#maclaygirlsweekend

Nothing says cool like a good #hashtag. So I am told.

A little distracted this week, but here are some photos from our annual high school girls weekend that was happening one week ago tonight. Although we can’t be certain on the number of years, we believe this was the 9th annual high school girls weekend get together.  The first took at St. George Island. Britton was the only baby and was about 2 years old (she turned 11 this month).   You know, back in the day when you couldn’t stand the thought of leaving your beloved child for more than 12 hours.

 

Fast forward and we now have roughly 12 children and 12 dogs between us.  Gladly, we shed our ever increasing responsability for one weekend a year to come together and celebrate our long lasting, ever strong friendships.

Once again, I am thankful that neither Facebook, Twitter, texting or Instagram was around when we were in school.

Case in point.

 

high school girls weekend 2-1

 

the d-1

 

 

This year, friends came with door prizes (Christmas in July).

 

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A surprise senior video turned DVD compliments of Shea (and Mrs. Arden!)  Wish someone had told us, back then, that we weren’t as cool as we thought we were.

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Thank you Danya!

 

It was the usual suspects  acting out again this year.

Danya (aka the bachelorette) pretending still can still take shots (clearly, that ship has sailed).

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Us trying to get a decent group photo using a self -time on the hood of a mid-size SUV (no one ever wants to be on the end.  Why is that?).

 

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Game night (purchase the app ‘Heads Up!‘ for immediate entertainment for the whole family!)  As you can see, it’s wild times.  Maybe this explains why everyone was bright eyed and bushy tailed at 6:00 am every morning.

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I mean we are seriously wild. Watch out.

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So there you go. The inside scoop on our Moms go Wild high school girls weekend.  Don’t say I never share anything exciting on this ol’ blog!

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Sunday Night Thoughts — in bullet points

Sometimes I think in bullet points. The byproduct of a Type A. Today is one of those days.

 

  • My girl can cook (and plan!).  I mean, she can really whip up a meal.  I’ve always been creative at shifting my responsabilities onto others (just ask my little sister).  But I even impressed myself tonight when I asked the girls to come up with their favorite meals and then create a meal plan for the week.  They ate it up- no pun intended.  Both Britton and Kenley created 10+ dinners and lunches complete with side items, vegetables and a couple of desserts thrown in for good measure.  They opened up all of their favorite cookbooks, spread them across our large kitchen table and went to work.  B took it a step further and put together our Monday- Friday meal plan this week (2 of Britton’s meals, 2 of Kenley’s meals and 1 meal that they both agree on).  She then created a meal by meal grocery list on my iPhone, went with me to the store, came home and cooked the entire meal (using a recipe she found online) while I put the groceries away.  Oh, and she made the most delicious pie for dessert.  Please tell me this isn’t a phase. Could it be that I have a cook living with us? Oh please say it’s true!! Britton fried some cube steak in sunflower oil that could be served in a restaurant it was so good.
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She is anti-camera these days so here you have a lovely close up of knuckles (with a mighty cute background.)

 

 

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Kenley is no fool- she knows that food always taste better when you don’t have to cook it yourself.

 

  • Annual high school girls weekend happened this past weekend (middle school girls weekend if you want to get  technical). Lots of laughs, talks of poor vision and achy knees, old days and silliness that can only be found amongst long-time girlfriends.  Let’s just say, if you don’t have the “My Talking Pet” app you are missing out. {More photos to come}
grateful simplicity

Seaside, FL

  • I am not as indispensable as I thought.  Mr. Robinson survived, and thrived, Wednesday-Sunday while I was off the clock.  There were a couple of oh-no phone calls but I must say, he did a knock out job with his children and I even came home to a spotless house (swoon) and three happy children.  Thank you, Mr. R!

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  • Time for me to sign off.  I know this because my handy dandy fit bit flex tells me just how much I am not sleeping.  In the past 2 weeks the most amount of sleep I have gotten on any given night is 7 hours.  Seeing that my alarm clock is set for 5 hours and 10 minutes from now, it’s good night time.

girls weekend sunset-1

 

How to keep your home organized

Anyone that knows me knows organization is my love language.  No really, it is.  Followed closely by ‘acts of service.’  Lists, schedules, and routines keep my little world in check giving me a feeling that all is right in the world.  It’s a mental thing, I know.

Rarely do I write a ‘life style’ post and there’s a reason for that.  I can hear the little  pot voices cackling, “whatever black kettle.”

I say-  hush up.

My mom, sister, and Courtney like to make fun of my highly organized ways.  The schedules I create, the monotony of my process, and the label maker that I have come to love.  Few things make me more happy than having a smooth running house.  I’ve recently taken on an endeavor that he my out of the house for the majority of the day so I’m having to ramp things up ’round here when it comes to keeping this place in check.

Take it with a grain of salt, but here are my tips on how to keep your home organized.

 

how to keep a home organized via grateful simplicity

Laundry

It all starts here. If there are clothes, clean or dirty, strewn around it makes for a chaotic home.  Knowing (and seeing) that you have to fold, sort, dry gnaws at you so why not just knock it out?  I do one load of laundry a day. Every day. Most days there is more than one load, but consistently washing and drying one load per day keeps me on the right track.  I also keep three labeled, cloth boxes {from the Walmart} for each child.  As I find hair bows in pockets and books lying in the hallway I can toss them into their boxes (which they empty on Fridays) without having to run to their rooms or create more piles of ‘stuff to put away.’  It also helps that my girls are responsible for putting away their own laundry. Britton is tall enough to hang up any of her clothes that need to be hung as well. Which- is most.  I find that hanging as many things as possible keeps them in birds eyes views so she knows exactly what she has (and they don’t end up in a big wad in the back of her dresser drawer).

 

Meal Planning

This seems like a no brainer but it’s often usually hard to implement.  It’s not the shopping or cooking that’s difficult– sitting down and actually planning the meals each week is my biggest challenge.  Particularly when you don’t get home until late afternoons- whipping up a meal at 5:30 with hungry kids at your heels ain’t exactly fun. One great tip I found was to create meal plans and sync them to  my phone.  The ingredients and recipes are all on my iPhone so there are far less instances of me standing in the butcher section of Publix with a blank stare on my face.  You can find the instructions on how to do this HERE.

At the very least, for the past couple of years I have started consciously keeping my pantry fully stocked so that on any given night I can whip up a home cooked meal.  The Pioneer Woman has a nice printable stocking up pantry list that I started with.  My freezer, on the other hand, stays on the empty side.  For whatever reason, I am not a big fan of the frozen foods.  Chicken breasts and pie crusts are the only frozen items that I try to keep on hand.

Baking probably falls within in this category as well and it only took one 10:00 pm run to the grocery store so I could bake the forgotten Friday snack I volunteered for back in August for me to realize that not only do I need to have a stocked pantry, but I also need a decent supply of baking ingredients as well.  Britton is the baking drawers biggest fan.  She digs through the drawers and comes up with all kinds of cookies and cakes (she baked her own birthday pie last week and it was delicious!!)

 

how to keep a home organized via grateful simplicity

Prepare the Night Before

We’re smack dab in the middle of summer but this rule still applies even when the tardy bell isn’t ringing at 8:30 am.  The night before I always get backpacks ready, set out lunch boxes and thermoses, lay out school/church clothes, put anything I need by the door (purse, dry cleaning, bags, etc), and set the coffee maker (thank you, K).  Because despite all these preparations, I’m still running around like a chicken with her head cut off in the mornings so ain’t nobody got time to stand around the coffee maker waiting for it to brew.

If I’m not too tired the night before, I also try to unload the dishwasher because inevitably dirty breakfast dishes can fill our my large farmhouse sink in a matter or minutes.  And who wants to come home to a sink full of unwashed plates?  Foe me, the time invested in doing some of these things the night before pays off the next morning.

 

Think Ahead

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve had to “run to Target” to purchase a plastic birthday today in my haste to get to a birthday party on time.  While I’m not the best at heeding this advice, I try my darndest to do this one.  Planning ahead- this means birthday presents for children, friends, teacher appreciation, Christmas (last June I started on my Christmas shopping and was done by Thanksgiving).  Online shopping might just be the best thing, second only to DVR.  Etsy has become my favorite go-to market place for anything unique and long lasting.  The only catch is I have to plan ahead since items are often handmade and require lengthier shipping times.  Again, this isn’t a problem so long as I plan ahead. Remember, do as I say not as I do.

how to keep a home organized via grateful simplicity

Wake Up Early

Don’t laugh- I’m not a morning person either but my days run smoother when I set my alarm clock to rise long before my children ever do.  Waking up and having some alone time to slowly sip my coffee, read a devotion, check my email, and do some work beats the alternative which is waking up and immediately scrambling to start the day- packing lunches, preparing breakfast, rousing oversleeping children.  No thank you.  By setting my alarm clock just a little bit earlier, even 15 minutes, it helps set the  tone for my day.

So there you have it… And that will only be one penny.  How to keep your home organized.

Weekend Simplicity

Weekend Simplicity…

I knew this day would come, the morning where I lie in bed and rub the sleep out of my eyes trying to make sense of the noise around me, only to find a blonde-headed 2.5 year old standing over me.  Yes, Raynes hoisted himself out of his crib this morning.  The one morning I so wanted to sleep until 8 am.  After struggling to get him to stay in his too-small traveling pack-n-play the better part of June, Mr. Robinson and I would come home so grateful to have his large crib to hold him at bedtime.  (Little sister- I know he is almost three but having him contained at night brings me inexplicable joy)

 

Please say a prayer that climbing out of his crib this morning is a one time thing.  Otherwise I’ll be setting up his little mahogany four-poster twin bed in a matter of days. Sniff.

 

In the case I am not so fortunate and this climbing isn’t a phase, I’ve slowly been making plans to transition Raynes’ nursery to a big boy bedroom.  I may, or may not, have picked up some boy bedding while I was in Atlanta recently.

 

Okay, on to the weekend.

 

On My Nightstand:

Each evening I look forward to crawling into bed because I’m so tired it hurts so I can read What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty. I’m behind on my summer reading so I need to get cracking.

 

Fashion Find:

Just this week I’ve discovered J.Crew Factory store online. Hello? Why did I not know they had a website? Oh, and everything is 50% off currently.

$19 currently {from $75}

$19 currently {from $75}

 

Around the House:

This would make such a great space for a, um I don’t know, 11 year old girl….

 

Weekend Simplicity via Grateful Simplicity

Source | Stephanie Kraus Designs via House of Turquoise

Favorite Photos:

 

 

You know that expressions ‘like a kid in a candy store’? This is what that looks like.

 

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Boys learning to share- love this expression when Mama intervenes.

 

 

 

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Leftover fourth of July photo but I love this one.

 

I’m going to pour myself a hot cup of coffee now.  I hear the buzzer telling me it’s ready.

Have a great weekend!

Happy Birthday, B

It only took 5 days in the hospital, a record breaking induction time (long!), TCBY frozen yogurt (and Dr. Phil) to break my water and several easy pushes for our baby girl to arrive at 1:32 am on July 9, 2003.

No matter how long I live, how bad my memory gets, I will always remember seeing my firstborn for the first time with her head full of jet black hair (we’ve been shampooing every day since) and beautiful fingers and toes.  Her eyes locked with mine and it was as if she knew she belonged to me, and I belonged to her.  Forever.

The overwhelming awe, gratefulness (not to mention sense of accomplishment- 7 lbs 11 oz!)  is forever etched in my heart and I see it as it was yesterday.

Photo compliments of Trinity Church

Photo compliments of Trinity Church

 

We love you, B. Our not-to-little, marches to her own beat, big hearted, intellectual, book worm fanatic, master baker, big sister, crafter extraordinaire, ballet dancing and violin playing girl.  You enrich this life of ours, in every direction, and we are thankful God has entrusted such a precious gift to us.

B bow

 

 

apalachicola soda shop britotn

 

 

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Britton (1 of 1)

 

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Happy Birthday B via Grateful Simplicity

 

 

Happy Birthday B via Grateful Simplicity

 

Happy Birthday B!