Posted in Me

Monday Memo: Surgery Thoughts and Update

Hey! Hey! I mentioned in last week’s Currently post that I’m continuing to recover from my surgery. As I also mentioned, long story short, it was a long time coming. I thought today I’d share more of the longer part of the long story short.

Caution: long post where I get deep in my feelings and the details 🀣

That being said, this is one of those posts where as I sit here writing it, I know people will either be very interested or very uninterested in this topic. If so, come back for other light-hearted posts later this week 😊

That being said, when Shay shared her story last December, it was was actually quite helpful in my decision to start making plans to move forward with my total hysterectomy. So, I know there may be someone out there, even one, who may benefit from hearing my thoughts and feelings about this surgery.

I didn’t know how to really start this post, but I saw this recently and it resonated with me…

My thoughts:

This decision, for some, would be very easy. I’ve been in discomfort or pain for quite some time, so why not just go for it? Just get rid of the problem. My brain doesn’t operate like that. I have to have time to process my feelings and to get a plan. So, this has been many years in the making.

I also want to reiterate that this is my experience. I didn’t take making this decision lightly, but I also don’t take for granted that I was able to make the decision without it being completely forced on me. I know there are many women who have had this decision forced on them out of necessity because of Cancer or other health related issues.

The quick time line is that it took us some time to get pregnant with Hayden and Hadley. But we finally welcomed them into the world in November of 2009. After a couple of years, I was experiencing some pain, and my OB performed a laproscopic surgery in June of 2012. There, she found scar tissue all over my right ovary which made it non-functioning. Then, there were other pockets of scar tissue and my uterus had so much scar tissue that it was adhered to the lining of my stomach. Of course, she tried to laser off what she could, but the post-op conversation was that my right ovary was of no use and the only way to be pretty pain free was to get rid of everything when I felt ready for that.

Of course, at the time, I was 32 and we still hoped to add to our family. With the help of the same specialist who we saw for H&H, I did get pregnant in 2013…but then miscarried. So, we tried for a few more years with no luck and lots of heartache.

I’m sure I could write a whole post about infertility, but I will save that for another time. I can honestly say my infertility struggles and that miscarriage changed me. To be honest, both of those experiences even seeped into my everyday life. Whether I was thinking about starting a family or adding to the family, doctor appointments, medicines, shots, counting days, and then, years later, just figuring out that right time for the hysterectomy, I’ve had all of this on my mind for 12+ years. The infertility and miscarriage even shattered my confidence. (hence why the meme above is so perfect) It’s easy to feel like a failure when your one job as a woman , to produce children (if you do choose to do so), isn’t happening easily or naturally, you start to question what you’ve done wrong and what you’ve done to deserve it.

Some would think if the parts are causing so many issues, get rid of them…but when you’ve been wanting something to work for so long, you cling to hope that one day it will. #imnoquitter For me, it was actually easier to pray and hope than to give up. Until…

I realized I could be a better, more present, and more active mom to Hayden and Hadley if I went ahead with the surgery…and just tried to move on. There was never going to be a good time. Travis is super busy with work in September, November, January, and July. I work full time. We have two very busy and active kids…and the list goes on.

After talking to my doctor at the end of August, I was relieved when she said the surgery would be on October 14th. October is probably one of our least busy months. And…it’s cheesy, but 14 is my lucky number and October is my favorite month. I figured it was a sign to go for it.

Surgery:

So, leading up to the surgery, I was a bit emotional and anxious. I was at peace with the decision, but anxious for the day. I told a few people as the time got closer, but waited until the week before to tell Hayden and Hadley. I waited for a moment when I was feeling strong to let them know. Basically, I shared with them that I wanted to go to the pumpkin patch before I had surgery. The recovery time is 4-6 weeks, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. Both kids had questions, Hadley more than Hayden, but it was a good little conversation.

Two days before the appointment, I had a Covid test and blood work as well as just going over what to expect.

The night before my surgery, one of my friends brought over some food. She’d written funny sayings all over the paper bag. So funny and just what I needed.

My surgery time was moved from 1:00 to 10:00 the day before the surgery. I was up pretty early after a somewhat sleepless night and missing my coffee. We woke up the kids, did the usual breakfast and backpack routine and then we dropped the kids off at the pod at 8:00, and headed to the hospital.

I checked in, and Travis sat with me in the waiting room. That was only a few minutes, and then they called me back to pre-op. Due to Covid, Travis couldn’t come with me. That being said, I was thankful to have had my phone with me. Also, my brother actually works in the OR, so he had access to me and sat with me for about an hour. My sister-in-law is a nurse at the hospital and stopped by as well.

While I was waiting for the surgery, Travis had to run home for his computer. He sent me a pic of these flowers my sweet Mom Gang sent me. #getyourselfamomgang

Also, one of my friends texted me because she knew I was a little nervous. She said, “When you’re sad or anxious, it means you’re about to do something really brave.” So very sweet…and true.

I finally saw my doctor around 11:45. Once I saw her, tears sprang to my eyes. I was just ready to get it over with. Once I saw her, things moved quickly and my 10:00 surgery finally started at 12:15. The 1-2 hour surgery lasted close to three hours. My doctor said it basically looked like last time but worse with more scar tissue and more lesions. I was so happy when I woke up (I was very nervous about the anesthesia). The nurse asked how I felt, and I said I had a slight headache. She gave me a sip of coffee, and it was the best coffee I ever tasted. πŸ˜€Then, they wheeled me to my room around 4:15 where Travis was waiting. Again, due to Covid, he had to wait in the waiting room (or cafeteria) and then was escorted to my room. I was so happy to see him. I was like, “Travis, I did it!” πŸ˜‚

A laproscopic hysterectomy is a one night stay at the hospital. My doctor had mentioned if she couldn’t get everything, then she’d have to make an additional (bigger) incision which would mean two nights at the hospital. Thankfully, my procedure was completed all laproscopically with three little incisions.

Visiting hours were only until 5:00, but the nurses said Travis could stay for a couple of hours since I’d arrived at my room so late. He stayed until about 6:30, and I rested after taking a couple of bites of mashed potatoes from the hospital dinner.

Around 8:00, the kids Face Timed me which was sweet. I shared in my Friday Favorites post my sweet conversation with Hadley that evening. I told Hadley I was proud of her for her first flute lesson that day. She said, β€œNo, mom, I’m so proud of you” because she knew I was nervous about my surgery, and she was a little anxious about it too.

Dad held down the fort while I was gone ❀️

Then, I watched a couple of episodes of Guys Grocery Games and dozed off and on. Of course, the nurse came to check on me and take my vitals every few hours. I fell asleep, and woke up from a hard sleep…I thought that it must be morning…uh! It was 11:55 PM. 😳

I was up off and on through the night to use the restroom but then slept pretty solidly from 4:30-6:30. Around 6:30, my night time nurse said goodbye, and I met my day time nurse.

For breakfast, I was so happy to have some Sprite and black coffee. I ate the muffin and a piece of bacon while waiting on Travis to come visit.

My brother actually stopped by around 8:30 for a bit, and Travis got there around 9:00. My doctor checked on me, and said if I ate a decent lunch, I could go home. So, Travis hung out with me. I napped off and on, answered texts, and watched the Golden Girls. The kids were at home with the sitter doing school work. I was discharged around 2:00.

I was so excited to get home, see the kids, and was so shocked by all the goodies friends and family had left for us.

Care packages, honey from Savannah Bee company from my dad, a candle, a lantern, goodies and breakfast items from Wolferman’s Bakery from my mom and more.

I also mentioned last week that the kids made monster cupcakes with the sitter. So sweet.

So, I’m almost at two weeks of asking for help, relying on others, taking it slow, and healing. My days are mostly filled with taking it easy, napping, and Netflix. BUT…with each passing day, I’ve been able to be productive around the house and school work.

This meme is me right now: 🀣

I will say that the pain has been very little. Honestly, I spent so much time before the surgery bloated or in discomfort that I was kind of used to it. I only took the occasional pain med the first few days because I was afraid that the pain could catch up with me even though I was mostly just feeling soreness. Then, I just relied on Ibuprofen for a couple more days. My biggest side effect has been exhaustion. Going into this surgery, my doctor said the 4-6 week recovery was more about taking it slow and resting because tiredness would be my number one issue.

Also, for now, my hormone replacement is an estrogen patch to delay menopause. So apparently #thisis40 πŸ˜‰

I’ve been going to my OB for 15 years. She’s amazing, and I trust her and appreciate all that she’s done to help me on this journey of infertility, pregnancy, loss, and now the hysterectomy. At the hospital, the nurses, technicians, and anesthesiologists were all great. I couldn’t have asked for a better team during my time at the hospital.

Of course, I want to thank all my family and friends who’ve checked in on me, said an extra prayer or two, taken my kids where they needed to be, dropped off food, sent cards and text messages, and more. In the grand scheme of life, I know this wasn’t the biggest surgery in the world, but it was a big decision for me that weighed heavily on my mind and my heart for quite some time.

Of course, I need to give a shout out to T-rav. His Super Dad cape has been working overtime. I have leaned on him the most through the ups and downs of life, and I couldn’t ask for a more supportive spouse. Hayden and Hadley have stepped up to the plate as well, and I appreciate their extra love and hugs.

If you made it to the end, thanks for reading. It’s pretty vulnerable to put my thoughts out there. It’s weird for me to say this because I do have a blog, but I’m a pretty private person. That being said, this blog is a journal of sorts for me…so it feels kind of natural to share my feelings this way. And, as I said above, I know that Shay’s posts provided me with a sense of peace moving forward with my decision. Maybe this post will be that for someone else along the way too. ❀️

Let me know if you have any questions! Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Me, Self-care, Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts: Enneagram Ways to Cope

Hello! So, I’ve shared before about my Enneagram type being a 5w6. (Investigator/Loyalist) In my last Enneagram post, I shared how I’d started following @cathartic_word on Instagram. Erin’s graphics are so cool, and always seem to ring true for the Enneagram types which I think is so fun.

I recently saw her Ways to Cope series, and thought I’d chat about that.

Everyone copes with sadness, frustration, anxiety, worry, and more throughout their lives. I see with my students or my own kids, that they don’t always know how to cope with all of their feelings and emotions. Knowing how to cope is beneficial and a perk of being an adult. πŸ˜‰

So here’s the breakdown for my Type 5w6…

Type 5:

graphic c/o @cathartic_word May 20,2020
  • Solo trip to the movies: Solo anything! πŸ˜‰ I feel like when I’m overwhelmed, I need space. I need time to think and decompress. A movie would be a great way to do that, and I find comfort in watching reruns of familiar shows like The Golden Girls or cooking shows….I’m basically wanting to watch something where I don’t have to think.
  • Something innovative: For me, something innovative would be writing a blog post. Or…do you know what else I love? Those coloring books with all the details. I loved when my kids were little and liked to color. Hayden likes to draw right now. I’m not a drawer…but I definitely like to use colored pencils or the thin tipped markers for coloring pages. I even have a Golden Girls coloring book.
  • The entire pot of coffee: Yes. Coffee. On repeat. Besides needing coffee to wake up my brain and function, I always feel warm and cozy in the morning when I light a couple of candles, sip my coffee, and read blogs or scroll social media.
  • Writing: I’ve always loved journaling. At different points in my life, it’s been a priority and other times not so much. Obviously, the blog satisfies that need and can be a form of coping.
  • Learn something new: Of all things listed for Type 5, this is least like me. I’m not opposed to learning something new (I am a teacher, after all!), but actually when I need to decompress, it’s usually because my brain is too full, and I just need a minute to unwind my thoughts and feelings.

Type 6:

graphic c/o @cathartic_word May 19, 2020
  • Long walks: Yes! I love a solo long walk. It’s a great time to think about my day or plan upcoming days. Kind of like watching a familiar show, I enjoy listening to podcasts when I walk as a way to zone out and cope.
  • Dogs: Of course! You know I’m a dog person. I’ve shared about our previous dogs Shiloh and Scout…and now we have Homer. I’m always amazed at how animals know when you need them. Even Homer, who can be wild and crazy, knows when I (or any other family member) needs a good snuggle for comfort.
  • A good book: I love getting lost in a good book. Reading is certainly a way to cope for me.
  • Catching up on sleep: I’m forever tired. I always need more sleep, but even in my day to day life, which can be hectic, I find that I’m making sleep a priority more and more. If there is something I’m struggling with, then the lounging in my bed for a few minutes with my eyes closed is so helpful for me to calm my thoughts and get my mind right.
  • Music: I’ve never been a big music person. For me, like I said above, I’d probably choose a podcast over music as a way to decompress. I also really love silence in the car. I’m the type that turns down the radio to think. πŸ˜‰

I don’t get too caught up in my numbers…and sometimes I think I’m more of a 6 than a 5…I think 6w5 is an option;) but I do find it interesting. If you haven’t checked out Erin on Instagram yet, you should! Go find the graphic for your type!

What’s your Enneagram number? This is the test I took about a year ago. I’ve thought about taking it again…but then what if my number has changed? I’d be so confused! haha

See you back here tomorrow for this week’s Friday Favorites post.

Take care,

Posted in Me, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: My Perfect Day

Hey! How’s it going? I’m linking up with Erika and Ashley today for their Tuesday Talk post. I like these posts because it gives me a time be more reflective and write more of a journal like entry. Tuesday Talk posts can be about anything you’d like to chat or write about.

Recently, I was listening to Landyn’s podcast, and she asked her guest about what her “perfect” day would be. Of course, that got me thinking about what a perfect day would look like for me. That being said, I’m thinking of my perfect day through the lens of a full time working mom with two busy kids. So….I hope my (mostly) sweet kids won’t be offended if my “perfect” day includes lots of “me” time. πŸ˜‰

My Perfect Day:

  • I’d start by not setting an alarm and sleeping in. That being said, I’m sure “sleeping in” would be 7:30 at the latest, but not setting an alarm is the best.
  • Then, I’d have some quiet time while sipping my coffee, reading blogs, and scrolling social media. (Honestly, that’s what I do most mornings, but I have to get up in the 6’s to get that quiet time for myself)
  • A walk or workout would be great.
  • Then, I’d most likely love a trip to Trader Joe’s and Home Goods.
  • A manicure and pedicure would be next!
  • I’d meet Travis for lunch. Who gets to go out to a lunch that lasts longer than 20 minutes? Not this teacher!
  • Then, I’d read a book and watch a show in peace and quiet.
  • I’d love to meet some friends for an early dinner where I’d enjoy a glass of wine!
  • Dessert at home by a cozy fire in the fireplace with lights out by 10:00 would be the perfect end to the day.

It’s the simple things that make the day perfect.

Now, if this was a destination “perfect day,” then I would be sitting with my toes in the sand and a view of the ocean or sipping my coffee with a view of the mountains followed by a hike with my friends and family.

It also depends on the season! I love going to the pumpkin patch or a UK football game with my family in the fall. A lazy day with snow falling in the winter is always so cozy. A hike in the spring is always great. We love to go to the pool in the summer! We love roasting marshmallows in a backyard fire, and catching up with neighbors on one of our patios. Seeing Hayden and Hadley play with their cousins or going to a movie also make for a “perfect day.”

Also, simple things like picking my kids up from school means so much to me on a regular school day. That’s not my every day when we have a “normal” school year, so I enjoy being the one to get my kids after school and hear about their day. It’s also why I have actually cherished this time at home with them since March.

Really, in a “perfect day” for me, there’d be no hustle and bustle, no to do lists that need crossed off, no appointments and meetings, and no kids fighting 😊I do find joy with being with my family. Sometimes the day is perfect when we’ve played a game after dinner or taken a family walk with Homer. That being said, I also know that quiet time and time for me to recharge is also good for all of us πŸ˜‰

What would your perfect day include?

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Thanks so much for reading,

Posted in Me

You Can Only Keep 3

I have a short mid-week post for you today! I saw this on Instagram the other day and thought I’d share. My three items to keep kept changing, but I finally settled on:

My 3:

  • Books: Of course, you know me, I love to read. I often read two books at once (one hardback book and one book on my Kindle)
  • Coffee: I probably drink too much coffee, but I can’t start my day without a cup or two. (or three)…with a splash of creamer.
  • Messy Bun: On repeat. All the time. My hair is usually in a low messy bun unless I have somewhere I need to be….which isn’t very often right now!

And…FYI:

I can live without

  • Jeans: Although, I do have a favorite pair or two, jeans are not a must have for me (right now with not many places to go!)
  • Tea: I do like an occasional sweet tea, but coffee and Diet Coke are my caffeine fixes.
  • Lipstick: Not a fan. I love Chapstick and lip glosses. IF I wear lipstick, it’s a soft pale pink situation…not a fan of bright and bold.

So those are the three things I’d keep. What about you? Let me know in the comments!

Have a great day!

Posted in Me, School, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: Teacher Life

Hello! I can’t believe it, but it’s already the third Tuesday of the month. So, I’m linking up with Ashley and Erika for their Tuesday Talk link up where you chat about whatever you’d like to talk about!

With school starting back up, and eighteen years in education under my belt, I thought I’d chat about why I chose to be a teacher.

To be honest, I always wanted to be a teacher. I played school a lot as a kid…but I remember liking setting up a desk area, organizing my teacher supplies, writing and coloring and then being done with it. No real teaching going on. (I also used to do the same thing as a kid playing with Barbies. I’d set up Barbie’s house, get Barbie and her friends clothed and organized and move on to the next activity!) The creative side of my brain lacked at that point, but my organizational/Type A brain made up for it.

This says so much about me…of course, I actually like the teaching part too!, but I make my classroom feel like home. I want students to feel comfortable in my classroom while learning and interacting with their peers. I always feel so much better about school starting once my classroom is unpacked and organized.

classroom the past few years
until I moved down the hall last October

I always generally liked school. I understood the importance of getting good grades and having a plan for the future. I struggled in school with math, but I always loved reading and writing.

My mom was a middle school Language Arts teacher for 31 years. I remember visiting her at school, drawing on her classroom board, and helping her grade papers. Her best friend taught Reading right next door to her. They even shared a wall that opened, so they could co-teach their classes.

My love for reading and writing combined with strong role models as teachers set the tone for my future plans.

I loved elementary school, and had wonderful teachers. Once I got to middle and high school, my English/Language Arts teachers always stood out to me fostering my love for learning and my desire to be a teacher.

I remember sitting in my first education class in college and the professor asked us to introduce ourselves and share why we chose the field of education. I shared that I’d always loved school and had so many wonderful teachers who made an impact on my life. I wanted to do the same for my future students.

I was shocked when so many shared about wanting to be teachers because they’d such a negative experience in education. They had teachers who weren’t passionate about their jobs, didn’t take the time to get to know their students, or were uninterested in helping students achieve their goals.

I realized right then how truly blessed I was to go to the schools I went to and have the teachers that I had throughout my educational career.

I hoped to create lessons that excited my students, build caring relationships, and provide opportunities for young people to grow and achieve in my class.

Also, I’m a planner. Even when I chose my major in college (and never once switched majors), I knew that some day when I was married and had kids how great it would be to the extra time in the summer with them. My mom was always home with us in the summer, and we rarely had a sitter. So, I knew those summers off would be necessary to recharge, but they would also be a good set amount of time to have quality time with my family.

Of course, experience is key. You can only read so many textbooks or plan so many lessons, but it’s the experience of being in the classroom, tweaking lessons, working with students, differentiating instruction, and thinking on your feet that really helps your classroom and your students feel like yours.

Every single year, in March, I make notes in my lesson plan book of what I want to do differently or strategies and activities I want to implement the next school year. Not that I can’t try some of those strategies or activities at the end of the year, but in August, teachers set the tone of their classrooms. πŸ˜‰ I’m forever learning. I want to know more and do better each and every day.

College and practicum opportunities didn’t prepare me for the heartache and worry that comes with being a teacher. Sometimes, your lesson plans shift because teenagers need to talk. There are kids that are more resourceful than you are because they’ve had to bounce from house to house. There are students who are sad, angry, and lonely…and school is the only place that soothes those worries. There are students who are hungry, and their only two solid meals of the day are the breakfast and lunch that the school cafeteria provides.

Through the years, I’ve gained perspective and sympathy. Also, it didn’t take me long to realize that most class periods needed to include time for interaction, and that sometimes the class content needs to wait. It’s more important to meet the students and their needs where they are because they deserve that.

Of course, I feel an immense amount of pride seeing my students overcome obstacles, master content, and succeed at their goals. I love nothing more than seeing a student walk across the stage at graduation, tell me about their post-high school plans, and come back to visit me and fill me in on what they’ve been up to in the next chapter of their lives. I hope I’ve made an impact on my students while encouraging them to try their best and be life long learners while keeping a plan for their future in mind.

I think we all know and agree that educators everywhere came together last spring when the country was (and continues to be) in crisis. Teachers packed backpack meals for students who would otherwise go hungry, made phone calls home, visited students (from a distance) to check in on them, created curriculum and provided instruction for a variety of learners who did and didn’t have the resources to learn from home. I feel blessed to be in a profession that comes together through thick and thin for the sake of our students.

Through my 18 years in education, I’ve earned one Bachelor and two Master’s degrees. I’ve taught at four different high schools. I’ve been a teacher. I’ve been a literacy coach. I’ve been an interventionist. I will always fight for my students, work with my peers, and take pride in my profession.

Oh…a couple more things I’ve learned through the years…

to always write my lesson plans in pencil…and there’s no tired like teacher tired (especially during the first few weeks of school!)

I know it may be a school year like we’ve never seen before, but I have faith in the teachers, the students, and the parents. We’ll get through this year together, and we’ll make the most of it.

Other School Related Posts:

I hope everyone has a great school year!

Posted in Me, School

Enneagram Backpack

Hey hey! We made it to Friday. I guess it’s technically my last Friday of summer before my teacher responsibilities start on Monday! I’m hoping to have a fun day with the kids today leading into a pretty relaxed weekend (with one baseball game).

So, back in the fall, I took an Enneagram test because I’d heard so many people talking about it. I posted a bit about my results and thoughts about the test in an About Me post in September.

I’m a 5w6. Type 5 means that I’m an “Investigator” and I have some 6, “Loyalist,” tendencies. I don’t live or die by these descriptors, but when I see something about Enneagram references, specifically with 5’s and 6’s, I usually like, “Yep. That’s me!”

Recently, I started following @cathartic_word on Instagram. Erin is an artist and her graphics are fun and beautiful! She creates various ones specific to Enneagram types focused on ideas like, “Road Trip Essentials,” “Step Inside My Mind,” and “Enneagram Colors.”

Recently, I saw her “What’s in My Backpack” series, and thought , with school starting soon, it would be fun to look at 5w6 graphics. They are pretty spot on for what would be in my backpack!

Type 5:

graphic c/o @cathartic_word July 9, 2020
  • Headphones (noise canceling) :I don’t know that I need noise canceling headphones, but I do like quiet when I work. Headphones are perfect for drowning out extra noise.
  • Notebooks: I heart notebooks. I can’t ever have too many. I tend to use one notebook (or colored pad of paper) for meetings, another notebook for lesson plan ideas, etc.
  • Books (old and new): Give me all the books! Y’all I know I love to read. I also love to re-read some books and even mark them up with pen and pencil or dog ear pages!
  • Laptop: I need my laptop for all the things.
  • Phone (for research): Can’t leave home without my phone. And, I do use it to look up many things as well!

Type 6:

graphic c/o @cathartic_word June 8, 2020
  • Water bottle: I have been working on drinking more water πŸ˜‰ I do prefer to have a refillable bottle to use for my daily water intake.
  • Planner: I must have my planner. Always. I have my lesson plan book (with dates, meetings, appointments) as well as my desk calendar and my calendar on my phone to keep me organized.
  • Travel mug (or 7!): If I’m leaving the house in the morning (for school, early game, workout class), I always have a travel coffee mug.
  • Phone charger: I’m the type of person who panics if my phone battery is less than 70% πŸ˜‰ So, a phone charger always comes in handy.
  • Snacks: I often have snacks on hand for myself and the kids. You just never know when you’ll need something to tide you over until the next meal!

Weekly Recap:

That’s a wrap on this week!

Go check out Erin and @cathartic_word on Instagram! What would go in your backpack for your Enneagram type?

Have a great weekend!

Posted in Family, Me

Memory Lane…

When we were in Kansas City a couple of weeks ago, my Gma was cleaning out her pics and had given some to my mom to sort through and keep what she wanted. Then, it was my turn to choose some pics to keep. I brought home about 25 pics, but thought I’d share a few faves.

On my Shutterfly app, I have various albums, and one of them is for old pics. I chose a couple of those to sprinkle in as well.

My kids get the biggest kick out of seeing these older pics. I do what I can to entertain them πŸ˜‰

Me:

I shared these two pics last week in my Friday Favorites post. I think the banana one is a fave pic of me for my Gma.

I’m assuming this is a pic of me around Christmastime. My love for Madeline ran deep. I carried that doll everywhere.

Listen. If you didn’t have your 5th birthday party at Show Biz Pizza, were you even a kid of the 80’s?

I clearly remember this Esprit shirt, how much I loved it, and how cool I felt in it. Also, let’s talk about the 80’s edition camcorder my mom is holding.

Brother & Sister:

There’s a three and a half year age difference between my brother and me. I used to pick on him, hit him, and pull his hair. I hated in the summer when he’d get a buzz cut to keep cool, and I could no longer get a good grip on his hair.

My parents always used to warn me that one day he’d be bigger than me…but I couldn’t really comprehend that as I figured I’d always be older than him. That being said, thankfully we started getting along once he did grow taller, bigger, and stronger than me!

My grandparents had a houseboat on the Lake of the Ozarks for most of my childhood. I have lots of great memories from the lake.

Pic on the left: we caught a fish!; Top right: I’m sure someone told us our face would freeze like that…and we were up for the challenge; Bottom right: tummy time..for the both of us, apparently.

Pic on the left: I’m guessing this is an Olan Mills photo from around 1984; Top right: tricycle fun at my grandparents’ house (and my brother with his binky!); Bottom right: Trip to DC in 2004. My mom had just retired and cashed in her sick days. She wanted to take a trip with my brother and me. I voted for the beach. I was outvoted, and we met up in DC.

Grandparents: ❀️

I had really wonderful grandparents. I’m blessed to still have my Gma, and it’s been an ever greater blessing that Hayden and Hadley have great memories with her too!

We spent lots of time on the swing set at my grandparents’ house.

My grandpa was lots of fun! and yes-I’m sporting a perm.

I spent lots of time at my dad’s parents’ house too. Most mornings they’d drop me off there, and my grandma (Lulu) would take me to school. They had a fun backyard with swings, a garden, and in the summer, a little pool for us to splash around in. We’d often have Sunday family dinners there too with aunts, uncles, and cousins. Also, my grandpa worked for Pepsi, and they had a Pepsi pop machine out in their breezeway which was a dream come true for the grand kids. Lulu passed away when I was in the third grade, and my grandpa passed away when I was in the seventh grade. I’m very thankful to have great memories of them.

I would often spend sick days at my Gma’s house. My mom’s school was close to their house, and my mom would drop me off there if I needed to stay home. I remember watching I Love Lucy while eating cinnamon sugar toast and scrambled eggs on the couch during those sick days.

My grandpa was very funny. He’d always tell jokes and tickle us. We’d go to their country club and swim or hit golf balls. He always said, “I always knew I’d marry the right woman. I just didn’t know her first name would be always.” haha. He had tons of jokes like that. He passed away in 2004 right after I got engaged and right before my move to Kentucky. I’m very thankful he was able to meet Travis! Of course, I wish my three grandparents could have met Hayden and Hadley…what a gift that would have been.

Pic on left: Swinging with Lulu; Top right: Gma driving a boat at the lake; Bottom right: Grandpa was a Tigers fan…really, he was a fan of anything we did.

Other Faves:

Lake time with mom, my brother, and my Gma.

The house I grew up in had a huge front yard hill that was perfect for those Midwest winters. We’d sled down the hill, across the street, and into the neighbor’s yard.

Top pic: Sledding with my mom, brother, and dog Maggie.

Bottom pic: Classic leaving the hospital pic….my mom carrying my brother, my dad with his bell bottoms and pipe (probably telling me to get in the car!), and me with my boy haircut and Madeline doll.

This is probably Christmas 2002 or 2003. Whatever year it was, I think it was Trav’s first Christmas with my family. We always do Christmas Eve with my dad’s side of the family and Christmas evening with my mom’s side of the family. This pic is at my Gma’s house.

So, that’s a little trip down memory lane. I guess I get my love for taking pics honestly which is obviously easier to do in 2020 with an iPhone in my hand all of the time.

Time sure does fly by!

I hope you have a great day! See you back here tomorrow for this month’s What’s Up Wednesday post. (Also, how is July almost over?!?)

Posted in Me, Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings and 20 Questions

Well, today is a two blog posts in one kind of day. I wanted to link up with Holly for her Monthly Musings post last week, but I already had my Lake Tahoe post planned.

Then, over the weekend, I saw Trista post about her 20 Questions link up, and just thought I’d put both ideas together for one post.

Monthly Musings: Summer Kick Off

Lake or Beach?

I’m definitely a beach person, but I certainly love the lake too. I grew up going to The Lake of the Ozarks, and we sometimes are able to live the lake life in Kentucky every once in a while.

That being said, there’s nothing like an ocean view or a beach sunset. So, if I had to choose, I’d say I’m a beach person.

Ice Tea or Lemonade?

I don’t drink either very often, so it’s probably a tie. Both beverages are very refreshing.

Favorite Summer Vacation Memory:

Well, I just love a vacation with my family. Thankfully, as the years have gone on, going on a vacation with the kids actually now feels like a vacation πŸ˜‰ Anyway, the first thing that popped into my mind was last year’s vacation to Siesta Key because Hadley and I went the first few days just the two of us. Hayden had baseball games, so he and Travis arrived a few days later. Of course, we were happy when the guys arrived, but it was just a nice couple of days with Hadley that I hadn’t planned on when we planned the trip.

Favorite Summer Destination:

Siesta Key, Florida is typically our “go to” spot.

But….we also love South Carolina. Last time we went was fall break 2018, but we usually get to SC every couple of years.

Go To Favorite Summer Fashion Item:

Honestly, if I’m at home, I’m in comfy clothes. That being said, I do like easy, flowy dresses in the summer. I love these two Target dresses…

and I have three different colors of this Amazon dress

Have You Ever Been Water Skiing or Jet Skiing?

I have done both, but it’s been a long time!

Favorite Summer Movie:

Dirty Dancing and Parent Trap were the first movies to pop in my mind! The Parent Trap is my favorite movie of all time. Also, a few years ago, we went to Lake Lure in NC and saw where some of Dirty Dancing was filmed.

Goonies, Grease and Sandlot also remind me of summer.

Song That Makes You Think of Summer:

I’m the worst at knowing songs and who sings what but…School’s Out for the Summer is always played on the last day of school πŸ˜‰ and then Summertime (DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince) always reminds me of middle school and high school.

Lately, on Instagram Stories, Sunshine and Summertime (Faith Hill), Summertime (Kenny Chesney) pop up as good summer song choices.

Best 4th of July Story:

I don’t have a specific story, but…

I’ve always loved the 4th of July. I remember as a kid spending time with extended family, grilling out, and watching fireworks.

I always wanted to get engaged or get married on the 4th. I thought it would be fun to have sparklers and a few fireworks at the reception. I don’t think I ever told Travis this plan…as we got engaged in May 2004. πŸ˜‰

Fireworks:

We are definitely fireworks on the 4th type of people. I love a good fireworks display and we have a great tradition of where we watch fireworks in Lexington.

20 Questions…

with The Classy Chaos

  • 1. Introvert or extrovert? Introvert …for sure…
  • 2. Favorite movie? The Parent Trap (1961)
  • 3. Arrive early or late? Arrive a few minutes late…but not too late
  • 4. Last book you read? The Simple Wild
  • 5. Favorite holiday? Thanksgiving (followed by the 4th of July)
  • 6. Pet peeve? Slurping
  • 7. Food you refuse to eat? Mayo!!!!!
  • 8. Favorite fast food chain? Chick-fil-A
  • 9. How do you keep fit? Well—“keep fit” is misleading πŸ˜‰ I’m forever a work in progress but I like going for walks, Pilates, full body weight workouts, and HIIT workouts
  • 10. Morning person or night owl? Well, I’d say morning person…but I’m a morning person in the sense that I like 45 minutes of silence and not talking to anyone while I sip my coffee.
  • 11. Favorite drink? Coffee (wine and diet coke are close runner ups)
  • 12. Irrational fear? Falling (I hate heights)
  • 13. Go to snack? Cheezits
  • 14. Strongest sense? Hearing. My students (and my kids) are always amazed at what I can hear from across the room.
  • 15. Fictional place you’d like to visit? This one stumped me…I’m not sure.
  • 16. Kindle or actual book? Actual book (but Kindle sure does come in handy!)
  • 17. Last movie you went to see? I honestly think it was Frozen II with Hadley back in December?
  • 18. Favorite season? Autumn!!
  • 19. Beach or mountains? I really want to say a tie! Beach in the summer, mountains in fall.
  • 20. Favorite cereal? Lucky Charms

Whoa! If you made it to the end of this post, you learned a lot about me πŸ˜‰

Thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Me, Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom – Fun Facts

Hello! It’s the second Monday of the month, so I’m linking up with Lauren, Ashley, and others for their Not Just a Mom series. This month’s focus is on Fun Facts.

When I started my blog last summer, I wrote this post introducing myself and then another post a few weeks later with some random facts about me. So, I will expand on those posts with a few more random/fun facts.

Facts about Me:

  • I make my bed every morning (or my husband does). I can’t sleep if the bed hasn’t been made.
  • My kids make their bed every morning too because #momsaysso
  • I have a shamrock tattoo on my left foot.
  • I love the Golden Girls and have seen every episode more times than I can count.
  • The original Parent Trap is my favorite movie.
  • I love to read.
  • I’m a dog person. #catsmakemesneeze
  • I’m an introvert. I don’t think I’ve always been this way, but certainly as I’ve gotten older, I’ve definitely become more introverted.
  • I always thought it would be fun to be a backup singer. I don’t want the spotlight πŸ˜‰ (I can’t sing!)
  • Mayonnaise is my least favorite food of all time. I will not eat it!
  • I like ringing up my groceries at the self-checkout.
  • Thursday is my favorite day of the week.

So those are just a few facts about me! July’s topic is Girl Time. I’m hoping by July, I can say that I’ve seen my friends in person rather than via Zoom!

I hope you have a great week! I’m going to take some time this week to slow down a bit!

Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Me, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk- Why I started a blog

Hello! Happy Tuesday. Y’all, I’m linking up with Erika and Ashley for my first ever Tuesday Talk. I’ve been reading Erika’s blog for years, and the third Tuesday of the month she links up with Ashley for a Tuesday Talk about whatever topic they want to talk about it. So, I now read Ashley’s blog too! And…she’s fun to follow on Instagram.

Since I’ve been able to post a bit more lately, I thought for my first Tuesday Talk I would just focus on why I started a blog and link some previous posts about myself. So…here we go…

I had been wanting to start a blog for quite some time. Like…I remember in spring of 2010 when I was sad about leaving the kids and going back to school, a couple of people mentioned blogging and how some actually make money doing so. I said, “What’s a blog?” πŸ˜‚ Anyway, back to school (and to the sitter for the kids) I went…which was best for all of us! πŸ˜‰ About five years later, I started reading Bev Weidner’s blog as well as Shay Shull’s blog and just loved the recipes, the humor, the family stories, the pictures, etc. As time went one, I found other blogs I loved to read and do so every morning.

Honestly, these blogs bring me joy. They’ve offered insight to topics I wouldn’t have thought about otherwise. I’ve read posts and laughed. I’ve read posts and cried. Because of them, I’ve read books that have inspired me. I’ve cooked meals for my family that everyone enjoyed. I’ve started new traditions that are important to me. The list goes on and on.

Through the years, I’ve had people continue to tell me I should start a blog after seeing some pictures I’ve posted or a funny story I’ve told on Facebook. I just kept putting it off because I didn’t know how and wasn’t sure if I’d have the time to commit to it.

Last summer, I made it a priority. Another thing to do before I turned the big 4-0. I love that a blog is a way to share about my family (especially because lots of my family lives in Missouri), share books I’ve been reading, post funny memes, and tell my Homer stories! Also, I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a creative person, but this is creative outlet for me. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m actually pretty introverted and somewhat quiet. The blog is a way for me to share my voice, in some respect.

I hope that people find me relatable, honest, funny, encouraging and more. That’s how I feel about the ladies’ blogs I read daily. I feel like I keep it pretty light and fluffy around here, but I do feel vulnerable at times with some posts. You just never know how someone may interpret what you’ve written or have an opinion about something you’ve shared. I definitely want my corner of the internet to be a place people want to visit for a book idea, a recipe, or to chuckle at the insanity that typically ensues at my house.

Thanks to all those who have followed my Facebook or Instagram pages. Thank you for those who subscribe to blog emails or for the readers who click the β€œfollow” button on the blog. Thanks to those who read an occasional post or write a comment or even just “like” the post. It’s truly encouraging and uplifting to me. After only about 9 months of blogging, I’ve “met” some new (to me) bloggers through link ups, and continued to broaden the topics I try to write about. Also, I’m not in it for the money πŸ˜‰ I still don’t even know how that works! This has just become a fun hobby for me…and certainly one I wish I had started sooner.

Again, thank you so much for stopping by my blog and for encouragement along the way!

Here are a few previous post about me and some of the favorite blogs I love to read.

Some additions to my favorite blogs since I did that post at the end of the summer (I think I reposted it yesterday by accident. Whoops! #Imstillanoviceblogger): Grace and Love, Coffee and Cocktails at the Casa, That Inspired Chick, , and Fancy Ashley. Some ladies post daily, others a few times a week, and some just once a week or so. I always love hearing what they have to say!

Definitely check out Ashley and Erika’s posts today too!

As always, thanks so much for reading.