one big happy back to school!

one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy

back to school is just around the corner (as much as i wish it weren’t true!), and i am freaking out!  we actually have about a month until we go back, but these last weeks always seem to fly by faster than i expect.  i always have several projects i want to finish, we try to wrap up our summer list, get our school books and supplies, and sometimes a few new outfits for school.

one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy

our kids dress pretty conservatively but with their own style.  i have let my kids pick out their own clothes since they were old enough to have an opinion on clothes (maybe 3 or 4?), as long as they were modest and weather appropriate, and in line with the school dress code.

one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy

allowing my kids this freedom has saved us from many battles over clothes, i’m sure!  lily loves clothes, but like her mother, loves comfort even more!  Silas is actually really similar in his love for comfort – he would wear sweatpants every single day if he had enough clean pairs!

one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy

we are huge fans of hand-me-downs, whether its from older sister to younger sister, clothing handed to us from older friends, or being able to bless others by handing down our outgrown clothes.

one thing i’ve noticed over the years is the difference in quality of clothing and how it holds up after being worn and handed down.  we have a friend a couple years older than our oldest daughter who has passed down lots of Gymboree clothing over the years.  those clothes have then been passed down to lily, then on to 2 other girls!  its so fun to see my girls’ clothes on other little girls, and have memories flood back to when my girls were littler!

but the lesser quality clothing?  it doesn’t always make it down that far.

one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy

Silas was so excited about his new outfit from Gymboree, mostly because it wasn’t jeans – ha!  you’d think i was strangling his legs or something with his aversion to denim, but soft cotton makes this boy happy.  actually, he loved lots of the active wear line of clothing on Gymboree’s website.

one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy

no, he never stops moving ;)

sweatshirtsweat pantssocksshoes

one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy

anyone else freaking out about how big their kids are getting?  yeah, me too.  4th grade and 6th grade for these two.  and how cute is lily’s doe sweatshirt?  i want a mommy size onesie in this fabric!

one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy

if you’re like me and don’t have a Gymboree near you, shop online!  i find so many great deals, especially in their sale section, which is huge!  the prices are really reasonable and the quality of clothing is durable to withstand taking a beating time and time again (remember, hand-me-downs?).

one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy


one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy

i can remember as a kid picking my outfit out days ahead of time for the first day of school!  i’d also make myself a list of all the things i needed to do in the morning before the first day, and even set time’s for each thing!  funny thing, lily often does the same thing!  she makes herself lists of what she needs to do in the morning and checks them off as she goes.  what’s the saying about the apple and the tree…

one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy

one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy

shirtdenim jacketleggingssocksshoeshair bowbracelets

one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy


one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy

never a dull day around here!

one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy

lily has always been my accessory loving girl!  she hasn’t always been into matching (think: all the patterns together), but Gymboree has accessories to go with each of their outfits!

one big happy back to school with gymboree and the pleated poppy

seriously, pizza socks.  silly socks are huge right now and silas was giddy about these ones!

Gymboree wants to give one of you a $50 shopping spree for your own back to school shopping – woohoo!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

check out and let me know your favorite back to school looks!



disclosure: Gymboree compensated me for this post, but all opinions are my own.  thank you for supporting the companies that support the pleated poppy!

the story

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if you follow me on instagram, i may have shocked you with the news that we had sold our house and were moving.  um, sorry about not giving the full heads up!  but if you’re a long time reader, you may have read my post several months ago about our house being up for sale!  if you didn’t see that post, you should go back and read it… go ahead, i’ll wait…

so long story short, we had been feeling the itch to build again, found some property we loved and put our house up on the market quickly in order to buy this other property.  good news, our house went into escrow right away!  bad news, we were tremendously outbid for the great property, so we pulled out of the sale of our house (we had a special contingency written in just in case we didn’t get the property).  no big deal, we loved our house and were happy to stay.  but then our buyer said she’d be happy to wait around until we found another property.  well, we didn’t really think there’d be another property to meet our requirements (it needed to be a larger property than our current one, close to town, have a view, and not be too far out into the country – oh, and be cheap enough to build on the land and not raise our current monthly mortgage).  but we looked anyway and landed on a beautiful piece of property and some possible neighboring ones as well.  so we tried to enter back into the sale, and the buyer was no longer interested.  no problem, put the house back on the market.  thankfully it again went into escrow right away and 30 days in the buyer pulled out.  boooooooooo.  that was a rough one.  but we had already done all the improvements and repairs needed, and our realtor already had several other buyers interested.  without putting it back on the market, our house went into escrow again.  yes 3 times!

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so let me just pause here for a moment.  this.  this here is the reason why i have almost only been blogging What I Wore posts for the last several months.  my house was staged for months, so what was the point in changing out my decor and blogging about it?  we weren’t doing any fun day’s, so nothing post-worthy there.  and i also didn’t feel like i could really blog about the process, since i was feeling very fragile with all the ups and downs.  it was very much like being on an 8 month long roller coaster.  lots of highs and lows.

ok, back to the 3rd time in escrow… this one stuck!  it was a 60+ day escrow (the buyers were selling 2 homes first) and it felt very long.  it was very long!  but the house is sold and we’ve moved out and its all done and behind us now – yay!

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so some questions you may have, as we’ve been asked a lot:

do you have property to build on?  no, not yet.  we’re waiting till after the new year before we bombard/heavily persuade the few property owners to give us a smokin’ deal on their land.

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are you renting?  yes!  we are so happy with our rental house.  its very far away from our last home.  well, it feels very far, but is really only about 15+ minutes away.  but we can’t walk to town or school anymore.  we are on the complete opposite side of town.  but the house is great, its clean and very big to us.  the kids each have their won room which feels like a luxury.  and we don’t have anything in storage since we have a 2-car garage and a large playroom/game room to store our extra boxes that i can’t decide what to do with.

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are you unpacked?  yes, for the most part!  there are no boxes in any of our living spaces, except for the playroom, which we have yet to really use yet – probably since it has so many boxes in it!  while we are unpacked, we are definitely not organized.  we’re getting there, room by room, but everything is at least generally in the right place, just not necessarily organized like i’d want it to be.  but it will be.  we’ve only been there a week.

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do you miss your old home?  oddly enough, no.  as i feel the cold drafts coming from under the doors of our new house, i quickly miss our well-insulated home.  as i organize our closet, i miss the custom built in cabinets sean designed for us.  but no, i don’t miss the house.  and i’m not sad about it either.  i only had a very few sad moments about leaving the home we’d lived in for the last 9 years.  here’s my theory on that: i think because our house sale process was so long, i had so much time to process leaving, and when it took so much longer than anticipated, i wanted to leave so badly just to be done with the process!  i am fully expecting to go through a period of mourning, but it definitely hasn’t hit yet.

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how are the kids doing?  our youngest is really the only one to have been teary about leaving.  he had a couple hard times when he didn’t feel like the new house was his home and he wanted to go back.  but beyond those few times, they’ve all adjusted really well.  the girls are thrilled with their own rooms and the kids have spent their first week of christmas vacation setting up and decorating their rooms.  they will definitely miss the proximity we had to school before since we’ll have to leave the house 20 minutes before school starts now, but they have friends close by that they can take a bike trail back and forth between the houses and have been loving that.  we have a decent sized back yard and a huge concrete front yard that is great for silas and all his wheeled antics.

so when will you build?  well, that depends on how quickly we get property and design the house and get permits and how much rain we get this year and…. lots of factors go into that one.  we are hoping to nail down a property quickly (but it could actually be a very long process), and get moving on the design soon.  my mom and i actually made several preliminary designs so we could get budgetary numbers on building costs, so we have a good start already.  our city is notorious for being very difficult to work with in the permit process, but thankfully the property we’re looking at is over the county line and not in the city limits, so we’d be working with the slightly-faster county.

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will you build the same style house?  nope.  and i think thats what excites me the most about this whole process, besides having a lot more land for the kids to run wild on and not fear complaints from nearby neighbors.  we are looking to build a more modern, industrial barn & farmhouse.  you can see my many pins here.  we loved the style of our old house, but we also know that lots of craftsman details and built-ins and custom cabinetry is not the cheapest route to go.  and over the last 10 years my style has changed a lot as well.  there are still many design elements that we will do again (butcher block island, white subway tile) but many of our decisions will be budget and design driven.  think concrete floors, bright white walls, high ceilings, warm wood elements, and pops of color.  i can’t wait!

will you build a loft again for your parents and guests?  yes!  we did;t make this decision without my parents since they built the loft and are a big part of our family’s lives.  we will be building a loft above the garage again and hopefully also building a barn eventually to have a huge guest sleeping loft in (i picture it filled with cousins at christmas!).

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sorry for keeping so many of you out of the loop.  i really feel like this blog is a place where i can be open and share, but these past several months i’ve felt tongue-tied as far as what i could share.  i am really excited to share soon what our rental house looks like, how our building process goes, and lots of design ideas!