A Toothy Tale

My baby girl lost her first tooth today. I still remember the day that little white dot appeared on her gums. Funny how little moments like these remind you how fast it’s all flying by and make you want to have a good cry!

Last weekend Emmy bit into an apple and completely panicked when her tooth came loose. I could hardly believe it was happening so soon- she’s only four! We tried to ease her worries and assure her this was supposed to happen. She quickly turned from tears to thrill. She could hardly wait to get to school to show her friends her loose tooth (kind of a BIG symbol of being a BIG kid).

Grandma Smith was visiting this week and brought a special tooth pillow for Em. She hasn’t been anywhere without it. She brought it into the gym this morning to show all the girls. She walked out snuggling it and singing, “I love you! I love you”, to her prized possession. haha She’s asked me 101 questions about how this tooth fairy thing works and the funny part is she knows it’s us but she still loves playing along.

We sat down to have some chicken soup for dinner and I gave her some crackers to crumble and add in. She bit down on a cracker piece and looked at me with the biggest eyes. “My tooth just came out” she shouted! I gasped and told her to spit her food out but it was too late.. her first tooth had escaped down her throat. She was so scared about this until I explained it would come out on the toilet eventually. She called Daddy and the grandmas to share her exciting news right away. Em proudly announced to Gram, “It went down my throat! But… that’s okay. It’ll come out in my poopy!!!”🙂 Gram suggested we draw a picture of her tooth instead and leave that inside her special pillow. Emmy was on top of it. She quickly grabbed her drawing utensils and got to work, coming up with what she wanted to say and sounding out the words.

It was an epic parent moment: sneaking into her bedroom to play tooth-fairy for the very first time. What’s the going rate for a tooth these days anyway!? We settled on a $2 bill which is way more than I ever got as a kid. haha! I think back to my childhood and how amazing these things were to me. Well, I can honestly say it’s even more fun being the parent. I LOVE getting to watch her experience life and be a part of making it exciting! Mom life is pretty awesome!🙂


Scripture Confessions for Your Littles

I remember our drives to school as a child. My mom would always pray with us and encourage us to look for someone to be kind to. She would tell us to be Jesus to someone, whether that was sitting with someone lonely or smiling at another kid who needed cheering up. Now, in our family, these drives to school serve as a great time to pray with my own kids and have them make positive confessions over themselves. We’ve been working on memorizing scripture during this time. I think it gives us all a positive start to the day and puts our focus on the Lord first thing.

This morning I gave Em a new verse to memorize and profess, “This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it! Psalm 118: 24” She felt overwhelmed by memorizing it and I reminded her how we can practice them often and soon they’ll be written on her heart just like the Bible says. She said, “May be when I’m done with school and grow up and I’m a mommy it’ll be written on my heart. Then I’ll teach them to my kids.” Cue the watery eyes in the driver’s seat.

It touched me to think that this would be passed from generation to generation. It once again reminded me what a great responsibility I have as a parent. It’s my role to instill in her a love for the Father and His word. I’m so thankful for my parents’ dedication to teaching me the word, for conveying the importance of having it written on my heart. What a legacy to pass on!

“Obey my commands and live. Guard my instructions as you guard your own eyes. Tie them on your fingers as a reminder. Write them deep within your heart.” -Proverbs 7:2-3

I encourage you to find time to speak God’s word over your own kids and teach them to speak it themselves. It could be at bedtime or during breakfast or on your drives like we do. The more we raise our children to speak the word over themselves, the more easily they’ll see themselves the way God sees them. The more we focus on what the Bible says about us, the more we’re assured of who we are in Christ.

If you’re looking for a good place to start, I’m going to leave some examples of scriptures turned confessions below..

“In all things, I am more than a conqueror through Jesus Christ, who loves me!” (Romans 8:37)

“This is the day the Lord has made. I will rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118: 24)

“I will obey my parents in the Lord. For this is what is right!” (Ephesians 6:1)

“God is the strength of my life. I can do anything with Jesus in me.” (Psalm 27:1)

“No one can take my joy from me, for Jesus is my joy and his joy makes me strong.” (John 16:22)

“Thank you Lord, you never leave me alone. You never give up on me!” (Hebrews 13:5)

“I will let my light shine all the time so everyone can see Jesus in me.” (Matthew 5:16)

Jonah and Emmy’s Night of FUN!

These kids (12 days apart) have been thick as thieves since day twelve. They spent their newborn days snoozing next to each other in their infant carriers. They raced to be the first to crawl, stand, and walk. They conquered preschool together. They’ve shared birthday parties, sleepovers, toys, and even a love for the OCTONAUTS!

When we heard “Octonauts Live” was going to be at the Brady Theater, we knew we had to make their dreams come true. We decided to bring just the two of them and make it a special little night of fun for them. We showed up ahead of Jonah and Angie and stood outside waiting for them to arrive. When Jonah turned the corner and they first saw each other it was like a slow motion run to greet one another. Heart-melted. They couldn’t have been more excited!img_6362img_6382The show was adorable and the kids thought it was the best thing in the world. They were so into it the whole time. Emmy has what we call a “thinking face”, where you can totally tell her wheels are turning like crazy. She had this look the ENTIRE show! During the show they would involve the crowd and have them yell certain things and at one point she looked at me and said, “really say it this time, Mom! They need our help!” The ocotpod was “broken” and it was supposed to take 15 minutes to fix (intermission) and Jonah was so concerned. He asked Angie, “so, if they don’t fix it, is it all over!?”🙂

This is their “Octonauts to the HQ pose”! img_6383  At the end of the show they made everyone in the crowd a “real Ocotnaut” and Emmy’s so proud of it. She called Matt on our way home and kept telling him, “No, for real, Dad! I’m a REAL octonaut. That’s what they said!”🙂 Also, on the way home I was asking her about the three blob-fish named Bob and she said, “No, Mom! They’re names were BLOB! Not BOB! You must have just not been listening very good because I was listening carefully and they’re names were BLOB!” haha But, seriously guys, their names WERE Bob. I know what I heard! haha! img_6386

After our epic Octonauts adventure, we walked to Antoinette’s for a treat. My treat was black coffee because #diet. The kids enjoyed (shoveled down in 30 seconds or less) a sugar cookie bar. Then they spilled one of their waters and didn’t stop playing “water factory” the rest of the night. They were having too much fun doing who knows what with napkins and water and Ang and I just let them go. They kept each other cracking up the whole night. They were so cute trying to convince us they needed a slice of pie because this was a DATE after-all. :)  After dessert, we decided to grab some real food at STG, where the water works continued on (which also meant about 5 trips to the bathroom).img_6364 img_6387 img_6388

It’s so nice to get one-on-one time with the kids and focus all our attention on them. I’m so thankful these two are the best of friends. To see their sweet bond is the fulfillment of our hopes for them dating back to the womb. Two peas in a pod, our little Octonaut cadets!🙂


A Night at Pumpkin Town!

After an unsuccessful attempt to find babysitters for a double date, we decided to spend Friday night all together at Pumpkin Town. It was such a great night for it with it being a little chilly (always makes it feel more like Fall). img_6214Pumpkin patch is really just code for a big cousins photo shoot right!?😉 As we were snapping these pics, I couldn’t help looking at ALL these kids and wondering how this happened. I mean, all of a sudden there are SIX of them, all so beautifully everything to us. They each have their own personality and spark to bring to the family. And, they all love each other like crazy. It’s such a blessing to be able to raise them together.img_6216Em takes her roll as big sister very seriously and loves to be in charge of holding Crosby. It’s been so fun having a new little one to introduce to these special moments (even though he usually sleeps through them all ;)). img_6261Miles, you are a doll baby!img_6255Gosh, I love my people. As much as mom-life can be a drag, nothing is better than their smiling faces. I swear I’d do “poopy duty” forever if it meant always hearing their squeals of excitement and innocent laughter. They’re such a good reminder of what’s important in life. It’s the simplest things that keep a smile painted on their faces and I so admire that quality. img_6217Isn’t October the best? Crisp air, pretty colors, and memories to be made…img_6259img_6220Could they be any cuter? Jonah’s killing it with that super-hero stance! Is that a go-to in anyone else’s house? It feels like every mini-photo-shoot we do has at least a few “super-hero poses” involved.  img_6253This blob is always a favorite and I love that my parents are the first ones taking their shoes off to join the kids. #goalsimg_6250img_6249img_6251img_6244Pumpkin Town was great! They really upped their entertainment game again this year. There was a whole bunch of new stuff that the kids couldn’t wait to try. It was a little pricey just to enter but, man, they don’t disappoint with activities. img_6241-1This slide was epic. The kids could have done this all night. I think we may need to engineer one of these in the backyard. img_6323img_6235img_6239-1It was so hard to convince Tuck to give this a try. He gets scared of things like this but usually winds up loving it after he tries it once. We kind of forced him down the first time on my lap and he came out and gave the slide a big punch and a pout lip and exclaimed, “NO! I not like dat!” A couple seconds later, he realized how fun it was and wanted to keep going all night. It seriously melts my heart to see him enjoy something the way he did this slide. He was in heaven!img_6234These swings are awesome! I wish they had an adult version because the kids made it look like a stinkin’ blast!🙂 img_6233img_6228Once again with these ear-to-ear smiles from Tuck! This was his other favorite for sure. Lots of “Again, again, again! FASTER, FASTER!!” screams!🙂 img_6232-1img_6227img_6229img_6231Crosby and Miles are little angel babies. They both were just along for the ride and sweet as can be. It got way chillier as the night went on and none of us were prepared for it. Poor Miles spent most the evening wearing a pink fleece.🙂 img_6324img_6226It was another great memory made at the Pumpkin patch. We’ll probably be back again to soak up all the October we can!img_6215


 In July, Josh’s sweet Grandfather passed away. Lino P Juarez lived a long fruitful life. He loved his family, his children, his grandchildren and his great-grandchildren too. His life was one to be celebrated! When we heard that Grandpa had passed from this life, we packed up our family of five and headed down to the South Texas Valley to celebrate his life. I have struggled with how to summarize a trip that was filled with so many joys, and yet, acknowledge the grief that came with saying good-bye to someone so dear.

While talking with Josh’s cousin, I mentioned how surreal it was to have this beach week, in the middle of  “sno cone season.” She responded, “Grandpa would have wanted this for you! Josh works so hard and this is his gift to you.” The perfect words to capture our week and also who Grandpa Juarez was to us.

In 2005, Josh took me to South Padre Island for the first time.  We stayed on the island, in a condo that his Grandpa rented for the family. A couple days into the trip, Josh asked me to marry him. The happiest day. We celebrated with his family and his Grandpa prayed a beautiful blessing over our lives. SPI was and would forever be a place of priceless memories.

Our first Babymoon, multiple holidays, a wedding, celebrations… family. SPI/Brownsville was this place that seemed to welcome us with open arms, sweet memories and warm beach breezes. Grandpa was always there to pick us up at the airport in his big white farm truck. He would hug us and remind us HOW important these trips to The Valley were. Family time was so important to him!

This year, we took our family of five to The Valley. We travelled to SPI to celebrate the life of Josh’s Grandpa Juarez.


Seeing life through the filter of your children’s eyes is always revolutionary. Their innocence, the way they process emotion- it is without fear or the bondage of time. I told the kids delicately, the day before our last-minute trip, that Grandpa Juarez had finished his earthly race and gone to be with Jesus. I expected lots of questions and braced myself to answer them with grace. But, I was so wrong. They both new the fight Grandpa had endured over the last year. They had seen him in the hospital bed. They had said their nightly prayers for his strength and asked Jesus to comfort him. So, when the words left my lips, I watched their innocent faces. Faces that had never known the weight of death. Jonah’s eyes lit up, “Mommy! That’s awesome! He’s with Jesus now! I bet he can run REALLY fast…” My heart felt shocked and challenged, my four year old saw the excitement of being reunited with Christ so clearly.

Traveling with kids is always an adventure. Thankfully the big kids are great listeners, they love the adventure of everything  and flying has become easy with them. Miles did amazing too! He napped in the Tula and nursed on the plane.

We rented this amazing condo near the beach and were overjoyed to see the beach so beautiful (it hasn’t always been super clean). The condo had a super warm pool that the kids loved and bunk beds that were equally as entertaining.🙂


We spent the week splitting our days between the beach and driving into Brownsville/San Benito for family gatherings. The week was priceless in many ways! Miles LOVED the beach, LOVED his hands in the sand, gasped at the waves and napped in the stroller. Jonah spent hours searching for shells, building sand castles and “Hulk-smashing” the waves. Norah could have boogie-boarded all day!

Then, the time with family was precious. Josh’s aunts, uncles, cousins, they all love so affectionately and embrace my kids so warmly.  Days spent with them make me wish we lived closer together.

Ultimately, it is Grandpa Juarez and his wife (whom I never had the chance to meet) that fostered this intense foundation on the importance of family. Grandpa often drove to Tulsa without telling anyone he was coming. He would sit and just smile as the kids played. He would hug and love them and say, “mi hito” or “mi hita” as he pulled them close. He loved Norah and Jonah in a priceless way. Last year, in the hospital, I was pregnant and we didn’t know the baby’s sex yet. Grandpa was on the vent, but awake. Josh was telling him that another baby was coming and we don’t know if it was a girl or boy. Grandpa shook his head and pointed at Jonah. “You think it’s a boy, Grandpa?” With his squinty eyes beaming, he nodded his head again and again. I can’t imagine his pride when Miles entered our lives.

Our kids were his great-grandchildren. His posterity, his genes, his promise to God being fulfilled. He left us a legacy to carry on and I know Norah, Jonah and Miles will represent their Juarez name well…though we may need to teach them some Spanish so they can truly appreciate their roots.😉

Family Night at the Tulsa State Fair

The fair is back! In my book, this signals the official kick-off of Autumn. This season is my favorite as I’m sure it is for lots of “basic” girls around the world. It means layers and lattes and not sweating all your makeup off the second you walk outside. For this mom, it means some of my very favorite family memories are getting ready to be made: pumpkin carving, homemade costumes, pumpkin patch, nights outside by the fire, and this year we’ve got baby Crosby joining in for all of his “firsts” to make everything even more special.img_5769





Once a year I force Matt into a trip to the fair. There’s people watching, fried food, and now the coolest petting zoo and loads of epic rides for the kids. Last year was way too hot and it wasn’t the most fun lugging sweaty kids through crowds of people to wait in endless lines. I told Matt I wouldn’t make us go again this year but when his family scheduled a trip, I convinced him we should tag along. I’m SO glad we went! This was my favorite night with my family in a long time. First of all, the weather was just perfect. We spent most of the daylight inside the petting zoo and headed out for rides galore as soon as the sun began to set.



Both sets of grandparents joined us for the night and it made me feel so thankful for family. These kids are so blessed to be surrounded by people that love them endlessly. It was nice to have help pushing the stroller,  holding baby Crosby, and even riding rides with the kids. Matt’s parents are in the process of moving to Tulsa and I’m so happy the kids will be surrounded by all this love. Somehow all the photos we did remember to take with Grandma and Pops turned out blurry but I’m bound and determined to convert his “non-picture-crazy family” someday.🙂img_5768




This kid loves his cousin, Georgia. Sometimes I’ll catch him rubbing her back, holding hands, or giving her hugs. His “love” is a little rough but GAH it just melts your heart when they are sweeties to each other. Cousins are the best!img_5875-1

img_5765The fair petting zoo is always incredible. It has deer and kangaroos and the craziest looking little animals that have absolutely no fear of humans. They can even be a little aggressive about taking snacks right out of your hand. This funny little fawn wouldn’t stop biting my mom and I’s chambray tops. We kept trying to get away from her but something must have smelled pretty tasty!🙂 img_5830








Tuck was so sweet with all the animals and was in complete awe of this little kangaroo in a bag. He told me the kangaroo really wanted to take a nap so he started singing him Twinkle Star. Precious.img_5820


Fried food is a staple at the fair. I’m proud to say I withstood the temptation and didn’t try a single thing. How I made it through all those delicious smells is beyond me but I’m pretty proud of myself for sticking to my clean-eating plan (no bread/sugar until our vacation in November). The kids enjoyed a corn-dog but that’s all for us. I’m pretty sure we saved some serious money by avoiding our usual binge fest.img_5790


The kids were ALL about the rides this year. They’re both tall enough for most of the kiddie ones and were so pumped about trying them all. One thing about going in the evening was that it was so busy! The lines were forever long but they really did seem to go pretty fast. Someone who was leaving the park gifted us the rest of their tickets so we really got to live it up there at the end. Emmy was so cute and told me, “At first I was kinda scared but I really liked it!” They loved waving and yelling for us and I loved seeing the wonder in their faces. I’ll never get over the beauty of seeing things through their eyes. It’s just magical!  img_5844


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Sorry, Matt, but it looks like our annual fair tradition continues😉img_5784

Mr. Miles: Month NINE

Nine months in, Nine months out. How is it possible that the time is the same?


I would bet money that the time I have held Miles in my arms is far, far, far less than the time I watched him grow in my belly. I continue to be amazed at how fleeting the days are with our sweet baby!

This month Miles has gotten so active! Still not crawling… but FINALLY, rolling tummy to back, back to tummy effortlessly. He scoots himself backwards, spins in a circle and reaches as far as he can for everything. He pulls up if he finds himself near the right set of bars or a good-sized bench. He loves to stand and bounce and “dance” and scream. The best of noises! He loves playing in the kitchen, in and under and around the bar stools. He loves the dishwasher and sliding around on the wood floors. He is getting closer and closer to crawling and less and less satisfied with just sitting contently. The winds of change are blowing strong around here…

He sleeps through the night (12-13hrs) most nights, but wakes up crying periodically. The boy just doesn’t comfort himself, doesn’t CIO, doesn’t comfort nurse, and doesn’t really know what he wants besides his Momma. This month, I’ve found myself awake and pacing the house, walking laps, and bathing him at 2am a few too many times.🙂 These days will pass though and even the rough nights I’ll want back…that I have recognized. I am doing my absolute BEST to treasure every moment with this baby.

Miles is an eating machine! He LOVES baby food- particularly food packets. He wants to feed himself, hold the pack and enjoy. He eats a ton, nurses 4 times a day and snacks anytime he can. Graham crackers and sweet potatoes are his faves. He weighed 17lbs4oz at his 9month check…. still rocking that 5th percentile.🙂 The doctor has said we should have no concerns. He is happy, sleeping, eating and growing (slowly).

Miles loves to babble. He’s saying, “Mamamama” pretty often; but, I’m still trying to teach him it is my name.🙂 He says the sounds- ba, da, and wa frequently too. I think he’s saying “yay!” when he claps his hands and he mimics “I love you” in the most perfect echolalia.


Happy 9th months Mr. Miles!

#Momlife Fall Faves

It’s now the second official day of Fall. It may be hot as ever in good ole’ Oklahoma but we’re ready to get in the spirit. Bring on the pumpkin flavors, cool morning air, and sweet, sweet layers. As we head into the new season, I’m pretty thrilled to get to shop for “normal people clothes”. I can’t tell you how much joy I got out of cleaning all the maternity clothes out of my closet yesterday. See ya elastic waste bands and tent dresses! I’m definitely nowhere near my pre-baby weight and the old skinny jeans won’t be zipping anytime soon but I’m on my way. For now, I’m loving all these fun accessories that are bringing the 90’s back in full force…


Black Chokers– so hot right now! Put it with any outfit to make yourself feel hip and with it!😉 I love these two from Zara but Forever 21 has so many great ones, all about $4 or less- can’t beat that!

Backpack Purses– Yes! A style that totally works with momlife. It leaves your arms and hands free and gives you lots of space for lipsticks, diapers, and snacks.  Love the plum tone of this suede one from H&M.

Fall Lipstick Shades– Pretty lip colors are a great way to feel pulled together on the days you go without a full face of makeup. Mac is still my go-to lipstick brand! (Shades pictured: Diva and Whirl)

Booties– I love having a pair of ankle boots in a neutral color because they can be worn so many different ways. Pair them with some rolled boyfriend jeans or a dress and tights. ASOS has so many great ones that are flat- major win for moms who don’t do errands in heels (do they exist?)!😉

Leather Baseball Hat– I just love this one because it adds a little style to such a casual accessory. Perfect for a day when dry shampoo isn’t going to do the trick.😉 ASOS has a few great options. Check H&M and Forever21 for some pretty suede ones too.


Our Happy Camper is 3 Months Old!

This big boy is growing up so fast! img_5132He is the sweetest addition to our family. I don’t remember enjoying the “newborn phase” as much as I did this time around. The third time around definitely brings a more relaxed parenting style. I didn’t get caught up in the worry the way I have before. I was able to rest and enjoy him, soaking up his tininess while it lasted. He’s grown so much and is coming to life like crazy.

Our favorite thing is talking back and forth with him. He gives us the sweetest little coos and smiles. I can’t wait for the giggles to come. He loves the bathtub and is perfectly content to splash and soak forever. He also looooves kisses, especially on his feet. He thinks its so funny!

He is Emmy and Tuck’s favorite “toy”. They love entertaining their baby brother with singing and dancing.🙂 Emmy makes up the sweetest little songs for him and is constantly reminding him, “everybody loves you Crosby..” Tucker copies what I say and it cracks me up. He’ll say, “goodnight, sweetheart! I love you baby boy.”

We can’t get enough of this cutie and we’ll keep him forever!🙂


Poopy Pants + Poison Control

I’m sitting here pondering life lately and man has it been a trip. We have been going through transitions galore ever since Crosby was born. I’m so thankful this baby sleeps soundly through the night because all of a sudden our big kids don’t. Emmy’s now sleeping without a pull-up so she gets up about ten times to use the bathroom before finally falling asleep at 11 pm (eye roll). Tucker is now potty-trained and in a big boy bed and that has been quite an adventure (prayers appreciated).

The other night I heard some talking in the middle of the night (2:45 am) and opened my door to find Tuck standing there with a giant foam sword in hand talking to Emmy. My jaw hit the floor as I tried to understand what the heck was going on. Emmy explained that this was the third time Tucker had woken her up to play. OMG! We put him to bed and warned him not to get up again (he did). I have a massive bruise on my shin from stumbling back to bed in the dark and I’ve cleaned up so much poopy you wouldn’t believe.

He’s done so well with the whole potty thing except for when it comes to #2s. He’s gone on the toilet a handful of times since we potty-trained him. But for the most part he keeps going in his pull-ups after nap or in the morning before coming out of his room. It’s so frustrating and we’ve tried so many incentives. We currently have a pair of Dinotrux at home on our fireplace mantel. He gets to play with them as soon as he poops on the toilet. We’ve had all the conversations to be had on the topic and explained things a hundred different ways and he still just surprises me with another poopy accident. UGH! Seriously, I’m so open to ideas if anyone has any for me!

Matt went on a birthday trip for his brother and left me with these three for four days. It’s honestly gone pretty smoothly until I found Tucker chowing down on a bottle of melatonin tablets this morning. AHHHH!!! All he could tell me was that he ate a lot of them (and that they tasted good). I promptly panicked and dumped out the bottle to count out how many were left and try to guess how many we’d used already. I figured out he’d had 11 tablets at most! Oh my WORD! I called poision control and they assured me he’d be sleepy but fine. THIS KID! He spent the rest of the morning like a little drunk man falling apart over everything, rubbing his eyes, and staggering around.

As frustrating as all this potty training, parenting, and poison controlling is, I’m so grateful I’m their mama. I was rocking Crosby tonight and just started talking to Jesus about him. I felt my eyes well up as I thanked the Lord for his life and for entrusting me as his mother. This role is such a responsibility and honor. I never want to take it for granted. I love being mom to these three and want to treasure this stage, poopy accidents and all.🙂