Monday, September 18, 2017

*the struggle is real*

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my life, these days, revolves around back pain and little else.

it's sad and yet amazing how back pain can control every single thing you do.

the 3rd injection was less than successful.

i've gone for a 2nd opinion. the news was not good.

there is only 1 thing left to be done before surgery - an RF ablation AKA burning the nerves that send the pain signals to my brain. sounds awesome huh?

i'm NOT at all willing to do surgery at this point...despite the insane level of pain i've been experiencing lately. (this weekend was near torture)

the surgeon told me the surgery would include screws and rods in my back! what? 

i'm 46 yrs old. i can't believe i'm in need of such a procedure.

i'm beyond depressed about this and am wondering when/where the full blown melt down will occur.

i think it almost occured this morning when i put a top on that i hadn't worn since last summer...and it's much tighter than it was. the weight gain piece of all of this has me completely devastated.

i worked SO hard to lose weight and do as much running as I did last year...and now, its all for nothing. i'm up 10-12lbs.

we had biometric screenings at work last week & I already got my results. of course they are much worse than last year. as if that's a surprise.

this may be extreme, but i do feel like "nothing" is going right for me these days.

i can barely stand up in the kitchen long enough to do the dishes or bake some brownies.

should i be thankful i do not have a job that forces me to stand for long lengths of time? ugh.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things encountered during the week. **************************************************************************************


1) I love this idea! Hide a Book on September 18. I know it's been done quite a bit in the UK, particularly by Emma Watson, but I'm really hoping it picks up here in the US. I'm planning to hide a few copies of (one of) my favorite books. While I'd like to buy the stickers, I think I'll make my own and save my pounds (dollars) for something else. :)

2) Looking forward to the 3 day weekend. Who doesn't look forward to an extra day off? Taking a mini road trip up to VA to see my dad.

3) I'm still "on the fence" with following through on being a Lyft driver. I've heard SO many stories of how much $$$ people have made and I love the flexibility...but as a female, I'm also a bit frightened. Oh and then there's the part where my husband doesn't want me to do this at all (for safety issues). Ugh! It just seems like it's the only (relatively well paying) part time job that would really work for me and not make me feel like a (broke) loser. Your input welcome! :) I just really want to pay down debt and increase my savings....after 6 years in a private school (and making VERY little money), I'm trying to make up some ground. *sigh*

*ETA - the more I read #3, the more I am "accepting" that it's probably just not a good idea. :(

4) I had a great time last weekend at the scrapbooking crop with my mom. Despite many many hours of (nearly) uninterrupted crafting, I remain quite behind...though I was able to fully complete my Week in the Life album from cover to cover. So excited about that. 

5) It seems whenever I return from one of these scrapbooking events, it is days, if not weeks, before I get back to scrapbooking. I'm happy to report that I actually jumped right in on Tuesday night to get a couple things done...of course, I stayed up too late and paid for it on Wednesday morning. Ha!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Bookish & Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things encountered during the week. **************************************************************************************


1) Found another good podcast! I have become a bit addicted to The Vanished!! Each podcast is a story about someone who has gone missing and has still not been found. Pretty interesting.

2) Commence the countdown to Fall Break...my, Ethan and my mom are going to Panama City Beach, FL. I haven't been there for 25 years, so I'm pretty excited to go back since it's much more developed now. I'm also really excited to be going somewhere different/new. I need to investigate all the activities available there so we can determine what we should do. So excited!

3) Ethan & I enjoyed the Great American Solar Eclipse  from our friend's farm in Greenback, TN...in the path of Totality and it was totality awesome! :) Schools were closed here because of the timing of the eclipse as it would occur during dismissal, which means it would have been dark...then there's the whole "once in a lifetime" thing too. 

4) On that note, I couldn't believe the craze on eclipse glasses. It was like Cabbage Patch kids all over again. Thankfully we had our glasses for a while and were ready to view.

5) In addition to being off this past Monday, I was also off on Friday (Yay! 4 day weekend) to take Oscar to have 2 wisdom teeth pulled (the anesthesia was hilarious) and then I enjoyed (not) yet one more back injection at 1pm.  As suspected, it seems it was a complete waste of money since I have only had about 1-2 days of "relief". The doctor seemed to think it could help....or maybe he just wanted the $. (They are billing the insurance $1000+ for each injection). I have decided to move forward on a 2nd opinion since only 3 days after this last injection, I had pain equal to before every having seen him. #fail

6) I've had a lot of days off in August...and tomorrow is another day off. I'm excited to go on a scrapbook "retreat" with my mom this weekend. We will be at a local hotel, but it's so much fun to scrapbook from morning til really late at night. I hope to make some mega progress since the whole house painting and move completely derailed my scrapbooking progress.

7) September will be rough as I have NO days off scheduled. Oof. Add to that a co-worker has quit and will be leaving early September, leaving only 3 people on our team....down from 5 just two months ago. This should be interesting. 

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Another Year Older



*disclaimer: this post is more for my memory in looking back years from now to recall what was happening in my life at this time. you may find it rather boring. consider yourself warned. :)
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*i turn 46 today.

*i bought my first pair of readers last night. much needed.

*i'm getting my teeth cleaned today...because I know how to celebrate a birthday! ugh!

*looking forward to dinner @ chez guevara tonight with ethan, mom & dave.

*we are living in our 3rd home together.

*i am not loving my job (no surprise there).

*i've been struggling with some significant back pain for about 1 year now.

*i still wonder "what if" to having made other choices earlier in life. this will probably never stop.

*i love scrapbooking, specifically "project life" but struggle to find the time to do it.

*i love reading, but like scrapbooking, struggle to find the time for it. usually in bed at night or while i'm walking/running on the treadmill.

*i'm going on a scrapbooking weekend with mom starting on friday and cannot wait. these are always so much fun and i'm glad we've made it sort of a tradition. this is our 4th "retreat" - to a local knoxville hotel - so not necessarily "retreat" but super fun nonetheless. so excited.

*and it's official. oscar has forgotten my birthday. i just got off the phone w/him and he neglected to wish me a happy birthday. gonna see how long it takes him to remember.

*updated: oscar called back 20 minutes later to wish me a happy birthday. *sigh*




Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Bookish & Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things encountered during the week. **************************************************************************************


Love & Gelato by [Welch, Jenna Evans]
1) I read "Love & Gelato" in 2 days!!! That never happens. It was that good. Great YA book for middle school and up. I loved traveling through Italy with the characters. This is one of those that I was sad to finish because I was enjoying it so much. Also, it's only $1.99 on Kindle...grab it while you can. That's a great deal! I think I may stick to YA for a bit, as I haven't been having much luck with adult books.

2) Today is our 3rd full day of 4th grade and so far the complaints have stayed to a minimum...thank goodness. Really hoping and praying that this year is amazing for him. That may be wishful thinking though. 
3) I'm taking a class at the end of the month to learn how to make French Macarons...I am super excited. They are a bit intimidating to make so I'm hoping to get all the secrets and then make them myself (and maybe sell them if I have any luck).4) I signed back up at the YMCA. Hopefully I can get there more regularly than I was during last school year. On Tuesday night, I spent almost 2 hours there, including a 1 hour yoga class. The downside to the Y is their child watch still. It's sub par at best. The kids SIT in a room with a few games and then just the other night, Ethan was told he can't use his iPad there. What? How about you take the kids to the gym so they can run around and, oh I don't know, EXERCISE!!!!??? It's hard for me to get there w/o Ethan in tow, but I will probably limit it to 2x/week and then Saturday mornings when he is at drum practice. I definitely won't be staying for 2 hours though as that's just way too long for him to sit around with little to nothing to do.5) I've been in a funk the past couple days and really need to shake it. I think though, that the only things that will help me shake it is winning the lottery or going on a really long beach resort vacation. Ha!
One True Loves
6) I've read so many positive reviews about One True Loves and I'm finally reading it. After Love & Gelato, I just wanted to read another YA book. They are quick reads and very enjoyable. I'm 33% done and plan to finish it this weekend.

Thursday, August 03, 2017

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts



Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things encountered during the week. **************************************************************************************
-my fortune from dinner last night w/my dad :)

1) I joined a new book club! First meeting is tonight. I haven't finished the book. I don't much care for the book. And then, I can't even go tonight as I have a schedule conflict. Try again next month.

2) Today is "meet the teacher". Ethan is out of town with his dad, coming back late tonight, but I"ll go up to the school to meet her and drop off supplies. Praying for a better year this year. 

3) I'm done with the chiropractor. Next up: steroid injection #3 on August 18. #CantWait

4) Excited to have "summer hours" at work...which means if I can work 36 hours in 4 days and then 4 on Friday morning, I can leave at 12noon. Woot! Doing this tomorrow.

5) Speaking of work...didn't find any school counselor gigs, so I'm staying put for now. We will see what happens...and if you watch the news, it was just announced that my company was purchased by a really big company to make together the biggest company in this particular industry. Lots of change coming, but the job losses that typically occur from this sort of thing are at least a year away. 

6) Booked a trip to Fl with my dad for Spring Break next year. So excited as we typically don't go anywhere for Spring Break. Happy that I'll have the whole week off with my little man too!

7) Speaking of FL, I really just need to move there...it seems everytime I plan a vacation, that is where I want to go. I just told the husband that I want to go to Panama City Beach for Fall Break for a few days. I haven't been there for over 20 years, before it was so "happening"....there seems to be a lot to do and I'd love to take Ethan there. Husband isn't so excited, but I'm hoping to convince him. :) After all, we are ALWAYS going to SC and while I love it there, I really want to go someplace new.


The Blinds by [Sternbergh, Adam]
8) Chronically short on time to read. Just had to say that. Speaking of books, I just choose my last book for BOTM club and while it's not my usual genre, it sounds amazing...I chose The Blinds by Adam Sternbergh.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things encountered during the week. **************************************************************************************
Image result for happier in hollywood podcast Image result for wondery locked up abroad Image result for elise gets craft ypodcast
1) Happy to report that I've found a couple podcasts to enjoy during my long drawn-out cubicle days---Happier in Hollywood is pretty funny...it's by Gretchen Rubin's (Happiness books) sister and her co-worker.  I've also listened to a few of the "Happier w/Gretchen Rubin" podcasts, but this will not likely be a regular one. I've jumped back on the wagon with "Elise Gets Crafty"....maybe every other podcast is relevant to me as she talks alot about building a small business...I don't have a small business to build, so I only usually listen to the craft-specific podcasts. Lastly, I am close to obsessed with "Locked Up Abroad" and am anxiously awaiting the next podcast to be published. Check it out, if you haven't already.

2) I need a side hustle...I have no imagination to create or come up with some great business...so I keep reverting to becoming a Lyft driver, but then reality kicks in and I decide that I don't want to get murdered in my car. I'll be poor & unfulfilled forever. *sigh* I would love to know if you would consider being a Lyft driver...I started filling out the application but stopped...I think I would be scared to pick strangers up, even if I stayed in "good" areas, which would be my plan. It's so tempting however, as the money is pretty good. Who couldn't use a few extra hundred dollars, right? 



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3) Check out Ethan's 36 second video he made in Apple Camp last week.


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4) Ethan has been at sleep away camp this week. As much as I looked forward to the alone-time, I've also found myself wondering what to do or even with nothing (exciting) to do.  I was hoping to take advantage of the time to do things that I cannot do with Ethan, as he and I are together 99% of the time. Instead, I've done the usual: laundry, dishes, recycling, garbage...as much as I love to read, sitting down and reading for hours on end at my house just doesn't work for me. I really need to be removed from my home in order to read at length....strange...maybe. In my defense, Starbucks keeps their AC way to freakin' cold for me and I'm pretty much "over" iced chai and I don't drink coffee. Doesn't leave much of a reason to go there. I've also felt like I need to get my 10k steps every day which means getting on the treadmill everyday after work...so yeah, not really doing much out of the ordinary this week. On Monday, I did go to Kohls to use a $5 certificate and buy some socks for Ethan. Weeee! I was hoping the Apple Store would have some more cool classes this week, but no. Speaking of that though, the Photo class I took on Saturday evening was awesome...I learned A LOT about using Photo on the Mac and additional ways to organize my pics. I had NO idea I could order prints and make books through Apple!! Amazing!!

5) My back continues to give me trouble. A lot of trouble actually. After 2 steroid injections and a lot of "pestering" from my mom, I have returned to the chiropractor to see if he can help me. I provided him with a copy of my MRI and he said he has some adjustments that may help me. Fast forward 6 visits later and no real progress has been made (again!)...it continues to be inconsistent, no matter what I do, treatment or activity-wise. I'm beyond frustrated and just this morning I wanted to just break down in tears about it...and then there's the 10-12 lbs that I've gained as a result. Yesterday, I did 15 minutes of traction at the chiropractor and still no improvement.
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6) Because I had just returned to the chiropractor, I postponed my 3rd injection from this past Tuesday to August 24 - the next available date - *sigh*....hindsight, I wish I hadn't but I wasn't in as much pain the day I cancelled as I am today and still wanted to give the chiropractor some time. Of course, they never have cancellations for injection appointments, so the chance of getting in sooner is next to nothing....but then again, the 2 injections I've had have only lasted 6 days each. #fail


7) Why can't all areas of life align in a good way at the same time? Seriously,  it seems that if I'm happy at work, home is a bit of a wreck....or as is my reality right now, when I'm not happy at work, home life is pretty good. Ugh!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts

Bookish and Not-So-Bookish Thoughts is a weekly blogging event hosted by Bookishly Boisterous. It allows book bloggers (and non-book bloggers) to write about pretty much anything, bookish or otherwise (i.e. share exciting plans for the weekend, rants on things encountered during the week. **************************************************************************************

1)If I can't have my summer off, at least I can work from home quite a bit. Ethan is attending Apple Camp, the computers, not the fruit and he absolutely loved it after just one day. Day 2 & 3 are Thursday & Friday. It's 90 minutes and the parent (or guardian) has to stay in the store the entire time. Lucky me, I have a book I can take with me tomorrow. My mom took him on Tuesday, the first day. I'm just happy I can take the mornings off to be w/him and then work from home in the afternoons.b vn                     b

2) Happy to report that we got all the childcare situated for the remainder of the summer...phew last week was one of those that definitely goes in the "parenting is hard" book. These last 3 weeks should be Ethan's favorites. Today he was with a friend of mine who has 2 middle school age daughters - it was like "mom/daughter" combo babysitting (mom is a teacher). Ethan had a blast and said he wishes he was going there again tomorrow, but he's stuck at home with me. Ha. I'm just glad he was so happy!

3) Added bonus to #2...I have a new friend-in-the-making. I knew the family already and they recently moved into our subdivision. We ran into one another at the pool recently where I ended up invited to her book club. Hooray!! We will be reading "Swimming in the Moon", I haven't started it but will very soon.

4) This summer will definitely go in the books as one of the LEAST greatest. Even our vacation was (much) less than stellar, primarily because my husband didn't take the whole week off like he was supposed to, which left E and I tagging along to his job site and/or doing things on our own instead of as a family, which is one of the main points of going on a (family) vacation. *sigh*

5) I'm back at the chiropractor for my back. He's become a good friend of my mom's so she has been telling him about my treatment with the orthopedic doc and the really fun injections (ouch!). I gave him a copy of my MRI and he told my mom and also called me to say that he has some adjustment moves that could help...I'm to the point where I am willing to try anything if it means I don't have to get another injection and/or I can get some relief. I've gone 4x now and there is definitely some improvement but as always, it is inconsistent. The past 2 days, however, have been my best in a while. I go again on Friday and then need to decide whether to call and postpone my 3rd injection, which is scheduled for next Tuesday. Getting old stinks.

6) Ethan just fell asleep on the couch watching tv. that almost never happens. he clearly had a blast at our neighbors house today. love that!

7) I've clearly moved into the world of "boring adulthood"...or in other words, I have next week completely to myself as E goes to sleep away camp and of course the husband is always out of town during the week. I cannot find a single thing to do with myself. There are no movies I care to see. I'm not a drinker & don't really have friends who are either, so going out on a "girls night" isn't happening either. I did find 2 yoga classes I may attend and hopefully my back will feel better and I can spend some serious time on the treadmill...but I really want to do things that I don't get to do usually because I have Ethan with me. Last time, I was able to go see "The Zookeeper's Wife" which was good....I had read the book a few years ago.

8) The husband and I are trying to make plans for a "date night" after we drop Ethan off at camp on Sunday. We enjoyed dinner @ a Thai restaurant last time and plan to eat somewhere else that Ethan wouldn't enjoy since we'll be on our own. We are really bad at making time for "date nights" so we are both pretty excited about this opportunity.

9) We really want to cut the cable costs in our house and switch over to something like Amazon Firestick or alternative...but I do not know the first thing about any of them. My husband is the TV watcher but it's mostly news (yawn) or military/history channels. I just don't know which option to choose that would give us what we want...I want HGTV, Food Network and all those lovely channels....I can live without everything else.

Friday, July 14, 2017

Books, Books & More Books

My book game has really dropped off this year.
Not by choice either.
I'm constantly 4 books behind on my Goodreads challenge, even with finishing 2.5 books on vacation last week. 

Currently Reading:
Same Beach, Next Year: A Novel by [Frank, Dorothea Benton]
Same Beach, Next Year by DBF...her's are always a "must-read", though I will say that last year's book was not a great one IMO.
Alexander Hamilton by [Chernow, Ron]
Hamilton - I started this quite a while ago, read for what seemed like hours only to discover I was on page 10. I want to read it, but can't seem to find the motivation.
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life by [Sincero, Jen]
You Are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness & Start Living an Awesome Life - confession: I don't even think I have "greatness" therefore, I can't really doubt it...but this book was recommended (generally) by a co-worker so I picked it up. It's one of those I read a few pages and set it down to read something else. I'll get back to it eventually but so far there was no "earth shattering" information on how to improve my life - at least that I thought was practical. 

Just Finished:
The Four Seasons by [Monroe, Mary Alice]
The Four Seasons by Mary Alice Monroe - 4 sisters, lots of drama, good book. I gave it 4 stars. I went right into this one after finishing her new release, Beach House for Rent, which was fantabulous.

Up Next:
Perfect Little World: A Novel by [Wilson, Kevin]
Perfect Little World - It just came through from the library so I've got 3 weeks to get it done. 
The Orphan's Tale: A Novel by [Jenoff, Pam]
The Orphan's Tale - picked this one up when it was $2.99, loved all of Jenoff's other books so I'm looking forward to this one.

So now I just need another vacation so I can knock a couple of these out. :)

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Ups & Downs

This has been a summer full of ups and downs. I wish I could say more Ups than Downs, but I think it's probably pretty even.

Down: Ethan is miserable at the (main) day camp he is enrolled in, so much so, that yesterday I had to pull him out. Just not a good fit for us this year.

Up: He had a great time at a different camp I enrolled him at in June. Wish he could be all year there, but it's way too pricey. Glad he loved it though.

Down: Since pulling him from camp, I'm scrambling to find coverage for him during the day. A lot of days are covered by my mom and I, since I can work from home, but I have ONE remaining day where neither of us can be with him and I'm quickly realizing we have (almost) no friends (who can help).

Up: He made huge strides by going to sleep away camp and having a wonderful time and successfully sleeping away from home for an entire week...something that rarely happens. He loved it SO much in fact, that now that he's out of day camp, he will spend another week at sleep away camp and he's super excited.

Down: I've reached out to a couple friends about helping us out with E next week and I totally understand when it doesn't work out, but sometimes the responses I get make it seem like I never should have asked them in the first place. THIS IS WHY I HATE HATE HATE asking for help! 

Down: This also makes me wish I had never left that stupid school job...even though it was absolutely awful and 17 other people also quit that year and I would have been miserable this last school year, but at least Ethan would be happy and we wouldn't have all these stupid issues over the summer. At this point, I'm totally willing to take the pay cut to get back into a school...too bad there are no opportunities.

I can't think of any more "Ups" so I'm gonna stop here.

Monday, June 26, 2017

this week in my life...

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* Krispy Kreme glazed cherry pies are 1000x better than Hostess...I never thought that was possible. They are dangerously good. Consider yourself warned. :)

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*Diet Dr Pepper is not having the same delicious taste for me that is has had all these years. I think I've worn out my taste buds for it. Is that possible? Sadly though, I have no replacement.

*Ethan blew me outta the water with his easy transition to being dropped off at sleep-away camp yesterday. He yelled "See you Friday!"....I'm still shocked. But so happy that he is happy!

*Seeing that Ethan was happy yesterday helps me feel less guilty about having the week to myself (after work of course)...for now I plan to go to the YMCA to get some much needed workout time in. I think I'll browse the used book store afterwards. 

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*Thursday night my mom and I are going to the local book store to see author Mary Alice Monroe...we have really enjoyed her books over the past couple years. I love that she writes about the area of South Carolina where we travel to every year for vacation....and where we will be next week. 

*I feel really dumb when I come across a word I don't know. I guess I think at my age, I should know *every* word out there, but clearly I don't. I have been known to go along in conversations acting as if I know whatever mysterious (to me) word was said....only to go look it up later. Confession: just read the word "oenophile"....I was luck, what the heck is that?  Yeah, "lover of wine"...in my defense, I don't drink wine and I definitely don't love it. But I know what the word means now. 

*Did I mention I have only 3.5 days of work this week. Beyond excited. Seriously. Vacay starts at 12noon on Thursday. Cannot wait!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

SAHM for a day!

Super happy today - I've taken the day off to spend it with Ethan and pretend I still have the whole summer off. Ha!

We slept in, which is always awesome and doesn't happen nearly enough.

I have a check up for my back at 1045am so we'll head out shortly for that.

The plan is to then hang out at the pool. Of course, when I decided to take the whole day off, the weather was to be sunny and high 80s, perfect pool weather. It will still be warm today but mostly cloudy. Boo! This girl needs some color.

Strangely enough, I had a hair highlight & cut appt set up for Friday with a newish gal but she cancelled on me today. I reached back out to the other gal I've been going to and she is able to get me in today at 530pm. I definitely got lucky here because she is going on vacation in a few days. Also, I really wanted to get my  hair done before we leave on vacation on July 2. Happy that is getting done.

Why do I struggle to stay awake until 1030pm these days when I used to stay up easily until 1am? So bummed about this as I'm pretty sure the only explanation is that I'm getting old and frankly, I've heard that answer way too many times this year already. Geesh!

Contemplating signing back up at the YMCA. Really want to so I can take Spin classes and return to my Yoga classes as well. I just remember how hard it was to get there after work. There's no time in between work and getting to the YMCA to feed Ethan and everyone knows a 9yo boy is NOT going to wait until 7pm to eat dinner. Not happening. Since he will be gone to camp next week, I may sign up on Monday so I can start with 6pm spin that night. It will be amazing to not have a "curfew" all week next week and be able to do my own thing.

Product Details
Another exciting activity next week is that author Mary Alice Monroe is coming to our local indie book store for a signing. Cannot.Believe.It. Nobody who's somebody ever comes to Knoxville. Seriously! It will be girls night out with my mom!