Life Lately

Happy Monday, party people!  It’s time for a check in, where we fill you in on the last couple of weeks in our lives and you tell us what’s new with you!

Rhonda –

It has been an amazing couple of weeks over at my house.  Holy moly, what a busy month.  And to think, Stuart and I thought April was going to be boring and quiet.  HA!  We don’t know how to do boring; that’s for damn sure.

We hosted a 30th birthday party for our friend Jenn.  It was a nice laid-back cookout with friends and I think she really enjoyed herself, which is all we wanted.

We dined out a couple of times.  We don’t do that often, but make sure to do take them out as much as we can.  It’s important to me that my kids don’t grow up the way I did, afraid to even order from a server.  We make them order themselves and teach them to be patient waiting for their food to arrive.  They definitely still need practice.  Lawd.

We also are working on decorating and upgrading some furnishings in the house.  We hit up IKEA and loaded as much stuff into the Flex as possible.  What you’re looking at is a bookshelf, a dresser, a dining table, six chairs, and a sideboard!  Holy moly.  I’ll be so glad when we are done putting it all together.  We have been so busy doing other stuff, that we haven’t been able to dedicate enough time to assembly.  We will get there though!

As usual, we have spent a lot of time outdoors and Harper, Quentin, and I all got new bikes!  I was completely surprised by mine and I am also surprised by how much I enjoy riding it!

We wrapped up this past weekend by taking the kids to their first professional baseball game.  The Rangers defeated the Mariners and we had a great family time!

Ashley –

Gosh. I feel the same as Rhonda…seems like so much has happened over the past couple of weeks.

Obviously the usual of work and school took place. We’ve been having hit and miss Spring weather (like most everywhere…) so whenever we can we are outside enjoying the sunny days.

The weekend before last we had my Papa’s funeral which was super sad but it was also really nice to get to see family that I don’t get to see often. My cousin has a son who is only a month younger than Sophie, so it’s always really cute to see the two of them interact in person. We do a lot of snapchatting to each other about the two of them. 🙂 Sophie is SO tall though. She’s a good five inches taller than Krystal’s son and weighs 12 pounds more!

That Saturday after the funeral, I hopped in my car and headed to Destin, Fl to see friends of mine who are in the band, Light Up the Moon, play at Aj’s in Destin. It was so much fun. They aren’t local – they’re based in PA – so it was really nice to get to see them again!

Cooper got this bubble gun for his birthday from his Aunt Marie and her crew, and it has just been a huge hit around here. I went out and got a similar one for Sophie to use in order to curb and fights over whose turn it is to use it, BUT we are just loving playing with them. We’ve taken them to the park a couple of times and all the other children really enjoy it too. So, if you’re looking for an easy and relatively cheap form of entertainment, go to Walmart and get a bubble gun…or two! We’ve always played with bubble…but having this little battery powered bubble blower has made the whole experience even more enjoyable AND less messy. Those are two major wins in my book.

And then this past weekend the weather was beautiful. Things were back to routine after three weekends of dealing with deaths and funerals. The kids got to go stay with Grammy and Ppop on Friday night. And Saturday night I got to hang out with some of my fave adults, my sister – her husband – and our friend Michael. We did dinner and drinks followed by a night at the Chill Bar at the IP Casino. 🙂 A wee bit too much wine was consumed, but it was lots of fun. 🙂

Anddd that’s about it! What have you guys been up to?

And just like that, she is four

How has a year gone by since I got all emotional about Claudia turning three?   Somehow, it flew by and here we are.

I won’t go through all the history behind Claudia’s existence, as I did that last year.  Instead, let’s just look at who she is today.

  • She could literally play Barbies all day, with her tablet acting as the big screen TV.  Best of both worlds – screen time and imaginative play.
  • She loves junk food and healthy food equally.  Her ideal meal would probably be bacon, eggs, and pickles with a side of cupcake and sugary yogurt.
  • She’s the sassiest.  I know everyone calls their daughters sassy…but this girl is like nothing I have ever seen.  She is always rolling her eyes, prancing with her hands on her hips, or flipping her hair.  Her attitude scares me, but she got it from me so I choose to just believe it will cause her to be a strong woman someday – just like her mama.
  • She loves her brothers like crazy.  I know, I know.  All siblings love each other.  But this girl loves to hang out with them and tell them all her secrets – and they do the same with her.  I never knew siblings like this existed.
  • She is incredibly social with NO anxiety at all.  In that way, she is very different from me, and it’s a strength that I am so glad she has.
  • Despite the fact that her father and I have intentionally raised all our kids to ignore gender roles and stereotypes and go their own way, she chooses the route of pink-and-purple-glitter-and-crushes-and-dresses-thank-you-very-much.

Her party was supposed to be this past Saturday, on her birthday, but due to all the sickness in our home, we had to push it back by a week.  She is perfectly happy to drag her celebrations out, so no complaints from her!  We spent her birthday doing mom and daughter stuff, running errands, and eating cupcakes.  We will have a unicorn party in a few days to wrap up her celebration!  I can’t imagine life without her and, in some ways, I celebrate her every day.

 

 

 

Cooper is FIVE

If you’re a regular reader you’ve seen me remark from time to time over the past couple of months about how I couldn’t believe that my baby boy was going to turn five this year. And now…just a few short months into 2018 we are here on his birthday with an official five year old. I just can’t believe how quickly time passes when you measure it against the aging of your children. I’m going to be melodramatic about it today, so I thought maybe you guys would indulge me a bit while I spend a couple hundred words talking about my freshly turned five year old. 🙂

Cooper with his dad. 🙂

I had so many ideas of what parenthood would look like. I was for sure one of those judgy non parents who thought she had it all figured out. The thing is I was pretty much wrong about 97% of all those pre parenthood ideas. These little human beings that we make and then proceed to raise are their own people. They are born with personalities and agendas that have nothing to do with the way we pictured things unfolding. I’m grateful for that though. And I’m so grateful for this little boy that I get to call my own. He’s my first born. He made me a Mommy. He’s been the one who taught me how to be parent and how not to be parent.

It’s crazy to think he’s been here five years already. It’s unbelievable that just five short years ago he made his entrance into the world at 3:30 am. He came unexpectedly about a week and a half before his due date which is too funny because Cooper doesn’t really care for unplanned life events. 🙂 His dad and I were scared to death. Neither one of us were really “kid people”. Neither one of us had held a baby that young. Neither one of us had changed a diaper. Neither one of use had ANY clue of what we were getting ourselves into – but both of us agree that he has made us better people and made our lives more rich – more full – more exciting – and more worthwhile.

Some things about our boy?

  • Cooper is one of the most…ok maybe THE MOST stubborn person I know. Everything has to happen in his time. It has to be his idea. Otherwise? It’s not happening. Whatever it is. You could want to take him to Chuck E Cheese, but if he’s not ready…he doesn’t want to do it.
  • Cooper has got a phenomenal memory. This child remembers things from when he was under a year old that I have even forgotten about until he brings it up. My sister and I were just talking about how he for sure will never let her live down that one time she was babysitting and thought she’d poured tea into his sippey cup, but she’d actually poured some cold brew coffee in his cup and insisted that he drink it. LOL
  • Coop is so incredibly thoughtful and sweet and he loves wide open. He loves fearlessly and passionately. On the flip side? He does the opposite of those things pretty dang passionately as well. 🙂
  • He doesn’t put any priority on sleep and bounds out of the bed before the sun comes up on most days. I should say – sleep in his bed. A longish car ride will knock him out it .2 seconds flat.
  • He is loving playing video games and also has this wonderful imagination for coming up with play scenarios that often involve the adults around him.
  • He had a rough time transitioning to starting Pre K 4 from being at home all day with his grandparents, but we are astounded daily now with the leaps and bounds in progress he’s made.
  • He talks NON STOP. Like literally. He’s always got something to say and he knows it all. When you ask him where he learned something he’s talking about, he will say “Nowhere. I just thought it up!”
Cooper with his great grandmother – aka Mimi – from whom he gets his middle name which is her maiden name.

I could go on and on, but I’ll stop here and just say that I’m so proud to call him my son and am grateful for every moment I get to call him mine.

Love you Cooper Grice Catchot!

And if you want to read more about Coop, turns out I’ve written about him a time or two before this. 😉

Cooper is Four

Speech – Cooper’s Journey

The Often Untold Story about Preschool Drop-off

5 Things We Learned on our Journey to Pre-K

Let Him Wear a Bow

When One Becomes Two

 

Afton Line at Target & Mom Rambles on the Statement of Fashion Choice

Recently, I was shopping at my local Target which is just really a regular Tuesday night for me. And anyway, I made my typical rounds that start in the women’s clothing section as I meander all the way around the store. Midway through I always stop off and look at the toddler clothes section. I’m always on the hunt for pants that fit my skinny four year boy child. You know, ones that are snug enough in the waist but will also cover his ankles. People, correctly fitting boy pants are a boy mom’s dream.

After checking all the boy pants – I made my way to the little girl’s section. I immediately noticed a new rack that held black and gray clothing with one little pink dress. Obviously, I was drawn to it. It seemed it was a new line brand that Target had recently introduced. I know I’ve never seen it before. I love monochromatic looks. I love pattern-less looks. I love black and gray. This new little section of clothes had my name written all over it. So I walked over to investigate.

The brand name is Afton Street and besides the atypical color scheme, each piece of clothing had a tag that said:

“Defy norms and stereotypes. Grow, learn and make your own path. Explore the world everyday.”

 

And if I wasn’t already convinced that Sophie needed something from this line..just for the pleasing aesthetic – this tag sealed the deal. I love the sentiment, and it just really made me start thinking about the way we dress our children and ourselves. And then that just snowballed into how all that relates to life and the time we live in. And I have a blog – so I thought I’d get on here and ramble to you guys. 🙂

This line of clothing is super ‘uniformish’ in that it’s mostly all items of clothing that have no patterns or very subtle patterns. Also, most of the clothing is gray and black with a few splashes of muted pink and cranberry mixed in. I’m sure that is a big turn off for many people – and probably in their mind contradicts what the brand is trying to say. But it spoke to me.

It seems to be beaten into our psyche that being unique or individualistic has to be loud. If you think of someone breaking fashion standards the whole  wild and free -big and bold – buck the system  vibe hits you.

When you picture the embodiment of those sentiments, I’m sure images filled with color and girls with big  lion hair and tattoos and purposefully mix-matched clothing choices and bold graphic art and huge public statements and defying the norm with risque hemlines and putting your personality into your clothing so that people can see it from a mile away.

I think rebellion and freedom, in general, but especially in fashion has become so aesthetically loud that it often distracts from the message and personality of the individual.

I love the idea of the quiet that a monochromatic and muted colored look provides. I love the idea that you aren’t distracted by my clothes and you can really see ME. You can really hear what I have to say.

When I think of rebellion I think of Winston from 1984 who lived in the party uniform just like everyone else. I think of Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games, before someone made her put on a flashy dress so that she’d get the attention the outlandishly dressed and body morphed Capitol inhabitants. I think of Luke and Rey from Star Wars dressed in basic utilitarian inspired clothing. I think of Frodo Baggins from The Lord of The Rings in his simple hobbit garb. I think of Moana in her traditional and functional clothing that wasn’t overly showing of her station in life.

I just like things simple. I like things quiet. I like things basic. I think the loudest statement can be something spoken in a whisper – or not spoken at all but written.

While I’m not here to bash you if you’re extra and loud – my best friend is all of those things and I applaud her constantly for her ability to live that way because I admire it – but it’s not me.

You can defy norms in a uniform. You can defy stereotypes in something black and gray. You can grow and learn everyday. Don’t ever accept the status quo. Don’t feel like you have to wear pink because you are a girl or blue because you are a boy. But also, don’t feel like you have to be ashamed of dressing your little girl in bright pink because you genuinely like it. 

Sometimes it’s really great to strip away all the fuss that surrounds you to really see who you are and know what you want. Basic doesn’t have to boring, and an individual can rise and thrive within a uniform.

 

Fighting for Feminism at Home

I want to preface my rant with this disclaimer – because what I have to say may be perceived as one sided. I think that there a lot of men out there who are doing a great job at being upstanding human beings. I know some of these men. They are my family. They are my friends. They have employed me. They have been my employees. Unfortunately they are still in the minority.  Which is why I have to say what I have to say today.

So – if you’re in the mood… read on.

You would think that in this day and time with all the shouting about women’s rights and the incredible advances that have been made within our parents’ and grandparents’ generations and even the women of today – that there aren’t men still holding women hostage under an outdated ideal of what a family is supposed to look like.

You wouldn’t think there are still men just taking out the trash and washing only their clothes while they expect their significant other to take care the children. Completely.

You wouldn’t think that there are still fathers out there acting like perfectly respectable members of society while they are too much of a coward to step up and realize that they’re literally just acting like a babysitter dad when they are at home.  

You wouldn’t think that a man today would place all of his self worth on the amount of money he brings home. I’m sure you’d be surprised to find out there are men who STILL ask their significant other to make career sacrifices so that the children are not neglected while they climb the advancement ladder at work without acknowledging those sacrifices as valid or worthwhile.

You wouldn’t think a Dad who claimed to be better than the rest would up and leave his entire family to go build a new life. In 2018. I know I’d be shocked.

You wouldn’t think a woman could still be afraid to speak her mind or swipe the debit card from her joint account without fear of devastating repercussions from her significant other.

Women get a bad rap. Even other women condone mothers who threaten to hurt the father of their children with outrageous child support claims or taking away visitation rights. I’m not saying women don’t do that. Maybe they do it because they feel powerless? Maybe they do it because they are freaking crazy and shouldn’t have had kids in the first place? BUT I’m telling you there are men out their doing the same damn thing. They’ve been doing it. And they’re still doing it. And it’s never been ok. It will never be ok.

I tell me kids this. I tell my friends this. I’ve told my employees this. You cannot be shocked when someone starts giving back what you gave them.

You try to keep me silent and threaten to take my children away because I don’t have a job and can’t live on my own without you? For years. For years you’ve threatened women with this….and now. Now women start hurling that back at you…you’re surprised? Well – you’re an idiot…and a narcissist of the worst degree.

You’d be surprised to know that there are women still silently suffering. They changed their life for a man who is completely ungrateful and fails to recognize the things they contribute because she can’t deposit them in the bank account.

So don’t say we’re finished. We’re not done fighting for ourselves in the workplace, in everyday social interactions, and we sure as hell are not done at home.

We are not finished, because we are still not seen as equal or fully competent. How so you ask??

– We still have the cops called on us when we are just trying to ask for help from suffering with postpartum depression.

-We’re still afraid our access to affordable birth control will be taken away.

-Our daughters are still being sent home from school because they have to hide their knees and upper thighs and shoulders because they may tempt a man to pounce despite any spoken invitation or consent – not because THEY are afraid this will happen. Their educators are. The adults caring for them at school are. Those people are perpetuating this fear. In a way they are validating this fear.

-We still feel like we need to apologize for crying when we are passionate or emotional about something.

-Men still feel like they need to be ‘careful’ about what they say and do around women. Why? Because they were not taught how to just treat a woman like another human being instead of a fragile sexual object.

We are not finished, because our sons and daughters are being raised by father’s like the ones mentioned above. We are not finished, because we have to prevent our sons and daughters from becoming like the men mentioned above. We are not finished, because we have to stop our sons and daughters from partnering with and raising children with those men.

Being politically active is a fantastic way to fight this fight. Voting for representatives that align with your ideal is an outstanding way to fight this fight. Run for office yourself? Superb. However, I think the biggest battle is within our own homes. On our own streets. In our local grocery store. In any circumstance. For any reason. We have to stand up for ourselves in the everyday. We have to teach our children differently. We have to make a conscious effort to change our way of thinking and the words we use.

We have to rant. We have to rage.

 

Twelve Years

It has been 12 years (TWELVE!) since I became a mother…. since I became a better person.

Nicholas Grant came into my life at a time that I was completely rudderless.  I had a new boyfriend and was living in a haze of cocktails and late nights at work.  When I became pregnant, I instantly knew and was scared but excited to become a mother.  I never expected to be a single mom but it was the greatest learning adventure of my life.  My ex-husband entered my life before Nick turned one, so my single mom life was short but important.  It taught me how to be self-sufficient, the importance of letting your village help you, how self-care is so vital.

I was not prepared for all that motherhood would bring to me – both good and bad- but I couldn’t have asked for a better child to make me a mama.

Nicholas Grant didn’t sleep through the night until he was three, has ADHD and sensory issues, is the pickiest eater on earth, never wanted to give up a bottle, had awful reflux as a baby, and is such an extreme introvert that I wonder how he is my child.  He really set me up to know how to deal with parenting problems.

He has taught me so much, among those being grace, patience, and unconditional love.  I can’t think of a better way to be taught life lessons than for a small child to literally hurl them at you.

Happy Birthday to my nerdy little hermit!  Your mama loves you beyond!

 

When Things Change

I grew up in the small town of Lucedale, Mississippi.  Like so many small-town Southern families, we were close-knit and rarely did people in our family move away.  I went to college at the University of Southern Mississippi, an hour from home – far enough for privacy and personal growth, but close enough to go home anytime I wanted or needed to.  Hattiesburg became my true home as I got older.  I loved it and still do.

I moved around several times during my adulthood – Hughesville, MD; Clermont, FL; back to Lucedale; Gulfport, MS; Arlington, TX; and now, Fort Worth.  The best of times were when I lived in Gulfport – far enough away from my nosy small town (in a dry county), but close enough to attend family functions and to see my parents on all holidays and birthdays.

Being in the DFW area has its advantages:

  • Homeschool freedom
  • Great weather
  • Diversity in the cities
  • Plenty of things to do
  • Great restaurants, shopping, and nightlife
  • A friend group I always wanted
  • Stuart has a great job here.
  • Enough distance from my family to raise my children my way without meddling

There are definitely disadvantages:

  • The dry air sucks for my skin.
  • I have severe allergies here.
  • I don’t have family holidays.
  • Not near the beach
  • My old friends, part of my soul, are too far away.
  • I miss MY shopping centers and MY bar.
  • Have you ever driven in the DFW?!
  • My hairstylist is in Mississippi
  • My family is too far away to be a real support system.
  • My nephew is coming soon, in MS, and I want my kids to grow up near him.

That last one, though.  Several things happened over the weekend while I was back home visiting -a great hair appointment, girl time with one of my oldest friends, troublemaking with my Bestie, meeting new friends- that made me realize how much I need to be home.  Above all else, I need to see my nephew born, I need long day visits with my brother, sister-in-law, and nephew.  I need to see my parents and extended family far more than I have the last few years.

It’s a hard pill to swallow to realize you have made a life-altering decision that you’re no longer happy with.  I moved to Texas to continue my relationship with Stuart because he can’t do his job in Mississippi.  The decision to put my relationship with him above a lot of other things in my life is now nagging the hell out of me.

This doesn’t mean I’m packing up and shipping out – it just means that I am less certain of what the future holds.

The Value in Parenthood

Sometimes things happen to your loved ones that make you sit back and reflect upon your own life. Even though I am fully aware of the way that things can change at a moment’s notice – when something unexpected happens, I am still always emotionally blown away.

My maternal grandfather, Papa, is currently in the hospital – dealing with some pretty daunting medical issues that arose after what was a seemingly normal medical procedure. Things suddenly became scary and hopeless.

And while I don’t want to dive into the specifics of that situation, because it is still on going – I just wanted to bring it up, so that these musings didn’t seem so vague. Because, let’s be honest vague blogging has got to be worse than vague Facebooking. Right??

So – if you’re interested…or curious…I thought I’d let my thoughts spill out into a blog post. 😉

Anyway, this situation caused me to think about him – and his life – and my memories of him – and the way that I perceived him. My relationship with him. Which led me to thinking about my own parenthood. And my own children. Thinking about the way that they perceive me and how that will change over time. I thought about how, as a parent, we do our best to do our best for our children. We want to be able fulfill all their needs and wants. We just want to be able to do it all for them, which is an all consuming task. The thought of not being able to do that can keep you awake at night or cause a hideous panic to rise within you so that you throw caution and good logic to the wind while just trying to make something happen for your child.

I just got to thinking about all that there is involved in being a parent. And all the things I try to do and say and demonstrate. I thought about the things I feel like I’m succeeding at, and of course, my mind began to dwell on my own perceived failures. And so, then I just thought about how grateful I am to have those two little babies in my life. How honored I am to be called their mom. I thought about all the value that they add to my life. The immense value that they give my life.

And because I was thinking about life and death in relation to parenthood – I thought about my children’s lives after I’m no longer here. I hope that they have memories of me. I hope that they have happy memories. Sad memories, Funny memories. Frustrating memories. Light hearted memories. Heavy memories. Beautiful memories. Ugly memories. Silly memories.

Memories that bring value to their life.

Above all, I realized, I want to add value to my children’s lives. Because, you can do and say all that you want. You can impress upon your children to think this or do that. But you can’t control them. You can’t completely shape the person that they will become. Or the way that they think. You can’t expect to always be a part of their lives just because you are their parent. You can’t assume that what you do for them will be perceived the way you intend it.

I just hope that however they look back on the way that I impact their lives – whatever light they see it in – I hope that I add value to their lives. I hope that my impact whether it becomes positive or negative to them – is still valuable. I hope that what I do has some kind of tangible value for them.

Parenthood is such a tricky and risky business. Parenthood in all forms. And it makes me emotional. And the thought of the loss of a parent heightens those emotions.

As a parent, you can’t do it all. You can’t always do or say the right thing. Sometimes you may think you’re doing something right…but it ends up being wrong. Either way, I think that we should strive for the valuable thing.

 

What We Wore (and Did) Wednesday

Hey hey! With Ashley being ill and Rhonda being, well, Rhonda, we totally spaced on our Week in Review.  And to be honest, they have become a monotonous chore and we are certain it probably reads that way on your end.  We will be making changes to this feature in the new year.  For now, here’s a peek into what we did this week and what we were wearing.

Rhonda –

Most of the week, I did the thing I do – being a boss babe and a mom.  I ran errands and did something very unusual for me – I wore athleisure.  I still don’t like it.  It was just really cold and I didn’t feel well.

Hoodie: Target last year. Leggings: LLR. Shoes: Old ass Nike. Jacket: Target, no longer available.

Another thing I rarely do?  Anything with Stuart on a weekday.  However, Grapevine, “The Christmas Capital of Texas,” was having their Christmas parade and he took off early on Thursday to take us.  Only Harper and Claudia wanted to go and let me tell you, it was viciously cold.  We even had to go to Target beforehand to get more cold weather gear.

I dressed nice and festive and did my lips to match…not that it mattered because it all got covered up with a jacket and scarf.

Shirt: Amazon. Jeans: Old Navy. Boots: Amazon.

We survived, though I’m not sure I would go again with temps that cold.  We went to Whataburger after and in all, it was a lovely evening.

Saturday, we forced ALL of the kids out of the house and went to Frisco to eat at Mash’d and see the lights set to music in their town square.  I am not sure I would drive to Frisco again just for the light show, as it wasn’t THAT amazing.  I loved it though and it was magical when the fake snow started blowing.

Sunday was spent with a trip to Sam’s club after mimosas.  We wrapped up the evening by decorating the outside of the house and grilling steaks.

I couldn’t have asked for a better week, but I am definitely getting anxious about Christmas.  I still haven’t done any shopping and I have a party Friday night that I haven’t prepped for.  This time of year is so bad for my anxiety!

Ashley –

Well Lord. As Rhonda mentioned – I have been sick. Like kick my butt sick. The Flu invaded our household and has been kicking butt and taking names around here. 🙁 I currently feel a TINY bit better – but no where near one hundred percent. Just. Over it. But anyway – to the outfits and what we did last week.

This past weekend I took Cooper to a classmate’s birthday party at Margaritaville in Biloxi. It was a lot of fun! We hung out in the party room for a while for food and cake and ice cream before the kids were unleashed to the arcade area which was what Cooper had been looking forward to.

We also spent some time over at Grammy and Ppop’s house. You know. Just relaxing… chasing the kids around the backyard. 🙂

And gosh – the rest of the week prior? Just the usual man. This flu invasion has seriously got my mind in a fog. So – I’ll just leave it at that. 🙂 Hope y’all are having a great holiday season so far!

Week In Review: Rhonda

Hey hey, and welcome back to a glimpse into my week.  Life has been a doozy lately with Claudia going through a phase of wanting all my attention, all the time.  I have tried to just embrace this phase of life and be thankful that I have the opportunity to watch her grow and learn and become a little lady.  Shit, it’s a challenge though.

She has been wild, dabbing and ridding her tricycle and playing Little Mama.

We did a lot of fun school lessons this week, learning about Arizona.  The kids love this state project we are working on.  Previously, they couldn’t really see past Texas or Mississippi.

Harper is absolutely obsessed with cooking and baking, so I have started to let go of a little control and let him in my beloved kitchen, mostly with free reign.  He decided to do cupcakes this week and they were delicious!  The cleanup wasn’t so fun though.

Quentin and Claudia helped me make my first roasted chicken (come back tomorrow for more about that experience) on Friday.  Then Saturday, we went to tour a possible wedding venue (now marked off the list).  In the evening, our friends came over to have drinks and dinner with us.  We had so much fun.  Lots of laughter.

On Sunday, the weather was sunny and perfect and Claudia wanted to play outside.  So we played in the driveway and ended up rolling out mats to lie down and soak up the sun.  After nap time, we went to a holiday parade.  We were so freaking late and parked a couple of miles away.  We were too late to get a good spot for viewing.  Quentin and Claudia took turns on Stuart’s shoulders.  I held Claudia on mine a little, but it was hurting with her dancing on my shoulders.  She’s a mess.  We enjoyed getting into the spirit of the season for sure!

Now onto Thanksgiving!  I can’t wait to have a good and hearty meal on Thursday and enjoy a long weekend together as a family.  AND PUT UP MY TREEEEEES!

How was your week?  Are you in total holiday mode yet?