Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Show & Tell Tuesday: Want, Need, Wear, & Read

Today I am linking up with Andrea for Show & Tell Tuesday. Today's topic is "Want, Need, Wear, Read" gift lists.

Eric and I don't usually do big gifts for Christmas/birthdays/anniversaries for each other. Instead, we like to save up to go on trips, go see a show, or something like that. We obviously do gifts for the kids, but for the two of us, we like to pay more for experiences rather than items. Don't get me wrong, we do have little presents under the tree for us as well, just nothing over the top...which is what most of this list is. Ha!

-Want-


I would kill for a new washer and dryer. #whendidigetsoold 
Ours work fine (although sometimes our dryer does sound like it is about to take off for flight! lol), but there is just something about a new washer and dryer that gets me all kinds of excited! I can't be the only one, right??? 

-Need-


A certain almost-10-month-old has yet to sleep through the night (I'm giving you the stink eye, Grayer). In fact, I just told Eric the other day that I need a solo trip to a hotel. The big plans? Sleeeeeeeeeeep. Order room service. Watch TV. And, then mama's gonna sleep some more. 

-Wear-


I really just need a whole new wardrobe. You may hate me after I say this (seriously, I give you permission because I know it is not the same for everyone), but I am one of those mamas that loses all of their baby weight and then even more - all from nursing. I wish I could say that I work out and it's all because of my hard work, but it is literally just because my kids eat so stinking much! Both boys have been HUGE eaters; so much so that I cannot keep weight on whenever I am breastfeeding. While I don't mind being smaller, it leaves me with a BIG problem. None of my clothes fit. I can get away with most of my shirts. But my pants are an entirely different story and just look awful. I have gotten a few new pieces here and there, but it is just not in the budget to splurge on a new closet full of stuff. Plus, if we are being honest, once Grayer is weaned in a couple of months, I will probably get back up to my pre-pregnancy weight and clothes sizes.

-Read-


I can't wait to read the other books in Bill O'Reilly's Killing series. I read Killing Kennedy about a month ago and just finished Killing Lincoln last week. I am really into history and am enjoying learning so much. The books are so well-written and are FULL of history and interesting information. Can't wait to start on Killing Reagan on our trip to Tennessee tomorrow!

Can't wait to read everyone's gift lists!


Linking up for Tuesday Talk!


Monday, November 21, 2016

Weekending!

This weekend was a rollercoaster! It started off great, with fun family time...and it ended with an awful cold and cough for Wells. Boooo. Hopefully after a doctor visit this afternoon, we can get him some meds to start feeling better before all the Thanksgiving festivities this week.

Anyway, long story short (I am sure I will post in more detail later), Eric went back to teaching last week after about a 2-year career in aerospace. An opportunity opened up at a really great school in a really great district, and we are super excited. Aerospace is just not a stable industry right now, so we knew it was time to call it off. I think Eric is going to love being back in the classroom, and we are thankful that he got a position at this particular school. All that to say, he is no longer working weekend shift. Weekend shift did have its perks, but I am happy to have him home at more normal hours now :)

Friday
We had a pretty normal Friday, and the boys and I took lunch to my mom at work and ate with her in her classroom. Wells always loves visiting my mom at school because he gets to play at the "centers." After naps and playtime, Eric got home and we headed to dinner with my parents at our favorite Mexican restaurant. I don't know when I will ever learn to put Wells in play clothes when we go there because we always leave with about a pound of queso slathered on his entire outfit. When are they old enough to learn to scrape the excess cheese off of their chip before bringing it to their mouth??? Ha! The chip is really just a vessel for the cheese anyway...maybe I should just give him a spoon. Might be less messy!



Saturday
I had to catch up on some hours at work on Saturday. so the boys spent some time playing with cousins who were at my parents' house. Eric was cutting my parents lawn for them, and then he took the boys home for naps while I finished up. It was about this time that I could tell Wells was getting a pretty nasty cold/cough. I had planned to take him to the doctor Monday so that we could get some meds in his system (if needed) before we head out of town for Thanksgiving.


That night we ate Hula Joes. If you haven't pinned this recipe, do it NOW. They are so yummy and super easy. #winwin

Sunday
Since Eric is now back on a normal work schedule, we finally went back to our church this Sunday. I had been going to my parents' church (where I grew up) while he was working because it was much easier having help with both boys on my own. We still attended a small group at our church, but we felt totally out of the loop missing the normal Sunday morning service. After church, we headed to my granny's house for lunch. The boys took late naps at home and then we headed to a chili cook-off at our church. Wells was definitely going downhill at this point.


He was so whiny and cranky and just not feeling good. We got home, gave him a breathing treatment, put Vicks Vapor Rub on his feet (if you haven't heard of doing that for a nighttime cough, look it up! It really works...usually.), and gave him his own little cup of "coffee" - which was really just warm tea with honey to soothe his throat. He went to bed and coughed allllllllllll night. It was so sad. He woke up a few times and cried out. We finally just brought him to our bed and let him sleep with us. I called the doctor first thing this morning and they are booked until walk-in hours at 5pm. So, poor buddy has to wait a little while longer to start feeling better. We are praying that he can feel better before we head to TN to see Eric's family and also that Grayer doesn't get whatever he's got.

We are super busy this week. Eric has a test for his new job that he is taking on Wednesday. Then after his test we are heading to Tennessee. So, that means I have a whole lot of laundry, cleaning, and packing to do with a sick toddler, the most energetic 10-month-old ever, and a hubby who is studying every free second he has. Basically, I'm ready for it to be Thursday already...and this shirt sums up how I'm gonna feel that day :)


Linking up with Biana!   



Thursday, November 17, 2016

Grayer is NINE Months!

As usual, I am late posting this. In my defense, I did write the post on time...it just took me 3 weeks to take the pictures and upload them to the computer. #struggling
Let's just go ahead and assume I will be late on every monthly update left for this sweet boy...which is only 3 MORE MONTHS. What in the world????? How is he almost a year old?? Goodness gracious.

This month was fast, and Grayer was busy growing and learning.
This was probably our worst photo session yet, and that's saying something. Ha! Here's the best I've got for this month:


Not sure if he is happy or scared. Ha!

On to the stats...

Weighs: Little man's 9-month checkup was today, and he weighed in at 19lbs and 1oz. He was just shy of 28 inches long. The doctor said he is at the top of the charts for weight and length. Eric and I consistently make large children :)

Sleeps: I am happy to say that Grayer's sleeping has gotten a little better in the last few weeks. He has been waking twice at night - which is a HUGE improvement! Hopefully he will continue to wake less and give this mama a FULL, UNINTERRUPTED night of sleep. #crossingallthefingers

Eats: I think Grayer gets more and more excited about food with each passing day. He is ridiculous. The mere sight of food makes him spit out his pacifier and sometimes start waving his arms/kicking his legs. He would literally eat all day if I would let him. He has been able to do the pincer grasp for a couple of months probably, but he has really mastered it this month and can pick up the tiniest crumb of food.

Wears: He is mostly wearing 9-month and 12-month clothes, and he is still in a size 3 diaper.

Plays: Grayer is playing better than ever, probably thanks to the fact that he is now able to crawl and get where he wants to go. He is still the happiest when there is lots of chaos going on. If we are at a playground, we will hold his arms and let him go down the slide, and he loves it. He is a big fan of drumming on anything with either his hands or with another toy. He loves standing and wants to pull up on everything.

Milestones: He is finally crawling! He had been crawling backwards for at least a month but couldn't quite get the hang of going forward. He very slowly started moving forward about a two weeks ago, and now he is really starting to crawl pretty well. Another milestone is cutting tooth #3.

I can't believe in just three short months, we'll have a one-year old! Time is flying, but it is fun to see Grayer's personality bloom and watch him become his own little person.

Confessional Thursday!

Confession time!! Pull up a seat, grab a coffee, and prepare to feel better about yourself :)


- This first confession is two-fold. Part 1: I just had cookie butter for the first time this week (I know. I know.). I saw a jar of pumpkin spice cookie butter on clearance at our grocery store and decided to give it a shot. Which leads me to part 2: I have been eating it straight out of the jar. Partly because it's that good, and partly because I don't know what I am supposed to eat it on. #cookiebutterincompetent
Suggestions? :)

- This morning I got ready in the boys' bathroom because they were on that side of the house. It wasn't until I realized something felt funny that I noticed I was brushing my teeth with Wells' toothbrush. Oops.


- Many responsibilities were shirked this week as I tried to get a free minute whenever I could to finish reading Killing Lincoln. I picked up Killing Reagan at the library yesterday, and because I have way too much to do, I am making myself wait to start reading it until we travel to Tennessee next week.

- The snack I sent for Wells to school this morning consisted of apples and pretzels accompanied with a huge glob of caramel dip. Oh, and also, fruit snacks. His teachers will no doubt thank me later.


- I should not take enjoyment in my children's suffering, but sometimes I can't help it. I snapped this picture of Grayer after I put a winter hat on his head. This was really his first time wearing one since he was a newborn, and he was not loving it. He cried, tried to take it off, and then pouted. #notamused

- Grayer will have been 9 months for 3 weeks tomorrow. I have yet to post his 9-month update. I have it written; I have taken the pictures; I just haven't uploaded them yet. The struggle.

- I confess that I am so over all these anti-Trump protests. I do not care if you voted for Trump or Hillary (or, like me, voted for someone else) - can you please just be an adult? Honestly. Cry rooms and therapy and cancelled classes for college students?? You have got to be kidding me. I am trying to teach my 2-year-old that throwing tantrums is ugly (#Southernparentingword) and does not earn him his way. I wish someone would have taught these kids (and the adults acting like kids) this lesson, too.

Linking up for with Danielle for Confessional Thursday and Annie & Natalie for Thoughts for Thursday!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Weekending!

Please excuse the blogging absence - we've been out of town since Thursday and the house we were staying in had no wifi (and I was not about to pen a blog post on my phone #notthatdedicated #alsonotthatpatient).

So since I've been gone a while, here is a little Weekending mixed with a Life Lately kind of post.

Last week was a kind of crazy one. We had a lot of stuff going on with work (both mine and Eric's jobs, actually) that threw our schedules way off!

I posted Tuesday about our voting experience, so we'll pick up at Wednesday, which was pretty boring and consisted mostly of doing laundry, dinner/church that night, and packing &preparing to go out of town the next morning.

My little sister is a senior in high school and is planning to attend Toccoa Falls College, my alma mater and the place Eric and I met almost 10 (!) years ago. This weekend was a scholarship weekend at the college, and since Eric was not working, we volunteered to take her for my parents. We are always happy to visit Toccoa, see friends, and of course enjoy the beautiful fall scenery in the mountains.

We left Thursday morning for the 5ish hour trip, and both boys did pretty well. We got to the college and got Ashley all checked in. Then we headed to the waterfall on campus to show Wells. He was in awe and kept asking all weekend to go see it again.




We ate in the dining hall that night. It was a little different than the hundreds of meals we shared together in the caf during college since we now had two little ones to feed, too. I mean, check out the number of plates, bowls, and napkins we acquired! Ha!


We went to a few minutes of the chapel service that night to hear the worship music. It was a great blast from the past, as we always loved the praise music at chapel, and I sang on one of the teams for 2 of the years we were at TFC. I looked over to see this during the worship.


Heart.Melted.

After chapel, we left Ashley (she was staying in the dorms) and headed to the mountain home that belongs to my college roommate's family. We love the house and are always so thankful that they let us stay there. We got unpacked, played, ate snacks, and called it a night!

The next day, we headed back to the college and had lunch, attended two of the parent sessions, and spent some time with a friend we went to school with. Ashley headed back to the house with us, and my college roommate joined us later that night as well. We had a great time catching up.

Saturday we attempted family pictures. And it didn't go very well. I think we got mayyyyybe 4 acceptable photos out of it! Grayer caught a cold, so we were wiping his red little nose constantly; Wells was, as usual, not at all interested in posing for pictures; and I was basically a nervous wreck the whole time since we were on the top of a mountain with a crawling baby and adventurous toddler. Later that afternoon we got to catch up with some more friends and see their new baby; then we grabbed dinner at a Japanese restaurant before heading back up to the cabin.

-----> Totally random, but since we were on the topic of Japanese food, I saw this Pin and reallllllly want to make this California Roll Sushi Bowl.


How delicious does that look?? And way easier than homemade sushi.

Sunday morning was spent enjoying breakfast, soaking in the last few minutes with my college roomie, and getting loaded up in the car. Overall, the trip was great, and we are thankful that we got to see friends and enjoy a little weekend getaway.

This week is another busy one, and I am already tired. I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK. We are headed to Tennessee for it, so I will be spending lots of this week getting our stuff prepped, packed, and ready to head out for another trip. Mamas, how do our babies and children require so much stuff to travel?? I feel like it takes 3 years to pack up all of their stuff, and then I end up throwing my stuff into a suitcase last minute. Whenever my husband complains that we are running behind schedule, I ever so kindly remind him that he packed his stuff, while I packed stuff for three people - plus any items of his that I know he will forget :) And all the mamas said "AMEN!"

Hope everyone had a great weekend and that your week is off to a great start!

Linking up with Biana.    

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Our 2016 Voting Experience


We went out and voted this morning; here's the FB status I posted about it:

Our voting experience in numbers...

1 - time Grayer spit up all over Eric
2 - discreet rib jabs I gave to Eric in an effort to get him to talk a little quieter while discussing politics with those around us
3 - meltdowns Wells had because he was tired of standing
4 - times one of us had to get out of the line 
90 - minutes we waited
400 - times I wished we had done early voting
But after all was said and done and we got our "pumpkin" stickers (pumpkins & peaches look a lot alike to a toddler :) ) my heart is still happy that we got to vote as a family. We will raise our children to see voting as both a privilege and a responsibility, and we will teach them to vote for what is right, even if their voice doesn't seem to be heard or their vote doesn't seem like it counts. I love my country and am in continual prayer for its future. #election2016

 I don't really have much more to say other than to get out and vote, everyone!


Monday, November 7, 2016

Let's Talk Food!

Today I am linking up with Andrea and Erika for a little FOOD edition of their Let's Talk series.


I really love to cook. And I reaaaaalllllyyy love to eat. So, I could not let this link-up pass me by! We don't eat out much (because Eric and I are both cheap fiscally responsible), so I cook pretty often.

However, I don't take pictures when I cook - for a number of possible reasons. It could be because of the 2-year-old who sees this as the perfect time for me to "fix train tracks," get him "more juice peeeease," or dance to "Baby, BABY" (aka - Salt N Pepa's Push It...because we are cultured and believe in exposing our children to the classics, thankyouverymuch). Or it could be the 9-month-old trying to climb into the kitchen cabinets or screaming for a tenth snack of the afternoon. Or it could be because 9 times out of 10, I just forget to take pictures (or can't find my camera...that's most likely not charged. #ahem).

So, with that in mind, please enjoy other people's beautiful pictures of our favorite meals + one dessert :)


I made these quinoa bites for the first time just a few weeks ago, but everyone LOVED them, so they are definitely a new favorite. 


You're not going to win any awards for prettiest or most elaborate dish with this one, but you really won't care. This sausage & potatoes recipe has become a go-to dish for busy nights, but it is seriously SO good and flavorful.


Three words: Buffalo Chicken Meatloaf. I started making this a few years ago, and it is Eric's most favorite thing in the world to eat. I don't know where I even got the recipe - and I kind of just wing it now anyway - but this one is pretty close to what I do. I am not a fan of celery, so I just add a few shakes of celery salt instead.


I am a huge fan of pad Thai, and this recipe is one that is easily as good as the ones in Thai restaurants. So. Much. Yum.


Natalie's lasagna recipe is one that takes a little time, but it is out of this world! I make the bolognese sauce for spaghetti as well. If you make the sauce, go ahead and double or triple it, and freeze the extra so you have some on hand when you are craving it (which you will).


Shay's BBQ Chicken Rice Bowls are another one of my absolute favorites! So easy and such a good combination of flavors!


Good heavens. These brownies are ridiculously amazing. If you are like me and have absolutely no self control, just be aware that you might eat like 6 or more of them while they are sitting around your house. #notanexaggeration

Other staple recipes around our house that are either out of an actual print cookbook (yes, they still have those) or passed down from family or just totally made-up are:

Balsamic Meatloaf
Chicken & Rice with Peanut Sauce
Chili with Cornbread
Spanish Rice
Taco Soup with Tortilla Chips
Sundried Tomato Bisque
Homemade Pizza w/Gorgonzola Cheese, Bacon, & Caramelized Onions
Chicken & Broccoli Alfredo
Teriyaki Chicken w/Rice, Veggies, & Homemade Shrimp Sauce
Grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, pork chops, and corn on the cob - also known as the only time Eric "cooks." Ha!

Can't wait to read everyone else's favorite recipes!



Friday, November 4, 2016

Friday Favorites!

What. A. Week.

I'm just gonna be honest - things have been rough around here this week. We have a lot of tough, heavy stuff going on that I am just not quite ready to post about. But there truly is always good even in the midst of the bad, so let's lighten things up with some favorites of the week...


---> Can we just talk about the perfection that is This is Us? I love every single thing about this show. Every. Single. Thing.

---> If you haven't tried the new Birds Eye Protein Blends, you need to get on it. The Italian Style one is basically my new favorite lunch. And, I eat the whole thing. I'm pretty sure you aren't supposed to, but I do. #rebel


---> A favorite memory from Halloween night was when a man answered the door and told the kids (we were with a group) to hold on. He went back inside for a minute or two and emerged with two huge bars of chocolate. He told us that he was so sorry and that he had forgotten it was Halloween and said that this was all he had. Yeah...it was baking chocolate :) A HUGE bar of Ghirardelli baking chocolate! Haha! We laughed so hard after we left. His wife is gonna be mad when she goes to bake some cookies and finds out he gave her good chocolate away!

---> This meme. #vanillaice2016


---> Another recent favorite is Wells' blossoming vocabulary. He picks up new words and phrases all the time, and as two-year-olds tend to do, he puts his own spin on them. Right now, when you tell him "Thank you," he responds, "I welcome." :)))

I hope everyone has a great weekend. Fingers crossed that we will FINALLY get our family photos taken - I keep putting them off because it has been way too hot to take pictures in anything that even resembles fall clothing! It's supposed to be in the 70s this weekend, so we've gotta jump on the opportunity!


Linking up with AndreaErika, & Narci for Friday Favorites