Winner, Winner Chicken Dinner

I tried a new recipe yesterday, and it was yummy.

Then tonight, we at the leftovers and it was even yummier!  That, my friends, is a winner.  Sorry there are no pictures for this post.  I don’t usually blog about food…I do cook for my family, but making spaghetti and tacos isn’t exactly great blogging material.  My recipe rotation has been especially boring this summer, so it was definitely time for something new.

Enter Mediterranean Chicken Wraps.
(recipe found in Parenting magazine)

You need (and it sounds like sort of a lot of ingredients, but trust me, this recipe is so easy and so fast!)
The Sauce:
–1 cup plain Greek yogurt
–2 t lemon juice (I squeezed half of a fresh lemon. No measuring needed!)
–1 clove garlic
–2 T of dill. Or if you’re like me and couldn’t find dill on your spice rack, Greek seasoning.
–1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
–Salt and pepper to taste

The Chicken:
–1/2 rotisserie chicken, shredded
–diced tomatoes
–kalamata olives
–thinly sliced onion
–Greek seasoning
–2 T olive oil

Toss all the chicken ingredients in a bowl. Serve on warmed (pocketless) pita bread and top with cucumber yogurt sauce and feta cheese.

So that’s it! It was so yummy, but the kicker is it was even better tonight! We ate all the pita bread last night, so tonight I just made a chicken salad sandwich, Mediterranean style. I spread the sauce on some wheat bread, topped with the leftover chicken mixture and lots of feta cheese. It was so good! Connor even ate it up. (Not Logan and Camryn so much, but 3 out of 5 of us liked it, so that’s winner in my book!)


Beautiful Beach Family {Galveston, TX Family Photographer}

I was so excited when Julie contacted me and wanted to do a session at the beach. I have been wanting to go to Galveston for awhile, but I didn’t have a good location picked out and had just been procrastinating on exploring. Luckily, Julie was very familiar with Galveston and we found the perfect beach spot! They were the perfect family for my first beach shoot. We had the best time! They showed up ready to play and have fun. That makes for the best photo shoots. I could tell right off the bat we were going to have a blast, and when I saw Steve get all the way in the water with his kids, I thought to myself, “now that is a fun dad!”  Well, I didn’t actually just think that to myself.  I’m pretty sure I said it out load, too.   And as a result, this might be one of my favorite family pictures ever!

Not only were they loads of fun, but they have two of the cutest boys ever! It took only a few minutes (and a few monster trucks) for the boys to warm up to me. I loved taking pictures of them…I think they won a special little place in my heart because they are the exact age difference of Connor and Logan and I remember so fondly when my boys were these exact ages.  Derek was just finishing up grad school and we were getting ready to make the big move from California to Texas.  But I digress…back to last night’s cuties… (okay, one more little comment…Julie is actually finishing up her grad school degree, and we had the same maiden name!  So many similarities!)

And just a few more of the whole gang.  I had a hard time narrowing down which ones to post, so I’m going to share several!

Thanks again, B family, for coming out last night!  I had so much fun with you guys and cannot wait to show you the rest of the pictures!  You have such a beautiful, loving, fun family and it was a privilege to spend my Sunday night with y’all.


Been a little m.i.a. from the blog over here! Summer is just as busy as I imagined it would be. My kids sure keep me on my toes and keep my schedule full! We’ve done a lot of fun stuff, some traveling, and made some great memories.

On of the trips I got to take this summer was to Kansas City for my beautiful sister’s wedding. She asked me to be her wedding photographer, which was a whole new experience for me! I had a lot of fun…not sure that weddings will be something I offer, but it was a really fun experience. Now that I’ve gotten most of the pictures edited, I wanted to share a few of my favorites!

(and sorry for the picture overload…how on earth do you narrow down wedding pictures?? I have over 100, and I haven’t even finished all of them yet!)

Love you guys!  And thanks again for trusting me with your big day.

Makin’ Mud Pies

Camryn got some great stuff for her birthday, and we sure have had fun playing with all the new goodies.  One of the favorites is the Makin’ Mud Pies outdoor kitchen.  All 3 kids have loved playing with it!  It’s a definite winner.  Last night, they all worked together to make some delicious mud pies.  Any toy that gets all my kids working together on a project is a winner in my book!  Connor was the official stirrer, Logan was the ingredient gatherer (grass and leaves) and Camryn added more dirt and water as Connor needed it.  I love when the work together and play nicely!



Sweet Camryn is always wanting to give her brother’s hugs and kisses.  Connor has been going to a day camp all week, and every morning Camryn insists on giving her big brother hugs and kisses good-bye.  It really is so sweet.  Last night while I was taking pictures, Cami just had to give Connor some kisses.   And if you are wondering about the hazy look to these pictures, it was really THAT humid outside.  It took several minutes for my lens to even de-fog and the pictures all had this hazy look to them.  Gotta love Houston!  Yesterday was one of the most hot and humid days I have ever felt.


Mud-speckled baby girl.  Looks like she really tried to eat the pie!


Thanks, Nonny and Pops, for the great toy!

And if anyone is looking for something new and fun for outside, I definitely recommend this toy!

My offspring

I can’t help but smile…


When I see these pictures of my kiddos.


I was going to write about how Logan is such a ham in pictures, and cannot just smile a regular smile.


But upon close inspection, they can all make some good photo-worthy faces.


Although Logan still totally takes the cake as the craziest in photos.  (and life, for that matter.  He is non-stop!)


Man, I love these guys.  Even when they drive me cray.  Even when I can’t seem to get a “normal” picture of them.  What’s normal anyway?  To us, this series of pictures if totally normal.  And I love them to bits!


6 weeks down, 5 to go.  But who’s counting?

I am.  That’s who.  Don’t get me wrong.  I love my kids.  I love spending time with them, love seeing them play together, love the freedom during the day and the summer evenings spent outside.

But I’ll be the first to admit that I am already looking forward to the refreshing change that comes with fall.  I may seem like a fun-loving, spontaneous person on the outside.  But at my core, I love a good schedule, I love predictability, and I love having my own time.  My own time….ha!  What a joke.  But really, during the school year I can breathe a little easier with all my kids in school for at least part of the week.

So, here we are, mid-summer.  I thought it might be good to do a little post about what we’ve been doing, what challenges we’ve had, and what works for us to keep us all sane during the summer months.


The first thing that works for us is keeping up some kind of a schedule, especially at bedtime.  I’ve always been big on bedtime.  I learned very quickly (like within weeks of his birth) that Connor is a kid who needs sleep and a good schedule to function, and while he handles lack of sleep a little better than he did as a baby or a toddler, it’s just better for everyone if he is well-rested.    And he simply does not sleep in.  That means we stick to an 8:00-8:30 bedtime during the summer.  Yes, my kids go to bed while it is still light outside!  It works for us.  I am more of a morning person than a night person anyway, so this way I still get a few hours to myself (or with Derek if he is in town).  I need those hours, especially in the summer!

So the first step to Megan’s Guide to Summer Survival:  sleep!

Step two: Wear them out.  Boys are just like puppies.  They need to move, run, jump, and have a place where they can be crazy.  For the most part, that place is not my living room.  Sure, they get to jump on the furniture/bed sometimes, but we really try to keep the wild play outside.  That is a little bit of a problem in the summer since it is, as Logan says, “steamin’ hot outside.”  That is the number one reason we love to go swimming!  It keeps us cool and wears them out.   We love going to the YMCA Family Fun Pool that has slides, the neighborhood pool, and just setting up the little pools in the backyard.  We managed to swim every day this week!   I also just discovered a water park that is perfect for my kids.  I see us going back there a few more times this summer, and definitely getting season passes next summer.


Step three:  Activities.  I know some people like to just chill, lay low, and not plan things for the summer.  That flat-out does not work for us.  Connor especially requires a lot of attention and stimulation which is why he thrives at school.  I’m not even going to try and hide the fact that Connor is my most high maintenance kiddo.  Love him to bits, love his crazy smarts and excess energy, but he wears me out!  We can really only handle one stay-at-home day a week.  The rest of the week we are busy with trips to the library, pool, water park, YMCA, gymnastics, day camps, soccer camp, NASA camp, playdates, etc.  We are much busier in the summer than during the school year.  During the school year, I don’t like to have more than one activity per child.  But summer is a totally different story!  I love being busy and having activities planned for most days.  It works for us.

Step four:  Room time.  Since Camryn still naps every day, it’s pretty easy to have the boys have quiet room time every day.  Occasionally I will let them stay in the living room and play Wii or play computer games, but most days, from 1:00-2:00 (or longer) you will find the boys in the own rooms, doing their own things.  It’s a much needed break for us all!


Step five:  Summer rewards.  This was something new I attempted this summer, and I’m sad to say that I pretty much failed miserably.  I decided I wanted to play Summer Bingo with the boys this year.  I read about it on Stacy Julian’s blog last summer, and it really is a great idea.  The idea:  each week, the kids get a bingo card that I create with different activities/chores.  Each bingo earns a ticket, tickets earn prizes, and a blackout earns $5.  I think Logan was just too young to really get into it.  And with Connor, I found that I was constantly nagging him to do the things on his chart and when it came down to it, he didn’t care about the tickets or the money.  Connor pretty much only wants to do what he wants to do at any given moment and doesn’t really like anyone (especially me) giving him ideas or telling him what he should do.  He is very stubborn like that.

To wrap this up, so far we are having a good summer.  We’ve had some really horrible days and some really great days.  But I guess that is to be expected.  In the next 5 weeks, I suspect that the kids will really start to drive me crazy and I will be so ready for the first day of school.  But, until then, we are all going to do our best to embrace the summer fun.

And just like that, she is 2

It pretty much goes without saying that it’s hard to believe my baby girl is 2!  We had a great day today, celebrating Miss Camryn Jane.

Tuesday is gymnastics day, so after gymnastics, we had our friends over to our neighborhood pool for some swimming, cupcakes, and pizza.  No big party for Cami this year…sorry kiddo…daddy and I took a helicopter ride with your birthday party money.  🙂  It’s funny how even a small party gets pretty big in my group of friends.  We had 7 adults and 16 kids, and that was after two cancellations, one for a sick kiddo (missed you, alm!) and a baby (good luck tomorrow, dayanne!)  I am so thankful to have such a great group of friends with so many kids for my kids to grow up with.  And kudos to my brother for being the lone dad at the party.  The doctor schedule can come in handy for middle of the week events!



We really had a great time.  Summer+pool+friends=fun.

Tonight we continued celebrating our birthday princess.  Logan really did crown her the birthday princess.  He ran into her room to find this crown for her to wear.  She totally embraced it.  Too cute!


Once Derek got home from work, she opened her presents.  Like our wrapping paper?  Our sweet third born…with a summer birthday the week after being gone for 10 days, I did not get a chance to get her main present.  I sent Derek to the store on his way home from work, and we decided that bag totally made good wrapping paper for a 2 year old.


I’ve wanted to get her these counting cakes ever since Camryn (and Logan) played with them at Adelaide’s 2nd birthday party.  They were a big hit!  And they have the added bonus of being educational and not taking up much space.  Right now, I am all about toys that don’t take up space.



She opened her other little presents-a baby from Logan and a coloring book from Connor.


We had a little playtime, both inside and out, before dinner.



The birthday girl got to pick what we had for dinner, and she chose hot dogs.  She loves hot dogs.  Like she asks for them for breakfast and would eat them every meal if i let her.


There were cupcakes for dessert, of course.  Surprisingly, she really wasn’t a fan.  She doesn’t particularly love being messy, and let’s face it.  There really isn’t any way to eat a cupcake without making a mess.  She licked the top, therefore marking it as hers, and then did not eat another bite.


But she’s the cutest 2 year old I know and I love her to pieces.  I love her spunky attitude, her tender heart, the way she plays mommy with her babies, and the way she squints when she smiles real big.  I love that it’s not unusual for her to wear her pink crocs to bed, and that she has to have “two babies” (a.k.a all of them) and her blankets when she sleeps.   I love that she is so social and never wants to be alone in a room (it makes disciplining her pretty easy…)  I love her bright blue eyes, her super blond hair, and her big, fat belly and stubby baby legs.  I love that she is talking more and more, repeating anything we say to her, and that she already has a mind of her own but at the same time, she likes to please us.  I love the way she snuggles, the way she loves her brothers, and the way she totally keeps up with them, wrestles with them, and plays as loudly as they do.  I love the way she loves her daddy.

She is, simply put, a joy.


Happy birthday, my sweet girl!

Hawaii, day 4 and 5

I think days 4 and 5 were my favorite days.  Although, it really is hard to pick a favorite day.  I loved every day and every bit of our time in Kauai!  One thing I really liked (and this is going to sound crazy…) is how early our days started.  Hawaii is 5 hours behind Texas time.  Our first day we were up at 5:30, and by our last day, we managed to sleep until 7:30.  But the mornings are so beautiful and peaceful and perfect there.  Sleeping until 11:00 would feel like such a waste of a day!  It was wonderful to get up, wander to our little breakfast beach hut and eat something delicious and drink coffee with an early morning ocean view.  It was perfection.

Wednesday morning was very relaxing and slow paced.  Derek wanted to watch the World Cup game (which started at 8:30 a.m. Hawaii time) so that’s exactly what we did at an outdoor area at the resort.  Well, he watched, I sort of watched and edited pics/played on the internet, etc.  That morning, we also had to go to a timeshare presentation.  We got an incredible deal on our hotel, but we had to go to a 2 hour presentation/tour/sales pitch.  It was really no big deal…it wasn’t high pressure and it was definitely worth the time considering the amazing deal we got on a hotel that is usually about $300 per night!

We went to lunch at a Mexican food restaurant called Monico’s that one of the hotel employees recommended to us.  It did not disappoint!  Derek and I both had the fish tacos, and they were delicious!

Finally, it was time for our main event of the day: hiking in Waimea Canyon.  It was wonderful!  Okay, I’ll admit that I did moan and groan just a bit on our way back up.  From where we started our hike, we actually went (mostly) down first to some waterfalls, which meant the hard part happened getting back to the car.  But despite the tiniest bit of grumbling (my thighs were burning, okay?!), it really was great.  I haven’t hiked in a very long time, and I had forgotten how much I enjoy it.

The pictures really don’t do the views justice.  It’s so enormous!




Here we are at the waterfalls.  I certainly had something bigger than this in mind:


Oh, you don’t see it?  Look just behind my shoulder.  Yup, there it is.  The waterfall.  There was one more about 100 feet downstream, but it was just about the same size trickle.  I guess Kauai is in a drought and there is usually more water than this.  In fact, my Kauai guide book suggested swimming in the refreshing pool of the waterfall.  I supposed I could have dipped my feet in the pool, but it was tiny and certainly not big enough for swimming!

We stopped for dinner on our way back to the hotel, and I think we were both in bed asleep before 9:30.  We are getting so old!

Thursday morning was another bright and early morning.  We had a helicopter tour of the island scheduled for 9:00.  It was the coolest thing ever.  It’s pricey, but it was worth every penny!  Seriously, I had my doubts about it, but it was so fun and Kauai is just so gorgeous.  I think the helicopter tour was the highlight of the whole trip for me.

Again, the pictures don’t really do it justice.  An aerial view of Kauai is like nothing I have ever seen before.



I know we look cool with our safety fanny packs on.


After the tour, we decided to head to another beach area of the island called Poipu.  I had gotten really sunburned on Monday, but I really wanted to spend some time in Poipu and my burn was almost healed.  We slathered up in spf 70 and mostly stayed in the shade.  After awhile, we paddled out to do some boogie boarding only have a very nice local advise us to head to another part of the beach unless we had flippers and were serious boarders.  The waves were breaking into the rocks, and without flippers, it would be hard to even get back to shore.  He wasn’t kidding!  It probably took us twice as long to get back to shore as it had taken us to get out there.  Live and learn.  We walked down the beach a bit to an area packed with boogie boarders.  The waves were great!  I got several really fun ones.  Then I got tossed off one, head over heels.  Then I got thrown around again.  And finally, I almost collided with someone and had my third rush of salt water up the nose.  I was done after that!  I would love to go back to that spot in the morning, before it gets all crowded!


Doesn’t it look like a postcard?!  Beautiful.


I am home now, and I’m going to try and do my best to blog about our last day.  And I also want to write a few posts with the specifics of where we ate and what we did.  I think I also need to dedicate a whole post to the kind people we met along the way.  Y’all might get sick of reading about Hawaii!  Right now I am going to go peek in on my babies (oh, how I missed doing that while I was gone!  It’s so good to be with  them again.) and then try and get some sleep.   I’ve got to get back on Texas time!

A Hawaii List (Days 1-3)

1. This is the view from our room. Amazing! I totally squealed with delight when we got into the room and saw this.  We are staying at the Kaua’i Marriott Resort and it has been awesome.  I definitely want to come back and stay at this exact place with the kids.  They would love it!

2.  I love self timer portraits.  You’re going to see a lot of these.  The best part is when I forget to turn it off of timer mode and I just want to take a regular picture but end up standing there for 15 seconds while it beeps and then finally takes the picture.  That makes me look real cool.




3.  I like palm trees.  And I like taking pictures of them.  Nothing says tropical vacation like palm trees.  Except maybe drinking a mai tai on the beach underneath a palm tree.



4.  The Na Pali coast is so cool.  We did a catamaran tour of the coast.  I was surprised at how much it rained on us, but how it didn’t really ruin any of the fun.  We did some snorkeling (probably not my favorite part…the water was cold and there really wasn’t much to see compared to when I snorkeled in Cozumel.)  But we loved to boat ride and the coast is breathtaking.




5.  You can’t go to Hawaii without going to a Luau!  The food was great, and we sat next to some really fun newlyweds.  I love making vacation friends.  I enjoyed the show for the most part, but there are only so many hula songs I can listen to before it relaxes me into a deep sleep, so we left the show a little bit early.  My favorite dance was definitely the Tahitian drum dance.



6.  There are a lot of movies filmed in Kauai.  In fact, right now the “pirates” are staying at our hotel,  i.e. the cast and crew from Pirates of the Caribbean 4.  I haven’t seen Johnny or anyone big and famous, but I am pretty sure I’ve seen lots of scraggly looking pirates around.  They sort of stand out around here!

7.  Note to self (and anyone else going to Hawaii):  Wear a higher spf and more sunscreen than you think you need!  I managed to fry myself pretty good our first day here.  Definitely not what you want to do on the first day of vacation!  In fact, I even woke up this morning with a sore and swollen bottom lip.  I am almost positive it is sunburned.  Ouch!  I have never had a sunburned lip before, but I am almost positive I have one now.  I keep singing my own version of the song “If I could Turn Back Time” with verses all about the benefits of spf 50 sunscreen.   Lesson learned.  Next time, it’s 50 (or higher!) all the way!

8.  The Hawaiian people are awesome!  I am a Texan and I know friendly people, and Hawaiians are the cream of the crop!  I think that is part of the reason I have loved this vacation so much.  I love the people here.

9.  Speaking of love, I love Derek!  I have loved getting to spend all this time with him, have uninterrupted conversations, and come up with all kinds of new inside jokes, phrases, and initial sentences.  We have so much fun together!


4th of July, Starring Camryn

Camryn had the rare opportunity to play only child for a few days this week.  The boys left on Friday morning for their big Colorado adventure with Nonny and Pops.  I can’t even tell you how excited they were about this trip!  I haven’t had a chance to talk to them yet, but according to the voicemails, the drive went well and so far everyone is having fun.  I can’t wait until I get to hear all about their adventures!

Having only one child for 2 days was so weird!  I almost didn’t know what to do with myself.  My perspective sure has changed!  When I only had Connor, I thought life was busy (and pretty difficult, if I’m honest), but now on the rare occasion that I only have one kid with me, it feels like a walk in the park!  I think Camryn was really enjoying all the attention from me, Derek, and my parents.  But it became clear very quickly that she does not know how to play by herself!  She is so used to always having other kids around.  Luckily, we had plans on Friday night with Cindi, Matt and their crew, plus some of their friends.  We were supposed to go to an outdoor concert and fireworks show, but we decided not to go because it rained all day.  Everyone ended up coming over to my parent’s house, which was really fun.  Amazingly, we got a pretty good picture of all the kids there!


I also took a few pictures of Camryn in her 4th of July dress.  I love her hair in pigtails, and I am completely taken by her blue eyes!  She is my only kiddo with bright blue eyes, and I’m not going to lie…I think they are gorgeous!  I wish my eyes were this color!




Since the concert and fireworks were a no-go on Friday night, we went to a different concert /fireworks show on Saturday night.  I like that there are so many different places doing fireworks even before the actual 4th of July.   Camryn wasn’t quite sure what to think about all the crowds of people, but she warmed up after a bit.





When it came time for the fireworks, I wasn’t sure how she would react.  We’ve been a little bit scroogy about fireworks shows the past 4 or 5 years.  It’s just so loud and so late for our early to bed kids.  I love fireworks, and I knew we would get back into them eventually.  Judging by Cami’s reaction, I think our fireworks hiatus can be over!  She really liked it.  The noise didn’t phase her a bit.  She did say “lights off” several times before it ended, but she wasn’t really upset by them.  It was almost like she got bored.  Overall, I would say she enjoyed the fireworks show as much as a 2 year old can enjoy them.



As I write this blog, I am somewhere over the Pacific Ocean en route to Hawaii!  I am so looking forward to the time with just Derek.  It’s so nice to hang out with him, laugh with him, and remember all the things I love so much about him and all the reasons I fell in love with him in the first place.  I really did marry my best friend.  I am going to try and blog from Hawaii, just because if I don’t it will probably never get blogged!  I mean, I went to Germany last year and blogged only a tiny bit about our trip.  When I’m old I really want to be able to remember our adventures, both at home and on vacations.

Hope everyone had a fabulous 4th of July!