Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Yep, Tuesday again. I'll be honest -- kind of feels like I'm losing my mind a bit. The kids start school tomorrow and I have a million things to do before then -- the most important being, you know, spending time with them.

Back to School Night with this crazy bunch!

Anyway, wanted to pop in with our VERY boring meal plan for the week. We had a few things come up last week  and ended up eating leftovers one evening, so there are a few repeats from last week.

Monday: BLTs

Tuesday: Hot subs using my favorite Sam's Club french bread loaves.

Wednesday: Spicy Sausage Pasta

Thursday: Turkey Tater Tot Casserole. I use Michelle Duggar's recipe. I know, I know -- Duggars = scandal these days, but still -- this recipe is the best.

Friday: Not Chicken Pot Pie

So, what's for dinner at your house? I need some new ideas for the school year!


Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Back by popular demand -- MEAL PLANNING MONDAY...on a Tuesday, of course!

I have had a couple people ask me when I was going to start posting our weekly menus again, but really? Documenting daily dinners is more for me than anything else because:

1. It makes future planning easier when I can go back and get ideas from previous weeks.


2. I like when you all post meal ideas in the comments section.

So, back to business. Here's what we're having this week.

Monday: J made mac & cheese. (Just keeping it real...)

Tuesday: Weight Watchers Shepherd's Pie. This is seriously one of the easiest and delicious meals EVER. And I can't find it online anywhere. So, here's a poor quality pic from the magazine I got it out of.

Wednesday: French Bread Pizza. Again, we're not talking rocket science here. I get 2 HUGE loafs of french bread at Sam's Club for $2.37, then add pizza sauce and toppings. Cheap, cheap, cheap.

Thursday: BLT's & sweet corn. We have tomatoes coming out of our ears, so this is a weekly staple for us until they're gone.

Friday: Breakfast Burritos

Saturday: Spicy Sausage Pasta

Sunday: We'll wing it!

Ok! Your turn! What's for dinner at YOUR house?!?


Sunday, August 16, 2015

Hey, Elijah Wrigley...EIGHT is enough!

It’s true y’all.
Even though I could swear he was just born yesterday, my baby boy is 8 years old today!
And let me tell ya -- EIGHT is enough! 

Elijah Wrigley,

If you wouldn't mind staying at this still baby-faced, big tooth-ed age, I sure would appreciate it. Because this growing up business? It sure is hard on your mama's heart. 

And speaking of heart, you certainly hold a special place in mine. It's a place all it's own and ONLY for you. Because you, son, are my boy. You're my little lover, button-pusher, tender-hearted, completely sports-obsessed, bacon-loving, and LOUD boy. You mess up words, wear emotions on your sleeve, are freakishly good at math, and can be a little too sarcastic at times. 

Eli, you're an analyzer. The opposite of me. You're a smarty pants. A joy to have as a son. A thinker and doer. Cautious. Leader. Persistent and stubborn.

Stubb.orn. Where you got this need to be right all the time, we'll never know. (*cough*cough*) But you and I? We're working on admitting when we're wrong. And we'll get it, buddy. Thankfully, this isn't something we need to practice often.

Oh, sweet boy, these years have been good ones. You are growing so quickly and your little boy-ness has almost completely faded away. I know it’s only a matter of time before you’re less interested in morning snuggles with your Mama and more interested in other people (girls!) and things (more sports!).

Eight years ago, I could only hope you would sleep another hour.  Today I'm realizing how quickly the past 8 years have gone and it makes me want to take back each and every bedtime story, tee ball game, park date, or bike ride and do them all over again.  Holding hands with you, my now 8 year old, feels so fleeting. Today we walked into the store hand-in-hand and I had to wonder...how much longer will this last? Was today the final time to have your hand in mine? Please know that as you step away and pull your hand from mine, we are rooting for you, cheering you on like no one ever will.

Son, your dad and I pray that the people and things that God brings into your life will continue to draw you closer to Him. We pray for you, that you would use your leadership and passion not to build your name, but to make His name bigger -- that you would use your stubborn persistence to tell others about Him.

We pray the Lord’s richest blessings on you, precious son.

Happy eight years!

We can’t wait to see what this year will bring us!

All my love to Wrigley and back,



Friday, August 07, 2015

*TEN* Joy-Filled Years || Happy Birthday, Addi!

My gorgeous (biased much?) Addi-girl is a decade old today! This marks 10 years of motherhood for me and, looking back I can safely say that, Addison’s birth day was the best day of my life…not because I love her more than her little Starr siblings, but because she’s the one who made me a mom. She was the game-changer, the one that took me from t-ball to big league LOVE. And for that, I am forever grateful. We are oh-so-thankful for Addi’s quick wit and compassion; her creativity, leadership, and work ethic; her kindness and enthusiasm. But most of all?  We thank God for Addison’s heart. It’s pure gold and full of love for the people and things around her. With her in this world, I have faith in the future, because I know she will make it better.

Addison Clark Starr, I pray that you will never, not for one single moment, forget that you are wholly, madly, deeply, unconditionally loved. Not just by your dad and me, or your siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and those that make up our “village”, but also by an awesome God, who exceeds all of that love and a thousand times more.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Maysen Paige :: Newborn Photos with EL Photography & Design

To the best of my recollection, my obsession with photography and capturing memories began way back when I was a kid. My cousin, Chandra, and I used to sit on my grandparent's bed for hours, sifting through old photos and sharing our latest school yearbooks. And when I wasn't looking at family pictures, I could be found pouring through Teen Magazine, cutting pictures, gathering inspiration, and creating collages. It was, like, my most.favorite.thing.eva (said in my best pre-teen voice...which I'm pretty accustom to these days. Read: Addison Clark Starr is full of sass.).

What I'm getting at here, is that no one should be surprised that, when it comes to photos of my family, I'm obsessed with the best. And the best, lucky for us, lives just around the corner. Emily from EL Photography & Design was, first and foremost, a friend. That friendship has now developed into a little business relationship with Emily & her best business partner in crime, Teresa. I help them with the "office-y" side of things and they spoil me rotten with amazing pictures. Needless to say, I feel like I'm on the #winning end of that deal, but they assure me it's an "employee perk." Seeing as I've never been one to turn down great opportunities, I took Emily & Teresa up on their offer to take some pics of our sweet little Squish, Maysi Paige.

Emily first showed up at the hospital, camera in hand, shot some brand new baby pics, and I couldn't adore them more! They capture everything I love about newborn-ness...wrinkles, rolls, soft skin, fuzzy hair, and and funny faces. See?

Next up...the "official" newborn session. And ooohhhh boy, did Maysen make the girls WORK for these shots. Girlfriend would NOT give in and sleep. In hindsight, we were dealing with some reflux issues, but still...sleep child! Once again, Emily & Teresa totally exceeded my expectations (how do they do that every single time?!?) and I will forever treasure these images.

Still, even after 2 months, I find myself looking at these pictures, over and over again. Finding familiarity with the details, and tucking away sweet, sweet memories.

Emily & Teresa, THANK YOU from the very bottom of my heart for capturing our littlest love in all her newness!



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