A Wife Loved Like The Church

Posts Tagged ‘Try New Adventures

We went to Amarillo last Thursday to visit my Uncle. Would you be amazed if I told you, you can drive for 9 whole hours without ever leaving Texas? Well, you can. And we did.

We visited Cadillac Ranch, which is a few minutes outside of town. There are 10 Cadillacs buried in the sand. People can come out and spray paint them. Don’t knock it, it’s art. Or at least that’s what the multi-millonaire who owns them says.

I remember visiting Cadillac Ranch when I was the girls’ ages. It’s one of those memories that are blurry around the edges, but never quite goes away. I loved taking Julia there and talking her through what she thought of the place. It was a really fun mom moment for me.

We drove 30 minutes outside of town to visit Palo Duro, the second largest canyon in America. It’s beautiful. I’ve never seen the Grand Canyon, so have no comparison, but Palo Duro is West Texas at it’s finest.

I haven’t been to West Texas in over a decade. Yet, I was surprised at how being there felt so right. I woke up Friday morning, stepped outside to the wind blowing and a farm smell hanging in the air and I felt peace. It was a strange feeling, one I haven’t felt about anywhere other than Austin.

My cousin later said that it was because West Texas runs deep in my blood. We have a heritage here, that for good or bad, we can never escape. It’s true. I spent a lot of childhood summers playing in corn fields, hiding from the Texas sun and hearing stories of life on the plains when my ancestors where children. That’s something that becomes part of your DNA.

My extended family isn’t very close knit. I haven’t seen most of my cousins in ten years and see my grandparents only annually at best. My immediate extended family isn’t much better. It’s sad how easy it is to lose connections like that. To let family slip through your fingers.

My “baby” brother is spending the summer with us. {I say baby only in the fact that he is the youngest, but clearly, not the baby.} It’s been wonderful having John around. Lots of laughter and jokes. The girls are crazy for him, and who can deny the benefit of extra hands to help around the house.

It’s one step toward family reconnection.

We ended our trip with sips of strong coffee and laughing about our pasts. Apparently, our family has always been a rowdy bunch.

We drove through Lubbock to see some cousins. It gave the girls a chance to run off any remaining energy, and gave the adults a chance to build some reconnection.

Reconnection. That’s what our weekend was. And I’m hoping that this is our family’s first of many West Texas summers.

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

As of yesterday, Joseph started crawling.

For the last few weeks, he’s been getting up on all fours, rocking back and forth. Over the last week, he’s been really trying to move {and even stand} but with no success. I’ve heard before that once kids reach the point of rocking on all fours they are ready for crawling. Or not.

It’s funny to me, how vastly different children can be in there development. Julia was spot on the charts. Hannah was delayed. Joseph seems a tad early {from our family experience at least}. But in the end, they all learn.

I’m nervously excited about having a crawler. Excited that Joseph’s growing stronger and can be more interactive with his sisters. But nervous about having a boy crawler. I’ve always been told boys get into more trouble than girls, and since my girls get into a lot of trouble {meaning, they cause a lot of chaos} I’m a little concerned what more a boy can do… Flood the bathroom? Burn down the house? Shave the dog? Those seem to be the only things the girls haven’t done yet. Haha! I kid, I kid. Sorta….

What new adventures have you {or your family} had lately?

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

I have a hard time writing a post after I’ve written something more serious. But, alas, I figured if I’m going to write again it might as well be light and airy.

Which is exactly what this skirt is ::

As soon as I tried it on I loved it. But, because of the length, I was rather apprehensive. So, I facebooked it. I got yeses all around, so I bought the skirt. At the prompting of Jill, I knew I couldn’t leave the skirt at it’s current length. It’s tea length, which is frankly not my favorite style and doesn’t look all that great on me.

Because of a few sewing projects gone bad over the last few months, I’ve been a little gun shy when it comes to using my sewing machine. But, I knew if I ever wanted to wear my new skirt, I would have to suck it up and hem.

So I did ::

I measured 7″ all around the base of the skirt, cut up the side seams, then cut along my markings with the curve of the skirt. Once the skirt was cut, I turned the fabric under and hemmed away. Very slowly. I made a few mistakes {while cutting} but so far only I can tell. Jonathan noticed it once I pointed it out, but assured me he couldn’t tell before {and wouldn’t notice it even after knowing}.

I’m pretty pleased with the outcome. And it was a great project to get me back in the sewing saddle. Perhaps I’ll tackle this skirt next.

What fun and crafty adventures have you done lately? 

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

Remember how I painted our front door blue?

There was some discussion in our house about how the door didn’t seem complete. That it needed color to help round it out. While it’s hard to tell from the picture, we do actually have flowers planted around the front {some have yet to bloom for the season}, which will help with adding color to the area. But Jonathan and I agreed we needed something more.

So I made a fabric wreath.

I used felt to make the flowers {via a tutorial from Alicia!} and cream colored yarn to wrap around the wreath. I used a lot of spring colors, just to give it some more pop.

We had some friends, Matt and Kristen, visit us from Iowa last week. They both said they liked the color, but Matt suggested that it was probably only a good color for the spring and that we might not like it as much come late summer/fall. Very true. Thanks to the color choice of the wreath it does seem to have an Easter egg look to it. *sigh*

I still like it. And it was pretty fun making the wreath – something I’ve wanted to try for a long time, but just have never made time for. Made I can pick some other colors for the fall and winter, but I’m at a lost for what colors to choose. Any suggestions?

What fun adventures have you had lately?

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

Since moving into our house, we’ve been talking about painting our front door. The biggest struggle was figuring out what color we wanted to use. Then about two weeks ago, I saw this ::

{photo credit}

I knew, just knew, that we needed to paint our door blue. After narrowing down our choices from 15+ paint options to 6, we finally went with this ::

I sanded and washed down the door. Then I spent Tuesday afternoon/evening painting and putting on new hardware. All. By. Myself. I am woman, hear my roar. I’ve never painted a door and I’ve never used exterior paint. I was pretty surprised at how quickly the paint dried, which made the process go much faster than I expected. Putting together the hardware proved to be the most time consuming. But with drill in hand, I got the dead bolt and lever installed with only a few hiccups along with way.

In person the color pops and is beautiful. Beautiful. And I love it.

But Jonathan isn’t a fan. He thinks it’s too bright and pops too much and doesn’t go with all the green around the outside. He wants to go with a darker blue {think navy blue}. Sorry to throw you under the blog bus babe, but, dear readers, here’s where you can help…

Do you think the color is too bright? 

We’ve agreed to leave the color for at least a month until I can add in some accents to make the colors flow together more. Until then, give me your honest opinion…

Should we stay with this color?

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

Disclaimer :: I want to clarify that Jonathan and I aren’t  fighting about the door color. Any arguing points {which I wouldn’t even call it an arguing, but rather differing opinions} are all in good fun. It’s a door, after all.  

For the month of February I took a photo challenge on Instagram. A super easy and fun idea created by Chantelle at Fat Mum Slim, it really helped me capture my day to day life.

Here are just a few of my favorite photos from February ::

Chantelle has a new Instagram photo challenge for March, and since today is the First of March, I’m already getting started for this month.

Do you have Instagram? If so, have you ever participated in a monthly challenge?

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

This past weekend, I ran in the Color Run.

It rained, for days, before the race. Which left the grass track muddy and wet. And after a week of 70*, Saturday started off frigid.

Overall, the race was fun, but there were some definite set backs. Turns out, running in ankle deep thick mud is actually quite hard. I ran as much as possible, but ended up walking up one of the hills when it became nearly impossible to run without falling. And thanks to the mud, trucks weren’t able to get to the back half of the course, which meant that the color {the entire point} of the race ran out. That was a total bummer. But, there was plenty color waiting at the finish line. And that color produced a lot of crazy ::

While the set backs weren’t ideal, overall the Color Run was pretty fun. It’s the first year and I’m certain that by the end the Color Run will have all the kinks worked out and be a really fun race. I loved starting off my racing season with the Color Run and am getting pumped for my big race on the 19th.

Check out Color Run to see if there is a race near you!

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

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

Yesterday was Hannah’s first day of preschool. She started the two-days a week program at the same church where Julia has been going since last fall. Since Julia started “school” Hannah has been talking about going non-stop. While we do educational things at home when Julia is gone, I’ve certainly dropped the teacher ball after Joseph’s birth. To have the opportunity for Hannah to learn in a play-based way is going to be so great for her.

This photo says so much about my sweet girls’ relationship. Hannah, despite her spit fire personality, really does look up to Julia a lot. And Julia, ever the comforter, really does a great job of watching of Hannah.

Once we got to school, Hannah was a little miffed that she wasn’t going to class with Julia. She kept insisting that she was also four years old and needed to be with Julia and her friends. But, her teachers helped distract her with all the fun toys and games they had. As I left the building, I sneaked a quick peek in her room and she was playing and all happy.

When she came home, she was a ball of excitement with all the wonderful things she’d learned and done. She just loves her teachers and is so excited to finally be at school with her big sister and two neighbor friends.

It’s a bittersweet time now. I love that Hannah is getting to participate in such a great program. I love that Hannah and Julia have another way to bond. And I love being just with Joseph. But it’s a bit sad to see my sweet little Hannah growing up so quickly. She’s turning 3 {THREE!!} in just a few more months. How in the world did that happen? :sigh:

What adventures have you, or your children, had this week?

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

I don’t know why certain foods seem so complicated and difficult to make. Maybe it’s the fancy smancy name. Or the fact that I’m convinced I can’t make food better than a restaurant. Whatever the case may be, I’ve always wanted to make tomato bisque soup but have been too scared to try it.

Jonathan and I went for a date to La Madeleine a few weeks back. I ordered a side of tomato basil soup. It was divine. Over dinner I mentioned how I’ve always wanted to make tomato bisque but was too scared to try. So Jonathan challenged me – make it by the end of the week.

I did some research and found this delicious and easy number::

Tomato Bisque

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the onion, celery, carrot, and garlic. Cook and stir until the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown, about 8 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook 1 minute longer, stirring constantly.
  2. Stir in the tomato paste, chicken broth, tomatoes, sugar, and nutmeg. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer 15 minutes until the vegetables are very tender.
  3. Pour half to three-quarters of the soup into a blender-depending on how chunky you want it-filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup in the saucepan.
  4. Return the pureed soup to the saucepan and stir in the cream. Cook over medium heat until the soup is hot. Season with salt and pepper to taste before serving.

Aside from the very unusual, but thankfully short, protest of dislike from Julia, the meal was a hit. The recipe made enough that Jonathan and I both had seconds and there were still some leftovers. Double score!

Bon Appetit!

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

I ended 2011 by jumping, fully dressed, into a pool.

It was cold. It was crazy. It was awesome.

I’ve realized I’m not going to complete my 30 before 30 list by my birthday in March. Sure, I still have time to knock off a few items, but it won’t be fully completed. And I’m ok with that.

When I first wrote my list two years ago, it was a personal challenge. A challenge to push myself to try new things, be okay with failure, and most of all to say yes to life.

So on Saturday, December 31, when I had the chance to jump in a freezing cold pool, I went for it. It’s something I’ve always secretly wanted to do, but never thought would happen. Well it did happen. I said yes and made it happen.

What are you saying yes to? What adventure should you try?


This post will be linked to Try New Adventures Thursday with Alicia’s Homemaking.

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