Life Lately

I usually write in the evenings when the girls are in bed but I just didn’t have it in me last night. And so now I punch out these words while I allow the girls to make an absolute mess of my living room. Ah such is life.

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I love how well the girls play together. What an amazing gift to have a friend for life. Sisters truly are the best. They don’t always see eye-to-eye but it is just fun to watch them interact and grow together.

A lot of disappointing things happened over the weekend but none that threaten our life or joy, so as the old adage goes: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. And that was my plan for our usual weekend catch up post. I wasn’t planning to write one at all. But while surfing through the photos on my phone I wanted to add a few tidbits from the weekend.

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It was disappointing circumstances that brought us to Charlotte Saturday morning, but while we were there we decided to make the best of it and treat it as a date.

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Bagels and juice.

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Saturday night was also fun. I made this great pizza recipe from Daily Garnish and then we headed out for the food trucks in downtown Mooresville to snack. We learned the hard way not to plan our whole dinner around food trucks. We usually end up hangry standing in long lines. So now we just go for snacks. We shared a plate of hand cut potato fries and deep fried Oreos.

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Sunday night we capped off the weekend with a glass of red wine and this amazing dessert. You must run out immediately and make a skillet cookie! I topped ours with coconut milk whip cream.

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Instagram-worthy shot versus how we really ate the thing:

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That’s all folks. Hope you had a great weekend and the stress of back-to-school isn’t getting to you. We were treated with nicer temps yesterday and I can smell Fall in the near future. I know this is a stressful time for many but I’m just excited for the change of seasons and the promise of things to come!

Meal Plan Monday: finding my groove

This week’s meal plan included some incredibly delicious meals! I focused on easy meals that would create lots of leftovers and they turned out amazing.

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Sunday: Zucchini Lasagna

Monday: Chicken Foil Packets

Tuesday: Potato Salad and Hard Boiled Eggs

Wednesday: Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

Thursday: Chicken Sausage with Sweet Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

Friday: Cauliflower Sweet Potato Burgers with roasted broccoli Leftovers

Sunday– this was one of the few meals that took a bit of preparation. Alex was home and helped me slice the zucchini and brown the meat so I could make the tofu ricotta. Once all the components were prepped I assembled this lasagna by layering sliced zucchini, pasta sauce, ground beef and tofu ricotta in layers. This recipe would work, only I used store bought sauce and tofu ricotta instead of cashew ricotta.

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Monday– This was probably one of the easiest meals I have made in a long time. I threw the chicken in the foil packet with artichokes and Italian dressing and prepared brown rice on the side. Let it all cook and voila! Foil Packets for the win.

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Tuesday– I felt like a cheater not making a “main dish” to accompany the potato salad but then I decided I didn’t care and served everyone some of our Perfect Hard Boiled Eggs with the salad. We all loved the pickles in this recipe!

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WednesdayThis recipe took a little work to make the dressing but it was totally worth it. Homemade Caesar dressing > store bought! At the last minute I decided not to toss in the Romaine lettuce and added roasted broccoli instead. Because roasted broccoli is > Romaine! We had tons of leftovers of this meal which is awesome for lunches. And both the girls totally chowed down. Given they haven’t had pasta in months I am not surprised!

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Thursday– Our go to week night meal. I worked an extra shift Thursday night so Alex was on his own to make dinner and feed the girls. Chicken sausage with sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts is one of our favorite 30 minute or less meals and the girls love it! We use Aidell’s Chicken Sausage in this meal. The apple flavor is especially good with sweet potatoes.

Friday– I really didn’t want to cook at all but resisted the urge to go out to eat. This is why having a meal plan is so key. Having everything I need in the fridge ready to go helps motivate me to stick to the plan. I pulled myself off the couch and tossed in all the veggies to roast in preparation for these veggie burgers and then my oven malfunctioned. I still have no idea what happened although the landlord claims it is fixed. In 10 minutes in the oven my vegetables looked like this. Not burned so much as smoked with toxic gas and fumes. Dinner fail. So instead we ate all the leftovers and carrots and guac and some pickles on the side. I was upset we wasted food, but even more upset that I wasted the energy to wash, peel and chop all the veggies!

Here is my weekly grocery list for the week including everything I needed to make these meals plus all the extras we use for breakfasts, lunches and snacks.

  • 1 lb Organic grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 packages Aidell’s Smoked Apple Chicken Sausage
  • 4 lbs Organic chicken breast (split between two meals)
  • bacon
  • 2 18 pack eggs
  • 2 lbs baby red potatoes
  • 6 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 2 ears of corn
  • basil
  • Brussels sprouts
  • ~4 lbs broccoli
  • 6 lbs bananas (we eat a ton of bananas!)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • extra light tasting olive oil (for mayo/Caesar dressing)
  • 1 head cauliflower
  • Romaine
  • baby carrots (2 lbs)
  • tomatoes
  • celery
  • red bell pepper
  • cucumber
  • lemons
  • 3 avocado
  • 1 lime
  • bread and butter pickles
  • dill pickle spears
  • anchovies
  • artichoke hearts quartered
  • walnuts
  • Italian dressing
  • gluten free pasta
  • frozen sweet peas
  • frozen fruit (for smoothies)
  • cashew milk
  • dishwasher soap

Our shopping total this week through Walmart online was $144. I am proud to say that we only ventured into Publix once this week and that was for a box of cereal, more milk, and a bottle of wine. I think staying out of the grocery store is going to be my number one way to stick to the budget in the coming weeks! Especially with fall approaching and all the pumpkin flavored everything!

 

A morning in Charlotte with kids

Want a fun place to play with your tots? We explored ImaginOn yesterday morning and had a blast.

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Getting there was not a blast, however. Dumb 77 traffic gets us every time. I’m incredibly frustrated by this highway and feel like it takes away all the joy of living close to a big(ish) city. Getting to Charlotte is now such an ordeal! It is crazy to think that we are now making life plans that revolve around the traffic on this road and to know that it won’t be any better for a very long time (if ever) is highly disappointing.

Rant over. When we finally got through the traffic that held us up over an hour it was smooth sailing to ImaginOn. This unique library/museum is a haven for toddlers and moms. It is free (!) and incredibly fun. This summer’s open exhibit is The Adventure’s of Mr. Potato Head and my girls absolutely loved it.

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We arrived around 9:30 and walked right into the Mr. Potato Head exhibit. Our friends Amanda and Piper came along too (thank goodness for friends who will brave traffic) and we all got to work creating our own versions of Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head. I think Eleanor could have stayed here all morning playing! I finally peeled her away so we could check out the rest of the exhibit. There were so many fun and interactive stations that a 3-year old could easily be entertained for hours. However, we only had about an hour to play before story time and that was the perfect amount for my 1 1/2 year old.

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Story time in the library wasn’t much different than story time at our local library but the girls had a blast anyway. One of our favorite weekly activities is going to the library so it was awesome we got to do story time twice this week. After about 30 minutes of songs and books and activities we all walked over to 7th Street Public Market for snacks. Amanda and I each enjoyed a cappuccino from Not Just Coffee and we loaded up on muffins, croissants and pretzels (carb loading) from Local Loaf. The market quickly filled up with lunch goers. The public market is so different than anything we have in Mooresville that it was incredibly fun to just sit and people watch.

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Nap time was creeping up so we headed out. I still had a few errands to run on the way home and of course we had traffic to contend with. Still it was an incredibly fun morning out of Mooresville. My stir-crazy ways needed to hit the highway this week even if we were only crawling along it.

 

 

 

Autumn on my mind

Anybody else over the this hot summer weather?  Bring on fall y’all: pumpkins, apple picking, falling leaves and sweaters and jeans. We can’t wait for all of our favorite traditions!

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I’m also desperate for some new structure and schedules. I really want to do some fun activities with the girls this Fall and have regular programs we attend each week. So far I have us signed up for Community Bible Study (CBS) but I am also considering dance or swim lessons for Eleanor and maybe Awanas. I might sign us up for Moms of Preschoolers this year too. I am needing some new mom groups to add to our social lives since so many of my friends’ kids are going to school or preschool this year.

I am also wishing it were time to start school with Eleanor. I think the kid is ready for kindergarten at only 3 1/2 years old! She asks to go to school all the time…probably because she hears the older boys and girls at boot camp talking. I keep resisting the idea of doing at home preschool or any structured curriculum but I think she would actually love it so maybe I will change my mind.

And can we just take a moment to remember what running in Fall weather feels like? I’m a little burned out of boot camps right now and have been slacking on my work outs this month. I keep wishing for cooler weather so I can start the day with a nice run. I don’t always love running but in the Fall it is my favorite!

I’m also anxious for all the consignment sales. Our community has so many great ones for kids and even one for women’s clothing. I just love shopping consignment for books and boutique dresses for the girls and sweaters and designer jeans for me!

What are you looking forward to this fall? I am really hoping we will squeeze in some hiking and maybe a camping trip as well as apple picking and a trip to the mountains this year.

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Things I’d have to give up to really live small

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In the last two years of apartment living we have learned how to live with less. We have an unspoken rule that when new things come in we must replace it with things going out. It is a constant stream of in and out, in and out, and we usually have a pile by the front door of stuff just waiting to go. But even with all our efforts we still have so much!

As we near the end of this chapter of our lives and get closer to moving back in to the house I am allowing the stuff to accumulate more and more. Knowing that we will have more space soon has made me less conscious of all the stuff. Bigger closets, more cabinet space, an actual laundry room…oh the joys of square footage! But I’m stopping to really consider what we will bring back with us. Will we fill our space just because we have it or will we be intentional with the things we allow in our life?

All that and our house living situation might still be temporary. We dream of the day when we can sell the house and pick a new place for our family to live. I secretly dream of Airstream trailers and tiny houses while we search for a home with a family room and space for guests. No matter where we decide to live next, living in this apartment has taught us that life doesn’t always have to be super-sized.  Our trajectory can be different than the typical upgrades most families make at this time in life. Maybe we will just continue to be different and keep going smaller. Maybe 900 square feet isn’t small enough. Maybe, just maybe, we will reach for 600 square feet. What would I have to give up then?

  1. Picture frames. Most certainly the endless amount of picture frames that I hoard would have to go. Luckily for us we have Instagram and Facebook to display our millions of photos.
  2. Books. Sadly my book hoarding ways would also have to end. I cannot help myself when I find kids books on sale for 50 cents or a dollar. The girls already have an extensive library and I cannot part with any single book. If we lived in a tiny house I would have to build shelves all over the place. You wouldn’t be able to open a cupboard or lift a cushion without finding books. Thankfully we will still always have the library…absolute heaven on earth!
  3. Our beloved Eleanor Rose dresses. (Did you see their latest sneak!!) Or maybe those would just be the only clothes I would keep for the girls. Although, if we lived in an Airstream they would be spending an exceptionally large amount of time outdoors and I’m not so sure I could handle those beautiful dresses being pulverized in the dirt and rocks and water. I think they would have to go. (Sniff. Sniff.)
  4. Shoes. We all have a giant shoe collection. Alex included. Eleanor has been in the same size shoe for two years and yet I still can’t stop buying the kid shoes. Alas, we’d have to pick out four or five of the prettiest most practical pairs and kiss the rest goodbye. Clothes and accessories don’t get me the way shoes do. They would be the hardest to part with.
  5. Small Kitchen Appliances. Can I keep my Vitamix? And my food processor? (They have different uses you know.) What about my bread maker, my ice cream maker, my back up blender, and my microwave? The toaster, the pizza maker, coffee maker, the Kitchen Aid Mixer…oh the Kitchen Aid Mixer!? I think this would be the clincher for me. I don’t know how I could live without my small kitchen appliances. Meal prep would be so different. We would have to eat much simpler. Our meals would have to be quicker and contain less steps. The prep space would be so much smaller. This would be the absolute hardest part of living in a small space, don’t you agree?

I have so many more I could include here…products, make up, toiletries, towels, dishes, board games, food, washer and dryer (!!), sanity, space, quiet…

The list goes on. What would be the hardest thing for you to give up?

Staycation in Huntersville, NC

My uncle came to town this week for a work training and stayed in Huntersville. We were looking forward to spending quality time with him and getting together for dinners after work but right before he arrived he called with a generous offer. He suggested we stay at the hotel using his points so the girls and I could enjoy swimming in the pool and getting out of the house for a few days. Initially the offer sounded a bit wacky. We only live a few miles up the interstate and we planned to spend plenty of time with him anyway. But then I remembered how much I have been itching to get out of town the past few weeks and I thought it sounded like a bit of random fun for our week.


I quickly discussed with Alex, then packed and arranged for my shifts at boot camp to be covered and we were off for a mini staycation. While Alex and Uncle Joey were at work during the day, the girls and I settled in for plenty of TV watching, vending machine snacking, and swimming in the pool. Because we were in Huntersville we also explored a few new-to-us parks and Birkdale Village.

Monday night we checked in to the hotel and met up with my uncle and we all headed to Smoke Modern BBQ for dinner. We have been talking about checking out this place for a while and jumped at the opportunity. The girls had BBQ chicken plates from the kid’s menu and the three adults shared an order of the ribs and the combo with brisket and sausage. We ordered the corn muffins, bacon wrapped shrimp and burnt ends as appetizers. We had so much food but not many leftovers which meant we all basically waddled out of the restaurant full of all the delicious BBQ. I’m so happy we finally made it there because the food was excellent. And it was half-price wine night!


Tuesday morning the girls and I jumped up and headed downstairs for breakfast. We feasted at the buffet before making our way to Birkdale for coffee and activities. We started at the fountains and I let the girls splash around for about an hour before they changed clothes and we headed to Barnes and Noble for lots of reading.

I may have mentioned it before but I started teaching Eleanor to read and it has been so much fun. She is a great student and I am so amazed and proud to watch her learn letters and sounds and words and sentences. Some of our favorite resources for reading:

The Ordinary Parent’s Guide to Teaching Reading

Bob Books, Set 1: Beginning Readers

Now I’m Reading! Level 1: Playful Pals (NIR! Leveled Readers)

Back at the hotel we ate lunch that I packed from home and we all took a glorious three hour nap! I originally tried to get on the computer to work but the internet wouldn’t cooperate so I finally gave in and slept. It was the perfect staycation treat!

After we napped the girls and I went for a swim in the hotel’s outdoor pool and once the men were home from work we ventured out for dinner again. We ate at one of our favorite local places: Duckworth’s. I opted for a simple Caprese Salad for my entree since I filled up on all the appetizers. On our way home we stopped at Whole Foods for dairy free ice cream and wine. I also grabbed a Kombucha and Larabar for breakfast.


Tuesday morning we ate breakfast at a leisurely pace, watched PBS Kids and packed our bags. Ruthie had a doctor’s appointment which was conveniently in Huntersville and we stopped at Robbins Park on our way. The girls were brave climbing all over the tree house play structure and I just did my best not to yell out “Careful!” too many times (hashtag helicopter mom).


After a quick stop at a consignment store (where I found a set of the Bob books for $6!) and we were back in Mooresville and our little staycation was over. I honestly thought we would do so much more in the two days we had but barely made it through my list of ideas. If you find yourself in Huntersville with toddlers and time to kill, here are some other great options:

Have you taken your family on a staycation? What fun tourist attractions exist in your area?

disclaimer: affiliate links contained in this post.
Gymboree Sale On Now!

Thoughts on the Whole 30 with kids

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We just wrapped up a round of Whole 30 in the Kummerow house and the results are in…

Alex lost all of the weight he put on in the past year since he added meat back to his diet and he looks and feels healthier than ever! I am so proud of him because to my knowledge he didn’t cheat at all! My hero!

I on the other hand cheated a ton! I know, I know…technically with the Whole 30 you should start over at day 1 if you cheat at all so I am not quite a success story. However, it jump started better eating habits and I feel much better after completing this round. I lost the “vacation pounds” I put on in Chicago and I am at a very comfortable, for me, weight. All my clothes fit. I feel great. I am in wonderful shape. And I know that if I would just stick with it a few more months I could get these last pesky 5 pounds off. But right now I’m just trying to balance all things and because I’m healthy and my clothes fit, I’m really not that worried. I’m even sporting a bikini at the pool this summer!

Just for fun…

BikiniBody

cred: huffingtonpost.com

The kids were obviously not in this to lose any weight, however we actually started this round for them. While in Chicago we were dealing with some pretty bad digestion issues with Eleanor and Ruthie. I wanted to clear their diets of dairy and gluten and a few other things to try to resolve the issues. The Whole 30 seemed like a straight forward way to get many of the high-allergen and inflammatory foods out of their diets. While we haven’t entirely figured out the source of their issues I will share with you some of the benefits we have found putting our kids on the Whole 30.

After the initial shock of “you can’t have all of these things anymore” they actually received it very well. Not once has Eleanor complained or whined for food she couldn’t have. We make sure to pack snacks that the girls are allowed to eat if we know we will be somewhere that is offering food, but I was shocked to find that the girls didn’t beg for foods that were off limits.

And now they now eat ANYTHING we offer! We do not fight dinner time anymore. Anything I put on their plate is gobbled up in a second. Removing most snacking has also helped this issue. They still have favorites and foods that they will eat first. Our rule is you don’t get seconds of anything until you have eaten everything on your plate. Most of the time they follow the rule without any complaint and then quickly ask for seconds of whatever they liked best on their plate at that meal.

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Deconstructed Honey Mustard Chicken Salads

It was so much easier to say no to all the processed junk food since the answer was always no. We taught Eleanor early on to ask before eating anything while we were out. We actually didn’t want to make her fully aware of what we were doing although she quickly caught on to the “no dairy” and “no gluten” from just hearing us talk to others about the Whole 30. But by teaching her to just ask before eating anything and also that we only eat what we bring, we hoped it could be a long term solution for controlling more of what the girls eat at this stage of life.

Many people claim that when children eat healthier they have better attitudes and less mood swings, but honestly we did not experience this. Eleanor can throw a mean three year old tantrum, and really Ruthie has the tantrums down as well. We did not notice any difference in their behavior before and after except during meal times. We used to fight them to eat dinner and to eat what was given to them. Now they just eat without complaint.


Doing the Whole 30 with kids isn’t easy. It took a ton of prep work, cooking, planning, and executing to make it all happen. The girls were always hungry and it was difficult to keep up with their appetites. We didn’t see an absolute change in their digestion issues so for now we are relaxing the diet a little while keeping them off dairy and gluten. We have a pediatrician appointment this week. I hope to gain a little guidance for next steps. Regardless of health issues, I believe this to be a very healthy and sustainable way of feeding toddlers. We have reset our family’s eating habits and I hope to maintain our healthy eating ways.

Celebrations Part 2

We had exactly three days at home after Ohio before we jumped back in the car for our trip to Missouri. (I know Ru, I feel your pain)

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(babies first selfie)

My brother also graduated college this semester and it was a BIG DEAL. My grandma flew in from Florida, my mom and aunt drove in from South Carolina and my dad and sisters were all there too. And of course the grandchildren/nieces and nephews. It was the first time my entire immediate family has been together in a very long time and we made use of every minute of quality time.

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But backing up a minute…

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We drove into Missouri mid-afternoon on Thursday and following tradition we swung by my sister Diana’s work to say hi. Next we stopped at Andy’s Frozen Custard for a pick-me-up. Finally we made our way up to my mom’s house for dinner with my sister Stephanie, her boys, my mom and my aunt.

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We made a last minute decision to let my oldest nephew spend the night with us so we could catch up. This meant I got to take him to school on Friday, which also meant that we would be driving right by my favorite place, Hoeckele’s Bakery.

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Taylor had field day on Friday so once the girls went down for naps in the afternoon I snuck out to join him. I got to spend two hours with Taylor playing jump rope, tug of war and eating concession stand candy. We had gorgeous weather all weekend in Missouri and it was glorious! After all that sugar at field day I decided to treat Tay to Sonic before taking him back to my dad’s with me.

Saturday was graduation day. We packed the car and headed to Columbia for the big event. William’s graduation wasn’t until 7pm at night so we started the afternoon at his apartment. I made a sweet video/slideshow for him and he opened his gifts.

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We headed out into the bright beautiful day to take family photos. (Are you ready for an overload of photos?)

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Probably the best part of the day were the children all dressed up in their super hero outfits.

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For Christmas this year my brother sent them each their own super hero shirt. We dressed them up with hair bows and hats and made William’s very own Justice League come to life. We ended up theming the whole day with superheroes and Will loved every bit of it.

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After taking photos we made our way to Booche’s. It’s sort of a Billiards bar but they are known for their burgers. It’s the most unassuming burger you will ever meet, and yet it sets the bar pretty high. My dad went to high school with the owner and he managed to reserve a couple tables for us. We had beers and margaritas, burgers and hot dogs, and I brought a special super hero cake from Hoeckele’s for the occasion.

I made a last minute game-time decision to accompany my dad to the actual graduation ceremony. Originally I had planned to go with Alex and the girls and my sisters to the park and back to the hotel. I wasn’t sorry I went. Although it was long, it was great to spend time with my dad, see my brother cross the stage and head out for a drink with them after.

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My mom also went to the graduation with my aunt and grandma and after William walked they headed home early to relieve the other adults of childcare duties. Soon my sisters and Alex met up with us at a pub. We all enjoyed a late night meal and drinks. It was just my dad and my siblings and my husband (and a handful of my brother’s friends) and we had such an amazing time together. We bounced to another bar and ended up shutting the place down. (I know, we are rockstars!)

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It was such an amazing night just hanging with my tribe. Being with them makes me feel like I belong. Even though we are all so different and live very different lives, there are so many similarities, and regardless, I just feel accepted, no matter what.

Sunday morning was all bitter, no sweet. Saying good bye to William was no fun. We had breakfast and packed and jumped back in the car to drive back to my dad’s. We still had a great night grilling with most of the family but I was sad Will couldn’t join us. The girls and Alex went to bed early to get ready for our big drive home Monday. We made it back in the evening and crashed. And just like that another road trip in the books. My kids are troopers. And so is Alex. And me.

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I am so happy we could be there with my brother to celebrate together with all our family. I am so proud of this guy and excited to see what he chooses next.

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Celebrations Part 1

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As I mentioned in my last post we had some serious travel plans in May. Our niece, Emily, graduated college the first weekend in May so we began our journeys with a drive to Ohio. Now, if you recall, the last time we made this trek back in February our car died in the middle of nowhere, Ohio. This time we were happy to be traveling the road in a newer vehicle but I prayed the whole way that our car would survive the trip, and all subsequent trips. We really don’t need another setback. Fortunately we arrived safe and sound, car and all.

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The day we traveled to Ohio also happened to be Alex’s birthday. He just returned from a work trip and we had to hop right in the car to make it for Emily’s pinning ceremony. It was a long day of travel but I was sure to reward Alex with a delicious cake once we arrived. Also, my friend Angie pitched in by making sure her fridge was stocked with beer for Al. His birthday came and went quite uneventfully so I was happy we celebrated the weekend before in Greenville.

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Ok, I’m already getting much to wordy for a travel post, so I’m going to try to stick to details so we can get through this.

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(Eleanor Rose dress found on consignment for a steal!)

Friday was Emily’s pinning ceremony followed by lots of family photos and a celebratory dinner at a local BBQ restaurant. It was casual and fun and we got to catch up with family that we love so much. The weather was also gorgeous, as was the graduate.

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Eleanor for real could not get enough of Emily and stuck by her side the entire weekend!

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By the end of Friday we were all tuckered out and headed to bed as early as possible (although I wound up staying up incredibly late chatting with my friend Angie and catching up!)

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Saturday we were up early and dressed for the commencement ceremony. The girls didn’t tolerate sitting still for long so we wound up in a side room with the graduation on a big screen with lots of other children running around. It was basically ideal. Right before Emily walked across the stage we bolted inside for a quick view and then back into our play room.

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After the ceremony ended we headed back to the BBQ place because it was so good. And the little town in Ohio didn’t offer many options. We took it all to go and ate at the hotel. Ruthie and I napped while Eleanor and Alex helped Emily pack at her house. Later we all had ice cream for dinner and Alex took Eleanor swimming in the hotel pool while I hung out with Karina.  The hotel bed was comfortable and we slept great that night. Sometimes its just nice to stay at a hotel.

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Sunday we were once again up early (thank you toddlers) and after breakfast at the hotel we finished helping Emily pack and load her car and then we were headed home. It was Mother’s Day and also quite uneventful. Again, it was a good thing we celebrated the weekend before.

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The coolest thing that happened to me on Mother’s Day was finding out I won a Lily Jade bag from an Instagram giveaway! That was gift enough for my big day. We settled into the drive home, stopping for Panera and Starbucks along the way.

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It was a quick and full weekend. We loved celebrating Emily’s special day with her! She is such a beautiful young woman with such a bright future ahead. She is a shining example of Jesus to everyone she meets. I just hope one day my girls grow up to be half as amazing as Emily is!

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Eleanor Photo Project

A year ago I started a new tradition. My sister-in-law told me about a woman who photographed her daughter every year in her wedding dress. What a neat photo montage to have on your daughter’s wedding day…or just to have. So last year I pulled my dress out from the back of the closet and captured these fun pictures:

…and yesterday I finally got around to pulling out my dress once again. Eleanor already looks so beautiful in it! I wonder if she will think the dress is hideous or gorgeous when she grows up? Maybe she’ll ask to wear it. That is, if we don’t tear it up in our yearly photo sessions.

Other fun things to do with your wedding dress…trash it! Or just jump in the lake in it!

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Question…should I hold the same tradition with Ruthie using my dress? Or any other fun ideas to do for daughter number two? As a second daughter I want Ruthie to have all the same experiences and memories and traditions that I hold with Eleanor. But maybe there is a different one I can start with Ruthie, so they each have their own unique tradition. Thoughts?

Happy Monday all! I hope you made it through. We are just hours from bedtime and I’m looking forward to some quiet time once the girls are in bed.