Sunday, July 15, 2018

Alabama Beach Vacay

Last Sunday we attended church for the early service then we came home and quickly changed, ate lunch, and packed up to head out of town! We were going to The Grand. This would be our 3rd trip there. The 2nd we took the kids on. They have been extremely excited about going to "The Beach". The last 2 summers we have chosen not to take big summer vacations, but instead opted for this. I hope next summer we can get back on taking a large venture though! Anyway so we headed out to my parents house and we all left together. Traffic was awful so it seemed like it took us FOREVER to get out of Mississippi. We drove on though and didn't stop until the Alabama rest stop. It was nice at that point to just get out the car and stretch a bit. We drove on and arrived at the hotel around 4:30. Well naturally we arrived in the midst of a monsoon. We had to wait a few minutes before unloading. Fortunately it slacked off enough we were able to park and get our things up to the room. We got settled in then decided to go ahead and eat dinner. We had originally planned to let the kids play at the pool and eat a casual pool side dinner but between the rain and also they had changed things up a bit at the hotel we weren't able to do that. Anyway we ate at the little restaurant. The food was pretty good and it was nice to visit with my parents. After dinner the kids wanted to put on their swimsuits so we brought them back to the room so they could do that. At that point the pool was still closed, but they wanted to spend time on the beach. Again it was drizzling rain the entire time, but they still had fun. We spent about an hour just letting them play in the sand and water. We walked around also a little after that and played some of the yard the rain still. That night we got everyone cleaned up and they stayed awake and watched a movie. I knew they weren't going to go to sleep early.  I think we all turned the lights off by 10 and were shortly out though! 
Monday we got up fairly early b/c we knew we wanted to hit the pool before the rains came. We just had a little breakfast of cereal and such in the room. We got down to the pool right when it opened. We got our seats and at first thought it was going to be really nice for awhile. It was overcast and breezy. Well shortly after we got settled though the rains came...and they did not stop. We stuck it out though for the sake of the kids! We literally sat in the rain for about 2 hours!! I was freezing and soaked, but the kids continued to have a nice time. As the rain slacked off we decided to take them out to the beach. We enjoyed about 30 min out there. We then went back to the pool so they could do the slide. By about 11:30 I was DONE! I was freezing, cold, and hungry. We debated back and forth about what to do for lunch. We knew eating by the pool was out. We finally made the decision to ride into Fairhope to find some place to eat. We ended up at a Firehouse Subs. It was nice to get away for a bit and dry off. Ofcourse by the time we finished eating the sun was out and the rain had cleared!! We quickly got back to the hotel and changed into swimsuits. We hit the pool for about 2 hours! It was super hot though with the sun out. I did enjoy laying out though. We got drinks and it was just relaxing. I finally got super hot though and got in the pool. I left to go back to the room though about 2:30. Austin kept the kids out there a little while longer. I wanted to go ahead and shower. We were able to relax in the room for a couple hours before heading out to dinner. We went to get seafood that night. It was nice being with my parents and just all getting to visit together. It was raining again by that evening so once we got back to the hotel my parents headed up to their room. We spent a little time walking around with the kids. We turned in a little earlier that night b/c I think everyone was pretty tired from a busy day! 
Tuesday we got up early to head home. We left the hotel and went to Chickfila for breakfast. We then came straight on home. We made it home by lunch. We got in and unpacked and I even ventured to the grocery store. We had thought about going to see fireworks that night with friends, but pretty much everyone backed out. We also were a little relieved b/c we were tired from the whole trip. It was nice to just spend the evening at home. 

Monday, July 9, 2018

Summer Week 5

Wow its crazy to think how we are marching through summer! So this past week on Monday we just went over to my parent's house to swim. It felt good to relax and get in the pool. We hung around there for a couple hours and even had lunch with them. I really do love that routine. I always think we are going to have so many "swim days" during the summer then it usually ends up we can only go 1 or 2 times a week. It was nice though. Afterwards we came home and just did our usual relaxing and spending time outside. 
Tuesday was an early start to the day. I began the day with an interview...yes and interview! I had applied for the 1st grade job at Calvary. Shocking how my life has changed in a year?!? Anyway I was a little nervous, but not terribly. The interview was set up in a panel discussion form. It was also sort of casual b/c we were in a circle. The group consisted of Marsha (the principal), Ms. Dugas, Mrs. Birden, and Mrs. G. I was odd in a way bc of how well I know all these ladies. I felt pretty good about the interview though. It lasted about an hour total. There were a few questions I wasn't exactly sure how to respond, but I just tried to be honest and be myself! Once we finished the interview I was ready to come home. I got the kids and we just spent the afternoon relaxing. My brain was pretty fried by that point! I am loving our afternoons though! I know I will greatly miss these days when school starts back! 
Wednesday I promised the kids a big outing. I feel bad this summer b/c it seems we haven't been able to do our "big bucket" list things like usual. We ended up going to play putt-putt. Even though it was simple we had a lot of fun. It was hot though. We just played one game then came on home. I didn't want to be away too long since we had church that night. Church was good and the kids had a lot of fun. They had messy night which was interesting. The kids were happy as always to be around other kids. Oh and before church we ended up meeting my parents at Cane's b/c they were having Shepherd's Pie for dinner and none of us were too crazy about that option. 
Thursday we had an early start again b/c I had an interview. I once again dropped my kids off with my parents. This interview was just with Marsha. I was a lot less nervous and honestly most of the time we just chatted. It felt less formal. Anyway by the end she basically told me I had the job! I left there and got the kids and we met Mrs. Dufrene for lunch. It was good to hang out with a friend and also tell her all about the interview process. We had a nice time. Once we got home it was pretty late in the day. We had a low key afternoon/evening from there. 
Friday we had another busy day planned. Lindsay's little friend Genevieve was coming over to spend the day with us. She arrived about 10. I let the girls play for about 30 min before heading out. We left to visit the library. Colby was wanting to check out some new books. We didn't see anything though so we went on to the park. We spent about 45 minutes at the park. It was hot and the only did that didn't seem miserable was Genevieve haha! My kids complained a bit, but I think it was still nice for them to be outdoors awhile. After the park we went on over to chickfila to meet Natalie and have lunch. We had a really nice lunch and it was great visiting with a friend again. After lunch I brought the kids back here and they hung out and played all afternoon. Genevieve left at about 3:30. From there we just had a quiet night. 
Saturday I was up pretty early. I had breakfast plans with my friend Carly. Again I was happy to hang out with a friend and also escape the kids for a little while. I truly love summer and having my kids home, but also the 24/7 some days does get old. So I really enjoyed a little "me time". After we ate I went on to Target. Again another lovely thing to shop by myself. Once I got home we were pretty much in packing for the beach mode and stayed in the rest of the day. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Mississippi Weekend

So last weekend we were able to spend some time away in Hattiesburg. We ofcourse try to visit there every summer. Our last trip there was early March I believe. The kids were super excited to be leaving on a trip. We took our time on Friday morning doing last minute things around the house and packing. We were finally ready to leave around 11. We drove to Slidell and had lunch at McAlister's. It was fun just spending time together the 4 of us. We got into Hattiesburg around 2:30. We relaxed at the apartment for a couple hours. The kids played with their "apartment toys" and we just watched tv. Around 4 we left to go out to the country to see Austin's sister and her family. It was good getting out there b/c it had really been awhile since our last visit to their house. The kids got to play outside a little and see and hold chickens. They didn't get to do as much as they normally would though b/c it was just SO hot and the mosquitoes were awful. We ate a delicious dinner though of fried catfish and fries. After dinner we all played a game. That was so much fun! I think we all enjoyed the laughter and fun of that. Everyone except Lindsay ;)....the game was a little over her head. We got back to the apartment late which meant the kids got to bed late. It always takes FOREVER for them to settle down when they share a room! 
We all slept in that morning which was fabulous. We ate breakfast at the apartment. We just shared cereal and such. We decided to first go walk around USM that morning before it got too hot. Its always fun just walking around there and remembering all the fun we had during our college days. The kids don't quite appreciate it though. After that we went to the bowling alley. We played a game which lasted about an hour. I was the winner! It was fun though just laughing and being silly as a family. After that we went and got burgers for lunch. We then went back to the apartment to hang out and swim. Austin ended up taking the kids to the pool and I stayed in the apartment. I honestly just enjoyed the quiet. I was able to work on my Bible study some and just chill. They got in and we all rested and watched tv for awhile. That night we got ready and went to dinner at Cotton Blues. We love this place. It was our second time there. After dinner we decided to go walk around and do some shopping. After that the night was still young so we let the kids go back to the pool. I joined them this time. Austin and I didn't get in though. Its nice they are now old enough we can sit and watch while they play and swim. After swimming we retired back to the apartment. 
Sunday morning we woke up and packed up and had breakfast at McDonald's before hitting the road. We got home around lunchtime. I went to the grocery then we had lunch and just stayed around the house the rest of the day. 
It wasn't a super exciting weekend, but it was honestly nice to just get away and enjoy time together! The summer is flying by! 

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Summer Week 4

Gosh these weeks are just flying by!! Well Monday was free for the kids and I. I had told my friend Wendy though that we wanted to come by and see them before they left for Colorado. Since we didn't get to meet up with them at church I figured we could run by and give a quick hug before they left on Tuesday. I am so glad we did! We only stayed about 15 minutes but it was good visiting with her and Emily. We brought her coffee and cake too! Anyway after that we decided to go ahead and shop for school uniforms. I usually try to knock that out in June (usually after VBS) so it was nice to get that over with. Luckily we really didn't need much this year. Colby only needed a sweatshirt and Lindsay only needed skirts so it was a pretty easy trip. After that we stopped at Petsmart. We needed to get a few items plus the kids always enjoy looking around there. We then went to Barnes and Noble. We don't get there often so this is usually something we do in the summer. The kids had fun looking for a book. Gone are the days though where they play with the train table...that's a little sad. After that I promised them lunch at Panera. It was just a sweet, simple morning with them. We really haven't had many big outings yet this summer, but in many ways i think these are the most memorable. I just love spending time with them. We got home to a rainy afternoon and we just stayed in. And I must say how much I love the summer afternoons. We rest and watch tv and usually go outside and play. We have dinner then we take a walk. These really are the best days! 
Tuesday I had time scheduled with some of the Bible study ladies. I went and picked up my friend Tracey and she rode with me over to Cafe Amore. My parents watched the kids during this time. I am so thankful for their help during the summer. i know they enjoy it and the kids do too! Plus since I am usually with the kids 24/7 breaks like this with other adults is so nice. So we stayed at the coffee shop about 2 hours. I had a great time just visiting and hanging out. Afterwards I picked up the kids and we came home to relax and hang out. That night we had Pinewood Derby. This year it got moved to the summer. We therefore had a short afternoon. There wasn't nearly as many boys participating this year, but it was still a lot of fun. Colby's car came in 3rd place and Lindsay's got 2nd. I don't think their cars were quite as fast this year for some reason. It was still a nice night with them. They both miss friends so much during summer so it was great for them to just see and hang out with other littles. After we ate at Cane's before coming home. It was of course a late night, but during the summer we have been lax about bedtimes and plus they are sleeping in these days! 
Wednesday we had a pretty busy day. I volunteered to keep our pastor's 2 youngest children for a few hours. Ethan had an injury this summer and has had some doctors appointments and Ella was in Hattiesburg doing VBS at a church there. Anyway so we had Eli and Emma come over. Eli is 8 and Emma is 3. We had a good time. Colby and Eli played together wonderfully. I mean they are 2 grades apart in school and I don't think interact much there or even at church, but they have grown up together. Anyway Emma was really great and we don't know her as well. I was worried she would cry coming over here. She did super though, she was just super busy though! I forget how busy that age is! We all had a good time though. I mostly spent the morning following Emma or having Lindsay keep up with her. We did spend a little time outside, but its just SO hot! Once they left it was time to get my kiddos fed. We picked up Chickfila then came home to rest since we had church that night. Church was good, but for some reason I felt "off". They had pizza for dinner and for some reason I just wasn't super hungry and I was really hot. I attributed it mostly to PMS. Anyway as the night went on I just didn't feel great, but I really thought it was just female/hormone related. The kids had a great time at church. They did a "drive in" movie theme. It was cute...they turned boxes into cars. They also had popcorn and ice-cream. I know my 2 had a blast. Lindsay had Genevieve there and Colby had Zach. Well once we got home and the kids went to bed I decided I would follow suit. It was like 8:30...I just felt rotten. Well by like 9:30 I was up throwing up. I was sick most of the night. It was awful! Austin took the next day off work which I was super thankful for. I basically stayed in bed until about 8:30. I got up actually feeling slightly better. I thought and hoped I could move forward with my day. Well after stewing around for about an hour I felt weak and sick. I ended up getting on the couch and staying most of the rest of the day. I finally felt better late that afternoon and was able to eat dinner. I hated that to me it felt like a "wasted" summer day. Austin was great though and took the kids out. I also know that sometimes God calls us to just rest. I feel like this summer He has definitely helped us "rest". Knowing that the fall might be crazy. 
So Friday I woke up feeling like a new woman! It was great to feel back to normal. Well Austin was off that day and we had made plans to go to Hattiesburg. We took our time getting ready that morning and packing. The kids were super excited to be going somewhere. This summer we once again didn't plan a major trip. We are trying to plan a Disney trip of some kind next year. We had thought originally it would be before the end of this year so that is one reason we kinda skimped on the summer plans. Anyway needless to say I think we were all happy to be going out of town! 

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Father's Day Weekend

So as I posted before Friday night we treated ourselves by going out to dinner then letting the kids play at the park and driving around. Its not normal that we go out on Fridays. During the school year I am usually so wiped out and this was our first Friday that didn't involve VBS or swim lessons. Anyway it was a nice time! 
Saturday we went up to Aurora that morning for the kids to paint their cars and so Austin could help set up the track for Pinewood Derby. It was nice seeing friends that morning and I think the kids enjoyed themselves. Afterwards we came home so we could divide and conquer! Austin took the kids swimming at my parent's house and I went to the grocery store. We all got home later and had lunch together. We mostly relaxed and chilled that afternoon. We grilled pork chops and just enjoyed a family night together. 
Sunday was of course Father's Day. We went to first service as a family. It was a good morning at church. My friend Wendy's husband spoke and it was interesting and neat to hear that. He did a great job. The kids and I stuck around for a bit after the first service. Mostly to try and see the Schifflin's before they left for Colorado. We had donuts and tried to wait it out, but the kids were over it and ready to go. We stopped at Walmart for a couple things then came on home. Austin had to count. I hated he had to stay late on Father's day of all things. We ate a light lunch and just worked on straightening up around the house. That afternoon we mostly worked on getting our house ready for company. We volunteered to host Father's Day this year. We grilled steaks, had baked potatoes, salad, and a wonderful cake for dessert. It was just my parents and Elizabeth that came (Randall was already gone) on his motorcycle adventure. We had a good time though nonetheless. We even got to eat our dessert outside. 
I think we had a nice weekend. I am so thankful for the dad's and men in my life. I am thankful for Austin and all he does for our family. I love that he chooses us over other things. He also has such a servant heart. I am also of course thankful for my dad and all he taught me over the years. He's also an awesome granddad to my kids! I am just glad we could honor and celebrate our guys this weekend! 

Sunday, June 24, 2018

Summer Week 3

So with VBS behind us it was nice to have a slow down in life. That Monday the kids and I decided to go swimming at my parent's house. It was nice to just do something low key like that. We swam for a couple hours. My mom didn't have any groceries so we didn't stay for lunch. Instead the kids voted on Five Guys so we went there. Now that they are older I just love taking them out to lunch. Its nice to actually sit there and have conversations with them. It started storming soon after we got home so we spent a nice afternoon and evening at home. Its been great now to have those slow afternoons and evenings. The kids have loved playing together and we've been doing great with family walks in the evening. 
Tuesday I had Bible study so the kids went back to my parent's house. At first I wasn't too excited about going. I have felt a little disconnected from the group for some reason. I was happy I went though and ended up having a nice time! I picked the kids up and we made a quick errand stop then came home. Again we had the afternoon around here which was just lovely! 
Wednesday I had made plans with Wendy for coffee. Actually had I known about this before Tuesday's Bible study I might not have gone..i just felt bad about shipping my kids off to my parents 2 days in a row...although neither party seemed to mind. Anyway we had both said it would be a "quick" coffee meeting b/c she knew I had the kids home and she's prepping to send her son off to college. Well we met up a little before 8:30 and ended up staying until 12:30! It was crazy! I missed her so much and our talks though. I guess after spending nearly everyday almost together from March-May we had a lot of catching up to do! I had told my parents I would be back by 10 or when I wasn't there by 11 they called a little worried. Well then we proceeded to stay another hour! anyway it was such a good time! Once I got the kids we came home just to relax and hang out before church. It was nice knowing we were getting back into Wednesday nights. During the school year they are often exhausting, but during the summer I feel like my kids crave that friend time. Anyway it was good to get back. They both had lots of friends there too which was nice. They did water night so that was a lot of fun. I am just thankful for the tribe my kids get to grow up with and do life with. 
Thursday we woke up with a free day. I had contemplated taking the kids to the children's museum...b/c honestly we haven't had a "big" play day yet. They slept in though and I was honestly dreading going anywhere far away. Well when they woke up I gave them the option between children's museum or going out to breakfast. Lindsay spoke up and chose breakfast at Parrot Pete's. This is something she's been asking about so I did feel good to cross that off our summer bucket list. It was a really sweet time. It was a moment where I realized I am truly in the golden age of parenting. I mean first off they slept until 9 then they chose breakfast out over the loud children's museum! Wow! Anyway we talked and laughed and just enjoyed our 1,000 gifts moment. Afterwards we went to Target. We spent the afternoon at home which was nice. It ended up raining so it was nice to not get out. 
Friday we had another free day. I hardly knew what to do with myself honestly with all these free days. Well it was the day Incredibles 2 came out...I promised the kids we would go see it. We were able to have a slow pace morning then leave for the movie about 10. We saw the 10:45 show. It was a cute movie---not one of my favs by any means, but cute nonetheless. After the movie we had lunch at Chickfila then came on home. That afternoon we just hung around the house and Austin came home early. We ended up getting out that evening...something we rarely do! We went to eat Catfish at Adam's then took the kids to play at the park. We also rode around after that. It was a nice summer night as a family. We chose not to do a movie that night. I felt like since we were in the theater that morning they needed a night out! The park was just what they needed. It was still warm, but not nearly like it would have been during the day! It was a nice night just to be together! 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Weekend after VBS

It was nice to come home on Friday and know that VBS was behind us. Although I will truly miss it! Its always bittersweet when it ends. We had movie night that night and enjoyed family time. 
Saturday we had to get going pretty early b/c the kids had a make up swim lesson. We went to that as a family then Austin and the kids came home to hang out while I went to the grocery store. After shopping we went out to lunch and just enjoyed some time together. 
Sunday was church...we went to 2nd service b/c we were going out to lunch with my family. It was a longer/later afternoon, but we enjoyed the time with them. My brother is about to be gone for almost a month on his motorcycle venture. So we sorta celebrated Father's day a week early. That afternoon we just hung out and enjoyed our family time!