Monday, August 22, 2016

Big Girl School.

Today, at 2 years old, Reyna started her first day of Montessori School.
Its all day. 8am to 3 pm. That is not much different than last year but this is SCHOOL.
She is in a classroom with 2.5-5 year olds. no diapers. nap. structure. lessons.

I am so sad I could not drop her off because I teach at 8:00am but she was excited this morning!
I can't wait to pick her up and talk about her first day of school over ice cream, just like my mom used to do with us.

 She asked to wear her polka dot shirt and two pigtails. 

Saturday, August 13, 2016

house tour - Big Girl Room.

When we found und out we were moving into this house we started enthusiastically referring to her room has her "Big Girl Room". This was part of our plan to transition and potty train. She picked up on the enthusiasm and the transition went pretty smoothly.
 (potty training is a story for another day)
We did not buy anything new. We basically rearranged her nursery to fit the space. This is the room I set up first. I thought it would be helpful for her to have this small piece of consistency while everything else was up in the air. This is also my favorite room so far.
Welcome to Reyna's room.

Her dream catcher was made by me. The newest addition is this metal "I'm Gorgeous Inside" sign. I found it in a junk store. I don't know what it could have possibly belonged to but its part of our daily message that what matters most is "your head and your heart".
This is the view from her door.  
The curtains are new. They are long pieces of fabric tied to the rod. I've always wanted to do this in a room and a kids room is just the space to try something unconventional. Plus, it was free. This was all fabric I had lying around - I know, I have a problem...
I'm working on it!
We transitioned her to a big girl bed.
The crib we had converts multiple ways. It actually only had a 4 inch brace to keep her from falling out but that was not gonna work. I used a closet shelf between the slats and it works perfect!
The hoop art over her crib is a new addition but again, free. And incomplete. The large center one will be a globe when it is complete. I make the bedskirt with existing fabric as well.
I also had the little star lights hanging over her crib already. She loves to read herself to sleep to they work great as a night light.


To the right of her dresser is another nook.

I put out some pieces from her old room and included the fortune cookie painting I did.
This is special because, if you are not familiar with the story, we announced our pregnancy to our family with a fortune cookie.
Her room has two closets. One we use for clothes, the other for books. I'm not kidding when I say she has a closet - floor to ceiling - of books. The girl loves her books.
My favorite part of the room is her letter r.
We have had this for more than 5 years as part of a set that spelled "bears". Again, always something I wanted to try in the house.

When you make it to visit, she will be so happy to show you her Big Girl Room. and every toy. and every book.

So come by anytime!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

home tour - entry

every box is unpacked.
my goal was to unpack before school started. now comes the fun part -decorating!
I thought I would start a little tour of the house for all my family and friends who are interested.
I'll share the three entry way today.
Also, these will make for good before  pictures.

this is the view as you walk through the door.

The  double  doors  lead to the kitchen.

 fireplace is technically in the next room but its one of the first things you see.


 I put out a few of my favorite things.
Our entryway is beautiful in itself but I added this sign.
(the view from the double doors)
 here is a close up.
this is  one of my favorite pieces now. I ran across  a frame on clearance for $5.00 and used paint sharpie for the letters.
i'll share more soon.


Sunday, July 24, 2016

New House.

We moved.
It was a long process and so much blood sweat and tears went into this move.
We have the BEST parents. We literally couldn't have done it without them. in the physical sense. in the mental sense. Literally and figurately. Both sets traveled to Waco and spent their vacation days, hauling boxes up and down multiple sets of stairs. Babysitting, cleaning, all in 100 degree heat!

It was both emotional and gratifying to leave our "little blue house", as Reyna says.

 We fit our entire house in a single uhaul.

Let me tell you. We left that house better than we left it and that feels pretty good.
We made our trip across town to our new home.

Move in day was a mess. Literally.
We got there with our move in crew only to discover that there were tons of their boxes yet to be moved. Nothing had been cleaned.. I don't mean 10 moxes, I'm talking a moving van worth of stuff!
You know what we did? we ignored it. We brought our stuff in as they took their stuff out.
It was a LOOOOONG day but we managed to get everything into the house in one day.
We had to think of a way to keep Reyna occupied so we put on a movie, a fan, and pillows down and she took a nap! What a trooper!

Our parents worked their tails off!
Now, we get to spend our days, getting the home together. Lots of work has already happened and I'm sure that you'll get a glimpse of the process!
For now, just know that we are loving our B&B and making it ours.

Gull Lake 2016.

We moved.
Like weeks ago!
Lots to catch up on so here we go!
At the end of June, we went on a great long trip Up North. We made another road trip up to Iowa. We spent a few days there and then up to Minnesota.
We spent the Fourth of July up there with extended family.
My American girl!
We swam, splashed, played carpet ball (lots of it), ate too much ice cream, jet skied, rescued an eagle.....

... and mostly just loved lake life.

Sunday, June 12, 2016


Through the business, we found a time to visit Leisure Camp. My parents go there often and the weather was just perfect.

We found out that she love rocks.
and swimming.
and throwing rocks.
and the "little house" (rv)
and gathering rocks.


We also celebrated a graduation and my sister's birthday.

She had so much fun, that we left her there for a couple of days while we did adult things - like packing up all her toys in her room!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Lightning Speed.

The end of the school year always moves at lightning speed. There's tests and grading, and teacher gifts and awards ceremonies and deadlines.
This year, we accidentally started the moving process.

Every house hunt has a story.
Ours goes like this:
1) Saw a house we liked on 4 acres.
2) put our house on the market.
3) Had LOTS of interest - showed it 25+ times in two days
4) 4 acre house rejected our offer
5) took our house off the market
6) got offered more on our house
7) offered more on 4 acre house
8) got rejected again.
9) Really stopped looking.
10) Got offered more for our house
11) Decided to move
12) began a new house hunt - saw 11 houses in one day
13) saw "Bed & Breakfast" house and 4 acre house again
14) fell in love with B&B
15) made an offer
16) signed a contract

Of course there are lots of moving parts in all of this and we are still doing inspections etc. but it really is unbelievable.
Working through so many emotions and firmly believing that we would be placed where God meant for us to be, is/was exhausting. We love this B&B for so many reasons. And once we are actually IN, I'll share all about it (plus pictures). I just didn't want to forget to process.

For now, I'm off to another adventure - potty training!

Monday, May 9, 2016

3rd Mother's Day.

This was my third mother's day.
I'll be honest. On my first Mother's Day I felt ENTITLED to my Mother's Day!
Afterall, I had just birthed a baby and I was running on no sleep.

On this, my third Mother's Day, I feel UNDESERVING.
Parenting is hard on so many levels that I was unaware of on that first mother's day. As I sat in church Sunday as I listened to declarations of mothering in our lives, I wanted nothing more than to be with my mother. And so, I packed up Reyna and headed on a spontaneous trip to San Antonio to crash the Mother's Day party there.

and I am so glad I did.
It was really a celebration of Isavel Reyna, my grandmother. As she was showered with love from 11 (of 12) of her children, I sat in amazement that this little lady DID that. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Then I looked around the room at my aunts and cousins who are all mothers now.

Mothers in attendance:
- Isavel Reyna (12)
- Isabel Moran (3)
- Delia McCumber (4)
- Sylvia Ramos (1)
- Lori Alaniz (4)
- Josie McCumber (2)
- Becky Alvarado (4)
- Me (1)
 and I somehow felt undeserving.

Within the everyday joyous experiences of motherhood, every one of THESE mothers has a hard story. A tough pregnancy. Being abused while pregnant. Being 40 and pregnant. Loosing a day old baby. Single parenting. Broken relationships with their children. Military parenting, etc.

While I think I am a good Mom, and mothering is not a contest, I think matriarchs should be celebrated. The "tough stuff" I deal with is what every mother deals with-grumpiness, potty training, lack of sleep and time. So while I may not have experienced death or grief or 'hardness', I am a young mother with lots of mothering ahead, and knowing these women gives me confidence that I can mother through all mothering scenarios.

I may not be deserving, I am grateful to be in the club with all these mothers (and many others in my life).

Friday, May 6, 2016

What was I thinking?!

I feel like this could become a regular series.
Every now and then I get mayself into a frenzy.
I'm usually a very laid back, go with the flow type of person but what was I thinking?

Between the days of April 25th and April 30th I:
- Hosted three test reviews
- planned a birthday party
- had two guest speakers for a Sexual Violence panel for a class (very emotional)
- put our house on the market
- had 25+ showings on our house
- got a pre approval (i.e. did bank stuff)
- visited a wanted house 3 times
- wrote 4 final tests
- sat in on three internship presentations
- took our house off the market
- baked cupcakes
- had 4 guest for the weekend
- restocked my store
- visited the museum, zoo, and parks
- kenneled Rexx
- hosted a party
- kept a house clean for said showings


Yes, all of this was by choice but we chose to be proactive in a house hunt and while I can't speak for all of us, I also felt at peace about each decision along the way. That's usually how I know I made a good decision. There are times of busy-ness that we push through but I am also glad this is not our everyday life style. Everything went well and I laugh looking back at it now but still...what was I thinking?!

Monday, May 2, 2016

2nd Birthday Paw-ty.

This weekend, we celebrated with some of our favorite people.
We decided that we are going to try to avoid "character" parties as long as we can. 
So we thought about what she really likes: Puppies and Purple
So the Purple Puppy Paw-ty was created. 

Luckily, the weather cooperated and we were able to set up outside.
We asked Reyna who she would like to have come to the house to play with her and 
she requester her favorite friends by name. 
We had 10 kids, and 14 adults.

 We had Pup-eroni Pizza, Pawsta Salad, Kibble-n-bits (chex mix), Pup corn, Pawtato chips, 
Pupcakes, etc. served in these dollar store dog bowls.

My sister made this cute board like she did last year.
We pulled out all the toys we already had, including the Puppy pool.
 We had a bubble machine, soccer goal, a water table, a basketball hoop, a hula hoop

 My sister made this cute dog house, too!
 We had to have a pinata!

The last activity on their way out was a Puppy Adoption Station. 
They picked a puppy. Wrote his name on his dog tag, filled out a certificate of adoption, and took a crate to take him/her home. 
This went better than I thought it would.
It was so fun to see what names they chose.
We had a Ken, Shawn, and a Bubbles!

A Happy Birthday song.
 and so many sweet gifts from her friends.
She was one happy girl!
We are now in the "terrific twos".
(I'm choosing to be optimistic ;) )