Happy Friday Everyone!
Ok, so I have been trying to churn out a Friday Five post since May! With the kids home all Spring and Summer, I just kept pushing it back. So, today I am finally getting this post up. Whew!
One – It’s My Birthday (well, Monday was!)
I was excited to celebrate my birthday on Monday of this week! I got to enjoy breakfast at one of my favorite breakfast places I hadn’t been to since before March. It is called The Shack and my favorite thing to get there is Make a Grown Man Cry, a yummy breakfast burrito smothered with queso and with hash browns under it. Brian got me flowers, chocolate covered strawberries, a couple of Kendra Scott necklaces and a fitness scale. I also received some sweet gifts from some thoughtful blogging friends. It was a lovely day!
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Here are the sweet gifts Brian got for me. I didn’t really have one big thing I wanted this year, so I kind of got an assortment of random things! Ha! First up, he got me some chocolate covered strawberries from Shari’s Berries. They are the best I’ve had! I received some roses in all different colors, which has been great for some photo props I’ve needed for blog photos this week! 🙂 The two Kendra Scott necklaces he got me pair well together or alone. The two necklaces in the photo above are the Reece Gold Choker Necklace in Neon Mix and the Clove Multi Strand necklace.
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Other gifts that Brian got me were a Withings fitnesses smart scale, which I just absolutely LOVE. It tells you your weight, BMI, water %, fat %, muscle %, bone % and much more! Then, Brian surprised me with a Sephora gift card and I got my Sephora birthday gift, which was the Bum Bum Cream and Coco Cabana cream… and, since I LOVE my Clarisonic and I found out they are out of business now (SO sad!) I decided to spend it on the LUNA 3 for Combo skin… which, I’m excited to try since you don’t need to buy replaceable heads for it like you had to with the Clarisonic.
It was so sweet for some of my blogging friends to send me some surprise gifts in the mail for my birthday. I also appreciated all of the kind IM’s, birthday story call outs, etc.! I wanted to share what I received, because these gifts were all so nice!
Lauren from Mom Home Guide (Above Left): Popcorn maker, Book Lover’s Journal and Silk Pillowcases and Card (not pictured)
Kathrine from Kathrine Eldridge (Above Right): Two beautiful pairs of earrings from at Etsy store called BaubleSky
Jill from Doused in Pink (Above Left): Prosecco Gummy Bears, Chill Rae Dunn Mug, Floral Headband, Julep nail polish, Scalloped Earrings, Notebook and Card.
Laura from I Do deClaire (Above Right): Face mask, Hair mask, Rae Dunn Ink Pins, Floral Earrings and Card.
Ada from Elegance & Mommyhood: She sent me a book to read. Has anyone read this? It has good reviews! She also sent me a necklace, but it hasn’t arrived yet.
Thank you so much blogging ladies!! 🙂 You made my birthday extra special and you know me so well! 🙂
Two – Running & Cross Country
Covid has brought some GOOD things to my life… It is hard to accept that, given it has turned everything else upside down, but it has… When EVERYTHING shut down, Nathan and I started taking LOTS and lots of walks… 1 hour+ walks each day… we explored so many nooks and crannies of our neighborhood and got lots of talking in. It was nice. He is 14, so I want to soak up as much time as I can right now!
Once we knew that Nathan would be starting cross country at the high school in mid-June, our walks turned into RUNS. We explored a different park each week for over a month. It is so fun to explore our city! I used to be a long distance runner, but at this point… 3 miles was challenging for me! Now I’m training for a half marathon (virtual) this fall and I’m so pumped about it! Nathan is running 4+ miles a day at cross country. We have gotten so strong!
Per the recommendation of Nathan’s cross country coach, we BOTH signed up for a virtual challenge. This isn’t a race, more of a challenge… that goes on for several months. The challenge is to run from St. Louis to Kansas City, virtually. So, we each log our miles each week and we get a little further. I am at 40% and Nathan is at 30%… we’re doing great! It is so neat, because you can click and see a photo of what it would look like on the street where you are each week! I love seeing photos of different towns I’m in, etc. It is such a fun challenge! We have until the end of October to complete it.
Nathan and I decided to buy some real running shoes! My shoes were real running shoes, but just really old, so I had to get a new pair, too! I traded in my Brooks and got New Balance and Nathan got Brooks shoes. We love our new running shoes and they look pretty spiffy, too!
I do have a question for you, my reader! Have you ever ran long distance? I am thinking about getting a camel back. Any suggestions? I could have really used one for my long run (8 miles!) last weekend. I trained for a marathon with a water belt, but I kind of want to give the camel back a try for the first time. Let me know your thoughts…
Three – Graduation, Confirmation and Plans for Fall School
Nathan’s school had a graduation ceremony for his class the last week of May. I have shared photos on my Instagram Stories, but not on here. It was a really nice ceremony spaced out in the gym that they just remodeled at his school. We all got dressed up (for the first time in months) and it was a good evening.
I was really proud of Nathan, because he was awarded Valedictorian of his class. He worked so hard on his speech and he did a great job that evening giving it. They had ‘Class of 2020’ masks made for all of the students. That will be a great keepsake he can show his kids or even grandkids someday!
We had a graduation party with just 8 of our family members on July 4th and it was really nice for Nathan.
In June, Nathan was finally confirmed. They didn’t have communion at the service, though, so we are hoping to get to church ‘in person’ once its s safe for him to receive it for the first time.
Next week my kids will both be returning to school (Autumn 6th grade, Nathan at the Lutheran high school for his freshman year) in person, 5 days a week. Almost all of the schools in St. Louis County are 100% virtual, so I hope it goes well with the private schools, which are almost all open. The high school has made a pretty significant investment to install air scrubbers in all of the classrooms that will provide surgically clean air and Autumn’s school had made some changes to make it safer, too (and, her class size is very small). Please keep my sweet kids in your prayers that they return safely and everything goes ok. They’ve both been in activities throughout the summer and they’ve been ok so far, with Nathan is cross country at the high school and karate at a dojo by our house and Autumn in competitive dance. If you have kids, where are you located and are they returning in person, hybrid or virtual? I’d love to know!
Four – Latest Books & Shows
I haven’t written a Friday Five since March, so I was surprised when I realized I had read SIX books since then:
I’ve been really interested in Enneagram numbers (personality typing system) and this book is the best I’ve found on explaining each number. I highly recommend it! It helped me to confirm what numbers I am, as for my husband and kids. It is just GREAT! I understand my family (and why they do some of the things they do!) so much more since reading this book.
I wanted to read this book, because I had heard so many good things about the mini series of it on Hulu AND it has Reese is in it… which, I have to watch anything she is in, I love me some Reese! This book is about the Richardson family that befriends a single mother and her daughter. There are a lot of secrets that get revealed in this book, the teen children form relationships yet there is some drama that evolves out of that… and, then there is the adoption that was wonderful till it turned upside down. It is hard to explain this book without giving away any of the details, but I really loved it.
After sheltering in for so long, I wanted to read something that would make me feel like I’m on vacation somewhere. The Jetsetters was the perfect book! This book is about 72 year old Charlotte, who just lost a dear girlfriend. She decides she is bored and misses her grown children dearly. She decides to enter a contest to win a cruise… fast forward, she’s on the cruise and she realizes that her children have a lot of problems and resentments toward each other from their childhood. However, they’re all on the cruise ship and after lots of drama, they start to help each other get through their pasts. I love the writing style of this book, so light and airy and comical!
When I watched the RISE Together live conference in May, they had Jen Hatmaker on there as a speaker. I had heard of her before and I had some of her books in my to reads list. However, I decided to be proactive and finally read one of her books. I really love Jen’s smart and witty take on life. She’s a great story teller, is down to earth and has a great way of putting things to make you realize that you are stronger than you think you are and you deserve more! I love that she’s religious, but not in your face religious… and, I love how she’s not afraid to say it how it is. I plan to read more of her books when I get a chance.
And, as for shows…
The Handmaid’s Tale
My friend Lauren from Mom Home Guide suggested we watch Handmaid’s Tale. I haven’t read the book, but the show is really good… and a little weird, but a good weird. 🙂 It’s about how only a handful of women can still get pregnant, so married couples are assigned a handmaid to get their husband pregnant. Yes, a little creepy, right? There is a lot more to it, but this is the main gist of it. We finally finished it and I CAN’T wait for season 4 to come out!!
Five – Pixi, Beaded Bracelets
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Pixi always goes above and beyond with the packages they send me every other month. This package I received several weeks ago, but I haven’t had a chance to review it yet (since I kept pushing this post back!). I have since received another package, SO I’m going to share this one in today’s post and the one I recently received in my next Friday Five (which I hope to start doing these at least once a month).
This Pixi box had the theme of Midsummer Festival! It included a fun clear hip bag and some great summer items in it, including glitzy faux tattoos!
Glitter-Y Eye Quad – This eyeshadow is perfect to place OVER your morning makeup to make the switch from day to night! It is glittery and bold!
Liplift Max – This lip gloss does just what it says, it perks up your lips and gives them a hint of color.
Makeup Melting Cleansing Cloths – I recently used these during our in state vacay!
H2O Skindrink – This is the perfect hydrating lightweight serum!
Are you all about some bright and colorful arm candy this summer? There are so many cute bracelets options out there, but I’ve been loving these affordable and customized beaded bracelets from Jessica (follow her on Instagram HERE) at Rural Cute Beading. She’s the sweetest momma to two boys and this is a local shop, close to St. Louis. She did two personalized bracelets for me with Nathan and Autumn’s names on them. Autumn, of course, took the rainbow bracelet with her name on it for herself, so she offered to make another Autumn bracelet for me. SO kind of her! These would make the perfect addition to go with your other bracelets or would make a great gift (that’s easy to mail in a card or add to a gift basket!). Check out Jessica’s Etsy store Rural Cute Beading HERE.
Well, I hope everyone has a nice and relaxing weekend!