Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Hello and Happy Friday! This week seemed to take forever, so I’m definitely ready for the weekend. Overall, we had a great week of school, work, activities, and (my) birthday dinner + cookie cake.

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

Favorite Moment:

There’s nothing like Facebook on your birthday. I also received so many texts and a few phone calls, so I appreciated the birthday love. I’ve always been a big birthday person, and try to make those days special for others. It’s nice to feel the love in return.

The four of us went to dinner last night, and it was so nice. We went to one of my favorite places. Typically, it’s a place just Travis and I that would probably go, but Travis and I went out last Saturday, so I let the kids tag along last night. Obviously, eating out is a luxury these days, but I’m thankful for that experience.

Also, Hadley took it upon herself to text my friends and family asking for birthday wishes. She put the clips together, and the final product video left me teary eyed. I definitely feel blessed.

Favorite Pic:

Dinner with Trav and the kids last night!

Favorite Kid Quote:

I was just telling a friend this story recently, and then it popped up on Facebook. January 13, 2013, and Hadley was tossing folded clean clothes out of the laundry basket. I asked her what she was doing, and she said, “I’m looking for my damn pants.”

That story has always reminded me of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird when, at dinner, she says,”Pass the damn ham, please!” ๐Ÿ˜‚

Also, this week, Hadley got braces (for the second, and final time!), and she continuously asks me if she has something in her teeth which cracks me up.

Favorite Food:

The week started off strong with Shay’s Easy Skillet Enchiladas! We all loved them!

Then, of course, I’d say last night’s dinner was amazing followed by cookie cake!

Favoriting Clothing item:

I’ve had these leopard flats from Nordstrom saved in my favorites on the app for over a year. They’ve been on sale before but previously haven’t had my size. I so happened to click around in the app before Christmas, and saw they had my size, and they were on sale! I went ahead and purchased them. I really like them! (I wear a 9, and sized up to a 9.5 since the toe is pointy, and they fit perfectly)

Other faves:

Our church has remained closed for now, but Hadley and I went to a nearby church on Sunday. It felt good to go to an in person service.

*the people in this row are not as close as they appear ๐Ÿ˜‰

I’d mentioned that I’d like a Dutch oven, and my Gma came through with one for me as my birthday present this year! I’ve been using it since Christmas and love it so much.

Another favorite gift was from one of my friends who left a present on my porch! My skin has been so dry, and I love this whipped body butter. I’d never tried Buff City Soap products, and this body butter is heavenly!

I guess I can’t call them a favorite just yet since I haven’t tried them, but my Mani Me custom fit stick on gel nails arrived this week. My gel manicure from a couple weeks ago is still looking pretty good, but I can’t wait to try these.

Mom meme:

I feel this deeply, y’all!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

Thanks to Facebook Memories…January 2010. The kids were about six weeks old. I’m a sucker for a black and white photo of itty bitty babies.

January 2010

Weekly Recap:

Here are this week’s posts in case you missed one!

Thanks so much for reading! Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts.

I hope you have a great weekend! I know that I’m excited to not set an alarm on Monday!

Take care,

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Hey there and Happy Friday! How was your week? We certainly are trying to get back in the school routine. Setting an alarm has been a struggle! The kids just started back yesterday, so I know they are thankful for the short week!

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

Favorite Pic:

These pics from the holidays got lost in my camera roll, so I thought I’d share it today.

We visited the “Magic Tree” over break which is always a fun experience.

Favorite Kid Quote:

Hadley’s new thing is to say, “Yass Queen!” when talking to me…and it makes me laugh every time.

Favorite Moment:

We went roller skating on Monday afternoon with the kids’ pod. It was a fun activity to get everyone back together and excited about the new semester. We are still learning virtually, and while it makes my heart hurt for my kids and my students, I’m thankful my kids get to have this pod experience with their friends.

I picked right back up where I left off in 1991…and the kids were impressed that “I’ve still got it!” They had no clue what I was talking about with the Limbo and couples skate. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Favorite Clothing Item:

I’ve been wearing my favorite Amazon sweater on repeat! I have it in two colors (pink and navy blue) and have worn them over workout clothes as well as skinny jeans and leggings.

{affiliate linked photo}

Favorite Food:

No favorite food, but it’s been nice to get back on track eating healthy! I’ve made that a priority ( as well as drinking more water) over the past week, and I hope to keep it up!

Favorite Gifts:

Here area few of our favorite Christmas gifts:

Kids:

My grandma gave Hadley some jacks, and both kids have been loving playing. My mom, brother, and sister-in-law all got in on the fun too. My kids have played for hours and hours…with minimal fighting ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hadley:

I ordered Hadley this bracelet, and I was so excited to give it to her. I’m hoping it’s something that will last for years.

Hadley also loved her new slippers and…

A few “vintage” shirts from my aunt.

Hayden:

Hayden loved his new golf book and golf clubs.

Trav:

We got Travis some new joggers.

And…I purchased this beanie with head lamp for him to use when jogging.

He was also very appreciative of the Snicker Doodle cookies my mom made for him as well as the beer that my dad gifted him as well.

Me:

Per usual, I felt very spoiled with gifts. I loved the Kendra Scott necklace, earrings, and bracelet that Travis and the kids gave me. The necklace and earrings match and are a mix of pink and blue—a nod to my boy and my girl. Very thoughtful. I also loved the jewelry dish they got me. I needed ones of those!

Hadley gave Travis and I each a rolled up piece of paper tied with pretty ribbon. When we opened them, we found this collage of pictures from the night before that she’d organized and printed. She’s a sweetheart. I’m going to take mine to school to put on the wall near my desk.

Lastly, my mom gave me Air Pods. I wasn’t expecting those, and hadn’t even asked for them, but she said I’d been a good girl! ๐Ÿ˜†

Homer:

Homer received a new bowl, this new collar, and he also had a bone in his stocking! Santa must have forgotten all of the things that were #homered this year.

I do love the new collar…Travis has a similar belt that’s like a horse halter with name plate. Homer looks super handsome in his upgraded collar.

Favorite Mom Meme:

I saw this meme and laughed. Y’all, it’s so true!

Weekly Recap:

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

So many awesome bloggers take the time to link up every Friday, so don’t forget to check out their posts too!

Speaking of link ups, we have our first Not Just a Mom post of 2021 coming up on Monday!

The topic is “Getting Cozy and Small Comforts,” so feel free to join us!

Thanks so much for reading, and have a great weekend!

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

I know I always say, “Hello and Happy Friday,” but today’s “Hello and Happy Friday” comes with the start of Winter Break in only a few hours. I’m so ready to take a break from bugging my kids about school work, checking my email, and staring at my imperfections on a Zoom call. ๐Ÿ˜†

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

Favorite Kid Quote:

On Sunday, when it was Hayden’s turn to clean out his closet, he kept asking me if certain clothing items were “memorabilia” because he hates getting rid of things…and knows I’m a sucker for holding on to certain nostalgic items. ๐Ÿ˜‚

Also, randomly, Hayden started calling his winter hat a “toboggan” or “boggan.” I know that in the south that’s what many people here call their beanie (or stocking cap as I would say), but I just thought it was funny that he was “looking for my boggan” the other day when I certainly don’t say that phrase, and honestly, neither does Travis.

Where I come from, a toboggan is a fancy sled! This has been a winter conversation ever since I met Travis almost 20 years ago and he called his hat a “toboggan.” I said, “What?! You wear a sled on your head?!”

Favorite Pic:

I took advantage of Narci’s sweet Santa photo opportunity earlier this week. These pics are just precious. This morning, my kids found our elf sitting by this one framed with a note: “Seven more sleeps ’til Santa!”

The magic of Christmas.

Favorite Clothing Item:

I rarely go into Old Navy. While I like the clothes and love their deals, the line to wait to check out is always maddening to me. Through the years, it doesn’t matter if I’m there in June or December, 10:00 am or 8:00 pm, two people in line or twelve…the line just always takes forever. Maybe Chick-fil-A could give them some tips! ๐Ÿ˜‚

So, I usually order online and just hope everything fits! That being said, I did go into Old Navy recently and saw these jogger pajama pants on sale. (looks like stock is limited) I snagged two for myself, and have been living in them. Just my style! I also love their thermal pajama leggings and have a few pairs that I’ve collected through the years as well.

Favorite Food:

I made a quick Trader Joe’s run this week and walked out with a few tins of my favorite snack mix and a couple of boxes of the mini gingerbread people. We plowed through our last box in a day and a half.

Favorite Moment:

The kids wrapped up their club cross country season at a national race last weekend. Before the race, we found out that Hayden made the all-area team and Hadley earned all-area honorable mention honors for their elementary running season (with Trav as their coach!)

On Saturday, they ran in the 11-12 year old races with kids from across the country. They ended the season on a high note with individual performances, and the girls team placed 5th in the nation!

Of course, I’m always proud of their effort, but the competition is fierce in these national races. There are kids who run hundreds of miles a week for training and compete year round. While running will most likely be something they continue to do in the future, we still feel that it’s important for them to be well-rounded and choose their activities. So, for Hadley, she dances, runs, plays volleyball. Hayden still loves baseball and basketball on top of running.

The lessons they learn by playing these sports and engaging in these activities are far more important than their performance. I never want them to get burned out at a young age with one activity, so we’ve continued to let them choose and add or drop sports as the years go on.

Other Favorites:

Jingle Jangle:

This could also have been a “favorite moment” because of the kindness of others. I’d shared on Facebook that I was sad to have missed out on Jingle Jangle at Trader Joe’s this year. Not even a half hour a later, a friend dropped off a tin of it on our front porch with their Christmas card. So sweet. (literally and figuratively!)

Frosty Fern:

I also picked up a couple of these “Frosty Ferns” at Trader Joe’s. They are so festive and fun.

Snacks:

Hadley helped me put out snacks for our mailman and the delivery drivers who frequent our doorstep!

Air Fryer:

No photo, but another favorite of mine is our new air fryer. Travis won one in his work Christmas exchange, and we’ve been using it quite a bit. I’ve only used the “frozen” setting so far, but it’s been the perfect way to make chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, or reheat a day old taco!

Pod Party:

The kids had a sock exchange and cocoa party at their pod this week. They had lots of fun and came home with some festive socks!

Festive Phone Wallpaper:

I’ve shared these phone wallpaper backgrounds before by @ashton.creates. She shares them in her stories to screenshot and use. This one is my current home screen on my phone.

Basketball:

Haydenโ€™s 3 on 3 league wrapped up their short season last night. It was fun to watch them play and have some sense of โ€œnormalcyโ€ this winter.

The final game came down to the wire, but they remained undefeated!

Favorite Mom Meme:

While this one made me laugh, I am feeling pretty good about my Christmas present situation. Now, I just need to find the time to wrap!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

Christmas 2009….and barely a month old!

Speaking of flashbacks…Hadley loves finding my old sweatshirts and wearing them. She often wears my 20 year old Mizzou sweatshirt from college, and has now added this cheer coach sweatshirt from my first year teaching in 2002. If you know me, you know I’m the farthest thing you’ll find from a cheer coach!! #nopepinmystep Oh, the things you’ll do to get your first real job!

Weekly Recap:

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

What are your weekend plans? We are going see some more Christmas lights tonight and hopefully bake some cookies tomorrow or Sunday. I hope you have a wonderful weekend.

Thanks so much for reading,

Posted in Friday Favorites, Holidays, Home Decor

Friday Favorites: Holiday Home Tour

Hey, hey! We made it to Friday. We’ve had a pretty good week around here, and we are counting down the days until Winter Break! It’s right around the corner, so we’ll just keep chugging right along until break arrives.

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

One of my favorite things to do for the holidays is decorate. Even before my blog, I would always take photos of where I put decorations to make the process as easy as possible. The weekend after Thanksgiving is when I do most of my decorating, and it’s typically a one (wo)man job…until I can’t carry something or need Travis to hang the garland. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I saw this meme recently, and, of course, it fits today’s blog topic.

While 90% of my decorations have been used through the years, I do move things around and often can’t help myself from buying a new item or two along the way. #michaelsiswhereitsat

Here’s a little tour around our home:

Kitchen:

My kitchen buffet stayed pretty much the same, but I added fresh garland to the top for about a week.

I figured it wouldn’t last long with Homer. He did pull it down a couple of times, but thankfully, he didn’t destroy it.

I love the Christmas dishes that I display this time of the year.

In the cabinet near the buffet, I added in some trees I’ve collected over the years and a cinnamon scented candle. I actually made the burlap trees a few years ago.

Our fire place and mantle remain the same, but I did buy new garland. What I’ve had for the past few years is extra bulky, and I just wanted a more seamless look. Hadley pointed out that the red and the green of the garland match our stockings perfectly. My previous garland was pre-lit, but I had to add lights to this new garland.

I used some extra greenery on our table centerpiece.

I definitely do the love traditional red and green Christmas decor.

This view is definitely a favorite.

One of my friends painted this pallet a few years ago, and it’s one of my favorite holiday pieces.

Office Area:

In the first few years in this house, we never really knew where to put the tree. Once we made this space the office rather than the dining room, the tree fit perfectly in here. I like that you can see the glow of the tree lights from the kitchen and the living room as well as from the street when the shutters are open.

I always put out the picture of the kids under the tree for their first Christmas. They were a month old (and a few days) old on Christmas 2009.

Front Hall:

I kept the front hall the same as years past with the light up tree, Christmas card holder, snowman tea light, and Merry and Bright sign.

I love Bath and Body Works and always have a few candles to burn like the peppermint one on this entry table.

Living Room:

The tall Santa was a Home Goods find a few years ago. I kept it simple on the coffee table with the flocked tree and candle. The light up present provides the perfect glow in the morning and night. I added a lantern and Merry Christmas canvas to my regular decor on my antique chest.

I always keep my cream pillows out and add seasonal pillows for fall and Christmas.

Outside:

This is the first year we’ve put garland out front. I’ve mentioned previously that I was on the hunt for some artificial garland, but never really found any I liked. Then, I saw the real garland at Trader Joe’s and thought I’d give it a try. Travis was kind enough to hang it for me. Now, I have no clue how long it will last, but after a week, it still is looking good. I’ve sprayed it with water a few times. I have no clue if that’s what I’m supposed to do, but that’s what I’ve been doing!

I’ve had the lanterns and poinsettias for years. My cute stocking door hanger was painted by a local Lexington small business. It’s perfectly festive and, again, I love the traditional red and green.

The Rudolph pillow covers are from Etsy, and I’ve had them for years. The trees in the planters light up, and the Merry Christmas garden flag is the final touch outside.

When the garland on the kitchen buffet was starting to look tired, I sprayed it with water and then put little pieces of it in the outside planters.

Sun room:

I’ve shared this room already as it was the first room I decorated for the season. Until this past spring (#thanksquarantine), we didn’t really use the sun room that often. This year, I thought I’d go ahead and decorate it since we are out here so much now. The pillow covers are new (from Amazon) and the basket wreath is a new find from TJ Maxx this year. We’ve had the tree for years as it’s the one we used for a few years before starting to get a real tree for the living room/office area.

I added a few little trees to the tray that’s always on this table, and I burn the Bath and Body Works Winter scented candle when hanging out in the sun room.

A few other faves:

Dinners this week:

It’s no secret that I use Shay’s cookbooks (especially Simmers) quite frequently for meal ideas. Well, last week, she posted about 24 Crazy Easy December Dinners, and I used it as my guide for meals this week. This week, we’ve eaten: Chicken Tortilla Soup, Beefy Mushroom Pasta, Cheesy Ranch Tacos, and King Ranch Joes. (I don’t think KRJ were listed in that post, but here’s the recipe.) This one post was a life saver for me. We eat the soup and KRJs pretty often, but the pasta and tacos were new recipes for me to make. We all loved them.

The Outsiders

A neighbor had a few books in her garage to give away. One of the books I brought home was The Outsiders which piqued Hayden’s interest. He started reading it Monday night at bedtime and then was telling me all about it Tuesday evening. I stopped him, mid-summary, because I was shocked he’d already read the entire book. Hadley then said that he was reading some during the day while listening to his teacher on Zoom. Anyway, he loved the book so much. With his summary of the stabbing and teenagers smoking and drinking, I was reminded why this is a classic middle school book! haha

He deemed this the second best book he’s ever read. Hatchet was recommended by my mom and still his fave.

I hope he always loves reading as much as he does now.

Then, Wednesday night, he begged us to watch the movie. Travis and I watched it with him. He really liked it, but said the book was better. A friend of mine shared a @historic_imagery post with me on Instagram. I never knew that Francis Ford Coppola hadn’t planned on making the movie but then did so after receiving a letter from a librarian as well as over 100 of her seventh and eighth graders in Fresno, CA. They also share that fact in the credits of the movie.

Southern Lights:

Our Southern Lights Horse Park tradition continued this week. We drove through the park on Tuesday night, and loved seeing the upgraded and updated displays. They had the usual displays, but had also added other lights and features. Also, Santa was sitting outside the North Pole waving at the cars. Usually, Santa is inside the pavilion.

Classic Kentucky lights with the horses, Wildcat basketball player, and Keeneland.

Winter Drive-Thru:

The kids’ school had a Winter Drive Thru this week where they handed out fun packs and free books (as well as supplies for the beginning of second semester).

There was a line around the school, and it was so wonderful to see the teachers outside, waving, and so excited to see their students. Teachers and staff were dressed as Elsa, Rudolph, elves, and Santa! To see the hustle and bustle at school as well as the staff and teachers literally brought tears to my eyes. I hope my kids are able to go back to school sooner rather than later.

Books, games and hot chocolate!

Trader Joeโ€™s Snack Mix

Itโ€™s the time of the year for Trader Joeโ€™s to have my favorite snack mix. I found out the hard way a couple years ago when I was looking for it in January that itโ€™s seasonal.

Some people are hoarding toilet paper again, and I left TJ with six cans of this mix! Delish!

Favorite Mom Meme:

Y’all, I feel this deeply.

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

Facebook memories from 2017 provided this gem. I love this picture from Trav’s work holiday party. It didn’t really dawn on me until seeing this that we are missing out on some fun during this season. There’s always the work party, a neighborhood party as well as a party with some of our friends. Hopefully, those traditions will be back in 2021. Sometimes I do miss the normal chaos that the holidays bring.

And for fun….here’s a 1980’s flashback for you…it’s a classic!

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts for this week! We sure have been busy!

Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts, and I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Hello and Happy Friday! How’s it going? We’ve had a good week around here, and it actually felt like winter! We are back in a school groove with only a few evening activities, and we’ve been enjoying the holiday season so far.

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

Favorites from this week:

Angel Tree:

Purchasing gifts for families on the angel tree is one of our favorite family traditions. It’s fun to let the kids pick out gifts for the kids on the list. As a family, we sponsored a boy and girl and then Hayden and Hadley’s pod also bought presents for a family as well. Of course, I try to instill in the kids to always be grateful and always help those in need…not just during the holidays.

Black Friday Discounts:

I’ve never been a Black Friday shopper, but we took advantage of a sale at a local retailer once I saw that our weather was taking a turn to the colder side early this week. Hadley’s coat was 50% off and Hayden’s was 30% off. My kids know I love a coupon and a discount. I tell them they should never purchase anything full price. ๐Ÿ˜†

Candles:

After picking out the kids’ coats, I made a stop in Bath and Body Works and picked up some holiday season candles. They had buy 3, get 3 free, so I picked up two hand soaps, two 3-wick candles, and then 2 single wick candles. On my way to the register a nice customer handed me a coupon for a free single wick candle, so I ended up with a third candle! I was very appreciative.

I always pick up the ‘Winter’ candle every year. It has such a clean and fresh smell. I love it so much.

Running Buddies:

The weather was warm enough on Sunday for a run, and I looked out the window to see Trav and Hayden stretching after their afternoon jog. They looked like twins! Homer didn’t get the invite for the run!

Turkey Rice Soup:

We usually use the leftover turkey from Thanksgiving for soup on the Friday after Thanksgiving…but I didn’t end up making the soup until Sunday. It was the perfect Sunday night dinner.

SnOMG:

Monday and Tuesday mornings we woke up to snow! I knew there was talk of colder weather and some precipitation, but I was still surprised to see measurable amounts of snow both mornings.

We got those Christmas lights up just in time!

I usually make snowman pancakes on the first snow day of the season. With virtual school for the foreseeable future, I’m not sure we’ll get a traditional snow day any time soon. So, I went ahead and made snowman pancakes for the kids on Monday morning.

Tuesday’s snow stuck around for a couple days and was enough to play in. The kids dressed accordingly for recess at the pod and then Hadley played with her friend in the snow for a couple hours after school. Hayden did as well, but he was nowhere to be found when I wanted to take a snowy pic!

Homer:

I found Homer on the couch all snuggled up on Tuesday afternoon. Both kids swear they didn’t cover him with the blanket, so who knows! Homer is either into trouble or snoozing! There’s rarely an in between.

Starbucks:

I made not one, but two trips to Starbucks this week. I wanted something warm to drink, but I’d already had my morning coffee; so, I ordered a London Fog tea during both visits! So good. I enjoyed them from the quiet of my classroom.

Winter Decorations:

Over the weekend, I put out our Christmas decorations. I couldn’t help myself, and I did make a trip (or two) to Michaels. I use most of the same decorations each year. This year, I actually did take the time to get rid of the fall decorations I haven’t used in recent years and will do the same when I put these winter decorations away in January.

I picked up two of these crock lanterns and put tealights in them. I also purchased four snow covered swags for our front windows and a few other items. Of course, everything was 50% off and teachers get an additional 10% off all their orders, so I used that as well.

I purchased the basket with wreath at TJ Maxx.

Christmas lanterns // swags

The Return of Red:

Red doesnโ€™t come until December in our house, and he made his arrival right on time on December 1st. On the second night, he left the kids their “Want, Need, Wear, Read” list to fill out, so he can report back to Santa.

He filled in a couple of “needs” for them ๐Ÿ˜‰

GG:

My mom is in town visiting and took over virtual school yesterday. With over 30 years experience teaching 7th grade English we knew the kids would be well supervised.

Favorite gift idea:

I debated on sharing this as to not give away a gift for a few family members, so I will just share this sneak peek.

Every year since my kids were born, I’ve ordered this desk calendar from Vistaprint for my immediate family. I always place the order on Cyber Monday because they offer a great discount. Once my brother and sister-in-law had their kids, we started to include their photos too.

I upload the photos (and we use the same pattern of January is a pic of my kids, February includes a pic of my niece and nephew and then some months, like October, is the four kids) I placed this order late Monday night, and it already arrived yesterday! As usual, it turned out perfectly, and we can’t wait to give it to them. (I even order one for myself and my brother’s family)

Like I said, I’m sure my family is expecting this gift. It’s one I love giving, and they love receiving.

Selfies:

Found this gem on my phone, and it made me smile!

Friday Funny:

Y’all, I feel this deeply. haha

My brother decided to remind me this week that I’m almost 41. Wow…40 has gone by quickly!

Favorite Mom Meme:

Tis the season for my kids to think we are millionaires ๐Ÿ˜…

Weekly Recap:

Looking back, I sure shared a hodge podge of faves from the week. All things considered, we had a pretty good week. Now, bring on the weekend!

Thanks so much for reading, and don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Take care,

Posted in Friday Favorites, Holidays, Traditions

Friday Favorites: Thanksgiving

Hello and Happy Friday! We made it to the weekend. This week has definitely had its share of ups and downs, so needless to say, I’m ready for the weekend.

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

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday. It also feels like the most overlooked holiday smooshed right in between Halloween and Christmas. Since Thanksgiving is right around the corner, I thought I’d share some of my favorite things about Thanksgiving from traditions, the food, and more!

My favorite things about Thanksgiving:

The Food:

Thanksgiving food is my favorite food of the entire year. I never really say no to carbs, but definitely not on Thanksgiving. Give me all of the mashed potatoes, rolls, macaroni and cheese and other carbs! I do love the turkey as well. A slice of pumpkin pie topped with a dollop of whipped cream is the perfect way to end the meal.

Fun fact: the only day of the year that I buy the school lunch is the Thursday before Thanksgiving. That’s when our district serves up their version of a Thanksgiving meal. I know the picture isn’t the best, but the food really is good!

The Leftovers, Y’all:

The leftovers are the best part of the meal! I always look forward to the Friday after Thanksgiving lunch when we reheat the turkey, the mashed potatoes, and anything else we have left to eat!

Also, did you see the soup recipe I shared in my Let’s Look post on Wednesday? It’s so good and a great way to use up your leftover turkey!

The Weather and FAll Colors:

The weather and the fall colors of the leaves always make the holiday even better! Whether we are in KC or KY, we tend to luck out with pretty mild weather.

Family:

Itโ€™s always great to see family around the holidays. It makes that time of the year even more special. Some years, we see my family in KC, and other years we see Trav’s family from various parts of Kentucky. This year, we probably won’t see family like we usually do, but hopefully we can get back on track with that tradition next year.

Thanksgiving through the years…
No stress of Gifts:

I’ve always loved Thanksgiving because of food, family, and….no gift giving! It’s nice just to show up, hang out, eat, and not feel overwhelmed with gift buying lists, wrapping, and hauling gifts from house to house (or state to state!)

The Parade:

I’ve always loved the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. I remember watching it as a kid, and I always turn it on for my kids now too. I’m not saying I always watched every second of it, but it’s just nice to even have it on in the background while hanging out or cooking.

The Lights:

The Plaza lights in KC are always a must when we visit. On Thanksgiving evening, there is always a ceremony, a countdown, and then the lights are lit! Whether it’s right after Thanksgiving or when we visit at Christmas, we try to see them as a family.

I remember as a kid going with my family to drive through that part of town and look at the lights…followed by a hamburger and shake at Winsteads (another KC fave!)

Giving Thanks:

Of course, I try to give thanks on other days besides Thanksgiving, but Thanksgiving does provide a time to pause, reflect, and give thanks for the blessings in my life.

One thing my school does is gratitude feathers. Students fill out the feathers for their teachers thanking them, and then they get put in teacher mailboxes for teachers to receive before Thanksgiving break. I never expect to receive a gratitude feather, but I always love when I do. The sweet messages keep me going during this time of the school year.

2019 gratitude feathers
Elementary Art:

Through the years, I’ve loved seeing what the kids bring home in their backpacks from school. Whether it’s a turkey or a cap with feathers, I always love talking with them about their masterpieces.

I’m sad that this year looks so different for Hayden and Hadley, and this is another example of “what would have been” if they were in school for a regular year. I doubt there will be any Thanksgiving artwork in middle school. #sadface

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday: Turkey Day Edition

Here are some kid and family pics through the years. Thankfully, they don’t fight me much when when I ask them to dress up a bit to see family!

Weekly Recap:

Even with this year looking differently, I continue to be thankful for family, friends, and our health.

What blessings are you counting this year?

Thanks so much for reading, and don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Have a great weekend,

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Hello and Happy Friday! How was your week? The weather here was beautiful, so that combined with a day off on Tuesday left us having a pretty good week!

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

Favorite Food:

Halloween candy. Too much of it. haha Snickers are my fave…I usually put a couple of them in the freezer to have as a sweet afternoon treat.

Favorite Moment:

This…

I never decorate until closer to Thanksgiving. We usually get a real tree for our living room, and typically do so the Saturday or Sunday after Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is probably my favorite holiday, and it deserves its glory…but…this year, for me, anything goes! I’d had my eye on this “cashmere” pencil tree at Michael’s. A few influencers shared it on Instagram, and said it usually sells out quickly. So, I went ahead and purchased it. It was on sale for $60 (marked down from $140). There’s another option that’s $50 that is the same height and pencil style just not “cashmere.”

So, I spent my Election Day putting up this little tree in our sun room. I also picked up the neutral/metallic colored ornaments and natural woven tree topper bow to complete the tree.

I don’t want to jinx it, but the tree has been up for three days, and none of the shatterproof ornaments have been #homered. Of course, I think he prefers ornaments that are heirlooms. He had a real knack for destroying those last year. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

I love it so much that I took pics of it throughout the day. ๐Ÿ˜‚

dusk, daytime, nighttime

We will still get a real tree for the living room later. I may move this pencil tree into our bedroom and put our bigger artificial one in the sunroom like we did last year. I have plenty of time to think about it.

For now, the rest of my house is pumpkins…except for this one corner of the sun room. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Favorite Kid Quote:

I’ve previously mentioned the Pod President election, and on Monday, the kids gave their speeches to their pod classmates. They did such a great job writing their speeches. They had such fun ideas and their personalities definitely shined though.

Wednesday was voting day, and the kids were encouraged to wear red, white, and blue.

Casting their ballots in the cute pod voting booth.

The three candidates…

The third candidate ending up winning, but I was so proud of my kids’ effort in making their posters, thinking of slogans, and writing their speeches. They had a great time and learned a lot about the election process.

Favorite Pic:

I was out for a walk, looked down and saw this heart shaped leaf which made me smile.

Favorite Clothing Item:

In Tuesday’s Amazon post, I shared about my love for this tank. It’s such a great basic to wear with a cardigan or with leggings.

Landyn shared about these Nordstrom pjs. I wanted something new and comfy for after my surgery, and these are just that! I also like that they are shorts with a long sleeved shirt because that’s perfect for the fall nights where sometimes we have 50 degree temps and other nights are much colder.

There are a few color options, but I went with “grey pavement.”

Other Faves:

No school on a Tuesday is always a bonus! We used that day to sleep in a bit, relax, get caught up on school, and cross some items off our “to do” lists.

Homer is always a fave…even when he brings his bone in the bed when I’ve told him not to.

I finished reading The Jetsetters Wednesday night and LOVED it. I highly recommend it!

Favorite Mom Meme:

I blame the time change, y’all! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

This pic of Hadley ready for the first grade fall festival in 2016 popped up in my Facebook memoriesโค๏ธ #yeehaw

As well as this pic of Hayden when he lost his first tooth in November 2014. Now he’s in full on braces for the second time. Time really does fly…and kids do get more expensive!

Weekly Recap:

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

Thanks so much for reading, and don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts!

I hope you have a great weekend.

Posted in Friday Favorites, Holidays

Friday Favorites

Hello and Happy Friday! We’ve had a pretty good week around here. Of course, we were busy with school and work, but we also found time for a few Halloween activities which made the week even more fun.

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

Favorite Food:

Amy shared about these rice rollers in a recent blog post. I rarely go into the grocery store, so I’ve forgotten to look for them when placing my online orders. Anyway, the other day I went into Kroger to pick up Halloween candy and saw the rice rollers!

They are a perfect snack, and really delicious.

Favorite Moment:

Well, y’all…we’ve hit a milestone! The kids carved their pumpkins on Tuesday night with minimal help from mom and dad!! #praisehands I love this tradition, but I’m not mad about them doing the work! Hayden wanted his pumpkin to have crooked teeth and the tongue sticking out while Hadley just wanted her pumpkin to say “Boo.”

Both pumpkins turned out pretty cute!

Here they are lit up on the front porch:

Favorite Kid Quote:

Hayden was on a roll this week and two memorable quotes.

Last weekend, Hayden was on the computer and said, โ€œUgh, every time Iโ€™m on You Tube, there are commercials. โ€˜Iโ€™m Amy McGrath. Iโ€™m Mitch McConnell. Hi! Iโ€™m Josh Hicks. Iโ€™m Joe Biden. Iโ€™m Donald J Trump.โ€™ Iโ€™m over it. Just show me a Geico commercial!โ€ I literally laughed out loud.๐Ÿ˜‚

Then, the other morning, he was fed up with Hadley and said, “Mom, Iโ€™m moving my toothbrush into your bathroom. Hadley takes too much time to get ready and all she does is Tik Tok dances in the mirror!โ€ I guess I have a new bathroom buddy.

Favorite Pic:

My favorite pic this week comes from my friend who runs the school pod. They had a Halloween party on Wednesday, and here’s the crew:

As we all know, 2020 is a year to remember. I’m very thankful they’ve had a sense of normalcy by going to school with a group of friends and having fun activities like holiday parties.

Favorite Clothing Item:

I shared the links for these in my What’s Up Wednesday post, but I’ve been living in this lightweight tunic jacket from Walmart.

and…I’m officially in love with my new robe from Target.

Other Faves: Halloween Fun:

Tuesday afternoon Hadley helped me add a few more touches to the front of the house. It’s no secret I love my pumpkins on the porch for fall, but then we usually add some cobwebs on the front bushes with some spiders the week leading up to Halloween.

Last weekend, when we were in Walmart, Hadley spotted these skeletons, so we picked up a couple to add to the cobwebs.

Other favorites from the week include the pod Halloween party activities.

Hadley’s ready to bob for apples.

Hayden’s turn…He took off his glasses, so he could really bob for apples! He was the champ of his round.

My friend joked that this activity was CDC approved because there were fresh apples, fresh water each round, and siblings shared tubs when it was their turn.

I joked that their big mouths apparently came in handy! ๐Ÿ˜‰ #momjokes

Then, they decorated cookies.

and then ate the cookies…

I think they had a sweet afternoon filled with fun.

Favorite Mom Meme:

I saw this on the ‘gram and laughed! Too funny not to share.

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

I shared Hadley’s kindergarten “All About Me” pic a few weeks ago. Hayden’s turn popped up in my Facebook memories this week. #pinchycheekcute

I remember how much he loved reading The Magic Tree House series which he wrote down as his favorite book. Ugh! Some times I really do miss this age.

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from this week in case you missed one and are interested:

Before wrapping up this post, I do want to say thank you for the love on Mondayโ€™s post about my surgery and recovery. From blog post comments and Instagram love, I really appreciate the support and kind words. The blogging community is a good one, and I’m certainly grateful for my readers.

Thanks so much for reading, and I hope you have a great Halloween!

Posted in Friday Favorites, Holidays, Kids

(Flashback) Friday Favorites

Hello and Happy Friday! This week has been so different for me! I’ve had lots of time spent on the mend with napping and Netflix. That being said, Travis has definitely had to wear his Super Dad cape this week! I greatly appreciate all he does for me and for our family to keep us a float while we are a (wo)man down!

The kids still had activities, I still worked from home, friends continued to bring us meals and desserts, and we are just taking one day at a time.

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

Today’s Friday Favorites has a Flashback twist. With Halloween around the corner, I thought I’d share the kids’ costumes through the years.

2010:

Lil Pumpkin and chubby skeleton…

2010

2011:

M&M’s…

2011

2012:

Fireman and Princess…

2012

2013:

My favorite costume combo: Batman and Robin! (Being Robin was 100% Hadley’s idea after Hayden said he wanted to be Batman)

2013

2014:

Captain America and Elsa (from Frozen)

2014

2015:

A ninja and a pink Power Ranger…The neighborhood was very safe that year ๐Ÿ˜‰

2015

2016:

A bee and Luke Skywalker…

2016

2017:

Super Girl and KC Royals player Mike Moustakas…

2017

2018:

Soccer player and 80’s party girl #omg

2018

2019:

A Ghostbuster and a nerd ๐Ÿ˜‚

2019

Last year, our Halloween trick-or-treating was moved due to weather. So, we had a fun dinner at home on Halloween. Andrea had shared about her spooky dinner, and I recreated the fun. I hope to do this again this year.

I thought that would be a fun trip down memory lane! Now, on to some favorites…

Favorite Picture:

After a string of dreary days, the sun finally came out! I went outside to tell Hadley to come in for dinner and saw one of our front yard trees showing off.

now…who is going to rake up all those leaves? ๐Ÿค”

Favorite Clothing Item:

My pjs or comfy clothes on repeat.

Favorite Food:

Again, we’ve been enjoying so many wonderful foods that friends have brought us for dinner. We’ve had soups, lasagna, chicken enchiladas, and a quiche. As well as too many delicious desserts.

Cupcakes made by H&H

Favorite Moment:

When I had my surgery last week, my goal was to rest up and be able to attend the kids’ district championship cross country meet on Wednesday. I’m so glad I was able to attend! The boys and girls teams have come so far, and I’m so proud of Travis for taking on the coaching responsibilities again this year. They’ve had a pretty good season considering the late start due to Covid.

Hadley finished with her best time and highest finish yet with 4th place. Then, Hayden finished again in first. They’ve grown so much as runners in the past year, and again, it’s so awesome to see teammates cheering each other on!

I caught this pic of Hayden right as the race started. He had on his new bright cleats and was chasing the daylight!

On the run…

left: Hadley and her friend leading the pack; top right: Hadley almost to the finish line; bottom right: Hayden at the finish!

Twinsies with their hardware.

Their cousins came to cheer them on ๐Ÿ™‚

It was such a beautiful day, and definitely a fun race for all.

Favorite Kid Quote:

This quote goes back to last week. Hadley had her first band class via Zoom for playing flute on the Wednesday of my surgery. That evening, when I Facetimed the kids from the hospital, I asked Hadley how band went, and she told me how the teacher taught her a few notes. I said, “Hadley, I’m so proud of you!” She said, “No, mom, I’m so proud of you.” โค๏ธShe knew I was anxious about my surgery that morning, and that I was so relieved to be on the recovery side of it.

She’s such a sweet girl…when she’s not being sassy ๐Ÿ˜‰

Favorite Mom Memes:

This one popped up in my Facebook memories. Thankfully, I haven’t had to cook in over a week! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Travis is the real MVP this week getting the kids where they need to go. Technically, I’m not supposed to drive yet, so it’s on him to get them to school pod and activities…as well as other errands.

Weekly Recap:

It was a short blogging week for me, but here are my two other posts from the week:

Y’all, by some miracle we don’t have any real plans this weekend. No sports or other major commitments on the schedule which means I will continue to get some much needed rest.

Thanks so much for reading, and have a great weekend!

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday! We’ve had a good, but busy, week around here! Sometimes getting back on track after a break can be difficult, but we all rallied to get it together with our schedules, school, work, and activities. I hope you’ve had a great week too!

Per usual, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for their weekly Friday Favorites post.

Here are some favorites from the week:

Favorite Food(s):

Saturday, after we returned home from Asheville, we headed to my brother’s house because my mom and Gma were visiting. My Gma made sloppy joe’s and tots for dinner. My brother made this delicious cake with apple butter and homemade icing!

I hosted Sunday night dinner with soup and cornbread. I tried a new recipe my dad shared with me where you use a box of Jiffy cornbread mix and yellow cake mix. It was delicious.

The kids (with the help of my mom and Gma) made the first pumpkin pie (for us!) of the season.

ready for the oven

This was our dessert on Sunday night!

Also, on Sunday, I went to Trader Joe’s with my mom, Gma, and Hadley. I’d just been grocery shopping, but picked up some of our Trader Joe’s faves.

Favorite Moment(s):

Of course, my most favorite moment was having family visit. It’s hard enough having family that lives far away and then throw Covid into the mix which makes it even more difficult.

Honestly, we didn’t do much, so I don’t have any pictures except Hadley did a countdown selfie on Monday morning before they left…which meant no makeup and very tired eyes. ๐Ÿ˜Š

I mentioned last week, that Hadley earned the red plate for dance, cross country, and because her teacher shared such positive thoughts about her on a phone call home.

It was Hayden’s turn for the red plate for his efforts with school and sports.

And…Hadley picked up her flute yesterday. 5th grade band starts next week, and she wanted to give the flute a try!

And after Hadley got her flute…

Hayden got…braces. And, while thatโ€™s probably not a favorite, he does have a good attitude about it all and is happy to move onto this next step of the phase 2 process.

Favorite Kid Quote:

My kids weren’t funny this week. Kidding. Kidding. I just canโ€™t think of a specific example as I type this post.

Favorite Pic:

Still reminiscing about our Asheville trip…

but then we returned home to the leaves on the trees starting to show off!

Favorite Clothing Item:

I’ve seen all the people talking about this Aerie sweatshirt, and when I saw it was on sale, I went ahead and purchased…two! I will say I’m wearing them on repeat. I tried on the small and it fit, but I liked the over-sized fit of the medium, so I could wear it with leggings. Also, I do feel like I may be too old to shop at Aerie, but not mad about this purchase ๐Ÿ˜‰

Good Vibes Oversized Quarter Zip in Light Gray Cheetah.

I also love the corded option in Mystic Mauve.

and, yes, y’all–I moved my mirror to the hallway for better light! …but I’m still headless.

Other Faves:

My mom brought this basket with her that she found after cleaning her garage. I do give her a hard time about the fact that she always brings things with her when she visits. She made this basket many moons ago…and it actually does look perfect on top of the antique cabinet (from my dad’s side of the family) in my kitchen.

This kids finally received their yearbooks from last year. The covers were so cute with their school pics on them. (I probably paid for that extra touch and have forgotten. ๐Ÿ˜‚) I love looking through the yearbook as much as they do!

Hayden went to a friend’s house for school on Tuesday, so I told Hadley I’d treat her to lunch. She wanted Jason’s Deli, so we had lunch together before she headed outside for recess.

I clicked on my Netflix app to add a show to my viewing list, and saw that Hadley changed our profile pics….which she does often. It’s always funny to see what she chooses. The pic for Hayden cracks me up the most!

Favorite Mom Meme:

This of all the Mom Memes I’ve shared has to be funniest one I’ve seen! Every time I read it, I chuckle!

Friday Funny:

My mom shared this with me and then I saw it again on Facebook ๐Ÿ˜‚ My love for the GG runs deep…and Dorothy’s side eye is on point!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

This pic of Hadley in 2010 is a fave. I love Facebook memories. #thebiggerthebow…

FYI she was a very serious baby for the first year of her life. ๐Ÿ˜ณ

Here’s another set of faves: a flashback (2012), Hadley, picking pumpkins, and Trader Joe’s!

Speaking of pumpkins…(I feel like I’m always speaking of pumpkins)… We hope to start the weekend off right with a trip to the orchard! I see more pumpkins and apple cider donuts in my future!

Weekly Recap:

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ post! Have a great weekend!