Archive | Uncategorized RSS feed for this section

Lily Turns Four!! And a Birthday Interview!

20 May

Oh, my heart. My fierce little warrior girl is four years old today. Lily came to us in a time when everything was in flux, everything was hard, everything was uncertain. And there she was. Perfect, strong, and looking exactly like her daddy. This girl is brave, quick, and wise beyond her years. She’s so perceptive and has taught me so much about myself and about what it means to love. Happiest birthday, my sweet Lily darling. You light up our whole world!


Here’s a link to her birth story in case you’re interested in revisiting the Ole Burger of ’12. And below is her birthday interview, which was highly influenced by some Hello Kitty lip gloss rings that she just received. One track mind, it seems!


baby lily

May 20, 2012 – 8lbs, 1 oz – 20 in – 2:15 am


What is the best thing about being four? 

Being four.


What is your favorite thing to do outside?

Play with Everett. And Maggie.


If you could take a trip anywhere in the world where would you go?

I would go to Granny’s house with Maggie and Everett.


What is your favorite movie?

Wreck it Ralph


yoda princess lily



What do you want to be when you grow up?

A police officer. Because I want to trap somebody.


How many kids will you have?



Where will you live when you grow up?

In a flower house.


What are you afraid of?



What are you proud of?

Lip gloss.

tiger lily


What are three things you’re really good at?

Painting, coloring, and flower making, like a flower garden.


What’s the best thing about our family?

All our family coloring!


What does daddy do best?



What is your mom good at?

Kind of cooking.


What do you like most about your mom?

That you’re beautiful.


What do you like most about your dad?

Like he’s kind of like good.


How strong is your dad?

So strong!


How strong is your mom?

Not even strong.


chef lily


Tell me about the best day in your life.

Saturday. Monday. Tuesday. Friday.


What is the healthiest thing you can eat?



What is your morning routine?

Play with you and then I wipe my head off.


Give me an example of a good deed.

Showing somebody a trick.


Tell me a knock knock joke.  

Knock. Knock. 

Who’s there?

Baby rings.

Baby rings, who?

Baby rings, achoo!


If we were to get anything you want, what would you ask for?



lily parade


War Crimes

21 Apr

I like to tell my kids this is a benevolent dictatorship…and I kind of run a communist style ship around here, if I’m being honest. Everybody shares everything, too bad if you don’t like it, no soup for you, I’m not sorry.


So, seeing as I’m basically my family’s Vladimir Putin and all, I thought I’d take a little time to charge some folks for some war crimes. As one does.







Maggie, age 6


Charged with Inciting Panic. You know that hour right after dinner when you’re completely exhausted from being an adult all day and the act of pretending like you’ve got your life together is really taking its toll? You know…it’s the hour when you feel as though all the life blood has been sucked from your body by a parasite and you’re about to fall into an unbathed pile of exhaustion. This is the hour in which she strikes. She will sneakily lure unsuspecting younger siblings to the stairs and whisper potty jokes to them, convincing them that screaming “poopy diaper head” in the faces of your dinner guests is a good idea. She will laugh maniacally while forcing you to listen to yet another knock-knock joke. Under the guise of entertaining her little brother, she will start a game of “chase” in which someone most certainly will be tripped and maimed. She will insist on leading the others in illegal games of “jump all over the damn couch even though Mom told us eight thousand times not to” and “let’s all violently wrestle until Lily’s hair gets pulled and she shrieks like a banshee.”



Lily, age 3 


Charged with Harassment and Stalking. She’s kind of the least offender because I truly believe that her intentions are pure…but she’s always there. She’ll demand to help with every single task ever of all time. Have some strong chemicals you want to clean with? She’ll pour. Have a sharp knife you’d like to chop with? She’ll show you how it’s done. Have some detailed sewing to be done? She’ll hold the needles. Have to finish your taxes? She’ll file ’em for ya. Have some sleep you’d like to get? She’s in your bed. However, if you actually ask her to help with a task she’s so uninterested it’s not even funny. Chores to be done? Nah, she’ll sit an observe the other fools and cry rather than comply.


Also, she’s an accessory to every other crime committed. She’s not usually the mastermind (…yet. Kid’s brilliant, so once she realizes her powers I have no doubt that she’ll use them for evil), but she’s usually coerced into helping, so we’ll let her off with a lighter sentence and call it good.



Everett, age 2


Charged with Aggravated Assault. Even his hugs hurt. Gentlemen visiting our home are advised to wear an athletic cup in order to protect themselves from the colossal skull that will crush their testicles approximately ninety-seven times during their visit. Also, watch for flying dump trucks being launched down the stairs, blocks torpedoed toward faces, and strategically placed Hot Wheels that were definitely not under your feet a second ago, but most certainly are under your feet now that you’re carrying a lot of stuff. The perpetrator has been known to climb basically anything with an elevation of…off the ground. So, watch for falling boys, as well.

Also, while we’re at it, let’s charge him with Indecent Exposure and Disorderly Conduct. You know, for good measure. And ’cause he never wears pants.


Remy, age 8 months

Charged with Disturbing the Peace. Bro doesn’t sleep. Or rather, he sleeps, but only long enough to give you the illusion that you’re going to be able to get something done. He’ll nap juuuust long enough for you to get right into the deep disgusting middle of finally cleaning out the refrigerator and then he strikes. It basically goes on like that ad nauseam.


Alright, so that’s my legal work done for the day. Time to go dole out punishments! Mwuahahahaha!

You Matter

18 Apr

Guys, I’m struggling a lot lately and I know a lot of other people who are, too. It just seems like so many of us can’t catch a break. We don’t feel seen, we don’t feel heard. A myriad of big and little hurts has piled up and we can’t catch our breath for the weight of life pressing down on us. This is hard.


But here is what I know to be true: We matter. You matter.


flowers stock photo


Pope Benedict XVI said,

We are not some casual and meaningless product of evolution. Each of us is the result of a thought of God. Each of us is willed, each of us is loved, each of us is necessary.


You are necessary, friend. You are valuable. You were thought up and planned out and you are important.


I’m going to take some time today to meditate on that truth, the truth that I’m necessary and I’m loved. I’m going to dig deep and breath deep and do my damnedest to feel it deep in my core that I am a remarkable creation, deeply loved by God, redeemed by Christ, and pursued by the Holy Spirit. And you are, too.


You are so incredible. I hope you know that.



Mary Susan













Photo via

Maggie’s Birthday Interview – 6 Years!

28 Mar

My dear Maggie Rose turned six on Easter Sunday. Yeesh, I can’t believe I have a six year old child. Maggie is glorious. She’s constantly making new friends, which isn’t surprising since her first sentence was, “Hi, I’m Maggie.” She is clever, bright, funny, and a great manipulator (as all big sisters should be, riiiight Aunt Katy??). Maggie is constantly creating, building, sewing, making…anything she can draw or make is her favorite. She lights up my life and I’m so in love with this sweet girl…even when she’s sassy, which is about every five seconds if we’re not getting out of the house and being social every. single. day.



So, here’s a birthday interview I did with Miss Margaret. I particularly enjoyed her knock-knock joke.


What is the best thing about being six? 

You’re old enough to take care of things you don’t even know about yet.


What is your favorite thing to do outside?

Swing a lot and play on the slide with Lily.


If you could take a trip anywhere in the world where would you go?

Chicago and Disney World


What is your favorite movie?

The Incredibles and Nemo


Who do you want to be when you grow up?

A doctor. A veterinarian doctor.


How many kids will you have? Why?

4 because…actually 3 because I think it would be easier to take care of.


Where will you live when you grow up?

I’ll live in the city downtown.


What are you afraid of?

I’m afraid of the dark and if there are monsters. And big thumping sounds.


What are you proud of?

I’m proud of being a good artist.



What are three things you’re really good at?

Taking care of my doll, Jessie; being a good sister with Lily; and taking care of people when they’re sick.


What is one thing you could do better?

Help my family by cleaning up my toys while I’m done with them. Taking care of my yard if any cat or dog comes in or cleaning up after them.


What’s the best thing about our family?

That we all love each other and we’re the best team ever.


What does daddy do best?

He cooks a lot and makes good tomato soup.


What is your mom good at?

Make the prettiest sewing pictures ever.


What do you like most about your mom?

I like that you and me work together as a team to sew a lot.


What do you like most about your dad?

Because he cooks a lot with me and Lily.


How strong is your dad?

Really strong. He could hold a whole bed!


How strong is your mom?

Not that strong, but you could hold Banjo and me and Everett.



Tell me about the best day in your life.

I went to the store with Daddy early in the morning before you guys waked up and I asked Daddy really kindly if I could have a Jessie doll and then we got one! Yay!! 


What is the healthiest thing you can eat?

Tomatoes and carrots and broccoli and strawberries


What is your morning routine?

Brush my teeth, get my doll Jessie, go play some more, and go eat some breakfast

Give me an example of a good deed.

Being nice to your friend. Playing with her when she asks you to and listening to your friend when they say so.

Tell me a knock knock joke. 

Knock, knock.

Who’s there?

Three cows.

Three cows, who?

Three cows, “Oh, it’s steak!!”



If we were to get anything you want, what would you ask for?

My own decorations for me if I wanted. Like poofy poof balls and glow up rubberbands…and I would decorate the whole house with hearts.

And really, who could ask for more? Happy birthday, Maggie Rose!!


When she turned two.


Animal Kingdom, 2012

newborn mags

And here’s newborn Margaret Rose, my headstrong, bright, darling girl.

Holy Week! And a Passion Play Set for Kids!

23 Mar

I hope your Holy Week is going well! Easter is my favorite holiday forever of all time. Add to that the fact that the kids are old enough to really start grasping the story and I’m just really excited to share it with them.


I did a little Pinterest hunting (you can follow me here if you’d like) and found some really great Holy Week activities to do with little ones. We’re going to attempt a foot washing mini-service with some of our best friends on Thursday, we’ll do hot cross buns on Friday, and watch Prince of Egypt on Netflix a few times this week.


I managed to put together a Passion play set for the kids the other day and they’ve really liked it. (Former children’s librarian talking here…giving kids tools to tell stories is so good for early literacy. Narrative skills help with vocabulary development, drawing conclusions, and story comprehension, so story play sets of any kind are great to have around!)


Anyway, I thought I’d share the links I found to be helpful and the pictures of our play set in case anybody else wanted to make one!


I got most of my inspiration from these two blog posts:

When You Rise – preschool activities for Holy Week

When You Rise – Passion story telling set

Because I’m both classy and Catholic I thought it was only fitting to make the tomb of our Savior out of an old Dos Equis box. Other than that, I used paper and had the kids color the scene with markers to finish out the tomb.


You can sort of also see that the tomb has a trap door to make the Resurrection possible. The kids LOVED showing their daddy that the tomb was empty!


For Golgotha, I used an old flower pot turned upside down and some sticks and fake moss from Maggie’s Fairy Princess birthday party the other day. I chose the flower pot because it looked like a hill, but also because it has a drain hole that Jesus’ cross could easily fit into. Eventually I’m hoping we’ll be able to act out all of the stations of the cross, so it was important that Jesus would be able to “carry” his cross. I had some old kabob skewers lying around, so I used rubber bands and the skewers to make the crosses.




I found an old peg doll that makes the perfect Jesus. I sewed him a little outfit, used some fabric scraps for burial cloths and we were good!




So, there you go! Anybody else have good links or ideas for Holy Week with kids? I’m always interested in hearing what other families do to celebrate. 🙂

Happy Almost-Easter!

Mary Susan

Disney World!!

4 Mar

Y’all, I just got back from the best vacation I’ve ever had in my whole entire life (including my honeymoon) and I’m high on life and Mickey Premium bars.


We took the kids to Disney World. We surprised them by waking them up obscenely early (payback!) and taking them to the airport. We didn’t tell them where we were going until we got to the Orlando airport and there was great rejoicing…



I could basically go on and on and on and on about the incredible time we had, but I’m going to try to limit myself to a list of my favorite memories of the trip. Here goes!


Lil and I snuck away while the others rode Haunted Mansion on our first day, so she could eat some Cheetos and watch the parade. We were too far back for her to see, so I held her up while simultaneously wearing Remy and I’ve never been more uncomfortable, but I’d do it over again in a heartbeat just to see this face again.



I actually got a lot of one-on-one time with sweet Lily on this trip. She’s such a fierce, determined, sensitive little soul and I feel like I’m getting to know her more and more every day because, let’s face it, we’re so different. So, while the others rode rides and did things that she wasn’t ready for, we got to do a lot of Mama and Lily time. I’ll treasure it always. Her favorite things were Dumbo, It’s a Small World (she laughed about the name of the ride forever…apparently a small world is ironic and comical to her, haha!), and the teacups.



Vin and Ev got matching Buzz Lightyear hoodies and my heart exploded.


Vin spoiled me with so many sweet surprises…most of which were centered around Carl and Ellie from Up. Gosh, I love that man. And Carl and Ellie. But mostly Vin.


Maggie rode all the rides she’s tall enough for…so everything but Rockin’ Rollercoaster. She’s just fearless and, while there are a few she said she won’t do again, I’m so proud that she tried everything. Also, she met Kylo Ren and turned down his offer to join the Dark Side ’cause she’s a good egg is why.


We took a picture in the exact spot that Vin and I spoke for the first time. It’s right outside the safari at Animal Kingdom and I make everyone take a picture there every time we visit. I love it beyond words.


And we basically just had a ball the entire time. We met kind people on the bus and met a ton of fun characters. We ate turkey legs and Mickey rice krispy treats and danced. We played in the sand and went to the resort pool (where Lily inexplicably took off her bathing suit in public and we still don’t really know why, hahaha. Vincent is quick with a towel, though, so he had it covered…literally.) We walked and played and spent so much time just loving on each other.


I’m telling you guys, if you want to fall in love with your family all over again, take them to Disney World. My heart is so incredibly full. Siiiigh. Happy, happy sigh.


I’ll be doing a follow-up post on how to do Disney with small children, what worked for us, any tricks we discovered, etc. But before I do…do you have any specific Disney questions you’d like answered?? Let me know in the comments and I’ll do my best to answer them in an upcoming post!





Happy Blog-aversary!!

24 Feb

Guys, on Monday I was alerted by WordPress that..drumroll…I’ve been blogging for 4 years!


Holy cow. That’s weird and crazy and maybe a slight overstatement since I’m pretty sure I’ve taken like two years off at various times.


But I’ve had a blog for 4 years! So, in honor of this momentous occasion, I’ve compiled a few of my favorite posts from over the years. Take a walk with me down Memory Lane, won’tcha?


Baby Rodeo – All the way from 2012, here’s a good ‘un. I still think this should be a thing. Also, I’m open to any other event suggestions!

The Pharmacy – This basically sums up my hometown in a slightly wordy nutshell. Included in that nutshell are a Sheriff Armadillo lamp and some crystal bowls. God bless Texas and small town wedding registries.

Birth Stories – I have had three children since I started this blog. I have had three babies in four years. I am all that is woman, read my birth stories.

Stretch Marks – Cause I love mine.

Charlotte’s Web Party – This is probably one of my most popular posts…mainly because one nice person pinned it to Pinterest. But…the pictures weren’t working for like two years and I felt guilty for leading pinners on fruitless searches, so I fixed it the other night. Also, this was basically the best birthday party I’ve ever done. Love, love, loved it. Charlotte’s Web For-Evah!


I could go on and on…it’s been a really fun four years. Thank you, dear readers* who have been around from the beginning. I’m grateful that you’ve hung around and been so encouraging.

I do have some new followers, too, and I’m so happy you’re here!

Now we get to the question…what do you guys want to read about?? I’m taking requests! Hit me with some topics and I’ll get on ’em. It’s the least I can do!


Much love!

Mary Susan



*Any time I hear the phrase “dear reader” I think of this video. It’s completely out of context here, but I literally cackle every time I watch it. There’s language, so don’t watch it around the babes or folks with sensitivities to that sort of thing…or do what you want, it’s a semi-free country.


%d bloggers like this: