that time of the week!!

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16 February 2018


1. Double dipping a la Instagram, yet again. I really need to get back into documenting our each and every hourly move via cellular photo.

2. Every week I get a loads + loads of emails* begging me to talk about my thoughts on the most recent episode of the Bachelor. Well, your beg is my command because Mary was kind enough to have me onto her podcast this week. I'm coming back on soon .. whether she likes it or not. I do have to say that I was shocked over Arie's declaration of love so early in the game ... especially to Lauren B. I had high hopes for Winter Games and while it's not awful ... I don't necessarily think it's living up to the hype. Will I keep watching? Absolutely.

3. Have you seen this cute series with Kristen Bell? I'd like to think we'd be friends IRL but I'm sure she gets that all the time.

4. My super sweet e-friend Amber started a blog and no one is more excited about than I am.

5. a. I'm not sure how long they'll last but a few sizes of these high quality pink rain boots are marked WAY down. Check 'em.
    b. Simon got a super sexy v-day gift by way of these t-shirts that I read have a cult following. "Cult following" seems like strong language for a simple t-shirt but ... he does love them. Or so he says.

6. I bought these shoes at Target two summers ago (took the ankle straps off like the rebel that I am) and wore them to a holey soled death and have since checked online almost weekly to see if they bring them back but no dice (other than eBay). These are pretty similar but not an exact match. I'll keep you posted on my valiant quest. Speaking of Target, doesn't this shirt look very Madewell-esque?? It does.

7. BIG sale at Loft going on right now and I still maintain that they have the best/most affordable/adorable sunglasses.

Hopefully you have a wonderful holiday weekend in the works!

*no I don't, duh

cute & cool

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09 February 2018


1. Abraham. Almost eight months. Best disposition ... as long as he gets his three perfectly timed naps in each and every day. It's fine. Usually.

2. I have to say and quick thank you !!! for all the Disney World info. I'm fairly to very certain that I will not be writing any sort of helpful Disney posts in the near or distant future but perhaps a few, "do not do as I dids" will present themselves ripe and ready for the blog post picking. We'll SEE.

3. Alright. I had to stop reading The Wedding Date because it was hmm ... too steamy? to put it politely. I've moved onto This Love Story Will Self-Destruct but I've just begun so .. I can't say anything good or bad quite yet!

4. Simon gets back from a long (and his last!) stretch of interview travels tonight and I'm wondering how he'd feel if I just disappeared for the weekend? Kidding! Mostly. But hats off to those with spouses that travel on the regular. I'm a weakling in the face of your norm.

5. So you know how I feel about my Fitbit but I saw that my sister-in-law has the cooolest smartwatch that looks nothing like a smartwatch and now I'm questioning everything. I'll probably pore over every model and read all about them before sticking with my old faithful but seriously ... SO COOL. (update! after reading a bit more and there are smartwatches and hybrid smartwatches ... where have I been?!)

6. I already posted these (and toddler sizes!!) on the Sale Rack page but they always sell out super quick and are super cute. Extra 20% off with code: SWEET. Also, how cute are these? CUTE. Cuted out yet? Yes.

7. I think I wore a striped shirt every day this week which is weird because this newbie is calling to me. Loudly. Old dogs, new tricks and all that. I've read on a few blogs (all authorities, of course) that these are the shoe of the spring/summer. These are a little more my speed -- and I'm hoping they go on sale or end up over here before summer hits in full force.

I hope you have a great weekend, Valentine's Day, and beginning of Lent. Big week ahead and it feels like Christmas was just yesterday, right? Right.

bye!

tgifebruary

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02 February 2018

1. Right? Right. February always feels like the short and sweet consolation prize for the eternity that is January but this year I can't complain because January was mostly fine. Hopefully you escaped unscathed as well.

2. If you've had the displeasure of catching my IG stories in the past few days you'll know that what started as a, "we'll just move the kids' rooms around to get Abe out of our room" has turned into a 10 day (and counting ... ) odyssey of purging, organizing, painting walls, repainting dressers ... the whole nine unnecessary yards. Multiple detailed blog posts to follow. The girls' begged to have Abe in their room so in he went. The jury is out on whether or not it was a wise decision but we can reconfigure when we move this summer. 


Simon was thrilled to hear that that dresser is getting relocated to our room and being painted a totally different shade of ......... pink. 

3. Simon is still hot on the interview trail as our December trip pushed his schedule back a bit. He's had to miss a few Monday nights of Arie which has devastated him to no end. 

4. Speaking of Arie - I know the knee jerk and popular reaction is to say how boring this season has been but I have to agree with Sharleen and say I'm not hating it. He's got some great ladies that are totally carrying the season and I think we'll be in for a great Bachelorette no matter who it is. My favorites are Becca, Bekah, Seinne, and Tia. So -- not much has changed from night one for me. I discovered the EW live podcast with Robert Mills and it's a close second to Juliet Litman's Bachelor Party on the Bachelor podcast front. And my heart is SO happy that Ashely is still recapping because they are the best. BEST. 

5. After 2.5 years of living 1.5 hours away from Orlando we are taking the four oldest kids to Disney World. I don't think it's possible for a human to know less about taking kids to Disney anything than I do so any food recommendations or parks to avoid ... I'm all clueless eyes and ears. 

6. Books! I'm reading The Wedding Date and so far so great but I'm coming off a long line of mediocre reading so my judgement might be clouded. 

7. Let's talk SALES.
+ 40% off sale inventory right on over here. I have and wear this cardigan ALL the time.
+ I haven't clicked my way over here in a bit but was pleasantly surprised by their new arrivals (this jumpsuit in particular) that are all 30% off at the moment ...
+ and not on sale but in all my purging I found an old favorite pair of jeans. I'm an unabashed AG denim lover but these are a great alternative and quite a bit softer.

Alright -- happy weekend! May the best team win! 

7qt

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18 January 2018


1. Hello, HELLO. Yikes, I didn't mean to take so much time off of blogging but what's done is done. To those of you that thought you'd gotten rid of me for good - my apologies! I'm back in action for the time being. Any blog topics you'd like me to attempt to tackle? Guessing not but thought I'd ask ...

2. As you probably guessed I did not take the photo above but my lovely sister-in-law took it on Christmas day in Wichita. I could dedicate many a post to our travels and return but I'll just pick up right here in the present tense. Yay for January. Or shall I say Janu-Arie? I shall, regrettably.

3. Speaking of the Bachelor - Arie might be a big fat disappointment but I'm thrilled that Ashley is back to her recaps - the funniest recaps in ALL of the internet land. Sharleen is another favorite and if she ever leaves us - I'll live. Barely. Oh, my favorite ladies are Becca K, Tia, and Seinne. Not in any particular order.

4. And in one final blog nod ... these gave me a good and hearty chuckle.

5. I don't know how I've made it this far without addressing one of my favorite hot topics: the weather. It's unseasonably cold here in Florida (coldest night in eight years last night, according to the local news!) and at a frigid 59 degrees this afternoon the bundled up kids barely made it from the car to the house after school. I'm not sure how we're ever going to survive a real winter when the time comes (and it's coming!). If you could spare a prayer for future us - we would be much obliged.

6. I have been keeping warm wearing these comfy black jeans complete with strategic holes in case you're in the market for something similar or identical. The reviews back me up! I've been eyeing this shirt for months and months and I'm shocked that now that it's 40% off there are still lots of sizes still in stock. No time like the present, Patton.

7. The cold/dry Kansas weather almost did my skin in but took advantage of a holiday sale and placed an emergency Ole Henriksen order and got things remedied asap.

Bonus Take: I don't know how to adequately thank you all for your kind comments, emails, prayers, and cards following my last blog post re: Simon's sweet mom. Simon and I were so touched and appreciate your thoughtfulness so very much. Thank you!!

Happy Friday!!

Linking up with Kelly!

Ann Patton

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12 December 2017

Long before my mom had any idea that I might date and marry her son, she would always always tell me, "your godmother is the nicest person I've ever met" and after meeting her myself and getting to know her I have to wholeheartedly agree. One of the first things that struck me about Simon was how kind he was and after getting to know Ann it was obvious that he'd gleaned his thoughtfulness from his mom and dad. I don't tell you this to make her out to be a saint (although she wasn't far from it!) but to try in vain to explain that our loss is most certainly heaven's gain. My mom's older brother who was also a good friend and classmate of Ann's, died in a mountain climbing accident when he was 18. My mom was 16 at the time and Ann wrote her letters from college and suggested my mom might enjoy life with her at KU which is where my mom ended up. My mom will never forget Ann's kindness and the taking of her under her wing during such a difficult time at such a young age. Ann passed away last week and while she wasn't my mom she treated me like a daughter and our kids were so lucky to get the time that they did with her.

Grandma and toddler Julia

I struggle with getting gifts in time for my own kids' birthdays with the heavy-handed help of Amazon but despite having five kids of her own she would always take the time to send me a personalized birthday gift every year while I was growing up and continued the tradition with our kids/her grandkids even when she was fighting the fatigue and unpleasant side effects of chemo. I could tell countless stories of how selfless and thoughtful she was but we might need to change the medium from blog to book to even skim to surface.


I would be remiss not to share some words that more eloquent people wrote about Ann. Her parish priest included the following in the church bulletin a few years ago when she was rediagnosed with cancer ...

Personally, I find myself resisting more than conforming but I do know people who are singular in their pursuit of God’s will. One such person is a good friend of mine who has stage four metastatic bone cancer. This is her second bout with cancer and she is starting a long regimen of chemotherapy. Normally, in such cases, people ask me to pray for healing; often, through the intercession of Fr. Kapaun. However, my friend, although certainly open to healing and would welcome such an outcome, asked for one thing. Yes, you guessed it. Her request was that I pray that she “desire and fulfill God’s Will.”

This isn't surprising if you knew her in any capacity but I remember being humbled when I read this because my prayer request might look a little different and selfish in comparison had I been in her shoes. 



And finally I've read the following, written by her best friend Jennifer, several times over because it encompasses Ann and who she was so well. 

What was so special about Ann?  I pondered this a lot, especially in these last months as I encountered more and more people, from all directions, whose lives she had touched.  It is a good thing for us to consider, indeed, what was special about Ann.  We don't do this to canonize or idolize Ann; rather, we do it because it points us to God, who gave her to us and used her to bring others to Him.  If we live our lives in gratitude, if we love our families more, if we lift our hearts in prayer more often because of her inspiration, all glory to God.


Abe's baptism this past September

Ann had many wonderful qualities and talents.  However, I just keep circling back to the virtue of humility (I was going to put that in all caps, but that kind of defeats the idea), which is foundational in the spiritual life.  Ann was a quiet person, yet she had a profound influence on us.   She had such a regard for every person.  She saw the good in others and always sought to excuse their flaws.   As several have mentioned, she was "other-centered"--much more interested in hearing about your life than in talking about her own.  This was even true in these last months as the cancer monster grew larger and more ominous.  She worked actively to avoid being consumed with her own circumstance; I witnessed this so many times.  We would go from us discussing her funeral to her asking me about my weekend plans or workout class.  So typical of Ann! When it was so obvious that her health was only going to decline and her suffering was going to increase considerably, she reassured me with that beautiful smile and said, "It's okay".

As soon as we heard she was in her final hours we packed up and booked flights for the following morning but got a call that she had passed late the night before we left. We've been able to be here in Kansas with Simon's dad, four younger siblings + their spouses and families, and extended family for the funeral Mass and burial and will be here for the rest of year which has been a (chaotic because Patton kids!) comfort to everyone. Julia seems to be having the greatest understanding and hardest time with her grandmother's death but is grateful she has lots of fond memories of her to look back on. Thank you for your prayers and for checking in - Simon has been so touched and we appreciate you all so much!!

I want to figure out how to make this a printable because my phone picture doesn't do her calligraphy justice. I think it's such a beautiful prayer and Ann wrote this out just a few weeks before she entered hospice and asked that it be made into a holy card for her funeral (which was done!) ...


The blog might be a little quiet in the coming weeks but know that we all wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 

a helpful hand for the holidays + giveaway!!!

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11 December 2017

Be sure to read and scroll down to the end of the post for a chance to win a $250 VISA gift card to help out with your holiday shopping this year!

Alright. I don't need to tell you that the season of giving is upon us and if you're anything like me you had grand plans of having your shopping all taken care of before the dawn of December but that didn't happen to so you're making up for lost time as we speak (ahem, type).

Don't fret! I'm here and happy to tell you that there's a silver lining to being a little behind your self appointed curve because there's a free and simple way to save money and earn cash back while shopping for your loved ones this Christmas.


Phoebe asked for a phone for Christmas (many, many laughs).

RetailMeNot is the brilliant and ultimate destination where you shop online (app or website, we use both!) that eliminates the time consuming task of searching around for the best possible deal on specific products. They feature thousands of coupons, timely deals, and discounted e-gift cards making it cost and time effective to give everyone the gifts they want this year.


I thought I had the kids' wish lists nailed down but then when we actually sat down and talked about it Julia was surprisingly adamant about wanting a Star Wars lego set (despite never having seen the films) and I'll give you one guess what her four other minions piped up and said they wanted too!

So, we searched for the best deals on legos and found that there were loads of sets on sale for 20% off at Toys-R-Us at the moment. Done!

As mentioned, Phoebe got it in her head that she wanted a phone (maybe in 15 years, P) but Julia said she'd help her find an iPod (again, many years in the future!) and was able to find a heck of a deal on Apple's website for a refurbished iPod (thanks a lot, Julia ;)).


Bosco shocked us by asking for any and all trucks and we were able to find some really cool remote control trucks for 78% off on HobbyTron which is a retailer I'd never even heard of! Cha-Ching.


My favorite feature is that you can combine multiple offers and cash back codes to maximum savings and bank account relief come January! If online shopping isn't your thing - you can find deals to be redeemed at nearby stores by just presenting your phone to the cashier at checkout.

I have a shopping list I'm slowly working through and RetailMeNot has helped me save money on every item I've bought thus far. I just wish I'd known about it for the kids birthdays this past year!


Now that I've given you the good news I'm going to deliver even BETTER news and tell you that RetailMeNot is offering $250 to one lucky winner. With your new RetailMeNot knowledge ... I know the winner will make their winnings go FAR this giving season. 


Entering is super easy! Just click here to sign up for and browse RetailMeNot and then come back here to leave a comment back here with a deal you're excited to use!

And don't forget to download the app for easy browsing and saving!!

Best of luck and many thanks to RetailMeNot for sponsoring this post!

six months of Abe

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10 December 2017

This past week I've been telling inquiring minds that Abe will be 6 months on the 15th. And then it hit me tonight that no, the 15th is Bosco's (half) birthday and Abe is 6 months today! Woo to the hoo. If ever there was a reason for a blog post, right?


Right.

Simon kept insisting that this photo "pose" was going to look super awkward while Bianca and I assured him it wouldn't and I think Simon was right on this one. 

I won't get into skills and stats mostly because his skills are minimal and his stats are just large + tall but he did recently cut two teeth and we all have the bite marks to prove it. The nickname, "Babe" for Baberaham has totally stuck and I fear the general public thinks we named him after a fictional talking  piglet but there are worse things.

He's entered the phase of whipping around any wide open space by way of rolling and often finds himself half way under couches or beds until Supermom saves his day. Rinse. Repeat. But when he's not playing Houdini he does love himself a little Tula time (or, "Trulia" as Simon repeatedly calls it) or time in his seat-o-fun.

He visibly shakes with anticipation if he thinks I might give him a little taste of food and once he gets a month or two of real food under his belt I don't think odds are bad that he'll soon outweigh Bosco.

He's still going back and forth between two and three naps depending on the day and the travel situation but I'm hopeful we'll get things down to a dull + consistent two nap roar someday soon.

Simon jokes that the rougher the pregnancy the happier the baby because Abe's pregnancy was rough but he's such a delight that it's almost impossible to remember anything other than life with him ex-utero.

Happy half birthday, baby boy. 

tgis

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09 December 2017


1. let's make these quick takes TRULY quick, shall we? we shall.

2. it's a good tv week with the return of the Crown and a countdown to Arie special. I did start watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and I'm only 1.8 episodes in and enjoying it (though it is NOT to be watched anywhere near kids!).

3. SO SO many great Christmas song recommendations on last week's post - thank you! You've made our December a whole lot happier :)

4. I told you I'd keep you posted on my coat decisions and I got this one in the mail and promptly returned - weird fit! But, I bought this one on a whim because I needed something quickly and while it's nothing like I originally wanted - I love it (it's much cuter in person, promise).

5. I wanted to follow up my Buckeye Bar recipe link with a Puppy Chow recipe link because tis the season for easy and sinfully tasty pb + chocolate treats galore.

6. Because I know you've been on the edge of your seat ... we survived family photos. I haven't seen them yet but I think we got at least one winner. I tried to fight my matchy matchy tendencies but failed with the girls. Next year! Maybe.

7. I haven't popped over to Loft (online, always online) in awhile but was (not) shocked to see everything is 40% off. Keep me away from the cardigans -- my kryptonite 4ever.

have a great rest of your day!



 

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