Currently Is Back!

Hey y’all! Hubby and I had an amazing, semi-unplugged, responsibility-free five days in the great state of Texas! Here’s to a Currently full of trip snippets, to be followed up by a Dallas and an Austin play-by-play – that will really look like a “What I Ate” post, since most of what we did was EAT ALL THE THINGS.

Since tomorrow is JUNE (WHAT?!) I’m  linking up with Jenna at Gold and Bloom, and Anne In Residence. Join us!

Planning || a fun first couple of weeks of summer! We will spend some time outdoors (pool, anyone?!), eating good, local food and listening to music, also outside! AND we are attending a fantastic fundraising event for a family we love here in town. They’re holding an arts festival on their farm to benefit NOMAD Infant Rescue & Care. PLEASE check it out here and see how awesome it is. The event itself is going to be awesome; local food trucks, arts and craft vendors, live music, what else could you want on an already beautiful farm that’s filled with fun people?!

Enjoying || the last couple of days of preschool. I know we will have a fun summer, and we will find fun things to do while the kids are out, but I’m enjoying total silence right now, and I’m not sorry about it. Keeping them busy (read: exhausting them) will be my #1 daily goal. If you’re local, call me for play dates!

Buying || a couple of treats that the kids enjoyed while we were gone! Hubby and I had the idea to get on Amazon Prime for a couple of small things for the kids that would arrive after we left. We chose a couple of books, and a four-pack of superhero capes and masks! When I landed on that $20 dress-up kit I knew we’d nailed it, especially because Batman and Superman were included, and they are J and EK’s favorite, respectively.

Craving || Breakfast tacos. I fell in love with them in Austin, and now it’s the only thing I want for breakfast. Luckily, you can make them fairly healthy (leave out the greasy meat, or add some avocado) if you want, and still delicious!

Pinning || Not much these days. I never really got a good hold on how Pinterest is supposed to work, but I have been searching for some summer recipes I can make with the kids. I’m not much for “cute” food (you know, food made to look like animals and junk) but I do like delicious and healthy food! Right now, I’m still big on muffins that are gluten free and have a veggie in them (think zucchini bread on steroids).

Well, that’s about it for what I’m up to. More Texas trip details will come, so be on the lookout! What are your summer plans so far?

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday! Glad to bring back the weekly funnies! This one is long since it’s got a few from the previous week as well… Enjoy!

J, with coins in his hand: I got da monies!

J: Mom! EK’s drawing on she’s leg! (She’s is a substitute for her.)

Sitting at a nice restaurant for lunch…
EK: I want nuggets and fries and a taco for lunch, please.

Out on the porch…
J: I saw an ant, Mom! So I flicked it, right into the garden!
EK: Yeah! I gave my ant a spanking and put it in the crash can!

Leaving preschool…
J: Look, mom! There’s a bird! I wanna give it a kiss.

Hubby takes off J’s shirt, and he points at his tummy…
J: That’s my tummy aches daddy!
Hubby: What?
J: My tummy aches! (He pulls up Hubby’s shirt) Can I see your tummy aches?

J, coming out of his room after nap: Good morning, D! Good morning, EK! I had a nice nap.

EK, complimenting Hubby: You’re like Prince Charlie! (It took us several minutes to realize she meant Prince Charming.)

Hubby: How’s your taco?
J: Yummy! It’s like a chip!

EK had been pestering me to pay attention to her (I was working) and I had been telling her to wait a few minutes for, well, a few minutes. Finally, I said, “Yes?” She responded, “I was just wondering if we could have a tea party one day this week, Thursday or Wednesday maybe? Just whatever day I don’t have church or school. I could look at my calendar and see what’s going on?” And obviously, I responded, “…..Um, yes. I’d like that. Any day you want…”

Every time I change J’s diaper: Can I see da poopy, Mommy?

Snapshots of while we were gone…

Swinging with Uncle Cameron…
J: Push me! (Wait) Stop! (Wait) Okay, push me. Slowly!

EK is screaming at the dinner table…
Cameron: If you’re going to scream, go downstairs. If you want to eat with us, don’t scream.
EK: Necie, Cameron’s being mean to me!

Me: Did you go to school while I was gone?
EK: Yeah. And I stayed for lunch bunch. Necie gave me some money and I gave it to my teacher.

Necie: J just woke up. Do you want to put away the play doh?
EK: No, J loves play doh. I want to share it with him because I love him.

I thought those were all pretty good this week! What are your kids saying? Anyone else’s boy interested in seeing his poop? BLERG.

You Just Need to Get Away

Sometimes, you need a vacation.

Most of the time, you can’t have one.

And sometimes, things fall into place quite nicely, and you get the perfect excuse for a getaway.

photo courtesy of the talented Johnny Stevens

Last week, Hubby and I had a family friend who got married in Dallas. That’s a plane ride away for us, so we jumped at the chance to get out of town for a few days. My saint of a mother was willing to keep our kids, so we left them behind and stayed away (several states away!) for five whole days.

Did you read that? Five days. That’s an unheard of vacation for parents of three kids under age five. But we were blessed and thrilled to be almost entirely free of responsibility, eat way too much delicious food – without thinking of whether our kids would eat it – and go anywhere and everywhere we liked, without planning very far in advance.

We delighted in local restaurants, nature walks, and even some shopping. We were privy to an intimate weekend celebrating the couple, including our rousing performance of a Marvin Gaye cover at their rehearsal dinner. We traveled from Dallas to Austin to spend sweet time with family we don’t see very often, and even enjoyed a few naps. Yes! NAPS!

Even though I thought about (worried about, even) our kids, I knew they would be fine without us. We didn’t actually talk to them or FaceTime them as much as I thought we would. We talked about them, yes, and wondered how they were. But it was immensely refreshing to be away, and to rest assured things would be fine when we returned. Everyone was a little tired (my mom especially), and REALLY glad to see us, but they were fine. They survived – thrived, even – having had a break from us, too.

You see, we love each other. Kids and their parents have a bond to which nothing comes close. But it’s good to be apart sometimes. It’s refreshing, it makes us appreciate what we’ve got, and it makes us realize we don’t truly want to be apart from them for that long, even if we fantasize now and then about getting the hell outta dodge. But I have to tell you: going away for five days with my spouse was an incredible honeymoon-like experience. We hadn’t looked in each other’s eyes for as long, or had uninterrupted conversations as often as we did on this trip in years. Yep, I went there. Years. Like, four years, since that’s how old our daughter is. It’s the longest we’ve ever been away from her or the boys. But we needed it. Our marriage needed it. Our hearts, minds, and exhausted bodies needed it. I know how hard it is to imagine getting away, the effort, money, help, and planning it takes. But it was so, so good. And we’re already thinking about the next one.

A Much-Needed Vacation

You might have noticed a little silence around this corner of the internet. Well, that’s because I took a vacation. It wasn’t a vacation in the tropics, or at a theme park. It was actually in Texas. But I went without my kids. Hubby and I spent five wonderful days and four extremely restful nights in the great, big state of Texas, celebrating the Dallas wedding of a dear friend and discovering Austin with some family. (If you follow me on Instagram, you probably figured all this out on your own.)

I’ll be writing about this a little more, but I just wanted to give you the Cliff’s Notes of why I’d been so quiet. My amazing mom kept our kids while we were traveling, eating, drinking and sight-seeing. She was a little too busy to write down every hilarious thing the kids said, but I’ll be including some of her additions in next week’s Things Toddlers Say. I’ll also fill you in on how horribly they slept while we were away, and how we try to get them back in the groove of “real life”. AND I’ll even do a big write up on Texas and what we did while we were there! (Especially since you might recall I did one on Fort Worth after we were there this past December.)

All that to say, thanks for hanging around and missing me while I was off the grid. Currently, Toddlers, and my weekly My Big Jesus contribution will all be back next week. Till then, here are a few pictures to hold you over:

DisneyWorld with Toddlers: It Wasn’t So Bad!

When I announced to my friends that Hubby and I were taking the bigs on a whirlwind trip to Disney, some people thought we were crazy. And maybe we were. We flew early Tuesday morning to Orlando, checked into our hotel, ate a quick and early lunch, and got on the monorail to the Magic Kingdom. We came back a few hours later for naps (and beers for Mommy and Daddy, because we stayed Club Level, which included a happy hour). Then back to the park for dinner and more rides. When they started roping off the street for the nighttime parade and fireworks, we hopped on the monorail to go back to our hotel, clean up, and then catch the fireworks across the water from there – while we had dessert!

That’s me and EK in the back. Check out her face!
The next morning, the kids were up early, so we showered, packed, went to our character breakfast (more on that in a minute) and headed out early. We were in the MK soon after it opened, and we spent the morning having a great time, had some lunch, and the kids passed out in the stroller. So naturally, Hubby and I took turns on Space Mountain, and did some shopping while they slept. When they woke up, it was back to the monorail, visiting two of the other resorts (I mean, we are definitely going back soon and want to make an informed decision on where to stay!) and then our shuttle back to the airport.There were definitely a few things that didn’t go as nicely as we planned, such as the kids not staying/falling back asleep in the car on the way to the airport. We had left the house at 5am, and I had been hoping they’d sleep another hour. The fact that they didn’t caused some turmoil in my poor son’s day. He doesn’t do well on no sleep. But there were also things that were even better than we thought. For instance, we arrived at Main Street USA seconds before a parade began. The kids saw tons of their favorite characters within half an hour of getting inside the park! And it was a really exciting kick off to their trip.
 For J, because he’s a two year old boy, the most exciting things were the trip on the airplane and the monorail to and from the park. He is easily pleased by transportation, so he was a happy boy. Even his disappointment in not being able to run around on the airplane was curbed by juice, cookies, stickers, and, most of all, sitting next to the window.

For EK, she loved riding rides (and being tall enough to do just that) and catching sight of characters, even though we didn’t wait in line to see/hug a single one. This is the only trip that will fly, because they didn’t really know what they were missing. Hubby and I knew we could’ve pushed them a little harder or waited on longer lines to do more/different things, but they were happy sitting in the stroller and watching a lot.

Speaking of the stroller, I am REALLY glad we had it. It was more comfortable than the plastic bucket ones you can rent, and way easier in the heat than carrying or wearing them. They were even able to be in the shade most of the time because our stroller has great sunshades. They also napped well in it the second day, since we had checked out of our hotel that morning. We actually Googled “places to let babies nap in the Magic Kingdom”. The answers were somewhat disappointing. Most of them had since become places that strollers weren’t allowed.
What ended up happening was during our Space Mountain Fast Passes (just after lunch), Hubby and I tagged out to be able to ride it. While he was in line/on the ride, I strolled our kiddos around the back of the building, just being curious, right? I found a small smokers’ area, but just past that was a lovely walkway, next to the speedway, but far enough away that it wasn’t loud. It was a fairly quiet stroll all the way to where the Dumbo ride is located. We just strolled back and forth to wait for Hubby to be finished, but by the time we’d gotten back to where the real noise was, the kids were heavily enough asleep to not care that it was loud.

 We proceeded to shop a little, have a snack, try to get on the ferry (no strollers there, either) and actually decided to leave on the monorail and visit a couple of the other resorts before they actually woke up. It was awesome. And after that, it was just a beer at the hotel waiting on the shuttle to the airport.

Have you taken your small kids to DisneyWorld? What did you think? Any tips for us when we go next time?

The Mommy Bloggers: Why Are They So Bad?

I read a disturbing article recently, bashing “mommy bloggers”. Somewhere along the way, we’ve labeled mothers who write, on blogs and/or elsewhere, with an awful name and lumped them into a group together, as if they all have the same goals, ideas, or talents.

I’ve only been writing for a couple of years now, and originally, I thought it would be to make some money. As it turns out, I’ve switched tracks and simply fallen in love with writing. Yes, just the process. I’ve made a little bit of money (not much, truly), and I’ve been published on several sites other than my own, but I don’t think that’s what drives me. I love sharing my life. I love encouraging and positively challenging others. I love sharing the Gospel. I love connecting with other women, parents, writers, and Jesus-followers.

You see, when I started writing my blog, the first thing I did was start reading others’ blogs. Like, a lot of them. So now, I have people whose words I truly admire, aspire to emulate, or simply laugh out loud while reading. I’ve enjoyed getting to know these other writers, and even becoming friends with several of them. I’ve seen their children grow, and their families get larger. I’ve seen hard times fall upon them and I’ve seen them pray and wade themselves back out of them. They have likely seen all these things in my life as well.

What I’ve learned is that other people like to connect, too. We all like to know we aren’t the only ones. We like to see that someone has made it through the stage of life that we feel we are stuck in. Parents really like to connect, because there is often wisdom to be gleaned from other parents, or at the very least, some encouragement that “This too shall pass.” We tend to feel we are stuck in some rut or another, with a tantrum-throwing toddler or an eye-rolling teenager. We love reading that someone else is also dealing with those issues. It reiterates the humanity of the situation for us.

So, “Mommy Bloggers”, I say this to you: I appreciate you. I appreciate your realness, your humor, your honest distress and the encouragement you’ve given. I can only hope that my words and the sharing of my life have encouraged, amused, and provoked thought in you, as well.

Things Toddlers Say

Happy Tuesday, y’all! Glad to bring another week’s worth of randomness from my crew. We’ve got a fair amount of one-liners this week, and a few goodies from a friend. Enjoy!

Talking about tutti-frutti jeally beans…
J: …and it’s sugar in there! And strawberry, and lemon, and blueberry, and sugar!

Pointing at her shirt…
EK: I very do have rabbits on my shirt. They’re really cute.

It’s because we like books?
EK: I hungry. Like the hungry ‘atapillar.

J: Look! It’s my chick-a-way-lee! (Ukulele)

J chokes on a bite, and pukes in his lap. He looks right at me and says: Clean it up, mom!
Yeah, obviously.

Blast from the past:
EK: Yup, yup, yup! That’s from Land Afore Time. You watched it when you were a baby, Daddy. Did you like Cera and Petri and Spike?

After breakfast, she’s lazy…
EK: Mommy, may you wash my hands and put me on the couch?

J, at lunch: Yum! I want more meatmall!
Meatball, obviously.

Our friend Styles was over, and he sang this song: Teenage Mutnant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutnant Ninja Turtles, Teenage Mutnant Ninja Turtles! Teenage in a half-shell! Turtle power!

EK: There’s different kinds to call bridge: bridge, and tunnel.
J: Yeah! Tunnel bridge!
Me: Um…

Me: Okay it’s time for cupcakes! Let’s sing happy birthday to Mitch!
EK proceeds to run up to Mitch, and sing fastest and loudest birthday song you’ve ever heard.

Hubby: When I ask you to do something, you say, “Yes sir!” and do it.
J: Yes sir and do it! (Runs off.)

Job ambitions…
EK: when I grow up, I want to be the leader at Chick-fil-A.
Me: What does the leader do?
EK: They give the food to people. I very do want to do that.

A text I get from Styles’ mom about what he had said after being at our house…
“Styles just said, “Mom, can we go back to EK’s house so I can find the frisbee?” I said, “They will find it, honey.”And he said, “Yeah, but EK told me I would be her hero if I found it, and I really want to be her hero!”
Obviously I almost died reading that text.

Well, what are you kiddos talking about? Any romantics in your household?


Happy Monday, friends! We’ve had a couple of busy weeks of nice weather, outdoor excursions, a photo shoot, and being with friends, so I didn’t manage to get a Currently post done last week. But today, I’m joining Becky at Choose Happy and our other friends for another currently link up. Join us, or comment, and let us know what you’re up to currently! As for me, I’m….IMG_0614

Shopping || at our local farmers market! We’ve been to a few before, but the past two Saturdays were our first times at this particular one, the Cobblestone Farmers Market. It’s in an historic neighborhood that actually borders my alma mater. Lots of local farmers, and also local juicers, picklers, bakers and artists. VERY fun, and I suggest checking it out if you’re local!

Enjoying || running with a new friend. I started running on the trail across from our church after I dropped the kids at school, and one day, just ran into a gal I know from church who had done the same thing. Later that day, we talked and decided to try running together! It was a nice surprise and a fun new thing to look forward to! And the trail is beautiful, woodsy but well-kept, and just the right length to not get too exhausted.img_8444

Singing || with our church’s kids for Pentecost! Our church doesn’t have a ton of Sundays that kids are involved in the service (we have an amazing children’s ministry that sorta runs on its own) and so the kids being up on the stage with us was really fun! There were more than 20 of them, and they sounded awesome! I told our worship pastor I wanted to make it happen a few more times a year.

Posing || for Van Zandt Photography! We had a little shoot last week, and I LOVED the results! Here’s a favorite…DSC_6577

Laughing || about the hilarious things kids say sometimes. I post every Tuesday about how funny my kids are, but recently I’ve spent a little more time with a friend’s 4yo son, and he is just as hilarious. A few of his funny things are featured on tomorrow’s Things Toddlers Say!

Well, what’s going on in your life? Tell me what you’re up to currently!

Things Toddlers Say

Hey, Tuesday! I can’t believe you’ve come back around again. Since you’re here, how about some sillies?

EK speaking to the waitress at the restaurant with Annie: Will you please bring me some ice cream with chocolate sauce and sprinkles?
Girl knows what she wants.

Mothers’ Day shopping with Annie…
EK: You’re a mother! We should get you a present, too!

I wasn’t present for this one:
Hubby: …unless you’d like to take your nap at Annie’s house.
Annie: That’s alright with me.
EK: Well, we’ll have to ask Ryan’s wife first.

Annie: Is Finley your friend?
J: No! He’s my best friend.

Happening in the back seat of the car…
EK: Okay, I say “no” and you say “yeah”… No!
J: Yayeah!

J, when I went to wake him up: Mom! I can’t find my Sully anywhere!

EK: Can I have your avocado?
Jan: Sure!
EK: Wait! Don’t give it to me yet… Can I please have some of your avocado?
How very polite she’s become.

EK: Daddy, you like spicy food.
Hubby: I sure do.
EK: Yeah, but the kiddos don’t.

EK: Mommy, you’re gonna be at Lauren’s work soon. (She’s a PA.)
Me: I don’t really plan on being at Lauren’s work, no.
EK: You will. Bery, bery soon.
How does she know?!

In the corner of the living room, crouching beside the sofa…
J: I hidin’, Mom! I hidin’ right here!

EK had been procrastinating bedtime, using the bathroom, asking for snuggles, etc. My aunt (who was with her) finally laid down with her…
Jan: I’ll snuggle you for two minutes. And then, I have to go. If your mom sees me in here, she’s going to be upset.
EK: Yeah. She may call the police. And the police will come take you away. Go back to your room right now!
Jan: Right now?
EK: Yes! Because the police might come!

Milkshake wisdom:
EK: It’s good to have a blanket when you’re drinking a milkshake on the couch.
Seems legit.

That’s it for the week. There was more, but I just can’t write everything down! It’s too much. You’d be flooded with hilarity, and that’s not good for the rest of your life. Everything else wouldn’t be as funny. Have a good week!

The 5 Stages of Grief When My Alarm Goes Off

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus!

Getting up in the morning is hard. I’m not a morning person until I’ve had a little caffeine injected into my system, and so when my alarm goes off, I’m a snoozer. Like, not once, or even twice. I usually snooze about 5 times, and even then, on occasion I accidentally turn it off and I’m terribly late. And as I (annoy the mess out of my husband as I) snooze, my mind is slowly going through the five stages of grief, because when my alarm goes off, getting out of bed feels like a tragedy. Here’s my thought process as my alarm goes off again and again.

  1. Denial. No way. It can’t be time already. Wasn’t I just brushing my teeth and getting in bed? Wait, wasn’t I up with the baby some time during the night? I haven’t slept at all. I don’t really have to get up. I’ve got my days confused. It’s Saturday, right? No one really needs me to do anything today. Maybe Hubby will get up. I’m not getting up. It’s not necessary to get out of bed. 
  2. Anger. Ugh, I HATE the sound of my alarm! I should not have to get up right now. If somebody else could just get up and do what needs to be done instead of me, that’d be great. I always do everything myself, and DANGIT! I deserve to stay in the bed! Mornings are stupid. Everyone should sleep later. School shouldn’t start so early. Jobs shouldn’t start so early, either! And children should sleep later! Ugh! I HATE MORNINGS.
  3. Bargaining. Hey, pst, Hubby. Could you get up and get the kids ready for school? Oh, you worked late last night? Oh yeah. Well, I’ll let you nap today if you let me sleep in a little longer. Please? I just need a few more minutes. If you feed them breakfast and get them ready for school, you can go back to bed while I take them. Just let me sleep a little longer. Please? Sweetie? I should probably just call in sick; my kids will understand. 
  4. Depression. I just can’t make myself get up. There’s no real reason. I just wish I had gone to bed earlier, and then maybe I could get up. I want to be productive, but I just can’t. My alarm sounds so sad, like it doesn’t want to wake me. It makes me cry. Every time I think about getting out of bed, I just get too sad. I’m calling in sick. It’s not like anyone else in my house wants to get up, either. 
  5. Acceptance. Okay. (Heave an annoying loud sigh.) Fine. I’m getting up.

The morning struggle is real. It’s not just all in my mind, right?