Memorial Day Weekend and first day as SAHM!

The past few days have been nothing short of amazing. It’s been so freeing knowing I’m not going back to work. I know this is all new, and everything is super awesome in the beginning of anything new. I’d love to look back at this day, a few years from now and compare how I feel. I have a feeling I’ll pretty much feel the same way since I’ve been working my entire adult life!!!!

So, let’s start out this post with a huge photo dump of the past few days.

Memorial Day Weekend

Friday

Started off the weekend by working out in the morning, with the pile of things from my office. Hadley gave me the idea to put “no more work” on our little sign where the coffee stuff is. And Hadley spent a little time with Grandma and Grandad, did a little shopping, and just hung out.

Saturday

Kevin convinced me to go to the lake a day earlier than I originally wanted to. His umpire games got cancelled due to rain, and we had nothing else going on. My cousin and her husband were in town and got to give Huxley some lovin! He was up once this night, but did pretty good for sleeping in a new place for the first time.

Sunday

Started out the morning by going on a mile walk by myself, it was nice to have some solo time and just breath in the lake air. Came back to the house and ate some breakfast, while Brady and his friend took the girls on a gator ride. What is it with teenagers wearing hoodies when it’s hot out??? Kevin and I took the boat out for a ride by ourselves, and to put some gas in the boat. Gas prices on the lake were $5.39 a gallon. Not too terrible compared to in town I guess. Huxley fell asleep with his Grandma, while we hung out on the dock. Hadley just loves the lake, she’s so happy there like 95% of the time. After one of Huxleys feedings, we took him out on his first boat ride while Hadley tubed with her cousin. He did so great he fell asleep! Had a delicious brisket for dinner that Kevin smoked all day, it was so good!

Monday

We left the lake mid-morning, and headed home to check out the pool. We joined a pool for the summer and couldn’t wait to check it out. So why not visit a pool on the day 99% of the population are off work? It was packed. So packed we had to get a spot on the lawn, but at least it was in the shade. We had so much fun hanging with our cousins. The pool had shaved ice for the day, and every kid loves that stuff.

Tuesday

First day at home and not working, Hadley and I decided last minute to head to the pool today, and it was not crowded at all. After the pool, we went home to change and feed Huxley, then went back to the pool for swim team practice. Swim team is something totally new for Hadley, and she did so good for not doing it before. I’m glad Kevin got to see her practice. Then we headed to Zip Dip, a local ice cream place to treat the girls on the softball team for our end of the year season being over.

The last few days have been so fun, a little exhausting but so fun! Hadley kept saying it was the best day, all day long. Since this weekend started, Huxley has decided he likes to get up twice during the night now. Not so fun. I think going to the lake threw him off a little bit, but we’ll get back to our routine of sleeping pretty good at night.

Hope you all had a great holiday weekend! We sure did!

Last day of first grade.

Today was the last day of first grade for my little Hadley! I think every parent says this every year, but I cannot believe we will have a second grader this August. Time goes so damn fast, it’s unreal.

Started off the morning with our traditional “last day” photo on the front porch. She got her summer haircut yesterday, so her hair is looking all fresh!

The way I framed these photos is hard to tell, but she has grown a little taller this year. And it cracks me up how she changes what she wants to be when she grows up multiple times a year. The beginning of the school year was a doctor, and by the end of the school year it was a zookeeper. She does love animals!

I was able to attend her last all school mass for the year. Little did I know, almost every kids parent would be there. By the time I dropped her off for school, came home and fed Huxley, and managed to throw on some makeup and freshen up, it was time for church.

She won the Top Mathlete award for her class this trimester! Her teacher emailed her Dad and I letting us know she was getting an award if we wanted to attend church and the award ceremony afterwards. She was over the top excited. I took a video of her receiving the award, and she was almost skipping back to our seats, it was so cute.

We started a tradition last year, balloons in the car to celebrate the last day of school! When she got in the car, she was super excited, and said she forgot about the balloons! Every kid loves balloons, and it makes for a very fun car ride! haha

Another last day of school tradition, I get her a few things to celebrate the end of the school year and the start of summer. I bought a hot pink water bucket and filled it with some goodies. Nothing major expensive, just small little items that made her smile!

After school got out, some of the class all went bowling! It was fun, and a little loud to watch a bunch of six/seven year olds bowling together. After bowling, she went over to a friend’s house to hang out for a little bit too. She had a busy, fun filled last day of first grade that’s for sure!

Cinco de Mayo.

Cinco de Mayo is a yearly celebration held on May 5th, which commemorates the anniversary of Mexico’s victory over the French Empire at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, led by General Ignacio Zaragoza (source). In reality, it’s just a day to drink margaritas and have white cheese and chips am I right?

While my daughter was at school, I rummaged through our basement storage closet and found these fiesta decorations from my grad party a few years ago. Perfect to celebrate today!

It’s always a good day when your baby sleeps long enough for you to shower and feel human! Wore my favorite “Mama Cita” shirt for the day, and some fun earrings from Amazon.

After school, I surprised Hadley by picking up white cheese to go. She would have white cheese everyday if we’d let her, she loves it that much. She was beyond excited. I couldn’t wait for her to see the table when we got home.

When we got home, Huxley had fallen asleep in his car seat, so we left him in there for a little bit. Long enough for us to enjoy our white cheese just the two of us! She was super happy to have some one on one time with me.

We attempted to put Huxley in his burrito outfit / swaddle, and he squirmed his way out of it super-fast. He’s not a fan of the swaddle, but it was so cute not to take a photo at least. My friend Kristin gifted this to him, and it came with the cutest little taco booties! He was moving so fast it was hard to take a good photo.

After the failed burrito swaddle attempt, we changed him into his taco footies, much comfier!

Once Huxley woke up, we brought him out with us to keep him occupied. He loves this swing, and after he’s fed, he’ll just chill in there for a while. We got to have a nice peaceful dinner tonight! Love a day that celebrates white cheese! Didn’t have any margaritas, but still enjoyed the day with my girl! Super simple things to make after school and dinner a little extra.

Happy Cinco de Mayo everyone!

From the weekend.

Friday. Started out with a walk on our favorite trail, and Hadley riding her bike. I just love it when she wants to come with me. It gives her exercise, and fresh air! She was off school for her festival set up. The first day of the festival! We were so excited to go this year! Last year it was cancelled due to the pandemic. I’ve waited so many years to go to our own school festival, and it was finally here. We played games, rode the rides, listened to the band play, and just hung out with friends. Hadley and her bestie! We had the best time, and the weather could not have been more perfect!

Saturday. We went to see the big kids all dolled up for Homecoming. Brady is a junior, and Natalie is a freshman. They were taking pictures with their dates at a park near downtown. I’m glad we were able to see them and got a few photos! Even Dad got to stop by while he was hard at work. Hadley and I came home and washed my car, the weather has been just gorgeous.

Sunday. More festival time! Face painting, rides, games, and more food. Natalie joined us for a little bit, she even tried the famous west side Pizza from Trottas and her picky little self loved it! So good. I’m so glad we have this community at school and in our parish, it’s been fun getting to know the parents and kiddos. I can’t wait for many more festivals!

One week of first grade.

Today marks the first full week of First grade for our sweet Hadley. All of last week, her school went half days only because of the heat. This week has been a little on the cooler temperatures compared to the high humidity of last week. I feel so bad for all the kids having to wear masks in this heat, just hate it. But like most kids, they all get used to everything.

Soccer practice was indoors last week due to the heat, again! The girls loved practicing inside and kicking the ball in the gym.

The first week of school is always a little rough, super tired and early bed times when we we’re not having sports or things to do.

Just like last year, she is still doing so great with homework. At the first grade level, they don’t have too much but she has gotten into an awesome routine with it. She comes home after school, washes her hands, sometimes changes her clothes, and does homework right away. Then she has the rest of the night to chill, watch TV, sports practices, etc.

She was such a trooper for her first week of school.  She loves not being the youngest in the school anymore, and helps some kindergartners find their way around school. We are so proud of our big first grader!

Happy end of August. I’m ready for a new month!

First grader.

We have an official first grader! She started school this past Tuesday. I just love back to school photos, and seeing all the kids in their uniforms, new school clothes, fresh gym shoes, crisp backpacks, just love it all!

Last week was meet the teacher night! We just love her teacher for first grade, super young and very on top of it with everything so far. I can appreciate all the little details that goes into setting up a classroom, and getting everything ready for the kids. I always make a point to notice the little details, since that is something I enjoy doing so much as well.

The night before school, we got all of her new things together. One thing that is super convenient about meet the teacher night, is you can drop off all of the school supplies then so the kids don’t have to carry so much stuff with them on the first day.

Fun little things for her first morning of school. Kroger was out of her favorite donut, chocolate with sprinkles so Dad got plain glazed. She’s usually too nervous to eat breakfast on the first day, but it’s always there as an option in case she feels like eating a little something.

Traditional back to school photo on the front porch!

No tears this year yay! She was a little nervous like most kiddos are, but no tears just all the feels!

While she was at school, Dad put up this board with hooks for her bookbag and things. It will help so much with the clutter that ends up on the kitchen table all school year. If their’s a place for things, it helps so much!

After school pickup, and all smiles from this little lady! I hope she continues to love school so much. She comes home and does her homework, then has all the free time until bed. Crossing fingers this routine sticks for the next ten plus years!

Happy school year to all the kiddos! You will do great things.

DIY softball treat bags.

Hadley’s softball season ended last week, and I made these easy and fun treat bags for all the girls on the team. These would be great for an end of season gift or team mom gift for softball girls. Since my husband was the coach, I wanted to do a little something for their first softball season!

All of the supplies and items were all purchased at the Dollar Store. Yellow paper bags, bag of mini suckers, temporary tattoos, fun pens, and rainbow nail polish.

For each bag, I used a half circle stencil I cut out from a plain piece of paper, traced it onto each bag with a red sharpie and then drew lines down each side. And then wrote each of the girls’ names with a black sharpie in the middle and that’s it!

Also made a small gift for the assistant coaches that helped out. Sunflower seeds, a slim jim, and a mini bottle of fireball. I used the same yellow paper bags as the girls, and created a little tag in Photoshop.

I tied them all together with a red/white piece of twine before placing them in the yellow paper bags.

Something super simple, but also meaningful to let them know we appreciated their help this season!

I was very happy with how these treat bags turned out! You can always use any colored paper bag for your team color, etc. I hope you loved these treat bags, and would love to know what other softball / baseball ideas you have too! Feel free to comment below to share your idea.

Last day of school.

Today was the last day of Kindergarten! Her very first official year of school is done.

She grew quite a bit in a year! Photo on the left is first day of Kindergarten, and the photo on the right is today on her last day. It looks like she grew four inches or something like that!

For after school pickup, I put some balloons in the car along with a surprise. A backless booster seat! She has been in the big booster seat that has the back and everything but she’s getting so tall to get in and out of it. She was so excited to see the booster seat after school today. You can see the story on my Instagram page at @lifewithmandyjoy.

After school, a lot of her friends from class all met up at a park. I only took this one picture, but the entire playground was filled with red shirted little kids. It was so cute, and the kids were super hyper running around playing together.

When we got home from school, I had a few things at home for her! Made this sign for the front door that said “Hello Summer” with an ice cream cone and sun. It was a little hard to stick to the door since it was raining and all, but it managed to stay up until we got home.

I put a few decorations up inside the house, if you don’t know by now, I love to make things festive and fun!

Once she walked through the streamers, she came to a basket full of summer goodies! As you can tell by the look on her face, she was so excited!

Next to the basket I put some paper plates that say “More Summer Please” and some cute hand painted glasses my Mom gave me for Easter. We used them for a fancy summer dinner tonight!

Here’s a closer look at all the goodies in the basket.
– Booster Seat
– Water Balloon Blower
– Unicorn flip flops
– Pop It
– Puffy charm bracelet
– Glitter glue (for slime)
– Lip gloss
– Scented nail polish
– Loofah/Nail kit in a cup
– Wonder Woman bandaids
– Summer on my mind shirt
– Shorts to match shirt

All of these things cost very little money. You don’t need to buy super crazy expensive things for your kids. They don’t know if something is from Pottery Barn verses the dollar store, or the dollar bin at Target. It’s all about the memories you make with the things you have. I want to create happy fun loving memories for Hadley through these school years, because I know they will be over with a blink of an eye. And I don’t want to miss a thing!

End of year teacher gift.

End of the school year teacher gift idea I found on Skip to my Lou, and thought it was the cutest and easiest idea for Hadley’s teachers! Some of my friends say they only give the teachers things on teacher appreciation week, or end of the school year but not both. I just had to do something little for the end of the year too, I can’t help myself. Teachers do so much for these kiddos, and I just feel in my heart that they all deserve a little something to show my appreciation for them. I did do something a little bigger for teacher appreciation week, you can read about that here.

Isn’t this printable ice cream cone idea just adorable? All I did was go to the website, Skip to my Lou (linked above), and printed with white card stock.

Used scotch tape to tape the gift card to the pink square. The ice cream cone just folded in half, and I taped it together on the sides. Made sure the gift card fit into the paper cone okay.

After cutting out the ice cream topper, I used more tape to put the pink card on the back of the topper. Just to make sure it fits into the cone, so when the teacher opens it up, they’ll see the gift card when they slide the top of the cone off.

Here’s what the final product looked like!

I hand wrote each of the teachers names on each cone, and had Hadley write her name on the bottom. She loved these and was so excited to give it to her teachers. I always explain to her why we are giving people gifts, I want her to learn that you can give to others and not always get something in return.

So much love and appreciation to all the teachers this year, it was a first for us being in Kindergarten, and a first going through it during a pandemic. Everyone made it through just fine!

From the weekend.

Friday. We had two days just us two. We started the weekend out by playing with water balloons and relaxing in the front driveway. Water, sun, and happiness.

Friday. We grilled out steak and broccoli on the back deck.

Saturday. Surprised Hadley with a trip to the Zoo. Every kid just loves going to the Zoo, no matter how many times we go. She knows so much about the animals, and she was the map guide deciding how to get to each animal she picked out. She loves to get her face painted, unicorn for the win!

Sunday. The big kids came over in the morning, and they both got to see Hadley play her softball game. Brady helped Coach Dad by being the catcher, and Natalie and my parents were cheering her on!

It was a great weekend! Looking forward to making soo many more memories this Summer!