Posted in Friday Favorites, Homer, Kids

Friday Favorites

Hey! Hey! We made it to Friday. As always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites.

Favorite Moment:

Travis and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary this week. We don’t usually do gifts but instead exchange cards and go out to dinner whenever we have an available sitter.

I don’t know why, but from the beginning, Travis has always written my name in bubble letters on my cards. It’s so sweet and something I like forward to. (I hope he doesn’t mind me sharing ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, he brought home my card and a cookie cake. Our family loves cookie cakes and usually pick one up for birthdays and other special occasions.

Sweet treat that almost looks too good to eat ๐Ÿ˜‰

Which leads me to my….

Least Favorite Moment:

Homer ATE THE COOKIE CAKE!!!

Yโ€™all, he is SO bad. (Thank goodness heโ€™s cute)

Because I have no willpower when it comes to a cookie cake, we’d each had a small slice of cake before dinner on Thursday. The cake was covered on the counter and pushed back on the counter. After dinner, we were outside and Hadley came out to tell me about the cake. I cried.

  1. because I love cookie cake
  2. because I was afraid Homer was going to puke all over the house all night long.
He ate 80% of the cake

We put him in his kennel. He tried to deny he did it, but icing on his nose was proof!

Favorite Activity:

I’m trying to incorporate at least one activity each week for the kids and I to do. I checked our forecast and Wednesday called for pretty mild temps with a high of 80 degrees.

I checked the Cincinnati Zoo’s website for details. Of course, they have new guidelines and the indoor exhibits were closed, but I knew we could at least wander around and check out the animals. The zoo actually had times with a specific number of tickets to be sold for various arrival times. I purchased tickets for the 12:30-1:00 arrival time. Of course, once you are in the zoo, I believe that you can stay as long as you’d like, but at least the arrival of guests is scattered. Also, I knew 2-2.5 hours would be all we’d need to look at the animals.

Cinci is about a 1.5 hour drive, so we left around 10:30, made a stop at Chick-Fil-A for lunch to eat in the car, and drove up to Cinci.

The weather was beautiful and we really were able to keep our distance and see most of what we would have wanted to see.

We’ve been to this zoo a few times. The last time was last year for the kids’ 3rd grade field trip. It was such a fun experience and lots of parents went, so the classes could be divided into small groups of kids. It was easier navigating this time with just my two kids ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ready to explore

We started off by seeing the Galapagos tortoises, the Red Pandas, and the Gibbons.

We made a pit stop at the Dippin Dots truck before finding the elephants. The elephants are always my fave!

Then we went to see the giraffes (another of my faves!), and the kids loved seeing the African Painted dogs (I don’t remember seeing them last time), the lions, the bald eagle and hippos.

Last stop was to see the flamingos.

Overall, we had a great day, and I was glad we made the trip up there.

Another favorite activity was dinner out with Travis last night at one of our favorite places: Carson’s Food and Drink.

Favorite Food:

Well, my favorite food should have been the cookie cake…#Imstillbitter

but…the grilled Oscar style salmon for my dinner last night was amazing ๐Ÿ˜„

And then we stopped by a new (to us) place for a nightcap.

The Kentucky Native Cafe didnโ€™t disappoint with the atmosphere…

or the wine…๐Ÿ˜‰ #roseallday

*both restaurants did amazing jobs with social distancing signs, masking wearing, and tables spread out.

Favorite Pic:

Earlier in the week when I thought Homer was still cute ;), I was looking for him and found him on top of ALL the pillows on my bed.

Favorite Kid Quote:

At dinner the other night, we were having cheeseburgers for dinner and somehow Kobe beef was brought up. Hayden asked if it was somehow connected to Kobe Bryant and we said no. Hadley then said, โ€œPeople assume Taylor Swift made that one cheese.โ€ I said, โ€œYou mean Swiss cheese?โ€ ๐Ÿ˜‚ and we all laughed. Travis asked her if she really thought it was called Swift cheese, and she said, โ€œMaybe…. Maybe not.โ€ ๐Ÿ˜‚

During the same dinner, Hayden, who has been eating mostly soft foods because of his spacers for his braces said, โ€œWow. I ate that whole meal with just my front teeth!โ€ Way to problem solve, kid! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Favorite Mom Meme:

My hashtag for Hadley often is #sassysincedayone. Also, when people say how much she looks like me, I always say, “Unfortunately, for all involved, she acts like me too!”

Bonus: Flashback Friday

In June 2013, the kids each got their own rooms at our old house. They used to share one very sizable bedroom, and then we put them each into smaller bedrooms. That night, they hugged each other good night and said, โ€œSee ya later!โ€ โค๏ธ Such a sweet Facebook memory.

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from this week!

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you have a great weekend.

Posted in Family, Kids

Summer Fun List

Hello and happy Tuesday!

Real talk: I’ve realized Monday is my least favorite day of the week…even in the summer. Mondays mean to do lists, grocery pick up, laundry, and more! During the school year, those are usually Sunday chores! Now, I just bump that business to Monday! I’m very happy to move on to Tuesday.

Anyway, before the summer slips away, I thought I’d have the kids write down some things they want to do this summer. Hadley’s list is on the left, Hayden’s on the right (more real talk: he was kind of grumpy when he made his list), and family items in the middle. A few of the items we’ve accomplished already, but I wanted to have a list for our entire summer.

Hadley:

  • Learn a new Tik Tok dance (Thankfully, this isn’t a family activity ๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Tie Dye
  • Bake
  • Go to Bob Evans restaurant (She loves the microwave mashed potatoes I buy—she wants to see if they taste the same at the restaurant!)
  • Dance workshops
  • And more!

Hayden:

  • Teach Homer tricks
  • Take golf lessons
  • Baseball
  • Draw
  • Play outside
  • Take Hadley to camp for a week (I hate to burst his bubble, but camp has been cancelled!)
  • And more!

Family:

  • Vacation
  • Pick strawberries (maybe Travis can join us next time!)
  • Go visit family in KC
  • Go to the zoo
  • Kayak
  • Drive in movie
  • And more!

Our summer looks a bit different with less pool time this year, but we hope to make the most of it and plan some other activities.

The kids have even started a little dog walking business. They walked their first two clients yesterday.

I don’t know that anything too fun is happening today. Hayden will have to update his list because this morning he is, in fact, getting his phase 2 braces. Poor guy! Good news for him (and Hadley) is maybe we can stop for a root beer float at A&W after his appointment!

Take care,

Posted in Home Updates, Kids

Transformation Tuesday: Kidsโ€™ Bedrooms

Well, this is the last stop (for now) for my Home Updates series. To be honest, I feel like I’m ending this tour in a slightly underwhelming way, but I still thought I’d share.

Also, real talk: sometimes my kids’ rooms make me cringe! They tend to be full of clutter which drives me crazy, but I like to keep it real over here…and I make all of the rest of the house look “my kind of pretty,” so they should have their space.

Even though the kids aren’t babies anymore, they still tend to have lots of stuff…so I try to provide them with as many organizational options as possible to keep Legos, baseball cards, art supplies, hair ties (Why does Hadley have 100 scrunchies?!), etc. Also, I’ve given up…they’ve cluttered their walls with whatever the want, and I’m just going to have to deal with it ๐Ÿ˜‰ Anyway, here’s a peek at their spaces.

Before:

These are the only pics I found on the listing photos, and I think both of these photos are of Hayden’s current bedroom.

Summer of 2015, after we’d lived here a few months, the kids spent the night at their grandma’s house, and Travis and I painted both of their bedrooms in about 24 hours. So, this is a pic of his freshly painted bedroom in June 2015. He’s had this bedding for years! The other side of that quilt has cars on it, and we bought it when each kid moved into their own room when they were three. I’d say we’ve gotten plenty of use out of that quilt. We bought the plaid comforter after painting the bedroom.

Hayden’s bedroom now! All the sports signs a boy could ever want! haha

We bought the hat rack from Pottery Barn Teen, and it’s been perfect for his wall and keeping everything organized.

I made this canvas for Hayden we he got his own room in our former house. It’s from one of my favorite scenes in To Kill a Mockingbird. When Dill first meets Jem and Scout, he says, “I’m little but I’m old.” Dill had such a cute little personality that I thought the quote was perfect for Hayden.

This magnetic frame was a little DIY that Travis and I completed together. Well, I found the frame years ago, and then we finally purchased a piece of sheet metal and nailed it to the back. Then, it became a place for Hayden to use magnets to hang photos and his drawings.

I don’t have any before pictures of Hadley’s room, but here’s her freshly painted room in June 2015. Since then, she’s gotten a new bedspread and new bedside table. Her bedroom furniture was the furniture my parents bought me when I was in the seventh grade. When the kids got their own rooms in our former house, we painted the bed, the desk, and then dresser white. Honestly, that was before I knew about chalk paint, so that project was definitely a labor of love. I bet if I’d used chalk paint, it would have taken half of the time.

Here’s her current room. Hadley’s not super girly, so I love that she chose a light lavender for her paint color, and I found the hanging poms for her window at Hobby Lobby. The wooden monogram came from an Etsy shop, and I painted it white. We found her side table at Ikea.

My grandma gave me two wooden chairs that are many many years old, and Hadley uses one at her desk.

I love the “Girl Boss” sign that Hadley found while we were at Home Goods one day. Also, this summer, she really wanted a little plant for her room, so I picked her up a succulent at Trader Joe’s since they are hard to kill! ๐Ÿ˜‰

I love the artwork on her wall. She painted the unicorn at a painting class we took. I found the pineapple at Hobby Lobby, and have a “thing” for pineapples as they are an expression of “Welcome” in a home. Lastly, I found the “In a field of roses, she is a wildflower” print on Etsy and then bought the frame. If that doesn’t sum up Hadley, then I don’t know what does!

So, that’s a little look at the kids’ bedrooms! We obviously didn’t have to do much in those rooms besides fresh paint, our own decor, and some updated blinds. I had a little control with their spaces, but wanted to give them the freedom to make choices…and then I just shut the doors when I can’t take the clutter!

Hallway Bathroom

The last major space for us to update is the smallest space in our house….the hall bath. I’m not sure when that will happen, but thought I’d go ahead and share those pictures.

Our current setup. I at least tried to make it cute ๐Ÿ˜‰ This is the kids’ bathroom and what guests use if we have people over. First world problems, but the space is so small that it’s a recipe for a daily fight while the kids get ready in the morning.

Thanks for following along on this Home Update series I put together. We’ve worked hard making our house feel like home. We just keep checking off projects one at a time.

Here are my other Home Update posts:

Have a great day!

Posted in Kids, School

4th Grade Wrap Up

Well, yesterday was the last day of school! It was certainly an emotional and fun last day for Hayden and Hadley.

Of course, we’ve been distance learning since March, but I was so impressed with the extra opportunities the teacher provided their students in the past week.

Last week, the music teacher hosted a Virtual Talent Show. Hadley (with the help of Hayden) had Homer do some tricks! Hadley filmed Hayden’s pitching in the backyard. They had a great time seeing what other students shared as their talents.

Also, last week, the school hosted a virtual International Week. Usually, there’s an International Night in the spring, so they modified some of those activities and students learned about different countries and continents each day and there was a video of a “Parade of Nations” with pictures of students representing their various home nations.

On Tuesday this week, the teachers provided a link for a virtual field trip to Ft. Harrod which was a trip they were to have taken in April. They viewed the video and interviews and had a discussion about colonial Kentucky. Of course, it wasn’t the same as actually going on the field trip, but I appreciated that they still planned the experience for the students.

Yesterday, the last day of school, they each had their final Google meeting followed by a virtual field day. Honestly, both my kids were pretty sad, Hadley in tears and Hayden pretty quiet, when their meetings ended. Hadley was so sad not to have a normal goodbye, and I think Hayden felt the same way, but in his own quiet way. While my heart hurt for them, I am proud that they care about their school, their classmates, and their teachers to miss what’s “normal” to them.

Transitioning to the field day fun helped them ease into summer! I think Hadley’s class ended up “winning.”

Here are my traditional end of the school year pics!

Hadley has grown (literally taller!) but also has matured so much this year!

Hayden continues to push himself out of his comfort zone and tends to be a quiet leader.

First day of school vs. last day of school. They look so much older to me with the comparison!

In kindergarten and first grade, the kids went to after school care. I remember picking them up on the first day of kindergarten and “making” them take a picture in front of the school. Then, they naturally high-fived each other…so now I make them do that every year! Hadley appreciates a tradition…Hayden grumbles at my requests! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Then, it was time for field day. On their Google Classrooms, there were links posted on the pics (the graphic in the middle of collage) with activities. Then, we took a pic of the kids doing the activities, sent the pictures to their teachers, and that’s how their classes earned points. All the activities took about 45 minutes or so. The kids definitely had fun! (and, of course, Hayden accused Hadley of cheating! ๐Ÿคจ)

Then, a few moms got together for some social distance silly string and water balloons for the kids. The activities definitely brightened their mood and were a great way to kick off summer.

This year was the first year our school has used the Dojo app. Who knew at the beginning of the year how much we would rely on it for communication?! The teachers and administrators did an amazing job communicating with us throughout distance learning and the sweet messages from the teachers yesterday had me tearing up.

When we picked up the kids’ supplies, each teacher had put a little gift in the kids’ bags. This sweet gesture made both of them smile.

My kids are far from perfect. I promise…but of course, they make me proud. Third grade was a huge adjustment last year as it was the first year of them earning grades, there’s state testing, other assessments, etc. Fourth grade felt like an easier year as they were used to the expectations but they also had more opportunities as older kids in the school.

Both kids ran for their school’s cross country team this year (coached by their dad!) and earned awards for their Science Fair Projects. Hadley joined Academic Team for the third year in a row and as a 4th grader, she was able to join chorus. Both kids ended the year on the Honor Roll…which earned them the red plate for dinner and breakfast at home!

That being said, I’m the most proud of them for trying new things, being a good friend, being respectful, and trying their best. (The last one is a work in progress…๐Ÿ˜‰)

Honor Roll dinner
Honor Roll breakfast

I’ve chatted with other mom friends about while this time has seemed surreal, and at times overwhelming, I will forever look back on this time and cherish it. I never stayed home with the kids. I chose to continue my teaching career (which was best for all involved!), so I’ve always treasured my summer time with them…and now I can add this time to my memories as well.

I have the best seat in the house to watch them dream, believe, and achieve.

I can’t believe in a year they will be in middle school #omg and then I will blink and they will be graduating high school!

Here are their thoughts on the 4th grade.

I hope everyone has had a great end of the school year wrap up and an even better summer.

Have a great weekend,


Posted in Kids, School

End of the School Year Interview

I can’t believe the kids only have one week left of the 4th grade. I also can’t believe how the school year is ending! I thought I’d ask the kids a few questions about how they felt about the 4th grade, and share some of my thoughts too!

I found these questions online, and loved how they were organized to allow for both kid and mom responses!

Hayden’s Thoughts:

August 2019
  • What was the best part of this year? Recess (#realtalk)
  • What was your favorite thing about your teacher? She pushes us to do our best.
  • What was your favorite thing to learn about this year? I learned more difficult math like how to divide fractions.
  • Who was your best friend? Graham
  • What did you like to do at recess? Play football with my friends
  • What is something hard you did? Playing the recorder in music class
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? Basketball player
  • What was something that made you laugh this year? When my teacher would mess up, she’d say, “Oh man!”
  • What was your favorite specials class this year and why? Art because I like to draw.
  • What was your favorite school activity or field trip this year? Science Fair

Mom’s Thoughts:

  • I’m proud of you because…you push yourself out of your comfort zone when necessary.
  • One of my favorite memories of you this year was: watching you grow as a runner on the cross country team.
  • It has been fun to watch you: become more confident as a learner.
  • Three things I love about you: your inquisitive nature, your loyalty, and your perseverance
  • An area you grew in was: your speaking skills.
  • You strengthened our family by: your smile and your affection (You give the best hugs!)

Hadley’s Thoughts:

August 2019
  • What was the best part of this year? Being accepted into the Gifted and Talented Program for dance
  • What was your favorite thing about your teacher? She worked hard for us and had special activities for holidays and other parties.
  • What was your favorite thing to learn about this year? National Parks
  • Who was your best friend? Stella and Maggie
  • What did you like to do at recess? Run on the track
  • What is something hard you did? Math (#shegetsitfromhermama)
  • What do you want to be when you grow up? Elementary teacher
  • What was something that made you laugh this year? My teacher’s jokes and sometimes my teacher would call me Hayden (Hayden had the same teacher for 2nd grade.)
  • What was your favorite specials class this year and why? Music because we learned how to play the recorder.
  • What was your favorite school activity or field trip this year? Winter “Snow Biz” Chorus Performance

Mom’s Thoughts:

  • I’m proud of you because: you are enthusiastic about all that you do!
  • One of my favorite memories of you this year was: watching you sing and dance in your chorus performance.
  • It has been fun to watch you: continue to blossom into a confident young lady.
  • Three things I love about you: you are kind, inclusive, and fearless
  • An area you grew in was: dance performance and math.
  • You strengthened our family by: your intuitiveness (You know when I need extra help or a cup of coffee!)

I’d say that 4th grade was one of the best years for both kids. They are fairly independent with their school work, they have tried new activities, they continue to work on their confidence in areas of growth, and thankfully—THEY STILL NEED ME!!!

Cheers and high fives to a great school year!….even if it ended in quarantine!

I hope everyone is having a great week!

Take care,

Posted in Friday Favorites, Kids

Friday Favorites: Kids Q&A Edition

Shew! We made it to Friday. As with every Friday Favorites, I’m linking up with Narci, Erika, and Andrea, so check out their posts too!

Honestly, this week was a huge adjustment as it was our first week of virtual learning along with me working from home. First and foremost, HIGH FIVE to all the educators out there busting it to make school as easy, seamless, and meaningful for their students (and the students’ parents!) as it has been. I have been BLOWN AWAY with all that my kids’ teachers have done. The best thing is the daily 10:00 Google Meet class meeting. I know my kids love seeing their teachers and their classmates.

Also, HIGH FIVE to all the parents out there working AND helping their kids with their school work. I’m a teacher, and this has been a MAJOR learning curve for myself as a high school educator as well as now a teacher to two 4th graders! We will get through this, but I’m certainly looking forward to a nap later today followed by a glass of wine! ๐Ÿ˜‰

For this edition of Friday Favorites, I decided to ask the kids some of their favorites. The age of 10 has been a fun one. They still need me but are also pretty independent. Needless to say, we’ve had lots of time together recently, and I thought this would be a great time (and a great age) to take note of some of their Favorite Things…

Hayden’s Favorites

  • Favorite color: blue
  • Favorite book: The Hatchet
  • Favorite TV show: Garfield
  • Favorite food: bacon
  • Favorite game: Madden 20
  • Favorite animal: dog (specifically the Homster!)
  • Favorite outfit: shorts and a t-shirt
  • Favorite subject at school: Social Studies
  • Favorite sport: basketball
  • Favorite breakfast food: Oatmeal and Cinnamon Toast Crunch
  • Favorite holiday: Easter
  • Favorite vacation: Grand Canyon and Dodgers game in LA

Other Questions and Answers:

  • What do you want to be when you grow up? basketball player
  • What’s one thing you’ve learned at school this year? measurements in math
  • Name one thing you do really well. Sports and reading
  • Describe your best day ever. Saturdays because I can chill.
  • If I could choose a different name, I would choose…Cooper (Fun Fact: He was almost named Cooper)
  • When I’m with my family, I like to…watch TV shows and laugh with them.
  • What’s one thing you like about your sister…She’s fast.

Hadley’s Favorites:

  • Favorite color: teal
  • Favorite book: Mother Daughter Book Club Series
  • Favorite TV show: Alexa and Katie series
  • Favorite food: tacos
  • Favorite game: Diary of Wimpy Kid 10 Second Challenge
  • Favorite animal: monkey
  • Favorite outfit: athletic shorts and tank top
  • Favorite subject at school: Spelling
  • Favorite sport: Dance and Cross Country
  • Favorite breakfast food: Waffle with Nutella
  • Favorite holiday: Christmas
  • Favorite vacation: Los Angeles

Other Questions and Answers:

  • What do you want to be when you grow up? An elementary school teacher
  • What’s one thing you’ve learned at school this year? How to do long division
  • Name one thing you do really well. Being sassy
  • Describe your best day ever. Going to Disney World
  • If I could choose a different name, I would choose…Mackenzie or Addison (Fun fact: She was almost named Addison)
  • When I’m with my family, I like to…go on bike rides or have a game night
  • What’s one thing you like about your brother…nothing really, but he can be sweet when he’s not awkward.

Even if they fight too much and some days drive me crazy, I know I’m blessed beyond measure with these TWO! And, Happy National Sibling Day to them as well.

Thanks for letting me share some favorites of my two favorites.

Have a great weekend and a wonderful Easter.

Posted in Kids

Dad Daughter Dance

Hadley’s favorite night of the year is the annual Dad/Daughter Dance. This is the fourth year for her to go with Travis (and a group of their friends) to the dance.

We are 4 for 4 with finding a reasonably priced dress in a matter of minutes at Target. I remember the first year we went out looking for a dress, she suggested going to TJ Maxx first. #raisingherright ๐Ÿ˜‚Anyway, thanks to the Cat and Jack brand at Target, we have been lucky to find something each year.

This year, at the last minute, I took her to get shoes (Hayden needed new tennis shoes, so we tackled that too)…Y’all, she fell in love with a pair of fuchsia flats IN THE WOMEN’S section of the store. She’s officially outgrown kids’ shoe sizes! Anyway, they were half price, they fit, and she loved them (and can wear them in the future), so we got them.

Also, she always has a vision for how she wants her hair. Fun fact: I’m THE WORST at hair and makeup. Thankfully, all she needed me for was a little blush, mascara and a few curls after she put her hair in a top knot. I can’t believe how grown up she looks every year…I know I’m going to blink and we’ll be shopping for a prom dress.

Dinner is provided (pasta, bread sticks, drinks) at the dance as well as dessert….and dancing with her dad and friends…What more could a girl ask for?

2017 Dad Daughter Dance

2018 Dad Daughter Dance

2019 Dad Daughter Dance

2020 Dad Daughter Dance

We usually meet at someone’s house for pics and then the moms and little brothers hang out while the dads and daughters go to the dance. This year, Hayden was the only brother, and he had baseball anyway…so that’s how we spent our time during the dance…at the indoor baseball facility. After the dance (and baseball), we all hung out for a bit. The dance is a great excuse to get together with friends.

We took a few pics at home before leaving to meet up with friends.
Homer wondered why he wasn’t invited to the dance! (& I kept holding my breath hoping he wouldn’t snag her tights! haha)
I always joke that I hope this isn’t how they are dressed for prom in 2027
Hayden made sure to show Hadley his best dance moves!

Love these two so much.

Travis buys Hadley corsage every year. One of the things I love the most about Travis is what an amazing dad he is to both Hayden and Hadley.

The awesome dads and their beautiful daughters.

These little ladies are just the best crew!

Silly pic!

The dance had a photo booth, and I kept receiving a link to cute pics all night long!

I hope the girls have a few more years left of the Dad and Daughter Dance. I know these are precious memories for both the daughters and their dads.

I hope you are having a great week. Thanks for reading!!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Holidays, Kids

Happy 10th Birthday

Today’s the day….the T W I N S turn T E N! I can’t even articulate how quickly these 10 years have flown by. They’ve been the best, the hardest, and the most rewarding years of my life. I’m so lucky to be their mom.

Their due date was December 18, 2009. We knew I’d probably never make it to 40 weeks, and making it to 36 weeks was a blessing. I will never forget seeing their faces for the first time. The second they showed me Hayden, I teared up; he looked just like Travis. The nurse showed me Hadley for only about 10 seconds, so then my tears were for a different reason. During the pregnancy, Hadley consistently measured smaller than Hayden, but we were still surprised that she weighed in at only 4 lbs, and who knew the extra 7 oz Hayden was carrying would be enough for 4 lbs, 7 oz Hayden to come home with us after four days in the hospital. The NICU doctor told us Hadley would be in the NICU for 12-14 days. Well, day 13, she joined us at home.

The NICU nurses told us that premature baby girls tend to be more of the fighters compared to baby boys in the NICU, so I take it as a blessing and a sign that if one had to stay for a bit and one got to go home, the right baby stayed put to grow a bit more and the right baby got settled in at home.

It was tough being away from her while also juggling a newborn at home. When we brought her home, the NICU nurse said she’d most likely be the more independent one who wound fend for herself. Well, that nurse couldn’t have been more right.

These two captured our hearts from the beginning and certainly still carry the same qualities and features that they’ve had since the day they were born.

Sweet itty bitty babies…

Who turned into chubby cheeked toddlers and sweet spirited little ones…

who continued to emerge into the best little versions of themselves…

In honor of turning 10, I thought I’d share 10 things I love about each of my kids.

Hayden

  1. His love of reading. #hegetsitfromhismama
  2. His passion for sports. (any sport, all the time!)
  3. How he pronounces Hawaii “who why ee”
  4. He’s an introvert who pushes himself out of his comfort zone. #anotherattributefromhismama
  5. His attention to detail.
  6. He is a wonderful teammate. Nothing makes me happier than seeing him cheer on his team or high five a teammate.
  7. His inquisitive nature.
  8. That he says to his mama, “Give me a huggie!”
  9. That he is a creature of habit.
  10. That he is a homebody. (and proud of it!)
  11. B O N U S–he lets me call him Boo ๐Ÿ˜‰

Hadley

  1. There is no bigger helper on this Earth than Hadley.
  2. She has the biggest heart and a knack for knowing when others need some extra love.
  3. She is a loyal friend.
  4. That she is the best mix of both tomboy and girly girl.
  5. She’s energetic times ten…always on the move and enthusiastic about life.
  6. That sheโ€™s outgoing as all get out. #didnotgetthisfromhismama
  7. Her ability to find the beat in any song and dance to it (as if no one is watching–but we are watching because she’s forever creating new dance routines to showcase for us)
  8. Her love of scrunchies and friendship bracelets #daugtherofan80sbaby
  9. Her love for little ones.
  10. Her bravery…(for example, sleep away camp for a week this past summer…) #shewasmuchbraverthanhermama
  11. B O N U S–she lets me call her Sis ๐Ÿ˜‰

Homer says Happy 10th Birthday!

Hayden and Hadley,

I know you probably aren’t reading this, but please know…

You guys are the best and make us all so proud. Keep being kind, keep doing your best, and keep being there for each other …and we can’t wait to continue to watch you grow into the best big kids and teenagers (#prayforme) in the coming years. How are you already double digits?!?! #thetwinsturnten

Happy Happy Birthday.

I love you!

xoxo, Mom

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Friday Favorites, Holidays, Kids

Friday Favorites: birthday party part 2

Believe it or not, it’s already Friday! I posted about the kids’ 10th birthday party with their friends for Let’s Look on Wednesday. I thought I’d wrap up the week with a Friday Favorites post that focuses on party #2 (family party)…because birthdays are my favorite!

I figured while the balloons were still flying, we’d go ahead and host our family for a small get together for the kids.

After the slumber party cleared out, I threw a couple of meals in the crock pots. Both meals I made were from Mix and Match Mama’s Simmers cookbook. I made the Chicken Tortilla Soup and the Potato Soup. Both are easy, delish, and serve quite a few people.

I also made salami/cream cheese/pickle roll ups and spinach artichoke dip for appetizers.

We love Nothing Bundt Cakes, so I was going to pick up one of their bigger bundt cakes for the family party BUT we had so much cookie cake left over from the sleep over party, that we decided to serve that. I did take the kids to Nothing Bundt Cakes for them to each pick a mini bundt cake for us to put candles in and sing Happy Birthday.

Hadley’s always big help with the decorations. We already had the balloons, so she helped me put streamers up wherever the kids wanted them. She also helped me put up the birthday banner. I made the banner when the kids turned three, and we’ve been using it every birthday since then…not sure if this will be the last year for it or not?

Every year, I order the kids a new birthday shirt with their age on it (again, this is probably the last year for it, but it’s been a fun tradition!) I did a Flashback Friday Favorites post on it, and it’s sweet to see them through the years!

This year’s shirts came from a shop on Etsy called ShopPsychobaby. They were cute, great quality, and arrived quickly!

The kids are saving for electronic items we will most likely never buy them (haha), so we kept it simple with the family party, and they received cash and gift cards.

Traditional bday shirts and 1-0 balloons
The birthday banner is hanging on !
Homer was excited for cake. He was better behaved during this party and didn’t eat any candles or lick any icing off the cake!
Happy Birthday time!

We had family from both sides as well as friends who we consider family to help celebrate.

crazy and cute cousins

That’s a wrap on the birthday parties. Their actual birthday is next week, and there are a few more traditions and surprises up my sleeve… #thetwinsturn10

Don’t forget to check our Narci, Andrea, and Erika’s Friday Favorites!

Have a great weekend!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea

Posted in Holidays, Kids, Let's look

Let’s Look: Birthday Parties- Part 1

This month’s Let’s Look is about entertaining ideas. Well, I just entertained twelve 4th graders last Friday for Hayden and Hadley’s upcoming 10th birthday….So…I thought I’d focus on that! haha

I still have one week to get used to the idea, but the twins are about to be 10…which I can’t even wrap my brain around. Where has the time gone?

Iโ€™ve always been big on birthdays, and I’ve always joked that my favorite holiday is my birthday (only to be corrected that my birthday is not actually a holiday ๐Ÿ˜‚). So, with the kids, I have always made a big deal about their birthday. That being said, if I had two kids with two different birthdays or even a third kid, I probably wouldnโ€™t have the energy to go all out like I tend to do. But thatโ€™s what moms do, right? Whatever makes the kids happy.

Once they turned three, I started hosting two parties….one for their friends and one for family. I just felt bad asking family to hang out at Chuck E Cheese as well as the fact that our house isn’t big, so having many adults and lots of kids, just didn’t seem like an enjoyable idea. Their friend parties vary year to year. With two very social kids (especially Hadley) who are involved in lots of activities, I’ve always had to cap their parties to a few friends. I’ve never been one to invite the whole class especially because they are in different classes…what would I do if 40 kids showed up?! haha.

I even went through a phase for a few years where I made homemade cakes for each of them…but that ship has sailed. Now, we order a cookie cake or ice cream cake and call it a day.

Shockingly, it was Haydenโ€™s idea to have a sleepover, & Hadley wasn’t mad about the idea. Again, I always try to keep the number manageable and 12 kids wasnโ€™t what I had in mind ๐Ÿ˜‚ but the kids, and even Travis can be persuasive…and you know what? It all turned out just fine!

We ordered cookie cakes from Great American Cookie. Hadley chose the cutest cake with three girls in sleeping bags to stick with the sleepover theme. I thought for sure that Hayden would chose a cake with a basketball or soccer ball like usual, but he took one look at the cake with the white dog, and he thought it looked like Homer! They were very decisive about their cake designs.

Real talk: I took these pics before the guests came over. I like to have a little time with them before all the crazy ensues, and, yes…to get the cute non-chaotic pic too. BUT…good thing I did take the pics beforehand because while I went out to get pizza, Homer ate half of the ONE candle and we still can’t find the ZERO candle! Yikes.

Hayden wanted Homer to see a close up of his cake. Homer later took a lick off of the side of the cake while it sat on the counter (pushed back as far as I could push the cake…because we know how Homer can be!)

Kids are easy to please—pizza, chips, Capri Suns, and cookie cakes. I had picked up the T E N candles to use for the family party, and they came in handy as a back up.

After pizza and cake, we went to a local place called The Yard which is an indoor facility for baseball, soccer, and volleyball. I had never been there, but the kids have been there for indoor practices and sports evaluations, so Travis thought of the idea last week. It was a great way for them to burn energy. The girls passed the volleyball around while the boys played soccer. Then, Travis organized a few games of kickball…I was having flashbacks to elementary recess! Then, they all played one more game of soccer before we headed home a little after 9pm.

Fun crew!

Once we got home, the kids opened presents and then the boys went to the basement and the girls stayed upstairs. It must be all the rage to have a spa party in the 4th grade. Per usual, thank goodness for Amazon—nail polish, face masks, and eye masks, and the ladies turned back time and looked like they were 7 again!

Homer was the only boy allowed upstairs after 10 pm!

After the facials, the girls watched a movie while the boys stayed in the basement, ate chips, and watched a movie of the choice. (Pro tip: I put Homer’s bells that he rings to let us know he wants to go outside on the basement door handle…so I could hear the comings and goings of little people if they found themselves headed in the wrong direction!)

The kids were asleep around midnight and slept until almost 8! The girls would have slept longer had the boys not come upstairs. My friend texted me in the morning when I said they were still sleeping. She asked if I tranquilized them. haha…I told her I forgot to have the parents sign the waiver for melatonin! Actually, part of my strategy with the Friday night sleepover (plus taking them to The Yard) was I was hopeful they’d already be tired from the week!

Hadley’s sweet friend woke up as a 10 year old, so of course Hadley said her donut must have a candle!

Donuts, OJ, and apple juice for breakfast.

After breakfast, the girls painted their nails while the boys played football in the front yard…

Then, everyone gathered up their belongings as parents started arriving and I started prepping for the family party later on Saturday.

Overall, I’d say the party was a huge success…no drama, everyone slept at some point, and I think everyone had a good time! I sure hope they have wonderful memories of this sleepover party because it certainly won’t be an annual event! #thethingsyoudoforyourkids #thetwinsturnten

On Friday, I hope to share part two of the birthday celebration (family party!)

Don’t forget to check out Erika and Shay’s Let’s Look. Next month’s topic is Let’s Look At…gift wrapping station. (Not sure how much I will have to offer to that conversation as I am so unorganized when it comes to wrapping…and I don’t have a wrapping station!)

I hope you are having a great week!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook: Show Me and Sweet Tea