Last week we celebrated our big ONE year old! I went back and forth about having a big first birthday party and eventually settle on going big or going home. When your immediate family alone is 30ish people, what’s a few more?! We hosted it at our house and thankfully the Lord took pity on me and we woke up to bright, sunny skies and the most perfect day for a indoor/outdoor party!

As much as I tried to get done the weekend and week before I was still running around like a chicken with my head cut off for most of the day handling last minute details and didn’t have time to snap any pics before everyone got here. Then I proceeded to forget to take pretty much ANY¬†pictures during the party, so thanks to my friends and family for making most of this post possible ūüėČ Here are some pictures of the big day!

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Big birthday boy ready for his party!

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I¬†tried to keep the party “decor” simple. A banner of his monthly pictures (that is still hanging in our kitchen because I can’t bear to take it down…)

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A¬†chalkboard of all his favorite things…

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And a #bday banner from the Dollar Spot at Target pretty much wrapped it up! Funny story, I took these to our grocery store the morning of the party to have them filled with air. After she huffed and puffed about being super busy because didn’t I know Mother’s Day was tomorrow? it turned out that you fill them with air…from your lungs. Go me.

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Our favorite bakery (Piece of Cake) made us the cutest sprinkle cake and a smash cake to match. (Blue #1 candle found on Amazon)

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Ready for the birthday boy!

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I shared the story of these non-pineapple, pineapple cookie favors I made for our guests over on Instagram the day before the party. So funny. My life is ridiculous (but they were adorable).

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I¬†had to keep pulling the cake away while we sang “Happy Birthday.” He wanted to dig right in!

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This guy did not care one lick about the actual cake underneath all those sprinkles and icing. The whole back half of icing was gone but the cake was barely touched. He does not get that from me! #allcake #noicingplease Side note: This and other pictures my sister took with her iPhone 7 has me super convinced that I need one. You know, for work purposes.

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Love my boys!

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¬†Camden Lewis, there are no words that can accurately express the love and joy you bring to our live’s every single day just by simply being here. Being your mom is the absolute best, most rewarding thing I’ve ever done and I’m so grateful of the ways you have changed me in the last year! You are already loyal, kind, opinionated, silly, smart and a physical reminder¬†of God’s love, grace, and provision. I love you to the moon and back, sweet boy!

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Happy Friday, Friends! It’s been a crazy week and it’s not slowing down so let’s do this!


ONE | Someone is celebrating their FIRST birthday tomorrow with 50 of his closest friends ūüėČ No toys needed, somebody just get this kid a washer/dryer system and he is good to go! I did not expect to be so emotional as I prepped for this party, but it has been a rough week. All my mind can think about is how fast the past year went and how fast the next 17 are going to go…sigh.


TWO | I scooped up this top (thanks for the recommendation Caycee!) and I LOVE it! When I first pulled it out of the box I thought “why on earth would I have ordered this?!” (I think it was the tie-front that was scaring me) but when I put it on I was sold! Super flattering.


THREE | I made these Jalapeno Grapefruit Margaritas for Cinco de Mayo and I would highly recommend if you are a marg drinker. Spicy and sweet, but not too sweet! I also realized that maybe I should invest in some sort of hand juicer because my hand was cramping by the time I squeezed all the limes and grapefruit.


FOUR | I have been almost obsessively thinking about our upcoming beach vacay during this super stressful work week (which has been pretty helpful with my usual stress-eating, ha). I can’t wait to see how Cam does on the beach now that he is a little older than the last time we went! If is likes sand on his feet like he likes grass on his feet, we’re in big trouble because that would be¬†not at all.


FIVE | I feel like everyone and their brother has read this book so this weekend I decided to see what the fuss was about and downloaded the audio book to listen to while I ran errands. It gave me Shonda Rhimes vibes (here’s a love story, rip the apart/your heart out, rinse & repeat over and over and OVER) but I definitely liked it and would recommend!

Have a great weekend!

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Linking up with Katie, September Farm, Meet @ the Barre, Liz, and The Slaughters.


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Still going strong eating my bean muffins for a snack most days. I shared the recipe in this post¬†and a lot of you thought I was super crazy but that just means more chickpeas to go around for me. Other than that, I don’t bake. I thought for one hot second about making Camden one of those healthy baby cakes for his birthday but then I remembered¬†who I was.

Still listening to all the podcasts¬†but I’ve also jumped on the audiobook train and am loving how many more books I am able to get through. I just finished this one but¬†I’m not sure I would recommend it. It was just ok and I figured out the ending within the first couple of chapters.

How I can finally really tell a difference in the way my body feels after I’ve eaten crap vs. something healthy. Like, immediately. I’ve heard people talk about this for years but never really got it until the last couple of weeks even though I’ve gone through several super-strict clean eating periods of my life. I’ve been eating really clean the last couple weeks (well, I didn’t eat much of anything last week thanks to a stomach bug that ravished our household) but I let up and ate some chips and queso last night while out with a friend and my stomach hurt alllll night. And still this morning! Maybe I’ll remember this next time? I’ll never fully give up chips and queso but maybe we don’t need to eat a whole basket Rachel? No? Maybe?

I don’t want to talk about it. (Why can’t I keep plants alive? WHY? They act like they can’t water themselves. Or maybe there’s been too much water falling from the sky lately? I really don’t know why I even try.)

Past beach vacation trips! I’ve got vacation fever something fierce right now and I love that I can go back and reminisce on trips past here on the blog! My Girl’s Trip to Rosemary Beach, our 2015 trip to Captiva Island¬†(though I was super newly pregnant and MISERABLE on that trip), and our trip to Orlando/Cape Canaveral¬†(omg look at that tiny baby)¬†last year. I’ve also been stalking our vacation house via the website which is super normal behavior, right? We are going to Captiva in July and I can. not. wait!

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Linking up with Anne, Annie, Natalie, Kristen, and Amanda.


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Raise your hand if you think those Justin Timberlake “It’s Gonna Be May” memes never get old. I crack up every. single. time. Ahh, the good ole days of boy bands. We were at my in-laws yesterday for lunch and Camden found and old Now That’s What I Call Music CD – Volume FIVE in their entertainment center and it was FULL of boy band gems including It’s Gonna Be Me. We got such a kick out of reading through the songs and reminiscing! (Read the whole list of songs here!)

Maybe because it’s my birthday month, it marked the start of summer vacation from school, or the fact that it historically holds some of the mildest weather, but I have always love love love the month of May! Who wouldn’t love those things? Nathan and I have both got a super busy month ahead work-wise so I want to be super intentional about doing some fun¬†things! Here’s our To Do List for May:

+ Meet and snuggle two of Camden’s future besties.

+ Beat the crowds and celebrate Cinco De Mayo with a fiesta at home (with homemade margs, of course!).

+ Spend lots of time with my sister who is coming in from Connecticut for a visit.

+ Throw a first birthday party!

+ Stick with the TIU Bikini Program.

+ Celebrate my first official Mother’s Day and my 29th birthday on the same day!

+ Go to my favorite wine and jazz festival with girl friends.

+ Take a weekend trip with friends over Memorial Day

Hard not to be excited for May, right? Do you guys have any fun plans?

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Linking up with Biana, Erin, Katie, and Jenna.


Oh hey, Friday! Wait, is it actually Friday though? Thanks to a stomach bug that started with the baby and worked it’s way through the rest of us I’ve barely left my house¬†this week so that makes it hard to know for sure. Yeah, glad to be on the other side of that. This weekend we are looking forward to playing catch up, doing some planning for a certain first birthday that’s on the horizon, and disinfecting every square inch of this¬†house. Amen.

It’s been a minute since I showed my face around here, so I thought we could ease into things with a little Friday Five action!


Better late than never with an Easter photo, amiright? I know baskets for an (almost) one year old can be a¬†polarizing debate but, I LIVE for putting together baskets and gifts for people so there was no way it wasn’t happening. I got him one of¬†these “Story of” board books for kids that I just love.¬†They are simple enough for kids to understand and spot on theologically – we have the Story of Christmas, too! I shared my favorite page of the Easter book on Easter¬†over on Instagram¬†if you want to take a peek. Other than that I got him some new bath toys (to replace the ones I threw away after a nasty tub/poop incident…), filled some plastic eggs with Cheerios (which he promptly fed to the dog) and called pretty much called it a day. Plus, we had such a fun day with family! Easter is always one of my favorite holidays.¬†So much excitement and hype (like Christmas) without all the pressure and anticipation of gifts. So grateful that he died so we can LIVE!


Totally not sharing this photo to show off my domestic skills but to tell you that I have been making a big batch of these Healthy Oatmeal Banana Pancakes that Hope shared for Camden on an almost weekly basis and they are a huge hit! I would consider the quantities she put in that blog post a double batch so we store them in the freezer, pop them in the toaster, and serve with a side of fresh fruit for an easy baby (or mom!) breakfast.


My grandparents gifted us a zoo membership for Christmas and we have been trying to take advantage as much as possible while the weather is nice! We’ve been several times but this past weekend was the first time I could tell that Cam was really looking at the animals and he acted like he was super confused the whole time. It was hilarious. Like, why are all these things moving around? They usually just stay in one place on the pages of my books! Maybe he was just underwhelmed. Our local zoo is no big deal once you’ve been to Animal Kingdom, I guess :)


Like I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we all got the stomach bug this week which meant baths on baths on laundry on laundry. I shudder to think of what our water bill will be next month. Also, can someone tell me why I didn’t get one of those babies who gets all snuggly when they are sick? I feel like I was promised that would be a thing and my kid acted totally fine amidst all his…sickness. No extra snuggles at all! I feel jipped. While just one day later I was that mom laying on the ground outside shivering in the 75 degree whether while my¬†kid played with rocks/water/whatever. Kids man.

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I started a new book the other night that I think a lot of you would love! My friend Kristy¬†just published her THIRD (eek!) book¬†Slightly South of Simple¬†and I am loving it!¬†If you are a lover of Elin Hilderbrand, beach reads, or chick lit in general not only have you found the right blog (feel you, girl), I know you will love this book too! I’m hoping to completely finish it this weekend and give you a full review on it and everything else I’ve read lately next week! Read the synopsis on Amazon here.


Oops, I think this is number six. We are still getting Hello Fresh boxes every couple of weeks and loving it! These grilled cheese tacos were something I picked and thought “my husband is going to kill me for this” and they turned out to be his favorite HF meal EVER. If you haven’t tried Hello Fresh yet and want to, I’ve got four free boxes to give away right now. Just drop your email below and I’ll send you the referral!

Have a great weekend, friends!

Keep up with all my posts on Bloglovin | See day to day pictures on my Instagram | Read my tweets on Twitter | Like the Rachel Emily Blog on Facebook | Pin along with me on Pinterest

Linking up with Katie, September Farm, Meet @ the Barre, Liz, and The Slaughters.