Hello December.

Happy last and most exciting month of the year! A month filled with so much Christmas spirit, and welcoming a new year. A month when the kiddos can’t wait for school break, gifts, cookies, and of course the big guy Santa!

For my daughter Hadley, December is a month of truly believing in the spirit of Christmas. She loves all the traditions we’ve started for the holidays. Christmas lights on the house, decorations all throughout the house, Elf on the shelf, Advent calendar, St. Nick, Christmas bucket list, celebrations at school, and much much more!

What are your plans for this month? Are you excited for the new year?

Happy December to all of you!

30 days of Thanksgiving.

This year I’m doing a little project where I post a photo of something I’m thankful for each day of November, using a few different hashtags but the main one is #30daysofthanksgiving. I’ve done this a few years ago, and wanted to bring it back this year. My goal for this project is to focus on something everyday, to help me feel more appreciative. Thankfulness is what it’s all about! The ten photos above is what I’ve done so far! The 11th day will be posted later tonight.

I encourage you to participate or just follow along! Instagram handle: @lifewithmandyjoy.

P.S. Happy Veterans Day! Thank you to those that have served.

November is here.

Oh, November.

We made it through the first week! I predict great things this month, and fully intend on enjoying each of the 30 days. October was good and our normal busy, but I foresee November being a bit more on the faster pace side of things. Which isn’t a bad thing necessarily, being busy helps me prioritize and plan things better believe it or not.

Can you believe all the Christmas ads and deals that are everywhere you look? I feel like Christmas is being rushed even earlier this year. I mean, it’s just the beginning of November! I have to focus on hosting Thanksgiving, not buying Christmas presents already!

Here’s a little recap from our first week of November…

Hadley was off school the first day of November, her school met their goal for the Walk-a-thon which meant a day off! I remember when private schools used to have the day after Halloween off for All Saints Day, but not our school.

Celebrated a work anniversary last week, and by celebrated I took this selfie while working in the office and posted it on my Instagram stories. (Follow my IG stories @lifewithmandyjoy). That’s about the extent of celebrating around the office.

The best helper around! While I was blowing the leaves after cutting the grass, this little one goes into the garage and grabs a rake and starts raking the leaves without being asked! She must’ve been out there for a good 45 minutes just raking away. Just love her willingness to help all on her own.

After ordering my favorite chai tea latte from Starbucks, the barista wrote the nicest message on the cup. I didn’t even notice until I got back to work! Never heard of Thursday being called Friday Jr.! Little things like a message on a cup can definitely brighten the day!

Hadley had her first ever basketball game! She is in the middle shooting a basket. At the first grade level, they practice before the game, and then have two halves, and they play at half court. She did very well! She had two baskets, and dribbled the ball pretty good for not playing before.

First cheer competition in the books! This was her first season cheering for football, and they ended the season with a competition. It was a fun long day, filled with makeup, hair, and waiting for their time slot to perform the routine. They practice for only three weeks, and did so great for first timers! Go Vols!

Welcome November. I’m glad you’re here.

From the weekend.

Our weekend started off with cheering for the last home football game! Hadley lead the crew down to the field, which she was super excited about. And it was a “pink out” game for Breast Cancer Awareness month, so they all wore pink and the coach gave the cheerleaders a pink sticker for their cheeks.

After the football game, I got a walk in. I love to go to this trail by our house, it’s the perfect spot and it’s so pretty to walk through. I usually get in a three mile walk, but lately part of the path has been closed due to construction so I’ve shortened the walk to 2.5 which is better than no miles!

Saturday night we went to a wedding, it was beautiful outside! The ceremony was outside, and the reception was partially outside/inside. The reception was in a barn type building that had these huge sliding doors that opened to let the fresh air in. It was a great date night!

Sunday morning, I went to the trail for another walk. My partner in crime joined me on her bike. I just love it when she wants to come with me, it gives her exercise and she has fun riding her bike. I just wish she would try and learn how to ride without training wheels one of these days.

Sunday afternoon, Hadley had her last soccer game for the outdoor season, and they won! I’m so proud of this girl. She went from not knowing much about soccer, to learning how to dribble in and out of other players, and just learning the basics of soccer for her age. She had the best coaches, who were so patient yet determined to teach these girls. Her team learned how to play together by the end of the season, and it was so fun to watch.

We had a busy but fun weekend! Now back to the grind.

Never thought it would happen.

……but I am very much looking forward to fall.

Each year, I’m usually feeling the opposite about the colder season coming upon us. I want Summer to stay for as long as it possibly can, but just this week I think I’m ready for Fall. Strange how we change our mindset sometimes, but it happens right? I double it will get seriously cold around here for a while, but September feels like the beginning of the beginning.

And SEPTEMBER. You are going to be a busy 30 days. Kevin is hoping for lots of overtime. Hadley is playing two sports, soccer and cheer which takes up days during the week, and most weekends. We might add in dance to that too. The big kids also play sports which is hard to juggle sometimes, but we manage. The days are long, but the years are short.

Some goals for this month: send out birthday cards, go to the Harvest Home parade, get the hair highlighted, decorate for fall, make a bucket list, attend our parish festival, continue on the house updating, start Turkey Day planning, and enjoy the season we are in.

Happy September.

From the weekend.

Saturday morning we spent half the day at two high school volleyball games for Natalie. I have to say, they are way more exciting to watch in high school verses grade school. Hadley was a trooper sitting inside a gym all morning, and then when we got home everyone chilled on the couch. Welcome back Natalie haha

While Natalie and Hadley chilled inside, like a crazy person I decided to vacuum out my car and Kevin’s truck. He was outside with me cleaning the floor mats, it was gross hot out! But, we hadn’t cleaned our cars since before we left for our Destin beach trip and they needed it!

We are slowly doing some house updates! Painted the fireplace white, and it looks soo good! Got rid of the carpet in the family room, and put down hardwood floors. We ordered a new couch and ottoman also. Now I need to find a new rug, and things to put on the walls! We got rid of our kitchen table, well it’s actually for sale on Facebook Marketplace if anyone is interested, let me know! We replaced the table with this small white one with two chairs. It’s the perfect size for this space in our kitchen. The other table was too big and made the kitchen look over crowded. When all of the kids are home, we usually eat in the dining room anyway that has six chairs so we can all fit.

On Sunday, Hadley had her second soccer game in the hot hot heat! She lost 2-1. I love that she loves sports so much, and hope she continues to want to play. So far she has played indoor soccer, softball, outdoor soccer and cheer are happening now.

We had a busy weekend, now back to the grind of the work week and all that entails. Soccer practice, cheer practice, work, laundry, grocery shopping, yada yada yada!

Happy Monday! Make it a great week!

From the past few weekends…

Happy Monday everyone! Catching back up from the last few weeks. We’ve been busy enjoying summer, going to the lake, marking off our Summer Bucket List, and so many other things. I can’t believe July is almost over, this Summer is just flying by soo fast. Love it, but also hate it. Here are some different collages of photos from what we’ve been up to…

Part of our Summer Bucket List was to visit the Mt. Airy Forest Treehouse. We didn’t even know this place existed until I started looking up things to do this Summer. We had the whole place to ourselves, it was so cute. Hadley couldn’t believe how big it was! Afterwards, we stopped at a picnic bench and she drew the treehouse in her journal. And then we played at the playground for a little bit, it was a great day!

We went over to Kevin’s friends pool and swam with him and his family. The pool felt amazing! Afterwards we grilled out, dodging the super fast storm that rolled in. His wife made homemade ice cream, so so good! The Thursday of July 4th weekend, I went to Kroger in the morning and so glad I did. It was already crowded, and going to the store for our family for 10 days at the lake should count as a workout in itself. The cart was so full I could barely push it! We went out to dinner after work that day, and Hadley wearing Dad’s hat at dinner.

Friday of July 4th weekend, we went to a graduation pool party! The kids had a blast, and being around this pool brought back so many memories of our old house and our pool. It was great to see everyone, and the weather couldn’t have been more perfect!

July 4th weekend at the lake, started off with the cove party! The house at the end of our cove puts on a band every year, and half the lake anchors in our cove, swims, hangs out, it’s a great time. Our dock was a hot spot, we had so many kids we didn’t know jumping off our high jump!

Sunday was the golf tournament! We came in second place, it was a scramble so pretty easy and fun! It was hot hot hot though, we were sweating our butts off by the end of the tourney. Brady showing off with the winners cape / hat afterwards. Came back to the lake and swam, it felt so good to cool off.

Grandma took the girls to the Ark Encounter for the day. I drove back home for a few days for work, and then came back for the weekend. Everyone else stayed all week long. The big kids took the pontoon boat out by themselves time, and the battery died (because nobody uses it anymore!), and they had to get a tow back to the dock. The pictures the kids took on their phones were hysterical.

Bonfire night! Hadleys first time roasting s’mores. She liked it, so she says. S’mores are so delicious, yet so filling. It was a gorgeous night for a bonfire!

Thursday of last week, we went to the West Chester Clock Tower, for a concert outside. It was nice to just sit, chill, talk, and enjoy live music. Hadley loved the snow cones, people watching, looking at all the different dogs people brought, and playing hangman with Grandma.

Another Summer Bucket List item marked off the list, watch the Parent Trap movie under a fort! I printed off a few “camp” like things, taped them to the TV stand, made a fort with old sheets, and Hadley was in heaven. Super simple things like this, makes her so so happy.

Well there you have it, just a few photos of what we’ve been up too! It’s been a pretty great Summer so far. As always, thanks for reading!

Weekly recap.

Monday we went to a restaurant on the river called The Cabana. Hadley has been here before when she was two or three, so she doesn’t really remember. But she loved it! She’s currently obsessed with the pop-its, we all took turns timing ourselves to see how fast we can pop them all. After dinner, we walked over to the sand volleyball courts and watched them play. She could’ve played in the sand for hours.

Tuesday we had a baby deer badly hurt in our front yard. If you missed it earlier this week, you can read all about the baby deer in this post.

Wednesday we went to a comedy club with my brother and sister-in-law. The comedian we saw was Rocky Dale Davis, he was pretty funny, my face hurt from laughing so much. My favorite skit he did was about a four way stop sign, I couldn’t stop laughing it was soo right on!

Thursday morning while watering the flowers, I noticed a little frog behind the big pot. No matter how much I watered, or moved around on the porch, the frog stayed still the entire time.

Friday made some end of the year softball goodie bags for Hadley’s team. She has her last softball game tomorrow morning, but after all of these tornado warnings, and severe thunderstorm warnings tonight, I’m not sure she’ll play after all this rain.

Friday night we had a movie night in the dining room! Sometimes for a change of scenery, we bring my computer monitor over by the table, put a bunch of blankets on the floor, grab some snacks and get comfy for a movie. We started early after dinner which is why it’s still light out, she was super tired so it was an early movie night for us. We watched the movie Luca on Disney Plus, it was super cute!

Friday night After about two hours of Hadley being fast asleep, we had a tornado warning and sirens going off by our home. Had to wake her up to go to the basement until the warning was over, hated waking her up, but better to be safe than sorry. The warning lasted for only 40 minutes or so, woke her back up, and she went right to sleep in her bed. Thank goodness! Tornados are always so scary, even as an adult! I’m glad she managed to sleep right through it for the most part.

T.G.I.F.

Have a great weekend, and happy Father’s day to all the Dad’s, father figures, and step-dad’s out there!

Baby deer.

Have you ever had a baby deer, that’s injured, just appear in your front yard all by itself? No? Just me?

Well, that’s what happened to us tonight and it was a little bit crazy. My daughter Hadley and I were outside on the driveway blowing up water balloons because it was soo nice out. Suddenly, we see a baby deer slowly walking along side the front of our house in the mulch. It was bleeding from the mouth, and had blood all over it’s head. Clearly, it had been injured but no Mama deer was around. So Hadley and I moved to the end of our driveway, and watched what the baby deer did. She or he, I think it was a she, slowly walked up onto our porch and just stood there. Since Kevin wasn’t home, I always freak out at things like this that are semi-emergency like. What do you do with a wild baby deer that is bleeding from it’s mouth on your porch? I mean, these things are not very likely scenarios!

We went over to our neighbors house and told them what was going on. It’s an older couple and super super nice. The older guy immediately goes into his garage, grabs some work gloves, and heads on over to check out the scene. He recommended to call the SPCA, they had us call animal control, and they said someone will be out within the hour.

Meanwhile, while we are waiting for animal control to arrive, the baby deer manages to nestle herself into the corner of our porch, behind all of the flower pots. She looked soo scared. My neighbor suggests I get her a bowl of water, and I hesitated because she IS a wild animal but I did it anyway. She managed to put her mouth in the water bowl a few times making the water bowl a bowl full of blood! So fun!

She did not move. She stayed nestled in the corner, most probably because she felt safe. We were wondering where Mama deer was, we even looked in the backyard and nothing was out of the ordinary. I did not get a photo of the bloody water bowl because I couldn’t stand to see it let alone take a photo of it. I don’t do blood very well, or wild animals!

Animal control arrived, and it was a very fast process. The thing that I didn’t fully understand, is the chick was picking up a wild animal without gloves on! I could not get past that part, but she’s the professional not me! She calmly picked up the baby deer, and put her in a cage in the van. I hope the baby deer heals okay. She looked pretty rough! Cleaning up the blood droppings on the front porch was a task in itself, I had my surgical gloves on and everything. Let’s just say, I was not meant to be in the medical field!

Hadley and I had quite an adventure tonight, and so thankful for our neighbors to come over and help us out when we weren’t sure what to do. Never had to deal with a wild animal, especially in the burbs!

Birthday project – Week 8/52.

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

Week eight! Taking vitamins.

Everyday, for a few months now, I’ve been taking these four vitamins in addition to a multi-vitamin (not pictured). I’m not too sure I can notice a difference with anything except my hair has been growing like a weed! I think a big part of the hair growth is taking the Biotin. I’ve also heard of women taking pre-natal vitamins for hair and nail growth alone!

I have a routine every morning, after I wake up I go to the bathroom, weigh myself, write down my weight on a calendar we have in the bathroom cabinet, and then I take all the vitamins. I write a “v” after I’ve taken them so I know I took them that day.

Some people have different opinions on taking vitamins, which ones to take, and taking a multi-vitamin too even. My thoughts are it can’t hurt right? Taking vitamins to help my body? Why not?

What type of vitamins do you take?

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This is week 8 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.