Friday, September 27, 2019

Friday Favorites


I'm here for an ACTUAL blog post!  I've posted twice in two weeks, but I didn't share them on any social media, because they were house update posts, and not incredibly interesting.  I've said before, I so often write on here for my own benefit.  I like to go back and remember.  I'll share this one, though.

I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals, and her friend Erika and Narci, for this blog post. 

I'll start with one of my favorite books in the bible.  This week in our New Testament reading (we're doing this with my church family), we're in 1 Timothy. 


I love this book in the bible.  I love Paul!  I've heard that it's believed that 2 Timothy was his last epistle.  I believe that, because by the end of it, his tone takes on urgency that wasn't there in his earlier books.  I've studied both 1 and 2 Timothy several times, but my favorite was when I did a Precept study on these books.  By the end of the study, I was WEEPING.  As in, there are literal tear stains on the last pages.  This man of God that lived so long ago touches my heart every time I read something that he wrote, and I know he's just a man, but he was so full of the Holy Spirit.  You can just tell a difference in his writing style, and you see that he had his faults when reading his letters, but he was mightily used by God.  I've jokingly said that after I've met and worshiped Jesus, that I'd love to meet Paul.  I probably won't care by that point, I'll be so enthralled with being in the presence of my Almighty King, but it's a thought I've had.  His letters are truly my favorites. 

On a much lighter note, I'll move on to my latest nail color. 


I've been doing the gel polish again the last couple of months, but on Tuesday of last week, when Mom came to rescue me from the demolition taking place in my house, she took me to her favorite nail place and talked me into getting them dipped. 

And now it's my new favorite.  So is she, by the way, for coming to rescue me out of that mess. 

I'm fascinated by the process that happens with the dipping process.  It's about a five step process, but it is so much gentler on your own nails, and they don't have to scrape the polish off.  It just melts off when you sit with your fingertips in acetone.  I realize, that is horrible, as I write this, but I really love nice nails, and I do understand this makes me sound slightly vain.  This stuff is tough, and if I'd gotten gel polish, they would have messed up already, with all the scrubbing I've done since last Tuesday.

This is my favorite fall color, and of course, it's OPI.  It's from their Iceland line, and it's a deep navy blue. 

Speaking of navy blue, this is my other new favorite color, this time in paint form.


On Monday of this week, Sherwin Williams announced their 2020 color of the year, and this is it.  It's called Naval, and it's a deep navy blue.  Jonah decided to paint their bathroom cabinet this color that night after also painting the walls and trim. 


We love it and the way it turned out! 

Another current favorite this week has been this candle. 


I've said this before on here as well, but this brand of candle is my favorite.  I like to buy them from HomeGoods, but this scent is the best yet.  I'm not feeling pumpkin pie scents this fall season and am over all the Bath and Body Works scents.  In my opinion, these candles are better, smell better, last longer and burn longer, and are DIRT CHEAP.  This one was $7, and it's huge. 

Lately after dinner each night, I've been making a giant cup of coffee and dousing it with one of these creamers. 


My current favorite flavor is Southern Butter Pecan.  It's like dessert. 

I realize that these are probably terrible, but I don't want to know about it.  I use this once a day, for one cup, only in fall and winter.

I might also have a new favorite (slight) obsession.


These are their new scents for this year, and that acorn spice is TO DIE FOR.  I bought two bottles of it yesterday at Target, and some handsoap for the boys' bathroom.  I could just sit and smell it all day.  I love to use their all purpose cleaner all around the house, and I keep one downstairs and one upstairs.  I also love the honeysuckle scent, basil, raddish, and peppermint.  The apple cider one you see is yummy too, but the acorn spice is my new favorite. 

Lastly, on the list of home improvement project my hubby has been doing, this one is my favorite.


It's tall and the handpiece pulls down as a sprayer, like the ones you find in restaurant kitchens.  This was number three of the new faucets he's installed this week.  He has two more.  Tonight he installed a new portable AC unit in Graham's room, because we had to take out the window unit for when they install our new windows next week. 

It's been a busy week, but I'm so thankful for my handyman of a husband who has also taught our boys to be handy.  I wrote more on social media, but it's Thursday night and dinner is ready, so I'll stop with this one.  Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

catching up (again)

We've been so busy!  That is not a good thing, in my eyes, but sometimes it just can't be helped.  Here is what our living room looked like on Friday afternoon last week.


They replaced all the Sheetrock and sprayed our ceiling again.  Shortly after this, they were packing it all up again, and then we started cleaning.  That same night, every room downstairs, from top to bottom had been cleaned.  We put all the furniture back, gave the floors a good vacuuming and mopping, then sat down to rest a bit before going to bed.  My knees are still hurting from this night, and may never be the same. 

The plan had been to do the upstairs on Saturday, but it all kind of changed.  I had a shower to go to that morning, and then I had to grocery shop.


This was a really fun shower.  My friend Abbey has a gift for this, and we played a really fun game of who knew Marissa the best. 

Before I had left that morning, I put all our clothes back into our closet to clear out Graham's room.  Poor thing, his room was a mess because of all that we had to put in there while all this work was being done.  Each of the boys cleaned their own rooms and bathroom, and I'll do mine.  (I still haven't.)  Jonah decided to paint their bathroom that night. 

Alex stayed here some over the weekend with us, while his family was out of town, and Saturday night he went to homecoming at Briarcrest.


LOOK HOW HANDSOME.  You should see him in person.  He is every bit as tall as he looks. 

We were at church early on Sunday, then home for an hour or so, then I went to another shower, this time for a baby!


Why yes, I do look like a thief.  I had been on praise team that day, and I don't own a shirt in the color we wore that day, so I wore all black. 

Abbey's sister Ashley and friend Melinda gave this shower, and Ashley has that same gift with showers that Abbey has.  They're always so meaningful.  I can't wait to meet baby Asher in a few weeks! 

Monday was back to normal, and Toddley returned to work again.  Drew went to his classes, and Jonah and Noah did school work, then later in the day, Jonah painted all the trim in their bathroom.  That night, he painted the bathroom cabinets.  I have some before and afters.




Before he did this bathroom remodel, the walls had been a taupe-ish tan color.  He painted them a light gray color, then he painted all the trim white.  Before this, the trim had been half cream and half white.  (The previous owners had done this, and our kitchen is the same.)  The cabinet was a standard oak cabinet, and he painted it the 2020 Sherwin Williams color of the year~Naval.  I couldn't love it more if I tried.  This kid blows my mind and can do anything.  He reminds me so much of my husband.  Todd is the same way.

We also replaced the old white mirror with this new wood one, and we'll buy a new bronze light fixture for above the sink, along with a new toilet paper holder and some towel bars.  My talented mom is making them a new shower curtain, one that is a buffalo check navy and white.  And we replaced the toilet seat with a new one.  (I had no idea that was even a thing.) 

Today he put all the fronts back on and finished giving it a good cleaning and put it all together again. 

I had to grocery shop again today, for a few things, and Jonah and Noah had hair appointments during that time.  I went to my happy place for some new books to read, and dropped off some things for donation at the Goodwill.  I made dinner tonight, but we were missing Noah.  He's been working a lot and that's where he was tonight.  He loves his job at Papa John's, and enjoys the people he works with.  Drew had a doctor's appointment today at an ortho doctor out here in The Ville, and found out he may have torn his meniscus.  They're not sure, but The Imaging Center is supposed to be calling him with a time for an appointment for an MRI.  He may be looking at surgery, but we're praying that isn't the case.  Todd did say tonight that if he does have to have the surgery, he can always schedule it during a break in school so he won't have to miss. 

Please help me pray for him, though, that he won't require surgery and that it will heal.  They gave him a better brace, one that won't allow his knee to bend, and was told to stay off of it as much as possible, to ice it and to take ibuprofen.  Tonight, Graham is working all night in the downtown area.  He will be setting up for some event, and is getting paid a hefty sum to work all night long.  He is currently upstairs trying to sleep.  He will work from midnight till either four or eight in the morning, then he'll come home and go to his real job.  That makes me tired, just thinking about it.

 So, see what I mean?  We have been so busy these last weeks, and I don't see it slowing down any for now.  Our new windows came in last week, and they'll be here early next week to replace them all.  I'm excited about this part.  After that the new siding will come.  Between the windows and painting, we'll start painting the halls where all the holes were. 

I have a full day at home to look forward to tomorrow.  I'm looking forward to a long quiet time again, catching up with laundry, taking a leisurely shower, and finishing my current book so I can start a new library book I got today.  Tomorrow night is bible study at church, and I'm looking forward to rejoining them for the first time in two weeks.  I had to stay home last week to clean up after the plumbers, and Todd and I did that while all the boys were gone to get ready for the next day.  I can't wait to get caught up with them all. 

Thanks for reading!  Love to all. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

this week

I've been a little MIA this week, but for a good reason.  I'll back up a little before I start, to give you a little back story. 

A couple of years ago, Todd and I started tossing around the idea of moving.  Our house is wonderful and we love it, but there are so many things wrong with it that need to be repaired.  Things that cost tens of thousands of dollars, and we knew that we don't have that kind of money just laying around.  (Our windows are all single pane windows and the wood around them is rotting, so they all need replacing.  Parts of our siding is rotten and falling off.  We also needed a new hot water heater, new garage doors, and the whole house needed new pipes, because every few months, we find a new pinhole leak.)  We thought about just selling the house as is and cutting our loss and moving.  But Todd wanted to move to the country, and the five of us disagreed.  So we started talking about just making the repairs. 

My sister Lisa is someone who specializes in loans, and this is where she enters the picture.  She lives and works in Colorado, but is able to work anywhere in the U.S.  We started talking to her about all of this, and she suggested we refinance the house and get a special type of loan to make the renovations.  So that's what we went with.  This has been an ongoing process for almost one full year now, but after many bumps and hiccups, we finally closed on it a couple of weeks ago.  I'm so thankful for all of her help with this, because who knows where we would have ended up, had we decided to move.  And I really do love our house, and love that our boys grew up here. 

Once we had closed on the loan, Todd called everyone that afternoon and started making appointments for them to come out and get started.  That is where we found ourselves this week.  On Tuesday, all of this got started, and the day I had dreaded for so long was finally here.  (Keep in mind that over the weekend and most of Monday, we spent cleaning and purging out from under all the sinks in the bathrooms, the drawers, and the closets.)  I had anticipated it would be bad, but I forgot about all the stuff we would have to take out of closets and cabinets, and that it would be strewn all over the house.  I also forgot that they would have to dig a trench in our front yard, to replace the pipes leading to the street.  To say I quickly got overwhelmed is the under statement of the year, and  I seriously had an anxiety attack.  My mom came and rescued me, though, and whisked me away.  I came back home late yesterday afternoon, after our water had been turned back on.  (They left it off for 24 hours, and I need running water, and praise God for that luxury.)


This was what everything looked like when they started prepping the house.  They were fast, and were here for two solid days.  We've come across a few problems, but they're in the process of being worked out.  They finished yesterday and when I came home, Todd had vacuumed up most of the debris that had been left behind.  (He is the BEST.)  I ended up staying home from church and we worked together on cleaning up some of the surfaces and putting some of the stuff back that wouldn't affect what the guys here today are doing. 

And that brings me to today.  We have two men here working on covering all the holes that were cut into the ceilings and walls.  They hope to finish today!  That thrills my heart.  I know we still have to paint, but just to have things put back in place is exciting.  I need order in my life, and don't handle things well when it's chaotic. 

We have to do a lot of painting, but mainly it's the halls in the house.  Eventually we'll have to paint in the laundry room and closets, and I'm hoping to paint the kitchen at some point, maybe even before Christmas.  The hardest part of all this is the prep and deciding on the color.  It needs to be neutral, but it also needs to match the colors that all our rooms are painted.  I'm open to suggestion, if you have any. 

My quiet times have been off all week, so when I went to Mom's Tuesday, I took my bible with me and got back on track. 


This was my view from her kitchen table.  I always need to make this time with the Lord a priority each day.  I can miss a day, but I really don't like to do that, if I can help it at all.  And if I do miss, I can't miss more than a day.  This was actually Tuesday night, when I took this picture, because that morning we all hit the floor running and didn't stop all day.  I look forward to sharing about our newly updated house when this is all over with!  It'll be like a brand new home. 

The company doing the windows ordered them two weeks ago, so hopefully they'll be here soon.  That has to happen before we get new siding.  And that is our final thing on our renovation list and the most extensive.  We have a two story house with siding over every square inch of it, save for the brick skirt that flanks the crawl space (it sits on a raised foundation).  They're pulling off all the old siding and replacing it with vinyl siding that will last a lifetime.  We're changing colors and everything, so it really will be like a new house.  We have to figure out about the shutters, still, but they'll be painted black most likely, with medium gray siding.  Right now we have hunter green awnings over the front and back doors, and when all of this work is over with, we are having my stepdad build us an actual structure with roofing material on it, and we're adding columns.  Bill is also repairing and expanding the deck that goes off the back door to our back yard.  Over the summer we replaced our garage doors, with new metal ones that have fancy black handles.  I love them, and they changed the look of the house.  We will also completely redo our flower beds in the front, because in order to have new pipes put in, the old shrubs had to be torn out.  Todd did that a few weeks ago, though, so they wouldn't have to.

Needless to say, it's a lot.  You see why we weighed our options before making this decision to stay and fix it up how we wanted.  We both love our house, and we love the location of where we are.  We're right off a main road in our little town, and it's easy access to everything.  We also live about two blocks from our church, and I wouldn't change that for all the money in the world.  And I have said this already, but I love that our sons have grown up here.  When we were talking about moving, we later found out how sad they all were about leaving this house, and then one or two of them even mentioned about wanting to have dinners there with their kids, someday.  I would love for that, too, and though I thought we may tire someday of having a bedroom upstairs, maybe instead, it will keep us young. 

So that's where we're at and what all is going on.  I thought I'd update the blog to have this to look back on.  Love to all, to whoever may be reading. 

Friday, September 13, 2019

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday, friends!  I am linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals, and her friends Erika and Narci, for this blog post. 

I always go back to the previous Friday for these posts, because they're for the whole week, so I'll start there.  Last Friday was not my favorite.  My dad came over for lunch, and we had such a sweet time together, but that's where the goodness of the day ended.  I think I ate a sandwich with questionable lunch meat from McAlister's and I was sick from about six that night until Sunday morning, when I woke up feeling fine again.  It could have been much, much worse, and it also could have lasted a longer time, so for those two things, I am grateful.  I stayed home from church on Sunday, just in case what I'd had was contagious, and this was me Sunday morning, watching the live stream of our service.


Amidst a table top full of folded laundry and finished books I was keeping out to pass along to Mom.  It was a great service!  This is our youth pastor AJ, preaching on one of my favorite passages of scripture in Philippians 2.  You can see that I love that chapter by the notes in my bible. 

I stayed home from Friday afternoon until Monday morning, when I left to go work at the church for a bit.  I was so glad to get up and dressed and to leave my house.  I watched an entire season (eleven episodes) of a new show last weekend, and I finished three books. 


And then during the bible study that takes place on Monday mornings, I like to sit here at my favorite little spot and work.  This is the little cafe area outside of our church bookstore.  These Monday mornings are crazy!  Bible study starts at nine thirty, but I get there around nine to make the coffee and get things set up for that.  I never really know what I'll be doing during the hour that the small group for that bible study meets, so I take lots of things I can do to fill the time.  If Amy hasn't given me anything to do for her, I can always work on my bible study homework.  I have a spiral notebook that I keep in my bag when I work that has a list of things I can also be doing.  On this day, I had to place a cake order from Nothing Bundt Cakes, and I needed to work on a spreadsheet for our monthly bank statement. 

Then people kept walking by and I kept stopping to talk.  That is so easy to do!

I feel so grateful to be able to work here, even if only for a small amount of time each week. 

Tuesday night was my favorite moment from the week, when Toddley and I went on our date night to see the advance screening of Bluff City Law that starts this coming Monday night.  It's a great show, filmed here in Memphis, and attending this was so much fun. 


Behind us, along that back wall, was the red carpet area and all the cast, giving interviews.

What I didn't write about much, and what happened right before, is such a typical moment for the two of us, and a summation of our marriage, that it was also a favorite moment. 


This is where we sat, inside Todd's truck, to eat our dinner from Taco Bell.  This cracks me up, because though we left early to eat dinner, I told him I didn't want anything messy or fast food, but we ran out of time and were forced to eat this instead.  I managed to not drip the taco toppings all over myself, though.


I took this to show my Mom what I wore, but those shoes are my new favorites.  They're the Fit Flop brand (a misleading name, because they make all types of shoes for men and women), and they're great for people with plantar fasciitis, which I've had for a couple of weeks.  I got the shoes on Tuesday, when Mom and I went out to search for some for me.  I needed a new pair that day, and I'm so glad she made me try these on.  Also, I got this new shirt on major clearance, and it will be probably be my new favorite shirt as well.  I love the tiered look, and how long it is, and the color.

Not much else has happened since then, but I had a choir rehearsal at church Wednesday night, so I skipped bible study because of that, and a friend led the small group for me.  Then yesterday I worked at the church again, and my major accomplishment of the day is that I completed my training videos for the database we use there (there are a bunch) and we started talking about our biggest event of the year, and I survived.  I texted my best friend yesterday that doing that is like doing another party like I did for my in-love's in August for their 50th anniversary, times fifty.  There is so much to this event and lots of moving parts, that it takes a team of us to do it, so I'm grateful for the two ladies who I've been meeting every Thursday for the last several weeks. 

Today my dad is coming over, and we will go eat, then I've got to shop for an event we're having at our church tonight, for single moms.  I'm so excited about it!  I'm shopping for a few things we'll need, and then I'll come home and make something to take for the potluck dinner we're all eating.  My dad will just keep me company while I do that, so that'll make it pass quickly.  After I take him home, I'll go straight to the church and start setting everything up.  You should see all of my lists.  I am staying for the event, and then help break it all down afterward.  It's going to be a long day, but I'm looking forward to every bit of it. 

I'll leave you with one last thing, and that is this event pictured below.  If you're local to me, I would like to invite you to join us for this night.  It's going to be really good, and I'm excited about it.  It's taking place in the fellowship hall this time, if you've been in the past, so make note of that change.  I'd love to see you there! 


I need to go make some lunches and to-go coffees for Todd and Graham, and then get started on this day, so I'll end with that.  Thanks for reading my blog!  Love to all. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

a really fun date night

We had the most fun last night!  It all started about a month ago, when I received an email invitation from NBC Entertainment/People Magazine to attend last night's advance screening of one of their new fall shows starting next week.  It airs this coming Monday night, so WATCH!  It's Bluff City Law, which is filmed here in Memphis.  I'm not sure how my name got put on their invite list, but we jumped at the chance and went last night.  On the news yesterday morning, they mentioned this event, and that it was a red carpet event. 

And then I had to Google what goes on at such events, because I'm fancy like that.

There was no mention of a dress code on the invite, so it was anything goes.  Todd wore nice jeans (I'm rolling my eyes and smiling all at the same time) and I wore something I'd wear to church on Sunday.  I did buy a new top and a new pair of shoes yesterday, and wore both.  (I did not buy either because of last night, the top was on major clearance and the shoes I needed because of plantar fasciitis.)  We decided to leave home early, since the doors opened up at seven, and eat first.  There would be food there, the invitation said, but who can wait until nine o'clock at night to eat?  Not this girl, who has a tendency to get hangry.

I just told Todd I didn't want fast food, and I didn't want anything messy.  So after passing approximately one hundred restaurants, we settled on Taco Bell, and in his truck.  Because, again, we're fancy like that.  Seriously, though, we just ran out of time and we scoped out where to park and the theater before we made this decision.  The invitation also said that valet parking would be provided, but when we got there, we saw a sign that had the price written on it.  We decided to splurge, though, since dinner was $11, and because of the crowds.  (There was also a movie crew nearby and some streets were closed off, and there was a huge Nickelodean event at the FedEx Forum.)  But, when the guy asked what we were there for, he told us the valet for us was free.


There was a huge line of people alongside the building, and then there was a smaller line, so Todd went to ask someone which line we should be in, and she signed us in.  (They had an actual list, and my name was on it!  Again, we're not sure how I got invited, because in all reality, who in the world am I?  I am just a girl who loves Jesus, and I do write on this blog, and I've written for The Today Show parenting team, and only recently for Tirzah Magazine...but none of those things can be tied to this event last night.)  We got our wrist bands and got in the short line of people to get in, because that was the line for invited guests.  The long line was for the public, and were not guaranteed seats.  Anyone could go, but they weren't assured they'd be able to stay and watch.  I'm glad I read the article about a red carpet event, because some of what they said may happen, did in fact happen.  We had to pass through security to get in, and thankfully I had switched to a small purse and only had a handful of things inside. 

We got inside, and immediately saw the cast on the other side of a glass wall, doing interviews.


So, we took a selfie.


That we both stink at, because one of us doesn't know where to look, and the other one doesn't know how to hold the phone.

We walked around for a minute, then took some of the popcorn and drinks they were offering (water for us both) and went in to the theater to grab our seats.  In true introvert style, I directed us to the top row, in the middle. 


When it started at seven thirty, this lady came out to make the introductions.  No big deal or anything, but she is the president of Universal Television.  She introduced the producer and director of the show, then the mayors of the city and county came out and proclaimed that day as Bluff City Law day, and then the show started.  It was REALLY good!  I don't say that just because I was at this, I love a good courtroom drama type show, and this one delivered.  The actors are Jimmy Smits, Caitlin McGee, Barry Sloane, Jayne Atkinson, Michael Luwoye, MaameYaa Boafo, and Stony Blyden. 


Here they all were after the show, answering some prompted questions. 

We got to meet two of them afterward, and though we could have met them all, they were talking to people, and my bedtime was fast approaching.  Anyone who knows me even a little knows that I turn into a pumpkin right around nine each night.


Apparently, this guy is a big deal, though I didn't know all of that until today.  His name is Michael Luwoye and he is known for playing Alexander Hamilton in the musical Hamilton, that was on Broadway.  My husband wanted to meet him because he went to the University of Alabama and at one point almost yelled out "Roll Tide!".  I told him he should have. 

The other one we met is Stony Blyden, and we wanted to meet him because he is from Iceland, and we wanted to tell him that we've been there.


They were both so adorable and so sweet!  The mama in me loved them both almost instantly.  This guy Stony, in particular, was really precious.  He was shocked that we'd been to his country and knew exactly where he came from.

We ate a little of the food offered, and then went into the main area of the lobby, where the red carpet was.


And took another selfie.  If you look over Todd's left shoulder, you'll see the little slice of red carpet.  I was just trying to get the wall with the writing in the background.  The red carpet thing didn't dawn on me.  #failed


This was walking in to the theater, and I just thought it was cool, so I took a picture.


We went upstairs, because Todd knows the guys who were doing the sound and lighting, and this gives you a little glimpse of how many people were there.  The theater only seats 361, and that was about how many people were there.  There are a couple of other areas not pictured, and lots of people were in there as well. 


And as fast it all started, the night was over.  We left at nine thirty and headed back home, shaking our heads and wondering again, how in the world my name got put on such a list as that.  There were lots of important people there, and I don't quite run with that crowd, or even fit into that crowd.  It was so much fun, though, and something we will always remember.  Other than going on our honeymoon and to New York for our twentieth anniversary three years ago, this was one of our most fun times we've spent together and on a date.  We're hoping something like this will happen again!

Thanks for reading, if you made it this far, you know I like to record fun things for the sake of remembering. 

Love to all. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Simply Tuesday and Dinner Inspiration



Happy Tuesday!  I posted yesterday that I had meal planned for the week, but I failed to mention anything more, so I thought I'd share some dinner ideas for anyone who might be in a rut.  The dish I made last night is one I've made two other times, the first time I made it as is, and the second time and then last night, I added one pound of browned ground beef.

I tried to find a picture, but to save time, I'll just give you the link.  This is French Onion Pasta.  Click here for the recipe, but know that it's a blog post by someone, so you have to scroll down.  If you want it a little more hearty, add the browned ground beef.  If not, leave it as is.  NOT ONE NOODLE was left in the dish from last night, if that tells you anything.  That's all we had, and it was plenty.  I did not double this, even, but the one thing I didn't do was measure the pasta I cooked, so I just dumped in a whole box of penne.

Tomorrow night Toddley and I have a fun date night planned, but I was still going to make dinner for the boys.  Then, my mom called them and asked them to come over to their house for catfish, and they gladly excepted.  Something I love to do is to put frozen chicken breasts into a crock pot (six, for the six of us), and then cover them with salsa and either chicken stock or water.  I like to use a lot of salsa, so I'll pour in a whole jar.  I let this cook on low all day, and then around four, I shred the meat with two forks and then put it back into the sauce.  We like to eat this several ways, but my favorite two ways are as nachos (chips, lettuce, tomato, cheese, sour cream, avocado, and maybe some white cheese dip warmed up) or as a Mexican chicken bowl.  For that, I start the bowl with rice in the bottom of it, then add a heaping spoon of black beans, then the chicken, and then any other topping I already listed that we would also use for the nachos.  I top it off with a squeeze of lime juice and some cilantro.  That is one of my favorite meals, and it feeds Drew and I for lunch for days.  The boys always eat it with just rice, the chicken, and white cheese dip warmed up.

Another thing I'll make at some point this week are these sausage balls.


This image is from Mix and Match Mama.  Click here for a link to the recipe.  Everything I have ever made by this lady is phenomenal, and several of our favorite recipes are from her.  On the night I make this, I will also make pancakes.  Breakfast for dinner isn't Drew's favorite, but even he won't mind it with these sausage balls.  Look at the recipe, and read it, and you'll see why hers are so amazing.  She uses an ingredient I've never heard of anyone using in these.

So that's what we'll be eating for dinner around here this week.  If you're anything like me, you may need some inspiration.  I get in such deep cooking ruts.


True story.  Anyone else?

Thanks for reading!  Love to all.

Monday, September 9, 2019

Meal planning & Hello Monday


I'm writing this on Sunday night, and I am on the uphill swing from having a stomach virus over the weekend.  It's not exactly how I would have planned to spend these past couple of days, but I'm glad to be done with it, and that it wasn't any worse than what it was.  (There is a small chance it was the meat on the sandwich I ate on Friday afternoon for lunch, because I remember at the time thinking how weird it seemed.)

Just to be on the safe side, I stayed home from church and choir practice today.  I hate missing a Sunday, but when I have to, I'm always glad that we offer a live stream for anyone, anywhere.  It was so good!  We had one of two of our annual picnics at church tonight that I'm missing as well, but it's okay.  I wasn't super excited about sitting outside in this unbearable heat.  I think today was the hottest day we've had so far this summer.  Not that I could tell, because I am still inside.  I haven't seen the outside since Friday at three fifteen.

On a positive note, I found a really good new show on Netflix.  It's called Northern Rescue, and it's a Netflix Original.  I won't tell you what episode I'm on, but all I've done since Friday night has been done from my chair in the living room.  You should check it out, if you're looking for a new show.  I have also finished three books.  Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie, First Love by James Patterson, and Eight Twenty Eight by Ian and Larissa Murphy.  I started book number four of the weekend earlier today, in between loads of laundry.  That book I started earlier after finishing Eight Twenty Eight makes my fifty first book of 2019.  I am ahead of my goal I set for myself with reading more this year.  I think this may be a first.  In 2018 I only read about thirty six books, to give you some perspective on why I wanted to read more.


I finished this one right before the church service started this morning, while I was waiting at the kitchen table.

I feel like I'm winning already this week, because I know what is for dinner the three weeknights that I cook, and I've already placed the order for all of my groceries that will be needed for that, and to refill what we've finished.  I've been using Pinterest like a mad woman lately, but in a good way, like being inspired for dinner ideas for the week.  I am working on Monday and Thursday this week, and will be gone most of those days, so I needed something good and easy.

I mentioned the three weeknights that I cook: those are almost always Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.  On Wednesday night, we're at church, so I depend on leftovers or something easy to make.  I like to do the same on Friday nights, because we're all in different places.  Saturdays and Sundays just depend from week to week.  They all love going out with friends, so when I know they're doing that, I just find something for us to eat for anyone who is here.

I'm so excited about Tuesday night this week, because Todd and I are having a very special date night downtown!  I was invited to a private screening of the new show that was filmed in Memphis, Bluff City Law, and after we watch the pilot episode, there will be a panel with the actors, where we can ask them questions.  Afterward is a "Memphis style" reception.  All of this takes place in an old theater in the downtown area.  I have no idea why I received an invitation to this, but the email that came through was from NBC Entertainment.  We're both pretty excited about it, though!  You know there will be pictures, so no worries.  I'll share about it on Wednesday.

Well, have a great day and thanks for reading my blog!  Love to all.

I am linking up with Tanya over at The Other Side of the Road for this blog post.

Friday, September 6, 2019

Friday Favorites


Happy Friday, friends!  I'm linking up with Andrea from Momfessionals, and her friends, for this blog post. 

This week FLEW right by.  I walked around being thoroughly confused every day, as to which day it was.  I'll start with last weekend, to kick off my week of favorites.  Todd worked at our local fair all last weekend, and Graham joined him for two out of the four nights.  Friday night I just stayed home and watched a movie (I wish I could remember which one it was!), and then on Saturday night, my sister and I met Dad and Sandy at our favorite Mexican restaurant. 


It was Trish's birthday weekend.  Our dinner was so good, and we both went back to our houses stuffed and slightly miserable.  It's a good thing we ate at five. 

I just remembered what I watched Friday night.  I tried to watch the new Netflix Original movie, Falling Inn Love, but it was terrible.  Worse than any Hallmark movie I've ever seen, with even worse acting, and then somehow I went down the rabbit trail and ended up watching a curly hair tutorial video on YouTube for a solid two hours. 

And yes, I learned some things, like what type of curls mine are (3A) and how to better dry it and what products are best for my hair.  And then the next day, at Target, I spent thirty minutes on that aisle looking over them all.  There are so many choices!  I need to buy some now, so I won't run out or forget what it was that I should use. 

On Sunday morning, I was at church by eight with my hubby, and then I came home and stayed put the rest of the day.  It was glorious.  Usually I have choir practice on Sunday afternoons, and though I love choir practice, it is exhausting.  Two and a half hours of singing wears me out like nothing else.

On Monday morning, I piddled around here at home, and did laundry and some straightening up from the weekend, and then Trish and I went to see Overcomer.  That day was her actual birthday, and it was her choice doing that, but I'm so glad she picked what she did.  It was a great movie!  I watched more movies (Father of the Bride and part II) to round out my marathon movie weekend, and went to bed pretty early.  And then on Tuesday, I decorated for fall!  This time of year is my favorite!





Those are a few of my favorites that I put out.  On Wednesday, I stayed home all morning and afternoon and spent some really good, extended time with the Lord, and then I caught up on Bible study homework so that I could be fresh that night.  Yesterday I spent the morning with a couple of really sweet friends, and it was so good being able to just sit and catch up.  I've missed them!  Today my daddy is coming over for our weekly date.  And a possible Costco run....I'm not sure if I want to do that today, though.  Although, if I don't go today, I'll have to go tomorrow, and I REALLY don't want to go tomorrow, when half the city is there.

Some other favorites from this week are a podcast I've been listening to for the past week.  If you've not ever listened to her, Nancy DeMoss Wolgemuth at Revive Our Hearts has had some great ones this week. 


My favorite one was the day she talked about this verse, regarding God's providence in her life. 


Rachel Martin is one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram, and I loved what she wrote here, about friendship. 



Scripture writing is another favorite of mine, and I am loving the theme of this month. 


My current favorite Timehop memory was this of Jonah (left) and Noah that came up yesterday.  We used to have friends over each weekend for dinner and game night, and every week, this was how these two ended up.  They never could quite hang with the big kids.  Those  were the days!  If you have young kids, I would encourage you to get some friends you can start traditions with like this.  We will never forget those days, and neither will our kids.  This only lasted for a short window of time, maybe just a year or two, and then we never really had that again.  The older the kids get, the harder it becomes to keep up with traditions like this. 

Well, I need to get started on my list of things to do before eleven thirty, so I'd better run.

I hope you have a great weekend!  Love to all. 

simply Tuesday

It's my favorite kind of day, and that is a day when I get to spend good, quality time with someone I love.  Weeks ago, my mom-in-love a...