Saturday, December 31, 2016

My 2016 Reading List

1. Life Support by Robert Whitlow
2. Life Everlasting by Robert Whitlow
3.  It's Not What You Think by Jefferson Bethke
4. Child of Mine by David and Beverly Lewis
5. The Connected Child by Karyn B. Purvis
6. Alibis in Arkansas by Christine Lynxwiler, Jan Reynolds, and Sandy Gaskin
7. Hearts Awakening by Delia Parr
8. Life is Short by Jen Arnold & Bill Klein
9. The Trial by Robert Whitlow
10. Blessed Blessed Blessed by Missy Robertson
11. The Storekeeper's Daughter by Wanda Brunstetter
12. The Quilter's Daughter by Wanda Brunstetter
13. The Bishop's Daughter by Wanda Brunstetter
14. Brush of Wings by Karen Kingsbury
15. The Chase by Kyle and Kelsey Kupecky
16.  The English Son by Wanda Brunstetter
17. The Stubborn Father by Wanda Brunstetter
18. The Betrayed Fiancee by Wanda Brunstetter
19. Think Big by Jen Arnold & Bill Klein
20. Young and Beardless by John Luke Robertson
21. The Missing Will by Wanda Brunstetter
22. Giddy Up, Eunice by Sophie Hudson
23. False Pretenses by Kathy Herman
24. Dangerous Mercy by Kathy Herman
25. Relentless Pursuit by Kathy Herman
26. The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
27. Wagered Hearts by Robin Lee Hatcher
28. The Divided Family by Wanda Brunstetter
29. Gathering Shadows by Nancy Mehl
30. Deadly Echoes by Nancy Mehl
31. Rising Darkness by Nancy Mehl
32. Mathematical Mindsets by Joan Boaler
33. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by JK Rowling & John Tiffany
34. The Selfless Act by Wanda Brunstetter
35. One Perfect Springs by Irene Hannon
36. Prisoner B-3087 by Alan Gratz
37. Shooting Kabul by N.H. Senzai
38. The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau
39.  The People of Sparks by Jeanne DuPrau
40. The Prophet of Yonwood by Jeanne DuPrau
41. The Diamond of Darkhold by Jeanne DuPrau
42. The Pinballs by Betsy Byars
43. The Aviator's Wife by Melanie Benjamin
44. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
45. Fly Away by Kristin Hannah
46. Killing Reagan by Bill O'Reilly
47. Dodger and Me by Jordan Sonnenblick
48. The Magnolia Story by Chip Gaines
49. Night Road by Kristin Hannah
50. On Christmas Eve by Ann M. Martin
51. Wonder by R.J. Palacio
52. The Julian Chapter by R.J. Palacio
53. Pluto: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio
54. Shingaling: A Wonder Story by R.J. Palacio
55. A Baxter Family Christmas by Karen Kingsbury
56. Pay It Forward by Catherine Ryan Hyde
57.Talking as Fast as I Can y Lauren Graham
58. America's First Daughter by Stephanie Dray
59. A Plain and Simple Christmas by Amy Clipston

Friday, December 30, 2016

Friday Favorites: End of Year Review


The older I get the faster the years seem to pass by me.

As cliche as it is to say seems like only yesterday I was saying goodbye to 2015.

2016 has been good to Andrew and me.  

It's been a year of healing, growth, and of finding contentment in our wait.

I thought it would be fun to look back at some of my favorite memories from each month in 2016.

JANUARY...My favorite thing about January is always celebrating our anniversary.  This year we celebrated with mani/pedis and it could not have been more perfect.  

Visiting the trumpeter swans is always a January favorite.  This year we got to share the experience with my parents.

FEBRUARY... Sleepovers with my favorite twins is always my favorite.

We enjoyed a weekend in Branson filled with shopping and golfing.

And I said goodbye to braces.  Straight teeth are definitely a favorite.

MARCH...My favorite thing about March is our family competition for March Madness.  One of these days I'm going to win it all!  Maybe 2017 will be my year.

APRIL... April brings with it Andrew's birthday and the Masters.  Our Masters' Porch party/Andrew and Cody's birthday celebration is easily my favorite April memory.

MAY...May was a good month.  We made the decision to pursue IUI...maybe 2017 will be the year we actually get to do an IUI.

We spent a fun weekend in Memphis where I got to see one of my favorite singers in concert.

And we celebrated Mikey and Ellie's first birthday.

Our Americana Porch Party is always a favorite...

JUNE...Aww..summer break...always a favorite.

Lots of time on the lake to eat and soak up the sun.

Time with these three is always a favorite of mine.

JULY...Our week long getaway to the Carolinas was our favorite for this month.  

 That apple pie ice cream in a waffle cone was Andrew's favorite.  He is still talking about it.

Enjoying a few days with some of our favorite people.

AUGUST...Back to school.

This is my favorite area in my classroom.

My favorite flavor of shake, salted caramel, made a come back for 1/2 price shakes.

SEPTEMBER...We celebrated my birthday with two of my very favorite things - Gus's fried chicken and Adam Levine. 

Loved my Daddy/Daughter movie date to see Greater which quickly became one of my favorite movies.

OCTOBER...Hosting a family movie night, lunch cruise, and climbing Sugarloaf was a ton of fun.

NOVEMBER...We celebrated Thanksgiving with our families.

And had a fun photoshoot.  This is one of my favorite pictures from our session.

DECEMBER...Oh my!  I think everything about December is my favorite.  

A weekend with my babies so we could do our annual Christmas craft.

An amazing winter vacation.

Celebrating Christmas with our families.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Our 2016 Christmas Tree Adventure

Today was the day.

We were going to pick out the perfect Christmas tree for our family.

We ate our lunch and got ready to go to the tree farm.  

We hopped in Old Henry and tired to fire him up.

Old Henry was showing his age though and didn't want to start.

I pulled the Caddy around and jumped the truck.

I returned the Caddy to its parking spot, walked back to the truck and hopped in.

The truck died again.

Caddy was pulled back to the truck and the truck was jumped again.

We made it to the front of the yard before the truck died again.

At this point Andrew decided the truck wasn't going to make it to the auto store.

He pulled the battery out.  

This was adventure in and of itself.

We finally got the battery out and made it to the auto store.

Back home and new batter installed

We FINALLY made it to the tree farm.

We searched and searched.

It was pretty cold out there.

We finally found the perfect tree.

We claimed our tree.

And then they came and cut it down for us.

We brought it home and put it in the stand.

It's a beauty...a tall beauty.

Lights and ornaments to come...

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Thanksgiving Monkey Bread

I had this beautiful vision of getting up early this morning and making monkey bread for my man to take to work for him and his crew.  I prepped everything last night so I'd have plenty of time this morning.

I planned to share with you about the first time I ever made monkey bread.

The first time I ever heard of monkey bread actually.

We had not even been dating two months and Andrew decided Thanksgiving would be a great time to meet each other's families.  He thought we should do it before things got too serious and while the pressure wasn't there

Ummm..things were already serious for me.

And the pressure?  

Yeah that was there too.

Thanksgiving 2001 was the first time Andrew and my family met.  It was very awkward for me having those two worlds collide.  

It was the first time  and only time I ever brought a boyfriend home to  meet the parents.

Sometimes when I'm driving into Batesville I can still picture his little blue prism sitting at the top of Ramsey Mountain where we met that day.

After we had lunch with my family we left to eat again with his family.

I remember meeting each of his family members in small doses - there are a lot of Weavers. :)

But I'm pretty sure this particular event was not when I met them.  Maybe it was. I don't know.

I know I met his dad in Fayetteville.

My first memories of the rest of the family are all in their house and not at Thanksgiving.

I remember Jill making a joke about what seven years of marriage looks like.

I remember all the women in the kitchen cooking together and laughing.

A scene you still find today if you attended a Weaver meal.

Only there are more women in the kitchen now. :)


Back to the monkey bread.

I wanted to take something to add to the Thanksgiving meal.

Now keep in mind I was not a cook back then.

Oh wait.

I'm still not a cook.

When I asked Andrew what I should bring, he said without any hesitation "monkey bread"

I had no idea what that was, but I smiled and said yes.

My momma found me a recipe in a cookbook.

There was no Pinterest back then.

I followed the recipe and made monkey bread, though I had no idea if it was fit to eat.

We drove to Grandma Weaver's house.  I remember feeling like we were driving to the middle of nowhere.

It was a tiny house CRAMMED with people.

Aunt, Uncles, Cousins, everyone....

Andrew and I fixed our plates and weaved through the house and found a spot to sit in the back of the house.

I have no idea how everything was set up that day, but in my mind every single room of that house was filled with tables and chairs.  

I took my monkey bread that day and everyone said it was delicious.

I didn't have any of it myself so I don't know if it really was good or if they were just being kind to the new girl.

Monkey bread may be a weird thing to take to a Thanksgiving meal, but it is what my man requested.

So now once a year  around Thanksgiving or Christmas I make him some monkey bread to take to work.

Today was supposed to be that day.

I followed the recipe just like I did back in 2001, but today it didn't not turn out.

My biscuits just would not cook.

He had to leave for work before it was done.

I gave him a kiss and told him to go buy him and his crew some chicken biscuits from Chick-Fil-A and tell them all I said Happy Thanksgiving.

I told you I'm still not a cook. :)

Monday, November 14, 2016

A Winter Getaway

I've been thinking about our trip to the Carolinas a lot lately.

We had such a good time.

A week away to forget about work and infertility.

A week away to sleep in, hold hands, and laugh together.  

It was such a care-free week.  

I've missed that feeling and I've been craving another get away like that.  

Time away to connect with my husband without a million distractions.

I guess I'm not the only one feeling like that because last week Andrew suggested a winter vacation right before Christmas.

I immediately began dreaming of warm destinations..Hawaii, New Zealand, maybe a cruise.

All the while Andrew was dreaming of Middle of Nowhere, Montana where the high is only 28 degrees.  

Not exactly on the same page.  

But then he sent me this picture...

How cute is this little town?

He said the words fireplace and skiing and all of the sudden I was on board with this wintery destination.

He's good at that....

Making anything sound like a good idea.

Even freezing my tooshie off in the middle of nowhere.

So now I'm having fun finding clothes that might keep me from slipping into a hyperthermic state.

Like these matching thermals for instance...

Knowing us there will be thirty other ideas discussed before we actually embark on this getaway.

But that's okay.  

Half the fun is in dreaming and planning together.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Family Movie Night

This weekend Andrew and I hosted a Family Movie Night.

We did this once before not long after we had gotten married.  Everyone came over to our little apartment and we enjoyed a Weaver Family Favorite...

We decided it time for another Family Movie Night.

I had been dreaming about a beautiful decorated porch, chili and baked potatoes, and an outdoor movie.

Our movie night was nothing like I had planned, but it was still a lot of fun.

We ordered pizza for dinner.

Kandace made a sign for the occasion...

Movie Night.  Up Late.  Candy.  Friends.

We had a nice little concession stand to enjoy during the movie.

Kandace helped fill those big red bowls with popcorn.

Andrew and Chris decided on the movie.  No one knew what it was until we pushed play...

Well almost no one.  I may have opened it up when it came in the mail.  

In my defense...I thought it was something I ordered.

They chose another Weaver Family  Favorite...

I had never seen this movie before.

It was hilarious.

I'm pretty sure Andrew quit breathing at one point from laughing so hard.

The next morning we got up and got ready to head out on The Liberty Belle for her last cruise of the season.

After lunch a few of set off to hike Sugarloaf Mountain.

The views from the top were amazing.

On the way back Andrew, Cody, and Pryce decided to go for a little swim.

There's always some kind of challenge thrown down when these three are together.

That water was way to cold to be swimming.

Though they would never admit it, I'm pretty sure they agreed.

They weren't in the water very long at all.

I couldn't get a good picture but we saw two deer swimming across the lake.

I have never seen this before.

It was very neat.

The Liberty Belle may have acquired a new captain this weekend.

She thought she was big stuff driving the boat.