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2017 WENDY CORREEN SMITH. Powered by Blogger.

Just the Start of October


Heyyyyyy, FRIENDS!!! October in the Midwest is pure magic. The cool autumn breeze + golden leaves falling to the ground makes it just the absolute best. October is always my very favorite month of the year & also our wedding anniversary month. We picked an October wedding date for a reason.  It's so crazy looking back on this year. This month has been the polar opposite of April. We have been on the go-go-go almost every single day. As always I have a phone full of photos I've taken to save moments in time & I just have to share some of them now before I have a huge book. 

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Spooky Halloween Exterior with Huge Spiders, Bats, and Mums


This year I was counting down the days for October first to arrive! We put huge outdoor spiders all over our freshly painted white house, with a group of bats, over 150 pounds of pumpkins, and the biggest mums of all time!!! I've heard the neighborhood kids love the spooky spiders & nothing makes my heart happier. At the end of this post I'll link the spiders & bats we ordered from Amazon. And if you're wondering how we installed them, we did it a little different than what we read online about using fishing wire. And by we, I mean Ryan, did it a little different. He tried the fishing wire technique first and it didn't work. Exterior command hooks + zip ties to the rescue! Once he successfully got the first one up it was a breeze from there.  

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Cozy Season Favorites


Cozy season is here & we are LOVING it!!! Every single morning I come down stairs & crack all the windows, flip on the gas fireplace & light our Oatmeal Cookie candle before starting the coffee. The fresh crisp air is magical. Sunday morning Mags walked out onto our deck (in her underwear) the temp was about 53 degrees & she walked back in, took a deep breath in with a long happy sigh to say "it feels sooooo good out there!" We are all so excited for fall fun & Halloween. Our entire month of October is full of parties & pumpkin patch trips & family photos. We are living on our front porch & back patio. Over the weekend we had the outdoor fireplace crackling as we listened to old country tunes under the string lights. The pumpkins are already at the grocery stores & Mags & I had to bring some of the cutest Jack Be Littles home with us to sprinkle around the house. Did you know the little white ones are called Baby Boo & the bigger ones are called Cotton Candy?!?! I learned that the other day & thought it was just the sweetest.

ONE // TWO // THREE // FOUR // FIVE // SIX // SEVEN 

Sharing some of my favorite cozy season finds with you today. The cozy cardigan is currently on sale & only $20! I have a coffee mug obsession & this five dollar BOO one is soooo perfect for Halloween season. The Oatmeal Cookie candle is my all time favorite EVER, we always have them burning around the house. If I had to burn only one candle forever, that would be it. Cozy season pumpkin soup bowl that can be used for just about anything. Furry slippers + chunky sweater blanket + all the festive wreaths!!!

A friend sent me this Asian Chicken Noodle soup recipe & I made it over the weekend. Let me just say --- you have to try it. It was so simple & soul warming! Mags even loved it with the curry, cayenne pepper & coconut milk. Next weekend we are making my annual pumpkin spice cookies with cream cheese frosting. Trips to the pumpkin patch & at least a few DIYs planned along with decorating our house with huge spooky spiders is on our calendar for the weeks ahead. Soaking it all up and hope you do too.

xo
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The Last of Summer 2020


In Kansas City today the weather will be California style, sunny with a high of 74 degrees! I've got the coffee brewing, windows cracked, and little pumpkins all over the house. My Amazon cart is full of all the spookiest Halloween decor, fall scented candles are burning everyday & my sister & I have been texting festive decor ideas back & forth for days.
I just have to do one last blog post of summer before we move on to all things pumpkin & spice! This mash-up is a little bit of everything that I want to store away in my heart & didn't get a chance to share here until now.

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Powder Room Wallpaper in Smoky Rose from Anthropologie


I'm so in love with our romantic + feminine powder room. The smoky rose wallpaper printed by a British design house makes me think of my beloved British grandma from Norwich, England. The design was inspired by the romantic mist & grandeur of London & I just know my grandma would love this little space as much as we do!

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Maggie Mermaid Met a Real Life Unicorn


2020 isn't stealing the magic from Magnolia's world! I'll be honest, the mom guilt hit hard earlier this year, I felt like she was missing out on so much that she'd never get back. She's only three once! And I know all you mamas totally get that feeling. I guess I still get a little sad about it when I think about this past year, BUT, big BUT, Ryan & I are trying our very hardest to do all we can to make this year one she'll always remember as being special & nothing short of magical. Music was cancelled but she started dance & we didn't go to the beach but we spent a lot of time poolside. We missed several birthday parties, but we started having small family gatherings as soon as we could. We didn't go to the zoo or the local farmstead, but we got a puppy! She's met all the kids in the neighborhood & loves to call them all her "friends" and even though she's the youngest of them all, they play so well with her. And she adores them! My sisters & I plan play dates with the cousins as much as we can. There is not a day that goes by that she isn't dressed as a princess & dance parties happen all day long.

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Our New Exterior Paint: White House & Bubblegum Pink Doors


We always knew our next house would be white. We had planned to build new before we found this one on an open house one rainy late summer Sunday in 2019. The red paint was the exact same color as my grandparent's house growing up. I even had a dream about my grandpa & this home during the time between our offer being accepted & closing. I loved the red because of all the nostalgic memories it stirred up inside of me. It was hard to say goodbye to the red & do our dream color white, but I knew I'd love it just as much. And I do, we do, we all love this creamy soft white with our bubblegum pink doors. I didn't think I could love this house anymore than I already did, but now with every single nail hole caulked and layers of fresh white paint applied, I fell in love with it all over again. The decking was stained & it was very thirsty wood. We had thought we'd need to replace it all next year, but the stain brought the wood back to life and I think we'll be able to move another project up the timeline as we move the new decking back. It was a pleasant surprise to see how well it turned out with just some stain.

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299 Mermaid Lane


Welcome to 299 Mermaid Lane!

Magnolia had a very special weekend. It all started Friday with an afternoon splish-splashing & playing mermaids at the pool with her cousins. Saturday morning we had her inside watching a movie while we had her custom painted playhouse delivered for one huge SURPRISE. And then Sunday she got to meet a real life unicorn! I'm positive it's a weekend she'll remember forever.

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I Have Loved You For a Thousand Years - Mommy & Daughter Photos


I cried when I first looked through all the photos from our mother + daughter session. I feel so blessed to be a mother. All the days I wasn't sure if I'd get to experience this, this, the greatest gift of my life. I'll the waiting & longing for Magnolia makes sense now that I know her. The song A Thousand Years, takes me back to our IVF days. One step closer. I have died everyday waiting for you & I'll love you for a thousand more. Ryan & I have several songs we played often during IVF, ones that touched our souls and helped with the longing, and this was one of them. I'll never forget the day we sat in the high risk doctor's office waiting to talk to the doctor & hearing this song come on. It was the day the doctor had to apologize for telling us she was a boy & not a girl! We didn't care, it was the genetic test that said she was perfectly healthy & that was all that we cared about. All along I believed, I would find you, time has brought your heart to me, I have loved you for a thousand years, I'll love you for a thousand more. She is the most beautiful part of me. I don't think there will ever be enough "thank yous" to express the gratitude I feel in being her mom. I'm so happy we did these photos, to capture this time in our lives, they will be cherished forever. 
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"For what is joy if it goes unrecorded, and what is love if not shared?"


Rainbows, Babies, and Fields of Flowers

An ordinary Tuesday turned magic thanks to our little ones! My sister came over yesterday to snap some photos of Maggie Mermaid modeling some new Little Lucca Love outfits. While the kids played my mom & I got to snuggle Isla Rose. Magnolia could barely handle the wait in getting to hold her newest baby cousin. Smitten, absolutely smitten. The baby obsession & fascination starts v young! We went out for some shaved ice afterwards. Let me tell you, Bubble Gum + Birthday Cake flavors are quite yummy together. The sweet Tuesday ended even sweeter when Magnolia insisted we go out and play in the rain. As soon as we got outside we spotted a huge colorful rainbow in the sky. She said "awwww Grandma's here!" She was referring to my grandma & I'm just so happy even she helps keep her memory alive.

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Behind the Scenes of our Mother + Daughter Photoshoot


Saturday night was probably the hottest night of summer, or at least it felt that way. And it was the night I had scheduled mother + daughter photos with our friend & photographer Crista Hoppe, owner of Everly Photography. She did our maternity, newborn and first year of photos of Magnolia, including her first birthday party. Somehow life got ahead of us the last few years and we didn't get family photos done. We are playing catch up now & mommy + me photos are something I've always wanted to do. Next up will be real life unicorn photos & then family photos! Might even do some Christmas ones.

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Pool days + dance class + dentist appointments + daddy's birthday


Pool days, dance class, dentist appointments, daddy's birthday!!! Mother Daughter photoshoot, that  I'll share in a new post. The past week was a busy one & a good one. If we could, Maggie Mermaid & I would live in our swimsuits all summer long. She finished up dance class like the sweetest little mermaid ballerina that she is. My mom was able to come to her last class & then we did dinner together in the little downtown area by her studio. She had her teeth cleaned for the first time, her last few visits were just for practice, and this time she actually hopped up in the chair with all the confidence in the world & had her teeth cleaned & x-rayed. We went out for lunch afterwards and over her chicken nuggets she said "I love the dentist!"

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Our Past Week In Photos


What a magical + special + lovely past week we just had!!! Not gonna lie, it still feels super weird & nothing feels normal about life right now, BUT (big but) amongst it all we are still searching for & loving the magic in the everyday. Magnolia also known as Maggie Mermaid started dance class. I'm not sure who was more excited about the start of something new; something she has loved since she was in my belly! When I was pregnant I always noticed she'd move around more when I was listening to music & that love of music & movement has only grown more passionate. Mermaid girl is always with me & I was a little nervous she'd have separation anxiety upon entering a room with a new teacher all by herself. We talked about it several times before the big day & she understood how it would go. This girl blew me away, she shined with confidence and did so good, my mama heart had to hold back all the proud happy tears. Another mom from class told me her daughter told her there was a little girl in class named "Maggie Mermaid!" I smiled so big & said "yep, the mermaid is mine!" Thanks to COVID-19 we had to have a few classes rescheduled. The school is taking all the safety measures with daily temperature checks, hand sanitizing, face masks on all (with the exception of the little ones that won't keep them on). It's a weird time in history & we are home way more than I'd wish to be, but we are embracing it as much as we can. Also, starting to venture out some too. We had chips & salsa at a Mexican restaurant on Sunday for the first time since February. That was a big deal for us!!!

Little photos from her first day of dance that I'll treasure forever & ever.
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Celebrating the 4th of July


Last night Magnolia was begging for fireworks & shaved ice & pretty much a complete re-do of our weekend! She was fascinated with the huge inflatable dragon in front of the fireworks tent & it was a consistent conversation piece this past weekend. She was totally bummed when we drove by the tents all closed up last night. She's obsessed with the 4th and this was certainly her funnest one yet. She did her first sparkler, all the while I'm trying to figure out how my baby is old enough to hold popping fire on a stick. We spent the evening at my sister's house & the cousin crew had a blast eating bomb pops + red, white & blue cupcakes + doing sparklers + stepping on pop-it snappers + and just being crazy wild together.

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Amazon Find: Gold Glitter Hexagon Sunglasses


I have an obsession with sunglasses, and so does Maggie Mermaid! When we go to the pool I like to take knock-off cheap sunglasses, that way if they get lost or damaged, I don't feel incredibly disappointed. I just found an oversized hexagon gold glitter pair from Amazon to match my mini's gold glitter pair & I'm in love with them. If these got damaged or lost I would actually be quite disappointed. They are only $13! $13! I had to share them with you all because they are sooooo adorable, great fit, and a total steal.

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Magnolia's Little World


Maggie Mermaid has already changed her name to Maggie Ballerina! Surely it's because she starts dance class next month. We are both so incredibly excited to get her twirling soul into a dance studio. She dreams about it each day & my heart can feel every ounce of her excitement and anticipation for something new & passionate to become part of our days.

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I LOVE YOU, BABY


My sister & her babes came over this morning. We did a quick photoshoot of her upcoming Little Lucca Love drop. Then the kids got to play for a bit before we grabbed a delicious lunch at a little spot we just discovered around the corner from our house.

I'm kind of going crazy over the cropped tank + high waisted shortie set! OMGoodness it is so adorable & fun for SUMMATIME!

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A Summer Weekend to Remember


What a weekend! It was a fun one, leaving my heart full & feeling so very blessed. We celebrated my sister Mallory & her baby girl that will be here next month. Baby girl is due on Ryan's birthday & how cool would it be if she actually arrives on her due date! As we prepared for the sprinkle, Magnolia thought it was baby girl's birthday & asked several times if she was here yet. We are all anxiously waiting to meet our new family member. We spent the evening on our back patio under the twinkle lights, making s'mores & sipping on ice cold bubbly drinks. My newest sparkling water obsession.

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Maggie Mermaid


Our little Maggie Mermaid is in her natural habitat when she's in the water. She literally cannot be outside in the heat for more than ten minutes without getting too hot & requesting to go inside. It's as if her mermaid tail may dry up if she's outside & not in the water. I can't say I blame her, it's already in the 90s in Kansas City.

The only place you'll find us this summer is poolside! This adorable Minnidip pool is holding us over until our neighborhood pool opens - fingers crossed - very soon.

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Please Meet Capri Blue


We welcomed into our family this Memorial Day weekend a little white + cream chunky-monkey blue-eyed chihuahua. Her eye color, OMG, it's the exact same color as Magnolia's. And she has pink ears! We had planned to get Maggie Mermaid a chihuahua when she turned five, but with the world being at a stand still & zero travel plans in the near future, we decided what better time than now to get another little fur baby.

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My Sweet Girl


We’ve been watching Call the Midwife on Netflix together at night. Ryan and I both think it’s crazy that not only does she enjoy the show, but asks to watch it. She calls it the “baby show!” Last night Ryan was talking about us and said “you guys are going to best friends!” and then he corrected himself and said “well you already are!” She really is my best little buddy & her little soul was made for mine and mine for hers. 🌸 She’ll be modeling for my sister’s children’s boutique @littleluccalove all week! The upcoming collection is romantic & sweet with all the florals of your dreams.

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Mother's Day 2020


Forever grateful to get to celebrate this day with my own daughter. The feelings & emotions associated with this day always come on strong as the weekend approaches. Never will I forget the longing to be a mother. And my heart always aches for the women that are still in the wait, the ones with babies in Heaven, and for all the sons & daughters with moms in Heaven. Women are emotional creatures, and to have a holiday all about them is bound to bring all the heartfelt feelings to the surface.

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Seeing Family Again


This past week made for a memorable one. We finally got to see our family after staying away from the ones we love for over a month! It was the most normal feeling weekend we've had in a long time. My mom came over bright & early Saturday morning to help us plant flowers & bushes. It was so nice having her there to help, especially since I have no clue what I'm doing yet. I never thought I'd enjoy gardening so much. We planted a Wisteria bush on the backside of our outdoor fireplace. I can't wait to watch the amethyst flowers take over our back patio. We also added two Itoh pink peony bushes, a Common lilac, Blushing Bride hydrangea, white azalea bush, along with sprinkles of annual flowers throughout. In our garden we planted lavender, two tomato plants, and a red pepper plant. Ferns were added to our front porch & lots of mulch all around our house & trees. Sitting back & admiring our hard work made for a nice end to a beautiful weekend.

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Little Girl Birthday Gift Ideas: Ten Hooded Bath Towels


Maggie Mermaid is obsessed with bath time when her imaginary magical tail appears in the tub. On her first birthday & Christmas last year she received hooded bath towels. We use them daily & she loves them. Hooded bath towels are the cutest + easiest gift that will be used time & time again. I know I'm always searching for non-toy gift ideas for kids & this one I just had to share. I've picked my favorite little girl bath towels to share below. The majority are below $25!

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Master Bedroom: Chantilly Lace Paint + Beaded Chandelier + Organic Linen Bedding


For my birthday all I wanted was to wake up in all new bed linens! I decided on a blanket from West Elm & organic sheets + duvet cover from the Hearth & Hand - Magnolia Collection at Target. I debated back and forth on the linen, as I had never slept on it before, and I wondered if I'd prefer a really soft Egyptian cotton instead. I'm so happy I went with the linen, it has this airy + cool feel to it at night, and it's very refreshing yet cozy. If you've never used organic linen bed sheets before I highly suggest it, especially for the warmer months. And what a great Mother's Day idea, wink wink.

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There's Always Sunrises, Rainbows & Babies


I had a good cry this morning. I watched a FB Live post by a high school friend that is volunteering as an ER nurse for 21 days at a hospital in the Bronx. Her real life experiences about what is happening within the walls of NYC hospitals just ripped out my heart. It's one thing to hear stories on the news, and while they are painful stories to listen to, it really hits home to hear it from a personal friend. The semi-truck morgues on the side of the road, her friend nurses Facetiming relatives of ICU patients while they die alone, & the risks they take each day as they reuse PPE - it's hard to hear. I have no idea how she does it, or how any nurse or doctor can do what they do. They are angels on Earth.

Then I watched Magnolia put on a swimsuit & run around pretending she was at the pool with her cousin Ollie. I overheard her saying "the people are sick" something she says daily. Watching her play alone every single day with imaginary friends & pretending her cousins are over is taking a toll on me. Yesterday, Ryan & I were talking on our way home from our nephew's parade birthday party, where we saw all of our family but couldn't even hug them, about how serious this is for the children. This is an entire year (or more) of their childhood they'll never get back. In my last blog post I talked about how hard we are trying to be fun & even more involved in her play, but I'll never be able to be her four year old cousin Ollie. That's just the sad reality.

We've been listening to the Willie Nelson station on Spotify lately & the song Bring My Flowers Now by Tanya Tucker always comes on & stops me in my tracks. "There's always sunrises, rainbows and babies........So if you've got love, then you're sittin' on a gold mine" 



Sorry, I like this little spot on the internet to be a place of inspiration & happiness, but also real. And today, on this rainy Monday morning, I'm not feeling as cheery as I normally do. I know I'm not alone as I feel sad & worried for the world and our children.

Ending with......there's always sunrises, rainbows & babies. 

xo
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Magnolia * Maggie * Mermaid


Our sweet Maggie girl, still called Magnolia by her mommy & daddy, her aunts + cousins call her Maggie, & if it was her choice everyone would call her "mermaid!" Ryan & I are corrected on a daily basis, we can't even say she smells like a strawberry without being told very firmly that her name is in fact Mermaid. Her personality has blossomed just like the spring flowers. She plays with her imaginary friends all the time, and her best friend is named Anna (probably from Frozen). I hear her talking to her friends often saying "my mom" this & that, and I'll often giggle out loud, to which she'll ask me why I'm laughing. Not only does she make me feel like the luckiest mommy in the world, she also makes me feel like I have super powers. My kisses, on her injuries, are magic! She's in love with T-wift aka Taylor Swift. Ryan & I cannot bring ourselves to correct her name pronunciation & therefore we now call her Twift also. I'm fully aware that encouraging mispronunciation might not be the wisest, but we are loving the cuteness too much right now to push her language too far into little-girl-hood. Her new scooter arrived, the reward for using the toilet full time, and she rides it back & forth from the bathroom now. By the way, she basically taught herself how to use the toilet. Once we got over the hump of going the first time, it was one million times easier than I expected. We are just so proud of her & her little butt in underwear is quite precious. TIGER KING, can someone please tell me how she knows who he is??? We only watched a little bit of it once, I hated it so we turned it off, and then weeks passed & she was talking about him. She even pointed him out on my phone when I was scrolling on Instagram. Like, what in the WORLD is going on!?!? She is a freakin' sponge & it's a little scary to know how much she is picking up on nowadays. On that subject, she's been making face masks out of toilet paper. She also asks me almost daily "are the people all better yet?" And we have talked about that subject & why we can't go places right now. She seems to understand better than I would have thought. We are still doing music class once a week on a Zoom call & we do quiet time with deep breathing during class. Now if I'm stressed out about anything she'll stop me & basically help me deep breathe with her. My little angel she is! Her prayers before bed melt my heart into one million pieces. Not one single night has passed that she doesn't pray (all on her own) for a little girl named Eva that we have been following on Instagram for months. You can follow her dad here & join us in prayer if you'd like. This sounds crazy, but I dream about Magnolia getting to meet her someday, when she is all better & healed by our Lord in Heaven. Magnolia just loves her to pieces & wants to check on her all the time. Last night in her prayer she thanked God for her new helmet, some nights she'll pray about dinner & one night she even prayed about her daddy's pizza that didn't make it in our Walmart grocery pick-up. Magnolia does all the modeling for my sister's clothing boutique Little Lucca Love & I have a phone full of the most adorable photos of our girl. I decided to share the last round of styles & her sweet little poses here. She is quite the hoot with her natural modeling abilities.

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Bring the Pool Home


I have a pretty good feeling most pools will not open this summer. And trips to the beach probably won't happen either. Hopefully I'm wrong, but it's something we've surely all wondered. Magnolia & I are already looking at cute ways to bring all the summertime water fun to our backyard. We have a thing for pink & bringing that pink inflatable pool to our patio has to happen. We might even need a rainbow sprinkler for the front yard & every child needs a slip n' slide! I'm daydreaming about a glass of wine under the string lights with our girl's favorite Taylor Swift jams playing while we soak in the pink puff pool. And a hammock! I need that in my life. I found the perfect matte coral bistro set & had to share. A few other favorites, like our beach towels & even beach chairs for the backyard, because why not? All linked below.

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My 39th Birthday During Home Isolation


At the age of 19 I was a freshman in college, I had just switched from a nursing major to business. If you would have asked me what my life would look like in 20 years, I would have said with complete confidence, "I either have worked my way up the corporate ladder or I own my own my business, I wear fancy clothes to work everyday, I drive a small little sports car, my paycheck is six figures!" If you would have told me that in 20 years, my boss would be three years old, that I'd be lucky to get out of my pajamas somedays, all of our stuff would never fit in a sports car, and my paycheck is actually one zero, I would have laughed in your face. Birthdays always make me reminisce. Never in my life have I ever felt so strongly that I'm right where I'm supposed to be, doing what God put me on this earth to do. Being Ryan's wife & Magnolia's mother is the greatest gift of my life. There is so much peace in my heart that I never felt before I met Ryan, so much happiness in the life we have made together. And of course we have big dreams for our future too, but each day is cherished like never before. Before I always felt like I was chasing something else, and now I am thanking God every moment for the life we have been blessed to call ours. I grew up admiring my grandma. She was the best homemaker I'll ever know, and now I get to take care of Magnolia the way she took care of my sister & me while our mom worked. I'm grateful for the years passed that I was able to work for a big corporation & own my own business. I'm grateful because now I know that all of that would never ever bring me the happiness that I have now. So there is that, my reflection on life at 39, and how crazy different it is than what I would have thought 20 years ago.

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Happy Easter Bunny, Mama


"Happy Easter BUNNY, Mama, Happy Easter BUNNY, Daddy" Magnolia said those words to us all day yesterday, and even before we went to bed last night & the first thing she said this morning when she opened her pretty blue eyes. Her sweet little three year old voice, with the addition of bunny, to her Easter greeting is the memory I'll store in my heart forever. On my IGTV I shared a nine minute video clip of short recordings I got of her on Easter morning & I'm so happy I took the time to hit the "video" button. I watched her reaction to her basket several times yesterday. It was so fun to watch her darling reaction to every little thing all over again, and I had even missed her talking about the "rain" when she noticed the umbrella she had picked out at Target months ago. She's been playing with her luggy basket, umbrella, & baby doll non-stop, also changing in & out of her new swimsuits. We did an Easter Egg hunt inside since the weather was quite chilly & rainy, perfect weather for her new umbrella though. She impressed us with her ability to find all the hidden eggs. The magical jelly bean lollipop garden popped up overnight & the Easter bunny stole carrots from our refrigerator and made a big mess on our front porch. We watched church from our living room & Magnolia participated with most of the singing & prayers. Before lunch we took some photos outside & Magnolia splashed around in the rain puddles. The thunderstorm made for the best napping weather & she took a nice long one before we FaceTimed with grandma & all of her cousins.

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Easter Belgium Waffles


Easter isn't cancelled.

I've heard & read that so many times! The way we celebrate He Is Risen will certainly look different this year, but that is okay. For our little family we still plan to plant our jelly bean lollipop garden on Easter Eve, the bunny has an adorable basket he will drop off for Easter morning, for brunch we will have spring floral Belgium waffles with mimosas + coffee, church on the sofa wearing our Sunday best, photos on the front porch using our tripod, and of course an Easter egg hunt for Maggie girl.

We usually host Easter & my heart is sad that we won't all be together. I had big plans for this year being in our new home. We will miss our family dearly & especially the sound of all the children's laughter as they run around barefoot in the cool spring grass searching for the eggs. Magnolia will miss them the very most, I just know it. I want our Easter to be just as special as always, and I want our girl to have the fondest memories stored away in her heart.

This morning Magnolia & I did a test run of our Easter brunch waffles. Sharing them here in case you need a fun idea for Sunday morning. Adding some pastel touches to pancakes or French toast works too!




I know this year is different for the whole world, but I just hope we can all make the day just as special, if not more, as we celebrate our Lord & Savior.

Happy Easter, friends. xo
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Ten Ideas for Potty Training a Princess


I stood watching her on the toilet, heart swollen with pride & eyes full of tears, half proud half sad. She did it, only about five days in she was fully transitioned from diapers to the toilet. At that very moment I could recall the last diaper I changed, but I had no idea it would be the last. Oh my heart, relieved & proud & broken all at once. More of a little girl & less of a baby every single day.

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The Best Banana Bread Recipe


I think we're all baking & cooking more these days. We always end up with extra bananas. I freeze some for smoothies & I've been making this delicious banana bread. It's so easy & the best afternoon treat with melted butter on top.


Preheat oven to 350 degrees & lightly grease loaf baking pan

What'll you need

2 cups Kodiak Cakes - Power Cakes Mix or all-purpose flour

3 teaspoons baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup of melted butter

1 cup of brown sugar

2 eggs, beaten

3 mashed overripe bananas

Splash of Vanilla

Pinch of cinnamon

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together & then pour into prepared loaf pan

Bake for 65 minutes

Enjoy hot with melted butter on top.
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Week Three of Home Isolation & Making the Ordinary Magic


We are right in the middle of week three of home isolation & I have to say this week has been much easier than last. Week one I had the mindset of "I can do this, no problem" excited about all the memories we'd make, week two I thought often "how on earth will we get through a month or more of this?", and now here we are on week three & I have to say I'm used to it. Now next week might be a new story, but this week has been pretty good so far. The warmer weather has made everything a millions times better. Being able to go for walks every single day, along with wine on the front porch & fires on the back patio has been a very welcomed treat. All the bushes, trees, & shrubs around the house are blooming & it is a little surprise every morning to see what awaits us in the yard. I'm almost certain we have several peony bushes popping up from the ground & my heart might explode from excitement. It's a dream come true to have a yard full of flowering shrubs! We have plans to add more flowers & a little garden that I'm determined to bring to life with herbs & veggies.

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Week Two of Home Isolation & Filled With Hope


Hello, friends.

Here we are, week two of home isolation. Magnolia asks me daily about leaving & each time I say we have to wait because there are a lot of sick people right now. Moments will pass and she'll ask if the people are all better yet. It's just too hard for her to understand. The hardest part is definitely missing playtime with her cousins & friends from music class. I found out today we will be doing online music class using Zoom, something small for us to look forward to each week. On Sunday we prayed at a time scheduled for global prayer, we lit a candle & held hands, fully believing in a miracle to come. And I also believe that as life slows down for all us, that life is being sprinkled with many more miracles. I hope that you can see & feel them all around you. This is such a special time. A time to take walks & breath in the fresh air, eat dinner as a family, do arts & crafts every single day, have dance parties in your pajamas, stay up later than usual & take long naps with your babies.

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Day Five of Home Isolation


Magnolia & I are on Day Five of home isolation. Ryan is going to the office each day & while it makes me nervous for him to be out of the home right now I know he's taking every precaution that he can. We are very grateful he is able to continue working during this uncertain time. He goes to work & then straight home to us. Someday our grandchildren will study about the year 2020 and it's kind of mind blowing to live in this moment right now, knowing that so many individual & leadership decisions & actions are truly making history. I just pray we are doing it right! I heard the President speak this morning about a possible generic drug to treat COVID & it sounds very promising. Praying so hard they have found a treatment that will save lives all across the world.

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From the Confetti Filled Desk of Magnolia Caroline, CEO


From the Confetti Filled Desk of Magnolia Caroline, CEO

It is with much consideration that I'd like to inform The Smith household, specifically my mother Wendy, that during this time of social distancing and home isolation that effective immediately and until further notice, my daily two hour naps have been cancelled. Rest assured that my usual wake time of 5:30 am will remain in effect. The wellbeing of my family means everything to me, and in implementing this schedule change I can assure you to be blessed with my sparkling soul 24 hours a day seven days a week. I will continue to monitor the situation & should there be a schedule change you will be notified immediately.

Sealed with a princess kiss xo
Magnolia Caroline, CEO - The Smith Household
Three years old



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12 Things We Will Be Doing At Home While We Try to Flatten the Curve


My Fancy Nancy picked out this costume to wear to Disney on Ice in a few weeks. An event cancelled like thousands of others across the country. We are planning to do our part in "flattening the curve" and staying home for the next few weeks. As of today, Ryan plans to go the office for work, but as we've seen things seem to be changing by the hour. Other than him going to work we won't be doing much else. Magnolia & I will make the best of our time at home doing some of the ideas I'm going to share below.


1. Play, Make Believe, Create: dress up & dance parties, water coloring painting, singing, lots of playtime in her playroom

2. Learning: work on colors, shapes, ABCs, counting
Pinterest has so many ideas to make learning fun for all ages
Did you see Scholastic has made online & interactive learning free? Link here

3. Baking: we have the stuff to make chocolate chip cookies & banana bread

4. Cleaning: wash all the bed linens, organize & clean closets to get ready for spring/summer, clean floors, stay on top of cleaning surfaces (counters, door knobs, phones), all things spring cleaning

5. Eating Healthy: vitamin packed smoothies, chicken bone broth, staying hydrated, fruits & veggies, herbal teas, gargle warm salt water

6. Prayer & Meditation: the free app called Insight Timer is amazing for guided meditation; I've been using it for years & highly recommend it

7. Music: we will have relaxing music on all day to keep the mood calm & switch to Taylor Swift for dance parties

8. Movies: obviously lots of movie time & did you see Frozen II has been released on Disney early?

9. Books & Podcasts: Magnolia has recently become obsessed with reading lots of books, her attention span grew like crazy over the last few weeks & I have tons of Podcasts saved & ready to listen to when she's napping

10. Spa Days at Home: this is great time to do self pedicures & manicures, apply face masks, take hot epsom salt baths

11. Rest & Nap: our bodies need rest to boost our immune systems, I'll be taking guilt-free naps with her when I feel like I need it

12. Fresh Air: take a walk, sit outside & listen to the birds singing, watch the trees & flowers begin to bud, let the little ones do chalk drawings + blow bubbles, get their bikes + scooters out, spring is coming

Hoping we can all slow down & make the best of this. Take care & stay safe!

xo
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Unicorn Rainbow Playroom Design Ideas


A dedicated spot for make believe, a place where all the childhood magic can happen, I've come to the conclusion that playrooms are a requirement for homes with children! Magnolia's playroom is full of unicorns, rainbows, soft colors, & a collection of toys that make her room one of my favorites in our whole house. When her cousins come over they can play in here for hours & I love peeking in on them and watching their imaginations run wild. We have an Alexa in here & the kids love to request their favorite songs as they play. At the end of this post I've linked all the main items in her room & the pink play kitchen is currently 50% off. Our favorite book list can be found here.











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My Mom's Birthday


My mom's birthday is today & we all got together on Sunday to celebrate her. She's been in Colorado for her last two birthdays & so it was extra fun to have a little party for her this year. The weather this weekend was full of sunshine & a cool spring breeze. Breathtaking! My mom, Magnolia & I did  some shopping on Saturday, picking up fresh flowers & stuff to make a cake for Sunday. Magnolia was in charge of the cake decorating, and her motto "you can never have too many sugar sprinkles!" Our celebration was very low key, we all went out for pizza for lunch first & then back to our place for cake & gifts. The kids got to run around outside & they were intoxicated with the fresh air. The birthday cake sugar high was surely adding to their excitement to be free & run wild under the sun.

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Spring Cleaning - 10 Habits to Keep a Clean & Tidy Home


Spring cleaning is coming & since I get asked all the time how I keep a clean + tidy home with a toddler, I thought it'd be fun to share a few of my everyday habits that keep my house in shipshape (as my grandma would say).

And before I get started I want to say two things. One, I'm a stay-at-home mom & I know that is a huge factor. If I had to leave the house for work every single day I know that there would be areas neglected. And I would be an anxious mess. Two, to each their own, I know that many people can relax & embrace the mess. Sometimes I truly envy the mom that can sit down and breathe surrounded by a clutter of toys. There are days I wish I could. The world needs those Type B personalities to balance the Type As of the world.

I was raised by a mom & grandma that made cleaning & picking up an everyday duty. My mom was the deep cleaner that would not rest until every single room was spotless & my grandma was the one that insisted on every single thing in her home having a "place." I took after them both, probably more like my grandma in that every single thing has a proper place in our home. Looking back I can literally tell you exactly where everything in my grandma's home belonged, from decor to items stored in closet/cabinets/drawers. I'm the same way, if something new enters our home then it immediately has a place that it belongs, often times replacing something else.

Just in time for spring cleaning, let's get started with my Top 10 Daily Habits to keep a clean & tidy home.


1. The Floors - This is a big one for me. I have to have clean floors. No shoes in the house, because if you really think about what is on the bottom of them it's quite gross to walk around with them on. Did you know that 96% of shoes have fecal bacteria E. Coli on them? Now that we have wood floors on the main level I can make one exception to the shoe ban and that is when we are having a celebration. It's easy enough to clean the hardwood floors after a party, but certainly no shoes on the carpet ever. I sweep the floors every other day & I currently use the Swiffer wipes once a week. I'm on the hunt for a new hardwood cleaning system.

2. Kitchen Cabinets & Counters - I wipe down the counters at least three times a day. And as I'm cleaning them I look for spots on the white cabinets & clean them up as soon as something gets on them. By doing this I never really have to do anything major to the cabinets, they just stay clean always. I make my own all purpose cleaning spray with Rocky Mountain Oil's multi-purpose concentrate, it's just like the Young Living Thieves but a fraction of the price. I usually add in an essential oil to make it smell even better, with spring coming I'll use more of the citrusy scents like grapefruit, lemon & lime.

3. Toys - Magnolia's toy collection is growing & my best suggestion for the toy mess is to have a dedicated spot in each room of the house for their stuff. In the living room, inside of our TV cabinet we keep her dress up clothes + play shoes & puzzles. In the loft upstairs she has a basket full of books, her chalkboard easel & an area to store her strollers & baby doll stuff. Baskets, closets, & drawers are a great way to keep it all organized & out of the way when not being used. The majority of her toys are in the playroom. More about it next...

4. Playroom - The playroom toys all have a "spot" and I usually do the cleaning up in there at least once a day & always before bed. The closet is where I store all the plastic toys that come with one million pieces (the toys I swore she'd never own - eat my words), art supplies (water colors, paper, stickers, glitter, etc), outside activity items, & learning resources. The key to an adorable playroom is to only welcome lasting pieces into the space. I put a lot of thought into her key items, like the pink kitchen, table & chairs, dollhouse, piano, chair, & wall decor. Invest some time in the initial organization & then clean up will come naturally. When something new comes into the space either replace it with something else or make sure it has a spot to be placed when not in use. Birthdays & Christmas are a big deal with all the new toys, make sure to dedicate some time to how it will all be stored. Another tip, with the younger ones, store some of the gifts before they are unpackaged and save them for a rainy day. Kids don't appreciate 20 brand new toys all at once!

5. Decor Items - Swapping out the holiday decor & freshening up a room as the seasons change is very easy to do if you have all of your stuff stored in a dedicated spot. Take care to pack things up nicely before sticking them in a cabinet, closet, basement & then you'll be able to pull them out next year looking like new. I'm just starting to pull out our Easter & spring decor items & it always makes our home feel cozy & fresh with the newness.

6. Laundry - We all have our very own laundry baskets for clothing & linens + towels are kept seperate. Ryan actually does his own laundry on Sunday (yes, not only does he get the #1 dad award but also #1 husband award). I usually do mine & Magnolia's on Monday's & then towels and linens are done as they accumulate. I think staying on top of laundry is the secret. Don't get a week behind. Also, hang dry your nice stuff. We have this Ikea towel rack in the laundry room & it's perfect for air drying clothes on a hanger. By the time it's dry, it's already on a hanger & ready to be put back in the closet. Highly recommend it!

7. Clutter - The best way to prevent clutter is to throw things away on a regular basis. I never ever let mail sit around. I go through it the very second I get it out of the mailbox, and usually 90% of it is trash. When toys are broken or not used, they are thrown away or donated. And back to what I mentioned above about everything having it's place in our home, I feel that philosophy prevents clutter. Countertops, kitchen table, coffee table, dresser, everything is kept clear of stuff that doesn't belong. It's really just making the habit of not allowing things to hang around when they aren't being used or bringing joy to your life. Ryan & I both have an odd fear of becoming hoarders so we always err on the side of trashing or donating things we aren't sure about. Preventing clutter makes cleaning so much easier. I should have made this my first point, because it's probably the most important. If you stop clutter before it starts then cleaning is actually a piece of cake!

8. Donating - I feel like we donated half our house before we moved. I certainly donated over half of my closet. Getting into our new house was like breath of fresh air because so much stuff we weren't using was given away. Spring cleaning is the best time to start in one room & work your way around while deciding what needs to go. Another great habit is to have a box in your home that you can fill up monthly with items you want to donate & have a place you like to drop off at each month. We often drop off at the Salvation Army & I will connect with friends that volunteer with organizations that are in need. Also, H&M takes old clothing & textiles. If you take a bag of stuff into them they'll give you a 15% off coupon to use on your entire purchase. I always take them a bag before shopping, I love a good coupon!

9. Stations - I've been using the word "station" for everything lately & Ryan gets annoyed by it so now I say it even more to tease him. At our old house we literally had boxes of light bulbs in the kitchen, garage & basement. Then he'd go buy more when we needed some becuase he didn't realize we already had them. At the new house I was insistent on having a dedicated station for all the extra light bulbs and so now we have one shelf in our basement just for them. This idea is great for all the random household items. BECAUSE, everything needs a spot or station, even light bulbs, wrapping paper, outdoor toys, cleaning products, brooms, art supplies, keys/wallets/purses, shoes, coats, etc. Have a spot for everything & your life will be easier!

10. Mood - Setting the mood for your home should be a daily ritual & will keep you feeling uplifted & energized to maintain the daily habits. Mamas, you set the mood for the whole entire family! We normally have music playing throughout the day, the diffuser going, a candle burning, fresh flowers scattered from room to room. Crack the windows & enjoy the cool spring breeze & listen to the singing birds. You want your home to feel like a cozy place to make memories with the ones you love. If you need help unwinding after a long day, my very favorite background music is Spa Radio on Pandora.

I hope this helps & that you've gained a few new ideas for spring cleaning. I do believe a tidy + clean home makes all the family members feel a sense of calm & comfort.

Happy spring cleaning xo
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Life Lately


Hello, friends! In Kansas City we are starting to get a little taste of spring with sunshiny days that get up to 60 degrees & the birds are singing like crazy & all of the plants around our house are starting to turn green. The welcome of spring is always a happy one, but I think we are even more excited than usual because it'll be our first one in our new home. Any chance we get to go for a walk around our new neighborhood we take it & our pink poodle is bringing smiles to everyone that crosses our path. One day a group of teenagers stopped their car, rolled down the window & took a video of us with Valentine. I'm sure we are on Snapchat or TikTok somewhere, ha!

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Easter Must Haves


We host Easter every year & I'm already dreaming up our Sunday menu & hippity hoppity dessert. My mom started sending me cake ideas this morning & now Magnolia is begging me to make a bunny butt cake. Today, she wants to make the cake right now. She's my little holiday party planning partner. The sunshine is shining brighter & the birds are singing louder & we are just so excited for our first spring in our new home. Making Easter special for our family with festive touches of pastel colors, Easter eggs, & cute bunnies is something that I cherish.



I'll be sharing more Easter ideas & plans here because it's up there with Christmas as my very favorite holiday. It's hands down the sweetest! 

xo 


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Historic Colonial - White with Pink Front Door


I used to do home tours on the blog all the time & today I'm sharing a long overdue one! We are planning to paint our home white this spring & the front door will be either black or blush pink. Thankfully that is the hardest decision left to make. When I saw this historic colonial all white with the softest shade of pink on the front door I just had to see inside. I figured you'd want to see more too. IT'S GORGEOUS! Absolutely in love with the wallpaper in the powder room & master bath.

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Enter to Win Family 5-Pack of Tickets to Disney on Ice at Sprint Center


Our little Disney loving princess is going to FLIP out when we take her to Disney on Ice at the Sprint Center next month. She's never been before & I think Ryan & I are just as excited (if not more) to see her experience the magic for the very first time. They'll be in town from March 26-29, 2020. The Disney on Ice Road Trip Adventures will whisk families away on an immersive getaway chock-full of magical participatory moments & WE CANNOT WAIT!

We'll be giving away a family 5-pack of tickets to one lucky winner to use at a showtime of their choice! The giveaway will close on Friday, March 13th and the winner will be announced here on March 14th. Vouchers and redemption instructions will be mailed directly to the winner. Use the entry form at the end of this post for a chance to win & you can purchase tickets directly here.



Good luck! Share this post for bonus entries. You can click the social icons right below to post directly to your FB page. Follow us on Instagram @wendycorren for bonus entry points!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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Yoga Studio at Home


Hello, friends!

Our front room has already been designed in my head with a grand French gold leaner mirror, a blush pink velvet sofa with English turned legs, handwoven high pile rug, round coffee table, & accent chairs that will make any guest want to stay a little longer. It'll be 6-9 months before we can start on this space. We've got a big exterior project coming up this spring & our powder room renovation starts on Monday! Very excited to share those projects with you soon.

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A Pink Valentine's Day


Magnolia thinks Valentine's Day is all about her puppy, Valentine Lollipop. To see the way she has made Valentine's Day into a special holiday all about her dog is just the cutest thing ever. And with a dog named after love day we had to go all out this year. We finally had the groomer make her cotton candy pink & every time I look at her I giggle inside. Magnolia thinks it's the coolest thing of all time & I'm certain she will remember this Valentine's Day for the rest of her life. I'm thinking we will keep her pink until Easter & then switch it up this summer and make her baby blue for the Kansas City Royals! We used Opawz color shampoo & it turned out exactly as I had hoped --- the perfect cotton candy pink!!!

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Three Fun & Easy Valentine's Day Ideas in the Kitchen


The last weekend before Valentine's Day is here & I thought it'd be fun to share a few of the ways we celebrate love day in the kitchen.

Make your loved ones feel spoiled by throwing together a little fruit & sweets board. I made this one for Magnolia's birthday party & I may throw together another one like it with more heart shaped cookies & candies. Trader Joe's is the place to go for flowers, fruit, and all the holiday inspired desserts & treats.


Teddy Bears hugging hearts, is there anything sweeter!?! This is hands down the easiest little treat to make & perfect for all age groups! And by all ages, I mean toddler all the way up to grandmas and grandpas. I can imagine myself doing this in the kitchen with my grandma if she were still here. You'll only need to pick up three things from the store: teddy grahams, icing & conversation hearts.


Show your babes how much you love them with a surprise breakfast of homemade pop-tarts overloaded with pink, red & heart shaped sprinkles!

You can find the ingredients & recipe over here.


Celebrate them xo
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Magnolia's Third Birthday


Who knew a trip to the shopping mall would be so much fun!?!

Ryan took the day of Magnolia's birthday off work so that we could take her out to do something special on her actual birthday. We had plans to take her to lunch & to a children's museum & on the way I realized they are closed on Mondays. As we were driving I was trying to think of a new & equally fun idea. It was another gorgeous sunny 60 degree day so I said let's head to the farmstead. From the backseat our little birthday girl got so excited to see all the animals. And then I found that they are not open for the season yet. We needed a new idea fast because we were driving aimlessly and Ryan had a flight out to California that put us on a time schedule. SKY ZONE, that'll be perfect, she can jump around on the trampolines. I could not even believe it, they were closed too!!!

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Magnolia's Magical Princess Unicorn Third Birthday Party


February 3rd, 2017 at 8:14 pm a little 6 pound 12 ounces baby girl came into our lives & changed our world forever. The gift of Magnolia Caroline is never lost on us. Even when days are hard & we are tested, we have this bright-eyed girl to remind us of God's promises to us. As I trusted in God's perfect timing, as I prayed with all my heart & soul for a baby, I knew when our baby arrived I would always give all the glory to God. Every single day, every single moment of being her mother I am flooded with the deepest feeling of gratitude. My veins run with "thank you God" always! It's hard to think I would ever say I'm thankful for the fight to have her, but looking back, I know it changed me into a mother that knows & deeply remembers the ache, the fear, the heartache of life before her. Her beautiful soul is the greatest gift of our lives.

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Music, Snow & Cousin Sleepover


Happy Monday, dear friends! One week to go until our Kansas City Chiefs are in the Super Bowl & even more exciting (for the mommy in me) Magnolia's third unicorn princess birthday party!!! I cannot believe my baby is almost three years old. She picked her birthday theme & calls it "ono-corn!" and it melts me. We have two big gifts planned for her & I cannot wait to see the surprise in her eyes. She's getting a dollhouse from us & my sisters + parents went in on a group gift for her. A car!!! A ride-on remote control car, all my mom's idea, and she is going to flip out when she opens it. We are doing a treasure hunt + face painting & jewels and I'm making a layered chocolate chip cookie cake + cupcakes. And balloons, tons and tons of balloons! The weather is going to be gorgeous & I really want to rent a unicorn, but we've already got so much planned I don't think we will have time.

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Loss & Hope


When we moved into our new home a few months ago, I boldly said this room would be the nursery. The place that holds all of our cherished baby items. It's the room I peek into every day & wonder when we'll have another baby. This room represents faith, faith that one day our family will grow & that Magnolia will have a baby brother or sister.

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Magnolia's Playroom & Our Current Favorite Books


Magnolia's playroom is one of our favorite rooms in the house. The bay windows make it feel sunshiny and bright all day long. I love watching her play & create & I snapped some photos of her room in its natural element this weekend while she was singing her heart out to Frozen II. Seeing her baby dolls, glitter shoes, iced cupcakes and just all of her toys thrown all over the place is something that always makes me smile. And then with a smile I clean it up during her naps, because I like it to be tidy, and honestly I find it therapeutic in some odd way. Maybe because cleaning her sweet little pink kitchen is way more fun than cleaning mine!

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Christmas 2019


Happy New Year friends, 2020 it's kind of a fun year to say, or maybe it's because Magnolia says it in the most adorable way! The Christmas season was a magical one & especially so because we got to spend it in our new home. I'm so grateful that the holiday season was the first season in our home. All the festive first memories we made here were the warm & fuzzy kind. And all but two boxes were unpacked by Christmas!

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