Welcome!

Welcome to a piece of our sweet journey of life. This blog is about our family life-- my husband, my type 1 diabetic fifth grader, my spunky third grader, my kindergarten little girl, and myself! Enjoy!

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Nighttime Beauty Routine

I'm not even going to pretend that this is a long-standing routine. About a week ago, I started seeing these video clips of celebrity nighttime beauty routines pop up on my computer at the top of articles. I only watched one of them all the way through, and although I have none of the supplies they use, I thought it was a smart idea to have an actual routine that signified "going to bed" and that I should take better care of my skin. 

So without further amblings, here's my routine. 


-brush teeth 

-floss 

-wash off my makeup with a Makeup Eraser.  I was buying lots of lots of make-up removing wipes and would struggle to fully remove my make-up with a washcloth if I ran out of wipes, so I'm very happy with this make-up remover since it only uses water to get off all make-up! Every few days I'll put it in a lingerie bag and throw it in the washing machine with a regular load of clothes.  It launders really well. One side is to remove make-up and one side is to exfoliate.  To be honest, I'm pretty sure I used it incorrectly for the first three months, and I had to look up which side is supposed to do what.  Even today, though, I really can't tell much of a difference between sides. But regardless of that, I use hot water to get the eraser cloth wet, then I use one side to fully remove my make up, rinse the eraser, then use the other side and wipe it all over my face for whatever exfoliating benefit it's supposed to provide. I found mine at a local boutique (it's the mini version), but here's a similar one


I recently bought this face wash bar for Michael, but decided I'd try it out from time to time as well.  I don't use it every night, but I might choose to incorporate it more as I decide whether I like how it works.  So far, it's gentle and has a nice light scent.  When I wash my face with this, I use cold water. 


Traditionally, I do not do a good job of moisturizing, so I decided I really wanted to do better about that. To really lock in moisture after washing my face, I'll apply a little bit of this tarte Drink of H2O.  I love that it's a gel-like consistency and it absorbs really well. 


I use just a small amount for my whole face & neck. 


Today, I felt like I needed a little spot treatment assistance, so I pulled out my Mario Badescu drying lotion and applied where I needed. 


Several months ago, I saw a blogger use the Colleen Rothschild cleansing balm on her heels overnight. I tried it out and was impressed with how soft my feet were, but I didn't do it again. I decided to start doing this as part of the nighttime routine to help soften my heels with more consistency. After I rub this on both heels, I put on a pair of socks to hold in the moisture for a few hours or all the way overnight. 


I love to use this lotion on my legs after shaving, and sometimes I'll put some on just because it smells great and really moisturizes well. 


After all of that, I'm ready to relax!


One final step is to put on some lip gloss before bed.  I like this kind because it's not sticky at all. Apparently, it's Berry flavored, but I don't think it smells nor tastes like anything. After it's finished, I'll probably just put a good quality tube of lip gloss or chapstick-esque product by my bed. Although I love that this one is not sticky, I'm not sure it's worth the price tag. 


Going through these steps has helped me wind down in the evenings and feel better about how I'm treating my skin. 


Until Next Time, 

Much Love, Reba



Monday, August 1, 2022

Garden Growth

In late Spring & early Summer, we began a garden! Without any running water on the property, we relied solely on God's provision of rain & the springs running underground on the land. Our little patch started out small but has produced a few ears of corn, a couple zucchini, a yellow squash, several watermelon and we anticipate lots of pumpkins based on how they're overtaking the whole patch! We expect even greater things next year when we have running water & hoses to help out!

Here's an update through pictures. 

The space over to the right was deemed the perfect garden spot for this first year. 


A few weeks later, we went back to review the progress of the driveway.  We are standing on the driveway in between the house site and where the garden will be.  The road that the driveway leads to is straight ahead of us past those trees way up ahead (our driveway is about 1/5 of a mile long). The garden area is over to the right. 


Another week or two, we returned to see the progress Aaron made with the mower. This was Noah and Avery running laps around where the garden would be planted. 



The following weekend, Aaron tilled up a patch of dirt.  The house site is just beyond those crepe myrtles.  

Each kid got to pick a couple of seed packets to plant. Michael is planting zucchini in the photo above. He also chose Silver Queen corn.  Noah picked yellow squash and pumpkins.  Avery picked watermelon and another type of corn.  We also planted radishes, but the watermelon kind of overtook their spot. 
 

About two weeks later, this was the progress!



A couple weeks after that, we started spotting real growth!



Our first little silky corn!


And yet another couple of weeks and more corn followed suit!


We spied a watermelon!

This past week, more watermelon were showing up.  My foot shows the size reference. 
We also picked the one yellow squash that was present.  There was also one good sized zucchini that we picked. 


I spotted this zucchini, so we gave it two more days to grow and we returned last night to pick it. 


The corn is still a little skinny to pick, but we'll have about 6 to 10 ears of corn when they're ready. 




The pumpkins have totally overtaken much of the garden, and they don't care a thing about the fence that Aaron put up.  They're just growing wherever they want to!  These pumpkin leaves below are outside of the garden fence, they're about the size of my torso, and they're as high up as my knees! We're expecting lots of great things from the 10+ pumpkin blossoms. 


That's it for now!  It's certainly fun to see real growth!  Especially knowing that God had His hand in this the whole time and that we had to fully rely on Him.  


Until Next Time, 

Much Love, Reba



Sunday, July 31, 2022

Quick Savannah Trip

Over the past few years, my college roomies & best friends get together once a year for a family trip. This year was the first year I could go! We scheduled this trip on purpose for the 3rd week of July so I'd be on summer break but not the 4th week of July where I'd be stressed about the start of the new school year. I thought this was so considerate! 

Although everyone brings their kiddos & sometimes their spouses, I decided to make it a trip for just Aaron & myself. My kiddos love grandparent sleepovers and they already had one scheduled with my mother in law for the first weekend of the trip. Since we're living with my parents right now, it was easy for them to be able to watch the kiddos the rest of the time. Aaron & I planned to stay from Saturday til Wednesday so Aaron could return to work on Thursday. 

Then I decided we needed to use part of this trip to drive up to Maryland to see my grandma whom I haven't seen since before Covid. So we planned to go to Savannah on Saturday, drive to Maryland on Sunday, stay with my grandma til Tuesday then drive back to Savannah and come home on Wednesday. 

Everyone was excited. 


Then I had the doctors appointment where I learned I needed surgery & the Monday of the trip was the only open surgery date. 

So Aaron & I had to revamp our plans. Since the kids were going to my mother-in-law's on Friday night we decided to drive halfway to Savannah and stay in a hotel. We finished our drive on Saturday in time to pick one of my besties up from the airport that morning. Then she and Aaron & I hung out in historic downtown all day (walking 17000 steps!) before going to the rental house & meeting up with everyone else. We hung out at the house the rest of the night & Aaron and I headed home on Sunday morning. We got back home around 4:00pm in time for me to start my prep for surgery. 


It was important to me that I was able to see my friends while they were in driving distance. I really enjoyed my 24 hour trip & look forward to next year's adventure. I hardly took any pictures but I have great memory reels of this special time. 












Until Next Time,

Much Love, Reba


Friday, July 29, 2022

Doctorate Update

In May, I started my journey towards my 6-year degree (the educational name for the stepping stone between master's and full doctorate). It's a wild ride, but I'm hanging on and hope to finish in the next three and a half or four years. 


I finished up my first class in late June and began my second class.  I worked very hard to get accomplished with the papers for class number 2 early so that I could enjoy some of the July fun we had already planned like our quick beach trip, and a very short trip to Savannah, GA to see my college friends, etc. I also didn't want to have to worry about extra papers to write while I recovered from surgery. This second class will wrap up in two weeks and I've completed every assignment except for the final discussion post and the replies to the posts of classmates. 

My school year of teaching will begin next week, and I'll get about three weeks of school underway before my next doctoral class starts. Once that class begins, I'll be juggling teaching and being a student simultaneously. I had to do this in May for about three weeks as the school year ended and my doctoral program began. 

The first class was pretty brutal.  The assignments were lengthy and required lots of information about venues I did not frequent on the daily.  After an intense delving into the requirements for all remaining classes in that particular degree concentration, I realized that it was not the program for me. I researched various other concentrations and settled on one that is more geared towards teachers in the K-12 setting rather than a university setting. Unfortunately, by the time I could change concentrations, my second class had started and I'd have to wait til the fall until I could change programs officially.  That meant that the two classes I took this summer will count as electives toward my new program. 

I'm excited to chip away at the requirements for this first degree stepping stone.  This 6-year degree, called an Education Specialist (Ed.S.), will enable me to earn a bit higher pay as I pursue the full doctoral degree, the Doctor of Education (Ed.D.).  The Ed.S. program can transfer about 27 credit hours into the Ed.D. program which will save me loads of time on the back side of the journey. I plan to achieve the Ed.S. by December 2023 and begin pursuing the Ed.D. in January of 2024 with a completion projection of May 2025. 

I'm just taking one class per quarter.  It's such a help that this degree is completely online, which allows me to continue working and chip away at the class assignments in the evenings and on weekends.  I'm very careful of how much time I spend working on it while my kids are awake, and I'm making sure to spend time with them and work on the degree when they're asleep or busy with other things. 

All in all, I'm pleased with the progress and know that I'm making the right steps for my family. 

Until Next Time, 
Much Love, Reba

Wednesday, July 20, 2022

Hysterectomy

This Monday I had a hysterectomy. I was able to come home on Tuesday and am recovering. 


Back in April I woke up with intense left pelvic pain and even spent several hours of my birthday at Urgent Care. The doctor there asked if I knew I had uterine fibroids, which I didn't know. It took all of May to get an appointment at my general practitioner (I bumped up an appointment for June since I couldn't wait anymore due to nearly constant pain). During May I found out my usual OB/GYN doctor was retiring and I did not want to be handed off to his replacement, who didn't have a good reputation.  

At my appointment with my GP, they said they couldn't do anything but they'd recommend me to an OB/GYN nearby. I had an appointment with this doctor in mid-June & it was determined that I needed to have a hysterectomy due to the fibroids, since I was finished having kiddos. The surgery was scheduled for mid July so that I could partially recover before school began. 

I had my pre-op appointment last week which went well (but long!), and I was scheduled for the first surgery of the day for Monday of this week. I arrived at 5:45 and surgery began around 7:30 and took roughly an hour. I was in my hospital room by 10:00am and was put on a clear liquid diet until Tuesday morning. I also was not able to walk til Tuesday morning, so I wore calf muscle massager leg pieces to keep my blood flowing. Aaron stayed at home overnight at my request so he could get good sleep. I kept the TV on mute all night on HGTV (Love it or List It) or TLC (Say Yes to the Dress) just in case I woke up in the night I could watch a little bit before drifting off to sleep again. On Tuesday early morning I was able to get the leg holders off & walk around. Then I was able to have the IV unplugged and eat an actual breakfast and lunch. I was discharged around 1:30 and made it home shortly after 2pm. I've been resting & recovering since then. 

I have my follow up appointment right before my in-service teacher days begin. I'll be able to practice driving in a week or so, and will be on a weight lifting restriction for a few weeks. 


I'm looking forward to being fully recovered and hopefully being pain free!

My lunch on Monday:


I tried watching Crazy Rich Asians until my DVD player ran out of battery. 


A picture of the leg movers that I took for the kids. 



My real food breakfast on Tuesday! 


Finally going home! 


Today with 2 of my 3 kiddos awake this morning. 



Until Next Time,

Much Love, Reba


Quick Beach Trip

I wasn't sure we'd make it down to the beach this summer, but on my birthday Aaron gave me a beach-appropriate hoodie and two beach towels and told me to book a trip! I was able to reserve the same property we used last year and scheduled a trip for early July. 


We headed out of town after breakfast one Thursday morning. 


We stopped halfway at a restaurant my parents recommended and it was so good!


At the beach house! Avery is very much into the phase of "take my picture!" and I'm here for it!


The kids dubbed this house "shark-mania" and each of them love to stick their hand or face near this shark decoration. 


At the restaurant for dinner. 




Afterwards, we took a walk on the beach. It was very windy & high tide. We saw a group of at least 4 dolphins swimming close to shore!






More pictures near the shark face. Noah absolutely LOVES houses with upstairs!


No filter. It was a gorgeous day for views at the beach the following morning but it was super hot due to no wind. We didn't stay too long because of the relentless heat. 




During the heat of the day, we took the kids to the ice cream shop. Believe it or not, these are single scoops!


Later, Noah & Avery played "restaurant" at the playground. 


We took the kids to our favorite Mexican restaurant for dinner & they planned ahead of time to order dessert for their dinner. 



Another kid; another shark face. 


And another. 


The next morning we went to a different playground-- we always try to make it to both! 




Then we loaded up to get some fresh seafood before heading home!


It was the perfect little trip to rest our souls by going to one of our favorite places!


Until Next Time,

Much Love, Reba