Tuesday, April 30, 2013


I feel like all I do these days is sporadic updates.  Oh well...my main purpose for this blog is to have a scrapbook of sorts to look back on.  So updates it is!

The school year is winding down to a close.  I only have 12 more teaching days!  Then I have about 5 more days at school (some of those half days), helping with exams and study halls.  I have almost everything ready (a few more quizzes to type up!).  And we have a few fun school things coming up (awards day, fun chapels, etc.). 

But the kids are READY!  Seriously, they all have major spring fever.  Let's hope they can make it the last couple of weeks until the break.

And then there are a few more big upcoming events.   My sister is getting married in less than 2 months!  Ah...that's so soon!  Most of her big parties are done, but soon the wedding weekend will be here.

The only pre-wedding event left is her bachelorette weekend in 2 1/2 weeks, which I'm in charge of (along with my little sister).  We have done most of the basic planning, but now it's time to make all of the little details fall into place.  I am sure that I will dedicate a whole post to the weekend after it's over!

Jack will turn two in less than two months, too! (There were too many 2's in that sentence!)  I can't believe my baby is going to be two.  We are going to keep his birthday pretty simple, but I still have some planning to do for that.

I've been doing weight watchers for a little over three weeks now.  I've used weight watchers in the past and I really like it.  So far, I'm 6 pounds down...yay!  I am working towards Katy's wedding.  I've got to be a cute matron of honor!

But, I have to be honest, I am craving something fattening!  All I want right now is a big plate of hot wings or a margarita.  So embarrassing, right?

Instead, I just ate low fat pad thai.  It was good, but no hot wings!

We've also been crazy at our house lately.  We've got a lot going on right now and some exciting news (No we're NOT pregnant!).  I will share that on here soon!

But for now, I'll just go eat a banana or something healthy :(

Monday, April 22, 2013

The Weekend...

We were in Baton Rouge this weekend...yay!  

We have been traveling a ton lately (and all for fun things), so Bech and I were both relieved to spend a weekend at home.  And it ended up working out well because Jack was sick this weekend.  So we had lots of relax time.

Jack had a slightly high temperature Friday morning before we left for school, so I was not surprised when his teacher came to get me about 9:15 because his temperature had risen.  I was slightly disappointed, though--Friday was a half day for Field Day and I was already enjoying watching all of the kids compete.  But if I'm going to have to miss a day to take care of Jack, it was a good day to miss.

Jack and I spent Friday napping, cuddling, and watching Thomas.  That night, while Bech was cooking dinner and I was checking email, Jack grabbed my phone and started playing with it.  A few minutes later, I noticed that he was on a chair in the living room, watching The Lorax on Netflix.  I am actually pretty impressed that he figure out how to get on netflix from my phone and found a cartoon movie.  Well played, Jack, well played...

But that also means we watched The Lorax about 3 more times over the weekend.  Which is actually okay with me, because I had never seen it before and now I'm kind of obsessed.

And I also tear up at the end.  

And I can't stop singing "Let it Grow"...I think I have a problem.

Saturday late afternoon, we were fever free and decided to venture out of the house.

My child LOVES ice cream (well in this case frozen yoghurt).  And the shop was right by the Loft...so new dress for me and "ice cream" for Jack.  Win-win.

Then we went to the food court.  Ya'll, I don't know the last time I ate in a food court at the mall.

Correction...I actually do.  It was in Vermont and the only Taco Bell was in the mall food court.  And I was really really pregnant (like almost to my due date).  So I think I can be forgiven.

But I was neither pregnant nor eating at a Taco Bell, so there can be no forgiveness.  I was just hungry.

Then, Bech and I thought it would be fun to let Jack ride the carousel.  Actually Jack was begging to ride the carousel; we thought it'd be a good idea to let him.  Once we got on it, he was terrified.  He didn't want to ride on a horse.  But he enjoyed his carousel bench ride.

We left there and headed to a friends MFA thesis show.  Fun, but we will go sans Jack next time!

Sunday morning, Jack and I stayed home from church to try to rest up a little more before the week.  He's still grumpy and not eating much, but he's on the mend.

Sunday night, after a trip to whole foods, I made some spring rolls and coconut milk cauliflower "rice" for dinner.  Recipes here and here.  (And they're weightwatchers recipes!)

Bech and I then curled up and started a new series, Hemlock Grove.  Um, no thanks!  Anyone else tried this?  It's one of Netflixes original shows.  Bech loved House of Cards so we both thought this one would be good.  I have one word...werewolves...

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!  Now back to reality...

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Jack at 21 months

Gone are the days of updating once a month!  But poor Jack hasn't had a blog post all to himself in a while, so I thought I would do a 21 month update (more for myself than anyone).

Jack is 21 months!  Actually he is less than a week from 22 months, but it still counts.

He weighs a little over 30 pounds.  I'm not sure on his length, but he is tall!  He is still in the upper percentiles for weight and height.

He continues to be a great sleeper.  When we travel, he tends to wake up early, but at home, he sleeps from 7 p.m. to 7 a.m.  He takes a 2 to 3 hour nap in the afternoon.

He's also a pretty good little eater.  He eats more earlier in the day.  He can put down a huge breakfast and lunch, and then not want anything (or very little) for dinner.  He is picky about texture--he doesn't like most vegetables (unless they are pureed or really soft).  He tends to love meat, which is unfortunate for him, because we don't eat a lot of that.  But we've been buying more to get some iron in him!

He is such a little talker now.  He will repeat almost any word you ask him to.  He mostly just says one word at a time, but he has a few phrases he will say: "Bye bye, bulldozer"(no idea why that one!), "my daddy," "wake up."  

He also remembers most of these words.  He can identify all animals and make all of the sounds.  He also can tell you all of the different Thomas trains.  Because that's a very important skill...I'm sure it will be on the ACT test someday.  

He knows the first three catechism questions (although his answer to the 3rd is simply "glory") which makes this Presbyterian mama's heart happy.

And his hair...can we just talk about his hair for a minute?  The curls?!?  I love them!  I always wanted a little curly haired boy.  He gets called a girl at least once a week, but I can handle that.

He still doesn't have his canine teeth.  Aren't babies funny?  I feel like his is ahead on some things, average for others, and behind on even more things.  He is definitely behind in the teeth department.  These canine's have been coming through for the past couple of months and they are not fun.  They are finally starting to break through the surface, so maybe we'll see them soon!

My Jackie boy is a wild one, that's for sure.  Jack loves to wrestle, to run, to yell, to jump, to climb, to splash in puddles, etc.  He is all boy, and I love it.  I don't feel like we overly encourage stereotypical "boy things;" that's just how he is.  He is all about trains, cars, animals, balls, etc.

But he still has a sweet heart.  He has struggled some the past few months.  We have had some difficult moments.  He is stubborn and very strong-willed.  This month, though, I have seen him start to listen and obey more.  He has had some time out moments, and lots of times he has had to say "sowry."  

But little by little I get to see his sweet side, too.  The other morning, he woke up early and was in the same room as us (we were in Brookhaven), so we put him in bed with us for a little bit.  He kept giving me hugs and kisses and cuddling with me.  It melted my heart!  He loves to give hugs and kisses to both Bech and I.

His favorites:  Thomas the Train, Mickey Mouse, trucks (just like Daddy!), his Uncle Bubbie, his Doc (my dad), books, baths, and ice cream.  

He is still obsessed with his lovey and his pacifier, although the pacifier is getting dropped after our end of May trip to San Diego.  I figure the other plane passengers would appreciate if we didn't get rid of it before those flights!

I can't believe my little boy is almost two!  I guess I won't be able to call him Baby Jack for much longer.

Jack, you are an absolute joy!  You constantly make me laugh.  I am so thankful that you are MINE!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

"You get a line and I'll get a pole, We'll go down to the crawdad hole..."

Tonight was one of those amazing Southern spring nights.  Even though it rained all morning, by mid afternoon the weather was absolutely perfect.  Our church was having a crawfish boil.  We've only had crawfish once this season so far, so I was very excited!

We ended up staying for about 3 1/2 hours, only heading home cause we needed to get Jack bathed and in bed.  I had the best time.  I absolutely love our church.  We are constantly thankful that we get to be a part of such a fun and sweet community!

Bech is demonstrating how it's done.  Crawfish eating is hard work, but it is worth every (little) bite!

We let Jack run around like a wild man.  When he started playing in a big rain puddle in the yard, I decided to just strip him to his diaper and let him have at it.  He had a blast!  Seriously, he loved this afternoon/night so much!

Here's my birthday boy (it's Bech's birthday today!) and my muddy baby boy.  I love these two so much.

Not my best picture, but I wanted to share a picture of our sweet friends Bess and Julian.  Julian and I actually grew up in youth group together in Brookhaven.  We absolutely love this couple!

Yup, he's all boy!  Seriously, this is one little wild man.  

What a fun evening!  We had crawfish, honeysuckle growing in the yard, friends playing music, and lots of good conversation.  It doesn't get any better!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Midweek Randoms and Confessions

Bech has been gone the past couple of days on a boys trip with his dad and brother.  They got tickets to one of the practice days for the Masters.  They had a great time, but I am glad to have Bech back.  Because I am EXHAUSTED!

Seriously, I can't imagine what it must be like to be a single, working mom.  I do a lot of the "domestic" activities around here.  And there are some (not too many) nights where Bech stays late and works on pottery.  So I thought this wouldn't be too bad.  It was just Jack and I from Saturday night until last night.  But I realized how much I depend on Bech just to have a minute off or to not do a menial day to day task.

So here's what's going on around here 
(mixed in with some Midweek Confessions...check the rest out here):

* We try to limit Jack's tv time.  This doesn't really apply to grandparent's houses.  But when he's at home, we usually only watch an episode of Thomas or Mickey Mouse (his two favorites) on the weekends and maybe one during the week.  

While Bech was gone?  One a day!  I needed some quiet time!

* I started Weight Watchers this week.  My sister is getting married in less than three months, so I need to kick it in gear so I can look good as the matron of honor. 

It's going okay so far.  But all I can think about every day is desert.

Particularly this desert.  AMAZING.  Even if you aren't on a diet, you should eat it.

* Yesterday at the library, Jack got called a girl (AGAIN).  It doesn't really bother me; it's just kind of weird.  I feel like Jack looks so much like a boy, and he definitely acts like one.  I was talking to my mom later and told her I thought it was the curls and the smocked outfit.  

Her response: "Don't they know that if he was a girl in smocked clothes we'd have a bow in that child's hair?"


* I feel like I'm playing the Sonic system.  It's no secret that I love me some Sonic.  Seriously, it's one of my favorite trivial things about being back down South.  Few things make me happier that buying a Route 44 Diet Dr. Pepper with Vanilla at Happy Hour.  

There is a Sonic about a mile or two from my school, so I tend to frequent it.  In the past month, they've started giving out little survey codes attached to the receipt.  And if you answer it online, you get a free medium drink.  And if you redeem that drink, you get another receipt attached to it with another code for a survey.

Do you see where I'm going?


Also, I'm pretty sure I'm the only person dorky enough to keep filling out these codes, and thus the only person taking advantage of this.  

* I am almost to the end of Murder, She Wrote.  I've been working on this show for almost 3 years now.  I don't know what I'll do when I'm done.  I'll need another equally dorky show to fill my time with!  Any suggestions?

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Future

Bech and I are in a holding pattern right now.  We are waiting for next year when Bech will apply to graduate school.  We move to wherever he gets in, then I'll start worrying about applying to a PhD program.  Then it will be looking for tenure track jobs.

We both get discouraged by it all sometimes.  So many friends are buying houses and settling down.  And we have a WHILE until we are going to be able to do that.  And I know that when we reach that end goal, it will be worth it.  In the meantime, though, we dream and plan for what we want our "future" life to look like:

1) We would love to live in Asheville, North Carolina.  That is our "dream" city.   

This will be the trickiest part of our plan to reach.  We will have to both be able to get jobs there.  But seriously, this would be an amazing town to live in.  We would still get to experience fall and winter, but we would be close enough to drive home for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

2)  A house with land

so that we can...  

3) Own animals!

I can't wait until we have a house with land so that we can have lots of animals.  I want chickens (both for laying and for eating), a turkey (one a year!), a couple of pigs, a couple of goats, and a milk cow.  Oh, and maybe a couple of cows for eating! 

Yes, I know that to my southern friends (and maybe some of my northern ones too) I sound crazy.  But  now we have to pay an arm and a leg for milk, eggs, and meat that is hormone free, grass fed, pasture raised, etc.  Instead, if we had the space, we could just do this ourselves!

4) A garden

In the past couple of years, I've been able to grow some herbs.  But I really want to have a big garden, full of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and flowers.  How amazing would it be to make dinner using fresh produce we've grown and eating meat we've raised?

Number one on my gardening list:  heirloom tomatoes!  How beautiful are these?

5) A Green lifestyle

This would include several things.

First, we would love to incorporate basic energy and water efficiency systems: solar panels, greywater, rain barrels, etc.

Second, we want to create as little waste as possible.  We already do this in a lot of ways: cloth diapers, reusable snack bags, washing zip lock bags out, no paper plates or paper napkins.  But we want to continue and even increase these practices.  I would love to decrease our waste output even more.  

And this sort of leads into:

6) Cooking from scratch

Again, this is one we already do a lot of the time.  We rarely use any type of mix.  We try to shop "around" the grocery store--buying meat, produce, dairy, but steering clear of middle lines.  But I have some things I still get from the middle sections: pasta, Annie's bunnies, Diet Dr. Pepper (It's my kryptonite!).  I would love to phase these pre made items out more over time, even to the point where we are regularly making our cheese and bread for the week.  

7)  Grow our family

I would love to have 6 kids; Bech is thinking more 4-ish.  But regardless, we want more children, and we would love for adoption to play a role in that.  We are still so early in this, so I don't know what route we will take specifically.  I have the tendency to want every child that I see on adoption websites!  I can't wait to see how God will work out this part of our story.

There are so many other little dreams built into all of this.  We want a brick oven for our pizza and bread, a huge dining room table to feed friends and family, a studio out back for Bech.  And who knows where we will end up?  Maybe we will be back in Malawi, or buy a house someday in Jackson, Mississippi.

And as eager as I am for all of these little dreams to become realities, I am constantly reminded (and am thankful for it!) that my final goal and my final home is not here on earth!  

I just hope that God grows heirloom tomatoes in heaven...

Tuesday, April 2, 2013


I'm starting the switch over to BlogLovin...so follow me there!

Easter Sunday

Happy Easter!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend celebrating of the death and resurrection of Christ.  And if you don't believe in Christ, I hope that you had a wonderful weekend with your family.

One of the best things about living back down south is getting to spend the "smaller" (I only mean that in reference to Christmas) holidays with our families.  We enjoyed being with family on this past Thanksgiving and now Easter!

My grandparents spend half the year in Florida, but had just gotten back to Brookhaven this past weekend, so I was ready to get down there!  We got to Brookhaven about lunch time and spent the afternoon playing with Nana, Papa, and, Jack's favorite, Bubbie!

Sunday morning,  before Church, we gave Jack his Easter basket.  Pretty sure he liked it!

***sidenote:  I do want to be deliberate about these holidays and not just blindly do all typical traditions.  My parents always gave Easter baskets, and I never felt like it took away from what Easter meant.  So Bech and I gave Jack an Easter basket that was from us, not the Easter Bunny.  Theoretically, I would love to give him his presents on the Saturday before, but this year it just worked for us to do before Church.***

There are always so many toys that I would love to get for Jack, but I tried to stick with his interests (and also not spend a bunch!).  So we got him a Mickey Mouse "look and find" book (we have the Thomas one and he loves it!), Melissa and Doug car and truck magnets (which makes everyone happy seeing as Bech and I love Melissa and Doug toys and Jack loves magnets and all things with engines!), and a Thomas t-shirt.

Oh, and we got some sidewalk chalk, because it's starting to get warm!

And what Easter basket is complete without some candy?

Also, can we talk about the saddle oxfords...?  Ohmylanta, the cuteness!

I love this little boy SO much!

We had an easter egg hunt as well.  I wasn't sure if Jack would get into it, but he seemed to enjoy picking up all of the eggs.  That's my little OCD boy!

A family picture.  We have now entered the stage (or perhaps we were always there) where it's hard to get a picture where (a) everyone is looking at the camera and (b) everyone is smiling.

We went to Faith Presbyterian for Church, where Russ, as usual, preached an amazing sermon and where I, as usual, cried through the sermon.  Seriously, every time I hear Russ Hightower preach, I cry.  It was an especially good and challenging sermon.  You can listen to it here.

"The Joy of the Gospel is He comes after enemies and makes them family.  If we get that, if you realize who you once were.  That's why we say knowing Jesus changes everything.  Could it be, could it be?  He is risen!"

Seriously, listen to it.  And if you can without crying, or at least tearing up, then I am impressed (or saddened, not sure which).

We finished up the day with an afternoon and dinner at Bech's parents house.  Lots of food and lots of family time make a wonderful weekend.

Χριστός Ανέστη! Αληθώς Ανέστη!

(Christ is risen!  He is risen indeed!)