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EVERYDAY IN MAY IS HERE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Time for my annual first pic for EVERYDAY IN MAY:

DSC_2969(if you’re new around here, you can read back HERE where this whole rhyme of a good time evolved from)

I don’t know if it’s the blog drought that came in like a wrecking Smith ball as I became the mom of a million kids, but I have been looking forward to this blog tradition for weeks!

I have a file on my phone of specific posts I can’t wait to write.

I want to type ALL THE WORDS!

Y’all ready for this!?

To quote my Juners:  “Raise your hand if you’re ready for this!”

She makes sure everyone’s hand is up, including Smiff’s that she has to go manually raise herself.

God love her.

So here we are, year #5 of EVERYDAY IN MAY!

I’m truly proud of that fact.  I thought this was the 5th year, but just had to go back to check and upon realizing it, I said aloud (to the living room)–

“Wow!  Way to go, Me.”

It’s this kind of self-talk that keeps me motivated.

In preparation for starting this EVERYDAY IN MAY gig, I spent a good portion of April reading.

You may think I would want to spend time preparing by writing, but on the contrary– nothing makes me more pumped to write good words than reading some good words.

Back to that Smith Bomb coming in like a wrecking ball and bringing me to the grand total of having a million kids, my reading habits had taken a bit of a dive since his August arrival.

But recently we’ve been getting our groove with all these kids and I’ve found myself quite blissfully reading in the bath with my snake oils.

Liane Moriarty gets me on many, many levels, and upon a friend needing a book recommendation and me Googling which of hers I wanted Brittany to start with, I realized I had missed two of her books!  I thought I had read everything she has written, but there were two hiding away from me, both of which I now own and have devoured.

I love all of her words, and this is an unsponsored plug to go find one of her books (I’ve loved every one of them) and thank me later.

I’ve very much enjoyed having my April showers bring May flowers kind of thing with “reading lots of words makes me excited to write lots of words.”

It doesn’t quite rhyme, but you get the gist.

So for today’s first post of EVERYDAY IN MAY, I thought I would share 5 confessions.

5 because I love that number, but also in celebration of this being year number 5 of EVERYDAY IN MAY.

Here we go.

5 Confessions for Year #5 of EVERYDAY IN MAY

1.  This.

fdbf864cf4a90a98f20ae36070038f5d336facba99efe467700c5d10435724ffI don’t get it!?!!!?!

And I feel so worried about my teenage years that I don’t, because everyone else seems to, so I just kind of nod along but y’all– I’m clueless.


Glad to have that off my chest.

2.  Speaking of May, every May Day for the last 4 years, I’ve secretly hoped someone would leave me a May Day basket with some sort of sentiment of their excitement for EVERYDAY IN MAY.

Every May Day comes and goes with nothing of the sort, but mostly because I think I’m the only one that remembers this is a thing LOL.

Which is just as well, because I once wrote letters to my Future Husband EVERYDAY (as in DID NOT MISS A DAY) for 5 consecutive years and I can ASSURE you my Shippmate has never read a word of those lol.

Which is honestly for the better, but my point is I don’t write for other people, but rather I write because it’s what I do.

I feel alive while typing words from my heart to my keyboard.

For as long as I can remember, my soul has needed to write– words are my people, and I love them so.

Maybe next May Day I’ll make myself a basket.

3.  Here’s a confession of a conversation from tonight:

The Shippmate and I were sitting together at church and he kept being all flirty and touchy and nice.

me:  “why are you being so nice to me?”
Ry:   “because I can see down your shirt”


Come join us at Pillar Church where we are always super appropriate and highly religious.

4.  Sometimes I daydream about being in Adult Spelling Bees.

Are those even a thing?

I’m not for sure if they are or not, but just earlier I saw someone misspell a word– a moderately difficult one at that– and I was reminded of how much I love to spell.

I don’t know how or why, but I’m a very skilled speller.

I always have been, and from my brief time working in an elementary school I feel like it’s nearly something you’ve either got or you don’t.

I know it has nothing to do with intelligence (though the excellent speller in me sometimes wants to pretend otherwise) but I feel like it’s more about visualization or memory or something.

Anyway, I think June may have acquired this trait of mine, as she already spells words with me often.

As in, when we’re driving by signs, she will say: “I-H-O-P…. those letters spell IHOP!”

Or earlier watching Toy Story 2, when the title came on, she spelled “T-O-Y…. those letters spell TOY!  Which rhymes with BOY!”

And my heart sings.

Or it’s beyond adorable when Frozen comes on.  For months now, when the title comes on, she quickly says “F-R-SNOWFLAKE THING-Z-E-N….. FROZEN!”

She’ll be in the front row cheering me on at my said Adult Spelling Bee competitions.

“G-O, M-O-M!”

Can’t wait.

5.  My last confession of the evening is I’m currently half tempted to sign up for one of those clean eating challenges people post about on Facebook.

But I feel like they might frown upon the grilled cheese and chips and salsa I’m eating while reading about them, and I just don’t know that I can take that kind of negativity in my life.

I’ll keep you posted on where I land with such a debate.

But for now, I am confident that I need sleep!

I’m so glad to be back here in the Dyer-E for what I believe might just be the very best EVERYDAY IN MAY yet!

See you tomorrow, and Happy May Day from me to you!

PS:  It wasn’t a May Day basket excited about EVERYDAY IN MAY, but I must share that June did pick me two precious weeds of flowers earlier and brought them to me and said-

“Mommy- I picked you some flowers because I love you.”

And then-

“I wanted to pick you some of those purple ones but couldn’t reach.  Could you go pick them yourself?”

I loved every bit of the sweetness of that May Day flower delivery from my baby girl.

05.1.16 Leave a comment


Oh, my Smith Baby–

It’s your Mama here.

I have a confession for you my baby boy.

I started this thing when your big sister June was born where I wrote her a letter every month for the first year of her life on her 1 month birthday, 2 month, 3 month, etc.

I even stated that I was stopping the letters at one year to make it a more attainable and realistic idea to achieve for my next baby.

Which would be you lol.

Except here we are– on your 8 month birthday and this is the first you’re hearing from me in this monthly letter format.

I quickly realized it just wasn’t going to happen.  And I didn’t even feel a ton of mom guilt about it, because Smith– I honest to goodness spent every moment possible just SOAKING. YOU. UP.

And Brother Bear– there has been A LOT of you to soak up.  It’s basically a full-time job, and thus the reason these monthly letters haven’t happened yet.

I did fully plan on writing you a 6 month one but then Mama Got The Mono and that kind of took over everything.

But now, I’m kind of glad I waited for today.

Because oh baby, did I ever deliver for your 8 month birthday— not only are you getting a letter, my Smithy Smitherson, but Mama got you your very own national television debut!

Right on your 8 month birthday.

Let me rewind and explain.

I’m copying and pasting from a FB post where I caught people up to speed:


Here’s the 411 on what’s going on with our superstar Smith Bomb.

Several of you sweet friends sent us links about a fat baby contest Jimmy Kimmel had going on, so if I’m going to have delivered a linebacker and still limping around trying to carry him, we figured we might as well get him his 2 min of fame and have a little fun in the process.

That and I keep thinking by communicating with all of these producers maybe they will TELL ME ALL THE SECRETS OF THE BACHELOR PRODUCTION.

Okay so they haven’t (yet) but we have had fun sending pictures and then doing a little audition of sorts with our Chubbawubbabubba this evening!

If he’s chosen, we’ll Skype in for an upcoming episode with some other cute bundles of love across the country!

If he’s not, we’ll boycott and watch Fallon forevs.

Kidding– we’ve had great fun with the whole thing and if his manly physique wasn’t what they want, that’s all good too.

He’s #1 in our hearts and #30 on our scales– that’s plenty of love for us!

Like · Reply · 55 · March 22 at 11:26pm ·

Okay, so Smith– a month ago I knew the taping was going to be sometime this week and in my heart of hearts, I just KNEW it would land on your 8 month birthday!

I NEEDED it to be this special moment for my baby boy that I’d yet to make a special “Happy 3 Month Birthday” letter for, and when the producer gave us the date this weekend, I nearly cried!!!!

Not because I care that much about you being chosen or on TV or even the Super Star of a Smith Bomb you are.

Nah– those things are cool and fun, but they pale in comparison to the joy it gives my heart to give you the tiniest slice of an idea of just how special and precious you are to me, Smith.

I adore you, son.

I really do.

Like you can read back on this very Dyer-E to posts before you were born and fully hear the confusion and nervous in my heart as I very earnestly felt puzzled at the thought of loving another baby like I loved our June.

Oh Smith.

You wrecked my heart so quickly I cannot even believe it.

I don’t even view you as my “second born.”

I use the phrase “firstborn girl” to describe June often.

I’ve never until right now even typed or used the word “second born” for you, because you’re not.

You’re second to none, but rather you’re my very first son.

You’re my baby boy and my son and my Chubbawubbabubba.

You melt my heart in ways I knew not possible until I met you.


And let me tell you, Smithers– that’s really something, because I love big and I love out loud, and I have felt very, very loved by many people near and dear to me.

But not one of them— not my June, not my Shippmate, not my mom nor dad– none of them quite possess this superpower of a lovebug you have in within you that just melts me to my inner core.


You slay me daily.


Which brings me back to why I was just giddy when I received confirmation that while I haven’t been able to give you letters every month like I gave your big sister June– I am so thrilled to give you a little bit of stardom on this day, my Smith Baby.

And somehow I kind of think 25 year old you might be okay with the fact you have a late night television debut instead of letters about your first months of life lol.

I want to close this 8 month letter to you with a little secret.

But first, let me state what is secret to none…

You are the biggest baby EVER.


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Okay, I know that isn’t exactly true, but oh my rolls upon rolls of pure perfection, it feels true to us.


And to everyone who sees you.

Smith– we can go NOWHERE with you without you becoming the center of attention.

Just recently at Chipotle we were just trying to enjoy our burritos as a fam bam before heading to Crown Center, and we laughed as we nearly felt like we were eating with a celebrity because people SWARM our table.


They want to see you and enjoy one of your irresistible grins and then comment on how huge and adorable and precious you are.

This happens EVERYWHERE.

I’ve absolutely and positively lost count of the of number of times I hear “HE IS THE CUTEST BABY I’VE EVER SEEN.”

Smith, I hear it from people with their own babies in their arms!


So before I share this little secret with you, I need you to know just what a chunk of love you are to everyone around you.

And that isn’t even to mention the fact you’re so big you broke our swing, our Rock N Play, and your legs never had a chance of fitting in our Bumbo.


Your nearly 11 pound just born self laughed at the newborn diapers the St. Luke’s nurses had, and immediately they had to go find some size 1 diapers!


We had to actually cut you out of your coming home outfit that was a size 3-6 months.

You’re currently wearing 4T at 8 months.

June can sit in YOUR lap and you just grin because you’re a beast, well and as you can see– when you sit in hers, you’re kind of squishing her!


Honestly a phrase I hope you forget hearing from me is “I really think he’s too big of a baby for me!”


Hahahahaha- but seriously– I’m not that strong, but somehow I’ve had to become so to just carry you around!

You just put a smile on everyone’s face that sees you– your grin and cheeks and precious face are contagious with their joy.


But here’s the secret.

Here’s what I’ve kept to myself the last 8 months each time someone comments on how big you are.

Here’s what I smiled up to Jesus about when I got word from the Jimmy Kimmel producer you were chosen as one of the babies to be on his Fat Baby Wall.

Smith, it was just 20 weeks into my pregnancy with you– nearly a year ago right now– when I had a really tough ultrasound.  You can read more details over here at A Level 2 Ultrasound with a side of tears, but one thing I was told that emotional afternoon was that I had a marginal cord insertion.

That is a lot of fancy doctor words that meant you might not grow nor develop quite like you should.

You might be a pretty small baby when you arrived, we were told.

And there you showed up after 3 very intense and very hard and painful hours of labor.

The doctor and your daddy both immediately declared you a “big boy” but it wouldn’t be until almost an hour after you were born that I would hear your weight.

10 pounds. 14 ounces.


Sometimes I still can’t believe that is real life.

Smith, when I look at your rolls and your cheeks and your adorable body that brings strangers over for grins and admiration– I see more than just sweet chubby baby love.


I see pound after pound of my God hearing and answering prayers.

When I am lotioning your legs and belly and arms and then fighting the zipper of your 4T pajamas to zip you up before bed, I see Jesus providing and knowing more than any level 2 ultrasound could ever reveal.


When people stare at you in amazement, I whisper to Jesus, “Oh, if only they knew just how amazing You are.”


Because here’s the thing, Smith– tonight you get to be on TV.

That’s cool.  It’s even kind of a big deal.

I would know- I once sat down for a live interview of my own on The Today Show and still smile remembering the cool factor of that day– I won’t deny the fun of it.

I won’t deny it does feel like a big deal.

But it’s nothing.

In the scheme of forever and eternity and Jesus and salvation and in the scheme of Things That Really Matter, it’s not a big deal at all.

In the realm of BIG and HUGE, you are little– you’re even tiny, my son, and our God and our Jesus reign supreme with BIG and HUGE.

I have hardly spoke to anyone– your daddy or your Grammy or even my close friends– about how often I think back to that marginal cord insertion diagnosis.

It’s been this secret thought tucked away in my heart for me and Jesus to laugh and smile about when people go on and on about how big you are.

But today– a day when we’re celebrating your big belly and rolls all over… and even on your 8 month birthday?

Well, it felt like the most perfect day to share it with you.

Because, Smith– I don’t want us to forget that stressful level 2 ultrasound of an appointment or the way I left in such scared and confused tears.

I want us to remember the hard and uncertain news we were told that day.

For with that appointment in mind, when I look at you and every ounce of your chubby cheeks, I am constantly reminded of the power of prayer.

The hope of a Savior.

The kindness of our Jesus.

Smith, you’re a big, big baby.

Jimmy Kimmel even confirmed this and you’ll get to see him later tonight to show him just how big you are.

But our God is bigger.

And for that, I’m the most thankful.

I love you so much, Smith Dyer Shippy.  I’m so proud– so giddy even– to be your Mama.

Happy Happy 8 Months to the baby boy I never knew I always needed.


I love you,



04.18.16 15 Comments

A Happy Grilled Cheese Day Indeed.

I loved today.

My little puker from last night slept healthily and peacefully all night while my Daniel Tiger loving girl was worn out (from staying awake just 20 min shy of the entire drive home telling us jokes and stories and songs lol) and slept in — both giving me a catch up on sleep from being out so late.
Smithers woke up smiling like normal and hasn’t been sick all day?  I have NO idea what that episode was, but I pray it’s done and gone.

I spent a portion of our morning DEEP cleaning the van to rid it of any remnants from the night before.


While doing so, I also called around looking for someone to mow our lawn that had become a bit of a mess and with us having been gone every evening for almost a week straight, there was little time for Ryan to do it, so I wanted to surprise him and have it done.  I called several companies and one called me back and said if my location was close to their work they could squeeze me in.  I told him our street and he said he was in a driveway and looked up to see our exact street name!  I looked out on our porch and could see their lawn truck!  Needless to say that worked out wonderfully.

We had a sweet Spin lunch date — just the three of us and Smith was clearly doing so well that I told June we could do something fun outside in the nice weather. I suggested getting some bubbles for her bubble lawnmower or the park and she was all about the park idea!

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Before leaving Spin, she needed to redeem her free gelato token, and something I just love about that girl is her confidence to approach people.
She walks right over to the Spin worker (who she already had had a full conversation with earlier about her Katerina doll and telling her about out trip last night) and said, “Okay, I would like some hi-cream (I LOVE the way she says it) now, ma’am.  Chocolate, please!”
She also saw our neighbor Rhonda at Spin and had a good talk with her, as well.
I just love seeing her exert confidence and manners and friendliness with people– it really makes me so proud of her!
As we were driving to the yellow park per June’s request, I was talking to my mom on the phone so I drove around the block a couple of times (capitalizing on kids being in car seats and a conversation happening easier lol) and June kept saying, “Mom!  The park!  You’re missing it!  STOP THE VAN!  Smiff- she’s missing it again!!!!”
I finally did stop the van and only to see a ton of lovely faces I knew there.  Which was awesome except when we had left the house after cleaning out the vomit van, I had not even planned on going in Spin.  June talked me and Olaf pajamas into that and now here I was in my weird clothes, unwashed face, glasses and just mess of a self approaching all these moms who look like they had glanced in a mirror before stumbling upon the park.

But I wasn’t going to let that squelch our park plans, so I grabbed some gum and borrowed some of June’s confidence when walking down the hill from our house to the van (please see pic of her with purse and sunglasses– EVERYDAY that’s how she walks to the van…. on her own runway and I LOVE IT)


and I’m glad I did because it ended up being such a sweet afternoon visiting and playing among the Classical Conversation people we like to pretend to be as cool as.


Two hours of play and sun later and Juniper and Smith were ready for naps upon arriving home.

I decided to ignore all matters of chores needing done in our home to read my book on the porch while they both napped and I’m still smiling from the sun I soaked up while reading my wonderful book.


I will regret that decision NEVER.
When the kids woke up, we went outside to play with our neighbors, which is always a grand time and in being outside with them, I got to personally see The Shipper pull up to see his yard mowed!
He even stopped his truck in surprise.
It was great.

Dinner was chill and full of butter, bread, and cheese in the name of National Grilled Cheese Day.


We played and ran a few errands before bath and bed time.
I had to run to Wal-Mart to grab some eczema meds for Smith Bomb and also got June a new Finding Nemo plate that she was SO excited about.  She loves bringing me surprises and having me close my eyes, so I did the same for her and she just reacts like anything you give her is THE BEST THING EVER.  It’s so fun.  She looked up at us and so sincerely said, “Well thanks guys! This is GREAT!!!”
She also amused us to no end as Ryan set up this new music stand he got and she decided to “play church.”  She was Daddy and leading music before Atticus’s sermon.  It was both hilarious and glorious to watch.  Well, watch and participate, as she was a little more intense than The Shippmate is in demanding the congregation (me, Ry, and Smith) to sing with her.
Another favorite thing she is loving to play lately– and she made up– is when she is Grammy, I am Erica, Smith is June.  She welcomes us to her house and hugs Smith (June) saying, “You’re my favorite granddaughter!!  I’m SO glad you’re here!  Let’s play together, my favorite girl!”
It’s the cutest.
Anyway, that was our day and it was nothing extraordinary but just a whole lot of normal things that I loved.
Sleeping in with my babes.  A super fun lunch out with just the three of us.  Park with friends (on accident but so great to talk to moms I love).  Mama laying out reading and getting a slight sunburn that I’m actually kind of thrilled about.  A grilled cheese party with my fam bam.
And then when all my people were going to bed, I started to leave the house a disaster (The Shippmate said it wasn’t actually a disaster but in my book it kind of was) and just go to bed, but I’m SO glad I chose to stay up 2 hours and clean this whole place up.
I will be much happier to wake up to everything done in the morning.
So I’m even ending my day sweetly with things in order and clean and the dishwasher going.

OH.  And I feel like I shared a million June moments I loved today, so let me not leave out my Chubbawubbabubba.  He’s the sweetest thing ever.  Really.  His grin and eyes and cheeks and whole face just melt me to a million pieces.  And despite being so heavy to carry around, it’s actually the most fun thing to carry him around because people everywhere fall in love with him.  This 50-ish year old man at Spin couldn’t believe how big he was and just couldn’t get over his chubby self.  This woman in the Bi-Lo parking lot stopped her car to get a better look at him and said he was the cutest baby she’s ever seen and then said, “And I have my own 9 month old in the backseat.”  I felt kind of sad about that, but my point being— Smith Bomb kind of steals the show all day long.  So I didn’t mean to not share all the special he is to us (and random Asian women that declare him cuter than her own poor guy in the back) but June’s words and stories are easier to describe in words than Smith’s irresistable rolls and cheeks and cuddles.


And HUGS.  He hugs me all of the time.  And I can’t be positive, but I’m almost sure I heard him say “Ma-Ma” today.  “Ma-Ma” or not— that boy loves me so much that I kind of know he’s going to tell me he wants to marry me one day and I’m not going to pretend I can’t wait for that.

I love all of my people, and I’m so thankful for random Tuesdays to celebrate life with them.

And because I stayed up 2 hours to clean and then 20 minutes to write this, I’ve got nothing in me left to proof-read this, so give me some grace with the typos.

04.12.16 3 Comments

My Valentines

After a good week of being sick or sleep deprived or both, I needed today.

Normally, both of my babes go down for an afternoon nap together, which is great.
But today, June and I were needing some “just Mommy and Junie time” as she requested it in her precious voice.
Smith played hard and then cooperated by going down for his afternoon nap a little early, and I ended up letting June go down hers a little late to give us a solid hour and a half of just us.
Not even just us doing any number of our routines— tea parties, school, Mom Tiger/Daniel Tiger, etc. but a most special afternoon of making Valentines!!
I started a tradition last year of her having a Valentine’s Day party for her friends.

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It was kind of born out of feeling sad that she was so sick on her first birthday party that she didn’t get to enjoy it, but then quickly became just such a fun reason for a party!  I think Valentine’s is supposed to be more romantic, but celebrating with kiddos is kind of where it’s at.  We had a complete blast with our friends and cottonball snow fight last year, and we’ve been talking and excited for this year’s party for weeks!
I specifically wanted to make it enjoyable without the stress such events can bring, so I bought some cheap but cute Inside Out Valentines to let June completely address herself.  As in not me helping her spell all 20 friends’ names, but just her writing them how she writes all of her lists around her.  Complete June spelling and scribbles.
Because we’ve recently jumped on the Frozen bandwagon and now love all things Olaf and Anna and the hilarious guy that says “YOO HOO– BIG SUMMER BLOW OUT!” I thought it would be fun to make June’s box be Olaf and then Smith’s Valentines could be Olaf-themed, too.
Specifically I chose this because when we play Frozen, June is Anna, I’m Elsa, The Shippmate is Hans (LOL!!  despite SO many requests to be Kristof instead– bahahhah– every time, June says, “it’s okay, Daddy- he’s a little bit nice in the pee-beginning” — I die!) and our big baby Smith Bomb is naturally always Olaf!
Thus the reason cute Olaf Valentines for our guests could be from him.
I didn’t want to put any pressure or expectations on my 2 year old to want to do Valentines that I found from Pinterest.
So this afternoon during our Mommy and Junie Time I explained to her I was going to make some Valentines and she could absolutely help me or she could write on her own Inside Out ones.


She adored every step (including some taste testing) of putting these together!


She counted 1, 2, 3 marshmallows for Olaf’s body, 2 little bitty ones for his leg, the pink carrot nose, the two pretzel arms, and then even specifically went through the mini M&Ms finding only brown ones for his buttons!


I just sat there in amazement of her eager and joyful attitude to do this with me!
I told her I thought they were going to be from Smith and the Inside Out ones from her, but she said she wanted them all to be from her lol.
And after all the work she put into making each of those bags, I couldn’t argue with her.


(that and there wasn’t room on the cards to sign them from June and Smith and I wasn’t about to make the cards look sloppy LOL!)
It was just such a sweet time and the kind of afternoon my heart needed today.
June looked over me at one point and said, “Mommy- I just love you so much.”
And I can hardly think of a sweeter way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
PS:  As for Olaf?  That sweet snow baby slept soundly all through our Valentine assembling and is even still snoozing now for me to get this blog written!


AND he was back to his normal wonderful sleep routine last night which made my today a million kinds of better.

Oh, don’t worry– he wasn’t completely left out of Valentine central, as he was the best shopping partner with me this morning while I got all the stuff we needed for our party!

After a week that saw plenty of frustrated and sick tears, I’m now sitting in my clean living room with precious Valentines done and ready while both kids are sleeping… and here I am crying again.
But this time, the happy and grateful “I love these million kids so much” kind.
Motherhood is such a trip, and there’s no one I’d rather be on the journey with than my June and Smith Bomb.
You both are my favorite.


Happy Valentine’s Day to you and those that you love to snuggle with most.

02.11.16 Leave a comment

The Annual Dyer Family Christmas Pic.


New member of the family:  Ryan Shippy.

He asked me to marry him in January of 2010, serenaded me down the aisle in June, and fit into our family flawlessly that December.

I can’t imagine this bunch without my very own Shippmate of a love.

(Don’t mind our weird prom pose– we were only just married– we hadn’t figured out what to do with our hands yet.)


The only year Self-Timer was not responsible for our pic, but rather our wonderful Grandma Wanda instead.

This one is special, because we took a ride to our great-grandparents’ old cabin where my parents got the wood to make us these priceless frames!

To think now that we all just hopped in cars with no loading or carseats or diaper changes seems quite comical to me.

Look how young and childless and bored we all were.  (hahahaha)


Our last Christmas without grandkids.

Bailey’s 5 months pregnant with our Roman Henry and Self-Timer played a very important role in helping us announce our big news that I am also with child!

I love all of the emotions in this picture– while my family had literally JUST found out our news, The Shippmate and I are still pretty shocked ourselves!

None of us knew the joy and wonderful that was yet to come…


Two most special new additions to the family pic this grand year of 2013!

Roman Henry and June Harbor.

Roman is already yelling over to his best bud, “Juuuuunieeee!”

I love the special that these two will forever share as the first grandson and first granddaughter born just months apart in the same year.

And I can only imagine the way Grammy and Pa felt that year with their boy’s boy and their girl’s girl.

So much to love.


Welcome Ian Samuel!

Only 2 months new, we already love the addition you are to our fam, little Ian Boy.

And though you can’t see him, there is a little Smith Shippy just newly growing in my belly here, too.


And a big boy of a Smith Dyer Shippy makes TEN!

Six years of Dyer Family Christmases.

Each pictures makes me smile while also making my heart feel so full.

These are my people.

The love, the laughter, the diapers, the games, the crazy, and the together.

It’s all my favorite.

A resounding feeling of gratitude comes as I look through each of these.

God is so good.

And Self-Timer isn’t bad himself.

Merry Christmas to you and yours from me and mine!

12.27.15 5 Comments

Sharing Grammy

This morning I saw these two precious throwbacks from 4 years ago today on my Time Hop.

While loving them and remembering what a sweet and fun first day of Christmas break that was with my mom, I also felt a twinge of sadness.

I was about to be in the car driving for 30-ish minutes, and for my bit of a drive, I found myself further exploring that feeling that came up in seeing those two pictures.

(I’ll spare you the minor pity party my fragile postpartum self had in seeing a body that knew not what the hormones and madness of being pregnant and/or nursing a new baby the last 4 Christmases could do to a person.  A person that used to have a thigh gap and little fingers that could wear the wedding ring and bands I miss daily.  I will say during my brief postpartum pity party I did realize I have either been pregnant or postpartum/nursing a new baby the last four consecutive Christmases.  Which is all kinds of exciting and joyful, but also pretty dang hard on the cool and fun wardrobes for Christmas events.)

After a couple miles of daydreaming of the Christmas when I’ll be skinny and sans the breastfeeding wardrobe again, I then focused on the more prevalent cause of my twinge of sadness upon seeing those pictures.

Ever since August 24th of 2013, my mom was no longer my very own.

And while I could not dream up or envision a better Grammy for my June and Smith, it also comes at the price of a little less just me and her time.

Or a different kind of me and her time.

It’s the weirdest feeling, because I would not go back to 2011 in my perfectly fitting size 2 skinny jeans for all of the money in the world.

I am so grateful the last four Decembers have brought two beautiful babies that get to call my mom their Grammy.

But if I can be honest about my twinge of sadness, I also don’t always like sharing the Grammy that used to just be my mom.

To think that we just had a mani and tea room day with no one lined up to watch kids or plan around breastfeeding seems so dang crazy.

And a little nice!

I love talks with my mom so much and it’s just not quite as easy and relaxing as it was once upon a Tuesday in December of 2011.

As I thought more about it, I realized how I cannot fathom my June and Smith not having someone love and adore and spoil them in all of the best ways like my mom does, so it’s really the grandest of pleasures to share her.

That’s me thinking logically and wisely like a 31 year old mama should.

But when I think of how much I want my relationship with my own daughter to mirror that of my own with my mom, I really can’t think of a better compliment from June one day than for her to express it’s hard to share me… even with her own two favorite people in all of the world!

I spent some time thanking Jesus for my mom and all that she means to me– and to my June and Smith, too.

The older I get the more I fully recognize not everyone’s relationship with their mom is easy or fun or even peaceful at times, and I could not feel more grateful for the friendship and unconditional love I have in my mom.

I feel like Jesus heard my heart this morning in missing those times with just my mom, and with several circumstances aligning– Smith’s appointment running late, Ryan working late, my dad making dinner for me instead of potentially infectious Chipotle– it ended up that June, Smith, and I were at my parents’ house tonight and I was able to just have some quality time with my mom and dad.

Pa and June were playing away, Smith snoozing, and my mom and I able to just visit and chill.

It was nothing out of the ordinary or special, but per my thoughts from this morning, it felt most special to me.

June then asked my mom to go in the playroom to play with her (in her most adorable and sweet little voice) and my mom left visiting with me to go play with June.

I ended up going in the play room with Smith and was finishing talking to my mom about something.  We were mid-conversation about nothing even important, but just visiting when June says, “Mommy?  Can you please go back in the living room?”

My mom and I both shared a grin as we so knew what was going on, and I inquired, “Are you wanting me to go in there so I’m not visiting with your Grammy?”

June confirmed that was exactly her motive, and I just couldn’t help but laugh at how similar of feelings me and my 2 year old daughter were sharing today!

It means the world to me to watch June fall in love with the mom I’ve admired since I a little girl myself.

And while that tea room picture took me back to a different kind of time with my mom, I’d never trade the fact I now share her with my own little girl.

I love when life comes full circle like this, but you’ll never believe what the mama that was sharing tea with me on December 22nd of 2011 ended up doing with her only granddaughter on December 22nd of 2015…

Yep.  Their very own tea party!

Oh, my heart.

179772_665159300152_2955235595050861451_n1931153_665159310132_6439436902007302816_n12373343_665156321122_5336876286837339353_nGrammy has long known the value and importance of sharing a tea with her favorite girls.

We’re so blessed to get to call her our very own.

My mom.  June’s Grammy.

We’re both going to work on the sharing thing.

PS:  Mom- we need a three generation pic of you, me, and June!  It would have been the perfect picture to end on and we both know how cooperative Juniper B. Jones is with smiling for pics lately…

12.22.15 5 Comments

My Sacred December 3rd.

There are days in your life you’ll always remember.

The birth of my firstborn girl– August 24, 2013.

The birth of my linebacker of a son– August 19, 2015.

The day I married my Shippmate– June 25, 2010.

The day my June had her seizures and went by ambulance (twice) to different hospitals without me– November 7, 2014.

I’ll never forget the days my two dearest grandmothers– Nanny and Me-Me went to heaven.

I’ll never forget that day I was on The Today Show with my BFF of a MOH Karen.

I’ll never forget the day I was fired from a school that felt so much like home to me.

Those were all– with varying of degrees– memorable dates in the last decade of my life.

And yet, none of them quite hold the special of December 3rd.

It was one year ago today that we left early, early in the cold and icy morning to get June to her MRI.

It was one year ago today so many of you were pouring prayers and love upon us while I clung to Jesus, my Shippmate, and June’s precious talking bear from her Grammy and Pa while we waited in the waiting room during her procedure.


It was one year ago today we hadn’t exited Children’s Mercy hospital and I received the single best phone call of my life.

(And I’ve had some dang exciting phone calls in my day.)

It was one year ago today in the 10 o’clock hour that Dr. Coffman told me–

“Her brain is absolutely perfect.”

It was one year ago today that we left the hospital feeling a million pounds of relief and even more gratitude to Jesus to go get June’s Christmas gift of a Pottery Barn Anywhere Chair.

It was one year ago today we then headed to Chik-fil-A to drive thru while June slept peacefully in the backseat of our old black Focus.

It was one year ago today in that super long line in the Overland Park Chik-fil-A drive thru that I noticed a weird tangled knot in my hair.

The kind of tangle that only pregnancy hormones had been capable of providing.

With the best news of our lives already delivered just an hour prior, I thought I must be dreaming that I could also be pregnant.

We’d been “trying” for quite awhile but also trusting it would happen in God’s timing.

Surely God’s perfect timing couldn’t be THAT perfect?

The Shippmate headed to work when we got home, and I had one pregnancy test left out of a pack of 25 I had bought– and used with no positive signs– months prior.

One test.

On this one day that had already felt so miraculous.

And you know the rest of this story.

It was so perfectly and wonderfully and beautifully positive.

My heart nearly burst from too much joy in one day.

December 3rd.

The day feels so near and dear to me and my June, but also so grandly special and important to me and my Smith Dyer Shippy, too.

It isn’t just a day of celebrating.

It’s a day of gratitude to Jesus.

We’d begged Him for good health for our daughter.

We’d prayed for months for the gift of a chance to love and raise another baby.

And here, on December 3rd— God went all Ephesians 3:20 and blessed us more than we ever could have dared dream or imagine.

Exceedingly abundantly more than we could have imagined.

That’s my Jesus, people.

I love that the most special and memorable day of my life is right here in the same month we are celebrating the birth of a Savior.

From the minute I woke up this morning, my heart has been so grateful.

The kind of grateful you really can’t know until you’ve had an experience with your baby girl like we did last fall.

The kind of grateful for a positive pregnancy test you can’t really know until you’ve peed in 24 other salsa cups to see a negative test result appear.

All day long, I’ve loved my babies a little grander.

I’ve hugged them a little longer.

I’ve kissed them a little more.

I’ve cried just because I love them and because I am afraid they won’t always be this little.

I’ve cried because I’m so incredibly grateful to Jesus He gave me a firstborn girl and then a SON– the son I never knew I always needed to love.  Lately I’ve just been so extremely grateful for the gift of a girl and a boy.

I’ve cried today because I know I won’t always get these two little babies just to myself from the time they wake up (10am, bless their souls) until the time Daddy gets home– they’re all mine.  I get them every second, and one day I won’t.  I might have to share them with a kindergarten teacher or eventually a college professor and Lord Almighty help me for the day they think they’re going to leave me and get married.

I’ll be worse than George Banks.  I’ll have his hot dog/hot dog bun meltdown TIMES TEN, because surely no one in all of the world has loved two babies with the magnitude… the passion… the depth of which I love my Smith and June.

All day long, I’ve celebrated the joy and triumph that is December 3rd in the life of my family.

For as long as I live, I’ll never ever forget the miraculous of our December 3, 2014.

And for as long as I live, I will always always hold my babies– whether they’re 2 or 32– a little tighter, a little longer, and a little more grateful on the third of December.

Thank you, Jesus, for blessing me with these two miracles of our December 3rd.

Let me conclude with some very ordinary moments that I never want to forget from our 2015 version of a December 3rd.

The baby boy I woke up to get to come snuggle with me in bed.

IMG_6595June headed to “the grocery store with her purse and Mommy Doll.”

Yes, she named her doll “Mommy.”

Yes, it was the highest honor, and I love it every time I hear her say her doll’s name.

12342457_663671441832_7335448271796358072_n 12294622_663671446822_3447965398809168480_n 12321466_663671436842_4485956469549621697_n
Snuggly and sleepy Smith who now weighs too much for his swing to swing him.

12313809_663671366982_1457589342570339848_n12316507_663668353022_2379699950662542020_nJune and I clearing the room for a game of hockey.  Just like Riley.  From Inside Out, of course.

IMG_3243The most beautiful little boy I’ve ever seen.  He just lights up so much when he sees me.  I DIE.

FullSizeRender-1 FullSizeRender-2 FullSizeRender-3And my favorite of all of our ordinary moments from the day…

June said, “Mommy!  Hurry!  Come see Smith Frosty!  I made him and he is so jolly!!!”

These are her Frosty puzzle pieces from Grammy that she has placed in the right places on him– the top hat on his head and the red scarf at his neck!

12295429_663671361992_352987820838639062_n 12341320_663671371972_7931612924517620900_nThis is my December 3rd.

For which I am the most grateful.

12.3.15 5 Comments

When Gross Is Beautiful

The Shippmate is taking a picture of me with Smith and says, “Ah! I wish you had pants on- this is awful cute.”

The picture he is taking is of how Smith just covered me in spit-up.  And our floor.

The awful cute is Smith’s face is BEAMING from the kind of joy only spitting up all over your mother can bring a babe.

And the reason I have no pants on?

That would be that just minutes prior before bath time while I was waiting for The Shippmate to get in there (I am not kidding that bath time with this linebacker is full on a two person job) Smith peed all over me.

And just an hour before that, I cheered harder and with more pride for my daughter peeing in her princess potty seat than you can even imagine.

Leading up to us having a full on FIRST TIME USING THE PRINCESS POTTY SEAT celebration was a good hour of time spent hanging out with our girl in the bathroom.

I was feeding Smith so it was Ryan for a good majority of the time.  Book after book, story after story, some coloring going on in there.

June was loving it.

When Smith gave me a brief break of his non-stop buffet of cluster feeding, I went in to have some one-one-one princess potty seat time with my girl.

I actually haven’t researched potty training (and I think there is a cooler term to use I can’t think of right now) but June just had a diaper rash so I was going to let her run around with no diaper for awhile and thought- “Hey! Why not see if she can do this?”

It was a really methodical and organized way to start such a thing, I know.

But several of my friends have said June will be easy, so I thought might as well try?

And due to my lack of research I don’t even know if this is crazy or silly, but I just thought the first time we have her sit on there for awhile, it would probably be best for her if she had success, so we kept at it.

I’m in there sitting on the actual toilet while she’s on her pretty pink princess one, and she starts discussing how much she loves my blue Royals toenails and my dark purple nails.

Since we’ve only got time and she’s sitting, I said, “Do you want me to give you a little mani/pedi?”

June:  “THAT IS A GREAT IDEA!  Can I have blue nails like you for my Royals?”

So nails and toes we did.

It was a blast.

Which leads me to my thought for tonight.

I’ve been peed on.  I’ve been spit up on.  I’ve cheered for pee in a pink princess potty seat.  I’ve waited for pee in our bathroom while just hanging out in there.

Parenting is gross.

It just is.

But the strangest, coolest thing is– it’s a beautiful kind of gross.

I don’t even care when Smith pees on me.  Him spitting on me made me want a picture to remember the crazy way that kid can spit up and look so proud.

Seeing June pee for the first time in that potty seat and look up at me with nervous but excited but a little confused eyes and say, “Mommy??” while pointing to her singing toilet seat?

It had tears that I held back in my eyes then, and I’m totally crying now.

I’m raising this Baby June that is somehow becoming a little girl.

It’s amazing.  It’s wonderful.  It’s beautiful.  It’s terrifying.  It’s the best thing I’ve ever done.

“Potty training” is something I thought I should dread.

Just like I thought diaper changes would be the worst.

But I was wrong on both accounts.

The bonding and talking and love that happens on that changing table? I wouldn’t trade those priceless moments for the world.

And granted, we’re literally about 2 hours into “potty training,” but undivided time just spent with my June– even in the bathroom– it’s anything but dreadful.

It’s a blast.

I LOVED painting her nails and toenails in there and talking with my favorite girl in the whole world.

Smith peeing on me wasn’t the most glamorous moment of my life, but it also didn’t stress me out either.  The Shippmate and I laughed.

Smith has eczema.  Which I would trade that out for perfect skin for him if I could, but instead of being annoyed at the thick cream we have to put on him like I thought I might, turns out him and I have the sweetest moments while I’m lathering him up in that stuff.  Tonight, as I was rubbing it in his arms all the way to the tips of his fingers, he laughed longer and harder than I’ve ever heard him laugh.  It was the sweetest sound in all of the world.  Sounds of sweet joy I wouldn’t have heard without the need for his eczema fighting lathering up in lotion after bath.

My point is that parenting is gross and full of creams- diaper and eczema ones alike– and spit up and cheering for pee in the princess potty seat, but it’s the most beautiful and precious kind of gross.

It’s not stressful nor annoying nor ACTUALLY gross.

Parenting is this crazy kind of love where you don’t mind sitting in the bathroom for an hour to wait for pee.

It’s this crazy kind of love where sticky thick annoying lotion doesn’t feel so annoying when you’re bringing sweet laughter to your baby boy.

If you’re reading this before kids, BE CONFUSED. I sure know I was. I cringed when I saw moms talking about weird things to do with their kids pee or spit up on Facebook.

I could think of nothing grosser.

But then you’re living it and in love with these beautiful babes and instead of feeling gross or weird, it just feels like such a special piece of the precious ride you get to be on with your favorite little people in all of the world.

I can’t even post any pictures to explain this sentiment.

I have the most stunning picture of June right after she peed in that seat and we’re cheering her on, but she’s naked and it’s not shareable.

The picture of Smith with me and all of the spit up is ADORABLE of him.  He looks like he is posing so proud with all the spit up he just got on me, but I can’t post it because I have no pants on due to him peeing on me minutes prior.

These moments are ones you can’t even capture in a picture, but man– they’re ones you can absolutely feel in your heart.

I rarely feel stressed or sad about my babies growing up, because I kind of assume I’ll keep enjoying each stage just as much as the previous one, but I don’t ever want to forget how unbelievably full my heart is raising my newborn baby and my toddler of a little girl.

These moments– spit up, potty celebrations, and all– they lack glamour and fresh scents, but they are never lacking in snuggles, kisses, and the fullest of hearts heading to bed after countless memories of falling more in love with my babies this weekend.

I’m so grateful to be their mom.


11.23.15 6 Comments

Smith’s Story

Three months ago today.

I’ve had this video Bailey made for me for nearly three months and all this time, I needed it to just be mine.  To savor.  To weep when I watched it.  To feel the pain and the joy of that day.  To feel the grand triumph when Smith arrives.

But today, as Smith’s 3 month birthday falls on a Thursday, I thought this would be the most special of #throwbackthursdays.

Not just any Thursday, but a November Thursday when people are full on with their daily thankful posts.

I don’t do the everyday thing, but let me do the today kind of thankful thing.

I am thankful for a crazy talented sister who has dropped everything to be my birth photographer twice now.  She doesn’t just capture the best moments of my life, but she shares them with me in a very sacred space at St. Luke’s Women’s Center.  I am so thankful for her talent but even more so for the sister she is to me.

I am thankful for a doula of a best friend that also dropped everything that Wednesday morning and even intentionally wore a Royals shirt for me.

I am thankful for a dad who came to Warrensburg immediately upon receiving The Call to be with a sleeping June and would also be the first person to tell her that her baby brother was here.

I am thankful for a mom who came immediately to be with me in the hospital waiting room and cried the biggest of tears the second she laid eyes on Smith Dyer Shippy.

I am thankful for a Bradley professor who once upon a class taught me my body is absolutely capable.  Even of delivering a 10 pounds and 14 ounces baby that my doctor said had she known my body was carrying she would have insisted on a c-section.

I am thankful for my Jesus who heard my cries, forgave my F-bombs, and gave me another baby to love and raise to know Him.
I am thankful for a Shippmate who loved me through the most excruciating pain of my entire life (YES EVEN MORE THAN MY FIRST LABOR) and when he wasn’t whispering to me that I could do it, I could physically see the confidence and belief in me in his eyes.

But today, I am the most thankful for Smith Dyer Shippy.

I’m thankful he is healthy.  I am thankful he is such a perfect sleeper.  I am thankful for his huge cheeks I kiss all day long.  I am thankful for his patience. I am thankful for the way he smiles the biggest when he hears my voice or sees me smile.

But most of all, I am over the moon thankful he is the son I never knew I always needed.

I melt around him in that embarrassing way moms of boys do.  It’s different and it’s weird and it’s beautiful and it’s absolutely breathtaking.

I always knew I needed a firstborn girl and then I thought I would even be completely content with all girls.

But I was so very, very wrong.

I needed a son.

I needed a Smith Dyer Shippy.

Smith- I adore you.  I am the most grateful to be your mom, and I will cherish you forever.

Happy 3 Months, Baby Boy.


11.19.15 47 Comments

Hernias and Romance.

I remember someone once telling me that having a baby can be hard on a marriage.

So with June I was prepared for this.

Shoot- with her, I was prepared for life to be a living hell for a year or something after she was born because that is what you read.

Except it was about the opposite of that.

It was bliss and wonderful and awesome and nothing like I’d feared.

The marriage thing included.

I felt closer to my Shippmate than I ever had.  Labor had made me fall in love with that man in ways I didn’t even know were possible to love someone.  I’ve never felt more loved by anyone than watching him love me through June’s labor.

And when you have one little newborn, there is plenty of time to just sit and talk and stare at your baby.

This second go at things was a little different.

Smith has still been so easy and wonderful and fun.  Truly can’t even put into words how effortless it has been to adore him and love him just like I did June but in his own special way.

But when you have a newborn and a toddler, your time of cuddling on the couch with your Shippmate is a little more sparse.

And since we’d already fallen in love again during June’s labor, this time there was less of that.

Don’t get me wrong– Ryan was SO there for me and amazing and wonderful, but we’d already done it so it was less romantic, I guess?



All of that on top of postpartum being such an annoying time for the one that just gave the birth— weird ailments, mastitis, the physical demanding it is to feed a linebacker of a babe all of the time, clothes that are both too loose and too tight but for the love of Goldilocks never just right, etc.

So this time I kind of get where people say having a baby can be tough on the marriage.

Not that it presented any big problems, but there just isn’t the time to focus on each other.

Or you’re both tired (and Lord Almighty help us because we’ve never even had a baby that doesn’t sleep so I CAN ONLY IMAGINE THAT) and you are halfway bickering about something that between feedings and bathtime and clipping nails and playing make believe it doesn’t get resolved and then a week later you’re having an actual dysfunctional Shippmate breakdown smack in the middle of Worlds of Fun!

Hahahaha, but SERIOUSLY.

That was not our finest hour.

I’m 435 words in and this was all just the disclaimer.  Because what I really wanted to write about is ridiculously adorable and sappy and happily ever after romantic comedy kind of perfection.

But before I got into all of that I needed you to know we’re not always happy and heart eyes Emojis over here.

The first 6 weeks after Smithers were not my favorite in terms of being crazy in love with my favorite Shippmate.

But oh my goodness gracious, do I have a story of how even in the busy of a newborn and a toddler that man finds ways to love me so well.

So one of those annoying postpartum ailments I was referring to was that I have this blessed thing called an umbilical hernia.

It’s absolutely as sexy as it sounds.

No, but truly– I thought only old men got hernias.

Turns out, people who give birth to baby linebackers are also at risk for them.

And I mean, I look back at pics and I’m all:



So, I found out that likely this hernia is surgical.  We have to wait until my body is a bit more normal to know for sure, but the odds are not in my favor.

And surgery scares me.

Not so much the actual process– but kind of that, too– but the recovery with a big ol’ Smith Baby and a very active toddler of a June Harbor.

And well, me.

The Me that has on multiple occasions said I love leaving my home by 11am everyday to feel alive and part of this world.  It’s imperative for my happiness in being a SAHM.

(yes, part of my happiness in being a stay-at-home mom is found in leaving the home)

(stay home for a week and you’ll totally get it)

The Internet has told me that for 6 weeks after that surgery I won’t be able to lift more than 10 pounds.

Which means I couldn’t have lifted my son the day he was born.


But on a more serious note, not being able to lift my kids– especially Smith– will present a challenge or two.

The whole thing just really stressed me out and had me feeling annoyed at everything, so Ryan told me he would commit to praying for the hernia everyday.  Specifically praying that it would go away on its own and not be surgical.

Which that alone is incredibly loving and sweet of him.

But what happened about a month later is even better.

I go to get June out of her crib in the morning and we often either go to my bed or to the couch for some morning snuggles and sweet conversation.

There we are, mid-snuggles while Smith is snoozing in his swing, when my little Baby June looks up at me with such love and sincerity and says,

“Mama- your hernia feel better?”

I have to ask her to repeat the question because I am so confused.

I’ve never said a word to her about my hernia.

And I’m yet to see a Daniel Tiger on the topic, so I’m at a loss for how my 2 year old little girl even knows this word.

When I asked her again, she said, “You know- your hernia.  It feel better?  My Daddy and I pray for you every night.”

It’s not often I’m at a loss for words, but that kind of love– on so many levels– just left me speechless.

I had tears in my eyes as I held her close and kissed the top of her sweet head while saying the most grateful of prayers to Jesus.

A Shippmate that would love me so well to not only commit to praying for that dang hernia himself, but then to have involved my favorite little girl!?!?

Who then thought to check in with me on how it’s doing?

It’s too much.

It’s really and wonderfully too much.

The love I feel from those two gives me such a peace about my old man hernia.

With those two praying, it might go away on its own and that would be AWESOME.

But even if it doesn’t, the love and support and compassion of those two have me very peacefully content that I will be so well taken care of no matter what.

That kind of love makes anything feel possible.

It’s not been the easiest few months on our marriage, but there is absolutely no one else in the whole world I’d rather have by my side than Ryan Shippy.

We haven’t gone on a date since August and romance hasn’t been easy, but that man still finds ways to love me in the best and most sincere of ways.

For him, I am so thankful.


11.18.15 4 Comments

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