Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Love Your First Selfie -- SELFIE CHALLENGE

How many times do you think you take a selfie before you land on the one you'll actually share? 

Last week, I read A Welder's Wife post titled Selfie Challenge: Love Yourself on the First Take. Erin goes on to share stats and figures on all things selfies. Some that stuck out to me where that people spend approximately 16 minutes on each selfie session. And in case you are wondering the average person takes 7 selfies before they find "the one".

Erin's post got me thinking. When did we stop loving ourselves, flaws, imperfections and all? More times than not, I only share a selfie to show off something... not exactly me but something in the photo. For example, this weekend I colored my hair a new dark Fall color and shared the change with a selfie. The time before that was over a month ago when I was geeking out over a pretty barn I discovered. My selfie game isn't strong. Why? Because I don't need a selfie when I can share the spotlight with my cute sidekick. It's safe to say I feel most comfortable sharing the limelight with my guys.

But the point of the Erin's challenge is to LOVE YOURSELF on the first take. How easy should this be? Since becoming a mother the need for vanity has gone out the window. While I do take time to do my hair and makeup from time to time, there are often days that I don't had a single stitch of makeup to my face. This is growth for me. I was once called pizza face by someone that meant the world to me so my skin and my appearance as been something of a struggle. As I've grown and conquered acne, I've learned to love myself. Imperfections included. And so should you.

Will you join me for the Selfie Challenge?

This challenge is the simplest photo challenge in all of Instagram. It's just one take, one photo. Here are the steps: 
  1. Take a selfie.
  2. Post that selfie to Instagram {no second tries!}
  3. In the caption write, "I was challenged by @awelderswife_erin to post the first selfie I took and here are the 3 things I like about this photo. 1) ... 2) ... 3) ...
  4. Tag @stephaniecox11 as well so I can see your photo and show some love. 
  5. Use #ilovemyfirstselfie in your photo
Search the hashtag above to find others that are participating in this selfie love challenge. Let's take this chance to encourage one another and show kindness towards people willing to share their true colors in an unfiltered first snap. Your simple words could brighten someone's day. 

Easy enough right? I'd love for you to join me. And because I want you to know that the first selfie is the best, here is mine.

1) I love the pop of my eyes thanks to my new darker hair.
2) I see more of Connor in me the more he grows. Specifically our mouth, checks and nose. 
3) My confidence to go with little to no make-up has grown, allowing me to feel truly comfortable in my own skin.

With wet hair and a naked face, this is typically what I look like when James walks through the door at 5:30-6. Some days I've done by hair and makeup but this photo was snapped at 3:45, after a day of to dos. I had went to the gym, meet friends for a park play date and then cleaned house. I'm wearing a Old Navy v-neck shirt and flannel pajama pants. This is my typical OOTD.

This is real Stephanie. Nothing edited. No filters. Just me. And the one and only selfie of the day. Because sometimes, it's good to love your first selfie, friends. Now it's your turn! Snap a photo and share with us. I want to hear the things you and others love about yourself most.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Embrace Change :: 10 Bible Verses Focused on Change

There seems to always be a guarantee in life that change will happen. Change is something we tend to fear and become anxious about because we do not feel in control of life. Connor started school yesterday, bringing a change of routine for us. He no longer is home with me Monday through Friday. We have to now share him with his peers and teachers. Summer is wrapping up, bringing with it Fall, which is another change some don't handle well. Days spent outdoors are numbered thanks to the cold weather headed our direction. With the change of a season comes seasonal depression for many and more days spent indoors, where CJ depends on us to keep his days filled with fun. 

I think the biggest change I've encountered was our move to Texas. I was 8 weeks postpartum and the very last thing I could imagine surviving was moving to a strange city in a state I had never even been to before. If I'm being honest with myself and you I would say I didn't handle our move well for the first 6-8 weeks. It was hard for me and well, I didn't really take the move (to change!) well yet I powered through because at that time, I didn't have much of a support system in place. In hindsight, I know that our move was a blessing. That God used our time in Texas to build our family, to bring me friendships that I'll forever cherish and to allow me to spread my wings a bit. 

Now that we are back home, I've meet and befriended many women that are military wives. There time here is often short and at any point they will pack up their families and move onto the next post. While I know this is part of the package, many I will miss beyond words. One of them specifically has been such a blessing, her and her children are some of our favorite people. I will be sad when they receive orders to move but know that our friendship doesn't end just because our state of residency changes. 

If you have a big change coming up or our moving through one now that is less than wanted, I give you these 10 Bible verses to read and consider. The good news is that God has a plan for your life to hope, future, and to prosper. And to experience that, there comes a need for change. 

Hebrews 13:8
Jesus Christ is the same today, yesterday and forever

Psalm 32:8
I will teach you the way you should go. I will instruct you and advice you.

Joshua 1:9
Remember I have commanded you to be determined and confident! Do not be afraid or discouraged, for I, the Lord your God, am with you wherever you go.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.

Ecclesiastes 3:1
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.

Jeremiah 29:11
"For I know the plans I have for you", declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and future."

James 1:17
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.

1 John 4:4
Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

Revelation 25:5
And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

Lamentations 3:23
They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.

I know that change is necessary. I also know that not all change is welcomed. Sometimes it's something as small as the start of a new school year or a move across town. It can be something bigger like a friendship ending or a change in career. Whatever change comes your way, I hope this list of Bible verses will give you peace and encouragement as you face the ups and downs of life.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Let's Take a Hike + Fall Hike Bucket List

On Friday, James had the day off and we decided to make the most of it and head out for a family hike. Hiking isn't something we do often but after spending the afternoon walking a local natural trail, I decided that we need more hikes in our life. Connor's confidence and physical capabilities have grown so much this Summer and hiking is definitely something we will be doing more of. We used to be parents that would only do certain activities because we thought others were too big or difficult for Connor. Those days are long gone and I couldn't be happier.

We spent over 90 minutes hiking at Glen Helen in Yellow Springs. We love the town itself and often go there to shop, dine and grab some ice cream. But this time, we strictly wanted to check out the trails that Glen Helen offered. The weather was perfect and we had a blast looking for animals, checking out caves, finding waterfalls and so much more. We grabbed lunch afterward, rounding out the best family Friday in months.

I mentioned that I really want to plan more hikes on the weekend. Because Connor is "a big boy" -- his words, not mine because he will always be my baby! -- I went ahead and put together a bucket list of metroparks and trails we want to visit this Fall. I have to confess: I never knew that Dayton had so many trails and parks. It's been fun discovering our town in new, fun ways. While our Fall bucket list is sure to have a ton of seasonal activities, I wanted to put together a bucket list to get us up, moving and exploring more. 

Friday, August 26, 2016

Rewind Friday -- Goodbye Sweet Summertime

Summer is officially winding down for us. Connor starts school on Monday, meaning we have to kiss goodbye slow mornings, days at the pool and late night family fun. While I'm always eager to usher in Fall, Summer provided our family with a ton of fun and many memories this year. To keep with the "Rewind Friday" theme, I'm going to share our most read posts from this Summer and treat you to 5 of my favorite moments via photos from Summer 2016.

Most Read Blog Posts from May to August 2016

5 Memories from Summer 2016

Swim lesson success || Family walks || Baseball games || Bike rides || Date nights

Some of you may still be enjoying Fall but in my part of the country, it's wrapping up. While I won't miss the humid hot days, I will miss the memories that we made, the fun we had.

Last month's most visited post in our Rewind Friday link-up was from Amanda at Klein dot Co with her post "Five Tips for 5AM Pure Barre + Five Reasons to Go". Be sure to visit her space and read her tips. I think they work for anyone doing any of workout, regardless of time. I usually go early morning because that works with our schedule but I can promise you a yummy coffee would totally get me out of bed at 5AM! 

Now it's your turn. The link up is change for your to share your best content, your favorite post from this week or just your weekly Friday Favorites. Anything goes! You can link as many posts as you'd like; no limit! Be sure to use hashtag #RewindFridayParty when sharing on social media so we can give you some INSTANT LOVE.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

August's Must Make Meals -- Give Me Carbs!

My love of carbs runs deep. I know that there are so many people that follow a low-carb/no carb diet and while that works for you, it would only leave me hangry. Carbs are life. Carbs deserve to be respected. When preparing our meals, I try hard to keep the carb to protein to veggie ratio heavy on the protein and veggies but sometimes wants trumps needs and we have a carb heavy dinner. To balance that we usually take a family walk so we don't feel so blah after a evening of carb loading. I'm sure you are curious as to why I am rambling on about carbs, right? Well it's because in this month's must make menu post, I'm sharing 3 recipes that are heavy on carbs. I promise you they are all worth it! ENJOY!

If there is anything I pride myself on in the kitchen it's simple meals. I don't want to spend all afternoon prepping a dish or standing over the stove for hours. Each of these meals are simple to assemble and taste amazing.


This dish is perfect for when you are wanting Italian but don't want to blow your day with a lot of calories. The chicken parmesan is a simple mix of chicken, spaghetti sauce, cheese and bread crumbs. In under 400 calories per serving, you have more than enough to feel full.

Ingredients and Baking Instructions
Place 10 ounces of cooked chicken in the bottom of a 8x8 aluminum baking pan (easy clean up -- you just toss it afterward!). Top chicken with 1.5 - 2 cups of spaghetti sauce. Add 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese and then tip with a 1/2 cup of Italian bread crumbs. Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes and then uncover and back for an additional 25. You can add this a bed of spaghetti or eat without but CLEARLY I recommend the pasta.


When we visited my parents a few weeks ago, we visited Amish country and I picked up a loaf of Italian Cheese bread. It's made from scratch with little to no preservatives so you have to use it quickly before it goes bad. Connor loves meatballs so this is a win-win. Meatballs with sauce, Italian bread and cheese ... you can't go wrong. Our side dish was asparagus. This may have been the best part of this meal.

Baked Asparagus Instructions
Line a cookie sheet with asparagus and lightly coat with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Remove, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and bake for another 10 minutes. You can do this with asparagus, potatoes, carrots and broccoli. Baking times will differ but the results is the same: delicious veggies everyone loves.


When Sarah shared this recipe, I know it would be on our menu the following week. The idea of baking a burger never crossed my mind but oh my gosh! It's so simple and tasty. We paired our sliders with bake beans and a parmesan roasted broccoli. This just may have been my favorite dinner all month.

Over Baked Burgers Instructions
You can visit Sarah for all the details on the recipe. It's so easy and I would never have thought to try it had it not been for her recipe.


This is one dish James asks for often. And I'm more than happy to make it for him since it cooks in the slower cooker all day. It doesn't get much easier than that! We paired the beef with Trader Joe's riced cauliflower and (more) parmesan asparagus. When I say we love asparagus around here, I'm not kidding. We have about 3 times a week.

Slow Cooker Mississippi Beef Instructions
Place chuck roast, 1 pack of Italian seasoning, half a bottle of pepperoncini peppers and 8 ounces of beef broth in cooker. Turn on high and let cook for 8 hours. Serve with rice and veggies.

It wasn't until I was working on this post that I realized not only do we love carbs but we are equally in love with all things Italian. 3 of the 4 dishes showcased were Italian themed. Maybe next month, I'll aim for a different ethnic cuisine. Be sure to visit Whitney at Polka-Dotty Place, Kate from Cup of Tea and Whitney at Come Home for Comfort to see what new meals they discovered this month. 

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

We Are Officially Soccer Parents

And just like that... I'm a soccer Mom! It blows my mind that Connor is old enough to be on a team or play a sport or pick a shirt with a number on it. On Saturday, we kicked off a 6 week soccer camp where CJ will learn the basics and build his confidence on the field for 30 minutes and have a 30 minute scrimmage against another team the last part of each class. Connor was eager to start and was a bit upset at one point that no one was playing "real soccer". Bless his heart. He was beyond excited to play and others weren't as pumped as he was.

Connor is such a social butterfly. He quickly made a friend (number 7) and the two of them played a bit more than practiced at certain points. Connor scored a goal during the scrimmage and he was elated. He also thought he needed to play goalie but was quickly distracted by telling people what they should be doing. He is such a little boss. 

We have 5 more weeks of camp with next week being picture week. Be still my heart. I can't wait to have sport photos decorating our home. 

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

My Life & Blog Planner - How I Blog Months Ahead and My Go To Planner Stickers

While chatting with some blog friends, I was surprised at how much of a planner I am compared to others. Of course there is NOTHING wrong with not being a planner; however, I plan all parts of my life and wouldn't want it any other way. I respond well to schedule and routine. I think it has something to do with being the oldest, the only girl and OCD.

As a wife and mother, I plan our weeks so that we have a balance of relaxation and busy, busy. Because I call the shots during the day, I try to balance our nights and weekends will activities that the boys want to do. As a blogger, I try to plan as far ahead as I can so that I can work on future material when I find myself with a bit of free time (not that that happens all that often #momlife).

Today, I'm going to share with you my planner, how I plan blog posts 2-3 months in advance and my newest obsession of planner stickers from my favorite Etsy shop, Plan In Color.

For my planner, I need lots of space to write and I don't need a hourly layout as I'm a SAHM and our days are pretty much the same, with no need for hourly reminders. Additionally, I wanted something I could carry with me and didn't break the bank. This planner is 8x10, thin and was only $16.99. The planner you choose is totally a personal preference and it took me some time to figure out what worked best for me. I recommend checking Amazon out for your planner needs; the prices are great and who doesn't love Prime shipping?

I use one planner for my blog and for life. Here is an example of a typical week for us. The weekly layout gives me plenty of room to jot down reminders, to schedule my cleaning and to make note of when we have planned activities. I could simply right in what's going on but when I discovered the amazingness that is planner stickers, I was hooked. I purchase mine from Plan in Color and can't recommend them enough. Amazing quality, outstanding customer service and budget friendly.

Last week, I used a variety to display play dates, laundry day, to do's, appointment reminders and so on. We are a pretty busy family so I have to have a place to put all our obligations and this layout and sticker system works great for me when keeping things in order.

On Saturday or Sunday, I'll plan our week ahead. I like to sit down and plan out when I'm going to clean, run errands, hit the gym... you know all the stuff that keeps us going, going, going. I grab my planner, my favorite pen and highlighter (more on that later) and my stickers. I have so many and user them all. It's fun making every day chores or activities a bit more exciting when you can schedule it with a cute sticker. For example, I use Plan In Color's animal sticker to remind myself of when the cat box needs clean. It's my least favorite chore but it looks cute on paper.

For those of you who blog, you are wondering how in the world I schedule and blog 2-3 months at a time, right? It's not as difficult as you'd imagine. I have a handful of posts that are monthly regulars. Each month I share the following posts: Month By The Numbers, Goal Recap, Picture Perfect Project, The Kids Behind The Blog, $10 at Target, Blogger Love, Friday Favorites, Must Make Menu and Rewind Friday. Friday Favorites is usually 2-3 times a month. What I just listed covers 8-10 days, which is 2 weeks worth of blog posts. Those posts get penned in my planner and then I fill the month up with miscellaneous topics. Not every single day is planned 90 days ahead of time. Currently, I have all of September and October filled and don't need a blog post idea until November 8th. Once I've written my post, I highlight it and move onto something else. This helps keep me in line and my blogger schedule full.

Where do I get my ideas? This time of year is easy for me to blog about. Mostly because I'm as basic as the next gal and blog my Fall lovin' heart out. In September, I am going to focus a lot of attention on Fall and have an entire week dedicated to the start of the new season. I pick topics that I enjoy and write about them. I have recently discovered how fun fonts are and how the can make or break you images so I've been sharing themed posts all about font love. I have one scheduled for September. I just share what I know and love. Not every post is Pinterest worthy and that's okay. I focus on making my space one that others enjoy and that I find rewarding.

If you are a new blogger or struggling to find topics to write about I have a handful of suggestions for you. This has been what has made my blog successful -- and I use that word loosely. I have in no way a "it" blog but I have made this space something special.

  1. Join monthly series. For example, I co-host 4 that would give you plenty of variety month after month and allow you to focus on 4 different areas. If you shop Target, you will love our $10 at Target series. If you want to document your family or life in photos, join us each month for The Picture Perfect Project. For more ideas, just scroll back up and visit the series that I hyperlinked above. 
  2. Seasonal material. With Fall right around the corner now is the time to focus on seasonal posts. Think recipes, crafts, decorations, family activities, etc. and blog about that. Any time there is a new season among us, you'll see seasonal material on my blog. This is also makes for great Pinterest material. 
  3. Share real life. I love my currently posts and weekend recaps. I don't usually edit any photos in these posts and just write from the heart. These posts allow readers to see you as a wife, mother, friend and not just a blogger. Friday Favorites are a great way to share the highlights of your week without the post being to pin worthy. I think a balance of pinnable posts and personal ones are a great way to keep the flow of your blog personal yet professional.  
  4. Gain inspiration by reading other blogs. I am in no way telling you to copy someone else's work but the more blogs I read, the more inspired I get. I love seeing the creative side to blogging and what people come up with to share on their sites. I started reading Whitney's blog, Come Home for Comfort, and commented on how I would love to find new meal ideas and Whitney asked me to join the monthly link-up to share such meals. 4 months later, I'm preparing some amazing meals and it's all thanks to the motivation to create something tasty for a blog post. 

All in all, blogging is very personal. Some blog 2-3 days a week while others share something Monday thru Friday. Whatever works for you is exactly what I would recommend. I love being able to share our lives on our blog but more than anything, I love that Wife Mommy Me has allowed me to be creative, make friendships and think outside my stay at home Mom box.

So for those of who wondering how I blog months ahead and where I get my inspiration, you now have my blogger secrets. For those of you looking to make your blog pretty, I have a treat for you. Plain in Color has offered one Wife Mommy Me reader a $25 shop credit! Enter to win by following the Rafflecopter prompts below and I will announce the winner on Monday, August 29th.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Currently -- August

Happy Monday friends! With a busy weekend behind us and this being our last week of Summer break, I thought it would be the perfect time to share what's "Currently" going on in our world.

Being back into a routine. We've been waking up earlier and getting out of the house like we would during the school week. Routine is something I love, along with being on a schedule, so having more of the structure I like has been a welcome changed. Summer was a lot of slow mornings and late nights but that's over with thanks to school.

Distant Shores. Kristin Hannah is a favorite author of mine and I've been working through her novels, month after month. I just started this one and so far, it's one of her slower "starters". I am 1 book ahead of my 2016 goal of 25 books. Completely this book would give an additional leg up on my goal as it would put me 2 books ahead of schedule.

All the veggies. I've recently discovered if you add extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and a bit of parmesan cheese to an veggie while baking them, you have the tasty side dish with little to no guilt. I've used this "mix" on asparagus, broccoli, potatoes and carrots and it's amazing every single time.

Water. Water. Water. I wish I could give y'all something more exciting but until it cools down, this is all I'll be drinking. I can't wait to enjoy hot coffee this Fall. I'm hoping I can stomach a PSL or two. It's not my favorite drink from Starbucks but because I'm #basic, I'll indulge once or twice.

Nelly, N'SYNC and Nick Cannon on Spotify. We recently joined and I'm in LOVE with all the throwback songs and stations that are available. Nothing makes me happier than a 90's boy band playlist. I was also reminded that I am still not a fan of Britney or Christina.

To do list... like always. I am hoping to get a lot accomplished this week, not to mention get to the gym 3-4 days. With Connor starting school next week, I want to focus my time alone on accomplishing projects and such that easier without a pint size helper.

The Real Housewives of Orange County. I've never watched the original housewives before but with nothing else on the TV to watch, I decided to give it a shot. HOLY SMOKES! It doesn't disappoint. This people are the picture perfect definition of hot mess. And the kids on the show? They need their you know whats busted.

The beach next month. This will be our first family vacation since moving back to Ohio. To say I am excited is putting it mildly. We picked Hilton Head as our location and we can't get there soon enough.

More and more makeup. Not so much I look clownish but because it's been as hot here, I've been able to apply more than just mascara and lip-gloss. I'm not usually one to wear a ton of makeup, but I've been experimenting with new looks, specifically lipstick, and it's been a lot of fun changing up my look.

All things Fall. Which really doesn't surprise you long time WMM readers or personal friends. I haven't decorated for the most wonderful season of all just yet but I have already planned weekends full of festivals and other Fall-themed activities. It's safe to say that there is nothing I love more than the fun than comes with October and November.

Nights when we can turn the air off, open the windows and feel the weather change. As I just mentioned, I love all things Fall but really, I love the crisp mornings and the cool evenings the most. When there is just a bit of chill in the air. Those are the days and nights I love the most.

So there you have it. That's what's "Currently" going on in our world?
What's new with you?

Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Favs: Babies, Target and Gym Time

Happy Friday, friends. I've been looking forward today all week. While it's obvious why (FriYAY anybody?), it's mostly because we have NO PLANS for today. Connor J and I are going to hang out around the house, hopefully staying in our pajamas all day. Sometimes a day of NOTHING is exactly that I need so I've claimed today as the day of nothing for our household. Here is a recap of our week and a few thoughts and such.

Here are this week's post in case you were busy and missed one...
Monday: $10 at Target: My Make-up Solution
Tuesday: {FREE} 'Your Future Looks Bright' Printable
Wednesday: A Typical Tuesday -- DITL Summer Edition
Thursday: Thoughts on Thursday V5


This boy. I love him big. I love him fierce. Being his Momma is the absolute best part of me. But can we please just chill for a bit? His energy level is through the roof and I can't seem to exhaust him the way he exhausts me/us. He goes, goes and goes. Doesn't nap and would stay up all night if we let him. I'm hoping that with preschool, MOPS and AWANA, I'll wear him out and everyone will get the sleep we've been missing out on (you know since he still wakes up at least once a night!).

My love of Target runs as deep as any other SAHM's love. I mean, just this week, I dedicated an entire post to what you can buy for just $10. However, I have set a goal to visit and shop the store less. I usually go through this stage of feeling less than impressed with what they have to offer and while my favorite seasons are right around the corner, I don't need anymore stuff. Like others, I can go to pick up bananas and milk and walkout with a $100 bill and have forgotten my bananas and milk. With the holidays fast approaching, I know that I will be tempted to buy more than I should so to keep that under control I'm going to give Target up again. I did it once before for 90+ days so here goes nothing...


Doesn't this picture just melt your heart? Connor and Baby Bear have been inseparable lately and while I can see Connor being the greatest of big brothers, I just don't see it ever happening. I've been very vocal about how I feel as if our family is complete but sometimes, I catch moments like these and think how sweet it would be to see Connor with a sibling. But that thought is short lived and I am truly confident that our family of 3 is complete. If anything the older Connor gets, the more I know that I could never handle being a Momma to an infant again.

We have joined a new to us gym. We went back and forth with which one to join, if we should put one in our basement for the chance to workout at home, for free. We've been members of the YMCA previously and I wasn't a fan of their childcare hours (very limited) and it was always so packed because of those hours. I loved the idea of joining our local rec center but the location doesn't work with James's schedule. We landed on one that includes a women's only gym in the network our membership is good with and I'm really looking forward to spending my mornings there. They offer 75+ classes and have all day childcare. So here is to hoping that we can keep the holiday gain at bay with solid workouts and a cleaner diet.

Our week was again filled with plans with friends, days running errands and a few evenings spent outdoors. With school just 10 days away, we are trying to pack a ton of fun into what little bit of Summer we have left. I can promise you 2 months from now, life will be less packed. Or maybe not. You never really know when you are a parent of a toddler!

Happy weekend! 

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Thoughts on Thursday V5

Oh hey Thursday! How happy am I to see you? Thrilled really because this weekend is full of fun and the temps are looking perfect and both of those things make me happy. It doesn't really take much. It's been a while since I've shared some random thoughts so I figured now would be as good a time as any. Grab yourself a coffee and pull up a seat while I share with you some thoughts on Thursday...

... I never watched the final episode of The Bachelorette. This was the first year I've ever watched the series and other than deep love of all things James Taylor and Luke, I don't think I like the show enough to watch it again. Of course, I could be persuaded if either of them are the next bachelor (#teamSmoulder -- aka Luke). The bottom line is I think it's wrong that peoples' feelings get toyed with. I think it's just nasty that anyone would kiss so many people in one single evening. And lastly, how can your feelings possibly be genuine and "happily ever after" when you've only known each other for 60 days? Now, I know there have been successful relationships but I may need to see their season to see if something was different with their approach. If you are curious as to whether or not I think Jojo and Jordan will last, my answer is no.

... The official start of Fall can't come soon enough. The first day of Fall this year is September 22 in case you want to mark it on your calendars. My expectations for this Fall are higher than ever before. Last year at this time, we were in the throes of potty training and my stress was through the roof regarding potty breaks and accidents. Since we've mastered all things pee and poo, I hope that we can do more and experience local fun for the first time this autumn. 

... This may surprise some of you but I'm being around a lot of children tends to totally stress me out. Mostly because they are equal parts loud and messy (Hi, OCD!). However, as a mother myself, I know that is just want babes are; loud, messy lovable creatures. So when I learned that our Moms Next group needed childcare help, I couldn't help but think "why are you considering doing this?" and it took me just a second to realize: MOPS is life giving to mothers across the country. If I can love on these babies for 4 hours a month so that the moms can enjoy fellowship together, then I can put aside the nose and chaos. And I may be doing it for the craft opportunities.

... I am completely obsessed with Connor giving the "thumbs up" sign every time he does something well. During swim lessons, he started doing it each time the instructor told him good job, to let me know he was listening and following instructions. Now? He does it when he wakes up in the AM, when he finishes his snack, when he is done using the potty. Everything gets a thumbs up. 

... We may take Connor to Disney in late February and I am totally overwhelmed with the entire thought of tackling those plans. Someone help me out! We want to spend just a single day at a park. I don't think the Animal Kingdom is a good fit because Connor isn't really one to enjoy animals for long periods of time. I'm toying with the idea of visiting the Magic Kingdom. But of course, I have no real idea and looking online only confuses me more. The bottom line is we would like to spend just one day at a single park and get the most from our visit. 

... As OCD as I am, I need some serious help with organizing photos and videos. I've been trying to upload photos to Chatbooks from Instagram and it refuses to load. I loved the idea of using Chatbooks and using particular photos throughout the year to put together books every year for Connor. I have one done but can't load photos to create more. Videos are a bit trickier. I can't move them from my iPhone to my computer because the USB in my phone won't sync to my computer for whatever friggin' reason. It's safe to say I'm a hot mess when it comes to saving both photos and videos these days. 

So that's a bit of what's on my mind this morning. Random like always, but always real. What's on your mind? Share a thought or two in the comments below! 

Happy Friday Eve, friends!