9.30.2015

What's Up Wednesday

 photo 12_WhatsUp_logo_zpsk1zdcggz.png
I'm linking up with Shay and Shaefer the last Wednesday of the month again for What's Up Wednesday!
What we're eating this week: 
It's finally time for comfort food! We're eating my favorite chicken pot pie, easy chicken enchilada soup, and I'm trying a few new recipes recommended by friends. (Fun fact: when I was in elementary school, frozen mini chicken pot pies were my favorite breakfast food with frozen burritos coming in a close second. I can barely stomach either of those now.)
What I'm reminiscing about:
 photo IMG_2531_zps2tufx2ix.jpg
Our beach trip to Seagrove Beach, Florida last week! We had such a fun and relaxing (as possible with two little kids) time! Full beach post ---------> here.
What I'm loving:
The Dollar Tree and the Dollar Spot at Target! On our way home from the beach, we stopped at our old  Dollar Tree in Homewood, AL and got some much needed cheap entertainment for the rest of the ride home and it had the best selection I've ever seen at a dollar store.
These CAT tractors were definitely a hit! (Except we can't call them tractors in front of Jack - it is an excavator, a digger, a bulldozer, and a dump truck - he corrects us every time :) He hasn't stopped playing with them.
 photo IMG_8292_zpskopn5d2e.jpg
I also bought these cute Nemo figurines to save for another desperate time - I'm beating myself up for not stocking up on all of the Disney figurines they had. They had the Frozen characters, the Mickey Mouse characters, and the Cars characters. I went to our Dollar Tree in Davenport as soon as we got home to buy some but they didn't have any of them at our location :(
 photo IMG_8024_zpskkbxcihk.jpg
I think the biggest hit of all were the spray bottles. Jack and David have spent HOURS this week outside "spraying" the bugs, "cleaning" the rocks, and "watering" the plants.
 photo IMG_8048_zpswu8v13nn.jpg
 David's outfit kills me :)
 photo IMG_8051_zpsuitl2uvk.jpg
I LOVE the Dollar Spot at Target! My favorite finds were these pumpkins and this "BOO" banner.
 photo IMG_8316_zpsohug4jqj.jpg
 photo IMG_8334_zps522xglts.jpg
I have been eyeing these Pottery Barn Kids' holiday plates but I just can't justify buying them when Target had a cute and much cheaper alternative. My mom gave us the plate on the top left a couple of years ago but I bought the other three this season. Jack and David love eating off of their "spooky plates" :)
 photo IMG_8312_zpsmg7rsuve.jpg
 photo IMG_8341_zpsfjlczr78.jpg
 photo IMG_8346_zpsxoydtrma.jpg
What we've been up to:
Preschool, park outings, story time at the library, and trying to fit in as many zoo trips as we can before the weather gets too cold!
I've mentioned this before, but turtles are Jack's very favorite. Turtles are the first thing he thanks God for in his prayers, and when we go to the library, he knows right where the turtle section is. I love my quirky turtle loving three-year-old!
 photo IMG_8065_zpsleybz3in.jpg
There is a brand new baby monkey at our zoo right now! I love it!
 photo IMG_8215_zpsldltnyhl.jpg
 photo IMG_8210_zpso6w8rgku.jpg

  photo IMG_8208_zpscq3wd5lo.jpg
What I'm dreading:
I can't think of anything I'm dreading off the top of my head and I'm thinking that's a good thing.
What I'm working on:
We've been working on building our food storage. This month, we bought some 7-gallon water storage jugs and updated our 72 hour kits with food that our kids will actually eat. We based ours kits loosely off of these milk jug 72 hour kits.
  photo IMG_8287_zps1hwten5c.jpg
  photo IMG_8281_zps18sd98zl.jpg
What I'm excited about:
The entire month of October! October may be my very favorite month of the year and having kids makes it even better. We put out our Halloween decorations this week and Jack has been asking every single day if it's Halloween yet :) I am no interior designer, but Halloween decorations make me happy! (And they are my weakness! I always end up buying more Halloween decoration every year.)
  photo IMG_8284_2_zps9rd5guao.jpg
Frankenstein is Jack and David's favorite :)
 photo IMG_8285_zpsynbwznmf.jpg
 photo IMG_8286_2_zpsp21qrx0s.jpg
What I'm watching/reading:
 photo 2013_0808_Parks_and_Rec_Show_KeyArt_1920x1080_0_zpsukks8izs.jpg
I seriously don't know why we were so slow jumping on the Parks and Rec bandwagon but WE LOVE IT! Spencer rarely laughs to tears but it happens about every other episode when we watch Parks and Rec :)
 photo 51ylTwfPdgL._SX331_BO1204203200__zps6ohnq6p1.jpg 
I read A Prayer for Owen Meany for book club and I really liked it! It is a story about a boy and his friend Owen Meany growing up together in a small town during the 1950s and 1960s. Owen believes he is an instrument in God's hands and the book is all about the boys' friendship and how Owen's life was all a part of God's plan. The movie, Simon Birch, was based loosely off of this novel, and now I want to watch it again!
  photo IMG_7978_2_zpswssxl9gt.jpg
This was my "guilty pleasure" book at the beach and I'm a little embarrassed to admit how much I liked it :)
Confession: I am not a fan of the Bachelor, but when I lived in Alabama, some friends from church got together every single week to watch the Bachelor or the Bachelorette. We might as well have announced over the pulpit every Sunday that Monday night was Bachelor Night ;) I went to girl's night just about every week and obviously got sucked into the Bachelor too! The only two seasons I've seen from start to finish are Emily's season (when Sean finished third) and Sean's season. Sometime during those seasons I found Sean's sister Shay's blog (that to this day it is one of my very favorite blogs) and I got totally sucked into their family and their lives! I started following Shay's blog, a few of her friend's blogs, her Instagram account, Sean and Catherine's Instagram account, and now I'm even linking up on her blog for "What's Up Wednesday" (and I should really stop typing now because I am starting to sound very pathetic and very creepy :) So thank goodness I don't like the Bachelor because there is a big possibility that every season I would get sucked into their family's blogs and Instagram accounts and that's just too big of a commitment for me ;)
So long story short, I really liked the book and I am surprised (but not really considering I have invested a lot of time cyber stalking this family;) that I would actually recommend it!
  photo IMG_7977_2_zps2c0sxhqc.jpg
I read this book at the beach also because I had read and loved the same author's book, What Alice Forgot. This book was a good, quick read, but I didn't like it as much as What Alice Forgot and I probably wouldn't recommend it because there is too much adult material. 
What I've been listening to:
Voxer! Voxer is a voice messaging app that I love because I am able to have so many more "phone conversations" with friends. It's a lot more convenient than phone conversations though because you can just respond or listen when you have time. I usually catch up on conversations when I clean or drive in the car or listen to group conversations when I go running. You should get the app so we can talk :)
What I'm wearing: 
After reading Shay's blog on Friday, I convinced myself that I needed this shirt from Target! I plan on wearing it all month long!
  photo IMG_8197_zps23aibshc.jpg
What I'm doing this weekend:
Hanging out at home and watching General Conference. Who wants to bring me homemade cinnamon rolls?!
What I'm looking forward to next month:
All of the Fall and Halloween things!!!!
What's up with you?!
 photo WUWquestions_zpszasaseyl.jpg

9.23.2015

Beach Trip

WARNING: SO MANY PICTURES 

Back in May when Spencer officially graduated with his MBA/MSHA, we decided to celebrate with a beach trip. We found a killer deal for a week in September at our favorite beach (Seaside/Seagrove Beach) that our friends introduced us to when we lived in Alabama. The sand is white and the water is clear and blue and warm and gorgeous. We also really love the beach town - Seaside was were the Truman Show was filmed and I could ride my bike coveting/looking at all of the perfectly cute beach houses all day :) We got back from the beach this last Sunday and we had a blast! We loved visiting off-season because the crowds were gone, the weather was cooler (but still warm!), and it was a lot cheaper. It also miraculously didn't rain for the entire week! The weather was perfect.

We started the trip off with a miserable 18 hour drive with a pit stop in Birmingham. In Birmingham, we drove by our old apartment, we ate one of our favorite fast food places (Backyard Burger), we played at our favorite castle park, and we stalked up on Bluebell Ice Cream since it is only available in Texas and Alabama right now. They didn't have our very favorite (Butter Crunch) but we took what we could get!
 photo IMG_7583_zpsc5pb607q.jpg
 photo IMG_7587_zpsxf6yn5en.jpg
 photo IMG_7595_zps1f3fkaro.jpg
We did the same exact thing every day at the beach with very few variations - we woke up before the crack of dawn, we watched the sunrise at the beach, we rode our bikes to the park in the morning, we played at the beach all day, we finished off our dinner with Bluebell Ice Cream cones, we put the boys down at 7, we watched a couple episodes of Parks and Rec, and we hit the sack by 8:30. It was amazing :)

The very first hour of the very first day on the beach, Spencer miraculously caught a fish with a toy net (and then Jack and David expected him to catch fish on demand for the rest of the trip... he never caught another one :) Jack was so happy to have the fish in a bucket, but then David "re-caught" the fish and set it free. (It was devastating and traumatic for Jack and probably for the fish too ;)

 photo IMG_7616_zpsexr31tj9.jpg
  photo IMG_7620_zpsz9sz29h2.jpg

 photo IMG_7626_zpsgj0krmk7.jpg
 photo IMG_7628_zpsvu093npf.jpg
 photo IMG_7631_zpstk1grdtu.jpg
For a few days, the purple flag was up which meant "marine pest present". We weren't sure which pest they were talking about because we saw sea slugs, crabs, sting rays, shark (a lot of schools of six-inch sharks and two 3 foot shark (eek! We saw the bigger ones early one morning while we were walking on the beach).
Sea slugs


 photo IMG_7668_zpsaypifa4t.jpg

Sting Ray
 photo IMG_7811_zps7voirweq.jpg
Crabs (David was a little too daring!)
 photo IMG_2481_zpsy2okoylk.jpg
"Crabbing" at night
  photo IMG_2460_zpsiaxjflk2.jpg
Spencer also caught a really big crab and I couldn't get the boys to look up and smile for the life of me! haha
  photo IMG_7962_2_zpsrp2mnrq7.jpg
  photo IMG_7963_2_zps3uhjshlv.jpg


 photo IMG_7959_2_zps2vgsnfgk.jpg
 photo IMG_2486_zpsxpf2bnk3.jpg
 photo IMG_7973_2_zpsxmphukte.jpg
I think the biggest marine pests were Jack and David though :) Jack loved EVERYTHING about the beach - digging in the sand, swimming in the waves, looking for seashells, chasing seagulls, crabbing... everything. David's favorite things were swimming in the swimming pool, eating food (ha!), chasing the seagulls, and touching all of the marine pests :)

 photo IMG_7766_zpsleewmnc6.jpg
 photo IMG_7731_zpswe6uiqir.jpg

 photo IMG_7733_zpszdfe0ao7.jpg
 photo IMG_7854_zpsi9ivmwx8.jpg

 photo IMG_7770_zpscexyhfl4.jpg

 photo IMG_7774_zpsbnackyou.jpg

 photo IMG_7907_zpszucqmshf.jpg

 photo IMG_7721_zpsquhtjust.jpg
 photo IMG_7780_zps7g1ujiah.jpg
 photo IMG_7785_zpsocbvjjw2.jpg
 photo IMG_1610_zpsjwhopep6.jpg
David is a HUGE daddy's boy. If I ever held David or helped David, David would get mad and cry for Spencer. I really didn't complain about that ;)
 photo IMG_8009_zps5mxaxqql.jpg
Chasing seagulls while holding a toddler is a lot of work :)
 photo IMG_7942_zps3ef7g3t7.jpg
 photo IMG_7747_zpsegvl8ggs.jpg
The curls grew back, thank goodness!
 photo IMG_7748_zpscgojgaca.jpg
 photo IMG_7956_zpsyvgdqp4q.jpg
 photo IMG_7934_zpsdauxp5h1.jpg
 photo IMG_7938_zpsjeb2vaxx.jpg
Jack was my little seashell buddy. We would go out as the sun was rising and look for seashells and crabs :)

 photo IMG_7832_zps8oqxr5zh.jpg
 photo IMG_7840_zpsb6kwtbmt.jpg
 photo IMG_7926_zpsxv8ucf6a.jpg
Wednesday was the only day we ventured out of our beach routine. We drove to Destin Harbor and went to a crab leg and sushi buffet. It was so good!

 photo IMG_2429_zpserwq1iue.jpg
 photo IMG_2438_zps1vaasiiq.jpg
 photo IMG_2433_zpsnzwhnu9q.jpg

 photo IMG_2448_zpsw9jejdbo.jpg
 photo IMG_2453_zpszsrsgzli.jpg
Jack was DISGUSTED that we were eating crab legs! haha
 photo IMG_7884_zpsqmcvq4lu.jpg
 photo IMG_7879_zpst7t5hbl0.jpg
 photo IMG_7885_zpsweaelpm<a href=
We got donuts one morning at one of our very favorite donut shops ever but I have to say, after trying Bosa donuts in Arizona, these just weren't as good as I remembered. #darnbosaruinedallotherdonutsforme
 photo IMG_7845_zpswfdir1dl.jpg
We literally had ice cream every. single. day. When the amazing Bluebell ice cream cones ran out, we went out to get some different ice cream!
 photo IMG_1591_zpsh99do8mp.jpg
 photo IMG_7982_2_zpseyymfevp.jpg
Jack and David loved hanging out at our condo because of the balcony and because of Disney Jr. and Nick Jr. :)
 photo IMG_7998_zpstccycogw.jpg
 photo IMG_1599_zpstj1bjieg.jpg
I'm still not sure how I feel about my selfie stick yet... it's pretty awkward ;)
  photo IMG_7764_zpskg6y9of4.jpg
 photo IMG_7902_zpsjrqvyxdq.jpg
And now for the sunset portion of this blog post ;)

 photo IMG_7820_zpsx277pxfq.jpg
 photo IMG_2531_zps2tufx2ix.jpg
 photo IMG_2592_zpsc6yftyy0.jpg
 photo IMG_2588_zpsnwclhq8s.jpg
God is pretty awesome :)
Our drive back to Iowa was absolute hell but a price worth paying for a great week at the beach! I hope we can go back some day!
 photo IMG_7776_zpssh0d7qfk.jpg
 photo IMG_1595_zpsuckxmm6q.jpg
 photo IMG_7929_zpsky47bswc.jpg