A space of my own

When we bought this house, I got very excited about all of the exciting possibilities the front office held.  I thought maybe it could be a studio someday but I’m not a huge fan of studio work so scratched that.  We decided to leave it an office for the time being but I had visions dancing through my head of a craft room as well.  5 months later, it had become more of a storage room for boxes I didn’t feel like dealing with at the time.  Our computer desk and filing cabinet were in there as well as some cube shelving that I needed to organize but had yet to find the time or desire to do so.  This week, I decided it was time for me to begin scrapbooking photos from our Disney World trip.  I began to rummage through boxes looking for paper, stickers, and trimmers but I soon became overwhelmed with the disorganization of it all.  I decided it was time to whip this space into shape once and for all.  So my friends, I began a 3 day extensive overhaul of this small room  to turn it into something fun and colorful yet inspirational and functional at the same time.  If you know me at all, you know I would rather spend a fortune on designer shoes, handbags, and children’s clothing than expensive home decor.  I get bored easily and I like knowing I can change the look of something on a whim and not worry about how much I spent on it.  Welcome to my new office and craft space.  Come on in and have a look around!

IMG_0412

I wasn’t even sure where to begin with this huge project but I knew I needed a craft desk to be the heart of the room.  A place where I could spread out whatever crafty project I was working on at the time and not worry about having to move it out of the way to eat or something like my current workspace (the kitchen table).  Years ago, before I married Dave, I did cakes out of my tiny apartment.  I needed more counter top space and so I built some using cube shelves and plywood.  I had seen this done on a larger scale many times on pinterest so figured it was probably my best bet.  This way I could make it the perfect size for my space and store craft supplies in the sides.  I moseyed on over to my friendly local Target and picked up two 9 cube shelving units.  These are super affordable normally but I was pleasantly surprised to find 2 on clearance for only $25.88 each!  They were easily enough assembled with detailed instructions and I probably only spent about 30 mins on both of them using only a screwdriver and a hammer!  I spaced them apart accordingly and then measured for the top.  At home depot I decided on a smooth piece of plywood for around $25 as well and had them cut it to a 3×5 tabletop for me.  I had to purchase the whole sheet so still have leftover wood for a future project!  I purchased black paint for the top to match the shelves but haven’t yet completed that task!

picstitch

 

I also knew I wanted easy access to my stickers, pens, ribbons, and other craft supplies and I thought pegboard would be a great option.  Craft stores sell pegboard and accessories specifically made for craft supplies but I wasn’t fond of the price tag on those!  Instead, while at Home Depot, I snagged 3 sheets of plain pegboard at $7.97 each.  I asked an employee to cut one of the sheets in half for me to fit a thinner space and they did so at no extra charge.  I also stocked up on pegboard accessories while there.  Each long peg was about 90 cents and then I purchased a package of baskets (2) for $9.99, and 2 packages of mixed hooks (probably about 15 per pkg) for under $4.  The assorted hooks and pegs also came with screws to mount the pegboards to the wall!  I swiped some colored paint samples from the paint section for under $2 each while I was there because who likes boring ole white pegboards?  I painted them with a small roller brush made for trim without incident.

IMG_0411

 

Then came the fun part of filling the pegs and organized my goodies!

IMG_0406IMG_0407

The little pails I actually stole from my children’s playroom closet.  They were from Easter or other holidays mostly purchased in the dollar spot at Target.  We later found some others at Michael’s as well for more storage fun!  I used the thinner cut pegboard to designate a special “kids section” of crafty supplies and goodies they’re actually allowed to touch.  I used the other half as a gift wrapping area with ribbon, tape, scissors, and gift bags.  I’ve been using this old upside down $2 garage sale stool as a wrapping paper caddy for years so it went perfectly over in the gift wrap corner!

Now it was time for some Wall decor.  I had this big ole black frame sitting in the garage.  My mother gave it to me a few years back.  It had a really old fashioned flower print in it originally but I saw potential in that frame.  I spray painted it lime green and then grabbed some rainbow ribbon trim, nails, and tiny clothespins to create a fun way to display my instagram photos.  Did you know Walgreens will print your instagram photos in an hour?!?!?  I don’t normally advocate supermarket photo printing services but they’re just insta photos not fine portraiture so I made an exception.  I nailed the ribbon trim to each side of the frame and then clothes pinned the photos across it.  I need to lift that bottom string a little but for now it’s fine.

IMG_0409

 

I found the giant buttons on clearance at Hobby Lobby for $4.  They were green and pink originally but it was nothing a coat of spray paint couldn’t fix!  The canvas my oldest daughter painted and I just used a paint pen to add the word “create” to it because I love the colors so much!

I found the turquoise bulletin board at goodwill for $1  brand new in the package and pinned some pages I cut out of an Anne Taintor coffee table book to it.   I looooooooove Anne Taintor!  I found this fabulous magnetic frame and the magnetic ransom letters at Tuesday morning and the little magnetic containers at Michael’s.  The frame was on clearance for $3, the letters were $3.99 per package, and the little containers were $1.50 each.

IMG_0414

 

I needed somewhere to keep myself organized with to do projects, calendars, etc.  I picked up these pizza pans at dollar tree for $1 each and spray painted them bright colors.  I secured a strip of ribbon to the back of each using E6000 and then nailed them to the wall.  I used sticky back magnetic paper to create some fun magnets of funny ecards and photos as well as some sticky notes and slapped them up there too.

IMG_0410

 

I had originally gone into goodwill looking for an old filing cabinet.  I saw one on pinterest somewhere that had been painted in chalkboard paint and I thought that would be a fun addition to the room.  I didn’t find one but I found something even better!  This large commercial type scrapbook organizer is structurally in great shape.  It was only $5.50!!!!!  So excited!  It needed a good cleaning and has a few chips in the top and bottom but they will easily be filled with wood filler later and then the whole thing will likely be painted.  I put the kids to work color coding my papers.  Solids on one side and the corresponding print on the other!  So in love with this!!!

IMG_0405

I found these 2 fun colorful artwork prints at Garden Ridge.  Each one was under $12 and I love them!

IMG_0401

I used this shutter by my garage door in the old house to store the girls backpacks and hang onto the many many party and event invitations that came our way.  Now that we have a hall closet for backpacks, I moved it into my office to hang my many many cameras.  The shutter was originally purchased for $4 at a thrift store and I added the hooks to the bottom and spray painted it.  The hooks were under $4 each.  The peacock I painted at a painting party with friends.  Artist I am not but it’s a fun little piece anyway.

On top of my scrapbook paper organizer, I have a plastic drawer system to catch still useable paper scraps and I added some fun things to the top.  LOVE these cameras and the pink lightbulb!  Got the camera on the black stand at Home Goods last year and that huge new metal camera at Ross yesterday for $10!  The pink glass lightbulb came from Michael’s as did the giant green clothespin.  Can’t wait to pin something on it!  The dream bigger block also came from Michael’s for only $3.  Last year I helped my mother’s friend with some computer work and she made me this cute little cross stitched “God is Love” sign as a thank you.  I switched it to a pink glittery frame and it’s perfect!

IMG_0413

I took my computer desk out of the room to use as an accent table in the front living area and decided I only needed a small area for my computer along the back wall.  I found this black unit at goodwill about 2 years ago in perfect condition for only $20.  It was a shelving originally but I found that if I removed the middle shelf it worked out perfectly as a small desk!  Got the small lamp and lampshade at Garden Ridge.  Under $15 for the lamp and the shade when it was all said and done.  Found the bronze camera at Ross yesterday for $7 and my sister bought me this cute little notepad at Pier1 years ago.  I found the porcelain paint buckets for 50% off at Michael’s yesterday and thought they would be great on my craft table to store brushes and pens.  I used a plastic storage basket that I already had to display 12×12 scrapbooks for easy access since they don’t fit in the cubes.

IMG_0415

 

I still need a fun colorful rug, a few finishing touches, and to paint the desktop and scrapbook organizer but this little room has come a loooooooooong way in the last 3 days.  Indeed I think I will be spending a lot of time in here!  When it was all said and done, I spent around $300 to transform this space.  Not to shabby at all!  It’s fun and it’s functional and I’m in love!  In conclusion, you don’t need a ton of money or anything fancy to create a cool place of your own.  You can do a lot with a little when you use some vision to step out of the box and sometimes a little goodwill hunting luck!  I may not be changing the world anytime soon but I’ve rocked my own space with a little spray paint, pegboard, and cube shelves!

photo

Diary of a zoo keeper errr… uh… stay at home mom.

Last week while at the gym, I met a lovely older gentleman on the elliptical machine next to me.  He offered up some banter on how he had just recently found himself back at the gym after being very inactive for many years.  He asked if I worked out often and I truthfully admitted that I didn’t go near as often as I intended to.  He asked if my work schedule was demanding and thus kept me from keeping my desired gym schedule.  I sort of chuckled to myself and said, “you could say that”.  He asked what I did for a living and when I informed him that I was a stay at home Mom he looked taken aback.  “What does your husband do that he can afford to keep you at home all to himself” he playfully asked me.  “He’s in oil”  I vaguely replied.  “Well, it’s nice you get to spend so much time at home with your kids” he stated.  I hesitated a moment and then said half way convincingly “it is.  I’m very fortunate.”  He smiled sweetly and then said, what many, many, MANY a dumb male before him after have said “Well, if you don’t have to work, you should have plenty of time to go to the gym, see your friends, and get your nails done.”  I briefly glanced down at my mangled, dry, unmanicured nails and tried to imagine the last time I had lunch with a friend and I wasn’t quite sure if I wanted to smack this sweet old man or break into tears.  Now ladies and gentleman, I’m not often stunned to silence.  In fact, I can almost always find something to say but I had absolutely, positively nothing to say in response to such an ignorant comment.  So I smiled sweetly, nodded politely, and ran like hell to the leg press.  It occurred to me that to someone who has never actually stayed home full time with small children, it might look like quite a luxurious job but to those of us who know the truth, it is nothing short of exhausting.  Rewarding?  Yes.  Fulfilling?  Mostly.  Boring?  Never.  Relaxing?  Hahaha Easy?  HELL NO!  Truth is, most days, I don’t sit down much at all.  Some days I don’t get to shower until the kids are off in dreamland.  But even though I know that I work hard.  Brutally hard all day every day, I felt as though I had to prove it to myself.  So today, I woke up with the idea to log my day.  Every last minute of it and share it here with you.  Maybe you can relate.  Maybe you will just learn to appreciate the tough tough work that motherhood entails.  We may laugh, we may cry, who knows what the day will hold!

6:45 a.m-Woke up, brushed teeth, washed face, strapped on bra

7:00- Walked upstairs to wake P up for school and then returned to my room to make my bed

7:15-  Rounded up all the trash and set it outside on the curb for pickup then came inside and sat at the bar to begin the intro to this blog entry

7:25- Loaded children in the car to drop P off at school

7:35-arrived back home and unloaded children only to realize Sadie had escaped again

7:40- Re-loaded children in the car and perused the neighborhood looking for said rouge Yorkie-Poo.

7:50- Located Sadie.  She ran from me when she saw me get out of the car because she knew she was in trouble.  I bolted down the street after her in my pajamas while my children, still in the running vehicle, giggled loudly

8:00- A demanded Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and some milk.  I took this time to unload the dishwasher and then reload it with the remaining dirty dishes from last night’s dinner.  A hugged my leg and told me she loved me.

8:25-The girls said they were hungry.  I offered to make them scrambled eggs for breakfast but they wanted frozen waffles instead.  Winning!  I served them their breakfast.  T wants “pink bunny” to drink.  I explain why strawberry syrup in her milk is a bad choice given the syrup on her waffles.  She doesn’t necessarily agree but cooperative none the less.  Unfortunately, she’s now implanted the syrupy milk idea in A’s head.  She doesn’t give up the matter without a fight.

8:40- Coffee.  I need Coffee.

8:55-I gaze out the window longingly.  It would be nice to drink my coffee and read outside this morning.  The kids would want to come out too though.  It’s chilly out this morning and the ground is still rather wet from the rain.  My mother would not approve at all.  Visions of pneumonia dance through my head so I decide to drink my coffee on the sofa instead and have a gander at social media.  A thought this was a good time to use me as a jungle gym and climb on top of my head.  I disagreed.  She got mad and threw a fit.  I decided sitting was a bad idea.  It’s time to switch out the laundry anyway.

9:20- I wrapped up towel folding and distributed them amongst all 3 bathrooms.  I can’t find my coffee.  T helped me look and told me she loved me.

9:30- Found my coffee.  It was in the laundry room on top of the dryer.  It’s cold now.  I microwave it.  Now it is too hot to drink so I set it on the counter to cool.

9:40- Crap!  My friend keeps telling me I need to remember to eat 6 small meals a day to boost my metabolism.  I forgot to eat breakfast.  It’s time for my mid-morning snack though.  I grab a greek yogurt from the fridge and sit down on the sofa next to the girls watching Disney Jr.  A demands to have my yogurt.  “You already ate your waffles, this is Mommy’s breakfast” I explain to her.  “But I want it” she demanded.  “You don’t like this kind of yogurt” I tell her.  “Yes, I do!  I like it!  I really like it and I want it!” she exclaimed.  “Fine” I agree defeated and push a spoonful in her mouth.  She looks disgusted and begins to spit it out all over me and back into the container of yogurt.  Good thing I’m almost done.  I toss the remnants in the trash.

10:00- I need to go to the gym but I have several errands to run as well.  So, I’m debating whether or not to take a shower now or do it post errands and workout.  I’ve got yogurt in my hair and really I can’t wear gym shorts without shaving these legs anyway so shower time it is!

10:15- Whhhhhhhhhhy can’t I shower alone or get dressed without an audience man?!?!??!  A stood outside my glass shower doors singing “I see your booooooty, I see your boooooooty” and dancing a little jig.  I lost my cool and yelled at her to please go away and let me shower alone.  “Whhhhhhhhhy?” she whined before throwing herself on the floor crying and then reluctantly leaving me in peace however short lived it may have been.

10:20-I just remembered I never drank my coffee.  It’s cold again.  I pour it out, it’s a lost cause.  T gave me a wonderful hug!

10:30-The girls are asking for a snack.  I slice apples and serve them with pretzels and PB for T and Nutella for A (She’s allergic to PB)

10:40-A was running (even though i’ve repeatedly told her not to) and face planted.  Big surprise.  It’s the end of the world you would think by the way she’s wailing.  I need a drink but it’s too early for booze so I settle for some Advocare Spark.

11:00 Frantically searched for T’s shot record for Kinder registration this afternoon.

11:25- Still haven’t found it.  Need to make some phone calls but it’s time to start thinking about what to feed these wild animals for lunch.  Taylor wants chick-fil-a.  Sounds delicious but I have GOT to make lunch here today.

11:30- Discovered crushed up pretzels in the rug so busted out the dyson.  Figured since I had it out I may as well cover all the downstairs rugs and carpeted areas.

11:50- Had such fun vacuuming the rugs I decided to continue the party with the broom and the swifter on the wood floors {insert sarcastic eye roll}.

12:15-A can’t find her milk.  Someone send a search party.  The kid.can’t.find.her.milk!!!!!!  She’s in full on panic mode which puts me in full on panic mode.  Find the milk.  FIND.THE.MILK!

12:30- New pediatrician’s office says they sent for shot records in January but never received them.  Old Pedi office says they never received the request.  Someone dropped the ball here and for once it wasn’t me!  Hooray!  Meanwhile, i still haven’t fed my children lunch.  Whhhhhhhhhhy did I stop buying bread and try to be all “low carb”?!?!?!  Now I can’t even make the kids a PB&J!  My shoulder devil is seductively whispering “chick-fil-a” in my ear.  Shoulder angel sweetly says “feed them something  home cooked and nutritious”.  Shoulder devil chimes in again “if you take them to chick-fil-a to eat, they can play and you can read for 20 mins.”  Sold!  Sorry shoulder angel, shoulder devil makes a compelling argument!

12:45- Start bath for children.  They have impossibly messy curly hair that must be tamed before public viewing.  I put them in my bathtub so I can put makeup on and do my hair while they splash and play.

12:50- Even though I told A to go potty before I got her in the bath and she insisted she didn’t need to go, about 5 mins into the bath she suddenly needed to go.  I scooped her out and ran her over to her princess potty chair with seconds to spare before we heard that magical reward chime.  Back into the bath to wash the shampoo out of her hair quickly and then up the stairs to get everyone dressed.  T insists on picking out her own outfit.  Greeeeeeeeeaaaaaat!

1:00- T emerges in something not spectacular but semi-cute and surprisingly coordinating so I don’t battle with her.  Meanwhile I’m debating if workout clothing is acceptable for kinder registration or if I should attempt to look “put together”.  I settled on changing out of my nike shorts and into yoga pants.  If I throw a dress on and look too nice, I’ll never venture to the gym today.

1:15- On the way to Chick-fil-a, Dave called to tell me he was bored.  I halfway wanted to smack him through the phone and tell him what a gift it was to have time to be bored today but I refrained.  I do feel sorry for him, I really do.  I know it’s tough and lonely to be away from your family so much.  I was just a little bitter in the moment that’s all.  3 different people complimented me on how cute and well behaved the girls are within minutes of us arriving so that made me feel pretty good.

1:30- The girls ate and ran into the play area excitedly.  I too was excited and dug my iPad out of my purse to read.  Super excited to get lost in my book for a bit.

1:55- I’ve managed to read like 3 pages of my book in the last 25 minutes.  I sat by the door to the play area thus find myself getting up approximately every 3.5 seconds to open the door for a child (often my own) to either enter or exit said play area.  I’m sort of the unofficial protector of tiny fingers at chick-fil-a today.  Reading is clearly a lost cause so I rally up the troops and load them in the car.

2:15- Pulled up to the school.  Sat in the car a few minutes trying to mentally prepare myself for this.  My baby.  My tiny baby girl is registering for Kindergarden!  Bittersweet for sure!  While holding my hand crossing the street, A looked at my hand and said “mama, you need paint yo nails”.  Sure kid, I will mentally file that away under things I need to do in my “spare time”.

3:00- Stood in line for 30 minutes but we still didn’t get to register.  Our electricity is automatically drafted out of our account.  A few months ago, Chase bank suspected fraudulent charges on Dave’s debit card, cancelled it, and re-issued a new one.  This caused lots of problems for our automatic bill pays.  Long story short, the electric company wasn’t able to process the payment like usual so issued a disconnect notice.  I was able to clear the whole sorted mess up and give them the new billing information long before the cut off date but wouldn’t you know the unopened bill I attempted to use for proof of residency happened to be the disconnect notice?!?!?!  “We can’t accept a disconnect notice as proof of residency” the lady told me when she opened the envelope.  “Disconnect notice?”  I questioned confused.  I have never had my utilities disconnected.  I am ridiculously meticulously responsible with bills.  I glanced over and indeed she was right.  Of course the one bill I happened to grab was this!  I wanted to die of embarrassment and immediately started stammering out the story of the debit card.  But too late.  All the people behind and in front of me heard the sorted story.  “We will be here till 6, you can go get a current bill and bring it back up to register her before then” she sort of scoffed at me.  I wanted to crawl into a hole.  Back to the car we go.  It’s time to pick up P anyway.

3:15- P gets in the car and I explain we need to run home and grab a new bill then return to the school with it to register T.  However when I pull into the garage, I glance back and A has fallen asleep.  I’m not waking her to go back to the school I’ll tell ya that right now!!!

3:30- I successfully transfered A from her car seat to the sofa and drew all the blinds so it’s nice and cozy.  I set P up with her homework and T on the computer to play on abcmouse.com.  I’m going to read until this kid wakes up!!!!!

4:15- Dear Lord she’s moving around an awful lot.  She’s restless.  She won’t sleep long.  Nooooooooo!  I’ve only been sitting long enough to read 5 pages!

4:25- The girls want a snack.  They’re also bored and would like to go out front to ride their scooters.

4:45-  Game over.  A is awake. She wants fruit and milk

5:00- Cleaning up and everyone is loading up to head back to the darn school.

5:20- Not so patiently waiting for Kinder registration part 2!  Ready to get this done!

5:51- DONE!  Finally!  It’s raining again and oddly cold.  I have zero motivation to go to the gym.  According to the pedometer on my watch, I’ve exceeded my 10,000 steps per day goal for an active life.  I feel like that entitles me to skip the gym.  No?  I haaaaaaate the gym at this hour.  It’s the most inconvenient time ever to haul 3 kids to a crowded gym.  Kicking myself for not going earlier this morning instead of cleaning floors!

6:00- Just pulled up to the gym.  Just as I suspected it is unbearably packed.  I drag myself upstairs but can’t seem to get into a workout so only halfway through,  I throw in the towel (literally) and head down to get the kids.

6:45- Just got home.  Need to make dinner.  Don’t feel motivated to make dinner.  Feel motivated to sit on sofa and watch anything but Disney Jr.  But alas these children will not feed themselves.  Whipped up some quick spaghetti for the girls with “zoodles” (zucchini noodles) for me.

7:15- Just got invited to have a few drinks with some friends.  Text our sitter, she can come.  Hooray!  Social interaction.  The girls want me to play a card game with them.  I already feel guilty that I’m venturing out tonight and I haven’t even left yet.  I set up the card game and we play but I feel distracted battling with myself on wether or not going out is a good idea.  I’m not leaving until their bedtime anyway I decide and finally let myself have fun with my pretty princesses.  T won the first round but was disappointed to lose the second.  These kids are insanely competitive like their daddy!

8:00- Help the girls have a “fashion show” of princess dresses.  They want to play with my shoes.  I let them.  Trying to find something to wear.  I don’t have any jeans that fit.  There is literally no medium ground between athletic clothing and dresses in my closet!  I get A’s PJs laid out for her and then do my makeup quickly.

8:45- Ashley has arrived to watch the girls.  I try to straighten up the kitchen while we chat and wait for friends to arrive to drop off their girls and pick me up.

9:00- A needs to go potty so I escort her to my bathroom where her princess potty awaits.  She goes “tee tee” in the potty and I tell her to hang tight for a second while I grab some toilet paper to wipe her.  I emerge to see her picking the potty up (full of tee tee mind you) and attempting to carry it into my bedroom.  I frantically grab it from her but it is too late, we are both covered in pee.  I take her princess dress off and call for Ashely to help me clean her up so I can clean myself up.  Friends are here waiting for me so we can leave.  I toss on another dress and some wedges and we head out.

9:20- Sweet relief.  Feels like I haven’t so much as spoken to another adult (besides Dave) in a week!  Feels nice to joke around and talk with someone about anything other than bowl movements, snacks, and school work.

12:20- We’ve found our way back to my house.  I pour the girls a glass of wine and we banter a little bit before they head off.  I crawl into bed and finally I am alone with my book and my thoughts.  I try and read but I can’t stop thinking about the billion things I didn’t get around to doing today.  The post office, home depot, the grocery store.  None of it got done.  There’s always tomorrow.  I get lost in my e-book until around 2 when I fell asleep.  I know it was around 2 because I was holding the iPad above my face reading and when I drifted off to dreamland mid sentence, I dropped the iPad on my face and awoke only to check the time, place the iPad beside me, and roll over.

*Disclaimer.  The day was absolute full disclosure.  I Kept a running log in my phone and kept notes throughout the day.  I was hesitant to even include the whole drinks with friends portion because that does NOT happen often but I wanted to be honest.  It was my only glimpse at sanity yesterday.*

There were a lot of hectic moments in my day.  There was a lot of frustration and rushing and work.  But there was a lot of laughter and happiness as well.  It’s an exhausting job but I wouldn’t want any other job.  I love these sweet girls of mine.  I’m so blessed to be their Mommy even if they often drive me bonkers!  The days are long but the years are short.

Marriage in the social media age

I don’t even know where to begin this post but it’s been weighing heavily on my heart for quite some time now.  I want to talk about marriage today.

Marriage has never been easy kids.  Historically, marriage has been hard work.  Adam and Eve even knew it was tough to be married.  Sin has always been a dividing factor in marriages.  The bible tells us stories of deceit, adultery, even murder in marriage so this is obviously not a new trend.  But now, thanks to technology, it seems marriages have a whole new set of hurdles to jump.

I’m going to start by telling you a little bit about myself and my own marriage so that you don’t feel like I’ve got a perfectly easy marriage and have NO idea what I’m talking about in this struggle.  Dave and I got married 6 years ago after a very brief courtship.  We moved rather quickly and both of us just kind of knew we were headed towards marriage from the get go.  I think we only dated a couple of months when he moved in with me and we began discussing marriage.  We toyed with a spring time beach wedding  and I sent off for an information packet from the travel agent about our wedding in St. Lucia.  We hadn’t yet set a date but were thinking sometime in March.  Life had other plans though.  In July (7 months before our planned beach wedding), I learned I was pregnant.  Dave’s reaction to that positive pregnancy test made me want to marry him even more.  Neither of us ever thought “oh no, what the hell have we done”.  Well, I didn’t anyway, and if that’s what he was thinking, he masked it well!  lol  Anyhow, we decided to bump the wedding up to August and kiss our barefoot beach wedding goodbye.  Our wedding was a simple but lovely (if I say so myself) lake front wedding.  Only our family and a small group of best friends were there to witness our vows.  I would like to tell you it’s been all rainbows and butterflies since but I would be lying.  We love each other fiercely so it always works out but we’ve had a lot of odds stacked against us.  In addition to not knowing each other fully well and a sudden unexpected pregnancy, we had a whole handful of differences to sort through.  I was raised in church while Dave was not.  I had been married before and had a small child from that marriage while Dave, an often drunk soldier in the Army, had never so much as had a serious relationship in his life.   Those were just the obvious obstacles.   I suffered from depression and had suitcases of trust issues, insecurities, and fear of being hit due to my first marriage.  Dave had his own baggage of course including some post traumatic stress from his time in war.  Moral of the story is, our marriage is not a walk in the park.  It is hard.  It’s work.  Every.day.of.our.lives! We love hard, we fight hard.  When it comes down to it though, there is no one else on the planet that can make me smile and laugh like this man can.  There is no one else on the planet I would rather fight for and fight with.   Yes, my eyes glazed over for a second and I got butterflies talking about him so I would say that’s a sign he’s a keeper still.

What was the point in me telling you our life story you’re probably wondering?  Well, the point is that people always tell me how happy and in love we look.  And we are 85% of the time.  The other 15% of the time, we often want to strangle each other.  lol  But when we fight, I don’t rush to social media to be my counselor.  I don’t air out our dirty laundry and the sacred details of our marriage and our disagreements to hundreds of mostly strangers.  Marriage is a sacred union and when I divulge the inner workings and problems within our marriage to the world, I give them a piece of my marriage that isn’t theirs to have.  Does this mean when we have a huge blowout and I need some guidance and advice that I don’t tell anyone at all?  Nope, I have a handful of people that I fully trust to be on the side of my marriage to consult with.  I consult God fearing friends who I feel will tell me when I’m being ridiculous and over reacting or pray with me and for us until we get it worked out.  I consult friends who do not pass judgement on either myself or my husband who won’t just take MY side because they’re my friend but will always take the side of my marriage and our children.  Social media sites like twitter, Facebook, and instagram can very easily harm your marriage.

I get so worked up when I log onto Facebook and see things like “I married such a useless A-hole”,  “He thinks he’s gonna cheat on me and get away with it”, “I’m so hurt by what my husband did…”, “My wife is such a B****h”,  “I wish my wife would do this…”, “Too bad my wife doesn’t look like this or dress like this…”.  You get the point, you’ve all seen these types of posts.  The problem with posting things like this about your spouse is that it is a full on public stoning.   You may as well line up all the townspeople with rocks in hand ready to throw them at your spouse.  This is an absolute blatant disregard for the sacred union that marriage is supposed to be.  The covenant of marriage was made between you, your spouse, and God and was NOT made to include 800 of your best Facebook “friends”!  When you trash talk and break your husband/wife down in a public forum, you are telling others that your marriage is not that strong.  That your spouse and your marriage is not that important to you.  You are publicly declaring that Satan is winning in your marriage.  No, no, no people!  Don’t declare that!  When you’re facing problems in your marriage no matter what the magnitude, you run like hell to get some counsel from someone who will be on the side of your marriage and not a bunch of random people to fuel the drama fire.  Go to God with your problems not the internet!

Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.  Husbands, love your wives and do not be harsh with them. -Colossians 3:18-19

In addition to social media sites giving troubled marriages a forum to bash one another, it also opens the gates of sexual sin.  I repeatedly see married men (and sometimes women) “liking” pages that are one step away from pornographic.  Y’all, please don’t disrespect your wife by liking “big booty hoes” or “dirty housewives” on Facebook.  Wives, please do NOT participate in MCM (man crush monday) if you plan on posting a photo of some shirtless sweaty man that is NOT your husband.  Have some respect for each other for Pete’s sake!  I don’t want to see it in my newsfeed and no matter how “cool” and “secure” your spouse is, they don’t want to see it either!!!!!!!!  The problem is, we live in a society that makes objectifying women and men okay.  We’ve made things like topless bars acceptable.  We patron “sports bars” and “restaurants” that boast scantily clad, bikini top, booty short wearing waitresses and bartenders.  We are buying into sex.  We are buying into adultery.  We’ve got smartphones and portable devices that make viewing XXX videos and photos on demand easier than making a phone call!  Satan is invading our marriages and we just let him kids!  We’ve smeared a very black and white subject into a grey area with technology and these types of establishments but I will tell you God does not see this grey area we’ve created.

But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart. -Matthew 5:28

The moral of the story kids?  Look to God and not the world to guide you through your marriage.  Social media does not have the answers but HIS word surely does!  Love one another kids.  Forgive one another.  Do NOT publicly humiliate and bash one another.  Use social media to build your spouse up not tear them down!

dance

I’ll leave you with this gushy picture of me dancing with my handsome husband on the dock on our wedding day.  I don’t always like you, but I’ll always love you.  Those dreamy eyes and contagious smile will forever put you at the top of my Man Crush Monday list!!!  <3

Someone got a big girl bed!

When we moved to our new home in December, we toyed with the idea of not moving A’s crib at all and moving her straight to a toddler bed since she had just turned 2.  I felt with the new surroundings and having stairs for the first time, I didn’t want her to experience a sensory overload so, we decided to wait until we were well settled in.  Over the last month or so I had been looking online   for the perfect bed and was really having commitment issues!  Surprise, surprise!  I found several on the ikea website that I liked but it was so hard to decide without seeing them in person.  Her room has an ice cream shop theme so I wanted a cute little bed that would work with that but be versatile in case I decided to change themes on a whim.  A friend who was also shopping for a toddler bed had told me that the Ikea beds were oddly shaped and thus normal bedding would not work, you would be restricted to their bedding so I had to see how big of a difference the sizing was and if it was a problem easily rectified.  I had finally decided on the OVERE bed with canopy so my mom and I decided to make the drive to Frisco to check it out in person last Saturday.  It was so super cute but we were going to have to change the colors of the flags for the canopy and in the end I thought we might like a bigger bed.

You can find the OVERE bed here:

http://www.ikea.com/us/en/catalog/products/S59012280/

The mattress size appeared to be that of a standard twin mattress if not a hair smaller.  I honestly think normal twin bedding would fit it alright but you’ll have to check the dimensions on the website and compare with another manufacturer if you’re considering it.

We fell in love with the Minnen bed which isn’t available online apparently but you can always google it!  It reminded us of an old fashioned wrought iron bed that was perfect for our ice cream shop theme!  We chose it in black but it’s also averrable in white. The frame itself is adjustable and so is the mattress.  I wondered how this would be accomplished initially but it’s a pretty neat little system!  The mattress is the width of a twin sized bed because the twin sheets fit perfectly that way.  At it’s smallest size, it is about the length of a crib mattress.  I used her crib mattress to show you the difference in size here:

Image

 

To extend the bed, you simply remove the bolts and slide the frame out and then replace the bolts.  The mattress has 2 extender pieces that almost look like pillows.  One for the head and one for the foot so when you’re ready to add on you just add one piece at a time.  I figure I will add on next year and then again the next.

Image

this is one of the the mattress extender pieces.  When all 3 pieces are assembled, it is about the size of an extra long twin.  Think your old dorm room bed!  lol

I bought regular twin size sheets rather than purchasing from ikea because their selection left something to be desired.  I found 2 fabulous sets at Ross for $10 each!  I was super excited because they matched the ice cream treat printed comforter that my mother had made her when she was born perfectly!  One was a polka dot print that reminded me of sprinkles and the other was a coordinating stripe print of the same brand.  My intentions were to alter the sheet to fit but it really only needed a little tucking at the foot and it worked well without moving so I decided to let them be.  I used the flat sheet to cover one of the mattress extenders to fit at the head of the bed so the little darling wouldn’t whack her head on the metal frame behind her.  Again, I intended to sew this to fit but I just wrapped it on snuggly and secured the edges with rubber bands.  Really, I just wanted to see what it would look like before I got to cutting but it looked so cute like a big piece of candy or something so Mom and i decided it should stay that way.  I’m going to tie some bows for extra cuteness.  Then when she gets older and no longer needs the bumper, she can still use the flat sheet as intended since it hasn’t been cut.

Image

I’ve tucked the other part of the mattress securely in a plastic bag for protection on the top of her closet.  Today, I’m going to go hunt for a fabulous tiny nightstand to put the ice cream lamp I ordered her on next to her bed.

Image

It should arrive in the next day or so from one of my favorite websites of random home decor ever:

http://www.greatbigstuff.com/collections/food-drink/products/ice-cream-cone

The first night she got out of bed once and then slept soundly till morning and has slept in it without incident since.  She loves her big girl bed and I can’t wait to finally get her room finished in this house!  More pictures of her room to come once I get it all settled once and for all!  For now, I’ll leave you to enjoy her cute bed and her extra cute face!

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

 

Overall, the bed was easily enough assembled (I think so anyway, I was more so supervising as my dad assembled it!  lol).  It is sturdy and adorable and my little sure enjoys it so far!  I like that it’ll last her a little longer too.  Don’t forget you need TWIN size slats if you are purchasing this bed at ikea.  I accidentally grabbed the wrong kind and dad have to have wood cut for the bottom for me!  Ooops.  Thanks Daddy!

3 cheese spinach lasagna wraps

Yummmm! Super quick post that I promised to a friend a month ago! 😁
Round up your ingredients:
-lasagna noodles (I used these lovely whole grain noodles)
-frozen spinach
-fresh grated mozzarella
-ricotta cheese
-cream cheese
-marinara sauce
-salt, pepper, onion powder, garlic powder
-cherry tomatoes for garnish (optional)

Preheat your oven to about 425 and break your noodles in half to boil

20140321-130159.jpg

While your noodles cook, add your frozen spinach to a microwave safe bowl and warm until defrosted. Toss in your grated cheese, your ricotta, and your cream cheese and season with salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder. The amount you use will obviously depend on how many roll ups you intend to make. You know me, I’m no good with exact measurements. You’ll have to eye ball it and use your own common sense and judgement. 😉 mix well until it’s a nice creamy paste. I will say you need plenty of seasonings as the mixture is creamy but not real flavorful without the garlic/onion/salt.

20140321-130558.jpg

Your noodles should be about done by this point so drain them and lay them out flat on a cutting board. Spoon in your cheesy spinach mixture starting at the bottom. Begin rolling towards the top and place in an oven safe pan (which you’ve sprayed with cooking spray).

20140321-131006.jpg

Top with marinara sauce and a quick sprinkle of cheese and bake that bad boy until your noodles have a slight crisp to them and the cheese is nicely melted. Use as much sauce as you would like. I’m not a huge sauce fan so did just a dab.

20140321-131148.jpg

Dice up some cherry tomatoes for garnish, serve, and enjoy!

20140321-131222.jpg

Dorito salad

Last summer while visiting my cousin, the girls and I were introduced to our favorite salad. I’ve been making my own variation ever since and it’s as big a hit as ever! Thanks for the idea Becky, I took that sweet baby and made it my own and it’s pretty life changing!!! Hope you don’t mind me sharing, the world needs to know! Lol

You know the drill, gather your ingredients: you’ll need:
-bag of Doritos (Becky used regular Doritos, I typically prefer baked unless they’re nowhere to be found.
-1 lb lean ground beef
-garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, and ground red pepper (cayenne)
-shredded cheese
-plain Greek yogurt (Becky used sour cream but I always substitute yogurt for sour cream)
-salsa (I used pace because it’s what Dave had laying around already but you pick your own brand and heat)
-iceburg lettuce
-tomato
-1 can black beans (optional-they weren’t used in the original but I like them)
-corn (I use frozen sweet corn. Again this is optional, Becky didn’t use it)
-black olives (once again an optional add on)

Step 1: brown your ground beef and add seasonings (just a pinch of everything really or you could even use pre mixed taco seasoning I’m sure)

20140320-140607.jpg
Take your corn and black beans and heat them in a small pot. While that’s simmering, take your Greek yogurt and salsa and combine them in a blender until it’s a lovely pinky peach color. You’ll want to use equal parts salsa/yogurt.

20140320-140757.jpg

Grab your Doritos and crush them up with your hands or a fork in the bottom of your bowl and then add a nice solid layer of lettuce followed by a layer of ground beef. Add your corn/bean mixture, and drizzle your yogurt/salsa sauce over the top. Add some shredded cheese, cilantro, tomatoes, and olives and enjoy!

20140320-141518.jpg

20140320-141525.jpg

20140320-141533.jpg

Easy, quick, delicious! Yummmm!

BBQ turkey meatloaf

Bear with me here because I just kinda made this up as I went so I didn’t take a ton of pictures because I wasn’t 100% positive if it would be worth ever making again. Ummmm… Yeah, definitely worth making again!!! ALL of my kids loved it and asked for seconds. Yep all THREE of them! Usually 1 loves it, 1 tolerates it, and 1 hates it so when I hit a home run with a meal that all 3 love I make sure to add it to the meal archives! I had some lean ground turkey in the fridge that HAD to be used today but I had no idea what I was going to do with it! I vaguely remembered someone talking about BBQ chicken something or another on fb the other day and so I thought to myself, why couldn’t I make a turkey meatloaf?!?!? The greatest part about it is it’s a quasi healthy dinner!
Preheat your oven to 425 and gather your supplies.
You’ll need:
1 lb lean ground turkey
1 egg
Oatmeal (about 3/4 cup)
BBQ sauce

20131028-201446.jpg
I didn’t take a picture when I started but I just so happened to have another lb of ground turkey in the freezer so I brought it out for visual purposes! I’m 100% confident that you could find a healthier BBQ sauce option but this was all I had on hand thanks to my grillin’ fool of a hubby! I’m not a huge BBQ sauce fan so I wouldn’t know for sure however this sauce was darn tasty and had 70 calories per serving & 0 fat although thanks to the honey I’m sure the sugar was higher. Next take your oatmeal and toss it into a food processor or blender and blend until it’s fine like flour. You can use saltine crackers as well I’m sure just like in regular meatloaf.

20131028-202303.jpg
In a mixing bowl, beat 1 egg and add your lean ground turkey and your oatmeal. I tossed in a little garlic and onion powder and then about 4 tbsp of BBQ sauce and mixed well. Form into a “loaf” and put in an oven safe dish. Put it in the oven and begin to smell the deliciousness almost immediately!

20131028-202828.jpg
Ovens will differ but mine was mostly done by about 15 mins and I just squirt a little more sauce on top and spread it around before putting it back in about another 5 mins. Before I started on the loaf, I had started some brown rice and it was done about this time.

20131028-203047.jpg
My friend Mallory also suggested a really delicious sounding broccoli recipe (I’m obsessed with broccoli!) sadly, I was out of coconut oil, I only had limes no lemons, and I didn’t have any Parmesan cheese for it like she recommended but I kinda improvised the same concept and yuuuuummmm! I’m going to have to hit up the grocery store for all those other things so I can try it the way it’s supposed to be ASAP!!! I lined a cookie pan with foil then lay the broccoli florets on top. I drizzled it with probably no more than 2 tsp of olive oil and then squeezed the juice of half a lime on top too! A sprinkle of mrs dash table blend and then I found this white cheddar popcorn seasoning in my cupboard and the label on the lid caught my eye “try me on veggies” well, okay, don’t mind if I do! So I sprinkled some of that on too and threw it in the oven too!

20131028-203911.jpg
I sprinkled a little fat free mozzarella on the kids broccoli and then served it all up!

20131028-204034.jpg
I added a dollop of extra BBQ sauce to the kiddos plates but left it off my own. They pretty much licked their plates clean. T didn’t eat her broccoli but she hates broccoli any way I serve it! I will DEFINITELY be making this again soon! Maybe with a baked sweet potato on the side next time! Nom nom nom!

My baby is 9. Yep, NINE!

Last week my baby turned 9.  She may be my oldest but she’ll always be my baby!  Try as I might, I couldn’t keep her from growing up.  I cannot wrap my head around the fact that a whole 9 years have passed since I brought this little miracle home from the hospital!  I’m so proud of the little person she is becoming.  She’s smart, beautiful, helpful, kind, and loves Jesus.  I couldn’t ask for more in a daughter.  I had her tag along on a session last week in the outfit she picked for her party because A.  She’s amazing with babies and I knew the sweet 1 year old I was working with that night would love her B.  It was a lovely wooded looking area that I though would compliment her outfit well.  She took one of her favorite American Girl Doll’s along too!

_POC0972

Several weeks ago we had 12 of her favorite little ladies spend the night for a back to school bash.  Everyone had a blast but I told her right then and there that we wouldn’t be having a huge party for her birthday this year since she got to do that.  Her birthday weekend also fell sandwiched in between 2 trips to Dallas for the American Girl Fashion Show & rehearsal, and a Bitty Baby tea party we won through House Party.  All this traveling and partying combined with school and soccer didn’t leave me much energy for another big bash.  Besides, when you have 5 girl nieces and 3 daughters, you have a built in party at every family gathering!  lol  I told P she could invite 4 friends to join her and her cousins for a camping themed party. Poor child had such a tough time narrowing down her list.  We’re so fortunate to have so many sweet girls in our lives!  When all was settled, she selected 3 school friends and 1 soccer pal and we got to work on hand delivering invitations.  We dipped oversized marshmallows in chocolate and sprinkles on skewers and drove around to present the invitations, pre-party snack, and a tiny little compass to all our cousins and 4 friends.

IMG_5332

When our guests arrived, they were asked to “Register” at the camp welcome center.  Here they would grab their “welcome packs” (goody bags), sign a frame for P to keep as a memory, and pay their “camp dues”.  P has so much of what she wants and much more than she could ever need so instead of gifts, she asked her guests to bring their spare change to donate to one of our favorite charities.  We printed out little name labels for each of our guests and used ribbon to tie them to canvas tote bags we got 2/$1 at Dollar tree.  They also had a “camp journal”, mini deco tape, a cool wooden pencil, flashlight keychain, scratch off ticket, a little thank you note, and camping sticker scene activity.  We got the mini flashlight keychains and sticker sheets from oriental trading.  The flashlight and tape are “doll sized” which is perfect for my little AG lovers.

IMG_5328

The girls snacked on mini pretzel dogs and cheeto puffs and drank their “bug juice”.  It was lemonade that I added strawberry flavoring and green food coloring too.  Then we froze plastic bugs in muffin tins to use as ice.

IMG_5330

IMG_5322

I had cute little chevron printed paper treat bags set up near a pink tackle box full of candy “bait”  and cups full of different flavored teddy grahams and gummy bears for the girls to make their own sweet trail mixes.

IMG_5324

Then we moved on to our table to do a few crafts and the scratch off tickets.  We passed out lucky pennies and the girls got a kick out of them.  The winner got a bigger backpack style “camping pack” filled with a nifty journal, flashlight, sports bottle, stickers, etc.  I got all of this stuff at Michael’s in the fun finds section.  Nothing I bought including the bag were over $1!  After the winner got her goodies, we moved on to arts and crafts.  I got these cute little peace, love, and s’mores kits at oriental trading  ($6/12pk) and they were the perfect addition to a girly camping party.  We also made s’more necklaces out of polymer clay.  We LOVE polymer clay!

IMG_5327

The kids also enjoyed the “fishing hole” and visited it on and off throughout the party.  We got a few packages of ping pong balls at dollar tree and hot glued foam tails and magnets on them.  We used dowel rods with fishing wire and a large washer on the end for fishing poles and a plastic kiddie pool I borrowed from my bestie for the pond.  The girls paired up and raced to see who could catch the most fish in 1 minute.  The winners got to pick a prize from the prize box (sticker sheets and more Michael’s fun finds).

IMG_5329

After fishing, the girls all climbed into the tent we had set up with their dolls and played with the doll sized s’mores and campfire we had made before the party.  We made the s’mores using polymer clay and toothpicks for doll sized skewers.  The fire we made using a scrap piece of cardboard for the base.  We traced LED tea lights we got at the dollar tree and cut a space out on the cardboard for them.  I sent my kiddos on a scavenger hunt for small rocks and twigs and used hot glue to secure them.  It was a hit!  We set up the doll tent inside the real tent with some adorable doll sized sleeping bags my mother made.  P had one of her dolls giving horseback riding lessons to the other dolls too!  hahahaha  She might be my kid!

IMG_9321_POC1178

While the girls played in the tent, Dave and I hid plastic bugs I got at dollar tree around the yard.  I used a sharpie to write “winner” on 4 or 5 of the bugs before we hid them.  When we were done, the girls had to find 3 bugs each.  Those who found winning bugs got a prize from the prize box.

After all the fun, Dave lit the fire pit while we finished our remaining crafts and the girls got to enjoy their s’mores.  We had 2 different kinds of chocolate, 2 different kinds of graham crackers, and 4 different kinds of marshmallows to choose from!  It was fun watching the girls make different s’more creations.  They grabbed their skewers and had a great time laughing and roasting marshmallows together.  We had cupcakes earlier in the evening so I limited the girls to 2 s’mores each so they wouldn’t be bouncing off the walls for their mothers later!  lol

IMG_5325

IMG_5331

When the s’mores were done and the moon was out we handed out glow sticks and let the girls run free in the yard with their flashlights and lanterns before it was time to go home. I have to say it was nothing super fancy, but it was by far one of my favorite parties we’ve hosted!  I kinda wanna do it all over again!  Hope all the girls had fun too!  On top of all that, our generous friends and family raised about $100 for charity and brought P some goodies too!  She got some great books, a guitar, the rainbow loom thingy she’s been dying for, and her first bow and arrow set from her grandparents.  She’s dying to get to the ranch and get some lessons from Grandpa!  Love my sweet girl and hope she had a great birthday!  Have lots of camping themed printables I will probably upload later in case anyone is interested :)

In the perfect ending to a great weekend, we participated in the baby dedication at church the next morning and even better, P got baptized!  What an incredible moment it was watching my Daddy baptize my daughter!

_POC1271_POC1272

I washed my hair in the sink of a tire store-and other misfortunes.

Last Thursday, I woke up feeling great!  I was seriously ready to take on the day!  I got up to make lunches and get the girls ready for school while Dave slept in a little later before heading out for work.  I did my first morning drop off and only had to take 1 kid with me so I fully enjoyed a little praise and worship with the windows down and sunroof open kinda drive home.  When I got back, everyone was up and at um so I went in to make the bed because an unmade bed just irks me all day!

image-15

Any guesses as to which side of the bed is mine?!?!?  Geeeeez… I don’t understand how that man sleeps!

image-12

Ah yes, that’s more like it!

Dave took T to school so after the bed was made, I moseyed on over to my Keurig to brew myself a cup of heavenly Coconut Mocha coffee in my favorite “Shhhh… Mommy’s not coherent yet” mug.  I plopped myself leisurely on the sofa to snuggle with the littlest menace of the house while watching “toons”.  I tried to get a picture with her but she told me “no” seems to be her favorite word these days!

image-13

We hung out watching “toons” for a bit then went into her room to do about 18 wooden puzzles and then read about 15 touch and feel books.  By 10:30, little miss priss was ready for a nap!  I lay her down and said “I love you” and she gave me the usual “tooooooooo” in reply.  I shut the door and practically skipped to my bedroom to grab my bible.  Yep, it was going to be a great day!

image-17

I opened my bible and sprawled out on the bed for my daily (okay, you caught me, more like my thrice weekly) devotional.  It was actually a really good word about allowing God to guide you through the nine billion decisions you have to make a day instead of relying on your own judgement.  Yep, I needed that!  I’m really enjoying this “Daily wisdom for Mothers” devotional journal.

image-18

I was just wrapping up when my phone started ringing and P’s school was flashing on the caller ID.  I answered assuming they needed a volunteer for something but nope.  It was worse. Much worse!  They informed me a child in a lower grade had a confirmed case of lice and that I needed to come inspect my child’s head with the nurse to ensure that she hadn’t become a buggy breeding ground!  Lovely!  I called my mother who was luckily available to come stay with the sleeping baby while I dashed off (without so much as showering mind you) to bug hunt.  When I was a few blocks from the school, my phone begin to ring again.  It was Dave, I figured he was calling to tell me he had made it to his rig in one piece.  “I need you to call me a tow truck” were the first words out of his mouth.  It seems he had a double blow out in the middle of nowhere about 2 hours from home.  Thank God he was alright!  The damage to the truck was minimal and he didn’t flip despite both the right tires being ripped to shreds.  His fender was a little messed up and his step rail on that side was bent as well.  But thank you Lord he was okay!  I sat in the parking lot of the school and made some phone calls for him as his service was pretty patchy where he was.  As I waited on some calls, I went into the school to see what the situation was with P.  There were a couple of girls in the office and the nurse informed me that she thought she had seen a single “nit” on her head but was unsure as P has very dry scalp and it could have possibly been a flake instead.  We searched and searched and never found it but thought it best to treat her just the same as a precaution.  Better safe than sorry, so I brought her home with me.

Meanwhile, back on the side of the road, we had determined that a towing company could pick Dave and his truck up and tow it to the closest town’s tire shop to get him back on the road.  Long story short, after quite a few phone calls back and forth, we determined the local tire shop didn’t have the correct size tires in stock so they wouldn’t be able to fix it that day.  He had to get back on the road to work so this wasn’t an option.  I called our local discount tire and determined that they had the correct tires in stock and ready for pick up.  As luck would have it my mother was off and available to keep the kids so I could go pick up the tires and drive them 2 hours to meet Dave at the tire shop in Pecos so that they could mount them and he could be on his way.  By the time I got there it was around 3:30 and Dave was on the way with the tire crew.  Poor guy had spent  4.5 hours on the side of the road waiting for tires!  I had a little time to kill before he got there but I was starting to panic because I hadn’t yet showered and had my hair in a tangled ponytail under a baseball cap.  I was wearing athletic shorts, a t-shirt, and running shoes.  Normally, this wouldn’t have been an issue but it just so happened on the crazy day that I’m running around like a nut, I have somewhere to be at 6:30!  My best friend had made us a reservation weeks earlier to a dinner/painting class at a nice restaurant.  So naturally, like the dysfunctional domestic diva that I am, I stopped in to the friendly local Wal-Mart in Pecos and rummaged through the racks for something suitable to wear to dinner!  I snagged a black dress, a mustard yellow cardigan, some colbalt blue flats, baby wipes, a travel bottle of shampoo, mousse, and a package of elastic headbands and was on my merry little way out the door after spending a mere $32.81!!!

Once I arrived at the tire shop, I moseyed into the bathroom, locked the door behind me and slipped my new ensemble on.  I used the baby wipe to “wash” my face, and then took my cap off to survey the damage.  Just as I suspected there was no way in hell to spruce that rat’s nest up so I did something that I’m not quite sure that I’m proud or ashamed of…  I took my tiny little travel bottle of garnier fructis out and washed my hair in the sink of a tire store.  I grabbed a handful of paper towels and dried it the best that I could before scrunching it with the t-shirt I had been wearing earlier and a little mousse.  Dave about fell over when I walked out in a whole new outfit with wet hair!  Once in the car, I slapped on some makeup, a spritz of perfume, and hauled a$$ back to Midland!  Not too shabby for a Wal-Mart makeover in a tire store huh?  hahahaha

image-21

I don’t wear flats often but, I actually think these are pretty cute for $11!

image-20

I pulled up to the restaurant at 6:35 and we found our seats and joined right in with the rest of the group on our peacock painting lesson.  Even though I had a crazy terrible day, it ended with friends, fun, good food, a couple of glasses of wine, and pretty peacocks.

image-23

Okay, I won’t be selling any paintings in the near future, but not too shabby for my first major painting.  It was so relaxing!  I’ve been trying to think of something else to paint all week!

image-22

They had a contest to see who could come up with the best name for the painting and the winner got a pair of hand painted  peacock feather wine glasses so I gave it a go with “Do these feathers make my butt look big?”  and wouldn’t you know I WON!  Yay!

image-24

As I sit her tonight, almost a week later, testing my new wine glass out, I have to think to myself.  Geeez.  that was a stressful day, but all is well that ends well.  They say God never gives you more than you can handle and I guess maybe that is true.  Or maybe when he gives you so much to handle, he likes to toss in a happy ending to lighten the load.  Whatever the case, even though 2 new tires cost me close to $1,000 and I spent half  the day running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I’m grateful that His protective hand was on my husband in a scary situation.  I’m also grateful for the 1 random clearance dress in all of Pecos, Texas, a fairly clean ladies room at Pecos tire, a great mom who came to my rescue on her day off, and good friends who laughed with me about my day.  All in all, I would say it’s a beautiful life even when it doesn’t go the way I plan.  Yep, I’ll drink to that!  Cheers!

image-19

Taco wraps

When we were off shopping for a few essentials at Albertsons last week, these ginormous burrito style 10″ tortillas caught my eye.  Nope they weren’t an essential, nope they didn’t look healthy, but they sure looked like fun!  So, I grabbed a package!  I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with them but they were super thin in opposed to most flour tortillas so I thought they would make an excellent wrap of some sort.  I was right!  Mmmmm… these were so quick, easy, and delicious.  They were a crowd pleaser with everyone for sure!

You know the drill!  Gather your ingredients-you’ll need:

  • 10″ tortillas or a similar wrap/bread
  • ground beef
  • frozen (or canned) corn
  • 1 can of black beans
  • instant brown rice (or rice of your choice)
  • greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • salsa
  • shredded cheese
  • Chili Powder, Comino (cumin), Ground Cayenne Red Pepper, Onion Powder, Garlic Powder (or pre-made taco seasoning if you choose)

image-1

 

In a small pot, begin to boil your rice according to the package directions and desired servings and add in your corn.  The amount you use is entirely up to you.  Simultaneously, in a large skillet, season and begin to brown your ground beef adding in the drained black beans when your meat is almost completely done.  I use about 1/2 a can per 1 lb of ground beef  but you can use more or less.  How much seasoning you use is entirely up to you but remember, you can always add spice later but you can’t take it back!  I accidentally added a bit too much red pepper and chili powder to my meat and 75% of us thought it was perfect.  My 4 year old on the other hand said “Mommy, don’t get me wrong, these wraps are delicious but they make my breath spicy and my tongue burn!”  lol  Luckily, adding a bit more greek yogurt to hers helped tremendously and she at it all up!

image-4

 

When we visited my cousin in Fort Worth over the summer, she made us some taco salad with some really delicious sauce that my kids and I really loved.  When I asked what was in it, I was shocked by how simple it was and have been making it since.  She used equal parts sour cream and salsa to make hers but I always substitute sour cream for greek yogurt when possible as it is a little better for you.  You can use either you would like.  I use a small personal sized blender and scoop in equal parts of greek yogurt and chunky salsa and blend until the chunks are gone and it’s a nice pinkish-peach color.

image-2

When your meat and rice are completely cooked, remove them from heat, lay your tortilla on a plate, and begin adding everything in layers.  I first added the rice/corn, then the meat/beans, I drizzled with a little sauce, and topped with some cheese.

image

 

Take the ends of your wrap and fold them over and then do the same with the sides rolling it as tightly as possible.  Heat a small skillet and place your folded wrap in to crisp tortilla on both sides

image-10

 

Remove from skillet and cut in half to serve.  They were HUGE so 1 fed both of my kiddos.  I gave them blue corn chips and a spoon full of organic peach salsa.  You’ll want to buy some of this at your closest HEB for a future recipe anyway!  ;)