Saturday, June 30, 2012

Social Bites, and Sips

I solemnly swear that today's post will not make your skin crawl, incite the urge to locate garden tools, or make you want to test your shotguns. Swear. This is a sweet post. A post so sweet you may need to head downtown to Ruston's newest sweet spot, Social Bites.  

Baylor, in a costume...again.

When the temps reach the 100 degree mark I'm pretty much done as far as outdoor activity goes. I loathe the heat, especially when I'm chasing after two girls and toting a baby.  But anyone with kids knows that you just can't stay home all summer. Boredom set in and Harper began to bounce off the furniture. Literally.  After my fifth demand to "Stop Jumping!!" and "No, we can't watch the bee movie again," I knew adventure was needed.

Thus, I declared it "Princess Day" at Social Bites.

An older couple was seated in the high back chairs facing the door when we walked in. "Where've ya'll been?" they asked.  "Nowhere," I replied, straight faced. "This is what a mom of three does when boredom sets in. This IS the destination." No response.

With probably seven different flavors, you are sure to find a cupcake that suits your tastebuds.  Harper chose chocolate, Baylor got strawberry, and I picked Red Velvet. Mine was the best. I know because I tasted all three, and had two cups of the most amazing lemonade EVER!! I know that it won't suit everyone, but I thought it was very refreshing. Let me know if you like it!

Gotta love the throwback straws!! They make the whole affair special.

I totally love this shot of Baylor, just hate that it's out of focus.  I'm learning. Still trying to get off "Auto."

The colorful decor adds a festive feel to the quaint shop. It's the perfect place to stop in when the sweet tooth attacks.  I also like the fact that the shop is staffed by family.  I met "The Mama" and she treated my kids like they were her own.  Gotta love that!

I'm off to a quiet weekend. Had a
slooowwww garage sale. Still have a few items if anyone needs Christmas decor, an awesome farm table, a small desk and a church pew. Happy Weekend!

Check back next week for Princess Day at Social Bites with friends! Woohoo!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


So there I was, playing "zoo" with Harper and Baylor while Josie napped, when I decided to step onto the lower back porch to test the heat. Immediately I could sense that something wasn't right. It was too noisy.  About ten feet from my porch a cluster of tiny birds chirped loudly, darting from twig to tree, while a squirrel perched on the lower part of the tree trunk with it's spine arched, screeching! I cautiously walked to the edge of the concrete and looked out into the leaves. A black slithering serpent, about four feet long, stretched out below the commotion. I froze - mesmerized.  My mind began talking with an Australian accent, "Crikey! Look at 'em!," I thought. I stared at his head...triangular or not?? Truthfully, it really didn't matter if the snake had a unicorn and wings and passed out Skittles...I wanted it dead.  

I sprinted inside and quietly found my phone, listened in on the game of zoo, and made my way back to the porch to find the little devil. "Nick, there's a snake about ten feet from our porch. Come get it or walk me through how to use the gun." 

"I'm on my way," he said.

He didn't get here fast enough. Fast enough for me anyway. That nasty snake began to slither toward the space under the fire pit...the same space my lab uses to stay cool....the same space occupied by my lab at that moment.  About that time my left toe bumped into a box of garage sale stuff, so Memphis joined me on the porch. The snake didn't move. I ushered Memphis into the house, closed the door, and  made my way across the rock bed to retrieve my trusty hoe. When I leaned over to pick up the hoe another serpent scurried out of the big part of our creek down to the lower part. At that point I began to imagine snakes near my feet so I high stepped it back to the porch. Damn snakes. Now the long black one was half way under the fire pit landing. 

Nick arrived, got his shotgun, and positioned himself to shot the snake halfway under the pit. "I can't see his head, but I'm gonna shot anyway." BOOM!

"I got him, but I don't know if it killed him or not." 

On to the next snake who was visible through the water because of the direct sunlight overhead. 

BOOM! "I got that one for sure." 

The girls were oblivious. Nick went back to work and I started a baking project to take my mind off of the snakes. 

So I baked. And the girls baked with me. And halfway through I realized that blueberries would be nice with our treat, so I loaded up the girls and drove to the local gas station that sells fresh produce. Only in a small town, right.  

While I washed the blueberries I looked out of the large windows over my sink. My gaze instinctively was drawn down to the creek bed where Nick shot the snake. "Not another one," I thought. The water moved a bit. Like something was in it. And since I was already paranoid at this point, I made my way down to the creek - ready to call Nick for another killing. 

There was nothing in the water. I sighed with relief.  I quickly scanned the rocks and saw this....

The Australian accent didn't return. If fact, only a strong list of profanities came to mind.  And then, like a good mother, I secured the dogs and the two little ones, grabbed my zoom lens, and drug Harper outside for a lesson about the life cycle.  She was mesmerized, grabbing at my neck to look through the lens for a better look.  She took a few of these pictures.  

I called Nick. He was tied up at work. Thirty minutes.  By that time I had all three children out on the landing to observe. I wanted Harper and Baylor to know what to watch out for. What to stay away from.  By the end of our observation period, and when Nick finally made it home, the nasty beast had slithered into a den, out of range for Nick's gun. He did, however, find the long black snake that he shot earlier. Dead. That snake is at the bottom of the photos. 

Please let me know if you can identify the species of any of the snakes. If the big guy is eating a snake he killed, that would be four snakes in our vicinity in one day. If he is eating the one Nick shot in the water, then it is three. Either way, it's too many for my comfort. I knew that snakes would be part of the territory when buying a house in the woods....with a creek. And it is exceptionally hot and dry. I don't blame nature, but I don't mind shooting it either. If Eden had snakes then I expect my little paradise to have some too. But I learned from Eve, I'll kill those questions asked.  

CAUTION - The photos below will give you the heebie-jeebies!

Monday, June 25, 2012

cute pics

I can honestly say I've enjoyed summer so far! Today was the first day that tension appeared in my shoulder blades. The tension that says, "You need to accomplish something today." Hate it. I much prefer the laid back self that says, "At least your kids are healthy. You have plenty of clothes, don't worry about the dirty ones. You can do a garage sale in the fall..." Yea, I like that girl. But old self paid a visit, the highly productive yet kind of snappy one, and I did create a lovely reading space for the girls in the nook under the stairs. Ill post pics tomorrow.  And in order to create a nook for reading I had to haul out the seasonal decor that took up that space and find a new space. It all started to feel very "If you give a mouse a cookie," ish.  Thus, I'm having a garage sale on Saturday.  Anyone want to help?? Don't all reply at once. 

So last week Harper had Camp Creek. She LOVED it! I loved it. And while Harper was busy I had time to focus on the little ones.  Baylor is obsessed with all things dress up/princess right now. She is either in her panties only or in a costume of sorts.  So cute!  

I avoided all things Peach Festival this year and instead chose to take my crew to Shots for Tots!! Fun! Nothing like three kids at a hospital to kick off the festivities.  Baylor and Harper both wailed to the nurse, "Don't hurt my baby sister!" Again, very cute but hard to manage while holding an infant who is receiving four injections. But I made it...or we made it.

And here we all are, geared up for the rodeo.  Josie stayed home with Nick but I wanted a picture with all of the Cauley girls. Check out the many faces of Baylor....

doe-eyed innocent...

forced awkward grin...



You get the idea.  This girl is a MESS right now. Lots of attitude yet still sweet.

Luckily we met up with my friend Meg and her brood at the rodeo. The kids had a blast and you can tell by the pictures below that they all obeyed us like angels and stayed away from the rail....

Errr, not so much!! The kids had a great time! It is always fun, and easy, for the grown ups when the kids get along so well.  Baylor and Addie couldn't get enough of each other! They were cute to watch...

I love the sound of little girls giggling!!

And because I'm so smart and obey everything the allergist says, I brought home a dog. Yep...4 Paws was victorious over another soft hearted fool.  Usually I just glance over my shoulder and keep walking, but I saw this fella and knew he belonged with Nick.  He is a designer mix of Bloodhound and Lab..the best of both worlds really.

Baylor just CANT leave him alone outside, no sir. So she hangs out on the step....with Si, our new man. Call me stupid but I can't help it...every little kid needs memories with a pup. Now we have three boys for our three girls...Memphis, Nash and Si.

Have a great week! Come see me Saturday in my garage!!! Lots of fun stuff for sale like...

my rustic farm table, large coffee table from downstairs, yellow children's bedroom furniture, rustic church pew, small painted desk and a couple of random things!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

What this looks like

My mind hops back and forth regularly between the joy of staying home with my girls, and the fear of what that means. Just being honest here, as usual, and I can't tell you that I'm eager to tighten the belt to make things work. I know they will. I know it will all work out. I know that Nick and I will be super proud once we get a handle on our new budget. I know. But Satan creeps in disguised as fear and leaves me anxious. And money isn't the only fear I have. What if I miss my job? What if I feel lonely?

So I've made the decision to beat fear. I am! Or rather, Christ in me will beat fear.

I regularly give myself pep-talks about being a rock star stay-at-home-mom! I've followed Kelle Hampton's blog for two years now, and those are some big footsteps to follow.  Now sometimes I get fidgety thinking, "I'm not enjoying the small things enough! We must go to the park, or the market, or Target NOW!"

That's what I've always done - found a role model for whatever it is I want to be, and followed them.  For the most part that has been a positive practice for me. In 8th grade, when the high school volleyball team came to visit and talk to us about club ball, I made the decision then and there to be like them. I wanted to be the tall, happy girl with the long ponytail that inspired younger kids. Having a model helped me stay focused through high school and earn the scholarship I desired.

And then when God led me into teaching, He placed me with Brigid, a creative teaching genius. So I taught like she taught. I watched, absorbed, mimicked, and noted all she did in the classroom. Her influence helped me see that teaching could be fun, not just work.

But the truth is, I don't have to be any of these ladies. I am learning that it is okay to blaze my own trail. To do this stay at home mom thing my way. To make it my own. And this is what it looks like so far...

I wake up to at least one girl in bed with me, I enjoy two full cups of coffee, sometimes I brush my teeth before lunch (I know that's gross!), my house is constantly peppered with tiny animals, doll clothes and puzzle pieces. And marker lids! I get to volunteer to "watch the girls" for a friend so she can go to a meeting, meals are planned in advance, and sometimes I walk into my bedroom to find this...

Or this...

And I am again washed with gratitude. I have a home, a family, food, clothes, moments, memories, eyesight, ears that hear....and fear takes a backseat to all that goodness.