For the love

I used to despise reading assignments followed up with book report assignments in middle and high school. To the point where [confession time] I would just skim a few chapters and create a crafty ‘review’ honing in on only the content I knew I could speak to if the teacher asked any follow-up questions.

Isn’t it ironic himg_8436ow we change as we grow up? Now, I’m about to tell you three reasons why you need to stop whatever it is you are doing, pull up Amazon and order Jen Hatmaker’s For the Lovemid read!

No. 3
Run your race. After reading 10 chapters, this is the best way I can describe the underlined theme of this book. Hatmaker is spicy, witty and has no shame calling out the absurdities we face in America as working women, wives, moms and Christians. She does us all a favor and says, in black ink, what we all silently think and burry deep down in fear of neglect or rejection from society, and then tells us why it’s absolutely insane to cave into the nonsense [and by golly we might be overworked, overtired, overstimulated moms but we are not insane]. Sometimes, ok a lot of times, you just need a good book to remind you of this lesson.

No. 2
School-aged mamas, this one’s for you. We’re six months away from our oldest entering kindergarten, but all three attend a ‘mom’s day out’ type of place three days a week. Hatmaker’s Surviving School chapter had me in tears. If you need to pull yourself out of the educational freenzie for a breath, hardy laugh and a reminder that if your child doesn’t like you all the time, you are doing a darn good job, this one’s for you! Here’s a sneak peek:

“Moms, I can barely speak of what Pintrest has done to us here. Between bento boxes with sandwiches cut into the shape of dolphins leaping into a sea of kale, and spraying our kids’ feet with lemon essential oils to soothe their troubles, I just can’t even …”

No. 1
Three words … THANK YOU NOTES. Yes, the Jimmy Fallon kind, only mommy-ized. Let me dangle two carrots in front of you, because one of these entries simply won’t suffice.

“Thank you obvious warning labels. Without you I might have stuck my kid in a washing machine, lit a match near an open gas line, used my hair dryer while sleeping, or, God forbid, not realized eggs may contain – wait for it – eggs. I have no idea how I ever functioned without you. (I almost ingested the contents of a lava lamp just yesterday, but your label made another quick save. God bless.)”

“Thank you, Miss ‘Could you bring me these pants in a size 2?’for finding the dressing room adjacent to mine no matter when or where I try on clothes. You keep me humble. I also appreciate hearing how my size shirt ‘swallows you.’ And yes, we all know how ‘cold you are in here’ without any natural insulation. Eat a sandwich.”

 

Moms gone Waco

Between the two of us, we have seven children, all under age 10. So when an opportunity for a single-day, moms-only trip to Chip & Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Market Silos presented itself … you better believe your shiplap me and one of my besties, V, took it!

Fifteen hours and 350 miles later, it’s safe to say we created some memories to last a lifetime.

Let’s start with a PSA … do NOT stay in a Temple hotel directly off of IH-35. Can you say Breaking Bad?! After five minutes on the hotel property, that shall remain nameless, we were darting back to our car. I’m not sure if it was the man from the streets roaming around the rooms when we first pulled up, the front desk associate asking for the make and model of my car, or the fact that the entire property, inside and out, looked like it belonged on a murder/detective show, but we gladly donated our hotel fee and – V’s pillow – and never looked back.

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After making it to Waco safe and sound, we settled in to a much safer hotel and slept in … until SEVEN A.M.! Can’t tell you the last time that happened.

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By 8 a.m. we were on our way to the Silos ready to enjoy a breakfast treat from the Bakery.

After we parked a block away, we heard a train coming. It was picturesque of the small, quaint town and something I’m sure the HGTV production crew would have loved to capture. An old train rolling through downtown with the Silos in the background. By the time we realized the train was on the tracks that were 10 yards in front of us, it gave us just enough time to sprint across before we got stopped by the railroad crossing gate. Someone give be a cinnamon roll already.

Ahhhh, the Silos. V put it best – it’s an adult Disney Land. Everyone is ridiculous friendly, and genuinely happy to work there and have you visiting. From the moment you step on the property you can’t help but notice the details – a signature trait of Joanna Gaines. The music magically makes the crowd seem tolerable, the market’s setup attracts camera phones of all types snapping away ideas for homes across the country, and the outdoor space allows for swinging, lounging, eating, running kicking and throwing.

An hour-ish later, we headed to visit Harp Design Co. located in a small but sweet location or a residential area where you can hear him – or someone from his team – working in the back.

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Then, it was back toward the Silos to visit The Findery – an adorable shop filled with home goods, furniture, light fixtures and apparel.

Downtown Waco is charming. You can’t help but notice the architecture of the old buildings – many with stain glass. We grabbed lunch from a BBQ food truck at the Silos and then headed back to San Antonio – but not before buying a few cupcakes for the road which are worth every penny of their $3.50 price!

A Rodeo Surprise

It’s been well over 20 years since I’ve been to a rodeo. I mean the real rodeo – not just the grounds and carnival portion. Last night, I ventured out with our two oldest kiddos – J and M – to the San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo to watch the real deal.

We were able to see some live stock and enjoy several carnival rides for a few hours before the big show. Once we climbed to the top of the AT&T Center – yes, climbed, with a three and five-year old – we settled in our seats just in time to watch the grand entry.

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Dozens of beautiful horses nailed the opening choreographed number with cowboys and cowgirls leading them around the pin proudly carrying American and Texas flags. It was military night – so the MC proudly recognized military men and women in attendance followed by the unthinkable. An opening prayer!¬† Ya’ll, the San Antonio Stock Show and Rode kicks off their event – where people from around the world, yes world, come to compete – with a prayer, praising our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Chills bolted through every cell of my body. Pride and grace flooded my eyes in the form of water. I wish there was a way to explain in words the way I felt at that moment last night.

Every day I see and hear¬† disrespect and hate spewing from the mouths and fingers of my fellow Americans – most on TV and the internet – and some days, it’s enough to make me wonder if we will ever, as a united country, come back to Christ. But, last night I was filled with hope that I had lost. Never would I have thought a large, public event would be so bold as to pray first and then honor the country where God purposely put us. A place that allows that kind of public praise, provides freedoms of all kinds and supports healthy competition for men and women.

The rodeo itself was phenomenal. My favorite events were the bareback riding, saddle bronc riding and bull racing. These men are legitimately insane. To willingly get on the most athletic, bucking horses and bulls to see how long you can hang on in the proper position requires some big cojones! If you live near a town that holds a rodeo I strongly encourage you to attend. It’s an incredible experience.

I definitely plan to support this event, which supports our family’s beliefs, every year. Kudos to you, San Antonio Stock Show and Rodeo, for being bold!