Mar 18, 2015

Date Night!

Remember last spring when Riley went on her first date with Daddy?  My goodness, that night was so emotional for me!  They were so stinking precious together.

Well, Riley for sure remembered that day and talked about her next princess ball often.  I was so thrilled when Amy forwarded the email to me with the new date for 2015.  Riley and Jarrod both were eager to head out again!

This time, we didn't have to go shopping for her special dress.  She already had her perfect dress in her dress up cabinet, thanks to a good friend's hand-me-downs.  We had a great time getting ready that afternoon, curling her hair and painting her nails.  I even let her wear a little lipstick which tickled her!

I mean, are you kidding me???  This sassy little thing is gorgeous and full of pizazz.  We are in for a lot of trouble with her teen years if this keeps up!

 She was so happy to see her Daddy walk in after work with a special corsage for her.  He's everything in her eyes and she just couldn't wait to dance with her Prince Charming.

We all piled in the van and Gavin and I dropped Riley and her date off at the princess ball where they ate dinner, played basketball, colored, did their nails, and of course, danced the night away!  She is obsessed with the idea of a disco ball currently, so she was excited to hit the dance floor and bust a move.

Meanwhile, Gavin and I headed across the parking lot for our special date night!

I had plans to take him to a local Lego place, but despite calling for information about their event that Friday night, we showed up to a very confused employee who knew nothing about such activities.  Since we had planned to have the pizza they were ordering for dinner (that she also knew nothing about!) we headed down the way to eat at Subway so she could make some calls and figure out what exactly was going on.

When we got back, she had pulled materials for the event and we spent the next hour making a blow kart, paper helicopter, and designing a roller coaster for a marble.  He was so incredibly quiet while we were there, but as soon as we got in the car, he rambled about how cool it was so I'm guessing he liked it.  It was really neat to watch his gears turn in his head as he tried to figure out what to do to make his creations work better. 

It was time to head over and pick up the rest of the family from their date, but as we pulled up, Jarrod texted me that they had finally found Addison so Riley was dancing with her.  Gavin and I decided to pop in and check out their dance, and I snapped this quick pic of the girls. 
 It didn't last long, though...just after I took this, Riley came up and said, 'Mommy, I'm tired.'  The princess was worn out and ready for some beauty sleep!  We headed home and my date, the princess and her Prince Charming all crashed pretty quickly.  Busy date night!

Mar 10, 2015

8 Posts and other Goal Updates

One of my big goals was to blog more in 2015.  8 posts so far?  I'm not sure I'd call that a success, but I guess it's better than nothing.  Part of blogging more would mean that I either a) take my camera out of the closet and actually use it, which I haven't in months! or b) start transferring my iPhone pics and videos more frequently.  I know the family reading this really wants to see the pictures, huh? :)

I thought I'd take a few minutes to check in with my goals for the year.  I have four main goals and a bucket list of twelve items.

Goal #1 - Get back to blogging....and I'm making an effort, can you tell?  I'm actually thinking about starting another blog, too.  More on that another time, though.
Goal #2 - Budgeting and Saving - this one is going well!  I do our weekly budget, I have my cash savings envelopes that are getting filled and Jarrod's bonus will pay off the credit cards we want to get paid off so we'll be back to saving more.  Woohoo!
Goal #3 - Cook with the kids more - I'm kinda iffy on this one.  We've cooked together, and both kids have actually come in and asked to help with dinner on their own once, but I think we could do better.
Goal #4 - Healthy role model/gentler parent - chugging along!  They see me running and are cheering me on as I prepare for this half marathon.  We have had a few rough weeks with a lot of sibling fights and not listening but I'm really trying to remind myself to take that three second pause before reacting.

And for my bucket list...
1. Make a DVD of my Flip/iPhone videos - Haven't started
2. Overhaul craft closet - Worked on it, but still have more to do
3. Complete a half marathon - Will be checking this off in 18 days
4. Take a weekend road trip to a new place - Nothing planned yet
5. Print another blog book - Plan to order one with the next coupon code
6. Grow Team AIM to at least 15 coaches - welcomed one coach
7. Make an effort to have two dates with Jarrod (outside the home!) - Plan to surprise him with a lunch date soon
8. Back up all my photos and create a system for organizing them - Got all photos onto the external hard drive, but need to work on old laptop
9. Read 10 books (and actually keep track!) - three books done!
10. Donate my hair to Locks of Love - It's growing....still needs to get a little longer
11. Make a recipe binder/notebook - Haven't started
12. Put cash into my savings envelopes every week, no matter how small - success so far!

I hope you're all doing well in 2015, too.

Mar 4, 2015

24 Days

Holy cow.  I knew the half marathon was later this month.  We've been talking about that.  But, when I get an email and the subject line is 'Half Marathon - 24 Days Out' the anxiety hits.  Winter weather came late here, and with the abundance of snow days on top of sick kids, I'm so behind.  I've missed many training runs, and my longest run has only been 8 miles.  I have a lot of work to do.

I'm so worried that my legs are going to buckle under me while I'm running.  I'm worried about how my knees are going to handle the run because of some discomfort I've been having.  I'm worried about making it the entire run.  I'm worried about it taking forevvvver for me to finish. 

But then, when I'm out there running, I imagine how it will feel to cross that finish line.  I know in the moment, I won't care how long it takes me.  I know there will be this overwhelming push to keep going from the crowd and other runners.  And I know there will likely be tears.

So, please....let today and tomorrow be our last winter weather occurrences and let the weather take a turn for the better.  I will be spending the next three weeks running.  And running some more.  And the next three weekends running long runs, listening to podcasts, and logging the miles that will help me get to 13.1.  Thirteen point one.  What an accomplishment that will be!


Feb 24, 2015


In comparison to last year, we had a very different winter.  Much less snow and much less germs!  But, February came through for us.

February break started with a sick Gavin.  He woke up the first Sunday of break, complaining of feeling so tired and was really emotional.  Through the day, he started saying his head hurt, took a nap but couldn't quite quick the grogginess, etc.  I knew he wasn't feeling well because of the tears...he's a really emotional sick person.  I took him to the doctor on Monday afternoon, and sure enough, strep throat.  What a way to kick off February break!  But...within just a couple days, he was back to 100% and we enjoyed a nice week off from school. 

And then, surprise!  The snow finally found it's way to Arkansas.  We ended up with an extra long February break because of the bonus of two snow days.  Once Daddy got home that Monday (because Mommy wasn't feeling the best that day), the kids got to go out and enjoy a little snow time.  I love playing in the snow!

That same night, Gavin went to bed saying his belly was hurting, and we were awaken around 10 that night to him getting sick.  Fun stuff.  But, it was a one time thing and he seemed fine the next day. 

Fast forward to this week, and this time our Monday morning started off bright and early with little miss saying her tummy didn't feel good.  That was the start of 12 hours of constant vomiting.  First stomach bug for our baby girl.  She was pathetic!  And while she's still not back to her normal self, she did eat about 1/4 of a bagel this morning and has kept it down.  The sweet girl is napping right now and I am keeping my fingers crossed that she may wake up wanting to eat a little more.  We sure have spent a lot of time on the couch with Disney Jr. over the last 24 hours!

Of course, the snow and germs has thrown my training schedule for a bit of a loop and I'm behind on my miles for February, but I'll get there.  Just 4.5 weeks until the race!  I did my longest run to date last weekend...7.8 miles. :)  Shooting for 8.5 this weekend.

Feb 17, 2015

Being Gavin

He's almost seven.  SEVEN.  I can't even explain how that happened.  We're halfway through our first grade year and he's excelling at school.  He makes us so proud.  We rewarded him with the Star of the Day plate back in January when he was named Terrific Kid for the week and brought home a super report card on the same day.

He's pretty much obsessed with anything Lego, Star Wars, and Minecraft right now.  I was expecting Skylanders overload since he got his first video game for Christmas, but surprisingly that hasn't taken over.  His room is always a disaster with Legos everywhere, and it makes me completely anxious to walk in his room and see Star Wars Legos mixed with Chima Legos and bricks from Lego City.  My organized mind needs them all separate...but not his.

He's been creating things to submit to Lego Club magazine, too.  He's hoping some of his cool creations get published and that he might win their recent contest. :) 

Minecraft is the newest obsession.  It's one that I don't understand at all...and I can't say I enjoy the constant stories about zombies and creepers and survival mode.  But, his little mind is definitely loving it and he's always thinking of what he will create next.  Science is another love.  He's really enjoying the science kits he got for Christmas and the family is liking our Science Sunday tradition.

The personality on this kid goes from one extreme to the next.  He is a very quiet, reserved, and cautious kid one minute, and then dancing around being goofy the next.  We certainly do love the funny side of him just as much as the serious.  I've always worried about how sensitive he is and how that will play out as he gets older around his peers.  Time will tell, I suppose, but for now I try really hard to keep communication open with him and encourage him to talk about his feelings and be ok with letting us know when something is bothering him.

I definitely have more pictures these days of his selfie-obsessed sister, but usually he sees me pull out the phone or camera and immediately hides his face or runs the other way.  But every once in a while, he will ask me to take a picture to show something to Daddy or to send to Mimi.  That always makes me happy. :)  And lately, he's been asking me if he can lay with me while we're just hanging on the couch watching some tv or for our movie night, which is a welcome request since it's usually Riley asking if she can snuggle with me.  I love these close moments with my boy.

 I love being able to go into his classroom and volunteer weekly (though I am taking a break from that until April as I prepare to run this half marathon and need that morning for running now).  It's reassuring to see him in his element and see how he is around his friends.  Until Gavin was born, I never wanted to be a stay-at-home-mom, and even after he was born, I never expected to be one.  When our life took a turn (for NY!) and I left my career to raise him (and now Riley, too) my entire view of what was important changed.  I get asked a lot if I will go back to work full-time when Riley starts kindergarten, but I know in my heart that I won't.  When I'm in his classroom, watching him and helping the school staff, it is so rewarding and I love being so present in his life.

 We're currently on snow day #2 after a week off for February break.  I'm not gonna lie and say it's been all giggles and smiles.  Brother and Sister have definitely had enough of one another and are ready for a little separation.  But I am soaking up every minute I get to spend with him.  I'm looking forward to a new adventure with our Bug - soccer starts in two weeks!  {Ok...let's be honest.  Soccer isn't my favorite, but neither was Thomas the Train, or Star Wars, or Legos...being a mom changes you!}  I'm excited to see how he interacts with his peers in his first team sport and to see what he loves and what he hates about it.  {He decided to stop Cub Scouts because the times conflicted and he was really excited to try soccer for the first time.} 

We love this little man so much!