Friday, November 30, 2018

Five on Friday - Five Things I Love About Brian After Eleven Years of Marriage

Tomorrow, December 1, Brian and I will celebrate eleven years of marriage.  I’ve done many a post on this blog but I don’t think I’ve ever once listed the things that I love most about this man whom I chose all of those years ago. 

Well B, “how do I love thee?  Let me count the ways…”

O N E – You Make Life Fun

You’re always so dang happy, rarely in a bad mood, never anxious, almost always relaxed… the calm to my crazy.  You happily sing along to boy band music with the kids and me in the car, you take me to girly concerts like Taylor Swift and Justin Timberlake, you do silly little dances in the kitchen just to make us smile (or smirk – hehe), and you happily go along with my crazy shenanigans for Instagram and the blog.  And you do it all with a smile on your face.  You make me laugh every single day and this is why you have always been and will always be my favorite person in the whole wide world. 

T W O – You Work Behind the Scenes and Never Ask for Credit

You’ve always been willing to help out with the kids – changing diapers when they were babies, giving baths, reading at bedtime, preparing meals and staying home with them every now and then so I can slip out for an evening with my girlfriends.  You do dishes, you run to the store when we’re out of toilet paper or detergent, you’re always willing to help when I’m ready to throw my computer out the window, and you always take the trash out without fail.

All without me ever having to ask.

All without you ever complaining. 

And all with good intentions because you know that these things need to be done and because you know that I appreciate the help.

I just want you to know that I see you and I appreciate you.

T H R E E – You are a Great Provider for Our Family

You work hard at your job and you are amazing at what you do.  Thank you for putting in all of that effort to provide for us so that I can stay home with our babies.  I know that wasn’t in our original long-term plan because it was never anything that I imagined I would ever want to do, so thank you for handling that curve-ball so gracefully and making it work.  I really am thankful and promise to never take it for granted.

F O U R – You’re My Biggest Fan

Thank you for being fully supportive of my dreams.  For getting up each morning and always being one of the first people to read my blog posts, for catching my typos and errors and texting them to me immediately so that I might correct them before the rest of the world sees, for putting up with my crazy photo ideas and requests, and for being the best Instagram hubby any girl could ask for.  ;o)

I love that you randomly ask me how my Amazon affiliate sales are on any given day or ask me how my new gigs are going.  I love that you are genuinely interested about hearing about my blog post ideas and sponsorships.  It means the world to have your full support.

F I V E – You’re True Blue

I love that I can trust you 100%.  I love that you’re loyal and honest and that you don’t play mind games or create drama.  I love that you’re genuine and that you don’t say things you don’t mean or do things to try to be someone who you’re not.  I also love that you don’t wear your stress on your sleeve like I do.  ;o)  You are truly the one person who can put my mind at ease nine out of ten times. 

Basically, I hit the jackpot all those years ago and I’m so thankful to have you as my partner for life!

Happy eleven years, you handsome devil!

And may Georgia bring home the SEC Championship for us tomorrow!  #GoDawgs

*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, November 29, 2018

Fall Bucket List 2018 - What We Accomplished

I know everyone has officially made the shift to the Christmas season, but y’all know me, I never abandon a good list, so today is the day to see how we did on our fall bucket list…

O N E – Decorate the House for Fall

CHECK!  And you can see the tour here!  It was by far my favorite fall tour yet!

T W O – Drink Plenty of PSLs

CHECK!  I had two or three from Starbucks and made a couple at home, too!  

T H R E E – Attend the Gala at My Alma Mater

CHECK!  You can see the recap here.

F O U R – Attend Homecoming Festivities at My Alma Mater

CHECK!  And it was such a fun evening.  The recap is here.

F I V E – Fall Weekend Getaway in the Mountains

CHECK!  And it might have been my favorite yet!  Recaps here, here, and here.

S I X – Go Apple Picking

CHECK!  Recap here.

S E V E N – Go Wine-Tasting at Our Favorite Vineyard

CHECK!  We went to our favorite place on our mountain trip and it was another wonderful evening.  See the post here.

E I G H T – Visit the Top of Brasstown Bald

CHECK!  This was our first trip and it probably won’t be our last.  Recap here.

N I N E – Spend the Day in Helen, GA

CHECK!  We actually went twice!  Recap here and here.

T E N – Visit Rock Ranch with Friends

CHECK!  And this trip was even better than last year’s trip.  See the recap here.

E L E V E N – Watch Football on the Back Porch

CHECK!  We actually only did this once due to different circumstances, but since we did it, I’m calling it a win!

T W E L V E – Watch a Movie Under the Stars

CHECK!  Technically the stars weren’t completely out, but we did manage to squeeze in Room on the Broom outside one evening.  It was wonderful. 

T H I R T E E N – Introduce the Movie Hocus Pocus to the Kids

CHECK!  And they both loved it!  Olivia wasn’t even scared, so it went even better than I could have imagined!  Recap here.

F O U R T E E N – Visit a Pumpkin Patch

CHECK!  We didn’t do this as a family, but since Olivia and I went to one on a field trip together I’m gonna count it!  Recap here.

F I F T E E N – Carve Pumpkins

CHECK!  This was our best one yet!  Recap here.

S I X T E E N – Trick-or-Treat

CHECK!  The kids went longer than ever and got more candy than ever this year so it was a great one!  Recap here.

S E V E N T E E N – Go to the Georgia/Auburn Game & Then Ed Sheeran??

CHECK!  The Georgia/Auburn game was originally scheduled for the same night as the Ed Sheeran concert and choosing which one to go to was killing me.  Well, we ended up being the LUCKIEST people in the whole world because Ed Sheeran’s concert had to be moved up one night due to Atlanta United (soccer team) making it into the finals.  That meant we were able to do BOTH and we didn’t have to choose!  Whew!  Recap here.

E I G H T E E N – Fall Family Photos

CHECK!  We did them ourselves again and they came out beautifully.  You can see them all here.

N I N E T E E N – Friendsgiving

CHECK!  This was the one thing that I didn’t think we’d check off of the list, but WE DID IT!  Recap here.

T W E N T Y – Watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

CHECK!  As always, we spent the morning hanging out on the couch, eating homemade waffles, and watching the parade… one of my favorite days of the whole year.  Recap here.

Well, for the first time EVER on a bucket list, we checked off every single item!  I can’t even believe it.  And now that we have fall out of the way, it’s time to move on to all of the Christmas goodness!  Stay tuned for our Christmas bucket list next week!

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

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

What's Up Wednesday - November 2018

*This post may contain affiliate links, which means at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through or make a purchase.

Another month has come and gone and now we’re preparing for my favorite month of the entire year… December!

What We’re Eating This Week

Mon – White Bean, Kale, and Sausage Soup
Tue – Chicken Spaghetti
Wed – Frozen pizza??  I have to have a procedure in the morning so I won’t be cooking!
Thu – BBQ Chicken, Black Eyed Peas, Green Beans
Fri – Out
Sat – Take out during the SEC Championship Game!!!!  We’ll be glued to the TV!
Sun – Sunday dinner at Momma and Daddy’s

What I’m Reminiscing About

One of my best friends and her family started their process of moving away to the other side of the world this past week and we had to say goodbye.  Before she left, my girlfriends and I took her out for one last margarita night, and my friend April had printed tons of old pictures of all of us and our babies from the last eight years.  We had a great time looking through all of them and remembering precious times together.  All of our babies were born and raised together and we’re just going to miss them so much!

What I’m Loving

How wonderfully extra festive I have been feeling this Christmas season!  I mean, I’m always festive at Christmastime – it has always, always been my very favorite time of the year – however, this year I am, like, OVER THE TOP in the spirit and I LOVE IT.  I think the main reason why I’m extra festive this year is because last year was so tumultuous.  We had a rocky 2017 and I quit my job right at the start of the Christmas season last year.  While I was so thrilled to have the opportunity to quit, looking back, I think I went through a slight depression in the weeks after because it was such a huge change in my life.  I missed my coworkers terribly, I missed my routine, and I was navigating through finding my “new normal.”  I’ve never been good with change, especially HUGE changes like quitting a job that I had for 13 years, so that did seem to put a slight damper on my holiday season last year. 

This year however?  We are thriving, I’m loving life as a stay at home mom, and I’m just as festive as it gets!  Give me all the Christmas lights, Christmas movies, Christmas PJs, Christmas music, and Peppermint Mochas.  I am just eating it up this year! 

What We’ve Been Up To

Where do I even start?  November was fantastic (with the exception of my Katie leaving) – we kicked off November 1 with a good healthy dose of Christmas tunes and we’ve been listening to them ever since!  We hosted our first annual Friendsgiving, B and I had a little weekend getaway to Atlanta to see Ed Sheeran in concert, B and I went to the Georgia vs. Auburn game in Athens, we took the kids to Athens for a Georgia game as a family and we soaked up the fall-ness of it all, I posted about our fall family photos, we worked with Shutterfly to print our Christmas cards nice and early, we had one last play date with our friends before they moved, we had a play date with another friend, we celebrated Thanksgiving three times with family, we got our Christmas tree, we decorated the whole house for Christmas and put up waaaay too many new lights outside, we tried a new restaurant and had the best pizza of our lives, and we had our North Pole Breakfast. 

In addition to the stuff I’ve already recapped, there were also a few new events to recap as well.  We had Thanksgiving lunch with Jacob at school, and we watched our little turkey, Olivia, sing some songs before eating with her at her Thanksgiving feast at school. 

Whew!  It was busy, but probably my favorite month yet!

What I’m Dreading

This morning I’m having an endoscopy so the doctor can confirm whether or not reflux has been causing all of my breathing problems.  I do NOT like being put to sleep and anesthesia makes me super nauseated so I’m not super excited about this whole procedure.  I’m sure it’ll be a piece of cake, but I’m still dreading it.  Once it’s over, B is going to drive me home and I’m going to lie on the couch and watch Hallmark movies for the rest of the day, so there’s that.  There’s always a silver lining, right?  ;o)

But anyway, if you don’t mind saying a little prayer for me this morning that would be much appreciated.  I’m actually hoping for the reflux diagnosis because after 12 years of severe breathing problems (not always caused by my asthma), I will finally have some answers and they will finally understand how to treat me.  I do NOT, however, want the diagnosis that my reflux is severe enough to have caused any cancer or anything terrible in my esophagus.  Everything I’ve read said that a lot of people who have severe reflux that goes untreated for long periods of time sometimes develop something called “Barrett’s esophagus” which is where stomach acid causes precancerous cells to develop in the esophagus.  Those can eventually turn into cancer and obviously, we do NOT want that.  It’s pretty rare, but I do somehow often manage to fall in the tiny rare percentage for medical stuff.  PLEASE NOT THIS TIME! 

What I’m Working On

My to-do list is always long, but this time of year it’s just crazy.  Here are a few of the things I’m working on right now: 

  1. CHRISTMAS SHOPPING!  I racked up on Cyber Monday and got some great deals on Amazon and  A few of my steals – this Play Doh set, cheap board games, these pogo jumpers (one for each kid!), this Hatchimal, and an Ancestry DNA Kit.  We got incredible deals on all of these on Cyber Monday and it looks like some of these are still on sale, although, not quite as cheap as we got them! 
  2. Christmas decorating – it’s almost done, but I’m waiting on these gorgeous garlands to arrive in the mail so I can finish the downstairs tree.  I changed up our Christmas decorations a good bit this year and I cannot wait to share them with you!
  3. Getting Christmas cards prepared to send out.
  4. Still whittling the pile of junk down on the floor in my office.  There’s not much left, but the stuff that is left is going to be time consuming to get rid of since I’m going to try to sell it online.
  5. Still working on organizing the files on my computer and still have a pretty long way to go.  It’s a HUGE job.
  6. Prepping some blog posts for Christmas Break so I don’t have to spend a lot of time on the computer during my favorite week of the whole year!
  7. Starting to think about goals for the New Year – things that are working, things I want to change, things I want to accomplish, etc.
  8. Starting to think about blog content for 2019.  Anything specific you want to see?  Anything you want to see more of?  Anything you want to see less of?  I’m always open to your feedback!  I love hearing from my wonderful readers!
What I’m Excited About

Brian’s and my 11th anniversary is this Saturday so he is taking the day off on Friday and he and I are going to have entire Day O Fun while the kids are at school.  Day dates are always my favorite and they are the absolute BEST during the Christmas season.  We’ll probably go get breakfast somewhere after dropping the kids at school, and then we’ll do a bunch of Christmas shopping, have lunch together, and maybe even squeeze in a movie at the theater if time permits.  Falalalalalalalala!

What I’m Watching/Reading

Watching – All of our fall TV (A Million Little Things, Manifest, This is Us, Modern Fam, etc.) is about to go on hiatus for the Christmas season, so we’re going to be all up in the Christmas movies!  We’ve already watched The Santa Clause and the new Grinch at the theater and I’m sure we’ll be working our way through all of the rest of our faves soon, too.  We’re going to show Home Alone 2 to the kids for the first time this year and I’m so excited I can’t even stand it!  I’ve always loved Home Alone 2 just as much as the first one since it takes place in NYC, and I just know Jacob will love it because he loves NYC so much.  Fun fun!

Reading – My reading always sloooows majorly this time of year, and for the last few weeks we’ve been so busy that it has come to a halt.  My friend Brandi has a new book and I started it back at the end of October and it is SO GOOD, but I just haven’t had the time to finish it.  I’m hoping to get back into it soon once the kids are out of school for Christmas Break. 

What I’m Listening To

Well, I don’t think I really even need to say this since y’all already know anyway… CHRISTMAS MUSIC ALL DAY ERRY DAY!

And remember how last month I was so sad because I didn’t think any local radio stations would be playing nonstop Christmas music this year since the station that usually does it moved and changed their format?  Well guess what?  We not only have one station doing it this year, but we have TWO!!!!  Eek!  The station that changed their format is still doing the nonstop Christmas music as they always do, and another local station decided to do it this year, too… probably because they thought the other station wasn’t going to do it.  Haha.  Needless to say I’ve been listening nonstop pretty much all day long.  Not even kidding.  And I’m not even tired of it.

What I’m Wearing

All the winter-wear!  It’s been nice and chilly/cold these last few weeks and I’ve finally had the chance to dip into the cold-weather clothes in my closet.  I’ve been wearing these $12 cozy vests, my favorite Zella legging dupes from Amazon, and my favorite boots on repeat. 

Last week Olivia and I were feeling particularly festive in our vests, scarves, and matching polka dots, so I had B snap a few pictures of us on our way out the door.  So fun!  Just look at her jolly little self, y’all!

What I’m Doing This Weekend

Day date with B Friday, maybe doing our viewing of Home Alone 2 Friday night if we don’t have anything else going on, attending the Santa Breakfast with our church and school family Saturday morning, and then watching the SEC Championship game from the couch Saturday evening.  B and I considered going, but we decided we’d rather save our money for the National Championship Game in Cali.  ;o)

Come on, Georgia, DON’T LET US DOWN!  

On that note… are there any non-Alabama fans out there who are actually even cheering for Alabama to win?!  Isn’t everybody just tired of them?  Lol. 

And much love to my Alabama fan readers… y’all know I’m just kidding!  ;o)

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month

Christmas.  Did you really even think I’d say anything else?

What Else Is New

Olivia had a checkup on her thyroid nodule late last month.  The doctor did the usual ultrasound to check on its growth and we got some verrrry good news – it hasn’t grown any larger in the last 3-4 months since we last saw him!!  Yayayayay!!!!  He said he thinks it may have finally stabilized which is excellent.  This means we should hopefully just be able to monitor it until she’s big enough (around the age of 16 or so) to have it removed safely. 

I’m praying that it’ll not only stop growing, but that it will start to shrink and disappear on its own so we don’t have to ever operate.  That’s the dream!  Thank you for all of your prayers!  They are working!

Happy Wednesday, y’all!  If anybody needs me, you can find me snuggled up on the couch next to the Christmas lights watching Christmas movies all day.  :o)

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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.