Friday Phone Dump (and what we've been up to in the past 7 months!)

 I knew it had been a while since I had blogged, but I was NOT expecting October 2020 to be my last post! Guess I need to catch up! I'll save big events like Christmas and birthdays for their own posts, but here's a glimpse of what we've been up to thanks to my google photo gallery on my phone :)

In November, my friend Ami and her little dog Mollie stayed with us while her home was being renovated. It was so much fun having another adult to talk to! She was the best roommate as well... always helping with dishes and laundry and with the kids. Mollie and Shaggy became best friends, too!

Jaina was 18 and got to vote in her first Presidential election! And she even let me take a picture!

I also turned 42 this month and was celebrated by so many of my friends and family! My co-teacher, Celeste, threw me a surprise party in our class. Her homemade pico and guacamole is the best! Ami spoiled me with balloons and homemade cinnamon rolls. We also got to take my mom out to eat for the first time during Covid!

Other notable November happenings included a park play date with Jocelyn's friend Sydney, getting Grandma set up on her new iPhone 12 and iPad, and visiting Asheville.

The holidays always make time fly fast and this year was no exception. Here is what our Pre-Christmas season looked like....

Murray came back!

I discovered 75% of my lights were out on my 3 year old pre-lit christmas tree. UGH!

I participated in a MOMS Club handmade ornament exchange and these were my favorite to make!

I taught Ami how to become an expert gift wrapper! 

I had my yearly MRI with contrast to check my brain! (everything looked stable!)

I tried to wrap a Mini Fridge. 

My mom found Animal and we had to put him on top of our (new) tree!

 Ami and I had a marathon christmas cookie baking day.  It was so much fun!

I love my new tree! It is not prelit, so I'll never have to get a new one again! It was also 30% off and a great deal at Target!

Even during the pandemic, our MOMS Club found ways for us to have fun! We had a little photo contest based on old photos from the 60's that were trending on Facebook. 

The kids were with Brian until Christmas Day. That was really hard. I'll do a separate post documenting our Christmas Day 2020.

Jocelyn loved her LED lights!

Ami took us ice skating in Greenville! We hope to make this a yearly tradition!

Finally, we celebrated NYE 2020. It looked SO different to what the kids and I (and Ami!) are used to. But we made the best of it and had a great time with my neighbors!

And that bring us to January 2021!

(I'll do a separate post about Jocelyn's birthday)

I shot a wedding and got to see one of my besties!

Jocelyn went back to in person school

Jayce learned how to parallel park and passed his driving test!

We went snow tubing in Wolf Laurel, NC to celebrate Jocelyn's birthday.

On to February!

One morning in early February, Jaina found this huskey on the Petfinder app. She was at the Blue Ridge Humane Society in Hendersonville, NC.

We went up there the next week to meet her. The entire family fell in love!

We named her Willow and brought her home that day. She had never been inside a house before and was very timid at first. She was scared of the refrigerator, the stairs, the vacuum cleaner...

But boy did she love us! Her personality is sweet, curious, and affectionate!

More February happenings included eating a fancy 5 course meal prepared by my friend Lori's boyfriend Jim

and participating in a MOMS Club zoom painting party. (it's almost June and I'm still not done with my painting!)

I can't remember if March came in like a lion or a lamb, but boy did we have a wild ride with weather! I guess the South East is now the new tornado alley of the US and March seems to be a particularly active month. Thank god for zoloft and Chris Justus!!

We kept the hall closet cleaned out so we could shelter in place. There was a particular bad storm one time that sent the tornado sirens going off as school was letting out and Jayce had to drive home in severe weather! My anxiety was through the roof worrying about my baby boy!

There was a very bad threat of severe weather one morning, so we packed up and went to my friend Mishi's basement. We stayed playing xbox for a few hours, saw that the threat had passed, and went home. 

Two hours later, there was a tornado that touched down less than 10 miles from us. 

There's not enough room in the closet for the entire family, so Jaina volunteered to hang out in the tub with Shaggy. 

But some good things happened in March, too!

Like Kristina's birthday!

The search for Squishmellows!

I got vaccinated!!

We celebrated Platypus Day!

I learned how to work my Cricut Maker!

I learned how to grill for the first time ever in my life! Thanks to my friend Temperance for giving me her old grill, Ami's boyfriend Jason for setting up the propane, my neighbor Phillip for trouble shooting with me, my friend Nathan for giving me moral support via the internet, and my brother Jeff for helping me clean and replace rusted parts. 

We celebrated our good friend Jackie at her bachelorette party! 

(BTW, I really suck at Axe Throwing!)

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day. I think my toddlers at the preschool got more out of the holiday than my own kids at home, but that's okay.

My friend Vanessa came to visit!

Willow shed her winter undercoat. If you are ever thinking about getting a husky, you need to know about this!!

We love her anyway, fluffy fur and all!

I started working with a life coach and it has been an amazing journey! For so many years, I doubted myself and had very little confidence in certain areas of my life. Not any more! I can finally admit that I am good at what I do. I'm a good mother. I'm a good preschool teacher. I'm a good photographer. And it's okay to say that. It's not conceited. I know I'm not the best and that there is always room for improvement in all areas. But I need to be proud of who I am right now.

Speaking of preschool, we had the most adorable baby chicks visit us! I was so proud of my sweet and gentle toddlers for being very careful with them!

And I can't forget that my mom finally got a haircut! Thanks, Chelsey, for doing an awesome job! 

Moving on to APRIL!

Whew! All of a sudden, it was Spring! Kristina and I thought it was warm enough for margaritas finally, but it kind of wasn't :P

The kids didn't care and had fun on the golf cart riding around the neighborhood anyway!

This month marked a year for all of us playing Friday Night Darts together. We've pretty much destroyed this board!

We celebrated Easter with baskets and decorating eggs!

And then we went to go visit Nancy and Robert at their house.

And then we went to Grandma's house to see her!

The next day we drove to Atlanta, Georgia and spent 4 days there for Spring Break!

Six flags, Zoo Atlanta, Stone Mountain, Uncle Jeff's house, Buffalo's... it was a fun trip!

While we were gone, Ami was kind enough to pet sit for our dogs, snakes, reptiles, and our hamster, Sam, who was due to cross the rainbow bridge at any moment. Luckily, he waited until we got back from our trip before passing. 

In turn (not a fair turn by any means!), we watched Mollie while Ami and Jason went to Chicago. Shaggy was glad to have his best friend back.

Willow and Shaggy tolerate each other, but are definitely not friends. Willow thinks she owns the backyard and can tell Shaggy where he can and cannot go. Shaggy thinks he owns the couch and Jaina's bed and growls when Willow tries to sleep either place. The easy solution is to not let the dogs outside together at the same time and Willow sleeps on my bed instead.

Some new "firsts" for me included mowing the lawn by myself for the first time (and I promptly called my lawn guy, Phil, to schedule him for the rest of the season!)

And I tried Dr. Pepper Zero Sugar. Wasn't a fan. It wasn't terrible, but it was too sweet and I didn't like the aftertaste.

We also had family pics by the talented and amazing Rebecca Bright! Goodness, I'm lucky this friend came into my life for so many reasons!

Much to my dismay, Jocelyn wanted another hamster to fill her small rodent hole in her heart. 

Welcome, Rimi!

Unfortunately, she is not like Sam at all. She doesn't like to be held, she bites, and she's already escaped once (took 3 people 30 minutes to trap her in Jocelyn's room). We miss Sam the Ham, who was literally the best hamster, ever. Even the vet said so!

That brings us to the end of April where we celebrated Jayce's birthday (more on that in a separate blog post).

Lastly, the end of April brought with it the fury of getting everything done for the end of the year at the preschool. Thanks to my friends Jessica and Celeste, we cut out 80 different animals that the toddlers painted. This is NO easy feat because the animals have a lot of details (like bear claws) that were preserved. Jessica did a much better job than Celeste and I :P

I also made a Fruit Pizza for the first time since 1992, when my friend Toby taught me how to make one in Young Women's at church. 

And, FINALLY, I can recap MAY! Which is what I was going to do originally when I started this blog post yesterday!

Let's see if I can make this quick....

I photographed my 4th newborn of 2021.

I returned the family picture favor and had a session with my bestie :)

I took a LOT of pictures of Willow outside in the morning light.

I had in person brunch with inside dining for the first time in over year!

Helped Jocelyn pick out glasses...

Taught Jocelyn how to care for and feed Willow:

Sheltered our neighbor's dog from the storm.

Discovered that Spaz can climb out of the sink now.

Tried this canned cocktail at our first in person book club in 15 months!

Discovered the very best chocolate chip cookie recipe ever!

Was celebrated on Mother's Day...

Was then celebrated at the preschool since I won't be returning in the Fall :(

Also not returning is our beloved music teacher Miss Debbie. We honored her with a luncheon at the Piedmont Club!

Celebrated Jocelyn passing the end of the year standardized state testing!

Was celebrated AGAIN at the preschool :)

Visited a beautiful property in Simpsonville for maternity pictures!

Said goodbye to my co-teacher from the last two years!

Celebrated the last day of preschool with Jessica and the rest of the staff at The Flock Shop!

Had another Book Club meeting for the first time in over a year!

Took Jocelyn to Avery's Birthday party!

Another "first" for me... buying pruning shears and trimming our overgrown trees! Now our lawn guy won't hit his head on branches when he mows!

Jeff and Pam came to grill out and celebrate a belated Mother's Day!

Jaina got her hair cut!

I worked a week of Preschool Camp with 5 of my sweet babies and 6 of Miss Holly's kids.

Picked up Jocelyn's new glasses!

Jayce got vaccinated!

Celebrated Jaina's birthday (more on that later!)

Dave and Busters was super fun!

Jaina dyed her hair...

First MOMS Night Out in over a year!!!

Jocelyn copied her sister and got her hair cut!

First in person MOMS Club craft in a year! And I actually finished it! (Don't ask about the 2-3 unfinished projects in my garage!)

Caught up with Monica now that school is out! This was her first time at Fr8 Yard!

Jayce started his first job!

End of the year teacher gifts!

I planted black eyed susan and marigold seeds. I planted lantana and inpatiens plants. I did NOT plant zinnia's. Who knew they'd come back???

Jocelyn painted a pot and planted a flower. First MOMS Club activity in a long time :)

And now, my friends, we are caught up! Who knows what adventure awaits this Memorial Day weekend?


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