Monday, October 31, 2016

Twas the Weekend Before Halloween

Happy Halloween, friends!!

Our city is one of the ones who actually lets the kids trick-or-treat ON Halloween as opposed to the Saturday before it, so we are gearing up for a fun evening this evening… therefore, I don’t have any trick-or-treating photos to share with you just yet, but stay tuned…

This weekend, we did a whole lot of nothing and we welcomed the slow change of pace after our busy mountain weekend last weekend.  Friday evening we picked up a pizza, poured some wine, turned on the new Michael Buble album, and we crossed yet another thing off of our fall bucket list… we carved our pumpkin!  Jacob said that he wanted “vampire fangs all the way across the top” so we did just that.  I drew the design, the kids and I all scooped out the guts, and B carved it.

After we finished carving, I whipped up some s’mores and we checked another thing off of our bucket list.  Although, Jacob just wanted a Hershey Bar (not melted) and a marshmallow, hold the graham cracker.  Olivia had a real one, although, she just licked all of the the chocolate off of the graham cracker.  Still calling it a win since I tried!  Haha.

Once the kiddos were in bed, it was finally time to watch the series finale of Friday Night Lights… I’ve been putting off watching it because I’m not ready for it to be over yet, but at least I had my Coach Taylor Forever shirt to wear to lessen the pain.  It was such a good ending and I’m sad to see it go… Netflix, can we please get a FNL revival just like you did with Full House and GG?!?!

Saturday morning we got up eeeeaaaarly, got ready, and headed out for our family photo shoot.  Our photographer wanted to capture that early morning sunlight, so we had to be there at 7:40 AM.  The kids were as good as gold (aside from Olivia getting a splinter causing her to be sad for a while) and we knocked it out within an hour.  As you can see below, I decided to go with the swing dress and red scarf instead of the black and white skirt.  Thank you to all of you who put in your two cents!

After the photo shoot was over, we took them to Panera for breakfast to reward them for their good behavior and cooperation.  They both had cinnamon rolls as big as their heads, and B and I had French toast bagels because they were out of cinnamon crunch bagels!  WAAAAHHHH!  I also grabbed a pumpkin spice latte, and then we headed home.

Saturday was filled with a whole lot of ESPN College GameDay watching, football watching, laundry, and lazing around.  Georgia lost… again, but I had prepared myself for a rebuilding season this year since we have a new coach and a new quarterback, and I was surprisingly not that disappointed.  We better step it up next year, though!

We received our Toys R Us Christmas toy catalog as well as the Target Christmas toy catalog, so Jacob spent the better part of the afternoon circling all of the things he wants… AKA pretty much everything.

Olivia played dress up and played with her baby dolls and at one point I was walking through the kitchen to see this:

She had lined up all of her dolls face down on the kitchen floor.  Creepy.  Hopefully they were just sleeping.  Haha.

B ran out briefly to pick up veggies from Cracker Barrel for dinner and we ended the evening watching more football.  And I may have fallen asleep on the couch at 9:15 while B rubbed my feet.  Heaven.

Sunday morning we put on It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown while we ate breakfast, and then the kids watched The Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special while I worked on getting my 2017 planner set up for the new year. 

We ventured out to Five Guys for lunch since B’s mom wasn’t cooking and then we took the kids to a new-to-us playground.  It’s so funny, because I grew up going to that park, but I hadn’t been in years until our photo shoot Saturday morning.  While we were doing our photo shoot, the kids begged to go on the playground, so we promised them that we would take them back the next day.  It’s so picturesque, I don’t even understand why we haven’t been coming all these years.  We may have found our favorite park in the whole city! 

Sunday evening we had our usual Sunday dinner at my parents’ house.  We had missed it last week because they have been in Texas visiting my bro and SIL and nephew, and man, I just feel off when I don’t get to see them.  We shared a bottle of wine and we dined on momma’s baked ziti, a salad, and fresh bread with olive oil and spices, followed by a pumpkin spice cake that I had made for dessert. 

All is right in the world again!


Happy Halloween again… be safe this evening!  

*Linking up with B Loved Boston for Weekending.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Five on Friday – Favorites

Oh Friday, please let me hug you! 

This has been such a busy week ‘round these parts.  We were on vacay last week (you can see the recaps here, here, and here) and getting caught up on corporate job stuff and house stuff and life in general is really tough after being away for a few days.  

Since today is such a wonderful day – because, Friday – I’m going to make it even better by sharing some of my favorites for the week!

O N E – New Planner

I’ve mentioned here on the blog before that I use an Erin Condren Life Planner to keep everything organized, and my 2017 life planner arrived last week!!!!  There’s just something about a new planner… all of the fresh and crisp and unmarked pages just begging to be written on!  Paper goods and school and office supplies have always made me so happy, and planners have always made me the absolute happiest!  I just love everything about deciding how I’m going to use it and color code everything and organize it.  Sigh.  One happy girl right here, folks.  One happy girl.

I went a slightly different route this time and I ordered mine in neutrals instead of colors and I love it.  The fonts are worlds better in this one, and the quotes and overall look is much more sleek.  And do you like how I customized it to match my blog?!  My Type A heart is so satisfied right now.

If you decide to order your own, let me know!  I can send my referral link to you and you will get $10 off of your order!

T W O – Olivia’s New Trick

Y’all.  On Wednesday night when B and Olivia got home from school, B said, “Hey Olivia, tell Mommy what you told Mrs. Norma and me before we left school.” 

Olivia then proceeded to put her little hand over her heart and recite the entire Pledge of Allegiance from start to finish.  She did not miss a beat.  Not even a word mispronunciation.  I mean!!  

Seriously, watch the video!

T H R E E – The Kids’ New Favorite Thing to Do

The kids have been really into sidewalk chalk lately.  They would probably be really into it all the time if B and I didn’t withhold it from them, but since our driveway sits in the sun for the entire evening during the summer we just don’t ever let them get out and do it.  If we do, we totally bake in the sun.  Now that the sun is setting earlier and it’s cooler in the evening, we have been turning them loose with the chalk and it is amazing how long it keeps both of them occupied.  Just amazing.  However, we are also in a terrible drought, so after nights upon nights of sidewalk chalk and no rain, they are starting to run out of room to draw.  I guess we’re going to have to turn the hose on it soon so they can have a clean slate!

F O U R – Jacob’s Report Card

This boy.  I could not be more proud of him.  I mentioned in passing in my What's Up Wednesday post that he had a perfect report card.  He has also had perfect scores on every single thing that he’s done so far in Kindergarten.  He’s had two math tests with 100s on both, and he’s had numerous red word tests – all 100s.  He just had his first AR test, and you guessed it, a 100.  On his report card, he received 100s in every subject that they grade numerically and he received 3s in every other skill that they grade on a scale of 1-3, one being that he needs more work, two being that he’s emerging, and three being that he’s proficient.

In addition to the grades, his teacher had nothing but good things to say about him and she specifically discussed just how sweet and smart he is.  We could not be more proud of him and we are praying that it continues throughout his entire school career.  If it does, then we should have an easy road with him academically.  I am so proud to be his mommy.

F I V E – Fall Blogger Roundup

One of my blogging buds, Jessie at The Simple Sweetheart, asked me if I would be interested in contributing to her Fall Blogger Roundup post to discuss some of the fall activities that we love to do.  Yes, please!  You can see that post here… and there are lots of good ideas from other mommies as well!

Well folks, tomorrow is family picture day so wish us luck!  I bought some special concealer just for Jacob in the event that his black eyes haven’t cleared up.  Too bad we now also have to worry about Olivia’s busted lip.  Sigh…

P.S. I’m co-hosting a giveaway on Instagram that ends on Sunday… be sure to check it out!  You could win several items to step up your cozy game for fall and winter.  :o) 

*Linking up with A Liz Adventures and Carolina Charm for Five on Friday, A Little Bit of Everything for Friday Favorites,  September Farm and The Farmer's Wife for Oh Hey, Friday, Meet @ the Barre for Friday Favorites, Cup of Tea for High Five for Friday, and Our Pretty Little Girls for Rewind Friday!

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Mountain Getaway – Hayesville, NC Days 3 and 4

Saturday was probably my favorite day of our mountain trip because we headed out to do something that has been on my bucket list for years… apple picking!

But first – breakfast at the mountain house with a view!

There are several orchards around Hayesville, but most had already stopped offering the pick-your-own-apples because they were already picked over.  We did, however, find one orchard called Hillcrest Orchards in Ellijay, GA that still had some apples left, so we set out to find it.  It was about an hour and fifteen minute drive from the mountain house, so the kids settled in with more Frozen for the drive. 

Thankfully we had gotten up early and we arrived just shortly after the orchard had opened because apparently everyone else had the same idea that we did that day and the place ended up being packed by the time we left!

It was a perfect sunny day with highs in the low-50s so it was ideal for what we had planned.  Upon arrival, they warned us that their apple crop was dwindling, but we didn’t care, and we purchased a bag to fill anyway.  I was so glad that we did, because there were plenty of apples left, and we picked until our bag was completely full.  Jacob picked the first apple, followed by Olivia, and then B, and finally me!  I was so excited that I had to get B to document it!  Bucket list check!

They had horse drawn carriages as well as tractor pulled buggies pulling people from one end of the orchard to the other.  So cute!  And the orchard was so picturesque that we used the opportunity to snap a few selfies and some cute pictures of the kiddos!  Olivia was more excited for taking pics than Jacob… can you tell?

Once our bag was filled to the brim, we stopped by the indoor market to check out all of their goodies – homemade apple bread, apple fritters, fresh fruits and veggies, and so many other yummy things.  They were also selling apple cider donuts – another item on my personal bucket list – so we stopped by the little café and grabbed a half dozen plus a couple of waters, and we sat down to take a little break. 

The apple cider donuts tasted like pure heaven.  As I said on Instagram, they were warm and crisp on the outside, soft and light on the inside, and they left the perfect trace of sugar on your lips after every bite!  B and I each gobbled up two of them, and the kids each had one.  Jacob announced halfway through his, “I don’t like these.”  And about 20 seconds later Olivia followed suit.  Saaaay whaaaa?!

With that, it was time to head back out into the orchard for some of the other fun festivities that they had to offer.  First up, a giant blow up bouncy thing that was embedded in the ground!  I’ve never seen one like that one before… it was very different and the kids had a blast!

Next up, a little mini corn maze that actually wasn’t a maze at all!  It was basically an entrance to a giant playground made of tires and pipes and wood.  The kids played on that forever and then they decided to try out the tractors at the entrance.

After the playground we headed to the petting zoo where they had baby goats, rabbits, and baby chicks that you could hold.  The kids loved feeding the goats, but I think I enjoyed it even more!  They are just so stinking sweet!  And cute!  I mean, look at them!

After we fed the goats we held the baby chicks.  I was so nervous when Olivia held them because I was afraid she was going to squeeze them too hard.  Can you tell by the look on my face how concerned I was?  Ha!

They had a little handwashing station just outside the petting zoo that just calmed my germaphob heart, and after a little bit lot of handwashing, we let the kids go down the massive slides they had.  There was a sign at the top that said, “Slide at your own risk” and we had signed liability waivers upon entering the orchard, so I was pretty nervous about them.  It turned out that there were plenty of kids Olivia’s size that were sliding, and there was really nothing to be worried about, so we let the kids each slide several times.  They both loved it!

By then we had been there for a few hours, so we decided to call it a day.  When we left we were thankful that we had come early because there were probably two hundred people waiting in line to get in when we left!  It was crazy!

On the way back to the mountain house we stopped by Subway for a quick lunch, and then the babies settled into the car and watched… you guessed it… Frozen. 

Olivia went down for a long snooze when we got back to the house, and B and J played with the new football game that Jacob had gotten at Subway while I read out on the back deck.  I mean, look at that view!  I could have sat out there all day!

When Olivia got up from her nap, we took a few family pictures:

Saturday evening B and I wanted something good for dinner, so we drove about 30 minutes to the quaint little town of Murphy, NC to eat at Shoe Booties… a restaurant that my parents had recommended to us.  B and I both dined on filet mignon, baked potatoes, and honey glazed carrots with a Caesar salad for me and cream of spinach soup for him.  We each paired our steaks with a glass of wine and we each had meals fit for a king.  It was such a nice treat after eating chicken fingers, sandwiches, and Mexican the previous couple of days.

After dinner, we stopped by none other than DQ for dessert and the kids were in heaven!  When we got back to the mountain house, B helped the kids sort their gems that they had found gem-grubbing the day before as they were all clean and dry, and then we all piled in the bed for some snuggles and some selfies, and then it was off to dreamland for everyone!

Sunday morning we got up early, packed up the car, and we were just getting ready to leave when “The Great Mountain House Lockout of 2016” occurred.  Before I get into that, though, a little back story for you.  The entryway to the mountain house has a main traditional wooden door with a deadbolt and there is also a glass door (kind of like a screen door) outside of the regular door.  The glass door has one of those deadbolt types of locks that is only accessible from the inside because it is only meant to be used when you’re inside the house.  All weekend long, Jacob kept locking the glass door when we were in the house and all weekend long he could never get it unlocked.  B and I were constantly telling him to stop playing with it, but he continued to do it over and over, never being able to successfully unlock it himself. 

So anyway, the morning we left, B and I had literally just loaded up the last of the luggage, and we were heading inside to grab the kids when I tried to open the glass door.  It wouldn’t budge.  Jacob had, you guessed it, just locked the door.  He and Olivia were both inside staring at us through the glass, and B and I were both outside staring back at them.  My heart immediately sank and then panic ensued.  Both of us started shouting at him to unlock the door, but we knew that it was pointless since he hadn’t ever been able to get the door unlocked.  Most of you are probably thinking – just go in through the back door!  Well, the back doors all hang off of the side of the mountain, so there was no getting to those.  There is a basement door on the side of the house, but we weren’t even certain that our key would open it, but I yelled at B to go try it anyway.  Meanwhile, Jacob kept trying – and failing – to unlock the door, so I yelled at Olivia to try it.  She couldn’t get it open either. 

The whole ordeal probably lasted all of about 2 minutes, but it felt like a lifetime, and finally, after trying repeatedly to get the door unlocked, Jacob had success!  Sweet, sweet success.  And, sweet sassy molassy, was I grateful! 

Thank goodness he works well under pressure.  He gets it from his momma.

The rest of the day was uneventful.  We loaded the kids in the car, and stopped for one last treat on the way home – donuts for breakfast!  We were able to drive straight through with no bathroom stops again, and the kiddos did really well in the car.  Olivia did get a little delirious toward the end, but nothing to write home about.  

B and I endured Frozen a couple more times on the way home, and we made it home in time for a late lunch and a long nap for Olivia. 

It was the sweetest trip with all of my favorite people, and we really couldn’t have asked for more.  I think we will just have to start making this an annual thing!  

And before I go, a quick disclaimer about the lock-out situation – I just want to put it out there that our car was literally parked at the porch of the mountain house just 15 feet away from the front door where the kids were playing.  B and I were both in and out numerous times so the kids were never left alone longer than 15-20 seconds so they were never remotely in danger. 

No need to call DFACS!  Haha. 

And if you missed the first half of our trip, you can see it here.

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