Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Happy {Half} Birthday

It's another celebration at the South house, this time, it's for Kaden. Seeing how Kaden's birthday is on the 31st of August we never really know if we should celebrate on February 28th, February 29th--when it's a Leap year, or March 1st. We typically just go with whatever day we don't have anything going on so it can be a little more special for him. We typically don't do cakes or cupcakes either, it's always something a little different. One time it was pancakes, once it was brownies, Logan had a pizza, and more recently donuts at Donutology. For Kaden, he got a cinnamon roll with 7 full size candles and an eighth candle cut in half. 

& he had one request, that someone say "Cha, Cha, Cha, Chinese Chicken" after we were done singing "Happy Half Birthday" to him. Logan obliged. 

Monday, February 20, 2017

Weekend Get Away

We hadn't been home in a few months, and by home I mean my mom and dad's. As weird as it may sound, SW MO will always be home to me. Now this doesn't mean that I don't feel like KC and the home I have here with Justin and the boys isn't home---it completely is, it's just a different home. Anyways, the Souths had not been home since Christmas and it was time to head south, as in Arkansas south and spend some time at the lake with my sister and her kiddos. While we were in town we would celebrate Blake's 13th birthday & Lindsey was going to bring Madison and Trenton down so we could all enjoy the children's museum.

Arkansas is a good three hour trip for us so first up was a stop at Grandma Sara's and Papa Tom's for a quick potty break--and a ride on their new toy. Somehow both boys managed to get Papa to let them drive it, I covered my eyes.

About an hour after we left we made it to Arkansas. As soon as we walked into my sisters house the boys and I got busy with helping Blake reorganize and decorate his room which was once his older brother's room. As were got to moving things around the boys found the XBox and that is where they spent their entire weekend. They were in heaven and hey, on a little vacation too so I didn't mind too much.

We were pretty much spoiled the entire weekend, the boys had Blake to play with and Leah cooked some amazing meals, she's 15 and these meals could give Justin a run for his money.

Sunday we started our day at Crystal Bridges, my sister wanted to grab a few pictures of her and her kiddos while I was down.

We mainly walked through the museum to find certain locations but along the way Kaden wanted to stop and admire some of the art.

The ABCs of Intestines.


The Red Eye

And his favorite--art that he could partake in. You got to pick up a piece of candy and then drop the wrapper on top and walk away.

We didn't have as long as I would have liked at the museum but the kids were ready to get to the Children's Museum where they could run and play. Not to mention, where we would get to see Madison and Trenton too. They arrived shortly after we did and before heading in we made all the kiddos pose for one picture for Grandma Sara...

& then they were off to explore.

& thankfully we left the water area for last as the kids were completely drenched after playing--guess we missed that memo about aprons.  

My favorites from our day with cousins--

Madison looks so grown up and so completely and utterly cute here. Like a tiny little princess.

& since Aunt Jennifer wouldn't let me pay for my own kids at the museum, she sneaked in and paid ahead of time while I was taking pictures, I took the kiddos shopping and let them pick out one stoy and then a Worry Monster. Logan of course picked out another stuffed animal, his name was Ted & then Kaden had Silly Putty and Madison when with a stuffed snake. The Worry Monsters were my favorite though, they have a pouch with a zipper and whatever you are worrying about, you write it down and then stuff it into their mouth. The Worry Monster then takes the worry away for you. 

We said goodbye to Lindsey, Madison and Trenton and headed back to Jennifer's for a little rest before heading out to dinner---to the same place, and I believe the same table that we celebrated Blake's 2nd birthday so many years ago.

Sadly, after dinner it was back to the house and to bed they all went, Leah and Blake had school the next day and we were taking off for Grandpa and Grandma's house to meet their newest pup, Samson.

They boys weren't really wanting to say goodbye to Jennifer and the kids but we did and started our trek back home, KC home with a detour in Carthage. The boys were in love with Samson. Even more in love with Grandpa's golf cart. I was pretty much down and out with a cold that had been working it's way in the entire weekend so I hung with the pup while everyone was outside. He's just as sweet as he is cute.

& sadly, the one thing on my list that I wanted to do while home was hold this little monster but I wasn't about to get him sick. So I stayed back & only said hi this one time, while his momma left the room & I think he missed me too as a smile immediately came across his face when I said hello. There's always next month.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Happy Heart Day

Another birthday celebrated and another Valentine's Day in the books.

This Valentine's Day was a little more exciting than most because not only was I able to attend both boys' school parties but it marked my LAST time organizing a school party as room mom, well, co-room mom. I was Kaden's room mom last year so I figured when Logan got the same teacher this year as Kaden had last year, I might as well do it again. You know, recycle all my old emails and such & let me tell you, so much easier the 2nd time around. Although, I get more nervous talking in a room full of kindergartners and their parents than I do on stage in front of 100 people.

More often than not when I am home I head downstairs to get the kids their breakfast but I had to be a little sneaky this particular morning because I wanted Justin to be the first to walk in the bathroom downstairs. I had this grand way of showing him how much I loved him, 30+ sticky notes grand that I had put up after everyone had went to bed the night before. So I asked him to get the kids breakfast going, ensuring he'd be the first downstairs and he was. He saw my little surprise but he wasn't all that impressed which is completely par for the course. I show/feel love by words of affirmation, he shows/feels love by taking care of things around the house. We just have different love languages and you think 9 years into marriage we would have this all figured out but we don't...we still have time.

After getting the little boys on the bus to school and the big boy off to work it was my turn to head in. The morning went by quickly and before you knew it I was headed to school for the class parties. & trust me, I totally remembered not to park where I did last time in fear that I would get a ticket, but this time, I had to walk a little bit further. In heels. Carry 40 pounds. #workingmom

The parties kicked off & the kids were having fun. I'll be honest, I was handed a GREAT group of parents to work with. The healthy and sweet treats were always top notch, the crafts were very well thought out and the games always had the kids wanting more...until I planned them. This time around I didn't have a parent volunteer for games so I stepped in. I planned a cute little game called Cupid's Arrow where the kids would take straws and load q-tips into them and then try to blow the q-tip into a bowl. The q-tips were pink and purple so we divided the class into two teams---utter failure.

The second game was a Heart Race. I had two buckets for each of the teams, one filled with candy hearts, the second with no hearts. They had to use their straw to transfer one heart from one bucket to the next. Not a total failure but certainly not their cup of tea.

The third game we just handed out prizes and skipped altogether. I totally envisioned those games going differently and some might say, well they are just five---I tried them out with Logan and Kaden first and they both had zero issue with them so I thought we were good.

Some room moms like to go out with a bang, I went out with a flop---but I'm okay with that.

& this kid, was just glad I was there with him.

For anyone who may be hesitant to be a room mom--do it. At least once. For our school it was more about dictating what needs done and communicating to the parents. I can dictate. It also allowed me to be at pretty much every school party for the past two years, I missed one Valentine's party last year with Kaden. It's easy to plan on going to all parties, it's also easy to get caught up in something and say next time---being involved held me accountable to my kids. I get that not everyone can attend class parties and believe me I get that. I am beyond blessed to work where I do, to use my time off as I see fit--I choose school parties. & helping out in the classroom from time to time. It brings me joy, the kids joy & helps keep my priorities straight in life.

& this year, was even better because I got to walk right down the hall and see this big guy. Having both boys in the same place AH-MAZING! And as we were leaving for the day, a student yelled, "by South boys!" Music to this momma's ears.

Just cause school was over didn't mean our day was over--we headed home, ate a quick snack and we headed back up to the school for Kaden's basketball practice. I was hesitant to hold practice so instead, just told the parents that we would be there and if the boys wanted to come then that would be great. Most all showed up and we had a great practice.

Finally it was back home for dinner. A special dinner at that too. ASA, which isn't so special, we have it often but earlier that day, we had our fireplace fixed so it was ASA in front of the fireplace. Maybe Justin knows the way to my heart after all.

& we can't forget my annual Valentine's Day shoot of the boys...

Saturday, February 11, 2017


So that just happened, I turned 35. You know what else happened that day, Lego Batman movie came out in theaters. Guess which one the boys were super stoked for? You'll only need one guess. Yup. Lego Batman. & they were out of school. Parent teacher conferences. So instead of getting that massage I so wanted, I pulled my mom pants on & took them and their buddy to the movies.

The boys thought the movie was AWESOME and gave it a 1000% thumbs up. I thought it was certainly cute but wouldn't be seeing it without them.

Next up, Grandma Sara and Papa Tom would be up to stay with the boys. It was about 1ish when we got out of the movie and for the next 2 hours all I heard was, "how much longer till they are here?". I finally had to tell Logan that if he asked again then he would be in his room until they got there. Finally they pulled into the driveway and they came baring gifts---Grandma had a card for each boy with money and Papa had tomatoes for Kaden and carrots for Logan. They both were beaming with excitement about it too.

My mom also brought up some Valentine's cookies which I stacked to create a "cake" for my birthday. The boys helped light the candles and then blew them out more than once before the song was over which led to me relighting and starting over. I can still hear Logan chuckling...

I blew out the candles, opened my cards and then the boys were off with Grandma Sara and Papa Tom. They had a special adventure waiting for them---they were going to get to meet Papa Tom and Grandma Sara's new German shepherd puppy. This little guy was 6 weeks old & now is need of a name. Kaden suggested Sam. Papa Tom already had Samson on his short list. Pretty sure they thought it was meant to be but I guess we will see next weekend when we get to visit the pup again, this time at Grandma Sara and Papa Tom's house.

Justin and I's night, well it was just beginning. Hamburger Mary's was on the docket. Little did I know that it was such a happening place so when I called for reservations, they didn't have anything until 9. We had some time to kill now. We picked up my dear friend Angela and she suggested a new sushi place by her house--we were game. We started to head out the door when she handed me one of the most thoughtful and loving gifts that I may have ever received.

Seriously. Is this not amazing?!? Her mom did it, which makes it that much more special.

Dinner was great. I hadn't had sushi in a LONG TIME. & our company was good too. Alex Gordon and Luke Hochever were dining by us. With their wives. Alex and I share a birthday, granted, he is two years younger than I am but still good company to have!

After dinner wrapped up we headed to Hamburger Mary's. It would be a new experience for all of us & we weren't 100% sure what to expect but we were all game.

We had a blast. I can't really say good, clean fun but good fun certainly! The best part, I wasn't made to feel bad when we decided to call it a night after Dining with the Divas. We had another busy day the next day.

Speaking of the next day, we kicked it off with two basketball games & a birthday party before Justin and I quickly changed and headed back out the door to the Boulevard. Tiffany and Jason had purchased a tour for 10 at their daughter's school auction which included an open bar after the tour! I don't like beer but I was excited to go.

After the tour was over we got to try a few of their new test beers---I tried the grapefruit flavored beer and then their cider beer they will be rolling out in the next few months, it was delicious. So I had myself a full beer upstairs--I know, took me 14 years to have a beer.

After the tour we dined at District Poor House in Waldo and then ended the night in OP. It was a great Saturday spent with some wonderful people, some we see often, others we don't see hardly enough. Thirty-five was off to a pretty darn good start.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

The First Sleepover

Now, don't get me wrong, we have had sleepovers just not like this before. This was new to all of us. A friend of the boys' was coming over for the night & they both were super excited.

I had been traveling for the past few days and was texting this little man's mom back and forth about their basketball game that I had to miss and she mentioned something that Kaden had said to her son. She said Kaden talked about going to see Monster Trucks and her son was thinking he meant the movie, when I explained that Justin was taking them to the Sprint Center to see the real thing we started planning taking the boys to the movies that evening. We quickly figured out that the movie wasn't showing at the time we needed so I suggested that we have her son over for dinner, movie and a sleepover. He gave the thumbs up to the idea so as I FaceTimed the boys on their way to the Monster Truck event I told them the plan. Kaden immediately said "YYYESSSS!" and then I heard the cutest thing in the back ground from Logan...

"And me too!?!"

Yes, buddy, you too.

The moment I walked in the door they started asking when their friend was coming over and the countdown started. Thankfully they can tell time now and they didn't have to keep asking me how much longer!

Their little buddy came over and we started things off with Papa Murphy's pizzas and then followed that up with the movie Trolls. The movie wasn't as important as what snacks they were having. The kids love popcorn but not just regular popcorn, popcorn with Skittles and it was just meant to be because their friend's favorite movie snack---popcorn with Skittles.

After the movie was over they played basketball, air hockey and shuffleboard in the basement. Ran to the toy room to play the Wii & then finished the night off with a quick episode of Inspector Gadget. Finally around 10 all was quiet in the house and I tucked myself into bed.

Before I knew it I heard some rumbling, 6:10 and both the big boys were up. Logan wanted to go back to sleep---he's my kind of kid. We started breakfast around 7 and then it was back to playing they all went. Legos, Lincoln Logs, 3DSs in caves they made--one thing after another. Best part, I didn't hear "Mom" all morning or night.

I announced they had about an hour left and then our friend's mom would be by to pick him up and they all instantly got sad but I reminded them all that we would be headed over to their house for the Super Bowl later that evening. They all perked up quickly and went back to playing so they didn't waste any of their time.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Grandma Hartley & her trays

There are things in life that just remind you of your favorite people. One of my favorite people, my Grandma Dorothy--she was beautiful inside and out. She never said a negative thing about anyone or anything, she truly lived the "if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all" motto.

I feel her close when I see our breathtaking pink skies. I know she's watching over when I hear "Float On" by Modest Mouse. And I cherish my calls with Papa Richard when we reminisce about her & all the wonderful things she did for us.

So the other day when I walked into IKEA and saw some turquoise TV/bed trays, it was as if she was right there beside me. Memory after memory poured in.

You see, she had two tan TV/bed trays. She stored them on the floor of her hall closet, by the front door of their house, on the right side of the closet. On Saturday mornings when my brother and I, or my cousin Stephanie and I, would have sleepovers she would fix us Micky Mouse pancakes & we would sit in front of her TV eating our breakfast on these little trays. We typically didn't get to eat in front of the TV, nor in the living room so these Saturday mornings were special. She sit there in her rocking chair with one of her famous aprons still on and rock back and forth, back and forth as she just took it all in.

I couldn't pick up those TV/bed trays quick enough. & they instantly became a weekend staple in the South house. As I sat the trays up for the first time, I told Kaden and Logan about their Grandma Hartley and a sense of calm instantly came over me. She once again, was right there with us.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Instagram Collage with Sticky9 Magnets

A few months back I ordered a few new magnets from Sticky9, we were in need of updated magnets for the fridge. I believe I took advantage of the buy 3 get 2 free deal which would have given me 45 magnets, too many for sure but I could easily give away a few to my mom and MIL.

When the arrived a few short days later I was beyond confused. I had 4 separate envelopes from Sticky9. My first thought, maybe one set of the magnets was delayed...nope, they quadrupled my order. I rushed to the computer to check my bank account to ensure I wasn't charged and additional 3 times for my one order. I wasn't. So here we were with 200+ extra magnets...

I gave a number of them away. My sister got a pack, my SILs both got a group of pics, friends...if they were in a pic, they got a magnet. But I was still left with an obscene amount of pictures so I decided to create another Sitcky9 collage like I had a few years back.

All I needed was a new frame from Ikea. Simple right?! Well, as I pulled the last one I did off the wall I noticed that it wasn't black, it was a dark grey and Ikea for some reason didn't have dark grey so I decided instead of having a mix-match of frames that I pick up two frames and would redo the first one and change the frame from grey to black.

I sorted through magnets, pulled out any duplicates and started arranging them on the glass part of the frame. Note--I used these Ribba frames from Ikea. They measured 19 3/4 x 19 3/4 and were only $14.99. I have Ribba frames of all sizes and colors all over our house, Logan's gallery wall in his room, our striped-trip-down-world-series-lane-wall in the basement...

I purchased a piece of poster board from Hobby Lobby and cut it down to size to fit the frame, it was only around $2.50 with my 40% off coupon. Other purchases at Hobby Lobby were Scott removable tape squares but I found these on Amazon. I would need at least 64 of them since I would be using 64 magnets. & that was it for my supply list.

While Justin watched Sunday Night Football--playoffs were on--I sat on the floor and taped each magnet to the poster board. I placed the bottom row first and then the far row on the right. After getting the spacing correct on those two rows, I worked from the bottom-right hand corner up in a diagonal fashion and finished at the top-left corner. By working in this direction I was able to keep the spacing the same, well as close as I possible could without marking it all out.

I finished the project off with a coat of Modge Podge. The first time around I did not use this but I noticed that some of the magnets were starting to pull away so one quick coat with Modge Podge gave it a little more stability. I tested this out with 3 extra magnets I had first before applying it to the first project I did and after seeing the result I then covered both Sticky9 collages with it. Gives it a little more of a finished look too.

Literally took very little time to do and was very inexpensive to do---especially since I had so many Sticky9 magnets that were sent to me by mistake. Although, if you buy when the deals are good, getting 64 magnets isn't too bad and it would make for a super cute gift or for us, these will end up in the boys' toy room as wall art.

Just another way I use some of the pics I take & store on Instagram.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

2017 Winter Apocalypse

The 2017 Winter Apocalypse will certainly go down in history but not for the reason we were expecting. It will go down in history because it was hyped up soooooo much and NOTHING happened. They called school off the night before "it" was expected to hit but yet it wasn't to hit until after 6 pm that evening and they still called it for the day. The boys ended up with an extra day off from school and while we kept waiting for something to happen with the weather, it just never did.

The boys played all weekend--mostly with their Hot Wheels which they hardly ever play with so this was a nice change of pace for them.

Saturday morning we had nothing to get up for because when they canceled school for Friday, they also canceled all school activities which included the boys' basketball games. For the most part, we stayed home again, waiting for something to happen. Justin checked out the roads and when he gave me the thumbs up, I took off to a movie with Jen--La La Land was calling our names.

Saturday night we chilled at home together. I finally got the last of the Christmas presents put together and the boys spent the rest of the night practicing their pitching.

Sunday brought more of the same until it was time for our Chiefs to play. The game was scheduled for noon but then with the "pending" weather they moved it to ensure safety of the spectators. We had invited friends and family over to watch the game and although are numbers dwindled we still had a good showing but the game wasn't going the way that we wanted it to. Sadly, the Chiefs lost at the very end with a questionable, subjective, holding call which would have tied the game. Justin was bummed. I was bummed. BUT I didn't have to work the next day and the boys were off so we had that going for us.

& we had been cooped up for way too long, it was time to get the boys out and about. Over the last few weeks we have watched most of the Star Wars movies so what better way to spend our morning than heading to the movies to see Rogue One. Cousin Colton, Becky, and Grammy met us there too.

Kaden has the sniffles really bad but thankfully Grammy and I were the only ones that could hear him sniffing through the entire movie--poor kid just wasn't feeling well.

Although we spent most of the boys' 5 days off from school at the house waiting for this ice storm that never came, it was also a wonderfully quiet break. The holidays were so hectic but not these 5 days, they were peaceful.