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Posted in Share 4 Somethings

Share 4 Somethings

Happy Saturday!

We made it through the last day of school…yay! We’re ready for the weekend…and summer!

I’m linking up with Jennifer to share a quick Share 4 Somethings post.

This month I…

Loved:

Spring candles. If I’m home, a candle is lit. I love the freshness of citrus and floral scents.

This peony blossom candle (in a rose gold tin) was a favorite find at Trader Joe’s this month.

Read:

I read four books this month, and it was a good month of reading. I will share those books next week, but The Paris Library was definitely my favorite.

Ate:

The month of May is hard for me to meal plan because it feels extra busy. I really needed to meal plan, but I really didn’t want to. haha

Some meals we ate this month:

When the weather was cooler, I took advantage of that and made “cozier” meals like Chicken Noodle Casserole and Taco Pie (both recipes courtesy of Andrea)

We’ve been grilling out already which has been so nice….Recently, we’ve had steak, BBQ chicken, and pork chops. Last weekend, I made Shay’s Pepperoni and Bell Pepper pasta salad, and Travis and I really liked it. Hadley prefers the one from the Betty Crocker box…haha.

This week, we ate some easy staples to get me through the week. I made baked chicken that we had with Bob Evans mashed potatoes, and Sloppy Joe’s with waffle fries. Thankfully, fruit is also an easy side this time of the year.

Bought:

I took advantage of some summer sales and purchased more of my favorite pj’s (top // shorts) and a swimsuit from Target, some shorts I’ve had my eye on from Aerie, and a bra from Soma. (Soma always has a big sale before Christmas and this time of the year…and it’s always a good reminder for me to update my undergarments!)

Have you taken advantage of any great sales lately?

I hope your holiday weekend is off to a great start. See you back here Tuesday.

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites {#159}

Hello and happy Friday.

It’s the best kind of Friday…it’s the last Friday of the school year!

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

Here are some favorites from the week:

One of Hadley’s friends had a party for her 13th birthday last Saturday. The girls had Chipolte for dinner in the backyard. They showed up dressed up, and then changed clothes after dinner to run around for a scavenger hunt. They had such a great time!

Seeing Hadley (and friends) all dressed up had me thinking about this meme:

When people tell me how much Hadley looks like me, my first thought is that I was never that pretty…especially at 13!!

Saturday night while Hadley was at the party, Travis and I watched Air with Hayden. It was so good! Travis and I especially loved the soundtrack!

Sunday was Youth Sunday at church. Hayden was an usher and passed out the bulletins while Hadley helped with the offering.

It’s such a great group of kids, and it was a wonderful service.

On Sunday, Travis and Hadley went and picked up some flowers for the front porch as well as two hanging ferns. The ferns are usually my Mother’s Day gift.

I had the honor of being in Hadley’s daily BeReal post this week.

Hayden brought home one of his art pieces from the year. It’s the track/stadium at University of Oregon . It’s hard to tell from the pics, but he was quite detailed with seats in the stadium and the track.

Travis asked him if it was an ashtray….I thought it was better than that!

Favorite Foods:

Last week, our friends/neighbors invited us over to make pizzas and use their pizza oven. I made a BBQ chicken one, and it was so good.

On Saturday, Travis talked me in to going out for a biscuit brunch. It did hit the spot on a dreary and rainy morning.

Favorite Kid Quote:

For Sunday dessert, I made strawberry shortcake trifles…

Hadley took one bite and said, “Okkk, Betty Kroger!” 😆 Kroger is our grocery store! Close enough. I will take the compliment.

Favorite Mom Meme:

I like to think that I have a 50/50 shot that someone will like me most days…

Flashback Friday:

Many cute memories popped up this week.

2013 — little Hayden lining up his cars. He used to do this for hours when he was little.

Also from 2013—Hadley’s cute little smile. I remember how cute that pink shirt was on her.

2010- the first time Hayden tried cereal…bahaha

Weekly Recap:

This week, I shared funny memes, talked about work/home balance, shared a Three Things post as well as a Monthly Musings post.

What are your weekend plans? Like I shared in yesterday’s post, we’ll hang with friends tonight, go to the state track meet tomorrow, and then hopefully just hang out and/or hit the pool the rest of the weekend.

I should have a bonus post (Share 4 Somethings) tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,

Posted in Holidays, Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings

Hello and happy Thursday!

Some months I feel like they seem to fly by, but May sure felt like it lasted forever! That being said, I can’t believe this time next week it will be June! Since it’s the last Thursday of the month, Holly and Patty are hosting their Monthly Musings link up.

This month’s topic is: Celebrating Memorial Day Weekend

Ahh…one of my favorite weekends of the year. Of course Memorial Day has significant meaning as we honor those who lost their lives serving our country.

Memorial Day Celebration with American Flag on background. Text “Memorial Day – Remember and Honor”

It’s also the start of summer. The pool opens, alarm clocks can be turned off, grills are turned on, and everyone can enjoy the warm summer sunshine.

1. How are you spending Memorial Day weekend?

Well, tomorrow is the last day of school…and usually I’d be in my pjs by 7:00, but our friends invited us over to grill out/hang on their patio. Saturday, we’ll spend the day at the state middle school track meet. Sunday and Monday we don’t have any official plans, and by that time, I’m sure I’ll be ready to relax. Our pool opened yesterday. We’ve had beautiful weather this week, but it’s only supposed to be mid-70’s the next few days. I’m sure the kids (especially Hadley) will head to the pool Sunday/Monday. I will probably go for a bit as well at some point.

2. Favorite ice cream?

My favorite ice cream is mint chocolate chip!

3. Memorial Day travel or hanging out at home?

We never travel for Memorial Day…it’s always too close to the end of the school year. So, we will be at home when not at the track meet.

4. Burger? Hot dog? or both?

I love a good hot dog. We actually went out to dinner last Friday to a local spot, and I ordered a hot dog with cheese and pickle. It was so good.

There’s another local place called Boonedogs that we’ve been to a time or two, and it’s good as well.

5. Favorite cookout sides?

I love a good pasta salad. I made Shay’s Pepperoni & Bell Pepper Pasta Salad recipe this past weekend, and it’s really good.

This one I found on Pinterest years ago is one I make often as well.

6. White before or after Memorial Day?

For me, I typically wait until after Memorial Day…but that’s not because I’m trying to follow any fashion rule. I prefer to be tan before wearing white. I did wear my white jeans to school yesterday with a bright pink top…but I also made a visit to the Sun Tan City spray tan booth this past weekend.

7. Memorial Day traditions?

We don’t really have any Memorial Day traditions…not like we we seem to have for the 4th of July.

As a kid, I remember my extended family getting together for Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day weekends.

I joke that there are two kinds of Memorial Day weekend people…those who do yardwork, and those who go to the pool. Guess which one I’m married to! Plus, since I know I will have pool time in the summer, I’m not rushing to go over Memorial Day weekend when it’s so crowded.

It does seem like most years we grill out with neighbors at some point and go to the pool for a bit.

8. Share a summer recipe.

This Asparagus Fries recipe I found on Pinterest years ago, is a winner. My whole family loves them. This weekend, Travis picked up chicken to grill and came home with asparagus too. He requested this as a side. It’s one of Hadley’s favorites as well.

9. Parades, fireworks or cookouts?

Cook out and pool!

10. Show us your red, white, and blue…

For the patriotic holidays, I always put out a few flags…

…and I miss the days of the kids *willingly* wearing red, white, and blue…but how festive is Homer?

What are your Memorial Day weekend plans? Our weather looks amazing. I’m definitely ready for the weekend!

Posted in Three things

Three Things: End of the School Year

Hello!

Well, it’s been quite a while since I’ve written a Three Things post. With the end of the school year wrapping up, now seems like a good time to recap the year before we move into summer.

1. School-Overall, I’d say Hayden had a good year. The transition from 6th grade to 7th grade is a big one, and Hayden (and Hadley) had to make some adjustments. He chose Spanish for foreign language, made Honor Roll and earned all his AR reading points every quarter.

2. Sports– Hayden was busy all year with cross country, basketball and track. He survived (and I think enjoyed) having his dad as his cross country coach. He had fun with his basketball teammates. During track, he broke 5 minutes in the mile, setting the school record. For state, he’s qualified in the 800m, 1600,3200m, and 4×800 relay.

3. Also – I swear he’s grown a few inches since the start of the school year. This spring, he’s started mowing our yard and helped out by mowing a few neighbors’ yards when needed. At youth Sunday at church this past weekend, he was an usher and passed out the bulletins.

Overall, I’d say he had a pretty good 7th grade year, and I know he’ll continue to work on his weaknesses and utilize his strengths!

1. School – Let me tell you what Hadley loves most about school: clubs, sports, and socializing! This year, she was on Student Council and involved in Wyldlife. That being said, she did make the Honor Roll every quarter, chose French as her foreign language, and was a big help to her teachers.

2. Sports –Hadley LOVED playing volleyball for her school. Her team was so fun to watch and so many of her friends played as well. In the off season, she trained a bit for track, and has a really great outdoor season for her school. For state, she’s qualified for the 400m as well as three relays: 4×800, 4×200, and 4×400. She’s also continued with competition dance for her studio, and I’m always amazed by those performances as well.

3. Also – Hadley has a very nurturing spirit and a kind soul. She had so much fun during volleyball with her friends, like her, some of whom hadn’t played much volleyball. During track season, she’s taken some sweet 6th grade girls under her wing. She calls them her “soccer girls” because besides track, they play soccer. It’s been fun watching her help them and cheer them on. Also, she’s been babysitting more and more this year. It’s been good for her to have that responsibility. On Sunday, during the youth service, Hadley helped with the offering. We are really proud of the person she’s becoming!

1. Travis – As always, Travis is busy at work. With a couple of weeks between the last regular season track meet and state, he’s been helping the kids prepare for the state meet. He will have one more year as the cross country coach at the kids’ school. Since that’s in place, he’s excited to spread the word about cross country to the elementary feeder schools and train kids this summer.

2. I am wrapping up my 21st school year. How is that possible? I’m looking forward to summer, but I am running two weeks of summer school. Since I have quite a bit of help, my role isn’t too time consuming, and I’m appreciative of that! Next year, I will continue in my interventionist role, and I’m excited about that too.

3. Homer is now four years old. His “gotcha” day is June 8th, so I see a scoop of vanilla ice cream in his future. My mom visited recently and mentioned how during the day, Homer mostly slept. He really is a good dog and doesn’t cause too much trouble these days!

Three more days of school left! I think I can, I think I can…

Posted in School, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk – Balance

Hello! I hope your week is off to a great start.

WordPress posts writing prompt ideas, and I saw this one the other day:

How do you balance work and home life?

So, today I’m sharing my thoughts on that topic…

When thinking about this topic, the first few ideas that popped in my mind were: stay organized, say no when needed, and maximize your time.

When I moved to my current school, that definitely helped with work/home balance. I had a shorter drive which meant I got back at least 45 minutes-an hour of my day. Also, my current school starts earlier, so now I have more time after school. I’m also on the same schedule/calendar as my kids which is nice.

Also, I’d always wished I could pick my kids up from school when they were in elementary school. With the middle/high school schedule in my district, I’m able to pick them up when they don’t have after school activities. That’s one example of me feeling more balanced in regards to school and home.

Organization:

You know my “Type A” self loves to be organized. As a family, we use the Cozi app. I’m really good about entering appointments, etc. in it –the kids need to be reminded to look at it. haha

I have a note on my phone for the week. This is just for me. I keep up with it adding in what we have every evening, errands, and other reminders.

I try to do things at home bit by bit to stay on top of everything. Also, our house is typically pretty tidy. I always feel better picking up before bed to start the day with a clean house. The kids’ rooms aren’t always tidy. Usually, on Sundays I ask them to “regroup” for the week and pick up their rooms. Sometimes, I feel like all I do is nag…but, at least with this, I’m only nagging on Sundays if needed.

Also, everyone in the house has to help out. I still sometimes feel like Travis and I do more than we need to, but the kids really do what they are supposed to do…eventually.

At school, I use my planner to stay organized and make lists. There’s always a sticky note (or two) on my desk that I use to guide my week and day.

Also, I never leave school on a Friday before I am ready for the following week. I still might have copies to make on Monday, but I have a sticky note with a to do list ready to go.

I can’t do it all…Sometimes, even with everything planned out, the kids will need a ride somewhere. It’s ok to ask for help. I’m very thankful for my “mom gang.” My brother and sister-in-law also help if I need Hadley taken to dance, for example, while we’re at Hayden’s game.

Just Say No:

If I have a busy day at school or know that I need to leave ASAP, I often times just keep to myself during the day. I just stay as focused as possible. I hate cutting a conversation short, but I know that some days I need every minute to get my work done.

Also, by now, I know my limits…sometimes a Friday night calls for pajamas by 7:00 rather than a night out. Do I still get FOMO? Yes…haha, but I do know that sometimes it’s better to have a quiet night at home and get caught up on sleep.

Maximize Your Time:

I learned a long time ago to leave school at school. Once I had the kids, I just maximized my time at school, so I could leave ASAP. Similar to “just say no” above, sometimes that means no socializing because I need to get school work done in order to leave whenever I need to.

Even when I had my regular English classes with 150 students, I never brought work home to grade. I’d grade as much as I could during the day. Then, every other week or so, I’d make sure Travis could pick up the kids and handle home stuff, so I could get caught up at school. Meaning I might stay at school for a couple of hours to get caught up if needed.

Y’all, I know it’s a busy season of life, but sometimes I feel like all I do is manage my time…even when I have a window of time, I still set a timer. For example, I might have thirty minutes to read, but I usually have to set a timer to prompt myself to make dinner, pick up the kids, or get my workout in.

Unfortunately, my kids aren’t the best at time management…yet? (hence, why sometimes I feel like a nag). I know it’s a learned skill (and a weakness for some), but I’m ready for them to master that skill. haha

Also….

I rarely check email after hours. I do still have it on my phone, and I know some don’t…but I do like having access to it. I do want my kids to have my attention when I’m at home, so I try to be “present” when they are around. I never want them to look over from the side lines to see me replying to a school email.

I also know that I will have times where I “have” to be “caught up” like the end of a grading period or right before a break. When we have a break, I know I can give 100% at home/relax a bit more then.

I even make some of my “me” time a scheduled part of my day. I get up at least 45 minutes before the rest of the house. I also schedule in my workouts in the evenings so that I’m more likely to get them done.

I still often feel imbalanced, but I also feel better for at least having a plan.

Do you have any secrets for home/work life balance? Let me know!

Posted in Memes

Monday Memes

Hello and happy Monday. I’m happy to say that this is the last Monday that I will have to hear an early alarm clock for about 10 weeks!

How was your weekend? We had a pretty slow one compared to most weekends this spring. That being said, most of the time was spent getting caught up on home things like laundry, groceries, yard work and more.

Since next Monday is Memorial Day, today I’m sharing the memes that made me laugh this month.

*Warning* most of the memes focus on being a tired teacher or tired parent this time of the year…haha

1.

Righhhhttt?! And all the parents said, “Amen!”

2.

Bahahaha….ha!

3.

I feel this deeply:

4.

Also, we don’t really get the summers “off”…

5.

I know I bought two yearbooks…at least I think I did. I guess we’ll find out this week.

6.

My mom sent me this one…and it’s very relatable!

7.

I meant to share this one when I shared my Oaks post, but I forgot..

It was very appropriate for the first Saturday in May.

8.

This probably applies more to the kids than me, but it’s happened a time or two…

9.

I love when a meeting wraps up early! Even better…when an email is sent rather than having to attend the meeting…

10.

Is there anything better than a bowl of cereal? Sometimes that’s my dessert…and honestly, it’s about to be dinner this week because I haven’t been the best about meal planning and prep😆

Which meme was your favorite?

As the school year wraps up, it always feels extra hectic. I hope to post regularly this week, but if not, you’ll know why!

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites {#158}

Hello and happy Friday!

Seriously, TGIF! This was a shorter week for us, but sometimes those feel like the longest! At my school, we’ve had testing the past couple of days, and I feel like that ages me every year! haha

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

Here are some favorites from the week:

Hadley had her last dance competition of the season last weekend, and the competition fee included more professional photos. I love her lyrical dance so much, and we’ve been able to get so many good photos over the past couple of weekends.

Of course, Mother’s Day was a favorite. Even though it was a hectic day, it was still a good one. My Mother’s Day flowers are still going strong, and I’m counting down the days until I can use my massage gift card.

Monday night, Hadley went to school with Travis because it was an open house for 5th graders to learn about the school, clubs, and athletics. So, Travis was there for cross country, and Hadley helped the 5th grade groups.

Anyway, afterwards, Hadley went to a friend’s house, and after I dropped her off, I decided to swing by Dairy Queen for a blizzard. Travis and Hayden got Cookies & Cream, and I tried a summer flavor: Peanut Butter Puppy Chow. It didn’t disappoint.

Of course, a favorite is a random Tuesday off from school. It was a dreary rainy day, but I was able to do quite a few things at home. Also, Hayden still wasn’t feeling well (this has been on again/off again for two weeks), so I took him to the dr. (again). He had an ear and sinus infection. Obviously, that’s not a favorite, but I’m glad he has a Z-pack now. Also, I made time to vote.

I popped into Trader Joe’s for a couple of things, and saw their seasonal candle: Peony Blossom. The tin is even rose gold, so of course I snagged two of them!

I got this set of Target pjs last summer in pink, and I was excited to see they still have them in a few different colors. They are seriously the best! The shorts are true to size for me, and I bought a large in the top too, but it’s more oversized. My Target had a couple of colors in store, but there seem to be more colors available online.

Favorite Mom Meme:

Usually my “mom memes” are funny…but I was scrolling the ‘Gram and saw this one.

It’s such a good reminder. These teen years are only getting started…but the time is also flying by. I really don’t want to look back and think all I did was nag them rather than enjoy my time with them.

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

Apparently, the kids had their 5th grade graduation on May 18, 2021. While I can’t believe how much older they look now, I’m also jealous that school was out that early that year! haha

Weekly Recap:

Well, I started off slowly this week with no post on Monday, but rallied with posts for the rest of the week.

What are your weekend plans? I can honestly say we don’t have much going on…and I’m here for it!

This time next week, I will be able to say hello summer! Well, I will still have one teacher work day, but the kids will be able to say “Peace out 7th grade!”

Thanks for reading,

Posted in Blog challenge, Me

Blog Challenge Part 12

Hello and happy Thursday. Yesterday, felt like a Monday all day, so I’m really glad that today is actually Thursday.

Well…another week, another Blog Challenge post.

I left off on Part 11.

…and today I’m going to write about topic 24…

24. A difficult time in my life

I know I’ve had a really great life. I’m lucky to think of only a few times in my life that were difficult for an extended amount of time, and they really do pale in comparison to what others have gone through.

With some of these blog challenge topics, I just go with what pops in my mind first and write about those ideas.

Here are a few difficult times that came to mind…

When we moved…

When we moved, I was in the 8th grade. To my parents’ credit, they were trying to give my brother and me a better life in a great school district and bigger house in a wonderful neighborhood. Well, try telling that to my thirteen year old self.

Also to my parents’ credit, since we’d only moved about twenty minutes away, they let me finish out the year at my previous middle school when really I could have started my new school in March of my 7th grade year.

Middle school years are just weird anyway…and then I was a new girl in a new school missing my friends.

I “rebelled” in a sense and refused to play volleyball or run track like I did my 7th grade year. I just decided to not come out of my room and just be miserable…and probably made them miserable too.

My brother was only in 5th grade, and made the transition to a new school better than I did. I kind of think boys have an easier time anyway….and he was younger.

By 9th grade, I settled in, branched out, and made friends. I think freshman year helped because it was a fresh start and many ninth graders were coming from a couple of schools.

That being said, being the “new girl” did stick with me through the years. To this day, I pay close attention and try not to let anyone, whether it’s my friend group or a student, feel left out. Due to a hectic season of life, we don’t have people over like we used to, but it’s always hard for me to know when to stop on the invite list. Again, I don’t want anyone feeling left out. Also, even as an adult, sometimes I still feel left out, and I’m sure it’s not intentional on anyone’s part. At least I don’t think so. Ok, I will stop spiraling now. 😆

Anyway, it all turned out for the best, and I had a great high school experience, made great friends, and learned a thing or two about starting over. I’d say those lessons helped me when I moved to Kentucky as an adult after living in Missouri my entire life.

Starting a family…

We struggled to start a family. I’ll probably talk a bit more about this more in June’s Not Just a Mom post, but…it took a couple of years, many doctors’ visits, medicine and more to have Hayden and Hadley. I kept it all really private because that’s just how I am. I didn’t want anyone to worry about me. It was a lonely time though.

After we had the kids and tried for a third, it took even more doctors’ visits and even stronger medicine to get pregnant again. Then, I had a miscarriage which was obviously difficult. Truly, after that, when I look back on my infertility struggles, the time (and the years following) after the miscarriage was the hardest.

I was never able to get pregnant again, and eventually I had to move on. The cost, physical discomfort, mood swings, along with having two little kids got to be too much for me to rationalize continuing on that journey. I felt like I was letting go of a dream which was sad for me. I’m a type A goal setter who usually achieves what I set my mind to …so it was hard feeling like a failure.

I realize I wasn’t a failure, but I think most who go through what I did know that feeling.

It’s hard not to have a happy ending after a traumatic loss like that. Sometimes that kind of grief is hard to shake even after all of these years.

Job transition…

When I left my former school to move to my current one, it was a difficult decision. I was really close with my department and had great friends there. I knew it was best for my family for me to work closer to home and in the same district as my kids, but I guess that decision did impact some friendships.

Then, that first year in my new school was really hard. It was year 15 for me, but I was in a new building that was double the size of my former one. There were times I truly felt like I’d made a mistake. It was the hardest year of my educational career, and I even thought about quitting. That being said, the next year was one of my best in my teaching career, so I’m glad that I stuck with it. Plus, the years following led me to my current interventionist position, and I’m definitely grateful for that.

This was kind of a “heavier” blog post…sorry! That being said, this is another reason why I’ve enjoyed my “self-imposed” blog challenge…It’s pushed me to write about things maybe I wouldn’t have otherwise?

Tomorrow, I will have a more light-hearted Friday Favorites post.

Posted in Kids, Travel

Summer Camp Packing List

Hello and happy Wednesday!

I can’t believe it’s already mid-week, and we are nearing the end of the school year.

The camp emails are starting to come in which had me thinking about what Hadley takes to camp every year.

I will be the first to admit that I’m not a camper. I went to Girl Scout camp in 4th grade, and I remember liking it…but I also remember being glad when I got home.

We went “glamping” for a couple of nights over fall break 2019, and we had a good time. One thing I knew about camping that this confirmed was packing for camping is so much work!

Hadley has been to summer camp for three years. I remember being so anxious the first time we left her at camp. Many of her friends had gone to this three day camp, but the first time Hadley went, she was old enough for the week long camp.

She was so excited, and she ended up loving every minute.

I searched for her face every night in the camp photos, and she always looked like she was having a blast.

That first year, when I picked her up from camp, I was one of the first parents to pick up. Hayden had a baseball tournament that we had to get to. I will never forever seeing her big smile. She gave me a hug and asked me to sign her up for the next year! She also told me she’d lost her toothbrush and hadn’t brushed her teeth since Tuesday! haha

Anyway, the other two summers she went to camp were easy breezy.

While it was weird not having her home, I was happy and less anxious knowing how much she loves it.

If you ask her if she would go to camp all summer long, her answer would for sure be yes. Honestly, I’d probably let her her…but dang —the cost of camp ain’t cheap…and she doesn’t even go to any fancy camps!

Of course, the camp sends a list, but today I’m sharing a few things that we’ve purchased through the years.

Some things we’ve previously purchased don’t seem to be currently be available, but I’ve found some similar options.

At the suggestion of my friend who had been sending her girls to camp for a few years, we picked up this tub with wheels to store most of what Hadley needed. It slides right under the bunk at camp. We found ours at Meijer.

A few other items:

  • Camping pillow – While Hadley does take her bed pillow to camp, this smaller camping pillow is similar to what she has and comes in handy when they have had rest time in the lodge.
  • Flashlight – She always takes a small flashlight.
  • Lantern – While Hadley doesn’t take the lanterns to camp, we bought them before our glamping trip and use them in the backyard sometimes.
  • FanThis fan is similar to the one that has worked on most of her bunks because it clips right on. If not, sometimes, she just props it in the corner of her bed for some extra air at night.
  • Dry bagThis was a gift to Travis for Christmas because during cross country season, I realized how handy it would be to have something to keep clothes dry (or put wet clothes in). I also knew we’d use it during track season. While I don’t think Hadley will want to use it for summer camp, it’s a great item to have (and they come in a few sizes)
  • Sleep sack– Hadley requested this last year. She always takes her sleeping bag, but this is perfect for on top (or inside) the sleeping bag. She’s covered up, but it’s light weight. We also take a XL twin fitted sheet for her bed.
  • Laundry bag – This light weight laundry bag is perfect for her to keep up with her dirty clothes. We actually pack a Command hook to use to keep it off the ground in her bunk. She just hangs it on the wall, and then we take the hook down when we check out. Also, I’ve started keeping one of these with our suitcases, and if we go on a longer trip, I take one to keep up with our family dirty laundry.
  • Shower caddy- This shower caddy ends up being something that Hadley uses to pack. She will use it to hold bug spray, face wash, hair brush, toothbrush, etc…along with her soap, shampoo and conditioner.

A few other ideas…

  • We use large Ziplock bags to pack, and we label each one using permanent marker. So, there’s one for underwear/socks, swimsuits, dress (usually she packs one dress for the “nicer” chapel/dinner outfit), t-shirts, shorts, pjs, etc. Honestly, we’ve re-used the same bags through the years because by the time I pick her up, those are empty, and her laundry bag is full.
  • I send her with two swim towels and one bath towel. She probably showers twice if we’re lucky! I definitely don’t send her with the good towels.
  • We store everything she needs for camp in the tub until the next year…(and we roll it under the guest bed in the basement, so we always know where the camp things are)

This year, Hadley is going to a different camp…and she’s excited. I’m excited for her, and lots of her friends are going. That being said, since it’s not the camp I’m familiar with, I know I’ll be thinking about her that much more when she’s gone.

Hayden is definitely more of a homebody like me, and he’s never been to camp. I’ve never pressed the issue with him as most summers he’s had baseball and I’m not going to force him. Last year, he started talking about going to a running camp this summer, and I think he’s going to do that. It’s just a few nights away pretty close to home, so that’s a good start.

Of course, both kids aren’t going to camp at the same time…haha

One more story…

As I typed this post, I thought of the time Travis and I went camping after we’d been dating about eight or nine months.

We were living in Columbia, Missouri (where we met) at the time. One week, he told me he’d borrowed a tent from a co-worker and knew a place we could camp. Good thing he didn’t seem like a serial killer, and I was in love, so I obliged.

Wherever we went was about an hour away from Columbia, and we left on a Saturday morning. We set up the tent and other things, hiked, cooked out our dinner, drank beer and ate s’mores. The tent was fine, and we even cooked breakfast the next morning before hiking again and packing up the camp stuff.

I sure wish I had some selfies from that trip, but we didn’t even have cell phones then!

On the drive home, he told me what a good time he’d had, and joked that I “passed the test…” and went on about how he was ready to take me with him to Kentucky for a few weddings he was in over the next few months. While that moment was sweet, I was stuck on the “test” part and told him I was glad I passed the test because I would never camp again! lol

To this day, I love a good hike, don’t mind to roast a hot dog for dinner or s’mores for dessert, but I prefer to go back to the Marriott for a shower and good night’s rest.

What about you? Did you go to camp as a kid?

If you have a kid going to camp soon, I hope this post is of some help! Also, take comfort in the fact that they are most likely having the time of their lives and not missing you as much as you miss them. 😆

Posted in Holidays, Kids, Weekend Top 5

Hello Tuesday?

Hello! How was your weekend? Ours was busy…busier than normal. So busy that I started this post on Friday, and never had time to complete it over the weekend.

I had good intentions of linking up with Holly and Sarah for Hello Monday…but since it’s now Tuesday, let’s just consider this a…

The kids ran in the district championship track meet. Thankfully, the rain held off, and it was great running conditions.

Hadley ran the 4×800 relay, 4×200 relay, 400, and 200. Hayden ran the 4×800 relay, 1600, and 3200. Overall, they had great performances. Hadley improved the most on her 400, and she’s qualified for state in it and some relays. Hayden was still feeling under the weather, but he gave it his all. This season, he has qualified for state in the 800, 1600, 3200 and a relay.

We went straight from school to home for them to change, and then didn’t go home until after 10:00. Friday was just the start of our marathon weekend.

Hadley’s final dance competition of the season was in Louisville this weekend. She had her two large group (line and production) dances on Saturday afternoon, so we left for Louisville around 11:30.

We went straight to the convention center, and she finished getting ready.

They had awards after one of the dances, and then her other large group dance. Then, she had a couple of hours of free time before the other awards. Some family came to watch her dances, so she had time with them. Travis went to check in to our hotel, and Hadley and I grabbed a bite to eat at Qdoba.

We walked to our hotel and were there about an hour. One of her friends was also staying at the Embassy Suites, so they hung out. Then, the adults had time for a happy hour beverage (one of the reasons Travis likes an Embassy Suites!) before walking back to the venue for awards.

Before each dance competition, the girls receive goody bags with snacks and other odds and ends. For this competition, they received these sunglasses. Can you tell they loved them?

Another thing in their goody bag was a little rubber duck, and a note that said “good luck duck” and the studio name. They were to give it to a dancer from another studio as good luck. I thought that was the sweetest idea.

After the awards, it was getting late, so we grabbed some dinner at Mussel and Burger Bar before going back to the hotel. The dinner was good, but we were so tired. Some of the girls hung out for a bit, but the adults were extra tired. Anyway, we got to bed at a decent time.

Sunday morning, Travis went to his mom’s house for a bit. Hayden had spent the night there. The girls slept in, but another mom and I met for the buffet breakfast. We received a pink carnation which was a nice touch!

Hadley got up and started to get ready. It takes her about an hour to do hair and makeup along with getting organized for the day. We checked out and left the hotel and walked back to the convention center.

Hadley had her two small group dances (jazz and lyrical), and they did an awesome job. Her lyrical performance brought me to tears (I was in my feelings this weekend, I guess!)

I’m just always amazed by her. We have no clue where she got her rhythm and grace, but I love watching her shine on stage.

Again, she had family in attendance, so she saw them afterwards before they left. Then, she and I went with her friend and mom to Chipolte for a quick bite to eat before awards.

The girls had such a fun two days…and they really loved those sunglasses!

I can’t believe the competition season is over. This is Hadley’s third competition season, and it’s been my favorite one yet! I know she’s thinking about what she has time for next year. She loves dancing, so we will see.

After the awards, I called my mom (it was her birthday as well as Mother’s Day) as we drove to Trav’s sister’s house for a quick early dinner. Then, we headed back to Lexington. We got home around 7:00.

The kids obliged for one more photo which I appreciate. We’d had a long and busy weekend, but we got the photo.

We all unpacked, and Travis and Hayden went on a bike ride. Hadley went to a friend’s house for a bit.

In Louisville, they’d given me flowers and a card as well as a gift card for a massage and facial. That sounds like the perfect thing to use once school gets out.

I put my flowers in a vase and then spent about an hour on the front porch enjoying the weather and reading a book. It was a great day.

I feel blessed that I got to spend the weekend watching the kids do what they love…run and dance!

Well, today we are home for election day, and let’s just say I can definitely use this time to get caught up on life. Well, truth be told, I probably won’t be caught up on life until June. Eight more days of school! haha