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Our Backyard Garden

It’s been a few months since we’ve moved into our new house and we’ve mainly been updating the outside while the weather is nice. We had a raised garden bed at our old house that my husband built, but I didn’t maintain it like I should have. This go-around, TJ built a tiered garden with stones that were already on our property. We both decided that we like this tiered garden better than the raised garden bed because it was much more quick and simple to make.

I also have a few little helpers that were excited about the idea of gardening which makes it easier to maintain.

In the beginning, all three kids were super excited to pick out their own plants and seeds. That then turned into two kids who were really excited about planting the garden. Then, that turned into one kid who loves helping me weed, water and watch the plants grow. That’s Mr. Manny.

Manny is the type of kid that keeps his room clean and his bed made with no reminders. He even wants to help hammer, sand and stain his own bunk bed, so it should be no surprise that he has claimed this little spot as his own.

He calls this garden his farm.


We planted tomatoes, peppers, corn, onions, watermelon, beans, strawberries, zucchini and several types of lettuce. While we aren’t gardeners, we are learning as we go.

There is such a good feeling when you can actually grow the food you eat and it is valuable to teach children throughout the whole process and they can actually see and taste the fruits of their work.


I eventually want to have a backyard garden full of perennial fruits and vegetables.

I am starting with three apple trees. These little trees cost $45 each and already have baby apples growing. These are trees that are supposed to grow tall and skinny, so they are perfect for container gardening and small spaces.


I’m hoping that one day, we can just go to the backyard and pick apples, strawberries and raspberries!


Seems Like Forever. 3 Months Home

It has been almost three months since Miss P and Manny came home, but it seems like they’ve been here forever. We are settling into a routine, the kids are starting to realize expectations with behavior and rules and the bickering among the three kids has managed to settle down a little.

Priscilla recently had a birthday so we have three six year olds in the house now. This girl really lives up to being the only girl of the bunch and is quite possibly the girliest girl I have ever met. It’s hard to get her in sweatpants and a T-shirt when all she wants to wear is sparkles, bows and skirts!

IMG_8064blog{Tunic: $6.99 Coral Bow Leggings: $6.99 Black Floral Hi-Top Sneakers: $5.49 All from Zulily}


To top off the recent major change in all of our lives, we sold our house and are moving to a new home soon. It has been stressful but we can’t wait for the extra space. The kids were sleeping in one room with the triple bunk beds that TJ made, but now they will all get their own rooms for the time being.

Every day seems eventful with this bunch. Some days are good. Some days are bad. Some days I just want to crawl in bed and take a nap for however long I can! It’s definitely different when we were only a family of three. There is bickering and tattling and I know there probably always will be, but slowly these three are *truly* becoming siblings!


The First Month Home #LifeIsaSpecialOccasion

It is exactly one month since the kids have been home and it’s gone by fast. This month was filled with many “firsts.” Taking a bath, seeing the snow, opening presents, going to birthday parties and playing basketball with friends. Watching Manny and Priscilla experience these things with so much joy has really reminded our family to find joy in the little things and remember that life is truly a special occasion. 

Watching his brother and sister marvel at planes in the sky or watching them getting excited over driving over a big bridge has brought back Colton’s excitement for the little things- things he wouldn’t have thought twice about before they came home. I’m sure these feelings for all of the kids will diminish over time, but for now our focus is to spend time as a family doing the simple things: coloring, board games, movies, crafts and reading.

It’s amazing looking back at these photos and seeing the “firsts.”

(1) This was their first night home. At 2am everyone wanted to play. After so much travel, I thought they would go right to bed, but checking out their new home was too exciting. (2) Their first time going out in the snow. (3) Tickle fights. Their favorite thing to do with dad.

(1) Playing with new toys. (2) First time at the movie theater. (3) First time experiencing a snow day! They were so excited that Colton didn’t have school the next day. We celebrated with ice cream- fitting, right?

(1) Building relationships. It’s neat watching these two build their relationship. (2) The first day of school! The kids are on their third day of school. It is exciting watching them make friends and learn so much every day right before my eyes. 

Including these next adoption updates in a post for Hallmark, I thought was fitting and timely. I enjoy the focus of this campaign and making memories with family in the little moments. These memories are the special moments buried with the traditional holidays and occasions. They’re “us” moments. They’re memorable. They’re spontaneous. They’re perfectly, imperfect unplanned moments.

Happy New Year from Hallmark! Share how you’ll create memories with your family in the new year. Visit Hallmark.com/explore for their full product line and special offers. Life is a special occasion so celebrate!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Hallmark. The opinions and text are all mine.