Posted in Holidays, Kids

Birthday Recap

Hello! How was the start to your week? Of course, we had school and then last night was busy with the kids having basketball and volleyball.

We have one more day and then it’s our Thanksgiving break.

Before too much time passes, I’m recapping the kids birthday celebration(s).

I joke that I don’t mess around when it comes to birthdays. I’ve always loved my birthday. Then, of course, I had two kids on one day, so why not celebrate as big as possible?

Party Time:

The past few years, we’ve been able to work out a time on a Friday to let the kids have some fun with their friends.

The only “free” evening or weekend day we had was Friday, November 11th, so we went ahead and scheduled the kids’ party with their friends for that day.

I picked the kids (and some of their friends) up from school and headed to our house. The other friends met us there, and then Travis and I took the kids to Activate Games. Honestly, I don’t know much about it, but both kids had previously been there and thought it would be a fun way to spend their birthday. There are a variety of high-tech games that test your team with real-life challenges.

We had 5:30 reservations for 1 hour and 15 minutes of fun. We signed them in, and then Travis and I just hung out in the lobby. We actually both took turns shopping nearby while the other person hung out in case the kids needed anything. Honestly, we hardly saw the kids the entire time they were there…which I guess is a sign of a good time!

After the hour and fifteen minutes, they were hot, sweaty, and hungry!

We loaded up and headed to one of our favorite restaurants where we had reserved a room for pizza and cake. We got the kids settled, and Travis and I actually ate out in the main dining area. What is this life? haha

The kids ate, hung out, chatted, and opened gifts. After dinner, we had the traditional cookie cake!

The plan was to drop everyone off after dinner, but they were all very convincing that they wanted to play outside for a bit. So, boys vs. girls volleyball in our driveway burned a bit more energy. Everyone was home by 9:00, and it was a great party for a bunch of almost 13 year olds!

Big Birthday!

The Twins are Teens!

Wow! Times have changed. I was so tired on Saturday night that I went to bed waaaayy before anyone else. I was up around 7:00 which gave me time to put out the presents and few decorations instead of the night before like I did when they were little. Travis ran and picked up some donuts while the kids slept in.

Finally, around 9:30, they woke up. We sang them “happy birthday,” they ate their donuts and opened up the gifts from us. For their birthday, I try to stick with something they “want, wear, need, and read,” and that keeps things pretty simple.

I had them open the Homer socks last, and they loved them.

Since I knew Sunday would be so hectic, we took the traditional balloon photo on Saturday. *Sigh* this may be the last year…Hayden will oblige, but he doesn’t like the fanfare. Hadley’s like, “I’ll hold both balloons!” haha

I will say for having a weekend birthday, we’ve never been so busy on their actual birthday. Hayden’s rec league end of season tournament was this weekend. ALL of his games were on Sunday. Of course, if they had lost, they would have been finished, but they kept on winning. He played three games, and his team lost in the championship game.

Hadley’s studio does a Winter Showcase, and it’s usually in December. About a month ago, they had to move the venue, and the showcase was rescheduled for Sunday. She was in three routines, and it was such a fun performance to watch.

In between the dance showcase and the championship game, they let me take a few pics with the yard signs. The sign display seems to grow each year!

After the championship game, we headed straight to dinner. We had reservations at Carson’s which is one of our favorite restaurants. Of course, Hadley got the salmon, and Hayden ordered a bacon cheeseburger.

After dinner, we stopped by my brother’s house, so his family could wish them happy birthday and eat some cake!

We headed home around 7:30, so the kids could work on their science fair proposals and get ready for the (short) week ahead.

Overall, I think the kids had a really great day. Of course, it would have been nice to have some downtime, but, then again, they spent the day doing the things they love while receiving lots of calls and texts from friends and family. Of course, the day ended with some cake. What’s not to love?

Posted in Kids, Weekend Top 5

Life Lately

Hello and Happy Monday.

Well, after a very busy weekend, I’m thankful for a short school week this week.

I’m linking up with Holly and Sarah for:

…to share a little catch up with Life Lately.

We’ve been busy over the past couple of weeks, and here’s what we’ve been up to…

Both Travis and Hayden received all area recognition to wrap up the middle school cross country season which was an honor for both of them.

Hayden (& Travis) have continued with club season. Hadley joined them last weekend in the bitter cold temps as they ran the track at Bellarmine. Our nephew’s club team hosted a memorial run for Trav’s dad. Both kids did great and those races are always fun to watch…even in the cold temps with snow on the ground.

That same Saturday, one of Hadley’s best friends had her 13th birthday party at Kroger Field as the CATS played Vandy. Instead of “Big Blue Saturday,” I joked that it was “Big Brrr Saturday.” 😂 They had a scavenger hunt with 13 clues to do around the stadium. How fun is that? Such a great idea.

One of the clues was a photo with the cheerleader which Hadley thought was so fun.

Hadley’s volleyball season has continued these past few weeks. These girls are so fun to watch! They improve with each game and cheer each other on.

Hadley played one of her best friend’s teams, and it was fun to see her (and her mom!) and catch up.

My brother’s family has a new addition:

Meet Tilly! She’s a cutie.

On Friday night, we went to a charity gala for the Ronald McDonald House. I think we all know what an amazing organization this is, and nothing will help you count your blessings more than hearing the stories of so many thankful families.

We had a wonderful night with our friends for a great cause.

I got this dress from Red Dress Boutique and love it. Green and black appear to be sold out, but red would be perfect for any holiday party you have to attend.

Hadley has these same heels in nude, and I picked up the glitter/gold option. This purse was the perfect touch and holds so much! It’s my new “go to” clutch for sure.

I’m in size large dress, regular size 9 heels

We celebrated the kids as much as possible yesterday. We officially have two teenagers in the house!

…and they didn’t even take a break on their birthday.

Hayden had a basketball tournament (& played three games yesterday)…

…while Hadley had her Winter Showcase for her dance studio.

We were able to go out to dinner and have cake (with cousins) last night.

Shew! Yesterday was non-stop, but the kids had a great day.

What was the highlight of your weekend? See you back here tomorrow!

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links}

Posted in Friday Favorites, Holidays, Kids

Friday Favorites {#136}: The Twins are Teens

Hello and Happy Friday! This week has been a good one! I hope the same can be said for you.

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

Well, today’s post is a “Special Edition” of Friday Favorites because it’s all about two of my favorite people who are about to be teenagers. The kids will turn 13 on Sunday, and I really can’t believe how quickly these years have flown by.

Thirteen. Wow. I will say I’ve always felt 13 to be an unlucky number. But…how can I say that now? I’ve been blessed with the best title, mom, for 13 amazing years. The years have been filled with sleepless nights, amazing memories, highs and lows, achievements, milestones, and more!

To mark this special occasion…

…a stroll down memory lane…

I made these collages over the past thirteen days to countdown to the big day.

13 days to 13…

12.

11.

10.

9.

8.

7.

6.

5.

4.

3.

2.

1.

Y’all know I celebrate birthdays in a big way. Two kids, one day. Why not?

Through the years, I’m so glad that I did the birthday t-shirt tradition. We did that until they were ten, and those pics are always so fun to look back on. Starting when they were three until they turned ten, we had two parties: one for family and one for friends. The past few years, one party with friends has been perfect, and I know even that tradition may fade as they grow older and get busier.

When they were eight, I started buying the balloons with their age, and I hope to do that until they are 18! The yard signs are fun, and we’ve been doing those for a few years. That being said, Hayden doesn’t love all the attention from the neighbors. After this year, I may hold off doing that again until they are 16!

I hope they look back at all the times I made their cakes, started traditions, and planned parties with fond memories. They sure are worthy of celebrating, and it’s been so fun to do so through the years.

T H I R T E E N

Hayden…

From 4 lbs 7 oz almost looking me in the eye, you’ve certainly grown so much this year.

You are figuring yourself out, you are determined and driven, and you have a quiet confidence that I admire. You’ve overcome obstacles and continued to pave your own way.

13 things you did this year::

  • Caught up to your sister in height
  • Learned you love to fish
  • Made the basketball team
  • Made Honor Roll every quarter
  • Had a great 12 year old season and walked away from the baseball diamond on your own terms
  • Ran track (and set PR’s!)
  • Ran cross country (with your dad as your coach!)
  • Learned to cook a few things
  • Gave Homer lots of snuggles
  • Made new friends while keeping old friendships too
  • Cheered for the CATS and the Chiefs
  • Were recognized for good citizenship
  • Read lots of books

I pray that you know we’ll always be here for you, and that dad and I are your biggest fans. I’ve loved watching your relationship with Hadley grow through the years. You’re lucky to have her as a sister and as a friend.

I hope you have the best year yet. We can’t wait to celebrate you!

xo xo,

Mom

Hadley…

From 4 lbs to almost looking me in the eye (and almost sharing my shoe size!), you’ve certainly grown so much this year.

Your smile is infectious and you light up the room. You have grace and beauty. You cheer for others. You set goals and crush them. You have a confidence that I admire. You’ve taken risks, learned new things, and fostered friendships. You are silly at just the right time, and you don’t take yourself too seriously.

You continue to pave your way which has been a joy to watch.

13 things you did this year:

  • Danced (at school, for competition team, and for studio)
  • Swam (and set PR’s)
  • Ran track
  • Made Honor Roll every quarter
  • Went to camp
  • Made the volleyball team
  • Were involved in Student Council
  • Babysat
  • Went to youth group
  • Were an acolyte at church
  • Made new friends while keeping old friendships too
  • Went tubing on the lake and kayaked in the ocean
  • Got your braces off

I pray that you know we’ll always be here for you, and that dad and I are your biggest fans. I’ve loved watching your relationship with Hayden grow through the years. You’re lucky to have him as a brother and as a friend.

I hope you have the best year yet. We can’t wait to celebrate you!

xo xo,

Mom

Favorite Mom Meme:

This one feels perfect for today:

Previous Birthday Posts:

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from this week:

What are your weekend plans? We have so many fun things going on! We have plans with friends, Hayden has a basketball tournament, Hadley has a dance recital, and, of course, we have some birthday cake to eat!

See you back here on Monday! Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Kids, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk

Hello! Well, today’s post could also probably be more of a “Thursday Thoughts” situation, but it’s Tuesday, and this is what I have planned. 😆

Well, the fact that I feel like we are on the move 24/7 combined with the fact that in less than a week I will have two teenagers, the rapid pace at which time is flying is definitely weighing on my mind and on my heart.

I feel like I’m constantly thinking about how quickly time is flying by. Of course, we’ve all seen this quote:

Then, I saw this quote recently, and it, combined with an article Travis sent me last week really has me thinking about life, parenting, the kids growing up, and more.

I feel like sometimes I’m hypersensitive to trying to raise good kids. At school, of course, I see students with various backgrounds, learning needs, behaviors and more. I really try to help my own kids by setting an example, teaching them manners, encouraging them to do the right thing, and to always try their best.

My mom taught 7th grade Language Arts for 31 years. She would joke that when my brother and I were in middle school, those were some of her hardest years because she was around teens 24/7. I can now certainly now see why she felt that way.

My waking minutes go from wanting to spend quality time with my family, to creating memories, to helping with homework, to nagging about missing assignments. At the end of the day, I’m tired. I often feel like I’ve dropped the ball or fallen short somehow. Also, to be clear, my kids couldn’t be more different. I have to remember that and try to cater to their wants and needs while also encouraging them and talking to them. Y’all, parenting is not for the faint of heart.

Here’s the article Travis saw on Facebook:

*Sigh* This certainly hits home. It gives me all the feels. This quote was a lightbulb moment for me:

“I realized that it’s not time speeding up –it’s the amount of time I have with my kids each day is dwindling.” Seriously, it stopped me in my tracks.

It’s no newsflash that my kids are busy. Honestly, it’s better that they are busy, in my opinion. There’s a difference in being “burned out” or forced to do something they don’t want to do and being busy. That’s not the case with them. They are learning how to manage time, work with others, advocate for themselves, take risks, and more. That being said, because they are so busy, I do get less time with them. There are week nights where I get one hour at home with them, and they are usually doing homework.

I often feel like I blink and the weekend has passed. I also tend to live “season to season,” and it’s always so crazy to me when summer rolls around, and they are another year older. Also, it’s a blessing to experience so many events and milestones twice at the same time. That being said, I don’t get to do many things over again. For example, we only had one first day of Kindergarten. That also means once a chapter in life closes, it’s usually feels like a slammed door on their childhood without a younger sibling to keep a tradition or spirit alive. I’ve always wrestled with these thoughts, and it’s why I never hesitated to use a personal day to go on the pumpkin patch field trip or volunteer at field day. It’s why I celebrate birthdays big. It’s why I cling to traditions.

A few things:

To make myself feel better, I came up with a list of a few things I feel like we’re doing “right” in order to make the most of the time we have together as well as showing the kids how much we care.

  • Have dinner together as often as possible: We have dinner together most nights. It just means I have to plan ahead, and I’m willing to do that if it means we can all sit at the dinner table together even if it’s not until 7:45 at night.
  • Continue traditions: Busy schedule or not, I like to keep traditions alive. Some things happen more naturally like going to football games, but other things like going to the pumpkin patch, carving pumpkins, and seeing the Christmas lights at the Kentucky Horse Park are now more scheduled.
  • Show up for them: We’ve been pretty lucky that even with Hayden and Hadley’s activities, we both can usually can make it to most everything. I want them to hear me clapping after they score a point. I want to be the one they see after a race or performance. I will cater my schedule to them, but they are also at the age where I’m able to offset that and run errands or workout at another time because they are old enough to be home alone or at an activity on their own.
  • Encourage them: Travis and I both encourage the kids to try new things, push themselves, and advocate for themselves. Now is the time to “take risks” while they have the safety net of us at home.
  • Celebrate effort, not just outcome: I want them to believe in themselves, set goals, and learn from mistakes whether that’s in the classroom, during a race, or on the volleyball court. I don’t mean that they need praised for everything, but I just mean I know when they are nervous or hesitant. So, when they’ve given their all and shown growth, I applaud that.

So…that’s just a little bit of my heart lately. I’m having a hard wrapping my brain around where these years have gone, but I know I’m not the only one in this boat.

Whether it’s the “Days are long…” quote or the Major’s (my dad) quote, “Time continues to haul a$$,” time sure feels fleeting.

That being said, it’s not lost on me that I have two happy and healthy kids. They aren’t perfect, nor are we as parents. We’re in this boat together…and to quote Coach Cal, “I like my team!”

We’ve gone from this:

…to this:

in no time!

Feel free to share your parenting tips with me! Why do I feel like I’m going to blink, and they’ll be driving…or tossing their graduation caps in the air?!

Posted in Friday Favorites, Kids

Friday Favorites {#124}

Well, we made it to Friday! This week was a doozy with school (of course) and then plenty of kids’ activities every night. We’re ready for the weekend, but it looks like I will need to set an alarm for Saturday wake up. Oh well…it is what it is…

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

Here are some favorites from the week:

Favorite Pic:

We got Hadley’s dance studio headshots back, and there were so many good ones. It was hard to narrow down a fave, but this is the one I ordered…I can’t believe how grown up she looks!

Favorite Moment:

Speaking of grown up…Hayden (and Coach White!) had his first cross country race of the season, and I apparently need to train my eyes to look for a big kid out there running. I almost missed him as he ran by. He’s off to a very solid start with a second place finish. He’s put in a lot of time (and miles) this summer, and I can’t wait to see what he accomplishes this season!

Favorite Clothing Item:

I’ve been making a point to “shop my closet” (Travis really appreciates that too!), and I’ve shared my school teacher outfits the last couple of Wednesdays.

I was reunited with these Matilda Jane pants during my closet clean out, and I really loved Monday’s outfit. I felt put together and comfy all at once.

Favorite Scent:

Sunday started off cool and rainy, so I did exactly what you’d expect me to do: I lit a fall scented candle, of course. I’d been saving this Antique Candle Co. one for just the right time. The warm caramel crumble scent was a favorite way to start the day.

Favorite Food:

I tried a new slow cooker recipe (Creamy Crockpot Crack Chicken) this week, and it was a hit. I will definitely make it again. I only used two chicken breasts, and next time will use at least one more to guarantee leftovers.

Favorite Kid Quote:

Nothing in particular stood out this week, but instead just some extra one on one time with Hayden. Travis has been extra busy in the evenings (Hadley too), and it was just Hayden and I for dinner on Wednesday night. It was nice to have some solo time with him.

Favorite Mom Meme:

Or unload the dishwasher!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

With cross country starting back up, here’s a little throw back to the kids’ first ever race when they were in Kindergarten. I’ve shared this before, but they were even in the local online magazine. They were so little…

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from this week…a little of this and a little of that…

What are your weekend plans? I don’t think we have much going on tonight, but Hayden has a cross country meet tomorrow, and then we have some other odds and ends to get accomplished this weekend.

See you back here Monday for some of my favorite memes this month.

Posted in Kids, School

First Day of School

Hello!

Well, we all survived the first day of school. Overall, I’d say it was a success.

While I’m always sad for summer break fo end, this was me by Tuesday evening:

On Monday, my district held a convocation at Rupp Arena. That meant that I had to be at school by 7:15 (earlier if I wanted the catered breakfast!) to board a yellow bus to Rupp. We were at convocation from 8:00 until about 1:00 and then we had time to work in our rooms. Then, on Tuesday, we had a faculty meeting and professional development from 8:30-1:00 with more time in our rooms in the afternoon.

Even though our county is in the “red” for Covid, we are still mask optional. The superintendent’s stance is that Covid is everchanging, and we’ll continue to navigate however we need to. The motto on wearing (or not wearing) masks is “Either way is ok.”

This summer felt so short, but it was great to finally see students on Wednesday.

Back to School Brinner:

We had our Back to School Brinner on Sunday. Hadley had dance late the two nights before school started, so I thought breakfast for dinner on Sunday would be good.

I pulled out my tub with supplies from last year (plus a couple of new additions), and set up the table.

I’ve used this same chalkboard since Kindergarten. 🙂

This year, I wrote a few things on the paper “runner” which I think the kids liked.

I picked the kids each up a book and a Bundt cake to add to their place settings. Otherwise, I used the same folder, plate, and napkins as in previous years.

Unfortunately, Travis was out of town, but I set a place for myself too!

I served fruit along with muffins and yogurt.

I also made Shay’s Bacon and Tot Casserole, and it hit the spot.

We all enjoyed dinner and chatted a bit about summer and the new school year. It’s a fun tradition that I hope the kids will let me do through high school!

First Day of School Photos:

We had a pretty easy breezy morning. I did wake the kids up a bit earlier than they will typically need to wake up, but I needed to get those first day of school photos.

This time last year, Hadley was a head taller than Hayden. He sure has caught up!

They both look like they are almost able to drive me to school.

I couldn’t resist Maddie’s (@maddiescookieco) Back to School cookies. I put them out for the kids to see in the morning.

Maddie’s Back to School “groovy” theme was so cute!

Travis got the kids off to school, and headed to school myself. Y’all, I can’t believe this is year 21 for me. Over the weekend, I cleaned out my bedside table (my final organizational task of the summer), and I found some old pictures…including this one of my first year teaching (2002-03). Check out that computer!

….and now!

Y’all, I was tired! Travis had been out of town since Saturday for work, so I was doing all the mom things + all the back to school teachers/mom things. Then, he got home home really late on Tuesday night (technically, Wednesday morning), so just didn’t get the best sleep. Truth be told, I always have trouble sleeping the night before school starts….back to school jitters, I guess.

Overall, it was a great day! It’s still weird for me not starting the year with classes full of students. Since I do intervention, teachers will start sending me students need week. That being said, I enjoyed helping students find their classes, passing out schedules, helping teachers, and whatever else needs to be done. It’s a great way to ease into the school year.

Back to School Interview:

I’m probably pressing my luck with the kids’ interviews, but here are the kids’ thoughts on heading back to school:

Hayden’s Thoughts:

  • As a 7th grader, I’m most excited about...being with my friends.
  • A goal I have this year isto get all A’s.
  • I think my favorite subject will beSocial Studies
  • One thing I’d like to get better at this yearturning my work in on time.
  • The first day of school was... fun.

Hadley’s Thoughts:

  • As a 7th grader, I’m most excited aboutbeing upstairs in the building.
  • A goal I have this year is.study for every test.
  • I think my favorite subject will bemath.
  • One thing I’d like to get better at this yearstaying on top of my school work.
  • The first day of school waschaotic and energetic.

The first day of school meant pjs as soon as I got home and an easy slow cooker dinner.

I hope everyone is having an easy transition back to school!

Posted in Activities, Friday Favorites, Kids

Friday Favorites {#117}

Hello and Happy Friday!

I have a full posts of favorites so I’m going to hop right in to the link up with Andrea and Erika.

Here are some favorites from the week:

Favorite Activities:

Hadley’s dance recitals were a highlight of the week for sure!

Hayden is playing summer basketball, and he had a couple of games this week. The summer league is super low key which is nice.

Hadley had another swim meet this week. The butterfly stroke is one that she’s been working on, and she finally got to swim it in the meet on Wednesday night.

She swam in two relays and then all four strokes, so she was a busy girl! The heat index was over 100 during the meet. I was about to jump in and join a relay!

Last Saturday, Hayden went to run on the track for his workout and took a detour at football camp. He saw Will Levis (QB for UK), and got his photo taken with him. He was so excited.

Favorite Summer Scents:

I really need to quit buying candles, but I couldn’t pass up the $11.95 sale on three wick candles at Bath and Body Works.

I specifically went into the store for the Champagne Toast and Fresh Orange candle. I love both of those scents, so I knew this would be a good one combined…and it is.

While I was there, I also picked up the peony candle and put it next to my Trader Joe’s peonies. (Tell me it’s summer without telling me it’s summer!)

Amazon Faves:

{Amazon Affiliate links}

I change out my garden flags pretty regularly, but I didn’t have one that was summery. This one arrived earlier in the week and is perfect for summer.

I got this dress last year and have worn in a ton.

I decided to wear it to Hadley’s recital with my new braided sandals.

Also, the dress is one I turn to time and time again. I’m actually thinking about ordering the pink or sleeveless version of it before vacay!

You all know that I share my Amazon purchases once a month, but I could’t wait to share these sandals. I wore them to her afternoon recital with white jeans and then again for the evening recital with the dress. After the recital, I was on my feet for a couple more hours at my friend’s birthday party, and they were so comfortable on my feet.

I originally ordered my regular size 9, but when they arrived, they fit…barely. My heel was right at the edge, so I thought I’d compare with a 9.5. That size wasn’t available anytime soon, so I tried the 9.5 wide. I don’t have a wide foot, but these fit perfectly…much better than the 9.

Since I couldn’t love these sandals more, I decided to go ahead and share now rather than wait for my July Prime Purchases post.

Other Faves:

My niece Layla turned five at the end of May, and was overdue for a birthday gift from us. On Monday, we hit the mall (along with Hadley, my mom, and my sister-in-law) for a quick lunch and then we stopped in the Plush Shop for her to pick out a gift. She came home with “Princess Owlette” (Also, don’t you love her princess necklace?)

On the way out, we picked up cookies for everyone at Great American Cookie as one more birthday treat.

Later that night, I got this photo at bedtime which I thought was really sweet.

My mom came to visit and was able to see both Hadley and Layla’s recitals as well as one of Hayden’s basketball games.

Last Sunday, my brother’s family and my mom joined us at Boonedogs for a late lunch. The food was good and the weather was really nice. The kids were able to run around for a bit too.

I got the Greek dog –with cucumbers, feta, sun dried tomato, garlic lemon sauce and fried capers. So good!

Last Friday, I shared some new fave Target pjs, but I also picked up this set. I’ve worn them almost every night, and a shameless amount of time during the day. The pink color is very summery, and the material is so soft. I did size down in this set.

top // shorts

Throw on some flip flops, and I feel like I could leave the house in these. 😆

Favorite Mom Meme:

Even as the kids have gotten older, this struggle is still very real!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday:

In honor of Father’s Day, here’s a throwback to probably 1982…back when the Major smoked a pipe and rocked a mustache!

…and this meme for fathers everywhere!

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from this week:

What are your weekend plans? Hayden has a race tomorrow, and then of course, we’ll celebrate Travis on Sunday for Father’s Day.

Posted in Kids

Just Dance: Recital Recap

Hello from hot and muggy Lexington. 😩

Hadley had her dance recitals over the weekend, and we loved all her performances. Kind of like my baseball wrap-up for Hayden, I like to have all the dance memories in one place for Hadley as well.

There were three recital times: one on Friday evening and then one each on Saturday afternoon and evening. That meant three recitals practices for Hadley as well last week leading up to the recitals.

Friday night, Hadley just danced in the opening number and the finale, so I just dropped her off for that one and then caught the end of the recital after Hayden’s basketball game.

Saturday was a busier day with recitals at noon and 7:00. The noon recital was extra special because that’s when Hadley helped with her younger cousin’s class. Hadley also danced in the opening and finale numbers as well. My mom was in town to see Layla and Hadley’s Saturday performances.

Then, Saturday evening, Hadley had six dances overall! All the family was there, including Hayden! 😆

Recital Recap:

The opening number was one of the competition routines with all of the competition team members at the studio. It’s a fun, action-packed performance.

Then, Hadley danced in her other competition routine which was a small jazz ensemble performance. It’s one of my favorite dances, and Hadley has the opening turn to start the performance.

Great group of girls with their amazing teacher.

This was my favorite costume and Hadley wore it for jazz and ballet performances.

They did an awesome job.

Then, Hadley had her ballet performance before quickly changing for the finale.

Performance Photos:

Hadley and Layla after their routine on Saturday…

Lots of fun memories and family….

Of course we had to get flowers for our dancing queen!

…and a family photo…

Hayden obliged for a photo after Hadley’s final performance.

(Halfway through the Saturday evening performance, Hayden did ask for money for the concession stand…😂! (There were no snacks at the recital!)) Also, when Hadley asked which dance was his favorite, he mentioned “the tap routine with no music.” That was a great acapella performance by the older girls…but Hadley wasn’t in that one. Oh, brother!

Well, you’d think we’d have a bit of a dancing break, but Hadley signed up for hip hop and ballet conditioning this summer. It is only one night a week, and she loves being at the studio and dancing with her friends.

I always say that I’m not sure where Hadley got her rhythm and grace, but that she also has the heart of a dancer. She loves being up on that stage.

Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Friday Favorites, Homer, Kids

Friday Favorites {#116}

Hello and Happy Friday.

We had a good but busy summer week. Personally, it was nice to not get up and think about school, but I still had to set an alarm every morning due to Hadley’s activities.

Also, I’ve felt “off” all week. I guess it’s a summer cold, and Hadley has been dealing with congestion too. On top of having a sore throat and drainage, I was tired and sometimes achy. I did test neg for the Vid, so who knows! Maybe the hustle and bustle of the end of the school year caught up with me.

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

Here are some favorites from the week:

I mentioned in Tuesday’s post that what was supposed to be a couple of hours at the pool Sunday turned into many hours at the pool and a Pina Colada with Trav.

Hadley has decided she wants to play volleyball again, so we signed her up for a camp this week with a friend. That meant 9-12 camp four days this week!

Hayden left on Monday to go to the lake with a friend, so I had lots of Hadley time this week.

After camp on Monday, we hit the mall for a few things and lunch in the food court. What is it about kids and the food court?! It seemed like a treat to her. haha

She has had dance recital practice three nights this week with the recital this weekend. It’s nice that she’s old enough to handle costume changes, but I definitely sweep in at the end to make sure she has everything!

Wednesday night’s recital practice included Hadley (and her friend) helping cousin Layla’s tap class up on stage. Super cute group of little ladies.

While at the lake, Hayden had so much fun with two of his friends. With limited WiFi, they had all kinds of good old fashioned fun. They swam, ran around, went in the kayaks and fished.

Hayden was so excited to catch a few fish (a first for him) including this large mouth bass.

On Wednesday, we celebrated our 3 year Homer-versary! Since we don’t know his actual birthday, we celebrate him on his “Gotcha Day,” and he obliges for a few photos in his birthday scarf thanks to a few treats!

6/8/19

He’s calmed down since we got him and is overall a pretty good boy (even though he destroyed a roll of toilet paper this week!)

Travis and I finally finished Season 4 of Ozark. I love me some Jason Bateman, but man, that show is intense! I wish it ended a bit differently, but I’m glad we finished the series. Now Travis and I need to find something else to watch together. Let me know if you have any recommendations!

Favorite Clothing Item:

Is anyone shocked that my favorite clothing item is a new pair of pjs?

I bought these a couple of weeks ago when both the top and the bottom were each on sale for $8. I’d pay full price for them though! They are cute and light-weight…perfect for summer!

I actually have this pair ready for pick up too. I will let you know how they are once I get them.

Favorite Mom Meme:

Me…all week!

Flashback Friday

In honor of Hadley’s dance recital this week, here’s a throwback to her first-ever dance recital in 2016! #pinchycheekcute

Weekly Recap:

I had a couple of link up posts this week as well as one other one:

Not Just a Mom

Also, before I go…we have our Not Just a Mom link up this coming Monday. The topic is dream travel locations.

If you are a blogger, we hope you join us! It’s the perfect topic as we dive into summer!

What are your plans for the weekend? We don’t have tons going on today, but Hadley will be a busy dancer this weekend! I can’t wait to see her routines!

Thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Kids

Baseball Wrap Up

Hello!

Well, this is probably a post that’s more for me than anyone else. I want to have all of my baseball memories in one spot!

Hayden headed into this spring baseball season with some hesitation. I think he was worried about juggling both track and baseball. I will say there weren’t any other kids on the middle school track team who played baseball. We got “lucky” with the schedule as he only missed one baseball game for a track meet, but it was a lot to juggle.

I did encourage him to finish up baseball with his 12-year-old season because I knew he’d have fun with his team, be a leader for the younger kids, and, honestly, I knew he still had some baseball left in him.

As the kids have gotten older, of course they’ve had to make decisions and start cutting out sports or activities because we can’t do all the things all the time! Hadley did gymnastics for a couple of years and stopped with Girl Scouts once she got to middle school while Hayden played soccer off and on for a few years. Hayden has really found his groove with running, and I think that will be a focus for him moving forward.

Baseball is the one sport that stuck with Hayden…for the past nine years.

Like many sports, baseball was an outlet for Hayden to temper his anxiety and shyness.

Like most things in life, Hayden started baseball with his sister by his side and some of his best baseball memories include Trav as his coach.

I will never forget seeing him on the pitcher’s mound for the first time. I texted Trav and said, “What (the heck) is he doing out there?” Trav said, “He wanted to try give it a try.” As an introvert on the mound, he blossomed with confidence after hearing, “Strikkkkeee!” for the first time.

From digging in the dirt to striking out batters…From t-ball to the Majors…From losses to wins and all the memories in between…Hayden has accomplished so much and made us very proud.

While he accomplished so much on the field, our hearts swelled with pride when he was given the Sportsmanship award last fall. I’m not entirely sure what goes on in a baseball dugout, but I love hearing him cheer for his teammates and give tips to the younger players.

Through the years…

…from the Mud Hens…

…to the Timber Rattlers…

…to the Twins…(how fitting!)

….to the Mariners…

…to Turkey Feet…

…and Crush in the summer…

Team Crush. Photos by Chet White

…to the Reds as an 11 and…

…12 year old…

Hayden has had quite the baseball “career.”

The last game:

Honestly, I’ve been a bit emotional this season…not necessarily tears, but just more about savoring each baseball moment. Every at bat, every play at first, and every pitch meant something a little bit more this season.

We snapped a photo before his end of season tournament game because you just never know when the last game will be.

Hayden played first which is where you’d usually find him if he wasn’t pitching this season.

He had a couple of great hits to do what he could for his team.

Ultimately, they lost, so Saturday was the end of the season. And…we were all ok! While a win would have been nice, it just wasn’t in the cards for the Reds that day.

A few fave photos through the years…

During one of Hayden’s coach pitch seasons, the Twins won the end of the season tournament.

Lots of memories with Hadley playing on the same team, digging in the dirt, Trav coaching third base, and post-season awards.

This is one of my favorite baseball photos that my talented brother-in-law snapped after a game when Hayden was 8 (I think!)

So many at bats, so many strike outs while pitching, and so much advice from Trav through the years…

Quite a few stolen bases too!

He played through many hot summer games and usually had a smile on his face. Those games provided additional memories for us as a family, more laundry for me, and a few rings and trophies for Hayden.

It’s been an honor to watch him grow, mature, and flourish on the field.

Hayden…We are proud of you. We’ll always be your biggest fans. No one supports you like your dad or loves you like your mom.

It’s been quite the ride, and there’s nothing better than seeing your kids have fun, learn life lessons, make choices, and grow into who they are supposed to be.

If you need me, you can find me clapping for Hadley after her upcoming recital and cheering for Hayden as he runs track, cross country, and up and down the court for basketball.

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.