ranch life

What’s Up Wednesday {March 2021}

Hey, friends!! Long time, no talk! I started a post just about every month in between now and the last time I posted and could just never get it completely finished before the link-up day, but miracle of miracles, it’s happened this month! If I miss several months, I usually try to catch back up here, but with 6 months in between, I just decided to cut my losses and keep it relatively recent. Here we go!

What We’re Eating…

Steven is rotating at BUMC in Dallas on the liver transplant service for last week and this week, so we’ve had a lot of nuggets, pizza, and park picnics. 🙂

What I’m Reminiscing About…

Earlier this month, we celebrated 5 years of marriage!

We celebrated with a long weekend to Pawhuska, OK, one of our favorite places. We ate tons of good food (mainly at the PW restaurants in Pawhuska, but had one AMAZING steak at a restaurant called The Bluestone in Tulsa) and shopped, and just had fun just the two of us! Gran and Bud took care of everyone at home and we decided we needed more trips with just us, haha!

We stayed in The Cottage Relatively Near the Prairie and it was PERFECT for the two of us. If you have a bigger group, I’d definitely recommend The Farmhouse Relatively Near the Prairie next door. Both were immaculate, gorgeous, and super close to downtown Pawhuska!

What I’m Loving…

Top 3 Things I’ve Bought Recently that I Love:

1.Universal Thread Triple Compartment Tote: Now that my littles are older and we are typically traveling on the weekends, there seems like more I need to carry with me consistently, and my old bag always seemed like it was overflowing and about to lose something any minute. This has three compartments- 2 LARGE snap compartments on the sides and one smaller zip compartment in the middle and I can carry EVERYTHING plus some without a separate diaper bag and without feeling like I’m missing or sacrificing anything. This is everything I have in it right now to give you an idea of how much it will hold:

  • Side Compartment: Plum Paper planner (7″x9″ in a leather folio) (which I LOVE, by the way, but that’s a different conversation for a different day!), Bible study guide book, Kindle, Melissa and Doug Water Wow tablet, full size bottle of Tums, several packs of peanut butter crackers and Nature’s Valley Biscuits and mini tissues. There’s still a fair amount of room on this side.
  • Middle Zip Compartment: Michael Kors wallet/ wristlet, sunglasses in sunglasses case. There are smaller open pockets and one small zip pocket that I have several pens/pencils, chapstick/ lipsticks, and hand sanitizer in. I also typically keep my keys in here too, which have the large wristlet O ring on them.
  • Side Compartment: Petunia Pickle Bottom Take Along Kit (holds a changing pad, a few diapers, diaper cream, a pack of wipes, and a roll of Arm & Hammer bags) , a Vera Bradley large cosmetic bag with Livy’s travel toilet seat, a few spare pairs of undies, spare pair of pants, and a reusable ziploc bag for a wet bag in case of accident.

I put my phone in the small outside pocket so I’m not constantly digging for it. I don’t typically carry it with me, but I can also fit our 15″ MacBook Pro in one of the outside compartments, as well as my full Life Application study Bible if those are things you transport frequently.

2. Folding Travel Potty Seat: and speaking of Livy’s travel bag- somewhere in the potty training process, it dawned on me that basically anywhere we are except our house, grandparents’ houses, and the nanny’s house, we are not equipped for little booty to use the potty without her falling in. Cue something I never in a million years before having kids would have thought about- a travel potty seat. This one folds into quarters and fits on any toilet seat (round or oval) and is really inexpensive but seems to be good quality. Honestly, it has been a lifesaver since we travel back and forth to the ranch so much! So for the foreseeable future until that little booty grows quite a bit, looks like I’m carrying a toilet seat in my purse. #momlife

3. Lightning Connection SD Card Reader: Steven’s mom gifted us one of her older fancy cameras to take pictures of the kids and longhorns, so I grabbed this on Amazon to upload them directly to my phone instead of waiting to get home and connect the camera to our MacBook and then wait for iPhoto and the cloud to put them on my phone so I can upload them to Instagram, haha! #technology

What I’ve Been Up To…

March has been a little busy! We started the month getting Livy registered to start a 2 day/week preschool in the fall, and it turns out it’s almost easier to sell a kidney on the black market than get a spot at the best preschool. Only by the grace of the Lord and the giant winter snow storm in Texas did we manage to snag a spot because registration was delayed for three weeks due to the storm and then fixing subsequent damage, otherwise we would have missed it and been out of luck. We celebrated our anniversary with our weekend away, Steven came back to two weeks back to back on call, and now we’re wrapping up the month with him in Dallas.

What I’ve Been Working On…

Well, like I mentioned with the travel potty seat, we’ve got Livy about 90% potty trained. #hallelujah

She still has some accidents when she waits too long to tell us she needs to go, and we still use pull-ups for some naps and bedtime but she’s just about there. I ended up buying this book and then putting that plan into action to get us really over the hump of our unsuccessfulness and it worked well. I would recommend it for parents who have tried and are struggling (because it works!), but also for parents who are thinking about getting started because it gives a very good step-by-step plan and answers for contingencies, etc. The one situation not answered in that book is what to do when your child is playing with a new friend at the park and poops her pants and you get the opportunity to make a very abrupt and awkward exit home… Yes, that happened in real life. Yes, that happened in real life last week. Twice.

What I’m Excited About…

Little missy started dance class a few weeks ago! We were wanting to put her in some type of activity now that she’s three, but we have to wait another year for her to be in the youngest age bracket for soccer. Ballet/tap starts at 3, so we’ve got a tiny dancer in the house! She loves going (particularly with her tap shoes- I should have guessed she’d adore the ones that make a ton of noise…) and it’s been so fun to see her be like a real, normal, growing kid! (Not that she wasn’t ever normal or growing, but she still seemed like a baby this time last year when everything shut down so it’s weird to think she’s old enough to do real things now, haha!)

Her first recital is at the end of May and I’m preparing myself now for whatever solo she decides to bust out with instead of whatever she’s supposed to be doing. #lordbenear

What I’m Watching/ Reading…

As far as watching, I’ve been all in watching old episodes of The Great British Baking Show on Netflix by myself, and Steven and I been watching the show Vikings together. Vikings started several years ago on the History channel, but they are free on Amazon Prime- it’s a historical drama about the famous Viking Ragnar Lothbrok and his family. We were suuuuuper into it for the first 4ish seasons, but we are about halfway through the 5th season and struggling to finish (there are 6 seasons total). They’ve lost some of the previously main characters and it’s just not the same. Highly recommend the first 4 seasons if you enjoy historical dramas, but we’re inching to the finish line for the rest!

Now as far as reading, I feel like I had a little bit of a dry spell but then hit a few in a row the last month or so that were really good:

The Guest List by Lucy Foley– I actually read this one first even though she wrote it most recently and I liked it more than The Hunting Party (her previous book). I felt like it had more twists and turns and more crazy connections. I started it one night on our anniversary trip and could hardly put it down until I finished it two days later.

The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley– this one was written before The Guest List (they aren’t connected but have similar premises/ set ups), but I liked it a little less. Once you get to the end and the twists start unraveling, it seemed like everything came apart at the same time instead of gradually so the suspense fizzled. But still good!

Good Apple by Elizabeth Passarella– This is a memoir of a 40s-ish mom living in New York City with her family who describes herself as an evangelical Christian Democrat navigating living in a location where she’s a religious minority and being a political minority in her family (she was raised conservative in Tennessee). I was a little nervous about how she would approach talking about her transition from being conservative to liberal because I wasn’t interested in a lecture about how liberalism is better than conservativism, or being made to feel guilty or like garbage because we’re conservative, and I think she did it well. At the very least, she encourages readers to get to the root of why they believe what they believe (or really to just figure out what they believe in the first place), and look for politics that align with those beliefs rather than siding with a party and letting that decide what you believe or support (which I am HERE FOR). It was a good lesson in seeing people rather than sides and not dismissing ideas or people just because they aren’t on the same side as you. She is witty and a great story teller, and overall, I’d highly recommend it!

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand– Other than the Winter Stroll series, I’m pretty sure this is my first Elin Hilderbrand novel and it did NOT disappoint! I couldn’t put this down! This has me intrigued to read others of hers because it was a little meatier than I expected- for some reason I was expecting it to be very Hallmark Channel/ cheesy romance-ish, but it wasn’t! Very similar to Emily Giffin, but I’ve been disappointed in Emily Giffin’s last several novels so I may have to switch to the Elin Hilderbrand club for chick lit!

What I’m Listening To…

My Amazon Music app undoubtedly thinks I’m a psychopath because my “Your Mix” playlist (aka my most frequently played music) will flip from Mickey Mouse to Texas Country to worship music fast enough to give you whiplash. That’s basically what I’m listening to in nutshell- kids music with the kids, and Steven and I typically listen to Texas country or Christian music when we’re together/ driving. We may or may not have hit up a playlist called “Hip Hop for Jesus” while driving to the ranch a week or two ago. We have wide taste 😉

What I’m Wearing…

Well, from what I’ve gathered, it seems I am not the only one having trouble finding an Easter dress- several of my friends were asking on social media what everyone is wearing because it seems a year of pandemic has driven the fashion designers straight to Little House on the Prairie vibes. I’ve ordered this dress from The Blue Door Boutique because it seems like it might work and it’s in the right price range, so we’ll see. I have this one from Amazon (in the light pink color) in my cart as a back up if that one is a bust. {I ordered/ picked size small in both because I’m expecting them to be true to size} I’m not sure what it says about me and the last four years of my life that every dress I would be instantly interested in while looking online now would end up being maternity. I didn’t wear a lot of maternity even when I was pregnant but I’m definitely not planning to ever need maternity again, so I’m not sure why I was so attracted to these now, haha!

I ordered this dress for Livy for Easter and got Henry this shirt from Rugged Butts to match. I’ve ordered a handful of button-down shirts on sale from Rugged Butts over the last few months for Henry and they are SO CUTE and really good quality!

What I’m Doing This Weekend…

We are headed to the ranch for the day on Saturday to check on the girls and hopefully we’ll have another new calf! We’ve been anxiously awaiting our four expecting longhorns to give birth and we’ve got one calf now, but we’re still waiting for the other 3. One poor cow looks like she could pop any minute, and we both would have bet money that she would have calved first, but not yet. We are also having a small party (just our immediate families) for our niece and Henry’s birthdays! They are two weeks apart exactly in age, so we’re doing a little cake smash and lunch for them.

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month…

It’s Henry’s first birthday!! I can’t believe this handsome little munchkin baby angel is already a year old. I remember thinking Livy was so big, so old, so grown up at one, but he still seems like such a squishy baby and I love it. He can stay little as long as he wants (even though he’s rather large, much larger physically than she was at this age).

What Else is New…

Well, our girl turned 3 in mid February, and we had homemade donuts at home while we were snowed/ iced in in the middle of a historic blizzard on her actual birthday.

And then we did get together with family for a few little parties later on at the end of February. Aunt Shelby made Livy’s day with these big birthday balloons and she LOVED them.

At the end of March, I was able to get my second COVID vaccine, so now that Steven and I are both vaccinated, we decided it’s time for in-person church again. Henry got to have his first time in the nursery and at baby Bible class. The sweet ladies that teach the baby class always take pictures of their first time, so I had to pull out Livy’s pictures to compare! She was about eight months for her first time, and he is 11 months!

I didn’t realize how much I had missed in-person services until we were back, but getting myself and two kids ready and out was no joke, haha!

And just a few more random pics! Happy April, y’all!

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