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Five on Friday- 5 Things that Make My Life Easier!

Friday, February 27, 2015

It's Friday!  I don't know about you...
but this yucky, cold, snowy winter weather has made this week feel a bit lonnnggg.  
So happy we have a couple days "off" to break up our normal routine!

I am linking up again with DarciApril and Natasha for Five on Friday!

I am also linking up with Andrea and Erika or their Friday Favorites Link Up!
Today is all about items/products that save me time or make my life just a little bit easier!

ONE
The Wet Brush.  I have a TON of hair.  I have 3 girls with a TON of hair.  There have been so many tears and tantrums over getting their hair brushed!  My friend, who is a hair stylist, told me to get this brush- she said it would be a life saver for me.  She was SO right!  I have no idea how this brush works- but it DOES.  My girls will only let me brush their hair with our Wet Brush.  No more tears after bath time when I am brushing their hair out or in the morning when I am doing their hair for school.  This brush is definitely a FAVORITE around our house!!



TWO
This cordless, handheld vacuum. This vacuum is one of my best friends :)  I use it daily, several times throughout the day.  Feeding four young kiddos, 3 times a day plus snacks...well that is a lot of crumbs and food on the floor.  I just pull out my "shark" and suck it all right up!  I also love using this to vacuum out my van.  A couple times I week I will just run it over the floors and the girls' car seats...and all the goldfish and pretzels are gone!  Now, I am a self proclaimed neat freak- so that is probably why this is one of my FAVORITE items in our house-HA!  My 2 oldest daughters love using it too! :)

THREE
I have been using this razor since graduate school, which, ahem, was 11 years ago :)
I love that I don't need to have shave gel on hand to shave my legs AND I feel like I can shave my legs so much faster with this razor- versus applying shave gel and shaving with a disposable razor.  They are definitely pricier than your traditional Bic razor + shave gel combo- but for me- it is worth it!  Also- I never get razor burn using this razor!  
This is a major FAVORITE for me!!


FOUR
These lunch box containers are new to our house and I LOVE them!! I mentioned in this post that I pack my girls lunches every day and using these containers has made the process so much easier and faster! My girls think they are so fun and definitely prefer having all their lunch items in one container versus a lot of little containers.  I can't wait to use these this summer when I pack our lunches for the pool!  It will be so easy to line them up, fill them up and put them in our cooler bag!  


FIVE
 This guy.  
He makes SO many areas of my life easier!! He can fix anything, is always willing to go to the store for me on his way home from work (multiple times a week- I am always remembering something we need!), calms me down and makes me laugh when all 4 of our kids are freaking out and melting down right before dinner, takes our girls to school whenever he can and always tries to make sure I can get to the gym for a workout.  Everyone needs an Aaron in their life :)  We are such a great team and I am really thankful for that!  He is definitely my FAVORITE.

Now your turn to share with me- any items/products that you use that make your life/daily routine just a little bit easier?  I would love to hear about them!

Happy Friday and I hope you have the best weekend!


For My Little Guy!

Thursday, February 26, 2015

We don't find out the gender of our babies, so when our 4th baby ended up being our FIRST boy- it was SO much fun!  Seriously- we were SO shocked!  My husband and I both thought we were having another little girl (and we would have LOVED that!).  
I still look at my precious James and can't believe he is a HE! Ha!

Here I am with my SON...we were getting ready to go home from the hospital!  
Oh my goodness...look at him!!! :)  Our girls begged for him to be a boy during my entire pregnancy and were ELATED when we told them we had a baby boy.  He is their absolute FAVORITE and it has been so awesome to see them all become little mommies to him!

Okay- so now onto the point of today's post :) I have a tendency to go off on tangents!

I have to admit- shopping for a boy is not as fun for me as it is to shop for my 3 girls.  BUT- there definitely is SUPER cute stuff out there for baby boys...you just have to look a little harder for it!
Since I am pretty much daydreaming ALL.THE.TIME. about warmer temperatures, trips to the park and days at the pool...here are some things I have found for my little guy this spring and summer!

We actually already got this water bottle for James.  He is not drinking out of a sippy cup yet- but he will be soon!  My youngest daughter also has this water bottle and we love it.  It works like a sippy cup, is almost indestructible and doesn't leak! 
 Um. I don't think there needs to be much said about this outfit.  SO STINKIN' PRECIOUS!!
I LOVE this look!!  This outfit is from Target and would be so perfect for Easter or just anytime :)  I can totally see my James in that bowtie!!
 I am a BIG fan of shopping at Belk for my kids' clothes!! I love their brands, J. Khaki, for my girls and their baby brand, Nursery Rhyme Play, for James.  They are Belk's exclusive brands.  They are super high quality and they run great sales on them.  I don't live in the South, so I can't actually shop at Belk- but that is the beauty of online shopping!  Almost all of James' winter wardrobe is from Belk.  I am loving their clothes for summer and think this shirt is SO cute! How sweet would this be paired with some seersucker shorts?!?
 We LOVE going to the pool in the summer.  Like, we are literally there every day, if not twice a day. We really put our pool/beach towels to use- so I invested in some great quality, hooded towels from Pottery Barn Kids for my girls a couple years ago.  Right after I had James last July, I ordered him this towel (it was on sale) and I am so excited to wrap him up in it after we splash around in the baby pool this summer!
One of the things I get my kids every year for their Easter basket is a new swim suit.
I just ordered this one for James' Easter basket.  Love those surfboards and the kelly green color of the shorts!

 I had to save the best for last :)  My husband just ordered James these boat shoes.  I am just beside myself!! How adorable are these?!? My husband has almost an identical pair of boat shoes and the thought of them matching just makes me giddy :)  
There is nothing I love more on a little boy (or man :) than a polo shirt, fun colored chino shorts and boat shoes.  Cannot wait for my little James' to wear these!

Mommas with boys- do you have any other suggestions for fun, affordable places to shop for little boys?? 

Hope you all have a great day....only one more day until the weekend!!

Cowboy Cookies!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I am linking up with Andrea again today for her Recipe Round Up!

I LOVE to bake.  Cookies, cakes, muffins....you name it and I love to bake it.
My mom was always baking yummy goodies while we were growing up and I love always having a treat on hand for my kids and husband :) 
 I have several "go-to" recipes that I make on a regular basis.
Cowboy Cookies are one of those recipes!  The great thing about this recipe is that it is very versatile!  At the end of the recipe- I will show you a few ways you can switch it up and get several different cookies out of this one recipe!


  Every oven is different- so you might have to play around with the baking time a bit!

This recipe is a tad bit messy- but that is half the fun of baking! :)  This is a great recipe to have your kids help with because it is a lot mixing and dumping- but it is fool proof!

Now here is where you can have some fun with the recipe-

You don't like coconut? Leave it out! Just add another cup of oatmeal or rice crispy cereal in its place!

Substitute 1 1/2 cups raisins for the chocolate chips- best oatmeal raisin cookie you will ever have! 

Or- use a mixture of chocolate chips AND raisins- LOVE that combo!

One of my daughters doesn't like chocolate chips (I know- she is a weirdo :) So when I make this dough- before I add the chocolate chips- I will separate some and add white chocolate chips to half the dough and put regular chocolate chips in the other half.

A mixture of peanut butter chips and chocolate chips would be SO good!

My husband's favorite is when I add M & M's to these cookies. I make the dough as mentioned above with the 12 oz package of chocolate chips.  Then right when the cookies come out of the oven, I will put several M & M's right on the top of the cookies.  It is important to do this right when they come out so they stick to the top of the cookie.  By putting them on top after the cookies have been in the oven, the M & M's stay nice and pretty and don't lose their color (sometimes when you bake the M & M's directly in the dough they lose their bright color or they crack). 

While I am baking, this is my view from the oven :)  All of my loves hanging out in the kitchen...it is controlled chaos and I love it! :)

Just a few other tips- this dough freezes beautifully.  Just put it in a Ziploc container, put a piece of saran wrap right on top of the dough and then the lid to the container.  Let the dough come to room temperature before you bake them.

These cookies, once made, freeze beautifully too!  When I bake, I always let my girls have a cookie and my husband has 2 (or 5). Then I put the rest in Ziploc freezer bags.  I pull them out for a treat or for when we have company over to the house.  You can either defrost them in the microwave or the best way (in my opinion) is to put them on a plate and just let them come to room temperature.


Seriously- these cookies are our family FAVORITE!  I really hope you try them!  Winter time is the best time to spend a morning or afternoon baking...your kids will have SO much fun and what is better than freshly baked cookies?!?


Favorite Things- Target Edition!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I am linking up with Andrea today to talk about a few of my favorite things from Target!


So- I know almost EVERYONE absolutely LOVES Target.  I do too!  But- I hardly ever go there because I do almost all of my shopping at Aldi (for groceries) and Wal Mart (groceries, household items and clothes for my kiddos!) It is definitely a good thing I don't get to Target all that often- I have no self control when it comes to all the cute things they have!  How is it that you set out to pick up a "few" things and end up spending $100?!? 

My first favorite thing from Target- these wipes!! We exclusively use these wipes.  I love the packaging they come in and they are inexpensive! BUT- they don't feel cheap at all.  They are very soft and moist.  
 Target's Up and Up diapers are a HUGE favorite in this house!
We use cloth diapers about 80% of the time- but when we are out and about and at night time- we use these diapers.  We have never had an issue with leaking and we have used them on all 4 of our babies.  I have used every brand of diaper out there and I prefer the Up and Up diapers over the top brands!
 This sweatshirt is one of my absolute FAVORITE items in my closet.  I have it in two colors- heather gray and a pretty rose color.  It is SO soft, it is long enough to wear with leggings and it looks cute under a vest or a jean jacket.  So- basically- I can be super comfy but look put together at the same time :) Unfortunately- these are not online anymore- but definitely check your local Target- probably in the clearance section since it is a winter item.  It is by Massimo- so it is from the Junior's department.
 This sweatshirt tunic is another huge favorite and closet staple for me.  I have it in THREE colors!  It definitely does NOT look like a sweatshirt- but it feels like one!  It is tunic style- so I can wear it with leggings- but it also looks really good with jeans. 

I have it in black, a marbled cream/black combo and olive green.  You can see how nice and long it is in the picture below. I am tall- 5' 8''- so I get really excited when I find something that hits me below my hips!  Seriously- you will not regret picking up one or three of these! It is so comfortable- but looks SO nice on! If they don't have your size online- check your store!

(I promise I don't just go around posing with a Starbuck's cup...this was me on my birthday and my mom wanted a picture of me- HA!)

Okay- now you tell me- what are some of your favorite finds from Target?!?

Homemade Pizza + Some Recent Aldi Finds!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Our's was busy, a lot of fun and by the time we got the kids in bed last night...my husband and I both just wanted to collapse in bed ourselves! HA!

I did my weekly grocery shopping at Aldi and thought I would share some great products I saw!
I felt like such a weirdo snapping pictures of milk and pasta! HA! 

I mentioned last week that Aldi has a great organic line of food products.  It is growing so fast...I shop there once a week and every time I am there I am noticing a new product added to their organic line!

They have a section dedicated just to fresh, organic produce...

 They have organic milk!
Organic pasta...right next to their gluten free pasta!  And you can't see it- but they also have a line called "Fit N Active" and they make a whole grain pasta- which is what we use!
I will try and remember to take some more pictures of other products that catch my eye this week when I am shopping.  I seriously have so much fun checking out new products they are carrying!

Now time for a staple recipe in our house- homemade pizza crust!  We have pizza once a week, almost always on Friday night.  About once a month, we will get a couple pizzas from Papa Murphy's or Little Caesar's, but most of the time, I make our pizzas.  It is more budget friendly and I like being in control of the ingredients that go into our pizza.  All of the ingredients I use to make our pizza I get at Aldi!

I have tried several pizza dough recipes and I have found the one we like the best is the one shown below- it is off the back of the yeast packet I use to make the dough!
You can see at the bottom it gives a suggestion to use part whole wheat flour for a whole wheat crust. I like to use 2 1/2 cups white flour and 1/2 cup whole wheat flour.  It still gives the crust a nice density and nuttiness that you get from the whole wheat flour- but it is not too heavy.
You can find the yeast packets right in the baking aisle at Aldi.  They don't always carry whole wheat flour...so definitely check to see if they have it- but you might have to get that at your local grocery store or you don't have to use it all!  What I usually do is make my pizza crust while my kids are napping or right when we get home from picking up my oldest daughter from school.  That way, it has had a little time to rise.  
After the dough is made, putting together the pizzas is SO easy! 
 Since we don't eat meat on Friday's during Lent, we kept it simple and had cheese pizza this past Friday.  Obviously- the possibilities are endless with toppings.  Outside of Friday's during Lent, my husband loves turkey pepperoni on his pizza.  I am all about piling on the veggies- mushrooms, olives, thinly sliced onions and fresh spinach- YUM.  My girls just love plain cheese pizza :) I forgot to take a picture of it- but Aldi has jarred pizza sauce that we really like- so that is what we use (and its so easy :)  You can also just get a couple cans of tomato sauce and season it with garlic powder, italian seasoning, fresh oregano and/or basil, and a little salt and pepper.  Just season a little bit and taste as you go until you get it tasting the way you like it!  That's what is so fun about making your own pizza...you can play around with flavors and ingredients- and come up with your own "perfect" pizza!

Sooo...do you love pizza? 
Do you make it yourself or do you have a favorite place you order it from?  
Definitely let me know if you try out this recipe and what you think of it!




5 on Friday- Valentine's Recap Edition!

Friday, February 20, 2015

I can't believe it is Friday already!  This week flew by! No complaining over here though...we have a busy but fun weekend ahead of us.  Always SO thankful for time with my husband and sweet kids!

I am linking up again with DarciApril and Natasha for Five on Friday!


I am also linking up with Andrea and Erika or their Friday Favorites Link Up!


ONE
Getting to spend time with my oldest daughter at her Valentine's Party this past week was definitely a FAVORITE part of my week. I love seeing her in her element and it was SO much fun to spend some special time with her!

TWO 
We had a couple visitors this past weekend and it was definitely a FAVORITE thing to have people we love in our home! My dear friend from graduate school stopped by on her way to California (she is moving there!) and my parents came for a short visit.  We absolutely adore my parents and while they are only 3 1/2 hours away from us, we don't get to see them nearly as much as we would like because of my daughters' school schedule and my husband's crazy work schedule.  It was SO fun to have them at our house for a couple days!

THREE
These 4 nut balls are always my FAVORITES.  Even when everyone is having a simultaneously meltdown...they are still my favorites.  Being a mommy is hard, isn't it? But- it is absolutely the most beautiful and best gift I have ever been given.

FOUR
My sweet husband and my girls made me chocolate covered strawberries and chocolate covered pretzels for my Valentine's gifts!  Two of my FAVORITE treats!  I love that my husband decided to make me a homemade treat and I love even more that he involved our girls in making them for me! They were SO excited to give me my treats! And they were soo YUMMY!

FIVE
After I had my first daughter, my mom gave me a sweater that my dad wore when he was a toddler!  It is absolutely precious.  Each of my kiddos have worn in several times around Valentine's Day and it just makes me smile to think my babies are wearing the same sweater my dad did when he was little!

 Making this picture collage was definitely my FAVORITE thing about this Valentine's Day!

Happy Friday and I hope you have the best weekend!

Thursday Thoughts...

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Whole bunch of random today...hope you have a nice big cup of coffee to keep you awake while you read this! HA!


  • It's really, really cold. Blah blah blah. I know- how unoriginal to complain about the weather.  But seriously- my girls are on their last rope of being cooped up inside our house.  I have to tell you - the hours of 4:00 pm- 5:15 pm are ROUGH lately.  Everyone is tired, there is a whole lot of whining and crying and it is just not pretty.  And to fuel the fire....I know that if we could just get outside and play on our swing set...there would be no siren crying going on. SPRING- HURRY UP.  Momma is struggglllinngg.
  • We are Catholic and Lent started yesterday with Ash Wednesday.  I am not giving up anything, as I don't feel like removing chocolate or coffee from my diet enhances my spiritual life.  I look at areas of my life that need change and decide how I can be better.  So now is where I confess something that is not overly easy to share: I yell at my kids.  Not a lot....but enough to where I feel like it is something I really need to work on and change. Here's the thing- I have 4 kids all very close in age.  They are very good kids- but they are kids. We have issues with obedience, talking back, ignoring and not being nice to one another.  My problem is that while I am very patient, speak in a very calm tone and give several "gentle" reminders (e.g. time to pick up toys, we need to leave the doll aisle at Target, etc)- on the 4th or 5th time of being ignored or disobeyed- I get frustrated and raise my voice.  And then they listen.  UGH. It is so frustrating!! BUT- here's the deal. I am the parent.  I am an adult. I have 100% control over my actions and that is what I want my children to see.  So my Lenten "goal" is to be consistent in using a firm but even, gentle tone when I need my children to understand I mean business.  When I start to feel my blood pressure rise and just want to yell, "PICK UP YOUR MESS!" I am going to say a quick prayer and count to 10.  I have already been tested many times- and we are only on day 2 of Lent!  But I know with the help of (LOTS) prayer, I will make a positive change!
  • I am getting my hair colored this Saturday and am so excited!  I am not doing anything drastic- basically I need to cover up the gray that seems to be sprouting up exponentially by the day AND even out the remnants of blonde highlights I have in my hair.  I tell people that I am rocking the ombre' look right now...but really I just have 5 inch roots.  It is NOT pretty. HA! But- yeah- I can't wait to have my hair washed AND styled by someone else!  I tell you what- doesn't a trip to the hair salon just do wonders for your mood?!
  • I am going to try out a new Weight Watchers recipe this weekend for crock pot lasagna.  I am not a huge lasagna fan- but I liked the idea of making it in the crock pot and the fact that it is a healthy version of a typically not so figure friendly meal.  If it turns out- I will definitely share the recipe!  Speaking of Weight Watchers...I am about 6 weeks into my 3 month membership.  I am 3.6 pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight and 6.6 pounds away from my "ultimate" goal.  While I LOVE Weight Watchers and things are going just fine...I will tell you- these last few pounds are going to be the death of me!  I don't have a problem eating healthy meals...but I do like to "pick" at things....and those little "bites" can add up.  It is a constant battle between wanting to look good in my J.Crew city fit shorts this summer and wanting to eat copious amounts of peanut butter and brownies. 

SO FUNNY!!


  • Someone just recently commented on a post I did about my favorite leggings and totally encouraged me to get a pair of the Zella leggings from Nordstrom.  So now I am trying to decide if I get basic black- which I know I will wear a TON or do I get something more fun like these?

    And that concludes my mish mash of random for the day :)  
    Hope you are staying warm and having a great week...the weekend is almost here!

Major Cuteness!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sooo...Valentine's Day is over...and all I can think about is warm, sunshine filled days and cute, summer clothes for my girls :)  To get my mind off the 15 degree temperatures, I found some ADORABLE dresses and rompers for spring and summer :) What you might not believe is that all of these dresses are from Walmart and the most expensive dress is $8.98.  Yup. I am totally serious. I have been shopping the girls' department at Walmart for several years now and their selection only gets better and better!  They have so many CUTE things and you can't beat the prices!

Look at this precious little dress!  It comes in a couple of colors- but I really love the peach!

Oh my goodness! LOVE this dress! How fun are the mix of patterns?!

This is just the perfect little sundress
 Isn't this dress SO pretty? I think it would be a perfect Easter dress! It would look precious with a little cardigan too!
 Um. Look at this romper! LOVE the flamingos!! 
 And look at this one! Love the colorful embroidery and the simple chambray!


So- most of Walmart's really cute dresses only go up to 5T.  My two older girls can't wear 5T anymore because they are so tall.  Here's what I have figured out works: if the dress is empire waist/looser style- I can still get away with them wearing a 5T- they just wear capris or cute little ruffle shorts with the dress and it fits more like a tunic! This is exactly what they are doing in the picture below.

This allows me to still buy all of my girls matching dresses- which makes me happy :)


I just have so much fun dressing my girls in fun, cute outfits...and being able to do that on a budget is icing on the cake! Walmart for the win! :)
PS- if you haven't already- you should definitely check out the blog: http://whoawaitwalmart.com
They are always finding awesome products at incredible prices...all at Walmart.  It is so fun to see what they find!

Where do you find the best deals for your kiddos' clothing?  Any other places I need to be shopping?

I feel like I have to give a disclaimer- all of these opinions are my own. 
Walmart has no idea how obsessed I am with their girls' clothing department :)

Show and Tell Tuesday: How I met my Husband!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Yay for Tuesday! Today I am linking up with Andrea for her Show and Tell Tuesdays Series!
Today it is all about how you met your spouse!


Warning- this story is a bit long :)

I have been looking forward to writing this post!  My husband and I have a pretty unique and special "meeting" story and I love telling people about it!  It all started back when I was living in Chicago in 2005 as a single gal.  I had been living there for a year and while I had a few great friends and a job I really enjoyed...Chicago was just NOT for me.  The winters there are very brutal, I found it hard to navigate living in such a BIG city and my dating life was pretty much non-existent.  Sounds like a blast, huh?!?  I decided I needed to make a huge life shift and MOVE.  After an insanely awesome weekend visit to Austin, TX with one of my best friends- I knew where I was meant to go!  If you have been to Austin or live there- you know it is an incredible city.  The weather is amazing, the people are SO nice and fun, everyone is active and the overall vibe is AWESOME.  So, in August 2006, I packed up everything I had and with the help of my wonderful parents, moved from Chicago, IL to Austin, TX!
This wasn't the first time I had just picked up and moved somewhere- I did the same thing when I went to graduate school.  And while it is really nerve-wracking and definitely gave me some funny feelings, moving to a place where you know NO one is quite exhilarating.  Moving to Austin was a FRESH start for me.  I was able to push the re-start button and make some changes that had been a long time coming.  Anyway....I started my new job and immediately met some wonderful women.  I lived in a great area and was LOVING the Austin lifestyle.  
There was just one thing missing....HOW DO I MEET A NICE GUY!?  I wasn't comfortable going to a bar or restaurant by myself and because I literally knew no one- I didn't have any friends to set me up with their friends :)  
So...with a nervous yet excited pit in my stomach, I signed up for a ONE month membership to Match.com.  I knew I needed to be pro-active if I wanted to meet someone and this seemed like the perfect way to get connected.  I knew I needed to keep a really open mind and heart if this could possibly work, so I established three criteria the guys I would go out with had to have- they had to TALL (I am 5' 8"), they had to be NON smokers, and they had to believe in GOD.  Other than that, I would give them a shot- HA!  
Oh my gosh.  I had so much fun on Match.com!  I went out with 4 guys in the first two weeks of my membership.  They were all super nice- but none of them were a "Match."  They were all really cool and there was no weirdness when I communicated I wasn't interested.  Another really fun part about this whole process was I was getting to know my new city by going on fun dates!  I was going to cool restaurants and coffee shops and it was a really awesome way for me to explore Austin.  
One night I was checking my Match.com account and saw I had gotten a new email.  I started reading it and was kind of intrigued- but also thought- this guy sounds like he has a chip on his shoulder.  He told me I could call HIM if I wanted to talk or set up a date.  UM. NO. My momma taught me that I don't call boys.  They call me :)  So that is exactly what I told him.  I said, "I don't call boys- but if you want to talk or meet up-here is my number!"  Before he called me, he actually texted me a few times, asking if I wanted to go on a breakfast date...during the week...which I thought was TOTALLY weird.  I worked at an elementary school and had to be at work by 7:30 am.  And it made me wonder- "what kind of job does this guy have that he can have a leisurely breakfast date during the week?!?"
Yeah- so I was not super excited about this guy.  So when he called me for the first time, a big part of me just wanted to ignore his call...but I knew I needed to give him a chance...so I answered my phone, he made me laugh within 2 minutes of talking to him and we ended up being on the phone for 3 1/2 hours that night.  We talked again a couple days later, for another 3 hours and set up our first date for the next night.  I was excited :)  I knew there was something different about this guy, just by the way our conversations were going...I couldn't wait to meet him in person to see if the connection we were having over the phone was "real." 
Sidenote- during this whole process- I made sure I was INCREDIBLY safe with how I met up with the guys I was dating.  I would always tell someone when I was leaving and where I was going.  I always drove myself to the place and drove myself home.  None of the guys I went out with came to my apartment.  
Well...for some odd reason, this didn't even cross my mind when I told this guy he could come pick me up at my apartment.  One of my best friends from Chicago had ended up moving down to Austin and was my roommate- so I knew she would be able to meet him- but STILL.  I look back and can't believe I just let him come over to my apartment having never met him!
Around 9 pm on September 14, 2006,  I opened my apartment door to a super tall guy with an awesome smile named Aaron.  He gave me a huge hug and I simultaneously felt crazy butterflies and a calming sense of safety.  Definitely something I had never felt before :)
He met my roommate and behind his back she was mouthing to me, "He is really cute! I like him!" :)  
We left for our date and immediately just started talking like we had known each other for a really long time.  We had such a fun time!! I quickly realized how easy Aaron was to talk to and that he was an extremely respectable man.  We both knew this was going to turn into more of a "first and only date" when were sitting outside, having a drink and he asked me, "So...what do you want to do with your life?"  Not even thinking I might scare him off, I immediately responded, "I want to be a mom." He smiled really big and said, "Perfect answer."  
We hopped around to a few other places and ended up back at my house at TWO AM!! I had to be up for work in 4 hours...which is why it made complete sense for us to stay up for another 2 hours talking about everything under the sun. HA!  When he finally left, I could NOT stop thinking about him! 
Our first date ended being our last first date each other ever went on :)  We spent every available minute we had outside of work hanging out and getting to know each other.  Without sounding like a complete cliche', our connection was electric.  Aaron was so forthcoming and honest about how he felt about me, which made me feel so open and allowed me to be myself.  There were no games being played- which was SO refreshing.  Something incredibly special was happening between us and it was happening FAST.  After 5 days of knowing each other, we were on a walk at Town Lake in downtown Austin.  We sat down on a bench and started talking about how amazing the past week had been.  Then Aaron told me he loved me.  WHOA. My heart stopped.  Everything in my brain said, "You can't say it back! You have only known him 5 days! This is crazy!" But my heart knew the truth and I told him I loved him too.  SO nuts and just an absolutely awesome moment for us!
This is a picture of us just a couple days after the big "I LOVE YOU" :)

And that was it.  We pretty much started talking about marriage and babies right after that :)  We had SO much FUN dating each other!  We were not only boyfriend and girlfriend, but simultaneously became each other's best friend.  
Eight months later, on May 28, 2007, Aaron asked me to marry him in Utopia, Texas under a huge oak tree.  It was one of the most surreal and special moments of my entire life.  


This is right after we got engaged and we were calling family to tell them!  You can tell we had both been crying:) And please note my little cell phone- HA!
 Under our "engagement tree."

Ten months later, on March 29, 2008 we were married and 9 months later we welcomed our first child.  Our love story has been a complete whirlwind.  

I know God orchestrated the whole thing and I am thankful every day for the man he put in my life.  It definitely wasn't how I planned to meet my husband, but I couldn't have written a better love story if I tried!!

 
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