Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Links and Products I'm Loving.

Before I write this post and share with you some things/links that have been filling me up, I just have to stop and wonder how this little boy pictured above is turning 3 (?!?!) next week.  Sweet babe is well on his way to becoming a boy and leaving his baby days behind. Please tell me where time rushing off to and how I can stop it?! 

Okay, onto to why I wanted to write this post to begin with. Usually, I don't have strong feelings about products, books or recipes, but recently, I've just found a few really good products and articles that I want to share with you all. So, here we go..

My Adventure Journal. I know I'm late to the party on this, but my favorite thing to do with Sawyer this year is the Archer Adventure Journal. The journal is used to "fill the little hearts in your home with an excitement to start journalling their own stories, ponder what is going on in their lives, and get in God’s Word to find direction & comfort." Every week there is a Bible verse that you go over with your little guy/girl and then you write--interview style--about what was good about their day, what was hard, what they want to pray for, etc. We do this every night at dinner or before bed and it starts really good conversations with us and Sawyer. 

I also love that each book has the year on the spine so I can pull them out easily on the shelf and go back over what we were doing/thinking/praying for during that time. I highly highly suggest getting this book. 

This Is What I Do. My favorite book this year. Hands down. Really interesting and thought-provoking. Plus, the pictures throughout are amazing and really bring the story to life. 

This Lavender All Natural Baby Wash and Shampoo, which is free of sulfates, parabens, and phosphates and helps calm down the boys after a long day. 

And onto a silly thing that I'm loving and recommend is this mascara. I've never found a great mascara, so I feel like this is worth mentioning. ha! 

Finally, Z and I rented Philomena last weekend and wow, it's pretty spectacular. I know it came out a couple years ago, but if you haven't seen it, then its definitely one to check out.  

"Wouldn't it be refreshing if we talked more openly about how much effort we exert to hold it all together?"--This quote from this article. A thousand times yes!

Loved this blurb from the blog post, Is It Out of Style to be Happy? She says, "The world tells us that it’s just not enough. I’ve been having a hard time seeing it for what it is. While I’ve been thinking it’s a lack of motivation, I think it might actually be called happiness. Only sometimes, that ugly monster called comparison pops his head up and asks if I am really happy being at home, cleaning up messes, making lunches and settling arguments instead of flying off somewhere fun or pursuing something grand. It’s really the idea of the dream that seems appealing. But, the reality of it. . . not so much."

And there are some things that have been filling me up lately! Share any that have been inspiring you and have a great rest of the week! xo

Monday, September 28, 2015

September 2015

In September, we...

Went to Homestead Farms! Ever since I went to a parenting seminar that talked about the importance of weekly and yearly traditions, I've really tried to incorporate them into our daily routine and yearly celebrations. 

One yearly tradition we have is going to Homestead Farms to pick apples and jump in the hay. We started going back in 2013-a month after we first moved here-and have kept up with it ever since. I remember the first time we went, Sawyer had just started walking and we couldn't really do a lot, but sit him in the pumpkin patch and take his picture. Now, he's picking apples, jumping in the hay, and helping us with the wheel barrel. My how things have changed. 

Taste of Falls Church! Falls Church has a small food festival and we made sure to hit that up this year. We tried a lot of yummy foods and then went to the free kids tent where we all made door signs.

Celebrated 4 years! Wow, has time flown! On the 17th, Z and I celebrated 4 years of wedded bliss. We kept it really low-key this year and just went to a place called, SpaceBar. They serve over 15 different types of grilled cheeses and craft beers. Afterwards, we walked it off with a long walk around our neighborhood.

Had Rhett's 6-month appointment. I can't believe it's been half a year already.

Sawyer started school! He started preschool and loves it. Being in early childhood education, I know the importance of a good preschool/early education program and I love that we found one here in the area that both Sawyer and I enjoy. He had his first day a couple weeks ago and loved it. His favorite thing right now is the painting craft times. He's my little artist for sure.

Started ballet lessons! I wanted something fun and creative to do and Z encouraged me to get back into dance. I've only had one lesson so far, but I'm really enjoyed it. It's been a good break from reality and an awesome stress reliever.

It's been a busy September, but such a fun one and I'm really going to miss it. But excited for October though because Sawyer's birthday (3?!?!) is next week and then its Halloween. Sawyer's already demanded that we all be bunnies, but Papa. He'll be a carrot. Ha!

Monday, September 21, 2015

Panda Express Food Truck in Georgetown #OrangeChickenLove

This weekend was full of good food and Sunday afternoon was no exception. After church, we headed down to Georgetown to check out the Panda Express' Food Truck Tour. We heard they were giving away free Orange Chicken and of course, we were there in a heartbeat. We never turn down a free lunch.

The afternoon turned out to be a lot of fun. We actually found parking right in front of the truck, which is rare in Georgetown and that really set the tone for the rest of the afternoon. I mean the sun was out, the food was free, and there was Panda who walked around giving high fives. What more was there to love?

We also made sure to get in the photo booth as well. I love a good photo booth and this one had fun props and the pictures were quickly emailed to you for free. Plus, the guys behind the booth really did their best in trying to get Sawyer and Rhett to look at the camera and smile. Anyone who helps out with getting us a good family photo is a winner in my book.

When we were leaving, we were handed free swag , which was another hit for my almost 3 year old. He got a bright orange bracelet, stickers, and a pin. There were also dancers, so we were all pretty hyped on when we left. 

Thanks again, Panda Express for making eating out so fun. 

You Can Grab Free Chicken Too!
You can grab your free lunch or snack too. Panda Express is going across the country right now. Check out if they will be hitting up your neighborhood soon. It is definitely worth it. 

Friday, September 11, 2015

Ireland Adventure: Wicklow County

Wicklow County was the last stop on our little Irish adventure. We spent 2 days there and loved it. It was so beautiful and the best place to end our time abroad. We stayed at the Powerscourt hotel and the surrounding mountains were actually purple due to all the flowers that grow on the mountain. Gorgeous. 

The day after we arrived, we went to Glendalough, which is a glacial valley and site of an old monastery. To get up there, we had about a 45 minute drive through the mountains. It wasn't a sunny day. It actually rained a bit, it didn't ruin the day at all. It actually just made it all so eerily beautiful. I loved it. 

Wicklow County was the last stop on our little Irish adventure. We spent 2 days there and loved it. It was so beautiful and the best place to end our time abroad. We stayed at the Powerscourt hotel and the surrounding mountains were actually purple due to all the flowers that grow on the mountain. Gorgeous. 

The last day, we went to Powerscourt Gardens and I absolutely loved it. It was a bright sunny day, our first warm day in Ireland, and the grounds were incredible. There were different sections for different countries and it made the whole walk around really interesting. There was even a Pet Graveyard, which was funny and kinda cute to see. 

After our day there, we headed back up to Dublin and flew back home. Ireland, was a really good trip for our family. It was hard in a lot of ways because Mr. Rhett never adjusted to the time change-so no one got a good night's sleep-but it was really good in a lot of ways as well. We couldn't use our cell phones, so there wasn't a distraction or care. It was time just spent with us and I loved it. Its so rare these days--or at least in our lives--to be completely disconnected and I found that I really needed it. I came back from Ireland refreshed and ready to take on the new year. 


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Mexico Adventure: Mexico City

We just got back from spending the weekend in Mexico City with friends. We had a lot of fun. During the weekend, the boys got to splash in the pool, catch up with good friends, and Sawyer and Zach bravely rode horses that they have there on the ranch-I'm a scaredy cat, so I just stood back and just cheered them on. Plus, anytime there is good Mexican food, I'm happy. I think I could have eaten my weight in tacos and quesadillas. 

It was amazing to see Mexico City as well. It was HUGE. I don't think I've ever been in a city that big. Apparently its the second largest city in the world and has an estimated 20 million people living in it. It's crazy. 

The best part of our trip was that our friends have babes that are Sawyer and Rhett's ages. It was so fun to see them all play and get to know each other. Plus, we got to teach Sawyer more Spanish, which he didn't really use, but hey, at least we tried. ;) 

Even though it was a wonderful trip and we made some great memories this summer, I'm so excited to be home. We've had a whirlwind of an August and walking through that door yesterday and knowing there isn't another trip until October was a relief. I'm ready for Sawyer to start preschool, my Bible study to start up again, and for us to get into more of a routine. I'm also excited for cooler weather, trips to local apple farms, and more crockpot cooking. Stews and soups for dinner are my favorite. 

Fall and home, I'm ready for you.

Friday, September 4, 2015

A Special Birthday Video

I don't share this with a lot of people, but Z is away a lot because of his job. This summer especially. He was put on a international case back in June and until August, we hadn't seen much of him. Most of the time, Sawyer thinks that Papa lives on an airplane or in Canada. Because of this, we have been pretty diligent about family time and its another huge reason we went to Ireland. We got away from all distractions and were able to just hang out as a family. It was bliss.

Zach will probably be gone again this Fall, so for his birthday Sawyer, Rhett, and I made a little video message for him. He'll be able to have it whenever and wherever he goes and it's fun to look back on all the memories we've made over the last 4 years. We've definitely been blessed.

Happy birthday, Z! You are such a blessing to us and thank you again for making our lives so good. xo


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

England Adventure--Althorp

Given Princess Diana's death was 18 years ago this week, it only seems fitting to talk about my short time in England during our little European vacation.

My friend, Ben is one of my dearest friends. We met in college and instantly hit it off. He makes me laugh, he challenges me, and whenever we get together--which is just about once every 3 years--we instantly fall back into how we were. It's like time never passed.

Ben is turning 30 this year in Vegas and unfortunately, I won't be able to celebrate with him. But, when I was talking to Zach about that, he proposed that I go over to spend a weekend with him in England since we would be so close. I immediately threw the idea out to Ben, booked a ticket, and grew even more excited about our trip.

The night before I flew out to see him, Ben sent me a text asking if I wanted to see Princess Diana's childhood home, Althorp. Um, yes?! I've loved Princess Diana ever since I was little and this was about to make my weekend even more special.

Althrop isn't open to the public for much of the year because the Spencer's still live there, so it was really such a treat to be able to do the tour and walk the grounds. They were spectacular and so very beautiful. Because of them, I'm now obsessed with old English estates.

Here are some pictures of my super quick, but really fun 27 hours in England.

I got to meet Ben's boyfriend, Rich. Loved seeing these two together.
He made me try a cricket. I was not a fan.
Thanks for having me, Ben! 

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