Thursday, June 30, 2011

Where's My Breath?

Will took swim lessons last week and he loved it!

I had low expectations going into it.  My hope was that he wouldn't be afraid of the water and that he would learn proper technique.  I didn't expect him to learn to swim in one week.  I know Will, and I know that Will doesn't like trying new things.  Sometimes he has his mind made up before he ever tries something new.  I talked up swim lessons before we arrived and I showed him his teacher, Brooke,  on facebook.  She's a former student of mine.  He thought it was fun to see her on facebook and he seemed to be pretty excited about learning to swim.

I'm happy to report that Will did so much better than I expected.  He didn't show any fear of the water.  By the end of swim lessons he was going under and picking up dive rings.  He would go down the slide. He learned to float and he can swim for a little distance.  I wouldn't trust him alone in a pool, but I think he made great progress for his first swim lessons ever.

So, where did the silly title to this blog post come from?  He was doing head bobs with Brooke, and after going in and out of the water several times, she helped Will out and said, "Catch your breath." and Will said as serious as could be, "Where's my breath?"  while he looked around for it.  Brooke and I just couldn't keep from laughing.  So cute!

Here's Will ready to get in the water.

Will working on his "Big T Little T"



Will wanted to play with the rubber duck thermometer.

Here's Will with Brooke.  She was just the sweetest teacher.  She taught the lessons from her parents' pool.  They have a beautiful backyard.  Their home is just on the outskirts of our small town.  You can see a big pasture behind their backyard. 

He looks a little like he's carrying a torch.



There's my boy underwater.  So proud of him!

This was the cutest face.  He didn't like getting his face wet at the beginning of swim lessons so I had to share this one just to remember the look he would make when he'd gone underwater.  When Will would get nervous he'd tell Brooke, "Take me back to the step" that was his comfort zone.    By the end of the week, I didn't see this face very often.  I'd say we made a lot of progress in one week. 
In fact, I know we made progress.  Will was sad swim lessons were over.  I look forward to next  year and I know he does, too!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

You + Me = Forever

Mark + Michele = Forever

Nine years ago today, Mark and I said "I do" and we haven't looked back since.  It was such a happy day.  I don't have very many photos from our wedding and these two photos captured the genuine joy and excitement of the moment. The first photo is us leaving the church and the second is us leaving our reception.

We don't have a perfect marriage but we have a very happy marriage.  Last year I received two of the biggest compliments I have ever been given.  They were from two teachers that Mark and I work with. 

One told me that she knew that Mark and I would be married forever.  I thought it was interesting that she used the word forever.  I'd never really thought about it that way, but I think we have approached marriage with that mindset.  Marriage is forever. 

The other compliment came from a younger teacher who told me that our marriage wasn't normal.  What was normal to her was the dysfunctional marriages we see all too often around us.  She told me that what Mark and I have wasn't the norm, and I considered this one of the biggest compliments we've ever received.  Usually I want to be normal, but in the context of our conversation abnormal was just fine. 

If I knew the secret to a happy marriage, I'd write a book and spread the message.

So far here's what has worked for us.
Love God
Love each other
Spend quality time together
Make our family a priority

No big secret, but that's what seems to work for us.  I think each couple has their own approach that works for them, but many of the happy marriages I see have similar priorities.  If you are married, I wish you many happy years together with your beloved.  If you are single, I hope you find someone who you can live with happily forever.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Holding Hands

My grandparents were never the most affectionate couple, but every time we take my grandpa to visit my grandma in the nursing home they hold hands. 

It's precious. 

They've been married 70 years.  Isn't that amazing? 

I feel so blessed to have them in my life.  I shared this photo on facebook and there was an overwhelming response from friends and family who left the sweetest comments.  I wanted my blog friends to see it too.

life rearranged

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

What I Wore Wk 36

What I Wore Week 36

I started my blog a little over a year ago and began participating in WIWW soon after that.  I was pretty faithful in posting until the end of 2010 and I was a little burned out with WIWW.  I took a short break and have been back with WIWW posts ever since.  As with many other ladies who participate in WIWW, I question if it's vain to be concerned so much with my appearance and clothes.  I feel silly in most of my photos.  I'm not a fashion blogger, which means I have no fashion inspiration to offer.

So here I am at week 36 still plugging along with the daily photographs (well, almost daily) and I'm still linking up to the Pleated Poppy.

Why do I keep doing it?

It's accountability to not wear the same thing over and over and it's motivation to try new things. Also, it's the best way to meet other bloggers.  Link ups are an incredible way to get introduced to other bloggers who are like-minded.  

That's why I'm still here 36 weeks later.

I don't know if I ever intended to do WIWW for this long, but almost a year later, here I am.

Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday: Church
skirt and purple layering tank: J Crew outlet
white top: Old Navy
black flip-flops: Ann Taylor LOFT

Thursday: Going for a run.
I'm back into running.  Read more here.
shorts: Nike outlet
 running shoes: Nike outlet
t-shirt: school spirit t-shirt

Sunday: church
I bought this outfit just to match my shoes.  Seriously!
pencil skirt and top: Banana Republic outlet
high heels: TJ Maxx
Love the detail on this top.
The shoes that made the outfit!

What my husband has been wearing!
Go Mavs!  NBA Champs!
He's a true fan of all of the Dallas sports teams so this championship made him one happy guy.

pleated poppy

Monday, June 20, 2011

Georgia On My Mind

Since we've been home, I've had Georgia on my mind.

While on vacation we stayed in Dawsonville, Georgia.  I enjoyed meeting Mark's extended family. I wish I had more photos to share of our time together. We also visited Cumming and Dahlonega.

Last Monday, before we headed back to Texas, we met up with Katie from The Southland Life in Athens. 

I didn't realize that Dawsonville was so close to so many other Georgia blog friends.  If I would have known, we could have a big blog gathering.  I would have loved to have met Cha Cha from Sit Relax and Read, Pam from Relatively Reagan, Angie from Life With Ike and Kat from Pretty in Pink and Green.  We hope to make it back to Georgia in the future and when we do I'll make sure to meet those lovely ladies in person.  I don't know why I've ended up having such a blog connection with so many Georgia folks.  My grandpa's family is from a town called Ellijay and maybe those people are descendants from the Evans' or Thompson's.  If so we could be distantly related, who knows!  Even if we're not, which we probably aren't, I'm thankful for these ladies and finding such kindred spirits even if they are 850 miles away.

As far as my visit with Katie, I was a little nervous. I adore her blog and think she's one of the nicest and most genuine people in the blogosphere, but I didn't know if we'd click in real life. Well, we did! I shouldn't have worried one bit. The conversation was as natural as if we'd been lifelong friends. We had plenty to talk about and it was so neat to sit in talk in real life. She suggested we eat at a restaurant in Athens called Last Resort. It was a winner! Mark's parents were with us and they enjoyed it just as much as Mark and I did. After lunch, Katie gave us a tour of the University of Georgia. Katie is a UGA alum so it was fun to hear all about the customs and traditions. Ben slept most of the tour, but Will enjoyed seeing everything. Will and Ben both say "Katie" when they see me reading her blog. They just loved her, too!

Katie and I in front of the Arch on the UGA campus.
{We didn't walk under it!}

In front of the stadium.

Katie giving Ben a coin to throw in the fountain.

Will posed for a photo in the university bookstore.

Katie was so thoughtful and gave me this beautiful pedestal milk glass dish.  It would be perfect with fresh peonies in it.

It's found the perfect home above my kitchen cabinets with my other milk glass treasures.

 She also gave us some peanut brittle that was homemade by her grandmother.  It's to die for!  So delicious and highly addictive.  I had to have some self-control so I didn't eat all of it at once.  I have no photos of it because it's all gone!

Thank you, Katie, for making my trip to Georgia so fun and memorable. 

Blog friends are real friends!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Happy Father's Day 2011

Happy Father's Day to best dad in the whole world!

I love you, Mark!

Thank you for being such a good daddy and example to our sons. 

We are lucky and blessed to have you in our lives.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Father's Day Wish List

My husband is a really frugal guy.  He never makes big purchases for himself, which is really considerate, but at the same time, sometimes I wish he would splurge a little.  I know I've shared before that we don't buy big gifts for holidays, birthdays, anniversaries, etc.  We usually just buy what we want or need throughout the year and call it even.  I keep trying to convince Mark that he "needs" a new grill, iPad or set of golf clubs.  He's not easy to persuade.  I'm thankful for my frugal husband because I know he has our family's best interest at heart when he does without.  But, since he won't let me buy him a big gift for Father's Day, I decided to make a list of the top 3 things I would get him if I did splurge.

Weber Grill
He's been eyeing a Weber grill for a while.  Maybe one day he'll get a new one.  Our grill is on it's last leg.  I fully support a new grill because that means he'll do a lot of the cooking in the summer.  We love to grill out and this grill would make it that much easier and fun.

Out of all of the items I've listed, this might be the one that he actually buys for himself.  I'm okay with that because that means I'll get to use it, too. 

Golf clubs
Mark played golf quite a bit before we got married.  We were so broke when we first got married that he stopped playing.  We're thinking about joining the local country club in a few years when the boys get older and they could swim while he (or we if I learn) played golf.

What gifts are you giving for this Father's Day?

This year Mark will receive some handmade cards from the boys and one of his favorite home cooked meals.  I'll let you know if he decides to buy one of the things I've shown you.

Happy Father's Day!

Trying to Beat the Heat

It's June.

It's 100 degrees.

It's going to be a very long summer.

The only relief from the heat is water.

Ben received a couple of cool water toys for his birthday and the boys have been begging to play with them.  Today was the perfect day to break out the sprinkler water ball and splash mat.

A good time was had!

The sprinkler water ball and splash mat worked double-duty.  The boys were entertained and it watered the grass.  

Next week Will starts swim lessons and I hope he takes to the water like a fish and learns quickly.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Road Trip Teaser

While I'm sorting through 300 photos from the road trip I'll share a few of the favorites that I took from my iPhone using the Hipstamatic app.

Newfound Gap
 elevation of 5046 feet

The views from this location were spectacular.
Another view from Newfound Gap

I love trail markers for the Appalachian Trail.  I have numerous photos of AT trail markers on the east coast. I especially like this one because it gives the distance to Maine.

This was at our hotel/resort in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.  The boys liked rocking on the balcony.

life rearranged

friday favorite things </P>
<P>finding joy

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Just Do It

I have a million other things I should blog about right now, but instead I have running on my mind.

Mark and I were runners before we met and we continued to run until we had children. 

Children change everything. 

Our lives became so busy that we just didn't make time for running. So if you've never really heard me talk it about it on the blog, it's because we haven't been runners for a very long time.  I've never talked about exercise a lot on my blog because, well, I don't exercise.

That's about to change.  I'm not going to become obsessive about it, but I am going to try to make it more a part of my life. 

What's brought about this sudden change?

The scales!  Ugh!


A few unflattering photos from vacation, which I will not be sharing, made me realize that I have to change my lifestyle.  The camera doesn't lie.  Oh, how I wish it did.  The photos from vacation confirmed what I'd refused to believe.  I've let myself go. 

I'm going to try to eat less sugar (or as my grandma would say "sweets"), drink more water and exercise.

I'm putting this out there more for me than anyone else.  I hope it's some sort of cyber-accountability.

Goal: Look Better and Feel Better (both inside and out)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

What I Wore Wednesday {Road Trip 2011}

What I Wore Wednesday {Road Trip 2011}

I love to travel, but there's no place like home. We had a wonderful 8 days on the road and now we are home. We made it back about 8p.m. last night. The boys were so happy to be home. Ben's missed his toys and Will's missed the TV and computer. I've already washed about 5 loads of laundry. Once things are put away, I look forward to catching up on blogging.

Here's a sneak peek at the road trip through my outfits.
Memphis, TN with the I40 bridge and Mississippi River behind me.
My hair is a mess and we had been in the car about 7 hours.
Gray dress and black tank: J Crew outlet, the most comfortable thing to travel in.  Love this dress.
Black flip-flops: Ann Taylor LOFT (can't see them but they are there)
Sunglasses: TJ Maxx

Gatlinburg, TN
We stayed in Gatlinburg because it was close to the entrance of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
The highlight of visiting the town of Gatlinburg was enjoying a funnel cake.
Short: Old Navy
Brown top: Gap
Coral layer tank: Banana Republic 

As you can see by the sign, we visited the Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
Shorts: J Crew outlet
Green tank: Gap
Navy tank: Wal-Mart
TOMS: Whole Foods 
Necklace: Lisa Leonard family tree

Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Newfound Gap
Skirt: Old Navy
Navy and white strip tank: J Crew outlet
Yellow tank: Target
Silver flip-flops: Gap 
Necklace: Lisa Leonard family tree
Sunglasses: TJ Maxx
Clingmans Dome

University of Georgia, Athens, GA
I met up with Katie from The Southland Life a blog friend and now a real life friend. She showed us around UGA.
She's as sweet and beautiful in person as she is on her blog.
I'll write a lot more about our visit later.
White shorts and white cardi: Gap outlet
black cami and silver flip-flops: Gap 

pleated poppy



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