Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Pre-schooling at Home

I'm not sure if I've ever mentioned it here in any of my posts, but Mark and I are planning on homeschooling our girls {and other kids we hope to have one day!}. We have several reasons for wanting to keep our kids home that I might explore in another post one day but for now I just wanted to share what we're doing for Reaghan for Preschool.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Reaghan's Princess Party

Reaghan Eileen turned 4 yesterday! When I was planning Mark's 30th birthday party earlier this year I was at Party City with the girls and decided to take Reaghan down the birthday party aisle to see what kind of decorations she'd like for her party and she picked out the princess theme. She's been talking about her princess birthday all summer long so we wanted to make it special.

We enjoy having family parties for birthdays and decorating with a theme but since this was a princess party I thought it would be fun for Reag to have a couple extra princesses there too. We invited 2 of her good friends from church and asked them along with her cousin to dress up in their favorite princess dresses. Reaghan decided she wanted to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast so we bought her a dress up dress as an early birthday present and she wore it to the party. Another friend from church found out we were having a princess party for her birthday and let us borrow several princess decorations that she had saved from her daughters princess party several years ago! It was perfect! I would have never bought the big princess pictures but they were a huge hit. The only decorations I bought were some dollar tree balloons, a table cloth and princess party game for $5. Walmart had a great selection of Disney Princess Party items so we were able to get plates and napkins and a few party favors at budget friendly prices!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Comfort Zones & Book Clubs

So... I did a thing this past weekend that was completely out of my comfort zone.

I invited all of the ladies on my street to come to a book club at my house! *gasp*

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Busch Gardens!

I have been dying to go to an amusement park since having Lilly. Thanks to being pregnant for half of the last 4 years I haven't been able to ride the more exciting and crazy rides that I love. I was excited at the beginning of the summer when Busch Gardens had a deal to get a free ticket for preschoolers. We got one for Reaghan just in case we had the chance to go, and I really, REALLY wanted to go but Mark wasn't super excited about the idea. He's not into crowds and Reaghan isn't an adventurous little girl so it could've been completely possible we would get there and she wouldn't ride anything all day! I kept arguing that even if Reaghan didn't ride any rides *I* was really in the mood to ride some roller coasters! {Like, I didn't care if Reaghan liked it, I just wanted to go for me! Kidding. Sort of. Of course I wanted her to have fun too ;)} Of course even if she did like and we went, then one of us would have to sit with the kids while the other stood in line to ride a coaster - and I'll admit that didn't sound fun. The summer went on and I really hadn't been thinking about it much because it just seemed like it wasn't going to happen this year, until I saw an ad online about Busch Gardens having 50% off tickets! Oh Yea! I convinced Mark to go and we ended up getting my parents and siblings on board too! {And Aunt Linda who has been staying with my parents this summer and my cousin Lindy who is living with my parents while she goes to school here in Virginia Beach!}

Wednesday, August 22, 2018


A couple weeks ago we had to take an unexpected trip to Ohio for my Uncle Brian's funeral. Uncle Brian was my dad's younger brother who unfortunately suffered with a lot of health issues during his life including a brain injury and epilepsy. While he wasn't in the best of health towards the end of his life and was preparing to have a back surgery, it was an accidental fall that complicated things. He suffered a brain bleed from his fall that caused more injury to his brain and while they were making plans for long term rehab they discovered extensive cancer in his pancreas, liver and bones. This caused the doctors to change their course of action from rehabbing the brain injury to hospice care. It was only a matter of hours after my grandparents signed the DNR that he passed away.

My dad, Grandpa, Grandma and Uncle Brian {2015}

Thursday, August 2, 2018

He Will Refresh the Weary

"I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint." 
Jeremiah 31:25

Do you ever feel like everything seems to come to a head all at once? Have you had one difficult, stressful thing happen and then right in the middle of trying to deal with that you're hit with another blow? And maybe even a 3rd or 4th? The ceiling is falling in on you and you just have to stand there and take it.

That's been my week.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Instant Pot Cheesecake!

I've only made a cheesecake one time before last night and it turned out less than stellar. Okay, it was pretty inedible. I don't really know what I did wrong, but it didn't taste good at. all.

After that experience I've been hesitant to try again, but I was looking for healthy dessert recipes recently and low carb cheesecakes kept popping up on my pinterest so I bought myself a new cheesecake pan and decided to try the recipe that used the instant pot - since my experience with the oven didn't turn out too well!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Home Sweet Home

Mark snapped this picture a couple weekends ago and I love it.

A small glimpse into our simple morning breakfast routine on the weekends. 

Reaghan is so excited that Lilly is big enough to sit at the table with her and 
sweetly invites her in the mornings to sit with her. 
{Lilly has not been cleared to eat oatmeal outside of her table yet though ;)}

Piper looks like she's lovingly watching her two charges, but she's definitely
 just hoping they drop some waffles for her to clean up.

My little Home Sweet Home.

 Easily my favorite picture of the summer.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Doyle Family Reunion {2018}

For years our extended family has gathered every 3 years in Ohio for a family reunion. When we were younger it was a blast! We looked forward to seeing cousins, aunts, great aunts/uncles and second cousins! (or is it first cousins once removed? I don't know.. that always confuses me, but you know - our parents cousins and their children!) My grandma is one of 13 children so this reunion included all of her siblings, their children, grandchildren and recently great grandchildren! There were 4 generations of family members gathering at one reunion, which sounds awesome... Except we had sort of gotten to the point where there were people there that we didn't really know any more. My grandma also moved to Virginia recently so connections in Ohio were lessening for most of my closer family members who were no longer making the trip north for the Reunion.

For the last 4 or 5 years my mom, her sisters and their kids {me and my cousins!} started talking about branching off and starting a smaller, Doyle reunion. This meant just my grandma's direct descendants. It took us a few years to get it going but we finally did it! I reached out to all of my cousins and aunts and uncles with a survey 2 years ago to get an idea of when and where most people would be able to come and then last year my aunt found the perfect place in Williamsburg, VA for us to hold it and we booked it! I had the honor of spear heading the event and I was so excited about the response from family members. We had 58 people come and only had a handful of people missing.

Monday, July 2, 2018

See Reaghan Grow {Dance Recital}

Father's Day weekend was a flurry of activity!
Friday night was a dress rehearsal for Reaghan and her cousin Brooklyn's first big ballet recital, and then Saturday was the actual recital! The girls have been looking forward to this for weeks - ever since they got their costumes at dance class! We've been excited to see them perform the dance we've taken them to class every Thursday to practice. ;)

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Amazing Race {30th Birthday Edition}

Mark's 30th birthday is coming up this weekend, its on Father's Day actually, and unfortunately we have a super busy weekend with Reaghan's dance recital and rehearsal, waiting for Erin's baby (her due date is tomorrow!) and celebrating Fathers Day! Since it didn't seem doable to do a big party for him on his actual birthday I decided to do something fun to surprise him this past weekend.

I've been asking him for months if there was anything special he wanted to do for his milestone birthday and we tossed around a few ideas but couldn't settle on anything. He said he didn't want a big party. {Mark is is definitely more introverted and doesn't enjoy being the center of attention.} I was struggling because I wanted to do something special so I spent so many nights brain storming for ideas and that's when I came across a brilliant idea from The Dating Diva's website!

A DIY Amazing Race!

Mark and I Loooooooove the Amazing Race. If we could pick any reality show to be on that would be it. We amuse ourselves watching the show and laughing about which one of us would be better at the challenges or if there are any that we know we'd totally fail at. Anyways, when I saw the idea for a DIY Amazing Race date night I knew it would be perfect to adapt to a party AND I knew I wanted it to be a surprise.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

OBX Beach Week

Last week was our annual beach week with Mark's family in the OBX. We usually "rent" a condo that my mother in law's boss owns and gives to her for free once a year but this year it was booked before he could set aside the week for her. We were bummed at first {because a free house on the beach is awesome!} but it was a blessing in disguise. Last year we started talking about eventually needing to rent a bigger house since the girls were getting bigger and this forced us to make the change this year! We were able to rent a beautiful house on the beach for a decent price since the week before Memorial Day is still "off season" and it was worth paying the money! The girls had their own rooms, there was a pool and a hot tub, and direct access to the beach.

We had a fun week but it started off a little rocky. Lilly ran a temperature of 105.3 that landed us in the ER because she wasn't responding to me very well. Thankfully after 3 hours in the hospital they determined it was just a virus and to alternate Motrin and Tylenol. She missed out on the first 2 beach days as Mark and I took turns staying in with her but she lived it up the rest of the week! Thankfully none of the other girls caught what she had!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Woodland Baby Shower

It was my great honor to throw my big sister Erin a baby shower for her first and long awaited babe! She had been dreaming about a soft, woodland baby shower so that is what her best friend Amber and I teamed up to give her a couple of weekends ago.

Amber had relatives that live in a gated community and so had a access to a beautiful clubhouse that they were happy to let us use. I was grateful to be able to host it in a larger space because we planned to invite several family and friends that have prayed for Erin along her infertility journey... not to mention it took so much pressure off that I would've felt trying to make my house perfect and pretty for a large party. ; )

Sunday, May 13, 2018

I See You Now {a Mother's Day post}

I'm in my 4th year of motherhood, celebrating my 4th Mothers Day, and I feel so blessed. I am so grateful for my 2 healthy girls. But do you know what I become increasingly more grateful for with each new phase of motherhood that I encounter? My mom.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

6 Year Anniversary

If only my 15 year old self knew she was going to end up with the guy, it would've saved a whole lot of teenage heart ache ;)