Sunday, June 3, 2012

Farmers Market Fun

We loved our first trip to the Shreveport Farmers Market -- it's a great way to support our area farmers and the local economy, and is also super family friendly. It was packed and I kept running into old friends that we hadn't seen in years! We came home with some delicious homemade tamales and a bunch of fresh fruit. Two little people discovered that they love peaches after digging into my stash, so I guess we'll have to head back next weekend for some more. Oh yeah, and some beignets too!

Here are some of my favorite sights and sounds from Saturday...

Along for the ride

Loved this praline-selling diva!
Kern Has Coffee and "it is good" - according to Andrew
Free face painting from the Abrakadoodle folks

Jammin' out to "I'll Fly Away" in Festival Plaza


Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Manic Monday: 'Getting Caught Up on the Blog' Edition

It's been a while since written a post, but I've felt like I'm going to collapse into an exhausted heap at the end of most days lately. So... sleep has won out over blogging! In edition to starting our own business (another post on that later), we've been busy getting reacquainted with our hometown while spending time with the girls on the weekends. Here's a rundown of some of our latest adventures:

1. Ballet. I took Lucy to see the Shreveport Metropolitan Ballet's performance of Cinderella, her first time at the "big girl ballet." I had to laugh a few minutes into the first act when she asked, "Mommy, why does Cinderelly not say any words?" She started squirming a few minutes from the end of the performance, but otherwise it was a really special mommy-daughter date.

2.  ArtBreak. Andrew's guitar students were performing, so we took the opportunity to go downtown and watch them play and then got our craft on!

Decorating feathers to place on the paper maiche pelican

3. Fountains. I promised the girls on a recent Friday evening that we could head to the splash pad at 'Purple Park' (AC Steere) the next morning. We put on our swim suits and sunscreen and hopped in the wagon, only to discover that it was off that day. So we headed down to the fountains off of Clyde Fant Parkway to play. We had a great time exploring the gardens around the Barnwell Center and the riverfront.

One of my new favorite pictures. These sisters love each other so much!

4. Sci-Port. I have no idea why it took us almost a year to pay a visit to this area's best museum for children, but we are so glad we did and now plan to get the girls a family membership for their birthdays. Lucy enjoyed pretending to be a pilot of the riverboat on the main floor, Hannah was obsessed with the water table, and they both loved playing in the construction zone. We're looking forward to escaping the heat here in the coming months!

We still have many other places on our list to visit soon, so stay tuned!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: 'Sweet eyes' edition

My first baby

Monday, April 16, 2012

Our Lady of Perpetual Motion

I've probably said it a million times since my firstborn's birth, "If I could bottle her energy...". This child DOES NOT SLOW DOWN. Ever. It took her 15 months to start walking, but once she did, she's been in a full sprint ever since. Lucy literally runs everywhere -- from room to room in the house, in circles in the yard, playing red light/green light down the sidewalk, through the halls of church... And when she gets where she's going, she flashes an enormous smile and starts talking so quickly about whatever's churning in her brain that you can barely understand her. I couldn't love that beautiful heart-shaped face with the gap-toothed grin and sparkling eyes any more if I tried.

Lucy talks all.of.the.time. She rarely employs her "inside voice", regardless of the social situation. She is stubborn and spends a lot of time in time out for choosing not to listen the first time. But, she is ever so funny and really smart and creative and sweet to Sister. The best way to describe her energy comes from one of my favorite children's books, "Olivia". While tucking Olivia in at night, her mom says, "You really wear me out, but I love you anyway."

It's relentless at times, but she reminds me that life is meant to be lived joyfully and to the full extent. Run on, baby girl!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Flashback Friday: What a difference a year makes!

Listening to Hannah talk in FULL SENTENCES this week has gotten me thinking about how big she's gotten and how much she's changed over the past year. In April 2011, she still had almost no hair and just a few teeth and was drinking a bottle, learning to blow kisses, babbling random words, and crawling.

Easter egg hunt ~ 9 months
Fast forward a year... In April 2012, Hannah is potty training with pretty regular success, feeding herself with utensils, talking up a storm, running, coloring with crayons, singing songs (You Are My Sunshine is a current favorite), sleeping 12/hrs a night, ditching the pacifier, using a regular cup, brushing her teeth, playing dress-up, and throwing tantrums. We are almost a 2-yr-old after all!

The one thing that has remained constant throughout all of her becoming-a-big-girl changes is her sweet nature, adorable nose crinkle, and a profound ability to LOVE. She loves to sing and dance, loves to laugh, loves to read books, loves to pet Evie, loves her grandparents and aunts and uncles, and of course, loves mommy and daddy. But most of all, she loves, loves, LOVES big sister "Lushee". No one else can make her  quite so happy.

St. Patrick's Day ~ 21 months

Big girl potty!

"Sister" has the most warm personality and funny sense of humor and her smile can light up a room. This baby fills me with so much joy. I can't wait to see how she will continue to change and grow. What a blessing she is to our family!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Monday, February 27, 2012

Meatless Monday: Or getting inspired by my friends to try different foods

A good friend of mine from high school is a vegan chef (check out Katie's fantastic website with recipes and videos here: and she has long been an inspiration to me on the culinary front. She works hard to create and tweak recipes to ease folks into a healthy lifestyle and she is so very enthusiastic and passionate about her work. Recently another good friend from high school has set out upon a vegan path - primarily to improve her family's eating habits and health - and has experienced a lot of success. You can follow their journey here:

And yet another good friend from high school (I'm thinking the Caddo Magnet High connection is meaningful here, no?) is participating in the Daniel Fast for Lent. I'd never heard of it before so I did some research after she mentioned it: Essentially, it's a stricter version of a vegan diet based on scripture that requires some serious dedication and thoughtfulness on the part of the participant. I am so proud of them all! We all grew up eating "traditional" southern foods cooked by our parents and grandparents - often fried or covered with gravy or both, so I figure if they can make some lifestyle changes, so can I!

I live in household made up of some non-veggie eaters (for the most part), so the process might be slow going but... I figure better late than never. I doubt we'll ever go vegan, but eating vegetarian meals a few nights a week would be revolutionary for us right now! I gave up red meat, fried foods, and soft drinks for Lent, so why not take the next step?

Anyway, I'm going to start with Meatless Mondays and go from there. I've already been doing at least one slow cooker meal a week, so maybe that one can be vegetarian as well. Lucy helped me make some delicious banana bread this afternoon (we subbed applesauce for butter and used whole wheat flour and egg substitute to make it a bit healthier) and for supper we're having Bean Burgers and sweet potato fries. Here's the recipe:

I think they might be better with black beans and I'd probably add some corn next time too, but overall a good start! I'd love to hear about your best vegetarian and vegan recipes that the meat eaters in your family (especially the kids) love to eat. Wish us luck on our new adventure!

Big wheels

Big girl riding her big girl bike through the neighborhood. She is so proud of herself!  :)

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Gone country

About a month ago we got the chance to head north of town to visit with some old friends at their family farm. Lynn Plantation is held in high regard in my life - I have so many fond memories of spending time there during my high school years and beyond with my amazing friend Lesley. It was not a difficult sell to get us out there to see their new baby girl, Matilda.

We had quite the "city girls go to the country" experience on our drive -- Lucy steadily pointed out tractors and barns and horses while Hannah kept us entertained with her "moo" and "cock-a-doo!" animal noises. And luckily for them, the actual experience did not disappoint! The immediately ran over to meet the animals and ran around the pond, then began to explore the array of tractors Mr. Lynn has accumulated over the years. Daddy took them for a spin on the John Deere Gator and they had a blast! Mommy may have succumbed to a slight major case of baby fever, and the girls fell pretty hard too. Lucy's been walking around with "baby Tilda" on her shoulder, changing her diaper and feeding her for a while now.

We so treasured the time with our friends and are grateful to have gotten the chance to spend a leisurely morning on the farm with them.  Here are some pictures from our trip ~ isn't the antique photo filter fun?
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Tuesday, February 14, 2012

My funny valentines

Our first attempt at pigtails

Big sister has been displaying a really big heart lately

My sweetheart

I love them all so much it makes my heart want to explode. They love me well in return and for that I am blessed beyond measure.


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Flashback Friday: Christmas 2011

We started off celebrating the Christmas season by attending a birthday party for Jesus at First United Methodist Church. They had a puppet show for the kids featuring tunes such as "Born in Bethlehem" (set to the Bruce Springsteen hit), games, crafts, and of course, birthday cake.

Lucy's class performed as angels in their school Christmas play. A bunch of 3 and 4-yr-olds in angel costumes singing "Away in a Manger" = heaven.

We also adopted an Elf on the Shelf this year - his name is George, after everyone's favorite curious little monkey, and he can be found in the silliest places after his nightly visit to see Santa at the North Pole!

Christmas morning was especially nice this year because we got to wake up in our own home and didn't have to pack up our entire house to travel somewhere! We had several of the girls' grandparents and their great grandfather over for breakfast and to open presents ~ it was a really special time for us all. The joy on the girls' faces when they saw their new swing set was worth all of Andrew's our hard work!  :) Thank you to all of the grandparents for making this a holiday for the girls to remember.

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P.S. I've been having a lot of problems with slow picture uploads to Blogger lately, so I'll be putting posts with a lot of pictures in Slide show format for a while.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Flying monkeys

Since we spent New Year's Eve cooped up with the sick (Lucy was running a fever and throwing up for half of the day), we decided to get outside for a while on New Year's Day. We went to "Betty Borginya" park to try out a few of Lucy's new Christmas presents ~ a frisbee (thanks, Aunt Katie!) and a monkey-shaped kite. We got there right before sunset and caught a perfect breeze. Andrew got it up in the air, but Lucy quickly took over the strings and couldn't have been more thrilled! Sister was content just to be along for the ride.

Blurry, but beautiful