Friday, February 20, 2015

Catching up . . . Snow, Snow and more SNOW!

Everyday I think about blogging and then something else pops up for me to do. Here's a quick recap of the last few days:

Valentine's Day: Henry and Evie loved passing out cards to their friends this year and I had a blast at Henry's little school party. Kids were excited for their treats on Saturday. Evie got a pink computer courtesy of the clearance rack at Michael's. It was cheap and will probably break in less than a week but she loves it.  We also got her a tooth fairy pillow since that tooth is getting more wiggly by the day. Henry got some magna tiles and a little turtle. He loves Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! Carl took the kids out for a bit which was better for me than two dozen roses and jewelry. 

Mardi Gras: Our small group celebrated Mardi Gras on Saturday night. Carl and I made a jambalya and it turned out delicious. We will make that again for sure - easy and feeds a ton of people. Everyone brought something yummy and we met up at Emilee and Tim's house. It was a fun night and the guys got off easy for Valentine's Day! All the kids played, the dads hung out at the bonfire and the moms chatted in the kitchen.

Snow: It's been a snowy few days in Nashville - icy and snowy! School has been out all week - that is five snow days which is a lot for TN. It has been fine being stuck at home. We have been keeping busy with movies, baking, playing games, playing in the snow and hanging out with neighbors. Both kids had a little bug yesterday but recovered quickly.  Henry even took a nap in his crib - SHOCKING! He never does that and it will likely be his last crib nap since we are planning to move him into his big boy beds next month. We really have enjoyed the week together even being homebound. It has been just fine but I am ready to get back on schedule but guess what is in the forecast: MORE SNOW!!!

Wednesday: Carl had a big convention this week at the Music City Center and invited me to go out with him on Wednesday night to hang with the wife of his customer. It was so nice to get out of the house and get dressed up for dinner. I loved being with all those North Carolina people - those accents are the best. Nothing like being with a bunch of good ole' boys all dressed up talking about transportation and maintenance. I was thrilled Carl asked me to come - it was a nice break from the snow and fun to meet some people who think highly of my sweet husband.

Reading: I have read a ton of books this week while we have been home. My favorites are Calling me Home and Never Knowing. There is nothing like cuddling up with a good book and a nice cup of tea or coffee. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Daddy Daughter Dance!

Evie and Carl went to the Daddy-Daughter dance on Friday night. They both had a ball! Evie was over the moon excited to go to a dance with her Daddy. 

Carl said it was wild and another parent described it to me as an unorganized playdate. I sure would have loved to have been a fly on the wall. The evening started with dinner in the cafeteria but it did not look like the cafeteria. Fancy tables. balloons, and decorations turned the cafeteria into a pink paradise.

Carl and Evie had been practicing their dancing for weeks. The music was a little different than they had anticipated. I reminded Carl that we are not in North Carolina and shag music is not exactly the norm. He described it as "prom music." One of my neighbors mentioned there were fun dads and cool dads at the dance. I was proud to hear that Carl was a fun dad dancing with his daughter rather than standing in the corner on his phone with the cool dads. 

I am thrilled they had a special evening together! Evie sure is a lucky girl.

* Our weekend was so busy but it seems silly to post about it now. Two birthday parties for the kids, a date night and church. I was thrilled to see Monday morning when everything got back on schedule. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Wonderful Weekend: Puppet Shows, Friends and Brunch!

It was a wonderful weekend! Busier than usual but so nice.

Friday: We enjoyed our weekly pizza dinner and put the kids to bed early before watching a movie. I cannot remember the movie so it was not that great! I finished a fabulous book - The Story Hour. Highly recommend that book! 

Saturday: We woke up later than usual and whipped up a delicious breakfast of biscuits, eggs, bacon and fruit. Evie still loves to play waitress and happily passed everything out for us. After breakfast, Evie worked on her Valentines for her friends. Then, we decided to check out the puppet show at the Nashville Public Library - Hansel and Gretel. One of my favorite fairy tales but the puppet show did not blow me away. Most of their shows are AMAZING but this was not my favorite. Henry and Evie both liked it a lot. We stopped at Edley's Barbecue on the way home which is always a treat. It was a nice relaxing afternoon. Evie and Henry played, watched a movie and helped me straighten a bit. I started a new book and Carl relaxed a bit. We had some friends over for dinner and it was so fun. I have been inspired by Erin at Blue-Eyed Bride to open our home more to others and build community with our friends. I used to do this a lot - not sure why I stopped! Evie and Henry loved having their friends over to play. It was a fabulous night with lots of laughter and good conversation. Best of all I was completely stress-free about hosting an extra family. It just all came together!  It was a late night though and we all passed out early.

Sunday: Everyone slept late since we were up late. Henry is coughing badly again and wheezing a little. He has just a tiny touch of asthma that flares up occasionally so we did his breathing treatment and let him rest a bit. My small-group from church hosted a baby shower for our sweet friend Emilee this morning at Brick Top's. It's her third baby - a little boy so we brought her a few little things. Mostly diapers!  I got her a little hat too because who can resist a baby boy in a precious hat! Brunch was delicious! We had deviled eggs and millionaires bacon plus little doughnuts. I ordered waffles and bacon for my meal and of course we had mimosas. Brunch is my very favorite meal - it feels so fun and grown-up. I adore these friends and feel so fortunate to have them and their families in my life. Carl held down the fort at home. It was a nice, lazy afternoon at home. Rainy days are perfect days for staying inside. Carl and I created a little Super Bowl party for our family - nothing fancy but it was fun to celebrate with my favorite team. We had wings, cheese dip, fruit and veggies and ice-cream sundaes for dessert. Bedtime is next on the agenda!

Hope you had an amazing weekend filled with people and plans that make you happy!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Week in Review!

I have not blogged in detail about a week in a LONG time. Lately, I have been missing those busy days (years) of having two kids at home with me. It all changes so quickly. My days look a lot different but they are still filled to the brim.  One thing is still the same and that is that I LOVE being with my kids and it is the greatest privilege of my life to spend my days with them and for them. Something that I do not want to take for granted. It's been a great week in Nashville!

Monday: It was a dreary day - not the best weather for motivating me get stuff done. We all slept late like 7:50 late. Evie's bus comes at 8 so Plan B is for me to take her to school. We dashed around the house making lunches and getting dressed. Our house is super close to the school - left at 8:25 and was home by 8:35 after dropping off my favorite kindergartner. I may or may not have thrown a pullover on over my pajamas for the car line! Henry and I came home to finish getting ready. Then, I dropped off my favorite three year old at preschool. I ran to the YMCA and then had a few errands. Nothing too exciting, came home to clean up a bit and then picked up Henry from school. Evie came home at 4 and immediately started hysterically crying as soon as her feet hit the grass. I was prepared for the worst but her tears were the result of leaving her favorite pink coat on the bus. Not sure why she did not just turn around to get it. Oh well, I locked the house and made a bee line around the neighborhood to catch the bus. HA! Caught up with Mr. Gus and rescued Evie's coat for her and returned home before Henry even knew that I left. Evie felt awful about her coat and I felt awful about my reaction! UGH! Oh well, it was nothing a little hot chocolate and a few rounds of Spot It could not fix.

Tuesday: We woke up on time so our day got off to a much better although earlier start! Henry stays home with me on Tuesday which is so fun for us both. We made a Trader Joe's run and then ran a few errands in Green Hills before heading to a committee meeting. Henry played with Declan while we worked on our Family Fun Night! I am co-chairing an event for Evie's elementary school in February with a friend and it is a lot more work than we anticipated. We are having a ball doing it together just lots of calls, meetings, and behind the scenes stuff.  After that, Henry and I went to Comcast to return our old cable boxes - that went surprisingly well with zero wait time. We made blueberry muffins for a snack and waited for Evie. She came home in a much happier mood and wearing her pink coat. We left for swim team practice. Evie LOVES to swim and LOVES being with other swimmers. Evie is the youngest one on the team but is keeping up just fine. She has made friends with a second grader and I have made friends with the mom who teaches at Evie's school. Everyone knows everyone and there is a connection to everyone in our little town. Brooke and I walk and talk on the track to pass the time and grab a little exercise too. We came home for a quick dinner, bath time and bed! Carl is out of town this week so no cooking dinner. That saves a ton of time but we sure miss Carl.

Wednesday: Henry woke up at 6 - ugh. Way too early! I am used to a 7:00 wake up call. Henry and I were watching all kinds of new shows this morning that I did not even know existed. I woke Evie up at 7:30. She really is a Sleeping Beauty! Luckily, she wakes up in a pleasant mood most of the time since I have to wake her almost every day. Evie requires at least twelve hours of sleep! I dropped Henry off at school and then went to Evie's school for my weekly volunteer spot in her classroom. It's my favorite part of the week! I just love being in a school and love even more being in Evie's classroom. It is really fun getting to know Evie's classmates and learn new ways to help Evie be successful.  I did some PTO work while I was there and then had lunch with my sweet girl who still holds my hand and wants kisses. I love my Evie so much! I came home to grab a snack and change into some workout clothes. Then, I met my friend, Kristin, at the YMCA for a workout. Exercise is so much better with a friend. I am pretty sure I am never going to run a marathon but if I decide to train it would be with Kristin. We can talk for hours and time passes quickly so maybe running would too. I came home again - thank goodness we live close to all of these places. I picked up Henry and since it was sunny and 50 degrees - we played outside a bit with all his preschool friends. Henry is beginning to really enjoy his friends and talks about them a lot. Evie wanted to be a car rider today so of course I picked her up. School dimisses at 3:35 so I leave my house at 3:40 or a few minutes before and I have Evie by 3:50. It's a LONG line but it goes quickly. Evie's school does a terrific job on keeping the line moving which helps a lot. She usually prefers the bus but everyone enjoys a change of pace. Both Henry and Evie needed a haircut so that was our first stop and then we went into Publix for just a few things. YIKES! Shopping with two kids at rush hour is not the best experience for anyone! We came home for an early dinner, then a Veggie Tale and some clean up time. Henry went to bed early since he woke up early and Evie worked on her homework with me. Carl got back into town this afternoon but had a dinner meeting. It's good to have him back!

Thursday: Henry and I cleaned out his closet this morning and did a few things around the house together. After lunch, we headed to our friend Jack's house for a playdate! Jack is super fun and his mom, Annie is a terrific friend for me. Our boys had a blast playing in the backyard while we visited and played with Baby Caroline. Henry adores babies and would make a perfect middle child. Sorry, Henry you are going to be our baby forever. We came home from Jack's house and Henry rode his bike in the driveway and played in the garage a bit. Then, we made brownies for Carl to take to work. Henry loves to bake and sample the treats. Evie came home from school and we had time for a quick snack and then headed to swim team. Carl met us there so he could see Evie swim and grab a quick workout. Evie was so proud carrying his bag in the Y for him. We came home for dinner - beef stew and then bedtime. Henry had a bad dream within ten minutes of falling asleep - a hippopotamus ate him up. He was okay after a hug and a little rocking. I am so thankful Henry loves to be rocked! Evie is staying up a bit later but plays quietly in her room so it is fine. I turn her lights off at eight and then wake her up between 7:30 and 7:45 every morning. I went to bed early too! Carl got to enjoy some quiet since his week has been extra busy.

Friday: Evie left for school and Henry helped me with some morning chores. Then, I took him to school then ran a few errands for weekend groceries, Valentines and a few other things. I worked on some tasks for my committee.  I met Kristin at the Y for a workout and then came back home to finish some things around the house. Henry was excited when I picked him up to tell me all about his bear hunt at school. He was adamant that it was a pretend bear hunt. Henry is not a fan of animals! We went to get slushies to celebrate another week of school and then picked up a pizza for dinner at Papa Murphy's! Evie will be here soon! We are looking forward to a terrific weekend. 

Monday, January 26, 2015

Weekend Wrap- up!

We had a terrific weekend - low-key for sure.

Friday: Evie celebrated the 100th Day of Kindergarten on Friday. I cannot believe this school year is going so quickly. It is amazing to see Evie grow and change into a big girl. I am looking forward to the summer and having more time with my sweet girl. I sure miss our days together. We almost always have pizza on Friday nights but I needed a change this week so turkey Asian wraps were on the menu. Delicious! Evie ate them too because I called them Chinese Tacos. It's all in the marketing of our menu. She loves Chinese food! It snowed that night. Carl loves snow so we took a little walk around our house in the Winter Wonderland. 

Saturday: It was a beautiful snowy morning when we woke up and the kids had fun in the one inch of snow with Carl. I stayed inside drinking coffee. We spent the morning at home enjoying the snow and had a big breakfast. Evie loves to play waitress which is super cute to watch. After lunch, we headed to Nashville Children's Theatre to see Elephant and Piggie. It was Henry's first time at the Children's Theatre and he loved it. Elephant and Piggie are favorite books around here so it was fun to see them in a play. Grace enjoyed herself at the play too and her behavior is simply exceptional! Carl grilled some pork chops for dinner and we ate dinner in the den. Our kids love to eat in the den! I am not sure what makes it so fabulous for them but they sure love it!

Sunday: We made it to church for the first time since Christmas. Henry has had two ear infections and strep so that has limited our church attendance. It felt terrific to be back! I ran some errands that afternoon which is rare for me now that my kids are in school more. It's good for Carl to be with the kids by himself though even if I do not really have anything that I have to do. With Carl traveling for work, he needs his own time to bond with the kiddos. It was nice to get out for a bit and cross a few things off my to-do list. Evie went to bed late on Saturday and was overly tired which is not good even at age six. Girlfriend needs her sleep just like Mama! I came home and we all watched Maleficent together. It was good although fantasy is my least favorite genre. 

That wraps up our weekend! We have some busy weekends coming up so it felt good to have a nice weekend together without too many commitments!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Six Years Old: Evie's Tea Party!

Evie decided a tea party would be the perfect way to celebrate turning 6! One of her friends had a tea party a few months ago so we knew it would be a blast. 

We invited all the girls in her class plus some of her friends from preschool etc. Everyone came except two people so there were lots of sweet little girls in my house! All of the girls were invited to bring their dolls. Lots of American Girl dolls were in attendance! This was Evie's first party without boys and she had a hard time committing to a tea party theme because she wanted some special friends to attend. It was so interesting to watch Evie work this out on her own! 

TracyAnn sets everything from up on the table with beautiful linens on the table, chair covers and decorations for the table. It was an easy party just lots of girls. TracyAnn brought tables and we borrowed chairs from everyone we knew. Our plan had been to use the dining room but not with eighteen girls. It worked out nicely to move the kitchen table into the garage so we had plenty of room for the tables in the kitchen. It was girly and pretty! I wish I had taken more pictures of TracyAnn's handiwork because it was impressive. TracyAnn is a "boy mom" and gets her little girl fix with tea party galore every weekend. 

Evie had a ball and was so HAPPY! It was wonderful to see her beaming with joy and feeling celebrated by her friends.

TracyAnn helped the girls make a tutu for their dolls. 

The girls applied makeup and walked the red carpet. Evie really liked that. 

We finished off with a super-fancy tea party. Fruit, popcorn and M&M's along with a gorgeous birthday cake. Tomika made the most beautiful cake - she took my vision and turned it into reality. The cake was delicious too - chocolate with buttercream frosting. 

Evie received some wonderful gifts and gave all of her friends tea party charm bracelets in tea pot boxes. Carl and I put those together last week and thank goodness we did not wait until the last minute. Home parties are lots of work and I could not have done it without Carl. He mopped and vacuumed and cleaned windows. He helped me a ton and then took Henry out for a bit because Henry would have been the bull in the china shop. Henry showed up at the end for some cake and to see the girls. 

Evie and I had a delightful time at the party and it will be a treasured memory for sure. What a special afternoon with her sweet friends and some of mine eating sweets and drinking tea. Next year, you can find us at Chuckie Cheese -just kidding. It was wonderful but exhausting. Evie loved it and that makes all the hard work worth it. 

Happy 6th Birthday, Evie! Mommy and Daddy think you are tea-riffic! We love you more than all the tea in China.