abel, lucy + those sunsets... times two.

i get to mother these two.
it's incredible + challenging, and i can't believe they're mine.
some days i'm waiting on 5 o'clock, or nap time, or a drive somewhere so that i can regain sanity for ten minutes, have my hands free, or enjoy a starbucks and share with no one... that's some truth right there. more often than not though, i am the happiest happy camper you ever did see.
i told chris the other day that parenting is hard, and not for all the reasons "they" told you it would be. sure, i'd love to sleep through the night again someday, or stroll anthropologie without a meltdown or my stroller bumping into things, but it's not hard for those types of reasons... it's hard for all of the other reasons. we are raising people... the next generation, and at the same time, we are watching our legacy unfold all too quickly before our eyes. i mean, lucy is already 7 months you guys... where's that bottle i always talk about?? you know, the one big enough to store + save all the moments, and smells, and hugs, and giggles...
it's walking around with your heart outside of your body, worrying (trying not to) about things you never even considered before being a parent. it's time outs + hugs + dance parties in the living room... diaper changing, boo boo kissing, teaching them to be kind, and constantly picking up toys... and one day i know that parenting will look very different, and that they'll need me in a whole new way, and i them. 
it's life filling and heart breaking and joy giving, and so much more, and as i put lucy to bed the other night it hit me... i was chosen. God entrusted ME with their lives. to love and protect their beautiful spirits and raise them up. i do not feel worthy, but am grateful that it's not up to me. it was up to Him, and he chose me. thank you.

+ now...
abel at 3 months shy of two and a half- mr. marks-a-lot, i guess it could have been the walls...
lucy at 7 months...
+ the prettiest sunset you ever did see.

my twonager.
my heart on the floor...
+ the prettiest sunset you ever did see... again :)

dallas + hope spoken

a couple weeks ago (okay, a month) my sister and i found ourselves in dallas for one of my favorite weekends of 2015 so far... Hope Spoken. it's a women's conference started by three of my favorite bloggers, "celebrating the hope we have in Jesus and sharing our stories for His glory." i had dreamed of going, as did many others, because the tickets sold out in a ridiculous, under 24 hours amount of time + i wasn't one of the lucky ones. BUT, what felt random, but was obviously so meant to be, a giveaway came about for two tickets and we got them... i mean, i never win anything, but this was gold. 
the weekend was wonderful. i left my babies for the first time EVER in the history of being a mother, and it was so hard +  i thought i might not get myself to pull out of the driveway, but i prayed and asked God to help me let go + have open hands, and trust Chris as my partner to take the best care of them... and as expected, he did. (we're talking videos as he went into their room when lucy woke in the mornings, pictures galore + even updates on the diaper rash i had left behind... :) he's a good daddy + husband.) i was thankful to have left them in good hands, and to have taken the weekend for myself and for my own spirit to be rejuvenated. 
we met wonderful people, listened to some of the most wonderful speakers, ate and ate, saw some family, tried our first Sprinkles Cupcake ATM + bonded as sisters even more than i thought we were capable of. it was truly a wonderful weekend. i naturally took a couple billion photos + so here we are! our weekend in dallas for hope spoken, in pictures...
our first day in town we had a few hours to kill before the event started, not enough time to venture to our hometown to see any of our family unfortunately, but enough time to grab an uber and find a place we had never been for lunch! we chose potbelly sandwich works... if you know me, this might surprise you that i'd even consider a place with that name... but the cute atmosphere won. two thumbs up for the food as well, and we were on our way to the event!
the decorations at the event were soooo beautiful... like want them in my home year round beautiful. we all got checked in, met our precious small group leader, ate too many sweets + heard our first speaker, jen hatmaker... she is so funny, and AMEN, i needed to hear what she had to say. we finished the night worshipping with Jason Castro, and it was truly so special + i still couldn't believe we were actually there.
^^^i'm not gluten free, but the gluten filled table had already been seriously nommed on + wasn't picture worthy anymore, so gluten free photo it is!

day two!
^^^i mean, we hardly knew what to do with ourselves without babies around
^^^got to see our aunt + uncle who lived only a couple minutes from where we were staying! SUCH a great night with them, honestly it was probably my favorite night of the weekend! lemondrop martinis, cupcakes + good conversation are always wins for me, plus my uncle greg says funny things like, "she's a teacup + saucer away from a full place setting" when referring to someone's crazy... crying laughing emojis for days.
^^^the sweetest small group around. SO happy to have spent the weekend with these wonderful women + to have had Mandy Castro leading us! Thank you Jesus!

lucky number seven.

i thought before lucy was 8 months old would be a great time to mention that she is 7 (and a half) months! two teeth, crawlin' everywhere, pullin' up on everything, trying new foods + still being the sweetest thing since the chocolate chip cookie. aside from the milestones, i never want to forget the little things she does that make her, her. like the way she lays her head onto my shoulder when she's feeling shy, or when she's just woken up... or the fact that she crawls the same way abel did, one leg scootchin'. the way she claps her hands + how she grumbles herself to sleep when we're driving in the car. she LOVES the bath, and she adores abel + everything he does... it's pretty sweet that she thinks anytime he runs around or does something funny, that it was JUST for her. she laughs + gets excited, and starts bouncing on her booty like she's cheering him on. early riser, thumb sucker, mama snuggler, and that sparkle in her eye is still shining brighter than ever, i love her. 

i love you lemon + an IG giveaway!

anything that can exfoliate your skin, freshen your breath, clean your kitchen, AND top a cupcake... count me in. 
young living lemon essential oil that is...
if you've been out in the world, or just on instagram for even 5 minutes lately, then you've probably heard that essential oils are all the rage right now, and with good reason!
i'm a total beginner when it comes to oils, but when sweet Kaylan sent me some samples of this stuff, i was excited to play around with it! i researched some of it's uses and found this great list HERE.  
i personally used it for detox, cold sore prevention, and what i so lovingly bring to you in this post... lemon sugar scrub. i am allll about a good sugar scrub, it's pretty much the only pampering i do on a regular basis, and i take it very seriously :) 
it was so easy to make + smells so wonderfully lemony, PLUS knowing that it increases the luster in dull skin, rejuvenates sagging or tired looking skin, helps treat breakouts, increases concentration and alertness AND helps remove mental fatigue, exhaustion, nervousness or negative energy... well that's just a win win for all of us. i wish i could make a batch for you... BUT it's probably more realistic of me to share the recipe instead- HERE, and give you some essential oil of your very own to use! so i'll do just that... today through friday, head over to my instagram (@mrshillarysal) and enter to win a bottle of Young Living, Peace + Calming Essential Oil
... i mean, who doesn't need some peace and some calm? insert hand raising emoji here.
go + getcha some!

em-eye-aye + exciting news!

missing in action is right... at least here on the blog front. i've got a minimum of 7 drafts waiting to be finished, pictures on pictures waiting to be edited + uploaded + arranged for your viewing pleasure, and the rest of life has felt a little bit like that too lately. no really.... i've handwashed three sink-fulls of dishes in the past week, just to avoid unloading the dishwasher, oy.
i'm such a one track mind... when i get an idea in my head to do something, it's got to be start to finish, no pit stops... (now i see where abel gets it). so i focused my mind on this specific task, one that definitely deserved some focus, + though other things have been back burnered, i'm excited to announce that that ol' "photography" tab at the top of this page (or this link HERE if you're on bloglovin')... well it now officially links to a real life website for my photography business... huzzah!
i've been timid about sharing this + plunging head first into this venture, but after a long time of maybe-ing + more than a handful of affirmations from the Lord that this was something i needed to do, i'm here. photographer... 
it just feels brave for me to say out loud that i'm not dabbling + that i'm going all in. so tell your sister, your mom, your friend + your dog... i want to take your picture! + in the meantime, head on over and see what's up on the other side of "the hill".
lastly... this means i can finally dust off this sad, neglected blog + give you your daily dose of my children... since i know you've missed them ;)
love to you on this fine tuesday, i hope you're full of joy today + every day.