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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Just more driving and more complaing. Oh, and with a side of medicine head!

Before I update you on the boring events of my life as a stay-at-home mom, I thought I would share a picture of this ridiculously large cat:

Baby's got back.  Or perhaps she's all about that bass, bout that bass, no treble....

Anyway, Tuesday night I went to bed with a little bit of a stuffed up nose.  Yesterday I woke up with a full on head cold.  But I took some medicine, suffered from medicine head all day and went about with my life.

I went to Target, Home Goods,World Market, and Hobby Lobby (that could only sound more first world if I had also gotten Starbucks but I didn't only because thanks to my head cold, it took me THREE cups of coffee to get out of the house yesterday) and managed to get a few (not very many though for the amount of time I was gone) Christmas gifts marked off my list. 

And I say "list" as if I have an actual list.  There's a theoretical  list floating around in my head and if I ever actually wrote it down, I might be a little more productive on my shopping trips.  And this list might also be more beneficial if it contained actual gift ideas for the people on my list.  My current list consists only of names of people I need to get presents for and my current shopping method consists of hours on Amazon and hours spent roaming the aisles of actual brick and mortar stores and not many actual purchases.  

I came home from my errands, did a load of laundry, made our Christmas cards and Shutterfly, put some chili in the crock pot and complained to myself and to my husband and to my parents.

See, the night before, when I got home at 6:00 with Sarah from swim practice, Peter informed me that the 5th installment of his religion group's video project was due on Friday and his group was meeting on Wednesday night AT 6:30 IN HIGH POINT to work on it.

So that meant the dinner that I had planned for last night was not going to happen so I threw the chili ingredients in the crock pot and tried to get all of my grousing out of my system because let me tell you what I did not feel like doing yesterday evening was DRIVING TO HIGH POINT!  But I did it because what else are you going to do?

And I know, I know.  I'm going to miss these days of driving my teens around.  And really, I will, but I like to be home on the couch in my pajamas at 9:00 not just walking in the door from a trip to High Point.  I also don't like eating chili at 9:00 at night but my sweet husband waited for me so he didn't eat until 9:00 either. 

Look at us, eating at 9:00 like we're in Europe or something.  Oh, and just like the wild Europeans that we are, we ate in front of the TV. 


I had recorded some Dateline episodes to watch (also just like the wild Europeans that we are because don't all Europeans love a good American Dateline whodunit? They don't?) and as we were nearing the end of it, it became apparent that it was a two hour episode and I had only recorded 1 hour of it. 

Now we will never know who killed Eduardo although I have a pretty good idea that it was Paul.

And now you are all caught up with yesterday.  Today involves driving to Kernersville (30 minutes each way or 1 hour round trip for those of you who aren't good with your numbers) no less than THREE times.  That's three hours I will spend in the car today with my lovely teens for those of you who still aren't good with your numbers.

And I know.  I am going to miss this.  Because once I'm done driving them around, then what will I do?  I guess I'll get caught up on the Datelines on my DVR...

(Could I have possible used any more parentheses in this post?)

(I blame medicine head.)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Everything since last time!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  I know I did.

Apparently, the weird short-yet-really -ong week last week meant that I haven't posted anything here in 8 days so there's lots to be updated.  Let's just pick up right where I left off...

On Monday morning I headed to the eye doctor where I ordered new glasses.  I have chosen some very bold frames.  I think they may take some getting used to but I hope they look good.  They are actually the first pair I picked out but then changed to a different pair I liked better.  But then the person that was fitting them told me they were way too wide for my face and would distort my vision.  So I went back to my original first choice and she and another staff member both agreed they looked good.  I hope they weren't blowing smoke up my....  So, fingers crossed!  

Last Monday, Sarah had her first high school swim meet.  I drove to Dan's work and picked him up and we headed to Mt. Airy.  We found the pool and finally found where to park and by the time we got inside, we had already missed Sarah's first event.  Boo.

Then, we missed her second event because I couldn't hear the PA system and wasn't sure which event was happening and all the kids look the same when they have on matching swimsuits and swim caps.  BUT, we did manage to pay enough attention that we got to see her swim in her last two events.

Sarah swam great!  I was so proud of her (she was nervous) and both the men's and women's team won!  She has another meet this Thursday.  Luckily it's at home so we won't have to drive as far to get there and hopefully I can actually see her swim all her events.  The high school meets are more fast paced than the summer league meets so you have to be on your toes!

One of the dads took a ton of pictures and here are a few he got of Sarah:

My girl got FIRST place in her 200 backstroke!

The kids were out of school on Wednesday.  I had two doctor's appointments and in between those, I got to drive Sarah to Greensboro for a Friendsgiving lunch with 10 of her friends from school.  While she was doing that I killed time at Costco (not a smart move the day before Thanksgiving) and Target.  When she got in the car to head back home she told me that they all drew names for a Secret Santa gift exchange and there would be a Christmas get together as well. 

I came home from all the appointments and chauffeuring and made sweet potato casserole and cheesecake for Thanksgiving.  And other than the fact that on Thanksgiving day I burned the marshmallows (well, actually set the marshmallows blazing - I wish I had video of all of us trying to put out the fire in the oven!)  they and the cheesecake were delicious.

My mom and dad went all out with turkey, twice baked potatoes, chicken dressing, smoked wings, and bean salad.  And Jennifer brought some delicious apps as well as lots of delicious desserts. 

It was a lovely day shared with family and friends and my only regret is that I didn't get a picture of all of us at my parent's house.  The only thing I managed was this over exposed family selfie before we went next door:

On Friday, the boys mowed the grass and did yard work for the final time this year and Sarah and I put up all the window wreaths and candles.  We are going to get our tree next Saturday but wanted to get the outside decorations up to have that out of the way.

And then on Saturday we went to look for a truck for Peter.  And once again we were disappointed.  On our way there, Peter asked if I had called ahead because even though this was a differnt dealership it was also an hour away and I responded, "No.  We called ahead last time and that didn't help so I figured why bother."

I really should have called ahead.  This sales guy was very helpful BUT the car that they had posted on their website with a sales price was not actually for sale.  Apparently it did not pass their inspection and instead of being put on their retail lot, it was going off to be sold at a wholesale car auction.  UGH!

The helpful sales manager did find another one in our price and miles range but it was just coming out of the service shop.  It had passed inspection but had not been detailed.  We told him we would still like to look at it.


Y'all!  This car was filthy!  I was so grossed out by the dirt and stains and general condition of the car that I just could not get past it.  Plus, there was a large hole in the truck bed (something had eaten right through the bed liner and the bed) and the paint was faded and worn.  "But it runs great!" said the salesman.

We didn't even bother to test drive it because I wasn't going to get inside that nasty thing.  It's going to take a lot of "detailing" to get that thing up to par.  I have a feeling that one might be heading to the wholesale auction as well.

Sunday was Mass and football and Sarah was in the Midway Christmas parade again.  Her Girl Scout troop used to have a float every year but stopped last year.  This year, their leader (who fundraises for Victory Junction) drove the  Victory Junction truck in the parade and the girls went along to throw out candy. (According to Sarah, Taylor Swift donated this truck  - you can see her name on the side.) Victory Junction is a camp for kids with serious medical conditions.  They can go to camp for free and do all the normal camp activities kids without medical conditions can do.

And here we are already at Tuesday again!  I hope you all have a great week!

Monday, November 19, 2018

Football, camping, pumpkin roll. The things lovely weekends are made of.

It's Thanksgiving week already!  It's a weird short yet long week but we are all looking forward to it around here.  But for now, let's take a look back at our weekend...

Sarah had swim practice Friday evening and afterwards we rushed home so she could shower and get ready for the football game.  Our team made the playoffs and the  game was at home.

While she was showering, I said goodbye to Dan who was heading out to Stone Mountain with the Boy Scout troop for a camping trip.  Peter didn't want to miss the game so I had to take up on Saturday morning but Dan is a leader so he had to go on Friday night.

Our team was ranked 8th and we were playing against the 9th ranked team so we had a good chance at winning.  And we did!  It was so exciting!  This was the first time our school has ever won a play off game.  And Peter's good friend from Our Lady of Mercy, Daniel played an excellent game. I think he scored 3 of the 4 touchdowns.

After the game, all the students rushed the field and Peter and the rest of the old gang from OLM made sure to get this picture with Daniel after the game:

Zach, Peter, Cian, Daniel, Yael, Joe, Oscar

I had to force the kids out of bed at the crack of dawn on Saturday so that I could get Peter to Stone Mountain in time for the 5 mile hike.  Stone Mountain is an hour and 15 minutes away and the hike was scheduled to start at 9:00.  None of us were pleased to be waking up so early but it was worth it to get to go to the game on Friday night.

After Sarah and I dropped Peter off at the campsite, she and I came home.  I made the dessert for Sunday lunch:

Pumpkin roll!  Yum!  It was so good.

After I made the dessert we headed to Zoe's for a healthy lunch. I had this delicious cauliflower rice bowl with grilled chicken:

Sarah had the chicken roll ups:

And we split this delicious pesto hummus:

I let her have the delicious bread and was a good girl and dipped cucumbers in the hummus.  I have officially lost about 5 pounds.  Now granted these are the same 5 pounds I keep gaining and losing but I have kept those 5 pounds off for a couple of weeks now and am hoping that I can make good choices and keep them off during the holidays.  I would be happy with that and then I can focus on getting a few more pounds off in January.  But for now, I'm just happy that I've been able to lose these 5 pounds and actually keep them off.

After lunch we did a little shopping.  One of her friends has a birthday today so we got her a present, picked up a few necessities from Target, and then headed home.  On Saturday night we watched Shrek on Netflix even though she's seen it a million times and then we were in bed by 10:30.

Here are some pictures from the camping trip that my boys were nice enough to take for me and text me:

Sunday was Mass, lunch at my parent's house, football on TV and then Dan and I had a date night!  Nothing fancy - we just went to our old confirmation class hang out, split an appetizer and mostly talked about the kids.  Having teenagers is not for the faint of heart!  :)

And now it's Monday.  I have an eye doctor's appointment and am excited to get some new frames!  I just got new frames last year but I have literally hated them ever since I got them.  I am going to go for something a little bigger and a little trendier.  I hope I can find something that looks good on me.  I really need Sarah with me but I can't justify taking her out of school to go glasses shopping with me!  :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

These are a few of my favorite things....

It's been a while since I shared any of my favorite things with you so I thought that's what we would do today.

1. This is my  favorite mascara:

It's L'Oreal's Volumnous Lash Paradise.  I've been using it for about 6 months now and have officially declared it my new favorite. Sarah tried to steal it from me (sneaky girl!) so I had to buy her a tube too.

2.  I've always just used cheap dish detergent.  Actually Aldi makes one that is marked anti-bacterial and is used as both a dish detergent and hand soap and I've used that forever.  But I was in Target the other day and noticed that they had their Mrs. Meyer's fall scents discounted so I picked up this Mum scented dish soap as well as the Mum scented hand soap:

This smells so good!  It's a nice floral scent but it isn't heavy and it isn't too flowery.  It just smells really good.  Dan commented on how nice it smells and so did my brother and Jennifer.  That's THREE people that commented on it so you know it must smell nice! (I just wish it wasn't a seasonal scent because I guess now I won't be able to get any more until next Fall.)

3.  I wanted to get a little vacuum to easily keep the dirt and cat hair off the hardwoods and found this little wonder:

It's a Bissell PowerEdge Stick and boy does this thing ever suck up the dirt.  It doesn't have a roller brush so it basically just suctions dirt off the floor.  It works perfectly and for $49 I'm thinking about getting one for the upstairs so I don't have to lug it up and down.  It's basically a high powered dust vac but it does exactly what I wanted it to do and I love it when the floors are clean! (The only issue I have with this is that the cord is a little short.)

4. I think I've mentioned this before but y'all we love it!

This seasoning blend is good on eggs, mixed in with tuna salad, sprinkled on top of avocado slices.  It's good on just about anything you want to sprinkle it on!

5.  I also love this one too:

This one is in a grinder and I love to put it on veggies while I'm sauteing them.  It really brings out the flavor in green beans, broccoli, and sugar snap peas. 

6.  And while we are talking about vegetables, I should mention these:


Dan and I are eating low carb but I still fix rice and mashed potatoes for the kids.  But I have really been craving rice and mashed potatoes.  So I've been making these for Dan and me.  Dan doesn't necessarily love them but he will eat a little of them.  I however think they are pretty good.  The key to the rice is to get the flavored varieties and then don't steam the rice SAUTE it in a pan with lots of olive oil and salt and pepper.  And make sure to add butter to the mashed cauliflower as well as salt and pepper and you can almost convince yourself that it's the real thing.  Almost.  Dan would probably not agree with that statement though.

7.  And these super cheap make-up wipes round out the list:

Sarah needed some make-up wipes to keep in her swim bag so she didn't look like a racoon during swim practice after school.  I was looking for a small pack of wipes and found this little pack of 30 wipes for only 96 cents at Walmart.  I told her they would probably be horrible but to give them a shot because all the other wipes were in huge packs or in a travel size pack of 10 for $2.00.  (Not paying that!)

She loves these things.  She has sensitive skin and said they get the make up off without burning her skin.  In fact, she asked me to start buying her these instead of the Neutrogena wipes we keep at home.  

And that's all of the things I'm loving right now.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Sixteen is...

Sixteen is....

easy going

Sixteen loves to...

watch the Carolina Panthers
play video games
eat Mexican food, pizza, and BBQ
spend time outside
play his guitar
argue (especially with his sister)
go to death metal concerts
hang out with friends
spend time alone
learn about war battles and geography

Sixteen has my heart.
Happy Birthday, Peter!

Monday, November 12, 2018

The weekend....

This weekend was a mixed bag.  We were supposed to go to the football game on Friday night but my kids decided they didn't want to go.  A lot of their friends weren't going because the school play opened this weekend and they were going to that, it was raining and cold, and others weren't going because they were going out of town for the long weekend.

I was okay with that so instead when Dan got home from work we went to Christo's and got wings.  Well, Dan and I got wings (low carb) and the kids had the all-you-can-eat pizza bar (not low carb).

On Saturday the plan was that Sarah and I were going to make Peter's birthday cake and do some things around the house while  Peter and Dan were going to help my brother get some work done at the church where he maintains the grounds.  But because of all the rain the day before (and the entire week before) he decided it was too wet to accomplish what needed to be accomplished.

Sarah and I had just started working on Peter's plain cheesecake (his request) when they came piling in saying, "We are free all day so let's go look for a truck!"

I am not good at changing plans on a dime so I got a little flustered.  Sarah and I put the cheesecake making into high gear and they started looking online for a truck.

There was a lot of activity in the kitchen and I wasn't following the instructions closely enough on the cheesecake and didn't mix the ingredients in the right order.  In fact, I dumped everything in and then let the Kitchen Aid do it's job.  As it was mixing and the cream cheese was still lumpy, I realized my error and then saw the words "mix in eggs until just incorporated".  I panicked and stopped the mixer because everything- eggs included - had been mixing away for a while, and declared that the cake was ruined and was about to toss it all.

Then my husband, who is the calm to my crazy said, "I'm sure it will be fine.  Just bake it and see what happens."

So we did and an hour later it looked fine but I just knew it was going to be clumpy and cakey and weird.

Even with not mixing it properly and over incorporating the eggs, it was still delicious.  So, if you are looking for an excellent cheesecake recipe, use this one.  (Just make sure to follow the instructions!)

The boys found a truck that looked like a good match but it was in Concord (about an hour away).  Dan called and talked to someone and they said for us to be there at 3:00 so we could look at the car.  That was perfect.  It gave me time to finish baking the cake, time to eat lunch, and time to actually get there.

Peter drove us there and did a good job.  He is definitely getting better and better behind the wheel but I still do a whole lot of praying while he's driving and unfortunately, too much backseat driving.

We made it there a little early and the sales manager apologized and said they had just received the car and that when they get a new car they immediately put it online so it wasn't quite ready for us to drive. They had done their 150 point inspection and were replacing the coils. He said it wouldn't be much longer so  he introduced us to the salesman and he took us to see the truck.  In the garage.  While the mechanic was still working on it.

My sweet husband was making small talk with the salesman while we were all milling around the garage.  The longer we stood there the angrier I got.

We called three hours ago and told them we were driving an hour to see this truck.  If it wasn't going to be ready (and I'm sure they knew it wasn't going to be ready by 3:00) they should have given us a different time or told us to come on Sunday. 

I asked the salesman how much longer it was going to be. I told him that we drove an hour to get there and that I was a little frustrated that the truck wasn't ready.  Not only were they still working on it but they hadn't even cleaned it up. (Honestly, I feel like they just started the inspection on it when they found out we were interested in seeing it.) I told him I wanted to drive the car but I wanted it to be in good shape not quickly worked on while we were hovering over the mechanic.

Basically after waiting around a little longer he told us it was going to be another 15 mintues.  I told him we were leaving and he panicked and got Dan's cell number and said he would call when it was ready. 

Too late.  Sale lost. I had already decided that it we would not be giving this dealership any money.  At one point after I told him I was frustrated that the truck wasn't ready, he snidely said to me when I mentioned that we drove an hour to get there, "What?  Are there no trucks in Winston-Salem?"  I calmly told him that there were but that we wanted to see this one that was here in Concord which is why we drove an hour to get there.  He made it very easy to walk away. 

All they had to do was be honest and up front and we could have come there on Sunday.  But no they chose getting us there over having the car ready and that made me uncomfortable. So, long story short, we did not get Peter a truck this weekend.

As we were heading back home, all a little dejected and annoyed, I told the guys that I had prayed on our way there that God would make it clear to us if this was the right truck or not.  I feel like we got our answer! 

On Sunday, we went to Mass and then watched the worst Patriots football game ever and spent more time looking online for trucks.  Sarah went with my mom to another painting class and look at their latest masterpieces:

My two favorite ladies! 

And then we had Peter's birthday dinner and unwrapped presents and ate cheesecake!

Friday, November 9, 2018


It's Friday and I feel like I've done a million things yet done nothing at the same time.

I have spent a lot of time waiting on Sarah to get done with swim practice.  She said she's loving it even though it is very hard.  The coach timed everyone on Monday and she had shaved three seconds off her butterfly time from the county swim meet and she was THRILLED!  And apparently that time got her into one of the "fast lanes" with some of the older swimmers.  I think she's having a hard time keeping up but she is giving it her all.  I could not be more proud of that girl! 

So I spend a lot of time in the YMCA parking lot snapping pictures...

November 2

November 6

November 8th
And it's raining again today so I imagine by this afternoon this tree will be totally bare.

We will rush home from swim practice so that Sarah can shower and then we will head back to Kernersville for the last regular season football game of the season. I hope the rain stops by then. 

Peter turns 16 on Tuesday and he wants a truck.  We were talking last night and he was under the impression that Dan and I had purchased him a truck and were hiding it and would bring it out on Sunday when we celebrate his birthday at my parent's house.

Um. Nope.  Sorry to disappoint.

 Dan doesn't seem to be too motivated to look for anything.  He's from Boston, rode public transportation until after he graduated college.  He didn't own a car until he bought one for himself in the army. 

Around here though, when I was growing up, everyone got a car the minute they turned 16. It's still basically like that so I've been having to convince Dan that a car is a necessary item here. (And that it will benefit us all.Which it will.)  He has finally consented but told Peter that the only reason he is getting one is because he goes to school 30 minutes from here. 

I've been looking at used trucks online and I'm hoping that we can go out and look at some this weekend.  But that remains to be seen.  Like I said, Dan's not too motivated.  And I hate the whole process of buying a car.  Blech!

Speaking of Peter, he was up late last night watching his beloved Panthers lose to the Steelers:

Even his lucky Panthers jersey didn't bring the team good luck. 

And just because I could not resist:

He is still sleeping in the letter tray and my desk is still a mess.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, November 5, 2018

The floors are done but the cleaning is never ending.

The new floors were finished Friday afternoon right before time to get the kids  And I am so happy with how they turned out! 

My plan on Saturday was to put everything back in it's place upstairs but I'm lazy and slow and that didn't happen.  I did however, sweep and vacuum and mop the new floors as well as dust all the furniture upstairs.  Installing wood floors means a lot of construction dust and that all needed to be removed.  The installers did a good job of getting the initial layer off before they left but it really needed to be done by the homeowner  to really get it clean.

After I did all of that on Saturday I decided that the jute rug in the family room needed to be cleaned and that was quite the project.  That required Dan and Peter  hauling it outside and then beating all of us beating and shaking all the dust and dirt out of it.  Jute or other natural fiber rugs can't be vacuumed.  (That's one of the cons to a jute rug.  Honestly, after owning it for two years, that's really the only con. I love the way it looks and it was extremely cheap compared to other rugs I looked at. It's just a pain to clean.)

And once we had the rug out of the room, I needed to clean the floor there and all of that cleaning was more than I could take for one weekend.  So nothing got put back into it's place upstairs.  I told everyone I was going to do it gradually. This is part my laziness and part my evil plan to not bring much of the junk back upstairs.  And in the spring, whatever still remains in the basement will hopefully make it to Goodwill or to another Girl Scout yard sale.

On Sunday we went to Mass and had lunch with my family and then basically watched football the entire rest of the day. I enjoyed myself thoroughly.  The Panthers won and so did the Patriots so everyone in my house was happy.  Although we were pulling pretty hard for the Rams to beat the Saints and that didn't happen.

Now it's Monday and it's back to regularly scheduled weekday life without floor installers in the house.  I went to the gym for the first time in over a week this morning and that was fun.  Not really but I do need to get back into the habit because while I didn't gain any weight last week, I also didn't lose anything.  I guess I should be happy with that.

And since I don't like a post without a picture, here's the tree in the parking lot at the YMCA. It was raining last Friday when I was waiting for Sarah. The second picture is my attempt at being artsy!

Have a great week!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Everything you need to know...

Wednesday was Sarah's first high school swim practice.  She rushed home afterwards and got ready to go to a friend's house to watch Psycho and eat hotdogs. (She loved the movie AND the hot dogs.)

And then yesterday the kids were out of school for All Saint's Day.  We headed to morning Mass and then grabbed a snack at Bojangles. Peter was in the mood for some BoBerry Biscuits.  And Sarah wanted some fries.  I was able to make both kids happy at the same fast food restaurant.  That's rare so I considered it a parenting victory!

And then we took Peter to High Point so he could work with his group on their religion project.  Four videos down and only two more to go.  So I guess that means only two more trips to High Point.

But I'm not  complaining because while Peter spent three hours working on his project, Sarah and I got to leisurely peruse the aisles of Target and TJ Maxx.   Then we headed to Rack Room shoes because even though the girl has a ton of shoes, she still needed some different ones.  She keeps her black all purpose Nikes at school for gym (and informed me that they had a hole in them anyway so there's no way she could wear them in public with an outfit and the black boots that she has been wearing for the last two years don't fit any longer.)

Peter has two pairs of shoes.  One pair of Nikes and one pair of Sperrys.  And is some how managed to be appropriately dressed at all times. Sarah on the other had, has 15 pairs of shoes and still needs more.  Luckily Rack Room was having a boot sale AND it was BOGO. So we picked up a pair of casual black shoes and a pair of black boots and I told her that was it for shoes.  She should be good to go until spring when I'm sure she will convince me she needs a bunch of cute sandals.

The whole time we were shopping for shoes, she kept trying on inappropriately high heels and prancing around.  I worry what's going to happen to her wardrobe when I'm no longer in charge of it.

The kids are back in school today and because they were out yesterday, it feels like Monday or something other than Friday.  I guess that's good news because typically when I get the day wrong in my head, it's a Tuesday and I think it's a Thursday.

Sarah will be rushing back from swim practice tonight to get ready to go to a hockey game with her Girl Scout troop.  That group of girls love to go to the minor league hockey games. I'm glad it's hockey season too because we will go as a family to a couple of games this season too.  Minor league hockey is cheap and fun!

I am keeping my fingers crossed that the upstairs floors will be completed today.  The installers have been hard at work all week.  As of this morning they had about 2/3 of the master to finish. I'm hoping they can get it all done today.  Then I can spend tomorrow getting everything back in it's place.

And so far the floors look really good. I definitely don't miss that dirty carpet.  Peter doesn't like the new floors and Dan said he can't tell a difference.  (Y'all - don't even get me started.)  Sarah and I love them so at least half of the house is happy with the current state of affairs. 

And with that, I leave you with this picture because it makes me laugh!