If you know me then you know how much I appreciate photography, especially family pictures! Within 24 hours of Brady being home we were out in our favorite field in our neighborhood taking our first family picture in 19 months! The best part was that this was the kids idea! A few days later, Blake surprised me with the above piece of art that he created. He added the “Love You Forever” at the bottom which made it even more meaningful. This is a treasured family saying with so much meaning behind it that I’m sure I will share one day! I LOVE this piece so much and will always hold it near and dear to my heart!
“IT’S NOT HOW MUCH LOVE WE GIVE, BUT HOW MUCH LOVE WE PUT INTO GIVING.”
This week as Blake and I were contemplating quotes and ideas for this weeks COVID-19 free printable, it seemed perfect to share this quote by the infamous Mother Theresa! Brady just got home from serving his mission where he spent 19 months serving others. He’s been home about 12 days and we have heard so many amazing stories about the people he served and those who served him! He had some life changing moments by some of the most simple acts that have in turn, changed me. We can do something so simple, but it’s the LOVE behind the act that counts the most. Such a great reminder for our family!
(Head over to JP Lettering Co. to access the free printable…have your kids color it, attach a treat and deliver to a friend or neighbor to brighten someones day!)
Brady arrived home late last Thursday and not 24 hours later we went out to my favorite field in our neighborhood to take a few pictures…we ended up out there much longer than expected because these three were back to their old shenanigans. Mike was there for a bit, but was in the middle of a huge project for work so I stayed out and just watched them! My heart was SO FULL, I could have stayed out there all day! The bond between our kids is something I love so much and I hope never ends!
Before long the boys were pulling some crazy tricks that made me a little nervous, but they promised me that we wouldn’t end up at the ER the first day Brady was home! Ha! All three of them were out in the fields laughing, posing, doing tricks, and hanging out!
This last photo sums up their relationship so well…SARCASM, LAUGHTER AND PURE LOVE!
You’d never know that they had not seen each other for NINETEEN months! I love my job as the photographer…I mean MOM!
I’ve put together some of my most used workout gear that I use regularly! Or, if you are looking for athleisure or loungewear to wear during quarantine and need something cute, comfortable and stylish…this is for you! (Which basically means that all mom’s can use at least one of these items, ha!)
These have been my favorite hair ties for years! They are soft, last forever and leave minimal creases in my hair. People often ask me where I got my “cute bracelet” so that’s a bonus too…they look cute on your wristThey also come in different colors, but I usually buy black and a nude. I purchase mine with a price match at Nordstrom, but you can find them on Amazon as well!
I am a creature of habit and used the same set of headphones for about 7 years and struggled to make the switch to Apple Airpods. My only regret is not doing it sooner–I LOVE them! I wear them multiple times a day…working out, talking on the phone and I am a certified Audible junkie too, so they are in my ears a good portion of the day! I can’t say enough about these…every mom would LOVE them!
If you make the leap and purchase the Airpods, you will definitely want a case! There are several to choose from, but I prefer the silicon case with a clip so I can hook it to my phone, water bottle or bag!
Lululemon has so many great tanks to choose from and I have purchased a couple styles over the years. The Cool Racerback Tank is my most worn! It’s super versatile and can be worn by itself or layered.
The Nike Air Max 270 have been a favorite of mine for a couple of years! They are really comfortable and awesome for workouts. The ONLY thing I won’t do in them is go for a long run! They have so many fun colors to choose from. Nordstrom is low on choices right now, but Eastbay is my secret source for Nike purchases and always offering discount codes!
I love a good hat and Adidas hats are so comfortable! We own several and they are easy to wash after a workout. There are several color options and if you have a large head (like myself) then you can shop the mens version!
I have this Lululemon shirt in both short sleeve and long sleeve, and I love it. So great for a workout or to lounge!
The Lululemon Align tights are FOR SURE the best I own! I have them in the 25″ and the 28″ and like them equally! Also, Lululemon offers free alterations so you can have them adjusted to the length you prefer. Quality is unbeatable!
We use yoga mats at our house daily, especially since quarantine and this one is our favorite! Whether for yoga, stretching or doing a workout, they have been so handy. They are easy to wipe down and sanitize and they fold up well for storage.
Our oldest son left on September 18, 2018 to serve a church mission for 2 years. He was called to serve in the Washington D.C South Mission, Spanish speaking. He spent the first 6 weeks in the Mexico CCM where he learned the language and the basic missionary training. On October 29, 2018 he arrived in Washington D.C.! He spent the next 18 months serving the people and The Lord in the Northern Virginia area. He loved his time in the mission field, his companions, President and Sister Caplin, and the people! Due to the COVID-19 pandemic the mission enforced a mandatory rule that would force all missionaries who have been treated with asthma within 5 years to be sent home immediately. Unfortunately, Brady fell in this category. We received a sad call on Wednesday, April 15, 2020 and we had our boy home the following evening. I know it was so hard for him to leave the mission, but we were so happy to see him and had a wonderful reunion after 19 months apart!
We are so lucky to be surrounded by wonderful friends here in Texas. Brady’s best bud, Jordan, left to serve a mission in October 2017. Since their missions overlapped, they had not seen each other in nearly 3 years! Before the missions (and since) these two do most everything together! It was so fun to watch them together and Jordan’s poster does a fabulous job representing the two of them! The Pulliam Family (minus Shelby and Savannah who are away at school) also joined us at the airport! Josh might have been more excited than any of us as he skipped through the baggage claim, haha! Brady dated his daughter, Shelby, for a bit before the mission and got to know their family well. They are awesome! We love the Wilking and Pulliam Families and have been so grateful for their love and support the last 5 years!
With COVID-19 going on, the airport was eerie and nearly empty. We did the best we could with masks, sanitizer and social distancing…but, we couldn’t resist all the hugs! It is the best feeling to have our family back together!
Straight from the airport we went to In-n-Out Burger, Brady’s choice! Nobody should ever go 19 months without it! We were barely in the driveway before he was out of the car and checking out his beloved mountain bike and taking it for a spin in his suit! Bo could hear us in the garage so we let him out and he had the cutest reunion! He was only one when Brady left, but had the sweetest response and excitement…no doubt that he remembered his buddy! We went inside and he took a tour of the house…nothing has changed at all, haha! He came out of the bathroom wearing Blake’s senior homecoming overalls OVER his suit and I knew that he still had his same sense of humor and we all laughed!
I had such short notice about Brady coming home and with stores closed, it didn’t leave too many options for a welcome home party or decorations. I decorated the “never ending Christmas tree” with the Washington D.C. flag colors. I had some balloons, pictures, ribbons, and a tiered stand full of his favorite treats and drinks! Blake created an amazing print of Brady as a missionary and we framed it and put it up…turned out so well! Not too easy to pull off the type of homecoming I would have preferred with only 24 hour notice, while there is a worldwide pandemic going on and everything is shut down! But, we did what we could and in the end we were very grateful to have him home with us safe and sound!
We couldn’t be more proud of the young man that Brady is, for the example he is and continues to be! Watching him serve and grow a love for the people is something I can’t put into words, but hope every mom gets to experience on some level at some point! He worked so hard and though his mission was cut short, he will continue to serve The Lord from wherever he is! He has a humble and grateful heart and has been forever changed with so much love for Our Savior! CALLED TO SERVE AND RETURNED WITH HONOR!