Sunday, May 12, 2019

2019 Summer Goals

It's that time again! Another year, another round of our family's summer goals! I have done this for years and years and we always love to pull from it all summer long when we need something to do! Our summer doesn't officially begin until May 25th, but we usually run this from May 1st-September 1st so that we can squeeze as much summer fun in as we possibly can! Last summer we traveled to Washington, D.C. and Jamaica and while this summer cannot POSSIBLY top that, we still have some big plans for fun, sun, and all the family time we can stand! Here's hoping that you have an amazing summer as well!

2018 .    2017 .    2016 .    2015 .    2014 .    2013

Friday, April 26, 2019

The End is Near! And Baseball.

Oh, FRIENDS! The past four months have been some of the busiest of my LIFE. I started working as a travel agent in January and began working each night on that after the kids went to bed. It has taken OFF and I have been tremendously blessed by it, but's busy! January-March is Eddie's busy season at work and he was also working each night from 8-12. FABULOUS. Many days I told him I felt like I hadn't seen him in months. The boys began baseball in mid-February and we are eating, sleeping, and breathing baseball right now. We practice or have games anywhere from 3-5 times per week AND we are travel balling on the weekends. AND April and May are my BUSY busiest months at work and I've been burning the midnight oil trying to stay caught up there! WHEW! My school year ends in 19 days and I am not trying to wish my life away, but COME ON, SUMMER! We usually come up with our Summer Goals around this time each year so I will have those for y'all soon.

OK! Onward! Since all we are doing is baseball-ing, I have plenty of pictures to show you!

Will's game last night was GREAT, but they wound up losing at the end. Everyone was hitting! He has become a great little baseball player this year. Eddie and I have said for YEARS that he would be our athletic child if he WANTED to be. He hasn't wanted to be until this season. He is fired up about playing and learning! It's been fun to watch him! We've started letting him practice with James' travel ball team recently. My theory is that if he plays with the big kids, he will improve and get better by leaps and bounds. We shall see!

James has surprised me (because he's more like me!) and turned into a great athlete as well. He LOVES baseball. LOVES it. He knows the strategy behind plays, can remember details from games, and is getting to be a pretty good little player! Last night was his first night to PITCH and he did a great job! I was nervous for him, but he has so much confidence that he didn't seem to be worried at all! He walked two batters and struck  four or five out. He was SO excited after the game. He and a friend pitched the whole game - James' first time, Austin's second, but it had been several months! We were impressed! This kid has been playing since he was just a tiny little 3-year old. I was trying to think earlier today how many times he has played baseball. I am almost 100% sure that this is his 8th season of baseball?! Crazy? Maybe 7th. I'll have to try to look at pictures...We played fall ball this year for the first time and he's actually playing on two teams right now. It's all baseball, all. the. time. (And when we aren't playing we're watching the Braves, playing it on our iPads, looking at baseball cards, etc.!)

Maybe after this school year is over I'll get back to doing this whole writing thing! I've missed it!

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Living with the Magic!

I've been holding onto some FUN news for a few weeks now and I'm so excited to share it with you! 

A few months ago I saw that one of the travel agencies I follow on Facebook was hiring! I applied on a whim and got a call back where I had to submit a video and then another where I had to go through several scenarios on how I'd handle travel planning and finally a phone interview! At the beginning of December, a job offer was extended to me, I accepted, and have been training and working on having everything in place since then! It has been SO MUCH FUN! Work isn't work when it's something you love!

Many of you know that we like to travel. We've traveled a good bit over the years - both domestically and abroad - and one thing I always wanted was to expose our children to travel from an early age. Many of you also know that I LOVE Disney World and, if given the option, I will travel there as much as possible! HA! (Eddie doesn't love it like I do...we'd go even more if he did!) Living with the Magic Vacations specializes in Disney destinations including Walt Disney World, Disneyland, Adventures by Disney, Aulani, and Disney Cruise Line. In addition, I'm also trained in various other destinations like Universal Studios and Sandals and Beaches and I'm working on various cruise lines, Sea World, etc. 

I'd love to help you plan your next magical vacation! Please reach out if you or someone you know is planning one soon. And follow along for all the fun by clicking the links!


Thursday, January 31, 2019

What We're Reading.

One of my resolutions this year was to read more. I set a goal for myself to read 52 books this year and I'm bound and determined to come close to it!

The year started off with a bang and then I slowed down a little, but I finished two books in January! I'm a little behind schedule, but I'm also in the middle of two more so hopefully I will pick it back up!

I started the month by reading Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate. Let me pause a moment to say OH MY WORD. This story completely captivated me and I couldn't put it down. Set in Tennessee in 1939, the story begins with a young family living on a "shanty boat." The mama is trying to deliver her newest baby with a midwife and has to be taken to the hospital when the delivery goes wrong. While she and her husband are gone, the police come and take the children away and put them in an orphanage. Thus begins their story of abuse, neglect, and trying to find their ways back to their family. Oldest sister, Rill, fights to keep them together and to help them escape. Fast forward to modern day and we follow Avery Stafford, the 20-something daughter of a South Carolina politician. She was born with a silver spoon in her mouth but fights to be given respect in her career. Avery begins to uncover what she thinks must be an old family secret. Wingate weaves the two separate stories in such a beautiful way that I could not put this book down. After I finished, I immediately drove it to my mama's house and began researching everything I could find on this based-on-a-true-story-novel. It was amazing. I'll probably declare it my favorite book at the end of the year.

Next up was Elizabeth Smart's My Story. I had just graduated from high school when Elizabeth Smart was kidnapped and I remember learning about her and knowing some of her story. The book was good - it's a memoir of her kidnapping and time spent in captivity - but it just wasn't great for me. It's very thorough in some aspects - she claims to remember what she did every day during the 9 months she was gone - but she glosses over other parts of the story that, for me, made it seem poorly written. She's a survivor, for sure - I can't imagine having gone through what she did and live a normal life later - but I found the movie to be much better.

As for the boys, Will and Eddie finished Will's first Goosebumps book and he LOVED it. They've started reading the first Hardy Boys book and Will has really enjoyed that as well. James continues to read anything that sits still. Today, he got in the car carrying Wonder by R.J. Palacio. We've also started Dr. DooLittle and The Invention of Hugo Cabret but haven't finished either one. I'll try to get a more thorough list from both of them for February. 

As always, share what you're reading!

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Taste of Thomasville

Several months ago, a few friends mentioned doing a food tour in Thomasville, Georgia. We'd never eaten there - we drive THROUGH Thomasville to go to Tallahassee to eat - but we were intrigued and immediately said we were in! We tried to plan the trip before Christmas, but wound up not being able to make it happen, so this was the weekend. We have a great crew of families in our neighborhood who are all about our ages. Their kids are all a little younger than ours, but we get together fairly regularly for meals and we've Trick-or-Treated together for several years. It's a fun crowd! Those couples, plus two more that don't live in our neighborhood, planned to go! Sadly, at the last minute one couple had to be out of town and another has been incredibly sick. That's just an excuse to get to do this again, because it was DELICIOUS.

We met downtown between Jonah's and Liam's to begin the tour. My ONLY complaint would be that they didn't give us a handout telling what we ate and drank at each restaurant, so this is all from memory. I wish there had been a handout or something to write on. I also didn't take the first picture of the food, but it was incredible.

We started the night at Liam's where the owner told us all about the wine and cheese we had. I'd go back to Liam's in a heartbeat just to learn more from the owner! She was so knowledgable! We had duck, two kinds of cheeses, pecans, and an INCREDIBLE honey paired with a glass of wine. The cheese, honey, and pecans make the top of my list of foods we ate. Delicious!!!

Our second restaurant was Moonspin. Here, we tried breadsticks with marinara and pesto dipping sauces, "Florida Georgia Line" - a pizza topped with spicy sausage and caramellized Vidalia onions, a beer or Spodie Odie Sangria. Again, all was incredibly delicious. I think this may be Eddie's favorite stop of the evening. James would've LOVED it. They also have pasta on their menu. It was very good!

Next, we walked over to SoHo. OH my word. Here, they served Pimento Cheese Dumplings that were the HIT of the evening for me. There was also a chicken wing that was good, but I would've taken 10 more dumplings. They served a cocktail here that was great as well. Again, I would've stayed and eaten off this menu!

After SoHo, we walked down the street to The Plaza Restaurant. This was my least favorite stop of the evening, but we still really enjoyed it. We agreed that the vibe was just a little different from the rest of the restaurants. The others were all very modern and this one seemed a little older. Here, they served a delicious Greek salad (this was very good!), chicken and pepper skewers, and baked oysters. Eddie and I don't eat oysters so we passed ours off to someone else and heaped on the salad. The drink here was another cocktail that had a LOT of basil in it. It was a good stop, it just wouldn't be one I'd go out of my way to return to.

Our last stop of the evening was at The Farmer's Daughter, a wine bar. Here, we tasted a wine and had s'mores chocolate. Delicious, but not nearly as good as the first three stops.

We had the most fun! All of us agreed that it was a great date night activity and we'd all enjoy going back for another trip. Our hope is that we can return soon to do the daytime tour and hit the rest of the restaurants for lunch!

If you're local, give it a try! We will be back to Thomasville soon!

Monday, January 14, 2019

Weekend Update

We had such a fun weekend, but it FLEW by. Will told us the other day that his Sundays are always the fastest day of the week. I agree. Let's make every day Saturday!

On Friday night, we went to eat at Buffalo Wild Wing. The boys love that because they give out tablets. They don't have the best service, in my opinion, but they were happy and behaved while we were there! 

We decided to have a family game night when we got home, but someone wouldn't behave and had to go to bed early. We played alone with the other child - Jurassic World Monopoly. We love Monopoly! The child won!

Bright and early Saturday morning we were up and at the gym for Will's basketball game. This kid is LOVING playing basketball this year and we love watching him play!

After basketball, the boys went home with Grandmama and Granddaddy for about an hour. Eddie and I went to Lowe's to look for a rug pad for our new rug. (No luck...we're ordering from Amazon.) We put the new rug down anyway to see how we liked it. It's going to take some getting used to (we've had a red oriental-style in the den and I wanted something to brighten it up!), but so far I really like it.

Saturday afternoon, I took the longest nap ever while the boys played outside. Eddie and James went to the grocery store and decided on grilled pizza for supper. Eddie may never make a frozen pizza in the oven again. (That's a win for me!) It was great!

We also spent part of the evening cleaning out the boys' rooms. Yuck. I've let them go for FAR too long. James' book shelf was broken and his books were all piled up so Eddie got that fixed for him and we got it rearranged and working again.

Sunday morning, we got the luxury of sleeping in and going to the late service at church! We never go to the late service! We had a lunch after church so it didn't make sense to go to the early service and then sit around and wait. The afternoon was definitely shorter because of it!

There was more cleaning and organizing for the week, some iPad time, a little outside playing, a family bike ride, and leftovers for dinner before watching Dr. Pol's season premier and heading to bed.

It was a good weekend, but my sights are set on the long weekend we have coming up! Woohooo!

Friday, January 4, 2019

New Year's Eve!

This year, for the first time in MANY years, we went somewhere! We got together with the Bargerons and headed up to the lake house for the evening. On Monday, the boys' new swingset was being built, so we didn't get to leave early, but it wound up working out fine. We met the Bargerons at Barberitos for supper and drove up to the lake. The boys played outside, came inside, played outside, came inside, and the adults enjoyed hanging out. I thought the boys would crash before midnight, but they were WOUND UP and didn't. They hung in there until about 1AM!

On New Year's Day we slept as late as the boys would let us (hint: not late), had breakfast, let the kiddos play outside (and in the LAKE!) in the unseasonably warm weather! Will, Lori, and I went on a LONG walk around the lake. There was a lot of UNO and Connect 4 played. There was some squabbling amongst the boys (we've decided they aren't invited next year!). We finally headed home around 4:45. Will slept the whole way home and woke up at 9:45 and asked "HOW LONG DID I SLEEP?" The UGA game was terrible, but I didn't watch a minute of it!

Overall, it was a fun way to ring in the New Year! Welcome, 2019! We can't wait to see what's in store!