Monday, November 28, 2016

Mall Santa + Christmas on Main Street

Saturday I decided we needed to take our annual trip to see Santa. We didn't have any plans for Saturday so it was perfect. I wanted to go early so we could make it back to watch the Iron Bowl. Santa shows up at 10 am and we made it a little after that. He was smitten with Santa and there were no issues getting him to sit on Santa's lap. This was the first picture they took and it was perfect. 

My mom went with us so while she went and got her hair done, Jack and I went to a small fun space they have in the mall. He slide down that slide over and over. Since no one was in there that early I went down a couple of times myself. He thought it was the funniest thing me going down the slide. He would say 1-2-3 go and I'd push myself off. I'm not one for this type of thing but it was pretty fun. We ate nachos in the food court and then headed home.

Our small town holds a Christmas on Main Street every year so it has been on our calendar for awhile. This was our first year to go since Jack really hadn't been old enough before to enjoy it. Here he is sporting his new shirt I got him. 

Our first stop was Santa. Look at the candy canes they gave out-the M & M filled kind-SCORE! See the train in the background, well Jack couldn't wait to get on it. I've been wanting to take Jack to play on this train for awhile but we don't really go downtown (there isn't much there anymore). So this was a perfect opportunity. He really enjoyed playing on it. Our town is a big train town and so we walked over to the tracks and the other trains so Jack could see it all up close. 

Here he is standing infront of one of the trees to be lite up during the tree lighting ceremony. As you can see I have his backpack leash on him. I actually got a few judgemental comments but like I told them losing Jack or him getting run over would be much worse. Jack is a darter and there were numerous times where that leash was VERY much needed. 

The Junior League painted this back in October and I loved it so I had to snap a picture.

I didn't get any of the pictures of the parade. I was busy making sure Jack didn't run out into the parade. They threw candy so it was hard getting him to stand on the side. I would let him get the candy that came close. Our town is so small that getting plenty of candy wasn't an issue at all. Since our town is so small it was mostly a bunch of tractors and 4-wheelers. There were a few cute floats but for the most part it was simple things. Jack loved it though.

If we would have gotten there at 3 we could have had free cookies and hot chocolate but I knew waiting 2 hours before the parade to start would be too much. We instead got there a little after 4 and then didn't have to stand in line long to see Santa. After the parade was the tree lighting ceremony and then there was a singing with the last song being a community singing of "We Wish You a Merry Christmas". It was very cute and small town. 

It was the perfect weekend to start all of our holiday celebrations and seeing Santa twice is always a good thing. When we left the house Jack threw a fit because we turned left and on the day before we had turned right to go see Santa. Kids can be so smart. I'm sure he was thinking "you said we were going to see Santa but we aren't going the same way as before". 

Do you have any fun holiday plans? 

Friday, November 25, 2016

Thanksgiving Pictures

I just love Arkansas. On Thanksgiving it has the beauty of fall and comfortable weather. We had the windows open which was nice because the house was cooking with the heat of the oven. As you can tell, we don't rake our five acres. You have also noticed that Jack's shirt had to get changed. He had a shirt like Bennett but the cranberries were too much for the shirt. Since Bennett would only eat deviled eggs and bread he wasn't messy at all. The dress that Maybree has on had to be washed after her only wearing it for 30 minutes. Oh life with kids! Take a look at some cute kids having fall fun.

During my Thanksgiving break I was able to do so much. I'm extremly proud of myself. I'm recovering from gallbladder surgery but have recovered so well. The Christmas decor is out, Christmas gifts are bought and wrapped, and fun holiday plans have been made. I'm ready for all the festivities. This is the first year where I feel like Jack really gets it. When he sees presents he knows there is something exciting inside. He knows who Santa is and loves seeing all of our Christmas decor. I am actually giddy thinking about Christmas morning. There is nothing like seeing Christmas through the eyes of your child. 

What are you most looking forward to this holiday season? 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Getting Thanksgiving Ready

It has been a whirlwind here this week. Wednesday I had my gallbladder removed and came home from the hospital Thursday. Friday my mom had her elbow replaced and came home from the hospital the next day. Her arm will be in a cast for two weeks. Typically we host the family Thanksgiving but with all the craziness we are just doing a small Thanksgiving with our immediate family. Even with less people and less food it still takes a lot of prep. Since Jack and Bennett are out of school they have been my sidekicks. We've been getting ready for Thanksgiving and also doing some fun Christmas crafts.

I've done the Thanksgiving shopping and only forgot five things so another shopping trip will have to be made. Our menu consists of turkey, dressing, hashbrown casserole, broccoli rice casserole, corn on the cob, rolls, and gravy. For dessert there will be banana pudding, pecan pie, and coconut cream pie.

I bought some cute iron-ons for Jack and Bennett and got those ironed on yesterday. They will only be worn for one day but that is okay because I always enjoy a cute Thanksgiving outfit.

We needed a project to do so after seeing other cute kid made placecards I put the kids to work. We found colorful leaves outside and got some fall colored paint. I let the boys just put paint on however they wanted and then we glued leaves onto the cards. As they dry I am writing the names on the cards. My paint pen isn't doing all that great on the paint so it is going to take a take a few tries to get the names filled in. I'll let the boys place the cards in the right spots on Thursday. 

The plan was to make hand turkeys but I decided to do reindeer instead after seeing cute ones on Pinterest. I think they turned out super cute. I painted the antlers on and the boys glued on the eyes and nose. Once they were dried I hung them both up by the Christmas tree. All of the Christmas decor is out. I'm out all week and decided it would be best to do it now instead of doing it after Thanksgiving. The cold weather that came in got me in the holiday spirit and I am loving having the twinkle of the lights as the house is quiet at night.

I hope y'all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2016

Thanksgiving Week...I'm Thankful for You

There has always been something magical about Thanksgiving week. You can feel the momentum build as this week is rounding the corner. Jack and I are both off this week. My nephew Bennett is going to spend the first part of the week with us since school is out and his parents will be working. I'm excited to have the boys help with the work and have lots of fun with them.

Here is a list of goals for the week:

1. Decorate for Christmas

2. Buy and prep food for Thursday

3. Wrap Christmas gifts

4. Mail off packages for Stocking Stuffer Exchange and Christmas Ornament Exchange

5. Paint hand turkeys with the boys, read Thanksgiving books, watch holiday movies, make Thanksgiving place cards, drink hot chocolate, bake cookies, and write letters to Santa. Big fun people!!!

6. Put together's Jack's Thanksgiving outfit (I bought a cute monogrammed iron on). Hopefully, I won't mess up this one like I did the one for Halloween.

7. Start gathering addresses for Christmas cards. Every year I have to do this...when will I learn to keep this in one spot to use each year????

8. Put together our family Christmas bucket list

9. The Great Toy Purge of 2016 (we gotta make room)

10. Get lots accomplished during this week off work but also have tons of fun with my family. I want to start back to work next week feeling rested and accomplished so I'm ready to tackle the holiday season with joy in my heart.

One amazing thing that I accomplished over the weekend was that I have completed ALL of my Christmas shopping. So very happy to have that out of the way. Buying gifts can be fun but it can also be quite stressful. It is one major Christmas thing out of the way so I can focus on all the fun.

What are your plans for this week?

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Renewing My Motherhood Vows

On Friday as I was reading blogs with the tv on in the background I realized that I've been in a negative place for a little while. I'm not sure what it was but the thought flashed on like flipping a switch. Being a single parent is so hard and I'd gotten bogged down by the day to day. Just doing all of the necessities and having a spirited toddler was wearing me down. I hadn't realized that I had stopped having fun. I had found myself more frustrated in motherhood than happy. The worst part of my realization was that when I thought about it I realized the attitudes of the people around me had fallen right into place with how I was feeling. I don't want to be a negative person but I had become one.

In my mid to late twenties all I wanted in the world was a child. I've always loved children and I really wanted one of my own to do all the things kids love. I was going to be super mom and I couldn't wait. As with most things, the idea and the reality were very different. The expectations I set for myself were unattainable.  I'd lost my passion and got caught up in a defeatist attitude.

I've had enough and right in that moment I decided to renew my motherhood vows.

I vow to have fun.
I vow to start letting little things go.
I vow to incorporate Jack into the daily chores instead of trying to keep him away while I work.
I vow to lean into the hard stuff.
I vow to pick my battles and to be okay with losing some.
I vow to make Jack laugh more often.
I vow to be silly.
I vow to roll with the chaos.
I vow to give myself permission to feel down but I vow to get back on track.
I vow to chill out.

Since Friday when I renewed my motherhood vows I've done well. Here is an inside look into some key moments into my renewed relationship with motherhood.

Jack and I went outside and really played instead of me sitting with my face in my phone.

When Jack and Bennett decided they needed chocolate milkshakes I made them and let them help. They loved it.

When Jack asked to have the milkshakes outside I said sure and we all headed outside.

Saturday morning Jack declared he needed a donut. Instead of leaving him with my mom while I went, I bundled him up and we sang thanksgiving songs in the car and I let him pick what donuts he wanted.

I was trying to watch Designated Survivor and Jack kept jumping in my lap because my attention wasn't on him so I paused it and we had a tickle fight.

I almost lost my cool, okay I did a little, when Jack spit his milk all over my bed. I acknowledged my bad temper and let it go.

Jack and Bennett wanted chocolate milk and Bennett kept licking the drippings on the bottle. I told them to open their mouths and I squirted chocolate in their mouths and let them chase it with milk. They thought it was hilarious and I got a big laugh also.

I know I'll fumble and a time will probably come where I'll need to renew my motherhood vows again but that is okay. As long as I'm trying to be the best mother I can be then I can't be that bad.

What would be one of your motherhood vows? 

Monday, November 14, 2016

Saying Goodbye to My Gallbladder

I am currently sitting in a hospital bed with an IV delivering antiobiotics. Two weeks ago I began having this awful pain in my right ribs. I googled and tried many different natural cures for the pain I was having. By that Friday I was feeling okay so I went ahead and traveled to Fayetteville. I was at the tailgate for an hour before I told my friends that I was going to have to uber back to my friend's house because the pain was too unbearable. Monday morning I set up an appointment with my PCP and he conducted a urine and blood test, an x-ray, and an ultrasound. According to the nurse everything was normal so they set me up to have a HIDA scan. I had the scan on Friday and Monday morning the nurse called and said my gallbladder was extremely bad off. I was then at work and the pain was so bad that I decided to go to the ER. The surgeon did some checking and my gallbladder had already gotten infected.

The surgeon said I would need to be admitted and be on antibiotics The gallbladder is scheduled to be taken out on Wednesday and that I could go home on Thursday. This is not the best timing. My mom is getting her elbow replaced this Friday. My book fair is scheduled to arrive Thursday which means I'm going to have to go back to the school over Thanksgiving break and set it up. I'll have to hire some muscle because I'll never be able to pick up super heavy boxes.

I've eaten a few plain noodles and a few crackers this whole weekend so when they brought in my tray I goobled it up. They served baked fish, cubed potatoes, and steamed veggies. Surprisingly, it tasted really good! I may have just been really hungry, either way I was happy to have some real hot food.

I'm trying to find the good in this experience. I'm getting upinteruppted quiet time. I feel it reminds me of Bad Moms when Kristen Bell is talking about how she wants to have a wreck, but just a small one so she is in the hospital for a small amount of time. I'm reading blogs, watching tv, playing on my phone, and taking cat naps.

I'm just excited to have some relief from the pain. The people I've talked to have said that I'm going to feel incredibly better once it is out. I'm ready for that.

I'll keep y'all updated when I can.

I hope y'all have a good week!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

November Goals

Yeah, I know, it is already November 8 and I'm just now getting around to post my goals for this month. This month has already been so crazy busy that I needed to break up the month (before and after Jack's birthday) before I could really write out some goals. I'm looking forward to a productive month full of fall fun.


1. Write out Thanksgiving menu and give out assignments.

2. Iron on the Thanksgiving graphic for Bennett and Jack's shirt.

3. Get my Secret Pal a birthday gift.

4. Set up and advertise for the school's bookfair.

5. Mail off my ornament to Tayler for the Ornament Exchange.

6. Blog twice a week.

7. Mail my friend Heather a shirt I got for her.

8. Write out my Christmas list.

9. Finish up all of my Christmas shopping for everyone except Jack.

10. Go through Jack's toys and clothes and get them out of the house!

Jack is 4!

Today has been a whirlwind, Our life can be so chaotic and I have to just roll with the punches. Before I get into today's events I will need to backup to Saturday.

My friend Brooke and I went to Fayetteville to visit my college friend Betsy and attend the tailgate with her. We went for a little while Friday night and got up early Saturday morning to go to the Farmer's Market. My right side started hurting really bad. I tried to push through and even went to the tailgate but had to Uber back to my friend's house because I was so uncomfortable. I ended up in her bed until we left Sunday morning at seven. The pain never went away so I suffered through until I could make an appointment.

Monday morning at 2:45 am Jack starts throwing up all in the bed that I share with him. He has never gotten sick like a grown up. He has only ever thrown up two other times in his life. I felt so bad for him. He said "Oh Jack! You made a mess". So the first time I saw him on his birthday he was puking onto me. I quickly got us washed up and pulled the sheets. The mattress was disasterous. He was wide awake at that point so I moved to the couch and he played around me.

After about another hour of sleep I get up and dress for work. Jack is still feeling fine so the plan was for him to go to school and me also. I get to work and was able to call later and make an appointment for after lunch.  I won't go into too much of my awful doctor's appointment but I'll say I know nothing more and I hope to hear from the doctor tomorrow.

I got back into town in just enough time to pick up Jack's cake. My mom fixed Jack's favorite homecooked meal-meatloaf, mashed potatoes, mac and cheese, and corn on the cob. It was chaos when I got home. My mom was cooking and Bennett and Jack were running around crazily with a balloon. They got even more wild when they saw me with cake and presents.

The rest of the evening was just WILD! I had to put up the cake because Jack couldn't stay out of it. Bennett had a meltdown because my mom broke the news to him that they were Jack's presents. Jack ended up opening his big gift while everyone was running around getting things ready. Since he had already opened it I decided to get it out of the package so they could play while we finished things up. The fight was on then because the boys kept screaming to each other "you have to share".

Once the food was ready Jack wouldn't sit down to eat and all I ended up getting in him was some of the corn. Bennett kept flipping out because his food kept touching (his mom was the same way as a child). My niece was screaming because she didn't want to be in her highchair. All the adults were spending their time dealing with meltdowns.

The best part was when we sang Happy Birthday to Jack. He was so excited and loved blowing out the candles. He loved having all of the attention. He couldn't sit still long enough to eat much cake and ice cream. He kept running over to his gifts and taking off the paper. I let go of there being a time to open presents where we were all sitting around.

At 6:45 Jack went and crawled into bed with zero promting and went straight to sleep. I hope he was just exhausted and not really getting sick. If you have been around here long then you know that sleep isn't Jack's thing.

Jack had a great time and loved having a day all about him. Here are a few pictures from today's events.