please pray for Joy

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30 December 2016

A GoFundMe page as been set up to help with medical costs and the logistical costs of the family being away from home for an extended period of time. If you would like to send gift cards for meals please email me with the subject line: Joy Loboda and I will coordinate that as well :) Thank you!!!

Praise Report & Update on Joy (evening of 2/1) - it is with great gratitude that I write this. Joy has been home now for just a little over a week. I know without a doubt that God the Father heard my prayer & all the millions of prayers for Joy. He literally gave her back to us. I knew that she was gone as I performed CPR on her. But, in faith I prayed the words Jesus prayed over that twelve year old girl who was dead in the scriptures. She was dead also. She was so dead that when Jesus told them that she was only sleeping they all laughed at Him. There may be some people out there who will laugh at me. However, I prayed those Aramaic words of Jesus in and through my daughters limp body. The miracle began at that moment.
A couple of days before we were discharged, one doctor told me this & I don't pretend to understand the science behind it. But, she said scientifically they can predict the outcome of a submersion victim by the PH level of the blood. With tears in her eyes she said Joy did not even have a PH reading! She continued to tell me how it is a miracle that she is alive and even more so that she doesn't have any brain damage.
So, praise be to Jesus! I always wondered how Lazarus was after he raised him, i.e., was he the same as he was before or different in ways. Now, I get to find out firsthand.
Many Blessings on you- Matt


update from Matt on Facebook the evening of 1/5:


A praise report and a request for prayers to be continued for Joy-
Today has been a mind blowing day! Joy has been breathing on her own!!! Even more amazing, Joy has been opening her eyes for long periods of time, tracking us with her eyes, moving her head towards our voices and even reaching out to touch Kristin's face!
The doctors want to take her off the ventilator tomorrow. Before that, they want to put a wound closure device on her leg. The elastic device will slowly close the wound and then let it naturally heal. That procedure will take place in 20 minutes. So please pray.

Lastly, one of the detectives came by today and testified to the miracle of Joy and the amazing fact that she is alive and progressing well.
Again, from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your prayers & support- Matt

update from Matt (Joy's father) on Facebook evening of 1/3:

Kristin & I are so blessed by all the prayers & support from all of you throughout the world. It seems like an eternity ago, but, I believe 4 days ago this tragedy happened. Many have asked me what happened. What happened was a miracle & I'm not using hyperbole.

It couldn't have been a minute and we noticed Joy was missing. In my heart I knew something was terribly wrong. So, I ran down to the Koi pond on the property. I ran around it 4 times looking between the shadows & fish for Joy. Momentarily I was relieved that danger was avoided. But, I heard the Holy Spirit tell me to run to the pool. The pool is totally gated so I didn't think to start there. I sprinted to the pool and saw Joy floating there on top of the water. Immediately I jumped over the 5 foot fence and dove into the water. I quickly got her out of the pool and me and my brother-in-law started CPR & called 911. Even though it seemed like an eternity before the paramedics arrived I'm sure they came quickly.


As I breathed into Joy I prayed that my breath would be the breath of God into her. In between breathes I begged for the Ruha of God to enter her. Her lips were blue and her beautiful blue eyes were wide open. I could see her pupils shrinking at an alarming rate. Then I started to pray in between breathes in the words of Jesus, Talitha Koum, which means "Little girl, I say to you, arise". I knew we needed a miracle because I could actually feel her slipping away.
There was a man by us whom I don't know but am indebted to because when the paramedics came street side he ran Joy to them & continued the chest compressions as he ran.
The paramedics were wonderful but they all had a disposition of gloom. The police wouldn't let me drive so a detective drove us as quickly as possible to Phoenix Children's Hospital.
I closed my eyes and prayed. I was suddenly in the throne room of God the Father and in filial boldness I told God, "I know she is your daughter but she is my daughter too. Now is not the right time." Before I knew it we were in the E.R. and we're escorted into a private room. Soon, the detective and a social worker were there. I still stood in faith and declared that my child would live. The E.R. Doctor came in and didn't look good.
He bent down to talk to Kristin and me and said some things that I can't recall now. But then he said, "she has a heart beat." That was all I needed to hear. That was all the hope I was looking for.
Many other miracles have taken place since then. I will be sure to post more as they take place. As of right now Joy is making a steady progression to wholeness. She is in a medically induced coma. I stand in the truth that there will be no brain damage. I know it. Please continue to pray for Joy.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart. And thank you to my beloved Kristin. She has been absolutely incredible. I wish you all could hear the words of love Kristin speaks to her and see the gentle caresses all night long.
Please let us know what we can pray for you for. Fr. Ignatius my brother-in-law has prayed Mass everyday at her bedside. We will include you in our intentions.
Many Blessings, Matt
update from Kristin on Facebook the morning of 1/3:

Again Friends, your love and prayers are not only holding us, but lifting us up. I am finding strength that I didn't even know I had. Strength that I know is not in my physical make up, but that is being produced by your prayers. 

As I sit with Joy today holding her hand, smiling into her eyes, stroking the side of her cheek, and helping her to fight through pain and discomfort, I see her suffering. And I suffer with her. To be honest I have never understood suffering and the beauty of it. I still don't want to necessarily see the beauty, but I do. I see its beauty. It's sanctifying grace. Please pray that Matt and my eyes continue to be open to His grace. 

Update on Joy- she continues to be stable. To God be the glory! Although she is very sick, her little body is fighting and has made small improvements today. Her lungs are very injured and we need to pray that God will continue to heal them and bring them to full restoration. We are still unable to do an MRI because of the necessary measures taken to save her leg. But she is opening her eyes, moving her arms and legs, and showing us that she is uncomfortable and in pain. All good signs. I love you all. #miraclebaby #prayforjoy #thankyou


update from Kristin on Facebook the evening of 1/1:

Beloved Friends,
Matt and I are truly humbled and brought to our knees by your prayers for our baby girl Joy. You are lifting us and walking us through the darkest hour we have ever known. You have loved us into light and your prayers have literally raised our daughter from the dead. Our gratitude cannot be express in words. As we sit tonight admits the humming of machines holding Joys hand, we are praying in thanksgiving for all of you. 

Update on Joy- We are still praising God for the success of last nights surgery, which in turn has saved her little leg. She has remained stable all day and is showing signs of healing. In the last hours, even though she is under strong sedation, she has woken up many times moving around, opening her eyes and fighting in pain. It hurts our hearts deeply to see her in such pain and fear, but at the same time we are encouraged that she is indeed fighting and moving! During this time I know that she hears my voice and is soothed by it. This gift of motherhood is wrought with such beauty and such suffering. Joy and I are connected by something far more deeper than the physical. We see each other, hear each other, know each other. Let us all hold tight to the ones we love. Thank you again for your prayers and love. Please keep praying. #prayforjoy #ourmiraclebaby

update from Kristin on Facebook the afternoon of 1/1:

As I sit staring at Joy, lightly kissing her, singing to her, brushing her nose against mine, I am thankful for her life, her being, her spirit, her body. Life is such a gift. These intimate moments bring forth light and love. Although I can't wrap her in my arms, it is through my gaze on her loveliness that I pour my and the Father's love into her. 

Update- She is stable and recovering from her surgery last night (she had a clot in her leg). The signs and pulses in her leg are great. Your prayers continue to hold us and heal her. My gratitude holds no bounds. Joy and I prayed for you all as we brought in the new year celebrating mass at her bedside with my brother. #PrayforJoy

update from Kristin on Facebook the evening of 12/30:

Beloved Friends, your prayers are truly sustaining Joy and our family. I thank you with all of my heart for covering us with prayer and fasting. I can actually feel some of you taking my suffering upon yourselves, which is allowing me to sit with my sweet baby girl with a lighter spirit. Thank you. Thank you all. 

Update: So much is still unknown, but what we do know is that she continues to be stable. She is on an oscillating breathing machine and many medicines to help her heart and blood pressure. Though these interventions are sustaining Joy, her little body is cooperating with all the interventions. We are hoping tomorrow she can be switched to a ventilator machine for breathing. It is not until she is off all machines that we can assess her brain. We know damage was done, but do not know the extent of how much. We are praying that any damage that was done is fully healed by our miraculous Lord. Please, please keep praying for our sweet Joy as she fights for her life. She is going to be our miracle baby. We love you all. I am attaching a cute little video I took of Joy just right before Christmas. She's always such a little Joy. #PrayforJoy

I know there are already thousands of kind folks praying for her but in the event that this reaches even one more person that is willing to pray - I had to post.

Our good friends' youngest daughter, Joy (1.5 yo) fell into a pool yesterday and is in critical condition at the moment. I don't know exact details but the pool was locked up and they have no idea how she got in. There will be a brain scan later this afternoon so please pray for total healing of her brain before then.

I knew Joy's mom, Kristin, in college and feel so fortunate and privileged to have gotten to know her wonderful family here in Tampa as well. Joy is a few weeks older than Bosco and has such a sweet spirit.

Joy and Bosco a couple months ago.

and at Bosco's baptism. We took this photo joking that we might need it for their wedding slideshow in the distant future. 

If you know the Lobodas personally, you know what a tremendous family they are and what a true joy they are to be around. Their kids have made our kids feel so welcome at school and Kristin was so generous and kind to me with her time when we first moved here despite having a newborn (and four other kids!) of her own.

Please pray for Joy and her entire family.


I will update this post if and when I hear more. Thank you so much.

Christmas 2016

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29 December 2016

because I know your year wouldn't be complete without a little Patton Christmas recap. I just know it.


Simon busts out the bible and Phoebe phantoms right on out of there. We let Bosco sleep in - nicest parents ever? Always.

Our Christmas was super low key (as if we've ever had some fancy pants Christmas) and briefly I was a little bit tempted to wallow since we aren't near family but! I snapped out of it quickly because we've got each other, Simon was home, we are healthy and the list goes on and on and on and ON. It was low key but fun and the kids are all such great ages for Christmas that it's almost more fun for me and Simon to observe than for the kids to partake. You know? I know you do.


When sleepyhead finally woke up he was SO thrilled with his truck that I think I might have to deem it the hit present of the year. I like to set it back up during his naps and at night and he acts like it's Christmas morning all over again every time.


Phoebe and her huge stroller and her new doll and new clogs. And our enviable tree.

My mom sent this tunnel which every single kid + Simon loved. I remember we had one growing up and loved it too. Those timeless tunnels.


Theo saw Simon slaving over some Pillsbury Cinnamon Rolls and went to grab a cookie sheet from the kids' kitchen and went to work as resident waiter ...


Simon also made a breakfast casserole which I later saw he had googled, "breakfast casserole with french fries" and landed on a recipe on a site by the name of Dad with a Pan (or something along those lines).

Sebastian is in the lego loving phase of life which is all well and good until he leaves the trachea sized pieces around for Bosco to swallow ... 


... we're working on it. But, can't hide that pride. Or the remnants of Dad's casserole.

Of all the kids gifts I felt the best about Phoebe's (doll + stroller) but got her and Julia Frozen notebooks and pens last minute because I don't know. Well, guess which gift she loves more than all the other gifts?


And Diego gifted me with a walk where he didn't stop and refuse to move very often which was a huge improvement from his first few days with us. He's since graduated to almost expert leash walker which I naturally attribute to my extensive Google searches about how to leash train a dog. He should be talking in sentences by February.


 
And I'll leave you with that! I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day and weren't smacked in the face a la work related reality first thing Monday morning.

boxing day

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26 December 2016

December 26th aka Boxing Day aka the second day of Christmas aka the day I try to remain very zen about how trashed our house is aka the day when lots of sneaky sales start hopping and popping. What would you do without me? Probably live a very full and enjoyable life, that's what.


I kept dreaming one of the kids was crying last night (maybe they were) and kept getting up to no crying so finally I gave into the old internet perusal and found a few gems in the event you've got some Christmas cash to burn ...

Express: everything is 50% off which normally I'd probably pass on but I'm a big devotee of these camisoles and wear one almost daily. Also, if I needed sweaters I'd be all over this lightweight coverup.

Nordstrom: Since things rarely go on sale here I pay attention when they do and a lot of inventory is 33% off (odd number? I thought so). One of the only reasons (aside from being closer to family, of course!) I'd be excited about moving north, if we ever do, would be snow boots. Shallow is actually my middle name, thanks for asking. It also looks like a ton of beauty and perfume cult favorites are 50% off. If only I could smell some samples through the screen. Come on, 2016.

Anthropologie: 40% off sale items. There are some serious steals - hopefully you can find your size because their stuff always goes so fast!

Target: 30% off all area rugs today and tomorrow. They've really stepped up their rug game these days, much to Simon's chagrin. I love the simplicity of this one, especially.

Loft: everything is 50% off. This isn't totally unheard of but they do tend to favor the 40% off site wide sales so it's fun to look around while you're ahead that extra 10%. I've said it once and I'll say it again but (in my exciting opinion) they have the best variety of peplum on the block.

J.Crew: 50% off clearance. Yeehaw.

Amazon: has a ton of year end deals which comes in handy because both Simon and Theo have birthdays just around the river bend and I always swear they aren't going to get the, "your birthday is so close to Christmas so these presents can count for both" end of the stick and I'm not always awesome about it. Amazon is going to help a mother out, again. It pains me that Simon doesn't drink coffee because there are so, so many great Nespresso deals.

Any other sales catch your eye? Let a lady know. I'll gladly ignore the play-doh ground into the carpet under the table and at least three beds to go and check them out.

Merry Christmas to you, day two!

a tale of two Christmas cards and some stamps

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25 December 2016

THIS WAS THE YEAR. I was finally going to slay the Christmas card dragon. I love, love, love getting Christmas cards in the mail and I figured our dearly beloved would appreciate the same from us (joke font) and with technology the way it is these days -- my excuse well had run completely dry.

So, I got what I thought was a sprinting head start on Black Friday. I found a "special Black Friday" discount code for 75% off (that I thought was such a deal - which it was BUT they ran it up until about three days ago so there was no need to rush but HOW WAS I SUPPOSED TO KNOW) at around 11:48pm while I was watching Gilmore Girls and giving Julia a breathing treatment thanks to an asthma flare up. I wiped imaginary sweat from my brow as I tried to beat the clock and find a design that didn't say something like, "happy paw-lidays" (we didn't have Diego yet or else I might've considered it ... don't put it past me) that fit with the photo my sister-in-law took. And, I did it! I even added a bonus photo on the back, got our names nice and centered and then I figuratively and smugly patted myself on the back, "why did I wait so long? this was a piece of CAKE!!!"

And then they came in the mail ...


acceptable.

Theo looks like he has the worst life of all the lifes but still a success for us. 

And then Simon told me that I'd forgotten Theo's name. I laughed a courtesy laugh because that is exactly the kind of dad joke that Simon loves to tell. 

But he said he wasn't joking. 

So I cut my courtesy cackle short and turned the card over to inspect ... 


SURE ENOUGH. 

But, I blamed the card company. Surely, the mistake had been on their end. How could I/would I EVER forget one of my precious angels' names on our inaugural Christmas card? So I went to inspect the proof that I had approved one million times before they accepted my payment to print. And the proof was in the proof - Sorry, T. 

So, after talking to the company they gave me a pack of 20 free holiday (non-photo) cards which was nice but not going to help but luckily the discount code I had rushed to use before was stilllll going strong so I put together another card and quadruple million checked to make sure I hadn't forgotten anyone ... 


check, check, check, check, check, check, and check!

And in a moment of bizarre judgment thought this was a fitting line for the back ... 


... I don't know. Irony + me: a love story. Or something. 

So, by this point my sprinting start is off to a limping start and I'm in dire need of stamps. I wisely decide to forgo a trip to the post office or any tangible stamp vendor and order them on Amazon. I pick the stamps that can get to our house the fastest but are still semi-festive and go about my day. The stamps come in the mail and I send out the vast majority of our cards. I even had to dip into the Theo-less cards (sorry to those recipients - consider yourselves VIPs) because I was super overzealous about sending them out to everyone. They go out in the mail and I'm left with a small batch to address and send out when I take a closer look at the stamps ... 


Oh, wonderful. 

Postcard stamps. I had thought the stamps seemed pretty reasonable but who was I to argue with stamp prices? Postcard stamps are 34 cents vs. regular stamps which are 47 cents and I have no idea if my postcard stamped cards will/did make it. I'm hoping that in the spirit of the season the postal worker will find it in the goodness of their hearts to take pity on an idiot but I'm not holding my idiotic breath. 

Anyway, first and last year for cards? Perhaps! Perhaps. 

I hope you're all having a wonderful Christmas. I've got a whole bevy of grainy Christmas morning snaps to share this week so gird your excitement. 

Happy Paw-lidays!!!!

Love, G et al

the eve of christmas eve

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23 December 2016

1. This was one of my favorite days as a kid - I don't know why. We still had two days to go until Christmas morning but it felt so much closer than three days to go. Logic - forever my bff+e. I know it's not just me because a few of my fellow momrades have confessed a similar, "this week is ETERNAL" sentiment so congrats to everyone for making it to the bittersweet ending.

2. One of the kids was sick most of the other night which I'm hoping and praying can be chalked up to a litttttle too much sugar by way of Christmas cookie consumption and not some stomach bug of doom to hit the rest of the troops in the coming days (so far, so good!). Anyway, because Simon and I were busy dealing with the aftermath of that we totally forgot to fulfill our tooth fairy duties which left a certain six-year-old so devastated that I momentarily assumed there'd been some familial death of which I was unaware. Anyway (again) I had to scramble quickly! quickly! to construct an impressive throne of, "she probably had the stomach bug TOO" and, "wellllll, maybe she's helping Santa during his busy season" tooth fairy alibi LIES. So many lies all in the name of a magical childhood all before 6:56am on a Wednesday morning.


Should I just rename the blog Diego + Camp Patton? If you thought I was insufferable before ... you're in for a real treat from here on out.

3. Shifting gears to one of my favorite topics that I know nothing about: makeup! I keep reading about this brand that lots of my favorite non-beauty bloggers seem to love, love, love. I placed my first order and will keep you posted (would you expect anything less? no). Update! it came as I was typing and the boy brow stuff? SO GOOD. I haven't tried anything else but in good time, in good time. 

4. If you don't follow me over on the old gramtram (which, I don't know why you wouldn't! such a gorgeous and curated feed of FUN) you might've missed that Diego hates walking on a leash (or outside the house - we're working on it) but the kids have been dying to take him on our daily walks and so ...


... compromise. He seemed to love it and didn't want to come inside when we got home and happily popped back in for another walk this morning. Last night I was finally able to take him out for a walk solo and it was slow but he did a lot better than previous attempts. Like 30 minutes to circle half our block better but progress is progress and we've got all the time in the world, D!

5. On the book front! So, I made the huge mistake of misreading that Winter Stroll was the first in the Winter Series but it's NOT (Winter Street is). It's the second. Boo. But, it's not stopping from plowing right through the third book, Winter Storms. Winter, Winter, Winter - Marcia, Marcia, Marcia (one million points if you get that reference). The character development is pretty shallow and the plot moves along a little too quickly for my taste but they've been fun books to pick up in between the Christmas chaos. My standards are forever sky high.

6. I spotted this Loft top that is aaaaalmost identical to my favorite lightweight top from Old Navy and I'm tempted to get it to have as a backup because I wear/love my version so much. Loft's 40% sales always make things extra tempting too. Knock it off, Loft.

7. I wrote about these tutu dresses back in October because well, we love them. They are fun for dress up and/or real life etc. They are on clearance right now and the pink is down to $5.99 ... just sayin'. 

And that's all she blogged. For today! I hope you're not running around like some headless poultry in the name of an enjoyable and relaxing Christmas but I think sometimes that's just how it goes. Sometimes!

Merry almost Christmas!

¡DIEGO!

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21 December 2016

There's a little someone I've been wanting to introduce you to for a few days and I'm finally doing it. Yee haw. Meet Diego ...


He's the one that is not clad in seasonal pajamas and not overwhelmed at ALL.

His full name is Diego Pat Patton according to the older kids and he's an almost three month old Goldendoodle (an F1B to be exact - which I'm sure not a soul cares about and Simon is definitely rolling his eyes while reading this).

Santa came a little early on Sunday night surprising the kids with a letter ...

Santa/Simon wanted to make very sure the letter looked authentic and was quite aggressive with the lighter. He wanted to go so far as to smear cookie crumbs at the bottom but Mrs. Claus thought that was unnecessary overkill. She was right because the kids ate it RIGHT UP.

A high quality video ...

¡Diego! from grace patton on Vimeo.

I'll spare you the long tour de casa of the kids looking all over but give you the tail (ha ha ha) end. I love that Phoebe found him since she's historically been pretty apprehensive around dogs so please note how quickly she sprints to the back of the pack.

I don't think Bosco has stopped pointing at him and saying, "DAW!!!" since he arrived and I don't think Diego loves it especially when Bosco is barreling towards him with both hands outstretched like an intoxicated Frankensten.

Tolerance is a virtue, D. 

Surprisingly, I'd say Phoebe and Sebastian tie for biggest Diego enthusiasts at the moment (he's been here for three full days). I can hear Phoebe holding out imaginary treats and saying, "tum! tum see Feefee, Deego!" all day long. He's SUPER mellow (aaaaalmost to the point that I'm worrying but I keep reading it's normal as dogs acclimate and I'm sure a houseful of crazies is going to take a minute to adjust to) and I know I'm biased but super cute and sweet. He'll be three months old in two days and so far the only thing he has sort of chewed up is one of Simon's dirty socks (maybe because we've got him loaded up with bones and toys a plenty). I know I'm veering over into crazy dog lady territory because earlier today I could tell he wanted to nap but the kids were in wild mode so I considered going and grabbing our spare sound machine to put near his crate (I didn't - but don't put it past me).

the Patton parlor.

Anyway, I'm sure I could ramble on and on and I will in the future (tomorrow) but we feel super lucky to have him and hope he enjoys life under the Camp's roof (and in our backyard with the fancy dog windows c/o the house's former owner).



an audience held captive.


Bosco/shadow -- all the same.


Display of unrequited affection number million of the day.

And now I'm off to read more about how to help dogs acclimate to crazytowns and order Simon a Love My Doodle bumper sticker for Christmas.

(ps - if you have any bone/treat/anything recs - I'd be much obliged. He loves this bone and I was thinking of getting this bed so he doesn't feel relegated to his crate during the day but what do I know?! nothing.)

the quilt creativity built + giveaway

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19 December 2016

Oh, boy. Sometimes I really and truly act like it's my first day on parenting earth and don't think things through. I hope and pray I'm not alone. A brand we know and have grown to love, Sago Mini, recently sent their amazing Tuck Me in Quilt to test drive and since it's twin size and Julia is the only kid in a twin bed it seemed natural to give the quilt to her. Well, guess what went on three Patton children's last minute Christmas gift lists of desperation? I'll take the Tuck Me in Quilt for one million, Alex.


And to be honest - I don't blame them one bit! It is pretty fun and has provided Julia with loads of ideas for of imaginative play (and her siblings when she allows). The quilt was created in collaboration with renowned textile designer Libs Elliot and has pockets to encourage role playing for kids to tuck their own dolls and toys into bed, read them stories, and kiss them goodnight.


This limited edition quilt includes four Sago Mini Plush characters which Julia told me she named herself ...


l-r Jack the Rabbit, Heavy the Dog, Rovin the bird, and Ginger the cat

but then I read the tags and she had just translated from Harvey the dog, Robin the bird, and Jinja the cat. Close enough, J, close enough!!

The quilt is designed for kids ages one and up but don't tell Bosco because he has to yet to get the Christmas list making memo.

Here we have Julia doing her very best to, "share" her goods ... 


getting warmer but killing her oh so softly ...


And the second Phoebe turned her head Julia had to rearrange everything back into it's rightful pocket bed.

Caught! Heavy-handed. I hope you got that :)

Anyway, the Tuck Me in Quilt is available on Amazon right now.


An aerial shot of the mouse in action when the cat is away. Not pictured (because I'm the worst!) but  the packaging the quilt comes in easily turns into a little play bed which is the things little kids' dreams are made of. Genius! And pun not intended, I promise. I love the attention to detail and obvious dedication to fostering imagination that Sago Mini puts into all of their products and the Tuck Me in Quilt is no exception.

Sago Mini is generously giving away a $200 Amazon Gift Card to one lucky winner and all you have to do is sign up for their newsletter which is always full of exciting new updates. Easy as pie!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
Best of luck and many thanks to Sago Mini for always encouraging imaginative play in our household and for sponsoring this post!

seven on the 17th

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17 December 2016

I couldn't stray from my quick takes if I tried.

1.

Extra efficient errand buddies. Triple the time and triple the fun, always.

2. My college friends, Dave and Amber, just had a baby (sweet Louisa Claire) who was born with spina bifida and Dave wrote a wonderful post about God's will that is well worth your time. I'm sure if you have any prayers to spare as well - they'll take them!

3. If, like me, you're feeling helpless and heartbroken over the tragic situation in Aleppo and wanting to help - here is a wonderful place to start. Other suggestions are more than welcome, of course!

4. Yesterday at the big kids' Christmas performance I thought it was sweet when Phoebe and Theo asked to take pictures of their siblings with my phone because I'm a big fat sucker, I suppose. And then I found 287 photos exactly like this one ...
... and zero photos of Sebastian the sheep or Julia in her Christmas pajamas. Sweet indeed.

5. I've diagnosed myself with addtcd (attention deficit due to christmas disorder, I also made it up) and chalked up my poor reading progress to the seriousness of my condition these days. I'll start reading and then remember that I need to address this or order that or the kids will remind me that I promised we would make cookies (I did, I did) etc. I'll get back in the Winter Stroll (enjoying) and Girls in White Dresses (not super enjoying) saddles this weekend - I hope.

6. If you live in a slightly warmer climate or just want a heavy sweater option for kids to wear in the car - I bought this on super sale for Julia and she loves it. This was not my first choice/order for her (I loved this!) but she's got some newly formed fashion opinions so ... compromise and harmony and alllll that jazz. I know Old Navy can be hit or miss but I've had great outerwear luck (knock on wood) for the kids SO FAR. 

7. These Paleo bars are SO good. I read about them on one of my favorite food IG accounts and it's really hard to believe they only have 9-11 grams of sugar per bar. I like to keep them in my bag for emergencies (aka I get hungry). Costco sells them too which makes me love them a million times more.

Okay, happy one week + one day until Christmas!

five on Friday {eve}

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15 December 2016

a little post potpourri to usher us into the beginning of the weekend after what felt like a looooong week (I'm not alone, I hope) ...

1. Beyond our artificial pre-lit tree, we do very little in the decorating department but our favorite artisan florist, The Bouqs Co. changed that for us with one of their amazing holiday arrangements ...


I took the bold liberty of deconstructing their Holiday Sweater arrangement to liven up the piano and the smell of fresh greenery is almost enough to convince me to go for a real tree next year. Almost! If you're in the flower sending market this time of year - The Bouqs Co. is the way to go because the flowers are cut the day you order and shipped the very next day so they arrive super fresh and last a longer.


My favorite thing about The Bouqs Co. is that there is NO hidden costs or upselling so the price you see is the price you pay - no checkout surprises.

They also have peonies for the month of December! I split up a bouquet (some for the piano pictured above) and some to freshen up my faux plant on my dresser ...


... instant happiness.

To get 20% off the entire site use code: JOYFUL20 (the code expires a few days before Christmas!).

2. I hate to ever be controversial but I saw this meme (a weakness of mine, a terrible vice) and had to share.


Amen. I'm sorry (sort of) if we disagree. We can still be friends. I guess. ps! Simon had no idea I'd put this in a post and just told me that Julia tried an eggnog sample at Costco this weekend and made such a repulsed face that it earned an out loud cackle from a fellow warehouse patron walking by ... that's my girl. You're on the right team, J. 

3. Did you guys see Blythe's house tour? I'm not a fan of the word but I'll make an exception here; SWOON. Go check it for yourself and you'll see what I mean.

4. It got down into the lower 60s a few days ago and I found myself scrambling to get us all dressed appropriately ...


I managed, don't fret. It's since popped back up into the 80s but I really think even 1.5 years here has ruined me for life as even that one day had me questioning everything (maybe I need Uggs! Do Julia's old Uggs with the toe hole fit Phoebe?! hats!! where's our box of hats?!). I'm telling you -- ruined.

5. I'm trying REALLY hard to avoid the Christmas Eve bleeding into Christmas early morning wrapathon of doom (just stick a bow on the grocery sack - it's FINE) and going to tackle the bulk of it this weekend. I think. I'm also going to repaint my nails the perfect color of dark (dark) green (coincidentally named Wrap Party whaddyaknow) because tis the season! It's my first Essie Gel polish purchase and paired with my go-to base and top coats -- I'm a fan, so far. Hopefully your plans are a little more exciting.

5.5 I extended the giveaway for one more day so hop on over and don't miss out.

Happy (almost!) Weekend.

(don't think you're off the hook though - I might be back before then)

ten gifts under $20

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13 December 2016

We've alllll been there - the work gift exchange where you have no idea what to get the glorified stranger whose name you drew. I know some exchanges even go so far as to do a gift every week leading up to the Christmas party - so much pressure! Anyway, maybe you're not in any sort of exchange (family, work, or otherwise) but I had fun finding gifts for under $20 (many are under $15) that would probably be pretty safe bets for a wide variety of folks. And, if you have any OTHER ideas - I'm always all ears/eyes!

Some of these might be fun for teachers too! As a former teacher I will say that I loved any and every gift I got (yes, even another mug!) which I try to remember when I overthink what to get for the kids' teachers (only because we appreciate them SO much and I want to convey that with a thoughtful gift).

Alright! On with it, Patton.

1. hot/cold Tumbler - there are a million amazing reviews for this puppy that I found while looking for a gift for a coffee loving friend that is always on the go (I don't think she reads the blog but just in case - gotta be vague).

2. Smith's Rose Bud Tin Set - these have stood the test of time - it seemed like all the cool girls had these in middle school and high school (I hopped on board MUCH later) and they are still going strong - for good reason. A tin would last your giftee a whole year - at least! 

3. It's All Good Mug - I bought this from my friend Jolie's shop because I have a few of her other mugs and love them but this one is a little bigger and thicker and great for soup or the (older!) kids when having hot chocolate etc. It's my favorite mug and I never thought I'd have strong feelings about a mug but here we are.

4. Initial Bar Necklace - I love the delicate necklace trend because I can safely wear them without Bosco trying to decapitate me by yanking it off or breaking it. It's just not big enough to catch his eye or tickle his fancy, I guess. 

5. Wireless Headphones - I've decided that a lot of my trivial problems can be solved with the help of wireless headphones. And so - I want to buy them for everyone else, naturally.   

6. faux fur throw - I bought this for our guest room but love it so much that I snuck it down to our bed and it's aaaalmost my version of a grown up blankie because I drag it to the couch when we watch shows or movies but always bring it back to bed with me. It washes really well and still looks brand new, shockingly.

7. Benefit lip and cheek stain - another one that has stood the beauty test of time. A bottle lasts forever and the color stays put.

8. blanket scarf - I don't own this but I wish I did.

9. mini waffle maker - My "we have nothing for dinner!" go-to is always waffles. Sometimes I even blend spinach into the Kodiak Cakes mix and the kids don't question the slight tinge of green (which may or may not speak volumes about my cooking) but I know they would love mini waffles. I mean I think they would.

10. Gourmand candle - I love hoarding candles but hate to buy them for myself and I guess I sort of assume that other people feel the same? Maybe not but it's worth the gamble.

And now for the fun part. One lucky reader that's made it this far down the post will win allll ten of the above items. A little something from me to you (the winner - although I do wish I could send everything to everyone). This post isn't sponsored by anyone - just me, myself and I.

ALSO as a fun little bonus the winner will get a 2017 Stendig wall calendar because I love them so much and wish I could give one to everyone. They are the bomb. And the kids love drawing on the pages when the month is dead and gone. Best.


Okay - that's all. Rafflecopter your little hearts out. There's a 3 day turnaround so that I can try my HARDEST to get everything to you by Christmas in case you want to regift anything (I won't tell a soul) but I can't make any promises (but I will try!!!) and if the first winner does not respond within 24 hours I will move onto the next and SO ON.

Best of luck and thank you ALL for reading, commenting, and being the best of all the rest blog readers on the w-cubed.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
And as Julia has been writing on EVERYTHING: Happy Christmas. I love Santa.

XO,

GP + Co.

a new Christmas tradition is born

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12 December 2016

Looking back at my childhood, my mom did an incredible job of making the Christmas season so fun and magical for all seven of us kids (and she did it without the help of the internet, h-o-w). I loved everything about the holidays and have such fond memories of Christmas eve, Christmas morning, and loads of traditions surrounding the season that left a lasting impression on me and my siblings. As an adult, you'd think I'd be up for carrying the torch but I'm going to admit that this is my first year as a mom that I haven't felt completely overwhelmed by the holidays. Chalk it up to Simon's improved (much!!!! improved) schedule, and the fact that we really don't have a baby in the house anymore but I'm finally feeling ready to climb out of lameland and get the Christmas party started - albeit a small party but a party, nonetheless.

We started simple this past weekend with an evening of tree decorating. In lieu of a family drive out to a picturesque tree farm we pulled our old artificial pre-lit faithful out of the closet hidden behind all of our beach gear and went to work. To make the night feel extra special for everyone (especially me) - we ordered food to be delivered - something we NEVER do (not even pizza - what's wrong with us?). I don't know why we don't because it takes the horror out of restaurant trips with kids (Simon has even nixed fast food visits with everyone after a recent trip and I wholeheartedly agreed with his mandate) and it's an easy way to try new spots without the hassle and cost of getting a sitter. We had the fun opportunity to try UberEATS for the first time ever and I'm afraid they've created little UberEATS addicts out of us Pattons.

Nothing's going to deter Simon from his faux fluffing. Also, I thought it was cute that Simon came out wearing a holiday-ish shirt for the festivities.

I had never heard of UberEATS so in case you're in that same boat, UberEATS is basically an Uber for your food. UberEATS delivers food from hundreds of local restaurants - fast! The average delivery time is 35 minutes from start to finish and you can track your order and driver on the easy-to-use app.

The kids were talking about putting the tree up AND ordering restaurant food alllll day long (starting at 5 something am) and the evening did not disappoint.


We ordered sushi for me and Simon and the kids got pizza and pasta galore.


The UberEATS app lists how long it will take each restaurant to have the food ready and delivered but both drivers came about 20 minutes earlier than predicted (estimated at 45 minutes but came after 25 minutes) which was a pleasant surprise.


Eating in the living room - an annual treat.


The kids trying (and tolerating) edamame.

We also decided to order ice cream from a local shop that makes specialty flavors (think bacon and Nutter Butter toppings) which was Bosco's favorite part of the whole night ....


For the whole month of December UberEATS is offering free delivery for orders over $50 and the first fifty people will get $10 off their first order with code: PATTON10.

And so, our first (and only, thus far!) Christmas tradition was born. It was simple but the kids had a blast and I enjoyed the break from cooking and Simon enjoyed the break from the dishes - win/win/win.

Thanks for reading and a big thank you to UberEATS for sponsoring this post!

 

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