Wednesday, October 29, 2014

When life gives you peppers

There are a lot of things about our new backyard that cause me a little rage when I think about them. The mosquitoes, the random piles of PVC pipes left throughout the yard, the copious amounts of dead branches that regularly fall from the giant tree, the mosquitoes, the rotting wood, the trash left in the back corner, and did I mention the mosquitoes? I was even cursing the sad little garden next to the back door because everything was so wilted and neglected and it was just uglying up the yard.

Then my mom came into town last week and decided to further inspect that sad little garden. She gave it a little bit of TLC, and in the process, she discovered there were Serrano peppers growing, right there next to our back door! Normally this would mean nothing to me, because I'm not a pepper fan. My husband, on the other hand, is very much a pepper fan, so I was pretty excited on his behalf.

He picked about a dozen of them on Sunday morning, picked up a few additional ingredients at the store, and put them all to good use last night.

It's really a shame that there wasn't queso growing on that plant, because I don't actually care for salsa (weird, I know) and therefore couldn't reap the benefits. (Note: figure out how to grow a queso plant... or better yet, a tree!) But again, my husband is a very big salsa fan, so I'm happy for the reaping he got to do.

For anyone interested in making Wade's favorite salsa recipe for yourself, here it is!

Roasted Red Salsa
- 8 tomatoes, halved
- 1 yellow onion, halved
- 10 Serrano peppers, caps removed (to reduce heat, scrape seeds out if desired)
- 4-5 cloves of garlic
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 1 bunch cilantro

- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. 
- Lay tomatoes and onions cut-side up on a baking sheet along with the peppers and garlic.
- Roast until onions are translucent, tomatoes are soft, and peppers are getting charred (about 40 minutes).
- Let cool, then run through a food processor or blender with salt and cilantro.
- Stir together; serve with chips and enjoy!

Monday, October 27, 2014

New weekend normal

Weekdays in a new town as a stay-at-home mom can be pretty lonely when your only close "friend" is your twin sister who works all day. I rarely felt lonely during the week in Austin, but on the weekends, I regularly found myself homesick for family - definitely not the case here. So as you can see, my weeks and my weekends have basically just switched places now! 

Take this past weekend, for example. Wade was out of town for the first half and Davis was staying with Wade's parents, but thanks to the Joiners, I was rarely lacking in company or entertainment. I can't tell you how nice it is to be able to just drive the 2 minutes (or walk the 12 minutes) it takes to get to their house and instantly have both adult company and playmates for my kids! It honestly makes all the hassle of moving and the sadness of leaving Austin totally, 100% worth it.

And one of the best parts? Whenever there is an event going on around town that might otherwise be lame without companions, they are there to fill that role for us (and us for them, duh) - like at Sugar Land's Halloween Town that took place yesterday evening.

I wouldn't say the outing was a slam dunk for any of us thanks to the large crowd, but it was certainly more fun with the Joiners than it would have been by ourselves. And now that all the kids have had a little practice wearing their costumes, maybe they will be a little more expressive and cooperative with pictures on Halloween?! A mom can dream...

Friday, October 24, 2014

Friday opinions

1. For the first month after buying a house, you should really just have your paychecks sent directly to Home Depot.

2. Babies have really poor decision-making skills. See: eating leaves and standing up in shopping cart seats while moving.

3. There are too many mosquitoes in the Houston area.

4. All cable companies were started by individuals who want to make life harder for their customers.

5. Having your mom in town after moving to a new city is a good way to forget about how lonely you were last week.

6. Buying a house with more square footage would be a lot more fun if it didn't also entail having to clean all that extra square footage.

7. Living near family > not living near family.

8. You know you talk to Siri too much when your child asks you a question, you tell him you don't know the answer, and he suggests you ask Siri.

9. There is no unawkward response to being told you "have a beautiful speech pattern" by the Starbucks barista. (What does that even mean? I must have been extra eloquent when I told him I had a reward to redeem and thanked him for my drink.) 

10. Dining rooms look better when they aren't full of crap... not that I would know.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014


iHome = pictures taken of our new home on my iPhone. (No, it's not easy being this clever, but someone has to do it.)

1. I'm not posting these because I think my house is awesome; I'm posting these because I like seeing pictures of where other people live and I know I'm not the only one!

2. It's definitely still a work in progress. (I'm looking at you, backyard and empty wall spaces.)


Note: I'm not showing you the entire front of the house just in case you are a stalker.
Note: we spent approximately 11 years at Home Depot last night ordering a larger rug for the living room! Big thanks to Amanda for not murdering me when we ended up being there until 9:30pm on a "school night." Also note: our armchair is not puke green in real life; iPhone is just letting me down there.
Note: we had the kitchen cabinets painted before we moved in and I love them! I would love them more with hardware on them, but there isn't a money tree growing in our new backyard.

We have been working hard over the past week and a half to give it the TLC it has needed, and although it still needs plenty more, we are pleased with the progress we've made and looking forward to all the memories these walls will hold for our little family!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Finally some fun + pumpkin pics!

Yes, you read that right: after a week straight of busting our buns to move/unpack/clean/etc., we finally had a little fun this weekend! 

On Friday morning, I went to my first MOPS meeting here in Sugar Land. I can't tell you how good it felt to 1) look presentable, 2) get a little break from our youngest child, and 3) meet/chat with some other stay-at-home moms in the area! After that, I picked Davis up from school and headed over to Amanda's house to watch both of my gremlins and the twins while she had a parent-teacher conference at daycare. It sounded a little intimidating in theory, but since Avery was napping and the other 3 kiddos were all on their best behavior, it was easy peasy.

On Saturday morning, we ventured out with the Joiners to get some pictures of the kids at a local pumpkin patch. Unfortunately the ground was wet, the sun was bright, and the kids weren't feeling terribly cooperative, so Amanda made the executive decision for us to peace out and risk embarrassing ourselves with pictures at the local HEB instead. I'm glad she did because I think they turned out pretty darn cute!

On Saturday afternoon, we got a lot done around the house (and fortunately didn't watch our poor Aggies get their butts kicked). I'm not sure all the house productivity was really all that "fun," but the rest of my fam seemed to think shopping for mattresses for the guest bedroom was pretty entertaining?

On Saturday evening, we got together with Wade's entire fam for dinner at Cafe Adobe. I have no pictures as proof, so you'll just have to take my word for it. There were margaritas and queso and most importantly, lots of conversations about Ebola with my brother-in-law, who happens to be an EMT in Dallas! (Don't worry, he hasn't been exposed to it... but I made sure not to lick his hands or anything, just in case.)

On Sunday morning, we went to church! Just kidding. By "went to church," I actually mean we went to HEB, Lowe's, and Target at 8:30 in the morning. And then we spent the majority of the day busting our buns some more.

But to end on a good note, we took a break with the Joiners to let the kiddos trash our new playroom like crazy animals play together and we went on a walk in our new 'hood after dinner.

Hope the rest of you had a fun weekend, too!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


I would love for this post to be about how we are totally settled in the new house and everything is peachy, but here's the truth: change is hardddddddddd.

I spent nearly 2 months thinking about this transition non-stop. I just told myself over and over again that it was going to be tough at first, but it was going to be worth it. In my head, I know this to be true. So for some reason, I thought being mentally prepared and armed with this truth would somehow make things easier... but alas, that does not seem to be the case. Regardless of all that preparation, I still feel lonely, I still feel like crying at any moment of the day, I still question whether or not we made the right decision, and I still wonder if it will be like this forever.

I have moved many times in my life, and it has always gotten better with time, and I have always been sad in the end to leave the place I initially feared I would hate forever. So I just need to keep chug, chug, chug, puff, puff, puff-ing along until it gets better. I just wish I could snap my fingers and make it better now! Especially because it is killing me inside to watch Davis adjust to this change. He really is doing ok overall, but he is acting out in little ways and innocently making depressing comments about wanting to go back to his "old" house or his "old" school. It's both frustrating and heart-wrenching for me at the same time.

Though it may not seem like it, occasionally I am taking breaks from my role as Debbie Downer to enjoy the new house, enjoy the new area we live in, and especially enjoy seeing my sister on a daily basis. She is doing her darndest to make us feel at home by making food for us, setting up play dates for me, helping us finish setting up the house, and even delivering queso at my door at the end of a particularly sad day. If not for her, I would be even more of a grump than I have been.

And there you have it: the latest update on our moving adventures, whether you wanted it or not. Hoping for a fabulous weekend to get my mind off everything - and give me something else to blog about besides this move!!!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

So, we moved!

Forgive the lack of posting yesterday; we've been just a wee bit busy over the past several days and the internet we were supposed to have upon arrival at our new house still does not exist. Thankfully Amanda and Brian are letting me steal their internet for a bit so I can write this post - already appreciating the perks of living so close to family! Anyway, here is the VII (Very Important Information) you need to know about our move:

1. The actual physical move went smoothly. No major items were broken and no one was killed.

2. Despite being very overwhelmed, I have managed to only tear up on a small handful of occasions. 

3. I have had many unpleasant thoughts about the previous owners of our house in regards to their upkeep - or major lack thereof - of the house. 

4. Avery doesn't seem to have noticed that we moved, but she does seem to notice extra loudly every time I leave the room right now, so maybe that's her way of dealing. She has also not been the world's most helpful moving companion, but I'd argue she is one of the cutest.

5. Davis most definitely does notice that we have moved, and I don't think I'll ever forget how depressing his reaction was when he came to the new house for the first time (after spending the night with Wade's parents on Friday). He was so, so sad and confused and couldn't stop crying and it broke my heart into a million trillion pieces. I tried to distract him by asking him what made him happy that day, and he replied through crocodile tears, "Nothing!" (Insert sad emoticon here.) Seriously, I had been envisioning him being so excited about his new room and his new playroom, and this totally caught me off guard.

6. But thankfully, to quote Ryan Gosling in The Notebook, Davis has "like a two-second rebound rate" and after getting his initial meltdown out of the way, he has been his usual cheery self ever since.

7. He also started his new school yesterday and thankfully he had a great day! I spent a little time in mourning because it's not exactly like our old school and because we know zero people there... but as long as Davis is happy there, I'll be ok.

8. I have no pictures of the house to share yet because ain't nobody got time for that... and we're not totally unpacked yet anyway.

9. I owe many, many thanks to our family (and Brian's!) for helping us get situated and give our house the TLC it needed right off the bat. If not for all of them, I would be hiding in a closet on the floor in the fetal position shoving Reese's peanut butter cups in my mouth.

10. I'm tired. So that's all you get.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Goodbye, house

Goodbye, house.

Goodbye to the first home we ever owned.

Goodbye to the place where we brought both of our babies home from the hospital.

Goodbye to the window where they watched and waited for Daddy to come home each night.

Goodbye to the stairs on which they learned to climb.

Goodbye to the nursery where we rocked them to sleep.

Goodbye to the backyard where our sweet dog rests in peace. 

Goodbye to the kitchen where so much of our time was spent.

Goodbye to the playroom where hours were spent playing.

Goodbye to the place where countless laughs were shared and countless tears were shed.

Goodbye, house. Thank you for being good to us.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Tomorrow, bright and early

A few days after we found out we were moving, we headed to the bookstore to find a book for Davis to help explain the upcoming events to him a little better. We chose The Berenstain Bears' Moving Day and we have read it many times over the past couple of months. It's a little longer than I have the patience for sometimes, but it really is the perfect book for our situation.

These 2 pages in particular have really hit home for me this week:

In case you are reading this on your phone and the text is too small, it says:
"And what about my friends?" asked Brother. "We can't put them in a box and take them along!"
"That's true," said Mama, lifting Brother onto her lap. "You'll be leaving your friends behind. Papa and I will, too. That's what happens when you move. But you can keep in touch with them. You can write, even visit, perhaps. And besides, you can make lots of new friends."
"When are we going to move?" Brother wanted to know.
"Tomorrow, bright and early," Mama told him. "The moving bears will be here first thing in the morning."
I feel you, Brother. I'm apprehensive about leaving our friends, too, and I wish we could put them in a box and take them along. But your mama is right: we can still keep in touch with old friends while also making new ones. One way or another, those movers are showing up at our house tomorrow, bright and early. Here goes nothing!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Distracted by Davis

Instead of talking about The Big Move some more today, let's talk about some of Davis's recent amusing behavior, shall we?

We saw a man whose arms were covered in tattoos and he said to me, "Mommy, that man has a lot of stamps!"

I told him that Avery's birthday was coming up and asked him what he was going to get her for a gift. Without skipping a beat, he responded very enthusiastically, "A toy robot for ME!!!"

They sing a song at school that ends in, "Amen, amen" (pronounced ah-men, ah-men). When he sings it, he ends it with, "Awww, man! Awww, man!"

After a visit at school from the local fire department last week (for educational purposes; there was no actual fire), he came home and told me, "When there is a fire, you call 1-9-9!" #nailedit

The kid is hungry all the time. ALL THE TIME. He eats breakfast at 7am and is asking for a snack by 8am. After he finishes a meal, he almost always follows it up with a smirk and his own tagline, courtesy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar: "But I'm stiiiill hungry!"

With all the talk we've been doing about selling/buying houses, he often whines out of nowhere, "I really want to buy a new house!" He'll be pleasantly surprised on Friday when he realizes we already have!

Apparently his teacher is working with them on writing their names, because he cranked this out a couple of nights ago. Sure, it's mostly illegible, but you can see it, right?!