Social Activities Are My Cardio

4.26.2017

I cannot believe how much stuff we have had going on recently. It's kind of ridiculous. Last week Jordan and I realized that we hadn't even turned the TV on one single time from Sunday to Sunday, and obviously it isn't a bad thing to not watch TV, but it should tell you something about how busy we've been!

R has been such a dream child, going to all these different things with us, staying up past her bedtime and still getting up in the morning at the same time to head out the door with us for work/daycare. The bright side is that she goes down for bed so easy and we don't hear a peep from her during the night. Probably because she's passed clean out with her limbs hanging out every which way (see exhibit A).

On Monday, Beka drove down from Kansas to take maternity pictures for us! We first connected online via our blogs and had a chance to meet up in person a couple of times while she and her husband lived in Oklahoma. The first time we met was at a Starbucks (isn't that how all the cool bloggers do it?), and her husband waited in the car to make sure I wasn't a serial killer. Jordan stayed home and just told me to "text him if I got killed." He loves me. 

Beka recently started a new photography business and was kind enough to offer to take our photos! I know maternity pictures aren't everyone's favorite thing, but I love them. You can see my maternity pics with R here.

My mom was here last weekend and that was awesome, as always. We made a bunch of freezer meals. We made a few from this post and also we made this (I had a 4-pound roast that we cut it in half and cooked half for dinner that night and made the other half a a freezer meal for later!) We also rearranged a few things around the house. I figured since I'm almost 32 weeks pregnant maybe I should actually start doing something about the nursery. You can check out pictures of the nursery in this post

We aren't doing too much to it, but I did get gray curtains (these) and I'm replacing one of the two animal art prints with a fox with yellow balloons from the same Etsy shop as I got the original prints from. The goal is just to make it look more neutral with less pink stuff and more boy colors. Easy and cheap! We originally painted the room mint green for a reason.

We moved the white cabinet out (see how it looked in the nursery in this post), flipped it on its side, and made R a little play area in our office/extra dining room. I am kind of in love with it. Now her toys and books aren't piled in the living room! 

With the space created by the cabinet, we moved R's toddler bed (that my in-laws found at Goodwill for $50!) into the nursery. Now to start the transition from crib to toddler bed... We have no idea what we are doing but at least R sleeps on a cot at daycare for naps every day so she's used to not always being in a crib to sleep. That should help, right? Help.
In other news, the Oklahoma City Arts Festival is in town this week! It's one of my favorite weeks of the year and since I work downtown, I try to go to the fair every day during my lunch hour. I have already plotted out what I want to eat, and today was this delicious BBQ sandwich. I also have my eye on the giant egg rolls (had them last year and YUM) and also trying out the bread pudding that people raved about last year. In case you are wondering about budgeting, I pretty much use up my April blow money on eating at the festival and I have no regrets.

After months of staring at it, I finally stained and hung up this "gather" sign over our kitchen table, and I love it! I think maybe I need to find something to go over it or around it or something, but for now I'm happy I at least accomplished getting it on the wall.

 With that and the nursery stuff, Jordan is all, "So, I guess you're nesting?" 

I mean, I guess so, but I haven't had the urge to scrub my baseboards yet so I can't be sure.

What's been going on with you?

On Breastfeeding (Again) and What I'll Do Differently with Baby #2

4.24.2017

I joined with the Honest Company to share my breastfeeding story. This is not a sponsored post, and I am not being compensated, but this is a topic I wanted to write about anyway, since I am about two months out from baby #2 and have some thoughts about breastfeeding heading into it for the second time. The Honest Company has a best-for-baby approach and features stories on their blog written by mothers with all different feeding journeys. The Honest Company has a line of feeding solutions with organic, non-GMO, and other high-quality ingredients for both breastfeeding and formula-feeding mothers, plus their line of diapers and wipes! Personally, we used their baby + toddler multipowder  when R was about 6 months old and got a few ear infections and had to be on an antibiotic and I wanted to make sure she was getting an extra boost of nutrients.

I’ve written two post specifically about breastfeeding R. One was in February 2016 when she was six months old. We were exclusively breastfeeding, and I had been back at work in the office for a month and was pumping three times a day for her daycare bottles. I described the first few weeks of nursing and my thoughts on pumping and nursing as of the six-month mark. The second post I wrote was in July 2016, when R was ten months old. By that time I had just decided to stop pumping at work, and R was taking bottles of formula while at daycare, but I was still nursing her on the weekends and every morning and evening at home. I will not detail all of that again in this post, so if you want more information, read both of those posts!

Confession Session vol. 7

4.20.2017


*As always, my confessions are to be taken with one grain of salt and two grains of sarcasm.

I am not a fan of naked newborn baby pictures. Am I a total weirdo or is anyone else with me on this? I can’t explain exactly why, but I just have never gotten on board with it. I also have never loved baby pictures where they are wrapped up tightly in that gauze-looking stuff and just their head is poking out. Looking at it makes me feel claustrophobic.

I didn’t get R an Easter basket this year, and I don’t feel bad about it. I only feel a little bad when I read so many Easter recaps about all the stuff people got for their kids in their Easter baskets, but since when did Easter come to mean a second birthday for your child? I called my mom to ask her if we got Easter baskets growing up, because I seriously have no recollection of this happening, and she said we did get Easter baskets sometimes, but it was “inconsistent,” which explains my lack of memory surrounding this subject. 

I guess this is an example of what you did as a kid reflecting in your own parenting, because getting R an Easter basket just didn’t even cross my mind. My mother-in-law got R an Easter basket with a small thing of bubbles, a carton of goldfish, and a wind-up Nemo toy for the bath, so she’s not totally deprived.

I have no anxiety about R becoming a big sister. Like, none at all. She is with younger kids sometimes at daycare when multiple classes are outside or in the gym at once, and they always tell me that she’s really good with the babies. I think she will love being a big sister and I have no worries about her adjusting or me having time for her or any of it. What I do worry about is going back to work. It was so hard for me last time and knowing how difficult it was makes me scared of starting all over again. Maybe it will be easier this time. I can hope.

On Tuesday, I stayed up until 11:30 reading Dead Wake. NOT LIKE I NEED SLEEP OR ANYTHING. It's fine. But I won’t lie: it felt good to be that into a book again. Jordan turned his light off just as the German U-boat was aiming its torpedo at the steamer, and I could not go to sleep without knowing what happened. Even though I obviously knew what was going to happen. Do you ever have that feeling while reading historical nonfiction that even though you know the tragic thing that’s going to happen, you still hold back a small hope that it won’t actually happen this time?

I am convinced that Starbucks is operating a covert social experiment on us with this unicorn frappe. I have literally not heard of one person who says it tastes any good, and yet people keep buying it! I do not understand this. The Washington Post reviewed it and said it tastes like "sour birthday cake and shame." I mean yum, don't you think?

I don't understand crop tops. Maybe it's a sign that I'm getting old, or maybe it's a sign that some fashions from previous decades really should just stay dead. No matter how skinny you are, I have yet to see someone wearing a crop top who didn't also have a muffin top situation happening. 

I guess to be fair, I should "never say never" because I remember a time when I was against skinny jeans and smart phones and now look at me.

Check back with me in a year or two and see if I'm wearing a crop top while hanging up a picture of my naked newborn baby wrapped in lacy gauze. I probably just got back from buying my children Easter baskets after picking up the newest frappe that's flavored like Smurf.

*See more confessions here.

pancakes as large as your head + branson travel video

4.18.2017

This post contains pictures and stories and a travel video of our trip to Branson a few weekends ago! I already shared the main logistics of our trip and a few pictures here, so read that first if you missed it. If all you want to see is the video I made of our trip, scroll to the bottom!

Okay first things first. Let's talk about one of the most important aspects of any vacation: food. Jordan and I have been mostly disappointed in the food on our past few trips, but we more than made up for it this time. Have you ever been eating the most delicious meal and then you get full and feel really, really sad that you just can't cram down any more food? Well, it happened more than once on this trip and I'm not complaining.

The fun part was that even though we do budget for travel, we still usually keep an eye on our spending and try not to go crazy on food. But as I mentioned in my previous post, our hotel was so stinking cheap that we basically threw caution to the wind when it came to our meals. We didn't care about prices and tipped big and did crazy things like order dessert! 

This is what it feels like to be a movie star! I assume.

I am our designated Family Vacation Planner, so I created a list of breakfast, lunch, and dinner places for each day we were going to be in Branson. The majority of our eating spots were based on recommendations from friends, and they did not disappoint. On Sunday we had the most delicious brunch at the Keeter Center.

Eating at a buffet brunch with a toddler is.... interesting and not quite as relaxing as brunch is supposed to be, but we survived and left with full stomachs. And R might have eaten half of my mint chocolate macaroon and also a truffle.

Jordan and I were still eating and R was getting antsy (she eats SO fast), so we kept her happy by playing videos of her that I have of her on my phone. We have never let her use our phones for playing games or shows, but girlfriend will watch home videos and laugh at herself all day long.

Monday morning we drove into the middle of nowhere to hunt down a breakfast place our friend told us about. You know any place that doesn't have a paved parking lot and only takes cash is going to be legit. To get to the bathroom, you had to walk outside.

When we sat down at our table, the owner of the place hand delivered a basket of toys for R to play with and told us we could take one home for free! This was the kid's meal....
I repeat. THAT WAS THE KID'S MEAL. Did I mention we ate a lot on this trip?

Monday night the good food continued, and we drove half an hour north of Branson to eat dinner at Lambert's "Home of the Throwed Rolls" where they literally toss your dinner roll to you across the room. The food was gooooood. Good good. Fried okra and chicken pot pie and black-eyed peas and fried chicken and lots of Southern comfort on a plate and in my belly.

One of our favorite things on this trip ended up being something we didn't expect. We kept seeing signs for the Butterfly Palace and decided to go there one afternoon when it was threatening to rain and we wanted to find something to do inside. It was $20 a person (R was free, though), and we were totally not sure we were going to get our money's worth, but it was really, really neat!
There were some other exhibit areas (including a mirror maze that I was terrible at and Jordan found that quite hilarious), but the main part was a giant room filled with butterflies.

None of the butterflies that they have are native to the United States, so you will not see any of these flying around outside. They do two butterfly "releases" during the day, where they bring out a big bin full of butterflies in individual cups that are really to be released (released into the room, that is; not into the outside, just to clarify). 

Anyone who wants to can take turns releasing the butterflies! There was just one other couple there besides Jordan, R, and I, so R got to release a ton of butterflies and, you guys, she loved it. She kept saying, "Mo mo" (more, more) and getting really excited about all the butterflies flying around. There was a tense moment of panic when she also almost crushed two of them, but no butterflies where harmed thankfully.
I don't know whether we would have loved the Butterfly Palace as much as we did if R hadn't been with us. She was so cute running around and having such a good time releasing the butterflies and was fun to watch. But it was also humid in there and I was sweating like crazy after chasing her around for a half hour, trying to keep her from stepping on butterflies.
^^^ That's right after she stole a safari hat and took off. Toddlers are crazy. CRAZY.

Traveling with a kid definitely is not as relaxing as doing it on your own, but it's lots of fun and R was so enjoyable to be around. We definitely had some moments where R started a public meltdown (one time might have involved blackberry cobbler), and we looked at each other and said, "We are those people right now."

It's also no secret that Jordan and I don't travel together very well, so we had a few moments ourselves. But after (almost!) six years of marriage, I think we keep getting better and better. Now that we have R, we both treasure days we can take off work and spend lots of time together as a family. 

I won't go on and on about this, but I'll just say that watching the travel video I made of our trip makes me so happy. I am just so thankful for my little family and feeling all the hormonal pregnancy feels right now. 

*Just FYI, I make all my videos in iMovie, and I wrote a post detailing exactly how I make them here. They are not hard to make at all, but I find them such a fun way to look back on different seasons of life. I hope you enjoy! If it isn't appearing below, click here to watch on YouTube.


Recent Reads vol. 2

4.17.2017


Check out my first book review post of 2017 here.

I have been a super lame reader lately, which makes me sad, but I have just been so busy these past few months that reading hasn’t been high on my priority list. I also have been trying so hard to get through a collection of C. S. Lewis essays, and if you’ve ever read any C. S. Lewis, well, you know that he’s brilliant and also dense, so I read about one essay a night and then get super sleepy. Ha! 

But I do have two book reviews for you today, and I have four books that just came in from the library (all at the same time, of course), so hopefully I can get back on the reading train and not be ashamed of myself anymore.

The Whole-Brain Child: 12 Revolutionary Strategies to Nurture Your Child’s Developing Mind, Survive Everyday Parenting Struggles, and Help Your Family Thrive by Daniel Siegel and Tina Payne Bryson

Reading about the brain is fascinating to me, and this book was a pretty quick and easy read. It breaks down some of the brain's functions so that we can better understand what is happening when a child is experiencing different emotions/tantrums, etc. 

This actually gave me some insight into my own self as well, and I had an insightful realization about how I can better relate to Jordan. While I did find some of the examples hard to relate to since R is only a year and a half, I think the authors did a great job offering tips and suggestions for a variety of different ages. This would be a book I would read again in a few years to get a refresh when my kids are a bit older too!

A few quotes that stood out:

“Too often we forget that ‘discipline’ means ‘to teach’—not ‘to punish.’ A disciple is a student, not a recipient of behavioral consequences. When we teach mindsight [a concept talked about in one of the chapters], we take moments of conflict and transform them into opportunities for learning, skill building, and brain development."

“In terms of development, very young children are right-hemisphere dominant, especially during their first three years. They haven’t mastered the ability to use logic and words to express their feelings, and they lives their lives completely in the moment—which is why they will drop everything to squat down and fully absorb themselves in watching a ladybug crawl along the sidewalk, not caring one bit that they are late for their toddler music class. Logic, responsibilities, and time don’t exist for them yet. But when a toddler begins asking, “Why?” all the time, you know that the left brain is beginning to really kick in. Why? Because our left brain likes to know the linear cause-effect relationships in the world—and to express that logic with language."

“When a child is upset, logic often won’t work until we have responded to the right brain’s emotional needs. We call this emotional connection “attunement,” which is how we connect deeply with another person and allow them to “feel felt.” When a parent and child are tuned in to each other, they experience a sense of joining together."

Spaceman: An Astronaut’s Unlikely Journey to Unlock the Secrets of the Universe by Mike Massimino

If you know me at all, you know that this is not in any way completely not at all a book I would ever have read. But I saw this available on Blogging for Books and picked it up because I know that Jordan loves space and I thought he would like to read it. I was shocked to find that I enjoyed this book very much! This memoir was written by an astronaut who has taken two trips into space and worked on repairing the Hubble Telescope. It was well written and in some parts truly suspenseful. 

The author describes what it feels like to be in space, and I loved the photos that were included in the color insert. I had no idea all that it took to be an astronaut, and I found this book fascinating. I would recommend this even if you don't think you're interested in space. After I finished reading this book I started Googling all about the Hubble telescope and NASA, and that is normally not something I have any interest in. So give this a try if you are looking for something somewhat out of the box!

This is not a book about faith or God, but there was one quote that stood out to me that really resonated with me. This is during the author's first spacewalk when he gets his first view of Earth.

"The planet below was so beautiful that I actually started getting emotional... I know that might sound strange. There are so many horrific problems here: war, hunger, killing, suffering. But heaven is supposed to be this beautiful, perfect place, and from up there I couldn't imagine anything more beautiful, more perfect than this planet. We might discover life on other solar systems someday, but for now there's nothing but chaos and blackness and desolation for billions of light-years in every direction. Yet here in the middle of all that is this magnificent place, this brilliant blue planet, teeming with life. It really is a paradise. It's fragile. It's beautiful. It's perfection...

"My thought looking down at the Earth was Wow. How much God our Father must love us that he gave us this home. He didn't put us on Mars or Venus with nothing but rocks and frozen waste. He gave us paradise and said, 'Live here.' It's not easy to wrap your head around the origins and purpose of the universe, but that's the best way I can describe the feelings I had."

*I received a copy of Spaceman from Blogging for Books, but all opinions are entirely mine.

Here's what I picked up at the library recently:

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch-- because I keep seeing this book everywhere and I need to know what all the fuss is about.

Dead Wake by Erik Larson-- Erik Larson is my absolute favorite nonfiction writer and this is the last book of his that I have not read.

A Fall of Marigolds-- I liked the author's previous book, so I'm going to see how I like this one!

Forever Seated High

4.16.2017

I believe in God our Father
I believe in Christ the Son
I believe in the Holy Spirit
Our God is three in one
I believe in the resurrection
That we will rise again
For I believe in the name of Jesus

Our Judge and our Defender
Suffered and crucified
Forgiveness is in You

Descended into darkness
You rose in glorious life
Forever seated high
- - -



"This I Believe (The Creed)"
performed by Hillsong Worship
Listen to the full song here

It's not about bunnies and chocolate and Easter baskets, friends.
It's all about Jesus. 


One Million

4.13.2017


A few weeks ago, I hit one million page views over the lifetime of this blog! I realize some bloggers get that many page views a month (or a week probably!), but I still think that's a significant number considering the size of this old blog here.

In case you haven't been around since the beginning (so.... basically if you aren't either Jordan or my mother), I started blogging in May 2010 as a creative expression of my writing when I was at a job where I edited other people's writing all day long. Seven years later, I am still blogging and still editing and still enjoying having this blog as an outlet to share my own writing.

I have never had a specific niche or a set schedule but have always just blogged about what I wanted to, when I wanted to. I remember when I had 10 followers and thought about what it would be like to have 100. I still don't have too many more followers after all this time, but I love the ones I've got and am not in it for money or fame, although I have to admit that sometimes I think both of those would be nice!

It's difficult to measure the success of a blog, because everyone is going to see success in such a different way. If success were measured only by page views and comments and followers, I probably fail. The things that mean the most to me is when I get a comment or an email from someone telling me that what I wrote resonated with them. 

I hope to be an encouragement in any of the various topics I talk about on this blog, and I honestly also really hope to be a light for Jesus. I have never felt called to blog specifically and exclusively about my faith, but I do feel that God has given me a (small) platform, and I want to be a good steward of that. I know that not everyone who comes to this blog is going to share my beliefs, and that's completely fine. I want you to feel welcome here and maybe find something you can relate to or be encouraged by!

Since it's coming up on this blog's seventh birthday, and since I recently hit one million page views, I thought I would take a trip into the archives of The Lady Okie Blog and share a few favorites. I honestly have so many posts that I love, and looking back, there are a lot I am proud of. These are not by any means the only good ones, but as I went back through my list of archives, these stood out for one reason or another as ones I wanted to highlight from the past seven years.

*You can also browse by topic using the top navigation bar, and all of my posts are "tagged" to various topics, so you can always click on those to see other posts with that same label. For example, this post is tagged "blogging," and clicking on that word will bring up any post that I've tagged "blogging."

Running

My Bucket List and a Half Marathon - Officially signing up for my first half marathon was a Big Deal, and I remember crying while writing this recap. It wasn't my fastest time, but it's one I will remember forever.

10 Reasons Running a Marathon is Like Having a Baby - I wrote this two years before actually having a baby myself, and it's actually quite accurate (in my opinion).

Marriage

A Bean, a Bench, and a Bride: Our Engagement Story - I love that I have the story of our engagement written down in such detail! I wrote this in 2010, so it's one of my oldest posts and a lovely memory to look back on.

We Still Do - I was nervous to share this rather vulnerable post, but it is one of my most well-received posts as far as emails I got from people responding to this topic. Marriage is hard, and after watching two sets of friends go through a divorce over the past year, I feel more than ever that self-evaluation of marriage is a good and important thing to do every so often.

Family

My Grandpa's Tie - I am just so glad I wrote this down because it's so weird and random that you wouldn't believe it if there weren't proof. This is one of my older posts, written in 2012.

Do You Sell Hot Apple Cider? - My family talks about this every Christmas. This is one of those "remember that time when...?"

Then the Cops Showed Up - This is a funny story now. Not so much at the time.

Funny

The Tale of the Unmatched Office Prank - The first and only time I've ever been truly pranked, and it was amazing.

How I Feel About Target - I wrote this in July 2013, and I could have written it yesterday! Seriously it's still so true.

Food

How to Cook Fresh Green Beans - Written in April 2013, this is by far this blog's most popular post. It has thousands of pins and tens of thousands of page views. I have no idea why it's so popular, but there you have it.

Books

My Top 10 Books of All Time - I narrowed down my favorite books of all time to a list of ten. Ten! That's craziness. I wrote this in 2014, so I might need to reevaluate and see if any in the last couple of years needs to be added in, but these ten are still all winners if you haven't read them.

Faith

Why We Tithe - I felt led to share on this topic, and I'm happy with the way this post came together. If you are interested in why Jordan and I tithe, read this!

He Saw Us - Whether or not you believe in a God who cares about us and watches over us, there is no denying the crazy events of what happened to when Jordan and I were in the Bahamas a few years ago. I don't believe there is any way you can call this a coincidence.

Idols - The night after the most recent presidential election, I couldn't sleep and got up at 3:00 in the morning to write this. It is one of my most-shared posts.

Motherhood

I Think I'm Okay - This post felt like a conclusion to what has been a really hard season for me; namely, going back to work full time and having R in daycare.

Just Yesterday - As I think about R's second birthday coming up this summer, I really just want to repost what I wrote on her first birthday. I love this post.

nothing quite like it at all - I stepped outside of my usual style and tried out writing a poem on Mother's Day last year. I love how it turned out.

* * *

Thank you, thank you for reading and visiting this blog, for your encouragement, and for your comments and emails. I'd love to know a favorite post of mine if you have one that stands out for you personally! And if you have a request for a topic or a question you'd like me to answer, just let me know and I'll try to make it happen.

Thoughts on Quitting Social Media

4.12.2017


I’ve mentioned it a few times, but just in case you didn’t know, Jordan and I both decided to give up social media for Lent. We don’t normally give up something for Lent, but back in February, my sister shared a short video (ironically, on Facebook) that her pastor put together on the topic of giving something up for Lent, and it got me inspired. (I won’t go into it in this post, but if you are interested, check out the 2-minute video here.)

At first I thought I would give up blogging, but Jordan and I talked about it and decided to give up social media together. I suppose writing and reading blogs might be considered social media to some, but we stuck to the traditional outlets of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. The approach of Easter means we are nearing the end of our fast, and I wanted to share a few reflections after not being on social media for the last month and a half. This post is more jumbled and stream-of-consciousness than I normally like to do, but I think it would take too long to try and make clear connections and transitions between paragraphs, so random paragraphs it is.

R: 20 Months

4.10.2017


You love blueberries and bananas. Every morning you run into the kitchen and shout for “nanas” and “boo,” and if you don’t get it right away you get mad. If none of the aforementioned are available, you also request "cho cho" (cheerios).

You point to both of Jordan's eyebrows and say, "eyebow," and then you point to his mustache and call that an eyebrow too. Hilarious and also really smart of you!

You love shoes. Sometimes you will march up to me, shove your shoes in my face, and say “shoo shoo” until I put them on.

You love being outside, especially when you can “dra” with chalk. You cannot be contained to just one area but run all around the porch to draw on every available surface. Sometimes you ask me to trace an outline of your feet, or you will stand with your back against the brick and want me to draw a line so you can see how tall you are.

You won’t always give kisses when we ask, but when you do they are the sweetest kisses in the world. You purse your lips together and lean your whole body in. Your cheeks are so soft and plump, and when you’ve been outside playing they get all red and rosy.

You refuse to have anything on your head, whether it’s a hat, the hood of your sweatshirt, or a bow. If I get you distracted, I can slip a bow onto your head, but you always pull it off as soon as you realize it’s there (usually within 10 seconds).

You can’t stand to have even the tiniest speck of anything strange on your finger, and you will often come running up so that I can wipe your finger off, even if I can’t see anything on it.

When I ask you where something is, you hold both your arms out, palms facing up, and look at me as if to say, “I don’t know!” Although I know you understand me really well, and a few times I’ve asked you where something was like your baby doll or your other shoe, and you locate it almost immediately.

You say “no” a lot, even if you don’t mean it. You wave your finger and say “no no” when we do something you don’t like. You can sign “please” and “thank you,” and if you want more of something, you say “mo pee” (more please).

When you want to run fast, you don’t actually run faster, you just swing your arms harder and it cracks us up every time.

If you toot, you look at us with a surprised expression and say, “oh!” You also point to your bottom and say “poooo” when you want a diaper change. We’ve put you on the potty a few times, but I don’t think you’re interested.

While you get your diaper changed, you often like to cross your left leg over your right and read a book.

When you’re at daycare and a friend gets in your area or takes something from you, you bite them. We are trying to teach you that you can stand up for yourself while not hurting your friends. We talk about “soft touches” instead of pushing and scratching.

You get frustrated if you can’t get something quite right (like a puzzle piece in the right place), and you can easily get upset if you don’t get what you want. Sometimes you even get mad and throw a fit for no reason, and we aren’t quite sure how to handle it.

You love music and are a good dancer! You wave your head side to side and clap your hands.


You love to read books, and you snuggle up in my lap and demand a “boo” to read. Sometimes you will sit through the entire book and sometimes you just flip through the pages so quickly I can barely get two words out. Before bedtime you point to the “cha” (chair) and ask to read, and we can go through 4 or 5 books in one sitting before you're ready to move on to something else.

You are such a good sleeper! You go to bed between 7 and 7:30 and sleep until 6:30 or 7:00 the next morning. We took your paci away from you right after you turned 19 months old, and you had a rough couple of days but you figured it out really quickly!

You love to Facetime with Grandma and Grandpa, and you love to watch videos of yourself on my phone. You get so excited!

When we pray before dinner, you clasp your hands together and smile really big, and when we finish praying, we say amen and you copy us and say, "Ameeeen."

Your dad is so excited that you love airplanes. You can hear one coming from far away and immediately point to the sky and shout “airpane!” Then you watch it until it’s out of sight.
You love baths and shout “BAAA” and run into the bathroom. When you’re ready to get out, you wave at the drain and say, “bye-bye, wa wa” (bye-bye, water). And actually, you like to say "bye-bye" to everything these days.

Your eyes are beautiful and brown, just like your daddy's.

I could go on and on, really. Your facial expressions make us laugh daily, and you are growing up to be such a beautiful, smart, wonderful little girl. We love you so much.

does it count as a "babymoon" if you bring your toddler?

4.07.2017


Hello, I'm alive!

The funny thing about being off social media is that if I'm not posting anything on the socials and I'm not blogging, I am basically entirely off the grid. It's like I'm back in the dark ages of the '90s and I won't lie: I don't hate it. I need to increase the suspense factor in my life every once in a while, you know? Keeps things interesting.

My life has pretty much been go, go, go since last Friday, when Jordan, R, and I left town for a mini family vacation! I don't know if it technically counts as a "babymoon" if you bring your toddler along, but back in the beginning of the year I told Jordan that I wanted to take a long weekend and go on a family trip together before Baby Boy arrives and we have no money and no energy to travel ever again. My location requirements were as such: 1) somewhere I'd never been, 2) somewhere not crazy expensive (read: how we budget for travel), 3) somewhere within driving distance, which for this trip meant 6 hours or less (I'm not scared of the 16-hour road trip, but in this case we didn't want to waste an entire day in the car).

Ever since I moved to Oklahoma in 2009, all I keep hearing about is how everyone takes family trips to Branson, Missouri. It's apparently the place to go! At first I was hesitant about the idea because it felt too cliche, but it fit all of my vacation criteria, and the kicker was that our Sunday school teacher's mom has some kind of time share at the Hilton downtown, so our lodging was going to basically be free. And I'm not kidding; we stayed three nights at the Hilton in a nice big room with two beds and a balcony, plus free valet parking, and it cost us $25 TOTAL. Basically all we had to pay for during our vacation was food and gas! (And boy did we eat gooooood this trip. We've had a few lame experiences food-wise on previous trips, but that did not happen this time. I'm semi-nervous for my weigh-in at the baby doctor on Monday.)

We left Friday evening after work, drove 3 hours, and stayed the night at a hotel just on the other side of Arkansas. I had never been to Arkansas before, so I added a state to my list! I wanted to do that because then we only had a few hours left of our drive to Branson on Saturday, so we didn't feel rushed at all to get going in the morning. We ate breakfast at the hotel and then stopped mid-morning at a local park to let R run around for a bit. We ate tacos at this super hole-in-the-wall place in the middle of Arkansas (the name was literally the Taco Shack) and arrived in Branson around 3:00 that afternoon.

We were there Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, and checked out Tuesday morning and drove the five hours back home. For some reason R stayed awake for the entire drive home and didn't even come close to falling asleep once, which we thought was weird but whatever. She got mad a few times but mostly just read books and drew pictures and pointed out body parts and made duck noises and then laughed at herself. 

At one point she started screaming, and when we asked her what was wrong she pointed to her bottom and said, "Pooooo," so we said, "Did you go poop?" She nodded and continued to scream, so we pulled off the toll road to check her diaper. (She had correctly identified a poopy diaper just a few hours before.) This time, however, it turns out she had just farted, which confuses her sometimes. Considering we paid 75 cents to get off the highway and another 75 cents to get on, that was one expensive fart.

When we finally got home around 3:00 in the afternoon, she refused to let us unbuckle her and just sat happily in her carseat watching us unload the car. She is weird and awesome, and I love it.

The vacation came at a perfect time, the weather was mostly wonderful, and it was kind of a slap in the face to go back to real life. Cooking dinner? Laundry? Work? What is this madness????

The post-vacation blues hit both Jordan and I hard on Wednesday morning when our alarm went off, and I haven't had time to go to the grocery store or put anything away because we've had things scheduled every night this week so far. But. It's almost the weekend, and I will hopefully have time to get myself in order and relax a bit. I'm certainly not complaining, but why does it always feel like you need a vacation from your vacation? (Possibly it has something to do with the fact that having a toddler on vacation is hardly what I would call relaxing, even if it does up the cuteness factor by 1,000%.)

I took a bunch of videos throughout the trip and am working on a travel video, so I'll share that when I finish. I've made a few travel videos (BahamasVirginia, and Chicago) and I think they are such a fun way to look back on our trip. I love having R around, but one thing that does make me sad is just that, especially when we are on trips, I've found it very hard to take pictures and videos like I used to, and I miss it. But I still did get some good stuff, so there's more to come from Branson!

Hope you all have a great weekend!
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