Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Roommates, Hope, Pastrix, and Rest...

The last fourteen days have been life giving. I believe we swing in and out of seasons. Seasons of ease and then seasons of hardship. Seasons of sorrow and seasons of happiness. Seasons of mundane and seasons of excitement. Seasons of plenty and seasons of want. And in all this crazy cycle of seasons may we (I) learn to seek joy and gratitude- always. Some seasons are easier then others to be grateful and at ease; the last two weeks have brought both and I needed that in my life.

A couple weeks ago I gathered with my roommates from college. We try to do this once or twice a year. Some years we have big plans and exciting places we go  and other years we gather at each others houses and stay close to home cooked food and local entertainment. This year was a stay at home year. With two roomies with child, one feeding a tiny babe, and one in Africa it was good to be close to 'home.' I flew in from Houston and we all gathered in Fort Worth where two of these ladies live across the street from one another (how cool is that!?). Being at 'home' meant late nights in pjs talking about life and babies and marriage and joys and struggles. It meant mom and pop restaurants and homemade cookies. It meant baby snuggles and belly rubbing (feeling a baby inside the tummy is still one of the coolest things ever). It meant connecting with these friends on their home turf and I can think of few things as comforting as being welcomed into the home of someone you love. These girls mean a lot to me and I came back to Houston rested and full. (Libby- you were missed, dearly!)

One sad spot in our last couple weeks has been Hope and her major mouth surgery. We have been going to the same vet for over 6 years and every year we would go Hope got a clean bill of health- teeth and all. This year I decided to switch vets due to monetary reasons and for something new. Let's just say we did not end up saving any money- apparently Hope had awful gum and teeth issues. It was sad and frustrating and expensive. She had NINE teeth pulled- are you kidding me?! Poor dog and how did the other vet not catch this?! Anyways- we are on the other side of it and Hope has done great. I love the new vet and Hope is getting great care. Cora was a rock star with Hope and did not leave her side when we got home after the surgery. Their little friendship melts my heart. 

Saturday I spent the day with these lovely ladies pictured above. It was a great day spent listening to Nadia Bolz-Weber. She wrote 'Pastrix' and, for me, it was a very good, growth inducing read. Her ability to story tell and share with authentic clarity is a needed voice. I appreciated her words and I am still munching on them today. My spirit and heart were challenged- I hope to put actions into some of my thinking soon. 

And this cute little cottage housed the Sargent's for the last two days. Steve, Cora, and I enjoyed a mini getaway to East Texas and the trip could not have been more timely. Getting out of the city was needed and it was good to plan purposeful rest- or as much rest as you can get with a 2 year old:). We spent Monday in Lufkin at a small, quaint zoo then took in the cute downtown area. We cooked all our meals in our cottage and Steve and I had nights to ourselves as Cora slept in her own room. Since having a baby our vacationing has change in all the right ways. Travel is important to us- near and far. I am thankful for the means to have this two night get away. 

It's good to practice self-care and I am glad I have gotten to practice so much the last two weeks. Where are you creating space for self-care in your daily life?

Sunday, March 16, 2014

And Time Marches On...

As most of you know time flies the older you get. I look at this blog and I can't even believe I have not posted since the beginning of November. Much has happened since the last time I posted and much has stayed the same. Since so much time has elapsed I won't fill you in on every detail, but I will give you highlights.

Our little family of three went on an amazing trip to North Carolina in October. If you have never been you must go soon! I grew up going to the Rocky Mountains and had never been to the Smokey's. I guess I assumed they would be the same- I was wrong. This area of the country has a beauty all its own and I can't believe it took me so long to get over there. Cora (like aways) was the perfect travel companion and we filled our days with hiking, exploring small towns, and taking in the local culture. We went to Santa Land, a leaf/art festival, cruised the Blueridge Parkway, hiked Chimney Rock State Park (think Last of the Mohicans), and took a train ride to the Great Pumpkin Patch. And these are just a few of the things! We rented a small cabin in the middle of nowhere for the week and the beauty around us was just about indescribable. It was the perfect get away for our family.

This year Thanksgiving was spent in Granbury with Steve's side of the family. Good food, fun games, and an early Sargent Christmas was enjoyed by all. On our last day in town Steve and I ran the Jingle Jog 5k. It was a blast- I love doing 5k's with Steve:).

December was full and crazy like every other December of my life. The season was enhanced by having a two year old in the house and everything just felt more alive for me. We do Elf on the Shelf in our house and it was a blast to wake up with Cora each morning to hunt down Elfina. Cora rocked her Santa Clause picture (which kinda surprised us) and we enjoyed parties with our small group and youth group. My family came in for Christmas and it was fun to christen our new home with such a big celebration with people I love. 

And let's not forget what happened five days before Christmas- our little girl turned two! We celebrated with the cutest Pajama and Pancake party and of course I went all out for the event. Lavender and Gray were the colors of choice and the hot, fresh pancakes had all the wonderful toppings and syrups any kid could ask for. We read 'If You Give a Pig a Pancake' to all the kids before breakfast and laid hands on Cora for a blessing before everyone left. It was the perfect day celebrating our favorite little girl. On her actually birthday we went to Mission Burrito with friends and had cake- it was awesome.

Steve totally surprised me for our anniversary this year and flew us down for three nights and four days in South Padre. It was incredible and I was blown away by the surprise. Our hotel was right on the beach and had a board walk to the ocean. It was very cold while we were there but that did not detour us from having a memorable ninth anniversary. Good food, good wine, two movies, visited a sea turtle sanctuary, and lots of resting. It was perfect.

January started off with a bang- I decided to go ahead and jump on the potty training bang wagon. Overall Cora has done awesome but it sure has been a process. We are now at a place where accidents are few and far between and I can see light at the end of the tunnel. I'm proud of my girl and this new stage she is mastering. 

Cora never ceases to amaze me. I am learning so much about myself and what it means to sacrifice daily for another. Each day she grows in independence and it is a beautiful (and sometimes frustrating) thing to watch and partake in. Cora is extremely verbal and all over the place active. Her favorite show to watch is Curious George and she sleeps with a blue elephant named Elle and white cat named Anna. She can sing the whole Frozen sound track and her favorite books are the Skippyjon Jones series. Her one day preschool is a good break in our routine each week and Cora's dance class in my highlight each Wednesday. Watching this little spirit dance is just beautiful. She would eat mac and cheese all day if I let her and the girl can color for hours if you offer it to her. Her hair becomes blonder by the day while mine gets darker by the year. We look different but have so many of the same personality quirks. I am glad she is mine- I am a blessed women.

And the last big event: Cora entered her owl radio in her first radio competition. Every year Jim and Beverly come down for the Houston Radio Convention and each year we go with them. This year we thought it would be fun to enter Cora's owl radio in the mix. Cora won second place in her event and was the overall new contestant winner. Her two ribbons are a big deal in our house and it was a fun memory to share with her Poppy. And for the record the owl really works- one eye is the sound dial and the other eye is the tuner. This award winning radio sits proudly in our living room. 

So there are some small tidbits from the last 5 months. I am setting a new goal of trying to blog once a week. I miss this outlet of writing and sharing and cataloging. 

Remember to wear your green tomorrow...

Friday, November 15, 2013

The September Update...

So does anyone even read this things any more;)? Y'all, I am conflicted. I do not know if I should keep this thing going or not. I feel I have really transitioned into using Instagram for updating with pictures. BUT I have had this blog for 8 and half years- that's a lot to let go. I just do not know... so alas, here I am updating about September mid-Novermeber. Oh well- it will be fun to remember...

Here we are drafting for the Sargent Family Fantasy Football League. It's a fun thing we do every year. I usually have no idea what I am doing and end up coming in last. We all throw in 5 bucks and then the winner gets to decide where the money is donated to. It's fun and for the record I am winning in my division so far this year. I have some guy named Drew Brees on my team and he apparently is really good;). Also, the name of my team is 'winning this year', just trying to get all I can going in my direction so I can at least come in second to last. I'll keep you posted.

The first week of September on one of Steve's days off we took a day long trip to Galveston. All the crowds had left for the summer. It was a splendid day just the three of us.

Love this man...

Cora loved the boogie board and insisted on riding it laying down. It was adorable.

Cora loved the water and had a hard time when we left. She wanted to stay longer and play in the water more. I get it Cora, I get it. The sun is always good therapy for me. 

September included some good meals with our small group. Above you will see chicken and waffle night. I always like looking down the long table and seeing all my friends eating and laughing and sharing life. 

First time Cora found her way into my lipstick. The damage was small and we all had a good laugh.

Above you will see the only picture taken on our trip to Abilene for Summit this year. We always look forward to going to Summit and this year was no different. In fact, I spoke during one of the class sessions. It was an awesome opportunity and I can now mark that item off my speaking bucket list. BUT this year was quite different- Steve got the stomach bug. Cora and I stayed far away but that was hard in a small hotel room. And he got it early in the trip so the trip was dominated with not feeling well. I got a very mid case- not throwing up just awful stomach pain the evening after I spoke. Above we are trying to eat at Abi Haus, a cool new restaurant in town. We ended up just nibbling on food then going to bed early. Thankfully Cora was spared.

It rained a lot in September so my rain boots where used a lot by both me and Cora;).

Steve and I usually go to a couple Inprint series book reading each year here in Houston. The author of The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini, kicked off the new season. He read a chapter out of his latest novel then had a Q&A. It was a wonderful date night. Oh, I got my book signed too. Night made!

Below you will see this silly little cat that kept finding its way into our house. Some of our neighbors feed ALL the cats in the surround area. At times I felt like we had hundreds of cats around our house. This one in particular really took a liking to us. Cora was especially excited. 

Below you will see us taking out last stroll with our beloved jogging strolled. We sold it on Craigslist the next day. Our little townhouse just did not have the space. I have many fond memories of jogging with Cora that first year of her life in that blue strolled. I am kinda missing it right now with the Bayou being so close to jog on, but the YMCA is our place of exercise right now. Thanks for all the jogs and self-care blue jogging strolled. Hope your new owner is using you as much as we did!

I really hope to get around to October sooner rather than later. September was dominated by house hunting. I felt like that is what a lot of spare time went to, hence few pictures. I am not going to lie- buying a house was/is super challenging. It was an emotional roller coaster. Hope to post more of our story soon.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

I'm Here- I Promise...

Between an AWESOME trip to North Carolina and BUYING our first HOME we have been quite busy here in our world. I promise to update soon- when ever that may be for me. Just know we are happy, busy, and covered on paint over here in Houston.

Lots of pictures and update coming soon...

Saturday, September 07, 2013

The August Update...

We had a great August. Much slower. More time to be as a family. Less travel. More time to workout. More time to cook meals and plan evenings together. It was a good month. On that note, not too many pictures to share other than just day to day happenings.

It is ridiculously hot in Houston right now. BUT we did get up early some mornings and make a trip out to the park before it got too hot. Doesn't she look big on the tire swing?! She loved it:)

The first two week of August were spent in swimming lesson. Cora rocked it.

Y'all- she is part fish, I promise! By the end of the two weeks she was kicking across the pool on a noodle by herself. I was a proud momma. I hope to be able to put her into actual lessons next year and not just a Mommy and Me class. 

The toy hunts were her favorite and the girl has no fear when it comes to water- which is good and stressful all at the same time. I have to watch her like a hawk when we get around water. Investing in some good lessons would be totally worth it for us.

The above picture cracks me up- I love it. I promise she was more excited than the picture lets on upon completion of her lessons.

Cora is really into bugs right now- and cars, the girl loves cars. These bugs are constantly moved all over our house. I find them in my bed, in my shoes, in cabinets, and laundry hampers. I am constantly stepping on them and Cora enjoys piling them in her milk truck and pulling them all over the house. I love it...

And if she is not playing with bugs and cars she is either reading or asking to color. How did I get such a cool daughter;)! She is also getting into movies. Her favorites are Cars, 101 Dalmatians, Winnie the Pooh, and Finding Nemo. I love watching movies with her- mainly because she cuddles with me on the couch.

Above is a scene I see several times a day. Cora sitting on her Daddy's lap reading. My heart melts a little each time a see this. I can not even count how many pictures I have of this girl reading. 

And- probably the biggest news of the month- Cora started pre-school! She goes one day a week at a church near our house. It is perfect for her and several of my friends have their kids in the same school. 

Her nap mat roles out into a butterfly and it has her name embroidered on the bottom of the tail. She looks so cute wearing it and sort of threw a fit when she had to take it off.

Her first day of school outfit included a grey tunic shirt with black hearts and neon orange cap sleeves. Her black leggings had a neon orange heart on one leg and the outfit was topped off with silver Toms and a cute grey flower burette. It was fun to pick out a first day of school outfit for her:). She is doing great in her class. She walked right in and acted like she owned the place when I dropped her off. Such an independent girl. And how am I doing- I LOVE my free Wednesdays (you can see where Cora gets her independent streak)!

The last weekend of the month was spent in Granbury with Steve's parents. It was good to get away for a couple days and spend time out in the country away from noise and lights and business. We gathered with lots of family from Steve's mother's side of the family for the Green family reunion. Above you will see Cora petting a Hopper (what she calls bugs) in her Poppy's hands. I love her eyelashes in this picture. 

It was fun to catch up with family and Cora was not lacking with playmates for the weekend. She was one of the younger kids there so everyone wanted to play with her. It was fun to watch. 

Steve's dad has created an old fashion ice cream parlor in a room off the living area. It's pretty awesome. Above you will see his dad, Jim, dressed in this ice-cream man outfit. Everyone loved it. And my old fashion root beer float was not too bad either.

And now September is upon us. I long for cooler weather, pumpkin everything, burning apple spice candles, and tunics, tights, and boots. But I live in Houston, TX- I will have to wait until Decemeber to enjoy those things in season:). In the meantime I will focus on trying not to melt and enjoy keeping my tan.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A Church Bridal Room Re-Do...

We do not have very many weddings at our church. One of the main reasons (I believe): more and more people are getting married in non-church venues/destination weddings (either is great with me!). BUT our church did have a couple wedding things this summer so I thought it was time to update the church bridal room- or really create a church bridal room. I love a good decoration project so I started this project back in January. I asked all the married members of our church to send me a wedding picture with their wedding date.

I went to Hobby Lobby and bought wooden plaques to fit 5x7 pictures. I sprayed painted the plaques an avocado green and a leather brown- both colors bought at Hobby Lobby. This part took the longest and required lots and lots and lots of spray paint. So be prepared to buy a good amount of spray paint- I was naive in this area. And on a side note- doing an outside project in Houston in the summer is HOT. You think I would know that by now, I've been here over 6 years...

After all the plaques were painted and drying I Modge Podged the pictures on the plaques. I choose spray Modge Podge- it worked fabulous and can be found at Hobby Lobby. (Disclaimer: now that the pictures have been up for about a month of so some are coming off the plaques. I am using traditional Modge Podge to correct the issue on those plaques- works like a charm.)

The finished project. I took a good old fashion Sharpie and wrote the names and dates on the painted and Modge Podged plaques. Black for the green and silver for the brown. I bought picture hangers and hammered them into the back for hanging purposes- easy and can be purchased at Hobby Lobby. (I love Steve and I's wedding pictures... what a great day!)

Overall the room was simple and done on a tight budget. I used the Song of Sol. 3:4 verse for the wall above the couch. I ordered the vinyl off Etsy. It was nice to have help putting it up.

The mirrors were custom made by one of the ministers (You're awesome Steve Sandifer) and then he put in track lighting above the mirrors. The room was painted a warm khaki- picked out at Sherwin Williams. 

I wanted the room to be simple with lots of room for the bride and bridal party to spread out, so the only pieces of furniture that were used was a dark brown chest of draws and a dark brown couch- both donated. 

The picture wall turned out awesome! I added a couple mirrors, a love sign, and an '&' for decor purposes. 

Collecting pictures was the neatest part of the whole project (thanks Brandy for the idea!). We had pictures dating back to 1930 and as recent as 2012. It will be fun to add to as members get married or join our family at Southwest Central.

All the wording turned out lovely. I do wish the above verse was a bit bigger and bolder but I love it all the same.

I also made a special place for the dress. I had the same Etsy designer make "The Dress" and found the hook at Hobby Lobby. It's a cute, unique touch to the room.

And the last touch was a rug to tie in all the colors. The carpet is blue and a bit dated but I think the rug just pulls the whole room together beautifully.

The rug was found at Target and on sale. Target has an awesome selection of rugs in case you are in need of a cute, inexpensive rug.

So there you have it- a bridal room redo. I had a blast with the project and I am already itching to start my next church project (cookbook anyone?!). I hope to maybe add another mirror behind the door with a side table to offer more room for girls to get ready, but I am in no hurry with that. The room is awesome as is right now. 

Let me know if you need a church to get married in- I here SWC has a great room for the bride!