Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Hello...It's Me...

I needed to take a little break from my blog for awhile.....

But I'm back and ready to focus on the bright side today and share some of what we've been up to the last few weeks. In a nutshell...

The Comparison Trap. Without a doubt, this is my favorite devotional I have ever done. I posted awhile back that I had felt a nudge to lead an online devotional for women who were finding themselves stuck in the comparison trap (in other words, EVERY WOMAN I HAVE EVER KNOWN. Including yours truly-big time!). We ended up with 545 women from across the country. We spent 28 days getting raw and real and honest. We let down our guard and shared our stories and our truths and our struggles. And for me? It was life-changing. We even had the author of the book herself, Sandra Stanley, drop in to offer some words of encouragement. <3 If you haven't already read it, I could not recommend her devotional any more highly. It will change your life, ladies. Truly it will. It has certainly changed mine.  

School fun. Banks celebrated the 100th day of 1st grade by dressing up like a 100-year-old man, and Harrison was stoked to get to wear his jammies to school for the Winter White Out pajama party. Poor Rals had to skip a couple days of school thanks to a stomach bug.

Alcohol-free zone. A couple of months ago, my hub and I decided to take 30 days off from having any alcoholic beverages. We started the day after CLEMSON WON THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP (!!!). I tried to quit many, many times during the month but my hub kept encouraging me so I stuck with it...for 25 days. Yes, five days shorter than our goal, but I ultimately decided that I could have a beverage after a tough month. And you know what? I would do it again--for the full 30 days! I may actually do it again this year, but if not by the end of 2017, then definitely again in January 2018. :) 
The Big 6-0. Surprise! A couple weeks ago, all five of my siblings and I headed to Columbia to help surprise my stepdad at a 60th birthday party! My mom did a great job arranging everything, and he had no idea until he walked into his favorite restaurant and saw all of his kids, grandkids, and dear family and friends standing there waiting for him. It was awesome! Then, the whole BLOMPS crew stayed on the same floor in a hotel so that we could put our kiddos to bed and spend hours having fun in the hallway, drinking (well, not my hub and I -- we were still in the alcohol-free zone at that point ;) and laughing and chatting. It was great!

Winter/Spring sports. Banks wrapped up his basketball season last weekend...and had baseball evaluations the same day. Sheesh! No rest for the weary, right? His practices will be starting soon, as will Raleigh/Harrison's soccer seasons. Meanwhile, Raleigh continues on with her twice weekly gymnastics classes. Whew! But I just love watching them do what they love. 

Daddy-Daughter Dance. Last week, Raleigh and her daddy attended their third Daddy-Daughter dance. We look forward to this day each year now! We buy her a special dress and then she and I spend time getting her all fancy the day of the dance. Her daddy buys her flowers and rings the doorbell to pick her up. He then whisks her off to dinner before they head to the dance to par-tay. And just like in years past, they had a ball!

The glam squad, ready to get ready already ;)

Just like last year, she requested to have her hair straightened. This was her reaction during the big reveal

He rang the doorbell promptly at 4:30 :)

Off they go!
 Ready to dance after enjoying a triple dinner date with friends <3

New York. Last weekend, some of my favorite women in the world - my college best friends - and I headed to the Big Apple for the last of our crew's bachelorette parties. We rented a townhouse right in the heart of Manhattan...which turned out to be the same street where Carrie Bradshaw lived on Sex and the City (and of COURSE we took a photo on her front steps!). We girls had more fun than a weekend should allow. And good gracious, was this trip good for my soul. <3 

Three of us arrived shortly before 10:00 am on Friday, and we spent hours grabbing lunch, walking around the city, getting a few groceries, etc., before the rest of our girls arrived later in the day. Then, we all hit up a local spot for Happy Hour before heading back to get ready for a night on the town. We had dinner at a cozy, authentic, delicious Italian restaurant and then hit up a bar before heading to a show at the original Comedy Cellar. And, no joke (pun intended), I haven't laughed that hard in YEARS!!! It was so funny and so fun! 

We kicked off Saturday with another delicious meal - brunch at a Spanish-style restaurant - and then spent the rest of the day living it up in the city. We walked and laughed and talked and shopped and coffee-d and got lost on the subway and laughed some more. Then, we headed home to get ready for our second night on the town, which we would begin by enjoying some yummy cheese and wine while playing bachelorette games. Next, we went to dinner at Untitled at the Whitney Museum, where one of our friends from college is the head chef!! She created a special tasting menu for us, and no kidding, it was the BEST meal I have ever had in my ENTIRE life. Just so, so good. We then headed out on the town and found this amazingly fun bar with an awesome live dj who was spinning our favorite music--80s. We stayed out until past 1:00 am and then this ol' grandma finally had to call it quits. :) It was a weekend that was SO needed and I miss my girls so much already! 

Valentine's celebrations. Per usual, all three kiddos had their school Valentine's Day parties, with Harrison's being the only parent-invited party. They each took their classmates Pinterest-inspired Valentines (as did most of the rest of the world. Thanks Pinterest! ;) and ate their weight in candy. 

 Sweet Valentine mini #1...

 and #3 :)

 Ready to party, preschool style :) 

Because my hub had to leave for a conference in San Fran that day, he and I put the kids to bed a little early the night before and enjoyed a delicious in-home dinner date, comprised of filets cooked to perfection on the Big Green Egg with sides of brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, all made courtesy of the one person in our family who is actually a good hub. :) Since it was just my trio and me on Valentine's night, we decided to have a special menu for dinner...cupcakes from our favorite local cupcake shop, Cupcrazed. Delish!

And there you have it--a few of the bright spots from the last few weeks. And WHOA!!! How's that for a whopper of a post?! If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I'll be back soon with a much shorter post...and an adoption update. <3

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