I cannot, CANNOT believe another month is behind us! Geez louise, summer is just flying!! (So much so, that I haven't posted in the last two weeks.......eeeek. Lot's of catching up to do! So that's why this post is so appropriate right now!! And forewarning, this post is very, very long. Haha.)
When it's August that's when (even though it's hot as Haiti around here) I start thinking FALL! Back to School, fall shopping/clothes, apples, starting to plan Halloween costumes, Noelle's birthday....WHEW! But HOLD UP. I need to stay in my pasture and not look into the next pasture until the gate opens! Let's take a moment to reflect on THIS pasture! Here is what we have been up to this past month!! Thanks to some of my fave blogging ladies (Mel, Sheaffer, and Shay) for hosting this link up!
What we're eating this week...
Like I have mentioned in the past: this is not an exciting portion of the post. Haha. I NEED to start cooking more, just for variety in our meals and to save some money! I'm excited to report that I have just signed up to be part of a meal swapping plan! It's a group of ladies who meet once a month and swap freezer meals in the North Metro! We all are responsible for creating one dish - but we have to make enough to swap with about 9 families. (That's a lot, I know, haha.) Then we meet and we all go home with 9 more meals (so that's the payoff). I make one thing - go home with 9 new meals. Sure that's only a little more than a week's worth of food - however it's 9 meals I don't have to cook or worry about. So when a night arises where I'm in a pinch, voila, there's something ready to go in the freezer! I'm excited for this. As for this week, we are tentatively going to have an italian night, a taco night, and a barbecue night - non-exciting lol.
Do you have ideas for my meal swap? Let me know in the comments! I need meals that will FREEZE well and can be made easily in batches! Here are some of my ideas so far:
1. Chicken pot pie filling with biscuits on the side.
2. Tator tot hotdish.
3. Breakfast egg bake.
4. Chicken enchiladas with a rice side.
5. Baked penne with chicken and garlic bread.
6. Meatloaf and potatoes.
What I'm reminiscing about...
Joey and I have been reminiscing about NOELLE A LOT. She's about to turn 4 years old in 3 months and start all day preschool (3x a week) in ONE month. I could cry. Watching Halle start to learn her words brings me back to when Noelle was itty bitty and it just is bittersweet and heartbreaking that my first baby is (gasp) not a baby anymore. My heart! One night over cocktails, Joey and I watched a slew of videos from when Noelle was Halle's age. We both teared up.
One of our favorite videos of Noelle when she was the same age as Halle. Wah! I cry.
What we've been up to...
We went to the annual SLice of Shoreview over the past weekend! We always make an effort to go at least once a year. The last few years we have gone to the parade and seen a few attractions. This year the girls and I went on Friday night and did rides and food, with my friend Gaotah. Then we returned on Sunday morning with Joey for church service, more food, and rides again!
Halle: Why do I have to be so small?
She watched her sister go on the ride, and I could tell she wanted to go too.
Noelle is SO scared to feed the animals from her hand, lol.
Mini donuts? Check! Cotton candy? Check! Freezies? Check!
Going on the dinosaur ride! She went on Friday AND Sunday! Loves that ride.
A bag of spun sugar! Yay!
Before the service with Calvary! It was SO hot!! But we made it through!
Yep. Super Why was there. Noelle wanted to see him, but wouldn't go up to him! I thought Halle would be more adventurous, but she was terrified as well. Haha. Poor Super Why. We totally left him hanging.
Mini donuts on day 2.
For a kid who loves this ride, she can barely crack a smile. Haha. I swear, she likes it.
See you next year Slice!
We also celebrated Grandma Sue's 60th birthday. We had a little breakfast for her at the house, Paw Patrol themed because Noelle insisted that's what Grandma would want. Ha! Then we also went to her birthday party that was held at Nik and Erin's house.
Paw Patrol...and ponies, lol.
Birthday cinnamon rolls!
All the pony figures had to come too. :/
Happy Birthday Grandma Sue!
Ava and Halle at the park next to Nik and Erin's during Grandma's party.
Cousins Lucy and Halle enjoying the shade! Man, was it hot!
Ish. Halle was dipping her watermelon in ketchup - and she liked it. I almost threw up in my mouth.
Noelle also finished her two week ballet camp at Larkin last week! It was a two week intensive workshop concentrating on flexibility, new skills, and technique for an hour each day. They even had the littles doing ab work! It was crazy to see a room of littles doing leg lifts and sit ups, lol. Noelle and her friend Emma were the youngest in the group, both still 3 years old. The class was aimed for 4+ years old that will be in their first year of competition next school year (which Noelle and Emma will not be doing) but we wanted our girls to have an advantage, and to get a head of the game a little bit. Total dance moms, I know. Noelle and Emma did awesome and in the two weeks, we see huge improvement already! Noelle now burres, passes, and points those toes like the best of them! Joey claims that he can already see and feel her abs too. I don't know about all that...LOL
Waiting for her dance carpool!
Shorty back right.
In the front there with the pony - recovering from sit ups, haha. Emma is next to her, and she's still trying to get up, hahaha.
We also had a few parties these past couple weeks as well; a wedding shower for Joey's cousin, and then a birthday party for my good friend Heather, who I just love! It was a fun night of Scattergories and Taboo!
Halle at Great Grandma Ethel's house, dining in the high chair that has been around for over 60 years!
Some mommy time!
What I'm dreading...
Getting back into shape for all the upcoming parties and weddings. I was such an avid runner only a few months ago, but my oh my did I fall off that wagon! (And hard! lol) I started to really enjoy this summer and indulge in all things that included barbecue, ice cream, and beer. Usually for me, working out goes hand in hand with eating well. Usually when I'm not doing one, the other gets lost as well. I tend to eat better when I work out, or work out to further eating well's results. Since I started indulging...I also got lazy! This is not good. I haven't gotten on the scale, but I don't need to get on the scale to know that my clothes are a little more snug, and my chin has doubled. Haha. SO, I need to get those running shoes back on, the weights back out, and cut out those extra treats! "Dreading" is the PERFECT word.
What I'm working on...
Worrying less! I've been so anxious lately about finishing school, what the future holds, and finances. It's stressful! I've been working on just having faith in God's plan, and knowing that he has me where I am suppose to be. It's hard though, I'm not going to lie! It's hard not to wonder what will happen, and worry! I'm trying not to though because I know that God will take care of us. I've been concentrating on just meditating, praying, and in having faith alone. For me, having legitimate anxiety (yes, I'm medicated, lol) it's a work in progress! :)
What I'm excited about...
Okay I know this is really crazy but I am getting SO excited for my own upcoming parties. We have tons of other people's parties to attend, which will be fun, but even more fun is hosting parties! It can get stressful of course to be the host since you want everything to be perfect, and you want your guests to have fun. However, I just love to plan parties! Executing them is hard work, but planning it is always enjoyable! We have a few of our own parties coming up in the fall and now that it will be August, I feel like it's socially acceptable to start planning them, HAH!
First party coming up with be the girls' dedication at the end of September. I am SOOO excited that we will be dedicating them together. It feels special that the sisters get to do this together, and I'm excited not only to be dedicating them to God and proclaiming our devotion, but to plan a small get together for our close family! I've already started to create some of the decorations, and started planning what I'll be serving for brunch. Any reason for a party right? ;) Not to downplay the actual dedication at all! I'm so excited for that - it fills my heart that the girls will be a step closer to God, together!
This is a preview of their invitation! I'll post more of the prints and decor I made later in a separate post!
After that is Noelle's 4th birthday party on November 6th! Eek! You bet I've been secretly stashing away ideas for that for months. And now, finally, I can actually do it!! YAY!! Noelle is head over heels for My Little Pony so that's the theme we are going with this year. Last year I went really hardcore with her party, and I swore I was going to have it be more simple this year - but I don't know. I have A LOT of ideas!
Noelle and I made a pony cake just for fun a couple weeks ago. It's very ugly, lol. I will definitely be purchasing a cake for her party. Haha.
What I'm watching/reading...
I started watching 'I Am Cait' Sunday night when it premiered. I usually don;t make time for television but this a guilty pleasure and a must for me. I never watched Keeping up with the Kardashians or any of their spin off shows, but I'm very moved by Caitlyn Jenner trying to use her celebrity in order to help other people (especially young children and young adults) understand they are not alone and that there is support. There's also a few new, lighter, humorous reads that are on my list to read including 'Dad is Fat' by Jim Gaffigan and 'Yes, Please' by Amy Poehler. We recently saw 'Inside Out' and it was so perfect! I loved it and it renewed my love for Amy Poehler, who was just PERFECT as Joy.
At "Inside Out." What a GOOD movie! I cried like 6 times. Geesh!
What I'm listening to...
So much Taylor Swift. I love country T. Swift and have been a Swiftie since the beginning, but 1989 is my favorite. I love her as a pop artist. I'm still crossing my fingers that Joey is working hard on getting me those tickets for my upcoming 30th birthday, so I've been drilling her tunes into my head so that I can belt along to every song at the concert. And it's not hard. My favorite tracks are "Stay," "Wildest Dreams," and "I Know Places." This girl is so, so good.
I'm also loving The Weeknd's "Can't Feel My Face," and Selena Gomez's "Good for You." Yes, I am a total pop loving 30 year old. No shame! Who doesn't like a good dance track while cleaning their kitchen?
What I'm wearing...
Lots of summer tops from good ol Target, and lots of yoga pants. Nothing too out of the norm for me. The only thing new in my wardrobe are wide leg printed pants! I know these are crazy but I LOVE THEM!
OMG. I'm obsessed.
What I'm doing this weekend...
I have one baby shower to attend, and then I am trying hard to RELAX and enjoy! August is SO busy for us that we just need a weekend to totally unwind and mentally prepare for the month ahead! I am looking forward to some rest, and some time to crack open my physics book. (Gross.)
What I'm looking forward to next month...
Everything. Our August is full to the brim! We have 4 weddings (yep, one every weekend) to attend, a few birthday parties, baby showers, bacholorette parties, our wonderful and famous Minnesota State Fair, and back to school madness! One of the weddings is for a family friend, and Joey is playing the drums in the band! He's been prepping for that quite a bit!
Possible wedding dress attire:
I really enjoy August because I genuinely thoroughly enjoy getting back into the swing of the year and getting the house and family prepped for fall! I love summer, don't get me wrong, but I really love fall (it's my fave month) and I get really excited to break out sweatshirts, new backpacks, new school supplies, pumpkins, wreaths, all that jazz!
What else is new...
Nothing really - but here's a huge photo dump!!!
Sweeties at Target enjoying some cake pops!
Sisters are the best!
Painting with Addie!
Still dressing herself. Ugh. Lol.
Just hanging out with Great Grandma Libby.
Enjoying freezies! Yep, my kid would be the one downing hers. She means business.
My first baby!