Category Archives: Awesome’ness

June

I feel like I should title June as The summer of smoothies & Popsicles. The heat has come strong and it isn’t letting up a bit.

Elanor wrote her name the first time. Given, it was backwards, but that’s what happens when you start on the far right side of the page. Sarah was so excited for her.

Sarah has discovered texting on my phone  She messages her uncle Matt and cousin Graycie, and on occasion RiRi. She knows how to record voice messages with the mic, take and send videos and loves to do silly face photos, which my brother always does back to her. She pretty much thinks every time my phone beeps its for her. 
-here’s an example-


We got Sarah registered for Kindergarten. She was so excited just walking in the doors.

Elanor still takes random and spontaneous naps. There’s no system to it, but they usually occur when we are in the car and then I carry her inside and she finishes there.

For Father’s Day Sarah picked out a homemade confetti cake for us to make. It was a detailed and time consuming dessert, but she was so excited and proud. They made him a card and Sarah built him a Lego creation.

Lots of Frog hunts and pool playing to survive this summer heat.

Visiting a garden center with Nana and Aunt Kelley.

My hydrangeas bloomed this month! They didn’t do anything last year and I thought they were dying/dead, so I was thrilled to see blooms. They are one of my favorite flowers.

Bedtime stories with Uncle Jason.

Beach fun!

Reading with dad ❤️

And LOTS of swimming at Nana and Papaws house :)

That Time I Was a Runner..

Back in July of 2015, which was somehow a year ago, my sister and I decided to train for the Pensacola Half Marathon. It was the first time in over 4 years that neither of us were pregnant or nursing babies and so we decided to celebrate with the joy of exercise (aka: a bit of freedom and brain break time). I totally understand now why women ages 29-39 are the biggest age group of runners. Running/training = FREEDOM!!!! Oh, and healthiness, I’m sure that has something to do with it also.

We signed up for a boot camp class to kickstart our muscle growth because that is a sure fire way to get your body ready for anything that requires long endurance. And a half marathon definitely would require that of us. After a few weeks of grueling but amazing workouts we went running for the first time and were both floored that we made it 3 miles. This coming from two gals that probably couldn’t do more than 1 mile a few weeks before. We actually got a picture when it happened – check out all that sweat… running in July you guys, it’s no joke!

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We continued working out at the same place and ran 3-4 days a week. On Saturdays we did our long runs at a nearby trail or in our neighborhood and surrounding roads. We gave ourselves almost 5 months to train for 13.1 miles. It was pretty much a perfect timeline for us.

We would text our mom and dad photos after our runs. I’m telling you, those endorphin’s were awesome for our tired mommy selves.

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Our last long run before the race! Only 1.5 miles short of what we’d be doing on race day.

 

 

Race Day: We had a crazy thunderstorm roll in and one thing we read was about wrapping your feet in plastic bags to keep the rain from soaking your socks. We looked silly but it seriously helped a ton. I think I got a good 5 miles in before my first one broke. Miriah wasn’t as fortunate, but anything is better than having soaked feet before you even start running.


At one point around mile 5 (which is why I still had energy to jump) we saw a friend and she snapped a few photos of us while waiting to see her husband.

 

The finishing stretch!

 

 WE DID IT!!!

 

Our race time!

my post-race attire

 

We kept running after the race, though not as consistently. Then one day at the end of December I told Miriah I wanted to run the Pensacola Beach Half Marathon and that she was going to run it with me. So I did the sisterly thing and signed us both up and locked her into it so she would HAVE to train with me ;)  #SiblingLove

It was in the middle of January and I thought it was a great race. The weather was super damp and cool, with flat terrain the entire time. Miriah may give a tad different account, but I’d say it was a great start to our 2016 running. I even made us special shirts for it. Nothing quite like some fun clothing motivation.

Plus, we invited mom and dad to come and were SO psyched when we saw them at the finishing stretch. It was awesome. I hope to one day do a race and Stephen comes and has the girls there. It’s such a huge motivator.

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This is when I saw dad. We were in the last 1/4 mile of the run and it was such an exciting moment to see him there cheering for us!

 

 

 

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I don’t know what she’s doing, but this one is too funny not to share :)


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My friend Nicole and I ran 1 race before this and then 1 more after, the Jackon Blues Half (the first week of January) and then the Gulf Coast Half. Both were a lot of fun, though the Jackson Blues race about killed me because of the crazy hills all over the city.

A before and after :)

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I ate the biggest breakfast of my life after that race! We made it back to the hotel with 20 minutes til the continental breakfast was over.

Then the Gulf Coast race -

 

 

Miriah came with Addison to this one. It was a blast seeing them there at the home stretch. Addison made me a sign and everything ♡

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Between all those races Miriah and I ran one more, the Pensacola Double Bridge. It was a fun race and we had amazing tail wind the entire time! We found Nicole out there while waiting for the race to start.

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And just for fun – this is what happens when mom agrees to watch the girls so we can go running on a weekday, without us waking up at 5:20AM to do it before the kids get up…

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They always find us …   ;)IMG_0305

 

Here’s hoping some more running occurs in the rest of 2016 and at the very least 2017 is a year of running again! Just looking at these photos has me wanting to get out there!

Life Update: iPhone version

The summer season has come on fast. It felt like we just had Sarahs 5th Birthday and now we are 1/2 way through May.

The girls and I have been enjoying a few of our favorite warm weather activities. Miriah and Addison are often with us with the help of our extra seats of the van. It’s also hard to believe we’ve had that for over 9 months already.

So in March Sarah turned 5. We had a little get together with family at our house and the kids all had a blast.

We got her a bike and she is really loving it.

The week after that I turned 32! We had a joined bday fajita dinner at my parents for Jeff and I since our birthdays are close. A friend from church, Melissa, made me a from-scratch strawberry cake. It was amazing!

After that was Miriah and my camping trip, which I wrote about a few weeks back.

Since then we have gone on a few beach trips, blueberry picking, and visits with friends and park trips.

                   Fort Pickens visit

 

Easter 2016

I love the real-life of this group kid photo.

Stephen on puppy-patrol at the park.


Just a couple girls cruising the neighborhood.


Burying Nana :)


Stephen and I slept in one Saturday morning and found the girls like this around 7:30…

My sweet friend Rebekah, who is about to cross the globe with her two kiddos to join her husband in New Zealand,where they are moving to. So excited to see their adventure unfold (Instagram to the rescue!)


Family meal at Jason & Kelley’s. Dad was there too, he snapped the photo to send to mom, who was out of town.
Grandma with her girls.


And that about sums up a life update from my iPhone photos.

[Old] Backyard Upgrade

Searching through hear archived posts really is kinda fun. A little reminiscing on a random Thursday morning.

This is the time we updated our back “porch”. I use the term lightly because it was just a small slab of concrete when we first started, and grew into a real outdoor hangout space before we left.

For Christmas one year my dad got with Stephen and the guys built a pergola for us. It was something I had talked about off and on and my dad followed through with my words and made it happen!  The ONLY downside to that amazing gift is that we couldn’t take it with us when we moved…  Thinking about it now, our new home really could use a little outdoor oasis upgrade

 

Digging the post holes was quite the workout because of the rocky soil we had in our yard.

Do you see that muscle in my left arm?! Wowza! I wonder what I was doing back then…

-cutting, building, you get the idea-

The pergola of homestead drive – before I cleaned the gross porch floor and we added a swing and expanded the porch to the left with concrete and added a table and chairs. I really miss that back porch, it was used all the time.

(From just before we moved, when we listed our house in fall of 2014)

We had to cut down the giant oak tree because of a lightening strike that killed the tree and was rotting/dropping branches, and the girls loved playing on the leftover stump!

I love me a good outdoor expansion project. Especially when it involves my hubby and dad making it happen ;)

Life in Photos: 2014 style

Another old post that I found and had never published.

Looking back at how much the girls have grown is amazing and mind boggling.

This was first started on August 21, 2014! 

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My friend Rebekah and her boy, Beau. We just went to Beaus 2nd birthday party and they are currently in the process of moving to New Zealand right now! Time has flown.



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Out of the Mouth of Babes, and Moms

I was looking through old posts I started and never finished- this one was written 759 DAYS AGO, and then just sat in my drafts.

I am so glad I recorded these moments because, well, LOOK at Sarah! She was younger and smaller than what Elanor is now! She is still just as hilarious.

Here’s to the past, and how quickly time escapes us…

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After picking Sarah up from Mothers Day Out and we discussed playing in the gym with sport balls.
Sarah: “I’m not a soccer ball. I’m a goofball.”

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Mom: “Is that the broom?”
Sarah: “No, it’s the sweeper.”

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Sarah: “Mommy, Whatcha eating?”
Mom: “Chicken soup. Do you want some?”
Sarah: “Sure… Mmm, that’s really yummy. You did a great job makin’ dinner.”

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*Sarah helping me bake fresh bread*
“We don’t bake with our hands in our pants.”

 

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[While in the bathtub Sarah likes to sit next to the drain]
Sarah: “Mommy, an alligator got my hiney.”
Mom: “Silly girl, alligators don’t live in drains.”

 

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Mom: “Sarah, what’s your middle name?”
Sarah: “Smart”
(This happens almost every time I ask)

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Mom: Sarah, what was that?
Sarah: “That wasn’t a toot.”
Mom: “It wasn’t?”
Sarah: “No, it was a monster!”

Mississippi Blues Run

Around Christmas my friend Nicole asked me if I would run a half-marathon with her. She missed the race the year before and we have talked for months about a girls weekend, so it was the perfect excuse to take a trip. Plus, I think I’ve caught a little thing called “run all the races” bug. When she asked I immediately said yes, bought my packet and then asked Stephen. Ya, I didn’t do those in the right order. Thankfully I have a gracious husband.

Nicole booked us a hotel online and we awaited our trip to Jackson to run the Mississippi blues race. During the weeks leading up I did a horrible job training. I probably ran once a week and met up with Nicole one Saturday morning so we could do a 10 mile run together.

The Friday before race day I dropped the girls with my mom where Stephen wuld pick them up after work. Nicole met me there and we loaded up in the van and started our trip.

 

 

It’s about a 5 hour drive and after we got there we stopped at the race expo to pickup our packet which has our bib, local info, race tag and shirt.

We went from there to the hotel. The hotel. Ya. When we drove up we both looked at it and thought “okay, this’ll do for 1 night”, then we went to our room. When we walked in it made me think of the 80′s, only no one had been in it since then, or at least no families had. I’m sure it’s had a lot of visitors, just not the kind that stay for an extended period of time. After sending a photo to her husband for laughs, Nicole and I sat in the room a few minutes discussing dinner ideas. We checked the room out which had cleaning products on the front table, a sign that informed all guests to deadbolt their door and not answer unless expecting guests, and the bathroom was just…ick. I was making a joke about not sleeping under or on the covers when Brandon, Nicole’s hubby, texted her that we should go find a new hotel. We debated for about .03 seconds and decided the $74 loss was worth it to not be there another minute, much more overnight.

 

We drove across the highway and the second hotel we checked had a room available. Hampton Inn to the rescue. When we walked into the room to a giant king sized bed, bright working lights and a shower with normal sized towels we didn’t look back for a second, except to laugh at the concept of staying in the other place. I think it was only $35 more for this room, which had a later checkout (so we could shower after the race), continental breakfast and an immeasurable amount of peace of mind.

That morning we woke up to rain, just like the Pensacola half I did in November with Miriah. We got dressed and headed out to wait with the crowds.

 

The race started promptly at 7 and it only took about 35sec for us to get across the start line.  I felt good when we started. I usually take about 3 miles to get in my groove and that held true for this race. Then, the hills. So many hills. At one point I heard the man behind us telling the people he was running with that we were about to reach the highest point in Jackson. I looked right at Nicole and said “then why in the world are we running to it?” That sums up how I was about to start feeling. The first 5 or so miles weren’t bad, we pushed through the city hills and we’re keeping a good pace. We eventfully turned and ran along the interstate and under an overpass to the other side. Nicole took a little video which made me laugh and we kept trucking along. Then we hit mile 9. Oh the dreadful 9th mile and its jerky jerk hill. I took my first chew at that point, which for me says I’m seriously feeling it. We ran through some downtown neighborhoods, which I always enjoy because of the different architecture of homes in old towns. Then we made the turn back into the city. One thing that was different about this race was how thankful and appreciative the volunteers were. They were thanking us for visiting their city and running the race, it was really nice and encouraging. The ladies were so southern and sweet. At mile 12 I got a nasty cramp and our pace slowed down but knowing we had just a little over 1 more mile I knew I could push it. We made the last turn, which an older man called the “time to smile turn” and we sprinted to the end. Crossing that line felt great. We walked a bit to let our legs relax and then grabbed a photo at the finish line.

 

After we finished and walked around to cool down we both got hungry fast. The pizza, cookies and chili that was offered was not sounding good to either of us and after checking the time we saw we had 25 minutes left until breakfast ended at the hotel. 

 

After a huge and filling breakfast we both cleaned up and packed our overnight bag to head home. The drive was a lot easier than I thought it would be, but Nicole and I had a lot to talk about and catch up on so that made it fly by.

When I got home the day continued as normal and then that night I ate most of an x-large pizza from papa johns. What can I say, I run to eat

1 | 2016

Last night I was told by a sweet friend that lives far far away, across an ocean and 3 hours in the future (that’s how I like to imagine time zones), that updates without words or explanations or big life events are needed. “Just pictures will do. Even if they’re straight from your phone.” So I am going to start doing that, because I love her and when someone I care about asks to see pictures of our life I provide. 

To my Uruguay family.

        Christmas with the Wells: 2015   

    
    
    
    
   
  

287 | 365

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287 | 365

An oldie but a goodie.

The girls were pretending to go to the doctor and have a baby. Elanor had a stuffed animal up her dress and then she would push the animal out and Sarah would announce “You had a baby”. They did this back and forth for a while. They even laid that towel down for a “bed”.

I have no idea where they get this stuff…surely not from seeing and hearing about birth semi-constantly with my work and work talk. I’m just glad they were fairly accurate, aside from announcing the babies came from their belly buttons ;D

Oh ya, my bad…

Oh kind productivity, I’ve missed you.

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My wonderful friend Sara pointed something out a few posts back that I forgot to share. I’m sure you’ve noticed that I’ve been getting a bit lax about that lately. Going from having the summer off to capturing births again has got my website updates a bit more spaced.

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You know we have been a one-car family for most our marriage. Up until Stephen got a work vehicle when he worked with Bayer, we were riding in the same vehicle pretty much everywhere we went. It was a huge and lovely change having a 2nd vehicle, especially a truck we didn’t have to pay for.

So we went from 1 paid off car, to having a paid off car and company vehicle. Not having car payments was one of the reasons I was able to stay home when we had children. The small things really add up each month.

We love not having that debt, especially me and my don’t-owe-people-money brain. Having student loans is another toughie for me. I think we are still paying for my 1 semester at FSU, and that’s after 8 years of payments. Eesh. So not having car payments with 2 vehicles was not only awesome, but a necessity for us.

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We talked off and on about getting a van for a few years. Stephen knew I wanted one one day, so we started saving. I know he loooooves it when I monitor every single teeny tiny purchase from our account. It’s one of those things he has learned to accept about me, or at least I think so. That’s why love is a choice folks, you choose to love everything about your mate – everything, and my Mr.  is super kind to me and my money micro-managing self.

 

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We saved for a while and would occasionally check online to see if there were any great deals out there. It surprised me how hard it was to find minivans, at all, and at a great price was even rarer. Apparently people don’t let go of them very easily. Which makes sense to me now. People keep them til they fall apart, kind of like the matrix we sold, only it didn’t fall apart as much as have a fun visit to the shop ending with a years worth of car payments as the bill. I’m putting it all out there for you guys. After all, that was part of our decision process.

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After lots of searching, making lists of dealers and individual sales to check out, we visited a few places and got ourselves a new vehicle! Well, not new-new, but new to us. The best kind in my opinion ;)

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Somehow it’s already been two months, because it was back in August we made the jump and got a mini-van. We sold my car, which I’ve had for over 8 years, and made the beautiful leap to a roomy mom-mobile. You guys – all the room. The spacious spaciousness is so amazing. When we go places we can now fit my sister, my niece Addison (in a spare carseat we keep in the back row), my mom AND still have 1 spare seat, 2 really if you count the one in the middle that the girls use as a stepping stool.

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It took a bit of getting used too, and I still don’t know the buttons, but we are really enjoying the new Ringl-mobile. I even got a sticker for my back window this week. It’s similar to our old one in that if you understand what the sticker means then kudos, you are an awesome person. If you don’t get it… well, then you will just stare at it confused and think we are weird, which is also true. Embracing your inner weirdness is a beautiful part of life. Especially when you do it boldly and without regret ;)

Funny enough, the car search story doesn’t end there.

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The week after we got the van Stephen got a job offer.

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His job with Bayer was great and he was doing really well. I’m talking “win a free all-paid vacation to a private island” well. He was in the top 10 of the company. Not 10%, but top 10 people! I don’t unbiased’ly brag on my husband much on here, so you’ll have to just bear with me during this part of the story.

Stephen was doing awesome in the company, our insurance was wonderful (which is unheard of these days), he had a free company vehicle, he and his boss got along amazingly, and there were several end of year bonuses to look forward too. When he first got the job offer I didn’t think much of it. The Bayer job in itself was unexpected and an answer to some heavy prayers. Stephen needed change at that time for a few heavy reasons and the Lord provided. So this job offer really caught us off guard. It was actually from the company he used to work with, and while we loved him being nearby at a local job, there really wasn’t any topping the current job and incentives he was in line for.

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Then stuff got weird. Like, Jesus is pointing things out in a way you can’t ignore, weird. Stephens schedule was somehow getting busier, which I didn’t know was possible. I never really talked about his job much except with close-close friends and family, but his hours and the traveling was HARD. His trips up north for training weren’t too bad because we knew what to expect, but the frequent overnight trips, or being gone until we were all in bed, that part was hard to get used to. I think it took me 7-8 months to adjust. Thankfully I’m a pretty laid back person. I don’t run on schedules, so that made it easier for my personality type. Of course, that’s not including the girls adjustment period. The weekends were often “office work” days, which were nice because he got paid, but not nice in that he was working during the weekends. He was doing what was required of the job – hence the wonderful incentives and bonuses; Bayer knows it’s a time consuming job so they compensate you the best ways they can.

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However, you can’t buy weekends, you can’t pay for missed family gatherings and date nights. There is no getting over being exhausted and missing worship, discipleship and church opportunities. Really, just time in general. You can’t rewind, and if you know me I’m not one that cares much about monetary things in this world. Getting new stuff is nice, sure, this job is what made us able to save and buy the mini-van I was just raving about, but when it comes to the short time we have in this world, that van doesn’t mean a thing to us. We would rather drive my old hatchback together, shuffling and car pooling, than miss out on the life the Lord has given us.

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I guess after all of that it shouldn’t be a super huge surprise when I share that we prayed about that unexpected job offer. We prayed, we made pro-con lists, we talked and then we prayed some more. And despite everything we thought and expected, Stephen accepted the offer and is now working in the IT world again. The job came with a few adjusting changes for us, but in the 6 weeks he has been back it’s been amazing. I can see a huge difference in the girls and their bonding with him. We’ve gone on a few dates, which has been awesome. Most have been date nights in, but a date night is a date night folks, and this wife was missing them.

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With this job change came a huge contender on the pro/con list of ours – no more company vehicle. We just spent our car-fund on a van, and now we need a vehicle for Stephen too. Being a 1-car family wouldn’t work for us anymore. Not with me doing birth photography and the weird schedule that involves. We had 3 weeks to search and find something before the new job started. We wanted to pay cash, no loans involved or car payments.

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While things didn’t go exactly like I budgeted and hoped we did find Stephen a car. We went in with a number and left spending exactly that, not a penny more. Of course it took about 45 minutes of back and forth with the dealer, but that was more than worth it.

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So we went from a 1-car family, to 1 car and 1 company vehicle, to then a van and company truck and ending up with 1 Honda van and 1 Honda accord. From zero hondas to two. I can already see the kids learning to drive in them, mostly because that’s how long we’re going to have them ;)

New job, new cars; I think we are filled up and don’t plan on any new changes soon.

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