A Love Letter to My Village

Motherhood is tough. Motherhood is messy. Motherhood has kicked my booty. The first few years are some of the hardest. So much crying (both me and the babies!) and the never ending cycle of feed, burp, change diaper, rock to sleep, over and over and over and over. Then there’s the whining, the tantrums, the constant questions, the potty training, the messes…it’s enough to drive a person completely crazy or send them into a dark depression!

So what gets us through it? (Besides lots of coffee and wine.) What is the light, the breath of fresh air, the hope for all the lonely, tired, lost mamas out there?

It’s our village – the group of women and men surrounding us, lifting us up, encouraging us, and helping out during some of the most difficult years of our life. Every mom needs her village, and I’ve been so blessed with mine. There have been so many people over the years who’ve been a rock, a shoulder to cry on, an inspiration, a light.

And I just wanted to take a minute to thank them.

a love letter to my village | sunshineandholly.com | motherhood | it takes a village | mom friends

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Quick and Easy 4th of July Cookie Pizza

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We’ve been making cookie pizza for years. I remember making one to share with my classmates back in college and it was a huge hit! And while there are tons of different recipes for cookie pizza on Pinterest, my quick and easy 4th of July cookie pizza is great because it starts with a pouch of store-bought sugar cookie mix. It’s also a super versatile recipe – you can customize it for any holiday. A heart pizza for Valentine’s Day, a Christmas tree for Christmas, a margarita shaped pizza for World Margarita Day. Ha! (It’s in February FYI.) The possibilities are endless!

My kids absolutely love making fruit pizza. They like spreading the frosting, placing the fruit, and drizzling the topping. And the fruit totally makes this a healthy recipe, right?

My quick and easy 4th of July cookie pizza is a perfect dessert to take to a 4th of July potluck or barbecue. Just wait and arrange the fruit and drizzle the marmalade at the last minute. It doesn’t keep well (it starts to get mushy) so make sure you eat all of it in one sitting. Which isn’t hard for my family to do!

Quick and Easy 4th of July Cookie Pizza | sunshineandholly.com | flag pizza | fruit pizza | 4th of july desserts

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A Mermaid Pirate Birthday Party

Mermaid Pirate Birthday Party | sunshineandholly.com | themed joint party

Both of my kiddos were born in September, so we’re going to try to do joint parties for them for as long as possible. A two-for-one deal! For their last birthday, we did a Mermaid and Pirate theme. There are so many adorable ideas on Pinterest for a mermaid pirate birthday party and I went all out with the theme for the food and decorations!

Mermaid Pirate Birthday Party | sunshineandholly.com

The invitations were made by PixelPerfectionParty. So cute!


Mermaid Pirate Birthday Party | sunshineandholly.com

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Baby D.’s Gender Reveal Party!

Homemade gender reveal cupcakes. They’re actually much easier to make than you’d think!

Last Sunday, we had one of those popular “gender reveal” parties. And if you know me, I’m all about announcing things in a fun and creative way! If you couldn’t tell from this post and this post. 🙂
Lots of blue and pink decorations!

More decorations!

The cupcakes. Everyone was dying to know what color filling was on the inside!


The old wives tales make it seem like it’d be a girl.

Team Boy! And I’m still not sure how everyone knew!

Team Girl!
And here are the reactions. First up, Josh’s mom and dad:

“Are we ready?”


“What color is it?”

“Blue!! I knew it!”
 And my parent’s reactions: 

My dad is totally trying to sneak a peek here. 🙂


My mom sees blue and is looking at me totally surprised. I think my dad is either in shock, or still trying to figure out what color is inside. 🙂

Then my dad starts smiling! “It’s a boy!”

And a few more candids from the party:
Josh with my good friend Kara’s sweet baby girl.

My cute niece!

Lauren and my niece. 🙂

Josh and my older niece dancing!

Happy parents-to-be!


So other than the Italy posts, I’ve been really slacking on the blogging. Work’s been super busy, church has been keeping us busy, and life in general has been crazy!

Here’s a quick update:

1. I started taking violin lessons. 🙂 I played in the orchestra in middle school and high school and I was pretty good by the time I graduated. Since then, I’ve played a little here and there just for fun. And I’ve really missed it. So I did some Google-ing and found a place near my work that offers lessons to people of all ages. And I signed up! I’ve had 2 lessons so far (they’re once a week on Thursdays) and I’m loving it! I’ve been pretty good about practicing on my own too. Yay me! Hope I keep it up!!

2. Josh’s brother, Jordan, found out he’s going to be deployed to Afghanistan on Feb 16th. We went up this past weekend to spend time with him and the rest of Josh’s family before he leaves. We’ll all miss him while he’s gone. I know God will keep him safe while he’s there. But if anyone out in blogger world is reading this, please keep Jordan in your prayers. I’m also praying for Josh, his mom, dad, sister and brother. I know they’ll be having a hard time while Jordan’s gone.

3. Work has been SO BUSY. I know I haven’t really blogged about work recently. That’s because it’s been going really well. In fact…and it is so weird for me to be saying this…I actually LOVE my job now. And if you’ve read my early blog posts, you know that I’ve got a lot of…”baggage” that goes along with my career. But I’ve been in this position for over 2 years now, and I really like it. The people in my department are great – they respect me and support me. And I just feel so much more confident in myself and in my work. I’ve been debating going back and deleting some of my old posts about work. But part of me wants to keep them to show what I’ve been through and how I got to where I am now. I can’t decide…

4. My friend Kara is pregnant and due at the end of the month! We had a shower for her – it was a blast! I need to post some pics soon. Can’t wait to hold that little baby!

5. My niece had her 7th birthday. Can’t believe she’s already 7!!

6. My friend Erin is back home. This one’s a long story that I want to devote more time to with another blog post. So I won’t go into it here. But I’m glad she’s home! We’ve been spending lots of time together!

So yeah, I’ve been pretty busy. And I know it’s not going to slow down any time soon. But I’m loving life!!