Thursday, August 24, 2017

The Gulf | Part Two

Our first full day at the Gulf was probably my favorite day.
It was Father's Day, and to me - it was perfect.

Check out PART ONE - H E R E.

Some cute little girl dressed head to toe in beach jammies woke us up early, and we all enjoyed a yummy breakfast before getting ready to head to the beach for the morning. Our plan was to enjoy the cooler morning beach temps before it got too hot and said little girl in the cute jammies lost her mind being too hot and tired. Good plan right?

We hit the beach - which is an event in and of itself with a toddler in tow.
It ain't easy packing and carrying everything but the kitchen sink, let me tell you that.
We set up in the sand by the salty water and just enjoyed the morning. Harper didn't really know what to think of the water for awhile, she was all into the sand and playing with her toys. But the ocean was a no go a little bit.


After our morning at the beach and a nap for Harps, we went out for lunch and a walk around Alys Beach and Rosemary. It was SO hot that day, so we were really glad we went to the beach that morning instead of the afternoon. We planned on going back to the beach that evening, so it all worked out really well.

We ate lunch at Piper's Kitchen right there on 30A in Alys Beach.
Alys Beach was absolutely stunning, and Piper's Kitchen added that much more cuteness. We all tried out the tacos, except Harper who has a thing for chicken tenders. The tacos were fresh and yummy, and were perfect as a light lunch since we planned a fun - and big - Father's Day dinner that evening. We ate at the picnic tables, and were able to watch all of the bike riders and 30A sightseers. Once we wrapped up lunch, we walked around and enjoyed the scenery and some shops.

Before we made our way back to the beach that evening, we prepped some things for dinner that evening. Harper was the perfect little sous-chef helping get everything together for our Father's Day dinner.

We soaked up the last rays of the day at the beach which was the perfect ending to our first day.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Life Lately

Remember me?
*waving frantically*

I've been MIA - but honestly - I saw it coming for months.
In fact, it happens every. single. year.

Drum roll please.


If you guessed it, sparkles for you.

Once my foot steps into that empty classroom at the end of July, the blogging switch goes off and the teacher switch goes on - like 100 watt light bulb on. And it's totally where my attention needed to be for awhile, and that's okay.

So, honestly - life hasn't been too crazy and full of activities.
We've been doing stuff here and there, but I'm to the point where my classroom and kids are settling in, plans are being made, new family routines are a little more established now and I'm able to take a deep breath and settle down from back to school season. 

But just to check in - here's a few snapshots of life lately since it's been awhile since we chatted. :)

Pretty much my child went from toddler to teenager.
So there's that.

Honestly, she's been a challenge.
Harper has struggled getting back into the routine of school - she went off and on during the summer. One of the first full weeks back, she got hand, foot & mouth - and was out for a whole other week right when I was going back to work. And she's been super cranky and tired when she gets home making dinner, bath, and bedtime very difficult. Not to mention she's also been teething, so we're kinda on a meltdown roll. Don't get me started on the Target meltdown of the century. 

But really, on the weekends and now that her teeth finally have pushed through mostly, she's been sweet as pie. Looking older and older every day, and the sass of a sixteen year old to go with it.

Baby Shower
One of the things on my 101 in 1,001 list was throw someone a baby shower, and I can finally put a check on it. Cody's cousin Nicole is due in September, and Cody's mom, my sister in law, and I helped put on the cutest shower if I do say so myself. Ha. I think she loved it.

Cody & I
We've been trying to make an effort recently to dedicate more time to each other - including Friday at home date nights. It's so hard to balance every little thing in your life, and I'll be the first to tell you that I sit front row on the struggle bus when it comes to perfectly managing my relationships, job, fun, and being a mom. It's hard work, and I know we can all agree to that. So it has been helpful to set time aside for US.

Through the B2S chaos, we've squeezed in time with family.
We celebrated my grandmother's 91st birthday last weekend, and I have to say - she's kicking major old lady booty. She's precious. 

Grace not Perfection
I mentioned awhile ago that I started reading this book with my friend Ashley. I was soaking it up and knocking it out really well, and then school started back. I'm very one track minded sometimes and have a hard time focusing on different things all at once. So, I've put the book down for awhile until I feel like I'm really ready to read and soak up what the book is saying. I'm in love with book and the message, so I want to make sure it gets my full attention and not just reading to say that I read the book and finished. 

Ashley was sweet enough to notice my quietness on social media and asked how I was doing, and we had a really open and honest conversation about how each other was really doing. And I thought it was beautiful and totally attest it to this book. Thanks Ashley! 

I started back at the end of July setting up my classroom, and if you follow me on social media you know how crazy I can get with the ideas and projects. And although its really fun for me, it's time consuming and a lot of times it gets stressful when I try to be perfect - which isn't even a reality or necessity. I'm stilling practicing that. 

I'm teaching 4th grade reading, writing and science. My classroom has a tropical theme going on, and my kids think it's funny how many pineapples are around the room. I have the best class, and actually like going to work every day - which I wasn't able to say before. When I was told I was going back into the classroom, I had a gut feeling that just felt right. And now I know why.

I can't promise I'll be around consistently like I was over the summer, but I shouldn't be MIA for weeks either. I love writing and sharing our life and connecting with y'all, so I promise you'll see some more of me. :)

P.S. Glad we all survived ECLIPSE DAY. :P

Thursday, July 20, 2017

How Are YOU? Seriously...

How are YOU? Seriously...

Do you ever scroll through social media and see nothing but smiling faces, organized playrooms, pristine kitchens, extravagant vacations while you sit in your messy house, pink painted child - because she got into the nail polish - and feel more stressed and overwhelmed rather than blissfully perfect and happy like everybody else seems to be?

Can I just say, that's the kind of morning I've had? 
But that doesn't go into a picture perfect Instagram post very well, does it?

I read Chapter 2 of 'Grace not Perfection' this morning - I was suppose to read it yesterday, but I think it was really perfect and almost meant to be that I read it THIS morning. I got up early to get a head start on my book study and workout. I loved what I was reading by Emily. She said she has a friend that will ask her how she TRULY is - not the bullpoop answer of "I'm fine!" like I normally give acquaintances. But her friend asks her how she is...seriously. And she asked us to do the same. How we are, truly and seriously. 

This morning, my answer was different, but similar to what it is now. This morning my answer was that I feel overwhelmed. I feel like I have taken on a lot of projects - that I've done to myself and honestly really enjoy, but I feel the time ticking down. I wrote that I feel anxious and excited for school to start, but am worried that I've lost my teacher touch and will struggle being the primary teacher again, as much as I want to be. 

But then Harper woke up. Smile on her face, excited and joyful to see me. We got up, started to change her "poo?" (Harper's words) diaper when she grabbed the open diaper and pulled it straight towards her face. In an effort to prevent the ultimate poop tragedy of 2017, I grabbed the diaper with my hand and ended up being the one covered in, you guessed it. Good morning to me. Ha. 

After some deep breaths, morning workout, breakfast with my girl, we got ready to head to my sisters house. Harper lagged behind in the bathroom, but I assumed she was coming and I went to out to put my shoes on. Only to realize that she didn't follow me. And that it was eerily quiet - the kind of quiet only a mom is terrified of. And as I turned the corner, I see hot pink painted feet and hands. Nail polish bottle in the right, hot pink painted brush in the left. And behind her, hot pink drips of nail polish on the carpet, bathroom floor, and all over her precious little dress. Not to mention all over me as she grabbed me - my clothes, skin, and newly painted fingernails - which were white, now with blobs of pink. 

So. If I could reanswer truthfully how I'm feeling - overwhelmed, anxious, excited are all still there. But now stressed, upset, angry - at myself more than anything - and feeling like a crappy mom. But normally, if someone asked me how I was feeling, or if I were to post on social media - it wouldn't be that answer. It would be an "I'm great." answer. But not one with much truth. 

So as I type this out rocking her to sleep, I think back to the book. I remember to find grace in myself - these things happen, this is temporary, it's okay to slow down today and regroup. It's okay to find joy in other things - like how Harper helped me start the dishwasher today and was the proudest girl in the world, pink feet and fingers included. How cute and happy she was to sit inside the dog crate, holding up my Fitbit, and saying "CHEEEEESE" cause she thought it was a camera. 
I find joy in her joy today.

So, yes I have a mess to clean. 
I have a list of things to do.
 I'm slowing down, taking deep breaths and finding joy today. 
That's how I'm TRULY doing.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Strawberry Fields Forever + Ever

Forever and ever.
I've decided strawberry picking is a new forever thing.
I fell in love with the fields, with Harper's little stained hands, and of course, an extra large supply of fresh picked berries. Holy yum.

I wasn't quite blogging yet when we picked strawberries back in May, but now that I am, I couldn't help but share these sweet little pictures because they make my mama heart so, so happy.

Harper loved it - and she was a complete pro at it.
She had good practice collecting Easter eggs in April, so when it came to strawberries, she knew just what to do. She carried her little bucket, and had her eyes peeled out for all things red. And sometimes got a little too enthusiastic and squeezed the strawberries too hard.
It was the sweetest - strawberries and all.

Washington Farms also has blueberries and blackberries during the summer - which we totally planned to do, but really ran out of time. But we'll definitely be back for pumpkins in the fall!