What I Made Monday: Stars & Stripes

We had our monthly craft night last week, and I chose to make some 4th of July crafts. I LOVE how they turned out!

"Uncle Sam" hat. This is probably my favorite of the three crafts.

Bundle of 3 "fireworks"


I can't wait until it gets closer to the 4th of July so I can put these babies out! I actually already have the flag out--June 14 is Flag Day, after all. :)


Friday Letters

Dear Grandma & Papa,
Thank you so much for coming to visit last weekend! It was so nice to have you here for Matthew's blessing, and we had fun going to the zoo with you. We only wish you could have stayed a little longer, because the time went by way too fast.

We love you!
Cole, Jessica, and the boys

Dear Summer Television,
Thanks so much for being chock-full of quality (read: trashy) reality programming. We now have roughly 10 guilty pleasure shows to watch. So much for spending more time outside.

A Couple of Reality TV Freaks

Dear Kyle and Lucas,
The last couple of days have been so wonderful with you guys. I'm not going to say you have been perfect (because we've still had some fighting and tantrum-throwing), but overall, it's days like these that make me so happy to be able to stay at home with you.


Dear Matthew,
You're still my teeny little guy, but you're getting bigger every day. I think we've finally conquered the "I cry unless I'm being held by Mommy" hurtle, because you've had several moments every day where you can sit contentedly in your swing or bouncer so I can do things with BOTH hands. You've also started to create your own little routine, which is a totally new concept for me--your brothers just adapted themselves to my routine. I'm glad you like to be outside, because I'm trying to get your brothers out there at least once a day so they can burn off some energy. Now, if I could just get you to sleep past 6 am...


Dear Auntie Brittany,
Thank you so much for trying to stay busy and trying to include us in some of your adventures. It gets us out of the house, and it allows our boys to play together. It makes me so happy to see Jack, Kyle, and Lucas giggling and crawling around together, because my cousins were some of my best friends growing up and I want my boys to have that same thing. Also, thanks for being my "getting fit" buddy. It's so nice to have someone to share both my successes and failures with.

Love you!

P.S. Let's plan another trip to Seven Peaks soon!

Dear Josh Weed,
You don't know me, but your post here touched me and inspired me. I have deep respect and admiration for your strength, your desire to do what is right, and your courage to share your experiences. I have a new desire to make my marriage stronger and better thanks to your example.

With Admiration,
A Fan of Your Blog Before, but ESPECIALLY Now

(If you have a moment, PLEASE click on the link above and read his post. It is extremely powerful.)

Dear Bertinator,
Thank you for posting quick and easy workouts online! I've been having some trouble finding time to exercise each day, and your YouTube channel is the perfect solution!

One Who is Trying to Get Fit

Dear Cole,
Do you remember the conversation we had that night at Sundance when we were engaged? The one where we marveled at how saying "I love you" tries and fails to encompass so many different feelings, but there's just no other way to put those feelings into words? Well....


Even saying it 5 times doesn't do the trick.

Love forever,


Matthew's Nursery

I finally put the finishing touches on Matthew's room last weekend (just in time for his blessing--a post on that later). I have to say, it ended up being different than I originally imagined, but I absolutely love how it looks! The combination of tan and green is really soothing, which is good since I spend (what seems like) most of my life in that room. Here's a few pictures:

The stripe and Matthew's name above the crib

Window valance and wall hangings

The closet--we took the doors off, which created a little nook for the changing table

Circles project I adapted from here

The corner in which I spend the majority of my life
My amazing sister-in-law Brittany made the name circles that are above the crib, and my wonderful mom made the quilt that's on the rocking chair--which matches the room perfectly even though she had no idea what the colors were going to be beyond "green and tan." The table was an extra one we had taking up space, and Cole had the brilliant idea to paint it green and put it in the nursery.

I'm so happy that we were able to create a new and individual space for Matthew. I've been so concerned (probably overly so) that he'll feel less important or special because he's our third boy, and it makes me feel better to know that even if he has to live in mostly hand-me-downs for his entire life, at least everything in his room was chosen especially and primarily for him. 
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