Monday, August 28, 2017

Braves Game 2017!

Our Braves Game 2017 sure was fun! We had a great time seeing our favorite baseball team play at their new home Saturday night. We saw a good game, loved exploring SunTrust Park, and had so much fun with our boys. It was a surprise we all enjoyed lots

Setting off for the brand new stadium!

We stopped and ate at Taco Bell (the boys request) nearby before heading to the ballpark. Terrell was able to find us an amazing parking space ahead of time and we had the shortest walk ever into a Braves game. =)

We spotted Chipper's bobblehead right away! LOVE!! =)

I was super impressed with the new stadium. It just had lots of cool features and neat extras. You could have your very own jersey custom made during the game. For a price of course. But it was still pretty neat.

My favorite part of the new stadium was the outdoor Braves museum. I made a few pictures but it was super crowded so I couldn't get all the ones I wanted.

This was one of my favorite quotes from the museum/exhibit. It's a Hank Aaron quote and I love it. Plus the waterfall. =)

After checking things out a little longer we made our way to our seats! Thankfully we were in the shade and the temps weren't bad at all. YAY. 

Ready to see our Braves play!

It was a close game and the boys did great. Layton had moments of getting restless but we brought in our own snacks which helped a lot. Plus he loved the exciting parts of the game when we did the chop and there was lots of cheering. =)

We had such a great time. =) Love our traditions with our boys!!

We always try to stay in our seats until the middle of the 7th inning when we sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame. It's the sweetest.

Layton sang loud and proud and had a little audience watching him. =)

After we finished singing we decided to leave our seats and head out for bathroom stops, drinks, and letting the kids run against their favorite Braves. They got to pick who they wanted to run against and they were timed and everything. They had so much fun. This was completely free so they all ran more than once against different players. They had a ball. =)

We left shortly before the game ended with 3 tired and happy boys. The Braves lost a close one but the Selph fam had a blast. 

It was a LATE night for all of us but definitely worth it. We're excited to go back next summer and check out even more of SunTrust Park. I have a feeling there's tons we didn't get to see. In the meantime we'll keep cheering, chopping, and watching from home. =)

Friday, August 25, 2017


Happy Friday! I want to keep the blog updated as much as I can during this transition, and for this week this was the best I could do. This week and next week are super crazy so who knows when I'll be back regularly. Anyway, maybe September will bring more opportunities for blogging. I miss it! 

Here's a look at life around here currently...

*Eating... This week we've had American Pie's pizza buffet once, I made scrambled hamburgers one night, Terrell grilled one night, and last night was Parent Night at school so we all grabbed take-out at different times. Thank goodness for freezer meals and a supportive husband! I'm not cooking a ton but thankfully we haven't suffered too terribly much. 

*Planning... Currently we are planning for our middle man's 6th birthday party. =) It's coming up next Saturday and this is the first time I've ever planned a birthday party for any of my boys while working full time. #hopewecanpullitoff It is CRAZY trying to get everything ready, cleaned, and planned for while working all day every day. Plus exhausting. But Austin had his heart set on a party at home with a water slide like we've always done for him so that's what we're going to do. Maybe it will all come together!

*Loving... The start to our school year! Are we exhausted, worn out, so tired we're sleep walking, and ready for a break? ABSOLUTELY. Haha! But the start to this year has been amazing. And it's totally without a doubt, God's grace. We have all had the best start and I couldn't have imagined things going any more smooth. I am still overwhelmed and trying to process everything new to me this year having never taught PreK before, BUT, I am loving it so much. I'm confident this is where I'm supposed to be. It hasn't been challenge free or without some late nights or stressful moments, but I just know I've found my place. I am supposed to be with babies who are learning all about school, how to be away from their parents, how to get along with others, and at the ground floor and very start of their academic careers. =) I am enjoying it so much. And my boys are just doing great in 3rd grade, Kindergarten, and Preschool! They have all had such an easy transition. God has really shown us His goodness through this big transition and we are so, so thankful. His grace and goodness are undeserved and amazing.

*Not Loving... Feeling exhausted all the time. Phew. The struggle is real! I'm trying to eat energy giving foods and get plenty of rest and drink lots of water, but so far I'm still dragging something serious. I think it's just an August thing. I'm hoping as Fall approaches I start to feel better. Plus this miserably hot weather isn't helping things. It's draining. Thankfully we've a felt a little relief in the mornings! I'm also not loving the annual August sickies. I think Garrison and Austin are past their little colds and Terrell has already had his this month but the runny nose is still plaguing my littlest man and I've had a scratchy throat and headache off and on for a couple of weeks. Hopefully we'll be rid of the crud soon!

*Watching... Since school started back we've mainly been watching sports. The Braves, Atlanta United, and pre-season NFL games are about it. We finished Designated Survivor over the the summer and can't wait for it to come back on! We're also excited about our "regulars" coming back too. It's been good that we haven't had any shows to watch since school started back because I'm rarely able to stay up very long after the kids go to bed. Our evenings are busier and we haven't had the time to watch much together. But I'm hoping with all the season premiers coming up late next month or in early October we'll be ready! 

*Reading... I am currently reading Elin Hilderbrand's newest release, The Identicals. It's a slow go so far because I only have a chance to read right before bed so I'm only managing a few pages a night. Haha. But it's really good so far! I read a TON this summer. Probably the most ever in one summer. But now my reading is slowing down and that's okay. Once I'm not exhausted all the time I'll read more again. =)

*Trying... To get the house cleaned, a party planned, lesson plans written, everyone to soccer practice, at least a little down time each day, and my family fed some decent meals. =)

*Hoping... For good weather this weekend when we take the boys to see the Braves play at their new home! We decided back when Garrison was a toddler that we'd like to go every summer and this year we couldn't find a time to go until now. The boys asked right after school started when we were going to a Braves game and we told them it was a surprise. So hopefully they'll be super surprised and thrilled. I know mama and daddy are pretty excited!

*Wanting... The sickies to go away, Fall to come on time (or early!), a fun girls night out tonight (yay!!), extra rest this weekend, party prep to go smoothly, school to continue to go well for everybody, and to see growth, improvement, and a lots and lots of learning from my students. 

*Needing... To continue to find a balance between home and work so that no one is getting the short end of me. One thing I struggled with in the Spring when I took over in a Kindergarten class was feeling like I was at my best at work and at my worst at home. I do NOT want that to happen again. Home should be our safe place and where we're free to completely be ourselves, but I can't give my best at work and have my family suffer. So far I haven't felt that way this year. But, I am learning that working full time--especially as teacher when there are times you could always bring your work home or just set up camp and move in at the school--requires a lot of flexibility and letting it go. I can't cook big meals for my family every single night right now. I also can't cross off everything on my to-do list at school at one time. I have to give myself some grace, I have to be able to let some things go, and I have to prioritize. My mental (and sometimes physical) to do list both at school and at home now consists of 2 parts.... must do now/first, and can do later/can wait on. My family still needs to come first. My marriage and my kids have to be top priority. My responsibilities as a teacher are GREAT. My school babies are important and my job is important, but my family is most important. This transition is testing me but I'm praying I can find the balance I need, maintain it, and keep my priorities in order. Extra prayers are always appreciated because it isn't easy! =)

We are sooo looking forward to our weekend!! Weekends are even sweeter now, if that's possible. Have a great one!  

Friday, August 18, 2017

Friday Favorites: Catching Up Edition... Sort Of

Yay for Friday!! I want to attempt to keep blogging somewhat regularly so even though I don't have tons of pictures I'm going to go with what I have and hopefully catch up a little. 

*My dad sent me this picture a couple of weeks ago from their little outing to Dauset Trails. The boys and I have gone every summer since we moved back but this year with the busyness of going back to work and setting up a classroom, we didn't have a chance to go. So Granna and Papa took the grands during pre-planning. This picture is just the sweetest! I mean melt my heart!! Love these babies so!!

*Layton's very 1st day of school was Monday, July 31st and this is the picture I got of him before his big day. He's attending preschool half a day each day and Terrell takes him every morning before heading to work and my mom and mother-in-law pick him up every day. He wasn't super sure about it at first but he seems to really love it now. YAY. His favorite things about school so far appear to be painting, the "Home Living" center, and turning into a dinosaur and chasing girls at recess. Haha! 
*The same day as Layton's 1st day of school and mine and the boys (and AnAn's!) 2nd day of school, my mom had all of us over and cooked us a huge and delicious dinner. It was so nice not having to worry about feeding my crew on the 2nd day of school... which was possibly more exhausting than the 1st! I didn't take a single picture because EXHAUSTION, but it was a huge favorite!

*Later that week on Friday night (of the first week of school), we celebrated Frankie's birthday together with a steak dinner! And an oh so yummy ice cream cake!! It was a fun celebration with the fam. =)

*Terrell and I took the boys to CFA for supper on a Saturday night a couple of weeks ago and we all had a blast. =) The boys typically play on the playground while we order and get everyone's food and drinks situated at our table. Then they come eat and we usually trade in our kids meals toys for ice cream, and then we let them play again before we leave. Well after enjoying the most delicious ice cream known to man, the boys played and Terrell and I just sat and watched a hilarious video we came across on FB. For like 11 minutes! We laughed so hard and had the best "date" while the boys played. We even decided to take a selfie of ourselves while we watched. Haha!! We're dorks. 

*Last Friday night we celebrated Terrell's upcoming birthday with his parents. We grilled out and they even made us homemade ice cream! I don't have a picture but we had a great night celebrating the best son, husband, and dad ever!

*We made some final decisions about a pool this summer. Something that's been in the plans and in the works for exactly 3 years!! We are soooo excited! The first thing we're doing is replacing our deck with a brand new one, plus adding a lower level that will step out onto the patio area by the pool. It's going to be a long term project but should be finished in plenty of time. Terrell and his dad are doing most of the work themselves and it's been pretty cool to watch.  

*And the boys have been fascinated and so impressed. They've even started some "building" projects themselves around the house. =)

*Earlier this week while we were having supper the boys started comparing and discussing their favorite foods.... which eventually led to a game of this or that? Hamburgers or hotdogs? Pancakes or waffles? Ice cream or popsicles? Skittles or sour patches? Fruit Loops or Apple Jacks? The game went on and on throughout dinner, clean up, and all the way to bedtime! We've played before but this time was a record breaker. And so fun! So I made a picture. =)

This weekend we have lots of plans to celebrate Terrell's birthday, do some planning for Austin's upcoming birthday, and attend our niece Allison's birthday party. =) Plus we're hoping for some extra rest. I am TIRED. Phew. Week 3 of school is almost in the books and other than beginning of the school year exhaustion, things are going great! Happy Friday!!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Layton at 3.5

On Saturday our baby turned 3 and a half! In some ways 3.5 seems so big when you're talking about your BABY. I mean, how can our littlest man be half way to 4?!?! It just doesn't seem possible! But in other ways, 3.5 still seems itty bitty and oh so little. He is growing up fast but I know I'll always see him as my baby. The same goes for his big brothers too. One day they'll all be bigger than me, but as their mama they will always be my baby boys. 

Here's a little peek at life with Layton at 3.5....

*You sleep the latest out of all the brothers in the house. You will sleep until 8:00 or later on the weekends lots of times while Garrison and Austin barely make it to 7:30. 

*Your bedtime is around 8:00 on school nights (but you aren't asleep until a little closer to 8:30) and around 7:30-7:45 on the weekends. Most weekends are easier for earlier bedtimes and we're usually so worn out from the week that we don't mind heading to bed early!

*You LOVE bread. Hahaha! I can't even tell you the number of times you've told us you want bread for your meal. I'm afraid you get it from your mama. BUT, we never give you just bread. Ha! In fact, lots of our meals don't even include bread. Much to your disappointment. =)

*Your favorite things right now are superheros and power rangers. You love playing "fight the bad guys" or power rangers with your brothers. It's currently your favorite hobby!

*You still enjoy being rocked, sitting in our laps, us rubbing your back, and being close to mama and daddy. Especially mama. =) I'm so thankful you're still our little cuddle bug!

*You have done great adjusting to preschool so far and mama working full time. I'm very proud of how quickly you accepted our new routine and the way you've become a pro at it!

*You love your grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins and ask about them, talk about them, or "call" them on your phone frequently. =)

*Your most favorite thing is playing outside. Unfortunately it has been brutally hot and humid lately and we don't get out much. But I wouldn't be at all surprised if you chose a career that allowed you to work outside. You LOVE "cutting the grass", "building the deck", and working in the yard. Outside is your favorite place to be and the weather doesn't seem to phase you one bit.

*You are super excited to play soccer and are counting down to your first practice!

*You have the cutest imagination and "tend" (pretend) all the time. Dressing up as a superhero or power ranger is a regular occurrence for you.

*You still nap every afternoon, you have a big sweet tooth, carbs are your fave, you love the water, your big brothers and cousin Piper are your best friends, you keep us laughing all the time, you don't like the dark or thunderstorms, your favorite food is Mexican, and you bring us joy every single day. 
You are half way to 4 and we are loving watching you grow!! Happy half Birthday Layton Thomas! We love you and are soo blessed you are ours!!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Back to School

We are all in full blown back to school mode over here! Phew. It's exhausting and definitely takes some getting used to after our laid back summer days. But we're all doing it and all having a pretty great start! 

I thought I jot down the highlights and little things I want to remember from our first 10 or so days...

*Teaching PreK is super fun and super CRAZY. Some days I laugh and some days I cry. Haha. Thankfully I haven't had many tears. The beginning of the year is just nuts trying to keep up with 22 little 4 year olds who may or may not want to be at school and who may or may not struggle with following directions. Ha! Plus it's just exhausting. Like really, really exhausting. This teacher-mama is TIRED. I love my school babies already and we are slowly but surely getting the hang of things at big school.......but it's been a wild adventure for sure. 

*Garrison LOVES his new school. (In our county the Primary School consists of grades PreK through 2nd and the Elementary School consists of grades 3rd-5th. So this year Garrison moved to the Elementary School.) Going to a "new" school and facing the unknown is a little intimidating. 3rd grade in itself is a little intimidating! But he absolutely loves his teachers and is having the best experience so far!! There is more independence, things are more laid back, his teachers are awesome, and the Activity teachers/classes (Art, Music, PE, Computer) are his favorite. It has been such a blessing and answered prayer for us because we were all nervous! I'm really excited about this year for him. 

*Austin is transitioning well to Kindergarten! The first few days he didn't really want to go and even shed some tears one day at lunch when he saw me because he just wanted to go home and be with me. Bless him. He loves his mama and is a for sure home-body. =) Thankfully he really loves his teachers and is doing awesome. I would even go so far to say he is loving school most days. He's just a pro at almost everything Kindergarten (so far). That September birthday and being the oldest is a big time advantage. I don't love that there are 3 years/grades between the big boys in school but his birthday is to his benefit without a doubt. I'm so thankful he'll always be the oldest and have that extra advantage. 

*Layton has done great with preschool so far! I think it has been so good for him to be with peers and classmates and teachers for half a day each day. He has been home with me full time for most of his life and last year started staying with his Granna and Nana quite a bit, so this experience for him is a great one! He was apprehensive and unsure the first couple of days but since then has really blossomed. I know he'll learn a ton and be ready for big school next year. And something about him going to "school" each morning just like us makes my mama heart feel better about working full time this year (the year before he starts big school). 

*Terrell has been amazing. He has taken over all of our laundry, most of our errands, and has really gone above and beyond to make this transition easier on me. He knew this job opportunity was really important to our family and a huge step for me.... and all of us really. I haven't worked full time (other than 10 weeks back in the Spring) in 8 YEARS. And that was before having 3 busy little boys! So this change is a BIG one. And I'm so, SO thankful for him stepping up and being so wonderful about the added responsibilities and extra "stuff" he's having to take on. We've always been great at tag teaming and I hope we can keep up our stellar teamwork. =)

*The big boys have started soccer and Layton's first practice is coming up soon! I was extremely nervous about signing up all 3 boys for soccer this Fall because this is another first for us. And the timing is scary with me going back to the classroom full time. I mean we've never experienced 3 playing at once. #pulledin3differentdirections #we'reoutnumbered #thankfulforgrandparents But he is SO excited that I know it will be worth it. He's been watching his big brothers play sports for as long as he can remember and he's thrilled that it's finally his turn. I hope he loves it as much as he thinks he is. =)

*Our parents have been a huge help to us so far and I'm honestly not sure what we'd do without them. Last year we needed them to help with Layton once I started subbing, but this year is sort of a all hands on deck year. Layton has to be picked up from school each day at 11:30, some mornings we'll need someone to take Garrison to school, some afternoons we'll need the big boys to be picked up from school due to me having meetings or trainings at other locations, I'll need childcare for teacher work days, etc. So we are extremely blessed with parents who not only can help but also want to help. Thankfully next year the boys and I will all be on the same schedule and we want be nearly as "needy." 

The start to this school year has been an exhausting whirlwind, but overall things have been pretty awesome. I'm adjusting, the boys are adjusting, and hopefully things will only get better. I know we'll all have days of not wanting to go, or days of being completely "over" our schedule. (I've already had some moments of feeling overwhelmed and ready for a break!) But I think this transition year for us has the potential to be a really good one and this job opportunity will really bless our family in ways we haven't experienced before. God's plans are good and we will continue to trust in Him and give Him the glory. 

Happy Friday Eve! =)