• family,  motherhood,  weekend

    Mother’s Day Weekend 2018

    Being a mom is the best and most rewarding job in the world. It’s also the toughest job. I had an awesome time celebrating Mother’s Day this weekend. I didn’t take a ton of photos like normal – in fact, I didn’t even get a photo of myself with all our kids together – but it was fun!

    Kevin, Caleb, and I spent a few days in Clemson around my sister’s graduation. We drove up Thursday afternoon and had dinner with everyone at The Cheesecake Factory. It’s safe to say Caleb enjoyed his first visit. I also enjoyed my White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cheesecake at midnight.

    Stephanie graduated at 9:30 Friday morning, so we were up early to make it from our hotel in Greenville to the graduation at Little John Coliseum. Graduation was great. Senator Tim Scott gave the address and included three points that are good for all of us to remember:

    1. It’s only failure if you choose to quit.
    2. Stand up for those who can’t stand for themselves.
    3. Hold tight to your dreams.

    After graduation, we went to Joe’s Pizzeria for lunch. It was so good. The dessert pizza was to die for! It basically tasted like cookie dough on a sweet crust. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

    We decided to stay an extra night and go to the Clemson vs. Austin Peay baseball game. Even though we didn’t win the game, we had a blast. Caleb made friends with the family behind us and even crawled up in one man’s lap. I guess it’s time we start teaching him “stranger danger!”

    Since we had no plans Saturday, we took our time driving home. We made a few stops in Columbia to look for some Mother’s Day gifts to no avail. I’m looking for some new decor for our mantel and also would like some new bathing suits, but couldn’t find either. We made it home mid-afternoon and just chilled the rest of the day.

    Mother’s Day started off awesome with breakfast in bed. My sweet husband cooked scrambled eggs and toast and sliced a kiwi for me. It was divine! Why is food so much better when someone else cooks it for you? Also, our sweet baby slept until almost 8am, so I was able to sleep later than normal, eat breakfast, and get ready for church before he was up.

    We had a nice service at church and grabbed something from Grouchos for lunch. I made the mistake of letting Caleb have a little of my sweet tea with his lunch. Let’s just say about .5 seconds after he drank it, he went absolutely crazy. He was so funny! Thankfully the restaurant was empty and he was able to run around wild.

    For Mother’s Day, I decided I wanted a new bike, so we picked out one of those. I also got a seat for the back so Caleb can ride with me. Our big boys love to bike and I usually go along with them running, but I thought it’d be fun to bike some, too. Growing up, my dad biked and I would ride along with him. Some of my best memories come from those days. When the big boys got home yesterday afternoon, we tested out the bike and went for a short ride. It was fun!

    Last night, my father-in-law grilled ribs and chicken and had all of us along with my parents and sister over to eat dinner. It was delicious! We sat outside most of the night. K.C. found some old water guns which turned into the boys all getting soaked. They had a blast!

    _ _ _ _ _

    I’m so thankful for my sweet mom! She has always loved me, guided me, and encouraged me. When I think back on my childhood, I have so many awesome memories because of my mom. I’m so grateful God made me hers. I am who I am today because of her love.

    I’m also thankful for my sweet MIL. I know I’m blessed to have not only been born into an awesome family, but to have married into one as well.

    _ _ _ _ _

    These three boys are my heart. What a great privilege it is to be called mama by them. They constantly amaze me and fill my life with so much love and laughter. They teach me, mold me, and stretch me every single day. I hope and pray that they always feel my love. What a great blessing it is to have sons!

  • faith,  family,  running,  weekend

    Weekend Wrap Up | May 7, 2018

    We had such a nice weekend!

    I spent Friday traveling for work and listening to a ton of podcasts. I’ve only recently — as in the last two weeks — gotten into podcasts. Where have I been? Jenna Kutcher’s Goal Digger Podcast is my new favorite!

    My mom is a high school English and music teacher and Friday night, she had a play. We took Caleb to Neverland to see Peter Pan. Y’all, we were shocked that he sat still for an hour. He was totally mesmerized. He also enjoyed running around the stage after the show.

    We stayed home most of Saturday which was really nice. After breakfast, Kevin did some yard work and I ran a 10K with Caleb around the neighborhood. I ran the 10K in 48:30 (7:48 pace) which certainly is slow compared to my normal speed, but I was pleased with that while pushing a 26 pound baby in a jogging stroller! He fell asleep on the last mile. I took advantage of his short nap and sat outside and finished reading my lesson for Sunday school.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m horrible about washing my car and the place I usually take it just closed. Since it was so nice out, I decided to wash my car and Kevin asked his truck. I wish I had pictures of Caleb helping. He had a blast with the water and hose!

    Later Saturday afternoon we ran out to do some Mother’s Day shopping and pick up our groceries for the week.

    That night, I cooked a Hello Fresh meal for dinner. It was so good!

    Our boys came home from being on vacation in the Bahamas with their mom Saturday and it was so great to have them back! That week was so long without them. They had an awesome time! We’ve been enjoying hearing all about it and Caleb is sure glad “Ka” and “Cee” are back!

    We had a low key day yesterday. We picked up McAllister’s after church and then I bribed my boys to take a photo.

    While Caleb napped, I did a 5-miler in the heat. I’m trying to get conditioned to run in our heat again. Yesterday was definitely a step in the right direction. I did 5 in 36:03 (7:12/mile ), so I was happy.

    When I got back from the run, I was going to update my sign with a verse for the week, but K.C. took over. This is sweeter than any Mother’s Day card could be!

    Last night, my in-laws and niece came over to grill steaks for dinner. My sister and her boyfriend stopped by to visit, too. It’s nice ending the weekend with family!

    To wrap up our fun weekend, yesterday was two years since I found out I was pregnant with Caleb. After years of not knowing if I’d be able to get pregnant and then maintain a pregnancy, God blessed us with the incredible news that we were going to have a baby! This precious little boy fills my heart with so much love and laughter. He giggles, smiles, and just exudes happiness. He is the answer to prayers I’ve prayed since I was a young teenager.

    I say all this to give you hope. If you’re going through a tough time related to infertility or something entirely different, God will provide. He may not do it in the way you thought (there were years of trials and stress leading up to a positive pregnancy test that ended in miscarriage a few months later and a few months before I surprisingly got pregnant with Caleb), but He will provide. While I still don’t understand why it happened the way it did, why I lost a baby, or why it was so hard to just get pregnant (and I probably never will), I can say with true conviction that God is good. He was with me every single step of the way and He’s also right there with you.

  • family,  running,  weekend

    A Colorful Weekend: 5K, Art, and Outdoor Fun

    We had a fun weekend! It was full of lots of time outside and family fun.

    We started the weekend with a concert. Our niece is in the show choir at her school and had her spring show, so Kevin and I went to support her. She did great!

    Our boys stayed home with my mom and it’s safe to say they had fun with Bebe, too!

    Saturday was my first race of the year. Since having Caleb, I’ve only raced three times. The race I ran Saturday was the race I won about a week before I found out I was pregnant with Caleb and also my first race after having him.

    I was so nervous for this race. I know it sounds completely ridiculous to say especially since I used to race around twenty times each year, but something about going back out to race had my stomach in knots! I didn’t get a chance to run but once last week before the race and I wasn’t feeling super great, so that added to my nerves.

    I really had no clue what time to expect. I used to run 5ks in the 19s and have hit that mark again since having Caleb, but for this race, I was shooting for 20 something, which was still respectable.

    I ended up winning the race in 21:03 (6:46/mile) and was third overall. Even though I was a little slower than I wanted to be, I felt really good about the race. I actually felt like myself racing which was awesome. If I had some others up near the front with me, I think I would’ve been faster, too. This was my fourth time running and winning this race.

    Kevin did a slow-mo video of my run in and I noticed my stride wasn’t quite as long as it used to be, so yesterday, I focused on that. My goal for my next race (not yet determined) is to be back in the high 19s-low 20s. And I digress.

    At the end of this race, there’s a big color explosion. Kaden loves this part. He always wants to get cups of color. See his excitement? Even after washing his hair, his scalp still had a smurf look yesterday!

    http://thethingsimlearning.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/img_1469.mov

    After the awards, we went to have brunch at Baker’s Sweets. I had the breakfast skillet which was to die for. I don’t know about you, but I could eat breakfast food for every meal!

    We walked around ArtFields for a bit after brunch. My mom and I always like checking out the art. I also did a little shopping and picked up a beach cover up for myself, a necklace for Mother’s Day (my gift guide is coming Thursday!), and another pair of sandals for Caleb.

    The boys all wanted a funnel cake, so before we left, they devoured one.

    We spent the rest of Saturday at my parents. Kevin, Kaden, and our friend Brian went searching for arrowheads. Kevin particularly likes to find treasures (I always joke that’s how he found me!). My dad has some property that he’s found arrowheads on before, so they spent a few hours doing that. K.C., Caleb, and I hung out with my parents and grandma. K.C. took me on a ride on the mule (ATV, not a real one), helped my dad feed his horses, and had a blast driving the four-wheeler around. I think I took it for granted that I grew up in the country. I love that I had the freedom to run (and drive) around everywhere, all day. I’m so thankful our boys get to experience that same lifestyle at their grandparents’.

    We grabbed some burgers and fries from a local place for dinner and enjoyed sitting outside the rest of the night.

    Yesterday, we made it to church almost on time. [Side note: I can’t ever figure out how I can get up at the same time on Sundays as I do on weekdays, iron clothes for all my people, cook breakfast, get ready, and have a little longer to leave than we do on weekdays and still be late.] Our pastor’s message was awesome yesterday.

    After Sunday School, we took Kaden to Target. He got a few gift cards for his birthday and wanted to spend them. He picked a humungo Nerf gun, a smaller Nerf gun, and a new soccer goal. We grabbed lunch from Firehouse before going home.

    My sister spent the afternoon with us which was nice! While Caleb napped, I got a few things done around the house and ran 4 miles while the big boys played outside with their friends.

    After Caleb’s nap, we all stayed outside until it was time for dinner. Days spent outside and weekends full of fun are just my favorite! This past weekend was a good way for us to recharge for a busy week ahead.

  • weekend

    LABOR DAY WEEKEND

    I love long weekends, don’t you? My weekend was a little longer than normal thanks to Hurricane Hermine. We didn’t have any damage in our part of SC, but my work closed early which kicked off the Labor Day weekend at 2:30 Friday afternoon.

    We didn’t have many plans at all for the weekend. With soccer practices cancelled on Friday night, we met my parents in town for dinner and then they came back to visit.

    Over the weekend, Kevin and I got a lot accomplished on our “make room for baby” to-dos which has really eased my mind. We (and by “we” I mean Kevin) cleaned out a good portion of our attic and took a whole truckload to Goodwill. We also worked on cleaning out the drawers and closets upstairs. While we have a ways to go before we’re ready to paint a get baby furniture, we’re well on our way to getting to that point.

    We enjoyed watching the first Clemson game of the season Saturday night. With the game not kicking off until 9pm, I didn’t make it through, but I did keep waking up and hearing the cheers.

    Yesterday was a fun day, too. The boys have been asking about going hunting, so they went on their first dove hunt (and Kaden’s first hunt ever) yesterday with Kevin and my dad. They both had a blast. They were so funny telling me about the experiences.

    We capped the weekend off with dinner at my grandma’s which is always good.

    Like all good things, the long weekend had to come to an end, but what better way to start off a four-day work week than with monkey bread. In my house, I believe in celebrating everything!

  • weekend

    Weekend Wrap Up

    Is it just me or do weekends seem to fly by? 

    We had a really nice weekend! It started out with soccer practice Friday night. For the first time in years, the boys are not on the same soccer team. Since Kevin is coaching Kaden’s team and K.C.’s team practices at the same time, I’ve been watching K.C.’s practices. I’m so proud of how well he’s doing!
    After soccer, we stopped by Subway (my current – and only – craving) and got something quick to eat, then Kaden and I went to a local place to get shaved ice.
    Saturday was full and fun. We started the day off at a party for Kaden’s Sunday school class. The whole family was invited and we had fun!
    We spent Saturday afternoon at my parents. My dad’s dog had puppies and the boys loved playing with them. My mom has been going through some things and had all these musical instruments out in their living room. To say the kids enjoyed them is an understatement!

    Yesterday was the last Sunday Kevin and I are teaching Sunday School for the year. The new church year starts next week and we decided to take a break from teaching this year with the new baby coming. I’ve enjoyed teaching the last three years, but I’m looking forward to going back to Sunday School myself.
    After church, we went over to my in laws for lunch and visited. When we got home, the boys played with their Thomas trains. It’s crazy – we were getting ready to pack away the trains because they haven’t used them in around two years, but once they saw them getting ready to go in the attic, they decided to start building. They must’ve built at least five different tracks during the weekend alone! They also had fun seeing how many pieces of track they could balance.
    All in all, it was a great weekend! I’m so thankful to be feeling better and able to get out some!
  • 5K,  family fun,  races,  weekend

    THE WEEKEND I DIDN’T WANT TO END

    This weekend was just the best. The best. Hands down, one of the bests I’ve had lately (not that mine have been bad; this one was just that good).

    The weekend started with taking dinner to a sweet friend and her family. She just had a baby girl who couldn’t have been any more precious. I made poppy seed chicken casserole and hash brown casserole and took salad, rolls, and cupcakes. The boys had a blast seeing their friends!

    We went on a “family date” to Mellow Mushroom after visiting with our friends and got a pizza. After dinner, the boys wanted to go to Target. They each had some money that was burning a hole in their pockets.

      

    Saturday was a really fun day. We started the morning at the ArtFields 5K. This was my first race since September. I was so nervous! I used to get slightly nervous before races, but haven’t lately. Not racing for almost seven months made me nervous again. I wasn’t sure how fast I’d be, so I was shooting for around 20:30. I believe I ran a 20:04 last year and since I haven’t been pushing it as much, I thought I’d be a little slower.

    I had a great run and was thrilled with my finish. Not only did I do better than I expected, I broke 20 minutes in the race and finished in 19:57.

    The sweetest part was having out little Kaden run in with me. This race is a color run (definitely not my favorite – I always say no to color when I get to each station), but Kaden wanted to get colored. Kevin, the boys, and my mom were about 100 yards from the finish line and he ran in with me and had a blast.

    After a cool down run with some friends, we waited for the awards and watched Kaden completely cover himself in color. He just loves it. K.C. watched from a safe distance!

    We walked around the green after the awards and then had lunch.

    After lunch, we checked out some of the art in the competition.

    That afternoon, Kevin and the boys went fishing with my dad and my sister’s boyfriend while I hung out with my mom and sister. We rode up to the pond where they were fishing to see how they were doing and then went to get some fresh strawberries. Kaden decided he wanted to go with us and picked a basket of strawberries all by himself.

    We ate dinner at my parents and hung out for the rest of the night.

    With the exception of church on Sunday, we stayed outside all day. We went to my in-laws for lunch and visited with them most of the afternoon.

    When we got home, I went for a run while the boys played outside with our neighbors. When I got back, they had a big bucket sitting in our drive way and in it was a snake! I am petrified of anything that crawls (lizards) or slithers (snakes). Thankfully, it was a harmless snake, but the kids and Kevin were fascinated and touched it as I screamed.

    After dinner, the boys asked to watch Fixer Upper, so we did that before giving them baths and getting them to bed.

    Weekends like this one make me yearn for summer and endless weekends.

    What fun things did you do this weekend?

  • weekend

    My boys take down trees and other tidbits from our weekend

    We had an awesome weekend! It was so much fun and relaxing. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have a hard time totally unwinding on the weekend. If there are things that need to be done, I want to get them done right then which isn’t always conducive to relaxation. I’m really trying hard to work on this and I think I’m making good progress. It’s all about the baby steps!

    When we made it home Friday night, we walked into a ready-made meal. I put a roast in my crock pot at lunch and by dinnertime, it was all ready.

    After dinner, we decided to have a family movie night. We bathed the boys and they put on their pajamas and we made a palette on our bedroom floor and popped in Peter Pan. I made a big bowl of buttery popcorn (which K.C. ate almost entirely alone!) and some hot chocolate that we enjoyed during the movie. It was so much fun!

    Saturday was another fun day. We decided to go to my parents for the day and had a great time. The boys love going there and playing outside, but during the fall, we don’t really have as many opportunities to go with all the sports we play.

    My mom made lunch and both my grandmas were there to eat with us. After lunch, we visited some and then went outside for the rest of the day. My dad is in the process of building this clubhouse and stable. He’s doing it himself and it’s looking really good. The boys had a great time playing down there.

    My mom was keeping my sister’s little dog, Ollie, and we all had fun playing with him. And no, I still don’t want a pet. We also rode the mule around. I was really proud of my mom, too! I’ve been trying to get her to do a 5K with me for forever and on Saturday, she started doing some intervals. We did about 15 minutes of running/walking in 30 second bits. She did great! She texted me yesterday that she had done intervals for 30 minutes yesterday. I’m proud!
    After dinner, we bathed the boys and headed home. Our little one always falls asleep in the car, so we wanted him to be all clean and ready for bed when we got home.
    K.C. and I went to church Sunday morning. Kevin and Kaden have both had a bad cold and weren’t feeling super when they woke up Sunday. It was our Sunday to teach Sunday School and K.C. decided he wanted to sit in class with me and help instead of going to his own class. He was a good little helper! My MIL also helped. We usually have 10-11 five year olds who can be a little rowdy, but this Sunday, there were only five kids and they were the sweetest ever!
    After Sunday school, we had a joint worship service under a big tent. We are going to build a new sanctuary and we had a special service for it. The music and sermon were both great.
    We had a covered dish lunch after church. I asked K.C. if he wanted to stay or go home. His response: “Are they going to have sweet tea?” Why, yes, there was sweet tea, so we stayed.
    When we got home, Kevin and Kaden were feeling a little bit better. We decided to go outside later in the afternoon and take a walk through the woods behind our house. The boys also decided they wanted to cut down a tree.
    It was a small tree, and they kept bending it back and forth until finally, they had it on the ground. They were so excited!
    It was a really nice weekend!

  • weekend

    I like pie and some other randomness from our weekend.

    This weekend was a nice one and a productive one. We started out with soccer practice and pictures Friday night. 
    They both took pictures Friday night. I happened to grab a quick one with this little cutie. I’m helping (I’ll use that term very loosely) Kevin with Kaden’s team, so I wasn’t able to get a picture with K.C. The boys weren’t home this weekend, so it was great getting to give them big squeezes at practice and their games. It certainly helps to see them just a few minutes.
    After practice, we went to dinner at our usual Friday night place. Kevin’s friend Brian ate with us and then stopped by our house to visit and watch some football. 

    The boys both had games Saturday morning and played really well. I haven’t downloaded the pictures from my camera yet, but as you can see, somebody is getting his picture taking skills from his Annabelle! K.C. is the same way, but at this time, he was on the field.
    I’m so proud of how hard the boys are playing this season. They seem to really be enjoying it and their (especially K.C.’s) competitive drive is coming out.

    After practice, Kevin and I ran a few errands. We stopped by TJ Maxx to return a console table I bought. I have this spot in our foyer where I really wanted to put a console table with two tall lamps because I love that look. I found a table that was the right size, but when I got it home, it just didn’t look good, so we took it back. We also stopped at Chickfila for some lunch and I ate my first fries in over a month. They weren’t that good.
    After lunch, we ran over to my inlaws for Kevin’s dad to cut the molding for my mirror framing project. I can’t wait to finish it up this weekend.
    We got home with about an hour of free time before the Clemson game. I used it to run 5 miles (33:29 – I’m working on my speed!) and get ready for the game.

    We went back to Kevin’s parents to watch the game. His dad always does great food, too. Nana made some apple pies for the first game and we left one in the freezer to heat up for another game. I may have enjoyed it. (No, I didn’t eat the whole pie, but no one else wanted anymore, so I just picked out the apples and some of the crust.)

    We spent Sunday at my parents. It was homecoming at their church, so we went to that and then hung around and visited.

    When the boys got home, we played outside. We had so much fun playing soccer and baseball. We also mixed up some monkey bread to cook this morning for breakfast. It was so good!

  • weekend

    The seven top things that made this weekend fun

    1. I ordered our new iPhone 6s. They should be here Friday. I can’t wait!

    2. Soccer practice got cancelled due to some horrible rain we had. While I ordinarily enjoy practice, I was really excited that we got to eat dinner at home and decorate for Halloween/Fall even if our den looked like a pumpkin graveyard by the time my boys finished with it!

    3. I had a great race Saturday morning. I was slower than I would’ve liked, but I’m happy with my time. The race started later than usual (9am) and consisted of a solid mile through the woods on trail. I love trail runs, but something about the wet leaves and bridges was discomforting to me. The humidity was also about 95%. I’m really trying not to stress over my times during this hot and humid time. I know that once fall is here and the air is back to normal, I should be back in the low/mid 19’s consistently and may even have a shot at breaking my 18:56 PR.

    (This flattering photo does not make the list of my favorite things from this weekend!)

    4. The boys played awesome in soccer and both of their teams won! I missed Kaden’s game because it was at the same time as my race (which I hadn’t planned to run, but someone sponsored me for the race so I had to do it.), but Kevin said he played really well. I saw most of K.C.’s game and he was great, too!

    5. We had a fun, relaxing Saturday afternoon where we really didn’t do anything. Kevin had my car cleaned and while he was doing that, the boys and I went to Sam’s to look for a pumpkin. We decided to get a treat on the way home from Sonic. Note the 5 pound jar of cherries beside Kaden. He loves cherries and was more than a little excited when we saw those at Sam’s!

      

    6. Kevin and I went on a double date with his best friend and one of my running friends Saturday night. It was fun!

    7. I got in an 8.1 miler (the .1 is important) last night. It felt great outside with the temperature in the low 70s.

  • 2014 races,  5K,  boys,  clemson,  soccer,  weekend

    Snapshots from our weekend

    Our weekend started out as it normally does this time of year with soccer practice right after work. We decided that Fridays would be the best night for soccer since the boys are both in real school and K.C. especially has a lot more homework. I didn’t take any soccer pictures because I’m helping Kevin coach. (I use the term “coach” loosely!)

    After soccer, we went to our Friday night spot for dinner then went to pick up a birthday gift for Kevin’s best friend. That night, we watched the special Saving Dr. Brantly on NBC. It was really interesting.

    Saturday was a busy day that started off with us leaving our house at 6:45 for a race.

     My friend Kayce and me before the race.
    It was H-O-T, but I was very pleased with my time. I’m still about a minute slower than I normally am (finished in 20:32 Saturday), but with temperatures in the high 90s even first thing in the morning and high humidity, I’m happy. I finished as the first female and 3rd overall. Racing season has officially started again!
    As soon as the race was over, we headed back to town for the boys’ soccer games. With them playing on different teams this year, we’re thankful that there are only two days that they play at the same time. This past Saturday was the first day. Thankfully, their teams played on teams side-by-side, so I ran back and forth so I could watch them both. 
    Kaden played so hard! He only walked over to me on the side one time, and if you know our Kaden, you know he likes the snacks and trophies. I’m so proud of him!
    K.C. played awesome, too! He’s in an older league and he played so strong! He hardly sat on the bench. Watching him wearing number 4 (Kevin’s number), made me think of how Kevin must’ve looked when he was little and played. Our boy is competitive! 
    (Most of the pictures are from my phone and I was at Kaden’s game the same time K.C.’s ended, so I didn’t get his picture with my phone.)
    After the soccer game, Kevin’s best friend and parents came over to watch the Clemson game. Brian’s birthday was yesterday, so we celebrated with a cake.
    We had dinner with some friends Saturday night. Maggie is one of the best cooks in the world. Kaden loves cooking with her, so she had some cupcakes waiting for him to ice when we got to their house.

    We had a real Southern meal complete with fried chicken, rice and gravy, macaroni and cheese, beans, and to-die for biscuits. And banana pudding for dessert.

    Yesterday was promotion Sunday at church. The boys moved up to a new class and we moved up to teaching 5K which is Kaden’s class. After church, we went to lunch and then had the best day at home. We built forts and tunnels and after practicing spelling words that included the word “mine”, the boys went mining for treasure.

    After dinner, we took my sister to her new apartment and the boys had fun exploring and Kevin fixed a few things for her. 

    We stopped by Wal-Mart (one of my least favorite stores) to get a few things and the boys saw these ninja costumes. And we got them. And they were only $6. And they’ve been Ninjas a million times already, but it makes them happy, so there. haha

    We had an awesome weekend and I’m looking forward to a great week!