September 11, 2015

Family Beach Trip!! {2015}

In August we hit the road for our first Florida family beach trip!! Usually, we go to Galveston for our annual family beach trip, but this year we decided to do something different and make the trek to Florida! We stayed in Watercolor, which is basically a beach resort which kind of wraps around Seaside, Florida. We loved it!!

**Get ready for picture overload**

We left bright and early on Friday morning and caravanned to Baton Rouge where we stayed for the night and met up with our cousins. Our brother in law went to LSU so he took us to one of his favorite places for lunch, right by the LSU campus, The Chimes. So good! 

The next morning, we hit the road and arrived crossed through Mississippi, Alabama and arrived before dinner. The kids swam while me and my sister went and got the essentials at the local grocery.

We rented a awesome house which had its own private pool and hot tub (note: they won't allow you to use the heater in the spa during the summer months. I'm still a little bitter.) But other than that, it was awesome! We booked it on HomeAway, I am obsessed with that app. I don't think I'll ever stay in a hotel again, ha!

 The next day we ate breakfast and hit the beach! 
And did pretty much that same routine for the next seven days. 
Such is life in Florida.


For dinner, we took turns cooking at the house, and a few nights went into town.
There are a ton of food trucks and restaurants right on the beach.
We ate at Pickles the first night. Gotta say, overpriced and not too impressed. 

 The sno-cones from from Frost Bites were a huge hit!! 

We rented bikes on the second day (its a huge biking community) and that was so fun. Seaside is really picturesque so it was fun checking out all the beach cottages and biking to the local market. Mer and I went to the Farmers Market one day and got the best crab cakes and this amazing fish dip.

 Mer made us wear bike helmets. #bossybigsis 
 Love this shot of Graham and his Papa. They are best buds. 
Graham sure does love his Grandpa's.

 You can't really tell in this picture, but Mer and I buried the kids and tried to make them Mermaid and Merman tails. Haha.
The girlies!

This morning we took the kids on a bike ride to a park we found in Seaside. We grabbed some breakfast and iced coffee on the way. 

 This was the day we took a break from the beach, relaxed and had a blast playing in the pool. There may have been a few batches of margaritas and a lot of shenanigans. 

For dinner, we went to the Shrimp Shack and ate on their beach front pavilion. 
I got the best shrimp gumbo!! Can't beat this view. 

The next day we went down early to the beach and could not believe how calm the water was!! Not a single wave, it was perfect for the kids. It felt like the Bahamas. 

 Cousin love!!!

Beach babe

Thats a giant mimosa in my hand was from the local market. 
They also had the best iced mocha coffees. 

Love this surfer boy.

The guys.

The week ended and we headed home on Saturday morning. Got to catch this gorgeous sunrise and then a double rainbow later. 

 Our only hiccup was the blowout we had on I-10 just before we crossed into Texas. Of course, I'd just gotten behind the wheel to give Chad a little break when the low tire pressure light came on and right as I was  pulling over, the tire just shredded. Chad changed it pretty quick and we thankfully were back on the road in no time.

Overall, it was an amazing trip spent with our family making memories!!! 
Already looking forward to the next trip!!!

August 31, 2015

Summer Book Review

I've read a few books this past month or so, after downloading Kindle Unlimited so I thought I'd share what I've read, because I really loved them all!! They are all fairly different genres I would say, but they were all page turners, and really had me hooked!

The first book I read was Leaving Haven. I loved this book. I love books about relationships between friends and the bonds of motherhood, so this was right up my alley. I will say the way the chapters are laid out got a bit confusing, since they were out of sequence and back and forth between the present and the past, but it wasn't too bad. If you like Emily Giffin (which I love), I would say this is a mix of Something Borrowed, Baby Proof and Heart of the Matter.

The second book I read was Fairy Tale Interrupted. SO good!!! I mean, I literally couldn't put it down. My children may have been a tad neglected while I was reading this one. I recently became fascinated with JFK when I caught a mini series on Netflix on the Kennedy family. I became interested with JFK Jr. and found this book highly recommended through the reviews on Kindle. It was so fascinating. It's written by JFK Jr.'s personal assistant, one of his closest confidants the last five years of his life. She began working for him shortly before the start-up of George Magazine, and worked closely with him until his death. I was fairly young when he died, and too young to have really known what George was at the time, although I'd heard of it as an adult, but let me tell you, this book was amazing. This reads like fiction, but it's not! I couldn't believe everything this woman got to see and experience. I love how her feisty personality really shines through the text, and how I got such enormous insight into what JFK Jr. was really like, not just the man the media portrayed him as. Read this book!!!

The most recent book I read was Yellow Crocus. I'm a huge lover of history, and I'm especially fascinated with early America and the Old South. If you love historical fiction, or if you loved The Help, you will probably be just as obsessed with this book as I am. It was amazing. It's about a slave who is taken away from her own baby to be a wet nurse to the baby of the master of the plantation. It's told through the eyes of both the slave, and her charge. It's amazing. Did I say that already?? I couldn't put this one down, either. I was hooked from the first page to the last. It's so fascinating to just get a glimpse at what life was like back then, and so heartbreaking to see how slaves were treated as property,  but the true lesson for me was that the bonds that tie us together as humans can overcome anything. I really would love to read more books like this.
 I can't say enough great things about it. 

August 27, 2015

Meet Lucy

**Warning: Long post that is probably going to bore most of you, but I had to officially document Lucy's story of how she became ours!!** 

Mother's Day weekend we went over to my parents house to swim and eat, and a little visitor arrived. My dad said she had been there all morning, so we went out and had a look. There was the cutest lab mix I'd ever seen! She had a collar on but no tag, and didn't look malnourished but her coat was a little worse for the wear.

She had the sweetest demeanor, and let us pet her right away! She stayed in the driveway all day. My dad, being the huge animal lover that he is, ended up giving her some food and water. My mom said she slept in the flower bed that night. The next day, my parents let her hang out in the backyard/garage. She slept in their garage that night...and the next. My mom put out some fliers in their neighborhood and asked around to see if she could find her owner.

I'd been talking to Chad about getting a dog for awhile, but he was not on board AT ALL. I was hoping to talk him into it by Christmas ;)  Once I saw Lucy and saw how sweet she was, I was in love! I begged him to think about adopting her if we couldn't find her owner. My parents also kept telling us how mellow she was and that she seemed like she'd  be a great dog.

On Wednesday, we decided to take her to the vet to see if they could find a chip in her and see if she'd been spayed and how old she might be. No chip was found, but the Vet was almost certain she'd been spayed and that she was 3 years old or less. We took her back to my parents house and discussed that afternoon if we should give her a little "trial run" with us. Well, wouldn't you know that night my mom called and said a lady that saw the flier contacted her and that Lucy was her dog.

 My mom chatted with her and she'd told my mom that the dog's name is Minnie and that they lived on some land near my parents neighborhood and while they were out of town, she had hopped the fence and ran off during a thunderstorm. The lady said that Lucy had shown up on their property when she was around 6 months old and that they nursed her back to health, had her spayed and kept her as a yard dog ever since. She's only about 18 months old, too. She said she had run off several times before but that she was really sweet and loved to be around people. My mom told her how we'd been thinking of keeping her if we couldn't find her owner and the lady said that would be fine with her since she hated that she kept running away. I called the lady to talk to her about everything, and as it turns out, Chad and I went to school with her son and she and her husband were in the same Sunday school class as Chad's parents for years! We were so relieved to know she'd been taken care of by a nice family and that she hadn't been abused or neglected! We agreed we'd pick her up the next day and bring her to our house to see how she'd do.

On Friday, the kids and I went to Petco and  picked up food, toys, a crate, dog bowls, a collar and leash and brought her to our house. We had already started calling her Lucy before we found out her real name, so Lucy stuck. Chad had dogs growing up but they were always outside dogs, I grew up with pomeranians, so it was the complete opposite for me. Chad said he'd never want a dog in the house, but somehow I convinced him to try it out... and Lucy has been perfect from day one!!! She'd never been an inside dog before, and she was in heaven from the second we brought her home! She didn't try to jump on the furniture or pee on the rug, she  she laid down with the kids and while they put on Homeward Bound for her, hahaha. So fitting.

She had a few health issues when we got her, and now that she's been with us a few months she is thriving! She had some fleas at first, so we gave her a bath with the blue dawn dish soap and put her on flea treatment. Our vet said she is allergic to fleas, so she had scratched and nibbled herself and her coat was sparse in some places. Even from July to now she looks so much better! You can really tell in these pictures how good her coat looks now.  She also has a mild case of heart worms, and we have her on a heart worm medicine now and may take the next step and do the fast kill method to get rid of them for good. 

She has us all obsessed with her and Chad has said from the beginning how happy he is that we found her! He's even come around to say that he thinks his dogs growing up were never that good because they were never allowed in the house, haha. We also love what a good watchdog she is!! When we're gone, she pretty much stays planted on the catwalk upstairs so she can keep a good eye on the house. If one of the kids starts crying at night, she will beat us upstairs to check on them. We are all obsessed with her and we are so lucky she found us!