Sunday, August 30, 2015

10 Things to Smile About August

Saturday evening I was sitting at my grandma's table playing Aggravation with my grandma, dad, husband, and Tbug, Abug was switching laps she sat on. I received a text from my mom saying that a girl that I grew up showing horses with had been killed in a head on collision Friday night. It hit me hard. Yes, we've drifted off through the years but still, I grew up with her competitively showing horses against her, yet we're still a close family!

I hated to say anything on facebook as well as on here simply because, I asked for prayers for her family. I was not trying to make this about me in any way, shape, or form. I ask for prayers for her family. They're the ones suffering. Yes, I was heart broken to hear the news, but it isn't about me, it's about healing for her family. I wanted to make that clear.

I get accused sometimes of living in my own world. Usually it is when someone is trying to get under my skin... especially if I'm ticked off already... fight fair, what's that? But there is a lot of heart ache in the world. That's why it is always fun to participate in Emmy Mom's 10 Things to Smile About Memoir. Life is difficult, so any reason to smile is a good thing. And if you can laugh, that's even better. Plus as an added bonus you burn 5 calories every time you laugh.

So now... 10 Reasons why I smiled in the month of August.
1. I'm really thinking that this post could be summed up by Vacation!

2. Parasailing!!!

3. Planting my derriére in the sand and my feet in the ocean!

4. Eating with friends from home but 10 hours away.

5. Deep sea fishing, finally! Mark that off the bucket list!!

6. Going to the dark side and actually ordering fish for my meal. It was soooo good it was worth it. Now my grandma loves to point out that when I was a kid, she used to bring Captain D's home for dinner and I'd eat all my fish and half of my grandpa's.

7. Adding more sand to my collection. Now I really need to figure out what to actually do with it!!

8. My shugie bear turned another month older... she's not 14 months old.

9. I got my photo wall back!!

10. Even though my grandpa passed away in 2010, we still celebrate his birthday! It might be weird to some people... but it's in his honor!

Linking up, albeit late with Emmy Mom

Friday, August 28, 2015

How to: Make a Photo Wall

There has been a lot of uncertainty in our life in the last couple of years. Truthfully more than I even want to admit to... I know that God has great plans for everything and everything will work out in the end. I know that all the trials and tribulations help us grow into the people he wants us to develop in to. But I also know sometimes I just want to scream, pack up the bare minimum, move to a place no one knows me (far far away) and start a new life. Whew... uncertainty is very scary to say the least :). But that last part is an extreme.

So with that out of the way... If you know me at all, I take pictures of EVERYTHING. Think I'm kidding, just check my camera/phone/computer/external hard drive. No joke! For a long while I've wanted a photo wall, and I had one for a bit, then we took it down, and now we're putting it back up. It goes with some of that uncertainty....

The initial photo wall was hung up with the Command Strips so that it wouldn't put holes in the walls or do damage to the wall paper, etc... yeah that didn't work. Sad but true. I don't know if my sticky part of the command strips was too old or the wall paper was the wrong texture or what, but after I put them up, they came back down, some quickly (like a few days). It was extremely frustrating! So this time around there are holes in the wall. It was just easier that way...

Now here's how to do it:

What you'll need:
Photo frames/Photos (sizes up to you!!)
Paper
Pen
Scissors (just for cutting... ha. see below.)
Tape
Command Strips or Screws
if screws, then you need a drill
A Wall for photos

1. You'll want to trace your photo frames on to paper. The first time around I used newspaper, this time around I used regular notebook paper, except for my 8x10 frames. Then I went into Tbug's room and stole some used poster sized paper. Trace the size of your photo frames out onto the paper.

2. Using your scissors (just for cutting) cut out the sizes of your photo frames. I used 4x6's, 5x7's and 8x10's. My frames came from Walmart so that hopefully if I needed to buy more I could get the exact ones. If not, maybe I can add different ones in at a later date. We'll see.
Scissors just for cutting reference... Dumb comment by me. So one day I bought a pair of scissors just for cutting material (fabric). I walked in the house and pulled them out of the sack showing the scissors to hubby saying, "Now, these scissors are only for cutting." Then I walked off. I forgot to add material/fabric to the end of my sentence. Now like 3 years later any time scissors are bought or looked at or moved (whatever) they are referred to as scissors just for cutting.

3. Now if you are using multiple sized photos, it is helpful to mark on the paper what size frame the paper is made for. My photo wall is very random but if you are very specific on your wall, this sizing mention is extremely handy.

4. Another helpful thing is to have your pictures ready. I don't have all the pictures printed out that will be included on my wall but those I did I went ahead and placed in the photo frames. On my pieces of paper I drew arrows to show which way the frame should be placed on the wall.

5. My wall is next to my bedroom so I spread the paper sizes out on the bed, placing them the way they will go on the wall to help aid in placing them on the wall. My wall is random so I placed my 8x10's first so that there was room on the wall for the frames.

6. Ah, the blank canvas. See the white splotches on the wallpaper? That's where the command strips came off the wall. They harmed my wall :(. I did not wall paper the wall, it was here when we moved in but it covers so much of the walls that we haven't decided to pull it down and make it our own yet (and we've lived here 5 years).

7. Now it is time to place the papers on the walls in the order/place you'd like the particular photos. This helps you decide where to place each photo frame without drilling holes in the wall and winding up with more than you wanted. Plus you aren't having to put a picture up and then later decide you didn't like where it was. In fact, I put this up one night and stared at it a couple days before we put the pictures on the wall, that way I could guarantee I liked the placing of the photos.

8. Finally it is time to use a drill, place the screws in the wall (or the command strips on the wall) and put your photos up. I was actually in class the night this was done. I got to come home to my beautiful picture wall, finished by my husband. I love you baby!

Now I don't have photos in all the photo frames. Plus I can either change out photos as I please or there is area to buy more frames and add to my picture wall.

This is just a great way to display a lot of photos in a small area. One complaint I have about our house is I just don't have enough walls for photos. But, I love pictures so.....

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Peanut Post: Abugisms & 14 Month Update

14 Months on the 26th
  •  We're having to slowly move out your 6 month clothes, you're too long/tall for them.
  • You're wearing size 4 diapers.
  • The other day you handed grandma a diaper, she figured that meant you needed a changing.
  • You fight naps, but by the end of the night if you haven't had a nap you're a little cranky.
  • You love bed time even though you sometimes fight sleep.
  • No naps though make you fall asleep immediately.
  • When I can do it, you have 2 naps a day adding up to around 3 hours.
  • You love to greet everyone you meet and you don't understand when they don't reciprocate.
  • You're walking, but only when you want to.
  • You stand up like it's nothing, even from the middle of the floor.
  • You say no to everything which is sometimes comical.
  • You have learned yes though.
  • When you use yes and no, most times you use it correctly.
  • You love real food. Now we're fighting times when you "don't like something" yet you really do. oy!
  • You still only have 4 teeth.
  • You love having your teeth brushed.
  • You really need a bang cut at least because pulling it up won't keep it completely out of your eyes anymore. I think though we're not going to cut your hair, instead we'll grow it out. A ponytail will just have to help for now.
  • Any time you see Grandpa J you jump into his arms.
  • You love having Tbug around
  • You enjoy the water.
  • You love bath time.
  • You are a wild child.
  • For months you've been sticking our tongue out and going pbbbbbbbbbb (spelling??) But now you say Hi and then go ppppbbbbbbbbbbb. We've been working on stopping that. While it is cute, sometimes you over do it and we need to teach you when it is and isn't appropriate.
  • One night we went to pick you up at grandma and grandpas, you were asleep and immediately woke up, looked at Tbug (who was with us) and that's how you greeted her, ppppbbbbbbbb.
  • You love to climb in and out of chairs. For hours on end!
  • You'll give fives!
  • Recently you've been giving people fives with other people's hands. If someone asks for a five, you grab a second person's hand and give the first person the five.
  • You know where your nose is, your mouth, your eyes and we're working on ears.
  • You know where mommy's nose (and eyes and mouth) is too!
  • You've learned to climb up on mommy and daddy's bed... I'm not sure I'm ready for that one.
  • You've learned to climb down off of mommy and daddy's bed (definitely not ready for that). 
  • You've learned how to "blow" kisses 
  • When you get mad you've started trying to bite a person. We've quickly had to put a stop to that. I don't know where you decided to pick that one up although daddy said that is a natural habit.
  • Also when you get mad you wipe your hand across your mouth very quickly and sternly and growl. It's funny but I try not to laugh at you because I don't want you to continue that habit.
  • Also when you get mad you've started small pinches to your arm or mine (or the adult around you). Again, not sure where this came from and we've quickly put a stop to that.
  • I definitely wouldn't change you for the world! Your daddy and I love you with all our heart!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Sand the rest of the story, ha!

Yes, that wasn't puny... although it was....

Okay so I blogged 12 days in a row and then fell off the face of blog land for 2 days. I can't explain it other than I think school might just kick my butt this semester. Not only do I have classes but I have comps. Remember my mention about the book list.... ugh! But I'll have you know I just finished Wurthering Heights by Emily Brontë.

Anyway I mentioned in our post coming home from Pensacola Beach that there was a story about us and sand and that I would share it at a future date. Today is the future date.

I've mentioned before that my husband and I went to high school together... we were just friends, never dated.

Our sophomore year of high school our band went to Disney World. One of the days that we were in Florida the band headed over to Cocoa Beach. That was only my second time ever going to the beach because hello... I live in a land locked state. (My first was to South Carolina 3 years previous to this trip.)

While at the beach I might have snagged a handful of sand. At the time I did it I didn't realize I'd still have it almost 20 years later and that it would have some meaning. Meaning you ask? Well... my husband and I were at this beach at the same time as really good friends. And yes, I still have the sand... Sadly it almost got dumped one day just because I knocked over the ring box. Yes, you'd think I'd put it in a better box, but for now, that's what it's in and has been for years.

So jump forward a few years... when hubby and I went to Hawaii on our 1 year anniversary, I just so happened to bring home a handful of sand from the beach again.

So in 2013 when hubby and I became Scuba Certified I grabbed a handful of sand again. I don't have a picture of it though... it's in a Coca Cola bottle somewhere in my house, at the time it's been misplaced but it isn't totally lost!

So that meant that the next time we went to the ocean, we needed sand, right? Yup, we picked up a handful of sand from Pensacola Beach.


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Pensacola Beach Eats: Peg Leg Pete's

I definitely wouldn't have nearly as many posts about Pensacola Beach if I didn't break each restaurant down into its own post... that's for sure. I think I might think about food way to much too.... look how much I've been talking about food. And it's not like everyone enjoys looking at what we ate... but that's okay, it's memories. Some day when we're all eating pills for our nutrition... the future will be able to see how we pigged out on real food :). You're welcome future!

btw, I'm eating animal crackers right now. :)

When we got back from Deep Sea Fishing we were hungry. The night before we'd tried to get into Peg Leg Pete's but the wait was so horendous we wound up at Hemingway's Island Grill instead. We decided at 3pm on a Monday, surely we could get in for lunch, right? You betcha we did so we finally got to try the... Peg Leg Pete's.

That morning we didn't have breakfast so by 3pm we were all a bit hungry. We decided to go with an appetizer of Spinach Artichoke Dip. YUM! That's all that matters. The chips were good, but the dip itself... YUM!

I noticed on the menu that the Chicken Parmesan was the Captains Choice. I decided it sounded good, I wasn't being adventurous about getting fish, and so chicken it was. This chicken wasn't bad. I ate it all, I was hungry! 

Tbug went with the Fried Catfish. She must have been hungry or really liked it or both because she ate everything on her plate. ha!

Hubby and dad went for the Combo Platter. Gulf shrimp, oysters, bay scallops, and grouper.  This is Florida.  Delicious! Ha :). I told you hubby was in heaven when it came to Seafood!

The food was okay. The restaurant was very cool. And I was definitely happy we went. I think I could have made a meal out of the appetizer!

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Pensacola Beach Eats: Hemingway's Island Grill

Sunday night after we went parasailing, we ran back to the hotel, quickly changed clothes and went to dinner. Everyone was waiting at the hotel for us because we didn't even go out to parasail until 5:15, but they didn't mind, or that's what I keep telling myself. :).

We decided we'd take the suggestion of Peg Leg Pete's that everyone said, YOU NEED TO TRY, but they were packed. With our party of 9 it would have been at least an hour and a half wait. We didn't want to do that, especially not with a one year old so we threw out the suggestion of Hemingway's Island Grill.

Initially my mom didn't want to go there because she figured it was like the one in Springfield, but when I looked up the menu it was obvious that it was nothing like the restaurant in Springfield. So we were sold. Especially since we got there and they were able to immediately seat our party of 9.

We decided to start with Mary's Onion Spirals. Fresh thin-sliced onions, hand-breaded and deep-fried, served with our key lime mustard sauce.

Abug definitely approved!

This is where I swore I went to the dark side. As I studied the menu I could have gone with the safe route of chicken or beef but the night before at Crabs I tried my dad's Red Snapper and hubby's Grouper and thought both were tasty. As I studied the menu I saw the ask your server about our fish portion of the menu. The server mentioned that grouper was an option. Then you decided blackened or jerk spiced. Dad and hubby said to go blackened. What really sold me was this option...
Make your selection extra special with the selection of: Florentine Style – Char-grilled fish selection topped with a spinach artichoke sauce and Feta cheese over garlic smashed potatoes.
That option just sounded really good so after talking to dad and hubby about what type of fish to get and how to get it cooked, I went for it. And might I say... YUM! I ate all but the two bites I shared, one with hubby, one with dad. I made them try what they helped me select.

Hubby and dad went with the special. It was called Red Snapper Olé. It wasn't on the menu, it was a special. It was Red snapper, shrimp, andouille sausage over rice with a garlic butter cream sauce. In the words of hubby this meal was freakin amazing. Top 5 best things he's ever eaten in his life. And we've had some pretty darn good food.

Tbug & Memaw went with the Tri-colored cheese tortellini and Shrimp. Cheese stuffed tortellini tossed in alfredo sauce and placed atop marinara sauce with 5 grilled shrimp. She was all excited when they gave her 6 shrimp. She enjoyed this so much that she ate every last bite, well except for the bread. She's crazy, she doesn't always eat garlic bread.

Grandma went with Papas fish sandwich. Caribbean spiced fish filet grilled, fried or blackened with lettuce, tomato and onion on a fresh toasted kaiser roll. 

Mom did the Fish selection as well but went with Red Snapper. She substituted short story squash for her side.

So this was a last minute dinner menu change and it turned out to be the restaurant that all the meals of the trip were compared to. Does that tell you something about this restaurant. I'm not kidding, everyone compared the meals to this particular restaurant. In fact, we're still talking about this restaurant. ha!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Pensacola Beach: The Trip Home, Starbucks, Funny Stories & Cantina Laredo

I'm sorry, these Pensacola Beach Posts have drug on way toooooooo long! If you haven't had the pleasure of reading them all but want to:
And then, it was all done. It was time to pack up and head for home. Dad had left for home Monday night... technically he went to Atlanta for work. Mom left at the crack of dawn Tuesday morning and we were scheduled to leave out around noonish on Tuesday.

Now I probably should just do a post all by itself on this picture... I probably will, but know that we took a piece of the beach home with us :).

After we walked to the Pier, we went back to our room, changed out of our PJ's (because don't you walk to the pier in your pj's?) and waited until we needed to load up in the vehicle and head for the airport.

On the way we had to go put fuel in the suburban. Across the road was a Starbucks and Tbug "just had to have Starbucks" so I snagged her out of the vehicle and she and I ran across the road to get "her" Starbucks. And I can't find the story where Tbug gets blamed for Starbucks... The day after my birthday when we went shopping for my Keens, as we were walking through the mall, there is a Starbucks. She and I were commenting on how awesome it smelled. As we walked back by I told Grandma that "Tbug wanted Starbucks" and so it's come to be any time we pass one and want one, it's Tbug, even if she isn't with us.

On the way to the airport the baby fell asleep. Poor girl. We wore her out. She didn't get much of a nap though.

We boarded at Pensacola heading to DFW and Abug was entertaining herself through the window until she fell asleep. When we landed at DFW, daddy carried her off the plane and I grabbed her stroller. We put her in the stroller and wheeled her to the restaurant. She was asleep in her stroller until she smelled food.

We decided to give Cantina Laredo a try. Being in the airport there wasn't much option and it was fairly close to the terminal we were kicked out at. kicked out as in where our plane landed... not to be confused with that time we were thrown out of a hotel....

Originally I ordered a vegetarian dish, not realizing it was vegetarian other than all the ingredients sounded good. Initially I ordered Enchiladas de Espinaca which was sautéed spinach, Monterey Jack cheese, and mushroom enchiladas topped with sour cream poblano sauce. The waiter came back and said they were out of the spinach though, could I do Enchiladas Veracruz which was Chicken, spinach, Monterey Jack enchiladas with tomatillo sauce, marinated vegetables and queso fresco. I was like well yeah... I didn't realize there was almost the exact thing with chicken in it. It wasn't bad either.

My aunt's flight left Pensacola after ours did and they were rerouted to Austin due to weather in Dallas. My mom asked if it was raining there and I shot her this picture of clear blue skies and the sun was out. Who knows what the deal was but they had to go to Austin because they were running low on fuel and couldn't circle Dallas waiting.

So then... another good story. When we came in to DFW we came in at gate B36. Our departing flight left out of B3 so we slowly sauntered to the gate, that includes stopping for lunch. We had 5 hours to kill... So about an hour and a half before boarding our flight home, Abug started getting tired and antsy so I put her in the stroller and I knew there was an Auntie Ann's pretzel place back the direction we came so hubby and I went to get some food.

We really weren't hungry but getting home at 9:45 didn't really sound like fun eating that late. Turns out the pretzel place was back where you turn for gates B30. When we walked back with the pretzels, we got 2 regular with cheese to dip in, a pepperoni pretzel and cinnamon pretzel bites, hey there were 6 of us to feed, we just sat down to eat and they announced a gate change. Instead of leaving out of B3 we were to leave out of B31. Hubby and I looked at each other like, seriously?!?!

So hubby went up and asked them to get a tram ride for my grandma and his mom. Then the rest of us packed up our stuff and started walking back to gate B31. Well we thought since we had enough time we'd take the tram around and it'd dump us off back closer to our gate. We got on the wrong escalator and wound up on the skywalk (moving sidewalks) taking us to terminal A. We just laughed and laughed and laughed.

Baby girl learned how to lower down the tray tables and when she couldn't do it, she decided to employ daddy's finger.

We tried to get her to sleep on the way home, but she wouldn't have it. In fact, she was so mad we were trying to get her to sleep she threw her binkie down the aisle way and hubby had to go get it.

Don't judge my steps too much... because... for the most part my phone stayed in the room while we were in Florida. But look at the debacle of going on the skywalk... I hit 14,975 steps. ha! I giggled about doing that even more. What can you do..  no reason to be upset!

And that was our trip to Pensacola Beach. Thanks for sticking out these posts. I had to document it somehow!

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