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?

Road Trippin’ in 2016: Part 3 (AKA: the end)

Day 7: Chattanooga – Alabama – Mississippi

We let the girls spend the entire morning in the pool in Chattanooga instead of doing much sight-seeing. We were tired and it was overcast so it seemed like the thing to do. I’d like to go back someday, though, because it seemed like a really interesting place. We did go up to Point Park before we left to see the view and it was pretty awesome (and totally worth the drive up the mountain to get there).

One of Jerm’s many poses. He was especially into modeling this day.
Yall, let’s talk about my hair on this trip. It was a horrible disaster-y mess. I’m trying to grow my grey out and that awful blonde was not doing me any favors. I was in the process of trying to figure out what on earth I could do to it because I didn’t want to dye it dark again, but looking back my indecision was probably not the way to go….
Dramatic much?

We accidentally detoured into Georgia while trying to create our own “shortcut.” Turns out it wasn’t our best idea and added like an hour to the trip. I had planned a stop in Birmingham, just for the fun of it, but we ended up skipping it because we had spent so much time that morning before leaving Tennessee. So our grand total of experiences in Alabama was blaring “Sweet Home Alabama” while driving through it as fast as we could. Honestly, I don’t think we missed much.

Two time zones!

We pulled in to Jackson around dinnertime and were pretty much ready to be home at this point. I remember being grouchy and tired and done with the sightseeing and hotels and car and all of it. We had the pool all to ourselves that evening and let the girls swim until they were exhausted. And then I somehow managed to forget all our swim stuff in that last hotel. At least it was the last night or I’d have had a mutiny on my hands.

Day 8: Jackson – Vicksburg – Louisiana – Dallas

We were ready to head home, but we didn’t want to skip the Military Park in Vicksburg, and we’re so glad we went. It was one of those places where you really need hours and hours to explore and read about, but we took an hour or so and drove through, seeing all the high points. Pretty amazing stuff. I remember memorizing a speech in 5th grade about the battle at Vicksburg, but seeing it in person made it so much more real.



We only made one stop in Louisiana. These guys aren’t really my thing, but Jerm likes them and we were literally driving right past it so we stopped to see what we could see. Which was pretty much a lot of duck calls.

And that’s it, folks! We got home, returned the car, and vowed we wouldn’t leave home again for a good, long time. And then the next week I drove to Temple. It was just one of those years.

Road Trippin’ in 2016: Part 2

Days 4 and 5: Florence – Cincinnati

So the main reason we were up in Kentucky was to visit the new Ark Encounter in Williamstown, but Jerm wanted to see the Creation Museum while we were up there, too, so we did that on Monday. Yall, I’m not a science-y person at all, but it was still a pretty cool place to wander around. My favorite part was the fossilized dinosaur eggs and the camels you could ride outside (I so wanted to do it, but sent my kids instead). 😀 Jerm could have stayed there all week I think; he thrives on technical, science-y things. And guess who met us there?!

It was so cool to get to meet the rest of Amber’s family and the girls were thrilled to have Harley and Hudson and hang out with for a few days. My in-laws also flew in that night so we had a big, happy group to have dinner and spend the evening with (Red Robin, for old time’s sake). The kids were all very sad about the no pool thing so we took them to a spray park in Cincinnati for the evening and let them be wild hooligans for a few hours. If you check out the photos you can see that they didn’t enjoy that at all.

Tuesday we went to the Ark and it was pretty amazing. Fun fact: it started POURING when we got ready to leave so we were stuck there for a while waiting it out, but seriously, what better place to be during a torrential downpour? 😀

(See that tiny door in the first photo of the ark? That’s the same door the girls are standing next to a few photos down. (!!!!) Not so tiny after all.

Amber and Jared had to head home after we finished the tour; we were sad to see them go, but so grateful for the opportunity to meet up with them for a couple days. Love em.


Day 6: Cincinnati – Chattanooga

We spent Wednesday morning in Cincinnati because I kind of loved it there and had lots more must-see places on my list. Jerm’s parents were still with us for part of the day so we explored Smale Riverfront Park (such a cool park!), walked the Purple People Bridge (I don’t care how dorky it makes me, it was cool to walk over a river and into a different state), and rented a bike to ride along the riverfront. It was hard. I wouldn’t recommend it with all the people we had crammed in that thing. 😀 But definitely an experience to remember. I also had to try Tom +Chee‘s grilled cheese glazed donut sandwich. It was AWESOME. I realize that I sound like a donut addict, but truthfully donuts aren’t even really my thing. Grilled cheese, however, kind of IS. I also sampled the macaroni and cheese grilled sandwich and gave it an A+, too.  What?! Food is an important part of a road trip, yall.

We spent some time in Cincinnati when I was 6 or 7 and I have a very distinct memory of this double-decker bridge.

This was after half of us had disembarked. 🙂

She wasn’t impressed.

After the in-laws headed back to the airport we went to Findlay Market and drove out to an actual castle built by a guy who served in WWI. It was an interesting story. I’m still not sure exactly why he wanted a castle, but hey, cool place to stop and explore.

We spent so much time in Cincinnati that it was pretty late by the time we got to Chattanooga, so we headed straight for our hotel.

Looks like I need to break this up into three parts since this is getting so long. Stay tuned for the final couple of days of our epic road trip! 😉

Road Trippin’ in 2016: Part 1

There’s no logical reason for me to be posting about this now, but I realized I never wrote about our road trip last summer and fully intended to, so I figured now is as good a time as any.  We traveled in late July so it was boiling hot everywhere we went (but let’s be honest, probably not as boiling as it was in Dallas). We were gone for eight days, traveled over 2,000 miles, visited 8 states (although Georgia was mostly an accident), visited with friends and family along the way, and were very sick of the car by the time we made it home.

Day 1: Dallas – Little Rock – Memphis

After waiting around on our rental car for a while (why do they never have the car ready that you’ve reserved?) we hit the road mid-morning and made it to Little Rock around lunchtime. We didn’t have much time to spend in Arkansas, but needed a break from the car so we stopped at the Old Mill to stretch our legs and I’m so glad we did – it was gorgeous! It reminded us of a fairy garden and was full of bridges, secret pathways, blooming plants and frogs (which made Mad happy of course).

We didn’t stop again until we reached Memphis, but because of construction traffic we missed the duck parade at the Peabody Hotel by about thirty seconds (no joke), so we were pretty sad about that. The hotel was still cool to see, though, and we saw some of historic Memphis while we walked to The Arcade for dinner where I tried A Memphis Thang sandwich (turkey, brie, red peppers, Creole mustard – pretty good!) and the floors were literally slick with grease (GROSS!). We walked past the Lorraine Motel and attempted to ride the trolley (it was down for repairs) before deciding to head to our hotel for the night so the girls could swim before bed.

DAY 2:  Memphis – Nashville

We only had to drive about four hours to Nashville so we got there around lunchtime and hit the Parthenon (which was both weird and cool because…why?!) before heading downtown to see the sights. It was extremely crowded and hot so we didn’t spend all that much time there, just walked around a bit, had lunch at Biscuit Love (we wanted to try the bonuts, a biscuit/donut cross) and walked a pedestrian bridge to get a good view of the city. We stopped at an old Confederate cemetery on the way to our hotel in Franklin, which ended up being quite a bit more interesting than the city anyway.

DAY 3: Nashville – Ft Knox – Florence (KY)

We got up super early to make it to church near Ft Knox where my little brother lives and barely squeaked in on time. We didn’t realize we’d crossed the time zone while driving that morning so we missed Sunday school and got to services right as they were starting. Ty and Shannon fed us an amazing lunch at their home and it was so nice to visit with them for a few hours. I’ve barely known him as an adult so it’s pretty cool getting to see him with his cutie wife. We made it to Florence that evening and visited a favorite burger place from my childhood, Big Boy. We finally had a few hours to relax that evening but the girls were devastated to find that the pool in our hotel was out of order. Sadly, I somehow lost most of my photos from that day. 🙁

Stay tuned for part two later this week! Turns out it’s kind of fun looking back over the photos and reminiscing over this trip. 🙂

Around Here: January

My mind refuses to accept that we’re already well into February, but computers don’t lie. Except when they do…mainly when I log in to Facebook and see all kinds of malarkey. (That whole thought was just an excuse to use malarkey cause it’s an awesome word.) But anyways. Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to so far this year.

  • Not pictured, but taking up gigantic amounts of time: school. Lots and lots and LOTS of school. We’re all tired of it and it’s only February, yall. Our schedule has been kind of weird and wacky so we’re fitting it in around all the crazy.
  • We had a tiny dusting of snow early in the month and the girls promptly bundled up and reveled in it for about five minutes. Then they got cold and came inside forever. 😀

    Cause Southern girls gotta do what they gotta do
  • Jerm took me out to a gorgeous little bakery/restuarant downtown called Bread Winners where we had the most amazing smoked gouda fondue I’ve ever tasted. We split the chicken and waffles and I was seriously sad that we couldn’t finish the fondue…my heart has been longing for it ever since. 😉
    Isn’t that brick wall behind Jerm awesome? It was such a cool building!

  • My sister made an impromptu visit at the end of the month and we had such a good time having her here with us. We spent a few days in Temple with grandma and the fam there, had some amazing Mexican right on the river, and of course made the obligatory stop at Buccee’s to load up on completely unnecessary trinkets/treats/etc.  
  • We also stopped by Magnolia Market on the way back to Dallas. It’s one of my favorite places to wander around, ever. You might even say the bakery there is my happy place. 😀 
    I’ll never get used to Texas weather. It was chilly in the morning when we left, but by the time we left the market I was DYING in those boots and flannel. I hold to the belief that it should NOT be 80 degrees in January.

     

    So those are the highlights. We have a lot of stuff happening in the next month or two, so I’ll share about that as it happens. Remember how as a kid January and February were like the slowest months ever? I’d be down with that.

Blog-tember, Day 9: Oh, the places you’ll go…

Day 9 prompt: If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?

i-havent-been-everywhere

The quote above pretty much sums up how I feel about traveling. There are a zillion places on my to-go list, but Greece is the place I would choose if I could go anywhere right now. The history fascinates me, the landscape is so varied and gorgeous, and it’s one of the few places in Europe that Jerm has any interest in visiting. We even considered it briefly for our 10th anniversary last year but decided we’d wait until the girls were a little older before going. Someday, though.

1.2.3.
one.two.three.

So where would you go if you could pick anywhere in the world? I’d love to hear!

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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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