School. Life. Mug swap.

So we have officially begun the school year, it’s September and Autumn is just around the corner. Leaves are already beginning their changes and falling and every once in a while I can smell it in the air. That nice, crisp, familiar smell that these changes in seasons bring. Have I ever mentioned how much I just love Fall? Love it! That is all.


My attempt at a third grade photo. Or a few.

Brandon is settling into his new classroom nicely. Third grade is off to a great start. He really likes his teachers and comes home happy to tell us all about his very fun day of learning. He has a few close friends already so that definitely puts my mind at ease this year.

Olive cries when it’s time for him to go unless she comes along to the bus stop with us in the morning, in that case she just waves and says “bye Bama!” Then she will say “Bama’s at school” most of the day, or “I miss Bama!” Brandon has an old Diego backpack, used for dress-up from a few years back. The other morning Olive picks it up, slings it over her shoulder like a pro, walks to the door and proclaims “I’m going to school!” Cutest ever, I know!

Oh and I just may or may not be “the clingy mother” this year. Yes my son is in third grade. He’s almost  nine years old, and I still hold his hand and walk him to class when he doesn’t ride the bus. I make sure to give him a big hug in front of his friends to bid him a good day or to greet him at the bus stop after school. I say “clingy” because I see other parents drop their first graders and Kindergarten children off at the door, without getting out of their cars, and their kids march right down the hall to their classrooms all confident and everything.  As much as I want my son to be a confident-march-to-classroom type individual I realize I’M NOT READY TO LET GO YET….I figure he will let me know when it’s time.


About three weeks ago I was logged into my Instagram account(jwhi4633) when I came across an annual Mug Swap. This was Kim’s second year. Being a week or so late in the game I thought for sure I was out for this year. BUT, Sweet Kim, over at contacted me and was kind enough to pair me up and I up and I am so very thankful for this wonderful opportunity!

For those of you wondering “What exactly is a mug swap?”

It’s a swap of mugs (AKA coffee mugs, tea mugs, etc..) It was a blast. I loved searching for the perfect mug for my partner. I knew I wanted something that represented the state in which I live in. I found an awesome Vermont mug with a covered bridge on it and knew it would be just perfect! I picked out some yummy tea I thought every mother in the universe should have and sent her some to go along with her cup. My favorite part was packaging it all cute and everything to ship it, knowing she would be receiving it in a few short days.

Isn’t this package adorable?

I had the coolest mug swap partner EVER and I just adore my new mug!

Let me just say, looking at it makes my mind wander to vacation days, the beach, ocean waves, relaxation, etc..

Can you see why?

A little bit of heaven on earth, right on my table!

Thanks Kristin, from New Jersey!!!!

I cannot wait until next years swap…


Brandon and Olive’s summer vacation. ocean trip. Lots of photos!

Well, this summer is certainly flying by so quickly and all thats on my brain at the moment is getting Brandon prepared for going back to school. For getting back into the early mornings and a bedtime routine again. Just a few short weeks to go and he will be starting the third grade with three classes this year and three teachers. He’s grown so much over the summer!

He says hes not excited to start this school year but I think once he is able to adjust to rotating classrooms and getting to see his friends again, things will be just fine.

We have had an unusual summer. In that we were able to go on a summer vacation, a real one, for a week, just the four of us, made possible by a complete stranger! We are so very grateful. And we are insured this summer vacation for each summer to come. Bless them and their kindness. I’m still in shock.

We had the most wonderful time. It was good to get away and not have to worry about anything for once. It was a relaxing week spent poolside at our new timeshare. The week we had was absolutely gorgeous. We went hiking, walking, to the park, played old fashioned boardgames, made root beer floats, and “skippered” rocks at the river.

The kids kept the gift of giving going by donated 65 books to the Resorts entertainment room, which they were so thankful for.
We are looking forward to visiting every year. We are feeling so blessed and so thankful!


That following Monday we took a two hour drive down to Hampton Beach in New Hampshire.

It was our first time visiting the ocean in over three years, and it was also Olive’s very first time ever.

It was the most beautiful day with perfect temperatures and a welcoming ocean breeze. It felt great to see our children side by side having a wonderful time together running through the waves and laughing.

Olive looked so big to me on the beach. She’s grown so much in just the past few months.

Her vocabulary is expanding more and more with each passing day. She will tell us when she’s tired, when she’s hungry and exactly what she wants for breakfast and lunch. I usually give her two choices and she will decide. She tells us when “cup is empty, more milk pleeeeeese?” It’s so sweet to hear her little voice. She also LOVES to copy Brandon.
Right now she is going through a phase of not wanting to share her toys, throwing toys when she doesn’t get her way and biting.
Just this week we have gone back to the “big girl potty” and this time she knows what it is for and seems to understand a lot better than she did months ago when we first tried it. This is the third day and we are down to four diapers a day so far. Progress yay!

So family and friends, thats what we have been up to. We hope your enjoying these last bits of summer! XOXO

Lots of photos.Vermont Children’s Hospital receives books as our birthday tradition begins. A sibling bond. Fireworks.

June 25th was our big adventure to Burlington Vermont and the Vermont Children’s Hospital. The weather was very unsettled and the clouds looked really weird. Of course I took a ton of photos along the way. Ain’t no way we were forgetting this memorable day after all! It was a mostly rainy Monday but we didn’t let that damper our moods. So off we went, car loaded up with all the necessities of a well planned trip, complete with 65 generously donated children’s books! The sky grew darker the further west we drove.

When we arrived we had to go up four floors on the elevator, which Olive was not too fond of. She decided to read a book along the way.

When we arrived at the Vermont Children’s Hospital, we were greeted by a Child Life Intern named Alexis, who was just the sweetest lady ever. She thanked Olive for all of the books and let her know how grateful they were that she stopped by to donate them for her birthday and how meaningful it was of her!

We assured her we would be back in November so Brandon can make a donation, which he is very excited about! It felt so good to give back. I hope our children could feel it too!

Brandon and Olive share this amazing bond. Now, when I was still pregnant and shortly after her birth I worried about how they would be towards each other with such a big age difference. Today, I realize that was all needless worrying on my part. They couldn’t love each other any more than they already do. This summer is turning out to be fabulous. They both get along and play together so well! I just love it!

Just ’cause.

Fourth of July day was gorgeous, and hot! We started the day by walking into town to meet up with our family to watch the parade which was totally awesome. Then, it was onto the little fair so the kids could ride the train. Olive had a breakdown when it stopped and she had to get off of it. Oh my goodness. So I had to persuade her back into happiness and smiles with a Sno Cone! It worked…until Brandon wanted to go on a ride that was right next to the trains and the crying started again. Poor girl. She knows how to have a good time and it was for sure not in her stroller. Besides that, she hadn’t taken her nap at eleven like she usually does.

We headed home shortly afterwards because it was getting hotter and there was very minimal shade. Olive fell asleep on our walk back home. We put her into bed and we too decided to take a nap.

When we woke, I noticed the thunder, dark skies, wind and lightning had started. Our electricity was out too. We were hungry. It was getting dark so Den made us dinner(by candle light) and we waited for the fireworks to start. Let me tell you, soooooo amazing. They were right above our house. We got to sit on our lawn and watch them this year. Best of all we didn’t have to drive anywhere, it was so relaxing!

Firework photos courtesy of Dennis, who is just brilliant. I love that man so much! Olive hated the fireworks but loved the parade, go figure. She kept saying “back out the house?” because she wanted to go back inside when they started hahah! She’s saying so much now. We love to hear her talk and try to put sentences together.

Oh, and our electricity? That came back on around 11:30pm, just as we were headed to bed.