Monday, July 24, 2017


This summer has been one of my favorites ever. I think it feels different now that Paxton is officially in feels like a break from the hustle of busy school mornings and since Lincoln isn't a newborn, we are free to do pretty much anything! 

Some of our favorite things this summer have been:

T-ball games! Jared coached Paxton's team this year and since Granny V offered to help with Porter and Lincoln during games and practices, I got to help! It was so fun to watch the kids make gigantic improvements and just hear all of the funny things they said. It was really sweet that they got to share this and I'm looking forward to lots more seasons of co-coaching!

Peach picking! We met Harrison and his mom at Wind Rush Orchards and picked peaches! It was sweaty and dirty but we filled two sacks with the juiciest peaches and Paxton and Lincoln and I enjoyed them for several days! Porter and Jared couldn't handle the velvetiness of the skin so they missed out on eating them. 

Lake trips! We have been three times already and I think these are what the boys will miss the most when summer ends. They love everything about the lake: the boat, swimming, jumping off anything you tell them to into the water, eating at Soda Steve's and sharing the pullout couch. Two of the three times, we have gone with family which makes it even better!

The Sam Noble Museum. We tried this out with our friends that have boys Paxton and Porter's age (and one that will be a year younger than Lincoln when he's born!) and had an awesome day. 

All things water related. Between our inflatable back yard pool, our neighborhood pool, a week of swimming lessons, the splash pad, sprinkler and slip and slide nights and playing in the fountain downtown, their swimsuits have seen more action than their clothes! Both boys are swimming independently this summer! Paxton learned to dive and can do a pretty adorable dive about half the time. Porter finally mastered coming up for a breath so he is feeling like a rockstar swimming with no floatie!

Dodgers games! We went to a game with Jared's work and the boys loved it. They mostly loved the Dippin' Dots and the cotton candy and the playground and the girl with glow sticks and the tickles from Dusky (their second favorite guy at Daddy's office), but Paxton got a game ball and snuggled in my lap for half of an inning and actually watched the game and that was the highlight for me. 

Pretty much anything with the cousins. Between the pool and the park and the Omniplex and whatever else we come up with, these six have spent a ton of time together this summer and they LOVE IT! The bonds they are forming are indescribable and I love it so much. 

The zoo! This is our first time to have a zoo pass and we're loving it. We haven't been a lot because it's so so hot, but all three boys love seeing the different animals and playing in the water there. 

Just regular lazy days! These are my favorites. They aren't glamorous. We usually all stay in our pajamas for way too long. The boys destroy the play room and fight over toys and draw the cutest pictures of our family and track in grass and lick each other's popsicles, but these are the days that I think of when I think of summer vacation. There is merit in the business. They love the days where we leave the house first thing in the morning and only stop back by for a quick rest, and because they love it, I have filled their summer with those days! But for me, those days make me really appreciate these stay-at-home and snuggle days. 

Porter is FOUR!

We blinked and our sweet little Porter General turned four! He was so excited about his birthday this year and remembered all of the things he had been asking for since Christmas. 

He woke up to a room filled with balloons and a fireplace stocked with presents. He wanted Paxton to watch him open so we started bright and early before school! He asked for a Ninja Turtle van like Harrison has, Legos, a Pikachu guy and books. He also got a second Lego set, and the characters from Moana. 

After we dropped Paxton off at school, we met Gramsy and Aunt Bevynne for a birthday breakfast at IHOP. Porter thinks happy face pancakes are the coolest thing ever and he even got a sundae and the whole staff serenaded him with the Happy Birthday song. 

After breakfast, we went to the park to run off some of the sugar and we met Harrison there! 

By then, he just wanted to come home and play with all of his new toys, so that's what we did! I built his van and he figured out all of the cool stuff it did. 

After we picked up Paxton, Porter asked to play in the tubs of water and since it was his birthday, I had to say yes! 

He picked Braum's for dinner because he wanted ice cream instead of cake. 

After dinner, I let him stay up a little bit later than his brothers and just run around the yard while Jared and I watched him and talked about what an awesome little guy he is turning into. He is so smart and talks like an adult a lot...but then there are also the times he is a "baby kid" as he calls it. He's so sweet and is happy snuggling almost anytime. He is a great eater but isn't big on trying new vegetables. He is starting to learn to read and has several of his favorite books memorized. He loves all things boy: superheroes and weapons, sports, Ninja Turtles...
I just love that little boy so much! 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Hoppy Easter!

Easter was kind of emotional this year because it was officially Lincoln's last first holiday. But it made up for it in fun!

Porter woke up super early and woke Paxton up and convinced him to join him in the living room to peek at their baskets. We woke up to Porter next to the bed asking us to open the toy the Easter bunny brought that was kind of a disappointment but we rallied.

Each boy got a book, a t-shirt and a toy.

Lincoln liked putting stuff in his basket and then getting it out.

The boys hunted eggs in the back yard and then we had cinnamon rolls and watched Peter Cottontail before getting fancy.

We went to Papaw's house for lunch with Granny V and Papa and Aunt Madi. We kept it simple with fried chicken and sides.

And a cupcake.

Then the boys got their Easter baskets from Granny V and went in the back yard to hunt more eggs.

After lunch, we went home for a quick nap and then headed to Aunt Teighynne and Aunt Mal's house for dinner with my family. We cooked out hot dogs and the kids actually played together without making a giant mess!

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Thursday, April 13, 2017

Last Day With My Last Baby

I've been dreading this day for two solid weeks now and it's last day with a baby. Tomorrow this sweet little guy turns one and I'm not ready!

I've had two other babies turn one and I know that tomorrow nothing will be different. He'll be the tiniest fraction of a centimeter taller and weigh a quarter of an ounce more, but he will feel the same. He won't suddenly learn new skills or speak in sentences, but I will know that according to all sources, he's a toddler. And I'm not ready.

But ready or not, this soft and sweet bundle of snuggles will wake up tomorrow and he will be bigger and I can't stop it. They say parenting is learning to let go and I am resisting. This is what I have always wanted, a house full of babies and toddlers and tiny kids and I have it. I can't imagine anything sweeter. They always want to snuggle, they smell so good, they don't love anybody like they love their mama. So today I'll be snuggling him. I gave him an extra bath after lunch so he would smell extra good and his hair is extra fluffy. We went to Target and the P's each picked him out a present and we laughed because he watched them pick each thing out and had no idea what they were for. Next year he'll know.

This next year will be fun. He'll learn to walk, his speech will take off, he'll figure out how to play at the park and decide which foods are his favorite. He'll even have some time as an only child while the P's are both at school. I will do my best to be mindful every day about how these moments are fleeting and if time could slow down a little, that would be great.

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Paxton is Six!

Six years ago my life changed. My precious, squishy baby was placed on my chest and immediately stopped crying and looked at me. Ever since then, we've been learning together. He teaches me patience, he showed me unconditional love and in return I teach him addition and that fart jokes are best left at home.

He makes me so proud! He is such a smart little boy. I was so impressed when he learned to read last summer and a week later he was reading entire books on his own and could spell any word you threw at him. He's so sweet. He doesn't like anyone to be sad or have their feelings hurt. He's selfless like his daddy. He's witty and loves attention. He's snuggly on his terms. He craves routine but loves when we surprise him with a random "sick day" or breakfast for dinner. He loves to write sweet notes and draw pictures for people. Skinny jeans and Legos are his favorite things and he absolutely loves doing his homework. He's a little perfectionist and gets frustrated if he can't do things the exact way he wants to. He asked to play soccer and plays with a great attitude but is a little lacking in the aggressive department.

He woke up on the morning of his 6th birthday to the traditional room filled with balloons. He couldn't wait til afternoon to open his presents so he opened them before school and left me with strict instructions to build his Playmobil ambulance before he got home from school. Jared stopped and got donuts for his class on the way to school and he was so excited to share them with everyone. When Jared dropped them off, his teacher told him that there was another little boy in his class, Jabari, that had the same birthday and they were going around telling everyone they were twins.

We asked him if he wanted to get picked up for lunch or if he wanted us to just bring him something. He said he didn't want to miss recess so Porter and Lincoln and I dropped him off a Chick-fil-a kid's meal.

We picked him up from school and he requested to go straight home to play. He was glad to see his ambulance was ready for him.

For his birthday dinner, he picked Arby's. Then we came home and he blew out the candles on his brownie after we sang happy birthday.

Saturday afternoon was his party! He requested a Toy Story theme and we made it happen.

He had the best time with his friends and cousins and loved being the center of attention.

After the party, a big water balloon broke out and everyone was wet!

Then he came home to play with his new presents!

I can't believe he's SIX!

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Christmas 2016!

What a magical Christmas!

We started a few days early with Christmas at Granny V's house. The boys decided last year that it was now officially Christmas tradition that we wear pajamas to Christmas at her house, even though it starts at 5:00, so that's what we do!

This year, we took a break from cooking and just ordered a ton of Mexican food. It was perfect. Everyone was happy. After we ate, the boys helped pass out presents and insisted on opening theirs first. Since this was our first celebration of the year, we were anxious to see how they would react to the clothes. They were so excited! They loved every single present and it showed! Raising grateful boys is important to me so that was my favorite part.

A few days later, it was finally Christmas Eve! We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and the boys put on their matching reindeer shirts. These were my favorites and I'm going to miss them!

Then we loaded up and headed to Grandpa Mark's house. Stephanie had made a few German dishes and they also had turkey and ham and all the traditional holiday foods. The boys struggled to make it through eating without starting on their giant piles of gifts but they fought through it.

Lincoln and Georgia just hung out on the floor together stealing each other's toys.

It was finally time to open!

After they opened, the boys had to go outside and fly their remote controlled helicopter from Uncle Mason. They crashed it about 524 times before the battery finally died. We ran a few last minute errands for Christmas morning and then headed home to try to let Porter take a little nap.

Then it was time for Papaw's house! Eileen's cookies were the hit of the night for the boys.

We played Dirty Santa with gift cards. From the beginning, Pax had his eye on a big snowman box. Aunt Jojo whispered to him that he shouldn't get that one, she had intended for it to go to Papa but Paxton was relentless. He went and grabbed the box, hoping for a Braum's gift card and opened...a John Wayne cookbook. We held our breaths and waited for his reaction. "Is this a cowboy cooking book?" he asked, expressionless. "Ummm...yes" I told him. "Woooooow! Cool!" he exclaimed and started thumbing through it. We all sighed in relief. He was seriously so excited about it and told everyone what he had ended up with. Even when Porter got a Chick-Fil-A card, he still maintained his pleasure....

Porter was carrying around a bag of chips the whole night. Eventually, little boys started getting sleepy and it was time to come home and get ready for bed. We put on Christmas jammies and put out cookies and milk for Santa and a carrot for the reindeer. I think this was the first year we actually put out cookies because we're usually all so tired from Papaw's that we just rush through bedtime. But I liked the more intentional tradition of putting the cookies and milk out and I would like to add reading the Night Before Christmas next year too. We put the big boys to bed and got settled in with It's A Wonderful Life just like we do every year and I got busy assembling and stuffing stockings. Paxton asked Santa for a Playmobil school and Porter asked for the Playmobil playground and a new toy cell phone and that's what they got!

Christmas morning started early with one excited five-year-old who couldn't wait for his little brother to wake up on his own. They raced into the living room to see what Santa left and immediately started playing before they even opened their stockings.

Again, they were so excited about even the tiniest little things in their stockings and it was so precious.

Lincoln loved his toy from Santa but his new sippy cup was his favorite.

Once everything was opened and assembled, we had to get busy cleaning up for my family to come over. The house filled up fast with kids and aunts and more presents and food. We let the kids open their presents first so they could take naps while the grown-ups opened theirs. Lincoln, in Hulsey family tradition, got his Cabbage Patch doll and immediately leaned in for an eye gouge. The kids were all so cute and excited and everyone picked out perfect gifts! After they finished opening, we started eating.

The kids went down for naps and the grown-ups opened presents. When the kids woke up, we all ate some more, played with new toys, played video games together and stayed in jammies all day. It was perfect!

It was my favorite Christmas so far. It just felt so cozy to be in our new house with our completed family. And it's so fun to watch the families grow every year! The boys have 4 new cousins this year which makes things so much more fun!

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