Saturday, December 31, 2016

Catching up

Well, as evidenced by the lack of posts over the past 4 months, this fall kicked my butt. I knew I was taking on an overload with working, starting a business, going to school, and taking care of the family. But, I didn't realize just how dead I would be by December. We somehow made it work as a family, but it is not something I ever hope to go through again. I am finished with school for the time being and we've settled into a work/family/small business routine so life should be a little less chaotic. I spent the month of December decompressing and doing all of the holiday activities and just enjoying life for a while. I actually have a little free time on my hands now so the goal is to get caught up on all of my pictures and my blog. I fully realize there is no one pressuring me to blog, but after looking through old posts a few weeks ago, I know there is so much about the last 4 months I will forget if I don't get it written down and out of my head. I am thankful I have written down all of these memories over the years so I have something to go back and show my kids and grandkids. So, there will be lots of catching up on my blog the next few days as I get thoughts out of my head and pictures off my camera.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

September 2016

September started the 4 months of craziness. Mason started his last year of preschool and I was a sad mess. It really seemed like Aubrey was just starting preschool so sending my baby off for his last year just seemed surreal. He was so excited for school, especially because his friend Tyler was in his class this year. Pre-K has been an adjustment for all of us, though. This year he has actual homework and getting him to do it is sometimes a challenge. The homework is optional, but he gets a prize for doing it. He is much more concerned with getting the prize than actually doing the homework so it makes for some stressful nights. I am trying to not burn him out from homework at the age of 4, but want him to start Kindergarten in a good place so it is a balance of managing that right now.

Comparison of first day of 2-year old preschool vs first day of pre-k. Be still my heart. 

I fully jumped into the LuLaRoe world in September by having my launch party. It was pretty stressful to put it all together, but it turned out to be a great time. I had more fun selling things than I really thought I would and was so excited to see the numbers at the end of the night.

ECU and NC State played each other in football this year and unfortunately, Todd and I were not able to make the trip to Greenville to watch it like we have the last 2 games. So, we decked ourselves out in our finest gear, made the kids chose sides, and watched ECU win at home on the couch.

Aubrey's school had their annual fun run to raise money for the school and Mason and I were able to watch. She enjoyed running laps as fast as she could around the school and Mason entertained himself with the football equipment while she ran.

Aubrey surprised us all by requesting a "big" haircut. I was a little nervous about her cutting it short because we have to put it in a bun for dance. But, she was so excited to get it cut and really enjoyed the after so I just rolled with it.

The rest of September was a blur of school, dance, soccer, LLR, and craziness. But, that's the real world and our reality for the next 4 months.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

August 2016

August went by so fast! It seemed like it was just starting when it was over. I was pretty busy all month with various activities, but there wasn't as much going on family-wise.

One milestone we did reach was taking the back off of Aubrey's booster seat. I know this doesn't seem like a huge deal, but Aubrey was ecstatic. This is the last step before she completely comes out of the booster in January and I'm still a little sad about it. We could have taken it off ages ago, but the part of me holding on the little girl in her made me wait.

We did a lot of shopping this month and Aubrey conned me into taking her with most for most of it. Taking kids school shopping is such a chore, but taking 1 kid seemed a lot better than 2. I enjoyed spending that one-on-one time with her, so it was a good trip. She also conned me into buying her lunch while we were out and I couldn't resist taking a picture.

Mason started his next season of soccer and moved up to league soccer this year. He was so happy to be back out on a field and playing a sport. I love that he is such a sports kid.

Aubrey started her 5th year of dance this year. But, this year, she was invited to join the competition team so its not the once a week deal anymore. My mind was a little overwhelmed at first because I competed for years and I know the work and dedication that it takes from the dancer and the parent. I am glad her teachers have the confidence that Aubrey is ready, I just don't think Aubrey knows what she is in for this season. So, she lives at the studio 5 hours per week and keeps us burning Mt. Holly-Huntersville Road up as we run her back and forth. Its exciting and overwhelming and I can't wait to see how it plays out when competition season starts in the spring.

National Dog day was in August and the kids begged me to take a picture of them with the dogs. Getting all 4 of them to cooperate for a picture was, um, a challenge, so this is the best that I could get.

On our last day of summer vacation, I took the kids to the airport observatory to watch planes take off and land. Mason was thrilled to see the planes up close and it was awesome to watch him get so excited. I love going to the observatory and spent many hours there before I met Todd. Its a fun place to just sit back and watch and relax for a bit.

We wrapped up summer when Aubrey started back to school on the 29th. The schools started so late this year, but I was glad to have the extra time with no schedule or routine to follow for them. Aubrey tried to tell everyone all summer she wasn't ready to go back, but as soon as we met her teacher, she was all ready to go. I think her teacher this year is awesome so I am hoping for a better 2nd grade year than 1st grade for her. I also realized this is our last first day of school picture that won't include both kids going to the same place. Sigh......

I finally got my call from LuLaRoe on the 15th so I got to place my initial order and get some pretty clothes to sell. The order came in 4 big boxes and it was mind boggling how much was in those boxes. Its now official that I am a small business owner. Scary and exciting all at the same time.

So, August has come and gone. I am so ready for fall and all that it brings. Our lives are pure chaos right now, but its all fun and exciting from here on out.

July 2016

July was a pretty low key month for us. While I was super busy with LuLaRoe planning and studying for the GRE, the kids spent a lot of time playing outside and at the pool.

We started the month with our traditional trip to Mooresville on July 3rd for their fireworks. I started off the afternoon with a flat tire that required a quick trip to the tire store to fix. The weather was pretty yucky as it had been the past few years, but we made the best of it. The kids got to take pictures with some fun characters roaming around the site so they were pretty happy about that. The kids also enjoyed playing in the rain before the fireworks. The fireworks were a little shorter than usual because of the rain, but the kids still had a great night and that is what matters.

July 4th was pretty All American. We took the kids swimming in the afternoon, picked some blueberries from the garden, grilled hamburgers for dinner, played with sparklers,  and then watched fireworks in the neighborhood.

The rest of the month was pretty quiet and low key for the family. The kids kept themselves busy with playing and being creative while I studied and Todd worked and took care of the house.

This was one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

They created a show called "Beauty and the Shark." It was Oscar worthy, I promise!

So, that was July. Not exciting, but still entertaining for all.

June 2016

So much for my grand ideas to catch up over the summer. I think the summer was just as crazy for me as the school year. But, I think I need to accept that this season in life is about running behind and doing what I can when I can.

June wrapped up 1st grade for Aubrey. First grade seemed to go so much faster than Kindergarten. I know part of it was that life has been so crazy, but it really did feel that the school year had just started when it finished.

First and last days of 1st grade

We celebrated the end of school by having our first miniature golf day. The kids enjoyed it at first, but it really was too hot, so they were over it by the end. It was fun and we do hope to go back again.

Being out of school meant more time at the pool. The kids love being in the water and it gave us some time to sit down and relax while they played.

Another bonus of summer is being able to watch movies outside. We took the kids to see Cinderella outside at the Shoppes at Northcross. It was a free event and perfect weather, so it really was a perfect night.

Aubrey had dance camp for a week so I got to spend some extra one on one time with Mason. We found a cute little park near the studio and battled through the heat to play on the equipment. I love spending one on one time with the kids because its not that often so it was fun to hang out with the little guy.

Our exciting news for June was I made the decision to join LuLaRoe as a fashion consultant. I had been researching for about a month before I finally got the courage to talk to my sponsor and make it official. Getting Todd on board was a little harder, but once we talked numbers, he was a little ok with the decision. My hope in selling is to make enough to supplement the income I will lose when I go back to school. My paperwork was submitted on June 29 and entered the queue to wait for my call. More updates on this journey later!

Friday, June 24, 2016

May 2016

We crammed a lot of "stuff" into May so it was a bit crazy.

Our friend's little boy turned 8 this month and he loves the 1980's, so he had an '80's-themed birthday party this year. My friend went all out and asked us to dress in our 80's gear. I am glad she had a photographer there to document this craziness.

Mother's Day was so sweet this year. The kids helped Todd with my traditional breakfast in bed and it was so good. Luckily, I finished the school semester the Friday before, so I got to spend the entire day with the family and it was awesome. The kids made some awesome gifts for me at school and they are some of my favorite presents ever. Even if Aubrey did totally call me out on my vices of make-up and wine in her "All About My Mom" card.

Aubrey had her 4th dance recital this year and it gets better to watch each year. She did her regular dance and acrobatics classes, but also added in a pre-pointe class this year. She is making a lot of progress in dance and I love watching her.

Mason closed out his 3-year old preschool year with their cute end-of-year show. Seeing how much these kids have grown over the last year was amazing. I can't believe we only have 1 more year of preschool left. There may or may not already be some tears forming over here.

A big milestone for the month was I finally made an executive Mommy decision and made Aubrey cut her hair. I was completely over the battles that were happening every morning around her hair. She loved having it long but getting her to do the maintenance on long hair was a nightmare. And, heaven forbid I tried to take care of it. So, with the recital over I decided it was time for a chop. She was not happy with me at first, but after the first time she washed and brushed it and saw how easy it was, she was sold. It has really taken the drama down a few levels in the morning so I am glad I pushed her through it.

We closed out the month with our first boat trip of the summer on Memorial Day. Our boat time was cut short when the boat died in the middle of the lake and we had to be towed back in. But, the kids thoroughly enjoyed their swimming time in the beach area of the lake, so it wasn't a wasted day. They also fished off the dock for a while and were pretty disappointed to not catch any fish.

So, May was a pretty fun-filled month. It was a great start to the summer and I can't wait to see what the rest of the summer brings.

April 2016

April was a beautiful month. It was nice to watch Spring and all that comes with it in its full glory.

First of all, I just can't even look at this picture without grinning like a fool. Look at that happy little guy in his first t-ball uniform! He was so excited that it was finally time to wear the uniform and play the first game. They had opening ceremonies the night before his first game and it was precious to watch each player be introduced and tip their hat to the crowd.

Most of the team including Coach Todd!

The next day was their first game and it was so much fun. Even though it was so cold that morning (like in the upper 40's, I think) the kids had such a good time and enjoyed playing. 

Todd and I actually got out of the house for a date night this month. A friend of Todd's from high school got married so we even got to dress up for this date. It was nice to dress up and get to hang out with each other. We don't get to do that nearly enough, especially since I went back to school.

The following day was Auntie Lacey's (my sister) birthday so we had lunch with her to celebrate.

Since Easter was a bit early this year, we had to wait to do the kids Easter pictures. We waited just a few weeks for the azaleas to bloom and I am so glad we did because they were gorgeous.

I won't gross anyone out with the the documented proof, but April also started the pink eye epidemic in our house. Mason started it towards the end of April and I was completely disgusted. I can handle puke and poop, but eyes are just yucky, so pink eye is even worse for me. Luckily, I was able to deal with it because it spread throughout all four of us (I'm writing this in June and I am on my 3rd round of pink eye in a month. Blahhhh). It such an icky, nasty disease and I'm really not happy whoever gave it to Mason.)

The rest of the month was spent was either being at school or outside and enjoying the beautiful spring weather. I love NC in the spring in this year was no different.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

March 2016

We were so glad that March brought us some warmer weather. It was perfectly timed because we could finally sign Mason up for t-ball. My baseball loving heart has been waiting on t-ball since we heard the word boy. Now, I know Aubrey is perfectly capable of playing t-ball, but being the prissy girly girl, we have just accepted sports aren't her thing and that is perfectly ok. But, Mason is all boy and loves all sports equally. We bought him his first tee, bat, and glove and he couldn't wait to get outside and try it.

The league we signed him up for had a skills day so they could evaluate the their skills and make sure the teams were equally balanced skill-wise. Mason actually did pretty well during his skill test and we were pretty impressed since he had never played before.

As well as having a t-ball player in the house, we also had a t-ball assistant coach. My sweet husband volunteered to be a coach for Mason's team and it was so awesome. I think he enjoyed it just as much as the kids did.

A scary moment of the month was around the middle of the month. Todd met me at the dance studio to get Mason while Aubrey did acrobatics so I could go home and study. I was about halfway between the studio and home when Todd calls and frantically says we are going to urgent care because Mason's hand was shut in a car door. Aubrey, Mason, and 2 of their friends were playing in another mom's car and the girls were trying to keep Mason out and shut a locked door before realizing Mason was crawling in behind them. My heart sank hearing the poor little guy screaming in the background. I did a swift turn around and met them at the urgent care near the studio. Mason was so pitiful and it was all I could do not to cry with him. It seemed like it took forever before they saw him, especially when he was so upset and crying. They finally did some X-rays and the doctor said he believes there was a tiny break in his middle finger. But, he wanted us to follow up at an orthopedic doctor to follow up. The next day we saw the orthopedist and he reviewed the X-rays and looked at his hand. He said he didn't see sign of any fractures and it looked like the damage was along the growth plate, which is cartilage. They splinted his fingers back together and said as soon as he could bend and straighten them with no pain, the splint could go. We were glad for no broken bones because life was tough for those few days in the splint, especially when it came time for t-ball.

Easter came a little early this year. The kids have a basic understanding now of the reason for Easter and we make sure we talk about Jesus and the reason for their treats. But, they do get caught up in the excitement over Easter baskets and the Easter bunny. Its definitely getting harder to balance the two and I hope over the next few years they can truly understand more about Easter and what it means for us. Aubrey decided it was necessary to write the Easter Bunny a note along with leaving out some carrots and water. It was really sweet to see. They also enjoyed their annual egg hunt at Todd's parents' house.

No real story behind this picture. It just makes me laugh because they were playing some sort of game with Shopkins toys. These little overpriced plastic toys have taken over our house and it is a little maddening. But, they looooove them so we play along for now. Until we step on the next one....