And, We Begin Again

family hanukkah

Wow, it’s been a while since I’ve posted. Live has been crazy busy with my freelance and virtual assistant work, and raising a crazy 5-year-old! I feel like it’s been so long since I’ve posted that I don’t even know where to begin!

Lucy has started “real” school at my church’s elementary school. She’s in Pre-K and doing fantastic. In fact, while she can’t skip a grade at this point, her teacher has moved her up to doing work with the Kindergarten students, and next year she’ll be spending half of her day in the 1st/2nd grade classroom doing work with the 1st graders. We’re  beyond proud of her!

At the school’s recent Variety Show, Lucy and her friend sang “Let it Go” from Frozen, and no one could hold a candle to their performance. And by that, I mean Lucy’s performance because she pretty much took over the microphone. I felt bad for her friend. The girls got the most applause of anyone, and the principal said he gave them a standing ovation. Lucy has no fear, and I’m so envious of that. I hope that continues.

Christmas break is finishing up, and Lucy returns to school tomorrow. We’re all pretty excited about that. I’ve loved having her home, but it’s hard to get work done with her here all day, and she’s really been missing her friends, so we’re all ready to get back to our normal routines.


Five on Friday: Working and Cooking

Whew. It has been a CRAZY week! I am SO glad it’s the weekend, and I can just relax and think about NOTHING! I decided to link up with Five on Friday today to give you a taste of what’s been going on this week since, you know, I’ve been so crazy busy that I’ve been slacking on my blog. Seriously. I WILL start posting more regularly again SOON!

Work has been crazy. As you may or may not know, I work from home now as a blogger VA (virtual assistant). I’ve been meaning to write a post dedicated to this but, well, I just haven’t had time. I work for several blogs and post various numbers posts per blog per day. It’s fun, and I’d be looking up the deals anyway, so why not get paid for it?

I try to get most if not all of my work done at night so I have the days with Lucy. But, for the last few weeks, I’ve been freelancing for a news website, so I have been SLAMMED trying to get everything done – especially since I’ve had a big story pop up over the last day. I’m liking the extra money, but I’ll be glad when my life returns to normal.


I tried a new recipe this week – this one, to be exact. Joe took a look in the crockpot and said, “By the way, I cleaned up cat throw up this morning. I don’t know why your dinner made me think of that.”

Seriously. For the record, it was great. My lentils could have been a little more tender, but I’ve never been good at cooking lentils for some reason.


We saw Beauty and the Beast on Sunday! My kiddo was SO enthralled, even though the performance was 2 1/2 hours long. And, she met Belle! Best moment ever. Until, you know, her birthday party, that is!


Speaking of her birthday party – I’ve been doing some serious planning this week. Yes, I know her birthday isn’t until November, but I’m a planner! I have been working on coming up with the decor scheme I want to do and figuring out what I need to order off Etsy. I’ll have a more detailed most coming soon with more pictures!

birthday decor


{Photo Credit}

I am LOVING the Ipsy Glam Bags I’ve started to get! I’ll be doing a post on last month’s box soon – hopefully before this month’s box comes! If not, I’ll show them both to you at once. Last month was my first month, and I seriously cannot wait to get this month’s! I love the variety of beauty items I get and the low price – only $10! And, they come in a cute makeup bag rather than a box!


What have y’all been up to this week??

Tea with the Girls

We’re on vacay right now. And by vacay, I mean we’re pet sitting for my parents and grandma while they’re in California.

But, it’s still vacay. We take care of the animals in the morning and at night, and the rest of the day we’re free to do touristy things in Chattanooga, which is a really cool tourist city. I seriously love this town.

Last Friday, my sister-in-law made a reservation for she and I, Lucy, her two sisters and her niece at the local tea house. It’s actually in the historic courthouse where Joe and I got married so, of course, we had to take some pictures before he left us for our girl time. I did some collages to compare our wedding pictures almost 7 years ago with the current pictures. So much fun!

wedding comparison 1

wedding comparison 2

And, for fun, we took a picture of Lucy in front of the mirror where I had some of my bridal portraits taken. That will totally be her getting married in, like 50 years when we allow it!

wedding comparison 3

Fun, right?? I love looking at these collages!

When Joe left, we had tea! This place was great. We had ginger peach tea, which was AWESOME, and the food was fabulous! I had a veggie croissant, and I’ve been craving it ever since!

The girls had PB&J cut in the shape of butterflies, and the staff put their pink lemonade in little teapots so they could act like they were having tea like us! It was adorable. Lucy was OBSESSED. She might have had two pots of lemonade. Lol. Also: I don’t know why my phone pictures are so long. It annoys me.





Fun, right?? I seriously cannot wait to take Lucy back!

Belle of the Ball

Lucy went on her first date last night. With her Daddy.

The prince and princess went to their first Daddy-Daughter Ball. Lucy was SO excited – it was all she could talk about all day yesterday! Joe came home from work early and, while he bathed Lucy, I ran to the store to get a bouquet of flowers for her. We wanted to do this right! After Joe got dressed, he went out to the car and then knocked on the door to pick Lucy up.



We took the obligatory date pictures, and then they were on their way!



They had a lot of fun! There was dinner (chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, and tea sandwiches), coloring, crafts, horse and carriage rides, and, of course, dancing! And, there was a red carpet to walk! How fun is that??




I’m so glad they had such a fun night together. It’s important. I think this will be an annual tradition!

Everyone asks what I was going to do all night by myself. Uh, watch TV shows that aren’t cartoons and go to the bathroom by myself! It was pretty much awesome! 🙂

Losing Nana


Wow. I can’t believe it’s been a week since I’ve posted. It’s been a whirlwind in our house and, since last Wednesday, I think I spent a total of 5 minutes on the computer.

Last Tuesday, just before 7 a.m., we got the call that Joe’s grandma, Nana, wasn’t able to get much oxygen and that this likely was it. We rushed to the hospital in Atlanta – rush being a figure of speech here since it was morning rush hour – and hoped to make it on time. She was hanging on when we got there, and Joe’s entire family spent the day with her at the hospital. She couldn’t talk to us, but I think she enjoyed just having us there and hearing us talking.

I left around lunch time to take Lucy to a friend’s house because we honestly had no idea how long we’d be there. When I got back to the hospital, Nana had just passed away. I felt awful that I hadn’t been there but, in retrospect, I think it was nice for just the four people in Joe’s family to be there (our brother-in-law had left to pick up their kids, too).

And, when did Nana die? You guessed it – right before evening rush hour. She timed the whole day perfectly, and she would have thought that was hilarious. Seriously. She had the best sense of humor. Wednesday was spent packing and getting everything ready to go here, and we headed out of town Thursday morning for South Carolina, where we laid Nana to rest on Friday. It was a busy trip that ran the gamut in terms of emotion. We were incredibly sad for the reason we were there, but we also had fun seeing the rest of Joe’s family and doing things like going to the zoo.

It’s still hard to remember she’s gone – I keep catching myself asking Joe if his mom had visited Nana and how she was doing. Nana was just like my own grandmother. I loved her and will miss her very much.

trip to nana's-peach picking


Goodbye, Grandma.

grandma visit 4

My grandma died this week.

It came as a bit of a surprise because we didn’t realize how badly she had declined. My brothers and I, after being told by our aunt that we shouldn’t wait until morning, conference called my grandma Monday night. She was in a come and couldn’t communicate, but we’re hoping she heard us as hearing is the last sense to go.

I’m glad we did call then because my aunt was right. At 4:15 a.m. PST on Thursday, my grandma died. Even though we’ve lived apart for many years, it still is hitting me hard because she was such a HUGE part of my life for my first 14 years. We lived very close to her, and I spent a lot of time with her. Today, I want to share just a few memories.

  • Riding my bike to her house
  • Watching movies and eating popcorn in her basement
  • “Fishing” in the pond behind her house
  • Trips to the mall
  • Drinking Lactaid (ick!) after spending the night
  • What a wonderful pianist/organist she was
  • How much she hated it when teenage boys wore their pants hanging down really low – she would always tell me how much wanted to just pull them down
  • Our phone conversations. Every talk we had ended with both of us saying, “Stay out of trouble!” She was more likely to get into it than I!
  • Her love for her family. She loved her kids, her grandkids and her great-grandkids. I wish Lucy had been able to meet her.
  • Going to work with her

Those are just some of the many memories I will cherish. My grandma had a spunky personality, and she was one of the most awesome women I’ve ever known. I am so lucky to be her granddaughter, and I will miss her until the day we see her again. I love you, Grandma!