Category: family

Eleanor Pearl at One Year


Our darling girl turned one this spring, and I can’t believe how quickly the time has flown. I photographed her each month on a quilt made by my great grandmother, Alice.  The color looks a bit different with changing lighting and effects, but I love how you can see her grow with the pattern of the quilt. Our Ellie Pearl girl is a delight and a challenge and a dream. She is fiesty and full of energy, and a girl who knows her mind. She has no fear and no sense of self preservation. She keeps us on our toes and keeps us laughing. She is such a gift and blessing to our family, and it is pure joy to be her mama.


Make a DIY Baby Book with a Handwritten Style Font with Free Printables {2nd Edition}

free printable DIY baby book with handwritten font

free printable DIY baby book with handwritten font

My sweet Pearl Girl is already one, and I just now finished her baby book. I am the Queen of Procrastination. I found a handwriting style font I love and recreated my DIY baby book I made for the Bear with the new font. You can find my original DIY Baby Book with free printables post here. I ordered an 8 1/2 x 11 scrapbook album off Amazon and printed the pages at home on colored 8 1/2 x 11 cardstock.  I am happy to share these free printables with you, for personal use only. See below for more information.


Happy Mother’s Day! {Free Printable}


Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mamas out there! I hope you feel blessed and loved today. I am thankful today and every day for my precious babies and am grateful for the gift they are in my life. I do not take the challenge and responsibility of motherhood lightly. The role of mother to these darling babes has been the greatest challenge and reward of my life.  Being at home with them full time is not something I ever thought I would want, but I can’t imagine life any other way. I’m thankful for and content in this place of joy, messes, frustration, and play, where the Lord has me right now. To each of you who are mothering a child through birth, adoption, foster care, or circumstance, thank you for the important role you play. I cannot imagine what my life would’ve been like without the love and care of my precious mother, my grandmothers, and the many women who stepped in to mentor me when I needed it.


Simple Ways to Bring Jesus in to Your Marriage


Marriage is the best, hardest, most challenging, and most fulfilling life relationship. My husband is an amazing man and his love is a blessing to me every day of my life. We’ve been married six years, so we are still total beginners in the grand scheme of things, but we’ve picked up a few habits that help keep our faith in Jesus in the center of our marriage that I’ll share with you today. Much like my post about Simple Ways to Bring Jesus in to Your Child’s Daily Routine, I’m not coming to you from a place of having anything figured out. I write this more as a fellow traveler on this journey of marriage who wants to share and encourage and protect marriages. Everyone wants their marriage to succeed, and I think that best happens when both partners are on the same page about faith, money, and family goals.


A Shared Birthday



One year ago today, labor pains started around 2 in the morning. Around 6 am I woke Jed up and told him he wouldn’t be going to work today because we were having a baby. It was his 32nd birthday. Our Eleanor Pearl was born that afternoon, and now two of my loves forever share a birthday. You can read her full birth story here.  I am so thankful for their lives and their love. In Jed I have a partner who loves me unconditionally and is more to me than I could ever imagine or deserve. We will celebrate 6 years of marriage next Saturday. Our Ellie Pearl is truly a blessing, a gift, and a reward. She brings us pure joy every day and we are so thankful to be her parents.


Happy Easter from Team Eby!



The Bear is covered in dirt and Pearl Girl is trying to climb out of Daddy’s lap, but we got one with everyone looking and smiling. Victory! We hope your Easter is filled with joy and peace and family. Love, Team Eby



Babies + Baskets + Bluebonnets = Easter in Texas

Celebrating new life in our risen Lord today. He is risen, indeed!

Eleanor Pearl at Ten Months


Our gorgeous girl is ten months old and full of sass. She has one tooth and a personality all her own. I am once again super late with this update, but determined to get it done anyway. This month Eleanor continued to bring pure joy in to our lives with her sweet giggle and determined nature. She is curious and sweet, but lets you know loudly when she doesn’t get her way. She is truly a blessing, gift, and reward from the Lord.


FROZEN Play Time: Make Melted Olaf Dip and Build Elsa’s Ice Castles

CB Disclosure White Background 400 px wide (2)


Is your family singing “Let It Go” nonstop these days? You’re not the only ones. I created a FROZEN play date for my kids and their cousins recently and it was a huge hit. The big kids were singing as they built Elsa’s Ice Castles and everyone got a kick out of my Melted Olaf Dip perfect for Eggo Frozen Waffles and fresh fruit. I picked up a few choice Walmart toys to share among the kids and set up snacking and building stations and we had a blast. Best of all, my recipes are healthy and activities are super easy to recreate. We are so pumped for the release of the FROZEN DVD on March 18th, and the discount price drop from $16.96 to $14.96 at Walmart. Grab a $5 off offer on special marked packages of Eggo Waffles and get an even better deal on the FROZEN DVD. Now for the #FROZENFun …


Frugal Family Fun in DFW: Visiting the Dallas Zoo in the Winter {$5 Admission}

We love the Dallas Zoo all year round, but my favorite time to visit is during Penguin Days in January and February.  We are blessed with some gorgeous sunny days during the winter months here in DFW, and our family loves to be outside.  The Dallas Zoo offers discounted $5 admission during January and February, and kids 2 and under are always free.  The Zoo is open from 9-4 daily except on Christmas Day.  Parking is $8 per car, or you can ride the DART Red Line train to the Zoo stop.

Our 2013: A Year in Review

This past year was a great one for our family.  To help me reflect on it as a whole, I’m joining the lovely Nicole from Three 31 (who is due to have a sweet baby any day now) for a year in review link up.  After you’ve read about our year, click through the link up at the bottom of this post to read from a ton of fun folks and get inspired. 

What did you do in 2013 that you’d never done before?
I gave birth to my sweet daughter, our second child, and had a healthy normal birth after a prior c-section.  This VBAC was a HUGE victory and we are so thankful for the entire journey and for our beautiful, healthy baby girl.  

Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
It was a mixed bag, as always.  I always create a list of personal goals and we create a list of family goals together.  Without goals and dreams, I end up wandering aimlessly and watching reruns of the Real Housewives.  Ain’t nobody got time for that.
Did anyone close to you give birth?
So many of our friends had babies this year.  My sister gave birth to her 2nd son 6 weeks after I had Ellie.  We are thrilled to have cousins so close together.  
What countries did you visit?
We stayed in the US, but were traveling  six weeks of the year.  I love to be on the go, especially

What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?
A full night of sleep… With two kiddos 2 and under I’ll just keep on dreaming.
What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory?
April 22 – My husband’s birthday and now my precious daughter’s as well.

What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Having a healthy baby girl

What was your biggest failure?

Not losing the baby weight.  This was a big goal that just didn’t happen. Yet.

Did you suffer illness or injury?

I sprained my ankle tripping in my house.  I’m a klutz for life, y’all.

What was the best thing you bought?

A new computer!!!  I love this thing.

Where did most of your money go?

We budget every dime, and that budget is tight.  We are debt free, so after our expenses we save for retirement, vacation, kids’ college funds, and big purchases.  Oh yeah, we also had to have the plumbing completely rebuilt on one side of our house.  Big fun. {sarcasm font}

What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Again, our new addition.  Sweet Eleanor is such a joy and a delight.

What song will always remind you of 2013?

The Avett Brothers – Father’s First Spring

Compared to this time last year, are you:

Happier or sadder?Thinner or fatter?Richer or poorer?
Happier, fatter (but not pregnant), and richer in everything that matters

What do you wish you’d done more of?

hiking & camping

What do you wish you’d done less of?

watching tv – We’ve dropped a bunch of shows and are only watching the ones we care about.  Sorry, Toddlers and Tiaras, ain’t nobody got time for that.

How will you be spending Christmas?
With my parents and brothers in Little Rock, after an early mini celebration with just us in Dallas.

Did you fall in love in 2013?
More every day with my husband and kids

Who were your best friends?

I have a wonderful group of girlfriends here in Dallas, as well as a handful of besties from my home town.

What thing did you do that was meaningful to others?

I started volunteering with Young Life again, in their outreach ministry to teen moms called YoungLives.

What were your favorite TV programs?
Nashville – because Connie Britton’s hair {among other reasons}
Scandal, Modern Family, The Bachelor (don’t judge), The Black List, The Mindy Project, New Girl, Bones

Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
I try really hard not to hate anyone.

What was the best book you read in 2013?

Ina May Gaskin’s Guide to Childbirth – It changed my life and helped me get my VBAC.  It made me believe my body was made to birth.  If you are pregnant, I urge you to check it out of the library or order it from Amazon.

What was your greatest musical discovery?
I’ll call it a rediscovery.  I remembered my childhood love of classical music.  Nerd alert.

What did you want and get?
a healthy baby, a normal birth, a beach vacation, time with my family

What did you want but did NOT get?

my bathrooms painted – This is happening soon.

What was your favorite film of this year?
Hmmm… Well, I’ve seen one movie in a theater since the Bear was born, in 2011.  Yikes.  I really loved the new season of Arrested Development.  Does that count?

What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I went on a date with my husband, and it was fabulous.  I’m 34.

What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
If I had lost the dang baby weight.  I’m really sick of being overweight.  Now if I could just quit eating these cookies…

What kept you sane?

My faith. I try to spend time with Jesus daily, and He is my rock.

Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I don’t really have any celebrity crushes, though I am more excited than I care to admit about Juan Pablo being the new Bachelor.  Judge me if you will.  Captain Hook on Once Upon a Time is a bit delicious.  I love Mindy Kaling with all my heart.  Michelle Obama is a rock star to me.

What political issue stirred you the most?
Gun control.  I’m from the south and grew up with guns around, but I just don’t understand why we can have computer chips in our pets but can’t pass a universal background check system for firearms.

Who did you miss?
My grandparents.  I think about them a lot as I watch my parents in their new role with my kids.  My maternal grandparents were really special and I still miss them so much.  I also missed my friends and family that live far away.  If I could have one wish it would be for my sister and her family to live in the same town with us.

Who was the best new person you met this year?
Eleanor Pearl, of course

Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2013.

I will mess up as a parent and I have to be able to live with that.  It doesn’t make me a bad mom or a bad person.  I have to depend on the Lord to guide me and pray to be the mama my kids need each day.

Quote that sums up your year:
Be content where you are. 

What sums up your 2013?

An InLinkz Link-up