Life lately


Besides drawing all of the Castle Crashers, here is a little of what we’ve been up to around here!

The boys built a robot with my Dad and it may have been their favorite part of the summer (or last four months) so far…

Rounds of basketball once the sun goes down is a summer standard…

I did a 5k 2 minute walk/2 minute run with B on Saturday and I was pumped that I actually didn’t stop! I think my face is still on fire from it, ha!

We’ve spent some time watching the baby geese (who are about all grown up) flight test their wings…


And finally, we celebrated the Fourth with just us, but we got some excellent fireworks…

Continue Reading

Blevins Gap Nature Preserve

Nestled behind one of our local churches, this hiking preserve has three different trailheads ranging from very easy and family friendly, to much more elevated and advanced. Since we were testing it out for the first time we did the straightforward Jones Valley loop:

This little loop is a walk around a long stream.

It is only about a mile from start to finish and great for younger kiddos, or ones who love looking for rocks and minerals like J:

It’s beautifully shaded, and the light streams through the trees while you’re walking which is really fun to see:

At about the halfway point of the loop, there is a fork in the trail that takes you up an incline of the Bailey Cove Trail portion. In addition, at the very beginning of the trailhead is the Fanning trail which is a 3.8 mile trail that is a much steeper elevation. We were not prepared for that trail, but have plans to go back and do it in the future. All three are great hikes for the weekend!

Continue Reading

Bethel Springs Land Trust Hike


We are finally all moved in to spend several months with my parents while we wait for our new house to be completed. We almost feel at loose ends because there is no packing, or really anything that we have to do on the weekends. My sister and her family had gone on a hike a week ago and recommended it to us, so we set out on Saturday morning to try it out. Located off of Hwy 431 in Madison County are several trails at the Bethel Springs Nature Preserve. There is a little scenic loop at the start:

And then there are three trails, The Mill Trail, Fallen Sink Trail, and Carpenter Trail.

All of them lead toward one of the largest waterfalls in our area. The Mill Trail is the quickest to the waterfall as far as distance, but parts of it are very steep, so we took the slightly longer and slightly less steep Fallen Sink Trail & Carpenter Trail combination.

There is a lot of tree cover, so it helps to keep the temperatures slightly cooler, and the waterfall at the end was definitely worth the hike! It was about 2.5 miles from the bottom to the top of the waterfalls and back. To give you an idea of how steep it is my Apple Watch said I’d climbed 22 flights of stairs by the end of the hike.


Some of the things that are really helpful to have on hikes like this are B’s hiking backpack:

And hiking poles, even just having one for each of the boys makes a big difference in the descent from the top back down:

I wear Nike Pegasus trail runner shoes:

And the boys all have Merrell hiking shoes, except we realized when we were moving that both boys needed new boots. And then put that on our list to buy, and then didn’t buy, so I’ve now got it on my list. Their regular sneakers are fine, but the Merrell’s have better cushion and traction for the steeper hikes. I also love my adidas running shorts, and the Zella tank top because they are durable, but also light weight. I also love Athleta Powervita sports bras, which I have at least six of, and always buy when they are on sale.

We have plans to try to attempt the Mill trail in the future, when the boys have sturdier shoes, and the boys want to get closer to the waterfalls next time we go. You can go right underneath, but there were several groups there already and we wouldn’t have been able to keep a good distance. It was a fun way to spend our Saturday morning! To find out more about waterfall trails in the Madison County area there is a great post here.

Continue Reading

What’s Up Wednesday


Here is a bit of what we’ve been up to lately!

 

1. What we’re eating this week…

Leftovers. And cleaning out the freezer and fridge before we move. Texas chicken chowder was one of our favorites this past week when we had a cold snap (again).

2. What I’m reminiscing about:

Baseball season. J is missing it a lot right now, and we are missing watching him play!

3. What I’m loving:

These two palettes are my favorite right now. Pick them up before the Sephora sale ends!

4. What we’ve been up to:

Schoolwork at home. And long walks on the sidewalk around the neighborhood.

5. What I’m dreading:

Probably the final pack out of our house. We’ve got most things done, but all those little things you have to do right at the end is stressful to me because I like to have it all done in advance.

 

6. What I’m working on:

Converting a face to face course to online only for the Fall. It’s about a 60-100 hour process so that’ll be most of my summer work. I’m also trying to create a schedule for it, so it’s not completely overwhelming. I took a tip from Mo Willems and am working on a color coded spreadsheet. The screenshot above is just the first page.

7. What I’m excited about:

Sitting out on my back porch this fall with this backdrop.

8. What I’m watching/reading:

The Last Dance. We are watching this with the boys on ESPN2 (the ESPN version leaves in all language, etc, just FYI). If you loved basketball as a kid, or have kids who love sports or basketball right now, it’s a great documentary to watch.

Seinfeld Episodes. We are going through all the episodes of Seinfeld at night, because there is hardly anything else on. And I cannot watch another episode of House Hunters.

I’m reading The Tatooist of Aushwitz during the day. I tried to read this before bed, but then I couldn’t sleep, so I’m reading it during our quiet reading times in the afternoon.

I’m reading Living Forever Chic at night. Just a fun escape from our everyday reality.

9. What I’m listening to:

Samin Nosrat’s podcast Home Cooking.

 

10. What I’m wearing:

Shorts and T-Shirts or exercise clothes.

 

11. What I’m doing this weekend:

Packing.

 

12. What I’m looking forward to next month:

The pool at my parents, and maybe getting my hair done if things open back up.

13. What else is new:

Continue Reading

Life Lately

We are in the midst of week three of social distancing, which is actually physical distancing. B has done the majority of our grocery shopping and we have spent a lot of time hanging out in our front yard, backyard, and taken the occasional drive by our house under construction. This is technically the boys’ Spring Break, but we are still trying to keep a semblance of a schedule because we are going to be doing this thing for the foreseeable future. I thought I’d share a bit of our life lately around here:

This is my view in the late afternoons when the boys have their time to play electronics. And when I do the majority of my online work and Zoom meetings:

We have been trying to walk on any day we can as well:

I love this picture because it’s so deceiving. They were arguing here about I don’t know what. Anything. Everything. They spend a lot of time together right now.

J has loved his teachers at school posting story time on YouTube and we sit and watch those quite a bit:

Some of the story times have also had activities and one day we made butterflies:

I’ve been virtually working out at least five days a week, and sometimes I have extra help:

And we are still loving Mo Willems lunch doodles and it’s something the boys look forward to every weekday:

And A has been helping with dinner quite a bit:

The boys have done really well so far with this crazy time that is at times difficult to understand or explain. However, it’s not perfect and there’s a lot of times we all feel like this:

And that’s a bit of our life lately!

Continue Reading

This and that

In Alabama some winters we have super cold temps and then some winters it’s all:

And we’re all:

Now I know some of you may be in drought conditions and I hear you that rain is good, however, this is like “I don’t live in Seattle and my umbrella is broken from overuse” rain. And it’s hardly ever that sprinkle rain either. It’s the knock you over in the wind rain, take your umbrella and throw it across the street rain. So the rain stopped for a minute…and they were able to start framing our house! So exciting!

 

 

 

This is looking out towards the backyard. Today is our last full day of no rain before it starts up again, so hopefully they’ll get a lot accomplished. In addition to that excitement, I made a trip to Target and found golf polos for A:

These are good weight and quality, perfect considering he now has golf every week and a match once a month. I also found new snack mix for me:

This is free of a lot of common allergens and is really tasty (a difficult combination to find). I also stopped by my Mom’s class this week to see her little flock of ducks and chicks. This little one was so sweet:

I threw together thirty minutes of work-out one night by doing five minutes of warm-up:

And then of my fitness instructor’s fifteen minute challenges:

And another fifteen of yoga tone. Which was definitely a compliment to this tasty lunch I picked up on my way to work the other day:

The episode about Chicken Salad Chick has long been one of my favorite How I Built This podcast episodes, but amazingly I’ve never actually made it to the restaurant. I got the pimento cheese and original chicken salad scoop and it was honestly enough for two lunches, but so good! And it comes with a cookie, which was an awesome surprise.

And finally, I took advantage of a GAP/Old Navy sale to buy J new pants because:

He has worn a hole in almost all of his track pants.

Continue Reading

The sweet spot

Oh, how I love Valentine’s Day! The boys love it too. I wasn’t going to get out decorations this year because we are prepping to put the house on the market, but I decided to put out just a few. They are so excited! It also reminded me that even though we are moving, it’s good to stay positioned in the now. I have always been a future thinker, what’s next, when are we going to get there. However, really in the past few years I have been working to think about future steps, while also remaining present in the now. Now that I’ve gone completely philosophical, let’s take a step back into reality with a few items that would be high on my Valentine gift list!

First, a set of fun barrettes, I like finding items that are more trend oriented at a reasonable price.

A sweet sweater that has a gorgeous bow detailing in the back.

I llama love this pouch, and I do!

A re-stock of my favorite everyday perfume.

Fun cozy slides.

Heart hoop earrings.

Continue Reading

What’s Up Wednesday

This has been a crazy few weeks. Between final exams, the short turn around from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and other life stuff, I felt like we needed to do a bit of a check in. So I’m linking up today with Mix and Match Mama and Sheaffer Told Me To to do a what’s up Wednesday.

1: WHAT WE’RE EATING THIS WEEK:

Corn chowder, potatoes au gratin, chicken and broccoli roll-ups, carnitas, and salmon with rice.

2. WHAT I’M REMINISCING ABOUT:

Planning for Disney trips! We aren’t doing that right now because of our house building and I miss it. Also, this awesome hot chocolate with a cookie I had last weekend:

3. WHAT I’M LOVING:

This sugar caramel lip balm. I put it on at night after I shower and then I follow it up with Kiehls lip balm before I go to bed.

4. WHAT WE’VE BEEN UP TO:

Basketball! And school, work, last minute Christmas shopping, etc.

5. WHAT I’M DREADING:

I’ve got to take the boys to get their hair cut this week. The barber that cuts their hair does a great job, but it’s the process, time, and the fact that I can’t schedule an appointment (they only take walk-ins).

6. WHAT I’M WORKING ON:

I’m up for reappointment at my job in January which means I’ve been multitasking working on my dossier:

And wrapping presents:

7. WHAT I’M EXCITED ABOUT:

Christmas! And having two weeks of no school, so sleeping in and lazy mornings.

8: WHAT I’M WATCHING/READING:

I’m half-way through The Giver of Stars, but I’ve had The Conviction on hold at the library and it just became available, so I’m going to need to read that fast once I get it before it’s due back in two weeks.

I watched all of the new season of Fuller House and I’ve been finishing out The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt series while working on present wrapping. The boys and I are working our way through Holiday Baking Championship and, of course, The Mandalorian.

9: WHAT I’M LISTENING TO:

Besides Christmas music on repeat, I finished another podcast episode of Forever Thirty-Five, and I’m currently listening to this episode of The Splendid Table. I also really like Conan O’ Brien Needs a Friend podcast.

10: WHAT I’M WEARING:

Layers on repeat because we’re having thirty degree weather swings this week.

11: WHAT I’M DOING THIS WEEKEND:

A whole lot of baking and B’s parents are coming to town for a couple of days. I made lemon chocolate chip cookies this past weekend for a work event for B and I need to make another batch for the boys.

12: WHAT I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO NEXT MONTH:

Honestly, getting my dossier done and turned in is high on that list. Also, a new Semester! I’m excited for the new class formats I’m teaching in and meeting all my new students.

Continue Reading

This and that

Since we’ve started Thanksgiving Break, later bedtimes and less activities to attend have allowed for movie and show watching on Disney Plus:

We’ve watched Pirates of the Caribbean, the Mandalorian, The Force Awakens, Fantasia, and lots of Mickey Shorts Cartoons.

Getting a jump on Christmas shopping, we took the boys to Target this weekend and let them take turns picking out gifts for each other:

J helped me load presents and groceries.

J received several new badges at Cub Scout last week and got to read the closing part of the flag ceremony. We are so proud of him!

A has been hard at work on his golf game:

And I’ve been hard at work finding him clothes to wear to matches for when it’s cold:

I sent my Mom these GAP lined khakis and Old Navy half zip athletic shirt as Christmas ideas, and then I’m picking him out a new hat from Dick’s.

And finally, we conceded and started putting up Christmas:

B and I picked out mini trees for the boys to decorate, and they love them so much I don’t know why we didn’t do this earlier….but then J almost boot kicked the tree and I remembered why. Ha! Happy Monday!

Continue Reading

Wacky Science Saturday

J had been asking for several weeks to do science experiments, so last Saturday B created an entire day of science experiments.

From floating lava:

To a mad scientist potion:

To swamp juice:

The boys had a blast creating different mixtures and “potions”. The best thing is that all of these can be created with normal household items (and some carefully handled dry ice…by adults only!). It was such a fun day of experiments, and also some tasty treats!

Continue Reading
1 2 3 17