Tie Dye Scarves

Lets start with a slow round of applause, while we all slowly rise out of our seats, getting a little bit louder with each passing second, as we congratulate al on her amazingness that is fluffy cookies.  I have been trying to tell her that if you do everything half hearted and without paying very much attention, then you can really achieve amazing results :) I am SO PROUD OF YOU AL!  This is a day for the books!!
Also, I have been dying everything I can get my hands on lately.  And luckily I found some jersey sheets under the bed.  and a roll of this gauzy white fabric from who knows when.  So, scarves have been abounding over here.
I started off with the gauzy fabric and mixed some teal and blue RIT dye together in a shibori technique and it was SO FUN.  I followed these instructions but I used RIT instead of onions to dye it.
Then I made like 10.
It was so much fun to mix the colors of the dye to make different colors.  I dont know why I havent thought of that before.  Allison and I have dyed a million different times, but we really never made our own colors.  I think it just makes it so much more personal feeling.  I mixed the pink with tan and the denim with gray and did one blue and then let it dry and did gray over it.  so fun.
Then, I did a few two toned.  I mixed the pink with a lot of tan so it was more nude and did it half yellow.  Then I mixed green and navy and did it with half pink and a little tan.  I folded them up in the shibori pattern and then put them in tubs right next to each other.  I let them stay in there for a few hours and then rinsed them completely, let them dry and then washed them.  I like the rough edges of the gauzy fabric, but I love the soft of the jersey too.
Julie has tried so many more types of folding techniques and I am so excited to try those out and keep mixing colors.
Tie Dye is back! (Right??)



If you have been reading this blog for a while then you know how many times I have attempted Kristen's famous chocolate chip cookies. A lot. 
When Kristen makes them they are huge and fluffy with the perfect amount of softness in the middle. Every single time I have made them they are flat as a board. Sometimes so flat that the chocolate chips sink to the bottom. I have tried every trick in the book and every tip I've heard.
Well….the other night, the girls and I decided to make some cookies. I pulled out Kristen's recipe. Trying to create the perfect cookie wasn't even on my mind this night. It was more of a fun activity to do with the girls. Before pouring the flour in, they had a little fun with it.
I don't know what made the girls want to cover their noses in flour but it then led to McKenna covering her entire face and body. (and floor)
I wasn't even measuring things out too perfect. (which is very unlike me, I am a crazy recipe follower) Once I began to mix the batter I could tell something was different. I kept saying to Bob, somethings not right, these might not be edible cookies. Little did I know that there wasn't anything wrong at all. Everything was right about them!
The girls watched as the cookies baked and when the timer went off I was beyond shocked at how fluffy and huge the cookies were!
Could this be real life?! Did I really just make the famous cookie the right way?! It's true folks. I really did and I can't tell you how happy it made me. I immediately texted Kristen and then ate myself sick with cookies.
The only bummer is that I'm not exactly sure how I did it. Was it the whateverness of my measuring, the germs help from my children? Who knows? Even if it never happens again though, I am still so happy that it did at least once.
Here is the recipe if you guys want to give it a shot. Let me know how yours turn out!

Kristen's Chocolate Chip Cookies
1 1/2 cups butter (salted)
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
4 cups of flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 cups of milk chocolate chips
Bake for 9-12 minutes at 350


DIY Cut offs

I have been experimenting with all kinds of dyes and paints with every article of clothing I can find at my house, lately.  These polka dot cut offs have been fantastic.  I pinned some last year and knew that this year I would have to give it a go.  I just used a dobber and some screen printing paint with clearly no order of where the dots should go at all :)
I also found these white jeans from forever 21 from years ago and searched around trying to find what I could do to them.  Once I saw future swimsuit/leg model up there, I knew what to do.  I went with more muted colors, but I want to try one with the bright colors too. (You cant really tell in the pic, but the top of my left leg is gray.)  I just got some RIT dye and painted them on, let it dry and then threw them in the wash.  They faded a little, but not too much. Make sure and let them dry for a while, or let them sit with the dye on them for a few hrs.
Happy weekend yall!



Just been doing a little (more) camping, picture taking, cooking, running around in capes, flying kites and jeff is running over here now, too.  So, its been pretty normal with a little bit of exciting thrown in.   I have been dyeing everything I can get my hands on, so ill be back with that later.  Hope everyone is having a great, highly confusing spring! (I mean- is it spring?  Or is it still winter?  I feel like it goes back and forth like every weekend.)  I will take a little more cool, though, before the sweltering Texas summer comes a blarin'.  I do love that constant sweat of summer, though.  Its not a real summer if youre not sweating all the time, amiright.


oh blogging. 
So nuts sometimes.  I want to share some things, and some things I just want to document so I have them forever, and some things I want to keep to myself.  For all kinds of reasons, all three of these really confuse me.  Sometimes I write about them to get through them, and sometimes I just ignore them and then, later, realize that I want to have them documented.   And then, sometimes, I realize that too much of my crazy may come out and people will wonder why they are here in the first place.  I understand if any of these should occur during this long, drawn out, boring to most anyone but me, and overall pretty unbalanced, post.
  ok.  There is a disclaimer of sorts.  Basically, I really get on a kick when I get on one.
Way back, at the end of med school, when Jeff was trying to decide where he would do his residency, we drove to Tyler for Second Look.  Jeff had heard great things about the Tyler residency and had actually done an away rotation there his fourth year of med school and loved it.  I was ok with the idea, but really just wanted to know where would be the best place for us to go.  I had heard Tyler was great, but I just wanted, like, a sign.  (ahh. There it is- the crazy side.)
So, on the way there, Jeff and I prayed that God would really show us where would be a good fit for him and the kids and I, and all of that.  
After we got to Second Look, they had a few activities for us to do like play volleyball as a group (that should have been a sign right there.  why on earth did we get a ton of medical nerds to play volleyball to prove they were a) a fun group of residents or b) an applicant that they wanted to come to their program??  Lack of coordination, sweat stains and pale arms all around),  went to dinner at someone's house where we had to make small talk with everyone we didnt know (ugh. hell.), and hung out at a park looking at everyone's clothes and tried to decipher who was normal based on their outerwear. Fun all around.
That afternoon we decided to drive around and check out Tyler.  It had started to rain on us while we were looking at houses. While we were trying to figure out where we were exactly, we looked up and saw the biggest rainbow right in front of us.
rainbow in tyler
(And now, about four years later I am realizing it may have been a double rainbow.  That could really have changed a lot of things.)
We kind of took that with the fact that we liked the size, proximity, schedule and people, and decided that really was affirmation that this could be the place for us.  It was just so cool that we got that little bit of encouragement in a personal way from God.
Then, we had a Noah's Ark party for the kids where I got excited and wore a homemade rainbow.
rainbow shirt with sass
(and my fake hair.  I loved that fake hair.)
Jeff ranked Tyler first on his match list and, thankfully, ended up matching to Tyler.
We were thrilled and so thankful and excited.
And so so sad.  I am sure you all remember all that whining.
Then, on our last night in Lubbock, surrounded by boxes and pizza, we got another dose of encouragement in our back yard.
rainbow lubbock
(and yet again, is it a double?  how did I not see that?)
last day in lubbock
(last few hours in lubbock with ashy knees)
It just meant so much to use knowing, not that we had done the "right" thing or anything like that, or that it would be easy, but for me it just meant that God was with us and would always be with us. And He would be faithful.
So, I quickly adopted the rainbow as a family sign and have since run with that.
Pretty quick after that, I had my cousin lins draw me up a design for a rainbow tattoo.  She is incredibly talented and she designed this gorgeousness.
And then, against all my fears, we ended up meeting incredible people here that have changed my life forever.  And, yet again, I am more than crushed to move on from this amazing place.  But thats too soon- Ill come back to that.
I talked so much about rainbows that my friends in Tyler threw me a rainbow party, complete with any and all rainbow paraphernalia.  Brooke gave me a coin purse that says "Im not gay, I just really love rainbows" and it is amazing.
Then, over my birthday this past year I finally got the rainbow tattoo.
That was morning 1, and it has since faded a lot.
 I want to get it touched up by my girl Ellie, but I dont know where she is right now.
Loved Lone Star Tattoos in Plano (how cool to get a tattoo in the suburbs, by the way.  Really cool).  I copied Jennifer and we got love there, and I have shine that Ellie did on my other arm, too.  She really is so great.
(and above shine is doulos that jeff drew and has matching on his thigh that we got our first year in lubbock.  and it means servant.  and, in full disclosure, Lindsay and I have matching fish on the tops of our feet from my first week in college.  When I told my mom she cried and said she didnt know me anymore.  It is about a half inch in diameter.  We have since moved on).
SO, longest back story ever.
When Jeff got his job, his parents (who will live close by) started looking at houses that were for sale (or not) and found one that wasnt really for sale but they had heard that the owner wanted to sell.  They called her, walked through, sent us pics and we came down to check it out.  It is kind of a different house and has lots of quirks (like a bright pink bathroom that you have to step up to get into that is actually the master bath that is across the hall from the master bedroom... you get the idea.  oh and, birds on the floor in the breakfast nook, etc, etc), so I was not really sure I would love it.
We came into town the next weekend and the owner said that she would be happy to show it to us.  When we walked in, to the right of the front door is this beautiful window that we noticed immediately.
rainbow window
The owner pointed it out to us and showed us how, when the light shines through it, it makes rainbows on the floor.
rainbows on the floor
(that are, of course, super hard to see in this pic)
and we just looked at each other and mouthed "rainbows on the floor!" and high fived like little kids and paid zero attention to the rest of the house.  We just felt like God was with us.  We didnt have to move into this particular house, I dont feel like (though we are).  We just knew that He was with us as much here as He was in Tyler.  Which could be seen as kind of obvious.  But, since moving is my kryptonite, I kind of need extra attention.
And so, that is the story of our new house.  Since then, we have sold the house of my dreams here in tyler and we are all so sad and thankful at the same time.
And I will hold off for another post about how much I love this house and how much it means to me and all that it has been through with me.  That can be another day.  I will leave this with how thankful we are for every step along the way in this. The whole thing.  How we have been led, and cared for, and loved throughout every moment, even when so many time it didnt feel that way.  I dont want to use weird lingo and I really don't know how to say any of this.  I just know that I have seen and felt God in a real way in my life that has been consistent and affirming and it has changed my life.  I know that not everyone has this same rainbow of a story.  That so many people have felt just the opposite.  I will not say that is has been all unicorns and rainbows the whole way, or that there have not been times that I have felt more alone than I thought I would be able to handle.  I am just highlighting the big times that I have felt taken care of and trying to always remember to focus on those.  To remember when I felt God and His guidance in my life for the times when I can not see it. Loneliness runs so deep and can affect you in such an intense way.  Moving and remembering the loneliness of not knowing anyone, feeling the loneliness of leaving what I know behind, and going somewhere new has been really heavy on me lately.  Kind of turned me into someone even more crazy than someone who tattoos rainbows on her body and believes in signs.  And I HATE IT.  I am trying to have peace and courage and be vulnerable through it all, but it is hard.
So, thanks for indulging me.


Cousin Camping

all kids
We went camping a few weekends ago with my cousins at tyler state park and it was a blast.  We fished, cooked, ate a ton, drank, relaxed, hiked, paddle boarded, and pretty much just had a great time.  My cousins were in town from North Carolina picking up a van to drive back to NC.  My cousin started this company called MANA that helps give aid to malnutrition kids all over the world.  They created this ready to eat peanut butter paste that if given to a child three times a day for 6 weeks, can save a child's life.  He is pretty much saving the world, one kid at a time.  It is just so inspiring and incredible.  And his wife, Tera, is getting her PHD after just having her second baby.  They are ridiculously smart, selfless, serving and have accomplished more so far in their life than I can hope to in my entire one.  If I live to be 150.  Amazing.  Annnyywayyy, somebody donated this van to MANA and they were here to retrieve it.  The van was awesome.  It had beds and a toilet- the works.  SO, his family and his brother, my cousin christopher and his family, met us all in tyler to party.  Their other brothers Jon Mark and his wife Keali and Andrew, Abbi, and Luke, joined us on sat and it was a family affair.
(Christopher also works for the Caris foundation and is saving the world one life at a time, as well.  And my mom is his boss.  Overachievers.)
To add to all of their superlatives, Christopher and tiff are world class cooks and brought out this whole grilling contraption that kept us ridiciulously full the whole trip.  It was like fresh veggies already chopped for homemade stir fry and bacon-sausage-pancake-eggs breakfast.
(again with the overachieving.  Jeff and I did a lot of partaking and not much helping.)
The boys did a little fishing and found an enormous fish that they could not have been more proud of.
Ben was also very attached.
DT and Tera brought their 5 month old baby, did I mention that?  And she was angelic the entire time.  I think she never cried, ever.  I am telling you.  These people are out of control.
Christopher had camped with us when we did the hilltop campout so we were excited to reignite the tradition.  And continue it, I hope, forever.
sassy and brazos
Sassy also wants to marry brazos.  Her cousin.  I have tried to tell her its an impossibility but alas, the law does not forbid second cousins marrying in texas (what?!) so I just have to tell her it is highly frowned upon and not allowed in this family (eek).
After laying around on blankets the entire next day, and paddle boarding, and eating, and then stopping at wendys on our way out, the van broke down (noooooo!!!!!) and had to be towed back to dallas.  I do not actually know what has become of said van, but I hope it is going to make it to NC eventually.  I mean, it had a toilet.  It was practically an RV.
Thank you family for our weekend.  We love you and miss you already!



I just can not wrap my head around the events of the Boston Marathon.  We keep watching the news, reading everything on our phones, and then checking facebook for updates from friends.  It is just so devastating, seeing that kind of pain and destruction, and on a day that should be a day of hard work, determination and great celebration of triumph.  Our hearts are completely broken for everyone and we are praying non stop for everyone involved in any way.  We trust that God is in control of this horrific situation and that His comfort is all their is. 
Praying for Boston.


Giveaway winner!!

The lucky winner of all of that awesome R+F eye cream awesomeness is 

Penny Lane Designs!

Woo hoo!! Give Linds an email at lindsaylancaster@gmail.com and she will send you your prize!
Thanks again linds!!


Celebrate Poppa!

Today my dad turned 40  63. You would never know it. A head full of thick dark hair and the joy of a young boy. He really is the best dad and the most wonderful role model for me and my family. 
We celebrated his birthday early at the beginning of the month with my sister Anna's birthday because we didn't think we would see him on his actual birthday. The girls and I took a very last minute trip while Bob was on call so it turned out perfect. I love celebrating a birthday on the real day. It makes it extra special and if anyone deserved an extra special birthday, it would hands down be my dad.
The girls love their Poppa and had so much fun wearing party hats, blowing out his candles and covering him with confetti. 
Happy Birthday Dad! I love you so much and hope you had a wonderful birthday! 


Family Vaca!

Bob took some vacation time last week and we enjoyed every minute of it! For Ella's birthday last month, my parents and Bob's parents gave Ella (and the rest of us) Sea World season tickets and a few nights at a hotel. It was perfect timing with Bob's time off coming up so we packed everyone's bags and had the car loaded Easter morning. Ella knew that Sea World was happening, she just didn't know exactly when. So after we hunted eggs with our small group we loaded the girls in the car to surprise them. 
This is an Ella story to go down in the books. As I'm putting Ella in the car I tell her to look in the back. It was full of pillows and suitcases. She guesses right off the bat that we are going to Sea World and is glowing with excitement. But then about 30 seconds later she gets a serious face and quickly asks me a few questions. "Did you pack the shirts Mamie got me?" Yes Ella I did. "Did you pack my swimsuit from Jo Jo?" Yes Ella I did. Here comes the kicker. "Did you pack my mirror?" I'm confused by this question and my first thought is that maybe she is referring to her little makeup mirror. I ask her what mirror she is talking about and she replies back like I shouldn't even question which one. "My pink mirror in my room mom!" Guys, the pink mirror in her room is a FULL LENGTH MIRROR! The kid is so fashion obsessed that she was panicked she wouldn't have a full length mirror to look in every morning! My mouth dropped opened and I was about to go into full mom mode and give a lecture about how what we look like on the outside isn't whats important, yada yada yada. Nothing new to Ella, we have this talk a lot. Bob knew it was coming and calmly said, let me take this one. He just simply told Ella that she didn't need to worry, Mom packed everything and the hotel had mirrors. All was good again and we were on the road to San Antonio! 
The hotel we stayed in was so wonderful! Very kid friendly (and it even had mirrors). Hyatt Hill Country.
We got there on Sunday and headed straight to the river walk. The girls wanted to ride the boat that goes up and down the river. As we are walking alongside the river, it gets lower and lower. Turns out there was a miss communication somewhere and someone opened one of the emergency flood gates because they thought they were going to get some heavy rain. This dropped the river 4 feet leaving the boats that were out stuck. So they had to shut down the tours for the rest of the day. It was weird to be able to see the bottom. Super random. 
We ate dinner and then enjoyed a horse and carriage ride. So much better than a boat anyway.
The next day was our Sea World day and it was perfect! To start things off, Ella was wearing tennis shoes. This is very rare and made me so excited. I'm totally ok that she has her own fashion sense but sometimes you gotta go with what makes sense. 
We went to all the shows and rode all the rides. Well Bob and the girls did. I am the mom that gets motion sickness if I turn around in a circle too fast. Bummer. It wan't ever really this bad until the last couple of years. At least I got to get some pics:)
We took Ella to Sea World when I was pregnant with McKenna and she wanted to ride the roller coaster then but wasn't tall enough. We were all so excited that she got to ride it this time!
I love her face in these pics. She was nervous but loved it so much! She would have ridden it over and over if she could've.
We ended the day with a Shamu and a diary.
The hotel had smores and a movie on the lawn every night. It was magical. McKenna of course never made it through an entire movie but loved watching a couple seconds and then running around on the lawn.
Bob's way of coping with the hotel choosing Tangled over the Ranger's game involved a slightly smaller screen
Every morning there was a craft in the lobby for the kids. They colored their own hats one day and were very proud. 
The hotel had a lazy river that was heated and a little sand beach area. It was a huge hit!
We ended up going back to the river walk on our last day to ride the boat. 
McKenna felt the same as me. 30 minutes sitting knee to knee with strangers. I'd rather be laying down in a comfortable spot.
It was such a wonderful vacation with great memories and I am so thankful for being able to do it. Thank you mom, dad, Dawn and Billy for help making it happen:)
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