Happy Halloween


I'll be back later tonight or tomorrow with pictures from E's first Trick-or-Treat and her big costume reveal, until then we just wanted to say Happy Halloween!!!

And, just for fun, a little comparison! Wow, what a difference a year makes!

Happy Trick-or-Treating!

Monday Update


You know it's Monday when you get a nice dose of randomness from me! Here is what we've been up to:

-This weekend was a local holiday so Jesse had a 4 day weekend. It was nice to have him home but unfortunately we didn't do anything because our little munchkin was sick. Her fever got up to 103 several times and she just wasn't herself for most of the weekend. She did have several bursts of energy where she was running around like a wild girl but then she would be laying down on the floor minutes later. Thankfully she is feeling much better today.

-Jesse and I celebrated 11 years of marriage on Saturday. I love him so much and I am so thankful for everything he does for us. Here's to many, many more!

-We didn't actually do anything to celebrate since E was sick but hopefully we'll get a date night in before too long. Since we couldn't go out, Jesse went and got us Baskin Robbins. It was delish!

-It was fun to look back on my posts for our last two anniversaries. Last year I summed up what we had done over the last ten years. The year before that I announced my pregnancy! I was 9 weeks pregnant on our 9 year anniversary. It's hard to believe it's been two whole years!

-We have become a little obsessed with kale chips at our house. The first time I tried them I wasn't too sure but I have quickly become addicted. I've tried a few different recipes but I don't think I've found the perfect one yet. The best part is that E is crazy about them.
The only bad thing about them is that they are super messy! They are so crunchy that they leave little green pieces everywhere. But the mess is worth the deliciousness!
-If you follow me on Pinterest you might have noticed that I have been pinning recipes like crazy. I've mostly been trying to find healthy ideas for dinner but I have pinned a few that aren't so healthy too. All I know is that it is not the best idea to be on Pinterest when you are trying to lose a few pounds. All it does is make you want to eat! :)

-Speaking of cooking, Emerson has finally fallen in love with her little kitchen. We've had it for several months (someone gave it to us when they moved) but other than a minute here and there, she hasn't shown much interest. A few days ago I packed up a lot of the extra food and dishes and organized it. I just put out a few dishes, a few pieces of food, and her apron and oven mitt. Ever since then she has been crazy about it. It's so cute to see her pretend to wash stuff in the sink and cook on the stove. 

-We dog-sat for some friends for the last two weeks and Emerson is just crazy about their dog. She's the first thing she asks for in the morning when she wakes up. A few days ago she decided that Whisky needed to be fed one piece of dog food at a time.
She went home last night and Emerson has been looking everywhere for her today!  I think it's a sure sign that pets are going to be a must in our family.

-We are so excited about all of the Halloween festivities this week. Our neighborhood is doing trick-or-treating tomorrow night and then we have a Halloween party with more trick-or-treating on Wednesday night. I cannot wait to see Emerson all dressed up in her costume, saying trick-or-treat.  Holidays are just so much fun with a little one around. :)

Happy Monday friends! I hope everyone has a wonderful week.

Emerson @ 17 Months


I am sitting here in disbelief that my sweet girl is 17 months old today (I started writing this on the 18th so she's technically 17 months and one week now!) She is almost a year and a half old! How did that happen so quickly? I feel like we were just planning her birthday party and now here we are with a big girl on our hands.

I desperately wish that I could capture her personality in words but I'm afraid that I can't even begin to do her justice. She's silly and happy and crazy and just so much fun. She's also developing a little stubborn streak and she thinks it's hilarious to run from me when I'm trying to change her diaper or take something away from her. She's a momma's girl who is crazy about her Daddy. She loves animals and she's never met a stranger. She is just amazing and we love her more and more every day.

Growth: Around 25 pounds, not sure of height but she definitely looks taller to me and her legs are really getting longer and leaner, still wearing Size 4 shoes but they seem to be getting small and 5's are a little bit too big, Size 4 diapers, mostly 18-24 months clothing 

I have lost count of how many words Emerson can say but I love that she is picking up new ones every day.  She constantly amazes me with what she will repeat. (It's really important that we watch what we say these days because she is a little copycat!)  One of her favorite things to do right now is to fill in the blanks in books and songs. I will sing a part and then stop and let her sing the next word. It is the cutest to hear her little voice fill in where I left off. Her favorites are the Itsy Bitsy Spider and Row Your Boat

Favorite Words:
all done,  on, momma, dada, play, eat, cheese, cracker, milk, pretty, play, doggy,  gasses (glasses)

Notable New Words/Phrases:
tickle tickle tickle
hiney (as she pats her behind)
boo boo
trick or treat (trick treat)
I don't know (she has been saying this for a few months but she now says it really clearly and I think it is just the cutest thing ever.)
color words (and the signs)
got it
animals names (instead of just doing the sound and the sign she can now say many of the words such as doggy, kitty, elephant, hippo, etc)
excuse you (We always said this to her when she would burp or pass gas. Now she says it for herself. I'm trying to get her to change it to excuse me but no such luck yet. )

She still uses her signs quite a bit but now that she is able to say so many more words she is starting to use them less and less. 

Likes: books, balls, keys, walking, running, riding her bike, baby dolls, her chair, Elmo, music (She will go over to the speakers and do the sign and say music when she wants it on. So cute!!), dancing, climbing, animals, brushing her teeth, fruit, yogurt, standing on top of her toys and furniture, hats, sunglasses

Dislikes: being away from momma, staying in one spot for more than 5 seconds, 

I don't want to forget: 
-She has decided that she needs 5 things with her every time she goes to bed now. Her baby, doggy, hippo, giraffe, and blanket.  After putting her baby and doggy in each hand she puts her legs up in the air and ask for her "banket." Then she asks for hippo so that she can give it a kiss  and then she does the same with "raffe."  

-She is obsessed with brushing her teeth. She asks about it by saying "teeth" at least 5 times a day. Maybe she'll be a dentist when she grows up. :)

-She likes to do stuff that will make us laugh. If she does do something that is funny she will keep doing it over and over to get us to laugh. She'll also laugh along with a really loud, fake laugh.

-She loves to wrap her baby doll up in a blanket and rock it while singing. She also loves to point out babies (even kids bigger than her) and say baby. But she likes to keep her distance and pretty much wants nothing to do with real babies right now.

-She loves to smile with her nose all scrunched up and her eyes squinty. She's such a mess!
-She is such a girly girl. She does not like her hands or feet to get dirty and she always asks for her bow when she's getting dressed. 
And here are a few more pictures from the last month. So many of them are blurry because I can't get her to stand still for very long! :)

Feeding her doggy:
For some reason it took me forever to write this post. I think it's because it's practically impossible to describe Emerson's spunky little personality with just words. She really has become her own little person and I am constantly amazed by her and everything she is learning. She is such a blessing to us and we are so thankful to be her parents.
Happy 17 Months baby girl!

Currently Obsessed



-Fage Greek Yogurt with Honey

-looking at houses/condos/apartments online

-instant coffee (Our Keurig bit the dust so I've been using instant and I'm surprised at how much I like it.)

-The Eat Clean Diet Book

-braiding/twisting my bangs a la Kate at The Small Things Blog

-broccoli with lemon and garlic

-not shopping. I'm trying to be good and stay out of the stores and off of the internet. I did cave and buy E some Halloween jammies though. :)

-eating healthier/getting back into working out

-organizing/streamlining/getting rid of clutter


-collecting ideas for E's big girl room. I'm about 95 percent certain of the color scheme!

-Very Jane- I haven't bought anything yet but I know I'm going to cave soon!

-oatmeal with peanut butter and flax seed

-watching Emerson grow up right before my very eyes. A few days ago she insisted that I wear her "gasses." She thought it was the funniest thing ever

-spending time with my loves. These days are flying by way too fast!

What are you currently obsessed with?

House Hunters


About a month ago I talked about our upcoming move to California. At the time I mentioned how nervous and excited I am. Now that we've had a little more time to process the news, I have to be honest and tell you that I am more than a little stressed out about it. It's not that I'm not looking forward to it. It's just that there is one big piece of the puzzle that has me more than a little freaked out. Housing!  Where in the world are we going to live?

Before we started looking we sat down together and came up with a little wish list of things we'd love to have. Since we will be renting we know we can't be too picky but these are a few things that would be nice to have:

-storage space
-3 bedrooms/2 baths
-playroom/office area
-somewhat updated kitchen and bathrooms
-safe area
-yard or close access to parks for E
-washer/dryer hookups
-porch or patio for barbecuing and sitting outside
-close to Jesse's work (the closer the better)
-single family home or condo without upstairs/downstairs neighbors
-neighborhood that doesn't feel too crowded
-walking trails/sidewalks easily accessible
-close vicinity to shopping/grocery stores/etc

Since making this list I have been slapped in the face with reality. After searching Craigslist and other rental websites for countless hours, I have learned one big lesson: California is EXPENSIVE! ( If you don't believe me just head over to Craigslist and look for housing in any of the big cities. It's quite the shock for this Texas girl. For the price they charge for a condo you could get a McMansion in Texas!)

If we want all of the things I listed above we will have to pay a pretty penny. And by pretty penny I'm talking way out of our price range. Any of the single family houses that are within the price we want to pay are 25-30 miles from Jesse's work. If they are not far away they look like they are straight up from the 70's. I'm talking wood paneled walls and green shag carpet. (I may be exaggerating just a little bit here but I'm sure you guys get what I'm saying!)

I don't think 25 miles away is too bad but with the traffic it could turn into an hour long commute. I really hate for Jesse to spend that much time in the car. It's just more time that he would be missing out with Emerson. Not to mention gas prices!

We have found several apartments and condos that are reasonably priced and within a few miles of work, but they are usually around 900 square feet.  Just to give you an idea of what I'm talking about: This apartment is $1700 per month and is about 1000 square feet.

It's not that I don't think that we would be fine in a small place.We've done it before and we could do it again. I also know that there are some great complexes out there with tons of amenities. But I just think it's so much harder with a little one- especially if you have loud neighbors. Not to mention all of our stuff. I mean we have enough to probably fill three apartments! We have such a lovely place here with tons of storage space and plenty of room for Emerson to run and play. I'd love for her to have the same thing there.

For the first time ever, we have even entertained the possibility of living in military housing. While it has its own negative aspects, it seems like it may be the best option for getting the most bang for our buck. Many of the houses have yards and garages which would be a huge plus. There are also several communities that are within a few miles of the base so Jesse could be at work in less than 15 minutes. At this point I think we only qualify for a two bedroom (yikes!) but overall they are much bigger than most of the townhouses you can rent in town for the same price.

Right now we are just so torn about choosing the right place for our family. Do we live in a bigger house that is far away and make the long commute? Or do we rent a little apartment so that we can be closer to work? I have been asking myself this question for the last month and I don't feel like I am anywhere closer to making a decision.

I think the hardest part of it all is trying to do this from halfway across the world. In some ways I would love to have a place picked out so that we know exactly where we're going. It would be so nice to have a place to call home as soon as we arrive. It would also take a huge weight off my shoulders to not have to worry about it anymore.

But on the other hand I know that it might be better thing to wait and see a few places in person. It's just about impossible to make a decision after just looking at pictures. I think they only way you can really get a feel for place and neighborhood is by actually being there.

I know in the grand scheme of things that this is not a huge deal but for some reason it's the thing that stresses me out the most. I will be so happy when our {rental} house hunting journey is over!

Weekend Update


Hey guys! How was your weekend? Ours was low-key and laid back, just like we like it! Here's a little recap:

-I already told you about the costume party we went to on Thursday night. 
-What I forgot to tell you about is the funny thing that happened at the costume store. I was searching through all of the costumes and pretty disappointed because I thought a lot of them were really ugly. I couldn't figure out why half of them had blue shirts and leggings that didn't match at all. I kept telling Jesse that I could not find a single costume that was even halfway decent. Then I found my flapper costume hidden behind several others. Once again I noticed the weird blue shirt and bike shorts. This time I decided to take a closer look and realized that each and every costume picture had been colored on with marker to hide all of the inappropriate parts (the shoulders and the knees.) I'm sure that is the first and last time I will see costume censorship!

-I really don't think we did much of anything on Friday except for order Indian takeout. It was delicious!! I swear I could eat it every single day. Once Emerson was in bed we watched more of Homeland. We finished Season 1 last night. The finale was intense!!

-Also, we're dog-sitting this little sweetheart. We've had her for about a week now and all I can say is that Emerson is in LOVE. It's the first thing she asks for when I get her from her crib. I think she'll be heartbroken when she leaves.

-On Saturday Jesse got up early and went to do our grocery shopping for the week. I told him it was the sweetest thing he has ever done for me! Ha! But in all seriousness I really appreciated it. I'm so happy I don't have to to go this week.

-In the afternoon we hung out at the pool for quite a while. It felt so good to get some Vitamin D and Emerson had a blast, as usual.

-Our neighbors invited us to the beach for a barbecue on Saturday evening. We didn't head out until 4:30 so that we could avoid the heat.  We had a great little spot and Emerson loved playing in the water. We decided to keep it as classy as possible and only dressed her in her swim diaper and water shoes. (We were pretty much the only ones there by this point so it was just easiest!) ;)

It was the perfect ending to an other wise quiet weekend.

Fab Friday


I'm linking up with Laura for Fab Friday to share everything fabulous from this week.

-After not having our car most of last week, Emerson and I had some major cabin fever. We made up for it this week with playgroups, play dates, and mall and park visits. We basically did anything and everything we could to get out of the house. It was busy but fun week!

-Jesse and I went to a fun costume party last night. Our costume choices were limited but we both found something that we liked (even if we didn't coordinate like we usually do!)

-On that same note, Emerson did wonderfully with the babysitter. She's been a real momma's girl the last few weeks so I was a bit concerned about how bedtime would go. Luckily she did just fine and I was able to enjoy myself without worrying about my girl.

-Our church had a Girls Night Out on Wednesday. The theme was Game Changing Moments. We played Bingo and three women shared their testimonies. It was so interesting to hear stories about God's work in women's lives from all over the world. Also, I won two prizes!! I never win anything so I was pretty surprised.

-Emerson turned 17 months old (!!!) yesterday. She is such a big girl these days and she makes my heart so very happy. I'm working on a 17 month update and hope to have it up next week. Until then, here's a video of my little dancer. The Glee concert was on tv one morning and apparently she's a fan of Katie Perry's Firework.

My favorite part is the little head movements she does. She cracks me up.

-After such a busy week I'm looking forward to just hanging out and relaxing this weekend. I predict lots of cuddle time with our little munchkin. I hope everyone has a blessed weekend!

Looking Forward


It's no secret that I am counting down the days until we move back to the U.S. It's been a long (almost) three years and I want nothing more than to say that I once again live on American soil. I wouldn't trade this experience for anything and I know that we have been incredibly blessed for the opportunities we have had and the amazing people that we have met.  I am SO grateful.

That being said, I have to be honest and say that I'm ready. I'm ready to be home. In my country. Close to the people that I love.  Even though we live in a country that is modern and well established, there are still days where it's just not easy to live here. Of course it's nothing big and we haven't faced any major trials, but there are just little annoyances that can get to you after a while. And I think knowing our departure date has really made me ready for this chapter of our lives to come to a close so that we can begin our next one. Along with those deep feelings of longing for home, there are also some simple things and little conveniences that I just can't wait for. And yes, some of them are incredibly shallow and trivial, but I'm excited about them nonetheless. So until we're actually in the land of the free and the home of the brave, these are the little things I'll be looking forward to:

-buying something without having to convert the currency to USD

-being in the same time zone as friends and families

-texting and calling anyone anytime I want (without having to rely on the slooow internet)

-having a Target and Wal-Mart within a few miles

-wearing sleeveless shirts, dresses, and shorts whenever and where ever I want

-finding every ingredient for a recipe (without paying an arm and a leg for it!)

-clearance racks. It's pretty much impossible to do any kind of bargain shopping here so it will be fun to be able to do that again.

-grocery stores without parking garages and escalators

-finding craft supplies when I need them

-frozen food (You know like Lean Cuisine and frozen pizza. I know that stuff isn't good for you but it's nice to have everything now and then.)

-sending and receiving mail in days instead of weeks

-decorating our house with our furniture and decor (We've been using government issued furniture while ours has been stored)

-shopping at the commissary (military grocery store)


-flying home to see our parents in 5 hours instead of 20

-holidays on American soil

-real Mexican food

-buying wine and beer at any store without a liquor license

-thrift store, Craigslist, yard sale shopping (and repurposing)

-plugging in any appliance without a converter

-having a data plan on my phone

-seeing all of our stuff that has been in storage for the last three years (Did I ever tell y'all that I left ALL of our photo albums and pictures in storage? It's one of the things I look most forward to unpacking.)

-having two cars

-seasons (not just hot, hotter, and unbearable!)

-feeling settled (I think this will come with knowing that we are going to be in one place for several years. This is essential because we will have moved 3 times in 3 years by the time we make this last move.)

I've had several of these things in my head for a while now but some of them just came up as I started writing. It's funny just how much you miss without even knowing it. (Though I guess you don't really miss it that bad if you don't even realize it. Ha!) Of course there are some things about this place that I will miss- the list may not be as long as the one above- but there are some things. I'll save those for another day.

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