oh, toodles! remi’s third birthday

It happened. Remington turned three despite my best efforts to keep him from growing up! ;) So, of course, we had to celebrate Mickey-style with a fun little shindig at my parent’s house. I wish I had the time to take more pictures, but thankfully my sister got some for me! Remi snoozed through the beginning of his party and I actually had to wake him up! I think we had been talking about his party for so long that he didn’t believe me when I told him it was his party day! Click on a picture and scroll through the slideshow if you want to see larger images. I hope you enjoy Remington’s Clubhouse!

national train day

Trains play a big role in our family. For my step dad and husband, they provide a source of income for our families. For Remington, a source of entertainment. Me? I appreciate all of the commodities trains bring to us on a daily basis, the careers the guys in my life have with the railroad, and the sheer nostalgia and history of it all. National Train Day was celebrated on May 10th with a dedication of a newly restored 1940s depot which now serves at the Amtrak station in Longview. Of course I had to take Remington and Jarrett just happened to get home in time! Yay for family outings! We were able to watch a few trains roll by and tour some Amtrak cars that were set up museum-style.

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Had to show of my Real Housewives of the Railroad shirt! We also got to see a pretty cool little historical marker–this brick my mom had made for my step dad. He’s been with Union Pacific for a long time!

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I’m thinking the Real Housewives of the Railroad need our own reality show! ;)

xo, Kelsey

anniversary trip

On May 1st, Jarrett and I celebrated four years of marriage. We rarely get to spend an entire 24 hours together–with or without Remi, so a quick trip to Dallas for the two of us felt a little indulgent. We scheduled the trip around a class I was attending on Thursday and it worked out perfectly! Here’s a quick recap of our trip:

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and we’re off!

 

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driving into Dallas

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Our hotel was gorgeous! Jarrett did a great job finding us a place to stay. It’s been around since the 1920’s and features a gorgeous art deco style. I loved it so much. If you’re looking for a place to stay in Uptown Dallas, you won’t be disappointed with Le Meridian Stoneleigh.

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view of the courtyard from our room

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original switchgear display in the lobby

After check in, we hung out for a while and had a drink at the Stoneleigh P across the street. Trust me when I say it is in no way affiliated with the Stoneleigh hotel. It’s an old dive bar with a casual vibe. Classy digs, dive bar across the street–best of both worlds, right?

Jarrett’s brother and his wife know we’re sushi lovers. They told us about a restaurant in Plano called Osaka that we knew we had to try!

the best miso soup I've ever had!

the best miso soup I’ve ever had!

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After we had our fill of sushi, we decided to try our hand at cooking our own food in the hot pot. Let’s just say I’m sure the outcome is usually very delicious but I was a bit turned off by the whole shrimp and fish balls. I think Jarrett’s face describes our hot pot experience best…

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No trip to Dallas is complete without a trip to HomeGoods. My momma taught me well. Jarrett can’t deny he loves HomeGoods {not}…I went in for the sneak attack with this picture.

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We hit the Stoneleigh P one last time then called it a night.

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on the porch at the Stoneleigh P

Getting ready the next morning was…interesting. I have the hardest time condensing my makeup to fit into a travel size bag. I’ve gotten used to having so many different products at an arm’s reach that paring it down to the basics just feels weird!

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serious tile envy. loved the chunky window sills too.

We had an early lunch at the Dallas Farmer’s Market. Jarrett had BBQ from the Pecan Lodge and I had some yummy Mexican food.

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Next up, exploring Dallas and a little bit of shopping before my class.

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I found a new favorite store. I still love you, Anthro, but the Gypsy Wagon is pretty dang awesome.

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fringe-y mocc heaven

fringe-y mocc heaven

Then, it was time to head back downtown for my class. Hello, tornado warning. We could hardly see in front of us. Between the crazy weather and parking garage I think I had a mini panic attack. I hate parking garages as it is but then Jarrett had to parallel park. I couldn’t open my door so I crawled through the driver’s side and Jarrett gave me a piggy back ride to the elevator since the ground was flooded and I was wearing cork wedges. Obviously didn’t check the weather before getting dressed {and curling my hair that morning}!

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this is my “I hate parking garages” awkward pose

The class was given by two amazing makeup artists, Amber Dean and Steffanie Strazzere, as part of their “No Filter Makeup Tour”. It’s still so surreal to me that I had the opportunity to meet and learn from these ladies that have inspired me for so long. They were totally down to earth and just all around awesome. Such a cool experience!

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After class was over and the tornado/monsoon weather died down {so we thought}, we headed for one last pit stop in Deep Ellum–burgers at Twisted Root.

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Jarrett has permanent food envy--mine was better!

Jarrett has permanent food envy–mine was better!

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The sky was so pretty on the way out of Dallas. Of course, I had to drive through blinding rain the majority of the time. I think I prayed the whole way home. It was so terrifying to hardly be able to see the tail lights in front of me. The only moments of visual clarity were when the whole sky lit up with lightening.  We made it safe and sound FINALLY.

Overall, it was a fun trip. I think we needed it more than we realized. Thankful for four years of living, loving and learning together.

 

And a HUGE thank you to our parents for dividing up the task blessing of keeping Remington! ;)

why I blog

Close the door. Write with no one looking over your shoulder. Don’t try to figure out what other people want to hear from you; figure out what you have to say. It’s the one and only thing you have to offer.

Barbara Kingsolver

 

I started this blog in January of 2013. As a stay-at-home-mom, blogging was an outlet for me. It gave me a place to share my thoughts, triumphs and fears. Blogging meant I didn’t have to carry on a one-sided conversation with a toddler or bombard my husband as soon as he walked in the door. Writing has always been a cathartic process for me. Just the act of typing out all of the craziness in my head gave some validity to what I was thinking or feeling at the time.

print by Pen and Paint

print by Pen and Paint

I love the fact that a blog can be used to document life. What first started as blogging to get out of my own head or provide clarity to a situation became blogging to share our every day moments with friends and family that we didn’t get to see as often as we’d like. Like the scrapbook that I {bought supplies for} and never made, this blog contains snippets of our life–pictures, embellishments, and scraps of the things we’ve done, seen, wished for and loved. I write down things that I never want to forget. I hope that one day Remi will be able to read some of these posts and have an idea of what our life was like when he was young(er) and know how loved he is.

always w i s h

always w i s h

I know blogging doesn’t make sense to a lot of people and that’s ok. If you like reading the rambling thoughts of a young wife and momma and seeing pictures of a cute, shaggy haired boy, then rock on. If not, that’s cool too. As I blog a little and learn a lot, I’m finding it’s all about what works for you and your family. Just don’t forget to make memories along the way.

Photo May 05, 6 43 10 PM

xo, Kelsey

warmer weather

So far we’ve had one good summery day and I can already tell how these next 5 months {that’s the length of a Texas summer, right?} are going to. Let’s just say I think Remi’s summer theme song is “No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problem“. I love being at my mom’s house when everyone is lounging around with no place in particular to be.

This is my perfect day:

Lunch al fresco is a must. Remi said the crawfish were “delicious” but “too ‘picy”.al fresco

toes in waterSometimes you just need to dip your toes in the water…or go skinny dipping. Whatever floats your bottom boat.

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I love that this little stinker isn’t scared of the water. He loves to blow bubbles, go under water, and play in the bubbler. He constantly asks “did you saw that?!” when trying something new.

SWIMSURFBOARDHe also showed us his “surfboard” tricks. I wish I had gotten them on video. My little entertainer.

stuffsThese are all of Remi’s “stuffs”. You know–the really important things–sunglasses, a harmonica, and my old cell phone. Sounds like a party.

cookie doughA batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies is always necessary. I sure am glad Momma passed on her penchant for baking to my younger sister. Those girls can cook! The dough will always be my favorite part.

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Swinging with SuSu. If he would have been still for a few more minutes I bet he would have fallen asleep. Can’t slow down at SuSu and Jon Jon’s house! Too much to do!

chalk canNothing like a good ol’ rusty can for holding chalk! We love chalking in Mom’s long driveway. Somehow Remi always ends up wearing more chalk than the concrete. Mom traces him and the dogs so many times that it looks like a crime scene. Watching Remi play hopscotch is HILARIOUS.

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We always have to see what my step dad, Jon is doing in the shop. Remi likes to find everything with wheels and ask for a ride. Creepers, dollies, rolling chairs, bikes–you name it, Remi rides it.

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Hanging in the shop leads to finding priceless old treasures like this photo of my Jon and his snowman on the front of the locomotive many moons ago. Gotta love those railroad men.

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When the weather turns warmer, the days seem to move a little slower. Sunshine lingers. Moods are happier. Everything is green–my favorite color. Spring and Summer seem to bring about an annual change in my heart. It’s a joyful time of year with so much to celebrate. I’m currently making preparations for Remi’s THIRD birthday. The fact that he’s turning three doesn’t make me sad…yet. I love who he’s becoming. His humor and sweet personality are definitely worth celebrating! Another exciting {for me} aspect is the party planning and prep. Bring on the glue gun! :) Birthdays and general happiness aside, vacation makes summer even more awesome. I can’t count the number of times I’ve thought about our vacation in the past few weeks. At times, our beach trip seems so far away so for now, I’ll cherish these simple moments right here in East Texas.

 

What are your favorite warm weather activities?

xo, Kelsey

Easter pictures {part two}

Technically, these are really our Easter pictures, taken on Easter Sunday. The other pictures I posted {mainly of Remi} were from a few days before Easter. We had a great Easter and I’m so glad Jarrett got to be home! We were able to celebrate by going to church as a family {woohoo!} and then had lunch at my mom’s house. The Easter Bunny still visits and fills our old baskets. :) Remi had lots of fun checking out his new goodies, hunting eggs and dying them too!

Tip: click on a picture to view it larger and scroll through.

I love that all families celebrate differently. What are your Easter traditions?

xo, Kelsey

decisions, decisions

Decisions. We all have to make them. Easy ones, hard ones and all of those in between. One thing I hate most about making impactful decisions is the fact that I can’t please everyone. Ultimately, it all boils down to what is best for my family. Lately, I’ve been spreading myself thin. I know there are people out there that are far busier than I, but “busy” is not what I’m after. In fact, the glorification of busy drives me a little bit crazy. Some people are great at juggling–I’m not one of them. I just want to simplify.

As many of you know, I’ve been working at Sephora and freelancing {working for myself} as a makeup artist. I’ve encountered some confusion by others pertaining to what each job entails and how they are related. Read more on that here. All of that craziness paired with the crazy of Jarrett’s job and raising a little boy has made me feel a little mad. It’s do-able. I get it. I’ve done it for 6+ months. It’s definitely helped us pay off some debt and save up some money but is it worth it? Maybe not.

I’m a perfectionist. It’s a great trait to have in my line of work, but maybe not so much of a reality for someone that’s trying to balance family life as well. Let’s face it, I’m really good at focusing all of my efforts on one thing and giving all of my other duties the leftovers. I don’t want my family or my job(s) to have less than my best. I want to simplify my life so that I can be fully engaged in everything I do. Unfortunately, this means making the decision to leave Sephora.

I first learned that Sephora was coming to Longview last August. A friend and fellow makeup artist contacted me, told me her friend was going to be the Beauty Leader of the store and asked if I might be interested in becoming a Product Consultant. The thought of going back to work scared me. I’d been a stay-at-home-mom for two years {with occasional freelance jobs} and didn’t want to go back to work anytime soon. And then I thought of the opportunities. Jarrett was in locomotive engineer school at the time so his paychecks were significantly smaller. Maybe this seemingly random job opening was God’s way of showing me how I could help my husband with his financial burden. I have always enjoyed shopping at Sephora so it seemed like the pros were adding up. In fact, I’m not sure if “enjoyed” is an accurate description for how I feel about Sephora. My cousin Whitney is probably the only person that knows about my love for the store {bless her heart!} due to enduring many painful {for her} hours within it’s iconic black and white striped walls. So I took the plunge. Working at Sephora has truly been one of the greatest learning experiences of my life. I’ve learned so much about the beauty industry, increased my skill set, and created friendships. I cannot say enough good things about the company and the girls I’ve worked with. I’m sad to be leaving my team but I’m excited to condense my workload.

So the question is: What will I be doing now?
  1. Spending time with family. Family is one of the most important things in my life and children are only young once. You can’t turn back time. I don’t want to look back in a few years and regret not being there for Remington in these formative years of his life.
  2. Cleaning up the house that I’ve let go for the past 6 months. Kidding. Sort of.
  3. Growing my business, God willing. This is an important season for me: weddings, proms, banquets, etc. Fortunately, I will be more available to my clients and I can’t wait to see where that takes me!
  4. Getting back in the Word. I don’t make any excuses for letting my relationship with my Maker fall by the wayside. However, I have desperately missed my Thursday morning women’s Bible study. Since Remi is in Mother’s Day Out on Tues/Thurs, those are the days I’ve been working at Sephora. I can’t wait until the next Bible study starts up and I can go!

I’m not leaving right away. I will finish out the month of April at Sephora and it will be bittersweet.

I am so thankful for my incredible husband and family that support my decisions. I’m just so overwhelmed with God’s goodness and concern for me. He knows the desires of our hearts and He cares for me {and YOU} always. That has been so evident in my life. I’m completely undeserving yet He loves me anyway. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!

xoxo, Kelsey

 

december highlights

Christmas time is hands down my favorite time of year. I start getting excited for Christmas about mid-November and never look back! As a tribute to my favorite month, I thought I’d do a whole post over my favorite December moments. Go ahead and prepare yourself for photo overload!

We kicked off the Christmas season with a quick trip to Van, Texas to eat at one of our favorite little diners–The Dinner Bell–along with a visit to Santa Land. We love going around Christmas time to see all of the decorations inside and outside of the restaurant. Remington loved the decorations, but I’m not sure what he thought about the pictures we were taking! Just a little family dysFUNction. :)

dinner bell pic

yes, we really sent these out on our Christmas cards! ;)

yes, we really sent these out on our Christmas cards! ;)

These pictures are technically from our late Thanksgiving lunch but we wore our Christmas shirts and I couldn’t resist posting! I seriously cannot stop laughing at the second one..we’ll call it the leaf photo fail. Enjoy a good laugh at our expense!

me, Momma, & Alexa

me, Momma, & Alexa

straight from the "awkward family photos" archives..

straight from the “awkward family photos” archives..

sweet cheeks before his big boy hair cut

sweet cheeks before his big boy hair cut

One of my favorite pictures from this year! Classis Home Alone face.  Love this sweet, silly boy!

not surprised that this was my most liked photo on instagram this year

not surprised that this was my most liked photo on instagram this year

After Jarrett’s buddy, Cash, passed away we felt bad for Mayleigh being outside by herself all day. She became an inside dog and we haven’t looked back! She has been so great with Remington and it’s been fun to see how well they play together! Miss Mayleigh is very tolerant of Remi.

remi and mayleigh

Jarrett and I had a little getaway to Shreveport which was so nice! We rarely have time alone together where we’re just able enjoy each other and not have a never ending to-do list. We did a some shopping, eating, and hanging out and vowed to plan a little getaway more often.

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This was our first year to do our little version of “Elf on the Shelf.” We loved having our elf visit from the North Pole. Remington kept telling us what a silly elf “Ninnymuggins” was.

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I’m starting to notice a pattern with all of these quick trips! Another quickie to Dallas with Momma. Mom and I never get to shop together, much less spend the whole day alone. I loved it! Mom is always so organized with her Christmas lists so I had to get a pic of her checking it twice!

checking it twice

The yummiest Christmas Eve brunch & gift exchange at my in-laws house. Love this tradition!

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these two

2 and 92

90 years difference between these two!

funny boy

feeding reindeer

putting out reindeer food before bedtime!

Christmas morning was spent at my parent’s house. Remi’s reaction to all of his presents was one of my favorite things ever, but nothing could top him singing “Happy Birthday, Jesus” and playing his little guitar!

santa goodies

Remi said this was the "best, best present evahhh!"

Remi said this was the “best, best present evahhh!”

Late Christmas lunch at Nanny’s. We got to meet our sweet cousin, Amelia, for the first time. Remi is wearing boots and no pants in this picture…typical!

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Christmas isn’t over until the rest of our family comes into town. Some crashed at our place and some at my mom’s, but I’m so glad we got to spend time all of them! Thanks guys, for spoiling Remi! We’re definitely going to miss y’all!

The Dobson family + Remi

more presents for Remi (!!!)

This picture is one of my favorites. My little younger cousin, Logan is a Marine. So proud of him! We’ve always told Remi that his little green Army men are called “Logan,” so to see him realize he was seeing the real life Logan was the sweetest thing ever!

sweet hugs

doesn’t this melt your heart?!

Remi found a new BFF

Remi found a new BFF

sweet family

sweet family

I got to try out some of my new Christmas makeup on the girls before they left town today. Had so much fun with them and I even woke up extra early…just for you Court!! :)

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we're obsessed with Rose Gold pigment!!

we’re obsessed with Rose Gold pigment!!

Finally, Christmas with Auntie LoLo! Now to figure out where to put all of Remi’s new toys!

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I hope all of you had a blessed Christmas season. I am looking forward to what 2014 holds for The Langes and for all of you!

xo,

Kelsey

time well wasted

I hope everyone is having a great summer! I know we are! Since I can’t be trusted to update this little ‘ol blog on a regular basis I’m just going to dump a whole bunch of random pictures from my iPhone onto this post to catch everyone up. If you’re not following me on Instagram, go ahead and fix that. I usually post pictures daily and it’s a great way to keep up with the latest Remi antics and little snippets of our every day life. Since we got back from the beach our summer has been pretty relaxed. We’ve been spending lots of time with family and Jarrett has been working NONSTOP! Swimming, playing with the water hose, making homemade ice cream, riding the tricycle, celebrating birthdays, baby showers, and Remi getting a big boy room have been the most exciting things around here lately. Hold us back—we’re getting wild! HA! ;) It’s all time well wasted in the words of Brad Paisley!

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GQ baby lounging after a swim

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This pretty girl right here turned sixteen last month. SIXTEEN. SIX. TEEN. 16?! Where has the time gone? I’M supposed to be 16, not my baby sister! She’s beautiful and vivacious and sparkly and I can’t believe she’s going to be a junior in high school! I still vividly remember the day she was born. I had swimming lessons that day and came straight to the hospital to hold my baby sister for the first time! I remember being such a proud big sister! We were all so excited for Alexa McCall to come into the world that we totally forgot all about my second week of swim lessons! Whoops! Baby sisters are totally worth it though! :)

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July 17, 1997

Currently loving this song {Beautiful Things by Gungor} and the totally amazing Rhonna Designs photo editing app. You must check them both out if you’ve never heard of them! Life changing I tell ya!

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Here’s a tiny little sneak of Remi’s big boy room. I still have tons to do in there so I’ll have to post about it later but I am SOO impressed with how well he did with the transition from crib to bed. I literally keep waiting for the other shoe to drop because he has been SO good with it! He goes to sleep at night and stays in bed. That alone is enough to make my heart leap because I just knew my busy little boy would be roaming the house and playing blocks in the middle of the night! He really does love sleep like his Momma! The funniest part about the whole thing is that he doesn’t get out of bed by himself in the mornings!! He wakes up slowly and talks for a little bit and just lays in his bed until we come get him! He often tells us “GO!” when we open the door in the morning. {Ok, he’s really like his Momma!} I’m only a tiny bit sad that he isn’t in his crib any more but I’m so proud of the big boy he is becoming! He amazes us every day. It’s also been a lot of fun to redecorate his room. So far, the only things purchased for his room are the rug and the bedding {Pottery Barn Madras Plaid}. I’ve shopped mine, my dad’s, my mom’s, Jarrett’s parent’s, and my Nanny’s house for things to fill his room. Nearly everything in it is vintage or well-loved. The twin bed is a Jenny Lind that my mom, myself, and my sister all slept in. I opted to clean it up and leave it just like it is rather than painting or refinishing it and I’m so happy I did! Lots of sweet dreams have been dreamt in that bed! Dreamt? Is that a word? The entertainment center was built for my mom by a relative when she first moved out on her own so that baby has a lot of miles on it! And that eyesore of a TV? Totally necessary for watching old school VHS tapes. LOVE! It definitely came in handy while Remi was sick last week. That tiny TV also has a ton of memories to go along with it–we used to bungee strap it into my parent’s Suburban when we went on vacations! Redneck ingenuity at it’s finest!! I think Jarrett {the true redneck} was mortified when I told him about that! It still cracks me up!

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Seeing his room for the first time. I guess he was blowing his train whistle out of excitement?

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Remi and I love trips to Target!

I’ve been out of my MAC foundation since June and just haven’t felt like repurchasing. One, I’m cheap…and two, I figured I could find something else that I loved for a fraction of the price. It’s so easy for me to get stuck in a makeup rut and I’ve been wearing MAC for years. I tried a Revlon BB Cream and really didn’t care for it. So I finally picked up the Revlon Colorstay for combination/oily skin and HELLO?! Why haven’t I tried this stuff sooner? Flawless coverage, breathable, great price, and comes in a range of colors. I love how smoothly it applies with my knock-off beauty blender sponge {mine is a Cynthia Rowley from TJ Maxx..I paid $6}. I’m hooked! The Sonia Kashuk product is a liquid cheek tint that is really pretty and I bought it on clearance. It gives a pretty flush and isn’t too overpowering. I’m also loving these Ardell Natural lashes #110. I usually go for the Demi Wispies, but these are lovely and less dramatic. {When I say that it makes me think of “it’s dramatic but less ghetto.” Can’t believe I just went there on this blog post!}

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I had an interview this week. Totally unexpected and I’m unsure of what the future holds. I’m just putting it in HIS hands. I was not looking for a job but I think God has been trying to get my attention on this and I’m just going with it! Can’t wait to update y’all when I know more.

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I’m surprised my foot is not blurry..I think I wiggled it the whole time in the waiting room! Thanks to the baby sister for letting me borrow the purse! Fierce! :)

My birthday was the 7th. Jarrett and Remi made me cinnamon rolls, bacon, & coffee for breakfast! YUM! We ran a few errands then had dinner with my cousin and his wife at T. Blanco’s! The best Mexican food around. Thanks for celebrating with us!!

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Jarrett, Me, Tori, Blake

My mom kept Remi on my birthday night and sent me this picture of him wearing her glasses. Ralphie I mean Remi likes to put the glasses on and say “Hi! I’m SuSu!” which is what he calls my mom. Little stinker is too smart!

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I could just eat him up!

This morning I bribed Remi out of the house in his pj’s with the promise of donut holes and chocolate milk. We went to a few garage sales and visited with my Nanny. Always fun to see them together! I feel so blessed that Remington still has so many grandparents to love on him!

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No trip to Nanny’s is complete without checking out all of mine and my cousin’s old toys, puzzles and books. Of course this leads to looking at old pictures…check out this one of my mom. So cute!!

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Well, congratulations if you made it through this post without falling asleep! I always say I’m going to do better about posting more often but don’t hold your breath!! :) Enjoy the rest of your summer!

Until next time,

Kelsey