Saturday, August 20, 2016

Buddy

It's been quite a while adjusting to life with two little one but... at last, here I am and here is our darling little boy.

He is so much a social bug and the biggest mamma's boy I have ever seen and he has my heart. 


He is so near me (emotionally and physically) that I have decided to call him Buddy here. Because that is what he is, to me and everyone, he is our little Buddy. 
Welcome to the world Buddy, we love you more than you could ever know.  

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

El Rancho De Las Golondrinas {New Mexico Vacation}

During the second day of our little adventure, we took a tour of El Rancho De Las Golondrinas. It was a bit pricey since we had to book a privet tour (since it was off-season) and also since it was off-season, it was DEAD. The ranch is advertised as "the Williamsburg of the south" and since I grew up near Williamsburg, VA and have been many times, I thought it would be lots of fun to see what a "southern" version of that would be like and learn all the history about colonial times in another, very different, part of the US.


The upside, we did learn a LOT about the history and culture of the colonial ways in the south. The downside, they do NONE of the live enactments, crafting, cooking, or... well... anything on the offseason. So, it was pretty much like a walk through historic buildings and a history lesson and less like an immersive, hands-on experience like I hoped it would be for Little Man.


As a result, he got restless rather quickly and halfway through we had to carry him the rest of the tour so he would stop trying to touch the artifacts in the buildings. :/


I would suggest skipping this one with little ones if it is not their peak season. If you don't have little ones, I highly recommend visiting during offseason because the tours are so personal and informative without the distractions of large groups and families and you really get a LOT of history out of it in a short time (tours are about two hours long). All in all, our visit to El Rancho De Las Golondrianas was both tiring and extremely educational and interesting.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Bandelier National Monument { New Mexico Vacation}

Last week we had the amazing opportunity to go on a small family vacation before the little Bean gets here. It was so nice to just spend some time away with just Little Man and take a break from our everyday lives.
For our trip, we traveled ten hours to Santa Fe, NM!
I have a special place in my heart for AZ and Darling said that Santa Fe was quite similar. After going, I can see why he said that but have to kindly disagree. They are both SUPER fun and desert-like for sure... but totally unique in their own ways.
Since our trip was over five days, I will divide each day or two up so it's not one, super long post. :) you know, because I love you all. <3

For our first day in Santa Fe, we decided to take advantage of the last National Park week (where you get into any national park for free for the entire week it is going on) and visit Bandelier National Monument. Since entry into national parks is about $20 for a week (per car and for a minimal fee) that was a GREAT steal for us since we only wanted to go the one day!
When you first arrive there is a bit of a drive to the visitor center. If you go early enough (like we did) you can see a bit of wildlife there too.

Inside the visitor center is a museum of Native American history and Bandelier history that is actually quite child-friendly!


There is also a large park model and small park maps for a $1 (which we skipped since we wanted to keep this one free... I know.... so cheap. ha), two gift shops, and a little deli shop that was serving pre-made sandwiches and ice cream.
Something we learned about Bandelier is that it only has a few trails, some harder then others, but, since its a national park, you can actually explore a lot of the area on your own (with a camping permit) and just hunker down outside or in a cave like the Pueblos did all those years ago.
Since we had our dog with us on our trip (at the hotel) we opted to just take the main loop trail and to see the Alcove house, which was a total of about a three-mile hike.
On the Main loop, you can see quite a bit of the ancient Pueblo cliff dwellings.



A few of them you can even climb into!


Once up inside you get a great view of the ancient city below.

But by far, the hardest part of the hike was getting to the Alcove House. It is up 140 feet and only accessible via a wooden ladder, followed by a very narrow (one foot in from of the other no passing) staircase up to a cliffside, followed by two-three more wooden ladders.

I forgot to get a shot from bellow so you can see the entire path, and I personally did not go up to the top to see it (this is where I stopped, at the bottom of the second/ longest ladder). But Here is a photo I found via google of it in its entirety.


It is amazing how fearless we are before fears are created or instilled in us. My three-year-old son climbed all the way up with his daddy behind him all the way with no fear what so ever... even though Darling said he slipped once on the ladder (not sure if that was kidding or not). I was so proud and wish I had the stamina/ confidence to lug my seven-month prego butt up there.
After our excursions, we sat at the picnic area in front of the visitors center for a bit of lunch before heading home for a much-needed nap. All in all, I would say this was my favorite day. I would have loved more time there but, with a toddler and limited supplies of snacks and time, we where still able to get in a LOT of sightseeing. I would highly suggest this even for locals with nothing but a day to visit, but, if you have a week... even better, go cross-country backpacking and maybe find a new path! 

Friday, April 1, 2016

Colorful Living

Within the last week, Hubby and I have really been trying to jump-start our healthier living. You see... about six months ago I was pretty much the only one who worked out in our house and even that was about once or twice a week... then I got pregnant again and we moved. Needless to say, our eating habits have been the only "healthy" habits we have. Since the saying goes "eat healthy and exercise" to stay fit and healthy, we figured, only doing half the saying is only 50% better than those doing nothing. not good. So, to jump-start our better living (and to put the excises behind us, you know, BEFORE we have another little one to add to the mix) we signed up for the Color run for our second year in a row!


We had so much fun. I was bumbed the photographers did get a lot of us and the quality is kind of low but, hay, my camera didn't get ruined since I left it at home, and they did get at least one of all of us together.




We picked some shades up for Little man so the powder wouldn't get in his eyes this time around and, though he was not a fan of them squirting it right in his face still, I think he did a lot better this time around. Plus, he looks super cute in them. ha. He said his favorite part was the tropical scented bubbles they had though out the run too. I wish I got some of him playing in the bubbles but, alas, we spent our time in the moment and maybe that was better anyways.


After our 5k we decided to not slow down our momentum. We joined a gym  Monday with an awesome kids program and have gone every day this week but once! While I'm taking it easy during my pregnancy, I am already feeling more energized and excited for our families future health. So to that, happy, healthy, colorful, and fun living!

Friday, March 11, 2016

Birthday Boy

Little Man is super into trains as of late. Since moving to TX, we really don't have many (read any) friends or such here so, we kept his birthday pretty simply. We decided to ride the train to the zoo, see the animals, and ride kiddy train they have there.

We saw a lot less of the animals this time around but, since we go often, it was nice to just let Little Man do whatever his little heart desired.


Which, mostly involved feeding the birds in the birdhouse, petting giraffes, and a whole lot of playing in the water at the children's zoo.


Happy third birthday Little Man.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Learning to Feel Good

As the days go on, I realize more and more how thin my patience has become with Little Man. He is changing, growing, testing his limits and mommy as well. I am pregnant, tired, and pushed to my tipping point just about every day. There are boxes unpacked after a month of receiving our shipment of all our belongings. Our dream of getting a house is, yet again, put on hold. Most day the floors are not swept and crumbs on the tables. That drives me crazy. But I have learned something in the midst of all this. Something I am trying so hard to lean on each day. I have found that stress is so inward. We cause it and then create it. I am selfish. saying that makes a burn in my throat.
On the days I put my son first, my baby first, my husband and house first, those days feel better. I feel better. Not because I succeeded at something amazing or new or even that I was applauded for my work, but, because despite what I have read and the media tells me, I am made to love. Not to love me but others. In honesty, the days that I "take time for me" or spend all day complaining and moping about how hard life is, those are the worst days. They are the days my house suffers, my son suffers and I suffer too.
I am, slowly, learning that it's not putting me first that will ever make me feel the way I long for. It will never refresh me as much as a hug with my son or sitting down doing school work with him. It will never bring me the desires I so long for. Yet, like a pig drawn to dirt, I go back to the computer, me time to escape in a book or outing. I'm not saying those things don't have their place or are not fun, they are, that is why we do them, that is why I do them, but it is a fleeting feeling, a very fleeting spark of joy. It is not the same as when I spend a hard hour "playing" with a three-year-old or standing in a tinny kitchen cooking with the hubby while telling Little Man, for the seventh time, to stay out of the kitchen. In those moments I am selfish. I want to be done. I am bored. But THOSE moments are what I grasp at each night as I lay in bed and think about my day. THOSE moments are what I will remember of my life, my family when I close my eyes. They are the ones that bring me real joy, real gratification. Why? because we are made to love others. we are designed to put them first, even in the moments that feel hard right then, right now. My patience has become so thin and I am sorry for it. Sorry that I have tried so many earthly things to feed a desire that only giving up myself could ever fulfill. Sorry that I had allowed myself to fall into some sad human lie that "taking time for me" is what would make me feel happiest. Because it's not. No matter what others will say. That is the last thing I need to feel good, fulfilled, useful and loved. What we need is selflessness, to remind ourselves that, yes, at that moment it may feel like the pressure is rising but that is how a diamond is made. That more "me" will just make me crave more me not be renewed. Only giving up, giving to others and pushing through the now, the momentary displeasure will bring long-term, real gratification. That is what I have learned.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Photo Shoot

I finally was able to figure out the scanner. It only took two weeks!-.- So, without further wait, Our second Little Man's first photos shoot!