What We’ve Been Up To

Well, hello there.

School has started back up – could you tell by my sudden disappearance?

It’s mind-boggling how busy and insane things are now that I’m back to working full time and trying to squeeze in family time, friend time, and time with Jackson. It’s exhausting, but we’re surviving it…and starting to fall back into a routine, so hopefully I’ll be able to find a bit of free time once again soon.

We haven’t been doing much around the house (honestly, we haven’t been doing much of anything aside from working, cleaning, and playing with Jackson) so I figured today I’d pop in with a quick update on how things are going around here, and also fill you in on a few of the fun things we did at the end of the summer (because I was determined to get out and try new things as much as possible!).

We went to the Zilker Park botanical gardens earlier this summer – we hadn’t ever been before and I immediately fell in love with it. The gardens are beautiful and it was so fun to just wander around and take it all in. Jackson was obsessed with the ponds and little waterfalls, and I swear if I would have let him he would have dove into the water to try and catch a fish.

We also took an impromptu trip to College Station at the very end of the summer. We both miss living there dearly (and have agreed that if it wasn’t for our family in Austin we’d move back in a heartbeat!) and absolutely love to visit. We went to a game last year and wanted to go to one again this year, but we thought it might be a bit much for Jackson…but we still would love for him to be able to say he visited College Station every year of his life (even if it’s not for a game), so we headed up for the day to visit campus, see some friends, and see some of our favorite places around town. It was a pretty wonderful trip and it was a perfect way to end the summer. We stocked up on Aggie gear for all of us, gawked at how much the tiny town has changed since we’ve been gone, and lamented the fact that we can’t come back every weekend for every football game.

Another favorite from the end of the summer were our trips downtown to eat at the best food trucks in Austin. There’s one called Gordough’s that has nothing but donuts…they have some sweet and some savory ones and they’re the most amazing thing I’ve ever eaten. I can’t get enough!

And that pretty much wraps up our summer. The school year has started off with a bang – we’re working in the same district now, which is absolutely amazing, and it’s crazy how much more time we have together during the week now that Corey isn’t working over an hour from home. We’re still adjusting to not being with Jax all day every day, but we’ll get there.

How was the end of your summer? Anyone else as excited for cooler weather and all things fall as I am?

Brain Dump

Well, hi there! Have you noticed the radio silence around here lately? I sure have… my free time lately has been completely consumed by graduate school and I’m getting sick of it. I’m currently 3/4 of the way through my last class of graduate school (as in, ever…I graduate next month!) and it’s kicking my butt. I think I’m finally over the hump of the hardest assignments and am starting to wrap things up so hopefully I’ll have a little more time for blogging soon.

Since my mind is completely bogged down with writing papers, turning projects in, and reading research articles, I figured I’d do a quick drive-by post today with a few things we’ve been up to lately…and issue a promise that I’ll have actual content up soon. We’ve actually done a little bit more work around the house!

The first thing I want to tell you about is the new chairs we got in the dining room. I don’t want to spoil anything because I want to do a more thorough post on them later, but I’m in l-o-v-e with them. We finally gave up on the head chairs that we’ve been talking about reupholstering for like two and a half years now (do you remember those? no? that’s because it’s been over a year since I’ve even mentioned them…) and got these instead – and I’m thrilled with the decision! More on them later, just know they’re awesome.

We had a fabulous Fourth of July weekend – had some pool time, had friends over, did lots of relaxing, and just enjoyed our time together. So basically, it was like every other day we’ve had so far this summer. Perfection!

Jackson is officially starting to actually eat some of the food we put in front of him (mostly just avocado as of now, but he had a few bites of squash and sucked on some toast the other day) and it’s so fun to watch him start to explore it. We’re doing baby-led weaning and we’re taking it very slow, since he isn’t quite six months yet. We’re mostly just letting him play around and try a few different things at this point, but I have a feeling that within the next couple of weeks he’ll be ready to start eating more – he ate a whole slice of avocado last night at dinner!

I’ve had a lot of questions about Jackson’s high chair – it’s the Blames high chair from Ikea and we also bought the Pyttig support pillow, since he’s still a bit small for the high chair on his own. We love both of them and have been very happy so far. The high chair is very easy to keep clean and actually looks great at our table – some reviews I’ve read complain that it sits kind of low, but it’s perfectly level with our table, which we love because it feels like he’s really participating at meal time. The support pillow has been fantastic to help him feel more secure in the chair, and we’ve even brought it with us to restaurants a few times so he can sit in the big high chairs there too – we’re thinking about getting another one to keep in the car! I’d highly recommend both of them for anyone looking for a high chair.

(Just because I can’t resist a couple more cute photos)

And that’s our update as of right now. I’ll be back soon (hopefully later this week!) with a real post, promise!

How was your holiday weekend? Anyone do anything exciting?

First Father’s Day

It’s so funny to me how all of the holidays throughout the year that used to be no big deal are now so important and exciting for me. I mean, we’ve always celebrated Father’s Day with our families, but since we weren’t actually parents yet it wasn’t nearly as awesome as it is now. Now? I want to snap a million pictures, soak up all the memories, and enjoy every little holiday to the fullest.

I mean, this is the only first Father’s Day we’ll ever have!

We had a very relaxing Father’s Day this year and it was fabulous. We went out to eat with family, hung out, and just generally enjoyed our little family. I’m so blessed to have such an awesome partner in this crazy parenting adventure, and I can’t imagine doing it with anyone else.

As a little Father’s Day tribute, here are the top 3 things I love about Corey as a dad…

-Jackson’s whole face lights up when he’s interacting with Corey. He looks at him with an admiration that he doesn’t look at anyone else with, and it melts my heart every time.

- I love seeing who Corey is as a father. I’ve always known he was a sweet and wonderful person, but watching how gentle, caring, and just generally awesome he is with Jackson makes me love him even more.

- I love how much Corey loves our son. He gets so excited when Jackson learns something new, and it’s so sweet to see how much he clearly loves him. I could sit and watch them play together all day long – and watching Corey walk around the house with Jackson and talking to him? One of my favorite things in the world.

How was your Father’s Day this year? Anyone else want to share a few things you love about your partner as a parent? Or, if you aren’t one yet, just what you love about your partner in general?

My Summer Bucket List

Every year right around this time, I like to write out a quick list of all the things I want to accomplish over the summer. Since Corey and I are both teachers, we have a ton of extra time over these next few months, and since Friday will be the last day of school (!!!!), it’s about time I get this list written, huh?!

In the past, I’ve been pretty awful about actually completing the items on the list (see 2012, 2013). Especially last summer, since I spent the whole two and a half months with morning (or, more accurately, all day) sickness and crazy pregnancy exhaustion. This year, I’m going to be as realistic as possible and hopefully that will mean I actually accomplish everything I want to! So, here’s the list:

1. Do something fun at least once a week.

We’re pretty good about getting out of the house during the summer, but we aren’t necessarily good about trying new and exciting things. Now that we have Jackson around, and he’s getting to the age where he’s a little more interested in actually doing things, I’d like to spend our summer trying to find things we can do as a family! There are a few good museums and botanical gardens around Austin that I think Jackson might enjoy, and the park is always a great option. Mainly, I just want us to get out of the house and enjoy our city this summer!

2. Work on our bathroom.

Hey, remember when we tore our bathroom completely apart, posted once about it, and then never mentioned it again? That was fun, right? Yeah, that bathroom looks exactly the same as it did when we started demo-ing it a few months ago. We’re going to put any actual work to the bathroom on hold for a while, but I’d like to at least get it re-insulated and get the walls back up. I’d also like to finish demo-ing it soon. If we can at least accomplish that much, I’ll be able to live with it for a while until we’re ready to start putting it back together!

3. Get Jackson napping in the crib.

I’ve mentioned that Jackson is an awesome nighttime sleeper. We lucked out there. But naps? They’re a mess. I almost always have to hold him to get him to take a good nap, and usually it requires some swaying, bouncing, or even walking around the block. And I’m over it. I love the cuddles, but I need at least a small piece of independence back – this summer, Jackson WILL learn how to nap in his crib!

4. Take a ton of pictures.

I’ve been pretty good about taking photos lately, and I want to keep it up! I always get to the end of the year and feel like I didn’t take nearly enough as I’m working on our yearbook, so this year I’m going to make sure that’s not a problem! I plan on having my camera with my just about everywhere I go this summer, so this one should be easy!

5. Do something to our house.

If you haven’t noticed, it’s been a while since we’ve made any sort of progress on the house. We’ve been focusing on other things, which has been good (and important!) but this summer I’d like to find a few cheap or free projects that we can do. I miss working on our home!

6. Spend time outside!

This is a goal of mine every summer, but I think it’s an important one! It’s hard to be motivated to get outside when it’s 105 degrees in the shade, but I love being out there and so does Jackson! We’re gonna have to keep him safe in the crazy heat, but I want to make sure we don’t spent the whole summer cooped up inside!

7. Be social!

Corey and I have a bad habit of hiding in our house and being totally anti-social when we have extended time off. I don’t want this to happen to us this year! Some of our really good friends just moved from being 4 hours away to only 2 hours away, so we’re going to try to meet up with them at least once or twice this summer. I also want to make sure we take advantage of other opportunities to hang out with our friends and family – it’s so easy to hole up and just be alone (we’re total homebodies!) but we always enjoy it when we actually spend time with other people.

8. Start exercising again.

I haven’t worked out at all since we had Jackson…and that’s unusual for me! I haven’t quite figured out how to handle the crazy “work full time while taking care of a baby AND squeezing in exercise” schedule yet, so I’ve been putting it off for this summer. I’m going to get back in the habit of doing some sort of exercise 4 or 5 times a week, then hopefully I’ll keep it up once school starts back up in the fall!

9. Declutter.

I’ve been working on getting some of the extra clutter out of our house for a while now, but we aren’t quite done yet. There are so many nooks and crannies in our house that are stuffed to the brim with crap and it’s just about time to get rid of it. I feel like we’re constantly bringing new stuff into the house but we aren’t always so good about getting rid of old stuff. Plus, if we can sell some of the random things we have floating around, we’ll have a bit of extra money to do something fun with!

10. Soak up this baby stage!


Jackson is at such a fun age right now, and I want to enjoy every second of it. I get frustrated with him when he won’t sleep or on fussy days, but I also know that I’ll miss this phase of his life once he’s bigger. Corey and I are so lucky to be able to have the next couple of months off of work to be with him, so I want to make sure we appreciate it and make the most of the time we’ve got!

Alright, that’s my list. I’m pretty confident I’ll be able to get them all done this summer, but I’m also pretty good at completely failing at these lists, so we’ll see what happens!

What’s on your summer bucket list?

Our 2013 Yearbook

Corey and I have had a tradition of yearly scrapbooks since we first started dating eight years ago. I made our first scrapbook for his 17th birthday, and I have made one every year since then.

(2012′s book!)

I used to make actual old-school scrapbooks, but to be honest I’m not the best scrapbooker. Actually, I’m pretty awful at it. So in the last few years, I gave up on that and started to have photo books printed through Blurb instead – and it was the best decision ever! Last year I finally landed on a good format for the books and started making them a little more “official” and I love how they have turned out. They’re so much easier to store than the big, bulky scrapbooks I used to make, and we’re a lot more likely to keep them on display (and flip through them on occasion!) when they’re nice and small.

We just got our 2013 book a couple of weeks ago, and it was so fun to look through the year. Putting these books together always reminds me of how I don’t take enough pictures, though. I’m trying really hard to be better about it this year, and while I’ve taken about 11 million photos of Jackson over the last four months, I still don’t feel like I’ve been awesome about taking other pictures. I’m determined that when I’m putting 2014′s book together in January I’ll have plenty of photos to choose from!

One of my favorite features of these books is the very end – I do a two-page spread of what our house looked like at the end of that year. It’s fun to see how it has changed, and I like having this little record of what it looks like each year!

(2012)

(2013)

This year we also had a second book to order – my pregnancy scrapbook! I was really good about taking photos each week (I only missed one week) and documenting how things were changing and what I was feeling, so I wanted to make sure we had a book printed with all of my weekly updates. It took forever to put it together, but it was so worth it!

I’m currently working on a one-year book for Jackson with all of the weekly photos we’ve been taking of him. I’ve been trying to update it as we go with the pictures I take each week so that it’ll be easy to just order it at the end of the year rather than trying to put it all together at once. It’s going to be a big book, but it’ll be another good one to have…I’m of the mindset that you can never have too many photo books!

(A sneak peek at Jack’s book!)

How do you record your memories? Anyone else do photo books? What about regular scrapbooks? I wish I was good at making those!

(The Blurb link above is an affiliate link, meaning if you follow it and purchase something I will get a small cut. I didn’t get any of these books for free or on a discount – I just really, really love Blurb and their products!)