Thursday, November 5, 2015


It's Thursday which means a lot of randomness from me!

We took down all the Halloween this week and replaced it with Thanksgiving. The kids like decorating for holidays (I'm assuming they like it. I like it and make a big deal out of it, so they think it's awesome. Side note = At what point does my making a big deal out of things become things they don't like?). While Kevin was putting our pumpkins and Halloween decorations in the attic and I was putting the Thanksgiving wreath on the door, I gave the boys a few decorations and told them to have fun. Said decorations all ended up on one table. I think it's safe to say our boys don't have a future in interior design.

When is fall weather going to get to SC? My kids are wearing shorts to school today. The high is in the low 80s today and tomorrow. I'm in a sleeveless top for work. It's November 5th. Clearly, something is wrong with this picture. I'm not complaining - in fact, I love warm weather - but seriously, I don't want to be singing Christmas carols in my bathing suit.

I need to break up with Amazon.  I was talking to Kayla earlier today and telling her how I need to quit Amazon. The convenience of ordering whatever I want whenever I want it and having it show up on my doorstep in two days with free shipping thanks to Amazon Prime makes me unable to end my relationship with this mega retailer. 

Is it sad that I sit in my car and read at lunch?  I don't always have time to take a real lunch, but when I do (and I'm not running to Target or Chickfila), I love to sit in my car and read. I secretly look forward to this hour a few times a week.

Bolthouse Farms is my new addiction. Some may choose Starbucks, but I'll almost always choose a green smoothie. I like coffee, but I'm trying to kick the caffeine. I've purchased Daily Greens and Green Goodness this week and I'm addicted to both. I don't know if it's the time change or upping my intake of veggies and fruits, but I feel more energized this week. My skin also feels softer! (And no, this isn't a sponsored post!)

Why is it so hard to decide where to eat? Can you tell I'm hungry? When Kevin and I are going out to eat, we have the toughest time deciding where to go. In his defense, I'm the picky eater. All Japanese, Chinese, and seafood are off the table. I wish there was an easier way to decide. He's pretty mellow about food and I'm pretty not, so it's not very easy. One place we always agree on is Chickfila which means we visit there way more than any sane person should. But it's good! And did you hear, they're introducing new sauces? I'm ready to try the Garlic and Herb Ranch.

What's on your mind this Thursday afternoon?

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Lately, I've been thinking about what makes me feel most productive and like I can accomplish my goals and everything on my to do list all at once. I'm not including spending time with my husband and children because that's a given, but these seven things give me the energy I need to feel like I can take on whatever is thrown at me each day.

1. Time in the Word. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that like me, if you're not spending regular time with God, you know it. One of the best resources available is the First 5 App from Proverbs31 Ministries. I love being served up a quick devotions as I wake up each morning. It starts my day thinking about God and puts me in a good mindset. In addition to a devotional, I also read my Bible each day. Due to the way the morning usually works for me, I do this at night on weekdays, which makes it even nicer to have something like the First 5 App to use every morning.

2. Sweating in the Morning. It should come as no surprise that I like to sweat in the morning. I don't always have time for a long run or gym workout on weekdays, especially if I'm dropping the boys off at school (Kevin and I have mastered the trade off of cooking or dropping off this year!), but I like to squeeze in a quick workout most mornings and always run on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I'd rather sweat it out early and get ready for the day than doing it twice. Of course, it doesn't always happen, and that's ok too, but when I have the option to work out in the morning or after work, morning usually wins.

3. Taking a few minutes for "me" time. I'm not a huge "I need my own time!" person, but I do like being about to have a few minutes of quiet each morning. On an ideal day, I'd wake up before every one else and sit on my favorite couch in our front room and read or prayer journal. There's just something about this time that makes this closet introvert happy.

4. A Fresh Breakfast and Healthy Foods All Day. I have to tell you, Kevin and I have been swapping off taking the kids to school and cooking breakfast this year, and my goodness, has it been nice! He is a great breakfast cook and makes us "special breakfast" when he cooks which consists of bacon or sausage with slightly cooked eggs and homemade grits. I love being able to eat a nutritious breakfast (maybe the grits aren't good for me) before work. I also like to keep healthy foods to snack on throughout the day. Belvita Breakfast Bars and KIND Bars are my favorite.

5. Making Time to Read/Relax/Breathe. One thing that I let slide that I really love is reading. This year, I've made a concerted effort to read more. In fact, I've probably read 15-20 books for fun so far this year. It may not sound like a lot or be as many as I'd like to read, but it sure has been nice. The days I'm able to, I'll sit in my car beneath my favorite shade tree and dig into a book during lunch. I've also tried to read a little bit at home most nights. My current read:

6. Laughter. I love to laugh. I smile all the time and laughing just makes it better. When I'm having fun, I feel good. Who doesn't?

7. Feeling "Put Together" When I Get Ready. Some days, it's easy to just grab a dress that doesn't need ironing and some cute shoes when I get ready, but other days, it's a challenge. (Check out my post on No Repeat November if you haven't read it yet.) I am most productive when I feel best about myself. That means those days I try to squeeze in a few miles on the treadmill, get ready for work, and leave my house in the huge time frame of about 45 minutes are not always my most productive. I try to plan ahead and make sure my clothes are ironed and ready, lunch is packed, and everything I need to take with me is on the counter so when I do run those few miles, I can quickly shower, dry my hair, put on makeup and run (literally) out the door.

What are some things that empower you and make you feel like you can take on the world? I'm always looking for inspiration, so be sure to share!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Life Lately {A Recap of the Past Five Months!}

It's been way too long since I last blogged. I've really missed it. I like writing my thoughts and having the ability to look back on the things we've done. And, I can tell you how hard it is to work on the boys' photo books without a log of good blogging material!

We've done a lot since I last blogged...

We spent a week at the beach in early June with my side of the family.
We had a great time as always. The boys' have gotten even more fearless about the water. The both are able to stand up on boogie boards. I don't know where our little boys went!
This week happened to also be the hottest week of the year. Think temperatures in the low 100's all week. It was hot! We had a great time though!

Kevin and I spent a week in Boston/New England in July.
I'll do a whole post on this later to remember the details. We were in Boston for a conference I attended for work and decided to make a mini vacation out of it as well, so we went up a few days early. We rented a car and drove up to Maine one day. It was beautiful! We watched two Red Sox games (and caught four balls during batting practice), toured Fenway, checked out some lighthouses, walked on some of the Freedom Trail, visited the JFK Presidential Library, and made many memories. It was a great trip!

We celebrated K.C.'s eighth birthday in July (I did blog about this!). 

We spent another week at the beach with Kevin's side of the family in August.
We had another great beach week with Kevin's side of the family in August. It's so nice that we're able to spent a few weeks at the beach in the summer. The kids had a great time with their cousins!

We had lots of Fun Fridays.
We spent our last Fun Friday of the summer in Columbia. I let the boys pick what they wanted to do and they chose to go to the zoo and Hi-Wire. My sister went with us and my SIL met us with her girls. It was fun!

The boys started first and third grades.
So far, so good. Kaden loves school and amazes us each day with how quickly he learns his spelling words. K.C. is in deep now with third grade and is doing well. I just can't believe they're in first and third grades! 

I've run a few races.

We spent the weekend in Clemson with my family for the App State vs. Clemson game.

We had a whole season of soccer.

Kevin and I spent the weekend in Clemson with my sister for the Notre Dame vs. Clemson game. 
We watched in the rain. We were soaked, but it was awesome!

Kevin and I celebrated our third (!) anniversary!

We had a surprise 60th birthday for my dad.
He didn't want to do anything, but we invited about 30 people and rented the patio at his favorite Mexican restaurant. We knew he'd be surprised by keeping it normal. It was fun!

Our church had its annual Fall Festival with 800+ in attendance.

The kids had character spotlights at school. 
K.C. read "Soccer on Sunday" and dressed up like Pele while Kaden read "If You Give a Cat a Cupcake" and was a kitty.

We had an awesome Halloween with our family!

Monday, November 2, 2015

No Repeat November

Last week, I attended a conference for work, and while it really inspired me for my job (and gave me lots of valuable information), it also inspired me for my life.

If you're like me, your days sometimes feel like they're on repeat. If you're like me, you have tons of things you want to accomplish, but you let the every day mundane things get in the way (or serve as an excuse). If you're like me, sometimes you feel like you get in a rut - and for me, that rut is in cooking the same meals and wearing the same clothes.

I recently started reading "the life-changing magic of tidying up" (don't worry, this post isn't intended to stress you out about the copious amounts of stuff you have)  and that plus the conference I attended made me start thinking and ultimately, led me to give myself a self-imposed "No Repeat November."

During the month of November, I am not going to repeat an outfit or a full meal that I cook (dinner). I'm embarrassed to show you my closet (I just may during my challenge) because it's overflowing with clothes, many of them hanging nicely on wooden hangers waiting to be worn. I'm also embarrassed to show you my collection of cookbooks and Pinterest recipes because as much as I enjoy pinning recipes, it's rare that I try something new.

Who's with me in this quest to do not repeat outfits or food in November? I plan to check in with weekly updates on the blog as well as Instagram (thethingsimlearning). Now excuse me while I try to find something to cook tonight!