Friday, May 20, 2016

Catching Up: January 2016 - May 2016

We moved into our new house recently, and I couldn't be more excited to finally be home.

It seems like so much of the last year, from May 2015 to now May 2016, has been focused on building our new home.

Despite that being a major event in our lives, we still continued to have our everyday, life is still normal, happenings. 

I looked back through photos to remind me what we've been up to (other than building a house) since the start of the new year.

January
2016

We met friends at Babe's chicken, which is a pretty good start to the new year if you ask me.

I like everyday moments like this one.  The boys reading a book together. 

February 2016

Kayreen and Jen were in Texas for a visit.
We think Kayreen is awesome, and it's only natural that we would think her friends are awesome, too.  It makes sense that we would become friends with her friends because she's our mutual friend.  You guys followed that, right?  We all had a good time hanging out together in downtown Denton.

Our fam and in the background Kayreen, Jen, Johanna, Joel and Tim. 
Great night with fun, sweet, and interesting people.

Valentine's Day photos at the farm where our rent house was located.

Checking on construction at the new house.  This photo is a good example of all the random things the boys would find at the construction site. Clearly they are of great value to them because they had to be in the photo!

 March 2016

Open house at Will and Ben's school



Family photos courtesy of Ben's teacher.

We were able to get away for one night in Dallas, and it was a much needed break from this stressful year.  Patty Griffin was in town, and we love her.  We had dinner at Sundown at Granada and then attended the concert.  We were with Craig and Andrea so that's how we got the photos.  We didn't have to ask a random stranger to take them (don't think we're not above doing that though!).  


April 2016

Angela was in Texas for a quick visit and she made her way north to see us.  She got to see the new house, we had Tex Mex, and then we headed to Canton.  It was late in the day so we decided not to go to trade days and instead we hung out at Paul Michael.  (I always want to call the store Paul Mitchell because of the hair care products, lol!)  I wish Indiana and Texas were closer.  She's the type of friend that I can pick right up with where we left off.  

Also in April we celebrated our cousin's 7th birthday.  My boys thought the laser tag in the park was pretty cool!

Playing hard in your baseball games = postgame snacks at DQ



May 2016

Our nephew, Jacob, graduated from high school and we celebrated his accomplishment.  He made a slideshow for his graduation party and there was an adorable photo of him in a Spiderman costume.  That's exactly how I remember him as a little boy and I can't believe he is out of high school now.  Wow!  If our boys grow up as fast as Jacob did, then Will and Ben will be graduating before I know it.  Yikes!

Will and Ben worked hard and earned a spot in the top 10 for A.R. points for their classes, and they were rewarded with a field trip to Cowboys Stadium/AT&T Stadium.  Mark was able to take off and go with them on the trip.  I'm usually the one taking photos (or in their opinion over-taking photos) but he did a good job and took some of the boys.





It's the final Friday of the school year. So that means it's the last Friday that I have to pack school lunches. I love my family, and I love taking care of them.  With that said, I don't love packing school lunches every morning.  I've packed over 150 this school year, and this mama is done.  I get anxious this time of year for summer which brings a break from our busy routine.  Knowing that we are nearing the end is exciting!

I'll be back with more blog posts to catch up with some things I've missed blogging about this year--Will and Ben's school musicals and Easter.





Thursday, May 19, 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Mother's Day 2016

Mother's Day was the first special day we celebrated in the new house.  New house equals new traditions.  At the old house (or as Ben calls it "the old, old house" because we also had "the rent house" in between) I've always taken a photo on Mother's Day in our front yard by our flowers, but this year we aren't even close to having flower beds ready.  We were barely unpacked at Mother's Day.  I had to come up with a new place for our yearly photo, and I thought by our front door would be the perfect spot.

I like this new spot for our Mother's Day photo.  It still feels surreal to show you these photos.  I can't believe we are in our new house.  Perfect Mother's Day present!

Mark told the boys to give me a kiss on the cheek.  Precious!  
These boys do love their mommy and I love them! 

I always took photos of the boys by the front door at the old house, and I decided to keep up that tradition here. 

I'll try to show y'all photos of the new house soon.  Moving is overwhelming, and we moved right at the end of school, which is hectic.  I know things will slow down and I can get caught up.  Summer is just around the corner, and I look forward to the time we can enjoy our new home and relax.

Monday, April 11, 2016

New Mercies


Lamentations 3:22-24
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
"The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"therefore I will hope in him."


Each day we have...
constant love
endless mercies
the promise of hope in a God who will provide


Some days more than others I need to know that I have these promises from the Lord.

We all have our reasons to need this encouragement, but hopefully this week you will recognize these truths in the moments when you need it most.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Spring Break 2016

Last week was spring break for us, and we headed south down I-35 for a quick getaway.  We had the perfect excuse to take a road trip.  One of my best friends from college had a baby and I wanted to visit her.  Being the baby hog that I am I couldn't hold the precious little fella enough.

When in Austin...
You visit the State Capitol of Texas.
When I'm not a wife and mom, I'm a history teacher, more specifically a Texas History teacher. I love any chance I get to visit Texas landmarks. 

We visited the Capitol on Sunday afternoon after we attended Brentwood Oak Church of Christ in north Austin.
The boys enjoyed our quick tour.




After our tour of the State Capitol we were going to try to eat at one of the well-known BBQ places around the area. Guess what?  So was everyone else in Austin that afternoon.  First we went to Franklin's but the line was too long.  We drove to Micklethwait, but they sold out.  Next we tried Stubb's but they weren't serving at that time.  Our BBQ luck had run out.

No problem, because our nephew is now a student at the University of Texas and he was going to give us a tour of the campus.

Y'all know I'm an Aggie, but even this old Aggie could appreciate seeing the UT campus.  If I wanted to get sentimental and reflect,  I'd tell you that our nephew Max was the age of Ben when Mark and I started dating.  That's so crazy because now he's studying at UT and living the college dream.  We're so proud of him.  Someone please tell me where all those years have gone!


We headed to Gruene (pronounced green) and our plan was to eat at the Gristmill since we weren't able to get any tasty BBQ earlier in the day.

The boys and I in front of Gruene Hall.  I think it's the oldest dance hall in Texas or maybe it's the oldest one still in use.  We didn't go inside because it was crowded but we did hear some good music being played.

Huge live oak trees in front of the Gristmill Restaurant in Gruene.




On our way home from Austin, we stopped by the Magnolia Silos in Waco.
Yes, THE Magnolia Silos that are seen on Fixer Upper.
About a year ago, we went to the Magnolia shop on Bosque but I hadn't had a chance to visit the new location. 
The weather forecast had projected storms on the day we planned to visit and the crowds were low.  I think they were very low compared to what others experience.  We didn't have to wait in line at all.

I purchased a few items for the new house.  The kids played outside and had a blast playing a pickup game of baseball with other kiddos playing in the outdoor area.  Chip and Joanna did an awesome job of creating a space that everyone in the family could enjoy.  Mark and I especially liked the food trucks--crepes and coffee from Common Grounds.


Sorry for the blurry iPhone photos.  It's the best I can do right now with limited internet access.  

If y'all are wanting a house update...we're hoping we move in less than a month.  Follow along on Instagram where I share more regular updates. There's more than I can begin to blog about, but one day I promise I will try.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

#letsbuildafarmhouseTX Update 2015


If you've been reading my blog since the beginning, then you know Mark and I have dreamed about building a house on our land in the country since we got married.  It's taken us 10 years to decide what we wanted and about 3 years to make it become a reality.  We started from scratch.  We had house plans drawn to perfectly fit our land.  Before we started any of the building process, we got bids from different custom home builders and we selected the builder that was right for our project, budget, and family.  Our land in the country was a blank slate when we moved forward with building.  There were several things that had to be done before we were ready to build.  We didn't even have a physical address (also called a 911 address) or any utilities.  Once we took care of all of the start up, which included getting electricity, water, putting in a driveway, and having dirt work done by a bulldozer to build the house pad, we were ready to go.  Since our home is completely custom, I've often told people it is a blessing and a curse. The fun part of a custom home is that you have unlimited choices. The stressful part is that you have unlimited choices. Did that make sense?  Many people are frustrated when building a new home because they don't feel like they can personalize it.  With our home there are endless possibilities and it is 100% a reflection of our style.

If you're new here, and the title didn't give it away already, our style is farmhouse, which most of you already knew.  Have you ever heard the song by Barbara Mandrell, "I Was Country When Country Wasn't Cool"? I feel like, "We Were Farmhouse When Farmhouse Wasn't Cool".  We started planning this home about 3 years ago (before Fixer Upper) and we didn't know the farmhouse style would become so popular.  It doesn't bother me that so many people are building homes that are this style.  It is classic and timeless in many ways.  There are numerous benefits of building something that's a popular style and one is that finishes are readily available.

I haven't been as good about blogging about the process as I thought I would be.  I plan to share more of the specific details about finishes on Angela's blog Unexpected Elegance.  For now I've put together a timeline to help me remember all that's happened this year in regards to our new home.

Photo taken in November

Here's a timeline of how things have evolved.

2015
January 
Received bids

February
Chose builder/general contractor

March
Worked to get utilities, address
Link {here} to a blog post as we prepared to start the dirt work.

April
Dirt work for house pad
We were very fortunate that we had a few days of dry weather to get the dirt work done because May brought record amounts of rainfall to Texas.

May
Not much since it was the rainiest May on record

June
Continued to get utilities put in place

July
Worked on selecting interior finishes

August
Continued to work on selecting finishes, specifically plumbing

September
Foundation work, piers were poured

October
Foundation was poured
Decisions were made about exterior siding, exterior doors, etc.

November
Framing 

December
It was a BIG month!
Soooo much that I don't even know if I can keep a record of it all. 
Follow my instagram @redbirdblue and you can see progress updates.  I've kept a record and dated most of the photos so I can remember all of the details.

This photo below was taken (by my mother-in-law) around December 19, 2015 and shows the progress made to this point.  We don't have a rigid timeline of when the house will be complete.  It could be end of March or sometime in April, and if it is sooner then we'll be pleasantly surprised.  We have a place to live currently and that takes away the pressure of needing it completed by a certain date.  

Of course there have been challenges along the way, but overall we couldn't be happier with the house.  We feel very thankful that this home has become a reality.  I know I say this often, but I truly mean it.



Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Christmas 2015

Christmas 2015


This year the boys received more electronics than in the past.  I guess they are growing up (boo hoo!) and the days of receiving all toys is slowly fading away.  

They asked for PS4 games (they saved their money and purchased a PS4 earlier in the year), 
baseball cards--for Will, football cards and Pokemon cards--for Ben.
They also got a new Nerf glow football, basketball, and glow basketball goal set, and hoodies, movies, and Santa still brought them each a Disney Pixar Cars car.  Their stockings had candy and flashlight glow sticks and a headlamp, which came in handy for the scary tornado situation that occurred the day after Christmas.



Here are a few pics from Christmas Eve.
The boys exchange books.
Mark and I also gave the boys some books we thought they would enjoy.






Can't go to bed on Christmas Eve without checking the Santa Tracker. 



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