Friday Favorites!!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Hi!! Happy Friday!!  So....has this week flown by for you too?? Between the "short" school week, my little baby boy getting really sick and my husband being off from work this week- well I just can't seem to keep straight what day it is! HA! Also- my allergies are OUT OF CONTROL right now- which has made feel just a tad yeah...this week has been just a little funky! happy it is Friday!  The weather is supposed to be hot and dry here today and then it is supposed to get rainy and cool off. My oldest daughter has an event called "Kindy 500" at school this morning and then we are taking our kids to the pool after school.  We are going to soak up this beautiful weather and it is going to be a GREAT day!

Here are my FAVORITES from this past week!

This past weekend we traveled to Southern Illinois to celebrate Memorial Day with my grandfather and lots of other family.  While we were there, we went to a local park in my grandfather's home town to see over 300 American Flags on display, representing men and women who served in the military and/or are currently serving in the military.  My aunt arranged for my grandfather to have a flag on display and it was a really special moment to go see his flag with him.  He is almost 92 years old and by far one of the most extraordinary
people I have ever known.  I am so blessed to have a man like him in my life!

My mom is ONE OF EIGHT girls. My Aunts are so much fun and such neat women!  6 (including my mom) of the 8 sisters were at my grandpa's house when we were visiting this past weekend and it was SO much fun to get to see all of them! It really, really makes me sad that we do not have any family living in the same town as us, so whenever I get to spend time with my family- it makes me SO happy!!

Yesterday, was the 8 year anniversary of my husband and I getting engaged.  Our engagement was, hands down, one of my most FAVORITE days ever.  
I just had to include a few photos from our engagement :)
This one is right after he asked me and we were calling my mom and dad.  You can tell we had both been crying! :) And please look at my cute little cell phone!! I seriously miss the days of simpler phones- HA!
The day after our engagement, we were serious dorks and went and took some pictures under the tree where Aaron asked me to marry him. 
My love and me!! We look like SUCH babies in this picture!! And very well rested I might add! HA! My how times have changed! :)

The outdoor swimming pool at the YMCA we belong to has opened for the summer and we have taken the kids a few times this week to go swimming.  The pool is such a HAPPY place for the girls- and James loves it too!  Totally one of my FAVORITE summer time activities!  I can't wait until my oldest daughter is done with school and we can start going on a regular basis!!

And while this is pretty random...I had to include one of my FAVORITE items of clothing, that I am wearing everyday now that the weather is warmer.  My "momiform" in the summer is a pair of J.Crew city fit chino shorts, a short sleeve t-shirt or tank and one of these jersey stretch tamis.  Some of the shirts I wear are more sheer and I love the coverage this tank provides.  I wear a small tall.  They also make these in maternity and I wore these ALL the time when I was pregnant!! One of the best layering tanks in my opinion! They are $9 online at Old Navy right now!! was your week?? 
Any fun plans for the weekend??
I hope it is a great one! :)

 I am also linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!

 I am linking up with April for Five on Friday!
 Also, joining Karli for her, Oh Hey Friday Link Up!

Thoughts For Thursday!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Hi! Hope everyone is having a great week!! Is anyone else totally messed up on what day it is?!? I love that it is a "shorter" week- but for the life of me can't keep track of what day it is! HA!

So....two days ago I had to take my little baby boy into the doctor because what was just a little runny nose last week had turned into a really, really bad wheezy cough by Monday.  Poor thing was just absolutely pitiful!
Our pediatrician took one look at him when she walked into the exam room and said, "That is not my usual happy James!" :(  She checked his ears- double ear infection! :(  Then, she listened to his lungs and said, "We need to do a breathing treatment and see if that helps him breath better."  Ok.  Totally not a big deal...nothing I have ever had to do with my other three girls, but I knew of a lot of people who have had to do breathing treatments with their kids.  Poor baby screamed the entire time I held the little mask on his face.  The doctor came back in after the breathing treatment and listened to his lungs again. Then she got a really grim look on her face and said, " I am sending you up to the hospital to get an X-Ray of his lungs.  I need to know what is going on inside there.  If he has pneumonia, we will have to admit him overnight for IV antibiotics."  I was so caught off guard!  I felt tears welling up in my eyes and couldn't respond for a couple minutes because if I did, I would just start blubbering.  How did a bad little cough and cold, turn into my baby needing to get an Xray of his lungs?!?  Luckily, just a few minutes later, James coughed, the doctor listened to his lungs again and they had cleared considerably- which meant we did not have to go to the hospital!  James ended up getting a pretty strong dose of antibiotics at the doctor's office, he  went on oral antibiotics yesterday and we have to do breathing treatments on him, 3 times a day for the next 5 days.  Definitely not fun...but also not a BIG deal.  
I will never forget that feeling I had when the doctor said we needed to head up to the hospital.  My heart sank and started racing all at the same time.  And once I settled down, I realized, there are SO many parents who live that feeling every day because they have a chronically ill baby or child.  Their days are spent at the hospital, watching their babies get poked with needles, tests run on them and worst of all- seeing their babies in pain.  

It is SO easy to get caught up in little things throughout the day that seem like a huge deal.  

The truth is- for most of us- those moments are just NOTHING to get upset over!

When you stop and think about TRUE, REAL hardships people are struggling makes me incredibly thankful for my perfectly, imperfect life.  

What are some things you are feeling grateful for today?

I am linking up with Natalie and Annie today!

Recipe Club: BEST Chocolate Chip Cookies!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hi! Hope this finds you having a great week so far!

Today I am joining Andrea and linking up with her monthly recipe club!

So...let me start this off by saying....I know there are a lot of recipes out there claiming to be THE BEST.  Especially when it comes to cookies.....specifically chocolate chip cookies :)
But I am going to go out on a limb today and announce that this is- in fact- THE BEST chocolate chip cookie recipe ever.  This recipe is what my mom has used to make chocolate chip cookies for over 25 years.  I have been using this recipe for about 10 years and have made just a few tweaks to it.  If you love soft, chewy, slightly crispy just around the edges loaded with chocolate chips are going to want to try this recipe.  Probably should just cancel everything you are doing today and instead make these cookies.  
You won't regret it.  I promise! :)

DISCLAIMER: This recipe makes A TON of cookie dough.  If you don't have the time to bake several dozen cookies- this dough freezes beautifully!! Just put the dough you want to freeze in a tupperware, put a layer of saran wrap right on top of the dough so it is totally covered and then put your tupperware lid on.  When you are ready to bake again, just pull your dough out and bring it to room temperature...usually takes a couple hours.  If I know I want to bake cookies, I will pull my dough out of the freezer first thing in the morning and it is ready to go by mid morning!

Here is the recipe!
If you right click on recipe image you can save it and/or print it if you want! :)

Oh cookie I love you :)
(And I am one of those people that isn't too weird about raw there is definitely some dough "taste testing" going one while baking these cookies...HA!
See how the edges are just slightly brown?? That is what you want! :)
Soft, chewy, seriously YUMMY chocolate chip cookies. 
I really hope you try this recipe!! I don't think you will be disappointed! :)

Happy Baking and I hope you have a wonderful day!!

Menu Plan for the Week!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hi!  Welcome to a "short" week! :)

We had a super fun, busy and wonderful weekend visiting lots of family!  We first drove to my parents' house on Friday afternoon (they live 4 hours from us) and spent the afternoon and night with them.  Early Saturday morning, we woke up and headed down to Southern Illinois to visit my grandpa and several of my aunts and uncles.  While we were in my grandpa's hometown, we had the privilege of attending a Flag Display, where he had a Flag displayed in his name for his service in the United States Navy.  It was a beautiful day and so profound to see hundreds of American Flags representing so many individuals who have served in the military and are still currently serving.  After having a super yummy cookout at my Aunt's house, we headed to my sister's house (she lives about 45 minutes from my grandpa) and spent the night there.  After a fun morning of playing and donuts, we got on the road again for our 5 hour trip home to Indianapolis!  Not more than 30 minutes after we got home, we were in the van again, headed to our YMCA to go swimming!! The girls had a BLAST and it was so fun to have our first swim of the summer!
Memorial Day was a quiet, low key day- we went to the gym and Walmart in the morning and then went to the park in the afternoon.  We ended our long weekend with a cookout and ice cream cones in the back yard.  
SO thankful for an extra long and special weekend with my family!!
And now it is time to get organized and back on schedule for this short week!
I bought several pounds of chicken breasts at the store today and I am going to use them in several different meals this week!
Here is what is on the menu at our house this week....

Tonight we are having chicken lettuce wraps.  We don't use a specific recipe; but this recipe and this recipe both look delicious and have such great reviews!  I am going to have my husband grill up all the chicken I bought and use 2 grilled chicken breasts, chopped up very small for this meal.  I will reserve the rest for a couple other meals we are having this week!

On Wednesday night, we are going to use some of the chicken my husband grilled last night and make grilled chicken sandwiches!  I will cut the chicken so it fits nicely on a hamburger bun, put a slice of cheese on top of it and melt the cheese on the chicken under the broiler.  Once the chicken is warm and the cheese is bubbly, it goes on a hamburger bun with a little ketchup and dinner is served!  I am going to steam some green peas and make some white cheddar shells and cheese to make this meal complete!  

Thursday night is chicken fajita night! YUM! I am going to slice up the remaining grilled chicken I have reserved and sauté it up with a thinly sliced red pepper, yellow pepper and sweet onion.  I like to sprinkle fajita seasoning over the peppers, onion and chicken when they are cooked about half way.  I finish cooking everything over medium heat and serve it up with warm tortillas, shredded cheese and sour cream!  Such an easy, low stress meal!  

Friday is homemade pizza night!  The girls have a pizza picnic and my husband and I enjoy our dinner at the table in the kitchen- it is like a date- HA!

I never feel like cooking on the weekend...especially when the weather is warm and we are spending all of our time outside.  Knowing that...I thought taco salads would be an easy, light and yummy dinner for Saturday!  I am going to brown a pound of lean ground turkey with a can of chopped green chiles and season it with some salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin.  To assemble our salads, I just pile some of the "taco" turkey on top of chopped romaine lettuce and add some shredded cheese, salsa, sour cream and crumbled up tortilla chips.  YUMMY!

For Sunday dinner, I am going to make a meatloaf using lean ground turkey and chopped spinach to help us get an extra serving of veggies in our meal.  I have several potatoes I need to use up- so I am going to make some homemade mashed potatoes.  Fresh green beans are in season right now and we just love them- so I am going to steam some of those up for our veggie.  A nice, traditional Sunday dinner...perfect way to end our weekend!

What is on your menu plan for the week?? Are you trying out any new recipes??

Hope you have a wonderful day!

Linking up with Laura!

Remembrance on Memorial Day

Monday, May 25, 2015

While Memorial Day weekend represents the start of summer, pools opening, back yard barbecues and picnics, the day itself has a heaviness to it.  Many people think that Memorial Day honors ALL service members who have been in the military- but Veteran's Day is actually the official holiday that honors all individuals who have served in our Armed Forces.  Memorial Day is the official holiday in our country remembering and honoring the people who have died while serving in the Armed Forces.  So knowing that, it is hard for me to say "Happy" Memorial Day.  We are privileged to have multiple people in our family who have served in the Armed Forces and are still currently serving.  We are SO fortunate that no one in our family who has served/currently serving has lost his life while fighting for our country's freedom.  

My heart absolutely aches thinking about the women and men who have lost their loved ones while they were away serving our country.  I wish I had the ability to eloquently convey my thoughts, but honestly I don't.  One of my favorite bloggers, Stephanie Howell, always posts on Memorial Day her thoughts and I really encourage you to read what she has to say.  Here is her post from last year and be sure to read what she has written this year.


Wishing you a beautiful day spent with loved ones, filled with gratefulness for the great country we live in and the ones who have and continue to make that possible for us.

5 on Friday!!

Friday, May 22, 2015

It has been a great week at our house, despite the fact that it has felt like Fall here the last few days!  Come on Mother Nature, I want to put my sweatshirts away!!

Here are my 5 FAVORITES from this past week!!

I used to be HORRIBLE at making time to eat breakfast in the morning.  I am not a big eater  in the morning as it is and our mornings are VERY hectic- so it is really easy to make it until 10:30 am and realize I haven't eaten anything since I woke up at 5 am.  Anyway...I have been making a concerted effort to not only eat, but SIT DOWN and enjoy my breakfast.  That usually means putting off chores, the baby might be whining in his crib and my girls might be watching a show on PBS...but I am doing what I need to do to take care of myself! Taking the time to actually sip a cup of coffee and eat my food, NOT at lightening speed, is now a FAVORITE part of my day! My husband is ALWAYS telling me- "You have to take care of YOU first- the kids can wait!" I don't 100% agree with him on this one...but I do know I am a much better mommy when I am not HANGRY.  HA!  
Swimming has always been my favorite exercise...and I just recently got back into it after having James.  We belong to a local YMCA and they have an awesome Childwatch program, where 2 FREE hours of childcare, daily, is included in your membership.  So after I drop my oldest daughter off at school, I take my 3 younger kiddos to Childwatch and I go swim laps for 30 minutes (I swim once a week and run once a week- I work out at home the other days).  Then I take a shower (uninterrupted I might add!! :), get dressed and put on some makeup and go pick up my kids- all by 9 am!  My "swimming day" has quickly become my FAVORITE day of the week! 
I was folding laundry yesterday and this was my view.  Being a stay at home momma is not always sunshine, rainbows and unicorns, but most of the time it is pretty amazing.  I love being with my kids all the time and I am acutely aware of how precious it is to be their mom. So while folding the laundry wasn't a favorite moment for me (HA!), watching my babies play while I got it done definitely was! :)
This guy is my FAVORITE all the time.  Aaron is incredibly handy and can pretty much fix anything as well as build anything.  I NEVER have to worry if something goes wrong with our cars or something needs fixing in our house- Aaron just takes care of it.  I don't take this for granted at all and I just really, really appreciate him!! 
(P.S. How cute is my Cora Maye?!? She had her last day of preschool on Wednesday and she is now officially on Summer Break- Yahoo!! :)
Our family is SO excited for this weekend!! Aaron starts his week long vacation and we are headed to visit my parents and then to visit my grandpa, lots of aunts and uncles and our cousins.  Spending time with my family is my absolute FAVORITE!

I hope you have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, and if you are so inclined, please remember to keep the people who have lost a loved one in the Armed Forces, while serving our country.  While this is a super fun weekend, kicking off the start of summer for many, it also represents loss and sadness for many moms, dads, wives, husbands, sisters and brothers.  Forever grateful and humbled by the sacrifices of all service members in our Armed Forces.

 I am linking up with April for Five on Friday!
 I am also linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!
 Also, joining Karli for her, Oh Hey Friday Link Up!

Thoughts For Thursday!

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Hi!! Happy Thursday!!

I have sort of a "Hi/Low" post for my Thursday Thoughts today:)

I will start with my "Low" thought...always good to get the bad news out of the way first, right???
And this really isn't a low is more of a complaint- HA! husband and I LOVE The Zac Brown Band and we have been saying for several years that we MUST make it to one of their concerts!! husband looked up and saw they are coming to Indianapolis in September and we were SO excited!!  The other night we went to go buy our tickets and when we got to "checkout," we saw that on top of our $35 a piece tickets (to sit in the LAWN), there was an additional $30 in FEES.  Um. NO.   We love The Zac Brown Band A LOT- but not that much.  We are just too cheap too spend $100 on two lawn concert tickets!!  What is up with that though??? That really kind of makes me mad...because it really does make it hard for people with limited budgets to go and enjoy live music when ticket prices and fees are SO high!
So instead of going to see Zac Brown in concert, we are going to sit on our OWN lawn, listen to Zac Brown on iTunes and have a picnic and some adult beverages.  Take that Ticketmaster! HA!

Now onto my "High" thought for the week!
I  absolutely LOVE doing business with companies that have excellent customer service.  We have had several situations in the last week where we have needed to make returns or something has broken and each company has taken care of everything- 
no questions asked!
Last Saturday, as I checked my Fitbit right before I went to bed and it wouldn't light up.  I plugged it into the charger and still nothing.  I called their customer service line the next day and after being asked a couple of questions about my account information, I was told a new tracker would be sent to my house in just a few days!  SO awesome! Major props to Fitbit!
I use Easy Lunch Boxes containers to pack my kids' lunches in.  My oldest daughter told me a piece of the plastic on her lid broke after school one day, so I took a picture of the lid, emailed the company and a couple emails later, I was informed we would be getting a new lid shipped to us!! I LOVE using these containers for my kiddos lunches and now I love them even more knowing the company provides such great customer service!
Amazon, in my personal experience, has ALWAYS had great customer service.  I could tell multiple stories about how easy they are to work with- but just yesterday, we had an issue where we returned some shoes and my husband got an email saying they did not get all the shoes returned to them and that we would be charged for the missing shoe.  Totally not true- so my husband called Amazon, and after a quick conversation with a customer service representative, the issue was solved and the money they charged us, was refunded.  I LOVE Amazon!
And finally, I know a lot of you ladies share my love for Nordstrom.  I mean- what is better than FREE SHIPPING/FREE RETURNS, NO minimum, ALL THE TIME?? Just love that!! Anyway- I got my mom a few things for Mother's Day from Nordstrom and they didn't fit.  It was so easy for her to slap the return label on the box and drop it off at the mail box!  I love that I get an email notification once they have received the returned item and then email you again when the refund has been processed.  Nordstrom ROCKS!

I am curious, what stores/companies have your loyalty?? 
And I am just a big cheap or do you feel the same way about the prices of concerts?!?

Linking up with Natalie  and Annie today!!

What We are Wearing: Memorial Day Edition!

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

We are headed to Southern Illinois this weekend to spend some time with my amazing Grandpa!  Right after my grandfather was newly enlisted in the Navy, at 17 years old, he was IN Pearl Harbor loading up supplies on a submarine when it was bombed.  He retired from the Navy after 25 + years of service.  
There is a Memorial Day celebration taking place this Saturday in a town very close to where my grandpa lives and one of my mom's sisters (she has 7!!) arranged to have a flag with my grandpa's name on it.  A large group of us will be going to the celebration to see my grandpa's flag and to honor the many individuals who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom.  I am so excited to spend time with a lot of family we don't get to see nearly enough!! 

So in honor of Memorial Day weekend, I thought I would share how our family will be sporting our Red, White and Blue!!  I LOVE dressing my kids up in patriotic clothes...there is nothing more classic than little kids decked out in the colors our AWESOME and AMAZING country!

Here is what I will be wearing (and obviously I need to run an iron over my shorts and shirt before I wear them...but the truth is- I probably won't- HA!)
My shorts are from J. Crew Factory.  My color is from last year- but they have a beautiful true red color this year!
My shirt is from Loft last season and they don't carry it anymore.  But they have this shirt that is really similar and has great ratings!
You can get my sandals here!  They are SO cute and super comfy!
My necklace is a beautiful dark blue color and is very special to me.  My brother-in-law got it for me when he was on a tour in Afghanistan (he is in the Marine Corps and is a Harrier Jet pilot) and I have worn it EVERY Memorial Day and 4th of July since he gave it to me!
My husband will be wearing this shirt from J. Crew Factory and these shorts from Target.  His shorts are about 4 years old and they currently don't carry the red color he has.  J. Crew Factory has a red pair though!  Aaron has several pairs of shorts from J. Crew Factory and loves them!
His belt is from the Buckle about 12 years ago...HA!
All of James' clothes are several years old, as they are wonderful hand-me-downs from my sister-in-law.  I found some great shorts in "red rover"  from Walmart and this polo shirt is perfect, also from Walmart, if your little guy needs some red, white and blue in his wardrobe for the summer!  I always pack James two shirts...he usually requires a shirt change halfway throughout the day! HA!
The girls will be wearing these adorable dresses I got them from Walmart last year.  The coloring of the dresses seems a little off to me in this picture- but they are a true red, white and classic navy blue.  They were $5 each!!  Here are some ADORABLE patriotic options for girls Walmart currently has: this precious romper! this ruffle skirt! and this tiered tutu!

(I feel silly even saying this, but just to be transparent...none of these stores are sponsoring this post.  I just love these stores and they are where we buy most of our clothing!) 

Do you have any special plans for Memorial Day weekend?  Do you have your patriotic outfit planned out??

Hope you have a great day!!

Show and Tell Tuesday!!

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I am linking up with Andrea today to share some of my "Momfessionals" moments.  Well...I don't think a day goes by without me having at least a couple "momfessionals" moments, but I have a couple that definitely stick out over the last 6 1/2 years that I have been a momma.  

The first "momfessionals" moment I will probably never forget involves a baby blowout and professional family pictures.  Um. Yeah.  You can probably guess how this story goes!  Soo...several years ago, we were headed to get our family pictures taken.  At the time, we just had our daughters Charlotte and Cora.  Cora was only 10 weeks old and I was definitely kind of a hot mess over how she would do and if we would even get any pictures that could be framed. HA!  We arrived at the place where we were taking our pictures, talked with our photographer for a few minutes and then decided to get down to business.  We got all posed and ready to flash our smiles when my husband Aaron, who was wearing a white shirt and holding baby Cora said, "My shirt feels wet." He handed her over to me, which revealed a HUGE, bright yellow poop stain!!! We then looked frantically at Cora's dress and her diaper had leaked all over her tights and her bloomers. I frantically ran to the car to change her and salvage her dress and broke one of the heels to my shoes in the process. AWESOME!  Luckily, our photographer was awesome and reassured us she could photoshop any and all stains out of the pictures.  Aaron just strategically held either Charlotte or Cora in front of the stain on his shirt for all the pictures and it ended up being no biggie.  But geesh- at the time....I would definitely say I was a tad bit sweaty about the whole thing! HA!

Thanks for covering up Daddy's poop stain Charlotte! HA!
(P.S. I am trying not to start ugly crying at how small my two oldest girls are in the picture!!!) moving onto another classical "momfessionals" moment for me.  It was a couple years ago, during my husband's 3rd year of medical school. He was studying for a HUGE exam and was gone A LOT.  One afternoon, I was just really spent and decided to take the girls to the library to give us "an activity" to do.  I also needed to pick up a book I had on hold, so that was going to work out well!  Um....yeah.  Not so much.  My 2nd oldest daughter was a little over 2 at the time and LOVED to run away from me at the most inopportune times.  My youngest daughter was about 8 months, and while she loved the stroller, she did not like it when I strapped her in it at the library.  She wanted to be exploring and crawling around, pulling books and DVDs off the shelves.  Sooo...after we unsuccessfully tried to leisurely look for some books and DVDs, I decided we needed to get my book and get the heck out of the library.  We go to pick up my book, which ended up being huge and that is when Cora decided to make a mad dash for it.  I was holding Celine at the time because she was freaking out about being in her stroller.  I gave Charlotte, who was 3 1/2 at the time, my book, which by the way, did I mention it was a book about Natural Family Planning and it said that in BIG BOLD letters on the cover?!?  I held Celine in one arm, told Charlotte to follow me and raced off to scoop up Cora.  As soon I as snatched up Cora- she went limp and started crying/screaming, Celine tried to crawl out of my arms and was screaming and Charlotte yelled very loudly, while holding the book up very high in the air, "WHAT IS THE TITLE OF THIS BOOK MOMMY??"  By this point, everyone in the library was staring at my crazy train.  I think at the time I wanted to cry....but now I just laugh about it!! HA!  They were probably all thinking- lady- forget Natural Family need to do something a little more permanent- hahahaha!! 

Sooo one more story :)  I was at the library (we really like going to the library apparently) with my girls and was very pregnant with James.  Their behavior was AWFUL and I was not a happy camper about it.  I was loading them all up while yelling  talking in a loud, firm voice about how disappointed I was in their behavior, how they were losing ALL of their DVDs (dramatic much??) and that I was VERY upset.  Right as I finished my rant, one of the sweet ladies we knew from our local grocery store, popped up right next to me and said, "HI!!!"  My face turned 20 shades of red.  I asked her how long she had been standing there, to which she replied, "Oh not too long!"  UGH.  She totally caught me being scary mommy.  I quickly tried to back peddle and talked about how crazy the winter weather makes my kids...but she just did one of those sympathetic smiles and head nods.  Motherhood is definitely humbling, isn't it?!?!

Hope you have a wonderful day and know that no matter how many "momfessionals' moments you are doing an AMAZING job!! :)

Mid Month Confessions on a Monday!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Hi! Happy Monday!! How was your weekend?? I hope it was the perfect mix of relaxing but also filled with some fun activities!  I usually post my menu plan for the week on Monday...but I am being all crazy and wild today and switching it up!  
Heather, from the super fun and cute blog, Notes From the Nelsens, hosts a fun link-up party called, Mid Month Confessions every month.  I missed the official day of the link up (this past Friday), but I still wanted to participate and post some of my latest "confessions" I thought today would be the perfect day to do that!  If you want to check out last month's confessions- click here!

- I LOVE wearing flip flops.  They are my absolute favorite shoe to wear!!  I am super weird and have a pair of flip flops that I only wear inside- because I hate going barefoot.  I KNOW. SO strange.  I can't explain it- I just don't like the way my feet feel on the wood floors and carpet!  So I have a specific pair of flip flops that I clean regularly and only wear inside the house.  If I am running out to get the mail or to sit on the patio- I put on my "outside" flip flops so my "inside" flip flops stay nice and clean.  #weirdo

Couldn't agree more!! :)
- If I am being completely honest...I am actually super glad to be taking a break from posting my menu plan this week.  My desire to plan meals once summer arrives NOSEDIVES.  If it wasn't my responsibility as a mom and wife to make delicious and healthy meals for my family- I would totally make sandwiches for dinner EVERY single night.  Or pour everyone a bowl of cereal.  I keep it classy at our house! HA!

- Speaking of planning meals....I had a total fail last week.  I thought it would be super yummy to make Southwest burgers.  I used a taco seasoning packet and mixed it with some ground turkey and made hamburger patties.  The seasoning ended up being WAY too over powering and it made the burgers a nice deep shade of red.  I knew once my husband brought the burgers in from the grill that he was not going to be a fan- so I tried to doctor his burger up with a sour cream/salsa sauce (keeping with the Southwest theme) and added a few onion rings to the top of his burger.  Needless to say...I will NOT be making Southwest burgers again.  My husband ate most of the 2 burgers I gave him...but not without some pretty hysterical comments about how (not) delicious the meal was.  I may or may not have been doubled over laughing trying really hard not to pee my pants.

- There are moments during the day when it is just NOT the most fun.  Usually this is right around nap time or dinner/bed time.  All of my kids are freaking out in their own special way, they are super tired and there is just a whole lot of drama going on.  This is just real life with 4 kids 6 and under!! During these moments- I do one of three things: 1) Take a couple deep breaths and tell myself this moment is just a blip and will be over as soon as everyone gets settled in their beds 2) Say a prayer to give me patience and not lose my temper 
3) Daydream about escaping for 24 hours to visit my best friend (who I haven't seen in THREE YEARS) or with my husband, whom I haven't been on a trip with since June 2015! The daydream only lasts a few seconds, though, because leaving my kids right now and going on a trip is just not a reality- so I usually just stick with a combo of 1) and 2) - HA! 

SO SO TRUE!! Knowing this is how I can remain (fairly) calm and unaffected during the above mentioned drama and freak outs!! :)

That's all the crazy I have to share today!  
Hope you all have the best day!!

Linking up with Heather!

5 on Friday!!

Friday, May 15, 2015

Happy Friday!! How was your week? Our's was full with a lot of activities...they were all fun...but I am definitely looking forward to moving at just a tad bit slower pace this weekend! 

Here are my 5 Favorites from this past week!!

Over the past few months, we have become friends with the NICEST couple.  They watched our kids for us at the end of March so we could go out for our anniversary.  Well, my friend texted me the other day and said, "I want to drop something off for your before Mother's Day."  I was thinking she might have gotten me a plant or a card. Imagine how surprised I was when I opened this canvas she made for me!! She traced my kids hands when they were babysitting in March and then put it all together and decoupaged it onto a canvas!! I LOVE it!  It is hanging up in my kitchen and definitely my new FAVORITE piece of artwork!!
Celebrating Mother's Day was one of my FAVORITE moments from this past week!! I had such a wonderful day...and not because the day was absolutely perfect (because it WASN'T!!).  I just felt so much gratitude all day long that I get to be a mother to my four precious children.  Motherhood is humbling, messy, really hard and the absolute best thing I have and ever will do with my life!
We celebrated my youngest daughter's birthday earlier this week and it was SO fun!  Definitely a FAVORITE moment of my past week, was seeing her so excited and happy that it was her special day!!  Funny story: we are working on apologizing sincerely and demonstrating forgiveness with our two older daughters- so my youngest daughter hears the saying, "I forgive you" quite a bit.  HA!  Anyway...she has started saying she "forgives us" but in the totally WRONG context.  On the night of her birthday, after her party was over and I was putting her to bed, she gave me a big hug and said, "Mommy, I forgive you for having my great birthday party!"  Hahaha!! I said, "Oh! You mean THANK YOU?"  And she said, "Nope! I FORGIVE you!"  Alrighty then....!! HA!

A FAVORITE personal moment for me this week was when I had my "weekly weigh-in" for Weight Watchers and I finally reached my goal of being at my pre-pregnancy weight!!! I have been working REALLY hard on making healthy and smart food choices as well as making sure I am working out 4-5 days a week.  It felt SO good to see my hard work is paying off!! Now I have just a little over 3 pounds to get to my ultimate "happy" weight.  I am almost there!!  While it is definitely a major mental challenge at times to not just eat whatever the heck I want and/or skip my workouts, it is SO motivating and exhilarating to know I am focusing on being the BEST me I can be.  When I feel great, I am a WAY better mom, wife, daughter, sister and friend!
As I mentioned earlier, it has been a very FULL week at our house.  With all the busyness, I have been appreciating the quiet time I have in the morning by myself.  I get up at 5:00 am, make myself some coffee, work on my blog, read my devotions for the day and just get myself centered and focused on having a great day.  I NEVER thought I would be a person who CRAVED waking up super early- 
but it has become one of my FAVORITE parts of the day!

I hope you all have a FABULOUS Friday and a wonderful weekend!!

 I am linking up with April for Five on Friday!

 I am also linking up with Andrea and Erika for their Friday Favorites Link Up!
 Also, joining Karli for her, Oh Hey Friday Link Up!

Thoughts For Thursday!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

It has been a super busy week so far at our house and I would be lying if I wasn't having to FORCE my eyes open right now! HA!  Lots of coffee drinking on the agenda today....!

How about some random thoughts for this Thursday??

- I currently have my hair colored an all over dark, auburnish brown color.  I was talking to my husband about getting blonde highlights put back into it and what he thought about that.  He started off by saying, "Well...your hair color now is definitely my least favorite color you have dyed it."  HA!  First- I LOVE how honest he is with me (he wasn't being mean at all!) and Second- could you have told me that a few months ago, right after I had it colored?!? I could have done something about it at that point!  Needless to say...I am going to make a hair appointment for some blonde-ish highlights ASAP! I prefer my hair lighter and apparently so does my husband! ;)

- As I was getting dressed for church this past Sunday, I realized I only have 2 summer dresses that are appropriate for church.  So, I hopped on over to Old Navy and here are a few dresses I am thinking about getting:

I thought the length on this dress was perfect for church and I like that I can wear a regular bra with the straps.  A perfect summer black dress!

This dress is made out of a jersey knit...and I am curious as to how it would fit me.  I love the color and I think it would look so cute with a denim jacket when the weather starts to cool off again!

This dress just looks so simple and easy to wear!  And I love the color! It has a cinched waistline already- but I think adding a fun belt would be so cute too!

I think I will just order all of them (hello free shipping!) and try them on!  LOVE that Old Navy does free returns too!  I am all about trying on clothes at home instead of in a dressing room  with my four spirited children who make their presence very known. HA!

- My favorite blogger, Grace, linked this article Jen Hatmaker wrote a couple of years in one of her posts earlier this week and I was dying laughing reading it!! SO where I am right now!!

That's all I have today...basically I need a hair appointment STAT, must do some shopping like NOW or else I will be wearing the same dress every Sunday and I CANNOT wait for summer break.  That about sums up my life right now. HA!

Hope you are having a great week!! Friday is TOMORROW- YAY!

Linking up with Natalie today!!