Sun-tanned toes, tickling the sand! Little tiny sun-kissed legs and that tan line right along the back. You guys. My babies!! Covered in their outside-all-day-all-summer-long tans… It’s the cutest.

When summer days begin winding down, you have to jump in with both feet and just savor every minute of it. We took a little trip to Virginia Beach the other day and, can I just say, I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT! Believe it or not, we haven’t ever been in all our time living on the East Coast so I would say, it’s about dang time.

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Sun-tanned toes, tickling the sand! Little tiny sun-kissed legs and that tan line right along the back. You guys. My babies!! Covered in their outside-all-day-all-summer-long tans… It’s the cutest.

When summer days begin winding down, you have to jump in with both feet and just savor every minute of it. We took a little trip to Virginia Beach the other day and, can I just say, I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT! Believe it or not, we haven’t ever been in all our time living on the East Coast so I would say, it’s about dang time.

We had been planning on going camping before Chase started school. Promising and promising. And we finally made it happen. I’m so thankful we didn’t put it off any longer. We found a GREAT campground and the perfect beach. I’ll get into the camp details a bit later. But first, the waves and the beach and all the sun were complete perfection. All I can say is, sun tanned legs and tootsies are my favorite. My little kids are so sun-kissed and I love that summertime glow. Anyways, sandy bums and wave jumping is officially my favorite summer activity.

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by LAUREN

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9 Comments

  1. Lanah August 28, 2017 at 9:26 pm - Reply

    I want your swimsuit 😍😍

  2. Jessica August 28, 2017 at 11:18 pm - Reply

    Ditto! I want that swimsuit too!!! Love it!

    • lauren August 29, 2017 at 11:24 pm - Reply

      It’s from old navy! Thanks so much!!!

  3. annie August 29, 2017 at 7:28 am - Reply

    You guys are THE cutest! Beach trips with kids can be such a hassle sometimes but so much fun and so worth the craziness. Virginia Beach looks beautiful!

    -Annie
    http://www.discoveringyourhappy.com

    • laurenstewartdc September 3, 2017 at 5:32 pm - Reply

      GIRL YES!!!! So worth it and all sorts of hard work! But the BEST memories have been made!

  4. Anonymous August 29, 2017 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Beautiful

  5. April August 29, 2017 at 9:36 pm - Reply

    Love the photos and your bathing suit is love…i want one of that.

    • lauren August 29, 2017 at 11:23 pm - Reply

      It’s from old navy girly! Thank you so much!

  6. the cape on the corner September 7, 2017 at 1:27 pm - Reply

    adorable photos. love that bathing suit, too.
    b

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I never want to forget these days. I just wanted to jot down a few of my favorite things about being the mother to these two sweet loves.

Their voices. The day they lose their sweet little sounds? You’ll be able to find me in the corner in my closet listening to videos of their childhood.

They say the sweetest things. “Hey mom! You want a trade for a trade!?” Chase always asks. He knows that the rainbow ice cream looks cool so he gets it, but he always loves the pecan ice cream taste better:)

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I never want to forget these days. I just wanted to jot down a few of my favorite things about being the mother to these two sweet loves.

Their voices. The day they lose their sweet little sounds? You’ll be able to find me in the corner in my closet listening to videos of their childhood.

They say the sweetest things. “Hey mom! You want a trade for a trade!?” Chase always asks. He knows that the rainbow ice cream looks cool so he gets it, but he always loves the pecan ice cream taste better:)

“Me weally wub ice cream. Me do. Me do.” Ohhhh the silly words she uses make me giggle all day long.

“Thank you SOOOOOO much for my ice cream. Thank you SOOOO much.” Ohh you are SOOOO welcome little lovey.

Mostly, I love their little lips and sticky fingers covered in joy ice cream. Their little giggles as they run all over the old (and never used. Don’t worry! They aren’t used anymore!) train tracks. The screams as they realize the ducks are actually close enough for them to get to. And the laughter when the ducks return the quacks that my kids send their way.

I honestly just want to remember these super lazy and quiet summer nights. I’m soaking it all up because these summer nights are the last of the lazy family-only summer nights. I know soon Chase will be choosing to spend his summer nights with friends and not his mom and dad or his kid sister. I know he will be smiling at someone besides me one of these days. So mostly, I’m just soaking it all in. Ignoring the dripping ice cream and seeing only their smiling little faces. Seeing only their perfect joy at something as simple as an ice cream cone, and their deep, sweet, and perfect love in thier eyes. I’ll wash out the sticky later. For now, give me all the joy.

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by LAUREN

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  1. Daisy Tross Shipley August 22, 2017 at 9:59 pm - Reply

    Were these taken at Harpers Ferry? Looks like a fun time!

  2. Meagan August 22, 2017 at 10:19 pm - Reply

    Ugh. Now I’m crying. I am really feeling the baby years slipping away lately. I always feel so torn between wanting them to be babies forever and being excited about the next stage ya know?

  3. Kristen August 22, 2017 at 10:46 pm - Reply

    Beautiful family and a great reminder to live in the moment. Cherish the little ones 😍

  4. Jessica August 23, 2017 at 12:16 am - Reply

    I ugly cried today after Kon started first grade!

  5. Raelene DeWitt August 23, 2017 at 2:29 am - Reply

    What a beautiful day to have memories of. The joy that comes from being a mom really can’t be surpassed by anything else in your life except other than maybe becoming a grandparent. There are memories I have of things we did with our kids that I hope will never fade away. Sometimes we might feel like there is no way that we will be able to have enough love to share with each child and our spouse but then you find your heart swelling to encompass each one with a love so profound. It is all truly blessing! Grab each moment and hold out close! 🙂

  6. Sara (@SassySaraSmile August 23, 2017 at 2:47 am - Reply

    Eloquently put. I must say Lauren, you’ve tugged at my heartstrings 💜. Not to mention these beautiful photos! While Mila just turned one, I find myself Having baby fever again, already. I can’t imagine Mila being any older. It’s truly bittersweet. I look back at photos of My Mili at 3 months and weep a bit…But I LOVE watching her grow. Each new phase full of beauty & chaos that I feel honored to have w/my Milana-Raven. Reading this I’m just so glad that your little ones are heathy & kind. You’re a Mama Warrior that I admire. You do so many things & still balance family time.
    Warmest positive thoughts of you & yours-
    Sara (@SassySaraSmile)

  7. Lindsay mellor August 24, 2017 at 3:50 pm - Reply

    I was thinking the same thing today as my 5 year old got so excited about us buying and setting up a trampoline for them. It’s so hard to want to correct their grammar or the way they say things. My little baby’s smile can turn my whole day around. I love my babies!

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August 22, 2017

Have you ever had a message you have been dying to share but all of your words fell flat on the screen, just not… enough? The emotion you want to convey. They actual feelings you had when you went through it. The depth of the emotions that are living inside you. That is what I needed to be able to share and now it’s finally in the works! It will be a while before I can share the actual message but I wanted to show you a little behind-the-scenes preview from this past week!

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Have you ever had a message you have been dying to share but all of your words fell flat on the screen, just not… enough? The emotion you want to convey. They actual feelings you had when you went through it. The depth of the emotions that are living inside you. That is what I needed to be able to share and now it’s finally in the works! It will be a while before I can share the actual message but I wanted to show you a little behind-the-scenes preview from this past week!

We filmed scene after scene. We location-scouted in the middle of the night. And I do believe… it might just be a little bit magic.

I’ve had a thought and it ended up evolving into a full-blown mini-movie with the help of Ashton from V.Lux Media and his creative talents. (You seriously need to check out his website vluxmedia.com to see some of his work. He’s a master film-maker.  And you can get a feel for how amazing this project is going to be!) We filmed over the weekend but the pre-film process has been in the works for what feels like ages and the post-production process will continue for a while. But here is a quick behind-the-scenes look!

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by LAUREN

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When you don’t actually want to be the Mom.

I honestly never thought a day like this could come. I’m the Mom who LIVES breaths and dreams all about motherhood. No. Joke. Well, this past Saturday as I held my daughter down on the bed in the hospital so that they could draw blood and administer the IV, I wished for a second I could be the daughter and not the mom. I wished I was the baby and my mother was the one holding me. That my mom was the one who could comfort everything away and have that lifted off my shoulders.  And that the pain could be mine.

That’s all.

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When you don’t actually want to be the Mom.

I honestly never thought a day like this could come. I’m the Mom who LIVES breaths and dreams all about motherhood. No. Joke. Well, this past Saturday as I held my daughter down on the bed in the hospital so that they could draw blood and administer the IV, I wished for a second I could be the daughter and not the mom. I wished I was the baby and my mother was the one holding me. That my mom was the one who could comfort everything away and have that lifted off my shoulders. And that the pain could be mine.

That’s all.

Lilah, the second I saw you, I knew you were my own little miracle. The first day you smiled, time actually stopped (I’m quite positive). The first time I heard you laugh, bells rang in my ears. The day you said “MaMaMaMa,” life changed forever. Your little body holds a personality about the size of the Shanghai Tower. I still can’t quite figure out how your 2’10 inch frame holds it all inside.

Over the weekend our sweet girl had a massive drop in blood sugar (it’s the opposite of diabetes folks and that was ruled out) and she went from playing and having fun to being completely unresponsive in a matter of minutes. The longest six minutes of my life was waiting for that ambulance and then waiting on her to return to us in reality.

I’m thankful they arrived so quickly and that the three men, who would be tending you, knew their stuff. They checked your vitals and knew that there was an underlying issue even though your vitals all came back fine. When they checked your blood sugar, that’s when we knew. It was off to the hospital. It was half of what it should have been.

Little Lilah,
Days later, after all that time spent, we still don’t have answers. In the hospital, you were the sweetest little love. You said “thank you so much” to every person who came to your aid in some way. You told the nurses who helped me hold you down so they could stick a needle and straw into your little wrist, “Thank you, thank you so much for helping me. I’m sorry I didn’t freeze. I tried so hard. Thank you thank you even though you had to burn me” The pain in your little hand was a burning sensation and it was the only way you could describe it. You sat on my lap for over seven hours as we were tended to by the doctors and nurses. You are a complete and utter champion.

So, only gratitude. That is all I have. I’ll be the Mom, and I’ll be your rock just like my mom was for me. But for a moment, maybe so many more than one, I wished I wasn’t the mom. I would trade you places, I’d take the pain. I love you Lilah-Loo.

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by LAUREN

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  1. Anonymous August 17, 2017 at 10:32 pm - Reply

    How beautiful…thank you for sharing. You touched my heartstrings through your connection of mom & daughter.
    wishing you always…
    sunshine & blessings
    stana

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August 3, 2017

When your tiny love is about to be “the three-est” and requests a Princess/Ballerina/Moana party, you deliver. Thank goodness for Michaels, Amazon and a crew of BFF’s to make this happen.

We decided on a few things: flowers, crepes and tulle. We went from there. I made a all green crown, a flower backdrop for the cake and then brought down flowers from all over my house to add to the greenery and floral arrangements. It looks glam, but it was really simple.

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by LAUREN

When your tiny love is about to be “the three-est” and requests a Princess/Ballerina/Moana party, you deliver. Thank goodness for Michaels, Amazon and a crew of BFF’s to make this happen.

We decided on a few things: flowers, crepes and tulle. We went from there. I made a all green crown, a flower backdrop for the cake and then brought down flowers from all over my house to add to the greenery and floral arrangements. It looks glam, but it was really simple.

Crepes? They sound fancy but for reals? They cost like $15 including toppings and took about 15 minutes to prep. Each person was able to pick from: Blueberries, Strawberries, Whip Cream, Cinnamon and Sugar and of course… chocolate syrup and melted butter. They were divine and we had a bunch of happy toddlers running around. The parents even loved it.

Lilah had about three outfit changes (due to the before mentioned chocolate syrup) Dress, Birthday suit and black Ballet Leotard. It was all just fun. We played Moana music and just enjoyed having 13 kids under the age of six running around.

Shout-out to all my ladies. Tori made the cake (IT LOOKED AND TASTED INCREDIBLE NO JOKE), Kelsey grabbed the toppings and extra plates, Jodie brought the amazing watermelon and Elizabeth took care of us with Strawberry Lemonade.

All I can say is, we loved the entire thing and can’t wait to show you Chase’s birthday party we are now planning. Just think…. #allboy #allcamo

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  1. Mihabalan.com August 7, 2017 at 5:11 am - Reply

    That looks like an awesome party and she looks like a princess.

    https://mihabalan.com/2017/08/04/red-sweater-red-dress-white-white-outfits/

  2. Blaire (duh your sister) August 11, 2017 at 11:59 pm - Reply

    BAHAHAHAHAHA
    The birthday suit outfit I’m sure was hilarious yo witness due to the chocolate incident.
    She looks like a literal princess, you’re the best mom ever, and that table decoration???? 100/10.
    Like.
    It’s gorge.
    Love you!!!

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Okay. First??? I need to show you the good the bad and the HYSTERICAL. No joke. I just wanted to give a little insight into a mom squad session I had the other day. These ladies got my back, and we got baggage kids so we for sure don’t have it all together. I mean, all of us and our kids in one place together YES but not our life, if you catch my drift. In the midst of motherhood and everything that life can bring these three ladies know where it’s at, and that place is messy, inspiring and loud.

Let me give you a list of my ten reasons to have a few lovely ladies that I can run to.

  1. Holy smokes, a grown up conversation. Let’s be honest. I remember realizing, exactly nine months into being a play at home mama, that my conversation skills were seriously suffering and I would stick my foot into my mouth MEGA nearly every time I talked to a grown woman. I’m not even kidding. This group of ladies either, just puts up with it and doesn’t get offended or they have improved my conversation skills. I’m still not sure which.
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Okay. First??? I need to show you the good the bad and the HYSTERICAL. No joke. I just wanted to give a little insight into a mom squad session I had the other day. These ladies got my back, and we got baggage kids so we for sure don’t have it all together. I mean, all of us and our kids in one place together YES but not our life, if you catch my drift. In the midst of motherhood and everything that life can bring these three ladies know where it’s at, and that place is messy, inspiring and loud.

Let me give you a list of my ten reasons to have a few lovely ladies that I can run to.

  1. Holy smokes, a grown up conversation. Let’s be honest. I remember realizing, exactly nine months into being a play at home mama, that my conversation skills were seriously suffering and I would stick my foot into my mouth MEGA nearly every time I talked to a grown woman. I’m not even kidding. This group of ladies either, just puts up with it and doesn’t get offended or they have improved my conversation skills. I’m still not sure which.
  2. They get it. When I show up going on day three with no shower? When I’m barely dressed/in pajamas…. They just get it.
  3. They literally don’t care if I don’t respond. For reals? When is the last time you had someone get offended when you didn’t have a chance to respond to a text?? Yes, that happens. They know I’m busy and I know they are busy. And I also know, when it counts they will be there. But seriously, no angry texts when it takes me three days to respond. #majorwinhere.
  4. They ignore my laundry. Yes, the laundry on my couch is from last Monday when I valiantly vowed to fold it and put it away and it just didn’t happen. It’s been folded three times. But… I just haven’t had the chance to put it away. #nojudgement yep.
  5. Legit Friends. Not for me, but for my kids! (OF COURSE FOR ME ALSO but this one… is major) So yep. We can throw our kids in a room to play and no one fights with their fists and they even LOVE each other. MAJOR MAJOR win. The kids range from just under six years old to a month old and so many in-between.
  6. Their kids are not jerks (insert shocked mommy face her from someone reading this) but this is a real thing. In our house we require, please, thank you, excuse me and also? OBEDIENCE. Yep. And when I found some ladies that also ask this of their children??? I basically yelled “sign me up”. No. Joke. The struggle is real.
  7. They are my medicine. K that might sound funny. Let me explain. They help me with my sanity = therefore mommy friends are medicine. Right?
  8. They know what I mean when I don’t even say it. “Oh you don’t have to clean that up” means… yeah… I’ll be cleaning this mess up for the next four days if you don’t make your kids put their toys away. And. My. Crew. Knows.
  9. Last minute plans? Yep. They don’t need me to give them three weeks notice. In fact, my BEST plans are like “HEY IN FIVE MINUTES WE ARE ……” and you know what?? When they can they jump. If they can’t? They don’t. BUT my crew/squad/team/tribe/soul-sisters more often than not are up for a good mommy sanity session play-date, night off from the kitchen dinner out!
  10. They don’t care if I roll the windows down all the way and sing at the top of my lungs. Not kidding. This one takes me all the way back to being 16 and in my Junior year of high school. Loud. Music. Bumpin. Tunes. Windows. Down. The only thing I don’t do is cat-call the boys anymore. #Imeanduhwhowantsaboyineedaman

Coming this week???? My favorite “deal breakers” from a round up with some amazing ladies. You. Will. Die. It’s hysterical.

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  1. Virjinia July 21, 2017 at 2:15 pm - Reply

    It’s so good that you have your group of mom friends! I bet when you’re with kids all day long having adult conversations mean the world. I think every mom needs a good support system like this!

  2. Paige July 21, 2017 at 5:25 pm - Reply

    Love this! I need a mom squad!

  3. Stefanie (@LexieLooDylan2) July 23, 2017 at 12:07 am - Reply

    Oh my goodness! I love those shirts and those pictures!!!

  4. Justine @ Little Dove July 23, 2017 at 1:32 am - Reply

    I loved this post so much, amen to some adult conversation once in awhile! Also, the top picture is the cutest EVER!

  5. Trista July 23, 2017 at 1:52 pm - Reply

    I love all of these reasons! YES, mom friends ARE medicine! lolol

  6. The Mama Journey July 23, 2017 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    These are some serious #squadgoals 😍 And I have so much laundry to fold 🙈😂

  7. Jaclyn Quinones July 24, 2017 at 8:57 am - Reply

    This just makes me miss my mom squad even more!! It definitely helps having your girls that can relate to what you’re going through.

  8. sunshineandmunchkins July 24, 2017 at 10:31 am - Reply

    These are great! It’s so nice to find people who just get you and what you’re going through because they are dealing with the same things.

  9. circleskirtsandpetticoats July 24, 2017 at 11:03 am - Reply

    Thanks to my mom meeting so many lovely moms when I was an infant, I was able to grow up surrounded by friends my own age and it was wonderful. I don’t have any children yet, but when I do I wand a mom squad of my own!

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