Thursday, March 26, 2015

C. A. T.

Kaden has been working on his letter sounds and site words for a little while now, both at pre-school and at Ms. Brenda's but more so at Ms. Brenda's. We had heard that Bob books were great for learning to read so I bought a few sets and we've been skimming them here and there.

On Monday, Kaden grabbed a book and started sounding out and reading a few words. I of course grabbed my phone and recorded a few pages. It was such a proud mommy moment.

And then on Tuesday, he brought a book home from pre-school. He came in, sat down on the couch and read the entire thing without any help. And as he moved from page to page, my eyes started to fill up with water. I couldn't help but shed a few happy tears. He's five, headed off to kindergarten in a few months and reading. Time needs to SLOW down. Way down.

And although the video isn't the best, horrible actually, & I still have a lot to learn about the video function of my camera, this moment it to special not to document.

Monday, March 23, 2015


Every wife, mother, sister, whatever it may be, needs a Girls Night Out once in awhile with her friends. We need a night where we don't have to worry about anyone but ourselves---sounds selfish & it absolutely is but I am 100% okay with that because I know it makes me a better wife and mother.

Last year we did a girls weekend in Chicago and saw Justin Timberlake in concert & although the concert wasn't everything I had hoped it would be, the weekend was. So when we heard Maroon 5 was headed to town this year, we figured this would make for the perfect GNO. & it did.

We started off with a little shopping at Town Center--in search of a cute little concert outfit---fully knowing we have no idea what a concert outfit entails.

We decided to book a hotel down at Power & Light so we didn't have to worry about getting a ride home or taking a cab or being woken up too early in the morning by children that will go unnamed. & this would allow us a place to hang out while getting ready for the concert and consume a few drinks. What we weren't prepared for was the absolute chaos that we encountered as we pulled into the hotel, the valet parking was a mess. As soon as we pulled onto their property we exited the car, flipped over the keys and checked it. Our car was now their worry, not ours, we had other things to get to. & just in case you were wondering, our car was still sitting in the same spot when we left about an hour or 2 later & word has it, they shut down valet parking soon after we got our ticket. Phew!

Eating was a top priority. We all knew that we needed to get something of substance in our bellies before the concert and bar hopping ensued. We first went to Johnnies, it was an hour and a half wait---opening round of March Madness and gorgeous weather. We ended up at Bar Louie, we sat right down but they warned us that it could be about 45 minutes before we could get our food. The only other choice was Chipotle and although I love Chipotle, we were looking for something a little different. We stayed and it did take as long as they told us but luckily we still made it to the concert with plenty of time to spare.

The opening act was okay--she could sing but I hadn't heard of her before and I haven't sought her out since. Magic came on in between her and Maroon 5--the only song that I knew of theirs was Rude--why you gotta be so rude?... gonna marry that girl. yeah, no matter what you say--luckily they saved that song for their last song. Had you walked into the concert while that song was going on and not have heard anything prior, you would have thought you missed something spectacular and I am just here to say, you didn't. Waaaah, Waaaaaah. Waaaaaaaah.

& then it was like the clouds parted and angels started to sing---out walked Adam Levine. & damn, he is sexier in person than on TV, or at least from my advantage point he was. They played hit after hit, like 17 songs in total or something crazy like that. My favorite of course being She Will Be Loved and he stripped the song down which made it even more perfect.

He started out by asking all of us to use our phones and turn on the light function and hold them up high. He sang two versus of the song like this and then came to an abrupt stop and told us all he wanted to try something. He asked that we ALL put our phones away. That only lighters were allowed and for 2 minutes he just wanted to have a moment--a real genuine moment where technology wasn't interfering. Most everyone complied and those who didn't, he gave them a very hard time. Once he felt satisfied that most all phones were put away, he started the song again and it was even better than the version with all our phones lighting up the room.

Their concert was soooo good. I'd go back tomorrow for an encore. I'd pay $250 for tickets on the floor---that's how good they were. They sounded great and man can his guitarist James, play. Sorry JT but your buddy Adam and his band, blew your concert away--in my opinion.

The concert may have been over but our night certainly wasn't! We headed over to Power and Light and decided to try out Mosaic--none of us had been there and it looked good from the outside. We handed over our $5 cover and in we walked, not even 5 minutes later, OUT we walked. It just didn't have the vibe we were looking for or one at all for that matter. So I did what anyone would do, I asked for my money back & you know what, it worked and we walked next door to Angels Rock Bar. It wasn't really all that busy and we easily found a spot at the bar & that is where we spent the rest of the night. The bar got busier, the music got a little louder and we, well we had a great time. We danced in our little bubble & the bartenders not only kept our drinks full but they they acted as our bodyguards too.

I believe it was a little after two when we headed back to the hotel. We thought about ordering a pizza but ordering a pizza wasn't an easy task at this point so we each had a few handfuls of the snack mix Tiffany brought before our pretty little heads hit the pillow. I, of course, woke up just a little after 5 am with Red Bull running through my veins & sleep for me wasn't happening---I gave it my best effort. The girls woke up around 7 or 7:30 and we contemplated breakfast but we weren't really sure that would go over well. We called our GNO a success and checked ourselves out of the hotel & headed back home to our families.

For this one night, we were just three friends having a night out on the town---it's like we were 25 again---this one night. Our bodies told us differently though...

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

This is 7 years...

You meet the boy. You date. You meet the family. You fall in love. You break up. You grow a little, learn a little & you get back together. You move in. You marry. & then seven years later life looks like this. 

Pretty picture perfect if you ask me. 

But, it hasn't always been easy. Honestly, sometimes it been down right hard. We have our disagreements, fights, and we have even gone to bed mad. Hell, probably woke up just as mad as we went to bed but that doesn't mean I would change a thing. At the end of the day, it's been the best 7 years of my life. I mean, I get to kiss this man anytime I want to---whether he likes it or not.  

As I look back over the last seven years there are so many things to be grateful for but one of the things that I value the most has to be Justin and I's time together, without the boys. It's easy to get caught up in all the day to day life and let your kids consume your every being and admittedly, I do it all the time. I sometimes forget that the best thing for my boys is to have them see me put their father first, even above them. To show them just how grateful I am to this man---my husband, their father.

The time that we have alone reminds me just how much I love this man as a husband, not as a father but as my partner in life. I treasure these trips as they have given us time to really talk about us, about the boys and about our future and what we want for our family. We talk dreams. We talk reality. We talk about how we can make our dreams become our reality.

And through these talks one thing remains consistent-US--the four of us. I have learned it's not WHAT is in your life but WHO is in your life. Everything that I need in life, I have. Don't get me wrong it's nice to have some of the wants and share that with your family but if it was all taken away from me tomorrow we would be fine because we would have each other. I'm not sure as to why it has really taken me 7 years to really, truly understand that but it has and it's something that I hope I never let go of.

I mean, who knew that a conversation which started with a "you're the girl" would look like this so many years later...I sure didn't but I couldn't be more thankful that it does.

Here's to many, many more years of US---we're like a good wine--we get better with age. Maybe I should say, we-re like a good cheese, as I relate more to cheese than wine.

Happy Copper Anniversary. Thanks for loving me---my many flaws and all.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

St. Patrick's Day--Warm Up

St. Patrick's Day is probably my favorite holiday, it's when Justin and I officially said "I do" in a very romantic courthouse setting and really every parade kind of feels like a huge celebration for us. Kidding. Kind of.

Three out of the previous 4 years we have always made our way down to the Brookside St. Patrick's Day Warm Up parade. We love Brookside and have always thought it would be fun to eventually live there---after the kids are off to school. The parade is always on the Saturday before St. Patrick's Day so we can almost always see it. The only year we have missed it both boys were sick...

Not this year though, everyone was healthy and we were ready to head out and kick off the holiday and our anniversary celebration.

But, instead of going to the Brookside Parade we headed to a different one. The plan was Brookside but then Jennifer mentioned that Lee's Summit had their own parade and that Nathan's daycare was walking in it and they wanted to go and watch. A parade is WAY more fun with friends/family so we headed out and joined them and Tiffany & Sophie.

We didn't quite make it there in time for the Gold Rush for the kiddos but we were there in plenty of time to get a good seat for the parade. & the kids, they were pretty patient for waiting as long as they had to, yes, we heard "when it is going to start" like 50 times, mostly from my boys but they were distracted easily. Squirrel.

I'm not going to lie, the parade wasn't as good as the Brookside parade but that could be because we found ourselves at the end of the parade. There was hardly any candy left, granted I would have thrown most of it away anyways BUT the kiddos were all looking forward to using their hats and collecting as much as they could. On top of that, it seemed like everyone had lost their energy by the time they made it to us.

With that being said, it was still great to get all the kiddos together but I think next year we will be heading back to Brookside and keeping with tradition.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Our Fur Babies

When Justin and I were just dating we were handed a puppy to hold and well, that puppy ended up coming home with us. Stoli was our first baby and Brodi, well, he joined our family a short time later.

We both have always been all in when it comes to our fur babies. They get free reign of the house when we aren't home, they sleep in our beds, and often times curl up with us on the couch for a weekend nap. 

However, this hasn't come without it's challenges or maybe I should say without it's replacements...

We have had to throw away countless toys since they both enjoy a good chewing and the boys aren't always the best at picking up their stuff….

Jeans--one of Brodi's favorites. He loves to bite of buttons.

Same with hats, that little nob on the top of a hat is gone-zo if left in reach.

5, yes, FIVE coverlets, 2 separate designs and now we have just given up.

A couch. Yes, even a couch. We had our old couch for a little over two years and one evening we came home to couch stuffing on the floor. One of the dogs' nails got caught in the fabric and a nice little hole was made. By the end of the week our couch was covered in sheets because they had successfully made holes in 4 of the 5 cushions. Luckily, two cushions could be flipped over but we lived with sheet covered cushions until the new couch came. Please note, we did get a different fabric so the snagging shouldn't be an issue but they are no longer allowed on the couch.

Pillows--you know it, BUT only if they have zippers or buttons.

Our hardwood floors are scratched all to hell from their nails. They are just so eager to get outside when we come home.

A few of our wood columns in the home and corner baseboard moldings have been gnawed on.

& probably the worst of them all, our new dining room table has been chewed on. It's made of antique Italian wood and it already has knots out of it. I glued a few pieces back on, wasn't so lucky with other parts of it. So now, we just have to keep the chairs pushed up to the table on all sides--it's not how I would like the chairs to be placed but it's what we gotta do.

And even with all these items that we have either had to replace or will have to replace or just had to get rid of, I still wouldn't change a thing when it comes to our fur babies. When I have had a bad day at work, they know & are the first to come over and tell me it's all going to be okay. When we have exciting news to share, they are the first at our feet with their tales wagging from side to side.

They love us, flaws and all & it's only fair that we do the same.

Monday, March 9, 2015


This past weekend we had the most AMAZING weather. I would have been happy to see it during the week but the fact that it held out for the weekend was the cherry on top. It's all we talked about leading up to the weekend---how we were going to spend all day long outside playing and we had two little men who were asking to go outside from the moment they woke up on Saturday morning.

But before our outside play could start, we had to get ready for gymnastics. Logan has been doing gymnastics since October now and I had noticed that there was a 4-6 year old boys group that started about 10 minutes after Logan's session that would be perfect for Kaden. So we signed him up and this past Saturday was his first class. This isn't something totally new for him because he has been going to PNO for months now and knows the coaches and has played on all the equipment but it was his first structured class.

As Logan ran off to his class Kaden and I sat and watched and then they called his class and off he went. For the next 40 minutes I sat and watched as both boys did their thing. And then finally Logan's class was over and he joined me as Kaden's class finished up. It was a success all around which only meant we had to celebrate with a little stop at Sonic--one grape slushi and one sprite coming up.

As we pulled into the driveway Justin had already tackled one of the big projects for the weekend--the garage. We are constantly cleaning out our garage, it just comes a dumping ground for random shit and the winter took its toll for sure. But in an hour and change Justin had it cleared out and organized, it was so refreshing.

The boys instantly jumped on their bikes and I got to working on my weekend project--more on that later. The next four hours were filled with bike screeches, pretend play and laughter. In the background, birds chirping. It has been a long, LONG, winter and this day was much needed.

We figured naps would be easy since they played so hard but nope, about 15 minutes into laying down Kaden came walking down the stairs & joined me outside. He pulled his truck out and started wiping it off with paper towels so Justin and I filled up a cooler with soap and water and had him go to town on it. Logan woke up shortly after and joined in, never letting go of his Spiderman ball.

That evening the boys headed off to PNO and Justin and I headed out for an adult only dinner. We decided to hit up one of our favorite family spots but instead of doing it hibachi style we sat at the sushi bar. & pretty much devoured every piece we ordered.

The boys came home as tired as they always are from PNO & it was pretty much off to bed for them. & we had every intention of waking up and making it to church but Logan hadn't had the best night and was finally sleeping soundly when my alarm went off. We ignored it & slept in till 9. After we finally made it out of bed we made some homemade donuts for breakfast and headed back outside.

The boys picked up right where they left off and once Justin got back from running errands we headed to the back yard where the real work began. The yard has been neglected all winter long and landmines were everywhere. Justin and I divided and conquered as Kaden followed me around holding the bag & well Logan, he had the right idea. He pointed out the landmines he saw from his "castle" & wasn't long until Kaden joined him.

The weekend ended with the windows in the house open,Grammy coming out and staying with the boys for a few hours while Justin and I headed out to Sporting Park for Sporting KC's home opener. I was never a big soccer fan but having attended a number of games within the last few years, it might just be my favorite live sport to watch---that is when it doesn't end in a draw. Oh and the Royals aren't in the playoff hunt or the postseason---I'm not sure anything will ever surpass the excitement of the 2014 Wildcard game against Oakland.

I am keeping my fingers crossed that this weather isn't just messing with us and that it is here to stay because we are sooo excited for the St. Patrick's Day Warm-up Parade in Brookside this coming weekend---it's always a great way to kick off another year of marriage.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Happy {Half} Birthday

Yes, we celebrate HALF birthdays at the South house.

At least I do.

At least for the kids.

And this big guy was turning FIVE and a HALF. & if you ask him, it's a pretty big deal. One year closer to learning to whistle--we told him he'll learn to whistle when he is 7 or 8 so we don't have to hear him trying non-stop in the car! Sure some people might think that's mean, I on the other hand think it's pretty genius on our part.

We typically do something besides birthday cakes or a bunch of cupcakes---in the past we have done pancakes, Rice Krispie Treat cakes, single cupcakes...

On this half birthday we did brownies, cupcake brownies that is.

& we went out for an afternoon of bowling. The bowling adventure wasn't in celebration of his half birthday, we just wanted to get them out of the house since they had been cooped up all weekend.

It was balls of fun--pun intended.

Justin comes from a long line of bowlers in his family, competitive bowlers at that & I'm kind of shocked that this is the first time we have really taken the boys to a bowling alley. They have been bowling before, just not with us, Ms. Brenda to the rescue again.

I am not sure if I have ever had a bigger smile on my face. They ate it up. As soon as Kaden had his bowling shoes on he was breaking out the dance moves. & Logan, I know I'm his mother but if he isn't the cutest thing in the WORLD, I'm not sure what is. His smile went from ear to ear and he had to work so hard to pick up that 6 lbs ball and push it down the lane. The first few attempts barely made it and then he figured out he could just run and "drop" the ball. The boys had lots of different lanes smiling at them.

Now Kaden, Kaden has the form. The South form, well maybe the Audsley form.

He worked really hard on his release and follow through. And really only used the bumpers maybe half the time which for being one of this first times bowling was pretty good.

They bowled two separate games & since Justin comes from a long line of bowlers we figured we should teach bowling etiquette from the get go. We explained that if there was a bowler on either side that was about to bowl that they needed to step back and wait until they had thrown their ball. Surprisingly they listened and were very polite bowlers.

Logan did learn a hard lesson when it came to the ball return--he got his fingers smashed between two balls. It took a little time to get him to calm down but once he did he was back to all smiles, it just took a little longer for him to bowl because he was not taking any more chances when it came to his fingers. & rightfully so.

I think it's pretty certain that we will be having more bowling adventures in the near future as both boys were already asking when we would be going back before we even made it to the car.

Great way to close out a pretty low-key, snowy family weekend.

Happy Half Birthday K-Man! & yes, we had him blow out the pretend candles--Mom Fail.