Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Life Lately: October!!



We took the kids to Oktoberfest in our hometown. Its always lots of fun but I'm always surprised how quickly you can drop soo much money! The girls rode rides... Brooke even convinved Rachel to try some of the "scarier" rides this year. Caleb doesn't do rides. He doesn't like getting dizzy or shook around, just like me! Rachel used her allowance money to buy this little walking, barking dog, which is what she is holding. She was so excited, it came with it's own leash and everything. But that this is ANNOYING! Oh well. We also got lots of yummy treats of course. 





Rachel's school had spirit night at Pelican's Snoballs, so we went by to get some after I got off work. I found out they sell a sugar free version which I got, because I've been trying to eat better..it was OK but I'd prefer the one full of sugar! :D 





Mom took the girls and I to her yearly church lunch. All the ladies in the church bring a dish, they set everything out on a HUGE table, and you walk around and try a little of each thing. I liked it all, especially the dessert part of the table ;) Everyone sends in a recipe that they put together in a recipe book for everyone to take home. They also have doorprizes, and Mom and the girls all won but I didn't this year! :( Oh well. It was funny because Brooke won a giftcard to a local coffee house, and she's just now starting to be into Starbucks type drinks. She didn't get that from me! I hate coffee! 





Arnold and I had a last-minute surprise date night, because one day the kids were off school and Mom offered to keep them overnight and the next day. We went to Red Lobster for some SHRIMP! It was awesome! I may have had to show up in my work uniform, but it's all good. 





The best part of the month was that my brother flew to NC for a few days! We hadn't seen him in over a year! I was so happy I was tearing up. We got to eat dinner over at mom and dad's several times that week, and spend time with him, which was wonderful. He's had such a tough year, but I'm proud of him for being such a strong, good guy. 





Friday night the kids said we just HAD to take uncle Alex to DEFY to jump! They all had a blast, and I got several videos of them all jumping and being crazy. Afterwards we went out to dinner at Mellow Mushroom. Making memories like these is one of my favorite things! 





One of the babies in my class at work, Avery, just turned one! She is the daughter of a co-worker of mine, so she's extra special to me ;) She "loves" unicorns just like Rachel, so her party was Unicorn themed! I took the girls and we had a great time. Avery even walked over to me when she saw me come into the party, and sat down on my lap. It always makes me feel special when the babies bond with me! :) Avery recently moved up to the toddler room, but I still get to see her most afternoons! 





I took Caleb and Rachel to see the new Goosebumps movie. Brooke and Arnold had plans that day. It was pretty good, not as good as the first one though. Most sequels aren't in my opinion! I used to read all the Goosebumps books when I was a kid! Who am I kidding, I read everything I could! ;) Now Caleb reads the books, too, and I love that :) 





We celebrated Mom's birthday at Carrabba's! It was when Alex was in town, so he got to come, also! Grandpa came too! We had some yummy Itatlian food, and got to spend more time with Alex before he left the next day. At the end of the dinner, the sweetest waiter came out and sang Happy Birthday to mom. And MAN did he have a great voice! Everyone around us clapped when he was done! 





One day I went in to work later than usual, and got to go have lunch with my sweet Rachel! She didn't know I was coming, so I just showed up at school and surprised her! She was so happy!





We took the kids to a local pumpkin patch. We went to the same one last year. It was WAY to hot to be October.. it didn't even feel like fall yet. But we had fun. We went on a hayride, saw the animals, went through the corn maze, then the kids all picked out a pumpkin.





The girls ended up painting their pumpkins this year, instead of carving them. Rachlels was "galaxy" and Brooke's was "mermaid." I ended up finding silver glitter ALL over the place for days after this! 






We had Spirit Week at the preschool, and on disney day I dressed as Minnie Mouse! My boss had ears we got to borrow, so I just added a red shirt and black leggings I had, and a white necklace! The babies were a little confused as to why we all looked a little different! ;) 





We also had a PJ day! It was fun wearing them to work, because it felt like we were laid-back and relaxed all day! Can we make this a regular thing?! ;) 





The kids all picked out their costumes this year! I am surprised Caleb dressed up, because he usually hates halloween. He was scared a few years ago at a haunted house and said he didn't want to participate anymore. But he changed his mind when he saw a character from one of his favorite video games! Brooke chose Batgirl (shes now in a WOMAN size costume!!) And Rachel picked a pirate girl! 





Several of the girls from the preschool dressed up on Halloween as emojis! I was the winky face. I wanted to be the nerd but my friend Ashley stole that idea first! ;) 





We took the kids trick or treating Halloween night! Sheldon rode around with us in the van this year. I dressed him up as a Walrus! He was so cute. Although it bothered him everytime the kids went up to a house. He is so protective of his kids! ;) This will be Brooke's last year trick or treating and probably Caleb's, too. I am sad because it feels like another chapter in their lives is over, but I know they have to grow up sometime! 

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Month in Review: September! Welcome Fall!

What we were up to in September! That month FLEW by!!!!!





I deocorated around the house for Fall! I added more things later on that were more for Halloween, etc. I love especially doing the mantle every year. I love when Michaels does their 60 percent off Fall sale and you can get decor for pretty cheap! I got the pumpkins, Fall sign, and little fox last year. The owl was given to me as a gift from my Mother in law. And the family picture that sits up there is pretty old! Guess it's time to get a new picture of us done! 





I also found some new finds at KIRKLANDS this year! I could spend all day in that store and spend way too much. I loved this doormat but they only had a few left, and one of them had a "D!" It was my lucky day! 




I also change out my little flag outside with the holidays and seasons, so I liked this witch hat. 





I made Arnold and the kids go with me to a Newton Conover football game! It was a particularly special night, because they were playing East Burke, which is where our kids will go to highschool! I kept picking on Brooke saying that my old team was way better than her's, and we DID crush them.. haha. I love crisp fall nights and watching football.. unfortunately my kids dont care for it too much. I was able to keep them happy for awhile by buying them candy and stuff at the concession stand. Brooke loved watching the marching band at halftime! She plays trumpet in the middle school band,and as of now her plans are to play in highschool too! I was in marching band my freshman year of highschool but I wasn't that great. I guess I just don't have the musical talent.. haha. But hopefully the kids will inherit that from Arnold! 





Everyone around NC and SC were waiting on a big hurricane to come through one weekend in early Sept. We prepared and stocked up on stuff, and even got out of work on that Friday. My mom found this list that Rachel had been writing at her house, about getting ready for it! So cute. I guess she really does listen to Arnold and I more than I thought ;) All we ended up getting was some rain. Not even enough to flood our yard or be dangerous. I was SO relieved, but I felt like the whole thing was so over-hyped! I couldnt find bottled water ANYWHERE! We ended up buying the expensive stuff. Which was ok because it was delicious, and I was sad when we went back to buying foodlion brand! ;) 





Poor Rachel got sick with strep last month. She got on some antibiotics and was better after awhile. Although she did miss 2 days of school pretty early in the year! Last year she got perfect attendance but I guess that won't be happening this year! ;) And shes been wearing all her cute new outfits to school! I especially love this one because of the cats reading books! Target is on point with their cute stuff! 





We decided to go out as a family to Cracker Barrell one evening as a family after a long day. We haven't been in a long time. The kids love to walk around and browse the store while we were waiting for our table. Seeing all the Christmas stuff in there makes me excited for the next few months! We ate breakfast for dinner and it was delicious! This was of course before starting our diets! No more pancakes for awhile! :( The kids wanted to pick out a candy in the store before we left, so we said ok. I even got a rock candy stick. I am a big kid at heart, I swear! Especially with sugar! ;) 





We celebrated Dad's birthday mid-month, and then on the 21st he had surgery. Arnold and I took the day off from work and took him and mom down to Charlotte. The surgery was done at Carolina Medical Center. He had back surgery, where they fused some discs and hopefully this will get rid of his pain and help him move around more easily. He had a knee replacement surgery last year, so sooner or later he should be tip top! haha. Anyway, Mom, Arnold and I waited in the waiting room all morning watching Fixer Upper on the tv in there. Arnold and I slipped away to the hospital cafeteria and ate breakfast alone. It was a like a little date for us! ;) I watched all the nurses and doctors running around and talking and getting food and it felt like I was in Grey's Anatomy. Unfortunately there were no Patrick Dempseys there that day :( HA! Around lunchtime we got an update that dad was almost done and doing well, and would be awhile before he was moved to a regular room, so we went out to lunch at a local Italian place called Open Kitchen. MOm and dad used to live in Charlotte when they were dating and first married, and they used to go to that place all the time! The pizza there was delicious! After lunch we went back and waitied a while, then finally got to go see dad in his room. He was pretty drugged and being silly, but I was glad to see him doing well. He was giving the nurse a hard time, trying to get out of there that night.. he hates staying in hospitals. But he ended up having to stay 2 night so he could be monitored and made sure everything was ok. He got to come home on Sunday and Arnold helped mom get him home and inside. He is recovering pretty well as of now. 





Joanne and I got to get together and go see GREASE at the local play theater! We dont get to see each other that much lately due to work and kids, so it was fun! Grease is my all-time favorite movie! They did SO good in the play! The acting, singing and dancing was on point. I really get jealous when I watch talented people like that! ha! ;) I was smiling so big so many times.. it was a feel-good show. The cutest old couple were sitting beside us and all dressed up in a dress and suit, on date night. I hope Arnold and I are like that one day ;) Although he HATES musicals! 





The kids had fall picture day at school! We found this CUTE outfit at JC Penneys for Rachel to wear. Its been a HOT fall so far, so the sleeveless shirt was perfect. It came with a pretty locket necklace, too.I promise I DID curl her hair up that morning, but it was already going flat by the time we left. The kids are just like me with their straight, thin hair. And the weather and humidity just makes it worse! But its ok, she was very cute! Can't wait to get all their pictures back and framed! 





We have been cheering on the Panthers!!! That's our team, baby! One of the Sunday nights we went over to mom and Dad's and ate dinner and watched the game over there. We all had to wear our Panthers gear over there. Even Caleb has a shirt although he couldnt care less about football! :D The Panthers creamed the Cowboys which made me so happy! I had to give my friend Kim a hard time about that one! ;)





Arnold took the kids to South Mountain and they hiked up to the waterfalls! 





My mother in law is the yardsale queen. She is up so early every saturday morning in the summer and early fall, and goes to all of them around and knows how to get a great deal. She found this cabinet for CHEAP at one and gave it to me! I know its technically supposed to be in a kitchen or dining room with dishes I think, but I used it in the living room and put a bunch of decorative stuff in it, a lot of which were passed down from my Grandma! I love being able to see them every day! 





My amazing friend Kim turned 50!!!!!!!! And we had an awesome time celebrating her birthday! Ashley and I tried to plan her a surprise party, but things got messed up and Kim ended up knowing about it. But it was ok, because several of us from work went out to dinner and had an awesome GIRLS NIGHT OUT to celebrate! I brought a cake and Ashley brought gold balloons and plates. The table beside us had a birthday and the sweet older man was singing to their family member, and when he found out it was Kim's birthday too, he sang happy birthday to her too! I think all the tables around us were quite amused... but it was  funny and I had a great time!! These girls have become so special to me and the past year Ive really enjoyed working with them, getting to know them, and being able to vent or share things with them. I am thankful they are in my lives!!!!! :) 

Brooke's 12-year interview








***BROOKE at Age 12***

Clothes Size- 16
Shoe size- 8

Going into Grade: 7th
Party theme this year: Random (llama/sealife)








Favorite Color: turquoise

Favorite Toy: Barbies

Favorite Animal: Arctic Wolf 

Favorite Food: Ribs

Favorite Drink: Mtn Dew

Favorite Snack- Gushers

Favorite Dessert-  Cheesecake

Favorite Season: summer

Favorite Holiday: christmas

Favorite Restaurant: Olive Garden

Favorite Tv Show- Flash Series

Favorite Movie: Incredibles 2

Favorite Book- Babysitters Club  

Favorite Flower: roses

Favorite Thing to do: Be on phone

Favorite Thing to do outside: Swim

Favorite part of school: Science

Favorite Thing to Wear:  Simply Southern Shirts and Leggings

Best Friend: Carter

What are you afraid of? Car Wrecks

What do you want to be when you grow up? IT Technician 

What do you want for Christmas this year? Trampoline

What do you want to be for Halloween this year? Unicorn

What do you sleep with everynight? Big Leopard

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Caleb's Birthday & 11 Year Interview!



**Caleb at age 11**


Clothes Size- 12/14
Shoe size- 5

Going into Grade: 6th (Middle School!)
Party theme this year: Defy Trampoline Park and Dinner
Birthday Gift: New Mountain Bike!!





Favorite Color: orange

Favorite Toy: Stuffed Animal "Hammy"

Favorite Animal: Hampsters

Favorite Food: Hamburgers

Favorite Drink: Sweet Tea

Favorite Snack- sunchips

Favorite Dessert- cookies

Favorite Season: summer

Favorite Holiday: christmas

Favorite Restaurant: Olive Garden or Five Guys

Favorite Tv Show- Video Game High School 

Favorite Movie: Black Panther

Favorite Book- The I Survived Series

Favorite Thing to do: play video games

Favorite Thing to do outside: ride bike

Favorite part of school: Reading Class

Favorite Thing to Wear: athletic shorts and tshirts 

Best Friend: Ryan

What are you afraid of? Wasps

What do you want to be when you grow up? Engineer

What do you want for Christmas this year? A Nintendo Switch

What do you want to be for Halloween this year? Nothing (he hates Halloween)

What do you sleep with everynight? Nothing anymore






***If I had to pick words to describe Caleb, they would be:
sensitive, animal lover, rule follower, detail-oriented, prefers routine, very caring!









Caleb had a pretty great birthday. For his birthday we surprised him with a brand new mountain bike! He had outgrown his old bike, and had been asking for a new one. So we picked out the red and black one. He really liked it, and when we brought him into the living room to surprise him, he ran up and hugged his dad who was near him, then came over to me. I asked him what he thought and he said "awesome!" It has lots of speeds and after Arnold lowered the seat a little bit, it was a perfect fit. I am glad we got him something that will help him get motivated to get outside more and get exercise! 





The weekend before his birthday we went out to dinner at OCharleys with his grandparents. They gave him some cash as a present, and he picked out some new games for his Xbox. 






On the actual day of his birthday, we went out to eat at his favorite place-- Five Guys! That place is expensive and we don't go alot. but it was fun. Then we took him to the new trampoline park to bounce around for an hour. I didn't go into work until the afternoon so I got to do all this stuff with them! Arnold took the day off, too. 

Friday, July 20, 2018

Life Lately: July Edition!





Arnie and I went to the Lynyrd Skynyrd concert on the night before my birthday! That was his bday gift to me this year. This was there farewell tour, and the last time they would ever be in Charlotte :( They are my favorite band ever and I have been to 10 of their shows... several of them even while I was pregnant! That night was HOT and I was sweating and grumpy.. and we spent $20 on overpriced water bottles, but we still ended up having a good time. I got a little emotional during some of the songs and teared up a little.. I just feel like this is the end of an era... my dad took me to my first concert 17 years ago, and now Arnold took me to my last Skynyrd concert! 





Just like every year, Mom had us over the night of my birthday and made me her famous homemade lasanga! I ask for it every year and every year she makes it.. except last year when she had recently had hip replacement surgery, and my DAD stepped up and made it-- and that was the sweetest thing ever! 





I got some awesome birthday gifts.. some cute clothes, a few new books I had been wanting to read, and some new pioneer woman stuff for the kitchen (utensil holder and paper towel holder.) I hope to eventually have a Pioneer woman kitchen! I love her rugs, towels, bakeware, and everything she has! 






We celebrated the 4th of July with some swimming and  cooking out at Mom and Dad's! Everyone but me had ribs... we even took Sheldon with us! 





The kids had their dentist checkup.. and it went pretty well. Caleb continues his almost 11-year streak of NO cavities! He lucked out and got teeth like mine. The dentist always says they look great. Brooke didn't have any this time, thank goodness. And Rachel has a small one that she has to go get filled in August. That night we went out to Mellow Mushroom and the balloon lady was there! So the kids picked out a turtle, cat, and dog. 






The kids occasionally spend the night with my parents, if Arnold and I want to go on a date or something, and this is how they look afterwards, haha! But really though, they have been staying up waaay too late here lately. They are going to hate getting back into a school routine soon.






I havent been reading hardly at all lately! But after getting those 2 new books at my birthday, I read BOTH of them in the span of a week or so. I forgot how much I LOVE holding a real book. I just can't get on board with doing all my reading on a kindle! I've tried, believe me! Anyway, Sheldon likes to sit in the recliner with me and he gets jealous when I read because he'd rather I pet him! ;)





Brooke has GROWN lately, and I don't know how the time got away from me! She is already wearing women size shoes, she is almost into junior sized clothes exclusively, and she has started wearing a little bit of makeup. One day I found all my makeup in my drawer missing and later I found out she took it and put it on herself and was embarrassed to tell me. I really don't mind a LITTLE bit. But man is she looking older lately! She will be going into the 7th grade next month, and turning 12 the day before that! 





Rachel still occasionally hops into bed with me at night and stays there all night! Its usually on nights Arnold falls asleep in the living room or doesn't come to bed until late and she steals his spot! Ha! But I love it because I know she won't do this for much longer! This is the scene I woke up to the other day.. her right beside me in the bed and Sheldon over on Arnold's pillow! ;) 





We took the kids last weekend to the movies to see Hotel Transylvania 3! Rachel absolutely loved the first 2 movies and has always watched them over and over so she was looking forward to this one. It was pretty funny! Especially the scenes with the big green blob, haha. 





The living room floors are finally finished! I am so thankful for Arnold and Father-in-law for all their hard work! The floors look GREAT and I am very happy with the color we picked. It really made over the room. The room looks a little bare right now, but we hope to have new furniture in there soon. I have looked on pinterest and found all these ideas for cute "sitting area" arrangements and I'm excited to have the room come together! It may be awhile before we get around to redoing our kitchen floors but that is next on our list of home remodel stuff! 

Friday, June 29, 2018

33 Facts for 33 Years





1. I was adopted at 1 month old. I've never met my biological parents.

2. I have never had a cavity. No clue how that happened!

3. I have been to 28 states and traveled to 3 countries outside the US.

4. I am double jointed. I can move my feet and legs and arms all kinds of ways.

5. I have worked at Bath&Body Works, Babies R Us, Chick Fila, Target, Christ Church, and 2 different preschools.

6. I had braces, glasses, and a very short haircut in middle school. I was a dork for real!

7. I played the clarinet when I was younger but I couldn't now if I tried!

8. When I was younger and imagined my future, I wanted to live at the lake, have 6 kids, and a Golden Retriever :D

9. I don't like orange juice, tomatoes, onions, or meat on the bone.

10. I have had anxiety since I was a young child. Started medicine for it in 2009.

11. I am a HUGE homebody. I will end up crying on any trip I go on because I'm so homesick.

12. My parents are still married! They have been married almost 46 years.

13. I am a big-time animal lover. Right now I have 3 dogs. Including my dachshund who is deaf.

14. I have had 3 surgeries. My wisdom teeth, my gallbladder out, and my c-section with Rachel.

15. My fears are of public speaking, tight spaces, spiders and most other bugs, and getting lost in the middle of nowhere.

16. My dream trip would be to one day visit Italy.

17. My husband and I met online! We have married 12 years now.

18. I birthed Brooke all natural! (not really by choice-- haha-- she came too quickly.)

19. I have big feet! My shoe size is a 10 or 11.

20. My favorite shows on tv now are Grey's Anatomy and Big Bang Theory. My all-time fave shows include Friends, The Office, Will & Grace and The Golden Girls.

21. I have been to see Lynyrd Skynyrd 10 times. I went for my first concert 17 years ago.

22. I don't have any tattoos. Too chicken to get one!

23. I often remember my dreams. They are usually crazy with lots of details.

24. I have one living grandparent left. He is 86.

25. I don't like to cook!!!!! It makes my mother sad but oh well!

26. I was baptized in 2011!

27. I broke my tailbone rollerblading when I was in middle school.

28. I skipped dissection day in honors biology when I was a senior.

29. I haven't had an alcoholic drink in over 9 years.

30. I have never done any drugs.

31. My mom makes me her famous homemade lasagna every year for my birthday.

32. I volunteered at the Pregnancy Care center for 5 years. I am a big pro-life supporter.

33. In 2009 after having Rachel I developed a dangerous pulmonary embolism and ended up in ICU for 9 days. I am so thankful to be alive. Arnold got "fixed" after that as they didn't advise me being pregnant again.


Sunday, June 24, 2018

Birthday Celebration with Friends!


Every year for my birthday, for probably the last 10 years or so, I've had a dinner with friends to celebrate my birthday. Every year its at Ocharleys-- its just become a tradition! I LOVE having girls night, and of course cake, so it's perfect. I did it a week early this year because arnold is taking me to a concert next week for my bday! Anyway, I had several friends show up and I had an awesome time, and we ended up doing some unexpected things as the night went on....... so read on.....





And yet ANOTHER Publix cake ;) Perfect with the palm trees and flip flops (I Love them!) and the green writing (my favorite color!) It was delicious and I MAY have broke Kim of her Keto diet again this week! :) But cheat days are totally ok! Speaking of cheat days-- one of the waiters/hostess guys overheard us talking about diets and totally spent 700 minutes telling us EXACTLY how he lost 110 lbs! I mean, good job for the guy, seriously. But I just wanted to break into my delicious UN diet-friendly dinner and cake, so it was a buzz kill! haha! 





Here is the whole group! I love these ladies so much! They are all different in their own amazing ways but they all have shown that they are loyal and fun to be around and I couldn't ask for better friends. A mix of old and new friends alike! 





These are my fellow chesterbrook girls! We work together every day.. well at least KIM and I do.. we both work with the infants. But I see all of them throughout the day. I really am liking this job because even though theres stressful days and gossip and drama sometimes like at every job, I've found some friends I think I can truly talk to and count on. And it makes going to work more bearable! 





OK! So after dinner we headed to the mall. I have been talking about getting a nose stud FOREVER but have been too chicken. Well my BFF Joanne said shed go with me. When everyone else found out about it, they wanted to turn it into more birthday fun. So everyone followed me to the mall and we first went by the Tattoo place but they weren't working anymore that night. SO we ended up at Piercing Pagoda. Joanne ended up getting it done with me! And this is the girls hanging out on the couch before we found out the news about the tattoo place closing for the night!! 




Erika got a hold of my phone and was documenting this whole thing, and she decided to take lots of selfies of herself and friends while I was doing this! And some more pics that didn't make it on here.. haha! 






The lady pierced my nose with the little gun and at first I was scared and scrunching up my nose and she said stop! And did it real quick and it HURT for a minute, like really sore, but it felt ok after that. And today I hardly even notice it in. 





Bffs after we had our noses done! We have been in moms groups together, gone to concerts together, thrown parties together, and even WORKED together... so what comes next?! This I guess! I love that she supported me though! And she even let me go first.. how sweet of her... haha ;)


PS-- I know a lot of people say this is TOTALLY unlike me and I agree. But I am turning 33 and I feel so old lately! I have wanted to do something a little "edgy" lately and saw a nose stud on a friend and it looked so cute! I have NO tattoos and I don't drink or anything.. so Im a pretty boring person. But this makes me feel a "little" cool, HA! And if I decide I don't like it, I can always take it out and it will close up pretty quicky and that's that! Although my preteen daughter made fun of me and said it looked like a sparkly bugger. Oh well! Everyone has their opinions I guess! ;)





After all that, the mall was ALMOST closed but Scottie wanted to hit up the sale at Bath and Body works so we ran over there and everyone dug thru the bins to find some goodies! I wanted to buy stuff but I just spent a lot of money spontaneously that night so I thought I'd better not.... haha.....




I think the cashier girls were ready for us to get out of there! They started closing the gate before my friend Ashley even got out of the store! She came running out of the store before it closed down! haha!





My Friend Joanne got me this cute bracelet! I can't wait to wear it! I dont have any pictures of the other gifts I got but they were all so thoughtful! Pineapple stuff, candy, barnes and noble giftcard, a personalized cup with my name on it, and Kim bought my dinner! Thanks guys! You are too kind.