December 29, 2016

merry merry | Christmas morning







Christmas morning 'round here is simple. The boys didn't really get into the swing of things until around 9:30 (don't kill me if your kids were up at 5:45AM ready to go!) ... just my style. If you've followed along for any time now, you know that we do 1. something to read 2. something to wear 3. something you need and 4. something you want. We also do a stocking that usually includes little treats & trinkety items. We definitely busted the $25 budget on the boys stockings since Mike and I were both shopping for them (separately). Oops. I may have also blown my $100 budget for Mike - just a little (because of the insane deal I got on his Garmin) - because he always blows the budget on me. Except, not this year. I made him promise he'd stick to it...that's how I roll. (: 

This year, for added fun, the boys each got to pick out a gift for mama & daddy. I had a great time directing the boys a little & letting them help me wrap their gifts when they came in. Mike got a red running shirt (from Solomon), the red version of the Darn Tough hiking socks (from Amos) and ingredients for an Old Fashioned (from Ez haha!). Can you tell the boys' favorite color is red? 

We took turns opening books and toys, clothes and treats. Mike & I got each other records in hopes of boosting our collection. I gave him 2 vintage paperbacks that I scooped up on our girls trip in Rhode Island (in August). Solly got a tub of dinosaurs, Moose got a new numbers / math kit, Ez got a Patagonia Capilene set. They all got new hooded towels that are super cute and fun (and soft). We did change the rules just a smidgen this year though (because I make them up as we go anyway) ... I'd been saving money from selling some of the boys old clothes on Facebook + doing photo shoots & selling our Rust & Stardust necklaces for a trampoline (!!) so they got a combined "want" in the form of a trampoline! Y'all. If you don't own a trampoline, sell all your stuff and go get one tomorrow! I mean it. They jumped for 5 (FIVE) hours on Christmas day. My house was quite. My kids were entertained, exercising and playing together outside. Merry Christmas to mama! 

I hope your days have been as merry and bright as ours have lately. It's always such a busy season that I try to just take it as it comes and to rest when it's over. These boys will only be small for a little while longer, and, while the magic of Christmas will always be there, it'll be different, I know. 

|2015 // 2014 // 2013 // 2012

merry merry | a Christmas date



Chris & Alexa were in town for the holidays this year & we got to steal them away for an evening of Vietnamese take out, Moscow mules, tipi chats and little boys snuggles at our white house. We loved an evening with just the four of us, talking of travels and dreams, babies and plans. We laughed over Amos' blatant crush on Alexa (watch out, Chris!) and tried our darnedest to talk these two into moving into a house (any house!) close enough to call them neighbors! Until next time, sweetest friends. 

December 28, 2016

merry merry | a cousin Christmas







This year, Haley, Amber, Ashton & I decided to have a Christmas cookie + craft night for our kiddos instead of exchanging gifts. We liked the idea of giving them an experience instead of tacking more gifts onto their already massive piles. 

We kept it easy & ate Chick-Fil-A (I really should have stock in CFA we eat there so much) and then jumped right into decorating the cookies. We had sprinkles and colored sugar everywhere - definitely way more on the floor and on the kiddos than the cookies, but isn't that part of the fun!? After a 5 minute break for us to clean up the cookie plates we busted out the paint and ornaments. I hope that as our kids get older & we continue this tradition that it's something they can look forward to every year. 

December 21, 2016




reading: Southern Living's Dec. issue 

playing: Sarah McLachlan (holiday) radio on Pandora 

watching: (still / always) Parenthood & we just started The Crown  

trying: to finish wrapping gifts (hmmmm i need some weird sized boxes!!!) 

cooking: still expanding my skillet / crockpot repertoire since we (still) can't use the stove 

eating: lots of Chick-Fil-A due to a lack of inspiration for the crockpot / skillet meals (see above) 

drinking: coffee & coke zero. also, back on the water + lemon oil + apple cider vinegar kick 


calling: mikey

texting: mikey (from my computer)

pinning: kid crafts // travel ideas for 2017

planning: 2017 


crafting:  Christmas crafts with the boys (and Amber, Haley & Ashton + their kiddos) 

doing: figuring out what I can buy online cheaper than in the store, grocery-wise. latest find: RX bars (use that link for $5 off!)  

going: to get Ez & Sollah-Roo passports(!) 

loving: being home 

hating: the cold weather 

discovering: that the boys really hate the cold weather as much as I do (sorry, Mikey) 

enjoying:  honey's homemade fudge 

hoping: to be able to get back in the gym after the New Year 

celebrating: Christmas! 


smelling:  Capri Blue / Volcano 

thanking: all of my 2016 Megan Martin Photography clients 

considering: what 2017 is going to look like for us  

finishing: last minute Christmas shopping 

starting: nothing at the moment (whew) 


December 14, 2016

Our 2016 Christmas Card


One of my very favorite things about the holiday season is sending and receiving Christmas cards! We've sent them without fail except for last year every year since we've been married & it's always fun to look back at our cards from over the years. I think this years is my very favorite yet. All our people on the front steps of the white house with a little glittery gold. I may display it all year round. 

It's a very Merry Christmas, indeed. We closed on our white house today. We're home for Christmas, people and we are so excited! It's been a long time comin'. One day, soon, we'll share before and afters. But for now, we're going to put our feet up, watch Christmas movies and do holiday crafts with the boys at night. 

December 13, 2016

Celebrate | Sadie girl is ONE!

Sadie girl is ONE!!! 









Happy FIRST birthday to our sweet Sadie girl!! We love you so, so, so much! You're the princess 'round here and we wouldn't have it any other way. We loved celebrating you at your party - thanks for sharing your special smash cake with Solly and letting Moose help open your gifts. You are one special girl, Sadie Dye. 

Love you always! 

December 8, 2016

martin band of brothers | december 2016

december 2016 



"Baby, all I want for Christmas is yoooouuuuuuuu..."

This Christmas season with you three has been my favorite. Moose, you love looking at the gifts under the tree, all wrapped in brown paper & twine. Solomon, your exclamations of excitement over the lights as we drive down the street will never ever get old. Ez, you've scooted your way over to the tree once now...I found you plunking the lowest branches, sending ornaments swishing in the air. 

I know that I will always remember our first Christmas in our white house as one of excitement. We've waited a long time to be here & while we're still a ways from being finished, it's so good to be home

December 6, 2016

month eight | ezra

month eight


Eight whole months!!! Holy cow, batman! I keep thinking to myself (and saying out loud to daddy) that I'll be planning your first birthday party pretty soon! I don't even know where these last 8 months have gone. 

This past month was a big one for you! You've started waving bye bye & sometimes give what looks like a little salute. You've also said "addy," "hot," and "car," but you have to be in the mood for sure. I try all kinds of things to get you to talk to us, but you do it on your own timing. Let me clarify. You talk all day -- you jibber and jabber and holler and scream, but you have to be in the mood to say words. You've just in the past few days gotten interested in moving around by yourself. I think until now you've not been interested because I just scoop you up and move you to wherever the brothers are. You've tried to pull up (from the inside of card board box) and can scoot backwards. You still hate tummy time, but you'll stay on your tummy long enough to get your legs going now. I bet you'll be crawling by the end of the year! 

Your such a good eater. You love table food (and will still eat baby food too)...some favorites include: graham crackers, green beans, Larabars, pizza, french fries, and bananas. You're still partial to mama's milk and have mastered the sippy cup! 

Ez, you seriously are the happiest baby. I tell daddy all the time that if all babies were as happy as you, I'd have 10. You give the best face-eating-nose-scruntching smile every time you look at me. It doesn't matter what time of day (or night) or what's going on -- you're always smiling. Daddy & I have been praying since you were born that the joy of the Lord would be your strength (Neh. 8:10) and I really believe even as a baby you have that joy. It's simply contagious and I pray that it always will be. 

Ezra McCraw I love being your mama. You are such a joy and treasure. I'm excited about the Christmas season with you (and the brothers). We're soaking in the season as much as we can while trying to finish our white house. Little one, keep growing big and strong. I sure do love you! 

December 4, 2016

Celebrate | a Charleston wedding









A few weekends ago Mikey & I traveled to Charleston to celebrate one of my best friends wedding and marriage to her sweet beau, Chris. I was so honored to be included in their wedding. Everything about the weekend was purely magical. Mike and I even got to sleep in and had the best massages of our lives. (Seriously!!) 

Chris & Alexa, my heart bursts with joy and excitement for you two. I love getting snippets into your lives and am so excited to continue walking through life with y'all. Maybe one day we'll be back yard neighbors (I can dream, right?!) - passing kids and meals back and forth...until then we'll meet up when we can, travel together, send pictures and texts and snail mail (always snail mail). Know that when things get hard and life throws you curve balls Mike and I are here. We'll have listening ears and always be in your corner. 

Allons! the road is before us!
It is safe--I have tried it--my own feet have tried it well--
be not detain'd.

Let the paper remain on the desk unwritten, and the book
on the shelf unopen'd!
Let the tools remain in the workshop! let the money remain
Le the school stand! mind not the cry of the teacher!
Let the preacher preach in his pulpit! let the lawyer plead in
the court, and he judge expound the law.

Camerado, I give you my hand! 
I give you my love more precious than money,
I give you myself before preaching or law;
Will you give me yourself? will you come travel with me? 
Shall we stick by each other as long as we live?

|Song of the Open Road // Whitman| 

December 1, 2016

oh Christmas tree













Y'all! Christmas tree huntin' with little guys is so much fun! We ended up at Mystic Tree Farm (thanks to Dusti) and brought home a gorgeous Leland Cypress and a Blue Ice Cypress for the boy's room. We strung lights and decorated with ornaments while Christmas music jammed in the background. The boys loved picking out ornaments to hang and I smiled remembering where a lot of them came from (J & Collins' wedding, Mere over the years, ornament swaps from college..). 

I love making these memories with the boys. I think that they love Christmas as much as I do. I hope that they'll remember this season as being marked by the smell of fresh cut Christmas trees (even if they're allergic...c'mon kids, get it together!), Christmas music filling every room of the house, apple cider in "special cups," dates with Gram (one of their great-grandmothers) to bake sugar cookies iced with homemade peppermint icing, picking out gifts for each other, and waiting eagerly to open the brown paper gifts under the tree.