Posted in Holidays, Kids

Birthday Recap

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

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

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

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

Party Time:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Big Birthday!

The Twins are Teens!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in Kids, Weekend Top 5

Life Lately

Hello and Happy Monday.

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

I’m linking up with Holly and Sarah for:

…to share a little catch up with Life Lately.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

My brother’s family has a new addition:

Meet Tilly! She’s a cutie.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links}

Posted in Family, Friday Favorites, Meals and Recipes

Friday Favorites {#114}

Hello and Happy Friday! It’s our last Friday of the school year, and we are ready for the weekend.

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

Here are some favorites from the week:

Favorite Moment(s)

My dad came to visit this past weekend. His birthday was on Tuesday, so I encouraged him to come see us, have some cake, and watch the kids’ last regular season track meet on Monday.

On Sunday, we grilled out steaks and had lemon Bundt cake for dessert. The weather was great, and we were able to spend some time outside.

Monday was the kids’ last regular season track meet. They’ve improved so much and had such a great time this season. Both of them have set PR’s in their events, and the last meet was only for 6th graders. Hayden ran the 1600, 800 and one relay. Hadley ran 100m and two relays. They had quite the cheering section!

On Wednesday, they had their last track practice where they celebrated the season with ice cream and awards. Hayden earned a silver medal for finishing second place (he lost by a fraction a second) in the 6th grade mile while Hadley earned the two bronze medals for third place finishes with her relay teams. That meet was a great way to cap off the season.

Hayden’s 4×800 relay qualified for state in a couple of weeks!

Favorite Pic(s):

The kids baptism was one year ago, and this week I randomly received the professional photos that were taken. The kids look both the same and older to me one year later. I hope that their faith remains strong and that their hearts always guide them.

Favorite Food(s):

We grilled out for my dad’s birthday, and I made two of our favorite summer dishes for sides.

This pasta salad is so easy and so delish. My favorite part is the bits of mozzarella!

My kids even request these asparagus fries. They are so good!

Favorite Mom Meme:

Relatable!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday:

This throwback from May 2014 is so sweet. We loved pool days then, and we can’t wait for pool days now. The pool opens up next Wednesday!

Weekly Recap:

This week, I’ve shared a recap of the weekend, teacher gift ideas, and summer Amazon faves:

What are your plans for the weekend? The kids are running in a post-season track meet tomorrow and have youth Sunday at church. We have a few other things going on, but I sure hope to have some time to read and catch up on my tv shows!

See you back here Monday.

Posted in Uncategorized, Weekend Top 5

Weekend Wrap Up

Hello! How was your weekend? We had a great one filled with birthday fun, basketball, downtime, winter weather, and more. One of the best parts? Today still counts as the weekend!

Here’s what we were up to this weekend:

On Friday, I picked up the kids up from school and then headed home after a very busy day at school. As I shared in my Friday Favorites post, Friday was my birthday.

Hayden had his first middle school basketball games that night, but I had already made plans with friends before the schedule came out. Travis and the kids dropped me off at my friend’s house, and we had a drink before going to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Carson’s.

The salmon is my favorite!

After dinner, we made our way to the Lexington Opera House to see our girl Heather McMahan. Her show was so funny, and we had a great time.

On Saturday morning, I woke up to a card and cookie cake from Travis and the kids. With a hectic Friday night, we pushed some of the celebrating to Saturday.

We actually had a pretty low key day, and then Hayden had two basketball games.

After the games, we picked up dinner on the way home, and watched football the rest of the evening.

Sunday started with us keeping an eye out on the weather. It started to sleet around the time we left for church, but Hadley was scheduled to be the acolyte, so we headed that way. After church, it was just raining, so we went to another favorite restaurant, Josie’s, for lunch. I had the quiche and side salad. Both hit the spot!

Then, I braved the grocery store. I decided it was probably best to go ahead and shop myself rather than do Clicklist because items have been so limited and I was afraid with the weather, items would be even more limited. I was at the store about an hour and found 90% of what I needed.

After everyone helped me unpack, Travis and the kids took Homer for a bath.

In the late afternoon, the sleet picked back up, and we settled in at home for the evening. I had time to read for a bit, and even took a brief nap.

For dinner, I made Bev’s Chicken and Wild Rice Soup.It hit the spot on a cold and wintry evening.

Then, we watched the Chiefs playoff game against the Steelers. The first half was a bit too close for comfort, but we really enjoyed the second half! Hayden loves to watch every second of the game! With now school today, I let him stay up.

You know I love books, and of course I love the Chiefs. I saw this floating around Facebook. The local KC library sometimes puts books together, and this was perfect for yesterday’s game.

We don’t have big plans today. I need to do a few things around the house, and then I think I will watch a few episodes of The Golden Girls in honor of Betty White’s birthday today. Hadley also wants to watch Sing 2. We’ll take one more day of downtime, and I bet the kids will play some out in the snow.

Take care,

Linking up with Sarah & Holly…

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites {#96}

Hello and Happy Friday. Well, after a two week break and then only two days of school last week, this week sure felt like a marathon. Are five day work weeks really necessary?!? 😆 We were back to doing all the things: schools, activities, sports, errands, and more!

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

{I love their new graphic! It’s so cute.}

Favorite Moment(s):

The big news and favorite of the week is that the kids officially received their second dose of the vaccine. Our district had some vaccine clinics, so it was super easy to get the second dose on Wednesday afternoon.

After I took this photo, I got to thinking that I feel like the next time they are showing me cards, they will be 16 and showing me their licenses!

I don’t have a photo, but another favorite this week is an email I received on Wednesday. A teacher in the building who was covering Hadley’s science class recognized Hadley for having great citizenship. Hadley helped her with attendance and finding the teacher materials when her teacher was out sick. Hadley wanted me to print the certificate which was really sweet.

Favorite Food:

My favorite new recipe is this (dairy free) (low carb) PB & J smoothie. I’ve made it a couple of afternoons this week, and it’s been the perfect afternoon treat to tide me over until dinner.

  • 1 c. frozen berries (I used strawberries)
  • 2 Tblsp peanut butter powder (I use PB2)
  • 1 scoop dairy free vanilla protein powder
  • 1 1/2 cups almond (or coconut) milk

A few other faves:

1.

With the snow days last week and a relaxed weekend, I took that opportunity to watch movies. I watched:

  • Sleepless in Seattle
  • Betty White special on Netflix
  • Becoming the Ricardos on Amazon

Sleepless in Seattle is one of my faves, the BW special was a special look back on her life and career (It was made before her passing), and Becoming the Ricardos was SO good. Nicole Kidman as Lucy and Javier Bardem as Ricky were lights out amazing in their performances.

2.

Since I missed my facial in October, my esthetician upgraded my facial service on Wednesday to the Diamond Glow. My monthly facials are definitely a “me time” treat, and a favorite every month.

3.

When my mom visited at Christmas, she left my birthday present. Well, as we tidied up and broke down boxes over break, Hadley and Travis both opened it. I had given my mom a few ideas, and I figured I knew what was in the box but was going to wait until today to open it. Well, since the box had been opened (twice!), I decided to go ahead and use it. It won’t be my everyday purse, but I wanted a sizeable Neoprene tote to carry extra things when needed. It was perfect for packing my toiletries, Kindle, wallet, chargers and more for our overnight Cinci trip. I’ve also used it as my school bag when I’ve packed light. I think it will be great to take to sporting events when I need a sweatshirt, book, and other essentials.

4.

Hadley had a gift card to use, and I was ready to change out my holiday polish, so we went and got manicures on Wednesday evening. More pampering is always a favorite.

(Too many choices which is why I usually stick with Funny Bunny)

5.

Hayden brought home a few art pieces on the last day of school before break. He was so excited to show me the basketball mug he made. The other two pieces were shuffled in with some other papers, so I just had a chance to look at them. I love the colored pencil drawing and the water color lady bug. I’m so glad that bringing home artwork continues past elementary school.

Also…

Have you heard of the “Betty White Challenge?” Of course, she was a champion for animals. She had so many sweet sentiments including:

  • “I just like animals more than people. It’s that simple.”
  • “Animals don’t lie. Animals don’t criticize. If animals have moody days, they handle them better than humans do.”
  • “Animals are near and dear to my heart, and I’ve devoted my life to to trying to improve their lives.”

In honor of her upcoming January 17th birthday (when she would have turned 100), many are donating to local rescues in her honor.

Our pets have always meant the world to us. I grew up with dogs, and then convinced Travis we needed our two Boxers, Shiloh and Scout, after we’d been married a year.

Homer is our first rescue dog. He and his two brothers were found on the side of the road. Tails of Hope Rescue in Cincinnati got them healthy and helped them find their furever homes. He’s been such a wonderful addition to our family.

June 2019

Yesterday, I made a donation to the Lexington Humane Society in Betty White’s honor. I hope you’ll join in on the challenge too and donate to a local rescue.

Favorite Kid Quote:

Hadley was reading her book earlier in the week and said she was excited to read the next chapter because the chapter before was a “hang twister.” We both cracked up. She said, “I mixed up “tongue twister and cliff hanger!” 🤣

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday:

In honor of my birthday today, here’s a little throwback to 1985. Were you even an 80’s kid if you didn’t have a birthday party at Show Biz Pizza?

Weekly Recap:

This week we had our first NJAM post of 2022, I shared a home update, and then linked up with others for Let’s Look.

I have some fun plans with some friends tonight, snow is in the forecast over the weekend, and we don’t have school on Monday. This birthday should be a good one.

What are you up to this weekend?

See you back here on Monday!

Posted in Holidays, Kids

Friday Favorites {#91}: The Twins Turn Twelve

Hello and Happy Friday! How was your week? We had a good, but hectic one. The kids had their activities, but they also had quite a few school assignments to complete like a science project proposal and essay. We just had to use our evening time very wisely to meet these deadlines in between activities.

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

Well, this post is all about two of my favorites. Today, I’m celebrating them as they turn TWELVE tomorrow. Where has the time gone?

A little stroll down memory lane…

B A B I E S

Tiny but mighty…

March 2010
Summer 2010

O N E

First time at the beach…

T W O

Ready to rock their roles and flower girl and ring bearer…

T H R E E

One of my favorite photos ever…

F O U R

Very patriotic…

F I V E

Hayden has to live his life in the shadow of Hadley 😉

Ahh…toothless smiles. My fave.

S I X

Go CATS!

S E V E N

Sweetness at the beach.

E I G H T

Big kids! One of my most favorite Christmas gifts. This sweet photo.

N I N E

Snow bunnies.

T E N

Easter cuteness.

E L E V E N

Big kids ready to be baptized.

And tomorrow they turn…

T W E L V E !

Hayden…

I’m not sure if it’s the five inches you’ve grown this year or the fact that you now wear contacts, but you’ve grown into quite the young man this year.

I cherish the “love you” text messages.

You are a quiet kid with a kind heart. You’re loyal to the bone whether it’s cheering for UK or being a great friend.

Your determination, competitive spirit, and quiet leadership are qualities that I admire in you.

I pray that you know we’ll always be here for you, and that dad and I are your biggest fans.

This next year I know you’ll continue to grow, challenge yourself, and mature. Maybe you’ll figure out where to put those dirty clothes 😉

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

xo xo,

Mom

Hadley…

You are blossoming into a young lady right before our very eyes. Your silly sense of humor and caring heart are such inspiring qualities.

You’ve made the transition to middle school seamlessly. It doesn’t surprise me that you’ve made friends while holding on to your elementary friendships as well.

It’s a joy to watch you dance, and your grace is inspiring.

You care for others and have an innate ability to know just the moment that I need a hug.

I pray that you know we’ll always be here for you, and that dad and I are your biggest fans.

This next year, I know you’ll continue to make friends, follow your heart, and have a positive attitude with everything that you do. Maybe you’ll figure out how to cut your morning routine time in half? Hayden would really appreciate it 😉

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

xo xo,

Mom

In honor of Friday Favorites, here are…

12 of your favorites:

Hayden:

  • Favorite color: blue or purple
  • Favorite food: bacon burger
  • Favorite place to eat: Drakes
  • Favorite sport/hobby: basketball and cross country
  • Favorite TV show: Goldbergs
  • Favorite animal: dog (Homer)
  • Favorite drink: Dr. Pepper
  • Favorite holiday: Thanksgiving
  • Favorite sports team: Chiefs, Royals, Kentucky, Oregon, Dodgers
  • Favorite movie: The Outsiders or Happy Gilmore
  • Favorite class: PE and art
  • Favorite book: The Hatchet

Hadley:

  • Favorite color: light blue
  • Favorite food: pork loin and mashed potatoes
  • Favorite place to eat: Raising Canes
  • Favorite sport/hobby: track and dance
  • Favorite TV show: Fuller House
  • Favorite animal: monkey
  • Favorite drink: Dr. Pepper
  • Favorite holiday: Christmas
  • Favorite sports team: Chiefs and UK
  • Favorite movie: Home Alone
  • Favorite class: math
  • Favorite song: Love Story by Taylor Swift

I thought about asking them their favorite thing about each other, but I’m sure I’d be pressing my luck!

Favorite Mom Meme (quote):

Sigh. Babies don’t keep.

Previous Birthday Posts:

Weekly Recap:

I’ve had a few posts this week:

Thanks so much for reading. I hope you have a great weekend. We’ll be celebrating with a bunch of tweens! Wish us luck!

Posted in Friday Favorites, Holidays

Friday Favorites {#76}

Hello! How was your week? I can’t believe we are in the full swing of July! Up next will be school supply displays. Actually, I think they are already out…but I just close my eyes when I see the words “back to School!”

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

My first favorite for the week:

My traditional red, white, and blue waffles for the 4th! I made them for the kids, and I even had one! So good.

We had a great 4th of July. I spent most of the day unpacking from vacation and going to the grocery store. Travis took the kids to the pool for a few hours in the afternoon. We had steaks for dinner and watched fireworks at our favorite spot.

Then, we shot off a few fireworks and sparklers before heading to bed.

The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays.

Another favorite for the week was Travis didn’t work on Monday, so we decided to celebrate his birthday a couple of days early. We went out to lunch at one of our favorite places and then went bowling at the new Lex Live. We had lots of fun.

We had cookie cake on Tueday (a day early) because we all barely even saw each other on his birthday (Wednesday) because I was with Hadley at her swim meet while Hayden and Travis were at baseball. Anyway, our neighbor bakes cookies and cookie cakes, so I ordered one for Trav’s birthday.

I laugh every time I look at this photo because Homer was desperate to be included in the pic…or maybe he just wanted to get near the cake! (Remember when he ate our anniversary cookie cake last year?! 😂 )

We did presents and cake eating Tuesday evening when Hadley got home from dance.

The cookie cake was so good! The buttercream icing was the best part.

Hadley’s final swim meet of the season was another favorite of the week. She swam her fastest times of the season in all strokes.

I was a bit hesitant about the 8:45 practices during the summer, but with the help of other swim parents, we’ve carpooled and made it work. It’s been a big adjustment after not swimming last summer and now she moved up an age group and swims 50’s. I’m proud of her commitment and determination. Hadley proved that you show up to the things you love…and donut days on Thursdays! 😉

Favorite Mom Meme:

🤣🤣

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

Since I’m on the topic of swim team, how about this flashback to the kids’ first ever swim season in 2017? My oh my how they have grown! Hadley’s swim cap and goggles slay me!

Weekly Recap

I had a few posts this week!

Monday is our Not just a Mom link up!

If you are a blogger, we’d love to have you link up with us for a tour of your home!

We’re thankful for those who read our blogs, so we hope you’ll check out everyone’s posts on Monday! I can’t wait to see what others share!

I hope everyone has a great weekend! Baseball is back for us after having last weekend off. So, we’ll be at the ball fields off and on! Hadley is thrilled 😉

See you back here on Monday!

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites {#51}

Hello and Happy Friday! This week seemed to take forever, so I’m definitely ready for the weekend. Overall, we had a great week of school, work, activities, and (my) birthday dinner + cookie cake.

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

Favorite Moment:

There’s nothing like Facebook on your birthday. I also received so many texts and a few phone calls, so I appreciated the birthday love. I’ve always been a big birthday person, and try to make those days special for others. It’s nice to feel the love in return.

The four of us went to dinner last night, and it was so nice. We went to one of my favorite places. Typically, it’s a place just Travis and I that would probably go, but Travis and I went out last Saturday, so I let the kids tag along last night. Obviously, eating out is a luxury these days, but I’m thankful for that experience.

Also, Hadley took it upon herself to text my friends and family asking for birthday wishes. She put the clips together, and the final product video left me teary eyed. I definitely feel blessed.

Favorite Pic:

Dinner with Trav and the kids last night!

Favorite Kid Quote:

I was just telling a friend this story recently, and then it popped up on Facebook. January 13, 2013, and Hadley was tossing folded clean clothes out of the laundry basket. I asked her what she was doing, and she said, “I’m looking for my damn pants.”

That story has always reminded me of Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird when, at dinner, she says,”Pass the damn ham, please!” 😂

Also, this week, Hadley got braces (for the second, and final time!), and she continuously asks me if she has something in her teeth which cracks me up.

Favorite Food:

The week started off strong with Shay’s Easy Skillet Enchiladas! We all loved them!

Then, of course, I’d say last night’s dinner was amazing followed by cookie cake!

Favoriting Clothing item:

I’ve had these leopard flats from Nordstrom saved in my favorites on the app for over a year. They’ve been on sale before but previously haven’t had my size. I so happened to click around in the app before Christmas, and saw they had my size, and they were on sale! I went ahead and purchased them. I really like them! (I wear a 9, and sized up to a 9.5 since the toe is pointy, and they fit perfectly)

Other faves:

Our church has remained closed for now, but Hadley and I went to a nearby church on Sunday. It felt good to go to an in person service.

*the people in this row are not as close as they appear 😉

I’d mentioned that I’d like a Dutch oven, and my Gma came through with one for me as my birthday present this year! I’ve been using it since Christmas and love it so much.

Another favorite gift was from one of my friends who left a present on my porch! My skin has been so dry, and I love this whipped body butter. I’d never tried Buff City Soap products, and this body butter is heavenly!

I guess I can’t call them a favorite just yet since I haven’t tried them, but my Mani Me custom fit stick on gel nails arrived this week. My gel manicure from a couple weeks ago is still looking pretty good, but I can’t wait to try these.

Mom meme:

I feel this deeply, y’all!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

Thanks to Facebook Memories…January 2010. The kids were about six weeks old. I’m a sucker for a black and white photo of itty bitty babies.

January 2010

Weekly Recap:

Here are this week’s posts in case you missed one!

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

I hope you have a great weekend! I know that I’m excited to not set an alarm on Monday!

Take care,

Posted in Kids

Friday Favorites {#46}: The Twins Turn 11

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

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

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

Happy 11th birthday…

…to my two most favorite people in the world!

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

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

Dear Hayden and Hadley,

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

Hayden:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You take chances.

You persevere.

You are humble.

And…you like to have fun!

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

Hadley:

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

I love that your inner beauty matches your outer beauty.

Like your brother, you like to have fun!

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

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

You’re always smiling.

You are graceful and exude positive energy.

You aren’t afraid to try something new.

You never give up.

You are a good, inclusive friend.

You are confident.

And…you are a free spirit.

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

Happy Happy birthday!

I love you!

xoxo, Mom

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

Weekly Recap:

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

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

Have a great weekend.

Posted in Holidays, Not Just a Mom

Not Just a Mom: Shop the Holidays

Hello and Happy Monday! How was your weekend? I feel like our weekends lately have been lopsided with a very busy Saturday followed by a more relaxed Sunday.

The kids had state cross country meet on Saturday which took up most of the day. Sunday, per usual, we did laundry, I picked up groceries, and we kind of regrouped for the week ahead.

Travis is super busy with work right now, so he gave me back his Super Dad cape 😉 Seriously, when I think back to scheduling my surgery, we got so lucky with the October 14th date. It gave me just enough time to get back to my normal routine before he got busy with work. I’m still needing a daily nap and do feel worn out some days, but I’m glad to be back in a pretty normal groove.

Today, I’m linking up with Lauren, Ashley, (and others!) for their Not Just a Mom series. Today’s topic is: shop the holidays.

This meme always cracks me up.

November and December are always slammed for us with sports and school, the kids’ birthday, Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the other fun activities and traditions that come with those holidays. That being said, I know things will look differently this year for all of those things.

To be honest, it all can be too much. Having to give ideas for birthday and Christmas to so many relatives in such a short amount of time can stress me out a bit. Even when I figure it all out, I still have to have ideas to the kids from us and from Santa.

Through the years, we’ve pared down who we purchase gifts for at Christmas, but, again, it’s still a lot to organize when adding holiday stress and birthday stuff too.

This is the point of the post where I’m asking for advice. 😂

I do know it’s a blessing to have family near and far, traditions to continue, and we still see the joy of the holidays through our kids’ eyes…so I usually just take it day by day and list by list.

Birthday

I know the kids’ birthday isn’t an actual holiday, but it’s first on my list right now with it being in just a couple of weeks. For their birthday, I really do try to stick with the idea of “want, need, wear, read.” This might sound crazy, but I don’t really ask them what they want for their birthday…at some point they’ve probably shared what they “want,” and I just fill in the blanks for the other gifts.

We always get them a book and Christmas pjs; they probably end up with 5-6 gifts each when it’s all said and done because I pick up an extra thing or two along the way.

10th birthday breakfast

I also like the idea of giving the kids an “experience” when possible. When they were little, we bought tickets to Sesame Street Live. In the second grade, Hadley was begging to get her ears pierced, so that was one of her gifts which was so fun for her! The past couple of years, I purchased tickets to our favorite cookie decorating class for Hadley and me which is always fun.

Christmas

Trav and I usually just focus on the kids at this point. I typically buy what I want when I want it throughout the year…Travis is shaking his head “uh huh” as he reads this. 😂 …so I never feel like I “need” anything. That being said, we usually end up having the kids pick out something that’s from them to us…and Travis never follows the rules and usually gets me something I’d never expect.

For example, his brother took the kids’ pictures a couple of years ago, and he surprised me with a couple framed faves. Of course, this brought tears to my eyes! He is a thoughtful gift giver.

We purchase family gifts for my mom, dad, grandma, and Trav’s mom. We also purchase gifts for my brother’s kids. Since it’s just the four grand kids on my side, and they are still little, it’s fun to get them a gift or two.

Our elf, Red, visits and always leaves the “want, need, wear, read” paper. I found this online years ago, have it saved, and just print it each year. I do love this tradition because it does give ideas that I can pass on to grandparents. Red takes the paper to the North Pole the next night after they’ve filled it out.

Of course, they also share ideas with Santa when we visit him. I’m not sure if that will happen this year. At our house, Santa’s gifts are unwrapped and left near the fireplace or tree.

When I was a kid, stockings were always my favorite to open, and I think my kids feel the same way. That’s probably where I end up going overboard. 😆 I just pick up little things here and there: Chapstick, socks, underwear, nail polish, scrunchies, shaving cream, a card game, candy and more is what my crew typically finds in their stockings.

Christmas 2019 gift exchange

I also love our tradition where the kids choose a gift for each other that’s from them. It’s always fun to see what they pick out and give to each other. We usually let them open it the night before Santa comes.

One year I tried to buy all of the gifts in November, but I wasn’t 100% successful in that endeavor! I do at least like to start making a list in November and get organized.

I try to support local small businesses as much as possible as well as shops on Etsy. Target is typically is my “go to” place for the kids, and Amazon has certainly eased the shopping stress the past couple of years.

I will say and they’ve started to ask questions about the elf and Santa. Hadley’s the inquisitive one and Hayden still seems to believe. Of course, I cling to their innocence, but know that they are at the natural age to start wondering. To be honest, in second grade, they had tons of questions, and I really thought that was going to be the last year. I’m thankful all of that subsided, and we’ve had a few more Christmases of pure innocence.

So that’s how I shop the holidays. What about you?

Next month’s topic is special holiday traditions.

Don’t forget to check out the other ladies’ posts! I hope you have a great week.