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Life Lately {September 2016}

Life lately around here has been busy. So very busy. September, as I mentioned, is just the busiest most stressful month when you have school aged kids! Basically you just have to buckle down and ride it out. But it’s not all bad, of course, we had a lot of great moments too! 

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It started out a bit rough. Zoey was the first to get sick. She got a respiratory virus that came with fevers and massive amounts of mucus oozing out of various places. It was…great. Then Mason fell, then Maia, and finally Tyler, Matt, and myself. So 98% of September was spent dealing with various people’s ailments. 

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But being forced to stay home with sick kids gave me the chance to finally finish up my gallery walls in the living room. The first one is the large wall behind the couch and the second picture is the smaller wall across from the stairs. I’ll show you more details later but I’m so happy with how they turned out!

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The month started out great for this big boy. He locked up his starting right tackle position and he played great! He’s an amazing dude and I’ve never seen him so happy. I take a deep breath and thank the heavens every day that he got in to this charter school. 

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I’m going to be really sad when football season is over, even if it is a massive amount of work for both him and us. It’s worth it. He’s made some amazing friends on the team and he really loves it. 

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Lots of time was spent waiting for football practice to end but I managed to get quite a bit of reading done so that’s a plus. This is about the only time I can actually sit and read right now. 

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And then in mid-September it all fell apart. After the homecoming game in mid-September Ty was diagnosed with a concussion. He had a rough go of it. He started with a bad headache and then came the nausea, dizziness, blurry vision, light headedness, and extreme sleepiness. It was a rough week right after the diagnosis.

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He officially was put on concussion protocol after I got him evaluated by a sports medicine doctor which meant he missed almost 3 weeks of football. His concussion happened on 9/16 and 10/4 was his first full practice back after being cleared. 18 days. 18 days of grumpy teen boy. Awesome.

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Meanwhile I spent a lot of time at Target where I found these amazing, delicious Fall lollipops. I bought them for the kids but then I ate one and then I ate them all. So good!

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I also found these adorable knit hats with faux fur pom poms on the top. They are so cute and I love them. Plus at only $5 each I didn’t feel guilty for buying one in each color. 

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More recovering. Our dogs are super sensitive when the kids are feeling good. They hover, they try to lie right on them, they love on them. Chase was all over Tyler all week long!

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A very good friend took pity on us the Saturday after Ty’s concussion diagnosis when 2 kids were diagnosed with strep and the other one had an ear infection. She’s an amazing friend. She brought us a dozen donuts and Pumpkin Spice coffee. 

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I made so many crockpot soups in September trying to make everyone healthy again. All the veggies, all the broth, all the protein. 

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A PSL frapp made this one feel better about her raging ear infections. She started out with an ear infection in one ear but the antibiotics did not get rid of it so when I took her back she had infections in both ears. Sigh. 

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Mom just can’t get sick. Clearly. Because we have to deal with this. 

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And Ty had college planning night in September. How am I old enough to have a kid going to college planning night? This seems wrong. But we got a lot of great information and Tyler has already narrowed down his college choices and he knows he wants to major in engineering, he’s just trying to decide what kind.

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And the car line. I spent a lot of time in the car line, silently cursing stupid people who try to turn left despite the NO LEFT TURN sign right there! Why? Is this a test, God? I’m afraid I’m going to fail this test. 

So that was September. I’d like to say that October is shaping up to be less busy stressful…but it’s not. But that’s ok! Life is good!

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The Weekend Recap {10-3-16}

We had a rare unscheduled weekend and we made the most of it! Tyler did not have a football game this Friday, it was their bye week but he would have been out anyway because he’s still in the concussion protocol. Good news- he should be fully cleared for full contact practice and games on Wednesday! And he never ever wants a concussion again. 

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Because this was our first Friday night at home since the first week of August, we made the most of it with an impromptu family night. Pizza for dinner, we watched The Shallows, and deep fried twinkies for dessert. The kids loved the twinkies. I drizzled them in chocolate and strawberry sauce and added whipped cream. I’m their hero. It was so nice to just hang out and relax. 

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Matt brought me home some fabulous whipped cream vodka so we topped the night off with these amazing Blue Breeze cocktails. They were so so good. And pretty. We also tried dirty root beer floats and they were delicious too.

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Saturday was full of errands. We did the library to drop off some books and pick out some new ones. Then we hit Sams Club. I fed Matt, Maia, and Zoey samples for lunch. They ate lentil soup, orange juice, almond milk, cliff peanut butter bars, cheese stuffed raviolis, bacon, fruit salad, cheese cubes, chicken nuggets, pizza bites, and french toast sticks. It was a productive trip. 

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Check out the side eye on Zoey. She asked for a picture with the pumpkins and Maia jumped in the picture to photobomb. That side eye is epic. She is her mother’s child. For sure.

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Saturday night we spent an hour in the hot tub before watching the Clemson-Louisville game. Holy cow-that game. My heart was in my throat the entire time. Clemson made that game much more stressful than it needed to be! 

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Sunday morning we woke up to temps in the 60’s. Oh my gosh, I almost did a happy dance on the back deck in my pajamas. Matt and I drank our coffee outside on the deck and watched all the leaves falling in the yard. It was glorious. Of course, it was just a teaser because by mid-afternoon the temp was back in the high 80’s. Boo.

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Matt ran out and grabbed the kids 2 boxes of donut holes and got me a large iced pumpkin spice latte. He knows how to keep his family happy. Food and coffee. That’s all we require.

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And then I spent the afternoon negotiating the weekly carpool. Tyler’s coach sends out an email on Sunday afternoons with the practice and game schedule for the week. Then the negotiating and finagling begins to cover all the practices and meetings. I worked out the schedule for Tyler and then worked out the morning drop off schedule for Maia. 

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October means it’s time for crockpot soup. Even if Mother Nature hasn’t yet gotten the memo and insists on killing us with temps in the high 80’s. It’s still October and I’m still making crockpot soup. So Sunday night was Crockpot Chicken Pot Pie Soup and biscuits. Yum!

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And I made my first pumpkin dessert of the month. White chocolate pumpkin earthquake cake. Oh my gah, y’all. It was so good. So very good. I’ll share the recipe soon. 

So that was our weekend. The little kids have no school today so they’re home with me. I think we’re going to run to Chick-Fil-a for lunch and then take a dip in the hot tub. The hot tub is great now that the air temp is lower than the water temp. Ha!

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Life Lately {Summer 2016}

I just realized I haven’t really done a Life Lately picture post in quite awhile. Life’s been busy. And that’s very contradictory to how Summer should be, in my opinion. But as the kids get older, the busier life becomes. It’s been hard trying to balance the enormous time commitment that is high school football with making sure the other kids have fun too. 

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So we’ve been doing a lot of this. Swimming, swimming, and more swimming. It’s been so hot around these parts that the pool is pretty much all that anyone wants to do. 

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While waiting for Ty to finish in the weight room at school, Mase has been exploring the playground on campus. We’re really hoping that the other kids get into this amazing school next year and spending time on the really cool playground has helped Mase decide that switching schools won’t be so bad!

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And more swimming. This scene ended about as badly as one would expect. Maia dumped Zoey out of the float from underneath. Zoey screamed. Maia laughed. Zoey punched her in the face. It was a whole thing. 

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We’ve had quite a few sleepovers around here. Mase had one with all his neighborhood friends. Maia had one with all her friends from her old school. Ty had one with some neighborhood friends…although there was zero sleeping involved in that one, more like all night Xbox One tournament play. Our house has been full of kids all summer long. 

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Ty had a physical done for football recently and the doc couldn’t believe how big he is for a 15 year old. He’s 5’10 and 210 lbs. The doc was super impressed with Ty’s Duck Dynasty beard too. Ha! 

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Zoey has picked out her book bag and lunch box for next year. Shopkins and donuts, ha! But in true female fashion, she changed her mind 48 hours later. We’re currently in negotiations. 

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July means the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. I love it. I plan for it. I shop it like a drill sergeant. I did put myself on a budget this year though and I was very good. I stuck to my budget and even came in under it. I also bought shoes for the kids too, so not just stuff for myself. Ty got Sperry’s, Mase got leather Converse high tops, Zoey got Sperry’s, Maia got Converse. I also managed to sneak in 2 different Blardigans, a great lace sleeved sweater, and a couple of other things I’d been eyeing up. 

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Cam came down and spent the weekend with us recently. He hasn’t been able to come down in awhile because he had knee surgery last October that ended up with complications and he couldn’t travel. Then once he did recover from knee surgery, he fell and broke his femur which meant surgery and a huge cast and he again couldn’t travel. We’ve up to visit him several times but this is the first time he was able to come here. We went swimming, we went in the hot tub, we made Smores over the fire pit, we watched a movie outside…they had a great time.

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This little dude took a bad fall off his bike this week. He was wearing his helmet, thank goodness, but he really tore up his knee, elbow, and stomach. Poor guy, he’s been hanging out on the couch for the last few days trying to recover. 

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Big Red here locked up a starting position on the football team yesterday! All that hard work has paid off. They announced the starting offense after practice yesterday and Ty is the starting Right Tackle (for those of you who are not up on football positions, he’s playing Michael Oher’s position in the movie The Blind Side lol). Starting defense will be announced soon and he’s still in the running for the Middle Linebacker position. So fingers crossed. I can’t tell you how much it’s meant to me, as a mom, to see him thrive and flourish in this school. Best decision we ever made was taking a chance on this charter school lottery. 

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And there’s been a lot of this. Sitting in the heat waiting for football to be over. I’ve read a lot of books, sweated off about 7 lbs, and shopped on my phone way too much. But I did almost all our school supply shopping on Target’s app so holla! Matt took pity on me and bought me a rechargeable battery operated mini fan for the car. Now that’s love folks. Haha!

That’s pretty much been our summer so far. Hope yours has been as much fun!

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Life Lately {April 2016}

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April was so busy. It was so busy that I didn’t take as many pictures as I normally do. It was just one of those months that alternately seemed to fly past at warp speed but we were so busy that it seemed like the month lasted forever. I know, a total contradiction. Such is my life.

This girl has a real love of puzzles. She adores them. She’ll happily spend a whole afternoon putting together puzzles. I bought her a bunch of new ones at the Dollar Store and she’s a happy camper. I have to admit- I’d much rather help her put together a 100 piece puzzle than play with dolls. Shhhh…

My little man got to go on a little adventure with a friend during Spring Break and he had so much fun. He’s finally at the age where he wants to go out with his friends. For so long he was a mama’s boy who didn’t want to be away from me at all. It’s nice to see him starting to branch out of his comfort zone and experience some new things without me. 

Take a good long look at that beautiful clean kitchen. I took a picture because I knew it wouldn’t last long. And I was right. This clean kitchen lasted approximately 45 minutes until the kids got home from school and dumped their lunch boxes and book bags out on the counters. One day I’ll have a clean kitchen all the time. One day.

Matt has been cutting his hair and the boys hair for years. Ty finally asked for a hair cut when he could no longer see through his thick hair in his eyes. Matt cut so much hair off his head that it looked like a small furry animal had moved in our house. 

We’re trying very hard to teach our kids how to manage their money so Zoey saved up her allowance, and her tooth fairy money, and the money she got from her grandparents for a whole month to have enough to buy this Rainbow Dash play-doh set. And the pride on her face when she paid for it herself was amazing and worth every single second of whining I endured while she saved. Mostly.

We made the hard decision to start preparing to sell our house and move within the next couple of years. We found several neighborhoods that we’re focusing on and we’re making plans to get our house ready to sell. It’s hard thinking about leaving the house that we’ve lived in for 11 years, the house where we brought 2 babies home to, and where a whole lot of memories have been made. But we’ve outgrown this house. 

Maia has really come out of her shell this year in 5th grade. She is on the student council, the safety patrol, the bully prevention team, joined the chorus, and volunteered to be a buddy to a Kindergarten student. This girl…she’s going places. I just love her.

We spent a good part of the month trying to recover from a horrible respiratory virus that swept through our house so getting out and spending time at the cool park was great. Zoey had a lot of fun running around with her cousin, Jax, and getting out some of her energy.

We spent way too much time at the Target minute clinic this last month. We suffered through Strep Throat, Sinus Infections, Walking Pneumonia, Ear Infections, Pink Eye, and Bronchitis. I’ve had enough. Hoping May gets better!

Anytime I can get the kids out of the house and into the sunshine I immediately see their moods improve. These 2 have been at each other’s throats recently so seeing them play nicely at the park together was refreshing. 

Zoey is officially registered for Kindergarten next year. We attended our elementary school’s beginners night last week and she had a blast. I’m still on the fence about the charter school. Zoey has a spot and this morning Maia got offered a spot but Mason is still on the wait list. And it’s not our top choice charter school so it would only be temporary until they get in at the charter school where Ty will be next year. Is it worth it to move them for only a year or so? Parenting is so hard, y’all. 

We took the 3 little kids to the zoo last weekend and they had so much fun. Ty had football camp so he couldn’t come but we have a year pass so he’ll be coming next time. It was the perfect weather- cloudy, in the low 70’s, with a light misting rain every couple of hours. It was so much fun. 

May is shaping up to be another really busy month for us. Decisions have to be made regarding the charter school, Maia graduates from 5th grade, all the kids have field trips…plus EOG’s, and EOC’s. I’m ready for summer!

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Life Lately {March 2016}

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March was even busier than February but it was a good kind of a busy! It was a productive busy that makes you feel accomplished and on top of life. I’m so ready for the warm weather and outdoor sports and cookouts on the deck. 

I finally chose a color and we painted the master bathroom. See that really high part up above the shower area? I had to climb up and sit on top of the shower in order to paint that top part. Have I mentioned my intense fear of heights? It was awful. Matt had to lure me down with a margarita. This room is never getting painted again.

Mase was awarded the citizenship award for fairness and justice in his class for the second quarter. His teacher always has such nice things to say about it, which makes it all the more bewildering that he turns into a demon when he gets home from school. At least he knows how to behave in public.

The vanities were finally delivered for our master bathroom. They were 2 weeks late. And we paid extra for them to be unpackaged and set up in the bathroom. Instead the company just dropped them in my bedroom and left. So I had to unpack them myself. My rage got me through that experience. Never underestimate the strength of an angry mom.

My poor daughter had to learn a harsh life lesson. The lesson that mom is not going to bail her out when she forgets something at home. Poor neglected child. But guess what? She set her alarm for 15 minutes earlier every day to make sure she’s not rushed. Natural consequences work.

This boy has had a huge month. He got his drivers permit and is now bugging us to let him drive everywhere. And he got into a top rated amazing charter school for next year. This was my first choice school that I’ve been trying to get my kids into for the last 4 years. And I finally got one in! So the other 3 will have top priority in the sibling lottery the following year. I can’t tell you how excited we are!

Spring arrived with a big flourish. One day the temps were in the 40’s and the next day we hit 80. Talk about an abrupt change but in the very best way. It was so nice to pull out the shorts and tees and send the kids outside to play. 

And yet another IKEA trip. Poor Matt. His eye starts to twitch whenever I mention IKEA. But I’m putting the finishing touches on a lot of different rooms which means lots of trips back and forth to the store. There is light at the end of the tunnel though!

Matt spent a Saturday getting the hot tub ready for Spring! We’ve been in the hot tub almost every evening when the weather is nice. It’s amazing how much stress melts away when you are soaking in a hot tub with a margarita. 

Mase had a weather project due for school recently and he planned out the whole thing himself. He used cotton balls to make his tornado and did the research himself. It’s so nice watching him grow up and be able to do his school projects with less help from mom and dad. 

Check out that master bathroom! It’s pretty much done. All the big stuff is done- paint, vanities, mirrors, etc. I’m still working on decor and accessories but for the most part, it’s done!

I bought the puppies a new bed and they love it. It’s an orthopedic bed. I’m pretty sure it’s more comfortable than my own bed. 

I love having a back yard full of giggling kids and puppies. It’s the best. We’re the hangout house and that means our yard is always full of kids. Teens playing basketball in the front yard, little kids on the swings in the back yard, and tween girls giggling on the porch watching the teens playing basketball. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Matt surprised me with some beautiful sunflowers one afternoon. He knows me well. I’m not a roses kind of girl. I love sunflowers, they make me smile and feel happy every time I walk past the vase. 

I spent hours cleaning out Zoey’s bedroom. Hours, y’all. The child is a mini-hoarder. I pulled out toys that she hadn’t played with for over a year. I pulled out stuff I didn’t even know we owned. We rearranged her room and organized and now all her stuff is easy for her to put away. 

We celebrated Matt’s birthday at our favorite restaurant, Texas Roadhouse. Seriously, if you have lots of kids then this is the place to eat. First, the music is so loud that nobody will hear the noise your kids make. Second, kids eat free on Tuesdays! And third, they make a delicious Jamaican Cowboy margarita. Yum. 

Spring Break started on Good Friday and the first day was amazing. The kids slept in until 10am, then they played in the hot tub and in the backyard for hours. It was like a little mini preview of summer vacation. Only 45 school days left until summer break starts.

We celebrated the last Friday before Easter with a feast at Red Lobster. It’s a sad day, y’all, when you realize your almost 12 year old eats enough to order from the adult menu instead of the kids menu. A sad day indeed.

We celebrated Easter up at my parents’ house with extended family and friends. It was a lot of fun and they all enjoyed the Easter Egg Hunt. It was so good to spend time with our family. 

This little lady got her first visit from the tooth fairy! She had a lot of help from some chewy Easter basket candy and it yanked that wiggly little tooth right on out. Thank goodness because yanking out wiggly little teeth is a gross job that I despise. 

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