Hello; A catch-up Blog

Well hello!!

I would title this “Tea with Me” but it doesn’t feel right since I am not currently drinking any tea.  I’m chugging that water though! We’ve had a great time since the last time I blogged. #oops

We’ve been busy! I’m a moody creator and sometimes I just don’t have those creative juices flowing, or I get annoyed that I cannot control who can read my blog.  I know that when you post your words on the WOLRD WIDE WEB anyone can read, however I find that sometimes my words are used against me and that just plain sucks. (To be honest.) But I cannot control others and inevitably, I find my fingers back to these keys. There is so much joy in looking back at our adventures and as always, hope to inspire other people in some way, shape or form.

First off, Joe had his yearly stay-cation.  He and I had a date day and a work day, so we got a lot done! He also spent time in the woods with his only hobby, hunting. I got up with him so he could get out early.  No big buck yet, but I’m sure he’ll get something soon.  We also took the kids to a movie and saw The Addams Family and went out to eat one night.  — again, no photos! #badblogger

Our work day did include a small helper.

I was trying to get him to smile–we were at one of our properties.

We also took that time to stack all the wood! It’s so nice to have it all ready to go for our fires.

In important news—RED cups are back!  After dropping Brooke off at a “Books & Breakfast” at her school, I figured I’d just go and see if I could score a free reusable cup.  I did get a holiday drink. I tried the Chestnut Praline–super sweet, but very tasty! Usually I don’t drink and coffee because it bothers my reflux, but I just had one and sipped it through the day.  I didn’t die! I did however have a huge caffeine rush since I never drink that.  I used my free rewards and felt like I won the lotto basically.

It got super cold, super quick so I had to take a photo documenting a cute fuzz ball hat.

My mom flew in later that day for the weekend and it was so nice! She flew in with the snow flying, a lovely greeting coming from South Carolina.  We built a lot of fires to stay cozy and warm, as it has been a super cold November so far! (I knew Joe would be an icicle from hunting so I tried to have one going so he could thaw out.)

Friday we went to Panera for lunch and my sister joined us!  It was a great day and we had a ball.

This little turkey had all of us cracking up.  Seriously, I love this age.

He picked out some pretty Fall flowers to have.  Mom made us all dinner Friday night, which was a family favorite growing up: Chicken and Dumplings.  I didn’t take enough photos, but I was really present and in the moment and that is what matters most.

We took mom, my sister, the kids and my niece out to dinner Saturday night.  We LOVE The Revelry and since my mom lives outside of Charleston, SC I wanted to take her here! The oysters are so good.

So good, the girls LOVED them!

We got to sit at the fun round table and it was a wonderful time.   Their burgers are my favorite!

I finally took the Ennegram Quiz everyone talks about on Instagram.  Turns out, I’m an 8.

Monday brought Veteran’s Day and the kiddos had no school, and we got SO much snow.

The snow makes me get giddy about the holidays!  I am a firm #teamturkeyfirst and I won’t decorate until after Thanksgiving, then it’s GAME ON!  I did however order this adorable PDF file from Kelle Hampton, Once Upon A Holiday.  She has all of her favorite recipes, bucket list, things to enjoy during the holidays.  She is such a true inspiration to remember to slow down and savor life.  It’s $12 but with her code:  HOLIDAYEARLYBIRD   you can get the file for $9 until it launches 11/15.

 

I finished another book!! This was so good for my soul.  I found it to speak to me on so many levels! She talked a lot about how we need to be creative, but so often we punish ourselves and take away all of the fun.  In order to be a great writer, you don’t have to be miserable or have a tragic life, you just need to tap into your ideas and do the darn thing!  She told stories of how the “big magic” can transfer to others…meaning, if you get an idea for something, run with it and do something with it or else it will leave you and someone else will get the idea and go.  I listened to it for free on the Libby app, but I have had the hard copy for years–now I can go back and re-read parts that really hit me.

Random, but as I put back together the office (it became our guest room for my mom, as we don’t have extra bedrooms) I put things back in their place and this framed photo from my wedding day stopped me.  It was truly the happiest day of my life and the way he looked at me, the way he still looks at me, makes my heart so full.  I know we are all busy, but in moments like that I try to pause time and I even sent him a text message telling him so.  Life does not have to be so hurried and so rushed.  Sure it’s crazy and chaotic, but you can slow it down for a moment or so…and breathe.

Like taking the perfect photograph on helper day at Preschool.  Moments don’t last, but memories do.  He just sang about his blue feather, that he proudly placed on that turkey.

Speaking of Preschool, why are the crafts so darn cute?!

Currently finishing up this listen–it just came out and it’s so worth the read!  Perfect timing Emily Ley…well done.  It helps that my word for 2019 was “simplify” and as the end of the year nears, I think I have done a decent job of leaning into that word more and more.

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Year in Review

In January we threw our 3 & 5 year old a Troll Birthday Party

Rent to Own Open House was held come February, for our real estate business.

March made me lose my mind and We got a Puppy! 

My bestie got us tickets and in April I met RHONJ Teresa Guidice!!

May brought The Most Beautiful Mother’s Day Yet!

June was stressful but we still enjoyed Father’s Day & Family Time

Joe & I celebrated July and Our 8th Wedding Anniversary

On 8.18.18 My Momma Got Married!

September brought back to school.  (I vowed myself to be a present and happy mama when getting my oldest off to Kindergarten & my youngest starting Pre-school.  I made the after school cookies, I cooked healthy meals & was very in the moment. Apparently I was so in the moment with that I barely blogged…I did share some Fall Fashion. 

October I made an attempt to blog every day, and re-introduced myself.

November came and we Stay-Cationed.

Queen of Christmas, I made sure to soak up all the things in December.

Overall, 2018 was a pretty kick-butt year.  We had some downers, and I’ve learned not to trust people so easily.  (ALWAYS PERFORM A GOOGLE SEARCH!!!!) My family grew closer, loved ones beat illness, bonds grew stronger, we traveled with the kiddos on a plane and by the way, they just keep growing bigger and bigger!  Getting a puppy was probably the most stressful and one of the harder things of the year.  Things were just getting into a groove with the kids being older, and well having a puppy is legit 10x harder than a child. I said it.

I’ve learned a lot this past year.  I feel like I’ve finally understood how precious time and who and what to give my time to.  I pretty much re-learn weekly that I need to put myself first sometimes and that in order to give, I need to take time outs for just me.

I’m working on letting go, I know I’m a control freak and I want things to go a certain way.  Like this blog; I write because my soul craves it and my heart feels so happy when I share.  However, I struggle with how much I share because anyone can read it.  I’m always real, authentic and honestly don’t know how to be any other way.  This is my happy place and if I’m going through something I share because maybe my words could resonate with someone else.

There is so much power in written words.

I pray my words will be used for good and not against me.

I’m hopeful and excited for the new year.  I will be sharing my “word of the year” for 2019 soon and have quite a few blog posts already scheduled–who dis?!

Have a beautiful New Year’s Eve and stay safe friends!

 

Staycation Re-cap

My favorite part of Joe taking off from his full time job?  Being able to be around for the little things.  I love that he’s able to get outdoors and hunt; it’s truly his only passion/hobby outside of the kids, myself & working hard/making money.

We started out the week with some warmer weather, so it was nice to take a walk with Bradley and Holly.  Brooke had some homework so I had Joe help her.  When we got back from the walk, they had turned it into a game show and she was a spelling machine!

Tuesday Brooke had a half day and we got dressed up to go out to lunch.

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The sun was shining, there were blue skies and the leaves were hitting the last of their peak colors.

After lunch we went to a mall to look for some work pants for Joe, but Banana Republic was just gone!  It’s so sad to see brick and mortar stores closing left and right.  The kids had fun playing in the play area though!

I took a lot of time to self-reflect, hone in on what makes me happy and felt a huge shift in my spirits.

Joe snuck in plenty of hunting time and while Brooke danced, Bradley and I went to the library.  It seems to be our new thing!

I had some early morning wake-ups; Joe likes to be out of the house by 6 am (or so?) and I get up to make him a hearty breakfast.  Bailey enjoys the alone time after he leaves.  It’s just us two until the kiddos wake up.

I saw this and started implementing it.  Being present in every day moments seems to help any feelings of ill ease, overwhelm, stress or anxiety.

I saw Bradley’s turkey at preschool and couldn’t resist snapping a pic.   His neck/head may be a little lower than it should be, but isn’t that what makes it perfect?

Getting to the gym a few times a week has been such a game changer for me.  Releasing toxins, sweating out the day’s stress and focusing on my health is so important.  I can never forget this again!

I feel very open to the universe lately and seem to be receiving all sorts of signs, quotes, affirmations and know that I am in good alignment.

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We finally put in a new rug in our living room again.  It’s been since March (when we got Bailey as a puppy) and she’s pretty much house trained I would say 98%.  It’s nice to have a rug again!

I took this one to Wegmans for lunch after school and clearly this photo says it all.  Pizza is life.

We even got out on a Friday night date night!!

We checked out a swanky new place, Skybar.  It was pretty cool!  We went super early since Joe wanted to go hunting the next day, so it was not busy at 9pm, obvs.  They had champs so all was well!  We can’t wait to go back and check it out when it’s busier.

This girl decided to hang out with her doll finally!! It was pretty cute.  Santa may have to bring some fun accessories for her!

I started this book! I was lucky enough to score an advanced reader copy and so far so good!! I love me a good thriller and the authors wrote one of my favorites from 2018, The Wife Between Us.

I ended the week with some family time, baking pies with my step-mom and sister.  The apple pie was delish!  Here’s to more family fun coming up for Thanksgiving.

Have you ever “staycationed”?  We do it every year so hubby can hunt. I can’t say that I mind it one bit!!

May’s Staycation

Bear with me while I backtrack a bit here on the blog.  I really love documenting our family adventures, big and small.  Life got a little crazy, to say the least, and I don’t want to miss out on sharing our lives.

For awhile now, Joe has been taking off a week in May.  Sometimes we go away, but often times we do not.  We did a staycation and did little mini day trips and fun activities.  The weather was gorgeous and we had a beautiful time!

We really wanted to take Brooke & Bradley to Niagara Falls, so we picked on sunny day and went.  Joe may have brought his drone and snapped this shot.

We only live about an hour and a half away, so it’s not too long of a drive.  We pulled in about lunch time so we had a yummy lunch at a sort of fancier place.  We don’t love using the phones, but after a longish car ride and now waiting for food, we busted them out!  Joe has them hooked on Angry Birds.

We walked around a little, saw the falls and then had some ice cream.

It was nice to just get out and walk around!  It is still mind boggling that there isn’t a stroller that we have to push around…

The kids were super excited and had fun!! Next time we go, we’ll cross the border. I just didn’t want to be gone too long as we have the puppy and the kids are still kind of small.

We hit up Chick-fil-A for the first time as a family!! Kids are obsessed with the play area and love some chicken nuggs, as they call them.  I was pretty stoked to try it out.  I have to laugh as well because Joe has had it many times before and was always like, “It’s just chicken I don’t see what the big deal is.”  He has eaten here more times than any of now that it’s in our town, mind you.  I think because it’s not super greasy and everything is clean, it overall just seems like better quality than a lot of fast food places.  I could be wrong, but I do love their Deluxe Chicken Sandwich and so help me, the diet lemonade! Oy.

We tried out a local artisan ice cream shop and they had Matcha ice cream!  It was heavenly.

The kids of course wanted Daddy’s.

Brooke had her final field trip to a farm that week and we did it as a family.  It was nice to have Joe there! Simple pleasures, but he misses so much because he has to work, so it was nice that we could enjoy it all together.

And the majority of the week was spent using the smoker and grilling, and eating. Repeat. Hence my need to cleanse! I thought I couldn’t love my husband’s grilled chicken wings more, and then I got him a smoker for Christmas.  I dream about these.  We rarely make enough, and are usually fighting over the final few.  It’s crazy how good they are!

The week was just what we needed to head into our busiest season…and now I have a few moments to collect my thoughts are share with you!

If he hadn’t taken this week off, then I am certain he would have burnt out for the Tent Sale and I would have gone completely nutty; but we made it!

We really limited our technology, worked on being present and did a little work for our real estate biz, because when you work for yourself, you don’t really ever get “time away.”  With that we also get perks, so it all balances out.  We also spent some time at the land, but that’s for another post.

 

Do you Staycation? What is your favorite way to spend that time?