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our very favorite baby + kid shoes | FRESHLY PICKED

You all know I love to share with you some of my very favorite items for my boys.... or just kids in general.
I have written lots of posts about amazing small shops to snag the cutest and best made clothes.
(if you want any recommendations, just shoot me an email)
I have not, however, shared my very favorite brand of shoes...
We are pretty obsessed with Freshly Picked over here.
Bennett lives in his moccasins, and are really the only pair of shoes that he actually wants to wear.
He learned how to walk in them in fact.
And every time I tried to put any other type of shoe on him... he acted as if he was stuck in concrete.
Luckily, we have moved past his drama filled - stuck in concrete - ways, but his moccasins are still number 1.
It is practically as if he is barefoot in them.
With the added bonus of adorableness and durability....
I mean, just look at how cute these shoes make his entire outfit!
And let me remind you, we are farmers here.
My boys are no strangers to dirt, mud, rocks, etc.
Their days are pretty much filled with them actually.
We own many pairs of these moccasins, and not once have they been even close to being ruined by these crazy kids antics.
Or mine for the matter.
I washed one on accident once... and it's totally fine... although I wouldn't recommend it for cleaning them, ha.
And can I just mention quickly how easy it is to get my kid out the door. They slip on SO fast... no need for socks, no tying, nothing... just slip on and let them be free and wild.
All of the above to say... I don't like to fight with my kids.
And these shoes make that possible.
Mr. Independant can get out the door quickly, walk on his own, and play anywhere he wants... all while looking totally adorable.
It's a win for everyone.
If you have been on the fence about getting a pair... don't wait anymore.
They are worth every penny.
Mary Janes - check.
Dozens of different colors and patterns - check.
Available for newborns even - check.
Go take a look for yourself.
AND if you have a kid that is a little older, they have brand new adorable t-strap sandals, and also some hard sole (next step) moccs, that we have for Beckam... and are on sale for $49.
All of which are very cute.
Just like him...
And his entire Periwinkle Jazz outfit. :)
Have a great weekend friends!
And don't forget to give those daddy's some extra loving.


BENNETT | 18 months

I'm a few days late here, BUT I thought it was worth noting that Bennett is 18 months old!
My baby is growing up entirely too fast.
In fact, he has very little "baby" left in him at all.
The crib sleeping and diaper wearing we are holding onto for a little bit more.
Bennett is talking a TON.
I understand about 1% of it... but still.
Non stop jabbering.
Some of the things I do understand consists of...
Where is my water?
Pat, Pat, Pat (while giving great big hugs)
Bubba, Mama, Dada, Papa
He would be happy spending ALL day outside.
He loves to slide, collect rocks, play basketball, ride on his tractors, and feed the animals.
And if by chance there is any water to get into, he is bound to find it.
This boy is smitten with his brothers.
He screams when Beckam tries to snuggle him nonstop, but he will never complain if they let him play along with them.
He particularly likes to sit with them on the couch if they get to watch a show.... although he is the least bit interested in TV himself.
Although he loves his brothers, he really loves me.
And it's a good thing, because I clean up a lot of poo from him.
He likes to give me kisses and hugs (sometimes), but he mostly just wants me to pack him around and play blocks or trucks with him.
Most of all though, he is through and through a daddy's boy.
If Ryan comes home, he grabs his boots, and stands at the door.
He also won't even look at me to say goodbye, in fear that I might grab him and make him stay home.
All of this time with his daddy is helping to turn him into our mini-est farmer.
The kid has strong tractor-sound game.
And if I would allow him to sleep with those hard metal tractors... he would.
One thing I do allow him to sleep with is a tiny little stuffed dog.
I had to buy him one that looks like Beckam's, because he was obsessed with it!
The hugs, kisses, and high pitched oo-ing was nonstop.
So, now he has his own.
I think the love for this stuffed dog came from his love for real life animals.
He has always LOVED our dog Gunner.
And they are quite the duo together.
Bennett also loves our cats, however he isn't nearly as nice to them.
He walks around pulling the cat by its tail most of the time.
Our precious cat, doesn't seem to mind.
Another love of his is food.
Boy loves to eat.
And preferably on his own.
Don't you dare try to spoon feed him anything.
He will do it on his own.
And he is really very good at it.
I would list some favorites, but he will pretty much eat everything.
One of his newest food tricks though... putting olives on his fingers to eat them.
It's the only way it's done.
Perhaps all of this food he is eating explains his size.
He is such a big boy!!
I will get official stats on Friday, but he has been tracking 95th percentile in height for quite some time now.
His weight is generally around 75th.
And that noggin'... it is large also.
Bennett is such a goof ball, and he thinks that he is hilarious too.
It has been so fun watching his personality form...
When he was about 8 months old, he burped at the table. The big boys laughed at how loud it was, and Bennett then burst into tears.
NOW, he will burp at the table and then begin to laugh hysterically.
Such gentlemen I am raising.
His cute smile, blue eyes and blonde hair kill me, and it is still amazing to me that I grew him!
What a lucky mommy I am.

We LOVE you Bennett Zane!


BECKAM | 4 years old

I officially have a four year old in my brood of children.
And it is truly hard to believe that he is such a big kid already.
This whole 'time' thing is really working against me lately, and suddenly my babies are practically grown ups.
Thank goodness Beckam is a momma's boy!
I can always count on him to sit and snuggle with me.
Or give me approximately a million kisses in a day. 
He truly is the sweetest little soul.

Can we talk about his heart?
Pure gold.
He is always looking out for others and very perceptive of others feelings. 
However... he is is also getting quite the voice of his own, and looking out for himself too. 
Especially when it comes to his brothers. 
I am beginning to see a bossy side of him...which is a dominate trait in both of his brothers... so I think he feels the need to fit in. 
Speaking of his brothers, Beckam has to be the very most loyal.
Even from a very young age, he has always had Brody's back.
And the moment Bennett was born, he took him under his wing also.
If Ryan is wresting and has Brody pinned, Beckam rushes over and starts trying to pull Brody out, yelling, "that's my brother! let him go!"
I love that he is always watching out for his bros, especially in public. 
His brothers are lucky.
Beckam has some things that he totally loves.
Animals are definitely one of those.
He goes and checks on his kitties multiple times a day, giving them all sorts of cuddles, even though he is allergic to them.
Our dog is also very loved by him.
And his sweet voice when he talks to them!!! It just kills me.

Some of the other notable loves of his are... his dirt bike, playing anything with Brody, playing by himself (which he is quite good at), finding worms in the garden, and snuggling his mom. :)
While he is super sweet and lovely and loyal... he is also very opinionated and a terrible listener.
He is also the very worst at cleaning up any mess that he has made.
He also knows how to make up for it when someone is mad at him.
So many kisses, so many hugs, and so many times of saying "I'm sorry" with his incredibly long lashes flashing in my face. 
I love this kid SO much it's crazy.
His jokes, his infectious laugh, his crazy cute dimples.
I can only hope he stays this charming forever.
Happy fourth birthday precious Beckam!!!


a bounce house party | beckam turns 4

This last Sunday we celebrated Beckam's 4th birthday. 
I was determined to not get too involved in throwing a big bash, and focus more on the things that he would love and enjoy. 
Really, the only early prep I did do was go to Target a week or so before the party, and have him help me pick out a couple of items of decor. 
It was very liberating. 
It turns out... zero prep means you can still have an awesome party.
Maybe because I busted out some cake pops the night before the party....
Or, it was most likely the fact that I got a bounce house. 
Never have a party without a bounce house.
I have told you this before.
If you learn just one thing from all of my blogging, it should be this fact.

Cakepops + bounce house = 
Gosh he's cute.
You know who else is cute?
He had a whole lot of freedom to roam the food tables, and he took full advantage of it.
Double fisting it here with a strawberry in one hand and a chip in the other.
And look how TALL he is!!
Brody was darling as always too, but was far too busy running wild with friends, and tackling girls in the bounce house, to get near me for a solo picture.
I did happen to snag a pic of a group of the kids though... and as you can see Beckam looks like he is having the worst day of his life...
 Cakepop with a candle to the rescue!
The morning of the party I found a box of deflated beach balls that we had ordered back around Easter time.
You may recall my farmer's idea to play a life size version of hungry-hungry-hippos?
This was what they were for. 
But they came after Easter.
Amazon fail.
They certainly came in handy for the party though.
24 beach balls.
We strung some, we threw some in the bounce house, and a good dozen of them were used by the adults to kick at each other with as much force as possible.
Quite a lot of fun, in fact.
We wound up the party with some gift opening...
And I am still completely unsure of who gave Beckam what.
A bunch of kids with a pile of gifts is pure chaos.
And I barely tried to oversee it.
 All in all, this kid had the very best party.
AND, if that wasn't enough...
The next day was his actual birthday.
If you don't follow me on Instagram and watch my stories... you are missing out.
I posted Beckam's BIG surprise on Monday, and he was just the sweetest.
He got his very own little dirt bike.
With training wheels.
And safety gear of course.
He has to be the cutest 4 year old ever, cruising around on it.
It is safe to say that he will be disappointed for the rest of his life when it comes to birthdays.
This one takes the cake.

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