Friday, July 27, 2018

7 Things to Know

It's obviously been a hot minute since I've blogged. I hate that. I don't like it anymore than anyone else when I read a blog post that starts with "sorry it's been so long" but here I am. Life happens! I think about blogging often. If I could come up with a convenient way to do it from my phone, it would probably happen more. (If you have any tips for that - please let me know!)

So - a year later I have a few minutes that I was already sitting at my desk with my duct-taped together laptop (Seriously, children destroy everything!) and I decided to share an update on life and a few things I'd love to share!

1. Life - we're expecting our third daughter! She will be joining our family sometime in December and my big girls couldn't be more excited! In typical Third Child fashion I don't have a single bump picture and I certainly have a bump but we have scheduled maternity pictures for November!

2. Cora starts a homeschool co-op in a couple of weeks for a 4 year old Kindergarten! We are actively praying and seeking guidance on what their/her education will look like. We don't know that we will homeschool forever or even with all our children but we are confident that it is the right choice for her for this year!

3. Marco Polo - do you guys use this app? I love it! I'm able to video chat with friends when I have time (so not like skype where you have to drop everything to chat right then). I don't have voxer but I believe it's like that with video. Someone asked me "so like snapchat" and I felt super old to admit that I don't understand or use snapchat! Polo-ing (it's a verb, right?) allows me to stay connected with my friends on days like today where I have an epic list of chores and things to do and my van is acting up so we're stuck at home. I'm quickly realizing that we are leaving the days of frequent playdates and fun out of the house like we were able to do when the girls were younger. It's just a new season of life and this makes keeping connected with friends easy!

4. Kombucha - I have started brewing my own kombucha! I have wanted to do this for over a year but it seemed very intimidating. Now, I took my class and got my scoby (the mushroom thing that ferments the tea and creates healthy probiotics) over a month ago and I haven't sucessfully made a drinkable batch yet... but not because it's hard. I just haven't gotten it worked into our routine. So, this afternoon I plan to brew a new batch of tea and will move the overly ferminted mess (basically vinegar at this point) into a bottle to become a natural vegetable cleaner! I'm determined to make a consumable batch this week!

5. Womens Ministry - Since our season of life is changing I'm not going to be able to continue with the Moms Bible Study group at church (kind of our version of MOPS). We started going when Cora was a baby and the only year we haven't gone was when Ada was a newborn and I was teaching at the Mothers Day Out program. It's very bittersweet leaving the group - they have been my motherhood tribe! Since we're not able to go anymore as they meet on the same day as we have co-op class with Cora I have started looking for ways to plug into our church's womens ministry. I'm really looking forward to their Summer Rendezvous in a couple of weeks!

6. Birthdays - Ada turned 3 last weekend! I honestly cannot believe she's 3 and had to count the years to double check that I didn't have her age wrong. I was on call for a sweet client who was due the same day that I was due with Ada 3 years ago so I didn't dare put her party on her actual birthday weekend since she herself came a few days after her guess date. So, tomorrow we're celebrating the big 3 year old at a local aquatic park. She selected the theme of Frozen around 6 months ago and stuck to it! It has made this party so easy and that's amazing since this on-call working mother doesn't have time for pinterest parties these days! I have grabbed everything we need either on clearance or from the Dollar Tree!

7. Calendars - There's something so refreshing about getting a new calendar! It's like the start of a new season (I can't be the only one craving Fall at this point?!?). I generally have to keep a calendar running at least 9 months ahead of where we are because #doulalife. Since I am taking a lighter client load through the last of my pregnancy and will be taking the first part of next year off for maternity leave I was able to use my current calendar a while longer. I got the call recently that a special repeat-client is expecting a baby in March so that was the push I needed to go ahead and get a new calendar! I didn't get my usual huge calendar (aka expensive!) that has the option of adding pages since my work load will undoubtably be lighter with a new baby next year and I'll probably have to turn around and replace this calendar in March or April to keep planning life ahead of clients due date. I grabbed this one at TJ Maxx while I was hunting for a few things for the nursery and organizing the house in preparation for life with a newborn. It was only $10 and couldn't be better for this season of life!

That's about it! My brother has arrived to do some diagnostic test on my van so I'm off to see what damage has been done and which organ I'm going to have to harvest and sell to pay for the mess. 

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Ada May 2 Years Old!!

I simply cannot believe that two years has passed since Ada was born! 
It simply doesn't seem possible and I can hardly remember what life was like before she made us a family of 4.

 (What birthday is complete without a trip to Target?)

We had a simple celebration this year. We do every other year party celebrations and we did a party for her first birthday last year so we did the same thing as Cora's 2nd Birthday celebration, family dinner at CiCi's! 

She is pretty obsessed with Hello Kitty so of course I had to make her a special Hello Kitty birthday cake!

You can see a slight dip in Kitty's chin on the left there - that would be where the girls taste tested the cake before I iced it as it was cooling. haha Life is always interesting with kids! Cora told me they had eaten some by walking up to me and holding her mouth open wide and telling me that she had some yummy cake in her tummy! 

 Some fun facts about her that I don't want to forget -

She's wearing 2T clothes but can still fit in 18 month pants and shorts for the most part.

She is solid - this girl feels like she weighs as much as Cora, almost two years older than her!

She is still nursing, I'm pretty ready for her to wean but she doesn't seem interested in that.

She is speaking very well! 2 and 3 word sentences and if we remind her not to whine she will say pretty clearly what she wants or needs.

She says thank you by humming it.

When she drinks out of a bottle, particularly wide mouth, like gatorade etc she puts her whole mouth over it and sticks her tongue in there to lap it up.

She dances by basically liming around in a circle waving her arms in the air.

she says okay as "otay"

She can follow 2 and 3 step directions well but has a defiant streak and gives me a run for my money often!

She will sit on the toilet and occasionally goes potty! Her first time to go potty by herself was when she was with her Papa while I was at a birth. 

She enjoys going to Race Trac with papa to get a "coke"! 

She finally will take a pacifier on occasion, she really just chews on it but if she is getting antsy and wants to nurse and we're out of the house and I can't because of what I'm wearing or we're shopping etc I can usually get her to settle down with the pacifier. 

She can sleep in a shopping cart or stroller! I'm not always sucessful in transfering her to it, but considering I've *never* managed this with Cora, this is a big deal for us! 

She's really hot natured (still) she doesn't want to wear pajams, isn't a cuddler and does not like to sweat. When she is upset by it I can sometimes calm her down by gently blowing on her face. 

I have to trim her bangs once a week it seems! 

Her favorite shows are Sesame Street (Elmo and Abby), she tolerates Daniel Tiger (her sister's current favorite) and loves Doc McStuffins!

Adores Hello Kitty, not sure how this obsession started. She has a pair of Hello Kitty stride rite shoes and she pretty much refuses to wear any others (even though these are really stinky!). 

Her favorite toys are anything to do with dogs and her dolls

She loves swimming and is fearless in the water (as long as she isn't tired, then she's glued to my hip).

She stands up and jumps to me without warning, like out of shopping carts or off of places she shouldn't have climbed up. I haven't missed catching her yet...

She still takes one nap a day around 11:00 and if it's a really busy day she'll take another one in the late afternoon. 

She isn't shy at all. She waves to strangers and says hello. She used to wave really big back and forth but now she has this princess wave where she keeps her fingers together and just slightly moves her hand back and forth. 

She really likes horses.

She loves blueberries and bananas. She prefers salad to pizza and loves italian food, especially spaghetti and "ada ravioli". 

I can't wait to see what my sweet girl is going to grow into. She is so fun and adventurous. Such an absolute blessing from God! 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Friday Favorites

It is a long story and I'm just not up for sharing everything right now but it has been a h.a.r.d couple of weeks. So, in light of that and with things getting back to normal-ish I wanted to blog some current favorites and acknowledge the blessings we have! 

I just love that she still cuddles for her naps. She doesn't like cuddling at night but she sleeps best in my arms for naps!

Can I keep her little forever?


YNAB - also known as You Need A Budget. I have blogged about this in the past, years ago, but they have changed things up and it's now a paid subscription (like $4/month) but with being paid there are a lot of really nice features with it! We are pretty good about budgeting big things and we do a good job on most small things but we've had some unexpected expenses and they will continue for a few months so we are going to have to make sure we are watching where every single dollar goes so we've returned to the YNAB ways. 


I mentioned in a previous post that I ordered some fun bags from a bulk buy group that I'm a part of on Facebook. They finally came in!

Look how big the utility tote is! I can't wait to use it!
And I'm already loving my new purse. All the praise hands for a purse with zippers. My other purse is going in my box of things to take to the freecycle table at moms Bible Study as soon as we start back for the semester.

This group is kind of my new addiction and I'm already doing some fun Christmas shopping through it! If you want to be added, let me know! It's a secret Facebook group so I have to be friends with you long enough to add you :)


This is my newest thrifting find. I have been searching for this for the better part of a year. That's the thing about thrifting, you have to be patient!

It doesn't look like much... but it's the top of a china hutch. My desk is a HUGE old school teacher's desk, complete with a cabinet for a typewriter haha. It was my grandfather's desk at his church.

We are short on storage space in our house so I need to start moving vertical on my desk. I would love to paint both the desk and the shelving but that's low on the priority list and the wood mostly matches. I'll share a picture when I get it all set up - because of our crazy couple of weeks, it's currently sitting in the middle of my kitchen floor.


We took the kids bowling during a half price special and they *loved* it! It was a bit stressful for this momma, a couple of balls only made it half way down the lane and came to a complete stop. The kids weren't the most courteous bowlers with taking turns with the people in the lanes around us etc but it was a lot of fun! Next time I'll just think to ask to be put on an end or away from others if possible.


I was running into a Tom Thumb grocery store to grab a couple of things. I'm almost never ever in some of these bigger grocery stores that have nice floral areas so maybe I just have been missing out on this... but I love this terrarium! I have recently-ish jumped on the succulent bandwagon after some clients last fall gifted me some in a beautiful handmade planter box.

I've been wanting to plant some more but haven't taken the leap but I think I'm going to try my hand at something like this! I think it will keep little hands out of the plant which was one of the issues we've been having with our existing plants.


A while ago I talked about how I had always been apprehensive about doing my Bible studies on my phone. There's just something nice about holding and studying my physical Bible. Let's get real though, because of that I wasn't in the word as often as I'd like.

I started off with the She Reads Truth app and still love it but I just recently went ahead and put the YouVersion Bible app on my phone so I can pick exactly what I'm reading instead of following a planned Bible Study like you do with SRT.

I've been camping out in Psalms recently. It has been exactly what I need. There have been days where I promise, each breath comes as I fully rely on God.


My Dad went to Missouri to visit my youngest brother Joshua while he's stationed there for some classes the Marines wanted him to take. He had planned to go a little further north from where Josh is stationed to see the eclipse in totality last week but unfortunately he started having car trouble and wasn't able to go that little bit further. :(  But, while he was there he found beach towels on clearance for $2 each!! He got each girl one of each of these and they are loving them! They are building forts, cuddling up with them like blankets and they've been sleeping with them.

I'm linking up with  AndreaErika and Narci for Friday Favorites!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

PreSchool at Home '17-'18

 We kicked off our school year this week! 

We had several attempts at the obligatory "first day of school" piciture. None were fantastic, I was in a hurry to leave to get to a work meeting and all of them include the flashlight Ada insisted on having #2yearoldLife

So far, school days are going very well! Teaching both of them and juggling the slightly different lessons takes much more time than I thought it would, so our school days are going to have to be early starts and at home well into the afternoon. 

Ada napping turns into a perfect time to do one on one activities with Cora that require more of my attention and direction.

I feel like I've had a full time job just getting everything gathered and ready for the school year. I am loving our tactile letters and they turned out to be so much easier than I expected.

 This year we decided on ABC Jesus Loves Me for the curriculum. It is a free, online curriculum but you have the options to purchase different books etc to go with it. So far we've bought the lesson plans so I'm not constantly opening up web pages and bouncing back and forth or writing down things that I can just reference from a book.

I love that the lessons all revolve around teaching the children about Christ and the Word. Right now we are learning about Creation and from that we have the chance to talk about different colors, shapes and concepts (like zero... that's a tricky one to teach a 3 year old!) 

Ada was pretty excited about the new printer! 
We also broke down and bought a printer. I really need one for work, so it wasn't just a school purchase but honestly I'm excited to easily get what I need. I hate printers and find them to be very finicky and a general pain in the rear, so we'll see how this goes!  

I'm loving our homeschool station where I'm storing everything we need for lessons. 

 Best thrift store purchase I've made in a while! I hope to do a post on how I've set up for lessons and our schedule soon!

I'm linking up with these lovely ladies. 

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Weekend Recap - reptile surprise

I kicked off the theme of this weekend on Thursday. I scheduled myself off from the birth center so I could be home for our new driveway gravel to be delivered.

We selected recycled asphault, it's supposed to be less dusty and it's inexpensive so win win! As they delivered we got our quote on getting it spread and it was four times the cost of the gravel! I am a big fan of supporting small businesses and I understand that services have lots of hidden costs and it's important to charge a living wage but oh my gracious. Let's just say we will be figuring out spreading the gravel on our own!

As the kids played in the new gravel I sat on the phone for 3 hours trying to get a dig test done by people who had never heard of a dig test. We suspected a water leak in the front yard but last week our small, "oh that's probably a water leak" became an "oh my gosh, we have a huge water leak that must be dealt with". We had hoped to put this project off because we knew it meant running an entire new supply line to the house.

Friday I had a doula interview with a potential client and while the kids were with my dad I ran child free errands.

I picked up an old television hutch for $20 from a local Goodwill to become our homeschool central. I've been gathering and putting things away since getting it home. After John got home Friday evening we went to town and finished school supply shopping. We've decided to do ABC - Jesus Loves Me with both girls this year and I'm scrambling around to try to get started this week.

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On Saturday morning I took the girls to church where they hung out with other children while I attended our Summer Rendezvous.

It was exactly what I needed in life right now! Fellowship with other moms, lessons on thriving in life, facing and dealing with anxiety and fear and some fun arts and crafts!

I'm trying to figure out what else I can emboss! I see the embossing heat guns and powder at our local thrift stores all the time but I've never considered getting one before.

When the girls and I got home after a quick gatorade run at Target John and my brothers Robert and Jacob were hard at work on the water line. Our ground is a very hard rocky clay dirt that even with the rented trench digger it took 5 hours to dig the supply line.

We worked well into the night Saturday and finally went over to my dad's house to sleep since we didn't quite have water supply to the house again.

That's what 1/2 a Ton of sand looks like! There was another half under it... turns out putting a ton (litereally) of sand in the truck was a poor decision. 

Sunday we managed to sleep right through church. Poor John and my brothers were all so sore (and sunburnt). We got up late and headed right back out to the house to work some more. Satuday afternoon and a good bit of Sunday we were in and out of the house and my children (and likely an adult or two...) are apparently incapable of closing doors behind them. I'm pretty sure I said "we don't live in a barn, close the door" around 100 times.

When water was working again we went to town to grocery shop with two tired, grumpy children. I really don't like grocery shopping on Sundays, the stores just seem to be so crowded and the shelves seem to be more bare - just not my favorite way to spend the day.

We returned home and put away the groceries. Both girls had gone to sleep on the way home but Ada woke up as we tried to transfer her to bed. She was standing next to the dining table drawing when I turned around from putting something in the school hutch and realized with absolute horror that a snake was slithering right at her! At first the snake stopped for a second and I yelled at Ada to freeze but she was entirely oblivious to what was happening and kept stomping her little feet which seemed to aggravate the stupid reptile. I ran up and grabbed her and stood on the couch yelling for John (mind you Cora has slept through all of this one room away).

I took Ada outside and put her in her carseat and began planning an escape to my Dad's house. John grabbed the first tool he could (a post hole digger, so not ideal) and sought out the snake and got a few good blows in but failed to decapitate it which turns out is pretty key in killing one. It was definitely dying but it managed to get between the baseboards and floor where apparently we had a small hole and while he was coming to tell me it was dead/dying it escaped into the wall. :(

I took Ada to town to get the necessary supplies to seal up the hole it crawled up into and every single heavy-duty glue board that walmart had. John searched the house and under every single piece of furniture to make sure that we didn't have any other surprises hiding. After we got it all secured we went and slept at my dads house. So far no sign of the snake. Today our friend was out here helping us finish the water project and he thinks it was a garter (harmless) snake. They live even further out in the country and they deal with many more (and poisonous) snakes and he helped us strategically place the glue boards so I've agreed to sleep at home again.

We're pretty sure it came in through an open door at some point. I doubt my reminders about the door will be seen as nagging anymore... and suddenly installing a self-closing screen door jumped up on the priority list. Some days I really hate living in the country! Now that we've dealt with this, my Dad told the story of when he killed a snake in his kitchen (came in from the garage door left open), a friend told me about killing several in her garage, my brother remembers hearing of my grandparents having a snake get in their bathroom and my grandfather shot the snake leaving a huge hole in the bathroom floor.

 How was your weekend? Do you have snake stories that will make me feel better?

Friday, July 28, 2017

What's Up... Friday Fav's

Hi Friends, Happy Friday!

I have been itching to get back over here and write! My vacation posts are in the drafts folder and I'm working every chance I get to finish them up and post. I don't know how you all do this regularly with kids and jobs, hats off to you momma bloggers! Today my Friday Favorites is my What's Up Wednesday post that didn't make it to be published on Wednesday. #RealLifeYall

1. What We're Eating this Week
My goal with all things food right now is to not heat up the house! Tonight John will grill ribs and corn on the cob. Last night was spaghetti, Wednesday we ate out because I had a meeting that evening and Tuesday we had Baked Potatoes. We have sweet friends that just had their third baby and another fried who just had surgery so we did baked potatoes and fixings for everyone. I've had a busy work week last week and I knew that my cooking could be (and was) interrupted by births so the potatoes ended up being the only thing we actually cooked, the rest was pre-packaged food.

Baking potatoes in bulk in my grandmothers Westing House Oven is my favorite way to do them!

2. What I'm reminiscing about
Vacation! I am longing for a place where summer isn't so hot it can melt crayons, or burn little baby feet on side walks or make me want to leave my home state!

3. What I'm loving
I can't believe I don't have a picture of it, I swear every time I get one I think I need to take a picture of this for a "favorite" post! #badblogger Peace Tea. It's hot (notice a theme? Come on Fall!) and one of my favorite things to grab to cool off is Peace Tea!

(affiliate link) 

My favorite flavor is Caddy Shack which is tea and lemonade, I also really like the Georgia Peach flavor. John's favorite is Razzleberry (which I think is pretty yummy too!). I haven't tried the sweet lemon or sno-berry but I'll report back when I do!  

4. What we've been up to
Last weekend we celebrated Ada turning two!
(post in draft folder as well)

This week I've been spending my spare time around the house cleaning and purging everything in an attempt to make room for the new toys she got for her birthday.There really weren't that many, because we specifically asked the grandparents to just buy fall clothes, but not many toys in a tiny house is still too many toys! The back of my van has two big boxes of clothes donations to take to my favorite charity on my next trip to Denton and another couple of boxes that I'll take to the freecycle table when my Moms Bible Study starts back up.

5. What I'm dreading
A friend posted on facebook that there are forecasts showing that fall will be unseasonably warm. I almost cried. I *need* fall weather!

6. What I'm working on
Cleaning the house, next week I'll be preparing a semester of homeschool lessons. I'm also about to go on call for the rest of the year until just before Christmas, so doing all I can to get us back into good routines and habits. Next weekend my brothers and John are going to tackle the beginning of the biggest plumbing project we've had in this dumb little house. I need the work done, but this could also fill the dreading category because construction isn't fun.

7. What I'm excited about
 We are getting a new driveway! We have some chores to complete before the gravel can be delivered so it isn't coming until next week, but I'm so excited! We have needed more gravel for a looong time but it's expensive and just not a priority for us. We actually saved more for our vacation that what we actually needed and we decided this is where we'll spend the "extra".

We literally got the cheapest material we could find that would do the job, it's recycled asphalt so it'll be black stones. I've actually heard great things about this material, most people don't like it because it's not pretty - I don't care, I just don't want to deal with mud anymore!
8. What I'm watching/reading
I haven't read anything for leisure since we got back from vacation. John and I just finished the new Netflix Original Series - Friends from College and really enjoyed it. We also finished the current season of The Ranch (Netflix again) and are working our way through the previous season of Game of Thrones. Just a disclaimer on all of these, none of them are family friendly! Friends from College has adult content (but is hilarious!), the Ranch is mostly a language issue and lots of alcohol usage. Game of Thrones, well that might be graphic along the lines of The Walking Dead...

9. What I'm listening to
The I am a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N station from Pandora. We put this on our amazon echo dot and the girls love it! I listen to other Christian stations on Pandora but this one is particularly great for the kids, lots of the old school Christian Camp songs etc.

I am also loving my podcasts! I just finished season one of Serial and really enjoyed it. I had listened to S-Town first and I don't think this is as beautiful as that story but it's still good! I'm in Season 2 of Serial and I know it's gotten very mixed reviews but I'm trying to leave the politics out of it and just listen for what it is, a story. By the way, any time I'm listening to podcasts, I am listening with headphones, not out loud where the kids can hear.

10. What I'm wearing
As little as possible haha Mostly shorts and t-shirts on repeat. Occasionally throw in a pair of scrubs and that's my life lately!

11. What I'm doing this weekend
We are going to ride the train to the Fort Worth zoo! My girls love riding trains and that's something they occasionally go do with my in-laws. I usually can't go along because I'm always on call and Fort Worth is just too far from the Birth Center. Fortunately I was able to get a couple of ladies to cover enough of my shift on Saturday and I'm still in range for my doula clients so I get to go!

12. What I'm looking forward to next month
Oh I sure hope that next month brings cooler weather, but August in Texas - I'm not holding my breath! We will start officially homeschooling Cora for Preschool in the middle of next month! I've been working on preparing things and that's part of the motivation in cleaning house right now, trying to get everything organized and ready. I'm excited about the new beginning and returning to more of a schedule. I'm also hoping that I'll be able to reduce my work load at the birth center to spend more consistent time at home with the girls, it's such a hard balance.

13. What else is new
Just before Fathers Day (just a couple of days before we left on vacation!) I went to a playdate where we did Fathers Day crafts and let the kids play in the sprinklers. One of the other moms had this amazing bag. It was like Thirty-One (which we all remember when I sold 31, love it but it just isn't in my budget anymore) but bigger than any bags they have and so cute! I asked about it and they told me about a local co-op buy group and that afternoon my sweet friend Christy got me added to the group. Y'all, I love it! #takeallmymoney 

I have ordered my own of the big, glorious bags and I ordered a new purse (because the purse I'm carrying doesn't zip, not sure why this mom thought that was a good idea...) It's going to take a bit to get to me, but when it does I'll share pictures (I'm not sure that I'm allowed to share pictures from the group of the samples). This week I'm ordering boutique outfits for the girls for fall and a matching skirt for me and halloween buckets for both girls! If you're local to DFW, let me know if you're interested in joining the group!

Bonus Question: Favorite Thing About Summer
I love that summer mostly, has a slower pace of life. I love fall and spring but they always seem to be so so busy. I also love all the water fun! Granted, we mostly play in the water as often as possible to avoid melting in this ridiculous heat, but it's still one of my favorite things.

I take the kids to the splash pad about once a week, we usually just do the little one in our hometown but we have some big fun ones not far off that I just need to plan ahead a little bit and manage to do. We usually manage to actually swim once a week with friends and various play dates. The girls don't do enough actual swimming for me to fork over the money to pay a membership at a pool yet but I still love our pool days!