Embrace the Camera

My bloggy friend Kristin (bloggy friend?  Real life friend?  We have met before, and I sure would love to hang out someday!)  Anyway, Kristin has been doing this for a few weeks, and I decided to play along today.  The idea is simple, but great.  As moms, we are usually behind the camera.  Embrace the camera is a chance once a week to actually get into the pictures with our kids.   Last night, I was happily snapping away, taking pictures of everyone else.  As I was laying on the ground, Camryn went into full attack mode, so I turned the camera on us.  The result cracked me up!


I’m going to try and keeping playing along with this!  I’ll have to start getting creative if I’m going to get the boys to willingly take pictures with me.   Thanks for the inspiration, Kristin!

It was a good day

I’m not going to lie.  It hasn’t really been a great week over here at the Thurman casa.  If you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, you know my life isn’t always sunshine and roses and rainbows.  I just like to keep it real.   I rolled back into town with the kiddos on Sunday afternoon.  Monday, everyone was up bright and early which really wasn’t be best thing since Connor and I were fresh from camp and exhausted.  We laid low on Monday, which turned out to be the opposite of relaxing.  The boys fought.  Camryn whined.  I was cranky.  Derek had to commute to Katy (an hour and a half away at rush hour) which means he was home later than usual.  I was so ready for bedtime, and crashed rather early myself.  At 3 a.m., Camryn woke up screaming.  She was running a fever and it took quite awhile to get her (and myself) settled again.  Then she was up for the day before 6:30.  I was seriously so exhausted when I rolled out of bed.  I felt like I had not slept at all.  Since Camryn was running a fever, our plans for Tuesday were shot which meant another day at home.  And while I am a “stay at home mom”, we actually really like to have outings, especially during the summer.  It was a long, frustrating day.  I was so glad that I got to go play volleyball last night.  It was just the outlet I needed!  Nothing like pounding on a ball to get some frustration out!

Camryn still woke up early this morning, but I could tell it was going to be a better day.  Connor slept late and was finally acting like his normal, rested self.  Cam’s fever was gone so we could at least go to the library or something.  The boys were getting along right from the start.  Yes, it was a good day.

The boys went crazy in the backyard, just where boys should go crazy.




We went swimming.




The boys went crazy at the pool, just where boys should go crazy.




And there was only a little bit of this, which was a huge improvement from the past 2 days.


After dinner, it was such a gorgeous night out we decided to head to the soccer fields so Connor could play a little bit. With the World Cup happening, he’s got quite the soccer obsession right now.  He asks no less than 10 times a day if I can take him to the fields to play.  Too bad the mean, cranky, tired mom doesn’t want to sit out in an open field in the middle of the afternoon.  I was glad we could finally make his dreams come true with some soccer time tonight.


He really is getting good at hitting those corners and made Derek work to stop the goals!


Logan was very low key and just chilled with my phone under a tree  (which should have been a red flag since that is very un-Logan like.  He was crying by the time we got home, and now he is running a fever…poor kid.)


But all in all, it really was a great day.  And I’m very thankful for it.


My baby girl {Clear Lake, TX Children’s Photographer}

I can hardly believe that in just a few short weeks, my baby girl will be 2 years old.  Actually, I can believe it.  She is showing all the telltale signs of being 2…you know, like the words “No!”  and “Mine!” constantly come out of her mouth.  But, truth be told, I really don’t mind the “terrible two’s.”  If you can look past all the sass and become a master at redirecting, it’s actually a pretty fun, spunky, wonderful age.

And besides, (almost) 2 year olds are so cute!  I caught Camryn in a super good mood recently and it seemed like the perfect opportunity for a photo shoot.  These were all taken in my little natural light garage studio.

She is full of personality.  Can you tell?

Of course, I got some of these looks, too.  But I love this picture!

Oh how I love my baby girl.  I’m so glad she cooperated for this photo shoot.  She is so much fun!

finally home!

What a whirlwind it’s been in the 2 weeks since I last blogged!  There were two big events that happened back to back.  The first event involved a trip to Kansas City for my beautiful sister’s wedding!


The weekend was fabulous.  Kristin and Kevin’s wedding was simple and perfect and fun (and hot…not Houston hot, but certainly hotter than I expected it to be!).  I even got to try my hand at wedding photography.  I have barely started to go through the 400 pictures I took.  I am sure I will share more as I get them done.   I can barely even process my thoughts about the whole event.  The bottom line is I love my sister, and I am so happy for her.

Just 3 days after Kristin’s wedding, Connor and I headed to camp for week.  It’s been 11 years since I last went to camp, and it was just as much fun as I remember.  And exhausting.  But so worth it.  I have lots more camp thoughts and stories to share, but  I will just say that this kiddo LOVED it too, even more than I thought he would.


I finally got back home to Houston yesterday after being gone 10 days.  It feels so good to be back home, although it’s a little overwhelming with summer in full swing around here!

I’m just going to go ahead and toot my own horn

I kid you not, I think maybe I cooked the best meal I’ve ever made today.  It’s at least in the top 5.  It’s so good I have to blog about it, which you know is not really normal blogging material for me.  I’m not someone who loves to cook.  I do cook…some weeks are better than others.  I’ve been on a pretty good run lately with meal planning, trying new things, and cooking Monday-Friday.  In my opinion, the weekends were made for going out to eat, eating leftovers, or just fend for yourself meals.  I know a mom never truly gets a break, but I feel like I work so hard all week long, a little respite from the day-to-day duties is deserved!

So tonight’s dinner is a recipe I can take absolutely no credit for.  None.  I don’t make up recipes.  I just follow them.  Tonight, I made The Pioneer Woman’s Tequila Lime Chicken. I did have to change up a few things…making a quick trip to the store is not an option now that it’s summer!  My cilantro wasn’t ready to be picked today.  It’s in some weird regrowth phase and there are no leaves on it.  So I used some of my parsley instead.  I didn’t have as many limes as the recipe called for, so I threw in a little bit of lemon juice.  I also added a little bit of cumin for no reason except my friend Suzanne is a great cook and uses lots of cumin and I was channeling my inner Suz tonight.  Derek grilled the chicken to perfection, and we topped it with monterey jack cheese and fresh avacado.  It was seriously the yummiest chicken ever!  I was worried it would be too spicy for the kids with an entire jalapeno in the marinade, but it just had the great flavor.  All the kids ate it up!  We also had corn on the cob, black beans, tortillas, and home grown tomatoes.  I can tell you that this chicken is going to be a regular on our summer menu.  We had the most delightful dinner tonight.  The fact that I just used the word “delightful” when describing a meal time with 3 small kids should tell you something.  Most meal times are more frantic, messy, chaotic, etc.  Tonight was actually delightful.

You should really visit the link above to get the recipe and pictures, but here is the recipe for the marinade, which you mix all together in a food processor:

3 limes, juiced
5 cloves of garlic
1 jalapeno
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup tequila
1/2 cup cilantro
5 tablespoons olive oil

Seriously so yummy!

Bring it on

We are so ready.


Bring on the summer fun.


Maybe this post is mostly a pep talk to myself.


Because, let’s just face it.  Summer is fun, but it is also a lot of work!

It’s fun work.

But there is no break.  Well, except that Derk and I are going to Hawaii without any children smack dab in the middle of summer.  That’s a break for sure.

But for the most part, it’s just me and the kids.  Day in and day out for the next 3 months.


It’s bound to get crazy at times.


But what fun is life if it isn’t crazy at times?


There are bound to be some sweet moments thrown in there.


So, bring on the summer.  We are all ready for it.

Paper Trunk Winner!

All of the winners have been announced on the Paper Trunk Blog.  But I thought I should go ahead an announce the winner from my blog.  First, just in case you haven’t seen the entire Rockabilly collection all together, here it is!





It’s so fun!  And so versatile.  It gets me all fired up to scrapbook.  Did I really just say all fired up?  Wow.  I AM a dork!

Anyway, without further ado, the winner from my blog (as chosen by the random number generator) is….



That’s gotta be Elvis….love this paper too:)

Congrats, Donna!  I’ll be emailing you later tonight once I get these munchkins to bed.  I can tell we are all so ready for summer because bath time/bed time keeps happening later and later. 🙂

nothing says long weekend like a major backyard project

Our backyard neighbors are moving. Insert sad music and tears. My boys love to play with Jake so much, and we sure are going to miss all the fence jumping that goes on around here.  There is only  one good thing about the move: we were able to buy Jake’s big fat, wooden swing set!  Their new house already has one and the new owner doesn’t want the swing.

We started to project on Sunday afternoon.  Two of our friends from church came over to help, along with 4 of their kids, plus Derek’s parents were here visiting this weekend.  So we had 4 men and 6 kids helping take the beast apart.  I didn’t get any pictures of the Sunday afternoon action, but it turned out to be quite an undertaking!  The plan was to take it apart and just lift it over the fence.  That worked for some of it, but the guys ended up taking down a fence section and walking the main fort into the yard.  After 3 hours of work, it was all in our yard in pieces and everyone was ready to head to the pool.  We called it a day.

Monday started with a trip to Lowe’s to get a new swing and some new bolts, and a trip to our friends’ house to borrow some tools.  Derek, his dad, and the boys worked hard getting it all put back together.




“Derek”, I said.  “Show me how to feel right now.”  I don’t know if you can tell from this picture, but sweat is pouring off of him and his shirt is completely soaked.  It was HOT this weekend.  God bless Houston.


Finally, 5 hours later, she was finished.


And everyone was happy.


The kids spent the next hour playing outside on their new playground.







Derek informed me that this playground will stay with this house forever.  I guess that means we can never move.  I love having a “real” playground in the yard for the first time ever!