Monday, September 30, 2013

The Great Outdoors

Nature never disappoints. Over the past year or two, my grip on all things outdoors has become stronger and really taken off. From a fun adventure to inspiration for decorating, I'm looking to The Great Outdoors as a good solution for so many areas of our lives. 

For the next month, I'm going to lean into what I've been loving lately: The Great Outdoors. I have a list of places to explore in my city (voted Outdoor Magazine's #1 outdoorsy city in America); I have some decorating things I want to do inspired by nature; and I have some ideas for creating some living spaces in our own (porch-less) yard; and I have some thoughts on why going outside is so serene. 

I'll be blogging daily for the month of October, and I invite you to join me here. I'm excited!

I'll come back to this post and compile a complete list of each post and its link.
Thank you to The Nester for encouraging bloggers to join her everyday in October.

Sunday, September 29, 2013

This Week's Menu

After coming home from road trip #2 for this month, my body is begging me to stay clear of junk food and cling to veggies. Looking at my menu, I just realized that it's almost vegetarian. I think it's safe to say that my body needs some plants. Here's my weekly menu post:

Kale and white bean salad, fruit
Potato corn chowder
Sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli, rosemary northern beans, cheese 
Spinach fettuccine and tomato artichoke cream sauce

Thursday, September 26, 2013

TBT: Mexico

Lately, I've been having strong memories of the two times I lived in Mexico in college. While I've been on several trips with groups for a week, the best was when I went by myself to live with a family that I didn't know. The home had electricity, part-time running water, and rats. I did construction and helped "translate" for the American groups as they did built a house for a family in need. The first time I went I was 17 years old, the second time I was 19.

Middle picture on the right: notice the fence. Pallet projects before pallet projects were cool. 

Fifteen years later, I am still processing those trips. I was by myself with a family that didn't speak English! They welcomed me into their home, their conversations, their groove, and I was so grateful for their welcome and their generosity. 

I used to think about how different their lives were than our lives, but the more of life I experience, I think their lives are very similar to ours. They just LOOK different. They loved their families, they spent time with neighbors outside after dinner, they made special meals for special occasions, and they were fun. However, the colonial that I lived in was actually a trash dump that the city covered with dirt and called it livable. Houses were made out of extra trash found in the piles.

I remember that time with such joy, and I would definitely say it was one of the best times of my life. I have always felt like I lean towards happiness in my life, but it was in Mexico that I found a deeper joy than I have ever had. That life and that time there was so simple and so beautiful, and I hope to go back there again with my family one day.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

RIP Cheap Pearl

Newsflash: While wrestling Burl, one of my (fake) pearl earrings fell out and it's completely lost.

Since I wear those 361 days of the year, it's a lifestyle change being without them. Now I'm wearing my reserves: big, dangle things that make me feel saucier than I want to. I dragged the kids to the mall to buy some new ones and the two teeny-bopper stores were out of them-I was out of energy. Hopefully Walmart or Target will have some and life will go on as usual!

Side note: I always crack up when I take pictures of myself because I imagine my husband or best friend there. I picture them not in order to make me smile, but because I can't help to think of how much we would laugh if either of them were with me while I took the pictures.

The End.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Coming In October 2013

October is going to be a fun month around here! Last year I slightly joined the Octoberfest that happens with blogs. Every year, people cling to their key boards and aim to blog everyday about a certain topic. Last year, my goal was to just blog everyday, which I did

This year I'm going to do it again. I'm joining the other bloggers and blogging everyday in October. This year is different though: I have a theme. It's a theme that has become prevelant in my life lately and has reached into almost all areas of my daily life. It's not as great as Jesus, but He's a part of it. Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 22, 2013

This Week's Menu

Mealtime has become a very pleasant time at our house. The kids need our help with cutting their food and helping them wait for it to cool, but other than that, they are independent eaters. For the past week, I've noticed a small quiet time during meals where we are all busy munching. It's really nice to have it calm down a bit from the craziness in the past. (Those babies couldn't feed themselves!) Now, I can put a bowl of soup, for example, in front of Fern and she can handle it herself. Also, Burl started dropping this line during dinner (in his deep voice), "Mama, dis good dinner dat you made." Needless to say, I've fallen in love with cooking for my family all over again. 

{Dreamy picture from pinterest, original source unknown}
Lemon pepper salmon, salad
Salisbury steak with mushroom gravy, mashed potatoes, peppered cabbage
Cream of chicken and wild rice soup
Tomato caper pasta
Crispy squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli raisin salad, green beans

Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Good & Bad Beach Trip

This trip to the beach was wonderful, but it was also very tainted. Lauren's dad had booked the trip back in May and was going to take them for a full week. That was before he died suddenly of cancer in July. It was still important for them to go on the trip-very sad and very fun all in one. I took my kids and we spent half the week with them to help out with just our presence. We had big plans of late night talks, watching movies, long days at the beach, but we should know better than to have expectations for a vacation. We had some hiccups-northern winds brought flies that bite, red flag water, a baby with an ear infection, and after I left Lauren's family was hit with the plague, aka the stomach virus. Been there, done that, no fun at all. So, now that the full, negative update is out of the way, let's move on to the good stuff:

The beach. My kids love the beach. The water, the waves, the people, and the sand keep them entertained for so long. We had a day and half of really great water (no waves, tide pools, and sandbars) that made it like a kiddie pool with action for the babies. That was probably my favorite time the whole trip. We had a great time with that! 

I also had fun playing in the sand with them. I've let go of the expectation that I'm going to relax and read a book at the beach, which has helped me immensely as I have fun playing with my kids. I so enjoyed this part as well! And sometimes, I just sat in the beach chair and watched them do their thing. They are very busy little children with an agenda in mind.

Other beach perks included dressing the kids up and taking them to dinner: frozen yogurt. My favorite thing about this was when I got them ready, Burl said enthusiastically, "Fern, you look sooooo pretty and I look awesome!" He kept saying it over and over and was very cute when it was time for a picture.

Meal times become big occasions on vacation. Breakfast with friends on the screened in porch, donuts at a swanky playground, and new fun foods make things extra special.

Lauren and I commented on how well our kids got along. They were very into playing together and being kids and it was fun. While it was sad that Lauren's dad missed something that he was so excited about, we tried our best at getting through the week and planning future family trips to the beach together.

If you think of it, please say a prayer for Lauren and her family as they fight the stomach bug and ear infections for the kids. It's no way to end a vacation. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Instafriday: Beach Edition

Here's a little phone dump from my trip at the beach. The kids and I went to Rosemary beach (swoon) for five days. We stayed with Lauren and her family, which I was grateful for because our kids get along so well and just have the best time together.

My kids love the beach. They love the water, the waves, the tiny clam-things, the people, and the sand. The sand and the water prove to be their favorites, because they stay so busy with it all.

I'll do a full post about the trip later, but here is a little preview into the good time that we had. If you're reading this in a reader, click over to my website for a couple of videos...if you're interested.

As always, if you want to follow me on Instagram, then follow me here.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Here some raw footage from our hunting trip last week.
Burl got hot, so he had to take his shirt off, as well as Fern.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Linen Ruffled Invitations

I'm all about some homemade invitations with a side of creativity. 

One of the co-hosts made the pdf file with the words, font, and color for the baby shower invitations. (We both sort of love this stuff!) I made some ruffles to embellish them. There's no tutorial, because I figure if you're the type of person who does this stuff, a picture/idea is enough to get the job done.

Most of the wording is blurred out, but the linen ruffle is really where it's at! Actually, the font is really cute if you can see it in the top picture. Here it is, a homemade linen ruffled shower invitation.
Surprise,'s a girl!

The invitations are mailed and I'm so excited to throw a shower for my sweet friend!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

This Week's Menu

Most of our food is cooked and prepared for the week ahead. Here is what we will be eating this week:

BLT's, chips and guacamole

Friday, September 13, 2013


It's Friday and I'm so excited for the adventure that we have ahead of us this weekend.  To kick things off, I'm taking part in Instafriday again, and I'm adding a few extra phone pictures to give a full picture of the fun things that happen in our house:

This week women's Bible study started at our church. We have our morning study and this year we started a night study that I'm so excited about.  What else to draw people to Jesus then homemade pink thumbprint cookies? 

Monday was spent at home for the whole day. What better thing to do than to follow the kids' lead and imagination? Burl came up with a game called, "Camping at the blue hole and red rock." Fern did her nails and Burl hunted for bears on the mountain. Well, we all did a lot of hunting.

Another day, I made a fort that was the  They were more interested in cooking hot dogs on the pretend fire and hammering on the fort than resting in the fort. I tried though.

What's better than snacks on the front stoop? Capturing hilarious funny faces in the process.  Photomom score!

When they're ready to go, they follow me around until I open the door and release them.  Here they are ready to go spend some time at the grandparents' house.

The other day I was making invitations for a baby shower and the kids just setup shop right there at my feet.  They each did their thing while I did mine and we chatted the whole time. Burl said, "Mama working, I working, Ferny working. We all working. I just love working."

I saw this rug on Instagram. Please help me find it. It's gorgeous.

I got to stamp and address the shower invitations. There is something about preparing a stack of envelopes to mail that makes my heart go pitter-patter. As my cousin-in-law says, "I love all things paper." 

There's a glimpse into my week. We're going on our last week of summer. Anyone have any last minute summer activities planned? John is excited about cooler temperatures, but I'm clinging to the last days of summer for my life. I just love summer! 

If you want to follow me on Instagram, go here! Happy Weekend!
life rearranged

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

How I See Myself

As I was posting pictures of this year's Touch-A-Truck, I remembered last year's time that we had. I never posted it on the blog, but I remember the pictures well. Here's the thing about last year's pictures, and I hope this doesn't sound too crude: they were the first pictures where I saw myself losing weight and I didn't hate how I looked in them.  I had dropped twenty pounds in three months and started to feel so much better about myself. I didn't feel out of control anymore and I realized that I was doing it! I was learning to redefine how I viewed food.

I'm still not there yet. I'm not at a healthy place with food. I eat when I'm sad, happy, bored, excited.  These past two weeks I've felt overwhelmed again. I have lost a lot of weight with change of diet and regular exercise, but it's not easy to keep the weight off. I do ok with dieting and cutting things out for a while, but I have a hard time finding a new, healthy normal. I don't know how to look at food yet, especially when I love to cook and love to eat with family and friends.

As I was remembering last year's Touch-A-Truck pictures and how I felt about them, I thought that I would look at some old pictures and compare them to now.  (May 2012/August 2013) That helped me a lot as I'm feel down about it all.  I've had a lot of progress and that's exciting. I might not no where to be with this eat to live thing, but I know that I'm getting there.