Winter Beach

I love the beach so much. I think I *may* have mentioned that once or twice on the blog before! lol. Last week RaptorDad encouraged me to drive down to the beach while the kids were at school and it was the best idea ever. It was super cold, but I just wore my new snow coat and I was quite cozy. Side note: I’m a little bit terrified of what happens when it *actually* gets super cold as we’re all wearing our wool socks and snow coats, but the locals are still in jeans and sweatshirts.

It was low tide and there were tons of colorful rocks and shells. I even managed to assemble a rainbow! Maybe I’ll start a little collection of rainbow rocks and make something cool to hang on the wall? Hmm… Something to ponder as I’m sure I’ll be making another trip to the beach in just a few weeks. 🙂

Hippos!

I might have been most excited about seeing the hippos! On this day, we were picked up from our hotel in Zimbabwe and we drove about an hour to Chobe National Park in Botswana for a morning safari drive and an afternoon river cruise. It was a completely different feel than Kruger National Park in South Africa. Main difference would be the river! With such an abundance of water, we saw tons of hippos and elephants. There were also way less people in Chobe and the park was less developed. Which is not to say that Kruger was overly developed (it’s not at all!!!), but there were a few paved roads and a handful of places where you could stop to buy some lunch or do a bit of shopping. We did not see that in Chobe.

What we did see was a lot of hippos and elephants! I think I took approximately eleventy billion pictures of them. lol. I couldn’t *believe* how close we were able to get to the hippos on the river cruise! The little stinkers are so hard to photograph though what with them being mostly underwater and all, but I was able to get this one when 2 of them poked their heads above water for a minute. National Geographic they are not, but I’m happy with this one. 🙂 Keep scrolling for elephant pictures!

Elephants!

We’re still slowly trying to get unpacked here in Maine, but we did finally find the box that we had hidden the computer in! I promptly pulled almost 6k pictures from Africa off of my camera card. It’s going to take me a while to go through all of them! My goal is to do an initial culling down to about 10% and then delete the other 90%. We’ll see how that goes. lol. I did sort through my Chobe river cruise pics and got it down to about 15% which is a start!

This was one of my favorites. I think it really captures the vastness of the landscape, or at least that was the goal!

In between editing photos, I’m working on setting up my art room. I took the time to paint the mauve wall teal and I’m so glad I did! Now to get to work painting over the rest of the mauve walls in this house. Eeep! I also did a quick inventory of just how behind I am on Project Life (I can’t bring myself to do the same with the scrapbooks just yet) and it’s pretty bad. lol. I have 19 more layouts to do for 2021, 36 (!!!) more layouts for 2022, and I’ve only gotten 9 layouts done for 2023. I’m thinking maybe I’ll try to start in the present and work backwards? and then also start in 2021 and work forwards? We’ll see! I’m worried that there are loads of weeks without many photos, but I’ll cobble something together I’m sure. Mostly I’m just thrilled at the idea of getting to scrap again! All of my stuff has been packed up since May- I don’t think I’ve gone that long without scrapping since I started in high school! Ok, maybe that’s an exaggeration, but it sure feels like it.

On that note, I’m going to rotate the laundry and then try to print out pictures for a Project Life layout. Maybe last week? IDK. Stay tuned!

Beach Time!

I don’t think that it’s a secret to anyone that I am obsessed with the beach. We’ve been to the beach, um, 7 or 8 times since we’ve been in Maine? I love it! Our new house will be about an hour and a half from our favorite beach in Portland which is totally doable for a day trip. We’re loosely planning a once a month day trip to Portland for beach/ shopping! 🙂

Luckily that will give me plenty of chances to perfect my heart/ sand picture. But we are just too cute in this picture not to post it! For this, you’re supposed to dig a heart shaped hole in the sand and then put your camera at the bottom of it. When it works, you see a cute heart shaped sand border! We think we just need a much deeper hole for the heart to show up. I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities to perfect this over the rest of the summer. <3

Beach Trip!

You guys. I freaking love the beach. And I love road trips with friends. And yesterday I got both! I convinced one of my friends to do a crazy day trip down to Matagorda Bay and it was amazing!

My Moana obsessed Mia was in heaven. She had a blast playing in the sand, and then found a new friend who showed her how fun it was to jump the waves. 🙂

Kate and her friend decided to dig out a giant pool just above the water line. It ended up 3 times this size. lol. Every other kid on the beach thought this was awesome and pitched in to help. 🙂

Xander was delighted to be accepted in with the big kids when it came to pool digging duty. 🙂

It was the perfect start to Spring Break!

Mustang Island State Park

I grew up on the coast and I absolutely love the beach. The sound of the waves, the feel of the sand between my toes, it’s the ultimate recharge place for me. And y’all, because of Covid we hadn’t been to the beach for over a year! 13 months to be exact. Well, I decided that it couldn’t be put off any longer! I did a bit of research and the closest beach to us is Corpus Christi. And wouldn’t you know it? Just on the other side of Corpus is a state park! It’s like it was meant to be. lol.

Mustang Island State Park is about 4 hours from us which is a doable drive. I didn’t want to risk staying in a hotel, nor did I want to deal with food and packing, so we decided to do it as a day trip. Which was an insane idea but I regret nothing!

The beach was perfection! I’m actually wondering if they brought in sand after the last hurricane because the sand was so soft and pristine! Mia was beyond thrilled at the giant sand box. lol. We picked up some sand toys at Target curbside and it was totally worth the $10.

I think spring is my favorite time to go to the beach. It’s warm enough to feel like you’re at the beach, but cool enough that my kids are happy just to get their feet wet so I don’t have to worry about them in the water.

No lie, the drive back was brutal, especially because we got stuck behind an accident in San Antonio for a hour. Literally. But it was so worth it! We basically drove for 4.5 hours (we had to make a pit stop to see the World’s Largest Pecan in Seguin!), played at the beach for 3.5 hours, then drove for 5 hours back home. I *may* have limited snacks and water bottles in the car so that we could avoid potty breaks. lol.

What can I say, I’m a sucker for cheesy roadside attractions!

We are fairly cautious when it comes to Covid and I went round and round in my head as to if we should do this or not. But it seemed very safe. We drove, so no exposure there. I did stop to get gas, but I get gas here too. And once we got to the beach, it wasn’t crowded at all so we had no problem keeping to ourselves. I think there was at least 20 feet between us and the next closest person. Plus, the wind was blowing very strongly and the sun was bleaching everything.

And now that I know we can do it in a (very long) day, we might go again the next time we have a day off!

Back to School!

Oh my gosh, how is summer already over?!?  Kate went off to 5th grade this morning and I have to say that I’m about to have a mental breakdown.  How is it her last year of Primary School when she just started preschool?!?

Oh my gosh!  So freaking cute!

And now look at her, practically grown!  And yes, her hair is purple.  What can I say, I felt bad that she has to wear a uniform (although truly I LOVE the uniforms!) and since there are no rules against hair dye, purple it is!  I’m not crazy though so we didn’t bleach it.  It’s a wash in dye that’s supposed to last for 30 washes.  We’ll see.

It just seems impossible to me that next year she will be in middle school and the babies will be in kindergarten!

(Very Late) July Goals

How is it already the 10th?!?  June flew by!  Speaking of, let’s take a look at the goals, shall we?  I actually got a decent amount done!

  1.  Project Life 2018.  Done!  Yay!!!  It always makes me happy to get a new album onto my book shelf.  🙂
  2. Scrap.  Honestly, I didn’t get much scrapping done this month, but I did get 2 new layouts done.  Still need to set aside a large chunk of time and work on mass producing some backgrounds.
  3. Sewing.  Um, I officially moved the unicorn quilt to the Christmas gift pile.  lol.  AKA I didn’t work on it at all!  The thing is, it’s not even going to take me that long to finish the top, but I’m at a spot with a coping border and I’m worried all of my seams won’t line up.  I should probably just accept that my seams won’t line up and move on, huh?  lol.
  4. Hexagons.  I sewed together the big chunk!  I also laid it out on Mimi’s bed and we discussed how big it should be and I’ve decided that scaling it back just a little bit will be just fine.  So I need to make 3 more super hexie blocks, not 7.  Yay!  Here’s RaptorDad holding it up for me.  I’m officially 1/3 of the way done!  
  5. Windchime.  It took a lot longer than expected to stitch together the hexies, partly because I ended up needed a ton of joining hexies!  So, no progress on wind chime this month.  ::pouty face::
  6. Applique.  I didn’t manage to work on this at all this month either…
  7. Charm Quilt.  My amazing Mimi took pity on me and added a bit more quilting to the borders and helped me bind it so it’s officially done!  We have all loved snuggling under it together!
  8. Beach pics.  Better!  I’m obviously still awaiting some magical trick to have all of my kids smiling and looking at the camera at the same time (I suspect this magical trick is to hiring a professional lol) but I’m mostly happy with how these turned out.  And we had a fantastic time at the beach!         
  9. Beach Trip Prep.  Well, I caved and just let the kids watch movies the whole way there.  Oh well.  My mom and I had a lovely chat!
  10. Montessori Trays.  Big fat fail.

Should I even bother with July goals?  lol.  Of course!

  1.  Project Life.  Finish gap.  Which is only 2 layouts and I even already have the pics printed!  Need to just get this done.
  2. Project Life. I would like to tackle May of 2019 just in the interest of not getting further behind.
  3. Scrapping.  I’m not even going to set a layout goal because my scrappy mojo appears to have taken a vacation, but I do want to make a big stack of mixed media backgrounds.  I think this would go a long way towards coaxing my mojo to return!
  4. Hexies.  Honestly, I would be taking a break from my hexies if not for the fact that my quilt guild is having a UFO contest this year in which we listed 12 projects and then they draw a number each month and we work on the corresponding project.  Guess which number was pulled this month…  Number 1 which was my hexies.  lol.  Clearly I’m not going to finish the top this month (this year?) but I do want to finish super hexie block number 10.
  5. Christmas Half Square Triangles.  I pulled this out again this week and started working on it some more.  I’ve now gotten half of the rows completed.  I just need to trim down the other half of the squares and sew them together.  Then I get to decide what I want to do with the borders.  🙂
  6. Take my kids swimming.
  7. Make popsicles with kids.
  8. Take kids to the splash pad.
  9. Library with kids.
  10. Thinkery with kids.

Notice anything about the last 5?  They’re not crafty goals, but they are the most important goals on the list to me!  Our summer is over halfway over!  And I feel like we’ve been so busy that we haven’t “done summer” yet!  So these are some easy goals to remind me of what my real purpose is this summer.  <3 <3 <3

Christmas Pictures

Look at these beautiful pictures of my babies!

It was so cold, but my kids are (mostly) good sports.

There was a lot of “throw your coats over here!  Stop shivering and smile!  Now put your coats back on and walk over here!”  lol.

But I love how they turned out.  My sister and I do cousin pics every year and I love them!  Mia’s dress (my favorite Kate hand me down) is comically too large, but I just happened to get these perfect matching plaid shirts for the boys from my sister-in-law and we made it work.

I’m so glad that my sister is such a good sport about me getting a cousin pic of them every year!  And who knows, maybe next year I’ll get some where they’re all smiling at the camera at the same time.  lol.