Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Top Ten… Favorite Scents

I’ve been a long-time fan of Shay at Mix and Match Mama, and she started a Top 3, Bottom 3 blog post series a few months ago that I thought was super fun.  I always love reading random posts such as these the most (day in the life, random facts, coffee chats, etc.) and I think y’all do, too, based on the feedback I receive, so I thought it would be fun to start a new series similar to Shay’s. 

Instead of a Top 3, Bottom 3, I’m going to do a Top Ten list of favorites.  Do y’all remember when David Letterman used to do his Top Ten lists on his show?  That’s what I’m going for here.  ;o)

To kick it off, I’m going to share my Top Ten favorite scents.  Once I started brainstorming for this post, I realized that most of these scents that I chose are rooted in nostalgia.  But I guess that shouldn’t surprise any of you who know me well, as I’ve always been a very sentimental person. 

Okay, let’s go!


10. Hotels in Vegas – Okay, I know this is a weird one, but hear me out.  Brian and I used to go to Las Vegas every single year before we had kids… for almost a decade.  We frequented all of the hotels there, and each one had its own unique scent, all of which were impossible to pinpoint.  I couldn’t ever tell you what on earth it was that each place smelled like specifically, but just trust me when I say that they all smelled divine.  Tropicana was my favorite.  If I could bottle that scent and spray it in my house, I would in a heartbeat.  I haven’t been to Vegas in years, but I do wonder every now and then if Tropicana still smells the same inside.  (And for some reason, thinking about this also just reminded me that one of my childhood friends had the best-smelling house.  I have no clue what they used in there, but it was the most unique, distinct scent (part of which was laundry detergent, I think), and I would totally bottle that, too, if I could.  It probably deserves a spot in this post, but since I’ve already decided on my top 10, it can just have honorable mention.)

9.  New car – Yep, I know this is cliché, but there’s a reason why it’s a cliché… it’s just so good, y’all!  Unfortunately, my new car smell has worn off now in my Telluride, but I sure did enjoy it for the few months that it lasted.  I actually just took it to be serviced this past week, and they put a new filter in it because my air vents weren’t smelling great, so my air conditioning now smells like a dentist office.  I like that, too.  It smells nice and clean.


8.  Clean laundry – Ohhhh, y’all, clean laundry is truly the best!  I love smelling it when it first comes out of the dryer, I love smelling it when I hug someone (one of my uncles always smells like clean laundry and it’s the best thing!), and I also love smelling it wafting through the neighborhood when I go on my evening walks and runs.  Somebody on the main street that runs parallel to my street has the best smelling laundry ever and I really wish I could figure out which house it is so I could knock on their door and ask them what they use.


7.  Various old Bath & Body Works lotions and sprays – I don’t use these anymore, but there are several scents from there that bring back such sweet memories from my past!  Cucumber Melon and Pearberry will forever remind me of high school and prom, and Sweet Pea will always remind me of dating Brian.  Vanilla Bean and Winter Candy Apple will always remind me of the holidays, and I will also forever love Blackberry & Basil and Champagne Toast. 


6.  Various old lip glosses and Chapsticks – I have always been the Chapstick queen, so there are tons of different lip products that I have loved throughout the years.  First up, is Lip Smackers Watermelon Chapstick.  I got this for Christmas in, probably, 1989-ish when I was seven, and it was pretty much the best thing ever.  They still make this, and every single time I smell it, I’m immediately transported to my parents’ house on Christmas morning.  Next up, is Kissing Potion strawberry lip gloss… y’all, I’m throwing it waaaay back to the early 90’s with this one, but oh my word, does anybody remember this stuff?!  It was my absolute favorite when I was probably nine or ten, and I can still smell it in my head even though it’s probably been 30 years since I’ve actually smelled it.  It was seriously the best smelling lip gloss of all time!  I also loved the scent of the Bath & Body Works Cherry Vanilla lip balm that came in a little glass pot… I used that in my early teens, and it was the best.  I can still smell that in my head even though it’s been decades since I’ve smelled it in real life.  (And now that I think about it, sticking my fingers in a pot of lip balm was really, really gross.  And I think my friends and I all shared it to make things even worse.  Haha.)  Finally, my most favorite of all – Bath & Body Works Sugar Plum Fairy lip balm that came in a purple tube.  I wore that for my first year working at the movie theater and that was one of my favorite years of my whole life, so that scent always takes me right back to my first holiday season working at the movie theater.  I actually still have that original tube from the 90’s… I have no idea why I held onto it for this long, but it still smells so good!  And clearly, this category is all about nostalgia! 


5.  Movie theater popcorn – I actually have a love/hate relationship with this scent.  When I first started working at the movie theater, I hated popcorn, but I quickly learned to love it since I had unlimited access to it for snacks.  Eventually, I started hating it again because I went home smelling like it every day.  My hair, my clothes, my car, and my bedroom pretty much always smelled like popcorn from the years of 1998-2001 while I worked there.  Lol.  But now, every single time I walk into a movie theater and smell that popcorn, it brings back the best memories of working there, so I love it.


4.  Peppermint – Peppermint has been one of my favorite scents since I was a kid, and now that I’m so big into essential oils, I love it even more.  What’s not to like about peppermint?!  It smells fresh, it’s invigorating, it helps wake me up and feel energized, and it helps tremendously with nausea and fatigue.  Plus, it always reminds me of Christmas.  Give me all the peppermint oil, candy canes, gum, ice cream, and other peppermint products!!


3.  Cinnamon – Cinnamon has also always been one of my favorite scents my whole life.  It smells like Christmas, and it reminds me of every single past Christmas Eve of my life.  Christmas Eve has always been my favorite day of the entire year, so any reminder of that is always a good reminder.  Cinnamon is just the ultimate at invoking coziness and warmth, and it can’t be beaten. 


2.  Good cologne or aftershave mixed with a guy’s natural scent – I have always been a HUGE sucker for cologne, and a good-smelling guy has always been one of my favorite things ever.  It always smells better on the guy than in the bottle, too, and I’m assuming that’s because of pheromones??  Who knows!  But whatever it is, man, I love cologne or aftershave on a guy.  There are so many that I’ve loved in the past including Cool Water (LOL – y’all remember that one?  I used to wear the women’s version in high school sometimes.) and Very Sexy for Men from Victoria’s Secret.  I also love whatever my Daddy wears – I have no idea what it is, but every time he hugs me, he always smells so good!  I will never not love cologne on a guy, and it will always be my #2 favorite scent of all-time. 


And that brings us to #1 which is…


1. A newborn baby’s breath or the top of their little head – Y’all.  If this isn’t the best thing you’ve ever smelled in your whole life, then you’re wrong.  There is absolutely nothing like the scent of a newborn baby’s breath… it is truly the sweetest, most pure thing in the whole world.  When Jacob and Olivia were babies, I would literally put my nose by their little mouths and inhale.  I’m aware that sounds really strange, but my goodness, there is nothing like the scent of your precious newborn baby’s breath.  And the tops of their little heads are just as good… especially right after they’ve been freshly bathed and shampooed.  Oh man, I miss those things more than anything in this whole world.


BRB, time to go have one more baby!!

KIDDING.  SO kidding, y’all.  That ship has sailed.

I just know that there are some things that I have probably forgotten in this post, but these are the first things that came to mind when I initially started brainstorming. 

And now I have to know, what are some of your favorite scents?!

Happy Wednesday, y’all!

Tuesday, August 29, 2023

Our Week - The One with Sick Kids, Fall Decorating, and a Weekend at Home

Last week, I felt pretty good all week – the most normal I’ve felt since my vertigo started seven weeks ago – but then, Friday, everything went downhill again, and the weekend was rough.  In addition to that, Jacob got Olivia’s cold, so we had yet another sick child just in time for the weekend, which meant we were stuck at home.  Sigh.  Let’s get to the recap.

Monday, August 21

Monday morning, Olivia woke up feeling well after her sickness over the weekend, but her voice sounded awful because everything had started draining, so we decided to keep her home from school.  The school is very strict about sending sick kids to school, and I knew if I sent her to school sounding that way, it would only be a matter of time before they called me and asked me to come pick her up.

I got Jacob to school while B stayed with Olivia at home, and then I swung by Walmart to grab groceries for the next couple of weeks.  At home, I got the groceries put away, and then Olivia watched cartoons while I got a few pressing things done in my office. 

I joined her downstairs a bit later, and we read some fall and Halloween board books together per her request.  She was super festive in her Halloween nightgown while we read, and once we were done, she begged me to start decorating for fall.  Haha.

Brian had jury duty last week, but he was excused for lunch, so he got home just as Olivia and I were finishing up our reading.  We all had lunch together, and then I cleaned out the pantry and got the rest of the groceries put away.

After that was done, I pulled out all of my fall mugs so we could get out a little bit of the fall décor to appease Olivia.  I wasn’t quite ready to pull out all of the boxes just yet, but it was nice to have a little fall touch in the house.

Once that was done, she and I watered all of the outdoor plants, and then she did some fall crafting while I worked some more.

We picked Jacob up from school at 3, and Olivia learned the woes of waiting in the car line.  Haha.  I don’t think she and Jacob realize how long I have to sit in the car each day for that, and she didn’t love it.  She did get a lot of AR reading done, though, so it was productive.

After that, Jacob had a makeup piano lesson, and then we ran to Publix to grab all of the things that I wasn’t able to get at Walmart.  The kids always love coming with me to Publix because they love to scan everything.  Haha.

When we were leaving, one of the cashiers at Publix struck up a conversation with the kids, and after they were done, she told me, “You have some great kiddos.  I was watching y’all walk in, and I saw the way he was watching out for his sister.  Whatever you’re doing, Momma, keep on doing it.” 

I can’t even tell y’all how much that made my day.  <3

When we got home from school, the kids had snacks and neither of them had homework (or makeup work for Olivia), so they played some educational games on their laptops for a bit.

Brian ended up being at jury duty foreverrrr and he didn’t get home until 7 PM, so we ended up eating without him.  I made sausage, peppers, and onions tacos and we had them with tortilla chips and fruit, and then B ate when he got home.

He ended up making it all the way until the final group of jurors, but thankfully, he wasn’t selected for the trial.  The trial was a murder trial with quite a media frenzy surrounding it, so we were both relieved that he didn’t have to be part of that.

After dinner, I went for a walk/jog in the crazy heat, and then when I got home, we got the kids in the bed a little early since Olivia was still recovering from her sickness. 

B and I started the finale of The Bachelorette, but we didn’t finish it because the TV in our bedroom was on the fritz, so we just went to bed.  I was tired anyway! 

Tuesday, August 22

Tuesday morning, I got the kids to school and then I ran a ton of errands – I dropped Maui at the groomer, I got gas, I returned some books to the library, I ran to Target, and I picked up some chicken at Fresh Market. 

Target had some of their fall stuff out, so it was nice to be able to browse and check everything out.  I swore to myself I wasn’t going to buy anything we didn’t need, but I came across the cutest ghost throw pillows and they were only $5 in the Dollar Spot, so I figured why not!

The rest of the day was spent working at home, and then I picked Maui up from the groomer on the way to get the kids from school.

On the way home from school, a police officer was behind me for quite some time, and then eventually he turned his lights on to pull me over.  I was so confused since I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, and when he came to my window he said, “Ma’am, did you know that your registration is expired?” 

I was like, “What?  No.”  And then as soon as he said that, I started thinking that it seemed like it had been a while since I’d gotten any renewal paperwork in the mail.  Turns out, they haven’t sent it to me in TWO. YEARS. 

Every single year since I was 16, like clockwork, I have always received my registration and tag renewal information in the mail at the end of February or beginning of March since my birthday is April 5.  It comes in a little blue envelope, and our tax commissioner’s name is always on the front.  We’ve had the same tax commissioner since I was 16, too, so I’m very familiar with this paperwork.

Well, apparently, they stopped sending the paperwork to JUST ME (because I checked with so many people I know here in town and they all still get a renewal notice in the mail every year) and since I haven’t been getting it, I haven’t thought to pay it.  I mean, why on earth would I ever even think about that without a reminder?! 

I explained this to the police officer, and unfortunately, he didn’t care to give me any grace (I honestly thought he might since the tag office made the mistake and since my record is clean), but he gave me a citation anyway. 


Y’all, this just hasn’t been my day, my week, my month, or even my year. 

So now I have a big fat ticket to pay in addition to the backlog of registration fees… all because our tag office failed to send my renewal invoice. 

Another question I have is – why oh why wasn’t I pulled over for this before?  It’s been expired for more than two years.  Lol.

The kids were with me when we were pulled over, so I had to explain to them what happened, and I pray they didn’t go telling all of their friends that mommy got pulled over by the cops.  Sigh.

Anywayyyy, I will be having a conversation with someone at the tag office to ensure that we get put back on their mailing list ASAP, and I also put a reminder in my planner for next year in case they drop the ball again.

Tuesday evening, Olivia was pretty tired from the lingering effects of her cold, and she said that she wasn’t sure she felt up to doing two hours of dance (especially hip hop which is really rigorous), so we kept her home.

We hung out all evening and I made Publix meatballs and mac n cheese and green beans with Hawaiian rolls for dinner to keep it easy because Brian was at tennis.

After dinner, the kids played for a bit, and then while they showered and got ready for bed, I did a stair stepper and an arms workout.

Brian got home shortly after that, and then we got the kids in the bed.  He and I wrapped up the evening by finishing the season finale of The Bachelorette, and I have to say, I was surprised at who Charity chose.  I loved all of the finalists, but I didn’t see her choosing him.

Wednesday, August 23

Wednesday morning, I dropped the kids off at school and then I headed home to work on blog stuff all day.  I took about an hour after lunch to clean out my closet, but I wasn’t able to finish it up before I had to get the kids.  I grabbed the kids from school at 3 when they got out and then we headed straight to dance for Olivia’s ballet, tap, and jazz classes. 

Once she was dropped off, Jacob and I headed home, and he worked on some coding for a project he’s been working on for school.  He’s taking a STEM class this year, and right now they’re learning a new coding program, and he has been creating some basic video games with the knowledge he has so far.

While he did that, I finished cleaning out my closet, and I got rid of a ton of things – 29 tops, 11 dresses, 7 pairs of shorts, 1 pair of shoes, 1 old shoebox, and a broken hanger.  It was enough to fill two bags, and I’ll take that over to our church’s outreach center soon!

By the time I’d finished that, it was time to start cooking dinner.  I made my Momma’s rosemary wine chicken with mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli, and baked Hawaiian rolls (again because the kids are obsessed), and when Brian and Olivia got home from dance, we all sat down and ate together.

After dinner, we cleaned up the kitchen, and then I changed out the twinkle lights on the ficus tree in our living room.  They’ve been half lit for the last couple of months, and I hadn’t taken the time to take the burned out strand off.

Shortly after 7, I headed out to walk/jog while the kids got showered and ready for bed, and I was grateful that a good portion of our side of the neighborhood was already shaded.  The sun is starting to set earlier now, so I’m not having to wait as late for the shade.  Having the sun beating down on me while I walk or run is one of my least favorite things ever. 

I ended up getting in 2.55 miles (walking and jogging), and I had my fastest pace since all of this vertigo started.  I also wasn’t veering off to the right for the first time in six weeks since the vertigo started either!  So that was huge progress.

I got home just in time to find out Olivia had forgotten to bring her Word Work (spelling and vocabulary words) home for her test the next day, so I texted my friend Maegan and asked her if she could snap a picture of Aubrey’s and send it to me.  Once we had that, I quizzed her on all the things, and then we settled in for some AGT.

After the kids were in bed, I got showered and got in my PJs, and then I meditated before joining Brian downstairs to start a new episode of Manifest

Thursday, August 24

Thursday morning, I had an appointment at the allergist at 8:30, so I had some time to kill after I dropped the kids at school, and that worked out perfectly because… it was pumpkin spice latte day at Starbucks!!!!  You better believe I was right there in that long line getting mine.  Never mind that the temperature was 100 that day. 

Once that PSL was in my hand, I drove to the allergist, and I sat in my car and savored my PSL while I listened to my favorite radio show and made my to-do list for the day while I waited to go in for my appointment.  I surely wasn't dressed for fall, but it felt like fall in my car.  ;o)

My appointment was quick, and I was in and out in just 20 minutes.  I headed straight home to get some work done, and then I headed back out for an appointment with my therapist at 11:15. 

The rest of the day was spent working at home, and then I grabbed the kids from school at 3 when they got out.  We headed straight to music lessons, and when we sat down in the lobby to wait for their teachers to get them, Jacob told me he was starting to feel achy.  Ugggghhhh. 

We ended up canceling his lesson because I didn’t want him sitting in a small room with his teacher and spreading germs, and he and I waited in the car while Olivia did her voice lesson so we didn’t spread germs in the lobby.

By the time we got home, Jacob had a fever of 101.5, he was super achy, and he was really congested.  Sigh.  He immediately crashed on the couch while Olivia did some studying, and I started on dinner – fettuccine alfredo with chicken, steamed broccoli, and garlic cheesy bread.  I did test him for Covid, too, just to make sure it wasn't that, and he was negative.

When Brian got home, we all had dinner together, and Jacob barely touched his food because his fever was making him miserable, so we let him be excused so he could just lay down.

After dinner, B and I got the kitchen cleaned up, and then I headed out for another walk/jog.  It was blazing hot again and I was sweating buckets by the time I got home, but it was a really great workout.  I was just so thankful to be able to get back out and do that since I had to take a month-long hiatus due to my vertigo.

When I got home, we watched some more of America’s Got Talent, and then after we got the kids in the bed, I showered, got ready for bed, and meditated, and then B and I watched some more of Manifest before heading to bed a little bit early.

Friday, August 25

Friday morning, I got Olivia to school while Brian stayed with Jacob… convenient that Brian was working from home that day!  After Olivia was dropped off, I drove straight to the Kia service department for my maintenance appointment, and Brian and Jacob met me there so I could just leave my Telluride and not have to wait with it.

I had a physical therapy appointment for my vertigo at 8, so they dropped me off there and waited in the parking lot for me since it wasn’t going to be a long appointment.  My appointment went well, and the physical therapist did some more manual manipulation of my neck, and we also did some of the same exercises I’d been doing at home, while increasing the movements tremendously.  Apparently, something we did messed me up, though, and you’ll find out why later in the day.

I felt pretty good for the rest of the day, but my neck did feel a little bit aggravated, probably because it had been worked so much.

When we got home, I made breakfast for Jacob and then he settled in to watch TV for a bit.  His fever was totally gone, and he was just left with some congestion and a little bit of a cough, which wasn’t too bad.

While he watched TV, I got some work done, and then at 11, the three of us headed back to Kia to grab my Telluride.

Back at home, Jacob worked on some schoolwork while I got lunch ready, and then we all ate together.

Jacob played video games for a bit afterward, and I got some more work done, and then it was time to pick up Olivia from school.  I got a message from her teacher with this sweet little picture and it made me so happy.  The fourth graders have Pre-K4 prayer partners, and Olivia's prayer partner is her teacher's daughter this year.  <3  She was THRILLED.

Olivia’s eye had looked a little bit pink and irritated Friday morning, and as the day went on, I started to worry if it was pinkeye.  I had assumed it wasn’t since nobody had called me from the school and told me to come and get her, but I continued to worry as the day went on, especially since she was still so congested.  While I was sitting in the car line, I decided to make an appointment for the acute care place right down the street from the school just to be extra cautious, so she and I headed there right after she got out.

They administered an actual pinkeye test (which I didn’t even know those existed), and the doctor said that it was likely just allergies, but that he did want to treat it as if it was pinkeye just to be safe.  (By the end of the evening, her eye looked just fine, so I’m pretty sure it wasn’t pinkeye.  We did put the drops in her eye all weekend just to be safe, though.)  And per usual, Olivia wanted to play with Snapchat filters while we waited at the doctor's office.  :o)  (And yes, we did wear masks for the first time in months and months while we were at the doctor's office because Covid is everywhere right now and I don't want it again.  Haha.)

The kids’ school had their back-to-school social and first home football game Friday evening, so we were super sad to miss, but we didn’t want to bring germs to everyone there.  Instead, we picked up Five Guys for dinner, and then we got in our PJs and watched Father of the Bride 2 to continue our introduction to 90’s romcoms with the kids.  They both liked the second one more than the first one… and I feel the exact same way.  ;o)

After the movie was over, they went to bed, and B and I watched an episode of Only Murders in the Building followed by a little bit more of Manifest.  While we watched, I laid on the couch on my right side (as I always do on Friday and Saturday evenings), and when I got up to go to bed, everything started spinning.  I felt AWFUUUUL.  By the time we got upstairs, I was in really bad shape, and just as I was walking out of our room to check on the kids, I fell backwards.  Thankfully, I was standing in the doorway, so I was able to grab the doorframe on my way down, so it wasn’t a bad fall.  It was just frustrating more than anything.

I ended up getting straight in the bed, and going straight to sleep after that because I felt so awful, I couldn’t even read or look at my phone.  The weirdest part about all of it was that instead of feeling like I was going to fall to the left or the right like I have this entire last seven weeks, I felt like I was going to fall backwards instead.  And instead of feeling dizzy when I lay on my left side, I felt dizzy when laying on my back.  So freaking weird and frustrating how it keeps coming back and morphing into different issues.

Saturday, August 26

Saturday morning, I woke up feeling terrible… thankfully, not as bad as I was Friday night after the vertigo started again, but I was very unsteady again, and I felt like I was on a boat again… a really, really rocky one.  I had hoped that it would improve throughout the day as it has on the other few days that I’ve had setbacks, but sadly, it never did.

Since I was so bad off Saturday, I took it easy in the morning.  I did make homemade waffles for breakfast, and then afterward, Olivia asked me to sit on the couch and read fall books with her… wasn’t going to say no to that!  I grabbed a cup of hot cinnamon tea, and then we spent the next hour reading together.

I had promised the kids that we’d pull out the fall décor since we were going to be stuck at home all weekend thanks to Jacob’s sickness, so we started working on that next.  I didn’t really feel up to it at all, and it was a huge struggle, but I felt bad since I had promised.  It ended up taking twice as long as it usually does, and I put up less than I usually do, but oh well.  It was the best I could do at the time.  While we decorated, we also watched ESPN College GameDay which is our favorite thing to do.  College football is back, baby!

While we did that, we also got some laundry done, we tidied up the house, and we put a few things in Olivia’s room so she could have some fall vibes in there, too.  ;o)

After a light lunch, I let the kids bake some break and bake sugar cookies that Jacob had picked out at the grocery store.  We pulled out the Halloween sprinkles and they decorated them with those, too.

Once that was done, the kids settled in for video games and I got some work done.  While I worked, I watched My Best Friend’s Wedding… the best!

I headed downstairs late in the afternoon to turn on some college football.  Georgia wasn’t playing, but if college football is on, we are here for it.  ;o)

Brian headed down the street to the restaurant in our neighborhood to pick up pizza for dinner.  It was the first time we’d tried the pizza there, and it was pretty good.  The cheese curds were even better.  They are also famous for their giant slices of cake, so B picked up a slice of carrot cake for us to eat on over the next couple of days.

Brian had to work after dinner, so the kids headed off to play, and I tackled a few minor projects that I’d been wanting to do.  I still felt like poo, so again, everything took twice as long, but I’m not one to just sit around and do nothing, y’all.  I did end up having to throw in the towel even though there were other things I wanted to do, and instead, I lay outside on the back porch and read for a bit.

Later in the evening, the kids turned on cartoons, and I sat with them and finished reading my book.  I was dying to know how it ended, but reading is really challenging when my vertigo flairs like this, so it was tough to get through it.

B helped me get the kids in the bed, and then he and I shared our cake, but he was still on work calls the whole time, so we couldn’t really watch anything.  College football was on, though, so we did turn that on.  After that, it was off to bed for both of us!


Sunday, August 27

Sunday, we had zero plans yet again since Jacob was still recovering from his cold, so we spent the whole day at home again.  I was still feeling pretty terrible all day again, too, which wasn’t fun at all.  Constant dizziness is just the worst, y’all.

We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and then I headed to my office to get my planner ready for the week and for the entire month of September, and while I did that, I listened to the sermon that I listen to every Sunday.  I was feeling decent enough to work out on the stair stepper after that since I can hold onto the dresser while I do it, so that was up next.

After that, it was more laundry, more tidying, and some Sunday prep for the week ahead, and then we all had lunch together.  We also went out to water Olivia's sunflowers, and so many of them had bloomed overnight!

After lunch, I made banana bread from scratch, got dinner in the slow cooker, and then I headed upstairs to shower and get ready for the day… which only consisted of moisturizing, brushing my hair, and brushing my teeth since we weren’t going anywhere.  I didn’t wear a stitch of makeup all weekend.

Right after I got out of the shower, we had an unexpected storm, and it ended up pouring for a good 45 minutes.  It hadn’t rained in weeks at that point, and we desperately needed it.  The temp also dropped from 100 degrees to the low-70’s so I wasn’t mad about it. 

At that point, we had a cozy storm outside, dinner was cooking in the slow cooker, and the whole house smelled like fresh banana bread, so I made a cup of hot cinnamon tea along with a slice (okay, two slices – haha) of banana bread, and I got all cozy in my office and pretended it was actually fall.  Haha.

The rest of the afternoon was spent working while the kids played video games, and then I went downstairs to get dinner on the table.  The ranch chicken pasta was done in the slow cooker, so all I had to do was boil the noodles, steam some green beans, and warm the garlic cheese bread. 

After dinner, Olivia went to check on her sunflowers after the storm, and y’all, every single one of them was flat on the ground.  She was so sad that she burst into tears.  I felt so terrible for her… all of that hard work, and they were all bulldozed by the wind before they could even bloom fully. 

She has had the worst luck with sunflowers these last couple of years.  Last year, a squirrel ate all of the flowers the day after they bloomed, and now this.  Ugh.

Most of them were still rooted in the ground pretty well, so we stood several of them up and used string to tie them to the fence, and I’m praying that they can somehow all survive and finish blooming so she can enjoy them a little longer.

Once that was done, we finished cleaning up the kitchen, and then we all went for a walk around the neighborhood since it had cooled down tremendously from the rain.  We ended up getting in a mile, and then we headed home to finish watching America’s Got Talent from the week.

B and I finally finished Manifest (and I was SO not impressed with the ending as expected), and I’m glad to have it done.  If you haven’t seen it, I do not recommend.  Haha.  Once that was over, we started Nine Perfect Strangers.


And that was our week.

And now for a few current things…

Currently Reading


Reading has been a challenge with vertigo, but I did feel well enough to make it through several this month.  I finally finished I’m Glad My Mom Died.  I had started that one in, like, May, and I had to keep putting it down to read my library holds instead.  I never watched iCarly, and I didn’t even know who Jennette McCurdy was prior to reading this book, but goodness, did I feel for her.  She went through a lot, and that book was hard to read at times.


Once I was done with that one, I moved on to Too Late by Colleen Hoover, and I thought it was okay… it was typical COHO, so if you like her stuff, then you’ll like this one.


Once that was done, I made my way through The Guest List by Lucy Foley, and again, I thought that one was just okay.  I typically love a suspense book, but that one wasn’t all that great.


Next up was Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult, and I thought it was really good.  It was very long, and a little slow for me at times when she was discussing all of the details about beekeeping, but overall, I enjoyed it. 


Finally, I read Heart Bones by Colleen Hoover (my aunt passes all COHO books to me when she’s done... that’s why I read so many of them), and I really, really liked that one.  It was probably one of my favorite COHO books ever and I flew through it.


I’m also still making my way through Winning the War in Your Mind: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by Craig Groeschel, but I didn’t pick it up very much this month since it requires some serious critical thinking.  My brain is still feeling a bit foggy here and there from the lingering dizziness, and I’m finding it hard to be a critical thinker right now.  Some days, I feel like I can barely focus on having a conversation with someone.


I did, however, get through several more days of my Bible Recap!!!!  I had gotten through Day 4 in July before my vertigo started, and this month, I have been able to do eight more days as of last night.  It is slow going for sure, but I’m really trying.  I’ve been so sad that I haven’t been feeling well enough to do it from the vertigo, though.  I like to take notes and do little doodles as I go, and that is the hardest part for me with the vertigo, so I’ve been holding off.


Currently Watching


With B:  This month, we finished The Last Thing He Told Me and The Bachelorette.  We also started and finished The Summer I Turned Pretty, season 2, and we started season 3 of Only Murders in the Building (which I’m not loving).  And yes, we finally finished the last season of Manifest, and it was just terrible.  Lol.  We also started Nine Perfect Strangers.  We are late to the party with that one, but I’d heard good things about it, so we’ll see how it goes.


With the Kids:  We’re on a break with Weird But True, so we didn’t watch any of that this month.  We are still making our way through America’s Got Talent, and we also finished season 2 of Is It Cake?  Oh, and we started watching that show Welcome to Earth with Will Smith.  We also watched The Wedding Planner, Father of the Bride, and Father of the Bride 2 with them.


Alone:  I’m still watching The Wedding Planner on repeat a lot, and I also threw in My Best Friend’s Wedding once, too.


Currently Listening To

Cozy season is upon us, so I recently started listening to my favorite standards and jazzy stuff.  I love Michael Buble, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Rod Stewart’s songbooks, Steve Tyrell, and any kind of cocktail jazz.  I’m also still listening to Hymn of Heaven (Acoustic Sessions) by Phil Wickham on repeat, and I’ve been listening to some 90’s R&B which also reminds me of fall.

Happy Tuesday, y’all!

Monday, August 28, 2023

20 Year Dating Anniversary

Y’all!  Today marks TWENTY years since Brian and I started dating.  Twenty.  2-0.  Two whole decades.  And I’m honestly not sure how that’s possible since I’m only 25.  ;o)

We don’t typically celebrate our dating anniversary since we have a wedding anniversary, but I thought that 20 years was definitely worth mentioning here on the blog because that is a very, very long time. 

We have been through so much together in the last 20 years – we celebrated my graduation from college and the start of my corporate career, we got engaged, we got married, we had the worst honeymoon of all-time, we lived in three different homes, we built a house, we went through three pregnancies, we lost one baby and we welcomed two healthy babies, we raised one precious little dog baby, we survived me quitting my corporate job after 13 years to become a stay-at-home-mom, we buried four of our grandparents, we welcomed to the world five nieces and nephews (in addition to the two who were born before we started dating), we celebrated 15 wedding anniversaries, we traveled to lots of fun places, we attended countless concerts, and we made it through one pandemic. 

We have experienced super high highs and super low lows and it’s been quite a ride.

In honor of 20 years, I thought it would be fun to share our relationship in pictures… most of these have never been shared on the blog, so please enjoy seeing what we looked like back in 2003 when I was just 21 and Brian was just 25.  ;o)

2003 - At B's best friend's wedding rehearsal

2003 - Before B's best friend's wedding

2003 - At a house party

2004 - Skiing in Snowshoe, WV

2004 - In Biloxi, MS

2005 - In New York City... my first time there!

2005 - At my SIL's house for a birthday party

2005 - In Vegas, Baby!

2005 - In Vegas

2005 - At our friends' Halloween party

2006 - Skiing in Snowshoe, WV

2006 - At my MIL and step-FIL's wedding

2006 - At our friends' Halloween party

2006 - Thanksgiving

2006 - At Brian's house a few months before we got engaged

2007 - Vegas again

2007 - One of our engagement pictures

2007 - At our friends' Halloween party... we were a bride and groom since our wedding was just a month away!

2007 - At the UGA vs. AUB Blackout game

2007 - Our wedding

2008 - Vegas again

2008 - NYC again

2008 - At our friends' Halloween party

2008 - Our Christmas card picture for that year... taken in our old front yard

2009 - In Panama City, FL

2009 - In Panama City, FL

2009 - In Vegas yet again.  Lol.

2009 - At the Grand Canyon Skywalk

2009 - At our friends' wedding.  We got to walk down the aisle together

2009 - At our friends' Halloween party

2009 - Ushering in 2010 with a pajama party at our friends' house

2010 - At my friend's wedding while pregnant with our first baby
2010 - Our first Christmas card picture with our first baby, Maui

2011 - Pregnant with Jacob

2011 - Jacob's birth

2012 - New York City at Christmastime for our 5th wedding anniversary

2013 - Easter

2014 - Pregnant with Olivia

2014 - Olivia's birth

2015 - Date night

2016 - Heading to the annual benefit ball we always attend

2016 - Heading to the annual school fundraiser

2017 - Annual benefit ball again

2018 - Another benefit ball

2019 - That time we had the best seats for a Dave Matthews Band concert

2020 - Another benefit ball right before the world shut down

2021 - Getting our first Covid vaccines

2021 - At the Friends popup in Atlanta

2022 - Welcoming a new year

2023 - Date night to see Ed Sheeran

2023 - Beach trip!

2023 - Our most recent picture together


Happy 20 years, B!  I love you!