A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Texas

This is the temp my car registered yesterday afternoon

After starting the week off at a blustery 50*, we ended our week with, well, a 50*+ jump. That has to be a record of some sort.

The a/c is on, ice water in hand and the dress code is anything cool. The girls and I are living by the pool most afternoons, and enjoying every minute of it. I’m surprised at how adjusted I am becoming to the temperature. Although, all my wonderful secret fit belly pants and bella bands are not heat-friendly. I’ve tried folding them down, but then it puts too much constriction on my stomach which is pretty uncomfortable. It leaves me in a quandry as to how to hold up my pants. I suppose dresses are the way to go after all.

Southern Living’s May issue has some wonderful sweet tea recipes that I am hoping to try this week. Currently, I have water boiling for blackberry sweet tea – I’ll be sure to share the recipe with you all Thursday. They also have a sweet tea tart which looks divine. And while I might not drink sweet tea often, I’m a Southerner at heart and love anything recipe that requires tea, sugar and heavy cream. Hmmm….

I’m not sure about where you live, but here in Texas summer has fully arrived. While, maybe Texas summer hasn’t arrived, but summer by most normal standards. The high today is 90. N-i-n-e-t-y. Riiiight. I forgot that part of the deal when I signed up to move back here. Summers get hot. It starts in March. Ends in November.

During college I wore a lot of skirts and tank tops. But two and a half kids later, piecing together several different coordinated outfits doesn’t seem too feasible for me {unless of course, they are Gymboree hand-me-downs from my awesome SIL}. And so my love of dresses is renewed a little earlier this year.

As my stomach expands, I’m going to need to add in a few flowing dresses and transition out my fitted ones. Here are my favorite options:

Old Navy Ruffled Linen-Blend Sundress in Coral Tropics {Notice the empire waist? Much needed}

Old Navy Floral Print Jersey Dress in Blue Print {How delicate and pretty is this?!}

Merona Maternity Ruffle neck Dress in Purple {Let’s face, I’m probably gonna need to “bump” up come June}

Old Navy Ruffled-Yoke Jersey Dress in Blue Typhoon {This just speaks “cute and comfy”}

Mossimo Cami Maxi Dress in Avalon Sea {Though I’m weary of spaghetti straps}

Old Navy Flower-Graphic Tank Dress in Black Jack {Simple yet way cute}

A Pea in the Pod Sleeveless Rosette Dress in Charcoal {Very beautiful, very impractical, very expensive}

Motherhood Sleeveless Ruffled Dress in Green/Pink Floral {This looks so sweet and innocent}

Anthropologie Pangaea Silk Dress {So feminine, so silky, so, so expensive}

Merona Carey Dress in Ebony {I actually am ordering this to wear in my high school best friend’s wedding in late May}

Do you have any summer dresses that you’ve been eyeing? Any good maternity dress suggestions?

Visit Amanda at Oh Amanda for more Top Ten Tuesday.

We still have some work to do before we {or should I say I} would consider us settled. But, slowly we have life blooming in our home.

The girls' room

Dining area {Go TEXAS!}

This is my favorite spot in my kitchen

Look at that baking cabinet {right about the Kitchen Aide} *happy baker sigh*

As you can see, we are painting over the red in the “dining room” that we have turned into our den. Once we are done, we will hang Jonathan’s guitars in the windows. I think it will look super cool. {And for the record, Jonathan spent his entire Sunday afternoon/evening painting for me. What a great guy!}

Here’s the contrast of color:


Now here’s a fun question:

What color would you paint our front door. I’m leaning towards blue. Suggestions?

Actually, our house is anything but quite right now. We are still in the throws of unpacking and organizing the new house. But we don’t have Internet until Wednesday. I’m currently writing this from Jonathan’s iPad. Which is harder than I expected, since the app isn’t letting see as I type. {So let’s hope I get this right the first time ;)}

I promise I really do have some fabulous posts coming. Ranging from new adventures to an update on my 30 before 30. 

Stay tuned!
 

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how we found a house, put in an offer and had the offer accepted in less than 48 hours. As with a lot of other life things, housing buying can be tricky. Between finances, paperwork, inspections, schedules, etc., anything can go wrong at any time. So, in an effort to not put my hope in the wrong place, or to hype anything up, I haven’t written about our move.

But it’s happening.

While we haven’t signed the closing paperwork, everything is set {finances approved, money in the bank} and ready to go for next week. We are having a few scheduling issues arise, but we think they should be smoothed over {for those of you who want the boring info – the short of it is – we are set to close on the 31st, but our locked in interest rate ends on the 30th, so we need to figure out which day to close}.

Here are just a few pictures of my favorite things in the house:

Look at that beautiful {big} kitchen! It overlooks the living room and backyard. Sigh.

The girls' room. Already painted girly pink and everything!

A playscape! Heart be still, the playscape stays! I am one happy mama {with two happy little girls}.

While we still don’t own the house, we are pretty certain everything is going to go through as expected. Which means, come this time next week, we will be in our new home, starting some wonderful new adventures! I cannot wait!

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

Visit Jill at Diaper Diaries for more Things I Love Thursday.

*If you’d like to see the rest of the house, let me know and I can email you a link to the tour {it has our address and I don’t want that on my blog}.

This past Sunday, we spent the afternoon at Zilker Park enjoying the city’s annual kite festival. This year marked 83 years of Austin kite flying! The festival takes place on the first Sunday in March every year {with some changes made over the years due to weather}.

Getting the kite ready for air time

Hannah had a blast being part of the action

Poor Julia felt pretty crummy the whole time. This is the last photo Jon snapped before she laid down in the grass while we flew the kite.

Jon took the kite for a test flight and got it up much higher than me!

 

 

As we were leaving, we turned around and saw tons of kites in the sky. It was a very cool experience!

What fun outdoor activities are you do as spring approaches?

Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking is taking the week off Try New Adventures Thursday to enjoy spring break with her family. This post will be linked to her next week {3/17}.

When we bought our last house, it dawned on us that we had inadvertently gotten into real estate – as that was our third property. It made sense, then, to buy again once we moved to Texas. However, there are a lot more options in Austin and narrowing down what/where we wanted proved to be a challenging task. So we made a list:

1. Good community

2. Good school district

3. Nearby park/pool

4. Close to downtown

5. Close to Jonathan’s work

6. Affordable – Turns out the houses closest to Jon’s work are not within our price range {by 300K’s+}.

7. Master bedroom on same level with kids’ room – Not something terribly common in homes here in Texas

8. Four bedrooms

9. Separate dining room

10. Decent size yard

It seemed that the more houses we looked at, the less we liked. Something was always off. Too much. Not enough. Needs repair. Too far away. The list went on. Then, last week, out of no where, Jon got an email from our realtor about a house. They set up a showing for the next day. Turns out, the house was in the neighborhood we wanted – but get this – down the street from two families we knew from our missional community! We looked back at our top ten list and realized that this house met every single need/want we had listed – plus some! The next day we put in an offer and the accepted it the next morning.

So…. if all goes as we are praying, come March 31st, this will be our new home:

Visit Amanda at Oh Amanda for more Top Ten Tuesday.

If you drive through any major intersection in Austin you will notice one thing: homeless people. Standing along the road with signs, begging for food or money. Rain or shine, they are always there. In fact, one of the best know Austinites is homeless – his name is Leslie. He’s even run for mayor. The homeless roam the streets, and the ones near the University have earned less-than-kind nicknames. I remember in college buying bags of candy to hand out while I walked down “The Drag“.

Six years later and I’m still handing out bags to the homeless. Only these have more purpose.

Our missional community {i.e. small group} banded together to make Bags ‘O Grace – large bags filled with water, crackers, canned goods, etc., to hand out when we pass by the homeless. In each bag there is a small note that simply says: Christ Loves You. No tracks. No come-to-our-service invites. Just simply a bag full of grace.

I, personally, haven’t seen any homeless come to Christ because of the bags. But I’ve seen some incredible changes – in my life. And in my kids’ lives. At every intersection, Julia says “Mom, does that man/woman need a bag? Mom give them a bag.” It isn’t always possible – the light changes too soon, or we are too far away. But each time, it opens up conversation. Each time it allows my kids to see a glimpse of grace – giving love when love isn’t earned. It forces me out of my comfort zone to acknowledge the hurting world around me and too find ways {even small} to reach out to them.

What is your bag ‘o grace?

Visit Alicia at Alicia’s Homemaking for more Try New Adventures Thursday.

While I originally only planned for my series to be three parts, I thought you’d all like to know how my half marathon went last weekend. In a nut shell it was awesome.

Before arriving, I was so incredibly nervous I thought for sure I was going to loose my breakfast. I was snapping at Jonathan while he was driving and was just getting overly annoyed and anxious. Everything was going completely opposite of how I’d planned {and specifically how we’d prayed the night before}. However, as soon as I stepped out of the car {with plenty of time to spare thanks to my wonderful husband} I felt a flood of relief. Just like a switch, my nervousness was gone and I felt total peace {thanks God!}.

 

Half Marathon Training {The Finish}

 

1. Prepare to be overwhelmed – The most amount of people I’ve ever run with was 30. Sunday I ran with 20,000. Yeah, that’s a lot of folks. And at times it was a bit overwhelming to keep my eye out for people passing me and me passing people. Not to mention the bum rush to water stations and bathrooms.

2. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate – When I ran my half last spring I didn’t hydrate well enough. And I paid dearly for it by the end. This time around, I’ve trained with hydration breaks and made sure to stop at every water station I came to. At one point I was tempted to pass the last few by {because of the crowd} but then I remembered “HYDRATE!”.

3. Don’t give up – Somewhere around the 8 mile marker, I was done. My feet were hurting, my time was off and I was ready to lay in the grass and wait for the “dropped runner” cart to pick me up. I started using every metal trick in my book. I made up games. I gave myself a pep talk. I counted how many people I saw in certain colored shirts. Whatever it took to keep me focused {and running} I did it. Running a half marathon is tough, but don’t give up. You can do this. You can do this.

4. Enjoy your victory – My time was off what I expected and half way through I was really beating myself up for it. But once I crossed that finish line I thought “I don’t want time to steal my victory”. And so I didn’t. And I won’t. I ran my race, I did it well, and I succeeded.

Standing outside P.Terry's waiting for my burger and chocolate shake

5. Reward yourself – As a little extra motivation, promise yourself a reward once you complete your run. Maybe a nice night out. Maybe a massage. Or maybe those running shoes you’ve been eyeing for the last year:

*happy sigh*

For Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 of this series, click here {Part 1 – The Physical and Part 2 – The Mental and Part 3 – The Emotional}.

*Disclaimer: All tactics/tips are my own personal opinions and not medically backed. Please seek medical advice before starting any running program.

I cried when I finished my half marathon last April. Well, I suppose I didn’t technically cry, since I was borderline dehydrated. But I did cry out. The last mile of my run was overwhelmingly emotional. A mixture of victory and defeat {I walked mile 11 when I wanted to run the entire race}. A relief at being done. A sense of accomplishment, mingled with a desire to do more.

Running is every bit emotional as it is physical and mental. Yet we tend to gloss of the emotions. But I’m here to tell you: It’s your party, cry if you want to.

Half Marathon Training {The Emotional}

 

1. Finding your center – Wow, if that didn’t sound New Age-y, I don’t know what will. But honestly, running can really help you focus, sort through your emotions, and recenter yourself. Just channeling your efforts into exercise can help clear your mind of “emotional baggage”. I attribute it to all the time aloneyet another reason I don’t listen to music while I run.

2. It’s a BIG deal – Whether you’re completing your goal of a 5K or a marathon, finishing is a big deal. You’ve likely spent weeks training – time away from your family, friends, work {and truthfully favorite t.v. shows}. And coming from a former non-runner, crossing that finish line means so much more than time and speed. It means accomplishing something great. Sometimes accomplishing something great is celebrated with tears.

3. You’re a BIG deal – Once you’ve transformed from non-runner to runner, something about you changes. You understand you can rise to the occasion. You can conquer. You can do something you never thought possible. Whispering in the mirror, “Sarah, you’re a runner” in the wee hours of the morning before I go running gives me the emotional {and mental} confidence to succeed. Despite the stretch marks. Despite the abs that will just never be the same. Despite whatever I’m feeling, I know I can do this. And you can to.

How do you feel after a run? Have you ever cried?

My half marathon is this Sunday. I’m going a little crazy this week with “Am I ready, am I not?”. But come Monday, it will all be done. And it will have so been worth it to wake up and say “I am a runner.

For Part 1 and Part 2 of this three part series, click here {Part 1 – The Physical and Part 2 – The Mental}.

*Disclaimer: All tactics/tips are my own personal opinions and not medically backed. Please seek medical advice before starting any running program.


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