Currently growing

Over the past year, we have been thinning out our jungle of a backyard to create a beautiful space where nature and little humans can coexist peacefully.  It has been crazy labor intensive and sometimes it seems that we are not making any progress. (PSA - never plant Virginia Creeper.  Our neighbor two houses down planted it a few years ago and it has taken over the whole neighborhood!)

But one part that makes it all worth it has been watching my summer garden come to life. Currently we have two garden areas plus a whole bunch of potted plants. There is one garden under the pecan tree that grows all of our herbs, carrots, rainbow chard, eggplants, beets, cucumbers, and winter squash (though bugs have just recently attacked my squash - boo!).  Usually the shade from the pecan tree would not be ideal.  But because we live in Texas where the sun is intense, a little shade in the summer does not hurt the plants. There is another garden off to the left side of the yard. This area gets a lot of sun, making it perfect for tomatoes and all different varieties of peppers. Our pots hold a random assortment of goodness - our Meyer lemon tree, more herbs, green onions, and our first attempt at strawberries. I am hoping to expand into a third area this fall that will be in our side yard.  I have big plans for this spot as it will be our biggest garden yet.  I have dreams of big viney winter squash growing up a trellis, pumpkins, garlic, onions, fennel, late-season zucchini, brussel sprouts, and of course more herbs. 

It's such a joy to plant seeds or little starts and watch mother nature make it all come to life and grow bigger than our expectations.  To me, the act of gardening is humbling, empowering, and incredibly therapeutic. There is something about getting your hands into the dirt that brings such instant calm and connects me to my true self. Watching a tomato plant grow taller than me always restore my faith in a greater power. And of course, there is the added bonus of sending my girls out to pick out dinner each night. Nothing will make a little human eat their vegetables better than allowing them to pick out their own harvest. 

Currently growing in the garden:

rainbow chard
7 varieties of heirloom tomato
butternut squash*
4 varieties of bell peppers
green onions
meyer lemons

* If you have any suggestions on the best way to fight squash vine borers, please leave me a comment.  I would be incredibly appreciative.  Those little jerks have already destroyed two plants that were already growing fruit.  It was heartbreaking to rip out those plants.

Farewell to our sweet Wrigley

Yesterday we had to say goodbye to our sweet dog, Wrigley.  While this was not unexpected, it still stings like hell.  We are heartbroken and our house seems more quiet than usual without the clickity-clack of her paws on the wood floor.  We miss her terribly.  I guess that is the rub with loving dogs and having them as part of your family.  It is all great for so many years until it just isn't... and then it just really sucks and is heavy on the soul.

David and I got Wrigley almost 13 years ago at the SPCA in Houston.  She was the cutest little black cotton ball puppy you ever have seen.  She grew up to be a little punk, always acting like she was bigger than she was.  She was sweet and mischievous and always ready for some play.

One of my funniest memories of her is when I came home early from work one day and caught her sprinting down our street with a milk carton in her mouth.  Apparently she had been escaping our backyard  every recycling day in order to acquire quite a collection of empty plastic milk cartons.  She saw me see her and hauled ass back to the yard, climbed back over the fence and then tried to act like nothing ever happened.  Little stinker!

But she was so sweet.  With each of my pregnancies, she was my protector.  And I always knew when I was getting close to labor because she would start to follow me very closely around everywhere... even the bathroom.  It is like she knew that something big was about to happen.

Sweet girl.  I am going to miss her so much.

Friday Favorites

This girl.  She is such a snuggler and I love it.  I know they grow up so quickly so I am taking advantage of all these moments where all she wants to do is snuggle in my arms.

This peach crisp.  Hot or cold, breakfast or dessert... it is all good!  I am eating a bit too much of this this week.  It has fruit in it, right?
This cookbook.  The photography, the food, the art, the author... they are all speaking my language.  

 We had big, fun plans for Wednesday.  Then Tropical Storm Bill had to come and cancel those said plans.  So we did the next best thing... stay in our pjs all day and camp out in an indoor fort.
The Mr. and I used to go to Torchy's Tacos when it first opened in Austin many, many years ago.  Well now Fort Worth has a location super close to our house.  Woohoo!  There tacos are amazing and they have lots of  gluten free options that I can eat.  My favorite is The Democrat.

This sweet girl.  With absolutely no initiation from me in any way, she came up to me this week and told me that she wants to donate her hair at the end of the summer.  A friend of hers had donated and Little B wanted to do it too in order to help other little girls with no hair.  I love her sweet, kind soul.

Okay, that is all for now.  Hope you have an amazing weekend!

Linkups: Andrea, Erika, and Narci

Our 2015 Summer of Fun List

I love lists.  For those that know me... SHOCKER, huh?  Yeh, I know.  It is a borderline sickness.  Anyways, summer time is no exception when it comes to the list love.  At the beginning of every summer, we sit down as a family and write out all the things that we want to do.  Nothing is too small or too big.  It is our bucket list of sorts for the entire family. 

So, in no particular order, here is our 2015 Summer of Fun List:

make the most perfect jalapeno margarita
watch fireworks
run through the sprinklers
eat snowcones
go swimming a lot
paint the picnic table
eat fresh watermelon and have a seed spitting contest
make a patriotic wreath for the front door
pick blueberries and/or peaches
go to the zoo
sidewalk chalk
hang our Italian string lights on the back porch
make cookies with mommy
have friends over for dinner
watch a baseball game at the ballpark
make a fairy house
paint the front door
road trip
go to the movie theater
play on the backyard fort/swing/slide
run through the water fountains at Sundance Square
hang our American flag
blow bubbles
visit daddy at work
have a slumber party
backyard camping
visit the ice cream truck
swim lessons
eat smores
make jam
mommy & daddy date nights
go to the library
paint our toe nails
build a fort inside
eat lots of popsicles
make root beer floats
go to a concert in the park
read lots of books
ride our bicycles in our neighborhood's 4th of July parade
pajama day
make ice cream
eat hot dogs
visit grandma and grandpa

I am so proud of us that we have already been able to cross a few of these off.  Living life like we mean it!