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. 🙂

HAMILTON!

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!!

Goals

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.

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Post Christmas Shenanigans

The days after Christmas are usually my favorite part of Christmas. We just get sleep in, relax, play, and enjoy each other. There are normally no big-time plans…..we actually PLAN to have no plans, at least for a day or two. It is just a really sweet time. This year has been no exception.

The day after Christmas was beautiful again. We went over to the farm for a long while to let the kiddos ride and Jake and I tried out our new hammock things-he got a bug net and I got a hammock. We ended the night with a Home Alone 2 movie night, complete with coffee and hot chocolate.

 

Jake and I spent two days working to repair the tree house that was broken a few months ago in a storm. When I say Jake and I, let me clarify: he did the work, and I assisted. He is definitely the muscle/brains/handyman of this family!

The kids were SO thrilled to have their tree house back. It is almost good it has been unusable for awhile, because now it is like they got a new treehouse all over again!

There has been lots of playing with cats. We are enjoying having pets again.

 

There has been lots of good playtime for cousins. One day the kiddos spent the day with Grammy and Pappy while Sadie and Kinley were there. They got to play with their cousins at Mee-Maw’s on Monday night. Jack went and spent the day with Matthew yesterday, and Josie went to see Frozen 2 with Katie Ann and Beth yesterday, too. I love that we live so close to all of our family.

 

On Monday Lindsey and I had our annual Christmas break girls’ day. We always get good food, coffee, and shop. This year we added something new- channeling our inner middle school girl, going to Claire’s and getting our ears pierced! I’ve always wanted a second hole, I’ve just never gotten around to doing it. It was fun to have a friend to go do it with!

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While we were out, Jake took the kiddos to see the new Star Wars movie. Why do all of the good movies always ALL come out at the same time? Josie and I want to see Little Women, too.

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Yesterday we took down the Christmas decorations, and we decided we needed a chair to go in the corner where the Christmas tree was, to make a nice little reading nook. 🙂 So Jake went and found me one. I’m in love with it!

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Jake’s birthday

Sunday was Jake’s birthday! The day started out like a normal Sunday, with us getting to church by 7:30 because Jake was playing banjo. After church, the kiddos went home with Shshr because they were going to a Vandy game with she and Nana. I had the rest of the day planned for Jake and I. 🙂

We started with lunch at Centerpoint BBQ, because Jake loves their fried pork tenderloins. After that, we headed over to a batting cage place in Nashville. I had rented one of the cages for an hour. It had been years since either of us had been in a batting cage, and we had a blast! The pitching machine was a manual feed, which we both preferred over the token ones.

 

After we left the batting cages, we headed over to Opry Mills. We shopped for a little bit to kill time before the movie we I had gotten us tickets for- Ford vs. Ferrari. It was SUCH a good movie!

Then we went to Chuy’s for dinner.

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It was so great to have such a long date day/night to celebrate. I love this man, more than words could ever express. I couldn’t ask for a better husband and daddy to our children.

While we were doing all this celebrating, our kiddos were having fun, too, thanks to Shshr and Nana. They went to the Vandy game, and then Nana let them (and Lane) spend the night. 🙂 I’m so thankful for such an awesome family that loves my babies as much as we do.

Christmas Day, Part 2

After all of Daddy’s family left, we had Christmas with just my immediate family. It was so beautiful that we decided to open presents right in the driveway. 🙂 The only stinky part was that Chad got called into work right in the middle of the festivities.

 

After we opened presents, we just hung out and let the kiddos play outside. Our kiddos got to ride their mini bikes in the field and gained much more confidence with a bigger place to ride. Shshr and I even rode a little bit. 🙂

 

When it got closer to dark we packed up and headed over to the farm to drop off the mini bikes, and we let the kiddos ride until it got dark. They LOVED riding their bikes at the farm. Mama Judy and Jenni came over and watched them, too.

They were still being pretty cautious! 🙂

Then we went over to Mama Judy’s for some dinner. She always fixes chili and potato soup for all of us to drop in and eat anytime on Christmas. It is SOO good, too.

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We didn’t stay too late, because we were all EXHAUSTED. Like, all falling asleep on the couch by 7:00 exhausted. Christmas is a bit of a marathon. But a good marathon. 🙂

 

 

Christmas Day part 1

After we did our Christmas at our house, we headed down to Mom and Dad’s for our annual Christmas breakfast with Daddy’s family. There are TONS of people, and lots of talking and catching up. I didn’t get a ton of pictures this year, but it was a good time. Part of the reason for less pictures is because it was  another BEAUTIFUL  day outside, so there was a lot of going in/out happening. 🙂

Christmas Morning

We woke the kiddos up bright and early (or really, still dark and early) on Christmas morning so we could do our thing before heading down to Mom and Dad’s. Christmas Eve night Jake and I had set out the kiddos’ Christmas…..MINI BIKES. We knew Jack was going to lose his mind, because he has been asking for a dirt bike since he was about 2 years old. Josie didn’t really ask for anything this year, so we thought it would be fun for them both to have a mini bike to keep at the farm. And, getting them each a mini bike was way cheaper than getting them one go cart to share! We don’t always do such  big Christmas, but last year was a small Christmas, so it was a good year to do it. They got the mini bikes, a helmet to wear when riding the mini bikes, and a few small stocking stuffers.

Josie wanted to set out cookies and milk this year, as well as carrots and water for the reindeer….even though we haven’t done Santa since she was little (because she was TERRIFIED  of Santa). So we let her…because why not?

 

Jack’s face says it all. 🙂

 

 

As soon as it was light outside, we took them outside to have their first rides.

They were excited, but also a little nervous. Jack was actually more hesitant than Josie…a first! But they did great, and we promised them more ride time later in the day, when we got to Grammy and Pappy’s in their field.

We came back inside to get ready to go, and the kiddos sang Happy Birthday to Jesus with candles in Christmas Tree cakes- our tradition.  🙂

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It was a very Merry Christmas indeed.