I was about to make another “essentials” list, but I am far from the expert on back-to-school. My kids are homeschooled three days a week and attend a preschool program two days a week. This creates a unique list of needs and requirements as we have our feet dipped in both sides of the pond (did I just make that phrase up? It felt right until I typed it, but I digress.) I always like to know what people actually
use. Not what looks great or sounds interesting but what they actually use and love. Since I work to create the content I most enjoy, here are the things I purchased for back to school this year.
As you read this, I’ll be 30,000 feet in the sky headed back home after three weeks at the lake house. It was the recharge we had no idea we needed and I’m hoarding each memory made this month. We have thirteen nieces and nephews on O’s side and getting all the kids together always feels like magic. We’re the only ones that don’t live in the area and while we FaceTime and check in often, there’s just nothing quite like a sleepover, roasting s’mores by the campfire of running around the backyard for hours. Keogena and Oshiolema must have set a world record for how many times they can say the word “cousin” in a day because they’re just so thrilled to have time with them. I often look around the room and have one of those music montage scenes in a movie where the lighting is dreamy and everything moves in slow motion. When I met O, there were five grandchildren and here, ten years and eight more grandchildren later I feel the weight of how special these summer vacations are more each time. Here’s a peek into three weeks at the lake house.
Two of my sisters are pregnant and due NEXT MONTH. Ten days apart. It’s the absolute sweetest gift to our whole family and I’ve been doing a whole lot of directing in the baby gift department. One of my most popular posts on the blog is my Hospital Bag Essentials list which has some favorite baby items in it, but I’ve yet to compile a list of my favorite gifts for the new mom and baby. Here are the things I always gift, have received and loved myself or would have loved as a new mom. As always, grab some tea and a pen-gift giving is my love language and I’m sparing no words.
Here is the roundup of things we use the most in the summer to maximize these sweet days.
It’s been 8 years since our beautiful May 21st wedding day in sunny San Francisco and somehow, I’ve never shared a collection of our wedding photos before. I was 20 during our 10 month engagement and by that time had what I liked to call ‘my wedding binder’ filled with pages torn from magazines and books and hand written lists i’d been curating since my adolescence. This was before Pinterest (!!!) so all the ideas from a doughnut bar with shot glasses of milk to backpacks to keep my little flower girls entertained during the ceremony came from ideas that came to me in the middle of the night. There were some odd balls in that binder, sure (all gold everything, I’m looking at you) but my taste then was very similar to what it is now and I’m so happy with how the vision came together for that day. Our wedding was also featured in Brides magazine the following Spring so if you’d like to see the online version of that feature, click here.
Mother’s Day is this Sunday. What does Mother’s Day stir up in you? Before becoming a mother myself, it only sparked joy. Well, that “only” doesn’t include those awful teenage years where I felt apathetic at my best and distaste at my worst towards my own mom. Aside from those ugly years, this Sunday on the calendar always makes me smile. The mothers in my life and the children that made me a mother myself overwhelm me with gratitude for God’s kindness, but this is the first Mothers Day approaching with a tinge of sadness. Last Mothers Day, I was pregnant with our third baby. This Mothers Day, that baby is in heaven and I’m still not sure when another child will call me Mama again.