Birthday project – Week 4/52.

This is my birthday project for the next 52 weeks. You can read more about it here!

Week four! Watch a documentary. I have been a little curious about this documentary with Britney Spears lately. I’ve been hearing little blurbs about it here and there, and how her father still has her tied into a conservatorship. Until I watched this, I never knew what a conservatorship even was! According to Google, a conservatorship is “a legal concept whereby a court appoints a person to manage an incapacitated person or minor’s financial or personal affairs. The conservator’s duties include overseeing finances, establishing and monitoring the physical care of the conservatee or ward, and managing living arrangements.”

It all seems crazy to me, is Britney really incapacitated to make adult decisions about her life? But then on the other hand the documentary was a little half ass for me. I felt like it really didn’t give the full vibe of what’s going on with Britney in her life. I actually enjoyed Tiger Woods documentary a hundreds times better than this one, it showed way more of his upbringing and how his childhood made him who he is today.

Despite the opinions of Britney, it was nice to just sit down and watch a documentary as part of my self care project this year. It’s always nice to learn something you didn’t know before. Next on my list is to watch the Tina documentary!

From the weekend.

Friday the drive into the office was just beautiful!

Friday at the office was not really a fun day. Had to pack up this office that has not been used in over two years. A new person is moving into this space and I was assigned the lucky task of cleaning it up!

Friday while I was at work, Kevin started on the front yard pavers. And oh my goodness, it looks amazing!

Friday night went to my parents house to celebrate my Dad’s birthday!

Saturday spent the morning outside.

Sunday had our first indoor volleyball game. Natalie is on our team this year! Hadley had a blast playing in between games, she’s getting so good at bumping the volleyball!

Sunday night, little Miss Hadley was just exhausted. She had a busy busy weekend!

We had a good, calm but busy at times weekend. The front yard is coming along nicely, we have big plans for the landscaping and we can’t wait to see it all come together. We all had fun getting together for my Dad’s birthday, all the kids love playing together. And we had fun just talking with all the adults! Of the big kids, just Natalie came over this time. Brady had baseball, and he went to the lake to do some yard work for Grandma and Papa. Natalie was so excited to play volleyball with us. It was a fairly late game, so we were all exhausted come Sunday night. Especially Miss Hadley. It was a great weekend though!

Happy Monday! Have a fantastic week!

Birthday project – Week 3/52.

This is my birthday project for the next 52 weeks. You can read more about it here!

Week three! Color or doodle. I’ve always loved to color, draw, etc. Ever since I was little, I’ve always loved to color, and now that I have a little girl who loves it as much as I do we often do it together. Sometimes we’ll have a movie or show on, or sometimes we’ll just sit at the table and talk.

There are many benefits of coloring as an adult! Stress and anxiety levels are way lower, unplugging from technology promotes creation over consumption, coloring can be done by anyone not just artists or creative types, and it can be considered a hobby that can be taken with you wherever you go. For me, the best part about coloring is I feel like my brain just shuts everything off and I’m super calm and relaxed!


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This is week 3 of 52.

I am attempting to tackle 52 weeks of self care projects for the next year.
You can follow along here on the blog, or on Pinterest.

No more pine trees.

The pine trees are gone! We couldn’t be more excited. This has been a long time coming, almost three years now. This December will be three years in our home, and we’ve wanted the pine trees gone the day we moved in!

We took lots of before and after photos to remember this time in our lives when we had these ginormous pine trees in our yard. Now you can actually see our house! Along with all the shrubs and trees gone in the landscaping by the front door and windows, it looks like a completely different house! The tree in the middle of the yard was not a pine tree, but it’s gone too!

This is the pine tree to the left of the house that was split in two sort of. Gone. Good riddance. No more. The only part about cutting down huge trees? The huge stumps they leave behind!

This pine tree was on the right of our house, this sucker had the biggest roots, it was always a pain to cut the grass over these big wood humps. Now they are gone! All gone! It’s so exciting! Plus, it was starting to lean into the neighbors yard, but it was a good climbing like tree. Hadley always like to try and climb this one, or at least stand on the gigantic roots.

Every time we drive home, we still can’t believe how different it looks! We’ve even had people we don’t know in the neighborhood stop by in their cars and say they never did like the pine trees either and how great it looks! Just love it so much.

We had the stumps grinded out today, and it already looks so much better! We have to get all of the shavings out, and then lay down some grass seed and start the grass growing process in those areas. And, we’ve already started planning what we’re going to plant in all of the landscape in front of the house! Can’t wait to bring it to life and bring some color to our favorite house!

The apps I can’t live without.

These days we all can admit we spend more time on the phone than we probably should right? I think we’re all a little guilty of that. If that is not the case for you, then well done! Sometimes the phone is a life savior in times of boredom, and of course it keeps us connected with people in our lives.

I thought it would be fun to share some of my must-have apps on my iPhone!

Here is the home page on my iPhone. Lots of categories as you can see!


While this is an app that already comes loaded on an iPhone, I probably use the notes app the most. Anytime I want to remember something, I immediately make a list in the notes app. The most favorite part about this app is the check marks! I love how after you check mark an item, it automatically moves it to the bottom of the list so it’s done! I am still a paper planner person, but this is something very easy to jot down my thoughts as they come to me.


Having Amazon on my iPhone is dangerous! As you can see from my “saved for later” items, I have 600 in there! Anytime I see something either advertised on Facebook, Instagram, a news story, the Internet, anywhere really, I automatically add it to my Amazon cart and put it in the saved for later. Occasionally, I’ll go through all the items and remove any that don’t appeal to me anymore but for some reason I just love knowing that I have them all there.


The maps app saves my life every single day. I am the worst direction person! My daughter played soccer at the same place every single Sunday for two entire sessions, and I still used the map app to get there every week. Although, I will say it took me home a different way than it took me to the place!


This app helps me keep my husbands firefighter schedule straight. It took some getting used to, but now after almost three years this app helps tremendously! I don’t even look at the regular calendar app anymore, I have it all on this one.


If you’re not on Instagram these days, you’re missing out! I love this app so much more than Facebook! I love the stories, the hashtags, and the community of other people and most importantly women supporting women in their lives, careers, businesses, etc. My Instagram handle is @lifewithmandyjoy if you’d like to follow along my adventures!


I know I said the top five apps I can’t live without, but this sixth one had to be on the list! I use this app quite a few times a week for my workouts. It’s super convenient, and you can browse different workouts based on what you want to do that day. Time limit, type of workout, no equipment, basic equipment, etc. It’s really my favorite workout app! You can download the app here.

Are there any apps that you can’t live without? Any that I should try? I’d love to hear!

Easter recap.

Our Easter started a day early this year, Kevin had to work on Sunday so the Easter bunny came Saturday morning for the kids. The baskets pictured above (left to right) are Brady, Natalie, and Hadley. If you watched my stories on Instagram, you’ll know that Brady got a gas gift card since he’s driving now, and the girls got more “things” instead of a gift card and candy.

Hadley and Natalie were the first to find their baskets. Brady the teenager slept the longest and found his later which I didn’t get a picture of.

Hadley had mini pancakes, and a cinnamon roll on these little bunny plates and cups for breakfast.

After dinner Saturday night, we colored eggs. I don’t care how old kids get, I feel like every kid loves to color eggs at any age. I just love watching them!

Easter morning, Miss Hadley was ready since 9:30am! We didn’t leave until 11am! She was super excited all weekend, she loves holidays and getting together with her cousins and family.

After three years of being a firefighter wife, I’ve just now started to get used to being solo on big holidays / events. I gave the kids the option of either going to church, or seeing Dad before we started our day and they all opted to see Dad which I pretty much knew would be the choice. So we visited Dad at the firehouse Easter morning! We even brought my favorite Easter tradition recipe of pistachio bread. Shockingly enough, all of the kids like this bread!

We started the day out at my parents house, it was the most gorgeous day to be outside. The kids were so happy to run around, play chase, and swing on the swing!

The kids are getting so big it’s crazy! Life just flies by.

After my parents, we went to our cousin Emily’s house. I didn’t take many photos here, but the kids had a blast here too. We also celebrated Elyse’s birthday! By the time we got home, Hadley was passed out cold.

We had a great Easter holiday, the weather could not have been more perfect the entire weekend. It was sunny, warm, not humid, and just beautiful! And great to see all the family!