I Can, and I Will



Life is good, guys. Life is so good. Change is in the air with the starting of school and autumn on the horizon. We had a fabulous summer, but I'm so happy to transition out of it. This summer was a different one for our family for a lot of reasons. We opened a store, we had four kids at home full time, and we moved our business out of our home. It was busy, and it was really hard to get the normal things done. It was a summer of fast food and feeling frazzled. 

But FALL. Oh, fall. This is going to be my time. Not like time-for-me time, but time to do all the things. Time to get organized and feel on top of this phase of life. There are always unexpected things that pop up to remind me how not in control I am, but the few days a week or couple of hours in a day that I can feel confident in my planning and my organization are all I need to really feel on top.

The two big boys are in school all day five days a week, and then Knox is in preschool two days a week. But Knox still naps and so does Baker, so there are brief snippets of each day where everyone is either in school or napping. (Like right now, knock on wood.) It's amazing what a little alone time does for your brain and your productivity. I can plan ahead for meals or keep on top of the laundry or draft some blog posts that have been bouncing around in my head. In this phase of life, I've found my productive hours are in the afternoon if everyone or most everyone is napping. Early morning hours are only helpful for getting ready before everyone else and doing social media; after the kids are in bed, I either clean up or do a little more social media and then fall asleep. 

I've never been great at being super scheduled or keeping scheduling habits, but I have high hopes for this year. I think sometimes things have to become essential before they stick, and right now a good schedule is about as essential as it could be. 

What are your goals now that fall is almost here? Do you find yourself organizing or revamping the schedule?


Madewell for Fall

It's the best time of the year, besides maybe Christmas, because Fall collections are starting to arrive. Madewell dropped their's this morning and I was so smitten I just had to share. I'm loving all of the black and white and tan. It's so easy to mix in Fall colors with a basic pieces like these. Check out all of my favorite below and see which one's are on their way to me. 

With a few of these new Madewell arrivals, I'm close to wrapping up my Fall wardrobe. I think I've got my plaid bases covered, but I'd still like to find a few fall florals to add in as well. What pieces are you still looking for this season?


Back To School In Style


This post is sponsored by Everywhere Agency on behalf of OshKosh B’gosh;

however, all thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.

This back to school season, we had three kids to shop for. We had three school supply lists, three haircuts, and three closets that needed a little love. After going through drawers and closets and deciding what clothes were still in good enough condition to wear to school, we ended up with a few things for each boy, but new items were definitely in order. You might think that with three boys, we'd have plenty of hand-me-downs to go around, but their clothes get so hammered! The holes and the stains and all the wear and tear mean that the pile of "play clothes" is huge, and the "allowable school clothes" pile is tiny.

So, school shopping was in order. We dabbled a bit online, and then OshKosh B'Gosh emailed about collaborating just in time to help this momma out. We recently got an OshKosh store in our hometown and hadn't even checked it out yet, but with the clock ticking down quickly to the first day, this week was the perfect time to do it. I knew I could find cute things for at least one of my boys there, even if it was just the toddler who was starting preschool.

But guess what? OshKosh had cute things for ALL of my boys. I was dying over the plaid flannels and the little boots, the dark denim and the graphic tees. So many cute little things. Of course my boys were captured by the ninja tees and the coordinating sportswear, but it really was almost all cute or cool enough that I could get on board with whatever they chose as their favorites. I told them to pick out a pile and we'd decide what worked together.

Easton went straight to the basketball gear. He picked out the jacket and the matching shirt and the matching shorts and the matching pants. It was all orange and navy, and it had to be his. I was really hoping he would go for the blue flannel button-up I pulled off the rack, but it was insanely adorable to see him love his choices so much. We took home all of the coordinating things, and if nothing else, I know he loves the clothes, he'll wear them, and he can pair them himself. His favorite piece was the jacket, so we made sure we had a few different ways he could wear it. Isn't he handsome?

Kesler is my dragon, ninja, fire, and skulls kind of kid, so he was drawn to the cool, glow-in-the-dark ninja tee and the skeleton bones shirt. They were the perfect choices for him. We also spent time picking out a new pair of shorts for him, as his denim cutoffs from this summer just weren't going to cut it for school.

Knox lives for diggers and the color orange, and somehow OshKosh had him covered too. He found lots of options with a digger theme and an orange color. He was thrilled with his "I can dig it" shirt and let me tell you, I've already washed it every day since we bought it. I'm sure you can see why. ;)

I don't have many go-to places to shop for my boys, but honestly OshKosh just made the short list from now on. We have family photos in a few weeks, and I'm sure I'll be back in there picking up those flannels and plaids for a mom's choice moment. ;)

If you haven't finished your school shopping yet or you need family photo clothes too, find your store here or shop online and use code OKBG3136 to get 25% off of your OshKosh purchase.


5 Things We Talk to Our Boys About Before School Starts


This week I've got my mom-hat on because it's that time of year—back to school. I've been in full mom mode as I've been cleaning out closets, buying school clothes, and giving back-to-school haircuts. It's a busy and fun time of year, and I really love it. But besides all of the physical school preparations, we've also been trying to do some character preparations around here too. This seems to be a good time of year to talk with the kids and reteach some important values before they reenter (or enter for the first time) those elementary school doors.

I know that my boys will be exposed to so many words and images and other value systems as they leave my house and go out into the public school system. And I'm okay with that; actually, I want it for them. I want them to learn how to make choices and to be their own person and even to get picked on a little bit. I think there is value in all of those lessons. But I also want them to be prepared for what they are facing or might face. And the best thing I can do is to talk with them about it all. So today I'm sharing five things that we talk to our boys about before school starts. They aren't necessarily light topics, but they are super important, and I'd love it if these helped get any kind of discussion started at your house too! 

1. Protecting against pornography. This is a conversation that we are trying to make a common one at our house full of boys. We are against pornography in any way, and we know that the world is increasingly becoming more and more okay with it. We started discussing pornography last year when Easton was six, and we're including Kesler in on it too. We've explained in simplified terms what pornography is (naked people or people without very many clothes on) and what to do if or when you see it. At our house, we're teaching them to call it out when they see it—say, "That's pornography," and then to leave the situation and tell a grown-up. Soren has told the boys that pornography is poison for your brain and that it will make you sick. The ONLY way to get the poison out is to talk about it, meaning to tell us about it. Otherwise it will make you sicker, and you might even want more of it. There is definitely more that goes into this conversation, but those are the basics. It seems like starting at this age has been just right for us because we all understand it and no one is uncomfortable talking about it. 

2. Praying in school. We teach our boys it's okay, in fact more than okay, to pray in school. I don't tell them they need to close their eyes and bow their head and pray, but I want them to know they can pray in their mind at any time and in any place. This is something they should always know and be able to do, but as they are now gone from me all day, it's God that I'm trusting them to. He is the one who can help them in their needs daily. So whether they are scared, nervous, sad, or lonely, I want them to know how to pray for help. 

3. Being a friend to those who need one. So this is actually one that I need to work on too. It's hard to be a friend to people who aren't like you or who don't behave like everyone else. But it's important. I'm trying to teach my boys to pay attention to who needs a friend. That might be the kid who spends his days in the safe seat, or maybe it's the one with a handicap of some kind. I hope my boys are friends to everyone in some way. 

4. Being honest. One of my boys has a really hard time with this already. And it's hard to be patient with! But we had a good discussion the other night about a lot of ways that the kids might be tempted to be dishonest at school. I remember the temptations when I was a kid! Fingers crossed we have better behavior at school than we do at home with this one... ;)

5. Protecting each other. The last thing we always emphasize is the boys' responsibility toward each other. They are responsible to protect and watch out for each other. I don't care if they sit together on the bus, but Easton better know if Kesler is getting picked on by someone. The boys will finally both be in the same school together, and I hope they see each other and wave often. Brothers come before anyone else in this family of boys. 

What do you remind your kids about before school starts? How do you keep it up during the year?


Maternity Denim Gamechanger


First of all, I feel like I need to clarify that I'm not pregnant. I'm not. However, I have been pregnant in the last ten months, and I think I will be pregnant again sometime in the next ten months. So maternity clothing is still very relevant in my life. And I recently got word about some developments in maternity denim that made my heart sing. 

Maternity jeans are the most frustrating and essential part of my maternity wardrobe. Maternity jeans are just so hard to find and love. But I find and love jeans all the time when I'm not pregnant.
Well today, finding great maternity jeans just got a little bit easier. Madewell is releasing their line of maternity denim today, and I could not be more excited about it! I don't even wear maternity clothing right now, but just knowing that cool, well-fitting maternity denim from one of my favorite brands exists out there makes my style-loving momma heart happy.  I know I have readers who are expecting, so I was MORE than happy to be the messenger when Madewell asked if I would share this exciting  news. 

And how do I know they are great jeans? Because that is what Madewell is all about. This month they are sharing Denim Every Day, and it's pretty obvious they know what they're doing when it comes to denim. They are about great, edgy, perfectly on point denim. The jeans I'm wearing in this post are some of my current Madewell favorites, and that's exactly what they are. A little fashion forward, slightly husband-repelling (kidding, kidding), and edgy. 

Madewell now has four styles of maternity jeans (found in their denim section) that all look amazing. I love that they fit below the belly and that they look like every other pair of jeans you might have in your closet. Don't these just look like jeans you want to live in—pregnant or not? Okay, so seriously tell all of your expecting friends. This is huge news, and I know I'll be picking up every single one of these styles next time I'm pregnant. 

*This post is full of my opinions and my opinions only. While I was gifted product from Madewell, I really am just happy to share this awesome news. 


Ending Summer with a Bang



With school starting in just a week and a half, I'm trying to put all of my effort into 1) pulling our lives out of the chaos called summer and 2) making the most of these last long days with my boys. Summer is so hard with everyone home and no outside schedule, but it's also wonderful because no one has a bus they can miss and everyone has a playmate. I love seeing my kids more often because during the school year, I get to missing them. They are gone from 8:15 to 4:10 every day, and that is just a lot of time for them to be away from me!

I wasn't organized enough to make a comprehensive Summer Bucket List at the beginning of summer, but we've made a mini one for these last few weeks and we're working on checking things off. So far we've made it to a new park, visited my dad at work and had ice cream, gone swimming, and had intentional play dates with friends from across town. We still need to go to the zoo, go camping (Friday), and hit up one more specific park on our list. 

I've been really trying to put work on the back burner so that we can do these things on our list, and hopefully the kids can see and feel that. They are such troopers about hanging around the offices while we get a few things done or being dragged through IKEA while we pick up more organizing items. We've tried to pay them off with way too many sweets and too many shows, so weaning them off of those things as school starts should be a blast. ;)

Easton will be starting second grade this year, and Kesler will officially begin kindergarten. He feels like he has already gone to kindergarten because of summer school, and I guess that's a good thing. The first day should be old hat for them both, and I think I'll be able to keep myself together.

Knox will also be starting school this fall. For the first time in our family, we'll be paying for someone to go to preschool. We've always done a co-op of some sort with friends, so this will be a new adventure. He needs school supplies and a lunch box, and today we get to meet his teacher. He is really excited to be like the big boys, and I think it will be good for him. He'll be there twice a week, and I'm sure he'll enjoy it. My productivity should go up while he's gone too, so I'd say that's a win-win.

And on that note, time to get going on our Monday. Not only do we have lots of summer fun to finish off, but we have a ton of back-to-school prep to accomplish as well. Best of luck to you if you're in the same boat this week!


You Can Still Grab Them


Well, you all have been good sports. The Anniversary Sale is almost over and this will be my last dedicated post about it. I hope my tips for shopping Nordstrom and especially this HUGE sale were helpful and you were able to find a few things you needed for Fall. I know I did- and now I'm just waiting on Mother Nature to catch up!

While tons of the most popular items have sold out, the sale isn't over yet! And there are still some really good items left in stock. If you haven't taken a look or you still feel too overwhelmed to take on Nordstrom's site alone- I'm hear to help. I've rounded up my favorites of what is still in stock and there are a LOT of good basics. Like I might go order things in a second color because they are so good. The sale ends 8/8/16 at 12 am so grab what is in your cart now before it sells out for good! (And if some of these items are already gone- I'm sorry! Things can change so quickly!)

What items are you still hoping to grab from the #nsale? I'm thinking I might need one more pair of leggings and another sweater...but Soren might beg to differ. ;)


5 Summer Pieces


TEE (only $16 right now!) // JEANS (also 40% off!) // SHOES // BAG // HAT // EARRINGS
Photo credit- Sarah Sweeney
In the summertime, I pretty much live in some version of this same outfit. My closet is filled with different options of certain categories, and I've decided to embrace it. It makes me feel a little bit predictable, but that can be a good thing. As much as I believe in trying new things, I also think there is something about finding your style that should be celebrated. It also makes it easier to get dressed when you have a go-to equation for outfits!

I'm not saying I dress up every day—in fact it's noon and I'm still in my robe over here—but I do feel better when I do. Sneakers and Birks are a big part of my run-out-the-door look, but I feel my best when I'm in classic Kilee pieces. This year, my classic pieces have been a striped top, cropped denim, espadrille wedges, and a fedora. 

1. Stripes- There's a reason these are classic. They layer well in colder seasons, and they add a pattern to every outfit. Add a vest or a cardigan to this outfit, and I'm set for cooler days in September. I'm linking some favorite stripes below. This tee I'm wearing is 40% off right now (I recommend sizing up). I also have this tee from J. Crew, which is on sale, and this tee from the Anniversary Sale, which is still stocked in some colors and sizes. 
2. Cropped denim- I've been in love with an ankle-length jean for years.Often I just take sewing scissors and cut my skinnies shorter myself. But these (on sale!) have been the best ones I've found. I love the price, and the cut and wash are just right. 
3. Espadrille Wedges- This style of sandal screams summer to me. I have found a wedge or a platform sandal are definitely preferable to me over flats. Not all of them are comfortable, but I really feel cuter and more put together in a wedge of some kind rather than a flat sandal.
4. Fedora- This style of hat is my very favorite. I can't seem to pull off any other style with my haircut, or at least I don't feel like myself in any other style. Hats help cover greasy hair or hair that has been hit by Missouri humidity. I've said it before, but if you have short hair you can wear hats. You just need to make sure some hair is showing in the front. I try to push my long bangs toward the front and tuck the short side behind my ears when I put on my hats. 

5. Big Earrings- I'm a little biased, but our leather earrings are honestly the best accessory for summer. You can't feel them on, and they make a big statement. We carry them in a huge variety of summer colors, and they really pull together an outfit full of basics like this. Lightweight and life-changing—they really are.

So there is my summer wardrobe in a nutshell. Trade out the sandals for ankle boots and add a military jacket or fur, and you probably have my fall outfit too. What are your summer staples this year? Are you into skirts, dresses, shorts, or lace-up sandals?
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