ranch life

What’s Up Wednesday {September 2021}

What We’re Eating…

Monday– Cracker Barrel take out

Tuesday– ordered a pizza

Wednesday- Sunday– y’all, I’m just not sure about this week. The boys had a little stomach bug last week so we’ve got some tummies trying to readjust back to normal and meals seem like game time decisions, so we’ve been getting a lot of take out. 😬 hopefully the end of this week gets more back to normal.

What I’m Reminiscing About…

This time three years ago, we were hot on the fellowship interview trail! El Paso, New Orleans, Little Rock, Houston, (home), New Orleans again, and Dallas all in a seven week span from September through October. All to get our first choice- to stay right where we are! But we made some great memories and ate some great food! And now we’re at T-minus 8 months left of fellowship!

What I’m Loving…

  •  Wet ‘N Wild Tinted Hydrator– I have been on the search for a while for just a tinted moisturizer to wear on days I didn’t want to have a full face of make-up. Just a little something that was light and evens out my skin tone without being too heavy. I randomly grabbed this one day at the grocery store probably six months ago or so, and I’m on my second buy already because I love it so much. It is really thin coverage, and you don’t need much to cover your whole face. It is exactly what I wanted- light coverage that just evens and smooths everything out without being too heavy. It has hyaluronic acid and squalane, and I do think it has made a difference in my skin along with my other skin care changes, but the downside is that those ingredients do make you more sun sensitive, so I always make sure I wear my daily moisturizer with SPF underneath, or if it’s a day when I know I’ll be out in the sun more (like at the ranch or the park), I choose just a tinted SPF instead (I don’t like doing the tinted SPF on a daily basis because it feels more oily). You absolutely cannot beat the price and it lasts a few months if you aren’t using it daily. I stay on the lighter side of shades most of the time and I use the shade “porcelain”.
  • Munchkin Snack Catcher– I picked these up several weeks ago for a trip in an effort to give my hungry hungry hippo children some snacks with at least the vaguest hope that said snack wouldn’t wind up absolutely everywhere. Now, I don’t know how we’ve lived without them! Obviously they aren’t foolproof- they can still dump some snacks (we mainly have goldfish or pretzels) but it’s not nearly the all out dump that a regular bowl/plate/bag would have. I’ve gotten two sets- one for us to have at home, and one for Bebe’s house so she doesn’t have goldfish strung from here to eternity either. Plus, I love hearing Livy’s little voice say “snack catcher”!

I went into the grocery store for the first time in a while the other day to grab a few extra things outside my pick up order, and ran through the flower department since we were having friends over that night. They had the absolute best selection of hydrangeas and other pink flowers that looked so pretty together! They’ve just about bit the dust now, but I feel like this was maybe the best homemade arrangement I’ve put together and I love it so much!

And some of our friends that came over that night also brought beautiful flowers! We put them out on the table for Cinnamon Roll Sunday the next morning. They have fared slightly better than my hydrangea bouquet so I think we’ll get to keep them a little longer!

What I’ve Been Up To…

We’ve just been in the groove of going to school and activities and work. I recapped our first two weeks of September here.

Two weeks ago, Livy started U4 soccer!

Steven was scheduled for a procedure at 8 that morning with soccer starting at 8:30 so we were pretty sure he would miss, so he got Livy up, put all her gear on, played her some pump up music and gave her a pep talk before he left for the hospital. She was pretty shy for the first week, but she was more outgoing the second and I think she’ll keep opening up with each week! They had some scheduling issues over this past weekend that meant Steven couldn’t go again at the last minute, so we’re really excited that he can for sure go this weekend!

Other than that, we’ve just been hanging at home and having tea parties, and picnics, and soaking up the start of fall!

What I’ve Been Working On…

Livy has a handful of leotards both skirted and not skirted for dance class that are the typical leotards, just stretchy solid colors (all black or pink). But recently I was introduced to a few little specialty shops like Sweet Honey and Cheeky Plum that have the absolute cutest leotards with floral prints and ruffled skirts, or little ruffled sleeves, but I just cannot bring myself to pay $30/ each for them. I was looking closely at one the other day though, and thought, I really think I could make that, it doesn’t look that complicated. Plus, I had a stack of scrub pants that needing some mending so I had to pull out my sewing machine anyway. So, last Thursday after we dropped Livy at school, Henry and I made a run into Hobby Lobby and got a few stretch knits and a ruffle fabric to try it out. I actually tried to pick up a pattern from the pattern drawer at Hobby Lobby but they didn’t have one, so I had to get creative and find one online when I got home.

When Henry went down for his nap, I got to work, and after some trial and semi-error, I pretty much got the hang of it (it’s been a while since I’ve sewn something with a pattern) and made a prototype leotard. I didn’t love how it looked with the edges hemmed so I decided the next/good one was going to be lined so I didn’t have to hem it, and there were a few other things I decided to change slightly, so I was ready to go for the next one.

Livy helped me cut the next one out and I spent Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning sewing it up and it turned out pretty cute! She was so proud to try it on and model for me, and I can’t wait to work on more!

What I’m Excited About…

Cooler weather! Last week, ironically on the first day of fall, our temps started dropping and it’s been so great! We still get to the 90s in the afternoons, but it has been in the 60s-70s in the mornings and just feels more like fall.

What I’m Watching/ Reading…

We are so sad there are only two episodes of Ted Lasso left! The last episode had us literally rolling laughing multiple times, even the second time we watched it through. And the Great British Bake Off started back last Friday! Happy day!

I finished seven books this month, but I actually started two others that I didn’t care to finish. I got a few pages into The Turnout by Megan Abbott and just felt like it was going to be really dark and I wasn’t interested. I read several chapters of From The Corner of the Oval by Beck Dorey-Stein and decided it was better for me to cut it off. She was telling her story of life as a scribe for the office of the President during the Obama administration, and while hearing about her actual job was interesting, I just got tired of the veiled (and sometimes unveiled) insults to conservatives. I don’t believe everyone has to agree on everything, but I do believe that you can have your opinions without trashing the opinions of others, and that just got old enough that I didn’t care to finish. But here are the seven I did finish:

  • Yoga Pant Nation by Laurie Gelman– I sang my best Laurie Gelman praises last month with her first two in the Class Mom series, and this one didn’t disappoint! I highly recommend all three for just a good laugh and a good reminder that mom life is the craziest and best thing all at the same time. I’m anxiously awaiting the release of the fourth book now! (and bummed it’s not until July 2022!)
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid– Honestly? Honestly, I don’t know how I feel about this book. Had I known completely what it was about, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to read it. But I feel like the big “plot twist” or plot motivator was far along enough in the book that I felt obligated to finish it, even though I didn’t care for that twist/motivator. I didn’t dislike it, but I don’t think I really liked it, if I’m honest, at least not as much as Malibu Rising. I am on the fence about Taylor Jenkins Reid as an author- I blew through Malibu Rising and liked it, I read one page of Daisy Jones and the Six and said no, thank you, not for me. It took a while to read this one and I’m just neutral about it. I will probably try something of hers again in the future and we’ll see!
  • The Sixth Wedding by Elin Hilderbrand– so this is a little novella (she calls it 28 Summers 1.5 because it’s not the full sequel, but a little taste) was SO good, and TOO short!! I loved 28 Summers, and this was just enough to remind me how much I enjoyed it but not really any resolution to anything. It took maybe an hour to read, but a really good little taste to get me ready for the full sequel!
  • Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir– so, this is definitely not my norm- I’m not a sci fi fan by any stretch of the imagination (space scares the bejeezus out of me), so I have no idea why this interested me enough to add to my holds list at the library when Jamie Golden recommended it on the The Popcast a while back (other than Jamie usually recommends good books). But I really enjoyed it! It’s long, and I did break it up with the next book mentioned at times because it just got really science-y sometimes and I needed a break, but for a sci fi book about a guy trying to save the human race from imminent destruction in space, it was surprisingly funny. One of my good friends from college read it as I finished it, and I’m excited to hear her thoughts as well!
  • Where the Grass is Green and Girls are Pretty by Lauren Weisberger– I am a Lauren Weisberger fan- all the Devil Wears Prada books are so good, but I think I like some of her stand-alone books like Chasing Harry Winston, Everyone Worth Knowing, and Last Night at Chateau Marmont better. This is a stand alone, but it was just alright to me. Maybe because I wasn’t that interested in the subject matter? It has ties to the college admission scandal from a few years back (the Aunt Becky one), and I just don’t care about that all that much if I’m honest. It was interesting enough to finish, but not one I couldn’t put down.
  • Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey– alright, alright, alright, where do I even start with this, haha?! So, I started this with the audiobook and just couldn’t. I got so lost trying to listen to him and figure out what he is trying to say and if it’s the weirdest thing I’ve ever heard or the wisest. Now, having read it all the way through, I can say that I might have made it through the audiobook if I’d held on a little longer because the first chapter or so is a lot of his life musings before it jumps in to the story telling of his life. But reading it instead of listening did help me stay out of the weeds a little more, I think. I found it strange, interesting, and about what I expected, haha!
  • Commonwealth by Ann Patchett– I read The Dutch House by Ann Patchett earlier this year (another Jamie Golden recommendation) and LOVED it. I think I would say I liked The Dutch House a little better, but I still really liked this one! These are books that it’s hard to really describe what they are about, other than the generality of “uncommon family dynamics”, but just really good story telling overall.

What I’m Listening To…

I have adored and respected Sophie Hudson and Melanie Shankle for so long, and to hear them both on the Don’t Mom Alone podcast talking about “long game parenting” and giving advice to moms of littles from the other side was so, so special and just what my heart needed a few weeks ago. Highly recommend this for fellow moms of littles!

I also recently started The Bestie Breakdown with Shay and Erika and have actually really enjoyed it! I really respect Shay’s time management and envy how “together” she is all the time, so I’ve listened to the “Breaking Down Time” episode and “Breaking Down Slow Cookers/ Air Fryers/ Instant Pots” episode so far and have taken away a lot of good, practical tips!

On a side note, for years I’ve used the Apple podcast app, but I feel like everyone really hates on it, so I set out to find a proprietary podcast app that would supposedly be better. I started with Podbean and didn’t love it, and now I’m on Overcast and am still meh. It updated last week and I like it a little better (I was *this* close to deleting it and going back to Apple podcasts) because now it keeps up with what I’ve been listening to instead of losing it. But I’m still not sold. I’m not sure what I really want from a podcast app, I just know I haven’t loved these other ones.

What I’m Wearing…

I went to get dressed for work one morning last week to find that I no longer had black flats anymore. I wasn’t 100% sure I got rid of the ones I had in my latest huge closet purge, but I knew the ones I had weren’t all that comfortable and I wasn’t the biggest fan of them anyway, so it didn’t surprise me that they were gone. I have these flats in the leopard print from Target and I LOVE them. They are so comfortable, so I immediately looked to see if they had a black version when I remembered mine were gone. They do, but I would have had to order them, and in the mean time they had these available at our store, so I ran in and tried them on and fell in love! They are just as comfortable as the leopard ones, and I always love a pointed toe (probably more than a rounded toe if I’m honest). Plus, you definitely can’t beat the price! I would say they run pretty true to size- I got a 6.5 and I typically wear a 6-7 depending on the shoe.

What I’m Doing This Weekend…

We’ve got soccer on Saturday morning, and then I think we’re going to the ranch for the day on Sunday. I’m not sure we have any concrete plans yet because this is our first weekend with soccer that Steven isn’t on call, so we would be able to go out of town if we wanted. So we’ll see!

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month…

I’m not sure we have anything super big planned for next month. Steven’s birthday is the beginning of the month, but other than that I don’t think we have any big plans! (We do have a pretty cute family Halloween costume in the works, but I’m not sure we’ll have anywhere to wear it, but who knows! Maybe something will pop up!)

What Else is New…

I think that is about it! Happy October, y’all!

One thought on “What’s Up Wednesday {September 2021}

  1. I’m belatedly catching up on my What’s Up Wednesday reading 🙂 I love your flower bouquets. I’ve only gotten sunflowers lately but you’re inspiring me to branch out and get a mixed bouquet of all one colour.

Leave a Reply