First Down

Based on the title of today's post you may be thinking this post is going to be about football. If you do, don't worry because despite that football season is in full swing that's not the first down I'm referring to. The first down I'm referring to is the first week of school that's behind me. It's been a long week to say the least and today's arrival couldn't make me happier. Getting back into a routine this year seems much harder than it was last year and back then I had a newborn. But let's be honest here, I'm starting to realize the newborn stage was the glory days. Life with a toddler is much harder... But equally rewarding if not more so!

On this particular Friday, can I just brag on my hubby ladies? He has been nothing short of ahhhhmazing this week as I have transitioned back into being a working mom after having been a stay at home mom for the last eight or so weeks. On Monday I came home from work to find that Kevin had done all of our laundry. I'm just going to be honest here and admit that that was no easy feat as we had three overflowing baskets of laundry that I'd been putting off for a few weeks now. As if that wasn't good enough,  for dinner Kevin ordered my favorite take out from Monterreys, a local Mexican joint that I am obsessed with and picked up God's Not Dead from Redbox since I've been dying to see it. After the babe was down for the count, Kev and I spent the remaining evening on the couch watching the movie. Might I add I even got a foot massage during the movie?! It was probably the best part of the evening considering my feet just weren't used to that much standing anymore! 

On Tuesday I came home with the intention of cooking dinner but one look and Kev knew I was exhausted. I was so excited and relieved when he offered for us to go grab something out for dinner. As per my request we grabbed some seafood and swung by and got some ice cream afterwards. On our way home Kevin surprised me with The Other Woman... another movie I had been hoping to see. So after we got Harper in bed we settled on the couch chowing down on ice cream and watching a movie! 

Unfortunately I can't say our week continued to go as well. Wednesday night I came down with what I guess was the flu or a virus. I had a fever, chills, & ached all over. By the time Kevin got home from a long day at work I was useless. Despite how exhausted he was from pulling a 12+ hour day he was so thoughtful enough to take over Harper duty. He made sure Harp was fed, got her ready for bed, & looked after me as well. And last night he did the same plus took care of our dinner since my appetite was back! 

Best husband award definitely goes to Kevin Holt. Sometimes in our hectic and crazy life I forget just how lucky I was to snatch this guy up. I'm definitely thankful for this crazy week because it was a great reminder for me to focus not on what the hubs doesn't do for us but on all the things he does do! Without a doubt the positives far outweigh the negative by a long shot. I couldn't imagine doing life with any other guy! 


{Teaching} A Classroom Tour

Happy Wednesday ladies! I hope your week has been off to a great start thus far. Mine most certainly has. On Monday I started back to school with my kiddos. This year I'll be teaching twenty-three precious third graders. Getting to know them over the past few days has been such a pleasure. Each of them bring their own unique personalities to the table and I am so looking forward to getting to see those personalities come out more and more.

I don't often share much about my job as a teacher on here. This is more a blog for me and my little family but since this is a huge part of my life, I decided to welcome you into my little home away from home. As I've mentioned a few times over the last few weeks, I changed up my classroom quite a bit this year. For the last three years I've had an owl-themed classroom. After three years, it was getting rather old. In hopes of spicing it up a little, I set out to completely redecorate my room. After weeks of going back and forth between a nautical theme and a sports theme, I finally decided on the sports theme as it would work for both girls and boys but would be more geared to boys unlike most classrooms. Having played sports all of my life, it was super easy to come up with ideas for the room as I knew most of the sports lingo. It ended up taking me a better part of three whole days to get my room in order and decorated... all of which were non-workdays but in the end all my hard work paid off and I have a room that I love. Even better, all of my students can't stop talking about it!

Here's the tour via my iphone!
The front of my classroom 

"Tackling Tough Words" word wall 

My textbook corner
"Reading is the Goal" strategy board 
"Play by the Rules" classroom rules board 
"Holt's Halftime Report" where I keep important information for the kids
Front corner 
"Team Stats" board for data tracking
The back view of my classroom (minus my work station)
"Concessions" for student's water bottles and snacks
"Team Equipment" where I house extra school supplies for students 
"Team Captains" display. Each student has a jersey.  When it's their day to be a helper their jersey is up. 
Make-up work and homework goes here
Boys & Girls Locker Room for their coats and bookbags

Well that's it ladies! Welcome to my home away from home! 


Weekend Recap

Hi Ladies! Sorry I've been a little M.I.A. over the last week or so. Last Tuesday I headed back to work after having been off for nearly eight weeks. I planned to blog but I didn't find myself with too many spare moments and those that I did have, I just wanted to spend being lazy on the couch...without a computer in front of me. Just keepin' it real friends. Getting back in a groove has been TOUGH! I haven't felt this exhausted since Harper was a newborn.

Despite that I headed back to work this past weekend, I considered this to be our last weekend of summer since my new students don't arrive until this morning at 7:40am. We had planned to do something big this weekend but it just didn't happen since Harper wasn't feeling great. Over the last couple of weeks Harper doodle just hasn't been herself. She's been running fevers off and on and will cry at the drop of a hat. It's totally unlike her. We've made several visits to the doctor and they just haven't been able to pinpoint what's going on. This week she'll undergo blood work to see what appears there. Prayers for us would be appreciated.

Since Harper wasn't up to anything grand we spent most of the weekend around the house. Friday after work I headed off to spend the evening with my parents while Kevin worked till 6 and got in a quick work out at the gym. When he was done, we all met him at a local diner for dinner. By the time we got home around 9 everyone in the Holt household was ready to call it a night and hit the sheets.

Saturday morning I woke up long before the hubs and Harper did so I took the opportunity to get some cleaning done because it's virtually impossible to do any cleaning with the hubs and Harper moving around. You mamas know what I'm talking about? Fortunately I was able to get the whole first floor cleaned and straightened up before my two babies got to waking up. By 9:30 I could hear them stirring so I headed back upstairs to grab Harper up and put her in bed with Kevin. We spent the rest of the morning in bed watching tv and having a mini-photo shoot. Around noon Kevin rode out and grabbed us some lunch. By the time we'd ate and cleared the table, it was Harper's nap time. Since it was raining outside, we took the opportunity to join her and take a nap as well. Three hours later and we were still in bed! You could definitely classify us as lazy human beings that day.

Finally around 7:30 we got our butts in gear and headed to Brooke and Bryan's (Kevin's brother and his girlfriend) for a pizza and game night with some of our friends. We had such a great time laughing and carrying on. We broke out Guesstures and it made for some great laughs. We got so into the game that we made it completely through the deck of cards. When we finished it was nearly 2:30 in the morning! I couldn't believe we were still awake at that point. Kevin and I hadn't pulled late nights like that since I was in college! We've really become such old souls!

Despite not getting in bed till shortly after 3:30 in the morning, I woke up bright and early at 7am Sunday with the intention of going to church. However when Harper woke up I could see my plans were going to change. She woke up fussy and had a fever. So instead of spending our morning in church we spent it cuddling our baby girl on the couch. Around noon her fever broke so we headed to my parents' house for our usual lunch. Thankfully Harper made it through that and even got some applesauce and goldfish down. But by the time our plates were cleaned her fever was back and she was back to being fussy and wanting to nap. So we spent the remainder of our Sunday with her with the exception of a quick trip to the grocery store while we left Harper with her grandparents.

It definitely wasn't the weekend we were hoping for but I'll take it. One of these days I know I won't be able to hold and cuddle Harper anymore and just the thought of that makes my heart break. So in the meantime I'll cherish these opportunities as much as I can get them despite what brings them on.

Hope your weekend was a bit more fun!


{Weekend Bargains}: Recent Finds

One thing I pride myself in is being a bargain shopper. As a mom on a teacher's budget (keep in mind I work in one of the lowest paid teaching states) I just can't make myself pay full price for an item. Especially one in which I don't actually need. So what do I do? I hit up weekend sales and clearance racks. And ladies, you'll be surprised with what you will find. Over the last few weekends I've scored big on some items. Just check them out...

Bargain Shopping

Here's the run down of my bargain savings...

White Tee: $3.58 at Belk (Originally $11.97 at Belk)
Black T-shirt: $3.58 at Belk (Originally $11.97 at Belk)
Royal Blue Tank: $2.55 at Gap Outlet (Originally $23 at Gap)
Black White Stripe Colorblock top: $13 at Belk (Originally $36 at Belk)
Simply Southern Bowtie T-shirt: $17.95 at Tiki Jims (Originally $21.95 at local boutiques)
Simply Southern 'Tie that Binds' T-shirt: $17.95 at Tiki Jims (Originally $21.95 at local boutiques)
Teal Nine West Shoes: $14.00 at Nine West Outlet (Originally $59 at various shoe stores)
Elephant Print Scarf: $12 at Bjuju (Similar styles $30 and up at boutiques)
Nike Free 5.0 v4 Tennis Shoes: $100 at Finish Line (Originally $140+ on Amazon)
Black Ankle-Length Pants: $10.98 at Gap Outlet (Originally $55 at Gap store)
Elephant Print Pants: $20 at Belk (Originally $36.00 at Belk)
Black Leggings: $14.98 at Gap Outlet (Originally $29.95 at Gap)

In the last few weeks I've spent around $230 and saved almost $250. I'd say that's bargain shopping at it's finest ladies! You should seriously try it :P


Holt Beach Trip, 2014 {Part 2}

Thanks for coming back for part 2 of our trip ladies!


Harper and Kevin spent most of the day in bed. The sun and saltwater sure takes it out of you! 

Wednesday evening while Harper hung out with the grandparents, the hubs and I had a date night at the Pirate's Voyage dinner show. We've been wanting to go for a few years now so I couldn't have been more excited!

We weren't there ten minutes and we'd already bought Harper a book. haha

We caught the pre-show. It was super cute. We sang singalongs, watched a juggler, and saw a sealion do tricks. It was my fave!

The set.

Took Harper to the beach, despite her not being a fan. 

The beach wasn't a big hit so we headed back to the lazy river.

It may have been cloudy but this mama took full advantage of a break while the hubs occupied Harp.

The mother-in-law took Harper during nap time so this guy and I could have some time to ourselves in the hot tub. 

Another selfie only because I loved my hair after playing with Brooke's new Paul Mitchell wand.

Spent the evening playing bingo. One of my favorite Holt family beach trip traditions!

It rained off and on all day Friday so we spent the day laying around inside. 

For dinner we hit up Red Robin for the first time. 

Afterwards we headed to the mall where we saw these precious babies. 

When our shopping was complete, we took Harper to the pavillion at Broadway. 

On her first merry-go-round. Despite her face, she loved it!

Then she took her first train ride with Daddy. 

And then we took her on my personal favorite, the ferris wheel. 

And of course we had to take her to the fountain since she's a bit obsessed with water. 

By the time we got home, these two were out on the couch in no time!

On Saturday we had to bid goodbye to this view. 

Well that's it ladies. Thanks for sticking by during my picture-laden posts but I wanted to be sure I had these all on here for future reference. You mamas understand (:

Happy Wednesday!


Holt Beach Trip, 2014 {Part 1}

The week before last Kevin, Harper, and I headed to Myrtle Beach, SC to spend a week vacationing with Kevin's family. Every year, during the last week in July, Kevin's parents, brother, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins all head to the beach for a family vacation.  The Holt and Walker families are truly some of the funniest people you will ever meet and when you get them all together you're sure to have a lot of belly laughs so it's definitely a vacation that we really look forward too.

In the past we've all stayed together in the same condo but as our families have expanded with new marriages and new babies over the last few years we've had to separate into two different condos. Kevin and I split a condo with his grandparents, parents, brother and girlfriend, and one set of his cousins. Kevin's uncle Kenny stays with his wife, children, and stepchildren with their families at another condo just walking distance from ours. Despite that we stay at different locations, we still hang out by the beach and pool together and meet up some in the evenings for dinner and outings.

Although this was not Harper's first beach trip, we were really excited about our trip this year. Last year Harper was only three months old at the time and wasn't able to do much. Now that she's mobile and into everything she's capable of doing so much more. We were so anxious to see how she would react to the sandy beach and the ocean, as well as the pool and lazy river. We had high hopes considering how much she loves the lake! However, her excitement didn't nearly match our own and we spent most of our time by the pool but that was okay with this little mama. Whatever makes our babies happy, right?

Now off I go. I'll let most of the pictures do the rest of the talkin' (; I promise not to overwhelm you so check back tomorrow for part 2 of our trip!


A little breakfast for Harp before hitting the road. She was clearly excited (;

Our car definitely isn't as packed as it was the year before!

An hour in and this girl was out!

A few road trip selfies!

Grocery store trip... this was only part of the load. The other half was in the in-laws car!

We started the day off on the porch watching the ocean waves.

Hung out in Memaw's room. 

Spent the day in the lazy river.

It sure took it out of a girl!

For dinner we headed to Key West Grille at Broadway.

Took photos with pirates. 

After dinner we did a little strolling around at Broadway and Harper got to try her first Starbucks drink. 

Harper started off the day blowing kisses. Be still my heart. 

Then hung with Daddy in the pool while Mommy laid out. 

Selfie before dinner.. only because I loved my outfit. haha

For dinner we headed to our favorite Japanese place, Nakatos. Harper loved the noodles as much as we did!

And like any normal people, we made a Target run after with Brooke and Bryan (; Only Harp was out. 

While the guys went to play putt putt Tuesday morning, Harper and I spent the day in blowing the biggest bubbles you've ever seen thanks to a $1 bubble wand from Walmart. Best dollar ever spent!

For lunch/dinner Kevin's grandma and mom fixed the best southern meal ever!

Tuesday night we did some shopping at the local outlets and picked up a late night snack from Steak & Shake but I totally forgot to take pictures. Fail. 

Anyways that's it for today. Check back tomorrow for part 2 of our trip! :P