Hello, hello! Happy Monday to ya!
It feels pretty darn fabulous to be back. 🙂 Vacations and general time away from our day-to-day routines are often so great for two reasons: 1.) we’re able to do things we don’t normal have (or make) time to do and 2.) we often return to our normal routine with a renewed spirit and fresh attitude toward the things we took a short break from.
Both were the case for me the last two weeks!
Is there any other way to return from a two-week “vacation” than to unload with a good, old fashioned “Slice of Life”? Of course not! Here’s a tiny glimpse into a portion of what the last bit of summer has looked like around here.
I finally got my act together and updated our “Home is where the Army sends you” sign. We originally had it made in Fort Campbell, and I’ve been trying different avenues for three years to find the lady who made it. After having no luck, I finally contacted Personally Yours and had them make all new duty station signs (we kept our original “DeSpain” banner). Jamie and I are really pleased with the completed piece. It’s fun to look at this and think about how much life (chaos?) we packed into these duty stations. What a nutty adventure our 20s were.
My lifelong best friend Amberlee’s 30th birthday was last month, and her husband recruited our help to plan a whole day full of girlfriend time. A dozen of us surprised her with brunch, then went to the nail salon and sipped champagne, and then we ended the day at my neighborhood pool. We ordered dinner to eat at the pool and hung around having a ball for nearly five hours. Our husbands and kids joined us later in the evening, and it was honestly all such a blast. One of the best days I’ve had in a while.
And on Amberlee’s actual birthday, things were much quieter. We enjoyed lunch out where her six week old baby boy slept on my chest the whole time. (Heaven.) My girls and her oldest son Carter (pictured) love each other so much, and it makes us really happy to see the next generation enjoy their time together just like their mamas have for 20 years. We aren’t nostalgic people at all…
My hanging baskets usually have a birds nest every summer, but this year the girls really (really!) got into it! We pulled the basket down every three days, and they would both scream like lunatics and run to the front porch as soon as I mentioned going to check on the eggs or birds. We actually saw the final baby take flight, which was good closure for the girls. They got to witness the complete circle, from the building of the nest to the final baby bird flying away.
Ted is doing great! You may remember that he had two severe slipped discs; One appeared fresh and one appeared hardened, as if it had been there awhile. I can’t imagine how painful that was for him for who knows how long. The surgeon fixed both, and we’re now 3.5 weeks out from surgery. We’ve been taking it extremely easy with him (no jumping, pet stairs, etc.), but he is happy, energetic, and doing so well.
Hadley is our sensitive kid for sure, so she’s been really mushy with Teddy. She takes super good care of him and is very gentle. Teddy loves her right back.
A few months ago the girls were unsure about the jets in our tub (this is our first house with a jetted tub), but four months later and they’ve completely changed their minds. They’d bathe and play in our tub every night if we had the energy for that. Sadly, we don’t. 😉 But it’s become a fun little treat for them once or twice a week.
Excuse this dumb snap I sent a few friends recently, but people ask all the time how (in the world!) I manage to make it consistently to the 5 a.m. Orangetheory class. The truth is that it’s dang hard more often than not. It’s very mental. There isn’t a single night that I don’t moan as I set my 4:20 a.m. alarm.
Actually, getting up is the easy part though. If I don’t go to the class, I get charged $12, so missing it or oversleeping isn’t an option (the monthly tuition is pricey enough – ah). I get up, brush my teeth, throw clothes on, and I’m out the door in 12ish minutes. There’s really no time to even think about it. Before I know it, I’m home in the shower and totally energized for the day after an amazing workout.
Also, the only other time that I can go to the gym is 7 p.m., and that sounds even more unappealing to me. I am so much more of an early bird than a night owl! Finally, going to OTF is an hour of my day where I don’t have any stress or cares about other things going on. Somehow all of my responsibilities are blocked for that hour, and I love that feeling. It’s addicting actually.
So yes, the bottom line is that the 5 a.m. class is super challenging to go to sometimes, but I never regret going, and that thought alone keeps me setting the next day’s alarm.
Hadley’s first t-ball season is complete! Jamie signed her up after seeing a roadside sign for it the day after we arrived in Alabama back in March, and they had a great season together.
I missed a couple games, my mom missed one game, and Jamie missed two games (for drill), but my dad… he never missed a game. Not one. Meant the world to me.
We stumbled upon a little community expo after Hadley’s last game, and you would have thought we were at Disney World based on their excitement. Seeing their joy was a good reminder that getting out and doing just about anything with them at these ages is thrilling for them.
We’ve had so much time with friends. Friends from my childhood, friends from college, and friends who are new since we moved here. Not having many commitments this summer was the best decision because it allowed us to say “yes” to all of the spontaneous, often day-of invitations that came our way. Saying “yes” more than “no” has allowed relationships to build (or re-build) faster than I expected, and we are very grateful for the consequential community.
Love these pledge sisters of mine (+ beautiful Savannah!), two of whom I hadn’t seen in several years! Such a fun night with really good, good people.
Oh, how I adore this group of women from our new church who have taken me in and included me so effortlessly. When you’re the “new kid” somewhere and someone takes you under their wing, it often means so much. It might be easy for the person who is doing the including, but for the “new kid” (*ahem* – me!), it’s often a big deal.
We stumbled into trivia night at our girls night last week and had a good time trying to play along. Our team name was “A hair dresser, a vet, a lawyer, and a blogger”. Original, right? 😉
Our office has been our catch-all since we moved in, but during the last two weeks I finally got crackin’ on getting it organized. I just had to find some design inspiration online first, but once I found what I wanted to do, I got right to work.
First up: Paint this honey oak bookcase that my parents recently gave us. (You may remember that our Kansas home had a large built-in bookcase in the office, so when we moved we realized that we know needed a bookcase. Thankfully they had one that they’d been ready to get rid of for a while.)
Obviously this is a “before” shot. Did you see on my IG story about the fig?
Oh, that dumb fig that I just can’t seem to give up on. I wasn’t giving it enough sunlight + was overwatering it the first three weeks I had it (purchased in April), so it started to die quickly. Rats.
After some help from fig-parents on the ‘gram, I was able to try to nurse it back to health. 2.5 months later and it’s starting to grow some new leaves. I have it right in front of a window and am watering about once every three weeks (about 1.5 cups at a time). We’ll see! I’m so stubborn that I’m honestly only keeping it just to see if I can nurse it back to health. It’s a challenge now more than anything – lol).
But squeal – our office is fabuuuulous! Jamie and I are working in here at the same time right now at our own desks after hours and hours of work the last week or so, and we are loving working together but separately. 🙂
We had a heck of a good time takin’ our babes kayaking last Friday. Jamie has the opportunity to take every other Friday off if he’s put in 80 hours of work already in a two-week span, so he took the day off and we had some family fun.
The girls loved it (and I mean really loved it), and so did we. The weather was perfect, and a 90 minute trip down the river was plenty for our first time out with the kids. We’ll be back next summer to do the 3.5 hour trip with friends and/or family. 🙂
Also, I get a good amount of questions whenever I’m out and about regarding my Chacos. I freaking love them. I got them 2.5 years ago because I wanted a pair of shoes that I could slip on quickly to go to the playground, go on walks, etc. that were low maintenance and could get messy and wet since I’d be out with the kids. They still look brand new and are overall fantastic shoes. I had a tough time initially swiping my card for $100, but dang… $100 well worth it. Jamie ended up getting himself a pair last summer after seeing how practical mine were.
In this picture below, Hadley is amazed at her reflection. She couldn’t stop talking about it. 🙂
Oh, I adore the heck out of you, Sadie Rose DeSpain – you absolute stinker, you.
And finally, if you buy the $20 Belle dress at Costco (they just put out a massive rack full of princess dresses), just know that your butt will be covered in glitter for the rest of your life because that’s all the Belle dress is – straight glitter. 😉 And your two-year-old will love the dress so much, you won’t actually be mad about the glitter even a little bit. But just a heads up about your rear and arms and legs and eye lids (I saw some glitter on Jamie’s eyelid at church – hehe), because you really will be covered no matter how much you vacuum. 😉
Have a wonderful day, my friends! I’ll see ya tomorrow and the next day and the next day and the day after that, because I have so much blogging I want to do. Life is good. I hope yours is too. xoxoxo
Hi! I’m Erica, and I absolutely adore sharing my life on this website with you! I come here almost daily to blab about all of the things related to being a regular wife and mother in today’s ever-evolving society. I share about our new home, what’s on our kitchen table, what we’re hanging in our closets, where we’re traveling to next, my crazy 5 a.m. work outs, how I make time for girlfriends, our faith, and much more. We always have a lot of balls in the air and somewhat thrive on the chaos. I believe in the power of story-telling as a form of inspiration and entertainment, so I’m here to do both! I was born and raised in north Alabama and recently re-planted roots here again after my husband transitioned out of the Army (he is now in the Reserve and it’s going so well!) I’m a super proud mom to two little girls (ages 5 and 2) who seem to be the stars of the show around here (for good reason – they’re pretty great!) I’m so glad you found me and are here reading! I hope we can get to know each other here on the blog as well as Facebook and/or Instagram. xoxo