Saturday, January 31, 2015

Tiger Cub Scouts

Jeremy is a Tiger Cub!  The Boy Scouts went around and talked to all the first grade classrooms, and Jeremy came home that day immediately begging to join.  We attended the big meeting and he got even more excited.  Our little man is not particularly athletic so sports I don't think are going to be his thing (though he loves teams and has fun, he is just not filled with natural ability).  So, scouts seemed like a good activity to try out.

And he LOVES it.

SO much.  Brian has taken on the primary parental role on this endeavor and they came back from a Pack meeting and he shared that Jeremy looked at him in the middle of the meeting and said, "This is the best day ever.  I love being a Boy Scout!"

When we got his uniform, he wore it all the freaking time. He even had to call both sets of grandparents to tell them all about it.

Naturally, their first main thing was to sell stuff. We told Jeremy that we would support him, but he needed to make the sales himself.  We would not do it for him.  He begged Brian to take him door to door every night, he came to campus and hit up my staff (I pre-approved it with them), and he called his out of town family members. He ended up selling over $600 worth of popcorn!  He was so excited and won some cool prizes for his high numbers.

He is really thrilled about going camping, so we pulled out my old tent (covered in dust) and guess what, it still works!   Unfortunately, his camping trip was cancelled due to snow back in the fall, but not to worry, he has another one scheduled for March.

Violet has also become a huge fan.  I am fairly certain that she thinks she is also a Cub Scout.  When I am available to attend meetings, she comes along and they are sweet enough to let her play the games/activities with them.

I do think it is funny that the moms bring the activities even though the den is led by the dads.  Something seems off about that.  Brian and I have researched some pretty awesome activities for our days, so get excited about seeing our fun times in a future post.  Hint: slime and explosions are on the menu!!  Oh, and we are hard at work on our Pinewood Derby car, so that mess will also be coming soon!

We are really glad that Jeremy has found a fun activity that he enjoys.  I wish he loved sports in the same way, but alas, that was not to be.  Though, he does really want to place ice hockey - what?!  I think we will stick with scouts.  :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Yeah, so I have some kids, but I also have me, and I have been up to some fun things.  I never wanted to turn into one of those moms who lives through her children (and I think based on my social media presence, I have been failing.  In real life, I think I am doing ok, I am just not recording it properly).  I love my job and my husband and my interests and my career.  So, here are some of the things I have been up to recently:

I traveled to Virginia Tech and took part in a Residential Curriculum Institute.  Teddi and I met other Residence Life professionals from all over the country (and some super sweet gals from Canada) and learned a lot about some new up-and-coming trends in our field.  We got to tour their residence halls and meet their students, which was a lot of fun.
With the Hokey bird!  

We were wined and dined multiple times.  This was in the sky boxes of their football stadium.

My roomie.

Teddi and I also presented at a state-wide conference in Chattanooga, but I don't have any pictures.  We shared all the new technology we are using in training our professional, graduate assistant, and student staffs.  We are now using online modules in the summer, interactive presentations via iPads, on-site assessment tools, and lots of cool stuff that no one reading this cares about.  Teddi and I have been working on it a lot over the past few years, and we have really made some great progress in advancing our training processes.

I wrote a chapter for a book!  A former colleague of mine who is now a professor at West Georgia and I wrote a chapter called "The Residential Experience" for a large book called Today's College Students.  I have several articles published, but this is my first book chapter!  Fun!  You can even buy it on Amazon!

That's my name!

My staff is amazing and for National Boss's Day they got me treats and goats!  The mascot I force upon my staff is the Tennessee Fainting Goat, so we love all things goat - and now I have handmade goat earrings!  What?!  Goats and candy.  Love my staff.
That's right, a Jane Austen air freshener!  I think they may know me a little bit...

Goat earrings!  I wear them all the time!

I have a new office!  Our area got moved into the new residence hall on campus, so I have a bigger and fancier office now.  I splurged a tiny bit (aka coupons at Michael's and the Dollar Store) to get some new stuff to put up that would be worthy of the new digs.  I miss our old little hallway, but I am getting more and more comfortable in our new space.
I  try to be professional, I really do.  It just does not come naturally to me.  I put goats and student-made trinkets on my door.  And I always will.

Sitting area and look I have a masters degree!  And a Chancellor's citation!  Who knew?

Work table / showcase for I Dream of Jeannie cookie jar

New clock and professional looking frames for my certificates/awards. It is possible I counteracted the professionalism with the pics of the kids drooling and on slip 'n slides.  Whatever.  I tried.

Notice the kid's artwork still displayed, but I tried to make it a bit more nice looking than in the past.
I made an unexpected trip home to Memphis with Violet at New Year's to help my mom and was able to see my family during the holiday season for the first time in 7 years!!  It was crazy to see my parent's house decorated for Christmas - they totally put the tree in a different room now.  What?!  It was also shocking to think it has been that long since I celebrated the holidays with them.  I was even able to ring in the New Year with my mom, my lil sis, my brother, and my awesome sister in law.  Unexpected family time can be nice.  :)
Told her to smile so we could send a picture to Daddy while we stopped for food on our drive.  This kid.  Loving the oranges in the happy meals, btw.

Got to bunk with this mess while in Memphis.  Sharing a twin bed with your struggling-to-potty-train daughter equals true love.

I hang out a lot with my kids between the hours of 6pm and bedtime.  That is mommy time.  And the weekends are super special.  I get cuddles and squeals and nighttime promises that Mommy will not go to work and will be here to play when the sun comes up.

And, last but most important, I have this guy who keeps us all running.  The best dad in the world and the best partner in this crazy life!

And that is ME!

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Fall Memories

I kinda forgot to blog the entire fall season.  Oops!  But, we did several really fun things, and I do want to document them for my little online memory book here.

First up was the Farragut Primary School Fall Festival.  This the school's main fundraiser and event each year, and the kids love it.  I am still overwhelmed by how huge this school is, but they do put on  a nice festival.
Click on this and look at Jeremy's face.  He is a nut.

Hahaha, Violet is so weird.

pet rocks

Phineas and Ferb tattoos (my favorite of the cartoon obsessions)

I work the UT home football games at the student gates, but I never actually use my free ticket and watch said games after my shift because I am missing my kids and want to beat the traffic back home.  However, we got a good Boy Scout discount, combined with my freebie, and were able to afford tickets at the Kentucky game.  Naturally, it was the one game this year that had below freezing weather.  The kids still had a blast, though, and Vi even worked the gate with me until the big rush showed up (then her screams could be heard echoing through the stadium as Brian had to rip her from her precious mommy).  Drama queen.
bathroom break in the UC

my girl

my little man

I wanted a picture of their orange since coats covered it up, and this was how successful my photo taking was

I went to a Residential Curriculum Institute at Virginia Tech:

And while I was gone, Jeremy cut his own hair (which happened three days before I got home but Brian did not notice until I told him):

The kids visited my office several times if school was out or Daddy had an appointment/needed them out of his hair for 5 minutes:

We hit up several birthday parties:

And Violet became even more girly (if  that is possible) and we found the perfect Elsa nail polish and tried out rollers for curly hair (epic failure) so therefore turned to the Elsa braid (also failure after two minutes of actual movement).  Any tips for really fine thin hair??

We also entered the world of Cub Scouts, but I am saving that for its own post.

Yay Fall!  Sorry i forgot to document you when it was actually fall!  I'll do better, I promise!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

What's the Dill, Yo?

I am massively behind in my blogging, but I have no time, so I am starting with a quick and dumb post that is really for my own archiving purposes.

Each year, I do homemade gifts for my siblings and parents.  I don't have a lot of money, and I really do think that personalized gifts are nice.  It is hard to come up with something good sometimes, but I try.  A few years ago, I made personalized coasters for everyone and I have done a lot of photo books, bookmarks, etc over the years.  Oh, and a Joss Whedon-themed Guess Who game for Dani.  That one was fun.

This past July, I saw that one of the guys I work with canned his own homemade pickles.  Yum!  I immediately asked him for the recipe he uses and filed it away for personal use at a later date.  I love pickles, my parents love pickles, and my entire family loves pickles.  One of my favorite memories as a kid was visiting my great Aunt Leela in Texas and trying her homemade pickles.  They changed my life as a 7 year old - SO much better than store bought!  I guess most 7 year olds would remember the ATV driving and other such fun adventures of that trip - I recall the pickles.

Anyway, I decided to can my own pickles for the family.  So, I used Greg's recipe and went to work.  I was nervous they would be mushy or gross or not flavorful, but they turned out to be amazing.  So happy!

I also made little tags for each jar highlighting the couple I gave them to - my lil sis is not in a couple at the moment, so I went with her imaginary boyfriend, Captain America.  Obviously.

So, I made pickles and they were super yummy.  I recently made 8 more jars just for my own stash at home.  I think I spent a total of $5 on 8 jars since I now already have the spices in my pantry.  Love it!!  If you are interested, here is the recipe I used (but I switched out the red pepper flakes for mustard seed, in the same quantities).