Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gumbo, Zydeco, and Relaxation

     This month, Adam and I celebrated 13 years of marriage. To celebrate, we took a weekend trip down south (South Louisiana, that is). As a Christmas gift, Adam's parents gave us a couple of nights at a bed and breakfast, along with dinner, a swamp tour, and a Cajun music show. What an amazing gift! 
     We stayed at Maison D'Memoire in Rayne, LA. The rooms are actually separate cottages that have been moved onto the property and restored. Our cottage, The Autumn Cottage, was the smallest of the bunch, but was steeped in history. There was a living room, full kitchen, bedroom, and a bathroom (with a claw-foot tub). We loved it! Lyn, our hostess, made delicious breakfasts each morning and delivered them to our doorstep in a little basket. We drank our coffee out on the porch while enjoying some unseasonably cool Louisiana weather.
     Friday night, we ate at Pont Breaux's Cajun Restaurant in Breaux Bridge. We had some yummy gumbo and smothered fish while we watched the older couples dance the night away. On a side note, this trip really made me wish I knew how to dance! With such awesome live music everywhere you go, it's hard to sit still.
     Saturday's schedule was full to the brim. We started out with one of Lyn's yummy breakfasts and then headed back to Breaux Bridge to go on a swamp tour. Going into this, I thought, "How interesting can this be really? We have swamps in Shreveport too." Our guide proved me wrong. The 2 hour boat ride was peaceful, beautiful, and very informative. We saw lots of native birds and even a few alligators. We lunched at a little cafe in town and then picked up some boudin at a local shop nearby. 
     That evening, we drove to Eunice to the Liberty Theater to see a show, "Rendez Vous des Cajuns". It was actually a live radio show being broadcast locally, but we were in the live audience. The band was great and most of the dialogue was in French so that was interesting too. Once again, there was dancing in which we did not participate. I've got to learn to dance! We had dinner at Fezzo's. The food was amazing! I was stuffed before my entree came out!
     Sunday, after another of Lyn's breakfasts, we drove south to Avery Island. There, we visited the Tabasco factory and toured The Jungle Gardens. Both were very touristy, but pretty cool none-the-less. We loved our weekend together! We celebrated our 13 years of marriage, experienced some Cajun culture, and got the opportunity to finish our conversations. That is almost impossible with SB along for the ride. She had a blast staying the weekend with her Nonni and Opa too! We are so blessed!

One of our delicious breakfasts
Bird sighting on the swamp tour


Live radio show

Porch-sitting with my man

Tabasco factory on Avery Island

Ancient buddha statue that we saw in the Jungle Gardens

The trees were huge!

Mr. and Mrs. Hart

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Parent Prom Night

     I have been very blessed to have had some precious friends in my life. Some friends have been with me since we were kids. Some are new. In this season of my life (having young children), God has sent me Diana and Brittany. It seems like Diana, Brittany, and I were cut from the same mold. Sure, we have our differences. Those are the things that help us work together so well. Sometimes though, it's scary how much we are alike! Many times, when we show up for a play date, our kids are dressed alike (matching shirts,etc.). I guess it's our ESP or something. Our husbands even get along great too! And did I mention that our children are best friends? Owen, Tristen, and Sara Beth are like the three amigos.
     Sadly, one third of our group will be moving away to Las Vegas in a few short weeks. Brendon is in the Air Force and is getting a really great job in Vegas. Yay for them! Boo for us! We girls have been tossing around the idea of having a dress-up group date since Jan/Feb, but now we were running out of time to get it done. So, this past weekend, we got all dolled up and had a nice dinner together (without our sweet little ones). The date ended up being on a Sunday night, so it was really hard to find a restaurant. We ended up at Windrush Grill, where we had a delicious meal followed by their signature chocolate sack for dessert. Afterwards, we asked our waiter to take our picture. It reminded us of prom night photos. . .hence the title of this post.
Parent Prom, anyone?
The Girls
This counted as our anniversary dinner too, so we had to get one of just the two of us. Happy 13th Anniversary!
     Next on the agenda, an Amazing Race(ish) scavenger hunt around town. I asked each couple to plan one leg of the race. I was thinking it would be even, since we would each have a leg-up on one part, but not the other two parts. We each came up with a clue that would lead us to a location in town where we would have to perform some sort of activity. Of course, photo documentation was REQUIRED! First couple back to my house was the winner of all the bragging rights.
Amazing Race Teams

     Um. . . then a BIG storm blew in and forced us to cancel our plans. I mean, there were huge tree limbs crashing into our driveway and a torrential downpour. What to do? What to do? Though we wouldn't get to actually do the race, we decided to change into our team shirts anyway. You can't go wasting all that craftiness now! We sat around the table and read the clues aloud (just to see what we were missing). My clue required a little "active participation" so that was a lot of fun to watch. The last clue was supposed to lead the teams back to my house to do a word search. I made a personalized one online and printed it out. We decided that the winner would be the first team who finished the word search. Here are the results: 1. The Herbecks  2. The Reneaus  3. The Harts (Seriously? You would think that we might win since I MADE the puzzle!)

Their shirts were so clever: "Mr. and Mrs. (Scavenger Hunt) Herbeck" When we started planning this date, Brendon said that scavenger hunts were his middle name. Basically meaning that he was going to whoop us (which he did).
Women's Gymnastics (Left to right: Table top, butterfly stretch, and cartwheel)

Men's Gymnastics (Left to right: Spider Man handstand, straddle stretch, big star)
First place finishers
The rest of us working hard
     The rest of the night, we played Cranium and laughed A LOT. It was wonderful to spend some grown-up time with great friends (and act like kids too)! We wish Brittany, Brendon, and Owen the best as they start a new chapter of their lives. We will miss them a lot, but look forward to hearing what God is going to do in their lives.
Can't you tell he's Dracula?

I think Adam was trying to get his team to guess "saved by the bell".

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sara Beth's Favorite Books (2 years old)

     Sara Beth has a lot of books. . . really. . . A LOT. About half of our collection has been relegated to her closet. About half are on her book shelves (which we need more of). Of the ones that are on the shelves, we read the same ones again and again. Actually, lately she has been loving her library books the most. Those are the ones we read day after day. I thought it might be nice to put together a list of her current favorites. This is mainly for my benefit, so that years from now I can look back and remember what she was in to at 2 years old. But, I always like looking at other people's book lists to get new ideas. So, maybe someone with a toddler will get some use out of this list too. Here it is, in no particular order.

Sara Beth's Top 10 Books for 2 Year-Olds

I love that she can read this one to herself. There is so much to learn from this book-- food, numbers, days of the week, life cycle of a butterfly. . .
Classic. Everyone likes this book, I know. I simply cannot get enough of watching SB roar her terrible roar, roll her terrible eyes, gnash her terrible teeth, and show her terrible claws! It's really cute!
The illustrations are great in this one. It's one of Adam's favorites too.
OK. I guess we need to purchase this one. We've checked it out from library 4 different times. She just keeps coming back to it. She can quote it word for word now.
Great message. "Now sign it!"
Imagination. . . sidewalk chalk. . . We must have read this 4 times a day while we had it from the library.
I loved Little Bear books as a child. Now SB does too! There's just something endearing about these stories.

We stumbled upon this one at the library a few weeks ago. She loved to try to do the yoga poses and act like the animals.

Another great find at the library recently. . . Her favorite part is wriggling her hips like a crocodile.

Reading this book coincided perfectly with blueberry picking season here in Louisiana. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Hello Blog! It's been a While.

     For me, this blog is like a scrapbook (or at least it should be). I haven't been very timely with my posts in the last few months year. It makes me sad that I haven't documented all those memories. I mean, as much as I enjoy reading other people's comments and sharing our life with the world, this is really just for me. It's where I come back to remember SB's first words or how hot it was on our trip to New Mexico last summer. I look back and see all the delicious concoctions that came from my kitchen over the years. So, I'm going to try to do better. . . starting today.

Father's Day 2012

     I know it hasn't been THAT long ago, but my memory is fuzzy (and getting worse by the day). I know SB and I made Adam breakfast in bed. Once again, that is THE best family tradition that we have! What did I make? Hmmmm. Good question. I have no idea, but I bet it was yummy!
     I do remember the gift that SB and I collaborated on for Adam. I thought it was clever and meaningful, so I thought I'd share it here. Feel free to make one of your own (if your man is a crazy-fast biker too).

     The idea was inspired by this one at, but I had to make it my own. I used some cool fonts ("Cut the Paper" and "NeoRetroDraw") and free clip art to make the design. Then, I printed it on card stock and used an Exacto knife to cut out the word "Daddy" and the triangle in the corner. Sara Beth did some fun painting for me to tape to the back of the page. Now her art work peeks through. It's just in a plastic box frame since it's going out in Adam's man-cave/garage soon, but any frame would work. There you go! It's inexpensive, meaningful, and pretty awesome (at least I think so)!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Happy Birthday, Adam!

     It's been a good day all around. Besides being the day before Good Friday (meaning no school tomorrow), the weather was perfect and it was my man's 33rd birthday. It's our tradition to have breakfast in bed for occasions such as these. It's really a wonderful tradition to have! I love it when it's my turn to be served, but I really love it when I get to cook up something delicious and serve it to Adam. I didn't get any pictures this morning (it was WAY too early to remember that), but here is what I made:
Breakfast in Bed Menu
Herb baked eggs with a dollop of spicy marinara sauce
Fruit medley (pineapple, mango, kiwi, and oranges)
Strong Black Coffee

     Incorporating SB into this tradition has been tricky, but this morning she was a trooper. I woke her up right before I brought Adam's tray into the room. She and I dined at her tiny table (that I relocated this morning) while Adam relaxed in bed. I even think we managed to make it through without too many sticky fingerprints everywhere.
For dinner, we went out to eat (a rare occasion). We had some good Louisiana cooking at Marilynn's Place, which is just down the street from our house. There's a little snow cone stand in the parking lot. So, of course we had to partake. . . just a small one to share among the three of us. After all, there was cheesecake waiting at home. 
Toasting Daddy at dinner

Birthday cheesecake and espresso

Sara Beth "helped" me make Adam's birthday cake yesterday afternoon. This recipe for Tiramisu Cheesecake has been calling our name for a week. I had to try it out, and I am so glad I did! It's definitely a keeper! We ended Adam's special day by singing "Happy Birthday to You", blowing out candles, and sharing some fine cheesecake with Sara Beth. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Little Artist

Today, it rained. . . and rained. . . and rained. Such a rainy day called for some really fun indoor play. I've never ventured into painting with Sara Beth before. I'm sure it had something to do with the mess factor! But, I've had my eye on this recipe for homemade finger paint for a while now and today seemed like the perfect day to try it out. We made red, yellow, blue, green, and purple paint. It was really easy!
Sara Beth loved it! She used her hands and then tried out the paint brush. I think her favorite part was just enjoying the way it felt to squish her hands all around in it. Now we have 4 pages of beautiful artwork hanging up to dry. I'm sure there will be many more to come.


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