Friday, February 23, 2018

LL's 9th Birthday

As soon as Christmas gets over, we have to start gearing up for a birthday around here!  I know that I seriously say this ever year, but it is so so true every year - how is my sweet girl getting so big?  Time if flying by.  I feel like I just blink and she's another year older already.  8 was a good year, and I have high hopes for 9.  LL's birthday fell on a Monday this year, but we started celebrating the weekend before.  Here's how we celebrated our girl: 

LL's actual birthday was on Monday, but we had her "family celebration" on Sunday for lunch.  LL is loving the Descendents movies right now, so I ordered her a Descendents cake from Sam's.  Matt took the kids to pick up the cake on Saturday, and LL was so pumped when she saw it!

On Sunday, we met all of our family at Smokin' Pig for LL's birthday lunch.  This is where LL picked to go last year, and surprisingly she picked to go back again this year (even though I seriously think we haven't been at all since her last birthday).

This sweet girl is just so beautiful!

Nine!  What?!

LL was so sweet and let Cooper help her open her presents from all of the family.

One thing is for sure, LL isn't lacking in the "people who love her" department!  We had quite a crew gather to celebrate her!

Cooper's favorite part about someone else's birthday?  All the cake!  Haha.

That night after she went to sleep, Matt and I decorated and got all of her presents set up (from us) for the next day.

Last year, we put streamers on her door for the morning of her birthday.  Honestly, I had forgotten allll about it, but LL remembered and went on and on about how she wanted us to do that again.  Good thing this is an easy thing to deliver!

The next morning we woke up to a NINE year old!  These are some of my favorite pictures of her over the last year.

What better way to kick off your birthday than with a cinnamon roll the size of your head??

A car birthday selfie before dropping her off at school!

We didn't tell LL at all, and had a surprise set up for Gigi and Poppy to come eat lunch with her at school.  Her teacher was in on it (and helped us coordinate some), and LL was over the moon when Gigi and Poppy showed up!

Not only did they bring her some pretty flowers, they also brought her Chick-Fil-A for lunch!

That afternoon I came to her school to bring treats for her class.  She wanted brownies, so she helped me make some (with oreos in the bottom!) the night before!  They were a hit with her classmates!

That afternoon when we got home it was present time!

Cooper was so sweet and wrote in her card all by himself!

Between Christmas and her birthday, allll she talked about was wanting one of these fingerling monkeys!  Thankgoodness we delivered!

We cut another piece of her cake from the day before, and sang and lit a candle again!

There's no question about it - three of us are over the moon for this girl!

Happy 9th birthday, beautiful girl!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

January Randoms

I don't know about you, but for us, January seemed to go on for-ev-er.  It wasn't necessarily a bad month, it just was so crazy long!  We did have quite a few fun events thrown in to keep us looking forward to something and having fun.  Here's a look at all of the random stuff we were up to in January:

What We've Been Up To:

My aunt brought some toys to my mom's house that her granddaughter had out-grown.  There were a lot of horses in the toys, and LL absolutely loved them!  She was pumped to have so many new, fun things to play with now when she goes to Gigi's.

One Saturday, we let the kids go play with grandparents so that we could knock out the last little bit of painting that we needed to do before we put the house on the market this spring.

Cooper has been begging to go play at the Parker's house, so they were sweet enough to have us over one day before school started back.  It was perfect because the kids got to play, and I got to snuggle a baby and have girl talk with Emily.  A perfect morning!

Having to set my school alarms was a rude reality check.

Both kids spent the night off one Friday, and Matt and I got to enjoy an empty house!  When we first got married and lived in our first house, we would sometimes drag our mattress into the living room and stay up late watching movies or playing video games.  We haven't done this in forever, so we had a movie night in the living room on our mattress.  Times have definitely changed, though, because instead of staying up all night, I was asleep by like 9:30 - haha.

Almost 14 years of marriage and we're keeping that romance alive by dragging a mattress into the living room - haha.

Grammy and Pop got Cooper a little shaving kit for Christmas and he loves it.  Plus - it's super cute.

Church bound!

When we had our big snow, we collected some in a big bowl and put it in our deep freezer.  A few weeks later we pulled it out and made snow cream!

We have a cat, but you wouldn't know it because we rarely see her.  She sleeps in our closet all day, and we put her outside at night. (We've actually made her a 100% outside cat recently because of her random decision to start peeing in the house.  No ma'am.) It's rare that we see her out and about in the house!

My sweet nephew, Ben, picked out the long gold necklace for me for Christmas.  He's such a sweet, thoughtful boy!

Cooper is a puzzle machine!

LL's teacher had all of the kids in LL's class make their new years resolution.  I about died when she texted this to me one day.  I love that LL is so specific - after 5 weeks, all bets are off!  

I also got this from her teacher one day.  They've started having timed multiplication tests.  I showed LL a trick with her 5's, and she was so proud when it worked!

After Christmas break, the flu really started ramping up at school.  On this day, I had FIVE kids in ONE CLASS out with the flu.  I wasn't taking chances.  Well.  Foreshadowing.  This is foreshadowing, ya'll.

One Saturday our local Chick-Fil-A had a Super Hero night!  The kids got dressed up and we headed over there for dinner!

Cooper got an invitation to a Ninja Turtle themed birthday party for one of his classmates.  It was at a local park, and he had an absolute blast!

The party favors were absolutely adorable.

Killing that nap time game.  ;)

I started coughing one Saturday.  It wasn't a big deal.  I kept coughing throughout the weekend and over MLK day.  It wasn't a deep cough, I had no fever, and felt fine.  Tuesday morning I got up to get ready for school and almost passed out.  Matt insisted that I go to the doctor, and you guess it, I had the flu.  Ugh.  Thanks, January.

Cooper did make me the sweetest card ever, though.

The kids brought me get-well balloons...which they promptly tied on Aspyn - haha.

While Matt and I were at his work "Christmas/holiday/January" party, Gigi was over at our house putting the kids down to bed.  Cooper kept telling her (from his bedroom) that he was pulling his tooth.  She thought it was a stall tactic to get out of bed...until he screamed "I did it!!" haha.  Tooth #3 is GONE!

When we went to Jacksonville to see Avenger's Live, we made a pit stop on the way home to stop by Trader Joe's!  It was so great!  I really wish we would get one closer than 2 hours away.

Playing outside and organizing his gun collection - hahaha.

So.  True.

Oma and Opa kept Cooper for a few days this month, and Cooper had a blast playing "war" with Opa!

Another day, another battle!

Life with this boy is never dull.

Our bookclub met up at Olive Garden this month for dinner and to talk about our January book: It Ends With Us.

All.  Boy.  A sword, a gun, and ready for school.

I spy two Mullican children.

Our church hosted Crowder for a concert this month, and Matt and I made a date night out of it.  We went to Roadhouse for dinner and then stopped by the DoughJo for dessert (and I still don't like it - yuck).

Waiting for Crowder and pumped for a good concert!

Life is always better with friends!

Oma has been asking for LL to come over one day for a "girl's day" and we were finally able to make it work one Saturday.  They went and got their nails done, and LL came home with the cutest little manicure!

This about sums up the month!

Towards the end of the month, LL missed two days of school from feeling bad with a yucky cough.  She never ran the fever, and we call her pediatrician (twice, actually) and they told us just to treat it at home since she had no fever.  Thankfully after a few days, she was back to herself.

Doing some school work on her "sick day".

My school did some mock-testing this month, and I ended up having a few really wonky class days.  In an effort to teach my middle schoolers to have empathy and think of others besides themselves (not an easy task for 12 year olds sometimes), we participated in Cards for Hospitalized Kids.  They really did a great job making some Valentine's cards, and we got them all mailed off.  This is a great activity if you're a teacher, or even to do with your own kids!

Cooper and I got to sneak in a date night this month!  We ran some errands and had dinner at Red Lobster together.  It seriously was such a fun time together.

What I've Been Wearing:

Lots of workout gear this month!  We're going on a cruise at the end of May, and Matt and I have some major fitness goals for ourselves by then.

Scarf: Nordstrom, Vest: Houndstooth and Pearls, Jeans: Old Navy, Duck Boots: Marley Lilly

I finally splurged and bought some Zella leggings.  They are amazing, and I have a wishlist for ones I want to purchase next.

Shirt and Vest: Houndstooth and Pearls, Jeans: Old Navy, Shoes: Toms

Shirt and Pants: Old Navy, Shoes: Toms

Shirt and Pants: Old Navy, Shoes: Toms

Jacket: Nordstrom, Shirt: Target, Pants: Old Navy, Shoes: Vans

Shirt and Pants: Old Navy, Shoes: Vans

Jacket: Nordstrom, Shirt: Target, Pants: Old Navy, Shoes: Vans

Shirt and Pants: Old Navy, Shoes: Vans

Shirt and Pants: Stitch Fix box last year

Jacket: Nordstrom, Shirt: Etsy, Pants: Old Navy, Shoes: Vans

Fitness/What We've Been Eating:

Since the New Year, I have really been ramping up my working out.  After losing 40 lbs, I'm not interested much anymore in losing weight, but I really want to work on building muscle and toning what I've got.  Matt changed gyms to my gym at the beginning of the year, and we try to workout every Saturday morning that we don't have plans.  I love being in the same gym together, and it has been really good for both of us!

I've really tried to focus more on my eating (and this has changed a good bit in February).  But in January, I did try to eat healthier foods and to be strict with my caloric intake like I was several months prior.

One of my goals this year is to try and close all of my rings (on my apple watch) at least 3 days a week.  January 1 kicked the year off right!

I made a big batch of chicken and gnocchi soup that we ate on for almost a week!

Our gym has a Crossfit room that offers free classes on Saturday morning.  Matt and I went to a partners class one Saturday morning...and oh.  my.  goodness.  That junk was intense!  But I didn't die or throw up, so I counted that as a win!

We had dinner at Grammy and Pop's one night, and this was my "burger" - and it was delicious!

I made cauliflower breadsticks once like 6 months ago.  We really liked them, but they just never made it into the rotation again.  I made them again this month (and adjusted the recipe a little), and they turned out even better.  I love these!

I also made a big pot of corn chowder for us to eat on.  I think this is my favorite soup to eat!

I was really bummed when I got the flu because I ended up missing a whole week of workouts (which for me is 3).  I felt like I had just gotten into a good groove, and this just set me back.  Once I was well again, it felt so good to go back to the gym!

Avocado toast with an over-easy egg.  We also got some "Everything But The Bagel" seasoning when we went to Trader Joes, and it is so good on this toast!

These dried pineapple rings were yummy!

We made a quinoa blend with ground venison and avocado - it didn't look so pretty, but it was good!

Not bad for 11am!

We tried spaghetti squash for the first time ever this month - and it was a hit!  Even all of the leftovers got eaten!

At the very end of the month I really started making some major changes in my diet (more protein, less processed food and carbs).  One of the things I did was start meal-prepping with Matt on Sunday night for all my lunches for the week.  This week, I ate this same lunch every day.  Lots more protein that I'm used to (which is great for building muscle) and it was yummy!

This is my current favorite.  I found some Vanilla Almond Butter at Publix, and it has changed my life.

I got these to try since they are limited edition.  They're good, but not my favorite.  I still love the lemon ones and the mint chocolate chip ones.

What I Read:
I don't have a 100 book goal this year like I did in 2017 (I made it to 69), but I'm still trying to keep up with reading a lot more.  This month, I read 4 books:
1- The Break Down (This was a good one.  This is one I would for sure recommend if you like suspense/mind bending books)
2- Tell Me Three Things (This was a book club book from a long time ago that I never read.  It was okay, but this was not my favorite.  It was just really cheesy and easy to figure out.  I felt like it was written for a young adult audience for sure.)
3-A.D. 30 (This was a book I borrowed from my mother-in-law a looong time ago but just haven't gotten around to reading.  It's written by Ted Dekker who is a religious based author.  I'll be honest, I thought I wouldn't enjoy this at all, but I devoured it.  There's a second one - A.D. 33 - that I plan to read in February.)
4- The Young Wives Club (This was one I had in the "book I want to read" list that I keep on my phone.  On this list I keep books that other people recommend that sound good to me.  This one was okay.  I feel pretty neutral about it.  It was another of those "feel good" books that isn't hard to figure out and isn't very realistic.)

That's a wrap for January!