Monday, May 18, 2015

Progress and Rain


This panoramic of the land is probably hard to see, 
but it shows the progress.  

The date of the photos,
Top Left: March 16th
Top Right: April 20th
Bottom Left: May 1st
Bottom Right: May 3rd

You can see in the bottom right photo that we have the dirt work done for the new home's foundation.  

You won't see a concrete truck there any time soon pouring the foundation because once the dirt work was complete, it started to rain again.  I'm very happy with the rain because it's helping all of the dirt work settle, which will help prevent future foundation issues. 

That's not a big update, but it's exciting to see some progress even though we haven't been able to get anything done since the beginning of May.

I know the rains will stop eventually and when it does stop, I feel like the process will really speed up.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Mother's Day 2015

 Mother's Day 2015

I love being the mom of these two sweet boys!

This photo was taken after church.  It was raining on Sunday, and we didn't get to take photos in front of the flowers in our front yard.  I don't think I've ever missed a year posing with the boys by the flower bed on Mother's Day, but the rain kept us under the front porch.  Mark took one for the team and stood out in the rain to get this photo.  He had to take about 20 photos to get one where we were all smiling.  This was on my phone.  I didn't even break out the fancy DSLR.  I guess I'm becoming more relaxed in my old age.


Since it was Mother's Day weekend, the boys let me choose what we got to do (really Mark told them I got to choose and they would go with it) .  I was excited about a stop by Anthro.  The boys did not share in my enthusiasm as you can see by their faces in the photo below.  I know, it's hard to believe that they don't love Anthro as much as we all do!
Their faces make me laugh.  


We had to run to town on Saturday to pick up a few things at Bath & Body Works.  The boys put on a happy face when they knew we were going to eat at Chick-fil-A.  We all liked the Frozen Lemonade that's new there.  What took them so long to make that delicious combination?  It's going to be a summer favorite for us.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

5 Years--Then and Now




I started blogging 5 years ago and life looked a lot different back then.  Ben was about to turn 1 and Will was 3 1/2 years old.  Our life revolved around the baby and toddler.  Those were fun years and the boys were sweet, but raising children that age can be challenging.  I miss the days of the boys being little, but there are many advantages now that they are older and more independent.  It's hard to believe that Ben is almost finished with kindergarten, and he's about to turn 6.  Will has almost completed 2nd grade and is 8 1/2.  The boys' lives are all about school, sports, riding bikes, playing outside, games on the iPad, Wii or Nintendo DS, and friends.  Will and Ben are best buddies and I'm thankful they love each other.  Currently they share a room, and at night I love hearing them talk and laugh.  God's blessed with us with those two more than I could have ever imagined.

As for Mark and me, life is still really good. Back in 2010, we'd been married almost 8 years.  Today we still feel as happy now as we did then.  We've always had a great marriage, but I think it gets easier the longer we've been married.  Mark and I have been married long enough to feel comfortable, but instead of that being a bad thing I find it comforting.  There's an assurance knowing that we'll always be together and we want the same things in life.  Not a lot has changed in most areas of our life.  We still live and work where we did 5 years ago.  We still attend the same church.  We still have the same friends. We still love to travel and spend time with our family.

Not everything is the same though.  The family photo above is a clue.  There are some big changes in the near future.  We will be moving soon because we are in the process of building our new home.  The new home will be in the field behind us where we took this photo.  Many like to call what we are building a "forever home", which is how we think of it.  It's truly our dream home that will be a new old farmhouse out in the country on some land Mark bought before we got married.  Did I ever mention that's where he proposed?  It is!  Thirteen years ago he asked and I said yes.  So it's a special place to us for many reasons. 

There have been challenges in our lives the last five years.  Some of them I've shared, and other things I've chosen to keep to myself.  I'm an open book, but some things needed to stay private.  I've always tried to navigate the fine line between being encouraging by sharing our struggles, but also remembering that it's important to handle difficult situations with dignity.  Sometimes the most dignified way to do that is being reserved and sharing less.  Overall I can't complain.  Even when we've gone through trials, the Lord has seen us through.  We've grown from the struggles we've faced and we press on to the goal.

Looking back at the last 5 years reminds me to think ahead to the future.  It's hard to believe in 5 more years that Will will be 13--a teenager--oh my goodness!  Ben will be 10--almost 11, which blows my mind. 

I love that this blog has been a place to keep our special family memories.  It's also been an outlet to share important thoughts.  The biggest surprise from blogging is that it's even provided me friendship.  What an unexpected blessing!  The memories and encouragement are just a few of the reasons I'm grateful for this little blog and the blogging community.  Lord willing I'll be around for many more years to come. 

If you're reading this, thanks for spending time with me and being a part of our Imperfectly Wonderful World. We're living proof that life doesn't have to be perfect to be wonderful.

And just for the fun of it, here's the link to my very first blog post ever on May 5,  2010.  

Monday, May 4, 2015

Monday Morning Encouragement: Matthew 19:26

Monday Morning Encouragement: Matthew 19:26

Remember the words of Matthew 19:26 this week "but with God all things are possible".  Let's cling to that promise and be encouraged.  
God is at work in our lives and the lives of others.  


Tuesday, April 28, 2015

InstaApril 2015

InstaApril 2015

I made a goal to do a monthly blog post with most of my Instagram photos.  I used to do that weekly, but I've become a slacker.  This month has been filled with spring flowers, tee-ball and baseball (when it's not raining), Easter, spending time with family and friends, celebrating our cousin's birthday, riding bikes, and a little of this and that. By the way, it's been raining cats and dogs. I can't remember the last time we had a week without rain. 

Fall is my favorite season but spring hasn't disappointed me.  I forget how pretty the flowers are this time of year. Thank goodness the Lord has given us the change of seasons.  It's refreshing.

This peony is one of my favorite flowers.  I hope it will survive the move to the new house.  I plan to take it with me. 



You can see why irises provided inspiration for one of van Gogh's famous paintings.  This is the view from my kitchen window.  The birdbath and flowers are between two crepe myrtle trees.  Looking at this helps make the chore of washing dishes not as bad.

I'm not sure what type of iris this is.  I think it might be a Siberian Iris or Japanese Iris, maybe?  Regardless of what it is, it's also one of the favorite flowers in my yard this time of year.


You know we love the Texas Rangers.  I'm pretty sure I took this of the boys on Opening Day 2015.


The boys thought indoor camping might not be so bad after all.  They were testing out the camping equipment at Cabela's.  

Over the Easter weekend the boys had a friend spend the night and we went to the movies.  Home was cute.  We got there early and for the first 15 minutes we had the entire theater to ourselves.  The guys thought that was so cool!

I took this at Will's Easter egg hunt on the playground at school.  He was obviously too busy to stop and look at me for a photo. I understand, hunting eggs is serious business. ;)

The teachers in Will's class had a great idea.  We labeled eggs with the names of each student so everyone had the same amount of eggs, and it made the hunt last longer.

Ben's class hunted eggs on the football field.  

 Ben wasn't the most aggressive egg hunter, which made me laugh.  If it were a race for anything of value, then we'd be in trouble, ha!

The Easter bunny found our house. 

Our cousin had a birthday party at a fun gym.  The boys got to go on a zip line, jump on trampolines and play in a giant treehouse and fort.  Oh yeah, and there was cake and ice cream, too! That's always Will and Ben's favorite part of the party. 

Will and Ben are old enough to take our photo now.  Will took this one just before we ate at Twisted Root--our favorite burger place. 

Ben and Will are all about Minecraft now.  By the way, I totally don't understand it, but I didn't understand their obsession with Angry Birds Star Wars either.  That's neither here nor there.  The point of this photo, is that Ben drew some images of Minecraft and he was very proud.  He likes to draw all sorts of things like this and Ninja Turtles.

I shared this photo on Instagram and I had a "mom moment" processing my thoughts and feelings about the boys growing up.  Will looked so big in this photo.  I know Will and Ben are still little, but they aren't little anymore like babies and toddlers.  They have thoughts and opinions, which they share more and more with us.  With that in mind, I realized that I share fewer photos of them now.  I'm trying to find the balance of respecting their privacy as they get older, while still sharing photos of the them with friends and family because I'm so proud that they are mine.  I don't know if there will ever be balance, but I'm definitely mindful of it now that they are getting older. 

 Back to things that aren't so serious...
Will at bat!

Ben hitting the ball off the tee! 


We've been taking advantage of the sunny days that are few and far between this spring by riding bikes.  Will almost had it down last summer just before he knocked out his front tooth.  Once that happened we took a break from riding bikes.  This spring he picked up right where he left off and he can ride now!  I'm pretty sure I was older than he was when I finally learned.  Ben's not really sure about us taking off the training wheels yet so we'll probably leave them on for a little longer. 


If you were to have a "day in the life" experience with our family by spending the day with us and doing all of our favorite things then our friend Ashley did that very thing this weekend.  We took her shopping at the outlet mall, and then we ate at Rudy's BBQ.  The day wouldn't be complete without a trip to Target and a stop by Whole Foods.  I'd say she really got an authentic experience.

Ben requested a Mohawk at bath time and it was so cute I had to include it on the blog. 


The New Old Farmhouse Update
The update is that there's no update, and that's okay!   We started the new year ready to move forward with our new home, but with most plans in life there's always something out of your control.  That something right now is the rain.  It's been one of the rainiest springs in the last few years, and there's no way to get the bulldozers and equipment needed to start the house to the land.  It's all good and we're counting our blessings.  We have a place to live, we're saving more money to build, and summer will probably be the best time to start the house anyway. 


We might be on hold with the house, but I can still find things that will go inside it.  This weekend I was lucky enough to find some great treasures at an estate sale.  I plan for this bluebonnet print to hang in the guest bedroom above the bed.  The vintage school books will look perfect on the built-in shelves in our new living room.  You know I collect milk glass so I couldn't pass on the vase, and the cats were just cute so they came home with me, too. I don't have a photo of the mid-century flip seat step stool I purchased.  It reminded me of something in my great-grandma's farmhouse, and I knew it would be perfect in my laundry room at the farmhouse.  The boys think the step stool is pretty cool!


I'll leave you with a Bible verse for encouragement.  It's one that helps me when I'm stressed and worried. 

1 Peter 5:7
Cast all your anxiety on him for he cares for you.


Monday, April 13, 2015

Easter 2015

Easter 2015

Will and Ben after church on Easter Sunday.  It was raining when we left for church so I couldn't get photos before and I took these after we got home.  Anytime I want photos of the boys after church, I'm usually giving this speech as we pull into the driveway , "Don't run inside and take your clothes and shoes off.  Let me get some photos."  That's normally followed with some groans and sighs, but I think they are figuring out if they will smile and cooperate, it will all be over much faster.  Even though photos aren't their favorite thing in the world, they posed and I got some good ones.

I thought the boys looked extra handsome in their Easter clothes.



After church we ate lunch with Mark's family.  Most of the Easter egg hunt had to take place inside because of the rain, but we hid a few eggs outside on the porch and sidewalk.  You can see that the cousins still had fun hunting eggs. It doesn't matter to them if it's inside or outside.


These photos are in no particular order.  Here are the boys before church with their Easter basket goodies.  Candy, cars, silly putty, baseball cards for Will, football cards for Ben, and a new Lego to share.  When Ben woke up he was so excited to see the Lego and ran into our room to wake us up and tell us all about it.  Will let us know that he got up at 5a.m. and saw it on the couch so he knew the Easter bunny stopped by our house.  

Easter 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

InstaLife January-March 2015

This is one of those blog post that starts with the warning of "get comfortable" because it's long and there are a lot of photos.  I had made a goal to get a blog post written with my Instagram photos for the months of January - March.  I should have written it for each individual month, but we've been busy with school, work, and life since the beginning of the new year.  We're also in the process of getting everything in order to build our new house.  Mark and I have already invested hours in the building process and we haven't even broken ground.  I had mentally prepared for this.  I knew once we made the commitment to start this process it would take up all of our spare time (as if that even existed working full-time and raising a family, but let's pretend like we did have some free time). Since I blog in my free time and that's disappeared, I haven't been very good about writing blog post regularly.  I know that no one is holding their breath waiting for me to blog, but this ol' blog is my place to save memories for our family.  If it's important for no other reason than that, then that's enough to keep me at it. 

Here's a glimpse at life for the first 3 months of 2015.  

January

The boys looking adorable in their footed pajamas drinking hot chocolate.

We attended a birthday party for our cousin at a local children's museum.  Will and Ben have a such a good time when we go there.  I wish I could remember to take them more since they enjoy it so much.

Ben blowing giant bubbles.

Will looks like employee of the month taking care of the check out like at the grocery store. 

Boys + Legos = hours of fun

We watched Paddington and it was too cute.

The elementary school hosted a reading camp out encouraging students and their families to read together.  The boys wore their PJs and I wore my sweats.  

Will had a check up with the endodontist to make sure his tooth is healing properly after being knocked out.  He got a good report!  Praise the Lord!  I wrote about his good report {here}

While we were in Frisco we stopped by IKEA.

Just a typical scene at the house--the boys playing on their DS.

February

This photo made me smile. I asked the boys to look at me and smile for a photo.  They both ignored me, and I have a feeling this is a indicator of things to come.  They don't like me to interrupt them for a silly photo. 

Is it Leonardo the Ninja Turtle or Ben?

This winter we've worked at the land cutting trees and burning brush.  This is the general location of where the new-old farmhouse will be.  We went to the land this weekend, but we won't be out there very much because the weather is getting warmer, which means snakes are becoming active.  I don't feel comfortable letting the boys explore once the snakes are out.  Since the land is so wooded, there are venomous copperheads.  I don't want any part of that.


Maggie took these cute pics of the boys on one of their adventures.


The boys getting their Valentines ready for their classes.


I wasn't able to attend their school Valentine's parties, but my mother-in-law went and took photos of the boys.  Here they are at her house with their Valentine from Mamaw and Papaw.

We attended a cute birthday party on Valentine's day--even though it was a "girl party" the boys had fun because Rachael's older brother was there.  They decided it was okay to go to a "girl party" if there were other boys.

Our Valentine's dinner wasn't at a fancy restaurant.  Instead we had BBQ at Rudy's.  


Just because I love them so much.

We took a short road trip to East Texas to visit family. 
Family time is special and fun!

While we were there we saw the Texas A&M Singing Cadets.  I had never seen them perform, and they were very talendted.  This year they included a Frozen medley.  Olaf even made an appearance!

Me and my boy Will

I think Ben will learn to play chess before I ever do.  Will has been teaching him all that he knows.

Snow!
We had a fairly mild winter until the end of February and beginning of March.  I thought we wouldn't use our bad weather days built into the school calendar.  If we didn't use them we'd have 2 extra days off in the spring.  I was so sure we'd be off from school....BUT I was wrong.  Even though it looks like we wouldn't have school this day, we did.  This was just powdery snow.  That doesn't shut down school.  It's the ice that we can't handle in Texas.


The boys had a hard time going in to school without stopping to play in the snow along the way.

Look at this adorable candy store!  It's called Lolli and Pops.  The irony of this photo is that I took the boys there before they had a dentist appointment.  I guess we were trying to get our money's worth.  Since this was our first time to visit the store, we were given a tour of all the different candy sections and lots of free samples.  Can you tell we're enjoying it?  Like a kid in a candy store!

March

If you're reading along, you're probably thinking, Whew, finally made it to March.  

These two guys love them some cake pops.

Ben and Will had a sleepover at Mamaw and Papaw's over spring break.  Mark and I did fun stuff in Dallas since we had the day to ourselves.  Lunch at Twisted Root for Mark. 

A stop by West Elm for me. 

I didn't feel very good over spring break so this is the most exciting thing that happened.  I planted some succulents.  They are living happily ever after in my kitchen window now. 

A sweet friend passed on a box full of her son's old Legos.  Ben was in Lego heaven.  He and Will had a great time making all sorts of new creations and looking at all of the new mini figures.   

I LOVE that Will is reading chapter books now.  He's never had an issue with reading, but he's finally developed an attention span to appreciate good books.  He's read almost all of the Little House series and only has 2 books left to read.   Yay Will!  I can see a road trip in our near future that is dedicated to following the life of Laura Ingalls Wilder.  I've looked and there are road trip guides focusing on this very thing.  I haven't told Will yet or he'll be asking when we leave.

Rain, rain, rain
This made me think of Seattle. 

Mark got some new glasses at Warby Parker, and the boys tried on sunglasses while we waited.
Ben looks he belongs in The Royal Tenenbaums in this photo. 

Will tried on a pair of sunglasses too.  This was more of a  Risky Business look. 

Something's fishy! Shopping after church at Cabela's 

It's rained so much that we haven't been able to play or practice for baseball much.  
The rain finally stopped, the sun came out, and Will had his first game.
He's having fun and playing hard.  This is just the beginning of baseball and... 

Tee-ball!  Ben had his first tee-ball game and it was pretty stinking cute! 
He even hit a home run. He's having fun and learning what it's all about.

My pride and joy! 

Since the weather has been so nice, the boys aren't allowed inside. 
They need to stay outside and play.

When the water hose comes out I have to tell them to come inside. 
 They'd stay out there for hours if I'd let them.   


I don't put a lot of photos of Mark on the blog.  He's a private guy and doesn't like to talk about himself so I respect that.  Every now and then I'm able to sneak one in.  This was a neat moment and I wanted to save it.  I'm terrible at math and it's something that comes naturally to Mark.  Thankfully Will and Ben inherited his math genetics.  They both have mathematical minds already.  Will was excited about a lesson his teacher taught introducing division.  He had some questions for Mark (notice I said questions for Mark and not me, I'd be of no help).  I like the look on Will's face.  He's taking in everything his dad is telling him.  Ben's even interested.  Of course, it's math so I automatically tuned it all out, ha!

Last photo!
Minecraft has officially replaced Angry Birds at our house.  I don't get it, but the boys do.  

If I wait another 3 months to do a massive blog post like this it will be June!  
What?!?
I promise to do better and hopefully it won't be that long.


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