Wednesday, November 27, 2013

In A Time of Thanksgiving...

We are headed to Florida tomorrow, so I likely won't be posting again until Monday, but I wanted to wish y'all a very wonderful Thanksgiving and may you realize and be thankful for all the blessings in your life.

I am thankful for so many things in my life. Life is not always easy, but I know it for sure could be a hell of a lot harder...I know I am blessed and I don't want to focus on the negative because there is truly so much positive that outweighs it.

Thankful for two precious little boys that remind me every day why life is worth living. They try my every last nerve, but at the same time tug every heart string. I try to live vicariously through their carefree attitudes, hopeful eyes, playful laughter and innocence. I couldn't imagine life without them...I pray I never have to.

Thankful for this miraculous baby growing inside me. I can't wait to meet this little person and I am so excited for the bountiful blessings and joy he/she will bring to our lives. If it's even half as wonderful as what the other two have brought, I'm in for something special {and I know it will be well more than half!}

Thankful for a loving, devoted husband who tells me I'm beautiful, even when I'm being "ugly". He loves me and all of my imperfections. I am grateful for our strong bond. And his looks ain't too shabby either.

Thankful for my family - Dad, Mom, Jared & Jeff. Though the miles be long in between us, the love I have for all of you never fades in the distance.

Thankful for my inherited {in-law} wonderful, loving and giving. Our family wouldn't be where it is today if it weren't for all of you.

Thankful for true friends, and even special acquaintances...I pray our friendships only gain strength through the years and please know that you've benefitted my life and I am so grateful.

There are of course so many more things I have to be thankful for, but I'd never be able to end this post if I tried to name them all. That's how blessed I am...I feel it's endless.

~ Happy Thanksgiving ~

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Monday, November 25, 2013

Monday Musings

This weekend I was able to pretty much get my house fully cleaned! It's been hard finding the time between weekends out of town or just too many plans. Lord, I really want a maid like some of y'all have! Someday...someday.

One of the main reasons I was so house-focused was because I was putting up all of the Christmas decor. I normally decorate Thanksgiving weekend, but since we are headed to Florida this year, I knew I should get it out of the way before then. We decorated the tree on Saturday night...I always put up the main decor ornaments the day of our family decorating party - blue, silver and white balls, and then the kids, Hubby and I all have our own keepsake ornament boxes that we put up while listening to Christmas music and drinking egg nog. It's one of my favorite traditions. Here's the tree before the keepsake/kiddie ornaments:

And after the family decorating:

Had to capture the moment of Breckin lying on his stomach gazing at the was so sweet. As you can see, dog toys and my exercise ball have already found their way underneath the tree. #lifewithkidsandpets

I normally change out all of my pink and yellow stuff to match the blue and white Christmas decor scheme, but truth be told, I'm just too pregnant lazy this year. It's just a lot of work and then I've got to find places to store all of my year-round decor in the meantime. So basically, the decor is just the tree, the mantel and the entryway table.

On Sunday, I got to finally see my good friend Corey and we had a little shopping date at the Towne Centre. I even enjoyed some Starbucks Tazo Zen Green Tea - it had been a while! I don't drink caffeine throughout pregnancy {not a coffee person}, so it was nice to have that again, especially on such a cold day here in Charleston. After she headed home, I decided to make a stop on a whim to get my hair chopped off. Yep, we're talking around 8-10 inches, people. Some people may still consider this long, but it is short for me:

It's pretty plain-Jane. I didn't want to do any layering right now since I hadn't really taken much time to plan out the cut, so it's more blunt around the edges. I just knew I wanted a change. I really do like Kelly Ripa's new cut, but not sure I could handle it that short...and she has a team of stylists doing hers every day...I would have trouble getting the volume with my straight-as-straw hair.

I don't know, maybe eventually...maybe.

Speaking of Kelly Ripa, I will be in NYC in less 2 1/2 weeks and my mom and I are trying to get tickets to see Live with Kelly & Michael. I love that show, so that would be awesome. Crossing my fingers. I'm so excited about that trip. Though, as a prego, with a belly that is now protruding, I'm nervous about finding clothes that are warm enough for the December NYC weather. I made a quick online order at Motherhood Maternity for some long-sleeved items {in my other pregnancies, I was never large in the wintertime, so I only have short-sleeved tops}. And some of my regular tops still fit OK, so hopefully I can manage. I'll be wearing leggings under my maternity jeans, it's going to be so cold!

Anyway, CHEERS to this short work week; we are headed to Florida on Thanksgiving Day. We'll spend that evening in Downtown Disney, then do Animal Kingdom and Gator Land over the weekend. Should be fun trip!

Happy Monday, All!

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Monday Musings

I'm just going to put it out there...I don't have much going on today...we spent our weekend making a quick trip to Atlanta to see Hubby's grandma who had flown in from Illinois for his aunt's graduation for her Doctorate. She had never met our youngest son, so it was important for us to go. Surprisingly, the kids were pretty good for the car trips there and back.


Now that I'm out of the first trimester, my carb cravings have subsided a bit. I put on 10 lbs in the first trimester! Not sure how much of that I can attribute to bloat, but seriously...that has had me down in the dumps about this pregnancy. I've got two trimesters to go and I haven't even hit the biggest weight gain time. I'm hoping my body is just knowing what it needs and it just evens out in the end...hoping I'll still be close to what I was at the end of my 1st and 2nd pregnancies. Good news is that my weight has stayed the same for the last 3-4 weeks, so maybe the gain is tapering off for right now. I just seriously couldn't believe the scale even after all the gym sessions I'd put in and healthy choices I had been trying to make.

Now that carb cravings are not as much of an issue, it's easier to stick to my meal plan. For breakfast, I love to make a berry protein smoothie. Here's the recipe for you - as it's great for you pregnant or not {and it's been able to stave off my pregnancy hunger until well into mid-morning, when I then have something like string cheese to hold me over until lunch time}:

3/4 c. skim milk
1 small banana
1 scoop whey or soy protein
1 tsp. chia seeds {I use Trader Joe's}
1/3 c./ea of blueberries, blackberries & raspberries
1-2 tbsp. nonfat vanilla Greek yogurt
Blend until smooth & enjoy!

Speaking of new job has me getting off work a half hour later than my previous job, and of course the traffic getting home is, thanks to DST being's full-on dark by the time I get to my kids at their daycare around 6-6:15. So let's just say getting dinner on the table the last few weeks has been a challenge. If I am not fully prepared with something...the poor little guys have been stuck with Mac-n-Cheese or chicken nuggets. They'll get veggies on the side and all, but still, it's just not my idea of a well-rounded, unprocessed meal. So I've been searching high and low for some great healthy, easy Crockpot meals to have ready to go when we walk in the door. Last night, I prepped all the ingredients for this lovely dish. {All I had to do this AM was put it in the Crockpot and turn it on.}


I made it a bit healthier by substituting the bacon with turkey bacon, the Ranch mix with the low sodium version, the cream of potato with the 98% fat-free version and the cream cheese with the fat-free version. This just looked so yummy...I can't wait to indulge when I get home. It just seemed like a great fall meal too...and I bet the boys will just gobble it up. I doubled the recipe to fill our large Crockpot, so there will be leftovers for lunches {or dinner in a pinch!}

If y'all have any good sources for easy, healthy Crockpot meals, holla at yo' girl!

As for the rest of the week, I don't have much planned other than starting to pull out and go through Christmas decor. We will be out of town over Thanksgiving when I normally put up the tree, so I will probably make plans to get a lot of the decorating done this coming weekend. We also have our 6th wedding anniversary on Friday - Nana & Papa are taking the kids, so we are thinking of going downtown for a nice dinner...there are a few new places I've been dying to try so I'll see what I can manage for reservations!

Have a great week!

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Boys' Shared Room Reveal

This post has been long-promised, I know.

Let me start off by saying that consolidating two boys' rooms into one while trying to keep things uncluttered and unstuffed is no easy task. I knew bunk beds were a must for this situation, so we found this great set at Walmart. I wanted the twin-over-full so that we could still use the same bedding and not have to buy another twin set.

Luckily, the boys' color schemes in their rooms were fairly similar, so most of the accessories went well together. Tanner's room had been more nautical/surf themed with red and navy being the main colors, while Breckin's was mix of navy, orange, brown, green and light blue.

As you can see below, the navy cubby shelf from Tanner's room worked perfectly for this space, however, the coordinating baskets for holding toys are red and navy. I do plan to spray paint the red ones orange soon, so that it ties in better. At least that accessory is an easy fix. I really do love those baskets and didn't want to get rid of them for something as trivial as color.

The desk fit just right in the corner by the bed. There is still plenty of room to pull the chair out and get in there. Tanner actually loves to set up his Legos over here when he's playing with them - it seems to be his "spot". Again, those red accessories on the right side can, and will, be easily spray-painted orange. You can see the "B" monogram I made for Breckin...if you remember, I also had one in Tanner's room, but I will be taking it apart soon and making the colors jive more with this room's scheme so I can display it as well. The red "T" will be painted the same orange as the "B".

This area of the room is just more toy storage and their clothes dresser of course. I was able to go through much of the clothing, store seasonal items away and get rid of stuff that no longer fits and both of the boys' clothes ended up fitting in this dresser {as well as the closet - to be shown in another post once I've finished}.

Breckin now has the larger bed on the bottom, while Tanner is now in the twin in top. We didn't feel it was right to put our three-year-old up top for safety reasons...but they've both accepted the change. The surf pillow was from Tanner's bed and has a little red in it, instead of orange to coordinate, but I love that pillow, so I've decided to live with it.

This little area just provides some more toy storage for assorted blocks, etc. I haven't labeled the baskets yet, only because I have a paint pen, not a chalk pen and I am pretty sure these toys are going to be changed out soon, so I will wait until then. The Hawaiian signs were originally in Tanner's room.

This is still one of my favorite set-ups in the room. I had so much fun styling these shelves. Everything just went together so well {at least I hope you think so too}.

This is a better view of the new reading nook. We were able to fit all of the books from both rooms on the cubby shelves.

There is more to be shown soon - the closet which is just about ready to post about, and the under-bed storage {where DID you think I ended up storing all of those Legos?} I will share those here soon. I hope you have enjoyed this reveal - I'd love to know your thoughts!

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Monday Musings

I had what felt like a long weekend...and not in a good way...but more of a tired way. The boys and I ventured out to Daniel Island Park Day on Saturday and we were there a good three hours. Luckily, we were able to meet up with my friend, Suz, and her kids who are the same age as mine. But man, it was just one of those days where we swore there must be a full moon because our older boys were just on and off bickering and we were constantly having to get in the middle of it. Overall though, we had a good time and we topped the evening off with dinner at a Mexican restaurant. We got home at about 6pm and I was quick to hand over the boys to Hubby, take a shower and then I hit the hay at 7pm. I. Was. Exhausted.

On Sunday, I spent some time getting my household chores done and I did finally get my boys' new shared room in shape enough to get some pictures, so you can expect a post on that tomorrow! I also was good and got a head start on my Christmas cards this year. I tried to do a version of this picture that I saw on Pinterest...


...but they were oh-so-uncooperative. Womp womp. I ended up giving up and just using a really cute picture of them I had taken this year. I won't spoil it here before the cards get sent out though, so I will share the card with you soon.

I also got to work on our Christmas Letter. This was last year's Christmas letter and I was so proud of it. I'd really like to get around to making a template of it and selling it on Etsy {forgive my Etsy shop. it's a little under construction at the moment}...hopefully will do that soon.

This year, I basically just edited the same template and added a few things. Why fix what's not broken, right?

Anyway, that's my weekend in a nutshell! Be sure to stop in tomorrow to see the Shared Boy's Room Reveal!

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Friday, November 8, 2013

Five on Friday

Happy Friday, y'all! Joining these lovely ladies and many others again for:

I was on Cloud 9 when I found out IHeart Organizing featured my Kid's Organized Art Area in this post. Those of you "regulars" in the blogging world know that her blog is the mother of all organizing blogs...she has been featured on HGTV, in BH&G and so much more. I was so ecstatic and in disbelief when I went to read her daily post as I always do only to scroll down and see my very own project right there before me. Happy dances were had, people.

Prenatal vitamins making my nails grow long and strong!

We got a great ultrasound done this week for first trimester screening. Here is my little guy or girl at just about 13 weeks:

It sort of looked like he/she was nuzzling up against me...sort of how they sleep on your chest in those first few weeks. So sweet.

I celebrated 8 years of being a mommy as my first born, Tanner, celebrated his 8th birthday this week. They truly grow so fast. He gets that pre-teen attitude at times already, but we love him so so much. I had his parent/teacher conference this week as well and he is making such improvements with his behavior and schoolwork. {A little background on that: We struggled a bit during Kindergarten and 1st Grade...going between ADHD was a real battle for us and so stressful. But I am so proud to say he has been doing so wonderfully this year and he is even med-free and has been since July. I always knew in my heart that ADHD medications were not the right answer for him.} He is maturing and becoming an amazing little man and we are so proud of him.

I seem to always get to five and struggle to find something worth posting about. {How sad is my life that I can't think of five things? Ha!} All I can think of is that I owe you guys a post on my sons' new bunked/shared room...and I promise to get pictures of that this weekend and put up a post next week. The little buggers keep making a mess in there and it's been hard to get in there and give it a good cleaning and put everything back in place - the joys of boys, right? It's like a tornado goes through there...every day. I also plan to start getting back on some of my organizing projects and other household things and get some of that stuff back on this here blog. The nursery will be a big project in itself, but we don't find out the gender of this little peanut until just before Christmas, so we can't start on all of that quite yet. So be on the lookout for projects to come - I look forward to sharing them here with you!

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Happy Birthday, My Amazing Son

Today is the 8th anniversary of the day I became a mother. I am pausing on normal blog stuff today to wish my first baby a Happy Birthday...

Happy Birthday, Tanner Jacob Smith!

I love this boy with all of my heart...he is so unique, so wonderful, so amazing in so many ways. He is his own person and will make his mark on the world someday. I am grateful for him and the better person he's helped me become.

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Monday Musings

Well, so this weekend I actually did something. Shocker, right?

Yep, I put my family in the car on Saturday evening, drove to the fair...we sat in traffic for about an hour and a half in line to the entrance (not worth it - will go at a different time next time)...and then we had ourselves a night of family fun:

We rode on some good rides together - there were enough that we could do all as a family so no one had to sit out. And being pregnant, I wasn't too risky by going on the big rides...even though I'm still just "pudge", I figured better to be safe than sorry. We also enjoyed some funnel cake to top off the night.

On Sunday, Nana & Papa took Tanner for a good part of the day as his birthday present. They took him to Blackbeard's Cove and then to the store to pick out a couple of presents. He loved having their attention focused 100% on him. {Momma took this time to get a little nap in while Jake watched Breckin.} When he was brought home, we took the boys out to dinner at Mellow Mushroom to do our family birthday celebration for Tanner and then he got to open his present (a new Nintendo DS) when we got home. His birthday is on Wednesday, but weeknight birthday celebrations are no fun! {Plus, now I have something to hold over his head when he is bad! Hehe...}

Anyway, tomorrow is my next prenatal appt. I opted to have first trimester screening done due to the fact that my husband's sister {she is my age} has severe mental retardation. We of course have two very healthy boys and all other members of both of our families are in good health in that respect, but I'm the type that if there is something wrong, I'd want to be prepared sooner than later. So please pray that the tests turn out normal! The plus side is that I do get another ultrasound, so I get to see this little nugget on the monitor again and see the growth. I've never seen one of mine at this stage in an ultrasound. I'm sort of hoping they can make a guess on the gender!

Have a great week!

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Five on Friday

It's been a couple weeks since I did one of these - you missed it, didn't you?


It's November already!

Don't get me wrong, I don't like the time to fly by, but I'm eager to get out of 2013 and onto the next. 2013 has been a rough year. Career-wise I was laid off twice...I'm not even superstitious about the number 13 or anything...but sheesh! We had some good moments in 2013 - like our trip to Disney World & Sea World - but 2014 will hopefully bring a lot of great things - a new baby being one of them, starting a new path of going back to school, getting my pre-baby body back for good {no more babies!}...and hopefully a little better luck than 2013.

Trick-or-Treating was a success, but we are left with a lot of candy. It started raining around 7:30 or so, which knocked down the crowd and we have about half a bowl left. Taking that to a local dentist who sends it to the troops overseas...otherwise, we'll have candy through next May {considering all the holidays in between}.

My main men were so adorable in their Halloween costumes...

I hit my 12 week mark in the pregnancy yesterday...I like to consider it the safe zone...or at least the A LOT safer zone. And I have popped out for sure. Some days I am bigger than's weird how I will shrink back down {not too much} then pop back out. I'm sure that will end soon and I'll just be a beach ball. Here's a picture of me today at 12 weeks 1 day:

I got a couple new pairs of maternity jeans this past week. I knew my previous maternity jeans just wouldn't do. Here's what I got:

Old Navy
Old Navy

The ones on the right are the ones I'm wearing in the picture above. They are both really comfy and a great price, so if you're in the market for some maternity jeans, I highly recommend them. Right now Old Navy is having a 20% off sale on jeans if you use the promo code ONSAVENOW.

Happy Friday and have a great weekend! Our plans are to hit up the county fair! We've never been, so I'm hoping it's a good time. I'm also planning on getting back in barre class tomorrow AM! Can't let this booty drop any lower!

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