Thursday, July 31, 2014

I Moved

This has been a long time coming... but, I moved the blog.

7.5 years isn't a newlywed anymore. It was time for me to move to greener pastures and open up some new doors to get my creative juices flowing. I brought all my old blog posts with me. And yes, I'll still blog about red carpet specials :)

Come read over at my new blog: So. Many. Words.

I'm still writing. Keep reading.

Monday, July 28, 2014

At Least Someone is Sleeping

Oh, friends.

What a fun and exciting and eventful few weeks it has been. Since I last wrote, Ellie has turned 2, we hosted her 2nd birthday party, Ellie and I drove to and from McKinney, Texas to visit friends, and Ellie is now on Day 2 of a crazy little virus. 

I can hardly form words or type sentences since I only got about 2.5 hours of sleep last night, so instead, I'll just share pictures:

Here's my sweet, sick little girl with her daddy last night:

Go away, fever!

I honestly can not believe we are already at the end of July. The only good thing about this year going by so fast is the fact that the cooler weather will be here soon.

Cause, you know what 2 year olds like to do? Play outside.

And you want to know something about being outside in Houston in July?

It's 786 degrees Fahrenheit. 

I told Ellie we can play outside in late October. She doesn't seem to think that that is a fair compromise. 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

The Night Before She Turns Two

I just put my one year old Ellie girl to bed. Tomorrow morning, when she wakes up, she will by my two year old Ellie girl. TWO. How did we get here?

I'm not going to lie, I've been an emotional mess tonight. It started during bath time, and then got worse during PJ time and then really culminated during books and prayers. I was full on crying.

And I'm happy. Of course I'm happy. She has been so much fun recently and I know the fun will continue to increase, as will the cuteness. But TWO is such a big girl. Two is not a baby.

Two will bring more words, more opinions, and more questions. Two will bring dressing herself. Two will bring potty training (LORD, HELP ME JESUS). I can not imagine sticking that little bitty girl on a potty. SHE WILL FALL IN. I just can't even. Two will bring more foods to try and love (Name it and claim it, people.) Two will be goodbye to the pacifier, which we should have done long ago, but it never leaves her bed so she's never using it throughout the day or in public. And also, I'm not ready yet. Two will maybe bring a big girl bed. Two will get rid of the high chair. It's all her sweet little baby things.

I know I'm making this super sappy and dramatic when it doesn't need to be. This is exciting! A celebration! Tomorrow she will wake up to find a play kitchen in our living room. I can't wait to see her face. She has no concept of what her birthday means so she is going to wake up thinking it's a normal day and it's just going to be all kinds of epic.

And oh, do I love her. I miss her when she's not with me.

She loves to sing. She requests specific songs for me to sing or to play on my iPhone. She loves to dance and will ask for music to dance to. "Dancin? I dancin? Songs, Mommy? Songs? I dancin?"

She loves to learn. She can count to ten and she knows all of her colors. She knows all the animal sounds. She loves to repeat things.... even things you don't want her to repeat. Oops.

She makes me crazy, but she's made me grow up. She's brought to my life a level of discipline and responsibility that I've never had before. She's ridded me of my selfishness (mostly) (I still have my moments) and taught me what it means to put another's needs before your own. She puts everything in perspective... cause when my day is going badly and I feel miserable, I just look at her and feel immensely and overwhelmingly blessed. So blessed that I feel like I could never, ever deserve this kind of gift. And I stop whatever I'm doing in that very moment and I thank Jesus for her.

One of the things that I've always prayed for Ellie is that she would be a delight to all who come to know her. I pray that she would bring happiness and joy to people. And so far, I feel like my prayers have been answered exceedingly and abundantly. She IS joy. She is so full of light and love and I pray so fiercely that that never, ever goes away.

Today is July 15, 2014. I wrote a blog on July 15, 2012... titled "The Last Day Without Her". I wrote it the day we went to the hospital, knowing she would be born the very next day. And I read it now and I weep... because I really just had no idea. I had no earthly idea.

Ellie, a few minutes old, July 16, 2012
Her first birthday party

Swimming in June
Playing with friends in July!
Happy Birthday, my sweet Ellie girl. I love you to the moon and back.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

The Chairs

The dining room is the very first room you see when you walk into my home.

And it's fine. It's pretty. But it's really boring. And there's a lack of color and I just have never loved it.

About a year ago I finally painted the white walls green and that really made a difference. But the white(ish) carpet and the white(ish) chair cushions still left me wanting more.

So, I went to JoAnn's, picked out a fabric, borrowed a staple gun from a girlfriend and called my mom. Cause she's done this before. And I rarely can take on a household project without my mom there to help guide the way.

This project was relatively easy once I mastered the art of using a power drill. I unscrewed and screwed the cushions from the chairs while my mom stapled the fabric onto the seat cushions.

Et, voila!

Before (white), after (green and blue)

It really brightened up the room and gave it a more modern feel. At some point, I will probably refinish the dining room furniture, but that is a bigger fish to fry. A fish that I have no time or patience for right now.

I have some leftover fabric and am trying to decide what I want to make with it.... table runner? Pillows? The possibilities are endless!


Monday, July 7, 2014

And These Are a Few of My Current Favorite Things

It's a hot, rainy summer night, so I thought I'd take this opportunity to sit down and write something. However, my creative juices just aren't flowing at the end of this very long day, so instead I'll just share a list of some things I'm loving right now!

1. My new pillows and curtains! I found the curtains from the Threshold line at Target, and the pillows were a combination of Target and TJ Maxx. 

2. The Flip Belt. Like I've mentioned before, I have been running lately. And I hate running with stuff in my hands or in my pockets. This black, elastic belt is not cumbersome at all and can hold your phone and your ID or whatever you need, plus I can still plug my headphones in! Plus, there is the added bonus of not feeling like you're wearing a fanny pack. 

3. Lately, when Ellie is told to do something that she finds undesirable, she will comply but will also say "Ohhhhhhhhh, Gosh!" while doing it. Cracks me up every time. 

4. This video: IT. IS. AMAZING.

5. Chasing God by Angie Smith. I CAN NOT RECOMMEND THIS BOOK ENOUGH. Full of truth and humor and encouragement. My kind of book!

And that's all she wrote for tonight, folks :)

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The 6th of July

Well, it's 2 days after the 4th of July and people still insist on blowing up fireworks in residential neighborhoods. I AM JUST THRILLED ABOUT THIS.

If I really wanted to, I could spend this entire blog post sharing my opinions about people choosing to celebrate the 4th of July on the 6th of July at 9 o'clock in the evening. However, I'm pretty sure you could guess what my feelings are on that particular subject. So I'm going to spare you from the complaining and the venting and just tell you that these people need to shut it down, pronto. The mamas on this block are about to come out with an attitude.

Honestly, we had a wonderful, restful, fun 4 day weekend. Grant's company generously gave their employees Thursday AND Friday off. We usually travel on long weekends so it was a nice break to spend several days at home. Thursday we went to a fantastic party at our friends' house and Ellie slept in a pack and play and we stayed out waaaaay past our bedtime. But it was awesome. Friday was the 4th and we spent a lot of the day getting projects done around the house. Ellie spent her time feeding her babies.

On Friday night, we met up with my parents who were keeping our niece and nephew and headed up to the club to enjoy their Independence Day festivities. Unfortunately, that fun was short lived as a there was a big storm a'brewin' and we had to call it a night pretty early. That didn't stop Ellie from playing some excellent golf shots.

We still had a blast! Saturday Grant spent his day fishing off the coast with my brother-in-law, Jeremy, while Ellie and I enjoyed a pool party and some BBQ with some friends. It was really quite a rainy holiday weekend around here but we have been able to enjoy some outside time in between the squalls.

We had a great morning at church and also took a family trip to Whole Foods this afternoon to pick up some yummy goodness. Grant cooked himself a kabob on the grill and a turkey burger for me. And now I'm sitting here watching a show about antiques while I breathe deeply and try not to go outside and go all Angry-Mom on these neighborhood hooligans who feel that this is a good time and place to explode some artillery shells. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale.

Monday, June 30, 2014

See Ya Later, June

Today is June 30th. Tomorrow it will be July. We've made it through half of the year, folks. How is that possible? Things are moving ever so quickly in 2014.

And now that we are entering July, I am in full-speed planning mode for Ellie's 2nd birthday party. We are going to have a small family party here at the house. The theme? Bubble Guppies, of course! As if I had any other option. And, since we do live in Houston, the party will be in the evening. Cause no one wants to pretend to be happy and enjoying the occasion when it's 112 degrees outside with a 95% humidity level. We just aren't doing it around here. The later the party, the better.

I've been scouring Pinterest and there is no shortage of ideas. Some of them are little bit too crafty for me. Some people love a good DIY project, but I am not one of those people. I like things that look crafty but have already been assembled by someone that has a greater eye for detail than I do. Etsy to the rescue!

As I have been typing this, I have just now realized that I need to figure out what I'm going to do about a cake. Seriously, it just hit me. Birthday parties need cakes or cupcakes or something and I have yet to consider that.


In other news, I got a haircut this morning. As a result, I would like to go to as many places and see as many people as possible today since it will never look this cute again. Some people are really good at styling hair. That ain't me.

Anyways, July is upon us and there is so much to look forward to. Ellie's 2nd birthday (as previously mentioned), a road trip to Dallas to see some sweet friends, and Houston Project, our church's mission trip to our city.

All of this will likely be happening in extreme heat. Cause it's Houston. And I can't walk from my front door to my car without needing to change shirts due to sweat stains. Every time we walk out the door, Ellie says "It's hot!"

Yes, baby. It's hot. It will continue to be hot for the foreseeable future. I'm sorry to break it to you, little darling, but this is your new normal.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Why VBS Matters

I went every year. We did VBS every single summer. I was there in the weeks before VBS, the week of VBS, and the weeks after VBS. My mom was always heavily involved and on the leadership team each year, so I had a front row seat in watching the whole thing come together.

I remember going up to the church foyer and watching my mom paint the backdrop each year. There were four big canvases that would line up right next to each other to make the backdrop of the set for the skits. She'd paint a white primer on top of last year's backdrop and then use the overhead projector to trace the pencil lines onto the canvasses. This was a yearly ritual. I remember over the years the canvasses became so thick with paint after all the layers of paint from each year's backdrop. 

Sonseeker Safari. Son Country Farm. Every year had a theme. And it always had the word "Son". The writers of the VBS curriculum really got a kick out of that same play on words every year. 

Mom was in the skits and also did the puppet show (Rosie and Rusty) (Mom was Rosie) (Jonathan's mom was Rusty) (We got to watch them practice) and Lindsee's mom usually did Opening Assembly. 

It really was just the most fun week of the whole summer. We would be up at the church at the crack of dawn while all the moms set up. And we'd stay late and eat lunch together while they took everything down. 

We had craft time and music time and snack time and I still remember some of the songs to this very day. And maybe even some of the hand motions. And I remember some of the t-shirt designs too. It was all about the t-shirt, y'all. 

One year, on the last day of VBS, we stayed quite late as our parents took everything down and somehow about 20 of us kids got into a giant water fight outside. It involved a hose and about 100 plastic cups and pouring water over each other's heads. We were soaked through our clothes and I remember thinking we were going to get in so much trouble. But we were outside, we were staying out of the way, and our parents just let us go for it. And it was pretty much one of the highlights of my childhood. 

What I am trying to say is, I have SO MANY MEMORIES of VBS. This week, as I've been serving at VBS at my church, all those memories have been coming back to the surface. And no, I'm not nearly as involved or in charge as my mom was... I just am one of the teachers in a classroom of about 18 amazing 4 and 5 year olds. 

They are absolutely precious kids. Each one has a story. Each one has a personality and a future.  And they are learning the songs. Learning the stories. Learning their memory verse. Making awesome crafts. Captivated by the stories of missionaries living across the world. Bringing their little handful of quarters for the Sudanese mission. Making friends. 

Every morning this week I have had to wake up my sweet Ellie girl. Get her dressed. Rush out the door. She eats breakfast in the car. I drop her off in her own little VBS room where she has her own music time and story time and craft time.

This is me and my Ellie in her very first VBS shirt.

She comes up to my classroom with me at the end of the day while we clean up and say goodbye to all our kiddos. And then we drive home. 

And she sits in that backseat and sings the songs. Sings them loud. Songs I haven't taught her. Songs she's learning at VBS. 

"I'm gonna CLAP CLAP CLAP my hands cause God is so good! STOMP STOMP STOMP my feet cause God is so good!"

She claps and she stomps and she sings and it fills me to the brim with the greatest joy. 

Cause we are making memories. And maybe, just maybe, when she's about to be 30... maybe she'll bring her own little girl to VBS at their church. And maybe she'll drive and think about all the songs and the verses and the memories she made when her mommy took her to VBS every year. 

Sunday, June 15, 2014

This Week Is Not the Boss of Me

Let me tell you what's about to happen here.

I am going to make a plan, Buster. This week is trying to intimidate me with all of the items on the to-do lists and the meetings and the empty refrigerator and the errands that need to be run. But I refuse to be intimidated.

Groceries need to be acquired.

Gifts need to be purchased for birthday people.

VBS supplies need to collect themselves and get sorted by the days they are needed.

Meetings need to be attended.

Meals need to be cooked.

Running needs to happen.

Our Bible study group needs to meet here.

A toddler needs to be fed, bathed, clothed, played with and read to. On a daily basis.

I'll say it again: I refuse to be intimidated.

Sure, on other weeks you might find me panicking and pulling the covers over my head. And probably stress eating some carbohydrates like it was my job.

But I've got a plan of attack:

Step 1: Unpack suitcases from this weekend and start laundry immediately. I'm not gonna let those bags sit on my bedroom floor and stare at me all week. (Task complete)

Step 2: Unload dishwasher (Task complete)

Step 3: Clean kitchen, living room, and bathroom (Task complete)

Step 4: Sit down with laptop, calendar, notepad, and VBS Supply list

Step 5: Meal plan for the week and make grocery list

And that's just for tonight.

I am about to take this week by the horns and show it who's boss.


Friday, June 6, 2014

Exercise Plans

Last night, I set my alarm to go running this morning.

Yes, I do that from time to time. You know why? Because I am a super athletic runner-type who rises at the break of dawn every morning to feel the wind in my hair and hit the pavement and feel the burn and tighten my glutes and things like that. It's just who I am.

Except none of those things.

I am trying to be more disciplined about the exercising but the only way that can happen is to wake up before Ellie and Grant and get a little jog in before they awaken from their sweet slumber. Cause you know what happens when they wake up? They need things from me. They need so many things. SO MANY THINGS. Anyways, I wake up early but I lay out my clothes and running shoes the night before. This way I am not making a ton of noise as I dig through my drawer for my sports bras. Plural. I wear a few of them.

You can only run as fast as your body parts allow you to. You've gotta strap some things down.

I am quiet as a mouse. I'm like a ninja. A little athletic ninja. I am out the door silently, and then I return before they ever realize that I am gone. Sometimes I get back and quietly sit at my breakfast table and drink coffee and make a plan for the day. This, of course, is after I collapse in my entry way and try not to have an asthma attack from my 20 minute jog. (This actually happens. I walk in the house and immediately lay down on my dining room floor and wheeze and try to cool down. It's just like those skiers do at the Olympics when they cross the finish line.)

My thighs are super muscular just like that.

This morning my alarm went off and I realized that Ellie was already awake. This is very unlike her. I laid there for awhile, trying to see if she would put herself back to sleep.

She never did.

So I never went for a run.

And I'd like to thank her for that.

Another bonus of this situation? She woke up so early that at 11:00am she asked to take a nap. Begged me for a nap. And I normally would've made her power through till her actual nap time but we have a late lunch planned today with some girlfriends and she won't get to take a nap till around 2:30 and I am going to let her sleep now so that she won't be an ever-loving terror at the restaurant.

So I didn't run today but I do get to eat Mexican food with some girlfriends in a few hours and I'm all about that.

Today is awesome.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Summer KickOff

Well, I haven't popped in here in awhile. We went on a fabulous beach vacation in Vero Beach, Florida, and ever since then I've been recovering and putting our lives back together. This mainly involves 700 loads of laundry and trying to get Ellie back on some kind of sleep schedule. 

She had an absolutely fabulous time. 

And so did we!

While we were there we celebrated Grant's 30th birthday. I met him when he was 20 so this is just pure craziness. 

We have a lot more pictures to share but this is it for now. Like, I said, I'm still trying to get my life back together.

This summer has a lot of fun on the horizon! We are taking a couple weekend trips, I'm helping in a VBS room at church for kids going into Kindergarten, we're helping with Houston Project again, Ellie's 2nd birthday next month (Stop it. I know. I can't even really talk about it), and we'll top it all off with my parents 40th Anniversary celebration (combined with Cousin Camp) in Galveston in August. 

In between all that, I'll be melting because it is already 1432 degrees Fahrenheit here. And drinking lots of Diet Coke because I can't quit. 

Happy Summer to You!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Conversations with my Sister

Her: "I'm about to be at Panera, cause I'm stressed. Should I get a bagel or macaroni and cheese?"

Me: "You should definitely get both."

Her: "I know. I do this when I'm overwhelmed."

Me: "Me too. Yesterday, when Ellie wouldn't stop crying, I went into my kitchen and boiled some noodles and then melted some butter on top of it."

Her: "Oh my gosh. With parmesan? Did you have parmesan?"

Me: "Yes."

Her: "Oh my gosh."

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Paper Plates Are Becoming A Viable Option

As our marriage has progressed, so have my cooking abilities. I'm still not great, but I have become much more adventurous and confident. I try new things and I even add my own twist onto things as I go along. If awards were given out to everyday adults (and I'm pretty sure that should be a thing) I would definitely be nominated for "Most Improved in the Kitchen."

Because, let's face it, I pretty much knew how to make spaghetti when we first got married. Without the meat. And, of course, I've always been an expert at Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. I WOULD BE A GOLD MEDALIST IN KRAFT MACARONI AND CHEESE MAKING. Let's just make that crystal clear.

On Sunday nights or Monday mornings, I sit down with my laptop and a pen and paper and I make my grocery list. The first thing I do is search for recipes (some new, some old favorites) to plan our meals for the week. I usually cook 3-4 times per week and I try to vary it up. I also try to make enough on Mondays to give us leftovers to last us through the week. Also, Monday nights we host small group and I like to make extra food since we usually have some people coming straight from work and they haven't eaten dinner yet.

This week's meals:

Monday: Southwestern Chicken and Vegetables
Tuesday: Steak and baked potatoes
Wednesday: BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps (made for today's lunch instead due to last minute dinner plans)
Thursday: Crock Pot Pork Ribs, Mashed Potatoes (from scratch, y'all) and fresh green beans

To be honest, I really do get great joy from making mashed potatoes from scratch. Over time, I've perfected my own little recipe. Although I could never write it down because I just eye ball everything. I've never been one to pay attention to detail.

Unfortunately, after 3 people in this household ate breakfast, lunch, and dinner in this household today... the dishes are abundant. Overflowing, if you will.

I have been loading this dishwasher for what feels like hours.

I just had to walk away for a minute and take a break. And I still have all those mixing bowls. And the crockpot. WITH THE PORK RIB GREASE. And the BURNED SAUCE CAKED ON TO THE SIDE OF THE CROCKPOT. 


And also let it be known that we have zero clean knives in the silverware drawer. Every knife we own is in that dishwasher. And this is just from today.....

I think back to when we first bought this house at the end of 2009. It was just me and Grant. We were never home for breakfast, we were never home for lunch, and we were maybe home at a decent dinner hour once or twice a week. I probably cooked once a week. Which means I ran my dishwasher about twice a week. Seriously.

And now he works from home and I'm a stay at home mom and we have a toddler who requires many different beverages and snack cups in her busy life and I run my dishwasher every single dad-gum-live-long day. Sometimes twice a day.

And I need to go back and finish loading.

But I just want to sit on my couch and watch "The West Wing" because I am very hip and now and with it by watching a show that started in 1999.

It also needs to be said that nothing infuriates me more than when I can not fit all my dirty dishes in the dishwasher and some have to wait and sit in the sink until the next load. DRIVES ME CRAZY.

I already have enough crazy to go around. We don't need to add to it.

Maybe when I can't fit anymore dishes in there I'll just throw the remainder away. Sounds likes a plan to me. 

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Dream Baby

Since her newborn days, Ellie has been a dream when it comes to sleeping. She LOVES to sleep. In her infancy, she would wake up long enough to eat and then she would immediately fall back to sleep. People always talk about sleepless nights for parents of a newborn, but for us, it just really wasn't all that bad.

We often would say to each other "I'm waiting for the day when she flips a switch and becomes a terror that refuses to fall asleep." The thing is... it has never happened. 

Ellie loves to sleep. She asks to go to sleep. She never, ever cries when I lay her in her crib. She just lays there quietly until she falls asleep. Sometimes she'll play and talk and sing, but eventually she falls asleep. She doesn't cry.

On the RARE occasion that she does not sleep through the night, it is always for a reason. She's teething or she's sick. But in the grand scheme of things, she's just easy easy easy when it comes to naps and bedtime.

Example: Last night I put her in bed at 7:00pm on the dot. She woke up this morning at 8:45am. NOT JOKING. And that is pretty standard, to be honest. 

So why am I telling you all of this? Am I just here to gloat and brag? No. I'm here to share something with you. I'm here to tell you a deep, dark fear.




I seriously don't know what we would do. We high five one another all the time like "we got this parenting thing down!" but we never did the cry it out business. She just asks to go to bed and we put her in bed. And she goes to sleep eventually after she sings and talks for awhile. 


It is a legitimate fear and one that paralyzes me all the time. 

I'm working on overcoming and being brave and all that jazz, but some days I just have to admit that I am a chicken about having another baby.

So clearly I need to be added to some prayer lists. 

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day 2014

Words cannot express my gratitude to the Lord for allowing me to be a mommy. I adore this little girl and everything that goes along with her. It is an honor to watch her grow and learn and love. She makes me laugh every single day. She is a gift. She is sunshine. 

And listen, let me say this. Those of you that so desperately want to be mamas but for some reason known only to the Lord you are not..... don't think for one minute that I didn't think about you all day. I cried for you this morning in church. I cried for you when I rocked Ellie to sleep tonight. I don't know why it's easier for some of us than for others. I don't know. I really don't. And I question it often. I ask Him why. I pray tonight that your heart will find peace, that it will be full, that you would feel His love, and that you have a picture just like this next year. 

Happy Mother's Day.

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Yard

When we bought this house over 4 years ago, the previous owners were a darling couple that had taken great pride in the landscaping of their home. The front yard was full of beautiful bushes and flowers, and the backyard had unique trees, palms, and bottle brushes that really made the backyard a cool little retreat.

Sadly, about 30 days after we moved in, Houston experienced a freeze. Everything in the backyard died since we didn't know what anything was, nor how to take care of it.

Now, I know what you're thinking.... surely you're like "Wow, that is unfortunate. Surely they removed all of the dead things the following weekend."

No. No we did not.

It's just not been a priority. Since then, we have removed a few bushes and 1 or 2 dead trees if they seemed like they might physically hurt us. About 2 years ago we re-mulched the front flower bed and put some flowers in it that promptly succumbed to the Houston heat. And there was the time that Grant had the fantastic idea to pull up every blade of grass in the backyard using a sod cutter because our grass was so bad, but that also did not end well. We've made some minor changes to the porch. But everything else is either dead or embarrassingly overgrown. After 4 years, we finally took a look around and decided that we are the eye sore of the street. Furthermore, we decided we needed some professional help.

I am thrilled to announce to our family, friends and neighbors that next week a man named Jose is coming to remedy our landscaping problems. This definitely is not one of those big time landscaping companies that is going to build us an outdoor kitchen with a pagoda and a koi pond. This is one of those companies that is going to pull up dead things and plant pretty things. When Jose asked us what kind of plants and flowers we wanted, we said "LOW MAINTENANCE THINGS, PLEASE. WE CAN NOT HANDLE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF A TODDLER AND SHRUBBERIES."

I CAN NOT WAIT. Y'all. I'm going to feel like a new person. I would post before and after photos but I can't bear to show the world wide internets the silliness that has been our yard. But I'll post some after pictures for sure. Because we are going to be living on a resort basically, if by "resort" you mainly think of trimmed bushes and low price flowers in a flower bed. And tree branches that don't hang over the driveway and into the street.

We are totally rocking adulthood.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Friday Night Therapy

Grant was out of town last night. I usually hate this, but last night turned out okay. More than okay!

I was supposed to hang out with my friend Jen, but her sweet little boy has strep throat so we decided to reschedule. At first I thought about trying to find someone else to hang out with, but then I decided to have a night to myself. And I'm so, so glad I did.

Ellie went to bed at 7:30. I straightened up the kitchen and living room, and then I made myself a box of Shells & White Cheddar and drank a Diet Coke. And then I sat on my couch and watched a movie. And I gave myself a pedicure. And then I watched the Tonight Show and drank some red wine and laughed my bootie off. And then I did some online shopping. And then I went to bed.

Miss Ellie Paige slept all night long and woke up at 9AM.... which means I woke up at 9AM. Which is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

And now I'm sitting here, blogging, and drinking coffee. We are both still in our pajamas,  Ellie is sitting in a cardboard box, surrounded by all her babies while watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. It's the "Minnie's Pet Salon" episode - her favorite. Right now she's holding Lambie, rocking back and forth and patting Lambie on the back while she rocks. Little mama. She's the best.

Needless to say, I'm in a happy mood and a very good place. Zero stress right about now. God bless America.

I hope your day is the same. Happy Saturday, friends!


Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Monkeys in a Dressing Room

Well, the good news is that I'm feeling a lot better. I still have some gunk in my chest, but I'm no longer in pain. And I'm pretty much functioning at a normal level. Well, normal for me.

The bad news is that now Grant has gone down and he is pretty miserable and he is all worked up about that. Because you know what this sickness has failed to take into account? Grant has a pretty major golf tournament this weekend that he has looked forward to for A WHOLE YEAR and IT'S A HIGHLIGHT OF HIS YEAR and he REALLY DOESN'T WANT TO BE SICK THIS WEEKEND because he needs to be ON HIS "A" GAME. Clearly there is someone in this house who is quite passionate about this topic.

So we are all hoping and praying that he gets better soon. His health needs it, my sanity needs it. Some people handle "sick" well. Other people don't. :)

Also, I saw this on Pinterest and I said "EXACTLY" out loud. Because when I'm trying on a suit, and I look in the mirror.... this is my exact posture and emotion.

Yep. That's pretty much it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Medicated Blogging

The thing is, I took TWO night time sinus pills last night so that I could breathe.

They helped.

Unfortunately, I'm still a little hung over from the meds this morning, so naturally I figured that this would be a good time to do some medicated blogging. Hey, at least it's not medicated online shopping. Cause I have done that before and regretted in beyond measure.

Since I am not going to be good at stringing thoughts together in any kind of cohesive way that makes sense, let's just settle for a bulleted list:

1. Why don't the Bubble Guppies have more merchandise? Sofia the First is EVERYWHERE. Dora? EVERYWHERE. Bubble Guppies? Meh. I don't understand it. I'm thinking of having a Bubble Guppies birthday party for Ellie's 2nd birthday and I am not finding much. It's bizarre.

2. Yes, I'm in the beginning stages of planning Ellie's 2nd birthday party. Because it's in 3 months. THREE MONTHS, Y'ALL. How is this possible?!

3. Last night, Grant and I brought a meal to some friends who had a baby last week. He is so cute and squishy and lovable. And he slept on my chest and I really feel like that should be a drug. Ohmyword. However, when I got home I did the logical thing to do, which was turn on some sappy music, open up my computer and go through the photos from our first month with Ellie. And I cried. And then I took 2 sinus meds and so do you see how this is all coming around full circle?

4. We've been watching the show 24. We're almost finished with Season 1. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. Yes, we are about 10 years late. But I get it. I see what all the fuss is about. It's an amazing show and I am using every ounce of self control I have to not look up spoilers online. I will also say this: I am liking the show... but I don't love watching the show. I feel like I have a panic attack the entire time. When we finish watching it, sometimes I need to turn on something funny because I am a stressball and I've bitten my nails till they're gone. So I turn on The Mindy Project because it is my "get happy" place. Do you watch that show? You should.

5.  We're going to the beach a lot this summer so I have been doing some online shopping to load up on gear. Beach toys, beach towels, cover-ups (because Lord knows my white legs aren't something anyone wants to see), tote bags, coolers.... the list goes on and on. I also had a minor panic attack the other day when I realized that I need to look into some life jacket/floaties set up for Ellie as I guarantee that Little Miss Independent will want to be free of me in the pool and/or ocean. And, she'll be 2 this summer, so that is to be expected.... but still. I can't imagine her just kicking around the pool with floaties on. SHE IS JUST A TINY LITTLE INFANT BABY.

Alright, well, I know y'all are just blown away by the eloquence and professionalism of the writing that I've done in the last 10 minutes, but I am going to have to wrap this up. I need to finish my coffee and eat something that's covered in butter and syrup.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Mama Got Some Brand New Hair

Spring has sprung. 


I'm hoping that the cold months are behind us and we can enjoy the sunshine! I have been ready for a change in many areas of my life. Changes in home decor (I went to Target the other day and spend $80 and totally redecorated our guest bathroom), changes in beauty products (it was time to change eyeliners. It was just time), and now, a change in hair.

I took a deep breath before my friend Liz chopped my hair off. I had to tell her to just give me a minute.....

But she did it.

And I LOVE it!

Can't wait to try to style it on my own.... that is always quite a challenge after the stylist does it so cute.

Plus, I got 2 new pairs of shoes today so we are just living on the edge over here.

Who knows what I'll do next?! New front door wreath? New dish towels? THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Conquering a Monday

This weekend was so fun! On Friday, Ellie and I spent the majority of our day out in Cypress. We had been in our own house all day, every day last week so we needed a change of scenery. So we headed to Grammy's house since Dean was there. Ellie loves her Dean. We spent the day with Grammy and Dean, and even went to get ice cream. Friday night was a fun treat for me as I got to have dinner with my best friend Lindsee and her family as well as her extended family. After almost 30 years of friendship, her Colorado family kinda feels like extended family to me too! Plus, we ate Mexican food and there's always great joy where there is tortilla chips.

Saturday started out a little rough. Ellie woke up in a horrible mood. HORRIBLE. We butt heads all morning long. I was mad, she was mad. At one point I texted my girlfriends and told them that I wanted to just get into a hot air balloon and just drift off into the clouds and go where the wind takes me. It just wasn't good. I put her to bed and we both took a good long nap. When she woke up, we were both different people! Grant came home and the 3 of us took a little drive downtown to Discovery Green. Ellie had the best time. There was a little playground and a splash pad. She has never experienced a splash pad before, and we let her run around with her clothes on! She had a good time, as you can see:

After we got home that night, Tiffany came over and the 2 of us girls had dinner at Zoe's and then went to see Divergent. I have read the whole trilogy and was really pleased that the movie was very, very close to the book. It followed it almost exactly. Of course, they have to cut out some of the storyline for time, but all in all it was a very well done movie and I can't wait for the sequel next year. Also, we ate popcorn and M&Ms and that's really all I need for an excellent Saturday night.

Tiff spent the night so we had a late night slumber party and then everyone slept in the next day, including Ellie. Thank You, Jesus. Ellie then spent the rest of her Sunday with Grammy, Pops, Grace and Dean while Grant, Tiffany, Justin and I went to the final day of the Houston Rodeo. It was so fun to watch the rodeo events and enjoy a great concert (Zac Brown Band) with great friends. And then we went to pick up Ellie who was still wide awake and playing with her cousins and she was on quite the adrenaline high. She loves her people. And then we came home and all three of us crashed. CRASHED, I tell you.

So this morning I woke up with a plan and some motivation. I decided to attack the day. I decided to rejoice and be glad, and get things accomplished. Time for some productivity people! I unloaded the dishwasher, loaded the dishwasher, went to the grocery store, cleaned out the fridge, showered, mapped out my week, and now I've been sitting in my favorite chair with my favorite blanket, doing my Bible study and having a little time of worship and prayer. I am so thankful for days like this. Not to mention that my little toddler girl is polar opposite today of what she was Saturday morning. Saturday morning: impatient and uncooperative. This morning: delightful and silly. And for this we are very thankful. 

Have a wonderful week, friends!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Even When The Answer is No

I've been praying for the last 48 hours. Praying about a house.

We aren't really house hunting, but something came on the market that caught our eye. We looked, prayed about it, made a decision, and submitted an offer in a very competitive market. And then we prayed.

The funny thing is, I prayed differently than I thought I would. You'd think that I would pray "Lord, PLEASE let us get this house, please let our offer be accepted!"

But the thing is, this was a scary decision. Risky. It could be a fantastic risk that would pay off big time. It could be a horrible risk that we would regret. I kinda felt like it was a 50/50 shot of being absolutely amazing or a total mayday. 

So, I prayed a different prayer. I prayed that God would protect us. I asked that He would not let us make a bad decision that would hurt us. If it would be a bad investment, if it was going to be more than we could handle financially, if the unique layout of this home was not going to work to our family living needs, then I asked that God would firmly shut the proverbial door. And I prayed that if this was the home for us, if this was the place for us to raise our family and live the next years of our lives, that our offer would be accepted. 

I love this house. It has SO. MUCH. STORAGE. And the kitchen. Oh, the kitchen. Kitchen of my dreams. KITCHEN OF MY DREAMS. Big closets, beautiful floors. Pretty backyard. This house checks a lot of boxes. But there are a lot of boxes left unchecked as well. So we were not so sure if this was a fantastic decision or a horrible one.

So, we stepped out in faith. My husband made a decision and we decided to submit the best offer we could do at this point and wait and see. If it's a yes, then the Lord is allowing us to proceed. If it's a no, then we know that this is not the house for us.

When Grant walked into the house today and said "it's a no", I genuinely didn't feel sad or disappointed. I felt relieved. Relieved that God protected us from something that was going to be a mistake. I think that this was the first time in years that I prayed "Thy will be done" and genuinely meant it. And answer of "no" is still an answered prayer. 

So, tonight, we are back to our normal lives. We are not thinking about moving in 30 days and putting our house on the market and packing up our lives. We are just relaxing on the couch, making each other laugh and eating Girl Scout Cookies. 

Tonight, I am thankful for answered prayers. I am thankful that God said "no". I am thankful that my husband lead us boldly and made wise choices on our behalf. I am thankful that we learned a lot about what we want in a home and where we want to be and what we are able to spend. I am thankful for this house we have lived in for the last 4 years and how it has been such a happy, wonderful home. We are gonna sit tight for awhile. And trust. And wait. 

Praise God for His protection!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Sunday Night Special

Friday night we ate Chickfila and watched Gold Rush. Because we are wild and crazy party people.

Saturday morning we had a relaxing morning and then took a little family trip to the zoo.

This was my attempt at a Mommy/Daughter pic with Ellie. She wasn't in the mood.

 The zoo was fun! It wasn't too crowded and she is really loving seeing all the animals. I wish it had been a little sunnier but we had a great time. She points at each animal and says what sound they make. The Houston Zoo has a baby elephant that is two weeks old and he is so cute I could just die. 

Here's Ellie Paige exploring the zoo!

She loved the aquarium. Her daddy loves to teach her about fish.

We stayed out a little later than usual. She was so, so very sleepy when we got in the car. She was awake most of the drive home but slept when we were 7 minutes away from the house. I woke her up when we got home and put her straight into her crib for her nap.

Well, apparently that 7 minute nap in the car was enough for her. She laughed, played, and clapped in her bed for an hour and a half. And then she got mad. And then I pulled her out of her bed. And she had a great time. And mama was tired. See?

Oh my goodness. She was cracking me up. Well, first I was irritated. And then it got funny. Cause she was eating those goldfish crackers very enthusiastically. And I was just done so I just kept giving them to her. Mom of the year, right here.

I spent the afternoon getting work done around the house. Then, after she finally went to bed, I ran to TJ Maxx to check out their purse situation cause I have something in mind that I can not find anywhere for less than $100. Which I am not willing to spend. And I didn't find it at TJ Maxx.

But I did find a lovely wrap at TJ Maxx and I purchased it for $19.99 thank you very much. 

Then I came home and made tacos and we watched "About Time" starring Rachel McAdams. Or, as my iPhone auto-correct calls her, Rachel Macadamia. It was SO. GOOD. And sweet. And it had a wonderful message. I highly recommend! 

Ohhhhh daylight savings. It takes on such new meaning as parents. We woke her up this morning - she seemed so confused - but I was volunteering in the church nursery this morning so I had to be there on time. They were practicing the evacuation drill this morning in the preschool suite so we had to get all the babies outside safely and it was quite the scene! I saw Ellie and her class down the way and she seemed to think she was on some great adventure. 

After church we had lunch with our sweet friends, the Fullers, and then we came home and all 3 of us napped! Ellie went straight to bed and Grant and I watched a golf tournament and fell asleep. Just like old times. 

And then she woke up and then we woke up and cleaned the house and made dinner and played and sang songs and it was just lovely.

And now you've read an entire recap of our weekend. Aren't you so glad?