Thursday, August 20, 2015

Sister Goes to School!

This little nugget went to school for the first time today...

...with a backpack as big as her! Elsa, of course!

I am constantly reminded on how different my children are and today didn't disappoint! Yes, there were tears when she realized I wasn't staying with her but she apparently settled down after 5 minutes. It only took her brother the whole school year!

Other things that have changed since Cooper went to school... My true "I'm not a rookie" mom self has rounded into form. At drop off, there was a sweet gal in front of me dropping off what had to be her one and only. How do I know? She was crying big crocodile tears brought three members of her extended family to the drop off. Let's just say this is the true definition of feeling sympathy and not empathy. Come on lady, you're frightening the children! 

But, I digress...

After a short two hours (they ease them into it over the first few weeks) it was time to pick Sister up. She was a little weepy after seeing some of the other kids get picked up before her but was sure to let me know the highs and lows of her day.

Not two steps out of the classroom, she asked me: "Mommy, you sad or happy?"

Me: I'm happy! Are you sad or happy?

C: Sister sad. Sister crying.

Me: Did you have fun at school?

C: YEP! Play babies.

So there you have it! A first day for the record books with this sweet, crazy girl!

Friday, July 10, 2015

To Sister on her Birthday...

(Posted a day late but such is life!)

My baby girl is 2! Part of me is rejoicing and part of me is crying on the inside. There is nothing like a kid's birthday to make a mama all weepy!

I have loved watching her grow up this year and really turn into a kid. A kid with a ton of sass and a ton of sweet, too. In fact, most aspects of her little personality are quite a conundrum to me. She is the girliest girly girl that there is but she also loves cars, dirt and scooters. She is FEARLESS, as long as she is within my reach. She is super opinionated and really digs in when she knows what she wants but also is very adaptable and has a "go with the flow" attitude. Maybe her personality is best summed up in a picture. This is her 2nd birthday present from us, a pair of sparkly Elsa flip-flops (that her brother picked out) and a blue scooter just like Cooper's:

That's my girl! I have a feeling I'm not going to have to worry about her not standing up for herself. I also have a feeling that she's going to be able to get her pick of the litter, sorry Daddy!

Happy Birthday, sweet Carrington. At two years old you love: baby dolls, shoes and purses; your white dress with pink polka dots (pictured above...and I do mean love as in obsessed and want to wear it's the only outfit we don't fight about!); reading books to yourself; doing everything with Kona; Elsa (the obsession lives on); jumping on and off the furniture; anything your "Bubba" is doing; speaking in some language we do not yet understand (although we have found that if you just pay attention to the last word you say we can pretty much get the gist!); strawberries, eggs, "I CREAM" and eating only the insides out of snap peas; "booky", which is your word for for milk and books alike; and, having us all wrapped around your little finger!

We love you birthday girl!

What a difference a year makes! Who is this baby?!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Interruptions Away!

Do any of you read Joanna Goddard's blog: "A Cup of Jo"? I kind of adore her. Plus, her boys are the same age as my kids. Plus, she just seems so real and authentic that I pretend we are friends. That's totally not weird, right?!

She recently wrote this post: A Genius Way to Teach Your Child Not to Interrupt. The premise is this:

I was chatting with a friend one day when her 3-year-old son wanted to say something. Instead of interrupting though, he simply placed his hand on her wrist and waited. My friend placed her hand over his to acknowledge him and we continued chatting.
After she had finished what she was saying, she turned to him. I was in awe! So simple. So gentle. So respectful of both the child and the adult. Her son only needed to wait a few seconds for my friend to finish her sentence. Then she gave him her complete attention.
I was torn between really wanting to try this in hopes of cutting out some of the "Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom! Mom, you're not answering meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!"s from my life and thinking that this would never work over here at head-strong nation.

A few days later, Joanna got the best of me and we tried this. TOTAL. GAME. CHANGER.
Cooper boy picked this up in less than a day and we all love it. He is so much happier and confident knowing that he can always get my attention if he uses our secret code. He's often so quiet about it that I don't realize what he's doing! I suppose there is a learning curve for the both of us.
Highly recommend!

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Oh, hi there.

Hi there. It's been awhile.

I've been meaning to check-in and document all of our goings on, as evidenced by the little notes in my iPhone notepad about posts I want to write. Most of these will still make the cut like "Cooper's manner book", "I chetch ya and Atchyou, baby" (will explain later) and "Spaghetti Squash Carbonara". Other things I find make me question my own sanity. For instance, "asthma" (no one in our family has asthma) and "trash gifts" somehow seemed noteworthy at some point. I have no words.

Moving on to things more coherent...

My newest and noteworthy news is that my career pendulum has swung yet again! I went from full-time working mom to full-time stay-at-home mom to now dipping my toes back into the work force as a REALTOR. I'm so happy as it seems like the perfect fit for me and allows me the time I need with my family. I've always loved real estate and with my finance background it just made sense. So, while we're at it, be sure to send referrals my way! I'll be the one talking to an inspector while pushing my kid on a swing at the playground...Mom power!

My sweetest first clients, brother and future sister-in-law, Matt and Katie!
Otherwise, our life has just been a whirlwind of kid activities and prepping for summer. We have a smattering of kid activities and a much needed adult beach vacation for our friends' wedding coming up. Cue the backyard sprinkler parties and start pouring margaritas! Summer is my favorite.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Taco Night!

Sometimes creativity just goes out the window and you end up with taco night. And you're not even sad about it. Because, it's delicious.

We've had many versions of taco night over the years, all including some sort of store bought packet or spice dumped over ground beef. Ever since the kids started eating "real" food, I've made the push to mostly serve real food around here. So, when my friend Kaylen told me about the cookbook "100 Days of Real Food", I was excited to try it. There are so many great and kid friendly recipes (including Taco Night!) that we have loved and I feel good about serving. I, in turn, recommended it to my friend Chelsea because we are usually on the same page on crunchy mom-isms and both love new cookbooks. Read her review here!

I hope you and yours enjoy this recipe as much as we do!

Taco Night! 


2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup chopped onions
1 pound ground pork*
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
Juice of 1/2 lime

Recommended accompaniments: Corn Tortillas, shredded lettuce, sour cream, avocado, graded cheese, cilantro, salsa

*Recipe calls for pork. Maybe its the Texas girl in me but I strongly prefer ground beef!


1. Heat the oil in a salute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft but not browned. 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the ground meat and cook while breaking up the meat with a spatula. Continue to cook until the meat has browned all the way through. Drain off the fat (if desired), then season with chili powder, cumin, oregano and salt.
3. Stir in the lime juice and serve warm with the taco filings of your choice.

I like to make the taco seasoning in bulk in advance. I store it in an airtight container in the pantry and it makes a very easy "go to" when you need a quick dinner!

Taco Seasoning

1 tablespoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons salt

Combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Use 2 1/2 teaspoons taco seasoning per 1 pound ground meat.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Cooper Hits the Slopes

Last week we took Cooper to Steamboat for his first ski trip. Let me tell you, between ski school and only having one kid with us, there was something that happened over that weekend that resembled an ACTUAL VACATION. It was lovely.

Now before you start feeling too bad for Sister, know that she was home with Papa who was filling her days more than I could even dream of. One of the days we were gone, he took her to: Hermann Park to feed the ducks; the Children's Museum; out to lunch (and somehow home in time for a nap); to go see her first movie - Cinderella (although she apparently lasted about 10 minutes); and, out to dinner! Suffice it to say, she did not even greet me when I got home. She clearly had a better time than she would have in ski school day care. She clearly had a better time than she does with regular old mom who does things with her that include the grocery store, gasp!

Back to the ski trip... Traveling with 4 year olds is down right easy. They carry their own bags! They are easily and quietly entertained on the plane! No diapers or extra gear! Sorry Sis, talk to me when you're potty trained and through the threenage years.

After our flight, we were up and running pretty quickly. (FYI, Houston - Steamboat is a direct 2-ish hour flight and we were at our condo within about 30 minutes of landing!) Cooper was anxious to play in the snow which was thankfully still around in the balmy spring weather!

The next morning, we all geared up for a day of skiing and ski school for Cooper. We were a little worried about how he would do. He's not usually so great dealing with new places. Or new people. Or being out of his routine. Or away from home. But other than that, this kid is totally flexible!

As it turns out, all of the angst was for nothing because he totally did great! I'm sure there were more than a few tears but by the time we picked him up he was smiling and yelling at us to "WATCH ME!!!" as he skied down the ski school hill. He got to move up a (half) level on the first day and was able to balance on his skis and stop (using the edgie wedgie). OK, so we are not headed to the Olympics any time soon but he had a blast and was begging us to take him up the mountain. AND, most importantly, he had a lot of fun. I mean, who wouldn't want to learn how to ski from a bunch of 20-somethings who feed you pizza and chocolate cookies and teach you games like "Sheep Butt" and "Who Tooted"? No, I haven't asked to be filled in on the rules for those...

The little ski bum after day 2 on the slopes. Dudealicious.
Apres ski snowman!
First time up the ski lift!
I don't think I realized how amazing ski school was going to be for Kyle and I. Not only did they teach Cooper the basics, they fit him with boots skis and a helmet which he got to keep at the school overnight. No hauling extra gear for us! And, even better, it lasted from 9am to 2:45pm which meant we got to have almost 6 hours of uninterrupted ski time and went on lunch dates.

Win. Win. Win. All around, win.

Also, I've decided that spring skiing is totally my jam. As it turns out, in my 30s I'm definitely more interested in being warm and not going too fast so between the warm weather and the wet snow I was a happy girl! Direct quote from Kyle, "You look like you know what you're doing up there. You also look like you really do not want to fall." Fair.

So maybe I'm not headed for the Olympics anytime either but I too had the best time and it warmed my heart to watch Cooper do this:

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

What's For Dinner Wednesday: Tomato-Zucchini Tart

Every time the first breath of warm air creeps in each spring, you can bet I am making this recipe! It definitely has a lot of summer flavors that just get you in the mood for warmer weather to come.

Truth be told, Kyle doesn't love this recipe. I don't know if its the strangeness of vegetables in a pie crust and his inability to categorize this meal or if its the lack of meat for his oh-so-manly palate. Either way, it's one of my favorites and I just throw it in as a side dish for him and dare him to quibble over a home cooked meal...

I found this recipe in a Southern Living magazine the year we got married and I have been making it ever since. Recipe here and below!

Tomato-Zucchini Tart


  • 1 refrigerated piecrust
  • 1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (about 3/4 lb.) 
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil 
  • *3 medium plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped 
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/2 oz.) freshly grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1/3 cup light mayonnaise 
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
(* - per recipe. I use two.)


1. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch tart pan according to package directions; trim excess. Prick bottom and sides of piecrust using a fork.
2. Bake piecrust at 450° for 9 to 11 minutes or until lightly browned. Let cool.
3. Sauté zucchini in hot oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat 2 minutes or until tender. Arrange zucchini in bottom of prepared piecrust. Arrange tomatoes on top of zucchini.
4. Stir together basil, cheese, and mayonnaise. Drop by teaspoonfuls evenly on top of tomatoes, and spread gently. Sprinkle with pepper.
5. Bake at 425° for 10 to 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated and cheese mixture is slightly melted.