Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What's Up Wednesday {May 2015}

I haven't done a blog link up in a very long time.  When I saw that Mel at the Larson Lingo and her friends {Sheaffer & Shay} started a new link up called What's Up Wednesday I thought I'd join in the fun.  Mel was one of the first blog friends I made 5 years ago when I started blogging.  Link ups are a great way to meet other bloggers with similar interest.  It's also good to get you out of a blog slump like I've been in.  Here are the questions with one bonus at the end that changes each month.

What we're eating...
This question is probably about what I've been cooking at home, but this is the first food photo I came across so this is what ya get.  Mark's mom keeps the boys every Wednesday and it gives me and Mark a chance to sneak off for a mid-week date.  If it's left up to me to choose, then I'm going to pick my favorite Tex-Mex place every time.  Give me all the chips and salsa!

What I'm reminiscing about...
Ben is turning 6 at the beginning of June.  How did that happen?  No, seriously, how???  He's my baby, and it's hard to believe that he was born 6 years ago.  This photo was taken in August 2009 and Ben was just a couple of months old.  Will was only two and a half.  My goodness, they were so little and so sweet!

What I'm loving...
The boys in their Sunday clothes.  I took this photo after church on Easter Sunday.  Luckily they are indifferent about most clothing choices so that makes it easy for me.  I convinced Mark to let me buy these pants that are just a tad on the skinny side.  Mark isn't really a skinny jeans type of guy so that's why I said I convinced him.  These outfits have ended up being one of my favorite things for spring.

What we've been up to...
House planning, house planning, and more house planning.  
I feel like it's all I think about in my downtime.  If you are new to this blog because of the link up, we are in the process of building a new home.  It's a new/old farmhouse on some land we own in the country.  I don't think I've ever shared this photo on the blog.  It was taken at the beginning of this month.  This was when there were a few days of sunshine and the bulldozer was at the land getting the house pad dirt work done. That was an exciting few days watching all of the progress.  I can't believe we were fortunate enough have that small window of sunshine.  The boys had the best time running around and playing on the piles of dirt.  Due to the abnormal amount of rain this spring we are at a standstill with moving forward, but we aren't discouraged.  We know that it will eventually stop raining and construction will begin.  For now we will wait and make plans.

What I'm dreading...
House planning, house planning, house planning.  I put that for what we've been up to, but I'm overwhelmed with all of the decisions we will be making.  Since it's a custom home we have the blessing and burden of making all of the decisions.  If you've ever built a home, then you sympathize with me when I say that I've had dreams at night about light fixtures and sink faucets.
I even used social media to help me on a decision about light fixtures in our master bathroom.  These were some options I've been considering. 

What I'm working on...
Ben's birthday party is next week so I'm working on getting all of the party supplies ready for that. There are giant handmade Creeper boxes in my living room at this moment.  I still have more decorations to make.  It's fun to plan and organize and then it's fun when it's all over. 

What I'm excited about...
My teacher BFF, Kacie, and I have started working out again.  She and I went for a run recently.  It's never fun in the moment, but we are always glad we got it over with.  It's good to have someone to keep you accountable.

What I'm watching/reading...
I did the lazy screen shot of the kindle app on my phone.  I just finished Emily Giffin's The One & Only.  It's different than her other books, but I still enjoyed it.  Maybe it's because it was set in Texas, mentioned places in Dallas, and focused on football.  

What I'm listening to...
Guess what?  You get another lazy screen shot of my iTunes radio stations.  Do y'all do Pandora, Spotify or iTunes radio?  I like iTunes Radio and I've customized it to play a lot of my favorite songs.  Here are a few of the channels I'm enjoying.  I also like the Regina Spektor station and Avett Brothers station.

What I'm wearing...
I haven't done a WIWW post and linked up to the Pleated Poppy in almost a year or possibly longer.  I can't believe I used to keep up with that every week.  I should start it up again.  It's great motivation to put more thought and effort into my outfits.
This is the only recent photo I found that could be close to a WIW.
Top: Anthropologie (the back is beautiful with a floral design but you can't see it from this angle)
Jeans: Boyfriend jeans from the Gap outlet (they are my new favorite)
My favorite summer shoes are leather flip flops from Gap with a thin strap.  I have them in black, silver, gold, and I saw a tan pair and orange pair I might need to purchase.

I don't have these, but I'd like to be wearing them.  I see cute outfits all over Pinterest with similar Air Pegasus Nikes. 

What I'm doing this weekend...
Cleaning the house and getting ready for Ben's 6th birthday party next weekend.  The theme is Minecraft.  Let's hope for sunny weather.  We plan to have lots of friends and family over and our house is cozy (AKA small).  I'm hoping we can all stay outside and hang out if the weather permits.  

What I'm looking forward to next month...
Summer Vacation!!!
The boys' last day of school is June 4th.  School is out for us on June 5th (because we're teachers and have an extra day of in-service).  Mark and I love having a long break from school to rest.  It's awesome to spend that time with our boys.  We normally have a busy summer and a big road trip.  This summer will look different for us.  We are going to keep things simple and not commit to a lot.
One of the biggest things that will be different is that we don't have a road trip planned this year.  Shocking, I know!  We've taken one almost every year except when Ben was born.  Instead of a vacation in 2009 we had a new baby.  Last year we had an incredible time on our summer road trip of 2014.

Here are the stats from that road trip that I cut and pasted from the first blog post I wrote when we got home...

Here's our road trip in numbers.
5, 515 miles
16 days on the road
14 states
5 National Parks
3 Rangers baseball games
2 National Monuments
1 day at Disneyland
Countless memories
4 people who are happy to be home

It's okay with me that we are staying at home this summer because we'll be busy with the new house.  We have a short road trip to Houston planned to see the Rangers play the Astros and visit NASA's Johnson Space Center.  We might even take a short trip to Palo Duro Canyon in the Texas Panhandle at some point.  Both of those are in Texas though and nothing close to the cross country journey we did last year. 

What is your favorite thing to grill/BBQ?
When I first joined the blogging community I stumbled upon Fly Through Our Window and Darby shared this recipe for Asian Flank Steak.  It's still a favorite for me and Mark.

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 rain 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, Legos, 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.  


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