Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Halloween 2014 is in the books. This year our neighborhood party was on Halloween and without a trunk or treat event at our new church, we really only had one opportunity to dress up. Which was a shame because these kids are so stinkin' cute!
We had 2 sets of grandparents here this year which was super-fun and I stayed home and handed out candy a bit so they could have fun watching the kids trick-or-treat. Almost everyone got in on the dress-up fun this year. I kind of wished I had done more after the amazing costumes of my parents:
Josh found a Superman shirt at Old Navy and since M was super girl, he dressed it up and went as Clark Kent. I had just gotten a Wicked shirt from my mom who saw it on broadway so I bought some green tights and went as a Wicked fan. 
The kids tired out again this year before we expected them to, and we came home and ate pizza that was delivered two hours late. It was a great Halloween and M keeps asking when we can go trick-or-treating again. ;)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Pumpkin Carving

Ok, so I'm just going to skip over the fact that I've skipped over the last 2-ish months and head straight into the now (well the yesterday actually). After church while the Panthers were getting beat again, we carved pumpkins. J and I are actually pretty hands-off when it comes to carving these days. A and H design, scoop (mostly) and carve their own pumpkin creations and they always turn out so well!

Here's a glimpse of the fun (I actually got out my real camera for these, a sadly rare occurrence these days!):
Inspecting her "Nerd" pumpkin.

Intense concentration on his vampire pumpkin. He added his cape from last year when he put it on the porch. 


Getting a little crazy. "It's so light now that all the guts are out!"
This pumpkin had just woken up from a nap so she was in quiet observation of the whole experience and had no interest in carving her own or getting involved in the goop, all of which I was very glad!

Thursday, September 4, 2014


Feeling quite the spirit of renewal here lately. Kids back in school, even Miss Priss for a few hours 3 days a week:

A structure to our days, thank heavens! My new before-school-lets-out pick-me-up:
Here's how:
Throw some leftover coffee in the vitamix, add a banana, some coconut cream, a heaping spoonful of cocoa powder, and a few cubes of ice. Blend. 
The ice will disappear but you need it for liquid and coldness. Serve over ice. So yum and totally Paleo y'all! 

Speaking of Paleo, we finished our Whole30. It was as life-changing as they say. We lost a combined grand total of 33 lbs. and more importantly our eating habits have changed for the better. I was not tempted in the least by dessert at church last night, J can handle 2 beers max, and grains are not at all interesting. It's kind of scary trying to figure out how to eat normally now. I tried to get this new iced coffee chick-fil-a has and it was loaded with sugar. I ended up throwing it away it was so gross! 
Anyway, whole30 was great and we highly recommend it to everyone. 
My Post Whole30 lunch (that's actually Whole30 because I don't want to eat anything else now!)

So lots of change for the good, and really it's just the beginning...

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

School's In!

Today was the big kids first day of 2nd and 4th! Hurray! 
They were up and ready to go, waiting on the couch, 20 minutes before we actually needed to leave to walk there. That's never happened! ;) 
I had quite the productive day and a very pleasant toddler which was quite a bonus after the last couple of weeks. 

We ended summer on a positive note with train rides uptown and swimming at multiple pools and the finale was the baseball game last night. We have a new stadium and the kids have never been. We had fun exploring the stadium, eating Dippin' Dots, and rolling down the grassy hill. It was a cool night and we sprung for the cheap seats on the grass which was nice for the kids to be able to get their wiggles out. Although at one point we ended up in the fancy seats to check out the view and the kids decided they liked it better there; I was completely nervous we were going to get caught the whole time so I didn't really notice how great the seats were...I know, I'm a rule-follower. 
Regardless, it was a perfect way to send off the summer! 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer's End

The end is in sight, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are days away from the new school year; supplies have been bought (after multiple trips to multiple stores), teachers have been assigned, new shoes and clothes have been purchased, and tonight is open house. We have 2 weekdays left of summer and I am both compelled to do something amazing to end it with a bang, and completely wrung out and over it all.

Thankfully the kids seem to take turns being the trying ones this summer, for a while it was the eldest with the trying-on of tween attitude, then it was the middle with his constant need for someone to tell him what to do when his sister wanted to play alone, then (and often) it was the youngest with her almost-three demanding independence about all things. This week she has had a slight cold and at the same time has decided not to nap anymore which lead to a 4-8pm meltdown on both of our parts. Good times.

Today is also day #22 of our Whole30 plan. Whole30 is an elimination diet where you only eat meat, nuts, veggies and fruit for 30 days. There is no sugar, no grains, no dairy, and no alcohol allowed. After Michigan where we ate and drank all the things, we knew it was going to be as good a time as any to start. We prepped and read testimonies, and found recipes and shopped for good food. We planned to start on August 1st but soon realized we had this amazing fridge full of food and decided to start a day early. It has been a great experience and I'll write more about it later but so far (even though it's not a weight-loss plan and you're not supposed to weigh yourself), I've lost over 10lbs. That's a nice perk but also my skin is clearer, as is my mind. You're supposed to have this amazing, boundless energy, but so far I'm struggling at the end of the day, that could be more about being worn out from a house full of 3 kids and it being summer though.

More on all of that at another time, I need to gather the troops and figure out what to do with our 2nd to last day of summer. I think my grand idea today is to drive 25 minutes to the $2 movie. Whoohoo, we have the most fun. It's a good thing the kids don't yet know how often their friends have been to Carowinds or the beach or other more exciting venues. I'll let that be my little secret as long as I can...

Thursday, July 10, 2014

So Much Love

I'm feeling quite the love lately, so much love in fact that I'm currently hiding in the bedroom reading with "mommy's hip hop mix" blasting in my earbuds while ^J^ puts M down. Summer has been and is amazing so far, but being with M during every waking hour has made her much more dependent on mommy for everything. Ironically she's also entering my least favorite kid-phase "the terrible threes". Yep, threes. The independence that comes with 3 is so persistent and so sudden, and so verbose! I try my best to let her have as much indepdence as possible so that when it's necessary for me to take control, she won't freak too much. But sometimes, like today at Barnes and Noble when she asserted her independence by attempting to "do it myself" on the moving escalator, I just have to intervene. You know, like when she decides to sit on a moving escalator with a super-long princess dress on (that she picked out of course), I feel compelled to take control in that situation! And then the poor shoppers have to endure the ensuing frustrated cries because mommy didn't want her sucked into the machinery of the escalator. 
But then there was this while shopping too:
I turned the corner and she had this gigantic pile under her chin. "I want dis Mama." No big deal mom, just over $50 of princess Dupleo sets and a Frozen book. I seriously don't know how her little muscles could carry all this. It's a good thing she's cute! 
She's also become more daring at the pool lately. At the beginning of the summer, she had little control of herself with her floaty on, and we had to be with her the whole time. Now she's quite independent in her floaty and propels herself where she wants to go with this amazing dolphin-frog kick she's invented. We can even sit on the side of the pool and watch for a bit. 
But then, this week she decided it was time to start holding her breath and putting her face in for long periods of time. So far she's really in control with this and the only issue is that she's doing it constantly so I've got to watch her like a hawk. Then she started opening her eyes under the water so we got her goggles and she ended up looking like this:
Oops, a little tight maybe.
So to sum up, I'm feeling the love, lots of love. And as I type this, the love has found me. 
Sigh. Good night! 

Saturday, June 21, 2014


The school year ended a little over a week ago, and as I reflect back on it, I'm so grateful for what a good school year we had. Last year was so incredibly stressful with the drama at A's school. This year we couldn't be more proud! The child who they said should repeat 2nd grade ended up not only passing her End of Grade test, but getting above average scores!! Her teacher awarded her the "Junior Scientist" award too. 
I'm just so grateful that we trusted our instincts and that we know our child well enough to be able to make a decision other than one that's being made for us! Also, I'm seriously trying to suppress the urge to mail a copy of her test scores to that %*#+^! teacher and principal from last year with a giant "I told you so!" note.

So now we have a 2nd and 4th grader and we're enjoying the (kind of) lazy days of summer. I actually just set up a job chart so their days aren't as lazy as they were, but they needed it and seem to enjoy the structure. We'll, A does. H needs reminding and prodding. ;)

We've lived at the pool. It always surprises me that with swim team
practice nearly everyday and meets twice a week, they still want to go swim for fun! They are both at the bottom of their age brackets for swim team this year, so it's been a growing year for both of them. But they both continue to show improvement and they really do seem to enjoy it, so that's all that matters! 

This one likes it too, dispite the smirk on her face, especially when she can swim during practices. She started doing the backstroke (on land) the other day while we were watching a meet and her technique was actually pretty good! So funny what she picks up on!
When we can't get in and have to wait for the kiddos at practice, we sweat (a lot) and make silly faces to pass the time. And someone often steals my sunglasses...

Well there's more to share but it'll have to wait. Cartoons and coffee awaits!