Back to Life, Back to Reality

 

Well hello there!!!!  After taking a long break as we found our legs as new family of six, I’m back to my little space here on the blog.  During my adoption-leave hiatus we have, traveled to China, brought home our little peanuty Collins, fought jet lag, navigated sibling rivalry and trauma, bought a car, sold a car, been on a hastily planned last minute family vacation, had a broken leg with toes to hip cast, had four cases of the flu, had therapies, and sports, and parties.  It’s been a whirlwind of a few months and I feel like we are still trying to find our new normal, but I’m ready to be back to sharing and documenting it all.  Thank you for your patience as we took this family time.  I thought what better way to jump back in than with a What’s Up Wednesday to catch up on all the happenings in Casa de Elsbury…

What we’re eating this week…

A delicious Italian sammy inspired by a recipe in Jen Hatmaker’s new book Of Mess and Moxie.  She mentions making this easy crowd pleaser after a day of grocery shopping when you are completely over thinking about food.  And that is exactly what I planned it for.

Vegetable soup – We like it spicy.  Must use Spicy V8 and creole seasoning

Black bean sweet potato tacos – my favorite

Sweet and sour tempura chicken (thank you, Trader Joe’s) and fried rice

Chili – a staple for this time of year.  I am loyal to this chili spice blend.

Pork chops, potatoes and veggies

What I’m reminiscing about…

China.  Posts and way too many photos of our trip coming up in the next few weeks!

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And our first little trip as a six pack was the perfect way to spend fall break.

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What I’m loving…

Well guys, like everything in life, I’m the last to jump on to every bandwagon.  I convince myself I will not get sucked into the vortex of whatever the current social craze or obsession is.  After years of convincing myself I was not one of those pumpkin crazy gals I gave in.  I ordered my first pumpkin spice latte.  My first in my entire 37 years of existence.  And y’all.  It was life changing.  Now I get what all of the hype is about.  It is flipping delicious.  Plus I am embarrassed to say that pumpkin is now permeating its way throughout the rest of my life as well.  Pumpkin O’s cereal from TJ?  Yes, please!  Pumpkin bread mix?  Why not!  Pumpkin creamer with my k-cup.  Abso-freakin-lutely.  Guys, It’s a problem.  I am now one of “those pumpkin people”.

What we’ve been up to…

See the first paragraph above 🙂  Life over the past couple months has been full to the max.

What I’m dreading…

My adoption leave from work is quickly coming to an end.  While I’m ready to get back to normal routine and time spent with people that don’t constantly ask for snacks sounds appealing, I’m anxious about transitioning back to work (even if it is only part time) and what that will look like.

What I’m working on…

Organizing pictures from our China trip so I can get a recap up before I forget all the details.

What I’m excited about…

We are thick in the heart of all things Halloween.  While Christmas is my ultimate favorite holiday, kids in costume just make my day.  I am excited to tour the neighborhood with my little band of trick-or-treaters this year.

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What I’m watching/reading…

I will have my What’s On My Bookshelf post up for the month on Thursday, but my current read, Reading People, paired perfectly with an aforementioned PSL on our road trip.

As for watching, fall TV is back so we are back to our favorites like Scandal, Big Bang Theory, etc.  Plus I just discovered the show Younger.  Have you watched it?  I just love Sutton Foster.  I am currently making my way through the first three seasons (I believe it’s on Hulu) and I believe it is currently on season 4.

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What I’m listening to…

Currently the quiet.  I am expecting to hear two little gals wake up from their naps at any moment.

What I’m wearing…

The past couple of weeks you never know if it’s going to be 80 degrees or 40 degrees.  So my wardrobe has been a bit of a everything.

One of my favorite things in the fall is choosing outfits for our fall family photos.  I wrote a bit about my process here.

Here’s a sneak peak of what we will be wearing this year…

Shane-grey vest/plaid button down, Me-necklace/cranberry top/booties, Collins-chambray top/floral leggings/boots, Quinn-chambray dress/faux fur vest (similar)/boots, Anderson-shirt/pants/boots, Owen-button up/pants/shoes

What I’m doing this weekend…

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Following this little flamingo around to all the Halloween things. Trunk or treats, fall parties, soccer tournaments, and pumpkins, oh my! It’s going to be a busy weekend.

What I’m looking forward to next month…

My goal is always to have my Christmas shopping done by Thanksgiving every year.  Given that I haven’t bought one single gift yet, I better get to shopping!

Bonus question: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving side dish…

Well just the thought of Thanksgiving is giving me hives (see shopping goal above).  I’m not generally big on traditional “holiday food”.  Turkey, ham, dressing, etc.  No thank you.  But my favorite side dish at Thanksgiving has always been noodles.  We are talking simple egg noodles cooked in chicken or turkey broth.  They are in no way fancy but I love them and the holidays are the only time I eat them.

So there is a little of what has been going on around here.  Come back tomorrow for the largest What’s On My Bookshelf post ever.  I have a lot of books to catch up on and, spoiler alert, several of my favorites of the year are included.

It’s good to be back with you, friends!

Linking up with Mix and Match Mama, Sheaffer Told Me To and The Larson Lingo for What’s up Wednesday and What I Wore.

Family in Fifty: Mississippi

When our family took the unplanned path toward adopting Collins this year, we knew a big summer vacation wasn’t in the budget.  But we didn’t want to abandon our #familyinfifty goal of visiting all fifty states as a family.  When our dear friends moved to New Orleans last fall we knew we wanted to visit.  It was drivable, we were missing our friends, and they were kind enough to offer to host us in their home.  It was the perfect way to check Mississippi and Louisana off our list.  We looked at the calendar and found a long weekend, Thursday through Monday, that I wasn’t scheduled to work, and made our plans to head south.

Three kids-check!

Coffee-check!

DVD playing in back-check!

At Home in the World on audio up front-check!

We were ready to go!

Rather than taking the interstate all the way we chose the scenic view of the Natchez Trace Parkway.  Beautiful views and no traffic!

Goodbye Tennessee…Hello Alabama!

Then on to Mississippi!

One of our Family in Fifty rules is that we actually do an activity in each state, not just drive through.  We have been to Tennessee and Alabama already so we just trucked on through.  But Mississippi was new for us.  Our first stop…Tishomingo State Park.

After a long day in the car we were ready for a hike.  Notice sister in the background was too impatient to stop for the photo.

This old suspension bridge was beautiful, but there was a definite lack of safety measures.  I was convinced one of the kids was going to fall off.

Creek bed rocks are always a hit.

A family that explores together, stays together.

Three little monkeys, sitting in a tree.

She loves to explore.

And she also loves bugs.

We made it back to the trail head.

Back on the bridge.

Successful hike with three kids in tow.  We were happy campers.

We spent the night in Tupelo, Mississippi.  Tupelo is the birthplace of Elvis, and they like to remind you of that everywhere.

With all of the car lovers in this family, a visit to the Tupelo Automobile Museum felt like the perfect outing.  We were told it is the private collection of a car enthusiast whose goal is to have 10 cars from each decade.  The cars are displayed in chronological order which is fun to see how they evolved.  The brilliant staff at the museum gave us this little car to push Quinn around in.  What a smart idea to corral the littles and to to keep hands off of the cars.

The oldest car was from 1886.  My favorite part was the old signs decorating the walls.

After the museum we strolled down the main street of downtown Tupelo.  We stopped for lunch at Kermit’s Outlaw Kitchen.  It is a delicious farm to table restaurant that did not disappoint.  If you find yourself in Tupelo we highly recommend checking it out.

Look at all of those gorgeous fresh ingredients.

After lunch we strolled down the street and popped in to a few cute little shops.

Then it was time to jump back into the car and make the final leg of our journey to our friends in New Orleans.  Louisiana, here we come!

Linking up our favorite way to spend our weekends-TRAVELING-with Erika and Shay for Working It Wednesday: Weekends.