Happy Halloween!!

Happy Halloween y'all!!!

Jethro made an honest woman outta me and we done got hitched ;)  It says so on the back of my shirt, we just didn't take a picture of that.

Hahaha, B and I put in our fancy teeth, our best Sunday clothes, and I threw in my beautiful veil - voila! - Jethro and his Mrs.  I don't think my character really had a name!

Brandon found the ever so classy and camouflaged beer to match his outfit and I added some Harris Teeter bags under my tank.

It was the strangest thing I tell ya!  That belly creeped me out!!  Haha, it was so life like!  I'd look down and couldn't see my feet and wow, it just felt convincing!  Too convincing.

Those teef were magic, too I swanny!  As soon as B popped 'em in, Jethro came out!!  He had a big ol' southern twang and just didn't know how to talk no good.  He wasn't raised to speak good and only had 4 teef (with stains around the gum an everythang!).  He weren't lucky enough to go to no dentist when he growed up and didn't know how to floss so good.

Jethro was CREEPY y'all!!

But hilarious!!!  This has to be one of the most fun costumes (and most affordable!) I've ever done!  My Harris Teeter belly was a little itchy by the end of the night and a few people actually asked if it was real.  They musta' been drinking ;)

Hope y'all had a SPOOKTACULAR Halloween!

Now on to Thanksgiving & Christmas =)


Thankful Thursday

Keeping with my theme from yesterday and my attitude of gratitude.....here's what I'm thankful for today....

Today is Thursday.  Which means this man comes home...


Today is also an *off* day from the gym!!  Can I get an amen?

Thursdays are easily my favorite because they bring B home to me and bring me pretty much to the weekend!  I have actually meal planned for tonight & tomorrow night....success....and tonight I will not darken the door of the gym. I will spend the night on the couch beside my main squeeze watching our shows =)

Tomorrow I will wake up to a FRIDAY and even better.....a teacher workday!!!

Yes, today, I am thankful!!

What are you thankful for, friends?


The difference a year makes...

Last year about this time, I was less than a month away from our wedding and was in full planning mode! Man I don't miss that...haha.  But also last year about this time, I was in a bit of a funk.

While I was SO excited for everything that was on the horizon in my personal life, it had been a rather rough start to the school year and my professional life felt a little shaky.

I had an interesting (to say the least ;) group of students last year who really challenged me.  (Yes we'll just leave it at that!)  And my state and my school district have been going through some changes, some new implementations, etc. and last year as all of these were new and scary I had a struggle raging inside me. Change is never easy and I felt so strongly opposed to some of these said changes.

But as the year went on and as this year has started, I've realized its not all terrible.  I've coped and adapted. But most of all, I've changed my perspective and my ATTITUDE!

Last year about this time, I felt termoil going to work every day.  I was tearing myself up inside about things I had VERY little control over.  So between praying for a flawless wedding day and a smaller waistline for my wedding dress, God gently reminded me that the school things I was so torn up about were circumstances I couldn't change (this time), but there was something I could change.

And that was my attitude!!

So that's what I did.  It wasn't easy and it wasn't overnight, but sometime last year, approaching November and the season of giving thanks, I changed my attitude to an attitude of gratitude!

And it's really stuck with me.  Every day, on my way to work and throughout the day, I try to look for the things I'm grateful for.  Trust me, it's a lot easier to find the things I'm ungrateful for.  And I still catch myself on occasion dwelling on those things.  And then I stop, and find the positives :)

After all, it's the little things in life right!?!?  Of course I count my blessings and all the important things, but I cannot tell a lie.  Often the things I'm thankful for can be quite trivial as well =)  From my Starbucks in the morning to working heat in my car, tweets that make me laugh or a new shirt I'm wearing that day.  Trivial I know, but I'm human remember!?

So today, I share with you the trivial thing I am most thankful for today.....

Today I am thankful for the teeny swells of mosquito bites that call my chest home.

I am a proud member of the itty bitty titty committee!

Yep I said it!

Now if you know me, you may recall many a few times that I've been less than happy with my little girls and I've even considered permanent alterations to the region.  And I haven't totally ruled that out, but that's neither tit nor tat (pun intended :).

Sorry!  Stay with me....you see....I run a lot!  (I think I've mentioned that a time or two)  I mostly run on the treadmill and the treadmills at my gym overlook downtown.  And on these streets, many 'a outside runners dash past my window.

And some of the women, bless, are giving themselves black eyes with their well endowed bosoms, large knockers, balloons, fun bags, melons, well you get!

It looks painful, I must say!  But thankfully, I cannot relate nor do I understand their pain.

So today, my inner runner is thankful for my little gum drops.

It really is the little things, y'all!  ;)


Low Key Kinda Weekend

Our weekend over here was pretty low key....and as it turns out it was just perfect :)

We feel like we go, go, go SO much, especially Brandon since he's gone 4 days a week, and just in general since we fill our weekends with friends, family, and trips so often.  This weekend was uneventful and much needed.

Friday night we watched my niece and nephews while my brother & SIL went to a friends wedding.  We had lots of fun hanging out with the kids!  Wells was a stinker, though, and wouldn't go to bed!!

In the history of all my years of babysitting and nanny-hood (which is upwards of 13 years), I don't think I've ever had a child not go to sleep for me. So now, my first non-sleeper was a family member!  Haha, guess he just needed Momma & Daddy to tuck him in :)

The kids (and my week in general) obviously wore me out, I was asleep on our couch about .35 seconds after laying down once B and I got home.  B put a movie in and I think I made it through the title and introduction.

We decided there must be a reason kids typically come one at a time.....so their parents ease themselves into the whole parent thing.  3 at one time would be a lot, so rest assured I will surely not be praying for triplets over here!

Saturday we slept in which was oh-so-glorious!  Well didn't sleep in too late actually, about 830, but when you go to sleep at 930 the night before, that's a whole lotta sleepin'!  :)  I felt brand new.

We ran some errands Saturday morning and picked up a few things for our Halloween costumes!  And no, we are not being SMURFS!!!  Hallelujah, Praise the Lord, Amen....I do not have to paint my face or ANY part of my body for that matter for our new costumes!  Thanking all that is good in the world that we got off that idea :)

Can't tell ya what we're gonna be though!!  You'll just have to wait til next weekend to see some awesome pics, my friends!  And let me just say....they will be awesome!

Remember this past summer when I had a "to do" list of a few things I was going to accomplish with all my time off from school?  Well about 3 things didn't get completed, but I was able to cross one off Saturday!  Only 2 months late.  Whatev...

We FINALLY have artwork for above our bed!  I wasn't 100% it would work just looking at it in the store, but once we got home, it was perfect!  Our bedroom is complete :)

We hit the gym after our errands and then came home to relax for the rest of the evening.  I found a yummy recipe for Pumpkin Spice Muffin's here so we tried them out!  Between the muffins cooking in the oven and our Creamy Pumpkin candle burning, our house smelled of fall perfection!

We cooked some delicious Omaha burgers on the George Foreman and watched the movie The Set Up.

It was filmed in B's hometown of Grand Rapids so it was fun to watch it and have him point out all the spots he knew!  I even recognized some places!

This guy snuggled and slept in my lap while we lounged on the couch...

He's such a good boy when he's sleeping!!

We finished The Set Up pretty early in the evening so after it was over, we were looking for something good on TV to leave it on.  Much to my surprise and enjoyment, this movie was on TV...

I was so excited!!!  Haha, this is by far one of THE best movies to sing along to!  Brandon indulged me and turned the volume nice and loud so I could sing along and break out some couch dance moves :)  This movie brings back my days of choir and makes me miss it so, so much!  I love singing, but these days the most action I get is in the car, stereo up loud, belting out.  It'll do!

In other news (outside of my love for choirs - nerd alert!), the Panther's finally added another W to their season today!!!!
We thought about going but we're trying this new thing out where we act responsible and adult like and stuff (which is for the birds in my opinion) in order to save $$ so we can buy a house next year!  Spending $120 on tickets just didn't seem like the responsible choice today....so we watched my boys get the W from our couch.

We also threw in a long run, a good apartment cleaning, and a little work today.  And now here we are, gearin' up for another Monday.

Those Mondays sure come around a lot.  I'd like to spread them out a little more ;)


Midweek Randos

Well it's not quite mid week yet, but I thought it was Wednesday pretty much all day so I feel like this is an appropriate title!

If you look above....I've added a few pages.  

An "About Me" page - just a intro to me, my life, and my little ol corner here in cyber space.  As well as a "Recipes" page with links to all the recipes I've blogged about.  

This one is almost more for my convenience - ha it's definitely more organized than any recipes I have at home.  You'll find all my recipes in a large stack in a semi-neat pile in a "catch all" cabinet.  Maybe one day I'll organize those.  Maybe not... :)

I have a few more pages I plan to add, but I'm not sure when they'll be up. Probably around one of those days when I have time to organize my recipes!

I FINALLY finished The Help!!!

I started reading it this summer, but then school started back and got in the way of any free time I had!!

Week nights, reading puts me straight to sleep! I was terrible at reading text books in college, haha, heavy eyes ensued almost immediately!

Anyways....I would read a chapter here and there and I did finally finish!  It was SO SO good!  I can't wait to see the movie now!  (Yes, yes, I realize the rest of the world has already seen this! I'm just slightly behind.)

I already have two other books on my "to read" list.

I've loved all the Jodi Picoult books I've read and I've heard this one was another great one!  I want to read all her books, but for now this is the next one of her's I'll read.

A few years ago, Oprah interviewed Wes Moore.

He shared his story of how as he was growing up, making great strides and accomplishing great things, another man from a nearby neighborhood by his same name was doing the complete opposite.  I'm a firm believer that our choices lead us down a certain path which is exactly what this book is about. I love the quote on the front of this book...a chilling truth and a tragedy, one name and two fates.  I can't wait to read it!!

Any of y'all have either of these books??  Care to share?  ;)

I sure do love my husband, ya'll.  And I would do just about anything for him!!  Except maybe this...

Brandon wants to be a SMURF for Halloween!!  Really?  Really!?!  Painting myself blue, or any other color, is probably the last thing on Earth I want to do.

I mean, I'm a fun person and I like Halloween and eating all the yummy candy getting all dressed up!  But I don't. want. to. be. BLUE!!!  Body paint just does not sound like a good time to me!  

HELP!!!  What else can we be!?!?  Please, I beg, someone give me a good idea so I can change his mind!

Happy (almost) midweek friends :)


Camping in Black Mountain & Tackling Mt. Mitchell

Last Christmas I bought Brandon some camping gear - a tent, sleeping bags, and few accessories.  This weekend we FINALLY put them to use!!!

Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to set off to Black Mountain for the night.  It's at the base of Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak east of the Mississippi River.

We wanted to get there early to set up camp so we'd have plenty of daylight to hike up Mt. Mitchell!  We had read about the trail all week long in anticipation.  It's technically about 11 and a half miles round trip.  One website describes the trail as follows:

Level of Difficulty: Most Difficult
Trail Tread Condition: Very Rough
Climb: Climbs Steeply

Intimidating....yes!  But we figured we're fit, active, pretty in shape.....we can tackle it for sure!  And so we were determined to do so!  Hahahahaha....

**Disclaimer - lots of pictures start now!  :) **

We got to this point and stopped so I could hop out to take a pic.  I pulled out our camera and realized I left the battery charging at home!!!  :(  I was SO sad!!  I could've cried!  But surprisingly, my lovely iphone and B's phone did a pretty good job capturing pics and we got some pretty good ones I think!

Made it to camp!


Oh boy...what are we getting ourselves into!?!

Oh how our enthusiasm would waver, hah.

B + M 4 eva!  <3

Such pretty colors!

Strong man!

Enjoying a protein bar and taking a breather, already feeling it in the legs!  Haha

Can't really see me, but we were finally gettin' up there and enjoying a view!

We made it!!!  SUCCESS!!!!!  Ahh the feeling of accomplishment!

The view paid off!

Handsome hubs

Ughhh....we made it to the top, but we still had to go back down!!!  Holy moly!  It took us about 4 hours, including lunch, to make it to the top!  And then another 3 to make it back down.  This hike was not for the faint of heart my friends!!  What naive hikers we were!  Haha, on the way down our legs were literally shaking.  We weren't sure we were ever gonna make it!  The black diamond hike lived up to its "most difficult" description for sure!  But we did it!!

Our awesome set up =) 

And our fire!!  We had the perfect set up - some tunes, celebratory beers, and yummy food!  We roasted some awesome wieners and delish s'mores over this baby!

We spent the rest of the night hanging out by our fire and enjoying our little adventure!  The ibuprofen kicked in so our legs weren't quite as sore.  

Whoa buddy are they sore today!!!  Haha, just a little reminder of our adventure that will probably linger for a few days!  We drove home reeking smelling of campfire and looking forward to a shower :)  In fact, somehow my phone still smells like campfire!  But all in all, it was a blast and I survived!  

I MAY or MAY NOT have walked into a tree AND/OR submerged my foot into cold spring water while trying to cross....but again, I survived!  We encountered no bears or bugs and we climbed a MOUNTAIN!!

I'd say camping was a success!


Weekend Update

As it turns out, most of my weekend updates get posted on Tuesdays. Whoops.  Mondays are usually just too daggum busy.  So, a little late on Tuesdays, YES, but better late than never at all right!?

We had a fun little weekend over here.

Friday night was low key....work out, some delicious Crisp for dinner, then dropped a buck 30 at Target.  No big deal!  Hah

I swear that place is like a black hole for my money!!  We had our list all planned out and then of course added a few extras.  Then before ya know it, BAM, we're $130 poorer.  We got some good stuff though, including 2 new camping chairs for this weekend & a new cooler as well!  Worth it I'd say =)

Saturday we celebrated the birthday of this sweet thang....

My sweet Jude Leeland is 4!!!  How can my nephew be 4!?!  Just yesterday he was a day old.

And then he was this chunky monkey lovable thing!!

And then a toddler...

....and a sweet big brother....

And now practically grown! 

This weekend we had a fun party for Jude and my brother Josh as he truly enters the 30s this Friday!

Course Ro & Wells got a gift or 2 as well :)

And this little ham ALWAYS steals the show!!

Jude loves soccer (just like his daddy!) and has been in a soccer clinic this fall.  Brandon and I got him his very own soccer goal for the back yard!  It was a big hit!  I mean, I know it wasn't a contest...but if it was...our gift would have totally won!!!  Haha, jk.  But really, we had fun playing with it before we left!

We got dinner after the party with my fam and then met Justin and Andrea out since J was in town :)

Sunday was a perfect fall day, complete with brunch, a nap to the Panther's in the background (losing! so sad!), a short run, and relaxation on the couch with my babe before another week.

Now I'm back to counting down the sleeps until B's back home!  Only 2 to go.....and I have sushi with Hunter to look forward to tomorrow night & dinner with Ashley Thursday night :)  Yay for friends!!

And Happy early Birthday Josh!!!  Love you brother!