Sunday, September 30, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

Whew!!! What a week we've had!  It has been a little crazy here which led to me being MIA again, so here is a catch up of what we've been up to the past week:

Wednesday we celebrated a pretty important day at work, Dr. Smith's 50th birthday!  It wasn't really until Thursday, but we knew we had to do it when he was scheduled to be in the office or he would never show up! Ha!  We decorated and put up "caution, 50th birthday" tape all over the office.
Dr. Barker bought a HUGE chocolate suicide cake from a cafe downtown and it is probably the very best cake in Chattanooga.  This, my friends is what $71 and a LOT of chocolate look like in a cake!

I am loving that Nicholas is very possibly my dad's team's biggest fan!  Any time we talk about Pawpaw these days he yells "PAWPAW'S TEAM!".  On Fridays we always wear our green and gold and this past Friday he made me laugh out loud.  I was getting him dressed and he pointed to me and said "Mama wearing green" pointed back to himself and said "Ichas (his name for himself) wearing green too! Pawpaw's team!"   He also ran into school and pointed to his shirt and announced to his teacher "green pawpaw's team!"  It made my football loving heart explode! Ha!  Here we were before school.  No clue what I am looking at! Ha!
I've had several long days at work and Michael worked Monday-Saturday this week, so we had a nice, relaxing Friday night in.  Nicholas was so tired that when we got home that he requested to watch Cars and when I turned around from letting the dog out, he was curled up on the couch under his Cars blanket! Ha!  I think our week was hard on more than just Michael and I!
I may have been at home and in my pajamas by 8:45, but that doesn't mean I didn't spend my Friday night Twitter stalking the team while they played 2 hours away! Ha!  I have a subscription to an awesome online scoreboard that texts me every time someone scores in their game.  I could not be any more proud of a certain group of 31 boys as I am Dad's team!  They won their 6th game of the year 56-19!!!!  That is a HUGE accomplishment for such a small team.  I'm a believer that 1. You can do anything you think you can when you trust in the Lord and 2. they have a HUGE heart and know how to play as a team.  They have now beat 6 teams that not only out sized them, but had a team twice their size!  They are definitely living up to their motto:   Colossians 3:23: "Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men."  I'm excited for this upcoming Friday night to take Nicholas back to watch "pawpaw's team!"  Here is the forecast, PERFECT! 

Yesterday N and I had a day at home.  We had our Fall Scentsy going, taco soup in the crockpot, and I spent the day cleaning out his Summer clothes and bringing in all of his new Fall and Winter stuff.  I also sorted stuff for our upcoming yard sale and consignment sale.  This kid has A LOT of clothes! Ha!
We also watched the UT/UGA game.  Let's not talk too much about the game other than to say that I think they did AWESOME considering that Georgia is 5th ranked.  They hung in there and that is more than I expected.  Sometimes a cool Fall day is just complete with taco soup and a Fall beer in front of the TV watching good college football!

This morning we went to church and back home to get organized for the week ahead.  Nicholas is loving his Sunday school class and I am so happy.  We actually had not been in awhile until a few weeks ago because I didn't want to leave Nicholas anymore than I had to and I hated the thought of dropping him off an extra day every week.  Luckily he has done great and loves it!  Here we are before we left.  He cracks me up with his muffin and milk!
My dad gave him some trail mix to have in the car on the way home and I turned around to see this!  Haha!  Needless to say, that shirt went in the washer immediately!  Thanks, Pawpaw! :-)

This afternoon, Michael organized our pantry (I LOVE HIM!) and I got our meals for the week ready.  I am also working on an online Bible study for Unglued.  You could still get caught up, we are just one week in.  It is at  It is definitely something I needed to do for myself.  That book sure has spoken to me in several ways.  One thing that stresses me out and I tend to get unglued about is our messy house and it made my heart so happy that Michael organized this for me!  It looks amazing!
We also worked together to get the garage clean enough to fit my car inside!!! My car usually only sees the inside of the garage in the Winter, but with cooler weather and rain coming tomorrow morning...I was ready to move it early! Yay! (Notice my new overhead storage for my holiday decorations!!! I'm excited about that too!)

One of these days (probably sometime in January), I'm hoping we can have a nice, quiet, relaxing weekend.  Until then, things are just going to be crazy!  I looked at our planner yesterday and it is out of control over the next 2 months.  There are a lot of fun memories to be made, but it will be a busy time for a certain toddler.  We have pumpkin patch, birthday parties, Boo at the Zoo, Fall Carnival at school, Halloween, Pawpaw coaching in the playoffs (Lord willing!), Thanksgiving lunch at school, Thanksgiving, Christmas shopping (ok, that is for Mommy, but whatever), School Christmas Pageant, Polar Express ride, and Christmas!  Whew!  That makes me tired to list all of that! Ha!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Two Years of Being A Working Mom

To commemorate the 2nd anniversary of going back to work I wanted to share a little bit of how I found peace with being a working mom.  It has been a hard road and it certainly isn't an easy job, but I know many of you struggle with finding the right balance, so here is how I make it work. 

Two years ago this past Thursday I left that sweet 12 week old little boy at school for the 1st time in his adorable little N shirt and went to work without him.  When I look back on that day we have come so far.  That morning I got up at 6am, got a shower, fed and dressed the baby, got in the car and when I got to the red light beside the hospital I freaked out a little.  I felt nervous and anxious.  What if he had a bad day? What if they have issues mixing his special formula and rice? What if he cried all day? (he was still having some GI issues)  Would he nap for them if he doesn't nap for me?  Will he even miss me at all?  When I walked him in and handed him over to a woman I had only met briefly and got back in the car I  felt like a bad mom.  I had tried to have this sweet baby for over 2 years and now I am just handing him over to someone else and I'm not crying.  What was wrong with me?!  I had a peace about working, sending Nicholas to a good daycare, and finding a balance between my two full time jobs.  I was ready to find a routine and I knew I didn't have a choice.  

While I was pregnant and on maternity leave I spent a lot of time researching and reading blogs of other working moms.  I wanted to know EXACTLY how these women did it all and found a balance.  The thing is, everyone has to find their own balance.  What works for me won't work for you and vice versa.  The three things that I think have helped me more than anything are these:

1. I enjoy working and have a job I love.  That is not a sin and does NOT make me a bad mom.  I enjoy having an outlet and Nicholas enjoys going to school.  It is a win/win for us both.  We get a break from each other and the time we spend together is very important to us.  In our situation, my working isn't optional, but it certainly helps that I have a job and career I love.

2. A daycare we love, trust, and where Nicholas learns so much.  I don't have to worry about Nicholas as much during the day because he is across the street from the hospital and I know that he is being well taken care of.  We love his teachers and in the rare event that I have had a problem, they have worked hard to fix the problem.  

3. Finding a routine and meal planning.  It took about a year and a lot of tears, but we finally got in a good rhythm and routine.  I do everything I can at night while Michael gets Nicholas ready for bed.  I get everyone's lunches ready, clothes laid out, and anything Nicholas needs to bring to school out and on the bar beside my keys.  I do all of my meals on the weekend and freeze for later in the week.  We would have junk or takeout every night if it wasn't for our homemade freezer meals.  

Those three things have been the three things that get me through.  There are days that I can't get it all done or that I spend all of my weekends running errands.  There are not days where I hate leaving Nicholas, hate my job and wish I could stay home.  Those days are few and far between, but I think every mom has those days no matter if they work outside the home or stay at home with their kids.  In the past two years since that day, I've realized that yes, it is HARD to be a working mom.  It is hard to be a MOM. Period.  One of these days I pray that the mommy wars call a cease fire and everyone just supports each other and we can all get along.  (I'm not going to get on that soapbox, but if you are a mom, you know exactly what I mean)  We all work hard and we all do what is best for our families and I think we all do the best we can.  

So, remember that sweet little baby on his 1st day of school 2 years ago?  Well, here is last Friday.  Where has the past 2 years gone and who is this BIG boy?!  :-)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Weekend Wrap Up

Who is excited that it is FINALLY officially Fall? (even though it is 75 degrees outside right now)  I spent Thursday night getting my house all ready for the season and it just makes my heart happy to have my house smelling like pumpkin marshmallow with leaves and pumpkins sitting around everywhere!  I'm going next weekend to get mums for my porch and the pumpkin patch in 2 weeks, then you can see my Fall porch.  :-)  My Fall Scentsy came Friday afternoon, so I got it out first thing yesterday morning.  My house smells amazing with Autumn Sunset and Pumpkin Roll burning.  How cute is this warmer?

I was so happy that the weekend was here.  Last week at work almost killed me.  It is always great to have a few days off, but the first week back is always hard.  Friday night my mom and I had a night out since my dad was playing about an hour away (we used to not think a thing about driving an hour to watch his team, but we are kind of over that now).  We went to Target, Belk, and then to The Chop House for dinner.  Don't worry, I was wearing my green and gold and kept checking Twitter and an online score board for updates on the game! Ha!

Saturday morning Nicholas and I went to sweet Baylee's birthday party.  Baylee's mom and I have been friends since college and I consider her one of my best friends and I am excited that our "babies" are the same age (even if they are TWO now!).  Nicholas got this ADORABLE shirt in the mail a few days ago from another one of my college friends, Chea just for the party!  He kept telling me he had a "owwwwboy" on his shirt! Haha!

Nicholas and Tate played together and had fun (even if we couldn't get a good picture of them together).  Tate has the next big party and I am excited about it too!  I am loving our social calendar now that we have a child.  It is much more fun to go to birthday parties and consignment sales than just have a weekend of doing nothing and wondering when your time is coming to do those things.  I'm loving being a mommy and watching him play with other kids and especially my good friends children like Baylee and Tate!  By the way, it is IMPOSSIBLE to get a picture of two toddlers together! Ha!
The birthday girl

Nicholas, as always completely trashed his shirt.  I don't know why I have nice things made for him to wear to birthday parties!!!  They always come home like this...

After a nap, Nicholas got changed into his gameday attire and we watched the Vols and ate some chili. I was excited to make my 1st pot of chili this season (you can find the recipe under my weekly meal plan).  We were just happy our team was winning!!!

This morning we went to church and to eat. It was a cool, Fall morning with a temperature of 55 when we left for church at 8:45!  Nicholas had a fun time (as always) in Sunday School.  We are blessed to go to a large church with lots of kids' activities.  I'm still trying to figure out a way to get him to Awana's on Wednesday night, but it is almost impossible to get there by 6:00.  :-(
We went to Pawpaw and Gigi's house and changed clothes and went to Outback to eat.  This picture just cracked me up.  He had to have a quick snack...
And savoring every bite of his chicken fingers and fries... Haha!

After lunch, the boys went home, Pawpaw went to watch football film and mom and I went to Michael's to buy Nana a new Fall wreath and to take it to her.  It was good to see Nana.  I had not been there in about 3 weeks, so I was glad to see her, but hated that Nicholas needed a nap and had to miss it.  It was a busy, but good weekend for us.  Going to have another busy week at work, so I am hoping to get in bed a little early tonight...we will see how that works out.

Hope everyone had a great 1st weekend of Fall!!!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Brain Dump, Fall Eve Edition

With it being Fall Eve, I am going to do a Fall themed brain dump today!  I'm excited for Fall, aren't you?

1.  My Bridier Baubles Britta Beads came last week and I was excited to wear them! Luckily the day after they came I had a doctor/patient-free day of paperwork in my office, so I dressed up and wore them! :-)  Loving the awesome orange color for Fall!

 2.  I have been having a lot of fun wearing Fall nail polish.  I had a hard time finding just the "right" orange to wear to the game on Saturday, so here is my UT orange creation.
 I put on one coat of the dark then one coat of the lighter color and then used my OPI top coat.  It is still holding up pretty well!

 3.  Loved last week's sign at the game.  I think it speaks for itself, I don't need to say anything else...

 4.  The weather this week is great!  It is the perfect Fall week and looks like our weekend is going to be amazing!

5.  I am getting into the Fall spirit (in case you can't tell) and in 2 weeks we will be headed down to Burt's Pumpkin Patch!  I'm excited to get Nicholas' annual pumpkin picture!  He sure has grown since the last year.  :-(

6.  I could write an entire blog on this subject, but I'll spare you with just a quick paragraph.  I have issues with universities and even high schools wanting to fire a coach that inherited a mess on his team only 3 seasons ago and not giving him at least 5 years to "fix" things.  Obviously I am referring to UT and Derek Dooley, but being a coaches daughter I tend to see things a little different than the average fan.  These coaches have a lot on of pressure to win, which I think is reasonable to an extent, but I don't think they should be expected to work miracles in less than 5-6 years.  I really hope that UT will look at the big picture before making a decision this season.  Derek Dooley has not done a bad job, but I understand that he hasn't done a great job either. Ok, stepping down off my soapbox now since that really is a jumbled mess of thoughts. Ha!

7.  Do we think it is too early to bust these boots out?  I am dying to wear them to a late morning barnyard themed birthday party tomorrow at 11 with morning temps in the 60s and a high of 79...

8.  I busted out the Fall decor last night and some pumpkin beer.  This is my new favorite Fall decoration.  My Nana made this before I was born (she went through a pottery phase) and I always loved it on her island in her kitchen, so here it is, on mine!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thankful Thursday

1. Today is a day where I keep reminding myself that I am thankful we have good jobs. First, I'm having a week of chaos and today was Dr. Barker's first day back, which is always crazy. Second, Michael thought he was going to have the day off and get to do some husband chores around the house for me, but instead he has to work today and since he is working Saturday, it will be at least Sunday before his chores get done. However, I am just very thankful to have such problems. In all the craziness of being a working mom, I am just thankful I have a job that allows us to be able to pay our bills.

2. I am thankful for children's ibuprofen and modern medicine! I cannot imagine 2 year old molars without it!

3. I am thankful that Fall is literally just a few days away and that we have had amazing mornings and evenings this week. Nicholas has been wearing a long sleeve shirt and jeans to school in the morning with a short sleeve shirt underneath. It has been precious to see him in his cute little thermal shirts and jeans. :-)

(sorry for the bad flash, I took this on my phone yesterday morning)

4. I am over and above all things today, thankful for our good health. Everyone in our family is in good health and I honestly cannot thank God enough for that. A little back pain here and there and a baby with asthma is NOT a big deal in comparison to others.  Please think about families that may have sick kids or going through an illness themselves while trying to be a parent and pray for them.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Prisoner In His Own House

Remember how I always bragged about how my 26 month old had been in a big boy bed for almost 8 months and never got out without us coming in his room to get him?  Yeah, well, scratch that.  A few days ago after a two hour nap he was yelling for us so right as Michael got to his door it opened and there stood a proud little two year old saying "Hi!"  Between the fact he now knows he can get out of his bed and room alone and that he has been opening out doors since he was 15 months old (they have lever style handles) and unlocking them for about 6 months, drastic measures were needed.  After an escape out of the living room, through the garage, and into the road last Friday, Pawpaw came to our house to install chains on the doors to prevent any further escapes.  One of my dad's best friends's lost his little girl when I was little after she was hit by a car and just from things I see at work, we don't play when it comes to safety near the road.  So friends, this is our new safely measure on the door to the garage...
Sweet boy is all mad about not being able to get in the garage or the backward whenever he wants.  Sorry kid, it's for your own protection and you'll think me later. :-)

Oh the life of a wild toddler boy!  If the honest toddler starts tweeting about locks on his doors it will finally be confirmed that he is Nicholas!

Monday, September 17, 2012

A Manic Monday Where Nothing Goes Your Way

I had not planned to write a post today, just the usual Monday Meal Plan (that auto-posted earlier), but I just had to share my day for my own memory.  This morning was going great.  I got up, got dressed, N got ready and we were out of the door and to school in record time.  That is when it all went downhill.  I pulled up to daycare and instead of leaving my car running like I normally do, I turned it off, but left the key in the ignition, got Nicholas out and walked in.  The kicker to this story is that I didn't touch the key fob, Obviously didn't lock the door before getting Nicholas out, but SOMEHOW mysteriously, my car locked while I was in daycare!  I came out excited that I was going to be almost 45 minutes early for work and my car was locked.  I tried all 5 doors, all locked!  I checked my pocket just to make sure I didn't have my keys.  Nothing.  No keys, phone, NOTHING!  I went back in and called AAA for a locksmith.  Finally about an hour later I was back in my car, but already late to work on my 1st day back from my days off.

Needless to say my day was rather stressful.  It just kept getting crazier and I was desperate for 5:00!  Then, this afternoon I ended up stayed a few minutes late working on some things that needed to get caught up from last week and by the time I got to daycare it was almost 5:30.  It took us almost an hour to get home and it was raining so hard I could barely see.  Because it was so late and we still had to eat dinner, I'm now missing an open house at my friend's new business that I had hoped to attend.  I was almost in tears by the time I had been driving 45 minutes.  However, I started thinking when I passed a wreck on the interstate that had tied up traffic...what if I had not been late this morning, left on time, and that had been us in a wreck on the way home.  Just because things don't go the way we intended doesn't mean that it wasn't THE plan to keep us safe or away from harm.

I am just happy to be safe, dry, waiting on dinner to cook, cuddled up on the couch with my sweet little cuties (Nicholas is on one side and Spencer on the other)!  We are just going to have a nice rainy night in tonight.

Meal Plan Monday

This week I am going with a more Fallish menu and I'm excited about the cooler temps headed our way this week.
Sunday - Crockpot Pot Roast, Carrots, Cubed Potatoes (all cooked together in the crockpot with beef broth and onion soup mix)
Tuesday - Beef Vegetable Soup with leftover roast
Wednesday - Crockpot Ranch Pork Chops
Thursday - Leftover soup or Salad and Twice Baked Potatoes (going to be a long day at work, so we are having a you pick your own meal night!) :-)
Friday - Pizza Night!
Saturday - Turkey Chili (this time I'm using ground turkey instead of beef)

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Weekend of Football

We all know it is NOT a secret that I LOVE football, but this weekend may have just straight up been the best weekend I've had in a long time!  Friday night we took Nicholas to his first football game!

 Overall, he was good.  He and I spent the entire 1st half running around, but the 2nd half I turned on the Disney Jr app and he watched Mickey's Road Rally, read with Gigi, and sat still until it became time to make some noise when the game was coming down to the wire.  I think the last minute touchdown and Pawpaw coming out of the press box got him wound up again! Ha!  It was an awesome game and I am so proud of my dad's team!  They are now 4-1 and they beat a team that was undefeated and much bigger than they are!  I'm glad Nicholas had a fun time, but I am pretty sure I am getting a babysitter next time! Ha!

Saturday I marked off one big item off my bucket list and got to see Lee Corso and the rest of the ESPN Gameday guys in person in Knoxville!  We left home at 7:30 and drove the 2 hour drive to Knoxville.  Here I am in my orange and white, with my pumpkin spice! :-)

 We were able to see quite a bit more than we thought we would.  The way it was set up you could see the stage and the guys, plus there were two large screens set up.  My favorite spot was by the ESPN Gameday bus.  I got a good shot of Chris Fowler doing an segment, Tom Rinaldi spoke to his ORANGE PANTS, and I got a great look at my boyfriend, David Pollack all while !  I've been a big fan of his since his days at UGA!  He is someone I want Nicholas to aspire to be like.  A great athlete, but one who kept his priorities right and loves God and his family.
Chris Fowler filming a segment.
 My favorite...Lee Corso on the big screen! Everytime they showed him he got a huge cheer from the crowd.  Everyone loves Lee!
 Yes, Michael had on his Beat Florida shirt! Ha!  It has been unlucky twice now, so I say we burn it!
 The mothership...also known as Neyland Stadium.
We kept hearing people say that they had seen Kenny Chesney.  I told Michael then that I bet he was the guest picker.  I was pretty excited to be right about that!  I stole this picture from ESPN, but the crowd went CRAZY when the picks were made and Coach Corso chose The Vols!  Too bad his pick was wrong...
 For lunch we went to The Tin Roof and met Michael's dad and step sister, Lora.  It was fun to see them for the afternoon!
I also go to see one of my best friends from high school.  Robin went to UT and sent me a message to meet her and I am so glad I did.  We haven't seen each other in probably close to 10 years and I dug this OLD picture out and I can't help but laugh!  Here we were about 2 weeks before graduation in 1999...
 And here we were yesterday.  Honestly, I think we look much better now!  31 looks good on us! :-)
 We left Knoxville around 5:00 and came back to get Nicholas.  We didn't stay for the game, but had just as much fun!  It was good to get back to Knoxville for a game and see some old friends!  Today I've spent the day getting groceries, meal prep for the week, and I had to run out to get Nicholas some jeans.  Our weather is going to significantly cool off this week!  I found these socks at Children's Place!  How cute are they?!  Yes, I got 2 pairs!
I just have to add this funny.  Yesterday we were big dorks and took pictures of the blimp over the stadium and Michael made a comment that it isn't everyday you see a blimp.  Wellllllll, look what was over our neighbor's house this afternoon! Hahahaha!