My girl turned one today!



Can’t believe she was this tiny.

The day really began the moment our sleepy-eyed, toothy, dimpled daughter began chattering in her crib.  8:30 AM.  Adam and I opened her door and serenaded her with the best rendition of “Happy Birthday” we could muster, picked her up, and hugged her incessantly for five minutes!  I am so in love. I could not be more grateful for Kinsley as a daughter, more proud of her clapping, crawling, standing, kissing, pointing, and waving!


My heart was happy, and a bit heavy. How could time have flown by so quickly? Have I missed something? Did I not scrapbook enough, take enough pictures, memorialize each stage of her development?

Then Adam said something that really struck me.

“Just twenty more of these, and she’ll be twenty-one…”


Nana, Kinsley, and cousin Sophie!


Now I know how my mother, and so many other women felt the moment they realized their child was growing up way too quickly. I finally understood.


Speaking of mothers… My mother-in-law and sisters came over today to celebrate our birthday girl (and to help mommy get ready for the party tomorrow).


Yaya and Aunt Alecia

A day full of emotion, smiles, family, and yes… cake!


Aunt Anna and Aunt Abi

Kinsley was over-the-moon to see her Yaya and aunts show up for her special birthday luncheon.


Busy girl!


Snuggles, hugs, laughter, and… sugar cookies!



Happy Birthday Kinsley! We love you!


birthday banner.

After meeting with Aunt Merri for lunch today at Jason’s Deli, Kinsley and I hit the ground running with preparations for her “Baby Beluga” themed birthday party this Saturday.


I always told myself I would not be one of those moms that rents ponies, blow up bouncy houses, or clowns to entertain my guests… I guess I’m really that cheap.


I wanted this birthday though to be special, thoughtful, a symbol of my love for Kinsley.

So when my 7 month pregnant self took to COSTCO today to load up on groceries for the party, I needed some rescuing.  Yes, my adoring husband of almost four years came all the way from work to help me load up the van with groceries. I knew my limits, and they were hit!  Epic failure. Complete embarrassment!  Here I am with one child. ONE. And one on the way, and I couldn’t even make it through COSTCO without some help! YIKES!


old pic, but I like Adam’s beard, and Beau.

This is the point in time when I need to make a shout out to my mother-in-law, Amanda Frederick, who homeschooled seven, yes SEVEN children, and still manages to throw amazing parties.  Am I feeling pressure?? Haha!


I figure my greatest achievement of the day is this homemade banner Kinsley and I created together. No sew, totally hot glued, but totally cute!


It really is the little things that matter most. When the day is done, and the party is over, I know that Kinsley does not care about the food, the presentation, or even what gifts she received! She’ll always have our love.


and this banner.


Just last week Kinsley discovered something that absolutely revolutionized her world and ours.



Yes, they open, close, contain things of wonder, things of delight, things of danger, and things of… well… tupperware.


Forget LeapFrog, Mattel, Fisher-Price… Those are now things of the past. Kinsley is absolutely intrigued with stackable, color-coated tupperware.


So if you were wondering what to get sweet Kinsley for her very first birthday tomorrow, it would have to be…




When asked to describe my home state of Florida…


As a former mid-westerner I recall fresh, crisp air with notes of crab apple blossoms wafting through its cool breezes.


crab apple blossoms.


lake huron. yes, that’s fresh water!


“up north”


patriarch park.

Well… not here! Nope. Yesterday morning I awoke to foggy dripping windows, and oppressive 90 degree heat and humidity.


never seen this before in my life.

So today I chose to be grateful for my home state!


my backyard view today!

I figure, only in Florida…

Palm trees sparkle with colored Christmas lights in December.

You don’t have to ask for “sweet” tea. They already know what ya mean!

You can fake a southern accent and people believe you!

People come and visit you in the winters to “thaw out!”

You can sip an “iced” Pumpkin Spice latte from Starbucks and be totally satisfied in October.

No state income tax.

You can lose five pounds in the summer by simply opening your front door, stepping outside, and… boom! You’ve miraculously sweat five pounds of salt water!

It’s sunny almost everyday of the year.


Your car stays clean and salt free during the winters.

zebra long-wing butterflies.


So there you have it! I live in a pretty amazing state with some pretty amazing people! Now off to Chick-Fil-a with my girl!

tales of a toddler…

I have gleaned much wisdom from the women in my life who have gone before, blazed the trail of the unknown, raised a toddler!




Yaya and Gramps

Stories upon stories at family dinner night as my sweet, precious mother-in-law describes Adam as a toddler.  Did he really chuck Lincoln Logs at his mother? How could he?

Did he really lock her out of her apartment? She was just a young thing!


Adam is perfect… always has been!  Or has he? Does this same blood run through my beautiful angelic daughter?


Two peas in a pod…

So when I received an email from Baby Center reminding me that my baby will officially become a toddler this Friday I grabbed a piece of chocolate.  Am I ready for this?


sleeping beauty.

So in answer to your curiosity, Kinsley has not thrown a puzzle piece at me, nor will she ever! She truly is a sweet sweet sweet little piece of pumpkin pie that we absolutely do not deserve.  But please know that I am somewhat of a realist and realize things might not be like this forever, and for that I am grateful!  I am excited to watch Kinsley grow, change, and develop into the woman God created her to be!


In the meantime, I am open to input, wisdom, and some good old fashioned advice on how to raise a toddler!  I am so very thankful for the women who have gone before!


dove dark chocolate.

Baby Beluga.

I have to say, nothing warms my heart more as a mother than to see my daughter’s dimples swallow up her cheeks as she smiles!  So what makes Kinsley smile?


baby beluga.


No, seriously!

Adam and I played the song “Baby Beluga” for Kinsley in utero.  She would bounce, tumble, punch, kick.  My child came alive to the vocal stylings of Raffi.  Fast forward almost a year later.  Nothing has changed! Kinsley still bounces, tumbles, punches, and kicks when she hears her favorite song.  Only this time I can see her smile!