Posted in Currently, Kids

Currently

Hello! I love Currently posts, and decided to join Anne’s Currently link up today!

Consuming:

All my Trader Joe’s faves. Tomorrow’s post is all about my latest TJ haul, but my family loves:

the molasses cookies

and the Everything but the Bagel chips are a new fave of mine.

Exploring:

Gatlinburg! I shared in Monday’s post the details of my weekend there with Hadley for her last dance competition of the season.

Getting:

Ready for summer. The countdown to summer is on. We have less than two weeks left of school, so the summer plans have begun. Plan #1: not setting an alarm πŸ˜‰ Honestly, sometimes the summer is just as hectic with dance recital, swim team, baseball, and other activities, but at least we have more downtime and time for fun like going to the swimming pool and going on vacation.

Hoping:

to enjoy the month of May.

As a teacher and as a mom, the month of May is a marathon. Mar-a-thon. While I don’t have papers to grade and final exams to give like I used to, it’s still a busy time of the year for me helping students who are struggling academically. May is literally the end of the finish line for students to raise their grades to earn credits.

As a mom, spring is busy with activities anyway, and now we add in school activities and “to do’s” like field day, end of the year fun, teacher gifts, 5th grade promotion and more. When I think about last May and how sad my kids were not to be able to do the usual end of the school year activities, I continue to be thankful that they are ending their school year in person, with their teachers and classmates, and are able to finish out their elementary years in a building they’ve known for six years. I’m going to try to not be stressed and enjoy these last few weeks of them in elementary school.

Seeing:

my kids grow up right before my very eyes. Let’s just say my May posts may have a theme of nostalgia. With less than two weeks left of elementary school, I can’t believe how quickly these years flew by. What a ride. I’ve seen them grow as learners, make friendships, and blossom into pretty neat little people. I pray for the same journey for them in middle school.

first day of K- I remember taking this photo. It feels like yesterday.

What have you currently been up to? I hope you are having a great week!

Posted in Kids, Weekend Top 5

Hello Monday/Weekend Wrap Up

Hello! How was your weekend? As predicted, mine kind of got away from me, but I’m going to do a quick Weekend Wrap Up!

Hadley and I left Saturday to head to Gatlinburg, TN for her final dance competition of the season.

We had a great time, but it was a jam-packed couple of days. We arrived Saturday afternoon, checked into our hotel, and met up with some of Hadley’s dance friends (and their moms!) We rode the skylift to the top of the mountain, and then walked across the Skylift Bridge. It was definitely a memorable experience. My favorite part was the ride down as the views of the Smoky Mountains were really pretty.

Then, Saturday night, we headed out to dinner at the Cherokee Grill and then went to the Gatlinburg Space Needle and checked out the views of Gatlinburg, at night, from the top. Then the girls got some ice cream, and we headed back to the hotel and to bed after a busy day of travel and sightseeing.

Thankfully, we didn’t have to set an early alarm on Sunday because her dance studio had a reasonable call time! We met up with the other mom/daughter combos for breakfast before heading to the convention center. The girls performed their tap and jazz routines, watched the other dancers’ performances, and then wrapped up their block of time with awards.

Hadley and I headed back home right after the awards. Travis and Hayden fared well without us πŸ˜‰

Here are a few favorite photos from the weekend…

The creek by our hotel.

The view after we exited the skylift.

The Sky bridge…(the longest pedestrian suspension bridge in North America) …

…with glass floor panels at the mid-way point.

Don’t be fooled…they had us take this pic before getting on the lift πŸ˜‰

On the way down after walking on the Skybridge…

After dinner, we went up on the Gatlinburg Space Needle.

skylift and space needle pics

The girls can always find ice cream!

Sunday’s competition was a really great experience for the girls. We were the only team during out block of time making it a very safe experience, the call time was perfect, and their team had their best performances yet earning β€œhigh gold” for both dances.

So that’s a quick wrap up of our weekend. I hope to be back this week for:

Prime Purchases on Tuesday,

Currently on Wednesday,

My latest Trader Joe’s haul on Thursday,

and then I will wrap up the week on Friday with some of my favorites.

Shew, we’ll see if I can make all those posts happen, but I sure hope so! I’m just a girl dreaming of a few more minutes in the day πŸ˜‰

I hope your week is off to a great start. See you back here tomorrow.

Linking up with Tanya and others!

Posted in Clothes, Kids, Tuesday Talk

Spring and Summer Clothes for Girls

Hello! How’s it going? I’ve had such great luck finding some cute clothes and shoes for Hadley lately, so I’m sharing those today while linking up with Ashley and Erika for Tuesday Talk.

I’d share some clothes that Hayden loves to currently wear, but that post would be short, sweet, and include Nike shorts and whatever t-shirt he finds on the closet floor. That being said, I am grateful the kid will put on a pair of khaki shorts or pants without a fight now, and we’ve been blessed with some awesome hand-me-down button down shirts and polos that he’ll wear when needed.

Here are some things Hadley’s been wearing the past couple of months to transition from cold to warmer weather.

Amazon

These pajamas were one of Hadley’s Easter presents. This is her second pair of these pjs, and they have so many cute color options and sayings.

Pajamas

Matilda Jane

I typically turn to Matilda Jane for Hadley’s Easter dress each year. I know their dresses are great quality, will last a while, and Hadley can wear it to church, special occasions, or even summer vacations, so that makes their dresses worth the investment for me.

Oh Joy Dress

Target

Well ladies, some of these items may just work for you! The leopard flats, sandals, and 1/4 zip are from the Women’s Department at Target. haha!

This two piece was another Easter gift purchase, and Hadley already tested it out during our stay at the Opryland Gaylord.

Art Class Bikini Set

Every year, I get Hadley a pair of flats to wear with leggings or dresses because her foot continues to grow! For about two years now, she’s been wearing women’s sizes. These leopard print flats are super cute, and if I didn’t already have a pair of leopard flats, I would have snagged these for myself as well.

{She’s wearing them in the photo above with her Easter dress}

Universal Thread Ballet Flat // Little Girl Cat & Jack Option

Hadley loved the tan strapped version of these from last year. Those still barely fit, so I bought her the next size up with the white strap. Cute, comfy, and affordable!

Ava Skinny Strap Sandal

I’ve shared this quarter zip recently in a different blog post. Hadley saw it and loved the yellow color, and it seemed like a perfect spring option for cool mornings (and chilly a classroom!) Obviously, she can wear this in the fall and winter too. {Looks like the price has dropped a bit, and it’s on Clearance!)

Universal Quarter Zip-Up Pullover

Sis will live in athleisure wear with leggings and joggers. She wore the joggers most of the winter months, and has them in a few colors. She still wears them now in warmer weather with a t-shirt.

All in Motion Joggers

These leggings are super cute and fun to wear with a t-shirt or long sleeves depending on the temperature! They have a side pocket which is a great feature as well.

All in Motion Side Pocket Leggings

Old Navy

Old Navy has so many cute options and great prices. Hadley was so excited when this dress and romper arrived that she tried them on for me and let me take her picture! And yes, she straightened her hair so she looks 16 😭

I had this romper in mind for the kids’ upcoming 5th grade graduation ceremony when I bought it. I wasn’t sure she’d like it, but she sure does! Even if she doesn’t wear it on the last day of school, she will get plenty of wear out of it on other days and occasions.

There are a few color options, and it’s 25% off!

Old Navy Romper // Target Ballet Flats

This cute little dress is only $10. I’m sure I will get her another one before summer because she’s worn this a ton and you can’t beat the price!

Old Navy Dress // Target Sandals

Aren’t girls’ clothes so much fun?! Also, no wonder her laundry pile is twice the size of Hayden’s! haha

Thanks so much for reading! I hope your week is off to a great start.

{this post contained Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Friday Favorites, Kids

Friday Favorites {#63}

Hello! Shew! We made it. I feel like I jumped back into reality with both feet this week. The struggle was real setting my alarm clock, getting dinners made, and getting my people where they needed to be, but it’s finally Friday.

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

Here’s a quick recap of my favorites from the week…

Favorite Kid Quote:

{Sweet Kid Quote}

This moment is technically from a couple weeks ago, but right before Spring Break, Hadley’s teacher emailed me to tell me that Hadley had shared a Google Slides Presentation that she made about her classmates. Each slide had something that Hadley liked or admired about each of her classmates. The teacher shared it with the class and said that everyone loved it. A few students even thanked Hadley for noticing attributes they didn’t think anyone noticed about them. It was a very sweet email, and I was super proud of Sis.

(I’m letting it slide that she apparently emailed it to her teacher at 10:00 PM when I thought she was sleeping!) πŸ˜†

{Funny Kid Quote}

This week Hayden was gearing up for his baseball season to start. Hadley’s favorite part of the baseball season is the concession stand. Hayden said, “Well, this year the league’s baseball concession stand is “goat(ed)!” I guess that means they have great food!

Favorite Food:

Speaking of food, I picked up a few bags of Trader Joe’s Salted Inca Corn the last time I was there. They are basically the TJ version of Corn Nuts which are my fave.

*Fun fact: Per tradition, I usually pick up at least one bag of Corn Nuts on any road trip with Travis. He always complains…πŸ˜‚, but he said how much he loves these!

Favorite Moment(s):

Baseball Boo is back! Hayden’s on a new team this year, and had games Tuesday and Wednesday this week!

Here he is ready for Tuesday night’s game…{Homer stayed home!}

Wednesday night, back in action, sporting the black uni!

It’s always fun watching him play….even though it’s meant a couple of late nights this week.

up to bat, pitching, and playing 1st

Other Faves:

The flowers I picked up at Trader Joe’s for Easter are still showing off!

The weather has been so pretty this week. I’m still doing my Beach Body workouts, but have opted to walk on Tuesday and Thursday this week. I was feeling like I needed to mix it up a bit, and my walks are the only times I really get to listen to my favorite podcasts!

Favorite Mom Meme:

For my kids, it’s sometimes too much Xbox or iPod, but I can definitely relate to this meme:

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday:

Since Easter was the week, Hadley in her bunny ears at Target in 2012 seems very appropriate.

Weekly Recap:

Here are my posts from this week in case you missed one! This week was a mix of Easter, Amazon, and Opryland!

Speaking of posts…Monday is our April Not Just a Mom link up! If you are a blogger, we’d love to have you join us. This month’s topic is Favorite Family Memories.

I hope you have a great weekend. We have friends’ birthday parties and baseball on tap (if the rain holds off on Saturday). See you back here on Monday; thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Books and Shows, Clothes, Friday Favorites, Kids

Friday Favorites {#60}

Hello!…and Happy Friday! Shew…I made it…It’s the Friday before Spring Break, and I’m ready for it. Only about seven hours remain before I can not set an alarm and not pack a school lunch. I’m hoping to spend the next week recharging, getting caught up on some of my favorite shows, having fun with the kids, and reading a bit more.

Before I can get to break, I’m recapping this week by linking up with Erika and Andrea for this week’s Friday Favorites.

Favorite Photo(s):

Since it was a new experience for us, and I was so proud of Hadley, her dance competition photos are my favorites from the week…

The professional ones are even better πŸ˜‰

Favorite Moment:

My favorite moment from the week was receiving the kids’ 3rd quarter report cards. Both of them had awesome report card grades which earned them…

the red plate!

For Hadley, we celebrated her grades and dance competition performance. For Hayden, we celebrated grades, basketball championship win and the start of baseball season.

Favorite Food:

I tried a new recipe this week…Shay‘s Easy Shrimp Fried Rice. We devoured it. Easy and delish!

Favorite Clothing Item:

Ok…so I saw Shelby share this Target dress in her Insta Stories recently, and I bought it thinking it could be a good option for Easter. It arrived, and I was soooo pleasantly surprised.

When I went to take this photo, I realized the dress has pockets!!! So, not only is it pretty and flowy, the pockets make me so happy. I can even see myself wearing this to school with a cardigan or denim jacket to “dress it down” a bit.

I saw that the price dropped to just $20, so I ordered the mint one as well.

I finally realized I should tote my mirror to the sun room…best light in the house! duh!

Favorite Kid Quote:

On Monday night, Hadley was tired from all the weekend activities. She begged me to stay home from dance, and I said, “No!” As she left for class she said, “Don’t be surprised if you get a phone call saying I fell asleep in class!” #sassysincedayone

Then, when she arrived home, she came up the stairs and said , β€œI survived dance, but my dogs are barking!” 🀣 I was like, “Where have you heard that?” She said her dance teacher sometimes says that. Her delivery of the line was exasperated and so funny.

Favorite Mom Meme:

Even worse…I’m trying to get my kids to go to bed and then squeeze my adult life into one hour. I’m always ready for bed…and they never are!

This next meme is so very true!

A couple of funnies this week:

English teacher humor…

One of my colleagues had an extra one of these, so I added it to one of the walls in my classroom.

and…I started a Zoom meeting yesterday with a student to find this as my profile pic…

I’d been #Hadleyed.

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday (Dance Edition)

The competition last weekend has me taking a little stroll down dance recital memory lane…

2016 was the first year at Hadley took dance. She was in kindergarten and took a tap and ballet class. For the recital she was in two ballet routines.

After taking a two year hiatus to try gymnastics, Hadley was back at dance and took Hip Hop.

For her 2019 recital, she was in one hip hop routine.

Last year’s recital was postponed and then videoed in studio at the end of August 2020. In 2020, Hadley took ballet, tap, jazz, and hip hop, so she had four routines (3 costumes) in last year’s dance recital.

This year she’s in ballet, tap, and jazz. She dropped hip hop to do competition because I told her something had to give…and if you’ve seen her Tik Tok moves (she doesn’t have Tik Tok…just looks up the videos), well, you know she’s pretty much mastered hip hop. haha

One More Fave!

The kids opened some fun mail on Wednesday, and to their surprise, they saw that we are on a book cover! A colleague of mine that I taught with at my previous school is now an author in her retirement years. Her latest story includes twins, so she asked if she could use a family photo (from 2014!) for her cover.

I haven’t read it yet, but I sure hope to dive into it soon.

Megan’s Miracles can be purchased on Amazon.

Weekly Recap:

I posted 5 days this week, y’all! That hasn’t happened in a hot minute. Here are my posts in case you missed one!

Lastly, with Easter a little over a week away, I thought I’d share my Easter gift ideas for kids one more time.

I still hope to post some next week even though it’s Spring Break, but I guess I will just see where the week takes me!

I hope you have a great weekend. See you soon.

{this post contained Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Kids

Just Dance!

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, Hadley had her first ever dance competition on Saturday. This could be the first of many or a short season of her dance life, but I wanted to document the day because it was so special for her and was also “different” because of Covid protocols.

Friday Night:

We took some time to get organized. I labeled all the things, organized her make up and bobby pins, and packed her bag. We double checked that she had her jazz and tap shoes, put her costumes together (costume, tights, mask), and gathered clothes (studio jacket and clothes to wear home) in order to be ready for an early wake up call.

Saturday:

I woke up at 6:30, and Hadley slept until 7:15. I made her breakfast while she got dressed, brushed her teeth, and put her hair in a low pony tail. Our sweet sitter, who has been a dancer for all of her life, came over at 8:00 to put on Hadley’s eye lashes (I took notes for next time!), help her with eye make up (those eye have to “pop!” ….especially while wearing a mask!), and bobby pin her bun.

We left around 8:45, stopped at Starbucks and hit the road for the competition. (Hayden and Travis had to be at the ball field early, so they met us at the competition.)

We were early (yay!), so we had plenty of time to find the auditorium, park, get wrist bands (audience was very limited), and make our way to the dressing room. (On the way to the dressing room, we took a peak at the stage!)

After Hadley’s other team members arrived, they all got dressed and accessorized, and obliged the moms with some photos.

There was a “step and repeat,” and the girls were “here for it!” πŸ˜‰

They performed their jazz/musical theater routine first…

Then, it was time for a quick change for their tap routine.

Then, they girls let us take another group photo in their tap costumes.

We were so proud of them, of course. After changing, they sat and watched the other group routines as well as the remaining solos and duets.

After their block of time, all the girls from the dance studio went and sat on stage. The judges handed out awards and invites. Since the other dance studios still had to perform throughout the rest of the weekend, the final results weren’t posted until Sunday night. That being said, they did announce scores for the routines, and both of Hadley’s team dances scored 5 stars! They were excited. Like Hadley, it was the first competition for some of the girls on her team.

When the results were posted on Sunday night, the girls’ jazz performance received a Golden Ticket Award. One more thing to celebrate!

Without ever being at a dance competition, I know how “lucky” we are that this competition ran as smoothly as it did, had protocols in place, and only took up a few hours of our weekend.

Some of the protocols they had in place:

  • Dance studios each had a block of time for their performances.
  • They sanitized after each block of time.
  • Dancers (everyone) wore masks.
  • Limited audience (Live stream for people to view at home)
  • No in person (overall) awards.

I think last year, the girls who were on competition team were able to perform one time before everything shut down, so I think everyone was feeling very grateful that they were able to perform.

Saturday afternoon:

After the competition, we enjoyed some pizza outside at a local restaurant before heading home.

Hadley was asleep within minutes, and slept for most of the car ride home!

Overall, it was such a great experience. Hadley already received her pins for the two team dances, and her dance teachers are encouraging her to try a solo or duet for next year’s competition season.

The sky is the limit for my little Dancing Queen!

I hope you are having a great week!

Posted in Kids, School, Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts

Hello and Happy Thursday. How is your week going?! We are in that transition to back to school (yay!) which means earlier wake up calls, the hustle and bustle of making lunches and packing backpacks, and the rush of getting out the door. While that all can be exhausting, I’m here for it!

Today, I’m reflecting on the last 355 days at home for virtual learning as I know it’s a time the kids and I will always remember, and this post will be perfect to have those thoughts all in one place.

Virtual Learning:

  • March – May 2020: We all mastered Google Meet and Google Classroom. We lived in two weeks chunks of time while decisions were made at the state and district level about in person learning. Most days, the kids could sleep in before joining their class Google Meet at 10:00. They were on with their teachers for about an hour before completing their work for the day. Even a field trip and field day took place virtually. We missed out on fun events like the school carnival. I heard the sadness in their teachers’ voices as they said goodbye for the summer. None of us realized how long we’d be out of school.
  • August 2020: Back to school was delayed a few weeks, and we started school on August 26 rather than August 12th. Leading up to the first day of school, we drove through the car line at school to pick up materials and meet the teachers from our car while wearing masks. We decided to send the kids to a pod (at my friend Amy’s with their school friends…mostly girls, much to Hayden’s chagrin!) two days a week. “Back to School Night” was held via Zoom.
  • August 2020-March 2021: Synchronous and Asynchronous instruction were the new “buzz words” for the year. We mastered Zoom, Canvas, and Google Classroom. The kids’ school day was much more structured, and they spent most of the morning on Zoom. They had a 1.5 hour chunk of time for lunch and would often play with their friends in the neighborhood or at the school play ground. They would get back on Zoom in the afternoon for the last hour of the school day. Parent/teacher conferences we held via telephone. We lived in bigger chunks of time while waiting for decisions on return to in person learning. The number of school activities the kids missed out on is endless: field trips, lunch bunch, spaghetti/puzzle night, chorus concerts, academic team, clubs, the books fair, and more. January 2021: Their school schedule basically remained the same, but with an earlier start time and a bit more structure with the goal of prepping for a return to in person learning. Late February 2021: We learned that K-2 would begin on February 22 and 3rd-5th grades would start on March 3.

What we thought would be a few weeks in March and April of 2020 turned into months…and almost of a year of learning at home.

Real talk: I actually teared up typing this time line…I can’t believe we’ve made it through this time. There have certainly been ups, downs, learning curves, tears, frustration, and more.

Thankfully, they have amazing teachers who have hosted virtual lunch bunch, dropped off gifts on front porches, met with students individually who were struggling academically, made phone calls home with words of encouragement, waved as we drove through the car line, and so much more.

At the pod, the kids were able to read in groups, play games, bake, have holiday parties, learn about the election process, go roller skating, and experience many more fun activities.

Memories at home learning provided us…

and some things I will miss about at home learning...

  • The kids showing me what they are working on and asking for help.
  • Meals: enjoying leisurely breakfasts and lunches. (Bonus: Hadley now can make a quesadilla and soup on her own. Hayden has mastered heating Spaghetti O’s on the stove and can make a mean grilled cheese!)
  • Hearing their awesome teachers and the sweet replies of their classmates.
  • (also) Hearing Hayden and Hadley’s thoughtful responses when sharing answers with their classes.
  • Friday Chick-fil-A lunch
  • Time outside with them during “recess” and going for walks
  • Flexibility and maximizing our time: I’ve been able to start dinner in the slow cooker at 10:00 am vs 7:00 am, they’ve completed chores on a break, and we’ve been able to schedule ortho appointments during lunch break.
  • Extra Homer snuggles
  • Impromptu play dates during recess or learning at home with friends
  • Pajama pants as suitable school attire!

That being said, it’s time. It’s been 355 days since they’ve walked into their school building. They only have nine weeks left in the elementary school building they’ve attended since kindergarten.

Real talk (again!): I’ve also said that their age during this time has been a blessing. They are old enough to work pretty independently, but are young enough to still need me. I will treasure this experience forever, but I’m also happy to release them to the elementary educational professionals πŸ˜‰

I asked them both what they will miss about at home learning and why they are excited to return to the building. Here are their responses:

Hayden:

I will miss being at home with Homer all day.

I’m excited to actually be in the school building to learn with my teachers and friends.

Hadley:

I will miss being able to stay in my pjs while learning at home.

I’m excited to see my friends and my teacher in person.

A few photos:

First day at the pod: August 26, 2020

Last day at the pod: March 2, 2021

First day of 5th grade: August 26, 2020

First day of in person learning, 5th grade: March 3, 2021

Back to School Breakfast (again!)

I decided to have another back to school breakfast, and was able to put this together pretty quickly thanks to a trip to The Dollar Tree (thanks, Amy, for the idea!) and a few items from my “Back to School Breakfast tub.

I love these little lunch trays from The Dollar Tree, and I assembled an easy breakfast of donuts, yogurts, Cuties, and juice boxes.

I got them each a little notebook and the “Star Student” tags were perfect for the lunch trays.

Other Back to School Breakfast posts:

When they enter the building, they go through a thermal scanner to have their temperatures taken, there are plastic dividers at their desks, they will eat lunch at their desks, they have to stay with their classes at recess, and some of the their specials teachers will come to them.

I received emails from both kids within the first couple hours of school πŸ˜‚

Hayden was telling me he’d forgotten his watch, and could I bring it to school (the answer was no) πŸ˜‚, and Hadley’s email brought tears to my eyes. She said she was so happy to be at school and that her teacher cried happy tears!

Their assistant principal sent me pictures of them at their desks. Hadley looks so happy, and I’m proud of Hayden for “going with the flow.” ( I know that’s not easy for him).

Hadley’s teacher shared this photo with me. So far, Hadley has been pretty consistent with her plans to be an elementary school teacher 😊

I know school will look so different compared to when they were last there on March 13, 2020, but I’m forever grateful for the school administrators, teachers and staff who have made this transition from at home learning to in person learning as smooth as possible. The school sign said, ‘Welcome back,” there were lawn letters greeting them with sweet “back to school” wishes, and so many wonderful teachers were outside waving and opening car doors at car line yesterday morning.

Everyone was smiling: students, teachers, and parents, and even a mask couldn’t hide the enthusiasm that returning to the school building after 355 days has brought to everyone.

My wish for the kids: “You’re off to great places! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!” ~ Dr. Seuss

(read: mom loves you, but bye!) πŸ˜‰

The weight of the pandemic, as a mom and as a teacher, has been very difficult…probably more difficult than I have realized at times. Getting my kids back to school yesterday was a huge step towards normalcy, and I felt a weight lift off my shoulders. Next week, students start to return to my school building, and I’m so looking forward to that next step as well!

Thanks so much for reading today’s post. I hope you’re having a great week. I know mine sure has taken a turn for the better!

Posted in Kids

Girl Scout Cookies

Hello and Happy Monday! (and Happy March 1st!) How was your weekend? Hadley and I went to Target for a few things on Friday including something for her to wear on the first day back to school this week. Somehow, we left with four pairs of workout tights/leggings for her. I think I was #Hadleyed.

Hayden had four total basketball games this weekend which are always fun to watch. And, in true Kentucky weather fashion, we’ve gone from snow and ice to sunshine to rain all in the matter of a week!

One of the tasks Hadley and I accomplished yesterday was sorting her third and final order of Girl Scout cookies. I thought I share about her cookie sales through the years. This last year of elementary school has me feeling all kinds of nostalgia!

Image c/o lcnme.com

Every year, she sells to family and friends, and Travis and I take the cookie form to work. That being said, they are her cookies to sell for her troop, so I always tell her that if she wants me to share about cookie sales on social media, she has to make a video.

These videos have cracked me up through the years. One year, when she mentioned her troop, she said, “Toot toot!” instead of “22” haha! We couldn’t stop laughing.

She always shares any cookie updates, what the favorite cookies are, the new cookies, how much the cookies cost, and whatever else she can think to share in her one minute video.

She also sells door to door in the neighborhood, and she learns so much from interacting with “customers” on those direct sales. Also, her troop typically sells at Kroger during a two hour window of time a couple Saturdays or Sundays in February.

Of course, Covid made things different this year, so there were no cookie booth sales for her troop, but we did go door to door to neighbors who I knew would feel comfortable with her selling cookies; we of course, kept our distance and wore masks during those sales.

She definitely loves this time of the year, and while sorting hundreds of boxes can be daunting, we make it a family affair! Hayden will even help us if needed πŸ˜‰ (Also, of note: the mom in our troop in charge of cookies is an absolute saint! I’m forever adding to orders I’ve given her, swapping cookies, or asking how much money we owe! I don’t know how she does it, but we sure do appreciate her!)

Cookie Time through the Years…

2018:


I’m fairly certain this wasn’t the first year her troop sold cookies, but it must have been the first year they had a cookie booth a Kroger.

They were so cute in their little cookie costumes. Who could say ‘no’ to these sweet faces?

2019:

Cookie booth at Kroger in 2018 in their second year as Brownies.

I took this picture of Hadley to share on Facebook as a “thank you” post for supporting her sales.

2020:

The cookie booth smiles continued in 2020.

2020 “thank you” photo…

2021:

Who knew when they sold at Kroger in 2020, that there would be no booth sales in 2021?! They always have so much fun together greeting the customers, giving their sales pitch, tallying the cookies sold, and providing the (hopefully!) correct change when the customer makes a purchase. They always worked so well together playing off of each other’s strengths and weaknesses!

2021 cookie photo when her first two rounds of orders were picked up!

We made the final tally over the weekend and Hadley sold…

630 boxes!!! She was so excited.

2021 “thank you” photo:

It’s always fun seeing who orders what, and which cookie is the winner in most boxes sold…It’s always the Thin Mint cookie as the winner! The new “Toast-Yay” cookie was really good, and this was the last year for the S’mores!

  • Toast-yay 45
  • S’more 48
  • Lemonades 55
  • Shortbread 61
  • Thin Mint 134
  • Peanut Butter Patties 92
  • Caramel deLite 111
  • Peanut butter Sandwich 42
  • Gluten Free Chocolate Chip 28
  • Donated: 14

This year, I think so many people took advantage of cookies being shipped. We were able to reach more than our Kentucky friends and family, and we, of course, appreciate their generosity.

Our family favorites:

  • Hadley: Peanut Butter Patties or Toast-yay
  • Hayden: Lemonades (Every year, he gives Hadley his own money for one box to keep all for himself!)
  • Trav: Caramel deLites
  • Me: Peanut Butter Patties

Thank you:

I created this form a couple of years ago as a way to help with sorting and keep orders straight. Again, I feel like it’s important for Hadley to help and also give thanks to those who have placed ordered.

Being in Girl Scouts has taught Hadley so much. Being a servant leader, navigating life skills, and building confidence are certainly just a few of the things she’s learned while being a part of this sweet little troop!

I can’t believe cookie season is over. We actually did a good job pacing ourselves with the cookie eating! We still have quite a few boxes, and I’ve hidden them in the basement πŸ˜‰

What are your favorite cookies? Thanks so much for reading, and have a great week!

Posted in Holidays, Kids

Party Time!

Today, I’m sharing the details of the kids’ birthday. Hard to believe it, but the are officially 11.

I’ve always been big on birthdays. I started traditions with them when they were young, and we always look forward to their big day. Last year, when they turned 10, I told them we’d probably start scaling back some of the festivities. For example, most years, we’d have a family party and a friend party. For a stretch of about five years, I always made their cakes. I bought them a birthday t-shirt each year, I always make the food for the party…and the list goes on and on.

Insert a pandemic, and well…all festivities look different now. We still made the most of the day, took advantage of a Friday birthday with beautiful weather, and hosted a few friends to play outside.

I still have zero chill when it comes to birthdays, and the zillion photos I take are my proof. πŸ˜‚

The night before their birthday, I get out my birthday tub with a few decorations. I put those out along with their presents.

Since they were little, I put streamers on doors, so I do that before I go to sleep. I always think I could do the decorating and extra touches in the morning, but with my luck, they’d wake up before I’d get everything set up how I like it.

I always make muffins for their birthday breakfast, and we take this time to open presents and sing happy birthday to each of them. Hayden first…and then Hadley. #birthorder

After breakfast, it was time for online school while I worked. For lunch, they requested Raising Canes. Then, I picked them up each a bundt cake to blow out rather than blow out their candles on the cookie cake.

In the past, I let them each pick out a cookie cake from Great American Cookie, but with less friends at the party and to simplify it a bit, I just chose one cake for them. We picked it up on Thursday and stopped by they party store as well for a few balloons.

Double the 11’s. Double the fun!

I think this is the fourth year I’ve ordered the yard signs. I used a new company this year because they had so many fun options. I think Lawn Letter Kreations did an amazing job! The signs fit their personalities perfectly! And, I felt it was money well spent since their friends got to see the yard too.

Hayden…

Hadley…

turn 11!

I made this birthday banner for their 3rd birthday party. I just keep it in the birthday tub and switch out the age each year. I wasn’t going to put it up, but decided to decorate the sun room a bit in case it was utilized during the party.

Outdoor decorations and food: banner, chalkboard, chips, Capri Sun, and party favors…and hand sanitizer. πŸ˜‰

I got these personalized cups from a local business (Cups on Cochran), filled them with candy, and added a hand sanitizer in the cup too!

The kids played for about an hour and a half, we picked up pizza for the kids and then had cookie cake.

We sang and they blew out their candles on their bundt cake. We actually sang to Hadley twice because she didn’t feel like the boys put in enough effort the first time! πŸ˜‚

Cookie cake tradition continues…

Then, they went back to playing!

With twins, boy/girl twins at that, it’s hard to find something they both want to do for a party, and keep the invite list under control…especially during Covid. The kids are blessed with great friends, and I’m glad it worked out for them to each invite a few to play; the weather couldn’t have been better…especially for November!

This little sign says it all…

11 years of being a mom. 11 years of watching them grow. 11 years of worry and love and all the emotions. What a blessing these 11 years have been.

Once everyone went home, Hayden hugged me and said, “Mom, this was the best birthday ever. You should sit down and have a glass of wine. You deserve it!” Ahh…that kid!

I guess a little outside backyard fun, friends, pizza, and some cake are all you really need. It was a great day. We made the most of this pandemic birthday.

As always, thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Kids

Friday Favorites {#46}: The Twins Turn 11

Hello and Happy Friday! I know I always say that when starting these posts, but today is a very special and happy Friday…Today, Hayden and Hadley turn 11! 11 on 11.20.20 πŸ₯³

As always, I’m linking up with Andrea and Erika for this week’s Friday Favorites post. Of course, birthdays are always my favorite. I have zero chill when it comes to celebrating birthdays in this house!

Today, I’m looking back on this year and giving my two faves a little shout out on their special day!

Happy 11th birthday…

…to my two most favorite people in the world!

Last year I shared a post with 10 things I love about each of them…and shared some of my favorite pics of them through the years.

While they don’t read my blog (maybe someday?), I still want to write to them…

Dear Hayden and Hadley,

This year, to celebrate you turning 11, I thought I’d share my 11 favorite pics of each of you this year!

Hayden:

Hayden, you were “Baby A” born at 12:08 p.m, so your trip down memory lane is first…

You love to be outdoors, and look so cute in a stocking cap!

You are a great friend. You cherish having quality friendships over quantity of friendships.

You know how to relax (and your tan seems to last forever!)

You are an adventurous eater, and you can eat your weight in oysters!

You can be pretty serious, but when you smile, it’s the sweetest.

I admire your quiet confidence (& occasional flex after scoring two on the basketball court) πŸ˜‰

You give it your all when you are doing what you love.

You take chances.

You persevere.

You are humble.

And…you like to have fun!

Hayden, being your mom is one of my greatest gifts, and seeing you work through the ups and downs of life makes me proud to be your mom.

Hadley:

Well, you may have been born one minute later at 12:09 p.m., but you’ve been dominating the world ever since!

I love that your inner beauty matches your outer beauty.

Like your brother, you like to have fun!

You love the surf and the sand and time spent with your family.

Your whole life, you’ve gone either 0 or 100. No in between. You rarely sit still, but when you do…

You’re always smiling.

You are graceful and exude positive energy.

You aren’t afraid to try something new.

You never give up.

You are a good, inclusive friend.

You are confident.

And…you are a free spirit.

Hadley, being your mom is one of my greatest gifts. Continue to let your kind heart lead you through life, but your confidence and sass will come in handy too!

Happy Happy birthday!

I love you!

xoxo, Mom

Y’all, babies don’t keep! Being a mom is the hardest yet most rewarding job I’ll ever have. They aren’t perfect, nor am I, but I feel pretty lucky that I get to be on the sidelines of life cheering them on.

Weekly Recap:

And since it’s Friday, I’ll go ahead and share my weekly recap of my posts this week.

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

Have a great weekend.