friday five for the new year!

How about a Friday Five for the New Year?

DOCUMENTING: I’ll be the first to tell you and admit that I am horrible at getting out the big camera and taking pictures of the kids. I was thrilled to see that Jenny had created this list of 52 Prompts for documenting throughout the year. I’m going to try to keep up with this throughout the year and post the photos on the blog. You can head over to Jenny’s blog and get the whole list, and even click on the different prompts for ideas. I printed the list and put it in my calendar for easy access!


52 photo ideas

HEALTHY EATING: We’re 7 days into the LiveWhole365  challenge, and it’s going better than I even expected. You can follow along on Instagram for daily inspiration. And today Kristin has a great post about planning for the year on her blog. You can totally grab the undated version and jump in anytime. I promise you won’t regret it!



PLANNING: I ordered the Spark Planner when it was on Kick Starter and I’m dying to get my hands on it! It won’t be here until mid-January, but I’ve been playing around with the printable version and it may just be the planner my dreams are made of. I’ll be sure and report back.

Spark Planner


SNAIL MAIL: What about writing letter and actually sending them in the mail. You know, rather than text messages or Facebook posts. I’m going to try to send a letter to someone each week for the year. Friends, family, someone who needs encouragement…


RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS:  We’re committing to buying less and focusing on experiences more. More travel, more family time, more dinners at home. Less shopping and Amazon Prime. But most importantly, more giving to others. I’m so excited about doing a random acts of kindness challenge this year, especially because BK knows and understands what it going on. I hope after deliberating doing and showing her this year, it will help become something that is instilled in her.

random acts of kindness


december, part one

I don’t think I realized just how behind I had gotten on the blog! Let’s just split December up into two posts and call it a year? And maybe make a better effort in 2016 to document our days?

We started the holiday season off with a party at our house for Allen’s company. It’s one of my favorite things to do, mainly because he foots the bill and I just get to do the shopping and planning.


I think I cooked the first time I hosted the party, but I wised up a little and have it catered now. We chose Joe’s Italian this year and it did not disappoint. The first party set the stage for a December full of fun and entertaining.


Jud and I had a little date to a music class, he was pretty smitten with Elliott and equally as adamant about not sitting still. Ever.


The first Saturday in December brought us the SEC Championship game and we made the drive to Atlanta to cheer on the Tide as they beat the Gators. Well, at least 3/4’s of us were cheering on the Tide, Allen just came along because he loves me. And football.


Of course, December brought a trip to see Santa. Can you believe Judson didn’t even cry? We can’t either!


And December wouldn’t be complete without a visit from our elf, Lucy. She can be a little lazy and forget to move some days, and she rarely makes an extra mess for me to clean up. I did find it funny that when she did make a mess with the flour, BK had a heart-to-heart with her about how I like my counters to be clean.


It turns out Elsa got in the Christmas spirit and possibly became a little over excited one night. We woke up to a Frozen Lucy. Not to fret, she’s as good as new these days.

Frozen Elf

Frozen Elf

And she did leave a note on a cookie, which BK translated to breakfast from Lucy.


We discovered Jud’s obsession with hats. No, really. He’s obsessed. After getting dressed he asks for shoes and a hat and he wears them all day long. We had to take a break from them last week since it was 80 degrees in December, but I think they’ll make a return soon.


You see? Mad love for all of the hats!


Did I mention there was a little holiday baking thrown in the mix? Four batches of Pioneer Woman’s cinnamon rolls to deliver to our friends. My kitchen was a mess, but it was so much fun baking with BK, my mom, and mother-in-law. I think it should be an ongoing tradition.


Packaged and ready to go! 


And who could forget sugar cookies? Also known as the most tedious of all the kitchen things. The dough and the icing and the decorations, oh my! They are certainly a labor of love, but they are always a hit. We baked extra for Santa, too!


We’ll see if we can’t squeeze in the rest of December tomorrow.


november rewind

You read that title correctly, let’s rewind back to November because I can’t let this year come to an end without documenting all of the things that happened in November.

I think I last left with you with our Saturday in Tuscaloosa. The following weekend we traveled to Auburn to watch the Tigers take on Georgia. It marked the first football game for both BK and Jud, we made it through half-time which was pretty good considering Judson only wanted to eat the food from the people around us. BK cheered loudly throughout the game, she was definitely the loudest in our section many times.


My birthday rolled around and I celebrated 29 years with Chinese takeout and a caramel cake, along with our favorite neighbors and my parents. Don’t worry, I basically celebrated all month long, birthdays are a great excuse to indulge in a few wants. 


Judson had his first MDO Thanksgiving program. Did I mention he goes to MDO once a week while I work in the office? My job is part-time and mostly from home, but I do go into the office once a week, and he is just thriving at MDO. I love seeing the little crafts he brings home and hearing about his day from his teacher. I also love that it gives him the opportunity to interact with other children his age.


The weekend before Thanksgiving, we traveled to Gatlinburg with my parents, my brother and his fiance. We seriously had so much fun, and have plenty of selfies to prove it to you!


We hit it up some of our favorite restaurants and caught a show and dinner at Dixie Stampede. We tried our hand at ice skating, and did a little shopping downtown, mainly candy shopping. If you ask BK, her favorite part was the arcade, we had to go twice and she loved every minute of poking quarters into the machines to win tickets.


We’re always amazed by snow, we get so little snow each year, so it’s always a fun and exciting thing to see. I know, if you get tons of snow, you aren’t amused at all. On the other hand, we were excited to hear that we would see a little snow and took a trip up the mountain to see. It did not disappoint, the trees covered in ice and snow were nothing short of spectacular and BK was convinced we were in a forest of Arrendale.




We spent a morning at the aquarium before exploring downtown a bit more. It probably took double the time since BK is reading like champ and insisted on reading all of the signs to us to enlighten us with loads of trivia about the aquatic life. Or in some cases, the not so aquatic life. Just ask us about the coconut crab, largest terrestrial arthropod, and it’s ability to officially freak this mama out.


We came home just in time to get our house in order and groceries purchased for Thanksgiving dinner. Oh, and did I mention that our turkey disguised as TinkerBell successfully made it through the holiday without ending up on the diner table?


The night before Thanksgiving we have dinner with Allen’s family, it’s always a fun time! We were also still high on the selfie stick, as you can see.


We moved right on to Thanksgiving at our house on Thanksgiving Day. We host our parents, grandparents, and tons of other family and friends. It’s always a great time and full house. We’re never short on food or laughs.


And how precious were these two on Thanksgiving? There’s a whole lot to be thankful for sitting right there on the steps! 

Thanks for indulging me on my trek through November, even though I’m a complete month behind.