Well, it’s been a while since my last post, and yet I don’t have too much to share. Another whirlwind month is quickly coming to a close, and I feel I have nothing to show for it. ;-P I’ve been glued to my computer with editing and other work the past several weeks, but with the unfriendly hot weather that has arrived, it looks like I might have a bit of a break.
Here’s a little catch up and some happy thoughts from July. :)
Surprise ice cream sundae from this handsome man. Jack was pretty sure the ice cream was for him though. ;)
Baby sister got her wisdom teeth taken out, and it was the saddest/funniest thing I have ever witnessed. I can’t show you the videos, but here’s a picture she gave me permission to post. :) I think she looks like a baby dinosaur in this one.
My boys are the cutest and snuggliest.
I learned how to make those little tassel garlands (tutorial here) and Jack was less than impressed. Or maybe he was posing.
Evening walks and talks with husband. :)
I know this picture is terrible. My apologies. We’re going camping and floating the Illinois River this weekend with some Sunday school friends, and we had to make sure our new tent worked properly! (More like, we had to make sure we knew how to put it together so we don’t look like idiots. ;) Haha.)
Happy Wednesday, loves! :)
Hello there! My name is Lexi. I’m the golden retriever that brought Caitlin through junior high and high school, and I live with her parents and sister. Last week, however, they left me with Caitlin and Andrew… and that hyper thing they call Jack.
Jack insisted on following me everywhere I went and copying whatever I did.
I’ve never been sniffed so much in my 11 years of life.
The pup tried to get me to run around like crazy and play, but my real hobbies are sleeping and mooching. My “puppy eyes” face is irresistible.
I indulged him for a few minutes outdoors though.
Most of the day, we watched Caitlin.
And the rest of the day, Jack watched me.
Cait kept taking pictures of us. She would squeal when we both looked at the camera at the same time.
And then I would get a bacon treat.
We followed her everywhere to make sure she was safe. (And just in case she had more bacon treats.)
I tried my best to make myself at home.
And I shared all my elder dog wisdom with the young pup. He has a long way to go, but I taught him all I could.
Andrew and I have a horrible problem when it comes to compulsive vacation planning. I kid you not…we booked flights and rooms for a Disney World trip just over a month ago, and we are already planning the vacation after that. We’re psychos.
I know some of you will think we’re insane and maybe slightly immature for going to Disney World and Universal Studios for our fall vacation, but hey. I’ve only got so many more years left before I have to have kids and turn into a responsible adult. I’m going to soak up the kid-at-heart adventures as I long as I can. ;) We plan to do Disney for two days, hit up Daytona Beach for one, and finish with a day at Universal Studios and Islands of Adventure. :D We’re counting down the days! (73 btw.)
I’ve long loved vacation planning, and I’ve picked up some good deals and tools along the way. Here are a few!
1. Google Flights. Type in your airport, type in your dates, and type in your destination. It gives you all the flights it can find and sorts them by their price and best times. It’s beautiful. I’ve long loved Expedia, but Google Flights works so much faster. There’s no “please wait while we plan your vacation” screen that takes five minutes to load. It gives you all the flights, lets you change the dates and destination super easily, and its overall user-friendliness is top notch. Go forth. Plan your trips. ;)
2. Undercover Tourist. This site sells you official theme park tickets for a discount. (And not like Craigslist does…they’re legit.) They only do certain parks and certain tickets, but it’s a great thing to check before you buy them at full price!
3. Groupon. Before you book a hotel, it’s always good to check Groupon, Living Social, and other sites like those. We didn’t use any for this specific trip because we booked a discounted room at a Disney resort, but it’s been helpful in the past and always has a plethora of deals. It’s also great to check Groupon for restaurant deals and discounts for things like concerts, mini golf, etc.
4. Trip Advisor. This website is the king of reviews. Type in your hotel or destination, and you can read reviews from people who will tell you exactly what they think. It’s a great way to find out the best hotels and restaurants, as well as all the “must see” attractions.
5. Road Trippers. I adore this website. It’s perfect if you prefer driving over flying. You can type in a destination with as many stops as you want in between, and you can search recommended things to do, places to eat, sights to see – it’s fabulous. And an added plus… the web design is beautiful.
What tricks and tools do you use for vacation planning? Share them with me! :)
Date nights are essential.
Food (particularly pizza) is a love language.
Caitlin doesn’t like to sleep in on Saturdays.
Andrew loves to sleep in on Saturdays.
Everybody Loves Raymond is a constant source of relaxation.
How to forgive.
How to put other people first.
Cable TV is not as important as the world says it is.
Cowboys football and Thunder basketball games are almost always heart-wrenching and a danger to our blood pressure.
How to not take things personally.
How to try new things.
Friendships will morph, change, and shift. It’s not weird – it’s just life.
Vacations are worth saving up for.
You can never take too many pictures. You can put too many up on Facebook.
Unless a selfie has a dog or an outrageously beautiful background in it, Caitlin doesn’t want to see it.
If Papa Angelo’s is offered under any circumstances whatsoever, Andrew will not be able to refuse.
Laundry is the devil.
Pinterest is both good and bad, but mostly good.
God is always good.
Jurassic Park and Jaws are forever favorites that we will force our children to watch repeatedly.
Going on walks is therapeutic.
Family comes first.
Not all dogs are perfect.
Almost all cheese pizzas are perfect.
Slow evenings with nothing to do are rare and beautiful and meant to be cherished.
Time flies faster than you think.
On Independence Eve, we went to Papa Angelo’s because pizza is super American. ;)
After feasting, we headed home to watch Independence Day with this handsome pooch. ;)
We kicked Friday morning off with a visit to the parade. I hadn’t been in years, and I don’t think Andrew had ever gone. It was adorable!
We may or may not have been running late, forgotten our lawn chairs, and had to stand the whole time. ;-P
The banjo band was my favorite.
We spent some quality freedom time with Jackers.
We headed to Mom’s for lunch to celebrate the 4th and to celebrate 4 birthdays!
Lexi girl wanted that Klondike bar so badly. Haha.
That night, we went to my in-laws for a festive dinner. :)
We all looked so patriotic. ;)
We ended the night with great friends and fireworks at UCO! They do an incredible job every year, although I’m pretty sure I was blind and deaf for two hours afterward.
We headed home for snuggles after the show. I can never get enough puppy snuggles.
Saturday night was spent at a friend’s house swimming and feasting and firework-ing. :)
Hey, good lookin. ;)
Please continue to pray for my Uncle Tom and the whole family as they go through the hard next few steps in dealing with the loss of my sweet aunt. My parents and grandparents made the drive out to Maryland for the funeral this week, so we are keeping Lexi girl for a few days.
Jackers is excited to have his BFF here.
Hope you all had a wonderful holiday weekend!
Life has thrown us a few curve balls lately, and we are choosing joy and focusing on the happy thoughts. Here’s a little summer catch up from the past week or so.
I had two cute visitors last week. Meet Janae and her new puppy Felix!
He was so chill and fluffy. :)
Please admire his photogenic skills…he’s smiling! Haha.
We celebrated our sweet friend Brette at her rehearsal dinner Thursday night. I sat next to a handsome fella. ;)
I love this sweet lady!
And Friday night, we watched Brette and Ryan get hitched!
I thought this was so crazy cute – they released butterflies at the end!
Hey, best friend!
I love this handsome wedding date. ;)
And it was lovely to catch up with these cuties!
Saturday and Sunday were spent working on a little project for my photo shoots.
And the finished product in action! :D Little Pierce is such a cute model.
And other than that, we’ve just been going on lots of walks, playing with Jackers, and enjoying lots of sunsets. Oklahoma hasn’t been too hot yet, so we’re still friends. ;)
My heart is heavy today but resting in God’s love. My sweet Aunt Susan went to be with Jesus yesterday morning. Please keep my Uncle Tom and their amazing kids in your prayers, as well as my whole family. Susan battled cancer with stronger faith than most, and while I am so thankful that she is no longer in any pain, I can’t help but be sad that something so terrible had to happen to such a wonderful family. She was one of the funniest, most genuine people I’ve ever known.
Four years ago yesterday, my Andrew kneeled by a bench with yellow roses and asked me to marry him. Last night, he came home with yellow roses to celebrate that anniversary and to help cheer me up. I’ve been fighting a cold and feeling fairly miserable the past few days, and he’s been taking such good care of me. I kept thinking of our vows…in sickness and in health. My heart aches for my Uncle Tom, who kept those vows to Susan to the very end, loving and supporting her through every obstacle. I am so inspired by his faith during such a difficult trial.
I often wonder how people who don’t believe in God deal with sorrow and death. It’s hard enough when you do believe in God and know your loved ones are in Heaven. Our hope in Christ is the only reliable stronghold.
“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage one another with these words.” -1 Thessalonians 4:16-18-
“For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” -2 Corinthians 4:17-18-
Please continue to keep Tom and the family in your prayers. I’m so thankful God hears us and surrounds us with love.