out like a lamb

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30 March 2017

1. After Bosco gave Diego one of Phoebe's prized My Little Ponies to gnaw on. Proud? Very. Camp Crazy? Always. 

2. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the price of this romper and even though I'm really feeling baby boy vibes I couldn't resist - it came today and isn't cheaply made at all and I just saw the brand makes a whole bunch of super cute summer rompers -- in case you have a baby girl or are having one or know one or or OR.

3. I'm in the middle of reading My Not So Perfect Life which I'm liking (but expected to love! I guess there's still time) but snagged Everything We Keep for free on Amazon (Kindle edition - I just use the free phone app) and stayed up way too late to finish it so I guess it's safe to say I enjoyed it. Next up is America's First Daughter. There are a ton of great suggestions over on my Facebook page too.

4. One of my good friends just opened the sweetest shop in time for Easter! Her prices are some of the lowest I've seen and I asked her if I could share here and she said sure! And is giving readers a 10% discount with code: CAMPPATTON. Yay and bigger yay :)

5. Someone left a comment asking about my favorite mom blogs and I do have a list of blogs I frequent down a bit in my sidebar but it's in dire need of an update so if you've got a favorite mom (or other) blog - or if YOU have a blog that you post on with some regularity -- I'm all eyes!!!

6. Did you see this clip of Nick and Vanessa (Vanick?) playing a drinking game on Ellen? They don't agree on much but I'm still holding out hope that they live happily ever after like the hopeless idiot that I am ...

7. I posted about this in the Sale Rack group but there's an extra 50% off clearance sale (code: ALLMINE) going on at one of my favorite places to shop for Simon and the kids. They often run 40% off clearance but 50%? Yee haw. These tops are $8.50 and the girls wore the long sleeve version all fall/winter - so happy they came out with a warm weather style. 

Hope you've got some fun weekend plans in the works!!

Linking up with Kelly!

if you like pineapple salsa ...

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29 March 2017

I know I've said it before and I know I'll say it again but I am a classic and predictable creature of habit - in almost all aspects of life. I thrive on routine, I like to make and stick to plans, and am admittedly not awesome about deviating from our norm. I'm working on it but - I've also accepted that it's just how I work best. Fortunately or unfortunately - depending on who you ask - this mentality seeps into my cooking and meal planning week after week after week. I cook what I know because it feels easiest at the moment but I've come to realize that a little bit of experimentation can go a long way in the food department.

enjoying a little in-home lunch date after putting the kids down for naps like the thoughtful parents that we are. 

I've blogged several times about our love for Blue Apron and this particular recipe wasn't something I'd ever think to put together but turned out to be a big hit. Presenting ... 

Pork and Cabbage Tacos with Pineapple and Pickled Jalapeño Salsa. 

Without fail, every single time I tell Simon what the Blue Apron dish du jour is going to be he kind of wrinkles his brow and says, "that should be interesting ... " and without fail, every single time when we sit down and eat he says, "oh, this is actually REALLY good ... we need to make this a regular meal ... "

the skeptic at expressive work.

We are big taco fans and don't limit ourselves to just taco Tuesdays around here so the twist was a fun and almost necessary changeup from our usual go-to recipe. I've had mango salsa before but the pineapple tasted lighter and complemented the crisp cabbage well. Yes, I watch and memorize lines from cooking show critics in my spare time. 

In the highly unlikely event that you aren't familiar with Blue Apron, allow me to educate the masses:

Blue Apron is a wonderful service that delivers farm fresh ingredients right to your doorstep, perfectly portioned, along with beautiful chef-designed recipes to create the most delicious meals
+ there are two plans: the 2-person plan and the family plan and everything arrives in a refrigerated box (it stays impressively cool on our porch in the Florida heat!)
+ They are currently working toward developing a sustainable food system and use very high quality ingredients - you can check out their vision page here!
Blue Apron has a huge selection of recipes and is always adding to their rotation every week
+ There's absolutely no commitment and you can skip or cancel at any time
+ All of their meals are between 500-800 calories per serving and take up to 40 minutes to prepare (usually less - in our experience!)
Blue Apron offers a recycling program that you can learn more about here!

One of my favorite parts about Blue Apron is how well it incorporates unique (to me) produce into it's recipes. I'm not sure I would've ever realized how much better fresh ginger tastes than the powdered stuff or how much I love cooking with Bok Choy if it weren't for Blue Apron.

lime zest, cabbage, and limes - a portrait.

I also learned how to easily and perfectly warm tortillas (wrapped in foil, in a heated oven, duh) with this recipe vs. my time consuming method of individually heating them in a frying pan on the stove. 

plating the almost finished product ... 

finishing touches by the master herself ...

and done!

ready to devour. 

If you want to try it out the first 25 readers will get their first three meals for free right HERE!

Thank you to Becca (regular Blue Apron user!) for the photos and to Blue Apron for sponsoring this here post!


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28 March 2017

Do I have my finger all up on the pulse of the hottest trends? No. So, don't listen to me because I'm probably a season or three behind but I have noticed quite a bit of embroidered pieces gracing the fashion blogs I frequent and the online retailers I occasionally peruse and so ... it must be true. Embroidery is back for another summer, ladies. And - gentlemen that might be reading. Gentleman (Simon?) ...

(I know, I know - my other option was: Embroidery: It's Amore so I think I picked the lesser of the two evils)

I love when we get a couple of years out of a fun trend because then the more affordable stores are a lot more likely to carry cute pieces (I'm looking at you) at a price point I can appreciate. While I think it's smart to buy and wear classic pieces that will stand the test of time - it's still fun to add a little flare here and there, right? RIGHT.

Simon was out of town this weekend and as always! I had ambitious goals in mind (think big closet clean-outs, laundry room deep clean, etc etc) but as always! I quickly parked myself right on into survival mode and considered the fact that we ordered pizza one time and not multiple times - a great success. I rented and watched some movies that Simon could live without seeing and hunted and gathered the embroidered pieces pictured above. So, basically the same as a sparkling clean laundry room, in the end. 

Anyway - here's what we're working with. I might have to do a round two because I'm sure the best is yet to come as the temperatures rise and summer welcomes us with open arms.

1. Roolee Top - I'm not one to play favorites (lie) but this might just be it. I almost hate clicking over to their site because I inevitably fall in love with almost everything. Every time.

2. Madewell Blouse - I'm going to hold out hope that this doesn't sell out, and then goes on clearance and then goes on super clearance so that it magically becomes a feasible and responsible purchase.

3. Forever 21 blouse (also comes in red) - I like that this is a little looser and I tell myself it would be a smart investment to wear over a nursing tank this summer. Maybe? I'll let you know.

4. smoking slipper - for all the smoking on my upcoming docket. I'm eying these like a hawk in the hopes that they go on random sale because I've had great luck with that brand of footwear before. The year is young - I have faith.

5. tunic  - I have the shirt version of this tunic and love it. This would make a great pool/beach coverup but I would also totally wear it to church. With my smoking slippers. 

6. Old Navy shift - I knew they'd pull through. This will inevitably go on super sale - multiple times. I just hope it doesn't sell out before then.

7. long sleeve blouse - I don't know why but I love flowier long sleeve blouses with shorts in the summer. I know, I know - it's too hot for long sleeves but if I have a day of errands planned I always wear long sleeves because I know the a/c will be bumping at an uncomfortable level of cold in allllll of the stores. Preparedness and cold-blooded are not my middle names but perhaps they should be.

8. tassel top - this might be my second favorite find. It just might.

9. tassel tank - no profundity here - I just think its cute.

10. AE tank - also comes in grey which I might prefer over the white? I don't know.

let me know if you've seen any others out in the retail wild - I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg.

Happy (last 13 minutes of) Tuesday!

Friday Favorites

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24 March 2017

1. Never say never because I never thought I'd be one to enjoy playing a game on my phone (Practical Patton reporting for duty) but Simon and I have gotten completely sucked into the new puzzle game: Best Fiends. It's simple (think puzzle adventure essentially matching same-colored characters to defeat the slugs - just TRUST ME) but addicting and FREE. I'm on level 21 so if you download and play - let me know if you beat me.

You can play Best Fiends without wi-fi so it's perfect for travel or the back half of our house where the wi-fi always has serious issues. I've been having to put my feet up as much as possible this pregnancy (doctor's orders) and it's been a fun way to pass the time and let my competitive flag fly freely. Best Fiends is sponsoring this post and giving the first 100 readers to download the game $4.99 in gold and diamonds for free once you reach level 10 which I'm not sure will help you catch me - but please feel free to try ;) There are tons of in-game events and challenges in the game too!

2. Please tell me at least one of you can relate to this article on rage cleaning? Or lie to make me feel better. The Jenga trash description spoke to a special place in my heart.

3. I know this is REALLY premature but I feel like I fail at Father's Day gifts every single year but these maps (I found every city we've lived in) framed and wrapped might be winners this year. I hope.

4. Simon packed a picnic and organized a family bike ride on a nearby trail the other night (thanks to a couple newly acquired bikes from the Lobodas!) and I'd be lying if I said I thought it was going to be anything but a disaster. I even caught Sebastian stuffing band-aids in his backpack as we walked out the door - which was actually very smart on his part. But! It was actually pretty fun. I rode with Phoebe in a seat on the back of my bike (after Bosco bit her in the trailer and Theo "got" to take her spot), the two big kids rode their own bikes, and Simon pulled Theo and Bosco in a trailer. We only saw one medium-sized snake, Bosco only cried about 14% of the time, and again - we only had one biting incident so - success all around.

5. If you need a good GOOD laugh - might I recommend the GIF responses to this tweet? I might.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

maternity basics: on a budget

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23 March 2017

Alright. As always I have to preface with the fact that I'm not an expert but I have strong opinions and high standards when it comes to quality and comfort a la maternity clothing. While I'm certainly not opposed to investing in pieces that will last several pregnancies and make you feel good - I've found that lots of retailers are coming out with maternity clothing that washes and wears really well AND won't cost a fortune. I used to overlook Gap but they've recently stepped up their maternity game and since they seem to run a weekly 40% sale and keep things in relatively decent stock - I'm a converted fan.

1. Jeans - I've tried designer maternity jeans and I do love them but was surprised to find that this new pair of Gap denim is every bit is great at a fraction of the price. The blue is sold out at the moment but if/when they bring them back I'll update the post and let you know. These will inevitably go on sale for 40% off (or more!) so exercise everyone's favorite virtue when contemplating a purchase.

2. shorts - I've been mostly opposed to maternity shorts and gotten away with dresses and skirts but the Florida weather has me singing a different tune and I'm really impressed with Gap's denim shorts and their twill shorts too. They stay put and don't make me feel like a frump muffin (technical term). Again, they WILL go on sale - don't pay full price!

3. support cami - I still love and wear my Blanqis and will probably start wearing them full time during the third trimester but for everyday wear during the latter half of my first trimester and the bulk of my second trimester I've been loving these Gap support camis. They are lightweight, stretchy, and don't pill in the wash. Another friendly reminder that they'll go on sale ... and soon.

4. linen pants - A nice alternative to shorts and cute with tank tops (or so I tell myself). I washed and dried these and was pleasantly surprised that they didn't shrink up to culottes. Also - SUPER comfortable which is key. I found these on super duper (88% off) sale on Amazon too - so worth checking Amazon on occasion!!

5. H & M striped jersey top with 3/4 length sleeves - There are very few maternity shirts with ruched sides that I like but this one? I love. I was wearing it in yesterday's post and ordered the next size up for the third trimester.

6. leggings - these aren't maternity but any of their high waisted styles have been my best friend (they fit kind of like a demi panel or you can roll them down - I don't love full paneled anything so I'm not help there) this entire pregnancy. I love how soft Zella leggings are but if you are in the market for support and leggings that won't sag, fall down, or lose their shape - I'm all about Fabletics. I DO have a pair of thick/dressier leggings from Loft (currently not in stock) that I like a lot and wear with tunics on occasion and if they come back in stock I'll let you know! Also, lots of my friends love their Blanqi leggings and maybe one of these days I'll hop on the full panel train ...

7. tanks - I've been a fan of these ever since Sebastian's pregnancy and still wear a couple that are 5+ years old. They've held up really well and sometimes I even wear them when I'm not pregnant because I love how stretchy they are.

8. basic tee - this "sleep top" is my favorite everything/every day top. It's super soft, long but not tunic length, and doesn't stretch out like some maternity t-shirts tend to do. I've washed and dried it over two (three?) dozen times and it still looks like I just bought it. I keep hoping it will come out in different colors but beggars can't be choosers. 

9. dresses - my favorite place to buy dresses for special occasions is ASOS (and they also have a great outlet inventory) because they make returns super easy (return label IN the box) - I have the navy version of this black dress and have gotten a ton of wear out of it. A lot of them are nursing friendly too. I do have to say that while not exactly budget-friendly this wrap dress is one of my favorite maternity dresses I've ever worn.

honorable (not pictured) mentions:

shapewear - I've found this generic/less expensive version to be every bit as great as the pricey one. Maybe even better? (I also found a great $8 pair at Target on clearance that's not online at the moment)

cardigan - not maternity but these often go on clearance (often as low as $6.99 in store) and look great with dresses and tunics.

That's all (lol) for now but I would LOVE to hear your favorites (especially in the swimsuit department!!!) if you've got them!

date night tradition

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22 March 2017

Simon and I don't (and will never) have it all figured out when it comes to our marriage but one thing we've found is important to prioritize are dedicated date nights out of the house and away from the kids. Uninterrupted conversation when we aren't exhausted or distracted at the end of the night is invaluable to both of our temperaments and even throughout the rigors of residency we made it a point to find trustworthy sitters and hit the road for a few hours of quality time together.

Since being in Florida we've started a little unofficial tradition to go on walks in fun or scenic areas before we scout out some food. It sort of feels like we are on our own mini vacation with so many picturesque paths to choose from. Whether it's along a path by the Bay, the Riverwalk downtown, or even a cool neighborhood of historic homes we've loved that the temperate winters have allowed us to keep the walking tradition alive year round.

I have to admit that one of our favorite walking paths is the Riverwalk (probably because it leads to one of my favorite Tampa restaurants) so we often head that way. As tempting as it is to wear walking friendly tennis shoes when we're date bound - I generally opt for comfortable enough but outfit appropriate footwear until I discovered these Børn beauties that fit both comfort and style bills ...

Børn Shoes kindly sent me a pair of their hand sewn Malenas in Saddle and Simon was the lucky recipient of a pair of Allans in Natural and both pairs have quickly become closet staples for both of us. Simon wore is on the flights to and from New Mexico, to my sister's wedding (and reported no back pain the next day which is a common complaint of his after a night out in dressier shoes) and is loving them for his longer days in clinic when he rarely gets a chance to sit down.
I expected there to be a little "breaking in" period with my Malenas but the buttery soft leather and handcrafted design has proven me oh so wrong because they've been nothing but super comfortable from hour one of wear.

While I'm kind of a sucker for trends, I love the classic and timeless style of both the Malenas and the Allans. The Malenas come in all sort of fun colors to and keep clicking over to look at the pink pair because they look so fun. As I lean more and more on the comfort of leggings as my pregnancy progresses I've been so happy to have the Malenas to wear to dress them up lest I always look gym bound.

A big thank you to Becca for taking these photos, Børn for sponsoring this post and helping us enjoy our little "datecations" in both comfort and style.


girls' room makeover

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20 March 2017

We've been in our house for almost two years and have slowly (so slowly) been tackling each room and giving it a little love, paint, sweat, and no tears that I can recall but other than a couple of beige hallways - I think we are pretty much done. For the moment. I wished I'd just started with the girls' room because it felt like the biggest eyesore every time I walked in but that also meant that it felt like it was going to be the most work and procrastination is a strong suit of mine. We discovered after we bought the house that the carpet in their room was covered in pet stains (covered by a large area rug - sneaky, sneaky) so we did our best with area rugs of our own but finally priced factory grade carpet (that was already in the boys' room but also stained - albeit much less noticeably because it was darker) and found it surprisingly reasonable so we had new carpet put in their room and the boys' room and it made a WORLD of difference. The salesman kept telling us that we didn't want such cheap carpet but we assured him that we did and I just wished we'd done it MUCH SOONER.

Oh well.

(Simon told me not to cover it with an area rug but I couldn't help myself ... it's just a little area rug, in my defense)

I've never really thought the girls looked very much alike until Becca sent me this photo ...

(and um, all the photos - her skills will forever amaze me)

Their room is small but not super small and it fit Julia's twin bed, Phoebe crib, and a dresser pretty comfortably and we definitely didn't need to put bunkbeds up but looking longterm I think Bosco, Theo, and Sebastian will eventually share this room with a set of bunkbeds and a toddler bed and the girls will get the boys current (smaller room) soooo why not jump the gun?

Okay here's the only before I could find (anyone else delete pictures way too rashly?) ...

No shot of the old carpet which is in everyone's best interest, honestly.

Phoebe has been climbing out of her crib for over a year and has been napping in Julia's twin bed for months so we thought she could handle a bunk bed and we could save some space in the process. We got the IKEA Kura bed (not technically a bunk bed but a twin mattress conveniently fits on the floor and so - a bunkbed it is!) and they've been happy campers with the new arrangement. We put a six inch mattress on the top bunk just to make it safer but I don't think it was absolutely necessary. I think Julia feels like she has a bit of her own space (although I'm 98% sure Phoebe sneaks up there to nap) to hide her treasures and arrange and rearrange her colony of stuffed animals and dolls.

I found this yellow velvet chair on Craigslist and thought it was a fun addition to make a little reading nook with the help of a black lamp and white cube shelves (technical name) and baskets that we moved out of the playroom.

Julia is either really good at reading or memorizing books ... I'm not sure which ... but the younger kids don't seem to care ...

The chair is in decent shape but might need a little trim on the bottom - oops.

I can't seem to quit the Instagram clips ... old habits die real hard.

Initially I was looking for neutral colored bedding but the girls are both BIG fans of pink and so I thought these sheets were a good compromise between super neutral and Phoebe's preferred Disney Princess bedding. I did go with white/beige comforters because boring mom.

but also practical mom because I know they can be bleached and the boys can use them if we want to shake things up like the crazy cats that we are.

A little peek at the little area rug ...

... and Becca's dog, Truman. His adorable underbite kills me. Despite being 1/3 (1/4?) Diego's size I think it's safe to safe they established that Truman was the alpha male of the house during his visit.

You know I can't help myself when it comes to gallery walls and the girls' room is/was no exception ...

I used mostly things we had on hand, framed a picture Julia drew of her and Phoebe and added these ubiquitous animal heads (Phoebe REALLY wanted the panda -- I REALLY feel like it's staring at me every time I walk in - personally, I was a fan of the flamingo but - maybe Simon would like one in our room?).

Katrina very, very sweetly painted this for me after we lost Felipe - a quote from St. Felipe de Neri and I love it so much ...

girls' got serious talent. I thought the floral design went best in the girls' room but I may or may not have the same quote (same artist) hanging up in the living room too. I like what I like.

We found this dresser at a thrift store ...

to replace the IKEA dresser we'd found on Craigslist in St. Louis that Simon had repaired over a dozen times and is now living in our storage room and filled with tools etc. I painted it this coral(ish?) color and I think it could use some bigger handles but we had these on hand so they work for now!

I spray painted the wooden mirror that I've had since college ...

... and added some faux greenery to liven up the sound machine decor.

One last shot because I think it captures their personalities oh so perfectly ...

... before we move onto the boys' room ... (not this post, don't worry)

... and our newly organized hall closet ;).

Thanks again to Becca for the photos (and Simon for assembling the bed which I know was a big fat pain in the neck - to put it politely).

And some other house before and afters if you're feeling clicky ...

guest bathroom
guest room
boys' room (updated dresser)
master bedroom

luck of the Friday

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17 March 2017

1. My lovely sister-in-law, Becca, was in town this week (not to be confused with my Aunt Rebecca who was in town last week so Phoebe resorted to calling this week's Becca, "the new Aunt Becca") and gave us some invaluable photography tips which Simon put to use with this photo ...

... I thought it was fitting today for March Madness and those super duper festive nod to St. Patrick's Day pants. B likes to go sit in this chair in the girls room and just wait for Phoebe to come in and freak. If you'd like me to dedicate a post to peaceful sibling relationships - just say the word.

2. What did you think of the Bachelor finale (if you watched)? I know Nick and Vanessa are getting a lot of criticism for looking miserable on After the Final Rose but I loved Sharleen's take (surprise, surprise) since she's a good friend of Nick's. Simon was Team Raven all the way and I just thought that they chose to show the more serious side of Vanessa or maybe I'm just an optimist and hopeless romantic but I do hope they make it. And I'm counting down to Rachel's season (guy number 4 was my favorite from Monday night) like the fanatic that I am. Also! I hope Luke breaks up with Danielle L and dates Raven - one can HOPE.

3. After reading and enjoying Nantucket Sisters I couldn't help but notice that a bunch of Nancy Thayer titles were ready and available at the library so I plowed through The Island House and just started Summer Breeze. I'll just blame the pregnancy for my sophisticated literary taste du jour. Sudio Sweden recently sent me a pair of their wireless earbuds which have all but revolutionized my audiobook/podcasting experience (dishwasher unloading! putting away laundry!) and if you'd like to snag a pair for yourself you can use code: CampPatton for 15% off your order :)

4. Kate gives a much better and more succinct explanation but in short! She, Bridget, and I started a little Facebook group to share online deals we might otherwise miss (like these $6 dresses today and today only!) and it's been a lot of fun. The group is closed but just ask to join and I'll add you lickety split.

5. Joy and her family have been in town this past week and it's been just as miraculous as you might imagine to see her doing so well in person. I just wanted to thank you again for all of your thoughts and prayers for her incredible recovery!

6. All sale styles at LOFT are currently an additional 40% off (I have and love and almost live in this cardigan) which isn't HUGE news but it's always nice news, right?

7. Big St. Patrick's Day plans? Was your diocese granted a dispensation today? My kids didn't even get Lucky Charms for breakfast - I'm not sure how they're surviving childhoods dripping with such sad depravity (but the day is young, I guess).

Have a good one!!

collage & captions

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13 March 2017

because as much as I know that you'd love for me dedicated an entire blog post to every single square -- I'll keep it brief-ish.

uno! I've yet to leave Ikea with kids in tow without thinking, "never ever again!" but I always always go back. This past time I went right as they were opening, put Phoebe and Theo in the kid area, sped through and grabbed what I needed with Bosco and was back home in time for lunch and naps ... success. For once.

dos! Diego got quite the haircut and when the kids saw him in a tie they very seriously asked if he was headed out to a wedding. Yes, in fact - he was.

tres! My Aunt Rebecca was in town for a few days and she is THE balloon animal wizard which made for a herd of very happy Patton kids.

quatro! Bosco demolished his first ice cream cone that Simon gave him a couple of weeks ago. He can also put a post-Mass donut away faster than alllll the rest of us can and has our weekly grocery bill giving him a petrified side eye.

cinco! I would say, "doesn't the backpack age him?!" but his backpack contains his diapers and wipes so, no.

six! speaking of Bosco and groceries - we enjoyed our first ER trip ever several weeks ago after Phoebe and Theo (accidentally! they're just used to wide Costco carts, I guess) pulled a shopping cart over with Bosco strapped in. Bosco was fine but slammed his head pretty hard on the cement floor and seemed to be drowsy (a sign of a brain bleed) afterward so in he went. After four hours of (no sleep, no food, no fun) observation he was released with a concussion and my gratitude that he was going to be fine. Costco forever from here on out.

seven! 26 weeks! I felt so terrible after we got back from our trip - breathing was painful, everything ached, and I could've sworn the baby gained 5 pounds overnight. I'm convinced that getting back to my geriatric walks has turned things around and I'm also convinced that the baby was all up in my ribcage but has seemed to settle into a more comfortable position - someway/ somehow. I'm also convinced that I'm a board certified MD. Anyway, I'm feeling a million times better and three more months of pregnancy feels a lot more doable than it did last week.

eight! I say a little prayer every night that the streets in our neighborhood are forever in need of repair because I think Bosco would go through a very serious and sad period of mourning if he didn't get a good dose of truck watching/obsessing on the daily.

nine! post-trip to the Children's museum. Simon only lost track of Bosco once and Phoebe only sprinted up the stairs and away from me twice, so all in all? A real good time.

Happy Monday!


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09 March 2017

when you're at the, "wear and break my glasses - anything you want!!!" portion of the evening.

1. SO! Since we'll soon outgrow our beloved Odyssey and Simon's Volvo was requiring a jump to start almost every morning and evening -- we bought a (very old) Suburban to replace the van. I like it! But, I still love our van with the peeling hood and will drive it right up until we buckle that new baby into the Suburban. Sliding doors 4 life. Or at least for the next 3.5 months.

2. I don't really know how it happened but all of a sudden my IG feed is FILLED with Goldendoodles because apparently I've become an avid follower of Doodle accounts? I'm not saying it's a bad thing and I'm not saying Diego is going to get his own dedicated account but I just might need to check myself because I see a wreck coming just around the riverbend.

3. After the 91092381092381092338th night of building the perfect pillow fortress to procure a mediocre night of sleep - I polled my lovely blog Facebook page about pregnancy pillows and took the plunge with this one. I got it two days ago and of course it could be some wild and crazy coincidence but I've slept through the night (x2!!) and woke up ready to speed walk around the block as opposed to sleep for six more hours. Again, it could be a coincidence but I'm not complaining and I might be wondering why I didn't buy one six years ago.

4. I got my first gel manicure (a la nail salon) before my sister's wedding and while I do love it (although I noticed a few days later that the polish I picked had tiny flecks of glitter in it - cool) I still think the homemade version (base coat, polish, top coat) is a pretty darn good substitute. And quite a bit cheaper.

5. I'm almost scared to type this because I know that this brand is kind of the preferred creme de la creme of workout gear and leggings and so I tried a couple of different pairs and loved them initially but was sad to see how quickly they stretched out, lost their shape, and slid down (as in a couple of hours). I should've known not to stray from my tried and true very favorites. Never again!

6. It's Thursday and I still haven't finished Monday's marathon episode of the Bachelor. Even super duper fans have their drama limits.

7. The last thing I need is a peplum tank because of my current gestational state and I have one too many but I have to admit that my heart goes pitter patter when I see them on super sale with all sizes stocked (even talls! which I prefer). I'm resisting though - I promise. (I posted this over in the My Sale Rack group so I'm sorry if this is a repeat offender for you).

I said I'd be done cleaning the kitchen by 1:30 and it's 1:35 and so I'd better scoot before crazy Grace comes after lazy Grace.



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07 March 2017

I, Grace Patton, solemnly swear not to recap anything for at least 24 hours after this post. My apologies - our travels are just too exciting not to type type type about, you know? You do. YOU DO.

When the older kids were really little and we'd go on trips I had my expectations set nice and stupidly high. Obviously getting out of the house was going to be a vacation from any and all responsibility, right? Ha. Ha. Now I look back on one trip with Julia in particular and wish I had just chilled the bleep out about naps and bedtimes and enjoyed the bliss that was a vacation with one child in tow but that's always how it goes, right? Eerily accurate 20/20 hindsight.

Anyway, NOW - I go into trips with the (depressing? perhaps) mindset that it's going to be a lot more work than our usual day-to-day, that everything is going to go wrong, and that everyone is going to be a melty puddle of fatigue by the time we get home. And - my expectations are always exceeded because things are never that bad and we generally have a great time but I can't go into "vacations" thinking it's going to be poolside umbrella clad drinks then I'd be sorely disappointed. I know you follow.

So - with that said! Our flights down to New Mexico ... the first flight to Houston was fine-ish. Phoebe only spilled one full drink on Simon's lap, Bosco's crying was minimal (and understandable since he'd usually been asleep for hours by then), and the older kids were basking in the glow of the reading lights, in-flight magazines, and honey roasted peanuts.

Then came the second flight.

I'll take one skull emoji for $500, Alex.

 Or maybe just one Sebastian. I feel you, bud.

Our connection was tight but we really needed to make the obligatory bathroom stop to change Bosco's diaper, and let/make everyone use the bathroom (where Phoebe dropped my phone into an unflushed toilet but! least of our worries at that point) then hoofed it over to our gate where we boarded and were informed that there were only middle seats left. The flight attendants just shrugged at us and while I'm normally a pretty passive people pleaser I think even Simon was surprised (not in a good way - oops) at how I dug my heels in and said the kids weren't sitting alone in middle seats without us. People did eventually move with a little "free drink ticket" bribery from the intercom but the three oldest had to share a row (I was right behind them with Bosco and Simon was several rows back with Phoebe) which wasn't super ideal BUT better than the former alternative. Technically it was our fault for missing family boarding but did the punishment fit the crime? I don't know. Maybe!

With the help of the the iPad, one of my smartest purchases to date, and headphones x 3 the kids were relatively well-behaved, Simon magically got Bosco to sleep and I had to pretend like Phoebe was my giant of a lap child which was totally fine.

By the time we got everyone to sleep at our friend's house it was 3am Florida time which didn't set the best sleep tone for the rest of the trip but c'est la valuable lesson learned on the flight scheduling front vie. I suppose.

Julia teaching Simon how to play ... a very complicated game (this may have been on the way home, actually)

You all remember Posey? Welllll she's back! She delivered fairy-sized Kisses (chocolate chips wrapped in foil) to Julia's seat at the wedding along with several notes + gifts throughout the weekend. She even moved into Nana's house complete with fairy house (clothing - including unmentionables - you won't believe the detail) .. a post for another time.

One of the big trip highlights was getting to see my grandma and so we had to get a photo of the four generations! My grandma, mom, me, and some kids ...

Phoebe is oh so moved.

I obviously did a thorough and impressive of photojournaling our trip but sometimes it's best to just bask in the moment - or so I'm telling myself. Overall - we really did have a wonderful time and Phoebe about lost her mind when we pulled up at our house after hours of flying last week. I guess she thought we were just doing all of that traveling to pull right back up at Nana and Grandpa's? I guess.

The flights home weren't awesome (but we survived! and didn't miss family boarding!) and as soon as we all got in the car at the Tampa airport Simon asked, "and when can I look forward to flying with all of you again?" August, Simone.

Buckle up.

first friday

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03 March 2017

I was going to give you another recap of the trip/travel variety but thought you could use a breather (but there's always tomorrow, tomorrow) so we'll get back to our regularly scheduled Friday posts for now.

1. Someone in the Houston airport told me how cute my twin boys were last week ...

... they can't be blamed (Phoebe wasn't wearing a dress at the time - in their defense).

2. Stillll plugging through my two books (well waiting for this to come back off the holds list so I can finish it but actually kind of loving Nantucket Sisters in the mean time). Slow and steady wins the race - says the girl reading books at a snail's pace of late.

3. You know how much I love a good birth story and Janssen delivers. Terrible pun intended.

4. I'm making these for a party tonight and I have my hopes up really high that they are REALLY good.

5. I've lost track of how many people have sent me the Bachelor Babysitter parody - I'm sure you've seen it? Also - since the Women Tell All is this coming week does that mean the finale is next week already?! Time flies when you're having fun, I suppose.

6. I saw that Natives are on sale for as low as $15 (color and size dependent) today but I almost like these dupes better (thicker sole) after seeing them in the store last week (lots more colors here too!).

7. Have a wonderful weekend!

Samily: the wedding

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02 March 2017

Welllll, they're married! And what would a sibling (or in-law) wedding be without a cellular phone photo recap from yours truly? Probably no different but why risk it?

The wedding and reception were beautiful and I set my expectation bar low (real low) with the kids which made for exceeded expectations and great times had by all.

You might recognize the top of Emily's wedding dress as the one I wore but she paired it with a different skirt (that I loved - and it had pockets!), nixed the sash, and tucked it in so I think it looked very different than when I wore it. There wasn't a moment that Sam wasn't beaming in Emily's direction the entire weekend - it was so sweet and endearing.

en route to go take photos on a mesa - as one does in New Mexico. A wedding party complete with friar does many a honk garner, surprisingly.

Bosco was the only one that I heard make a peep during the wedding Mass and while Simon said Phoebe sang the ABCs the entire time - I didn't hear her from a few pews up so I'm still going to give their behavior a solid A-. The last time Sebastian wore suspenders he got mad and said he looked like a farmer but didn't complain this time around so really - could I ask for more from them? No.

dutifully passing out candles after the wedding.

Bosco offering one to an invisible man.

Julia ran up to me after I walked into the reception with the Best Man (who was not Simon) and accusatorially asked me why I was walking with someone other than Dad?! And Theo led me into the neighboring restaurant next to the reception hall and asked that we get different food because he doesn't like salad (but finally settled on an appetizer of few pats of butter until his non-salad meal came). Poor Bosco had been cutting molars and not feeling well and his condition seemed to worsen on our second late night flight but as soon as he saw the dance floor and had two giant cookies in his paws - homeboy was the happiest I'd seen him all weekend.

Theo said my bouquet, "smells like poop" which coincidentally -- all the food he hates, "tastes like poop" and methinks a little lesson on polite descriptions might be in the works.

One of the reception highlights for me was seeing my mom and her friends pop up from their seats at the table as soon as a Pitbull song came on and proceed to start a Conga line on the dance floor. It was a very proud moment that I won't soon forget.

I was so bummed this was the only shot I got of Phoebe and Simon - who were dance floor machines.

My youngest sister Sarah at least snapped this while we were all getting ready ...

Thanks Sarah!

It wouldn't be a Patton post without reporting the few snags that were hurdled over the weekend. I thought I was all up on my toast game by jotting a few points down on my place card before I was handed the mic only to find that the Maid of Honor (I was the Matron) and Best Man had pageS of speeches prepared. Oops. Also, moments before we were all set to walk down the aisle I looked down to see that my maternity Spanx hose had a big fat run right down the front. Thanks for nothing, name brand. Luckily! I had had the foresight to grab some generics just in case that happened so I sprinted out to change and no one (except now all of you fine folks) knew any different.

I can't wait to see all of Becca's photos (I've seen a few previews and she's a wizardess!) and I'll be sure to share a few when I do. I can't help myself when it comes to loved one's big life events. I'm a sharebear at heart.

Anyway, a big fat and final congratulations to Emily + Sam!! My parents know how to throw a party to remember and we felt so lucky to be there!

¡Samily por vida!


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