Wedding, Tball, and Spring Break

That pretty much sums up the past month or so. My sister got married on March 4th, and it was really nice. She got married at a golf course, and the reception was in the clubhouse. Other than a little bit of drama thanks to one bridesmaid and my youngest sister, everything went very well. Her new husband’s aunt made all the desserts for the wedding including a cupcake tower.

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My youngest kiddo’s t-ball season has gotten started again. I think this year he understands the game a bit more, he can pay attention better (instead of just playing in the dirt), and he knows more of his teammates. He has a really great coach that is actually the husband of a fellow school district administrator. In fact, his team is made up of quite a few school employee’s kids. His season runs until the end of April, so it isn’t long and drawn out and can keep a group of 4-6 year olds interested to the end.

This week we are on Spring Break. I am a 12-month employee, so I don’t get spring break. I get to work 10 hour days Monday-Thursday. The only good news is that I get to work from home (except for yesterday when I went into the office). I love working from home and wish I could do it more often.

Other than that stuff, my husband and I built a new loft bed for the aforementioned youngest kiddo, and he loves it! I have to give credit to my husband because he found the picture and (mostly) detailed plans for it on Pinterest. We found the plans were really all that detailed and some key elements were left off, but we figured it out.  I still need to add curtains and a cloth roof, and my husband will be adding a set of lights for the underneath part. I’m still pretty impressed with it, and I LOVE the smell of the wood right now.IMG_0352         IMG_0348

I also made a cake for work for 2 teachers that got married this month.  I met Josh Turner and got his autograph!! And we took the jeep out off-roading for a bit of relaxation and fun. Something we could all use more of for sure.

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It looks like April isn’t nearly as busy as January-March has been, so maybe we’ll get a nice break in the action. LOL

If you don’t like shopping…

well some people would say there’s something wrong with you. BUT…I say Welcome to My Club!

There’s something just not fun about going shopping, trying on clothes that look so darn adorable on the rack, and then being totally disappointed because it doesn’t look the same way on you. I’m 5’3″, so I don’t do the cute maxi dresses because they are too long. I also have a large bust (34DD or DDD depending), so while my waist is a size 6-8, dresses can be challenging sometimes. I’ve also inherited my rather large tush, and that makes jeans shopping miserable. Not to mention after 4 babies, swimsuit shopping can be a nightmare.

Ok so I’ve established that shopping for clothes isn’t my thing. My husband has had to make me go to Kohl’s and spend money on clothes for myself. Yes ladies, you heard that correctly. Now don’t get me wrong. I love finding a good bargain, and when something does look great, I enjoy wearing it. I just wish there was a way to find good quality clothes that fit correctly without the hassle of actually shopping. OH BUT THERE IS!!!!!

I follow another blog called Whimsical September. Erica is a SUPER awesome woman of God, mom of 2 adorable little girls, and a fantabulous wife to a pretty cool dude in the Army. Anyway, she has posted about her StitchFix experiences multiple times. I’ve read them all and thought the stuff looked super cute, but I figured it wasn’t for me…I’m sure it was expensive…blah blah blah.

Last month I took the plunge when I received a discount code for my first box. Now if you’ve never heard of StitchFix it’s essentially a subscription service for clothes, shoes, accessories, etc for both women AND men. You fill out a pretty extensive profile and even choose when you want to receive the box. You then have 3 days to decide what you want to keep and return the rest at no charge. There is a $20 styling fee charged to you when your box ships. That $20 is then put toward any item you decide to keep. If you keep the whole box, you get an additional 25% off. Bonus: the box your stuff comes in can be used to ship any old clothes FOR FREE to Goodwill too!

So my first box was kind of meh. I figure it was a learning curve. I received a dress, 2 shirts, a pair of pants, and a bracelet. I kept one shirt. I had initially decided to get a box quarterly. But then realized my sister’s wedding next weekend requires a whole lot of hoopla, so I requested my 2nd box be shipped faster. Ya’ll I kept all 5 items! I received 2 dresses, a pair of jeans, a shirt, and Toms wedges. My stylist totally NAILED it this time!

I got to try everything on at home, make decisions, give feedback, and it was so. easy. If you hate shopping, I highly encourage you to give it a try! Now all of this is strictly my opinion. No one has asked me my opinion or compensated me in any way. I am going to include a link that you can use, and in full disclosure, I will receive a $25.o0 credit should you choose to place an order with said link, but please don’t feel obligated or anything. I just really love this service and wanted to share my joy! 🙂

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It’s a No Go…again

I finally got the call. I was not selected by the Navy Reserves. For the 2nd time.

I honestly don’t know what more I can do. All of my evaluations/reviews were the best ratings someone can get. I was one of only 5 applicants to receive a 100% confidence rating by the Officer In Charge. I had a proven record of leadership, and I had completed multiple online learning courses in the field.

The first thing my recruiter said to me was that she wanted to resubmit me next year…again. 3rd times a charm??? I really just didn’t know what to say when she asked me. I told her my gut reaction and the reservations I had. I told her I didn’t know what else to do. She assured me it would be much easier this round, and she is starting the process next month. After talking to my amazingly supportive husband, I am going to try one. more. time. It’s literally my last chance. I will officially age out of the opportunity after this year.

So…that’s it. A No Go…and round 3 coming for 2017. The good news is I can travel to Ireland this year whenever my husband’s schedule allows without any worries or other obligations, and my summer is open for travelling with my family too. That is my silver lining for this situation.

Finally February!

This is pretty much how I felt yesterday when I realized January was officially OVER:

I have never been so happy to see a month be over in a very long time. That being said, I did have some goals to achieve…didn’t I?…oh yeah, I did.

January Goals:

  1. Run at least one 5K this month. Technically this is a Success, but only because we did a 5K Color Run at my kindergartner’s school. And we didn’t really run, but it was more of a fast walk. Meh…it counts.
  2. Pay more than the minimum payment on credit card and pool screen loan. Well I did pay more than the minimum, but I then had to put more on the cc thanks to other unexpected stuff. Oh well. So…Fail.
  3. Receive the Navy Reserves Selection Board results. Didn’t happen. The board actually met January 17th, and I still haven’t heard anything. Waiting sucks ya’ll.

On to February!!!

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  1. PR in my half marathon. If I PR, it will be because my sister is running with me and pushing me more than I would push myself. Also, we are doing a half marathon, and then basically right after (depending on when we finish), we are doing a 5K. It’s a cool combo race that will result in 3 medals and a jacket. And we all know I’m all about the swag!
  2. Host a nice bridal shower for my sister. My sister is getting married to her 3rd husband next month, and I am her matron of honor. I am hosting her bridal shower at my house on the 18th, and since this is really the first true bridal shower she’s gotten, it’ll be fun. The theme is Liquor and Lace!
  3. Finish my presentation early! I have a conference coming up in 2 weeks that I was selected to present at, and I will be honest…I haven’t done ANYTHING to prepare for it. I really need to get my butt moving on this, because “winging it” really won’t work.
  4. And just to stay consistent: FIND OUT THE NAVY RESULTS! One way or another, I will know this month what they decided. Am I in or not? Stay Tuned!

Winding down January

As per usual, there is a lot going on, but this last full week of January has brought activity in a good way. YAY! I’m still struggling a bit with anxiety, but I’m not going to let that steal my joy. I need to be more purposeful in recognizing the good things in my life and letting the bad stuff go. With that said…

I made my cousin’s daughter her birthday cake. She wanted a unicorn cake that was found on Pinterest. I think it turned out pretty awesome even though you can’t see all the sparkle in the picture. The bonus win for me was that I got to test out my new airbrush tool!! And it appears I am going to get 3 more cake orders from people that attended the party. Sweet! I have a birthday cake due tomorrow, and a baby shower cake due next week too. 🙂

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After much research, talk about waiting, and debate, I traded in my 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan that was completely paid off for a 2017 Dodge Ram 1500 Big Ram! EEEEEK!!! I completely LOVE it! I knew I wanted a truck when I was able to downsize from the seating capacity of a van, but I wasn’t sure which one. I swear I researched every kind of truck made (ok except Chevy…sorry Chevy fans). My husband had talked me into getting a silver color of whatever kind I chose, but then this one had everything (and more) that I wanted. It had 18 miles on it when I first got in. *Swoon* One of the coolest features is the storage on the side on the bed…it can be used as a COOLER!! Oh tailgating is gonna be a blast!fullsizerender

My poor master bathroom is the last room in the house that really hasn’t been touched when we moved in (other than to repaint the HIDEOUS yellow that it was and put a frame around the mirror). I was getting some stuff at Hobby Lobby, and came across a perfect piece of framed art. Our bathroom is grey, white, and both dark blue and lighter blue. We have had this blank sort of wall over a bathtub that we tried to use once (WAY too shallow). With a $1.00 word art and $5.00 clearance framed art…voila:img_0140

Now the day I showed my husband this, he decided it was time to start working on said bathroom. We lost 90% of our hot water to the shower last week or so, and he managed to get that up and going again (despite my hesitation and quasi-support…Thank you Honey!). We went to Lowe’s and found cabinets we both like and even a couple of counter tops we like. We finally (after much discussion and me realizing he was right…yes I said it…he was right), decided we didn’t need a bathtub. What we need is a much bigger shower (ours is like a one person don’t turn around kind of tiny shower right now). So…we are going to take it one piece at a time, and it looks like the master bathroom remodel has begun. Oh…and I’m still going to find a place for my framed art! LOL!

Last but not least, I conducted some professional development for my online learning staff the other day. I’ve been reading a leadership blog and following a general on Twitter. He put out a really cool acronym, and I adapted it to fit my workshop. This is the beginning of a theme for next school year for us, and I’m excited to see how it comes along. Pardon the relatively awful drawing of what is supposed to be icicles at the top. HA!

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That wraps it up for this week. Coming soon: a 1/2 marathon and 5K race…yes that is back-to-back distances at the same event, t-ball season starting, and my sister’s wedding events begin.

Catching up and Turning the Page

Hello, hello! The sun is out today, and I’m ready to turn the page. But first, a quick catch-up.

  • My grandma passed away suddenly Tuesday just before noon. She told my mom she was done and ready to go home to be with grandpa. After getting out of the shower, she told my mom she was tired, collapsed, and that was it. She is with grandpa now, and she didn’t waste any time at all showing me that to be true. No this is not photoshopped. This floating double rainbow is just from my grandma. 🙂

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  • My husband’s police department sent him (as part of their honor guard) to the two law enforcement officer’s funerals in Orlando, FL this past weekend. I was able to accompany him to the one on Sunday (because my grandma’s funeral was Saturday evening, I couldn’t be there for the Saturday one), and it was moving, faith-filled, and horrible yet awesome all at the same time. Deputy Norman Lewis would have celebrated his birthday last weekend, so his parents had all of us sing Happy Birthday during the service. I barely held it together.
  • Yesterday I went to the optometrist and found out I still have 20/15 vision in both of my eyes and my LASIK is still holding strong. I am in year 4 post surgery, and I’m still so glad I had the procedure done.

Today is a new day. A new beginning. Today, I am back at work, I’m planning my sister’s bridal shower for her wedding coming up in March, the Navy selection board is meeting today (for some reason I thought it was the 9th, but I was wrong), and I think my sister is going to go for a 10 mile run with me tonight. I have a half marathon Feb. 5th and another one March 25 with a 5K January 28th. Basically, I’m just trying to stay in shape…just in case…well and to fit into my bridesmaid dress LOL!

2017 has sucked, but the good news is that my marriage is super strong (Thank God I have been blessed with such and amazing husband!), my kids are healthy, I have a career I love, and my husband has come home safely to me every night. I am incredibly blessed.

My church has started a new message series about sayings that people believe are Christian and true when in reality they are false. This week it was: “God never gives you more than you can handle”. What a crock!!! God ALWAYS wants to give you more than you can handle so that you RELY ON HIM! If you could do everything, why would you need God? He wants you on your knees depending on Him to get you through the trials and tribulations of life. It’s when we try to do it all on our own, that we forget how much we need him. I have always hated that saying, and now I’m glad I can better articulate the truth when people say it.

And that, my friends, is how I am turning the page on 2017 and starting a new chapter. 2017 Take Two.

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More Sunshine Less Struggles Please

more i want more more please please sir

…sunshine that is.

My husband’s aunt was welcomed home to Jesus Sunday morning. He said he got to play her Newsboys on Pandora, and she seemed to respond to that well with calmer breathing and peace. A few hours later, she was gone. Even knowing and preparing cannot adequately make everyone ready for a death. It never will. There will always a hole where she should be. But knowing she had a strong faith and her family did get to say good-bye’s makes it a little better at least.

Sunday night my grandma had a mini-stroke. Her hospice nurse said once she has had one, others will follow. Her alzheimer’s has kicked up a bit since grandpa died last year, and she either seems to have some of her sass back or she seems out of it. She had some kind of reaction to her medication that made her swell up, but they think they got that figured out.

Today, I was supposed to have had a dentist appointment to replace an old filling, but the office had a frozen pipe and their equipment wasn’t working because of it. So that’s been rescheduled.

Yep, 2017 is off to a humdinger of a start, and quite frankly, I’m ready for more sunshine and less struggles. In fact, the Navy selection board meets today, and that one would be a great way to start to turn this year around.(HINT HINT Navy LOL). I have no idea when I will get those results. Last year, it took 3 weeks…and I had to call…and it was a no go.

So, this is the last depressing post I want to write…at least for this month pretty please. In fact, I’m going to end this post with my favorite gifts from Christmas 2016:

  • My husband gave me a gorgeous sapphire ring!
  • My daughter gave me a daily calendar called “The Daily Bitch”, and it’s hilarious
  • I won an FSU Yeti cup with Fireball from my family’s white elephant exchange
  • Right after Christmas, I upgraded to the iPhone 7 with a new case 🙂

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Why so many good-byes?

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In my last post I wrote about my ex father-in-law passing away on January 1st. He was a wonderful man who loved my kids and always treated me well no matter what was happening within my marriage to his son. Even after we split, I could still keep up with him through my kids. The last conversation I had with him was during his last visit to see my kids. He was happy and looking forward to coming back. Everyone was. He was Grandpa Bill to everyone. Such a funny, kind, adventurous man…he will be missed. His funeral is this weekend.

This morning, my husband left to be with his aunt Nancy. She has stage 4 cancer that started in her lungs but spread throughout her body. She was diagnosed in early December and was given 6 months. On Dec. 26, she was given 2 weeks. Today, they are taking her off of oxygen and making her comfortable. It sucks to be single-parenting it for 5-6 days, but I’m so glad my husband gets to be with her. We were at her house from Dec. 26-Dec. 31, but we had to get home to get my kids. Then we all went back to school/work on January 4th, but my husband still has a little bit of time left on his vacation. It’s not exactly what he thought he’d be doing during this vacation. If you’re a praying person, this family could use it. Her 5 children aren’t exactly taking it well, and there is division among the ranks so to speak (to put it mildly). Her husband is putting on a brave front but will be a wreck when she’s gone. Uncle Neil and Aunt Nancy are just really good people as my grandma would say. This one will be tough too.

Speaking of my grandma, she is currently at a hospice center. Ever since my grandpa passed away last year, she has struggled but seemed to be doing better. Recently her Alzheimer’s has ratcheted up and then she started to swell for no known reason. She has been admitted to give the doctors a chance to play with her medicines in hope of finding an answer. While she hasn’t been put on her death-bed or given notice, sometimes it still feels that way.

That’s a lot of loss for one family. So far I’ve been able to compartmentalize, take one day at a time, take care of others (which helps me a lot!), and stay busy. I also know that God is in control, and my faith has always strengthened me. Because I hadn’t seen Bill for so long, it doesn’t really seem real that’s he’s in heaven. I didn’t get to know Nancy very well, but I know she means a lot to my husband and she’s just an awesome lady. She’s his only link to his real dad (long story there). And my grandma is one sassy woman, and I just won’t believe she is going until she’s gone.

Saying good-bye sucks y’all.

2017 is Off and Running

The Hills 1x05 the hills 105 jason wahler hey long time no see

I really didn’t mean to disappear for over 2 weeks, but things have a way of happening, and I ended 2016 very differently than I thought I would. But let me back up a bit and keep this a Cliff’s notes version before moving ahead…

  • Our church’s Christmas cantata was really good! I thought with our rehearsal schedule being disrupted/non-existent at times we would struggle, but we didn’t.
  • My 3 older children from my previous marriage did not get to spend Christmas with me. I was supposed to have them for Christmas Eve and half of Christmas Day this year, but instead their dad wanted them to go with him to Iowa. You see, his father was suffering from stage 4 brain cancer and was not expected to live much longer. They visited him Dec. 23-Dec. 25, came home Dec 26 and he passed away January 1st. I’m glad they got to see him before he left this earth for home.
  • My Christmas Eve was spent at church since we had 2 services, and then Christmas Day we traveled to my grandmother’s house. My brother and his wife were able to travel from the Tallahassee FL area, and we were only missing my sister and her family from Virginia.
  • The day after Christmas, we woke up early and drove what felt like forever to the Tampa FL area to my husband’s aunt’s house. She has stage 4 lung cancer that has spread to her whole body and is home on hospice care. That day the doctors said she has less than 2 weeks. Today marks the 1 week point. We stayed there until NYE.
  • My midnight kiss was a quick kiss as we were driving home. I haven’t had my husband home with me for NYE in 3 years, so I was grateful we were together.
  • The past two days have been spent taking down all things Christmas, cleaning, and putting our house back together. We had Christmas with my 3 previously mentioned kiddos on January 1st, and within 24 hours after that had everything put in their proper boxes for storage.

Rather than doing a full 2016 recap, because really my life’s highlights aren’t that newsworthy LOL (and you can always scroll through my old posts), I am going to move on to my 2017 goals. And to keep it simple, I am only going to set 3 goals for this year.

2017-goals

  1. Keep running and getting more fit. It’s not about my weight but rather about my personal fitness.
  2. Travel! We have at least 2 trips on the books for this year so far: Ireland (YAY!!!!!) and a hike on the Appalachian Trail (no not the whole 2,000 plus miles but rather let’s see how far a 6-year-old can manage over a 3 day weekend).
  3. Get financially stronger. I want to pay off my credit card debt and finish paying for the pool screen loan. By the end of 2017, I’m planning on trading in my paid-off van for a truck or SUV of some kind since we don’t need a 7 seat vehicle anymore.

That’s it! Feels pretty doable. They aren’t like crazy resolutions or anything unreasonable, but I feel good about them. I’m starting off with my January goals staying just as simple.

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  1. Run at least one 5K this month. I have one I’m eyeing but I’m not sure yet.
  2. Pay more than the minimum payment on credit card and pool screen loan. Since I also have a dentist and optometrist appointment this month, it may be a stretch, but it’ll happen.
  3. Receive the Navy Reserves Selection Board results. Now the board meets January 9th, and I’m really hoping to hear before the end of the month… although I’ve been told it could take into February. Here’s hoping!

Oh yeah and here’s how I did for my December goals:

  1. Submit my packet for the Navy ON TIME! As was noted in my mid-month update, I BARELY made it, but it was one time. Success
  2. Set another PR. So no PR at that 5k. It was hotter than Hades and had like 300 kids we dodged the entire time…definitely FUN but no PR. Fail
  3. Find the time to have a relaxing evening with my husband. This did not really happen either. We were so stunned by the news of his aunt and getting everything ready to get to her quickly on top of regular holiday stuff that it was a no-go. HOWEVER, we did spend all day yesterday just chillin, and we had a long ride home that we were able to talk about a ton of stuff so that counts right?!
 

So…2016 didn’t exactly end how I thought it would, and 2017 is starting off with good-byes I was hoping wouldn’t happen at all. Like every year, I know there will be ups and downs or as I like to call them…moments of Sunshine and Struggles, but I also know that God is in control, and he has a purpose for and in everything. Hallelujah!

Mid-Month Update

I feel like December always goes by so incredibly fast, and this year is certainly no exception. Knowing my blogging is fairly hit or miss on a good month, I figured I should take the time to do an update now while I have the chance to do so. And in the name of keeping it simple, I will do it in bullet format! YAY!

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  • I FINALLY completed all of my Navy interviews!! I am right now awaiting word from my recruiter that my package has been officially submitted, and it should be today or tomorrow. Selection board meets early next month!!!
  • Along the same lines…I finally got confirmation of why I was not selected last year, and let’s just say I DEFINITELY have a MUCH MUCH stronger package this year. I totally understand why I wasn’t chosen last year, and we’ll see what happens this time around. If I ‘m not selected this time, it might be time to reevaluate.
  • Tonight is my Christmas Cantata at church. We are having a live nativity and everything!! Bonus: I get to wear my new dress!
  • We hired a new guy at work, and he has made a pretty darn awesome mascot/logo for us. Super cool since I hate our current logo.
  • My next race (and the first since my marathon) is Sunday. I’m not sure how this little 5K is going to go since I was sick, so no PR goals for this one.
  • Lots more Christmas parties and events to come, so we’re pretty busy.
  • If you are a praying person, I’m asking for prayers for my hubby. He’s really going through a lot right now, and he HATES being the center of attention, so I will just say he is facing some VA stuff, his parents divorcing, an aunt has stage 4 cancer, and the Christmas spirit is having trouble finding him. We know God will carry him through it, but he’s a bit of a HUGE control freak, so it’s difficult.
  • Last but not least, we got a new refrigerator!!!! I LOVE it, and it looks so pretty in our kitchen. The top is the refrigerator, the bottom left is a freezer, and the bottom right quadrant can be a fridge or a freezer!!! 🙂

Image result for samsung black stainless refrigeratorSamsung Flex Black Stainless