Sep 12, 2018

How We Do Fall

Today I'm linking up with Shay and Erika for their monthly series, "How We... Wednesdays"!



This month's topic is "How We Do Fall".

Fall is one of my favorite times of the year!  I love all the pumpkin hype, the crisp, cooler weather, the trees, smells, everything.  I have loved blogging about fall in the past several years which you can find here, here, here, here, here and here

So, how do we do fall? 

We always go to the pumpkin patch.  We typically grow our own pumpkins, but the girls insist on going every year haha!  We have 2 local pumpkin patch/apple orchards that have their festivals on the same weekend.  They both have food/kid stuff and fun little boutique stuff to buy.

Love this pic of them when they were basically babies...



Gimme all the fall scented candles!  I typically stay with soy based candles since they burn cleaner, but I found this one at Hobby Lobby and I couldn't resist, it smells HEAVENLY!!



We also love to go for walks in the woods.  We have woods behind our house that we love to go explore, or we go to St.Johns which is about 10 minutes from our house, it's just gorgeous out there!





Brad and Alayna start duck hunting the end of September.  She LOVES going with him, even though it requires her to get up by 3:30-4:00.  Thankfully she is easily persuaded by Little Debbie Snack Cakes.



We have a large apple tree in our front yard that produces the worlds smallest crab apples.  Even though it takes forever to peel the little buggers, I still use them.  I canned 8 quarts of apple pie filling this year, and we love to make apple crisp, apple pie and glazed apple pie squares.





And of course it is not fall unless you rake all the leaves and jump in them! 



I am looking forward to the cooler temps and the time changing (I know, I know!!).  I like having cozy evenings at home.  I hope you enjoyed a little peak into how we do Fall!!

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Sep 6, 2018

Back to School

Well, we have (almost) survived the first week of back to school!  It has also been a cool week, in the 70's and lower 50's in the morning.  I LOVE IT!!  Oh I am so ready for everything fall...

Labor day weekend we were home and I got SO MUCH DONE!   Saturday I cleaned out our storage room and reorganized it.  Unreal how much room we have in there now, haha.  I think I took 8 bags of stuff to Goodwill and threw away 3 bags of broken things.  Saturday night we had Brad's brother and his family over for supper.  We grilled, had some drinks and played cards.

Sunday was just more cleaning the house and getting laundry done.  Sunday around suppertime we headed over to the farm for the annual Labor Day weekend fish fry and campfire.  Fish was yummy and everyone brought sides/desserts.  We ate waaaay too much food!





It was a beautiful night for a campfire!


Labor Day we alsways go back to the farm for a big breakfast, Brad made an egg bake and there were caramel rolls, sausages, hashbrowns and fruit.
We got home around 9:30 and I had an itch to clean out the garage.  I literally worked on from 9:30-7:00!  It is so clean now!  Brad and the girls helped out too.  Feels so good to have the house organized and cleaned out before winter.  When the girls were younger, Monday night was "Spa Le Zimm" which was a girls only spa night.  The girls would take a bubble bath in our jacuzzi tub and we would do face masks and manis/pedis.  I would make mini cinn/sugar sandwiches and they would have a kiddie cocktail.  They looked forward to it every year!  Unfortunately the two bigs have practice in the evening and trying to find a night that everyone was home was next to impossible.

First day of school pics!  Rachel: Semior Emma : Sophomore and Alayna: 7th Grade.  Brad made everyone a hot breakfast, eggs, omelets or breakfast sandwiches with hashbrowns.


I always like to do a little back to school decor...


I couldn't resist this cute photo of them back in 2011!


And I love this quote, "Life Without Jesus is Like a Broken Pencil, There's No Point".


I got each of them a little back to school bag with travel size lotions, deoderant, face masks and bath bombs.



I plan on enjoying every little bit of this year with Rachel, can't believe this is her last year!!!




Aug 29, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

How is it even the last week in August??  This summer FLEW by.  And as sad as I am to see summer go, I am HYPED for fall!!!  I am so ready for routines, fall clothes, pumpkin smells and cozy suppers.

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So here's a little of what we've been up to!

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WHAT WE'RE EATING THIS WEEK:

Wednesday: Chicken Taquitos
Thursday:  Garlic Chicken Pasta- No link for this one, it comes frozen in a bag!  It is free of anything artificial and gluten free, so it's not too bad for ya!
Friday is usually pizza night

WHAT I'M REMINISCING ABOUT:

What is was like pre puppy!  The girls just reminded me that I have not posted anything about our sweet puppy Josie.  She is a red fox lab and was born on April 27th.  It's been.....a trip....lol.


She's a sweet pup, but she's a pup.  And exhausting.  And demanding.  Maci the cat isn't overly thrilled, but I do think they will be BFF's.  Someday.  


WHAT I'M LOVING:

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Everything apples!  We have a hugecrab apple tree in our front yard.  The apples are teeny, but I still like to use them for canning.  We also went to the farm to grab apples as theirs are much bigger.  I ended up canning 9 jars of apple pie filling.  It's SO good, and quite easy once you spend all day peeling the teeny apples, HA!

I also got a big basket of tomatoes from my sister in law and canned 5 quarts of diced tomatoes.  Although we didn't get a garden in again this year, I'm happy I got some canning in!

WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO:

Brad and I were able to go see Journey/Def Leppard in concert and they were amazing!



The first week in August we rented a cabin with 2 other families and had an amazing week!


The weather was 80 and sunny ALL week!  It was glorious.  The cabin had just been remodeled and was gorgeous.






It was exactly what we needed, AND I finished 3 books!  I plan on doing a recap of what I read this summer.  

WHAT I'M DREADING:

Next week starts Rachel's senior year, I just can't even.  We got a few sneak peeks of her senior pics and they are AMAZING!

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I cannot wait to see the rest of them!

WHAT I'M WORKING ON:

Gearing up for school.  All three girls are in sports this fall, so our schedule is CRAZY!  Thankfully I have meal planned for the next three months, but it's going to be nuts.  I've also been an organizing fiend.  I think I've gotten every drawer and closet all cleaned out and organized!

WHAT I'M EXCITED ABOUT:

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Need I say more?

WHAT I'M WATCHING/READING:

I'm currently reading "An American Princess, the Many Lives of Allene Tew" and "A Stranger in the House".  I'm excited to do a recap of all my summer reads, there were some really good ones!

WHAT I'M LISTENING TO:

We've been on a "Greatest Showman" soundtrack kick again.

WHAT I'M WEARING:

Nothing new, just getting excited to get the boots out!

WHAT I'M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

It's still kind of up in the air.  We have no concrete plans, except getting some stuff done around the house.  I really need to get our storage room cleaned out and organized...

WHAT I'M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

Watching our girls play their sports!  Rachel and Alayna are in volleyball and Emma is a swimmer, we LOVE watching them perform!  It will be an absolutely crazy few months but we love it.

Have to include some pics we took down by our "broken" tree, haha!







Jul 26, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

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How is it that July is almost over??  This summer has flown by, but I feel like we've enjoyed every part of it!  This is the first summer ever that the girls have not done softball.  I have very much enjoyed my evenings at home, not gonna lie. 

And dare I say that I'm ready for school to start??  Actually, I think the girls are too, especially mouse.

What We're Eating This Week:
Monday was Ground Beef and Snow Pea Stirfry
Tuesday was Cheeseburger Biscuit Bake
Wednesday was Chili in the Instant Pot (we had a cool front come through, so chili was acceptable!)
Thursday will be leftovers and Friday we are gone

What I'm Reminiscing About:
How my itty bitty first born is now a senior in high school, ugh....


What I'm Loving:
The book "Body Love" by Kelly Leveque.

Body Love: Live in Balance, Weigh What You Want, and Free Yourself from Food Drama Forever

I seriously think she made this book just for me haha!  Everything makes so much sense and I have enjoyed my healthy smoothie every morning this week and just feel so much better!

What We've been Up To:

Just over here summering.  Going out on the boat, hanging out in our pool...


What I'm Dreading:
All the hustle and bustle with having a senior.  We haven't done any college visits yet and of course everyone on Facebook has done like 4.  Ugh.  And the pictures?  I need to try and organize all the pics from over the years...

What I'm Working On:
Last weekend I sat on the patio all morning and meal planned for the rest of the year.  It feels so good to at least have a plan in place!
I also finished school supply shopping for all 3 girls and clothes shopping for Alayna.  Feels so good to have that DONE!

What I'm Excited About:
We rented a cabin up north with 2 other families for a week.  We cannot wait to go!  Unfortunately I have to work that Thurs/Fri, but that also means I will be home alone for 2 days!

What I'm Watching/Reading:
We've been having the Hallmark channel on if the TV is on, it's s till their Christmas in July!!  We love it!  I am currently reading 2 books: PS I Love You and Living Danishly.  Love them both!  I also read Body Love in 24 hours.  :)

What I'm Listening To:
Pandora still, I have my shuffle on Bluegrass, Fleetwood Mac and Country Pop

What I'm Doing This Weekend:
I surprised Brad on our anniversary with tickets to see Def Leppard/Journey on Friday night, we can't wait!

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month:
A week at the cabin!



















20 Years!


July 11 we celebrated our 20 year anniversary.   20 YEARS!!!!!  I can't even believe it's been that long...  I can honestly say those 20 years flew by!
Look at what babies we were....


I am so incredibly thankful I get to do life with this guy!  Sure we have our ups and downs and sometimes we want to strangle each other, but honestly, it's just been so natural with him.  We truly enjoy each others company, and many times we pick staying home to hang out rather than going out with friends.


Marriage isn't easy.  It's definitely a give and take.  Sometimes it's apologizing even when you think you're not in the wrong.  Sometimes it's putting his needs before mine.   Sometimes it's shoving the kids in his face and him realizing without a word said that mama needs a break.



Sometimes you just gotta roll with it....


I am so thankful each and every day that God gave me him.  We were meant for each other and I cannot wait to see what the next 20 years brings!!!

Jul 8, 2018

4th Of July 2018

Another perfect July 4th is in the books!  Although, I still can't wrap my head around the fact it's July already, ugh...

I think we're all a little messed up with having the 4th on a Wednesday!  Brad and I both took Thursday off so going back to work on Friday felt like a Monday, haha.

Our town always has a huuuuuge July 4th celebration.  It's starts on the 3rd with a concert, food, games and beer.  We always go to my sister and brother in laws for supper then head up to the grounds.  Unfortunately the festival on the 3rd has gotten so big it's almost not fun anymore.  There was 20,000 people there this year (our town is 7,000)!!

If you've read my blog at all, then you know why I love the 4th so much.  22 years ago Brad proposed to me at the parade on the 4th!  He had my dad make the sign which they attached to the side of the firetruck.


I was completely taken off guard by this, he did so good!!


Our church puts on the festival and always asks for donations.  
Emma always bakes a cake and this year she baked this awesome red, white and blue tie dye cake!


We did walk up to the grounds around 9 so that we could watch the fireworks with the kids.




We were all wiped when we got home.  We were closely watching the weather and it wasn't looking so good for the parade.  We were up bright and early to check the radar and there was a huge line of storms coming.  We thought for sure the parade would be canceled and Alayna was devastated.  We decided to go anyway and it ended up being a PERFECT morning with no rain!  The sun only came out for a bit which was perfect because it was warm and muggy.




After the parade we played a few games, got some food and watched one of our favorite bands play.  The rain finally came around 1:00, so we headed home.
Brad's family was coming over in the afternoon to swim and hangout.  It rained for about an hour and then the sun ended up coming out for the rest of the day.  We couldn't have planned it better!

Emma and I made some patriotic snacks!



It was a  perfect (hot) afternoon/evening.  Typically we head to the farm for a campfire since they have such a huge bonfire area, but with all the rain it was too soggy.  We ended up staying here for a fire and it worked out perfect!


Brad lit off some fire works and the kids did some sparklers.



Such a perfect day, I'm always sad to see the 4th go.  Hope you all had an amazing week!!