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Life Lately: Tyler’s Prom

In April Tyler also had his junior prom. He took the sweetest girl and had such a great time. I really love his friend group, they are amazing kids with great parents. All the parents met up at a clubhouse near the lake to take pictures of the kids. We were fortunate enough to have one of the parents be a pretty professional photographer and she shared all her pictures with us! You’ll be able to tell which ones are hers. Ha!

We got one good picture of him next to Matt’s car before he left. He drove the Mustang for prom and now he wants to drive it all the time!

Tyler and his adorable date, Ella. She’s such a sweetheart. 

Do you know how hard it is to get a gaggle of boys to all look at the camera at one time and smile? It’s like herding chickens! The girls automatically posed, smiled, and stood still. Not the boys. Nope. There was yelling involved. And one of them still isn’t looking. Ha!

These are some of Tyler’s closest friends this year. Such a good looking group. 

Not sure which part I like more- Tyler’s weird pose, the pink sunglasses or the 3 stooges vibe? Ha!

We kept trying to get Tyler to smile. I tried to tell him it was prom pictures not football pictures. 

The photographer got some great shots of the entire group of kids. There were some seriously gorgeous girls. I don’t remember any of us looking like this when I was a junior…and some of these girls are freshmen and sophomores. What???? No fair!

I adore this picture. It sums up this group of guys perfectly. I don’t even remember what they were laughing at but we got probably 5 shots of them just cracking each other up. I love it!

I’m so grateful for this wonderful group of kids. Tyler just fits right in with them and they’ve been an amazing group of friends. That’s one of the things I love most about this school! Everyone knows everyone and it just creates a family atmosphere!

I love this picture. It’s a great one but I love it more for what happened surrounding it. All the girls were standing behind the photographer trying to make the guys smile. We got one picture of them all stone faced and then they just cracked up. 

And of course there has to be shots of them all posed up. Ha!

Look!! He can smile….kind of!

He had a great time at prom. All the kids chipped in $50 and one of the parents rented a party bus to take them to dinner and prom. It worked out perfectly. The bus picked them up at the clubhouse, took them to dinner, then to prom, picked them up afterwards and dropped them off at the clubhouse. Several parents in the same neighborhood opened their homes for after parties so the kids all just walked from house to house. It was so much less stressful not to worry about them driving after prom. They crashed at one house and then spent the whole weekend at the lake. He’s really living his best life right now. Ha!



Life Lately: Moments From March & April

March and April were pretty much a blur of getting our house ready to go on the market. I remember very little except how much I hate to paint walls. Haha! But I have all these great pictures on my phone so I assume we did other things besides paint! 

Zoey had a random encounter with the Easter Bunny at Walmart when we were there to buy some things for house staging. Mason declined to have his photo taken with the creepy Easter Bunny. I can’t imagine why? 

Mason started the recorder unit in his music class. That was a long long long month. Long month. Long. 

The kids had lots of play dates with friends while we got the house ready to go on the market. We couldn’t entertain them so our house was pretty much full of kids at all times. They enjoyed a few last dips in the hot tub, which I miss more than anything else except my fridge. Ha!

We ate a lot of fast food, donuts, and junk. Cooking pretty much went out the window for about 7 weeks. The kids loved it. I’ll spend the next year trying to lose the weight I put on during that 7 week oink-fest. 

Maliah spent lots of time with friends and continued to get prettier. She also got her first boyfriend. I’m pretty sure I don’t like this. 

You cannot take 2 men-children into a store without them acting like fools. Matt and Tyler pulled a total Miami Vice when we were in Kohl’s looking for dress pants. They entertained everyone around us. For the record, they did not buy those jackets even though they both wanted them. No. 

They also spent a lot of time napping on the couch during the NBA playoffs that they forced me to watch. Every time I tried to change the channel one of them would wake up and object. Every single time. 

And this would be the boyfriend. His name is Nick and he’s adorable. He’s sweet and he treats Maliah well and his parents are amazing. Also- both he and his older brother have a healthy fear of Tyler. It’s fine, we’re fine. Everything is fine. 

Lots of sleepovers and late night Dunkin Donut runs happened. Lots. And you know what happens when you give 2 very active teen girls coffee and donuts at 10pm? They’re up ALL night long. 

We didn’t see much of Tyler. He’s always out with friends and when we lived so far away he would spend several nights in a row with friends who lived closer to the school. He made an appearance every few days to get clean clothes and say hi to his dogs. We see him a lot more now that we live so close to school and his friends!

So that was pretty much March and April around our house. Lots of house reno, play dates, and late nights. 



Life Lately: Getting Ready To Sell Our House

Getting ready to sell a house that you’ve lived in for nearly 13 years is painful. Seriously painful. I declutter regularly and still….ALL THE STUFF! I spent weeks cleaning out closets, drawers, cabinets, and under beds. And still. ALL THE STUFF! When I ran out of stuff to donate we finally rented a storage unit close to the house so we could get ready to stage the house. It worked out great. The place was offering the first month free and our house sold so quickly that we ended up only needing the unit for 29 days. Score! And yes, I did pack up half of my closet in trash bags. Don’t judge me. 

We made about a thousand trips to Lowe’s Home Improvement for various things. Plants for around the hot tub, plants for the front stoop, a new door mat, mulch for the backyard…it was endless. You know the old show Cheers? Where everyone knows your name? Well, Lowe’s is my Cheers. They knew us by name by the time we moved. 

We had so many projects to get done. The lists were endless. Matt pressure washed the entire outside in one day. We tried to get the house professionally pressure washed but it was too tight of a timeline. While he pressure washed I redid all the gel stain in the kitchen and upstairs bathroom. It was a big job but it looked so good afterwards!

The week before we listed our house on the market we hustled to get our deck done. Matt and I hit Home Depot and had an impromptu date night. The kids said it was an old person date night. They are not wrong. We ate dinner and bought deck paint and moving boxes. Living the dream. 

It took us nearly an entire weekend to get the deck fully painted. We used Behr Premium Deck Over and I highly recommend it! The deck looked brand new by the time we were done! It was well worth the 48 hours and $80 to do it!

We also made a trip to IKEA to grab some things for staging our house. Mainly I bought pillows for beds and new comforters for the kids’ beds. That spruced up the bedrooms immediately. We didn’t need much- throw pillows and pillow covers, some candles, and a few accessories rounded out my staging plan. 

It was a hectic few months trying to make our house look like nobody lived in it. Ha! Lots of painting, lots of decluttering, lots of cleaning, and lots of staging. It was worth the effort but man, it was a ton of work! 



Life Lately {November 2017}

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I’m just a tad bit late on my November life lately post. It’s been a busy few weeks but there’s only 8 school days left until Christmas break. And I am counting them down! November came in with a bang and went out with a bang. 

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Varsity football season 2017 came to a merciful end the first Friday of November. It was an ugly, dismal season. We had 7 concussions on top of various other injuries to starting players and it just made for a tough season. Tyler was finally given clearance to at least attend the very last game of the season to be on the sidelines with the rest of the injured starters. There were 6 of them that stood on the sidelines cheering on the younger players, checking on injured players, handing out water bottles, and supporting their teammates when they would have given anything to be on that field. I’m proud of them. 

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Tyler turned 17 in the beginning of the month. These pictures make me laugh. His friends planned him a surprise party and he didn’t get home until 11pm. Then his friends threw him another party at one of their lake houses right afterwards. He didn’t come home until Sunday. And he came home tired. 

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Zoey brought home her Tom the Turkey project. It made me nostalgic to know that this is our very last Tom the Turkey. We’ve done 4 of them and she’s the 5th and last turkey. We’ve done Superman, a Princess, an Alien, and a Christmas tree in the past. Zoey chose a snowman! Then Mason and Zoey got to use their free pizza coupons that they earned for meeting their reading goals for October. 

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Maliah has made such a great group of friends in 7th grade. She was invited to a sleepover birthday party and they had such a great time. It makes me so happy to see her finding her place even when I know she’s still having issues with anxiety and depression and fitting in. These girls are so sweet together and it makes me smile to know that the girls she’s in class with now will be the group she graduates with in 5 years!

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Just before Thanksgiving break the little kids had the Thanksgiving Feast in their classes. We had Mason on the first day. We picked up Chick-Fil-A biscuits and hashbrowns and had so much fun. His class did a skit and we nommed on some yummy desserts afterwards. 

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And the next day we had Zoey’s Thanksgiving Feast. We basically repeated the same thing over again with Chick-Fil-A biscuits and hashbrowns. Her class did a song and we had more yummy desserts. I love all the cool fun things their school does with parents. 

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I haven’t talked a whole lot on here about Tyler’s concussion. He suffered a complex severe concussion on September 8th in a football game. He took a direct helmet to helmet hit to his temple and then a secondary hit to the same temple that whiplashed his head really hard. When his physical symptoms did not go away within a few weeks we started to get concerned. Then in mid-October he started complaining that he was having trouble concentrating and focusing in class and it was causing headaches. We immediately took him back to his sports medicine doctor who put him on a medication to help and referred him for post concussion physical therapy. He ended up with a diagnosis of Post Concussion Syndrome and twice a week physical therapy. At his first PT appointment we discovered just how serious his issues were. He had severe impairments with vestibular movements and spatial disorientation- he could not balance at all- and near complete destabilization of his vision. He couldn’t track his therapist’s finger without rapid blinking, eye fatigue, and his pupils bouncing and jerking (saccadic eye movements). It was a very scary and very serious diagnosis. He did physical therapy twice a week for 6 weeks, saw his sports medicine doctor once a week, and had to be seen by an independent neurologist. 

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In the middle of the month Maliah turned 13! She chose to have 2 of her besties come spend the night. We took them out to Cici’s Pizza and then to see Daddy’s Home 2. Tyler and 3 of his good friends tagged along for the free pizza haha! I can’t believe I have 3 teenagers now. That’s insane!

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Just before Thanksgiving Tyler’s sports medicine doctor finally discharged him from twice a week PT and gave him clearance to work with his school trainer again. He was finally allowed to run, lift weights, and shoot the basketball again. He had no more headaches, his focus and concentration were getting better, his balance and coordination were near baseline, and his saccadic eye movements while still there weren’t causing headaches anymore. So he’s done with formal PT and working with his trainer again. He was also given permission to play football again, which I’m not all that happy about but we’re waiting to see the neurologist again before making a final decision. 

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We partied hard at Thanksgiving. Lots of people, lots of food, lots of laughter, lots of fun. And lots of pie. Lots and lots of pie. The pie is always the best part. We had a full house of family spend the night and it was loud and crazy. I enjoy hosting family but man, it’s a lot of work. Luckily we had Saturday and Sunday to recover. 

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The last week of November Tyler found out he had been recommended for the Blue-Grey Varsity Football Combine. He has no idea which coach recommended him, it had to be more than one coach. He wants to go so badly. We’re debating. I don’t know if he’ll play in college or if he even wants. So we have 10 days to make some serious life decisions. First, is he even going to play football next season? Second, is he interested in playing in college? We’re just sitting on it for now and waiting for the neurology appointment. I keep telling myself it will all work out the way it’s meant to. But man, this in between is hard. 

So that was November in a nutshell. 

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Life Lately {10.23.17}

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Well it’s been a minute since I did a true Life Lately post and a lot has happened around these parts. So I thought today would be a great day to catch up on what’s been going on. 

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This little lady is my sidekick lately. Whenever I need to run errands she’s right there wanting to go with me. I know she won’t want to hang out with me forever so I’m enjoying it while I can. 

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Tyler was recently cleared by his trainer to start hanging out with his friends a little bit more. He started with a soccer game because he is a fool. And of course, he came home with a headache. So the next time he was allowed out of the house he went to hang out at a friend’s lake house with a few friends. He said he was fine but I can see in the second picture that he was still having symptoms. He was supposed to spend the night but came home early instead and then slept for 18 hours straight. It’s been a frustratingly slow process for him. 

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Maliah had her very first braces tightening recently. It wasn’t as painful as she had been anticipating and she didn’t have any issues afterwards other than a little soreness. She’s been taking progress pictures every month. The top one was Day 1 and the bottom one was Day 60. I can already see the difference!

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I love getting pictures of my kids during their school day. This one was taken by another parent in Zoey’s class while they were at STEM a couple of weeks ago. 

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Speaking of school, Mason recently took a trip with the entire 4th grade to Raleigh. They spent the whole day there and he had the best time. The kids really love this school and their teachers. They’ve made great friends and they really have just fit right in. I’m so grateful. 

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Tyler was so upset to not be cleared to even be on the sidelines at the Homecoming game. He knew he wasn’t going to be cleared to play but he had high hopes that he’d be allowed to at least be there. But unfortunately he was not. It was a sad day in our house because we’d planned a big BBQ tailgate and our families were coming into town. But it wasn’t worth the risk of making Tyler’s symptoms worse just for one game. 

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I had to be at Homecoming as the Varsity football team mom so we decided to go ahead and take the kids even though Tyler couldn’t be there. Alot of their friends were going, even down to Zoey’s class, which is one of the benefits of a K-12 campus. I was overwhelmed by the amount of parents who asked how Tyler was doing and wanted to say they were praying for him. It was so nice to hear everyone has been pulling for him. 

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Because Tyler’s symptoms are still present and he’s not making a whole lot of progress, he was referred by his sports medicine doctor for post concussion physical therapy. He was also put on a medication called Amantadine. It’s supposed to help with focus and concentration issues.

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This girl has been struggling lately with some anxiety issues. She’s had a lot of change in the past few months and it all just kind of snowballed on her leading to anxiety and migraines. We started her on a low dose anxiety medication and weekly therapy. She had her first therapy appointment last week and I think it’s going to help her out a lot. 

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The little kids school had the annual Fun Run at the athletic field last week. It’s a fundraiser for the school and parents, family, and friends sponsor a child for each lap they run. Mason ran 34 laps and Zoey did 30 laps. They each were able to contribute $30 to the fundraiser. And they had a blast!

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Tyler had his first post concussion PT appointment last Friday. It did not go as well as he had hoped. He showed significant issues with vestibular movement, spatial disorientation, and vision. He couldn’t balance on one foot with eyes closed, balance standing heel to toe with eyes closed or balance at all on the foam mat. It was a little surprising because I wasn’t aware he was having balance issues. His eyes are showing a lot of saccadic movement (bouncing rapidly without focusing) while he’s trying to focus and concentrate plus he’s doing a lot of blinking and has considerable eye fatigue very quickly. He’ll be doing this PT twice a week for at least a month. Hopefully we’ll see some progress. 

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Tyler was invited to a Halloween costume party and his PT gave him permission to go as long as there was no strobe or black light and no loud music. He didn’t get permission to attend until the day before so he didn’t have a costume. Fortunately we have a huge bucket of old costumes in the attic so he was able to piece together something- not sure what he is supposed to be but he ended up in Matt’s doctor costume and Matt’s 70’s wig from his hippie costume. Ha! The little kids had a blast going through the costumes and wore them around the house all weekend.

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How am I old enough to have a daughter who goes to the mall with friends and texts me pictures of potential purchases? I mean, what??? It’s so bizarre to me. But she’s having a blast with friends and it’s great to see her getting out of the house and having fun instead of sitting in her room stressing out about homework. 

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I love my neighborhood. Ha! We were driving down the street yesterday and this is what we saw. Those are not kids. Those are 2 adults. They went around the entire neighborhood and even tried to play tennis. It was hysterical!

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