Posted in Family

Puppy Love

Happy Thursday!

Well, this post came about due to a recent (sad) Facebook memory of saying goodbye to our boxers Shiloh and Scout in 2018 and 2019. I still miss them, and it got me thinking about the dogs I’ve had in my life. 

We are dog people. Well, I always have been one, and Travis has grown to be one. I grew up with dogs, and Travis didn’t. After we’d been married a year, we brought home our first Boxer, Shiloh. 

Today, I’m sharing the dogs who have been a part of my family through the years. 

My first dog was Maggie. My parents got Maggie before I was born. She was a German Shepherd, and I believe my uncle got her for my parents either as a wedding gift or as an anniversary gift. I don’t have a ton of memories of her, but I do remember her and we have a few photos. She was a good dog, but she passed away when I was in the second grade.  

Between Maggie and our next dog, I got a cat. I begged and begged for a cat, and finally got one. I named her Foggy because she was gray with white paws. She was an indoor cat and lived for many years. Crazy enough…after leaving for college, when I would come home, I would have itchy eyes and sneeze. Through the years, when I’ve been around other cats, I have the same reaction. A few years ago I actually had allergy testing done because of my seasonal allergies, and I am also allergic to cats…horses and dogs too. Obviously, the dog allergy is mild whereas the others I had a more severe reaction. Anyway, she passed away after I graduated from college. 

I remember in school during my 4th grade year, we had to make a book that told a Christmas story. I wrote about a little girl who wanted a dog and woke up Christmas morning with a puppy from Santa. Well, let’s just say fiction didn’t turn into reality. 😆

That being said, the spring of that same year, my brother and I came home from school and were surprised by a Doberman puppy. My dad named him Jake. My dad was a policeman and at the time he was working nights. I think he wanted to make sure we felt protected at night when he was gone. Jake was a great dog and was very well trained. We only had him for eight years as he got sick quickly and died right after I graduated high school. My dad loved him so much that he has a tattoo of Jake on this arm! The loss of Jake was a difficult one for our family. 

After Travis and I had been married a year, I told him I wanted to get a dog. That summer after our anniversary, we started talking about it. On a plane ride home from vacation, we saw a Boxer puppy on the plane. The man said how great they were with kids, and that pup was so cute that I thought it might be the best type of dog for us. And…I was planning ahead for when we had kids. Later that summer of 2006, we looked in the newspaper (yes, newspaper) and drove out into the country to look at a litter of Boxer puppies. There were three left, and Travis picked Shiloh. I had my eye on the runt of the litter, but Travis played with Shiloh and thought she was the best one. Of course, I agree now. 😉 We chose the name Shiloh after a bar (#keepingitclassy) in Columbia, Missouri where Travis and I first started talking. She was the sweetest pup and a good addition to our family.  

After having Shiloh for a year and a half, I thought she needed a friend. Travis didn’t agree, but of course I got my way. We looked in the paper again, drove out to the country to look at Scout. He was the only pup left and I could tell we were “saving” him from his situation. It didn’t seem like the best circumstances. We named him Scout because of my love of To Kill a Mockingbird.  

Kind of like when people say their first child is perfect and the second is more of a handful…that was Scout. As soon as we got him home and to the vet, we realized he had mange and he had some digestive issues too. After a few months, all of that passed. Shiloh tolerated him at first, but they did become two besties.  

Where I joked Shiloh was known for her RBF (rested b$%^& face), Scout was happy go lucky. He was loyal and would follow you anywhere. His underbite was too cute, and was a goofball. One time, he got his head stuck in the fence!

Top left: Shiloh, top right: Scout

Travis doesn’t usually like this photo of him, but I joke that Shiloh and I look young and fresh, so that’s all that matters!

Once we had the kids, both pups tolerated them so well. The kids loved on them, followed them around, laid on them, and they were so good with them. 

Scout passed away suddenly in 2018. He was only ten and had never had any real health issues. While he had slowed down a bit, we didn’t realize he had cancer until it was too late. It was a very sad time and our kids first time dealing with a loss. Thankfully, we still had Shiloh.  

Through the years, she had cancer twice, once in her leg and once in her jaw. She had to have part of her jaw removed which made her tongue hang out. She did recover from those health issues, but for the last year of her life, she had neurotological problems in her back legs. She held on for about a year after Scout died. Honestly, I held on too long. It was a difficult decision to make. Finally, in the spring of 2019, I realized it was time. While it was sad to make that decision, I was grateful to be able to buy her one more ice cream from Dairy Queen and be with her as we told her goodbye. 

I remember being so sad, and Travis said when the time was right we’d get another dog. I told him I wasn’t sure if I could do that, and he said, “We are dog people.” I reminded him that I “made” him a dog person, and he agreed. ❤️

I missed having a four-legged friend, and to be honest, I was used to having a dog bark when the door bell rang, and feeling at least a sense of protection. Plus, we felt like we were missing a part of our family. I had a few friends tell me about the Petfinder app, so a couple months after Shiloh passed, I started looking for a puppy. Travis was on board with getting a dog, but he wasn’t sure about a puppy. At the time, the kids were in the 3rd grade. I wanted them to have that memory of getting a puppy just like I did when I was their age.

On my Petfinder search, I filtered it for a lab mix. I just couldn’t bring myself to get another Boxer knowing they are prone to cancer. There were a couple of dogs I kept my eye on and showed Travis. They typically were adopted quickly. Then, I found Homer. He was at a rescue near Cincinnati called Tails of Hope. He was one of three who were found on the side of the road. His adoption name was Glorious and his brothers were Notorious and Victorious. In his adoption photo, his little leg is shaved where he needed fluids and medicine.

We were approved for his adoption, and we surprised the kids that morning. In the car, we went back and forth on what to name him. Hayden eventually suggested Homer (due to his love of baseball…not Homer Simpson), and we all agreed. Obviously, I like an “H” name To this day, if Homer gets in “trouble,” the kids say, “Homer Glorious White!”

I joke that I didn’t read the “fine print” on Homer as he definitely sheds more than I prefer. After having two Boxers who never shed, I’ve given up wearing dark clothing while near Homer.

My brother told me that there are DNA tests for dogs, and we did one for Homer. He’s 25% lab, so there’s that! When we first took him to the vet as a puppy, the vet thought he had Husky in him, and he does. I’d never heard of Great Pyrenees, but I can definitely see that in Homer for sure.

He’s been a great addition to our family, and we all love him very much. He’s spoiled rotten. He’s our first rescue and his demeanor is different than Shiloh and Scout’s. I do feel like he knows that we rescued him. He’s a people pup and wants to be near one of us at all times.  

The kids occasionally mention wanting a puppy, and I remind them that we have Homer.

These past couple of years have been the first time I’ve realized what people mean when they say they are too busy to have a pet. Thankfully, Homer is at a great age where he doesn’t need a kennel or let out often. We can finally trust him. We’ll see. I have thought about getting Homer a friend in the next couple of years because I’ve realized Homer’s age along with the timing of an empty nest might make me sad. I’m not sure if we’d get a puppy again. We are home more than I think, but it’s not the best time right now. 

Dogs (pets) love us unconditionally, are there for us when we need it, teach responsibility, and really are a part of the family…at least in our family that’s how it is anyway.  

I didn’t intend for this post to be so long, but now I have all my favorite fur family in one post.

What about you…are you a dog person or a cat person? 

Posted in Books and Shows, Family

Family Movie Night


Well, I often feel like my family is always on the go and that we spend very little quality time together. Honestly, I probably don’t give us enough credit, but I thought it would be a good idea to set an intentional goal to watch at least one movie a month together as a family…so we’d have less of this:

We started the year off strong, and then you know the saying…”best laid plans…” Anyway, in general, we did spend more time together watching movies this year. I will take what I can get.

This meme is for Hayden…lol:

Obviously, the main goal was to have all four of us watch the movie, and that did happen most of the time!

Here are the movies we watched this year:


On a snow day in January, the kids and I watched Sing 2. It was one of those movies that Hadley and I started watching and Hayden ended up joining us. We all loved it.


We watched Home Team. It was a funny movie that we all enjoyed.


The Cheaper by the Dozen remake was so good!


We watched the Adventures in Babysitting movie and enjoyed it.


May was a busy month. We didn’t even up watching a movie at home but we went to see the new Top Gun in the theater with friends. It was a definitely a must see movie! (especially in the theater)


In June, Hadley & I watched Sneakerella. It was a cute movie.

As a family, we went with a classic: Big Daddy. I think both kids had seen it before, but it’s still such a laugh out loud movie.

One evening, I watched Goonies with Hayden. We both have seen that movie many times and love it.


One night, while Hadley was at camp, I watched Jurassic Park (original) with Hayden. Again, it’s one we’d both seen before, but will watch it again and again.

Once Hadley got home from camp, she chose Family Camp for our family movie…and Hayden vowed to never let her choose a movie again! haha

It was just ok.


Well the busyness of back to school got to us, and we didn’t sit down to watch a movie together.


In September, we started off strong Labor Day weekend. We saw Grease at the drive in with friends, the kids saw Jaws (in 3D) with cousins, and Travis and I watched the Elvis movie at home. (Unpopular opinion: I didn’t like it.)


Well, this was kind of a random viewing month with not much time. The kids watched the new Hocus Pocus and The Addams Family on fall break.


On Thanksgiving night, Hadley chose Uncharted (because of her love for Tom Holland). I hadn’t heard of it, but we all loved it!


Of course, December is filled with some Christmas movies. Over break, I finally had time to watch a few, and Hadley watched some with me.

One of my favorite movies is While You were Sleeping, and Hadley watched it for the first time with me. Then, we watched another one of my favorites: You’ve Got Mail. (not a holiday movie, but one I always watch on break). Hadley enjoyed both, but said While You were Sleeping was better.

As a family, we watched Home Alone one evening…

….and A Christmas Story on Christmas night.

While in KC, we all watched Glass Onion at my mom’s house, and we all loved it.

While some months, we didn’t see a movie as a family, I think we still were pretty successful carving out time to hang and view some pretty good movies.

Fun fact: my favorite movie of all time is The Parent Trap (original) I watched it over break too.

What’s a great family movie you love?

Posted in Family, Holidays

KC, CoMo, and NYE


Well, we all made it to school on time yesterday. Again, the schedule and routine will be good for us, but re-entry is always difficult!

Last week, I shared a Christmas recap, and today I’m sharing about out of town Christmas and the second half of break.

The four of us celebrated Christmas the morning of the 23rd.

We also woke up to additional snow and negative wind chill temps. We enjoyed our morning at home and then prepared to go out of town. Trav’s family always celebrates on the 23rd, and then we were headed to KC on the 24th. Honestly, we kept hearing about the road conditions, some parts of the highway shut down, and more. It takes quite the effort to pack up the car with luggage and gifts, but once we did so that afternoon, we decided to attempt the drive to Louisville. Let’s just say that I was outvoted. Slow and steady was the name of the game. What normally takes 1 hour 15 minutes took over 3.5 hours. Honestly, we didn’t have an issues, but we saw cars on the side of the road, came to a standstill a few times, and more. I was relieved to get to Trav’s mom’s house.

We enjoyed our evening with them…always good food, games, presents, and dessert. We woke up on the 24th, dropped off Homer (He was staying in Louisville), packed up the car, and hit the road to KC. Once we crossed into Indiana, there were no travel issues.

Once we got to KC, we unloaded the car, showered, changed, and got ready to go to my dad’s cousin’s house. I always “joke” that we drive eight hours west to then drive about thirty minutes more because he lives in Kansas. Some of my extended family I only see once (maybe twice) a year. It’s always fun to catch up, there’s great food, some exchange gifts, and play a few games. It usually is a late night after a long day of driving.

Christmas morning, we opened gifts at my mom’s and then went to my dad’s. KC was expected to get some freezing rain/snow Christmas evening, so we went to my Gma’s for dinner, but it was a little earlier that normal. We opened gifts, ate dinner, and then played some Bingo. My kids don’t always want to play games when we are at home, but they always do when we are in KC.

Then, we were in KC for two more days. Honestly, we didn’t do much which was nice. One night, I actually got 11 hours of sleep. I was beat. I always wish we did more, and some years we go to Union Station, the Plaza, or ice skate, but we didn’t do much because the weather continued to be so cold.

Hadley made crepes one morning, and then my aunt and Gma came over to carry on the waffle cookie tradition. We use the waffle iron that we think is at least 150 years old. It was brought over from Germany by my great great grandfather in 1898.

The kids are really good at making these.

Hayden and my mom completed a puzzle one afternoon, and the kids played Scattegories, Jr. with my mom too.

We usually drive home after four days in KC. The kids didn’t know it, but we planned on stopping in Columbia, Mo. (literally right off the highway on the way home) because my Tigers were playing the Kentucky Wildcats. Since Columbia is only 1.5 hours away from KC, and it was a 6:00 game, that meant that we had a bit extra time in KC. We had a slow morning, went and visited my Gma again, packed up the car, had lunch with my mom, stopped by to see my dad and then hit the road to CoMo.

Once we pulled into town, we told the kids why we were there, and they both were excited. We found a parking spot right by the quad, and went to see the columns and Jesse Hall. We stop through CoMo every few years, so while this wasn’t the kids first visit to Columbia, they probably don’t remember much of the last time they were there.

The weather was beautiful that afternoon. A lady offered to take our photo, and I was clearly outnumbered in the black/gold to my three in blue.

Travis and I met in Columbia. He worked for Mizzou’s athletic department as did I my senior year. For many reasons, I love Columbia, but meeting him was a wonderful twist of fate.

We walked around a bit before heading to get some food.

Unfortunately, two of my favorite places were packed, so we stopped for nachos and a drink before heading to the game.

After dominating against a ranked Illinois team the week before, Mizzou Arena was sold out! I hadn’t been to this arena in years, and it was all of our first time attending a game there.

All I was asking for was a competitive game…

…and it was even better than I’d hoped with a *dominating* win for my team.

I joke that my family should be thankful that I’m such a gracious winner!

After the game, we drove on to St. Louis to spend the night. We finished up the rest of the drive to Kentucky the next morning.


I’m not a big NYE person, but some of our friends host a progressive dinner. The friends’ houses are close together and in our neighborhood, and they’ve been kind enough to include us the past couple of years.

One house has apps, then another house has salads, then the main meal, a dessert house, and ringing in the new year house.

Another friend and I helped at the main course house. We had beef tenderloin, Brussel sprouts, and I made potato casserole.

The set up was so pretty.

The kids were in and out of all of the houses, and Hadley snapped a group pic for us.

Like I shared yesterday, we also drew three words as our “words of the year.”

These were mine:

It was a great night.

As an addition to yesterday’s post and my interest in Enneagrams, @ashton.creates had Enneagrams for the new year…


  • Night in
  • Traditional food
  • Bed by nine
  • To do lists
  • Reflecting
  • Netflix


  • Sparklers
  • Small gathering
  • Sparkling cider
  • Midnight
  • Goals
  • Dreaming

Most of these are pretty on brand for me I would say.

What are your typical NYE plans? January 1 sure hits different when I have to go to school on the 2nd!

Thanks so much for reading,

Posted in Family

Family Fun: Photo Sesh Edition

Hello and Happy Monday!

Womp. Womp. This is my last Monday of the summer with no school. This time next week, I will be sitting in meetings and preparing for the first day of school. I’m going to make the most of this week with a few last minute errands, crossing off our “back to school” list items, and hopefully pool/reading/tv time to round out the summer.

While we were in KC for my Gma’s 90th birthday, we had family photos taken on my mom’s side of the family.

Rachel has taken some of my favorite photos. She was our wedding photographer…

…and then took the kids photos when they were 4 months old…

…and their first birthday photos …

It was so great to see her again after so many years. If you are in the KC area, I HIGHLY recommend her!

I joked that this was forced family fun, and I think we got every combo of photo imaginable! The high temp that day was going to be 100+, so we met at 9:30 for these photos. While I’m always sad to think about how big my kids are getting, I will say some things are easier…like taking photos. We took all of these in about an hour!

This photo was our #1 goal:

…but then we got so many more!

The great grand kids with Gma:

Gma and her daughters (my aunt and my mom)

Gma with the grand kids (+spouses) and great grand kids.

The ladies!

My mom with her kids and grand kids.

The grand kids! I love this photo.

Then, my family and my brother’s family…

My family (these turned out so great!)

It’s been a long time since we’ve had photos taken in the summer, and I love that we are all tan and look relaxed. haha!

My kids! Getting so big…



(I think y’all know that Hayden isn’t big on having his photo taken. He was still sitting on this box after a group shot, and Rachel just had him look up and smile! Easy peasy! We tricked him!)

Hadley is easier to smile for the camera.

The last time Rachel took our photo was 2005! Love life with T-rav.

My brother’s family:

Then, my brother said we should take a sibling pic back to back. He’s so funny.

Happy 90th birthday, Gma! She’s the reason I love to play Solitaire (cards!), bake cookies at Christmas, and enjoy a good day on the lake! She’s a gem.

Even I’m not big on having my photo taken, but I’m so glad we had these photos taken.

I hope you all have a great week!

Linking up with Sarah and Holly for Hello Monday!

Posted in Family, Friday Favorites, Meals and Recipes

Friday Favorites {#114}

Hello and Happy Friday! It’s our last Friday of the school year, and we are ready for the weekend.

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

Here are some favorites from the week:

Favorite Moment(s)

My dad came to visit this past weekend. His birthday was on Tuesday, so I encouraged him to come see us, have some cake, and watch the kids’ last regular season track meet on Monday.

On Sunday, we grilled out steaks and had lemon Bundt cake for dessert. The weather was great, and we were able to spend some time outside.

Monday was the kids’ last regular season track meet. They’ve improved so much and had such a great time this season. Both of them have set PR’s in their events, and the last meet was only for 6th graders. Hayden ran the 1600, 800 and one relay. Hadley ran 100m and two relays. They had quite the cheering section!

On Wednesday, they had their last track practice where they celebrated the season with ice cream and awards. Hayden earned a silver medal for finishing second place (he lost by a fraction a second) in the 6th grade mile while Hadley earned the two bronze medals for third place finishes with her relay teams. That meet was a great way to cap off the season.

Hayden’s 4×800 relay qualified for state in a couple of weeks!

Favorite Pic(s):

The kids baptism was one year ago, and this week I randomly received the professional photos that were taken. The kids look both the same and older to me one year later. I hope that their faith remains strong and that their hearts always guide them.

Favorite Food(s):

We grilled out for my dad’s birthday, and I made two of our favorite summer dishes for sides.

This pasta salad is so easy and so delish. My favorite part is the bits of mozzarella!

My kids even request these asparagus fries. They are so good!

Favorite Mom Meme:


Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday:

This throwback from May 2014 is so sweet. We loved pool days then, and we can’t wait for pool days now. The pool opens up next Wednesday!

Weekly Recap:

This week, I’ve shared a recap of the weekend, teacher gift ideas, and summer Amazon faves:

What are your plans for the weekend? The kids are running in a post-season track meet tomorrow and have youth Sunday at church. We have a few other things going on, but I sure hope to have some time to read and catch up on my tv shows!

See you back here Monday.

Posted in Family, Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites {#73}

Hello! How was your week? We’ve had a great one. I worked two days, we had some pool time, the kids had dance, baseball, and swim team, and I was able to run some errands and cross some things off my “to do” list.

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

My dad visited for a few days which is always a favorite. He was able to hang with us and my brother’s family, see two of Hayden’s tournament games, take Hayden to the driving range, and we went ahead and celebrated Father’s Day.

Dugout laughs with the Major
Driving Range time

For years, we’ve taken a front porch stairs photo (per the Major’s request!), and we always laugh because he’s the hardest one to get to smile. He always says, “I AM smiling!” This visit, he wanted the kids to “smile like Major,” and they nailed it.

Of course, I needed a smiling photo, and then my brother and I hopped in for one.

Seeing Hayden play baseball is always a favorite. He’s having so much fun with his summer team. They are a great group of boys with great coaches.

My favorite flowers, hydrangeas, are starting to bloom…

…but they are showing off at my brother’s house.

My sister-in-law made a couple of pies last weekend, and Layla couldn’t wait to dig in. The pies were delish.

Homer is always a favorite. He loves it that we are home so much in the summer.

Summer nights and just hanging around are a favorite of Hadley’s. My kids kids love to climb this tree in our yard.

Pool time with Layla was another favorite of Hadley’s this week.

Snow cones at the pool are a great way to beat the heat!

Hayden wanted to go to a new restaurant in town, so we ate there on Wednesday after baseball practice. Freddy’s with my fave…

Favorite Mom Meme:

Yep. Summer always magnifies what little control I have around here. 😆

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

Since it’s Father’s Day this weekend, I’m sharing these favorite flashback photos!

In 2013, I had the kids take these pics and framed them for Travis.

And, another flashback…the Major and me in the 80’s…

and in 2005… (Travis and I will celebrate 16 years of marriage next week…which I can’t believe!)

Living away from family can be hard. Luckily, my mom and grandma visited around Mother’s Day, and then we were able to celebrate my dad this past weekend for an early Father’s Day.

Weekly Recap:

What are some of your favorites for the week? I hope you have a great weekend. We’ll be at a baseball tournament and celebrating Travis on Sunday!

Amazon Prime Days are Monday and Tuesday, so I will be sharing some Amazon faves on Monday!

Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Family, Friday Favorites, Travel

Friday Faves {#62} and FBF: Spring Break

Hello and Happy Friday! Usually, Friday means a hectic week is wrapping up, but today, Friday, means Spring Break is almost over. Ugh!

Today, I’m sharing a twist on my normal Friday Favorites posts. I’m still linking up with Andrea and Erika, but this is a special Flashback Friday edition.

Spring Break is always a favorite, so I’m taking a look back on our previous Spring Break trips because those places and those memories will always be favorites for us.

I love Spring Break, and I honestly love being at home. March is always a hectic month, and I know that April-May will be busy with activities and end of school things, so it’s sometimes (always 😉 nice to just be home, relax, unwind, and regroup for the last couple of months of the school year.

Before the kids started school, we never took a Spring Break vacation. We usually had family visit during that time. Once the kids started school, we did make a point to start going somewhere for a few days. What I’ve come to love about Spring Break is we do something different each year. We usually plan to go to somewhere in the middle of break, so we have a few days at home on either side of the trip.

Upon reflection (this post!), I love that we’ve provided our kids with these various opportunities and created so many memories in different places!

Knoxville {2016}:

When the kids were in kindergarten, I was teaching in a neighboring district. We ended up having different Spring Breaks that year (which never happens…and hasn’t happened since as most districts in KY tend to have the same break the first week of April).

Anyway, on the first weekend of my break, we headed to Knoxville because Kentucky was playing Tennessee in baseball, and we knew the kids would enjoy that. We were gone Saturday-Monday, so the kids missed school that Monday. (Kindergarten and already skipping school! haha)

As soon as we arrived, we checked into our hotel and headed to the ball park to watch the game.

That evening, we went to dinner and the kids are all about a hotel pool!

That Sunday, they swam some more, and we hit up some local attractions like the Smoky Mountain Alpine Coaster and miniature golf. We went to dinner that night and headed home on Monday.

It was a fun little getaway.

Hilton Head {2017}:

In 2017, I was teaching in the same district as the kids, so we for sure had the same Spring Break 😉 We decided to head to Hilton Head. We love South Carolina. The weather was on the cooler side but perfect for playing in the sand (and the kids braved the ocean!) and swimming in the heated pool at the resort.

Can’t beat sunshine and the ocean.

We ate lots of great food, Hadley and Travis rented bikes one day, (After a fall the summer after kindergarten, Hayden refused to ride a bike for a couple of years. I wish I was kidding!), the kids collected seashells, played in the ocean and the pool, and we had lots of other fun.

One of my favorite family photos!

The beach and the pool can never be beat!

South Carolina is always a great place to visit.

Asheville {2018}:

Spring Break 2018 location came about because Hayden was adamant about visiting the Biltmore. We went to Asheville for four days and three nights. We spent one entire day at the Biltmore wandering around the property and taking the tour. Once it was our turn to enter, we toured on our own. Hayden was mad we didn’t pay for the head sets and guided tour. He’s a history buff!

I would definitely like to go back there again.

On the other days, we hiked a couple of times including to this waterfall. The scenery was stunning.

We always hit up a few breweries…

Of course, the hotel had a pool, and then on the last day, we hiked a bit more before heading out of town.

On our way out, we drove past The Red Rocker Inn. Long story short, Travis took me there after Christmas in 2003. I thought he was going to ask me to marry him. He did not. We didn’t get engaged until May of 2004. 😉

We actually went back there a few years ago and stayed as a getaway for Trav’s 40th birthday.

We always have a great time in Asheville.

KC/Vegas {2019}:

As our summers have gotten more hectic, we don’t always make it to KC to see family in the summer. We decided to go visit family for Spring Break 2019, and then Travis had the idea to leave the kids with my mom and he and I headed to Las Vegas for a few days. Airfare from KC to LV is always cheap, and it’s a pretty short flight.

Well, even with that plan in place, we had an even better surprise. The Kentucky Wildcats would be playing in KC for the Sweet 16 on the day we were to arrive! So, Travis, Hayden, and my mom went to that game…and the CATS won!

Then, Hadley and I joined the three of them for the Elite Eight game on the first Sunday of break. Travis and I weren’t flying out until later that night, so it all working out perfectly.

Once we were inside, my mom and Hadley made their way to their seats while Travis surprised Hayden (and me!) with…


Hayden was so excited, loved to shake the pom poms, and hoped that Coach Cal would hear his advice.

Well, the game was tied at the end of regulation…and this was Hayden’s face…

Hadley was at the game for all the free swag she could find…and Tyler Herro. He’s still her crush!

I sent Hadley the Herro photo from where we were sitting, and told her he was winking at her.

Unfortunately, the CATS lost in overtime, and Hayden was very upset. I told him not to cry or he’d be the kid that CBS zooms in on, and that’s not the the national TV recognition that he would want!

We all went back to my mom’s, and Travis and I headed to the airport for Vegas.

We landed around 8:00 Vegas time and guess who we saw waiting for his Uber? O.J. Simpson! I spotted him, and Travis didn’t believe me. Then, he was waiting with us as we got our Uber…and it was him.

We were in Vegas for 3 nights and 2.5 days. We hung out by the pool,

went out to dinner,

ate lots of great food, and Travis gambled bit.

The first two nights, we stayed at the Aria and then moved next door to Vdara. Travis White is known for booking multiple hotels on single trip because he either 1. waits to long too book or 2. find a better deal!

On our last night, we went and saw The Beatles: Cirque Du Soleil. It was out of this world amazing. I’m so glad that we saw that performance.

Afterwards, we had a delicious steak dinner and walked back to our hotel before an early wake up call for our flight. Travis White is also known for finding the earliest flights possible!

It was a great trip and the kids had fun with GG while we were gone. We’d just lost our dog Shiloh right before Spring Break and that KC/LV trip was just what we needed to get away.

Spring Break {2020}:

Ugh! Last year, we were supposed to visit NYC. We had our air fare and hotel booked for the week, but of course we didn’t get to go.

Nashville {2021}:

This week, we decided to take the kids to a place that’s been on our list for a couple of years: Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville.

We stayed in the Cascades Atrium section of the resort.

The kids had lots of fun at the Sound Waves park.

and we enjoyed our first Top Golf experience in Nashville.

This Spring Break has been pretty perfect with nice weather in Lexington, fun with neighbors and friends, a few days in Nashville, and still a couple more days left (and Easter!) before we get back to school next week.

What do you normally do for Spring Break?

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from this week!

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you have a wonderful weekend, and a lovely Easter.

See you back here next week.

Posted in Family, Traditions

Pumpkin Patch Recap

Today I’m recapping one of my favorite days of the year…our annual trip to the pumpkin patch.

On Friday, Hayden’s baseball practice was canceled which gave us an afternoon after school off from activities. Travis even got home a bit early, so we were able to leave right when I finished my school day. We go to Evan’s Orchard in Georgetown, and have been going there for four or five years.

I love the mix of activities, pumpkins, photo ops, and apple cider everything 😊

Of course, upon arrival, I headed straight to the pumpkins…

while the kids headed straight to the apple cannon! I don’t remember them having this in the past, but the kids shot ten apples at the various targets (a truck, a ghost, etc), and we were all laughing at the hits and the misses.

I was impressed with how the orchard was set up. The area with most of the pumpkins, the apple cannon, and this corn stalk photo op is an area that typically isn’t used. So, this provided more space for people to spread out all over the orchard.

This cute pic of the kids is very 2020 with the masks around their necks, but I sure do miss the days where they let me dress them in a bright orange jack-o-lantern or boo shirt. At least they still like this tradition of going to pick out our carving pumpkins.

Family photo.

This little swing photo area was also new this year. Hadley couldn’t resist.

All the pumpkins you could ever ask for…

These are the pumpkins they picked for carving:

Mini pumpkins on the way inside the store…

where we also purchased two packs of apple cider donuts.

Hadley and Travis had ice cream as their treat while Hayden and I had apple cider slushies. It was the first time I’d had one, and it was so delish and refreshing.

I also picked up these mini wooden pumpkins to add to my ongoing collection.

We enjoyed our treats while sitting by the big pumpkins.

I swear they look 10 going on 16 in this pic!

Then, Hayden talked us into a bag of kettle corn for the road. We figured “why not?” since we all could share it. A medium bag is plenty big and lasted the rest of the weekend.

This is the second year we didn’t pay for the play area …1. because of lack of time and 2. because of Covid. That’s why I obliged on a few extra treats and pumpkins when it was all said and done.

Again, it was definitely a good outside outing with masks, social distancing, and protocols being followed.

The pumpkin patch and this front porch view are two of my favorite things about this season!

I can’t wait for tomorrow’s Let’s Look link up. It’s all about…pumpkins. My fave! I couldn’t miss out on that!

Happy pumpkin season, y’all!

Posted in Family, Friday Favorites, School

Friday Favorites {#35}

Hey, hey! We made it to Friday. As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, this week has about done me in. Juggling my school life, the kids (and their activities), multiple appointments (doctor, ortho, etc) and more, I’m just drained. It always takes a couple of weeks to get into the “back to school groove,” and, at this point, I’m the only one actually back to school! 😳

I’m happy to see the weekend, and I hope to recharge a bit before Monday.

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

Favorite Pic:

Hayden’s baseball season will be over in the next couple of weeks. I love that Travis helps coach his team. I’m not sure Hayden knows how lucky he is to have a dad who wants to be involved as well as help him grow as a player. This pic is priceless to me. ❤️ (and, yes–they do bump heads sometimes like most father/son relationships…but I tell them to keep it on the field. 😉

Favorite Kid Quote:

Hadley asked Alexa to set a timer for 2:45. Alexa said, “A timer is set for 14:25.” Hadley looked at me and said, “She’s talking Army time.” 😂

Favorite Show:

I’m late to the Selling Sunset hype. I’m almost ashamed to admit it, but I’ve watched two seasons since last Thursday. I love this show. Just enough drama and friendship…plus they show (& sell) amazing homes!

Favorite Book:

Unfortunately, I haven’t had as much time to read lately, but I’m loving 28 Summers. Hopefully I will get it read in time to chat about it in my August book post.

Back to School Favorites:

Last Friday, we decided to get school supplies and back to school clothes. I always take the kids to pick out their supplies. It gets them excited about the school year, and it’s always funny to see Hayden pick things out in five minutes while Hadley spends seven minutes picking out the cutest folder.

Then, we headed across the street to Vineyard Vines. Hayden is pretty low maintenance with clothes, but he likes Vineyard Vines t-shirts and polos. I was going to take him anyway, but VV was having 50% off for teachers and students, so I let him pick out an extra shirt!

I took Hadley to Target this week where she picked out a couple of shirts and a jean skirt to wear on the first day.

I told Travis it was his turn to partake in the Back to School “fun”….so he took them for new shoes on Sunday. They were gone a couple of hours, Hadley called me twice and sent me 15 text messages from Trav’s phone. haha!! Hayden is apparently a high maintenance shoe shopper!

This year, the kids’ school had a drive thru “Meet the Teacher,” so we drove through, picked up supplies, and chatted with their teachers. I am bummed this is how they are starting their last year of elementary school, but the school is definitely making these events as special as possible.

Then, last night, they had a Zoom Open House where they were able to meet all the 5th grade teachers and chat with classmates.

There were a couple of treats in the bag…but mostly textbooks! 😂

Another favorite for me (and probably only me) this week has been getting organized. Hayden’s desk arrived, and Hadley already has a desk. My neighbor went to Ikea a couple of weeks ago, and I asked her to pick me up two of these rolling carts. They are perfect for holding their supplies for school, and can easily be rolled to the kitchen or office if the kids prefer to work there.

Favorite Purchase:

There’s a Bath and Body Works by Vineyard Vines, so after that shopping, we stopped in Bath and Body. I knew their three wick candles were on sale, so I picked up a fall scented one. It’s making me so happy!

Favorite Family Fun :

Cousin Wyatt turned 6 on Wednesday, and we got together for his birthday. For his party, he had a huge inflatable water slide. The kids had tons of fun and were worn out.

Happy Birthday, Wyatt!

I got them to pause for three seconds for a picture!

Hayden meant to wear his sports goggles, but insisted on keeping his regular glasses on while going down the water slide. Later, my brother sent me this pic saying Hayden looked like Squints from Sandlot. I’ve thought that since Hayden picked out those glasses, but it was funny to see the pic for comparison.

and here the cute cousins are in 2015 for Wyatt’s first birthday party. Time flies!

Favorite Food:

Last weekend, I made Andrea’s Peanut Butter Pretzel No Bake Bars. Hadley helped me make them; they were so delicious! They provided us dessert for a few nights.

Favorite Mom Meme:

Guilty as charged!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

Hadley’s prepping for her dance recital. Her studio is going to video the routines next week while everyone is in costume and “dance ready.” This is Hadley at her first ballet class in 2015. So sweet!


I love when this 2012 pic of Hayden pops up in my Facebook memories…PJ shirt, undies, shoes and a shovel. #pinchycheekcute He was helping dad in the backyard!

Weekly Recap:

Now, if you need me, I will be trying to keep my head above water and counting down the minutes to the weekend!

Thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Activities, Family

Summer Fun List Update

Well, the days of sleeping in and easing into the day are almost over. To be clear, they’ve been over for me since Monday 😉Today, I’m sharing an update on where we stand with our Summer 2020 Fun List.

When we wrote down our ideas for this list in mid-June, Hayden and Hadley each listed some thing they’d like to do, and we brainstormed a few ideas to complete as a family.

Here’s a breakdown on what we’ve accomplished this summer:


  • Learn a (new) Tik Tok dance: Y’all, she seems to master a new dance daily! AND…we all get to be audience 😂
  • Tie Dye: Hadley did tie dye a shirt and socks with some friends.
  • Bake: We haven’t baked too much this summer because we have ZERO self-control when it comes to sweets in this house, but Hadley has made the Lemon Freezer Pie on her own a few times.
  • Cook dinner one night: Well, I’ve forgotten about this one, and need to hold her to it 😉She does help me dinner prep sometimes. #summerisntoveryet !!
  • Dance Workshop: She was able to take a couple Hip Hop workshops this summer, and is now back dancing full time to make up for April/May classes.
  • Try S’mores Frapp: She did try this frapp from Starbucks this summer and liked it!
  • Go to Bob Evans Restaurant: We haven’t made it there yet. I’m not sure if our local BE has dine in service right now? I guess we could get carry out one night.
  • Dog walking business: Yes! The kids have taken care of a few neighborhood pets this summer and regularly walked the neighbor’s dog.
  • Art Project: Hadley did complete an art project or two as well as some crafts (a hand scrub, a lava lamp, and she painted a Mason jar for her pens and pencils). She also completed some of the crafts from her camp box since camp was canceled this summer.


  • Teach Homer some tricks : Yes! Hayden has been working with Homer some on “sit,” “down,” “come,” and “shake.” Most of those are commands rather than tricks, but he has fun with Homer. Seriously, I’ve never seen a kid love a dog more than Hayden loves Homer.
  • Take golf lessons: Well, once baseball started back, we didn’t have lots of time to schedule actual lessons, but Travis and Hayden went golfing a few times this summer just the two of them and then with friends this past Sunday. Maybe we can get him lessons once baseball is over. (Interestingly enough, he’s a left handed kid—but bats right handed and golfs left handed. So crazy to me!)
  • Get/play video games: I do not think we’ve bought any new games, but he’s certainly played on his Xbox this summer! Great way to cool off after playing outside.
  • Take Hadley to camp for a week: Unfortunately, for Hayden, Hadley’s camp was canceled this summer 😂
  • Baseball: Yes. All the baseball. Practices. Games. Backyard practices and games. Baseball lessons. On repeat.
1st base and pitcher
  • Go shoe shopping: With a delayed back to school start date, we haven’t bought new shoes just yet. BUT Travis did score a great deal on a pair of Air Max tennis shoes, but they were a bit too big. They will fit Hayden soon enough, I’m sure!
  • Play outside: We were just discussing with friends that this summer, for our kids, felt like our own childhood summers. Since we weren’t at the pool, there was more time for neighborhood kids to ride bikes and run around together. It’s been a pretty simple and sweet summer in that regard.
  • Draw things: Hayden loves to draw. Do you know when his most favorite time to draw is? BEDTIME! ugh!
  • Watch sports: Yes. He’s found the time to watch NBA games and Royals baseball!
  • Not get braces: Well, technically he hasn’t gotten his braces in yet…but he does have his Herbst appliance in for the foreseeable future. He’s definitely gotten used to it, and knows what to do if it gets stuck! haha


I will share some more for the family list details in tomorrow’s post but we were able to:

  • Go to the zoo, go on a couple of hikes, take a vacation to Florida, visit family in Kansas City, pick strawberries, and kayak/canoe with friends.

Other activities:

  • Lake: We never made it to a lake this summer which is a bummer because I do love the lake life.
  • Drive in movie: We had plans a couple of weekends ago to go to the drive in, but it rained all weekend. We haven’t re-scheduled just yet, but I’d love to take the kids sometime soon!

Overall, I’d say we did a pretty good job of using our list to guide our fun this summer. We were able to make memories and have fun together even if it was a quarantine/COVID kind of summer.