ranch life

What’s Up Wednesday {June 2021}

What We’re Eating…

Monday– sweet and spicy chicken with fried rice

Tuesday– lasagna (PW recipe- it’s the best!)

Wednesday– leftover lasagna

Thursday– grilled sweet Chile chicken over spring mix salads

Friday-Sunday– King Ranch chicken with Spanish rice (I’m on a quest to conquer it) for Friday night, and then hot dogs, pot roast with carrots and potatoes and a few other meals thrown in depending what we end up doing this weekend!

What I’m Reminiscing About…

Not reminiscing per se, but Steven’s parents asked if they could take the kids for the week and I feel so lost without them! They’ve been away from us before, but like Steven said Sunday night, this just feels different. While I know it’s good for everyone to get a break and for them to spend time with family, it seems like we just miss them a little more than we thought we would. I’ll be so excited to get them back this weekend! And they are living their best life at Gran and Bud’s, so I’m not sure they miss us or will be as excited to come home as we are to get them, haha!

What I’m Loving…

I haven’t bought that much lately, but here are a few things I have loved recently–

  • Filter #4 Reusable Coffee Filter– I’m probably the last person on the planet to realize I could get a washable reusable coffee filter instead of buying disposables 100 at a time, but here we are. We have a Ninja, so this #4 cone filter fits perfectly, and I never have to run out of or worry about buying coffee filters ever again. That’s $12 well spent 😉
  • Straw Ponytail Bow Visor– right before our lake trip, somebody I follow on Instagram linked a large visor with a cute bow in the back that is perfect for when you have a bun or ponytail instead of a regular hat. I ordered one for our trip and I really like it! My favorite part is that you can have your hair up without still having it on your neck like it is with a ball cap or my large straw hat. My husband tells me I look like I’m wearing a lamp shade and he’s a little bit not wrong, but I still love it.
  • The Bible Recap by Tara Leigh Cobble– I started The Bible Recap on January 1, and relied on the podcasts for the first five months. I like the podcasts, but I got behind on my reading, and felt like I could catch up faster with the book instead of listening through hours of backlogged podcast episodes, even though they are really short. I may try to listen some because I do really like her verbal explanations, but the book is helping me catch up in the mean time. Also- highly recommend this if you are ever interested in reading through the Bible in a year and are unsure how to go about it!
  • Skylight 12″ Non-Stick Wok– I actually got this last week as an early birthday gift from my sister-in-law (apparently 2021 is the year we gifted each other skillets for our birthdays. This is your thirties, I guess? Haha!). I’ve used it so far to make tortilla chips, and then our fried rice and I love it so far!

What I’ve Been Up To…

We got the kids a blow up pool for the summer and spent Memorial Day weekend smoking ribs on the Traeger and letting these goobers swim in the front yard. They had so much fun!

We had a great trip to the lake with Steven’s family earlier this month! I’m planning to do a full post about it sometime soon once I get all my pictures together, but we had a lot of fun! (Despite Henry’s face, haha!)

We celebrated our favorite dad on Father’s Day with t-shirts about dad, one of his favorite meals (blackened catfish), and a card that Bebe helped the kids make.

We also had a little party with all of Steven’s co-fellows to celebrate the end of the year and the 3 graduating. We love the fellows in the class above Steven and while we are excited to now be in our last year, it is bittersweet because are so sad to see that class go! One family has a little girl Livy’s age and a little boy Henry’s age and they were like their first friends, so it’s especially sad to lose them. But we’ll stay friends and hopefully see them again soon! Henry’s favorite part of the party was driving this car, but he ended up off the seat and under the car at some point, haha! No drinking {milk} and driving, kids! 😉

Steven and I dropped kids at my parents a few times this month and went to do ranch chores just the two of us and it was pretty fun for chore dates, haha! Goes to show anything is fun when you’re with the right crowd! 😉

What I’ve Been Working On…

Just, you know, adulting. We have been working on our budget lately, which has led to us working on our eating at home and cooking skills, which has also led to us working on working out more consistently (I’m on a 12 day Peloton streak, y’all. Fingers crossed I can keep this rolling as long as possible!), and in getting up earlier to do that, that led to me being better with my quiet/reading time in the early morning and working on getting caught back up with The Bible Recap. We are in process of working on decluttering our house to get ready to put it on the market here in the next 6-8 months as well. Big adult energy going on over here and it’s been good!

One of the perks of being up early is this little one has been joining me for breakfast while I do my Bible Recap reading. I’ll take quiet breakfast with her any day! 🙂

What I’m Excited About…

Not anything in particular! Everything is pretty good around here! (But also maybe the premiere of Ted Lasso season 2 next month? On my birthday!)

What I’m Watching/ Reading…

Watching wise, we don’t really have a show we are watching or anything right now. Over the weekend, we watched the new Kevin Hart movie on Netflix, Fatherhood. Woof, it’s a kick in the feels, y’all. Honestly, I thought he did a great job, and I enjoyed it way more than his usual goofy stuff. Steven watched it before me and accurately assessed that I would cry within the first 15 minutes. I kind of loved and hated that he knew me well enough to make that assessment, haha! But he was right!

And bringing in some BIG BOOK READING ENERGY, y’all- I read 9 books this month. Some I liked more than others, but I’d say they were all pretty good! (this right here is the power of putting time limits on social media apps. I’m spending WAY more time reading when I didn’t think I had any extra time to read not that long ago. Making reading my “only” option has drastically increased my reading! And having a week of vacation in there didn’t hurt either 😉 )

  • The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle by Stuart Turton– this one took a little while to get through, but it was pretty good (6-7/10). It is about a man who wakes up as 8 different people on the same day at a country estate that must figure out who killed Evelyn Hardcastle before midnight. It had some interesting twists and turns, and I don’t know how I feel about the ending, but it was a creative premise for sure!
  • The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand– I have become a low key Elin Hilderbrand fan thanks to Shay Shull and this is one of her tops for me (8/10). It had more of a mystery element- in the middle of preparing for a wedding on Nantucket, the maid of honor is found dead washed up on the beach and several members of the wedding are suspects. It definitely had some surprises and I really enjoyed it!
  • The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle– this plays off the idea of who you would invite to dinner if you could have dinner with any five people. The protagonist ends up with her five people (her BFF, her love, her dad, her old college professor, and Audrey Hepburn) at dinner for her birthday, and due to the fact that some are unknowledgeable about the protagonist’s life, she, her BFF, and her love basically recount her life’s story up until that point, and hash out some grievances that are aired along the way. I’d say this is a 6/10 for me. It was a decent story, but it was just out there enough that I wanted more explanation about how this was happening (some dinner attendees are obviously no longer living, so this can’t be a real dinner). Normally I’m pretty go with the flow as far as accepting a reality as its given in situations like that, but I just couldn’t quite suspend belief enough for the glaring question of how to not be distracting.
  • The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth– let me start this with saying that Sally Hepworth continues to completely BLOW MY MIND. I’m such a fan of hers, and I knew I would love this, but I had no idea how much until I’d started and finished it in less than 18 hours. It is SO GOOD. (9.9/10) (I just can’t give a perfect score, right? Gotta leave a little room? But it’s about as close to perfect as you can get.) My plan was to take this to the lake to read, but I finished it before we even left on accident, haha
  • American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins– so, this one was tough for me on a couple levels. Obviously, we live in Texas, so the border crisis and illegal immigration is something we deal with here and I was honestly very hesitant to read this because I wasn’t sure how I would feel about it, but this is such a beautiful, absolutely heartbreaking story that I’m so glad I read it. It tells the story of Lydia, who must escape the cartel with her young son after they murder her entire family for a story written by her journalist husband in Acapulco, Mexico. They must figure out how to get to the United States at all costs because it is the only place they will be safe and not hunted by the cartel, who has reach everywhere in Mexico. There are some other twists and turns that make it feel very realistic and even more heartbreaking. I’d give it a 9/10. It took me all week at the lake to read– it’s pretty long, but I was absolutely hooked from the first page on.
  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena– this is probably the most meh of all to me- I’d say a 4-5/10 in my opinion. Maybe it’s because I was still coming down from Sally Hepworth truly blowing my mind that this felt pretty pedestrian in comparison? This is about a couple whose baby is abducted from her crib in the night while they are next door at the neighbors’ for dinner, and they try to figure out who would take the baby and why. The main detective proposes a theory very early on as to what happened that basically ends up being correct, so it felt like it drug on forever after that. There were a few other surprises along the way, and I finished it just because I have a hard time not finishing books after I start, but I wouldn’t necessarily say this is worth anyone’s time over any of the others this month.
  • The Thursday Murder Club by Richard Osman– okay, this might be tied with The Good Sister for my fave of the month- this was SO cute!! The Thursday Murder Club is a group of retirees at a retirement village that get together on Thursdays to review cold case files of unsolved murders for fun. When the developers of their retirement village are murdered, the club jumps in to help solve the real life mysteries right in front of them. This is surprisingly funny and light hearted for murder investigations, and I really loved it! The characters are really endearing, and the plot was surprising and creative. I would LOVE this to be TV series, but until someone does that, I guess I’ll settle for waiting for the sequel out in the fall 😉 (9.9/10)
  • The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand– another Hilderbrand that was really good! This is the story of twins Tabitha and Harper who live on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard respectively and have been estranged for years. They are brought back together after their father dies, and the following series of events works to reunite them as they try to help each other sort out their lives. I really liked this one, but the ending was just not quite what I wanted. I guess after all the build up, I wanted more closure? I don’t know, it just felt abrupt and it disappointed me. But still worth reading! (7/10)
  • It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover– so, I just finished this Monday, and I’m so unsure how I feel about it. Is it possible to love and hate a book all at once? I loved it because it was so, so well written and I was pretty engrossed from the first chapter or so, but I hated it because the subject matter is so hard and rough, and I wasn’t prepared for it to be that serious. It’s one of those sneaky fiction books that makes you really think, when you don’t really anticipate that you have to think a lot when it’s fiction, if that makes sense? I’d say 8.5/10, but be prepared that it’s not lighthearted or fun, but is a really good book.

What I’m Listening To…

I don’t really know of anything in particular. I like Thomas Rhett’s new album- Country Again (Side A), and the songs John Mayer has released so far of Sob Rock.

What I’m Wearing…

I had Super Cash at Old Navy at the beginning of the month, and I ordered stuff for the kids (as usual), but grabbed a few things for myself. I’ve purged a lot (A LOT) from my wardrobe over the last several months and have been hesitant to add new things, but I’m trying to replace with more timeless, classic things, or more adult/mom casual pieces that are just easy to put together and wear.

I grabbed this pair of jeans because all my jeans are literally 10+ years old. They’re all in good condition and fit fine, but I thought it might be time for a new pair, and I was wanting a pair that looked more slim and trim. All of my current pairs are rolled at the bottom because they’re too long and it looks kinda busy, and I think it makes me look shorter. I like these because they are skinny, but aren’t super tight, and they are a little high waisted (it calls them mid rise, but they hit right at my belly button, so they feel pretty high). These are the regular length, and I do have them rolled under a few inches (instead of up on top like I usually do), so they look more streamlined (which begs the question if I should have just taken my old jeans and rolled them under instead… may have to try that!). They are true to size, maybe a little big? (I’m in a 2, and they are a little baggy/have a LOT of stretch, so I would potentially get a 0 next time, and maybe the petite or short length?)

I liked these two dresses because they are casual, so easy to throw on for summer get togethers or other times when it’s going to be hot but shorts seem so tight, haha 😉 The camo is like a t-shirt dress; it’s a little shorter and less fitted, but very comfy. The blue/white stripe has elastic at the waist, so it creates the illusion of more definition; it’s a little longer and just as comfy. True to size, I’m in an XS in both, but I hang dry both because I feel like Old Navy has a history of shrinking, at least with the kids’ clothes.

What I’m Doing This Weekend…

We are getting our kids back from their week with Gran and Bud on Saturday! We both have Monday off, so I’m sure we’ll end up with something on the Traeger! Also, Amos went in today to get neutered and have his blind eye removed, so we’ll be making sure he’s recovering well. As of this afternoon, it’s no more oversized fish eye!

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month…

July is shaping up to be busy! We are having a welcome brunch and then launching our new semester teaching with the Francis Chan study, You and Me Forever, for our Side By Side group. Livy is doing the July session of summer dance, and then both kids have swim lessons at the end of the month. July 1 is the start of the medical new year, so as of tomorrow, it is officially our 3rd (and LAST!) year of GI fellowship! The clock is officially ticking until attending life!

What Else is New…

I always like to end with a funny, so here is this month’s… I’m not sure what it says about me as a mom that I took the time out of my day to make this, but it has made me laugh so much, so I think it was worth it 😉 Henry’s side teeth on the top came in before the two middle top, so when one of the middles started coming it, it was so much shorter than the sides and kinda looks like he chipped a tooth. I’ve been looking at him for weeks trying to figure out who he looked like because that vibe kinda looked familiar and then one day it hit me- and here we are 😉

Happy July, y’all! 🙂

2 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday {June 2021}

  1. I like how one thing (budgeting) snowballed to a bunch of other good things (cooking at home, working out, etc). I need some of that energy!!! And yes, I love when my kids are away but then I end up missing them so much. It’s so weird being a parent with those simultaneous feelings…

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