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Life Lately: Beach Trip Day 1 & 2

Back at the beginning of summer we took a trip to the beach. It was not great timing with selling our house and moving but I booked the trip on Groupon back in March before we knew when we would be moving. Anytime I see our favorite hotel come on Groupon for 60% off room prices- I BOOK IT! Ha! Tyler stayed behind with a friend because he had work and football and apparently going to the beach with your parents isn’t cool when you’re 17. Who knew? But the 3 other kids were excited and still think their parents are semi-cool.

We dropped the dogs off at boarding and left late morning. It’s so nice having big kids, y’all. We didn’t stop at all on the 4 hour trip. Nobody had to tinkle, or eat, or was whining out of boredom. It’s awesome. They slept, listened to music, watched movies, or read books the entire time. I don’t think we heard a peep out of any of them for at least the first 3 hours.

We checked into our hotel earlier than expected, checked out the view from our 9th floor room, and hit the grocery store to stock up. We do not eat out for every meal at the beach. It’s just too expensive. We eat breakfast and lunch in our room and then eat dinners out. We always do a quick fast food type dinner our first night and last night, we do one big seafood all you can eat buffet, we do one night at our favorite steakhouse/tavern, and we do the hotel restaurant one night. It works well for us.

We ate a quick dinner and hit the ocean first! It was cold but these kids loved it. Crazies. We spent probably 3 hours on the beach before hitting the pools and hot tubs and lazy rivers. The best part of going to the beach early in June is that most public schools are still in session so it’s less crowded. We get out before Memorial Day so we can take advantage of those couple of weeks when most kids are still in school. It’s great! 

We didn’t get back to our room until the pools closed at 11pm. The kids crashed almost immediately. I love the beach. Matt and I sat out on our balcony, listened to the waves, and relaxed. The kids were up bright and early at the hour of 6am….ha, just kidding. We dragged those fools out of bed at 10am so we could hit the beach. 

We spent hours on the beach before a pit stop in our room for lunch- a fancy spread of sub sandwiches and chips. Then we hit the pools again. 

Again, I have to say how awesome it is to have big kids. Nobody requires a float or life vest, they don’t need constant line of sight supervision anymore, and I can sit on my sun chair and relax while they have fun. 

We went out for our big seafood all you can eat buffet the second night. We always go to the same restaurant and it’s so good! We have pictures of the kids with the pirate who stands out front from years and years ago. It’s so fun to go back and see how much they’ve grown. Look at that delicious plate of crunchy fried goodness. Can’t you just feel your arteries clogging? I have no regrets. I enjoyed every single bite.

After dinner we took the kids to the strip to a souvenir store so they could buy boogie boards for the ocean. They were on sale 3 for $10 so SCORE! We had enough time when we got back to the hotel to hit the ocean and pools again. We always go eat at 4pm so we still have time to swim afterwards. We let the kids swim for awhile and took a long walk on the beach towards the pier. I love the beach.

Favorite Things Friday {7.13.18}

1. I’ve been working on getting the kids rooms done. Maia’s new bedding arrived and it’s perfect for her. She’s too old for cutesy but not old enough for the basic grandma quilt that I used to stage her room in the old house. I finally found something she loved and it’s amazing. Llamas. She loves it. Zoey chose a super cute comforter set and she’s so happy. Her old set was a hand me down from Maia and Zoey wanted to pick her own. I found a great hanging tapestry for Maia’s room and then on a whim bought a Llama head that really freaked out Zoey. Ha! I started the wall decor for Zoey this week and I’m waiting on a few pieces to arrive from Zulily. I can’t wait to show the full room reveals!

2. I’ve been working hard on getting the two front rooms done. I have all the furniture purchased and most of the decor. I’m just waiting for everything to show up so I can put it all together. We picked up the wine cooler this last weekend when it went on sale and the bar was delivered this week. I cannot wait to see it all come together. This is my favorite part- putting together all the pieces and creating something amazing!

3. Word of advice- never leave your phone unattended around a teen girl. Or you’ll come back to find 400 selfies taking up space on your phone. Sigh. 


4. There’s been a steady stream of kids and teens in our house for the last month. Maia, Zoey, and Mason’s best friends are here all the time and there’s always a herd of teen boys raiding my pantry. I love it. We enjoy their friends so much. Moving closer to school and their friends was the best decision we ever made. 

5. I’ve been trying to limit screens this summer. It’s been a challenge. The little kids haven’t been too upset about it but Maia….you’d think I cut off her hand. She’s the one who needed the detox more than anyone else. She only has her phone for an hour a day right now and that’s it. And guess what? Her moods have improved drastically. I’m tempted to get rid of the phones completely….for the kids, of course. I’d die without mine. Haha!

Life Lately: Fourth of July

We had an amazing Fourth of July! We are determined to do new things, make fun memories, and enjoy life this year. So much stress has been relieved since our big move and we are having more fun than we’ve had in years. This year we decided to take the kids to Carowinds for the big fireworks show. We bought Gold Passes earlier this summer so we can go whenever we want and park for free. We didn’t even leave our house until 5:30pm. There was no rush, no pressure to ride every ride, no frantic pace. It was just an easy stroll through the park, riding whatever rides we wanted, and having fun. 

Mason rode his very first roller coaster- The Intimidator! He loved it! Maia and Matt went on it with him. Zoey isn’t tall enough and I don’t like to pee in my pants. So we waited from the safety of the ground and took pictures.

We spent a lot of time in the Camp Snoopy section because Zoey is tall enough for all of those rides. And honestly, it was fun! We all enjoyed the Pirate Boats, the Hot Air Balloons, and the Spinning Cups. Camp Snoopy is just my speed. Ha!

We talked Zoey into going on her very first roller coaster too- the Woodstock Express! It’s like a mini roller coaster. It took her a few minutes to warm up to it but she enjoyed it! We even took a selfie to commemorate the occasion.

After Zoey’s roller coaster experience we left Camp Snoopy behind for dinner and then let the big kids hit a few more of the thrill rides. They did a few more roller coasters and big rides before we took a break at the fountain to listen to some live tunes and wait for the fireworks show to start. 

The fireworks were great! We had a great view and the kids loved them! It was definitely worth the drive and fighting the crowds.

After the fireworks we still had a couple of hours until the park closed so we hit up a few more rides and waited for the crowds to thin out. 

It was a great Fourth! This was the first year we haven’t attended our neighborhood’s annual party at the pool so we wanted to start a new tradition for the kids. Tyler had previous plans so he didn’t join us but the rest of us had a blast. 

Favorite Things Friday {7.6.18}

1. I’ve been working hard on getting the remaining things done in the new house. I’ve done a lot but it’s just the final few things that need to be finished- curtains in some rooms, wall decor, etc. We’ve had some rainy days lately so I’ve been dragging the family around to IKEA and Hobby Lobby and World Market and HomeGoods. They’re thrilled. Everyone wants their rooms done but nobody wants to know how it gets done. I’m currently working on finishing up the final details in the bedrooms and getting the 2 front rooms furnished and decorated. I’m not going to do a formal living and dining because it’s a waste of space so I’m doing an office/sitting room on one side and a bar/lounge on the other side. I found this amazing tree stump table at HomeGoods for the bar! I love it!

Zoey fell in love with this giant Bull Grill that we found at HomeGoods. She was very disappointed to find out it cannot live at our house. Honestly I think Matt was disappointed too. Ha! Then I had to dash her hopes of having her own princess carriage in the backyard. For $699 the princess carriage better come with a fairy Godmother and some dwarves to clean my house. Just sayin’. 

3. It’s been so nice in the evenings lately that we’ve been grilling out a lot! Between the grill and the Instant Pot I haven’t turned my oven on in over a month! We’ve done pork chops, tilapia, beer brats, and steak recently and I love the simple clean up! I love summer. LOVE IT!

4. I recently bought an air fryer. I’ve been working on stepping up my dinner game lately. We’re all tired of the same old stuff so I needed to change it up. The Instant Pot has been amazing and this air fryer was my next step. The first night I bought it we made chicken wings and french fries. Oh holy cow! The chicken wings normally take almost an hour in the oven to get crispy but they were done in less than 2o minutes in the air fryer! The french fries took 18 minutes and were so crispy! I’m in love! I can’t wait to make more stuff!

4. Matt bought a new car. He loved his Mustang so much that he bought another one. Tyler’s car needed about $7500 worth of work done and we weren’t willing to put that much into a car that is only worth $11,000. So we traded Tyler’s car and Matt bought a new Mustang for himself. So Tyler is driving Matt’s old Mustang. You’ve never seen a happier 17 year old. Now he needs to take his happy self and find a new job. Ha!

5. We fulfilled another item on our Summer Bucket List this week! We took the kids to see Jurassic World 2 and it was amazing! The kids loved it and so did we. Next up is Hotel Transylvania 3! 

Life Lately: Exploring Our New Hood

Moving close to the kids charter school means that we are already very familiar with the area immediately surrounding the school. But our new neighborhood is a different story. We are about 4 miles down the road from the main street with every single thing you could ever need- Target, Walmart, Lowes, Old Navy, and about a gazillion other things. Any place you can imagine to eat is on this one main street. So our main focus was figuring out where the other stuff is- the parks, the libraries, etc. We were driving home one evening taking a short cut that a friend told us about and we stumbled across the best park! We stopped and the kids spent over an hour climbing around.

Of course, one of the very first things we found was the nearest Target. Ha! 

And one of the next things we located was the nearest Little Caesar’s Pizza. If we get pizza take out it’s always from Little Caesar’s. You cannot beat the price when you’re feeding this many people and I’m addicted to their Crazy Bread. 

We also found the closest library to our new house. We are big library people. It’s no secret that I love to read- currently there are about 200 books on my Kindle TBR list. But Maliah and Zoey are also huge readers. Mason enjoys reading specific books- he loves nonfiction, the I Survived series, and a couple of other series. Other than that- no. 

We’ve really enjoyed learning our new area and finding new things. It feels brand new but it also feels like home because it’s so close to school. We really love it here!