Posted in Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites {#74}

Hey, hey! Happy Friday. How was your week? We had a pretty good one around here. We had a pretty lazy day on Monday due to lots of afternoon rain, and then Tuesday’s weather was sunny and 70 degrees! We enjoyed the “cool front,” and then the rest of the week has been back to regular summer temps.

The kids were busy with Hadley at daily swim team practices and Hayden attended baseball camp this week.

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

Our first favorite is from last Friday. Travis had the day off and joined us at the pool. The kids also got to swim with their cousins which made for a great Friday!

Also, last Friday night, our nephew ran in the 10k Olympic Trials. While he didn’t qualify for the Olympics, it was still exciting to watch, and we are so proud of him.

Summer means baseball on repeat around here. Hayden in his team warm up jacket is a favorite although he looks like such a big kid!

Of course, a championship ring is a favorite.

Hayden’s team had an awesome weekend and Father’s Day winning in the championship game.

We celebrated our favorite dad last Saturday with dinner out followed by…

milkshakes! They were so good…and definitely something to be shared.

Hadley made Amy’s Lemon Freezer Pie which we ate after the baseball games on Sunday. It’s so easy to make, refreshing and delish.

Like Hayden, Hadley sure is looking like quite the tween. She let me take this pic while we waited for our milkshakes on Saturday.

Big girl status!

…and ready for swim team pics on Wednesday…

Hayden attended baseball camp this week with lots of friends. He had so much fun.

I only get a few pedicures a year, and I try to take Hadley with me once in the summer and right before we go back to school. I know she loves a pedicure, so it’s a summer splurge that we do every once in a while.

Homer is always a favorite…and he was trying to take a bite of my favorite kind of summer lunch…a snack plate!

Nothing says summer like a lemonade stand, and these kids had a successful one earlier this week.

…and…nothing says summer like moms drinking White Claws at trivia night at the pool! We are quite the combo and all know a little bit of everything.

Anniversary flowers are definitely a fave…(and bubble letter cards!)

…and dinner out to celebrate!

Favorite Mom Meme:

Thank goodness for Google!

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday:

Since we celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary yesterday, this throwback is timely….

We were in Siesta Key (one of our favorite places) for our 10th wedding anniversary in 2015.

Weekly Recap:

I hope you have a great weekend. We have a mix of baseball, basketball, birthday parties and more!

See you back here on Monday.

Posted in Holidays, Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings

Hello and Happy Thursday!

Today, Trav and I are celebrating our 16th wedding anniversary. Y’all, S I X T E E N years is hard to believe! Time sure does continue to fly by!

It’s also hard to believe that it’s already almost the end of June which means it’s time for this month’s Monthly Musings post.

As always, I’m linking up with Patty and Holly for this post.

This month’s topic is End of School and Summer Plans. Believe it or not, we’ve been out of school for over a month, so we are definitely in full summer mode over here!

1. Last Day of School Traditions:

While I have lots of traditions to begin the school year like Back to School Breakfast, a book to start the year, first day of school photos, walking to school and more, we don’t have many last day of school traditions. The kids let me take a last day of school pic, and that’s about it. I also get a photo of them in front of school on the first and last day. (I’m not sure they will let me do a photo in front of their middle school next year) 😩

2. Summer List:

We made our Summer Fun list a couple of weeks ago, and we’ve been able to cross a few things off the list!

3. Vacation Plans:

While we typically go to Florida for summer vacation, South Carolina is another favorite summer vacay spot for us. We are heading there soon.

4. Summer Outfits:

If I’m not in workout clothes, I’m usually in a swimsuit and coverup at the pool. I do like to wear light weight dresses as well as…

shorts and a tank or t-shirt.

These shorts from Target are a favorite! I have them in green, pink and black.

And…I’ve shared about my favorite Amazon swimsuit and cover up a couple of times this summer.

Amazon Dress // Target Shorts // Amazon Swimsuit // Amazon Coverup

5. Summer Meals:

I recently shared some quick dinner ideas. During the summer months, we grill out a lot and have baked beans, pasta salad or fruit as side dishes. Quick, easy, and light meals.

6. End of School:

We are usually scheduled to be out of school around Memorial Day. Some years, we go past Memorial Day if we have snow days to make up. That being said, our district seems to do whatever it takes (like adding time to the end of the day) to ensure we are out by May 31st. We occasionally get out rather early, like this year…we were out May 18th which was amazing!

When I was a kid, I feel like we were out around Memorial Day, but didn’t start back until after Labor Day. I wish it was like that now as well!

7. Swimsuit Type:

I used to love a tankini but the past few summers, I’ve really embraced the one piece. I just feel more comfortable in them, and there are so many awesome options in fun patterns and stylish designs.

Amazon One Piece Swimsuit

8. 4th of July Plans:

I’m not sure what our plans will be. I always start the 4th of July off with red, white, and blue waffles for the kids! Sometimes, we go to the pool or the parade downtown. We usually grill out with family or friends or sometimes just our family of four.

We always get a few firecrackers and sparklers for the kids. Then, every year, we make our way to our favorite spot to watch fireworks. The 4th of July has always been one of my favorite holidays.

9. Red, White, and Blue Clothes:

I’ve always put the kids in some kind of red, white, and blue! Sometimes, Travis and I will do so as well.

They usually let me take a photo or two 😉

This is one of my favorite family photos of the four of us…July 2015. We were settling in to watch the fireworks, and we all were dressed in some form of red, white, and blue.

10. Charcoal or Gas Grill:

We have a gas grill, and Travis does all the grilling!

He typically uses this platter for the food that my mom painted for him in 2003! It’s basically an antique!

So, that’s a peak at our end of school and summer plans. Next month’s topic is summer fashion!

I hope your summer is off to a great start! See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites.

Thanks so much for reading,

{this post contains Amazon affiliate links…}

Posted in Family, Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites {#73}

Hello! How was your week? We’ve had a great one. I worked two days, we had some pool time, the kids had dance, baseball, and swim team, and I was able to run some errands and cross some things off my “to do” list.

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

My dad visited for a few days which is always a favorite. He was able to hang with us and my brother’s family, see two of Hayden’s tournament games, take Hayden to the driving range, and we went ahead and celebrated Father’s Day.

Dugout laughs with the Major
Driving Range time

For years, we’ve taken a front porch stairs photo (per the Major’s request!), and we always laugh because he’s the hardest one to get to smile. He always says, “I AM smiling!” This visit, he wanted the kids to “smile like Major,” and they nailed it.

Of course, I needed a smiling photo, and then my brother and I hopped in for one.

Seeing Hayden play baseball is always a favorite. He’s having so much fun with his summer team. They are a great group of boys with great coaches.

My favorite flowers, hydrangeas, are starting to bloom…

…but they are showing off at my brother’s house.

My sister-in-law made a couple of pies last weekend, and Layla couldn’t wait to dig in. The pies were delish.

Homer is always a favorite. He loves it that we are home so much in the summer.

Summer nights and just hanging around are a favorite of Hadley’s. My kids kids love to climb this tree in our yard.

Pool time with Layla was another favorite of Hadley’s this week.

Snow cones at the pool are a great way to beat the heat!

Hayden wanted to go to a new restaurant in town, so we ate there on Wednesday after baseball practice. Freddy’s with my fave…

Favorite Mom Meme:

Yep. Summer always magnifies what little control I have around here. 😆

Bonus Fave: Flashback Friday

Since it’s Father’s Day this weekend, I’m sharing these favorite flashback photos!

In 2013, I had the kids take these pics and framed them for Travis.

And, another flashback…the Major and me in the 80’s…

and in 2005… (Travis and I will celebrate 16 years of marriage next week…which I can’t believe!)

Living away from family can be hard. Luckily, my mom and grandma visited around Mother’s Day, and then we were able to celebrate my dad this past weekend for an early Father’s Day.

Weekly Recap:

What are some of your favorites for the week? I hope you have a great weekend. We’ll be at a baseball tournament and celebrating Travis on Sunday!

Amazon Prime Days are Monday and Tuesday, so I will be sharing some Amazon faves on Monday!

Thanks so much for reading.

Posted in Me, Monthly Musings

Monthly Musings and 20 Questions

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

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

Monthly Musings: Summer Kick Off

Lake or Beach?

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

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

Ice Tea or Lemonade?

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

Favorite Summer Vacation Memory:

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

Favorite Summer Destination:

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

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

Go To Favorite Summer Fashion Item:

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

and I have three different colors of this Amazon dress

Have You Ever Been Water Skiing or Jet Skiing?

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

Favorite Summer Movie:

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

Goonies, Grease and Sandlot also remind me of summer.

Song That Makes You Think of Summer:

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

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

Best 4th of July Story:

I don’t have a specific story, but…

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

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

Fireworks:

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

20 Questions…

with The Classy Chaos

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

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

Thanks so much for reading!

Posted in Everyday Life

The Halfway Point- Part 2

Continuing on with all the summer fun we had…

The kids were on our pool’s swim team for the third summer in a row. Hadley loves it while Hayden likes it most of the time. It’s a great summer activity for them as far as exercise and socialization. They moved up to the 9-10 age group this year which was an adjustment, but it was awesome to see them swim faster each meet as well as qualify to swim all four strokes this year. They had so much fun with their friends, and the parents like to socialize too!

Besides adding Homer to our family, I’d say another highlight was going on vacation. We are blessed to be able to use Trav’s aunt and uncle’s house in Florida. Hadley and I left a few days before the boys because Hayden had baseball. We enjoyed our time together, but I know Hayden (&Trav) is more fun than I am (especially when it comes to playing in the ocean and on the beach.) Since we were there for about ten days, we also scheduled a trip to Disney World for a day. We did this a few years ago, and since it’s a long day of travel to and from the park as well as all the park activities, we decided to make it a two day trip. We arrived on a Thursday and stayed at the Polynesian Resort. We lounged by the pool, the kids rode the water slide quite a few times (Travis and I did too!), and then we had dinner at a really neat Italian restaurant in Disney Springs. Then, we made it back to the hotel in time to watch the Magic Kingdom’s amazing fireworks right from our balcony. The next morning, we were up early for breakfast and were at the park by 9:00. We rode every ride we wanted to starting with the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train Roller Coaster and ending our day riding Splash Mountain (where I ended up the most soaked, of course!) Since we saw the fireworks the night before, we left the park around 7:00 making it back to Siesta Key by dark. Then, we capped off vacation with a few more days at the beach. I’m always worried how the four of us will be while being together 24/7 for so long…but we really do always have a great time and enjoy the down time.

After a long night of travel, we were excited to relax on the beach.
We eat dinner early most evenings, so we can catch the sun setting on the beach.
Hadley was excited to see her brother on day 4 of vacay.
Reunited!
We definitely hope to go back to the Polynesian one day.
The Magic Kingdom
Family Fun = this year’s Christmas card pic!
Dumbo ride
This pic was one of my favorites 🙂

The last few days at the beach were the best. The weather and the water were perfect.

That beach life..
Boogie boarding Boo
Sis found a sandbar and knows how to relax
These guys ate their weight in oysters on this trip. Hadley and I aren’t about that life…

Our flight wasn’t until later in the evening, so we had time to hit the beach for a couple of hours on the last day. We always take the time to say goodbye to the ocean. “If the ocean can calm itself, so can you. We are both salt mixed with water.” – Nayyirah Waheed

After we packed up, the kids let me take one last pic. It’s a family tradition to take a pic in front of the palm trees at Aunt Catherine and Uncle Jim’s Florida house. Many family members have done so through the years.

Until next time…that’s a wrap on our SK vacay

We arrived home to see the biggest zucchini ever that had been plucked from our garden (See previous post about the recipes we made using it)

The kids participated in a couple of camps this summer as well. This was the first year Hayden signed up for basketball camp; he also played summer basketball for a local league. Hadley has loved the volleyball camp at my school for the past three summers.

Ballers!
Ready for volleyball camp!
Everything is better with a bestie!

We had lots of family time over the summer with visits from out of town grandparents and in town cousins.

Wyatt and Layla cheered for H&H during one of their swim meets.
Dinner with cousins! (photo cred: Uncle Chet!)

Both of the kids learned to ride their bikes a few years ago thanks to the help of a neighbor friend. After an accident a couple of years ago, Hayden swore off bike riding….so much so that we sold his bike in a garage sale. Well, two years later and Hayden decided he wanted to ride a bike again. After riding Hadley’s pink bike for about a month, a friend of ours gave us a bike that they didn’t need anymore. Hayden’s been riding all over the neighborhood! (with a helmet, of course!)

Bike riding Boo

One final “to do” on our Summer Fun List was to see a movie. This summer, we saw Aladdin, Toy Story 4, and to wrap up the summer, we saw Lion King. We all loved it, but I probably loved it the most!

Final Friday of summer break

For the final weekend of summer, we celebrated Trav’s mom’s 70th birthday at a local restaurant in Louisville.

Mamaw and most of the grandkids
The siblings celebrating Maryla’s 70th birthday

The final fun of summer break 2019 was that Travis and I went out to dinner at a nearby sushi restaurant. Sushi and chardonnay for dinner…followed by an early bedtime for me.

Sushi and Chardonnay. My fave combo.

That’s a wrap on summer 2019. I know we still technically have a few weeks left of summer, but the fun is over for the most part around here. haha

Tomorrow, the kids start 4th grade (how is that even possible?!) Truth: third grade was no joke, so I’m hoping that this will be a smoother transition and the best year yet…and I start my 18th year teaching. I know what you are thinking…I don’t look that old! 😉

I’m blessed to have this time with the kids. I know I’m not stay at home mom material, but I love having these pockets of time with them throughout the year.

Enjoy these days. They fly by! It’s basically almost 2020 😉

Happy reading,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea

Posted in Everyday Life

The Halfway Point- Part 1

Summer before having kids: sleeping in, watching an endless amount of Golden Girls in the morning, sipping coffee, lounging by the pool, and then spending 4:30-5:30 cramming in all the things I was supposed to do during the day to make it appear to Travis that I had actually been a productive member of society.

Summers with young kids: planning every moment of the day, living for nap time (for the kids and for myself!), endless snacks, and then gladly handing them off to someone better equipped than myself (we had the best sitter- Ms. Joan), to spend 8+ daytime hours with them, and hightailing it to school.

Summers with older elementary age kids: I cherish this time. Our days are mixed with learning, being productive, but also relaxing. Pool time, camps, swim team, time with friends, seeing movies, vacations, late bedtimes and more.

I’m not sure who “they” are (I guess other parents?!), but “they” say you only have 18 summers with your kids, so make the best of them. As this summer comes to a close, it will probably be best for all of us to get back in the routine of school, but I am clinging to this summer extra tight. It dawned on me recently that I’m to the halfway point. I’ve had nine summers with Hayden and Hadley, and I have nine left. I’m guessing as time goes on, they are going to want to be around me less as they gain independence and become the ones at the pool who steer clear of adults….but don’t get it twisted, they’ll still have to swing by my shady spot under the umbrella, interrupt my book reading to ask for money, so there’s always that. As we head into this school year, I thought I’d take a moment to put all of our summer memories in one place. It’s been a great summer; I know I’m blessed to have my summer days with them, but #mamaisstilltired

I’d say the highlight of our summer, for all of us, was adding our dog Homer to our family. We’d lost both of our Boxers, 10 year old Scout and 12 year old Shiloh, within eleven months of each other. My heart wasn’t really ready for a new dog, but my practical side tends to overtake my heart sometimes and summer seemed like the best time to add a dog to our family. After a few weeks of searching on Petfinder, we I found Homer. Travis wasn’t completely on board with a puppy (he definitely wanted another dog—just not necessarily a puppy ;), but I was around the same age as the kids, after losing a dog, then being surprised with a puppy. I knew they’d remember getting him and are also at the age to be of (some) help. When I found Homer, he was named Glorious (and had two brothers Notorious and Victorious). They were 10-12 weeks old and had been abandoned on the side of the road and nursed back to health by the wonderful people at Tails of Hope Rescue in Cincinnati, OH. There was a big name debate in the car, but just as we pulled in the parking lot to pick him up, Hayden suggested the name Homer. (I’m sure thinking about baseball…but I will take a Homer Odyssey reference any day 🙂 We all agreed on the name, and were excited to get him home. He’s supposedly a lab/retriever mix and has been a wonderful addition; we’ve had tons of fun with him this summer. Thankfully, I think we have him house broken, he loves his kennel (although, we realized he knows how to open it, so he’s triple locked in there now!), but of course, nibbles at our ankles and chews on flip flops. Thankfully, he’s cute.

This is the pic that I saw on Petfinder of “Glorious.” Such a sweet face!
The car ride home.
Bow tie collar and welcome home sign!
We HEART Homer
Homer is getting to be a big boy. When we got him eight weeks ago, he weighed 11 lbs and now weighs 27 lbs!

We spend a lot of time at the pool during the summer. To be honest, once we joined this pool a few years ago, summer became a little easier…because activities take less planning…going to the pool is an easy way to burn some energy, see friends, and have a snack or two.

In June, Travis and I celebrated our 14th wedding anniversary with a nice dinner and then in July, we celebrated Trav’s bday in between baseball games!

Hadley went to sleep away camp for the first time this summer. She was gone from Sunday to Saturday. To say I was more nervous than she was would be an understatement….but as I assumed would be the case, she had the time of her life and barely missed us. She was lucky enough to have a couple of good friends going as well, so that eased my mind with this major milestone! He won’t admit it, while Hayden loved the 1:1 time with us, he missed her. When I picked her up, she said, “Sign me up for next year, and I haven’t brushed my teeth since Monday!” haha I loved ending my day seeing camp pics online! The pics eased my worried heart.

On the 4th of July, we had an awesome opportunity to go to a nearby lake with some friends. It was weird not having Hadley with us, but Hayden and his friends had fun tubing (the moms tubed, too!), swimming, and jumping from the cliffs. We got home just in time to see the fireworks from our favorite spot in town.

family pic (minus Hadley)
Like a fish!
TONS of fun tubing!
Awesome way to end of 4th of July (just missing Hadley!)

While Hadley had a new “first” with camp this summer, Hayden had a “first” with playing summer baseball for the Turkey Feet. He had so much fun with friends, old and new, and learned so much along the way. He loved pitching even if it made me a nervous wreck!

Fear the Feet!
My little leftie
Up to bat

Hayden and Hadley also had a great time attending our church’s Vacation Bible School. The VBS for this summer was “camp” themed. They had an awesome time with their friends (& cousin Wyatt!) singing, playing games, making crafts, cooking s’mores and learning more about the Bible and Jesus.

Real talk: when I set out to write this summer post, I assumed I could fit it all in one post….but I guess we had a busier summer than I thought! Part 2 will be shared tomorrow. If you made it to the end, thanks! If not, this is still a good way to share with family and friends near and far what we’ve been up to…and a way for me to have everything all in one place.

If you need me, you can find me sitting through six hours of professional development today. Summer is officially over for me!

Take care,

Jen

Instagram: @showmeandsweettea