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Chicago Trip 2014–Day 2


Monday we woke up bright and early, ate our complimentary breakfast at the hotel and headed out for Shedd Aquarium.  This was the thing I was most excited to see while in Chicago.  It took us about an hour to get down there, the morning traffic was horrible!  We never came to a complete stand still but it was sure close a few times!  Who would want to drive in the junk every day? Not this girl!  I was starting to miss our ‘no traffic, no traffic lights’ town.

We got parked and made our way into Shedd’s.  We had some pre-purchased tickets that we were wanting to upgrade.  We went in the side entrance because of having the stroller – no lines there! The main entrance was already backing up with a line.  We went in and the poor gal at the counter couldn’t figure out how to upgrade our tickets on her computer.  She ended up giving us entrance to the string ray exhibit for free because of our wait – awesome!

We started off walking around looking at the wall aquariums.  It kind of reminded me of the DNR exhibit of river fish at the State Fair.  After a while we decided to make our way down to the Abbott Oceanarium where we were going to watch an aquatics show.  It was pretty awesome, there was a wall of huge windows that overlooked Lake Michigan.  It was beautiful to look at while waiting for the show to start. All of a sudden the windows were covered with curtains and the show started. 

For my entire life I have wanted to see an aquatics show with dolphins and whales at Sea World.  This show totally fit the bill.  I actually teared up from happiness of seeing this!  There were dolphins doing tricks, then beluga whales came out and did tricks. There was sea lion that came out of the water and walked down the walkway in front of the audience!  It was nuts!  This was BY FAR my most favorite part of our entire trip.  So so cool!Shed show

We walked around exploring some more, grabbed a bite to eat, then went outside to see the sting rays.  It was pretty neat, they had a bib pool set up outside with about 15 sting rays in it and we could put our hands in the water and feel/pet the rays as they swam by.  So amazing!  They were very slimy and the pool area smelled very fishy.  They had their stingers taken off so no worries about being Steve Irwined during the deal.  Andy and the boys really liked this part. 

We stuck around a short time after this then headed out – we were there for about 3 hours. 

Next we went farther up the shore to Navy Pier.  It was so dang windy, like 30 mph winds with 40 mph gusts, at least.  It was about 70 degrees but felt closer to 60 because of that wind off the lake.  We were not dressed appropriately so froze the whole time, which meant we didn’t get to enjoy ourselves much and didn’t stay long.  We did, however, go up in the giant Ferris Wheel that is famous at Navy Pier.  I had a slight panic attack while riding it.  I have become quite the weenie as I’ve gotten older and do not like heights, do not like being on a ride stuck in a slow moving car while the wind pushes it back and forth, do not like taking my squirmy baby up on that high thing with the constant fear he’ll slip out of my arms and fall to his poor little death.  Yea, I’m a bit overdramatic and I don’t apologize for it!  I totally freaked out.  Andy was so worried about me, said I looked pretty pale and kept telling me to breath. Poor Brennan was sitting next to Andy across from me and was watching the drama unfold – he looked a little worried about me.  I survived and enjoyed the second half of the ride as we were coming back down.  The view was amazing and I didn’t get to enjoy it much because of my freak out.  Luckily Andy was able to snap a few pictures for me. 


I look pretty cool and calm in that picture, don’t I? What you can’t see is my white-knuckling the bars across the windows, ha ha!

After the freak out ride we went inside to a few stores.  My 4 boys all got new Chicago Bears t-shirts and the little guys spent their money from Grandma and bought some souvenirs.  We left the store and headed back to the car.  It was super hard to push the stroller, I kept thinking it was from the wind and the packages we had bought and put in the basket below Tate.  Just as we got back to the car I realized it was from none of this – I had a completely flat tire on the stroller!  While in the sports store I ran over a tack that holds on those “don’t steal anything” censors. Great!  That put a stop to all walking fun we would/could have in town and pretty much shut down the rest of our vacation.  We loaded up, headed out into the rush hour traffic and went back to the hotel. 

Instead of finding something new and different and “Chicago” for supper we went to Outback Steakhouse.  It was good and we got our bellies full.  As we were leaving the parking lot we look over and spot a nice, new Panchero’s restaurant.  This is Andy’s MOST favorite place to eat, he was totally crushed we didn’t see it sooner and eat that for supper. LOL!

We went back to the hotel and let the boys swim for an hour before baths and bed.  Day 2 was another day full of memories.  I’ve never questioned living in rural Iowa, EVER, but driving in that terrible traffic and being down town in that big ol’ city made me miss my quiet home and know I will never ever live in a big city, ever.  I was getting pretty homesick by the end of this day.

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Chicago Trip 2014–Day 1


Sunday we left home to visit Chicago for a couple of days.  We left home about 9:30 and arrived at our first stop in Chicago – Lego Land – about 2:30. 

The ride over went fairly smooth, considering we were travelling with a 5 month old.  We only had to stop once, which worked out perfectly because it was lunch time.  The boys each had a DVD player on their laps so they watched movies the whole way over.  It kept them quiet and entertained, even if it was a parenting fail.

A Lego Land tip – sign up for the free Lego Magazine and cut out the coupon towards the back of every issue where a kid gets in free with a paid adult admission.  Saved us almost $40 by having one for each of the boys. 

Another Lego Land tip – go later in the day, after 2:00, because there usually aren’t any lines to get in and even though there are still quite a few kids running around in there it’s much quieter than first thing in the morning. 

When we walked in they had the city of Chicago built out of Legos on display, along with President Obama.  As we walked through there were rooms with other sets built out of Legos in different themes.  The Jungle Room had Indiana Jones along with a bunch of jungle animals, such as tigers and alligators. Then there was the Star Wars Room – “Luke, I am your faaather.”

After that the activities started.  The boys and Andy rode a short ride where you shot at ‘bad guys’.  (Promoting violence? Sure, why not.)  We watched a 4-D mini movie on ‘The Legend of Chima’, a Lego cartoon.  Halfway through, the ‘gang’ went through a waterfall and we all got misted, that was kind of neat.

The big boys and Andy went into a room that was a fake tour of a Lego Factory, they each got little Legos with ‘Lego Land’ printed on the side as souvenirs. 

There was, what I call, the restaurant play set that they ran around in and on for a bit – helped burned off some pent up energy from the car ride. 

The boys had fun but Andy and I both agreed it wasn’t as great as we were expecting and we wouldn’t be planning a trip specifically to see one anytime soon. Andy read after we left that it was rated one of the worst Lego Lands, so maybe the others are quite a bit better (and bigger), with more activities for the kids. 


After Lego Land we checked into our hotel, unloaded the car, then headed out for some Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza.  Andy had been to a Lou Malnati’s Pizza in downtown Chicago before and found there was another one in Schaumberg, where we were staying.  It was super easy to find and we got there about 5:00. The place was PACKED.  I dropped Andy at the door so he could get our name on the list.  He called me to tell it was going to be 30 minutes.  I parked and was getting the kids out of the car when he called again and said he’d just been seated.  Awesome!  He ordered some Bruschetta, our favorite appetizer, before I got in there.  5 minutes later it arrived and we devoured it.  20 minutes after that out came our pizza.  It was amazing!  Bren and I got beef on our half.  It wasn’t the typical ‘beef’ you’d expect on a pizza. It was deli shaved beef!  Wow was that amazing!

After supper we went back to the hotel to go swimming in the pool.  That was the boys’ favorite part of the whole day – yep, the hotel pool beat out Lego Land!  We swam until about 8:00 then went back to the room to shower off and get ready for bed.

Day 1 in Chicago was great, a lot of memories were made.

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Missing Out


Do you ever think about the things you have missed out on in your life?  For instance, for me one major thing I missed out on was college.  I went to cosmetology school.  It’s like a job in a salon before you even have the license.  No school Monday’s (most salons are closed Monday’s in these parts), a long day on Tuesday and Thursday, regular 8-5 day on Wednesday and Friday, then back at it Saturday morning until 2.  There’s no dorm life and the girls you ‘work’ with those 5 days a week get very catty and you don’t want to see them outside of school if you don’t have to.  I missed out on the whole ‘college experience’.  No dorm life, where you meet some of your very best friends that you’ll have the rest of your life.  No dorm parties.  No skipping class because you just don’t have it in you to go that day.  All that adventure of college life I will never get, ever.  I regret my decision to not go to a 4 year college every day of my life. 

There’s no going back, that I know, but it doesn’t make me think about it or miss it any less.  And you can be sure I will encourage my boys very heavily that they attend a 4 year school and don’t make the mistake that I did.

Then there’s the 1 thing I’m missing out on that there is nothing I can do about, regardless of any decisions I have made.  That 1 thing is having a daughter, a baby girl I can call my own, who I can dress up in pretty dresses and put bows in her hair whenever I feel like it.

Having a daughter is one thing I’ve always dreamed about.  I’ve dreamed of going shopping with her.  Of taking her for her first manicure and pedicure.  Helping her find her prom dress and wedding gown.  Sharing my love for Anne Of Green Gables and Laura Ingalls Wilder with her.  Painting her nails.  Braiding her hair.  Teaching her how to cook and bake and can vegetables, how to pot pretty flowers and grow vegetables her in garden for her family.  Watching girly movies with her – first Beauty and The Beast, then Sixteen Candles, then The Bridges of Madison County.

My dreams of my daughter and me together are endless.  I have had to grieve for my daughter, the one I never had and never will have, because she is so real to me.  Some days my heart breaks when I see other moms with their daughters, doing what I only dream, can only dream, of doing with mine.  Even though I feel excitement for other’s who are pregnant with their daughters it is always followed quickly by that sharp pang of grief.

In a million bajillion gazillion years I would NEVER trade in one of my boys for a daughter, NEVER.  But that doesn’t mean I don’t still ache for her and dream of her. 

What have you missed out on in your life?

A heads up – I am going to be cohosting a Fall Swag Swap!  I love these swaps, it’s such a great way to meet new bloggers and exchange fun gifts.  More details will be coming in August so keep an eye out for those!

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All Checked Out


Yesterday the boys and I had our semi-annual dental appointments.  Tater went with us, of course, and was overall a good little boy.  About mid-way through my cleaning he decided he was done with sitting in the car seat and I finished out my appointment with him sitting on my belly staring at my open mouth. 

The boys and I all got a clean bill of health – no cavities!  33 years old and not one cavity in my whole life!  A miracle since I used to drink Mt Dew daily.

After, it was Brennan’s Kindergarten Well Child Check up.  He weights 41.6lbs, which is the 50th percentile.  I missed how tall they said he was and forgot to ask later but do know that was the 50th percentile, too. 

He had to do the eye chart, where he covered one eye and went line by line telling what pictures he saw.  He passed that test with flying colors.

Then the doctor came in. She listened to his lungs, to his heart, looked in his eyes and ears, up his nose and into his throat.  She had him squat down, jump on one foot, walk on his tip toes and then on his heels.  He bent over at the waist and she checked his spine.  She asked him what his favorite fruit was (apple), favorite vegetable (carrot), what he wears when he rides his bike (his Spiderman helmet), then pointed to the pictures on the walls and asked what colors things were (nailed them all, but he nailed them when he went in before his preschool check up too).

After all this, the doctor gave Brennan a clean bill of health, then the nurse came in.  Bren had to get his finger pricked and a ton of blood squeezed out of it into a vial to test his hemoglobin level and for lead.  He did just fine with that.

The nurse left briefly to get a helper, then came back in to give Brennan 2 shots. I had warned him before this that there was a chance he’d need some shots, which of course totally freaked him out.  I told him how it wouldn’t hurt for very long and that he’d get 2 cool band aids over where the shots went in.  Yea right, like that’s going to make him alright with it!  We laid him back, I held his hand and the nurses pulled his shorts up to get to his thighs.  Then, 1-2-3-go, the countdown and then they stuck him.  He was crying before they even started because, as he told me, he was scared.  Then it was all over, it barely hurt and he got a Garfield and Wonder Woman band aid.  Yes, Wonder Woman.  Whatever, she’s an action figure/super hero, right?  Brennan told me it didn’t really hurt after all, which I told him I was going to remind him about when we go back for our flu shots in a couple of months.

Then we were done, free to go.  Brennan (and Aiden) got to pick out a prize from the treasure chest and a fruit snack package.  I’m so glad it was (mostly) painless! 

And now!  Brennan’s all ready to go to Kindergarten!  Less than 4 weeks till the first day of school for the boys, better get our school supplies bought!

Do you warn your kids about shots before the appointment, at the appointment or not at all?


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Virtual 5k


My sweet friend, Des, from Macke Monologues, is co-hosting a virtual 5k.  For some reason I momentarily lost my mind and signed up. 

Des is hosting a link up for those who signed up where we can write down our plans on how we’re going to get ourselves ready for this 5k. 

Let me back up and tell you my ‘running story’.  About 2 years ago or so I started the Couch to 5k program.  I didn’t make it very far into it because 1.) I had shin splints like crazy and it took me a bit to get over those and 2.) I got pregnant.  Then I lost that baby at 21 weeks gestation. After healing from that a bit I decided to start the C25K program again. This time I had a treadmill and it made it so much easier on my legs.  I actually completed it! I felt so good. The first time after that (just a few days later) I jumped on the treadmill to try cranking out a 30 minute run, which I had just done at the end of that program, I barely last 5 minutes.  Say what?!?  I was so mad at myself.  I tried again the next day, same thing.  What happened?  Guess what, I was pregnant again.  I didn’t have any endurance built up, combine that with the exhaustion of my 1st trimester and I just didn’t have it in me to run. 

Now I have Mr. Tate, who is 5 1/2 months old, and I have no excuses not to try running again.  I have wanted to run a 5k for a very long time, and my sister has asked me to run a couple with her but I have not been ready to try getting to that point again … until now.  This virtual 5k is the perfect way for me to get in gear and actually run a 5k without the scariness of someone watching me the first time. 

I can’t decide if I should do C25K again or if I should just gradually lengthen my run time with walking, similar to what the program does.  Any suggestions?  I have less than 8 weeks, the program is 9 weeks long, although I would probably just attempt to run/walk every other day so would speed up the time frame of C25K.  What do you all think I should do? 

I’m giving this running thing one more shot.  If it doesn’t ‘catch’ then I’m going to get T25 and really kick my ass. #djv5k


Weigh In Wednesday
The Hump Day Blog Hop


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Tate At 5 Months



Tate at 5 months – definitely NOT a newborn anymore, he is full on BABY! 

-- Almost  sitting up by himself

-- Such a happy baby!  He smiles at anyone who will talk to him.

-- Can roll from tummy to back, sort of.  He has surprised himself a few times when he’s accidentally done it but still can’t do it willingly.  This means that he rolls over to his tummy in bed then gets stuck and mad before falling asleep sometimes.

-- Prefers to be on his tummy now, he can see around the room better that way.

-- Still refuses a bottle.

-- Strictly breastfeeding, will start cereal a week before his 6month check up so we can talk to his dr about it if things aren’t going well.

-- Went to the swimming pool for the first time, wasn’t too sure about it and hated when he got splashed in the face by other kids.

-- Still waking up once a night to eat, usually after 4 a.m.  Most nights he wakes up prior to that, has rolled over and needs put back on his back and pacifier in.  He’ll then sleep again until his 4 a.m. or later feeding.

-- He loves the entertainment that his brothers being home from school brings.

-- He found his squeal this month.  I was hoping he’d let one rip while at church but he never did (he has good manners), but at home he would squeal/shriek/scream so loud, it totally cracked me up!

-- Drool.  All the time.  Poor guy, those teeth must be doing some moving around but generally he’s happy through it all.

-- Tate at 5 months is such a happy little guy, I can’t say that enough!  He is always smiling, always squealing in delight, laughing out loud and giggling.  He only cries when hungry or to let me know he’s getting sleeping (or when his big brothers get a little too rough and crazy with him).  I have described him as a happy baby who is demanding.  Yes, he is so happy but he definitely requires a lot of attention, which I am more than happy to give him!  I don’t get much done around here during the day because I spend a lot of time snuggling, cuddling, kissing and playing with him.  But I don’t care, Tater will only be this age once, we’ll never have *this* day ever again, so I take advantage of being here with him and never take our time together for granted.


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Our Week In Review


Last week was a busy, crazy week (which explains why I didn’t blog all week!).  We had so much fun, it was a perfect summer week!

It was our County Fair so we were there every day.  Aiden is in Clover Kids, the younger kid’s version of 4-H.  He was involved in the fair much more this year which made it even more fun and exciting than the past years.  Here’s our week in review:


I decided it was time to start decorating Tate’s room.  Yep, he’s 5 months old and his room is not decorated!  I feel awful about that.  All I can say about that is first I couldn’t decide what theme I wanted to go with (still have no idea really) and I didn’t have the time or ambition after he was born (or the nerve to take 3 boys from store to store looking for and buying supplies to make and decorate the room).  I decided I wanted those IKEA spice racks that everyone’s using for book shelves in their baby’s rooms.  I looked online, found them and figured out we would spend less money on them if Andy just made them himself.  We made a trip to the lumber store and Andy bought some wood to use to make them.  We came home and he whipped them up very quickly.  I had him make 4 – 2 for Tate’s room and 1 for each of the boys to hang by their beds for a book or two they might be reading at the time.  As of right now I have to get them painted still – I attempted to use spray paint but apparently I’m not good at that, or patient enough, so yesterday I bought some craft paint and will hopefully get those all painted up today so we can hang them this week.  They turned out awesome, though, and I feel so lucky to have a handy husband who make can make knock-off IKEA items.


While “we” were busy making the shelves a nice rain storm came through.  The sky after was gorgeous, I just had to take a few pics of it.  They didn’t do the coloring justice, the pinks were so much more vibrant that this shows.



Aiden signed up for a Clover Kids Goat Mentoring program this year.  He went to a local farm and an older 4-Her mentored him in how to show goats and a few goat facts (did you know they horns act as an air conditioning system for them? Cool!).  Monday they were able to show off their hard work by getting in the show ring and using their new skills to show the mentor’s goat. Aiden did awesome!  His goat stayed put the whole time and he answered the judge’s questions with a smile.


That night we went to the Tractor Pull at the grandstands.  Had a great time watching those tractors flying down the track!


My nephew is a year older than Aiden and was able to do the Sheep Mentoring program at the fair this year.  He also did a great job showing his older 4-Her’s sheep and had a great time!  We had fun watching him show and next year he’ll be able to show for real because he is now an official 4-Her himself! (4-H runs from 4th grade through 12th grade.)  We watched a little bit of the rodeo that night but I must admit, we don’t get rodeo clown humor.  It’s pretty cheesy. 


In addition to the goat mentoring, Aiden also signed up for the Rabbit Mentoring Program.  This one was a little less involved, we just had to meet up with the 4-Her the day of the show for 30 minutes.  But Aiden learned quite a bit in that short amount of time.  Aiden was paired up with 2 really great 4-Her’s, we were so lucky!  The rabbit mentor is a boy I babysat a few times when he was a baby, which is crazy to think about!  Again, Aiden had a great show and did really well with the judge.


That night we went to the Talent Show to watch our niece sing and play her guitar.  She did a great job getting up in front of all those people by herself.  After that we went to the Clover Kid’s Graduation where we watched our nephew, Charley, graduate.  He is the 3rd one in on the bottom row (the red head).  And below he is with Aiden, both in their 4-H shirts.



Tate went to spend the day with my mom to try to learn to take the bottle.  Mid-day I had Andy call to check in because I knew if I called and heard him crying I would want to rush out there and pick him up.  At 1 that day he’d had maybe an ounce of milk since 7:30 that morning.  But my mom said he was still a happy little guy, laying on the floor playing with his toes.  At 5:30 that night we met my mom, dad and Tate at the fair.  Tate only had that 1oz. all day long!  He still didn’t take the bottle!!!  Little stinker!  So we sat together in the car and nursed and cuddled and kissed each other.  We were pretty happy to see each other, I had missed him like crazy all day. That was our first time apart for more than an hour, it was really hard.  But he was a happy little guy the rest of the night so I don’t think he was too mad at me! 

Speaking of Tate, he LOVED the fair!  He was such a happy camper riding around in his stroller the whole week.  He met lots of people to flirt with, saw a lot of animals and enjoyed the awesome weather we had all week. 


The bottom pic is right before leaving that day, he was tuckered out!

We went to the Motocross event Thursday night.  It was actually really fun and exciting to watch, I’d never been to that before. The boys loved it, of course.  One of Aiden’s classmates was racing, he came in 2nd in the class we saw him in.  It was so fun!


We had our annual Friendly Friends Being Friendly Grill Out here.  We were down a couple, but we filled their spots with our kids this year.  We had some amazing food (jalapeno poppers, bacon wrapped chicken bites, avalanche bars, taco dip, veggies, spinach/artichoke dip, all yummy!!!), amazing people and tons of laughs!  The badminton tournament continued and we had a great time laughing at and watching those goons chase after the shuttle cock.  The kids all got along great and had fun having a water balloon fight. 


We went to my aunt and uncles and picked our first batch of sweet corn for the year.  We came home, shucked it and immediately chowed down on some for lunch!  It was so delicious, looking forward to having some for supper tonight again.


Last night the boys started their week long Vacation Bible School program. It runs Sunday through Thursday, 5:30-8 every night.  They both had fun last night and are looking forward to going again tonight.  I love VBS, it teaches such good morals and life lessons, plus it’s so much fun and gives the kids somewhere to go this late in July when most other day camps are all done for the summer.

Whew, what a busy week!  Glad we all survived!  This week? Time to catch up on sleep and blogging!


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Summer Bucket List


Today I’m linking up with one of my dear friends, Des, for her weekly “Summer Bucket List” link up.

Today I’m checking off “Gardening”, in a sense.  No, I’m not done gardening for the year, it’s just getting ramped up now, but I’m definitely in the thick of it so figured I could say I’ve ‘done that’ this summer.

Last night we welcomed Andy home from being gone for 2 days by going outside and picking berries and green beans.  Yahoo! Ha ha!  The black raspberries are slowing down but the red raspberries are in their prime right now.  We got quite a few of both varieties.  Next week I’ll be making jelly and The Pioneer Woman’s Berry Butter with them.


Do you see my lone Bee Balm flower in the middle picture?  I spotted that beauty yesterday in the afternoon, totally made me a happy girl! I thought the pesky rabbits had eaten it all off but lo and behold, there it was!  Kind of looks like a Truffula Tree (The Lorax)!

Today I canned 16pt of green beans.  I fear we have over planted green beans yet again!  We picked a big bowl full last week and have been eating those fresh (yum!). Last night we ended up with about 3 gallons of beans.  And that’s just from the first 2 rows we planted.  We’ll be able to pick those at least 2 more times, if not more and we have 2 other rows that are quickly coming on!  Oh boy! 


We all sat out on the deck and snapped them before bed last night.  It was fun chatting and listening to music.  I turned on Pandora on my phone.  First I chose 90’s Hits. Andy was not impressed (especially when Backstreet Boys came on).  Then I switched it to ‘Today’s Hits’.  The boys and I belted our ‘Wrecking Ball’ by Miley.  Again, Andy was not impressed.  Finally we settled on the ‘Johnny Cash Station’.  That suited all of us.  It was a fun summertime memory we made together.



After I finished the green beans this morning I started in on making a batch of Ree’s Spaghetti Sauce.  I was able to use the parsley and basil I planted back in May.  I just love being able to use what we planted in many different ways and recipes!  That is definitely one of my favorite parts of summer!


Even though they are not reading for picking yet I wanted to show you how awesome the tomato plants are doing! 


So now you can see why I am checking ‘Gardening’ off my Summer Bucket List.

Go link up with Des!


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Blog Every Day In July


I’m having writer’s block today so going to use some of the prompts from the “Blog Everyday in July” series.


July 2nd: Guilty Pleasures

~ Watching crap TV in the afternoon’s instead of getting stuff done around the house. 

~ I don’t do this anymore but I have been known in the past to mix the first 3 ingredients of my homemade brownie recipe together and then I’ve snacked on that.  Those ingredients are the butter, unsweetened chocolate and sugar.  How terrible is that?!?

~ Laying in bed long after I’ve woken up in the mornings snuggling under the blankets

July 5th: Super Powers – what would yours be?

~ I’d love to be invisible so I could sneak around undetected and listen to people’s juicy gossip!  And so I could spy on the boys and really see who was the instigator.  And so I could go into Tate’s room and watch him as he’s waking up and looking around.

~ I’d also love the Super Power of teleporting myself to wherever I wanted to go with a snap of my fingers.  I could snap and be in Hawaii.  Or snap and be in my hometown getting groceries then snap and be back home to put them away (and maybe snap and they put themselves away, ha!).

~ One more.  I’d love the Super Power where I could tell people who are acting stupid just how stupid they were acting and then they’d be like “oh, you’re right! Sorry, it’ll never happen again!” and they love me for it.  Ha ha!!!

July 6th: Things You’ll Never Do

~ The other day on ‘Ellen’ I saw a ride on top of one of the hotels out in Vegas where you get in a roller coaster type car and it zings you off the top of the building then the rail you are on abruptly stops you from catapulting off in the nether regions.  It then pulls you back up and throws you ‘off’ again.  Uh, no thankyouverymuch. I will NEVER do that.  EVER. No, just no!


In other news, my dad had surgery this morning on his ear, the one that was damaged in his fall.  I heard from my mom about an hour ago, everything went well but the bones were damaged enough that they had to put a prosthetic in instead of repairing the bones that were in there.  They also did a skin graft on his ear drum, which was news to my folks when they got there this morning so I don’t know a lot of details about that.  He had to be semi-awake through the whole thing and when they were done my dad asked “when can I start baling hay?”  Guess he’s worried about getting that done, ha!  So glad it’s over, hopefully he’ll regain some of his hearing in that ear.

Have a great Wednesday!


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Hot Topic Tuesday


I’m getting on a soap box today, bear with me!

2 things are bugging me. One is this whole “ ‘Merica” thing.  How damn lazy are we?  All of a sudden we can’t add a single syllable to the beginning and say the name of our country??  So in 100 years our great grandkids will be telling their kids “Back in the old days they called our country ‘America’.  And in the old *old* days it was printed on maps as ‘The United States of America’. Isn’t that funny?”  Come on folks!  This really bothers me. 

Next - hazing.  I despise hazing.  I don’t get it.  It’s not cute. It’s not funny.  It’s not nice.  It’s abuse and bullying.  And when we hear time and time again about these poor innocent people who are killed because of a hazing incident it just makes my blood boil.  There was a story about one such incident on the news last night and they said the individuals involved *might* get charged with murder.  “Good” is what I thought.  They need to be punished for doing that to the poor kid.  It was a form of torture and if it had happened outside of a fraternity there wouldn’t be any question about whether the parties involved would be charged or not.  Book ‘em.

Ok, off my soap box.  Sorry, friends, had to get that off my chest!

What are your Hot Topics today?


4th of July Weekend


First things first, time to announce the winner of the Charlibebe Gift Certificate!  My super sweet friend with the adorable baby Adley, Shelli, won!!!!  Congrats, Shelli! Thanks to all who entered the giveaway!

How was everyone’s holiday weekend?  We had a great one! Andy took off Thursday to take the boys golfing so we had a nice, long 4 day weekend together. 

Friday, the 4th, wasn’t a busy FUN day.  We hit up yet another parade, our last of the summer.  Andy’s folks came back here after for lunch.  I quickly whipped together some pork burgers and baked beans, and then pulled out the tub of cottage cheese and a bag of chips to go with it.  Dessert was Peach Upside Down Cake – so so yummy!  That evening we went to my Grandma’s for supper with the big family, then we all headed over to my aunt and uncle’s to watch the fireworks at the fairgrounds.  Little Tater Tot loved them once again!  I remember sitting there watching the fireworks with so much of our family all around us and was thinking about how perfect it was, how lucky I was to have my boys, my husband, my parents, my aunts, uncles and cousin’s around me, watching the fireworks and enjoying our freedom together.  It was pure bliss.

Saturday was a funny day.  It was cool for this time of year (low 60’s) and rained all morning long.  We didn’t do much of anything.  It was kind of nice to have a lazy day.  Andy fixed the toilet in the basement, I went through some stuff and filled a sack of old shoes and clothes to take to Goodwill.  Cleaned a tiny bit.  But mostly we were just lazy and watched some Wimbledon on TV.

Sunday we went to my folk’s house for lunch and for me to cut my dad’s hair.  We stopped in town at the nursery and picked up some more plants, came home and planted those.  Also mowed the lawn, trimmed and pulled some weeds.  We dinked around the house a little more, went for a bike ride with the boys, cleaned some and then crashed! 

It was a great weekend and I somehow didn’t take any pictures to commemorate it!  The only pic I took I posted on IG – it was of poor Tate snuggling with me Saturday afternoon because he wasn’t feel very well.  Not sure if it was teeth, tummy or just a busy 4th of July.  Either way he’s feeling all better now.

Have a great Monday, talk soon!

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My Random Thoughts


It’s less than 6 months from Christmas and holy cow do I need to get started with my shopping!

Christmas is coming...


While mowing last night in the barely 60 degree weather I had a sudden urge to go Back To School shopping and to wear a plaid skirt (you know, like a uniform).


Yesterday I realized that school starts for us 7 weeks from yesterday.  Which calculates to 49 days. Which calculates to panic mode.


Why does a 3rd grader need 28 pencils?


Pun pun pun... I may be laughing too hard. Oh humor, how I need you!  #laughter #humor #puns


daily odd compliment | Daily odd compliment @allofmyfriends! Haha | random hilarity


I made chili for supper last night.  It was awesome.  When we get a cool day in the middle of the summer I jump on the opportunity to do ‘cool weather things’, like wear jeans and make chili. It makes me happy.


Someday I’d like to buy a giant RV, a.k.a. Camper, and go touring around the U.S. with Andy.  We’ll just pull into a campground for the night, or maybe we’ll like it there enough to stay for a few days.  We’ll get out and about, maybe go to a few antique stores in the particular town, find a neat dive to eat supper in, go for a stroll along a trail or water front.  You know, act like we don’t have a care in the world, don’t have any responsibilities weighing us down.  Some day…


Don’t forget to sign up for the giveaway to Charlibebe’s Etsy shop.  Running through Sunday!


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Have a Happy 4th of July!  Be safe and see you back here Monday!

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Have you all seen those sweet, adorable ribbon sandals for baby girls?  They have the big fluffy flower on top?  I die every time I see them!  Well, I wanted something cute like that for Tate, minus the pink and the flower, so I went on to Etsy determined to figure out how that darn site works and to get my little man something for his tootsie toes.

I found Caroline’s shop called ‘Charlibebe’.  She had cute little boy ribbon sandals, exactly what I was looking for!  She custom makes them so in the comment section I told her exactly what I was looking for: brown or tan ribbon with a football.  She emailed me back right away and said she didn’t have those colors of ribbon but how about cream?  Then she took pics of the ribbon choices with the little footballs on top so I could see exactly what I would be getting. It made picking so much easier!  We emailed back and forth a couple more times then I got the email stating my sandals were made and on their way!  I had the 2 days later!  Wow, quick!!! 

Caroline was so dang easy to work with!  And so sweet!  I had ordered size 12-24mo because we all know Tater is a chubby little baby.  I was worried they’d be too big so that was one thing I mentioned to her. She had me measure around his ankle and send her that number.  She replied right away, and I thought this was so sweet, she said “you’ll be happy to know he is in the 6-12mo range!”  Ha ha, how cute! 

Here is Tate modeling his new sandals.


And here are some of her other designs:


photo (2)

photo (3)

photo (4)

I begged Caroline to team up with me to do a giveaway to her shop and she agreed!  She is giving a $10 shopping spree to her shop to one lucky winner!  Just enter the Rafflecopter below to get signed up!  Do you have a baby or a friend who’s pregnant?  Do you know of a charity who’s having an auction that you could donate these to?  Think outside of the box, I know you don’t all have babies right now but you have to know someone who would adore these little sandals for their Bebe!  The giveaway is live through Sunday, winner will be announced on Monday!

Go check out Caroline’s Etsy shop HERE, she’s running a special if you enter SUMMERTIMEFUN, you’ll get 10% off your order!  She has more than just the barefoot sandals, too. She has headbands and tutu’s that are too too cute! 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


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