Friday, April 29, 2016

5 on Friday: Podcast Edition

I am fairly new to the podcast world.  I started listening to my first a little over a year ago, and only recently have (maybe 3 months ago?) have started listening to more.  I am obsessed!  I love to listen while cleaning or while cooking.  Honestly, I feel like I clean even more now because I know I can listen to my podcasts then.

I know some people listen to super serious podcasts, but my list is a little more lighthearted than that!  So here are my current top 5 podcasts:

Big Boo Cast

I've actually blogged before about my love for this podcast.  It's put on by two of my favorite bloggers, Big Mama and Boo Mama.  I've been reading their blogs for almost 9 years now.  

This podcast is just like listening to a phone call between two good friends.  It's rarely serious, but it's oh so fun.  The most often a new podcast comes out is once a month.  I like that.  It's easy to keep up with all of the episodes, and it's rare enough that it feels like a treat when a new one comes out!

I found out earlier this week that I am on the launch team for Boo Mama's newest book, so be looking for more news about that!

The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey

My sweet friend Amanda (C.  I have a lot of Amanda's in my life) has been telling me about this podcast for over a year.  Another Amanda (S.) started chiming in.  I finally gave in, and I LOVE it.

Jamie Ivey basically just has a happy hour-esque conversation with a woman once a week.  She is an incredible host.  I usually end up feeling like I'm bff with both women.  Plus, I always end up learning about a new book, podcast, website to check out.

If you are interested in listening to this podcast, I would suggest looking through the archives on itunes.  There are some great past episodes (I enjoyed Jennie Allen, Jen Hatmaker, and Emily Lex).  Plus subscribe to the new episodes.

What Should I Read Next

Here's another one that has been suggested to me for months.  I just now started listening (as in a week ago) and I am already a huge fan.

Anne Bogel, or Modern Mrs. Darcy, hosts this blog.  Her guests tell her three books they love (and they talk about why they love those books), one book they hate, and what they are reading now.  Anne then gives three book suggestions for them.

What I love: This podcast is short, about 22 or 23 minutes.  Sometimes the super long podcasts seem overwhelming to me, so I love the shorter length.  Also, I am loving learning about these books!  I have listened to 4 or 5 episodes and already have a long list for my next library visit.

Personality Hacker

Do you have friends that are just amazing at recommendations?  Apparently the Amanda's are that way with me.  Amanda (S. this time) sent me to this podcast.

Personality Hacker is co hosted (I believe they are married) and is ALL about Myers Briggs.  You may think, oh that just gives them 16 episodes.  But they delve a little deeper, talking about love, motivation, energy, etc.

Heads up, I don't listen to all of these.  I only listen to the podcasts that deal with my type (ESTJ) and Bech's (ISFP).  Unless you are super into Myers Briggs, I would suggest the same.  But you will walk away from each podcast feeling like you understand a whole lot more about yourself and how you interact with others.

Here To Make Friends

This is a HuffPost podcast all about the Bachelor (and Bachelor adjacent shows).  I love to listen to this each week after the new episodes.  Bachelorette starts up soon, so I will be listening yet again to this fun podcast.

I love this podcast because it's snarky (their word) but also informative.  The hosts know this show and this business.  They have done their research.  I always feel like I know a little more about the process after listening.  If Personality Hacker is educational, this podcast is a total guilty pleasure!

So there's my list of current podcast faves.  What about y'all?  Any recommendations?  Keep in mind, these are all pretty light.  I haven't done Serial (and don't really want to!).  Please, give me suggestions!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

One Last Trip to DC

For the past three years, my sister and brother-in-law have lived in DC.  While we were in PA, they were only 3 1/2 hours away, so we went down a couple of times a semester.  Now that we are further away (9 hours), we haven't gone quite as often.  But they are moving to Atlanta in a couple of weeks, so, since Jack had spring break this past week, I decided to load the boys up and get in some last minute snuggles with my new baby niece.

I woke everyone up super early last Monday, so we could get to DC before traffic hit.  Of course, I then had a flat tire 1 1/2 hours away from DC.  

We pulled off at a gas station in a small town and the boys played around for a while on this stretch of grass.  But it took the roadside assistance guy an hour to come!!!

Hot fudge sundaes from the McDonald's across the street for the win!

Seriously, I never cease to be amazed by how great these boys are when it comes to traveling.  They act up LOTS of other times, but they do so well in the car.  Thank goodness.

Our 10 hour trip (that's including stops) became a 12 hour trip, but we were so glad to get Anne Douglas snuggles in when we arrived.  Jack is a HUGE fan of AD snuggles.

We didn't get out too much (you know how the newborn stage is!), but when we did, this is what it looked like.  3 car seats, one CRV backseat.  I loved snuggling AD, but I also love that my backseat does NOT look like this.

Thanks for a friend's suggestion, we went to this amazing park, Clemyjontri in Langley, twice.  If you are ever in the DC area with kids, check it out.  It's huge and is wheelchair accessible (there is even a ramp swing for a wheelchair).  My boys LOVED it.  

They also loved the warmth!  We had snow in VT yesterday, so my boys were enjoying a whole week in shorts.

These curls!  I just can't even.  Toddler curls are my favorite.

Jack is just smitten with AD.

AD is still not so sure.  Totally understandable, but I bet that she will be obsessed with her big cousins in a year or two!

Gil was fascinated by the breast pump and carried it around like this a lot.

Yup, you aren't going to get anything with that, Gil.

Gil is VERY stingy with his kisses, but he always gave AD at least one a day (more than I get!).  He was also very concerned if she didn't have her pacifier and would bring it to her.

From our second trip to Clemyjontri park.  Gil and Jack had the best time here. 

We did other things, like two Target trips (there are no Targets in Vermont, so I am in withdrawal), ice cream, Shake Shack, and Matchbox.  And I got some AD snuggles in, which was what I wanted.  She is about the sweetest baby, so pretty and petite and with the cutest, craziest hair!  I won't get to see her again until July, so I am glad we went for one last DC visit.

Friday, April 8, 2016

5 on Friday

We are back in Vermont and back in the swing of life here again.  So time for my favorite post, 5 on Friday!

O     N     E

We had the most amazing weather while we were in Mississippi.  The boys ran around in shorts most days.  Jack even got in the pool last Sunday.

This is how Vermont welcomed us back.  Nice to see you too, winter.

T     W      O

This happened a couple of weeks ago, but I do want to put it up on my blog.

Jack had a field trip to go maple sugaring and I got to chaperone.  SO fun.  I felt like I was in Little House in the Big Woods.  We learned all about sugaring.  We tasted the sap, tapped some maple trees, collected the sap, and learned about how they cook the sap down to make maple syrup.  We even tasted some different grades of maple syrup.  This is us in front of a sugaring house where they boil the sap down.

T     H     R     E     E

I can't remember if I've mentioned this on my blog yet, but I am getting super into podcasts.  I've been listening to The Big Book Cast for over a year, but that was it.  

My current favorite is The Happy Hour With Jamie Ivey.  Y'all, I LOVE this podcast.  She is just talking to a guest for an hour.  It's super conversational, like they are just at happy hour with each other.  It makes me happy.  And it makes me clean more!  I pull out Mrs. Meyers surface spray in Basil (check out epantry for a great price), put on The Happy Hour, and clean.

Yes, I am aware that I live a SUPER exciting life.  You can be jealous all you want.  Sometimes I even have to pause the podcast to find a lego piece for Jack.

Other podcasts that I have been listening to: Here To Make Friends (Bachelor recap), Personality Hacker (all about Myers Briggs), Sorta Awesome, and The Popcast with Knox and Jamie.  With these, I sort of pick and choose random episodes.

F     O     U     R

As you might have picked up on in my last post, Gil is, how shall we say, sort of a grump.  Actually, I would describe him instead as a passionate little fellow.  When he is happy, he is OH SO happy.  When he is mad or grumpy, well stay away!  

We do have a little trick up our sleeve though, and that is the beautiful, raspy voiced Ellie Holcomb.  Gil Evans LOVES Ellie's music.  I don't even remember how we figured this out, but if he is throwing a fit, Ellie is a sure fire way to calm him down.  He loves to dance to her songs.

Ellie, want to come do a show in Vermont and make one little 18 month old's day?

F     I     V     E

I don't know why I struggle so much with the fifth point every week?  Maybe I should just make this a four on Friday.  Is that a thing?  Can I make it a thing?

Also, Gil was throwing a fit, so we are currently watching the video of "Broken Beautiful."  Jack used to love to watch Taylor Swift's videos at this age, and as much as I love TSwift, I appreciate Gil's love for Ellie a little more!

Alright, everyone have a wonderful weekend!  I'll just be curled up inside in snowy Vermont!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Planes, Snowcones, and a Wedding!

We just got back from two weeks in Mississippi.  Which obviously means, photo dump time!

Let's start the two weeks off with our first travel day.  I flew home with both boys by myself a week before Bech.  Because I love torturous plane rides with temper tantrum throwing 18 month olds (I'm looking at you, Gil).

I set my alarm to wake me up in plenty of time for our 5:55 a.m. flight.  But then my phone asked me if I wanted to update.  And for once, I said yes the first time it asked.  Dumb move.  I woke up at 5:50 a.m. and immediately started crying.  The first Delta rep said we could fly out the next day for $1000 extra.  I got off the phone, cried, looked up on google maps to figure out how long I would need to be in the car to drive us home.  I called Delta back and my new rep looked at every possible connection.  He found us a flight later that day (and it only cost us $100 extra!).  I may have told him that I loved him several times.

The first flight was rough (see above), but the other flights were not too bad.  I even got a free gin and tonic on one of those flights.  Which means that Bech and I have now received 6 or 7 free gin and tonics in the last 1 1/2 of flying with both boys.  Y'all, we must look some kind of exhausted when we travel.

We made it home at 8 p.m. on Wednesday night, so tired but so glad to be done with traveling!

Of course, our first course of business on Thursday was SNOW CONES.  I will take stressful travel days for a snow cone.  Totally worth it.  And snow cones with Nana and Papa?  Even better!

And of course a stop at Janie's was in order (don't worry, we waited until Friday for that).

A local feed store had bunnies and chicks out, so we took the boys by for a quick cuddle.

Jack was NOT a fan.

Some church friends invited us to their Easter egg hunt.  Gil was a natural!

Gil is also a natural at eating.  He's trying his first hush puppy.  SO GOOD.

The boys got spoiled, as usual.  My mom gave them Easter baskets (I threw a couple of clothing items from Boden in as my happy--needless to say, they were not that excited about new clothes), and then Bech's mom gave them Easter baskets too.  

Easter morning with my sweet boys.  Also, I wore this outfit last year:

Oops, and Jack wore the same outfit!  Well, both outfits fit and Jack's is an Easter smock (and it's probably the last Easter he will wear smocked!).

I love this picture, because Jack is looking at Gil so sweetly.  He can be mean and too rough with Gil, but he can also be SO sweet.

The boys with my grandparents.  Heads up, Gil looked like this for a lot of the trip home.  He does not like new people!  Bech and I often said, "Please, just don't look at him!"  Oh goodness, this child!
We had the best Easter lunch.  We made yummy, pinterest inspired potatoes, rolls, asparagus, and steak.  It was the perfect amount of food.  Then we ate homemade angel food cake and a raspberry yogurt pie.  I am not a big ham person, so I enjoyed doing something a little different.

On Monday, Jack's daycare teacher from Baton Rouge (and also a friend of mine!) drove up to see the boys.  I know some people don't want to send their kids to daycare, but we have had just the BEST experiences with daycare, and Dunham daycare is at the top of that list.  Elizabeth and I have kept up for the past almost three years, so it was so fun to see her in person again!

We had a little photo fast (unintentionally) up until the wedding.  Bech flew into town on Wednesday and we got right into gear.  Bech's little brother got married, and we just LOVE his new wife.  Jack is a HUGE Mary Kathryn fan!

Mary Kathryn included my other sister-in-law and me and invited us to the bridesmaids lunch.  It was out at Livingston.  I had only been once (to the farmer's market) so I enjoyed getting to eat out there this time.

The rehearsal dinner was incredible!  Seriously, doesn't this picture look beautiful?  Bech's mom, Karey, put so much time and thought into this event.  She is an incredible entertainer, but this night might have topped anything else!

These are the tables up close.  She collected vintage glasses for people to drink water out of.  The paper bags had wooden cutlery and a napkin inside.  There were appetizers and fish tacos as well as a burger food truck.  We had Deep South Pops for dessert.

And the drinks (French 75--my fav!, wine, and beer) were served out of this, the Karovan.  How cute is it?  She is planning on renting this out for events.  It was used at the rehearsal dinner and the reception and it was so fun!

I love this picture.  I hate that the quality is a little blurry, but still.  This is the bride, my brother-in-law, and my mother-in-law.  You can get a glimpse of the beautiful flowers.

There was a photo booth there with props.  I never made it (I know, sad!), but Jack took some pictures with "his new best friends."

I didn't get any pictures at the wedding, but a cousin snapped a few.  This is Jack climbing a tree with one of those new best friends, Henry.  I think Henry is his 2nd or 3rd cousin.  They had a blast playing together!

Not the best picture of any of us, but we were there!  Gil and Jack stayed until almost 9.  Gil was having the best time out on the dance floor.

Sunday morning was one last event, the out of town brunch.  My mom and I, along with 4 other women, helped give this even.

Bech's cousin from NOLA set up the cutest mimosa and bloody mary bar.

The yummy spread!

Jack and his new aunt.  And yes, his hand is in a super awkward spot.

We took it slow the next couple of days.  I think one of my favorite moments (I hate I don't have a picture of this) is right before we headed to the airport.  Bech's mom, Bech, Jack, and I (and Gil when he woke up from his nap) sat out on their front porch, swinging and eating the leftover popsicles.  We had a great two weeks at home!