Midweek randoms!

Linking up with Megan!

  • I really, really wish I would have had an awesome Memorial Day weekend recap for you. But we did nothing exciting. I helped my husband load/stack hay. We repainted some of my mom's planters. I spent waaaaay more money at Sam's than I care to admit. What happened to barbecuing and spending time in the water?
  • But, I do have a favorite picture from the weekend ... Cooper and Daddy about to go for a ride on PaPa's Gator :)

  • I did manage to whip up some freezer meals in preparation of hell (AKA summer hours) beginning next week. Once we've consumed a few, I'll share recipes and what works, doesn't, etc. As of now, I have seven casseroles in the freezer, which should last at least 2 meals each and a meal's worth of meatballs.
  • I'm trying to drink more water, but it's hard. So glad to have yummy drink mix packets. This cherry limeade, which is the Walmart brand, is one of my favorites right now :)

  • This is a favorite snack, too. I pair it with either carrots or Town House crackers. Yummy.

  • My mom made a yummy strawberry pretzel salad dessert for me over the weekend and it was delish.
  • I'll be getting into this more in his 18 month post later this week, but a couple weeks ago, Mister FINALLY popped in his eye teeth and I did a little happy dance, thinking we'd get a break from the teething. Not so fast, Michelle. The world laughed at me and immediately decided to have him go ahead and start getting his two year molars. Well played, well played. Seriously, the kid walks around with his fingers in a "V" chomping on those spots. Yesterday, at his well check, we saw that one of the molars has popped through. Hopefully this means once they pop through we'll have about a year's break?
  • Rain is in the forecast for the weekend, so I think we'll be doing basement work. Oh, and going through closets for a yard sale.
  • I'm trying to come up with anniversary ideas. The "traditional" gift is cotton - so a shirt? Last year we went to St. Louis, but I'm thinking this year we'll stay home and have a nice dinner somewhere and let Cooper stay the night with his grandparents.
  • What random thoughts are floating around in your mind today?  

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Friday randoms!

Happy Friday and almost kickoff to a fabulous holiday weekend! I don't know about you, but I'm super excited to BBQ and have an extra 1.5 days of of work (my workplace decided to close up at 1 today for the holiday :))

So here are some of the random thoughts bouncing around in my head.

  • Cooper celebrated his half birthday yesterday! I have an 18 months post in the works, but no pictures ... and considering monky man ended up with a shiner on his eye yesterday, I'm hoping to wait until later in the weekend when it heals a bit.
  • The forecast for this weekend is nice, but I wish it would be warmer so we could have some pool time! Last weekend, I had to work graduaton, so hubby busted out the plastic pool for C to splash around a bit :)
  • It's strawberry season and my mama is making a strawberry pretzel dessert for me to dig into while we are at their house tomorrow. Yum.
  • My heart is so sad about everything happening in Oklahoma. Please pray. Some organizations in my community are sending disaster relief groups to Moore and have asked for donations, so I picked up soem bottled water. ANYTHING helps, so I hope many people will do whatever they can, big or small, to help pick up the pieces.
  • Speaking of prayers, keep this little man in them too, please. They are from my community and I just can't imagine Marshall's family going through what they have in the past year.
  • I got my photo with Mark Kennedy Shriver from Sunday. He is really good looking, IMO!

  • Happy weekend, friends!

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Freezer cooking recipes - HELP!

If you've followed this blog for the past year, you know that I work "summer hours." During the months of June and July, my workplace is closed on Fridays, meaning that we are in the office from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Totally not worth it. I pretty much hate my life for those 8 weeks.

To prepare, I've decided to make up some freezer-friendly meals this upcoming weekend. While hubby is a HUGE help by grilling, I figure if I have some meals that we just have to pull out of the freezer the night before and hubby can put them in the oven after picking up the Mister, that will help us a ton. Because who wants to wait to eat until 7:30 or 8? Not this girl!

So here's where you come in ... what do you suggest as easy, economic meals that I can make up in bulk beforehand? Or maybe throw in the crock pot at 6:30 a.m. and will be OK to cook for a full 12 hours?

We are old pros when it comes to filling up the grill on Sunday and eating leftovers for the week, but definitely can't do that every week! All suggestions are very welcome.

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I took the plunge ...

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Wow - a must read!

I'm usually not one to go re-posting things, but this is an article that touched me so much. Seeing as I have several other momma friends in blogland, I wanted to share as soon as I read it after it popped up on my facebook feed.

Original article is HERE.


To parents of small children: Let me be the one who says it out loud

I'm in a season of my life right now where I feel bone tired almost all of the time. Ragged, how-am-I-going-to-make-it-to-the-end-of-the-day, eyes burning exhausted.
I have three boys ages 5 and under. I’m not complaining about that. Well, maybe I am a little bit. But I know that there are people who would give anything for a house full of laughter & chaos. I was that person for years and years; the pain of infertility is stabbing and throbbing and constant. I remember allowing hope to rise and then seeing it crash all around me, month after month, for seven years. I am working on another post about infertility that will come at a later date.

But right now, in my actual life, I have three boys ages five and under. There are many moments where they are utterly delightful, like last week when Isaac told my sister-in-law that “My daddy has hair all over.” Or when Elijah put a green washcloth over his chin and cheeks, and proudly declared, “Daddy! I have a beard just like you!” Or when Ben sneaks downstairs in the morning before the other boys do, smiles at me, and says, “Daddy and Ben time.”

But there are also many moments when I have no idea how I’m going to make it until their bedtime. The constant demands, the needs, and the fighting are fingernails across the chalkboard every single day.
One of my children is for sure going to be the next Steve Jobs. I now have immense empathy for his parents. He has a precise vision of what he wants — exactly that way and no other way. Sometimes it’s the way his plate needs to be centered exactly to his chair, or how his socks go on, or exactly how the picture of the pink dolphin needs to look – with brave eyes, not sad eyes, daddy! He is a laser beam, and he is not satisfied until it’s exactly right.

I have to confess that sometimes the sound of his screaming drives me to hide in the pantry. And I will neither confirm nor deny that while in there, I compulsively eat chips and/or dark chocolate.

There are people who say this to me:
“You should enjoy every moment now! They grow up so fast!”

I usually smile and give some sort of guffaw, but inside, I secretly want to hold them under water. Just for a minute or so. Just until they panic a little.

If you have friends with small children — especially if your children are now teenagers or if they’re grown – please vow to me right now that you will never say this to them. Not because it’s not true, but because it really, really doesn’t help.

We know it’s true that they grow up too fast. But feeling like I have to enjoy every moment doesn’t feel like a gift, it feels like one more thing that is impossible to do, and right now, that list is way too long. Not every moment is enjoyable as a parent; it wasn’t for you, and it isn’t for me. You just have obviously forgotten. I can forgive you for that. But if you tell me to enjoy every moment one more time, I will need to break up with you.

If you are a parent of small children, you know that there are moments of spectacular delight, and you can’t believe you get to be around these little people. But let me be the one who says the following things out loud:

You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out a way for your children to eat as healthy as your friend’s children do. She’s obviously using a bizarre and probably illegal form of hypnotism.
You are not a terrible parent if you yell at your kids sometimes. You have little dictators living in your house. If someone else talked to you like that, they’d be put in prison.
You are not a terrible parent if you can’t figure out how to calmly give them appropriate consequences in real time for every single act of terrorism that they so creatively devise.
You are not a terrible parent if you’d rather be at work.
You are not a terrible parent if you just can’t wait for them to go to bed.
You are not a terrible parent if the sound of their voices sometimes makes you want to drink and never stop.
You’re not a terrible parent.

You’re an actual parent with limits. You cannot do it all. We all need to admit that one of the casualties specific to our information saturated culture is that we have sky-scraper standards for parenting, where we feel like we’re failing horribly if we feed our children chicken nuggets and we let them watch TV in the morning.

One of the reasons we are so exhausted is that we are oversaturated with information about the kind of parents we should be.

So maybe it’s time to stop reading the blogs that tell you how to raise the next President who knows how to read when she’s three and who cooks, not only eats, her vegetables. Maybe it’s time to embrace being the kind of parent who says sorry when you yell. Who models what it’s like to take time for yourself. Who asks God to help you to be a better version of the person that you actually are, not for more strength to be an ideal parent.

So the next time you see your friends with small children with that foggy and desperate look in their eyes, order them a pizza and send it to their house that night. Volunteer to take their kids for a few hours so they can be alone in their own house and have sex when they’re not so tired, for heaven’s sake. Put your hand on their shoulder, look them in the eyes, and tell them that they’re doing a good job. Just don’t freak out if they start weeping uncontrollably. Most of the time, we feel like we’re botching the whole deal and our kids will turn into horrible criminals who hate us and will never want to be around us when they’re older.
You’re bone tired. I’m not sure when it’s going to get better. Today might be a good day or it might be the day that you lost it in a way that surprised even yourself.

Breathe in. Breathe out.

You’re not alone.

5.9.13 (Mother's Day)
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Weekend wrapup

Happy Monday!

This weekend was much, much too short for me :( I think with every job, there's "that" time of year when things go beserk, and that's what the past few months have been for me. But now I'm hoping to get caught up, so expect some random posts in the next week, for my documentation purposes if nothing else.

But back to the weekend ...

After I got off work Friday night, we gathered some items up to take to a friend's yard sale. I wasn't able to help work it, but had a few big items just taking up space in the basement that we wanted to get rid of. We then proceeded to spend a good deal on some clothing for Cooper, but it's all good!

On Saturday, hubby had an appointment in Memphis (about 2 hours south) so we got up and on the road bright and early just after 8 a.m. (super early for us on a weekend!) to head south. The appointment, etc. went well and we got out just after noon. It was a gorgeous day, so we decided to find somewhere outside to eat. We decided on The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium. Normally we wouldn't take our kiddo somewhere like this, but since it was the middle of the day, we figured it would be OK.

Thankfully, there was a really great manager who not only grabbed a high chair, he also went to his office to print out a couple of coloring pages and brought them back with markers for Cooper. Super awesome customer service.

After enjoying a meal on the "patio" we ventured down Beale Street, which was just a few blocks away.

Let me tell you, Beale sure is different in the middle of the day! We wandered through Pepsi's small park with vendors, and hubby bought me a cute bracelet.

At this point, it was about 90 degrees and Mister was tired from not having the greatest nap in the car. So we were carrying his cranky little butt and decided it was time to hit the road! We made great time on the trip back home and stopped in for ice cream, then just enjoyed the outdoors and ran off some energy once we got back to the house.

Why yes, we sleep without shirts in our house. We are hillbilly, plus cheapskates delaying on turning on the air!
Sunday was the graduation at the College where I work. Since I do work in development/public relations I was asked to attend the luncheon/ceremony for the guest speaker, Mark Kennedy Shriver. Of course, that began at 11:30 a.m. an hour away ... which meant it was a full day of work. But nice. I picked up takeout for supper and we just enjoyed.
When Mommy is away, her boys will play!

Great speaker!
It's going to be a looooong week now, but I'm looking forward to the upcoming three-day weekend!

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What I'm Loving

Happy Wednesday! It's such a great day that I thought it was perfect to link up with Jamie!

I'm LOVING that it's May! Hopefully the never-ending spring has finally come to a close!

I'm LOVING that we've had great weather to play outside ... although rain is in the forecast for the next few days :(

I'm LOVING that it's been a super-productive week at work for me, and it's only Wednesday :)

I'm LOVING that I got over my stomach bug pretty quickly. I'm still not 100 percent, but put in a full day at work yesterday.

I'm LOVING that I got my stitches taken out from the mole removal this morning and the nurse said the incision looks great!

I'm LOVING that we have no plans for the weekend! Hoping to get a lot of work done in the basement :)

Speaking of the basement, I'm LOVING that we are looking for new paint colors. I'm thinking along the lines of teal (at least for our workout room) kinda like this ...

As always, I'm LOVING the handsomes in my life :)

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