{$100 paypal GIVEAWAY}

Nothing excites me more than free cash.
Am I right?

There are so many things that I would do with 100 dollars cash.
Let me just give you a few ideas:
pillows for my banquette
a new pair of jeans
a valentine's surprise for my hubby
...really, the options are endless.

And the best part?
The entries are super easy.
You get to follow these lovely ladies... which you should do with or without the incentive!

Show them some love, and get entered below.
Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


{backstreet boys, birth stories, birthday parties, and embarrassing moments}

Today is your lucky day.
Since I won't be blogging because we are busily battling a terrible stomach bug in our household, 
you get to meet two other fabulous bloggers.
Erin and Amanda are both darling.
And today you get to read some embarrassing facts about them.
Along with some birth stories.
And a stellar first birthday party.
It's a win win.
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Embarrassing Story:
When I was in middle school I finally had big enough boobs to buy my first bikini {like true bikini, ya'll}, so I was super excited to wear it to the beach while on vacation with my family.  My best friend and I were having a blast swimming and riding in some waves on a boogie board. The waves must have been crazy in Myrtle Beach that particular day because I stood up from riding one in and had NO clue my bikini top was no longer in place.  No clue! That is, until my DAD yells from our spot on the beach, " ERIN, PULL UP YOUR TOP!" humiliating.

Top 3 favorite blog posts:
Going to go "super mom" status and post all three of my girls' birth stories!

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A Confession:
When I was 14, I was at a dance team sleepover and we were playing a game similar to "Never Have I Ever". I had never even been kissed, but I said I had had a threesome when I was in 3rd grade. What I learned that night: A threesome is NOT sharing your boyfriend with your best friend, the way a 3rd grader would think! haha I also learned that news travels fast in a small town, when my mom picked me up the next day she already knew everything that happened. I was really embarrassed, but now, I am glad that i was so innocent! 

Top three favorite blog posts:

  1. My son's first birthday party is my favorite blog post! I think what I love about it is that for months I searched pinterest and blog after blog for ideas, then I got to put all of my ideas into my own post! That was really cool!

  2. My second favorite post is when I wrote a letter to our rent house. We lived there for 20 months, until we bought our first house. Xander was 7 months old when we moved. It was a very emotional time for me because that house help so many memories of our newlywed days and time with friends! Funny thing is, the house we bought is only 5 blocks away, and if you drive from our old house the the new house, you drive past the house that I lived in all through Jr. High and High School! It is kind of cool that I have lived within a 5 block radius most of my life... except those college years! 

  3. My third favorite blog post is when I wrote about the changes that would be coming in my future. I received a lot of feedback through emails and facebook messages of encouragement from the blogging community and my friends and family about my decision to go back to school! It has been almost a year since I wrote that post and I can honestly say that going back to school has been the best decision for our family! It is tough, and I am ready to be done... but it is going to be SO worth it!!

- - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Aren't they just the best!?
Go and show these dolls some love.
And while you are at it, you will want to follow them. 
Trust me.



{oh hey, friday | vacation highlights... so far}

Today's Oh hey, Friday post is brought to you from here:
We've been up in the mountains all week, and it's not too bad.
In fact, it's pretty wonderful.
And incredibly beautiful.
A whole lot more so, now that I don't feel like I'm dying from being super sick.
I'm like a whole new person.
Here are just a few things that we've been occupying our time with.
1. |  Ice skating.
Have you ever seen cuter miniature skates?
As you can see Beckam clearly rocked the ice skating.
 Brody did too obviously.
We cruised around pretty fast after stealing this stool.
Fun fact:
 When I was a kid I used to love watching figure skating.
I would roller skate around my driveway imagining I was ice skating.
I would even do the fancy foot work when I took a turn.
And on the days I didn't roller skate, I stood in the bed of my dad's pickup and practiced some cheers that I had made up.
I thought I was a pretty big deal.
Our neighbors had some pretty good local entertainment.
2. | The walks.
 The place we rented is right in town.
We have been walking everywhere, and It is glorious.
Quite the change from the farm since it would take us longer to walk to our neighbors house than anywhere we've walked here.
3. | Sledding.
The snow here isn't the best for skiing or snowmobiling.
Especially since it got a little rain on it and then froze again.
But you know what it is really perfect for?
Hard, slick, fast sledding.
It is so so fun.
 We captured some pretty fun videos that I will share later too, but for now, these actions shots will do.

4.| Hot chocolate.
So much hot chocolate.
This might seem strange, but I have never made my kids hot chocolate before.
In fact, I can only think of one time that Brody has had it.
Once they tasted this glorious drink, there was no going back.
They are in love.
And they'll have to get their fill this week, because I am most likely still not going to make it for them at home.
5. | Hot springs.
This is basically the perfect family outing.
We have spent two different days at two different hot springs.
The boys totally love it.
And it tires them out.

And there you have it!
Plus a blog post written while I simultaneously watch a movie with my farmer.
And now, it's your turn!

If you'd like to join in on oh hey, friday, it's easy peasy.

1. | Write up a little post about five things. Anythings. 

 2. | Head back over here and enter your link at the bottom of this post. 

 3. | Pretty please don't forget to link back to our blogs and/or add the oh hey, friday! button {found above} by copying the HTML into the HTML section of your post so that others can link up as well.  That's it!



{oh hey, friday | getting random up in here}

It's Friday!!
You know what that means:

If you'd like to join in on oh hey, friday, it's easy peasy.

1. | Write up a little post about five things. Anythings. 

 2. | Head back over here and enter your link at the bottom of this post. 

 3. | Pretty please don't forget to link back to our blogs and/or add the oh hey, friday! button {found above} by copying the HTML into the HTML section of your post so that others can link up as well.  That's it!

- - - - - - - - - - - - -

1. | Anyone else come down with the plague?
All three of my main men have come down with some sort of nastiness.
Beckam peaked at a temp of 104.4 Wednesday night.
Needless to say, I was ready to head to the ER with him.
Luckily, he responded well to the tylenol, snuggles, and cool wash cloths.
Poor guy has had quite a week, especially after getting pricked and poked at the allergist too.
If you don't follow me on Instagram, I'll fill you in... he's still allergic to eggs and peanuts.
No bueno.

2. | Did you happen to check out my blog post from yesterday?
 I posted some pics that the talented Stephanie Mballo captured of our family.
Check it out HERE

3. | Brody's 4th birthday is coming up faster than I'd like to admit to myself.
He is currently obsessed with trains.
I had one of our family friends, who also is a fabulous wood worker, make him a train he can ride on.
It is coming right along...
It just needs painted bright red, and it's done!
Not only is he going to LOVE it, but it will add some super decor to his party.

4. | Tomorrow I am packing up my fella's and heading to the mountains for a week.
We rented a lovely cabin in the snow, and plan on having a wonderful time snowmobiling, snowshoeing, game playing, hot tubbing, and maybe even doing slide stunts like last year:

5. | January is half way over, and that means that I have a killa' giveaway coming up.
If you are interested in joining in on this action, I just so happen to have a big ol' discount on my medium ad space. 
This will get your beautiful picture on my sidebar for a whole month + allow you to join in on the group giveaway which gets you a whole lotta new followers. FYI. 
Enter code MEDIUM for 50% off at checkout.



{professional family photos}

At the end of last year we got some professional pictures taken of our family.
I am pretty much obsessed with them.
Mostly because our photographer, Stephanie Mballo, was more than a pleasure to work with!

Let me give you 10 reasons why you should have Stephanie take your family pictures too:

1. Her eye is impeccable. 
And just look at how beautiful this background is...

or this one...
or this one...

2. She can make you look good while sitting in your alfalfa field getting dirt from a gopher hole thrown on you.

 3. She travels. Even to our farm, which is in the middle of nowhere.
Having the two young boys, this was a life saver for us.
Although, I think it was more important for my farmer since at the time he was still very busily farming.

4. She's artistic. Not only does she get some classic shots, but she also gets those unposed pictures that you just don't see enough. And I couldn't love them more.

5. Stephanie goes with the flow. Even when our family pet decided to join in and not cooperate.

6. She can tell you just what to do, so you will get a shot that you absolutely adore!

7. Girlfriends got patience. After about an hour of shooting, my boys were not nearly as enthusiastic about taking pictures as I was. She allowed us to take as many breaks as necessary, and did some killer jumps and silly faces to get their attention.

8. Reality. She can show what life is like in a very beautiful way.

9. She's quick on her toes... err finger? I mean, to be able to capture a dog kiss, mid-lick.... talent.

 10. She is affordable. And you get all of your images to do what you would like with.
I LOVE this.
And I LOVE her.
You will too.

To check Stephanie out, you can visit her at any of these sites:

Even if you don't happen to be in the market for family pictures yet, she is seriously just fun to follow to get inspired by her beautiful photos.

Isn't she the best!?

{To see even more pictures from our session, check out her blog HERE.}



{the bachelor | behind the scenes}

I'm going to try to spare you the step-by-step, stand in line, sit around and wait details of my Bachelor day. There were a lot of those moments. 
It was a long and totally glorious 9 hours of Hollywood fame.
And if you don't want to read this long post, all you need to know is that Chris Harrison and I are basically best friends.

I was determined to make the most of our TV experience, and get to know as many people as possible,
along with getting as much screen time as possible.
Remember, I'm a Farmer's Wife from Idaho.
This sorta thing doesn't happen around the farm. Ever.

To start out the day, the large group of around 300-ish people {that were on the guest list} got herded like cattle into a large room of organized chairs. This was the holding room.
We quickly made friends with the two gals that were in front, and behind us in line.
We could all non-judgmentally talk about bachelor contestants past, and we knew that all was well with the world. We were accepted and understood for our obsession with reality TV.
Plus... when we ALL recognized one of the staffers as a gal who was on Who Wants to Marry Harry? we knew we were practically soul mates.
We worked together to get the attention of a guy who was choosing people to do possible interviews with Chris Harrison. We all claimed each other and said we were a group of six. He took our picture, and told us he'd get back to us.

Side note. Everyone who works for The Bachelor is seriously awesome. 
Not only are they all good-looking, they are all funny.
I think it is a tie between Elan Gale {producer} and Chris Harrison as to who I like the most right now.

Right. So, after they provided us with lunch, they walked us through what our day would look like.
Red carpet pep talk: scream, cheer, wave, act excited {even if you don't know or like someone}, don't look dumb on live tv.
Jenn and I stood at the end of the red carpet... arguably the best spot to stand.
Not only was it in the shade on this 80 degree day, but most everyone came and stood down there so we got to talk and take pictures with them. Also, we weren't behind a velvet cord, so we were basically unstoppable. Plus, the selfies we got had a nice green shrub as the background instead of numerous photobombers. Here is a little sampling of my star sightings. 
Neil. Lane.
Catherine and Sean.

Being 30, I had a hard time acting as excited as the teens and girls in their early 20's.
As fun as it was to meet these people, they are just that, people. 
Just like me. Super cool.
My approach was less high pitched screaming and more talking... I also learned I need to work on my BS game. Fact of the matter is, as cool as I think it is to talk to them, they could care less about me.

Now, I know many of you are curious about the break up of Andi and Josh too.
And since clearly we are besties, let me give you my two cents about whether I saw this coming.

First, note in the picture that Josh is leaning towards me way more than Andi.
Secondly, in their interview with The Harrison Andi seemed a little sketchy.
Lastly, they didn't leave together that night... even though there was a car sitting outside with their name on it. {Literally, there name was on it.} Instead Andi and Nicki took the car together. No clue where Josh went.

Moving on.

Once we made it back into the holding room, our friend who took our picture came and told us that he was going to take us to our special seats. He also referred to all of us as the Idaho Wives.
At this point I may have started freaking out a little bit. 
This meant that we were going to be interviewed on LIVE tv. 
As I mentioned in my previous post, I luckily had taken a wash cloth from our Hollywood Roosevelt room to dab my nervous sweaty pits. 
Being the Farmer's Wife of the crew, I was stuck right on the aisle, in prime interview location. 
The guy went over what Chris Harrison would be asking me and made sure that I was comfortable answering as well as telling him about being a Farmer's Wife myself.
The next thing that we noticed was tape stuck on the chairs in front of us.
There were names written on them.... Clare C, Michelle M, Graham, Courtney.
They were going to be sitting directly in front of us.
{might I add how nice they are... I was never a fan of Clare's, but during the whole show they would lean back and tell us about the behind the scenes... they're sweet}
In front of them was Lacy and Marcus.
And in front of them was Sean and Catherine. 
Across the aisle was Andi, Josh and Nicki.
Much like the red carpet, we were arguably in the best seats in the house.

There was a hype man who was excellent at getting all of us really excited.
They also had the best tunes cranked nice and loud.
No big deal, just a super big dance party behind the scenes of The Bachelor.
Seriously... I want the person who created that mix to be the deejay at one of my parties.
Once all of the seats were filled we got another talk.
Live TV pep talk: clap hands in front of our face so it doesn't look like you are having a seizure, don't use your phone unless it is a commercial, be very expressive in your facial reactions.
I obviously took that last one quite literally:
 Being there during filming was seriously so SO fun.
I don't know if you have ever watched The Bachelor with a bunch of your girlfriends, but this was like 20 times better. The reactions from everyone were totally priceless. So much laughter, so much cringing.

Now... I know you guys are all wondering about my big live interview.
Spoiler. It didn't happen.
As I mentioned before, I think that Clare's interviewing skills, and Michelle's shower comment got good ol' Harrison a little flustered.
Sweaty pits for nothing.
That's the worst!
So now... I am working hard on getting to go back for After the Final Rose. 
I mean, I basically deserve it.
Maybe I should take my farmer with me and he and farmer Chris can talk about their farms. And their beautiful significant others of course.

After filming was over, they ushered us out, and the night was done.
My friend Jenn and I needed a taxi back to our hotel.
You wouldn't think that this would be too difficult, but with the amount of chauffeured cars and big party bus to carry all of the prior cast members, there was a lot of commotion and the taxi's we called somehow couldn't find us.
In addition to that, my phone froze after installing Uber.
Blah, blah, blah... long story short, the director of the show, Ken Fuchs, gave us a ride back to our hotel.
Like I said... we made friends.
We got the down-low on where some celebs were eating dinner and learned a little about what he does.

After we got back to our hotel, instead of heading out to dinner and a night out on the town, we grabbed some food to go, headed to the room, and watched The Bachelor. Again. But this time we could see us. We are dedicated fans.

It was an epic day, with amazing people.

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