Thursday, September 11, 2014

Beachin it

I’m falling so far behind here on the blog…  I started this post weeks ago and I’m just now sitting back down to (hopefully) finish it up and get it posted.

At the end of August, we squeezed in a quick trip down to Florida to see our families before the summer ended. 



Much of our time there was spent swimming and splashing in Mimi and Pop Pop’s pool.  The kids are getting so much more comfortable in the water and it was fun to see their confidence and swimming skills improve just over the few days were were there.





One day, we visited a small inlet that had plenty of hermit crabs for the kids to catch.



Tim was convinced he saw a shark swimming around out there.



We also went to the beach and played in the white powder sand and crashing waves.



I prefer lounging to playing.




We don’t typically do a lot of touristy things while we’re there, but this time, we were determined to make our trip feel more like a real vacation for the kids, with plenty of fun memories.  We called it our Summer Bash and we splurged on things like sno-cones, ice cream, go-cart riding, and putt-putt golf.

We had some nervous kids before riding the go-carts, but afterwards, they all agreed it was the highlight of their entire vacation.



And since there are only two of us and we have three kids (Hudson rode with me), we persuaded Uncle Jared to come along and be a go-cart driver too. I’m pretty sure he didn’t mind.  He and Tim got pretty competitive out there on the track and they gave the two bigger kids quite an exciting ride.  (Hudson was content to NOT have such an exciting ride, so we set our own pace!)



Putt-putt was high up on the kid’s fun meter too.  Guess who was the ONLY one to get a hole-in-one?!  ….  H-man!  He was so excited.  We celebrated afterwards with sno-cones.



One evening, Tim and I and Jared and his girlfriend, Megan all got away for a night out while the grandparents watched our kiddos.  We drove over to Seaside to eat dinner and then went out on the beach to watch the sky turn pink and orange while the sun sunk down below the horizon.  I miss those sunsets over the water!  Afterwards, we ended up reminiscing, laughing, and talking while we wandered through the backstreets and quiet neighborhoods of Seaside as the last of the evening light faded into night.  Then Tim’s internal gps failed us all when he thought he knew a short cut to get us back to our car.  All of a sudden, we found ourselves lost in the dark woods and stumbling over tree roots in our flip-flops with only our measly cell phone flashlights to light our path. We eventually found our way out, but it was one of those funny mishaps that ends up making the best memories.





And before we knew it, it was time to load up, give big hugs goodbye and get back on the road for the long drive home.



On the way home, we made a quick stop near Atlanta to eat donuts with one of my best and longest friends, Becca and her kids.  So fun to see them!  It’s been years since we’ve seen them last, which is just completely too long.



Somehow, we made it through our entire vacation without getting any pictures with my side of the family, but we did get to see and spend a few days with them too.  So glad to see everyone all in one trip!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Back–to–school Interviews

Last year, when school was starting back, I interviewed the kids.  I think it’s becoming a tradition now.  It’s fun to look back and see how much they’re growing and changing each year.  It’s also fun to see which of their answers stay the same.





Peyton : Age 6 (1st Grade)

Favorite thing to do : Play Barbies and bake and play in my cottage

Favorite thing to eat : Macaroni and cheese and salad

What do you want to be when you grow up : A baker

Favorite color : Pink and purple

Favorite show or movie : Mickey Mouse and Barbie

Favorite Book : Boxcar Family

What do you like to learn about : Math

What do you like to do with Daddy : Eat Donuts

What do you like to do with Mommy : Bake

What makes you happy : Mommy

What are you really good at : Making beds

Favorite thing you did on summer vacation : Jumping off the diving board in Mimi and Pop Pop’s pool






Hudson : 4 years old (K4)

Favorite thing to do : Play in that pool and play cars

Favorite thing to eat : Mac and cheese and carrots and gummies

What do you want to be when you grow up : I want to be what I am right now. 

(After Tyson’s interview, Hudson said, “I switched my mind, I want to be a police officer.”)

Favorite color : Blue and black and red

Favorite show or movie : Lightning Mcqueen and Monster Truck Adventures

Favorite Book : Berenstain Bears Move

What do you like to learn about : Letters

What do you like to do with Daddy : Eat ice cream

What do you like to do with Mommy : play

What makes you happy : Gigi (his blankie)

What are you really good at : play cars

Favorite thing you did on summer vacation : ride in the van and ride go-carts






Tyson : Age 8 (3rd grade)

Favorite thing to do : Ride go-carts, play video games

Favorite thing to eat : Junk, pizza, ice cream, and cookie cake

What do you want to be when you grow up : A police officer

Favorite color : Bright orange, bright red, blue, and black

Favorite show or movie : Dino Dan and Monster Jam

Favorite book : Boxcar Family

What do you like to learn about : Minecraft

What do you like to do with Daddy : play in the pool

What do you like to do with Mommy : Read books and play games

What makes you happy : Mom and Dad

What are you really good at : Eating junk food

Favorite thing you did on summer vacation : Ride go-carts







Goofy kids… I love them!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Deal of the day

You’ve heard the saying, “Good things come to those who wait.”.  Well when it comes to creating our home, waiting isn’t always my strongest attribute. But I’m learning that waiting is so important to getting an end result that I love.  It’s important to first figure out what you love and usually that takes time and research.  Pinterest is great for that.  And then it usually takes even more time to find what you love at a price you can afford.



We’ve had these Ikea dining chairs for several years now.  They weren’t really my favorite, but I bought them at a time when I wasn’t willing to put the time and energy into finding what I really wanted. I just wanted something immediately and Ikea was cheap and those chairs were good enough. We’ve since learned that buying on impulse just to fill a void in your home is the first step down the wrong road and it ends with having to turn around and do things over.  You lose both time and money that way.  So we’ve stuck with the chairs just because replacing them wasn’t necessary and wasn’t really in the budget.  But recently the bolts that hold them together have been falling out of them one by one.  The holes were stripped, so even after we tried to screw the bolts back in, they would eventually just find their way back out.  We got down to four chairs that were still holding themselves together properly.  Over the last several months, I’ve been looking around to see what style of chairs I loved because I knew we were going to need to replace our dining chairs in the near future.  I paid attention to dining chairs on Pinterest and blogs and I would also randomly pop in on Craigslist to see what I could find there.  We didn’t have a lot in the budget for kitchen chairs, so I was hoping to find a good deal. I honestly didn’t know exactly what I wanted until I stumbled across this next picture.


Gaines farmhouse table and chandy

This is from Joanna Gaines farmhouse.  Have you seen her show, Fixer Upper on HGTV?  It’s my new favorite show.  She and her husband, Chip are so inspiring to  me.  And I love her style.  You can read her blog, here.

Anyway, after I saw that picture, I knew I wanted metal chairs.  I loved the look of the white wood table combined with the vintage metal chairs. And we already had the white wood table.  As usual, first I checked Craigslist.  I found four metal chairs on Craigslist that were originally from World Market. 



The owner wanted $500 for the 4 chairs and a table.  I wasn’t in need of a table, so I emailed the owner and asked if I could just buy the chairs.  I was hoping I could buy 4 chairs from him for around $300, then go to World Market and buy a few more. At this point, we were hoping for 6 chairs total. The chairs were listed at $119 each in the store.  It wouldn’t be super cheap, but by buying a few from Craigslist first, we would at least save some money. 

I didn’t hear back from the seller immediately, so in the meantime, I decided to go to World Market to sit in one of the metal chairs and see how I liked them.

But, while I was there, I saw that they were having a clearance sale on all their summer furniture.  Everything was marked 75% off.  And they had a variety of metal dining chairs marked down from $100 to $25.  I think possibly my mouth fell open in shock at that price.  Holy cow! What a deal!  The problem was that there were only two that were the gunmetal color that I wanted. The rest were yellow, orange, or blue.  A lady at the store tracked down a few more gunmetal colored ones at another World Market and by the end of that day, I had bought five chairs and Tim had three more on hold at other store locations across the DC area. 


Although we first thought we just needed six chairs, we ended up deciding it would be best to have eight since we enjoy having people over for dinner.  And since they were so cheap, we felt that we could afford to buy a few extras.

With added coupons, I got all 8 chairs (across 4 different stores in 2 different states) for $196.10 total.  Originally, those eight chairs would have cost $800!  It was a steal!!  I’m pretty certain I couldn’t have gotten a better price anywhere, not even on Craigslist.

photo 1 copy


And I love the look. The dining area is both eclectic and vintage, with new and old pieces mix and matched together in a way that is unique and fun to me.  photo 2 copy

Monday, July 28, 2014

What Summers are Made of…

Summers are made of

strawberry picking



blueberry pie baking



and baseball hitting



Summers are made of

river rafting



grandparents visiting



and treehouse playing



Summers are made of

pool splashing




lessons in swimming



and slip and sliding



Summers are made of

frozen yogurt snacking



ice cream licking



and lemonberry slush drinking



Summers are made of

back patio eating



friends and neighbors playing



and marshmallow roasting



Summers are made of

book reading



afternoon lounging



and tire swinging


The summer has been full for sure.  I’m thankful for the time together and the memories we’ve made.  Hope you’re having a great summer!