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What We Did: Thanksgiving Edition

What a busy, fun filled week with family! The week started off with a mad rush to clean up the house because it was a disaster. Busy life = messy house.


I finally got my last gallery wall done in the family room. I’ve had all the pieces sitting here for about a month but just haven’t had a minute to actually get it all put together. It turned out better than I expected given that I did it in 15 minutes with only one try.


You know what rocks? Realizing you have a tween old enough to help cook for Thanksgiving! Maia was put in charge of the Pumpkin Crescent Rolls and she did a great job. We made 8 batches and she did more than half of them.



What isn’t easy is keeping the teen boy out of the kitchen so those Pumpkin Crescent Rolls actually would make it until Thanksgiving dinner! 


Getting ready to host Thanksgiving takes a lot of work. But we pulled it off. Just in time too because our first guests rang the doorbell not even a minute after I took these pictures!



We had such a great time with our family. Tons of food, tons of laughter, tons of football, and tons of pie!








After dinner was over we tried to get some family pictures. It did not go well. Now, remember we had about 20 people present. Clearly not all 20 people got the memo about the family pictures happening.










I just don’t know what to do with these people. We ended up with a ton of leftovers this year so it was a weekend full of food. I’m a little afraid that my real people pants won’t fit this week. But man, it was so delicious. 



The rest of the weekend was spent watching college football, putting up Christmas decorations, and then watching NFL football. Exactly how I like it. 



I’m still only half done with the Christmas decorations….and that might be a bit of a stretch. But I’ll get it done soon. It was a great Thanksgiving and I’m super sad that we’re back to real life now. I’m already counting down the days until Christmas break!


What We Did: Weekend Edition {11.21.16}

We had a great weekend. Extremely busy but it was really fun too. We’re just in a season of life where we don’t get a minute to breathe sometimes but it’s a good life. Our weekend started off Friday night with Tyler’s 1st round football playoff game. The game was over 2 hours away from our house and we had to leave in the middle of rush hour traffic which is always…fun. We made it in 2 hours and 48 minutes. Yay us! I’m going to miss Friday night football. I’ve made some amazing friends with other moms of the players and I just love it so much. This week was hard. We lost. It was a really poorly officiated game and the other team was pretty dirty. Tyler played nose guard on defense and also some at guard on the offensive line. He doesn’t necessarily like the o-line but he sure is good at it. He had some amazing blocks on a guy who was way bigger than him. 


Tyler took more than a few helmet to helmet hits from the other team, he got kicked in the head twice, he came off the field with bloody cleat marks in his back from being stepped on, his jersey was torn and blood stained by the time they walked off the field.



I hate that they ended their season that way. But man, what a team. These guys will always hold a special place in my heart for the way they embraced Tyler, made him right at home, and made sure he felt part of the team from the very beginning. They are great guys.




It was a long night. We didn’t get home until after 1am and didn’t get into bed until almost 2am. Then I had to wake up every 2 hours to check Tyler because of the head hits. He was not diagnosed with a concussion but the trainer wanted me to watch him for symptoms. So it was a rough night. The alarm went off appallingly early on Saturday morning because Mason had basketball practice at 8:30am.


Right after his practice ended we raced home and loaded everyone up in the car to drive 2 hours up to my parents house for my mom’s surprise 70th birthday party. We have never ever ever once been able to surprise this woman. She has some kind of weird radar about surprises. We’ve been planning this party for months now and hoping for the best. 


We actually pulled it off. There were about 18 of us there for the surprise. We kept it small with only close friends and immediate family so mom didn’t freak out about whether her bathroom was clean enough for guests. Ha! Her face when she walked in was priceless.


It was so much fun. We ate great food, drank more than we should have, and laughed a lot. I love my people. The kids had a blast. 




We stayed later than we anticipated and didn’t get home until after 10pm. But it was worth the exhaustion to party with my peeps. Sunday morning was lazy. The kids slept in until after 10am. I was up checking Tyler most of the night but so far he doesn’t seem to be showing any concussion symptoms. We’ll know for sure in another 24 hours. Symptoms usually start within 72-96 hours at the latest. We’re about 60 hours out now. So far so good. Sunday afternoon meant a quick trip to Sams Club for food.


The rest of Sunday was spent switching our cellphone service. Bye bye Terrible-Mobile and back to AT&T we go. Poor Matt had to spend hours at the store getting our phones switched. Then he surprised me and came home with an iPad Mini for me. My first iPad. I’m in love. 


The rest of Sunday was spent setting up phones and iPads, watching football, and doing massive quantities of laundry. So much fun! But that’s ok, this week will be great. Tyler is off school all week but has basketball practice Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Saturday. The other 3 kids are off starting Wednesday, as is Matt. I’m excited for some family time! And turkey. And pumpkin pie….yum!



What We Did: Weekend Edition {11.14.16}

We had a lovely 3 day weekend. Lovely but packed full. Still, a 3 day weekend is always reason to celebrate! Friday didn’t feel much like a free day though. It started with basketball at 8:00am. Really? They couldn’t give us until 10? Sigh.


We are T-6 months from Tyler getting his full drivers license so we’re having him drive as much as possible. He’s already far surpassed the minimum hours required but I want driving to be second nature for him by the time he goes off on his own. We’ve only recently begun letting him drive with the other kids in the car because they’re usually noisy and distracting. Matt and I let him drive to his early morning practice on Friday while Maia watched the other 2 who were still sleeping. 


It was nice to drop Tyler off, go get coffee with Matt, and get to sit and watch a couple hours of basketball practice without the other kids moaning and groaning about being bored. 




After practice we went home and picked up the other kids so we could head to the sporting goods store. Tyler needs team specific basketball shoes so we had to get them ordered. They were not cheap. My credit card whimpered a lot. Mason also needed new basketball shoes for this season, his old ones are destroyed. Amazing how sneakers for two kids can kill a budget so fast. 


Friday afternoon I finally got the email to schedule our switch to Google Fiber internet and TV service. I might have done a happy dance. I have been waiting so impatiently for this to happen. Of course, that means I had to spend some significant time binge watching our DVR over the last few weeks. I’m down to a few shows left to watch and then we’ll start over with a fresh, clean DVR. Ah….



Tyler wanted an ice cream cake for his birthday celebration but he doesn’t like the cookie center in most of the store bought ice cream cakes. So I made a homemade one using ice cream sandwiches. It was SO good! I’ll be sharing the recipe I used this week.


While Matt and I cleaned off the DVR, Tyler had a party with 6 of his friends from the neighborhood. These guys have been best friends for almost a decade now so they’re like my own kids. They devoured $75 worth of pizza and chicken wings, ate 6 bags of chips, drank 4 bottles of soda, ate half the ice cream cake, played video games, and watched Neighbors 2 before collapsing and falling asleep all over the house. 


This is how Tyler woke up his friends this morning. I worry about this boy. He’s not right. One of his friends screamed and fell off the couch, another one ran for the front door, and another tried to punch him. It was hilarious. 


This girl with the attitude got tired of all the testosterone in the house and invited several friends over to lounge in the hot tub with her on Sunday afternoon. It was very loud in my house. Very very loud.


Even Zoey got into the action and had her best friend over to play all day on Sunday. These two are just the cutest together. They colored, watched movies, played Minecraft, and annoyed the teen boys. Exactly as it should be.


And it wouldn’t be Sunday night if one of my kids didn’t feel sick. This week it was Mason so he spent hours snuggled on the couch watching football games with us. I think he has a sinus infection so my week might start with a trip to urgent care. 

We’re gearing up for another busy week. We have Kindergarten awards, 3rd grade honor roll awards, football practice, basketball practices, a football playoff game, a surprise birthday party, Thanksgiving prep….it’s a busy life. But a great one. 


What We Did: Weekend Edition {11.7.16}

We had another really busy weekend. I’ve just come to accept that life is busy and is going to remain busy for at least the next decade. So we just embrace it, tag team dropping kids off at various places, and drink heavily at night. ha! Our weekend started as always with Friday Night Lights. It was Tyler’s last regular season home game for the year and it was our school’s biggest rival team. We had a bunch of friends and family come to watch and our team did not disappoint. 



We won 42-0 and Tyler played a fantastic game. He had 6 individual tackles, 5 assisted tackles, 4 hurries, a tip, 2 almost sacks, and a fumble recovery. He had a blast and it was a wonderful way to close out the regular season. Now we’re on to the playoffs. 




It was also senior night so we had a great time celebrating the seniors and the stands were packed. This is such a great group of people- moms, dads, siblings, players…I’m so grateful to be a part of this amazing school. I’m going to miss football games. Although I’ll see a lot of these people again in a few weeks at basketball games. 


Saturday morning started bright and early with Mason having his first basketball practice at 8:30am. Which means we were up and moving by 7:00. Which sucks when you didn’t get home from the football after party until almost 1am. Coffee y’all, lots of coffee. 



We came home and dropped off Mason after his practice and literally turned around and left to drive Tyler to his basketball practice that started at 11. It was only 1.5 hours long so Matt and I just stayed to watch. Most practices are closed so it was nice to get to watch one. 


We dropped Tyler off at home after practice and Matt and I headed off to vote. I didn’t take any pictures because we had to leave our phones in the car. I don’t understand this rule but whatever. We waited in a long long line and it was almost 2 hours before we got back to the car. My stomach was growling and so was Matt by the time we were done. 


Matt and I barely had time to scarf down a sandwich before we were back on the road. Maia’s school had a Fall Carnival and both she and Tyler signed up to volunteer. Being at charter schools means that our kids are required to complete a certain number of service hours every semester. Maia and Tyler’s schools are right down the road from one another so a bunch of the football players offered to help with her school’s Fall Carnival to earn a couple of service hours. Maia did face painting and the football players did the bounce bootcamp and the knockerball. It was hilarious and fun and the little kids had a blast. I was volunteering also so I didn’t take any pictures. I can’t believe I didn’t get any. 


We left Maia’s Fall Carnival and headed a few miles down the road to Tyler’s schools November Fest celebration. They had a chili cook-off, live entertainment, bouncy houses, and the introduction of the winter varsity teams. I love being a part of this school. I love walking around at an event and knowing so many people, and feeling the spirit of community, and my kid having so many friends and feeling like he really just fits at this school. It’s amazing.




After Matt and Tyler consumed enough chili to ensure a very uncomfortable ride home for the rest of us, it was time for the winter sports teams to be introduced. Now let’s take a moment and analyze the picture above. Notice how the girls varsity team is wearing their uniforms? Notice how the boys team is not? Yeah. They were supposed to be. Clearly the coaches need to understand that if they want anything to get accomplished they have to email the moms. ha! We’re in the middle of an interesting transition from football to basketball. Football is still in season because our team made the playoffs. So the football players cannot practice during the week or play games because you can only play one sport at a time in high school in our state. Half the team consists of football players. We’ll see how this goes. I feel bad for the basketball coach.

Saturday night was get in your pajamas, sit on the couch, and watch Alabama play LSU in what was a much closer game than I anticipated. Sometime around 9:30 I realized I never ate dinner. I was going to make a pizza but I decided I was too tired to chew. I drank my dinner instead.




Sunday was hair cut day for the boys. The football coach has been on Tyler’s back to cut his hair and then the basketball coach chimed in and agreed. So Tyler got a hair cut. He went with a faux hawk style. I really like it. 


While Matt was doing hair cuts I was helping Zoey with her first Kindergarten project- the turkey decorating. It’s a right of passage. I’ve now done 5 of these dang turkeys. If I was smart I would kept the older kids’ projects and used them for the little kids. But she had fun and that’s what matters. And the project is done. 

The rest of Sunday was spent cleaning, doing laundry, and watching lots of football games. I’m gearing up for another extremely busy week. Tyler has the week off for football. Because pf the flooding in our state from the hurricane the playoffs were delayed a week to start next Friday so the coaches gave the players this week off. Of course that means they are eligible to attend basketball practice even if they can’t fully participate. Sigh. It’s all good, playing multiple varsity sports will look great on his college apps. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. 


The Weekend Recap {October 31}

Oh man, we had quite the weekend. It was jam packed with fun and family and friends, exactly how I like it. It got off to a not-so-great start with a trip to urgent care for Tyler.


He was diagnosed with a staph infection. You can see a few of the spots peeking out from under his shirt on his left arm. He has 6 spots on his arm, 1 on his thigh, and 2 on his back. He’s on super strong antibiotics- oral and topical- and we go back in a few days to get it checked. 



Friday afternoon Matt went to Zoey’s Kindergarten class for some pumpkin carving. This is something he has done with every one of our kids in Kindergarten and it was a little bittersweet to know that this is the last time. Not bittersweet enough to have another kid, but still bittersweet. It’s a fine line, folks. Zoey had a blast and she is really proud of their pumpkin.





Tyler had a hard game on Friday night. He started at nose guard and was having a fantastic game, they were having to triple team him to keep him from breaking through their offensive line. Then he went in the game on offensive line for one series and got hurt. He took a helmet to the side of the knee and his leg twisted under him when he fell. Then 3 guys fell on top of him. He played the rest of the game at nose guard but he was clearly hurting. 



We only have one regular season game left before the playoffs start and Maia has been begging to get a picture with Tyler after a game. He was nice enough to oblige her even though he was hurting. Love seeing my kids together. It gives me all the feels.


It was after 11 by the time we got home. The team trainer examined Tyler before we left the field and told us to do ice for 20 minutes on, 40 minutes off in 3 hour intervals. By the time he got showered and fed and comfortable in bed it was midnight. So I dosed him with Advil at 11 and started the ice at midnight. Which meant I had to stay up for 3 hours. It was a long night. A Long Night. I didn’t get into bed until 3:30 after his 3 hour ice intervals were done and he had a second dose of Advil. Then I was up at 6 to start all over again. Have I mentioned that I’m tired? Cause I’m tired.



Zoey went to a birthday party and fall festival with her bestie and had the best time. These girls are so amazingly adorable together. I just love them. Zoey had a blast. Her bestie’s mom has rapidly become one of my favorite people. It’s rare at the age of almost 40 to find new friends that you really really click with but I have done it and I’m so grateful. 


Speaking of besties, Maia found hers at our neighborhood Fall Festival. These two have been friends since they were 3 & 4 years old. It’s been awesome to watch them grow up together.



We did face painting. Mason chose a football, of course. His big brother is his hero right now and Mason cannot wait to play tackle football. I can wait. Zoey chose a pretty butterfly. Sweet girl.



We played games. They had a bunch of fun games set up for the kids. One of them won a lollipop. The other did not. I’ll let you guess which is which. Ha!




We ate lots of good food, saw lots of great friends, and met some new neighbors. The kids had a blast. 



Cotton candy was consumed in bulk by everyone. And it was good. 



Tyler felt okay enough with his knee to venture out to visit with his friends for awhile. He mostly sat on the curb and let his friends hang out around him. Like a queen holding court. Don’t tell him I said that. ha.



We took a fun hayride around our neighborhood. The kids loved being pulled around in a hay filled wagon by a big tractor. It’s the little things, folks.




The kids did apple bobbling. It was hilarious and they had a great time. They were dripping wet and got zero apples but a good time was had by all.


I didn’t even notice until I uploaded these pictures that one of Mason’s friends is photobombing in the pumpkin. Ha! 

It was a really busy weekend and we managed to work in a trip to IKEA, a trip to the library, and a trip to Sams Club. Plus we dropped into one of Matt’s co-workers Halloween party on Saturday night but we didn’t stay too long because we had friends come over to watch the Clemson/FL State game. What a GAME! I love busy, fun-filled weekends but honestly I’m looking forward to a nice quiet one sometime in the near future.