Friday, October 30, 2015


Paper football (I do not know the official word for this) has been popular in our house this week. Not only do I not know the official title for paper football, but I do not completely understand the fascination. Brian and Camden have played almost every night this week, and it cracks me up to hear them laugh and compete.

Seriously, they practically giggle.

Football in the evenings represents more than just father/son time. It means that Brian has finally pushed past the beginning-of-the-year hurdle, and life as a teacher is much more palatable. Not that he still isn't putting in long hours or working on weekends, but the stress is more contained at the end of October than in August.

(And I'm not sorry to have him available to handle soccer practice every once and a while!)




Our weekend is flat out flexible, which I'm quite excited about. We're either taking advantage of the last bits of sunshine in our forecast or shoe shopping tonight (pretty sure Brian and the kids would choose one outing while I would choose the other); Michael, Liz, and Addison are coming over tomorrow night to eat tacos and hand out candy.

Sunday night? We. have. no. plans.

And this is how we feel about it.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Tuesday Tidbits

Rory participated in our school's talent show over the weekend. I was so proud of her; it takes a lot of bravery to stand up in front of a large group of people!


I think Camden was disappointed that he chose not to participate. He's already making plans for next year, and when we left, he told us, "I could have listened to that all night long."

Our weekend included: hosting a new women's group at our house, going on a lunch/shopping date with Rory, attending parent/teacher conferences, attending a friend's senior recital (college), spending 5 hours in the kitchen Saturday morning cooking and doing prep work for this week, attending the school Talent Show, editing 800 wedding photos, carving 3 pumpkins, church on Sunday (which sounds so simple, but involves a majority of the day), and attending a pumpkin carving contest/hay ride event.

Why, yes, we are a bit tired heading into this week. Many families have busier schedules than this, but it sure feels like we're booked to the max these days. I need a little breathing room.

We have moved into the portion of fall where it's cold and rainy and dark by 5:30 (since we're still waiting on the time change). Please tell me we're not the only ones who feel like it surely must be bedtime only to look at the clock and realize it's 7:00 and there's still a solid hour left of parenting before we can reasonably retreat to our quiet room and start unwinding for the night.

That breathing room I mentioned earlier? Pretty sure it's coming my way. I'm working from home today and then will be off Thursday/Friday. There are many things coming up, but those 2 days should help reset my introverted spirit.

I don't actually have any pictures of my own family uploaded (I am WEEKS behind), but I do have a picture of these cute crazies. 


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Crazy Kids











Monday, October 19, 2015

Fall Break: The End

Fall break flew by fast and furious. I worked regular hours, Brian pressure washed the house, porch, deck, and driveway, stained the new deck, fixed toilets (ick) and did many other little jobs around the house.

We also managed to have a little fun by finally taking a trip to downtown Nashville's Cumberland Park. We still haven't been able to walk over the new pedestrian bridge since it manages to be closed every time we're in the area, but it was a great fall afternoon (pictures coming later). We introduced Camden and Rory to Edley's BBQ nachos for supper, and they were fans.

Tuesday after work we went to see Pan, and while Brian and I didn't particularly enjoy it, the kids loved it. Camden even went so far as to call it his favorite movie. Spoiler - there is a lot of very negative orphan dialogue that made me quite nervous.

We kicked off the weekend with a stop at Crema for coffee and a donut (a vanilla birthday brioche donut with askinosie chocolate filling - AMAZING!) before a quick 48-hour trip to Pigeon Forge with some church friends. I have to say that while we spent the majority of our weekend (seriously, nearly all of it) in the car because of insane traffic, it was nice to spend uninterrupted time with Brian (kids were with Gram and Gramps). We were also able to sleep in and managed to watch all 6 episodes of the final season of White Collar. I would call that a win!

We're hitting the ground running this week. It happens to be one of our busiest weeks of the fall season, so it's a good thing we had all that rest over fall break (insert a tad bit of sarcasm). All sarcasm aside, how lucky are we to have a fall break at all! 



Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Pumpkin Patch 2015

For the third year in a row, friends from 180 Church met at the pumpkin patch/corn maze located literally 3 minutes from our house. I have been realizing this fall more than ever that my kids are just past the age where I'm going to plop them down and snap their cute picture.


That just doesn't go over nearly as well as it used to.

Not that I didn't give it the old college try. What can I say? I was completely bewitched by the 75 degree weather, blue skies, and pretty orange pumpkins that I tried to get my 12 year old to smile pretty.

This is how he felt about the whole thing.


Let the youngest child in your party lead the way while you follow blindly and try not to trip seems to be the theme of a corn maze so Addison won the honors of leading our group. She thoroughly enjoyed being Ms. Bossypants and giving us all very specific directions. Camden struck out on his own because wanted to race to the finish while Rory went with the teens in our group (pretty sure she loves being the little one in this group).





Three is definitely a more appropriate age for pumpkin pics, right?


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Officially Fall

It doesn't quite feel like fall until you've gone to the park and snapped pictures of your family at play. Am I right?  October is proving, yet again, to be my absolute favorite month of the year. Hands down.

I don't know what's happening here, but it's pretty funny.



We all need a little help sometimes.





The magic of fall is that even a 12-year old wants to play on the playground equipment.


39-year olds get in on the fun sometimes too.

And now we can call it officially fall since I've taken (and posted) these pictures. What a great way to start fall break!

Friday, October 09, 2015

Sisterhood and Brotherhood

“I don’t believe an accident of birth makes people sisters or brothers. It makes them siblings, gives them mutuality of parentage. Sisterhood and brotherhood is a condition people have to work at.” Maya Angelou

Are my kids too old to be bribed with popsicles so they'll sit in one spot and let me take their picture? Absolutely. Did I do it anyway? Why, yes, I did.


(This would be a very fake laugh given specifically for my camera.)

(Oh, look! Her fake smile has emerged into something resembling a real smile! Camden? Not so much.)


I'm honestly not sure if it's tougher to be the oldest or the youngest in this duo. Being big brother/little sister both have challenges. They recently had a "moment" that I wanted to jot dot down I wouldn't remember, mostly because I hope it's the first of many.

While playing soccer outside together, Rory had wronged Camden, and he chose to walk away rather than engage her (hello, progress!!). After the tears had been shed, punishment handed out, apologies given, Rory asked if she could talk to Camden privately on the front porch. 

I, of course, camped outside the door with my ear pressed to the wall in an effort to hear the conversation. And I listened while Rory cried and poured out all her feelings (so. many. feelings.) and attempted to explain to Camden how he has hurt her feelings over the last few months, asked for advice on friendships and school. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry as I listened to them so I did a little of both. Rory was so brave to let her deep emotions flow out to the one who honestly has the power to hurt her the most, and Camden was so mature to actually listen and offer brotherly advice. 

Did this exchange bring about lasting change in their relationship? The fact that I had to bribe them to sit together should answer loud and clear that the answer is no. But I have high hopes that they'll both look back on this day in the future and realize it was the beginning of a friendship.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Snapshot #23

Outside my window:
We had our first taste of cold weather with rain and 50 degrees over the weekend (Rory had a soccer game in the middle of that), but it has been back to the mid-80's this week.

Is my scrapbooking worth the time/effort/energy/money, etc. Because of the whole cancer-I-might-not-be-here-when-the-kids-are-grown thing, I put alot of internal pressure on myself to document everything. Is it worth doing just because I enjoy it? Does it matter if I'm not the most creative scrapbooker? Is anyone going to care if I've taken pictures of our life? Where are all these albums going to be stored when the kids are grown?? I think I've come to the conclusion (again) that it's a worthwhile hobby, but one I shouldn't stress out about if I can't get to it.

Thankful for: 
this sunrise


Oh, definitely kid clothes.
To stay caught up on laundry/housework. Things are kinda sorta surface clean right now, but don't look too closely.

Playing the piano; such a stress reliever!

To get back into a photography groove; I am very out of practice.
Dinner plans: 
Leftover roast and potatoes

 Future plans I'm looking forward to:
 Fall break next week. Okay, so it's not fall break for me, but Brian and I are getting away for the weekend and that's a very good thing!

In the kitchen:
A little of this and that. I did make our first soup of the season over the weekend (a potato, ham, and corn chowder if you're wondering) and I mixed up this cannoli dip for a church women's event Sunday night (it was a huge hit!).

Survivor (this is still a favorite, even after 15 years), The Voice (love watching this with the kids), The Grinder (watched the premiere last week and thought it was too funny)

Snacking on: 
 Frozen grapes - I have become addicted in the last few weeks

The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
 For the Love by my BFF Jen Hatmaker (highly recommend)
If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Not Finishing (because there are alot of these):
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
 The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up (this seems totally up my alley, right? just couldn't get into it)
The Martian by Andy Weir (I might come back to this one)
Unbroken (the second time I've tried to make it through)

Where Men Win Glory: The Odyssey of Pat Tillman by Jon Krakauer 

I'm off work today so I ran a few errands this morning; I've spent way more time than I should just wasting time on the computer; photoshoot this afternoon, then small groups at church tonight.

Two recent photos:
Notice how Camden's head is out of the frame, but mine isn't? That's because he won't stop growing.

She may have wanted this furry pink coat during our shopping trip last week, but she did not come home with it.

Friday, October 02, 2015


I cleaned out Camden and Rory's closets this week now that our temperatures have started dropping. Rory officially has 1 denim jacket (thank you, mom), 2 hooded sweatshirts, and uniform pants/polos. Camden's closet didn't fare much better although he has a pair of high-water jeans and a couple of button-up plaid shirts to go with his uniform pants/polos. My, how times have changed. I can remember a time when their closets were bursting with adorable clothes.

Unfortunately, they are past the point where I can place a big Gymboree order and make them wear whatever I want so we spent a little time shopping yesterday and we're headed out again this afternoon. Camden acts as if I've asked him to run a marathon when I need him to try on an article of clothing, and this is Rory's idea of subtle.

In the words of Jen Hatmaker, "Jesus, be near."