ranch life

What’s Up Wednesday- January 2022

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What We’re Eating…

Sunday- beef tenderloin, baked potatoes, and roasted asparagus

Monday– grilled flounder, pasta salad, and roasted baby gold potatoes

Tuesday– chicken fajitas, chips and dips

Wednesday- steaks, mashed potatoes, and green beans

Thursday- chipotle lime chicken bowls with guacamole

Friday- grilled Cajun salmon, steamed rice, and roasted asparagus

Saturday– teriyaki chicken and fried rice with egg rolls

What I’m Reminiscing About…

I started using the One Second a Day app on January 1st, and every day it will pop up with pictures and videos of years past, and I love just the random reminders of pictures and videos that I don’t always think about.

What I’m Loving…

  • The Bible Recap Study Question Book– This is my second year to try to read through the Bible with The Bible Recap, and I’ve really enjoyed the study question book to help keep me on track so far this year. I like that they are more knowledge/ research based questions, not questions about feelings because my goal is to increase my Bible knowledge by reading this all the way through.  It’s about 4-6 questions per day/ section, so it’s really manageable.
  • Princess Valentine’s Bubble Cards– Never have I ever been one to be crazy ahead of the game with stuff like this, but I saw a sale on these Valentine cards, so I decided to scoop them up while they were on sale. They aren’t explicitly Disney princess, but kind of Disney-esque, and each one comes with a little mini bubble wand, so I thought these would be perfect for Livy’s preschool because they have very strict food rules (no dairy, soy, nuts, etc.).
  • Chicco Pocket Booster Chair– We have graduated Henry from his IKEA high chair to a booster chair in one of our dining chairs. This is the same one we have had for a while with Livy, and they are easy to clean, have multiple heights, and can completely collapse for travel. They also have trays that attach if you wanted to use it as a standalone high chair, but we have always just used them with our dining table.
  • Yes4All 24″ Foam Rollers– We’ve been in a pretty good fitness routine since what we call our New Year (we had our last Christmas celebration the second weekend of January, so we gave ourselves until then to really start fresh, haha!) and part of that routine is consistent stretching because we are getting older and apparently that means your body feels like it’s not half as stretchy as it once was. I got us much smaller foam rollers to start (these from Target), and they are fine, but a little harder to do the larger muscles because of size. So we ordered these big ones and we love them! Highly recommend foam rolling, and foam rolling with these rollers 😊
  • Air Vent Pop Socket Phone Holder– I’ve been toying with getting a phone holder for my car for a while so I can more easily see what’s going on, but wanted an air vent one because I wanted flexibility without having to pick a permanent spot. This one holds the phone by my pop socket and you can adjust the angle easily. So far I really like it!

What I’ve Been Up To…

December was busy in the best way! We did all the fun Christmas things, and this year was so fun with our kids at these sweet ages. Livy was obsessed with all things Christmas related, and asked every day if it was time for Christmas yet (so it was a long December, haha!). We had a Christmas program at her preschool, the GI departmental Christmas party, we saw the Christmas lights at the Cameron Park Zoo in Waco (and Santa!), had a preschool Christmas party, sat through the longest line ever (2.5 hours) to do the drive through light show at Ft. Hood on Christmas Eve’s Eve, did The Star from Afar, made a gingerbread house, had Christmas with Grammy and Pop Pop, and went to a Frosty the Snowman dance party at the dance studio.

We had Christmas morning at our house and Santa brought Livy the Wellie Wisher Camille doll, and Henry a rocking horse that we named Trigger (every Henry needs a good Trigger 😉 ). We had a nice chill day just hanging out after they opened presents, and had a delicious meal of beef tenderloin, fancy mac and cheese, roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon, and crescent rolls.

The kiddos went to Gran and Bud’s for a few days in between Christmas and New Year’s. We rang in the New Year, had a great Christmas with Steven’s family, and jumped into some strong goals for 2022!

What I’ve Been Working On…

Just that New Year’s resolution life, haha! No, in all seriousness, we made some larger goals for ourselves this year, and are filling in with smaller goals each month to work toward those larger goals so it’s easier to see results on those goals. Nothing revolutionary, but here are some of ours!

  • eat better- not crazy healthy, just mainly at home with more fruits/ veggies; we also have a goal of 5-6 dinners a week all together at the table, and we take turns with the kids practicing saying grace (they are doing so well, but Henry knows he can start eating as soon someone says “Amen”, so he will mumble a long string of something and then yell “May-Men!!” if it’s his turn, or if it’s someone else’s turn and he thinks they are taking too long 😂)
  • exercise more- we now have a strict schedule of putting kids to bed from 7:45-7:55, and then we both work out from 8-9 PM ish. I’m doing cardio on the Peloton (cycling classes or bike boot camp) for 3 days, strength (Barre, pilates, weights) 2 days, and yoga 1-2 days (yoga and rest days are kinda interchangeable). We’ve tried for a good majority of our adult lives to be people that work out in the morning, but to have enough time to do what we want, along with everything else that has to get done in the morning, we’d have to get up sometime in the middle of the night every day. We have been much more successful with this routine, and more importantly, we like it. You are much more likely to be successful with something you like than something you feel obligated to do 😊
  • more reading, less screens- I have a goal of 60 books for the year (up 10 from last year’s 50), plus I want to read through the entire Bible with the Bible Recap. We are reducing the amount of TV we watch (trying to limit to just the shows we really like to watch, not just watching in general), as well as reducing time on social media (I bumped my lock-out timers down to 30 minutes a day from an hour a day).
  • simplify- this applies across all areas, but I’m working hard to just simplify to give us margin- simplified routines, less clutter, easier set-ups, less chaos. This is an ongoing thing, and will probably take a lot of time, but we can already feel it working and the extra breathing room is so nice. Mostly right now this looks like decluttering rooms one to two at a time (January was the kids’ rooms- just culling toys and clothes, and getting things organized in a better way that makes it easier for them to keep things picked up and clean), as well as setting up better routines (better meal planning, exercise schedule, packing lunches, backpacks, etc. the night before, stopping for gas the night before instead of thinking my morning self will have time to do it 😂 ). Nothing about any of that is revolutionary or anything we came up with, but just carrying out the advice that works 😉

What I’m Excited About…

When we started residency, we used to talk about 2022 like it was so far into the future we’d be the Jetsons by the time we got here, but it’s finally here! Steven graduates fellowship this June, and while there are a lot things that have to get done, things to move are falling into place (like we have a house to move to, we are looking at MDOs, things are getting set up at Steven’s future office), and it’s so exciting! It’s a little scary to think about leaving what has been our normal for the last six years, but we are excited to be back closer to our families, and to have a different pace (I’m not going to say it’s going to be less busy, just a different busy because we won’t be trying to be 3 hours from home every other weekend).

I’m also excited that I’ve started an online Bible Study Fellowship class! I’ve wanted to join BSF for a long time, but could never find a class that fit my schedule (and in the mean time for the last three years, I’ve led a group for Side by Side, a Bible study group for physician wives). A friend recently shared that BSF has online groups, so I jumped in and found one still on Christmas break, and started with class two weeks ago. So far, I LOVE it! I figured that I would, but I truly love the detailed Bible knowledge and teaching they provide (without a specific agenda), and it’s definitely an additional help in my goal of building my Bible knowledge. Once we move, I plan to find an in person class to continue because they also have a great children’s program that I want our kids in (that Steven grew up doing!). I’m still leading Side by Side for the rest of this semester, but one of my sweet friends that will be here a little longer has stepped up to co-lead with me (which I am also super excited about!), so doing both has been manageable so far!

Tell me you’re a toddler/ preschooler mom without telling me you’re a toddler/ preschooler mom- two ping pong balls and a Wellie Wisher pillow in my Bible study bag 😂

What I’m Watching/ Reading…

We have been watching 1883 on Paramount Plus and it’s about the only thing we really enjoy watching consistently (we like pretty much anything from Taylor Sheridan). I do need to catch up on season 2 of Cheer, but I can’t think of anything else we’ve really been into.

I’ve knocked out 5 books this month, which was my goal to keep on track of my yearly goal of 60. They are 5 drastically different books but I really liked each of them!

  • Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating by Christina Lauren– I really enjoy this author duo, and they’ve become like an Elin Hilderbrand for me in that I can pick up any title and know that I’ll like it- some I love more than others, but off the top I will just baseline like it. This one falls into the really like/ loved category- I thought it was so cute! Just a feel-good rom com that made me smile to the end and wrapped up so nicely.
  • The Kind Worth Killing by Peter Swanson– if you could imagine the absolute complete opposite of the last book, this would be it! A man meets a random woman in the airport and confides that he thinks his wife is cheating and jokes that he wants to kill her. The random woman starts nailing down a plan to help him make that happen. There were so many twists and turns and crazy connections that I couldn’t put it down! It does have some kind of eerie parts, and is definitely rated R, but I couldn’t believe how everything wrapped up and I was very shaken up at the end because I was so invested in it. This reminded me a lot of The Last Mrs. Parrish, and definitely a must if you are a fan of domestic thrillers!
  • A Simplified Life by Emily Ley– the book I randomly picked up that jumpstarted my quest for simplification! Nothing in this book is a new idea. Truly. I like Emily and have since started following her on social media, but this is age old advice, just organized and presented in a way that I felt like I could really digest the content and start implementing the suggestions in practical and incremental ways. I’ve got a few others of hers in my queue to check out, but I saved a lot from this book to continue to refer back to, and I think it was a great one to start the year off. {It also makes me very intrigued to look at the Simplified Planners even though I really love my Plum Paper planner. I think I’m addicted to planners 🤷‍♀️ }
  • Brothers and Wives by Christopher Anderson– this was recommended by my friend Sarah, who shares a love for all things Royal, although she and I are on different teams- I’m 1000% team Kate, and she’s team Meghan (which, I realize you don’t have to be one or the other, but I’ve loved Kate since before she married William and have just never had a ton of respect for Meghan, so it is one over the other for me.). This is an in depth look at William and Harry’s lives from childhood through current day (all the way up to Prince Philip’s funeral), and addresses their longstanding relationship and how their lives have diverged. The early years gave a lot of background to Princess Diana’s private life as well as Prince Charles’s- if you are current on The Crown, it’s like it picks up from where the last season of The Crown leaves off, but it’s all true. If you are interested in the Royal family, you will like this. If you aren’t, it’s a pretty dry biography style book, so it would be kinda like watching paint dry. But I loved it!
  • The Maid by Nita Prose– this is a kitschy “whodunnit” about Molly, who works at a very upscale hotel as a maid when she finds a very high profile guest dead in his room, and the ensuing investigation. It is told from Molly’s POV, and it is insinuated that Molly is probably on the spectrum as she struggles with social cues, and does well with the repetitive tasks of working at the hotel and having a set formula for how to interact with others. This POV infuses some humor into an otherwise dark subject matter, so if you like mysteries, this is unique and fun!

What I’m Listening To…

Sophie Hudson shared two or so weeks ago that there was a follow up episode to the Tom Brown’s Body podcast out, and after listening to it (it is a bane to my existence that they haven’t figured all that out yet, but maybe someday), I discovered a new Texas Monthly series called America’s Girls about the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders. I finished it up late last week and thought it was good! All little girls, especially little girls that grow up in Texas look up to the DCC, but this gave more insight into how they’re treated off the field, the history, etc. The journalist that did the series seemed a little more liberal and feminist than I lean, so I’m not sure we completely agreed on all the points she made through the series, but it was a very interesting perspective and collection of history.

I think I’ve mentioned the Julie’s Library podcast on here before, but it is a podcast series featuring Julie Andrews and her daughter Emma Walton Hamilton reading different children’s books. I love it, and my kiddos love it too, especially when they are on the crankier side and this kinda calms them down (puts them to sleep 😉 ). I also adore Temple Grandin, so we listened to this old episode featuring a children’s book written about Temple’s invention of her hug machine (How to Build A Hug: Temple Grandin and her Amazing Squeeze Machine), and then a short interview with Temple. It made me tear up, it was so sweet! If you have kiddos, definitely check this episode out and look for that sweet book.

What I’m Wearing…

I haven’t gotten much lately that is new, but I did get this sweater on a whim when it was on sale on Amazon last week and I really like it (it was 50% off when I bought it, so under $15). I got the small, and it’s fairly true to size if you want a fitted sweater, but definitely size up if you want it loose at all (similar to how it is on the model or any looser). I also grabbed a new pair of jeans from Old Navy a few weeks ago because I’m still on a quest to find some ankle length jeans I like. These are okay- the length is right for the most part but I’m not crazy about how high waisted they are. I’ve ordered another pair that are a mid-rise but in the short length to see if that solves the problem. Old Navy runs true to a little big, so I order/ wear size 0 with them.

What I’m Doing This Weekend…

The quest for simplification continues– Steven is on call this weekend so we’ll have to stay in town, but we also have a new part-part time nanny starting on Monday (our current nanny is going to continue with Tuesdays, and then a new one is going to be coming to our house Mondays and Wednesdays) and I’m determined to get everything deep cleaned and well organized before they are home two more days a week and we have someone else in our house consistently.

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month…

I’ve grown to love Valentine’s Day more over the last few years since Livy’s birthday falls so close to Valentine’s Day. In one week, she’ll get to have a Valentine’s party at school, which she’s very excited about, and then take cupcakes to school for her birthday the next time, which is a first that she’s really looking forward to. And at the beginning of March, we are also headed out on our annual anniversary trip! This year we are staying for a long weekend at Hotel El Capitan in Van Horn, TX, and hiking Guadalupe Peak together (for my first time, and Steven’s second). I’m a little nervous about that much hiking, but I’ve got some cute new hiking shoes from Columbia, and we all know anything is possible with cute shoes. 😉

What Else is New…

Just a little random picture dump!

And our Christmas card pictures! Those little munchkins (and their daddy!) have my whole heart!

Happy February, y’all! 🙂

4 thoughts on “What’s Up Wednesday- January 2022

  1. I’m belatedly catching up on my What’s Up Wednesday posts. I put The Kind Worth Killing on hold as it sounds very interesting.

  2. I was on the fence about starting The Bible Recap this year– do you need to start at the beginning of the year? I started using the One Second app again this year too and love looking back. I’m going to check out that podcast too– we’ve been enjoying listening to short audiobooks in the car recently.

    1. You can definitely start whenever, and I definitely recommend it! I would say if you are starting at an off time from the first of the year it is probably easier to keep up with the actual Bible Recap book as opposed to the podcast because you would have to work harder to make sure you are back where you need to be vs where the plan is on each day if that makes sense? The study book is 100% self paced. Thanks for stopping by!

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