Inadvertently Dad

When Stuart and I made the bold decision to move in together with moving day being the day the kids met him, we didn’t know what would happen. Would they warm up to him in time?  Would it be a grand disaster?  We definitely didn’t expect to quickly fall into a place where we were all a family.

Not only did we all mesh together beautifully, but some circumstances changed and forced Stuart into the role of the primary father figure, one he effortlessly rolled into.

I am beyond thankful for the way he stepped up and the way that he and the kids love each other fiercely.

This Father’s Day weekend, I am crazy thankful.

Thank you Stuart for…

Helping the kids through projects I don’t want to do with them.

Being a source of reason when I just can’t Mom.

Giving our friends’ kids love and and patience when they need it most.

Demonstrating to my daughter what unconditional love looks like from a romantic perspective.

Respectfully and appropriately allowing my daughter to love on you.

Loving my daughter through sleepless nights, potty issues, and bratty behavior.

Ensuring that we all get out of the house from time to time.

Instituting Mandatory Fun.

Never making my kids feel dumb or out of place for calling you Dad sometimes.

Recognizing that I need a break – a LOT.

Keeping us fed and full of freshly grilled foods.

Understanding and accepting that the house will never again be spotless as you’re accustomed to.

Modeling Good Man Behavior to my boys, ensuring that they will someday make upstanding members of society.

Recognizing – and reminding me – that all the annoying “flaws” in my children are just part of them growing up.

Working your ass off so that my children can have a parent at home at all times in this difficult season of change.

Providing us with a beautiful home in a safe neighborhood, where we can grow and thrive together.

For being the absolute backbone of this family.

You are loved….deeply and earnestly.

Out of the Box Father’s Day Gift Guide

So, it’s the Tuesday before Father’s Day – and maybe you planned ahead and have that whole gift idea on lock down. OR maybe you haven’t quite nailed down exactly what you want to gift. We know that gift idea posts are a big thing for most blogs, and we personally love looking at them. We’ve actually done quite a few ourselves! However, we thought instead of doing the traditional gift idea post wherein we link to something you can click to and buy – we’d share with you some homemade/DIY and experience gift ideas to share with the fathers in your lives.

We’re sharing two different types of gifts that you can give. First we’re talking about gifts that are an experience, and the second category are Homemade/DIY gifts that you can make for the father figure in your life!

The first time that I’d really heard someone talking about giving an experience as a gift was while reading one of my fave blogs, Whimsical September. I think it’s really a fantastic idea and can’t believe I haven’t been doing this! The truth is that ten years from now – your loved one is more likely to remember and value an experience that you gave them than a pair or earrings or a golf club that you bought them.

  1. For the Sports Lover: Treat them to a game of golf, surprise them with a trip to the local batting cages. Are they more of the kind of sports lover who likes to watch instead of participate in the game? Well, that’s easy! Buy tickets to a local sports team game. Even if they aren’t particular fans for that specific team – it’s’ about the thought, consideration, and experience that the two of you are going to have while doing it!
  2. One on one meal: If we’re talking about you’re a grown adult, I’m betting that you don’t have lots of one on one meals with your dad and/or father figure in your life anymore. Especially if you are now a mom or dad yourself. Surprise your father and sneak him away for a few hours to sit down and have a quiet and quality meal together.
  3. Spend the day doing things for them that they normally do for you: Does the grass really need to be cut that weekend? Does your dad/baby daddy/whatever you call him normally do that? Well, get your booty out there early one morning and cut the grass for him! Does your dad/baby daddy/father figure in your life usually cook all the meals? Tell him to sit his booty in the recliner while you whip up a yummy lunch. Just ease their burden for the day. Lighten their load. I know as moms we are always screaming for this luxury to be gifted to us! It makes sense that the fathers in our lives would want that too.
  4. Dad Days: Give kids the opportunity for a one-on-one date with Dad, with the activity chosen by the child.  Rhonda did this with her kids years ago and the kids and their father both remember it fondly. Once you have several children, nurturing those individual relationships is both more difficult AND more important.  Ideas for dates (because you may need to offer suggestions to younger children) may include a round of putt-putt, the latest Star Wars movie, or a trip to the local frozen yogurt spot.

 

 

We know, we know…homemade gifts have such a bad wrap. The thing is, they are for sure underrated. And they don’t have to be something elaborate. You know what else? Any of these would make a great companion to that impersonal gift card you grabbed at the checkout line to stick in your father figure’s card. 😉

    1. Reasons why you’re a great Dad Book: Rhonda did a different version of this for Stuart’s last birthday. He turned 43 and she came up with 43 reasons why she loves him. All the reasons were designed in a simple editing app then printed at WalMart and put into an album.
    2. ‘All about Dad’ Printable: This is such a cute and easy idea and a fantastic way to get your little kids involved in making their dad’s day special. I found these from the blog Thirty Handmade Days…or you can always make your own. You just take a few minutes to get the kid’s answers and either write them in yourself or let them write it if they are old enough. The printables I linked to also have a place for your child to draw a picture of them with dad which is always cute to see their perspective of how things look. 🙂
    3. Print out a picture of your kids/their kids/you and your father figure and frame it: That may seem like such a silly thing to point at that you can do, but the truth is these days most people rarely actually print out the pictures they take. We are all walking around with thousands of pictures on our phones and backed up to our home computers, but we rarely print those out and put them on display! So take the time to pick out some nice frames and give the father figure in your life a picture of the ones that made him a father!
    4. Make a video about Dad: Whether as an adult doing this for your own father or a mother recording interviews of kids, this makes a thoughtful gift that can even be shared with friends and family on Facebook.  You can take one of the dad printables Ashley and ask those questions on video and keep it simple, or you can try your hand at video editing for extra pizzazz. As an adult, Rhonda made pictures of herself, her brother, and her child (this was before there were multiples) into a slideshow with background music on a DVD for Mother’s Day.  The whole family still loves to watch it.

 

As always thanks so much for stopping by, and let us know: what do you guys plan on gifting to the men in your life who are fathers??

A Valentine Wish List

I love a good wish list, because damn I love things.  I am admittedly a little materialistic and gifts are my love language.  With that, it’s fitting that I am continually making lists of things I need and want.

Valentine’s Day being next week seems like as good a reason as any to tell you what I’m coveting these days.

Soma Drapesoft Jersey Tulip Sleeveless Nightgown – I sleep in the nude, but I love a good nightgown to wear around the house in the mornings or at night.  To be honest, I would head out for errands in this after tossing a denim jacket over it.

HONEY Graphic Tee – I love a good graphic tee and when I saw this one, I knew I wanted it.  It’s simple and perfect.

Nickel & Suede Earrings, in Merlot and Black (I wear Large) – I mean, I have a LONG list of these earrings I want for adding to my collection, but Black is definitely next.  I find myself needing them with most outfits.  I want Merlot too and it’s the earring of the month, meaning it’s on SALE!

Alex and Ani Queeen’s Crown Bangle – I started collecting Alex and Ani when Stuart and I started dating.  I haven’t gotten a new one in awhile, and this February exclusive is CALLING ME.

Hope’s Simple Side of Things Dress – I have been obsessed with this dress since Hope’s posted it on Snapchat a couple of weeks ago.  Such a perfect dress for Spring.

I could go on and on, but you have to stop somewhere, right?!  My Amazon list is also full of amazing items that I would LOVE to have.  Ah well, I will get there eventually!

Faithful friends who are dear to us…

Merry Christmas, friends!  We are so thankful that you have all been in this little corner of the internet for close to a year now.  Christmas is such a special time for most families and filled with magic, joy, laughter, and love.  And food.  And booze.  Obviously.

May your days be merry and bright, and may all your Christmases be…. lit?

 

Week In Review: Ashley & Rhonda

What’s up you guys? It’s Week In Review time again! Are you freaking out? Have you been refreshing your browser over and over and over to see if we posted yet??? Phew. Good thing for you is that here we are. 😉 Hehe JK We know you get this bad boy emailed to straight to your inbox so you don’t have to do silly stuff like refresh your browser repeatedly! 🙂 🙂 Ok, to the reviewssssss!

Ashley –

First – I cannot believe how this month has flown by, but I am so so so excited for Christmas to get here! I’m like 96% finished with shopping and am looking forward to all the Christmas Weekend festivities that are coming next weekend! Now, what did we do…. well it has been so cold around here! It has really felt like a traditional Winter Holiday season for us which was has been different and nice. We even got a little snow a couple weekends ago!

Besides some pretty cool weather – we got a visit from the nasty Flu Virus in our household. It pretty much knocked all of us on our butts. I still don’t feel completely 100%, but I’m doing much much better. It just has made it hard for me to think beyond the day to day and getting by doing the necessities for myself and the kids. Sadly, the blog suffered because of that BUT like I said I’m feeling better and want to finish out the rest of the year around here strong!

Friday was Cooper’s School Christmas Play…it was so cute! He was a Shepherd. I am always incredibly impressed with the teachers and staff and how they are able to get all those 3-5 year olds to cooperate and participate in a play. They all did an amazing job- the kids and staff! 🙂

This weekend we spent time at Grammy and Ppops per the usual, but on Friday night while the kids stayed the night at Grammy and Ppops their dad and I got to go to the movies which was nice. I literally had not been to the movie theater since this past summer. We watched the newest Star Wars Movie. I LOVED it. I could have literally sat there and watched it all over again.  On Saturday Cooper went with my Dad and Brother to Mobile for some guy shopping stuff, and Sophie, Grammy, and I went to Slidell for Christmas Shopping. Then on Sunday we just pretty much chilled all day. It rained alllll day long so the kids spent the whole day inside terrorizing my brother and sister until they were forced to play bad guys and good guys with Cooper or be led aimlessly around the house by Sophie. Good good times. 🙂 🙂 LOL We also had Cooper’s class teddy home with us for the weekend. Sophie ended up becoming best friends with him. I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to order an identical one from Amazon for her…she didn’t like the idea that teddy was going back to school in the morning.

Really though – besides being freaking sick…this week wasn’t too bad. 🙂 Well. I take that back. Rhonda did get some bad news at the end of the week that also made me sad…but I’ll leave that revelation for her. SO besides those two things….it was a good week and I really always always enjoy getting to spend so much time with my family.

Rhonda –

This past week has been such a rollercoaster ride for me, that I kind of can’t believe that was only a few days.

I ran errands and worked all week, which is nothing new.  I have been severely sleep deprived thanks to my lovely daughter no longer sleeping well at night.  Most of the week was such a blur!

I bought the cutest pillowcases and they’re worth mentioning, as they are totally “us.”

I spent Friday morning and afternoon running around like a crazy person, preparing for that night’s party I was attending.  It was the party for my mom group and I was supposed to bring a couple of sangrias, a donation to a local animal shelter, and a Dirty Santa gift.  I had to wait for my payday though, which was Friday!  So as soon as I could get out of bed, I drove all over creation to get what I needed.

The party was totally worth it!  I had so much fun with my friends, as we always do!

We woke up to rain on Saturday, which is highly unusual for us.  I totally miss having rain a lot, but it is what it is.  We went out and ran errands in it, buying some groceries and things like that.

Sunday, I went out and started (yep, started) Christmas shopping.  I am always at my best at the last minute, so naturally I ended up with some great deals and made a lot of progress.  After dinner, we decorated a gingerbread village, one of our favorite traditions.

It was mostly an amazing week.  The downside was finding out that I would not be going to Mississippi for my birthday as planned.  It was absolutely devastating, because I was getting my hair done finally AND getting to spend time with Ashley.  Making the best of it though and moving on (after all the tears).

Are you having so much fun this holiday season?  What’s your favorite tradition?

Holiday Wish List 2017: Rhonda

It’s that time of year, when Christmas and my birthday are here and I daydream about what I might get if people still bought me gifts.  I could probably list 500 things, so I imposed a 5-item limit.

Hope’s Gift Card – I have loved literally EVERYTHING this shop stocks.  I need a gift card in the worst way, since I spend every day on Snapchat stalking the new arrivals.  Gimme all the trendy and sexy attire, thanks.

Apple AirPods – Since the day I got my iPhone 7, which has a port that powers both headphones and charger, I have wanted the AirPods.  Yes, I know that I can buy cheaper and probably better Bluetooth earbuds.  First of all, I am a brand snob.  But also, they charge right in the case and can last 24 hours on a full charge.  And I just like them, okay?

Velvet Robe – I love my short satin robe, but when it’s cold as the motherfuckin’ Dickens, I need a little more.  This robe looks like something that could cause me to never leave bed, but I am willing to take that chance.

Heating Pad – I get some serious aches and pains, y’all.  Mostly for a week out of the month.  Stupid unforgiving biology and all.  My heating pad finally died a couple years ago, after a LOT of use over 13 years.  Funny story about that heating pad, actually.  Stuart bought it for me when we first met and were just friends.  He dropped it off at my apartment after I hurt my ribs.

 

Turntable and Speakers – Once upon a time I had a turntable and was into vinyl, then I walked away from a lot of my possessions when I left an abusive relationship.  I miss the sound of vinyl and am ready to start over.

Do you have or want any of these things?  What’s on your wish list this year?

Week In Review: Ashley & Rhonda

Hey y’all Hey! Welcome back to another Week In Review!! As we discussed last week – for the month of December we will be doing joint WIR posts – to ease up our hectic holiday schedules. So! Let’s see what the both of us were up to:

Ashley –

Alright, alright… let’s seeee. Man. This past week totally flew by, and I wholeheartedly expected it to be a slow week since we were coming off the Thanksgiving holidays. I was wrong. Oh well. It happens every so often. 😉

Things were back to business as usual. We had work and school and evening home stuff – then back to work and school again the next morning. Cooper is doing FANTASTIC at preschool. He breezes through dropoff like its NBD. On Wednesday, I even got a kiss and hug goodbye! Usually, I forgo that whole process cause I’m holding my breath waiting for him to break down. Cooper is pretty much a PreK 4 rockstar these days. His behavior is usually pretty much on point too. We DO need to work more on his sight words. But I mean. One thing at a time right? I was talking to another class mom on Wednesday and she suggested involving him in some after school activities  – so I think beginning in January we are going to look into that. It will give him a chance to have some more socialization with his peers. He did tell me one day that “He wanted to hurry up and get to school early so that he could have more time in the morning with his buddies.” Like. Who is this child?? Really though, I am OVERJOYED at his progress!

I got so much great mail this weekend…presents for the kids… and a lot of stuff for me. I kind of feel like I already went through Christmas for myself!

Saturday morning I had to wake up super early to go help set up the cafeteria for our school’s Breakfast With Santa event. My mom brought the kids up later when it started at eight am. Everything went really well – and Sophie and Cooper really enjoyed it. Sophie didn’t quite enjoy Santa – but as I’ve said…she doesn’t really need people – especially new and strange people.

Sunday – we spent a lazy morning getting ready for hours at home before we headed to my parent’s house for the afternoon where we lounged, ate, and watched an amazing Saint’s football game! That night I went to Walmart for Cooper’s weekly lunch box supplies and we ended the night with a lovely tantrum thrown by a certain four year old because he had to stop playing video games and take a bath… He’s got it rough. lol

Rhonda –

While Ashley happily snapped pictures all week, I was burning the candle at both ends.  While working my own business, I took on a role in a friend’s business and really kicked ass at that all week.  There are hardly any noteworthy things to share here, though.  Definitely go support Baths and Bliss, though. [Edit: reading this back, it sounded like I meant that Ashley was living a life of leisure while I did hard things.  That is SO not what I meant.  I just meant that I hate that I couldn’t take pictures or even remember anything cute my kids did this week.]

Saturday, we made a Sam’s Club trip, mostly just to get toilet paper.  It would be silly to pass up this huge ass box of bacon.  TEN POUNDS FOR THIRTY DOLLARS.  No brainer.

After that, we went to a small birthday gathering for one of my friends.  A lot of my friend group has small babies and I held one.  I know, no big deal to you . ME?  I’m not that person.  But she was cute and she made eye contact and I just had to.  Guess what?  I kinda liked it.

We played Cards Against Humanity and damn, that shit is fun.  If you’ve never played, it’s an absolute must.

Sunday we relaxed all day.  It was so nice to hang out on the patio with Christmas music and champagne and 73 degrees.  After dinner, we went on a moonlit Christmas lights walk in our neighborhood.  I can’t think of a better way to end a great week!

What was your week like?  Are you in full-on Christmas hustle mode yet?

 

Week In Review: Rhonda

Hey hey, and welcome back to a glimpse into my week.  Life has been a doozy lately with Claudia going through a phase of wanting all my attention, all the time.  I have tried to just embrace this phase of life and be thankful that I have the opportunity to watch her grow and learn and become a little lady.  Shit, it’s a challenge though.

She has been wild, dabbing and ridding her tricycle and playing Little Mama.

We did a lot of fun school lessons this week, learning about Arizona.  The kids love this state project we are working on.  Previously, they couldn’t really see past Texas or Mississippi.

Harper is absolutely obsessed with cooking and baking, so I have started to let go of a little control and let him in my beloved kitchen, mostly with free reign.  He decided to do cupcakes this week and they were delicious!  The cleanup wasn’t so fun though.

Quentin and Claudia helped me make my first roasted chicken (come back tomorrow for more about that experience) on Friday.  Then Saturday, we went to tour a possible wedding venue (now marked off the list).  In the evening, our friends came over to have drinks and dinner with us.  We had so much fun.  Lots of laughter.

On Sunday, the weather was sunny and perfect and Claudia wanted to play outside.  So we played in the driveway and ended up rolling out mats to lie down and soak up the sun.  After nap time, we went to a holiday parade.  We were so freaking late and parked a couple of miles away.  We were too late to get a good spot for viewing.  Quentin and Claudia took turns on Stuart’s shoulders.  I held Claudia on mine a little, but it was hurting with her dancing on my shoulders.  She’s a mess.  We enjoyed getting into the spirit of the season for sure!

Now onto Thanksgiving!  I can’t wait to have a good and hearty meal on Thursday and enjoy a long weekend together as a family.  AND PUT UP MY TREEEEEES!

How was your week?  Are you in total holiday mode yet?

Week In Review: Rhonda

I know, I know…I literally say this every single week.  But seriously – where did the week go?!

Monday, I did some much-needed meal planning and grocery shopping.  I also took Quentin to Target to spend his birthday money.  It is always one of my least favorite things to do, because I end up continually talking the kids out of buying shit with a million tiny pieces or stuff I know they won’t play with.  I was thankful that he actually made some good solid decisions and it was fun!

Wednesday, true to my extra self, I designed and ordered Thanksgiving Dinner invitations to send to my parents and ex-husband.  I love how they turned out (the black rectangle is actually blacking out my address, not part of the design).

The rest of the week was full of working my business, recovering from an epic Wine Wednesday (seriously, you have to show up for these live broadcasts if you aren’t already), wedding planning, and juggling mom life.

Then the glorious weekend rolled around and it was time for football, day drinking, and lots of relaxing.

We rounded out Sunday with hair cuts for all the boys (and a fake out snip for Claudia who can’t be left out of anything), which was needed in the worst way.

How was your week?  Do you watch football on the weekends?

Week In Review: Rhonda

Another crazy-ass week in my life.  I guess this is just the norm now.

Tuesday was Halloween and we donned our costumes again and traipsed around the neighborhood.  My daughter has been continually cracked out on candy for over a week now.

Wednesday was Stuart’s birthday and even though we were saving the celebration for Saturday’s party, we did make him cards during our school time.

After a couple of days of party planning, schooling, and working my ass off on my business, it was party day!  I helped pull off an amazing surprise by keeping my mouth shut and not telling Stuart that his sister was driving from Mississippi for the party.

Quentin and Stuart shared a party and they wouldn’t have had it any other way.  It was a YouTube theme, per Quentin’s request.  We kept it simple and it was perfect.

Sunday, we recuperated from another crazy party and just spent a lot of time as a family.

What’s been going on in your life?