What’s Going On? – Early November Edition

Nov 11

We had a great 4-post streak, you guys. Posted 4 times in September with the hopes it would continue on a weekly schedule…then…she disappears back into the trenches. This phase of life is different. Man, do I long for the times when I’d tuck the kids into bed around 8 or 8:30 and draft a blog to be published the next morning. Those were the fricking days! I love every phase with these guys, trust me…but do I ever wish it was simpler.

Anyway, as I scanned through my photos over the last couple months I can see we have a lot to catch up on…and best to do before we get too buried. SO much has happened – weddings, exams, homecoming dances, football games, health issues, the loss of a pet and a whole lot more. So here’s what’s been going on since my last post on September 19.

MY SISTER

I want to start with the most important topic. My sister. In the span of six days, two of her daughter’s got married. One in our backyard with about 80 people and the other in OC for a small intimate celebration. The week leading up to the first of two weddings, my sister suffered a heart attack. This is a healthy and very active 50 year old woman. To say this came as a shock – even considering all the life events going on – is an understatement. By the grace of God she survived, will be ok, and was able to attend both weddings. The downside / upside is that she has to significantly adjust her lifestyle … which I don’t personally think is a bad idea. She runs at a rapid pace that I felt was unsustainable.

It was a complete scare and won’t share too many personal details without her permission. But this will be an ongoing health topic for her. Grateful she’s here for all of us – especially her four daughter’s who, while all in their 20s, still need their mother.

Here’s a picture together at the wedding we hosted. This photo – and all of those snapped throughout the day – mean so much to us…

I’m not about throwing phrases around. But you are reminded in a shocking way how precious life is when you experience an event like that.

Since we’re talking about the weddings…

WEDDINGS

My youngest niece got married late-September in our backyard. It was a perfect Fall day for her and her new husband. She took charge of most everything in the backyard so I decorated the front porch a little, including the staircase. Thankfully I did because they changed their plans from taking photos off-site to taking them right here in the entry.

( my sweater )

Simple eucalyptus and lambs ear garlands, twinkle lights, and blush pink ribbon.

( garland | lights | ribbon )

Love the porch at night…

The backyard was beautiful and could not have been more honored to host this event…

A spectacular day and night!

Somehow, the stars aligned and I ended up finding a dress / heels for both weddings with minimal search effort. You guys know how I feel about shopping so that was amazing! The dresses are from Express. This is navy, not black as it appears…

( dress | heels )

The following week, I traveled to OC for my middle niece’s wedding. Just 1 night away – was great to travel light…

( shorts | sandals | bodysuit | carry on )

Look at this beautiful girl…so proud!…

( dress | heels )

HOMECOMING

The weekend we hosted my niece’s wedding in the backyard, it was also homecoming weekend for the boys. Talk about CHAOTIC! These 2!….How so big?!…

They both had an incredible night and have to admit, after MONTHS of no socializing, it’s been an amazing school year full of kids and events and football. Happy for them to get back to normal!

Aiden went with friends but Graham asked a girl to hoco. This was all his idea!…

He found the inspiration and I only helped him pull it off. Such a sweetheart! He plays football. She’s a cheerleader. The perfect way to ask!

FOOTBALL SEASON

I mentioned in my last post that Graham was on the freshman football team. These boys – they ended the season 9-1. They worked hard for almost 6 months. Hot daily early morning summer practices. Long daily after school practices. All while keeping up with homework. Proud of these kids. It was special watching them from the sideline this season….and I’m sad it’s over.

That sky turned into a wild stormy weekend…and in the process we lost a loved tree…

LUKE BRYAN CONCERT

For Aiden’s 17th birthday, I hired Luke Bryan for a private performance…

Kidding, of course – but wouldn’t THAT have been awesome! 🙂

Aiden turned 17 on a Saturday and it so happens Luke Bryan was here in concert that evening. He was SO EXCITED to celebrate at the concert with all of his buddies. We rented a limo / bus, loaded it with pizza, snacks and drink, and had the best time! Look at these cuties…

An incredibly fun night.

Luke has been on my bucket list for YEARS. Anyone who knows me personally knows that is a fact. I’ve been a fan since long before he became mainstream. Such an amazing experience!

Hard to believe my first born is 17!?

FITNESS UPDATE

I’ll get into more of this in a later post because I’d like to share more detail, but I’m still going strong with my new trainer. I love her! She’s based in Utah and sends me workouts / meal plans every 4 weeks. I’m currently on week 8 and am starting to notice the difference. Others started telling me a couple weeks ago, but didn’t see it myself. This was a random shot from Sept 24…

And this is me November 7…

Still not feeling 100% confident in shorts like this, but find it motivates me. Seeing my thighs (the back side of them, to be specific) in the gym mirrors is some serious motivation…

I’m noticing a much smaller upper ab / rib area and definition in my legs. I’ve resigned myself to the fact I’m not getting younger and have to accept where I am – AND LOVE MYSELF – and that I may not reach that end goal vision I have in my mind. For now I’m enjoying the challenge of these workouts – they are VERY HARD – and remind myself each day I’m getting better than the last.

Like I said, I’ll be back for a focused blog post only on fitness and food stuff.

LUCY

One week ago we said goodbye to our sweet Lucy…

We expected it but that didn’t make it any easier. Last summer (2020) we noticed she was limping on one of her back legs. After meeting with a specialist, they told us she had a disc disorder in her back. They could operate but the Dr didn’t recommend it because of her age and didn’t think for all the expense it would make that much of a difference in her overall lifespan. Or activity.

We absolutely made the most of this last +year with her. Showered her with love and attention. And we let this disability linger long past the time. She was at the point where she needed you to hold her up to go to the bathroom or get from room to room.

The hardest part about was that she was still full of life. Still had so much spirit. Loved seeing you come home or walk in a room. She had so much love to give. She was fine on the inside, but couldn’t walk. Making the decision to say goodbye to her was agony because of that. The Dr who came to the house to put her down said the same thing. And she made me feel better when I heard her say it was definitely time. If she arrived and suggested she had more life, I would have asked her to leave. But since she’s the expert and has been doing this a long time, I trusted her and felt at ease knowing it was the right time.

I miss her so much. We all do. She was so special to me! I wish I had the ability to share videos here…I shared several videos of her running on the IG account if you’d like to see.

Miss this happy face!

Moving on to some work stuff…

CPO EXAM

I can’t officially share much more than this. After 6 months of studying, I sat for the exam on October 27. There’s a process for getting through it completely / finding out if I passed, but as soon as I can share more I will. I will say, I am SO glad to have the exam behind me. It was much harder than anticipated.

This will be a post all its own when I hear the final word.

Lucy helped me study and stay focused…

CLIENT PROJECTS

Studying for the exam didn’t slow projects. Still so many good ones to share! Here’s some recents…

( turntables | clear bins | baskets | tiered can riser )

( drawers | clear bins )

( bins )

( acrylic organizers )

( shelving | tool bench )

This is an ongoing garage project that’s been tackled in phases. Here’s where we began…

After decluttering…

Since then, we’ve been back to rebin everything in new bins, they added an attic access for more storage, great new overhead lighting, window coverings, the garage has been painted and this week the flooring is being installed…

Can’t wait to share the final final. SOOO good!

As always, grateful for the opportunity to help families declutter and organize. And make more space!

I’ve also worked on a few home projects of my own but this post has gotten really long, so I’ll be back to share those soon. Here’s a sneak peek of a fun candy bar I organized for the kids…

With Halloween in the rear view, this has been dismantled and am dreaming up ideas for a hot chocolate bar to sit here next.

I hope you guys are doing so well and enjoying this holiday season. Hard to believe it’s here! What a year!

Back soon!

xo,

Sam

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  1. Jennibell says:

    I enjoy your updates so much!!

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