Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Week's Menu

Hallelujah! No sweets-no grains June is over, so I can stop feeling guilty for eating all those sweets and grains.  Wow, I had minimal motivation to keep that going.  Here's our menu for the week:

Pintos, green beans, over roasted potatoes, biscuits
Roast, mashed potatoes, broccoli
Pesto pasta with shrimp
Hot dogs, cheetos, Merica cake

Friday, June 28, 2013

Mama! Cute!

As this blog is as much for me as it is to share, sometimes I just have to put up little stories here in the name of accurate recording. 

Fern's been saying little sentences and word pairings lately.  We're finding that the more she shares, the more sweetness comes out.  She is just a gem.  She and I were having some snuggle time the other night before I put her to bed, and she captured my heart even more.

She was in my lap and we were just coo-ing away.  She started to point to different parts of my shirt and say very clearly, "cute. cute. cute. cute."  Then, she put her hand flat on my chest and said, "Mama. Cute."  I asked, "did you say Mama is cute?" She replied with the sweetest, "uh-huh" and smiled big.  

A few minutes later she was resting on my chest, falling asleep, when she sat straight up and looked at one of my cheeks, leaned in, and kissed it.  Then, she did the same thing to the other cheek.  I almost died!  This was the first time she kissed me without prompting.  It was a very sweet moment, with my very sweet (and feisty) introverted little girl.  She's very dainty and sweet and girly, but she can stand hold her own...a great combination.

Needless to say, she's getting M&M's on demand now.  I cherish her.


Well, it's Friday and I have another week of Instagraming under my belt.  Here are some pictures of the little things that make up this big life: 

I just made my first Ann Taylor purchase.  These jean shorts came highly recommended and they fit perfectly without stretching out.  I was also taught the ways of working the sales so I wouldn't be paying full price, which my ego just wouldn't let me do.  Another secret?  Last year on July 4, I was wearing a size 14, these are a size 8.  Woop-woop!

John's taught me the fun and beauty of night swims (no sunscreen for the kids!), so we're turning it into more adventures.  Chik-fil-a by the pool?  Summer. Boom.

Went to the blue hole.  Loved it, loved it!

Best summer salad via my dad: grilled corn, diced tomatoes, diced avocado, cilantro, lime juice, salt.

Journaling is something that I've been doing irregularly since I was 12.  While the kids were at their g'rents and I was at a coffee shop alone, I finished filling another journal.  It will go straight to the attic with the rest of the collection.

The swiss chard is coming in my father-in-law's garden, which means I have it for breakfast with eggs.  Step 1: saute garlic.  Totally worth the monster breath.

Candyland happened this week.  Burl and I get so loud during this game, and I'm not sure why.  Well, I know why, it's loud mama + loud Burl = L.O.U.D.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Sharing Suck Creek

Because sharing is what I do when good flows like river currents.  I want to take pictures of it, describe it, store it, scoop it up in community cups and pass them along to anyone else who might like a sip.
From Kelle Hampton, ETST

If that's not my M.O. then I don't know what is.  Good becomes great when I get to share it with other people.  To the person who asks me how my day is going, to the tourist who stops me on the sidewalk for a good place to eat in my town, to the friend who asks me for a good hike with kids, to my brothers who occasionally asks for a recipe, they all get an earful because I have a lot of good stuff to share.  

Yesterday I got to share Suck Creek with my kids and some girlfriends.  It was good.  Above sharing through words and pictures and descriptions, sharing through experience is a whole lot of fun for me.  

(photo props to Sarah Beth)

There was a bit of wrestling the kids and the current and the wobbly rock bed, but overall it was good.  I was also having a flood of memories from my childhood.  My dad would bring my brothers and I here for some cheap, outside fun on those Sunday afternoons when he had "visitation."  (That's the funniest word to me...but I guess it's only funny to us divorce kids that are grown ups now.  Lauren, I'm looking at you.  Should we be laughing at that word now?)

Anyways, we were posted up by a small swimming hole with very blue water.  I think I let out a belly-squeal when I saw it because, gosh, I love it.  I came up with little catch phrases in my head and maybe some out loud?  Who needs Chlorine when Chattanooga's shore front looks like this?  It's stuff like that that is totally cheesy, but shows my deep love for my city and the outdoor adventures that it has to offer.

I stayed close to that blue hole with the kids.  We swam around, played with rocks, and climbed on small boulders.  The other girls got to explore more of the creek finding a waterfall and another blue(r) hole.  In the south we just shorten that to Creekin'.  It's a verb.  Yall wanna go creekin?  Just went creekin with the kids.  Grab your chacos, we're going creekin.  

The whole time I was happy.  Happy to be sharing it all with my kids and my friends.  I was also making mental notes of who to further share this.  (Thanks to a friend I knew that the 2nd pull-off had the easiest (but still steep) trail for kids.)  It's summertime and the fun is in full force around here.  

I hope there are many fun and free stuff going on where you are that brings you together with friends and family and gets you outside (or inside if you're one of those hates-being-hot and doesn't-want-to-tan people.)  Either way, it's summertime and the livin's fine.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Backyard Cars

These two love a good round of backyard plastic cars.  While Burl gets as aggressive as his three-year-old self can be, Fern sits passively in the car content to sip her drink, suck her thumb, and watch the world around her.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

This Week's Menu

Every Sunday I post my little menu on my blog.  I could put it on the bulletin board in the kitchen, but there are two problems with that.  I couldn't link any recipes that I might be using and my dad would call me every Monday and ask what I'm making.  For anyone else that wants to take a peak into our dinners and what leftovers that John takes to work, here ya go:

Grilled chicken, roasted corn and avocado salad, chipotle greens
Kale Pasta salad, rosemary bread
Cream of asparagus soup, strawberry spinach salad
Cream of chicken and wild rice soup

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Late Night Swim

To end this very slow and perfect Saturday, we took the kids to the pool for a late night swim.  By late night, I mean 6 pm.  While we were there, we got a some cute videos of Fern's favorite thing to do at the pool: jump off the side and Burl got in on the action.  (Perk #2985023 of having an iPhone: we can finally get videos of our kids.)  Also, ignore Fern's makeshift bathing suit for the night.

(We didn't get sound on this one...oops.)

Even though the quality isn't great, I can assure you that Fern is smiling when she comes out of the water which is the best part!  Oh well.  Good memories anyways!

Friday, June 21, 2013


I'm having so much fun with Instagram.  It's instafun. And instacool. And instawesome. 

At a petting zoo birthday party.  That lamb was so sweet-it needed a bible verse tattooed on its ankle. 

Father's Day was such a fun day for us! Cheesy pizza, solid naps, rained-on picnic.  Memories for sure!

Pushing 70+ pounds in the rain on my run.  Good gosh. Where's my trophy? 

Perfect coffee with foam-cute boy taking apart a chair.  Rise and shine.

The kids napped for over three hours, so I was forced to brew some tea and start on dinner.

Cheeks, meet gravity. 

She loves her some tiptoes. 

Thanks, Chandler, for the head's up.  Best jean shorts ever.

The pearls.  She wanted them. Baaad.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Enjoying Those Adventures

I'm totally in love with being a mom to these kids.  It's summertime and the adventures are at an all time high.  Pools. Playgrounds. Parks. Creeks. Hikes. Picnics. Fireflies. We're getting outside constantly, which is my favorite thing to do with them.  

I'm sinking deeper into my role as a mother, and becoming more aware of what my life looks like.  As I become aware of what our life looks like now, my expectations are more realistic and I'm more free to live the life that's happening, not a life that I wish was happening.  This process has been evolving since day one of being a mother, and I'm thankful for the small shift that's happened inside of me.

One of my favorite things that I've finally accepted about myself, is how I enjoy Burl and Fern.  One way that I enjoy them is by taking them on adventures, big or small.   For a while I fought this, thinking that going on so many mini or grand adventures was too much for them.  While I stay attentive to when it is too much for them, I have fully embraced that adventures is where it's at.  Once I stopped fighting this, I was freed up to really lean into this little pattern of life with them.  Right now, I'm really enjoying this life.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day 2013

We love us a good celebration 'round here-the coffee tastes smoother, waking up is more exciting, meals become epic gatherings, and we just have a more cheerful glow.  We're cheesing all day long.  For Father's Day,  all John wanted was for it to be a relaxing day. While we did small things throughout the day simply in the name of honoring John (choose the radio station, get pizza for lunch, I do a few of his chores, etc.), our big event was the picnic.  

Somehow, the camera made this picture extra bright.  Hmm...

Burl was constantly trying to understand Father's Day.  How long did it last?  Will friends come over?  Why do we have Father's Day?  While he understood about half of it, he fully got the picnic.  

We tried a new section of the River Park that we had never been to before.  We're not into trying new things all that often because we're set in our exact-expectations ways, but this one paid off.  What was our sign?  Bunnies.  We played with a couple of bunnies that came out of the "woods" long enough for the kids to laugh and chase them.  

John said it was the perfect setting for his type of picnic-secluded and overcast.  

Our picnic was special foods: pimento cheese sandwiches, kettle chips, berries, and oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.  The kids were in heaven.  

Fun food + outside + picnic blanket = the picture below:

At one point the kids took a break from eating and just laid back.  We took that as a sign that they liked the Father's Day picnic as well.  

In addition to the bunnies, we also saw a mass of turtles swimming in the creek.  Big turtles, regular turtles, and even one baby turtle swam right past us on the bank.  

If the turtles and bunnies and ambiance weren't enough, then the rain really did us in for some fun.  For a while we were protected my the trees, then it started to rain pretty consistently.  Rain on a picnic is usually a bummer, but we decided to embrace it.  We packed up all the stuff and went for a quick little stroll in the rain.  Big adventure for our giggly little babes.  

 The light rain turned into thunder and lightening, so we called it quits and hopped in the car to head home for, as Burl said, "a nice warm bath" for the kids.  Baths turned into Fern-pooped-in-the-tub, which turned into chaos, which naturally turned into a pretty organized game of partners hide-and-seek with just the four of us.  Lastly, John and I got to go to a late night movie, which is a real treat since we haven't seen any movies or TV in a while.

In the name of celebrating, the day leaned a little more on the exciting side compared to a regular Sunday.  Even today, Burl asked why it couldn't be Father's Day again?  This celebrating thing is catching on...good times all around.  Happy Father's Day.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

This Week's Menu

Well that no-grain, no-sweet thing for the month of June is totally not working out for me.  I made some Father's Day cookies last night (per request) and I've been hitting those pretty hard.  Then, there are the sandwiches.  Sandwiches are just the perfect thing to eat on the run on these fun summer days.  I'm about to throw in the towel...For now, here's what we're eating this week:

Shrimp tacos
Grilled chicken, Asian slaw, cilantro rice
Pintos, grilled okra, sweet potato fries
Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy, brown rice, sauteed green beans

Friday, June 14, 2013


I'm just loving Instagram.  Little snapshots into my friends' (and some strangers') lives right now? Yes, please!  Here are snapshots into my life from the past week:

Kid free pool day with the girls! 

What I lack in bun I make up in toppings. Very unhealthy.

Early morning shooter gun practice.

Free burrito lunch with the birthday girl and her sister.


My co-counselors at climbing camp.

Free birthday dinner celebrating Patty!

Pretending to slackline.

My favorite! How we walk into stores now. Props to the iPhone for helping me get this pic.

Crazy uncle time with my two brothers.

life rearranged