The Witching Hour

We were incredibly spoiled by Derek's schedule during ur last year in Biloxi when Derek was the Chief Resident. He was off every weekend and was almost always home every evening by 5 or 5:30, sometimes as early as 4:30ish! We had time for afternoon family runs, playground time with friends, and family dinners. It was glorious. Since moving to San Antonio, one of the biggest adjustments for our family was Derek's commute. In Biloxi, when Derek was ready to come home, he had a 5 minute drive around the back bay. Now, the earliest he is able to leave the base is 4:30, but if he does leave at 4:30 he has to sit in 20 minutes of traffic just to get off base..ridiculous. Anyhow, he typically gets home around 6:15ish these days, right in time for our family dinner. I'm so grateful we're able to sit down to dinner as a family every single night, but I hadn't realized how much I'd missed our old Biloxi routine until Derek surprised the girls & me at the playground this afternoon.

The girls usually get up from naps around 4ish every afternoon, and if it's nice out we have a quick snack then walk up to our neighborhood playground. Derek surprised us and left work early today and met us at the playground around 5:15. He was home about an hour earlier than normal for him, but that hour made all the difference! We were able to have quality playtime with Daddy outside, which never usually happens during the week b/c it's dark by the time he gets home. He was able to help me get dinner on the table (!!)...it was just such a nice, laid back evening. (Not to mention it was sunny & 78 today, glorious!!!) It made me long for the good ole days at Keesler. But as much as I miss life at Keesler I have to remind myself that while life looks so different for us here in San Antonio, life is good here too.  So good.

Here are a few pictures from our surprise evening with Daddy-boy!

The girls were SO surprised when Derek walked up to the playground!! (And I was, too!)
They were insistent on wearing his hat & sunglasses ;)

Shelby was on Cloud Nine b/c she got to help Daddy drive home from the playground
while Mommy & Hadley walked back. :)

Picture Dump :)

Here's a hodge podge of pictures from our world lately! I love this first picture so much b/c this is EXACTLY what Shelby would do at this age. Shelby's absolutely favorite thing to do was play with this ABC puzzle, and she would often arrange them around her in a semi-circle just like Hadley did in this picture. I couldn't seem to find a picture of Shelby doing it at this age, but I did find a video! :)

This picture just melts my heart, sweet sisters!

Shelby reading at the library :)
Friday was cold & rainy, so the girls & I went to the library and then had lunch/playtime at Chick-fil-a.

This girl loves her some Chick-fil-a!

Hadley thoroughly enjoying her kids meal at Taco Cabana! Miss Hadley is all about eating out!
Meanwhile, Big Sister was enjoying her meal brought from home--yogurt, fruit, and a granola bar.
Such different kids when it comes to food! ;)

We had a family date night on Saturday evening--playtime at the park followed by dinner at Taco Cabana
and Cold Stone for dessert! So, so fun!!
Shelby, Derek, and I each ordered our own dessert, and Hadley was in HEAVEN stealing bites from all three of us! She probably had more ice cream than the rest of us! ;)

This is what weekend mornings look like at our house :) 

The weather here is GORGEOUS this week! Sunshine & temps in the mid-seventies! We're spending all of our time outside & loving it!! I never thought we would enjoy the weather in TX as much as we do!


New Artwork Displays

Oops, can't believe I somehow let more than ten does go by without updating the blog! We haven't really been super busy or anything, I just never made the time to sit down to blog. We had a sick week where the girls took turns with a cold, and I literally spent fix or six days straight getting sneezed on & wiping noses. Motherhood is so glamorous. ;)  Other than that, it's just been business as usual around here along with a little reading for me & projects that I find for Derek to do. ;)

I finished up reading Big Little Lies recently & loved it! Since I'd already read another book by that author (What Alice Forgot), I decided to give a few of her other books a try. I read The Husband's Secret & The Last Anniversary, and they were both just okay--no where near as good as the other two! I would highly recommend Big Little Lies & What Alice Forgot!

Last weekend while Derek was studying, I looked around on Pinterest for some new artwork display ideas. We made {THIS} while we were in Biloxi & have it in our new house now, but we needed something else to accommodate all her artwork.

We had this art display in our kitchen in the old house, but now it is hanging
in the hallway between our dining room & living room in this house.

Shelby's favorite thing to do at home (other than reading) is drawing lately, and she spends almost all of her time at school in the Art Studio; so needless to say, we have TONS of artwork on our hands! We had an empty wall in Shelby's room that we always wanted to do a gallery wall on, so we just decided to make it an artwork gallery wall. We were able to use a few frames we already had along with the memo board, cross, and ABC canvas, then we just purhcased a few of the larger frames on sale at Hobby Lobby & Michaels along with the wooden letters to spell "DREAM."

After we gathered everything we wanted to use for the gallery wall, Derek layed it out on the dining room to see
how it would look on the wall.

This was taken as we were in the process of painting everything.

Shelby LOVES her memo board & rearranges her pictures/artwork on there almost daily. ;)

Shelby comes with 3-4 large easel paintings each week from preschool, so we knew we needed another larger display to accommodate those. I found a great idea on Pinterest that was super easy & cheap...which is exactly the type of decor we wanted for the playroom. ;)  We haven't wanted to put a lot of time/money/effort into the playroom b/c we're not sure if we'll have an extra bedroom to use as a playroom in our future houses. 

We bought the oversized clothespins at Michael's (they also have them on Amazon) & then just painted them with the same colors we already had on hand from Shelby's gallery wall.

Shelby & Daddy showing off their work ;)

Sharing these pictures made me realize I've never really shared any pictures of our new house on the blog! Maybe I'll get
around to doing that soon so we'll have the memories in our blog book :)

I love that all three of our artwork displays are made with clothespins, so it's easy to change out the artwork when Shelby creates more! I really love how they all turned out, but I asked Derek last if it was a little much to have three children's artwork displays in one house. ;)  It's like we have little shrines to Shelby's projects! ;)  But I know these years of endless drawings & creations will be over in the blink of an eye, and we want to enjoy it while it lasts!



It feels like it's been constantly wet and/or cold here lately, and I think the weather has finally started to affect my mood! I'm ready for spring! :)  Anyhow, here are a few random pictures that I took over the last week...

Every single time we go into the garage to get the girls loaded up in their carseats to go somewhere,
Hadley wants to get on Shelby's bike. It's super fun. ;)  It's like she thinks the answer might change
one day, so she has to try every time! Anyhow, one day while Shelby was at school & I was unloading
groceries I let Hadley get on the bike for a bit. She was pretty thrilled with herself! :)

Playing with Mommy in the playroom while Shelby was at school.
It's such a breath of fresh air to be able to play with them one-on-one from time to time!

Shelby was obsessed with "lipsticks" (aka chapstick) around this age, and now Hadley is too!

I have no idea why, but one of Hadley's favorite pasttimes is to get into Shelby's closet and put her clothes
on over whatever she is currently wearing. Her personal favorite is Shelby's underwear. (Hopefully she'll still
be interested in underwear in a few months, so that will make potty training easier...I can dream, right?!)
Shelby saw what Hadley was doing on this particular morning & decided to join in the fun ;)


Blurry, but I still love it! Nothing better than watching a Daddy dance with his daughters!

Hadley at the children's theatre getting ready to see Pinkalicious!
It was such a cute show!

I hate that this picture & the next one are so blurry, but oh well!
Getting Pinkalicious's autograph! :)


We're not even two years into this sisterhood thing, but these girls sure know how to push each other's buttons already & they give me a run for my money! But moments like these make it all worth it.

I had a random thought of letting Hadley do her painting on the cookie sheet yesterday & it was one of the
best ideas I've had in my entire life! She usually spills her water at least once while painting, so this kept the
mess perfectly contained! It's pretty sad how pleased I was with myself for thinking of this ;)


Back to Life, Back to Reality!

Today was our first "normal" day since Christmas & New Year's, and while we sure did miss Derek today it felt good to get back into our groove again. I usually dread the first day after visitors leave or the first day after a long break with Derek home b/c the girls are used to the extra attention, but today was one of those days where everything just went so smoothly & has left me feeling like Super Mom! ;)  I assure you, I rarely feel like that! Ha!

I was up, showered, and had my morning chores done before Shelby came downstairs (as much as I enjoyed sleeping in with Derek over the break, I'm a much happier person when I'm up early & showered!). She quickly asked if we were going to have "milk & movie time" (we clearly watched our fair share of movies over the break, ha!), but she wasn't too disappointed when I told her we had to get back to milk & stories. ;)  After our stories, we leisurely did her handwriting practice & a few art projects before eating our breakfast & going up to get Hadley. I don't know if I've mentioned it on here or not, but we finally started eating breakfast without Hadley b/c she sleeps in so late, and our mornings are going so much smoother because of it! Before, Shelby & I were up for 2-3 hours before Hadley was awake & then we'd rush to her room to get her so we could eat b/c we were both starving! But since Hadley had just woken up, she was never hungry then. Now Shelby & I eat whenever we'd like (and I'm not going to lie, we enjoy the quieter, more peaceful breakfast, ha!) & Hadley gets a "to-go" breakfast in a plastic baggie when she wakes up & just slowly munches on it throughout the morning.

Hadley is chewing her breakfast in this pic ;)

Anywho, back to our day! Because I was mentally prepared for a high-maintenance day with the girls, I'd already planned an outing to Pump It Up for us. But they surprised me by happily playing with their instruments & Barbies before we left.

Hadley mastered a new trick at Pump It Up today! Where did our baby go?!

By the time we got in the car after Pump It Up, both girls were starving but I'd packed them snacks which made for a quiet ride home! Then they happily played in their sandbox while I prepped lunch. After lunch, they headed back upstairs to play with their Barbies some more while I cleaned up the kitchen. Seriously, I cannot get over what a smooth, easy day it's been! They both went right to sleep for naps, and I was able to get dinner prepped, kitchen vacuumed, laundry going, and kitchen sink deep cleaned before sitting down to write this post. I've hopefully got another hour before naptime ends, so I'm off to do a little reading! I'm a little scared what the afternoon/evening might hold since the morning was so easy. ;)  Fingers crossed!!!!


Happy New Year!

I hope your 2015 has gotten off to as a wonderful of a start as ours! Derek had to work Christmas Eve, but then he's pretty much been home with us since Christmas Day with the exception of a few half-days of work here & there. And it's been GLORIOUS!! We aren't going to know what to do with ourselves when he goes back to work tomorrow morning. ;)  Derek has spent a lot of time watching college football the past week or so, and the girls have really gotten into it. When Shelby wakes up from her naps & comes downstairs to Derek watching football, she'll ask him: "How's the game going, Daddy-boy? Which color team do we want to win this time?" :)

Cheering on the Dawgs in our bowl game

The bowl games were good background entertainment one evening while we took down the Christmas decorations. We had planned to take everything down after the girls were asleep b/c we thought it would be quicker/easier that way, but Shelby insisted she wanted to help & she was actually really helpful! She took down every last bit of garland (even though it took her quite a while!), and it was so much more fun with them helping!

I'm sad to see our card tree come down!

Shelby taking down the garland with Hadley right under her feet ;)

I felt like this Christmas break has been the perfect mix of productivity, fun, & down-time! We got lots of stuff done around the house (including adding a gallery wall to Shelby's room, yay! Will post on that soon!).

Hadley helping Daddy fix the dryer ;)
Hadley got to paint with a paintbrush for the first time while the rest of us crafted
for Shelby's new gallery wall :)

Everyone painting!

Both girls were really into it! :)

Hadley's first ponytail :)

Derek & I squeezed in a date night one evening--we went to dinner & Painting with a Twist, so fun!

We got in a few family runs/time at the playground (but not as much as we would have liked b/c it was cold & wait for like five days straight!!), and the girls & I got to enjoy a few playdates with Angela & Casey and their kiddos, which was such a treat! The big kids' school schedules are conflicting, so playdates aren't as plentiful as they once were. So it was really fun to be able to do that while the kids were all on Christmas break.

Shelby took this picture out her window as were pulling into the park! This was the 2nd group of deer was passed by, crazy!

The big kids said they were building a camp fire, and of course Hadley couldn't miss out on the fun!
Hadley & Grace

We also had a few fun family outings to the zoo, the new aquarium, & Chuck E. Cheese, and Shelby & Derek had fun afternoon at the indoor swimming pool on base while Hadley & I did some shopping at Hobby Lobby. But most of our time has been at home relaxing, playing in the playroom, reading, & watching movies. It's truly been such a wonderful break!

Both girls sporting pigtails today! :)  It was Hadley's very first pigtails, she kept
grabbing her pigtails and yelling "I have two!" ;)

Back to reality tomorrow! We'll be missing our Dada!!