Life in Rewind: Auntie Barb Visits

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

About a month ago, Auntie Barb flew into town for one of her two annual visits (so super cool by the way that she comes to see us twice a year!) and like always we had a blast.  We crammed a lot of activities into the three days that she was here.

However, unlike other visits, this one wasn't nearly as chaotic.  Now don't get me wrong, we still did a lot, but it wasn't a constant on the go like other trips.  Rather, it was just a lot of little things and hanging out.  Which was awesome.

So here's a quick recap -- based solely on the pictures from my phone, which sadly aren't a lot as Auntie Barb loves to take pictures, so I readily hand over that responsibility to her.  The best part about it...when she gets home she prints out the pictures and sends us the best ones!  Such a great treat especially in this electronic driven world!


The morning started out pretty "lazily" doing various Target $1 Section crafts.  The biggest hit was the shrinky art. I remember seeing this as a kid, but haven't seen it in ages.  Definite winner and I would have stocked up on my next trip, but it must have been a popular item as I've never found them again!

Coloring with Auntie
Pre-shrunk Art

Watching them shrink 

After finally changing out of our PJ's, we actually headed north to the Texas Tulip Farm.  Y'all this place was amazing...even though it was the last weekend that they were open.  Basically, its a huge former-ranch that just has rows and rows of you-pick-them-tulips.  The girls had a blast and I was in heaven being surrounded by tulips.  My only tip would be to go earlier in the season as the pickable worthy tulips were slightly slim picking.

Oh and limit how many tulips your kids can pick.  At $2.50/tulip, the final bill gets big.  And quickly!

Littlest Miss picking her tulips.  Sshhh...don't tell anyone, but she may have broken more tulips then she successfully picked.

Little Miss picking hers.  This kid was a pro.  I should have just let her pick them all and not gotten my hands muddy.

Some of our pretty loot. 

This may have been their favorite part...muddy puddles.  In true Peppa fashion, the girls definitely jumped in them. several times.

Taking their goodies to the car

After tulip picking it was off to see Beauty and the Beast (so good!).  Even the girls loved it.  So much so that Belle has overthrown Aerial as the favorite princess in our house.  Thankfully, because I knew the story, we snuck out to get popcorn during the "war" at the end and avoided some of the scarier parts. 

We then headed home, where we hung out with Grandma and Grandpa and relaxed the rest of the night at home with pizza and wine


Typical Saturday morning of gymnastics and donuts followed by the annual Blue Bonnet pictures.  If you are in Texas in the spring, its a must-do-Texas tradition.  The only glitch this year was that someone had told Little Miss that snakes like to hide in the flowers so she wasn't too terribly keen on sitting in the flowers for her pictures.  
Thankfully, we got a couple of good ones.

Since it was March Madness, we spent the rest of hanging out at the house, watching basketball, grilling and drinking more wine.  Did you pick up on the trend there?  Us girls definitely like our wine.

Speaking of grilling, we made this chicken -- which I found while flipping through a magazine earlier that day.  So, so, so good.  I may just have to make it again this weekend! 


After church, it was time for our shopping outing!  We didn't end up buying very much stuff, but never the less it was still fun to wander around the town center, play and chat.  Plus, since I updated my phone to the iPhone 7, it gave me a good opportunity to play around with some of the new features (i.e. the updated camera).  Sadly, though, I only snapped a handful of them as I was busy pushing the stroller.  I am really curious if the pictures are that much better!

We wrapped up the trip with a yummy dinner at Del Frisco's Grille followed by popsicles at Steel City Pops.

Such a great weekend!  Auntie Barbara visits are always some of our favorites!

Oh Hoppy Days

Monday, April 17, 2017

I hope everyone had as great of a Easter Weekend as we did!

We kicked off the weekend celebration Saturday night by decorating some eggs -- and trying two new "techniques" that I found on Pinterest -- koolaid eggs and shaving cream eggs. 

The girls had a blast -- although I am not sure I'd recommend the shaving cream eggs.  They were a lot (and I mean A LOT) messier than I anticipated (I was convinced that despite wearing the gloves the girls hands were going to be stained for days!) and didn't turn out nearly as pretty as those on Pinterest.

After eggs, it was off to bed with hopes that the Easter Bunny would make a visit to our house.  Pretty sure he came early this year (as in by 9 PM)!

Thank goodness for the Target Dollar Section -- the girls got a lot of gardening stuff (gloves, hat, shovels, and plants), a new bug net and bug box, a water bottle, a book, a new swimsuit, bubbles, some peeps and a Lindt chocolate bunny.  And clearly they were pretty excited about their loot...

It didn't take them long to examine all of their goods and head outside to find the eggs...

Let the hunting begin...

Afterwards, we gobbled down some breakfast and headed to church (thank goodness for sweet friends who made room for us in the front row!).  Such a great service, with a great message -- don't put a period where God puts a comma -- followed by the annual signing of "Happy Days" by my favorite signer at Church.

Once home, we opened our gifts from Papa (kites!) and tried desperately to fly them.  Unfortunately for us, our normally very windy backyard had absolutely no wind yesterday so kite flying wasn't overly successful. 

So we headed back inside for some lunch, bunnies and rest before heading over to our neighbors for an Easter dinner.

It was great celebrating with friends who are becoming family.  So blessed to have such amazing neighbors.  Dinner was delish and my desert looked cute even if the brownies were a tad bit chewy.

So all in all, it was a great Easter.  So thankful for all of our blessings and the fact that Jesus rose from the grave and lived for us.  Hope y'all had a great Easter as well...

Happy Easter

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

Hopefully, you get to spend the day with friends and family, but no matter where you are or who you with, hopefully you are celebrating!

Five on Fridays: Recent Finds

Friday, April 14, 2017

Social media seems to be everywhere now a days.  I mean, seriously, you are reading my blog that's really just about our family :)

But for real, whether its the latest instagram account, blog, podcast, twitter account, you name it, it's everywhere.  And sometimes finding the gems can be difficult, especially when time (and sometimes patience) is limited.

So not that I am an expert or anything, but I thought for this week's Five on Friday, I'd summarize some of my recent social media gems:

1. Modish Mel

So this blog is brand new.  As in just kicked off this week.  And to say I've been looking forward to it is an understatement. 

See Melissa is my neighbor and not only is she a super sweet, down-to-earth momma of two, but has been teasing us with amazing instagram photos for probably two months now. 

Looking for fashion tips, workout tips, mommy tips from a real person, please check her out!

And Mel, can you please give me a crash course in photography?!?!?

2. Motherlucker

I stumbled on this blog completely randomly as I (or I should say Little Miss and Littlest Miss) am member of Rockets of Awesome and every once and awhile, I actually open the emails that they send me.

This weeks email was titled "A genius idea that makes your nightly routine FUN."  Bed time SUCKS in our house.  Seriously, but this is another post.  And even though I don't recall what the genius idea was, I did open the email and actually clicked on the link.  And whatever I clicked on (or after multiple clicks, as I seriously cannot remember), I found this blog.


In love. 

I seriously can't wait to find some free time and just catch up on everything.

3. The Happy Hour with Shannon and Dee

This was one of the first podcasts I've ever listened to (well this or # 4).  See until recently, I had no clue about podcasts.  Never had listened to one.  Never had any intention of listening to one.  So I really don't know what happened.

But one day, I was looking at a post in one of my many facebook page groups and someone mentioned the Happy Hour podcast.  Something stirred inside of me.  So I googled.  And found two. I wasn't sure which it was so I listened to both...and loved them both...

This podcast is all about living an intentional life.  Amen.

Each podcast has some nugget of truth in it that just resonates with me.  I don't know exactly what it is about this podcast, but I seriously cannot wait for a new one to be released each week.  On days that I get to listen to Shannon and Dee on my way home, I am just happy. 

Plus, I am pretty sure I'd love to be friends with both of them. 

4. The Happy Hour

See # 3.  That's how I found this one as well.  I am not sure which one I love more...but I love them for different reasons. 

Jamie's podcasts literally feel like you are sitting in a coffee shop (or wine bar) with one of your besties just chatting.  Only each one of these women is truly amazing.  As in they do awesome, spiritual, Christian things. 

I don't necessarily learn much here, but it does make me want to be a better everything.  Amen to that. 

Plus, its super great that there are two new ones a week PLUS almost three years of archived podcasts.  Bye-bye to trashy radio on my drives home!

5. Younghouse Love (The Podcast)

This one is just fun.  I've followed Sherry and John for years, mainly on their blog and may have been a bit sad when they decided to slow down the blog posting in favor of other priorities (aka family, books, life).  I even have both of their books on display in my bookcase in the living room. 

So it's really cool to listen to their weekly podcasts.  Really makes you feel like you know them, right?

But no, for real, it's great to get their advice/thoughts on the latest housing and design trends (this last week they discussed open floor plans and whether they were done -- which really made me want to close off the second story of our living room) as well as to learn about their favorite products that they are currently digging.

They post a new podcast maybe once a week and each lasts about a half hour.  So again, great filler for those sometimes long drives home.

And that's it.  I am sure there is more social media I am digging now, but in light of Five on Friday's I'll stop with that...

...but what about you, anything I should check out?

Life in Rewind: Paso Robles

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Back to trying to catch up on what we've been up to lately.

It seems as though we always have visitors at our house, which we love, but truly its really nice to get away sometimes.  Especially to a place that they make your bed for you every morning and your kids can't crawl into bed with you.

Thankfully, Papa came down back in February for almost two weeks so the Husband and I could get a much needed parents only vacay.

Like most of these trips, we headed out to California.  And of course used the Husband's miles to book first class tickets and enjoyed comfy chairs, a decent breakfast, and the coordinating drinks.

Once we landed, we hopped in the rental car and hit the road -- only this time, we weren't going North to Napa or Sonoma, we went South...

...and drove the Hwy 1 along the coast making various pit stops along the way.

Until we got to our destination for the first two nights -- Carmel by the Sea.  Once we checked in, we grabbed a glass (or two) of wine at the hotel happy hour, played a bit of backgammon (after re-learning how to play) and then headed out for dinner.  As it was already dark before we left and we both were a bit clueless about our whereabouts, we got about a block away before deciding to circle back and just eat at the restaurant attached to our hotel.

We woke up fairly early the next morning, grabbed a quick breakfast in the lobby and then headed out for a hike.  We had originally hopped to head to some of the many trails in Carmel by the Sea, but sadly because of all the recent rain, we learned that many of them were closed.  Thus, we took the opportunity to wander around the town and along the coast, and even though it wasn't what we'd initially planned, we weren't disappointed.

One "benefit" of having a change of plans was that we suddenly had additional time to fill so we headed into Monterey and went whale watching. 

Overall, it was a super cool experience -- but would have been slightly better had it not been freezing and had I had one less glass of wine the night before.

Speaking of wine, after showering, we quickly hit the Carmel Walking Wine tour and tasted some surprisingly yummy wines!

And after tasting at four wineries, we realized that we hadn't eaten anything and since it was just before 4, we headed out to Clint Eastwood's restaurant for yet-another-drink and some appetizers.

Can't complain about the view, can you?

Then it was off to dinner and an early night to bed! 

We woke up the next morning and decided to wander around again before leaving town.  This time we wandered onto Pebble Beach Golf Course.  Not sure if we were suppose to be here or not (my guess is no) but the Husband was super excited to say that he's been on the course and get his picture snapped!

We then walked the beach again and this crazy many actually went into the frigid water. 

And after our walk, we packed our stuff up and loaded into the car to drive even further south to Paso Robles.  We had initially planned to drive Hwy 1 the whole way, but just like the hike plans, this was derailed because of all the rain.  Total disappointment, but guess we'll just have to come back!

Day 1 in Paso was spent trying wine at Justin and Dauo wineries and then a yummy dinner right in town. Sadly, I didn't get any pictures of this day!

The next morning we got up fairly early and headed out to Cambria for an actual hike!

We made it to the end (let's be honest, other than the muddy puddles it was fairly easy) and would have stayed a bit longer, but for as the Husband was about to climb down the rocks and get a picture closer to the water, he realized that he lost his phone somewhere along the trail.  So we quickly headed back and luckily found it pretty close to where we began and only inches from a muddy puddle.

Although we would have loved to have hiked more, we really didn't want to waste anymore time so off to the wineries we went -- first stops included Epoch and Thatcher before stopping at Opolo.

We had initially planned on stopping in, getting a glass of wine and some pizza and then heading back to the hotel to change.  However, because of construction, we found the tasting bar before we found the pizza...and needless to say, we didn't have any pizza and had way more pours than what's on the standard tasting menu.  Clearly, we joined the club as this may have been our favorite stop of the day, if not the trip.

After a quick shower, we hopped in an uber and did a few more tastings.  The first was at Turley (where we are already members) followed by Niner.  At this point, we were both done with wine tasting, tired, and ready to see our babies.

Overall, it was  a great trip and we'll definitely be back.  And we are so blessed and grateful that Papa is able to come and spend the time not only with us, but with the girls!