Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic kindergartner, my spunky pre-schooler, my newborn baby girl, and myself! Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

What's Up Wednesday: 04.27.16

Oh my goodness, I cannot believe it's the last Wednesday in April already!

Today, I'm linking up with Shay for What's Up Wednesday!

I'll be answering the following questions:

And the bonus question this month is What's your favorite Mother's Day gift to give or receive?

Let's get started.  We've got a lot to cover. 

What We're Eating This Week:

  • Mahi mahi sandwiches (we buy the frozen mahi from Costco, cook it on the stove top and serve it on an egg-knot-bun with lettuce, and some summer squash on the side!)
  • Monday was my birthday, so my parents brought dinner over!  My dad grilled some deer burgers (my fave!), and my mom made mashed potato casserole and broccoli salad, and they brought a yellow cake with chocolate frosting-- per my request.  It was a great family dinner!
  • Teriyaki grilled chicken tenders with salad.  We love the teriyaki sauce Veri Veri Teriyaki by Soyvay
  • We bought some avocados this week, and I mashed one up to have with my lunch today.  I added a little salt and a pinch of lime juice, and it was like a "no-fuss" guacamole of sorts. 
  • We also bought some sweet potatoes, and I plan to bake one each day for  my lunch for the rest of the work week. 
What I'm Reminiscing About:

Eight years ago, as of yesterday the 26th, my brother staged a surprise proposal for his girlfriend.  He had his fraternity brothers, along with me and my two best friends, hide in Toomer's Drug Store while he and his girlfriend went on a walk around Auburn University's campus (our Alma Mater).  When they got to Toomer's Corner, he got down on one knee and proposed to her!  A fraternity brother and I were ready with our cameras to capture that moment.  And then we all ran across the street and rolled Toomer's tree!  It was such a fun day!  I can't believe it was 8 years ago!

What I'm Loving:

All of the new and silly things my boys are saying these days!  For example, Michael (3 and a half years old) and I had this conversation the other day:

Michael: Do you know what cereal and Cool Whip make?
Me: Nope, I don't.
Michael:  Well, cereal is like sprinkles and Cool Whip is like snow.  So it makes snow whip!

And Noah, at just over 2 years old talks up a storm everyday from the moment he wakes up until an hour after he should have been to sleep.  He is very lovable and affectionate, especially towards his "bampeen"-- what he calls his blankie.  If he picks it up off the ground, he'll hug it and say "Awww, I love you too, bampeen."  

These boys make me smile everyday.  

What We've Been Up To:

Moving!  Read about it here and here.  We finally sold our house and were able to buy a new house lickety-split and we spent last week doing a simul-close and moving in!  We are probably 98% of the way to being all unpacked.  We are in love with our new house and we are so incredibly blessed, humbled, and grateful for how everything unfolded.  Only God could work that plan. and we're so thankful that He did. 

What I'm Dreading:

Getting the first bills for all of the utilities since moving in.  That's my least favorite part of moving in is the waiting process of using utilities and getting that first bill so that I can actually make a realistic budget for the house.  This house also has a gas stove, which I've never had before.  And we're realizing that we're low on gas.  So now I'll have to call the propane company and ask them how much it costs to fill up (like I have a choice) and schedule a time for them to come out to the house.  It's just one more thing on my plate and by golly, I just want a nap!

What I'm Working On:

Losing weight and getting tone!  I have started doing 10 Minute Solutions: Knockout Body, and tonight I started XTFMax: Find Your Shape.  Here's my real life honest moment: I couldn't make it through work-out number one.  But, I know I'll get there.  I'm not going to give up.  Also, on the way in the mail, is 30 Day Core Workout and Pretty Fierce Extreme Lean.  I like the Moms Into Fitness workouts.  I'm excited to try these new ones. 

What I'm Excited About:

Taking my boys to the beach for the very first time next month!  We are so excited to pack up for a long weekend getaway at our family beach cottage!  I am so excited for my little ones to see the beach I grew up going to, and I'm hoping they love it as much as I do.  I'm also realistic though, and I understand that little kids don't really "do" vacations.  So, it might be a train wreck, but in all honesty, isn't being the parent of young kids a train wreck some days anyway? Might as well be at the beach!

What I'm Watching/Reading:

We are currently mid season 2 of The Americans.  I cannot get enough!  We are pacing ourselves, but I know we're both in for a heartache when we finish the seasons available on Amazon Prime.  We've become so attached to these characters!  Bravo to the show writers and the actors.  A Plus acting every time.  

During my work days pre-move (and therefore, pre-disconnect from DirecTV) I would have episodes of HGTV's "Fixer Upper" or "Flip or Flop" on as background noise.  Post-move (and therefore, no TV, only Amazon Prime Firestick and DVDs) I've watched "You've Got Mail,"  "From Prada to Nada," and "Chocolat" on Amazon Prime.  I've watched "27 Dresses," "Date Night," "Two Weeks Notice," "National Treasure" and "National Treasure: Book of Secrets" for background noise.  I'm thinking tomorrow sounds like a good day for "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days," "The Proposal," and either "Just Married" or "The Holiday."  

I LOVE "The Cat Who" series by Lilian Jackson Braun.  I have not read the books in any type of order, but I love that about this series.  She explains just enough about the characters and the location, that I can easily pick up any book in the series, and not be lost at all.  I just finished "The Cat Who Went Into the Closet" and I just started "The Cat Who Sang for the Birds."

I've also begun reading Kate Hudson's "Pretty Happy."  I am really liking this book and the positive message it gives towards understanding your body and aiming for being pretty happy rather than just skinny. 

What I'm Listening To:

Everyday in the car, it's K-Love Radio

When I need a boost, I turn on Meredith Andrews' "Deeper." 

What I'm Wearing:

T-shirts and shorts while working from home.  I did just place a Loft order for three shirts and two pairs of pants.  I'm eagerly anticipating their arrival in the next couple weeks!  I'm trying to get out of my t-shirt slump.  Fortunately, my mom and dad gifted me with three pretty summer tops and a new soft pink t-shirt for my birthday.  

My current nail polish favorite is Wet n Wild's "Wet Cement."   I find it a very Joanna Gaines color. 

What I'm Doing this Weekend:

It's our last soccer game of the season for the Upwards program at our church.  Aaron has been a super referee and a coach this season and I'll be glad to get him back on Saturdays. :)  On Sunday, during our morning service time, we will have our Upwards Celebration.  This event packs the house and it's so fun to see the smiles on the kids' faces as they are recognized for all of their hard work this season.  On Monday, Aaron and I are off of work.  We will be taking Michael to Children's Hospital for his bi-yearly endocrinology appointment.  Aaron has never actually been to a routine endocrinology appointment, and I'm glad he will get to see what all goes into this day-long event.  Noah will have uninterrupted time with grandparents on this day. :) 

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month:

Going to the beach!  Seriously, I cannot wait.  Our family beach cottage (owned by my mom's parents) has no TV, no air conditioning, and it's perfection.  Sugary sand beaches.  Rocking chairs,  BLT's are a must for at least one lunch meal.  Sand castles.  Rolling waves, not choppy knock-you-downers (believe me, I've been around those too when I lived in Hawaii, and this calm beach is WAY better!)  I am so excited for my kids to experience this relaxation.  Coloring books.  Board games.  Long walks.  So fun!

What Else in New:

Well, at our new house, we have a deck in the backyard.  The deck is pretty high off the ground, and it has two staircases leading to the backyard.  One staircase has about seven steps on it; the other has about twelve steps.  The staircase with seven steps is wide, but that doesn't really matter to our two dogs who have never had to go up more than 3 steps before.  :)  We've had to teach them how to go up and down slowly, since both of them think they should be able to acsend and descend in one leap.  

What's Your Favorite Mother's Day Gift to Give or Receive:

Each year, I make my mom and my grandmas a photo desk calendar of pictures of all three grandsons.  My sister-in-law and I combine our pictures of our boys and we give this calendar as a gift from the "grand boys."  For my husband's mom and my husband's step-mom, I make a photo desk calendar with pictures of just my boys.  

It's so fun to look through a year's worth of pictures for these calendars!  And actually, I've got to do those today!

That was fun!  Lots of info!  Can't wait to read through the posts of others today!  

Until Next Time, 
Much love, Reba

Monday, April 25, 2016

Let's Talk: Beauty Routines & Supplies

Today I'm linking up with Andrea and Erika for Let's Talk! Today's topic is all about beauty routines and supplies. I love reading any posts about beauty routines because it gives me ideas for new things to try for myself!

I keep it pretty straightforward and simple with my beauty routine.  I use Dove White bar soap.  When I choose to buy body wash, I do choose to go for something with a dual-purpose, like an awesome scent plus exfoliation.  I like the Caress Tahitian Renewal body wash scent the best (and I'm not opposed to store brand either!). 

For my shampoo and conditioner, I usually switch brands or types each time my shampoo runs out.  I like to use John Frieda products when I can.  I've tried the weather-proofing ones and the Sheer Blonde ones.  I like the clean, but simple scent of the Sheer Blonde the best.  I also gravitate towards Herbal Essence.  I've stuck with their originals, for shine and volume, and I've also done some of the newer modern ones for volumizing, frizz control, and I'm currently using the Moroccan My Shine shampoo and conditioner.

For my face, I give it a good scrub with a washcloth while I'm in the shower.  Before applying makeup, I use Clean & Clear moisturizing lotion, which I apply with a cosmetic wedge.  I use a washcloth with very warm water to clean my makeup off my face, and I also use Kirkland Signature facial cleansing wipes. 

My makeup selections are pretty basic.  I use Covergirl Oil Control liquid foundation, Covergirl Oil Control pressed powder, and Covergirl Checkers blush in Pretty Peach.  I use L'Oreal Liquid eye liner, it's a gel liner with a felt tip so it applies very evenly and easily.  I use Maybelline mascara.  I use e. l. f. lip stain in "nude nectar" and then I top it with Burt's Bee's tinted lip balm in "Pink Blossom."

I'm also getting back on track to drinking lots more water during the day.  I include Seltzer Water as part of this.  I'm also cutting back on processed sugars.  No lie, I've given it up for 4 days and I don't crave it nearly as much, and it's not appealing anymore.  My skin definitely looks so much better when I intake the water that I need and when I eat healthier foods. It's a no-brainer, I know, but I totally got off track this last month while we've been hustling to move houses.  I attest that I'm a stress-eater but I'm trying to find better ways of managing that, and part of it is through writing on the blog!

Such a fun link-up today! I can't wait to hear about the routines and supplies of others out there! Happy Monday! PS- it's my birthday today, so I need to go find something tasty to cook for my big extended family coming over tonight! Nothing like the last minute, right? FYI, if you ever want to forget that your birthday is coming up, just move the week before your birthday and you'll have to be reminded by family members that your birthday is still a "thing."

Here's to being 28! May it be the best yet!

Until next time,
Much love, Reba

Saturday, April 23, 2016

In His Time

God provides in the most awesome of ways and in His perfect timing-- sometimes when we least expect it.

Once we were under contract to sell our house, we began the search to find a home to move into.  Homes we had seen online before were no longer there.  We were limited in our geographical area since we knew which school district we wanted our boys to be in.  We were limited in our subdivision choices because we needed to have cable internet access rather than satellite internet.  Although I knew we could stay with my parents until we found a place, I did feel pretty discouraged while we were looking.  I didn't want to "settle" for just any ole place.  I knew buying a house was a big deal (and a multi-year commitment), and I didn't want to be unhappy about our choice.

We looked at two houses online that we liked, but when I called the cable company to see if they had cable internet access, the answer was no. We went and saw one house in person and just didn't really like the layout of the house.  As we were standing in the driveway of that house talking to our realtor, she told us that her best friends were about to list their home for sale. Initially, I wasn't interested because it's the exact floor plan of my parents' house except a mirror image, and I thought it might be too weird for my parents to have us own a home that their friends once owned.  My parents weren't as great of friends with these home owners as they once had been, and I didn't want to create an awkward experience for anyone.  We said we'd consider it once they chose to list.  We ended our home tour that day knowing that we didn't want the house we had just seen.  For further proof, I called the cable company and they said they were willing to pull the cable lines into that neighborhood, but that they hadn't done it yet.  The neighborhood was established in 2007, so I didn't have high hopes that the cable company would run a line in 2016, and I certainly didn't want to buy a house on a "promise" from a cable company.

Within 3 days, our realtor called us and said her friends were ready to list. I was a little apprehensive because I didn't want them to be in a similar rush to move out.  The realtor then told me that this family was already moved out.  They had found a bigger home in the country and had already moved out of the house and were just doing finishing touches before they listed it.  I wondered what those finishing touches consisted of, and wondered if painting was part of it.  The wife of the family was into bold colors and had painted the living room a pumpkin orange shade with a faux finish when I had been in the house 11 years prior.  I had just painted some rooms in my current house and Aaron and I had just made a pact not to paint any rooms in our new house by ourselves, and that we'd hire a painting company instead. So I wasn't too wild about having to hire a company to paint over pumpkin orange.  However, the realtor eased my fears when she said that they had already done painting to make each room a neutral color. They had also redone the kitchen by getting new countertops, an undermount sink, new appliances, and new flooring in the dining room and hallway. Those updates piqued my interest, so we made an appointment to see it that Friday night.  We also made an appointment to see another house near that one for that Friday night as well.

Friday arrived and we went to look at the two houses.  When we walked into the house of the realtor's friends, we knew right away that it was our home.  Maybe it was because I had been in the house several years ago, or maybe it was because I was familiar with the floor plan since my parents' house was the mirror image. Maybe it was because the house was on a wooded lot and made Aaron feel like he was back home in Washington state.  Whatever it was, we knew.  We went to see the second house anyways, because we had made an appointment and we knew that house was inhabited, so we knew that family had to make arrangements to be out of their house while we looked at it and we didn't want their efforts to be for naught.  So we went to look at it anyway, and going into that house and seeing that layout and the small lot just reaffirmed our decision that we wanted to put in an offer on the other house.

When we put our house on the market in late May 2015, we daydreamed about what we'd like in a new house. We knew we wanted more space inside the house- more storage space and more space in general.  I wanted a formal dining room.  We wanted an updated kitchen, but knew we could live without it.  We wanted a two car attached garage.  We wanted 4 bedrooms, or an outdoor space for Aaron to have his "man cave" and be able to do his ammo reloading.  I wanted a master bathroom with a separate tub.  We wanted tall ceilings in the living room.  I daydreamed about a foyer being a nice touch in a house. We both wanted acreage. We wanted a wooded lot for shade.  A fence would be nice, and if we bought a house without one, we'd have to install one for our dogs.

As we spent time looking at houses online, we came to realize we probably wouldn't find a house with many of the things on our wishlist.  So honestly, we gave it up. We were then on a mission just to find a house in the school zone we wanted. We still had a garage on the top of our list, but we'd settle for a carport. We knew we'd be giving up on the formal dining room, and we knew it was just a wishlist item, so we knew we could live without it. We weren't finding very many homes with 4 bedrooms.  We were finding houses on tiny lots with no trees.  We were coming to the realization that this might just be how it is. 

But God had other plans for us.  Whenever I'd get discouraged about our house not selling, Aaron and church members were quick to remind me "God has a plan. Maybe your new house isn't on the market yet." And that was the truth. The house God had picked out for us did not become available until our former house was under contract to sell. He ordained everything, down to the smallest detail of having the homeowners be friends of the family and best friends with the realtor so that we would be given the opportunity to see the house before it went on the market. This house was $30,000.00 under our max budget. It was in an established neighborhood with cable internet. It was a house with 1.63 acres on a wooded lot. About a third of the lot is taken up by the house and grass, the rest of the lot is woods. It has a big deck and a wired workshop for Aaron to do his reloading, and the workshop has a loft area for us to be able to store things like seasonal decorations and consignment items as I wait for the bi-yearly sales. The house has 4 bedrooms, which allows us to have a master bedroom, a bedroom for the boys to share until they get older (they do better at bedtime sharing a room than they did in separate rooms), an office space for me which will also house Aarons Xbox, and the fourth bedroom will be an actual guest room.  The house has a two car attached garage, a foyer, tall ceilings, and a formal dining room. The only thing it lacked is a fence (and a fridge, but that pretty much goes without saying when buying a house these days).

We put in a full price offer on the house and were very laid back about what we were requesting (window treatments to remain, pergola on deck to remain, storage building to remain). Our offer was accepted and the homeowners (since they were already moved out) were able to schedule a closing on the same day as our other house.  We had a fantastic mortgage agent who zoomed us through the process and put a rush order on our appraisal, etc.  I'm sure we're not done communicating with him since we found out at closing that his 9-year old son was just diagnosed with Type One Diabetes in January of this year. God works in mysterious ways and I don't consider any of this to be coincidence.  He aligned the people for His plan and He worked it all out in His timing. We are incredibly blessed and humbled.

Here are some pictures, and I'll take updated versions as we get more things hung up and put away.

From entering the kitchen through the garage, immediately to the left is an "eat-in" area, but we are using it as a semi-playroom right now.

This view is from entering the house through the garage.  This is the kitchen.

This is the formal dining room.

This is the view from the front door looking into the living room.  The opening to the rear left of the room is the dining room.  The living room opens out onto a deck in the back yard.

This view is from the living room looking down the hallway to the bedrooms.

This is the office/ Xbox room.  This room is our least put-away room so far.

This is the boys room. Michael's bed frame got broken beyond repair, so his mattress is currently on the floor, but we have a toddler bed frame ready to pick up from my parents' house that he can use.

This is the guest room.  The mirror for the dresser is on the bed waiting to be hung up.  Also wrapped up in sheets and towels at the foot of the bed is a beach scene picture from my aunt's home that I will hang up in here over the head of the bed.  Freshly washed mattress pads are at the head of the bed right now, but I will update later on with a more completely decorated picture of this room.  I am also on the lookout for a free standing headboard for this bed.

This is the hall bathroom.

This is the master bedroom.  This is the second least put-away room. Aaron and I have to install the mirror for the vanity dresser in between the windows.  Also, many of the boxes in this room will find their way down to the storage building.

This is the master bathroom. This will be our first room to paint.  I haven't decided if I'll hire a company or if I'll ask my mom and my mother-in-law to paint it.  I have picked out Sherwin Williams "Sea Glass" as the color to go in here. 

That's the picture overload for now.  I will do another post with outdoor pictures of the yard, the deck, and the storage building.

Until next time,
Much love, Reba

Waiting to Hurry Up

The home buying process is so crazy!  We put our house on the market in late May 2015.  Oh how I prayed that someone would buy it! And oh how I got so discouraged as the months ticked by.  I lost hope many a time, and Aaron had to remind me that God had a plan for our family.

Nearly ten months from when we listed our house, we received a full price offer. The buyers wanted to close in 28 days. We were able to accommodate that short time line because we knew we could stay with my parents.  We began the painstaking process of packing up a whole house.  Oh why do we feel so consumed with stuff?!?

The whole "sit around and wait for a family to like our house enough to buy it" was so tedious.  Once a family decided to buy it, though, the process sped into overdrive.  We had waited so long to hurry up!

We were not super concerned with finding a house right away because we knew we had a landing place.  My parents were gracious to offer their spare room to us (Aaron, me, our boys, and our 2 dogs!), despite them already having a house filled with my younger brother, three foster children, and a dog.  I love being at my parents' house, so it almost felt like a mini vacation.  We weren't planning to move in with them until Thursday April 14th, for a closing on the 18th.  However, it became evident each day that this moving process was taking a toll on Michael. Noah, not so much. He was content as long as he had his peeps (read: as long as he could see me aka "mom-mom."), but Michael was another story.  He was certain that I was throwing away our stuff! We had planned to have our family help us move out our big furniture (couches, entertainment center, dining table, dressers, etc) on Saturday the 9th.  I knew that living in a furniture-less house from Saturday the 9th through Thursday the 14th would be too much for Michael.  So I asked my parents if we could move in with them on Sunday the 10th.  They said "of course" and we made adjustments to do so.  It actually worked out quite well.  It allowed us to go back to the house to pack up the final things each day during the week, and it gave the boys stability of being in their grandparents' house for a week. 

We had the carpets cleaned on Friday the 15th.  We were super impressed with the price and the professionalism.  On Saturday morning the 16th, I had a cleaning lady come in to do a "deep clean" as the buyers requested.  Let's just say that both myself and the buyers were disappointed with the results of this deep cleaning upon their walk through.  They actually doubted that I had anyone come in and clean at all.  So I retrieved a receipt showing that I really did pay someone to come in and clean, and although it didn't meet my standards or the standards of the buyers, I still upheld my part of the contract by having someone come in and "clean." Note to self, or to all future home buyers, make a specific list of things you want to have cleaned.  These buyers did so- they specified "ceiling fans, blinds, baseboards." So, although were unhappy with the results of the "cleaning", the baseboards, ceiling fans, and blinds were cleaned... and that's all we could be held responsible for.  Just a bad situation overall, and I told my friend who recommended the cleaning lady about the outcome so that she's aware for future purposes. 

On Monday the 18th, we did a simul-close.  We closed on our home to sell it at 10:00 and we closed on a home to buy at 10:30. To say that the first half of April was a busy month is quite the understatement! We knew it would be busy, but BOY are we tired! We are now roughly 97% settled into our new house, and Michael is much more at ease.  I will dedicate the entire next post to explaining how we found our new house and how it's the epitome of God's faithfulness, and I'll include pictures! So, let me get off of this post now so I can go take some pictures!

Until next time,
Much love, Reba

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

What I'm Carrying Around

I’ve got this bad habit of stuffing a purse completely full of stuff until it becomes way too heavy to carry around.  Then, it’s overwhelming to go through it all and clean it out to get back to the basics.  So, I figured to motivate myself, I’d make a blog post about it.
I have a medium size cognac bag from Target.  It has two outer pockets that snap close, and one center pocket with a zipper. 
Inside of this bag, I was currently carrying (from top of the picture, left to right):

·       Two empty wrappers of Dexcom CGMs (shown folded up on the handle of my bag).  Michael pulled off his CGM earlier this week, so I grabbed two prior wrappers to see the lot number, just in case I had to call the company to get a replacement.
·       Phone charger.  I always keep this with me so I can charge in the car or if I’m out and about, and so I always know where my charger is.
·       Wallet.
·       Pen
·       Blank deposit slips, and Bonefish gift card
·       A whole bunch of receipts.  Publix, Target, gas station, etc .
·       Envelope and post card from a recent order of GrifGrips that I bought to cover over Michael’s CGM and Omnipod.  We’re trying whatever we can to keep these devices on him for their recommended time frame (1 week for CGM, 3 days for pod).  In my defense, these had arrived just as I was getting ready to pick up the boys, so I shoved the envelope in my purse so I could try out an adhesive on the CGM right 
·       Baby Ruth from friend’s baby shower. (I did end up throwing this away.  I have a weird thing about eating old candy—and this wasn’t even that old.  I just cannot do it).
·       Wadded up clean tissue.  I probably wouldn’t use it if I needed it—I’d just grab fresh tissue.  So, into the trash it goes.
·       Snail mail from my Nana w/ my sunglasses on top of it
·       Smarties wrappers from “snacktime” on the way home from picking up my boys.  Smarties are an easy treat to keep on hand for Michael.  Noah likes them too, and calls them Mar-tees.
·       Keys
·       Assortment of safety pins.  Can’t even remember what these are from.  Maybe from getting my pants hemmed?
·       Another pen
·       Spare Omnipod, SkinTac wipe, and alcohol swab
·       Three grocery lists
·       Kohl’s cash that I forgot to use
  • Church business card and church bulletin.

·       The canister of mini M&Ms was not in my purse.  It was Noah’s contribution to the mess on the table.
The wallet, keys, phone charger, snail mail, blank deposit slips, Bonefish giftcard, sunglasses, pens and church business card when back into my purse.
The Omnipod, SkinTac wipe, and alcohol swab went into Michael’s backpack.
Bulletin, expired Kohl’s cash, grocery lists, Smarties wrappers, tissue, receipt, Baby Ruth, envelope and post card from GrifGrips, and Dexcom wrapper went into the trash.
Safety pins went into the safety pin container on my dresser.
Noah took his M&M canister back to use as a toy.
There you have it!  A lighter purse just waiting to get filled up again!

Until next time, 
Much love, Reba