Friday, January 29, 2016

Hey! It's Friday!

This week has been the longest week!  We are back to our normal routine after the snow.  I'm linking up!

Erika and Andrea


I thought I would spotlight some of my favorite recent purchases with a little bit of baseball thrown in!

My friend Haley posted this on twitter and I knew I had to try it.  This combo is amazing!  It is the elf lip scrub and bath and body works gloss.   Sorry I couldn't find my original picture.

Last night was our first night back at baseball.  Actually for Carson, it wasn't, as he has been meeting with his hitting/pitching coach every week since August.  It was the first time back with teammates at our practice facility so we had to document the ride over.  It is thirty four minutes to the field.  Even though the ride is long, it is nice for some time with Carson.
During the snow, I sent the picture to our coach, and he said he was up for a snow practice!
I was interesten in trying a new shampoo on my hair. It is still a work in progress. I have ALMOST mastered the not wash daily.  I can go every other day or every two days depending on what all is going on.  The stylist at Ulta suggested the Paul Mitchell Super Skinny Shampoo since my hair is color treated and damaged.  I used it yesterday and so far, so good.  I had good hair day (as evidence in the pic with Carson) and I used it on Caylee and she had a good hair day!  Win, win! I couldn't get used to the fact that it doesn't suds up but my hair felt clean despite the no suds!
I saw a commercial for this stuff and I knew I needed to try it too!  I use coconut oil to take off eye makeup, and it is great but I feel like my Proactive+ doesn't always get my makeup off.  I haven't tried it yet but will report back when I do!
Weight Watchers changed their program recently to Smart Points and basically count sugars now.  It has been a difficult adjustment for me.  I loved greek yogurt and the brand i liked was 3 points but it went up to 5 points.  One of the members suggested this brand because it was sweetened with Stevia. I am a fan!
That's all for now!  Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's Up Wednesday?

What's up?  The temperatures here in Big Orange Country- that is for sure!  We had 8 inches of snow last week and it is starting to melt.  I hate the days following a snow- everything is so nasty!

I'm linking up with Shay and Mel!

1. What we're eating this week.....
Monday: popcorn shrimp, red potatoes, salad (AKA: needed to go to grocery store and we ate whatever we can find!)
Tuesday: Crock Pot Chicken Tacos- a FAVORITE!
Wednesday: Left over chicken tacos
Thursday: eat out- first baseball practice and dance class.  We will not be home until 8ish!
Friday: spaghetti, salad, bread
Saturday: Barbaritos!
Sunday: leftovers

2.  What I'm reminiscing about....
Going tubing with my people.  We hope to do that again this year!

3.  What I'm loving....
My Yeti cup!  I use it daily.  I pour my coffee in it before taking the kids to school and sip on it all morning.  Maybe my Valentine will get the larger size for me!

4.  What I've been up to....
We woke up last Wednesday morning to snow.  What was originally predicted as 1-3 inches turned into 7-8 inches by Friday!  It was fun but I was ready to be back to a routine!

We fought over who would get the prime real estate in front of the fire.  You can see who clearly won that battle!

"Mom, my sled is a shield from snow falling in my face while I rest!"- Carson

Overtime it snows, we lose power (and our lines are underground).  It was quite peaceful.  Bonus: Chad's hotspot in the basement that still had juice!  

5.  What I'm dreading....
The kids take the TN Ready test for the first time next month.  It is a statewide standardized test that all TN kids will take on the computer.  I hate standardized testing!

6.  What I'm working on....
This blog post!  ;)

7.  What I am excited about......
Next month, I am meeting a representative from St. Jude to talk about getting involved in fundraising and volunteer work at the local affiliate.  I am excited to get more involved with this amazing organization!

8.  What I am watching/reading....
I just finished Suddenly One Summer by Julie James. It was a good book- a little more sexual content that I want to read, but overall a good book.  If you want to follow me on GoodReads, shoot me an email at!

I don't really watch TV (I do indulge in Young and the Restless sometimes!  HA!)I am looking forward to Fuller House on Netflix and Grease! Live this weekend!

9.  What I'm listening to....
Currently, I am listening to the sound of my Roomba vacuuming my hardwood while the Bobby Bones show plays from my iPad.

10.  What I'm wearing...
Since it snowed last week, I wore ALL of my warm fleece pants and leggings!  I did purchase this top from Target and I LOVE IT!

11. What I'm doing this weekend....
We have to travel to Roanoke for a funeral this weekend.  Chad's sister in law's father passed away.

12.  What I'm looking forward to next month....
We don't really have anything exciting next month- except watching the Super Bowl and our boy Peyton!  I am not a big Valentine's Day person.  Personally, I think it is overrated.  We just don't make a big deal out of it.  We will get something small for the kids, but other than that, it is a normal day.

13.  What else is new....
I think I broke my nose!  Long story....  Elmer got out on Sunday (big surprise there) and Carson, a friend of his, and I were driving to take the friend to meet his parents and we saw Elmer walking up our street.  I put the Wrangler in park and got out to open the back tailgate to let Elmer in.  Elmer came BOLTING to jump in and when he did, he hit the glass window that flips up and the glass window hit the bridge of my nose.  I have a nice gash on it and it is swollen.  There is nothing a doctor can do, so I am just living with it.

14. What is a favorite Valentine treat.....
A coffee from Starbucks or a Sonic Coke Zero is good for me! Even better- a Yeti cup for my coke zeros!  ;)

Happy Wednesday!

Let's Talk..... New Year

Today, I am linking up with Andrea and Erika  for a little virtual chit chat!

Earlier in the month, I did a post of "goals" for 2016.  The word I chose for the year as a springboard for my goals is "BE".  Almost one month in, I am doing ok!  My biggest struggle is being present.  I am still finding myself distracted by my "idiot box"- my iPhone.  Our friend, Sid, calls it the idiot box.  ;)  The best thing I have found is to put it in another room and not touch it.  Now that I have an Apple Watch, I get notifications of texts and phone calls so I will not miss a call or text.

What I am looking forward to in 2016:
This guy will finish elementary school.  He will also play one or two (or fifty) baseball games.

This girl will finish third grade.  She will tell you she is most looking forward to getting rid of her booster seat in the car- a sure sign of being a big girl!

Note: She doesn't wear makeup...  This was Nutcracker!

We will head to Peachtree City at least twice- one to host a baby shower for Beth and then will return to party it up the 4th of July.

We MMMMAAAAAYYY travel to Boston to see the RedSox take on the Angels at Fenway!!!!!

We hope to schedule a trip to the beach too!

This doesn't include the craziness of Chad's travel, baseball practice, dance classes, school events, volunteering for me, and housework and laundry!  WHEW!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Finally Friday!

Happy Friday loves!  I'm back with a Five on Friday linkup!

Last weekend, Chad ran his 5th 50 mile trail race.  You read that right.  He has completed FIVE fifty mile trail races.  This doesn't include that Crazy 100 Miler he did last year, the countless marathons, and 50ks.  The kids and I drove down to Chattanooga on Saturday morning (SUPER EARLY) to watch.  It was a cold and wet day (much like today).

This is how Caylee crews a race!  We took the new car and I made them take their shoes off and attempted to keep the plastic floormats clean (didn't work!).
 Here he comes to the "finish".  These trail races are no frills.  The finish line wasn't marked.  The race director was standing near me and I asked him where the official finish line was and he said, "eh, around here somewhere!".

 Chad and his running husband, Sid.  I swear, he spends more time with Sid than he does me!  Good dude, that Sid is.

My boy got contacts this week.  We knew we would have to move to contacts for baseball and after meeting once with our pitching coach, we decided to go ahead and talk with our optometrist.  Carson did great pitching with his glasses but couldn't hit anything.  He can't wear his glasses and his batting helmet so contacts it is.  We spent over an hour in the contact room of the eye doctor's office (side note: they need wine in there! MERCY).  Carson had trouble getting them in and out and he had to do it himself.  I can't help.  It was hard for me not to intervene.  It was stressful for the both of us.  The lady that taught him how to put them in wasn't the best teacher in the world but he is starting to get the hang of it.  He is getting a little better at it but it will take practice.  Chad reassured me that it will get easier.  I don't have to wear glasses or contacts but Chad does.
I got my hair colored last week and after convos with my wonderful hairdresser and friends, I have decided I am gun ho on the whole #dirtyhair thing.  I come from the "wash your hair everyday religiously camp" but I know that isn't always healthy.  Right now, I am on day four hair and even though it is feeling gross, I am forcing myself to make it through one more day and wash tomorrow.  I don't have plans outside of the house tonight so I am good with the grease! ;)  This stuff has been a lifesaver! I am open to product suggestions and dry hair style suggestions!  I am rocking a messy bun and bangs pinned back right now!

I spent four hours this morning cleaning out my pantry. Three huge trash bags later, it is finished.  Geez!  I need to do a better job at eating what we have and not impluse buying!

I haven't mentioned Weight Watchers much lately.  I am still attending meetings and somewhat following the plan.  I am within my goal weight according to WW, but I would like to be a little lighter.  WW changed their program and I hate to admit it, but I am not really digging it.  I need to roll up my sleeves and get 100% back on track and see what happens.  

I hope you guys have a lovely weekend!  We are out of school Monday.  Our weekend plans consist of cleaning out and organizing the playroom and cleaning out Caylee's closet.  Fun times! (insert eye roll here)

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Show and Tell Tuesdays: 2016 Goals and Who I Am

Welcome to my blog!  I am so excited to share my 2016 goals with you!  Thanks to Andrea for hosting the party!

My name is Tina.  I turned 38 last October and am quickly climbing the hill to the big 4-0.  I am not sure how I feel about that!  I live in East Tennessee where the tea is sweet (although I like mine with Truvia), the mountains are alive and beautiful, and our blood runs Orange.  I live in a town about forty five minutes from where I grew up.  I like where I live but would love to live in Peachtree City, Georgia someday, although I would still fly my Tennessee flag proudly!

In 2001, I married my love, Chad.  My daddy introduced us.  You can read more about that here. 

We are the proud parents of two humans, Carson (age 10) and Caylee (age 8) and two fur babies, Tank (age 14) and Elmer (age 3).

During Christmas break, we found out that Tank, our black lab, probably has cancer, and is most likely in the advance stage.  We are heartbroken but decided to bring him home and keep him comfortable.  Chad and I got Tank as a wedding gift to each other so I have lived with Tank as long as  I have lived with Chad.  If you are the praying kind, would you pray for our hearts to prepare to say goodbye to our amazing dog?  We all are taking it pretty hard but are making the best of the time we do have with him. 

I am a former special education teacher and supervisor turned stay at home mom, or as I like to call it, live in the car mom.  I spend my days trying to keep kids alive!  I wouldn't have it any other way.  I am also an extremely slow five time half marathoner.  I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE country music, especially Luke Bryan.  Finally, I am a huge supporter of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.  
I think that pretty much sums up my life!  

I have been thinking a lot about goals/resolutions for the new year.  Last year, I chose one word that would be my guiding resolution for the year.  You can read about it here.  I feel pretty good about the outcome of my resolution.  I learned to let a lot of things go- and it is such a good feeling.  I am a work in progress but I learned that some things that  used to bother me doesn't really bother me anymore.  How did I get there?  Lots of prayer and many talk sessions with my Mama! ;)  

This year, I decided my word would be:


Be. Still.
I feel like I am constantly on my feet and on the go all day long.  I need to learn to stop and be still.  Watch a TV program with Chad.  Sit down and read a book. Sit down and play a game with the kids.  Simply slow down and breathe.

Be. Present.
How many times am I distracted by my phone?  WAY. TOO. MUCH.  This year, I want to give more attention to the people in my home instead of wasting time on stupid electronics and other time suckers (other than the blog, of course!).  I also want to be present in more pictures!  I organized my digital pictures over the holiday and can probably count less than 20 that I am actually in.  I want people to take more pictures of me.  I need to get over how bad I look or how bad the picture is! 

Be. Kind
Do something nice for someone else- just because.  Be kind to my kids- work on using kind words in a kind tone with them.  Be kind to Chad- give him the attention he deserves.  Basically, treat people the way I want to be treated!  Sound familiar?

Be. Clean
I have got to get my house into a nice routine.  With baseball season quickly approaching, I need to make a doable cleaning schedule and stick to it.  I also need to make it a point to straighten the house up nightly.  Also part of being clean, I want to make myself more presentable.  I fall into the sweatpants and no makeup camp in the winter, which basically makes me look like a homeless person.  I am not homeless so why should I look that way?!

Be. Healthy
I want to become a faster runner- like 10:00 mile. I am not there.  I need to get there and the way I will do it is to keep pounding the pavement and maybe even hit the gym on a regular basis.  I follow Weight Watchers and I want to get back to tracking everything that goes into my mouth.

Be. On Time
I added this one last.  We are always on time for school but that is about it.  It seems like I am always rushing to and from.  I need to allow myself more time to get to where I am going.  No excuses!

I can't wait to read all about YOU and your goals! Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Opryland Hotel, Our Traditional Hike, and How I spent my NYE

Greetings!  It finally turned cold here.  My boys have worn shorts for the last couple of days and are disappointed they have to drag pants and jeans back out!

I left off at my December recap with Christmas.  Chad really spoiled me this year.  There have been years when we really don't exchange gifts and then there are years when we do.  We are a blessed family- Chad has a great job (granted, stressful with travel, etc) that allows our family to have more than what we need.  I never want to take that for granted.

As one of my "gifts" this year, Chad booked a night at the Opryland Hotel to see the lights.  Last December, Chad and I visited the hotel after we saw the Rockettes and I told him I would love to spend the night there during the holidays and take it all in.  Much to my surprise, he remembered my wish!  I like to think that this trip was my reward for being a solo parent all those weeks when he traveled!  An even bigger surprise was that the room he booked overlooked the Cascades garden.  As soon as I walked in, I could feel a calmness come over me (and the kids were even with us! LOL)
These two pictures were taken from our balcony.

While we were there, we met these guys.  They are members of the University of Louisville football team.  We walked up to four of them and asked for a picture then two more players ran over to get in!  We talked with them for a minute, wished them good luck, high fived them, then went on!  SO COOL!  They were such nice young men.  The Texas A & M players were also staying there but they weren't as clean cut and nice.  Both teams played in the Music City Bowl. 

We ate dinner at the hotel and walked the gardens pretty much the rest of the night.  The next morning, we walked again then went to Opry Mills, with the rest of Nashville, to get Carson some new shoes and check out any deals.  We left fairly quickly because it was so crowded and headed home.  It was a quick but wonderful way to reset after the Christmas rush.

We spent the day Monday taking down our Christmas decorations.  I didn't put up as much this year so it wasn't bad taking it all down.  I love Christmas but when it is over, it is over and I am ready to get the house back together.

On Tuesday, we went on our traditional hike to Laurel Falls.  This is Chad's favorite thing to do.  The hike itself is fairly short but there is a tough stretch of basically making your way down rocks to get to the falls.  It is worth it though!

 We take this picture every year to see how the kids have changed.  Chad has a better picture on his phone, but you get the idea!  He wants me to frame each year- I am thinking this may be a good Valentine's gift!
I don't remember much about Wednesday but I think I got caught up on laundry???  The kids played with their new Christmas toys and such and we watched our new friends, the University of Louisville football players, win their bowl game!

Thursday will be a day that goes down in the McMurray history books.

As I have written before, we have had problem after problem after problem with my Grand Cherokee.  Everything has gone wrong- the computer system, radiator, cruise control, you name it.  It spend over a month in the shop last winter, during the snows, because they couldn't figure out what was wrong with it.  We have had at least 10-12 recalls on the thing causing me to spend 10-12 days hanging out at the dealer.  As we were traveling to Nashville, Chad noticed that it was acting funny.  It kept switching gears and making funny noises.  We talked quite a bit on the way to and from Nashville and decided that the car was probably a ticking time bomb.  It was out of warranty, so anything that needed to be done outside of a recall would have to be paid for.  I told Chad that I would be fine with keeping it but I don't want to keep making payments on it PLUS spending who knows what on repair bills.  Heck, we had to put a new radiator in the darn thing before it was out of warranty! I told Chad how much I appreciated him taking care of me and my vehicle and caring enough to want to put us in a nice, safe ride.  Again, I am a blessed woman.  We could have kept the car and it may have been ok and it may not have been ok.

Chad drove an Explorer as his work vehicle for a while and put 130,000 miles on it and never had anything done to it except an oil change.  And he drove it hard.  We had looked at Explorers back in the summer when something was going on with the Jeep (ticking time bomb, I tell ya!) but didn't feel like we were getting good deals so we stopped.  While Chad was talking to his dad about all of this, CR mentioned looking in Atlanta.  He said that based on his research, you can get a car for around $3,000 cheaper than you can around here.  Since Chad had taken time off from work and the grandparents agreed to watch the kids, we found a couple of cars in Atlanta to look at.  We set out early NYE morning on a mission.

We found a silver explorer with all the options we wanted and talked via text with a dealer; however, he texted us about the time we got to Knoxville and said the car was being sold as he texted.  UGH.  We had already basically worked up some numbers with him and I was confident we were going that route.  While Chad drove, I surfed EVERY. FORD. DEALER. IN. THE.ATL. AREA for a silver or red explorer sport.  I found 2- one in each color.  I called the dealer that had the silver one and told him we were coming from TN and we would be there at 2.  We get there and the car isn't there.

I was so mad!  He said that it was at their sister dealer and that they were going to go get it and it would be there in about two hours.  If he knew we were coming to look at THAT VEHICLE, he should have had it there waiting for us.  They had red and silver fords there (not what we wanted) so we compared colors and determined that we liked the silver.  We told our sales guy that we would like to work up numbers for our jeep and requested to drive the silver once it arrived.  At this point it was about 3:00.  From 3:00-4:30, we talked numbers, went back and forth with management, and finally agreed.  I love car shopping with Chad because he is no dummy.  He made them take off the $99 nitrogen charge, $300 window tint charge (windows weren't even tinted), and dropped the paperwork fee by $100.  Finally, at 4:30, we were just waiting on the car to get there.  I will say that I am glad they had a lounge area with football on.  It was getting to be a long day.....

Sometime between 4:30 and 5:30, the lady that did our sale came out of her office and said she couldn't find the county we lived in in her database.  I walked into her office and looked over her shoulder and her computer screen and noticed that her program said she was still in GA, not TN.  I told her that but she had no clue how to get to TN and really didn't have much of a clue as to what she was doing anyway!  She told Chad that she added another $100 to the price of the car because TN charges them that rate to do the paperwork.  Chad told her no deal then.  He agreed on one price and that was it.  She calls her manager and they take off the fee.  Turns out, I have to do all of the work on the TN side.  They don't file for our tags or anything! Basically that was a fee that pocketed, had we paid it.

Finally, at 5:30, the car arrives.  I was so tired of hanging out there.  There was only so much I could do- watch football, Facebook, tweet, instagram, and pinterest were all done more than I ever have at one sitting!   We were restless and tired.  Luckily, we were able to drive the car and was happy with it so we signed off on everything.  While we did paperwork, the car left the lot AGAIN, to be detailed.  My comment to our sales guy was that it was a brand new car, what it in the world needed to be cleaned on it?!  We asked them to try to do it quickly because we wanted to get out of there and back on the road.  We FINALLY left the dealer a little after 7:00.  We were tired and hungry but found a Steak N Shake so we ate there and headed back home.  We pulled onto our street just as the ball dropped (we listened on the radio).  So far, I am happy with the vehicle.  I just hope it is safe and will not give us umpteen thousand problems that the GC did!
New Year's Day was spent cheering on our Vols to an Outback Bowl Win!!!!  Gotta give a huge shoutout to our local boy, Malik Foreman on his INT!  It's Great to be a Tennessee Vol!