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Random Happenings From Our Weekend

Now that the weather is getting a little warmer we are actually leaving hibernation and venturing out of the house on the weekends again. Coincidentally, so are all of our neighbors. We saw a family from down the street on Saturday for the first time since Halloween. I can’t wait to get back to daily walks and visits to the playground. 

 

1. Our heat went out for the second weekend in a row. I don’t understand. It stops working during the night on Friday, we wake up to the house around 63 degrees, the heat refuses to come on all weekend, and then mysteriously works again on Monday morning. What? I refuse to pay the $85 additional weekend fee so the kids were bundled up in winter layers until the temp reached 70 in the house. 

 

2. We now have neighbors on both sides of our house. Finally. The house on our right sold this weekend. I’m not sure who bought it yet but I know there was one family who came back to see the house at least 3 times so I’m hoping it was them. They looked around our age with 3 kids close to our own kid’s ages. Crossing my fingers. 

 

3. We bought Maia an iPhone 4s. I swore up and down I was not getting a 9 year an iPhone. She was supposed to get just a basic free phone. When we went to add the line on our account the cheapest basic phone was $49 and her line was going to cost us $10 a month. The iPhone 4s was free and only $15 a month. Uh….no brainer. So now we are a 4 iPhone family. She was so excited that she slept with it in her hand. I tried to pry it loose and almost lost a fingernail. 

 

 

4. We spent Saturday running errands as a family…well minus Ty because there was no bribe good enough to get him to go to the mall with us. We ended up at the mall so Matt could look for some new shoes for work. He spent an hour browsing through Macy’s while the kids moaned and groaned. He found the perfect shoes, on sale and the style he prefers. And they didn’t have them in his size. I almost cried. This means we have to go through the whole process again another day. 

 

 

5. Bailey has become a real pain in the butt at mealtimes. He hovers around the kids, under the chairs or even trying to jump up to the table, begging for scraps. This weekend he finally got what he deserves. Someone managed to drop cheese sauce from their nachos right on top of his head. We all got to watch as the dog danced around like his feet were on fire trying to lick the top of his head. Cheap entertainment for the win. 

 

 

6. Matt’s parents came to visit on Sunday. We haven’t seen them since Thanksgiving so they brought the kids Christmas gifts with them. We ate Chinese food and the kids had a blast. It was a balmy 69 degrees on Sunday so there is light at the end of our cold winter tunnel. I spent the morning going through the kid’s closets and pulling out outgrown clothes so I could hand up some short sleeves. Oh I can’t wait for warm weather every day!

 

 

Anybody do anything exciting this weekend?

 

**Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win a $100 Visa Gift Card HERE

 

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250 Books In 365 Days: Books I Loved In February

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 I told you last month about my mission to read 250 books in 365 days. And I’ve made a great head start so far this year. As always, none of the links in this post are affiliate. 

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1. Captive by Brenda Rothert– Two years ago, Jason and Kate Ryker were brought together by grief and bound to one another by love. Now married, they’re confronting their fears together. But heartbreak finds them again, and the ties that bind Kate and Ryke are tested as she struggles against fear and sadness. As a grief counselor, Kate understands all too well the pain of her clients. And while her husband’s career as an NHL forward is at an all-time high, he’s coping with the frustration of feeling powerless as his wife’s hopes slip away. Kate’s unexpected journey sheds light on the fear that imprisons her, and reveals that she is the only one who can set herself free.

 This is book 2 in this series. The first book is Bound and you should read it first. I adore these 2 books. They made me feel and those are the best books of all. Small warning- both books revolve around pregnancy loss so if this is a really tough subject for you then you might need to steer clear. I had a few moments reading both books but I’m far enough removed from my own losses that reading about it doesn’t trigger me anymore. I highly recommend both books!

 2. Something Worth Fighting For by Ashley McNiel– After a rough past Ellie Grant now leads an easy life. Between school, work, and beach days with her loud mouth best friend Darcy, she keeps things simple. She never knew there was something missing until she found it. When Marine Corps Sergeant Atlas Ryker walked into the diner that morning her world stopped and started spinning in the opposite direction. Falling in love is easy. Deployment is hard. Distance will mean nothing when someone means so much. 

 Oh man, this one was amazing. I loved every single page of this book. Loved it. And will definitely read it again and again. This book gives a fairly realistic look at deployment and how a relationship survives. 

 3. Shaken by Kariss Lynch– Idealistic and sheltered with a passion to change the world, Kaylan Richards leaves her comfortable life in Alabama to serve in poverty-stricken Haiti. Despite her inexperience and the opposition of a voodoo priest, Kaylan develops a love for the country and the Haitian people. But something deadly is about to strike. It is the worst earthquake the country has ever seen, and in its aftermath bodies, buildings, and broken lives litter the streets. People she cares about are dead, and Kaylan is caught in the middle of the destruction, questioning a God who said He was good. Navy SEAL Nick Carmichael never planned to find a girl he loved more than his country. Now she is a world away, trapped in a deadly situation nothing could have prepared her for. Can Nick’s love help Kaylan heal and show her the God who never abandoned her, or will tragedy shake even the most rooted faith?

 I adored this book. I even mentioned it on here once before because I loved it so much. It is Christian Fiction but it’s so much more than that. I didn’t find the religious undertones to be overwhelming and it didn’t take away from the story- if anything it enhanced it greatly. I compare this book to one I might read by Dee Henderson, who is probably one of my most favorite authors (her O’Malley’s series is one of the best series I’ve ever read). This book was realistic, heartbreaking, and deep. 

 4. Changing Course by Aly Martinez– I met Sarah Kate Erickson when I was twenty-one years old. I was lucky enough to keep her for seven years before a tragic accident stole her from me. She didn’t die, but sometimes I think it would have been easier if she had. I lived in a haze for those four years after the accident. Catering to her every need, even though she hated the very sight of my face. I tried to hold on to her and the future that we were supposed to build together. But you can’t hold on to someone that doesn’t exist anymore. It wasn’t until I met Jesse Addison, a barista at the local coffee shop, that I realized I didn’t just lose Sarah that tragic night, I lost myself as well. Jesse taught me how to let go of the past and learn to love again. But what happens when your past haunts your present and the woman you used to love refuses to accept the woman you can’t live without?

 I got sucked right into this book. I could feel the pain of the characters as I was reading. The story was unique and well written. It was angsty but not high school angst if you know what I mean. The characters were adults who had tragic pasts and baggage. 

5. Be With Me by J. Lynn– Teresa Hamilton is having a rough year—she’s in love with her big brother’s best friend, but he hasn’t spoken to her since they shared a truly amazing, mind-blowing, change-your-life kiss. She got out of a terrible relationship. And now an injury is threatening to end her dance career for good. It’s time for Plan B – college. And maybe a chance to convince Jase that what they have together is real. Jase Winstead has a huge secret that he’s not telling anyone. Especially not his best friend’s incredibly beautiful sister. Even though he and Teresa shared the hottest kiss of his life, he knows that his responsibilities must take priority. He certainly doesn’t have time for a relationship. But it doesn’t help that all he can think about kissing the one girl who could ruin everything for him. As they’re thrown together more and more, Jase and Tess can’t keep denying their feelings for each other. But a familiar danger looms and tragedy strikes. As the campus recovers, the star-crossed couple must decide what they’re willing to risk to be together, and what they’re willing to lose if they’re not.

 I adored every second of this book. I didn’t want it to end. Ever. This is the third one in the series. First you should read Wait For You and then Trust In Me. Wait For You is probably one of my top 5 books of all time. I loved it so much. Trust in Me is the companion novel told from the male lead’s perspective and it’s equally good. I just can’t say enough about this series- you definitely should read it. 

 6. Give Me Strength by Kate McCarthy– Quinn Salisbury doesn’t think she’s cut out for this whole living thing. Even as a young girl she struggled. Just when she thinks she’s found a way to leave her violent past behind her, the only thing that’s kept her going is ripped away, leaving her damaged and heartbroken. Four years later, she is slowly rebuilding her life and lands a job as an assistant band manager to Jamieson, the hot new Australian act climbing their way to the top of the charts. There she meets Travis Valentine, the charismatic older brother of her boss, Mac. From his commanding charm to his confidence and passion, Travis is everything Quinn believes is too good for her, and despite her apprehension, she finds their attraction undeniable and intense. When her past resurfaces, it complicates their relationship. Instead of reaching out for help, Quinn pushes Travis away, until a staggering secret is revealed that leaves her fighting for her very life. Torn between running and opening her heart to the man determined to have her, can Quinn find the strength within herself to fight for her future?

 This is the second in the series- Give Me Love is the first one and so very good. Both books revolve around the lives of a rock band and also a security team. There is a great mix of suspense and romance with some twists and turns. The books are set in Australia so some of the language is a little different but the stories were so great that it didn’t bother me.

 7. Carnal Secrets by Suzanne Wright– Half-shifter Shaya Critchley may hold a submissive role in her pack, but she’s done taking orders. After her Alpha wolf mate refused to claim her—but committed to interfering in her life—she took off. Now she hides from him, posing as a human in a town full of anti-shifter extremist groups. She thinks he’ll never find her again, and that suits her just fine. But she’s wrong. Nick Axton can barely control his feelings for Shaya, but he could never claim her—not if he truly cares for her. The degenerative brain condition he keeps secret would ultimately leave her with a burden rather than a mate. But when Shaya runs away, Nick can’t bear the thought of never seeing her again. After tracking her down, he discovers Shaya’s feisty and passionate side in the process…a side he’d never seen before. Under the menacing gazes of territorial local packs and violent human extremists, Nick vows to finally claim the spirited Shaya…and despite her initial resistance, Shaya just might find his fiery determination to be the ultimate aphrodisiac.

 I love paranormal shifter books- especially when they are done right. And Suzanne Wright does them right. This is the third book in the series, preceded by Feral Sins and Wicked Cravings. All 3 books are hot and naughty but with great storylines. If hot and naughty books make you uncomfortable then skip this series but otherwise- I definitely recommend these. You’ll be blushing and fanning yourself for sure. 

 February was a great month for books. I have so many still on my TBR list. Anybody read anything great in February?

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Things I’m Loving Lately

Sometimes it’s the little things in life that make me happy. A sunny day, a new show, a great shoe sale….it doesn’t take much. Lately I’ve been waking up with a smile on my face and peace in my heart despite the insomnia, which is such a nice change from not even wanting to get out of bed. Even things that normally would really bother me- such as the heat going out on a Saturday, or a neighbor kid from way down the street being dropped off uninvited at our house at 9am on a Sunday, or the car rider line dad who tried to jump the line by driving down the sidewalk…. So here are some of the things that have put a smile on my face lately.  

 

1. McDonald’s Shamrock Shakes- I love them. First, they’re green. That’s all kinds of awesome. I made Matt go get me one as soon as I saw the commercial this last weekend. 

 

2. The new shows coming to TV- I love new shows. There are some that look really good! About a Boy was hysterical and so was Growing Up Fisher. There are some more premiering in the coming weeks that I am excited about! Our poor DVR is going to be full again.

 

3. The Voice is back- This is probably my favorite show on TV. I love it. Let’s face it, I’ll watch any show with Adam Levine and Blake Shelton. Seriously. 

 

4. The sneakers I bought for Mase from H&M’s recent sale- I lucked out at the H&M online President’s Day sale and got Mase 2 pairs of the hightop sneakers for $6 and then I “splurged” and bought him these awesome dino sneakers that he loves. And at only $12 I couldn’t resist. I kind of want some in my size. 

 

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5. The transition to warmer weather- I am so ready for Spring. I’m noticing the days getting longer, the afternoons warmer, the flowers blooming, the neighbors coming out from hibernation…I love it. We’ve played outside every afternoon this week and it feels so good.

 

 

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6. The new Oreo flavors- So far I’ve tried Cookie Dough, Crispy Marshmallow, and Lemon. So good. So so good. I may or may not have eaten almost a whole pack by myself. 

 

7. NASCAR started the new season with a bang at the Daytona 500- Even with a 6 hour rain delay it was an amazing race! Have I mentioned how much I love NASCAR? Because I do. I’m Southern- it’s a religion ranking right up there with SEC Football.

 

8. Green Mountain’s new Island Coconut flavor coffee k-cups- I love flavored coffee, which is the whole reason we bought the Keurig. Matt hates flavored coffee of any kind. So now I get what I want without offending his manly coffee nature. I saw the new Island Coconut flavor at Target and had to give it a try. So good. So very good. 

 

9. The 40% coupon code for Children’s Place I got yesterday- I had the kids start trying on their spring/summer clothes last week and realized just how much I was going to need to replace. Maia outgrew every pair of shorts and capris, Mase outgrew almost every pair of shorts, and Zoey outgrew everything. I spent $174 and bought the following: 5 pairs of shorts, 1 skort, & 2 pairs of sandals for Maia; 4 shirts, 2 pairs of pajamas, & 2 pairs of sandals for Mase; 3 shirts, 1 pair of jeans, 4 pairs of pajamas & 2 pairs of sandals for Zoey. Plus I grabbed 4 pairs of pajamas for Cam and 4 pairs for my nephew, Jax. That’s a lot of stuff! And we are done for spring/summer. Yay!

 

Those are just a few of the things making me smile lately. How about y’all? 

 

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7 Signs You’re A Stay Home Mom During Cold & Flu Season

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I love being a stay-home-mom. I really do. But during cold and flu season I put the emphasis on “stay-home”. We don’t go out all over town exposing ourselves to all the germs. We spend a lot of time at home or at the park on warmer days. That means by March I am generally going stir crazy. Sometimes there’s even twitching.

 

7 Signs You’re A Stay Home Mom During Cold & Flu Season

 

1. You ate half a pop-tart, 3 bites of a banana, and 5 M&M’s for breakfast because that’s what was leftover on your kid’s plates and you’re trying to stretch the groceries to avoid going to the store.

 

2. You haven’t worn anything other than yoga pants and baggy tops for a week because the only person you ever see during the day is your toddler and she still wears diapers so who’s she gonna judge.

 

3. You can recite an entire season’s worth of Doc McStuffins episodes. 

 

4. Your husband comes home from work 20 minutes late and you give him the evil eye. Then you talk non-stop for 5 hours because he’s the only adult conversation you’ve had all day. Finally he falls asleep in self defense.

 

5. You see your neighbor for the first time in 3 months when you walk down the driveway to get the mail. That’s how you know the hibernation is coming to an end.

 

6. You’ve bought more hand sanitizer than wine over the past few months.

 

7. You considered opening the door for the Jehovah’s Witnesses that came to your house just so you’d have an adult to talk to that day. This would be the sign that you need to start venturing out into the world again. Because clearly you’re losing your mind.

 

The height of cold & flu season is coming to an end soon and I cannot wait. We have avoided malls, playgrounds, libraries, and pretty much anywhere else that flu germs love to invade for the past 3 months. We’ve been very lucky this winter- aside from a few colds we have been fairly healthy. Last year I was ready to start taking bids from someone to build a bubble over our house by this point. The flowers are starting to bloom, the sun is starting to shine, the street is full of kids on bikes, and the stay home moms are starting to look a little less crazy. Life is good.

 

**Don’t forget to enter for a chance to win:

$100 Visa Gift Card

$1,000 Target Gift Card

$1,000 Visa Gift Card

 

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He Said, She Said: Amish Lifestyle

 
 
 
 
{You know all those funny and/or stupid little moments that happen in every marriage but nobody ever talks about? Well welcome to He Said, She Said: True Stories where I give you an unprecedented glimpse inside the marital dysfunction. You are welcome.}
 
 
 

Setting the Scene: We have a crap home heating system. Seriously. It goes out every year at least once, sometimes 2-3 times, and it costs us tons of money a year to keep it working. We woke up on Saturday with no heat again. It was 54 degrees in our house and I was not happy. The following conversation took place after we discovered the no heat situation.

 

She Said: I guess I’ll call for service repair. But we’ll have to stay home most of the day to wait for him.

 

He Said: We’ll also have to pay a weekend service fee. 

 

She Said: Yep.

 

He Said: Let’s wait till Monday. I hate paying $80 extra just because it’s Saturday.

 

She Said: I guess we can. It’s going to be 69 today and 72 tomorrow. The mornings will be cold though.

 

He Said: It’s the end of February. We could just hold off and have a full service done in the fall before we need the heat again.

 

She Said: Ummm…..we still have some really cold mornings coming up. I think we have to get it fixed. It’s going to cost the same no matter when we get it fixed. Why suffer?

 

He Said: You’d make a terrible Amish person.

 

She Said: I think that’s a given. 

 

He Said: Seriously. You’d die. 

 

She Said: And I’d take you with me. 

 

The End. 

 

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