Posted in Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk

Hello! It’s Tuesday Talk time with Erika and Ashley.

This is a link up where the topic is anything you want to chat about…Well, today, I’d like to talk about…

Air fryers!

I’ve wanted one for a while…I’d thought about asking for one for Christmas, but I wasn’t sure where I’d store it when not using it. Well, since Trav’s work didn’t have a Christmas party this year, they had an employee drawing for gifts! When Travis called to tell me he won the air fryer, I was about as excited as if he’d told me he’d won $1 million! ๐Ÿ˜‚

We reorganized our kitchen closet, so it has a home when it’s not being used, but the problem is…I don’t know what to make in it!

I’ve gotten really good at hitting the “snowflake” button to cook frozen foods, and we’ve reheated tacos and pizza in it as well!

Lately, I did branch out and roast some broccoli (with extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper, and Everything But the Bagel seasoning) in it. That’s my “go to” broccoli recipe that I typically do in the oven. I was relieved that it worked in the Air Fryer because it was definitely quicker and a bit easier to clean up!

Then, I really gained confidence and made Chicken Parmesan which turned out amazing! The only issue was that I had to cook the chicken in two batches because I was wanting to make enough for leftovers the next day.

What else do you suggest making? I’d love some side dish and vegetable recipes. Also, I liked making the main course (Chicken Parm) in it, so do you all have any suggestions for easy dinners? Do people make desserts in the Air Fryer? Why is there a button with a piece of cake on it?! I’m intrigued.

I want to love this new gadget so much…and I do, but I definitely would like to use it for more than reheating food and cooking frozen food!

Thanks for any help and suggestions! I’m trying to add “Air Fryer Expert” to my culinary resume, so I appreciate any help I can get.

Thanks so much for reading, and make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

Posted in Me, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk

I can’t believe it’s already the third week of January! This month is definitely flying by. I believe Erika and Ashley are still doing their Tuesday Talk link up this year, so today is the day.

I’ve seen people share about their Word of the Year, and then I saw this on the good ol’ gram…

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m a 5w6, so “embody” and “yes” would be the words for my Enneagram type. To be honest, while these words are fine, I’m feeling more like a 1 (progress over perfection), or a 7 (quality over quantity). Honestly, I could embrace a 5’s embody (a daily practice) because I’m pretty good at that. Consistency and routine are strong suits of mine, so embodying a daily practice would certainly be in my nature. As far as saying “yes,” to new experiences, well, I probably should do that but already feel overwhelmed from the “yes” I say to every day experiences ๐Ÿ˜‰

When I started this year, I shared my 2021 goals in a blog post, but choosing a word for the year is something I’d like to do as well.

So, self-care was a word that popped into my mind almost immediately. Through the years, I’d gotten to where I felt guilty putting myself first. #andallthemomssaidamen That being said, about four years ago, I turned a corner and made my physical health a priority with a focus on whole food nutrition and exercise. I also started getting monthly facials (or other treatments) and buying quality skincare products to include in my daily routine.

As I’ve previously shared, my endometriosis was an issue for the past few years, and really interfered with my physical health. I’m feeling so much better post-hysterectomy, so I’ve started working out again. Whole food nutrition is a priority again as well as I try to get back on track with healthy eating and working out. I will continue to have my “me” time in the morning which is paramount for my mental health as well.

So, while I will get back on track and continue with self-care, I also want to just start (from where I am). To me, start is the perfect word for where I am currently in my life. I want to start over with my fitness and nutrition. Also, time is absolutely flying by, and I want to start being more intentional with my time with Travis and the kids. I also have other goals that I want to start working on in regards to this blog.

I want to continue to grow as a mom, as a wife, as a teacher, as a friend, and so on. To do that, self-care and starting from where I am, are perfect words for me to focus on in 2021.

What about you? What’s your word for 2021?

Make sure to check out the other ladies’ posts too, and thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Holidays, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: Holiday Edition

It’s Tuesday Talk day with Ashley and Erika. For this linkup, we can chat about any topic we’d like to focus on for the post! I’m linking up with them again this month to focus on a little this or that and favorites for the holiday!

So here we go…

I’ve seen so many this or that posts shared in Insta Stories, so I thought I’d snag one and share my thoughts.

template c/0 @brewedtea4you
  • Christmas music or Christmas movies: I love Christmas songs while driving in the car, but I’d say I prefer Christmas movies during the holidays.
  • Store bought gifts or handmade gifts: Well, I love to buy gifts for others especially with the help of Amazon and Etsy. That being said, I love nothing more than receiving a handmade gift…especially from my kids!
  • Egg nog or spiced cider: Egg nog all the way. When the kids were little, my dad started calling it “Christmas milk,” so that’s what they still call it. Hayden tends to hog the egg nog at our house!
  • Gingerbread or sugar cookies: Gingerbread cookies for sure. I feel like we can have sugar cookies anytime!
  • Real tree or fake tree: We used to always have a fake tree, but I’ve come to love the tradition of getting a real tree. I love how the scent of the tree fills our home for a few days…even though sometimes it sends my allergies into overdrive!
  • It’s a Wonderful Life or A Christmas Story: Christmas Story for sure. We always watch it on Christmas Day.
  • Elves or Snowmen: Snowmen are so cute!
  • White lights or colored lights: I like the glow and simplicity of white lights.

A few of my….


  • Favorite Christmas movie: Home Alone or A Christmas Story
  • Favorite holiday scented candle: Bath & Body Works: Winter
  • Favorite Christmas tradition: As a kid: driving through the Plaza lights in Kansas City with a stop at Winstead’s for a burger and a shake. As a parent: My kids wearing their Christmas pjs and then exchanging gifts that they picked out for each other on Christmas Eve.
  • Favorite Christmas song: Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas and Let it Snow
  • Favorite Christmas ornament: An ornament we received for our first Christmas in 2005 after we got married and the kids’ first Christmas (2009) under the tree. We purchased one of these ornaments for all of our family members.

So, there’s a little peek at some of favorites in regards to Christmas. How do we only have ten days left until the big day?! Thankfully, I’m finished with shopping except for a gift card and a stocking stuffer or two! What are some of your favorites about Christmastime?

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

Posted in Inspiration, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: Fave Quotes

Hey! Hey! It’s Tuesday Talk with Ashley and Erika. Tuesday Talk is a fun link up where you can chat about any topic you want!

Today, I thought I’d share some of my favorite quotes. I’d say I’m a pretty reflective person. I’m the type to highlight meaningful text as I read, keep a note on my phone of inspirational quotes, and just take to heart words of wisdom. So, here are some of my favorite quotes that inspire me, make me think, or just ones I like to keep in my back pocket to turn to in times of needs

Favorite Quotes:

I listen to Landyn‘s podcast quite frequently, and one of her episodes was sharing tips for parenting teens. She shared a few pieces of advice, but the two quotes from her that stuck out to me were:

1. and 2.

When people show you who are you, you listen.


Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

Both of these quotes are definitely ones that can apply to life, let alone being tips for a teen.

The first quote is definitely something I’ve had to learn the hard way in life. I try to see the good in people and have been burned. It’s hard when a relationship gets lopsided or you want to trust so badly that you settle. I will remember to share this with my kids…and, actually, believe it or not, I could probably share this advice with them now…even in the 5th grade.

Her second piece of advice can certainly be applied in various areas of life. One of the reasons I chose to continue to work after we had the kids was because I didn’t want to lose the side of me that that was a professional who contributed income to our family. Also, of course, this advice could apply to friendships, relationships, and much more.

While there are times I feel spread a bit thin, it’s worth it knowing all my eggs aren’t in one basket.


We watch a lot of baseball in this house, and are KC Royals fans. One of their announcers is former player Rex Hudler. You will often hear him say:

The only two things you can control are your attitude and your output.

I love this one, and I certainly point it out to Hayden when Rex says it during the game. I remind Hayden that this applies to sports and to life!


Forward is a pace.

Whether it’s during a difficult season of life, or just after a bad day, it’s important to remember to put one foot in front of the other and carry on as best you can.


Patience is a form of action.

Patience is not my strong suit, but actually, I’ve gotten better with pausing, reflecting, and being patient as I’ve gotten older.


One of my top reads in 2018 was I Liked My Life. A quote that stuck out to me was:

You have a head and a heart and I expect that you make choices that account for both.

This quote was from a parent to their child, and certainly applies to how I hope to raise my kids. There will be tough decisions in life or decisions you don’t want to make, but you to persevere anyway. In life, I’ve often thought, ‘I needed my heart to match my head,’ in making decisions like letting go of our beloved pup Shiloh and when it was time for me to get my hysterectomy.


I wish I could remember where I heard this next quote, but I love it.

When you lose, say little, When you win, say less.

I know adults who need to follow this piece of advice!


We are a collection of our choices.

I love this one. Of course, with parenting, I feel like I’m always preaching to the kids about the choices they make. This quote certainly sums up a great message in life.


This next quote isn’t necessarily a piece of advice, but I love the message. One of my all time favorite books is To Kill a Mockingbird, and in it, Scout says:

Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.

I hope to instill a love of reading in my kids. There’s not greater past time or therapy for me than reading a good book. Hayden’s my book worm…I’m still working on Hadley!


Of course, this next one is a classic quote, but I will never forget going through a really sad time, coming back to school, and my principal sending me a sweet email that ended with:

Always remember that you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, smarter than you think, and loved more than you will every know.

This one is a classic for a reason. It’s a good one to remember as I encourage my kids, but it’s also a good reminder to myself!


I think I saw this next one shared on social media.

If you want more freedom and energy, start saying no.

I’m certainly still working on this onebut, again, with age comes wisdom…and I’m learning. I’ve definitely learned to prioritize my time to align with my heart and values, so that has made saying ‘no’ easier at times.


And lastly…

The world breaks everyone, and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.Hemingway

Just a reminder in the ups and downs of life that we often learn more in the tough times, and, in turn, cherish the good times.

Do you have any words of wisdom or inspirational quotes that are of meaning to you? I’d love to add them to my list!

I hope you are having a great week so far! Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts too!

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. ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜ŠI 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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, 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. ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 Masterโ€™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 Kids, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk about Twins

Hello! I’m linking up with Erika and Ashley for their monthly Tuesday Talk link up. For Tuesday Talk, the topic is whatever you’d like to chat about. So I thought I’d chat about a topic that I’m asked about often…what it’s like to have twins.

I’m often asked, “What’s it like to have twins?” My response is often, “Well, I don’t know any differently.” It’s not like I had one kid and then twins. We came out of the parenting gate having two at once! I can also definitely say that it’s a blur of blessings.

Do you know what the second most asked question I get about twins is? “Are they identical or fraternal?” This one always shocks me as boy/girl twins would most obviously be fraternal. I just allows reply politely with, “fraternal.”

A little back story…

Since I struggled to get pregnant, we learned very early on that we were having twins because I had multiple appointments with my fertility specialist. I had taken an at home test and it was negative. A couple of weeks later, I took one again, and it was positive. Blood work confirmed I was pregnant, and when the nurse called, she said, “Your numbers are very, very, very good.” I didn’t think much about it….I was just happy to be pregnant. She then scheduled my ultrasound.

We arrived at the doctor the next week only to realize my appointment was for the following week. I guess I was too excited to keep the dates straight! When the doctor entered the room, he said, “Let’s look for twins!” Travis and I both just thought “haha” but as soon as we looked at the screen, I could clearly see two sacs. Since I was only 6 weeks, only “baby A” had a heartbeat. The doctor told us not to worry, and we scheduled the next appointment. Of course, we left in shock, but we were so excited.

At least we had plenty of time to get used to the idea of twins!

We kept everything quiet for a few weeks until my next appointment when both “baby A” and “baby B” had heartbeats. I still saw my fertility doctor for a couple more appointments before he released me to my regular OBGYN.

I saw my OB and a high risk doctor for the rest of the pregnancy. I had an ultrasound at almost every appointment, so we got to see the twins often. At my 14 week appointment, we found out “baby A” was a boy and “baby B” was a girl!

Throughout the pregnancy, there were definitely some ups and downs…sometimes the high risk doctor provided too much info. We had a little scare with Hayden and then Hadley consistently measured smaller than Hayden, but not so much that I really needed bed rest. My water broke at exactly 36 weeks, and they were born on November 20, 2009. Hayden weighed 4 lb 7 oz and Hadley weighed 4 lbs. Hayden came home with us after four days in the hospital. Hadley was in the NICU for 13 days.

I feel like I could write a whole blog post just on leaving the hospital with one baby and having Hadley in the NICU, so I will save all that for a later date. Although I was sad to leave her, I knew she was in great hands, and leaving with just Hayden was also such an overwhelming feeling.

I’m a teacher, and all about the gradual release model of teaching ๐Ÿ˜‰The hospital let me leave with one baby, and I brought home the other one about ten days later. We eased into parenting two kids at once!

December 3, 2009. Reunited with Hadley

Life when they were little:

One thing we didn’t prepare for was how small they’d be. I’ve known/have friends and family members who have twins, and just never thought at 36 weeks that mine would be so small. Of course, we had their room ready, clothes washed and put up, bottles ready to go, etc…but no preemie clothes. The hospital, as well as friends and family, helped us with that situation.

My type A/planner personality was a strength during this time. My kids were on a schedule starting the first day. Really, the hospital put them on a schedule, and I didn’t deviate from it by even five minutes. Time to eat, time to sleep, tummy time, etc. When you have two kids at once, you don’t really feel in control. A schedule helped make me feel in control. Also, the kids slept 8 hours at night by 12 weeks, so the schedule really worked out for us and for them.

When they were first home, they were so small, they both slept in our room in a pack-n-play until they slept through the night. Then, they shared a room. We had pretty big bedrooms in our previous home, so they each had a crib but shared a room. They even slept in the same crib until they were six months old. I guess I just hated the thought of separating them. They shared a room until they were 3 1/2 years old.

Maternity leave was hard. I planned on taking off 16 weeks or so, and around week 10, I called Travis on a Friday and said I wanted to go back to school on Monday. He talked me out of it just saying once I go back, I can’t get my sick/maternity leave back….and that it would be better when they slept through the night. I had called him that day at work because Hadley wouldn’t quit crying. He met me at the doctor. When the pediatrician asked what was going on, I simply said, “I need her to be like him.” Hayden was sleeping peacefully in his carrier while Hadley continued to cry. She had colic and acid reflux…thankfully, that passed after a couple of months.

Let’s just say while pushing that double stroller down the Kroger aisle, I received many, “bless your hearts,” from people ๐Ÿ˜‰

Similar but different:

My kids have been different from day one. When the NICU nurse handed Hadley over to us, she said that girls tend to be more feisty and self-sufficient. Of course, she had to fend for herself a bit those first few weeks while Hayden was doted on. So, if you ever saw five-year-old Hadley tie Hayden’s cleats in the middle of a soccer field, then you know what I mean!๐Ÿ˜‚

Hayden is quiet, introverted, and inquisitive. He can be a bit inflexible (wonder who he gets that from?) BUT he’s more resilient than he realizes. He’s had to overcome and continues to work on some struggles and obstacles which has shown him, that at his core, he’s tougher than he realizes.

Hayden, like me, eases into social settings and situations. He also takes some time to wake up in the morning and needs to wind down at night. Again, the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Hadley has always been out-going, inclusive, intuitive, and fearless. She’s exactly the kind of daughter my personality needs. Because I am pretty quiet, she pulls the conversation out of me with her questions or just willingness to chat.

She hits the ground running and doesn’t stop until it’s time for bed. Then, she passes right out for the night until it’s time to start the next day.

Also, of note: Travis and I each have our own mini me. The first thing I noticed about Hayden when the nurse showed him to me was his nose. I said, “Travis! He has your nose.” (which is cute). When people tell me how much Hadley looks like me, I always say, “Well, unfortunately, she acts like me too!” ๐Ÿ˜‚

A few FAVE pics…

through the years…


When they were little, they went to a sitter’s house. So, they were together all day, every day. Hadley would dominate over his personality, and it got to the point where Hayden would defer to her. I’d ask what they had for lunch, and he’d say, “Hadley, you tell mom!”

The year before kindergarten, we put them in preschool two days a week. We thought it would be a good time to see how they would do on their own in separate classes. They thrived. Hayden needed his own space…and so did she! Of course, on the first day of school, she walked in like she owned the place. He was certainly more timid. It all worked out though as they navigated that new world on their own.

All throughout elementary, they’ve been in different classes, per our request. They’ve ended up in the same math group with the same teacher a time or two, and that’s been fine for them.

I’ve learned that I need to let them be who they are, and I need to let them fail and learn.

I’ve had to shift my thinking…just because something comes easily to one, it may not come easily to the other.

And, of course, they hit some of those beginning milestones at different times, so I had to remind myself not to compare them. For example, Hadley talked before Hayden did, but he walked before she did.

They balance each other out perfectly.

It’s nice when it works out that they both excel at something. For example, Hadley was the top 25th runner in the 4th grade girls division for cross country. Hayden was 26th in the boys division at state! There were races where they both even finished in the same place! Also, both won awards for their science fair projects, so there was no rivalry there ๐Ÿ˜‰

It’s convenient (for me) to see one school performance, or sign up to help with one time slot of field day to see their grade level.


In the beginning, I kept them on the same teams for baseball, basketball, and soccer. This was when they were 4-6 years old or so. Then, it was time for them branch out. She didn’t want to play soccer and tried dance. One year they both did Academic Team at school, and last year, only Hadley did it. She was so excited to stay after school for chorus last year, but he wanted no part in that!

Spring soccer 2013

Of course, it keeps my schedule easier when they are at the same place at the same time, but that’s not fair to them. So they’ve been able to make more choices as the years have gone on.

He loves to read, draw and play sports. She loves to bake, craft, and hang out with friends.

Also, at this age, they have the same friend group but Hadley mostly sticks to playing with her girlfriends and Hayden with his friends. BUT…will you see Hadley mixing it up with the boys even when she’s the only girl? YES!

Will you see Hayden hanging out with Hadley and her friends if he’s on his own? Heck to the NO! ๐Ÿ˜‚

Other thoughts:

I donโ€™t dwell on it but Iโ€™m cognizant of the fact that I only get one shot at most of these milestones. I always say I was blessed to have two at once, but that does mean only one first day of kindergarten, one fifth grade graduation for the both of them, (and on and on)…

Even though we struggled to get pregnant, I didnโ€™t know at the time that I wouldnโ€™t get to rock a baby again, so I probably took those little things for granted thinking I’d get to do that again. (Of course, I have friends with one child who are in the same situation with only experiencing milestones once…so I am very grateful to have the both of them getting to experience those things together.)

Whether they know it or not, they have a built in best friend. I joke that I “front loaded” some of my parenting responsibilities at the beginning. Once they were old enough to play together, I actually did get back some of that time for myself to tidy up the house or make a grocery list.

I feel like I just rambled in this post…and I didn’t expect the post to be so wordy! Sorry for that!

The bottom line about having twins is that it’s a blessing I didn’t know that I needed or that I deserved. After struggling to have one…we had two. I’m thankful for that each and every day.

As the parent of twins, I try to carve out time for each of them, I try not to compare them, and I certainly try to let them be their own person with their own interests.

Having twins for kids is certainly special, but like all parents, I’m amazed at how time is literally flying by. Whether you have one kid or four, I’m sure you blink and wonder how they are already starting school, or driving a car, or graduating! Being a parent is certainly a privilege and an honor!

Oh there always is one more question that I get asked…

“Do they fight?” …YES! ๐Ÿ˜‰

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

Posted in Health and Fitness, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk: Back on Track After Vacation

It’s the third Tuesday of the month, so I’m linking up with Ashley and Erika for their Tuesday Talk series.

Yโ€™all, Iโ€™m not perfect…and find myself needing to get back on track often. Needless to say, quarantine life has caught up with me a bit. Combine that with a week of fun and sun (and fruity drinks), I really need to get focused on my exercise and nutrition.

Like many people, I turned to comfort food for most of March and April. That being said, I did a pretty decent job working out while at home. Of course, you can’t outrun a bad diet…but I did exercise most days or go for a walk to get most of my steps in.

For a few weeks, my sciatica issues came back making working out difficult. Also, unfortunately, sometimes my endometriosis sidelines me some days with discomfort making it difficult for me to find the energy to workout. So, leading up to vacation, I kind of threw in the towel.

Now, I’m ready to regroup and get focused again, and here are some of the quick ways I find focus again.

Post-Vacation Reset

I follow Amanda Nighbert on social media, and incorporate elements of her LEAN program into my daily life….again, some days I’m more on track than others, but I’m ready to get focused again. She’s shared many of these reset ideas, and I try to follow them to get myself back on track after being lenient while on vacation.

  1. I don’t weigh myself after vacation. Like she has said before, if the scale says you gained 5 pounds, you didn’t gain 5 pounds of fat. It’s more inflammation and bloat from eating, drink, being off schedule, etc. Now, I’m not saying I don’t weigh myself. I just don’t right after vacation. I give myself a week or so to get back on track before seeing where I stand from a weight perspective.
  2. Intermittent Fasting. I usually eat my meals from noon-7:30. To be honest, I don’t stray too far from that during vacation, but it’s an automatic focus as soon as I get home.
  3. Increase my water intake. I do a decent job drinking water, but I know I don’t drink enough…especially on vacation. So, I make sure to get my Smart Water bottle and after drinking the water, I at least refill it twice to ensure I’m upping the ounces of water I’m getting.
  4. Getting my steps in. I usually take my resistance bands with me on vacation and use them or do a few HIIT workouts. I know if I say I’m going to workout daily on vacation that I’m setting myself up for failure. So, I take an every other day approach. While in Florida, I took walks on the beach, but I also got in three HITT and band workouts. The other days, I just took it easy. So, post-vacation, I’d love to get right back into my normal workouts…but find it takes me 3-4 days after getting home to find the time to fit in an actual workout. I’m busy getting groceries, unpacking, making phone calls, etc. So, I at least try to go for a walk to get my body going again.
  5. Whole food nutrition. On vacation, especially at the beach, I feel like I eat pretty healthy. It’s too hot to eat food that weighs me down, and I take advantage of seafood. In Florida, I had grilled fish or shrimp every night. The last night there, I did order lobster ravioli. It’s a rarity for me to order pasta on vacation, but I couldn’t pass up the lobster special! Snacking and the occasional dessert is what gets me on vacation. So when I get home, I make sure to make good food choices, cut out the snacking, and put down the desserts.

Secondary Elements

While important, I give myself grace for a week or so and focus on the above. Then, I get back to my full workouts, carb cycling, and tracking my macros using the My Fitness Pal app.

I also usually do a 24-48 hours juice cleanse + electrolyte water. There are some local juice places I like, but in a pinch, I pick up some juices from Whole Foods. I did a 48 hour cleanse Sunday after dinner until Tuesday at dinnertime.

Skin Care

Of course, while on vacation, I wash my face, use toner and my moisturizers. Unfortunately, even with following that routine and using sunscreen, my skin (face) still feels desperate for a refresh. I usually take my Timewise gel mask with me to use a few times, but when I get home, I add in my charcoal mask and use my facial steamer.

That being said, I lucked out and had my monthly facial appointment (this time: dermaplane #girlshaveyourface and I had credit, so I upgraded to the hydrafacial #carwashforyourface) yesterday. I felt so much better after that visit; my dry skin felt renewed.

So those are just a few ways that I try to get back on track. To be honest, the past few months have been hard to stay focused on healthy eating, but now that it’s summertime, I’m hoping I can continue making good food choices and getting in my exercise after this reset this week. I always feel so much better after a good workout and while making healthy choices with food.

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

Posted in Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk

Hello! I’m linking up again with Erika and Ashley for this month’s Tuesday Talk. This link up is the third Tuesday of the month, and the topic is always anything you want to talk about!

Last month, was my first Tuesday Talk post, so I wrote about why I started a blog.

A friend recently mentioned the book In Five Years by Rebecca Serle. I’ve heard that this is a really good book, and I’m on the wait list for it at the library. (Side note: I can’t wait for the library to open back up!…even curb side pick up will make me happy!) Anyway, Serle is also the author of one of my favorite books ever….The Dinner List.

In The Dinner List, the main character, Sabrina, arrives at her 30th birthday dinner and is met with three significant people from her past.

So it got me thinking about a popular topic: what celebrities I would invite to a dinner party. Here’s my guest list:

Harper Lee

Hands down one of my favorite books of all time is To Kill a Mockingbird. Somehow, I didn’t read it in high school…but, my very first year teaching, I read it with my English 1 class. (That was 18 years ago, by the way!), and have read it many years since that first year teaching. I know it’s a difficult read for students today and some have trouble making a connection, but I feel like the book spans the ages and is such a meaningful read. I’d love to meet Harper Lee and hear all about her life. I just loved the main character Scout…her sass, her humor, her loyalty. She was just so wise for her age. I’ve always said that my Hadley reminds me a bit of Scout.

A couple of random notes, but I even named our dog Scout, AND I suggested the name Harper when we were naming the kids, but Travis nixed it!

Our dog Scout (on the left) and Shiloh on the right. They were such good pups! We miss them.

I also read Go Set a Watchmen by Lee and felt content after reading it, but To Kill a Mockingbird is still my all time favorite book. I’ve always loved Scout’s quote, “Until I feared I would lose it, I never loved to read. One does not love breathing.”

Kate Middleton

I’ve always been intrigued by the Royal Family. From Princess Di to William and Harry…to The Crown, the family, the traditions, and the scandals…I want in on the details! I feel like The Duchess of Cambridge seems pretty easygoing and would be a fun dinner guest! And…maybe she’d let me in on some family gossip!

Reese Witherspoon

Reese Witherspoon has always been one of my favorite actresses. She seems like someone I would want to be friends with…and the girl next door type. I’ve always loved her movies and appreciate that she takes on a variety of projects and work. From Sweet Home Alabama (my fave!) to Wild (great book and great movie!) and now I’ve binged The Morning Show and Little Fires Everywhere. She’s so versatile with acting abilities and takes on meaningful work. Also, her Draper James clothing line looks amazing.

Joanna Gaines

As I’ve shared in my Home Updates posts, I try to channel my inner Jo Jo when making home decor decisions. Of course, I love the Fixer Upper series, and have even purchased bedding recently from their Hearth and Hand line at Target. I love her sense of humility and her reserved nature. Also, I feel like she could really dish out some parenting advice!

Giada De Laurentiis

Giada is one of my favorites to watch on The Food Network. I have so many of her cookbooks, tune in to all her shows, and have even dined at her restaurant in Vegas. It helps that I love Italian food, but her recipes are very accessible and, of course, delicious! I love seeing her interact with her daughter and aunt when they are on her shows. Now, I wouldn’t ask her to cook at my dinner party…that would be rude! But…maybe she’d bring us some cannolis for dessert!

Betty White

I saved the best for last.

Betty. Freaking. White.

Does this even need any explanation?

Legendary. Hilarious. Caring. Animal lover. Did I mention legendary? My love for Ms. White runs deep. I’ve seen every episode of The Golden Girls. I love all the ladies, but she is certainly my favorite friend. That being said, I’ve also seen every episode of Mary Tyler Moore and she was such a refreshing addition to that series too! She’s simply amazing and I’ve always loved when she would share about her work with animals and talk about her love and marriage to Allen Ludden. (I even used to watch reruns of Password on the Game Show Network!) She’s said before in interviews that she never remarried because, “if you’ve had the best, who needs the rest?” So sweet!

I’m sure she’d keep the dinner party conversation moving and the other guests rolling with laughter!

Final Thoughts:

I didn’t mean for it to be a women’s only dinner, but those are the people that popped into my mind first.

In all honesty, if I was hosting a dinner party for anyone from my past or present, I’d actually love to include:

  • My grandparents. I’m blessed to still have one grandma (Gma) who has been there for so many milestones in my life, but of course, I wish my other grandparents could have seen me get married and could have met my children. I know they would have loved Hayden and Hadley so much. My mom’s dad passed away right after I got engaged to Travis, and I’ve always been thankful that he met (and approved!) of Travis.
  • Trav’s dad. He passed away when Travis was in high school. Of course, I would have loved to have met him. I hope he knows what a great husband and father Travis has been to myself and the kids. Also, I know he’d take pride in knowing what a hard-working, honest, and caring person Travis is to everyone.
  • Lastly, I’ve often wondered about my elementary school teachers, but especially the teachers I had for kindergarten and first grade. Mrs. Bartel and Mrs. Scott sure started my educational career off on the right foot. I remember loving going to school when I was little, and they made learning so exciting. They definitely shaped who I was as a learner and now who I am as an educator.

So, that’s who I would invite to a dinner party! Who would you include on your guest list?

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ Tuesday Talk posts too! (Try saying that three times fast!)

Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Me, Tuesday Talk

Tuesday Talk- Why I started a blog

Hello! Happy Tuesday. Yโ€™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?” ๐Ÿ˜‚ Anyway, back to school (and to the sitter for the kids) I went…which was best for all of us! ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 โ€œfollowโ€ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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.