Monday, June 30, 2014

Two Year Photos

Back in March, while in Midland, we did family photos!  Kristi McKnight did William's one year photos so I figured this was the perfect time to get photos of my side of the family AND William's two year pics.  They turned out great!
William was a little sleepy due to our late arrival the night before but we managed to get a few smiles out of him.  To be honest, you could take a picture of this this child (and my family) in the middle of a garbage pile and I'd still hang it in our home and cherish it forever.  It's the people in the photo that I love...not the surroundings or even the perfect smiles.  Sure, those things make it better but it's not what matters.  I love these guys on rainy and sunshiny days!

Sure do love these boys!

Guys, you know I don't like this picture thing!

Chasing bubbles 

I may love Elmo but I'm not smiling!

The West Texas Wind was in full force!

The only thing missing in these photos is Gordon's wedding ring.  He ties it onto his workout shoes and had forgotten to take it off.  Typical.  Can't complain too much.....he's a good looking daddy!
I love this photo!

To us, he's perfect!  #bestillmyheart

Uncle D, you're so funny and I may even smile....


The Hattenbach side of the family!
Big thanks to Kristi for doing a great job and to my family for putting up with my love for photos!!!!!!  #priceless #memories #lovemyfamily


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Since Turning Two

It's still so hard to believe that I had William so early.  It seems like a life time ago and yet just like yesterday.  Since his due date was June 10th we should just now be celebrating his 2nd birthday.  In the past 60 days he has changed a TON.  He's moving faster, talking more and every ounce of baby is gone!  He's becoming so self sufficient and is beginning to really want to do things himself.  From what the doctor says, after age two his prematurity won't be as noticeable.  Although toddlers are still doing lots of growing and changing it's not quite as drastic as in infancy.  Regardless, we love baby boy just how he is!! 

I'm sure this detailed list of "what William's doing" is pretty boring to most people.  I, on the other hand, love looking back and reading what our little buddy was doing at each stage.  I always wish that time would stop.  That I could freeze all these precious moments.  ....but I can't.  Honestly, I'm just as excited about tomorrow with William and G as I am about today and yesterday!  That's the beauty of being a parent.  You are so hopeful and excited for the future.  :)

Eating- William is back on a squeezey packet kick.  There for a while he wouldn't eat them?!  These days he requests them.  He tried watermelon for the first time and is a big fan.  Mac N Cheese is still on the top of his list.  He'll get a tupperware container out and say, "I want cheese!"  He's noticed that this is what I put the leftover mac n cheese in (very observant!).  Oatmeal and hotdogs are quickly climbing the charts as William's favorites.  He'll even eat asparagus (he calls them    

Sleeping- No changes here.  He has been staying up a little later than normal (8:30pm) because it's still light outside at 8:00.  The little guy just wants to play and play and play outside.  After reading books William gives Gordon and me several kisses before we lay him down.  This is the sweetest part of our day.  :)  He say, "Bye bye daddieee.  Wuv you mama."  #be still my heart 

Development- He's become a lot more aware of his body.  Just a few weeks ago he noticed the birthmark on his right shoulder.  Every night during bathtime he show us.  He also points to his little nipples a lot...that should be a fun talk one of these days when he is aware that girls are different than boys!  At the beginning of May William started telling us, "I pooped".  Sure enough, he is right 90% of the time.  He still wakes up in the morning with a wet diaper so I don't think we are quite ready for potty training.  William is proving to have an excellent memory like his mama.  He talks about his grandparents all the time.  He correlates pinecones with his Mimi and choo choos with his Nana. 

Personality- He is talking a lot more.  We still don't understand 50% of it but it's getting better.  He loves telling us stories and uses his hands a lot to describe what he was doing (I think he gets that from me too).  He was trying to tell his teacher that he went swimming with his daddy and we told him to kick his feet.  William's version goes like this....."innn daaa wader wit my daddieeee (and then he starts kicking his legs around), in daaa wader!" 

Things William Loves- Choo Choos.  He's become obsessed since his birthday party! 

William's Favorite Things to Say and New Words-  "I'm two", butterfly, hat, apple, beach, water, house, Choo Choo, night night, owl, boo boo, ouch, he calls his paci "My" or "Mine", snack ,bus, bug, baby, balloon, heart, hot dog, cheese, hot, spoon, bubble, oatmeal (o-meal which ends up sounding a lot like Elmo), rock (which sounds like walk...he also tells us now "I wanna walk!"), peas.  Asking him to say peas please is hilarious.  "peees peess".  William says "oh noooo" about everything.  If he throws food on the food he says "oh nooo", like it wasn't an intentional act.  Kids.  When you explain something to him like daddy is at work he says, "ooooooooooooh".  His other favorite saying is "oh WOW", "I'm stuck", "where he go?" and unfortunately "stop it".   The first thing he says when we get home is, "Where's my daddieee?"  He can now recognize the colors yellow, black, pink and blue and can pretty much repeat anything you ask him to.   

First Time-  We had our first visit to the dentist at the beginning of May.  It was pretty uneventful.  He has gotten 1.5 more teeth since April and he's even trying to brush his own teeth at night.  William has been very curious about the sprinkler in the back yard.  So, a few weeks ago he and Gordon played in the water!  Such a fun childhood memory for me.  :) 

I sure do love this little boy!!!  He can be such a ham and even says CHEEESSSEEE when he sees my camera! 

I can't stop time from passing so I'll just keep dreaming about the great things ahead!  Will William's love of music lead him to play an instrument?  Will he have a beautiful voice and sing in the choir?  Will his love of trains and figuring out how things work lead to engineering?  Will his sweet natured personality motivate him to go into health care?  Will this strong little boy take after his daddy and be a power lifter? 

The list goes on and on....and I'm EXCITED for it all.....whatever it may be!


Friday, June 20, 2014

CHOO CHOO, Someone Turned TWO!

FINALLY!  I can't believe it's taken me two months to do this post.  Let me just start off by saying that this birthday party was so much easier compared to last years.  Having it at the house made things go much more smoothly.  My parents, Dustin and Skye stayed with us that weekend and they were awesome helpers.  I had everyone running errands on Saturday morning. :)  So, BIG thanks to those guys.  Sweet Skye even helped me give William a bath that evening because I was pooped!
The day before his party I found out I have to move to working 5 days a week from my current 4 days a week.  I was a bit upset (more on that another time).  Luckily I had lots of friends and family around to help cheer me up.  Saturday morning I woke up feeling really yuck (stomach bug).  :(  Again, thank goodness for my family.  Regardless, we had the best day celebrating William James.  We went to Little Gym that morning and then starting getting ready to PARTY!  
Here are just a handful of the pictures that were taken that day.  Somehow, I didn't get one of Dustin and Skye with William?!?!  :(  I'll have to make it up when we see them next month. 

  • How cute is this photo backdrop?!?!?  So easy!  Just some streamers twisted and taped at the top and bottom, balloons and a chalk board.  We took some cute photos of the kids with "conductor" hats on!
  • Adorable sugar cookies by a local lady. 
  • Invitations from Berings.   Cupcakes by yours truly (blue cupcake holders from Michael's). 
  • Picture frame from Hobby Lobby and Mason Jar with forks wrapped in chevron paper.  
  • CHOO CHOO banner made by me using Cricut.  2 yr photo book for guest to sign from Snapfish.  
  • Drink stand outside.  Re-used name and fabric banner from William's first birthday party.  The fabric banner was super easy!  Just cut long strips of fabric and tie in knot on rope.  

  • I love primary colors!
  • Thank you Arvella for making the best cakes ever! {Midland peeps contact me for her info!}
  • Napkins from Monogram Shop
  • Cakeballs by Eggleston's Edibles.  Labels from WH Hostess
  • Goodie Boxes from Oriental Trading Company for only $5/dozen (see below for content).
  • Centerpiece train from Melissa and Doug.  Table runners ordered off Etsy. 

  • Playing corn hole has become a family tradition!  It keeps everyone entertained for hours.  
  • Brandon and Ashley came all the way from Birmingham!
  • SIL :)
  • We rented 3 round tables and chairs so people could hang outside.  After the party we cooked out so having the extra seating was perfect.  I never got a picture of the tables with table clothes/centerpieces (pictured below). 
  • Best. Idea. Ever.  The train was a hit!
  • They have the cutest stamps on Zazzle.  
  • Centerpieces: clear jars from Hobby Lobby + spray paint = cute.  I filled the jars halfway with potting soil and then put the sticks in so they'd stand up straight.  
  • Goodie Boxes =  Bubbles, toy train, train whistle and stickers (most everything from Oriental Trading) 

{Playing} {He loves his lawn mower from Nana and Papa} {He rode the train the entire hour} {My baby} {Craft Station} {Riding with Grant and Emily} {I'm in love with this easel W got from Grant and Emily} {Helping Uncle D and Daddy} {Hanging with Mimi}

The little arts and craft station we had was a hit!  My mom and I cut out all the different shapes for the pieces of the train (using construction paper).  I then put all the pieces to make one train in a zip lock baggie.  I had an example laid out for the kids to copy.  All they had to do was clue the shapes of one baggie on a big piece of construction paper.  Super easy and fun!  All the girls loved this.  
Construction paper + glue = cheap and fun  

Happy 2nd Birthday, Sweet William!

Big thanks to everyone that came out for the festivities.  We had an awesome day.  An even bigger thanks to my family for helping get the last minute details together and for helping clean up afterwards!!  Since the birthday party William talks about Choo Choos every single day. :)

 He loves the hat he wore during the party.  He loved playing in the balls.  He loved seeing all his friends.  He adores his grandparents and aunts/uncles.  He's obsessed with the new lawn mower and drawing ovals on his 2 new easels.  He got so many new books that are now some of his favorites.  He loved seeing his old teachers from BLS that came.  He (and we) had a happy, happy day!!!!!! 

Now I just have to sit down and finish writing thank you notes!   xoxo


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Beach Attire Part 2

I did a post last month with my Beach Attire wish list.  I thought I'd do a follow up post with some real pics and some cute stuff for baby boy!

This white shirt from Baby Gap is adorable and a must have for little boys!  It can be left as a long sleeve shirt or rolled up like in the pic.  It even washes really well.  William got chocolate ice cream all down the front.  With a little bleach and 2 washes you'd never know!

We've paired the white shirt with dress pants for church (see pic below. note the cute Sperry's), with gray shorts and blue/white striped shorts (also in picture below).

These Havaianas flip flops are adorable and perfect for the beach and pool!

I'm lovin' my new Kendra Scott necklace.  Great pop of color, a little trendy with the tassel and it keeps William entertained for long periods of time.  :)

Every girl needs a few flowy blouses in the summer.  Especially if you live in a hot, humid town like Houston!  Pair it with some skinny jeans and you are good to the beach, on a date, to happy hour.....

I love these shoes by Cynthia Vincent.  Do you think Gordon would let me add them to my closet???  Probably not....but YOU should!


Friday, June 13, 2014

Sneak Peek

William's birthday post is long over due but it's coming soon.  I'm sure the only people that really care are Mimi and Nana.  Here's a little sneak peek at our super fun day celebrating William James!

Smile for the camera?!?!  Why would I do that with all these people looking and singing at me?

Even the stamps had CHOO CHOO

I'm so in love with those baby blues.  Hard to say NO to all that cuteness!
I can't wait to share the rest!  We had the best birthday weekend (and it was so much easier than last years zoo party).


Thursday, June 12, 2014

Wonderful Wednesday

It's been forever since I've done a Wonderful Wednesday post....but we've still been having them!  I know I've said it before but life just got a little busy with moving, then the holidays, then really getting the house organized, our grown up vacation to Colorado, birthday party, Easter, beach, etc, etc.

Back in February William started Little Gym classes.  He really loves running around, crawling on everything, chasing the bubbles, playing with balls and getting a stamp on his belly and feet at the end of class.  This past Saturday was his last class.  He made so much progress in four months!  I think it's great to have him interact with new children his age (especially when mom and dad are around).  His balance improved and he loves doing back rolls now!  The little man is super strong like his daddy and is even good about waiting his turn to use the different equipment.  He still doesn't have jumping down but he's trying.  I'm hoping to sign him up for classes again in the fall!  Until then our Saturday mornings will be spent at swim class.     

{Getting his ribbon on the last day of Little Gym} {He can hang like this forever! So strong}
{Swimming + Friends = Fun Summer} 
{Daddy went fishing at Grant's and caught this gator.  Boys will be Boys}

Last Wednesday I had a dentist appointment in town so W went to daycare until naptime was over.  Mommy and Daddy had a lunch date (and I did some shopping!  check out my Instagram account THEGOODLIFETHEGOODINGS to see one of my purchases).  That afternoon we had a swim party with the Wilsons!   
{splash splash} {relaxing Memorial Day weekend, at home watching the rain}
{He reads with Daddy every night} {Silly boy in his bubble bath}

William and I had a great day yesterday!  We went to the YMCA so momma could get a work out in, we got a new floaty at Target, had Chick Fil A for lunch and then had the best nap together!  We even found time to go swimming, do laundry and make some yummy soup for dinner.  I LOVE these days together!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014


I've read several articles recently about finding your soulmate not being realistic....and I couldn't agree more.  I think it's more about being happy with yourself and then finding someone that you fit well with.  Here's just one of the articles I read.

It's made me think a lot about my journey to finding my true love.  The kind of love that's just normal.  Gordon and I are quickly approaching our 4th wedding anniversary and I'm happy to say things are better than ever.  Sure, we have our normal couple disagreements.  It'd be weird if we didn't.

I give my previous failed relationships credit for my healthy marriage....and here is why!

Looking back, I now realize that every relationship taught me something different.  I read a book years ago called The 10 Women You'll Be Before You're 35.  It was spot on.  I've changed.  The things I can and cannot tolerate have changed.  Thankfully, I'm better.  Here's a little run down of my past.....

{High School Sweetheart}  I thought I'd die without this one.  I couldn't imagine loving anyone else.  I didn't want to.  It started off so innocently.  We were only 17 when it began and at the end 22.  Although I wish I would have been smart enough to end it at 19, I didn't.  Because of that, I did learn that I could forgive but I could never forget.  I put on the top of my "what I want in a man list" HONESTY.

{On Again Off Again)  He was my best friend.  Somehow timing just never quite worked out for us to have a productive relationship....and yet we were always right there for each other in some of the hardest times in both of our life's.  God works in mysterious ways.  It's like He knew that we needed each others support but His plan wasn't to have us spend our life together.  From this relationship I learned I wanted to find HAPPINESS and JOY.  I added FRIEND onto my "man list".  A friend that would always have my back.

{College Fling}  It didn't last very long but it left an impression.  I realized how great it was to be with a person that is driven.  A person that is ambitious and HARDWORKING.  Those two qualities were added to my "man list".  

{Get A Job} This one started at the end of college and went into the beginning of my big girl life.  I learned a lot about what I didn't want from this relationship.  Don't get me wrong, we had fun.  This was my "drink champagne and dance on the tables" relationship.  Fun doesn't take you very far in life.  That in its self was a good lesson.  During this time I did learn to love music outside of my normal country girl stuff....U2, Coldplay, Jimmy Buffett, Bob Marley.  I was able to put STABILITY on my "man list" after this one.

{Trying To Grow Up}  I went on a couple of dates with a guy that worked for BP in my mid 20s.  He wanted to travel the world and live in other countries (back then I said I'd never live abroad, now I think it sounds awesome).  At the time I still questioned sushi (which I now love).  He helped me open my eyes to different things, try new things, be more spontaneous and dig down a little deeper to my adventurous side.  I added FUN to my list.  Having someone to travel with had a new meaning.

{The Last Before The Last}  God putting this one in my life was such a blessing.  The relationship was a mess but it really made me grow up and re-prioritize.  Emotions were intense in this one.  It made me want something calmer.  He had a wonderful family and was Catholic like me.  At 25, after it was over, I realized how important attending church with my significant other was to me.  I added two very important things to my list GOD and a strong FAMILY.  These two things, in my opinion, are the foundation of a relationship.  So, thanks Pub Fiction for connecting me with this last one!

In October 2006 I wrote a list of what I did and did not want in a man.  Five months later the man I would marry walked back into my life.  I hadn't seen or talked to him in 5 years.  I'll never forget the smile that was on his face when I got out of my car that night.  I love him to the moon. 

We don't drink champagne and dance on tables but we have a lot of fun.  We go to church together.  We love each others families.  We are stable.  We've gone on some awesome vacations together.  He's my best friend, the best daddy and a fabulous landscape architect that works his butt off to provide for his family.  I found that "man list" when I was moving out of my apartment in 2010.  I couldn't help but smile and give myself a little pat on my back (and say a little thank you prayer to the Man above).  I had stayed strong and true to myself.  I didn't settle.  I found the one that was perfect for me.  

All the heartache and tears were worth it....and believe me, there had been lots of tears over the years (just ask my mom)! 

No relationship is perfect.  It takes work every. single. day.  Having a child adds a whole new dimension.  Luckily, I found someone that I can work through the good times and the bad with.  He's easy going and kind.  I feel blessed.  Simple as that.  

{I was only 18 in this picture!} {Heading to NM to ski} {Sophomore year at the SAE lodge}
{First Kiss} {Pajama Party our Sophomore year}
{SAE ski trip Freshman year} {2007=First year of dating}

From afar, I've watched my much younger cousins go through their own relationship struggles.  Maybe by writing this post I'll help a young lady (or man) see a little clearer.  Things were foggy when I was in my early 20s.  They are crystal clear now.  :)



Sunday, June 8, 2014

Birthday Festivities

I'm a little behind on William's birthday festivities.  Hopefully I'll get his birthday party posted this week!  On William's actual birthday we were in Texarkana for Easter weekend.   The country club was having an Easter egg hunt, magician, a bounce house, and a train that day so we made plans to join in the fun and even invited some of our friends to come celebrate with us!
 Ever since William's 2nd birthday party he has been OBSESSED with trains.  He calls them "choo choo".  So, obviously, he was thrilled to see the choo choo there!  On the other hand, he was terrified of the Easter bunny and the egg hunt, with all the kids, was a little over whelming.  But, he loved the train and we had a great lunch with our friends.  Meal time with a bunch of kiddos can be challenging but luckily most of them were mesmerized by the magician (and the cupcakes).

{Dinner with family on Friday} {Not too sure about the egg hunt} {cute birthday cake} {he rode the train for an hour with Aunt Em} {Scared to death of the bunny} {Love these ladies and their sweet baby boys} {Balloon Animals!} 

Big thanks to Mimi and Grandad for putting this fun morning together and for watching baby boy that night so we could have date night.  We have the best parents ever.  :)  #blessed


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Water Safety and Swim Essentials

I'm sure most of you out there have read articles about Secondary Drowning that are floating around Facebook.  IT. IS. SCARY.  I knew about this Secondary Drowning before this particular article went viral.  I've been terrified ever since.  I would already consider myself an over protective mom....this just makes me one notch crazier when it comes to water safety (which in my opinion is great)!!!

So, as a nurse and an extra cautious mommy I decided I had to do a post on Water Safety!  Here are a few interested facts!

MAY was National Water Safety and Drowning Prevention Month
Unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in children ages 1-14 .  Yep, it beats cancer big time.  46% of children die from trauma and 11% of cancer. 
In 2013 there were 82 deaths in Texas from drowning, 23 were in the Greater Houston Area.
Children are at risk in ANY body of water (pools, oceans, bathtubs, splash pads with puddles of standing water).  

Promote water safety by creating layers of protection around water.  1) Have a 5 ft fence that separates the pool from house  2) Have gates that close and latch automatically  3) Wear life jackets whenever near open water 5) Use door locks to keep children out of the bathroom (I always close bathroom doors and make sure lid is down on toilet)  5) install alarms on all windows and doors that lead to the pool

Have a Water Watcher- this is an adult that is on duty for 20-30 minutes.  They should not text, talk on phone, drink alcohol or socialize with others while on watch. 
+ Enroll children in swim lessons at an early age 
+ Always have phone near by in case of emergency  
+ All parents /caregivers should learn CPR  
+ Keep a first aid kit near the water  
+ Throw rescue equipment to the victim before jumping in the water to save the child
TCH Injury Prevention Department 832-824-3485
Safe Kids Greater Houston at
Bi-lingual Material at Pool Safety Campaign
Water Safety Tip Sheets at Texas Drowning Prevention Alliance

I've heard over and over that drowning is silent.  It's not like the movies.  Just the other day, while swimming with friends, William gave me a scare.  Thank God I was watching him EVERY minute.  He had his floaty on and was playing in 6 inches of water.  He toppled over and went face down.  I watched for him to push himself up....and he didn't.  I don't know if he was in shock or if he just couldn't because the floaty on his chest was in the way.  Regardless, he didn't get up.  I ran over and scooped him up immediately.  He didn't cough or cry so I knew he hadn't sucked in much water, if any.  You can't be too careful.  It can happen to anyone.  Teach your babies to swim and don't take your eye off them for even a minute.


As scary as swimming with little ones can can be SO much fun.  Our little guy is quickly becoming a little fish.  He is loving this summer pool time and we can't wait for swim lessons to start in a week.

Here are a few of our summer swim essentials!

1- This Speedo floaty is what we originally bought.  We quickly learned that William is too young for this type of float.  It may make him float but if he falls forward in the water he is face down and hasn't figured out how to flip himself over.  He's like a top heavy turtle.  I do love how comfortable he is while he's wearing it (he never complains).  It will be perfect in a year or two when he's stronger and more coordinated.
2- The Puddle Jumper is just right for a two year old.  It helps keep them upright!  Just what a toddler needs. 3- Swim Diapers.  You gotta have them.  This one from The Honest Company is not only adorable but so cute and ego friendly since it's re-usable!  We love ours.  The are made for kids 11-49 lbs and are only $14.
4- We use our kickboard to help William with swimming 101.  We put his belly down in the water and have him hold onto the kickboard and then tell him, "Kick, kick kick!"  It's also a great way to get them comfortable with floating on their back.  It'll be great for the lake and beach too.  Lots of fun for only $5.
5- Arbonne is the sunscreen that we use for baby boy.  It has worked great for us so sun burns and no skin reaction.

 Speedo Swim Coach |  Puddle Jumper  |  Arbonne Sun Screen | Kickboard |

Happy swimming everyone!!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Our First Trip To RB

Our first trip to Rosemary Beach was in May 2011.  I hadn't started blogging yet so I thought I'd add some old photos!  I'd hate to forget our 1st annual Gooding beach vacation!

 Things haven't changed much over the last several years.  Rosemary Beach is still beautiful as ever!  There has been a little bit of growth but it's still a nice quiet area.  Lots of kids, lots of bike riding and lots of good food.  
Since 2011 we've added 2 Goodings to the group.  William and Emily!  Gordon and I had been married 8 months on our first trip and Emily and Grant were just dating.  Can you believe how fabulous the water is?!?!  Breath taking. The boys did their first shrimp boil together and the picture of the girls was taking after riding our bikes from Rosemary Beach to Seaside.  I still can't believe we made the trip there and back (with a stop at Bud & Alleys in between).....if I tried it now I'd probably pass out and get run over by a car.  

The Gooding Family
Such happy memories with some pretty awesome people!!!
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