Wednesday, July 29, 2015

What's Up Wednesday

Hi friends, today I’m linking up with Shay, Sheaffer, and Mel for the July edition (and my first edition) of What’s Up Wednesday. 

What We’re Eating This Week 

I cook most nights during the week, so here is what's on the menu for this week!

Monday – Beef and Parmesan Pasta with Zucchini – this is one of my One Dish Meals that is super easy to make, and it only dirties one dish for an even easier clean up! 

Tuesday – Crispy Cheddar Chicken, Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Brown Sugar and Honey Glazed Carrots 

Wednesday – Fettuccini Alfredo with Sautéed Chicken and Broccoli 

Thursday – We have a school event, so I’m off the hook!  We will be picking up something quick and easy!

What I’m Reminiscing About 

I’m still reminiscing about Jacob’s birth and having a tiny baby.  His birthday was last week, and I still can’t believe that I have a four year old.  Oh, how I miss those newborn days…

What I’m Loving 


Y’all, this is seriously the best creative outlet for me.  I regret so much not starting a blog sooner!  I’ve kept a diary/journal since I was old enough to write (my first one was a Little Twin Stars one with a lock and key) so I cannot believe that I’m so late to this game!  If I could, I would go back to the end of August 2003 when Brian and I started dating (did they have bloggers back then?!), and I would start blogging.  We have done so much travelling and so much partying together, we got engaged and planned a wedding, we built a house, and we had two sweet babies, and I wish that I had documented it all on here. 

With that said, prepare for a lot of history to pop up on the ol’ blog while I get it caught up!  I promise not to dump it all on you at one time.  :o) 

How 'bout this old gem to get it started...
Just BABIES back in 2003 when we first started dating.  :o)

What We’ve Been Up To 

Lots and lots of birthday celebrations for Jacob!  You can read about them below.

Our Productive Three-Day Weekend
This Is Four - Jacob's Birthday Interview
Happy 4th Birthday to Our Jacob Brian

Jacob starts Pre-K 4 on August 10 and I’m really struggling with all of the changes that are about to take place.  Y'all should know by now that I don’t like change, and ones that require total day-to-day schedule changes are the worst.   

My worries are not only for myself, but mostly for Jacob.  He is just like me, but probably worse!  He thrives on his day-to-day schedule, and when something changes (like moving to a new class) he has a few weeks where he really struggles.   

This time he will not only be changing classes, but he will be changing schools, away from the one that he’s been at since he was born.  He will be leaving his friends (since birth) behind, he will be eating breakfast at home which means that he will be waking up much earlier, he will be riding with me to school instead of Brian and Olivia, and he will have to wear a uniform – no more picking out his own clothes, and no more Superman shirt to school!  This child is about to have his entire universe rocked and I cringe thinking about how long it might take for him to adjust to all of these changes.   

This is, without a doubt, the best decision for him and for our entire family, and I know he will thrive once he adjusts.  I’m thrilled that he will be at the school from which I graduated, the school that is associated with our church, and that he will be surrounded by many of my old friends’ kids as well as many people who we know from church.  It is a fantastic school and I’m sure we’ll find our new routine pretty quickly.   

However, I absolutely hate for him to have to go through the stress of leaving everything he’s known for his entire life behind.  Dramatic I know, but, “it’s the end of an era!!” – name that TV show.  ;o)

What I’m Working On 

Where do I even start?!  Y’all know I always have a million and one projects going on!  Organizing our new indoor closet, organizing my new gift wrap station, getting our new porch in order, getting our new utility shed organized, cleaning out the house for our upcoming neighborhood yard sale, working on a new command center for our kitchen… should I go on?? 
Fabric for my newest project - a command center for our kitchen!

What I’m Excited About 

On August 8, we’re taking Jacob to his first major league baseball game!  My uncle is singing the National Anthem at the Atlanta Braves vs. Florida Marlins game, so we’re heading to Atlanta with my whole family to watch!

What I’m Watching/Reading 

Parenthood.  Parenthood.  And did I mention Parenthood?  All I want to do is watch Parenthood!  It.  Is.  So.  Good.

And reading?  What’s that?  Just kidding.  I haven’t really been reading a lot lately, which is extremely odd for me, but I did finish Single in Suburbia by Wendy Wax about a month ago.  It was OK... not one of my favorites, but it was an easy and mindless read for the summer. 

I also have a few new books that are just waiting to be cracked open, and this is the one that I'm most excited about... why didn't somebody tell me that Sophie Kinsella had a new book?!  Apparently this was released last year, and I only just recently found out about it.  I love her...

What I’m Listening To 

I just can’t get enough of Ed Sheeran’s X album.  It’s one that I can listen to from beginning to end without skipping any songs.  Every single one of them is fantastic! 

What I’m Wearing 

Well, it’s not socially acceptable to walk around naked, so I guess we have to wear clothes, but when it’s 100 degrees every day (literally) that is really asking a lot.  So to answer this question – I’m wearing as little as acceptable for each situation that I’m in. 

Work attire is pretty much consisting of skirts, sleeveless blouses, and open toe heels, and weekend attire is consisting of shorts, tanks, and sandals.  Today I made the mistake of wearing skinny pants and I thought I was going to die of a heat stroke.  At this point, I would wear bathing suits everywhere if I could.  Is it fall yet??

 What I’m Doing This Weekend 

A whole lot of nothing.  Brian likely has to work on Saturday, so the kids and I will be hanging out at home.  We will probably head to church if he gets off in time, and then Sunday we will hopefully have time to work more on getting the porch in order.  Or painting and (finally) unpacking Brian’s office.  Wishful thinking.

What I’m Looking Forward to Next Month 

DECORATING FOR FALL!!!!  Too early?  No?  I actually won’t be decorating for fall until the end of August, but I like to have all of my décor up before the first college football game, which is September 5 this year.  And I certainly won’t have time to put up the decorations on game day because I will be kicking off the first Saturday of college football promptly at 9 AM with ESPN College Game Day (helloooo Big and Rich, Comin’ to Yo Ci-TAAAAY), and I will be parked in front of the TV for the remainder of the day soaking in the sweet sounds of referee whistles, the CBS college football theme music, and the voices of Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson.   

Enough said.   

Oh wait – GOOOO DAWGS!

What Else Is New
There better not be anything else new!!!!  Isn’t an entire upcoming schedule change enough?!?!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Our Weekend – Croup and Another Birthday Celebration

As y’all know, Jacob’s birthday was this past week.  If you follow me on Instagram or even if you just follow along here on the blog, there’s no way that you could have missed it since I’ve been #Overgramming and #Overblogging (is that a thing?) about it all week.  Well, we finished up the last of his birthday festivities yesterday, and we’re officially done celebrating the fact that he’s four.  But first, the rest of our weekend… 

Friday, Olivia came home from school with a barking cough… ya know, the scary kind that strikes fear into the hearts of parents who have dealt with croup before.   

Two years ago we went through an insanely scary bout of croup with Jacob, complete with a call to 911, a ride in the ambulance to the ER, and an overnight stay in the hospital, so we are extremely paranoid any time either of our babies gets sick with any kind of respiratory virus.   

Olivia didn’t seem very sick – she wasn’t running fever, she was eating and drinking well, and she wasn’t acting sick, so we didn’t feel the need to take her to acute care right away.  We did, however, pull out all the stops to try and nip it in the bud as quickly as possible – albuterol in the nebulizer, cool mist humidifier, Ibuprofen for throat pain… the whole nine yards.  I also turned her video monitor up as loud as it would go, so we could hear if her breathing went awry during the night.  She slept through the night, no fussing, and awoke bright-eyed and happy around 8:30 AM.  I, however, was up half of the night because her breathing sounded awful during a couple of periods through the night.  

Saturday, B and I worked some more on the porch.  We swept all of the leftover dirt from the construction, cleaned up a bunch of the lingering junk, and we finally got a rug put down as well as some of the furniture placed.  We’re getting so close!  Now we’re just waiting for our replacement chaise lounges from Target to arrive (you can read more about that debacle here if you missed it) and then we can finish decorating.  In the meantime, here’s a little sneak peek! 

Olivia’s breathing was still not acceptable once she awoke from her nap, so Brian loaded her up and took her to acute care while Jacob and I went to church.  Acute care confirmed exactly what we already knew – croup, and she also has an ear infection in her left ear.  Poor baby.  She is so tough!  We would have never even known that she was sick if it wasn’t for her scary breathing.  They put her on a steroid and an antibiotic for the ear infection, so she is already sounding much better and she was able to go to school this morning. 

Saturday night we went to our favorite local pub for dinner and then we headed home for bedtime for the kids and more Parenthood binge-watching for Brian and me.  I cannot get enough of this show.  I think it’s going to go down in history as my second favorite show of all time, with Friends taking the number one spot, of course.  Nothing will ever top Friends! 

Sunday, we headed out for pizza for lunch – Brian’s mom and step-dad are having their kitchen remodeled, so for the next couple of months our Sunday lunch gravy train will be dry.  :o(   

After lunch we made a Lowe’s run for a few odds and ends and some paint for Brian’s office. Finally, finally after 6 years of living in our house, Brian is going to get his office unpacked.  And hopefully organized.  Maybe.  Ok, I’ll believe it when I see it, but paint is, at least, a good sign.
Picking out paint samples is tough!
How we roll at Lowe's - two carts deep!

Sunday evening we celebrated Jacob’s birthday at my parents’ house.  Momma cooked chicken on the grill, baked potatoes, sautéed green beans with garlic, and black eyed peas.  It was gooood.  Afterward, we all had more cake – yet another superhero cake, duh – and this one was my favorite, I think!  Jacob got to wear his birthday shirt one more time, and he raked in more superhero goodies. 

And one more of this sweet romper that she's just about to grow out of!  :o(

I also had a chance to finish up my gift wrap station this weekend, so I’ll be sharing it either later this week or early next week on the blog.  Stay tuned… 

I hope everyone enjoys The Bachelorette finale this evening!  #TeamShawn or #TeamNobody 

Have a great evening, loves!

Friday, July 24, 2015

Five On Friday

Such a bummer having to work today after being off yesterday, but at least the weekend is finally here! 

Today I’m linking up with A. Liz Adventures and A Little Bit of Everything Blog. 

O N E 

Wednesday, Brian and I took cupcakes to Jacob’s school for his class birthday party.  All of the kids sang Happy Birthday to him, ate their cupcakes, and then they had a dance party when they were done.  We sure do love his school, and he sure does love his teachers and friends. 

T W O 

Yesterday, Brian and I took off from work to hang out with Jacob all day for his birthday.  We took Olivia to school so Jacob could have our full attention all day.  You may have seen on Instagram that I even wore a very special shirt to celebrate the birthday boy... not my usual style, but he loved it!

He wanted to go to Panera for breakfast to get one of their cinnamon rolls – they are GIANT in case you’ve never seen one.  Unfortunately when we arrived at 8:30 AM, they were already sold out!  Apparently someone had come in right before us and bought every single one that they had.  I was so upset for Jacob because he had been talking nonstop about getting one for over a week.  When he picked out a carrot cake cupcake with frosting instead, Brian and I gave him the green light!

After we left Panera, we headed to the library (Jacob’s request) to check out some books and visit Brian’s dad (he’s the head of their finance department).  When we got there, we found out that they didn’t open until 10 AM (really?!) so we had 45 minutes to kill.  What to do when you have some time to kill?  Why, you drive across the street to the car wash, of course!  Jacob had never ridden through a car wash before, so we thought it would be fun for him to see… he wasn’t so sure about it at first, but when we were leaving, he said, “Let’s do it again!” 

The car wash took all of 15 minutes, which meant that we still had another 30 minutes to kill.  Brian suggested that we go see my mom at her office, since it was just right up the road.  Jacob was thrilled with the idea, and of course, so was my mom. 

At 10 AM, we headed to the library, played some games on the computer, checked out some books (quite a diverse assortment - LOL), and visited Brian’s dad. 

Next up was Chuck E. Cheese’s for lunch.  The first time we took Jacob there, we had Olivia with us as well, so it was kind of chaotic since we were constantly chasing her around.  This time, Brian and I were both able to focus our attention on Jacob and he had a blast riding all of the rides and playing all of the games.  Once he had played and ridden almost every game in the joint, we sat down for pizza, and then cashed in his 125 tickets for a box of Nerds, a whistle, and a crazy straw.

After Chuck E. Cheese’s we headed to the movie theater to see Minions.  Jacob loved it and so did Brian and I.  I laughed out loud several times… those little guys are so cute and so hilarious!

When the movie was over, we headed home for a couple of hours to relax.  Jacob played with a few of his new toys, and then the three of us played one of his new games.  Around 4 PM, we headed to school to pick up Olivia, and on the way, we stopped by my dad’s work so Jacob could see his Pop.  On the way home from picking up Olivia, Jacob fell asleep in the car.  It was a busy day and he just couldn’t hang any longer!

At home we opened presents, had dinner, and then sang to the birthday boy, finishing off the day with superhero cupcakes.  Jacob got his sailboat that he’s been requesting for the last week, so all was right in his world.

It was the best day, and I know that Jacob had a blast having Mommy and Daddy all to himself for the day.  I love this little boy so much.

T H R E E   

Well, I knew that our patio furniture experience was too good to be true… until Tuesday night everything had gone smoothly.  We had opened the entire dining room set, and the entire couch and chair set and everything was in perfect condition.  However, we opened the last two boxes the other evening, and found that both of our chaise lounges are not usable.  One of the boxes was busted up really bad upon delivery, and sure enough, the chaise lounge was busted as well.  As for the other one, Brian got the entire thing put together (a whole hour’s worth of work) only to find that instead of being shaped like a rectangle, the whole thing looked more like a trapezoid.  It was totally warped and defective.

What it's supposed to look like :o)
Well, I haven’t had the best experience with Target returns in the past, so I was dreading this whole process.  However, after speaking with customer service, they have totally put my mind at ease.  In fact, the entire exchange process seems so easy, that it has me totally paranoid that it’s all too good to be true.  It’s all going down Monday, so stay tuned… 

F O U R  

Y’all, I’m almost done with my gift wrap organization, and I love it more and more each day.  Sometimes I just go in there and stare at it because it’s so organized and pretty.  Aaaand I’m probably losing followers now admitting this because y’all probably think I’m crazy.  But seriously.  I will be sharing it here on the blog soon, and I know you’ll want to stare at it all day, too.  Until then, here’s a little peek at the disaster that it was before I moved it to the new closet.

F I V E 

I’m so excited for The Bachelorette finale on Monday!!  Anybody else watching?  Who the heck do y’all think she’s going to choose?  You would think that Shawn would be the clear-cut winner as Nick is a total idiot.  I guess you just never know, though… these girls are known to make bad decisions... ahem, Emily... I mean, Jef?!  What was that all about??

Hope y’all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Happy 4th Birthday to Our Jacob Brian


My Dearest Jacob, 

How are you already four years old?  I know it’s cliché to discuss how quickly time has passed since you were born, but seriously, where have the last four years of our lives gone?  I know that we have all of the pictures to prove their existence, marking all of the small and large events and everything in between, but I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that four years have passed since I first held you in my arms, since I first kissed your sweet little button nose, since I first smelled your sweet newborn baby scent.   

Even though you are a big boy now, you are still and will always be my baby.  I hope that you will always remember this.  I can remember rolling my eyes when my parents used to say that to me, but once you have children of your own you will understand.  Yet another cliché, but one that is so very true. 

At four, you are one amazing little boy. 

You are hilarious.  Not a day goes by that you don’t make us laugh.

You are goofy, always making silly faces and doing silly dances for no reason. 

You are shy… you’re very quiet around people that you don’t know, but once you warm up to them, that goofy side comes back out. 

You are so very smart.  Your intelligence amazes Daddy and me every single day.   

You love to learn, and it seems to come naturally to you.  You’re always interested to know how things work, you ask a lot of questions, and you retain everything that you hear.  You already remember things like the nine planets in order by distance from the sun and how many stars and stripes are on the flag and what they stand for… things that I probably didn’t learn until at least first or second grade!  Your newest thing is addition.  You are constantly adding – 2+2 is 4!  3+1+1 is 5! 

You seriously remember everything.  We can mention something to you in passing, or say something when we think you’re not even listening and you will repeat it to us days later.  You’re like a little sponge, just soaking everything up. 

You are sensitive.  You get your feelings hurt very easily, and you are very emotional when something goes wrong. 

You know what you want.  You always have an idea in your head of how you want things to go, and if something goes slightly awry you get very upset.  I wonder where you get it from…  

You don’t like change when it comes to day-to-day activities.  You are already set in your ways like a little old man.  I wonder where you get that from as well…  

You are so incredibly stubborn.  If you are doing something wrong, Daddy and I always give you a chance to correct your behavior before you have to suffer the consequences, but you always stand your ground even knowing that you’re about to be punished.   

You still don't want to poop on the potty - stubborn, seriously - and at this point there’s not much that we can do about it.  You're killing us, Smalls.     

You already have a very good sense of self, and you don’t let anyone pressure you into doing anything that you don’t want to do, so your stubborn side can also be a good thing. 

When you start something, you want to finish it.  

You love to be rocked or patted before bed, and you ask us several times not to leave when you’re falling asleep.    

You are itty bitty… you still wear 2T shorts and 4T shirts, and even in those you still have a little bit of growing room. 

You love cars and trucks, superheroes, Bubble Guppies, and your “game computer” (Leap Pad). 

You love waffles, fruit snacks, and pretty much all fruit. 

Your favorite shirt is your Old Navy Superman t-shirt… you’ve worn it so many times that the logo is starting to crack, and the color is starting to fade.  

You are so affectionate.  You love to give hugs, snuggle, and give me kisses all the time, and you randomly tell us that you love us for no reason at all. 

You make us happy. 

You make us proud. 

You make every single day brighter. 

You make every single day worth living.   

Happy Birthday, my little munchkin.  You are my favorite little boy in the whole, wide world, and I love you all the time. 

Love, Mommy