Juggling Act Lately

13 10 2015

Maybe it’s life with two who are getting just a little older, maybe it’s just the busy-ness of fun fall activities, but we have been go-go-go lately, with sickness to boot. So yes, this blog post is all over the place, too. Just like my thoughts these days.


On the homefront, the children’s clothing app where I sell my kids’ outgrown clothing featured my shop last week (yay!), so I gained about 250 new followers and had lots and lots of sales! A lot to manage, even with a shipping scale at home. My friend’s shop was also featured, so we teamed up to do a giveaway, which brought in a lot more followers and sales. I’ve been busy packaging up items to send to sweet little fellas all over the country!

My husband has also been diligent with his business, participating in lots of fall craft shows and sales, so he’s usually off doing that in the wee hours of the morning, when he’s not running. It works out well when the baby is up with teething pains from 3-6 AM each day after nursing with me all night.

My family attempted our first mini photo session with a professional photographer, which went by too quickly for my liking, so we hung around the farm an extra 2 hours so that I could take more photos of my own at our own pace and more my style – less props, more letting the kids play while I followed them around. The day was gorgeous, and the setting was breathtaking. I spent forever trying to coordinate outfits for 4 different people and finally went to Target the night before to purchase some last-minute items, another reason I wanted to take pictures while we were all dressed at the same time!



Our neighbors hosted an Octoberfest celebration for the neighborhood after we got home from pictures, so we stopped by and met some new faces.


We recently had a hurricane, and my yard flooded – we were so fortunate that the only thing we lost was our garden, which was nearing the end of its season, anyway.


E’s curly red hair was really starting to look completely unkempt, so I attempted to cut it but am not sure if I made it better or worse. I finally got mine cut, too, by someone legit.


We took our son to his 12-month “well-baby” checkup Monday, but he was actually very sick.  The doctor was concerned that he might have pneumonia because of the way his voice was catching when he breathed, but she monitored him for 3 hours and determined it was more likely an ear infection and upper respiratory infection, topped off with a 103.6 fever that is STILL going strong at over 103 even tonight.


Parent-teacher conferences at the boys’ preschool are tomorrow. plus we have all kinds of appointments in the next week – eye doctor, dentist, chiropractor, the works – and a new friend from church (whom we’ve never met) is coming over Friday to learn more about cloth diapers. I’m exhausted just thinking about getting everyone where they need to be while still putting in all my hours at work. On top of it all, I’m sick, too and barely have any voice left for teaching! I’m sure my immune system is down – I blame severe lack of sleep, a lotta nursing, a whole lotta coffee, not enough water, and not enough time to eat real meals today. I’ve been putting lemon EOs in my water and using Thieves EO for my whole family.


At work

My husband and I are missing all kinds of work this week – I took off early Monday for the baby’s well visit, took a half day today for our preschooler’s field trip, and I will miss again tomorrow to stay home with our sick baby. Meanwhile, my husband already has missed two days of work being at home with him this week.

My school has had some festive fall programs in the evenings. Last week (before all this sickness!), our family literacy night was a huge success. Students came and picked up a free bagged dinner, which they ate on blankets while visiting 4 different storytelling tents. Afterward, they attended an assembly while their parents attended a workshop, then came back together again to pick up free books and make s’mores over fire pits. Afterward, they viewed Saturn through a telescope! The literacy night inspired me to take my family to a seasonal book fair, but I was too sick to walk around, so we didn’t stay long.


Tonight was also my school’s Spirit Night at Chick-fil-a, so I just got home from facepainting for 2 hours.


I have so many posts I want to write about – hopefully they’ll come soon! Blogging has just not been a priority lately:

  • My latest Stitch Fix.


But instead, I think I’ll go fill my empty tank with food, infused EO water, and what bit of sleep I can catch before someone wakes up crying or needing their next dose of meds!


Five on Friday

20 03 2015

Linking up for Five on Friday with DarciChristinaApril, and Natasha, and oh hey, Friday with Karli and Amy.

one | We spent time with friends this weekend, and had the most gorgeous scenic drive to their house!

IMG_2061 two | We took a second road trip to my in-laws’ to work on plans for an upcoming bridal shower. While we were there, we scoped out the next big DIY project on our plates… or should I say, under them.


My in-laws live near a Trader Joe’s, so I picked up some treats for my coworkers after we finally submitted the yearbook we designed!


three | St. Patrick’s Day was a fun day to dress up and reminisce about the time I spent gallivanting around Ireland with my college roomie.


That same day, I dropped off 115 baby items to sell at a local kids’ consignment sale that sets up shop twice a year. While out and about, I redeemed some freebies at the mall and tried on a few jackets for spring. (I was taking pictures to compare jackets from 3 different stores – I don’t usually take mirror selfies!) It was sooo weird to be shopping sans kids, like a dream. I would have pinched myself, but I was wearing green.


four | School pictures came back! While I only bought their class group photos and none of the ones pictured below, a couple of their poses were cute!



five | As Sage gets old enough to really interact more and more with his big brother, I’m so grateful that I wanted them close together in age. I love that E loves having a baby brother.


Five on Friday

6 11 2014

Linking up EARLY for Five on Friday with DarciChristinaApril, and Natasha, and oh hey, Friday with Karli and Amy. Also with Hodges Podges, and Friday Blog Hop.

one | This week, with my newborn and potty-training-two-year-old in tow, I drove out-of-state my sister’s house for a quick overnight visit. While we were there, she did a newborn photo session with my little one. It was so priceless to see her and her kids play with my babies! I wish more than anything that we lived closer. Next time, though, I’m not making the 5-hour drive without my husband! It was so heartbreaking frustrating when my 5-week-old was squalling in the backseat while we were stuck in bumper-to-bumper accident-caused traffic in the dark of night/middle-of-nowhere while my toddler was wailing that he’s gotten his hand stuck in something and we still had an hour to go before home!



two | I’ve been chipping away at Jodi Picoult’s new book, Leaving Time, which I reserved at the library before it was officially released. It’s SO well-written! And yay – it’s finally flannel sheets season! – a Target Black Friday deal last year.


three | E had his first *official* visit to the pediatric dentist this week (at 28 months) – even though he went over the summer after chipping his front teeth on a trampoline. The dentist filed down the chipped teeth, gave him a fluoride varnish, scraped away some calcium build-up, and gave him a certificate for the “No Cavity Kids Club.” He loved the train table in the waiting room so much that we spent an extra hour playing there afterwards. The whole practice is train-themed – he even received sunglasses to wear during the appointment and a boarding pass that held the date and time of his next visit.



four | While at my sister’s, E slept in a big-kid bed and did surprisingly well! He attempted a lot more stalling and only fell out once, but I think the transition from crib-to-bed won’t be so difficult after all! And yes, those are Christmas PJs. Most of his PJs right now are Christmas-y, and I searched way too far and wide for these specific Hanna Andersson Christmas jammies to let them just hang in his closet!

IMG_9463 IMG_9464

five | 

At five weeks, my baby boy gave us his first genuine, alert smile – directed at his big brother! I was SO happy to catch the exchange on camera. And just for good measure, I’ll throw in an earlier REM-sleep smile I snagged. 🙂


^This is what maternity leave is all about^

Looking forward to the weekend – my little peach is turning SIX WEEKS OLD which means his momma is allowed to run again! And with 9 more pregnancy pounds to lose and a race coming up in ONE MONTH, it’s time to start training! And I can’t believe that if I weren’t taking my full maternity leave, I’d be going back to work on Monday!

{Five on Friday: Roadtrip Edition}

31 10 2013

Linking up with Darci and friends for {Five on Friday: Roadtrip Edition}. On Sunday, we headed from North Carolina to Virginia after a fabulous fall photo shoot with my sister! Here are a few favorite moments she captured!




And now… my Five!


5onF one


On the way home, we stopped at our church’s fall festival, complete with train rides, an indoor circus, bounce houses, trunk-or-treating, costumes, and balloons! Our pastor gave our mini kangaroo four balloons, and E was happy for the rest of the night! He was so proud of them; he carried the whole bunch onto the little train ride! Who needs candy??


5onF two


(And speaking of candy, my 15-month-old LOVED EVERY BIT of trick-or-treating last night. He loved walking up to the porches, banging on the doors, and inviting himself inside to play with whatever was in sight! As far as the candy element, he would hold tightly onto one piece of candy at a time, and at each different house, he’d take a new piece and leave his candy from the previous house in their basket. So even though we circled our entire neighborhood, he only came home with a few pieces of candy in his kangaroo pouch, after lots and lots of trade-outs!)


5onF three


My little brother called me while we were driving (on his birthday) to tell me that he got engaged! We are so excited for them!! They are an adorable couple, and my little brother has always been one of my very best friends. I just love his proposal story, his fiancée, and the beautiful ring he picked out! Good job, little brother! And he has real-time pictures of his engagement!


5onF four


We pulled over at an elementary school for a quick diaper change, and E spotted a playground across the field and fixated on it – why not? We all played for 30 minutes. (P.S., I’m still an Ace at monkey bars!) E loved walking up and down the steps and going down the slides. It was a much-needed stretch break for all of us!


5onFri five


We had our first two geocaching experiences during our roadtrip, and I think we’re hooked! My nephew told us all about his adventures in geocaching during our visit, so we had to try it for ourselves! There is a secret world out there, people! I’ve since realized that there are two hidden near my school and another one within walking distance of my house! I’ll just have to be stealth and watch out for muggles. Want to try geocaching for yourself?

A Toddler’s Lens

27 10 2013

On Friday, we headed down to NC to spend the weekend with my sister and her family. I love spending time with them and wish we lived closer! The drive took longer than expected. For several days before the trip, my tire pressure light had been on, but it did the same thing last fall when the temperature dropped suddenly like it did this week. My hubby asked me about it when we were about halfway to NC and it had returned, and I waved it off, saying it had been on for a few days now because of the cold weather. He pulled into the nearest Sheetz and within seconds, let me know he found a screw wedged into my front tire. Whoops.  He was so incredibly sweet about it. We were able to patch it and continue on our way.


We finally arrived around 11, and E was so excited to see all the toys at my sister’s house!


Saturday, we gobbled up cinnamon buns, then headed to the mall while my sister’s family did the Color Me Rad 5k. We’d already done that race when I was 8 months pregnant, so we decided to bow out this time, especially since we were headed out for fall pictures with my sister that evening and didn’t want to be stained in colored cornstarch! We had so much fun playing and watching E ham it up for her camera.

NC Fall 2013

E did such a great job, and the sun behaved as well, presenting a gorgeous evening backdrop. Here’s a sneak preview!

NC Fall 2013



Photo credits to my sweet sister 🙂

E got to spend special time with each cousin this weekend!

Playing drums with cousin K:


Bedtime stories with cousin E:


Nursery time in the movie theatre with cousin A:


On Sunday, I woke up super early with E, then headed out for a long run before church. The combo of cold-weather running, a hot shower, no time for coffee, and standing to sing to the pulse of worship music made me feel like the movie theatre was spinning and my heart was racing, so we opted to spend the time hanging out in the nursery and playing with E instead. My sweet sister had to perform the Heimlich when E was choking on too many animal crackers — scary!! Did I mention she’s amazing??

He was so cute when he saw me holding a 4-month-old. He kept bringing things to the little baby and trying to put the baby’s paci in his mouth. Precious!

Our ride home was WAY more eventful even than the ride down, but those adventures shall be saved for my next post….!!

{Five on Friday}

25 10 2013

Today is a half-day at work, since I was there 13 hours yesterday, then my family is heading south (again!) for our fall photoshoot! So excited to spend the weekend with my sister and her family. We live way too far away from each other – something needs to be done about this!! I’m hoping the fall colors will be perfect for pictures. Now time to link up with Darci for my {Five on Friday}!




I am so ecstatic that I finished my 5th half marathon this past weekend and ran the whole 13.1 miles without stopping! I traveled to Myrtle Beach, SC for a girls’ weekend with three other teachers to do the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon, and we had so much fun! It was hard to leave my 15-month-old for the first time EVER, especially for 3 nights! Read about our trip here! I still cannot believe we did it!




While I was on the girls’ trip, my husband took our son camping with his family! The fall colors looked amazing! I sooo want to go back with them next year! Personalized white hoodie and photo credit both go to one of E’s sweet grandmas, “NanaPops!”



Pumpkin bread! I love reading everyone’s Five on Friday posts and coming across new blogs! They give me lots of fun inspiration, encouragement, and ideas – like a personalized Pinterest! I found this easy 2-ingredient pumpkin bread recipe on Christina’s Carolina Charm blog and it was SUPER easy. Open, open, pour, pour, mix, bake. SIMPLE. I made it Monday night after returning from being away for 4 days and had a million other things to do. Next time, I’ll use eggs, since it was pretty crumbly! I left my camera at work last night, so I can’t upload the picture! But I did come home to a clean house, a toddler in his jammies fresh from his bath, and hubby baking 3 loaves of banana bread!


Pile of multicolored mixed casual clothes on white background.


I found a tip for curly hair in Redbook magazine this week (thank you, RunDisney, for sending me a free subscription after I ran the Disney Princess Half Marathon!). Instead of using a towel to dry my hair, it suggested using a t-shirt. This is supposed to cut down on static/friction and keep my curls smooth instead of frizzy. I’ve tried it for 2 weeks now, using t-shirts turned inside-out, and I do notice a difference! My curls definitely feel smoother! {Photo credit}




My son’s school had a Chick-fil-a Spirit Night recently, where I picked up an empty shoebox to fill for Operation Christmas Child. I am already loving filling the box! If you’ve done this before, what do you like to include in your box? {Photo credit}

Happy Friday!

{Five on Friday}

27 09 2013

Woohoo! Today marks my 50th blog post! (Lots are completed drafts in the queue, waiting to be published…!)

Linking up with The Good Life Blog and her friends for Five on Friday! I’ve enjoyed visiting others’ posts on these link-up days – they give me great encouragement and inspiration throughout the week! Thanks for stopping by my little link today!


I am seriously considering starting the Girls on the Run program for girls in grades 3-5 at the school where I’m a School Counselor! So if you’ve been a part of it (ERIN!), I’ll take any feedback I can get! I am so blessed that when I sent out a poll to just a handful of the teachers and a parent in my school, a bunch replied immediately, wanting to help out! Several years ago, I co-wrote a grant to start this, but didn’t get it. I’ve been praying about a way I can give back. Maybe this is it?? I’m amazed at the tremendous support I’ve received just in the last couple days thinking about it.



I made two visits this week to the place my little brother and I jokingly refer to as “Panera’s.” On the first visit, my husband and I took our 14-month-old and treated my little brother, who was in town visiting, using a giftcard from our new church. I was in awe at the children’s play area, though we didn’t partake this time. I went back the next day to redeem my receipt freebie and was very satisfied with my huge iced Caramel Latte (totally free!). And holy moly that straw could accommodate some viscosity. Nothing was getting jammed in that bad boy.

Panera 2

Panera 1


My school participated in “See You at the Pole” on Wednesday. It took a little extra effort to drop my son off at daycare earlier than normal, but it was worth it as we all prayed for our school community. This is a student-led annual initiative.

See You at the Pole


Remember last week when I said it was School Picture Day for my 14-month-old’s school? Here are the results! Since we’re allowed to keep the proofs, I’m putting them in the baby book for sure! We thought “2013 Proof” would make a good street name:

School Picture Day


Lately there have been lots of signs that my baby (pictured above) is a toddler and not so much a baby anymore! He’s solidly in size 18-month clothes (and has been since the spring!) and wearing size 5 shoes. On Wednesday evening, he chased the big kids all over the neighborhood (after feeding himself tuna casserole for dinner), wanting so badly to keep up with them, hug them, and wave “hi” and “bye bye” to them. I love how they (very gently) dote on him. I told him to ask Daddy if we could go on walk, and he walked over and said “Go, go, go!” to him. I asked him to bring me his favorite book, Peedie, off his shelf, and he plunked the exact book right off the shelf, among (hundreds?) of other books. He reaches up and takes things off of shelves and tables that he could never reach before. He can flip through a photo album and identify (some) family members by name. He even pooped once in the potty! (He was going in the bathtub and we pulled him out just in time for him to finish his business while sitting on the potty!) This isn’t a process we’re starting yet, however. But he’s also still my little baby – nursing when he wakes up, when we get home, and at bedtime. He loves to curl up with me, bringing me books from his shelf and plopping himself into my lap with them. His Wubbanub pacifier remains his very best friend, probably tied with our dog. Love this kid so much!

Happy Friday/Happy Weekend!

{five on friday!}

20 09 2013

Linking up with Darci et al. from The Good Life Blog for 5 on Friday! This week’s post is brought to you by the letter “S,” in honor of September! Thanks for stopping by!

{one: sunset}

I drove over the mountain in awe of this divine masterpiece the other day:


{two: spine}

On Tuesday, I headed back over the mountain again for my regular chiropractor appointment. My hubby offered to handle a major all-day vet appointment for our Jack Russell Terrier and the dropoff/pickup of our toddler from school so that I could go solo. The therapy session was incredibly relaxing (it isn’t always), and my doc got a fancy new table for adjustments. It felt like a plush wave machine… I was stretched and rolled without any harsh manipulations, although I tend to like those. And true to my word, I did not tell him about my recent participation in the Super Spartan race.

Friday 2

{three: school picture day}

Thursday was School Picture Day for my son! I just thought the whole concept was  so cute. He only just turned 1 and they’ve already had Dinosaur Day, 2 class birthday parties, and Picture Day! The director said he took his photos very seriously, which probably means he’ll need a retake next week for not smiling. We get the proofs later today!

school picture day 1

{four: snake}

This little guy (pictured below, not above!) was born in one of the classrooms at my school. Under a teacher’s desk, I do believe. And not as part of a science lesson. I work in a very, very rural pod school. The kind where groundhogs have tea parties outside your classroom and mice fall from ceiling tiles.  If you don’t like snakes, I suppose you’ll be relieved to hear that he was accidentally eaten by someone’s cat later the same day, although it saddens me to think of it. Poor little ring neck!


{five: spaghetti variation}

I’ve never liked spaghetti, but I did make this variation on spaghetti this week called braided spaghetti bread. I’ve made it a few times now, and it never disappoints! It’s very easy and is such a warm, cheesy comfort food – an Italian dinner all in one bite! Even my toddler loved it! I rolled out 16 thawed Rhodes dinner rolls after kneading them together, then filled the dough with spaghetti, sauce, and mozzarella cheese. I cut and braided the side pieces of the dough and and brushed the whole thing with a mixture of egg white, parmesan, and parsley. One of my family’s favorites! We’ll enjoy it again tonight before our long training runs tomorrow.

braided spaghetti bread

braided spaghetti bread 2

I hope you have a wonderful, blessed weekend!

My Turn Monday!

5 08 2013

So, sticking to our new dinner schedule, it was my turn to cook tonight! I found these recipes on Pinterest. Pinterest seems to be the only way to motivate me to cook, because there are a million ideas out there, and it makes cooking feel more-artsy/less-mundane.

Hummus Melts: I decided to substitute hummus we already had at home when I saw how much tahini costs, and my recipe only called for one tablespoon of the stuff. Also, I feel like hummus can be hit or miss with the taste, and I like the kind we snack on (Sabra, all flavors).

Zucchini Side

First, I prepped the zucchini side dish (zucchini, olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, salt, pepper, and mozzarella cheese) and baked it, adding basil to the recipe:



And while they were baking, I prepped the Hummus Melts (whole-wheat English muffins, hummus, olive oil, baby spinach, garlic, shredded parmesan and mozzarella cheese).


Then I broiled them. I flipped the oven light on so that I could watch them, and my son practically had his face against the glass, looking in the oven at the melts. (Mom Fail #1). And then after about 60 seconds, for NO REASON, smoke started rolling out of the oven vent on the stovetop, which, until tonight, I didn’t even know existed. (Mom Fails #2 and 3). I felt like I was doing some sort of fireman’s carry as I whisked him away from the oven! But luckily, everything was fine.

IMG_2532The hummus melts were pretty good, but this is probably a recipe I won’t keep. I’m still learning to like hummus, and I like it better on pita chips – it was a bit thick on the melts. My 13-month-old liked the baked zucchini and the cheesy spinach topping on the melts (he actually likes hummus, too!). After dinner, I still had time before the Bachelorette finale :::hangs head in shame:::, so I threw together a Tastefully Simple brownie mix one of my awesome students gave me at the end of the school year:

I think I’m actually gonna like this new routine! 🙂

And a peek at the photo shoot I did with my toddler this morning, as I try to cram in so much in this last week of summer before work starts again! His personality has just EXPLODED this summer, and I’ve loved every minute of getting to know my sweet baby as a toddler now:

IMG_2418 edit

IMG_2443 edit

IMG_2477 edit

IMG_2506 edit{He’s still my little baby.}