Saturday, June 29, 2013

11th Anniversary

Today we celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary.

11 years!

We have a very happy marriage.  We are blessed.

The secret to our happy marriage is simple. 
We try to live our lives the way the Bible tells us to. 
We love God and we love each other. 

We don't have it all figured out, but we have each other.  There's no one else I'd rather laugh with, cry with or spend time with than Mark.  He's my best friend and I'm thankful every day for him and our family.  It really does get better every year.

This is one of my very favorite photos from our wedding.  I'm talking to my precious Aunt Oma and sweet Aunt Ruth. 

I do!  
And, I'd choose you over and over again.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Trend Spin Linkup, Chambray

It's been a long time since I posted anything about clothes on the ol' blog.  I once was a faithful blogger who shared every week What I Wore outfits.  Those days seem long gone, not that anyone misses them anyway. ;)

Today on Instagram my friend Cameron shared this fun linkup.  It's focused on a specific trend--this week chambray.  When I saw the focus I remembered that I'd taken a few photos with my phone of two outfits wearing chambray.  I'm sure my DSLR would have taken much better photos, but this will have to do.  Sorry for the poor quality.  

Outfit #1
Pink shorts: Gap outlet
Sandals: Kenneth Cole Reaction purchased at DSW
Belt: Nordstrom Rack
Chambray shirt: Old Navy

Outfit #2
Skirt: Banana Republic outlet (new this year)
Layering tank: Old Navy
Chambray shirt is same from above.
*Question for anyone who reads this.  What other type of shirt or top would you wear with this skirt?  I love the skirt, but can't think of any other combo to wear it with.  Thanks!


Friday, June 21, 2013

InstaFriday {Let Summer Begin}

This InstaFriday has photos of everything we've been up to that I haven't had time to blog about.  I'll admit that I've become a slacker when it comes to the "phone dump" photo posts because most of my blog friends (and more and more of my real life friends) are following me on Instagram.  If you follow my Instagram feed then you probably know what we're up to each day.  I use it way more than Facebook or Twitter.  I'm at @redbirdblue here.

Let me begin with the end of May.  We had a picnic in the backyard for Memorial Day.

At the end of May,  I took a day off and went with Will on his kindergarten field trip to the Planetarium and park.

Each day Will rides the bus to the campus where we work and I meet him outside.  One of the best parts of my day is when I see that happy face.  

At the beginning of June, Ben turned 4 years old!  You can see more pics of all the fun we had at his Cars birthday party here.  

Field Day
We all had Field Day on the same day! 

 Mark and I played softball with the students.  It was really fun!

Last day of kindergarten!  I've yet to write a post about that special day.
*I feel as if I need to put a disclaimer on this photo.  Will is wearing his kindergarten t-shirt.  Please know we have nicer clothes and he would have worn something nicer for the last day assembly if it were up to me.  We got a note home that said the students were supposed to wear them.  Well, most of the students didn't wear them and it's not the greatest t-shirt in the world, but he wanted to wear it so we let him.  I would have much rather put him in a "church shirt", since I took a zillion photos that day.  Oh well, Mark told me to laugh it off and that the t-shirt isn't that bad.  He also said it only bothers me and he's right, ha!

You know we live in a small town and we still have 8th grade graduation.  Our niece graduated from 8th grade.  Congrats, Maggie!  The next night her brother graduated from high school.

The boys are looking so big here.  They are ready to see their cousin graduate.

My handsome boys and their handsome daddy. 

Love this photo of Max, Will, Ben and Mark.  Max was in the first grade when Mark and I started dating, and I feel like if I blink that the boys will be all grown up and graduating like Max.   We're so proud of Max! He's a great kid...young man ;)  Congratulations!  

Despite being busy we've still managed to find time to play in the backyard.  Ben's protecting the fort with his sword. 

Will's team ended up getting 3rd for the year in the tee-ball tournament.  Way to go, Will! 

Vacation Bible School
This year our theme was Circus of Faith.  Despite the hard work that goes into making VBS a success we love it.  I'm so thankful for our church and all the church members who support this good work.
I shared a few photos here.

As soon as VBS was over and we cleaned up, Mark and I headed to Dallas for a concert.  It was an early celebration of our anniversary which is about a week away.
I've written a post with lots of photos here.   We had a great time!

Can't forget Father's Day.  
I can't really put into words how lucky the boys and I are to have Mark.  He's a great father and amazing husband.  We love him!  (Even though they don't look happy in the photos, it was still a happy day.)

Ben on Father's Day.  We took Mark to Fuddrucker's to eat--very manly, ha! 

I'll end on a sweet note.
My in-law's have blackberries in their backyard and they are ripe for pickin'. The only problem is I like to eat about as many as I pick.

I made blackberry pie bars.  My favorite dessert is blackberry cobbler.  The blackberry pie bars are delicious but they don't top blackberry cobbler.

The finished product.  Delish!

So that takes us through the end of May until now.  
We're ready to relax and really enjoy summer vacation!

life rearranged

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Anniversary Getaway

Last year we celebrated our 10 year anniversary with a trip to Las Vegas.  Our anniversary is still a couple of weeks away, but we celebrated our 11th anniversary early this year with a local getaway.  Mark's parents watched the boys and we headed into Dallas.

On the agenda-- Sarah Jarosz concert and Pecan Lodge BBQ.

We stayed at the NYLO Dallas South Side which is located just across the street from South Side on Lamar.  It was definitely urban and hip for a couple of country bumpkins. ;)

A few pics inside the hotel and the view from the rooftop.

Inside our room.

Friday afternoon we walked around the area.  Our first stop was at Bill's.  We've only been to Bill's Records once before, but it was at a different location so this was my first time to see the store on Lamar.  My friend Kayreen in Seattle immediately came to mind when we went to Bill's.  Also my friends Lacy and Sara are huge vinyl collectors and appreciate places like Bill's.  We chatted with Bill for a bit.  The guy truly loves music.  We didn't have much time to kill before the concert and we didn't want to drive anywhere so we ate at Full Circle Tavern, which was right next door to Bill's.  The burgers were excellent.

The real reason we were even staying at the NYLO South Side was because one of our favorite musicians--Sarah Jarosz-- was playing a concert at Poor David's Pub just down the street.  Sarah is an extremely talented bluegrass singer-songwriter.  She has a beautiful voice and plays the mandolin, banjo and guitar.  She's obviously talented, but the lyrics to her songs are one of the things we appreciate most about her music.  Sarah played an amazing set.  She's young, only 21 or 22, but extremely gracious in concert.  She even posed for a photo with us after the show! 

We had amazing seats!  We were on the second row!  I know this photo is really blurry but I took it just to show how close we were.

The next morning we walked across the street to Opening Bell Coffee.  This coffee shop had the feel of coffee shops I remember when I lived in Seattle.  It was the best chai tea we've ever had.

Mark's been wanting to eat at Pecan Lodge a BBQ place located in the Dallas Farmers Market.  It was near  the area we were staying so that was where we had lunch.  It was a 2 hour wait in line.  Pecan Lodge serves until the food runs out.  They were already out of sausage when we got to the front of the line (we were disappointed), and Mark was the last person to get ribs.  I got brisket and pulled pork with a side of beans.  Mark got pork ribs and brisket with a side of mac 'n cheese.  They threw in a free cookie because the serving of pork ribs was a little small.  I have to admit that it was worth the wait in line.  Everything was delicious.

We couldn't finish all the food so we took home leftovers.  It was just as good reheated.

Happy Father's Day to Mark!

The most RANDOM thing happened while we were waiting in line.  I ran into an old friend and college roommate Connie.  It's been years since we've seen each other.  What are the chances that we'd be in the same line for BBQ!?!  It was really good to see her and catch up.

My eyes were bigger than my stomach.  I wanted to buy one of everything at the Farmers Market.  Mark had to stop me, ha!

We always love spending time together, but it's always good to get home to these guys.

Monday, June 17, 2013


Crawfish Boil April 2013
Top Left: Clay, Jennifer and Aubree; Andy; the farm; Will and Ben; me and Laine; the crawfish
I've put off writing this blog post for many reasons.  There are really no words to express the sadness everyone has felt since Clay passed away.  Clay lost his battle with cancer on June 6, 2013.  It's been about 18 months since I shared much about Clay and his diagnosis.  You can read more here, here, here, and here.   
Clay is my cousin.  He was a very special person.  He had a great smile and was truly a nice guy.  His parents are Patsy and Bill. Clay's brother is Andy and his sister is Laine.  Andy and Clay are farmers and co-owners of a farm in east Texas.  They were as close as any brothers I've ever seen.  They worked together and had a tight-knit group of friends who hunted and fished together.  Laine was a few years younger, but their bond was so special.  Clay's wife is Jennifer and their sweet daughter is Aubree.  Mark and I were so impressed with Jennifer and how she stayed by Clay's side through it all unwavering in love and devotion. 
I understand the cycle of life, and I know what heartache comes with the passing of a loved one.  My heart was broken when Papa Ralph passed away, but it was a different feeling with Clay.  Papa was 95 and it was his time.  Clay was 37, and it's too young to let someone go.  This is the first time I've had a family member pass away that was so young.  It just doesn't make sense.  To know that nothing will ever be the same for those closest to Clay is hard to accept.  There's a void.  There's something missing.  It's Clay--a life unfinished.
I don't believe everything happens for a reason.  I do believe God is always in control.  I don't think those two statements contradict each other. 
Maybe with time things will make more sense or maybe they won't. 
Please remember Clay's wife and daughter, his parents, brother and sister, and his many close friends as they continue to grieve the loss of such a special person.  My heart is heavy for them.
Psalm 144:4
Man is like a breath;
    his days are like a passing shadow.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy!

I have so many things I want to share on my blog.  Most of them are happy, but some are terribly sad.  There will be time in the near future for me to sit down and write it all out.  Until then, here are two photos of what we've been up to this week.  We're having Vacation Bible School or VBS at our church.  Mark and I help coordinate and organize all the activities for the week.  We LOVE it!  We're super busy (and exhausted), but we know it's a good work.
My 3 favorite people in the whole wide world right here!
We transformed our auditorium into a circus for our "Circus of Faith" theme.  Fun! 


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