Friday, October 19, 2018

Five on Friday - NEW NIECE!, Care Package, and a New Diagnosis

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Happy Friday!  I have a load of things to talk about today so I’m just going to go ahead and get started.  But first, I want to warn you... there is A LOT of rambling ahead!  I've been super busy this week and I was on an all-day field trip with Olivia's class yesterday so I typed this post in a frenzy (because I much preferred to get caught up on A Million Little Things last night instead of blogging) and barely had time to proofread.  I basically typed this like I'm talking to you.  And I talk very fast.  #YouveBeenWarned

O N E – I’M AN AUNT AGAIN!!!!

My brother and sister-in-law had an 8 lb. 6 oz. 20 inches long sweet baby girl Sunday night and we couldn’t be more in love.  My sister-in-law is a ROCKSTAR and had her naturally (her second natural birth) and she and baby Chyler are both healthy and perfect and doing well. 


Cheryl (my SIL) labored from 4:30 AM Sunday morning until Chyler was finally born at 10:24 PM that night.  My parents had to go up to take care of my nephew while they were in the hospital, so my whole family (Dad, Mom, both brothers, Brian, my uncle, and me) had a group chat going all day to keep up with progress.  Y’all, I love my family so much because it was a HOOT.  We kept it going strong for a good three days. 


Our little family of four is going to make the drive to see them on Saturday.  I am DYING to get my hands on that sweet baby and I’m so thankful that they only live two hours away instead of 20 like they did when my nephew, Tucker, was born because I’ll actually get to hold her while she’s still tiny.  I am counting down the minutes until I can smell her little head!  Oh, and my Daddy said that she looks like me when I was a baby.  <3



T W O – Care Package

My niece who is away at college had to have a little procedure recently so we sent her a little “get well” care package.  I went to Target to find some fun stuff to include (because where else would I go?) and I found lots of cute stuff to include for her.  My FAVORITE thing were these Emily Ley mini notebooks.  Our Target has been in the midst of a MAJOR renovation so they finally just got the new Emily Ley line set up, and I finally had the chance to browse it in person. 

I bought the notebooks for her and while I was there I couldn’t resist a fun clipboard because it matches my planner for 2019.  (Unfortunately the clipboard is no longer available on Target.com so I can't link it, but they might still have them in stores!)  I had recently purchased a folder to keep my Daily Checklist and Weekly, Monthly, and Master To-Do Lists in, but this clipboard is so much more functional and… it matches! 

I think I finally have the ultimate system worked out for staying organized and I can’t wait to implement it January 1, 2019 when I can finally start using my planner.  Once I get in the groove I’ll be sharing it with all of you.  I know a lot of people have asked me to do a post about how I use my planner, but frankly, I couldn’t ever find the “perfect” way.  I’ve finally found it with Emily Ley.  Woo hoo!




T H R E E – Natives for Grown-Ups

After hearing so many people rave about Natives for kids and after watching our kiddos dance around happily in theirs all summer I became curious.  Are they really as magical as everyone says?  And since I couldn’t get my size 7 foot in Jacob’s or Olivia’s toddler size 11s to test them out I decided to buy a pair of adult Natives to try.  Amazon carries them for way cheaper than any other site, and since they offer free shipping AND free returns, I figured why not? 

Well y’all, I’m here to tell you that these shoes are every single bit as magical as everyone says.  And they are so stinking CUTE!  They are breathable, they don’t make my feet stink, they don’t rub blisters on the backs of my heels, they are SO EASY to slip on and off in two seconds flat, and they are perhaps the most comfortable pair of shoes I have ever worn in my entire life.  And I am so not exaggerating.  I have been wearing mine on and off for several months now and they were really put to the test a couple of weeks ago on our mountain trip.

I figured since they are so comfy then why not hike up the mountain in them?  Well, I went on two mountain hikes in them and I wore them yesterday on an all-day field trip to the pumpkin patch with Olivia’s class, and friends, I swear to you, both of my feet felt as rested and relaxed at the ends of those trips as they would have been if I had just gotten out of the bed in the morning.  These things are amazing!  So much better than wearing tennis shoes!!

As far as sizing goes, I typically wear a 7.5 shoe.  Sometimes I’m a 7, and for tennis shoes I’m an 8 because I like to have a little bit of extra room since I wear them with socks.  Natives do not come in half sizes so I purchased a 7 and an 8 to try and then I returned the one I didn’t use.  It’s free to return, remember?  The 7 felt good, but the tiniest bit snug around my big toe.  The 8 felt good, too, but it felt like it was slightly slipping on my heel.  Ugh.  I had a terrible time deciding which ones to keep since neither pair felt perfect, but I ultimately went with the 8s.  I am soooo glad I did because they are just perfect.  The heel-slipping is minor and even though they do slip a tiny bit they have never once bothered my heels.  If you decide to try some, I recommend sizing up!

So if you’re looking for a great pair of adult shoes that look cute with pretty much everything BUY SOME NATIVES NOW!  They come in lots of different colors, but I love the white ones because they go with everything.  These are really and truly magical, y’all. 



F O U R – A New Diagnosis

If you’ve been a reader for a while then you probably know that I suffer from major allergies and asthma problems.  I’m allergic to pretty much every single thing outside – grasses, trees, weeds, you name it.  I tend to really struggle in the late spring/early summer with major congestion, stuffy nose, and sore throat and then in the fall (LIKE RIGHT NOW – UGH) with major pressure in my head, dizziness, and breathing problems. 

The last couple of weeks around here have been just terrible – and plain scary some days – so I was relieved to finally be able to get in to see my allergist this week for a check-up to see if he could do something – anything – to help relieve my symptoms… primarily my breathing.  Or lack thereof.

Well, at my appointment, they ran my usual lung tests, and while the tests showed some inflammation and some lung dysfunction, the doctor told me that it was just mild.  I was floored because as he was telling me those very words I was struggling to breathe and I didn’t understand why the test wouldn’t show that.  I told him exactly what I was thinking and when he asked me to describe my current issues, I told him that it felt like someone was physically choking me right at the base of my neck, that I was super short of breath, and that I also couldn’t get a good, deep breath.

Y’all know what he looked at me and said? 

“Lindsay, this isn’t your asthma, this sounds like reflux.”

WHAT?! 

Y’all.  I have been suffering from these symptoms off and on for years (like, over a decade) and nobody – Google included – has ever mentioned that it could be reflux.  Granted, I do have legitimate asthma issues as well, so everyone probably always assumed that was the culprit without probing any further.  This finally explains why my rescue inhaler doesn’t alleviate my breathing problems some of the time!!  I’ve been wondering for years why there are times that the inhaler doesn’t make me feel better, and now I know… because it’s probably reflux. 

I have been referred to an ENT doctor, actually the one who sees Jacob and Olivia and has been assisting us with Olivia’s thyroid issues.  We love him so much and we’ve been seeing him so long/so frequently that he might as well just be family.  Haha.  I might as well just walk up in his office and throw cash at him because we see him so much.  #JustTakeMyMoney  But seriously, we love him and I’m praying that he can figure out what’s going on with me. 

I have wondered all these freaking years why oh why my asthma and allergy meds couldn’t keep my symptoms under control and this is why.  Because half of the time it’s probably been reflux.  Buh.  My lung tests prove that my asthma meds are doing a fine job. 

Naturally after my appointment I went straight home and Googled reflux because I had always assumed reflux was just the “heartburn” feeling, which I never have.  Turns out, you can have reflux and never even have that burning sensation.  Some of the other symptoms are so weird and they are not anything that I would have ever associated with reflux.  Here are a few of them:

Dysphagia (narrowing of your esophagus which creates the sensation you’re being choked)
Shortness of breath (can be extreme)
Wheezing
Dry cough
Hoarseness
Feeling of fullness/discomfort at the top of your abdomen
Bloating in your abdomen
Nausea
Bowel issues

Y’all, this is my life right now.  I literally have every single one of these symptoms and I would have never in a million years known that they were all caused by the same thing.  My mind is blown.  And I am so thankful for a doctor who recognized this and I’m praying that the ENT doctor can confirm it and give me something to make it GO AWAY.

And in case you’re like me and you thought that you would pretty much only get reflux from eating spicy foods, let me tell you this.  My allergist gave me a handout on reflux and apparently the primary culprits besides spicy foods are:

Tea
Coffee
Chocolate
Alcoholic beverages
Tomato based sauces and food

Y’all.  Those are all of my favorite things.  I eat or drink at least one or two of those things every. single. day. of. my. life.  No wonder I’ve been suffering.

But anyway, just wanted to put this extremely long-winded PSA out there just in case there’s anyone else out there who might be having similar symptoms and wondering why their asthma meds weren’t working.  Lol.  I’ll let y’all know how my appointment goes.  Fingers crossed I don’t have to wait a month to get in to see him.  It’s practically impossible to get in there in a timely manner because he’s so popular.

F I V E – Meme

And finally, a funny meme because – #ItsTrue


Happy Friday, y’all! 



*Linking up with A Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday, A Little Bit of Everything for Friday FavoritesMeet @ the Barre for Friday Favorites, and Cup of Tea for High Five for Friday.





Thursday, October 18, 2018

Girl Chat - DIY Craft

Hey, hey!  It’s time for another Girl Chat and today we’re sharing a DIY craft.  Since the holiday season is near I thought I would a few of my favorites that I’ve posted on the blog in year’s past.  I looked back through the ol’ blog archives to see what might be fitting for this time of year, and I came up with three of my favorites ever!

O N E – Seasonal Book Crate

With two small kids, we have collected a lot of books throughout the years.  Some of our favorites to purchase are books for the different holidays.  Because we have so many, it’s easy for them to get lost in the shuffle, so a couple of years ago I made our seasonal book crate to keep them all in one place.

The crate stays in one spot in our living room right by the fireplace and I switch out the books for each season – books about love during February, Easter books in March and April, Halloween books in September and October, Thanksgiving books in November, Christmas books in December, and so on.  I also throw the kids’ birthday books in there during their birthday months. 

This allows all of our themed books to be at our fingertips at the appropriate times and it also encourages the kids to read more often.  I know our time is numbered with this as they are getting older, but this sweet little crate will remain there until they’ve completely outgrown it!  To see more details, click here to see my original post and to see how I dress it up for each of the holidays.


T W O – DIY Wine Cork Ornament

Two years ago, our wine cork collection was overflowing so I decided to try my hand at a DIY ornament.  It was so easy to make, it turned out even better than I expected, and it was so much fun to do!  You can see the original post and tutorial here.



T H R E E – DIY Christmas Card Holder

I have always struggled to find an ideal way to display our Christmas cards, so last year I set out to make something of my own.  This Christmas card holder that I made turned out to be exactly what I needed.  It holds a ton of cards and it’s super cute.  Win win!  You can see the original post and tutorial here.


If you’re feeling crafty, dig right in!  Only a couple more months until Christmas!


To link up – just grab our graphic, link upand let’s get to chatting!  Make sure to stop by a few others in the link up for an extra bit of girl chat!


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*Linking up with Home of Malones for Thoughts for Thursday.




Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Mountain Trip - Day 3

Day 3 of our mountain trip began with a gorgeous view and apple cider donuts that we had brought from the orchard the previous day.  We were up and out early again to head to Anna Ruby Falls (the biggest waterfall in Georgia) which is about an hour away from the mountain house.  We had made the hike to the waterfall on last year’s trip and we loved it so much that we wanted to do it again. 



The morning started out chilly, in the low 60’s, which were the lowest temps we had felt since April.  It was invigorating and it made for such a pleasant hike!  The hike up is probably around 30 minutes or so, and when you get to the top there are two different observation decks to view the waterfall.  The sound of the waterfall whooshing down the mountain and the sounds of the creek below made for a very peaceful morning.  We stayed at the waterfall for a little bit and once we’d had our fill, we made the hike back down to check out the gift shop before heading out. 























Anna Ruby Falls is very close in proximity to Helen, GA, so we headed straight to Helen after our hike to tour around a bit.  Helen is a very touristy city and it’s known for its Bavarian style buildings… basically it’s meant to feel like Germany.  And Germany is known for Oktoberfest so Helen always has a huge Oktoberfest celebration each year.  Since we were there in October, it was pretty busy considering it was Friday.

The first thing on the agenda was to look for souvenirs for the kiddos.  They now know when we travel that they get to pick out one special thing to bring home from the trip, and every time we go to the mountains they like to get their souvenirs in Helen because they have so many gift shops.  We stopped in several little shops and Jacob opted for a wooden toy gun that shoots rubber bands from the toy shop while Olivia opted for a red mask that we found in one of the gift shops. 

We were all starving by the time our souvenirs had been purchased, so we headed to The Heidelberg, the same German restaurant that we ate at on last year’s trip.  B and I ordered a round of beers to start and then we all enjoyed a traditional German meal.  Well, B and I did, at least.  ;o)  The kids both wanted hot dogs.  Haha.  They are about as picky as it comes with regard to food, so we knew we weren’t going to get them to eat any schnitzel.  B did enjoy his schnitzel, though, and I enjoyed my knockwurst.  Mmmm MMMM!




After our bellies were full, we toured around the city a little longer.  We walked to the cute little gazebo area all decorated for fall, and to our surprise, there was a big playground just behind it.  We had been up there before and had never noticed it before, so it was a nice little treat for the kids.  We let them play for a bit and then we headed back down the hill into the city so I could find my souvenir… a frame to add to our travel gallery wall!





For some reason, souvenir frames are extremely hard to come by in North Georgia, so I’m always struggling to find something new to add to our collection, but on this trip, we happened to find an underground market with loads of handmade items, and there were several cute choices for frames in there.  Everything was decorated to the nines for fall (my favorite!) and we had a great time browsing the shop.  We will definitely be going back there next year!



After we left the shop, the kids saw all of the people tubing down the Chattahoochee River (which runs right through Helen) and they decided they wanted to go stick their toes in the water.  It’s really shallow right through there and the day was so warm that we decided to let them take their shoes off and take a little dip.




On the way back to the car, we ducked into the cutest little ice cream shop to grab one last treat before heading to our next destination.  There were so many delicious choices that it was really, really hard to make a decision.  I finally decided on the hazelnut, B had the banana pudding (my second choice), and the kids both picked bubblegum (an easy decision for both of them because they have both been obsessed with gum for the last few months). 



Once we had finished our ice cream, we hit the road and headed to our next destination, gem grubbing.  Brian introduced the kids to this two trips ago and now they are both obsessed.  It was pretty much the only thing that Jacob talked about leading up to the trip, so he was ready! 

We bought a five-gallon bucket to share, and the kids spent the next hour soaking and sorting their rocks.  Both of them ended up with lots of good stuff, and my personal favorite was a large amethyst that Olivia found… which also happens to be her birthstone!







Everyone was pretty exhausted by the time we finished so we decided to call it a day and head back in the direction of the mountain house.  On the way there, we stopped by Zaxby’s (for the kids) and Blimpie (for B and me) to grab dinner and we took it back to the house to eat there. 

The rest of the evening was spent shooting Jacob’s rubber band gun outside, sorting rocks into the kids’ gem boxes, and watching the sun set. 




It was an absolute perfect day and we couldn’t have asked for anything more.  Well, maybe some cooler weather in the afternoon.  ;o)  But we sure do love these trips each year.  They are such a treat.




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*Linking up with The Pleated Poppy for What I What I Wore, Pumps & Push Ups for Oh, Hey Girl! Link-Up, The Mummy ChroniclesTucker UpShopping My Closet for Style Me Wednesday, Classy Yet Trendy for Trendy Wednesday Link-Up, The Blended Blog and Jessi's Design and Going the Distance for What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday.




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