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.