Sunday, June 30, 2019

My Baby is TEN!

Trent Joseph is TEN today!!!

I can remember the day he was born like it was yesterday.
The most powerful and impactful day of my life - to become a mom.

TEN feels so big!
Trent is such a little man now.

I'm so thankful for the blessing he is to my life.
I've learned so much from being his mom.
He challenges me on the daily to up my game!

Can't wait to see what the world has in store for this cutie.
But I wouldn't mind if the next 10 years go a little slower?


Friday, June 28, 2019

2019 Goals: Mid-Year CheckIn

I can't believe 2019 is just about half over! Since I only hit my 2018 goals at about 50% - and frankly forgot I even set some as goals, ha - I thought it would be good to check-in at the halfway point and see how things are looking!

First, I wanted to start with our family motto: ORGANIZATION. I had a whole list of things we were going to do every day during the school year, and while it wasn't perfect, we did stick with that for the most part, yay! Summer we've been a little more relaxed, but I am making the kids help more, and I would say we have less days where I look around and go 'what happened?' We've even gotten into a somewhat habit of doing a big family pickup on Sundays so that we start Monday with a clean house - love it! We could always do better, but I'm pleased with where we are!!

Now onto my specific goals!

1. Damnit Already - Lose the Damn Weight - I'm going to do a full post about this in the next couple of weeks, but I did want to report that there is progress happening! This is going to take a LONG time, but I've been sticking to a plan longer than I ever have before, so I'm hopeful and optimistic that I'm going to be successful finally!

2. Try New Meals - Yup! I would guess I've made at least 5 new recipes. I haven't been tracking what I've tried, but I have 2 or 3 that have gone over well with most of the family and I've added to our rotation, yay! My favorite is probably a chicken meatball recipe. I'm still trying at least 1 new one a month, although to be honest my cooking has really slowed down over the summer.

3. Back on the Picture Uploading - Yup! I got all of 2018 uploaded within the last couple of weeks, so I need to get 2019 started, but I'm pretty happy with this one!

4. Reduce Weekend Screen Time - Guys, I'm struggling here. Here's my dilemma - when Paige naps, I like to nap, and it's so nice to just let the kids be on their screens. They are old enough to entertain themselves, so I need to be better about letting them choose - you get xx amount of time to use when you want, but I'm not going to be your only source of entertainment when you aren't on screens ha.

5. REPEAT - Get Outside!!! - We are doing good here! I would say we more often than not spend 2 hours outside every day. I would like to bump this up and also find some new parts/outside activities to do. One of my good friends, Kelly, does a lot of nature trails. She lives about 30 minutes from me, so I need to figure out where she goes because there's nothing I know of in our town. There's this awesome park that does guided trail walks on Tuesdays, but the timing is during the girls' dance class time, so that won't work until the fall when their class times change. But bottom line, we are doing way better than we were this time last year!

6. REPEAT - Finish Trent and Drew's Baby Books - Um...still have done nothing! This should be so easy haha. I don't want to give my kids pathetic baby books like mine was ha.

I'm pretty proud of how these look!! Here's to finishing 2019 strong!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Currently: Fun in the Summer Sun Rain

Current Book

Just starting this...

Current Song

The Bones by Maren Morris - 
did a routine at Jazzercise to this song and immediately downloaded it.

Current TV Show

25-year-old Allena is mortified. 
38-year-old Allena is embarrassed but loving this.

Current Drink

Nespresso coffee

Current Shame-Inducing Pleasure

I keep buying songs from Jazzercise [as evidenced above].
I think I've bought 4 in the last month?
The songs are all current, but I feel somewhat like I'm 90!

Current Outfit

I worked out twice today, so I was gross and in exercise clothes ALL DAY.
There's a challenge at Jazzercise, and it's really helping me go a lot!

Current Celebrity Crush

Hmm...I got nothing right now.

Current Mood

All sorts of frazzled.
Even though we're a month into summer, 
it still feels very unsettled during the day.
Hoping it settles down soon!

Current Anticipation

How is this baby turning 10 on Sunday?

Current Wishlist

To win the Jazzercise challenge!
You and a partner are trying to get 80 classes between June and July.
It averages out to 4.5 classes/week/person.
3 weeks in, I've got 4 times/week, so this week I'm aiming for 6 - 
that would put me exactly back on track!
The prize is a bag with a beach towel and other small things, 
so I'm not doing it for the stuff, ha.

ALSO, if you hit 150 classes/year, you get a tank top, and I want that too!

Current Film

Susie and I've been talking about seeing this.
Allison - you in?

Current Picture

I hate that she had to have a filling, but homegirl KILLED it.
She didn't even flinch with the shot and asked at the end
'I thought I was getting a shot.'
Also, I now know what Drew would be like stoned. {grin}

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Celebration Time: Trent Style!

I don't have a 10-year-old yet {HOLD ME}, but we celebrated Trent's birthday on Saturday, and Trent had a pretty perfect day if you ask me! Friends, basketball, Nerf guns, iPad games, swimming, a movie, all the snacks he could handle...

First, he had a basketball game in his summer league, and this kid loves him some basketball. Miles and Papa came to watch, and he played all but 5 minutes of the game, scored 8 of their 36 points, and his coached name him Team MVP of the game - I'd say that's a great start to your birthday party day!


We kept his party simple this year, as we do most years, and had 2 friends plus Miles come over. Asa has been in the same classes with Trent on-and-off since they were 4, and they are great friends. Asa is moving to Omaha for the next handful of years, and we're going to miss him so much! Asa couldn't spend the night because it was his last weekend with his dad before his move, but we packed in as much fun as we could before he had to go home.

Everybody brought Nerf guns over... Checking out the merchandise!

The other boy who came over is Jaxon - he is our neighbor's grandson, and he and Trent are SO close, and it is the cutest little friendship!

It's WAR time!

Preparing for a boy party is so easy...
Juice, chips, and goldfish were all Trent wanted!

Watching Dumb and Dumber. They all loved it...sigh.

We went to the pool in the neighborhood and didn't know they were having a luau, so there was an awesome water slide, fun snacks, games...the kids had a blast! Until lightning struck nearby and we had to call it a day.

I traded Patty Drew for Miles, so Paige was the only sibling at the party. She loved being with all the boys!

Living her best life

Crammed into the front of the golf cart!

Trent requested a sugar cookie cake, 
but he wouldn't let me put candles on it or sing. Boo!

I had the boys sleep in the living room so they could be loud and not wake Paige up. We heard them until about 11:15, but I'm not really sure when they went to sleep, and Trent said they got up at 6:30 for more video game time. I did kick them outside for some more Nerf time because I'm mean like that!

Trent had such a great time, but he was so exhausted. He stayed home when I went to my parents to get Drew back and give Miles back to my sister, and Brent texted me at 5:00 that he was asleep, and homeboy slept until 7:00 Monday morning! I can't wait to spoil him a little more on Sunday! {grin}

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Summer Check-In

We are in week 3 of summer vacation, and it's going about as I expected - some parts are amazing {sleeping in!} and some aren't {Paige is a stage 10 clinger}, but we're making the most of our time together!! I thought I'd give some updates since I apparently don't have the brain ability to blog much lately!

I've read ONE new book this month. That's it. I've been re-reading some of my favorite series by Lisa Kleypas {the Hathaways, the Travises, and the Wallflowers} and haven't cracked open new books. WHAT IS GOING ON? I have Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly downloaded from the library and want to read it...but it hasn't happened yet. Maybe I'll hit 3 or 4 for the month? Eek.

Drew had her first dance recital, and it was ALL kinds of precious. We won't talk about the 15 minute FIT she threw the first time we put the stage make-up on.

Our babysitter this summer is Brent's cousin's daughter, and she's doing SO great. She basically has to force Paige to leave the house otherwise she won't leave me alone, but we're getting there. She's brought crafting activities over and doesn't seem to mind my forced commands to 'GO OUTSIDE!'

I need to do an update post on my weight loss. And I guess my goals for the year since we're almost halfway through 2019 - WHAT? As a sneak peak, the weight loss is happening...just ssslllooowwwlllyyy...

We've been spending a lot of time at the pool!

I did listen to the audiobook of Game of Thrones. It's been years since I read the books, and I haven't read the 5th book yet so I wanted to listen to the first 4 before reading the 5th one. #nerd

Paige started ballet and tap, and she loves it!!

I'm taking Friday morning off and am debating trying to find somewhere to go to get us outside for a good chunk of the day. I've been doing pretty decent at being outside more with the kids, but we're consistently at around 2 hours/day, and my long-term goal is to keep increasing that... It's just SO HOT!

I went out and just liked this picture. {grin}

The big kids each have to get a filling. It makes me feel like such a failure as a mom, but my teeth are pretty crappy, so it might just be our lot in life. Sigh.

Drew asked me to take this picture and post it on my blog and ask for a lot of likes. {I think she meant Instagram.} Ha!

Somebody turns TEN in 10 days!!!!!

I'd say we're off to a good start to summer!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Results Are In: Can Paige Swim?

We survived our 2 weeks of swim boot camp for Paige! I can definitely confirm that this class is a lot easier when 1) you just take 1 kid, 2) you aren't pregnant, and 3) that one kid isn't Trent. {grin}

Upside: Paige definitely handled lessons better than both Trent and Drew did even though she was younger than both of them. I would say this is because of 2 things - first, Paige LOVES being in water, and second, she is much more of a 'chill' kid - very easy-going and happy. She cried about 50% of the first class, and she never cried after that. A few days in, she was jumping in and was smiling and loving every class! Made for a much less-stressful situation than our first time.

Bribery? What's that?

Downside: She's not as strong of a swimmer as Drew was by the time she finished which I think is just due to her age, definitely not lack of effort! We won't compare her to Trent since he was killing it by the end of class, ha. But while Drew was still somewhat nervous and didn't love class, she advanced more than Paige did by the end.

BUT the reason I wanted to do this early in the summer is that we'll have the entire summer to practice, and I really expect a lot of progress by the end of summer. We swim many times a week, and all she wants to do is jump off the side and swim to us! Where she struggles is kicking, she hasn't quite figured out how to do that consistently, but she's improving every time!

Her best kicking!

I'm excited to see how strong she gets by the end of the summer - I don't expect to trust her in the water, but it'll be nice to have some confidence that if she fell in unsupervised {God forbid} she could get back to the side.

Monday, June 10, 2019

And That's a Wrap: SCHOOL'S OUT!

The last 2 weeks have been a bit nuts over here with Paige's swim lessons and the amount of my day that ate up, so I am just now getting around to blogging about the end of school.

The last few weeks of school are always busy, but reason 4,382 that I love Montessori schools is they don't have a million activities at the end of the year. Yes, we had a few extra things, but it wasn't insane.

First, let's talk about Paige! This is our one kid that had no change this year. She was at the same school and same class as she ended last year, so she was thrilled to go back to school! She loves her teacher and all her friends. It is a joy to drop her off because she practically jumps out of the car and all the teachers love her. She will start next year in the same class and is already ready to go back. {grin}

20 months {8/18} vs. 2.5 {5/19}
*Forgot to take her picture on her last day of school, this is T and D's last day*

Drew was at a new school and in a new class this year {she moved to Goodwater, where Trent is}, and she totally rocked it! She had a little bit of an adjustment period at the start of the year, but her teacher had such great things to say about her - she was a leader in the class, such a helper, and just really blossomed. She is reading mostly - I would say in a Magic Treehouse book, I have to correct about 25% of her words - and is doing a lot of math. She is so ready for Lower Elementary! She also had perfect attendance and got a little certificate - she was really proud of that!

8/18 vs. 5/19
*I tried to convince her to wear her first day of school dress again. No dice.*

One of the things they do when you move levels {in Montessori you are in the same class for 3 years} is have a 'Bridging Ceremony' - not really a graduation but just a small ceremony to celebrate moving up.

All the Kindergarteners ready to move onward

Ms. Nicole was the best teacher - I hope Paige can have her!

Drew's trip over the bridge

Refused to put on the cap & gown for a pic.
And of course had to stick out her tongue!

Last but not least, Trent finished his first year in Upper Elementary! This was his first year with a male teacher, and I don't know if it was having a man or who that man was, but Trent had a GREAT year! Was it perfect? Of course not, this IS still Trent we're talking about {grin}, but I would say this is the best year he's ever had. The wheels started falling off the last few weeks with several incident reports and emails from his teacher, but we limped over the finish line! Trent has really matured a lot this year and is really enjoying school - he rarely complains about going {which used to be a CONSTANT}, is engaged in lessons, has some good friends, and has learned a lot. We're still anxiously awaiting his STAAR results, but whatever those results say, I know he had a great year!

8/18 vs. 5/19
*I hate that Chewbacca shirt so much.*

Now we get to enjoy the next 2.5 months! Sleeping late, lots of swimming, basketball for Trent, ballet and tap for the girls, park adventures, time with cousins - I can't wait!

Next up: 5th and 1st grades!

Thursday, June 6, 2019


In case you missed the other 17 times I mentioned it {grin}, Tuesday night I saw Hamilton!

Plot: A sung-and-rapped-through musical about the life of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

Review: Holy SH*T. MIND BLOWN! I cannot rap my brain around the genius it takes to create something as amazing as Hamilton. The music is some of the best I've ever heard, and I was mesmerized from the first second to the very end. I normally feel like a musical that is 100% singing can get tedious, but I could have sat through another 2 hours from this production. All 8 of us that went loved it and in our various cars going home were all listening to the soundtrack. I cannot say enough good things about this musical and hope everyone gets the chance to see it!

My sister and I were discussing what we would say was our favorite musical ever, and I have to say I'd still say Wicked is my favorite of all-time, but I think a piece of that is due to the nostalgia of that being my first Broadway production and the experience as a whole being magical. I think I want to have a 1A and 1B. {grin} My sister said Hamilton is her #1. I've seen almost 15 productions either on Broadway or through Broadway across America, so I'm no expert, but I think I've seen enough for my opinion to matter a little. {grin}

Sneaking a selfie in the theater with my boo
{Not pictured is the usher scolding us, ha}

Anyone else seen Hamilton?

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Book Review: May 2019

May was kind of a slow reading month for me - I started a couple of books that I wanted to read but couldn't motivate myself to really get into, so I ended up re-reading an old series I love {which I don't count toward my monthly total}, so here are the 5 books I read in May!

Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid - I am 7 for 7 on LOVING Taylor Jenkin Reid's books. She is amazing! This book is written interview-style like the biography of a rock band from the 70s. Immediately it felt so real, and I was sucked into the story. TJR is such a gifted author - even with this style of book, I was invested in the characters and could tell their personalities - like 'of course Bob would say that, he's such a joker' haha. I devoured it and was sad it was over! 

Let's Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson - This was our May book club selection and was a 'famous' blogger's life story. Jenny grew up poor in a small town in West Texas with a wacky taxidermist father, mother and sister. She describes growing up poor, all the crazy things her dad did {that honestly were pretty horrible}, meeting her husband, battling anxiety/depression/OCD, struggles getting pregnant. There were times I was laughing out loud and thinking 'there's no way this really happened' and then Jenny would have a picture in the book to prove it was real! At the same time, about 25% of the way in, it felt kind of tedious. I wasn't laughing very often, and her writing style got a little annoying to me. It picked back up toward the end, so overall, I'd say I enjoyed it, but the rest of the girls in book club just thought it was hilarious and loved it. I wouldn't go that far - I liked it but didn't love it, but I was definitely in the minority on that feeling.

99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne - Guys. I was warned numerous times via other bloggers reviews that this book was terrible compared to The Hating Game. I wouldn't say I hated it, but it was pretty disappointing - I think my expectations being lowered are why I didn't hate it. It's about a girl, Darcy, who has been in love with her twin's best friend, Tom, and now Tom is the contractor leading the renovation on the house she inherited from her grandmother. Sounds cute, right? Too bad Darcy was NOT likeable at all. She was rude, full of self-hatred, surly...why would you write a main character like that? Her interactions with her brother were awkward - he was pretty awful too - like possessive of Tom and treated Darcy like a baby? I wanted to rush through it, but then at the same time, there was no understanding behind Tom and Darcy's connection. There's little more than a sentence explaining the background of why Tom cares for her. And we definitely needed more of that side. I would say the last 10-20% was good but such a letdown from The Hating Game.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates - Wow. WOW. Wow. This was such an enlightening book. Written as a series of essays from a black father to his son about growing up living in the shadow of The Dream. I took so many screen shots while reading this of things I never thought about. I'm trying to educate myself more about racism and not being blind by my largely white world, and this was SO GOOD. 

The Whistler by John Grisham - I mean John Grisham just knows how to write a story! I don't think I've ever disliked one of this books, but I stopped reading them for a long time and have read 3 in the last year. This story is about a judicial review board who investigates allegations of corruption by judges and uncovers the largest corruption in American history. Caught my attention from the very beginning and never let up. I honestly wish it had another chapter or 2 - that's how great it was!

A largely good month of reading - still can't figure out why I was so meh toward the second half of the month. TODAY IS HAMILTON!!!!!!!!!!!!