Category: Family

Teacher Gifts

With the end of the school year upon us, we wanted to shower the kids’ teachers with a little love to let them know how much we appreciate all of the effort, love, care, nurturing, and encouragement they give to our kids each and every day. Here are a couple of things we put together for the teachers. Cameron has 3 teachers and Kailey has 2, so we made 5 of each of these…

Teacher’s Appreciation Day!

For Teacher’s Appreciation Day, we put together a teacher’s survival kit. I came across these cute “chalkboard” straw cups in bright colors and filled them with chocolate, tea packets, pretzels, crackers, and candy. I wrote each teacher’s first initial on the chalkboard and then wrapped the cups in plastic gift bags. Kailey helped me attach a little note and tie each bag with a ribbon. Cute & Simple and the teachers really loved them! We saw all the teachers using their cups during the final weeks of school.


The note reads “She who refreshed others will herself be refreshed.” Proverbs 11:25

Source: CampClem

Last Day of School

For the last day of school gift, we stuck with our theme of personalization. My incredible mother-in-law is an amazing creator of all things crafty and is the best embroiderer around.


I found cute, spring/summery hand towels and matching pot holders and she went to town embroidering them with each teacher’s first initial. These turned out SO cute and all of the teachers commented on how much they loved the personalization.



I already have a bunch of ideas on things to personalize for next year! Thanks, mom, in advance for all of the sewing!!

And there you have it! Cute, thoughtful, usable teacher gifts that were very budget friendly!

As an added bonus for our VPK grads, we picked up these handy-dandy LeapFrog math skills and writing skills dry-erase packets. We added a bow and a note for each “grad” in Kailey’s class. Fun kindergarten prep for the summer!



Kailey’s First Soccer Season

This Saturday closed out Kailey’s first soccer season ever! The Silver Sharks had a fantastic season and I am sad to see it come to an end. IMG_4510 Her last game started at 8:30am, so we had an early start to our day and got there in time to get her soccer pictures before the game started. Doesn’t she look like a pro already?!


We don’t keep score in this league, but I can tell you that there were a lot of goals going into the other team’s net 🙂 I remember the first game starting out with the kids so uncoordinated and unsure of where to kick the ball. They came a long way and we owe a lot of that to their awesome coaches! They did a great job with the kids – always patient, nurturing and kind. IMG_4508 After the game, it was time for pizza and trophies!! Kailey was so excited to earn her first trophie. We already have plans to hang shelves in her room for future awards and trophies. She can’t wait to play again next season! IMG_4509 Which sports do your kids enjoy?

VPK Graduation

Not gonna lie – I find all of these graduations a little off-putting. Don’t get me wrong; I am incredibly proud of these kiddos and how hard they work each year to accomplish their goals and make good grades, but I feel like VPK graduation, Kindergarten graduation, fifth-, eighth-, and any other graduations they can sneak in there tend to minimize high school and college graduations… which, let’s be real here, are something to truly celebrate! So, while it’s hard to say out loud, I went into VPK graduation with a bit of an eye-roll.


I have to admit that it was an entirely too-cute event and I was soaking up all the momma pride I could muster as these little ones sang their hearts out and showed the audience what they had been practicing all year long! These little people are growing at record pace and I cannot believe my first baby is already heading to kindergarten!


Their teacher, Mrs. Becky, did a terrific job of acknowledging each child and pointing out a personal accomplishment or funny story for each one as they were awarded “VPK Superlatives!” Kailey got the “Creative Cat award for always building special cakes or coming up with the most creative ideas during free play. I can totally see that; this girl has one heck of an imagination!

While I am still standing firm on the importance of high school and college graduations, this VPK graduation was A LOT of fun and we were so blessed that so many family members could attend.


All of my thanks to the teachers, faculty, and parents that have such a great hand in molding these little ones lives each day at this best preschool in town!


What are your thoughts on early-year graduations?

Lyss Turns 30!

Another busy weekend in our house! Saturday morning started off with Kailey’s soccer game at 10am, then I rushed over to a fun, beach restaurant, The Funky Pelican, for one of my high school friend’s 30th birthday celebration!


Alyssa turned 30 on Saturday so we all got together to have lunch and enjoy the beach for a bit. It was so great to see Alyssa, Jenn, Amy and Christina for a while. Most of them couldn’t make it to our Mother’s Day brunch last weekend, so I was so glad to see them and catch up!

Amy took me home after lunch while the rest of the girls headed off to the Flagler Beachfront Winery – our favorite hang out in Flagler. I was bummed to miss it, but had to get home to help Blake with the kids… or so I thought. I got home to find that my mom had taken Kailey for the day and Blake’s mom was watching Cameron. So Blake and I had a free afternoon! Where should we go? To the winery! I called the girls to be sure they were still there, and off we went.


We hung out at the winery for a bit then headed over to Breakawayz for some snacks. Eventually we decided we should relieve the grandmas, so we headed back home to get them. Christina and her daughters stopped by for a bit that evening, as did my sister-in-law, and that wraps up our busy Saturday!


Do you prefer busy weekends or laying low at home? Usually we’re homebodies, so it is fun to switch things up a bit every now & then!

Mother’s Day 2015

This Mother’s Day was probably my favorite since becoming a mom. We started the weekend by hosting a mother’s day brunch at our house for some of my girlfriends from high school and their moms.


Our group of friends in high school could be my sisters, I love them so much, so it was only natural that their families became like our own families growing up. Now that we’re older and many have moved away, we don’t see each other nearly as much as we used to, so this brunch was extra special and felt almost like we’d morphed back to 2003. I swear, whenever we get together, it is like no time has passed.


It was so much fun catching up for a few hours while devouring Blake’s homemade pizza and sipping champagne.

My best friend wasn’t able to make it because she was working, so later that evening she stopped by with her mom and kids and we had get-together round 2!


I love having her literally around the corner, with kids the same age as mine, and her mom & mine get along beautifully! Such a fun time.

Sunday Morning we went to church where the kids handed out roses to all of the ladies and then we drove up the St Augustine to have lunch at one of our favorite beach spots, Southbeach Grill. My mom, brother, SIL and my gang all had a great time!

Another Mother’s Day bonus this year was winning a free Mommy & Me photo session Sent from my iPhone I hope you all had a wonderful Mother’s Day!


Teaching Responsibilities

I’ve always heard that kids thrive on routine – if they know what to expect, they tend to handle situations a lot better. We have come up with a fairly set schedule around here for mornings (getting ready for school) and evenings (getting ready for bed) but the time in-between us walking in the door from school until bedtime has always been a little chaotic. I’ll be in the kitchen trying to get dinner made and lunches packed for the next day, and the kids will be playing with every toy they own… and then leaving said toys all. over. my. house.


Clean-up time before bed is always a struggle and, to be honest, I usually give in, push the toys out of walkways and onto carpet, and call it a night. This, my friends, is NOT good advice. So leave it to my little princess to bring up the idea of a chore chart. You read that right, SHE came to ME asking for chores! Say no more. To Pinterest I went and got lost in a sea of awesome ideas. Knowing my family, I decided not to dive in head first but instead to take baby steps. I saw this chart and thought it would be a great way to ease into “chores.” Now don’t get me wrong – I consider these tasks more as “responsibility builders” rather than actual chores, but it’s a start. Once these are mastered, I thought, we’d move on to more and more.


I thought about making one for each kid, but I honestly think 2 years old is a bit young for such a chart. I still intend to have him participate in all of the same tasks (except homework), I just won’t have to worry about him destroying the chart.


Kailey and I set out to make the chart and actually had a lot of fun. She totally grasps the idea and (at least for now) is ecstatic about closing up each flap throughout the day. Most of them are evening activities, but the first two get done as soon as she gets up in the morning. If for nothing else, my floors are toy-less before bed each night. I call that a win! Now how long to wait before adding actual chores??


Do you have chores for your little ones?
Did you have chores when you were a kid?

I guess I’ve always been under the mindset that you have to be a “big kid” before taking on household responsibilities, but they are TONS of things little ones can do to help out around the house!

First “Official” 5K!

This past Saturday was the Flagler Sheriff’s PAL Hot Pursuit 5k. Through the encouraging of my runner friends, I signed up along with my brother, who volunteered to coach me and stick by my side through the whole race. Josh has been an athlete his whole life, while I’m more of a spectator. For the past few months I’ve been (attempting) running as a way to try to get in shape. I certainly didn’t care about speed; my goal was to finish vertically.


We got to the race site about an hour early, registered and got our bag of goodies, and talked to some of the other runners for a bit. My best friend Christina was running too, so I was able to warm up with her before we got started. When it was time to start, I immediately knew this was nothing like running around my neighborhood. There were tons of people, lots of kids, and all different paces going on… right on one little sidewalk. It was a bit hard to navigate through the pack and find a comfortable spot – and because of that, I started off much faster than my usual pace. I think this winded me from the start, and I ended up having to walk a few times in order to catch my breath. My biggest problem running is not my legs giving out, but my inability to catch my breath. I focus on breathing a lot while I run, but sometimes I get to the point where I just can’t get a deep breath and I feel like I might pass out. So, I walked and caught my breath, then started again. My brother was an amazingly supportive coach and gave me tips and tricks throughout the race to try to improve my performance. I can honestly say I would not have finished as well as I did without him there. He was a great encourager, but not pushy. I think my next 5K will be much better thanks to his training.


As we passed the 3 mile marker, Christina (who finished 1st in our age group and 1st out of the entire Sheriff’s department – ROCKSTAR!) was there waiting and ran in with Josh and I. Once we saw the finish line, they told me to sprint it out. Don’t ask me how because I just wanted to sit down, but I powered through the finish and even passed a couple of runners on the way in. It felt great! My hubby, kids and mom were all waiting at the finish and it was so nice to have such a great support system, even if it was just a three mile run. As I was trying to catch my breath, a friend (and fellow runner) told me I’d placed 3rd in my age group. WHAT?! So, my first attempt at a 5K resulted in a nice little award tile… I’ll take it! My official time was 32:16. I can only get faster from here!