I am a ridiculous work in progress.

There I said it – I am a ridiculous work in progress.   What do I mean by that?  Well, lets just say that things that have happened to me in the past still have a hold on my psyche and I am working on changing that.

Let me explain a little more.  My 1st husband had an affair, not just one affair – but 3, with 3 different women.   The guy I dated for 3 years before I met Jake, remarried his ex-wife about 3 months after we broke up – but maintains that they were never an item while we were together (I am not stupid, I don’t believe that for a minute).    Those 2 instances y’all – shook me to my core and left something inside my broken.   I am super candid about both instances – but I cannot let them continue to impact my mind going forward.   I have a jealous streak a mile wide, and its not pretty.

Case in point, the other night I had tagged Jake in something on facebook, and someone I didn’t know liked it.  I asked him “who is this”, thinking his response was going to be “someone from high school” or “someone I used to work with at DHL”.  NOPE – it was “someone I met on match long before you, and never went out with”.  Y’all, I instantly started to shut down – to my HUSBAND.  This is the man that I married, that vowed to love me for the rest of my life and I vowed to love him.   He picked ME, not her – ME.  He was laying in bed next to ME.  I rolled over and put my phone back on the nightstand, and snugged down into the covers.  He asked me what was wrong and I said “nothing”, and quickly shut my eyes.    I didn’t want to talk about how bad it bothered me.

Let me explain why this is absolutely absurd.  I have a friend on facebook that I met on match.com long before Jake.  This guy had a crazy situation, and it wouldn’t have worked out between us – we never went out.  He ended up DJ’ing our wedding – he is a super nice guy, an awesome dad to his kids – but that’s it.   Why is it OK for me to be friends with him but not for Jake to be friends with this chick?  Y’all, it is totally fine – she is no threat to me.  However, in my mixed up (messed up) brain, I was petrified and made her a threat to me.

Ever heard the saying that you are your own worst enemy?  Yep, that’s me.  I can make up ridiculous situations with the best of them, because I am scared.  Do I have ANY reason to be?  NOT. AT. ALL.

Can I change the fact that I am being ridiculous?

I can – I’m just a ridiculous work in progress.

looking forward

Now that I wrote a post about looking backwards at 2017, I am going to look forward to what is to come in 2017.   Some things that are coming up in January!

I am hosting a couple essential oils classes online – from Detoxing your Home, Earning an Accidental Paycheck and then an Oils in the Bedroom class.  If you want in on these classes (all free & from the comfort of your couch), let me know and I will get you the details.  The 1st is tonight and that is the Earning an Accidental Paycheck.  So excited, as this is the 1st time I am doing this class.  I am also completely stoked for the Oils in the Bedroom class, because I am going to get Jake to help me with that one (talk about oils for the men!).

I got an Insta-Pot for Christmas, so I plan on writing some about that!  I had a few friends that added me to their InstaPot facebook groups, and I am a mix of terrified and excited to use it.   I think I will do the water test and maybe make something simple like ribs on Saturday.  My friend CJ did this last night and posted about it on her InstaStory, and it seems simple enough!

I am also letting the teenager take over the blog, to do a review of some makeup products.  Look out world!  I am excited for her, because she loves makeup, so this is good fit for her!

Hope everyone’s holidays were wonderful – stay warm!

Lori

looking forward by looking back

Hey y’all.  I have contemplated this post for quite some time.  I want to give my blog attention, I want to give my business attention and well – I have a husband and kids that also need attention.   I have poor time management skills, and I am not afraid to admit it.  I sometimes would rather mindlessly scroll instagram than to write out my thoughts.  Then my head gets all jumbled, and the thoughts fade and I wish I had written them down.

So, looking forward to 2018 while taking a glimpse back at 2017….

January 2017 – I did pretty good, 6 posts but mostly wedding stuff.  I feel like I can top that this month!

February 2017 – 6 posts again in February, but its a short month, so I have an excuse right?  The weather outside is downright rude, so enjoy this post from February 2017 where I talk about Disney!  

March 2017 – 8 posts.  I got a little deep on one, where I had to get out some things and direct them at my husbands ex-wife.  Bonus was, she read it and actually responded to me (via email).  Did I feel better – heck yes!  Was she pissed – a little.     This was also the month that we put in an offer on a house, we went to fire our realtor but he quit (apparently, I am not a nice person), and we hired our realtor Lisa who was amazing and became a great friend!

April 2017 – 8 posts again, clearly I did better at blogging last year than I thought I did.  My goal is seriously 10 posts a month, which to me is a solid goal.   April was a little crazy for us, and I talk about it a lot in this post:  Calming the Crazy and then we got a short break to spend Easter in NC at my parents house.  We tried a few new places and thoroughly enjoyed our time there;  A weekend away…..

May 2018 – at this point, I’m seriously impressed with myself – 8 posts again.   This was the month my sweet friend Sarah started guest blogging and talks about their adventures with the “Hardin’s Cook at Home” series.   I also took a moment to implore you to say their names on Memorial Day.

June 2018 – 9 posts, but mostly because Sarah was doing some awesome write ups about the home meal delivery programs.  Seriously, she is amazing ya’ll.  From Terra’s Kitchen to Blue Apron to Plated, she did a fabulous job detailing all the different options, along with some photos that make you want to lick the screen (because food…).

July 2017 life was CRAZY– I feel like when I went to look back at this month, it was going to be empty – this was the month we got married and with a capital C – but nope 14 posts.  I think I wrote probably half of these in advance, and most were about the wedding.   We did have one sad moment in July that simply could not be ignored which I talk about here in a story about Newnan.

August 2017 – Yay!  We are married, and preparing for football season and our honeymoon to Texas!  10 posts down and here I was thinking that I had slowed down that month!    I did a fun post (in the myspace list style) all about me and then of course wrote about life lately (not once, but twice)

September 2017 – 8 posts, and a few I pre-wrote.  I did pre-write the one about the Gameday in Dallas and then later in the month I wrote about a transition point in our lives that we were facing.

October 2017 – here is where the slack begins to the end of the year.  Only 5 posts in October and none of them are worth reposting.

November 2017 – Did I say slack until the end of the year, nope – 11 posts this month.  I poured my heart out in “the one about the BFN” and then did a bunch of posts for Swagbucks.

December 2017 – 2 posts – December was hard y’all, so hard.  We did battle with the home warranty people over our dishwasher, the washing machine decided to go on the fritz around Christmas.  It was rough.  But I did watch 1 whole season of The Crown in like 3 days, so it wasn’t too terrible.

 

dinner plans…

Howdy-Ho friends!   So glad you were able to pop-in to my little slice of the web.   Let’s talk about dinner plans for a second shall we?  And by a second, I mean like 5 minutes, so sit back and relax for a bit.   Why does meal planning have to be so hard?   Like, can I just set a plate in front of my kids and they eat whatever is on it?   I feel like I am the president of the Parents of Picky Eaters Club (PPEC for short).

We find something my kids like, and they want it again.  So we make it again a week or so later, and then the 3rd time you make it they don’t really want it again – say what?  you loved this last time, you said it was your favorite!   I read somewhere once that most families have a rotation of 21 meals that they serve on a regular basis – but I had a hard time coming up with the list below, so I’m not sure 21 is correct!

Here is a list of our “go-to” meals for our dinner meal plans.

Sloppy Joes
Chicken & Rice Bake
Chili & Noodles (childhood favorite of mine)
Cowboy Casserole (introduced to my kids by their Auntie Lyns)
OMG Chicken (pretty sure I have blogged about this before)
Simple Chicken
Grilled chicken with marinade (Hawaiian marinade is a personal favorite)
Tacos/Quesadillas/Nachos
BBQ Beef & Bow Ties
Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
Chicken Alfredo
Ravioli Bake

An Insta-Pot is definitely on my Christmas/Birthday wishlist for this year — because baseball season is almost upon us and we will be super busy!   My friend Kathleen has so many wonderful recipes that she has shared with me, I am looking forward to getting to try them myself!

What are some of your favorite recipes for busy week nights?   Please share them!

currently…

Currently…

reading:   Once in a Great City.  I had to return it to the library and then check it back out a few weeks later after someone else was done with it.  I think I’ll be able to finish it over break.

writing:  this post, but earlier this weekend I wrote out all the envelopes for our Christmas cards.

listening:  to Jake watch The Walking Dead, and let’s be real – I’m also half watching it and half intrigued and half grossed out.

thinking:
  about everything I have to do at work this week.

smelling:  dinner cooking.

wishing:  that is was closer to Christmas break – I’m ready for 2 weeks off.

hoping: that tonight I get some sleep.

wearing:  my favorite sweatpants of Jake’s, and a tshirt.

wanting:  a sweet tea from Cook-Out!

loving:  the additions we made to our Christmas village and the tree lighting up the room.

needing:  to vacuum, to blog, to finish sealing the Christmas card envelopes….

Swagbuster Deals!

Running now through December 3rd, the cashback shopping site Swagbucks is running a series of exclusive “Swagbuster” deals that offer increased cash back (in the form of SB points) at stores, when buying gifts cards, and big SB payouts when you discover offers from different companies. You can take all of the points you earn from these deals and redeem them for gift cards from places like Amazon, Target, Walmart, Starbucks, or PayPal cash, helping you extend your holiday budget further!

The deals change every few hours, and you can keep track of what’s available by clicking here. You need a Swagbucks account to take advantage – fortunately it’s free and takes less than 30 seconds to sign up. PLUS, if you sign up through me you’ll get a bonus 300 SB ($3) if you earn 300 SB before December 1st!

Cyber Monday Deals!

You can earn money while saving it on all your big Cyber Monday purchasesThe Cashback Shopping site Swagbucks is offering big cash back – 3x or more – at over 120 different stores today only. They’re also offering big payouts on a varieties of different deals and offers from companies that would make great gift ideas. Get great deals without waiting in lines or even leaving your home!

If you’re not familiar with Swagbucks, they offer cash back in the form of points when you shop. Then you can turn those points into gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Target, or PayPal cash. You can also earn points for discovering deals, watching videos, answering surveys and more!

Click here to take advantage of the cash back, just create your Swagbucks account when prompted (it takes less than 30 seconds) and then you’re all set!

As a special bonus, if you sign up through me you get a 300 SB ($3) bonus when you earn your first 300 SB before December 1st! This site’s a great way to extend your shopping budget, especially around the holidays!

Black Friday Deals!

The Cashback Shopping site Swagbucks is offering big cash back at over 120 different stores all throughout Black Friday weekend. They’re also offering big payouts on a varieties of different deals and offers from companies that would make great gift ideas. Get great deals without waiting in lines or even leaving your home!

If you’re not familiar with Swagbucks, they offer cash back in the form of points when you shop. Then you can turn those points into gift cards to places like Amazon, Starbucks, Target, or PayPal cash. You can also earn points for discovering deals, watching videos, answering surveys and more!

Click here to take advantage of the cash back, just create your Swagbucks account when prompted (it takes less than 30 seconds) and then you’re all set!

As a special bonus, if you sign up through me you get a 300 SB ($3) bonus when you earn your first 300 SB before December 1st! This site’s a great way to extend your shopping budget, especially around the holidays!

Augusta on Ice!

I am so pleased to be working with Augusta on Ice this year, in partnership with some fabulous sponsors!   We are looking forward to going down to Augusta, which is just a short drive from Columbia, SC.    Augusta on Ice (formerly Evans on Ice) is centrally located in Augusta, GA in the Augusta Commons.  This is between Broad and Reynolds roads.  It runs for fifty (50) days between November 17th and January 6th.   In addition to the ice rink itself (with real ice!) there is Frosty’s Ice Slide, a family friendly train side and even a rinkside build your own s’mores.   Say what??  Smores?   I can eat smores and watch my kids skate – score!   Did I mention that the ice rink is covered?  That part in itself makes it even more exciting to me, because here in the south – a little rain can ruin your day – but not here!

Jake (left) grew up in Michigan, and practically was born with skates on his feet.  He played hockey throughout his youth and club hockey in college.  I’m not sure when the last time he had skates on was, but I am looking forward to seeing him on the ice!  The last time that Jonathan had skates on was at his dad’s company holiday party at a local rink here in Columbia.  That night ended with some stitches because someone fell a few too many times.   Now me, I don’t like to brag – but last time I went – I managed to NOT fall at all.  Chances are this next time I’ll be spending a lot of time on my butt!    The girls have never been ice skating before – so this will be an extra treat for our family to enjoy this time together.

It has been awhile since I got to work with a truly community focused group such as AOI, and I am pleased to hear about their community initiatives.  This year, they will be giving back to their local community through the Community Stage Spotlight.  From local schools & churches, to professional theater groups, you can see some beautiful performances all in once place.

 

 

 

Also, now through November 25th is the week of thanks!  Each night a different group of community helpers get free admission.  November 22nd is First Responders night from 2-9pm.   Thursday the 23rd is Senior Day – as a way to say “thanks for all your wisdom” from 2-9pm.   Friday the 24th is Health Care Professionals Day (from 12-7).  Saturday the 24th is Support Local Businesses day, bring a receipt from any business within the CSRA and you’ll get in the gates free!  Sunday is Girl Scouts day, and all girl scouts get free admission!   On the 21st to the 24th, you can also bring 2 canned goods you can get  get free admission or $5 off an activity pass.

Be sure to check their calendar by clicking the photo above to see other opportunities for date nights movie and skating!  Everyone needs a date night!   Maybe Jake and I will see you on the ice!    Be on the lookout for our visit on here, as well as other cool updates throughout the next few weeks!  There may even be a giveaway!

Augusta On Ice will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m., Friday while school is in session and from 2 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 2 to 10 p.m. Friday on the school holiday break. It will be open from noon to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and noon to 7 p.m. on Sundays.

For the holidays, Augusta on Ice will be open from 4 to 9 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day, noon to 5 p.m. Christmas Eve, 2 to 7 p.m. Christmas Day, noon to 12:30 a.m. New Year’s Eve and 2 to 9 p.m. New Year’s Day.   Tickets are $5 for general admission or $20 for a season pass. The activity pass is $20 for one day and $50 for the season. The activity pass includes access to the skating rink, slide and train. Discounts are available.

~Lori

five years

Five years ago, I woke up to a chilly Georgia morning.  I probably didn’t want to leave the warm bed to begin the days adventure.  That adventure you ask; packing my entire 4 bedroom house into a moving truck for our move to South Carolina.  It was hard, most of the people who said they were going to help us move bailed on us at the last minute.  I get it, people get busy and things happen.  I put out an SOS on facebook, and we had friends show up to help.  We got my van, a 27ft moving truck, my dad’s truck with a trailer attached all packed full of all my worldly possessions.   Loaded the kids up after a round of goodbyes to friends and we hit the road.

My dad and I had to go back the next day after we unloaded here for one final load.  I remember the sigh of relief that came from me when we crossed from Georgia into South Carolina on that final trip.  I was leaving behind so many bad memories, and of course a bunch of wonderful ones as well.  I was starting a new adventure in a new town, and it was going to be great.

I remember the weeks leading up to moving were hectic, and I cried a lot.  I knew things would be better once we moved, once we were settled, the kids would have their dad close again.    I could never have imagined everything that has happened in the last 5 years.  I found love – in a man I never would have met if I hadn’t moved.   I have a huge group of friends that have become like family to me.  I have students who make me laugh all the time, and are like my other kids.  I have been blessed with a series of wonderful jobs here at the University of South Carolina, jobs that have given me some super opportunities that I would have never had in Georgia.  I have found a place where I belong.

While I miss my friends in Georgia, this is where I belong.  This is home.

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