Let's Talk....GUYS!

 Happy Monday, Friends!  
I'm so excited about today!  Today, Andrea and I are chatting and it's all about the GUYS in our life.  You can talk about your hubby, your boyfriend, your son, your uncle, your dad,  your mail man, OR basically any guy in your life.  :)  

Tab Slaughter
 The first guy in my life I wanna talk about is my husband, Tab.  I am so blessed to have him as my partner-in-crime.  He is a benefits' consultant by day, a college football official during football season, and also a dad/hubby the other 24 hours a day.  :)

 Tab brings the party to our family.  He's the rock of our family and we're so blessed to have this guy.

I'm not watching American Idol, but so many people posted Kelly Clarkson's song, Piece by Piece, on FB that I watched.  Here's a link if you missed it.  I'm so thankful my children won't know how that feels.  Kelly Clarkson is a crazy successful women in her thirties and the pain is still so real.  Breaks. My. Heart.

 Tab's favorite family activities are anything sports related.  Every night without fail he and Nix play some kind of ball.  Bowen and Ebby Lee always get a turn but after about three times they could care less.  ha!  

I learned this week that he's the driving force behind our family's healthy eating.  With Tab out of town all last week, we had our fair share of pizza and dessert!  #becauseitwaseasy #anddelicious

Tab and I met our senior year of college through mutual friends.  I invited he and a friend over to our apartment (with another roommate) and just found out recently that Tab never invited his friend.  Ha!  He just came alone!  He came over for a taco dinner, we hit it off, and the rest is history.  

We all four love this guy big and are so thankful he's ours!!

 Nixon Slaughter
This guy captured my heart almost six years ago and is still holding onto it tightly.  

 I don't think any two words could describe Nixon more than, "all-boy".  He loves all things sports, is still 100% into dogs (I'm going to have to break down and get him a dog soon.), and is the funny comedian in our family.

Nixon keeps us all laughing AND he keeps me as a mom on my toes ALL the time!  

Nixon is our animal loving kid.  He could tell you interesting facts about a paragon falcon any day.  #thankyouwildkratts 

If he had to choose his favorite toy, he'd hands down choose a ball of any kind every time.  His love language is definitely quality time.  He's not really into toys, but he just wants to be with the ones he loves.

Nixon always bring the party and fun to our family outings.  #hegetsitfromhisdad  He is the best brother to Ebby Lee and Bowen and we're so in love with that little guy.

Bowen Slaughter
Meet Bowen.  Our little peace keeper.  Bowen knows how to get what he wants from every single person in our family.

All of the children sleep in the same room.  I know, it's crazy, but it's what they do.  I walked in and Bowen was in bed with Ebby Lee.  Ebby Lee said that Bowen had asked and she'd told him no (he and Nix sleep on a trundle).  But...Bowen started crying and she "didn't want to hear him crying so she told him to get in."  haha!  The perfect example of how he being the baby still rules those big kids!

Bowen is into all things dinosaur, Ashby Shull, and Team Umizoomi.  He's recently discovered The Land Before Time on Netflix and he's pretty head-over-heels for that as well.

He's very charming and can have the toughest person cracked pretty quickly.

God knew exactly what he was doing when he gave us this one.  So thankful for our little B.

Now, it's your turn!  Please link up with us and tell us about the guy (or two or three) in your life!

Upcoming topics...
In case you missed last month, 

Friday Favorites

Ladies!  It has been a WEEK!  I've never been happier to see the weekend come.  ha!  I'm joining forces with my girls, Narci and Andrea to share our Friday Favorites!  You should join us!

First of all, I'm SO glad several of you agreed with me!  I absolutely LOVED Lauren Graham in Gilmore Girls and Parenthood.  I'm a huge fan so I wanted to love this book, but I'm having the hardest time getting into it.  After reading those comments it's so nice to know I'm not alone.  I'm going to keep trying.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Tab left on Sunday to go skiing with Andrew and some friends in Vail for several days.  He had two other business trips right after back to back so the second he gets home this mama is going to be off-duty for a few hours!  Wahoo!!  I was his biggest supporter to go-I get to see my girlfriends at the gym, at drop-off, at lunch and he doesn't have time during the day to do that.  I wanted him to go and have fun with friends, but now I'm ready for him to be home!  Ha!

I've been solo with the crazies.  :)  I've shared before that around these parts we don't worry about matching socks.  Now, I must clarify that I wouldn't pair a long sock with a short sock, but I'm talking same type of socks just different colors can totally be worn together.  Check out the proof!  
 That ecard was a little graphic, but you get the idea, right?  The kiddos and I hit up a couple stores and oh my goodness!  I'm looking at candles, telling one kid to stop touching the other, all while the other kid is telling me they need to go to the bathroom.  UGH!  #momlife

We've had our fair share of pizza this week.  Tab is the healthiest eater in our house, so with him gone we've enjoyed our favorites!  haha!  She's smiling because pizza was for lunch.  :)

This week I totally felt like this!!  Let me just say I'm so thankful we don't have many clocks in the house and my kids don't really tell time or look at them.  #earlybedtimes

The bible study I'm doing was so good yesterday.  It was all about waiting and how everyone during one stage or another (usually) experiences a wait.  Waiting for a new job.  Waiting to get pregnant.  Waiting to get into the program.  Waiting of some kind.  
This verse, girls, it's good stuff!

Yesterday I got to have lunch with these favorites!  :)  We were being silly and sending this to a friend.  You know that whole pat your head while rubbing your tummy?  Well, I was never good at that.  I'm trying to take a picture, while smiling, holding up four fingers (but I'm pretty sure I held up all five), and trying prevent that "I'm closest to the camera so my head looks way bigger than everyone else" look (yea, it didn't work).  But tacos, queso, and girl talk are always a favorite!

And maybe my favorite of the week.  I asked Nixon and Smith to help me get this big box broken down just so it'd fit through the door.  They finished the job!  These two spent over fifteen minutes jumping on this box.

If you need me, my people and I will be watching Fuller House!  EEK!!  Can't wait!

Hope you have the BEST weekend!!  XOXO

Owning It

Wahoo for another "Owning It" post today!  We love the crazy, don't we?  :)

I'm excited to introduce you to Leigh, from Balancing By Faith.  Leigh and I have met through the blogging world and I'm pumped about her being here today.  She's a sweet mama to two who is here to share her crazy with us!  I can't wait!  Here's Leigh...

Hi Friends!  I’m Leigh, married to my husband of 11 years, Jonathan, and mama to Ashlyn and William.  We live in the burbs of Nashville and I work for a large healthcare corporation.  I love making lists, planning and over-preparing, eating chips and queso on a regular rotation and working it off by running, torturing myself through a Jillian Michaels video or kettle bell training.  I write about our life on my blog - Balancing by Faith.  I am honored to be a guest blogger for Erika today – I am Owning It!!

This one feels really crazy, I remember starting this around middle school, so maybe I have some uncovered trauma in my life but…I have a counting issue.  I do not know why – but I count the number of sides that 3D objects have.  So I look at a box and I count in my head 6 sides.  To a telephone pole I count 1 for the circumference and 2 for the top and bottom for a total of 3.  The TV has 6 lines – 4 sides and a front and back.  I have no idea why my brain does this, but I am constantly counting in my head.  As if it doesn’t have the same number of sides they have always had??

This makes me laugh because it sounds like a lot of trouble!  You know what I mean?  You can't just walk by the telephone pole.  You have to count it.  I'm feeling for you, girl!

I can remember song lyrics like nobody’s business.  I can hear a song once or twice and I know the words – not only the chorus.  Remember Name That Tune or Singing Bee shows, seriously I would be the Ken Jennings of these competition shows (Jeopardy was not made for this mama!)    All genres, all types, I can remember song lyrics.  One of my favorite games on a road trip is “name that tune” where you shuffle the radio channels and guess the song or say the next line of that song.  It’s probably my favorite because I always win.  ;)

I have a serious fear of heights.   I can fly – but I think about it for weeks in advance of my flight and my palms sweat the entire flight.  I hate the feeling of being up high, and having no control, even worse.  I have a video from college passing out on the slingshot amusement ride.  One of my girlfriends and I were riding and I had my eyes squeezed tight – but I opened them and saw I was above any building on the horizon…and then I passed out.  Two weeks ago we went to Atlanta and no naming names – but someone thought it would be a great idea to take the kids up in the Westin elevator.  An exterior elevator – 73 floors above downtown Atlanta.  I hugged the elevator doors while my kids enthusiastically looked out.  When we reached the observation deck, which also is a rotating restaurant I thought I might lose my lunch.  So I did what any normal person would do – curled up in the fetal position in the corner and texted my mom to empathize with my situation! No heights for me! And yet I love a thrill ride or experience.  I would jump off a cliff into the lake, ride Tower of Terror multiple times, or climb a ropes course, even scared speechless.

(Social media stalker?)   This is a scary one to admit on a social site – but I am owning it.  When I meet you, there is a good chance that I already know something about you.  Where you work, go to church, friends of friends, who your kids are, etc.  I have a serious knack for people watching and remember faces very easily – combine that with social media, a few clicks here and there and there you go.  Add in the 6 degrees of separation (that are really more like 2-3) and I would make a pretty good private investigator.  Example – I was visiting my friend Natalie in South Carolina and she told me I should meet her friend Dawn, who just moved to Nashville.  Later in the day, Natalie posted a photo of our visit to Instagram and Dawn commented on the photo that we need to meet…. right away I recognized Dawn as the owner of the Etsy shop Mollie and Lou, which Erika promoted on her blog in a December giveaway.   How crazy for a friend in South Carolina, to connect me with a friend in Nashville, who was promoted on a blog in Texas!  I got to meet Dawn for lunch last week – so fun! (Dawn and Leigh pictured above.)

How fun that you got to meet Dawn??  She sounds like the sweetest!!

YIKES - I wore head gear in middle school.  Do kids even head gear anymore?  I don’t even know – but I had the metal headgear that I wore while sleeping…and no kidding that metal was not intended for mouths.  I remember feeling as if it were rusting.  I have plenty of random teeth issues too, and thanks to a lack of adult tooth I have a bridge that creates an annoying nervous tick of passing air back and forth under the bridge which you can see from the outside as my cheekbones can’t hide it.  I honestly didn’t realize I did it for years until I pointed it out to a friend after 5 years of friendship and she said “you have always done that”! 

Have you ever burned rice? Should be something easy to cook right?  Unfortunately when I cook I have a tendency to become easily distracted and yes I am known to burn rice.  In our first home we had a nice yard and plenty of birds that would visit so we purchased a humming bird feeder for the yard.  The feeder is filled with boiled sugar water to attract the birds so one morning I placed a pot of water on the stove to boil.  I got distracted and walked away and about 20 minutes later Jonathan walked into the house filled with smoke.  He grabbed the pot (which was so burned it was dripping metal drops off the bottom) and ran it outside.  There was a trail of burn marks from the kitchen, on the linoleum floor, through the carpeted living room and sunroom to the back deck.   We were very lucky I did not burn the house down – and that the floor all needed replacement anyway.

I will leave my last crazy with you in the form of a photo that will never be recreated – one in which I would never consider doing now – but as young college kids, such a memory.  We decided to dress up in colored saran wrap and go to a karaoke bar in Knoxville. We belted out our best Dixie Chicks on stage…at a karaoke bar…in Saran Wrap.  No words.  Picture evidence below, cleared by my dear friends who are Owning It with me….

This one is my favorite!!!  I must say you guys could give Project Runway a run for their money with those creations!  I'm crazy impressed!!  Do I spy a PLAID?  ha!  Love it!

Thanks Erika for letting me share today, I hope you all laughed with me over my crazy life!


Leigh-thank you SO much for sharing your crazy!  I'm sure most of us can totally relate.  Be sure to check out Leigh over at Balancing By Faith.  The first Wednesday of every month, she has a new series, Pinspiration Wednesday.  You can check it out here and join her next week. Thanks so much for stopping by today!  XOXO

What's Up Wednesday

 I'm joining MelShay, and Sheaffer for their What's Up Wednesday link-up!

What we're eating this week:

Tab is out of town this week for half pleasure and the other half work, so my kitchen is pretty much CLOSED!

Monday:  We ate at Marla's house.  She made a delicious chicken recipe complete with green beans and rolls.
Tuesday: Kids had chicken nuggets and I had a salad.
Wednesday:  We're going out with friends!!  Mamas deserve a night out (even if it is with lots of kiddos, right).
Thursday:  I do plan on making a slow cooker meal-it's from a sweet reader when I asked for slow cooker ideas.  It's chicken breast, dry Italian packet, dry Ranch packet, cream of chicken soup-cook all day and then add a block of cream cheese.  This reader also said that she adds Rotel to spice things up and then serves with rice.  
Friday:  We're ordering pizza and watching Fuller House!

What I'm Reminiscing About:

Easter last year....every year around this time when the weather starts warming up (even though yesterday got COLD here!) I start thinking about Easter.  Last year we went to church and then headed to brunch with family and friends.

What I'm Loving:

All the moments I get with my favorites.  :)

What We've Been Up To:

Grocery shopping with all the people!

We had to knock a grocery store run out on Sunday or we would have had nothing to eat.  I planned ahead and made everyone a little list to keep them occupied.  For the most part, it worked out well.  However, we've probably never had more junk food in our house!  Peek at Nixon's cart-chocolate donuts?  Usually our elf brings those and that's the only time we eat them.  haha!  By the time I got to the checkout I was so thankful we were finished I wasn't even paying attention to what got slipped by me.  #lessonlearned

What I'm Dreading:

With spring comes the dreaded task of CLEANING OUT CLOSETS AGAIN!  Didn't I just do this?  Ugh!

What I'm Working On:

We're finishing up the front room in our house with some last minute touches and then I'll be ready to share.  In the mean time, we've been working on our front door.  Our door is partyin' like it's 1999, so we're going to replace it with double iron doors.  We're working with the designers now to come up with the perfect set.

What I'm Excited About:
I have a really fun giveaway coming up next week!!!  Can't wait to share!

What I'm watching/reading:

No surprises over here!  I'm watching The Bachelor and all the Real Housewives!!  I've started reading Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham.  I want to love it, but it's taking me a while to get into it.

What I'm Listening To:

I've been watching Friends on Netflix while I work.  It takes me back.  Way back.  :)

What I'm Wearing:

I shared, "What I've Been Wearing" yesterday.  Check it out!

What I'm Doing This Weekend:

I'm watching THIS!!!  Who's with me??

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month:

Hitting the open seas with this group!  In just a couple weeks, our family is setting sail with the Shull family on a Disney cruise and we cannot wait!  We're counting down the days at our house until we've got our toes in the sand!

Favorite Easter Tradition:

To be honest, we don't have any set Easter traditions.  Sometimes it falls on the big kids' birthday weekend and other times it doesn't so we're all over the board around Easter.  Sometimes we have family in town, sometimes we don't.  One thing that we've enjoyed over the last few years is our church's Easter Eggstravaganza.  Our church has a big Easter celebration for the community.  There are bounce houses, petting zoos, and a big Easter egg hunt.  It's just a fun time and we look forward to it every year!

Happy Wednesday, Ladies!!  XOXO

What I Wore

I'm doing things all wrong today and sharing, "What I Wore" on a Tuesday.  I'll link up with The Pleated Poppy tomorrow even though I'm a day early.  :)

The weather here has been amazing!!  I'm talking 70 degree weather in FEBRUARY?!  #saywhat

Pink Plaid:  Similar here.
Tank:  Exact here.
Skinnies:  Here.
Booties: Exact here.  My color is sold out.
Necklace:  Gold is sold out, but many other options here.

Some days the wind is doing CRAZY things with your hair, your three-year-old takes a picture, and you share it because the outfit is all there.  ha!

V-Neck Tee:  Exact here.
Distressed Boyfriend Jeans:  Very similar here...same brand and same fit.
Cardigan:  Similar and on sale here.
Earrings:  Similar here.

Plaid Button Up:  Similar here.
Skinnies:  Here.
Booties:  Similar here.
Necklace:  Gold is sold out, but many other options here.

Dress:  Similar here.
Jacket:  Exact here.
Booties:  Similar here.
Necklace: Similar here.
Purse:  Exact here.

And some days I look like this ALL DAY LONG and never even make it to the gym.

Long Sleeve Top:  Similar here.
Tank (Not pictured) Underneath:  Exact here.
Shorts:  Exact here.
Socks:  Exact here.

That's what I've been wearing around here.  Hope your day is fabulous!  :)

Behind the Scenes

Hey Ladies!  Happy Monday!

I'm taking you behind the scenes of "A Little Bit of Everything" today.  I'm sure every blogger has little tips, tricks, and his/her own way of doing things.  I'd love to hear more about how you guys stay organized and get your posts up, so I thought maybe you'd like to hear how I do all that too.

Before I start, I thought I'd share a little bit about how I got started.  I started my blog back in January 2008.  Several of my girlfriends had blogs where they shared their everyday life and I thought it was the perfect way for my Missouri family to see what was happening with us.  This blog has definitely changed over time but that's okay (because don't we all?).

Here we go!  A look at the other side of the blog...
 I do 90% of my blog posts right here in the office of our home.  I do most of my blogging either early in the morning before the rest of the family is awake or during the hours of 1:00-3:00 in the afternoon when Bowen's asleep and the big kids are at school.

 I love love love my Erin Condren planner and used to keep EVERYTHING inside.  But when my big kids got involved in sports and school there was just too much for one planner.  Now I fill in a calendar like this one.  This is how I stay organized with blog posts.  Those series that occur every month are the first things I fill in...Friday Favorites, Let's Talk, What's Up Wednesday, and such.  I then fill in the open days afterwards.  I also write down blog traffic so I can look back later and see what posts were more popular and what topics I should stay away from because they bombed!  ha!  I also have a running list on my phone and blog calendar of upcoming post ideas.

 This is me-in my comfies with crazy hair-getting my blog post on for today (and watching Netflix in the background)!

Early in the morning, you can find me here with the portable heater blowing on me and I'm wrapped in a blanket.

This is one view from my desk.

And the other side of the room.  Behind me is a window.  

I have some fabulous girlfriends I can lean on when I have blogging questions/issues, but I also read this post over and over years ago.  Shay rounded up some advice from some of my favorite bloggers and I tried to really stick to their suggestions.  #theyknowwhattheyretalkingabout

My little piece of advice would be to be consistent and link-up!  Link-ups are a great way to find some new blogs to read and hopefully gain a few new readers as well.

I would love to hear your tips and tricks.  What have you found that really works for you?  I'd love for you to share and add to that list just a bit.  Can't wait to hear your ideas!  Thanks, ladies and Happy Blogging!  :)