What We’re Excited for in August…


Amy, Chief Curator
Mom to Maverick (1)

What I’m buying for me: Mid-year restock of Happy Planner stickers! I’ve shared on Instagram how I use a monthly planner + Happy Planner stickers as a ‘baby book’ of sorts for Maverick. I’ve done it since he was born and it’s a low stress way to commemorate the days and weeks that fly by with him, plus a little bit of a creative outlet for me to make it decorated.

What I’m reading: Big Friendship: how we keep each other close by Aminatou Sow and Ann Friedman (hosts of the podcast Call Your Girlfriend). One of my BFFs from college recently gave it to me in her gift box asking me to be her bridesmaid in her upcoming wedding. I’m just a few chapters in so far but it’s so relatable about how easy it is to have friendships fizzle and drift apart, and how as busy adults (and moms) the intentionality to stay close takes heartfelt intention and effort.

What’s on my calendar: Old Brick House Vintage Market’s Welcome Home Market in downtown Mesa. It’s a four-day only pop-up vintage shop August 11-14 and these ladies do an incredible job finding such amazing gems and putting together beautifully curated set-ups in the store that just are so inspiring. If you’re into vintage or shabby chic décor, this is a must-do!

Where I’m taking my kid: The World’s Oldest Continuous Rodeo in Payson, Arizona! I’ve shared that we’re a rodeo family, and the Payson rodeo is extra special to me, as I grew up going to it with my family annually. (Read more about that repeat vacation from my mom’s perspective here.) If you’re curious what a rodeo weekend in Arizona entails and what to expect, check out this blog post I wrote for first time rodeo spectator families!

What I’m buying for my kid: I’m eyeing this canopy playhouse for the backyard as I dream of cooler temps when we can play outside for more than 35 minutes before 8 a.m.! It has a pretend grill/outdoor kitchen, a water table, sand feature and more. I like that it comes with built-in shade, I haven’t seen that before!

Katie, Contributor and Mentor Mom
Married, Mom to Victoria (22), Spencer (20), Lillian (16), Thomas (14)

What I’m buying for me: Lasik. I have wanted to get Lasik for over 20 years, but with being a 1 income family with 4 kids, it was never on the radar. Well, we are now a 2 income family and I feel like it is finally my turn to splurge and kick my glasses and contacts to the curb. I have researched and talked to so many people that have done it, and they all have said, it is the best money you will ever spend. I met with the doctors at Carrot Eye Specialists and will be having the procedure done this week! It will take an hour for the procedure and I can be up and going the next day….I just can’t do strenuous exercises for 2 weeks (no problems with that for me, as I’m a walker).
What I’m reading: I was very excited to have the rainy days last weekend, I plowed through a wonderful book called The Book of Lost Names. The author, Kristin Harmel, has a way of bringing you in and allowing us to be a part of their scheme to hide people from the Nazi’s in France to help them escape to Switzerland. 
What’s on my calendar: This summer has been a blur and so we are extremely excited to be travelling to Virginia for our oldest daughter’s White Coat Ceremony. This is even more special for us since Victoria graduated last year from Baylor University with honors “on our sofa-in PJ’s.” She had told us last August, that she was disappointed that she couldn’t walk across the stage and get her diploma, but “if” she gets into medical school, then the White Coat Ceremony is way more important. So, all 5 of us are flying to Lynchburg, Virginia to Liberty University and renting a 200 acre farmhouse with 5 bedrooms so that all of our family from Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina can come and celebrate my beautiful 22 year old starting medical school.
What I’m buying for my kids: We are actually buying car insurance. It is crazy how adding teenage drivers to your policy can increase your rates. My older two kids, who are now 22 and 20, had accidents that totalled cars a few years ago….thank the Lord they are okay, but it has hurt our budget.  

So, just a heads up….
   -SUV’s for teenage drivers are considerably more expensive than cars
   -Boys used to be more expensive to insure than girls, but that isn’t the case anymore due to texting and driving.
   -Drivers Ed (Ncontrol Driving School has been our go-to) helps to reduce premiums, as well as, good grades. 
Where I’m taking my kids: Where I am taking my kids is very different now. They all drive but our 14 year old, so I don’t take them a lot of places anymore and I miss it. We do attend church together on Sundays and then head to lunch afterwards. It’s the one time during the week that we slow down, enjoy catching up and chill. We will normally go to Pita Jungle in Queen Creek. We love the healthy options and always get the trio hummus appetizer. I realize how quickly my life is changing, so I cherish these times together more and more.   

Megan, Contributor
Married, Mom to Jacob (2), Baby Boy #2 (Due in November)

What I’m buying for me: I’m booking myself some prenatal massages at Ryken Wellness in Gilbert, which works in partnership with our fertility specialist. I’m 24 weeks pregnant and definitely feeling the effects of an Arizona summer pregnancy and chasing a toddler. Mama needs some pampering! I’m thinking I’m gonna need 2 massages a month until my due date in November. 
What I’m reading: I’m currently reading and finishing up the Oh Crap! Potty Training book in preparation for getting my son potty trained before baby comes. #pleasesendprayers
What’s on my calendar: My husband and I are taking an adults only babymoon to Destin, FL and I am SO PUMPED!! Local mama travel agent and former EVM contributor Abby at @abbyhappiestvacations got everything booked for us and we’re just (im)patiently waiting for our week of fun in the sun to arrive!
What I’m buying for my kid: I really want to sign my 2 year old up for the Baby Ninjas class at Arizona Dynamics in Chandler. He loves to jump around on all the things and I think he would do so great in this class! It sounds so fun!

Where I’m taking my kids: A new Jeremiah’s Italian Ice just opened in Queen Creek and I’m dying to take the fam to give it a try. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things! And again, summer pregnancy is kicking my butt so I need this sweet treat ASAP!


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