Friday, December 14, 2018

Friday Favorites 12/14/18

It's been so long since I've participated in a Friday Favorites post! I'm happy to be blogging more again, and this is one of my favorite link ups to join in on! The link up is hosted by Narci, Andrea, and Erika. Today I have 6 favorites to share:

My first FAVORITE for the day is:


I have given all of my finals and graded them all... after I submit my grades on Monday, I'm off work for THREE WEEKS! I really do love my new job, and I'm so glad I made the career swap from Financial Aid Counselor to Professor.

Another FAVORITE of mine from this week is that our Christmas shopping is F.I.N.I.S.H.E.D! No more pressure to find just the right thing. We did a pretty good mix of online and in-store shopping this year, which made the process a lot easier.

No work, and no more Christmas shopping.... what am I going to do these next 10 days between now and Christmas?! Snuggle my baby, watch Christmas movies, and BAKE! I'm looking forward to all 3 things. I'm planning to use this recipe which is one of my FAVORITE ways to make cookies bc its so easy.  I'll use red and green M&Ms to make a cookie cake for my family Christmas this weekend... I'll probably write, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESUS" on it.

Image result for happy birthday jesus cookie
This is a random Google image, not actually my cookie cake. 
Speaking of Christmas shopping above, one of my FAVORITES that we purchased this year was from Food for the Hungry We have been sponsoring a child for about a year and a half, which is a monthly donation that helps purchase food for her and her family. FFH also offers gifts that give back. This was great as a gift for my grandparents who have everything, and want/need nothing.

I purchased "two chickens" for a one set of grandparents. This is a gift that goes to a vulnerable family in honor of my grandparents, and can provide both food and a way for the family to earn money. For my other grandparents we purchased the gift of a household water tank that provides a vulnerable family access to clean water, in honor of my grandparents!

Once you make your donation, you get a certificate you can print out to give as the gift. I paired it with a box of chocolates, and that's my Christmas gift to each set of my grandparents!

Another FAVORITE gift that we purchased this year, was a little less thoughtful, but I think my niece and nephew will love: Altec Speakers . These things are awesome! Waterproof, sand proof, etc. and for being as small as they are, they are LOUD! We tried them out at Kohl's ($30) but ended up buying from Amazon bc they were cheaper ($25). Here is a pic below of the speaker next to a Tall Starbucks cup, so you can see how small this thing is. (This is an affiliate link above, so I will get a small Amazon credit if you purchase!)

My next FAVORITE is my little cutie in his Christmas sweater! We found it at Target, and I plan on having him wear it several times over the next two weeks. I took this pic last weekend at my work's family-friendly Christmas party. You can find Liam's sweater at Target. (this is not an affiliate link, just sharing bc the sweater is so cute!)
He wasn't sure sure about santa, but look how cute his elf sweater is! 

My last FAVORITE for the week was a little swing time with my big boy. We have this swing hanging in our garage, which gives us something to do when the weather is too cold or rainy! He LOVES it, and has even started lifting his arms if we say, "Woo Hoo!!" Its so cute!
He claps when he is excited or if we say, "Yaaay!"

Arms go up when we say "Woo Hoo!"

That's all of my favs for this week! This weekend Lee and I are going solo to his work Christmas party, then we'll spend the weekend at my dad and step-mom's house celebrating an early Christmas with some of my family. Sunday when we  get back to town, we're gonna try to take Liam to see Santa with Lee's sister and her family. I'm looking forward to all of the family time! Happy Friday, my friends!!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Weekend Recap 12/15/18

Last weekend we continued our Christmas celebrations! On Friday, the school I work for hosted a Christmas event for students, families, staff, etc. They had Santa and Mrs. Claus, a bounce house, snacks and hot chocolate, and all kinds of kids games. Liam enjoyed a few of the activities, and he was looking so cute in his little Christmas sweater.

Liam loved Mrs. Claus' glasses
He wasn't too sure about sitting on Santa's lap

The goal was to throw the hoola hoop around the stockings, but he just liked listening to it rattle.

Family pic by the "fireplace"

On Saturday, my mom came over and watched Liam for us. Lee and I picked up our friends Derrick and Kelli, and headed to Louisville, KY for the day. We stopped at a winery on the way and did a wine tasting. After the wine tasting, (I switched to water so I could drive), and we ate some salami, Gouda, and pretzels and the rest of the gang had another glass of wine. I definitely want to come back in the fall, because they have a nice deck with tables and chairs that overlooks a pretty treeline that would be extra pretty when the leaves change.
A little wine tasting with 2 of our favorite people 
After the winery, we went to Lights Under Louisville, which I definitely recommend. Lee and I have gone here 3 times now for the lights (and 2x zip lining) and it is a great light display! Its an old limestone mine, and you get to drive through the cave to see the lights. It is about a 25 minute experience. You definitely want to plan your timing, because on the weekends there's a nice wait to get into the cave. I think we waited just under an hour, but we didn't mind because we were catching up with friends.
A few pics of the lights we saw!
This ice skating rink made of lights was my fav!

Before heading home, we stopped for dinner at Monnik. This was our first time eating here, and we really enjoyed it! I didn't take any pics of our food, but we had the truffle fries as an appetizer, and Lee ordered a burger, and I had the Pub-Style Chicken Curry. It was not too spicy, but rather a little sweet. A unique choice for me, and I was glad I stepped out of my usual box.

Heading to dinner!

Of course we stopped at Starbucks before heading home, and I enjoyed my favorite Starbucks drink, Caramel Brulee Latte. The coffee + company kept me awake while driving home.

Sunday we went to our nieces' church dedication, and had some Red Lobster for lunch. We spent the rest of the day cleaning up the house and playing with our sweet Liam.
We had to take a pic of our food and send it to my dad, who loves Red Lobster, but wasn't with us for lunch. 

It was a fun weekend with a perfect mix of friend/family time, and lots of holiday fun.

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Weekend Recap 12/8/18

Now that I'm back in the groove of blogging, how about a weekend recap? Last weekend we did all kinds of fun Christmas-y activities. On Friday, I had to work during the day, and Lee had some vaca time to burn up, so the boys stayed home together and I went to work. Liam didn't nap well during the day (kind of a new trend), so he was a little crabby. We made pizza and hung out at home.

Saturday, the 3 of us got up early and headed towards Effingham. We met my mom, my bestie, and her mom for lunch at Panera. My mom and I attended a paint class with my BFF, Jenea', and her mom. Lee and Liam hung out at my brother's house for a few hours.
My bestie and our moms! J & her mom weren't quite done with their projects yet, so they didn't include them in the pic. 

Mom and I with our projects!

After the paint class, my 2 boys picked me up and we headed towards Fairfield, where my dad lives (about an hour drive, but on our way back to our house). My dad and smom got to be in charge of lighting the city's Christmas tree, and Liam got to help! This is the first year for the tree lighting, so they joked that the tree would get bigger each year. After the tree lighting, we watched the Christmas parade, and went out for pizza (I very rarely get tired of pizza, haha). After dinner we visited at my parents' house for a bit, and headed home around the time we'd normally put Liam to bed.
Not my best photography skills displayed here, but they're getting ready to light the tree!

Sunday morning we woke up and it was beautiful outside, and I needed a little pick-me-up,so we went for a walk.

After our walk, we went to church, ran some errands, and headed home to be productive. Lee grilled out chicken wings for lunch, and I made some sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts to go with.  Our plans ofbeing productive ceased when we decided it was WAY TOO NICE for December, so we better take advantage... so we headed to the zoo for an hour or so.

After we walked around the zoo, we then headed home and got productive. We cleaned up the house, used some leftover chicken from lunch and made a big salad for dinner, and got ready for the week.

It was a nice weekend for outdoor activities, and I loved being able to spend time with my 2 favorite boys!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

HELLO OUT THERE... family update!

HELLO OUT THERE...! It's been a while! About 4 months have passed since my last blog post! How did that happen?! In my last blog post I shared that I had gotten a new job. That new job has made for a crazy busy, yet fun semester! I am really LOVING teaching. This semester has been a pretty big learning curve for me, and I'm trying my best to take it all in. I've had plenty of frustrations and failures, but also lots of successes and good times. Overall, my students have been kind and patient with me as I learn to navigate teaching. I have some bright students this semester, and I've enjoyed their thoughtful discussion in and outside of class. I'm going to call my first semester as a college professor a success. Next week I'll give final exams, and once I submit my grades, I'll take a little time off before diving into a new semester.

There's SO MUCH that I want to document from these past 4 months... fun times with my 2 favorite boys, and with the rest of my family, home projects, crafts, recipes, etc., but I'll work my way through all of that as I get time.

For now, I just want to update and get myself into the groove of blogging again. My new job has been keeping me busy, so I've spent most of my free time on a computer grading and preparing for assignments and lectures rather than blogging. I think as I approach a new semester and I am teaching some repeat courses where I've already developed assignments and read the textbook, tweaking them will be less time consuming than starting from the beginning... so hopefully I can blog more frequently going forward. So that's an update on me and my career change.

Lee is doing great, and has been so supportive of my new teacher role. We spend a lot of "date nights" at the dining room table together doing work after Liam goes to bed. Working from home while sharing a coffee at 11pm isn't our ideal date, but it's made us extra thankful for our jobs and we suppose that any time together is better than none, right? haha. Lee has done an awesome job making finishing touches on our basement remodel, and I am thinking 2019 is the year it will officially be finished, as there are really only a couple small things left to do. We have it to a point now where we can hang out down there and Liam can play. I hosted my 3rd annual scarf party downstairs, and I'll definitely have to blog about that soon!

Here's a pic of us on a family walk this fall. 

We were a family of pirates for Halloween. 

Liam is growing like a week and is walking (RUNNING) all over the place! He has at least a dozen teeth, and is cute and sweet as ever. We celebrated his first birthday this fall, and time continues to fly. My new job has given me some great flexibility and I'm loving having extra time with him, especially on Fridays (which is why I work late so many nights- so I can work ahead and spend my day with him on Fridays).

Here are just a couple pics from Liam's 1st fiesta. Can't believe we already have a 1 year old!

All that being said, our clan is doing great and feeling extra thankful as we dive into the holiday season. I can't wait to reconnect with some of my favorite bloggers, and link up on a few Friday Favs posts and what not.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Friday Favorites: New Job Edition

Hi everyone! Today I'm linking up with  ErikaNarci and Andrea for Friday Favorites! 

Friends, I just have one Friday Favorite to share with you this week, but it's a good one: I GOT A NEW JOB!! Whoop whoop! Time to celebrate. After working in Financial Aid at my Alma Mater for the past 5+ years, I decided it was time for a career change. During my time in FA I learned so much, and definitely realized my passion for Higher Education, but was starting to feel like I had reached maximum grown in my position. That, combined with my MBA I earned in 2016, combined with the new mom chaos, I was ready for something different.

All of that led me to my new job, as a PROFESSOR! Yep, you can call me Professor F :) This academic year I'll be teaching Business Administration courses at a local jr. college, and I am SO EXCITED! I have gotten a good feel of the business side of higher ed, and now I'm excited to test the waters of the academic side of things. 

Perks to new job: 
  • new challenges/learning for myself
  • more interaction with students
  • something different everyday
  • new adventures each semester
  • flexibility, which will hopefully allow for more work/home balance
  • work from home most Fridays 
  • limited summer schedule
  • more quality time with that sweetie pictured below

Today marks the end of my first full week here, and next week is my first week of classes! 

So all that being said, my new gig is my FAVORITE thing going on this week, and I'm excited to update you guys on how its going as the semester progresses.

This weekend is Lee's and my 6th wedding anniversary, and we're taking a family get away to Lake Barkley. Lee and I have done this several times for our anniversary, but this will be our first time as a family of 3. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Liam enjoys it. I hope you all have a great weekend!! 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Daytona Beach 2018 Days 1 & 2

Last week we took our first vacation as a family of 3! This was Liam's very first vacation. We kept it simple and headed for the beach. Our local airport does a quick, direct flight to Orlando Sanford airport, so we figured that would be great choice for Liam's first flight since it's just under 2 hours, and then we rented a car and drove to Daytona Beach, which is about a 40 min drive from the airport.

Day 1
Liam did great on the airplane. We gave him a bottle during take of and the landing to help with his ears popping. He cried a little during the landing, but just a few wimpers. We played with him and gave him snacks on the plane. We also downloaded his favorite show, Little Baby Bum on our iPad to keep him occupied for a few min as well.

Once we landed in Daytona, we got our bags and car and headed towards the beach! The hotel we stayed at was called the Nautilus Inn, and we loved it. It's nothing super fancy, but its right on the beach, clean, family-friendly, and all of the hotel rooms have a kitchenette (microwave, full fridge, small sink, oven, stove and some cabinet storage). This was great for washing bottles, etc.

We checked into our hotel, dropped off our stuff, and headed to the pier for some dinner. We grabbed a quick personal pizza, ate, walked around briefly and headed back to our hotel. We walked on the beach for a few min, and Liam was IN LOVE. We headed back to the room to put Liam to bed, and I had a grocery delivery scheduled from Publix, so we took care of that and headed to bed ourselves.

Day 2 was Independence Day! We knew everything would be busy, so we headed to the beach early, around 10am. We figured out this week that Liam has about a 2 hour beach span and then he starts fussing. So around lunch time we came in and Liam took a nap, while Lee and I ate lunch in the room. Liam slept for just barely over 2 hours, so Lee and I took a nap ourselves, caught up on some emails, and enjoyed the balcony view.

When we all woke up it was time to get ourselves ready and head for dinner. We chose to eat at Aunt's Catfish, and it was great. I would definitely recommend it. This was our favorite food of the trip.
Waiting for our table outside Aunt's Catfish

They had a small little playground for kids to play on while waiting, and a big dock to walk out on and enjoy the view

View from the dock at Aunt's Catfish

I had a frozen cocktail with dinner, YUM! 

The food at Aunt's Catfish was so good! I don't have pics of my salad plate, but they had a HUGE salad bar with both hot and cold items. You could totally make a meal out of this if you wanted. I chose the "Pick 2" option on their menu with coconut shrimp and clamp strips, and my meal came with two sides. I chose a baked potato and the salad bar. ALL of the meals come with a cinnamon roll, and they are DELICIOUS! I was too full to eat mine, so I took it to go and ate it for breakfast the next morning. Even the next day it was so good.

After eating Aunt's Catfish, we headed back to our hotel and went for an evening walk on the beach, Liam's favorite vacation past time, and then we watched a few fireworks from our balcony.
We watched fireworks in our jammies from the balcony! Look how intrigued Liam was with the fireworks! 
The fireworks were loud outside, so we put noise cancelling headphones on him. He tried to pull them off, but once he started watching the fireworks, he was distracted enough to keep them on. Thankfully, the fireworks didn't bother us while we were inside sleeping!

Check out my next post to read about the next 2 days of our trip!

*The link above is an affiliate link. Thanks for supporting my blog! 

Monday, July 2, 2018

Weekend Recap: T Swift Edition

Friends, I am so exhausted this Monday morning! Give me ALL the coffee! This past weekend was totally worth it, though. Read all about it! 

Friday was kind of a drag... our AC went out, and it was 85 degrees in our casa when we got home, YUCK! So Liam and I spent most of our evening playing in the basement, since it's so much cooler down there than upstairs. Lee called the AC repair, and they came out and got it fixed! I was so thankful!! I had been a little nervous that they may need to order a part or something, and if that's the case, our house might've stayed hot for a few days, OR we'd have to pay an arm and a leg to rush order, etc. So thankfully, it got fixed, and our casa is all cooled down now. After the AC people left, Lee went and picked up some taco rice bowls from Hot Head Burrito, and we called it a night. 

On Saturday, Liam and I hung around the house and cleaned up and what not while Lee ran some errands. Saturday afternoon, my brother, his gf, and my niece showed up. We took my niece and headed to Louisville, KY, and my brother and his gf stayed at our house with Liam. 

Let me just start by telling you that this concert was in an open stadium where U of L hosts football games, and it was HOT! Like high 90's, heat advisory kind of hot. On our way to Louisville we rocked out to T Swift and got ourselves pumped up for the concert. Once we got to town, we grabbed a quick dinner at Chick Fil A. 
This girl LOVES her some Chick Fil A. 

After dinner we headed to the show! The openers were Charli XCX and Camilla Cabello. Next came Queen Tay, and she put on an AWESOME show. Think fireworks, confetti, flames, fountains, props, costume changes, and of course some really great music. The concert was quite a production. We had so much fun dancing, singing, and sweating haha. 
We were HOT, but having so much fun together. 

T Swift is that tiny little woman on stage, haha. Thank goodness for those screens so we could see her! 

Everyone at the show got a bracelet that lit up differently for each song, etc. It was so cool! 

We made it home late, told my bro and his gf all about the show, and then crashed. Sunday we got up and had breakfast with my family. My step-mom came over and us girls went to Starbucks for some coffee and got pedicures! We stopped at Sonic on our way back for lunch, and then everyone headed home. Lee, Liam, and I spent the rest of our Sunday cleaning up from the weekend and starting to pack for vacation. 
Love her so much! 

Time to get pampered! 
This little guy was so sleepy but wouldn't go to bed, so I wore him in my baby carrier, and got some kitchen cleaning done. 
We'll be headed to Daytona Beach, Florida for vacation soon, and we are SO EXCITED! This will be Mr. Liam's first airplane, first time to the beach, and our first vacation as a family of 3. I can't wait to tell you all about it when we get back. Happy Monday, everyone! 

Friday, June 29, 2018

Weekend Recap: Date Night Edition!

Hello everyone! Its Friday, and I'm just now re-capping last weekend... some weeks just work out that way, right? Just go with it... ;)!  Here's a recap of our weekend: I took the day off work last Friday and gave myself a 3 day weekend. Why can't all weekends be 3 days long?!

Friday morning, a friend and her 2 sons came over for a couple of hours to play, and it was great to have some girl chat. Liam and I hung around the house the rest of the afternoon. I held him and snuggled through BOTH of his naps, and we got all packed up for the rest of our weekend. Then Friday night, we ran some errands: A stop at Target, some dinner to-go, and we headed home. It was a nice quiet day/evening with my cutie. Lee left for Nashville for a conference straight from work on Friday, so Liam and I were flying solo the first part of the weekend.
We played outside on our swing... 

...and we played inside with Elmo! 

Saturday morning, we got up and got ourselves ready. My MIL came over to pick up Mr. Liam, and I headed for Nashville. This was my first time leaving Liam over night, and I was really nervous, BUT I did great, and didn't even let myself cry. Liam LOVES his gma, and he got so excited when she walked through the door on Saturday, so that made me feel better about leaving him.

Once I got to Nashville, Lee and I dropped my stuff in the room and headed to the pool. We ordered a frozen drink, took a nap in the lounge chairs by the pool, and it was glorious. That evening we had dinner with the conference, and they provided tickets to the Grand Ole' Opry. We had never been before and we really enjoyed it.
Pool side with a frozen, fruity drink. Much needed R & R. 

The conference was hosted at the Gaylord Opryland Resort. If you've never been here, I highly recommend going. It is so pretty! We stayed here for our babymoon, and have just gone there to walk around other times we've been in Nashville, and it is enjoyable both ways. We got to stay there this past weekend, so on Sunday, we got up and had breakfast at one of the restaurants there and then spent a little time walking around looking at all of the flowers, went into a few shops, and picked up some souvenirs for our babysitters.
My love and I all dressed up for a night out. 

Artwork like this was outside of the Grand Ole Opry.  I posed with Keith Urban...

... and Lee posed with Dolly. 

After our breakfast and walking around the hotel on Sunday, we packed up and headed home to love on that baby of ours! It was so nice to get some one on one time with Lee, and although we drove separate to Nashville, we ended up talking on the phone with each other for an hour on our way home.

We spent the rest of Sunday playing with Liam, unpacking, and getting ready for the week. Our first couples getaway post baby was a short one, but we had a great time together, and I survived leaving Liam over night.  He must've played hard with grandma and grandpa, because he fell asleep around 6:40 pm on Sunday night, and woke once through the night for a bottle, and went back to sleep until 5:00 am Monday morning! Talk about a sleepy baby!
Family snuggles on Sunday with our sleepy boy. 

We had fun in Nashville, but we sure did miss this sweet face! 

So now that I've recapped last weekend, it's Friday, and I'm so excited about another great weekend planned! We are taking my niece to see Taylor Swift in concert tomorrow, and my little guy is going to spend the evening with my brother and his girlfriend. It'll be a kid swap for us! My nephew is MIA from us this weekend bc he's going to a friends's house for a sleepover, so we'll miss him, but I have no doubt he'll be having plenty of fun with out us. Hopefully next week I can tell you about our weekend sooner! Happy Friday, my friends!