Posted in Everyday Life

Winter Break Highlights

How does school (and real life) start back tomorrow? (insert crying emoji!). We’ve had a great break. Holidays, traditions, games, family outings, house cleaning, oh my! I thought I’d share some of what we did with some of our time off!

Family Time

Besides family time, I can honestly say the #1 highlight was having Travis home for over a week and a half. The down time was nice and so was just having the balance of kids and parents for fun times as well as getting s#!@ done times too! No alarms were set, no real agendas, and the understanding that we needed to use our off time wisely as far as productivity and relaxation were concerned. Travis is the hardest working person that I know. On top of that, he loves his job more than anyone I know. Also, the blessing and curse of a cellphone is he’s always available and can still work from home. Like me, it takes awhile for him to relax and have downtime. So, for him, having that time off was better than he probably realizes for all of us. The night before he went back to work he said, “I don’t think I’ve ever had this much time off work!” Not sure if he meant that in a good or bad way. 😂

Christmas

We had a great Christmas at home and spent a couple days after Christmas purging the house and getting organized. Travis and I even rearranged our bedroom, and I love the new set up.

Reading

I wrapped up reading holiday books and started a couple new ones over break.

I started The Hate You Give and A Woman is No Man. I felt like I might get my English teacher card revoked if I didn’t read The Hate You Give. I know it’s a pretty popular book for high schoolers, so I checked it out from my school library. I started A Woman is No Man based off a book review from Shay. Both are pretty heavy reads considering the amount of light reading I did in December.

Out to Dinner

We went out to dinner a few times over break. It was nice not planning dinners as much and just kind of going with the flow. We started break taking the kids to pick out gifts for each other followed by brunch at one of our favorite places: Winchells.

One night we went to dinner as a family at Drakes. I joked that Hadley lives a blessed life because she ordered the salmon (with a side of tots!). She could eat her weight in salmon.

The kids had lots of time with the cousins and we went out to dinner a couple times with them for Mexican food at El Tapatio and then burgers (and grilled cheese) at Oscar Diggs last week.

Activities

My most favorite activity was not setting an alarm 🙂 followed by purging the house and getting it somewhat organized.

We also played some games as a family including a new one: Taco, Cat, Goat, Cheese, Pizza.

We also went to the movies. Travis and Hayden saw the Star Wars movie while Hadley and I went to see Frozen 2. Good reviews from all of us in regards to our movies.

Last week, we went bowling with the cousins and ate pizza. We had a great time.

On January 1st, we gathered as many friends as we could find to complete Hayden and Hadley’s 4th grade Science Fair projects. My kids both chose activity based experiments. Next year, we are growing a plant or two! haha

Movies thanks to Disney +

I may be enjoying Disney + more than anyone else in the house. haha. I loved my afternoon naps while watching a movie or two. On Disney +, I watched my all time favorites: The (original) Parent Trap and Swiss Family Robinson. I also watched Turner and Hooch and While You Were Sleeping. Before Christmas, Hayden and I watched A Christmas Story. At some point over break, I also watched Home Alone.

As a family, we watched The Mighty Ducks (DVD) and Cool Runnings (Amazon) because they aren’t on Disney + yet.

Blog Posts

Most bloggers whose blogs I read took these last couple of weeks off. I was kind of random with my posting, but since I had extra time here and there, I continued to post sporadically.

Two of my favorite posts were: 2019 memories and Homer’s DNA results.

A few photos from break

Once the holidays were over, I didn’t take too many pics, but here are a few.

Bottom middle: Hadley with her salmon and tots! #blessedlife
Science project helpers, ringing in 2020 at home, my charcuterie plates were basically a daily meal, and fun with cousins at Oscar Diggs

Final weekend of break

With such a late date to return to school, all of the activities started back up this weekend. Both kids had basketball games yesterday, and Travis and I did squeak in a date night last night. Today involves more Science Fair work, volleyball, indoor soccer games, grocery shopping, lunch packing, etc. #Imcryinginacornernow

basketball and date night beverages

All good things must come to and end. We had a pretty great couple of weeks at home together….yes, there was occasional fighting, but overall, I’d see we enjoyed each other’s company. It was certainly nice to have some downtime before life gets hectic again! (well, it already has!)

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend.

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Everyday Life, Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites: 2019: Year in Review

Happy Friday. I’ve seen a few bloggers do a Year in Review. I thought that would be a great way to take a look back on all that’s happened with my family in 2019 and share my (Friday) Favorite memories for the year

So, *warning* lots of pics 🙂 (Thank goodness for my Shutterfly app organized by months of the year). I love the idea of so many memories for the year being in one place with this post.

Like with most years, we’ve had our ups and our downs, been busy, been blessed, and made many memories along the way.

January

The beginning of January started off a little rough with both Hayden and Travis having the flu. I’ve never seen either of them as sick as they both were.

Then, both kids were excited for a snow day or two in January!

First snowfall of 2019

February

Hadley, Travis and some friends went to the annual Dads and Daughters dance. They had so much fun. (The moms all hung out that evening which was fun for us as well!)

Great group of dads and daughters.

In February, we also went on our annual Perfect North tubing day with friends.

Basketball wrapped up at the end of February with Travis coaching Hadley’s team to victory in the tournament championships. Hayden’s team made it to the Final Four of the tournament out of 20+ teams! #hardwareforeveryone

March

March started with a visit from my dad…

Unfortunately, we said goodbye to our sweet Shiloh in March as well. We still miss her daily.

March Madness (Sweet 16, Elite 8) was in KC this year and during our spring break, so we made a visit. Travis, Hayden and my mom went to the Sweet 16 game. The four of us and my mom went to the Elite 8 game. Hayden learned about the heartbreak of loss while cheering for your favorite team (from the front row!)

April

The kids stayed in KC while Travis and I went to Las Vegas for a few days.

We celebrated Easter with Trav’s extended family in Elizabethtown.

Travis and I also made time to hit up the spring meet at Keeneland.

Softball and baseball also started up in April causing us to have some kind of practice or game every night.

May

We started off May with our yearly trip to Churchill Downs for Oaks.

In May, Travis and some friends ran a two day team trail run (no thank you!), the kids continued with their softball and baseball games (Hadley’s team was the regular season and tournament champs!), we celebrated the end of the 3rd grade, and started spending some time at the pool!

We also celebrated Mother’s Day and officially joined our church.

Mother’s Day

June

I’m not sure if I even need to post any other pics for June. We added Homer to our family as he helped our hearts heal from the loss of Shiloh (and Scout the year before)

Hayden started pitching for his team which was a dream come true for him.

And…spring baseball season wrapped up.

Hadley had her dance recital in June and both grandmas were in attendance.

We celebrated the World’s Best Dad on Father’s Day!

Travis and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary in June as well.

July

In July, we celebrated Trav’s birthday with our cookie cake tradition.

Hadley had a first with a week away at sleepaway camp. Travis, Hayden and I went to the lake with friends on the 4th of July.

Hayden played summer ball for the first time ever. (It’s such a time commitment that I encouraged him told him to wait playing summer ball until he was old enough for kid pitch). He had a blast playing with friends and learned so much.

We took a 10 day trip to Florida for vacation (+ a day at Disney’s Polynesian Resort and a day at the Magic Kingdom)

August

August was my first blog post! It’s been a goal/dream of mine to start a blog. For so long, my excuse was that I was stuck on what to name the blog and finding the time to start one. Of course, after having a whole summer off, I figure it all out and started Show Me and Sweet Tea right before school started. haha. This blog has been a great creative space for me and a way to share what we are up to with family and friends near and far.

In August, my mom and gma visited to celebrate Wyatt’s birthday. We also celebrated Trav’s mom’s 70th birthday. The kids were also excited for football time in the bluegrass.

We had our annual Back to School Breakfast as the kids started the 4th grade (and I started my 18th year teaching!)

First day of 4th grade

September

September marked the start of all the fall activities. Travis helped start a cross country team at the kids’ school, Hayden started soccer, and Hadley upped her dance game from just doing hip hop to also taking a tap/ballet/jazz combo class.

October

For fall break, we went to Asheville for a few days. We spent two of the three days glamping with our friends.

We went to the orchard, carved pumpkins with neighbors, and went trick-or-treating on Halloween. I also started a new position at my school as a reading/academic interventionist.

November

In November, we celebrated the kids’ birthday #thetwinsturnten

We also went ax throwing with friends, hung out with family, and went to KC for Thanksgiving.

December

In December, the kids visited Santa, and let me take their pics for our Christmas card.

Basketball started and both kids are excited to be on the same team as their best friends.

Holiday parties

Cousin Christmas

Christmas at home in Kentucky.

2019 has been a great year. I’m thankful for two happy, active, (mostly) kind kids who love school. Travis and I are blessed with jobs we love. We have awesome family and friends, and we love our neighborhood and community.

All these pics remind me of why I’m forever tired, but also why we are so very blessed.

High five to 2019 and cheers to 2020.

Don’t forget to check out Andrea’s Friday Favorites and have a great weekend.

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Everyday Life

The Halfway Point- Part 2

Continuing on with all the summer fun we had…

The kids were on our pool’s swim team for the third summer in a row. Hadley loves it while Hayden likes it most of the time. It’s a great summer activity for them as far as exercise and socialization. They moved up to the 9-10 age group this year which was an adjustment, but it was awesome to see them swim faster each meet as well as qualify to swim all four strokes this year. They had so much fun with their friends, and the parents like to socialize too!

Besides adding Homer to our family, I’d say another highlight was going on vacation. We are blessed to be able to use Trav’s aunt and uncle’s house in Florida. Hadley and I left a few days before the boys because Hayden had baseball. We enjoyed our time together, but I know Hayden (&Trav) is more fun than I am (especially when it comes to playing in the ocean and on the beach.) Since we were there for about ten days, we also scheduled a trip to Disney World for a day. We did this a few years ago, and since it’s a long day of travel to and from the park as well as all the park activities, we decided to make it a two day trip. We arrived on a Thursday and stayed at the Polynesian Resort. We lounged by the pool, the kids rode the water slide quite a few times (Travis and I did too!), and then we had dinner at a really neat Italian restaurant in Disney Springs. Then, we made it back to the hotel in time to watch the Magic Kingdom’s amazing fireworks right from our balcony. The next morning, we were up early for breakfast and were at the park by 9:00. We rode every ride we wanted to starting with the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Roller Coaster and ending our day riding Splash Mountain (where I ended up the most soaked, of course!) Since we saw the fireworks the night before, we left the park around 7:00 making it back to Siesta Key by dark. Then, we capped off vacation with a few more days at the beach. I’m always worried how the four of us will be while being together 24/7 for so long…but we really do always have a great time and enjoy the down time.

After a long night of travel, we were excited to relax on the beach.
We eat dinner early most evenings, so we can catch the sun setting on the beach.
Hadley was excited to see her brother on day 4 of vacay.
Reunited!
We definitely hope to go back to the Polynesian one day.
The Magic Kingdom
Family Fun = this year’s Christmas card pic!
Dumbo ride
This pic was one of my favorites 🙂

The last few days at the beach were the best. The weather and the water were perfect.

That beach life..
Boogie boarding Boo
Sis found a sandbar and knows how to relax
These guys ate their weight in oysters on this trip. Hadley and I aren’t about that life…

Our flight wasn’t until later in the evening, so we had time to hit the beach for a couple of hours on the last day. We always take the time to say goodbye to the ocean. “If the ocean can calm itself, so can you. We are both salt mixed with water.” – Nayyirah Waheed

After we packed up, the kids let me take one last pic. It’s a family tradition to take a pic in front of the palm trees at Aunt Catherine and Uncle Jim’s Florida house. Many family members have done so through the years.

Until next time…that’s a wrap on our SK vacay

We arrived home to see the biggest zucchini ever that had been plucked from our garden (See previous post about the recipes we made using it)

The kids participated in a couple of camps this summer as well. This was the first year Hayden signed up for basketball camp; he also played summer basketball for a local league. Hadley has loved the volleyball camp at my school for the past three summers.

Ballers!
Ready for volleyball camp!
Everything is better with a bestie!

We had lots of family time over the summer with visits from out of town grandparents and in town cousins.

Wyatt and Layla cheered for H&H during one of their swim meets.
Dinner with cousins! (photo cred: Uncle Chet!)

Both of the kids learned to ride their bikes a few years ago thanks to the help of a neighbor friend. After an accident a couple of years ago, Hayden swore off bike riding….so much so that we sold his bike in a garage sale. Well, two years later and Hayden decided he wanted to ride a bike again. After riding Hadley’s pink bike for about a month, a friend of ours gave us a bike that they didn’t need anymore. Hayden’s been riding all over the neighborhood! (with a helmet, of course!)

Bike riding Boo

One final “to do” on our Summer Fun List was to see a movie. This summer, we saw Aladdin, Toy Story 4, and to wrap up the summer, we saw Lion King. We all loved it, but I probably loved it the most!

Final Friday of summer break

For the final weekend of summer, we celebrated Trav’s mom’s 70th birthday at a local restaurant in Louisville.

Mamaw and most of the grandkids
The siblings celebrating Maryla’s 70th birthday

The final fun of summer break 2019 was that Travis and I went out to dinner at a nearby sushi restaurant. Sushi and chardonnay for dinner…followed by an early bedtime for me.

Sushi and Chardonnay. My fave combo.

That’s a wrap on summer 2019. I know we still technically have a few weeks left of summer, but the fun is over for the most part around here. haha

Tomorrow, the kids start 4th grade (how is that even possible?!) Truth: third grade was no joke, so I’m hoping that this will be a smoother transition and the best year yet…and I start my 18th year teaching. I know what you are thinking…I don’t look that old! 😉

I’m blessed to have this time with the kids. I know I’m not stay at home mom material, but I love having these pockets of time with them throughout the year.

Enjoy these days. They fly by! It’s basically almost 2020 😉

Happy reading,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Posted in Everyday Life

The Halfway Point- Part 1

Summer before having kids: sleeping in, watching an endless amount of Golden Girls in the morning, sipping coffee, lounging by the pool, and then spending 4:30-5:30 cramming in all the things I was supposed to do during the day to make it appear to Travis that I had actually been a productive member of society.

Summers with young kids: planning every moment of the day, living for nap time (for the kids and for myself!), endless snacks, and then gladly handing them off to someone better equipped than myself (we had the best sitter- Ms. Joan), to spend 8+ daytime hours with them, and hightailing it to school.

Summers with older elementary age kids: I cherish this time. Our days are mixed with learning, being productive, but also relaxing. Pool time, camps, swim team, time with friends, seeing movies, vacations, late bedtimes and more.

I’m not sure who “they” are (I guess other parents?!), but “they” say you only have 18 summers with your kids, so make the best of them. As this summer comes to a close, it will probably be best for all of us to get back in the routine of school, but I am clinging to this summer extra tight. It dawned on me recently that I’m to the halfway point. I’ve had nine summers with Hayden and Hadley, and I have nine left. I’m guessing as time goes on, they are going to want to be around me less as they gain independence and become the ones at the pool who steer clear of adults….but don’t get it twisted, they’ll still have to swing by my shady spot under the umbrella, interrupt my book reading to ask for money, so there’s always that. As we head into this school year, I thought I’d take a moment to put all of our summer memories in one place. It’s been a great summer; I know I’m blessed to have my summer days with them, but #mamaisstilltired

I’d say the highlight of our summer, for all of us, was adding our dog Homer to our family. We’d lost both of our Boxers, 10 year old Scout and 12 year old Shiloh, within eleven months of each other. My heart wasn’t really ready for a new dog, but my practical side tends to overtake my heart sometimes and summer seemed like the best time to add a dog to our family. After a few weeks of searching on Petfinder, we I found Homer. Travis wasn’t completely on board with a puppy (he definitely wanted another dog—just not necessarily a puppy ;), but I was around the same age as the kids, after losing a dog, then being surprised with a puppy. I knew they’d remember getting him and are also at the age to be of (some) help. When I found Homer, he was named Glorious (and had two brothers Notorious and Victorious). They were 10-12 weeks old and had been abandoned on the side of the road and nursed back to health by the wonderful people at Tails of Hope Rescue in Cincinnati, OH. There was a big name debate in the car, but just as we pulled in the parking lot to pick him up, Hayden suggested the name Homer. (I’m sure thinking about baseball…but I will take a Homer Odyssey reference any day 🙂 We all agreed on the name, and were excited to get him home. He’s supposedly a lab/retriever mix and has been a wonderful addition; we’ve had tons of fun with him this summer. Thankfully, I think we have him house broken, he loves his kennel (although, we realized he knows how to open it, so he’s triple locked in there now!), but of course, nibbles at our ankles and chews on flip flops. Thankfully, he’s cute.

This is the pic that I saw on Petfinder of “Glorious.” Such a sweet face!
The car ride home.
Bow tie collar and welcome home sign!
We HEART Homer
Homer is getting to be a big boy. When we got him eight weeks ago, he weighed 11 lbs and now weighs 27 lbs!

We spend a lot of time at the pool during the summer. To be honest, once we joined this pool a few years ago, summer became a little easier…because activities take less planning…going to the pool is an easy way to burn some energy, see friends, and have a snack or two.

In June, Travis and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary with a nice dinner and then in July, we celebrated Trav’s bday in between baseball games!

Hadley went to sleep away camp for the first time this summer. She was gone from Sunday to Saturday. To say I was more nervous than she was would be an understatement….but as I assumed would be the case, she had the time of her life and barely missed us. She was lucky enough to have a couple of good friends going as well, so that eased my mind with this major milestone! He won’t admit it, while Hayden loved the 1:1 time with us, he missed her. When I picked her up, she said, “Sign me up for next year, and I haven’t brushed my teeth since Monday!” haha I loved ending my day seeing camp pics online! The pics eased my worried heart.

On the 4th of July, we had an awesome opportunity to go to a nearby lake with some friends. It was weird not having Hadley with us, but Hayden and his friends had fun tubing (the moms tubed, too!), swimming, and jumping from the cliffs. We got home just in time to see the fireworks from our favorite spot in town.

family pic (minus Hadley)
Like a fish!
TONS of fun tubing!
Awesome way to end of 4th of July (just missing Hadley!)

While Hadley had a new “first” with camp this summer, Hayden had a “first” with playing summer baseball for the Turkey Feet. He had so much fun with friends, old and new, and learned so much along the way. He loved pitching even if it made me a nervous wreck!

Fear the Feet!
My little leftie
Up to bat

Hayden and Hadley also had a great time attending our church’s Vacation Bible School. The VBS for this summer was “camp” themed. They had an awesome time with their friends (& cousin Wyatt!) singing, playing games, making crafts, cooking s’mores and learning more about the Bible and Jesus.

Real talk: when I set out to write this summer post, I assumed I could fit it all in one post….but I guess we had a busier summer than I thought! Part 2 will be shared tomorrow. If you made it to the end, thanks! If not, this is still a good way to share with family and friends near and far what we’ve been up to…and a way for me to have everything all in one place.

If you need me, you can find me sitting through six hours of professional development today. Summer is officially over for me!

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea