Dallas Arboretum $1 Days

The Dallas Arboretum is one of the prettiest places you can visit in Dallas! We’ve been a couple times now and the colors are always so beautiful! In August, the admission price is only $1 a person and as a military family with 4 kids I’m always looking for a deal. #noshameinmycheapness I’m pretty sure the reason they make it a dollar is because absolutely NO ONE wants to visit in August because no matter how early you arrive it’s already a bijillion degrees outside – yes it’s a word! – and if it wasn’t $1 it would be empty. IMG_2111-Edit

But thankfully there are suckers like me out there who love a good deal and have a gaggle of kids that make the prettiness, horrible Texas summers and $1 price all worth it.


I love 3 year olds and their curiosity! This worm was by far the coolest thing he saw all day!


See!! This place is just beautiful! It always makes me wish I was a better gardener but considering I’ve killed cacti I don’t think a gorgeous backyard of flowers is anywhere in my future.


Hopefully we’ll be back one more time this fall when they fill their gardens with mounds and mounds of pumpkins!

Happy 10th!!

Last week Grayson turned 10 years old! We spent the day doing things he wanted to do and he had a pretty great day – Jump Street, shark birthday party, presents and homemade cake – all while surrounded by family! (One huge perk to recruiting duty and being stationed by family!) He’s such a sweet kiddo and so much fun to be around. I love watching this kid grow up!

10 years ago, while I was on the phone with Brian who was deployed to Iraq, Grayson entered our lives!


A random collect of photos I could find 🙂


And then a quick one from his party! Love you buddy!


Boone Hall Plantation

These last few weeks of summer vacation have been crazy busy! I have a ton of pictures to post but for now I’m posting a bit more from my Surprise Birthday trip for Brian to Charleston, South Carolina with some of our long time Marine Corps friends. One morning we decided to head over to Boone Hall Plantation – the one that they used while filming The Notebook!! It was beautiful!


Even just the drive down these line of oak trees was gorgeous! I’m absolutely in love with them and there were all over the plantation.


There was lots to do and see at the plantation, we took a tractor ride around the many acres of the property and toured the home. We also just walked around and explored the garden, old slave quarters, and walked near the water. If you’re ever in Charleston I definitely recommend checking it out!


Surprise Birthday Trip to South Carolina!

So way back in January it dawned on me that Brian would be turning 35 this year!! Our favorite thing to do is travel so I immediately started thinking about planning a surprise trip for him. I asked our best friends if they would want to come along with us and we started thinking of places we’d like to visit. We’ve vacationed a good amount of places in the US over the years (San Francisco, Boston, Chicago, Rhode Island, Vegas, Colorado, NYC, Seattle, to name a few) and we wanted somewhere convenientish for us and our friends who are currently stationed in VA. My friend, who happens to be a travel agent at Heather Christopher Travel,  had just went on a vacation to Charleston, SC and it looked amazing! So we decided to plan a vacation to SC a bit before his birthday and before school started. But now I had to come up with some reason for Brian to take a whole week’s worth of leave AND not tell him why. I came up with an excuse (so we can hang out with the kids all week and then go to the lake) and causally mentioned if such and such week would be a good time for him to take leave. He confirmed at work that yes, that would be fine (wahoo!) so we started planning and booked our hotels! Fast forward to a couple months before the trip when it was finally time for him to submit for leave. I again, mentioned – hey, remember that you need to put in for leave soon so we can go to the lake in July (wink, wink) and finally a couple days later I get a text from him that says – “I don’t think I’m going to be able to take leave that week. Too many people will be gone at work.” Insert panic mode!! I really really, didn’t want to have to tell him about the trip, I wanted to just tell him the day before to pack his bags because we’re going on vacation! But that’s just how life is in the Marine Corps. He kept saying, well it’ll be fine, I’ll just take Friday-Sunday off so we can go to the lake… arghhhh!! I called him and yelled something like – #$%@# Brian! haha Ended up telling him that I had already planned a surprise birthday trip for him and that I REALLY needed him to be off that week. Thankfully his work was awesome and let him take leave. AND he at least didn’t know WHERE we were going OR that our BFF’s were coming out with us. The morning of our flight, when we got to the airport and saw where our tickets said we’d be going he was pumped. And then when we landed in Charleston and our BFF’s were there waiting for us at the airport we was so excited! I’m so so glad it all worked out. We had such an amazing vacation! We walked all over the city, went to the beach, ate food without having to worry about our collective 8 children arguing/yelling/telling us they don’t like the food, went to a baseball, the movies – we just had such a great time. Time to start planning the next vacation 🙂

Huge amount of real camera and phone pictures below!


I’m officially obsessed with the area and hope we get to visit again sometime!

Happy 3rd Birthday Cal!!

It’s been slow around here because last week, I surprised Brian with a 35th birthday trip to Charleston, SC with our best friends! I have a ton of photos to go through and edit, which I’ll hopefully get to sometime this week. (Head over to instagram to get a sneak peek!) But first I want to show off a couple photos from this guys birthday!!


I can’t even believe he’s 3 years old, not sure how that happened so quickly! Cal is a sweet, rambunctious, lovable, talkative, our biggest handful and super cuddly little boy and I just love him to pieces!!


Palo Duro Canyon

A year ago today we started our week long road trip from Texas to Colorado! Our first stop was Amarillo, Texas which is home to Palo Duro Canyon, the second largest canyon in the United States. IMG_0957

This was one of our first hiking trips in Texas and we learned quickly that we were ill prepared for walking around a canyon in 100+ degree weather with 4 kids! We had no water, no snacks and as soon as started hiking we knew this hike won’t be lasting very long. It was a beautiful place though and I wish we had been a bit more prepared to spend more time in the park! Next time 😉


The birthday countdown is on!

From late July to August, in the span of 4 weeks, we have 5 – count them FIVE – birthday’s to celebrate in our family! (Quinn’s birthday is in Feb!) It gets nuts around here! By the time Brian’s birthday rolls around we’re pretty much caked out haha.


This little guy is up first! I still can’t believe it but our baby is almost 3! He loves getting to put a candle on his countdown every morning. He wishes he could put them all up everyday honestly, it’s a hard concept to understand for a 2/3 year old lol. This is one of my favorite tradition’s, once the birthday countdown goes up they all get excited talking about their birthday’s. We will be having a construction, shark and unicorn birthday parties soon, well as long as they don’t change their minds! I can’t wait to celebrate!