I need Jesus too, Mama

He was squatting down at the edge of the playground, rummaging through some dead leaves that looked like ornate treasures to him. I watched from a distance, as he inspected each one, turning them over in his sweet little hands, until he found the perfect one, and then he’d tuck it away safely in the “trunk” of his little radio flyer tricycle. I love watching him play so independently and would give just about anything to be able to hear his thoughts as he focuses so intently on the task at hand.

This particular day, there were lots of kids at the park and so although I typically make a conscious effort not to be a “helicopter parent,” I kept a close eye on my free-spirited boy. He abruptly stood up, off to conquer his next mission, when I saw another little boy, about his same size, come up to him and get very close to his face. The little boy had an unnerving aggressiveness about him – much more than that of a typical rough-and-tough toddler – and was holding a stick in his hand with his knuckles clenched tightly around it.

I couldn’t hear what the little boy was saying but I could tell from Landon’s wide eyes and upper lip that he was caught totally off guard and a little afraid, so I casually walked over and put my hand on his shoulder, saying, “come on bud, we don’t get too close to people’s faces, do we?”

If another child does something that I’m uncomfortable with, I don’t feel right about reprimanding them, unless I absolutely have to (because I just feel that it’s their mama’s job), so I always use the passive aggressive technique of casually reminding Landon that the behavior is not acceptable. Whatever works, right? #momlife

A few moments later, Landon was happily playing on the jungle gym and was perched at the top of the slide, just getting ready to sit down and slip to the bottom, when my mama heart skipped a beat. That same little boy came up behind him and shoved him, face first. Thankfully, Landon caught himself, but before he could pull himself up, that little boy started kicking him! In my head, I could hear Madea saying, “oh HAIL naw!” but I quickly stepped in with some hurried “stop! keep your hands and feet to yourself!” advice, and we left the park, with the little boy’s mother sitting on a park bench, completely consumed with her cell phone. Go figure.

I try to use incidents like this as teachable moments, but no one has ever truly been mean to my little boy before, so I was a little unsure how to handle it. I know it’s the first of many times this will happen, and that each time someone hurts your children, a mama’s heart aches. So, on the way home, we had a conversation about how that little boy wasn’t kind and how we need to always treat others with kindness and respect and I just left it at that, although what I really wanted to do was go back to that park, find that little boy, wear him out, and then give his mother a piece of my mind…

Now, I know everyone talks about their kids teaching them things and there have definitely been little things in the last (almost) three years that Landon has said or done that have taught me so much. But, the next morning, while making breakfast and sipping steaming hot coffee with morning light pouring through the window, my boy said something I’ll remember forever.

I was standing with my back to him in the kitchen, wearing my favorite polka dot robe with my unbrushed hair in a sloppy bun on top of my head, when he brought it up again.

Mama, that boy at the park… he was not kind.

– Yeah… you’re right honey, he wasn’t.

He pushed me down. 

-I know. And you know what he needed? He needed his Mama to wear him out…

Landon just looked at me as I rambled on about how if he had a good old fashioned whooping, he would know better….

-Oh, honey… Mommy’s just upset. You know what that little boy needed? He just needs Jesus.

… and that’s when he said it, with blue eyes full of innocence in a voice I’ll never forget.

But, I need Jesus too, Mama.

Cue the waterworks!

How often do we look at someone, as adults, and think to ourselves how they need fixing? How often do we weigh our own sins against the sins of others, wrongly using those around us as the standard for behavior instead of Scripture? How often do we sit in church, thinking to ourselves how badly so-and-so needs to hear the Pastor’s sermon, instead of asking Jesus how we can apply it to our own lives? How often do we focus on the speck in our neighbor’s eye, while ignoring the log in our own?

I’m so guilty of this, so many times. And although I know that I need Jesus, too, it’s so easy for me to focus on those I come in contact with, especially when they treat me or my loved ones in a way that feels disrespectful.

I’m so thankful that Jesus used this little experience at the park to remind me of one very simple truth:

“On our worst days, we’re never outside of the reach of His grace and on our best days, we’re never outside the need of His grace.”

-Jerry Bridges, author of The Pursuit of Holiness, The Discipline of Grace, etc.

Bentgo Lunch Containers

Preparing fun, nutritious meals for Landon brings me so much joy. It’s no surprise, because my Mama was always so creative when packing my lunches and she’s a phenomenal cook and baker. I remember heart shaped sandwiches and cucumbers not only peeled, but cut into shapes, and notes in every lunch she ever packed. It was just another little way to show how much she cared, a special touch that only my Mama could give.

Now, all these years later, I’m feeding my own toddler and I’m always looking for fun, creative ways to make mealtime a success. Fortunately, Landon is usually a pretty good little eater, but like any toddler, goes through spells of not eating much, refusing something I know he loves, etc. That’s normal and it’s okay!

On Instagram, I have a toddler meals highlight tab where I share some of his meals and snacks. I love getting inspiration from others who share what they’re feeding their little ones, so I hope that mine can be helpful to someone as well. It can be so easy just out of habit or convenience to serve the same thing the exact same way all the time, and I think that’s when pickiness creeps in. The more you change it up (for instance, if you serve apples frequently, try slicing or preparing them a bunch of different ways to teach the child that it’s okay to eat something that looks different), the better. I’m no expert, I can only share what I’ve learned from experience working with toddlers in college and now with my own little guy who loves to eat.

Today, I’m showing just a few ways that you can use Bentgo Lunch Containers, but the possibilities truly are endless. Get as creative as you like or keep it super simple and basic. The Bentgo Kids Brights 5 Compartment Bento Style Lunch Box comes in a few cheery color combos and is so durable! The largest of the five compartments is the perfect size for a half sandwich, the three medium sized compartments are great for fruits, veggies, or other sides, and theres a small compartment ideal for dipping sauces or a special treat.

What I love most about it is that it’s completely leak proof. Landon’s applesauce or yogurt never sloshes over onto his sandwich and guess what… I only have to wash one container! That’s a win, my friends! The kid friendly latches are easy for Landon to open, too, which is really nice now that I’ve taught him to make sure the box is laying flat before he opens it (as you can imagine, this is pretty important haha).


I also have the Bentgo Glass Lunch Box. It has three compartments and a leak proof lid. There are a few (more subtle) color choices for the lid (since this box is intended for adults). It is just the right size and so durable. I love using it for leftovers (instead of several plastic containers) because I can reheat in the microwave in the glass (I try to never microwave in plastic). I’m sure I’ll use it a lot during football season when Grayson gets home super late and I save him a plate of dinner.

Lastly, I want to share a little about my favorite adult Bentgo product. The Bentgo Salad Box is a dream come true for salad lovers. Grayson and I have been trying to make a conscious effort to eat healthier and do a little meal prep at the beginning of each week, so this is such a help when it comes to convenience. It makes eating a big, hearty salad on the go easier than ever with it’s exceptional design. At the top, theres a small space with a built in fork that’s also a great place to hold a napkin. Then, the next layer is a tray with three compartments perfect for holding your protein (should you choose to do grilled chicken, taco meat, steak, etc), and salad toppings (cheese, croutons, dried cranberries, boiled eggs, veggies, etc.). In the center is a removable cup with a lid for your salad dressing. The bottom layer is a large salad bowl (big enough to hold up to four cups of greens!) that’s accessed by simply lifting the topping tray out. The box is so well made and functional, it makes me want to pack myself a salad in it every day!

One thing I’ve found that encourages me to eat salads is to always make a little extra meat with dinner so that I can use the leftovers for my salad for lunch the next day. That way, I’m not eating the exact same thing all over again, and I’m using it in an even healthier way. Also, keeping my favorite salad toppings on hand is key for me – cucumbers, dried cranberries, and tortilla strips – yum! 

I already cherish my days at the park with my babies, and I know I will look back with even more appreciation for these sweet, simple days as they grow. Packing a picnic lunch, walking to the park, and enjoying the sunshine is one of our favorite things to do, and our Bentgo Lunch Containers have made that easier than ever!

Thanks so much to Bentgo for providing the products featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Gym Talk + My Favorite Postpartum Leggings

Ok, it’s time. Let’s talk about the gym.

PHYSICALLY // It’s been about three months since I joined the gym and let me just tell you, it was long overdue. I so wish that I had made it a priority right after Landon was born, because I’ve seen first hand how hard it can be to get your body back to a place where you feel good in your skin after two pregnancies if you don’t make an effort after the first. When I say “get your body back” I don’t mean get your body back to how it was before pregnancy. For some that is possible (although I’m pretty sure it isn’t for me), but the truth is, we shouldn’t even focus on that. If you’ve brought a child into this world, your body has done the most incredible thing that the human body can do. You’ve carried life and every stretch mark, dimple, and scar is a testament to what God gave you the honor and privilege of doing. I still have a long, long way to go to be where I would like to be, but I’ve seen such a difference just in the way I feel and the way my clothes fit since making exercise a consistent part of my week and because of that, I’m encouraged to keep going!


MENTALLY // For me, the decision to join the gym hasn’t just been about the physical benefits. The mental aspect of it has been tremendous. Just leaving the house every day and having two hours to myself has been a total and complete game changer. Being able to exercise and then shower and do my hair and even put on a little makeup has helped me feel so much more like myself. After two babies, it can start to feel like you lose yourself a little if you don’t make time for a little self care. I used to think “self care” looked like going for a pedicure or massage or buying myself something special (and sometimes, that’s true), but now I know that sometimes self care can mean hard work – the kind of work that is so good for you mentally, physically, financially, or spiritually. And what they say is true, you can’t pour from an empty cup.

SOCIALIZE // Although my kiddos are actively involved in church and love playing with their cousins and my friend’s kids, I knew that they needed more social interaction (especially Landon). It’s crazy (and so sad for my Mama heart) to think that in a few years, he’ll be starting school and I want to set him up for success as best as I can. He has loved going to the gym (which he lovingly refers to as the “CYA”) and I’ve found that the structure and routine (we typically go at the same time every day so it’s the same teachers and kids) has been so good for him, especially at such a pivotal time in his development (they grow and change so much from 2-3). It’s also been really good for Harper, who is very, very attached to her Mama!


TRYING NEW THINGS // I think one major reason I’ve avoided going to the gym for… uh… the last 26 years (haha!) is because I don’t really know what I’m doing and it makes me feel stupid. I don’t like running (thanks to a bad knee from a cheerleading accident many years ago) so I steer clear of the treadmills, I’m not about to go into a sweaty weight room with a bunch of guys in cut offs, and so for the first month, I pretty much just did a few miles on the elliptical or swam some laps and called it a day. But, one day at the last minute, I walked into a barre class and ya’ll… I am hooked! It was a little intimidating, trying something new, but I’m so glad I did and now I look forward to barre twice a week and I’ve met so many sweet girls through the class!

I’ve tried several different kinds of leggings, but none have even come close to these Bao Bei Post Natal Core Support Athletic Leggings. They are by far the best leggings I’ve ever had and I so wish I had got them sooner after Harper was born. They feature an ultra-supportive design and moisture-wicking side mesh panels for ventilation & style. They offer the perfect blend of strong meets soft and have unbelievable structured support specifically designed to heal the abdomen post delivery!

The bralette is also super soft and comfortable and perfect for nursing! They come in lots of pretty colors, too. I have the black and blush and love the seamless design. It offers light support so I wouldn’t recommend it for cardio workouts, but it’s perfect for me under comfy clothes or light workouts.

Bao Bei offers so many amazing products for women during and after pregnancy. I definitely want to try a support band next time around and I love this sweatshirt that’s ideal for nursing! Follow along on instagram for fit-mama inspiration, stories of triumph, and sweet little reminders that we’re all in this together!

Thanks so much to Bao Bei for providing the products featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Classic Market Gift Co. Treat Bags

You may remember me sharing these adorable personalized Wizard of Oz shirts from Classic Market Gift Co. a few months ago. Well, today I’m sharing these precious little treat bags that I just love! These are perfect to use as non-traditional Easter “baskets” for your kiddos, to gather eggs at egg hunts, or just to carry items to and fro in. I’m excited for Landon and Harper to carry their little Bibles in them to church and I love how the bags are just the right size (not too big and not too small).

Victoria, the shop owner has so generously offered my readers a 15% discount using code “Kate15” (on any item in her shop, not just the treat bags). Be sure to order the treat bags before March 31st to get them in time for Easter!

For both girls and boys, there are several adorable designs available with a standard font that looks great with each design. I chose the Peter Rabbit design for Landon and the floral cross design for Harper. Landon is so proud of his and calls it his “church bag!”


Thanks so much to Classic Market Gift Co. for providing the items featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Fin & Kate Apparel

Fin & Kate is a darling online children’s boutique based out of South Carolina named after the owner’s twin girls. She is a SAHM of four, a military wife, and loves offering comfortable, stylish clothes for little ones. She’s passionate about little details and unique pieces like the ones offered and items that will be special and memorable. I first stumbled across Fin & Kate via Instagram, but you can see the full catalog here.

I absolutely love this darling sweater romper and will probably cry when Harper outgrows it. It’s so cozy and comfortable but has such fun style to it!


The flutter sleeve detail, cinched waist, and beautiful texture of the fabric makes this romper a timeless piece you’ll look forward to passing down. The pretty blush color and charcoal grey is so lovely together. Pair it with tights like we have here or style it with knee socks!

Last summer, Harper was so little that it was hard for us to spend too much time outside in the heat, but this summer, I’m looking so forward to our July beach trip and day trips up to the beach at Lake Lure. This flamingo swimsuit is even cuter in person and I love the bright, cheery colors and fun tassel detail. More pictures of Harper wearing it to come when it warms up… these 30 degree March days have got to go (am I right? or am I right?)!


Thanks so much to Fin & Kate for providing the items featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Miss Monogram

Monogrammed gifts for babies are so much fun to give, aren’t they? It’s like taking an already sweet gift and just elevating it to the next level with that personalized touch. Some of my favorite things people have given Landon and Harper have been monogrammed, and although they can’t really be worn by future babies (because they likely won’t have the same initials), they’re just special keepsakes that I know I’ll cherish forever.

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Miss Monogram is based out of Atlanta, Georgia and offers some of the cutest personalized items I’ve seen. There’s a large selection of baby items, really nice gift items for women (ya’ll already know I’ve got my eye on this monogrammed robe!), and more.

Here’s the story of how Miss Monogram was “born,” as told by owner, Katie Boteler, proud graduate of the University of Georgia, devoted wife, and mom to three:

“Monogramming started for me when our first son was born. I didn’t completely grasp the need to have EVERYTHING monogrammed until he entered our lives. From that point, no burp cloth, jon jon or tote bag was complete without little man’s name on it. I had lots of sewing experience under my belt, so I took the plunge and bought an embroidery machine.

When our daughter came along two years later, the monogramming at our house tripled (at least). I was making reversible dresses, bloomers and everything else a little girl “needs.” I finally decided I couldn’t keep all of this to myself any longer . . . and Miss Monogram was born.

Miss Monogram, which started as an etsy store, quickly grew into a bustling local business (my front porch sometimes feels like a retail store!), and eventually an online store front. Add our third little one to the mix and you can imagine that I’m one busy lady!”

This darling monogrammed bubble is so timeless and can be styled so many different ways. It’s adorable on its own, but could also be perfectly paired with a cute pair of pants, skirt, or jumper. I love the detailed trim of the collar and the sweet, subtle ruffle of the sleeves.

Be sure to follow along on instagram to see more darling items from Miss Monogram!

Thank you to Katie from Miss Monogram for providing the bubble featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.

Hedgehog Romper

I just love instagram. Without it, I may never have stumbled upon so many darling small shops like the one I’m sharing with you today. Southern Fabrics Boutique is a new Etsy Shop out of Evans, Georgia owned by Debbie Bailey, the creative behind the beautiful baby clothes they offer. She tells her story like this:

“I have had a love of sewing since I was a little girl. I remember a few of my first sewing projects were dresses for Christmas and Easter. I had to be around 8 or 9 years old! Since then, a lot has changed! But my love for all things related to sewing has not! I am happily married and my husband and I have 4 children. Our newest and greatest surprise arrived in February 2016! Since his arrival I have been extremely busy but I am slowly adding items to my shop. If you have any questions or need a custom order please don’t hesitate to ask! I look forward to sewing for you soon!”

The moment I saw this beautiful hedgehog romper, I fell in love with it. It’s so unique and the hedgehogs remind me of my cousin, Debbie, who I don’t get to see nearly often enough but I will always remember for her servant’s heart and the way she selflessly helped take care of my family when my grandparents were nearing the end of their lives (and she still continues to love on everyone around her in such a special way).


You don’t see pieces like this one too often in the world of little girls clothing. So many things are just cookie cutter items, but this one is just the opposite. You can tell in every stitch that it’s made with such love and care and has this wonderful handmade charm about it. The dainty lace detail at the top is so lovely and adds an extra feminine touch and I can’t wait for warm summer days when Harper can wear it as just a little sunsuit. For now, it would be adorable paired with with tights and a sweater, too.


Debbie also surprised me with some cute “bummie shorts,” which I’m so excited for Harper to have. She didn’t have anything like these and they’ll be perfect for play dates at the park! There is a variety of fun patterns to choose from, but I have the “Tacos” and “Foraged Peony” and I love them! Pair them with a simple tee shirt, a complimenting onesie, or a little cardigan!

Thanks so much to Debbie from Southern Fabrics Boutique for providing the items featured in this post. As always, all opinions are my own.