Shopping with My Two Favorite Guys

We left work Friday and went to Knoxville for the night.  We had some shopping we needed to do Saturday and it’s always nice to have a night away from home.

20150717_220102  We have talked about bunk beds for Rylan’s room for a while now and decided to start shopping for them.  We lucked out when we went to Ashley Home Furnishings and found the exact ones we wanted for such a great price!  We were able to get the beds and mattresses cheaper than anywhere we had found just the beds for!  I was also happy because these are detachable which will give us more options with them.


We have to go down in a couple of weeks to pick them up.  I’m looking at bedding trying to decide on what to get.  I want something that will be durable and last through interest changes.  I found some bedding from Pottery Barn Kids that I’m seriously considering.



Madras Bedding from Pottery Barn Kids

brody sheet set


Brody Sheet Set from Pottery Barn Kids

So far that’s what I’m thinking.  That may change though.  I still need to go to Pottery Barn and see it in person.

I’m excited to get it all finished and see what Rylan thinks of it!

We had some other shopping to do.  While Daddy was in the Hobby Store (or the Man-Child Store as I like to think of it! 😉 ) Rylan and I stayed in the car and made each other laugh until it hurt!


He does this thing where he says “Why?” and does that little hand gesture.  It’s so funny!


Funny Faces!


This kid is so funny!  #SelfieGameStrong

I bought a few nice shirts and of course loaded up on clothes for Rylan…’cause you know he needs ’em y’all!  😉  Haha!

It’s always so much easier to find things for him than for me.  I was disappointed in Belk at Turkey Creek though.  They had no Under Armor stuff in 2T or 3T.  I would like to have had some t-shirts and polo shirts for him.  Under Armor is pricey but it is so tough compared to most everything else.  He’s very rough on stuff and I need it to last more than a couple of wears.  I’ll be going to a different Belk today so maybe they’ll have some stuff.


Quite a random update.

I have a lot of little things to talk about but nothing big so I have no clue how to title this post…


I was cleaning out the display cases and he decided he needed to get in there.  He’s clearly not afraid of being in them anymore!


My mom was getting home late Friday so I went by to let her dogs out for a few minutes and put them back in.  While I was chasing her wild child of a dog Oreo around Rylan decided to hang out with Bailey in her kennel!  haha

Saturday was blah.  We rested.  It was rough.  I’m not really a sit and rest kind of person.  I apparently needed it though because I was supposed to go to Zumba that morning and I slept in.


I know.

I had a headache too.  Sometimes your body just needs that I guess.

On Sunday I was in a cooking mood.  I’ve been looking for a good chili recipe.


I found this one from The Pioneer Woman.  At first I wasn’t too crazy about it but I made a few tweaks to it and I really like it.  20150712_163308

I also made some monkey bread.  It’s not that great for you but everyone needs a treat every now and then.

20150712_162421My little man eating his supper.  He’s such a big boy.  He won’t sit in his high chair anymore.  I guess he’s too “cool” for that now.  He does great in a regular chair though so that’s where he sits.


Rylan had to go for his well child checkup Monday.  He’s 34.5″ and 25lbs!  20150713_125205


He had to have a finger stick and his last Hep A shot.  He HATED the band aid on his finger.  The prick wasn’t bad but when she put the band aid on he was not a happy camper.  I’m guessing this is when it probably started throbbing too.

When it came time for his shot he started telling the nurse “Peese, Peese, Non’t”.  Poor little feller.  :(  He’s so smart and so cute.

As for a workout update:

I’ve wanted to try Yoga for years now and it has just not worked out for me.  I finally gave it a whirl last Monday though and I love it!  You really do use muscles you haven’t used in a long time, if ever.

My arms and my abs really got a good workout.  I felt it for the rest of the week…no joke!

I went again last night and it was wonderful!

I burned 383 calories in an hour and was completely challenged.  I now get what all the fuss is about.  I’m going to add a Yoga class into my routine once a week for sure.  I wish I could do it 7 days a week honestly.

I’d take pictures but in such a calm environment with so much concentration (and lets face it…weird positions) I don’t really feel like it’s appropriate.  I know I wouldn’t want someone taking pictures of me trying to do any of it.


July 4th Weekend in Pigeon Forge

We took a long weekend for Independence Day and spent it in Pigeon Forge.  We didn’t have anything big planned really, we just wanted to spend some quality time together and relax.  We stayed Thursday through Sunday and it was wonderful.  A very much needed break for us all.


I was packing and walking back and forth making sure I hadn’t forgotten anything and I found Rylan passed out.  Such. A. Little. Man.PhotoGrid_1435797964709

I had Zumba Wednesday night burned 440 calories.  When I got back home I still had a bunch of energy so I did another workout and burned 318 calories.  I’m doing my best to stick to this.  It’s hard but it makes me feel so much better!20150702_095802

Rylan slept with us Wednesday night.  Jason had to run into the office for a bit and I was up cleaning and loading the car so he was able to sleep in.  Milo (our Manx cat) loves to cuddle and took advantage of Rylan sleeping in.  He cuddled with him for hours.  He’s the sweetest cat!  Rylan just loves him!  And check out that bed hair!20150702_165358

We made a pit stop by Hobby Town and both boys got new toys.  Rylan loaded up on Hot Wheels and Jason got a new Quadcopter.PhotoGrid_1435958974208

When we got to our hotel room it was time to lounge around!  Let me tell ya, this kid knows how to lounge!  20150703_191002

Friday morning we headed out to Tanger Outlet.  I found some great deals at the Under Armor Outlet.  3 pairs of capri pants & 4 pairs of socks 40% off.  2 Tanks $12.95 each and a hair ties $4.19 for a pack of 6.  None of us were really in a shopping mood so after that we decided to go for lunch.  They now have a Panda Express in Pigeon Forge so we ate there.


After lunch we weren’t sure what to get into so we just drove.  We finally decided on the Titanic exhibit they have.  I’m glad we did.  It was great!  Jason and I both thought it would be kind of cheesy but we weren’t sure.  It turned out great though.  We went to a Titanic exhibit in Vegas a few years ago (located in the MGM Grand) and we both thought this one was better.

They had a man there that had actually seen the Titanic wreckage in a submarine.  His name is Lowell Lytle and he has lived a very interesting life.  I loved listening to him.

He is a gifted storyteller and he has a great testimony too!

20150703_153045I made sure to work out while I was gone both on Friday and Saturday.  The gym didn’t have a recumbent bike so I had to settle for an elliptical.  They aren’t my favorite but the beat the “dreadmill” any day.  I also brought my own free weights and my Zumba soundtrack.


As soon as you get these two together it as if Wrestlemania descends upon you!  haha  I love it! 20150704_124621


We ate at the Hard Rock Cafe and it was delicious as usual.  I had to get this picture of Rylan…it was too cute!  No, we don’t let hm put his feet on the table but I caught this pic and it was just too good.PhotoGrid_1436068389998

Saturday night we watched the fireworks.  We didn’t have to leave the hotel parking lot so that was nice.  Rylan was completely enamored by them!20150704_213805


Sunday we came back home.  In the midst of packing I look over and see this little guy hanging out watching cartoons in Daddy’s suitcase!

We had a great time but as always it never lasts long enough.  I love spending time with my precious family.signature

Father’s Day Weekend

For Father’s Day Jason just wanted a family day spent at home relaxing and playing with Rylan.  He also specifically asked for pot roast for supper.


We had season 5 of Castle that we hadn’t watched so we watched it for most of the day with breaks here and there.20150621_084226

I cooked this bad boy with carrots and onion and served it with mashed potatoes and rolls.  It was perfect, if I do say so myself!  I wish I would have gotten pictures but honestly by the time it was ready I did’t have time to before we were diving in!  Yum!  The rest was saved for leftovers this week.

Most of the day though was spent playing with this precious little man!


You got some wild hair there buddy.


I’m not sure who enjoyed Rylan’s new car tower more!


Rylan is blessed with such a good Daddy!

From the size of that smile, I’d say he knows!signature

Happy 2nd Birthday to my Sweet Boy!

It’s so hard to believe that you are two years old.


Time is slipping through my fingers like sand.  It’s so bittersweet.


I love seeing you grow and learn.  I love watching you be the perfect little person that God made you to be.


I love hearing you say “Mommy!” and I love your sweet hugs and kisses.  There’s nothing better than telling you that I love you and hearing your sweet little voice say “you to0” and grin up at me.


I do wish time would slow down.

Just a little bit.


I’m so blessed to be your Mama.  signature

Rylan’s 2nd Birthday Party

We had Rylan’s 2nd birthday party Saturday at one of our local parks.  His birthday is actually this Thursday but we decided to celebrate a little early.20150613_180100

We had the same lady do his cake this year and it turned out perfect once again.  She does a great job!20150613_181303


Jamie, Rylan, Emily, Logan, Christina & Cassidy20150613_181402

My sweet Momaw!


Dan, Natalie & Emily20150613_182250

Pizza from Pizza Town.  It is the best!20150613_182551

We had quite a few people.  Rylan loved playing with everyone!

20150613_182554After we all ate and opened presents we headed to the park area with all of the kids and played for a while.  It was dark when we left and Rylan was exhausted.  He hadn’t had a nap all day and he was pretty much just stumbling around trying to play.  Poor kid.  He had such a great time!  Jason buckled him into his car seat and he was out before we ever started down the road.


The next day he was back into his toys getting them out of the bags for me and Jason to open so he could play with them.  signature

Mother’s Day Cooking Class

Gotta start off the post with some cuteness!


Saying “Mommy!” when I was leaving.

For Mother’s Day I reserved two spots at one of the Cooking Along the Crooked Road cooking classes at the Higher Ed Center.  This one focused on heart healthy vegetables.


Me and Mom before the class began.

We made a fruit salad, a green salad with Asian dressing and chicken stir fry with rice.

The vegetables that we used that are currently in season locally came from Deni Peterson’s farm (one of the class instructors).  She is the Learning Landscapes Education Coordinator for Appalachian Sustainable Development.

Our other instructor was Kim Evans who is a local personal chef.  Her company is Moveable Feast.





Aren’t these bell peppers beautiful?20150601_185625



We were in charge of cutting the bell peppers.20150601_192225

We also had to chop the garlic and mix up the thickening agent for the stir fry.20150601_183507

I think I could have eaten this whole bowl of fruit.  It was delicious!20150601_195243

My fruit salad and regular salad plate.20150601_195837

The stir fry and rice.  It looked prettier before I plated it! haha20150601_202102

When we came out to get in my car we saw such a pretty rainbow.  The picture doesn’t do it justice.signature

Thoughtful Thursday: Being a Mama

There are some things I was never prepared to feel as a Mama.

The almost crazy like love that I feel for my son.  Sometimes I sit and think about how much I love him and it makes me feel like I’m a bit unhinged.  How is it possible to love someone so much?  It is overwhelming, all encompassing, like nothing else.  There is nothing I wouldn’t do for him.

The pride I feel when my child shows his tender heart.  If he thinks I’m mad at him he comes over and gives me a hug.  Our dog had cut her paw a few weeks ago and he noticed her limping.  I told him she was hurt and he went over to her and gave her a hug and said “Awww…”  He loves wholeheartedly and it is such a beautiful thing to see.

The way it changed how I looked at my husband.  I have always loved my husband (of course, duh) but after seeing him with our son my love for him is just so much more.  He’s so good with him.  He’s patient, kind, gentle and fun.  He’s really everything a Dad should be.  Seeing how much he loves Rylan just makes me love him that much more.

The deep compassion I feel for other mamas.  If I see you in public and your child is crying my heart goes out to you.  If they’re having a melt down and you look upset I wish I could comfort you.  (I won’t though because I don’t know you and you would think I’m a weirdo.) I’ve been there.  It is frustrating.  If I see your child tell you “I love you mommy.” I am ecstatic for you and I might even get a little misty eyed.  If your child is sick, I understand how helpless you feel.  I know.  I’ve been there too.

How the death of other children would make me hold my own child tighter, longer.  When Rylan was 7 months old there was a little boy that was 5 months old a couple of towns over that went missing.  I cried thinking about what could be happening or what had happened to that innocent little boy.  I worried.  I prayed.   I held Rylan till he would sleep and I would fitfully watch him until he woke.  It shook me to the core the way things like that never had before.  I had always felt bad of course hearing those things but now the feelings became REAL.  They ended up finding him alongside the highway.  He was dead.  His own father had dumped him there and his mother was also charged in his death.  My heart still aches for this poor little boy.

How it would feel to be the most tired I’ve ever felt in my life and be the happiest I’ve ever been at the same time.  I never knew that could be possible.  I remember the first time Rylan ever smiled at me.  We were in my bedroom and he was laying in his Rock n’ Play.  He had just woken up from a nap and I was so tired from the 6 weeks of sleepless nights.  When he woke up I heard him coo and looked down at him.  I said “There’s my happy boy!” and looked at me with the biggest, gummy grin on his little face!  He was moving his little arms and cooing away!  I remember thinking that nothing was better than this.  And I cried.  Haha!

The side splitting fear that would wash over me when he would do something dangerous.  He fell of the bed when we were at a hotel in South Carolina when he was seven months old.  Jason had left to go grab us some supper and Rylan and I stayed there.  I laid him in the middle of a king sized bed, took three steps to the corner table and plugged my phone up to charge.  I looked around as soon as I plugged the charger in the wall to see him teetering on the edge of the bed.  My heart stopped.  I immediately jumped, covering the distance and catching him mid drop, skinning my knee and elbow in the process.  I cried.  My chest ached and I couldn’t put him down for a while after that.  The fear coupled with the adrenaline rush left me a crumpled, blubbering mess.  He climbs so much now.  He runs fast and jumps off of things he shouldn’t and my heart drops every single time.

Worry.  Yes, worry.  I know my child is just a toddler and that I’m just getting started in this whole worry thing.  I think this started from the moment I read that positive pregnancy test.  Will I be a good mom?  Can I keep him safe?  Will I be able to be strong enough to parent?  I still worry.  Not so much of the crazy things like “will he like me?” or “will I like him?” (haha…all sorts of crazy thing goes through a pregnant lady’s brain, y’all!  Don’t judge!)  Now I worry about him falling or getting away from me in a crowd.  Sometimes I let my mind wander to the future though and I really get scared.  I keep Philippians 4:6-7 in the back of my mind:  Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

I cry more.  A lot more.  And 99.9% of the time it isn’t because I’m sad.

Speaking of crying…

The way I would look at television, movies…even commercials with new (albeit, emotional) eyes.  Gone are the days that I can sit stone faced through a tear jerker of a movie.  Gone are the days that I can watch anything about a kid being kidnapped, hurt, etc. even if it has a happy ending.  No thank you.

smiling face

Being a Mama is such a whirlwind of love and emotions.

It is by far the best job I’ve ever had and it is also the hardest.

Everything I do carries more weight.  Every decision I make, everything I do revolves around what is best for my child.

I feel things so much more deeply.  My love is stronger.

This is my purpose for sure.  I am blessed.

I think it is pretty safe to say that he has turned my world every which way…and I’ve loved every minute of it!


Spending Some Time with My Momaw

Last night Rylan and I went to visit my Momaw.

My Momaw is one of the most influential people in my life.

She has always been supportive.

She has always loving and ready to tell me how much she loves me and how proud of me she is.

There has never been a time when I didn’t feel like she didn’t believe in me.    

No matter how old I get, this is still so good to hear.

She has cooked for me, done my laundry, taken care of me, been my rock and my soft place to fall.

I’ll never be able to thank her for all that she’s done.

I hope I can be half the woman she is.

Family is the most important thing on earth.


I can’t tell you how much I love this picture!


And this one…


Seeing my Momaw holding my baby just warms my heart.  I’m so glad she’s been able to meet him and spend time with him.  I wish I could get them together more often but I will take any time I can get with her.signature