Posted in Kids

Friday Favorites: 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.

Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday favorites

We’ve made it through the week. The week started off pretty rough for Hayden who was sick, but thankfully recovered in time for their birthday (and school field trip!) on Wednesday. We need the weekend to continue recovering as well as prepping for next week. Thankfully, next week is a short one.

Here are a few favorites from the week.

Wednesday was the kids’ birthday, and I wrote a post all about it 🙂 As I’ve mentioned, I’m big on birthdays, so of course their birthday is a favorite of mine.

This is the third year I’ve had a local yard letter company (Yard Card Barn) decorate our yard with Happy Birthday. It’s a fun surprise for the kids…and it also means I’ve kicked my birthday celebrations to the next level. haha. We have a decent sized front yard, so amazingly, the letters fit for Happy 10th Birthday Hayden and Hadley.

The weather was dreary, but the yard signs brightened the day for sure!

Wednesday evening, we headed to the UK vs Missouri volleyball game. Hands down, volleyball is my favorite sport to watch…college basketball is a close second. Being in CAT country, I was low key will my allegiance to MIZZOU, but proudly wore my Missouri hat. Kentucky came up with the win, but it was fun to cheer for both teams.

A new favorite product I’ve been loving has been this brightening eye balm by Tula. I know little to nothing about cosmetics and products, and once I find something I like, I usually stick to it. Landyn showcased this product on one of her Instagram stories a little bit ago. I had to run to Ulta last week, so I picked it up. I put it on under my eyes in the morning, and I love that it’s cool and adds an extra layer to make your skin and eyes look a little more awake.

Thanks to one of the link ups with other bloggers, I stumbled upon Dwelling in His Richness blog, and I liked the way Jill approached her Friday Favorites with:

Favorite pic, kid quote, clothing item, food, moment, and Favorite mom meme. I thought I’d give that format a try this week!

FAVORITE PIC

See above 🙂 Birthday pics!

FAVORITE KID QUOTE

On Wednesday, after his shower, Hayden asked for the nail trimmers. I was taken aback with him being proactive with his hygiene (haha), and he said, “Well, mom, I’m sure I will be shaving soon!” oh my!

FAVORITE CLOTHING ITEM

Traditionally, one of the kids’ birthday presents each year is Christmas pajamas. Some years other family members buy them, but this year, I saw “Kids’ Plaid Holiday Tartan Pajamas” from Wondershop at Target, and I picked them up for the kids. I bought Hayden the two piece (button down top with pants) and Hadley the nightgown version. ($14.99 each! and great quality!)

FAVORITE FOOD

This week, I tried a new meal for the family: Mix and Match Mama’s Turkey Tortilla Soup. It’s a crockpot recipe, so it was easy and delicious.

FAVORITE MOMENT

Well, this week probably had favorite MOMENT(S)….with it being birthday time, we had a few extra things going on. Truly, it’s the little moments…like having lunch with Hadley on her birthday (Hayden was on the field trip) as well as seeing photos of Hayden on the field trip. He was so worried he’d still be sick, but I’m so glad it all worked out. While he was having fun, I ate lunch with Hadley and brought cookies she wanted to share with the class. And, don’t worry—her class went on the field trip on Thursday. For me, it’s the little moments like having lunch with my kids or receiving a fun picture that brighten my week.

Cookies for classmates and Field Trip fun!

FAVORITE MOM MEME

My mom sent this cartoon to my brother and me…it was true in the 80’s and still holds true today. haha.

That’s a wrap on this week. It was a busy but fun one! Don’t forget to check out Narci, Erika, and Andrea’s Friday Favorites.

Have a great weekend!

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Facebook Page: Show Me and Sweet Tea