We're Alive!

It has been a rough few weeks in our home.  But we are back in business, finally!! 
Right after my last post, one of  my best friends from high school (and middle school and elementary!) came to visit with her son!  We worked our tails off getting all kinds of things done around my house that I have been putting off or hadn't had time to do!  I can now officially say there are NO more boxes in my house!  Everything is unpacked, in its place and things all hung on the walls!  It feels so good to finally have it all done and I'm so so thankful for Tracy and all of her help!!
It was also so fun to see our boys all get along so well and begin to build a friendship!  One more thing that has been super special about moving back to Texas and being closer to friends and family!  We were sweaty and not so cute most of the weekend so no pics of us but I did manage to get one of the boys!
Cuties after my boys basketball games!
Unfortunately, shortly after this picture was taken, Colby spiked a really high fever.  This began what has proven to be a long few weeks of sickness in our home!  Its gone a little something like this....
*Colby had an upper respiratory infection
*Brayden tested positive for Flu B
*I fought something for 8 days before finally going to the doc and getting a sinus infection diagnosis
*8 missed days of school between the boys
*over $150 spent on medicine in 2 weeks
*3 bottles of childrens advil & 2 bottles of tylenol
*one exhausted mama!!!
Colby at the doctor

poor buddy, Brayden was one sick dude!
sooo tired and finally headed to the doctor myself
In the interest of keeping it real, I now present what the laundry looks like when mama has been busy taking care of sick kiddos and being sick herself!  I just finally caught up with laundry yesterday!
yikes! and there was already a load in the washing machine....
So, after all the sickness, everyone was feeling well enough to head out to our church's community group dodgeball tournament!  My community group had a team and while I wasn't playing, I was excited to be there to cheer them on!  We all had so much fun and my group's team won the whole thing!!  So fun!!
best community group ever!!!!
Annddd, I'm so glad that we took advantage of the chance to get out of the house because the next day, Colby hurt his ankle during his basketball game and Brayden spiked a fever. Again. So on Monday, we were off to the doctor again!
I joked with the doctor that we were going to just rent a room! ha!
 Xrays were negative on Colby's ankle ~ just a nasty high ankle sprain.  And Brayden has a sinus infection.  Poor guy just can't catch a break!
I'm happy to report that Brayden went back to school today and that I can finally, for the first time since getting sick, say that I really feel like myself again!  I also feel like I have to give credit where credit is due and this cutie.....
has been such a champ thru all of this!  I'm so thankful that he was spared from all the sickness and he managed to make me smile even in the misery!
We have a busy few weeks ahead full of family & fun and we cant wait to kick it off next week with spring break!!


Love Day

I wasn't expecting much for Valentines Day this year with John being gone but these guys of mine managed to surprise me!!
The boys gave me the sweetest little book!  I don't think they could have given me anything better!

They worked together to fill out each page and its so perfectly them which makes my heart smile every time I read through it!
Some entries were super sweet.....
I love your smile. Sweet boys!

I call Dylan my boogie bear and my heart melted when his brothers told me he said this one without any help from them.
I love it when you call me Boogie Bear! <3 font="">

You know how the saying goes ~ 'the way to a man's heart......'
I am so thankful that you are a good cook.
Some of the entries made me laugh.......
If you were a dance, you'd be the salsa! My social media handle isn't SassyAubs for nothing! hahaha!!
And just when I thought I might die from their sweetness {and started wondering if maybe aliens had abducted my "all boy" boys} they brought me back to my beautiful, crazy, sometimes crude reality of being a boy mom......
I love when you fart your abc's like loud.
yeah. sigh.
Oh, the life of a boy mom!  I wouldn't trade it for anything and I love the way they can be so sweet and loving and then just drop a "boy bomb" about farting abc's. Crazy, sweet, loud, loving, sometimes crude and all mine!
A short while after the boys gave me their surprise there was a knock at the door.  These boys of mine have learned from the best how to love their mama and I should have known better than to think John wouldn't do something for me! 
A big, beautiful edible arrangement was delivered from him!!  Internet access is far from guaranteed out there and it is so special to me that he made a way to let me know he's thinking of me and missing me!  Have I mentioned I cannot wait to have him home?!?!
I am an incredibly blessed wife to an amazing man and I couldn't be more blessed as a Mom to have three of the most incredible sons!  And all of the love & blessings in my life point me strait to the love of my Savior and Heavenly Father!  I couldn't be more grateful for this sweet little family and life He has blessed me with!
Hope you all were surrounded by love this Valentines Day!!


Menu Monday {on Tuesday}

Well.....sometimes things just don't go as planned!  I had every intention to get this post up yesterday and it just didn't happen.  This is a little bit of a crazy season for us with basketball and course selection meetings for the older boys and throw some sickness in there for fun and I'm feeling a little like a crazy lady!

I had sickly kiddos last week and that kinda threw my week off a bit so I didn't get around to making a couple of the dinners I had planned.  But that just made my planning & grocery shopping that much easier this week!! ;)

Here's what we'll be eating this week.....

Monday: Pizza
Tuesday: Tacos
Wednesday: Crockpot Beef Stew
Thursday: Taquitos & Pinto Beans {for boys}/ Community Group
Saturday: Crockpot Creamy Italian Chicken & Rice w/ Green Beans
Sunday: Lemon Poppyseed Chicken over Spinach w/ Strawberries
Since we didn't get to try either of the new meals from last week, I'll have to let you know what I think of them next week! 
Hope everyone is having a fantastic week!!


2015 was a GOOD year!! {part 2}

If you missed when I shared some of my favorite memories from the first part of 2015, you can check it out here!
Today, I'm back to share some of my favorites from the second half of the year!
In late July & early August I set off on another girls trip! This time with my bestie Sarah (from Seattle), her sister (who lives in Chicago), & Amy (from Washington)!
First Sarah and I flew to Chicago and stayed with her sister!  We had so much fun exploring, shopping, eating and laughing!
On the train into the city!
Cocktails @ Dylan's Candy Bar. Best place ever!! Its an amazing candy store AND a bar where they use candy in the drinks. BEST!!

Chicago is an amazingly beautiful city! It definitely stole a piece of my heart!

After a couple days of exploring Chicago, we all flew to NYC and met our friend Amy! I LOVE love LOVE New York City!  I went twice last year and will be going again this year.  There is just something about that city that has me hooked!  This time, I was operating on an injured ankle and walking was painful.  My orthopedic doc did a steroid injection to try to help with the pain while on the trip but after Chicago I was in a lot of pain.  I barely made it thru our first day in NYC.  I was physically ill from the pain.  So I told the girls that I was going to stay at the hotel the next day and rest my foot but they weren't having it.  They found a wheelchair.  So.....I did NYC by wheelchair.   Sigh.  Not my idea of fun but we made the best of it!
Coney Island!!

The Plaza.{Lady M crepes are one of my FAVE things to have in NYC so we hit up the Plaza to indulge!} Carriage ride thru Central Park. Dylan's NYC. Bloomingdales.  This was a fun day!!

Freedom Tower. So beautiful. 

Y'all. I encourage you to click on this to enlarge it. And take in the progression of Naked Cowboy placing my hand on his rear end and my absolute embarrassment! Oh and? Sarah is getting out $$$ to give him in the last pic! Hilarious!

Our last night we went to 230 5th! A rooftop bar/restaurant with a super fun vibe and the BEST views!!
Now, to know me is to know my deep love for reality tv!  And at the top of my list of favorite shows is Big Brother.  For the second year in a row, I got to fly out to LA, stay with my girlfriend Erin (from Bringing Up Burns) and attend the wrap party hosted by the fabulous Ryan Carrillo & Rachel Reilly!!  It is the best time!  The first year I met SO many current & former cast members from Big Brother of course but also Survivor and Amazing Race!  We had so much fun the first year that we actually wondered if this party could live up but it absolutely did! So much fun!!
My Mom & Meemi came out and stayed with the boys while I was gone!  I'm so blessed with such a supportive family!
Me & Erin with Mike H.{winner of Survivor:Worlds Apart!!}

Me and the gorgeous Audrey M. {from BB17!} I love this girl!!

Me with the gorgeous Rachel Reilly{BB 12 & 13, Amazing Race 20 & 24!}

Me w/ Clay H. & Shelli P.{both from BB17!} Y'all....Shelli is just as gorgeous & sweet in person!

Me & Becky B.{BB 17}
Shortly after returning home from Los Angeles, I was incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to head to Atlanta and enjoy a girls night with Shelli & Audrey!!  We had dinner and went to a screening of the movie Free Held!  It was so much fun ~ these girls are both just the best!
At dinner!  The food was so good!
Heading into the movie!

Love them!!!

In addition to the travel & events in 2015, there were so many good times with friends that made it such a wonderful year!  Here's just a peek at some of the fun....

I had the privilege of seeing a long time dream of a ministry for military women come true last year and these girls were by my side and worked so hard to make it all happen! Love them!

kickball games at the park with our best friends easily make the list of fave memories!

best friends at the beach!

at dinner w/ my besties for my birthday!
Besties & dinner again, this time for Travis's birthday!
oh how I love and miss these girls!

Pumpkin Patch hayride with the whole crew

me and some of my girls at my going away dinner in Pensacola

when I was house hunting in Texas, thankfully I didn't have to do it alone! My friend Sarah from Seattle was with me and two of my high school besties came too! So we checked out a fun wine bar one night!
What a year!!  There were ups and downs, challenges, & struggles but that all pales in comparison to all of the fun, laughter, & blessings that my memories of 2015 are made of!  Hope you've had fun taking a stroll  down memory lane with me!!



Menu Monday is Back!!!!

Menu planning is a life line for me!  It takes the guess work out of dinner time, helps me to grocery shop efficiently and just makes my life so much easier!
I used to share my family's weekly dinner menu here each week and link to and/or share some of the recipes!  I love finding new meals that my family enjoys and I like to keep dinner time a little mixed up so that we aren't eating the same things every week.  I have some of the pickiest eaters alive so finding meals they all like and will eat is a challenge but I keep on trying!! 
Here is what will fill our tummies this week!!
Monday: Crockpot Swiss Chicken w/ Broccoli
Tuesday: Skillet Sausage, Couscous, & Corn
Wednesday: Crockpot BBQ Chicken w/ Green Beans
Thursday: Beanie Weenies {boys}/ Community Group
Saturday: Eat Out! {mama needs a break sometimes!!}
Sunday: One Pan Honey Garlic Chicken & Veggies
Thursday night I go to community group and we do dinner as a group each week so I fix something super simple for the boys and I eat with my friends! =) 
One way that I like to keep dinner time interesting is trying at least one new recipe each week!  One Pan Honey Garlic Chicken & Crockpot Beef Stew are new to us this week so I'll be sure to let ya know what I think!  I hope you check out the linked recipes and be sure to let me know if you try any of them!!  Also?  Do you have a favorite recipe website??  Let me know!!  I'm always looking for new recipe sources!!
Hope everyone's week is off to a fabulous start!! 


2015 was a GOOD Year!! {part 1}

Even though I wasn't blogging last year, I want to take some time here to remember some of my favorite times of 2015! 

I'm not going to get into details here but because of his career, for the last couple of years our time with John has been very limited.  We cherish any time we have with him and make the best of the time we are apart!  Last year we were able to take a couple of vacations with him and we had the best time!!  The first of these was Great Wolf Lodge in Charlotte, NC!!

All my favorite guys!!
Sweet boys!!

We love LOVE love Great Wolf Lodge!!  We've been to 3 different locations and my boys talk about going back regularly!!  If you haven't ever been, I highly recommend it!!
Next up was a girls trip to NYC for me!!  I went with a group of girls from church and we had the best time!!  We spent the first couple days sightseeing and then we attended a conference called She Is Free!
the 1st day we landed, dropped stuff at the hotel, & spent the whole day exploring! Such a super fun group!
The cutie in the middle of that group on the right is Kristin, our women's leader & pastor! She is such a strong, successful, beautiful friend and inspires & encourages me so much!!  And?  She was part of a panel at She Is Free!!
What to do when the subway is empty? Get crazy of course! ;)
There was so much laughter, fun, and so many memories made on this trip!  Some of these girls I barely knew before this trip and you wouldn't have known it!  She Is Free was such a powerful conference and I left there so on fire to seek God and to see God's daughters rise up, encourage one another and be a force for change in this world!
A couple months later it was birthday time for my boys and because of John's work schedule, he wasn't going to get to be home for them.  So we decided instead of parties, we would plan a trip when daddy could be with us!  We decided on St. Augustine, FL and had such an amazing time!!  We did some research and let the boys each choose one activity to do while there!
Colby is an animal/reptile lover so it was no surprise that he chose the alligator farm!

Brayden has a never ending sweet tooth and so by no surprise chose a tour at the Whetstone chocolate factory tour!

Dylan was so so excited about his choice to visit the carousel!!  I think he rode it atleast 10 times, each with the same enthusiasm & excitement as the first!

and what is a birthday without presents?! one night back at the condo we opened presents!

some good friends of ours that happened to live nearby came over one afternoon for swimming and then pizza & cupcakes! It was fun to see them and catch up!

and one of my favorite things about this trip was sunset walks on the beach as a family!
I absolutely loved St. Augustine!  The condos we stayed at were perfect, there was so much to do, and it was a such a sweet, enjoyable time with my family!!
One of my favorite holidays is the 4th of July, so I have to include it in my fave memories!!  Each year, our best friends and us would plan a party.  And every year it grew!  Last year it was an all day event and our whole block was invited! (and most showed up!! so fun!)  My best friends smoked pork butt all day and everyone brought sides, desserts, & fireworks!
just a few pictures from the day!

each year, the week before the party, we all head to Alabama to shop for the good fireworks! I love me some fireworks!!
There are a lot of things that I miss about Pensacola but at the top of that list is our friends and the beach!  And those two things combine to make up more of my favorite memories from 2015!  It doesn't get much better than beach days with friends!!
kiddos checking out a baby shark we caught!

beach football!!

my people. and the beach. LOVE.

the littlests rocking their boogie boards! =)

my lil blondie beach babe!

love these kiddos!

just some of the best kiddos in the world on one of the most beautiful beaches!

So much fun to think back and reminisce on such a great year!!  I'll be continuing with my favorite memories from the second half of the year next week!  And 'Menu Monday' will be back as well so be sure to check back!!  Hope everyone has a fun Superbowl weekend!!