Thursday, September 26, 2019

Currently: WHY IS IT STILL SO HOT?!?!

Current Book

Current Song

The video upload feature isn't working, sigh.
But Trent and I are jamming hard to Lizzo, Truth Hurts lately!
Of course when he's in the car, he gets the clean version.


Current TV Show

I actually have some new shows I'm interested in!
We'll see if I actually watch TV?? 
I seem to read more and more and watch less and less...

Current Podcast

I just finished this one and it was interesting - and NOT true crime!
It was about a man who had been on a ventilator for over 15 years after a car accident and no one knew his name or who he was and the reporter who discovered who he was. Very interesting but also a bit sad.

Current Drink

Just finished a yummy Nespresso.

Current Food

I had a Chipotle salad for lunch, it's top of my list lately guys!

Current Shame-Inducing Pleasure

The Arnold Palmer I had with said salad.
And the double rice in the salad. {grin}

Current Outfit

I jazzercised it this morning and wanted to show-off the cute twisted back of my tank.
{Ignore my slight fat roll - ugh. And excision bandaging.}
And also you can barely see my sports bra but it's the same green as in my pants.

Current Mood

I took the kids swimming today.
SWIMMING. It's almost October and 96 degrees.
I'm bitter, I'm angry, I'm sad, I'm disgusted.

Current Anticipation

I've started seeing flyers for fall festivals!
And we got our pumpkins out!
I am here for ALL OF IT!

Current Wishlist

We are taking family pictures in a few weeks.
We need outfits!!!

Current Film

I have seen 4 movies in the last 4 weeks!
I don't even know what else is in theaters right now,
but I think Allison and I need to start investigating Oscar nominees, eeeek!

Current Picture

Monday, September 23, 2019

Movie Review: Downton Abbey!!!!!

Squeeeeee! After what has felt like an eternity, the Downton Abbey movie is finally here! I can distinctly remember seeing the first preview waaaaay back in Janaury, and Allison and I being so sad to see we'd have to wait until September, and now we've seen it!!

Plot: The continuing story of the Crawley family, wealthy owners of a large estate in the English countryside in the early 20th century.

Review: Pure perfection! From the opening scene to the closing credits, I was grinning from ear-to-ear and loved it so much. My big fear going into the movie was how perfectly the series ended and worrying that something might happen that would take away from the show, but I was silly to worry about that. The creator of the show knows exactly what he is doing! My only complaint was I felt there wasn't enough screen time or plot for some of the characters, but I can totally understand that not everyone could have a big storyline like they could in the TV show, there just wasn't enough time {unfortunately} - I honestly could have sat there happily for several more hours ha. I can't wait to watch this again and again!!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Five on Friday


Downton Abbey

GUYS. Guys. Guys. The movie comes out TODAY, 
and I have tickets for tomorrow.
I'm dying. I can't believe this day is here!!!

Yes, I spent $12.99 on this!


4th Excision

Sigh. I had another excision last week. 
My back looks like I've been in a bad knife fight.
Can we please get to a point where I don't have wonky moles?


Christmas Shopping

I ordered my first set of Christmas presents!
And the big kids have made lists!
With the girls having their birthdays right at Christmas time,
that time of year is super I've tried the last few years to get ahead.
And spread out the expenses! Ha!


Doc Martens

Did y'all know Doc Martens are back in style?
I am seriously going to bust these 1998 babies back out this fall!
I bought these with my own money as a senior in high school - 
they are so special to me!!
Brent has asked me for years to get rid of these shoes, and I wouldn't.
Now I know why I kept them - things always come back around, ha.



Look whose title has changed!!!
Been a long time coming, and I still can't believe it.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Life Lately

We've been back in school for just about a month and are rocking right along...mostly! I'm volunteering in 2 libraries {anyone surprised?}, wrangling kids for activities - Drew and Paige are dancing and Trent will start basketball soon!, and just managing life.

I'm sorry but she is so cute in her dance outfit!

A few weeks ago, one of my dearest friends lost her mother. My heart is so sad for her - she's been sick for a few years but her death was unexpected - she was such a fun and generous mother, and I know she leaves a hole in Kelly's heart. Well, we got together one Saturday to get her out of the house and went to the cutest local boutique and coffee shop! I got some really cute stuff and already have some ideas for Christmas.

Our loonies


Anyone remember last spring when Drew had strep 4 times in a row? And we went to the ENT and touched on her frequent nose bleeds? Well, we finally went back to have her nose looked at again. I kept telling Drew this appointment wouldn't hurt - reminder that she SCREAMED and pitched a huge fit over the throat culture - because I thought we'd leave with an appointment to have her nose cauterized. Welp, we were able to chemically cauterize her nose in the appointment, which was great news because no anesthesia or hospital co-pay, but also bad because it DID hurt my girl! 

Mad at her mama AGAIN leaving the ENT

We had book club last weekend and read The Alchemist. Kit and Heather were our lovely hosts always have themes relevant to our books - it always adds a little something extra.

Heather is co-owner of an amazing cookie-making company, Doughmestic Batches.
Not only were they so cute and on-point, they were delicious!

Keeping covered for a journey through the Middle East

I just thought the other day how we'd made it a month of school with no one being sick...and of course, I got a call yesterday for poor Paigey!

Big yawn from the tired girl whose ear hurts. :(

I'm finishing up my re-watch of Downton Abbey in anticipation of the movie - anyone else ready and excited?!?!

Monday, September 16, 2019

Room Re-Wrangle

We are coming upon a monumental landmark in our household... it's time to rearrange all the kids into new rooms!!! AHHHHH!

When we moved into our house, we still didn't have a clear idea for baby #3 {we built a 4-bedroom house yet Brent would flip back and forth over whether he wanted a third}, so we decided to put Trent {so sad, no 'official' pics of his room} and Drew {room tour here} in the bedrooms that shared a bathroom and leave the 4th bedroom - that has a private bath - as a nursery or guest room until Trent and Drew needed a little privacy.

Enter Paige {hallelujah!!!!}, and we set up her nursery in the private room because it was just easier and we didn't know her gender so we weren't sure who needed to share a bathroom. We knew we'd have to make moves since we had opposite genders sharing a bathroom - it just makes sense to give the solo gender the private bathroom. It worked out so well that Paige is a girl because the sharing a bathroom could be weird between Trent and his brother 7.5 years younger!

That was a lot of lead-up to get to the main point - Paige has started climbing out of her crib {and hurting herself}, so the time is upon us! Honestly, this is one of my LEAST favorite transitions as a parent - the cribless freedom! Fun reminder of Trent's first night in his converted crib!

So here's the plan: Trent moves to Paige's room with the private bathroom, Drew moves into Trent's room, and Paige moves to Drew's room since it's the smallest of the 3. Yup, you read that right - ALL CHILDREN ARE MOVING ROOMS AT THE SAME TIME PAIGE WILL BE TRANSITIONING OUT OF HER CRIB. To say I am overwhelmed and a little an understatement! {grin}

Tentative timeline:

  • The kids have a week off school over Thanksgiving, and I plan to take off work with them - I think this is when we will tackle who is sleeping where. Paige has stopped climbing out for the time being {and tells me 'Mommy, I stayed in my bed and called for you!' so I think we're okay to wait a little longer}. Given the effort that has gone in to get our kids to stay in their rooms once they have freedom and GO THE EFF TO SLEEP, I think it'll be key that I don't have to work. If anyone has tips for how they effectively handled this transition, I'd love to hear them!
  • We can take apart Paige's crib and Trent's bed, and put mattresses down for Drew and Trent in their new rooms. Paige can immediately start sleeping in Drew's bed - she is keeping the bed, bedding, dresser, and nightstand.
  • Wall decor will get stripped off the walls during Thanksgiving break - except for some of Drew's stuff which is staying up for Paige.
  • We will also work ssslllooowwwlllyyy over this week to start moving stuff from room-to-room. All the shoes one day, all the clothes in the closet, etc.
  • Drew's new room will get some paint, I hope to do that one weekend between Thanksgiving and Christmas and have her sleep somewhere else. She is also getting an antique bed from Brent's mom that we are going to get my dad to paint. Painting the room will be easier before the new bed comes in.
  • Trent is getting bunk beds, so we'll need to order that to come in over Christmas as well.
  • Then we need to decorate the big 2 rooms, but I'm not as worried about that.
What we need to buy:
  • Trent's bunk beds - our tentative set has a built-in desk and dresser - it's so cool looking!
  • Bedding for the top bunk - he wants to keep his current quilt so that makes it easy! And it's a standard print from Pottery Barn, so even 7 years after we got his quilt, they still have it!
  • Book shelf for Trent! That kid has books overflowing every space in his room. There's a really cool DIY one with pipes coming out of the wall that I am entertaining the idea of...
  • Wall decor for Trent {he's keeping his 2 Star Wars posters which surprises me, but his current room is pretty lame already, so we'll need to get him more}.
  • Bedding for Drew's new bed since she's going from a twin to a full.
  • Paint for her walls. So thankful Trent is being so chill about all this - he said he just wants the stars to come down off Paige's wall but the paint can stay!
  • Possibly a new dresser for Drew - we're not totally sure what we'll do with some of the existing furniture we have. Her new bed is a Jenny Lind style {like her crib, which I LOVE}, and I found a Jenny Lind I'm debating.
  • Wall decor for Drew - she wants to keep just a couple of things from her current room.
  • Wall decor for Paige - we won't need much since a lot of Drew's stuff is staying in that room - but we'll need a few things.
I'm sure I've forgotten to list out - and think of - some steps, but I think this covers the big picture and also hopefully highlights why I'm stressed out, ha.

Any good advice for 1) making this an easy transition for Paige, and 2) making this not a GIANT project for me?

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Ten Years of Motherhood

My mind cannot wrap itself around the fact that I've been a mother for a DECADE. I honestly can barely remember what I used to do before I was a mom. Thinking about all the time I had to myself...what a life ha!

I know my age has grown a DECADE, I technically know my baby boy is now a TEN-YEAR-OLD - which did you know this is considered a pre-teen - but it just seems crazy to think of how long I've been a mom.

That time I got really drunk and didn't know I was pregnant. October 2008

Celebrating a pregnancy that took! While not knowing I was pregnant. October 2008
Hi baby Miles!!!

Baby on board {and I didn't know it} October 2008

I thought it'd be fun to think about the pre-mommy Allena and her ideas and laugh at me!

Things I swore I would never do:
-Bribe with food - I read something once that using food as a reward teaches kids to view food that way and can lead to food issues later on. While I would highly bet this is true, I am NOT above saying 'If you do xxx, I'll give you yyy.' {I used it yesterday!}
-Excessive screen time - No way were my kids going to spend hours on screens. They would have way less than the recommended time! Yeah right. This one is such a battle, but we do have days where I don't care and we all go to town!
-Not closely policing YouTube - This is probably a bad one to admit, but we don't police what the kids do online as much. Brent and I have both admitted we need to get better about this!

What just happened to me?!?!

Things that used to freak me out:
-Babies barfing {largely because Trent didn't throw up ever until he was 7} - now I can catch it in my hands and keep right on rocking. Now that's not to say my heart still doesn't break when my babies are throwing up, but I can deal with it like a champ!
-Ear infections, the flu - I was scared of all illnesses but was so conflicted about antibiotics and vaccines. Now a lot of people might not agree with how I treat and prevent illnesses, but I'm confident at least!
-My kids growing up {I used to think it would be so 'boring' to not have babies} - I can remember seeing people with older kids and feeling sorry for them - isn't that nuts? Now I see how much FUN it is to have older kids. It's less work in some ways {they can help with chores, get their own snacks, little night wakings, etc.}, but of course the problems do get bigger as the kids get bigger!
-Feeling like I wasn't giving them undivided attention - I struggled with this big time as a part of my post-partum journey. I had such guilt about not giving ALL of my attention and effort to my kids. Now I am THRILLED when they play alone or with each other, and I say quite often 'Dad and I had more kids so y'all would play with each other.'

I'll be really curious to see where I end up in the next 10 years when I have an adult and 2 teens!!!

Monday, September 9, 2019

Movie Review: Rocketman

I am on a movie roll these days! Saturday while Brent and I were watching both our teams lose at football, one of our neighbor/besties and I started talking about how we had been saying for months we were going to watch Rocketman but hadn't gotten around to it. We figured out it was still playing at 1 discount cinema, and we secured the husbands' agreement we could go Sunday! {It always helps to get Brent's buy-in for an activity when he's had a few beers. Ha!}

Plot: A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John's breakthrough years.

Review: I continue to love musicals and band biopics! I really didn't know any of Elton John's backstory, so it was very fascinating to learn about him. For example, I didn't know he typically didn't write his own lyrics. He met a man, Bernie, when he was first starting out, and he put music to Bernie's lyrics, and they've been working together for 50 years! Fascinating! However, there were some parts that were a little over-the-top/out there, and I felt it was just a smidge long. Taron Egerton was fantastic, the music was great, learning so much was very interesting - a really entertaining movie! I'd probably given it an A- or a B+. Anyone else see it? 

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

August 2019 Book Review

It's time for another edition of 'the randomness that is Allena's reading life'. I read 8 books this month, and I'm so glad I keep track of them in a list on my phone because by the end of the month, I've forgotten some that I read earlier in the month! Anyone else out there like that or am I just getting a little too close to 40?!?!

First up, the romance-y type!

Whitney, My Love by Judith McNaught - My mom is actually the one who told me to read this book. It's a very traditional historical romance set in England - titled Lords and Ladies, conflict with a head-strong woman and old-fashioned woman, attraction... I enjoyed it a lot and have the other books in the series on reserve. I don't know if anyone who reads my book reviews likes romance, but if you do, get this one!

Shanna by Kathleen Woodiwiss - The only reason I put this on my list is because I don't think I ever have before. I read this book about every 12-18 months, it's by far my favorite historical romance, and it's written by the Queen of the genre. Shanna is being forced to marry by her father, so she chooses to marry a condemned man who has a prestigious name. What happens when that condemned man doesn't die? I obviously love this book if I've read it probably 10 times - if not more - but I know this is another one that might not be up other people's alleys.

The Lost Husband by Katherine Center - This is the 2nd Katherine Center book I've read, and she's really great. Libby's husband passed away and she's been living with her mother with her 2 small children. Her aunt invites her to move in with her, and Libby takes her up on the offer as she and her mother don't get along. Her aunt lives in a small town and Libby slowly comes back to life with her aunt, and she is able to find her way again. It was such a sweet book! I'm on the waiting list for Katherine's latest book which sounds great!

Next up, Allena continues to be obsessed with Christina Lauren! 
*All rated PG-13.*

Roomies - Holland has a crush on a guy who plays guitar in the subway. Her uncle is a big Broadway producer, and she gets the guy, Calvin, invited to join a musical...until Calvin admits he isn't in the country legally. Holland offers to marry him to keep him in the country...and you can imagine what happens. 

Josh & Hazel's Guide to Not Dating - Josh and Hazel are best friends who keep going on disastrous double dates together but are attracted to each other. What happens when they finally act on this attraction? 

Dating You Hating You - Evie and Carter hit it off at a party and start dating, only to have the competing firms they work for to merge, and they find out they are fighting for the same position. They are attracted to each other, yet can't let their guard down at work. 

My review is the same for all 3: fun, cute, sexy! At the end of all 3, I had the warmest fuzzy inside - I really like how Christina Lauren wrap up their stories. These would definitely fall into chick-lit/modern romance which is really up there for me!

Lastly, Allena is a sucker for Nora Roberts!

Reflections & Dance of Dreams - 2 stories about ballet dancers - these were more like 3/4 books - more than a short-story but not full-length. Very typical Nora.  Natasha - have you read these? You're probably the only person who would!

Not my most stimulating month of literature, but it sure was a lot of fun! Hopefully some of my 'meatier' reads will come available this month so I look a little less vapid. {grin}