Tuesday, March 27, 2012

~Taller and Wiser and Amazing....er~

Ahhhhhhhh.....I can smell the aroma from the Scentsy making it's way up the stairs to me. It smells good. Skinny Dippin' I do believe. Now I'm going to follow up my "Ahhhhhhhh" with a really sad, Nooooooooooooo!!!! I procrastinated. I procrastinated and I am not a procrastinator!! Now my free photo book is going to cost me $25 bucks instead of just $8 (from the shipping) I'm so freaking mad at myself. I can't believe I did that. And what's worse is that I finished the book. So of course now I REALLY HAVE to have it. Damn the Man....

Whelp I wanted to tell you all about our trip to Galveston Island. I wanted to tell you how perfect it was. How perfectly imperfect it was. I wanted to tell you about how proud of myself I am for making it down there and back. In one piece I might add. And then I started putting it off (maybe I am a procrastinator) and it started to seem less exciting to share my trip with you. Anti climatic if you will. Too many baseball practices, loads of laundry, homework, dinner times and poopy diapers since I have returned. All in all, too much reality. But then I started to work on my photo book from the trip and it all came rushing back to me. The feeling of the sand under my feet. The warmth of the sun with the cool breeze to follow. The sounds of the waves crashing on the shore. The smell of the sea salt in the air. The laughter of my kids while they were running through the water. All of that came back to me in an instant. So I decided...I will tell you about my trip...because...I want to remember it all over again.

The drive down there was pretty laid back. I never got tired. I wasn't in any hurry to make it there by any certain time. I didn't have to worry about check in time (we were good there), and I didn't have to worry about getting there before dark or by dinner time or before a nap or Landon's bed time. I literally had no worries. It's so much easier to enjoy life when you aren't always in a hurry or on a schedule, isn't it? And yet, what would we do without schedules and nap times and start times and end times and dinner times and bath times? Seriously, it's complicated. I ran into a little bit of  traffic through Houston but I was kinda glad I did. I got to take it all in I guess. New city, new surroundings. Jackson was sleeping and Ella was pretending to. The girl can't sleep in the car but Jackson could sleep the entire way. Actually he usually does. No matter where we are going. The kid sleeps.

Downtown Houston

Now, if I'm being honest I was a little nervous about the place we were staying. My husband is a penny pincher. So when we booked this, assuming he was going, we did this with the thought process that we wouldn't be in our room much anyways. We booked the cheapest place we could find that had the best reviews. The thing is, don't you ever wonder if those reviews are for real? I mean the good ones...the bad ones...well people just don't make stuff like that up. When we arrived I was pleasantly surprised. Actually more than that. I loved where we stayed. There were a few things I didn't like about it but easy to swallow when you are paying under $100 a night. Seriously. I would recommend it to anyone. The Inn at the Waterpark. We were 1 minute away from the beach. Seconds away from Moody Gardens and Schlitterbahn. All the restaurants were on the Sea Wall and not more than 5 minutes away. The rooms were really nice. The towels were clean and in abundance. They had a nice pool and mini golf. And nice mini golf at that. Yes, pleasantly surprised...

This trip was AMAZING. This time with my kids was AMAZING. The ocean, the beach, the sand castles and bunkers that were made, the Aquarium at Moody Gardens, the penguins, the nights of playing Go Fish, War and Old Maid, the new restaurants we tried each night, the horribly crowded water park, the funnel cakes, the ice cream, the new flip flops, the fact that hammer head sharks travel in groups (did you freaking know that? I didn't freaking know that!!), the 3d movie with the sea turtle who spoke to us in a wonderful British accent, all of it...every single last bit of it was AMAZING. Even the flat tire we had on our last day there. Yes, even that. And even though I had to buy two new tires and we missed out on going on a ferry, it was all worth it. They want to go back. And soon. And they want to bring Jacob and Landon this time. They want to make some more memories. And I'm okay with that. ; )

I did exactly what I said I was going to do. I took it all in. I could tell you where every little freckle is on Ella's nose and that they start to show more in warmer weather and that her hair looks really red when the sun starts to settle and it hits her hair just right.  I could tell you the way Jackson's smile curves up to the left when he is giving his sister a "courtesy smile/laugh" after one of her random stories. But when he is genuinely smiling both corners go from ear to ear. I could tell you how different of a child they both are when they don't have anything to worry about. How it enables them to even enjoy each other more. I could tell you how many times they asked me to do something and I said, "It's too cold but if you really want to then okay. It's your vacation." And they did. And 5 minutes later they said, with shivering, purple lips, I might add, "It's too cold." It's funny how if you don't fight your child on every decision, give them a little room to grow - it gives them more confidence to try and do and live and learn. If it doesn't kill them, then why not? I learned a lot about myself too. I need to let go more. Not sweat the small stuff. Life is too short. And unfair sometimes. I'm just preparing myself for the inevitable. These kids aren't getting any younger. Only taller and wiser - and I'm learning so much from them. Every day.

I have a lot of pictures from the trip. I won't share all of them. Just some of my faves....but I have a lot of faves.

(she says with a smile)


Thursday, March 22, 2012

“Here’s some advice. Stay alive.”

Ever since I have been back from Galveston I have wanted to blog about it. But ever since I have been back from Galveston I have had some reason why I couldn't. And I still can't. I'm in the middle of collecting all my pictures so that I can make a Photo Book from our trip. (I got a free online coupon for a Photo Book from Shutterfly so I was like - Ummmm yesss please!!! Woo Hoo!! ) I'm pretty excited about that. Sunday was puke fest at my house. Literally, between myself, my husband and my two year old we were playing musical toilets. It sucked!!! Then the two days following that my oldest two got sick - you can kinda see where I am going with this...I just haven't had time. But I can't wait to write about our trip. It was the best trip. EVER. So I figured I would throw out some randoms. Just to balance out my day.

Definitely still have a tummy bug. Definitely.

In spite of that tummy bug, I am going to watch Hunger Games at midnight tonight. I cannot freaking wait!!! Like really...cannot wait. And I know it's going to make me want to read the two books that follow in the series again so anyone who knows where my books were last seen let me know!!!

P.S. The title of my blog is from the Hunger Games. If you haven't read the series you should. I mean it. You really, really should. This is not a joke. Read it. Damn it. 

I sent my daughter to school in a dress today. Jean Jacket. Slip on shoes. No socks. She has to be freezing balls. Thanks Texas weather, you rock my socks off. (I have to blame someone else for the bad parenting call on the clothes this morning)

I want to go back to the Bahamas.

I absolutely love getting in bed with brand new, just out of the dryer clean sheets.Nothing better. (I washed my sheets today - it excites me so. )

My two year old tooted on purpose last night at dinner. I was horrified and laughing so hard I was crying. Thanks Jackson.

Can you get a spray tan when your skin is peeling from a sunburn?

I love my husbands new job. Mostly because he loves his new job. I also love his new job because on most days, he is out of there at 4:30. This means I don't have to taxi Jackson to his baseball practice across town. Woo hoo...Go Husband!!!

Speaking of Husband, he took me on a date Saturday night after we got back from Galvi. He missed me a lot. : ) Anyways, we went to the new Mi Cocina by our house. Saturday night. 6:30. 20 minute wait. Boom!!! I mean was it because it was St. Patty's day? I don't know. I have never gone to dinner at a Mi Cocina and not had to wait at least 45 to an hour. I'm pretty excited because we are taking my sister and her hubby to dinner next Friday...I owe her big for taking care of our monkey while we were away last week. It's the least we can do.

I'm going to attempt to make a chicken avocado salad. It looks so good on Pinterest. I hope I can pull it off. More than that. I hope I have the appetite for it and can eat it when I do make it. Even more than that, I hope it stays down.

Love to all -


Monday, March 12, 2012


Well here I go...I'm going on an adventure and it's going to be a tad bit surreal. It was a rough, last week for my kids but they survived. They always do - which in turn helps me breathe easy again. But tomorrow, me and the kids are going to a beach. We are going to an ocean to just be. I'm really excited about that. I think they need it, I know I need it but we as a whole,  definitely could use the time together. This will be the first time it is just me and my big kids since before I met Jacob and after their dad left. It's going to take me back to that place I think and then it's going to bring me full circle. There are so many things that I want to share with my kids about that time. I want them to know it was hard. I want them to know I cried every day. That I wanted to crumble and die. That at the very least I wanted to lay in my bed in the fetal position and not have to make any decisions because decisions didn't matter anymore. But more importantly I want them to know that I couldn't do that. I couldn't do that because of them. I couldn't do that because these little people needed their Mommy. I couldn't do that because I had a newborn daughter that needed to be fed her bottle every 4 hours. I couldn't do that because I had a 2 year old son that wanted to play Thomas Train and sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider. I couldn't do that because there were bath times and bed times and the morning always came. I knew then that my children needed me more than I needed to mourn but I realize now that I needed them just as much, if not more. They saved my LIFE - and I want to tell them that but I'm not sure they will understand that yet. I'm not sure they can quite grasp what I mean when I tell them that they saved me every day. So instead I'm going to open my eyes really big and take every single moment in. I'm going to hug Ella and make sure my arms are wrapped around her completely and I am going to remember the way her hair smells. I'm going to laugh with Jackson and listen to all his jokes and remember the curve of his smile and the light in his eyes when he talks about anything related to sports. I'm going to pay attention. I'm alive today because of God's grace and because of those two beautiful children. I'm going to live every single moment of it. I'm going on a spiritual vacation and my soul is gonna thank me for it!!

Okay so I have lots of packing and cleaning and a little laundry to do before this trip but I do have some randoms. I didn't want to leave you with a completely mushy post and I am positive that you are dying for more. Positive.

  • Like as positive as I am that I will get LOST on my trip - Don't feel bad people. It's inevitable. I have accepted it and it's time you did too. Just pray for me. And patience for my children. Jackson tends to freak out a little when Mom gets lost. 
  • I'm going to miss my Landon and my husband. Like a lot. Like I already can't wait to get back and kiss both of them!
  • Without going into detail or naming names I just want to put this out there - We all have someone we despise, we hate, we loathe. (And if you don't - well hooray for you) Pray for the people that you care the least about. Pray for them the hardest. Prayer works. Trust me. 
  • My daughter is hard headed. Stubborn as a mule. Defiant almost. I use to worry about this characteristic of hers. I embrace it now. It's not such a bad thing to have a child that goes their own way. That is independent of others and their decisions. That knows what she wants and stands up for it. It's not such a bad thing to have a daughter that is BRAVE.  "Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the judgement that something else is more important than fear."  ~Ambrose Redmoon - if you only knew how fitting this was....
  • I'm still working out. Not that it mattered much this week. I made bad decisions when it came to food. Not all bad and not all week but enough to make the working out not make too much of  a difference. The thing is, I don't really work out to lose weight. I'm smarter than that. I know better. I work out because of the way it makes me feel. Period. End of story. 
  • I'm giving up the scale for awhile. Last week I put on a pair of jeans and they fit me better or I looked better in them. Either way I felt good. That feeling prompted me to get on the scale. The scale then sent me into a spiraling depression. I had lost .6 lbs. After my week of hard work and eating good. That was it. I was better off putting on the jeans and going with that high. I don't want all my hard work and commitment to be stripped from me because of a number. So I'm going to give it a try. Plus...have I mentioned I'm going on Spring Break??? No working out and I have no idea how I will eat. I am going to try though. I'm not just going to through my hands in the air and say "screw it". I don't want to feel guilty about the choices I make. Nothing feels fatter than guilt. 
With Love,

Amy Marie

P.S. Bailee - thanks for your kind words on my last post. That was sweet of you!!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

I still want what I want....

  Okay, I am just going to get this first part out of the way. I have a very unpopular opinion about this weather. I hate it. I know...I know. Sue me. I just love to experience the seasons. All 4 of them, not all two of them. Or 1 and a half of them. All 4. I know what you are thinking, I should probably not be living in Texas if that is what I want. But I am living here in Texas and I still want what I want. Summer is actually my  least favorite season. Only because of the summers we tend to have here. When it's too hot to go outside because the ozone isn't healthy or when taking a dip in a nice cold pool is actually like soaking in a warm bathtub - it becomes very unappealing to me. Mosquitoes disrupt any chance of hanging outside with your friends in the evenings, that and the fact that the under side of your legs began to collect pools of sweat if you sit outside for too long. You can forget about patio Margaritas people. It's just too miserable. I love FALL. I love the way the leaves change colors to hues of red and orange. I love when wearing jeans is acceptable and not just when you want to cover your pasty legs. I love when you have to wear boots to keep your feet warmer and when you can sit outside for hours watching your kids play and not have to worry about them getting over heated or getting a sun burn. I love winter because it heeds the opportunity to stay in. Staying in means cuddling under blankets and watching movies while you have a fire burning in your fireplace. I love the winter because you sometimes have to wear a scarf around your neck to keep warm and it's almost necessary  to sip on hot drinks to keep your insides toasty. I don't even really mind spring so much. I think it always smells like rain. There always seems to be a cool breeze. The thunderstorm clouds always cast a gray shadow over the day which makes it seem more bearable and it always smells like fresh cut grass.  Don't get me wrong. I love sunshine. I love feeling the warmth from it on my cheeks and my shoulders. I love the sun when it makes me feel like I am wrapped up in a warm blanket, not smothering myself in a king size down comforter to the point I can't breathe. I remember experiencing some of fall this year, one day of winter and spring is starting to emerge. This can only mean one thing - the inevitable Heat Wave is coming - and it will be here before we know it. Hell on Earth.

  Okay so now that I got that out of the way.....I have had a lot going on this week. Last week. I'm not sure when I blogged last. Finding time to sit down and record my thoughts is like doing a load of my kids laundry and every sock has it's match. It rarely happens.

Working It - I have been working out every day, 5 days a week for the last 2 weeks...or is it 3 weeks? I don't know, definitely 2. I veered off the running path and started up on some classes. I knew I had to work my way up to these classes. They are more challenging to me than running 3.5 miles. They are also more fun. They work my entire body, depending on the class, and they give me a variety. I need that to stay interested.  I am still running though. I still love running and listening to my music, I am just mixing it up a little. I have lost a little weight but more than that can already see a difference in my clothes. Albeit a small difference, anything is rewarding.

Grub - I have also been eating really well. I only have one "bad for me" meal a week. I reserve that for the weekends...always. It gives me something to look forward to. However, the healthy meals I have been making during the week have been really good. I plan on sharing my meals/recipes shortly on a separate blog post.

Spring Break - Well we had a trip planned for the family. Almost 5 days in Galveston. We planned on spending most of our time at the beaches (hopefully I can find a decent one) making sand castles and enjoying picnics. We were going to visit the aquariums, the restaurants on the shore and Schlitterbahn. There has been a slight wrench thrown in to our plans but a good one. It just means I am taking the kids on my own, without the Hubs, to Galveston. I'm a little nervous about that mostly because I am directionally challenged but surely I can pull this off. I have to pull this off!!

Jacob's Job - My husband, Jacob, got a new job. A career I should say. He got a new career. This is the big one people. The one he has been waiting for. He worked at getting on with this company for 7 months. He started last week and loves it!! Like really, truly feels like this is such a huge blessing not just for him but our entire family. He goes in earlier and gets off at a decent time. He can spend more time with the kids after school. He won't miss any more basketball or baseball games. He feels like a weight has been lifted off of his shoulders and he is looking forward to getting done with the training (this is why he can't go to Galveston), digging in and showing these people what he is made of. I know he will be amazing. He is always AMAZING.

My Big Boy - Oh Jackson, every time I think about how much my first born has grown I get teary eyed. He is such a  grown up, smart, sweet and kind hearted boy. He is my first love. Besides finishing up his basketball season this year with an amazing game Jackson made a huge decision yesterday. Jackson has been asking me for the last couple of days about being apart of God's family. I stumbled over my answer to him and asked Jacob to intervene. I feel like I am still learning, right along with my son. Jacob explained it to him a lot better. I wanted to make sure that Jackson understood the decision he was making before he made it. I wanted to be sure Jackson was making the decision on his own and without outside influences. I had him sit down and talk to our church's Childrens Minister, which also happens to be his Grammy. It works out pretty well. But Jackson was way ahead of the game. He is obviously paying attention in his Church class. He was finishing Grammy's sentences, knew the answers to her questions and I had no doubt he understood. And then we prayed....And then I cried. I am proud of him. Not just for the decision he made but that he made it on his own.

Jackson Pierce Hill 2-29-2012

All in all it's been a fabulous week. Love to all!!!