Category Archives: This Man’s Adventure

Cruisin’ to the Bahamas!

We’re HOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOME!! ๐Ÿ™‚ We got in late yesterday afternoon and crashed at 9pm (that 1 hour time difference really does you in ๐Ÿ˜› ). Seriously, though, it was an AMAZING trip. Absolutely just what we needed and such a blessing. Instead of my normal series of written updates about a trip, I decided to just make a video for you. So here’s a week’s worth of blogging in a 2 minute video. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Enjoy! ๐Ÿ™‚


Love Rach

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Back to the Homeland

For those who don’t know, my husband grew up in the flatlands of central Illinois surrounded by cornfields and soybeans.

christopher cornfield

Last Thursday we made the trek north back to his homeland.

rachtopher cornfield

This particular cornfield is just down the street from the house where he grew up.

house

That’s the house where Christopher grew up (way up ahead surrounded by trees). He really did grow up surrounded by cornfields and soybeans. In fact, he paid for my engagement ring by “walking beans”(clearing weeds out of soybean fields) and being a lifeguard at the pool in town. ๐Ÿ™‚

house3

Christopher spent 17 years living in this house before he went off to college. His parents sold the house and moved south during his junior year of college. I will never forget how difficult itย was for him to say goodbye to the place he grew up. So every time we go to Illinois, we always stop ย by and see his old house again. Thankfully now that so much time has passed, it’s no longer bittersweet for him to see this house – just sweet memories of growing up here. ๐Ÿ™‚

route66

Old Route 66 runs by close to where he grew up. So we always stop to check it out when we’re in town. ๐Ÿ™‚

illinois

Soybeans for miles. Central Illinois really is a beautiful place.

I have lived in twelveย different houses/apartments/homes in my nearly 27 years on this earth. I am no stranger to packing up, saying goodbye, and moving. When we lived in China during my teen years, we would come back to the States for the summers so I grew very used to packing up everything I owned in a couple of suitcases and being on the go. I remember being so confused when Christopher had such mixed feelings about his parents selling the house where he grew up. I empathized with his feelings of loss, but I didn’t understand having them over a house. He knew it was the right decision for them and he was excited to have them living closer, but it was hard for him to say goodbye to a place that held so many memories.

Last year, my grandfather sold the house that he had lived in since my mom was a little girl. As much as I have moved around in my life, that house was always a second home to me. Stable. Solid. Always there for me to come back to. I had no idea how attached I was to it until I found out it was going on the market. For the first time in my life, I really understood (not just empathized) with Christopher’s feelings of loss over four walls and a roof. After a couple of months, though, the bittersweet faded into just simply sweet. I’m so thankful for all the years of memories in that home just as I know Christopher is over his house in Illinois. And now we have a beautiful home together where we get to build hundreds more memories of our new family. ๐Ÿ™‚

Did you grow up in one house/place or move frequently?
Have you experienced saying goodbye to a home you grew up in?
Love Rach

 

A Day at the Farm!

This weekend a group of us went to a friend’s home on the outskirts of the city where he owns lots of land!

We went horse back riding! And yes, Christopher is actually saying “YEEHAW!” in this photo. Also… I am wearing camo. It’s my first every article ofย camouflage.ย  I’m still not quite sure how I feel about it. I found it for $1 at a thrift store over the weekend and it just fit so well (which is funny since it’s actually a little boy’s XL, ha!) and I knew we were supposed to dress in our “country best” for this outing… yeah, I just need to stop trying to justify this, haha! What can I say? I’ve been watching too much Duck Dynasty!

Checking out the lake

Hadley was so good the whole time! And oh my goodness, so cute in her little hat! Courtney has great taste. ๐Ÿ™‚

Abigail checking out the outhouse! Believe it or not, it is totally functional. We however did not use it. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Some of us warming up by the fire!

Christopher and I in our best country attire! Oh, and Matt and Mandy being creepers. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Us with Tony and Abigail!

Some of the ladies!

With Whitney!

Tony and Christopher having manly bonding time

The bonfire!

We had the best time! Absolutely love our friends! ๐Ÿ™‚

Signs of Fall

It seems like everyone loves Fall. I have to admit… it’s not my most favorite time of year. You see, I am not a fan of the cold. At all. I love the holidays and anyone who knows me knows that I goย all outย for Christmas (hello 6 Christmas trees, haha!), but come January-March… yikes! So while Fall isn’t bitterly cold like the dreaded January-March, ย there is ย just something about it that signals the end of my beloved Summer that always makes me just a little sad. Granted, I live in Tennessee and it was 80 degrees still last week so I really can’t complain too much. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Anyway, I have definitely been in denial about Fall’s arrival (thank you 80 degree weather, haha) but after a cold front came in this weekend it is officially undeniable. So I finally packed up my summer clothes, brought out the winter wear, and began decorating the house for Fall. ๐Ÿ™‚ On the bright side, Fall’s arrival means that the HOLIDAYS are coming! ๐Ÿ˜€

Today’s brisk weather (anything below 70 is COLD to me, haha!). At least it will be sunny! ๐Ÿ™‚

Oreo is like me when it comes to the cold weather – he doesn’t like it! So when I pulled the space heater out this weekend he made himself comfortable right in front of it (just like every winter). Which is pretty much where he will be until April. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Autumn scented candles… oh lovely. Every time I find a “spiced” scented candle on a really good sale I’ll buy it and save it for this time of year. I just love the way they smell!

Every October, Christopher and a bunch of his guy friends (12 this year) go on a camping trip that they call “Porktober Fest”. They call it that because they take a whole hog to roast and that’s what they eat all weekend long. It definitely rained and hailed on them, but they had a great time despite it all. And while I did miss my sweet husband, my girlfriends (all the wives) partied together in a warm, dry house with delicious food. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m pretty sure we got the better end of the deal. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Remember when I said that I was buying a bottle of Skinny Cinnamon Dolce? I definitely did! And now I can drink my decaf skinny cinnamon dolce latte with almond milk at home on the cheap! And for the record, I haven’t used half the syrup in 3 days… Whitney and I decided to split it since neither of us needed a huge full bottle. She was so excited when I told her that we could have it at home:

Like I said… we were REALLY excited about it, haha! [ps. TND is Tuesday Night Dinner which is a weekly occurence for our group of friends]

So excuse me for a moment while I go finish the rest of my homemade latte. Enjoy your Wednesday, friends! ๐Ÿ™‚

 

The mail never fails!

Here’s the mail, it never fails.ย 
It makes me want to wag my tail.ย 
When it comes I want to wail: Mail!ย 

Blues Clues, anyone? My cousins used to love watching this show and I always remember making fun of it on family vacations (’cause you know, I was the older more mature cousin… who grew up on Scooby Doo, Power Rangers, Doug, and Rugrats ย :P). But back to the point… MAIL!

Katy sent me these two books and a super sweet card! ย Do you guys know Katy? She’s crazy sweet and I just love her blog. She’s open and honest and her love for her family and friends is obvious in how she writes about them. Wanna know something else? She just came back to the States from Africa (serving in the US Navy). Yeah, I’m gonna say it – she’s a stud. ๐Ÿ˜€ Anyway, check out her blog if you don’t already follow her. Believe me, you’ll love her as much as I do! As for the books, I’m only 3 chapters into the first one, but so far so good! Love having new reading material!

Emily sent me this card and gift card to ELF! For those of you who don’t know Emily – she is such a sweetheart. Like Katy she is so open and honest on her blog and I just love that because it makes me feel like I really get to know the heart of the blogger I’m reading about. She also blogs about beauty and fashion which is wonderful because I am alwaysย in desperate need of help there, haha! Definitely check out her blog – you will love it! I love both Emily and Katy and I’m so grateful to have them as friends! ๐Ÿ™‚

And since I know you want to know what I’m getting with my gift card…

Tinted Moisturizer! I’ve always wanted to try this stuff because I’m not much of a makeup wearer (especially in the summer when I’m so tan) and I hear it’s super light! I’ll let you know how it works out ๐Ÿ™‚

I love pink lip gloss. I’m almost out of the one I’ve had since college. Don’t tell me if I should’ve thrown it out years ago, I love the color so much and they don’t make it anymore. ๐Ÿ˜›

Bronzer! For that summer kissed look I’m craving, haha! Can you tell I’m missing my tan? ๐Ÿ˜›

On a completely unrelated note: an update on the fence! Last time I updated on it, we had all the posts in the ground, well now we have all the rails on too!!

This is one portion of the back of the fence. The building in the background is actually our garage ๐Ÿ™‚

So the posts are what we had up last week and now this week we have all the rails up too! The rest of this week and next will be putting up pickets, hooray! ๐Ÿ™‚

Have a happy Wednesday, friends!!

Weekend Recap

The weekend started out with friends coming over and celebrating Cinco de Mayo and putting up the fence. No pictures from Friday night, though, sorry. And then Saturday was a day full of fence stuff!

This is us putting up the last few posts!

Remember how I told you that my nickname was The Leveler? Well this is why! I had to make sure the post was completely perfectly level and straight and hold it that way while Christopher pours cement around the post. ๐Ÿ™‚

Then I took a break from fence stuff to go shopping with my mom-in-law while the boys worked on the fence. We went to Michaels for a frame project I’m working on, to Bed Bath and Beyond for a gift for my mom, and to Target to shop for bathing suits. Yeah, my mother-in-law and I went bathing suit shopping together. It was a lot of fun! We both got cute swimsuits so it was definitely a successful trip. ๐Ÿ™‚

Family shot on Sunday afternoon!

My father-in-law and their doggie, Tara! You can see where my husband gets his goofy nature ๐Ÿ˜‰

Tara sneak attacking Oreo – they were hilarious together. Tara was so afraid of him at first because he’s so big, but once she realized that she could snap at him and he would run away… well, she felt like she was big stuff. It was pretty hilarious!

We took the doggies to the park to walk and Christopher got this snapshot of his parents with Tara. Aren’t they so cute?

Great weekend all in all. Loved hanging out with friends, loved accomplishing so much on the fence and loved getting to hang out with my in-laws! ๐Ÿ™‚

Outside the Villa

As you all know, we renovated our house last year. Well now it’s time to start working on the rest of our property! Project #1: Fence!

We already had a chain link fence in our backyard, but it didn’t encompass all of our property and it was pretty worn down and trashy looking (it was broken in a few places too). Oreo had figured out way too many ways to get out of our backyard so we decided we needed a new solution! Enter: a new fence!

Step One: I dig about 5-8″ into the ground where we want our fence posts to go

(Oreo helps dig too! He was hilarious!)

Step Two: Christopher comes behind me with the auger and makes my little holes into MUCH deeper ones


Step Three: Tony puts a little gravel at the bottom of each hole for drainage
ย 

Step Four: Posts go into the hole and then we spend a ridiculous amount of effort making sure everything is level and straight and eventually pour concrete.

And when I say “we” I mean “Christopher and I” (and Tony for the last few hours of the day) – definitely a team project. This was the most tedious part, but it’s super important because we want the fence to be perfect! ๐Ÿ™‚ No pictures of this part because we didn’t have a free hand.ย We did all have names, though. Christopher was Spartacus. Tony was Hercules and I was “The Leveler” (aka the obsessive compulsive one who made sure all the posts were level and straight, haha!).

Step Five: Write in wet cement

Hehe… this is on my list of random things to do! Glad I can mark this one off. ๐Ÿ™‚

An unfortunate by product of our hole-digging happened last Thursday evening. We accidentally cut through our internet wire. Which means we have no internet at home. In our defense, we actually had AT&T come out and mark where their wires were underground… apparently the guy who did it either had wrong information or made a mistake. Either way, he didn’t mark anywhere near the spot that we dug and well… check out this photo:

See the blue wire? That was our internet… haha!

Anyway, we have nearly all the posts in the ground, hoping to get the last few in the ground this week so we can start building the fence itself over this coming weekend. It’s exciting for sure! I definitely have learned the true meaning of “back breaking work” this weekend! I’ll keep you guys updated on our progress. ๐Ÿ™‚