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What's Up Wednesday \\ September '16

Bonus question: What's your favorite Fall recipe?

What I'm reminiscing about
I'm reminiscing about when I started working at my second (and last) salon.  My sweet friend who owned that salon just lost her dad this week. When I started at the salon Warren was so sweet and nice and welcoming, I just adored him.  He is in a better place now but gosh do I wish he didn't have to go.

What I'm loving
I am TOTALLY LOVING my new window!  We put it in Monday night and I cannot get over how much I love it!  All the natural light it lets in is so awesome!!!  And yesterday I was sitting on the couch when a breeze came in and blew my hair - heaven!   I will get a post up with pictures because I have to show it off!  Give us time to get it all done first!

What we've been up to
Football football football.  Between Bren's games, Aiden's practices and games and us watching games on TV 4 of the 7 nights per week we are fully immersed in football right now.

What I'm dreading
I'm dreading digging my sewing machine out of the basement to hem up a couple pair of jeans I bought that are too long.  The actual sewing of the new hem will take less than 5 minutes probably, but getting the machine out, setting it up, measuring the pants, pinning them, then cleaning up and putting everything away will take me much longer.  But, with the cooler temps almost here I need to get the jeans hemmed because they are the only 2 pairs I have so far!

What I"m working on
I'm working on helping Andy finish the window.  We still have to get the siding put back on the house, stain and varnish the trim and wood sashes of the window, hang the trim and then finally hang the curtains.  It's so worth all the work, though!

What I'm excited about
I'm excited to get our family pictures taken next month!  I'm working on getting outfits picked out and bought now which is totally stressful for me.  These family pictures include Andy's parents and brother's family, too.  We've never had a big family picture taken before and we've been married almost 15 years!

What I'm watching/reading
I'm getting ready to start reading 'The Girl on the Train'.  A friend is starting a book club and this will be our first book to read.  We meet the last Friday of October so I have a little time to get it read.  I also just started one of Elin Hilderbrand's books, I think it's called Winter Street.  Does anyone else lose track of the title of books they are reading on their Kindles?  Because I don't have the book's cover in front of me as much as you do with a book I can't keep track!

Watching: This Is Us, like most women in their 30's and 40's are now!  Totally loved the pilot last week (hello Milo, yum!)!  Also still trucking through 'Parenthood' on Netflix.  Still love that series!  I'm just in season 3, have a couple more to go.

What I'm listening to
I love Miranda Lambert's 'Vice', and heard a new Carrie Underwood song yesterday that I really liked but have no idea what it's called.  Also like Maren Morris!  And, like always, loving me some oldies. :)  I've also been listening to more Standards, love that mellow/laid back music!

What I'm wearing
Yesterday I was able to wear a pair of my too long jeans!  We're having Fall weather this week and I'm loving it!

What I'm doing this weekend
This weekend is going to be so crazy busy!  It's supposed to be a fun weekend but I'm actually dreading it because it's so packed.  We are taking the kids to my parent's overnight Friday because early Saturday morning we are heading to Iowa City for the Iowa game.  We are going with friends and it'll be a ton of fun.  After the game we rush to my parent's house to grab the kids and head to my sister's house for my nephew's 12th birthday party.  Sunday morning we have church and the kids have religion class, then we head to Aiden's football game.  After that we rush back home to grab a few things before heading to Aiden's 4H meeting that evening where they are having a hayrack ride and bonfire for the families.  Like I said, fun weekend but so crazy busy.

What I'm looking forward to next month
FALL!!!  I know we are technically in Fall right now but October scrams Fall to me.  I'd love to take the crew to a pumpkin patch.  I'm also trying to talk my parent's into putting together a little hayrack ride and bonfire at their place with my sister's family.  I told Andy a couple of months ago that I wanted to do up the season's and holiday's right this year so anything that says Fall is what I want to be doing!  However, our weekends are so full in the next 3 months I don't know how much we are going to get done.  I'm still going to try, though!

What my favorite Fall recipe
My favorite Fall recipe is the Pioneer Woman's Chicken Pot Pie.  So hearty and perfect for a cool Fall evening!  A very close second is a big ol' batch of Chili!  I have three different recipes I make, each one a little different than the next, so it doesn't feel like we are constantly eating the same thing (even though we are!).

Join in on the fun, link up!

Tate Lately || 2 1/2 Years Old

My sweet, silly Tatie Tot!  I absolutely LOVE being your mommy and watching you grow!  You are so silly - you love being tickled and beg me to do it!  Under your arms, the bottom of your feet, the chubby above your knees, tickle tickle tickle!  You have the most contagious giggle, which always turns to a shriek of laughter when you are really having a fun time.

People talk about the 'terrible twos' all the time but I don't know what is so terrible about them!  Yes, you are trying to show me that you are ready to be independent, and that can cause a battle here and there but really you are just growing and learning and figuring new things out!  I love being here with you for all of this.  It is so neat to see you being YOU.

You love to read books.  You will gather up a pile of books and sit down to flip through them.  You 'read' them in a language I have yet to understand but you definitely know what you are saying.  Every now and then a real word will pop in so I know that you are making up a story about the pictures in the book and that is so rewarding for this momma who loves to read herself!  Books with pictures of animals will bring forth animal names and sounds. For instance, you will say 'Mesh mah nish tee sheep (or "heep" in your case) nee mash baa'.  Lately you pick out letters on the page to show me, all excited to point at one.  You have no idea what that letter is, what it sounds like or means but for some reason you are excited about it so I am excited, too!

You speak clearer and clearer every week.  Lately you answer a question with "sure!"  It cracks me up!  Do you want a snack? "Sure!"  Should we take the boys to school? "Sure!"  So cute!  You get excited when you see tractors, combines, fire trucks, police cars and 'beep beeps' (construction equipment).  You now call animals by their names, mostly, and I miss the days of you calling them by the sounds they make.

I said "smile, Tatie Tot!"  You said "I am!" :)
Singing is something you love to do!  In the car you will belt out some song that you make up in your head and oh my goodness do I love that!  Sometimes I will ask you to sing the 'Mommy Song'.  You will take off blasting out 'Mommy mommy MOMMYYYYY' and so on. :)  Once in a while you sing what I'll call 'The Family Song'.  This one is where you sing out everyone's names that you know.  'Mommy Daddy Nowa Papa Judgey Bwennan Aynan Daddy Tenwee Woo' and so on.  That one melts my heart!

You like to count!  "One two free four FIVE!!"  And sometimes "one two free five seven eight TEN!"

You are quite the eater!  You can out-eat Brennan, easily!  But your latest and greatest thing is "I don't wike it!"  You scrunch that adorable little face of yours up and say it in the most believable way.  Problem is, Buddy, I know that you DO like it!  Yesterday you tried telling me you don't "wike" apples -- since when?? You snarf those down like they are going out of style!  You will ask me on the way home from dropping the boys off at school for a snack, even though you just ate breakfast an hour before.  When it's almost lunch time you will ask for supper.  I tell you no, it's not suppertime, it's lunchtime.  You then say "I don't wike wunch".  Sigh.  We are working on teaching you the names of mealtimes and when they are during the course of a day. :)

As you can tell, you use the 'w' sound in place of "l's".  Tenley is Tenwey Woo to you.  I never get tired of hearing you call her that, either!  And lately, sometimes, you'll pull out "Tenwey Wouise".  Gah, my  heart!  You beyond adore her, you try to care for her and watch out for her which sometimes means you take things away from her and she screams at you about it.  Then you'll pat her back or her butt like you are consoling her but telling her still that it wasn't safe for her to have what she had - which was probably the remote. :)  You still want to hold her a lot but she doesn't allow it like she did when she was a little lump.  You give her kisses, you take her toys, you get mad at her when she's in the way of what you are playing with, but mostly you just love her.

You think the moon rises and sets over your big brothers!  You love telling them goodbye when we drop them off at school in the mornings.  You want to wrestle with them constantly and really want to play downstairs in their rooms with their Legos.  Where they are you want to be.  I would say that you and Aiden (Aynan) are best friends and that you and Brennan (Bwenna) are brothers.  You and Brennan tend to fight a lot more than you and Aiden do.

Daddy is your bestest buddy, you love sitting with him in the chair at night.  Wrestling with Daddy is in your Top 5 list of favorite things to do.  If Daddy is outside that's where you want to be.

Speaking of being outside, it's your number 1 favorite place to be!  You still love digging in your sandbox and could spend hours in there.  You like riding your 3 wheeler bike around in the driveway or digging in the garden (or any dirt you can find).  You absolutely LOVE that there are fresh berries on the berry bushes just ripe for picking.  I often find you bellied up to the berry bar. :)  It doesn't seem to matter how hot it is outside, you would spend all day out there if I let you.

You can definitely be sassy.  You are stubborn.  You like helping Mommy.  You are a big fan of Papa's, you ask about him daily.  You really love going to Auntie's house to play with your 'fwends'.  You go there once a week for 2 hours and it's never easy talking you into leaving.  You'd prefer everything to be your way.  You argue about taking naps or going to bed but always fall right to sleep.  You love fruit snacks, apples, milk, pizza, chicken, steak, any and all meat really, green beans, peaches, bananas, Goldfish crackers.  You still love your Snuggle and won't sleep without it.

You take a 2-3 hour nap every afternoon still and I hope that never ends - you are such a ball of energy that Mommy always need that afternoon quiet time to re-energize!  You go to bed at 8:00 most nights and then like to come snuggle in bed with me every morning around 6:00.  You don't give kisses freely but usually when I ask you for one you will comply.  You give awesome squeezes around the neck and the best hugs!  You like crawling up on my lap, and I love it right back!  I still call you my 'Quishy quish' but you are not nearly as squishy as you used to be.  You do still have the baby squish in your hands, though and, you probably have no idea I do this, but when I hold your hands I always squish that baby squish a few times because it is fleeting.  You ask me to hold your hand whenever you are tired, sad, upset and every time we walk down the hall together.  Be still my heart. :)

I love you so much, Tater!  Gosh am I happy you are my little boy and that I don't have to share you with any other mommy EVER!  You keep on being you and you'll go far!

Tenley Louise || 10 Months Old

Here we are, 10 months old.  Oh Loulie Girl, I can't even begin to tell you how MUCH I love you.  The love I felt for you the moment you were born, it was so immense! - but it shy's in comparison to how much I love you today.  Each day I love you more than the day before, less than the next day to come.  Just when I think my heart will explode with how much I love you it somehow grows to hold even more love for you!  I know Daddy feels the exact same way!

Lets talk about Daddy for bit - goodness, he is so smitten by you!  You just have to flash your adorable smile at him and that's it, he's a puddle of mush!  But you, you absolutely ADORE your daddy!  Just the other morning, Daddy and the boys were rushing around getting their breakfasts ready.  You stumbled, not enough to hurt yourself but you, being you, started crying (it's so sweet!).  I scooped you up, brought you to the living room to cuddle with you.  The tears were pooling in your eyes and then Daddy walked by but didn't say anything to console you (because I was doing that). Oh boy, did you cry HARD!  It totally crushed you that your daddy didn't stop what he was doing to make you all better.  I, of course, told him that he was breaking your heart and he stopped everything to come in and soothe you.  All better!  You dropped a couple tears, sniffled and then smiled at your daddy.  Talk about heart exploding!

Well, we knew it was only a matter of time considering you've been cruising along furniture and pushing walkers around for a couple of months now - you are taking steps!  You've put together 6 steps in a row and when you fall down you stand your cute little self back up and try a few more.  You're even brave enough to try carrying a small toy or your snuggle blankie sometimes.  It's only a matter of time until you are full-on walking all the time.

You are the silliest, happiest little baby girl ever!  Your giggle always makes me giggle back!  You like to be silly, you LOVE to be tickled and when I lay you back on my lap you always get wiggled around so your head is hanging completely off and then  you stick your finger or thumb in your mouth and just smile and giggle as I tickle you some more!

Your bag of tricks now includes blowing kisses ... sort of!  You have the 'mwah' sound down-pat and can get your hand up to your mouth but then your finger gets put in there and you forget to pull it back out for the 'blowing the kiss' part because what 10 month old doesn't get side tracked by chewing on their finger?  :)  You still love saying good morning to the baby in the mirror in your room and you love it when her mommy kisses her!  You like watching the leaves on the trees outside blowing in the wind.  When you hear someone cough or sneeze you tend to make fun of them by mimicking the same noise back, and then it's a game because you will go back and forth with them as long as they'll play along!  You get pretty mad when you get put in your car seat, but once you're settled in there you are good to go.  You like looking at books, the TV interests you sometimes and you LOVE to dance!  You kind of do a bounce and squat thing and it's oh so sweet!

I can't remember if I've touched on this before but it's something I want to note because I just love it! When the boys were little like you and exploring a new object they'd reach out and use all of their fingers to grab it, kind of scratching it.  With you, though, you use your one little index finger.  You reach your hand out and then stick that sweet little finger straight out and gingerly and ever so slightly touch, tickle and poke whatever it is you are trying to figure out.  It gets me every time!

Speaking of fingers, you've started sucking on your two middle fingers!  You will sit down, grab your snuggle and plug your middle and ring fingers into your sweet little mouth.  It's so adorable!  I've yet to catch it on camera, as soon as I reach for my phone you start smiling at me and out they come!

Big news this month (aside from you taking steps!) -- you have your first tooth!!!  It's a pretty little pearl on the bottom left.  You were a tad 'off' for a couple of days, not quite as smiley, but otherwise that little tooth popping through wasn't a big deal for you.  I can tell you are working on the bottom right tooth, now.  Your poor bottom, it was pretty sore this past week.

Earlier in the month I thought you were done with baby food and I was bummed about it. But you came back around to it and we are still going strong with Gerber!  I know, I know, you are old enough for soft table foods but they aren't nearly as easy as grabbing a container or pouch of food for you.  We are busy running after the big boys all the time - games, practices, etc - so having the ease of baby food is really helpful!  You still love eating what table food I give you - the other day you had some of my omelet for breakfast and devoured it!  Red and green peppers, CHEESE! Yum! :)  We haven't found anything you don't like yet but time will tell if we stay that lucky.

You love playing with Tate... actually, you love playing with what Tate is playing with, and then you two yell at each other.  For now it's cute but in a couple years... well, lets just hope you two learn how to share and play nicely together!

As you  know, I've longed for a daughter for a very long time.    Partly so I always had someone to go places with.  This past month another part of my dream came true!  You and I went to a craft show together!  It was a great girlie morning, just you, me, Grandma Jeannie, Auntie Cole and Nora Jean.  The icing on the cake that morning was the fact that you wore the khaki pea coat I bought way back when Aiden was a baby.  It wasn't for him, it was for you!  I bought it on clearance for $3 hoping and praying that I'd have a little girl to put in it.  I've been holding on to that cute little jacket for 10 years, Tenley Lou!  I cried a little that morning when I put you in it, it was a such a sweet moment for me.

As you can tell by the blur of the pictures you are quite active!  Getting any of the pictures I did for this post was quite the feat - next month we're going to need Daddy's assistance!  Or we need to do it while Tate is busy, he was being a bit 'too much' help this go-round. :)

Now for your monthly stats:
Weight: 19lb 6oz
Height: 30 1/2" (rough measurement)
Clothes: Mostly 6-9 months, but some 12 m and a couple pairs of 3-6m shorts that still fall off you (tiny little butt!)
Diapers: size 2 Pampers.  We are barely holding on to that size!

I love, love, love you Tenley Louise!

Tate's Room

Poor Tatie Tot, he's been living in a bedroom that hasn't been decorated for a few months.  I've been planning on doing an airplane theme in there, just wasn't sure how to execute it.  I've even had everything bought for quite some time, but still, no idea on where and how to hang everything.  Finally Andy said this past weekend that it was time to bite the bullet and get things put up.  I think it turned out pretty great, with a couple of small exceptions.

This book shelf has resided in Aiden's room, Brennan's room and now Tate's room.  It has also resided in all three houses we've owned.  :)  No, the shelves never look this put together - Tenley loves pulling the books off the shelves and when Tate reads his books they fall over and he just stuffs them back on the shelves haphazardly.  Boys. :)  The lamp I got at Gordman's.  Both signs I had made by local gals.  I found the quote on the wall on Pinterest and the quote on the standing sign on a shirt Tate wore last winter. The picture on the wall needs a different frame, just a matter of getting somewhere to either buy or have one made.

Ok, I can't take credit for this idea, found it somewhere along the way somewhere I can't remember.  But my goodness am I so SO happy with how it turned out!!!  The planes I bought at Hobby Lobby, the garland I made myself.  The burlap part of the garland I got at Target in the dollar bins for $1 last winter and just grabbed it because I knew I could find someway to use it somewhere.  Then I bought the fabric, cut out the triangles and glued them onto the burlap ones.  Last, I strung them onto jute I had at home, tied that to the plane and we nailed it to the wall.  LOVE!

This dresser was Andy's eons ago - I painted it white before Aiden was born. Again, been through all three boys and all three houses (and then some!)!

I made the 'Tate' garland for his first birthday.  It originally had 1's on it but for his room I took those off.  The picture we found at Hobby Lobby.

He LOVES playing basketball with his big brothers in his room.  Those curtains I made for Brennan a few years back - I'm considering finding some navy blue ones instead, I think they'd go with the muted tones of the decorations better.

This airplane was my grandpa's.  He was a huge John Deere fan and he also loved flying - he owned his own 4 seater plane!  Grandpa passed away unexpectedly 6 years ago and now that my grandma has moved to town she started sharing some of his treasures with us.  This plane I picked out for Tate specifically because I knew it'd go great in his room with the other airplanes.  He's been given specific instructions never to touch it or play with it - fingers crossed he remembers that!

"Blessed are the curious for they shall have adventures!"  Love this quote!  I hope my sweet Tatie Tot continues to be as curious 20 years from now as he is today!

'God danced the day you were born'

We've had the walls painted a pale yellow since we bough this house - 5 years ago!  I touched up the paint before moving Tate in.  I can't tell you the name of the color, sorry!

Next year I'm guessing Tate will be ready for his big boy bed.  His crib is a convertible crib so the headboard of his big bed is the same as the side rail that's on his bed now.  He's loved having the freedom since we turned his crib into this toddler bed.  He's such a big boy!

Thanks for stopping by and taking the tour of Tate's room!

On a completely different note --- this is my 800th post!!!  Wow, I can't believe I've had enough to say for 800 posts! Thanks for being there with me along the way!

Stranded Again!

Every so often, as a busy mom, the thought of being stranded on an island doesn't sound too bad - especially when that island has hot celebrities, my favorite books and Netflix on it! Ha ha!

Today I'm linking up with Shay and Erica for their fun monthly Stranded link up!  Join us!  Today's stranded is all about the 3 movies you'd take with you to this fabulous island!

All of my movies are 'oldies but goodies'.  I'm not much of a movie watcher anymore but still have my favorites from the past.

Let's start off with something romantic - The Bridges of Madison County.  Gah, this movie (and book!)!!!  It rips my heart and guts out each and every time I've watched it!  I remember finishing this book one Sunday at my Grandma's house while everyone was sitting outside under the tree enjoying the nice afternoon.  I was sobbing so hard, tears were soaking my shirt!  You know it's a good book if it gets that kind of reaction out of someone - the movie does the same thing to me!

Image result for the bridges of madison county movie

Now for a funny one: Weekend at Bernie's.  My sister and I watched this over and over and over again on  Friday nights when my parents would go out on their weekly dates.  Talk about a movie that cracks me up!

Image result for weekend at bernies

I'm so torn on what to choose for my last one but I guess so I don't double up on the romantic ones I'll go with a musical I absolutely love ---- Singing in the Rain!  Such a gem and it'll be awesome on the island because I can sing along and sing the songs after it's over and be uplifted when I start getting sad that I'm stranded.  :)

Image result for singing in the rain

My honorable mentions:
The Horse Whisperer
Pillow Talk
White Christmas (because I could watch this year round!)
Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
Sarah, Plain and Tall (all 3 of those)
Anne of Green Gables (the entire series - I guess it's a TV show but long enough to be movies)
A League of Their Own

Kind of an eclectic list, huh? But that's me, all over the place!

Now your turn!  If you don't want to link up at least leave me your list in the comments, it's fun!

Basement Bathroom Reveal

Finally, FINALLY, I am ready to do the big bathroom reveal!  It's been a long time coming but we are finally all done!

First, let me say, I am super happy with how it turned out!  We went into this with no real vision of what we wanted it to look like.  We wanted it to be functional for two boys who will be using this until they graduate and move out (gulp!).  And because it's for boys (until Tenley is a teenager and decides she's too cool to be upstairs with me and Andy .. again, gulp!) we didn't want any frills or fancy stuff.  Just basic, functional, easy to keep clean and nice.

Without further adieu, our new basement bathroom!

My super talented husband actually built that built-in cabinet! (insert bug-eyed emoji here!)  I love love it!  In the beginning we thought about putting doors on it, because BOYS = MESSY but then we thought that'd make the small space feel even smaller so we left it open.  I'd like to put something decoration-wise on those shelves but just haven't figured that out yet.  The wire baskets came from Kohls, we purchased them over a year ago and have been holding on to them ever since.

I am a big fan of 'Fixer Upper' and Joanna Gaines on HGTV and have had a crush on ship lap since I first set eyes on it. :)  We thought that would be a fun addition to the bathroom.  What we ended up with isn't exactly ship lap in the technical sense but what we did has the same effect and I really like how it turned out.

I knew I wanted to use hooks instead of towel rods.  The ones we used we found at Lowes.  Each boy has one on either side of the shower and there is one next to the sink as well.

The floor was trickier than we expected.  Originally we were absolutely CERTAIN we wanted tile that had a wood floor look.  Somewhere in the middle of it all we took a 180 degree turn because I saw a tile in a magazine that I just couldn't live without. :)  We looked in a couple different stores before we finally found it ... at Lowes of all places!  We laid it ourselves, and that wasn't the most fun adventure, but it came out great and I am so happy with the look of it!  We also have in-floor radiant heating under that tile because there isn't a register vent in the bathroom.  It works awesome, by the way!

The mirror, the towels, the shower rug, the shower curtain and the cup for their toothbrushes and paste all came from Homegoods!  I totally scored there and the colors went with the wall color that we'd had painted for the last, um, year. :)

 The wire basket by the toilet I scored in the dollar bins (for $3) at Target!  I saw it and knew it'd make a great trash can for the bathroom!  They also had a huge wire basket/bin that would be awesome for their dirty laundry basket but the only one in the store that was left had pink accents. I need to check online and see if I can find a plain one on there.

The boys have been so happy to have their own space and they have done a great job keeping it picked up and clean!  I'm relieved that job is done.  Next up, Phase II of the basement remodel ... well, after my new BIG window goes in!

I do need to sing my husband's praises.  He did EVERYTHING in the bathroom except paint and decorate it.  He's awesome and he worked so hard to get this designed and put together for the boys. Thanks to him for being amazing!

Apple Orchard \\ 2016

Last week I received an email from our favorite apple orchard saying that our favorite kind of apple was ripe and ready for the picking!  That night when Andy got home I informed him that no matter what, we were going to the orchard that weekend!

Sunday morning we got everyone dressed, fed and out the door.  The orchard opened at 10:00 and we arrived around 10:20 -- it was already PACKED with people!

We went back and forth on whether we needed the stroller for Tenley or not and opted to head in without it.  Once we got to the main barn we found out it would be 30-45 minutes before we could catch a ride on the tractor out to the orchard but that we could walk out there if we wanted.  Back to the car Andy went to get the stroller. :)

Meanwhile the kids and I took in the beautiful view.

Once Andy got back we took a picture.  Aiden was Johnny Appleseed, Tenley was his knapsack, Brennan was the deer and Tate the rabbit.  My favorite part about this picture is seeing all their feet below it!

 Finally it was time to pick some apples!  Tate was much more excited than he appears in this picture, I promise!

Tate was good at getting the low ones. :)  Look at all the apples under the tree - they were dropping like crazy!  Most of them had soft spots from hitting the ground so hard so we stuck to picking off the tree.

Tenley loved apple picking!  We handed her an apple and she thought she was uptown!

The fun part about going to the orchard is snacking on an apple as you're out picking.  Andy brought along a pocket knife so the Sweet T's could enjoy the yumminess, too.  (Tate's not quite ready to bite into a whole apple yet.)

Once we got back to the barn and paid for our apples it was finally our turn to go for a ride behind the tractor.  The tractor is named 'Bessie' and that poor old girl always has her engine cut out while we are going through the crick.  After yelling "Go, Bessie, GO!!!" four times she finally started back up and we were moving on through the orchard.

Daddy with the Sweet T's

These two! :)

As we left we all enjoyed snacking on the orchard's freshly made apple turnovers. Holy smokes were they good!

It was a wonderful morning spent at the Apple Orchard!  We can mark that Fall activity off our list for the year!