Being Brickner

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Red, White & Cute

Who else is getting super excited for the three-day weekend right around the corner?!  Memorial Day is always such a fun time of year for us, summer is so close we can taste it and our end of school countdown is officially in the teens.  We always love to celebrate by spending as much time in the sun as possible, cooking out with friends & family and of course, thinking of those who sacrificed so much for our great country.

This year we have teamed up with Gymboree to get all kinds of festive for the occasion, which is you know, just one of our favorite things to do, ever!!!  Waverly Maye was so excited when the box full of fun holiday clothes (and most importantly, accessories!) came to our front door, she has been wearing a red, white & blue bracelet for the past two weeks straight. ;)

I chose matching suits for the girls, which seemed completely practical, since we always end up doing some sort of beach or pool activity and pretty much live in swimsuits all summer long anyways.  What may not be practical with a suit, the pair of red cowboy boots that Avalon is rocking, though she looks so freaking cute in them I just couldn't resist!!!!

Our friends at Gymboree also sent the girls over a couple dresses, we can't wait to use them this weekend for all the holiday fun (and then again for the fourth in just over a month!!).  Now it's your turn!  How will you celebrate the holiday with your friends & family this weekend?  Check out the full collection of Star Spangled Looks here to dress your sweet babes for the holiday and head over to my Instagram tonight at 7:30pm ET to win a $50 gift card to Gymbroree!  Good luck! XO

This post was sponsored by Gymboree but all opinions are my own.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Loving Lately

Spring has sprung and there is so much to love out there right now!!!!  I am always first drawn to everything bohemian, light and airy year round, so I think spring might just be my favorite since it lends itself so well to all of that.  Sharing some current fashion finds today, both for mama, babe, and the home!

I pretty much live in jean shorts and shirts all spring & summer, so I've been eyeing a few tops to add to my closet!  I love this one, which is majorly on sale and so versatile.  Also so excited about these, I've been wearing the short-sleeve version all winter with jeans, so comfy and the best colors!

I just got this dress for Waverly, the perfect colors for spring!  Also my favorite shoes EVER for the girls are back, these clogs from Old Navy!!!!  They are seriously so good, I found them in-store a few weeks back and bought them in enough sizes that the girls can wear them for the next couple of years. ;)

Obsessed with this rug from Land of the Nod for the girls playroom.  It's pricey, but Waverly's is from there and it's easily my favorite rug we have ever had.

I just got another watch from Daniel Wellington, I love it so much!!!!  This will be my third, which might sound crazy, but I literally wear one every single day.  I typically don't wear too much jewelry other than that, and it's the perfect piece to wear something without feeling like you are wearing too much.

This maxi is the perfect cover up to wear all summer long, perfect for running after kids at the beach or waterpark!

Kids hunter boots are on sale!!!!!!  I picked these up for the girls so quickly, we love them and wear them constantly and these are such a good price!

We recently got this throw from Little Giraffe, and it is amazing.  So beautiful and the girls love cuddling with it, it's quickly become our favorite throw at the house!

This book, I am dying to read it!  To be honest, I could not tell you the last book I read start to finish (or even magazine), tis' the season of life I am in!  But I am determined to make time to read again and this would be the perfect start.

And lastly, our little ladies were so sweet tonight before bed.  Avalon's been having a really hard time letting go of the day and going to bed, so tonight Waverly decided she would rock her.  Avalon literally laid on her while Waverly sang all the songs I always sing to them, goodness it was sweet.  Not all the moments are like that (and many are far from it), but those are the ones I will choose to hang on to.

Hope you are having the best week, friends!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Sisters Say

Kicking off the weekend with some of my favorite things that our girls have been saying lately!!!  The last time I did a post like this (just a few months back), it was just about Waverly, but this time around I had to add Avalon because girlfriend has full-on sentences these days.  It's so crazy, I swear she went from throwing out a few words here & there one minute to talking like a real little person the next.  Listening to them talk (especially to each other) is one of my favorite things, I just love their little voices so much, there's truly nothing better!

My husband and I met in high school, and the other day we were driving by the school we went to and I told Waverly that it was the place and daddy & I had met in math class, and she said, "oh, and then you asked him to live with you and put babies in your belly?"

Most nights when we have dinner we go around and ask everyone what their favorite part of the day was.  Waverly loves it (and usually answers right now, eating dinner with my family), and Avalon for the past few months straight has said every single time "the BIG SLIDE".  Whether we went on one that day or not.  Then the other night Waverly said that her favorite part of the day was playing with her friend Grace at school, and then next for Avalon's turn she said, "playing with Grace at school".  Avalon doesn't go to school and doesn't play with Grace, but she wanted to be just like big sister.

Waverly was SO excited for Mother's Day -- loves any holiday just like her mama -- and had been telling me Happy Mother's Day for weeks.  Then the morning of, she came into my room and didn't say anything for a little while, so when I asked her if she wanted to tell me anything she said "Happy almost Father's Day".  After I told her it wasn't Father's Day, she said, "oh, it must be Avalon's birthday then".  Thanks girlfriend.

For as long as I can remember, anytime that Avalon asks for a drink or a snack she always follows it by asking for one for sissy.  Every single time, it's forever one of my favorite things.  Also are my kids the only ones who have assigned colors to their snack and drink cups?  Avalon has to have "pink" and Waverly has to have "purple", their current favorite colors, god forbid I get it wrong because the world WILL end. ;)

I shared this on Instagram, but because I want to document it forever ... the girls were playing upstairs in Waverly's room while I was downstairs, all of the sudden I heard Waverly shout out, "Mom, do not come up here.  Something is going on".  Exactly what every mother wants to hear.  I came up and my jewelry was everywhere (on them & the floor), but I'm going to chalk it up as a win since at least they decided to be honest and let me know.

The girls are starting to gang up on us, and it's working.  If I put Waverly in a time-out Avalon quickly comes rushing over to her to console her, which usually turns into them laughing and being extra cute and making me forget all about what happened to get her there in the first place.  Avalon will say "sissy's not nice but now she's sorry".  I mean, how do you even argue with that?!  Something tells me that we are totally getting a glimpse into their roles in the future.

And lastly, sorry honey, but I have to share.  My husband was getting into the shower the other morning and I heard Waverly scream "EWWWW!  It's a -----------------".  Clearly we don't have a lot of those at our house. #girldadproblems

HAPPIEST weekend, friends!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

My Motherhood - Mother's Day 2017

When Waverly Maye was just over one month old, I took her to my school to see my students and co-workers for the first time since officially becoming a mom.  I will never forget, I woke up at four am so I could dry my hair and get myself ready before her next feeding, even though I hardly had any sleep the night before.  I so badly wanted to look like I had this whole mom thing figured out, and to come seamlessly strolling in with my sweet baby girl like I had done it forever.  Of course all of it backfired, three minutes into drying my hair (while it was still dark outside), she had a huge blowout and I spent the rest of the time until we had to leave cleaning her up and keeping her calm.  I did get to school, however I looked anything but put together, with no make-up on and covered in sweat from the August heat & my postpartum hormones.

I share this now, because four years later, I can't help but laugh at that story, maybe even mostly at the fact that I can't believe I thought I would have the "mom thing down" one month into it.  Honestly, some days I still don't -- and that's ok.  One of the many things that motherhood has taught me is humility, and lately I have really been working on giving myself some grace, the grace I so deserve along with all the other mom warriors out there.  Our days are not always perfect.  My four-year old mini me tests me daily and I find myself googling "how to raise the strong-willed child" more than once a week.  My almost two-year old currently doesn't like naps or any foods that don't have sugar in them.  We don't co-sleep and the thought of it actually scares me, by the time bedtime hits I need my space.  Motherhood is messy, it can be so freaking intimidating, exhausting, and scary.

Yet with all of that, it is (and no doubt will forever be) the greatest joy I have ever known.  I always knew I wanted to be a mother, but nothing could have prepared me for how happy it would make me or for the unconditional love I would have for my girls.  How did I get so lucky to be at the front row, watching every magical and frustrating moment of their little lives?!  How are they mine?  They are everything, two little people who fill my heart to the brim and who gave me the best role I've ever had.

Sharing some pictures from Mother's Day weekend, it was such a good one with lots of relaxing and quality time with my family, and even a little alone time for a Target trip and pedicure!!!

Hope all the mamas you had the most wonderful Mother's Day!!!!  Of course I have to send the HAPPIEST Mother's Day to my own mama, the one who showed me what this thing is all about.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Beach Weather

We are officially in summer countdown mode over here, 28 school days left for Waverly Maye & me and we CAN'T WAIT!!!!  I have sometimes thought that I would like having year-round schools here so we could have little breaks all year long, but ultimately the feeling of summer beats anything like that for me.  I remember being a kid and literally feeling like I was walking on top of the world the last day of school, and it might be ever better now. :)

Our summer plans aren't much different than any other year, we have season passes to both the zoo and waterpark (plus added in the aquarium), and of course, we will be doing lots of beach days.  The weather here has been warm enough that we have been a couple of times already, I can't even handle Avalon in her swimsuit or with her trademark little grin!

I am convinced that it is impossible to be in a bad mood at the beach, looking at the waves, with your feet in the sand, and my girls are the same way.  There's just something about building sand castles and running towards the waves that screams childhood, beach pictures always end up being some of my very favorite.

And because I can't help myself from some comparison pictures, I have included a couple links below with some past beach days.  I promise each one of them feels like it was yesterday.


Friday, May 5, 2017

Our Trip to Asheville

We took a little family vacay to Asheville, North Carolina a few weeks back on my spring break, it was a few of the sweetest, most memorable days we have had and I am so excited to (finally!) share a little bit about our time there.  Asheville came highly recommended by so many of our friends, we heard it was laid-back and kid-friendly with some beautiful landscaping - and that was certainly the case for us!!  We loved how charming everything was, especially the people, the overall vibe of the entire city was just the best and both my husband & I agreed that it was somewhere we could live if we didn't already call VB home.

The cutest boutique hotel, The Bunn House, was so kind to offer for us to come stay with them and we were excited looking at all the pictures the weeks before we got there.  Funny story though, we had a little miscommunication about the trip and they did not realize we were bringing our four & one-year old. They are very much catered to adults, the site is quiet and serene, perfect for relaxing - none of the words I would use to describe a trip with two kids. ;)  The owners were SO GRACIOUS about it though, we ended up staying the first night and they found us another hotel (that was kid-friendly!) for the following night.  The property there is absolutely gorgeous, perfect for a weekend parent getaway, it had the most charming rooms complete with a mini-fridge stocked with wine (!!!) and a steamed shower, plus a beautiful rooftop terrace.  We can't wait to go back in a couple months for our anniversary! 

The first day there we pretty much just explored the downtown area, which we loved!  It was within walking distance of The Bunn House, we had so much fun just looking at all of the scenery and even found a few cute toy shops for the girls.  There was so much to see (and tons of restaurants), but after traveling in a car for so long, both Waverly & Avalon got over it pretty quickly.  We were able to come back a couple more times over our trip, my biggest tip to families traveling to Asheville and going downtown with little ones, bring a stroller!!!! :)  We kept our girls in our double one the entire time we were on the sidewalks because they were so narrow, otherwise we definitely would have been nervous about them running out on the street.

That night we went to Salvation Station for dinner and drinks with our friends who were also in Asheville for the week, it was the best atmosphere and absolutely perfect for kids!  It was on a ton of land and they had hammocks, cornhole, and balls out for the kids, our girls were so happy there and would have easily stayed for hours.  We definitely recommend this place, especially for families!


We went back & forth on whether we would go to the Biltmore while we were there, and ultimately decided to go for it on the second day.  We weren't sure how much the girls would love it (or how long they would last on a tour ... ), but they ended up loving it and we were SO HAPPY we decided to spend the money on the tickets.  The mansion is absolutely beautiful, unbelievable even, my favorite part without a doubt was the costume design they had out in each room while we were there!  After the tour, we let the girls explore the gardens, went to the petting zoo, and then did a wine tasting that came with our tickets (which ended up being a complete circus, we lasted through two samples before both girls were over it!). We were all so exhausted by the end of the day that we ended up ordering pizza in the room, but it was definitely our best day of the trip and my only complaint is that we didn't have enough time there to get to do everything we wanted to do.


Some other restaurants that we tried while we were there and loved were the Early Girl Eatery & the Over Easy Cafe, the first of the two actually brought out a basket of little toys for the kids to play with while we waited, which we very much appreciated!!

It really was the best few days, though I won't pretend like it was seamless or perfect.  We are very much a routine-driven kind of family, and taking both girls out of their element and completely off their schedule definitely had its challenges.  There were lots of tears and meltdowns (sometimes from both girls at the same time), but much like parenthood, the magical, special moments made up for it ten times over.  I will never forget how excited little Miss Avalon Elle was when she realized bedtime was happening the same room as us and her big sissy, and at the end of the trip, Waverly said that "Asheville was the best country she had ever been to in her entire life".  Thanks for the memories, Asheville.
Our stay was complimentary of The Bunn House, their boutique hotel is absolutely beautiful and we definitely recommend it for an adults-only trip.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Waverly's Kindergarten Registration Day

Our Waverly Maye had her kindergarten registration this week, can you even believe it?!!  I know every other mama before me can relate, it really is such a bittersweet milestone.  Part of me wants to cry a river over the fact that this seals the deal that she is literally growing up before our eyes, but mostly, I am SO incredibly proud of her and so excited for what is to come.  I think it really hits home for me even more since I've been on the other side of all of this for the past eleven years (as a teacher myself), we all have so much to look forward to and I can't wait to be her biggest supporter through it all.  I also selfishly am excited to have her on the same exact schedule as me now, one of the reasons that I went back to teaching last year!

We have been going back and forth for months on what school we would send her to (mostly whether I would bring her to my school with me or to our neighborhood school), and for a few reasons, we ultimately decided to send her to the school we are zoned for.  Honestly the deciding factor more than anything was that she is SO EXCITED to ride the school bus, and could only do that if she went to the school in our neighborhood.  She has been pointing out yellow school buses and asking when she got to ride them for as long as I can remember, and it was what she was most excited to do on her registration day.  So funny how the little ones love to do that so much, I can remember hating the school bus in high school and begging my dad (then later my boyfriend, who is now my husband!) to drive me and pick me up for school before I had a car myself. ;)

Waverly woke up Tuesday morning and the first thing she said was, "I am so, so excited!", and then debated over her outfit forever.  After we finally agreed on one, she packed her purse with lip gloss, a couple toys, and a toy for Avalon to play with later that day when she got to see her. :)  I took the morning off so just the two of us got to go together, moments like that are always even more special since we don't get to be together just us very often.

The parents pretty much spent the morning filling out paperwork and listening to basic information while the kids went on a school bus ride, toured the school, and listened to a couple stories.  Waverly hardly blinked when she lined up to leave and when she got back, she said, "the school bus was great and I met a really nice little girl who was wearing flip-flops, but I don't remember her name".  Leave it to my kid to only remember details about the fashion, she seriously gets it from her mama.  We walked around outside her school afterwards and she peeked in every room wondering if it would be her classroom, and was so excited to see that there was not only one playground, but two.  She seriously can't wait, and it's such a rewarding thing to watch & be a part of.

For fun, I asked her a few questions before we left, I'm thinking I will ask her the same ones on her actual first day on September and see how much they have changed!

What is your favorite color?  Purple (it's been purple for two years now).
What is your favorite food?  Spaghetti & Meatballs
What do you want to be when you grow up?  Elsa.  Or Moana.
What are you most excited for about today?  Her answer was literally "yep", I think she was over my questions at that point ...
What makes you most happy?  Avalon.

Happy Kindergarten Registration Day to my sweetest baby girl, we love you more than you will ever know!!!! XO