Monday, August 31

Currently

*Linking up with Becky*



Currently around the Johnson-Anderson house we are...

Feeling actually well rested after a super fun weekend. This weekend was the Montgomery Dragon Boat Festival and we enjoyed an afternoon on the Riverfront watching all the teams compete, including my sweet friend Jamie and her fiance Jeb. The festival is put on in conjunction with our friend Stephen's nonprofit, Bridge Builders Alabama, and it's a truly great event. Vendors from across the area come out and set up around the water, with live music in the amphitheater. Churches, companies and other community organizations form teams to race in a traditional Japanese style row boat. It's quite the visual. Between races, we enjoyed the splash pad, food stations and, of course, the beer tent.

Still in a little bit of shock. I cut 13 inches off of my hair last week. 13 inches!

I haven't yet gotten used to it, but I hope that whoever it finds, enjoys it as much as I did.

Remembering how much I love the 1989 album from Taylor Swift. It came out right in the middle of my maternity leave, and I swear I played it for hours on end each day. Obviously, I burned out on it around the holidays, but I recently rediscovered it—this song is so good. The quality on this video isn't great, but I really love this song.

So, so, so ready for some football. I mean, seriously, so, so ready. Every fall I'm away from Tuscaloosa, I just want to be back, if only for a few weeks, for games and classes and patio drinkin'....ah, the good life.
Etsy (no longer available) via Pinterest
For some reason I am oddly, overly, optimistic about this week. I hope that means it's going to be a truly great one!
Etsy via Pinterest

Friday, August 28

Mothering Without Noticing

Fitzgerald and Alexander will be one in six weeks. Six weeks. I've been a mother for nearly one full year. I don't think any of it has really hit me. I've just been moving—constantly moving—towards the next day. I don't spend every day thinking, oh how sweet is this milestone or that. I've just been doing, been mothering, without even noticing.
 
Sometimes I am acutely aware of the fact that I don't have these moments of being extremely grateful and happy to be a mom. I'm just too damn tired and too damn busy.
 
But then earlier this week it hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m their mom. Like, that's it. Me. I'm the one they got.

I normally am not the one to pick them up from school, so by the time we're all at home together, I'm unloading the dishwasher, getting their bath ready, trying to figure out something for Mark and I to eat for dinner…there's not a lot of play time. But it's been different this week, and one day I was the one that got them at 5:40.

Fitzy is cutting two teeth and has been extremely clingy. So when we got home from school, he just wouldn’t settle down. Of course this is happening at the same time Alex has an upset stomach and has been barfing all day. #twinlife 

So instead of dumping them in their exersaucers while I got laundry going or did the dishes or prepped for dinner, I sat on the floor with them. We all played with wooden blocks. I watched them play together and try to play with me. Fitzy took wobbly steps towards me, hands out stretched, shrieking. It hit me.

I'm their mother.

He wants me, because he's hurting and I'm his momma.

That night I did everything I used to make fun of "moms on social media" for doing. I felt #blessed, in the most non-ironic sense of the word. I completely ignored my emails, the piled to the sky laundry, the dirty dishes and the television. I read three BabyLit books aloud and threw a light up beach ball at my son to his peals of laughter.

It was a good feeling.

Monday, August 24

Currently

*Linking up with Becky*
Thanks to a little traveling hiatus, I've been able to set aside so time to keep our daily happenings documented, which means I've FINALLY been able to catch up on everything that was pushed aside during July. #littlevictory

Currently around the Johnson-Anderson house we are...

Obsessed with RaeLynn. I am not a "Voice" watcher—though I definitely watch the blind auditions when I might catch them, but I'm newly obsessed with last season-Team Blake-competitor RaeLynn. I've loved the song "God Made Girls" for a while but the entire EP is fantastic. I had a chance to listen to it on my trip to San Diego a few weeks ago and it's excellent. But the song "Kissin' Frogs" was really what stood out. Sounded like something I would have said not too long ago...
Ready for some football. Seriously. Like counting down the days, ready. This little beauty from Scarlet & Gold popped up on an email about a week ago (& it's on sale!) and I think it might have to make it's way to us. I've already got one of their prints framed in our living room, but one can never have enough, right? Right. ROLL TIDE.
via Scarlet & Gold
Proud of my home state. And my hometown. In a recent special election, a suburb of Atlanta, where I actually went to high school, elected a Democratic State House Member. A former Georgia Tech QB-turned employment lawyer ran on a platform of anti-gay discrimination—and won! Despite getting outspent by his challenger 2-to-1 in a heavily Republican area, Taylor Bennett will now rep State House District 80. I couldn't be more thrilled. Though my parents live just outside of this district, I hope this trend continues past one special election and into 2016. #eternaloptimist To read more about this great story, check out the Daily Kos report from about two weeks ago.  
Taylor Bennett for State House via Daily Kos
 In love with the ugliest meatloaf ever. Is it just me, or is this literally the ugliest recipe photo you've ever seen? I know, I know, what a terrible lifestyle blogger I am. But seriously, this meatloaf is the best thing ever. It's paleo and keto friendly—which is a huge victory for us since we are low-carb. I make it probably once every two weeks. It doesn't make a ton of leftovers, but it's really filling! You can find the recipe for my adapted keto, paleo cheesy stuffed meatloaf as part of the Alabama Women Blogger's Foodie Friday series.

Cheers to a productive week!!!!!!!!

someecards via Pinterest


Friday, August 21

Friday Favorites

It's been a crazy week around here, as is the normal, but I am happy to report I still found PLENTY of time to surf the internet, so I'm bringing back Friday Favorites. Some of this was too good not to share.
Friday Favorites
I can't remember which of my sorority sisters posted this on Facebook, but y'all, It's so true and so hilarious. I've been in love with Dr. Spencer Reid for years, and these are all SPOT ON: 21 Times Spencer Reid From "Criminal Minds" Stole Your Heart.

I was cleaning out my phone's pictures the other day, Lawd have mercy I have eleventy billion screen caps of pointless conversations, and saw this. It must have been posted around Valentine's Day because it's clearly a play on the candy heart thing...but it definitely gave me the giggles. Raise your hand if you can think of someone who should be receiving it.
Via Keltie Knight on Insta
It's been a crazy few weeks around the Johnson Anderson house and I haven't been in the kitchen as much as I've wanted to. I did find the time to inadvertently make the best oven roast on the planet. I blogged the recipe for Alabama Women Blogger's Foodie Friday series. Check it out, it's easy and delicious, but a little time consuming. It's a great weekend dinner so there's plenty of leftovers for the coming week.

Cheers to the weekend!

Monday, August 17

What I Read: July

As part of my 15 for 2015, I am challenging myself to read 15 books, and one of my favorite times to read is during the summer. What's better than a little sun and a great story? Nothing. The correct answer here is nothing.

During the month of July I didn't find myself on any beaches, but I was on my fair share of planes. Nothing is quite as good as reading on a cross country flight when you're in an exit row. Hello legroom, nice to see you. 

In July I was able to finally finish Vegas Rich by Fern Michaels, which I started in June and had a bad habit of picking up and putting down, as well as start and finish A Perfect Life by Danielle Steele. 

Vegas Rich by Fern Michaels
via Booktopia
I enjoyed this book, though it was a very, very thick one. Some parts were extremely slow, but I did find myself becoming really invested in the characters. Set during the Great Depression, WWII and the post War 1060s, I really enjoyed following the characters go through so many changes, all under the background of fabulous Las Vegas. I found myself going through spurts where I couldn't put it down and where I couldn't quite bring myself to pick it up. It's apparently part of a series (I have no idea how I got my copy, probably a yard sale find honestly) and I didn't find myself compelled to order the second book‚though it is currently free on Kindle!


A Perfect Life by Danielle Steele
via Random House

L'amour n'a pas d'age. Love has no age.

A love story between a glamorous but complicated network news anchor and a well-bred but semi-simple-living special ed teacher caring for her blind, diabetic daughter. He's younger than her and she's been deeper hurt before... It's really easy to get caught up in the jet setting and Steele paints a vivid picture of network news. It was easy for me to fall in love with this story, for obvious reasons. How could I not love a love story about a couple with an age disparity and a few other surprises along the way? I loved it. Obviously. Did I say that already? While I did cry, I wasn't like wracked with sobs a la a Nicholas Sparks novel, water did come out of my eyes at two distinct points in the 330 some pages. Perfect quick read. I read the entire thing, cover to cover, on a plane from Atlanta to San Diego. 

Friday, August 14

Day Trip: Little Washington, NC

A few weeks ago, on a recent Woods Barbie adventure, I found myself with an unexpected half day off. Instead of going for a long run or catching up on sleep, on a total whim I decided to head into Washington, NC, which looked like a "nice exit" off the highway. Boy, am I glad I did. I stumbled into an awesome little town, rich with history and plenty of things to do! Washington, about an hour and 45 minutes from Raleigh, would be the perfect weekend getaway!
When I think about the towns described in Nicholas Sparks novels, I think about Washington. This waterfront town is quaint, historic, and not without it's Southern charm.
 
 When I first got into the town I headed for the Chamber of Commerce. I was able to pick up quite a few helpful pamphlets and talk with a local on where to eat and what to see. I grabbed the information for the walking tour of Washington, and definitely hit a few of the spots, but I did not walk the full tour.
 
As early as 1585, the first English explorers visited the area that would become Washington. The town took shape in the 1770s and was named in honor of General George Washington. During the War for Independence, with Wilmington, Charleston and Savannah under British control, the Continental Army relied on Washington as a supply port. During the War Between the States, Washington fell early to the Federal troops and a fire destroyed the town. However, on the walking tour, and even just looking around, you can see many plaques, old buildings and points of historical interest. It was such a fun place to explore! 
I stopped for lunch at Down on Main Street, a local café with a view of the river. I enjoyed a chicken philly sandwich (amazing!) and grit cakes with some sort of spice I couldn't exactly place.
 The grit cakes were good, but that little bit of heat confused me a touch. I was expecting creamy and got a punch. I washed it down with a golden ale from a North Carolina brewery.
  After lunch I walked around the town and hit South Market Antiques & Little Shoppes, which boasts over 5000 sq. ft. of pretty much anything and everything you could think of. It was precious and had a good variety of items. I ended up bumping into one booth owner and chatted with him about my love for vintage jewelry.
I was able to pick up quite a bit of pieces, all very affordable. After my little shopping excursion I hit Rachel K's Bakery, another local favorite for a cookie the size of a manhole cover. Crispy edges and a gooey center, I can see why the women at the Chamber of Commerce recommended it. I grabbed a second cookie for the road and headed inland back to my hotel and, sadly, back to some writing.
 I don't often find myself able to have these little experiences while I'm gathering stories and I was so glad I made the time. I got back to my hotel actually feeling relaxed.

Wednesday, August 12

Chicken Milanese


During my final year in Tuscaloosa I became a total creature of habit. One of those habits included going to the Rec gym during the lunch hour three days a week and running on the treadmill while I watched The Chew. I love cooking shows and the fun dynamic The Chew has is unmatched, plus I'm addicted to their recipes. They make really awesome recipes with pantry staples, like this Chicken Milanese from Iron Chef Michael Symon.

Y'all it is so good and so easy! I follow his directions pretty much exactly on the chicken (though I typically use boneless chicken breasts and add basil to my breadcrumb mixture). While the chicken is cooling slightly, I toss some greens with chunked mozzarella cheese and halved cherry tomatoes on the plate, top with the chicken, drizzle with some oregano infused olive oil and a squeeze of lemon juice before serving.

It's delicious, and most importantly, it's very light. You feel full but not like you're going to explode—which is how we quantify recipes around these parts, especially during the summer months.

Monday, August 10

Currently

*Linking up with Becky*
I took a little blog hiatus during what shook out to be the busiest three weeks of my year thus far. I swear I went from airplane to car to airplane to car with maybe a minute at home in between.

Currently around the Johnson Anderson house we are...

Detoxing from nonstop travel. The month of July was a busy one for our little family. & I was an even busier reporter. During July alone we went to: Atlanta twice, Pittsburgh, San Diego, Mississippi and Wisconsin. The adventures were so fun, and we got to explore a lot of different things, but, oh my word, when I finally got into my bed last night at 11 p.m. I thought I might collapse. Air travel with two infants is not for the weak.
 
If only I could sleep on planes as easy, and as well, as Alex. 


 

Wednesday, August 5

15 for 2015 Update: July

I'm not quite on top of things this month as much as I wish I had been, but hey, being accountable is what matters, right?

Progress on 15 for 2015 during the month of July, which I cannot even remember happening. I thought July 4th was last week?

15 for 2015 
Hit the Pure Barre Montgomery 250 Tuck Club (Accomplished in January) 
Spend another long weekend in Curacao 
 Show Fitz and Alex the beach 
Read 15 books 1: Mending Fences 2: Tonight and Always 3: A Matter of Choice 4: Endings and Beginnings 4: Vegas Rich 5: A Perfect Life
Take an entire month and not buy a single piece of clothing (or accessory) for myself (Accomplished in May) 
Finally re-decorate our living room (Accomplished in April) 
Update my phone software (Not that it helped anything) 
Visit Kimber, Gentry and Saylor at the farm in Pennsylvania (Accomplished in July!) We had so much fun! #woodsbarbieandbabydopa
Go home for Alabama Homecoming 
Write my Nanny once a month January: yes, sort of. February: yes! March: yes! April: No. May: No. June: yes! July: I think so, but I can't remember, honestly.
Try 15 new recipes 1: Creamy Italian Chicken Crockpot Bake 2: Cajun Cake recipe from Southern Living Annual Recipes 1987 edition 3: Basil Chicken Pizza 4: Fiesta Chicken Rice Bowls 5: Carla Hall’s Confetti Blondies 6: Cheeseburger Pie 7: Sun-Dried Tomato and Herb Crusted Salmon 8: Bursting Blueberry-Chocolate Bundt Cake
Completely clean out my closet I am past my breaking point with this one.
Take about a zillion more pictures Just some boys and their bird dog.
Clean out the storage unit and sell the furniture we are never going to use (Accomplished in March) 
Show Mark Philadelphia and the Porecca family

 ___________________ 
I might have to ring the bell and call my life mediocre at this point?

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