• family,  fun,  summer fun

    Summer 2018 Bucket List

    There are officially six more days of school for my kiddos which can only mean one thing — it’s almost summer! Summer is one of my favorite seasons (ok… I can really find something I love about every season) and I can’t wait to have so much fun. Here are just a few things I want to do this summer. (I should add that while I stole this idea from my sister, it’s funny to see how we both included so many of the same things.)

    Read a book on the beach

    Take the kids to the zoo

    Make jam with my mom

    Make homemade ice cream and boiled peanuts

    Go to a baseball game

    Stay outside all day

    Read ten books

    Run 250 miles

    Have one date a month to somewhere new

    Learn to play six more songs on the piano

    Have a picnic

    Take a day trip to the beach

    What are some of the things on your bucket list for the summer?

     

     

  • family fun,  fun,  me,  summer fun

    The one where I prove to you I’m not a daredevil.

    As much as I like to think I’m adventurous, I’m not exactly that. Yes, I like spontaneity, I like to push myself to the limit and I’m not scared of too much, but when it comes to certain things, I’m a baby. A big 28 year old baby who could sit in the corner and cry when she’s scared to death.

    A few weekends ago, we rode to the lake with my sister, her boyfriend and another friend. When we left our house, it was drizzling and then proceeded to rain harder and harder the closer we got to the lake. Surprisingly, when we were about five minutes from the lake, it stopped raining. At this point, Dalton, my sister’s boyfriend, had the last laugh.

    I love to water ski, but I haven’t ever liked to knee board. That said, I don’t have skis and we had a knee board and wake board with us, so I knee boarded. Once. I told you I don’t really like it. I would’ve wake boarded, but it was Dalton’s and his feet are about 3x the size of mine.

    My husband is awesome. Really, he is. He is crazy athletic.

    He pretty much just surfed and did tricks on the knee board the whole time.

    We stopped by someone’s house and hung out on their dock for a bit.

    Then, there was this:

    A gigantic, at least 12 or 15 foot drop, from the second story of this dock.

    Everybody else had fun doing it. I took some cool pictures.

     Then I decided I could do it.

    But then I couldn’t. The walk of shame.
    Don’t worry. I’m not that big of a baby. I did jump off the little end of the dock. You know, the maybe 6″ in the air part.
  • boys,  family,  fun,  snow

    Snow Days 2014

    It’s rare that we get snow in SC, but last week, we did and we loved every second of it! Since we aren’t exactly equipped for snow here, schools were cancelled beginning on Tuesday. Thankfully, my company also closed for a few days and Kevin was able to work for home, so we really enjoyed our snow days.

    The boys woke up about 6 am Tuesday morning looking for snow. I think Kevin and I did, too. After a few hours in the house playing and looking out the windows every thirty seconds for snow, we decided we needed to get out. We grabbed some lunch and ran a few errands before going back home to play.

    By late Tuesday afternoon, it had started to sleet. We all got so excited! By bedtime, it was really sleeting. Once the boys were asleep, Kevin and I went downstairs and kept looking out the windows for snow. Around midnight, we finally saw snow. It was beautiful!

    The next morning, when the boys came downstairs, they were so thrilled that our yard was covered with a beautiful blanket of white snow. They even threw on their snowboots and tobogans and stood on the front porch in their pajamas looking at it. After breakfast, we went out to play.
    We played in the front yard and took a walk through the woods. The boys had a blast sliding down their snow covered slide, too. 

    We went in to warm up by the fire for a few minutes and eat some snow cream (which was a major fail!) and then Kevin’s parents came over with a sled. We took turns pulling the boys on it and Kevin and I even took a turn, too!

    There’s a park not too far from our house that has a slight hill, so we took the boys there and they had a blast sledding down the hill. (I did, too!)

    After our sledding fun, we went over to my SIL and BIL’s for lunch and so all the kids could play together. We stayed outside all afternoon and had the best time.

    When we got home, the boys were ready to play some more, so we went back out. K.C. loved driving his Gator in the snow.

    Kevin and I went back to work on Thursday, but when we got home Thursday night, we still had snow on the ground and our backyard was virtually untouched. The boys wanted to go back out and play, so we did. We soaked up every last ounce of snow and sunshine.

  • family,  fun,  shopping,  Thanksgiving

    Black Friday shopping with two kids and the rest of our Thanksgiving fesitivities

    Happy Monday (or should I say Cyber Monday?)!

    We had an awesome Thanksgiving holiday! Thanksgiving break, for me, started Wednesday. I had to work a few hours then I picked up the boys and we met my best friend and her brother for lunch. The boys quickly latched on to Jaye’s brother and begged them to come to our house, so that they did. We hung out all afternoon. Being with Jaye all afternoon reminded me how much I miss my close friends. I have a large number of friends, but a handful of really close friends who don’t happen to live here. It really filled me up spending all afternoon with the girl who’s been like a sister to me since I was four!
    After Jaye and Andrew left, the boys and I worked on their Christmas tree in their room. I bought a white tree from the dollar store several years ago with the intention of using it for a white elephant party. Fast forward a few years, the tree is still in the box and the boys have a Clemson-themed room. I stopped by Hobby Lobby at lunch one day last week and bought orange and purple Christmas balls and some lights for the tree. The tree was larger (6 feet) than I thought, so my mom picked us up some more ornaments and a purple star for the top. 
    The boys were so cute decorating their tree. Kaden put nearly all of the branches in himself and K.C. fluffed them all out. I stuck the lights on and then they went to town putting on the ornaments. I don’t have a picture, but I’ll take one tonight to share. It’s too cute!
    I started Thanksgiving out with a long run. I ran 8 miles on the treadmill (not sure of time because I forgot) while I watched a few Thanksgiving episodes of Friends. I made deviled eggs and crunchy romaine toss after my run while attempting to watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. For some reason, I’m the only one in my family who really gets into the parade. The boys and Kevin were content playing. 🙂
    We started our Thanksgiving festivities at my in laws. They hosted both sides of the family at their house. After a delicious meal of fried turkey, more carbs than I can count and a sampling of three or four desserts, we visited and played football. It was fun! Again, no pictures, but trust me – we had fun!
    Later on Thursday, we went over to my aunt’s house to see my side of the family. Thanksgiving was a little different this year on that side as my granddad is still in the hospital (prayers please). We visited, the boys ran around outside and then we went back to our house. My parents, nana and my sister and her boyfriend hung out all night with us at our house. 
    Kevin worked Friday, so while he was doing real work, the boys and I worked on decorating the house some more. My sister and I had been talking about Black Friday shopping for the first time ever and decided to do it, albeit after lunch. We met Kevin for lunch and then off we went. Neither of us had anything in particular we wanted to buy, but rather wanted the experience. 
    I love letting the boys pick out things for Kevin just from them each year. In the past, they’ve been younger and it’s been more difficult, but this year, they were ready to go. We shopped for about 3.5 hours and it was only when we were going back to our car from the last store that Kaden asked me to pick him up. They were such troopers! They picked out some awesome gifts for Kevin, too!
    Surprisingly, this isn’t a real “I’m tired” picture. It’s actually Stephanie getting them to pretend like they’re sleeping under some really great running clothes (if I might add that). 
    While we were at the mall, we met my mom and the boys enjoyed some hot chocolate from Starbucks and some pretzel bites with her.
    Friday night, Kevin and I had a date night. We went to see Catching Fire. It was great! We’d been wanting to see it since it came out, but hadn’t had a chance. We really enjoyed it. I can’t wait to see the last two movies!
    We spent part of the day Saturday working on Christmas decorations and putting up everything from Thanksgiving. Our house is almost completely decorated for Christmas with the exception of a few things. 
    Stephanie and her boyfriend had tickets to the Carolina Clemson game in Columbia Saturday night, but they ended up not being able to go at the last minute. She gave us her tickets, so we drove up to Columbia Saturday afternoon for the game.
    I joked last week that if I was going, Clemson was going to win. The last Clemson Carolina game I remember was when Clemson won at the end of the game in Columbia. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case this Saturday. I did enjoy going to the game with my husband though.
    One thing that did bother me at the game were the attitudes and words coming out of some people’s mouths. The girl behind us cussed like a sailor and said some very unladylike things. I like to watch the games with my husband, but I don’t get all into it like that and I just don’t understand how anyone – much less young women – can talk like they do during a football game. At the end of the day, it’s a game. If Clemson had won, I would’ve been happy, but I would not have yelled obscenities at Carolina fans (and I love many of them) had they lost. I know things like that happen everywhere and with an in-state rivalry, things can get heated, but I was really disappointed in the way some people acted. And end rant.
    We picked up lunch after church yesterday and spent the afternoon at home. I let the boys set up the nativity scenes their own way and we wrapped some presents. My sister stopped by and ran out with me to look for some ribbon and to get groceries and then my mom stopped by to see us all. The boys were pooped, so we got to bed early.
    I’m really looking forward to this holiday season!
    What are you most excited about this Christmas?


  • clemson,  family,  fun,  mountains,  weekend

    Weekend In the Mountains & Kaden’s First Clemson Game

    This past weekend, we spent some time in the mountains and took the boys to the Clemson game – Kaden’s first! It was also the boys first trip to the mountains.

    We rented an awesome cabin up near Table Rock, SC, with my parents, but they were unable to go as my granddad is still in the hospital. Kevin and I left work early Thursday and headed to the Upstate. The boys were so excited! We stopped in Columbia at Fudruckers to grab an early bite to eat and then headed towards the mountains. We made it to the Greenville area right after dark and stopped to pick up breakfast foods and some things to use at our tailgate. We wove around a few mountains and made it to the cabin around 8.

    The cabin was gorgeous! The boys loved exploring the house while we unpacked our car and quickly discovered the pool and bumper pool tables upstairs.

    After breakfast Friday morning, we went outside and fished in the little stream behind the house and explored some.

    Later Friday morning, we went to Table Rock State Park. The weather felt good, but it was really foggy. We hiked up a trail and spent a few hours at Table Rock. The boys loved it! K.C. really wanted to hike all the way up the mountain!

    Saturday was game day. We got up early and were off to Clemson by 8 AM. The boys were both so excited! It was the first Clemson game Kevin and I have been to together, Kaden’s first game and Stephanie’s boyfriend and his brother’s (they were with us) first Clemson game.

    It was Military Appreciation Day, so there were military vehicles the kids got to check out and even some old military badges they got to get. We also walked around downtown Clemson before the game and picked up a few things.
    We had great seats. Kevin’s aunt and uncle have season tickets and weren’t using them for this game, so we got to use them. They are a great location, especially with kids. K.C. and Kaden (and Kevin, too!) were so excited when the players were ready to run down the Hill. K.C. soaked everything in and Kaden had a good time, too – that is, until the cannons after each touchdown started going off. He ended up sleeping with his head in my lap from the end of the first quarter until almost the end of the third quarter including through the 21-gun salute at halftime!

    After the game, we walked out on the field. Kevin and K.C. almost got close enough to Tajh Boyd to get his autograph which was exciting. We ended up with Shaq’s autograph. We all touched Howard’s Rock and the boys practiced their future run down the Hill!

    We drove into Greenville after the game and had dinner at Smoke on the River. If you’re ever in Greenville, SC, you need to go there. It was delicious! I wish we had made it into town before it was dark because I know the boys would’ve loved walking around downtown. The downtown area has really been revitalized.

    When we got back to the cabin, we all decided to get in the hot tub, which I then dubbed the cold tub. It was frigid! I don’t know if it wasn’t shut all the way or if when my sister turned it down the night before, it got too low or what, but it was cold! This girl was not about to get in and it didn’t take too much to convince our little ones that a hot shower and getting cozy in front of the fire inside was a good idea!

    Yesterday, we drove up to Caesar’s Head State Park. We loved this place, too. It was in the high 20’s-low 30’s, so we didn’t stay outside too much, but we did go down a short trail and stopped at the lookout.

    All in all, we had a really fun time in the mountains. Kevin grew up mainly in Spartanburg and had been around that area, but it’s been years since I’ve been in our Upstate for the mountains as my family typically went more towards the Asheville/Maggie Valley area and into Virginia. I hate that my parents weren’t able to go, but we’re going to do a redo next year. I’m already looking forward to it!

  • boys,  family,  fun,  gifts,  Halloween

    Halloween Recap

    We had an awesome Halloween… a week ago! We had a great time with our Indiana Jones and Ninja. We did lots of fun activities and had a blast with everything!

    Treat Bags
    The weekend before Halloween, the boys made their treat bags. I love doing treat bags for each “big” occasion (Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s and Easter) and they love helping. This year, they each picked out their own bags and goodies and even filled them themselves. All they needed me for was to tie the bags up with tulle and ad a tag! 😉

    (Sorry for the poor quality iPhone pic!)

    K.C. picked out orange and black striped bags that he filled with neon teeth, parachute skeletons, Halloween pencils, some chocolate candy, chocolate graham Goldfish, Halloween ring pops, dum dums and gummy eye balls.

     Kaden chose pumpkin bags and filled them with skeleton parachuting men, Halloween pencils, chocolate candy, chocolate graham Goldfish, Halloween ring pops, dum dums and gummy eye balls.
    I found these cute printables on Lil’ Luna. I printed them out and tied them on each bag and added the boys’ names to the back.

    Teacher Treats
    I like to give teacher treats, too. I bought everything for Christmas treats a month ago, but couldn’t decide on Halloween. Thankfully, Lil’ Luna came to the rescue again and I made these awesome cookie jars. The boys gave them to their teachers and I brought some to work for my colleagues. They were a big hit (even if they were semi-frustrating to put together but that could’ve been because it was almost midnight when I was making them!)

    Pumpkin Carving
    Pumpkin carving is a big tradition in our family. My granddad always gets a pumpkin for us to carve and we always carve one with Kevin’s parents. This year, since my granddad fell and has been moved to a rehab facility, we didn’t get to carve one with him. He’d already gotten us a pumpkin, so we did the next best thing – painted one for him. We were down at my parents’ one afternoon and I let the boys each design and paint/color one side of the pumpkin.

    Before Halloween, we dressed the boys up in their costumes and took them to visit and to deliver the pumpkin to Bruce. He was excited and so were they!

    We also carved a pumpkin with Kevin’s parents. K.C. designed it, my FIL cleaned it out and I carved it (Kevin’s finger injury had happened at this point, so he took pictures).


    School Parade, Fall Festival and Halloween Night
    Kaden’s school has a Halloween parade each year. He looked so cute marching in it!

    Our church has a really nice Fall Festival every year and the boys had a great time with their cousins at it. We ate hot dogs, played games and rode on a hay ride. It was fun! Kaden and sweet Mia were literally inseparable all night.
    On Halloween night, we all met at our house for Trick-or-Treating. Ordinarily, we go to my SIL’s neighborhood, but this year, we stayed in ours for the first part. We had a great time, but it was insane. People were parking at the entrance to our neighborhood to trick-or-treat there. We walked down our street and another with the boys, our youngest nieces, my FIL, mom, sister and our neighbors while my MIL and dad handed out candy at our house. After trick-or-treating, we all went over to my SIL and BIL’s for some great food and treats!

    What’s your favorite part of Halloween?

    Do you have any Halloween traditions?

  • anniversary,  Five on Friday,  fun,  K.C.,  Kaden,  Kevin,  marriage,  running

    Five on Friday on Monday

    I started this post last week, but I stopped at number five and forgot about it. What’s that saying, “Better late than never?” Here’s my Five on Friday, Monday-style.

    1. Celebrating our first anniversary.
    We celebrated our first anniversary this past Sunday. It was great! We’ve really been blessed.

    2. Going on a run with my Kaden.
    Last night (Thursday), Kaden and I went on a run together with him in the stroller for the first time in a few months. Let’s just say my load was heavier or I’ve gotten weaker, and I don’t think I’ll be using the jogging stroller much until there’s a tiny one in it!

    3. Staying home with K.C.
    Our sweet big boy is sick and while I don’t like that one bit and would rather be sick myself, I was able to spend much of the day at home with him today (Friday). We had some great K.C. Annabelle time. We played, we painted and we finished our new Magic Treehouse book.

    4. Soccer season is over and my first gym class ever.
    The boys finished their Fall 2013 soccer season on Saturday. This season, they were the Tornadoes. This was K.C.’s 4th season and Kaden’s third. We had a blast! Next season, the boys will play on separate teams due to their ages.

    After soccer on Saturday, I went to the gym. My friend and I went running which was a treat, and then we went to a class together. It was my first class ever. I’ve been going to my gym since I was 15 or 16, so for 11 or 12 years, I’ve gone to the gym without ever stepping foot into a group class.

    The class was Body Sculpt and I about died. It’s Monday and I’m still sore. It was about 45 minutes of lunges and squats holding weights. I thought I was in shape. I do weights three days a week normally, but they’re using machines. This free weight thing is no joke. I went for a run this morning and I was wincing in pain the first half mile. I’m running a 10K race this weekend, so I think I need to go back to this class before then to work the soreness out. I want to see how I look after 6 weeks of the torture class!

    5. Sunday fun.
    We had a nice day yesterday. Last night, the boys wanted to plant the 50 pounds of bulbs we purchased a few weeks ago. 50 pounds may be an exaggeration, but we did have 80 tulip and daffodil bulbs. I hope they grow this spring!

  • fun,  husband,  love,  marriage

    A Year

    I’ve been reminiscing this week about our first year of marriage. It was great, for sure, but it also dealt us some things we wouldn’t have expected. But despite those things, we had an awesome year.

    We had a great time in Holden Beach.
    We had a fun Halloween.

     We spent Thanksgiving with our families.
    And had a great time celebrating our first Christmas as an official family.
    We had our first snow. (And Kevin may or may not have had the flu during Valentine’s and the snow days and I may win the best wife award for brushing off his “I don’t feel goods.”)
    We celebrated countless birthdays and other holidays – Valentine’s Day, Easter, the Fourth of July and Labor Day.

     Kevin played a lot of ball, I ran a lot of races and we watched (Kevin coached) the boys through soccer and baseball.
    We watched my sister graduate and made tons of other memories.
    We took a long weekend trip to Garden City this spring and spent a week at the beach this summer.
    We spent a weekend in Georgetown and went to our first college football game together.

    We spent countless other days on the beach and with our family. 

    Most of all, we filled every day with love!
    I’m looking forward to this next year and all it has in store for us! 

  • family,  fun,  weekend

    Our Weekend: Family Time, Shopping, Fun and an Anniversary

    Happy Monday!
    We had a great weekend. I hope you did, too! 
    I had two (three) little football players to smile at Friday night. As soon as the boys walked in the door Friday night, they ran upstairs to get their Clemson uniforms. They decided they wanted to play football. We went out in the backyard to let them play and I couldn’t resist snapping a few photos and taking some video. They were too precious playing. I’m still trying to convince them that wearing their Tigers uniforms would be great for Halloween, but I think they’re set on being a Ninja Turtle and Ninja.

    After they played a while, we had a few errands to run. The sunset was absolutely beautiful – this picture (speeding down the road) doesn’t do it any justice. We ate at Chipotle and then went to Target to pick up a few birthday gifts.

    The boys had their next-to-last soccer game Saturday morning. They both played really well. Kaden decided he wanted to be goalie and he got to play it during the fourth quarter. You should have seen the look on his face when he stopped his first ball! It was priceless!

    After soccer, we went to Chuck E. Cheese for one of Kaden’s friend’s birthday parties. Chuck E. Cheese is one of my least favorite places in the world, but the boys (all three of them) had fun and I got to catch up with some friends.
    After the party, we ate Chickfila in the food court of the mall and then I went shopping with my mom. She picked out a few new things and I got some new shoes. We also stopped by a fabric store to look for some samples. I haven’t been able to find anything I like for our bedroom and my grandma volunteered to make us something. Trust me, she’s talented. 
    When we finished shopping, my mom dropped me off at Kevin’s parents to watch the Clemson game with our family. We had a great time, especially since they won, and this little one took a nap. 

    Yesterday, we taught Sunday school and then went to my parents’ church for Homecoming. After lunch, we went to their house. My dad is building new stables/shed/club house thing and we went to check that out. No trip to Bebe and Hot Rod’s is complete without a visit to Hot Rod’s candy store. After all of that, we stopped by one of my dad’s farms and all loaded up in the mule to ride around.
    Later last night, Kevin and I went out to dinner to celebrate our first anniversary. It was a great weekend!
    Sami's Shenanigans

    Is it just me or are pictures of sleeping babies the cutest?

    What was the best thing about your weekend?

  • fun,  husband,  marriage,  Sapelo Island,  vacation

    Sapelo Island Vacation

    Last week, Kevin and I were in Sapelo Island, GA. It was absolutely magical! For those of you who haven’t ever heard of Sapelo, don’t fear; we hadn’t either.

    Sapelo Island is located north of St. Simons Island and Jekkyl Island on the Georgia coast. Most of the island (~95%) is owned by the state of Georgia while the rest (around 490 acres) is privately held. We have a friend who owns a home on the island and offered it to us. It took a few offers, but we eventually gave in and I’m so glad we did. It was a nice getaway and first anniversary trip.

    To get to the island, you either have to ride a ferry, take your own boat or use a private plane. Since we don’t have a plane, we opted for the boat. We put in at a private hunting and fishing club in Darien, GA, and made the trek through several creeks and rivers to our location on Sapelo. The trip was about twenty minutes, which wasn’t bad at all. When Chris and Barbara, the couple who was kind of looking after us during the week met us at the dock, they were shocked we made it over on the first try! I say thanks to a husband who can navigate and my iPhone’s GPS!

    Our first view of Sapelo.

    We arrived around 5 on Sunday. Once we unloaded our car, Chris and Barbara took us on a brief drive around the island to show us how to get to the places we were allowed to drive to on our own – the lighthouse, beach and dock. The roads were all unmarked and with the exception of the North-South Autobahn, single-lane. Oh, and they were all dirt except for a handful.

    This is taken from the yard of the house where we stayed. It’s one of the dirt roads we were allowed to drive!

    Since there are no stores or restaurants on the island and it’s cumbersome to get back to the mainland, we took a cooler full of food – frozen lasagna, frozen pizza, sandwich stuff and some other odds and ends. We made our pizza the first night which was delicious. We ended up falling asleep before 8 the first night and didn’t wake up until almost 10 the next morning! Vacation had begun!

    On Monday, we drove to the lighthouse. We both agreed that it was the most beautiful lighthouse we’ve seen.

    After we visited the lighthouse, we headed to Nanny Goat Beach. We had to park about half a mile from the beach as the wooden bridge wasn’t in good enough shape to handle vehicles. We had a picnic lunch on the beach and then explored several miles of it.

    The beach was gorgeous! The whole time we were there, we saw no one else on the beach. It was incredible. We found so many conchs near the dunes. We also found a sea turtle that had apparently died on the shore. (Sad face.) There were also a few pods of dolphin hanging out near the shore. We sat down and watched them for a while. It was really neat!

    Day 1 treasure.

    After exploring the beach, we went back to the house to get ready for our official tour. Chris took us all over the island for about two and a half hours. I don’t know if words can even describe how beautiful everything was, so I’ll let the photos do the talking. I can totally understand why they don’t let people who don’t live on the island drive around the northern portion of Sapelo – we would have gotten lost!

    The Spanish Moss in the oaks was so beautiful to me!

    This is thought to have been an old praise house. If you look closely, you can see that it’s made with oyster shells and mud.

    Every where we looked we saw beauty!
    Here we are in front of a barn at Chocolate Plantation. Unfortunately, there was no chocolate as the name came from a former Native American tribe.
    This is the Shell Ring. Chris told us that all the visitors get so excited to see it and he didn’t understand. We had to agree. Still, it was pretty cool to be standing inside a ring of oyster shells that accumulated over thousands of years when Native Americans inhabited the island. This is one of the only places on the East Coast where shells can be found like this.
      
    The original First African Baptist Church. The church was built in the late 1800’s using wood that washed ashore after a hurricane in 1896. In the early 2000’s, the Sapelo Island Cultural and Revitalization Society, the state of Georgia and the Savannah College of Art and Design restored the church.

    Our first two days on the island were great and our last two were as well! I’ll finish up the recap of our trip tomorrow, so be sure to check back!