Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Happiness is...

Happiness is my boys saying silly things.

Last week I celebrated my 38th birthday.  Mark and I were discussing buying something I wanted for my birthday, and Will overheard us.  When he heard our discussion, he chimed in and said, "Yes, you should buy it! Buy whatever you want because it's your birthday."  How cute and funny is that?  He's got a generous heart, especially since he doesn't have to pay for the gift.

On Saturday morning I usually buy donuts at the local donut shop.  It's not something I have time to do during the week so it's our special weekend treat.  When I woke up Saturday morning, I rested on the couch while the boys watched TV.  Once I was fully awake, I asked them if they wanted me to get donuts, and Ben's reply was priceless.  He dramatically said, "Yes!!!  I thought you'd never ask!."  I thought it was so cute that I had to write it down.

Here are a few pics from my birthday.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

38 Reasons to be Thankful

Today's my 38th birthday!

I can remember turning 16, 18, and 21, and now here I am turning 38.  In the past I've shared lists of random facts about myself on my birthday. {Here they are when I turned 33, 34 ,and 36.}  I don't have a list of random facts this year.  It gets more difficult each year to come up with something original for those types of blog posts so instead of spending time on that, I decided to list 38 things I'm thankful for.  

38 Reason to be Thankful on my 38th Birthday

1. Y'all know my faith is important to me.  All of the blessings in my life that I'm undeserving of are a gift from God.  I'm grateful for God's grace, patience, and forgiveness and the love and sacrifice of Jesus.  I'm thankful for the Bible to guide and direct us.

2. My husband--Mark and his unconditional love.  He makes me a better person and God knew I needed him.  He's handsome, intelligent, humble, funny, and always up for an adventure.  Mark is the love of my life and my best friend.

3. My precious boys--Will and Ben, they are my purpose and make me want to be a better person.  I'm the luckiest to get to be their mommy.

4.  My grandparents--Being raised in a Christian home by people who set an example of faith and honored God in their lives

5. My extended family--my in-laws, brothers, sister, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, nieces and nephews, and cousins

6. My health and the health of my family

7. Being a teacher-- Having a job where I see my husband often and my children have the same schedule

8. Living in a country where we are safe

9. Friends--ladies who get me and make life fun

10. Our home and the new home we are fortunate to be building

11. Social media and the relationships built through it

12.  The teachers who help educate my children

13.  Bible class teachers at our church who help teach our children God's word

14. All of our travel memories.  Some of the best moments in my life have been spent on trips with my family.  

15. Going through hard times because it's made me appreciate the good times that much more

16.  Being raised in a small town because it's made me value the simple things in life

17. Having the opportunity to live in a big city and travel to big cities because it's shown me there's a lot more out there

18. The ability to attend ETBU and graduate from Texas A&M

19. Imperfections because they keep me humble

The first half was serious, and I could only think of so many meaningful things.  The next part of the list includes things I'm definitely appreciative of but they are also things I could live without. 

20. Tex Mex

21. Makeup and good hair products

22.  Social media because it's a distraction from life

23.  Freezer meals on a weeknight when I'm tired and don't want to cook

24. Cherry limeades from Sonic or Dairy Queen

25. Good music

26. Romantic comedies--chick flick movies

27. Getting a good deal when I'm shopping

28. Netflix

29. Pinterest

30. Candles that smell good

31. Coffee and tea

32. Whole Foods and Trader Joe's

33.  A clean house

34.  Photos--professional, from my iPhone, my DSLR and any others,  I love photos of places we've been and photos of my family!

35.  Cooler weather when we've suffered through the heat of summer.  Fall is my favorite season.

36. A good book

37.  Cardigans and scarves

and last but not least

38. Being surrounded by an abundance of love

Monday, September 7, 2015

Summer 2015

It's Labor Day and sweet, sweet summertime 2015 has come to an end.  As usual, I didn't keep the blogging schedule I intended to during the summer.  Instead of sitting in front of the computer writing about the memories we were making, I lived in the moment and enjoyed being with family and friends.  Of course, being in the moment for me includes taking photos so I have a reminder of the good times.

It was an awesome summer, and like summers always do, it went by too fast.  It felt different than summers before it because we didn't take a big road trip cross country.  Instead we took a few short road trips around the great state of Texas.  We spent time with family and friends.  We made plans for our new home.  We had some home improvement projects that we completed for our current home.  All those things kept us busy and summer was here and gone before we knew it.

Get comfortable because there are A LOT of photos!


The boys completed their little league baseball and tee-ball.

We stayed inside a lot because of the heat and they made up their own games.  This involved a balloon and sword but they are playing baseball in the living room. 

Road trip to the Texas Panhandle with Mamaw and Papaw.

Palo Duro Canyon State Park
(more photos from that trip here)

Father's Day
Best daddy ever!
My boys are lucky to have such a good man to love our family and lead us.

Let's go Rangers!
Our first Rangers game of the summer.

My favorite movie of the summer was Inside Out.  I even liked it better than Minions.

Celebrating birthdays with friends--two in one day.  This was the first party to celebrate the first birthday of a sweet little girl.
How cute is that chalkboard?  My friend Jourdan is so talented.

Party number two
Birthday fun continued...
The boys were super excited when they saw that Ty's party was at the bowling alley.

Shopping for the new house--I refer to this store as the mothership.

Just because I like these two in their Sunday church clothes I needed a photo of them.

Our 13th anniversary 
We celebrated with lunch at Mexican Sugar and then we spent the day together hanging out.
I know I say this every year, but being married gets better and better.  I couldn't ask for more, and I'm thankful to have Mark by my side.  Life isn't perfect, but we are lucky to have each other through it all.  He's my best friend.

Swim lessons

Looking at local baseball history

Serious game face
We played a lot of Jenga and Uno this summer.

Swimming, swimming and more swimming

Our last minute decision to put up our swimming pool.
Who needs it to be full of water for it to be fun?


More progress on the new house.
In the background you can see the utility poles for electricity.

Minecraft on the iPad in the morning

Will really picked it up this year at swim lessons and could swim the length of the pool and back.
We are very proud!

We went to First Monday Trade Days at Canton at the beginning of July.  It was hot, but the boys were troopers.  It also helped to have a snow cone break. We didn't buy anything for the house, but I saw several things I'd like to go back and get once we are moved in and I have a better idea of what we'll need.

Taking a break at Paul Michael in Canton

We had a sweet little visitor this summer. I think she made the boys laugh.

Our niece and nephew were in Hello, Dolly! and it was such a great show.
I was so impressed with the production.

Our nieces Lizzie and Emily with Will and Ben.
Lizzie helped out backstage and Emily had several parts in the show.

This kid always has to have his sunglasses on when he's outside.
This summer Will, Ben and Mark played baseball in the pool almost every night.  Mark would pitch and the boys would use these little paddles as the bat. They had elaborate rules set up that I didn't understand but it made sense to them and that's what matters.

Happy 4th!

No better way to beat the heat than in the swimming pool.

The only thing about early morning appointments in the city that's fun is getting to stop by Dunkin' Donuts for breakfast.

Will's tooth continues to stay stable.  He is not in need of a root canal at this time.  We will have to continue to monitor it but we are okay with the diagnosis because a year ago we didn't even know if we could save his tooth.

During the summer we would have to check on the location of the new house ever so often.  Sometimes I like to walk around the house pad and imagine where the rooms will be and what it will look like when it is built.  When the house is complete, the view from my kitchen window will look out at this.  I can't wait until we live there and I can look out that window and see the boys playing in the backyard.  Maybe we'll need to hang a tire swing from that tree.

Ben is trying to make fire.  Castaway was on TV one night when we were flipping through the channels.  We didn't let them watch all of it, but it was on the part where Tom Hanks washed ashore on the island and was trying to make fire. Ben was inspired.

Visiting family in Tyler
(more pics here)

Cleaning out the attic and getting the house ready to sell
Can you say overwhelmed?

One of the best unplanned moments at summer was at Luckenbach, Texas.
(more photos here from our Texas Hill Country adventure)

Ben and his green goggles

When it's too hot outside to play, We like to compete against each other at Wii golf.
I'm afraid we're not going to make the cut for the PGA tour.

While working at the land, I saw my first copperhead snake.  Yikes!
It was at a distance, but I knew what it was immediately when I saw it slither into a hole.

We got to spend some quality time with family this summer that we usually don't see.
Here are the boys and their cousins, Sam and Harper.

We celebrated Mark's 42nd birthday at Babe's Chicken in Frisco.
The boys were excited to celebrate with us.  Sometimes we leave them with mamaw and papaw and we have a grownups' night out, but this year we decided to make it a family date.  It was a fun day!

Our annual teacher shopping trip--Alichia, Kacie and Angie are the best!

Ben's replaced Will as the Lego enthusiast of our home.
Ben got several Lego sets for his birthday at the beginning of summer and they have kept him busy,

More family fun
Our family from Virginia visited and we had a wonderful time hanging out and letting the kiddos bowl.  My sweet nieces were so much fun!  Our boys love to bowl so getting to bowl with cousins was just that much more fun.

The boys read during the school year to earn a free ticket to Six Flags and we've never used the tickets.  This year we promised to take the boys and we finally got around to it.  It was hot, but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  Will likes the roller coasters and would ride almost anything.  It took a little more encouragement for us to get Ben on some of the rides.  He was brave and got on them.  We assured him that he wouldn't be allowed if he didn't meet the height requirements.

We rode the Mine train several times.

The water helped us stay cool

Ben said he prayed while we were on this one, ha!

The Justice League 4D interactive ride was my favorite. 

I love Will's attitude.  He was up for anything.


Angela was in Dallas for a convention and we got to meet up for a few hours.  I took her to Nebraska Furniture Mark to pick her brain about things for the new house.  I had a great time eating lunch with her and Heather.

I mentioned we had a few DIY projects this summer.  One project was painting the exterior trim of our home.  Mark and I are good at painting but just don't look at us when we are finished.

Another local thing we had always wanted to do was go to the Perot Museum.
Since Mark and I are teachers our admission is free.  The boys liked it so I think we'll definitely go back there this fall or winter.

Look at Ben's face because he's pretending the dinosaur is chasing him.

Local junking at the flea market and I scored this milk glass bowl for $1!

I've been bad about doing What I Wore so here's an outfit I took pics of.
White jeans (Kut) and scarf: Nordstrom Rack
Gray top: Gap outlet
Cuff: Anthropologie
Sandals: DSW
Ring: Sundance

Title of this photo: "House of boys"
Second runner-up: "Boy mom"

When we stop by the land to check on things it makes me ready to live there.  Seeing it at sunset gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling.

Yep, we still love Minecraft.

RIP Sully the fish.
He was quickly replaced by another Beta from Petco named Jay (after the blue ninja on Ninjago).
Side note: Please don't judge the cleanliness of the fish bowl.

New Bible for our children's Bible class at church.  It is a sweet sight to see little ones with an open Bible in front of them reading and studying God's word. Psalm 119:105

Everything but the kitchen sink...
So, here's my sink saga.
I really wanted the Rohl Shaws farmhouse sink.  I even went to the showroom to see one.  I emailed friends who had them all sorts of detailed questions about the sink and they assured me they are wonderful.  But...I just couldn't go with it in the end.  There were several factors that have led me to go with the Kohler Whitehaven that is also a farmhouse style.  The number one factor is price, but also the concerns I had about it being fireclay, the customized fit it would have to my cabinets and counter tops, the installation, the cost of the bridge faucet to go with it are just a few.  I've decided on the Kohler Artifacts faucet to go with the Whitehaven  and it has a pullout spray and high arch (see photo below).  It's not the Shaws sink and Rohl Perrin and Rowe bridge faucet I had on my wishlist but the more we get into this project the more I understand compromise and being practical.  I'm still happy and very content with the Kohler and I think it will look amazing and have the farmhouse look we are going for overall.

I haven't removed soapstone for the kitchen counters from my wishlist.

The house stuff is stressful but spending time with these two never is.

Ben lost his first tooth!
  I think I'm going to need to dedicate an entire blog post to this.  It's a big deal.

Speaking of big deals!
We now have a terrific third grader and a fantastic first grader!
Here are the boys at Meet the Teacher

Will is in 3rd grade!

Ben is in 1st grade!

Our new favorite restaurant because everyone gets exactly what they want.

Our newest obsession is baseball cards for Will and football cards for Ben.
They are their father's sons.

First day of school eve...

First day of school 2015-2016
I love first day photos.  It captures all of the excitement and anticipation of what the new school year holds--fun, friends, learning, challenges, growing, and adventure.

Also the reality of the first day for me is that I'm bone-tired after being on my feet all day.  I always refer to it as "teacher tired".  My teacher friends can relate and sympathize.  

Second day of school photo because we didn't get one on the first day.  They were all smiles so I'm pretty confident it's going to be a great school year!

I'll leave y'all with one of my favorite passages of scriptures from this summer.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18

If you've made it to the end of this massive blog post, thank you!  You're a good friend!  Thanks for letting me share our summer memories with you.


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