Friday, January 29, 2021

All Things Kids

I had a random assortment of things to share about the kiddos, so I decided it would make a nice post together.

First off, Trent! This kid is 11.5 and rocking 6th grade. He's had some big changes this year.

1) He got braces! We have known for a LONG time he'd need them and have just been waiting for his baby teeth to finish falling out. Once we knew he was ready, we gave him the option of getting them now or waiting a little. He picked to do it now and get it over with, which I thought was really smart!

2) His school year has been his best year EVER {minus 2 fights and 1 suspension ha}. And he's had A LOT to deal with! In typical 2020 fashion, he's on his 3rd teacher and just finished a class-wide 14-day quarantine. He has moved easily from virtual to on-campus and has made us so proud with handling all the changes at school.

3) This one blows my mind. Trent now wears a bigger shoe size than me! He wears a size 5 in kids, which translates to an adult 7. I wear a 6! He's getting really close to 5' tall too - he's going to pass me up within a couple of years. I'm not ready!

Whose is whose? Ha!

Drew has had a lot of things going on that are super fun to share.

1) She celebrated her First Reconciliation a few weeks ago. This was her 2nd sacrament and is in preparation for her First Communion which will be in May. My mother-in-law is going to make her dress, and I am so excited to get started on it!

2) Next week Drew is starting piano lessons! She got a keyboard for Christmas, and we've been using a beginner book to start, but a lady in our neighborhood teaches, and she is so excited to start. Learning to read music is something I want all my kids to be able to do, but Trent is SUPER resistant ha.

3) After switching rooms over a year ago, we FINALLY finished Drew's room in the fall by painting 1 wall. We narrowed it down to a few colors in the spring, then Covid happened so we couldn't go buy any, and then she changed her mind! We finally got a consensus on a color {the same color in Trent's room ha}, and my mother-in-law came over one day and we slapped some paint on it!

Last, but certainly not least, Paige has had some big developments too!

1) She is 100% diaper free! After an accident in the fall set us back {only because she peed in our brand new bed ha}, we put her back in diapers for a while, but she was consistently waking up dry. We finally took the plunge again and haven't had any accidents, yay!

2) Not really a new development, but she continues to be the silliest child with a huge personality. {grin}

2) In the hopes to curb her nighttime wanderings into our room, we have Paige and Drew sleeping together, and it is the cutest thing ever.

So there's a little update on our brood. Making my heart happy every day!

Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Currently: Is It Still 2020?

Current Book

Book 10 of the month! 
Why am I such a sucker for all things Twilight?

Current Song

The girls and I are having a love affair with Ava Max.

Current TV Show

I just finished this, it was so good!
Does it surprise anyone that I also read the book? {grin}

Current Podcast/Audiobook

I feel like it took forever to finish the 5th Outlander book!
Started the 6th one recently, and it's such a good book.
Still trucking along to be ready for when book 9 comes out soon!!!

Current Drink

I am doing a lot more Body Pump lately, and one of the instructors recommended this drink. I just got it and started trying it out!

Current Food

As I type this up, we are at my parents' house {the kids' school has a plumbing emergency, so they are virtual for a few days}, and every time I come here, I can't help myself from eating one of these. So bad but SO GOOD.

Current Shame-Inducing Pleasure

Let's see my Current Book is a tween vampire love story
and my Current Show is a regency romance. Enough said, I think...ha!

Current Outfit

I'm obsessed with this Target pullover I got for Christmas!

Current Celebrity Crush

Those Bridgerton boys sure are cute, no?

Current Mood

Ready for the kids to be back in school every day. Since we came back after Christmas:
-Trent's class went into quarantine
-Snow day
-Plumbing leak

They have yet to be there for a full week! AHHHHHH!

Current Anticipation

I have something awesome happening this weekend that I haven't shared on the blog yet. I'm nervous and excited about it and will share very soon!

Current Wishlist

Grace & Lace just had a big 40% off sale and I bought a bunch of stuff. Eek.
I'm probably pretty set for the rest of winter, spring and summer...
I'm curious if I lose the rest of my weight what that will mean for clothes...

Current Movie

Allison read this book, so this will be our next movie!
And yes, I've got the book reserved ha.

Brent and I also watched this at home, so good!

Current Picture

Monday, January 25, 2021

4 Year Comparisons

One of my favorite things to do with my kids is compare them. Now before you think I'm a terrible mom, I mean physically ha. I love seeing how they compare at each age. So here's how my babies stacked up at 4!

Weight: 34 pounds {25-50%}
Height: 40" {25-50%} 
BMI: 15.1 {25-50%}
Clothes: 4T

Weight: 28 pounds {5%}
Height: 40" {38%}
BMI: 12.3 {1%}
Clothes: 2T/3T
Shoes: 9

Weight: 31.9 pounds {21%}
Height: 39.5" {27%}
BMI: 14.37 {19%}
Clothes: 3T
Shoes: 9.5 or 10

I'm really surprised at their heights all being just about the same! I really think Drew's at 4 was wrong ha. And it's crazy how old Trent seemed at 4 and how young Paige seems now - the perspective of time and multiple children!

Friday, January 22, 2021

2021: Goals

I've been ruminating on goals for 2021 and have finally decided to put a pin in it and call this list done! I feel like there are other things I've thought of and have since forgotten, but maybe that's a good thing so I can focus on this list? Ha!

I like how Emily broke her goals down into categories, so I'm going to do that this year too {and also stole a few from her too}!

Health Goals

1) Develop a better relationship with food - I go back and forth in eating healthy and not and definitely use food as a reward/punishment. I'd like to work on my relationship with food this year and develop a more moderate way of eating. Food is fuel!

2) Hit goal weight - 2020 was a great year in terms of my exercise and getting my physical self in better shape. However, I've maintained the same weight for about 6 months now, so I'd like to push through this plateau and hit my goal weight! Maybe even in time for the summer when I spend A LOT of time in a bathing suit.

3) Keep running - My regular weekly running buddy moved out of our neighborhood, and even though we intend to keep running it won't be weekly. I've enjoyed getting back into running this year and hitting some very big milestones. I don't have any specific goals tied to races or mileage or times, but I'd like to just keep at it and keep improving.

4) Increase my flexibility - I've never been very flexible, but as I get older I want to see if I can gain some flexibility. I've started doing some yoga and pilates and can already tell a difference. One thing that I am specifically going to work on is being able to do the mermaid pose which Drew can do!

5) Eat more vegetables - Like Trent, I have a mostly hate relationship with vegetables. I often hide them in things {like smoothies} to just get some in me daily. I want to experiment with veggies to see if I can find any others I enjoy tolerate. Hopefully this helps find some more for Trent too!

Family Goals

1) Create a chore list for the kids - It is ridiculous that our kids don't have regular chores. Yes, I can say 'Come unload the dishwasher' and they do, but I want to set some expectations of things they do daily/weekly.

2) Get an evening schedule going - Similar to #1 here, I don't like our evening routine. By the time all the kids are in bed, the kitchen usually still needs to be cleaned, there are messes in places, lunches for the next day need to be made, etc. and I'm tired and don't want to do all this stuff, but if I don't it just gets worse! So I want there to be some assigned roles - Trent can help clean the kitchen, the girls can pick up messes, Brent can vacuum or whatever. But it doesn't all need to fall to me!

3) Kid dates - I don't have a set number in mind, but I would like to do some 1-on-1 activities with the kids. We spend a lot of time at home, but it's usually me cleaning, making dinner, working, whatever and not really giving them my undivided attention.

4) Travel as a family - We've talked about taking some trips as a family, and I'd really like to do whatever I can to make this happen!

Personal Goals

1) Read the Bible - I haven't started yet {eek!}, but I would like to read the Bible this year. Kristen and I started talking about this a few months ago, and wants to do this too, so I'm hoping we can find an app or study guide and do it together. My sister also gave me her copy that is designed for reading in a year. Guess I better start ASAP since I'm already behind! 

2) Close all monthly challenges - Stealing this from Emily! 2021 will be my first full year to have an Apple watch, and I'd love to close all my monthly challenges. I'm saying this having no clue what they will be so hopefully none of them are impossible, ha! I already know I should be able to close January, so 1 {almost} down!

*image is Emily's 2020 challenges*

3) Book goals - These are basically the same as last year:

-Read 100 books {You can track this with me on Goodreads!}
-Continue to reduce the pile of physical books in my room - this is hard for me since I'm way more of an e-reader - so I either need to read them or get rid of them!
-Educational books - expanding from books just about racism {although this will definitely stay on the list}, but I'd like to read more nonfiction or educational books
-Books by/about people of color - Last year about 25% of my books fell in that category, I'm happy with that percentage so just want to see it stay consistent or grow
-Classics - I'm setting a goal of reading 2 classics again this year.

This makes for a total of 12 goals for the year! Here's hoping I can knock these out {plus some carryovers from last year ha}!

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Nerd to the Extreme: 2020 Book Breakdown

This might be my last 'year in review' post for 2020. I'm exhausted! {grin} It's a lot of fun looking back at the year, but it can take a lot of time to put everything together!

Total Book Goal: 100
Total Books Read: 102

Physical books: 18
eBooks: 84

Fiction: 72
Non-fiction: 30

Genres [I determined the genres myself and gave some books more than 1]:
  • Chick-lit: 28
  • Romance: 2 {to be fair, I think a lot of my chick lit falls here too ha}
  • Classic/Children's classic: 2 
  • Biography/Memoir: 17
  • Culture/Gender: 3
  • YA: 7
  • Fantasy/Sci-fi: 7
  • Thriller/Mystery: 9
  • Historical fiction: 12
  • WW1/WW2 {subset of historical fiction}: 6
  • Race/Antiracism: 8
  • Pop Culture: 2
  • Investigative Reporting: 2
I think it's obvious what my favorite types of books are, but also I might need to figure out how to break my chick-lit books down a little better too? Ha!

I most definitely had some favorites this year {I shared my top 2 in my overall year-end post}, but I can't leave it with just 2 favorites! So here are some others that make my Favorites list for 2020! And it's a wide variety of styles, so surely there's something here everyone would enjoy.

My absolute favorite fiction book of the year!
It was just such an interesting idea {a book from the POV of Jesus' wife}!
It was well-researched, well-written, and the story itself was incredible.

My absolute favorite non-fiction book of the year!
It read like fiction - the writing was THAT good.
Yes, it was hard to read {racism shouldn't be easy},
but I felt like I learned so much and enjoyed it while mourning our history.
A lot of complicated emotions and worth it 1000%!
AND it's being turned into a series on Netflix, I can't wait to see it.

This was a great book to read in the dumpster fire that was 2020.
Just when you think humanity is doomed, this ray of sunshine came through.
Reading about a little town in Canada that came together to help stranded passengers in the days after 9/11 was a wonderful story to read.
It was also well-researched and written and just warmed my heart.

Emily described a book she read in 2020 as a 'warm hug',
and that's how I feel about this one.

This series was AMAZING.
Yes, it's fantasy [so if you can't handle that, this won't be for you],
yes, it has its cheesy moments. But was it also an amazing guilty pleasure? YUP.
I couldn't put it down and can't wait for the next book to come out in mere days.
This picture is of the 1st book in the series, but the 2nd was actually my favorite!

This was my favorite WW2 historical fiction of the year.
I didn't know that female pilots were a 'thing' in WW2, 
but they were, and I loved reading about their adventures.
Also had a great love story - you know I'm always down for that!

I am fascinated by the Royal Family.
Just the whole concept of monarchy/aristocracy really.
This was a great look at the power of fashion in the story they want to tell.
So interesting and so many amazing pictures!!
I got this for Christmas, so if anyone wants to borrow it, let me know!

Gah. I thought this was going to be classic chick-lit.
I was SO not prepared for what it turned into, 
and I'm not sure my heart has recovered still.
It was THAT good!

Talk about being gutted by a book.
I thought this was 'just' a story of an immigrant family navigating America.
The son who isn't understood. The parents who refuse to see him.
Which that by itself was interesting enough.
Then the end...I am tearing up just thinking about. 
It was amazing. Absolutely amazing.

I struggled to put the 5th book in a series on this list because if you haven't read any of them, why would you care about this random story.
But that's how good the series is! This J.K. Rowling's latest endeavor.
That woman just knows how to craft a story.
[Let's not talk about my complicated feelings about her as a person right now.]
The first book in the series was good, but each book gets better and better,
and I am FULLY invested in these characters and the world she has created.

This was a gripping look at slavery in the 1800s.
A tale of the master's son. But it was SO much more.
And it was magical!

What were your favorite books of the year?

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Eight is Great {Drew}!

January is a busy month full of tracking posts. Goals, year in review, and both girls have well-checks. My stats loving brain enjoys all these posts, so hopefully I'm not boring everyone this month!

Drew turned 8 on January 2, and we had her well-check on January 6. TLDR: she is super sweet, spunky, a little bit weird and continues to be extremely petite.

Weight: 44.9 pounds {6%}
Height: 47.5" - so close to 4 feet! {11%}
BMI: 13.99 {11%}
Clothes: mostly XS or 5, some leggings are 6
Shoes: 13.5 or 1

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about Drew is how truly sweet she is. She has such a big heart and cares so deeply about people. She is a huge nurturer. She loves to help me around the house, she is so great with Paige, just already a little mommy.

Drew is also very artistic. She loves to draw and paint, she writes poems, loves to sing, she is very creative overall! She is about to start piano lessons, and I can't wait to see how this goes.

In her 8th year, we did dance, gymnastics, and horseback riding. She wants to keep doing horseback riding, so I'll probably look for a new place closer to our home to start in the spring.

Drew LOVES school. She has a great group of friends and is so happy to be at school. She switched classes this year and has a new teacher, but she really likes her new teacher. They have done some benchmark testing throughout the year, and she continually tests ahead of her expected level. She does not love reading like Trent did/does, so I am working on making her read at home every day. We still read together, and she does enjoy that.

She is still a great eater, if not as adventurous as Paige. She loves a wide variety of foods which is so great after the constant battling with Trent over food. I wouldn't be surprised if she is vegetarian as an adult!

We are starting to see a little bit of drama from Drew - her pre-teen days are quickly approaching! She will talk back sometimes, roll her eyes, or sigh at me. She also knows how to yell ha. But she is quick to calm down and is still easy to talk to after she's had a moment.

Her style continues to evolve - this year she started wearing jeans again! I don't think I've gotten her into jeans since she was 2! She loves to wear jeans or leggings with a tee and in the summer she has quite a collection of cute shorts. Dresses are usually a forced situation for holidays. She is obsessed with flip sequins! She still prefers to wear her hair down and wants bangs!

If I'm counting/remembering correctly, she lost 4 teeth this year.

Drew is very social. She loves to be with the cousins, the neighbor's granddaughter, our other neighbors' kids, constantly asks for play dates. She loves to play with friends!

She is still very snuggly and loves to cuddle. She still 'worries' her hair, but we're working on breaking the habit as it damages her hair!

Drew is a great middle child. She and Trent can get on each other's nerves really quickly, but she also is happy to play just about anything he wants to. She and Paige play together a lot and play Barbies, babies, Legos, all kinds of imagination things. She really was such a huge help to Brent and me during quarantine ha.

We really got lucky with our Drew-Drew. She is just such a sweet girl, and I am thankful every day for her.

Overall, she had a really great year! I know I say this every time, but I am really looking forward to #9 with Drew!!

Friday, January 15, 2021

2020 Goals: Time to Grade the Year

I've been drafting my goals for 2021 and will post next week. But first we have to see how 2020 wrapped up! Here are my goals and how I did compared to them.

1. Trail Walks - I set a goal of 20 trail walks in 2020, and we ended the year with 14! We had a lot of fun exploring, and I'm so happy that Trent {especially since he is my curmudgeon} enjoyed himself and has some places he wants to go back, yay! Go nature!

Some of my favorite pictures from our various hikes

2. Book Goals - I read a lot {duh} but wanted to set some goals for what I would read for the year. I was really successful with all my specific goals, only missing 1.

- Book Pile - I wanted to reduce the pile of physical books I have because I have a lot I've been hanging onto so they either needed to be read or gotten rid of. I didn't keep track {and should have} of what books I donated, but I did read 18 physical books, 7 of which had been in my pile at the start of the year. I continually get physical books - usually from friends - but since I prefer to read on my phone, they can pile up! I want to continue to either read or remove them so my pile stays manageable!

- POC Books - I wanted to continue growing the books I read either written by people of color and/or about characters of color. I learn so much, even reading fiction, about the different experiences/challenges people face. In 2019, I read 18 books {19%} by or about POC. In 2020, I read 23 books {23%} so I did increase, yay!

- Books About Race - Same as POC books, I wanted to increase the number of books specifically discussing racism. In 2019, I read 4 books {4%}, and in 2020, I read 7 books {7%}, so again, I did increase, yay!

- Classics - I set a goal to read 2 classics, but I only read 1, Wuthering Heights, which I did not like!

As a shameless plug, I'm on Goodreads and would love to connect with anyone else who uses it!!

3. DiTL Quarterly Posts - I wanted to get back to doing a quarterly Day in the Life Post, and I hit it every quarter. If you want to check them out, click here.

4. Knitting or Sewing Class - Drew loves crafts, and I really want to encourage this side of her and was hoping to take either a knitting or sewing class with her this year...and then Covid happened. Boo. I still hope to find something in the future but can't really put a timeline on this one.

5. Photo Books - I was on the fence about wanting to do something with our pictures. My goal was to just figure out whether I was going to tackle photo books or not. And I decided to do them! I don't expect to go back and make 15 years of photobooks overnight, but I did make most of 2020, all of 2019 and started 2018. I figure if I can do a few a year, this will be totally manageable!

6. Antiracism Work - I'm toying with an idea of doing a post about my antiracism journey, but the long and short of it is I didn't get as involved this year with volunteering {thanks for another missed goal, Covid}, but I'm definitely doing more. I'm learning, learning, learning for starters - first from my reading but also my company has upped the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion game, so I'm getting a lot there as well. I've increased diversity at home a little {think toys and books} but want to do more here, I've increased my charitable giving to some antiracism organizations that are fantastic, but I definitely hope to start volunteering and giving back this year!

7. Trent - Fruits and Vegetables -  We started the year with Trent eating ONLY apples, bananas, and carrots. My goal was to increase his daily intake by experimenting. We did A LOT of experimenting this year! Some were successful and some were not {he threw up both times he tried green beans, ha}. He is consistently eating apples, bananas, grapes, pineapple, and carrots and will occasionally eat air-fried sweet potatoes. I am so proud of how many things he was willing to try, and we are still looking for another regular vegetable, but I am really happy with our results! It would be amazing if I could figure out a smoothie for him...

So there are my 2020 goals! I'm pretty proud of how the year wrapped up. Now onward to 2021!

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Movie Review: WW84

It made me want to cry typing that title! After a LONG 11 months, Allison and I finally went to a movie the week after Christmas, and it was GLORIOUS!!! We both really enjoyed Wonder Woman when we saw it a few years back, so we were eager to checkout the sequel. Plus I think Gal Gadot is literally the most beautiful woman alive, so it doesn't hurt to watch her for a few hours. {grin}

Plot: Rewind to the 1980s as Wonder Woman's next big screen adventure finds her facing two all-new foes: Max Lord and The Cheetah.

Review: I had high expectations for this movie and while I would say the movie didn't meet my expectations {based on how much I LOVED the first one}, I still enjoyed it okay. I'm pretty sure Allison agrees with me too. It was so fun being set in the 80s, Diana/Wonder Woman is still an amazing badass, I loved parts of the love story {although the end had me tearing up}, but I felt it was too long and the ending was over-the-top. I also really liked Kristen Wiig...until the end and that plot lost me some. The villains were just a little too much. BUT it is a superhero movie, so you kind of expect that that's why I say I still enjoyed it! I think I'd give it a B {as compared to it getting some really bad reviews in the press and by Emily who said it was HORRENDOUS it ha}. We are both still really excited for the next installment!

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

10 on the 10th: Snow Day

IT SNOWED A LOT IN TEXAS ON SUNDAY!!!! So fun that Sunday was the 10th, it makes for the perfect post for my 10 on the 10th - 10 pictures of our snow day!

I really think this is probably the most it has ever snowed in our area in my lifetime. We had a big snow when I was 4 or 5, and this was probably pretty close. Definitely the most snow I remember.

It was coming down already when we woke up on Sunday but it took a long time for it to accumulate on the ground since the ground wasn't frozen. The kids got dressed as warmly as they could {being Texas babies with minimal 'winter' wear}. We also lost power for a few hours, so we had to make a backup plan for a place to sleep if it shouldn't come back on, but luckily it did!


So excited for snow!


Trent is trying to do a snow angel...didn't work so well, ha!


Our neighbors/friends came over to play too!


My attempt at snow gear {do you love my Doc Martens from 1997?}


Brent was the only one with actual appropriate clothing {from hunting}


Building a snow man - look at it coming down!


Our snowman!


A much needed movie break - watching Frozen {seemed appropriate ha}


I took this picture to show how deep the snow was!


I never thought we'd have enough snow to make snow ice cream but we did!
All the kids enjoyed it, and I tried it too. Tasted more like a snow cone to me, yum.
We also did a big hot chocolate bomb earlier in the day, so much fun {and sugar}!

The snow started melting Monday, but we were able to sled a little on a hill in the neighborhood, another great experience for us. So happy the kids got to have this day!