Posted in Friday Favorites, Kids

Friday Favorites {#138}

Hello and Happy Friday!

Wow! I feel like this week flew by. Did you feel that way too?

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

Favorite Moment:

Last Friday, we headed to Knoxville because Hayden had a race on Saturday. This was the final race of club season, and he was running in the AAU National Championship.

Last year, the race was in Paris, KY, closer to home….but we’d had tons of rain which provided for a very muddy course.


While Knoxville wasn’t that muddy, it was muddy enough that Travis taped his runners’ spikes on their feet with duct tape. #protip.


When we were figuring out what time we needed to be there, I confirmed with Travis who said, “No, that’s when the 11-12 year olds run.” I looked at him confused, and he said, “Hayden is 13!” Well, I guess I’d forgotten that…and also didn’t realize he’d already bump up in age.

Hayden ran a great race and was one second off of a PR. That being said, the conditions and course was harder than where he ran the PR. Travis said he was probably 20-30 seconds faster than the PR race. Needless to say, we were proud of his effort and he placed 34th.

Thomson Training has running groups in Louisville, northern KY and Travis coaches one of the Lexington groups. He was proud of all of his runners. (only a few pictured below)

…and the 13-14 boys were the National Champions!

…and Thomson Training won overall National Champs!

So proud of all the runners, and Hayden capped off his season with a great performance.

Favorite Pic:

I love these pics of Hayden and Travis. It’s been so fun to watch Hayden improve while Travis has been by his side.

Fave pit stop:

On the way home from Knoxville, we stopped at Buc-ees because Travis and Hayden had never been. We picked up lots of snacks!

Favorite Food(s):

Hadley had told me about these cookies (I joked that they are when Pinterest and Tik Tok collide), and she made them on Sunday. You just buy the “break and bake” chocolate chip cookies, press them down, and add the Christmas sugar cookie on top. She wanted to find the Christmas tree ones, but all we found were elf hats.

Anyway, they were cute and tasty!

I made a bit stop in Trader Joe’s this week to pick up fruit…and realized I hadn’t shopped for some of my favorites yet this holiday season.

Last year, I missed out on Jingle Jangle, so I was happy to see they still had it in stock. The “Step Up to the Bar” mix and the mini iced gingerbread people are my two faves. I usually pick up Peppermint Joes, but decided to try these chocolate covered ones…they are so good too!

Favorite Kid Quote:

The other day, I picked Hayden up from school. As I turned into the median to merge, there was a car in the right lane. Hayden looked out the window, smiled, and said, “What’s up dog?” I didn’t think anything of it until I passed the car, and there was a miniature pinscher in the lady’s lap. I literally laughed out loud. I didn’t realize when he said that that there was an actual dog in the car. haha

Favorite Clothes:

Did you see my post on Wednesday? I can’t wait to wear my new sweater and cropped faux leather pants ASAP.

Favorite Mom Meme(s):

I do think this is what causes some of my anxiety/stress. Having kid with a November birthday followed by Christmas is always just a lot!

Hadley always wins for most amount of laundry…and I swear even if she wears something for a half hour, it goes in the laundry. Hayden probably does have a few things that just fall off the hangers into the dirty clothes!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday:

Have I ever shared this pic before? I don’t think I have? It always pops up this week in my Facebook memories. While Hayden came home from the hospital with us, Hadley stayed in the NICU for 13 days. Travis had gone with Hadley to the NICU right after she was delivered. I remember Travis and the dr. at my bedside while I was in recovery. The dr. said she’d probably be in the NICU for 12-14 days. Well, on day 13 she came home, and we were officially a family of four…at home.

Hayden weighed 4 lbs, 7 oz, and Hadley weighed 4 lbs. I had them at 36 weeks, and did think they’d weigh a bit more based on my appointments and ultrasounds in weeks leading up to their arrival.

Anyway, Sis has always been the sassy and self-sufficient one, and I think it’s because she started off being a fighter.

Weekly Recap:

I had a busy blogging week! Here are my posts:

Not Just a Mom:

On Monday, we have our final Not Just a Mom post of 2023!

This month’s topic is Loving Lately. If you have a blog, we’d love to have you join us on Monday.

What are your weekend plans? We have volleyball and a holiday party this weekend. We’re also hoping to tackle the science fair projects. *sigh* They get a bad rap…I know we need science (obviously), but for me it’s the timing. They are always due right after break. If they could do them in January, I swear I wouldn’t complain like I do. It’s just one more *big* task to tackle in an already busy season. (They do the work themselves, but they still need to get organized, buy supplies, type, print, organize the board, and more!)

One week from today starts our break…and I can’t wait. I keep telling myself, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.”

See you back here on Monday for Not Just a Mom. Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Holidays, Life Lately

Life Lately and Elf Antics

Hey!…or should I say, “Ho, ho, ho?! because we’ve been having lots of festive fun over here. This post is basically a “Weekend Wrap Up,” but I’m going with “Life Lately: Holiday Fun Edition” as well as a glimpse of what our elf has been up to lately.


Friday at 2:45 kicked off Winter Break for us, so I decided to plan a fun outside Christmas activity. In Millersburg, not too far from here, is a place called Mustard Seed Hill. I’ve seen people post about the lights and displays at this historic home, so I thought we’d check it out. The tickets were free, but we had to purchase tickets online beforehand to enter. I did so early in the week, and the whole weekend did end up being sold out by Friday. I appreciate that they were limited numbers due to Covid, and the security officer was turning people away who didn’t have proof of ticket.

We parked on the street, and Mustard Seed Hill was easy to find!

so pretty!

I did pay $5 per person in advance to see the gingerbread house display. We had a time frame of 6-7 to look at the houses. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and these displays were from a competition. I thought maybe there would be houses created by professionals, but instead there were displays of categories (teen, family , businesses, etc). That being said, there were so really cool houses on display! Considering the ones we do at home usually end up imploding, I was amazed at these creations.

We did end up going in the house. Again, I wasn’t sure what we were in line to see, but there was a really sweet greeter at the door who let only a few people in and out and shared the history of the home. Once we were inside, we just toured the main level, and then stopped to listen to another volunteer who shared more history about the family. Hayden loves this kind of stuff!

On the back porch of the home…

There was a little line to see this huge ornament, and it was the perfect spot for people to take photos….so, of course that’s what we did.

Hadley really wanted to have her photo taken in the glowing carriage!

Then, we stopped by the outdoor market for a treat. Everyone got hot chocolate, and both kids got a cookie. Mid-bite, I saw Hayden laughing, and asked him what was so funny. Travis had asked Hayden what he got to eat…Travis heard, “Big a$$ cookie,” when Hayden said, “Big iced cookie.” His mask must have muffled his response! πŸ˜‚

Then, we headed home. We were probably there a little over an hour. The property was beautiful, and apparently this is only the second year they’ve put on this display. While it may not be a yearly tradition, I’m glad that we checked it out!

We got home a little after 8:00, got carry out for dinner, and I started break off with a glass of wine in festive cups I got from @cupsoncochran.


We had a low key Saturday morning, and then Hadley and some friends volunteered at dance for the Christmas Tea Party for the younger dancers. She had a lot of fun.

After that, Hadley and I stopped by our friend’s house who was hosting an outdoor hot chocolate bar for her daughters and friends. It was nice to see some friends, enjoy the hot chocolate, and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

My friend had so many toppings and different flavors of whipped cream. We also brought a gift to take a gift, and girls always love to do those kinds of things. Hadley came home with some pretty bracelets.

We were there for about an hour and everyone wore their masks which actually came in handy in the cold weather!

Saturday night Travis and I watched Safety with Hayden. It was a really inspiring movie, and fun to watch.


On Sunday, we baked cookies…lots of cookies!

Hayden said he wanted to help with the peanut butter blossoms, and Hadley helped me with the rest of the cookies.

We made sugar cookies, peanut butter blossoms, chocolate crinkle cookies (my fave) and peppermint chocolate chip cookies which came from a Trader Joe’s mix.

I know we can have sugar cookies anytime during the year, but we usually make them at Christmas because we have fun decorating them…even Travis!

Finished products!

For dinner Sunday night, I made Amy’s potato soup. It was so delish!

We wrapped up the weekend by watching my favorite Christmas movie…Home Alone.

Elf Antics:

Going along with festive fun and holiday traditions…Red has been very busy while visiting from the North Pole.

He’s made a gingerbread house…

taken a marshmallow bath with a couple of friends, gotten stuck, and hidden 12 candy canes.

He also made (burnt) toast for breakfast one morning…

wore festive socks and put Santa hats on the kids’ heads in my favorite Santa photo.

He even got Santa to take a photo with them (and Homer!)

Speaking of Homer, he got a hold of Red. Red was still struggling from being #homered last year, but this time was even worse.

Y’all, Red is most definitely the 2020 version of an elf. It may be time for him to stay at the North Pole.

The kids were so upset with Homer…and I was too.

hot glue and Bandaids have him somewhat fixed…for now.

Red also brought cocoa bombs and kisses.

as well as some Pez candy. Then, per tradition, he took a selfie on the mantle and put it in one of our favorite frames .

I can’t believe Christmas is only a few days away. I feel like we’ve had to embrace this season more than ever with some traditions and fun to help make this year have some sense of normalcy.

I hope your week is off to a great start.

Take care,

Posted in Holidays, Traditions, Weekend Top 5

Weekend Top 5

Hello and happy Monday! Tuesday! I took yesterday off from blogging because I was swamped from our action packed weekend! So, I’m recapping that for you today…just on on Tuesday rather than a Monday!

Here’s our Weekend Top 5:


Hadley requested Chick-fil-A for lunch on Friday (what’s new?!), so I picked up a peppermint milkshake for myself! (Also, I’m late to the party using the Chick-fil-A app–I’ve been using it now for a couple months, and it’s life changing. Even better is usually Hadley rides along with me to pick up our order and runs inside to get it!)


Cookies, cookies and more cookies.

My mom came to visit, and we baked lots of Christmas cookies over the weekend. Hadley helped her bake gingerbread cookies on Friday. On Saturday, most of us helped make Spritz cookies and Pfeffernuse. Then, Hayden helped her make more gingerbread men because he missed out on that fun on Friday. Saturday night, Hadley helped GG make fudge, and then on Sunday, Hadley (and others) helped dip the Lebkuchen in the icing.

Ta da!!! the finished Pfeffernuse…

Pfeffernuse, Spritz, and Lebkuchen cookies. Often times, GG bakes ahead of time or when we are in KC for Thanksgiving and sends us home with the goodies. Some years she mails the the cookies to us. This was the first year we all baked together (or took turns baking because…too many cooks in the kitchen…) πŸ˜‚

A few weeks ago, I ordered cookies to decorate from a local small business baker/decorator (One Smart Cookie). The kids decorated those on Sunday after dinner, and those cookies were our dessert.

We always save a decorated cookie + a few of the family cookies for Santa. I just put them in a baggie and freeze them until Christmas Eve.


I always put a few front porch decorations out, and Travis always puts the lights out on the porch and/or bushes. This year, I wanted to add garland to the porch. I couldn’t really find any I liked until…I made a stop at Trader Joe’s for a few goodies and saw their beautiful (and inexpensive!) garland.

I bought two swags of it…and Travis worked his magic in hanging it! I love it so much.

This may be what I do every year since I only need it a few weeks, it’s inexpensive, looks beautiful, and we won’t have to store it.


Well, it happened! I know I mentioned last week that our favorite Santa spot wasn’t hosting Santa. This year, our club organized a drive thru Santa visit, so we decided to go for it. I’m assuming this will be our last year to visit Santa, so I wanted to take advantage of this offer. We waited in the car line and pulled right up when it was our turn. The kids got to chat with him outside for a few minutes, we hopped back in the car, and headed home.

It was a really sweet experience even if we didn’t get to enjoy all the usual festivities that the club typically offers.

Chatting with Santa, hand “Santa”-tizer, and waiting for their turn to see Santa while wearing their masks.


Holiday lights! We usually drive by these festive lights at some point in December, and we decided to go ahead and swing by while we were out after visiting Santa. We ooh and ahh at them every year!


My mom brought Hayden the rest of her Harry Potter books. Hayden’s read the first few, and she gifted him the rest, so he can continue reading them through the years.

Shew! I told you we were busy! I was even able to wrap a few gifts while watching the Chiefs game on Sunday night! That made for a late bedtime, but it was worth it to cross one more thing off my list!

I hope you’ve had a great start to your week. See you back here tomorrow for Let’s Look.