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  • Welcome to Counting My Kisses!

    Counting My Kisses is all about finding that silver lining, even on our most frustrating days. It’s about cherishing my little girls and enjoying being married to my best friend. It’s about taking a minute to stop & remember what’s really important in life—and to discover that each & every experience gives us something to be thankful for.

    I’m a daughter, sister, friend, writer, and most importantly these days, a wife & mother. My life is full of fun chaotic moments, and this blog helps me to capture the laughter and love that fills our house every day.

    Thanks for joining me on this adventure!

The sweet spot of summer

Hello, friends!

Is it really the last day of July?! How can that be??

 

July means long days of playing outside with friends.

Sticky popsicle fingers. Pooltime and running through the sprinkler and trips to the beach. Later-than-normal bedtimes because all of the neighborhood kids are in a heated game of kickball. Bubbles and sidewalk chalk and bike rides.

July means summer.

 

Of course, August is still summer too~ but a different shade of summer.

Nights getting shorter as we start to get back into a “routine.” School supplies and meeting new teachers. Shopping trips to the mall for fall wardrobes. The end of August is always a little bittersweet for me, as we say goodbye to another amazing summer and turn our focus to the cooler, crisper, more structured days of fall.

 

And this September, our family is growing by two sweet little baby feet. It’s exciting & we’re over the moon happy to welcome Baby Nug into our lives & into our family.

While I’m looking forward to this big event with a fully thankful & happy heart, the upcoming change for our family is making me want to hold on to every last moment of this summer. I know things will be different~ in a good way!~ so very soon. Instead of impatiently waiting for that change to happen, I’m hanging on to the ride of right now~ and enjoying it.

 

My bloggy friend shared this article about The Sweet Spot over the weekend, and I’ve been mulling it over ever since {it’s a GREAT read, I highly recommend!}. Our children are younger than the author’s, and we’re still in the midst of temper tantrums, potty training & I-want-to-play-with-that-toy squabbles ~ not exactly the sweet spot the author is talking about.

But…I think we’re in a sweet spot of our own. The quiet calm before the excitement & adventure of the fall. The joy of having two walking, talking, hilariously expressive daughters that fill our days & our nights with endless entertainment. The knowledge that this time with them as littles is going entirely too fast~ so we need to hold on and enjoy.

We’ve had a lot of sweet spots this summer~ one of my very favorites being a week-long family vacay at the beach. A chance for us to rest, regroup & reconnect as a family. It was so sweet, in fact, that we extended our trip an extra day because we weren’t ready to leave yet. The sweet spot will do that to you. 

What’s your sweet spot of summer? Share in the comments section & have a GREAT day!

Counting My Kisses: I’m still in a bit of shock that it’s almost August. But that means we still have weeks of summer left, which I’m so thankful for! Hope your week is going swimmingly, friends. I can’t wait to hear all about your own sweet spot of summer!

Linking up with Pour Your Heart Out today!

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Lazier, slower paced days of no homework are me sweet spot.

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We are in that sweet spot too and I have no desire for it to end!

That is a gorgeous family photo!

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A lesson from the four-year-old.

Happy Friday, friends!

Oohhhhh…it has been a week of growing pains for this momma’s heart.

 

In short:  Little O has blown us away this week. And my heart is still recovering.

Monday morning, we pulled into our town’s soccer fields & I looked for all of the other four-year-olds for the “starter” soccer camper we  had enrolled her in {at her request}. I saw a whole lot of older kids…but no other four-year-old girls.

It didn’t bother Little O one bit. She hopped out of the car, smiled broadly as I checked her in & introduced her to the coaches, and jumped right in to a warm-up passing game. I nervously sat on a picnic bench texting Hubs: she’s the littlest one here. Do I stay? Should I pull her out? 

Before he could reply, the whistle blew & camp started. Little O gave me a hug & a kiss and then ran off to the field.

As I walked back to our car, the panic was overwhelming me. Surely I couldn’t leave our four year old at a camp with all older kids for three hours?! H-Berry & I hung out in the car and watched…and watched…and watched.

I waited for tears. I waited for her to look for our car. I waited for her to give some tiny I’m-in-over-my-head-come-get-me-Mommy indication~ because I wanted to be RIGHT there to swoop her up.

It never came. 

She was laughing & having fun & learning. The older kids were giving her piggyback rides in line & calling her The Mascot. She was fine. She was better than fine~ she was good.

So after watching for almost an hour, I slowlllly drove away, a lump in my throat & tears in my eyes. I caught her eye as we drove past the field, and she waved at me {cue my tears starting to actually fall}. I may or may not have gone back an hour later…but she was still laughing, having fun, doing great.

 

Kids sure can blow you away, can’t they?

 

Today is her last day of camp. She has rocked it all week & we haven’t seen tears once. She has grown a lot this week being around bigger kids~ and I think she has even learned a few new things about soccer, too.

As for me? I’ve come to accept that each drop-off is still impossibly hard, but the smile on her face as she hugs me & waves goodbye is good. It’s really, really good. She’s ready for this and she’s ready to start at her big-girl school next month~ it’s just me that isn’t ready.

Yes, you can Little O. And my heart couldn’t be prouder.

Counting My Kisses: Our four-year-old taught me an important lesson this week: I need to give my children a chance to surprise me, to rise to the occasion and to succeed in situations that I can’t hand-pick for them. Oh it’s tough on the heart~ but it feels good in my soul that she has the confidence to do this. Thanks for the valuable lesson, sweet girl. And we couldn’t be happier that you’ve loved this soccer camp adventure so much!

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Laura

I may have teared up a bit just reading that!! She is looking so old too!! I cannot imagine what you are going through as your heart grows up and grows wings!

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Aww!! This made me tear up, too! Darn pregnancy hormones! ;)

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Brittney

Ohhhh…this made me cry (and I can’t use the preggo excuse)! Such a sweet, maturing little girl. It’s so hard as parents to know when to let them fly on their own. I think it’s always harder on us than it is on them. It’s bittersweet watching them be okay without us.

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Hello, Monday! {summer happenings}

Hi friends!

 

Hope you had a fab weekend! Ours was great~ lots of cleaning, organizing & enjoying this super fun summer as a family. The warm sunshine + our sweet little fam makes me SO happy!

It’s a brand-new week~ let’s welcome it, shall we?!

 

Hello…

date night with Little O! We took her to Lion King the Musical and she LOVED it {and so did we!}. 

Hello…

to our Little Miss, enjoying her “fancy” night out with Mommy & Daddy. She picked up the edge of her dress {a la Sofia the First} ALL night. So funny! 

Hello…

to our sweet girls, enjoying a summer treat on a super hot night {also: yay for slow melt popsicles! You RULE! Thanks for introducing us, Aunt Diann!}. 

Hello…

to Daddy tickles & snuggles & giggles. Oh, my heart. Love these three more than words can express! 

Hello…

to fun zoo trips with friends! Have I mentioned we love summer?! 

Hello…

to hanging out poolside with Auntie Jen & Uncle Chris. So.much.fun! 

Hello…

to the adorable Cousin C. Seriously, could you get any cuter, buddy?! 

Hello…

to Little O, H-Berry & Cousin M~ we have to get a popsicle shot of the three girls at least once a summer! 

Hello…

to a super fun visit with Mimi! It was short but full of sweet treats & moments. 

Hello…

to 30 weeks! Woo hoo! The excitement is growing {and so is my baby bump!}. We can’t WAIT to meet Baby Nug in September!

Hello…

to summertime shrieks of pure delight. Love love love

And hello…

to getting back on track with my blogging schedule, making tons of progress on the baby’s nursery & an adventure-filled week for both girls {more on that Wednesday}!

 

What are you saying hello to this week, friends? Share in the comments section & have a great day!

Counting My Kisses: We’ve been busy bees over here~ lots of fun, lots of visitors & lots of work getting done on the house! I usually don’t nest until right before the baby is born, but this time around, I’m already in full lets-get-these-closets-cleaned-NOW mode! I can’t wait to show you the progress we’re making on the nursery, as well as the final result. Squee!!!

{linking up with Lisa Leonard’s fab Hello Monday series!}.

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Oh sprinkler, how I love thee.

Hello, friends!

Sorry for my MIA-ness! This insane heat + the Hubs’ travel schedule + being 30 weeks pregnant is kind of forcing the blog to take a backseat this week. Many apologies!

Hope you are staying as cool as possible & having a great week. Ours has been fab~ especially now that I have figured out the easiest way to keep the girls cool during this heat.

Behold…the sprinkler. 

Love love love!

Counting My Kisses: Sprinkler, where have you been all my life?! Happy, cool kiddos running around in the water for a few hours = a win win. Hope you have a sprinkler nearby that you can run through, friends~ it’s quickly moving to the top of our Super Fun Things About Summer list!

Have a great one!

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The ABCs of our vacay

Happy Friday, friends!!!

Hope everyone has had a good week. We’ve had a busy one getting back on track, celebrating the Hubs’ birthday & doing 10,000 loads of laundry. All fun, happy things {well, except the laundry}~ with a great weekend to look forward to!

This post has taken me forever to finish, so many apologies. I waned to share some of our favorite vacation pics in a fun way, which took some time. I’m happy with the result though, and hopefully you will be too! So without further ado, I present to you…

 

The ABCs of our vacay

Here we go!

 

A

Amazingly beautiful ocean…and amazingly fab memories! 

B

Bathing beauties by the lifeguard boat.

C

Cousins!!! {just a small sampling of the fab cousins we spent the week with!}

D

Daddy-daughter shell collecting. Love! 

E

Our everything, wrapped up into two sweet smiles.

F

Family date night! 

G

Hanging out with Grammy & Grampy {or Gumpy, as H-Berry likes to call him}. So so cute. 

H

H-Berry the Sand-Berry. She would play in it for hours every day. 

I

Independence Day at the shore~ I love how the beach was rocking the American flags! 

J

Jump over those waves! Go, Little O! 

K

H-Berry’s first beach kiss! OMG adorbs. 

L

I love him. And I love how relaxed vacay makes both of us~ it’s good for the soul! 

M

Matching swimsuits & matching smiles. I melt

N

NASCAR racing at the amusement park! {or something like that…}.

O

Little O offering up light beach refreshments. Sand snowcone, anyone? 

P

{Very} pregnant belly on the beach. Nug kicked like crazy every time we were near the ocean! 

Q

Quiet concentration from the H-Berry {she’s carefully dunking her very favorite beach toy, the world’s small watering can}. 

R

Lots & lots of rides at our favorite shore amusement park. 

S

Sisters in swimsuits. {love!}

T

The truest of best friends enjoying the beach together. 

U

Waiting out a rain shower under the umbrella! Boo on the rain, but yay for extra snuggles with our girls. 

V

Our view most mornings. Love love love. 

W

Tilt-a-whirl with H-Berry! {note: she begged to go on this!}

X

We spent an eXtra day here because we loved it so much! {also: I’m struggling with the X. Apologies that I sort of cheated with the eXtra. Lol}. 

Y

I love vacay, yo

Z

The seashell “zoo” Little O collected every day. She was SO proud of her findings! {and no worries, we only took a select few home with us!}. 

Counting My Kisses: Phew! As you can see~ it was an amazing trip. The girls adored the beach & hanging out with our awesome extended family, and the Hubs & I soaked in every single minute of laughter, sunshine & memories. We had a few meltdowns & tense moments {to be expected!}, but that just added to the excitement of traveling with small kiddos. All in all: a vacay for the memory books. Can we go back now, please?!

Have a GREAT weekend, friends!

 

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Diann

It was the BEST! Miss all of you, terribly.

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Laura

Looks like an amazing trip!!! Such a perfect recap! Love to you all!!

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Amy

Sounds like a great trip! Where were you? Also, let me know when Little O begins a business with her sand snowcones, they look awesome!

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Amy

Thanks Amy! It was SUCH a fun trip~ we were in Long Beach Island, NJ. Now that we’re covered in snow I’m longing for a nice warm beach. :) And lol on the sand snowcones!!!

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