Wednesday, February 29, 2012


7 months and the wonderful baby

Baby S turned 7 months old and it is as if she is a whole new person. She just seems huge all of the sudden. I had to bump her up to size 4 diapers (!!!!!!!!!!!!) and she's looking mighty snug in her 9 month sleepers so I ordered a handful (ahem, BOATLOAD) of cute spring-y and summer-y 12 month size clothes. Formula is still going well. She is presently sick with snot and coughing GALORE. Again. I feel like she is healthy for 2 weeks and sick for 2 weeks and this is just the ever present pattern in our home. For a while I was feeling all sheepish and this is the price for formula feeding because, you know, Little L was NEVER sick as a wee baby and I totally attributed so much of that to the fact she nursed until 12 months.... but then I started noticing that even my mom friends who were still nursing their babies were ALSO fighting lots of sickness right now. And these said babies all have older siblings.... and then... my a-ha moment, of course. It is the big kids who are walking germ pools that are quite likely the source of most of this sickness drama. That and the blooming pear trees and flowers and grass all over the joint causing allergies and sinus infections. Why can't little babies take zy.rtec or clari.tin? I DIGRESS. Otherwise, the baby is marvelous. She is hilarious, in fact, with loads and loads of precious personality. She is eating some solids, namely oatmeal, apples, sweet potatoes, banana, squash and she's exploring her interest of water from a sippy cup. I'll take that as just fine for now. No tummy issues, still on prev.acid and probiotics, and doing really well. Still sleeping 12 hours at night (unless she wakes up to cough out a lung while sick) and taking 2 naps a day. She is one adorable little munchkin who has figured out exactly how to look at the monitor camera in her room and cry "MAMA" in the most pathetic little voice when she absolutely cannot stand to be away from me anymore. She babbles only "mama" and "baba" so far, but those MAMA's are so perfectly timed that I kinda think she knows exactly what she's saying. (Maybe because I ALWAYS respond???) I get HUGE open mouth kisses on a regular basis, she loves to be held, gives enormous neck hugs and loves rolling around on the floor with her toys. She is doing great big push ups and sort of showing interest in getting on her knees and ALMOST able to sit up on her own. I think she's actually going to be a slow mover in the crawling/walking department like her sister was and friend, I AM OK WITH THAT. Take your time, baby girl. My world with a mobile baby is a terrifying thought right now.

Birthday party

I'm struggling to wrap my mind around the idea that someone is going to be 3 years old on Sunday. How is it possible?!?!?! I cannot believe how fast the last year went and the amount of change that took place. She is SO EXCITED for her party and has been having "play" parties with all her stuffed friends in her playroom upstairs. I hear her singing "happy birthday" multiple times a day and find that the party hat rotates from friend to friend. Her party is at the most dreaded place in all of the universe to adults. I'm sure her friend's parents hate my guts but the fact that there is NO STRESS to have my house spotless and food planned and decorations attended to, etc, is simply MARVELOUS. Today I went and bought favors for 12 children. TWELVE!!! HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE? I don't really even know how we know that many kids, though most of them are admittedly our friends' children. But there's one girl from "school" coming, 2 neighbor kids, a cousin and her 2 very best friends in all the world in that count. (aka MY best friend's kids--she has no choice BUT for those kids to her her 2 very best friends!) When I invited all those kids, I figured surely at least a third would decline. Only 1 kid cannot make it.  And can I just rant that birthday party favors are like the most expensive after thought to party planning ever? When did favors even become customary anyways? I never had birthday parties as a child, they were totally a luxury my parents could not afford. I think that's probably why I tend to go overboard on birthday planning in general, too. Luckily, I think my husband gets this because he never says a word. Anyways. I bought princess stuff for the girls and Cars stuff for the boys. Little L loves both so everyone wins. In fact? She helped me pick everything out today. I cannot believe she is old enough to have so much say in these things. Sigh.

The Treadmill

Oh the freaking treadmill. Up front, we were incredibly torn between 2 models. And they were sold at two different stores. After agonizing and hours of web research from personal reviews (yea, we're those people), we finally settled on one from Sears. They offered free delivery and set up with it, so that part of the deal kinda pushed us over the edge. They delivered it Monday. Delivery dudes carried it upstairs (no small feat, our stairs bend and are NOT moving friendly) and one guy set it up and plugged it in to see if everything worked properly. All of the sudden, the fire alarm starts going off in the house. We are both running around room to room frantically trying to find smoke, the baby is screaming, Little L is screaming and holding her ears, the dog is barking... We couldn't find anything. And as if magic, it abruptly stops. We both shrugged our shoulders, delivery dude comes downstairs and then takes off in his truck. Well. We went upstairs to check the treadmill out and the moment I hit "start" to get going on the thing, what do you think happened? Dang fire alarm went off again... and the moment I hit "stop," it stopped. We were dumbfounded. It wasn't when you turned the power on/off, ONLY when you turned on the actual motor. There wasn't even time for smoke to hit the air if it were smoking. After some research, we discovered that hard-wired smoke detectors are a real nuisance and can be set off by all kind of power surges. So J called the treadmill manufacturer who said that there was probably something wrong with the motor causing the surge and to call Sears to replace it..... (yes, there is an end to this story) and those turkeys at Sears were USELESS. The store manager was downright rude to poor J and he never gets mad over anything. Long.story.short. We are letting Sears pick the thing back up and ordered the other treadmill we were torn on originally from the other retailer. J just wants to prove a point and punish Sears. So hopefully by the end of this week? I'll have a freaking treadmill.

The trip

I need that treadmill because I have to be in swimwear within less than 6 weeks. In front of the president of my husband's company. Yes, we booked the trip. My parents are going to watch the girls the first 2 days and an AWESOME friend of ours (you know who you are!!!) is going to stay with them the other 2 days. We are truly so blessed with wonderful, helpful and trustworthy people in our life. I am still totally dreading leaving the baby but... you know.... I'll deal with it when we get there.

Other stuff

Today I caught sight of myself in a mirror at the store and I saw that I had baby snot all over the front of my shirt and a good 3" of roots that need to be highlighted. I also have terrible coffee stains on my teeth and could use a mani/pedi like you wouldn't believe. At some point later in the day, Little L told me "mama, you so beautiful..." unprompted. No idea how she knew I needed that. My new skincare regimen is about a week in and so far? I am rather pleased. I can feel a big difference and my sweet husband touched my face last night and commented on how soft/smooth my skin felt. I'm going to say it was money well spent.

Well. I am rather tired and cannot think of a witty ending here.... so? The end. :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Today, I feel infinitely better than I have in weeks. My attitude has been just awful this month and I am so disappointed in myself. It just reminds me that if I cannot change my situation then I absolutely have to change my attitude. And after some prayer and thinking and evaluating my personal situation, I feel like I have come to some resolution about how to pick myself up and GET BACK to a more joyful and peaceful place in my life. ME TIME. Giving myself a certain amount of attention and allowing me to be ME and take some of my constant focus off my kids, house, work, etc, to just simply be an individual.

1) I HAVE to set aside completely quiet time with God each day. I was cramming those moments in when I could, simply missing some days, and often times doing them in the midst of chaos on the sofa with both kids playing on the floor next to me. A complete distraction and not the right way to do my "quiet time" at all. I have decided I am going to go to bed earlier and get up before everyone instead of just groggily rolling out of bed when I hear them rustling around at 7 AM. I am not a fan of getting up at 6 AM, but I NEED IT. And I remember when I figured this out with Little L, it changed my life. Necessary change.

2) RUNNING. I have only been able to run sporadically since S was born and it isn't working. I am an avid outdoor runner. It is all I have done for 3 years. But leaving the house with 2 kids hasn't been an option. Plus so many days it is dark at 6AM or too cold, rainy or TOO HOT. My husband offered to buy me a treadmill months ago, but I had such a hard time spending the money on something so selfish. After months of stewing on it and watching each day pass by without a run, I finally agreed it was something I simply needed to do. So this weekend that sweet man bought me one. It gets delivered on Monday. My legs are literally twitching with excitement.

3) So, there's that. Every morning, I am going to get up early and run and do bible study before the kids even stir.

4) If you've ever exercised first thing in the AM, then you know it is HARD to drag yourself out of bed for it... but once you have it done? It changes the entire course of your day. I even tell my husband that I need to "go run the mean out of me" sometimes. It just changes my attitude about everything. There is such a level of patience it affords me that life without it doesn't.

5) I got online and bought myself skin care products last week. I haven't had the opportunity to change up my skin care routine in, oh, 10+ years? I've been using the same orange neutrogen.a face wash and their basic moisturizer since I was in my early 20's. And let's face it. 32 is not 22. I'm getting wrinkles and sun damage is really starting to show. I don't have the time (or money) for a facial or even a good thorough visit with a dermatologist, so I decided it was ok to just buy some new stuff and work on feeling better about that part of me. I bought a new face soap and toner, day time tinted moisturizer with SPF, night time wrinkle moisturizer, night eye cream and a really strong moisturizer for my ANGRY bottle washing hands. I cannot stand going to the store and looking at all the options or being scrutinized by the ladies at the makeup counter at a department store, so I took some time, read reviews and ordered it all from the privacy of my home in my PJ's. I am annoyingly excited about this.

6) I went ahead and signed Little L up for the church's summer mother's day out program. It is basically just the same thing she's doing now but runs through mid-July. I wasn't sure if we should spend the money but my work schedule isn't changing just because "summer" is rolling around and she is doing SO GREAT in that program. Learning, making friends, etc. I am so glad my husband was on board with this decision. Gives me my Tuesdays and Thursdays with just 1 child for almost the entire year. So we'll only have 6 weeks this year of 5 days a week together full time. I can do that and we'll try to plan our family vacation during that time instead of in the fall like we were originally thinking.

7) I am 95% sure I am going to Puerto Rico with my husband. We have some amazing people who have offered to watch the girls and I am praying through those decisions right now to make sure we leave them with the right person and do not burden anyone too much. I honestly could so easily tell my husband to just go without me and stay home with my girls but honestly? Why is it SO EASY for me to put my kids before my husband like that? He is my #1 earthly priority and it means SO MUCH to him for me to be there in support of him and enjoying time alone together for the first real time in 3 years. I owe it to him to make this happen. Pray for me... I get a little anxious thinking about leaving the baby so soon, but I know it is the proper decision. 3 nights away is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

8) Speaking of the baby, she was dedicated at church this weekend. I told Little L we were "giving sister back to God" and she gave me a sad look and said she did not want us to give sister to anyone.

9) Oh, and speaking of the baby, she turned 7 months old on Sunday (also the 7 year anniversary of the day my sweet man asked me to marry him--what a day!). AND my little L turns 3 years old in less than 2 weeks. I cannot believe ANY OF THIS.

Hope you are all blessed today! And choosing JOY!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

to retract

I totally wish to retract my blog post from yesterday. Because I read it back today and it was sooooooo incredibly whiny and all "POOR SAD ME AND MY AWFUL LIFE WITH MY FREE VACATION CONUNDRUM AND TRAVELING HUSBAND WHO HAS A MARVELOUS JOB WAH WAH WAH."

I make it a personal policy to not be a whiner or one who complains over social media, especially over problems that aren't by most people's standard's, in fact, problems.

So, retraction accepted?

You see, I have discovered that life with 2 small children is just a whole darn lot harder than I ever anticipated. And my husband's traveling schedule has been unusually heavy the past 6 weeks and all this alone time has allowed frustration to brew and bubble up inside of me and I guess it just happened to spill over here... and in the face of some of the unsuspecting friends who have emailed, called, and/or texted me lately.

I LOVE having 2 kids. I really do. But almost 7 months in, looking back from where we were before we had the baby?

It's darn hard.

Even when he's not traveling, J has simply been working a ton here at home and I find myself outnumbered by children more often than not. When there was just 1, she could spend some time playing alone or nap or SOMETHING to give me peace and quiet for brief stretches throughout my day. So rarely does it ever happen now that they are both quiet or undemanding at the same time. In fact, Little L has pretty much stopped taking naps all together within the past month and she is talking ALL THE TIME. Often times, I am fielding work phone calls with one child yammering away about needing something in the background and a baby wailing over the monitor. Even when we are both "on" and managing the kids together, it is still kind of crazy how we each have one little person to give our attenton to and we are never really getting any individual "alone" time in any given day.

But it could be worse. So, so much worse.

I think I put a ton of emphasis on all of my stress and frustration revolving around the diet-breastfeeding v. formula-non sleeping, non napping, constantly crying baby and I expected my life to just magically go back to at least resembling the awesome way it was pre-baby when we got all that mess sorted. But, DUH. That wasn't the case. Because a baby is so much more work than she's not, especially this one. She isn't independent like her sister was, she needs and wants constant attention. And now that we toss the whole mess of bottle washing, solids introduction, constant diaper changing on top of the existing needs of the child who was always here (well, not really, technically just shy of only 3 years of existence, but it DOES feel like always at this point), I am ridiculous BUSY every day. I eat every meal late, I forget to drink water, my hands are ANGRY at me for all the bottle washing and I have totally hit the point of rarely even running a brush through my hair each day, never mind such niceties like makeup or lip gloss. HAR!

But on the flip side? I simply love these girls. I mean I truly, deeply adore them to my CORE. I always just knew I'd love having another child but I couldn't have imagined how much and how differently I would love her. And the love of seeing the two of them together? It is amazing. The baby just adores her sister and laughs and squeals at her allllll the time. They face each other in the back of the van and I swear some days they just sit back there quietly smiling at each other for the entire drive wherever we are going. And we spend so much time together having dance parties or huddled around the kitchen (L in her chair, S in her high chair and me usually standing at the island) just giggling and listening to music or eating snacks. I'll often leave Little L in the family room "in charge" of watching S (I am really just within eye shot, but it makes her feel important) and come back to finding them side by side on the floor holding hands.

The tough days are tough for sure, but in every day there is so much good.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

bring on the stress

Begin, begin... where do I begin.

* Business travel. I HATE IT. And it is running our lives right now. I cannot express how unbelievably hard it is to play the role of a single work-at-home-parent-to-two. Just the girls and I alone for multiple days, not much other human interaction... it could make a person go kinda crazy. Mornings and nights especially are just SO HARD. I try not to complain about it to him too much because, well, there's just nothing he can do about it. But really, a huge part of me just wants to WHINE. And it isn't that I think he's off on vacation enjoying himself, right? Yet somehow it is hard not to feel kinda jealous when I'm fighting to wrangle 2 children down to bed only to know I have 2 hours of work waiting for me while he's staying at a nice hotel (with ROOM SERVICE, MAIDS, NO CRYING CHILDREN!) enjoying a steak dinner with wine and ADULT CONVERSATION.

* My family (the one that I was born in to, not the one I made). Oh, my poor, sad, miserable family. It isn't appropriate to go in to too many details but I have two grown brothers who are just a HUGE mess right now. And these are the kinds of messes that spill over in to everyone else's life, especially my dad's and definitely mine. I spend a lot of time worrying and praying for both of them and every day seems like SURELY SOMETHING HAS TO CHANGE OR GET BETTER? But it hasn't happened. Today I said to God "I honestly don't know what to pray for with them anymore. So, please, your will just be done right now." I'm not sure if I've ever hit that place in prayer before now.

* To further push this family drama in to my life, my dad and his wife are our only babysitter. We have been unable to rely on them at all in the past few months because of all of this nonsense with my brothers. One or both of them are regularly staying in their home and really, I'm not comfortable with my kids being around them. So sure, they could come to our house and watch them. But they both work full time and are dealing with the brother crap full time, too, so it just seems wrong to ask them to please watch our small, very needy children on top of all that exhausting MESS they are dealing with on a daily basis. So you know what that means? We haven't been alone without our kids since our wedding anniversary last year. OCTOBER 1st. In fact, as I think about it, that was the one and only time we left both kids alone with them to go out on a date. I was too afraid to leave baby S with anyone since she was such drama. And now I'm just not really sure what to do about this... but it is putting a definite strain on my marriage. We're doing ok but, you know, married couples just need time alone. Outside of the house. To talk about things other than Nemo and Rapunzel.

* Rolling right along... my wonderful, amazing, loyal, hard-working husband won this fantastically HUGE company award last week. Really, it's a BIG FRIGGIN DEAL. I am so proud of him and I know he is humble but SO HONORED. Because this is the kind of designation people carry around with them and put on their resumes, it is well known in his industry. Well. In conjunction with said award, which is bestowed upon about 200 people each year (out of 65,000 employees), he won a trip. Not just any trip, either. A FIRST CLASS ALL THE WAY, 5-star resort  (for 4 days during the work week) in Puerto Rico trip. For two. (His company politely assumes the winner would want to take their spouse with them to a gorgeous beach) It is a very executive type trip with scheduled events and spa days and such and, well, basically NOT CHILD FRIENDLY in any way. HAHAHAHA. And we have no idea what we are going to do. Because we realistically don't have any family to leave our 2 children with that long and who else can you expect to watch your 2 kids for 3 nights? Plus there's the whole fact that the baby will only be about 9 months by that time and I am asking myself if I can even fathom leaving her for that long? But then there's my husband (who is going to take this awesome trip with or without me, by the way), who wants nothing more than for me to take this trip with him. And my head wants to explode because I have no idea what to do.

Yes, I realize my problems aren't the worst problems in the world. And things have been much harder in the past, for sure. But at the moment, when I figured I would find some PEACE and rest after the whole food-sleep-drama with Baby S, I feel myself just riddled with angst and stress. I am doing my best to overcome it and just trust that things will work out as they should, but... you know, easier said than done.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

love is patient

Early this evening as I sat downstairs at my laptop, attempting to cram in 15 minutes of work while S was catnapping and I was preparing to have to rush through a bottle, oatmeal and 2 bedtimes, Little L was upstairs in her playroom quietly emptying the entire contents of a bottle of hand lotion out on herself, her toys, the carpet, the walls and any other nearby surface.

I was blissfully unaware until she appeared next to me, covered from head to toe in a thick, white substance and smelling like a blend of almond and up-to-no-good. It took me a moment to realize what had happened and then I casually noticed the trail she'd brought down the stairwell and tile with her.


I picked her up and carried her upstairs to survey the damage and frustratingly asked "Why did you do this?" (we've had the talk about this particular bottle of lotion before--the only one in the house within her reach--and she always knew it was to be given by mommy only) She simply looked at me blankly and said "I dunno." She sat there quietly and watched as I cleaned the mess up and obediently followed me to her bathroom for a bath, pajamas and early bedtime with no story. I received a meek apology and no arguments or contention about being put to bed an hour early.

Last week a friend of ours posted a picture on FB of her 3 year old child next to a "reward chart" and stickers for certain tasks she did around the house. I actually laughed out loud as I read the chart, snickering to myself that most of those things are tasks I've simply expected Little L to do without question or reward since she was old enough to walk.  And then I checked myself for being judgmental of another parent and asked myself "Am I too hard on my daughter?" My husband, who is also friends with this person on FB, also happened to see that picture a few days later and of his own will mentioned it to me. I asked him if he thought I was too hard on Little L and he paused and answered "sometimes."

It was a moment of awareness for me. One that has been building and coming for a matter of weeks. I'm not necessarily a mean, bossy slave driver or expect this child to be performing quadratic equations at the ripe old age of 3, but rather I do NOT expect her to do some of the frustrating 3 year old things that often come out of her. And then I get REALLY frustrated and bothered when she does act like she, by nature, should. She's slow and incredibly picky about everything being "just so" and I am always in a hurry to get everywhere. I DETEST being late. In fact, it is one of life's greatest stresses for me. And I am constantly stressing to her how much we are running late or how difficult she is making the process of getting out the door by insisting that SHE put her shoes on herself when I can do it 4 times faster.

I was recently doing a bible study in 1 Corinthians and came across a footnote in my bible regarding love "being patient." The gist was basically that often times we get irritated by others and that irritable treatment of other people is always wrong, even if the feeling isn't necessarily sinful. Most irritability in our lives stems from a love of perfection; a desire that we have to make sure everything in our lives runs perfectly or in accordance with our own, individual preferences. I cannot summarize the next part, it was too poignant for me....
"Those who are easily irritated need to remember that perfection exists only in God. We need to love Him and our fellow Christians, not the visions we have for perfection here on earth."
This was simply a footnote in my bible and it REALLY hit me. HARD. I've been really convicted by this lately, in SO MANY areas of my life. Especially with my children and my husband. Also with my friends, family and even strangers. People in traffic driving slow in the fast lane or people who ask me too many questions in the elevator or people who don't think the way I think. I am often SO quick to be irritated by others and I really need to work on this part of my spirit.

Instead of getting extremely angry over the lotion thing tonight I apologized to her for leaving a bottle of lotion within her reach. I explained to her that I set boundaries for her in order to keep her from getting herself in to trouble. I told her she was being punished with an early bedtime and no story for breaking my rules but that I loved her very much and I hope tomorrow will be a day without her getting in to any trouble.

Do I think there's any chance of that? Nah, not really. But I am going to work really hard on not getting so irritated with her for doing the things a 3 year old will do and I will give her more credit for the wonderfully obedient things she does of her own accord without receiving reward or praise. Because I know the coming year is going to be a real challenge for us both.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

11 things for Feb 1st

1) Every time I pick up a $27 can of formula, I cringe a little bit. It lasts about 3 days, so we're saying it costs about $9/day to feed our baby S (after having been free for 6 months). HOWEVER. Formula has been LIFE CHANGING for us. The best kind of change. She is so happy, so balanced, so settled and SO SLEEPING. She slept 12 hours plus the past 2 nights. STRAIGHT THROUGH THE NIGHT. I started giving her oatmeal 2 times a day this week so maybe there is some small coincidence that the solids are a part of this sleep magic, but considering most of it ends up on the bib just yet? I cannot imagine that it is the sole reason for said sleep awesomeness.

2) She also cut her 2 bottom front teeth this week. And I am kinda like HOW THE HECK did that happen?!?!? Because she hasn't been terribly fussy and is sleeping better than ever. I theorize she used up all her night waking the first 6 months and we are on a sleep easy train from here on out? (wishful thinking, to say the least)

3) Being well rested is wonderful. I feel like a totally different person than I was 3 weeks ago. No one appreciates this more than the people who live under this roof with me.

4) The baby also went through a major growth spurt at some point in the past few weeks. She shot right out of all her 6M size clothes so I hurried up to buy what cold weather 9M stuff I could find. And? She is totally filling them out already, doesn't look big on her at all. I suspect she'll be in 12M before I blink.

5) Oatmeal. She's doing pretty good with it. I also gave her a sippy cup for the first time. She makes the most hilarious face whenever she actually gets water out of it.... a total "WHAT IN THE WORLD?!?!" face. Then she opens her mouth wide and all the water spills out on to her. I am going to start giving her apple later this week.

6) With the sleeping and the eating and teeth emergence also seems to have come a new found mobility. She is ALL OVER THE PLACE. I leave her in one spot and find her completely across the room when I come back. So, no more leaving the baby alone for a quick second. Anyone know where I can find a baby cage?

7) Little L is doing GREAT. Potty training is just done, it seems. I'm still doing pull-ups for sleep and plan to continue that until she asks me not to herself. She wakes up dry most of the time so she's not really relying on them. I think they are more for my comfort than hers. (I do enough laundry as it is, let's not tempt the fates) It is weird hearing the toilet just randomly flush on its own and not having to worry about changing her, but I love it.

8) She is such a chatterbox, it gets better/funnier everyday. I cannot believe some of the things that come out of her mouth. She also makes up her own songs and will stand on "THE STAGE" (our fireplace hearth) and sing her lungs out while dancing. I took a video of this the other night and realized we were going on 10 minutes of filming. She also really loves to make us laugh. I suspect we have a little performer on our hands.

9) I am cooking like crazy again. I am so glad to have that "WHAT ON EARTH CAN I EAT?!?!" pressure gone off of me. I have moments where I'll be eating and pause and FREAK that I just ate something I wasn't supposed to... and then I realize it is ok. I think the best part of this is being out and not feeling like I have to rush home just so I can eat something. Going to the mall is no longer terribly worrisome, like I have to HURRY HURRY HURRY and get out of the before we all get hungry. And? I gave baby S a bottle at the mall the other day and it was just so EASY. I know a lot of people are fine nursing in public, but I never was, so I spent a great deal of stress planning out feeding since FEW public places have private areas for nursing mothers (though, if you live in DFW, NorthParkMall has totally got the BEST nursing set up ever). Just pulling a bottle out of a bag and popping it in was so nice and easy. Everyone was happy. Especially Little L, we were at the DISNEYSTORE!

10) Speaking of Disney, I think we've decided to go later this year--hopefully in the fall. People will think we are crazy for taking a 3 year old and a 1 year old but we don't really care. I think it will be a ridiculous amount of fun. Plus? I haven't been out of Texas in 5 years so I NEED A VACATION. I'd like to make it a long enough trip so we can hit the beach, too. We were thinking about taking a cruise but then, literally, within an hour of discussing it that whole Italy thing happened. So, no. No cruise for us.

11) How is it February already? How is that even POSSIBLE?! I pray you are all having a lovely Feb 1st and many blessings to you all this month.