Friday Favories: School's In

We are back in the swing of things. Four days into school and I am finished with one big work project and a big event. Happy to be heading into the long weekend and linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea for Friday Favorites. Here's what I am finding Joy in this week.

1) The First Week of School

Is there any bigger Joy than your child, especially one in middle school, coming home totally excited about school? From the excitement of the homeroom teacher, to already figuring out his science project, to getting the first grade Mass partner he wanted, this has been such a Good week for Hockey Guy. We are so very blessed to be able to send him to his school.


What's Up Wednesday August 2018: Goodbye Summer, Hello School

Hey end of did you get here so quickly? You are usually a month that gives this working mom anxiety but this year, you took it easy on me and even gave us a vacation. Let's take a moment to link up with MelShaeffer, and Shay. and slow down and see what was up around here over the last few weeks.

What We are Eating This Week

Well this one will be interesting because it involves the first week of school and also a quick work trip for me.  

Monday-We had this awesome crockpot meatball recipe from Mix and Match Mama. I didn't add mushrooms and used gluten free pasta and it was so Good. I am very picky about my crockpot food--I think most of it is mushy, tasteless and watery-so if it got a 9 out of 10 in our house, you know it is Good.

Tuesday-Normally Running Daddy and Hockey Guy get a pizza when I am out of town but there was a lot of talk tonight about making something. They were talking about getting creative with some grilled cheese ideas or even scrambled eggs and bacon for dinner. Hockey Guy has really enjoyed watching Chopped this summer and I think this is where this is where this excitement about cooking is coming from.

Wednesday-As long as my plane lands on time I am supposed to go to an orientation meeting for Cotillion. If that is the case we will do something easy like the leftover meatballs and probably turn them into meatball subs.

Thursday-Caprese pasta

Friday-Pizza night

What I am Reminiscing About

With the start of school I am definitely reminiscing about when Hockey Guy started kindergarten. He cried a little that morning and then came home so excited. Honestly, while he didn't cry this morning because he is a big middle schooler, he still came home excited about his first day and with all kinds of plans and ideas for this new school year. This brings me such Joy.

While I try not to get political on this space at all, I have so much of that in my day job, with the death of Senator John McCain this weekend, I have been reminiscing a lot about the Convention in Minneapolis in 2008 when he was the nominee for president. While I worked both the Democrat and the Republican Conventions in 2008, this week has me thinking about that last night when he gave his big speech and how once again I was lucky to be able to witness all of this history, now on both sides, as part of my job.

I remember this video from that night so vividly that details his extraordinary life and service to this country. You don't have to like John McCain's politics to agree, no matter who you are, that he was a great American and exemplified everything that is Good about this country. 

Image result for john mccain war hero

What I am Loving

Honestly, we are still basking in our dream-like vacation to Hilton Head Island this month.  We think it may have been the Best vacation we have had as a family. 

I am also loving all the back to school feels. There is so much love and support for Hockey Guy at his school and we have the Best school community around. Not just when things go well, but also when people struggle. The school year theme this year is "Choose Jesus." This is a place that makes that very easy.

What We Have Been Up To

Trip to Hilton Head

We had a dreamy trip to the Sea Pines resort in Hilton Head earlier this month. It may have been the Best vacation we have ever taken as a family. The drive was long but fun and once we got there we rode our bikes to the beach every day, had amazing meals, relaxed so quickly, ran into no one that we knew (a first for me) and spent all day in the water. We had 15 minutes of rain the entire week, which was the Best because that is all it did at home that week...rain, which sums up the summer weather at home.

Every Wednesday they have a 5K race on Hilton Head. Some weeks it is on a road course and some weeks it is on the beach, it all depends on the tides. The week that we were there it was on the beach and it was the first time Running Daddy and Hockey Guy did a race on the sand. They loved it and then jumped in the water right after the race. 

I am going to do a whole post on Hilton Head but in a nutshell, we love it. There is something magical about the place and has a vibe unlike any other place in the US that I have been.

Two Triathlons for Hockey Guy

Hockey Guy has been doing  kids triathlons and is really killing it. Last weekend he did two--won the first one and placed second in the other. It's so Good to see him discover something he truly loves.

Hockey Season Starting

Speaking of things Hockey Guy loves, hockey season started two weeks ago. They are just practice evaluations but we are getting ready to kick off the season. There can be early mornings but after his camps this year his skating looks so Good. I cannot wait to see what this season brings for him.

What I am Dreading

I really need to weed out clothes for both Hockey Guy and myself. This needs to be done but I am totally dreading it.  I ordered a Thred Up bag to help move things out and it should be here soon. If you have never tried Thred Up check it out here. It's a Good way to make a little money for the items you just don't reach for and buy items in Good condition.

Last year Hockey Guy and I put on music to clean out his clothes and we made it fun. I think I need a little Hallmark Channel to clean out my closet and transition my wardrobe this weekend.

What I am Working On

I just finished up a big work project this week and I am about to start a new one. 

I also need to get the school calendar on our Cozi family calendar this weekend, at least through Christmas break. 

What I am Excited About

After a very wet summer where it was either raining or the heat index was literally about 105 degrees, with no real spring this year, I am looking forward to hopefully a Good fall. I was looking at the trees as I drove the parkway yesterday morning and thought that  with all of the rain we have had that maybe the foliage colors this fall will be really GoodIn general I am really looking forward to the fall colors, the flavors and the temperatures. 

I am also looking forward to hockey season starting. Not so much the early mornings of it, but just watching Hockey Guy do something he truly loves.

What I am Watching/Reading

Honestly, I am reading a lot of school forms and to do lists--not a lot of time for pleasure reading but hoping to get back to that soon.

For watching, the usual...Real Housewives of New York is coming to an end and really was the season to end all seasons. These women totally know how to bring it. I totally love them all and hate them all at the same time.

bethenny frankel real housewives of nyc GIF

To be honest with you, while I may not be watching Bachelor in Paradise every week, I stop, I look at it, I watch it and I am not proud of it.  I just can't quit Colton and Jordan still needs to be on my TV at all times.

Season 5 Jordan GIF by Bachelor in Paradise

What I am Listening To

One thing that I don't think I have ever shared is that I am a big fan of old Hollywood. I am also pretty intrigued by the death of Natalie Wood, like strangely fascinated by her and this whole situation. I may have an old man crush on Robert Wagner and truly don't want to believe that he had something to do with her death. So when a friend told me about the Fatal Voyage podcast examining what happened the night she died--I was totally in. It's so Good, I am waiting to hear the entire podcast and all of the evidence before I tell you if I changed my mind. I highly recommend you check this one out.

What I am Wearing

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I was able to break out my new Wit and Wisdom jeans from the Nordstrom sale. These jeans are like magic pants and the denim is so soft. I am not sure I will be able to wear any other jeans from now on.

I am also really loving my Pimpin Joy shirt that my friend left on my doorstep about a month ago. It was something that I have been wanting but wouldn't buy myself.  It's super soft and just makes me happy.

What I am Doing This Weekend

Since we celebrated Hockey Guy's birthday while we were away, we are putting together a little rock climbing party for him now that school is back in.  

I am waiting for Running Daddy to get the hockey schedule on the calendar as I am sure we will have hockey this weekend.

I also need to really clean out and transition my closet.  See the "dreading" section above.

I am so hoping to use up a lot of the tomatoes from our garden which is on steroids! I am hoping to make a tomato pie and then experiment with a gluten free coffee cake.

Speaking of coffee cake, I need to figure out what day I am going back to Barre 3 after a little break this summer.

What Else is New

I think I think I have covered everything except to say that as a working mom, I have had less summer stress than in past years. A lot has to do with my new job and a lot has to do with the great group of older kids we hired to help hang out with Hockey Guy when we didn't have camp weeks. We are so blessed to have so many great young people in our lives.

Bonus Question-Favorite Back to School Tradition

My favorite tradition is not a very Pinterest-worthy. It is just the very rushed back to school photo which always includes our sweet dog Stormy looking very sad. Mostly I just love to hear about Hockey Guy's first day. For a preteen boy, he actually talks a lot and does share things. He always comes home excited about learning, his first day and has changed a lot of his goals even this first week. It gives me great Joy to know that he is in the right school and has such comfort in a place that he loves.

Feel free to share your favorite back to school traditions in the comments below. 

That is what is up around here. I am so looking forward to September!

Friday Favorites--Last Week of Summer Faves

We are back from our dreamlike vacation and it's the last week of summer vacation around the Good Better Best household. It's Friday so I am linking up with ErikaNarci and Andrea to talk about what I am finding Joy in this week, even though we came home to a broken air conditioner.

1) Gluten Free Fried Food

If you have been around here for even a hot minute, you know that I am gluten free and I have been since 2010. While I don't miss much being gluten free, there are several foods I really miss, one of those is fried clam strips. When I was trying to figure out if I really needed to be gluten free, fried clam strips was my test food. The answer is yes...oh yes do I need to be gluten free but the clam strips were Good.


Friday Favorites: Best Jeans, The Men Tell All, Garden Goodies, Hallmark Christmas Keepsake Week and Pimpin Joy

Whew, it has been a week. After a fun trip to get Hockey Guy at hockey camp last Friday, we had a very chill weekend. I have been working a crazy amount on a project that is very difficult but it is all working out. I am excited to take a break and link up with  ErikaNarci and Andrea to share some of the little things that brought me Joy in this busy work season.

1)The Good Better Best Garden

I have talked about my garden on this blog for many years. For a while I just wrote about cooking and then some gardening. Last year I didn't plant the garden because we were smack dab in the middle of a major home renovation and frankly, I couldn't tend to one more thing. This year after some rain delays I was able to get the Good Better Best garden in on Memorial Day weekend, like I do most years. I think taking a year off may have been a Good thing because it is going gangbusters. The tomato plants are huge and things are starting to pop. I do think all of the rain took out our zucchini plant because we have no flowers and only one zucchini came up this year but apparently I am about to have a side hustle as a yellow squash farmer. Feel free to send any yellow squash recipes my way.

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