Archive for the 'holidays' Category


Clara and I hosted her playgroup the week of Valentines and so we decided to invite everyone over for a bit of a party. Her contributions to everyone’s goodie bags were hugs + kisses pretzels.

We kept things simple with our party: Decorating doughnuts, adding stickers to our goodie bags, and making fruit loop valentines for the birds!untitled-4-2






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Texas Tulips

One of my very favorite people and I found ourselves flying solo while our husbands were on a Scout campout this March, so we decided to seize a moment and take our kids on an outing. Just Janelle, Me, and 9 kids 9 and under! They definitely ran amuck through the rows of tulips! Our boys are both only sons and they are such cute little buddies when we get together! Despite warnings to stick close and not cross the rows, they chased from one side of the fields to the next and with 4 toddlers and infants between us, there was little us moms could do about it (and they were partly too wonderfully free to really want to contain).

Other highlights are Elle swimming in the dust, the two Lilys giant dragging baskets with a single tulip around, and the kids determination to pick and pay for their very own, over priced, tulip! Most of all, I love that Janelle  teaches me (and I need regular, gentle reminders) to embrace the chaos!

The fields had the most adorably awkward teenage girl dressed up as an Easter bunny. She was all legs and it was the most bizarre thing! Keep scrolling, they’re worth a good laugh!

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Mr MacGregor’s Garden Party

We hosted our second annual Easter Egg decorating party with friends the weekend after we got back from Saint George. Can I just say how much I love this tradition? Its super simple to host, the kids love it, and its not often that I get the excuse to host some of the amazing people that have come to fill our lives here in Texas. We had five families over (and wished we could invite so many more!) but between all of us there were 24 kids ages 12 and under! We had a simple potluck and used plastic matte eggs and let the kids color away.

I was distracted and trying to focus on the experience and I’m really not crazy about how the pictures turned out, but I love all these people and have such happy memories of the day, so I’m trying to not let the photographer in me taint the memory by getting bent out of shape over photos.

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Easter 2016

Easter came so early this year! Just a couple weeks after spring break in Saint George, in fact! I wish that I could say that it was an especially reverent and moving one, but really I was just happy to hit all of the important points! I’m sure we missed many opportunities to teach along the way, but I felt constantly a couple steps behind schedule. I just was not working from my happy, comfortable place of what Steven Covey describes as important/non-urgent to-do items!

This first picture taken on Sunday morning is my favorite. Its each of my kids so perfectly these days: Cash with his endless questioning. Clara always needs to hold something cute. Nora bawls if she sees me but can’t have me. Madilynn is the little mother. Lily is a pleaser and poses to perfection whenever the camera is out.

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My mom mad a delicious Easter dinner and brought it to our house to share with Lindsay, David, and Cade. The kids enjoyed an egg hunt together as well.

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Annual Family Nativity


We were so happy that our Sheffield cousins were able to join in on the Nativity fun this year! Thank you so much for bringing them to celebrate with us, Lolly and Pop!


  • Mary- Madilynn
  • Joseph- Jasper
  • Angels- Jaylee and Lily
  • Shepherd- Clara
  • Sheep- Jarvis
  • Wise Men- Cade and Cash

It was so sweet how excited the kids were this year! Jaylee was thrilled to have helped her little brother, Jarvis, get all bundled up as a “sheepy”. She was cooing and coaxing him all through the house.

Madilynn was thrilled to be Mary and really, REALLY wanted Nora to play baby Jesus, but she was napping during our play.

For the most part they styled themselves for a big pile, making it super























Dallas Millennial Choir

Madilynn and Lily had the opportunity to participate in the Fall semester of the Dallas Millennial Choir which culminated in two Christmas Concerts last month. This was not the task for the feeble hearted; the drive was 30-45 minutes each way,  their practices were rigorous, and near the end they went late into the night. However, the result was a truly breathtaking performance.

We were also so fortunate to participate with a group of their church friends, which meant a fabulous carpool setup and 1- 1 1/2 hours in the car with friends each Thursday evening.

Photos by Jen Mabray







Obligatory Christmas Outfit Photo

The kids were dressed in their Christmas outfits after church a few weeks ago and we decided the occasion required pictures under our (yet to be decorated) tree.

Cash was being broody, which required desperate measures (Mike licking my head). Nora was shocked, Clara didn’t even see, and the rest thought it was the best idea he’s had yet!

I love Lily’s laugh in this second photo. We can all take a lesson from her carefree attitude. She’s the most comfortable in her skin of anyone that I know.