Monday, November 30, 2015

Puddle Jumpers

Rain, rain, go away. The chickens did not choose the above-ground pool option.

It started raining on Thanksgiving and has just now begun to slow. In that time, my yard has been replaced by a series of ponds, the creek has evolved into a fast-paced river, and there's no dry land to be found. Steady rain made for a soothing holiday backdrop and the grey skies let the autumn colors shine, but enough's enough. Cabin fever with three kids escalates quickly. That's why we snagged the first opportunity to pull on our boots and go for a swim.

As you can see by the bottom picture, Nora bravely ventured into deep water. We went right up to our boot tops, and carefully waded back out. However, Nora decided to navigate a new puddle on her own. A puddle that hid an armadillo hole. Still, we had to drag her inside, kicking and screaming and sopping wet, to a hot bath and dry PJs. She takes puddle jumping seriously.

The chickens were not nearly as pleased as the kids {wet diaper aside}. They'd prefer their run not be under several inches of water, but what can you do? I tried to encourage them to swim out and find the grass, but they preferred to just sit in the coop. Every so often a couple would fly out to survey the land and report back. I gave them a tomato for entertainment. Hopefully that helped?

How's the weather at your place? Are you expecting an ark any time soon? Happy Monday, y'all.

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Thursday, November 26, 2015

Blessings From My Table

Misshapen turkeys deck the table, the family's at the door, and it's almost time to serve the one meal that warrants a countdown.

You've marked your list, made last-minute touches, and probably popped the wine a little early. Your kitchen could be covered in lace tablecloths, fine China and a five-course gourmet meal, or maybe your Turkey Day is take-out and paper plates. Either way, it's here. Thanksgiving Day is indeed a holiday of green bean casserole and a menagerie of pies, but be sure to look up. The people at your table are the reason for the season. Count them one by one. Each person sitting with me today is a blessing, and I appreciate them more than the peanut butter haystacks.

In Bauer Bunch tradition, I'm providing a bit of light reading today as you sleep off your third plate and pretend to watch football in the living room. Following is a brief description of what each member of my family is thankful for this year. None of it is scripted. Some of it is funny. All of it is love. Happy Thanksgiving, from my bunch to yours!

Age: 32
Thankful For: "Eye surgery for repairing my vision, church for allowing me to serve my community and family, Jessica for being there with me as our lives keep changing, Dad for tools and teaching me how to use them, and God for giving me the life I have and the crosses I carry while trying to follow in His footsteps."

Age: 31
Thankful For: "I'm thankful for the beautiful serenity of my home, the wild and loving kids who live inside, and the man who tries hard to hold us all together. I'm thankful for the ability to love and be loved, to forgive and be forgiven, and to take new steps every day."

Age: 8
Thankful For: "Jesus because He died on the cross for us. I am also thankful for my DS because I get entertainment from it. And finally I'm thankful for my brother because I get to play with him and he's funny when he makes weird sounds."

Age: 4
Thankful For: "Daddy because he gives me chocolate milk and plays the phone in bed with me. And I'm thankful for my chickens because I like to let them out and play with them. Sometimes they make good cheese eggs. Also you and Nathan and Nora. But that's it."

Age: 2
Thankful For: "A SANDWICH! And chicken nuggets and Capri Suns and MY BABIES. And I need a dollar."

Hungry for more? Click around below for the Bauer Bunch thanks from years past.
Check out the post from 2014 here, the post from 2013 here, the post from 2012 here, and the post from 2011 here. Have a lovely holiday, y'all.

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Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Frozen Football Weekend

Sometimes you have to get away from it all. Even if that means wearing three pairs of pants.

My weekend was full of friends, football, and frozen toes. Despite the last one {and the final scores of both games we attended}, this weekend was incredible. Let me share a few reasons that contributed to its success:

Friday afternoon my husband and I hastily packed separate weekend bags - one for us and one for the kids. We grabbed every piece of warm hunting gear we could find and dropped off the kids without looking back {okay, maybe once}. We pointed the car north and headed to Little Rock to watch my hometown high school football team in their second round of playoffs. When the score was ugly at halftime, we sat down to margaritas and tacos at 9:00 BECAUSE WE COULD.

We started the second leg of our trip that took us all the way to Fayetteville once dinner was finished, which ended with us checking into our hotel well after midnight. The road trip was spent belting out college music with no thought of the morning.

It sleeted in northwest Arkansas early Saturday, but I didn't see it. I didn't see it because I slept until 10:00 AM.

Bundled in the fashion you see above, we went to the Arkansas/Mississippi State game with a couple close friends after an early dinner that involved zero kid menus, no spilled drinks, and a minimal amount of trips to the restroom. I had nothing to be responsible for other than my game ticket. I screamed and cheered and gasped as the Hogs broke every heart in the stadium with the blocked kick heard 'round the world.

Still yet, we drug our frozen and disappointed selves out of the stadium and warmed up on the epic trek up the Hill. We returned to a hotel with grown-up friendly beverages and family-friendly board games and the four of us reminisced well into Sunday. We did that because we could.

I love my kids dearly, but it's fun to remember who I was before I became Mom. It's refreshing to take advantage of freedom and it's important to connect with the guy who's the reason for those kids waiting at home. Alone time with Jonathan will always be something I'm struggling to find, so I want to soak up every second I get.

I was happy to see my bunch and start looking forward to our family Thanksgiving, but I also started planning our tenth anniversary escape vacation immediately upon arrival.

How was your weekend?

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Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Eye Eye, Matey

I understand this is an old picture, but it fits today's theme. Also, I don't think Jonathan would appreciate my sharing actual eye-patch footage. Keep reading. This will make sense.

Last week was a bit of a bummer.

Bad news seemed to pile on with a flat tire, a light pole that popped up out of nowhere, and a blanket of living room Goldfish as far as the eye could see. I began to toss around ideas for a post about how things go wrong, but we shouldn't lose sight of the blessings we see before us. Then my husband's vision began to disappear.

{bonus points for each eye reference}

Being thankful is still a theme I'm working toward, but our bad week took an unexpected turn. It started as dots and flashes in his right eye that developed into a dark line, beneath which he saw nothing. He booked it to the eye doctor and that eye doctor promptly called a retina specialist in Little Rock.

We saw the specialist Friday morning and he cancelled all his special tests the moment he put on his fancy head instrument and peered into my poor husband's dilated pupil. He said words like "several tears" and "retinal detachment" and "atrophy" and other things I couldn't even try to comprehend. As soon as he left the room I leaned toward my patient and whispered, "Oooh, Jonathan, your eye is messed UP." If you haven't noticed, I probably wouldn't make a very good nurse.

To make a long story short, there were lasers in his eyeball for about an hour and a half Friday afternoon and I was well-equipped with pirate jokes for the ride home. Apparently it was a traumatizing experience, as it turns out he was awake during surgery. I basically learned everything I know about eyeballs over the last five days, so this was crazy and new information. Thankfully, surgery was a success and now we wait for his vision to return.

This recovery has meant no driving, no bending down, and no lifting over 10 pounds. I've been hauling chicken feed and Nora, trying to avoid excessive tardiness at school, and cooking lots of hot dogs for dinner. Believe me we will all be happy when Jonathan is back to normal, but until then Nora will enjoy playing swords with her Daddy she now calls Jake.

Hope your weekend was better. Keep smiling even if it wasn't, and have a great Wednesday!

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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween Night!

The rain stopped before night fell, each kid suited up with minimal crying, and there were zero candy-induced allergic reactions.

Halloween 2015 is one for the record books. We couldn't have asked for a better night to parade our cast of characters about my parents' neighborhood, politely asking for candy and keeping a side-eye out for the serious spooks. Owen was even brave enough to suggest that we start at the local "scary house" - though that may have had something to do with the daylight.

At this particular house, the scariest ghoul answers the door with a blood-curdling cackle. Nora was the only one who didn't immediately turn around when the door opened, and she just stared for several seconds. When the fear hit her, I'm pretty sure every person within a mile heard her scream. Poor baby wouldn't even take her candy. With that under their belts {and a vow to never return}, the neighborhood was theirs. We borrowed Grampa's golf cart and made the rounds.

As for costumes, this was the first year the trio skipped a theme. Green Lantern {who ended up having to use a Ring Pop to summon his powers} bravely defended the graceful ballerina while a zombie/deer hunter kept his gun at the ready. Owen later told us the man at the "scary house" was lucky he left his gun in the golf cart.

After we stopped at every glowing porch light, we went back to the grandparents' house to watch for trick-or-treaters and examine the goods. I'm pretty sure word spread fast that Owen was in charge of treat-giving, because his handfuls of chocolate bars were a hit.

Fast-forward to today and we're muddling in the aftermath. There are literally buckets of candy on my kitchen table and an entire family adjusting to the time change/sugar rush. We've been working hard to stay awake past 5:30. As we ease into the month of November and allow the Kit Kat high to wear off, I'm glad we have memories of a great Halloween.

How was your weekend? Did you eat miniature-sized candy for breakfast today?
Let me know in the comments and have a terrific Tuesday!

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Monday, November 2, 2015

Dear November

Broccoli's grown a bit since Dear October, huh?

As much as I try to prove my disdain for the cold, blustery days of fall, there's something special about November.

This year is tumbling closer to its end. November is here and I am thankful. I know it's going to be cold and I know I'm going to have to actually walk in the cold every day to see the chickens, but good things are coming, too. I'm not just talking about the green bean casserole, either.

Here are a handful of reasons why November 2015 and I will get along just fine:
  1. The most exciting thing in my planner is a weekend in Fayetteville. It's been years since I've gotten to go to a Razorbacks game, and this time it's serving as a date night weekend. Two glorious kid-free nights and kid-free mornings. You understand why this inches its way above Thanksgiving, right?

  2. It's almost harvest time! My fall garden has been growing and as long as the dang rabbits don't devour it by then, this month will bring a bounty of fresh backyard food. This is the biggest garden we've ever done this time of year, and it seems we'll soon reap what we've sown.

  3. I sure love a November wardrobe. If you know me at all you'll know I'm no fashionista {I felt silly typing that}, but I can appreciate plaid shirts, tall boots, and thick-knit sweaters. Call me basic all you want, but November clothes are comfy and flattering. You can keep the pumpkin spice latte, though.

  4. Obviously this list is not complete without one of my favorite holidays: Thanksgiving! Fact: I love eating. Fact: I love family. Throw these two together and it's perfect. Take away all gift-giving stress and turn the focus to counting our blessings, and I am sold. I have much to be thankful for this year.

  5. Maybe my husband has called me a grinch in the past when I've insisted he turn off Bing Crosby in September, but it's about time for the holiday bug to bite. Once the turkey's in the fridge, I'll be ready for the tree. This holiday season is approaching too quickly, but I'm buckling in for the ride.

What are you looking forward to this November? Have a great Monday, y'all.

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