Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Splish Splash, Take 2

We had so much fun with the Abbott kids the we decided to go back one day after work!

What better way to cool down...for free?








Sunday, May 25, 2014

Splish Splash, Take 1

What better way to cool off on a warm day than with a cute foot fountain in downtown Overland Park!

Weekend project? No problem!

We had big dreams in re-doing a lot around the house. Water issues in the basement led to a foundation inspection, which found drainage issues. Drainage issues led to the need to slop everything away from the house...and removing a large patio by our backdoor (south of the pool) that had been covered by mulch.

Trav worked for 5 days on the project, two of those with my dad. The process involved using a sledge hammer to break up chunks of the patio and haul it to a corner of the yard to be dealt with on a later day.

My mom and I, however, worked to slope the yard in the front of the house away from our foundation. While doing this, we had the crazy idea to paint our swing.

So...viola!

Before (in 2008)
After (in 2014)

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Cave Springs

We've been meaning to check out Cave Springs for quite some time, but the time was never right. You know how it goes - the weather isn't right or there are other obligations. When April and the kids invited us to tag along, we thought...YES!

After arriving, we all just started walking. Signs all around us pointed to "THE CAVE."

Then we passed what could have said cave, but considering all of the signs pointing us to THE CAVE, this carved out part of a rock was mentioned as just a normal part of pioneer life. In other words, NOT THE CAVE.

So we kept on walking. And walking.

We passed a bunch of haunting remains of pioneer homes:

BUT NO CAVE.

Well, we found out later that we had passed the cave...several times. In other words, it was kind of a let down. It would be like going to a Lexus dealership and finding only AMC Gremlins. It was still a fine time, but.........not necessarily worth the hike.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A look back: CHOPPED!

My kids, especially Zoey, love the show "Chopped." It's just their absolute favorite. I've made dinner and been told that I've been chopped. I've watched countless episodes with them.

We're a little "Chopped" obsessed.

Either way, we decided to give the kids their own "Chopped" adventure. Zoey and Kaki were a team, Trav and I were a team, Jack was the moderator and my dad was...well...the judging panel.

The set up was as close as could come:

Oooo. What will the secret ingredients be? 

Round one:Turkey SPAM, spinach, orange juice, cocoa puffs
Round two: Shrimp, shallots, peach kefir, bacon
Round three: Lemon cake mix, cashews, heavy whipping cream, chocolate chips

It was a great time had by all and quite a fun (and exhausting) challenge!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The summer of my disconnect

I'm the child of the 21st Century - I have been on Facebook ever since it was created (I had an .edu email address, as was required at the time). I met my husband over the Internet. Heck, I have lived and breathed the Internet ever since I was a freshman in high school.

Me...circa 2001
As the years have progressed, life has picked up speed. Here are a few reasons:

Baby Jackson
Baby Zoey
Our furry baby, Walter
My baby love
By the time I was 25, I had a husband, 2 kids, a house, 2 cars, one fat cat and had already been laid off from my first job. I remember being asked my age and responding with "somewhere around 30." I truly had no clue how old I was.

Over the last year, the stress has been cranked to the max. Just when we think life couldn't hit another pothole, we're shocked into reality with another hit. Trav's unemployment....my work stress...health issues...family relations...ugh.

It all combines to be one messy, sticky situation with too much drama.

Just how bad is it? A few weeks ago, I came home from my work and just broke down. As in, full-on crying, making no sense, etc.

The worst part is that I don't think anyone sees that part of us. Everyone looks at us and sees a happy family on a firm foundation. In that way, we are lucky. Our marriage is firm, and our family is relatively happy; however, it's far from easy. It's far from stress-free.

There are so many times I want to scream "CAN SOMEONE PLEASE CARE ABOUT US, TOO?!"

Around Easter, we took a trip to Tallgrass Prairie near Strong City, Kan. It's an annual trip we make to get away from the city.
There's nothing like walking without distractions. There's little cell service, so there's no urge to check email or Facebook. It's just you, God and the sweet sounds of nature.

That's when it hit me like a ton of bricks - I needed off of Facebook. It was consuming myself in a way I didn't like. I felt myself being pulled into the abyss with an overwhelming surge of updates that were irrelevant to my well-being.

So I'm pulled the cord...for now. I'm not logging into Facebook to free myself from being caught up in more drama, and I'm freeing myself to look outside of the Internet for satisfaction.

I'll be back - maybe this fall. Maybe not. I don't know, but I do know that this summer I'm going to focus on my family instead of anyone else. Until then, I'll be updating my blog a lot more and having more fun with family.

Bring on the family game nights!

A look back: Easter fun

Easter is one of my favorite holidays. From the message of Christ to the family traditions, it's just great.

And this year was no exception.

We opted to have it on a Saturday instead of the traditional Easter Sunday. With the exception of the sun blinding the kiddos during the obligatory photo taking, it ended up working out great.


We also hid the eggs in the front yard, which may or may not have been a better choice than the backyard. Either way, we went with it.

So did the kids:

These kids were pros!

Even the audience was involved.
Inside...more pictures (of course):

We love Easter!