Monday, January 7, 2019

Weekend Recap - A Little Bit of Normalcy

This weekend was such a breath of fresh air, because for the first time in forever, there was nothing on our calendar. No Girl Scouts, no cheer, no family visiting, no travel planned. It was just a simple weekend at home & was exactly what we needed.

On Friday night, we picked up Ella from her after school program & all headed off to Wegmans for dinner and grocery shopping. We all got exactly what we wanted off the hot foods bars & then went upstairs to eat. The girls were able to color & chill out at a kids table, while Eric & I were able to have adult conversation at our own table.

After eating, we ventured into the grocery section & bought all the things. My hands were totally full because Ella refused to ride in the cart, so I didn't get an actual picture, but just envision this... except a lot healthier!

Image result for overflowing grocery cart

On Saturday, we went to the gym & met my sister's family there. The kids love to play in child care together & it's so much nicer to work out with my sister than alone. I got in 30 minutes of cardio followed by lots of weights. Saturday workouts are just my favorite.

After the gym, I ran home & got changed, then Olivia & I headed to meet my sister for a little shopping. We rarely take the little girls with us - it's almost always Ella & Grayson that go with us - but we decided to give them a turn and had so much fun. We ate lunch together...

Then Olivia convinced us all to ride the carousel.

The girls were worn out after that, so we did our shopping in (mostly) peace. I had a few things to return & also picked up a few of my hair must haves at Sephora. My mission though was to find some new home decor to spruce things up a bit... but more on that saga another day. 

While I was out with Liv, Eric sent me picture of Ella working on her Lego set. Can you even handle her pose? My sister & I were cracking up! 

We got home just in time for me to make Andrea' Tuscan Chicken Pasta for dinner & OMG was it good! The whole family really enjoyed it & it will definitely be entering our dinner rotation. Eric & I really want to try a new recipe every week this year, and this put us off to a good start. 

We watched some football, tucked the girls in for bed, and then I taught a few of my Chinese students with VIPKid. Such a wild Saturday night, but at least I know I made up for my shopping purchases earlier!

Sunday's are my days completely off from teaching - no real school & no Chinese students - so I savored every minute that I slept in. Somehow, I stayed in bed until 7:30 and Olivia even slept until 8:15. Ella was up, but she's old enough to entertain herself for awhile. I made the two of us breakfast when I woke up & then enjoyed conversation over eggs with my oldest.

Once everyone was up & fed, I did a bunch of cleaning, then got ready for the gym. I was able to fit in 40 minutes of cardio and was extremely sweaty by the time I finished. 

On our way home, we grabbed some Dunkin' and then swung through the car wash. Do anyone else's kids just love the car wash? Mine narrate the entire process, even though we do it all the time. So funny the things kids love... 

While I showered, these three were busy downstairs making homemade pizza! The girls love cooking with their dad! 

My niece has been in the hospital this week & Sunday afternoon Ella & I went to visit her! Ophelia has a condition that forces her to go into the hospital more than we'd like, but this was the first time Ella was able to come visit. They had the best time in the floor's playroom! 

We were just really glad that we got to cheer her up & distract her for a bit! 

The rest of Sunday was spent planning, organizing, writing this blog post, and packing for another busy week! If you have a chance, please say a prayer for my sister as she goes back to work after six months off. My nephew will be starting day care with the little girls & my brother in law is out of town too. It's just going to be crazy & I know she'd appreciate any good vibes you send her way! 

Happy Monday Friends! 

Friday, January 4, 2019

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday Friends! For a three day week, it has been a busy one! The kids are so tired from getting back into their routines & I am beyond grateful that we have nothing on our calendar for the weekend. We'll probably go to the gym, keep playing with Christmas toys, watch some football and recharge our batteries. 

Today I'm linking up with three of my favorite bloggers - Narci, Erika, and Andrea - to share my Friday Favorites! It's been so long & I'm just so glad to be back. In fact, let's count that as Favorite #1 - I'm back to blogging! 

Favorite # 2 - I know there are people out there who are going to hate me for saying this, but being back to work these past few days has actually been a favorite. Now, don't get me wrong, I love being home with my girls & having my days to do as I please, but I'm a creature of habit and really love routine too. So, for that reason, I've been happy to be back on schedule with meals, workouts, classes, and such.  We've made it to the gym & have been cooking really delicious meals at home this week, so that makes me miss the lazy days on the couch & eating out less! 

Favorite #3 - Speaking of delicious meals, Eric made Ham & Potato Soup over the weekend using this recipe & OMG is it delicious! I've probably told him a hundred times how much I've enjoyed it. It's creamy, but not heavy, and he really loaded it up with veggies, which all of our bodies needed after the holidays! 

Favorite #4 - Eric got me AirPods for Christmas and I could not be more obsessed. I really chose them because I liked the charging case & that I can ping them the same way that I can ping my phone. There are so many other features that I didn't even know existed that I love though! Absolute favorite, they sense when they're in my ears. If I pull one out - say to talk to someone at the gym - they automatically pause my music or podcast. When I stick it back in, it automatically resumes. How cool is that? 

Related image

Favorite #5 - I've said many times on here before that I spend a lot of time in my van. Whether it's driving to & from work, running the kids around, or taking longer trips to Virginia - I really live in my van & try to make it as functional as possible. My mom got me this magnetic mount for my phone & I just love it! She, my dad, my sister, and my brother in law all have it... so she was pretty sure I'd love it too. It clips onto my vent, then has a strong magnet as the base. It comes with a magnet to attach to my phone & that's how it stays up! It is strong enough that it attaches even with my case on over the magnet, and my pop socket hasn't been an issue either. So convenient when I need my GPS on or if I am using my phone to play music. (Also - I had no way to take a picture of my own phone on the mount, since I use my phone to take pictures, thus here's a stock photo for you!) 

That's all for this week friends! See you on Monday! 
Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Life Lately... Christmas Break Edition

I'm back in my classroom today. Ella is back at school. Livy is back at Miss Jennie's. We have a nice little three day week to ease back into things, and boy do we need to get back into things! I don't know if it's just us, but Christmas Break is always a whirlwind. We party, visit family, cram in errands, and of course I always seem to decide that I need to reorganize the entire house as soon as the tree comes down! Anyways, we were all happy about going back today. Here's a little taste of how we filled all eleven days of break...

We kicked off break in Hornell with our best friends for our annual Ugly Sweater Party. I love this party because not only is it the one night a year the 75% of our friends are in the same room, but also because all proceeds from the event go to charity. My friends Kasey & Kristi do such a fantastic job organizing it & it's always so fun. Plus, I usually have two dates... 

We celebrated Christmas at Eric's mom's house on Christmas Eve morning. Eric & I laid back, drank our coffee/tea, and let Grammy Nancy handle things. She was in her glory. 

They got so many fun gifts, but costumes were a huge favorite! They've spent so much time in them over break. 

On Christmas Eve, we watched The Santa Clause (my favorite) and snuggled at our own house! This was an absolute dream because it's the first time ever that we have had Christmas at home! I had so much fun putting gifts under our own tree, filling our own stockings, and just sitting in our own living room while we opened gifts.  

Christmas morning grins! 

I hosted Christmas breakfast for my family, then my sister hosted us for Christmas dinner later that day. We tried to take a picture of all four of the kids, but Moo was not cooperating. Ella & Livy got a big kick out of holding Grayson though! (Don't worry, there were 4 adults hovering at every angle!) 

 And we snapped a quick family picture while were at it too... 

We went to see Mary Poppins Returns! Now, in order to fully appreciate my excitement for this movie, you must know that my favorite childhood is Mary Poppins. I was genuinely nervous to see if the sequel would live up to the original & I'm happy to say that I absolutely loved it! It is different, maybe a little more melancholy at points, but  it is so well done and Emily Blunt is absolutely brilliant. Definitely go see it! 

The girls spent a lot of time playing with new toys, like this awesome floor puzzle...

and all sorts of Play Dough! 

On New Year's Day, we went out to Cheesecake Factory with Britt & her family. We do this every year - and no, I have no idea why we go to Cheesecake Factory, we just always do. Taking four kids to a restaurant is exhausting, but it was still a fun way to kick off the year with my favorite people. 

And I leave you with this fun little photo of Grayson and me. Even after 5 months of hanging out, he's still just not sure what to think of me. But I promise he loves me, especially since I'm the one who likes to rescue him from his carseat and hold him!