Posted in Blog challenge

Blog Challenge Part 8

Hello and happy Tuesday. I hope your week is off to a great start.

I’m picking up where I left off with my blog challenge

…and tackling topics 16 and 17.

16. Dream Job

I know teaching might not be a “dream” job to some…but it is what I always wanted to do. My mom was a middle school Language Arts teacher. I always “played” school with my Barbies. I remember helping my mom grade spelling tests and thinking I was so cool. I always had good English teachers, and really never thought twice about being anything besides a teacher. Also, it’s a wonderful profession for raising a family. I’m home with the kids on snow days, on breaks and in the summer. While I have definitely had some difficult years, I really do think this is what I was meant to do.

Obviously, my dream job would be to hit the lottery…and never work again…haha

That being said, if I really had to start over, I would love an at home editing type job. I think it would be fun to read and edit content written for publication. I always wished I could be an author. I guess this blog takes the place of that dream just a little bit. When my mom retired, she worked at the public library. I could definitely see myself doing that a couple days a week when I retire (in less than 10 years!)

That being said, if I didn’t have to work, and could just volunteer, I would spend my time in schools…probably elementary just to help out wherever needed. I’ve never been able to do that since I’ve spent over twenty years with high schoolers. I think it would be fun to help teachers whether it’s make copies, help with testing or reading groups, serve lunch, go on field trips, and more. I would also volunteer at the Humane Society and hang out with dogs all day. Is holding NICU babies still a thing? I would hold a baby all day long if I could.

What’s your dream job?

17. Favorite Childhood Book

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love reading. I’ve shared before that both of my parents were (and are) readers. That habit was modeled for me often and from a very young age.

I loved the Madeline book when I was little. I even had two dolls. I got the second one because the first one I carried around so much it was dirty…and I think was missing an eye.

See…I really loved my Madeline doll.

Other reading memories:

In elementary school, some of the first books I remember listening to my teachers read to the class were Island of the Blue Dolphins in the 3rd grade and Z for Zachariah in the 4th grade. Dear Mr. Henshaw is one of the first books I remember checking out from school library. I also loved Ramona and Amelia Bedelia books; they are perfect for young readers.

I loved the Babysitter Club series. Loved it. I remember buying the books whenever a new one was published.

In middle school, we read Where the Red Fern Grows in 7th grade and The Outsiders in 8th grade and enjoyed them so much.

In high school, my 9th grade English teacher assigned The Great Gatsby to read over winter break, and I didn’t enjoy it. Then, I read it again in college, and I absolutely loved it. (I also made note that when I became a teacher to never assign a book for students to read over a break) 😉

In college, one of my favorite classes was all about young adult books. Every week, we were assigned a book to read, and then we created lesson plans for the books. We read: The Outsiders, The Giver, Chocolate Wars, The Great Gatsby, The Call of the Wild and more.

My first year teaching, my 9th graders read To Kill a Mockingbird. I had never read it which is pretty surprising to me looking back since it’s such a classic (9th grade) book. I had to read it to prep for the unit, and I loved it. Freshman still read this book although many teachers have started using the graphic novel. Of course, I prefer the original, but I will say the graphic novel does do it justice and holds the kids’ attention.

Guess who is a “bad” English teacher and doesn’t love teaching Shakespeare? This girl! Also, I haven’t read a single Harry Potter book, but I distinctly remember the 2004-05 school year, and I had so many students who loved those books. Obviously, they are still popular, but so students who never loved reading really loved those books. Hayden has read the first few, and he really enjoyed them.

I’m very grateful that I have a love of reading. Whether I became an English teacher or not, I think I would still be an avid reader.

What was your favorite childhood book?

Posted in Weekend Top 5

Hello Monday

Hello and happy Monday!

How was your weekend?

I’m linking up with Holly and Sarah to tell you all about ours.

We had a three day weekend with no school on Friday. I stayed up a late on Thursday night watching some of the basketball games since I knew I didn’t have school the next day.

Friday was St. Patrick’s Day. I slept in a bit (by my standards!) before getting up and having a couple of cups of coffee while watching tv and reading blogs.

I let the kids sleep in a bit, but then I made our traditional green pancakes for St. Patrick’s Day.

The kids had an indoor track meet in Louisville, so they prepped for that before Travis got home from work around 11. They left, and I decided to get a workout in before driving to their meet. My dad was visiting, so we just decided to drive a bit later and have less downtime at the meet.

This was a USATF meet, and both kids ran the 800. Hadley had a PR while Hayden won his heat and had a PR as well. They run in the 13-14 age group, and there kids from all across the country at this meet.

We watched a couple other races of kids that Travis coaches and snapped a few pics before heading home.

Yes, we spent more time in the car than at the meet. haha

We got home around 4:30 with plans to go to my brother’s house around 6. So, I read a bit, took a quick nap, and showered. Travis and Hayden went to the high school sweet 16 basketball game while my dad, Hadley and I went to my brother’s house.

We just kept it simple and ordered pizza. We watched the UK basketball game, and then headed home. It had been a long day, and I knew I had an early alarm on Saturday morning, so I went to bed at a decent time.

*Ugh* My alarm woke me at 6:45, and I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. I woke up around 3:45 and had trouble falling back asleep. When I did, I felt like my alarm woke me up.

I was moving pretty slowly, and I had to wake Hadley around 7:15 for her volleyball tournament.

Hadley had two early morning “pool play” games. My dad went to the morning games with me while Travis and Hayden headed to Louisville again for track.

Hadley had games at 9:00 and 11:00. Her team had to do scoreboard/line judge during the game in between, so I got another cup of coffee and did my Kroger Clicklist order.

She was finished with pool play around noon, and requested Chipolte for lunch. We picked that up and got word that she didn’t have a game until 4:00 which meant we could go home for a couple of hours.

Hayden was running the 1500m race at the track meet around that time, so Travis was keeping me up to date. He had another PR and ran 14 seconds faster than just two weeks ago. It was so good to hear Trav tell me the results because I know Hayden was nervous before the race.

Hadley’s volleyball team had two afternoon games, and they played so much better than they did in the morning. Maybe they just needed time to wake up that morning 😉 They ended up winning their bracket. It was fun seeing them gain confidence and come together when they needed to.

We got home just in time for the MU game. My brother came over to watch it with my dad and me. Unfortunately, they lost, but they had such a great season. I enjoyed watching that group of guys.

Dinner was whatever anyone could find around the house. Some had leftovers, and I had two bowls of Lucky Charms cereal. Sometimes, cereal is my “dessert” at night.

After a long day, I went to bed around 10.

I was up around 7:30 on Sunday, and by 8:00, I had our corned beef in the slow cooker.

I drank my coffee and started this blog post. Then, it was time for church. After church, Travis picked up our Kroger order.

We unpacked the groceries while my dad, Hayden and my brother watched an F1 race.

Hadley started to make our March cake. While the cake baked, I decided to make lunch that could also be my lunch a couple days this week: taco salad.

After lunch, I watched some of the F1 race, added to this blog post, and made the Irish soda bread.

Then, it was time for the traditional front porch pic with my dad and the kids which is always his request.

Hayden played outside with friends and Hadley went to youth group.

Of course, we watched the UK game which was another tough loss for this house.

Hadley and Layla put the finishing touches on our cake during halftime. {*Hadley was silly this weekend wearing my glasses.}

We enjoyed dinner and cake and then watched a couple more basketball games.

That was about it for our Sunday evening, and we prepped for the week ahead.

Overall, it was a busy and good few days.

We have two weeks until Spring Break. Even Travis is asking me if it’s later than usual this year. I don’t think it is, but it sure feels like it!

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites {#150}

Hello and happy Friday!

Also, happy St Patrick’s Day! We don’t have school today, and I’m glad to not be there on a day when people like to pinch if you aren’t wearing green. haha

As always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.

Well, we’ve been in a weather slump this week…this meme is appropriate:

Losing an hour of sleep has made me feel extra tired this week.

That being said, here are some favorites from the week:

Favorite Food:

I decided to embrace the colder weather and plan some hearty meals. This week we ate:

Other Faves:

*Hadley brought home some artwork this week. You know…in middle school, they don’t bring things home like they did in elementary school. I thought her sea turtle was so cute.

*On Monday, I had my annual mammogram. While I don’t love that appointment, I felt relieved to receive good results. Friendly reminder to make that appointment.

*Most evenings this week we didn’t have much going on past 6:00. It was a brief reprieve from what sometimes feels like a non-stop schedule.

*Both kids made the track team this week! They were excited and are looking forward to a fun season. Track meets don’t start until after Spring Break, so we’ll have a couple more weeks of mostly free evenings.

*My MIZZOU Tigers won their first game of the tournament. Who knows how far they will go, but they are such a fun team to watch. I’m glad they’ve made it another round!

*Last night, Hayden’s basketball team had their end of season banquet. It was fun to celebrate them after a successful season.

Favorite Kid Quote:

I’ve said before that Hayden and Hadley couldn’t be any different if they tried. Hadley still has lots of energy at the end of the day. Wednesday night, she was showing us a dance routine and telling us what a great day she had.

Hayden walked in the room, and without missing a beat, she said “Hi! best friend.” He definitely gave her the side eye before rolling his eyes 😆 Sometimes, he doesn’t know what to do with her.

Favorite Mom Meme:

This is very relatable:

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

In honor of March Madness, here’s Hayden with his bracket in 2016. He still love this time of the year.

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from the week in case you missed one:

What are your weekend plans? The kids have indoor track and Hadley has volleyball this weekend. On Sunday, I’m going to make corned beef, cabbage, and Irish soda bread. We can’t wait!

See you back here on Monday!

Posted in Kids, Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

Hello and happy Thursday! This is a Thursday that feels like a Friday which is so nice. We don’t have school tomorrow. Since we still have a couple of weeks left until spring break, I’ll take the extra day off!

Recently, on Instagram, Ashley was answering some questions and one of them was “What do you miss most about your kids being little and love most about them being older?”

This question really “hit” me…To be honest, I’d say this past year (2022) was probably the toughest parenting year so far.

First of all, I have teens now. That’s probably all I need to say. 😂

That being said, last year started with a health issue for Hayden. While we were pretty certain the source of the issue, we still had a few months of uncertainty and tests to rule out major issues. My “mama heart” stayed worried during that time which of course caused me to feel stressed and anxious. Thankfully, things are much better now, but it was a hard season of worry to navigate.

Also, I think I’m just very aware of how quickly time is flying by. Recently, I said to Hayden, “I can’t believe I only have five more years with you all in the house with us.” His reply: “I can just live with you when I’m in college too.” Well, that’s the thing…I don’t necessarily want that either…You know, I want to get them to the point of independence. Of course, if they are in school and want to live at home for a year or two, I wouldn’t say no. It’s just I know I need to maximize my time with them while also raising productive members of society 😉

I also think Travis and I have done a good job setting boundaries and expectations while also giving them some independence as well. Now, do they give us credit for doing those things? Not always! 😂..,but I know they know we’re just trying to help them in the long run.

They like to take turns keeping me on my toes. Truthfully, I know that most of what we deal with is “normal” middle school behavior. That being said, there have been some trying times and season of growth. Again, it’s probably typical “growing pains” (literally and figuratively), but sometimes I just feel like I’m doing this parenting thing all wrong. Also, since I’m with teens at school all day, I try not to let my patience be spread too thin at home after a long day, but sometimes that’s hard. Thankfully, Travis balances me out. I feel like we make a great team.

And…we are just very busy. I always say, “blessed to be busy,” but this is just a very busy season of life. There aren’t many nights when we are all home for dinner at the same time, and sometimes I feel like I only see the kids when they are just waking up in the morning and tired or very late at night when they are tired as well. Sometimes, I feel like I’m just fussing at them to use their time wisely or get things done. Then, there are nights they do everything they are supposed to when they are supposed to, and that’s amazing!

Anyway…

So, when thinking about the question…

What do you miss most about your kids being little?

When they were little, they loved me so unconditionally. I miss that. I miss them sitting in my lap. I miss their little voices. (A Facebook memory popped up with a video of Hayden’s little 2nd grade voice, and it stopped me in my tracks). I miss them wanting me to read to them, toothless smiles, and much more.

I feel this deeply:

If that meme doesn’t sum up thirteen year olds, I don’t know what does!

But…

What do you love most about them being older?

Of course, I enjoy who they are now. I can really see who they are becoming as people, and I love it. Also, it is nice that they have more independence and responsibility. They can pack a suitcase with minimal help (I still provide a list!), they can run into the grocery store with my debit card and pick up a few items we need, they can turn the lights off if I go to bed before them, I can trust them with their friends (I hope that’s always the case), and I’ve enjoyed seeing their relationship develop through the years. (Of course, if they want to quit fighting in the bathroom in the morning, I would be ok with that too!)

Anyway, I’d love any words of wisdom from those with older kids. I’m trying to enjoy this season the best that I can. Thankfully, they still hug me and tell me goodnight. That’s the good stuff, for sure! It just feels like they went from this…

to this…

in the blink of an eye!

Posted in Amazon, Let's look

Let’s Look

Hello!

Well, this month feels like it’s flying by! I always love when Shay and Erika host this monthly link up because it’s fun to see what others have to share!

So far this year, we’ve looked at:

  • Scheduling/organizing a busy family in January
  • What’s in your medicine cabinet in February

This month, the topic is all time favorite Amazon finds.

Well, is there a more perfect post for me to write about?

This is a SUPER-sized Amazon post filled with some faves and even seasonal favorites as well.

All-time faves:

I purchased flameless candles back in January, and they have been perfect for decor, but they also came in very handy at night when we didn’t have power last week. I’m really glad I picked up the seven pack. At first, I wasn’t using them all, but then I put a couple downstairs on the built in, and they are perfect there.

I don’t see my exact ones anymore, but this pack has over 10,000 ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️⭐️1/2 star reviews.

I’ve been drinking my morning coffee out of this mug for years. I don’t use it as a travel mug…just my at home mug.

These slippers have become an all time favorite because they are fuzzy but don’t make my feet hot!

When I bought this electric tea kettle, I wasn’t sure how much I’d use it. Hadley uses it the most for warming up water for her mac and cheese or ramen! We also use it for water for hot chocolate. I got my mom one last year since she drinks tea. Anyway, it’s definitely a purchase that we love.

This tissue box cover is something I love so much I gave it as a stocking stuffer/gift last year. The tissue box on our kitchen counter was an “eye sore” for me, but this one is perfect to blend in the tissue box on the counter.

These packing cubes are a must for me, and I always use them when we travel.

My Kindle is probably my all time Amazon fave. I read so much more because of it. I still often have a book I’m reading, but I always have books on my Kindle too. I love it.

Winter Faves:

These Ugg dupes have been perfect to wear this winter.

I wear this sweater often and it comes in a variety of colors.

I purchased this sweater two years ago in a variety of colors, and I still wear them all often.

Spring Faves:

I have this cardigan in two colors, and wear them both all the time. They are perfect for the springtime over a dress.

I picked up this purse last spring, and I love that the strap is interchangeable, and it holds just what I need to go to church, Keeneland, or on vacation.

I picked up this midi dress a couple of years ago, and it’s one I pull from my closet often in the spring.

These joggers are great because they are light weight and a bit more on the capri side.

Summer Faves:

This swim cover up is the best. I have it in light blue and navy. It looks like they have a short sleeved version now too.

I purchased this swimsuit two years ago and have two of them. Cute, stylish, and comfy.

I love these rose gold Birk dupes. I did size up to a 10 instead of my regular 9. Hadley has them in white…she actually got them first 😆

Fall Faves:

Once the weather gets colder, I usually switch out my purse from something smaller to one that holds all the things. If I’m not carrying my Barrington bag tote, then I’m using this hobo style one:

This fuzzy cardigan is one of my favorite things to wear in the fall and winter:

These Amazon joggers can be worn year round, of course, but I love them when I don’t want to wear leggings.

Shew! I know the topic was “all-time” faves, but I’ve been a fan of Amazon for years, so I guess that means I have lots of faves. All the seasonal items I shared, I think I’ve had for at least a year…and most I’ve had for longer.

Next month’s topic is: our biggest pet peeves. Uh oh…this could be opening up a can of worms. haha!

{This post contains Amazon affiliate links…Thank you for supporting my blog!}

Posted in Trader Joes

Ten Minutes in Trader Joe’s

Hello!

Well, I’m tired of going to the grocery store. I “pride” myself on the fact that I use Clicklist/Kroger pick up, and if I have to go in the store, I’m in there for 10 minutes or less.

Well, like I mentioned yesterday, I’ve had to restock our fridge + meal plan for lunches and dinners, so I’ve been in the grocery store more times than I’d like over the past week.

One of my grocery trips included going to Trader Joe’s for a few “staples” that needed replenished, and I thought I’d share with you what I picked up in only a few minutes in the store. Most of these things are items I get almost every time I go to TJ, so they are our “tried and true” must haves.

Well, flowers are typically something I pick up most times I go to Trader Joe’s in the spring and summer. I just love that they have quite the variety, and flowers are an easy way to freshen up the house.

These are two of our favorite chips to buy. The kids especially love the blue corn tortillas chips. I love the “dippers” with the buffalo chicken dip.

Hadley loves the cinnamon raisin bagels for breakfast. While I don’t eat breakfast, I love these “everything” bagels for a snack.

The bag of Honeycrisp apples are one of the main reasons that I went to Trader Joe’s this trip. Then, I went ahead and picked us up some strawberries and then a couple of avocados for my avocado toast that I like to make.

The Jasmine rice is probably the second most bought thing I get at TJ (besides the apples). Even though I don’t eat it as frequently, I usually have a box of the organic brown rice on hand as well. Hadley loves the white cheddar mac and cheese, so I always pick up a couple of boxes when I go. The buffalo dip is so good with veggies, crackers, or the “dipper” chips.

These “pickled pups” stopped me in my tracks, so I decided to give them a try. Newsflash: I had some for lunch on Sunday, and they were soooo good. I dipped them in some yellow mustard. The only negative is there were only nine in the bag! Travis wanted some too, so we split this pack. I will definitely buy them again.

St. Patrick’s Day:

While I’m talking about food…St. Patrick’s Day is on Friday which means I will be making corned beef, cabbage, and Irish soda bread this weekend. Here’s my recipe for both:

We actually don’t have school on Friday, so I think I will treat the kids to some fun green pancakes topped with Lucky Charms like I have the past couple of years.

What are your “staple” items you pick up when you go to Trader Joe’s?

Posted in Day in the Life, Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom

Hello and happy Monday!

How was your weekend? Ours was pretty good…and not too busy which is just what we needed.

It’s our monthly Not Just a Mom link up with some of my favorite bloggers:

Before I get going with today’s post, I wanted to ask that you all please keep Lauren and her family in your thoughts prayers. She has shared a couple of updates on her health recently. Her positive outlook and strength are inspiring. The blogging community is an amazing one, and I want her to feel the love (and the prayers)!

NJAM:

So…

  • In January, we covered Introductions.
  • In February, we talked about house rules.

This month, we are sharing about a “Day in the Life” weekend edition. Since I knew this topic was coming up, I was going to double down on weekend day in the life and document last Saturday which was supposed to be busy with a dance competition and other activities. Then, I was also going to document this weekend which had less going on.

Well, as I’ve shared, last weekend took a turn due to us not having electricity, so I’m just focusing on this past Saturday since last Saturday had even less activity than this one.

Anyway, here we go:

On Saturday morning, I woke up around 7:30, but I did decide to go back to bed. I usually have a hard time falling back to sleep if I wake up, but I did doze back off until 8:20.

I made some coffee, started some laundry and did my normal Saturday morning stuff like catching up on blogs, scrolling social media and chatting with Travis.

Since we finally got our internet back on Friday evening, I had some catching up on tv to do. We watched two episodes of the Murdaugh documentary on Netflix.

Around 10:30, I woke up the kids, made my bed, and did my morning skincare.

When I opened my closet, I remembered that I’d received a couple of packages this week, and needed to try some things on…including my new dress from Shop Style Your Senses. I love it. I can’t wait to be tan! haha

Then, I took a few minutes to purge my closet with my dresses. I love dresses, and since I was adding in a new one, I figured I could get rid of a few I didn’t wear this fall or winter.

Then, I headed to the basement to do a workout. I’ve missed working out. Honestly, I’ve been kind of in a rut which is so frustrating. I was soooo good March-November last year, and then just haven’t felt super motivated. Then, since we didn’t have power, I couldn’t do my workouts on the tv. I could have used the app on my phone I guess, but it’s not the same. I did go to the gym one day last week which got me moving in the right direction.

Anyway, I was happy to get back to my workout routine. There’s a lull in my kids’ sports right now…so I’m hoping to have more time after school and in the evening to get back into a solid workout routine until after spring break.

Then, I headed to Kroger for my Clicklist order. Y’all, since we lost everything in our fridge and freezer, I really thought I’d take my time replenishing things. But…since Wednesday morning, I’ve been to Kroger three times and Trader Joe’s once…and my kids still say we don’t have any food. Well, 80% of the food they eat comes from the pantry, and that food wasn’t lost…so they need to hush. haha

I went to Kroger Wednesday morning, for coffee creamer, lunch for me, donuts for the kids and a few other things. Then, Wednesday afternoon, I picked up a $100 Clicklist order that included stuff for dinner and other things I knew we’d need ASAP. Then, Thursday evening, I went to Trader Joe’s for apples (I love the bag of honey crisp apples because they are small apples and affordable)…but of course, I picked up other things that are my TJ “staples” that we’d lost. Then, I picked up my Saturday Clicklist that included dinner items for this week and other regular things I buy. By that time, I needed to also go inside Kroger because the app said they didn’t have milk, and I wanted to pick out grapes and blueberries. Also, Hayden requested a frozen pizza. haha

The silver lining was on my way out of Kroger a sweet little Girl Scout troop was selling cookies, so I stocked upon some faves.

My Kroger woes continued because I didn’t time this pick up right…Travis and the kids were all at track practice, so it was just me at home to unload everything. *sigh*

I was excited to make avocado toast with egg for lunch (+ a side of apples). I hadn’t made it in a while, and it hit the spot.

Then, I spent a few hours in the basement. I watched the MU game. They lost, but this has been such a fun team to watch. They hung in there. Then took a brief nap. You know I love a Saturday afternoon nap.

Then it was time to be productive. Hadley had pulled some things from her closet, and I told her there had to be more that she could get rid of. I helped her with that and reorganized her clothes. When her closet it in peak condition (which is never), she has her hanging clothes in order of dresses, tanks, t-shirts, lightweight sweatshirts, sweaters and sweatshirts. I helped her get everything back in order. I also told her she doesn’t need to buy another hooded sweatshirt for the next five years. #Iswear

Then, I put away my winter dishes, and changed out my seasonal garden flag and door hanger for something more “spring like.” (Even though it feels like winter again.)

Then, I went ahead and showered. On the weekends, when I can, I love being clean before the evening. (weird fact about me. haha)

Then, I read on my Kindle for a bit…

…before taking Hadley to Chipotle before she went to a friend’s house for the night.

I also took Hayden some dinner. He was out playing with friends, and since I didn’t know when he’d be home, I figured he’d probably want to eat.

With the kids at friends’ houses, Travis suggested we go out to dinner. It’s still so weird to me that he and I end up with unplanned free time without the kids.

Anyway, we tried new (to us) place called East End Tap and Table. When Travis suggested it, I joked that it sounded like a place I’d leave and still be hungry…since tapas are small portions.

Once we got there, we waited a bit for a table, but it was worth it, and we will definitely go back. We shared the spring rolls for an app, and then Travis had the salmon, and I got the Asian bowl that had rice, chicken, edamame, cucumbers, Thai peanut and Asian dressings. I only ate half, and saved the rest for lunch today. It was SO good.

We got home around 9:00, and Hayden was home too. I went ahead and changed our clocks forward an hour.

I put on my pjs and washed my face.

Travis and I watched a bit of tv – just a basketball game. I went to bed around 10:30…already annoyed at the loss of an hour of sleep.

So…that was my Saturday on a pretty lowkey weekend. It was nice to be home, be productive, but also have some downtime too.

Next month’s topic is cleaning hacks. I may need your all’s tips! I’m a great tidier, but I’m not a great cleaner…just ask my husband!

I hope you have a great start to your week.

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

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Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites {#149}

Hello and Happy Friday!

How was your week? Ours was memorable to say the least, but we got through it.

As always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.

Here are some favorites from the week:

My first favorite of the week : was when the electricity (finally!) turned back on after four days due to the storms that blew through last Friday. We’d been using flameless candles for light and the fireplace for warmth for days. Then, the power clicked back on Tuesday night. Right in time for us to go to bed 😆

Friends who bring coffee are definitely a favorite… (as are friends and family who offered their homes for us to hang and charge our electronics)

My Kindle was definitely a favorite this week as it was my main source of entertainment. Even with the power back on, we still don’t have internet, so that means no tv or computer at home. The fireplace was perfect for knocking the chill out in the mornings and evenings.

I did enjoy our night at the hotel. We had dinner out, a hot breakfast, a good night’s sleep, and we were able to charge up what we needed to.

Sorry for another Kindle photo (I told you…it was the real MVP of the week). The warm weather was a favorite for sure. The kids were able to play outside quite a bit, and I spent time on the front porch. It was warmer outside than in the house. That being said, the temps have cooled off significantly, and I’m glad most people have their power restored.

The flameless candles provided light the couple hours we were home before bed.

The utility workers working around the clock were a favorite. I know we had crews working from other states, and it was very much appreciated.

Well, unfortunately, we lost all our fridge and freezer food (which obviously isn’t a favorite) After cleaning it all out on Sunday night, we continued to…

…eat out for five days. I decided to embrace it because we only usually eat out on the weekends. From pizza (and wine!) Friday night with friends to Starbucks runs, Jimmy Johns sandwiches at the track meet, pizza with Hadley and her friend on Monday night and family dinner at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants on Tuesday night, we made do.

Also, Kroger Clicklist continues to be a life saver. On Wednesday morning, I went to Kroger early for coffee creamer, milk, breakfast for the kids, and lunch for me. Then, later in the day, I decided to make the dinner that Andrea shared on her blog. In my order, I added those ingredients for dinner Wednesday and Thursday night along with some other things I knew we needed. Then, this weekend, I will regroup and figure out exactly what we need to replace in the fridge.

While I hate that so much food was wasted, since it was the end of the week when the power went out, I didn’t have tons of food in the fridge. There were probably some things, like condiments, I could have kept, but I just figured it’s probably good to start fresh.

Trav’s Lexington group had a great track meet in Louisville on Sunday. Hayden ran the 1500 and 800 and had PR’s for both. We’re proud of him, and I know Travis is proud of his runners!

Favorite Mom Memes:

This made me LOL:

Weekly Recap:

I had a few posts this week including an Amazon round up, dance mom stuff, and “pro tips” for surviving a few days without power.

Not Just a Mom:

On Monday, it’s time for our Not Just a Mom link up.

If you are a blogger, we’d love to have you share your “Day in the life: weekend edition” on Monday.

What are your weekend plans? We actually don’t have much going on…and I need to maximize the time I have this weekend to get back on track with laundry, meal planning, and more.

I hope you have a great weekend. Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Everyday Life, Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: No Power Pro Tips

Hello and happy Thursday…and hallelujah! …the electricity turned on Tuesday night…right in time for bed. haha We were all so excited!

Well, most of the time I plan out my blog posts. Other times, I just let the blog topics come to me. Having no power for over four days, has me thinking about some of the things that came in handy during our days on the prairie (without power.)

When the power went out on Friday at 5pm, Travis was out of town for the night. Hayden went to the basement and came up with a bag. He said, “Dad said if the power went out, we might need these things.” In the bag were some hand warmers, which we thankfully never needed, his running headlamp, batteries and more.

I do want to start by saying it could have been worse. From Saturday – Monday we had very mild weather. I spent a lot of time on the front porch. It was warmer outside than in my house.

The kids were able to play outside most of the days, and even on Tuesday, when the temps were cooler, they still kept busy during the day with friends. If the power had gone out in the winter, we would have been freezing. If it went out in the summer, we would have been hot. Also, we were pretty busy most evenings, so we only sat in the dark for about an hour before bed every night.

Our thermostat never dipped below 60 degrees, and it was easy to keep warm with sweatshirts, fuzzy socks, and blankets. We had no damage to our yard or house, and others definitely can’t say the same.

Anyway, here are a few other things that came in handy during our days without power:

Who knew when I purchased the flameless candles in January for decorative purposes, they’d be our lifeline at night? Also, I’m so thankful I bought the seven pack! I kept one on in the hall over night, the kids each kept on in their rooms and their bathroom, and then we had one in our room too.

On Saturday morning, when Hayden woke up, he asked when the power came back on. I told him it didn’t –it was only daylight! haha

Anyway, as he bounced the basketball around the house, Hadley said she really needed him to have a charged phone. That’s when she told him he could charge his phone through his chromebook! Genius.

So when we could, we charged our computers at friends’ houses because they worked as another opportunity to charge our phones. We also charged them in the car occasionally.

Dual USB chargers that we bought a couple years ago to use during baseball tournaments also came in handy. I don’t think I’ve charged them up in years, and when I found one Friday night, I was able to charge my phone! So, these clearly hold their charge. I ended up charging these when I could too.

One thing I missed the most was just being able to drink coffee first thing in the morning. A friend brought me some on Saturday morning. Then, on Sunday, we were at the hotel. Monday and Tuesday, Travis did a Starbucks run before going to work. He suggested putting my second cup in my travel mug because it would stay warm until I could drink it. Again, genius!

My Kindle was the real MVP of this time. I was able to finish the second half of Spare, and read almost all of Wrong Place Wrong Time. Thankfully, my Kindle holds a charge for quite a while.

Hadley was really missing her sound machine at night. On Sunday night, I remembered that her old sound machine (that I keep in my overnight bag for travel), will run on batteries. She was so happy…that night, she put on her “snuggy” –the blanket with a hood-, blasted her sound machine, and slept like a baby.

Thankfully, our water heater is gas, so we could still take hot showers. That being said, I think I had a claw clip in my hair Saturday-Tuesday!

Also, my brother and sister-in-law let us hang out here…and especially on Tuesday, as I started this post, we’d hung out here for most of the day. I was able to work on some school things, and the kids did too. I also did laundry and charged all the things (again) since I never knew when we’d get power.

Another helpful tool was this travel power strip that I got Travis for Christmas. We were able to charge everything at once just using one outlet.

While our fireplace doesn’t put out much heat, we were grateful for some warmth (and light) in the mornings and nights.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a plan for the fridge and freezer. I thought about saving a few things but also hoped the power would come back on. Obviously, it didn’t. So by Sunday night, our fridge and freezer looked like this:

*silver lining* The fridge needed a good clean, and now it has it.

In my almost 20 years in Lexington, this is only the second time we’ve been in a house that’s lost power. In January 2021, we lost it for a few hours. So, this was obviously more extensive, but we’ve never thought we needed a generator. As friends started to get power, one reached out and offered us their generator which was so thoughtful of them. Tuesday night, we went to dinner and continued to see the utility trucks on our street. So, I was hopeful we wouldn’t need the generator. Right as we were going to bed at 10:00, the lights clicked back on! We appreciated the kind offer, but I’m glad we didn’t end up needing it.

While I’m sure hoping we never need a generator, maybe we should add that to our household list for the future!

Again, counting my blessings. It could have been worse.

Posted in Kids

Just Dance!

Hello!

Well, I had planned this post to cover the past two weekends of dance competitions, but then Hadley’s competition last weekend ended up being canceled due to no power at the auditorium in Louisville where they were going to perform.

As I type this, it’s Tuesday afternoon, and I’m using my brother’s house to charge everything and do some laundry. So, I thought I’d go ahead with this post and share all about Hadley’s dance competition a couple of weeks ago in Cincinnati.

A few things first…

I’m always amazed at Hadley’s performances. When she went back to dance in the third grade, she only did studio classes for a couple of years. Then, in fifth grade, she started with competition classes as well.

When you take competition classes, you have to also take ballet, tap, and jazz studio classes. So, two nights a week, Hadley is at dance for 2.5 hours. One night is ballet, tap, jazz, and then other night is for competition. Then, some dancers add on other classes like hip hop or lyrical. Since Hadley also does volleyball and track, we can’t commit to more than the two days.

They start working on routines in August, but competition season is January – May. Her studio usually attends 3-4 competitions in a season, and try to stay somewhat local…or at least not having to drive too far. Most competitions aren’t more than two hours away, and some are even closer to home.

Some dancers also do solos, duets, and trios as well as the group performances. Again, due to Hadley’s other activities, she has just stuck with the group performances, but she may do one of those in the future if she sticks with dancing.

Different dance competitions have different scoring systems and awards, and honestly, sometimes my head is spinning during the awards. For example, the competition they were in a couple of weeks ago had double platinum, platinum, high gold, etc. with other leveled awards as well.

The judges do provide feedback that the dancers go over with their teachers at their next class. They make some adjustments and work on things in order to refine their dances for the next performances.

Dancers have a jacket for their studio, and they collect pins at the competitions for each performance.

In Monday’s post, I shared some of Hadley’s “dance essentials.” While I know why some, including my dad (haha), wonder why the girls wear makeup and eyelashes, I can understand that the judges (and audience) need to see facial expressions from a distance, and the girls need to look as “uniform” as possible. To me, her studio doesn’t go “over the top” with their expectations for the girls, and Hadley can do her hair and makeup on her own.

Through the years…

The first year Hadley did competition, it was the spring of 2021….and things still looked different because of Covid. She was in two small group performances, one tap and one jazz. Whenever they had the competitions, they “blocked” the studios, so all dances for a group of studios were within one 3-4 hour window of time with awards immediately following.

Last year was Hadley’s second year in competition, and she was in one small jazz group and then a larger musical theater number with all the competition dancers.

This year, Hadley is in four dances: two large group musical theater and two small group, jazz and lyrical.

Their first competition of the season was Stage One in Cincinnati. Now that competitions are back to their regular three day schedule, it’s typically solos, duets and trios on Friday night with group dances, large and small, on Saturday and Sunday.

For Hadley, she danced the two large group performances on Saturday evening and then the two small group numbers on Sunday morning. That meant we needed to stay overnight in Cincinnati. Some dancers went to Cinci on Friday afternoon because they had their individual performances that evening.

So, on that Saturday, we arrived in Cinci around 3:00 and checked into our hotel. Since you never know about timing, Hadley made sure her hair and makeup were ready, so all she had to do was organize her costumes. We still haven’t purchased one of those dance bags that has the built in clothing rack to hang costumes. So far, two hanging garment bags have worked fine for Hadley. She keeps her two large group costumes in one and her two small group costumes in the other. The bags have two pockets where she keep hair pieces, dance shoes, extra tights, etc.

After we checked in, she went to our friends’ room and then the girls got ready. We walked over to the convention center an hour before her first dance. Once she was there, Hadley put on her first costume, and then all the girls stretched.

The one large group musical theater is the same Sponge Bob one as last year, and it’s always fun to watch.

Then, this year, the whole competition team has another Beetlejuice themed musical theater performance.

After those two performances, Hadley and friends watched other performances before the awards. I went back to the hotel, got us unpacked/organized, and had a bit of downtime. Then, I met a friend at the hotel bar…it was her birthday, so we had a drink before going to the awards.

After the awards, we went back to the hotel. Since it was 8:00, we just ate there and chatted with Hadley’s friend and her mom. We just hung out for a bit before heading back to the room around 10:00. The view from the room, especially at night, was so pretty. We were asleep by 11:00.

We were up early on Sunday, and I went and grabbed a few “grab and go” type things for breakfast and coffee while Hadley got ready.

She had her two small group performances that morning, and they were amazing. The lyrical performance brought a few tears to my eyes. The girls all looked so grown up and danced beautifully in both routine, but especially that one.

We snapped a few pictures and checked out of our hotel room before the awards.

Overall, it was a successful first competition, and we had a great time.

Hadley’s studio has been around for years and has a smaller group of dancers with more low-key moms! I’m actually grateful for that. They goal is for these dancers to have fun, grow as performers, and support the arts. Hadley is always excited to show us what she’s learned, and she has fun with the dancers at her studio. To us, that’s all the matters.

Maybe as you are reading this, my electricity has returned? We’ve now missed three days of school thanks to this weather event…I’m definitely ready for things to get back to normal.