{five on friday} spring fever + books + a thank you

Oh happy day! We sure are ready for the weekend around here!!! Let's get this FOF party started with Darci, Natasha, April and Christina!
I don't know about you, but I have some serious Spring fever over here! We've had warmer temps lately, so it puts me in the mood! I'm excited about Essie's new Spring 2014 collection called Hide & Go Chic!
Seriously. I have a problem! Just as soon as I start my "green" smoothie kick, these things make their grand appearance!!!! Ugh....I guess I just need to eat smoothies all day to balance out the cookies! HA! My current favs are Thin Mint {duh} and Lemonades! Am I the only one?!?!
Seriously, these two melt my heart! Sweet BFFs who happen to be cousins! We took Ella to the library for the first time this week! They were in heaven! Loved watching them pick out their books, checking them out, and carrying them out! Such sweet memories in the making. I can't believe we will be celebraring this lil' guys FOURTH birthday this weekend!

 Are these not the cutest?! E got a pair of these a couple of weeks ago and can't wait to wear them! Darn you, Gap Kids!!! You're going to make me broke this Spring/Summer! :)

Most of you will remember my recent posts on sweet little Wes!
If you haven't read his story, you can do so here! Ashley, Wes's mom was overwhelmed by your sweet comments and response that she asked me to share a thank you note with you all!

To the newest members of the Wes Warrior Family, thank you from the bottom of my heart for the outpouring of support, emails, and donations I received after the post Jen did last week. The blogging community is so giving, and you guys are no exception. You cannot imagine the impact your gifts have and will make on the families struggling in the hospital trying to support their children. Actions speak so much louder than words in this case, so thank you for loving on these families. Please tune into my blog in the next couple of weeks, as I will be posting pictures and updates from the donations you guys have made.
Forever changed, Forever grateful,

Cheers to the weekend, friends!!!

{our weekend happenings}

Here's a look at our weekend happenings!
{one} Enjoying a lunch date with my bests {and our sweet little Valentine}....sorry you aren't in the pic, Lesie! Always love a lunch outing and girl talk!
{two} Loved getting to go to Ella's Valentine's party at her school! So fun watching her with her little friends!
{three} I loved this picture so much! She was all sugared out, but that wasn't gonna stop me! :)
{four} E and her little Valentine! Oh my....these two crack me up!
{five} Sweet Mimi and Papa lovin'! So thankful to have E's grandparents {all four of them} close by! It just so happened that Josh and I had 2 events planned back-to-back; therefore, we had 2 over night date nights this month! 
{six & seven} Enjoying a night out with my sweet in-laws! Love! We always have the best time together!
{eight} Sunday lunch with the Coxon's! Sweet kisses for Connor!
{nine} Enjoying the gorgeous weather! Ella wanted her "sister" to go walking with us! :)
Wishing you all a happy week!!!! 

{five on friday} all about l.o.v.e

Happy Friday and Happy Valentine's Day!!!! We've already done some celebrating at the Dearmore casa by having heart shaped cinnamon rolls for breakfast before heading out the door for the day! I'm also excited that I get to attend Ella's little Valentine's party at her school today! Such fun! Anyways, I'm back for another week of Five on Friday with Darci, April, Natasha and Christina!
Team Teddy! I love that the FOF girls have challenged all of their readers/FOF posts to be dedicated to this precious little boy, Teddy. Teddy is a seven-month-old little boy suffering from Menkes Syndrom, also known as "kinky hair syndrome", a rare genetic disease that affects approximately 1 in 450,000 male babies. You may have read his story on other blogs, but if not, you can read more about this terminal syndrome here from the couple's good friend Alex, from Pink & Prosperous.
Speaking of precious little boys, I want you to meet another very special one named, Wes. Wes was born with hydranephrosis of the right kidney. Hydranephrosis is a condition in which the kidney retains flud, and does not drain properly. After about a week in the hospital, he was also diagnosed with subglottic stenosis. Wes's mom is a personal friend of mine who asked me to share his story. You may have read it yesterday, but if not, you can read it here. This is an incredible story!
On a much, much less insignificant note, I was thrilled with the way Ella's Valentine's for her teachers turned out! If you've never tried Nothing Bundt Cakes....go NOW! They are absolutely delish! I put together these little tags to go on top just to add a little personalization!
I'm excited to have a low key Valentine's night with little fam! It's a pizza {heart shaped that is}, vino, movie kind of night! I'm pretty sure we'll be sugared out by the time we get home from our numerous parties {however, I do still have left over cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factor that I'm never too full for}!!!

I'm pretty sure I found the world's most comfortable {and light weight} sweater at Gap yesterday!!! I didn't just buy one, I bought three (rose, navy, camel)!!! They have many, many colors to choose from! Perfect for Winter/Spring! PLUS, they're 40% right now! 
Wishing you all a happy day full of lots of hugs and kisses!!!! XOXO

{Wes's Warriors}

Meet Wes! I'm honored to be able to share about a precious little boy today!
Ashley, Wes's mom, and I have been friends for many years as we grew up at the same church and school. Ashley and her husband Joe have two little boys, Bowen (2 years old), and Wes (5 months). During Ashley's pregnancy with Wes, she and her husband recieved some devestating news about their soon to be born little baby boy. I will let you read in Ashley's words, exactly the news they received, what that meant for Wes, their family, and the future. This is an incredible journey of their faith!
Wes was born with hydranephrosis of the right kidney. Hydranephrosis is a condition in which the kidney retains flud, and does not drain properly. Before Wes was born, the doctors thought that this condition was so severe that he would probably lose his right kidney. Joe and I were devastated and spent many weeks in prayer, tring to figure out what it would mean long term for him to only have one kidney. However; after Wes was born, the doctors were pleasantly surprised to find that the kidney was not nearly as damaged as previously thought, and overtime his kidney would correct itself. About a week after his birth, the doctors started noticing that Wesley was not breathing quite normally. Once again, the doctors were hoping this was something that would correct itself over time, but it did not take long to see that his condition was more sever than initially thought. After multiple tests, it was discovered that Wes has subglottic stenosis (a narrowed airway beneath the vocal cords) and sever GERD (reflux disease). Every time he would reflux, his airway would swell more and more and his breathing would get louder and louder. There were days where it was so difficult for him to breath; we could see each and every rib. The doctors as one point told use they were concerned his diaphragm would collapse; he was working so hard to breath. Because his breathing was so difficult, and he was expended so many calories to breath, it did not take long for him to fall off the growth charts. At two months old, he had not even gained a full pound. We quickly became regulars at the Children's Hospitals here in Dallas, particularly the PICU. Wes then had a G-tube placed. Side note- to this day, that has been his only surgery Wes has had!
Our stays in the PICU were long, exhausting and emotional. The PICU would not allow for bathrooms in the rooms, or food and drink, so the rooms would maintain sterility in case they ever had to do emergency surgery in the room. For the families, we were required to be there to support our children, but the ability to take care of ourselves was very limited. Joe and I met families that had been in the PICU for 3-4 months, with no end in sight. They are exhausted, broken and just drained. And the one thing we kept saying over and over was it felt void of Jesus there because of how hard the days and nights were. We quickly learned through our experiences that actions speak a thousand times louder than words, so Joe and I decided to start an organization to how His mercy and grace to those who are caring for children in the PICU. We were able to to a big donation at Christmas and provide toys and Christmas gifts for the families at Dallas Children's Hospital. We were also able to provide the PICU funds to purchase items for the children that were patients to help each day better, such as: mobiles, bouncers, coloring books, and magazines. We are now hoping to take care of the families. We have started Comfort Bags to help the families that are there to get through their stay just a little easier.

The bags contain travel size toiletries, because many families find themselves there in emergency situations and have not packed or prepared for their stay. We are hoping that this act of kindness towards the families in need will be passed on, once those families are discharged. All items needed for the bags as well as more information about this ministry can be found on my blog at www.acomfortofhome.blogspot.

I know this blogging community is full of giving, tender hearted and compassionate people! Maybe you're looking for a way to serve or give back. I think this is a perfect opportunity. After all, aren't most of us in Target each day?!!? It would be so simple to grab a few of these items to send to Ashley and help bring a little bit of support to those families in need. Ashely can be reached at acomfortofhome@gmail.com. You can also follow her on IG: Weswarriors. 

{five on friday}

Dear Friday, I'm so glad you're here!!! It's that time again....5 on Friday with April, Darci, Natasha and Christina!

Need a desktop make-over, here you go! I came across these free downloads and thought they were perfect! Some funny, some inspirational, some cute, and some, just plain funny and to the point!
Thank you, Mix and Match Mama {aka Shay Shull} for this easy, festive, and yummy recipe! I'm thinking these Strawberry Brownies might be the winner to hand out to my co-workers for Valentine's Day! You can find her recipe here.
 It might be 30 degrees, but that sure isn't stopping me from dreaming of warmer weather! This little beauty came in the mail for Ella the other day! Absolutely adorable {and just as cute on as it is on the hanger}! Check it out here {and take advantage of their 30% off sale}!
Have you all tried this stuff?!? We've been taking Juice Plus since November and are absolutely loving it {and I swear by it now}! Without giving a full blown power point presentation, it's basically taking fruits and veggies in a gummy form {that's what we use so Ella can take them too} or a capsule. I have several friends who even taken these as their daily vitamin. No, this doesn't mean we still don't eat fruits and veggies, but the more, the better! You can read ALL about them here. If you're interested, I have the perfect gal for you to talk to! {Don't you like how I squeezed in some fruits and veggies with the brownie recipe above?!!?}
Done and done! Hubby and I are heading out of town for the night to go to a wedding! Always enjoy a night out with my man {and sweet friends}! Now....what to wear, what to wear!
Happy Weekend, y'all!!!

{green smoothie obsession + recipe}

I have seen people write and talk about "green" smoothies for a long time now, but honestly, it didn't sound that appetizing to me! I don't know what convinced me {other than I'm in a wedding in 4 months and bathing suit season is right around the corner....YIKES}, but I decided to make my first smoothie last week! Let me just say this....don't "judge a book by it's cover" - meaning, don't be scared of the scary greenish color! It was absolutely delish! You cannot taste the spinach AT ALL! Tastes just like a strawberry-banana smoothie. I've been making them for breakfast for the past week and plan to continue {but with some different recipes}. They are very filling, plus just knowing they are full of healthy "stuff" makes them all the better! This is the recipe I have been using....give it a try....I'm pretty sure you'll thank me later!! ;))
Strawberry Banana Green Smoothie
1/2 cups unsweetened almond milk {this is what I've been using, or you can use milk of choice}
1/4 cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
2 cups fresh spinach leafs
1/2 cups fresh/frozen strawberries
1 frozen banana
1/2 T. honey
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup ice
Place all ingredients in a blender and mix away! It's that easy!
And, CHEERS!!!

{It's the Little Things - Link Up} week 2

I'm linking up again today with Ashley and Jess for their fun series "It's the Little Things"! Loved getting participate last week and most of all, loved getting to read others fun and positive posts!
My sweet, sweet hubby travels usually 1-2 nights a week, sometimes 3 nights and some weeks, he's home all week! He almost always leaves me a note under my pillow so I'll find it when I'm about to go to bed. Is that sweet or what?!!? It's nothing formal, not even on a card, but simply on computer paper, and I LOVE IT! I've caught myself going in before bedtime to see if there is a note there! That's how much they mean to me! It's the little things, friends!!!

Thank you again, Ashley and Jess for hosting this fun link-up!!! Can't wait to read the others!

Happy Wednesday, friends!!!!

{weekend happenings}

I'm just now getting a second to sit down and do a little recap of our weekend {in pictures}! We were on the go a lot, but it was all very enjoyable and worth it!
Friday night was date night for mommy and daddy and Mimi/Papa night for Ella! A win win for all!!! Josh and I went to see Lone Survivor {we hadn't been to the movies in over a year} then out to dinner. The movie - WOW! Very intense and very amazing all at the same time. I definitely recommend the movie if you haven't already see it. There's absolutely no way you can walk out of there without having even more respect for our military men and women. Meanwhile, Ella had a pizza, cookie, and ice cream party with Mimi and Papa!
 I promise we're not this ghostly looking in real life!!!! :)
Saturday was party day! We went to a little birthday party for a sweet little friend who turned the big ONE, then headed to Josh's hometown for his annual deer lease Christmas party....yes, you read that correctly! I know it's February, but with the month of December always so stinkin' busy, they wait until everything slows down {and of course, deer season is over}!
 Remember these?!!? Truly a blast from the past!
 And of course, Sunday was game day! I think our food turned out much better than the game!!! ;) Oh well, still proud to have watched 3 former Texas Tech players for the Bronco's and of course, Manning! Love his attitude, always!
Here's to another happy and healthy week!