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Reflecting On My 2017 Goals


My word for 2017 was Flourish. I don’t feel like I really met that goal for the entire year. I think the first 8 or 9 months of the year were great and I really was happy and well….flourishing. But life got complicated and the last few months have been really difficult ones in our house. Instead of flourishing I was just trying to tread water and not drown. But that’s okay. That’s life. I did great on some of my goals for 2017 and I didn’t do so great on others. Again…that’s life. All in all, I’m happy to see the end of 2017 and move on to better things in 2018. 

1. Be involved. I wanted to be involved with the kids’ school and with the athletic boosters and with football. I wanted to be involved with friends and with neighbors. I definitely met this goal. I became the team mom for varsity football, I am co-class coordinator for Zoey’s classroom. I volunteered for all kinds of events and things to support the school. I went out with friends and enjoyed myself. 

2. Spend wisely. I feel good about this one too. I cut the grocery budget significantly. I was careful about what I bought all year long. I only bought the needs instead of all the wants. There’s always room for improvement but I’m happy with my progress.

3. Read more. I definitely read more in 2017 than in 2016. I’ve read 133 books in 2017 compared to 114 in 2016. I was also more particular about the books I chose to read. Less fluffy smut and more insightful, emotional stories. I found some great new authors and best of all, I read so many books for free from the library and from Overdrive online. 

4. Update the bedrooms. Maliah’s room got a complete overhaul back in the Spring. The master bedroom got a minor redo. Everyone got updated beds. There are some big changes possibly looming in the near future so both Mason and Zoey will be getting new paint and refreshed decor soon. 

5. Keep the house clean. I had the best of intentions. I really did. Unfortunately all these people and dogs in one house means that it’s not always going to be clean. I kept the dust bunnies to a minimum and did the best I could. That’s all I could do. 

6. Be more productive with my time. I did great with this earlier in the year. Then the new school year started with a 5:30am wake up time and I was just trying to survive. I’ve come to the realization that I will just never be a morning person. Ever. I’m a night owl. Period. 

7. Pay down debt. This one was a big fat FAIL. We actually paid off a lot of debt in the Spring and then ended up with a ton of medical debt after Tyler’s concussion. So now we start over again. 

8. Pay more attention to my outward appearance. Yeah…..fail. I’m a jeans and tee kind of girl and that’s never going to change. I’m done trying to be something I’m not. I wear minimal make up and my hair is in a messy bun more often than not. I am who I am. 

All things being said, I’m pretty ok with how I did on my goals in 2017. As I mentioned, there are some big changes on the horizon for our family in 2018 so I’m going to have to be more go with the flow and less stabby when things don’t go smoothly. I’m a work in progress. 


Life Lately {November 2017}


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. 



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. 



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. 



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!



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. 




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. 






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. 







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!


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. 


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. 


2017 Monthly Goals: December


How is it already December? How? The first half of this school year has literally zoomed right past me. I’m totally unprepared for December. I was equally unprepared for November but it came along anyway. Rude. 

November Goals:

1. Shave $100 off of the monthly grocery budget. NOPE. I failed to take Thanksgiving into consideration. Sigh. I managed to not go over budget but I definitely did not come in under budget. 

2. Plan and decorate for the holidays. HALF DONE. I planned our holiday lists and planned my decor but I didn’t get any actual decorating done until this past weekend. I had to recover from Thanksgiving first. 

3. Write and schedule blog posts for the month ahead of time. NOPE. Fail. Big fail. 

4. Purge all closets. DONE. I pulled out all the outgrown clothes and made a list of things the kids actually need. Both Mason and Zoey needed all new pants and all of them needed new socks. Thankfully everyone is set on uniforms until next year. 

5. Meet with the head of schools about Tyler. DONE. I still cannot say much but I had a great meeting with the head of schools about one of the football coaches. He basically accused Tyler of faking his concussion and made his life a living hell for months while Tyler was trying desperately to recover. That crap has been handled. 

December Goals:

1. Slow down and enjoy the holiday season. Our lives have been so dang busy for the last few months that I feel like I haven’t been able to take a breath. I need to sloooooooow down. We have a jam packed full schedule for the next 2 weeks and then we have 2 glorious weeks off for Christmas break. I intend to enjoy every second.

2. Write and schedule blog posts for the rest of December. I will get this done. I will. I already have my posts planned out so now I need to actually write them. 

3. Decide where to go with this blog in 2018. I’ve been kind of in a rut for awhile. I need to figure out what my plan will be for 2018. Gone are the days when I can commit to 5 posts a week. It’s just not going to happen at this stage of life. But I want to do better than I have been lately. I’ll sort it out this month. 

4. Do at least 3 family nights/activities. I would love to take the kids to see Jumanji during Christmas break. We want to drive around and look at Christmas lights one night. And we are going to do our annual Redbox movie-a-thon after Christmas too. We don’t have that many Christmases left with Tyler at home. He’s already barely home. 

5. Just say no. I will not overcommit this season. I will not say yes to every single invitation that comes our way. I will focus on soaking in the season and my kids. Our friends and family will understand. We’ve already declined invitations to visit out of town family during the holidays and we’ve decided to not have any house guests ourselves. 


2017 Monthly Goals: November


This is going to sound awful but I barely even registered that it was already November. I mean, seriously?! What is wrong with me? Oh yeah, kids. Kids are what is wrong with me. It’s been a long hard couple of months in our household. I’m counting down the days until our week long Thanksgiving break. It cannot come fast enough. 

October Goals:

1. Plan and enjoy Varsity Football Homecoming. DONE. It didn’t go quite as planned, but what does around here? Tyler was not cleared to attend Homecoming at all, he could not even be on the sidelines. So our family from out of town did not attend. We went because I’m team mom and had responsibilities to attend to. The kids all had their friends there and it was a good time. 

2. Choose new recipes to try. DONE. I tried 4 new recipes last month and all 4 were a huge hit. I’ve added them to our regular monthly rotation. You’ll be seeing them on the blog soon. 

3. Shop around for cheaper TV service. DONE. Kind of. I shopped around but didn’t find anything cheaper that’s reliable. Matt is adamant that we need all the sports channels and I agree. So for now we will keep our existing service and just pay the $20 difference. 

4. Organize recipes on app. DONE. It’s so much easier to find recipes now and I was able to weed through and delete recipes that we didn’t like or that I won’t make again. 

5. Plan Thanksgiving menu. DONE. It’s planned and I’ve already started buying some of the non-perishables. Boom. 

November Goals:

1. Shave $100 off of the monthly grocery budget. We are drowning right now. Between Maia’s $40 a week therapy appointments, Tyler’s $150 a week post concussion PT therapy appointments, and planning for the holidays, something has to give. And the only place we have to cut right now is the grocery budget. If I can shave $100 off it will help considerably. 

2. Plan and decorate for the holidays. I love the holidays. It’s truly my most favorite time of the year. I decorate for Thanksgiving and then we decorate for Christmas the weekend after Thanksgiving. 

3. Write and schedule blog posts for the month ahead of time. I’m sure you’ve noticed, blog posts have been….irregular around here lately. Having 3 therapy appointments every week plus Tyler sees his sports medicine doctor every week, on top of school stuff and football stuff…it’s been really hard to blog. I want to take some time and schedule an entire month of posts. 

4. Purge all closets. Mason has grown so tall and I know his clothes from last winter won’t fit. I need to go through and pull out outgrown clothes and make a list of what the kids need for this year. They’re good on school uniforms so it’s just evening and weekend clothes. 

5. Meet with the head of schools about Tyler. I hesitate to share too much right now but we’ve had an ongoing issue with one of the football coaches about Tyler’s concussion. The coach has made the last 9 weeks absolutely awful for all of us and now that the season is over I need to address these issues. 


Life Lately {10.23.17}


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. 


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. 



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. 



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!


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. 



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. 


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. 



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. 


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.


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. 




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!



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.


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. 


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!