My first last baby. Of course, we have a real-life last baby now, but before Maysen Paige, my little Kai Pie was it. She was the baby…and was treated accordingly. I’ll admit it — Kaiah True has been on the receiving end of some serious spoiling. And I can assure you that she deserves every ounce of cuddles, hugs, grace, and kindness that she receives from us all.
“But I’ll FEEL taller.”
Of course, you will, Kai. That’s the joy of going from 4 to 5. You get to FEEL it ALL! You get to sqeeeee, whine, cry, complain, and screech with excitement, without one bit of concern for how cool you look. What your heart feels, you have the privilege of expressing for us all to see and hear. Color me jealous. All those emotions just free to flow, without an ounce of accountability or consciousness.
For the past year, we have had the joy of watching you grow into and out of the fullness of being four. Your speech has dramatically improved, you’ve mastered a cartwheel, outgrown the “baby carseat,” and hit the 35 pound mark on the scale!
Big stuff is happening, kid. Big stuff.
Your relationships with friends and siblings have become more complex…and also funnier. I love not only watching you grow, but listening to you grow, too.
My Kai. My buddy when the other babes had left me (for school. But still.). We’ve spent some serious quality time together over the last five years — late night nursing sessions, cuddles on the couch, basketball/softball/football game watching, trips to Target, Tropical Smoothie lunchdates, and so much more. I certainly celebrate watching you thrive and thank God for your little life, but seriously. If you could just chill with the growing, that would be great.
All my love…and lots of big kisses,
Back about..oh, you know…SIX or so months ago, I received some really, much anticipated happy mail.
After a long search for THE *perfect* sibling shirts, I happened upon Landy Lou and Evie Too, a locally owned online shop. Until I found the Landy Lou and Evie Too Facebook page, I wasn’t really sure what kind of “meet the baby shirts” I wanted for the big kids. Something homemade? Store bought? Matchy-matchy? Simple? Now, in the grand-scheme of things, my sibling shirt dilema ranks up there with the Starbucks vs. Dunkin’ debate…but when you’re 23 months pregnant with your fifth baby and her head feels like a basketball wedged between your coccyx and ischium (yes, those are real bones. Nurse, remember?), you tend to make mountains out of molehills and will do just about anything to focus on something other than the burn-your-throat-heartburn and cankles. SO. Within minutes of stalking the LL&ET page, I just knew that they would be able to hook me up with something fun, unique, and affordable. After a few back-and-forth emails with Megan & Jessica, I just knew they were, no only, great business owners, but truly wonderful girls!
Annnyyyway! The kids’ shirts showed up just a few weeks before Baby Maysen and we couldn’t have loved them more! They’re just so us. Even Eli liked his “jersey!”
Yep, Tuesday again. I’ll be honest — kind of feels like I’m losing my mind a bit. The kids start school tomorrow and I have a million things to do before then — the most important being, you know, spending time with them.
Anyway, wanted to pop in with our VERY boring meal plan for the week. We had a few things come up last week and ended up eating leftovers one evening, so there are a few repeats from last week.
Tuesday: Hot subs using my favorite Sam’s Club french bread loaves.
Wednesday: Spicy Sausage Pasta
Thursday: Turkey Tater Tot Casserole. I use Michelle Duggar’s recipe. I know, I know — Duggars = scandal these days, but still — this recipe is the best.
Friday: Not Chicken Pot Pie
So, what’s for dinner at your house? I need some new ideas for the school year!
Back by popular demand — MEAL PLANNING MONDAY…on a Tuesday, of course!
I have had a couple people ask me when I was going to start posting our weekly menus again, but really? Documenting daily dinners is more for me than anything else because:
1. It makes future planning easier when I can go back and get ideas from previous weeks.
2. I like when you all post meal ideas in the comments section.
So, back to business. Here’s what we’re having this week.
Monday: J made mac & cheese. (Just keeping it real…)
Tuesday: Weight Watchers Shepherd’s Pie. This is seriously one of the easiest and delicious meals EVER. And I can’t find it online anywhere. So, here’s a poor quality pic from the magazine I got it out of.
Wednesday: French Bread Pizza. Again, we’re not talking rocket science here. I get 2 HUGE loafs of french bread at Sam’s Club for $2.37, then add pizza sauce and toppings. Cheap, cheap, cheap.
Thursday: BLT’s & sweet corn. We have tomatoes coming out of our ears, so this is a weekly staple for us until they’re gone.
Friday: Breakfast Burritos
Saturday: Spicy Sausage Pasta
Sunday: We’ll wing it!
Ok! Your turn! What’s for dinner at YOUR house?!?
My gorgeous (biased much?) Addi-girl is a decade old today! This marks 10 years of motherhood for me and, looking back I can safely say that, Addison’s birth day was the best day of my life…not because I love her more than her little Starr siblings, but because she’s the one who made me a mom. She was the game-changer, the one that took me from t-ball to big league LOVE. And for that, I am forever grateful. We are oh-so-thankful for Addi’s quick wit and compassion; her creativity, leadership, and work ethic; her kindness and enthusiasm. But most of all? We thank God for Addison’s heart. It’s pure gold and full of love for the people and things around her. With her in this world, I have faith in the future, because I know she will make it better.
Addison Clark Starr, I pray that you will never, not for one single moment, forget that you are wholly, madly, deeply, unconditionally loved. Not just by your dad and me, or your siblings, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and those that make up our “village”, but also by an awesome God, who exceeds all of that love and a thousand times more.
One of the things that has been on our “House Wishlist” FOREVER is “built-ins” for around the fireplace. You know, the fancy kind that look all “built-in” and professional? Yeah. THAT was our vision and for years we were content with our large wall unit/entertainment center that we scored for uber cheap back in the day, while living at our old house.
Well, finally this past February we decided it was time to take the “built-in” plunge and, after asking around a bit, we decided to get bids from a couple different contractors. First we called T & E Construction and they stopped over within just days to talk us through the process and to give us a free quote. We liked everything Eric from T & E had to say, but like any responsible homeowners, we figured we should bring in at least one more contractor for a bid. After a little back and forth emailing with an independent contractor, he finally stopped over to have a look. While he was a SUPER nice guy, we could tell from the get-go that he wasn’t very confident about being able to make the built-ins look completely…well, BUILT-IN, without a LOT of work. Aaannndddd, painting of the built-ins was not included in his services. We waited for just over a week to get his quote before going with our gut and calling T & E Construction in for the job!
Eric & his crew were booked out just a couple of weeks, but it didn’t take long for the process to be set in motion! T & E’s custom cabinetry guys were out taking measurements almost immediately. Next, the electricians were quick to come get things set-up for our TV to be mounted above the fireplace (something we’ve been wanting to do for a loooongg time!). Then, on a Thursday a crew showed up with the custom made pieces and work was underway! We lived in family room disarray for just over a week before the entire project was complete — painting and all! And, let me tell you — we could not be more THRILLED with how they turned out!
I realize it sounds like a little thing, but the built-ins have changed the way we use the room. With a family our size, there was always some type of “seating competition” going on for couch room *directly* in front of the television. Well, I’m happy to report that there is no longer a “best seat in the house!” They’re all great and the room is truly the heart of our home. Plus, it’s probably no surprise, but having lots of shelves for me to style is an absolute dream!
So, you want to see?
First, let’s take a look at the BEFORE situation:
Again, not bad, but we were ready for something different/more practical.
Aaannnndddd, the AFTER:
It’s light & bright. And practical. And just what we wanted!
So, a HUGE shout-out to T & E Construction on a job well-done! Eric and crew, the Starrs give you 5 Star(r)s!
The good news for us/you is that T & E does it ALL! In fact, they’ll be our first call when we’re ready to finish our basement, build a new deck, and maybe even build our *future* dream home!
You can find out more about T & E Construction by visiting their website: http://www.teconstructioninc.net/
Or on FB (the social media strategist in me LOVES how Heather handles their social profiles!!) at:
Waaaayyy back in January (February??) when I was 26 or so weeks pregnant, my most favorite photographers/friends/bosses convinced me that they NEEDED to do a pretty snow shoot and that #starrbabycinco and I were the ideal subjects. Very tricky, huh? Of course, I obliged and, as funny as it felt to have the camera on ONLY me (I’m used to having cute kids as the focus/distraction!), I am so grateful for these images of me and my sweet little girl. They are pictures that I will treasure forever.