Posted in Everyday Life, Friday Favorites, Home Updates

Friday Favorites

Hello! Long time, no talk! How’s it going? My blogging break has been much needed, but I sure have missed posting!

Today, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for Friday Favorites.

Here’s what we’ve been up to the past couple of weeks along with some of our favorites.

These bracelets are one of my favorite things to wear lately.

My friend, Amy, sent these to me. She hand makes these custom bracelets. She has so many cute and fun options. Check her out on Instagram (@soulshine.kc)! I know you’ll love anything she makes!

Hadley went to sleep away camp and had the best time! She was so sad last summer when camp was canceled, so she was so excited to go back this year! We were one of the first in line for drop off, and she had a great time with friends, old and new. Camp was definitely a favorite for Hadley this summer.

I loved seeing the photos on Facebook. I missed her, so it was nice to get daily updates and see her smiling face!

Hadley at camp was one of Hayden’s favorite parts of summer (haha!). He also went to golf camp for the first time, and he loved it!

One things that wasn’t a favorite…poison oak! It’s never good when your kid wakes you up at 3 am to tell you he’s itching all over! We aren’t sure where he picked it up, but it sure did spread quickly. Thankfully, we got into the doctor the next day and the steroid meds helped immensely.

We’ve also continued to have lots of baseball this summer. It’s always a favorite watching Hayden and his team play. They have lots of fun together.

Another favorite…we FINALLY got our new basement floors. I shared that our master bath shower leaked down to the basement bathroom and living space in early May, so the floors had to be ripped up. What we had put down when we updated the basement a few years ago was no longer being made, so we found something pretty similar and are really pleased.

The original floors after Travis ripped up the damaged flooring vs the new finished product:

Then, I found this pretty rug at Home Goods to replace our previous area rug. It’s super soft and I love the gray tones.

Another favorite is my new messenger bag. I’ve been wanting one for quite some time. I stopped in a favorite boutique that I hadn’t been to since before the pandemic, and saw this gold toned bag. It was my summer gift to myself for teaching summer school 😉 They had some fun straps and I liked the one it came with, but I got this one (in pic below) from Amazon!

Another favorite is dinner al fresco! The kids were having too much fun playing with friends, so Travis and I ended up having dinner on our back patio by ourselves on Sunday night. Steak and asparagus by Travis…and microwave Bob Evans mashed potatoes by me!

Once July hits, I start thinking about school. I always feel better after I get my room unpacked (which will maybe happen next week?…they are still cleaning my area of the school), buy my desk calendar and lesson plan book.

I decided to try the Happy Planner teacher planner. If you know any teacher, you know we are picky about our planners. I’ve used a variety through the years, and I just thought I’d give this one a try. I was close to ordering one online and then realized Michael’s has some and they were 30 (or 40?)% off…+ my teacher’s discount at Michael’s! I love a good deal.

We are soaking up these last days of summer. We’ve had a couple pool days this week after a three week hiatus. June is our big pool month, then we had vacay, camps, and lots of rainy days that took the pool off our fun list for a bit. The kids have had lots of fun with their friends this summer at the pool. It’s definitely a favorite part of our summer.

Favorite Mom Meme:

Me…all summer long trying to keep up with my kids…vs. my parents in the 80’s (Although, the Major was pretty strict about knowing our whereabouts!)

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

One of my favorite vacation photos popped up in my Facebook memories recently. Siesta Key in 2017…sunset and the kids playing in the ocean.

I still hope to post intermittently over the next few weeks while continuing a little break.

I will share my Sentence a Day for July and what I’ve been reading this month as well once we get to the end of July.

I hope everyone has been enjoying their summer! See you back here soon.

Posted in Everyday Life

Brief Blogging Break

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

Just a quick note that I’m taking a brief blogging break (Say that three times fast!) during the rest of July.

Once July hits, I feel this way as a teacher:

…and honestly, I kind of feel that way as a parent, wife, friend, and more! It’s just a very busy summer and a very busy season of life, and I’d like to enjoy the last weeks of summer, soaking in the time with the kids while prepping for the upcoming school year.

I’m taking the rest of the week off, and hope to join a link up or two in the upcoming weeks before sharing:

and…

at the end of the month!

See you back here soon! Take care!

Posted in Everyday Life

Day in the Life…on Insta!

Hello!

I’ve shared some Day in the Life posts on here, but today I’m going to (try to) do so in sort of real time on Instagram!

…so follow along today if you’d like (@showmeandsweettea)!

The rest of the week I hope to share:

  • Father’s Day recap
  • Monthly Musings

and…

  • of course, Friday Favorites!

I hope your week is off to a great start!

See you on the ‘gram today!

Posted in Everyday Life

May: Sentence a Day

I’ve been trying to do a Sentence a Day post every other month in 2021, and today I’m sharing what I did in May. To be honest, when I look back at the month of May, I feel like we did so much. So many things to celebrate and the busyness of activities sure made for a great month.

5.1.21

Well, the month started off with Derby day; Hadley and I traveled to Gatlinburg for her dance competition where we spent some time seeing all the sights!

5.2.21

On that Sunday, Hadley’s team did amazing at their third, and final, dance competition of the season.

5.3.21

On the evening of the 3rd, Hayden had a baseball game.

5.4.21

After school on May 4th, I made a trip to library to return The Wife Upstairs and pick up Hayden’s books that were available.

5.5.21

On Cinco de Mayo, I made a trip to Kroger to buy all the May cards that I needed: three graduation cards, one Mother’s Day card, and four birthday cards!

5.6.21

At school, I had a full day of watching AP presentations followed by an evening full of baseball!

5.7.21

Hadley had recital photos taken on May 7th.

5.8.21

The weather on Saturday, May 8th was beautiful, so I went for a walk before going to the grocery store and then celebrating our niece’s graduation with family.

5.9.21

May 9th was Mother’s Day, so we went to church, had brunch, and then I took a two hour nap!

5.10.21

Mondays were for baseball games this season, and I also purchased new cushions for our front porch chairs!

5.11.21

Travis and I met after school to buy some flowers for the back patio.

5.12.21

May 12th was cake ordering day: a bundt cake for my mom’s birthday and ice cream cake for 5th grade graduation.

5.13.21

On the 13th, the kids had field day, my mom and Gma arrived, and I attended our sitter’s graduation party!

5.14.21

Friday the 14th was busy as the kids had an equine visit at school (“field trip” that came to them), followed by Hayden’s baseball game, and then we enjoyed the bundt cake for my mom’s birthday.

5.15.21

We enjoyed a Saturday night dinner on the patio at one of our favorite restaurants for my mom’s birthday.

5.16.21

May 16th was baptism Sunday!

5.17.21

On Monday the 17th, the kids had fun at school tie dying shirts and eating pizza while I got fun mail in my school mailbox and helped with graduation practice.

5.18.21

Tuesday, May 18th was the last day of school which meant 5th grade promotion and a grilling out get together with friends.

5.19.21

I had my last day of school, attended my school’s graduation, and then went to Hayden’s baseball game.

5.20.21

The 20th was my first official day of summer; the kids went to the Cincinnati Zoo with friends while I lounged at home and then went for my monthly facial.

5.21.21

The kids enjoyed the beautiful weather while attending the UK softball game with their cousins, and Homer went to the groomer.

5.22.21

This day was a Saturday filled with errands, the grocery store, and I made time to get a pedicure.

5.23.21

We attended the baptism of our friends (twins!) and then took our kids to a nice dinner as one final celebration for the end of elementary school.

5.24.21

On the 24th, I had plenty of summer errands like getting my car washed, popping into school for a bit, and going to the library while the kids cleaned out their backpacks; then, I started a new workout program.

5.25.21

We hung out with cousin Wyatt for most of the day.

5.26.21

The pool opened, and we enjoyed most of the day there!

5.27.21

We spent some time at the pool before attending cousin Layla’s birthday party for a bit before Hadley’s dance class.

5.28.21

The 28th was a rainy day, and we spent much of it at home doing some work and chores around the house.

5.29.21

Hayden’s first summer ball tournament (pool play) was this past weekend and it was cold, windy, rainy, and only 48 degrees!

5.30.31

The baseball tournament weather was much better for day two with the sun out and 55 degrees, but that still didn’t feel like regular Memorial Day weekend weather.

We were able to get together with neighbors that evening. (oops! two sentences for May 30th!)

5.31.21

Of course, the 31st was Memorial Day; Hayden and Travis went to the Cincinnati Reds game with friends while Hadley and I went to the pool and hung out with lots of friends.

So, that’s what the month of May looked like for us! We had so much going on, so it’s nice to start the month of June without much on our (daytime) agenda.

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

Posted in Everyday Life

Friday Favorites

Hey there and Happy Friday! This is my favorite kind of Friday…the first Friday of summer break. Yesterday, was my first official day of break, and I let myself be lazy. I slept in (kind of), read my book, watched a few shows and the movie The Wedding Planner (I hadn’t seen it in forever), and then I had my monthly facial yesterday afternoon.

The summer is off to a great start. I’m easing into my summer “to do” list, and figure I will be part productive, part lazy today!

It’s the end of the week, so I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.

I usually try to celebrate the little things (favorites) of the week, but feel like it’s been such an amazing week of celebrating some of the bigger things in life which have been favorites.

GG’s Birthday:

My mom and grandma came to visit at the end of last week, and stayed for a few days. It was my mom’s birthday, so we celebrated with cake after Hayden’s baseball game.

Then, we all went out to dinner at Merrick Inn which is one of my favorite restaurants. The weather was perfect for their patio seating.

If salmon is on the menu, Hadley gets it, and I always get whatever they have for the fish special. We talked Hayden out of ribeye, and he settled on their steak sandwich.

Kids’ Baptism:

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, the kids made the decision to be baptized on Sunday, and, of course, that occasion was a favorite from the week.

5th Grade Grads:

And, another major milestone was celebrating my fifth grade graduates.

Elementary school has certainly been a favorite, and we got together with some friends to celebrate.

Dance Photos:

Hadley’s dance recital photos arrived, and they are beautiful and certainly a favorite.

Cakes x 3!:

Well, who doesn’t love cake?! We’ve certainly had our fair share over the past week. We had a bundt cake to celebrate my mom’s birthday, white cake with butter cream frosting for the baptism followed by an ice cream cookie cake for fifth grade graduation.

The good news is that we celebrated all these occasions with family and friends, so there weren’t any leftovers of the cake! So, I didn’t feel too guilty about having a slice of each as we celebrated.

Hayden and Travis had a little backyard project. They made this little putting green in our side yard! Let’s hope it doesn’t get #homered!

My “super mom” friend took six kids (including my two!) to the Cincinnati Zoo yesterday, and they had so much fun. Their summer break is off to a great start as well!

And…last night, we celebrated cousin Wyatt’s kindergarten graduation. The ceremony was sweet and so was the, you guessed it…cake! I swear, next week I’m going to try very hard to dial in my sweet tooth!

Favorite Mom Memes:

For me, this should say cellphone!

I’m seriously going to need to weekend to recover from all the hustle and (blessed) bustle of this week. #somuchcelebrating! #teamforevertired

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

Look at my two littles from May 2010…back when they didn’t run from me when I tried to take their picture 😉I can’t believe how quickly these years have flown by…

Weekly Recap:

It’s been a busy week full of activities, end of the school year activities, and milestones!

Can you believe it? We have nothing planned tonight and no baseball games this weekend! For once, we don’t have much on the agenda, and I’m not mad about it!

I hope you have a great weekend. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Posted in Everyday Life, Travel

Lexington Top 5

Hey there! Happy Thursday. Today, I’m shining a spotlight on Lexington. I’ve lived here since 2004 when I moved here from Missouri after becoming engaged to Travis.

One of the immediate things I loved about Lexington is the small town feel but in a city. While I miss Missouri, I did feel “at home” when I moved here many years ago. I felt like I was able to navigate pretty easily on my own, I love all that Lexington has to offer, and the activities and restaurant options have only expanded through the years.

Here are the Top 5 things I love about Lex:

Keeneland

Hands down, my favorite activity is Keeneland. “Out-of-towners” always ask about Churchill Downs in Louisville, but I always suggest visiting in October and April when Keeneland has their fall and spring meets. The atmosphere at Keeneland can’t be beat!

At Keeneland this spring with Travis.
I rarely bet…I just watch the horses run!
Fall meet 2018
At the track with dad in April 2018

Restaurants

There are so many awesome restaurants in Lex. Here are some of my faves.

Merrick Inn:

Merrick Inn is a classic Lexington restaurant with a cozy indoor atmosphere and an awesome patio.

Merrick

Carson’s Food and Drink:

Carson’s is a favorite as well. The inside is fun and has a rustic feel. It’s known for it’s cocktails and craft beers as well as it’s wonderful menu.

My birthday dinner this year at Carson’s
Carson’s oscar style salmon

Native Cafe:

The Native Cafe is fairly new and located at Michler’s Greenhouse. The outside atmosphere is picturesque and quaint. Native Cafe is tucked in and quiet while in an urban setting.

June 2020

Windy Corner and Wallace Station:

Windy Corner Market and Wallace Station Deli and Bakery are both located just outside of Lexington. They are great places to go to for outside sitting and great for families. Both have plenty of green space for kids to run around and picnic tables for diners to enjoy their meal.

July 2020

The Stave:

The Stave is another restaurant just outside of Lexington with a wonderful outdoor space and great food.

May 2020
Fun in the creek while we waited on our food.

Bella Cafe:

Bella Cafe is another new restaurant in town. It’s “everyday dining elevated.” I love their grilled salmon salad, and Hadley gives their lemon tart two thumbs up!

Bella cafe

Others Faves:

We also love:

  • OBC Kitchen – bacon in a glass as an appetizer is a MUST!
  • Malones – great steaks…I love their oscar style twin filets!
  • Graze – lots of classic food options, hamburgers, and more!
  • Puccinis – Italian food, affordable, and family friendly!

This is the just tip of the iceberg for restaurant recommendations in and around Lexington.

Sports:

Y’all knows the the city of Lexington bleeds blue. While I’m not necessarily a “super fan,” I do love all of the sporting events and athletics that UK has to offer.

From football, to basketball, to volleyball, along with baseball and softball, there’s something going on every season of the year!

We usually go to one to two volleyball games a season. We often try to hit up the MIZZOU/UK match when it’s in Lex.

In the fall, you’ll find us at most home football games.

So many fun photos through the years.

2019

The girls…

2019

and their moms…haha

2019

Parks:

There are so many great parks and hiking opportunities in and around Lexington.

UK Arboretum:

The Arboretum is always beautiful!

2018

Shaker Village:

Shaker Village is outside of Lexington and is filled with history and has great hiking trails.

July 2020

McConnell Springs:

I took the kids to McConnell Springs last year for the first time, and we had so much fun exploring.

June 2020

Other Parks:

Other parks we enjoy include:

  • Jacobson
  • Masterson Station
  • Woodland Park
  • Raven Run Sanctuary

Activities:

There are so many fun activities throughout the year.

Winter:

The Hillenmeyer Christmas Shop Santa is the best in Lex!

Santa visits through the years…

Mustard Seed Hill was a fun place to visit. It’s located just outside of Lexington in Millersburg, KY. We went there for the first time this past December, and the lights were amazing!

December 2020

The Horse Park’s Southern Lights are a fun family tradition for us.

Ice Skating at Triangle Park is also fun, but the rink is only open for a couple of months around the holidays.

December 2017

Spring:

I already mentioned it, but Keeneland is lots of fun in April.

The Children’s Garden at the Arboretum offers activities and trails.

August 2016

UK baseball and softball games are always fun to watch.

The blue and white football game is a fun way to get a glimpse of the football team for the upcoming season.

April 2016

Summer:

We picked strawberries at Evans Orchard for the first time last summer, and we hope to make it a summer tradition.

June 2020

Picnic with the Pops is a fun event that happens in August. There’s always a theme, and people decorate their tables, wine and dine, and listen to the classical music.

C/o Kentucky.com

The Mid-Summer Nights run is neat activity. There’s a mile race as well as a 5k. There are also booths and snacks like popcorn. We always end up running into friends and others that we know.

fun run August 2016
5k in August 2018

Fall:

My favorite thing to do in the fall is to head to Evan’s Orchard to pick out our pumpkins and get the apple cider donuts.

October 2019
2019

As I mentioned before, we often attend the UK football games at Kroger Field. Tailgating is the best part!

UK games through the years…

Keeneland fun continues in the fall with more racing in October.

2016….Hayden’s horse lost by a nose!

Other Lexington “to do’s”

  • Waveland Museum
  • Explorium
  • Ashland: Henry Clay Estate
  • Bourbon Trail (surrounding Lexington)
  • Mary Todd Lincoln House
  • Horse farm tours
  • Kentucky Horse Park

Shew! This ended up being quite the list! I could get a job at the Kentucky Department of Tourism! 🙂

Anyway, this is just a glimpse of the great things, places, and food that Lexington has to offer.

What’s the best thing about where you live?

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

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 Everyday Life

March: Sentence a Day

Happy April 1st! As a teacher, I’m thankful that April Fools Day typically falls during Spring Break that way I don’t have to worry about any high school shenanigans. That being said, Hadley is quiet the prankster in our house…Hayden is usually her target.

I shared a Sentence a Day post in January, so I thought I’d share one again for what I was up to in March!

3.1.21

On March 1st, I had my yearly mammogram, and all was good!

3.2.21

My dad was visiting, so we had our traditional St. Patrick’s Day dinner a couple of weeks early.

Irish Soda Bread is my favorite part.

3.3.21

On the 3rd, after 355 days at home, the kids had their first day of in person learning!

3.4.21

Major left and GG visited right after.

3.5.21

For Friday night dessert, Hadley helped GG make crepes; they were delish.

3.6.21

We took advantage of having a free sitter, and Travis and I had a sushi date night.

3.7.21

On Sunday, March 7, the kids had their first ever track meet; the indoor facility was amazing, and the kids did a great job!

3.8.21

On March 8th, some high students returned to in person learning; 9th and 12th graders were in the building.

3.9.21

My friend Natalie came over to give me a belated birthday gift, and we enjoyed a glass of wine.

3.10.21

The kids had Picture Day at school!

3.11.21

Hayden’s basketball team played in the semi-final game of the end of the season tournament.

3.12.21

Friday was busy with Career Day at school, and….

Hayden’s team won the basketball championship followed by a team pizza dinner to celebrate the victory.

3.13.21

Saturday was filled with errands, an overnight play date for Hadley and a friend, and then an impromptu pit stop at Orange Leaf for an afternoon snack.

3.14.21

The Sunday before St. Patrick’s Day included green pancakes before

heading off to church.

3.15.21

On the 15th, sophomores and juniors returned to in person learning.

3.16.21

On the 16th, Hayden had an eye exam for contacts; we’re still getting the hang of them.

3.17.21

St Patrick’s Day called for a special after school treat…a green milkshake.

3.18.21

On March 28th, I had my monthly facial which was such a treat!

3.19.21

On Friday, we had school, I ran errands after school, and Hadley and I prepped and organized for dance competition the next day.

3.20.20

Hadley had her first ever dance competition with two team numbers; we were so proud of her.

3.21.21

On Sunday the 21st, we had church and enjoyed the spring like weather at Hayden’s baseball scrimmage.

3.22.21

It was a typical Monday with school, a meeting, dance for Hadley, & I made a new recipe for dinner.

3.23.21

After school, I stopped at Kroger to pick up Easter candy for the kids’ baskets.

3.24.21

We received fun mail with the arrival of Megan’s Miracles with our family photo on the cover.

3.25.21

The weather was so pretty that I opted for a walk outside rather than a workout in my basement!

3.26.21

I started Spring Break by heading to Trader Joe’s after school!

{Trader Joe’s tulips never disappoint!}

3.27.21

On Saturday, I treated myself to a pedicure, and the weather was perfect for a neighborhood/friend Easter egg hunt.

(I was too busy talking to take any photos—those kids find eggs very quickly. 😆 )

3.28.21

We changed our Sunday plans, so I took Hadley to get a manicure. (Her nails turned out so cute…she found an inspo pic on Pinterest)

3.29.21

On Monday, I visited the library; for the first time since March 13, 2020, I stepped foot inside one of my favorite places!

3.30.21

On Tuesday, we traveled to Nashville to stay at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel!

3.31.21

While the kids swam at the Gaylord, my dreams came true and I visited Landyn’s store!

Last night, Hayden’s dreams came true and we had fun at Top Golf Nashville.

We still have a few more days of Spring Break, but so far it’s been a great week! We’ve had a good mix of activities and downtime as well as fun with friends and fun just the four of us.

With April, comes the hustle and bustle of baseball and Hadley has a couple more dance competitions on the horizon. Of course, we are also in “end of the school year” mode. Blessed to be busy, but I will savor these last couple of days of break before we get back at it!

I hope you are having a great week.

Posted in Everyday Life

Happy Planner

Hello! I mentioned last week, that I purchased this Happy Planner to test out for the next couple of months. (It was less than $10!) I’ve always been a paper/pen type girl, but I’ve embraced the convenience of my iPhone calendar and “notes” app to keep me organized.

Growing up, I remember my mom would always have a planner out on the kitchen desk with what we had going on written down for the family to see. My version of that is the weekly magnetic calendar on our fridge.

I feel so out of whack and disorganized if I can’t see what all we have going on or what I need to do. My Type A personality sometimes needs to chill…but “A failure to plan is a plan to fail!” (y’all!)

While I’ve embraced the convenience of the iPhone, I sometimes use multiple “notes” for reminders, “to do” lists, kids’ activities and more. I thought the “Skinny Classic” planner would be nice to try out because it fits in my purse.

I also ordered a pack of stickers to use, and they make the planner that much better. Who doesn’t love stickers?

There weren’t many of the “Skinny Classic” left when I ordered, but I chose the “Hip Hip Hooray!” one, and it’s super cute.

The “Teacher Edition” stickers are cute as well with lots of options for holidays and other fun stickers.

I decided I wanted a few more sticker options and saw these on Amazon. They arrived and are perfect. The six sheets cover all 12 months and have a variety of different sized stickers and sayings. I plan on using them in the planner, but I thought they’d also be fun to use on birthday cards and lunch box notes.

Like you would expect with a planner, the front pages have 2020 and 2021 months (below, left). Each month begins with a cute quote (below, top right), and a quick glance reference with days of the month. (below, bottom right)

Each month also has a quick reminder of holidays…

The quote and note section for each month provide enough space to jot down tasks, notes, and to do’s…

The back, like the front, is sturdy plastic and cute.

Just a peek at the cute Spring Break sticker…

I have used Shay’s color coding system for years where each family member has a color….including myself!

It’s only been about ten days, but I’m definitely using the planner, and it fits perfectly in my purse! I use it to write down grocery items I need to pick up, appointments I need to make, a book title I don’t want to forget, and more! The stickers are extra added fun!

So…how do you stay organized? Do you use a planner or reply on technology?!

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

{this post contained Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Everyday Life, Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: One Year of the Pandemic

With Hayden and Hadley finally getting back to school last week, and then this week 9th and 12th graders back in my building, I’ve certainly been reflecting on the upcoming one year mark of the pandemic shutting everything down and causing everyone’s life to come to a screeching halt.

Friday, March 13, 2020 was our last day of school. Friday the 13th will always be an easy day to remember as coinciding with the pandemic ramping up. Teachers always pay attention to a date like Friday the 13th as well as when there’s a full moon 😂

Anyway, just as I was thinking I may write about this past year piggybacking on last week’s Back to School post, I read Shelly ‘s post (at The Queen in Between blog) sharing that she had listened to Laura Tremaine’s podcast10 Questions to Mark One Year of the Pandemic.

I thought I’d use these 10 questions as a guide to reflect on this past year.

1. What was life like in early 2020?

Life was very “normal” in early 2020. I think it was late February when we started to hear more about the Coronavirus. The week before school shut down, I went with Hadley’s Girl Scout troop on an overnight field trip in Ohio. There was definitely talk of precautions that would be put in place at COSI to make the field trip safe. On Tuesday, March 10, we gave the ACT at school while school closure talk was heightened. The governor started holding daily afternoon press conferences. My dad was about to visit, and my brother and I were shocked he still decided to visit as with each day and each press conference more restrictions were being put into place. He arrived on Thursday, March 12. While I made dinner, I asked him to pay attention to the daily briefing because we’d heard that he’d make an announcement about school closures. He then said, March 13th would be the last day of in person learning for a while.

2. What was the biggest change?

The biggest change was life coming to a screeching halt! All of the sudden, we were supposed to stay home, learn online, and not socialize.

3. What were your coping mechanisms?

Unfortunately, I think one of my coping mechanisms was cooking and baking! lol

Also, when I feel like life is “out of control,” I try to control what I can! So, I continued with a routine, made sure to get outside for a walk, and keep life as normal as possible for Hayden and Hadley.

4. What did connection in your relationships look like?

Well, as a family, we spent a lot of time together. We went from running everywhere with school and activities to all four of us being at home. We had to be more intentional with family relationships with phone calls, text messages, Zoom, and Face time.

I felt like it was difficult navigating some friendships. No friendships were lost during this time, but there were varying degrees of opinions and following of protocols based on health issues or beliefs.

5. What will you remember the most?

Honestly, I will remember this extra time together as a family of four. I’m a rule follower and an introvert, so when things shut down and we were told to stay home, I kind of embraced it. Of course, once days turned to weeks and weeks turned to months, of course, I missed “what was,” but the kids were at a great age to be home. They could be independent, but then we also made time for things that we wouldn’t usually have done like “Game Night” on a Wednesday or bike rides as a family.

6. What was the biggest challenge?

For me, the biggest challenge was knowing the right thing to do. Again, as a rule follower, I had no trouble following the rules of stay home, masking up, and keeping distance. My anxiety crept up when some restrictions were lessened, and it was time to make decisions about the kids playing sports, going on vacation, visiting family, etc.

I also worried about loved ones staying healthy and safe as well as family who live alone.

7. What was a beautiful memory?

One specific memory doesn’t pop into mind, but again, the time at home as a family was very meaningful. I also *mostly* enjoyed being home with them for school. (We had a good balance with them going to the pod two days a week). We are already back to being very busy, so I’m already reflecting on when we were able to slow down and not have 100 things on our plates.

Another beautiful memory was getting the vaccine. Again, I feel blessed that teachers were made a priority, so they would feel safe once students returned to school. Now, that second vaccine knocked me on my tail, but I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

8. What do you believe now that you didn’t one year ago?

It’s amazing how resilient and adaptable people are when they have to be.

Also, not that I didn’t know it before, but there are so many good people in the world. First responders, front line workers, educators, and others were all tested, but felt the support of people near and far. Also, communities, schools, neighbors and others all came together when needed.

9. What would you do differently?

I’m not sure there’s anything I would do differently. It is just crazy to me how from mid-March to the beginning of April, each day with each daily briefing from the governor added a new layer of severity with the pandemic. We went from thinking schools would be shut down for two weeks to students in our district not returning to the classrooms for almost a year. It wasn’t that I didn’t take it seriously, it’s just that I’ve never lived through anything like that, so, like most, I thought this would all be short-lived. I actually appreciated the layered implementation of restrictions because it gave us time to plan and adjust rather than panic.

10. What will you carry forward?

Besides always having hand sanitizer nearby??😬 I will remember the goodness of others and cherish the memories and time at home with my family.

Final Thoughts:

I can’t believe that it’s been a year of social distancing, mask wearing, and constant hand sanitizing.

I counted my blessings throughout this entire year. I’ve been thankful for a cozy home, a job, food on the table, the health and wellness of my family, and feeling safe and secure during this time. It was never lost on me that there were doctors and nurses working 80 hours a week, people lost loved ones, and others hardly left their homes.

It wasn’t easy, and some days were harder than others. As a mom and a teacher, I sometimes felt the weight of the world on my shoulders. I felt anxious, overwhelmed, and exhausted at times. Once Hayden and Hadley returned to school, a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. It was only then that I realized the amount of stress I’d sometimes been carrying with underlying worry.

The month of March always brings a sense of renewal to me with the weather, the school year winding down, and summer on the horizon. I’m hoping that we continue move forward, with no setbacks, so that Covid can be in the rearview mirror sooner rather than later!

What was your biggest challenge this past year, and what has been a beautiful memory for you?

I hope you’re having a great week! See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.