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Tuesday, February 9, 2021


I often share bits and pieces of what's going on in our family's life over on Instagram, but I realize that many of you may not use that app.  Some of you have been with me here for almost 10 years now (wow!) and have been so kind over the years to show interest in more than just my home decor, so I thought I'd catch you up today on a recent trip to South Padre Island, Texas, and a few things that we've done over recent months.  

South Padre Island Texas beach
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My son has been back in person at college this year (yay!) but in an effort to try to keep the kids from traveling they will not have a traditional Spring Break this year (instead they'll spread out some random days off here and there throughout the semester).  So, since we won't be able to take some time off as a family then, we took the opportunity for a little getaway in January before he went back to school.

We were craving warmth, but also kept travel restrictions and safety in mind so in an effort to avoid crossing multiple states and spending too many hours traveling, we hopped in the car and drove just about as far south as we could from Oklahoma City to South Padre Island, Texas.  It was still about a 12 hour trip including a few quick stops for gas and food but with 4 drivers it was totally doable.  We had been to Texas beaches further north before but never this far south. We rented a condo at the Bahia Mar complex and after arriving in the dark were thrilled to wake up to this view the next morning!  

It's a fairly large complex with condo units like these spread out and a larger tower with more units closer to the back of the property.  As I said, Caleb had not returned to school yet but Emily's virtual learning classes had resumed so although we took advantage of her remote learning in a different location she still had to spend some of her time keeping up with her school work.  Not a bad view to do so, though!  

The temps ranged from the 60s-70s while we were there.  The sun was intense and warm but the wind was chilly and cold some days.  The kids stepped into the ocean about up to their knees once but it was much too cold to swim.  We were totally fine just sitting along the shore and soaking up the sun for a few days, though!  It was obvious that there were many snowbirds that spent a significant amount of time there, many people at our complex seemed to know one another.  We visited with one couple from the north that stays for 2 months, and another that does much the same! 

After driving about 5 miles north from "town" the paved highway ends and there is just beach and sand dunes.  That was one of our favorite spots to explore, there were shells galore and the most beautiful patterns in the sand.  

One evening everyone cleaned up and I grabbed my phone tripod for some family pics.  Some of these took a bit of editing... a super windy beach and girls with long hair don't mix... ha! 

My Jeans  ||  Leopard Flats  ||  (My sweater no longer available)  ||  Bracelets  ||   Emily's Jeans  ||  Emily's Sandals

We also went out to eat that night after photos, it was the only time we ate out so I don't really have restaurant recommendations to share.  We ate at a longtime local spot Pier 19 and the shrimp and fries were really good but everything else was just ok.  We were also there after dark and agreed it would have been much better in daylight since it's out on the water- would have been nice to see the view!  

The water was so much prettier than we expected and it was fascinating to watch the colors and waves change day by day.  

We're reaching the point where we realize we may not have many more vacations with just the four of us, so it was so nice to get away and recharge for a few days!

As we were leaving the island driving across the bridge and looking South across the water my husband saw in the distance what he guessed was the SpaceX Launch Site on the beach near Brownsville, TX and later confirmed that he was right!  Now he wants to go back down there sometime to see a launch, and we all agree that a trip to South Padre in January might be a new family tradition!

There's a huge outlet center in San Marcos, TX, that we pass coming and going, and we had planned to stop there on our way home.  It's the only one anywhere near us with a Pottery Barn/Williams-Sonoma outlet and I wanted to check that out.  I wasn't disappointed... they had some of the Schumacher for Williams-Sonoma Chiang Mai Dragon plates that I never bought when they were in store, and they were an absolute steal (like 80% off!)! I only bought 8 but loved the size so much (they're bigger than a regular salad plate, just slightly smaller than a dinner plate- perfect for lunch!) when I got home I wish I had picked up a few more.  I checked and they don't ship, so oh well!  If you're near an outlet though you might be interested!

Bamboo Flatware here or here  ||  Gingham Napkins  ||  Blue Willow Plates  ||  Placemat- thrifted

Just before Thanksgiving Ray celebrated a big birthday!  

And then in January Caleb did too... 20! 

In fact, the college National Championship was ON his birthday and he was a part of the Intercollegiate Marching Band virtual halftime performance which showcased over 1500 college marching band members.  Fun little opportunity since this season of marching band didn't happen.  :(  This was such a creative project, each member submitted a video playing their part and then they edited it all together.  We spotted him at the 1:39, 3:03, and 3:32 marks, so fun! 

Headed back to school but I had to share... he wanted OVERALLS for Christmas!  Ha!  Apparently they're a "thing" with his friends.  He LOVES them and I think they're totally a wardrobe staple for him now, he was wearing them again last night when we talked to him on Facetime.  

Roundhouse Overalls or here  ||  Sweater - "Look for Less" Version Here or Here ||  Similar Black Wedge Sneakers Here or Here

We lost a close family friend in December.  She was a single lady with no family who had "adopted" Ray's parents- so consequently our whole extended family- over 20 years ago, attending our family holiday gatherings and many of the kids' activities.  Since she had no one else, all of the matters of her estate are being taken care of primarily by Ray's sister and parents.  So, over the Christmas/New Year's break we spent several days cleaning out and organizing her house to prepare for an estate sale prior to putting it on the market.  She was a crafter with a capital "C!" and I had the task of preparing that room for the sale.  There was SO much to go through and I couldn't help but smile when I came across this...

I used to make so many yarn octopuses (octopi?) when I was young, if you did too you're my people!  ;)  

Last Fall my youngest sister and her husband purchased a fixer-upper home and acreage in the country about an hour away.  It's been her long time dream to have land and one day build a wedding and event venue.  That plan will unfold over the years to come, but for now our whole family is loving any opportunity we get to head out there.  We were there last weekend to celebrate a birthday, and got to see the newest addition... introducing Lord Grantham, Cora, Mary, Edith, and Cybil! (If you're not a Downton Abbey fan those are the main characters.)  

They have a pond or two and the cousins all enjoyed the opportunity to cast a line- someday we'll have a fish fry!  We're so ready for things to start turning green around there. She's sharing their journey of transforming their house and land on Instagram @blackrockhillok, it's a fun follow. 

It's also the time that all things regarding Senior Year are coming due... pulling pics for various projects is always a deep dive down memory lane!  Here's my girl on her first Easter at almost a year old.  Goodness time flies! 

The same sister with the new place in the country also spotted a fabulous FB Marketplace find for me... my first pagoda chandelier!  I've never come across one in all of my second-hand shopping, so I was thrilled to get it!  I'm not totally sure yet but have some ideas of where it might land, but one thing is for sure- it will get a bright and shiny new paint job! I'm actually in the planning stages for one makeover that will happen later this year, and this might be a good candidate for that room. 

Ok, that's pretty much what's been going on around our house lately!  I have a feeling most of you are in the same weather boat, it's COLD and gray here for the next 9-10 days but I'm going to try to snap a few random Valentine photos today to share with you in the next day or two, and I have some simple projects from last Fall that I never shared coming up too.  As always, thanks so much for being here! 

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Would you like to comment?

  1. You have such an adorable family. Thanks so much for catching us up. I thoroughly enjoyed it. I've been missing you, and I can't wait to see our Valentine's pics.

  2. You have been busy! Glad you had fun as well. Family is soooo important! Nice to have you back in my inbox!

  3. HI Jennifer! What a fun getaway! We took off with our youngest before he returned to school to Crested Butte. We won an auction item last February for tiny town Red River and New Mexico is essentially locked down. Crested Butte might be my new fav and only 4 hours from home! xo laura

    1. Oh that's wonderful! Glad you had the chance to do that. I'm loving the idea of winter vacays!

  4. Jennifer I was so glad to see your email in my inbox. Your refreshing decorating style and variety of subject offerings never disappoint.
    I also appreciate the fact that you do not shy away from sharing our Lord.
    Thank you for being you.

    Kathy Earp


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