Posted in Three things

Three Things

Hello! I like to do a Three Things post every few months, and dive a little deeper into what each of us is up to! (Spoiler alert: I’m a professional chauffeur!)

Here’s what we’ve been up to:

  1. The spring baseball season is in full swing, and Hayden is having fun. Bonus: He looks so cute in his uniform(s)!
  2. Hayden has been working with his church mentor on a service project. They baked cookies and brownies and delivered them to home bound church members.
  3. Let me tell you who tunes in weekly to American Idol and also uses the app to vote each week…Hayden! He’s very invested in contestants and the competition!

Bonus: Hayden’s still wearing his contacts some days. Travis still helps him put them in (we just haven’t allocated a lot of time for Hayden to practice…maybe this summer), but he can take them out. He usually wears contacts on game days, so he wears them all day and then at the game. I will say he’s sometimes hard to spot on the field without his sports goggles!

  1. It’s dance competition season, and Hadley is having so much fun. She enjoys dance so much and has a sweet group of girls on her dance team. Recital time is around the corner too!
  2. Hadley continues to attend the girl’s reading group at church, has been meeting with her mentor, and has helped with the same service project as Hayden. I always love hearing about the sessions with her group and her mentor.
  3. Hadley is loving every minute of in person learning. She loves her teachers, her classmates, and her school. She’s soaking up these last few weeks of elementary school and enjoying the “perks” of being in 5th grade like reading the school morning announcements! (She also continues to email me at least once a day which still cracks me up!)

Bonus: We’ve got Hadley signed up for summer swim team after a year off! She’s excited to get back in the pool!

Homer:

Homer is taking his job as the “neighborhood watch” very seriously! If you are jogging by or walking your dog anywhere in the vicinity of our house, he will say “hi!” He is enjoying the spring time weather, and can be found basking in the sunshine for hours on end.

I don’t want to give him too much credit, but he’s matured quite a bit…by that, I mean he hasn’t destroyed a TV remote or computer mouse in a few months! #IhopeIdidntjinxit

I do think he’s finally adjusted to us going back to school. At least now, he’s gone back to being a “good boy” and getting in his kennel for a treat when we are about to leave!

Travis and Me:

Travis: It’s the time of the year when Travis is working hard in the yard. Travis takes pride in his yard, and has spent the last couple of weeks pulling weeds and spreading mulch. The grass is so green, so the yard is looking nice. Of course, we got a bit snow yesterday, so he’s wise enough to know it’s too early to plant anything!

He’s also gearing up for one of his busiest times of the year…Derby time! Derby Week is his favorite week of the year!

Me: I’ve loved being back to school. It’s great to see students and colleagues, and get back to “normal.” Thankfully, our district and our schools have done a great job following protocols and guidelines keeping everyone safe!

As a mom and as a teacher, the end of the school year/spring sports hustle is real! I’m hanging in there, keeping busy at school, having fun watching the kids do dance and baseball, and am prepping for major milestones for Hayden and Hadley in May.

The spring/end of the school year schedule is so crazy! By the end of May, I’m definitely ready for summer and a more relaxed schedule. So, that’s what we’ve been up to!

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites!

Posted in Books and Shows

For the Love of Reading

Hello! Today’s post is inspired by my love of reading!

It’s no secret that I love a good book, so when Tanya shared her answers after reading Julie’s post, I thought it would be fun to reflect on my This or That: Books answers.

  • Buy or Borrow: I typically borrow books from the library. I probably make a trip to the library for book pick up or return at least once a week. I will occasionally purchase a book if I know it’s something I will probably read again or loan to a friend. For example, I purchased The Giver of Stars because I’d heard so many wonderful things about it, and I’m so glad that I have my own copy.
  • Print or Ebook: Well, I held off on ebooks for as long as possible, but two years ago, I purchased my Kindle, and I love the convenience of it. I still prefer to hold a book in my hands, but I always have at least one book on my Kindle that I can read when I have a few minutes to spare. I often keep my Kindle in my purse in case I have a few minutes to read if Travis is driving or if I’m waiting on one of the kids to finish up an activity.
  • Indoor Reading or Outdoor Reading: I’d say most of my reading take place while indoors. I always read a few minutes on my Kindle before bed. That being said, I love to read in the warmth of our sun room, and there’s nothing better than reading at the pool or at the beach with the sound of the waves in the background.
  • Classics or Contemporary: As a high school English teacher, I’ve read quite a few classics! That being said, for my own reading pleasure, I stick to more contemporary books.
  • Bookmarks or Dog-eared: Since most of what I read is borrowed, I use a bookmark to hold my place. Random, but a couple of years ago, the kids got a few bookmarks at the end of 3rd grade with summer book title suggestions for going into 4th grade. I still use that same bookmark two years later.
  • Marginalia or Clean Pages: Clean pages since I tend to borrow books. That being said, if the book is mine, I like to underline favorite passages or put a star by meaningful quotes.
  • Speed-reader or Slow and Steady: I’d say I’m a pretty quick reader. I don’t necessarily rush what I’m reading, but I do find myself reading quicker on my Kindle.

So those are my This or That answers. How would you have answered the categories?

Before I wrap up, I’m also sharing….

Funny Memes about Reading

Mom meme:

OMG! I loved when my elementary school would do this! I loved cashing in my reading coupon for a personal pan pizza at Pizza Hut!

This is me some nights…

This one…hahaha!

This “book-addict” meme is so true. I love the feel of a book and the convenience of the Kindle.

Fave Account:

Also, a fun share…

Do you follow @sorrythankyou79 {vintage books} on Instagram? I’m mesmerized by their photos of all of the beautiful books they share (and sell!) Go check out their Instagram page!

One last book note: I just finished Firefly Lane, and I couldn’t put it down. I read the last 50 pages through tears in my eyes. I couldn’t quit crying. I enjoyed the book so much and am on the library wait list for book #2: Fly Away. Looks like I have about four weeks until it’s my turn for the book…which gives me some time to recover from the first one!

{Also, after reading the book, I started the series on Netflix. I heard the book was better (shocker!), but I can’t resist giving the series a try too! Hadley said, “So, does that mean you’ll cry again?” 😂 Only time will tell!}

See you back here tomorrow for a Three Things post.

Posted in Clothes, Kids, Tuesday Talk

Spring and Summer Clothes for Girls

Hello! How’s it going? I’ve had such great luck finding some cute clothes and shoes for Hadley lately, so I’m sharing those today while linking up with Ashley and Erika for Tuesday Talk.

I’d share some clothes that Hayden loves to currently wear, but that post would be short, sweet, and include Nike shorts and whatever t-shirt he finds on the closet floor. That being said, I am grateful the kid will put on a pair of khaki shorts or pants without a fight now, and we’ve been blessed with some awesome hand-me-down button down shirts and polos that he’ll wear when needed.

Here are some things Hadley’s been wearing the past couple of months to transition from cold to warmer weather.

Amazon

These pajamas were one of Hadley’s Easter presents. This is her second pair of these pjs, and they have so many cute color options and sayings.

Pajamas

Matilda Jane

I typically turn to Matilda Jane for Hadley’s Easter dress each year. I know their dresses are great quality, will last a while, and Hadley can wear it to church, special occasions, or even summer vacations, so that makes their dresses worth the investment for me.

Oh Joy Dress

Target

Well ladies, some of these items may just work for you! The leopard flats, sandals, and 1/4 zip are from the Women’s Department at Target. haha!

This two piece was another Easter gift purchase, and Hadley already tested it out during our stay at the Opryland Gaylord.

Art Class Bikini Set

Every year, I get Hadley a pair of flats to wear with leggings or dresses because her foot continues to grow! For about two years now, she’s been wearing women’s sizes. These leopard print flats are super cute, and if I didn’t already have a pair of leopard flats, I would have snagged these for myself as well.

{She’s wearing them in the photo above with her Easter dress}

Universal Thread Ballet Flat // Little Girl Cat & Jack Option

Hadley loved the tan strapped version of these from last year. Those still barely fit, so I bought her the next size up with the white strap. Cute, comfy, and affordable!

Ava Skinny Strap Sandal

I’ve shared this quarter zip recently in a different blog post. Hadley saw it and loved the yellow color, and it seemed like a perfect spring option for cool mornings (and chilly a classroom!) Obviously, she can wear this in the fall and winter too. {Looks like the price has dropped a bit, and it’s on Clearance!)

Universal Quarter Zip-Up Pullover

Sis will live in athleisure wear with leggings and joggers. She wore the joggers most of the winter months, and has them in a few colors. She still wears them now in warmer weather with a t-shirt.

All in Motion Joggers

These leggings are super cute and fun to wear with a t-shirt or long sleeves depending on the temperature! They have a side pocket which is a great feature as well.

All in Motion Side Pocket Leggings

Old Navy

Old Navy has so many cute options and great prices. Hadley was so excited when this dress and romper arrived that she tried them on for me and let me take her picture! And yes, she straightened her hair so she looks 16 😭

I had this romper in mind for the kids’ upcoming 5th grade graduation ceremony when I bought it. I wasn’t sure she’d like it, but she sure does! Even if she doesn’t wear it on the last day of school, she will get plenty of wear out of it on other days and occasions.

There are a few color options, and it’s 25% off!

Old Navy Romper // Target Ballet Flats

This cute little dress is only $10. I’m sure I will get her another one before summer because she’s worn this a ton and you can’t beat the price!

Old Navy Dress // Target Sandals

Aren’t girls’ clothes so much fun?! Also, no wonder her laundry pile is twice the size of Hayden’s! haha

Thanks so much for reading! I hope your week is off to a great start.

{this post contained Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Meals and Recipes

Monday Meals: Air Fryer Chicken

Hello and Happy Monday! It’s been a minute since I’ve shared a meal, and I don’t want to brag, but I’m getting the hang of my Air Fryer, y’all!

A couple of weeks ago, it was just me for dinner, so I decided to try chicken in my Air Fryer. I just did a spin on my Baked Chicken recipe and used the Air Fryer. I loved it so much that I made it again for the family using chicken tenders.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken
  • 2-3 eggs
  • Splash of milk (not pictured)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Panko bread crumbs
  • Italian bread crumbs
  • Grated Parm

*I like to use Italian bread crumbs for flavor, Parm for saltiness, and Panko bread crumbs for crunch.

Instructions:

  • Using two dishes, put eggs, splash of milk, salt and pepper in one, and bread crumbs, Panko, and a couple of small handfuls of grated parm in the other.
  • Dip the chicken in the egg wash and then the bread crumbs and place in your Air Fryer.

The automatic Air Fryer setting for chicken is 380 for 25 minutes. That is what I did with the chicken breasts the first time I made it, flipping halfway through. For this recipe, since I was using chicken tenders 15 minutes at 380 degrees (flipping once midway through) was enough to cook them just right.

  • Enjoy!

We had our dinner with bagged Caesar salad and Bob Evans mashed potoatoes.

The Air Fryer and dinner hacks like bagged salad and microwave mashed potatoes provided us with a healthy and hearty meal in less than 20 minutes!

Now that it’s springtime, next time, I’m going to serve this Air Fryer chicken with one of my favorite side dishes!

If you need more Air Fryer ideas, Tina (to_mimishousewego) on instagram shares so many awesome Air Fryer recipes!

What have you made in the Air Fryer recently? I’d love more ideas!

I hope you have a great week,

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Hello! How was your week? We had a great one, but the weather has turned a bit colder with some rainy days. I was busy giving the ACT, so I felt like my week went by pretty quickly, and feel like my weekend “to do” list is pretty long.

Like always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika to share my favorites from the week.

Moment:

My favorite moment for the week was taking these two for their annual exams and having healthy check ups. It’s not lost on me what a blessing it is to have two healthy and active kids!

Per tradition, we made a pit stop for ice cream as a post-appointment (that included middle school shots!) treat.

Kid Quote:

Hayden reached a major milestone at school, and it was so sweet hearing his enthusiasm and sweetness of reaching his goal.

Also, on a funny note, we are a little behind watching American Idol. Hayden loves to watch it with Travis and me. Anyway, last night we were watching the beginning of Tuesday’s episode when Ryan Seacrest said that (my fave!) Wyatt had to go home for personal reasons. Hayden said, “Mom! Check his ‘gram!” (and I did…not specific info–just a post from Wyatt). Kids these days…they can find out the scoop on social media as a “source.”

Photo(s)

Travis and I were able to enjoy a few races at Keeneland to kick off our weekend. The weather was gorgeous, and he even won a couple of bets!

We’ve missed this place. During the spring and fall meets, he goes pretty often for work ( and fun), and I try to join him at least once per meet. Due to Covid, I don’t think I’ve been to Keeneland since April 2019.

Food(s)

We met some friends at a favorite restaurant with an awesome patio. I got the pan-seared grouper, and it was delish!

Another favorite food was Hadley made Paula Deen’s Gooey Butter Cake from the box mix I picked up when we ate at her restaurant in Nashville. It was so good! (Almost like having Paula in the kitchen!)

Clothing Item(s)

We have a couple of new clothing items as faves. We got Hadley this Universal Thread quarter zip-up pullover at Target. It’s the “lemon drop yellow” color, and she loves it. (and, because she’s 11 going on 16, she now realizes she can wear small sizes in the Women’s Department. This is a Women’s XS!) This 1/4 zip has an 80s/90s vibe, and I feel like I probably had a similar sweatshirt in 1991.

I’m loving this new dress from Amazon. It’s perfect for a spring day, church, school, and Keeneland (I’m wearing it in the photo above at the track!). It’s legit good, and the price can’t be beat. It comes in a variety of colors, and I think it’s perfect for any body type!

Other Faves:

You know when you go to the grocery store for milk and eggs, and walk out with milk, eggs, and cute springtime napkins and plates? I saw these on a recent trip to Kroger, and for a $1 each, I couldn’t pass them up! So cute.

Oh, I meant, you know when you go to the grocery store for milk and eggs, and come out with milk, eggs, cute napkins and plates, and Girl Scout cookie mini cupcakes? Again, I’d never seen these before, and picked them up. They’ve been the perfect little dessert to snack on this week, and Hadley has packed one in her lunchbox the past couple of days.

Once Easter is over, I take down my bunny door hanger, and put up my jockey silk door hanger. It’s Derby time in the Bluegrass State, y’all!

I’ve seen the prettiest flowers while out for my walks. Of course, my allergies are trying to kill me, but the flowers sure do look pretty!

As the end of the school year draws near, I was running low on lunchbox notes. I usually just search for lunchbox notes on Amazon because I love trying new ones. These arrived and are so cute. Each one is so pretty, has a sweet saying, and they are card stock quality paper.

Bonus! The insert with information said they are made by Hadley Designs! (Hadleydesigns.com) My Hadley thought that was so fun!

Mom Meme:

This made me laugh! There are plenty of nights where I give up and just tell everyone I’m going to bed and tell them to turn the lights out! haha

On a more “serious” note, I saw this on Facebook, and I can definitely relate. Being a mom is difficult no matter if you stay home or work outside of the home. I’ve been juggling the working mom sitch for eleven years now, so you’d think I’d have a handle on the what I’m doing. Thankfully, Travis is a very hands on dad and super helpful, but my mind never shuts off. I’m always thinking, planning, worrying, doing, and more. The kids are so busy, and we are on the go so much.

To all the moms out there, I see you. Hang in there. It sure does take a village, doesn’t it?

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

I posted this on National Sibling Day in April 2014, and the photo still cracks me up!

Hadley with the hugs…and Hayden wanting no part in it!

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from this week in case you missed one!

What do you have going on this weekend? I think we may go to my school’s baseball game, Hayden and Hadley are baking at church, and of course, Hayden has a game!

As always, thanks so much for reading.

{this post contained Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Me, Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: My Routines

Hello there! A few weeks ago, Amy shared a post about her routines, and I thought it would be fun to reflect on some of my routines. I’ve shared my skin care routine in the past as well as our routine when we did distance/virtual learning, and even my workout routine, so I thought I’d dig a bit deeper into some of my other routines.

Y’all, I love a routine. My former principals had us take a personality quiz once to assess our strengths and my strengths were consistency, discipline, and connecting. I thrive on a routine and would be lost without structure! 😆

Health and Skincare Routine:

I have a morning and night skincare routine of washing my face, using toner, then applying my daytime or night time moisturizer. I also use eye cream both morning and night.

I’ve shared before that I’ve been treating myself to monthly facials for over four years now! It’s such a treat to have that appointment on my calendar once a month. The membership that I have includes one treatment a month: facial, dermaplane, microdermabrasion, or chemical peel. Dermaplane and chemical peel are my faves!

Having my nails painted is a non-negotiable for me. If I don’t have my nails painted, then I don’t feel put together at all. I usually paint them every Sunday or Monday. Of course, I also love to get a gel manicure when I can.

I’m thankful that I can get away with washing my hair three times a week. I used to wash it religiously every other day, but I think Covid helped me out, and I got used to washing it less.

I shower at night. I cannot go to bed unless I’ve showered. I’ve tried, and I just can’t do it.

I get low lights/highlights and my hair trimmed every 10 weeks.

While my workouts may vary depending on what I have time to complete or how I’m feeling, I do try to workout at least five days a week. Lately, I’ve been doing four days of Beach Body videos and walking two days a week. My motivation through the week is to have a day off from working out on Sunday.

Speaking of eating…I still try to incorporate intermittent fasting when possible and eat low carb at least one day a week. I’m forever working on my water intake, but the effort is there!

Night/Morning Routine:

I typically wake up 6:00, and I definitely try to be in bed by 10:00. There are some nights that I’m so tired, I do so earlier, and the kids come tell me goodnight haha! I like to read before bed and try to be asleep by 10:30 if not earlier.

I still have my morning quiet time with coffee and blog reading. I seriously have to ease into my day. There have been a few times when I’ve hit snooze a time or two (or even forgotten to set an alarm!), and hitting the ground running is not my style! I feel so “off” if I haven’t had my time in the morning.

I also have at least one cup of coffee before waking the kids, and then I fill up my travel mug to finish my coffee drinking at school!

Meal Planning:

I have a small paper calendar on my fridge where I write activities and meals for all the fam to see. Once I have activities written out for the week, I meal plan dinners. I used to do grocery pick up on Sunday, but for a couple of months now, I’ve made every effort to place my order on Friday for Saturday pick up. It’s nice having a full fridge for Sunday breakfast and lunch. I also sometimes use my slow cooker on Sundays, so I like having all my dinner items.

I typically make something on Sunday that can be leftovers for Monday. Mondays just tend to be busy with school and often activities. I just don’t want to have to cook when I get home. On Tuesdays, we usually have pork loin, tacos, or chicken because I try to eat low carb on at least Tuesdays. Then, I will cook again on Wednesday and Thursdays. (If I get lucky and make a hearty soup or casserole Wednesday, I don’t have to cook on Thursday!)

Around the House:

After diner, I always set coffee pot for morning, so that the coffee is waiting for me when I get up!

Our bed gets made every single morning. Every. Single. Morning. Also, I can’t just toss the quilt and comforter up…the bed has to be made right. If I’m on a time crunch in the morning, Travis will make it. He understands how important this task is for me!

My house may not always be clean, but if you randomly stop by, it’s most likely tidy. Travis is more of the cleaner, and I’m more of the tidier, so that works out well. I also tidy up before bedtime, by making sure dishes are in the dish washer and the pillows are straight on couch.

When the kids were little and had tons of toys, I just always felt better having them picked up even though I knew they’d get them out again the next morning.

In the fall and in the spring, I tend to organize the kids’ rooms and closets as well as go through their clothes to see what doesn’t fit anymore and can be donated.

It’s pretty rare for me to do laundry during the week as that tends to be a weekend chore. I typically sort the kids’ clean clothes on Monday for them to put up Monday after school.

The Kids:

The kids have a good shower rotation going although I’ve told them they are to the age where nightly showers are about to happen. Also, why is it that kids don’t want to shower, but then they also don’t want to get out of the shower?!?! I swear, I spend just as much time telling them to get out of the shower as I do begging them to get in!

After school, the kids take their backpacks to their rooms, bring me any school materials I need to see, plug in their Chromebooks, and unpack their lunchboxes (if needed).

Like I said above, Monday’s chore is to put up clean laundry (and pull up the trash cans up from the curb)

After dinner, they make their lunches for the next day if needed. I used to live for the square (rectangle?) school pizza, but they hate it! I wish I enjoyed making lunches, and sometimes I will help, but I typically tell them that if they are taking their lunches, they are making them. This some times deters Hayden. Just yesterday, he bought school lunch even though he initially said he didn’t want to buy!

They make their beds daily. Sometimes I help, but I don’t waiver on this chore. I used to show my students this video, and I’ve shown it to Hayden and Hadley. Bed making is a non-negotiable. (Fun Fact: sometimes on the weekend, I make their bed for them as a trade off for making it during the week. Plus, I figure I’m home more on the weekend to walk past their rooms and see the made beds!)

In the evenings, we have a general rule of the kids being off electronics by 8:00, and in bed by 9:30. Some nights are hit or miss, but I feel better having these expectations in place.

On Sundays, they tidy up their rooms for the week. I kind of let them let it go during the week, but I feel like Sunday is the perfect time for a reset.

I’m sure they will turn out fine with minimal help from a therapist. Yikes! 🤣

What about you? What are some of your routines? What do you have your kids do?

I hope you are having a great week! It’s almost the weekend!

I’m sure most of you have similar routines, but typing out my bed making situation made me feel like a crazy person 😬🤣

Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Day in the Life, Everyday Life

Day in the Life

Hello! It’s been a while since I’ve written a Day in the Life post, and now that life feels pretty “normal” again with our return to school and heavy spring sports schedule, I thought I’d capture a random day last week.

Here’s what life looked like for me on Tuesday, April 6, 2021

Per usual, I woke up to my 6:00 alarm.

I had my quiet time with about twenty minutes to sip my coffee, watch the morning news, and read a few blogs.

(**I’ve mentioned this before, but I wake my kids about 15 minutes earlier than I did in previous years because their school starts ten minutes earlier now. I seriously miss 15 more minutes to myself in the morning, but I can’t even bring myself to set my alarm fro 5:59 am! haha)

Time to wake up the kids!

Hayden requested cinnamon sugar toast, and Hadley had half a bagel with peanut butter and a side of yogurt. I finished packing Hadley’s lunch and then put dinner in the slow cooker.

The kids were out the door at 7:15 which gave me 30 minutes to finish getting myself ready. Travis had made the bed, so I had a couple of minutes to sort the kids’ laundry for them to put up after school. I refilled my coffee mug, gathered all my school stuff and left around 7:45 for school.

I arrived right on time to school and made my way to my classroom.

While my mornings at home are pretty routine, school looks kind of different for me each day.

I always start my morning by logging on the computer for the day and glancing at my schedule before answering emails and printing any resources I need.

At 9:00, I enjoyed my protein shake (I’m trying to get better about meeting my protein goal each day!), and then I switched back to my coffee.

I graded credit recovery work for about thirty minutes.

Then I met with some students to work on their English 2 papers.

I answered and sent more emails before an 11:15 Zoom appointment with a virtual student.

At 12:00, I ate my lunch and then worked with two more students to prep for a test.

Then, I had a 1:00 meeting.

From 2:00- 2:15, I answered more emails and made a parent phone call.

Then, I met with some students who needed help with English 1 assignments until 3:00.

For the last few minutes of the day, I graded a few more credit recovery assignments and set my schedule for the next day with student appointments.

Before leaving at 3:45, I looked over ACT materials as I’m proctoring that exam this week and printed grades for students who I would meet with on Wednesday.

I got home around 4:00, chatted with the kids about their day, checked the mail, cleaned my lunch dishes, and got dressed for my walk.

Instead of my normal Beach Body workout, I went for a 45 minute walk. (I’m still doing at home workouts 4 days a week and then decided to incorporate two afternoon walks a week which gives me time to enjoy the weather and listen to my favorite podcasts!)

As soon as I got home from my walk, I made cornbread muffins to finish off our dinner. We ate at 5:30 which is unheard of for us but needed due to a busy evening of activities. (We had Shay’s King Ranch Joes which we eat pretty often!)

I then helped Hayden get ready for his first game of the season! Homer wished him “good luck!”

At 6:30, Hadley left for her church reading group…

which gave me some more “me time.” I read for about 20 minutes and caught a few minutes of my fave: Wheel of Fortune.

At 6:30, I picked up Hadley and a couple friends and dropped off the two friends before heading to Hayden’s game.

We got there at about 7:45 and his 7:30 game didn’t start until after 8! It ended at 10:15! It’s fun to see him back on the ball field, but this mama was ready for bed!

Hadley and I left right after the game which gave me time for my quick evening shower and skin care routine.

I tucked Hadley in right as Hayden and Travis got home…apparently, they made a pit stop at Taco Bell!

Hayden got to bed a little before 11 (I know, I know!)…and I caught a few minutes of my favorite ladies before dozing off!

On a “regular” night, the kids are in bed around 9:30, and I’m usually in bed reading by 10:00, so this was definitely a late night for us.

I love these kinds of posts, and I hope you do too! I always think it’s fun to see what others do throughout a typical day.

Thanks so much for reading. See you back here later this week! Now, I’m headed to give the ACT to a bunch of juniors! I’m not sure who is more excited…me or them! haha

Posted in Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom: Favorite Family Memories

Hello and Happy Monday! How was your weekend?

Friday’s weather was lovely, and we met some friends out for dinner. Saturday was such a rainy day! Torrential downpour pushed Hayden’s 3:30 game to 7:30. Sigh…yet another 7:30 game, that didn’t start until 8:00. and wasn’t over until after 10:00! That being said, at least we knew it was delayed while at home rather than start a game to have it rained out/delayed while at the ball park.

Sunday was gloomy and cool, so I made Shay’s Chicken Noodle Soup in the slow cooker, we changed all the sheets in the house, recovered from a late night, and prepped for the upcoming week.

Today, is our monthly Not Just a Mom link up! It’s so much fun co-hosting with these ladies:

Today’s topic is favorite family memories. With this topic, I immediately thought of memories as a kid, but also thought of some favorite memories as a family that I hope my kids always remember.

Favorite Family Memories as a Kid:

We often had Sunday family dinners at my grandparents’ house (my dad’s parents), and I loved running around in my grandma’s backyard, playing on the swing set, seeing cousins, and so much more. We also spent many 4th of July’s there grilling out and watching fireworks.

Another favorite childhood memory was sledding in our front yard. Our house was on top of a big hill which was perfect for sledding. We definitely got snowy weather every winter in Missouri. We didn’t live on a busy street, but my mom or dad would stand across the street to tell us it was safe to sled because once we got going, it was hard to stop! We usually went right into our neighbor’s front yard before stopping!

80’s sledding photo with my brother, my mom, and our dog Maggie

The Plaza lights are a huge Kansas City attraction in the winter months. They are always lit on Thanksgiving evening and stay up until after Christmas. As a kid, we’d always drive through the Plaza to look at the lights and would then often stop at Winsteads for a burger and a shake!

We’ve taken my kids a few times when we visit KC for Thanksgiving. I hope this will be a favorite memory for them just like it was for me.

In my middle and high school years, we’d drive to see the “Magic tree” and drive through “Christmas in the Park” lights.

Here we are this year as a family visiting the Magic Tree that I did too so many years ago.

As a kid, we often visit the Lake of the Ozarks with my mom’s parents. They had a house boat for most of my childhood. We’d fish, swim, play Solitaire (cards!) on the deck of the house boat, walk to the store by the dock to get a Tootsie pop, and so many other fun memories. I remember what a big deal it was to take a bath at the lake…in the lake. My grandpa was so funny and we’d lather up and jump in the lake. He’d say we were clean enough doing it that way!

the lake life as kids

Also, back home in KC, my grandparents belonged to a country club. My brother and I loved going to the pool and getting an ice cream bar when we were finished swmming.

Other favorite family childhood memories included going to World of Fun and Oceans of Fun (KC attractions) with my cousins as well as going on vacations to California, Colorado, Minnesota, Maine and other places.

I definitely had a great childhood filled with wonderful memories which is why I guess I feel like it’s so important to provide opportunities and traditions to create memories for my kids.

Favorite Memories with my Family:

I’ve shared a couple of posts on traditions that certainly serve as great reminders of some of the fun things we do as a family that have provided great memories.

I hope one of my kids’ favorite memories growing up will be that I make them snowman pancakes on our first snow day off of school!

One of my favorite memories to look back on is that we’ve gone to Southern Lights at the Kentucky Horse Park every year that I’ve lived here since 2004. We only missed December of 2009 when the kids were less than a month old, and we were too tired to think about traditions. haha

Baking has provided some fun family memories through the years. I always bake with the kids around Christmastime.

They’ve also learned some of the family favorites by baking cookies with my mom and Gma.

Hadley loves to bake and will bake on her own from time to time!

The kids have gone to Keeneland a few times with Travis which as been so fun for them and have provided great memories for them as kids.

October 2017
ready to go to the races in April 2018

I’d say going to the pumpkin patch is one of my favorite family traditions through the years. I hope the kids feel that it’s a favorite as well.

2019
2020

Family vacations have also provided us with so many wonderful family memories. We love going somewhere different for Spring Break, we usually go to Asheville for Fall Break, and we typically head to the beach for summer vacation. I hope the kids appreciate that we’ve made a point of taking them to new places, but we also love the tradition of a beach vacation as well.

The Biltmore
Ashville,NC
Gaylord Opryland for Spring Break 2021
Isle of Palm, SC 2013
Hilton Head, SC 2018
Siesta Key June 2020
Siesta Key June 2020
Siesta Key June 2020
Grand Canyon 2018
San Diego 2018
San Diego 2018

As I completed this post, I realized that while some of my favorite memories are of family vacations or bigger events and holidays, some of the smaller memories are what have stuck out to me as favorites. What are some of your favorite family memories?

Next month’s topic is all about Concerts!

I hope your week is off to a great start. Thanks so much for reading!

Take care,

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Posted in Friday Favorites, Kids

Friday Favorites

Hello! Shew! We made it. I feel like I jumped back into reality with both feet this week. The struggle was real setting my alarm clock, getting dinners made, and getting my people where they needed to be, but it’s finally Friday.

I linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.

Here’s a quick recap of my favorites from the week…

Favorite Kid Quote:

{Sweet Kid Quote}

This moment is technically from a couple weeks ago, but right before Spring Break, Hadley’s teacher emailed me to tell me that Hadley had shared a Google Slides Presentation that she made about her classmates. Each slide had something that Hadley liked or admired about each of her classmates. The teacher shared it with the class and said that everyone loved it. A few students even thanked Hadley for noticing attributes they didn’t think anyone noticed about them. It was a very sweet email, and I was super proud of Sis.

(I’m letting it slide that she apparently emailed it to her teacher at 10:00 PM when I thought she was sleeping!) 😆

{Funny Kid Quote}

This week Hayden was gearing up for his baseball season to start. Hadley’s favorite part of the baseball season is the concession stand. Hayden said, “Well, this year the league’s baseball concession stand is “goat(ed)!” I guess that means they have great food!

Favorite Food:

Speaking of food, I picked up a few bags of Trader Joe’s Salted Inca Corn the last time I was there. They are basically the TJ version of Corn Nuts which are my fave.

*Fun fact: Per tradition, I usually pick up at least one bag of Corn Nuts on any road trip with Travis. He always complains…😂, but he said how much he loves these!

Favorite Moment(s):

Baseball Boo is back! Hayden’s on a new team this year, and had games Tuesday and Wednesday this week!

Here he is ready for Tuesday night’s game…{Homer stayed home!}

Wednesday night, back in action, sporting the black uni!

It’s always fun watching him play….even though it’s meant a couple of late nights this week.

up to bat, pitching, and playing 1st

Other Faves:

The flowers I picked up at Trader Joe’s for Easter are still showing off!

The weather has been so pretty this week. I’m still doing my Beach Body workouts, but have opted to walk on Tuesday and Thursday this week. I was feeling like I needed to mix it up a bit, and my walks are the only times I really get to listen to my favorite podcasts!

Favorite Mom Meme:

For my kids, it’s sometimes too much Xbox or iPod, but I can definitely relate to this meme:

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday:

Since Easter was the week, Hadley in her bunny ears at Target in 2012 seems very appropriate.

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from this week in case you missed one! This week was a mix of Easter, Amazon, and Opryland!

Speaking of posts…Monday is our April Not Just a Mom link up! If you are a blogger, we’d love to have you join us. This month’s topic is Favorite Family Memories.

I hope you have a great weekend. We have friends’ birthday parties and baseball on tap (if the rain holds off on Saturday). See you back here on Monday; thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Travel

Gaylord Opryland Nashville Recap

Hello! How is your week going? I’m not going to lie…re-entry back into reality after a week of Spring Break has been a major adjustment. On top of school and work, Hayden has had two back to back late baseball games! Only a couple more days until the weekend!

Today, I’m sharing about our Gaylord Opryland Resort trip. We’ve had this place on our “to visit” list for a couple of years. As I mentioned in last Friday’s post, we typically plan a Spring Break trip for a few days of break rather than going somewhere for an entire week. Spring Break has been the perfect time to visiting some place new for a few days. This year, we headed to Nashville to stay at the Gaylord, have fun at Sound Waves, and experience some of what Nashville has to offer.

Travis and I have friends in Nashville, so we’ve been there quite a few times, but this is the first time the kids had ever been there. We left Tuesday morning after breakfast, and arrived around noon at the Gaylord. We were able to secure an early check in, and this was our view when we exited the elevator:

I checked out our balcony view while the kids got ready for the water park.

Funny enough, in our 48 hours at the Gaylord we ran into three different families we know…but rarely get to see! One of the families we knew would be there, and my kids had fun playing with their kids!

We spent most of Tuesday afternoon at the Sound Waves water park. The kids swam, I enjoyed the lazy river(s), and Hayden tried the FlowRider body surfing. He had lots of fun giving that a try. While the dads kept an eye on the kids, my friend and I hit up the water slides. Eventually, Hadley and our friends’ daughter joined us for the four person water slide. We had lots of fun.

We went back to the room around 5:30, cleaned up, walked around some of the property.

Nothing says Opryland like guitars hanging from the ceiling.

We stayed in the Cascades Atrium, and the waterfalls were amazing.

The main restaurants (sushi, Mexican food, steak, etc) on the property rotated being open for dinner while the market and smaller “grab and go” places like Cinnabon and Starbucks were open daily. Tuesday night, we decided to see what was nearby and stumbled upon Paula Deen’s Family Kitchen. There was a bit of a wait, so we had a later dinner than usual. It was “family style,” so we shared the fried chicken, chicken and dumplings, green beans, mac and cheese (and more!) between the four of us. The desserts were amazing, and I even picked up a couple of boxes of the gooey cake on the way out. The restaurant was super cute, and I had to show great restraint at the gift shop!

Once we got back, we walked around the resort a bit. The waterfalls and the seating areas were so pretty at night. We headed to bed around 10:00. (Hayden stayed up a bit later than the rest of us watching the basketball game.)

Day 2

The kids slept in until about 9:00 on Wednesday morning. I enjoyed my coffee and quiet time on our balcony while they snoozed.

Then, we walked to pick up breakfast while checking out some of the Easter decorations.

After that, the kids and Travis changed for the pool. We got two day passes for the Sound Waves Water Park. While they swam, I went to Landyn’s store! This was a “must” for me this trip as I love following her on Instagram …

and her…cream and white color palette is just my style!

Her shop is in L&L Market and there were other cute shops restaurants there as well. At Landyn’s store, I purchased her “Morning Announcements” mug, a pair of fun gold earrings with my initials, and a cute white bunny (bottom of the photo above). I actually asked one of the girls working if it was for sale…and they weren’t sure. She looked it up, and it was only $5! Uh…sold! I will remember my trip to her store every Easter when I put out my decorations.

I also stopped by Marigold Popcorn which is in the space across from her store. She shares them on stories sometimes. I picked up some churro flavored popcorn as well as white chocolate drizzled popcorn.

It was only a 20 minute drive from our hotel, so I’m glad I made the trip!

I got back to the hotel around 2:00, and read my book until about 3:00 when the kids and Travis got back from the pool. We lounged around for a bit, and then got dressed for Wednesday night activities. Before heading out for the night, we walked around for a few minutes, and a sweet family offered to take our photo (and then I took theirs).

We got in the car and headed to downtown Nashville. I have such fond memories of trips to Nashville with Travis and friends to visit our friends who live here and also to see the football CATS play at Vandy a few times. We’d always end up at Tootsies or Legends. We walked around for a bit, but as we walked by Legends, there were some people (and families) in there listening to music, so we stopped in for a bit.

Listen, when you hear Dixieland Delight being played, it’s hard to resist hanging out in Legends for a few minutes.

The band was really good and so sweet. They asked Hayden and Hadley for requests, and they obliged with an Eric Church song (Hayden) and Maren Morris song (for Hadley). While out an about in Nashville, people were wearing masks, we we kept ours on until we sat down, and then we stayed seated until we left.

Hayden loves American Idol as much as I do, and was excited to spot the Lionel Richie album on the wall.

After Legends, we walked passed Ryman Auditorium on the way to…

Assembly Food Hall. I’m assuming this is new since the last time I was there, but it was a good quick option for us. It was basically an upscale food court with live music. Travis and Hayden got pizza while Hadley and I got chicken (chicken pita for me) followed by cookie dough for dessert.

Then, we headed to Top Golf Nashville. (We were going to go to Top Golf Cincinnati the first weekend of break, but a friend told us there was one in Nashville, so that made more sense to just go there rather than drive to CInci and back)

We had such a good time. We had our top level golf bay for an hour, but ended up adding an additional 30 minutes on because the kids were having so much fun.

While Hayden is definitely the golfer in the family and can drive the ball far, Hadley wins for most accurate!

I’m glad we went around dusk and stayed until dark. The atmosphere was so pretty.

Then, we headed back to the hotel and checked out the fountains and waterfalls at night.

We headed to the “Delta” area for ice cream for the kids and then a glass of wine by the waterfalls for me.

We were all fast asleep by 10:00.

Day 3

I had to wake the kids around 9:00 on Thursday morning, so we could enjoy our last few hours at the Gaylord.

We packed up, got a quick breakfast in the Delta area…

and then the kids tried the rock climbing wall. Hadley scaled the wall in a minute and 37 seconds. Hayden took a couple of tries, and then made it to the top.

We headed back to our room, checked out around 11, and then made a stop at the outlet mall. We hit up Nike and Vineyard Vines before heading home.

We had such a great time, and I’m sure we will go back there some day. I’d love to see it at Christmastime because I know the decorations and lights are amazing as well as their winter activities.

Of course, we planned this trip knowing there were Covid precautions in place. Everyone wore masks on the property, limited tickets were sold for the water park, only some restaurants on the property were open each day, among other precautions.

So that’s a little look at our trip. It was a great three days away, but we are always happy to get back home…and the kids are always excited to be reunited with Homer.

Thanks so much for reading!