Thursday, June 30, 2022

Teenage Dream

I've been all in my feels this week - TRENT IS THIRTEEN TODAY!

I won't get all sappy ~ even though I want to!

Happy birthday to the boy who made my dream of being a mom come true!

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Currently: Scorching Summer

Current Book

2 nonfiction books {after a lot of rom-coms}!

Current Song

This isn't new, but I love the Elton John~Dua Lipa duet 'Cold Heart'

Current TV Show

A co-worker told me about this, and it looks fascinating.
I love that she watched it because we read Educated 
in our work book club {she lives in India!}.

Current Audiobook/Podcast

I just finished the audiobook of this - INCREDIBLE.

Current Drink

Really trying to focus on my water intake,
and my mom got me these 30 oz. glasses!!

Current Food

Eating this almond cherry salad A LOT lately, it's so good.

Current Shame-Inducing Pleasure

When you see my book review next week...
it's the number of romance novels I read in June! {grin}

Current Outfit

Date night with Brent! I'm trying to show off my super cute new sneaks!!

Current Celebrity Crush

Did you see that Red, White, and Royal Blue is coming to the big screen?
I LOOOOOOOVED this book and can't wait to see it as a movie!

Current Mood

I am so ready for a long weekend!
We are getting 5 days off, I can't wait.
Plus, I have really started enjoying our 4th plans in our little town.

Current Anticipation

How is this guy turning THIRTEEN on Thursday?

Current Wishlist

For it to not be over 100 degrees every day for the rest of the summer.
Our yard looks like it's August, not June!

Current Movie

I'm getting REAL irritated that I still haven't seen Top Gun-Maverick!
Must fix this ASAP!

Current Picture

Drew and I finished the last Harry Potter book!
I love that my big 2 are HP lovers too!!! One more to go. {grin}

Thursday, June 23, 2022

School's Out For Summer!

I am woefully behind on posting about the kids' finishing up school this year. We got out May 26 and have been enjoying our first 4 weeks of summer {you know...minus losing almost 2 weeks of it to Covid!}. I don't understand how quickly the summer flies, ha!

This year was our first normal year since the 2018-19 school year, and it was overall great! It wasn't perfect, but I'm really pleased with how the year panned out. No masks {they were optional but our kids chose not to wear them which I fully supported}, no quarantines, parents were allowed back on campus, it was stupendous!

Last day photo!
{Trent wasn't mad ha}

Trent seemed to really hit his stride this year in the Adolescent community {7th-8th grade}. This is the first year he wasn't suspended for his entire academic career! The feedback I got from his guides consistently throughout the year was he stepped up this year as a leader in the classroom, got his work done timely and helped others in the class with their work, was very popular. He talks a lot and would get redirected but was receptive to that consistently. He has a few best friends and had a girlfriend most of the year. He is already excited to go back to school to see all his friends again! 

Being silly on a field trip

Last year, we felt he had some regressions with school - mainly math - but he seems to be caught up, yay! We should get his STARR test results soon, and I'm excited to see what they show.

Drew had a good year overall, but her beloved guide, Ms. Danushi, left over Winter Break which was really hard on Drew. She struggled with her new guide but ended the year on a good note. The 1 conference I had with her new guide, she basically told me Drew had learned everything for 3rd grade, and she was teaching her more advanced materials.  She is consistently a leader in her classes, a helper to her guides, kind and inclusive. She, too, can get silly and needs to be redirected on occasion, but she is a great student.

She took STAAR for the first time this year, I'm really excited to get her results. She was nervous about it, so we talked about 1 test not meaning anything about how smart she is or how her year went. 

Moving Up ceremony for the 3rd graders!

She moves up to Upper Elementary next year {4th-6th grade} and is excited and nervous. Excited for new material, nervous to not have any friends in her class. She has made a great little group of friends in 2nd and 3rd grade, and she's sad to be split up from them.

Not exactly school related, but she also bridged from Brownies to Juniors!

And last but definitely not least, Paige finished up pre-K and will be starting Kindergarten in the fall. It won't be a big change for her because she is still in the Primary classroom, and I asked her guide about 15 times that she and the assistant would be back next year, and she assured me they will! Paige is a born helper, a friend to everyone, LOVES to learn and get lessons, and is a leader in her class. She finished the year reading and has done most of the Kindergarten material already, ha. She had a GREAT year, and I am so excited to see her continue to thrive.

I am so happy to still have 1 more year with all 3 kids at the same school. It's going to be an adjustment to the kids being at 2 schools, so I'm going to eat up this last year. I love our school so much and am happy we will be there for another 9 years with Ms. P.

Winning 1st place in a local parade for best float!

Now we are going to enjoy the next 7 weeks of summer!

Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Movie Review: The Bad Guys

There are so many movies I want to take the kids to see this summer! We'd seen the preview for The Bad Guys a few times and knew we needed to get to the theater stat before it left, so we went with our neighborhood friends on Friday. Best part is our theater serves alcohol, so we enjoyed an icee Jack & Coke, yum!

Plot: Several reformed yet misunderstood criminal animals attempt to become good, with some disastrous results along the way.

Review: We all thought this was cute! The kids LOVED it {there were lots of fart and butt jokes}, and the adults thought it was good. Not the best kids movie I've ever seen, but it was definitely entertaining and kept everyone's attention. I didn't know this was a book series, but I think Drew wants to read it now. Any movie that helps my kids find a new book is great in my opinion!

We still want to see: Lightyear, Minions 2, and DC League of Super Pets, plus, Trent wants to see Dr. Strange, the new Jurassic World movie, and Top Gun: Maverick! Lots of fun coming our way!

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

The Party Never Ends

This was our second year to go to Houston for an event for Brent's company. He's lucky to work for a great company AND work with 2 of his best friends whose wives are 2 of my best friends, so I love going to events with his company. And excited for more this summer!

We started Wednesday with meeting Dez to borrow some dresses. I was supposed to go shopping with Kristen but was sick, ugh, so I had nothing to wear! Well, Dez ended up getting her nails done, so I met her to get a pedicure. I had my littlest sidekick with me, who got her own spa treatment and was IN HEAVEN.

Look at that smile! So happy!

The nail technician was so nice and let Paige paint her nails!

Thursday, we dropped the kids off with my parents and headed to Houston. Last year, the dinner was on Monday, but this year it was on Thursday. I picked a dress from Dez's collection on Wednesday night that I really liked! Susannah, Dez, and I got our hair done when we got into town - definitely not necessary but so nice!

All dressed up!

The wives
Susannah ~ Allena ~ Dez

Holding it together after 25 years together!

Friday morning we ate breakfast in the hotel. My medicine from COVID kept making me nauseous, so I was struggling to eat. Breakfast of champions of Frosted Flakes!

We spent most of Friday at the pool!

Such an amazing pool and view!

It was Susannah's birthday, so she got a bottle of complimentary champagne!

We went out to eat Friday night and then to a blues bar after dinner owned by Susannah's uncle. It was a really neat place!

Happy birthday, Susannah!

Saturday we got up and hit the road. We stopped for brunch on the way and then got home to get the kiddos.

Family style brunch - it was delicious!

The kids had a great time with my parents, in case you were concerned. {grin}

Making a concoction!

We are so fortunate to have these experiences, and I can't wait for more adventures!!

Thursday, June 9, 2022

COVID Had Me Like...

It was bound to happen, but here we are - Brent and I had COVID last week. I know people who have already had it at least twice, so I am very thankful it hasn't happened more but sheesh the last 9 days have not been the most fun of my life!

Tuesday, May 31 Day 0! I got a pretty bad headache starting in the afternoon but didn't think too much about it because I get a bad headache periodically - usually in hindsight it's from being dehydrated - so I just started upping my water intake and went about life as normal.

Wednesday, June 1 The headache continued into Wednesday {also not uncommon when I get a bad headache} but as the day went on I started to notice some sinus pressure and drainage. I wasn't worried about it until I just felt like I had fever and sure enough, I had just over 100 degree temperature. I was a little concerned but thought I might be getting a sinus infection - totally what it felt like.

Thursday, June 2 I woke and just knew I was pretty sick. My throat was on fire {in the long run, my worst symptom}, I had body aches, headache was still there, fever, runny nose, drainage. Brent was getting ready to go to work, so we decided I needed to take a COVID test. First off, just to be responsible, but secondly, there was no way I could take care of the kids that day. Sure enough, and not surprisingly, positive.

Not nearly as exciting as a positive pregnancy test! {grin}

Brent obviously stayed home, let his team know he wouldn't be in, I told the babysitter what was happening so she wouldn't come over, texted Brent's parents {who had kept the kids the day before}, friends, my parents, my work, etc. I took 2 work calls that were pretty important and then I went back to bed. Frankly, I was exhausted and felt like shit.

The next 2 days passed pretty much the same way - I felt pretty crummy, slept a lot, and was alone in our room. Brent slept on the couch and took care of the kids, the house, his work. Friday night he noticed a little tickle in his throat and some slight achiness...uh-oh.

I rewatched a lot of Downton Abbey
The Spanish Flu episode hit especially hard, ha.

Tea with the Dowager while watching the Dowager!

I lived off of tea with honey and cough drops with occasional tiny meals {think Goldfish, so not really 'meals'} because it just hurt my throat too much to eat.

Saturday, June 4 My fever broke and Brent started running fever, so while I should not have been taking care of the kids, Brent and I switched places. He went to the bed, and I went to the couch. The kids basically stayed on their side of the house, spent an insane amount of time on devices and would come as far as the entrance to the kitchen to ask for food. I'd get up, wash my hands, put on a mask, go make them food, and take it to the playroom {but they had to leave the playroom first}, and then they could come get the food after I left the room. The diffuser ran non-stop with germ-fighting oils! The girls were pretty pitiful and sad about not being able to snuggle or cuddle with me. So sad!

Sunday, June 5 We tested Brent and the kids for COVID. Obviously, we knew Brent had it, but he wanted to take a test - sure enough, that positive line formed instantly ha. But all 3 kids were negative yay! Brent's fever broke, and he was already feeling better - excellent news as my fever came back and I started going downhill -although my sore throat was gone after 3 days and didn't come back, yay. We switched again, and I went back to the bedroom.

Monday, June 6 My fever broke again, and I needed to work, so I worked a full day in the office. My congestion got terrible, and I realized I couldn't smell anything. I was messaging throughout the day with my doctor's office to talk about supplements, checking when we could come out of quarantine, when the kids were safe to be around people, all the things. I had a burst of energy late in the day and did some laundry and cleaned up the kitchen. Unfortunately, that energy left and my headache, body aches, and fever came back, boo!

Tuesday, June 7 After more messaging with my doctor's office, I scheduled a telemed appointment. I saw one of the nurse practitioners who said I definitely sounded like I had a secondary bacterial infection and she prescribed antibiotics and steroids for that, which I happily started Tuesday evening. No fever, my congestion cleared up, but I still couldn't smell.

Wednesday, June 8 I woke up fever free, felt 95% normal, and could smell! I was curious if the loss of smell was going to preclude a loss of taste, but that didn't seem to happen. We tested the kids again today - all negative still!

My favorite sight - 3 negative kiddos!

It seems like we might be in the clear, and even though I didn't feel great, I had what is still considered a mild case, so I'm very thankful it passed as quickly as it did, no one besides Brent got sick {and his case was super mild}, and we seem to be on the other side. I'm not excited to do this again anytime soon, but it sounds like that's going to be the normal going forward. Oh boy!

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

May 2022 Book Review

Y'all! Summer vacation is here, and I am here for it! I am so excited because it's already positively impacted my reading, ha.

Like I teased above, this month was a great one for my reading count. I read 14 books {one was a novella and 2 were audiobooks} - 4 by BIPOC authors {only 1 being non-fiction but incredible!}, 1 thriller, 1 historical fiction, and a whopping 7 romance/chick-lit novels {what can I say - I know what I love!}.

All My Rage
 by Sabaa Tahir - This was the Blog Friend Book Club selection for the month, and we had some mixed feelings overall. I, however, thought it was outstanding and gave it 5 stars. Sabaa Tahir is a MUST read for me. This was a very different than the Amber in the Ashes series I read earlier this year {which was YA fantasy}, but it touched on so many topics - racism, grief, drug addiction, love, friendship, complicated family was just so good. That's not to say it wasn't hard, but at the end I was just overflowing emotion in the best way. A lot to think and feel about on this one!

How the Word is Passed
 by Clint Smith [audiobook] - This was such a unique and interesting book! The author visited numerous places with a tie to slavery {Monticello - Thomas Jefferson's planation, for example} and discussed the history and what is happening at that location today. I was encouraged to hear about the plantations he visited that are openly discussing the relationship the plantation had with slavery, instead of trying to hide it. Clint Smith was an awesome narrator and author, and I really look forward to reading more by him.

Seven Days in June
 by Tia Williams - I thought this was such a unique book! I enjoyed learning more about invisible disabilities {an area I didn't know much about} and the uniqueness of the story - jumping from the present to the past with these star-crossed lovers for 7 days at teens and as adults. Pretty steamy and great!

The Dinner List
 by Rebecca Serle - I thought the premise of this was unique - the dream list you have for a dinner party of any guests you want dead or alive happens! - but I didn't love the execution. There was a twist about 2/3 of the way through that I hated. I really enjoyed In Five Years by this author but thought this was good, not great.

Book Lovers/People We Meet on Vacation
 [audiobook] by Emily Henry - I have heard so much praise for Emily Henry over the last year or so but also some mixed reviews from book readers I trust, so I was hesitant to plunge in. BUT when I looked into her biography, I realized I read a YA book of hers a few years ago, The Love That Split the World. It was almost fantastic, and that's how I felt about both of these. People We Meet on Vacation felt long at times, but I loved the characters. Book Lovers I enjoyed more I would say, but I got a little annoyed at the main character. 
Both solid, enjoyable reads and pretty steamy but neither will go down as my favorite rom-coms. 

Anxious People
 by Fredrik Backman - I am going to be in the minority here - almost everyone I know who read this book LOVED it. I did not. I very easily could have given it 2 stars on Goodreads, but the ending made me happy so I bumped it up to 3. The ending made everything that was so GOOFY and QUIRKY make sense in such a great way, but it just wasn't enough to get me over the hump of how much work it was for me to read the first 85%. I like Fredrik Backman, but I don't love him in the same way others do, and this just kind of cemented my thoughts about him/his style of writing. I will definitely keep reading his books because overall he has such a whit about him and a way of exploring the world that I enjoy, but he isn't one of my FAVORITES.

Drowning Ruth
by Christina Scwharz - This was our in-person book club selection for the month, and the girl who picked it got it for free {which is why she chose it, ha}. This was historical fiction about 2 sisters set around WW1/leading up to WW2. There was a bit of a mystery to solve and the timelines/narrators jumped around keeping you guessing. I thought it was good/engaging but not the best. I enjoyed it and thought it gave us a lot to discuss {more our feelings about 1 of the sisters and her actions}.

Part of Your World
 by Abby Jimenez - Abby Jimenez can officially do no wrong. This was my 4th book to read of hers, and I absolutely love her characters and the world she creates. A May/December relationship that shouldn't be happening but does and all the reasons why/why not - I literally couldn't put it down and read it in a day and a half. Medium amounts of steaminess.

The No-Show
 by Beth O'Leary - I've liked Beth O'Leary's other 2 books I've read {The Flatshare and The Switch} and liked this one but not as much as the other 2. I feel like the description didn't quite nail what the story was about {3 girls dating the same guy but not knowing it and he stands them all up on Valentine's Day}, but I'm also not sure how I would have described it because there's a big plot twist I 100% did not see coming which actually made me enjoy the book more! It felt like it dragged for me at times but overall it was good.

Set on You
 by Amy Lea - Enemies to lovers in the gym with curvy girl and Asian representation, this was super cute and I really enjoyed all the body acceptance talk {I really need some of that myself} and thought the characters felt really believable. Pretty steamy!

Under One Roof
 by Ali Hazelwood - A woman in STEM novella {the first in a trilogy}, so cute! Ali Hazelwood has captured my heart after The Love Hypothesis, and I read this super fast, pretty steamy!

It Happened One Summer
 by Tessa Bailey - Oh man, did I love this! This was a super character driven love story, and I just genuinely enjoyed both the female and male leads and felt their story was so believable. Piper is a party girl who gets banished by her stepdad to the fishing town her biological father grew up in hoping she will learn some responsibility. Brendan is the captain who doesn't want her in town. And you guessed it, they fall in love. {grin} Another one I couldn't put down and I cannot wait for the 2nd book about Piper's sister, Hannah, and Brendan's BFF, Fox! Very steamy!

The Love of My Life
 by Rosie Walsh - My kind of 'thriller' or maybe I should call it more of a mystery? Alternating timelines and POVs as we try to figure out what happened in Emma's past as her marriage to Leo might be crumbling because he's finding things out too! A small trigger warning {Emily, ask me about this one!} but not too bad.

Man, I'm tired after typing all this, I hope it didn't wear anyone else out! I'm up to 51 books and 11 books ahead of my 100 book goal, yay!