Friday, August 19, 2016

Simply (a great) Tuesday

Last week, my mom hosted the annual "Grand Camp". 
Tuesday morning she had to attend a funeral so the boys had got to attend "Kate/Mama Camp"!
We went for a long adventure ride on the gator
Let the chickens out
Watered the chickens
Played at our house
Then headed for Chick fil a
Major sweating at this point. Mainly because I put on jeans in 278 degree August heat and had to put an extra booster and car seat in my car
mom and Mamaw Lou met us there and the boys loaded up on prizes, chicken and suckers
After getting back home, GT arrived with our new goat- yes, we bought a goat
 My boys napped
I made banana Nutella muffins and cleaned a bit
Dropped the boys off at moms for more grand camp and met GT at the movies for a little 5:25 Jason Bourne
Even better, tickets were only $5!
Our popcorn and drink (singular) cost more than our tickets
The movie was excellent and so was our little date. When we came out of the movie, it was still daylight
 Tuesday evening movie is where it's at
On the way home, I was listening to a podcast with an author and she was talking about her book "Simply Tuesday".
Our obsession with bigger and faster is spinning us out of control. We move through the week breathless and bustling, just trying to keep up while longing to slow down. But real life happens in the small moments, the kind we find on Tuesday, the most ordinary day of the week. Tuesday carries moments we want to hold onto--as well as ones we'd rather leave behind.- (Amazon description)
Perfectly summarizing my day

After getting the (tired) boys from my parents, GT fixed up Townesys big boy bed
I collected 7(the largest daily collection yet!) eggs from the girls
And checked in the ever-bleating goat. He's a cutie
We had a super sweet book and bedtime
Then watched an epic night of swimming and gymnastics of the Olympics. Go USA!

this past Tuesday was pretty great, too
we spent the morning outside playing and tending to the chickens and the goat.
we currently just have the goat tied to a T-post and let him loose when we're home.
i wanted to move his T-post to another area, so he would eat all of the brush there.
i did not realize how much effort that required, but i was super proud once it was complete and sent this photo to my husband so that he could know how much more value i bring to the family now

one of GTs friends from Huntsville came in town
he is a cook and we spent 2 nights eating his awesome cooking at my cousins house
wood-fired pizza Tuesday night
we stayed late visiting and the kids playing with their cousins
we left kind around 9 or so
when i got home, i was hurrying to check on the chickens since they were still out and i'm worried some critter will get them
i was happy to find them tucked nicely in their coop, untouched

I start my new job next week and the boys start school (WEE school and Mothers Day Out) in 2 weeks. I know that our slow days at home are drawing near the end, so we are savoring each one.
Especially a Tuesday

(i apologize for the number of "selifes" in this post. specifically, selfies of me without any sort of make up. have a nice day)

Thursday, August 11, 2016

summer reading and listening

the first few weeks after graduation were spent studying for my certification exam (which i passed, whoopty whoo!) 
after that exam, i kind of didn't know what to do with myself
i have been so accustomed to studying, writing papers, a variety of school related "chores" that I found myself at a loss for what to do with the now-available time.
 After i rearranged the living room furniture, converted the guest room into a shared room for the boys, made Judson's old room the guest room, got completely caught up on laundry (and i'm behind again, everyday, of course)....i just kind of looked around and decided to start reading for leisure again. 
(we also got some chickens and a goat- more to come on that later...for sure)

i have found that i really enjoy reading books on my phone.
that way, my book is always with me
i can even read it while i'm laying down with the boys if they're having trouble going to sleep!
as you can see, there really is no consistency in the type of book that I read
I have also read a few paper-books- Wild and Free to name one.
and i do recommend that one to all females everywhere.

if you'd like my review of each book, let me know.
i don't promise anything profound, but i will let you know if it changed my life or left me wanting more.

see that top left book?
it's a non-fiction by blogger Monica Swanson
i learned about her book by listening to her on a podcast and knew i had to read it
i don't really struggle (right now) with my body and eating (still i'm a girl so i'm not unfamiliar with that struggle) 
i really loved what her book had to say about how we view our bodies and how to take care of it. 
I HIGHLY recommend this book for all females, as well. It's a short read- do it.

speaking of podcast, i love them.
if i'm ever in the car by myself. even for a quick drive to gym, i'm listening to a podcast.
also, while doing laundry, cooking, or whenever the boys aren't needing me (which is almost never, right?)

here's my current list of podcast to which i subscribe
some, i obviously listen to more than others, but i enjoy them all

and 4 of my favorite episodes (is that what they're called?)
1. Sam Jones with Connie Britton
2. Bon Apetite with Ina Garten
3. Tiffany Castleberry with Shannan Martin
4. Jamie Ivey with Monica Swanson

so, in case you have some downtime and don't know what to do with it.
or you would like to hear something or read something to challenge you or give you something different to think about.
or if you have a trip coming up.
theres my recommendations for books and podcast.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

a sweet trip to Sugar Land

on one hand, it's a wonderful thing that some of our friends live in Sugar Land (near Houston)
there are lots of fun things to do there!
on the other, it's a super sad thing that they live there
we don't get to see them as often as we'd like (which would be every day)

when we saw Tommy and Brice in May at Garretts wedding, we made a plan to see them later in the summer so the kids could spend some time together also.
Judson and Tate are big buddies and we want them to stay that way!
Tate is 1 year older than Judson 
and Sloane is 4 months older than Townes

GT had a meeting planned for a Tuesday morning in Katy, which is 20 minutes from their house in Sugar Land.
So, we headed down to their house Saturday morning and we had 3 and a half awesome days!

we spent Saturday playing at their house and their neighborhood pool
just having that one day made the trip worth it!
but, luckily...we had more!
after church Sunday
i mean....
the sweetest
Tommy and Brice took us to this cafe in a neighboring town and it was delicious
and the building was really neat 

Judson and Tate were pretty much inseparable
even at nap time
and even though they tried to talk their way out of napping, we told them that they had to so that we could go to the zoo!
they fell asleep quickly then

this was our second trip to the Houston Zoo with the boys and we all loved it
Townes was super fun and had hilarious reactions to each animal
when we brought him last year, he was still just hanging out in the stroller
so, this year was fun watching all of the kids
the boys
and sweet Sloane
the only girl and she is sweet as pie

the guys gave me a hard time when I asked them to recreate this picture from last years trip to the zoo in April
but, i'm glad we did!
they'll probably give me a harder time when i ask them to recreate it in 10 years, ha!

funny little monkeys

after the zoo closed, we headed to a nearby burger place and inhaled our burgers and fries
kiddos included
the kids crashed around 10:30, then us crazy parents stayed up until 1:30 playing dominoes
crazy, i tell ya!

we spent a few hours Monday morning playing at an inflatable playground thing...or something like that
it was super fun, for everyone.
and wore the kids out
i think all 4 of them were asleep by the time we pulled out of the parking lot
what it really looks like trying to get a pic with the boys...
and that's only a few of them

we're already planning our next trip to get together
it sure is a sweet thing when your kids love your friends kids a much as you love your friends!
know what i mean?

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

a little R&R in Mexico

GT and I celebrated our 6th anniversary with a trip to Cancun at the beginning of July!
We had not really planned on a big trip for this year, but it just kind of fell in our lap.
let me tell you the ditty of how we ended up in Mexico...

GT started a mens group in Huntsville last year.
once a month he travels back to lead this group on the designated Monday night.
a few guys from this group started a similar group for couples.
they meet once a month on a Friday night.
earlier in the summer, GT and I attended one of the groups when we were in Huntsville.
I only knew one other couple there out of the (roughly) 15 others
It was a great group and we were so encouraged.

I got to talking to the wife of the host couple and she was great!
we were talking about summer plans for our families and she mentioned that they were going to Cancun with 2 other couples (of which I knew the husbands, who were childhood friends of GT)
after we had talked for a bit, they said, "y'all should go with us to Cancun!"
we asked the dates and it happened to be on our anniversary
they talked a bit more about it and we kind of brushed it off (or so GT thought)

after we got in the car, I looked at GT and told him that I actually was serious about going with them. after learning that both of our parents were available to keep the kids and that it wasn't a huge monetary sacrifice, we realized that it might actually be a possibility that we could go
so, we booked our flights!
at that point I had didn't really know any of the other couples, but knew I could spend time on a beach at an all-inclusive resort with just about anybody...

all of the couples live in Huntsville, so we dropped the boys off at GTs parents and carpooled with the others to DFW for our flight
by the time we were at our gate, I had not stopped laughing since we left Huntsville at 630 that morning and knew it would be a wonderful and entertaining trip!
the first view of the ocean when we arrived at the resort

We had 3 full days and did not waste a one of 'em
the first morning, after a stellar breakfast buffett, we all had a spa experience
i am certainly glad that we did not have our cameras/phones, since we were all (men and women) given the same size robes... don't think too long on that one
no really, it was super fun and we laughed a lot
we spent most of the days at the beach and the pool then a delicious dinner followed by the resort entertainment (a glow-show one night, Mayan dancers the next)
our balcony view
paradise, right?

one night-after spending the next day at the pool and beach, we went on an excursion to Xplor
swam in caves, boated in caves, drove their off-road vehicles (John Deere gators with lawn mower engines), and zip-lined in the dark.
it was all a blast and we don't have pictures because our phones were not water proof, but it was memorable for sure! 
the zip-lining would've been slightly terrifying had we done it in the day time, but i felt super tough not knowing how far the drop was under me

two of the afternoons were spent playing beach volleyball versus a group from Ohio
we were probably a bit competitive and probably a bit sore the following day
while waiting for our opponents to show up for our 3 o'oclock match time (not serious at all), a big ole storm rolled in over the ocean
we all camped out at the grill on the beach and enjoyed the cool breeze and awesome storm
the guys after the storm

the morning before we left, we ventured into the town of Cancun for some touristing and souvenir buying. supporting the local economy, ya know?
we were also all pretty sunburned, so a morning out of the sun was welcomed by all skins

I absolutely loved the group that we went with
the guys are hilarious and I laughed until my cheeks hurt every day
the girls and I all hit it off and never really ran out of things to talk about

most of all, i loved being with GT
we have never really celebrated our anniversary in a big way, so we were super excited about this trip!
on July 3rd, our 6th anniversary, we played tennis, worked out, ate a slow breakfast then joined the group
later that day, we were surprised to find that the resort had added to our celebration by decorating our room!
i'm super thankful for this little getaway with my man
he is still my best friend and my favorite person to vacation with, hands down
we both really appreciated this time away with one another and might find a way to make it happen every year. i'm serious
one last look from our room.....