Holiday time again!

It’s already November, and Luke will be two in only two weeks! I’m still slacking on writing here, but since no one but me reads it, I guess it’s not a big deal! We had a great Halloween this year, with tons of fun things to do! The kids and I painted pumpkins, Joe and Virginia carved a pumpkin, Luke and I tagged along to Virginia’s pumpkin patch field trip, and we put up some cute decorations around the house! We baked and decorated Halloween cookies, and watched lots of Halloween movies! We went to Bungie’s Halloween party and the kids had a good time finding candy and seeing all the other kids in their costumes. Heather watched Luke so that I could go to Virginia’s Halloween party at school. Everyone wore their costumes and they decorated pumpkin cookies and played a game.

Halloween fell on a Tuesday this year, in the morning we went to the retirement home that we’ve gone to the past two years to trick or treat with the Mom’s group. The kids all looked great and we got a ton of candy! Both kids needed me to carry their buckets by the time they were done because they were so heavy! We came back to the house and had Lin and her girls and Heather and Lola come play for a while. We ordered pizza and played until nap time! I made cute Jack o Lantern stuffed peppers for dinner (the kids thought they were cute but didn’t care much to try them, of course!) We got in our costumes and walked to Heather’s house to meet up with them and Denae, Jason, and Xander. Most houses had their lights on, some even had a bunch of decorations up! The kids were so brave about going to knock on door and say Trick or Treat! Luke just walked up with the older kids without any hesitation! It was really sweet.

The first weekend of November we had snow, it was pretty surprising! Luckily, Target had a sale a few weeks ago on winter jackets and snow bibs, so we were ready! We went out and played in it for about five minutes before we all were too cold! Right now Luke is battling a stomach bug, but he’s being pretty tough about it. Knock on wood, we’ve been pretty lucky and this is the first time anyone’s been sick since Virginia started school!

Virginia still loves going to school, and is doing really well according to her teachers! She has a new best friend, another little redhead named Grace! We’ve had a few play dates and we really like Grace and her mom and brothers! Virginia is getting better at writing her name already, and comes home with fun new facts all the time! Luke misses her while she’s at school, but we stay busy! It’s pretty fun having time for just the two of us!

Speaking of Luke, I can’t believe he is almost two! He is starting to use a lot more words, and understands pretty much everything! He is super sweet, very funny, and loves playing with Virginia! He is such a fun kid! He jumps everywhere and climbs on everything, and is always covered in bruises, but he bounces back fast!

My new boobs are starting to settle, finally. They were very high up and tight for the first 6 weeks, but they are starting to feel more natural! I don’t have to wear my tight sports bra 24/7, so that has made a huge difference! They will still change and drop over the next few months, but they don’t look crazy anymore.

Joe recently became the Raid Team Lead, which is a pretty big deal for him! He’s been very busy and has been working hard, but as usual it has paid off! I’m so glad that they appreciate him and want him to keep moving up in the company! Molly is in Basic Training right now in SC. She graduates from basic on January 18th, and Callie is getting married on the 20th. Molly has to go straight to Officer Training School from basic, so she’ll miss the wedding, but she gets to go home for Christmas at least. We’ve all been sending her lots of letters, and so far she’s sent me one! It’s as tough as she expected, but she’s hanging in there. I wouldn’t have lasted a day, but she’s not a wimp like me!

I’m going shopping next week to look at things for Luke’s birthday, but I also need to get a jump on Christmas presents! I’m going to do a lot of online shopping for all our family in TN to try and save on shipping and all that! I’m really looking forward to having the holidays in our house, we really love it here and hope to stay for a while! I feel so spoiled having so much room for the kids to run around, and the garage has been amazing since it started raining more!


That time I got fake boobs…

Ever since I stopped nursing Luke and my breasts disappeared, I have been joking with Joe how I could just get a boob job. A few months ago, Joe started saying we could really consider it if I wanted. I never thought I’d be the kind of person to have cosmetic surgery, and it’s not like I had horrible self confidence or anything. I just missed having a full size chest. I’d been a C cup since I was about 15, so to be 28 and be down to an A was a pretty noticeable drop. I started researching boob jobs, and was pretty nervous about actually going through with it. Then one of my friends here had one done, and a few months later another friend had one done too. They both told me it was way less scary than that had anticipated, and were so glad that they had done it.

Joe got me a consultation with a plastic surgeon for my birthday. After the appointment, I was so excited about the thought of having it done that I was ready to book the surgery! It was a big expense, but Joe felt that it was worth it! I wanted my fake boobs to look as natural as possible, so I decided on a size that would best fit my body. We booked the surgery for September, after Virginia would start preschool and our trip to Chicago for Riot Fest.

*Side note! Riot Fest was crazy! We had a ton of fun in Chicago, but the outdoor music fest was too hot and crowded for me! We saw an improv show at Second City which was amazing, went to the top of the Willis Tower, and walked around a bunch of touristy spots. I’m so glad that we got to see Nine Inch Nails because it was a dream come true for Joe, but Taking Back Sunday was kind of disappointing live. There were just way too many drunk people around, so you really had to watch out. But it was a great time away for Joe and I, and the kids had a great time with my parents back in Seattle!

Before we knew it, it was my surgery date! I was pretty nervous leading up to it, but Joe wasn’t worried at all. We had a nanny watch the kids, and Joe took me to the surgery. Everyone was really nice and reassuring, so that helped. They got me in a gown, took some before pictures, the doctor marked on me with a sharpie, and then it was time to go to the surgical room! I said bye to Joe and got on the table. I barely felt them put the IV in, and all of a sudden I was waking up in the recovery room. I was really disoriented, felt really tight, and wanted to go home. They brought Joe back and got me dressed and in a wheelchair, and helped me into the car. I barely remember the ride home, except for that it hurt when he hit bumps!

Joe got me in bed, and after a two hour nap (propped up on 4 pillows!) I felt much better. I couldn’t really move on my own, Joe had to help me out of bed to go to the bathroom. I couldn’t really move my arms or my torso, so I had to move very carefully. My chest was pretty swollen, but other than that I looked okay. Joe kept the kids entertained, and they let me rest. Saturday and Sunday I was either in bed or on the couch. I could get up and down the stairs on my own, I just had to move slow. I went to the doctor Saturday morning so he could check out my incisions, and he said I was already healing good and wasn’t too swollen.

Joe had to go to an early doctor appointment on Monday, so we had a nanny come. Heather came and took Virginia to and from school so she wouldn’t miss the day. The nanny took care of Luke while I rested upstairs. Rick actually had an overnight in Seattle, so he took an Uber out to the house. The kids were so surprised when they woke up and he was here! We hung out around the house and ordered pizza when Joe got home. Joe took him back to his hotel after dinner because he had to be at the airport really early.

On Tuesday I was still too nervous to drive, I was only taking Tylenol but I was worried about getting Luke in and out of the car without picking him up. Luckily Jen brought Quinn and Alexandra over to play with Virginia and Luke, so they wouldn’t be bored all day at home. On Wednesday I was still nervous, but I took Virginia to school. Luke did a great job getting in and out of his car seat by himself,  and we managed to drop Virginia off on time and pick her up. Today we went to ballet in the morning and it went well. It’s still scary driving because I can’t move my arms very fast, so I have to be extra careful.

So tomorrow will be one week since the surgery, and I go back to the doctor to have the stitches removed. The recovery has been pretty much what I expected. I hate not being able to pick up the kids, but they have been really sweet to me. Luke is too little to know anything about what happened, and Virginia just knows that I went to the doctor and had an owie that is healing. I was afraid she would go to school and tell everyone her mom had a boob job, so I’ve been vague! I’ll definitely tell her about it when she’s older if she wants to know though. I’m not ashamed that I had it done, but I hope that once they heal I still look like my old self, just better! Now I’m just looking forward to being able to sweep and vacuum again, the house is starting to get pretty messy!

We have a preschooler!

Virginia started school last Wednesday! I made her cute little bear toast for breakfast, with a nutella face and bananas and blueberries for eyes and ears! She thought it was pretty funny. We picked out her outfit the day before, and she was so excited to get ready! Joe took off Wednesday and Thursday to stay home and play Destiny 2, but he went with us to take Virginia to her first day. We got there a few minutes early, and we all walked her in. Ms. McCary took a family photo, and then we said our goodbyes! Virginia was totally cool, I had to watch her through the window for a minute to make sure she was okay. She didn’t look back once! She was so happy to be in the classroom!

We walked out of the school, and then Luke looked around and got really upset! He realized Virginia wasn’t coming with us, and he started yelling, “Nooooo! Ya Ya!!!” He wanted her to come with us! Then we got home, and he would just look around and ask, “Where Ya Ya??” I didn’t cry, but he almost made me! It was so sweet! I took him to get his hair cut, and then we just played at home until it was time to go pick her up. Joe came with us, and Virginia was so happy when we saw her! They were finishing up circle time and then the kids line up at the door to be dismissed.

Virginia had a special tote bag with her name on it that she brings home every day, she puts her artwork in it! She told us that she had fun at school, that they played outside, had a snack. She said her teachers were all nice, and she went potty by herself. She asked to go to Garlic Crush for lunch, and then we went to the bakery with the fun shaped cookies afterwards. Both kids took a good nap after we got home!

On Friday, I dropped Virginia off at at school with Luke. She walked into class, put her bag in her cubby, and just walked away to go play. She didn’t turn back or say goodbye or anything! After I picked her up I told her it made me sad that she didn’t tell my bye or give me a hug! Haha. All about that mom guilt. When I dropped her off on Monday, she put her bag in her cubby and then looked at me and said, “Okay, bye mom!” She’s a cute kid.

Luke and I have been entertaining ourselves while Virginia is in school. On Friday we went to the Krispy Kreme in Issaquah, they had pumpkin spice donuts just for the day, so we had to try them! On Monday, we had to pick up some pictures at Walgreens, and then we had to kill time before Costco opened, so we went to look at the animals at Petco and picked out some Halloween decorations at the Dollar Store. He still misses Virginia, and asks where she is every hour or so, but he doesn’t cry!

My parents are currently on a flight to come see us! Joe and I are going to Chicago this weekend for the Riot Fest music festival! I’m excited to see my parents and show them our house, and Virginia is excited that “her grandparents are babysittering her and Luke.” The weather is supposed to be nice, and the leaves are starting to change colors, so I’m hoping they get to see how beautiful it really is here! I’m so excited to have a few days with Joe to relax and hang out!!

Summer is over!

I never even managed to finish the post about our awesome summer trip home to TN. Luckily, I took lots of pictures, and Virginia likes to talk about how much fun she had with her grandparents, cousins, and everyone else we saw while we were home. We spent lots of lazy days at the farm, the kids just playing around the house. Callie, Molly and I got to go to dinner, go to the gym, and go shopping. It was great to have time with my sisters, and with my parents! Joe flew back to TN and we spent a night in Maryville with Nana Blackburn before going to the Blackburn family reunion. The kids had a good time being the center of attention (they were the youngest there), and we had a good time visiting with everyone!

We spent a not so fun night at the Airstream with Cindy and Rick at a campsite near Gatlinburg. It was a beautiful place, but the kids would not sleep in the Airstream, so it was rough! Virginia had been so excited to go camping, and she really loved her first smore, so hopefully next summer they will do better! Cindy and Rick were amazing and took the kids back to Nashville for us. Joe and I met my mom, dad, Callie, Molly, and Rebecca at Dollywood for a day of theme parking! We had a blast! The weather wasn’t too hot, the lines were not bad at all, and we got to ride a bunch of rides multiple times! Joe and I spent the night in Gatlinburg and found a Mellow Mushroom to have dinner at. We drove to Joe’s parent’s house the next morning. We stayed in Nashville a few more days before heading back to Seattle.

The Bungie family picnic was the next weekend, we had a ton of fun! It was out at Lake Sammamish State Park, which is beautiful. We played games, Virginia got her face painted, there were big bouncy houses, and good food. We saw some friends, played on a cool playground, had some ice cream, and left when the kids were wore out. I had a great birthday, I got a nanny for the kids and was able to go shopping on my own and meet Joe for lunch. After I got home Virginia had her first gymnastics class of the summer at a new place, there were only like 5 girls total and the teacher was great. Joe came home early from work and made me a great dinner. Afterwards we had cake and I opened presents. Joe had booked me a consult for the next morning with a plastic surgeon to see about getting a breast augmentation, something we’ve been talking about for months!

I ended up getting  a nanny for the next day as well, because Joe had a meeting he couldn’t miss during my appointment time. It was like another gift to have the morning off of kid duty! The appointment went great and I left feeling really excited about the procedure! I went to the water front in Kirkland and read a book for a while, and then had lunch before going back home.

Virginia’s fourth birthday was a huge success! Cindy flew in on the 11th so she could be here for her party. Cindy watched the kids for us that night, so Joe and I went to the new Fogo de Chao that had just opened up in Bellevue. It was pretty expensive, and not really my cup of tea, but it was fun to check out! That Saturday we went to the Zoo, and although it started out a little cold it was a great day for it! The animals were all super active, and the kids had a great time! It hadn’t rained in literally 50 days, we had broken a record, and the morning of Virginia’s party is started raining. Luckily the kids were all happy playing inside! Cindy was amazing and set up all the decorations I’d bought in a really nice way, so the house looked great! We had pizza, played a game, had cake, and then the sun came out in time to hit the pinata outside! Virginia opened her presents and got some really cute things! That night we went to a hibachi grill in Bellevue for dinner. Joe was right, the kids thought it was a blast! They loved the volcano fire, and the whole show of dinner being made in front of us! They even ate a ton of food!

Cindy had to leave Monday to get back to Papa Joe. On Virginia’s real birthday, I made her chocolate chip scones with icing, and we sang happy birthday to her again and she blew out more candles. We told her she could pick anything for her birthday dinner, and she chose to go to McDonalds! She was pretty excited to finally be four!

The week after Cindy left, Gracie came for a visit! Matt got to go on a two week Blizzard trip to Cologne, Germany, and then Paris! She came to visit us for a few days, and we had amazing weather! We took the kids to Pike Place Market on a Friday morning and the crowds weren’t too bad. We walked around and saw some cool things, and then met Joe for lunch in Bellevue. We had a nice dinner outside and Joe made us margaritas! On Saturday we drove up to Edmonds to take the ferry to Kingston. We missed the first ferry departure we wanted, but the kids did good waiting in the car for the next one! They loved the ferry ride! We had lunch at a cute place right near the terminal, we got to sit on a deck with views of the water. We walked around some shops, got ice cream, and then got on the ferry back towards home. Gracie had to leave on Sunday, but we had time to go to the new park in Bellevue in the morning and play for a while! She actually got to join Matt in Paris for the end of his trip, and they have been exploring the French countryside for the past few days!

This weekend was Pax in Seattle, and Joe got us passes to go on Sunday. We got there right at 10 when it started, and headed to the Paramount theatre first. Bungie had bought it out and set up shop inside, it was pretty cool! After we saw their set up, we walked to the convention center and went to the main floor expo. We saw some people that Joe worked with in Baltimore at the Elder Scrolls booth, so that was neat! The kids loved seeing people dressed up, and there was a ton of cool booth set ups! After we’d walked around for a good hour, we went across the street for lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and had some good food.

We had a sitter last night for the launch party of Destiny 2. It was at the Paramount theatre, they moved some things around for the  party and it was really pretty! We shared an Uber with Heather and Guillaume and had dinner at the Carlile Room before the party. The drinks and food were both really good, and we had a great time hanging out! Once at the party we got seperated, but I know so many people now that it is pretty fun just moving around talking to people! It was super loud and hot inside the theatre, but we had a good time! We made it until 10:30, and then we found Heather and G and got an Uber back. The kids were great for Linda, it is so nice to have a sitter we trust and can count on!

Today is Labor Day, and we’ve mostly been lazy. It’s about 90 degrees out, so very hot inside. Virginia starts Preschool on Wednesday! Joe and I went to parent orientation last week, I felt so grown up! We got to check out the church/school, meet her teacher and the assistants, and were giving the handbook and a ton of forms to fill out (which I love doing!) I’m really excited for Virginia, I know she is going to love it! There are only 11 kids in her class! I’m excited to have time with Luke one on one while she is in school! They are both so big, and (usually) very sweet. We just converted Luke’s crib to a toddler bed, so that has been fun (he likes to escape, so we have to shut his bedroom door!) He likes to say “I do it!,” “No, me!,” and tries to do everything just like Virginia!

Home from the never ending vacation!

Part 1!

Our whirlwind summer is halfway over! We managed to move out of the condo and in to our house without too much craziness. We got the keys on a Thursday, and we got a U-Haul that Saturday. Joe and I dropped the kids off at Lin’s house, and picked up the truck and met the movers at our condo. They were super fast! We had the truck loaded, driven over to the new house, and unpacked in about an hour and a half. Joe and I had to make another trip to the condo on our own to load up another truck full, but the movers had taken care of all the big furniture (even having to lower our sofa over the balcony with nothing but their hands). We unloaded the truck, returned the U-Haul, and had a lot of our furniture assembled before we picked up the kids at dinner time. We couldn’t have done it without Lin and Brennan’s help, the kids had so much fun with them and we didn’t have to worry about them.

Our first night in the house went really well! Luke cried for a while because he wasn’t used to having his own room, but Virginia was so excited! When I tucked her in, she told me, “My room is so cool Mom!” I was determined to have the house as settled as possible before we went on vacation, and I managed to empty all the boxes by Tuesday! The kitchen was pretty tricky to organize, we have less cabinets than I was used to, but I made it work! Luckily the garage had extra cabinets for storing all my random gadgets! Everything else was pretty easy to set up!

Our trip to Nashville wasn’t too bad. We didn’t have to leave for the airport until about 10 am, so we didn’t have to rush. The kids were great getting through the airport, the lines moved pretty quick checking our bags and getting through security. Virginia was perfect on the flight, but Luke threw a few fits because he didn’t want to stay in our aisle. He didn’t sleep very long, but we made it! We got to the farm and got settled, but the next morning we got up and hit the road to Charlotte! The kids were awesome on the drive, Luke slept a good part of the way and Virginia was happy. She’s definitely our star traveler! We got to see Cindy, Rick, Nana B., Tim, Jean, Gracie, and Matt and a bunch of other people right after we got to our hotel.

The hotel was really nice, and the first night we had a king suite. Joe and I had our own bedroom and the kids slept in the living room, so that was nice! On Friday Virginia and I went to the bridal luncheon at the Duke mansion. Virginia was so happy that she was included, and she was really well behaved. During lunch, everyone went around and told how they met Gracie, and everyone had such sweet stories. I felt lucky that I was included! The rehearsal was at the church that afternoon, and the dinner was later in a happening part of town. The kids and I couldn’t stay long at the dinner, it started at 7 and we left at about 7:50 to go pick up my dad. Luckily we were able to eat some food before we left, and Joe stayed to hang out with everyone. The kids were super excited to see their Granddaddy!

Saturday morning it was fun to see everyone down getting breakfast together at the hotel. Virginia was so excited for the wedding! I had to shower and eat quick, because I had the first time slot to get my hair done. The makeup/hair lady was really nice, she did a great job on my hair! I was pretty impressed with how calm Gracie and Cindy were, everyone was so excited and didn’t seem stressed! I spent the day going in and out of the bridal suite, watching the girls get their hair and make up done. Joe and I took my dad and the kids to lunch, but we were all just kind of hanging out around the hotel visiting with people. The kids took a pretty good nap, and then we had to get ready to go the church. Joe went with all the groomsman to get ready, so my dad kept Luke to take him to the church closer to the wedding. Virginia and I went to the bridal suite and watched Gracie and Cindy finish getting ready.

A limo bus took us all to the church. The ride over was so fun, Virginia was on cloud nine being with all of us. Gracie was so happy and so excited, and she looked so beautiful! We got Virginia dressed at the church, and she looked adorable. At the church we took a few pictures, and then it was time for the ceremony! I was the third bridesmaid in line, I was so nervous walking down the aisle! It was so long, and there were so many people! Virginia walked down the aisle holding hands with Jordis and Audrey, they looked so pretty!

When Gracie and Rick walked down the aisle I almost cried! Gracie was so pretty, and when I looked at Matt he looked so happy! The ceremony was beautiful, not too long. Virginia was a little fidgety, but nothing noticeable. My dad was in the back of the church with Luke, and I could hear him make a few little peeps, but he was quiet enough to stay for the whole service. After the ceremony, Joe and I got to walk down the aisle together, so that was really sweet! We took some family photos, and then my dad took the kids over to the country club. Joe and I rode with the bridal party in the limo bus. They had drinks on the bus, and Matt’s little brother was playing music. It was so much fun, everyone was so happy!

We took some group photos at the club, and then we were stuck in a little room during cocktail hour so the guests couldn’t get to us. After Gracie and Matt took their photos, the bridal party was announced and we went into the reception. Gracie and Matt had their first dance, which was amazing. They’d taken lessons, and it was so impressive! Rick gave a beautiful speech which made me tear up. Joe and I sat at a table with my dad, the kids, Tim, Jean, and the girls. The buffet dinner was amazing, the kids even ate a bunch! After they’d eaten, Cindy took Virginia around to visit with some people, but it was getting late so my dad took the kids back to the hotel. I wish they could have stayed longer and danced, but it was already past 8 and they were exhausted.

Joe and I visited with people, the place was packed! There was a very loud live band, so we spent a lot of time outside. We almost missed them cutting the cake, but got inside just in time. We did a little dancing, but my feet were killing me in the stupid new heels I was wearing. Gracie got on stage and sang a song, she was pretty good! It went by really fast, and all of a sudden it was time for their big send off. Everyone waved them off as they got into a super cute old timey car with a drive to take them away. Joe and I didn’t get back to our hotel until about midnight! Poor Joe had to leave at about 5 the next morning to get to their airport. He took a flight with two layovers to get back to Seattle so he could make it work on Monday. My dad was a great help driving back from Charlotte. The kids were great during the car ride, but it’s always nice to have another adult for an extra pair of hands!

We made it to the farm in the afternoon and the kids were so happy to be able to run free! I’ll finish this extremely long post at another time, because it is 10 pm and I’m sleepy!


So busy!

We’ve had a lot of good news lately, mixed with some sad! We got our rental house, and Mike found a new tenant to move in right after we leave in June. Since he already has a new tenant lined up, we don’t owe him rent for July (which is when our lease is up) and he might actually prorate our rent for June, which would mean we get some money back.

Virginia was on a wait list for a preschool slot at the Elementary school by our house, but it was going to be a long shot that she would actually get a morning slot. I called around, and we were able to tour St. John’s Preschool in Kirkland. We loved it, and they had a spot for Virginia in the Fall! So we signed her up, and are so glad that she has a place to go in September! It’s a little church preschool, with three classrooms. They have a nice playground, and the rooms were full of fun activity centers. They go on four field trips during the year. I think she is really going to love it! When it was time to go home after our tour, Virginia told me, “I’ll miss you Mom, but I’m going to stay and make new friends!” I told her she will make friends in September!

Joe and I paid off my Scion early! That way we have an extra $250 a month from the car payment, and we’ll save a little on insurance as well. I’m excited to only have one small car payment from now on! I’m interested to see what our budget looks like after a few months in the new house. I know electricity and water will be more than we’re used to, and I think we also have to pay for trash/sewage. Plus the rent is almost $900 more than what we currently pay!

I went to Newport last weekend to see Molly graduate from Salve Regina. I couldn’t believe how beautiful Newport and her campus are! Molly lived in a big house with views of the water, right near campus and walking distance to a ton of cool shops and restaurants. She had five roommates, and they all graduated together on Sunday. It was nice to see my parents, and Rebecca, Carol, Jeri, Jack, Lisa, and Neil were also there. Uncle Rick and Phil came to Molly’s graduation party after the ceremony on Sunday. We had a ton of food, and two of Molly’s roommates families also came to the house. It was a really busy weekend, and I didn’t sleep much, but it was really fun. It was so nice to spend time with Molly in the place that she has lived for the past four years.

We get the keys in a few days, and will have two days to move over little things before we rent our U-haul. I have about 1/3 of the house packed up, and plan to get more done over the long weekend. I’m so ready to be in a big house, the kids are going to love playing in the backyard whenever they want!

While we have been very busy, but very fortunate in the past few weeks, both Cindy and Rick’s fathers health has been declining. We were pretty worried about both of them, and Papa Charlie passed away yesterday morning. Rick called me and I made sure Joe got a hold of him. I feel so bad for Rick, and for Nana, and their whole family. Charles had been going downhill for a while though, so hopefully they will have a little peace knowing he isn’t in pain anymore. It’s just a stressful time for all of them, with Gracie’s wedding only two weeks away! Everyone has a lot on their plates right now!

My dad called me this morning to let me know that my great aunt Jean passed away. She was 88 and had been declining as well recently. She’d lived in a nursing home that past two years, but we used to visit her at her house in Columbia over the years and we always thought it was so neat! She had a ton of old games like Battleship in the basement, and we loved looking around her old house. She always made chili and sweat tea when we visited, even though me and the girls were too picky to appreciate it! She made a lemon pound cake that my mom always loved! I hadn’t seen her in a few years, but she got to meet Virginia on a trip home once and thought she was very sweet!

Joe isn’t going to fly home for Papa Charlie’s funeral, seeing as it’s a holiday weekend it would be really expensive, and we’ll all be home in two weeks to see everyone. Rick, Cindy, Gracie, and Tim and his family are all with Nana right now, I hope she is doing as best as she can be.

We’ve got a busy few weeks ahead, but I’m looking forward to getting settled into our house and getting back to Tennessee. Virginia has really amazed me lately with how smart she is! She has my entire phone number memorized, and can spell Mickey Mouse (because they spell it during the show’s theme song). She stopped wearing Pull Up’s at night a few weeks ago, she’s a real big girl now! Luke says “yeah” or “nah” if you ask him a question. He climbs on everything!

We got a house!!!

(We didn’t buy a house, if that had happened, there would have been a previous entry about us winning the lottery). We were incredibly lucky/in the right place at the right time, and are signing a lease on an amazing home! We went to the open house on Sunday, and we loved it so much that we turned the application in right then and there! We weren’t sure what our chances were to actually get it, I’ve heard horror stories about people putting in tons of applications to get a rental! The agent called us Monday evening and said that they’d started running our application and that we were the first choice to get the house! After being stressed out and waiting anxiously, the agent called us back Wednesday evening to tell us we got it! We get the keys on June 1st!

The house is on a cute cul-de-sac, with a two car garage! There is a play room, living room, dining room, and the kitchen is open with views to the living room and has windows that look on to the big back yard! There is a half bath and a full sized washer and dryer downstairs as well. Upstairs there are three bedrooms, a full sized hall bathroom for the kids, and the master has a walk in closet and master bathroom!

The backyard is a really great size, with room for a play set and the kids to run around. There is a really big deck, I’ve already picked out a patio table so we can eat outside when it is nice out! (I’ve also picked out a little pool and a water table for the kids, but Joe thinks I’m going overboard seeing as we haven’t even moved in).

I’ve been de-cluttering the house, giving things to friends and Goodwill. I’m trying to use up all the food in our fridge/freezer and pantry. The less we have to move the better! I’m going to pack as much as I can as soon as possible. Next week Joe is going to LA for a few days for a Destiny 2 event, and then I’m flying to Newport for Molly’s graduation from Salve Regina next weekend, so I won’t get anything done then. It’s going to be a busy few weeks, getting the condo ready, moving to the new house, and then we’re all going to Nashville!

I’m so excited to not have neighbors all around us. As I type this, our upstairs neighbors are watching an action movie very loudly. Tomorrow is Mother’s Day. Joe brought home flowers last night for me, and I think he has something to give me tomorrow! He spoils me!


Perfect Banana Bread!

I’ve made a few different versions of banana bread since being married to Joe. The kids love bananas, so we have them on hand frequently. They also love to say they want bananas, only to decide they only want to eat blueberries instead. I love that I don’t have to waste bananas when they get too ripe! Sometimes I make a cinnamon streusel topping, but I found a recipe the other day and it was pretty great!

It was a sour cream banana bread recipe I found on Pinterest. I’m usually wary of altering baking recipes before I’ve tried them, but I made some changes and was so happy with how it turned out! Instead of a loaf, I decided to make muffins (the kids love muffins). I’m saving this so I know to make it again!


YIELD: 1 loave or 18-20 muffins

PREP TIME: 10 minutes

COOK TIME: 50 minutes or 25 minutes


  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup), softened
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp. vanilla


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 inch loaf pan or line/grease muffin tins.
  2. In a large bowl (or stand mixer), cream the butter with both sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and mix well.
  3. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in another bowl. Combine with the butter mixture.
  4. Add the sour cream, bananas, and vanilla, stir well.
  5. Pour into pans and bake for 50 minutes (for the loaf) or about 25 minutes (for the muffins).

*I sprinkled cinnamon sugar on top of some of the muffins, which the kids and I think make them extra delicious!

The muffins were a big hit! Luke can eat two in one sitting if I let him (or if Virginia licks the sugar off her muffin and hands it to Luke to finish…)

Weekend in Phoenix!

I went to Phoenix last weekend for Gracie’s bachelorette weekend, and I had a blast! I was flying standby, so of course I missed the non-stop flight I had hoped to catch. I got to the airport at the crack of dawn and missed the flight I wanted by one seat. So it goes! I got the next flight out and had to change planes in Oakland, CA. I wasn’t expecting it, but at least I got to see the Golden Gate Bridge from the sky! (It was smaller than I expected.) I landed in Phoenix and took a $70 cab ride to the spa that the rest of the girls were at.

The spa was amazing. I got into my bikini and put on a fancy robe and found the girls at the rooftop pool. They had saved me my lunch, which was great because I’d only eaten a Fiber One bar since about 4 am and was starving. We hung out at the pool and tried out some of the hot tubs. All the girls were super friendly. Of the 9, Gracie is engaged, 2 are single, and the rest of us were married. All of the married girls had kids, except one that was pregnant. So it was a fun group to talk to!

After the spa we hung out at the house. We had snacked all afternoon, and before we knew it, it was super late! We decided to get ready and go to a nearby casino, and we had a late dinner once we got there. One of the girls won $100 on a slot machine, but everyone else lost everything. I was smart and only lost $20!

On Saturday we hung out in the morning, and Brittany made bacon and eggs for everyone. Seven of us went on a hike, while Gracie and Beth stayed at the house because a friend from college that lived in Tucson was driving down for the day. The hike we took was supposed to be easy, but we took the “extremely difficult” trail instead and it about killed all of us! It took two hours to do the whole thing, and I wanted to give up a few times. Once we got to the top we all felt like superhero’s though! It was pretty amazing. After the hike we went back to the house and Gracie brought us all In and Out burgers. Nothing tastes better after a crazy workout than a burger and fries!

We hung out by the pool until late that afternoon when everyone started getting ready for the night. We had Gracie’s lingerie shower at the house and then went to dinner at a fancy Mexican place for dinner. Gracie was wearing a “Bride to Be” sash and we got a lot of attention. The bartender brought us out free drinks, and after dinner they brought out another drink and desserts on the house. After dinner we went to the “hip” part of town to a club/bar called Bottled Blonde. I wasn’t expecting much, and then we pulled up to this insanely crowded huge place! There was a line at the door, but Brittany walked us right up to the front to the bouncer, and he let us right in! It was pretty awesome.

Once inside, we had to hang on to each other so we wouldn’t get split up. There were people everywhere! It’s what I imagined a club at Panama City Beach to look like during Spring Break. We found a group of guys that had a corner to themselves with table service and they let us hang out with them! We could dance and hang out without being attacked by creepy people. We didn’t get home until 1 am, and I had to get up at 5 to go to the airport.

I rode to the airport with Becca, but we were on different airlines and went separate ways. My first flight was to Vegas, and it was wide open. I had two seats to myself and tried to sleep during the short flight. Once in Vegas I realized all the flights were oversold, and I started to panic that I was going to get stuck there. I was tired and crabby and just wanted to get home to Joe and the kids! At the last minute, they realized a seat was open and I literally ran onto the flight to Seattle. When I finally got to the house, Virginia and Luke were sitting in their window waving down at me!

I was so glad that I got to have a weekend away, and that I could meet all of Gracie’s friends before the wedding. They were all so sweet to me! It made me a little sad/jealous that I didn’t make friends like that in college. But I met Joe, so that is all that matters! Joe was amazing with the kids and they had a great time. Will was in town for the weekend to go to a Seattle Film Festival and stayed at the house. He wasn’t around the whole time, but I think the kids managed to wear him out when he was at the house!

As usual, it was nice to get away, but I missed my family! After I’d been home a bit, Virginia looked at me said (in an angry voice) “You left me! I missed you!!” I tried not to laugh and told her I missed her too, but kids weren’t invited on the trip. She’s a cute kid.

Spring is here!

A lot has happened this month, and we’re only going to be busier in the next few months! I had Lasik done on April 5th. Joe was with me for the appointment, and was able to actually watch the procedure. It was over pretty quick, and it didn’t hurt, but it was a really weird thing to go through! The surgeon explained everything as it was happening. First he put the laser over my left eye, my vision went dark for a few seconds, the laser did it’s thing for like 15 seconds, and then he did my right eye. Then he slid my head over and the laser sliced both eyes again for another few seconds. They had me sit up and even though things were blurry, I could open my eyes right away.

They gave me drops to keep my eyes numb for the rest of the night, to help with any pain. We picked up McDonald’s on the way home, and after the nanny left we all sat at the table and ate dinner. My eyes were red and watery, but Virginia didn’t seem alarmed at all! After we ate I got in bed with a cool washcloth on my eyes and tried to go to sleep. At first I didn’t feel too bad, but my eyes started to burn and water. I had a headache from the pressure in my eyes, and it felt like there was sand in my eyes. I spent about two hours tossing around in bed trying to get comfortable to fall asleep. When I woke up in the morning, I could see and the pain was gone! It was pretty amazing.

Having Lasik done was the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time. I’m still putting drops in my eyes every few hours, but in the next few weeks I’ll be able to use them sporadically. It feels amazing to just wake up and be able to see what time the alarm clock says. I don’t have to deal with contacts, or with the kids hitting my glasses or smudging the lenses. Virginia thinks it’s cool that I can see all the time now. I told her a robot fixed my eyes, and the morning after it was done she asked if she could meet the robot. I told her he wasn’t a talking robot, and she told me, “I’m going to sneak up to him and talk to him!” She’s funny.

Easter weekend was so much fun with the kids! That Friday afternoon we went to Bungie and saw the Easter bunny for pictures. The kids got little Easter baskets and had fun walking around Joe’s office. On Saturday morning the kids and I made blackberry muffins from scratch before Joe woke up. They were a little time consuming (I even made a streusel topping) but they turned out really good! We had our ECM egg hunt at a playground in Kirkland. The weather was perfect, it was sunny and almost warm out! The kids had fun playing on the playground and hunting eggs. Saturday afternoon we dyed eggs with shaving cream and food coloring, which was messy and not as vibrant as I’d hoped, but Virginia had fun. We made a brownie bunny cake, which turned out kind of creepy but still tasted good!

Sunday morning we “found” our Easter baskets that the bunny had hidden after Joe woke up. Virginia loved her musical jewelry box, and the barrel of monkeys. Luke was most interested in the Batmobile hot wheels car in his basket. They both immediately went for the chocolate in their baskets. We went to Heather’s house for an Easter brunch and egg hunt. Denae, Jason, and Xander were also there. Heather hid a ton of eggs in their backyard, and luckily it was still sunny and warm! After the hunt we had waffles, bacon, sausage, quiche, and I’d made hashbrown cups and a fruit salad. Denae brought champagne so we had mimosas! It was really nice to have somewhere to go! The kids all had fun and played well together, and there weren’t a bunch of people so it was fun to hang out!

Luke managed to climb out of his crib a few mornings ago, so we had to turn the crib around to make it harder for him to escape. Luckily he didn’t get hurt, but I think he surprised himself when he fell out! We’ve been looking at rental houses, and I’ve been explaining to Virginia that when we move she will have her own room. I told her that Luke would sleep in his own room at night, and Virginia told me, “…but then I’ll be lonely!” She’s so sweet! They get on each other’s nerves, but they also love each other so much already!

Luke understands so much, and he’s getting so big! He says Momma, Dadda, please, that, done, ta-da, and if you ask him how old he is he holds up one finger and smiles. He eats constantly, and so far isn’t picky at all. Virginia on the other hand has to be bribed to try everything on her plate at dinner. They both have big sweet tooths like their parents! Luckily they like brushing their teeth, fingers crossed for no cavities.

One of the cutest things that Virginia does right now, is when we all are sitting down eating dinner she says to Joe, “I want to hear about your game daddy!” Every night she likes to hear about his day. She loves playing Nintendo Switch games with him before bed! Once they are tucked in at night, Virginia likes me to tell her a story (I usually just tell her about the fun things we did that day) and we sing a song. Most nights we sing “You are my Sunshine,” the ABC’s, or “Itsy Bitsy Spider.” Luke hums along with us. Before I leave their room, I tell them “sweet dreams,” and Virginia has started saying “sweet dreams to you too mommy!” I love our sweet babies!