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// Valedictorian

Mike graduated (the first phase) of nursing school on Friday! You may remember last year when we announced he'd be pursuing this career path, I was oh so excited and ready for him to get started. Well, a year has come and gone and boy am I glad that's over! Y'all, this year has been the hardest of our lives. I'm not even going to sugarcoat it. There were a lot of tears, a lot of nights going to bed at radically different hours, lots of missing each other and feeling generally overwhelmed and stretched entirely too thin. I think we would have both felt that way even if we didn't have a new baby to toss into the mix... but that dangerous combination was almost too much to bear at times.

Mike has worked so hard and he put in so many hours over the past 12 months. I've always known he was a dedicated, capable guy, but this past year showed me just how incredible he is. And that's exactly what landed him the top spot in his class! Yep, he was the valedictorian! Such a testament to his perseverance and work ethic. He still has to go to school this entire week (because that makes a lot of sense...) and study for the NCLEX coming up, but then he'll be home for a couple of weeks potentially while he waits for his NCLEX placement and then hunts for a job. Part of me is so relieved to soon be a two-income family rather than trying to juggle my design clients and painting clients in between naps and feeds, but I'm also nervous about the hours he'll be scheduled and the hectic world he's about to be thrown into. Not only that, but he will start with his pre-req classes for RN school soon, too. We'll have ~2 years of RN school to struggle through, and then another few years of grad school until he gets his Masters and becomes a Nurse Practitioner. The goal has been Dr. Michael Flynn, DNP when it's all said and done, but I'm personally taking it one day at time. I think anyone else with a spouse in the nursing field can attest to just how difficult it can be to be their partner, especially in the thick of the schooling. I'm hoping this was our hardest year, and that things will get a little easier since Linden is getting older and we both know sort of what to expect from nursing school.

I knew it'd be difficult, but I was absolutely not prepared for just how hard it would be... on both of us. We're still not out of the woods just yet. Boards to be taken, licenses to be acquired, jobs to find and new routines to get in the swing of. My hope is that if we can make it through this, we can make it through anything. 

I'm so proud of my husband. So proud that I even suggested he buy a new guitar and amp... so clearly all the stress has made me insane haha xo

// Bunny Hop

Here's another Zombie Bunny outfit post! This cardigan is so bright and fun and frilly. I love that the little zombie bunny is sort of a "surprise" when you see it. Generally I tend to prefer cardigans with 3/4 sleeves, but you can't deny how cute the lace trim is. I know there's the whole "no white" rule before Memorial Day/after Labor Day, but who really goes by those?! I picked up this dress at Old Navy a few weeks ago. Of course I paid full price and then it was 40% off like 2 days later... haha I bought the navy version, too. The eyelet detail is so perfect for Spring. I couldn't decide between two necklaces so I let Mike choose. He opted for this cascading gold number that I got from Stitch Fix a while back. I thought it was only fitting to pair my zombie bunny cardigan with my skull flats haha I realize now that we didn't get a good photo of my Amore bangle from Stitch Fix, but I love how dainty it is. I'm also all kinds of in love with this jade ring from Rocksbox. I ended up sending it back, but I think I might request it again and then buy it. (I'm having way too much fun with Rocksbox. I forgot how fun jewelry was! Even though I still can't really wear it a lot because baby hands!)

Last week was kind of crazy at our house. My birthday, heading out of town for a few evenings, lots and lots of driving, Toby being on spring break, Mike and Linden both starting to come down with a cold, and days worth of Easter festivities with family. I am zonked! Don't even get me started on the design work and signs I didn't manage to do. Luckily everything is still on schedule, but this week won't be much better in terms of spare time. Toby's baseball games start this week, so we have 2 nights a week to spend at the ballpark. Mike is gearing up to take his last final! He graduates next Friday! (WHAT!) I've been working on organizing a small party for him after his graduation. Then it'll be full time studying for the NCLEX. I'm just over here trying to keep everyone alive haha My best friend Elle called me on my birthday and asked how things were going. I told her I live very simply these days. If everyone makes it to bed breathing, the day is a success! 

April showers bring May flowers is in full effect this week. Rain out the wazoo! I'm hoping there will be a few thunderstorms sprinkled in because I love me some thunder and lightning. I know the heat isn't far off though, so I'm trying to relish in the 70 degree temps as much as I can. I can't wait for next weekend because I'll be in the clear to start planting flowers in the front yard. Ahhhhh, I love Spring! Hope y'all are having a great week so far! xo

Stitch Fix necklace
Stitch Fix "amore" bangle
Margaret Elizabeth ring via Rocksbox
Martina flats c/o Loly in the Sky

PS; Get your first month of Rocksbox for FREE with the code KAELAHBFF. You basically get to "rent" the jewelry for as long as you want, and/or buy it at a discounted price. Don't love it or you're done with it? Ship it back in their prepaid mailer and get another box!

// Linden Atlas - Eight Months

I'm only two weeks late posting this, but you know, life. Linden turned eight months old on March 23rd and he's been a little hellion ever since! He's crawling, standing, grabbing things he shouldn't possibly be able to reach, and he finally got a hold of the dog food. We take it one day at a time around here! All of these pictures and milestones are from when he was seven months, of course, but it's so crazy how he's already changed so much in just two weeks. I'm honestly not sure how I'm already posting his eight month milestone post! I feel like you don't really understand the concept of time until you have a kid. Maybe I'm biased or jaded or whatever, but time feels so different with a baby around. Even with Toby, it seemed to go much slower. Maybe that's because he came to live with us just after turning three, whereas we've seen Linden evolve since day one. Of course I catch myself looking at Toby and thinking "Who is this teenager?!" haha Six has it's own set of challenges, but six years and eight months... phew! I have my work cut out for me.

At seven months, Linden:
- weighed 19.5 pounds. 
- slept through the night twice! 7.5 hours and 9.5 hours (!!!!!!)
- started growing some actual hair! even if it's super wispy still haha
- transitioned into his own room (!) and sleeps in his crib every night
- pulls up on everything and can stand on his own for a few seconds
- got the thumbs up to slowly start introducing dairy again
- was the lucky recipient of 300 ounces of donor milk from a friend (!)

I can't wait to share all of the exciting things happening at eight months, too! I know I'm going to love being able to look back on these monthly posts and remember what the days were like. Seriously, just two weeks late and I've already forgotten most of what happened when he was seven months... Yikes! xo

See other Monthly Linden posts here.

// Easter Bunny

Happy (almost) Easter! This dress is all sorts of ridiculous (in the best way) and it felt appropriate to share this weekend. Truth be told I've just been so swamped I haven't had a chance to worry about getting dressed up... much less taking photos of it haha! But y'all know I'm a fan of a good ol' novelty print and this is exactly that! It definitely turned some heads. I wore the matching cardigan another day and loved how subtle it was in comparison. The pink of this dress is just so so perfect. And the fit is great, too. (If you're more of a shirtdress gal, Sourpuss has another version on their site). The day we shot these started out so pretty. While we were standing there getting ready to shoot, it started spitting freezing rain and, what is that?!, snow! Chunks of crushed ice equivalent precipitation, falling from the sky, when it was 50 something degrees. It was wild. Then all of a sudden it was downpouring! Like crazy hard. We ran to the car and ran some errands while we waited on it to pass. Afterward we attempted to shoot again but the wind was insane and it had turned off cold. We managed to snag a couple photos before freezing to the bone haha The things we do for blog photos...

This week has been full on design work, sign paintings, and trying to keep my head above water. Linden has come down with a cold and Toby is on Spring Break. I had to go out of town two evenings this week and I didn't get home until well after 10 both nights. It's sort of thrown my routine off a bit, but it was well worth it. Last night I got tattooed for about 4 hours and enjoyed my "me" time. It was much needed at that point haha Tomorrow I'm looking forward to lunch and an Easter egg hunt with Mike's side of the family, and then Sunday will be spent at Easter dinner with my side. Here's to hoping our littlest Flynn feels chipper enough to take part in the festivities. I'm so excited for the boys to get their Easter baskets! I went a little overboard on Toby's (on accident). I like to get one thing here or there as the holidays are approaching, but then I forget what I've already bought and I end up with entirely too much stuff. We're not even religious, so we don't really celebrate Easter, but a lot of our family does so we participate in the family portions. But I'd be lying if I said I didn't enjoy having an excuse to buy the boys fun things like stuffed animals and treats (gummies for Toby and teething cookies for Linden).

Here's to a family-filled weekend! Hope y'all have a great one, too! Whether you celebrate Easter or not! xo

Pink Martini cardigan via Stitch Fix

PS; How amazing is this "I Hate You" dress?! haha

// Things I Love Thursday v.222

♥ this. this this this. (i needed the reminder today) ♥
this is the cutest little thing ♥
♥ this robin williams quote ♥
these adorable ms. cat illustrations ♥
♥ this is why i love tumblr ♥
this wallpaper is insane in the best way! ♥
this is everything! girls do science - eff yea! ♥
♥ this is the perfect reminder! (how have you treated yo'self lately?!) ♥
♥ i hope you enjoyed this week's TiLT post hahahaha now for the links! ♥

// Have you seen the "Mine Through Time" video from the comedy trio SketchShe?! It's so so good!

// What it's like to be intersex.

// I just got a pair of these super fun leggings in the mail. They just launched a Kickstarter so check it out!

// Groupon posted this product on Facebook, and then replied to everyone who made a sex joke. LOVE the sense of humor behind the social media coordinator(s) at Groupon!

// Roxy has been nailing it lately on her blog! Loved getting a peek at the Texas Style Council and all her shenanigans.

What are you loving this week?

PS; Watch this baby hippo learn how to swim!