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.

The meaning behind the blog name.

Do you ever wonder why people pick the names of their blogs or websites?

It was hard to pick this name, but after lots of thinking I decided to go with Mandy Joy Loves. The reason I picked that name is if you don’t know already, Mandy Joy is my name. And what better way to keep a forever online journal if you will of this life! Mandy Joy Loves….all the things!

You can read the About Mandy section located above in the header photo. The About Mandy section goes into a little more detail but you pretty much get the gist.

Super super short post today, but sometimes people wonder about blog names so I thought I’d share. Hope you enjoy reading the blog as much as I enjoy coming up with things to share!

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!

From the weekend.

Here are a few photos from our weekend….

Before school on Friday, Hadley looked so cute with her hair. She has been wanting to do different things each day for school and I love that! She used to be an all hair down or all hair up type of kid. Now she’s branching out with new things.

After school and work, we visited Daddy at the fire house. He picked up an extra shift so it had been two days since we had seen him! We love going to the firehouse!

After dinner, we had a movie night! We made a fort, with pillows and her favorite blanket. The movie was Yes Day, and we watched it on Netflix! I made a small candy charcuterie board for us, a few new things she’s never had before and loved. One being unicorn marshmallows, yum!

Saturday morning after her shower, she’s been really into this Kindergarten workbook we got her when she was in preschool. Doing school work on her own? Awesome.

Saturday we worked on our front yard. After living here for almost three years now, we’ve been wanting to rip out all of the shrubs and old pine trees. In the top left photo, the tall half dead tree came out, the green weird tree behind the lamp post, and lots of other things. All came out!

The before photo on the left, is a great photo of all the random things that were planted we think when the house was built. The after photo on the right is a great shot of how much you can actually see the house now!

We are obsessed with how different the house looks! It’s only been a few days, and every time we come home or leave, we still look at the house like wow look at the changes! We have more to do, but the big things are pretty much done. With the exception of the huge pine trees that are not pictured here. Those bad boys are coming out this week!

Hadley was excited she can reach the garage door pad. She still looks so little though! She stayed outside with us all day, helping, playing, etc.

On Sunday, to end the weekend we did the Heart Mini! We ran most of it, and little Miss Hadley rode her bike for the entire three miles! She was such a trooper!

The weather was so nice over the weekend, and we got so much accomplished and had fun doing it. Huge thanks to my BIL/SIL for all the help! We have so many plans on sprucing up the front yard now, can’t wait to start!

Around here.

around here tried a new recipe that was delicious! Pizza chaffles! The recipe can be found by clicking here. If you don’t already know, my husband and I are super picky eaters, and we both loved this so much!

around here it’s been so fun having Kevin join me for runs and workouts! We went to a new trail this week.

around here Hadley had her first softball practice. It’s going to be so cute to watch her play!

around here it was beautiful outside, we played soccer and I see something you don’t see game. And, I cannot get over how green our grass is already! Kevin cut the grass for the first time this year too!

around here I don’t care how old she gets, I will never tire of watching her sleep. Wish they could stay little forever!

around here made a chai latte for the first time! It was so good and easy! The recipe I used can be found by clicking here. During the warmer months, I’m going to try it iced too!

around here went outside and brought some flowers inside. So pretty and the house smells like spring.

around here she is just so cute in her school uniform. She loves to decide how to do her hair each day, and I’m so glad she’s finally gotten into the habit of trying new ways to do her hair. Just love her.

around here I’ve been doing random workouts the past few months. Sometimes I’ll run, walk, or do HIIT workouts. I use the Nike Training Club app on my phone which is awesome. It’s free and has a variety of different workouts to choose from. Download the app here.

around here we visited Daddy at the firehouse. He worked a double shift this week, so we just had to go visit. It had been awhile since we came to the firehouse anyways. Luckily it wasn’t very busy, so we got to hangout for awhile.

TGIF!

Have a great weekend!

Easter decor.

Easter is right around the corner! I love decorating for just about anything! Easter reminds me of fresh flowers, springtime air, and childhood egg hunts. And let’s not forget to mention, brunch is the main course of food yum!

These tablecloths brighten up the living room so much!

I couldn’t figure out where to hang this wooden Easter sign with the white bunnies, so I put it on the bar cart table. Looks okay there for now. I originally had it on the back of the front door, but every time we opened it the sign would bang super loud so I took it down.

The bathroom! Changing out the shelves for each season / holiday is always fun and festive.

The fireplace is always a favorite part of the house to decorate. I could go a lot more wild with the mantle, and fill it with lots of more items but I kind of like the simplicity of it. I love to have the kids’ photos on there, and have a few small items that are festive.

One tradition that I’ve always loved even as an adult is coloring eggs. All of my aunts and cousins used to get together the Thursday before Easter at my Grandma June’s house. We would all bring fish sandwiches, or my Grandpa would order cheese pizza, and we would all color eggs. Now we color eggs at our own houses, but it’s something I still enjoy doing as an adult with the kids.

Birthday project – Week 2/52.

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

Week two! Watch a Disney movie. As previously mentioned in this post I secretly love Disney movies, still as a grown adult. After I had my kiddo, it was even more reason to watch them with her. So tonight, we watched Finding Nemo together. This whole self care project is all about doing things for yourself, no matter what it is, even if it sounds juvenile like watching kid movies. I want to be a kid at heart until I’m old and gray!

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This is week 2 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.