Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Currently: Love Lockdown

Current Book
Super cute story so far!

Current Song

This is sad, I haven't downloaded anything new in over a month.

Current TV Show

Brent and I are going to start this soon.
We were in 6th grade when this went down - 
not sure who outside of Texas knows about this - 
but I am very interested!

Current Podcast

Finally got back to this, and I love it!
One of my favorite shows, and I love both of these ladies.

I also listened to Jenna Fischer's book this month, and that was great too!

Current Drink

On a work zoom happy hour, my boss mentioned she made her own wine spritzer.
I was intrigued and decided to make my own with my neighborhood ladies.
I mixed Moscato d'Asti with sparking water - and it was AWESOME!

Current Food

Brent has been doing a lot of grilling lately, and I am here for it.
He makes an AMAZING steak!

Current Shame-Inducing Pleasure

I have bought A LOT of clothes this week.
To be fair, Brent gave me money for clothes for Christmas that I haven't spent, everything is on sale, and it's good for the economy!
Plus, I need some new stuff as I'm losing weight, yay!

Current Outfit

Workout clothes - can't stop, won't stop

Current Celebrity Crush

Happy anniversary to these 2! One of the prettiest wedding dresses EVER!

Current Mood

Texas is about to start opening things back up.
We have to find a way to live, but I'm nervous!

Current Anticipation

Brent's birthday is coming up!
And it's a BIG ONE!

Current Wishlist

I'm on the hunt for a bicycle!
Drew is obsessed with riding her bike, and for me to go with her,
I have to ride Trent's bike which is TOO SMALL.
I've found some good options online...but everything is sold out!

Current Film

I haven't even looked at what we could stream, sadness.
I am excited {shockingly} for the new Top Gun: Maverick movie.
I am not a Tom Cruise fan, but this trailer looks great!

Current Picture

We made banana muffins yesterday morning.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Corona Weekend Fun

Our weekends {like everyone else's} consist of constant togetherness and hanging out at home. Here are some fun things we did this weekend!

Saturday is our typical pick-up day. We've gotten into a good routine of picking up and every other Saturday we deep clean. I also do jazzercise and Drew has her zoom tap class.

This past Saturday, though, we decided to tackle Trent's hair. It was out of control long, and I watched a few YouTube tutorials...and we decided to go for it.

See how he has some wave to it? Makes it hard to control.

No turning back now, eek!

I was so nervous, I was physically shaking for a lot of his haircut.

Sides are done. Now it's time to start on the top. Gulp.

We made a GIANT mess in the bathroom, ha!

So much hair!


After!!! I was so pleased with how it came out.
Trent was happy, and even Brent thought I did a good job.
It's not perfectly even, and I need to get the back a little better,
but overall I think I did a pretty darn good job!

In the afternoon, Drew and I went on a 5 MILE bike ride! She is killing it on the bike, and I seriously need to get my own because riding Trent's, which is too small for me, is tough! Brent and Paige went with us on the golf cart, and we had so much fun.

Kind of silly but worth noting, we also taught Drew to tie her shoes {finally}! We've been meaning to do this for a while but all her shoes were slip-ons or velcro so it didn't really matter. Another good thing of this time of slowing down! She picked it up SO much faster than Trent.

I ended Saturday night with my socially distant HH with the neighbor ladies, and we had a blast. It was nice enough for the first few hours to sit in the driveway, I love springtime in Texas!

Sunday we picked up our groceries from curbside, and Brent cleaned off all our patio furniture after the oak pollen FINALLY stopped dropping. He recruited Trent to help him while the girls played in the bounce house/slide/pool thing we bought. It was great because I sat outside and read while they played for literally 3 hours. I might have gotten a little bit of a sunburn. Oops!

Slide fun

A picnic lunch with my amazing culinary skills.
Why does she look like she's 12 and modeling?

 And you can't help but love this little ham!

They brought their Barbies to play with them, SO CUTE.

After I got smart and moved into the shade.
Reading Elizabeth the Queen

Brent grilled hamburgers for dinner, and Drew and I biked a little more. There's a lot that is negative about COVID-19, but I am really enjoying all our family time and am so thankful I have a happy marriage and great kids to share this time with.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Corona Memes

I really believe that Corona memes might be some of my favorite memes ever. I crack up constantly at all the posts I see online. I wanted to share some of my favorites. There are way too many, I could literally share 100, but I limited myself {although you might get to the end and question what I mean since I am still sharing a lot}.

This KILLED me. be in quarantine without children...


Why are they so hungry ALL the time???

In AUGUST...sob

Please? Pretty please?

Or rather 'fold my laundry'

I had a conversation with Drew about her not talking AT ALL
in her 1-on-1 chat with her teacher, so weird!

The SCREAMING in our house is insane.
Drew took a nap yesterday at 9:30 am. For 3 hours.
Have you seen any great memes lately? Have a great weekend...of nothing! {grin}

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

It Was Almost Normal

I mentioned early on in lockdown, that one of our highlights of quarantine was Drew learning to finally ride her bike. We got her a bike with training wheels when she was 4, and that was what she learned to ride on. It was painfully small, but we didn't want to spend money on a new bike and her hate riding. 

Well, homegirl is LOVING riding her bike and wants to go every day!!! 

So we decided we needed to get her a new bike, which isn't the easiest thing to figure out when you aren't going anywhere. Then I remembered my parents had a bike that was the right size. With 6 grandkids born in a span of 7 1/2 years, they have A LOT of bikes and tricycles. I asked if we could come borrow that bike and they happily agreed.

The girls wanted to come along, and I reminded them a dozen times that we couldn't go inside Babs and Pops' house, we could touch or hug them, etc. But let me tell you, we had such an amazing time! We spent 4 hours with them, all outside, with maybe a smidge of touching ha.

The girls rode bikes and trikes, we chalked on the driveway, Drew learned to jump rope {my mom taught elementary PE for 25 years!} and talked and talked and talked. Man, I missed my parents and can't wait until I can HUG THEM!

Our driveway and sidewalks are pebbled, so I've been dying to do this chalk art.
It was so fun!

This one was MOST DEFINITELY in her happy place!

[Sidebar: My mom has this antique doll that she keeps in a rocking chair in the living room. All of the kids call her 'the old lady', and when grands come over, the old lady goes on the fireplace mantle. Well, sometimes my parents forget to move her and the kids go NUTS when they 'catch' the old lady in the rocker. Every time we have FaceTimed with my parents, Paige HAS to know where the old lady is. And that sneaky old lady is constantly in the rocking chair! Of course she had to ask on this day where the old lady was ha!]

Our masterpiece!
And being super careful with my dad - 
he has really bad asthma and constantly has lung infections and had pneumonia before Christmas - I lectured both him and my mom about staying home ha.

When it was time to leave, the girls were NOT ready, and I laughed and told my parents if I said 'All right, I'm leaving' and pretended to go, I bet neither one of them would have followed me. They would have been so happy to spend the night ha!

Counting down the days until we can be with all our friends and family again!

Monday, April 20, 2020

Honorable Mention Books

Many months ago, I blogged about my all-time favorite books {10-6 HERE and 5-1 HERE}. I got some surprised feedback from some of you that those books largely didn't seem like my reading style now, and that got me thinking. 

Would these books hold up if I read them now or are they my favorites somewhat for how they impacted me all those years ago {some over 20 years since I read!}? I started thinking about what other books I would consider favorites but not ALL-TIME FAVORITES and came up with this 'honorable mention' favorites list or the 'everyone gets a participation trophy' list haha.

So I would say these are my favorites of the last handful of years {give or take} in no particular order:

Cancel the Wedding by Carolyn T. Dingman - I've read this book 3 times in the past 2 years and have gifted it numerous times. I even BOUGHT it to keep on my Kindle which I NEVER do. This book has everything I like - a love story, a lovable main character, a little bit more 'oomph' than a typical chick lit book, I just love everything about this book. If anything were to jump into my top 10, it would be this...and it still might!

Before I Go to Sleep by S.J. Watson - This is the best thriller I've ever read. Forget Gone Girl. It's this. I read it geez 8 years ago for book club, and it isn't anything I ever would have picked up before, and literally I bought it for a friend's birthday LAST WEEK.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens - This book lived up to ALLLLL the hype about it. It was beautiful, it was tragic, it was a page turner. When it ended, I literally started crying because I was so sad it was over. 

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson - If you weren't reading these books 10 years ago, you weren't living. This trilogy by Stieg Larsson {and the follow-ups by another author} were so INTERESTING. The cases being worked, the characters, Lisbeth Salander as a heroine...just so COOL.

Ghettoside: A True Story of Murder in America by Jill Leovy - This was also a book club pick [interestingly enough, chosen by the same girl who chose Before I Go to Sleep], and this was the first book that started my anti-racism journey. It was so eye-opening and shocking to this suburban, middle class, white girl. From an education standpoint, it is probably the most important book I've ever read for the journey it has put me on to become [still figuring this out] an antiracism activist who is raising antiracism activists.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows - I mean it wouldn't be a list of favorites without at least one WW2 book [spoiler alert - there are more]. At first I was annoyed that this book was told 100% in letter format. But then I loved it because it was so unique and had the book play out in such a different way. I loved the characters, the story of Guernsey, the history, and especially {duh} the love story! It doesn't hurt that the movie was PRECIOUS and had some of my favorite Downton actors in it!!

Helter Skelter by Vincent Bugliosi - I think at one point this book was in my Top 10, I can't remember what bumped it off, but this book was SO fascinating. I have always been a sucker for cult stories {David Koresh, Jim Jones, etc.}, and this was the MASTER of all stories. It was so fascinating reading about Charles Mason and his followers from the point of view of the person who was able to get him convicted. Truly a GENIUS of a novel.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah - If I weren't so lazy, I would have put this ahead of Guernsey in my list because this is the first WW2 historical fiction book I read, and 5+ years later, I've read dozens of them. I knew SO little about WW2 - I know I learned about it in school but I guess nothing stuck? - so it was so interesting to read about occupied France and the captivating characters in this story. This book really made me want to learn more and more about WW2 and especially the stories of the women who lived then. So good!

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley - My sister recommended this book to me after listening to me talk endlessly about Outlander. And thus began a love affair with Susanna Kearsley. I have found almost all of her books to be winners, and I love that there is always an element of history to them {The Winter Sea specifically focuses on the Jacobite rising in Scotland in the 1700s #nerdalert} but there is also a present-day narrative too and almost always a love story. You guys know I'm a sucker for a love story!

I went through all the books I have blogged about in the last handful of years plus everything I can remember reading from before my blogging days to come up with this list. Does this seem a little more like the present day reader I am? Any shocking selections on here?

Friday, April 17, 2020

Day in the Life: April 14, 2020

Keeping with my goal to do a quarterly DiTL post, I documented this past Tuesday. I never would have imagined it would have been a day where both Brent and I worked from home, and we were responsible for homeschooling Trent and Drew and being preschool for Paige. But what a unique day to be able to document and look back on!

***************Tuesday, April 14, 2020***************

Brent is 39 for 1 more month
Allena is 39 for a little longer than 1 month
Trent is 10 3/4
Drew is 7
Paige is 3

12:07 am - I read just until after midnight. I started The Huntress by Kate Quinn.

Sometime in the middle of the night, Paige came in. I didn't see what time it was, but my Sleep Number app shows I got out of bed around 5:00 am. We now put her on the couch in our room which is helping her not repeatedly waking me up, yay!

One of the perks of quarantine is not having to get up early which I love!

8:22 am - Rise and shine! I woke up several times before this and at some point Paige left the room to wake Drew up to play.

One of the first things I do is strap on my watch!

Follow the trail... Paige has started taking her diaper off and throwing it wherever.
And babies are EVERYWHERE!

8:30 am - Brent is set-up in our office for quarantine, and gets started around 7:30 or 8:00. 

Morning, honey!

And here are the little mess makers!

We were lazy with school work on Monday because they don't have much for this week.
I organized their work and decided on today's assignments.

Got myself logged into all my systems

I start working while the girls play and Trent sleeps. He gets up a little before 9:00, I think mainly because the girls were noisy in the play room.

9:00 am - Listening to an audio book with his breakfast of a turkey burger and apple slices.

9:45 am - Get a return order ready for LOFT. I ordered a handful of spring shirts and they were all too big, yay! Bummer to send them back but so happy my weight loss progress is paying off.

10:00 am - My Jazzercise studio has started doing live workouts on Facebook. It is so great because it's the instructors I love and miss so much.

My workout space ha

You can't really see Allison {the instructor}, but I'm so happy!

10:40 am - Workout done! Sweaty!!!

10:45 am - Back to work and the girls are playing school and packing lunches.

This one starts his lesson for the day.
He needs a haircut or at least to brush his hair!

I also make my coffee for the day, yum!

Paige asks me to sit by her while I work and she plays.

11:00 am - This is NOT normal, but this is my first call of the day, so I move back to the island.

Paige's other Easter present arrived, and she was SO excited!

Werk, werk, werk

No Starbucks selfie for this DiTL {womp, womp}

I'm on back-to-back calls and get done about 12:00 and work on a grocery order. Trying to get it all set-up and be ready to order it at midnight! That's when the new time slots for pick-up and delivery happen. Talk to another co-worker too!

12:50 pm - This peanut is ready for a nap!

1:00 pm - We read books and snuggle, and then I move over to the couch in our room to work until she falls asleep.

1:30 pm - Success!

A close-up because she's just so darn cute!

2:00 pm - Back in the kitchen. Help Drew with school work and get ready for some more meetings. Completely forget to take pictures for the next 3 hours.

2:30 pm - More calls start! Paige wakes up - short nap today!

2:45 pm - While on a call, get zoom connected for Trent to have a 1-on-1 with his teacher.

3:00 pm - Another call! Continue to work while the kids play, do some school, make messes.

5:30 pm - Because this morning's jazzercise class was strength, I want to do some cardio, and there's a HIIT class happening now.

A little yoga before Mom's class starts!

Hi Sam!

5:45 pm - Move out to the garage because it's a cool day, and I'm so hot in the kitchen!

Paige likes to stand right in front of the computer on a stool - 
so she can watch who is teaching!
She hasn't quite figured out this isn't zoom and they can't see her back!

6:05 pm - I cut-out of class a little early because I'm having a zoom HH with some blog friends!!!

Horsey rides around the house - camera was dirty, sorry!

6:30 pm - Brent's parents stop by with a Cinderella dress for Paige!!!!!!!!

6:45 pm - Trent got in trouble earlier in the day for backtalking me and got the iPad taken away. {When will this kid EVER learn?} Brent had wanted to watch a movie with him and Drew tonight, so he cleans his room to still be able to do that.

Shows off how AMAZING his room looks!

Cutie pie!


7:05 pm - After some zoom trouble, get connected to Emily and Natasha! AHHHH! How fun to have a virtual HH with blog friends who live really far away, but you've been 'friends' for years!!!

Trent coming in to bring me some food ha

8:30 pm - My battery is dying so sadly we girls sign off. We had a great time and talked about a million things. It was like picking up a conversation with old friends - can't wait to do it again!

What I found after the call...part 1

Part 2

Part 3...YUM!
Brent friend deer steak and it was AMAZING.

8:45 pm - Bedtime! We're in that weird phase where if she naps, bedtime is terrible, but if she doesn't nap, the afternoons are terrible. I think we are super close to cutting out naps all together.

9:30 pm - After books and snuggling, she is restless and asks to rock with me. It definitely helped settle her down, but I don't like to make a habit of it. I sit in her room while she falls asleep and either read or work.

10:00 pm - I wait to leave until I'm certain she's asleep. Big kids are finishing up Harry and the Hendersons with Brent - they both loved it! He's been showing them 80s movies, and they are having such a blast.

10:30 pm - After the kids deciding they need food, and us telling them no, and them trying to come up with other ways to stall bedtime...they go to bed. I start cleaning up the kitchen.

The house is a wreck - so many random play areas everywhere!

The counter AFTER I make a lot of progress, sigh.

11:00 pm - I am done cleaning up - or I guess done with what I'm going to do - and I go take a shower! Today was day 4 of my hair, so it definitely needed to be washed.

Hello frizzy hair!

12:00 am - I get back onto Walmart's website and get my order submitted for a Sunday pickup. Yay!

12:05 am - I get in bed to read more of The Huntress. Forget to take anymore pictures.

12:30 am - Lights out!!

I really hope the next time I do a Day in the Life post, we aren't still under quarantine, but more than anything I hope we are all safe and healthy, and that wish goes to all of y'all too! Until summer...XO