Select Page
I’M TAKING A SHORT BREAK BUT I’LL BE BACK SOON

I’M TAKING A SHORT BREAK BUT I’LL BE BACK SOON

Hello my sweet blog readers!  I just wanted to give you a heads up that I’m taking a short break.  I’ll just be honest, my anxiety is very high and I need to take a good week off or so to clear my head.  Our life has been super hectic lately, we’re in the middle of a big project – I can’t explain what that is right now but I will tell you as soon as I’m ready.  It’s nothing bad I promise!  Then right after Ashley’s birthday she was complaining of terrible headaches and we discovered she had a double ear infection.  Brian also needed a simple skin surgery done due to an infection and the harsh antibiotics are making him incredibly sick.  He’s slowly improving but spending a lot of time in bed.  This combined with our “big project” has my brain extremely overloaded.

We were wanting to explore some new areas of Denver over Spring Break and Brian even though feels bad is insistent we go, I’m trying to change his mind but I’m not sure it’s working!  So this is just a heads up what the heck is going on with the blog.  I thought I could try to push through it, but in the end I thought it would be better to take a short break and get it together a bit.

I’ll clear my head this week and be able to sort out some new blog posts I’ve wanted to share but have been too exhausted.  Breaks are good and so healthy aren’t they?  Those of you on my email list just be watching for my next blog post… otherwise expect to see me back in 7 days, ok 10 days max, ok?  I’ll be ready to share some great spring ideas.  If we do make it to Colorado for Spring Break I’ll be sure and update my Instagram.

In the meantime check out last year’s Spring Home Tour, and growing wheatgrass this time of year is also fun.  Have a happy March, see you soon.

AFTERNOON TEA AT THE ADOLPHUS IN DALLAS

AFTERNOON TEA AT THE ADOLPHUS IN DALLAS

Having Tea at the Adolphus in Dallas, Texas

I left everyone high and dry last week during Birthday Week.  We started off strong with the birthday cake body scrub and our fun tassel garland.  Next I had planned to show you some fun gift wrap and our yummy birthday cake recipe, and then…. our camera lens started massively screwing up.  Fun right?  Naturally we ate all the cake and Ashley opened the presents so that’s gone… there is always next year though.   We did manage to get this frosting photo before the lens really flopped.

Another birthday thing we did over the weekend to celebrate Ashley’s 15th birthday was have afternoon tea at the beautiful French Room at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas.  I was able to get some ok-ish iPhone pics so I thought I’d share our wonderful experience!  It was so fun!

Having Tea at the Adolphus in Dallas, Texas

Once we arrived at our table we were given a complimentary glass of sparkling rose and the girls had sparkling cider.   So yeah… Ashley’s not drinking champagne haha!  Both of my girls cautiously sipped the sparkling cider, for whatever reason they’re freaked out by carbonation.  They’ve never had a soda pop in their entire lives.  I’d let them have one, they just never wanted one… plus we don’t keep any in the house anyway.

Having Tea at the Adolphus in Dallas, Texas

After sipping on our sparkling drinks we were told just to sit back and relax that all the courses listed in the menu would be coming out shortly along with our tea.  My girls are huge tea drinkers so they were really excited.  Haley’s been into tea for a long time, but Ashley just recently started liking it.

Having Tea at the Adolphus in Dallas, Texas

Having Tea at the Adolphus in Dallas, Texas

Our favorite tea was the chai blend, it didn’t have a strong spice like your typical chai tea.  This delicious chai had a strong fruity almond flavor.  We ended up taking a bag home it was so good.

Having Tea at the Adolphus in Dallas, Texas

Soon after we had our first tea our finger foods came out.  Would you believe I’ve never had an egg salad sandwich ever until now?  I’ve lived a sheltered life.  It’s not as scary as I thought it would be …haha.  We all enjoyed the unique selection of finger foods and the delicious scones.

Having Tea at the Adolphus in Dallas, Texas

After several more cups of tea our dessert tray came out and did not disappoint either!  Our experience at Tea at the Adolphus was an incredible one.  I must also mention that the interior of the French Room restaurant is breathtaking.  It’s light and bright inside with gorgeous ornate carved wooden embellishments on the walls and ceiling with huge pastel crystal chandeliers above us.

Any time you’re looking for things to do in Dallas I highly recommend Tea at the Adolphus!

Having Tea at the Adolphus in Dallas, Texas

Things the next few weeks are going to be a bit crazy in our house.  I don’t really want to say exactly why yet, just we’re in the middle of a big project, I’ll eventually explain it.  Then we have Spring Break and the broken camera lens is just the cherry on top.  Due to lack of sanity I might be posting a little less for the time being, but I’ll be back strong ASAP!  Have a great week friends!

MERRY CHRISTMAS WITH LOVE!

MERRY CHRISTMAS WITH LOVE!

Merry Christmas everyone!  I’ve really enjoyed the last several weeks sharing our Christmas decorating, fun, and recipes on the blog.  We will spend today making cookies, volunteering at the SoupMobile, and attending mass followed by a yummy dinner and watching Christmas movies.  It’s the perfect way to honor the birth of our savior.

Since the kids are older, Christmas mornings have just gotten better and better because they don’t wake up at the crack of dawn anymore!  Our Christmas morning is always filled with a delicious breakfast after opening presents.

I wanted to share some photos from our Christmas photo shoot, we had lots of fun that day and surprisingly the kids were in good spirits.  With lots of love, our family wishes you the Merriest Christmas!

THANKFUL & BLESSED

THANKFUL & BLESSED

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I am thankful and blessed in so many ways, and I’m looking forward to this wonderful day with family.  We’re hosting Thanksgiving at our house and although it’s taken a lot of work and planning, I love it!  We have a few family members who will be missed, but we’ve still got a good crowd coming.

Speaking of planning, I don’t always host Thanksgiving, I take some years off… we take turns going to others but this year was a breeze because the last time I cooked Thanksgiving dinner I made a folder.  It had every recipe, a time schedule, and a bunch of recipe alterations I suggested for the next time.  I always write down things that I didn’t like so I know exactly what to watch out for.  I know… I suffer from being over organized but it’s made this year so much easier!  So make a folder NOW to cut down on stress for next year.

We recently took these photos in Arkansas around Brian’s Aunt and Uncle’s beautiful property, it was so cold that day, we had harsh outdoor lighting, and with teenagers there was a lot of complaining.  But in the end I think we got some great photos.  Getting all 5 of us photo ready is so stressful by the way!  Moms with young kids I’m sorry to tell you family photos don’t get much easier as they get older.  Taking family photos is just hard period, but towards the end we acted silly and had lots of fun!

So here’s my sweet little fam… Corey is 23, Haley 17, Ashley is 14, and Brian, my wonderful husband who I’ve known since I was 15 years old.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day with loved ones.  I wanted to end by saying how thankful I am for everyone, especially YOU, my readers who’ve supported my blog and encouraged me.  So thank you.  Be sure to check out my Christmas home tour if you haven’t done so, since we decorated early we’ve been joking our Thanksgiving is a Christ-giving.  Ha!

A MOMMY DAUGHTER DAY IN SAN ANTONIO

A MOMMY DAUGHTER DAY IN SAN ANTONIO

Cheers to mid-week!  I thought I’d share a few photos we took last Saturday at the Riverwalk in San Antonio.  As I mentioned on Insta, Brian had continuing education classes Friday and Saturday so I thought it might be good for Ashley to take a day off from school and have some fun.  Her grades are perfect so missing the occasional day isn’t a big deal.

It’s just so hard watching your kids struggle in any way.  Luckily for us it seems when one kid has problems the other two do okay!  God only gives you what you can handle and he knows I can’t deal with three kids freaking out at once!!

Normally I’m a bit private about my kids on the blog, but I’m really proud of all three kids and I may start having them on a little more.   Ashley’s 14, and struggling a bit right now with friends and fitting in at school.  It’s a hard time for all kids but even more difficult with sensitive, shy kids like her.  We’re also working on building her confidence, so that’s why I thought a getaway would be a great idea.  We bought a few clothing items, played around with her hair, took photos, and just had some fun.

At 14 she’s a mix of baby and adult.  For years she would complain she was upset she was growing up too fast, she wasn’t ready and wanted to be little again but I’m starting to see her courage peak through.  Recently she said she was ready to grow up and change the world, so that’s an encouraging sign!

We stayed at the Courtyard Marriott Riverwalk. It’s a fantastic location and just a short walk to so many restaurants!  The only negative is there was some construction downtown that really caused traffic delays, the riverwalk was pretty quiet and peaceful for a Saturday though.

I know the river isn’t very deep but with all the people drinking margaritas and the lack of rails I’m thinking there has to be a high number of people who fall in.  Right? With all the twists and curves on the path I was afraid we might if we weren’t paying attention.

We always like to try new restaurants when we’re in the area and this time we tried the Little Rhein Steakhouse and Acenar.  Both were very good and I recommend them if you’re ever in the area, and all the restaurants have great outdoor patios to dine on!

I also recommend the Guenther House, it’s not on the Riverwalk but it’s absolutely gorgeous and you can walk around the beautiful grounds.  Go for weekend brunch!

Ashley’s obsessing on perfect grades and getting into Cambridge to the point I think it’s driving her a little nuts. I personally don’t want her moving away that far, and it’s hard to get in… I’m telling her to be open to change.  She wants to study astronomy and go where Stephen Hawking went because she admires his work so much.

She’s my little dreamer… and she doesn’t want to ever cut her hair, I think she wants to grow it to her knees!

At 13 weeks I thought I miscarried her, I felt a sharp intense pain in my belly one morning followed by heavy bleeding.  I’ll never forget the relief I felt crying in the doctors office when he found a heartbeat.  A sonogram showed I had a subchorionic hematoma in my uterus, I went on bedrest and the bleeding continued until I was 27 weeks along.

I was terrified, and there wasn’t a lot of information on the internet at the time, there was one story like mine and a woman who blogged it, sadly she lost her baby at 5 months. It was a horrible time, Brian had just started his business, Haley was 2 years old and I couldn’t take care of her.  We had multiple prayer chains going on… I think the entire town was praying.  And she was born perfectly healthy on Leap Day.  She’s meant to be here and I can’t wait to see all the good she does in the world.

Thank you for letting me share a piece of my sunshine today!  I’ll be blogging about Scotland very soon… I know I’m all talk.. but I’m seriously going to get it done, haha!!

SCHOOL SHOULD FEEL SAFE & MY GIRLS HAVE BEEN SCARED

SCHOOL SHOULD FEEL SAFE & MY GIRLS HAVE BEEN SCARED

School should feel safe and lately our girls have not felt that way.  I’m so glad it’s Saturday and the week is over, honestly this week has been Hell.  Our daughters’ high school has had 3 gun threats this week.  Let that sink in, 3 gun threats, all in just 3 days.

It started Monday when a kid made a harmful threat to the school, I was told he was removed, but I know nothing more.  Then on Tuesday we had a kid bring a gun to school – so I am told and point it at another student.  Then we had our most recent incident which has left parents angry and everyone on edge.

For those of you who are unaware, the schools now practice lockdown drills regularly.  No longer is it just tornado and fire safety drills, now kids regularly hear an alarm, a drill announcement, the teacher runs to lock the door, she covers the window of the classroom door with black paper, they turn off the lights while the children quietly hide.  Usually within a minute or so somebody will pull on the classroom door – to verify it was locked and they would announce the drill was over.  Sadly this is the new normal at school, in between language arts and algebra you also must learn life saving skills if a crazy person wants to kill you while in class.

Wednesday morning my girls starting texting me scared.  They were on hard lockdown.  Haley texted first in a panic, I’m so scared I saw on Snapchat there is a student here that posted a photo of a gun in his backpack saying he was about to shoot up our school.  Then Ashley started texting us in a panic.  As a parent there is nothing worse in the world when your child is frightened and you can’t help them.  NOTHING.  Their texts went like this…

“I’m scared, the alarm is beeping but they aren’t saying it’s a drill, nobody has pulled on our door to check.”

“I think this is real, I’m so scared.”

“One kid didn’t make it to our room before the teacher had to lock the door.”

“We can hear police and noises outside in the hallway.”

“My teacher is pushing furniture against the door.”

“An ambulance is here.”

“I can’t stop shaking I’m so scared.”

“The lights are off and our classroom has no windows, it’s dark and all I hear are loud sounds.”

“I was just sent a video of the police having students face the wall with their arms up.”

“Everyone in the classroom is crying and shaking.  I can barely text I’m shaking so hard.”

“I’m scared I don’t want to be here.”

 

We kept reassuring the girls they were safe behind a locked door, and to trust the police to handle it and to just stay calm.  Meanwhile I was checking the news to see if a story had broke, but saw nothing.  We tried to call the school and the line was busy, so we decided to drive up to the school.  There was an ambulance, several police cars at the front and side of the school, the news, and parents desperately trying to get into the school grounds, all in the rain, it was pretty hectic.  The parents were confused, it was an hour with no word from the school.  Nothing but kids texting parents, then suddenly the alarm stopped and the teachers were allowed to open the doors.

All the students knew something bad had happened, Ashley who is a freshman ran to Haley’s class who is a junior.  During the chaos they some how missed each other, and when she went to Haley’s room and saw she wasn’t there she started crying and having a panic attack.  The teacher had to run down the hall to find Haley and she took Ashley to calm down.

At this point hundreds of confused parents are outside of the school.  Haley said she would finish the day at school but says Ashley’s in such bad shape she needs to go home.  Honestly how can a child be incredibly fearful for their life then be expected to snap their fingers and learn algebra equations?  We still couldn’t get through to the school to request early release so Brian found a place to park and walked inside the school.  There was an insane line of parents to get in the office, he texted Ashley and they just walked out.  Our school is pretty strict with attendance, you can’t just leave.  If your kid is 10 minutes late to class you get a email and voicemail a few hours later.  Haley said at her next class there were only 3 students.   Timber Creek High School is huge with over 4,000 students, many kids got picked up by their parents by checking out, but I was told about 1/2 of the school just walked out, dazed and traumatized.  If the school would have just communicated better, it was chaos and I think it could of been handled much better!

Meanwhile almost 2 hours after the incident we finally hear from the school.  The principal downplayed the incident completely.  She made it seem like it wasn’t a big deal.  She was trying to sweep it under the rug and get it to go away.  You can read the letter the principal emailed to the parents on this news report.  The principal said the lockdown was 10 minutes, read the comments at the bottom of the news report.  It was much much worse and the students will all tell you.  Haley was angry when she read that letter, “Mom, it wasn’t 10 minutes, it had to be at least 30 minutes, it was awful!”  “I’m so mad at our principal she’s making this seem like no big deal, it’s like she doesn’t care.”

Ashley had been home for hours, sad and whimpering by our side.  She is very sensitive and emotional, and I expected her to be like this.  Haley is my tough kid, life has thrown a lot of stuff her way and it has made her stronger.  She handles high stress situations very well.  When she came home she gave us more stories, clarified some things and then she sat on the back patio and stared off into space for an hour.  This is not normal Haley behavior, this affected her deeply.  This was scary and traumatic for not just my girls but for the entire school.  Parents are angry and frustrated with our school which caused another news report.

This is our principal’s first year and I strongly feel she’s doing everything in her power to kill this story.  It’s not looking good for her, it’s only September.   The student who threatened the school, a sophomore was removed and they are trying to charge him with a terroristic threat, no weapon was found on him.  I have no idea if this child is really disturbed or if this was a prank, either way I feel like he’s pretty much thrown his life away.  What a waste.

Earlier in the week a video was taken inside the school of a student pointing a gun at another student.  Thanks to Snapchat everything quickly goes viral pretty quick.  Just what exactly is going on with these kids?  Are this many teens disturbed or in some bizarre way do they find this funny or entertaining?

There is always black paper taped to the door now for these emergencies, how sad is that?  Remember when our teachers would decorate the back of our classroom doors?  Now you get a black piece of paper to put over the window so the crazy gunman can’t see you.

You might think this makes me anti-gun but it doesn’t.  I personally don’t like guns, the few times I’ve been taught I just found it too frightening, but I’m fine with others having them.  Living in Texas it seems everyone has a gun and honestly if a crazy person pulls out a gun it makes me feel better that there is probably a bunch of good guys also with guns who will stop him.  If you’re anti-gun that’s your choice and I respect it, you make some valid points, but so do we.

Regardless of which side you’re on something needs to be done with all of this teen violence in school.  I think a lot of parents have this attitude that when their kids enter high school they need to be supervised less.  They think teens are on the way to adulthood and their job of parenting is easier than ever.  WRONG WRONG WRONG.  Your teenagers need you more than ever now and they need a lot of guidance from you.  Yes they are wiser and smarter now, they roll their eyes and seem to know everything, but they are still the equivalent of a toddler running with scissors.

PARENTS YOU NEED TO BE IN TUNE WITH YOUR TEENS.  You need to be watching for signs your child needs help, when your child shows signs of being emotionally unbalanced you need to snap into action.  It’s when parents just brush it off it as typical teen behavior that we see disasters and lives ruined.

For goodness sakes, parents who keep guns in the home LOCK THEM UP!  It’s as simple as that, keep your guns locked away.  As Haley likes to remind me a kid can get a gun if they really want to.  Yeah, maybe so… there are lots of illegal ways to get them, but it shouldn’t be easy at home.  I think all guns should be secured and locked in the home but especially those who have teens, in the blink of an eye lives are destroyed.

There is sadly still a stigma with mental health issues and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.  Haley had issues with depression and with counseling she was able to overcome them.  Now Ashley is showing signs of depression and a lot of anxiety and it looks like we’re going to need some counseling again.

The world we live in now is so different, it’s violent and scary.  Teens have more stress and pressure on them than ever before and we as parents must step in and help them.  I just wish when more parents notice drastic behavioral changes they would instantly step into action.  Teens want to act tough and independent but they still need us.  They’re smart, but they’re still learning and whether they know it or not they need our love, attention, and guidance.

The Fort Worth Police Department did an amazing job on Wednesday.  They took the threat extremely seriously and removed the student.  The girls also told me the wonderful job their teachers did, springing into action securing the room and helping the students hide.  I feel confident if a future problem arrises they will do everything in their power to protect our kids, but I pray the threats and violence stops.

We live in North Fort Worth but our girls go to school in the smaller school district of Keller.  We live in a wonderful but extremely large community full of great kids, and we have always found the schools and teachers to be wonderful.  We just want our kids to feel safe and secure at school so they can learn.  My Mom and I were recently talking about the how simple school problems used to be.  It was all passing notes and gum chewing remember?  What a sad state things are in.

When I was looking for a photo of the girls to use I decided on this one, even though it’s close to 2 years old.  Not only is it just a sweet photo it represents my girls’ personalities.  Haley is my warrior, she is strong and will protect.  Ashley is sweet, vulnerable, and needs the love and protection from her sister.   It was taken 2 Christmases ago during low tide at the Thames River, it’s still one of my favorite photos.