A very merry unbirthday to you!

I only entitle this post as such because I’m a day late on wishing my dear husband a happy birthday on this here blog! Yesterday we were not only able to celebrate this great man’s birth but also celebrate all he has done in his journey of fatherhood thus far.

This guy. He’s a good one.


This is probably my favorite picture of my Mr. Martin on our wedding day. He isn’t the biggest fan of having his picture taken but I like to think that he was so happy that day that he didn’t mind all that much.

Yesterday was filled with a lot of normal and low expectations. I was pretty up front with my sweet husband about that facts that our house is still a mess from our recent travels and his presents were ordered only days in advance (and his father’s day card may have been made the day of…). But because he is one of the greatest and most patient people alive he was also upfront in telling me that it was all fine and that the day was exactly what he wanted.


I forget how lucky I am so often. I have a person in my life that has stood by me consistently since we first met in college. He has been a true friend to me in every sense of the word and has shown me what commitment really means. He is patient, loving, funny, and just the right amount of stubborn to challenge me on a daily basis. To top it all off, he is a really, really fantastic father. I remember when we first started dating and sharing our dreams and future hopes with each other. Being a dad was something he was always so sure of and something he wanted in life so badly. It is apparent that it wasn’t just his will to be a dad in the way he interacts with our daughter and talks about parenthood.


I really don’t think I could gush (or probably embarrass;) anymore.

Eric Martin, I hope you had the best day yesterday (coated in all of its lackluster glory) because as cliche as it sounds – you are the best, and you deserve it more than you know.



Oh goodness it’s been a while. Blogging has been on the back burner for a few weeks now as we have been powering through the first chunk of wedding festivities for this summer. My sister got married in Mexico last weekend and a few weeks before that we had a bridal shower + bachelorette combo weekend. So needless to say, we have been B U S Y ’round these parts. But now we are home and almost recovered from the marathon that was traveling to New Orleans with a toddler >> flights/connections to Mexico >> flight/connections/tropical storm delays BACK to New Orleans >> a flight smack dab during the middle of dinnertime back to Dallas. Throw in a couple of stomach bugs, leaving my baby for a trip for the first time, and maid of honor duties and I kind of feel like I need a week long sleep to recover from our vacation!

Anyways, I’ve been brainstorming quite a bit about some things lately and can’t wait to get back into the swing of things. I am giving myself the rest of this week to demolish the laundry mountain that is taking up residence in our bedroom right now and get back to our normal grind here and then I’m hoping to be back more frequently on the blog if not more consistently!

I’ll leave you with a few of my favorite snaps from our little Mexican fiesta. It was such a blissful week.

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FAMILY | weekend update: planes, trains, + graduations (oh, and a wedding too!)

This past weekend was FULL. Fully of family, fun, and fond memories (I had to keep going, alliteration is the most addictive of literary elements, agreed?). My in-laws flew in from NOLA on Wednesday night to attend my brother-in-law’s graduation from my alma mater! It’s crazy to think that he is already finished with his undergraduate career. I distinctly remember helping him move into his freshman dorm room and getting used to him being in Dallas. Now he’s living here and has two bachelor’s degrees to boot! Between Miss M and my nephew the graduation ceremony was definitely entertaining. Thankfully it was before dinner, and not during dinner, so snacks and sippy cups were our go to entertainment and when those ran out there was infinite amounts of people watching to keep the littles occupied.



We spent the rest of the weekend just hanging out and spending time together as a family. We picnic-ed at our local park on Friday night and enjoyed a gorgeous sunset accompanied by cool breezes and baby giggles. Saturday we lunched on pizza in downtown Plano and visited the train museum that my dad has been working at for ages.



Saturday evening, we had the wedding some old college friends to attend! The bride was a freshman when I was a senior and we have been able to witness the relationship with her now husband grow over the past few years. They are the epitome of adorable and their wedding ceremony + reception were a blast. We also haven’t been out without a little one in tow in quite sometime so THAT was extra nice.


Happy Tuesday, y’all!

links + clicks, clicks + links

I may or may not be typing thing post one handed with a toddler on my lap. It’s been an errand-filled, rainy, cleaning type day. We are getting ready for my in-laws to come in town for my brother-in-laws graduation and we are pretty darn excited! Here are some links + clicks that I’ve gathered over the past few weeks and that I have been drawing inspiration from lately. Enjoy + Happy Wednesday!

CHEERS | I loved Joanna’s post about making a great cocktail on a plane. I’m thinking these tips + tricks might come in handy come June when Eric and I venture down to Mexico for a little vacation + my sister’s WEDDING! (:

NFP | Katrina hit another one out of the park this week with her post on NFP and her family. It really hit home with me and how NFP has worked for us in our marriage. It is a topic that I wish I had more confidence talking about because while NFP has been a big blessing in our marriage, it is tough and can be frustrating to practice but it is also tough + somewhat frustrating to discuss with others at times. I so appreciated her honesty and candidness on the subject. She’s just great.

HATCH | I’m just fangirling over here… but have you seen Katrina’s new etsy shop, Hatch Prints? If not, you NEED to check it out. I’m still debating on what print to order for our home!

RECIPE | I’ll definitely be adding Kelsey’s lentil soup recipe to my ‘recipes to try’ list. It seems so solid + delicious and would make lunches around here a bit more fulfilling (lately my lunches have consisted of Naked Smoothies + handfuls of Goldfish crackers…).

DIY | I have YET to bust out my sewing machine post-moving and I think that Ana’s super simple summer skirt (

SWIM | Janie & Jack is one of my favorite kids shops and I usually make an effort to pop in whenever we are at a mall with one. Lately they have been killing it with their ADORABLE swim suits. While we aren’t taking Miss M with us on our adventure down to Mexico (thank you in-laws!!) I would love seeing her sweet bum toddling along the beach in either this or this.

FAMILY | mother’s day 2015


Happy Monday y’all + a happy belated mother’s day to those who were celebrating the holiday yesterday. I have always loved this special day and a few years ago I even wrote a post about my feelings on this special day as an unmarried, childless person (if you want to take a peek click here). I vaguely remember writing a post last year about my first mother’s day but I think it was lost somewhere in the shuffle between sleep deprivation, hormonal mood swings that rivaled that of a 13 year old girl and always having a newborn attached to my person.

This year’s celebration was absolutely wonderful. I felt pretty celebrated the whole weekend and the best part was that we didn’t really do anything extravagant. For the most part it was a relatively normal weekend. We even had mother’s day brunch at our house instead of out because my brother-in-law and his family were coming over and two little ones were easier to entertain among the masses of baby toys at our house. I was able to sneak away for a couple of hours and enjoy some time with one of my best friends while getting my nails done and enjoying an iced green tea and then my husband + sweet girl surprised me with my own kindle for mother’s day! (Now I won’t be keeping my husband awake at night while reading on the iPad.;) The best gift though really was just feeling appreciated in the day to day this weekend. I have been in a bit of a funk lately and the past two days really rejuvenated my soul in so many ways.


Yesterday I posted a photo on Instagram from the night Madeline was born. It was our first family picture and far by my favorite from the night. After so many hours of labor, so much pushing, so many scary new-mom-never-having-gone-through-labor moments I was so relieved to have my girl with us when I honestly didn’t think I was strong enough to get her here. I remember crying so hard with my husband after that final push because I did it! I actually did it! And I don’t think either one of us could really believe it. It reminded me of when I found out I was pregnant and I really couldn’t believe that there was a tiny little person starting to form right inside me and I had so many doubts that I would really be able to handle pregnancy and becoming a mom. Along with that picture I posted I found a quote that really encapsulated my unbelief of this whole motherhood gig, “The biggest surprise, which is also the best, is that I didn’t know I would love motherhood as much as I do.” – Deborah Norville

I need to have that quote printed in big bold letters on days that are tough and trying and down right exhausting.

Being completely and totally cliche here: I just never realized how life changing being a mom would be. I remember being so self conscious last year about my ever expanding belly and whether or not I was going to go back to work. When I decided to stay home (and eventually choose to work part time) I didn’t really know how to identify myself anymore. I wasn’t a teacher, I wasn’t working towards anything in that field, I was just a mom…but what did that mean? And I found out that along with the surprise that was being pregnant, and the surprise that was labor and delivery, it meant that I would need to surprise myself and challenge myself in ways that I never thought I would. It meant that I would lose a part of myself to gain a kind of love that only the grace of God could supply in my heart. It meant that I would sacrifice things that I worked hard for on my own so that another little person could thrive in our home. It meant surrendering all to His will and not my own. 10347082_2270901622236_7616151671525193603_n (1)

His will and not my own.

Words I have prayed over and over again, but not until now have I really realized that I am doing that thing.

Doing that thing, that motherhood thing, and really truly loving it.

Motherhood really has been the best surprise and I thank God for that blessing in my life, but really the best blessing of all was how much I love being a mom and caring for someone more than myself to give her the best life.

I hope you all had a lovely day filled with sloppy baby kisses, phone calls to your own mom, or just a celebration of life in general.

Weaving into the lives of others


It was around this time last year that I decided to stay home with my little one instead of go back into my classroom as a third grade teacher. The years I spent teaching and learning in my classroom are ones that I hope to never forget and contain lessons I intend to pass on to my sweet girl in the years to come. While there were undoubtedly long, hard days I can honestly say that I loved working as a full time classroom teacher. There was always at least one moment in my day that brought me light and joy and confirmation in my career’s vocation.


This week was teacher appreciation day (or week for those districts that like to celebrate their teachers for more than one day – which I fully approve of:) and I always loved that teacher appreciation day/week usually coincided with mother’s day weekend because I always felt like a mother to my students. I was with them for 7 hours a day, 5 days a week, and sometimes even longer if I needed them to stay for tutoring or after school events. By the end of the year my students and I would always develop this comfortable, familial rapport with each other. They knew about all of my daily, quirky habits like what days I would eat in my classroom and work through lunch, what names I would use in my word problems during math, my obsessive love for manatees, they even knew which afternoons I needed a diet coke. In turn, I learned about their funny little preferences and had the privilege of watching them grow and learn over the course of the school year. I was their school mom, and they were my 20 wild, crazy kiddos. The relationships that form in a classroom are just as in explicable as those with your family members. There is that sense of comfort and warmth and nurturing found in those walls and among those tiny desks.


I think about the day that my little one will walk up the steps and meet her Kindergarten teacher and the relationship that they will form over the course the academic year. All of the learning she will do and all of the hard work, dedication, and patience her teacher will endure over those long day and short months. I think about the trust and encouragement her teacher will need. I think about the hours her teacher will spend grading papers, sorting through books, and writing my daughter’s name on name tags. My appreciation for my former coworkers and friends has grown exponentially as I have started my family. While I am no longer working 12 hour days in the classroom, prepping science experiments and writing lesson plans and I am working on a much smaller, part-time scale I still think about what a great calling it is to be a teacher. To get to be even a small part of a child’s life is such an incredible thing. To all my teacher friends out there – happy teacher appreciation day! I hope your students and families have showered you with words and gifts of encouragement because you have more than earned it.

“What you leave behind is not what is engraved in stone monuments, but what is woven into the lives of others.” -Pericles

Happy Wednesday!

FAMILY | weekend update: easy like a plan-free weekend

We didn’t have ANY plans this weekend! And guess what!? IT. WAS. GLORIOUS. The month of may brings with is weddings upon weddings, my brother-in-laws graduation, bridal showers & bachelorette parties…among our regularly scheduled family happenings. So needless today, we relished in this weekend and all it’s unplanned glory. I even took a nap on Sunday. That my friends is spontaneity at it’s finest.

Friday evening we ventured over to our new next door neighbors backyard and grilled + chatted + got to know our new friends! When we moved into our new house we were really nervous about neighbors and the neighborhood. We were really hoping to find a place for our young family to grow while meeting other young families and long-time residents alike. A few weeks ago we saw the “For Sale” sign vanish from the house next door and a new young family move in. The best part? I already knew the mom moving in because we see each other every morning at our mommy + baby bootcamp! Such a small, awesome world. We are so excited to have some friends next door to laugh and play with. Cheers to many more Friday night family grilling dates!

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The Blue Gin Fizz I sipped on while we enjoyed our dinner Friday night – go to my Instagram feed to see the recipe!

Saturday we ran some errands and planned an at-home date night. I was supposed to meet up with the lovely Amanda, but alas our mommy + beer date will have to be planned for another day because she came down with a bug – but honestly it worked out better for the day and we were able to spend some much needed family time together. Something Eric and I have been enjoying when we have a day like Saturday is making a trip to Central Market and planning a fancier dinner date after Madeline goes to bed. Doing this always takes me back to when we first started dating and cooking at home + movie nights were a staple date of ours. With the weather being so flipping wonderful we decided to grill up some beautiful rib-eye steak, portobello mushrooms, and artichokes. While we waited for the food to finish cooking we sipped on Mint Juleps in honor of the Kentucky Derby that was Saturday (even though neither of us are from Kentucky and I don’t think either of us have ever watched it…). It was a seriously A+ dinner and the best part was me not having to make much of it. 😉


Sunday was the normal grind of leftover weekend errands, band practice and mass in the afternoon. As I mentioned previously, I even snuck in a nap while M slept in the morning and it was the most unexpected + amazing thing in the world. Sundays! You’re the best!

I hope you’re Monday is kicking off your week to a fantastic start!

FOOD | classic cold brew coffee

The temperatures are starting to rise as we welcome spring in the Dallas area and with warmer days I am less attracted to my standard hot black coffee in the morning. For the past few spring/summer seasons I have been brewing up a large batch of cold brew coffee to keep in our fridge and sip on when fatigue inevitably strikes. It’s nice to have the option on warm summer mornings or even in the afternoon during naptime when I usually hit a tired slump in my day and need the extra energy boost to make that time productive. I enjoy my iced coffee black or with a little half and half. I’m not into overly sweet or syrupy drinks unless they are from a coffee shop but I’m sure you could add a little vanilla simple syrup or honey to your beverage to sweeten it up a bit! I have added a little home made Kahlua (courtesy of an old teaching buddy) to my iced coffee during brunch and it was spot on.


Recipe: Classic Cold Brew Coffee


  • 2 cups ground medium roast coffee (I use Costco’s breakfast blend – I steer away from flavored coffees because the flavor tends taste weird it steeps, that could just be my taste buds though!)
  • 8 cups of water
  • 2 large mixing bowls
  • Chemex Coffee Maker + at least 2 filters (or any pour over/filtering system – this is just what we have)
  • 1 cup measuring cup


  1. Put 1 cup of coffee grounds in each of your large mixing bowls. Pour 4 cups of water in each mixing bowl and stir water and grounds together, making sure that all of your grounds are completely soaked.
  2. Cover bowls and let grounds steep for 6-8 hours.
  3. After your coffee has steeped put your filter in the Chemex and pour coffee through the filter a cup at a time. I also you a small sieve on top of my filter to easily remove the bulk of the grounds while I am filtering the coffee. This is kind of overkill through and it’s really up to you and how many filters you want to use. I usually go through about 2-3 when I’m going through the entire process.
  4. After I filter through all of the coffee I put it in a large spout container that goes in our fridge. I let it chill over night and then the next morning (and multiple mornings after) I enjoy! (:


See? Super simple! The waiting is the hardest part but I always make a large batch and it will keep in the fridge for about a month.


This is the container we use to store it in our fridge. Pretty sure I got it at Target last year for less than $5. Also, like our top shelf? Beer + coffee. Priorities, people!

I hope you are all having a wonderful well-caffeinated Monday! (:


FAITH | ready, set, test.


This week across the state of Texas teachers and students are at the point in the school year that they have been anxiously awaiting for the past 9 months. It’s STAAR testing week and from previous experience, I can say that testing days are by far some of the most mind numbing, feet dragging, soul draining days as a teacher. I have been seeing former coworkers posting on social media about their testing weeks and I can’t help but say a quick prayer for each and every one of them as I imagine their tired feet being kicked up after their tiresome days.

Testing is honestly, probably the biggest thing I don’t miss about teaching.

The concept that is standardized testing is still I continue to struggle with when I’m asked about my teaching philosophy/future plans as an educator. I won’t delve into too much personal detail but I (and I’m sure many others – educators or not) can see the positives/negatives to both sides of the testing line. One thing I did enjoy about getting to this point in the school year with my students is that it gave us an attainable goal we had to reach. It was a milestone for each student in someway and myself. It was a day on the calendar that we were slowing moving towards during the school year. We had finally made it to ‘that’ point in our planners and afterward there was always a sense of accomplishment – like, I am officially done with this grade level now and can move on. It was preparation in way, for bigger tests/milestones in life and I felt good knowing that I was there, getting to support my students in some way as they were finally able to jump over their personal hurdles in the testing environment.

Then there is the negative…the pressure on both students and teachers was and is something that I personally, and morally have a really hard time with. I know I have read articles about all of the unnecessary stress being placed on students at such a young age right now. Kids coming home and having panic attacks from a state test is obviously not the most optimal educational situation. Kids should be kids. Kids should play, and learn, and enjoy their educations to the fullest. But then how can we hold them accountable? How can we make sure that students are learning at least some of the basic strategies as their developmental peer group? How can we make sure that teachers are challenging them and pushing them to become the best educated members of society that they can be?

It’s so hard isn’t it. To find that balance.

We aren’t close but I know that one day it will be figured out. I have faith in that. For now, I’m going to keep offering up my days for my teacher friends and teachers everywhere as they actively monitor their students take the biggest test they have had to take thus far in their little lives. I’m going to continue to try and set an example for teachers and parents (especially when mine is in school) that while the system is far from perfect, a little grace goes a long way and if we all just stop and realize that we all want the same end result… I think we’ll all do pretty ok on a much more important test that life offers us.

Just my two cents. Happy Wednesday!

003 | inventory

Making: messes every day with this TODDLER we have running around our house. This girl started legitimately walking the week of her birthday and has not slowed down since. We are also trying out and making a bunch of recipes from this blog. Tonight we both had kale + cream cheese quesadillas and sweet potato fries. Amy recently posted some similar quesadillas on her IG account and some carrot fries. If you are looking for inspiration on what to feed your toddler – check her out!

Drinking: coffee + good beer + not enough water. I was doing so great and bought a new water bottle…that instant motivation of putting a new shiny water bottle in your shopping cart at Target! Hoping to get back on track this week. As for beer… are you on Untappd? My husband and I are both craft beer drinking fiends so if you’re on there and want to connect you can find me here. (:
IMG_2406ReadingLove Does for a book study, borrowing Jennifer Fulwiler’s Something Other Than God, Real Simple Magazine, Parents Magazine, and (shamefully) reading Sean Lowe’s book For The Right Reasons (it’s only because we are in Bachelor off season! Promise!). As for little books, we have been frequenting our local library weekly. The children’s section there is so awesome and laid back and they have the biggest selection of board books I have ever seen! We were also gifted lots of new fun stories for M’s recent birthday celebration and have been working our way through those. Some of our favorites right now are: Oh My Oh My Oh Dinosaurs!, I’m Not Scared!, and LMNO Peas.

Wanting: for things to slow down a bit. The past few weeks, or rather weekends, have been pretty crazy and I wouldn’t mind having some time to catch up on somethings or just relax. I’ve also been wanting to start on some creative projects but I’m just not sure what to do yet. Hopefully inspiration with strike and I can get moving on some things!


Listening: I would have to say that my top 3 favorite podcasts at the moment are: This Inspired Life, The Girl Next Door, and One Bad Mother. Obviously, more intended for females if not moms. Spotify playlist I’ve been loving right now: Feelin’ Good. Putting that playlist on, on a Saturday/Sunday morning and making some pancakes while sipping coffee = pretty much perfect right now.

Eating: a solid rotation of dinner recipes and snacking a bunch during the day. I know I have posted about Dinner A Love Story before but their cookbooks are seriously the two most often looked at books in my collection. They have such solid, easy, delicious recipes and I have yet to find one that I don’t like. We also ventured to a local farmers market that opens up on Saturdays near our new house. We picked up the most gorgeous, fresh strawberries and peppers I have ever seen. We also grabbed a pound of grass-fed beef and some homemade pasta for dinner later on this week. I can already tell it’s going to be amazing.

Smelling: this delicious new candle I just got. I picked it up on a whim thinking I might like the fresh scent for spring/summer and I need to go back and get a larger size. It is such a good scent and isn’t overly floral or sweet like some summer-y scented candles. Highly recommend! I have also been smelling this awesome beard balm on my husband’s beard a lot lately. A good friend of ours has started making it and when he was down for a visit a couple of months ago he gave Eric the Chrism scented version. So. Good.


Enjoying: nap time, walks through our new neighborhood, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, gorgeous weather, a somewhat settled into home (we still have yet to hang much on the walls – but all the boxed are unpacked!), thinking about the future, spending time with friends, planning upcoming weddings, day dreaming about upcoming vacations, going to functions with my handsome husband, my Erin Condren planner, and new fresh feeds to follow on Instagram. (:

Loving: this season in life right now. We are finally past all of the intensity that was buying a house and we are settling in so nicely. Like I said, while we have yet to make commitments on where to hang art work in our home, we have unpacked all of our boxes and have cozied on up in our humble abode. We were able to get some yard work done last weekend and we felt like SUCH homeowners. Making trips to home depot, mulching garden beds. This is the life, people!

Hoping: For some clear direction soon. I blogged about feeling a bit lost/distracted lately and have yet to really hone in on some solid direction. I feel like I’m doing everything I need to be doing right now and what I really should be praying for is the confidence to know that what I AM doing is right.

Feeling: content, tired, happy, healthy, strong, and loved. All really great feelings to be feeling right now.

Wearing: Well Saturday night I was wearing a fancy dress because Eric and I were invited to go to the Bishop’s 22nd Annual Pro-Life Dinner/Gala! It was so snazzy and I think we both cleaned up really well. But as for the rest of the week? Back to the daily grind of alternating between work out clothes, jeans, and my school t-shirts that I wear on work days! Oh the glamour!

IMG_2379Noticing: Currently? That my contacts are driving me nuts. In general? That life is crazy right now. Not just for us but for so many of our friend’s that we haven’t been able to see lately.
Bookmarking: some breakfast recipes on Pinterest and pretty much everything that was in the 15th Anniversary Edition of Real Simple Magazine – everything I found in there was pure gold!