Monday, December 02, 2019

Things I've Learned this Fall

want to participate in what you have learned this fall? hop on over to Emily P Freeman's blog and link up there.

1. Podcasts are my new favorite
some that i have been listening too this fall are:
The Next Right thing by Emily P Freemen
That Sounds Fun by Annie F Downs
Correct Options by Trey Kennedy

Which ones do you listen to?

2. Tea and Downton Abbey with friends is fabulous
My friend Kelly and I decided to host a tea before a group of us went to see the movie. It was such a fun time of treat and chatting with these ladies about all kinds of things. I am so glad we did this. 

3. Sunsets have become my favorite.
There has been so many amazing skies this fall. 
Here are a few:

4. my kids say the best and sweetest stuff. usually right after we had some rough moments. i don't have a for instance but just know that it does happen and it is the sweetest.

5. I'm not the only one who doesn't buy school pictures.

I posted this photo on my Instagram with the caption: Just curious....does anyone acutually order school pictures? 
There was alot of talk about school pictures and two people admitted to me now being alone in the NOT ordering school picture. Most of the time my kids are still pretty cute in the picture, it's just that the picture quality itself is awful. the one time i decided to buy the CD of the photo was when my oldest had a special photo taken in 5th grade because the next year he was going to be in 6th, new school, middle school. It was like a "graduation" type picture. It was terrible. not just the quality but my typically cute kid looked bad and the photographer didn't fix his collar. 

6.Sometimes days don't go as expected and that's ok. they can still be beautiful.

This was on my Instagram from this season: Today didn't go anything like I expected. Honestly I didn't have to many expectations but get the tiny humans to school, get to work, get them home safely and go on a date with my hubby.
An hour after her lunch period I realized that today was thanksgiving lunch at the school. This is the second to last year that I will get to have lunch with her for Thanksgiving or really any time and I missed it. 
I cried a few tears for sure. Tonight we chatted about the day. She didn't seem as torn up about me missing as much as I was, only that she was one of the final three standing in the spelling bee and only the final 2 get to advance, she was the 3rd to last.
I could have cried even more tears for her. Tears of sadness that she didn't advance as much as she had hoped, even though we didn't practice a single one, even though I had high hopes of practicing some with her, And tears of joy that my girl, was THE THIRD PERSON STANDING and had not studied one single word.
Best laid plans. Sometimes not #andyschoolthanksgivinglunch NOT #butjustassweet

Books Read in September:
Zeroes by Scott Westerfeld, Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti 
Catching Christmas by Terri Blackstock
The Library Book by Susan Orlean
Parkland by Dave Cullen
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen
Against All Grain by Danielle Walker
The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
The Lager Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradal
A Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly
Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Books Read in October:
Where the Crawdads Sing by Deila Owens
Unmarriagable by Soniah Kamal
Inheritance by Dani Shapiro
Educated by Tara Westover
I Think You're Wrong (but I'm Listening) by Sarah Steward Holland and Beth A Silvers
The Starless Sea by Erin Morganstern

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Beholding and Becoming

I had the great privilege to be a part of Ruth Chou Simons book Beholding and Becoming. My Goodread, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Christian book review said this: "Beholding and Becoming is physically and spiritually beautiful. It is not only filled with lovely artwork but with beautiful words that speak life and hope, real and truth, love, honesty and depth. Ruth has a way of weaving a story and His story together that is spectacular." 

I read the book fully the first time through in an ebook version. It was beautiful on my phone but then i got the copy in my hands and i was wowed. There is so much gorgeous art work and truthfilled words withing the cover of this book. I am currently re-reading the actual copy and there is so much in it that speaks to my heard daily.

Here is just a little snippet of what i mean.... 

Image may contain: flower and text

and here is another quote from the book that i jotted down in a notebook that i carry around with me: " trandformed, one everyday moment at a time."
Page 11
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Friday, August 30, 2019

Things I've Learned this Summer

1. after listening to 10 Things to tell you podcast #15 and watching Jamie B Golden's instagram stories on skincare, i decided to add this little bottle to my beauty regmine. There is alot that i was doing right and some that i needed to tweak and add. this being one of them. June 11th; Flagship Vitamin C.

2. I can grow things. I mean we have blueberry bushes and they have been relatively easy and i have a few indoor plants but i planted some zinnias from seeds around our mail box and they grew and bloomed and are so pretty.

3. I really missed camping. our last camping trip was April of 2018. we took the kids in June and had the best time. we did another white water rafting trip with the kids. you can see our first one here.

4. going on vacation with friends is so fun. why have we not done this more often?

5. I learn new things about my kids every day.
Unknowns can be scary. Little Girl is usually ready for an adventure and excited about life. She was quite a bit more nervous that we expected her to be. New Grade, New Teacher (like brand new to the school) 

6. That I am a enneagram 6. I took a test that told me i was but took another test that told me i was a 2w1. Then a friend mentioned Annie F Downs Podcast, That Sounds Fun and then enneasummer that she was doing. If you haven't listened to them and want to start, scroll down to one that has Suzanne Stabile. They were so good. One thing Suzanne Stabile says is that she doesn't really like the tests. she would suggest you reading about all of the enneagram numbers and then seeing what resonates with you or even more importantly what makes you feel uncomfortable. I read about #2 and #6 a bunch and the more i did, the more i leaned towards #6 being correct. I think i am a 6 wing 5. I plan on reading the book, The Road Back to You and then The Path Between Us. I just know that i want to have the time to read them and no other non-fiction in my presence to do it.

7. to plan my summer reading. a completely different friend, than the one above who mentioned the enneasummer podcast, told me about The Lazy Genius Collective Podcast-Summer Stack (episode #110). Where she mentioned that she had to make sure to plan her reading. Mine started with going through some books on my Goodreads account and looking at my to read lists and then taking some recommendations from Anne Bogel's book lists. This is what i started out as what i wanted to read this summer.

Books read in June:
Daisy Jones and The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
Once Upon a River by Dianne Setterfield
You are Free by Rebekah Lyons
Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day by Winifred Watson

Books read in July:
Two Weeks by Karen Kingsbury
Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah
The Forgotten Road by Richard Paul Evans
To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han
Reading People by Anne Bogel
Beholding and Becoming by Ruth Chou Simons

Books read in August:
The River by Peter Heller
Class Mom by Laurie Gelman
The Road Home by Richard Paul Evans
Field Notes on Love by Jennifer E Smith
The Sugar Queen by Sarah Addison Allen
The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise-Dan Gemeinhart (this one i started reading to Little girl in July and we finished it this month)
A Love Letter Life-Jeremy and Audrey Roloff
Things You Save in a Fire- Katherine Center

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Still not Finished, but Functional

the bathroom is still not finished, there are tiny details that are still needed, but it is functional and has been for quite a while and honestly that is all that matters at this point.

my hubby and i were roaming Lowes and came across this mirror. I waited for one from Magnolia Home to be back in stock, but the more that i thought about it i didn't think it would work right in the space even though i knew it would look amazing.

we came across this one and both liked it so it seemed like it was a no brainer.
it sat in the box in our room for 2 weeks before i decided to tackle putting it up. 
i don't know how it all happened and i wish i had timed it all but i got it put up with a quickness. i was shocked when i stepped back and saw it hanging. 

there were a couple of towel hooks that we liked but ultimately decided on this one. I didn't want to buy one until we had the mirror purchased and installed.
turns out it is perfect.

now to decide on some open shelving for over the toilet. i was thinking 3 but maybe just two. I measure the space and don't really want anything more than 16 inches long. I'm going to have to go shopping with my tape measure to find exactly what we want.(and to be honest we are 100% sure we know exactly what we want.)
but i know that when we find it we will love it and then the back of the toilet will stop being a catch all for all the things. 

Thursday, August 08, 2019

First Days

Yesterday was another first day for these kids. I can't believe i have a middle schooler.

All thing new for these two.
We made it out the door by 7am, had our first day of school breakfast of eggs and cinnamon rolls, tree guys showed up and there were no tears.
I managed to get them both to school and get to work in one hour and ten minuets.

afternoon carline was a different story

curious about other #andyfirstdays

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Weekend Warriors

This summer has been packed full of all good things. After thinking back on it, we did a lot of quick weekend trips. some of those trips wrapped into the week but for the sake of cool, i will call this post and this summer Weekend Warriors.

our weekends started with my daughters dance recital. this was her first year in dance and she loved. but at the same time wants to go back to doing gymnastics too.

cousins are the best and i try to get photos of these two as much as i can. born 9 months apart but will graduate high school the same year there is a special friendship between these two that are so very different but love one another all the same.

my parents came for a combined birthday party for the kids and just an all around celebration: end of school, recitals, anniversary, birthdays

they gave my sweetie her very first charm bracelet and she was thrilled to get it

we celebrated with a New Orleans themed party since i am from NOLA.
my parents brought king cakes and crawfish

we filled 200 water balloons

and ate our way through pounds of food
check out the DIY crawfish trays. thanks dad for your awesome tricks and tape.

When little girl turned 1 we had a craw-fish boil for her birthday and got a family picture. Here we all are again years later, same back yard, craw-fish boil, more kids and bigger kids.

Just the cousins friends

Golden boy lost another tooth

my hubby and i celebrated 17 years of marriage

this was the start of our trips for the summer. we started it out with a bang. we took the kids to Universal Studios for a few days. nothing like dressing in your topical gear to heard to Orlando

Well i guess not the whole family went into universal. we just took the oldest because youngest wasn't so sure about all the rides. don't worry, we didn't just leave her in the hotel room all by herself

my mom boarded a plane in her city and met us there. her and my girl hung out at the pool while we took Golden boy into the parks. she was perfectly content with that set up. 

we had some delicious treats while we were there

and one evening my mom kept the kids and my hubby and i got to go back into the park to look around and check out all the sights in Harry Potter's Diagon Alley

when we came home from Universal we had blue berry bushes ready to be picked

flag football games ready to be played

and other adventures ready to plan and take
one of them being rafting the Pigeon River in Hartford Tennessee.

we drove a part of the Foothills Parkway that we have never driven on before

and took the kids to the Dolly Stampede, formally the Dixie Stampede. we went on our honeymoon and had the best time and talked about taking the kids all the time and we finally decided to do it.
they had the best time and loved it.

a few years ago my hubby and i rode our first alpine coaster and Golden boy got to ride one for the first time during this trip

we also had tickets to a magic show right before leaving town. the magic was excellent but the show itself was a bit odd


Right before the 4th we took the kids to my parents lake house and dropped them off for my hubby and i to have one night at the beach. neither of the kids were interested in going to the beach, they just wanted to get to the lake and hang out with their cousins.

we stayed in a condo at Gulf Shores, even though we wanted to go to Destin. It is just so expensive in the summer and we couldn't find anything beach side that wasn't a fortune so we steeled for beach side at Gulf Shores. I am not sure we will do that again. 

We made a plan that when we woke up the next morning we would drive the hour to Pensacola and find a beach to park it on for a few hours.
What we found was actually a National Park. There was  a $20 car fee that gave you up to 7 days of access to this beach. It was called Opal Beach and you could see nothing but beach for miles both ways. no high rises next to or across the street from the beach. it was perfect and well worth the $20 even for a few hours.

we headed back to the lake after that for two more days at the lake and 4th of July fun.

Nothing like trying to capture a family picture.  

cousins are the best

so are sisters, isn't she precious

i heard that some Publix and Walmart's were carrying these mickey head ice creams that mimic the ones in Disney World that dreams are made of and i was just lucky enough to find a box at our local Walmart and was thrilled. they are a bit smaller than Disney's but brings a bit of Disney into our lives until we can get back there.

we have a new italian shaved ice place in the area and took the kids there one night. golden boy got swedish fish flavor

of course during this whole summer the bathroom was getting worked on. to get all the details on that and what went on in that space you can click here.

we were finally able to get some friends to come camping with us. well that isn't 100% true, we did have one family come with us, this family is just one that we have been hounding for years and they finally came. we had a great time hanging out, tubing, hiking and spending time together. 

the day we left the camp ground, was Golden boy's birthday. he turned 12.

after our time in nature, they wanted to so some fun things so he rode the Smokey Mountain Alpine coaster, alone

and we took the to play putt putt golf

we were back in the Smokey's the very next weekend for a trip with friends to the Wilderness in the Smokies water park.

and of course some Sugarland moonshine tasting

the next week, the kids had winshape camp and the Thursday night of that week we attended the 2nd annual Altitude night for a local Ortho office.

followed by a Sunday night at a local water park with family.

this girl blows my mind. here are the words that i wrote on instagram about these next couple of photos: I was pretty shocked that she went once and then she went again and I was able to get her picture. I can't, necessarily say she is fearless, (even though you would think that is the case, climbing up those stairs to jump), because she is scared of somethings. For sure I thought this would have been one of them. I am so amazed at her and proud she did it, even if she was scared, maybe a little. #littlegirlandy

Here is to the summer of 2019. i know that it is technically not over. i mean school is only 8 days away and July is coming to an end but we are calling it quits on our Weekend Warrior weekends. looking forward to a more chill week followed by an even chiller weekend. but......i do know my hubby so there is always the chance that we have another fun filled weekend.