Friday, September 11, 2015

Kingston the Kinder

Kingston has officially started kindergarten.  Tuesday was the first day of the school year for him and he was more than ready.  He woke me up early, exclaiming "it's the first day of school!" as if it were Christmas morning.

Because we were up so early, we were able to have a special batch of back-to-school pancakes and relax a bit before the big day.

We took a few photos before school, one being the obligatory what-do-you-want-to-be-when-you-grow-up photo... and a few that featured the big boy in his first day of school outfit and backpack (his request).

We packed his Star Wars lunchbox the night before, so we quickly added an icepack to that bad boy and placed it in his backpack all ready to go.

We got to school about 15 minutes early and waited only a few minutes for his teacher to open her classroom door.  She let us in, asking each student to let her know if they were having hot lunch or cold lunch and to place their lunchbox in the lunchbox bin if they brought one.

Kingston hung his backpack on his assigned hook, sat on the carpet, and looked through a book as directed by his teacher.

I had heard that it was a pretty emotional day for most mamas - the first time you take your child to school and leave them there to learn all day - it's a big deal.  I guess I thought I had gotten that all out of my system a few years ago when I took him to daycare for the first time.

But, when I went to give Kingston a kiss goodbye this morning, I felt the tears welling up and quickly wiped them away as I knew he was in good hands and would have the best time at school.

And -- I had my secret no-crying-mama weapon there with me: Cole.  Having little brother there as a distraction for me worked like a charm.  Here's to a fun-filled school year ahead!

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Easy Rider.

If only this boy pedaled as much as he chit chats while on his trike...

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

How We Break Bread

I feed my family the same meal four times a week and they love it.  No, seriously... they do. You see, I get home at 5:00 PM Monday through Thursday each week.  In order to squeeze in all of our after work activities and dinner, I needed to find a way to feed my family fast (in a healthy way, mind you -- no TV dinners or fast food) so that we have more time to do other things and less time is spent slaving away in the kitchen so to speak.

So that's when I decided to feed my family like I would feed an army... literally.  Each Sunday, I make the main course - this week, it was cheese and broccoli soup.  I make a large enough portion to provide enough servings for dinner, Monday through Thursday nights.  I store the main course in our refrigerator and then simply heat up what we need each night and make any side dishes as necessary during that process (e.g. salad and whole grain bakery bread).

Here are a few examples of what we've been eating lately for dinner:

  • Week 1: BBQ Grilled Chicken with Vegetables (e.g. asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, etc.)
  • Week 2: Diced Sweet Potatoes covered with a Meat Spaghetti sauce with Salad or Vegetables
  • Week 3: Chicken and Vegetable Stir-fry with Brown Rice
  • Week 4: Homemade Soup with Salad and Bread (bread is often optional)
  • Week 5: BBQ or Baked Pork Chops with a large Green Salad
  • Week 6: Crock Pot Spaghetti with Vegetables or Salad (or both!)
  • Week 7: Homemade Chili with Salad and Cornbread 
  • Week 8: Tacos or Taco Salads
(Please note: we don't always eat all of the above meals or all of the above meals in that order.  Sometimes I add things to a meal listed above, or take away from them.  I just wanted to show a glimpse of how we roll.

You may wonder if we get sick of the meal eating it four nights in a row.  Yeah, sometimes we do.  But the beauty of this method is that we don't eat that meal again for a very long time... or sooner if we like.  Sometimes I use a crock pot, sometimes I spend a little time on Sunday meal prepping... but it works for us.  And any time I can give myself and my family the gift of time I'm a happy camper. 

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Back to School: Kinder Edition

"You're off to great places, today is your day!  Your mountain is waiting, So... get on your way!"
I'm still a little in disbelief that the hubs and I have an almost-6 year old who will experience his first full day of elementary school as a kinder in one week from today.  But he is so ready and is going to make one awesome little student.

Kingston and I had a special back to school shopping date a couple of weeks ago and I treated him to lunch -- McDonald's, his choice.  Afterwards, we went to a few of our usual spots and scored some pretty good deals on a few pieces that should hold the boy until Christmas (I hope). 
He is ready for blue Fridays (go Seahawks!), warm days and cooler days, to earn his first faux Letterman's hoody, and of course sport a little Star Wars for good measure.  We haven't decided what he'll wear on his first day yet, but I sure hope I leave the tears behind -- I have a feeling this first day will be one of the hardest!  

Monday, August 31, 2015

Back on Track.

Don't they always say Fall is the perfect season to get back on track?  To be a little stricter and snap back to a schedule not so loosey-goosey as Summer's was?  Well, if they don't... they should.  That is what the hubs and my plan is for this Fall, anyway.  And we're starting a little earlier -- beginning September 1st.

While I don't typically like to broadcast what my workout routines are or be one of those people that likes to rub it in everyone's face when they get a workout in, I do want to share what my plans are for this Fall for one simple reason: to keep me accountable.

In 2014, I lost 29 pounds by becoming more active and being more aware of my food choices.  The hubs joined me in my efforts and we have stayed pretty true to that lifestyle.  That being said... it was a really good Summer... and we need to refocus on what our ultimate goals are.

My plan is to focus on our meal plans and follow Fitness Blender's FB30 - feel free to check them or the workout plan out if you want, or not.  Like I said, I'm only sharing because I want to keep myself set on this goal.  The workout plan is for 8 weeks and my hopes are, because I am putting this out there, that I will check in every so often on here to say how it is going.

Please know this is not a sponsored post and I am not sharing all of this because I am paid to do so.  This is just for me -- wish me luck!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

But First, Vacation Photos.

It's hard to believe Summer is winding down and we're about to welcome Fall.  Not gonna lie, I'm pretty excited about that.  After all, Fall is pretty much the best season (right?!) and dare I say it... I'm looking forward to a few rainy days here or there.  I'm sure someone somewhere is cursing my name for saying such things, but it is true.  So, I think for now I'll stop while I'm ahead and share a few of our Summer vacation photos.

Earlier this month, we vacationed in Southern California on the beach in Carlsbad.  My family first started vacationing there when I was a little girl and I am very happy to have the opportunity to take my guys down to such a wonderful place.  Our major outing was a visit to Legoland California and it did not disappoint.  Let's just say, everything was awesome.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Let's Call it a Blogging Sabbatical...

I guess you can say my sister inspired me to get back at it with the blogging, after she wrote a post a few days ago about Banana Cupcakes.  So, I dusted off the laptop, poured myself a glass of water, and started to think of something super entertaining to post that would bring some attention back to this space and hope to at least have one reader in the future.

We'll see how that goes.

But for now, I leave you with this super awesome Instagram selfie Cole and I took of ourselves last night and a few updated photos of the family to the left.

My posts can only go up from here, right?

Stay Tuned...

Friday, May 16, 2014

{DIY} Fence Gate

We put up our fence gate two weekends ago and are pretty pleased with the results (if you missed our DIY Fence project post, click HERE).  We opted to build the gate out of the same materials as our fence and have it look more like a panel of the fence than a gate door for a more uniform look.

The hubs has already started to dig holes for our fence posts that will run parallel to our home, so I am looking forward to getting this project wrapped up within the next few weeks.  Nothing like a busy schedule to draw out a pretty quick and easy project!

Once we have the fence completed, we will work on sanding and staining the cedar boards.  So let's keep our fingers crossed for some decent weather in the next two weeks!

{Week 18} The Boys

Kingston, Week 18*: Practicing in the backyard with daddy (he got a new bat and now requests to practice a lot).
Cole, Week 18*:  Even though it was raining and not all that warm out, this boy wanted to run around the yard in only his diaper.  He may even be telling me "no" in this photo.  Ah, the joys of an almost-two-year old!

{Following the 52 Week Photo Project... taking one photo each week of our boys in 2014.}

*{Sorry this one is nearly two weeks late... whoops.}

Friday, May 2, 2014

Almost 2-year-old Photo shoots are the pits.

Now that it is May, I am trying to get our summer calendar organized and finalize plans... which includes this nearly-two-year-old's birthday in June.  So today I decided to order Cole's birthday party invites.  I guess I failed to remember that he is nearly two... so things didn't go quite as planned.  But, I did still come out with a pretty great photograph to use for his invite (not included above).  Hooray!