A week or so I shared about how my grandpa surprised my daughter with her own red hammer. She had been asking for one to build a house. Red is her favorite color, so her great grandpa painted one of his just for her.

2.16donuts-11A few days later, he came over with a pieces cut out to make a birdhouse. These two are just a bit smitten with each other. Just a bit.

3.12birdhouse-013.12birdhouse-023.12birdhouse-033.12birdhouse-04She decided she wanted her birdhouse to be different shades of pink.3.12birdhouse-05I was pretty excited about her color choices….3.12birdhouse-06…until she changed her mind and wanted to add red and green. There was a small part of me that wanted to tell her we only had pink paint. However, I knew I couldn’t do that. My parents never limited creativity…no matter how odd or ugly they might have thought what Lesley and I chose was. They just let us create. So – thanks mom and dad – her ombre pink birdhouse is not so ombre pink. Just the way she likes it.


back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • Tiffany - Just had to pop in to say these pictures are PRECIOUS!!! Thank you for sharing them. They started my Tuesday with a smile!

  • carol - It just as beautiful as a white room with blue rag rolled texture on it!!

  • Elizabeth - So precious to capture the relationship between these two!

  • Kristina - Just precious!

  • Byron - Awesome job! I bet the birds LOVE it! Well done.

  • Christine - That relationship is a prize! And what a beautiful birdhouse as a result. Those two are very lucky.

  • Lauren - Your grandpa is really the cutest! (Great- and otherwise) grandparents are the best. What a gift.

  • Carrie - The pictures of the two of them are just adorable and so priceless. What a gift!

  • Diana - This whole story is just so charming. Makes me want to go hug my grandpa!

  • Kate - I absolutely love the photo of your great grandpa smiling while holding the red hammer with your daughter. Wow! What love!

  • Kath - No wonder you are such a beautiful person coming from stock like that :)

  • dumna mama - Nice first birdhouse and noble

  • Tessa - Every time I read posts about little special things your grandparents and/or parents do for or with your kids, I make mental notes about how I want to be the same way with my grandkids some day! So much love!

  • Patti - Precious! How blessed to have Grandpa!

  • Carrie Anne - This is such a refreshing post. I got all teary eyed thinking of the wonderful legacy he is leaving, and how well you captured it.

  • Natalie - what a treasure this is. heart bursting.

Corbett turned 12 over the weekend. I took two photos with my phone that pretty much sum up his 12th birthday.

An inch shorter than me. I told him we are going to take this picture again next year. I’ll put my bun on top of my head, but I am guessing it won’t really help me any.

Nerf bullets. I like making holidays and birthdays special, but I am learning ‘special’ does not look the same for everyone. He asked for no decorations…just snacks, nerf bullets and staying up as late as he wanted. He likes things simple, no fluff and nothing elaborate or attention drawing. I totally get that.

This kid-growing-up business is so strange. I really don’t have a better word for it. I don’t want to go back in time and I don’t long for the future. I’m a big fan of just where we are, but then it is weird to look up and realize time has passed and that place I so loved is now in the past. I guess I’ll just keep looking at today – I don’t want to miss any of it.

When we were in Ecuador Mike Varel (@mikevarel) was on the team as the photographer. In those 5 days, he took more pictures of Corbett and I together than I have from the last year. Corbett and I are pretty epic at awkward selfies. I’m so thankful Mike got some of us doing something other than making ridiculous faces.

3.1612-103.1612-033.1612-113.1612-043.1612-123.1612-023.1612-053.1612-01Just simple shots that will remind us both of those moments and all the fun we had together.

He is now counting down the days until his next birthday. I’m going to have a teenager. It is the strangest thing. I couldn’t be more excited.

Happy Birthday Corbett ~ you are pretty epic.

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend
  • Southern Gal - Happy birthday to Corbett! To have those photos from your trip together is so special. Having someone else’s perspective is refreshing.

    I’m going to have to take that head shot of me and my 14yo since he’s growing by the 1/2 inch every single month!

  • AmyK - That last picture is the reason I read your blog. It reminds me to stop. Enjoy the moment. Thanks! And happy birthday to your almost teenager! ~AK

  • Tiffany - My oldest son turned 20 (TWENTY!!) this weekend, it’s still odd to say. The real life pictures are priceless, Happy Birthday to him and Happy Born Day to you, you became a Mom.

  • Jen @ RamblingRenovators - Happy birthday to Corbett. How great that you have these memories and photos of days spent with your first born, almost a young man. Hope he got lots of books for his birthday!

  • Shannan Martin - Happy Birthday, Corbett! Calvin misses you EVERY day and has a picture of the 3 Amigos taped by his bed. :)

  • carol - Happy Birthday Corbett and congratulations on beating your Nana in the go cart race. I love you!!

  • Jessie - Happy Birthday C! These photos are amazingly awesome!
    (Side Note: You’re buff, Ash. Like I would give you all of my lunch money Buff)

  • Emily - Happy Birthday Corbett!

  • Byron - This post is just full of awesome. Happy Birthday to Corbett!

    Jessie, you are killing me! Ashley be mighty! LoL! She kicks tail at Crossfit. Just sayin’.

  • Amy - That last picture is beautiful.

  • Laura J - Happy 12th Birthday Corbett! I have a photo of my son and I back to back, but you can see our faces. It was our first photo together where he is a smidge taller than me! I love the picture because he is stretching every part of himself upwards-even his eyebrows are up as high as possible! Now he is 6′ (I am 5’6″) and it felt strange for a long time to have to look up at him. He turns 23 later this week and comes home next week for a quick visit from law school. Your Mom will be able to guess how excited I am. Sometimes I even miss the days of being nailed by nerf bullets. Be ready for busy growing times. I remember that once my son asked me to measure him again. He said, I think I have grown! I had measured him only 4 or 5 days before and told him, people don’t grow that fast! But of course he had grown half an inch!

  • Ashley smith - This is such a helpful post. Our oldest turns 9 this Sat and I just had our youngest a month ago. I remembered that I started following you when your oldest was 9 and he seemed so old to me then! Now we are here at 9 and before I know it we will be having a 12th b-day party. Crazy strange. What a good way you put it.

  • Debbie C - Happy Birthday Corbett! This post made me a little teary, thinking of my own kids getting big one day.

  • Hannah - Posts like this put the amount of time I’ve followed a person’s blog into perspective. This was no exception. I’ve been following since it was just the three boys. Wow. Happy birthday, Corbett!

  • ranee - Such a great post that reminds me to enjoy each stage even though the passing of them sometimes seems a bit sad…you’re right that each one is a gift. And–that last photo of you two is just the best.

  • Cassidy Scott - Happy birthday, Corbett! 12 is a great year – especially if you’ve already got the low-fuss attitude. HAVE FUN! (:

  • Tessa - My oldest just turned 16 and is almost a foot taller than me! I remember those days waiting for him to surpass my height – what fun!

  • Momofthree - Happy birthday! I hope that it was blessed with lots of love and smiles.

  • Kate @ Songs Kate Sang - Happy Birthday Corbett!

Today I want to introduce you to a few of my sponsors and affiliates. Take some time this weekend and check them out!

FairyMailThe Fairy Mail Company

Helping the world’s children to always believe in magic! For adventures, fairy dust, and wishes, get a letter from a fairy every week, filled with encouragement, lessons about magic, and fairy dust!

Website | Instagram

Sign up for a Fairy Mail membership and receive a Fairy Letter (filled with fairy dust!) every week and a Fairy Package every six months!

flourishbigwhitefarmhouseBig White Farmhouse

Big White Farmhouse is a carefully curated collection of home decor and gift items, all made from artisans right here in the USA.

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Pinterest

Discount code: UNDERTHESYCAMORE for 15% off entire order



Your favorite spot for premium quality photo goodies and stationery. Create and order professional quality photo prints, customize cards and stationery, shop personalized photo gifts, custom wall art, and more online.




Monthly printable designs for everyday. Imagine how much more enjoyable your everyday tasks like writing shopping lists or thank you cards would be if you had something cute to write on!


Discount Code: Use this link for $5.o0 off your first subscription payment


RadLabTotally Rad! Inc.

The Totally Rad! Photoshop Actions have helped thousands of photographers take their images to the next level. We’ve got you covered with easy, one-click adjustments to color, contrast, saturation, and tone. Whether you’re adding a subtle pop to an image, or fixing a problem photo, the Totally Rad Photoshop Actions have powerful tools to help you get it done faster. (RadLab is pictured above.)

Shop | Facebook |Instagram

Discount code: SPRING30Β  for 30% off everything

back to top share on facebook tweet this post pin site image email a friend