Friday, October 23, 2015

Favorite Finds Friday: Fall Edition

It's been a loooooooong time since I've done a Favorite Finds Friday post, but with all of the fall stuff I've been loving lately, I figured now was the time to jump back in!

1. Old Navy Plaid Infinity Scarf
One of the things I love most about cooler weather are the scarves that come with it.  I love that they enable me to be lazy, since I don't really have to piece together a whole outfit...stick a plain old tshirt or long sleeved shirt on, pick out a scarf and I'm good to go!  I can wear essentially the same outfit every few days, but it looks totally different because of the scarves.

I found my new favorite scarf at Old Navy the other day....and you know I only buy stuff on sale, so I snagged it for just $8!

See that mug in my hand?  That's one of my other fall favorites; it's from the Better Homes and Garden line at Walmart from 2 years ago.  It says "thankful" and it makes me happy!

2.  Essie "Smokin' Hot" nail polish
I snapped that picture above because it was a catch-all...see that color on my nails?  One of my favorites for fall, Essie's Smokin' Hot

3. Starbucks Toasted Graham Latte 
You know I look forward to the Pumpkin Spice Latte every year, but I couldn't resist sampling their newest drink, the Toasted Graham Latte last weekend and it did not disappoint!!

image courtesy of

I think I've mentioned on here before that Liam loves to tag along on my trips to Target; he is completely content to ride in the cart, eat snacks, and help me shop.  He was REALLY into it recently when I decided I wanted to try the new latte, so I treated him to a chocolate milk from Starbucks.  He's already asked when we can "go on another Target date and get drinks while we shop"...I've created a monster!!

4. Target Fall Decor
 Like most women in America, I suffer from that issue where you walk into Target for 3 things and come out with a cart load, having no recollection of what just happened to you.

image courtesy of
It's a problem.

Recent trips have been no exception, as I move breathlessly from aisle to aisle, taking in the gorgeous fall I need a new door mat?  Look at this wooden pumpkin! How do I not yet have a pumpkin shaped serving bowl in my life??  Is that a fox wearing a pilgrim hat?

I showed some restraint my past 2 trips and only walked out with 2 new items...and they were each just $3, score!!


Happy Friday!!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

"You're doing a great job".

 The bus came to a screeching halt along a very busy road in the middle of rush hour; we had almost blown right by the person who had been waiting there, needing a ride.  The brakes slammed; all of us who were standing did that awkward thing where we kind of swung forward, trying to balance ourselves while also making sure our bags weren't hitting anyone who was sitting.

The person at the bus stop hurried along to get on; it was a young mom.  I mean, young.  Maybe 16 or 17. She got on with a diaper bag on her shoulder, a large folded up stroller in one hand, and a baby in a car seat in the other hand.  She had her money all ready to go, I could see it there in her hand....but the car seat was so bulky it was preventing her from getting her hand close enough to the box to put the money in. The stroller was taking up all of the room in front of her, so there was nowhere to set the carseat down to free up her hand. 

I was back toward the middle of the bus, standing, a line of people in front of me, the bus was jam packed....watching the scene unfold, and hoping in my head that the bus driver would take the cash for her, or offer to help...something.  Instead, the driver looked visibly annoyed.

Just when I thought she was going to burst into tears, and I started trying to figure out how many people I would have to elbow through to get up front, someone in the front got out of their seat.  A kind woman left her stuff in her seat, worked her way to the front of the bus and put the money in for her.  The young girl had relief written all over her face as she shifted her arms to try and figure out where to go.  Thankfully, a man stood up and motioned to her that she could have his seat.  A different woman offered to get her stroller.

The young girl sat down with her tiny baby in the carseat and was looking up at the ceiling of the bus, blinking.  I recognized that move...we've all been there, right?  The times we look up, willing ourselves to not cry, to not let the tears come because you know once they do they're hard to stop.

As she was looking up, the woman who first got up to help her with the money (who was now sitting beside her), patted her on the leg and said "You're doing a great job".

5 words.  That's it.

But those 5 words with the simple gesture of a pat on the leg and a loving look toward the tiny baby caused a huge smile to come over this girl's face.  Just like that.  Her body language transformed, and while I couldn't hear the rest of the conversation, I could tell she was speaking to the woman who'd shown her kindness for the rest of the bus trip. 

 I could feel for this girl....young or not, we've all been there.  Maybe not on the bus...maybe in line at Target, with a kid who has asked 542 times for a candy bar in line, as you're fishing around in your purse for your wallet, feeling yourself grow more and more flustered as the cashier stands there, waiting for you.  Maybe at daycare drop off, when it's you who has the crying kid, the one who is scared to go in, clinging to your legs or even worse, trying to bolt out the door while screaming his head off.

The whole experience on the bus was maybe 3 minutes total, but it really made me think about how I should be more intentional in my interactions with people.  So often, I see others in those situations and sure, I have sympathy for them in my head or think to myself, "Oh, yes...I've been there before!" but rarely do I say anything.

5 words.

You're doing a great job.

I need to start saying it.

To the mom with the crying the dad struggling at daycare drop the cashier who is still trying to learn her job and can't get the scanner to Jake when he's trying to read but getting frustrated because he doesn't know all of the Liam when he's trying to build with Legos but can't quite get them to do what he wants them to.

You're doing a great job.  

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Fall Ball!

Jake signed up to play fall baseball this year... I cannot begin to tell you how relieved I was when he asked to play, because for months leading up to this summer, he had been talking about how he was going to play football.  Listen, I like football.  I love to watch Steelers games.  I'm a huge Friday Night Lights fan.  But I love to watch football when it's on TV and not my child.

In addition to my fear of him suffering a terrible head injury, I also have a fear of anything that involves a 6 day a week commitment. I struggled with getting him to and from baseball that was only 2-3 days per week...the thought of up to 6 days a week made me paralyzed with fear.  Thankfully for me and my sanity, he loved baseball so much in the spring that he wanted to play again this year.  Crisis averted.

I have to say, I'm really enjoying it!  It's like watching a true baseball game out there, I think because the kids who sign up are a bit more serious if they're playing in the fall....they are so into the game!  Since it's not a regular season, the team gets to pick the name rather than being assigned one....we are the Bomb Squad!  Here are some shots from the season so far:


A few videos of his hits this year:


Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Goodbye, September.

I don't know where the month went, but the last post I wrote was saying hello to September, and here we are, waving goodbye to the month.

I usually blog on my lunch break; I may take a day, close the door to my office and leisurely eat my lunch at my desk and type up a few posts at one time and schedule them to go out automatically throughout the week.

Unfortunately, my co-worker resigned late in August and we have not yet replaced her.  I was devastated on a personal level, as we had become great friends over the past 5.5 years of working together. She took a position that put her back into a field she really wanted to be in, so while I'm happy for her, I'm sad for me!  The office is lonely, and she happened to leave during one of busiest times of the year...the start of the new school year.  There were only 2 of us in the department, so it's down to just me....needless to say, my lunch breaks (if they exist at all) have been very short and I'm normally reviewing a resume while I eat, instead of leisurely  writing blog posts. I'm not complaining, and I'm of course happy to have a job, but I am SO ready to have someone else in here!  That process is slow going, so I'm just taking it one day at a time for now.

So there's the catch up on my work life, I'll try to get caught up eventually on our home life, too!

Liam started Preschool 2; he's still in the same center and same classroom, but this year will be more focused on kindergarten prep.  He is always talking about how excited he is to go to school and ride the big bus with Jake next year, so let's hope that excitement holds on when next August rolls around!

Speaking of school, Jake has managed to have 3...yes 3....sick days already.  2 for a random virus that involved a sore throat and swimmer's ear, and one that was a stomach bug.  Let's hope that he got that out of his system and that (maybe!) we will have a healthy cold and flu season!  Here he is, during a healthy time, being silly at a friend's Oktoberfest party recently:

 Other than trying to get back into the swing of school stuff and after school activities, we've been outside a lot, enjoying the warm temps and lack of rain!

A bonus to your dad building you a treehouse and having leftover wood is that you can make some sweet bike ramps :)

Jake had "favorite team jersey" day at school---Hail to Pitt!!

He likes to keep the front porch of the treehouse free of debris.  A kid after my own heart.

Sometimes we head inside to dress up like Pirate Cowboys or play a board game....


Our neighborhood association put out flags for 9/11, and I had a little helper for my block:


Brian and I had a few hours to ourselves at a recent was at a farm and even though it was a bit on the chilly side, it was a gorgeous day to be out!

And then we celebrated our own wedding anniversary last week!  Thumbs up to 9 years of marriage!

The boys are back in Sunday School after summer hiatus, and I'm always happy to snap a picture of them looking so spiffy on the way there:

Earlier in the month, we celebrated my dad's 60th birthday together with my parents and Nate, Katie, and Luke.  It was so nice to spend the day with everyone...we had good food, played some games, and got to love on baby Luke!

Uncle Nate, showing Jake how to fly a drone

It's all fun and games until the drone gets stuck in a tree!
 I always thought I was a baby hog, but I have some stiff competition with Liam around....this kid would hold Luke all day if we let him!


Brian finally got a turn....

And in swooped Liam, trying to steal him!

And just in case you needed a little heart-melting today, here is a video of Liam singing "You are my sunshine" to Luke.

Happy 60th birthday, Pappy!!!

So, that's been our September!!!  I hope everyone is enjoying fall so far!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

If I could hug September, I would.

Photo credit:

It shouldn't be news to anyone that I adore fall.  It is, by far, my favorite season.  And as long as the weather cooperates, I especially love September.  There's an energy in the air with all of the back to school buzz (especially since I work at the college that's my alma mater--lots of nostalgia this time of year!), football season starts back up, and autumn starts to take shape in September.  Our wedding anniversary is in September, too!

I stopped by Pat Catan's in mid-August and nearly fell over when I came across this aisle, it was like Christmas! (and actually, they had a Christmas aisle, but one thing at a time!)

I showed a reasonable amount of restraint.

Sadly, the forecast for the next few days is HOT.  So I won't be busting out my sweaters and tall boots and running to Starbucks for a PSL anytime soon, but I will continue to look forward to the season.  My mums are ready,, get with the program!

Happy September!!!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Montana - Day 7

 Just joining us for the Montana recap?  Check out all of the posts here!

The week absolutely flew by. We were leaving early Friday evening, because the cost difference between Friday evening and anytime on Saturday was insane...and saving anything on a plane ticket when you're buying for 4 people makes a big difference!  But it was nice because we still had a good portion of the day on Friday to enjoy the lake and family before leaving!

Last sunrise on the deck with my coffee

Jake thought putting on an adult sized wetsuit was hilarious:

What's a family vacation without some pictures in matching outfits??  Sandy and Dave were kind enough to give everyone "Fox Farm" tshirts (the name of the house) and the kids each got a little stuffed fox.



After a very tearful goodbye (for just about everyone!) we had to head to the airport.  5 minutes into the drive, this was Liam...yes, those are crumbs stuck to his face, he fell asleep eating goldfish.

Then this was poor Jake, about 10 minutes into the flight...inconsolable about vacation being over!  It was heartbreaking.

Liam was too busy showing his new fox friend all of the sights from the airplane window to be sad, at least right then....

Thankfully, they both fell asleep on the 2nd flight and we got back to our house around 2:30am.

  It took days to get everyone back on track as far as sleeping (and even eating meals, we were eating at the strangest times!) and I think the kids are still trying to recover from the emotional damage of having to come home! 

It was a great vacation; the perfect balance of stuff to do along with plenty of downtime.  As I said before, this is not a vacation I would have ever planned for us had the opportunity not fallen in our laps, but I'm so grateful it did.  I went completely out of my comfort zone, and lived to tell the tale :)  I think it's good for the kids to see us doing new things and realizing that not everyone succeeds on the first try...this was evidenced by their father repeatedly falling off the paddle board :)  But, he got back on and tried again!  and maybe, just maybe, I got some bonus "cool mom" points for trying this new stuff, too.

We miss you, Montana!!  
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...