Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Settling In

Well, we are officially Barnesvillians again. After over 9 years in 2 different cities we're back home where we were born and raised and where we've always wanted to raise our family.  And honestly it's sort of surreal. It feels kind of like we're just here visiting for a while like we've done countless times throughout our 9 years livng away, except this time we get stay! =)

Moving day was loonnnng and exhausting. It took FOREVER and felt never-ending and didn't go at all like we expected or planned for. We thought we'd be moved in and starting to unpack by mid-afternoon on moving day. WRONG. Unfortunately, the movers took way longer than expected AND we had big time issues with some massive furniture of ours and our refrigerator not wanting to fit inside the rental house. Finally I had a mild I'matmybreakingpoint pity party around 10:00 Saturday night due to being exhausted and overwhelmed and unsure of us moving into this house. At that point we were surrounded by boxes, totally and completely worn out, and had had nothing to eat or drink for hours and hours. It just wasn't fun. The good news is that since then, things have improved. Praise the Lord!

While we still don't have every single thing unpacked and still can't find a few things we need and still have some things to do around here to make this house feel like home, we are getting somewhat settled in. And that feels good. Terrell and I are figuring out how to co-exist in a teeny, tiny bathroom together. I'm figuring out how to maneuver around a kitchen that's about a fifth of the size of my old one in Covington. (That's only a slight exaggeration by the way. This kitchen is smallllll.) We're learning to live without all of our things and extras we had in our old house. And, we're adjusting to life in the country. We're a mile or so outside city limits but are surrounded by a good bit of land and neighbors with lots of animals. It's been a pretty crazy adjustment since we're so used to subdivision city life. Ha!

We've definitely had some challenges these first few days, but we also know and have accepted it's going to take time to adjust (and repair all the countless "issues" that come with an old house that hasn't been lived in in a while) and more importantly that this is temporary.

I think for me, my biggest concern going into the move was about being in a tiny, old house all day long. I mean, being a stay-at-home mom, the home is like my full-time space. It's where I work and live and do just about everything. And the thought of downsizing to an older home and going without so many toys and things and square feet during the day with the boys sort of freaked me out. I was super concerend about how to function and go about our routine with 2 busy boys and a baby in this house. It was my biggest fear and source of anxiety by far. The reality though, now that I'm expereincing it this week, has been much better than I anticipated. I was prepared for the worst and challenges at every turn, but the boys have adjusted GREAT and I have managed pretty well too. We've had some really good days so far, which is so much more than I expected. God's grace is oh so good.

The unexpected this week has come in the form of waking up here and having that strange feeling that I'm not at home. It feels almost like I'm at a hotel or something. I'm ready for that feeling to go away. And I had a big wave of sadness come over me over not having any pictures and photos around this house. (But we're getting those out soon!) I've also had some unexpected moments of feeling bad homesick for my house in Covington. Definitely didn't see that one coming.

The good news is that we are THRILLED with being back in the hometown. I am loving running errands around this place I've missed so much. I'm loving having family close and seeing my grandparents riding down the road. =) I'm loving catching up with my 2nd grade teacher and a special family friend at the grocery store. We're all loving daddy's short commute and regular hours. And I am sooo excited and grateful my baby starts Kindergarten here and our busy, fun Fall season takes place HERE. Yaaaaaay!!

The good is overwhelmingly good and the not so good is just taking some time to get used to or figured out. Slowly but surely we will be settled and slowly but surely we'll get used to this house. And then we'll get to move again! (Pray for our house to sell!)

***We can't thank our families enough for all of their help with getting us moved. It was a HUGE group effort between baby-sitting for the kids, the actually moving, unpacking, getting the rental house ready for us, making repairs for us, etc. We are SO, SO grateful for the most supportive family ever. Seriously. We are blessed! BIG THANK YOU to my parents, Terrell's parents, and my sister and brother-in-law. We couldn't have pulled it off without you!!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Beach Vacay 2014~ Part 3

My final recap of our week at the beach is mostly pictures. We did our traditional white and khaki pictures again and I thought they turned out pretty wonderful. We've done these pictures 6 years in a row now and I know I'll always treasure them. It may be a big ole chore getting everybody ready and back out to the beach and sandy again, but for now it's worth it. I'm in love. =)

Other than one crazy fast thunderstorm that blew through one morning later in the week, we had really, really great weather. The big boys swam at the pool, played in the sand, ate tons of peanut butter crackers and cheez-its on the beach, floated in the ocean, and watched way more tv than they get to at home (since they had one in their room) while grown-ups got ready or cooked. They had a ball.

Layton mainly hung out. He was held on the beach lots, played and rolled around on his beach blanket, slept, and ate. Haha. I think he did great considering he was away from home and how thrown off his schedule became due to central time and "beach life". Terrell and I were so grateful for all the extra help!

This picture looks Hawaiian to me with the paddle-boarder in the background. =)

Our very last night at the beach we went to a place in Grayton Beach called Pandora's. It was a tad fancy with dimmed lights and interesting menu choices and no sweet-tea, but it was good. Yum-O. AND, my children were basically perfect. A vacation miracle! It was such a great dining experience for the whole fam to enjoy (without any crying, fussing, or drama) and the perfect way to wrap up our week at the beach. Afterwards we even went into Seagrove for hand-made popsicles... a dessert I could enjoy!

I'm sad this picture didn't turn out so great but still thankful to have it. We loved sharing our vacay memories with Granna, Papa, AnAn, and Frankie. It was a full, fun, blessed week!

Favorite memories from our last days at the beach: Grilling out burgers at the house, getting Austin out in the ocean on his float and seeing him actually enjoy it, searching for seashells with Garrison, Layton's good naps, watching tv-hanging out-laughing hard (we laughed a LOT all week) with the grown-ups after the kids went to bed, an awesome out-to-eat experience, hand-made popsicles with the fam, and experiencing this vacation with my sweet boys. So fun and SO thankful for a break from packing and moving and running ourselves ragged. Our 2014 vacation was a timely blessing for sure and we are especially grateful for all the fun memories we made. =)

Moving day is almost upon us. As our house becomes more empty by the hour and we prepare to transition to a smaller house and a smaller town (we won't make a trip to the grocery store without seeing someone we know =)), we find ourselves overwhelmed, stressed, and kind of down. As I've said before we are SO, SO, SO thankful to be moving home and amazed at how God has worked out every single detail. But, a lot of change and a lot of sacrifice are coming with this move. At least until we can sell our house. We'll be facing some financial challenges (we'll still have a mortgage, upkeep, and some utilities for our house in Covington) and some day-to-day 5 people are living in a tiny house challenges. We know and trust that God has a plan and we know He will continue to be faithful. His grace is sufficient. I'm totally confident of that. We are praying hard for good attitudes and a smooth transition and fast adjustment to a much smaller, older home. And that our house will sell soon to a family or couple who loves it just as much as we did when we bought it.
I'll update next week after we're settled. Let the adventure begin!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Beach Vacay 2014~ Part 2

Moving right along on our recap...

On Tuesday morning we had reservations for a pirate cruise for our big boys! We thought we might get rained out but the rain stopped (for the most part) long enough for us to get in our special outing. It was a HUGE hit and so much fun!

The boys were super excited but super apprehensive when we first set sail. But after getting over their initial concerns and nerves and just a few tears, they were good to go and had the best time! They got to have a water gun fight, sword fight, swab the deck, get their faces painted, see treasure, find treasure, pick out treasure, and be sworn in as real pirates. It was the cutest thing ever. By the end of the cruise they were SO into it and taking their jobs so serious. They got to help find stolen treasure after all. And become real pirates. It was so, so fun! Thanks Megan for recommending it to us!!

After the cruise we met my parents (who kept Layton for us) and took our pirates out to lunch. Then we got WET. Haha. But we're thankful we still got in our pirate cruise and had time away from the house on the rainy day. By that afternoon the weather had cleared up and my big boys enjoyed some pool time with daddy. The big boys LOVED the pool this vacation. (Although the pool being pretty small was sort of challenging... 12 person limit and everything. Ha!)
The big boys also enjoyed baseball on the beach. I think they played every single day.

And Layton enjoyed being held under the shade of the tent.

Family shot!
This sweet boy fell asleep 2 days in a row on the beach. Precious.
Favorite memories from our mid-week days: The pirate cruise, Layton and I hanging out at the pool watching the big boys swim, watching Garrison LOVE the ocean, watching Austin sleep on the beach, laughing hard with the family again, enjoying spaghetti prepared by AnAn, and having a positive out-to-eat experience after a reeeally terrible one. =) One more recap to go!

Monday, July 21, 2014

5 Months Old

Our baby boy turned 5 months old on July 12th, the day we left for a week of vacation at the beach. He has grown in lots of ways this month. For one, he's definitely bigger. Somehow he seems to get bigger every single night. Maybe even every single nap. Whenever I get him up after he's been asleep he always seems just a bit bigger. And I have mixed feelings about that because I LOVE watching him grow but I also want time to slow down so I can savor my baby for as long as possible.

He's also grown in personality and mobility. I feel like I have lots to update. =) This month has just been one of my favorites so far with my littlest!

Garrison at 5 months...
Austin at 5 months...
5 Months Stats and Happenings:
*I actually have no idea how big you are this month. I'm guessing somewhere around 16 pounds, maybe a little more. You're heavy and giving me a workout, that much I'm sure of.

*You are wearing mostly 6 months clothes (but that won't last for much longer) with some 6-9 and 6-12 thrown in. You've moved on to size 3 diapers and I'm thinking we'll be in those a while.

*This month we introduced rice cereal to you and after a few days you decided you really loved it. You are doing great with having that for breakfast every morning but now you're ready for more. Baby food at every meal with the rest of the fam is coming soon!

*You are doing great with naps and bedtime! Such a blessing!! You go to bed around 7:30 every night and sleep all night except for waking up some mornings around 6ish and needing your paci. Then you wake up for the day sometime between 7:00 and 8:00. You take an hour and a half morning nap and then a 2 hour afternoon nap. I am so thankful for your consistent sleeping habits!

*You seemed to discover your voice this month and love hearing yourself squeal and make noises. It's pretty adorable. =) 

*You still love having your hands in your mouth and are a drooling machine. I keep thinking we'll see signs of a tooth any day now, but nothing so far.
*You are now borderline mobile! You roll all over the place and can get yourself completely turned around facing a totally different direction with enough effort. You also can push up with your hands and arms and do an almost "scoot". Oh my, I'm not ready! You also can arch your back and push with your feet a little while laying on your back. Wow. I'm very impressed with you but would be totally fine with you waiting a little longer before becoming fully mobile.

*This month you really started paying attention to your big brothers... like looking for them and turning your head searching for them and wanting to know what they're up to. They are the ones who got you to smile for your monkey pics this month! It's been so fun to watch. I love your fascination with them and their total adoration for you. I'm praying you 3 will always be super close.

*You still get a tad fussy in the early evenings and you still end up in my lap most nights while we eat supper. It's a little challenging but perfectly okay with me. I'll be eating without anyone in my lap soon enough.

*We just can't get enough of you and love you to pieces! You make us smile and melt our hearts daily!! Happy Birthday Layton Selph!! 

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Beach Vacay 2014~ Part 1

We are home from our wild and wonderful week at the beach! This year proved to be FUN with a side of crazy. But I think we all loved just about every single minute. (Except for one reeeally bad outing that I may or may not elaborate on later.)

This year we vacationed somewhere new. We stayed in Santa Rosa Beach, the last "beach town" on Florida's 30-A before you get to Destin. When searching for an affordable, large, pet-friendly beach house your search kinda widens because afforadable, LARGE, pet-friendly. This year we also stayed across the street from the beach for the first time ever... which was a little more challenging when it came to getting all our stuff (and children) to the beach everyday, but we still had a pretty wonderful experience. The weather was WAY better this year and the boys had so much fun! So did all the grown-ups! Double yay. =)

We had an amazingly easy trip down with 3 boys in a row in the backseat. They did AWESOME. I brought along little surprises and snacks to keep them occupied and was sooo proud (and a little surprised!) at how well they did. *Hopefully* we'll have a bigger vehicle for our next vacation but I have to say the ole Jeep did just fine. (And huge thanks to my parents for letting Bailey ride with them!!)

I love to snap pics of the boys our very first time down to the beach on Saturday evening after we're unpacked and unloaded at the house. Their excitment is just contagious and something I always want to capture and remember. We only make it to the beach once a year during the summer for a whole week, so it is something to be excited about. A pretty big deal for sure. =)

Our first 2 days were gorgeous. The water was beautiful and the weather was wonderful. Such a great start to our vacay!!  


Garrison was immediately drawn to the ocean this year. Yay! He ended up loving it and couldn't get enough of it. Austin was immediately drawn to playing in the sand (not a huge fan of the ocean). He spent hours playing in the sand and everyday when it was time to come in he was covered in it head to toe. And Layton was immediately drawn to falling asleep on the beach... especially while someone was holding him. The white noise from the ocean, the breeze blowing, and being held in someone's arms were the perfect combination for baby boy. 

We had a really wonderful start to our week away. Favorite memories from our first 2 days... The beautiful weather and water, watching my big boys enjoy the beach, staying in and eating delicious steaks prepared by Granna and Papa, laughing hard with my hubby, parents, sister, and brother-in-law, swimming in the ocean with Terrell and Garrison, taking a walk with Austin and Layton, and hanging out on the beach with the whole fam.
More recaps coming soon... along with a birthday update on my littlest. Layton turned 5 months old on the 12th, the day we set off for the beach. =)

Friday, July 11, 2014

Friday Favorites: Counting Down Edition

Adjectives I'd use to describe this week: Busy. Tiring. Fun. Emotional. Exciting. Hard. Crazy.
Yep, that sums up the week.

We're packing up the house and already moving some of our things. I got my big boy registered for Kindergarten. We started packing for vacation. (Packing is like our middle name.) We started feeling sick over all the things we're packing up that won't be unpacked at the rental house. (Okay, so maybe that was just me.) We enjoyed some "one last time" outings here before we move. We shopped for vacation and finalized some beach plans. We felt hormonal between all the packing up, downsizing, starting Kindergarten, renting a house, packing up some more, etc. (Okay, so maybe that was just me again.)

ANYWAY. Here are my favs from the week as we count down to the beach and our last week calling this place home.

*We took the boys bowling over the long holiday weekend. This was one of our summer outings we wanted to do as a family. My big boys loved it.

AND, we added another little member to our team! Layton wasn't in my belly for this bowling game! He got to watch up close and personal and seemed to really enjoy himself. =)

*We took the boys to Steak and Shake one last time. I'm sure we'll eventually go back to a Steak and Shake at some point in the future, but this particular one was fairly close by and somewhere we frequented pretty regularly over the years here.

*Garrison and Austin spent a couple of days with their grandparents and cousins so I was able to have some extra quality time with this little man. We were sort of lost without the big brothers but we managed okay. =) I think Layton enjoyed the low-key, quiet life for a couple of days and I know my big boys had a ball with Nana and Pops and Allison and Shannon.

*I took the boys back to Chuck E Cheese one last time. Again, I know we'll probably eventually go back to one, but this one in particular was 20 minutes from our house and has been a regular outing for us for about 3 years. We cashed in all our tickets this time too. We had about 300 saved up. =)

*I took the boys to Scoops one last time. It's on our square and such a neat ice cream/candy/treat parlor. It was delish as always. 

Even though Layton never directly tasted the yumminess from Scoops, he was not deprived of the experience. =)
This week definitely had it's highs and lows, but we are continually amazed at how God is working everything out and we are soooo grateful for His grace. I've had this song in my head all week. His grace has found me every moment of this roller coaster week.
Now, we're looking forward to our beach escape and a break from all the packing and craziness and busyness going on! I'm hoping to update with a vacay recap or two when we get back. Happy Friday, Happy Weekend, and Happy Week!!  

Monday, July 7, 2014

Fun Fourth!

The Selph fam had a super fun fourth! Like everybody else, we were thrilled it was on a Friday this year. It just seemed to make the holiday even more fun and special. Yay for long weekends!!

The big boys and I kicked off the day by making our annual dessert. (Chocolate chip cookies dipped in milk, covered with cool whip, layered with more dipped cookies and cool whip before topping with whatever you want) It is seriously so simple and easy but really really yummy, I don't know why we only make it once a year. But, once a year it is. They were big helpers, had fun, and have enjoyed it lots.

After we made our dessert and Layton woke up from his morning nap, we were off to the pool. This has become a 4th of July tradition for us since we had Garrison. Sadly, this was probably our last visit to our neighborhood pool. But hopefully we'll have our very own one day in the future and the tradition can continue!
Layton seemed to like our tradition. His first 4th was pretty fun.
The pool wore this one out. He jumped in to daddy over and over and over again.
Of course he found his second wind after Garrison got out. (Garrison continues to do great with swimming so hopefully swimming lessons are behind us and becoming a strong swimmer is on the horizon.)

After lunch and naps we got ready to go out to eat... another 4th tradition for us. While everybody else is grilling out, we're eating out... and letting somebody else do the cooking and cleaning for us. (I'm sure the tradition will change next year when we're in B'ville, but while we lived in Covington and did the 4th on our own, it was perfect.) This year we had a gift card to Long Horn so our family of 5 enjoyed a delish meal.

But not before mama got some pictures.

(My children may or may not avoid cameras like the plague when they're older due to their mama making them suffer through TONS of mini phots shoots as children.)

Layton's first 4th of July! 

July 4, 2014... 5 years, 2.5 years, and 4 months.
We had a crazy start to our dining experience but once things settled down I found myself blinking back tears I was so grateful for my family. Love my boys! All 4 of them. =)

I think we really made the most of our last holiday here. America's birthday sure was fun.