A Little Catch-Up & Family Pictures

We're home from our extended family vacation, and I can honestly say it was wonderful. The first 5 days were just me, C and A, and it was so nice to spend some quiet time alone. The next week we met up with C's family in a different part of Maine (where Craig vacationed as a child), and we had such a fun week. A loved being with his little cousin (whom he calls BB) and loved being spoiled by his grandparents & aunt and uncle. We even managed to sneak away for an adults-only dinner! ;)

I still have to download all of our pictures (a task I don't yet have the energy for) so that I can share them here. In case you were wondering, no... we didn't get that "perfect" family picture I was hoping for. I did, however, get some great pictures of A, and I'm so excited to share them. You can feel his joy in all of them: he was running and jumping and screaming on the beach, in all of his toddler-boy-glory. He had SO.MUCH.FUN, and I've poured through the pictures at least 3 times the last few days, just to see that smile on his face.

We were greeted at home with a package from our photographer, and the pictures he took back in June of our little family. LOVE them all. Seriously. He captured A's personality perfectly, something I feel is always missing from my pictures with him. Oh yeah, and there's some of Otto, too!

Here are some of our favorites!

Hope you all are having a great week!


Pinterest Dream Homes: Guest Post from Emily

Thursday already?! Hope you all are having a great week! 

Today's Pinterest Dream Home is from Emily at Dear Owen. Emily is probably my first blog-turned-real-life-friend, that I've never really met. She's as sincere and authentic as they come, and we've spent many emails and g-chats bonding over our boys that don't sleep and the wonders of motherhood. If you don't already read her blog, you should. Her little boy Owen is the cutest little one year old in town, and pictures of him are sure to put a smile on your face.


Hi sweet Earning Our Stripes readers!!!! I'm Emily from Dear Owen, and I am thrilled to be here today at Earning Our Stripes. I think you all know (but just in case you don't) how sweet, and genuine Jillian is. Her blog is a daily read of mine and I really, really hope to get to "meet" her in real-life one day soon. Y'all she's one of a kind-really she is, and her projects always have my wheels turning and ready to attempt to tackle my never ending "to-do" list.  

 Jillian- I hope you are having a great family getaway in the beautiful northeast while us southerns are melting away!! 

 Anyways, thanks again Jillian for letting me share my dream home.
This was waaay too much fun to put together.  

My dream home would be a beautifully renovated and restored old country farmhouse on plenty of acreage, filled with gorgeous old oak trees. 

Country Home with wrap around porch.

one end of the large spacious  porch would have an awesome porch swing with lots of beautiful pillows. I heart pillows, the hubby not so much but in my "dream world" he would of course love them! This would be the perfect place for sipping iced tea and relaxing 

Lowcountry Architect: "I" House or Plantation Plain Style

and at the other end there would be two perfectly white rocking chairs surrounded by gorgeous plants. (that I couldn't kill!) 

Classic southern charm on this porch

upon entering this little dream home you would find 

A cozy entry way that would be perfect to welcome lots, and lots of family and friends. 

love this cozy entry way

 there would also  be plenty of room for an old antique church pew and tons of family pictures 

perfect church pew

the entry way would open right up to the living room 


dining room with a large table to seat many guests and hold a ton of great food. 

great way to match a country raw wood table and classic chairs I'll do the same in my dining room

There would be an amazing laundry room with gorgeous cabinets- plenty of folding space and baskets galore. These stone floors would also be a necessity and they must be laid in a herringbone pattern just like these. 

a mudroom filled with gorgeous antique furniture and double lanterns would come right off the screened in front porch on the side of the house. 

Love this area

 Screened in side porch
Side Porch

a soft, white open kitchen with one end  opening to a seating area/keeping room
kitchen with tv nook

and the other end with a little cozy table and bench that opens up to 
Open kitchen design

this amazing porch 

Amazing outdoor living and dining space

and the back yard with ample green space,  lots of trees, and of course, a pool. 


oh, and a little old barn perfect for parties, complete with a barn swing

Barn swing!!!!! better than a front porch swing?

upstairs at one end of the long hallway would be a cozy reading nook with plenty of book storage and a comfy place to lounge with a really great red light fixture. This seems like a perfect place for a red light fixture, right?

Reading Nook

The master bedroom would have to have an amazing view of the acreage, a cozy fireplace, a wonderfully old chandelier and luxurious bedding.

the master bedroom would need an on suite, similar to this

Houzz - Pine Street Carpenters

Owen's room 

6th Street Design School | Kirsten Krason Interiors

and an amazing playroom 

adorable everything

But most importantly, this dream home of mine would be filled to the brim with love, laughter, celebrations, memories, and people. That's what makes a dream home a home, right? A place where everyone feels welcomed, and loved, and not a single person leaves a stranger but instead, a new friend.

 This would be my dream home.

Thanks again for letting me share.
Happy Day, Friends! Feel free to visit me at Dear Owen!!


This is why we are friends... Emily, I'm moving in :)
Gorgeous! Love it all!

Hope you all enjoyed this little series! I'll be back next week with my very own Pinterest dream home...

... But in the meantime I'll be enjoying our last few days of sunshine and trying to get that perfect-beach-family-picture. Am I the only one that has to have at least one family picture that I love from vacation? Here's to trying!



Pinterest Dream Homes: Guest Post from Colleen

Happy Wednesday, friends!

Back today with another Pinterest Dream Home post, this time with Colleen from Meet the Sullivans!

Colleen is so incredibly sweet and genuine, and mom to the cutest little guy, Owen. I only started reading her blog a few months ago, but it has quickly become one of my favorites! I love her candidness and peek into her real life, and her posts about San Fran make me a little jealous we don't live on the west coast!


Hello! I'm Colleen Sullivan, author of Meet the Sullivans! I am thrilled to be here today sharing my dream home with you and so thankful to the lovely Jillian for allowing me to be here on her fabulous blog while she is on vacation!

I am wife to Keith and mom to 18-month-old Owen. In a former life I was a kindergarten teacher, but for now I'm a stay-at-home mom (and loving it). We are not home owners, not yet. I know it will probably take us a few years longer to get to the point where we can buy a home (we made that choice when we decided I'd be staying home with Owen), and in our area (Northern California, just outside San Francisco) our first home will likely not be the home of our dreams -- not yet, at least! But a girl can dream... RIGHT?!

Our dream home is a family friendly space that welcomes playing and laughter, space to cook great meals and comfy couches for watching movies together. I would like the living space to be large enough for the parties we love to host, while also feeling cozy enough for daily living.  I love using Pinterest to collect all of my "dream home" inspirations. You can follow my Dream Home board here.

If I were to build one home out of what I have there, this is what it would look like:

Ever since I watched Father of the Bride as a little girl I have dreamed of raising my own family in a White Colonial home! I love the traditionally American bright white exterior and a creamy white entryway with dark accents on the staircase and flooring

An open, bright family room with built-ins for family photos, cookbook storage, keepsakes in shelving. Room for flat screen to be mounted, ideally with a sliding door to hide it when necessary. White on white kitchen with window seating around kitchen table.

I would love a little home office space right in the middle of all the action. It would be great to have a space (that is not the kitchen counter or table) for paying bills, keeping calendars, blogging, etc that is designated for all of that and from which I can work, but also have an eye on Owen or dinner simmering on the stove.


I would die to have a laundry room, period. Especially one as beautiful as this! I love the colors and that there is a door that leads outside. That way when we have lots of fun getting all messy in the yard we can throw Owen's clothes directly into the wash!

A master bedroom with a fireplace, a window seat reading nook and a seating area is perfection to me. I'd love to be able to just curl up in bed with the fire going and a good book -- if I ever had the time!

A master bathroom like this would just be a dream! I can't even tell you how much everything would be if we had double sinks. I don't totally love the marble on the floor, but the rest is perfect--especially the sunk-in tub and shelving.


Owen would be in heaven in a playroom like this! Check out the fort / tree house, rock climbing wall, cozy chairs, window seat reading nook and slide!


Love this dream home! That kitchen is just gorgeous, and so is that family room! Thank you so much for sharing Colleen! And if you don't already read Colleen's blog, make sure to head over and check it out!

Be back tomorrow with one more lovely lady!


Pinterest Dream Homes: Guest Post from Lyndsey

Well, well...

Here I am, a two weeks later.... after proclaiming "I'm Back!", I took another little bloggy break. Right now, we're enjoying each other, and the summer, and this little space has taken a back seat. Can I be honest? I'm totally OK with it.

So while we're off enjoying some family time this week, I have some of my favorite bloggers sharing their dream homes! I asked these ladies to share what their dream home would look like, inside and out, strictly from Pinterest. I'd love to take credit for the idea, but really my sweet friend Emily came up with it!

First up: Lyndsey from Life.Laughter.Love.Loflands!
I've been reading Lyndsey's blog since we were both pregnant with our boys - we had the same due date, and our little guys were born a few weeks apart. Ever since, it's been so fun to follow along and see our little guys hit milestones around the same time, and I am SO excited for Lyndsey to welcome her little girl this fall! Always incredibly sweet and funny, her blog is hands-down one of my favorites!


Hello! I'm Lyndsey from Life.Laughter.Love.Loflands, and I am super excited and honored to be guest posting on Jillian's blog today! And also super jealous that it's because she's on a fabulous vacation with her family. But mostly excited and honored :)

I absolutely loved the theme Jillian chose for us to blog about the second I read it! I used to love flipping through home decor magazines and drooling over the beautiful houses page after page. Now thanks to Pinterest, I can feed my addiction for free! I, along with the rest of the Pinterest community I'm sure, have a board dedicated to spaces I adore and would someday love to have in my dream home. Today I'd love to share just a few of my favorites with you!

My husband and I built our starter home a year into our marriage. We envisioned a cute little space to call our own and one day bring our baby (now babies!) home to. While I love our house and all the memories it holds, it certainly doesn't have all the bells and whistles of a "dream home." This is where the lovely and addicting Pinterest comes into play - my little space to tuck away all the images of what I envision our forever home would look like!


First off, my dream home would be a beautiful Arts & Craftsman style house oozing with character and charm all the while being fully updated with all the latest amenities. Only the best for my dream house! 

By the way, this style of house straight up doesn't exist in Texas. Like, I've never actually seen one in person. So there's that. But they are always the ones I hope the couple picks on House Hunters whenever I see them, so I'm pretty positive I would love one of my own! :)

I'm really into beams right now and would have to have them in the living room. I love all things white and bright, but dark wood beams just scream warm and cozy to me.

The living room would then open up to my dream kitchen. All white with an insane amount of natural light. 

Oh, and I might as well have a pantry that looks like this. And since it's my dream, I'll go ahead and pretend I would actually keep it this organized. 

Since our season of life right now pretty much revolves around our kiddo (and kiddo-to-be), I would need the most amazing playroom of all time. I'll take one of these please!

 And I've decided when the time comes to redo Liam's bathroom I would like to do a nautical theme.

Of course if he and Liesl end up sharing it will need some pink.

And last but not least, since it's summer in Texas, and I end up melting on a daily basis while trying to hide under our teeny tiny porch as Liam plays outside, a spacious and gorgeous outdoor space is a necessity. And our dogs wouldn't chew the legs or corners off any of the furniture, or sleep on it while we're gone and shed all over it, or jump up on it after they've been swimming in our equally amazing pool.  And our toddler wouldn't spill his applesauce on it, or wipe his Cheeto fingers across it, or set his popsicle down on it...nope, never!

You can check out my Home Pinterest board for more of my "dream home" ideas and inspiration! 

Thanks so much for having me Jillian! I hope you're enjoying soaking up these days with your boys while the rest of us sweat under our teeny tiny porches and silently hate you! Kidding! :)




Thanks Lyndsey! I have 2 more lovely ladies sharing their dream homes this week, so be sure to stop back!