The Beginnings of Our Busy (And 3 Things I’m Into)


The plaid! Father-son time! I can’t handle all the cuteness!

I wrote Monday’s post about ADHD and DORE last Friday and was feeling all the good feelings about where we were with the adoption transition.  Well, that couldn’t last too long, could it?

I’m not a fan of a super busy lifestyle.  In fact, did you know there’s a thing called Busy Lifestyle Syndrome? You start having memory lapses, feel overwhelmed and can’t handle stress. It’s not something to aspire to.

But we all have those weeks, right? Well, mine went sort of like this.

Friday was Halloween so I got all 3 kids ready and carted them around for a few hours (yes, I know, all of you other parents did this too.  Gold star, everyone!). I helped organize a coffee event for our church on Sunday so I organized a bunch of that on Saturday, did some laundry and got the kids to my niece’s birthday party Saturday night.

Sunday morning we attended two services, set up the church for the event, ate lunch, finished setting up for the event, attended and helped host the coffee event. I dumped all the decorations back at my mom’s and did a quick grocery store run while my sister and her husband (!) agreed to watch the kids a little longer.  I think I finally stopped about 8pm after a full day of running around. Did I mention that Scott worked 36 hours over the weekend while all this was happening?

Monday was Lexi’s birthday so I had to get cupcakes to her lunch and then host the family for dinner Monday night.

Tuesday I was gone at the office from 7am to 6pm (thank you Charlotte traffic for continually getting worse), grabbed some food at Moe’s, did an hour of algebra with Emma and then crashed.

I’m not bemoaning any of that. I love, love, love to do all of those things (OK, not laundry or traffic. And yes, even algebra.). I’m just saying all of that in 5 days was a lot.  All of that meant I was short on patience and hurrying through everything.

Monday evening I thought all of the progress we had made with the adoption transition must have went out the door.  By Monday night, Lexi was crying in her room asking why we ever adopted and Jac0b was talking about leaving as soon as he was 18.  Not the kind of soul-nourishing conversations I wanted to be having during a busy few days. (We’re fine. Really.)

I’m exhausted this week and it’s only Wednesday.

I know the past few posts have been super positive and it seems like things are going well, and they are.  But let’s be clear, it’s not all sunshine and rainbows.  And this is not even adoption related, really. We all have busy seasons and November is always, always ours.

So, I suppose this is simply a confessional post, but I thought I’d share 3 (super unspiritual) things that I’m into right now that are helping to lighten the load.

The Mindy Project


Scott and I have been blowing through this show on Hulu.  Admittedly, it’s crass at times, but it’s funny. Really funny. Mindy + Danny 4EVA

Has anyone read Mindy’s book? I’m wondering if it’s worth the time. As much as I enjoy the show, it seems like I would like it.

Taylor Swift’s 1989



Taylor Swift’s new album is on repeat everywhere I go. I’m obsessed with “Blank”. What’s your favorite?

Relay App

I saw Jen Hatmaker post about this new app Relay that has animated gifs you can text your friends. I had Lexi download it and we’re having a blast on it together. Look me up as @amyjbennett if you’d like to have some nonsensical fun.


So, there. I’m keeping sane by silly things and thought I’d share.  Happy Hump Day, folks!

What I’m Into – January 2014

Oh, January.  What a month you were. 

What I Did


This month will forever be known as our “the wreck” month.  We spent so much time on Autotrader, Craigslist and in car lots trying to find our next car

We also worked hard to get our budget back on track after Christmas last year.  We broke out the envelopes, spreadsheets and watched our account like a hawk. 

Between me and Lexi both getting sick and several snow days, we also had a lot of family time together.  I realized yesterday afternoon when I went to get the kids from school that I had not been outside my house other than in our yard since early Monday evening!

If you missed the post earlier this week, I knocked out one of my yearly goals this week and finished my first sewing project.  I found I loved sewing and actually, finished my second project this week!  Emma helped me make her a nightgown that you see above.  This second project was actually much easier than the first!


What I Listened To



We’ve been entertaining ourselves with the Frozen soundtrack.  We love the song “In Summer” most.  We also have been singing “Do you Want to Build a Snowman?” during all the snow.  Did you hear there’s a sing-along version coming out this weekend?  We might just have to go.



What I Watched



I know I put this in last month’s post, but we continued to race through White Collar and finished up to Season 4 where Netflix stopped.  We continue to enjoy all of the characters on the show and it was great watching Neal evolve at least a little bit through the last seasons. The relationships are just fantastic–Peter and Elizabeth, Neal and Peter and Neal and Mozzie.  All such great dynamics.

I’m also watching Downton Abbey and Sherlock this month since they’ve been back. I had to rewatch Sherlock twice this week to get everything that happened.  So great.  Sherlock was especially good with the little boy at the beginning and his speech was just wonderful—in an awkward and terrible sort of way.

And here’s something I’m not watching: American Idol.  I got out of the habit with the judges last year and even though I hear good things about the panel this year, I’ve been enjoying all the time I have in the evenings without it.  If there’s a must-see performance, feel free to leave it over on the Facebook page for us all to enjoy.  Jen Hatmaker’s list last night about this season nearly has me convinced to check it out, though.


What I Read


PicMonkey Collage

The Paris Wife – This might be the first book that I just could not get into and sent back to the library unfinished. I can’t pinpoint one thing in particular I didn’t like. All I know is I spent two weeks making such little progress I decided I didn’t care enough to finish and it was wasting my time.

The Secrets of Happy Families – I mentioned this book in yesterday’s post.  I think it’s a great book for anyone to check out.  While a lot of it deals with families with kids, I can see it being applicable to just about anyone.  We’re all a part of some type of family, yes?

Notes from a Blue Bike – This book by blogger Tsh Oxenreider comes out on Tuesday and I’ll be talking more about it next week.  In short, I’ll say it’s a good one.


So, that was my January.  What things have you been into?


Linked up with

What I’m Into – December 2013

I’m linking up once again with Leigh Kramer to talk about what I’ve been into this month.  It’s a great opportunity to talk about all the little things I got excited about.


Family and Friends


My Christmas break is officially over.  We made a short Christmas bucket list and marked them off through the month, but mostly we hunkered down and spent a lot of time at home.  I enjoyed a full week off with the family and man, was it what I needed.  We had a great Christmas week and I’m so thankful for another year with family and friends.


Julep Nail Polish



After hearing about it many times, I finally broke down and subscribed to the Julep Maven box–a monthly beauty subscription service–when a friend posted a coupon for a free box.

In my free box, I got two Julep polishes and wow! I was super impressed with how well the polish went on, how shiny it was and even how long it lasted. I’m not sure how many Maven boxes I’ll actually get, but you can count me in as a definite fan of the polish.

Get your first box with the code FREEBOX!


TimeHop App


My friend ohAmanda introduced me to the TimeHop app and oh, it is so fun.  Every day it shows you what you posted on your social media accounts that exact day in any previous year.  You can’t see any day except the day you’re on.

For example, on Christmas, it was so fun to relive those Christmas mornings again. I have tweets from 6 Christmases ago!

You also unfortunately get to see some rather embarrassing moments too. Like, 5 years ago I don’t think I posted anything that wasn’t related to Twilight for a few months.  Sheesh.  Sorry, folks.

The best thing is it’s free!


Wedge Tennis Shoes




These wedge tennis shoes are way out of the norm for me but I found them on Clearance at JCPenney’s on vacation and I just couldn’t say no. 

They are so comfortable and unlike many wedges, they make my feet look smaller instead of like small boats.  Does anyone else think they look like the high-tops in Back to the Future?


Mary Kay Skinvigorate Cleansing Brush.


I just got this for Christmas so I haven’t been able to do any long-term testing but I’m definitely loving my Mary Kay Skinvigorate Cleansing Brush.  Everyone raves over the Clarisonic but the price point was just a little high for me. 

I can’t compare them, but I really am enjoying the Mary Kay cleansing brush.  And at $50 retail, you really can’t beat the price (especially when you’re a consultant!). It doesn’t feel too rough, but it leaves my skin feeling super smooth.

Shameless plug: If you need a MK consultant, I do ship anywhere in the US.


Miche Bags



Speaking of consultants, my mom is a Miche bag consultant.  She’s been trying to get me into the bags for years, but I’m a one-bag-at-a-time-and-for-years kind of girl.  Seriously, the bag I had up to this month I’ve carried every single day since I bought it in March 2012 in Georgia.

My aunt gave me the mid-sized bag and a few shells for Christmas and y’all?  I kind of love it. Like, really love it.  Even though no one probably cares, it’s fun to swap out the shell in just seconds to a shell that compliments my outfit.  It sounds so trite but it really does make me happy! 


Books I’ve Read



Contrary to how I thought my month would go, I read fewer books this month than any this year.  I spent a ton of time on the house (and Netflix—see below) and very little time reading.  In fact, I only finished one novel: The Misremembered Man.

This novel was billed as a romance but it was so much more.  Set in the 70’s in rural Ireland, it’s the story of a man who was abused in a Catholic school as a child and then adopted.  The reader comes into the story just as he decides he needs to get married in his early 40’s. 

As someone who is trying to adopt a boy from DSS, this was a little gut-wrenching, particularly at the end, but it was just such a work of art.  I couldn’t speed read through the Irish accent in much of the dialogue and the vocabulary was rich.  The characters were just lovely (well, some of them) and a surprise (and GOOD) ending left me satisfied this was the only book I read all month.

At only $3.99 for the Kindle version and free to borrow for Prime members, you shouldn’t pass this one up.




I spent the Advent season reading through The Greatest Gift.  If you’re on the Facebook page, I hope you enjoyed the snippets each morning.  I was pleasantly surprised by how much I loved this book.  If you haven’t read it, don’t hesitate to read it at any time of the year.


TV I Watched


What Not to Wear holds a very special place in my heart.  I started watching the show when it first began in 2003.  I was in my early 20’s and still trying to figure out my style.  I learned so much from them and really, feel like I relearn it all every time I watch.  I haven’t watched it in years and years, but they put the last two seasons on Netflix.  The girls and I were goners. 



I’d heard the buzz online about White Collar.  Tiffani Thiessen from Saved by the Bell AND Hilarie Burton from One Tree Hill are on the show so you would think I’d be all over it.  For some reason I never took the time to get into it. 

When my parents got into it recently on Netflix and insisted we did, we took a peek at it one night and we were sold.  We buzzed through the first season in just a few days.  Great law enforcement drama, great characters, good humor and all around great show.

*While we’re on law enforcement dramas, I should also note that Scott was WAY into the series on Netflix called Flashpoint this month.  I watched a few episodes with them and even though it wasn’t something I was into, he was.  If that’s your sort of thing, you should definitely check it out as well.


So with that, we’re staring down the end of 2013. I’ll be back tomorrow with a year in review post.

In the meantime, anyone want to share any Christmas gifts they’ve been loving?

What I’m Into – October 2013

Welcome to November!  This is our craziest month as a family.  Both the girls’ birthdays are in November as well as other family members and friends, Thanksgiving hits and then holiday shopping starts and work tends to be busy too.  I’m not one to celebrate busy, so I’m taking a deep breath in as I type.

I really wanted to share some things that were making me happy in October. I skipped September because really?  I was into chocolate ice cream and cookies and that’s not helping anyone.




Whether you saw my results post last week or not, it bears repeating.  AdvoCare totally dug me out of my funk and I feel GREAT.  In fact, I’ve lost a few more pounds since posting and I’m still feeling terrific.

I can’t get enough of the Fruit Punch Spark energy drink in the mornings. I get just as excited about that as I did my coffee.  Seriously.


Pure Protein Bars


One way that I’ve been able to handle the high protein/low carb diet is protein bars in the afternoon.  I’ve tried several of them and BY FAR the best one is Pure Protein in chocolate peanut butter.  It’s like eating a Snickers.  Like, without the caramel and nuts and yummy goodness but, you know, close when you’re eating low carb.  Buy them by the box at Walmart.


30 Day Shred



30 Day Shred is an oldie but I keep returning to it over and over.  It’s a solid work-out and I completed the 30 days in October.  You can’t beat just 20 minutes of working out in your living room with just a set of hand weights.


BIC Velocity Pen



If you’re a pen freak, you probably already know about this pen but seriously? The BIC Velocity is the smoothest pen EVER.  Love.


New Girl


I decided to check out New Girl on Netflix and I’m a fan–not like, I can’t live without this fan, but fill in the Friday night nothing to do fan.  It has quite a bit of adult humor and the morals/lifestyles are atrocious, but it’s funny.  Scott and I watch it together and I spend most of it punching his shoulder across the bed laughing.  I finally get the Zooey love.


David Walker Band


I mentioned this band in my Allume recap but since I’ve been home, I’ve been listening to David Walker’s music and oh my word, they are GOOD.  If you want some good worship music you can leave on repeat, go check it out on Spotify.  Fragrance and Only You are my favorites.


What I’m Reading


Based on our reader survey, I think I’m going to bow out from Twitterature each month but I think this is a good spot for it to land.

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh turned out to be one of my favorite novel EVER. 

I did a full post of Jesus > Religion but it only scratched the surface of the book.  It’s really fantastic. I really, really hope you check it out if you’re a Jesus follower.

A Million Little Ways by Emily Freeman was like a long poem—beautiful writing.  The Type A side of me wanted it to be more practical but it’s really more about a perspective shift.  From the site it says, “Do you desperately fear you have nothing to offer the world but secretly hope you’re wrong?” This book is definitely an encouragement when you feel you have nothing to offer.  We ALL do.

Me Before You was a fantastic novel with great characters and interesting storyline but darn it, why couldn’t it have a better ending??

I also read Tina Fey’s Bossypants which I found hilarious but not necessarily up my alley.

Anything by Jennie Allen was good but not great. I wish I would have read this after hearing her live.

Jodi Picoult’s Keeping Faith made me frustrated and mad–I threw it on the floor when I was done.



I have a copy of A Million Little Ways to give away!  Just leave me a comment—tell me something from the list you’d like to check out or something you were into in October!  I’ll draw a name next Monday!


Linked to October 2013 What I’m Into

Scandal: My New Guilty Pleasure

I totally did NOT mean to find a new TV show.  Did. Not.  I’ve been enjoying my TV-less life the last year or so.  It’s freed so much time to read and write (and SLEEP) in the evenings. I don’t feel so attached to a TV schedule.  I feel freeee.


I decided to see what all the fuss about Scandal was.  MISTAKE.



It’s all my favorite dramas in one show.  If you combined The Practice, Dexter, Grey’s Anatomy and some political show, then that’s Scandal.  The only thing that would make it better is if Riggins from Friday Night Lights showed up as a client.

I should have known I would like it since Shonda Rhimes created it but I thought I was just OVER all the dramatics.  Turns out not so much.

It’s so good.  Except it’s not very good.  I mean, the show centers around an affair the President of the United States is having. There’s a lot of dirty politics and violence and lying and cover-ups and what not.  But seriously?  Such good characters and writing.

A few comments for you Scandal watchers:

(I’m on Season 2 Episode 10 11 12 right after the President gets out of the hospital asks for a divorce).

  • Kerry Washington is brilliant.
  • Even though it goes against everything I believe in real life, I love the President and Olivia together. I mean, not very many actors can pull off so much steam just looking at each other.
  • I love all the plays Olivia makes to fix things.  It’s never what I would think to do and I respect her ability to think like that (even though I know that’s not really a person but the writers? I love them for writing that).
  • I enjoy the fast-paced banter between the team.
  • I enjoy the long-running storylines.  I literally had to take notes on everything that was happening with Hollis and I LOVE that a TV show challenges me to think.
  • I really miss Steve from Season 1.
  • In Season 2, I don’t like that Olivia is back at the White House.  I mean, I like that she’s doing what she’s good at and has more reason to interact with Fitz, but I kind of miss her being at her place and the episode concentrating on whatever random person in trouble had stumbled in to her office. 
  • Huck fascinates me.  He’s like a cuddly Dexter.
  • I do not like the VP.  Her fake Southern accent is annoying and I cannot stand the way they are portraying her role as a conservative Christian.  I mean, seriously?  “It’s is God’s will” and all that nonsense.  It’s insulting.  This is part of the reason I quit watching Grey’s Anatomy actually.  I’m hoping since the President is getting better that she disappears quickly.


So yeah, that’s what I’ve been spending my extra time doing this week.

If you don’t watch it, just stay away—you’ll lose the next week or two of your life.  Seriously.

If you watch Scandal, DO NOT spoil anything for me pretty please but does the VP go away? Does Olivia stay at the White House?  Who are your favorite characters?  Share your love of the show in the comments!