Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Combo

This year was exceptionally busy for us in the Spring.  I am grateful that all our people made time for an Easter gathering and celebration of Spencer turning 3.  Somehow those things happened in the SAME week and we got to gather and celebrate both our Risen Savior and this sassy pot.  She insisted on wearing her Elena dress for the celebration and egg hunt.
See below.


Grandma and most of her grand babies.
Clean children.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Three

Often times I wonder how in the world I make this life work.
Our finances are messy.
Our days are busy.
We don't eat as well as we should.
The kids argue, a lot.
They run me to death.
They ask a lot of questions.
Too many.
But at the end of each day I am thankful for them.
The chaos.
This life.
No matter the crazy, they keep me grounded.
They make me feel like what I am doing matters.


I worry though...
such a sad state of personality.
I kid I kid.
Clearly we are entertained.
And we have one with food on the brain.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Easter 2017

Ya'll, I flipping love Easter.
It is easily my favorite holiday all year long.
I love what we are celebrating and how amazing my life is because of that.
Because of Christ.
I love the colors.
Pastels and brights and all the florals.
I adore that it goes on for weeks because my kids celebrate at school too.
I love that I get to serve at church and love the babies.
There is something about giving that fills my cup...
And then there are these kids.
These crazy blessings that I have to hang out with every day.
They are hilarious to watch and enjoy on a daily basis.
I freaking love them.
She only wanted the pink and purple eggs.
She would literally RUN by every other color...

Friday, April 21, 2017

Spencer's Drama

Let's all observe Spencer's dramatic flair.
I really enjoy how much enthusiasm she wakes up with daily.
I love that she's about as positive as I AM!
Her smiley face lights up every single face.
I am often told that she is the happiest child in the world.
I am just SO grateful that she is MINE!

Monday, April 17, 2017

Joy turns 3


Spencer Brynne turned 3 on Friday.
Here are a handful of pictures that make me giggle.


Can you tell she loves that hat?

Oh, and sleeping.
She loves sleeping.

Friday, April 14, 2017

SB 2017

We had a busy week planned for Spring Break 2017!
Monday was a great lunch courtesy of my mother in law at Mary Macs in Atlanta.
They have some of the best food ever!
I had the chicken friend chicken and the sweet rolls!
So yum!
We also had fun dodging the RAIN and the tornadoes!
Yikes!


Tuesday the tiny people went to play with BeBe and Papa for the day.
We cleaned out the garage AND sold some things online!
It was miraculous.
I was so excited to get that task done.
I love being able to trash things and donate them to people  who will actually USE them!

Wednesday was filled with more crazy weather.
We braved the rain and some more tornado warnings for playtime!
It was Hayes' bday celebration with his BFF Luke.
I'll post those pictures and that story later!

Thursday we went to have lunch with Pawpaw and tour the Delta Museum in Atlanta.
SO COOL!
There is an actual 747 we got to walk around in AND there are several airplanes on display.
We got to spend some time learning about the history of Delta.
Spencer is wild.
Hayes loves to learn.
And Elizabeth is a professional picture poser.

Friday  was our last day of break and I'm pretty sure we just laid low and worked in the yard!

Friday, March 31, 2017

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

This cold...

This weather in Georgia is not fun.  We did the 'spring ahead' time change this weekend and then we woke up to the arctic on Sunday!  It has been below freezing and windy for the last 2-3 days.  Misery.

But all this cold weather reminds me that I have snuggly babies at home.
These two have so much fun snuggling together and watching songs together.  I love watching them play together and spend time being cozy.  

And here is a lineup of the whole crew.
Remind of their sweet goodness when I am crying about college later in life.  
There is nothing that warms my soul like these guys.  I cannot wait to add to our crew, one day.  

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Influenster Diapers

I get the awesome priviledge of using Influenster and getting products to try for FREE!  I just got some Babies R Us diapers in January!  We loved the program and trying new diapers.  Unfortuantely, we didn't really care for the diaper quality.  They were not as absorbent as what we were used to and they smelled of urine very quickly.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

2017: Goal Update

Read a devotional book and complete Bible studies as the year goes along.  I just began 'Draw the Circle:  The 40 Day Prayer Challenge' and it will take me through the end of January.  After that I will be INTENTIONAL about reading The Circle Maker and then the book about praying circles around my children.  I know that prayer for my family will never be done.
I started the 40 Day Prayer Challenge and had to back up and read The Circle Maker first.  Read things in order... do as your told.... two things I'm not good at.  But I'm almost done with The Circle Maker!  I cannot wait to start my 40 Days!

Grow crops this summer, well really just tomatoes and possibly cucumbers.  I will be INTENTIONAL and get seedlings started in April so I can have food by summertime!  But don't tell anyone who lives in my neighborhood because they are against the HOA rules...
I have been looking at what should be planted in our zone in February and March.  I honestly only want tomatoes and cucumbers.  

Clean out/organize one room a month, including the closets in each room.  I will post my list of rooms next week so I can be INTENTIONAL about scheduling time for them in the coming months.  I know that purging items from each room is such an awesome feeling, plus we are able to get rid of SO MUCH tiny baby/kid stuff.
Working in my closets and bathrooms in January wasn't terrible.  The kids' closets are going to take some more time though.  I want to purge all the things that no longer apply to their sizes and lives for donation or sale.  I am anxious to work on the playroom and have all that organized as well.  

Purchase new furniture via living room.  Sell antiques.  I am beyond ready to have some established pieces in my living room.  I'd like to create/find some functional storage pieces for the space.  It is really small and the seating is awkward, so it makes it challenging.  I am going to have to be INTENTIONAL about shopping for it or finding plans to MAKE it.
Got a new shelf but it is more decorative and less functional than I would have liked... so while I'm excited to HAVE it, it isn't what I really wanted.  This month I will be sure to list my furniture on craigslist or facebook marketplace to get rid of it!  

Repair ceiling in kitchen, repair the wall in the master bath, major yard renovation to grow actual grass in the front yard.  None of this will take large amounts of time, but it may require large amounts of money.  The yard will be the biggest cost of money AND time.  I will have to plan the yard starting in February so we can be INTENTIONAL about getting good dirt and grass.  
Bought paint.  Need to do some youtube research for the process of this.  I feel like it is going to be a gradual thing.  The ceiling... the yard is a work in progress.  Need dirt.  Then grass.  Will wait until spring for that...

Run/exercise 3 times a week.  I feel like this is the biggest struggle of my life.  I know it will make me feel better and be a positive force in my life.  It will make all things better and I know that, but MAKING time for it is my struggle.  I should alter my goal so that it says MAKE TIME TO EXERCISE 3 times a week, which really just means I have to GET UP EARLY and I hate that.  Get over it Carrie.  Grow up.
Nope.  No progress in January, but I will do it this month.  I turn 35 and I want my health to be a priority.  

Become a Mary Kay sales director.  I will work my business 3 times a week for the entire months of January thru March.  If I am INTENTIONAL about working the business then my goal will be a reality.
I am in a holding pattern for this and the next goal.  I need to pray hard.  

Quit teaching... must complete the sales director goal first...

Pay off all credit cards.  We have been INTENTIONAL about this for the last few months, but I need to be more disciplined about the process.  The Dave Ramsey plan is moving us in that direction and I've been planning that for us for months!
One more month on the first payment/card and it is DONE!  Snowball is rolling y'all!  

The following lists are just things we have on the agenda at no particular time or in no particular order.  We had some of them on the agenda for 2016 but ended up repairing the chimney instead.  Just the 'wish list' if you will...

Home Updates 2017
Trees beside driveway and in back yard need to come down...
Concrete driveway must be repaired
Deck built?
Paint my room--my office
Paint dining room--green and grey
Paint entry way--same grey as dining room
New blinds--Hayes, kids bathroom, playroom, my room/office

BONUS MONEY 2017
Gun
Glass door for front porch
Built ins in living room
Paint shutters, front door, and awning
Desktop computer
Head board master bedroom

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

January--Goal Update

  1. Plan a weekly menu.
    Menu planning is my sweet spot.  I can do this and grocery shop like it is my job.
  2. Organize all tax paperwork.
    I hate taxes.  I love getting my money back, but I hate taxes.  I have it all piled up in the dining room to work on and one day I will actually work on it.
  3. Clean out master closet and dressers.
    I started in my closet area and dresser as well.  I still have some work to do since I have a 4-6 size range of clothing to choose from.  I also have a LOT more than I actually need.
  4. Clean out master bathroom cabinets & organize them.
    This was actually kinda fun and it didn't take me very long.  Expired medicine and cosmetics take up a lot of space in cabinets...  I love having a 'clean cabinet.'
  5. Begin cleaning out the playroom closets and  storage dormers.
    We lost a pretty expensive Christmas gift this month, so the playroom got searched by default.  I also reorganized all the toys into bins and encouraged my kids to keep it clean that way!  It is so much easier to find the toys when they are in the right place!
  6. Exercise 20 times this month.
    Nur.  That's a NUR from me.  I didn't even come close to this.
  7. Start process of ceiling repair in kitchen.  Either hire a contractor OR DIY.
    Nope.  Moving this to February since we have a break from school and I hope to get it done then!
  8. Clean giant window at front of house.  Caulk it.
    I need a giant ladder that's clean... anyone?  Once I get that ladder I can get this done!
  9. Print a canvas of the latest family photo session for the living room.
    Printed.  Ordered.  On the way!
  10. Select a color theme for the MK & dining room.
    I have decided to do a light blue/green and grey theme for both.  I'm excited to get this done in the spring!
  11. Research cruises for family in 2018...
    Nope.  But I still have a ton of time for that.  I decided I should wait for the wrestling schedule to be released so I can compare times to cruise departures, etc.  
I like the idea of breaking this down monthly.  I need to compare my yearly goals to this monthly list and do the difficult/important things first.  I know the things that take up a lot of time need to be done early too!  

Monday, January 30, 2017

He's seven.



This kid of mine.
I posted this picture a few months back and I can't help but love it a lot this week.
He turned seven this month.
That is more than one hand...
It requires two hands to indicate his age now.
He lost 3 teeth in the month of January, technically one weekend.
He just got notice that he has tested INTO the gifted program in our schools.
He's a genius, no denying it now that we have proof.
I love watching his kindness on display for others.
He is cautious and calculated with every move he makes.
He follows the rules and is motivated to do all the things.
I love watching him with his sisters.
He wrestles tomorrow and I'm already a nervous wreck.
Seven years ago this month I was learning about love.
I had no idea what it was like to be a parent.
I was terrified and still am, most days.
But if he's the first edition, then we are doing alright.
He's my favorite boy in all the world.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Budgeting and Menu Planning

I recently had a friend who asked me how I planned our menu and what I did to prepare our food.  I had some time over my break from school to think about it and I decided to blog about it.  It goes much farther than our menu to embrace our whole lives and what we do each week.


  1. I look at our calendar and plan our menu around our weekly activities.  In this season of life we have wrestling two nights a week, gymnastics one night a week, and at least one other night when we are busy!  So I plan to cook at least 4-5 nights a week.  I adjust leftovers and pizza night around our lives.
  2. I stick to at least 2 things I already know how to cook and don't make plans to learn new things until I'm ready... so weekends are times I try new dishes!  I adjust my schedule so the EASIEST things to cook (crock pot meals) are on my busiest days or the days when I know I will be tired... Mondays and Thursdays usually win!
  3. I plan the meals.  I examine our pantry, fridge, and freezer to see what we have on hand.  After I have taken stock at home I make my grocery list.  Sometimes I plan my menu around what we already have on hand.  I am trying to develop the habit of using the foods we have instead of trashing them...   Sometimes I notice that I already have a whole meal on hand (spaghetti noodles, sauce, and venison in the freezer) so I only have to buy a salad and bread.
  4. I make my grocery list for meals and recipes.  I also take stock of the kids' lunch stash and their breakfast items.  I like to make breakfast on the weekends, so I look at that too.
  5. I know this all sounds like a LOT of steps, but I think I probably spend 20 minutes doing this whole process.  I bring my laptop into the kitchen, pull up my Google calendar, and compare it to the wall calendar.  I begin my Walmart grocery pickup list while I'm in the kitchen!
  6. Once the menu is made and my meals are planned, I begin the process of prepping for them.  Sometimes I make freezer meals ahead of time, but mostly I prep the day before or the day of.  If I have a lot of leftovers I make a freezer meal... or have it for lunch that week too!  :)
  7. I put away the groceries after the pick up day and then write our dinners for the week.  I adjust the menu as needed once the week starts.  Sometimes what I planned for Tuesday actually works better for us on Wednesday, etc.  Either way, I have all the ingredients on hand to make the meals for the week.
  8. Sometimes I have to adjust plans as the week unfolds and we have to move a meal to the next week.  I try to be flexible.  I also try to keep my grocery budget to $100 a week or less.. that includes the household goods and the cleaning supplies...
  9. "Shopping" in my pantry, fridge, freezer before going to the grocery store or even making a list helps me save money AND time!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

January 2017 To Do List


  1. Plan a weekly menu.
  2. Organize all tax paperwork.
  3. Clean out master closet and dressers.
  4. Clean out master bathroom cabinets & organize them.
  5. Begin cleaning out the playroom closets and  storage dormers.
  6. Exercise 20 times this month.
  7. Start process of ceiling repair in kitchen.  Either hire a contractor OR DIY.
  8. Clean giant window at front of house.  Caulk it.
  9. Print a canvas of the latest family photo session for the living room.
  10. Select a color theme for the MK & dining room.
  11. Research cruises for family in 2018...