Goodbye Summer!

I realized I haven't posted a blog in a while... I definitely go through phases of wanting to blog all the time, and then being lazy about it. Plus, I don't think my life is that interesting a lot of the time... But I thought I would go ahead and do an "update" post about the summer! I always seem to get excited about blogging around fall and the holidays, so I'm sure I will get going again, soon. This summer was amazing. Last summer went by so fast, and I was SO BUSY all the time. This year, I forced myself to stay home, hang out with my friends and family, relax and really take summer one day at a time. I loved it so much more! Here are just a few of the highlights of Summer 2017...

Mission Trip 2017

This year's mission trip was different from years past, and did not go according to plan in any way, but it truly turned out to be my favorite Mission Trip since we started going each year. I felt like our group grew closer together, leaned in to their relationship with Jesus and learned what a life of service truly looks like. Also, we had "Jorts Day", so what could be better?

Fourth of July

I love any excuse to have or go to a party, and 4th of July was the perfect time to get together with friends! This year we watched the Milledgeville fireworks together... And then on the 4th, we spent the day at Taylor's parent's house on the lake. Definitely one of my favorite memories of Summer 2017.

MACK

Mack came to visit a lot this summer, which I loved. He is so busy and keeps all of us on our toes! He even helped B cut our grass one *hot* afternoon.

BaseCamp

Basecamp was different this year too! We changed locations to Rock Eagle in Eatonton. It was nicer to be closer to home, and the campus is BEAUTIFUL. But it was definitely a big change from our usual location. I love this camp and all the hearts who work hard to make it happen. Youth ministry is exhausting, frustrating and confusing, but the guys who run this camp are the best in the business and I'm so thankful to get to work alongside them!

Year 3

I started my 3rd year in Kindergarten-world this year! I'm grateful for my job, and I love my sweet co-workers, but this year has come with plenty of challenges! I just keep reminding myself that these babies are all sweet souls that the Lord put in my path for a reason, and I don't want to waste the time I have with them... It's easier said than done, but it's worth the work!

Doughnut 5K

We only did it for the doughnut.

Earth, Wind & Fire

Y'all. B is the most wonderful man and surprised me with tickets to Earth, Wind & Fire! Disco and funk music is my guilty pleasure. I love to jam around the house or on a long road trip. EW&F was a bucket list item, and I'm not exaggerating when I say it was the BEST show I've ever been to. They are freaking old and had so much energy, it was crazy! The whole amphitheater was just a big dance party. And B & I both said they sound better live than they did on the original recordings. It was such a fun night!

Weight Loss

It's not a secret that I've struggled with my weight for some time now. I've blogged about it before, and I've tried so many different things, but this summer I REALLY focused on my health and my habits. These photos are exactly 1 year apart and I've lost 20 pounds since last August! Yay me! I have some more to go, but I'm so proud of myself.

Labor Day 2017

For our last summer shebang, we went to Hilton Head for Labor Day weekend. Gosh, it was a perfect trip. The highs were in the 80's, there was a perfect breeze and we got to hang with our best palz. It was so much fun! These are literally 2 of the only photos I took, so obviously we were having too much fun... Ha! : )

Okay, so that's pretty much my summer in a nutshell since I last blogged... Like I said, it was one of my favorites and I'm sad to see it go! But I'm excited for fall to get here in just a few short weeks!

The Light at the End of the Tunnel ...

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11 School Days until the Summer Break!..........I think I can... I think I can...

Day 4 and 5 of my Real Food Challenge were awesome. I had a smoothie for breakfast Tuesday morning... I was surprised that it kept me full until lunch. I used frozen blueberries, a banana, a cup of spinach, milk and honey. It tasted so good! I would love to experiment with smoothies more, but I have no interest in juicing. Gross.

Lunch was leftover fajitas in my new Easy Lunch Box! I absolutely love these containers. They are the perfect size for my lunches and are Microwave and Dishwasher safe, which makes my life a lot easier. Another thing is those little silicon cupcake liners. They are soooo perfect for separating things you don't want to touch or get all over everything. I ordered mine from Amazon, but I'm sure they have them at WalMart.

 

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When I got home from work Wednesday I cooked a little before going to church. I made some cheddar crackers (a play on goldfish/Cheez its) that are compliable with my Real Food Challenge. B didn't like them, but I did! : ) They aren't as rich as I was expecting them to be, but they taste kind of like a cheese straw, so they were my jam. I also made some tzatziki sauce (the pictures above) to go on whole wheat pita bread and veggies for snacks for the rest of the week. This sauce was sooo good! It's tangy and refreshing... Perfect for the upcoming summer!

Whew! 11 more school days, and it will be summer break! I feel like it was just Christmas... And now here we are! We have Field Day, Graduation and our End of the Year Party to look forward to... I'm just gonna relax and enjoy the rest of the time we have with our babies!

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Talking about Mother's Day has been so sweet. Hearing our babies talk about their moms is so stinking cute... And their drawings of their moms are even better : )

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Me and Ms. Black...The dream team! And both in stripes. We have had the best year! But we definitely need couple's therapy.

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Oh! I almost forgot. I wanted to share this pasta sauce I used for tonight's dinner. It was the only brand at Kroger with no added sugar, so I decided to try it. And it was sooo good! I dressed it up with 1/2 an onion, 2 garlic cloves, 2 shredded carrots, 1/2 a bell pepper and 1/2 a pack of mushrooms. It was delicious. And it passed my "Was it really good?" test: Did B get seconds? Yes!

A Pretty Good Day...

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Tuesdays are usually my least favorite day of the week. I don't know why, but for some reasons I dislike them more than Mondays. I guess with a Monday, you have the promise of a new week, but Tuesday is just further away from the past weekend and it doesn't feel any closer to the next weekend... Today turned out to be pretty good, though! : )

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Today was brightened by these beautiful "May Day" flowers from a student... I was even having a good hair day, so I had to document with a selfie.

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I spent most of the day working on one of our Mother's Day projects. I made three of these flowers and they seemed to take 3 hours each to make... They turned out really pretty, so it will be worth it!

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My 10 Days of Real Food is still trucking along... My lunches are leftovers most often, so they are always something to look forward to!

These Lara Bars are pretty hit and miss with the flavors, but this flavor was AMAZE. The bars are sweetened with dates, so they taste is definitely something to get used to, but they are growing on me...

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We've had a few rainy days in a row here in Georgia. I don't mind it, though. I love a good storm. Last night it thundered and lightning for a while, and I'm not ashamed to admit I opened the screen door and listened happily. I know most people aren't fond of bad weather, but my twisted soul kind of likes it.

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We had chicken & veggie fajitas for supper tonight... They were so good! I used a combination of this recipe and this one. They spices were perfectly blended and my whole wheat tortillas were pretty good if I do say so myself!

Let It Snow

Oh, January... You are the longest month ever. 31 days with no paycheck. 31 days of cold. It's such a long 31 days... And we still have 8 left! I mentioned in my last post that we are trying to clean out our freezer and quit eating out so much... We challenged ourselves to not eat out at all this month, and while we haven't been perfect, we have eaten out A LOT less than we usually do, so I'd call that a win!

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One of the things we dug out of the chest freezer was some cubed steak. B decided to try a "light" Country Fried Steak recipe from Bobby Deen. You can check out the recipe here. It was baked rather than fried and the gravy was made with half and half instead of milk... It was 497 calories for the steak, gravy, rice and green beans. Not too bad considering the nutrition facts for this exact meal at a chain restaurant was over 800 calories! Nice job, B.

Our youth group is starting a new series on purity, and we haven't met in a while, so we decided to meet this week. Taylor wasn't feeling well, but rather than cancel, he decided to be facetimed into the meeting... We are totally high tech at Northside! ; )

On Thursday, we celebrated our 100th day of school! Our kids were so excited. We did a lot to celebrate the day, including making necklaces with 100 fruit loops! I'm fairly certain I ate about 300 fruit loops during the process... I don't remember the last time I ate Fruit Loops and I forgot how good they were!

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B and I have been going to the gym since the new year as part of our resolutions... I haven't worked out consistently in a long time, so it feels so good to be back at it! But, my muscles are like WHAT THE HECK so I decided to accept my fate as an old lady and relax in an Epsom salt bath the other night... I've always heard of the "healing powers" of Epsom salt, so I decided to give it a shot! I'm not sure if it did anything, but it felt good!

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I also started school again this week. I'm so ready to be finished! I have major "senioritis"! I will graduate in May, and it cannot come quick enough... 3 more classes, and I will be an official college graduate. Man, I can't wait! Working full time along with being a full time student has been a challenge, but I know it will be worth it in the end.

These are some of my favorite things this month: A (Free) Spotify subscription (thanks Michelle!) and this amazing candle I got as a Christmas gift. I have burnt the whole thing down in less than a month, but I'm pretty sure I will be repurchasing this scent. It is amazing! These 2 songs have been on my "school work" play lists and pretty much repeat.

It has been so cold these past few days. I don't really mind the cold, mainly because I love my boots and over-sized sweaters, but I'm itching for springtime. Coffee has been my friend lately... I have been drinking multiple cups a day, which I only do during the very cold months. I tried to take a cool and artsy photo of my cream, but I failed. Humor me, okay?

Around midnight last night, it started to snow! We watched it fall for a little while, but then headed to bed. This is what we woke up to today! I wish we had gotten more so we could really enjoy it, but at least we got a little... It's certainly not much, but in middle Georgia, this is enough to shut the city down. : )

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Maxx is happy that we didn't get too much snow. He hates the cold. Bless his heart! He and I are snuggling now on the couch, and me and B are catching up on The Blacklist from our DVR. Today is a good day!