Sunday, May 31, 2015

Practicing Gratitude When Stressed to the Max

Those who know me know that I'm good at doing the organizational things and the planning things. And those who know me know to watch out when the organizing and the planning are so not going the way that was, well, planned...

Lately, nothing is going quite the way we planned. But, my awesome husband does try to keep it in perspective letting me know that everything will work out the way it is supposed to and that it is all going to be fine. And, drives me crazy. But, I know he is right.

I mean, really, though. We were (in my mind) supposed to be in our new home by now. I could be getting the nursery together for Aria...instead of shoving the Land of Nod and Pottery Barn Kids boxes from my favorite brown truck into Austin's closet... I could be working on the cooking and new routines and the things I need to be doing with our new home... But, no. We are still here. I am 1.5 weeks from being in the 3rd trimester and we mamas ALL know what that means.... the movement will become highly limited ( if it hasn't already....) and the complaining will become more and more. It's true... You know it.

Which is why reading this post and this book helped me a tad. Yes, just a tad. So? It's a start. But that's what I need at the moment, I guess. A start to something. I mean with all of the massive life changes that are going to start at some point (moving, rising kindergartner, and 4th baby), having something to start works for me.

So here we go. The idea is to just write down three things you are grateful for each day this week. Ready?


The current bunch of Pace High School Graduates! Christopher (2014), James (2007), Brendan (2015), me (2003), and Jason (2003)
1. Hanging out with my brothers this weekend was super fun! I heard way too many verses of that obnoxious Frozen song "Let it go" which was quite ironic since I need to do that (and yes...all brothers...most graduated from high school, in high school, or headed to high school) (and Jason was also all about getting in on the Frozen madness).

2. My mom and dad! They are pretty cool, you know.

3. My parent's pool. It was hot. I was hot. 'Nuff said.


1. Volume-limiting headphones for kids. Thank you. (we have this kind - no matter how loud they turn it up, they wont actually make it any louder).

2. Sorta Awesome Podcast. Traffic was terrible and it was raining. Listening to Meghan and her guests during my turn to drive made it so much better.

3. My cocoon. Allow me to explain a bit. So, our bed... Jason hates it. I love it. I love it so much that there is a major dip in the bed where I apparently curl up in a ball while I sleep. I call it my cocoon and it makes me happy. I slept all night...minus the 2nd trimester middle of the night for no reason at all bathroom breaks... (I force myself to stop drinking anything after a certain what the heck, man?!)


1. My awesome husband.... We had a bit of an issue in the Costco parking lot with a certain boy of mine who claimed he went to the bathroom before leaving the house... I haven't decided if that is really all that true. However, I'm not going into details... All I will say is that this involves a missed cup. Boy Child said RIGHT NOW so fine! But, OH. For crying out freaking loud... REALLY?! There are just no words. Anyway, Jason is amazing and knows exactly when I need him. He came home just as we got the groceries in the house and things were calm once more. Do you know what he did? He basically detailed my van. He scrubbed, vacuumed, wiped down, etc my van. I love him.

2. Mom's night out!!! Tonight!!! I  love my friends.

3. Coming home to a quiet house because all are asleep.


1. This post for our current stage of life is helping a lot. I love lists and marking things off of lists. It's so bad that I will write stuff down I already did just so I have the joy of crossing it off. I know...

2. My boys laughter. It's a great sound.

3. Running a tight ship around here... Really. We got a call (with apology added) to show the house in 30 minutes. Done. Maybe they will buy it. I have not said no to anyone thus far... Anyway, TV went off and it was full-scale clean-up extravaganza. I have never seen the boys clean up so fast (and darn near perfect). It was amazing! Go them!


1. Having a clean house in the morning for a showing in the evening is a wonderful thing. All I had to do was tidy bathrooms, swiffer, and vacuum. Score.

2. Happy children. All day. It was glorious.

3. We went to a super fun event at one of our libraries we love while a showing was taking place. This was the Summer Reading Kick-Off Event. It was great!! The boys LOVED that they got to test their super hero super powers and be rewarded with a sup sidekick in the end. It was great! So glad we went! (Bonus: It was free!!)

Getting their Super Hero masks decorated before the training starts


1. Coloring books and stickers. For real. I love that they love this stuff. It really comes in handy for the nights that sleep just isn't in the cards for me.

2. Awesome books from the library are always a win-win.

3. Awesome friends that totally understand the madness that is going on! You know who you are - thanks!!


1. Habits. Yep, I'm thankful for habits. Good ones, anyway. We had another showing and everyone worked together and happily getting stuff taken care of around the house.

2. My big boys who understand that their mama is a few marbles short these days. We headed out due to said showing on our way to the McWane Center.... Only... We couldn't go because I left my pass and license at the house. Oops. After about 20 different ways to say "I'm sorry" and a promise to go on Sunday (since we have an Open House tomorrow), they were fine and said it was ok. Oh, and they would like to have lunch at Moe's.

3. This challenge. I think doing this challenge opened my eyes a bit more and made me see the things that matter, the things I can't do a thing about, and things that I can change.I might keep up with this little challenge. Maybe not every day, but maybe I will share the top things I'm thankful for each week.

So, what are y'all thankful for this week? 

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Some Pics from McWane (Our New Hangout)

Last week we hit up the McWane Science Center three times. In a week. That is normally what we do in about a month. I'm telling y'all McWane has done an excellent job with their Itty Bitty magic City. it is just way too cool. Here are some pics from the last two days we played around.

Alex the mechanic. Oh, wait... He called himself the Race Car Fixer. So cute!

Austin playing with the ball chutes. I think this may be his favorite area.

Chef Alex

Austin playing at the Pet Hospital checking out one of the puppies...which he would not let go of for a good while.

Austin at another spot in the water area.

Austin is pretty serious about getting ALL the balls he can find into the chutes.
Fireman Alex and his Dalmatian (brought over by Austin from the Pet Hospital)

Alex....always running!

Austin loves building towers in this special area for littles 2 years old and younger.

Austin very excited about seeing more blocks to climb in and over and under!

Austin and the blocks with a pretty view of the city trees

And, finally, all 3 find themselves together building something.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Currently. {Vol. 3}

Enjoying: The cuteness factor of the bond between brothers!

Alex isn't a huge fan of trains, but he definitely needs to be in on all the action... Especially when Andrew is picking out every one's trains. Also Austin is learning all kinds of word these days about the world of trains: train, track, chug-chug, choo-choo, car, wheel, etc. It is super cute!

Loving: The awesomeness of the McWane Center.

Y'all. For real. You just don't even know how extremely happy the moms are to have this Itty Bitty Magic City within the McWane Center. The Stroller Parking in a cute "parking lot" is adorable. The GATED ENTRY with a sign that not only clearly states "kindergarten and under ONLY" but with a McWane employee manning the gate?!?! HELLO. This place is at a whole new level of awesome. Really and truly, there are not enough words to explain how happy we mamas of little ones are. You could see it on all of the mamas faces. Andrew and Alex could run around and play their little hearts out without me constantly saying something about running off and not being able to see them. There is even a spot where Austin could play that is for 2 year old and younger. Seriously, y'all. This place really is "magic" and we are thrilled!

Planning: Something. I'm always planning something. For now it is just baby stuff.

It's all I can do really... Until we are actually moving for real there isn't anything I can do. And that may be what is slowly killing me. Having a true panic attack on a daily basis can't be good. Maybe I should plan how to stop those before they start. Suggestions are highly welcomed. But not the fluffy bologna, please. Much thanks.

Feeling: Unbelievably stressed out to the max. I'm sure there is another word for it...

However, due to some recent feedback... Maybe our luck is about to change. Oh, don't worry though. I'm no longer giving my hopes up or anything. I might give myself a little gift when this junk is over.

Alex & Ani "It Is What It Is"

I mean really. It is my current motto. It is perfect.

Making: Everyone crazy? Kidding. Though I probably am...

We did make up a fabulous play date for all the Moms & Tots though! Good times!

It was a perfect day for our bubble fun, too. The sun wasn't beaming down on us due to the threat of spring showers that never showed up. It was great! The kids all had a great time. My lame joke was that since it was my last year as Mom & Tots Coordinator for our Guild at OLS, that I was "popping out of here!" Haha, I know. We all had a great time!! And, I know that our next mama to take over is going to great!!

Listening: Some serious Lego building is going on in the kitchen.

I found a small, manageable box of Legos for while we are in the "oh, my gosh! the house must stay perfect all the time!" stage. And, yeah. They are of course loving every piece. It is just cracking me up while I'm typing. I can hear Alex telling Andrew to "put that wreckin' ball down before I get mad!" and Andrew is saying something about "those pieces are for his creation that his wreckin' ball will never touch. ever!" See? Serious building. No joking.

Reading: A whole mess of books. I have issues. As clearly stated.

Ok, before you gasp at the MASSIVE size of The Goldfinch... That is in large print. It was the only one I could put on hold for some reason. But, I wanted to read it. So, there you go. One massive book. I also have Gone, The Sandcastle Girls, and In Sunlight and In Shadow in that stack. The kindle has about 3 books in the works right now, too: A Mother's Rule of Life (for the 2nd time. It's really good when you are losing your mind...), Love the Home You Have (because I am losing my mind with selling the current home), and Far from the Madding Crowd (which is slow going...not sure if I am a fan yet...).

Watching: Sadly nothing... My show just ended and won't return until October!!! NOT FAIR, CW!!! October is TOO FAR AWAY!!! It's the only show I watch. The only one where no one is allowed to call, text, email, anything while it is on. I'm so sad... I know...

I might watch The White Queen on Amazon Prime, but I don't know. Maybe I'll back up my historical fiction and watch The Tudors again. Or maybe Vikings or Rome. We only have Amazon Prime for now... so no Game of Thrones for now.

I'm hoping that I get to watch Jason and a bunch of awesome friend fill up a moving truck soon more than anything though....

For now, we will just keep moving our pieces around the board.

From Instagram: Andrew: "I got mmmmmolasses...yeah..." Alex: "GOATS!!!! YES!!!!"


Friday, May 15, 2015

One Pot Recipes Happening Soon

I love, love, love to cook. And, I love getting my kitchen messy. I'm not a big fan of the clean-up, but one cannot have everything. So sometimes using just the one pot a few days out of the month makes up for the kitchen chaos.

With summer pretty much already here in the Gorgeous South, I thought I'd share some one pot recipes that look quite tasty that I plan on making in the coming weeks.


Low Country Boil
Um, yes please! Buckets of seafood? WHO is going to say no to that? This is something I really plan on doing as a "YAY! We are FINALLY at our new house!!!" Of course, we have no idea on God's green earth that will be because apparently there are some picky, picky buyers out there... Also, as I am writing this Andrew peeks at what I'm up to and say, "WHOA! Look all that yummy, yummy shrimp!!! Is that dinner tonight?!" Oh, sugar, I wish! But, this mama is in serious need of a Costco run...

One Pot Mexican Rice Casserole
You know that when you think of summer you totally think of sippin' some margaritas by the pool, right? Well, ok...mine will be served at the end of summer, but still. Margaritas = Mexican goodness. So, yes! This recipe is definitely on the list!

Another awesome-looking recipe that I can't wait to try is this Tex Mex Chicken and Zucchini. It is just so pretty and colorful, y'all! I may have to put the cheese on the side and let everyone add their own on top. The boys seem to be all about that anyway. Plus this dish starts getting us back to the farmers markets with that yummy zucchini.

One Pot Zucchini and Mushroom Pasta
Ok, now that just looks like summer in a pot with all the green. And, see? More use out of all that zucchini I'll be buying soon!

Summer Vegetables with Sausage and Potatoes

While we are shopping those fabulous markets, I'll be sure to grab these ingredients for this dish. This one just looks like fun. Plus, I'm sure that my Sous Chef-in-Training would love to help me out with this recipe!


Now to figures out dinner for tonight! Have a fabulous weekend!!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Huntsville Botanical Gardens

Let me start this post off by saying that we are SO EXCITED that Jason's cousin, Nick, and his sweet family have moved to Tennessee!! It was so great to be able to meet up in the middle and visit Diana and the boys!! Us girls had a great time and all the boys, of course, had a blast!!

This past Monday, we met up at the Huntsville Botanical Gardens. And, wow! I have never been here before, but wow!! Now, I love our local gardens, of course. But, this place is FAR better (sorry, but true!). The paths are mostly paved and you can get to everything...with a stroller. Hello?! Why can't ours figure out that this is a major necessity for mamas of many? It was awesome. Lots of shade, yet lots of sunny areas. A bunch of stuff for the kids to do - whether they wish to stay dry or get completely soaked! It is a fabulous place.

Here are some photos from our day together. Enjoy!!

Thanks, Diana, for getting this pic! I'm not sure how many you took to make it happen, but it is a winner!
One of many Water Rock Gardens

Lego Race Track - they all loved this one. We had to almost drag some of them away LOL

Alex loving the giant chair, yet wishing it was green... 
Andrew perfectly fine with it being a wonderful shade of blue!

Austin thought the Sunflower Maze was pretty cool. You can move the leaves around any which way to make it work for you.

Alex (4) and Cole (5) hanging out in one of a few of the tree houses. These were pretty cool.

Andrew thought the lookout was the best! He asked if we can make a tree house camp ground place just for kids at the new house. Sure!!

One of a few Lego sculptures we found. I think we only came across 2 out of the 12 or so that were there. There was just so much to do and see! We have to go back!

The Rocket Garden within the Children's Garden. This thing was crazy! Alex pushed the button and water shot out all over Cole! They all thought it was hilarious! Silly boys!!

Cole (left) and Alex stopping for a pic while Andrew, Austin, and I backtrack on a hunt for the lost water bottle. No worries! We found it! Whew!

The Gardens Railway

The "tail end" to a fabulous day! Haha!

It was so much fun! Can't wait to get together again! 

Great Mamas Think Alike

So, my mom came up last week (or maybe the one before? prego brain...) and gave me a really pretty set of serving bowls to go with a few other awesome pieces she has given me for past occasions. I finally got to use them this past Saturday. Love them!!

The best part...

Yes!! The top left photo is at my house in Alabama. The top right photo is at her house in Florida.

We had the SAME dinner on the SAME day using the SAME (ok fine...same pattern, different colors) awesome serving pieces and didn't even plan it! HA!

And, yes. I sent that photo on the bottom to all of my little brothers. Boom.

Happy Mother's Day to all you legends out there!

Side story:

Mom told me to tell Andrew that she was having Salsa Saturday, too. He told me to tell her, "No, Grandma. It's Taco Tuesday (long pause) on a Saturday!"

Love that kid! 


Monday, May 11, 2015

Bubbles & Ice Cream

The house selling/buying/moving madness is getting to me, y'all.  We needed a serious change. So, I changed up the way our routine was running around here, which I will share after a bit (to see if it is working out a bit better). 

On our first day of a routine change, I had a surprise for the boys. I had to run out to Target (had...hahahaha. Oh. I HAD to... Trust me.) to get out bubble party supplies for our Moms & Tots end-of-the-year extravaganza thing. Well, while I was there I went ahead and also grabbed a few things that I am adding into our days. And, while we all know bubbles and kids are one awesome mix. Bubble blasters are even better!!
Stick 'em up. You're about to get bubble blasted!

Austin wasn't too sure on how to use his blaster, but he definitely knew how to pop the bubbles!

"I'm practicing to get the alien, mama."


When did he turn into a big boy??

"Stop, citizen!"

I'm not entirely sure on the whole alien shooting thing... But, they have gotten into Transformers Rescue Bots, so that must be it. I don't know. All I care about is them having fun and playing nice!

Of course, after a couple of hours and 3 refills to the bubble bowl, they were ready to cool off and come inside. And, what better way to cool off than with ice cream cones!? Love these guys!!


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