ranch life

What’s Up Wednesday {March 2022}

Oh my goodness, how is March over already?? We are counting down spring because the end of spring means time to move, and in some ways it feels like it’s moving slowly, but in other ways, it’s flying by! Here’s a little recap of our March!

What We’re Eating…

SundayEuna Mae’s cream cheese chicken enchiladas with chips and dips {these are SO good! Also, if you don’t have Amy Hannon’s (Euna Mae’s) Love Welcome Serve cookbook, it is a MUST! I use mine all the time!}

Monday– burgers and cheese fries

Tuesday– sheet pan marinated chicken, potato wedges, and broccoli

Wednesday- Andrea’s crock pot chicken tetrazzini with garlic knots

Thursday- hot dogs and chips (we now have a tight window between the end of dance class and soccer practice on the other side of town on Thursdays so they have become my day for a crazy quick meal.)

Friday- sweet and spicy chicken with fried rice and egg rolls

What I’m Reminiscing About…

Our sixth wedding anniversary trip, aka the anniversary we climbed a mountain!

We had such a great time on our fifth anniversary trip last year that we decided then that we need to take a weekend anniversary trip every year, no questions asked. We kicked around a few ideas for this year, but after seeing IG influencer pictures of the Hotel El Capitan in Van Horn, TX, I pitched the idea of staying there and climbing Guadalupe Peak (the highest point in Texas), which is about 50 miles away. (Van Horn is probably the closest town). About a complete 180 from eating our way through Pawhuska and Tulsa last year, but hey, it was something different! Sort of at least, because Steven has climbed Guadalupe Peak 2-3 times already, but it was my first time.

I’ll be honest, as we got closer and closer to actually going, I think we got less and less interested in doing it, and we were kinda wondering what we were thinking. We’re tired from working and kids and activities and trying to get ready to move, and we thought we wanted to go climb a mountain? Really? But we didn’t back out, and after dropping kids and dogs with Gran and Bud, we headed to Van Horn. The hotel was absolutely precious. It’s almost 100 years old, all restored and beautiful. We had dinner in their restaurant the night we got there and it was delicious (their cheese fries were SO good! Steven had the ribeye and I had their famous pistachio crusted steak). The next morning we got up, got ready, and headed to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. And 6 hours of mountain climbing later, we hobbled back to the hotel, ate an obscene amount of Wendy’s and tried not to cry about how sore we were, haha!

Honestly, it was the best trip we didn’t even know we needed when we decided to do it. We are in a season that is so chaotic and feels like there is noise constantly around us (literally and figuratively between a toddler and a preschooler, and just busy schedules that seem to always have something popping up, and always some decision to make or something to do), so 3 days to unplug, be quiet, and just accomplish something felt like such a gift. Not to get cheesy, but I’ve really felt the Lord calling me to pull back and be quiet over the last couple months, and getting 6 hours of just uninterrupted quiet to pray, sing worship songs in my head, contemplate, and listen was exactly what I needed. And getting 3 days just with Steven of quiet and no distraction (and I mean like, a trip without a ton of “activities” or things to do, places to be, etc. to distract us) was a good recharge to prepare us for the busy few months ahead.

As far as the actual mountain climbing goes, it is 8.5 miles round trip, and took us about 6 hours total. Steven was a champ and carried our backpack with four bottles of water, four bottles of Gatorade, two bags of beef jerky, three cans of Pringles, and some s’mores trail mix. Going up is a pretty steady incline walk all the way up with a few spots of climbing and feeling like you’ve got to be close because you can’t see anything else higher until you turn a switchback corner and there’s another entire mountain to climb 🤦‍♀️ (that happened like 2 or 3 times, I think?). The trail is just wide enough for one person, so we didn’t really go side by side, but it was good to have Steven leading the way and pacing our breaks since he knew what to expect. The very top does require some actual climbing and my little fear of heights self was a little nervous. And then the top has an amazing view!

You’d think going downhill after that would be a breeze, but it’s still at just enough of an incline that I kinda had to brace myself to keep from rolling the entire way down like a bowling ball, so it takes more time and effort than I anticipated. By the end, our knees, calves, and hips were killing us but we did it! And thank goodness we did it when we did because I’m not sure I could do it much older or more out of shape, haha! The Lord is sometimes mysterious, and sometimes bonks you over the head, and it wasn’t lost on me this physical climbing of a mountain that felt like a metaphor for our current season of life. We’re climbing that mountain and at times it’s felt like we’re almost there and we turn a switchback corner to another mountain, and we’re tired at times, but we’re slowly getting there but the view is going to be amazing when we get there! And even when we get to the top (aka moving to our forever home and starting attending life!), it’s still going to be work on the other side 😉

What I’m Loving…

  • Ziess Fog Defender– I had a long drawn out return/ exchange issue with my yearly supply of contact lenses this year, and in the mean time had to wear my glasses a lot because I had one lone pair of contacts I was trying not to wear out. I like to wear my glasses honestly, but we are still required to mask at work, and I cannot stand my glasses fogging while I’m trying to talk to a patient or fill out paperwork, etc. I grabbed this off Amazon and it works like a dream! I don’t know what crazy voodoo magic is in it, but I spray both sides of my lenses and wipe them with the included cloth and there is no fogging! Definitely a must if you are a glasses with your mask wearer!
  • Dohm White Noise Machine– apparently we are the age that we need a white noise machine to sleep. I fought white noise with our kids and did not want them dependent on anything to go to sleep, and they are just fine without it. But somehow we (Steven and I) ended up high maintenance enough to need it. It all started a few summers ago when we brought our little old stand fan into our room in the summer to help cool off our room. The added noise became impossible to sleep without. Fast forward a year or two, and while we were staying at an AirBnb for Christmas with Steven’s family, we used an eight hour white noise YouTube video on my phone because it was so dang quiet in that house we couldn’t go to sleep. We thought an actual white noise machine would potentially be better than our fan through the winter, so I grabbed this one as soon as we got home, and the rest is history. It is very affordable, small and easily portable, has two volume settings, and you can spin the outsides to get it to different frequencies of noise. You want to know how much we love it? We packed that thing and took it to Steven’s parents’, and Van Horn, and even a hotel in Abilene a few weeks ago when we went for the weekend. We LOVE it.
  • Ninja Foodie Blender– let me tell you a little story… we love watching The Mendota Ranch on YouTube (random, I know!). On one video a few weeks ago, Jason, the guy that owns the ranch, was doing a “day in the life” type situation and made his protein shake in his Ninja blender similar to this (where you put it all in the cup, then put the lid with the blade on the cup and blend it in the cup). Steven thought if we had a blender like that, he’d be more likely to drink his protein shakes, and I thought I’d be more likely to drink the fruit smoothies my ideal self has for breakfast, so we decided to get one (I don’t think this is the exact one he had, but I mainly got this one because it has the blender cups, and a bowl type thing that I think will replace my mini food processor). We really like it so far! It has some POWER! It has auto programs to blend so you just press “smoothie” and it does it’s own thing, and everything is very smooth and well blended. The main complaint online is that is it crazy loud (and it is, but only for about a minute or less), but it works really well! Added this to the list of Ninja products we love! (which also includes our coffee maker and air fryer!)

What I’ve Been Up To…

Spring has kicked us into high gear! All the activities and all the decluttering, packing, giving things away, prepping to move. Livy started spring soccer with a new league that has actual practice one day a week and games on Saturday mornings (rather than little drills and a scrimmage at the end on Saturdays), so she’s busy with that and getting ready for her end of the year dance recital in May (which means I’m in full mom taxi mode!).

What I’ve Been Working On…

It feels like all the things are a work in progress right now. All the things for spring activities, for moving, for leading Bible study, for parenting, for life. All the things, haha!

What I’m Excited About…

We snuck in some family pictures with our favorite photographer Corie Howell (Olive Tree Photography) a few weekends ago and I am obsessed with them!

What I’m Watching/ Reading…

I don’t think we’ve really watched anything more than the occasional YouTube recently, although we did take a night to re-watch the latest Fast and Furious movie (the ninth one, maybe?) a few weeks ago on HBO Max. And of course, we watched our Red Raiders play in the NCAA tournament up to the Sweet Sixteen! #gotech

I’m currently on book 23 for 2022 and read 6 books in the month of March. Check back on April 12 for my full month review linked with Show Us Your Books for my thoughts on these books! And check out my full review of all my February books here!

What I’m Listening To…

If you listen to one thing in the coming weeks, make it Melanie Shankle’s recent episode of Storytellers Live. Her story is about a parenting struggle with her teenager, but I found so much wisdom in it as a mom of littles, as a woman, and just as a person in general. Cannot recommend this 39 minutes enough!

What I’m Wearing…

Time to break out the spring clothes! (I think? Spring is so unpredictable!)

For our family pictures, I wanted a spring vibe with lighter colors and some floral. My skirt is old from Marshalls, but my bodysuit was a gamble from Amazon that I really ended up loving! This was my first time to try a bodysuit, but I wanted to make sure with my skirt that I didn’t have any bunching and that it would stay tucked in. It’s pretty true to size- I went with a small and it fit without being too tight or too loose. The white seems a little see-through, but I went with flesh colored undergarments and it wasn’t super noticeable, I think. I’d definitely consider getting other colors, and it’s a great quality for the price! I liked that it was more interesting than a plain white top, but not too over the top that it couldn’t still be casual.

Olivia’s dress is sold out at Dillard’s, but that brand (Edgehill Collection) makes the most darling smocked dresses! Steven always wears Ariat dress shirts, and this one is a few years old from Cavender’s. Henry’s button down, belt, and boots are from Target and Amazon, and make him look like a tiny Steven!

What I’m Doing This Weekend…

We have a soccer game Saturday, and then I think we’re making a day trip to the ranch Sunday to check cows and take some stuff from storage here to ranch storage so it’s less to move later!

What I’m Looking Forward To Next Month…

In April, we’ve got Henry’s 2nd birthday, a birthday party for Henry and our niece, Easter, and getting ready to sell the house!

What Else is New…

Our Red Raiders had a good run in March Madness, but didn’t make it past Duke in the Sweet Sixteen. But a respectable run! The Thursday they were playing in the Sweet Sixteen, Livy wore her Tech shirt to preschool and Henry and I wore ours to do our usual Thursday routine (drop-off, BSF, lunch, nap, pick-up, dance, soccer practice 😂). Love these baby Red Raiders!

I bought a “Valentine’s house”, similar to a gingerbread house back before Valentine’s Day, and par for the course, we put it together on St. Patrick’s Day. But it still turned out pretty cute and Sister was so proud of it! Unfortunately, just after our pictures, I was trying to sweep off some extra red glitter sprinkles into the trash can and the whole thing slid off into the trash (I know that sounds like a mom excuse to get rid of it, but it really was an accident!). She was pretty mad at me for a hot minute, but cheered up after we had dinner. But she still occasionally likes to remind me of the time I let her house fall in the trash 🤦‍♀️

And speaking of St. Patrick’s Day, these two little clovers are the cutest! (I will be so sad when they realize I dress them alike and they don’t want to participate anymore, haha!)

And just a little random shenanigan photo dump! Y’all have a happy start to April and thanks for stopping by!

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