the kids out for a little Saturday Funday. We hit up the Big Play Family Fun Center in Biloxi for some bowling and arcade game time. While the kids did have a lot of fun, I pretty much decided that this would be the last chance we gave that place. I’ve taken the kids there twice now…and both times it just really was more of a hassle for me. This past time the service was absolutely terrible. BUT we didn’t let that get us down. 🙂 After playtime, we swung by the VA Cemetery to visit the kids’ Mawmaw’s grave for the first time since her death this past December. And we also went by my grandparents’ graves which are in the same cemetery. And then we rounded out the day with a late lunch at Woody’s before heading back home to relax for .2 seconds which was long enough for the kids to get bored and insist that mommy spend some time on the trampoline with them. 😉

I did spend the late Sunday morning/early afternoon taking a little mental and physical trip down memory lane as I traveled to George County to visit with my best girl during her father’s funeral. I felt like we’d just done all of that with Shaun’s mom – and I just found myself thinking how crazy it was to find myself at a time in my life where my people’s parents are passing away. 🙁 Very surreal and very grounding. It definitely made me cling even tighter to my boo and babes when I got home that afternoon. And then that afternoon was a pretty chill and relaxing day full of lots of afternoon time out in the front yard enjoying the sunshine, our weekly Winn Dixie grocery trip, and drinking a couple glasses of champagne for no good reason other than being so incredibly grateful for my life and people with whom I spend everyday.

Tell me, what have you been up to lately? Are you enjoying the Spring as much as we are?

— Ashley

Wedding Inspiration : Dark + Moody + Casual

Hello, Hello! If you read Monday’s post, you know that we finally decided on a venue and have a couple dates in mind for our wedding next year which got me all kinds of nervous and excited. Weddings are so expensive and intense even when you’re planning on doing something small(ish) and casual like us!

And the truth is, I’ve wavered back and forth over whether or not it is really worth it to even have a wedding. There have been moments when I just think doing an elopement would be so much easier and so much more us. However, the thing is – I do want all of our people to share in this moment with us. It took us a longggggg time to get here, and now we are finally both on the same page – and well that in and of itself deserves a celebration. SO.. here I am dipping my toes into doing some concrete wedding planning and I thought I’d bring you guys along with me!

I’ve got a Pinterest Wedding Board going, because that’s what you do in today’s world when you have some kind of event to plan. I want our wedding to be simple, low-key, casual, and all kinds of non traditional. 🙂

[Left to Right]
1 | 2 | 3

I really want the cake to be rustic and moody and most importantly : taste so good that there’s none left afterwards. 😉

[Left to Right – Top to Bottom]
1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

The wedding will be in the late afternoon/evening – so I have visions of lots of twinkle lights draped and hanging. The ceremony and reception will all be in the same place.

For the reception area of the venue I want one to two long banquet tables styled simply with dark table cloths and runners and muted colored greenery. We’re going to have a sit down dinner after the ceremony to eat dinner and just hang out and chat. I’m envisioning free flowing drinks, food, and intimate conversations.

[Left to Right]
1 | 2 | 3

The venue itself is a piece of art and has a lot of character which is one of the biggest reasons we chose it. There are murals all over the walls by a well-known local artist – so I really want that to be the back drop and all the decorations to be simple + moody.

I want to write the whole ceremony myself and I don’t plan on having the whole traditional thing of the bride being walked down aisle to her waiting groom. I want us to enter the ceremony together – holding hands. At this point, I’m pretty sure I’ll be in a black dress, unless I just fall in love with a cream or white one.

[Left to Right]
1 | 2 | 3

But yeah, that’s about where my head is at so far! My ideas have changed a bit even since when we first got engaged around Christmas – sooo I’m sure things will continue to evolve along the way. Thanks for reading along as I think out loud and get my thoughts down in writing.

— Ashley

This is Life Lately – March 11, 2019

Y’all. It’s 9:25 on Monday night and here I am just now writing this post. The weekend and day just got away from me. And I literally just stepped out of my bath to spend some time mindlessly scrolling social media while I dried off and thought… why don’t I just write that blog post instead? So, here I am wrapped in a towel and freshly cleansed to share with you what life has been like lately around here for us!

So first, I have some funny Sophie Grace and Cooper stories to share.

This morning Sophie Grace and I were in the car headed to work and school. We made our usual pit stop at Starbucks for Mommy to get her beloved Iced Coffee. The barista at the window hands me my cup and it is just over flowing with coffee that is dripping down the side. So she’s like, “Oh man, here let me wipe that off for you!” So she proceeds to wipe it off and then hands it back to me saying, ” sorry about that!” And I’m just like, “haha{{unnecessary awkward nervous laughter}} thanks!” As I drive away SG asks me, “Mommy why did you laugh like that? {{and then mimics my awkward unnecessary laugh to. a. TEE.}}” So obviously I reply with yet another unnecessary awkward laugh, “HAHA, I don’t know Sophie.” And she says, “WHY DID YOU JUST DO IT AGAIN??” which causes me to DIE with laughter. And then she is tickled to death at me laughing so much…and it was just one of the most funny and joyful moments. Because like, why do I do that? I laugh when I’m nervous or uncomfortable. And sometimes … ok most of the time I’m nervous and uncomfortable for no good reason.

And now Cooper…

It’s lent right now for many religious organizations. Cooper goes to a Catholic School – so he is currently immersed in lent. Friday we are driving away from school after I picked him up and he says to me that he’s just not sure yet what he should give up for lent. Lent started on he’s struggling a bit. And the thing is he doesn’t HAVE to give anything up. We’d never enforce that for a five year old, but they’re learning about it and obviously it’s a hot topic right now so he wants to participate. ANYWAY – since he says he’s having trouble I decide to start naming some options:

Me: How about your playstation?

Him: Oh nooo, I need my playstation to play games Mommy.

Me: Ok, what about your Ipad?

Him: OH NOO, Mom. You know I need technology. It’s important in my everyday life.

Me: Alright, let’s see… oh! Chocolate milk?

Him: No no no, MOM… I need to drink chocolate milk. You KNOW that.

Me: Hmmmph….

Him: SEE, it’s hard isn’t it???

And then I just cracked up with laughter! Because really, it IS hard to figure out something to give up. lol He did end up settling on cookies. So if you see Coop, don’t offer him a cookie. 😉

In hindsight, those stories took a lot of words.. so I won’t keep you for much longer. We celebrated Mardi Gras last week with a day full of outside adventures, making crafts, and creating our very parade right here in the house which was an absolute blast. The kids keep asking to make the parade again.

I’ve had my eye on one of those “house” beds for Sophie Grace’s room. She’s currently in a toddler bed – and with all her sleep issues…I thought maybe if I make her room a special place for her …just maybe she will want to sleep more? Pipe dreams..I know. 😉 Anyway, you can buy one for around 200.00 on Amazon…but I enlisted my handy dad to make one for cheaper which he started doing this weekend. Coop has been helping Ppop with the work, and Sophie Grace seems super excited for her new bed.

Shaun and I decided on a venue for our wedding! All I have to do now is make that dreaded cold call to book it and nail down a specific day in Jan. 2020. I feel like if I can get the venue and photographer booked by the end of this month, I’ll be making good progress.

OH and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention just how MESSED up this time change has got me. 😉 Not really, except it’s dark in the morning when I wake up and I’m not a fan of that…otherwise I really enjoy the extra daylight hours in the evening. The kids and I were able to sneak in a beach trip on Sunday evening because of it!

Oh oh, and I got my first dip manicure a week and a half ago, and I am just smitten. It STILL LOOKS BRAND NEW. In fact, I had a dream last night that I woke up this morning and someone had come in the middle of the night and filed down and removed my manicure. I was so upset that I was sobbing. In the dream. Over MY NAILS. y’all. So funny, but I’d legit be real upset it that happened. lol

But yeah, that’s about it…I hope you have a great rest of the evening or day if it’s Tuesday by the time you read this!

— Ashley

This is Life Lately

Extraordinary in our Ordinary

Hey Hey, it’s Monday – and I’m here with little recap of what life has looked like lately around these parts for our little fam. 🙂

Let’s see – last week my best frand and her crew were in town so they all came over on Wednesday afternoon to hang out. The grown ups sipped mimosas and the kids played. It was a really nice afternoon. Rhonda lives in Texas which means we don’t get to see each other in person a lot – especially our kids .. so we definitely soaked up the moment!

Then the following day was Thursday – aka Valentine’s day – and I got the chance to go to both my babies’ school parties. We gifted the kids each a new set of pjs along with a few toys and candy. I got a booked trip to the IP Resort and Casino spa for a massage which I am SUPER excited to go to next Saturday!

Friday night, Coop and Sophie Grace stayed the night with Grammy and Ppop which is pretty much a Friday night tradition around here. Shaun and I took advantage and decided to finally try the Saltgrass Steakhouse in Biloxi. We’ve attempted to go there a couple times, but the wait time which is usually an hour to two hours long has just not been worth it to us. However, on Friday we had nowhere to be and weren’t starving…so we waited it out. And… it was very much worth it.

I went over to my parent’s Saturday morning, and hung out with them/played with the kids for a while. That afternoon, Sophie and I left to do some shopping then head home to catch up on chores around the house. Coop stayed with my mom and dad.

On Sunday, Sophie and I got up early(ish) to do some more shopping. We ended up meeting up with my sister. Poor Coop had come down with some kind of virus. So, I decided to cut our shopping short to go get him and take him home.

The poor dude ran a fever all day Sunday and was pretty much out of it.

Sunday night Shaun and I watched the first episode of The Umbrella Academy on Netflix. It was. so. good. I had to restrain myself from binging the whole season that night! lol If I didn’t have the work the next day, I would have definitely watched a couple more episodes.

But yeah… there you have it.. a little peak at what’s been happening with us. How was you guys’ Vday / weekend?

— Ashley