It's been a good week! We are back on track after traveling for Thanksgiving. Both my kids need lots of sleep to be happy. They take after me so that takes a few days to get caught up. Carl left on Monday for his last week of training. We sure are ready for him to get back to Nashville. Evie told me she missed him but she was going to pretend that he was here since his stocking was here. Works for me. Clean Eating: I have jumped on the bandwagon of clean eating along with the rest of the world. I've made some yummy stuff this week - tuna with pears on butter lettuce, oatmeal banana chocolate chip cookies and granola. Everything tastes so much better without the junk in it. I am still all about moderation. Evie and I even made Mocha Krinkles tonight using the Puffy Muffin recipe. Delicious!
Friends: I have had some really good conversations this week! Conversations on the walking trail, conversations in the driveway, and of course conversations while refereeing two year old boys at a play date. I cannot imagine being a Mom without my sweet friends plus they make everything more fun.
Light Em' Up: My 4th graders presented their Light Em' Up projects yesterday. These kiddos are kind to the core and I knew they would jump at the chance to Light up Nashville. It was amazing hearing all the fun ways they spread kindness around town. Creative too! Quarters at the laundromat, cookies to medical staff, candy for the clerk at the grocery store, filling up the gas tank for a college kid and taking Christmas presents to a 5 year old with cancer. Blew me away with their compassion for others! I am thrilled to have the opportunity to teach a few hours a week and the freedom to complete projects like this with my kiddos. Kindness matters and we had the best little discussion. Kindness matters more than being rich, smart or popular according to one of my loves. Can't argue with that!
Project Time: I had a burst of unexpected energy this week - perhaps from all the clean eating and decided to tackle lots of painting projects around the house. It's amazing what a coat of paint does! Now, if I could just direct my energy towards preparing for Christmas.Looking forward to the next few weeks off so I can accomplish a few more things.
Elfa: Our little Elf flew down from the North Pole to visit us. Evie is suspicious of Elfa's antics especially when she made snowflakes this week. Christmas Magic is a beautiful thing! Hope y'all had a great week and that your weekend is a blast. We have a low-key weekend on tap. See you on Sunday.
It's been a busy few days. We had a wonderful time with Carl's family in the upstate of South Carolina for Thanksgiving. Our snowy drive was beautiful and our little travelers did great too. Evie and Henry were thrilled to see their cousins. Mary and Lucy take such good care of our kids. Sheila and Tony put together a delicious Thanksgiving lunch and we all enjoyed eating way too much. Evie ate a roll for Thanksgiving with plenty of butter. The rest of our day was lazy with a park trip, sitting by the fire and watching the kiddos play. We have so much to be thankful for and Thanksgiving means so much more to me these days. On Friday, we took a little road trip to Cashiers, North Carolina to stop at a local store called Rusticks. Lollie and Kurt found a coffee table and Sheila picked up some wine glasses. I was trying to keep my kids from destroying the store and wish I had spent more time checking everything out. Lots of pretty home decor and definitely worth a stop. Similar to PD's for you local folks! We had lunch at a local BBQ restaurant and then checked out a few other shops. A hike seemed like the perfect way to end the day so we took a short hike at White Water Falls. It was time to head back to see Santa and eat dinner. Henry enjoyed the hayride. Evie branched out and tried some new food under Mary's guidance. Peer pressure can be a glorious thing!
We had a delightful weekend at home too since we headed back to Tennessee on Saturday. On Sunday, we made Advent wreaths at church and then Carl took Evie to see Frozen. She kept calling it Frost which cracked me up. They had a ball! We decided to get our Christmas tree which was the straw that broke the camels back. Too much activity for one weekend! We did get the tree and it is up. Carl is really good at getting things done! It's back to our normal schedule now! I have two half-days left of teaching this year - exam days and then I will be out trying to finish up my shopping. Lots to do and not much time. I miss that extra week after Thanksgiving! It sure makes a big difference.
We had a wonderful weekend! It was so nice to have Carl home with us in our house. We did see him for about 24 hours last weekend but two weeks away from home is just too much. I think we are all relieved that is over now. On to the fun stuff! Carl arrived home early Friday afternoon and we all squeezed his neck! Life quickly got back to normal. I ran out to the grocery store to pick up our order, got home and it was the wrong person's order. UGH! It was annoying but not a big deal since I did not have to lug the kids back with me. Dropped Mrs. Neuman's bag and retrieved my bag. Carl prepared dinner while I was out. We had a little celebration for our house in the dining room complete with candles and cake. All of it Evie's idea - she is real big on tradition! Carl and I caught up on all our shows after the kids were asleep. I missed being in the Homeland loop while he was gone but held out for him to get back. Saturday, I slept in until 7:30. That's sleeping in these days, folks! I ran out for a bit to run a few errands. Everyone rested or napped and then we headed out for family pictures that went amazingly well! Shockingly well, no tears, whining, yelling - so very pleasant. There are lots of good parts to kids getting older but I do miss the baby days. Not going back though! Evie really wanted to have a family photo with Raffi because she is part of our family. Our sweet photographer obliged - she may have agreed to anything after our super cooperative photo-shoot. We stopped by the library and headed home for an afternoon by the fire.
Carl and I had a Date Night. We celebrated Ashley turning 40 years young! It seems surreal that my friends are turning 40 since I remember my parent's friends turning 40 like it was yesterday. How did we get so old? Ashley looks amazing and I sure hope to hold on to some vanity as long as I can. Luckily, I have 6 years left in my thirties. It was a fun party and the birthday girl was pleasantly surprised. We enjoyed champagne, catered Italian buffet and delicious cake. What a delightful night! We came home and watched some more Homeland. Our children surprised us by sleeping late and then we scooted out the door for church. Of course, we stopped for doughnuts on the way home. That's a perfect Sunday morning: Jesus, coffee and doughnuts. Carl whipped up some sausage soup while I watched Cinderella II with the kiddos. Evie and I hit the mall for a girls trip complete with See's Candy and new lipgloss or "lickgloss" as Evie calls it. Evie broke out into hives late yesterday afternoon. It's happened to me once and it's scary but luckily a little Benadryl and her welts faded quickly. We just spent the afternoon trying to stay warm during this cold snap. Brr, it's cold here in Nashville.
That sums up our weekend of fun! Hope you had a terrific weekend and that your Thanksgiving week is off to a grateful start.
Happy Friday, y'all! We have been waiting for this day for a LONG TIME! Carl has been out of town for two weeks and we miss him. Can't wait to see him this afternoon. We've made a cake and painted pictures. Solo-parenting is tough and I am ready for some help. Gotta make this short because we have some cleaning to do before we head off to a Friendsgiving party.
1) Christmas PJ's: I am thrilled that our Christmas pj's arrived this week and are so adorable. Can't wait to see my two angels wearing them in a few weeks. Christmas in coming fast with a later Turkey Day than usual. I've got lots to do! Our Christmas card photo shoot is tomorrow - might just be the kids this year.
2) Playing School: Evie loves to play school. I love to see her in her element and that she is using her brain. It's nice to see all those years of too much TV have not completely rotted her brain. I picked her up from school one day and she exclaimed, "Mama, I can read now!" You know what, she did read a little book. It's just memorization at this point but it was still so sweet. 3) Goody Bags: Is it just me or has the goody- bag come too far? We made goody- bags in Evie's class. Each kiddo brought in a treat and the bags were assembled. Too much or all part of the fun? I was annoyed within 10 minutes of receiving the goody-bag because it tore which bothered a certain perfectionist that I live with and Henry's class did not get goody-bags so this was a source of frustration at our house. Happily, I can report, that the goody-bag from yesterday has already hit the dust! 4) Helping the Homeless: Our 20/30 group at church met to assemble bags for the homeless on Tuesday night. Evie and Henry went to the nursery after dinner with all the other kids. Guess who was disappointed that she did not get to meet the homeless people? That's right, Evie thought there were going to be real homeless people to meet and that she could give them a bag herself. My sweet girl has a heart of gold!
5) Haircut for Henry: Our little buddy grows hair like you would not believe. He had a pretty bad haircut a few weeks back - way too short on the top and it has taken way too much time to style. I finally took him into a barber this week - Rooster's in Brentwood if you are local. He loved it and so did I. It smelled like a real barber shop, was super cute and they know how to cut hair. It's the little things!
Henry and Evie were thrilled to participate in the Thanksgiving feast at preschool. Henry was so proud to take his package of rolls and Evie's class contributed pumpkin pie. I volunteered in the kitchen making plates with the tiniest portions possible. We cut the cranberry sauce into little pie-shaped wedges and it was so darn cute. Each class, created headpieces that were just a little different and it was fun to see them all file in for lunch. I was surprised that not one kid cried or complained during the feast. Now, there were some tears when the kids figured out that Mama was leaving. Both my kids were sad that I was leaving. They recovered quickly though!
Henry surprised me and really chowed down at the feast. I have never seen him eat that much before. He was a BIG fan of the turkey and the pumpkin pie. I love seeing my kids interact with their friends. Henry is best buds with Nicholas and Evie best friend changes by the day. What a fun day! I sure am thankful for my little turkeys, their wonderful teachers and the relationships they are building. Preschool is the time to learn to be a good friend and that is surely something to be thankful for.
Dearest Evie, I am loving you so much at age 4. It makes me a little sad that you are inching your way closer to 5. Time goes so quickly but every day with you is filled with adventure and fun. You adore life and soak up every ounce of each and every day. Your favorite song is "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" and I cannot imagine a more perfect soundtrack for your life. You do LOVE to have fun and you find fun everywhere that you go! You are such a happy little girl bouncing through life with a smile on your face. You are affectionate, kind and brilliant. You pass out hugs and kisses all day and ask me to cuddle you frequently. Your teacher told me that she thinks your heart is going to burst out of your body because you feel things so passionately. Often, the first to suggest making a card for a sick friend or jumping for joy at a class surprise. We see this at home too. You are the cheerleader of our family encouraging us all along the way.
Being a big sister is your best role yet. You love Henry more than I ever imagined and you take such good care of him. It makes me smile to see you love him so well. Bringing him special treasures, helping him get a snack, showering him with hugs and kisses among other things. You tell me all the time that you are an expert and a genius. I agree, you are quite knowledgeable. You asked for me to "learn you some letters" and were disappointed to hear that you already know all the letters. You want to learn to read so badly but the teacher in me does not want to push it. There is plenty of time for that. I enjoy hearing you create your own words for all the books on your shelf and watching you entertain Henry with stacks of books. You are still very much into the princess scene. Belle is still your favorite! You love to draw and entertain yourself for hours with a notebook and a set of markers. You love to help me in the kitchen cracking eggs, cutting veggies and mixing up concoctions. Ballet day is your favorite day of the week. I love to see my little ballerina fluttering on the screen at dance class. It's fun to see your interests develop as you get older. It makes me dream about the big girl that are becoming right before my eyes. My heart aches to see you growing so quickly yet I am filled with excitement to see what the future holds for you. I know the Lord has BIG plans for you Evie Claire!
You are such a social butterfly making friends everywhere you go. You keep us entertained with stories about your friends at school. Jake and Austin are your favorites and you find them handsome and funny. School is your happy place and we are amazed at everything you are learning. Your brain is filled with facts and ideas that did not even seem possible a year ago. You are easy to take out and about - much easier these days than Henry but sometimes you have a rough patch too. That's okay, we are all still learning!
I found a huge bag of jewelry for you at a consignment sale and that bag has filled your with so much joy! That was a $1 well spent. Each morning, you choose a necklace that coordinates with your outfit and it takes us a good bit of time to get ready for you to make your appearance at preschool. A girl has to put her best foot forward even at age 4. You have several "causes" that are near and dear to your heart - smoking, homelessness and littering. I find that amazing that you already have passion for your causes. You despise smoking and I have to rush you away from the smokers to keep you from blurting out something inappropriate. You take after me and feel strongly about your beliefs. You enjoy going to church from the dressing up to Children's Chapel and your favorite part is taking the offering up in Big Church. You have learned several verses and we are working on more. My favorite verse you recite is "Trust in the Lord with all of your Heart." You say it with such conviction!
I love that you are so kind-hearted and if there is only one thing that I teach you - kindness is the most important thing. It matters more than almost anything else. I love that your heart is so tender towards others and that you are learning to seek out the lonely person on the playground or pass out a dollar to the homeless man. You call everyone friends and instead of using the word "people" you call them ones. You still say some funny words. McDonald's is antdonalds. You sometimes take the first sound off letters and it is just so cute that I can hardly stand to correct your language. Your memory is very long. I find it amazing the experiences and moments that you can recall so easily. Evie, I love you so much. More than words can express. You are the little girl that I always dreamed of and I thank God for you every day. What a blessing you are in my life! I am so grateful that I get to experience having a daughter and you are the perfect daughter for me. Love Always, Mommy
We headed to the indoor water park in Sevierville for a weekend of fun! Evie has been counting down until the full-moon because that was her clue that we were leaving for our adventure. It took us about 4 hours to get there. We immediately threw on our bathing suits and hit the water park. Henry was a fan as long as the HUGE buckets of water did not hit him and Evie took off for the tallest slides that she could find. Once she made her way to the top, it seemed too high for our sweet girl - that is part of learning new things. We went to dinner at the on-site restaurant and it was okay but way too expensive. Can't say that I had not been warned to steer clear of the resort food. After dinner and ice-cream, we hit the arcade games for a bit. Evie loves winning tickets and earned enough for a harmonica, a best friend locket and a pink ring. Evie immediately wanted to give Henry the other half of the locket which I thought was so precious. Although, I am pretty sure she wanted to keep the necklace within sight too. Henry selected a snake with his tickets. It was our first night sleeping together in the same room and it was a success. We were all exhausted. Evie pointed out that we did not have any books. It was the first time I had forgotten books but Carl saved the day by reading some pamphlets. Carl and I loved listening to Evie and Henry chat together while they were falling asleep. I just love seeing their relationship grow. Henry went to sleep talking to Evie and woke up calling for her from his crib. We headed downstairs for doughnuts and a visit to the water park. Both kids had a blast this morning!
After showers, we headed for a scenic ride through the mountains. We had lunch, shopped a bit and drove on the parkway. It started pouring rain as we headed back to the hotel so it seemed like the perfect time to end our trip. We enjoyed the resort but most of all enjoyed time together as a family.
I have been married for 8 adventurous and amazing years to the greatest husband ever. I am mommy to a beautiful daughter, Evie and an adorable little boy, Henry. I love quiet time, milk chocolate, fun books, rainy days, glass bottled coke, cooking and all things pink!I loathe cell phones at the table and being late. Follow along with a snippet of our life.