If I Say Hello, Will It Echo In Here?

Hey ya’ll. Remember how I was doing better about posting back around the beginning of the year? And then this happened:

….and I went into a 4-month-long  nausea-and-exhaustion-induced hibernation. Or something like that.

It’s been a long time since I’ve done this and turns out pregnancy is even more miserable when you’re almost 40 than it is when you’re not quite 30. Who would have guessed? But we’re super happy and can’t wait to have another baby in the house. He’s due in October. so just a few more months to go.

Between the constant nausea and ridiculous exhaustion (so much worse than I remember from the girls) I didn’t accomplish a whole lot other than survival during the spring months, but I thought I’d give a quick update on what we’ve been up to anyway.

Mad turned 8 in March and I threw her the lamest birthday party ever, in which I did almost nothing except bake a cake and took zero photos. Thankfully she’s a very forgiving person because I just couldn’t handle life at that point.She asked for a new journaling Bible and has been happily creating ever since. 😀

In April (armed with nausea meds from my dr, thank goodness) we took a trip through west Texas, which has been on Jerm’s bucket list for years. We drove to Big Bend for a few days, then headed to Balmorhea to see the world’s largest spring-fed swimming pool. We drove through the Guadalupe Mountains, stayed in El Paso, almost ended up in Mexico thanks to a faulty GPS, and detoured to Carlsbad to see the caverns. It was a fun trip, and we’re glad we did it..once. Probably don’t ever need to see all that again, though. Talk about your desolate, desert-y, middle-of-nowhere wastelands. I can definitely see why there aren’t many people living in most of those places.


 

We’ve had lots of family in town visiting. Ang, mom, and Heidi/Anthony/Malachai have all made trips down here this year and Jerm’s had lots of cousins, great-uncles, and aunt/uncles, etc. visit. It’s been fun to see everybody, but I didn’t get many photos, sadly. Here’s a super cute one of my newest nephew that almost makes up for the lack of evidence from everybody else.

Susannah celebrated her 10th birthday with a unicorn-themed party. I love that she still likes all things girly and frilly and sparkly.

Let’s see, what else has been happening…

Our floors flooded AGAIN while we were out of town so we’re once again replacing flooring. Going with tile this time and it’s suuuuper gorgeous, so I’ll be sure to share a photo when it’s down.

I’m actually making progress on my to-be-read shelves this year, largely due to my hermit status and refusal to leave the house unless it’s an absolute necessity. I’ve cleared probably 15 books so far and am plugging away steadily at several more. I’ll have to post a separate book update soon.

That’s pretty much our spring in a few paragraphs – what have yall been up to?

Friday Finds: All About the Valentines

Friday again, and even though I didn’t get to my two other posts this week (one of which was ready and I forgot to hit publish – nice going, me), well, baby steps, right?

I know I say this pretty much annually, but I adore Valentines Day stuff and it just gets cuter every year. Walmart is not my favorite place on earth, but around February every year I have to admit that they do V-day right. I mean, check out the adorableness this year.

That towel pretty much made my heart do this:

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And all joking aside, I kind of lived by the whole fries before guys motto for most of my 20’s. And those plates and napkins just need to come home with me. It doesn’t even have to be Valentines Day for me to want to use this stuff. My girls and I can find plenty of uses for pretty decorations and party supplies all year round. 😉

How about you guys? Loving the Valentine goodies or wishing it were over already? You can be my friend either way. 😀

 

Where did April and May go??

I don’t know guys…I’m pretty much killin’ it on my blogging goals this year. (Please note heavy saracasam.)

So here’s the dealio on April and May. April was ridonkulous with the busy. We had our family reunion here in Dallas and let me tell ya, my house wasn’t made to hold 25+ people. It was fun and I adored having everyone together, but it was madness, plain and simple.

A bunch of us were fighting sickness which we happily shared and passed around like a bag of candy, so that was awesome. In some kind of sick twist of fate I completely lost my voice for the entire two weeks that most of my fam was here. That was nice.

But seriously, we did have a good time and I’m so glad we did it since we hadn’t all been together in one place for close to a decade.

The rest of the month kind of passed by in a bronchitis/strep-induced fog and no joke, all of May was pretty much spent recovering from April. We’ve been plugging away at school, happy to be in our routine, and trying to avoid being washed away in the never-ending rain we’ve been having this spring.

I seriously, seriously have plans for blogging, but obvs can’t make promises because I tend to break them on this particular subject. I’ll leave you with a couple of my fav photos from our happy family reunion. 🙂

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March Happenings

Peoples, March has been insane. It kind of makes me sad that we’re down to the last few days because I love March in Texas. There’s bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush and wisteria everywhere and it’s super green and the sun isn’t set to “scorch everything in sight” quite yet, but it’s warm enough to go out and do whatever for however long you want without being either too cold or hot. BUT I’m also kind of glad it’s almost over because I AM TIRED. April probably won’t be any better, but I’m not gonna think about that.

So here’s a quick(ish) rundown of the insanity that was our March.

#1 – We roadtrip to Missouri to get the girls a dog.

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We can't help it. We're dorks and perfectly fine with it.
We can’t help it. We’re dorks and perfectly fine with it.

So here’s the thing. I adore road trips. I will not turn a road trip down. I want to take a million different road trips.

Just no more for at least two or three months. (Although if Jerm suggested one, you know I’d be in the car two minutes ago…) We’ve traveled every month this year so far and it’s beginning to take it’s toll. (Plus school is hard when you only have three days every week to work with.)

The trip was fun, we got to hang with Jerms aunt, uncle, and cousins, several of which I’d not met yet. It was cool getting to know them a little, plus they lived on an honest-to-goodness farm, which Mad LOVED. I swear, she ran out to check the henhouse for eggs at least twenty or thirty times every day. So stinkin cute.

Unfortunately she also had the worst athsma attack ever while we were up there, which was scary and led to another round of doctor appointments when we got home. I think she’s finally getting the meds she needs now, though, so that’s good.

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And we are now dog owners. Meet Blossom (the girls named her, of course).  I am so NOT an animal person, but I’ve got to admit that I’m kind of attached to her already. Not enough to like, roll around on the ground with her like Madeline does, but enough to pet her and walk her and stuff. So long as I don’t see any ticks on her I think we’ll be great friends.

#2 – We throw a pirate party

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We were actually in Missouri on Mad’s birthday so we celebrated a few days after we got home. This year she requested a pirate party, which was surprisingly easy to throw together, especially with the help of the wonderfulness that is Hobby Lobby and Amazon. I didn’t have the time to do much handmade this year, but she was happy with her party anyway. And all prejudices aside, I think she makes a pretty cute little pirate. 😉

#3 – We host our friends from North Carolina for a long-awaited girls weekend (minus the weekend part)

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My friend Amber brought her little daughter to Texas for a visit and we had a wonderful time together. The time went by too fast, but we’re so grateful for the days we had together. Susannah and Harley have been pen pals for a year or two now and it was so fun watching them get to know each other face to face. We shopped and took them to the Rainforest Cafe for lunch (which, to be honest, we enjoyed even more than the kids did I think)  and had an impromptu tea party and laughed and talked and watched Mockingjay (where’s Lanae and a creepy theater when we need them?!) and laughed and talked some more. Mad cried when they left and I don’t blame her one bit. Come back to see us again, Amber/Harley!

There were so many other things crammed into this month, too, but I think I’ll stop here. I sadly did not get any Easter dresses made for the girls this year. In fact, I didn’t get any Easter pictures either (total honesty here – we haven’t even had our egg hunt yet…put it off until this week). Susannah’s been begging me to sew her something, so maybe I’ll make them April dresses instead. But I’m not holding my breath on that.

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10th Anniversary Trip

I can’t even believe that Jerm and I have been married for an entire decade. We agree that it doesn’t seem like that long and also that it feels like forever. Like…we almost can’t remember NOT being married. 😉

So we went to Florida to celebrate our 10th and took a little trip up to Georgia and South Carolina while we were, you know, IN THE AREA. If I lived on the East Coast I would be constantly hounding him to take me to see just one more thing/place/historical site because after having lived in Texas and Alaska for so long it’s incredible to me that you can cross that many state lines in just a few hours.

So anyway, here’s a quick(ish) recap of our trip. I told myself I would only share one photo per day but that was too hard, so I settled on one collage a day instead.

Friday – so even though it took most of the day to get to this point (packing is the worst!), we didn’t actually leave until about 5pm. I told Jerm from the start to steel himself for all the picture-taking and he was mostly a great sport. We learned that we’re pretty bad at selfies. I’m not going to say who gave us the most problems, but he/she can’t even look in the right direction apparently. 😉 We got to Ft Lauderdale around 9 and by the time we got our bags and car and found our hotel we were ready to call it. Exciting first day, right?

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Saturday – we spent the entire day in Ft Lauderdale and it was beautiful out, which was awesome since Jerm wanted to spend it snorkeling. This is the only day we spent a lot of time on an actual beach (although we visited lots of others during our trip). I’m not a strong swimmer (understatement) so I didn’t try to swim out to the reef but Jerm spent quite a few hours snorkeling and then we spent the afternoon walking through all the cute shops around the beach. We splurged and went to Texas de Brazil that evening – the food was awesome and the service was awful.  So..yeah.  Day 2

Sunday – we had a lot of fun this day and headed down to Key Largo after attending a local church for morning services. We took our time going down, stopped at a farmers market and tried rumbatan for the first time (super weird looking fruit, but actually pretty good). We were a little worried about our hotel down here, because the reviews were pretty awful, but we actually loved the place, mostly because it had it’s own tiny private beach and hammocks that we pretty much had all to ourselves. And there was a restaurant next door (called Snooks – had to take a photo for Mad!) that had live music every night that we enjoyed while in “our” hammock. 😉

Day 3

Monday – We took this day to drive out through the keys all the way to Key West. A lot of it was unimpressive, but seeing the key deer on Big Pine Key was pretty awesome and the views  were pretty great. We also found a really cool little beach right outside of Key Largo where Jerm spent an hour or so wading out in the extremely shallow tide while I huddled on the beach in my sweatshirt. Key West reminded us too much of New Orleans and since we’re not party people we were largely unimpressed. The architecture was pretty cool and I loved the whole southernmost point thing (Jerm didn’t care. Whatev.) so we’re glad we went once, but probably wouldn’t do it again. I did finally get to try macarons, sold by a true Frenchwoman, and they were just as fun and tasty as I imagined. Jerm does NOT recommend the rose flavor, by the way. Public service announcement there. 😉

Day 4

Tuesday – this day was largely spent in the car as we drove all the way from Key Largo to Savannah, Georgia. We detoured to Miami Beach, which was mostly deserted and gorgeous (it was kind of a cool, windy day) and worth the stop (I thought). Jerm had to take his shoes off and get in the water at every beach, but I usually just took pics and searched for shells for Madeline. We also stopped in Jacksonville and had dinner with Hannah (yay!) which was awesome since I missed seeing her over Christmas. We were suuuuper ready to be at our hotel by the time we pulled in to Savannah.

Day 5

Wednesday – You guys, I adored Savannah. It’s such a pretty city and I love all the history. We stopped at Wormsloe to take the tour and see the awesome oak-lined lane with the Spanish moss. Totally worth it. Then we wandered through the city for a few hours (Jerm played Forrest Gump in Chippewa Square) – saw the historic houses on Jones St, tried pralines for the first time ever, because duh, it’s Savannah, and checked out all the pretty squares (seriously, we don’t have parks like that down here). Then we headed to Tybee Island where we climbed the lighthouse and I learned that I now posses a decent fear of heights (huh? since when?), hit the beach (again) to wade (Jerm) and search for shells (me). We tried conch fritters and fresh shrimp and found a church on the island to visit that evening. One of my favorite days of the trip, for sure.

Day 6

Thursday – We headed to Charleston and stopped first to see the Angel Oak, which seriously is the hugest and most beautiful tree I’ve ever seen. Then we went to Folly Beach and you guys it was cold that day but it was my favorite beach stop we’d made so far (I even took my shoes off!). There were starfish all over the beach and tons of shells and it was just pretty and so different from the Florida beaches. Then we headed into Charleston and oohed and aahed over the awesome buildings (okay, mostly that was me) and took the Fort Sumpter ferry and tour, which was really cool. Everyone we talked to spoke of how awesome the food scene was in Charleston but no one gave us recommendations and we ended up at a BBQ place by the water (not a normal choice for us, even being Texans and all) and I personally hated the food (the only real food disappointment of the trip). So bummer. I guess I’ll have to go back someday to get some good Charleston food. 😉

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Friday – we had to be back to Ft Lauderdale for an early Saturday flight so we spent a good portion of the day driving again. We stopped to see Hannah’s farm and got to spend a little time checking out her work, which was fun and then we spent a few hours wandering around St Augustine, which we really enjoyed also. It’s got all these old, narrow cobblestone streets that I pretty much want to live on. We didn’t see the fountain of youth, although we could use some. 😉  We weren’t planning to stop on any more beaches but it was a little stormy out and we couldn’t resist one final wade in the water and I don’t know if it was because we knew it was our last day but I had more fun on that beach than any other day (Folly Beach was a close second). It was BEAUTIFUL and the big stormy waves reminded me of the Pacific. We finally made it back to Ft Lauderdale and fell into bed for a few hours before flying out at the way-too-early crack of dawn the next morning.

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So there you pretty much have it. We had a fabulous time together and even though we missed the girls it was good to get away for a while (besides, we got to FaceTime with them every day). Happy 10 years to us.

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Under the Sea Party

Susannah’s under-the-sea theme was so much fun. Probably my favorite party so far. I can’t believe the girl is 8 already.

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I think the octopus (jellyfish?) cupcakes were my favorite part. I mean, I wouldn’t have eaten one for $20 (marshmallows…blech), but they were so dang cute. Under the Sea Party 1

Jerm especially enjoyed eating the claws off of the lobster candies. Under the Sea Party 2 Under the Sea Party 3 Under the Sea Party 6

Susannah loved the hanging jellyfish so much that she had me hang them up in the playroom after the party.  Under the Sea Party 7 Under the Sea Party 8

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The kids loved the jello. I meant to add crushed graham crackers on the top for sand but I forgot to buy them…oops. Under the Sea Party 14

I had a treasure hunt planned for the kids to search out their favor chests but it rained so much the day before the party that I had to nix that idea. It wasn’t worth them squishing around in the backyard bog we’ve had all summer. Under the Sea Party 15

Oyster cookies. Under the Sea Party 16

My weirdly disproportionate crab plates. Oh well, they worked.  Under the Sea Party 17

I made these out of salt dough and planned to hang them as a garland but they were so heavy that I ended up scattering them on the table instead. Under the Sea Party 18

I’ve never had Sonic’s ocean water, but whipped up a batch for the party and Susannah LOVED it. Weird, because she’s not a coconut fan, but I think she drank about half of it herself. Under the Sea Party 19

The birthday girl. Under the Sea Party 20 Under the Sea Party 21 Under the Sea Party 22 Under the Sea Party 23

The girls with their mermaid tails. Poor Audrey got last pick and hers was way too short. Little girls are so cute. They’re fun to sew for, too. Under the Sea Party 24 Under the Sea Party 25 Under the Sea Party 26 Under the Sea Party 28

Happy Birthday, girlie.

(Linking here.)

On dads

I’ve had dad’s on the mind lately and since Father’s Day is tomorrow I thought I’d write about my two for a little bit.

My dad is pretty awesome.
Growing up, I didn’t always respect him the way I should have.
I rarely understood his point of view.
I was a jerk to him on more than one occasion.
I wish I could take all of that back, but I can’t, and in a weird sort of way, I’m glad.
All of my stupidity in my growing-up years taught me to appreciate his wisdom and instruction.
He’s not a phone guy so I rarely get to talk to him (let’s be real, I’m not much of a phone girl myself), but I love seeing him when I get the chance.
I enjoy sitting and talking to him and am always amazed by how much he knows about the Bible.
He’s one of my heroes and I love him.
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My other dad I gained through marriage.
He’s awesome, too, and I get how lucky I am to have two great dads in my life.
Having my father-in-law close by made moving away from my family a little easier.
He’s a great listener and he also gives excellent advice.
I love his stories and our Saturday night BBQ’s.
He’s been in the ICU for exactly five weeks now and it’s been really hard coming so close to losing him.
His absence has left a huge hole in our family and we’re all so thankful for his (excruciatingly slow) recovery.
We have hope that he’ll be released to a rehab facility in the next week and back home again soon.
I love him; he’s the best father-in-law/second dad I could ever ask for.
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Happy Fathers Day, dads!