Birthday Boy!


A couple of affiliate links used in this post. Sharing a few things we've been loving this summer!

We've had such a busy week and a half since I last posted! Our sweet ginger baby turned 2! We had his party with family this weekend, and it was so fun. I went pretty low key with decorations and food, and we only invited family, but somehow it still felt like a lot to prepare. Maybe that's because I only started buying stuff two days before ;)

His favorite present was a big blue ball. He opened that first and then pretty much didn't care about any other present. I'd try to get him to come over and open something else, and he would shout "Goal!" and run around the corner. R didn't mind, because that meant she could open more of the gifts. My brother and sister-in-law got R and J a combined gift of an OKC zoo membership. I'm so excited! We have science museum passes and love it, and I can't wait to go to the zoo more. So fun.
After cake and ice cream, we turned on the splash pad in the backyard. My friend showed me one that she bought her kids, and I had never seen anything like it. I bought one the next day. We got this one, and I really like that the bottom fills up with water too, so they can play in it like a little pool. I turned our Little Tikes slide into it, and they have a blast sliding down.
(This picture is from a week or so ago, not the party. It's fun to get out for a bit after we get home from work/daycare before dinner! p.s. This is the tarp I bought for the deck. It's the 10x13 size and has been working well!)

I actually have no idea what J's 2-year stats are for height and weight because I forgot to schedule a 2-year checkup! We will be going in a week to finally get that taken care of. Only almost a month late ha!

He's super sweet but also super feisty. He's a mama's boy through and through. When everyone was singing happy birthday to him, he got bashful and hid his face in my shoulder and it was the cutest thing. We love him so much and are so thankful he's part of our family.

Now it's officially time for Jordan and Amanda birthday month! Heyyyyyyy.

Swimsuit Reviews


If you follow me on Instagram, then you probably know I've been on the hunt for a swimsuit. I have one I bought a few years ago from Target, and I like it fine, but it's a little bit big, and I'm just in the mood for something new. Now that the internet is onto my search, I am seeing nothing but ads for swimsuits on all my social media accounts. I've checked out so many sites! And I would be up for trying out some of these shops, but I think any store that sells swimsuits online should offer free shipping and free returns. It's so hard to find suits that fit, and I need an easy return process if something doesn't work out.

With that said, I know of course that all body types are different and suits are going to fit people differently, but I thought it might be helpful to share a few of the suits I've tried recently!
*There are some affiliate links in this post. Thanks for supporting my blog!


I bought this without trying it on when I was in Target and saw it on the model. I got a size Medium. The size was correct, but unfortunately this didn't work for me and I took it back.

-Fun colors and design
-Free shipping + returns

-Skimpy butt coverage
-Wasn't long enough in the torso, so it pulled down in the front, even after adjusting the straps all the way.

>>>> The Sidestroke ($95)

I first saw this suit when a blogger I follow posted a photo wearing it. I have never in my life spent this much on a swimsuit, but it has amazing reviews, and I figured I could at least try it. I filled out their fit guide, and it recommended I get a size 6, but I bought a size 8, and I'm glad I did. It was a good fit for me. That said, I was super sad this didn't work because I truly loved it.

-Extremely easy return process + free shipping back to them
-Love the colors
-The design is fun and unique. LOVE the one-shoulder strap and how the back looked.
-SUPER SOFT. The softest swimsuit I've ever touched.
-Loved how it fit on my upper half.

-Skimpy butt coverage (the website says this is a "C" butt coverage, but there's not way that's true)
-No cups built in, so I looked "cold" all the time even when I wasn't, if you know what I mean. Also the white band hits right on the *ipple, so that's a huge concern. I could have lived with the butt coverage, but for the price, I didn't want to be constantly worried about headlights. <-- a few of the reviews mentioned this, but honestly I'm shocked more people didn't have this issue. Or maybe they just don't care?
-Shipping to me cost $8. Boo. Free shipping back, but really $8 shipping is a ripoff for how expensive the suit is.


This suit was recommended by a friend of mine. I purchased a version of the same suit just without the ruffle. I think this has potential! Unfortunately I don't know what Amazon's problem was, but it had been over a week and hadn't shipped, so I cancelled the order because it was coming with something else I needed that wasn't going to arrive in time. I haven't reordered the suit yet, but I still might. It has good reviews and looks promising! Sorry I can't actually review this one, but I know someone in real life who has tried it and loved it! Just make sure and look at the sizing guide. This runs suuuuper small.


When I posted about swimsuits on Instagram, I had numerous people recommend Athleta, so I figured I would give them a try. With free shipping and free returns, I didn't have anything to lose. And I actually found something to keep! Here's what I ordered:

>>>> Loop Back One Piece (Tranquil Blue color on sale $64.99)

I ordered a Medium Tall in the Tranquil blue because that color was on sale. The red and black were both $108. I loved the detail on the back, and after the Summersault problem, I was happy this suit had built-in cups. Unfortunately, it was horribly unflattering. I am not a large person, and this suit made me look extremely poochy in the stomach area. I don't understand what kind of photoshop magic they did to the models to make it not look awful in these photos.

-Cute detail in the back
-Built-in cups
-Adjustable straps
-Tall options for longer torsos

-VERY unflattering color and design; I don't think a different color would have looked any better.
-The chest area bunched up horribly and looked silly
-Butt coverage was still not as much as I'd prefer but was ok

>>>> Cloudbreak Rib Bottom (sale $29.99)

I bought these bottoms to go with the top below. They were comfy and I liked the material, but I didn't keep them.

-Design (I liked the little cutouts on the leg; it was cute without being too much)

-Skimpy in the butt (are you noticing a pattern???)

Heyyyyyy we have a winner! Yes, I kept one finally! Although I had been looking for one-piece suits, I loved the look of this tankini top. It had an athletic vibe without looking like something an Olympic swimmer would wear. Plus, a fun design!

-Long enough to cover my stomach even with a longer torso
-Cute design
-Built-in bra (you actually purchase by bra size)
-Adjustable straps
-Fit perfectly!


Since I obviously returned the bottoms I bought to go with this top, you're probably wondering what I'm wearing with this. I actually have 2 bottoms that will work that I've had for years from Target. One is a blue bikini bottom. The other is a black swim skirt. It's really cute, and I love that my entire butt area is covered by the skirt part! 

And maybe you're thinking I'm a grandma and should calm down about my constant need to cover my butt. But I really don't think I'm asking too much to find a swimsuit with enough material to cover my bottom so I don't have a wedgie after taking 5 steps. I'm going to be bending down to pick up my kids and running to play with them, and I just want my butt covered, dang it! It really should not be that difficult.

I've checked out a number of other options for swimsuits besides the ones above. If you're going to suggest it, I'm sure I've looked at it. But after finding the Athleta tankini, I think I might be good for now. I've burnt myself out on suits for the moment, and surprisingly many of these other sites don't offer free shipping or returns! I already lost money paying shipping for my Summersalt suit, so I'm not eager to repeat that mistake.

All that to say, where is your favorite swimsuit from? What are you the most picky about when trying on suits? What is your preferred swimsuit style?

Beware Nesting + Aggressive Geese


I know I've said it 598 times, but weekends are really my favorite. I love spending so much time with my kids, and I'm honestly never excited to head back to the office on Monday. If anything, being with them so much on Saturday and Sunday only makes me miss them more on Monday.

That said, it is pretty exhausting to spend allllll day with two toddlers. (Is R considered a toddler anymore? Maybe she's a "preschooler" now even though she doesn't go to preschool... ?) Unless it's raining or really cold or just way too hot, I try to leave the house with them at some point, just to get some fresh air and get out of the house. I know you guys feel me on this! 

Usually I take the kids by myself and give Jordan some alone time at the house, but on Saturday he came with us! I took my big camera and had fun taking some pictures of the kids as they ran around, and then I gave it to Jordan and he took a few of me with them on the swings. I have never been the type to jump out of a picture.

There's a great park close to our house, and it never fails that as we pull in I think about what a blessing it is to be able to live in a time and place that has free parks where the kids can run around and play. I know that sounds cheesy, but honestly, it's not something I want to take for granted. One thing the kids love about this park is that there's a pond and always tons of geese to watch. But we immediately noticed a sign when we got out of the car: Beware! Aggressive + Nesting Geese.

Does anyone else get freaked out by geese? I won't lie, I'm a little afraid of them on a normal day. They are fast and have huge beaks, and I panic a bit if they start walking toward me or the kids. The geese this weekend were no joke! There were tons of them ON the playground area honking and sticking their necks out, and I may have screamed at Jordan to grab J and run when he (J) was walking a little too close to one. But we stuck to the opposite side of the playground area, and no one was harmed by our park outing!

I try to enjoy the moment and not feeling like I have to document everything, but it is also fun to get the camera out and take pictures of them playing. I love photography, so it's fun practice! 
On Sunday I played violin at church, and we had a Father's Day recognition. I know Father's Day can be so hard for some people, either because their father has passed or because they don't have a good relationship with their own father or the father of their children. There are also those who would love to be a dad but aren't yet, and a few close friends of mine are in that camp. Yesterday the kids and I called my dad, my father-in-law, and both my grandpas to wish them a happy father's day. It is a gift from God that I have such wonderful fathers in my life! (I didn't intend to get so sappy in this post, but Father's Day will always give me all the feelings because 2 years ago J was born on Father's Day morning. His birthday is tomorrow the 18th, but Father's Day was on the 18th in 2017!)

We wished Jordan a happy father's day, and I gave him the gift I made: a 5-minute video collage filled with clips of him with the kids over the last 4 years. He loved it! Plus he loved it more because it was free lol ;) I actually did buy something for him: another pair of Bombas socks because he loved the first pair I got him a couple of months ago. (Use my referral code and get 25% off your first order!) R and I also baked him some cookies!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend and have a great start to the new week! Tomorrow J turns 2! Hold me.

sometimes our drive home from Texas takes an hour longer than it should


Hello, and welcome to the new week! I hope you had a great weekend. 

Thanks to everyone who left comments on my last blog post. I admit that I wasn't expecting it, but I read them all and appreciate the honesty and discussion. This year I've really cut back on blogging just out of lack of time mainly in this season of life, and lately I seem to only pop in when I have something more serious to share. I'm excited to get back to blogging about more fun life things too. It's something I've been thinking about lately, and I want to do more of it! Of course I'm not afraid to be serious, but I've been missing just hopping on here to write and share more casually. I'm grateful to all of you who take the time read, whether you've been following for years or just joined! 

We drove to Texas this weekend to celebrate my niece's first birthday. If it's a smooth trip without hitting construction or having to make extra stops, it takes about 3 hours exactly from our house to my parents. We make the drive every 6 weeks or so, sometimes sooner depending on what family events we have going on. A few times we've gone 2 weekends in a row, although that's for special circumstances. Sometimes our trips are really smooth, and sometimes they are a total disaster. Since having kids, our drives usually fall somewhere in the middle of those two extremes.

Our drive home this time was a disaster for so many reasons. We drove right into a huge rainstorm, and people were actually pulled over on the side of the road with hazard lights on waiting it out; we stopped at Whataburger to go to the bathroom and get some breakfast biscuits, and not only were the bathrooms out of order, but the biscuits took twenty minutes and were burnt and hard when we finally got them; we hit two spots of construction, and when we finally got through all of that, J had a giant poop explosion. 

We pulled into Braum's, and I could not believe they didn't have a changing table in the bathroom! But by then it was too late, and poop was literally falling out of his shorts (I found a little bit dried on my ankle later, I'm not kidding), so I changed him on the counter next to the sink. People kept coming out of the bathroom stall, and I'm like, "So sorry, there isn't a changing table in here." The positive side was that since I was right next to the soap dispenser I basically gave his legs a bath with wet towels and foam soap. I'm pretty sure I horrified a few people, but what restaurant doesn't have a changing table??? Has anyone else had this happen, and what did you do? Should I have changed him on the floor? So our little drive that's supposed to take 3 hours took just about 4. Hopefully we earned ourselves a few good trips coming up.

But we of course always love our time in Texas with family. My sweet niece had an adorable "One in a Melon" birthday pool party! So fun. J's birthday party is in a few weeks, and I need to start planning!

After we got back from Texas, J took a nap while R and I played. Then I took the kids on a walk. They are getting heavier to pull in our wagon! I kept asking R to look at me so I could take a picture, and she literally spun all the way around until her back was facing me. Ha! They both crack me up so much.

Hope you all have a great Monday with no bodily fluid explosions!

Life Lately: June


So I'm loving summer so far.

May has been a more difficult month for me the past few years just because of all the things I mentioned in my last post. Everyone is all "school is over! summer!" and I'm like, "nothing is different! hurrah!" I obviously feel led to share my experience as a working mom, hopefully with the intent to reach and encourage other working moms who may be out there looking for someone to relate to. But I have to say, sometimes I wonder what my real-life (and online-life) stay-at-home mom friends think of me. Are they like, Really, Amanda? This again? So dramatic. I mean, maybe I'm just extremely obnoxious to everyone I know. And I'm not saying that so you'll comment and tell me I'm not obnoxious. It's just that I really can't tell because I don't get much feedback at all on things I post about working mom life from non-working moms except that people ask why I don't just find a job teaching English so I can have summers off. I really don't want to be a teacher, though! Is there a job where I get all the school breaks and I can use editing/writing skills and not be a teacher or go back to school to be something like a librarian? I'm open to ideas!

Anyway, May is past us, and of course things are actually different in the summer once I settle into the idea. There are so many wonderful things to be thankful for, and we've been loving June so far! I took them to get smoothies on Saturday morning (see above), and they were very excited to get their own kid-sized ones. We've never done that before. It was fun, and there were only minor spills.

A few weekends ago we spent the evening at a friend's house, and once it started to get dark they set up an outdoor movie for the kids. It was the absolute cutest thing! R loved it and got really mad when we told her we couldn't stay for the whole movie. We hadn't planned ahead for it because I'd forgotten my friend mentioned they might do it, and we didn't have any bedtime stuff for J, and both kids were super tired anyway. But we're planning on doing it again soon! 

Storm season in Oklahoma started off pretty mild, but then it went crazy and we had a couple weeks where it just wouldn't.stop.raining. and we were on weather watch every night. Jordan got in our storm shelter to clean it out, although our first choice is to head over to his parents' house because their shelter is much larger and more comfortable. 

We actually did have to wake the kids up around 11:00 one night and drive to their house and get in the shelter because the sirens started going off. Jordan was up and came running in saying, "There's a tornado headed right for us and the sirens are going off. We have to get the kids up now." We got them both out of bed and into the car and grabbed the emergency bag and were backing out of the driveway in about 10 minutes, which I thought was pretty good! Thankfully the tornado went north and all we got was a lot of rain.
So I give myself an A+ for getting out of the house in a timely fashion when a tornado is coming, but I'm going to go ahead and admit that I have to give myself a C- for meal planning basically for all of 2019 so far. I'm just not into it, and we've been eating the weirdest meals lately. Every night it feels like I'm searching the pantry and fridge for anything that even remotely goes together. I haven't spent time making freezer meals in months! I'm totally off my game.

And I never never thought I would say this, but we are still getting one Hello Fresh box a month and absolutely loving it. We look forward to it every time! I accidentally skipped last month's, and even Jordan was sad about it. I always turned my nose up at meal subscription boxes, but it's been great for us in this current season of life and just a fun thing to do. Plus the price breakdown actually is not as insane as I thought considering many of the meals have leftovers. We also eat out very, very rarely, so it all evens out. Jordan's been getting into cooking lately and likes having all the ingredients prepped and ready to go. If you want to try it out, I just got a code yesterday for $40 off your first box, which means you can get 2 meals for 4 people for about $20! I will get a few dollars too for referring you. Here's the referral code :) 

One meal we've been eating a lot are these homemade pizzas. The original recipe came from one of our first Hello Fresh boxes, and we've adapted it slightly but keep the same idea. They are extremely easy to make and can be on the table in 30 minutes (including the oven cooking time), they're customizable, delicious, and the kids devour it. We loved it when it came in the box, and I was so excited when I found Italian chicken sausage meat at Sprouts and these individual-sized flatbreads at Aldi so we could recreate it. We tried them once before with breakfast sausage instead of chicken sausage, and it wasn't nearly as good and a little too greasy. We make the kids' without sautéed zucchini because neither of them will eat it, and we added turkey pepperoni on top because we love meat haha. Soooooo good and so easy!

That's all I've got for you at the moment. June is shaping up to be super fun. J's birthday is in TWO WEEKS. He will be 2 and I'm not ready. He is still my little baby who wants to be held by mama constantly. For a little while we will have a 2-year-old and a 3-year-old! Craziness.