Category Archives: Announcements

On the Market

We did it! By the grace of God, we did it!


I feel like dancing some sort of wild jig in a field of wildflowers. Buuuuuuttt it’s raining, so maybe I should put on my boots and go stomp in a puddle instead. That sounds like just about as much fun (way more fun according to my kids and Peppa Pig).

What did we do?

We finally got every last room in our house and the entire exterior sell-worthy.

We have worked steadily for the last 5 weeks or so, cleaning and scrubbing, purging and decluttering, rearranging and redecorating. I’ve lost count of how many bags I’ve taken to Goodwill (and that’s after doing that 50 bag purge last year!!).

I wouldn’t have necessarily called myself a hoarder in the past (although, I do tend toward, “But what if we need it?” more than, “Toss it.” Or…I did in the past. I think I’m cured, honestly). But the amount of stuff just sitting around in my closets unused would have called me a liar. I have parsed 5 years worth of kids’ clothes, donated at least half of my “extra” decor, and finally (FINALLY!) planted every inch of my flowerbeds in a respectable manner (because I am definitely guilty of only buying wilting clearanced Lowe’s specimens, which is a hopeless endeavor for someone who already struggles with black-thumbitis).


We’re planning to use that pink Cozy Coup as a negotiating tool (as in: we’ll pay you to keep it!}

WHY we (because other people have told me they do this too) wait until we’re ready to sell to finally finish off those last few projects like adding trim around the closet or mulching the tree ring, I don’t know. Well, I do. It’s because this kind of concerted effort takes so much focus away from everything else that if we were to do this stuff all of the time, we’d never have a hot meal on the table or a lick of school done. And, considering how busy we’ve been with the other house and pregnancy/new baby, the time and desire to tackle the stuff that didn’t have to be done right that second just hasn’t been there.

I can’t even begin to express how grateful I am to my friends and family who have helped out. My parents–who have painted and cleaned and watched kids–have been the biggest source of help, but my sister-in-law and other sweet friends have taken hours out of their days to pitch in and tangibly just BE the hands and feet of Jesus to us. Their kindness floors me.

My kids deserve a shout out too. They have worked like beavers.

Of course, now we need to see if we can keep this thing show-worthy for longer than 15 minutes with 9 people using all the things all the time (it’s been a full day, and everything’s still looking good, so I’m hopeful!).

Either way, it’s DONE. Pretty much. I still have some clothes to sell (be on the lookout for a closet pop-up sale…maybe…no promises), and a bit of decor to rearrange, but the realtor came by yesterday and gave us the go ahead to list.


I do believe we’ll just eat on paper plates outside every night on our pretty patio under the twinkle lights, thanks very much.

HUGE sigh of relief. (Because, if she’d given us a list of things to change at this point, I might have thrown in the towel).

Which! Brings me to the point of this post.

IF you happen to be in the market for a large, private family home in the country with lots of acreage, a giant back patio, a workshop, a barn, two ponds, and some of the prettiest views in East Texas, feel free to email me at blogabbie{at}gmail{dot}com for details.


One of my favorite views (ignore the wheelbarrow)

We officially list on Friday, but anyone who contacts me before then will be placed on what our realtor calls an “exclusion list,” which means that, if you come without a buyer’s agent, then nobody has to pay that 3% fee, which gives us a nice bit of negotiation wiggle room in our price. If you know of anyone else looking, we’re S. of Tyler, so if that’s their target area, feel free to send them our way!

Also, stay tuned for pictures of the house. We’re supposed to get some sunshine tomorrow, and I will be snapping away!

Thank y’all again for being patient with me during this extra busy time. And thank you for the prayers you’ve already promised. I appreciate them more than I can express.

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Four {!!} New Paint and Prose Prints + a SALE!

Lindsay and I took a bit of a break from Paint and Prose productivity over the summer due to, um, life…which is even busier than usual for both of us. But we’re always brainstorming new prints, and we managed to get our heads together often enough recently to come up with not one, not two, not three, but FOUR new prints for y’all–just in time for fun occasions like Thanksgiving and Christmas-gift planning (not sure how fun that second part is for everyone, but if we can simplify it at all for you, we’re happy to help!). 

First up, we have our Gather print.


I just love how warm and inviting all of the colors are in that fruity, flowery wreath and how that one word–”Gather”–conveys all of the hospitality and togetherness of this season of celebration that we’re entering.


Wouldn’t this be fun as part of a centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table?

I never saw the movie, but our “coffee Coffee COFFEE” print reminds me of a line that I heard multiple times in previews for, “Meet the Robinsons.” A lady is bragging about “the caffeine patch,” which lets her “stay awake for days, with zero side effects”…after which declaration she promptly screams…for no apparent reason. (COFFEE!)


As someone who is not even one little bit affected by caffeine and doesn’t even like the smell of coffee, I had to trust Lindsay (a coffee connoisseur and addict) to steer me right here.


Even without an affinity for the drink, I can still appreciate the graduated levels of intricacy in the design as the “coffee” message escalates until it bursts forth in a profusion of flowers and–yes–coffee beans.

(Somehow, I don’t think, “ho-cho Ho-cho HO-CHO” has the same ring).

And then we have this little gem: “I’m Silently Correcting Your Grammar.”

I had Lindsay whip this one up after my good friend, Jolinda, gave me a mug with the same sentiment on it for my birthday. I posted a pic of it to Instagram and got so many requests for the source (Ross…which, alas, does no one any good, and I couldn’t find it anywhere online) that I knew we needed to fill that grammar snob gap.


I mean, what English teacher wouldn’t LOVE to have this one hanging on her wall or perched on her desk (preferably turned outward so her students can see it and wonder just how many verb tenses they’ve butchered in the last several sentences).

grammar1As a former English and Spanish teacher, I would have loved getting this as a Christmas gift (just as I loved getting it as a gift now that I’m a homeschool mama trying to impart the importance of correct syntax to a couple of less-than-enthused elementary school boys).

Aaaaaand finally, we have our “Bouquet of Sharpened Pencils” print.

I’m guessing that 99% of you already know that this is a reference to the part in You’ve Got Mail when Tom Hanks writes to Meg Ryan that he would send her “a bouquet of sharpened pencils if I knew your name and address” (because “don’t you just love New York in the fall?”). bouquet2

Ha! I’m laughing as I realize that the date and day on my calendar don’t match up. #ohwell


This one would also make a great teacher gift this Christmas. Or one for a lover-of-all-things-You’ve-Got-Mail. (Maybe that’s you?)

Speaking of gifts, we’re making it even easier to snag something to give away (or maybe one for you and one for them), since from now until Monday, you’ll receive a FREE 5×7 with your purchase of any of the four new prints!

No code necessary. Just be sure to TELL US (lots of people forget this part :) ) in the notes at checkout which 5X7 you want added to your order.

And remember: standard shipping is always free (and a priority upgrade is only $3 more!).

PLUS! If you sign up for our newsletter, you get a code for an extra 10% off that works with all of our sales. Woot!

So…did you have a favorite?

Any suggestions for something you’d love to see us tackle? (We have a really fun design in the works that would be great for a little boys’ room, so stay tuned).

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And Baby #7 is a…

So, have I kept you guessing long enough about the gender of #tiebreakerbaby? I honestly feel almost guilty because…I’ve known for a good six weeks. We found out at 15 weeks right before we went to Colorado, since we knew we’d be seeing lots of family and wanted to be able to reveal the pregnancy AND gender if at all possible. Thankfully, it was possible.

And we had the gender re-confirmed (Ezra was all: “What did the sono guy mean by, ‘Let’s see if this baby is still a __________???” I think he was genuinely worried) at our most recent sonogram last Tuesday.


Friendly little thing, waving and all.

And it turns out that Baby #7 will officially be on…

team blue1

Yup. It’s a boy. Indisputably.

I told myself I would, but I didn’t officially go through every single social media/blog comment to tally the percentages of boy votes versus girl ones. However, a quick glance showed it was pretty evenly split, with a sliiiiight advantage for the girl vote. (I think).

Which. Is honestly what I thought too. I typically (well, with all two such pregnancies so far) have stronger symptoms with girls, and my nausea (pale in comparison though it is to what so many suffer) and exhaustion definitely lasted longer with the twins and Della than with the boys.

But this little guy has thrown me for a loop. I think I’m finally over the nausea (haven’t had anything significant in about a week), and I had a day last week when I had TONS of energy (if only I could bottle that one up), but other than that, this has felt like a girl pregnancy to me.

Shows what I know.

Of course, the boys were thrilled.

team blue

Although…I love Theo’s, “I’m smiling because my brothers are smiling, but…why…are they smiling?” expression here.

The girls, after a very brief moment of disappointment, showed themselves fickle to their cause and switched over to Team Blue lickety split. They have now claimed their as-yet-unborn baby brother as “theirs.” Except for the occasional lapse when Nola confidently informs me that “the baby in your tummy is a girl baby.” To which I respond with a gentle negative, and she remembers anew that the girl camp has been outmatched…and proceeds to blithely bop her way onto whatever next catches her fancy. I’m actually really excited to see how the girls interact with the new baby because they were all a little too young to get that jazzed about Theo, but they’re all acting adorably motherly and proprietary this time around.

How Theo will respond when faced with the actual fact of the interloper is a mystery. But I was genuinely worried about Della’s reaction to the twins’ birth, since she was a major mama’s girl. And she was fiiiiiine. So. I think we’ll figure it out.

Speaking of figuring things out, you guys had some really great comments/questions on last week’s post, and I’m still working my way through those and putting together a blog post with the “answers” (ha! as if I’ve got them all). So be on the lookout for that soon(ish). Who knows? It might cure a nagging case of insomnia or three. I’ll try to be lively.

ANYhoo, I’d best head to bed before the little boy in my belly decides that I need to eat a(nother) one of the Italian Cream Cupcakes that I whipped up “for the girls in my home school co-op” (riiiiiight, Abbie).

Happy Monday, friends!

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A Tiebreaker

When we first found out we were having a boy as our sixth kid, I expected to get a lot of Brady Bunch references.

But it pretty much never happens.

I do, however, get congratulated somewhat regularly on having an even number of boys and girls. I never quite know how to respond to, “3 boys matched with 3 girls? Good job, Mom!” Umm…thank…you? If only I could claim credit.

Well, I’m afraid that we’ve gone done and ruined any chance of being complimented on our gender planning savvy because we’ve got a tiebreaker in the oven, y’all!


Not too surprisingly: A) the kids are THRILLED and B) the girls want a girl, and the boys want a boy. (Well, Theo is still existing in blissful ignorance of his imminent dethronement as the reigning baby of the house, but the older boys have claimed his vote, and he seems down with the t shirt).


Before you go speculating about my blue dress…note my pink nails, please.


Don’t worry. Evy is happy about a new baby. She’s just a little miffed about being edged out of prime bump-hugging position.

In case you’re wondering, I’m 20 weeks today, and I feel HUGE. I look at these pictures and realize that I don’t necessarily look so very big, but I can definitely tell this is Baby #7, and the ol’ gray mare almost-34-year-old abs just ain’t what they used to be.

Oh, and just so you know, we didn’t wait until 20 weeks to announce for any particular reason. It’s just when I managed to get some pics taken and a post written with a bump to show for it.



YAY lucky (don’t believe in it, but whatever) #7! We love you. We praise God for you. And we can’t wait to meet you!

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Call Her Blessed + Pa Rum Pum Pum Pum + a Cyber Monday Deal

So, I’m busy compiling my annual Amazon gift guide (if you want to get a head start, you can check out the ones from last year and the year before.  A lot of the items are still available). You’ll see the first round of that tomorrow.

But I wanted to pop in really quickly and show you our two brand new prints over at Paint and Prose.

First up, we have “Call Her Blessed,” which was, of course, inspired by Proverbs 31:28, which says: “Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her.”

call he blessed

It comes in B + W too!

call her blessed1

Shaun worried that people would be hesitant to put this in their homes because it sounded arrogant. Oh! Look at me! My children rise up and call me blessed (anybody else chuckling to themselves as they picture their sleepy children’s actual first words every morning?).


My response? “No way! I want this–not as a bragging right–but as an inspirational reminder that this is the kind of enthusiasm and praise that I desire to earn from my family, by the grace of God.”


I am all too aware of my shortcomings, but here’s the thing: our kids–especially when they’re young–are so gracious with our faults. They don’t notice when we aren’t perfectly put together or that we don’t make fancy, homemade birthday cakes.

They notice when we love on them.

My kids have this thing–I’m not even sure how it started, but I definitely love it!–where they say, “You’re the best mama ever!” (It’s a vast improvement over the: “You’re the best mama I ever had!”–um…thanks?–that they used to do).

I never feel like I deserve it, but I have noticed that it usually happens when I’ve done something sweet. Something patient and kind and thoughtful. Sometimes, it’s for the “grandiose” gestures like a pizza picnic at the park for no good reason. But usually it’s just because I took the time to paint the girls’ fingernails or drop a couple of chocolate chips in the boys’ hands while they were doing their math. Nothing major. Nothing particularly special. And yet, they notice and choose to bless me with their sweet words.

(They’re even sweet enough to say it to me when I’ve just blown it and had to ask forgiveness for being grouchy).

They–and now this print–are my motivators to keep on with kindness even when I feel like beating my head against a hard surface. (Toddlers! Oy vey!)

It’s worth it, Mamas! We can do this together.

Our other new print just puts a smile on my face.


Did you ever see happier drums?



I put it in my boys’ room a) because it matches the color scheme perfectly and b) because–duh–Little Drummer BOY. Perfect for Christmas!

But I could see this one being in a kids’ room or nursery all year long.

Speaking of our new prints, we have a special going until 11:59 PM tonight for Cyber Monday.

You can still use the 30% off code that went out in the newsletter (you can sign up here if you haven’t already) on any order.

But we’ve sweetened the deal even more because anyone who orders an 8X10 of either one of the new prints will get a FREE 5X7 of her choice included with her order.

30% off? New designs? Freebies? Sounds like my kind of Cyber Monday deal!

Happy shopping, and please know that we are so, so thankful for you and your support of our little shop. I grin like a giddy fool every time an order comes in. True story.

P.S. Just FYI: We ship either the same day or the day after you order. We are still offering free shipping, but we have also added a paid Priority Shipping option in the shop if you would prefer a little speedier delivery.

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A Thanksgiving Sale!

Thanksgiving is tomorrow? What??! How did that even happen? And why am I even surprised since I’m pretty sure I said the same thing last year (and the year before).

We’re headed to Shaun’s grandma’s house for her annual feast tomorrow, and, with a broken oven, I’m not real sure what I’m going to contribute. A smile? 8 hungry mouths? Oh yeah. We’re going to be the hit of the party.

Speaking of parties, our grand opening week for Paint and Prose ( was pretty much a never-ending fiesta of late nights and fun! As long as printing mailing labels is your definition of fun.

No, but seriously. We are so grateful for every order and really pretty blown away by how successful you guys made our very first week.

And it really was fun! I remember grinning at my husband at about 12:47 AM one night (morning?) and saying, “You know, I’m really tired, but it’s really fun to be working with you on something we both love!” And he grinned right back and said, “Yup. I know what you mean.”

So! Since Black Friday is a mere 48 hours away, we thought we’d keep the party rolling with a 30% off coupon code that starts now (and will be good through Monday). If there’s a print you’ve had your eye on for yourself or as a Christmas gift, you can nab it at a discount (with free shipping always)!

To get the code, simply sign up for our Paint and Prose newsletter–where you’ll receive discounts, freebies, printables, and other fun goodies. You’ll always be the first to know about our best deals, and we’ll never spam you or sell your info. Pinky promise.


Maybe you or someone you know could use this little ditty for her kitchen or coffee bar.


(I’m thinking a #butfirsthocho should be in the works for the very near future)

OH! And remember our 5th Christmas print that we asked for your feedback about? stagedpic1

Y’all liked Joy to the World so much that we decided to make a coordinating “The Lord is Come.” I love them paired with the stripey, scrolly goodness of “Noel.”

Speaking of which…


Not gonna lie, though. This one may be my new fave. It’s just so stinkin’ CUTE and would be great for a neutral or colorful nursery alike!


Lions and tigers and bears! #ohmy


I know you guys have already seen our Baby It’s Cold Outside print, but…well, it’s cute. And I couldn’t help myself.


Likewise with this one. We did a handmade Christmas gift market this past weekend, and we got a bunch of chuckles out of it.


Oh! And our neutral Kitchen Essentials has been killing it! I totally thought the colorful one would sell better, but, boy, was I wrong. You guys like your neutrals!


I honestly don’t have room for all of our kitchen prints in my own kitchen, but I honestly wish I did. I love them all!


Fun tidbit: we shared a booth at the Christmas market with a lady selling homemade jam. She loved our “You Are My Jam” print so much that she bought one. And I loved her jams and jellies so much that I brought home two jars (pictured on the left there).


The #icanteven laundry print has been another popular one. But that one didn’t surprise me a bit. I think we’re all pretty acquainted with that feeling.


Obviously, this one works well for Thanksgiving, but I kind of love it for all the time too.

And, last but not least, this is such a great reminder.

give me jesus

Okay, I’m done showing off our prints. I honestly feel like a proud mama passing around snaps of her new baby, and I hope that you guys love them as much as we do!

If you see something you like, don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter to get your coupon code!

And may your Thanksgiving be full of laughter, joy, good food, and family! And WORKING OVENS! Amen.

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The Paint and Prose Shop is LIVE!

grand opening announcement4

Wooohoooo! After way too many late nights, we managed to beat our goal of getting the shop website up and running on Monday morning by a whopping 11 minutes (at 11:49PM, to be exact).

Lindsay and I are pretty darn proud of every print we made together, and we hope you love them as much as we do.

Also? Don’t worry. This is still my personal blog. It’s still M is for Mama. I’m still Abbie.

This is not going to turn into one big advertisement Paint and Prose (although you will, of course, hear about it when we release new prints, have sales, etc.).

But I couldn’t NOT tell you when the website went live, right?

Before I let you loose into the wilds of, though, let me point out a few things:

  1. Shipping is ALWAYS free. So, unless you’re in Texas (where we’re obligated by law to charge you sales tax), the price you see is the price you pay, period.
  2. EXCEPT when the price is lower. We are offering a never-expiring coupon code of $5 off of a $45+ order and $10 off of an $80+ order. The codes are easy–5off45 and 10off80–but don’t forget to enter them at checkout because the discount is not automatic (we wish it were, but that’s not how the shop format we use works).
  3. Anyone who orders within the first 48 hours (so, today or tomorrow) will get a choice of a free sheet of 6 “Give Thanks” place cards or our “Thankful” print
  4. This is our grand opening week, and we’re ready to paaaaaartaaay! What that looks like for you is freebies and discounts (see above) as well as a “giveaway a day.” Each day, we’ve put together a fun giveaway package, featuring some really sweet stores or just cute stuff we thought y’all would like + a Paint and Prose art print.
  5. We’d love it if you’d spread the word about P+P. (And no, I don’t mean Pride and Prejudice; most people already know about that, especially the Colin Firth version). You can do this by pinning our prints directly from the website or sharing any of our images (with credit) on social media. If you DO share or pin, be sure to tag us (@paintandprose), and we’ll give you the appropriate number of entries into our kick-off giveaway which is…
  6. $100 of shop credit to Paint and Prose. Yiipppeeee!
  7. Psssst! Follow along with Facebook or Instagram to learn more about the giveaways!

I know you guys already saw our Christmas line, but I also snapped a few pics of Paint and Prose prints around the house and thought I’d share.


I’ve never gotten around to updating the nursery from twin to Theo mode (he doesn’t seem to mind), but I did add in this “You’ve Captured My Heart” print that I designed, and Lindsay was kind enough to draw for Theo’s shower almost a year go (before we even considered doing Paint and Prose).


This colorful ampersand is pretty much the perfect punch of color for a gallery wall. I can’t wait to show you the entire updated little girls’ room in our house!


I posted about this “Now is NOW” print months ago, but neither one of us were in love with the design once we really figured out what our “look” was. So, we redesigned it completely, and I’m happy to say that it’s even better than before.


This one makes me laugh so hard pretty much every time I see it (ask Lindsay or Shaun). We both love our husbands to distraction, so that’s TOTALLY not the point of the print. It’s more like: sometimes we find ourselves in frustrating circumstances (yes, even with those sweet hubbies of ours), and the outcome is always better when you ask the Lord to help you channel your angst elsewhere. A sense of humor doesn’t hurt either.


We have an entire #hashtag print series, and I love the vintage suitcases + globe on this one. If you need me, I’ll be sitting in a corner with it, dreaming of Santorini.


In case you’re wondering, marshmallows in the shape of snowmen don’t taste any better than the normal kind. But they sure do look cuter with our “Cup of Cheer” print close by!


I luuuuurve this “Kitchen Essentials” print in our bright, poppy colorway. But, never fear, neutral-lovers–we made one for you too!

Those are all of the prints that I had a chance to photograph in my house, but they are not ALL that we have to offer, so–if you’re so inclined–head on over to and have a look around.  (Don’t forget your coupon codes!)

I would love to hear from you about which prints are your faves and where you would put them in your home (or to whom you would give them as gifts!)

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Welp, I got the itch…

Okay, so you know how I mentioned on Monday that the next time I got the itch to do something different with my hair, I might go blonde.



The idea just kept, ahem, growing on me, and when I texted my hairstylist on a whim, and she had a cancellation, I took it as a sign.

2 hours + I’m pretty sure like a gallon of bleach later…I’m a BLONDE! (I think those caps are deserved; it’s really bright….and quite a bit brassier than I was expecting, but Hollie said that can happen when you go from really dark to really light and that we can do something to fix it if it doesn’t calm down on its own…I believe she said something about toners?).

I honestly don’t know what I think about it yet. It feels (and looks) a little bit like straw, and I definitely feel like it’s going to be a bit before I can style it like I’m used to. BUT. It’s something different.

And sometimes, that’s really all you need. Ya feel me?

More pics to come when I feel a little more “me” again.

I just thought I’d let you know that I got a “wild hair” (there she goes again with the puns) or 100,000.

So, what do you think? Worth the risk? Too much? Be gentle, please! :)

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Updated House Tour

I’ve had several people recently asking where they could see more pics of our home. I’ve always redirected them to the “House Tour” tab at the top of the page. But the thing is, that tab had not been updated in…ages.

Well, I finally sat down last week and took a few minutes to add the rest (more or less) of the room reveals that I’ve done here on the blog.

So, if you’ve just been dying to take a gander at all of the spaces (both the way they were decorated originally and in their updated states), then be sure to click on the House Tour tab at the top of the page. Here’s a peek at what you’ll see.


Color! Pattern! Accessories! What can I say? Neutral is not my middle name. :)

P.S. I know that the last two days have been blog posts of the announcement variety, but I’ve got something super-fun for you tomorrow, so don’t give up on me yet!

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And the winner is…

Seeing as how Theo is already a week old (WHAT???!), I suppose I should announce the winner of our #babynumber6 guessing game.


(P.S. I’ll be back to posting regularly soon, but, in the meantime, if you want to see more “behind-the-scenes” footage from everyday life, not to mention lots more adorable pics of Monsieur Theodore, feel free to follow along on Instagram. I’m @misformama).

The thing is, out of the 240ish votes, 4 of them were so close that I really couldn’t decide which was the winner (everyone was off by a little bit on one of the factors other than the correct date). So, rather than attempt some sort of mathematically accurate weighting system that would surely cause my sleep-deprived brain to explode, I threw all four names in a hat and had my 7-year-old draw one.

And the winner is…abby ochs

{I promise no favoritism took place as a result of her extra-awesome name :) }

Abby predicted that Theo would come on December 30th @ 5:42 PM and would measure 8 lbs. 7 oz and 21″.

Which is pretty impressive since his actual stats were: December 30th, 10:33 AM, 8 lbs. 6 oz., and 21″.

Abby, you won this little prize package:


…which includes:

  • A polka dot pouch
  • A pack of floral pencils
  • A set of striped clothespins
  • A camera necklace (oh snap! sorry…I had to)
  • A teal ombre scarf

Shoot me a message with your address at blogabbie{at}gmail{dot}com, and I’ll get your goodies in the mail!

Thanks to everybody who played along and for all of your sweet well-wishes since Theo arrived.

I’m in the process of writing up his birth story, but as we all know by now, I am a woman of many words and–especially right now–little time. I’ll do my best to have something later on this week.

Until then, please know that I appreciate y’all so much. You are the sweetest reader-friends a girl could hope for!

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