Monday, June 30, 2014

MOMQuery: Some Exciting News!

I have some exciting news to share with you today! In case you haven't heard, there's an awesome new website called MOMQUERY. And yours truly just so happens to be a part of it! Make sure you visit MOMQUERY today. I am thrilled to be a contributor along with so many other fabulous women and mommies.

MOMQUERY's purpose is to give all of us - the real, everyday mom - a place to go for encouragement, real-mom answers to questions, product reviews and so much more.

Be sure to check it out today!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

I can't believe we have an almost second grader.

First grade was a blast! I am still in disbelief that the year is already over, but it is, which means its time to look back on K.C.'s first grade year.

Here he is on the last day of first grade.

K.C. loved his teacher this year and so did we! We could not have had a better teacher or first grade experience than we had.

First grade was a year of many "firsts" for our boy. His first "real" homework, first spelling tests, first book report (on Indiana Jones) and so many other things. We are so proud of the boy he is and is becoming.

K.C. is inquisitive about every single thing. I hope he always questions, wonders and asks until he has an answer that satisfies him. This will carry him far in every area of his life. 

He loves school and doesn't mind homework at all. We developed a great routine during the year. We have a desk that was mine when I little that my mom got from a school that closed and gave to us for the boys that's our official homework spot. At homework time each night, K.C. would go to the desk, get his pencil ready and start his homework. It was great.

We also played games while learning spelling words and different sight words. I'll share more about those in another post.

It's time for the end of the year interview questions!

Best Friend: Rocket

Favorite Thing About 1st Grade: Science

Favorite Extra Activity: Science (our boy loves science and is so good in it!)

Favorite Field Trip: Pirates Voyage (I had fun on this one, too!)

Favorite Colors: Red, blue, green and yellow

Favorite Food: Noodles (he'd eat pasta for every meal if I'd let him)

Favorite Sport: Soccer

Favorite Candy: Suckers

Favorite Number: 0

Favorite Thing to Play: Games

Favorite Games: Monopoly, Battleship, Clash of Clans

Favorite Clothes: Ducky Shirts (Southern Marsh shirts)

Favorite Book: Magic Tree House books, Hardy Boys

What do you want to be when you grow up? I have no idea. An engineer.

Favorite Bible Story: Daniel and the Lion's Den

Favorite Movie: The Chipmunks: Shipwrecked

Least Favorite Thing: Broccoli (to which he informed me was going to be his answer every year)

Favorite Thing About Yourself: All of me. How fast I am. (We love all of you buddy and your sweet spirit.)

What I Want to Do This Summer: Play with KK (our niece)

Favorite Teacher: All of them.

We're so proud of you, K.C.!

We love you!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

It's a Get Things Done Day.

I'm declaring today Get Things Done Day.

After a week of vacation, a work conference and a busy week before vacation, I need a good get things done day. On top of that, we have VBS this week (one of the best weeks of the year) along with some other commitments including two softball games (those were won at 9 after VBS Monday and Tuesday), family coming in town for the weekend and a wedding shower I'm co-hosting Saturday. I'm tired just typing all of that!

What do you do to stay motivated to get things done when you're really crazy busy?

Here are my tips. I'm really just writing these down so I'll follow them. Believe me, I need to!

1. Make a list of what you need to get done each day. I'm a huge list maker, so the first thing I do in the mornings at work is to star the things I have to get done that day or write a new list of things to accomplish on the really busy days (like today).

2. Make a list of what needs to get done and started each week. I use the goals & notes portion in my Erin Condren life planner to write down things that have to get done (or I want to start on) by the end of each week. These are not work related, but personal. This week, I have things like this written down: invitations for K.C.'s birthday, party planning started, pick up a wedding gift (that's done!), reorder a prescription, get things for the shower and a few other things.

3. Determine when you'll do what. This is more for at home. Even though I like lists, the only home lists I make are for the grocery store and for vacation. I don't think I need to check a box when I dust and mop, but if it makes you happy to do it, do it! I know that with family coming in town and late nights every night, especially the last two nights, I have tonight and tomorrow night to get our house cleaned. We unpacked everything, did all the laundry and the kitchen is clean, but I still want to vacuum, dust and steam the floors and put up all the folded clothes. 

4. Set priorities. I have a tendency to want to do what I have on my to do list now even if some of those things aren't important. It's great to get everything done, but it's more important to do the highest priority items first and well before moving on to those things that don't have to get done today. 

5. Take a moment to breathe. I need this reminder. Even with 15-20 things on a to-do list we really need to get done in a given day (like today for me), I need to remind myself to chill. Last night, when we got home after 11 pm, I started to put up some clothes, but it was my husband who told me to go take a bath and relax while he emptied the dishwasher. That has reminded me that today, in the midst of busyness, I need to take a moment of quiet and use that time to talk to God, relax and not think. 

Do you have any tips you'd like to share on getting things done when you're extra busy?

Monday, June 23, 2014

Vacation is the best.

We're back from a week-long vacation with my family. And it was great!

I have over 1,500 pictures to sort through, so expect to see a few of those and a recap later this week. For now, here's one I borrowed from my mom's Instagram account.

We're all unpacked and hitting our first week back in full swing with VBS at our church. VBS is one of my very favorite weeks of the year (along with vacation) and I can't wait to see how God works in the lives of all of us this week!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

The bond of brotherhood.


These two.

Their bond.

A few weeks ago, we were walking to the car from somewhere and this was our view. Two perfect little boys holding hands. My heart skipped a beat at this sight. How blessed we are to have these two precious ones who love each other dearly.

Watching our boys and their love for each other is one of my favorite things. It's interesting to see how they go through phases and how their relationship changes.

Kaden is enamored with his big brother. Totally, completely, 100% crazy about him. He thinks he hung the moon. K.C. is the same way about his little brother. He wants to protect him, lookout for him and help him.

Sure, we have squabbles every now and then. What kids don't? But for the most part, the kids play together really well and it's a rare occasion these days that we have words with them.

I'm so glad the boys have the bond that they share. They are each other's one constant no matter the day. It thrills me that they have this person that they are free to be with. And I love seeing how close they are being only 20 months apart. 

I don't normally have the opportunity to pick K.C. up from school, but during my summer work schedule, I get to pick him up the last few Fridays of the year. Each Friday, as he'd jump in the backseat, he'd reach down and say "hey, brother! I love you!" as he gave Kaden the biggest hug and kiss. So sweet.

It's my prayer that these two will always share this bond and this closeness. I pray that they'll always have each other's backs.

K.C. definitely has the traits of a first-born. I'm one. I should know. He's independent, strong-willed (not a bad thing in my opinion as long as it's channeled in the right ways; my mom may disagree because no matter how many books she read on raising a strong-willed child, my strong-willed self didn't change. Oh well, I think I turned out ok.), conscientious about things, a perfectionist and definitely a leader. He likes to instruct, to show and to teach. He cheers his brother on and shows him how to do new things. I pray he'll always be a good example for Kaden to follow.

Kaden is a nurturer and compassionate child. Those words come really easy when I think of how to describe him. He loves attention - he'll dance around, sing, do cartwheels, whatever it takes to get us to laugh and smile. He also loves being right there with us not in an "I'm so attached to my parents I can't let them out of my sight" way but more of an "I want to be near you and play with you and talk to you" way. He adores his big brother and wants to make everyone feel good. He's also our more sensitive child. I hope he'll always keep these traits and serve others in this way.

These two boys are so different, yet so similar, but one things shines out above the rest: their love for one another. Thank you, Lord, for the gift of this bond.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Home Tour Tuesday: The Front Room

I thought I'd keep up with this home tour every few weeks and show you our front room/living room/whatever you want to call it room today.

We don't really use this room too much, but it's got one of my favorite pieces of furniture in it - this couch. It's oh so comfortable.

Won't you walk in?

This room is directly across from our dining room via the foyer. I thought about painting it a lighter hue of blueish gray than our dining room, but then, I decided against it. It has a few things in it that makes it pop and I like how the dining room stands out in its own color.

I love this couch. It's seercucker and plush. It's a cozy space especially at night with the lamp on the street lights coming in through the large window. The four of us have even piled up on it to watch a storm when the lights went off. 

My mom got a Steinway probably 10-15 years ago and told me I could have this piano when I had a house of my own. I love having it in here. I don't play well (I was too hyper to sit down and practice like I should have), but I can pick things out. I have such fond memories of hearing my mom play especially on Sunday mornings as she practiced her pieces for church. It's nice to have a little bit of that at home.

Kevin inherited this roll top desk from his great aunt. He was really close to her and I love that he has this piece of furniture of hers (I also love that I have her treadmill). I find K.C. in here a good bit writing notes to KK and stapling them up and using special markers (those would be the banned Sharpies). I bought the print at the market in Charleston years ago and my granddad framed it for me. I really like the way it looks in this room.

What you aren't seeing is a bookcase full of books.

Come back in a few weeks to see the boys' Clemson room!

Previous Posts:

Monday, June 16, 2014

The one where I prove to you I'm not a daredevil.

As much as I like to think I'm adventurous, I'm not exactly that. Yes, I like spontaneity, I like to push myself to the limit and I'm not scared of too much, but when it comes to certain things, I'm a baby. A big 28 year old baby who could sit in the corner and cry when she's scared to death.

A few weekends ago, we rode to the lake with my sister, her boyfriend and another friend. When we left our house, it was drizzling and then proceeded to rain harder and harder the closer we got to the lake. Surprisingly, when we were about five minutes from the lake, it stopped raining. At this point, Dalton, my sister's boyfriend, had the last laugh.

I love to water ski, but I haven't ever liked to knee board. That said, I don't have skis and we had a knee board and wake board with us, so I knee boarded. Once. I told you I don't really like it. I would've wake boarded, but it was Dalton's and his feet are about 3x the size of mine.

My husband is awesome. Really, he is. He is crazy athletic.

He pretty much just surfed and did tricks on the knee board the whole time.

We stopped by someone's house and hung out on their dock for a bit.

Then, there was this:

A gigantic, at least 12 or 15 foot drop, from the second story of this dock.

Everybody else had fun doing it. I took some cool pictures.

 Then I decided I could do it.

But then I couldn't. The walk of shame.

Don't worry. I'm not that big of a baby. I did jump off the little end of the dock. You know, the maybe 6" in the air part.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Kaden's 4K Year

I can't believe the school year is over. Kaden has been finished with preschool for a few weeks now. He had a wonderful year in 4K and we couldn't be prouder of him!

At the beginning of the school year, sometime during it and at the end, I like to ask the boys questions about school, what they want to be when they grow up and their favorite things at that point in time. It's cool to look back through the same year and cooler to see what changes and what stays the same from year to year.

Here are Kaden's 100th Day of School responses.

Our sweet boy on his last day of 4K!

And here's his first day of school photo. 

We had a fun, fun day celebrating when I picked Kaden and his friend AB up from school on their last day. We went over to a good friend's house for lunch and swimming. After K.C. got out of school, he got to join in the fun as well.

4K was a fun year. Kaden adored his teacher (we did, too!) and had the best friends. 

We went on field trips to the planetarium, a county park, pumpkin patch and a play. 

He got to dress up for Halloween and sing in a Christmas program.

He wore 100 buttons on his shirt for the 100th Day of School and made bunny ears for his Easter program.

During 4K, he played soccer in the fall and spring and his first season of coaches pitch baseball. He made too many cute things to count and grew up so much.

At the end of 4K, this is what he had to say:

Favorite Thing About 4K: All of it!

Favorite Center: Art

Best Friend: Elliot, Gray, Caleb and Matthew

Favorite Color: All of them, but really orange, purple and white for Clemson!

Favorite Sport: Soccer

When I grow up, I want to be: a daddy (be still my heart!)

Favorite Food: Candy and snacks

Favorite Candy: All of them. Reece's Cups.

Favorite Snack: All of them.

Favorite Show: The Magic School Bus

Favorite Book: I have a lot. How to Train a Train

Favorite Bible Story: David and Goliath (Every night that it's his turn to pick, he will, 95% of the time pick this one. The other 5% is usually Daniel in the Lion's Den.)

Favorite Thing to Do: Play with my family

Favorite Game: Mario

Favorite Thing About Myself: My heart.

Baby boy, your heart is my favorite thing about you, too. I love you more than all the stars in the sky.

Monday, June 9, 2014

Catching Up

I'm back! I took a little hiatus over the past two weeks and have hardly opened my computer. It's been good spending extra time with family, thinking, healing, reflecting and praying. I've missed you all though and I can't wait to get caught up on your lives! And a huge thank you for all the emails, comments and texts!


We had a great weekend. I'm particularly enjoying the three-day weekends I have in the summer. It's a definite perk of my job!

On Friday, the boys and I went down to my parents for most of the day. They had a great time playing outside, riding the mule and playing Monopoly. Kaden had a little too much fun and ended up taking almost a two-hour nap!

I'm glad Hot Rod was close because we may have run out of gas!

When we got home Friday night, I cooked dinner and then we played outside. Kaden helped me repot some hibiscus I bought for the front porch and plant some flowers while Kevin and K.C. rode electric scooters.

On Saturday morning, I had a race - the National Trails Day 5K. It was at 8 am, but even at 8, the humidity was through the roof! I feel like I raced worse than I have in a long time, but I was happy with my time (20:24) considering the humidity and my lack of taking a day off before the race. I've gotten in the habit of making Friday my long run days since I'm home, but after the last few races, I've decided to cut down on my miles on Friday. After running four the day before Saturday's race, I've decided that on race weeks, Friday will be my new non-running day. 

I finished as the top female and sixth overall.

After the race, my little ones took a cool down run with me. This picture of Kaden makes my heart smile!

After the race, we went home and played before going to my SIL's to swim all afternoon. I also made K.C.'s footprint. When we were little, my mom did our footprints for our grandparents and she and my dad and I decided to do the same for the boys. Kaden and I did his last week, but K.C. got stung by a wasp and we decided to wait for his. Saturday was the day.

My parents' good friends invited us to go to dinner with them and then back to their house for dessert, so we met my parents, nana and their friends for Mexican. We eat Mexican way too much - I will admit that the amount of Mexican I consumed greatly decreased when Kevin and I started dating because he's not crazy about it. That said, it seems like it's our easy, fast go-to when we can't decide what we want to eat and we're both burned out of it. When we got to my parents' friends' house for dessert, the boys had a blast. They have some wild bunnies that they're trying to get back to health and the boys had fun feeding them with an eye dropped. Kaden also helped Mrs. Maggie make chocolate icing and ice the cupcakes while K.C. played with their dog. It was a fun night!

We taught Sunday school and went to church yesterday morning. We have a joint worship service in the summer which allowed the boys to go to Children's Church. We don't typically attend the service during the time CC is offered during the regular year, so I was happy they got to go to it yesterday. They loved it!

After church, we went to Kevin's parents to celebrate my MIL's birthday. We ate a delicious meal and visited all afternoon. The boys sure did enjoy playing with their cousins.

Last night, Kevin put together the gas grill we got for Christmas. I see barbecue chicken in the near future. The rest of the night, we just relaxed and it was good.