Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Mammoth Spirit Night: Hardee's

Monday was a crazy busy day with work, basketball practice, getting new tires and our Mammoth Spirit Night!  Because of all the busyness, we weren't able to get there right on time, but some of our awesome families held down the fort for us!

I'm not sure just yet how we faired with the money, but any little bit helps.  I know I've said it a thousand times, but this group of boys have such a special spirit about them.  The don't give up...ever.  They have a natural "fight" in them.  Together, they are something wonderful!

We appreciate the support of our community.  The boys are excited about the spring season and night's like this one help make it possible.  Thanks to everyone who came out.  We're less than a week away from kicking off our first practice!!

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Weekend Fun

After several short work weeks, five days back into the routine was refreshing...and long!  Ha! In keeping with our typical pace, we had a weekend full of activities and kicked it all off with a birthday party for our baseball buddy, Logan. 

Mason had already left when I remembered to take a picture, so I hate that he's not in it.  Nonetheless, it was good to see some of our boys back together.  We start winter conditioning (aka hitting practice) again next Sunday.  I can't wait!

Saturday started off with some basketball.  Our team is still undefeated, but barely.  We played a rough game and things got heated.  I know I can get "right" with some hollering during a baseball game, but I'm over it as soon as we leave.  I could care less about basketball, so it was interesting to sit back and enjoy the chaos.  

After the game we ran by Sam's because Eric needs two new tires thanks to stupid roofing nails.  If you're keeping count, that would be FOUR flat tires between the two of us in less than six months.  I'm over it.  

They ended up having to order the tires, so we split up since I was shooting a wedding that afternoon.  We had a little time before we needed to be there, so Ellie and I stopped for lunch at Azipp Pizza.  (That's Pizza spelled backwards.)

After lunch, we headed straight to the wedding.  It was at The Charleston, which is the most gorgeous venue!  It's right up Ellie's ally with it's grand staircase, white marble trim, and gold accents.  I took a picture of the bathroom because we were both in love with it!  Wonder if Eric will let me do something like this in the new house? 

The wedding was for a church friend, so it was nice getting to enjoy celebrating with our friends.  Ellie loves a good party and danced the night away.  Eric and I have decided that she isn't allowed out of the house once she turns 16.

Sunday we had church and ate at Steak 'N Shake for lunch before heading to Wal-Mart for the kids to spend their Christmas money.  They did great staying within budget, but not so great staying on schedule.  We were in there for two hours.  Luckily, we got our groceries too, so I didn't have to go back out.  Instead I worked on getting caught up on laundry.  

This picture was taken as the Sunday Night Blues started to set in, but how grownup does this girl look? 

Friday, January 4, 2019

The TV Contract

A little tidbit about my kids is that they aren't big "screen" people.  We don't have to be hardcore strict with them about their devices because they just aren't that interested.  I see their over-usage tendencies when we travel, have several consecutive days at home, or they are our of their element at someone else's house or something.  Otherwise, it's just not a major issue.  In fact, they both have TVs in their bedroom because the only time they really watch them is at night before bed.

Unfortunately, over the winter break they developed some bad habits with the television.  Eli has always wanted it on for white noise and goes to sleep with it on in the background. But recently, he kinda started to act panicky if he didn't hear it or if we turned it off before we was asleep.  Ellie has always watched a few minutes of something and turned the tv off when she was ready, but that wasn't happening over the break either. 

After one really rough night for everyone, Eric and I decided to make a change before the problem progressed.  To be honest, I could care less if we banned them completely from TVs in their rooms, but that seemed a bit drastic.  Instead, we made a contract.  It's simple and basically says that TV is a privilege that can be revoked at any time and that they need to be off by 9:30 unless Mom and Dad give them permission to watch longer.  

Again 9:30 seems late, but they don't go to bed until 9:00 so I wanted them to have a few minutes to decompress. I didn't want it to be a hard set time limit because I wanted them to have the option of going to bed early for extra TV time or having the natural consequence of less TV time if they stayed up too late. I figured it was a great opportunity to teach them some time management skills. 

 Eli had a 101 questions, of course.   That's why we kept it simple at room for interpretation.  We also threw in a few additional benefits for the parents, like they had to do their homework, bathe, brush their teeth, pack their backpacks and lay out their clothes for the next morning before they can watch TV.

They have taken it all so seriously.  We went to dinner for our family "business meeting," because that's how grownups do it.  We went over each bullet-point of the contract, talked about what it meant and let them explain it back in their own words.  It took forever, but they really took ownership of it.  We'll see how it goes.  By the way, Eli is going to be a negotiator when he grows up. 

Thursday, January 3, 2019

New Year's Weekend

Because we live out of town, we end up traveling every single holiday with the exception of Easter and Christmas.  We stay home for Easter and for Christmas we invite everyone to our house, but only Eric's family comes because mine stay in Lexington. To keep things fair, we typically travel as a family on Memorial Day or Labor Day and spend the other one in Lexington with my family.  July 4th is with Eric's parents and extended family on the farm, and we alternate Thanksgiving and New Years.  If we are in Lexington on Thanksgiving, we go to Marion for New Years and visa-versa.  It's a great setup and this year, we were in Marion. 

Eric and I both had to work after Christmas, so the kids went home with his parents.  It worked well because we got some work done around the house and a nice little date night. Friday after work, we headed out of town and had the most peaceful ride. Ha!

We slept in on Saturday and had a lazy day before heading to eat Chinese for dinner. 

Sunday was beautiful, so we took advantage and got outside.  I walked at the cemetery across from the property while Eric took the kids on a four-wheeler ride.  It seems like an odd place to exercise, but it was nice and peaceful. You know you're in the country when this is your view. 

I told Eric to give me about 30 minutes to walk before coming back to get me.  Then we took the kids to jump on the hay.  At first we were just watching them play, but we ended up getting in on the fun by creating little relay races and competitions.  It was such a precious time that I really wasn't expecting.  I know it meant a lot to Eric that our kids were making memories on the land that he grew up loving. 

After the hay jumping, we decided to ride to the creek.  Unbeknownst to us, my foot got hung in a vine while were stopped, so when Eric gassed the four-wheeler, leg open got all cut up.  It stung like crazy but was otherwise fine. 

Since it was getting close to sunset and supposed to rain the next day, I didn't want to take away from the creek while Eric took me back to the house to clean it up.  I also did not want to risk getting unclean water in an open wound, so I rested while they explored the creek.  

They had such a great time with Daddy, and he loved showing them where he used to play and the rock he painted his name on when he was a little boy.  I'm glad they got to have that time with him.

Back the house, I cleaned up my leg and we showered before eating soup for dinner and rounding out the night with a competitive game of Monopoly.  Ellie tuckered out pretty quick, so Eric's mom put her to bed for me so that I could keep playing with Eli.  He's at such a great age for games. 

All weekend long the kids had begged to go to the "homeplace," which is the farmhouse still owned by the extended family.  No one lives there, but it's where everyone stays when we get together for special occasions. 

The kids spent a good few hours playing with their cousins before we headed back home for a late lunch.  I was really wanting to see Mary Poppins and wanted to go while were there because it's so much less expensive.  At first we thought I would take Ellie to see that while Eric and Eli went to Bumble Bee.  Eli ended up wanting to stay with Nan and Grandad, so Eric took "the girls" out. 

The theater is in Princeton, which is about a 30 minute drive.  It's an old Capitol Theater that has been converted to show movies.  Not only is the atmosphere precious, it's so well priced.  All three of us got in for $15 with an additional $10 spent on a large bucket of popcorn and TWO large drinks.  It really can't be beat.

I was afraid Eric wouldn't like the movie and that he was just taking me because he knew how badly I wanted to see it.  Turns out that he enjoyed it just as much as I did and said that he would go again.  We downloaded the soundtrack and have already listened to it a few times as well. 

We ended our outing with a pizza dinner, then it was back home to watch the ball drop.  Everyone kind of did their own thing, so when midnight rolled around, Eli was the only one still up to celebrate with me and Eric.  We had sparkling grape juice and went straight to bed.  Ha!

We hated to leave but hit the road on Tuesday after eating our cabbage and black-eyed peas for lunch.  It was such a wonderful weekend and really did so much to recharge our batteries just in time for the new year. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

New Year, New Goals

Happy 2019, everyone!!

I can't even believe that I am writing that.  They tell you "time flies," but you really can't comprehend it until you wake up and realize you've been at this whole married with children thing for 10 years.  That's a decade, people. It's just crazy!


I have taken a long and inconsistent break from blogging, so one of my main goals this year is to get back into the habit of regularly documenting our life.  I prefer blogging over other social media outlets because it's more personal and not so "in your face." When scrolling through your feed on Facebook or Instagram, you just can't avoid certain things.

It seems that everyone either wants to show off their perfect homes, perfect children, perfect vacations, perfect lives, or they want to stir drama, give opinions, and talk politics. I couldn't give two hoots about any of those things, or at least what someone I met 15 years ago in a study group at college thinks.  I tend to view Instagram as the picture perfect outlet and Facebook as the breeding ground for drama. Whatever the experience, I can't avoid social.  It's part of the world in 2019.

Blogging is different.  For one thing, it's something you have to actually click on or intentionally look at, so it's not so "in your face."  Most importantly, however, it is real.  I can show the picture perfect photo and then explain what really went on behind the scenes. Blogging also documents my family and holds me personally accountable for things.  On a personal level, it encourages me to be intentional.  I tend to be a "go-with-the-flow" person - almost to a fault.  When I blog, I have to slow down to be intentional about taking the pictures and immersing myself in the moment so that I can document it later.  It's a place to write down my goals, share my heart, and watch myself grow as a wife and mother. will hold a lot more blogging.

I love traveling and reading travel blogs, so I plan to do a lot of that.  Specifically, I would love to post weekly about Disney World since it's my happy place.  Don't worry.  I'm not trying to make it in the travel industry.  It's just something I enjoy writing about and reading about on other blogs.

I also love decorating a lot.  With us getting ready to build, you will probably see a lot of our new space and the ideas we have for making it HOME to us.  Don't worry.  I will make it as organic as possible and don't plan to become a design blogger.  Again, it's something I enjoy that is part of our story, so where it fits most naturally is where it will go on this blog.

Aside from blogging, I want to spend more time being intentional with my kids.  Don't get me wrong- I am very intentional about creating traditions, making memories, and having fun, but the Lord has been convicting me lately that one thing about modern parents (myself included) is that we value experience and memories with our children more than we value developing character and instilling values.  It's such a delicate balance, and one that I intend to focus on greatly in the coming year.

I also want to become healthier.  In full transparency that means "skinnier" in my brain, but I have such extreme tendencies that I need to stick with "healthier."  Ha! We will see where this ends up, but basically I want to increase my daily activity and water intake while decreasing the processed foods I eat.  Again, I'm not jumping on the "diet blogger" train -just making some changes that will hopefully make me feel better.

Thats about it.  When I look at this list, I basically see the word "intentionality" in the margins. Here's to hearing more from me in 2019!

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

All Is Calm

For some reason, this Christmas season has been more focused on being together as a family and less about our annual traditions.  We didn't do Cave Sing this year, and we've yet to go to Nashville to see the lights.  It's not something we planned, but it's been wonderful.  

I thought we would fit in a few things this weekend, but instead, we have watched movies, played games, and just relaxed.  I didn't realize how much we all needed it, but I am so grateful for the rest.

Sunday was more church and more relaxing, and it all leading up to an exciting trip to the Great Wolf Lodge!

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Holly Jolly Week

Ya'll know I love a good theme day or party, so this week was super fun with all the dress up days at school.  To make things even better, Eli wanted to participate.  When the tween still wants to get in on the fun, it does a momma's heart some good.

Monday was "Green and Red Day," which was an easy way to kick off the week.  Of course Ellie has all kinds of festive gear, and we happened to have a green and red hockey jersey for Eli.  

Tuesday was "Dr. Seuss/Grinch Day."  Eric and I spent our lunch breaks on Monday looking everywhere to find something Grinch themed.  We came home emptied handed, so Eli chose not to participate.  Ellie on the other, had this shirt from Eric's aunt, so we paired it with a tutu and called it a win.  I meant to add whiskers to her face but forgot.  Oh well.

Wednesday was interesting.  For starters, look at Eli's face.  Guess you can guess which Watson is NOT a morning person.  Ha!  Anyway, it was "Festive Sweater Day."  Ellie wore a shirt someone had given her for Christmas and Eli participated only because his shirt had a sports team on it.  Would you believe that Eric bought that back in the fall at a discount store for $3?!?  It was too good of a deal to pass up, so he bought it hoping Eli would be able to put it to use.  Yay for good planning!

I'm most proud of my creativity for Thursday's "Elf Day."  Again, we couldn't find anything good for elf gear, so I had to get creative.  After work on Wednesday, we went to the Dollar General Store of all places.  It was there that I found two gift bags that looked like elves.  I got the idea to cut the bottom out and make arm holes so they could slip them over their outfits.  

I had the vision but not the skills to pull it off, so I took my finds to church and got help cutting the arm holes.  I added a hat for Eli and glued pom-poms to alligator clips for Ellie.  They were so thrilled!  I was worried Eli would get made fun of for dressing up, but he insisted on wearing it.  I made it clear he could take it off at any point.  Turns out the kid has tons of confidence and wore it proudly most of the day.  Love his festive little spirit.

Yesterday we wrapped up with "Pajama Day."  Clearly this was the easiest of the week, which was a good thing because we had Christmas parties to celebrate!