Whew, what a week.

Y’all. This was  a WEEK.

It started off well. Sunday afternoon/evening the kiddos went to the Pink Out game with Nana and Shshr. Jake and I got to have a nice afternoon date-we went to get Mexican, and then we had a nice, long, quiet nap. Jake had men’s Bible study at our house Sunday night, so I hung out with the kiddos at Nana’s.


Monday afternoon Jake picked the kids and I from school, because I had an eye appointment to get my eyes dilated, so I wouldn’t be able to drive afterwards. Then we went to Krispy Kreme to let Jack pick out his birthday breakfast donuts, and donuts to take to his class. Then we went to Mee-Maw’s. She cooked Jack’s requested birthday dinner- fried chicken, fried apples, fried okra, and biscuits. LOL. It was delicious. But after dinner is where things started to go downhill. Jake started feeling bad after we got home- and it hit him HARD, and FAST. We both thought he may have caught Josie’s strep throat.


Tuesday morning we celebrated Jack’s birthday with our normal candles-in-the-donuts celebration. And we gave him his birthday present- a Ripstick, new knee/elbow pads, and a book he’s been wanting. He was VERY excited about his new Ripstick! Then the kids and I headed to school. I ended up leaving school early to take Jake to the doctor, because he went downhill fast throughout the morning, and in was no shape at all to drive. He ended up having flu AND strep. 🙁 Poor thing. That afternoon I headed to the pharmacy, then to Kroger for supplies, then to get the kiddos from Lindsey, then back to Greenbrier to get Chinese for Jack’s birthday dinner. Jack spent a long time outside playing with his new Ripstick, and then we had dinner and a Star Wars movie night (Jack’s request).

And then Wednesday, I came home from school with a fever. I called the doctor, and they called me in TamiFlu, since my symptoms were similar to Jake’s. We are so, so grateful for our amazing friends and family, because, y’all…it takes a village, and we needed every bit of that village this week. I was out of school Thursday and Friday. Lindsey took the kiddos to school both days for me, and Mama Judy picked them up and brought them home. So many people texted to check on us. The kiddos did good, too. They helped with some clean up. They did great about our “quarantine,” too. We did everything in our power to keep them from catching it. We quarantined ourselves to the couch, and tried not to touch anything in the kitchen, and wiped behind ourselves with disinfecting wipes. They got themselves totally ready for school and fixed their own dinner (we had leftover Chinese food Wednesday night and then ordered pizza Thursday night). And so far, they are healthy. Praying it stays that way!


(Josie made her own Valentine’s, and they were so cute! There were also these little squishy animals she put in the baggies. Jack just put the squishy animals in the baggies, and wrote “Love Jack on the bag with a marker, LOL. Boys are a lot less “high maintenance” than girls…I love getting to experience the differences having both a boy and a girl-ha!)

Today we declared ourselves “well.” Neither of us have had a fever since Thursday, and we were feeling human again last night. Today we disinfected the house from top to bottom and did a thousand loads of laundry.


Jake took Jack to pick up the other part of his birthday present, too. We had planned to get him a brand new bike for this birthday. But then we found a super cool vintage one in Mama Judy’s attic, and Jack decided he wanted it instead of a new bike. Especially since getting this bike meant he could have the bike AND a Ripstick. And…his last vintage bike has been REALLY good to him. So we took it to the bike shop for new tires, and it was ready to pick up today. Jake spent forever today cleaning it and polishing it the chrome to make it as good as new (or as close as he could get it, anyways.) It is AWESOME, and Jack loves it. He spent forever riding it today.


Now, praying we all stay healthy for awhile!


NINE years old!

Dear Jack, 

I can’t believe you are already nine! That seems particularly old. But….you are every bit of a “classic” nine year old boy. You giggle with the best of them, tell random jokes that don’t make much sense, and the dirtier you are, the better. 

Some of your favorite activities right now are shooting basketball (this is ALL you do at playtime at school), riding your bike/skateboard/scooter/anything with wheels, riding your minibike, playing video games of all kinds, climbing, and playing with your sister. I love that y’all still love each other so very much. 

Your favorite foods include sausage and biscuits, Chinese food of all kinds, fried chicken, biscuits, fried apples, cheese quesadillas, and sweet potatoes. You love hot chocolate, root beer, and sweet tea. Your favorite restaurants are probably Cracker Barrel, Chic-Fil-A, and any Chinese restaurant. 

Even though you are ALL boy, you also are still so sweet and cuddly. You want me to “pat-pat” you every night, still. You love stuffed animals. You love cuddling your cat, Poppy. You sleep with your frog blanket and your stuffed rat Scabbers every night. “Where’s Waldo” is still your most loved book….you pour over it multiple times a week…I would think you would be bored of it by now, since you must have it memorized, but you love it so. During movies, you must be cuddled up to someone. You are a Momma’s boy for sure….but Daddy is your favorite person. 

You did a lot of fun things this year! You were “Player of the Year” for your soccer team; went to Climb Nashville Camp this summer; learned to water ski; “cliff jumped” at the lake; LOVED going to the indoor skate park; slept in a hammock all night; had an awesome cross country season racing against 5th graders; ended speech therapy; continued mandolin lessons and did really well;  and had your first official sleepover with someone other than family (at the Roses). 

You are so much fun, and we love you so much. I can’t imagine how boring and quiet our lives would be without you in it! I love you, sweet boy. Happy Birthday! 


Birthday Party for the Boy

Today we had Jack’s NINTH birthday party. 🙂 Well, more of a birthday “playdate,” because that’s how we roll. He wanted to invite 2 friends from school, have hamburgers, chips, and root beer for dinner, and chocolate chess pie for dessert. Low key and easy. 🙂 So that’s just what we did! One of the friends that Jack invited just happens to have a sister that is Josie’s friend, so she came to hang out, too. They all got here after lunch time, and stayed until bedtime. There was a LOT of playing outside, lots of Nerf wars, lots of snacking, and an after dinner movie. Oh, and a pin the tail on the donkey that the kids did all by themselves, just because Jack wanted it, LOL.  The boy had a blast, which was just what he deserved. Happy birthday, Jack!


Waiting not-so-patiently for his friends to come! 🙂


“Sick” Days

This week our headmaster gave us a gift-Thursday and Friday with no school, due to so many grammar school kids being sick (I had FIVE out on Wednesday). And the timing was good, because Josie stayed home sick on Wednesday with strep throat, and would’ve had to stay home on Thursday, too.

I was able to get so much done that has been on my to do list for awhile. On Thursday I stayed in my pajamas all day long and did not leave the house at all…like, I didn’t even go outside. It was glorious. I made a photo book of mine and Jake’s California trip we took a couple of years ago, along with some other various chores. One big chore was helping the kids purge toys and rearrange their rooms. Jo had been wanting to rearrange hers for awhile, and then I just kept going and did Jack’s, too. It was much needed, and they feel so much better now! Plus, it is always good to purge toys and books that are no longer played with/needed. Jack is a pack rat….so we just threw a lot of things away, too. We ended the night with a movie night to watch the new Lion King. Which was a great movie, by the way!


Friday morning we woke up to a surprise-snow!! And I was so glad we were already out of school, because it was not enough that we would’ve closed school. In fact, it was melted by noon. But the kids still had fun playing for a little bit, and it was pretty to watch while it was falling. 🙂


Friday afternoon I cleaned the house and the kiddos and I ran some errands. I cut Jake and Jack’s hair, did a bit more cleaning, and then cooked some dinner. After dinner we went to Golly G’s, just because. 🙂


Grateful for these days with these kiddos that are getting so big!


Oops….I didn’t blog this month. Honestly, though…you didn’t miss much. It has been a pretty normal, standard January around here. Work, school, church….nothing too out of the ordinary or exciting. And I did NOT do a stellar job at taking pictures.

Here’s a quick recap:

-One weekend Jack and Josie ended up spending the night with the Roses…just because. Then they hung out all day there, until the Roses came to our house for dinner that night. Then, Hannah ended up staying the night with Josie, and Jack went back home with the Roses. So then the next day, we just kept Hannah all day until after I took the girls to youth group, and then I picked Jack up. So we swapped kids for a Sunday. 😉 The kids were THRILLED at all the hang out time! And I only got these two ridiculous pictures:


-We had a board game night to play Jack’s new Christmas board game, Forbidden Island. It’s a lot of fun!


-We have had a LOT of rain this month. But at least one weekend was pretty enough to hang out at the farm, and do some burning.


-I got a try on box of glasses, and the kids had a BLAST trying them on and wearing them around the house:


-It was a very sad month for cats in our family. First, Candy and Poppy went missing for a whole week. Candy never showed back up. Poppy, though, got found by a neighbor that called us. Midnight was happy to have her back…..and then just a few days later, Midnight was hit by a car and killed. 🙁 Josie was heartbroken. We have had such bad luck with cats! Pets are hard. Such important lessons for kids to learn, but still so hard.


-At some point this month I did a MAJOR clean out of my closet, and created a “capsule” wardrobe, something I have been wanting to try for a long time. Here’s a list of my wardrobe now:

Work – 45

  • Dresses – 8
  • Skirts – 5
  • Pants – 5
  • Blazers – 6
  • Sweaters – 5
  • Shirts – 15
  • Cardigan – 1

Personal wardrobe – 45

  • Short sleeve shirts – 12
  • Long sleeve shirts – 11
  • Tank tops – 4
  • Sweaters – 2
  • Dresses – 5
  • Fancy dress – 1
  • Skirts – 1
  • Shorts – 5
  • Pants – 4

Does not count:

  • workout
  • outside/farm/garden/hiking
  • coaching
  • swimsuits
  • outerwear

(but all of those things are limited to my dresser…if it doesn’t fit, it goes)

-Last weekend we kept the Rose girls overnight, and they went to Sadie’s birthday party with us. Sadie turned three!


-I love how much these two love each other.



-Jake and I hosted an adult indoor soccer night, and it was a BLAST. We had a great turn out, and plan to do it again soon.

-I did a lot of “adulting” this month…dentist appointment, eye appointment, OBGYN appointment….plus taking the kiddos the dentist.

-Last night we went out with some friends, and the kiddos spent the night with Grammy and Pappy. We are so blessed to have family that loves our kiddos as much as we do, and are so happy to watch them so we can have some “adult” time.



Here’s to a happy February!



Saturday Fun

We are making the very most of this break we can. Today Josie and I went to lunch at Chic-Fil-A and then to the movies to see Little Women with Nana, Shshr, Ta, Grammy, and Pappy. Pappy likes all kinds of movies, even if they are “girl” movies, LOL.

The movie was SOO good. I thought it was even better than the original Little Women movie.

While we out doing that, Jake took Jack to Rocket Town (indoor skate park), and then to Cracker Barrel and to run some errands. 🙂

He has his daddy’s brain for sure!


Now, to snuggle up and relax at home for the night. 🙂


In the fall, my cross country team gifted me with an amazing “coach” gift- 2 tickets to see Hamilton at TPAC!!!!! I’ve been listening to the play for years, and I have been dying to see it. I never thought  I would be able to get tickets to see it when it came to Nashville, because it is such a popular show. So it was an amazing gift.

And last night was the night! Lindsey’s VB team also gifted her with tickets, so Jake and I picked up she and Josh and we made a date night of it. First we went to Fido for dinner and dessert. It was SO good.

Then it was time for the show!!!

We met up with the Eidsons when we got there (who were responsible for getting us all the tickets-they are so great).


The show didn’t disappoint at all- it was amazing, the best show I’ve seen at TPAC. (Although, Les Mis is still way up on the list for me.) 🙂 When it was over, I could’ve sat and watched the whole thing all over again, right then. I wasn’t ready for it to end!

Thank you, cross country folks, for the amazing gift!!


I am a goals oriented person. I always work better if I have a goal in mind. Last year these were my goals:

5- Read at least 5 verses of the Bible every day.

50-Read 50 books this year (after I complete the current book challenge I’m working on). But this year, I’m choosing the categories.

500-Run 500 total miles this year. Gulp. Not sure I can make this one, but I WANT to.


The first one- I am amazed to say it, but I did it!!! This is the first Bible reading goal I’ve ever set for myself that I have actually stuck with. And I think it was because it was totally attainable. So much so that I usually read much more than 5 verses a day….but also didn’t have to feel guilty if that is all I could manage. I am going to continue this goal for this year. I read most of the New Testament this year (some of it twice), so I’m going to finish that up…and then I’m not sure what I’ll read.

I read 50 books, just posted the update on that one. This year my reading challenge is going to look different. I’m going to read at least 1 book from each book list for every grade at JECA-so at least 12 books (because I’ve obviously already read all the fourth grade books). I haven’t picked out all the ones I’m doing yet, but I’m working on it. The first one I’m starting with is All the King’s Men by Robert Penn Warren. It is on the 12th grade list. I would also like to reread The Chronicles of Narnia, because it has been awhile. Past that, I’ll just see what comes along. 😉

So I DEFINITELY didn’t make my running goal. I realized about halfway through the year that this wasn’t a realistic or good goal for me. The main reason being that my body doesn’t like that much running. It was hurting. Which meant I wasn’t making my weekly goals. But, more importantly, I’m learning that my body responds much better to me changing up the types of exercise I’m doing every day, and that also makes more sense for when I am training for triathlons. So I changed my goal to closing my exercise ring 5 days a week. That means at least 30 minutes of exercise, 5 different days. I didn’t do it perfectly, but it is a good goal to strive towards for sure. And attainable, most weeks. I like this better than the mileage goal, because I had started dreading running….now that I’m switching up the types of exercise I’m doing, I’m enjoying running occasionally again. And, I was able to purchase an indoor bike that I’ve really been enjoying working out on. I’m going to start this goal back next week when I head back to school.

Another goal I’m pursuing this year is less social media. I’m not sure what this looks like, yet. Still trying to decide on some parameters for myself. Right now I’m on day 7 of just taking a total break. I don’t think I want to do away with social media totally, but I do want to come up with some rules for myself. I notice I get sucked into it the most when I’m stressed….and there are definitely better ways to relieve stress.

So, there you are. My 2020 goals.

2019 Books I Read

One of my goals last year was to read 50 books. The year before I used a “book challenge” list and read all kinds of different books. This year, I didn’t put any parameters on what type of books, just said I would read 50 books. But because of the book challenge the year before, I did find I picked up several books I wouldn’t have picked up previous to that challenge-so I’m really glad I did it. I tried to incorporate some nonfiction along with the fiction, since novels are what I gravitate towards naturally. I’ve learned I do better if I keep a nonfiction going at the same time as my fiction, so I just don’t get “stuck” and quit reading altogether. Here is my 2019 list, complete with some notes about the books that really stuck out to me…or the ones I didn’t care for:

  1. True Colors by Kristin Hannah (I love everything by Kristin Hannah)
  2. The President is Missing by Bill Clinton and James Patterson (I really liked this one.)
  3. The Gift of Failure by Jessica Lahey (I think every parent in the world needs to read this book!)
  4. Code Red by Martha Wells
  5. Rich People Problems by Kevin Kwan (Such a fun series)
  6. Natural Born Heroes by Christopher McDougall (Not as good as the other I’d read by him)
  7. The Reason I Jump by Naoki Higashida (Fascinating book written by a 13 year old non verbal child on the austim spectrum)
  8. Artificial Condition by Martha Wells
  9. Go Set A Watchman by Harper Lee (Not as good as To Kill a Mockingbird,  but I really liked it and couldn’t believe I hadn’t read it before)
  10. Them by Ben Sasse (I wish this guy would run for president-I would vote for him)
  11. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (Wow. Intriguing read)
  12. Rogue Protocol by Martha Wells
  13. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Discovered this was a book after I watched the movie-the book was better, of course)
  14. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han (Such a fluff novel, but I’ve really enjoyed this cheesy little series.)
  15. Simply Classical by Cheryl Swope (This had a lot of good teaching tips.)
  16. Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield
  17. Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
  18. Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton (Didn’t like this one as much as Dragon Teeth, but it was still really good).
  19. The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris (I’m a sucker for WWII books. This one was really well written.)
  20. Keeper of the Lost Cities by Shannon Messenger  (Meh.)
  21. Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (written differently than a lot of books; had some foul language, but kept me intrigued throughout)
  22. Atomic Habits by James Clear (Really liked this one!)
  23. Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn (rated R for sure!)
  24. Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah (not my top favorite of hers, but up there!-lots of based in WWII)
  25. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng (this one was great!) 
  26. Distant Shores by Kristin Hannah (pretty good; slower than some of her others)
  27. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (Excellent-read it in a day!)
  28. House Rules by Jodi Picoult
  29. P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
  30. Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty (So good!)
  31. The Burning Page by Genevieve Cogman (Invisible Library Series) 
  32. Mathematical Mindsets by Jo Boaler (For school, really good read)
  33. Recursion by Blake Crouch (This was even better than Dark Matter!) 
  34. The Girls in the Garden by Lisa Jewell (a thriller-so good)
  35. All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood (R rated, but captivating story
  36. You Just Can’t Teach That! By Kenneth D. Taylor (Psychology of running book)
  37. Beartown by Fredrick Backman (Liked this better than  A Man Called Ove) 
  38. Sold On a Monday by Kristina McMorris
  39. The Woman in Cabin Ten by Ruth Ware (Really good!)
  40. After You by JoJo Moyes (2nd in a trilogy)
  41. After the Flood by Kassandra Montag
  42. The Bride Test by Helen Hoang (super cute/quirky romance book, has some sexual content)
  43. Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks (predictable as always, but a fun, easy read, with a bit of twist at the end)
  44. Summer of 69 by Elin Hilderbrand (not as “fluffy” as a lot of her books-it was really good)
  45. Instruments in the Redeemer’s Hands by Paul David Tripp
  46. Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly (World War II, told France the perspective of three different girls-a German doctor in charge of a concentration camp, a Polish girl sent to that camp, and a girl living in America giving aid to the French people during the war)
  47. Love Came Down at Christmas by Sinclair B. Ferguson (advent readings) 
  48. The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (very weird murder mystery with a twist)
  49. Grace, Not Perfection by Emily Ley (non fiction, self help kind of book…some good nuggets of truth, even if I didn’t totally agree with all of it)
  50. Where the Forest Meets the Stars by Glendy Vanderah (compelling story that I didn’t want to put down!)

New Year’s

For the past few years, we have invited several families over for New Year’s Eve. We did the same this year, and it was so much fun. We enjoy hosting, and this year was no exception. It was cold, but not raining, and the kiddos stayed outside a good majority of the night, running around in the yard and climbing in the tree house. The adults hung out INSIDE, eating way too much junk food. It was a good time. Love our friends.


The girls ended up spending the night and spending a lot of the day here. They had a blast. 🙂 Unplanned sleepovers are the best kind.