Friday, February 16, 2018

Friday Favorites

WAHOO for the weekend!

I'm happy to see the weekend arrive.  We have fun plans on the weekend horizon-Valentine's Dance, my parents are coming to visit, NO SCHOOL ON MONDAY, and that's just a bit of the fun!

It's Friday, which means I've teamed up with Andrea and Narci to share my Friday Favorites.  Each Friday we invite you to join us and share your favorites as well.  Simply link up to the blog post where you're highlighting your faves and voila!

Book Review:

Oh my goodness!  This book...whoa!  If you like those thrillers like Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, etc., then THIS BOOK IS FOR YOU!  About halfway through the book you learn something and I was in complete shock.  I couldn't put this one down.  Be warned-it's definitely rated "R".


Favorite Product:

I've mentioned these glasses a few times, but I think they deserve their own little spotlight.  I've shared before that my name is Erika and sometimes I have trouble keeping up with things.  Like my debit card, car keys, and such.  I KNOW there's NO WAY I'd be able to keep up with a pair of sunglasses I spent more than $20 on and that would stress me right out!  So, I sport these sunglasses all summer long.  If {let's be real-WHEN} I lose them, it's not a big deal.

For the upcoming spring/summer I purchased four different pairs of sunglasses and spent less than $60.  Now is the time to stock up!


Celebrity Big Brother:

Please note...this is NOT a FAVORITE, but I want to hear if you're watching.  Are YOU?  I know a lot of you are Big Brother fans, but WHAT do you think of this season?  I'm a few episodes behind, but I'm currently having that feeling of your most favorite movie ever making a sequel and the sequel falling FLAT!!  Anyone else?  I'm hoping after a few more episodes I won't feel like that!



Who knew the half pipe was gonna be my favorite Olympic sport to date?  A sweet reader sent me this graphic and I could NOT stop laughing.  This was me earlier this week.  I mean Chloe Kim AND Shaun White!  Were you watching??!


Valentine's Day:

Yesterday, the littles and I went to the big kiddos' school for Valentine's Day parties.  Our first stop was Nixon's class.  This crazy kiddo LOVES this girl so much.

After hanging with Nixon for a bit, we did a little switcharoo and then joined Ebby Lee at her class party.

Wednesdays are our busy sports' night with practices and such.  I was fully expecting to eat at different times and whip up a quick dinner, but my valentine picked us all up for a quick meal out.  I chose La Madeline because three words-CHICKEN CAESAR SANDWICH.  The sandwich is basically a chicken caesar salad ON the most delicious bread. Can you tell I'm a fan?  And since it was Valentine's Day, I didn't feel an ounce of guilt about eating it.

A picture with 4/5 of my valentines. :)

I shared this on Instagram {you can follow me at slaughteren} on Wednesday night, "One year ago today, I opened up an email with the file for this precious baby. Her file told a story of such a brave girl.  I remember thinking as I stared at her little face that her eyes were missing something. There just wasn’t a sparkle. But a year later I now know it was love. This precious baby was missing the love only a family can give. It’s safe to say her sparkle is now present and it’s here to stay. This special day of love has a double meaning for our family of six."

Hope you have the BEST weekend!  Since the kiddos are out of school on Monday, I'm gonna take a vacation day myself.  See you back here on Tuesday for Tuesday Talk!


Thursday, February 15, 2018

Our Week

Hope you had the best Valentine's Day yesterday!

Here's what's been going on around our house...

We had a sweet family friend wedding last Friday.  {Remember my dress dilemma?  Dress #3 was the winner!}  These sisters were READY to see that gorgeous bride!

My handsome dates :)

I know you can't tell much from the picture, but trust me...the bride was absolutely gorgeous!

Mackenzie and her bride sister, Caroline, have been babysitting for us for years.  My kiddos love them, I love them, and they really are just the sweetest girls.  They were both looking absolutely gorgeous on Friday night.

Bowen is a big fan too.  Can you tell?  haha!  #hissmile

Britt loves to dance.  I really thought she'd be tearing up the dance floor but she didn't love the loud music.  She kept covering her eyes up!

We got to the parking lot and realized we'd never taken a family picture.  So we snapped one in the parking lot.  Meanwhile, Bowen was sad we were leaving.

Saturday, we had sports and Miss Madeley snapped approximately seventy-five pictures of Britt but this one was almost promising.  By the way, Miss Madeley is stealth-like when it comes to my phone.  I have no doubts Shay and I noticed five minutes after she had it.  #shesgotskills  And I think I've mentioned before Madeley can pretty much talk me into anything.  So there's that.  :)

While we had our Mystery Dinner Party on Saturday night, the kiddos stayed with Marla.  {And Britt did great at the sleepover!}  So Sunday morning, I was up early with my handsome valentine driving to get them before church.

See you back here tomorrow for Friday Favorites!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

How We...Take Care of Ourselves

 It's a LINK-UP DAY!  You guys know I love me some link-up days.  If you could see me at this moment, I'm probably sporting some JAZZ HANDS!

Shay and I are hosting HOW WE...  Last month, we shared HOW WE...DO GOALS/RESOLUTIONS.

This month we're talking HOW WE...TAKE CARE OF OURSELVES.

You know that old saying, "If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy"??  Well, I've got a little secret.  Unfortunately, it rings true in our house.  If I get stressed out about anything, I start to get snappy with the kids, short-tempered with Tab, and trust one in the Slaughter House is all smiles.  {Well, except maybe Britt...ha!}  I've learned a few things about myself over the years that have helped me get a handle on how I tackle the stress and maybe a few of these will help you too.

By the way, I think this topic could be taken a ton of different directions.  {Health, fitness, skincare, etc.} I'm sharing more about how you keep your mama cup full.  These will be fun to read.  :)

One thing I've learned over the years is it's okay to spend time, money, and effort on me.  This used to be so difficult for me to do.  A spa day?  No way.  A pedicure just because?  Absolutely not.  A quiet bath while the kids hang with dad in the other room?   I'd feel guilty about missing out on family time.  As a mom, all of our time, money, and effort can get caught up in our kiddos and family, but let me tell need to invest in yourself as well.  

When I'm taking care of me, everything else flows so much more smoothly.

These are some ways I take care of me...

*Get Up Early for My Quiet Time

My entire day runs better when I carve out a bit of my morning to spend time reading God's word and in prayer.  Some nights I don't sleep good and push that alarm back.  I skip the quiet time and my day is all off.  I'm not even kidding.  It messes up my entire day.  By setting my alarm for an earlier time, I get some quiet minutes all to myself and time in prayer.  It's the best way to start my day.

*Do Something Just for Me

I got a massage just a couple weeks ago {Here's a little wasn't even my birthday or anniversary} and I didn't feel guilty about it.  Tab had been out of town a ton in January.  I'd been solo parenting and the idea of a relaxing fifty minutes was just what I needed.  It reset my mama button and helped our week just run a little smoother. 

*Take a Bath with the Door Locked and a Good Book

Now this one doesn't happen every night with sports and such, but when we're at home in the evenings I love LOCKING the door {Tab can handle all the crazy} and reading a book while I take a bath.  The best way to end a day!  It doesn't take too long...just fifteen or so minutes {Not gonna lie, I've been known to be in there for way longer and little hands start knocking on the door!} and I get out feeling so refreshed!

*Appointment Time Solo

With Britt not in preschool just yet, she's with me pretty much 24/7.  I realized back in the fall...sometimes I just need a few minutes to myself.  I mentioned it to Marla and she offered to watch Britt so I could get my hair done solo, hit up other appointments, or just get some work done.  Let me tell you mamas with littles, I've taken many kiddos and babies to appointments.  ----MAJOR STORY ABOUT THAT---I remember having a tiny, baby, Nixon, in the midst of bottle feeding and major spitting up.  He was probably three or four months old, which means I also had a fifteen or sixteen month old Ebby Lee.  I decided I didn't need to spend money on a sitter and took them both with me to a hair appointment.  You guys!  I took a pack-in-play to set up for baby Nixon and thought Ebby Lee would toddle around.  I'm sure I showed up looking a MESS!  I mean.  Can you imagine?  Another sweet lady who was waiting to get her hair done offered to hold Nixon for me.  I remember being SO appreciative for this lady.  {Sidenote, the next time you see a young mama with two tiny babes at the hair salon, offer to hold one.  You will MAKE her day.}  Did I mention baby Nixon was a spitter-upper?  Because he was.  And while sweet, nice lady was holding him, he lost it ALL OVER HER.  It's one thing to be wearing your own baby's spit-up on your shirt, but it's a completely different thing to be wearing a stranger baby's spit-up on your shirt.  Sigh.  A hair appointment solo is just good for the soul once in a while, and clearly back in the day almost eight years ago I should have sprung for a sitter.  :)

*Call it a Night

I think as women, moms, and wives we can tell when we need a night out.  A night with a meal prepared for us, no baths to give on the agenda, and no dishes to clean up...when you need that either call up some girlfriends and plan a night or call a sitter and plan a date!


Taking a walk, heading to the gym, grabbing an at-home workout are all things that are good for my body {and I know it}.  So carving some time throughout the week {wish I was saying daily, but I'm not-ha!} to do just that really helps!

The most important thing about taking care of ourselves is realizing when you need it AND doing something about it.  You can't pour from an empty cup, Mamas...take care of you!  You deserve it!

I could go on and on about things I do or what we should do for ourselves but these are apparently the front runners. :)  What do you do to take care of yourself??

Don't miss it next month when Shay and I discuss MOM FAILS!  I'm starting my list already! 

And a big ole' HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY TO YOU!!  Tonight is crazy busy for us so we're celebrating in the dining room tomorrow night and we might even bust out the fancy glasses.  Hope you celebrate big with your loves!