First Day of First Grade

Mom-Blog-School-DaysYou know the phrase, “In the blink of an eye?” I think that phrase was invented by a parent. I cannot comprehend the feeling that I was just bringing Kelsey home from the hospital, and now we are seeing her off on her first day of first grade.

As I was filling her new backpack with school supplies and packing her lunch for her first day (and yes, it includes a handwritten note telling her how proud her dad and I are of her), I started to cry. And not a pretty cry … I had a full-blown adult tantrum, hysterically crying over how big all my kids are getting.

Kelsey came up to me and gave me the biggest, tightest hug. I reassured her I wasn’t crazy and rather, I was just so proud and filled with such joy at how big she’s getting. She’s incredibly smart, nice, helpful and so kind. I know she is going to make a huge impact this year and I am so happy for her. But, she’s my little girl. My first-born baby that I cherish so much.

After I dried my tears and got it together, Kelsey and I spent 30 minutes going through old photos and blog posts of when she was little. She smiled. I cried some more. And we had some great laughs going down memory lane. She’s truly my best buddy and I am so incredibly proud of the girl she’s becoming. Here’s to another year and more school memories ahead.

I just love these two photos of her, you can really see how much she’s changed. I especially love seeing how her handwriting has evolved. See the ‘Y’ in both pictures? Last year’s was backwards and this years comes with a swirl. I love it.

A Weekend in the Woods with Nolan Ryan

A weekend in the mountains was just what I needed. While my husband took the older kids camping (photos to come), Nolan and I went to Pinetop, Arizona with my mother-in-law and Ryan’s aunt. It was the perfect retreat from the Phoenix heat and a great way to enjoy Nolan without any interruptions. I was also able to start and finish a book! Imagine that.

Here are a just a few photos from our quiet Memorial Day weekend in the woods.


many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog

DSC02407 smal3


DSC02432 small

DSC02539 small

DSC02478 small

phoenix mommy blogger


many hats of a mom blog

many hats of a mom blog


many hats of a mom blog

Before she lost her first tooth

She attended her first dance! Her date was pretty awesome. It was a daddy/ daughter dance and everything about this night made me smile. Especially the part where I told Ryan to wear a suit and tie. “A suit? To an elementary school dance? No way. I’ll wear a button down,” he said. Suit yourself (no pun intended) I told him.

Let’s fast-forward about 20 minutes to when I heard the garage door opening and Ryan running upstairs. “You were right. Every dad was in a suit and tie except me. I’m going to change real fast.” I couldn’t help myself. “Told you so” just blurted out.

kelsey and ryan

Why I Love Maternity Leave

mom blogger
Besides the obvious, being off work for 8-10 weeks, I am so thankful for the opportunity to bond with my newborn son without interruption while on maternity leave. I don’t take this time for granted nor do I take for granted how thankful I am to my company for providing paid leave.

Sure, we aren’t Netflix, who offers 12 months leave, but I do get a few weeks to bond, heal from labor and just enjoy quiet days like this one was. Yesterday, Nolan and I spent the day listening to the rain and talking to each other (that was mostly me). I snapped a few pictures to remember this moment by. I couldn’t imagine a better way to spend my afternoon.

PS – At six weeks old, he’s already growing out of this rocker thing!

mom blogger

DSC09824 small

mom blogger

Those little piggies! I could just eat those toes up.

Baby Nolan is here!

DSC07454 b small
DSC07469 d small
DSC07483 b
He arrived! “Baby Nolan” – as the kids call him – is finally here. He arrived at 5:40pm on Tuesday, September 8th. He weighed a whopping 10 lbs, 3 ounces and was 23 inches long. A record in the Cross household. You guys, I can’t even begin to describe the magic that is happening in my heart right now. I am overwhelmed with love and joy. Nolan completes our family. He really does. Ryan and I are so incredibly lucky that God has given us this responsibility, and we will not let Him down.

Ryan, Nolan and I stayed two nights in the hospital. These two nights are so special to us, just as they were with the other two kids, as it is our time to connect, bond, (recover!) and get to know our newest bundle. I have some of THE BEST memories between those four hospital room walls. Memories that Ryan and I will keep forever and ever. There was laughter until you peed your pants (literally), great conversation, late night pizza runs and some hilarious stories that I’ll keep just between Ryan and I.

Today marks week 1 of Nolan’s life and day two of my maternity leave. Ryan went back to work already (let’s get dads some paternity leave, shall we corporate america?) so it’s just us two all day until the kids and the hubbie come home in the evening. Boy, am I blessed. I get this child all to myself. My heart may just burst with joy.

Thank you for all of your texts, prayers, phone calls, well wishes and messages. We are so grateful for friends & followers like you. Here are a few pictures of Kelsey and Colton meeting their new baby brother for the first time. My father-in-law took these precious snapshots two hours after baby Nolan was born.

I will never (ever, ever, ever) forget this day. 



Baby Gift Idea: A Baby Bundle

freshly picked baby bundle

I was super lucky to receive this wonderful “bringing home baby bundle” from Love Taza and Freshly Picked. I didn’t capture a picture of all of the items, but what’s important is the bundle includes:

  • Custom grey crib moccs
  • A comfortable robe for Mom (I’m living in this already!)
  • Cozy socks for mom
  • Swaddle for baby
  • Hat for baby
  • All items wrapped in a bag that can be used as a laundry bag

The items come in gray (that’s what I got), pink, blue and sunshine yellow. I paired mine with a little onesie that I hope will fit my new bundle. I was at the doctor last week for an ultra sound and Nolan is already measuring over 7lbs. Yikes! Which means, another big bundle is coming my way soon! So, if you have an expecting mom in your life, check out this baby gift idea – it’s $140 and guaranteed to please. Trust me. Again, that robe. So incredibly comfortable.

The Nesting Bug is Real

The urge to nest is in full force at the Cross household. Well, for me anyway. At 30 weeks pregnant, I’ve been busy going through boxes and boxes of Colton’s baby clothes to see what will work for Nolan. Since it’s getting hard to walk, squat, bend, stand, and shop (thank goodness for Amazon online shopping), I’m trying to get Nolan’s nursery put together sooner than later.

baby nursery toys

I busted out the nursery toys for the third (and final!) time. Seeing these toys again is making this baby thing feel more real. The kids were really funny yesterday. As we were going through these they would pick them up and go, “OOOOH” and “Awww”. Colton said things like, “This was mine, but I’ll give them to baby Nolan.” And then Kelsey turned to me as she held a rattle and said, “Mom, what does this thing even do?” Nothing, child. You just shake it.

baby toys

As I sat in Nolan’s nursery last night, I thought: Are we really going to dive back into sleepless nights, burp clothes and breast pumps? I guess so! Exciting and terrifying at the same time. Even if it’s my third child, the fear of the unknown never really goes away. At least I have the nesting bug to thank for helping me prepare for a baby one last time.

baby toys

Kelsey Graduates Pre-K


I cried. I did. Although, I didn’t cry at her graduation, but rather on my way home from work yesterday, just thinking about her graduation. She’s getting so big, so quick and I am overwhelmed with pride when I think of all she has learned and done in her 5 years.

Graduation 2

That … and the fact that her teachers gave me this print out where she said she wants to be “mommy” when she grows up. Is there a better reward than that? This girl is so incredibly bright. So smart! She is going to run laps around me. PS – Look at all of her favorite colors. Ha. I think you’re just supposed to pick one, but whatever.

Graduation 3

Graduation 4

Seeing Colton watch with such endearment as his big sister got her diploma made my heart melt even more. And seeing him take flowers up to her as she performed on stage was the best. Even though parenting is tough work (many sleepless nights) you get moments like this where you think, we must be doing something right.