Hi, Friends!! I’m really excited for today’s post. I have been wanting to do this for awhile, but I was really a little nervous whether you guys would really have questions for me or not ?. These have become some of my favorite posts to read from other bloggers because you get to learn things that might be a little more personal plus you get to see their personality a little better too! So thank you to everyone that submitted questions. I hope you enjoy them. The post ended up getting really long once I started answering everyone’s questions, so I’m actually going to split it into two posts. I’m so sorry to those of you that I didn’t get to yet, but I promise they will get answered next week!!! Here we go…
What did you do before becoming a SAHM? And was the decision to stay home hard?
I ran the marketing department for the family business. My Dad started a home building business 26 years ago that is now run by my brother. Our company had no such thing as a marketing department 5 years ago. I was working as a Sales Manager for our company in the Biloxi, MS division before Matt and I got married. Once we got married in 2012, we moved to Pensacola where our corporate office is located and I started up the marketing department. It was in it’s beginning stages still after I had Brody, but we had hired someone else to keep the ball rolling. Now, they have a great thing going! It was a hard decision to decide to leave completely. The people in the company are like family to me. I had plans to try to work part-time, but I quickly realized that it wasn’t beneficial to either party. Starting this blog was the perfect outlet for me after I left and gave me the sense of accomplishment and community that I needed.
Where is your favorite place you’ve ever traveled? And what destinations are on your bucket list???
Hmm this is a tough one! I have traveled quite a bit to places like Australia, New Zealand, Hawaii and a lot of Europe; but at the end of the day, the Caribbean/Bahamas is still one of my favorite places to go. Sadly, the BVI’s are one of my all time favorite trips and of course they just got demolished in hurricane Irma. I pray for a quick recovery for all of their islands. Harbour Island in the Bahamas is my other favorite in the Caribbean. My favorite places to travel in the US are Vail/Aspen and Rosemary Beach. Those have just become my happy places and I love them both with kids or without!
I have three places on the top of my bucket list. The Maldives, Greece/Italian Riviera and Bora Bora. As you can tell, we love beach vacations! It will probably be a very long time before those ever happen; but I hope to make it one day!
If you could travel and vacation any where in the world, where would it be? One trip with adults only and one family trip?!
This has mostly been answered above, I think. If Matt and I could plan the perfect trip tomorrow to anywhere we wanted to go, I would probably push for the Maldives!
One place with the kids if we could go anywhere, would probably be to Harbour Island. I’m hoping to take them there soon!
What are some of your holiday traditions for your family ?
I have a couple of Christmas traditions that I grew up with that we have carried over into our family that I really enjoy. One is that we have a family (adult) dinner on Christmas Eve Eve (23rd). It was always at Antoine’s in New Orleans when I was growing up and now we have it here in Pensacola at Jackson’s. I always look forward to getting dressed up and kicking off a busy few days with my Mom, brothers and spouses.
On Christmas Eve, we always get to open one present and it was always matching pajamas! It was mainly for me and my Mom, but if we could get the boys to participate, we would!! That’s how I feel now. I get me, Madelyn and Brody matching jammies and it makes me so happy!
For Thanksgiving, two dishes that are always tradition in our family that are not very common in other places are Oyster Dressing and Stuffed Mirleton. Ever heard of those?? They are very New Orleans.
We are starting to make traditions of our own now that we have kids. We love to have Christmas morning at our house with just us. We have introduced the Elf on the Shelf and I love taking the kids to the pumpkin patch even though it’s always still so hot!! What are some of your favorite traditions with kids that are fun to add??
What are your favorite enteraining ideas ?
I LOVE to throw a fun party! My husband and I entertain a lot. Whether it is throwing a 6-12 person dinner party, have a casual football gathering or throw a holiday soiree; it is all a lot of fun (and sometimes a lot of work!). I think the number one thing is not to be afraid of entertaining. Nothing has to be fancy. I love a casual Friday night cookout on the grill (with steaks or hamburgers paired with an easy Mac & Cheese and salad) or Saturday football party full of dips and bar food or a Tuesday night taco night!
I try to plan things that I can cook ahead to the best of my ability. If you are doing tacos, do them in a crockpot so they stay warm and your work is done before everyone arrives! If you are having an Italian night, make a lasagna since you can make it ahead of time and just pop it in the oven when your guests arrive. If you are having a football party, make your dips ahead of time (often times they taste better when refrigerated over night) and don’t be afraid to pick up wings or pizza from a local restaurant. When it gets cooler out, a great soup/chili is fun to serve too.
Lastly, if you are not already part of a fun girls holiday party; you need to start one!! This year will be my 4th year hosting a girls Dirty Santa party. I look forward to it every year and I think everyone else does too! There are a lot of cute options out there for holiday parties (cookie exchange, ugly sweaters, etc) that you can choose from! Get together with a couple of your friends and organize something. You will thank me later 🙂
And basic pantry staples (whenever we end up entertaining at last minute — I end up having to order in food at last minute).
I almost always keep Mexicorn and Rotel in my pantry for this easy Mexicorn Dip.
I also always have white shoe peg corn and black beans in my pantry for this Black Bean feta Dip.
This Captain Rodney dip sauce will forever stay in my pantry along with Ritz Crackers!
So in my refrigerator, you can usually find green onions, shredded cheddar, bacon, feta, mayo and sour cream.
You should always have taco kits in your pantry too in case you are in a crunch 🙂
Have you guys thought about adding a 3rd baby to the mix? And/or do you know your family is “complete”?
This was a VERY popular question ☺️ I actually had plans to write an entire post about this and it’s been sitting in my drafts box for months!! I just haven’t taken the time to sit down and concentrate to write it. The truth is that my answer has changed a lot in the last two years since Madelyn was born. I would say that I always knew/thought that I wanted three kids, but I was also pretty sure that I could be convinced that two was enough. So, when my hubby and I were getting married, I pretty much prepared him for the idea of three right out of the gate! That way, the possibility was there. But, if we had two and he felt completely done; I would totally respect that too.
Immediately after having Madelyn, my first reaction was that there was no way that was the last time I was going to do that. The whole process of having a new baby and bringing that baby home is just my favorite thing in the world. I just couldn’t think about it being my last time. Then, a few months passed, and life got hard with two. I started feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and certain I was never going to have two healthy kids at one time ever again! I knew this phase too would pass, I worked on hiring some help (hired a babysitter for about 6 months to help with Madelyn while Brody was in school so I could have some real “me” time) and I made it through!
Even though I became obsessed with the relationship that was blossoming between Brody and Madelyn as she started walking and was able to keep up with big brother, I kept feeling like I still pictured one more baby. I will take pictures of the two of them together and still imagine “one more baby.” There has been lots of back in forth in my head still over the last year (I always said I wouldn’t make any decision until Madelyn turned 2); but ultimately, we would like one more baby! I don’t feel like our family is complete yet; but if it is, I would be 100% satisfied too!
It honestly can be so tough in the moment to make this decision while we are in the thick of things with young kids. I really know in my head that I would be the woman in five years that would regret not trying for one more. I’ve talked to so many women in their 40s, 50s or 60s that had two kids and said looking back, they wish they had one more! There are tons of things that run through my head about how much easier just two kids would be; but life is long, and family is the best thing we can give each other!
I hope that didn’t get too sappy for you guys, but I have really been meaning to share that with all of you 🙂
Here are the questions sitting in the queue for next week! If you have any that you would like to add to it, just leave a comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with Ask Annie in the subject line. Thank you to everyone that submitted questions!! I loved receiving them all and taking the time to answer each one!!
I would love to know gift guides/ideas especially for Madelyn for Christmas since my daughter is the same age.
Do you have a light-up scooter recommendation for 5 year olds??
Favorite g0-to recipes??
How did you and your hubby meet?
How do you set up your schedule, days, etc with kids, blogging, house stuff, chores, appts, etc?
Do you get ready and fully dressed before your kids get up??