Archives for May 2015

#GoRunItJune3 with ASICS

Did you know June 3rd is National Running Day? It is coming up quickly! ASICS wants to invite everyone to Go Run It on National Running Day.­­ They have provided some great ways for you to get involved (and win prizes!)

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From ASICS:

Be part of the movement:
Go Run It means something different for every runner. We want to know what it means to YOU! Here’s how to share it:

– Show us how you will Go Run It on June 3 by snapping a picture of your favorite running trail, your winning race outfit, your post-run fuel-up stop, or best ‘shoefie’ using the hashtag #GoRunItJune3

– Post this on Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook and tell us more about it in the caption

– By doing so, you will be joining thousands of runners across the country, who have committed to Go Run It on National Running Day to celebrate the joy of running

– You also might see yourself featured on ASICS America’s Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page on June 3!

Runners share many things in common; one of them is a love for great shoes! On June 3rd:

· ASICS America will be giving away a free pair for shoes to a random winner* for every 100 tweets that use the #GoRunItJune3 hashtag on Twitter.

· Strap on your favorite pair of shoes, get out your mobile phone, join in the #GoRunItJune3 conversation, and GO RUN IT!

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I RAN IT June 3!
Once you run on June 3rd, head back here and share that you ran it with the world with one of these badges on National Running Day!

Get creative! Get your shoes on and get out there and show everyone how you plan to #GoRunItJune3! I can’t wait to see everyone’s pictures!

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*Visit this site for full rules and details

QOTD: Do you plan to run on June 3rd?

The Power of the Group

Below are some more tips from Jeff Galloway I received as a Jeff Galloway blogger. I especially love this set of tips, because it’s something I have been harping on for a few weeks now.

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I got out of my comfort zone to run with a group, and I am really enjoying it and hopefully it will make me a faster runner! Check them out below, after a few words from Jeff:

The fun of running with a group pulled me into the sport 57 years ago.  Running and training with my friends Steve Prefontaine, Frank Shorter Bill Rodgers, brought out the best of running in me—while we became good friends, and Olympians.  As I travel the US this season, for our Galloway training program kickoffs, I see the same fun, support and friendship development.  I hope to see many of you at our free clinics.  Here are the ways I’ve observed runners of all abilities improve more and have more fun when in the right group.

1. Great friendships

2. The miles go by quicker—telling stories, sharing life experiences

3. Guidance in running with the right group for you, with the appropriate run walk run strategy

4. Because the group is waiting for you, you will stay motivated and get out there more often

5. You’ll learn about some interesting races, places to run, fun running experiences

6. On the really tough workouts and races, the group will pull you through

7. Access to tools for management of nutrition, fluids, motivation, aches/pains

8. The right group leadership can fine-tune the pace of each workout, avoiding injury/exhaustion

9. Helping others who are struggling bestows an amazing sense of achievement

10. Sharing the empowerment of finishing a long run can change your life

Most groups, like our Galloway programs allow runners to try them out for free.  Together we can celebrate fitness and inspire others to improve the quality of their lives.

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I particularly love tip number 4. I paid to do a speed work group, so the thought of wasting that money, AND knowing my group is out there rain or shine motivates me to go run. I’m not the best running self motivator, so this works so well for me!

Visit http://www.jeffgalloway.com/training-groups/list-of-cities/ to find your closest Galloway Training Program.

QOTD: What is your favorite thing about running with a group?

BOB Stroller + National Stroller Running Day

Back when I was pregnant with Emma Kate, the amazing folks at Britax were generous enough to send me a jogging stroller for me and baby! I was sent the BOB Revolution SE, and it was love at first sight.

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I had been reading up on strollers among dozens of other baby items for months, and I had my heart set on the BOB.

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There are so many great features packed into this bad boy, but I’m just going to tell you about a few of my favorites,

Smooth ride: I swear this thing rides better than my car. It’s SO SMOOTH, which is a must when you are walking with a sleeping baby, It’s super easy to push and takes bumps very well for a stroller.

Shade and viewing window: I love how far down the shade canopy comes, and how you can retract it part of the way or all the way. Also, the plastic/clear viewing window is great because I can take a peek at baby from above and see if she is sleeping or not, etc.

Lots of space: We all know babies need a TON of stuff. There is a nice big basket underneath the stroller where you can put blankets, diapers, a jacket, etc. and it also stays pretty well out of the elements.

Easy fold up: When I take Emma Kate to walk at the park, I typically go alone and meet a friend there, so I am on my own for packing and unpacking t he stroller. With two easy steps, it is folded completely down and I just lift it up into the back of my SUV. Then, I just set it on the ground and pull it up until it clicks for a simple set up. Works for me!

Adjustable: Sometimes when I know the baby is going to nap I will lower the seat back so that she is more reclined and doesn’t hurt her poor little neck. I love how easy it is to loosen or tighten the straps to make this possible.

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Emma Kate loves people watching, and is typically a good girl in the stroller and will even fall asleep in it.

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If you are looking for a baby stroller and know you will be walking a lot or jogging with it, this is a great option. I know they are a little pricey, but this stroller will last for many years and Emma Kate won’t outgrow it until it’s time for her to not even need a stroller anymore!

On another note National Stroller Running Day is May 31st!

Katie from Mom’s Little Running Buddies has coordinated this effort, and has set up a website with all the information you need to know, along with some giveaways!

BOB strollers is sponsoring this special day, and winning a jogging stroller would be AWESOME! There will be a twitter chat with BOB later this week with a stroller giveaway (keep checking the website for exact date/time). Be sure to join the fun with #StrollerRun15, and be sure to check out the Instagram and Twitter pages.

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UPDATE: Now through June 7 2015, purchase a BOB revolution SE single & duallie jogging stroller and receive a free gift or promo code at participating retailers while supplies last.

QOTD: Do you have a jogging stroller? What features did you/are you looking for in a stroller?

Disclosure: I was provided with a BOB stroller from Britax, however all opinions are my own.

Soakin Up the Sun Triathlon

Bobby participated in his first triathlon of the season on Saturday. It was held just a few minutes from our house in my favorite neighborhood in the area. It was just a very short sprint tri to kick off the season (200 meter swim, 8 mile bike, 2 mile run).

It was a chilly morning in the 50’s, but we got up at 5:00,packed up the baby and made the short drive over. When I arrived Bobby was already setting up his transition.

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The race started promptly at 7:00. He was with the first group/experienced group for those that have raced before, so he was one of the first in the water.

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He was 11th out of the water, and honestly I wasn’t expecting him so soon and almost missed him!

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He doesn’t race in tri’s often, so his transition was a bit slow, but he made it onto the bike and out on the course.

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Emma Kate and I wandered around for a few minutes people watching, and very soon bikers started coming back in, as did Bobby. He quickly changed his shoes and was off on the run.

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There were cars blocking the way of the run course so I couldn’t see him until right when he turned the last corner right before the finish.

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Yay! He finished right at 49 minutes, and placed 31st out of around 180 people. Pretty good for not having been on his bike since the duathlon he did 6 weeks ago!

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We hung around for awhile after because the weather was just so nice, we couldn’t believe for being almost June. They had pizza, sandwiches, smoothies, and other treats to enjoy as well. Emma Kate and I are proud of him!

QOTD: What’s the weather like where you live?

Emma Kate: Month 8

Another month gone by! It’s no secret I really struggled with getting used to motherhood when Emma Kate was a newborn, but these past couple of months have gotten so much more fun as EK continues to show more of her little (or should I say BIG) personality.

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We had some great weather this past month, so we spent a lot of time outdoors. We walk at the park 1-2 times a week, swing on the swings, and just hang out in the backyard. I am also starting to do stroller runs with Emma Kate facing the “big girl way” now that she is 8 months old.

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We are down to two naps a day, with the occasional 3 nap day if she is up really early and only takes a short first nap. Crib sleep is going well, most nights she sleeps 11-12 hours with the occasional middle of the night or 5 am wakeup. Naps are still hit or miss, but I think she is starting to lengthen them out. Some are still 30-40 minutes, but some can also be as long as 2.5 hours!

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Mother’s Day out has ended for the summer, so Emma Kate has been going part time to a local daycare and it’s a great arrangement. I can still get things done for work, and she gets to go interact with other babies. They have a webcam which is a blessing and a curse!

Baby girl does great out in public and behaves so well. Recently we have taken her with us out to eat a few times and she doesn’t make a peep! She loves people watching (Bobby says she is nosy like me. Thanks, dear.) and hanging out with us.

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Mom I am SO over that headband!

We are super solid with sitting for long periods of time and rolling onto our tummy, but we get stuck trying to roll back the other way. She isn’t crawling yet but wants to badly and gets very angry still when she can’t reach something. She kicks her legs like crazy but still won’t move her arms. She can go on all fours and just stay there, but can’t move forward.

Eating is going ok, she is a little piggy and eats a lot but doesn’t like anything with chunks in it or things like puffs, etc. She wants me to feed her purees all day long though but she’s just not ready for the next step. I offer her puffs and chunky food often but she just gags and spits it out. Her top two teeth have barely poked through and we think that explains some general crankiness of the past week or so.

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I’m not about to smear your board…

Emma Kate now says “mama” and mostly when she is mad or upset, so it’s pretty pathetic sounding. She also has gotten very clingy for only me. When my parents came last weekend to visit, at first she only wanted me to hold her and doesn’t like when I leave the room (but she is fine when I leave her for school). She is always turning her head to see where I am.

Emma Kate Loves:

-singing songs

– playing with her friends at school and in the church nursery

– watching Bella

– eating (loves bananas!)

– Mickey Mouse Clubhouse

– my phone (constantly trying to take it from me or get to it on the floor)

– people watching

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Emma Kate does not like: 

– when mommy leaves the room

– when she can’t reach a toy

– food with chunks in it/food she has to chew

-getting her face wiped or nose wiped

-being in her car seat or stroller for too long

Just this past week we have experimented with her standing up on her own while leaning on something and she did pretty well! She is so long I know it’s awkward for her to hold her whole long body and legs up. We got her an activity table similar to this one,(Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Puppy and Friends Learning Table) and she loves it! It helps her learn to stand but also distracts her so she actually stands up for longer because she is playing.

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She is holding steady around 31/32 ounces of formula a day, and eats solid food 2-3 times a day. We are still in size 3 diapers, but are in size 12 month sleepers. Her clothes range from 9-12 months, but certain 9 month things she is growing out of. She is getting really heavy and I estimate she is around 21 pounds or so. One more month until her next well visit and we will find out!

I hope everyone enjoys their day but remembers why we remember the holiday! 

QOTD: Did you have problems with your baby not liking chunky food? Any tips?

*Affiliate line included

 

May 2014 Flashback Post

Periodically I like to take a look back to see what I was doing this time last year. It’s fun to see where I was, what I was doing, and how things have changed.

The biggest thing that was going on a year about at this time was our move back up to Madison, Mississippi. It was actually a very scary and uncertain time for us. Our home in Biloxi had been on the market for over two years, and we finally got fed up and just moved anyway. Some friends of ours were gracious enough to let us rent their boathouse from them until our house sold and we were able to purchase one in Madison.

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Things haven’t exactly turned out as planned (per usual with us) but we are still hanging in there praying for certain things to unfold.

Another big and pretty obvious change is that this time last year I was pregnant with Emma Kate.

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We had our gender reveal party last May, and found out baby M was going to be a girl. We had a blast finding out together with all of our family and friends at my parents house.

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It’s still crazy to me to look back at bump shots and think our little Emma Kate was in there! Well…not so little She was quite the big girl when she joined us in the world!

Last May was definitely a hard month for my family, and I find myself looking upon more stressful times at the moment, and it is tempting to look back at last year and say “didn’t we JUST go through a hard time like this? We have to do this again?!?” But I am trying to stay at peace and remember that God is in control and that he has always always taken care of us even when things looked really bad. It’s all part of my story, and maybe it will be used to help someone else one day when I get around to writing one of my many book ideas. Smile

QOTD: What were you doing this time last year?

How to Afford Your First Home

I was recently reflecting on the fact that in just a few days, we will have been back in Madison, Mississippi for a YEAR! It has flown by for sure.

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Our current home

We went from owning our home in Biloxi (which was our second house) to moving into a friends boathouse up here in Madison, to finally selling our Biloxi house and being able to buy a home up here.

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Our Biloxi home when it was still being built

Even though this is our third home, the home buying process was still special and the financial part of it is still a huge factor and something we worked hard towards. Even though we were very young when we got married, we were still able to purchase our own home as newlyweds.

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Our first home after we made an offer!

We rented apartments before then, and saved up our money from our jobs for a down payment. It wasn’t a glamorous house but it was ours (well, the banks!) Since we are now on our third house I feel like I am pretty knowledgeable of the home buying process and what it takes to make your dream of owning a home a reality, so here are my best tips.

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1.) Save save save: This one is kind of a given, but in an age where people want everything RIGHT NOW and they aren’t willing to wait to get what they want, it can be difficult to see the bigger picture. You can start with something as simple as a jar in your kitchen, or you can even set up a separate account at the bank and have a certain percent of your money you make go into that account. Set up a timeline, and work backwards to see how much you will need to save before a select date arrives. You will probably need to make some sacrifices along the way, so decide right now how important this is to you. Lunch out every day and Starbucks seven days a week may need to be cut down in order to make your dream a reality. It really adds up!

2.) Eliminate debt: I know this may seem contradictory to the previous point of saving, but by simply not purchasing things you cannot pay for RIGHT NOW, you will save yourself a lot of heartache when it comes to purchasing your first home. My husband and I have always had a rule with the credit card: If we can’t pay it off IN FULL at the end of the month, we don’t buy it. The exception to this for us has been a mortgage and student loans, and some people lump car payments into this as well. I’m talking about vacations, that cute new handbag, or that new couch you just “HAD to have”. Friends, we used TV trays as nightstands for the first few years of our marriage. Trust me, you do not “have” to have a brand new expensive couch. The less interest you have to pay on things you own, the more money that can to towards your new home. Even if you have already made mistakes in this department, you can start TODAY by not buying more stuff, and paying off the things you owe on. Baby steps, you can do this!

3.) Do research: There are a lot of other costs to think about when buying a home aside from the cost of the actual house. You need to think about closing costs, moving costs, and things you will of course want to buy like blinds or curtains, lawn equipment, etc. Be sure to include these things in your overall price so you don’t get surprised by them later on. Also, be sure to research locations and neighborhoods. Think about the value of a home location for resale purposes, it does matter!

4.) Get prequalified: So let’s say you have been saving, eliminating our debt, doing research, and you think you are ready to start looking at homes. You will need to know how much of a house you can afford, so be sure to get prequalified. Also, just because you are told you can spend up to X number of dollars, doesn’t necessarily mean you SHOULD spend that much.

5.) Be realistic: Everything around us today tells us we need a big fancy house with beautiful décor from the day we get married. TV shows and the like paint a very unrealistic picture of what most young couples can afford in a first home. Most people can’t afford their “dream home” for their first home, and that is NORMAL! You have to start somewhere, and having a smaller house and smaller mortgage to start with can help you save for a nicer and bigger house later on. (Also, ideally, your monthly housing payment shouldn’t be more than 28 percent of your gross household monthly income). For instance, if you don’t plan to have kids for 5-7 years, don’t buy a house with five bedrooms! Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, and think ahead to the future and what your current need is, and match it to your price point. No one wants to be “house poor”. I know you have seen them, people who have a huge fancy house with minimal furniture and they can’t afford anything else because of their mortgage? Don’t be that couple! There is plenty of time for another purchase.

6.) Learn about home loans: CapitalOne is a great place to start! Their goal is to help first-time homebuyers understand how the home loan process works, which is why they have launched a new online learning center that features the know-how you’ll need to become the savviest homeowners on the block. The Capital One Home Loans Online Neighborhood is a free online resource where you can learn all about home buying. Buying a home is an important process, but certainly not a simple one – Capital One’s new online resource lays the groundwork with a glossary of terms you should know, an overview of the loans available and more. You can visit their website for more info.

Happy Buying!

QOTD: What was the hardest part of saving for or buying a home for you and your family?

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Son Valley Rally 5k Race Recap

Last Saturday, I ran the Son Valley Rally 5k, first 5k I have run since the Royal Family 5k in February of 2014. I was extra excited because my parents were there to watch, as was baby EK.

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The race started at 8:00, and there were clouds looming and a very high threat of rain, which unfortunately meant very high humidity. It was a small race (less than 200 between the 5k run and 5k walk) so the start was pretty informal. I lined up around the middle of the pack, and Bobby got towards the front (you can spot him in the grey shirt).

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I had not looked at the race course so I had no idea where we were going and I just hoped there would be signs or people at the turns (there were). Mississippi is relatively flat, but this course was not. I admittedly started out too fast, and when we started going downhill I knew we were in trouble because we would eventually have to go back up. We turned onto the trace running trail, and went up, up, up and across the interstate and down the other side. This is about where Bobby passed me going the other way. I hit the turnaround and headed back up towards the interstate overpass. I had slowed down considerably, but was still holding a good pace. When I hit mile 2, I stopped at the water stop and walked for about ten seconds. My fast start was catching up with me and I was kicking myself for not leaving some energy in the tank for the end. I made it back onto the road and was really starting to hurt and slow down. I took one more walk break around mile 2.8, and those last three tenths seemed to take FOREVER! The humidity made it really hard to breath, but I turned the last corner pushing with all I had. I crossed a little after the 30 minute mark, which was super disappointing to me. I have been running on the treadmill and could run a 29 minute 5k, so I figured in a race situation with adrenaline pumping I could do at least that well. Thanks mom for taking a picture of me right after I finished and thought I was going to throw up.

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I only recently started working on speed after my marathon was over, but I was still frustrated. Coming back after having a baby is SO humbling and I still have a ways to go.

Bobby struggled with the humidity too. He ran a 24 something, and usually can run in the 22 range.

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It felt good to push my body, but wow I forgot how hard a 5k is! I much prefer a half where I am not trying to basically flat out sprint the whole time.

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A fun thing about this race was some of the animals that were at Bobby’s duathlon a few weeks ago were back. Specifically, Frank the camel was back! He really liked my dad.

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Selfie with a camel! A phrase I never imagined I would say.

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Emma Kate did SO well all morning and loved people watching in her stroller.

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The guy in charge of the petting zoo decided my dad needed to hold a snake. My mother, who is DEATHLY afraid of snakes, flipped out and wouldn’t get near him,

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I was sure to stay a safe distance away myself. I am not a fan. ick.

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Bobby made a friend as well.

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I thought this bird was really pretty, I have never seen one quite so pink!

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more animals that I kept my distance from.

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Frank the camel’s owner ran him through the finish line at the conclusion of the race.

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We stuck around for the awards, and I found out I placed 3rd in the 20-29 age group. What was really special was that the awards were handmade by some of the amazing special needs adults at Son Valley. I got to pick out a piece of artwork as my award.

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This was the first year for the race and while it needs some tweaks (they had THIRTY FIVE door prizes and took FOREVER handing them out while we were all waiting around for awards) I would run it again, especially since it’s for such a good cause, raising funds for the Son Valley community center. Next up, a 4th of July 5k. Hopefully I learned my lesson and will pace myself better!

QOTD: Have you ever poorly paced yourself during a race?

Weekend Happenings and Baby Dedication

Happy Tuesday! We made it through Monday, whew! Bobby and I had quite the eventful weekend and I needed some time to get this post together on what all we did, hence it not being up yesterday!

Friday my parents came into town and I cooked dinner/we hung out at the house. Saturday morning, we all went to a local 5k that Bobby and I were running in. It felt good to race again, but it was humid, hilly, and warm. (Race recap to come hopefully tomorrow!) It was fun having my parents and Emma Kate at the race though.

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I even placed in my age group (VERY small race!)

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We ended up hanging out for awhile at the race, grabbing lunch at Chick-fil-A, and hitting up Lowe’s for some flowers to plant and pine straw to put out. We also went out to eat at our favorite Mexican restaurant. Emma Kate was SO good all day.

Sunday morning we had baby dedication at church.

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Baby girl didn’t make a peep on stage. (You can see us talking on the big screen in the below photo).

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After church, we had a BBQ at our house with my parents, Bobby’s mom, her husband, and Bobby’s sister. The weather held out nicely and it didn’t rain until everyone left. We had a really fun time but We were so tired last night, I may or may not have been in bed while it was still light out. The mark of a great weekend I say!

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QOTD: What did you do last weekend?

Don’t forget, it only takes a few seconds to vote for me for the Runner’s World Cover search!

Emma Kate’s 6 Month Pictures

Hey guys! We had an amazing weekend over here, an dI hope you did, too. My parents came in town for Emma Kate’s baby dedication, Bobby and I ran a 5k, and we had family over for a BBQ after church yesterday. More on that later though!

When Emma Kate turned six months old, we had professional photos taken of her to mark the occasion. We recently got them back, and they came out so cute! I wanted to share a few of my favorites with you.

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Aren’t they adorable? I die. Rachel from Sweet Magnolia did a great job. if you live in the Jackson area and are looking for someone to take pictures of your baby or family, I highly recommend Rachel!

QOTD: Did you get 6 months photos taken of your child? Do you wish you had/hadn’t?