LET'S LOOK AT....THE PEOPLE IN MY FAMILY!

Hey there, Wednesday!

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I’m linking up with Shay and Erika for their Let’s Look At… link up! Each month we “look at” a different topic. This month is all about the people in your family!

Family is EVERYTHING to me! I am so grateful for my husband, Mark. He is truly my gift from God and I am blessed to journey through this life with him! We have four kids - one girl (our oldest) and three boys. I can’t believe God chose me to be their mom! They BLESS me every single day!

In January, I shared a post IF YOU ARE NEW AROUND HERE where I shared all about me as well as each member of my family so you can get to know us a little better. You can read that post HERE.

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These are my people! :)

XO

IF YOU ARE NEW AROUND HERE

A few of you have mentioned you are new to my blog so I wanted to say “Hello and welcome!” to those of you who are new here. If you are a friend who has been here for a while, “I’m glad you’re here too!”

My name is Tish and this is my little piece of the internet.

I started my blog to help me document more about our family and kiddos. What I discovered is the sweetest community of friends from all over the world! I am so grateful for each of you!

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I am a wife, Mom, and Realtor in Abilene, TX.

I was born and raised in Texas which means I love sweet tea, chips and queso, and all the Tex Mex food! I grew up in Abilene (moved here when I was 3) and attended Hardin-Simmons University where I received my degree in Elementary Education. I taught 3rd grade at Wylie ISD and then stayed home when I got pregnant with Carson (our 3rd kiddo). After Cutter (#4) was born I went back into teaching when Carson was 4 yrs old and Cutter was 2 yrs old. I taught Kindergarten and Pre-K at St. John’s Episcopal School. However, after three years back in teaching, God opened the door for me to go into real estate. You can read about why I became a Realtor HERE. I have now been a Realtor for 5 1/2 years and absolutely LOVE what I do! I am blessed every day by my clients!

I love coffee like Lorelai Gilmore loves coffee! I drink crazy amounts of it especially in the winter. Any other cold natured friends? I am a Reality TV junkie and love to watch The Bachelor (Bachelorette, Bachelor in Paradise) and Big Brother but also watch a few of the Real Housewives series too. They are all ridiculous but they make me laugh! My FAVORITE thing to do is read! If you know someone who will pay me to read books for a living, please give them my contact info! Ha! #dreamjob

However, THE MOST IMPORTANT thing I want you to know about me is that I love Jesus! He is my Savior and all that I have in my life I owe to Him. Love God. Love people. It’s that simple! And if you don’t know God as your personal Savior but want a relationship with Him or have questions, I would love to visit with you! You can email me at simplytish@yahoo.com!

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I am married to Mark who is truly my best friend. He knows me better than anyone else and I am so grateful to live this crazy life of ours with him by my side! We have four kiddos and spend much of our time watching them play sports! We are a soccer, football, basketball, baseball family currently and our daughter played volleyball as well as ran track (and played basketball too) when she was in high school so we have most sports covered. We also love to go to the movies and can eat our weight in movie theatre popcorn!


Mark Blackburn

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Mark is the Postmaster of Stamford, TX, a small town about 40 miles north of Abilene. Mark also grew up in Abilene and attended Abilene Christian University where he played baseball. We both attended Cooper High School and Mark graduated the same year as my older brother. We dated my senior year of high school and his sophomore year at ACU for a few months and then God brought us back together 10 years later.

Alyssa Michelle

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Alyssa is our oldest and our only girl! She recently turned 21 and I shared a post all about her you can read HERE. Alyssa is a senior in college and lives in Waco, TX. She is working towards her Bachelor’s degree to be a Child Life Specialist and then plans on going into her Master’s degree program next year. Being the only girl and the oldest, she is always playing second Mom to her brothers. This girl is pure light and love to all who know her! We have such a sweet special bond and I am forever grateful God chose her to make me a mom!


Conner Ryan

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Conner is our oldest son who just turned 17 a few weeks ago. Conner is a junior in high school and plays on the Varsity basketball team. We love watching our #44! Conner is one of the nicest kids you’ll ever meet. He has a super laid back personality - not type A like his mom and sister. Ha! Conner is easy going, loves to do anything sport related although his passion is definitely basketball. He has a close relationship with his older sister (those two are always up to something!) and he is just the absolute best big brother to our little Cs. Conner’s schedule is crazy right now with school, athletics, church activities, etc. but the second he gets home he always goes straight to find his brothers. They have all the special handshakes, inside jokes, and Carson and Cutter just want to be like Conner when they grow up. And they both want to be taller than Conner. Haha! #goals


Carson Michael

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Carson is our middle son and also had a birthday a few weeks ago. Carson and Conner share a January 15th birthday exactly five years apart! Carson is 12 years old and is in 6th grade, his first year of middle school. Carson has a big heart. He is always praying for others and wants the best for his friends. He is very tender hearted and always looking for ways to serve others. Carson also plays basketball and baseball. And he is just almost taller than his Momma! (He measures every single day. Ha!) Carson loves to dress up for church, pictures, and school events. He can rock a fun suit like his Daddy! Carson is very much like Mark. He is his mini-me in looks and has a lot of the same personality traits. Carson is very personable and social. He likes to be the life of the party! It’s Carson’s world and we are all just living in it!

Cutter Maddux

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Cutter Maddux completed our family 9 years ago. He is our quietest kid around others but his personality is BIG when he is at home! This kid is FUNNY! He is always making us laugh! Cutter also remembers almost everything he reads or learns so he is always using new words and trying to keep us on our toes. He loves to read like his Mom and Dad. He also absolutely LOVES going to the movies and popcorn like us too! Cutter is our cuddle bug and lover of blankets. This kid wants a new blanket every Christmas and birthday! He also prefers to be with one of us than alone in his room. He and Carson are super close and call themselves “best friend brothers”. I hope they always do that! He is also constantly in Conner’s room hanging out with his biggest brother any chance he gets. Cutter Maddux is growing up but he will always be the baby of our family. The perfect caboose!


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You can keep up with us on Instagram HERE or Facebook HERE.
If you have any questions or just want to chat, you can email me at simplytish@yahoo.com.
I love to hear from you!

Have a great Tuesday!

XO


Leaving Behind a Legacy

It is hard to believe that November has come and gone and December is here!

With the Thanksgiving holiday, many of us spend extra time counting our blessings and reflecting on the many things we are grateful for in our lives. As I have spent time in prayer and reflection over my own life this past year as well as looking forward to adventures to come in 2019, I have found myself thinking a lot about God’s plan for my life, how He wants me to serve others, how He wants me to love others, and how through His will I can leave a small impact on this world.

Much of these thoughts began to stir in my heart as we celebrated the life of Mark’s grandmother,
Edna Ferry, who passed away in October.

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This is Mark’s grandmother holding his dad, Mike.

She was truly one of the most beautiful ladies I have ever known. At her funeral service, Mark’s dad shared about his Mom and the description of a worthy woman from Proverbs 31.

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I wanted to share Mike’s words with you. For clarity’s sake, Carla is Mike’s sister.

“For as long as I can remember, I have been in awe of Mom’s strength, character, dignity and the other attributes that she displayed.  I suppose that by the world’s standards, she was not remarkable.  She was not highly educated, never had a lot of money and certainly never sought fame or power.  But, I never saw her complain or bemoan what she did not have.  She was one of the most positive people I have ever known and she always seemed to me to be completely comfortable with who she was.  She was content to be a farm wife, homemaker, mother, grandmother and all the other roles that she took on and she did them so well.  Carla says that she thinks being a mother was the biggest part of how she saw herself as that is what she wanted on her tombstone: a woman holding the hand of a little boy and little girl.

Last Sunday morning, Carla called me and told me that Mom was not doing well and that it appeared the end was near.  As I sat in church that morning,  the music was all about heaven and everything reminded me of Mom. I turned in my bible to Proverbs 31 and that beautiful description of a worthy woman.  I had brought a NLT bible that day, so the language was modern.  As I looked at that description, I thought about how Mom’s life so closely matched that description.  I want to use some parts of that scripture to illustrate.  I sat down on Tuesday afternoon to work on this and I sent out a message to my family and asking for their thoughts about Mom and her life.  A little while later my phone dinged and I looked and Ruth had written Proverbs 31:10 and following could have been written about her!  When I read that I thought, “OK, I’m on the right track here.”  Proverbs 31:10 says:

(10) Who can find a virtuous and capable wife? She is more precious than rubies. (11) Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life.

Mom and Dad were married for more than 67 years.  For more than 50 of those years, they farmed, working side by side, building their life, family and home.  If Dad were here he would absolutely say that she was more precious than rubies and she greatly enriched his life.  When her dementia reached the point that she needed lots of care, Dad said, “She has taken care of me for more than 60 years, now I need to do everything I can to take care of her.”


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(15) She gets up before dawn to prepare breakfast for her household. (17) She is energetic and strong, a hard worker.

Her youngest grandson, Travis particularly remembers those breakfasts she prepared as being special.  In fact, one of the favorite memories of all the grandchildren is breakfast at Mammaw’s. 

Mom was a very hard worker.  For more than 35 years, they milked cows.  Mom would get up at 4 AM go milk, then prepare breakfast.  Throughout the day she took care of everything else around the house, Then in the afternoon, she would go back to the barn and milk again.  Then back to the house to fix supper.  For 35 years, she did that every day, seven days a week with never a vacation or break.  The only times she missed was a couple of times when she suffered a broken bone and couldn’t help.  Remarkable.

Carla remembers that she was in college the first time Mom broke her arm.  It was around Christmas and she came home.  She and Dad together took on the task of doing what Mom usually did.  According to her that proved to be an impossible task.  She said that she and Dad would often laugh about their joint effort to make gravy and how they enjoyed every slice.

Shortly after they sold the dairy cattle and quit milking, I asked her if she was enjoying not having to get up so early and go to the barn and milk.  Her response surprised me but really shouldn’t have.  She said “To tell you the truth, I kinda miss it.”

 Carla says: “I would like to be the hard worker that she was.  She never seemed to be idle.  If she wasn’t at the barn, or in the garden, or canning, or freezing, or housework, she was quilting or reading or doing needlepoint.”

When Mom and Dad sold the farm and moved to town, they continued to get up early and walk.  We came to visit and Mom was telling me that they walked every morning.  Then she said “Of course, we won’t walk while you all are here.”  I asked her what time they walked and she said “we meet Mary Nell Graham down at her house at ten til five each morning.”  I quickly told her that they could go ahead and walk and it would not interfere with our visit in the least.

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(20) She extends a helping hand to the poor and opens her arms to the needy.

Mom did a lot of things for a lot of people.  There was her aunt, Ollie Beauchamp, both my grandmothers, and Aunt Virgie Wilson.  As all of those reached the point in their lives that they needed help, Mom was there to help see to those needs.  Grandson Christopher said when he thinks of Mammaw he remembers her sitting at Granny Beauchamps side at the nursing home.  She was so committed to caring for Granny.

 In addition, she kept in touch with a lot of people by phone.  She checked on them regularly, making sure they were doing ok.  I used to tease her some times when the phone would ring and she would begin to talk.  Often, I could tell who she was talking to by the tone of her voice.  She would unconsciously take on some of their speech patterns.

 For most all of my adult life, I have lived a long way off.  Mom was a faithful letter writer and a very good letter writer.  Her letters were filled with news and kept us up to date on what was going on in their lives.  When the granddaughters left home, she did not forget them and wrote letters to them.  Where she found the time, I don’t know, but her love and concern for people was wonderfully demonstrated by her actions.  Ruth mentioned how she accepted people into her world whether it be into the family or  new neighbors or wherever.  She showed her love.

(26) When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness. (27) She carefully watches everything in her household and suffers nothing from laziness.

It was a very rare thing to hear Mom say anything bad about anyone and if she felt it necessary she was extremely uncomfortable doing it.  Gentleness and kindness were such a strong part of her makeup.

 Anne: I cannot think of a better example of a person who showed the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) in her daily living, her demeanor, her relationships, and every word I ever heard her speak.  She was an amazing woman.  Over the years as a mother myself, I have prayed for  and sought ways to achieve the fruit of gentleness. I’ve always hoped my kids would look back on their raising and remember me as a gentle mother.  Though I have not achieved that myself, I can confidently say that is a legacy left by Mammaw, a gentle mother and grandmother, an excellent role model for me.  I especially love the verse “Let your gentleness be evident to all.  The Lord is near.” Philippians 4:5.  Mammaw’s gentleness was evident to us all, as she clearly walked closely with our Lord.

There is a bit of irony in Anne’s mention of the fruits of the Spirit.  If I was at home, I would be teaching a Sunday School lesson tomorrow from Galatians 5 which contains the teaching about the fruits of the Spirit.  I agree with Anne that Mom’s life showed the fruits of the Spirit and is a strong affirmation of her faith.

(28) Her children stand and bless her.

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Thoughts from the children and grandchildren.

Carla: It seemed to me Mom always knew what to say in any situation, good times or bad.  In our family, it’s a good thing she did.  I remember her always helping people out in any way she could.  Amongst our musical family, Mom was completely tone deaf.  But, when we were little, I remember her singing hymns at home when no one else was around.  She knew all the words but there was no recognizable tune!  Everything I know about cooking Mom taught me.  Some things I never mastered, like the yeast rolls she would let rise behind the coal stove in the winter or the jam cake with brown sugar icing.  I have loved her, looked up to her, been supported and guided by her all my life.

 Mark:  What always stands out to me is that I never heard her say a single unkind thing about or to anyone.  I never heard her raise her voice or even show any kind of frustration towards anyone.  She always sought out what she could do to make someone else happy.  She was as selfless a person as I have ever known.

 When I read what Mark said about her never raising her voice or even showing any frustration, I was prepared to share that I had managed to provoke Mom’s wrath on a number of occasions.  However, Christopher shared a story that topped anything I had to offer in that realm. 

 He said: For many years , I viewed Grandad’s job as a dairy farmer as one of the toughest jobs I knew of.  The physical labor aspect, the time commitment, the zero days of vacation.  But as I’ve grown older, I realize the toughest job may actually be the wife of a dairy farmer.  Not only do you share the responsibilities of farming, but you are also the caregiver of the family, the doctor, the chef, and in the case of Mammaw, the disciplinarian.  Grandad would never lay a finger on me.  The same could not be said for Mammaw.  I’ve been spanked with a switch one time in my life and Mammaw has the honor of being on the safe end of that spanking.

 I believe I was about 9 years old.  Mammaw and I were outside the house.  I’m not sure what happened, but if I were to guess, I would say she was making me help her with something that I really didn’t want to help with.  Things escalated and I ended up cussing at Mammaw.  I immediately regretted that decision.  In one motion, Mammaw snatched me up with her left hand, broke off a switch with her right, and wore me out.  Looking back on it, it was a pretty impressive athletic move on her part.  Needless to say, I never did that again.

Karen: I had the same thought as both Mark and Anne.  Gentle.  Even if she was asking us not to do something, she was always gentle. 

I naively did not think much about it as a kid, but I am amazed now at her strength/endurance/dependability(not sure I can find the perfect word I am looking for), but who works that many years with no days off?  So diligent, every morning starting at 4 AM.  It is remarkable.

 I admire how she served us all, but especially watching her take care of granddad.When they got concerned about their health, they changed their lifestyle… the way she cooked and those walks every morning in retirement.She set her mind to something and that was that.I remember once Grandad getting emotional when trying to tell us a story and she saw it and just picked up the rest of the story.So sweet.She loved him well.(a favorite memory would be looking through the giant JC Penney catalog to get ideas for what we might want for Christmas.  Also, the meals! For sure her cooking. 

Trav also mentioned remembering sitting in Mammaw’s lap and her reading to him.  Thursday afternoon we were looking at some pictures and we came across a picture of several of the grandchildren sitting in Mammaw’s lap and she was reading to them.  The expression on her face was one of absolute contentment and joy.

There was a stage in Mom’s dementia when she thought that she was not at home.  Every day she wanted to go home.  She felt the need to check on her Mom and Dad.  There is a sense in which she had it right even in her confusion.  This life is a temporary stop on our eternal journey.  In the best sense of the word, Mom is home now.  Again, Christopher sums it up beautifully.  As much as she will be missed, I’m so glad that she no longer has to deal with Alzheimers.  Revelations 21:4 is used often when dealing with death, but it is especially relevant for someone who has battled this brutal disease fpr as long as Mammaw has.  “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”  Mammaw no longer has to be forgetful or be confused.  She is again with Grandad, Granny and family members that have gone before.  For that I’m thankful.  Well said!”

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Bro. Billy Carter officiated the service and his first comments were about how much better our world would be if we lived our lives as content as Edna Ferry lived hers. If we loved and cared for those around us the way she did, if we all felt blessed by God for the things we have, and if we lived our lives with a servant’s heart - our world would truly be a better place.

“Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have.”
*This was one of Mammaw Edna’s favorite sayings.*

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E.B. and Edna Ferry

Mark’s grandparents touched the lives of many, including my own. I am a better person having known them. I am in awe of the legacy they have left behind to their family, friends, neighbors, and community. My heart’s desire is to continue their legacy in the way I love others, the way I love Mark and our children, and to pass on to our grandchildren someday.

Thank you for allowing me to share today. I hope their story touches your life as well. And thank you to my father-in-law, Mike, for allowing me to share some of his heartfelt words about his mom. She will forever be cherished in our hearts.

Happy Monday, friends!

XO

LIFE LATELY

Hello Friends and Happy Monday!

It has been a quite a while since I blogged. I had been catching up and sharing about some of our summer trips in early October when we received a call that Mark’s sweet grandmother had gone to be with Jesus. It was unexpected and within less than 24 hours, Mark and I were headed to Kentucky. I’ll share more about his precious grandmother later this week.

All that to say, I came home and had to play some catch up with my business and clients after being gone almost a week. We were in the middle of finishing up soccer and football seasons and starting basketball with the boys and my days have just been crazy busy. I’m thankful for a husband who today has insisted I take some time for myself and get back to blogging. (I love you, Mark Ferry!) I have missed my blogging friends and just sharing about what’s going on in our corner of the world! So, welcome back! I’m excited to see everyone again!

Grab your cup of coffee and get cozy! I have a TON to share with you about our life lately!

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Cutter Maddux, my little reader! If he isn’t playing a sport, you’ll find us at the library trying to keep this kiddo in books. He LOVES to read which makes his Mom and Dad SO happy! In fact, we are struggling to find some more series of books for him. If you know a good series or author for a 4th grader, please share!

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Cutter had perfect attendance for the first six weeks of school and his name was drawn to win this super cute frog! He was PUMPED!



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Cutter finished up his first flag football season in October. His team won 2nd Place!!


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This picture makes my heart so happy! Cutter was able to play on the same team as his cousin, Corban. They are best little friends and had THE BEST time this season!


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This guy had a birthday on October 25th and we celebrated BIG! He was able to get away from work early and we hit the movies (Mark’s favorite place to be!) while the kids were at school.

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I won’t say anything about how old he is but I will point out how HANDSOME he looks for 45!

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We attended a Michael Jackson concert that night! Ha!

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We had fun singing along!

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Our Middle School has pep rallies for the 7th & 8th grade football teams on Thursdays and they have a theme for each pep rally where the students can dress up and participate. This week’s theme was “Super Heroes”. Carson dressed up as Batman and his friends LOVED it! He had a lot of fun dressing up this year! I still can’t believe he’s old enough to be in middle school!

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Halloween this year was cold and rainy. We started our night off with a visit to Mark’s grandmother. Cutter was a ninja and Carson wanted to wear a blue morph suit. (I think he wanted to be like his big brother! Conner wore one last year!)

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Thankfully, the rain let up for a little bit and we were able to get in some trick or treating with cousins. They had a blast! (What happened to Cutter’s other eye?! Ha!)

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Cutter also finished up his soccer season in the past few weeks.

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November soccer is COLD! I was bundled up like a burrito and with MANY layers to make it through the soccer tournament.

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His team were the tournament CHAMPIONS!

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I love this kid so much! He has worked really hard and his team has come so far in learning soccer and their roles on the field. We love our Legends family!

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He also placed 1st for the Fall season! We missed the game where they received their trophies because Mark and I had headed to Arlington to watch Conner’s first varsity basketball game. #multiplekidprobs I snapped this pic with his trophy when we got home!

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Cutter’s school had a Veteran’s Day program in honor of our Veterans. They did such a good job!


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The post office was closed that Monday which meant Mark had a day off! We attended Cutter’s program then spent the day together. We went to breakfast and Christmas shopped! It was cold and we had our first snow flurries. It was THE PERFECT day!

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November also meant the start of basketball season! We are a basketball loving family and this is one of our favorite times of year!!

Conner made the high school varsity team. We love cheering on our #44!

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Yes, I’m the mom who takes pictures during warm-ups before the games too. Ha!

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We are so excited to watch him play his passion!

That’s a little of what we’ve been up to lately!


We are SUPER excited about this week because as much as we love Thanksgiving, the holiday means our college girl is coming home!!! Mom is surrounded by boys and needs her girl!

Have a great week, friends!
See you back here tomorrow!

XO