This morning was so beautiful. I decided to postpone the boys' lesson until after nap so we could go outside before it reached 100 (silly August!).
This summer has been pretty warm, and we've been couped up for far too long. I jumped at a chance to get some fresh air.
As soon as we got outside, the boys began to do what they do best.
For Gabe, it was playing with tractors in the dirt:
And for Liam, it was picking up as many gumballs as he possibly could to inspect them:
Followed by some brotherly bonding:
The weather was far too nice to resist, so I decided to introduce the kids to something new:
This was an adventure all in itself. The boys were having a hard time actually sitting down on the blanket, and the flies were everywhere. Eventually we threw them our crust as a sort of peace treaty.
See what I mean? Ridiculous.
At the end of it, all either of them wanted to do was steal my water bottle, look at Bryce's car, and for some reason, yell "PISTON CUP!" It maybe wasn't the smoothest picnic ever, but we had a ton of fun.
Anyway, this week has been great, and I think the blog has a lot to do with it. It holds me accountable and encourages me to do more exciting things with them.
I've been a lot more patient, too. The fits haven't exactly stopped, but I typed up some pretty detailed daily sheets for everyday so I could keep track of these and also the potty training efforts. I think observing patterns might be key in helping both of these things, so I'm trying to do it as much as possible. We'll see how it goes!
It is my sincere belief that every man, woman, and child need to have at least one can of chalkboard paint.
I bought my first can to turn this cheap frame from Hobby Lobby into this for our wedding:
Well, I was feeling rather inspired after I started to set up a schedule with the kids. I knew that we had to really start hitting the alphabet, I just didn't know how to do it.
And then I remembered this:
My boss/neighbor gave me this mirror one day as I was leaving. Her friend had given it to her, but she didn't know what she'd use if for. I told her I didn't need it, but I was in a rush that day, and she insisted. I left it in my basement to start collecting dust.
I decided to try the chalkboard paint out on it. So while the kids slept, I quickly threw scotch tape around the white part and did the first coat:
Throughout the day, I added on to it two to three more times (by the fourth coat, I was good). By the night, it looked like this:
I took some sand paper and sanded away a bit at the frame to take down the glossiness. Then I mixed together some cheap acrylic paint and painted around three coats.
Sothis morning, it looked like this:
Then I measured it out. I made a mark three inches from the top and then three from the bottom. In the middle of the two marks, I made another. Then I used a straight-edge (yes, that is the Sims, and it was mighty handy!) to bring the lines all the way across. I made sure to only use dashes for the middle line.
Then I used awesome concentration to go over the lines with white acrylic.
Gabe and I reviewed the letter "A," and then I surprised him with this. He still doesn't quite get the concept of the lines, but he still had fun!
And so did Liam!
And once the lesson was done, they realized it made a great track for Thomas!
It was such a fun switch-up from our regular routine, and it made practicing the letters so much more fun!
I swear, chalkboard paint needs a trophy or something.
Okay, yeah. So I felt that last one needed to be broken up into two parts. Ready to hear where I'm going? Good, because I've made a list:
This is my goal list. In case you can't read my extremely sloppy handwriting (hey, not even my husband can), I'm putting them on here.
1) Learn to crochet - I really want to get this skill down before we have babies. I want to be able to make them afghans. Also, I want to learn how to make a granny square so I can make a really awesome, big blanket.
2) Cook meals at least three times a week - I haven't cooked much at all since marriage, and I really want to become a darn good cook.
3) Redesign the blog - Ehh...not as high of a priority, but I really want to like it every time I see it,
4) Start up Etsy - True followers and friends might remember when I swore to do it...like, two years ago.
5) Learn to sew clothes - So I can look all spiffy.
6) Learn my way around a camera - I'm learning a ton this fall!
7) Get home completely organized - Have they really not made magic genies for this yet? Come on, modern scientists...get on it!
8) Work out everyday - I'm trying to run every other day. Anything to avoid the dreaded P90X...
9) Let little things go; don't harbor as much - This is a pretty universal goal, I think.
10) Get house decorated - Seriously, that orange wall has got to go...
11) Collect/make art for the house - Our walls are oh so bare.
12) Bike ride at least once a week - I tried this two Saturdays ago. I popped a tire a mile away from my house and had to walk it back. A night of bad dreams about creepy men was followed by a long walk home where everyone drove past slllooooowwwwwllllllyyyyyy to stare at me. Awesome.
13)Become a better thrifter - My budget will thank me later.
14) Completely cut out soda - Hello, my name is Lindsay, and I've been soda-free for a week.
15) Read my Bible everyday - Good idea, trust me.
16) Read ten books - I'm currently reading Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee. It's a historical account of the Trail of Tears, and it only took me about three years to start reading it.
17) Cut out as much internet as possible - Sorry Beibs, I just can't keep virtually stalking you like this. I hope you'll understand.
18) Get hair healthy - Said the fake blonde.
19) Do two craft shows - I wish I knew a cool rap song about money. The best I could come up with was: Gotta get that bling bling bling. I'm not very hip.
20) Write more - There once was a princess named Lindsay, and she loved unicorns very much. No, in all honesty, I do love to write. I just don't do it often enough. Practice makes perfect. Please don't judge me for that last blog post.
21) Stop being so apologetic - My wonderful sisters gave the toast at our wedding. They made an acrostic poem using the letters of FICKAS for my characteristics. For "a", they used "apologetic." The guests all cracked up in agreement. I'm sorry, okay?
22) Invest more into these kids - Gabe will be potty-trained and all alphabetic by the time I'm done with him. Maybe he can even make up awesome words like his nanny. Who knows?
So there. I have until December 28 to start becoming totally awesome. And then? Then I'm giving myself twenty-three goals (See what I'm doing?). I am, afterall, a work in progress. I think it's time to set that forward:)
I think it's time for me to be honest: this blog can be a chore.
When I was in Texas, my family kept joking around that all I ever did was hang around the computer. But I needed to post. I needed to get this blog perfect. Maybe I could change the design like this or add that. But by the end of it, my blog still looked the same, and I personally dislike it...a lot.
It's not just the design. It's the fact that this feels so forged. For me, blogs are for living vicariously through the cuter and craftier. So I try to model my posts after them. And since I can't afford all of the cute clothes from sites like modcloth, I just make random posts about dresses hoping that will make up for it, and then after they're up, I'll critique them again and again. "Oh that was corny. People are probably going to think that was so stupid."
It's all surface level, every little thing. In all honesty, I have never felt so much like a train wreck. My house is so messy. I clean it, and the next day, it's messy again. It's my own fault, but I tend to blame Bryce (at least in my mind) and just get so crabby towards him.
My job has been getting so hard lately. The kids have both been acting up some, especially the younger of the two. He throws fits, and it makes me so mad, I cry. I'm not patient nor loving. Again, I'm crabby. I raise my voice and then feel so bad about it, but to make up for it, I blame everyone but myself. A lot of fruit comes from getting your face out of the phone and playing with them. From loving them despite their time-outs. From cuddling and laughing under sheet forts. They get this fun side a lot, but not as often as they should.
And my heart? Gosh, it's like a black hole. These past few years have been really hard. I claim to be a Christian, but at times, I'm ashamed of that. In high school, it all seemed so easy. You go to church, you're saved. You rock out with the youth group and hang out with your church friends, and there isn't much resistance (at least not in my school). There was only one time I was made fun of for my faith: a kid once laughed at me and told the bus that I planned to stay a virgin until I was married. That was it, and it was tolerable. But now, I go online, and people criticize it so much. We're close-minded bigots to them. They will bash our religion the first chance they get. And for a while, I read these things and felt almost naked. They were ripping apart at my flesh, trying to peck at my heart. But nonetheless, I read articles and comments that openly bashed what I once clung to so dearly. And I started to let go until I was callous. There were days I would wake up and doubt God more than I believed Him. I'm still jealous of my Facebook friends who seem to live with so much confidence, who post Scriptures and tie their hearts to them. My heart is the consequence of being both in the world and of it. I chose not to live any differently, and now it shows.
So that's that. I don't really care if that's not the most uplifting thing to read, but this blog is mine. I want to start acting like it. I want to blog about my day, even if I didn't wear the cutest dress or go to the most awesome place. I want to write and walk away happy. I want to feel like I'm not just on here to try to make money off of the advertisements or in hopes that this stupid thing will take off someday. Oh well in either case. This is my life, and through grace, I'm getting it together. From now on, this is a small bit of accountability; a sign that I'm living my life, not spending it on silly wishes.
So, my friends, there you are. I'm sorry if this isn't the happiest thing. Just in case, here's a kitten:
I'm not going to lie...I really would like an iPhone. Unfortunately, Sprint doesn't offer them. And my husband is kind of anti-Apple. For example, this is his shirt that he wears proudly:
And when he walks into the Sprint store, all of the employees compliment it. It's a really sick system. And I can't really argue computers with him, because he's majoring in Computer Science. Yeah.
I think I mainly like the apps. And the sound. And the look. And the smell. And the...yeah, let's get back to apps. Instagram still is exclusive to the iPhone, so I tried pretty hard to find a replacement. And I think I found a pretty good one.
It's called Vignette, and the demo alone is awesome. It has all the vintage filters you could need plus more. My sister, Stacy, downloaded the full version and swears by it. But I really like free things, so I'm holding off.
I put this app into action in Dallas (mainly on the road) and had a blast! So, here's a short summary of my trip with the app:
driving through Oklahoma
Barbeque Restaurant in Dallas. Check out the Album-esque menus and the cups!
Ikea. St. Louis needs one desperately!
Colby may be the cutest baby ever! This last picture reminds me of this:
(this video is STILL super creepy to me!)
We lounged around...a lot!
More good food with the entire family!
On our way to Branson for a day.
Bryce does not understand my traveling attire :)
Driving through the Ozarks.
Only in Branson can a hotel like this be cool (and not super cheesy).
Stacy, John, Bryce and I before seeing Yakov. Again, kind of creepy.
It cracked me up because shortly after Stacy and I really started to play with this app, Drew Porter from the band Showbread tweeted this:
Guilty, I suppose!
And sorry for the lack of variety with the filters. I'm still figuring out which ones are best:)
I'll share more about Dallas (and my sweet, sweet nephew) later. But right now, I have to clean. Hooray?