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Our Christmas Getaway

It’s the week before Christmas and all through the house, the family was packing for a vacation down south! 

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I call my husband & say “we are going to take a vacation to Paintsville, Kentucky the weekend before Christmas! I’ve got it all planned and taken care of.”

-This is typical Shelbie behavior…I tend to do and not ask.

My husband and I have been together for 10 years now. He has adapted and learned to say “okay”, go with the flow, & hold on tight! I don’t think I’ve ever steered him towards an adventure he didn’t enjoy!

Saturday morning we got up and hit the road.

We packed up the kids with some road trip essentials:

  1. snacks
  2. water
  3. baby wipes
  4. books
  5. country music (fun fact: Paintsville is home to Loretta Lynn, Chris Stapleton & many more amazing music artists!)

 
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We only had to make one bathroom stop the entire 3 hour drive…and it was actually just for the husband and I!

We stayed at The Ramada in Paintsville. We pulled in to see the entire outside decorated with Christmas inflatables! Santa, snoopy, snowmen…so fun for the kids to see! We walked in and the inside was even more decorated than the outside! I can’t even explain how beautiful! Trees everywhere…all with different themes. Some trees even rotated! I’ve never seen a hotel more beautiful and unique. We rode the glass elevator up to our 3rd floor room. Looking out the glass you seen what looked like a beautiful town…inside! Cobblestone floors, a beautiful fountain in the middle, balcony with outside looking windows, spiral fire escape style staircases. The restaurant inside the hotel blended into the street look with a beautiful awning and welcoming front door. I felt like I was back home walking down Clifton Ave…I was blown away! Can I please have this inside my home? A bloggers dream! The room was just what we needed, a quiet place to regroup before we headed out to Mountain Homplace!

The reason we came to Paintsville was the Mountain Homeplace Christmas. It is a beautiful 1850’s working farm in which they decorate for Christmas. It was absolutely stunning. It was a beautiful night reaching 70 degrees! We couldn’t have asked for better weather. We arrived at the farm a little after 5pm. It already dark out. The Christmas lights strung lit the way. We visited the welcome center with tons of gifts and homemade jarred goodies. The boys rocked in the rocking chairs on the front porch while looking at all the lights. We then got a ride from a horse-drawn carriage covered in Christmas lights! It was not only the boys, but also my first time riding a horse-drawn carriage! We loved it!

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We then walked down the lighted trail. The first stop was on the right to see a live nativity seen! The kids loved seeing baby Jesus in the manger! They hugged Mary & Joseph. We have read the story of Jesus’ birth plenty of times, but this was a great way for me to remind them of the story while they see it person.

We headed to a cabin on the left for hot coco and cookies (the absolute best hot coco I’ve EVER had!) We met with Jeremiah from Painstville Tourism, he gave us some amazing history on the cabin. He told us It had a pull away kitchen. In case of a kitchen fire, they would have hooked the horses up to actually pull the kitchen away, preventing the fire from spreading to the rest of the home. How cool is that? He also showed us the gutters on the cabin roof proving it would have been a luxury home at the time. The family who built it were considered wealthy. We headed down the trail to the church. This was absolutely breathtaking. We walked in to hear Christmas carols being sung from the choir. We sat down and sang along. After the caroling, a sweet woman asked if the boys would like to hear a story. She brought them to the front and let them pick from a healthy selection of Christmas favorites. Trevor would have stayed all night picking out books to read. Her story telling was interactive and engaging. The boys were in awe! I could have walked the trail all night. It was perfect. It really encompassed everything Christmas is about…family, faith, fun. This was a beautiful reminder, Jesus is the reason for the season. Spending time with family and loved ones holds more value than any item wrapped under the tree.

We went to the local Ponderosa for dinner & headed back to the hotel. We got into our swim suites and hit the heated, indoor pool! We had so much fun. All the giggles and smiles made my heart burst. We even ventured over to the outdoor pool attached! It was 70 degrees after all! It was really weird to think we were swimming outside, in Kentucky, in December! After all the swimming, bubble baths, and fresh PJs…the kids were fast to sleep. They were snuggled together in their bed while my husband and I broke out the travel Yahtzee and watched National Treasure.

We woke up to the boys crawling in our bed asking for breakfast. We got on our shoes and walked down to the restaurant for the free continental breakfast. It was really amazing. I’ve had the free continental breakfast at plenty of hotels, this was by far the best! A great selection & friendly staff. As soon as I finished the coffee in the carafe, the waitress was right behind me filling it up. I gave her a mental fist bump!

We were planning on seeing the Highway 23 Country Music Museum before heading home, but we’ve decided to save that for a mommy & daddy trip…or maybe next year when the boys are a little older. I really want to come visit in the spring to see the Mountain Homeplace Farm in bloom. There is also a beautiful Dawkins Line Rail Trail I would love to see!

Spring, summer, winter, or fall…Paintsville has so much to offer! I am already planning our spring trip!

To see more information visit https://visitpaintsvilleky.com/ 🙂

Wanna see the vlog of this trip?

Watch Our Vlog Here!

me Uncategorized

I. Can't. Remember.

My first ever blog post — 2015

The struggle that brought me to find…me.

It was Christmas Eve. I was driving around the block with my two sweet boys in the back seat. They giggled and looked out the window, they had no idea why we were driving around the house over and over. I had no idea why I was so confused. I couldn’t get this strange fog out of my mind. This heavy weight was resting on my brain, holding me hostage from my memories and thoughts. My oldest son asked where we were going. Our house was right there. I could see it but I didn’t go home, I didn’t know how. I circled the block again and again. “What just happened? What do I do?”, I thought. My gut feeling was overwhelming fear. Am I okay? What do I say? What do I do?
I finally pulled into the driveway after what felt was 200 times around the block. I got my boys into the empty house and sat them down with a snack. I needed someone to talk to. I needed someone to tell me I was okay. I called my husband, no answer. I called my mother, no answer. I called my dad. Hearing his voice say “hello” made me burst into tears. I cried “I don’t know what just happened to me. I’m confused. I feel sick. My brain has let me down. What do I do?” I tried so hard to put what just happened to me into words. It’s something that feels so impossible to explain. I just had my first seizure and had no idea. This is the day my life changed forever.
I was visiting a neighbor a block away exchanging Christmas gifts. We talked about Christmas excitement…and that’s all I can remember. I remember her daughter saying something that gave me an overwhelming “déjà vu” feeling. It hit me like a ton of bricks. It all felt so familiar, every word, every feeling. It lasted about 3 minutes. I was left with a cloud of amnesia that followed me all the way home. Today, I don’t remember what it was she said to trigger that feeling. I remember being faint, scared, nervous, anxious. I felt as if I was going to get sick. I felt trapped in an overwhelming funk of feelings. You know in the movies where the leading lady finds out that her crush fell in love while on vacation and they’re now planning a wedding? She stares off into the distance and the characters around her talk but it’s muffled? That’s what happens to me during and after a seizure. I can’t remember a word I said. I can’t remember the words anyone else said. In the moment I couldn’t comprehend what she was saying. I just remember nodding my head. My body was functioning just fine, but my brain wasn’t. She helped me to my car with all of the wonderful Christmas gifts and treats. She hugged and kissed the boys as I loaded them up in the car. I drove towards my house…only seven or so houses away. What felt like 15 minutes later, after continued circling of the block, I made it home. I stopped at each stop sign. I drove my car just fine. Or did I? I. Can’t. Remember. I. Can’t. Remember. I. Can’t. Remember. Today these words come off of my tongue more than they have ever before in my life.
After an ER visit claiming I was only “tired because I have 2 boys under 3” I felt lost. I knew this was deeper. Deep down I knew something was horribly wrong. I knew my mind was slipping out of my grip, out of my control. I went on with my life having more and more unknown seizures. I would feel an overwhelming “déjà vu” with nausea and almost peeing my pants. I would then have a forceful amnesia that would leave me confused and lost for about 15 minutes or so. The confused lost feeling would then lift off of my brain like a pressure releasing.
Fast forward about a week later, I had made a Facebook post explaining my symptoms. A mutual Facebook friend, a nurse who works for a local neurologist, reached out to me. She knew exactly what I was going through. She seen it all too well. I was having partial seizures. She got me into her neurologist right away. I have Temporal Lobe Epilepsy with Complex Partial Seizures. These seizures start in one side of the brain and stop before completely going all the way around. I had no idea anyone could have seizures without the most well known Grand-Mal symptoms of convulsions. After a clean MRI and EEG, I don’t have answers as to why. I don’t know how this happened to me. I think that is the most uneasy part of my diagnosis.
I am now about 6 months into my Epilepsy diagnosis. I am almost 3 months seizure free. I don’t know what my life would be like if it wasn’t for the nurse reaching out to me on Facebook. She helped me tremendously. I could still be lost looking for answers…debilitated by these horrific seizures. Now I am able to accept the diagnosis and begin looking for who I was before my Epilepsy. I haven’t been behind a steering wheel for almost 6 months. I take daily medication to control my seizures. I have only had a few seizures since my diagnosis. I am not the woman I was before. I have a horrible memory. I always forget things. I don’t have the same interest in things I once enjoyed. I have good days and some not so good. Because of my medication’s symptoms I sometimes get extremely tired easily, just holding my boys can cause my arms to become weak, just one flight of stairs can force me to stop and take a break. I won’t let this change me or break me down. I am stronger. I push through each day with a smile on my face. I work hard to take each day as is it. I continue on my way to become HER again…to remember my life before Epilepsy. This is my journey.
Dear Epilepsy, you’re going down.

Beauty Uncategorized

Heart eyes over at TheBBtee.com

♥ The BBtee just launched a whole new problem for my bank account! If you don’t know about The BBtee yet, where have you been? Living under a rock? Just kidding…find out what you’ve been missing with the newest obsessions in the shop!

I’ll take one of each please 🙂

Check out the new additions below…I’ve included links with purchase info as well.

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Faith over Fear Tee

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Dreamland

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COFFEE LOVE

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Girls want PIZZA

You want them all right?! The struggle is real! Happy Shopping 🙂

Shelbie

Beauty Uncategorized

Subscription Saturday – Fab Fit Fun (Fall)

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It’s October 1st & you know what that means?! It’s Fall Y’all!

Yea, I always want to believe September 1st means fall but we are still sweating in the 90s until right before October. This Fab Fit Fun box encompasses everything you need for fall in one box! I’m talking plaid, coffee, body oil…and way more!! Let me also mention this Fall box is a steal…and it’s going fast. Hands down best box I’ve ever received! If you’ve been thinking about Fab Fit Fun…NOW is the time!

  GIVE ME THIS AWESOME BOX!

Alright, let’s jump right into it:

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-This Modcloth scarf is to die for! I’m obsessed. These colors can transition from fall to the holidays with ease! It’s a great blanket scarf with so many different options to wear. I like doing the bandanna style or wrapping it around me like a blanket.

-These beauty products make me happy!

This palette retails for over $50 alone. It’s well worth it. The color pay off from these shades are stunning. I’ve always wanted to try a nude palette from Urban Decay but didn’t want to spend a fortune. I though this box was a steal, I not only got all this amazing stuff…but a dupe for an Urban Decay Palette! The brush it comes with is also amazing! My new favorite.

-I also received a clear brow gel. Amazing for setting my brows in place! #browgame

-They threw in some deodorant and cleansing wipes…perfect to throw in your gym bag! I think I found my new favorite deodorant!

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-Speaking of gym, I got these awesome toe socks! Perfect for Pilates and Yoga. Inspired me to get back at it this fall!

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-Give me all the skin care! This French Lavender Body Oil is amazing!! I use the Beyond Cleansing body sponge in the shower (a gentle exfoliate! Must have for fall/winter dry skin!) then apply the body oil once I get out of the shower. My skin feels great!

I’m excited to try the restoring night serum. I’m waiting for my face to calm down after a big breakout before I add anything new to my routine.

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-Coloring book & colored pencils? Yes please! A great way to relax! I like coloring with the kids and now I don’t have to color my 100th Minion. This book has fun pictures of dream catchers, high heels, etc. You can even color this month’s Fab Fit Fun Box!

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-Last but certainly not least, this adorable coffee cup! I love taking coffee on the go, and this is my new favorite cup. I love black and gold & who doesn’t love a little positive affirmation in the morning!

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This box has a value of over $241! You can get all of this for only $49.99. Follow my link above to order. I’m telling you, you won’t regret it!

-Enjoy your fabulous fall weekend!

Ddotts

Uncategorized

I'm back :)

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After a little blogging hiatus, I am back! I’ve been so busy with my new job, but I’m finally finding my grove to schedule time to be creative! I am absolutely loving my job with Cincinnati Family Magazine. It has really allowed me to grow in so many ways. I can already see my ideas coming to life within the magazine, and within myself! I love being my own boss and finding my own way to hustle hard when I have to but also spend more quality time with my family.
I have some new blog ideas that will be soon to come, but I want to know what you want? I want to hear from you! What kind of posts are you interested in learning more about? I am working on some “back to school lunch ideas”,”fall must have essentials”& my “holy grail beauty products” Let me know if these are topics you’d like to hear more about!
I’m excited to be more active here on my website. I hope you are too 🙂
 
ddotts
 
 

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"Sometimes Life Is About Risking Everything On A Dream No One Can See But You."

My husband is my rock. I honestly feel like I’m living this life with my absolute best friend! We laugh and joke. We can get serious and deep. No matter if we are in a low valley or high up on the mountain, I know he’s there holding my hand, pushing me up, or encouraging me by leading the way.
I have been a stay at home mother running an in home day care for just about 3 years! I’ve enjoyed my time-out from the world. I’ve absolutely loved having all of these babies and kiddos to love and call my own. I love all of their hugs and kisses, all of our playtime and snuggles! But in those 3 years I’ve put myself on hold. My husband comes home to my hair a mess and bags under my eyes bigger than any designer tote. I’m so pale, I sparkle like Edward Cullen. I can’t leave the house. Have you tried to take 3 babies and 4 toddlers outside by yourself? I’m lucky I’ve lived to tell the tale of our few times I felt brave and ventured out. It takes about 20 minutes to get everyone ready to head out for about 10 minutes of play. As soon as we get to the play house someone has to use the restroom again or a baby is crying. Then it takes another 15 minutes to rangle everyone up to head back in. Most days I probably smell like cookies and Mac and cheese. I’m sure my coffee breath is atrocious…But my husband still comes right home to me in my oversized, comfy sweaters and house shoes without a single complaint. He makes me feel like I walk around with a princess crown…wait that’s just Cheerios stuck in my hair. It has been an amazing adventure. I’ve gained so many special memories with all of the kids as the years have flown by. I can belt out any song and they make me feel like a superstar! Who needs to sell out arenas when you have a house full of kids yelling your name!? Hearing my sweet Lucy say “I love you Shelbie. You’re the best babysitter!” Is equivalent to having my star on the Hollywood walk of fame. Each hug around my neck is like constantly getting asked for my autograph. These children are more valuable to me than any jewels. I am so blessed and thankful. But this is where I leave all of that behind to find myself and create a better future for my family.
In the past week I’ve decided to return to school and take on Pilates Instructor Training! I’m squeezing in at LEAST one class a night. I’m taking teacher training every Saturday for the next 18+ weeks. Sunday’s I take a class or two, swoop by and get the kids and head to church. My first week has gone so smooth thanks to my better half. He has been so insanely supportive! He hasn’t complained once of me rushing off to meetings and classes. He takes care of the boys and welcomes me home with a big hug and kiss. Maybe he’s enjoying all this time without me drinking out of his favorite coffee mugs and playing fleet wood Mac repetitively on the record player. I know that I can take this on with ease and graduate on time knowing Derrek is on my team. He believes in me and that’s the greatest motivation I could ask for!
Because I’m not one to do one thing at a time I also accepted an amazing job offer working with Cincinnati Family Magazine. This job gives me so much flexibility, growth, and opportunity. But I am incredibly sad to close this daycare chapter of of my life. When I got the job offer I was so excited, and then overwhelmed with sadness thinking of telling my sweet families. I may or may not have cried on my way home. This job is going to be so amazing for myself and my family. There’s no way I could pass it up. I know that God has great plans for me and I just can’t achieve them from my home. It’s time for me to fly!
I wouldn’t be able to take on all of this without my main man! He loves me for who I am but he also believes I can be so much more! This time last year he was by my side during my epilepsy diagnosis. He was driving me everywhere and constantly checking on me. He made sure I made it to my appointments, art therapy, and retail therapy (Target!). Today he’s here to support me in all of my recent accomplishments. He’s helping me achieve my dreams. I hope I’m able to make him proud! Sometimes life is about risking everything on a dream no one can see but you. I’m blessed to have a husband who sees my dreams just as vividly as my imagination.
 
 
Stay tuned ☺️