November 30, 2017

November 2017 in Pictures

 Thanksgiving 2017 - Love these girls! 
 Skylar saying goodbye to Onyx. Sweetest most pitful thing ever.
 Iron Bowl  |  House Divided
 Onyx, 5 months old, 30.2 pounds
 Our chickens are finally laying again! 
We've started drinking coffee around here. 
Shutters, garage and front porch! 

November 2017 Update

At this point in the year it always seems to speed up and things fly by. I hardly even remember November. Seriously.

We did finally get our garage installed this month. That was the last "big" thing on our renovation list. It was so fun watching them put it up in the same day. We also got our shutters installed and I painted the front porch. The outside transformation has been just as drastic as inside. This past week we finished up staining the grout in the kitchen, bath, and laundry area. I'm not sure why in the world I thought I wanted white grout. Thankfully it was a pretty easy $20 fix.

I remember when I was dead set on not living "out that way" near Providence in Mt. Juliet. But the longer we are here, the more and more I'm loving it. The Dancing Lights of Christmas moved "out here" to the fairgrounds and we checked it out before Thanksgiving. When we lived in Donelson, it was literally 3 minutes from our house but we had never visited before. When you live on Pennington Bend you mainly just hunker down during December to avoid all the Opryland traffic. Anyway, the show was quite impressive. I've decided that if all the cool stuff wants to keep moving outside the city that's just fine with me.

For Thanksgiving, we popped down to Birmingham to spend the holiday with my family. We ate so good! We took Onyx with us to meet everyone while our neighbors cared for the chickens. Since our co-op has ended for the semester Skylar decided she would like to stay for an extra week in Bama. I was happy to oblige this request. Mama needed a break. I sometimes wonder who has it better. My sister who can drop her kids off every other weekend or me who saves it up and does it all at once. It's a pretty good deal either way and I'm so thankful for my family who cares for Skylar so well.

Our pup, Onyx, still continues to be a delight. At her 5 month check up she weighed 30 pounds and they are estimating she will top out around 60-65 which, really, is the perfect size if you ask me! She's still very much all puppy. Her favorite pasttimes include chasing chickens, sneaking through holes in fences, stealing trash from the burn pile, and chewing electrical cords. She also loves to fetch, pull Skylar on the swing, visit the neighbors, and ride in the car. But the remainder of the time she is chill, chill, chill. We can't hardly imagine how we ever lived with out her. Her improving guard dog skills are particularly helpful.

I was able to return to yoga class this week and I'm quite happy about that. My recovery from the accident has seemed to stall so this is kind of my last resort to getting better. If nothing else, it's good for my emotional self.

The past few months have been pretty tough between the accident, work, life, church, and relationships. Being an adult is just plain hard sometimes. But it's given me a new and fresh perspective on a lot of things and how I want to do things differently in the new year. I'm excited and a teensy bit scared about what I feel the Lord asking me to do but I think it's all going to work out.

I can't wait to get my girl back and start celebrating the holidays. Our Lego Advent Calendar arrived and I'm pulling out our Advent Devotions for Busy Families book. This combo is our favorite way to count down to Christmas.

For more November pictures, click here.

October 31, 2017

October 2017 Update

We started October with a quick fall family getaway trip. We visited 3 states in 3 days. We popped up to the Creation Museum, then down to the Ark Encounter. Both are highly recommended but if you are short on time or want to spare the expense of the combo ticket, I would seriously recommend just spending a full day at the Ark. It. Was. Fascinating. Seriously, it was one of the most thought-provoking experiences of my life.
We visited Cincinnati, Louisville, and Lexington over the weekend and I have to say that Cincinnati was my favorite. It reminded me so much of Nashville. We had a gorgeous view of the city for dinner and then spent the evening at their riverfront park. We lucked out that there weren't any baseball games that weekend so it was pretty chill and easy to navigate our way around. On our last day, we headed over to Holiday World. The forecast was 100% rain but we had purchased our tickets in advance so we decided just to make the most of it. We were soaked through by the time we left but we managed to ride every single roller coaster multiple times. Our kiddo is pretty apprehensive about new things and this trip was no different. But, it's safe to say we have now turned her into a roller coaster junkie like her mom and dad. She begged to ride them again and again despite swearing that she wasn't going to ride them at all when we arrived. #NeverSayNever It was such a sweet little weekend with just the 3 of us and I'm thankful we had the opportunity to experience all of that together.
Have I mentioned how much I love our pup? Y'all I still can't get over how much I'm smitten with this sweet girl. She's such a mild-mannered pup. At her October vet visit she weighted 22 pounds (up 7 pounds from last month). She has mastered "sit," "down," "friend," and is getting better about coming when we call her. It's rare that we have to call her back. She's pretty consistent about hanging at the back door and keeping an eye on things. She's just figured out this week that she can bark and has since been telling us when someone arrives or there's a critter spying on us from the tree line. I was a little worried her sweet temperament was going to fail us in the alert department but I dare say she's gonna make a good guard dog after all. Her brother, Asher, stayed with us for a week and those 2 had a blast. As did Skylar!

Last week we had our concrete poured for our garage so things were pretty exciting around here. I sweet talked our contractor into leaving the key for the bobcat and we were able to get some more gravel moved on the driveway and mulch moved over the garden. Mike taught Skylar how to run the thing and she actually did most of the lifting and moving while we did the spreading. I'm not kidding, we turned her loose and she ran that thing like a boss! I was so thankful to able to get my garden squared away. I may still put some leaf mulch on top but it's ready to sit and compost for the winter. I didn't get to garden this year but I'm so excited for my "Back to Eden" garden next year.

Otherwise, it's just been work and school as usual. Our co-op is going well this semester and we are still unschooling the rest of the week. I love seeing how creative and imaginative Skylar is when left to her own devices. We've had to make several library runs because there is a new subject she wants to research and learn more about. Every day is filled with learning!

Work has been pretty busy for me and I've already started a waiting list for January (contact me ASAP if you want to get your 2018 off to a good start). I wish I could clone myself because I absolutely love all of the projects I get to work on. I do have an amazing assistant helping me so that's allowed me to take on some extra projects. I'm also on the lookout for an intern to start now or next semester. If you know someone who is interested in graphic design and/or book design, I'd love to talk to them.

For Halloween this year, we went to the Trunk or Treat at The Glade church where we've been attending. They did a fantastic job and we loved all of the cool trunks and costumes we saw. For Halloween night, we went with our nephews to Main Street in Watertown. All of the shop owners at the square come out and give candy. Then we visited the residential area downtown and ended up at a little church with games, hot dogs, and chili. It really was the neatest experience. So many of the houses were decorated and it had such a small town feel. We enjoyed it very much! Our girl dressed as Batman this year!

That's about it for October. Excited to see what November holds!

More October pictures here.

October 2017 in Pictures

Our sweet girl getting a bath and rolling her eyes. 
Crazy Auburn fan!
Out and about in Cincinatti at Riverfront Park
The Ark was amazing!
That time we went to Holiday World and it rained the whole time but we rode every roller coaster multiple times with no lines! 
We love this sweet pup so much. Although, she probably has no idea what her name is. We call her Lovey, Sweet Pup, Puppers, Love Bug, Good Girl, Sweet Pup, and Onyx. It's pretty obvious we are smitten. 
 One of my clients from the East Coast came to Nashville for a visit!
Walden Farms Pumpkin Patch 2017
Our concrete is ready for a garage and we have sweet memories to look back on for years to come. 
 My Back to Eden garden is covered in mulch and ready to compost down over the winter!
 My girl helping me learn Hebrew.
Happy Halloween from Batman!

September 30, 2017

September 2017 in Pictures

 Wedding Ready
 Skylar with the Groom (knight in shining armor, literally)
 oh how I love these girls
 Sea shell hunting
PCB 2017 with Mom
Onyx baby!

 my new THM cookbook!
 Library Day. That's 44 books!
 I've taken up coloring. 

September 2017 Update

September was kind of a blur.

We popped down to Bham for my step-brother's wedding on the way to the beach. Hurricane Irma kind of dampened the first couple of days but then we had fantastic weather and shell hunting, which is Skylar's favorite. I didn't get to snorkel a lot but we still had a blast.

While we were at the beach, I had the grand idea to start an online deal sharing service. I love saving money and I love shopping from my couch so it only made sense to start sharing the things I find with everyone else. You can follow Online Deal Alert on Facebook. Be sure to find the pinned post at the top and let me know if you are looking for anything in particular and I'll keep an eye out. I've already helped several people check things off their list - at a discount!
While we were away, Mike held down the fort but we missed our pup so much. I was SO surprised at how much she had grown during the week we were away. At her first check up in early September she weighed 15 pounds but we can tell she's gaining quickly Y'all. I don't really enjoy the puppy stage at all (#BecauseBaron), but this girl is so sweet and laid back. She has been the perfect addition to our family and she has made a great farm dog so far. She's happy and content to hang close to the house and doesn't really wander at all. We most often find her lounging at the back door or under a shade tree. She even puts herself to bed at night in her kennel outside. I can't get over how gentle and calm her personality is. She's really smart but she's also pretty lazy (thank you pyranees). The lab part makes her really friendly so it's like the best of both worlds. We have joked that we hit the jackpot with this love bug and are so happy to have her here!

We've also added 2 new chickens to the BFF, Dot + Freckles. I call them "the twins." They stick pretty close to each other and I really can't tell them apart. They've had quite a time trying to acclimate to the rest of our brood but things are finally starting to get better. Everybody went on a laying strike for a while but I think we've gotten the pecking order in line now.

I was able to help a postpartum family earlier this month. I literally watched a baby go from 36 - 48 hours old and it was so precious. I also had a repeat client deliver at the end of the month. It's such an honor to work with a family again.

Stay tuned for October. More September pics here.

August 31, 2017

August 2017 Update

August was crazy town.

After the car accident last month things went a little bezerk. For someone who is a homebody it sure felt like we were going somewhere every single day. And I was not a happy camper. Between orthopedic doctors, physical therapy, chiropractic, massage therapy, car shopping, and court, having a day at home was rare. Ugh! Did I mention that I'm a homebody? So, not only was I hindered in my work because of my hand, but then there was the time issue to boot. To my own surprise I think I've managed to keep all of my clients happy and projects moving forward but it hasn't been easy. For someone who likes to finish projects ahead of schedule, I felt behind most of the month. I still do. Type A. Sigh. I can't help it.

We did finally get "car" checked off the list. Man, the used car market is HOT. Kinda like real estate in Nashville right now. We literally had 2 cars sold right out from under us. Frustrating! We finally found a Limited Toyota Sequoia that I absolutely love, so it all worked out in the end. It's the first non-American car I've ever owned in my entire life. It kinda feels like I'm cheating or being disloyal somehow. Do I miss my Mountaineer, Starry Night? Yes! But I'm loving my new heated seats, sunroof, bluetooth phone connection, weather teck mats, back up camera, and DVD player. I didn't know what I was missing out on. LOL! Now, if I could just come up with a name for her.

We also started 5th grade. We were a little delayed from our original plan because of the car accident. With my hand messed up, I couldn't quite handle anything else on my plate. But my girl BEGGED to start school so we kicked off one week after Metro. In TN, 5th grade is technically "middle school" but I just can't even admit that we are here already. Our co-op starts up next week but in the meantime, we've been working on things at home. My girl's curiosity to learn and creativity amazes me sometimes. It's such a priviledge to be her mama and learning facilitator.

One super exciting event this month was the Solar Eclipse. Our new home was right in the path of totality. We had 60 friends join us at the BFF for one of the coolest things I've ever seen. It was so eerie to see it get dim during the middle of the day and then go to complete darkness when the sun is in the middle of the sky. We saw stars and our flood lights came on. The sun's corona was whispy and beautiful. We didn't get a chance to listen for crickets because we were all cheering and chattering away. It seemed like the fastest 2 minutes and 8 seconds ever! I'm definitely planning to travel for the next one in 2024. Once you've experienced it, you wouldn't want to miss it again. Check out this awesome timelapse that Josh Rowe captured.

Mike and I also celebrated our 12th anniversary this month. I don't think it's any surprise (and we will fully admit) that our entire marriage has just been hard. But I finally feel like we are getting to the sweet spot. This 2nd decade has certainly been immensely better than the 1st and it feels good.

We also have an exciting addition to the BFF. Meet our new pup, Onyx. She's a black labrador/pyrnaees mix and she is the sweetest thing. After Baron, I thought I was ruinned on puppies forever but this little love bug has stolen my heart. She really is precious! I've read good things about this mix and we are hopeful that she will be a good guard dog for our chickens and farm while also being a family friendly pet. We all adore her already. Skylar made this awesome video to announce her arrival.

Mike has been traveling for work this past week, although it's more fun than work. He has worked so hard over the last few months to earn this trip and I'm glad his best buddy from work earned a spot too. He comes home tomorrow but they are having a blast.

That's about it for August. For more pics, go here. Next month is our annual beach trip with my mom. I sure could use a vacation!