Happy Birthday, Baby!

It is hard to believe that one year ago, on this day, Mr. Torres and I were in the process of meeting our sweet baby Ellis. He has changed our lives in so many ways. My days are composed of more playtime than productivity. Sleeping in means not having to get up until 6:30am. It feels like we eat dinner so early that it’s still the afternoon. And the biggest trip we’ve taken in the last year has been to Oklahoma. Yes, things are different and it hasn’t always been an easy (or pretty) journey, but the last year has redefined us as individuals, as husband and wife, and as best friends. 

For every way that our lives have changed, Team Torres is better (and a whole lot cuter) now that we’re a team of three.

Happiest of birthdays to our dearest Ellis.


Five for Friday: Winning the Tomato War

1  After doing some research, I’m pretty sure that our tomatoes are being eaten by mockingbirds. Apparently they have quite the taste for tomatoes OR they get really thirsty and then ravage tomatoes just for the moisture. It depends on which website you look at. Either way, I have tried to address both of these issues. First, I put out a couple of bird baths. Hopefully this will help if we have any thirsty birds hanging out in our yard. Second, as soon as a tomato starts to get a little bit red, I put it in a ziploc baggie with the corners cut off (to allow for condensation to escape). It seems strange, but I think it’s working!

2  I was working in the yard a bit yesterday evening and look what I discovered in my compost pile! What a lovely surprise! Continue reading

Our Weekend Getaway: Cabamping in Hempstead

Mr. Torres and I love to travel. Loooooooove it. 

It was actually the very first thing that we had a conversation about when we first met (Mr. Torres had just been to Machu Picchu and it was at the top of my wish list). And it could probably be considered our top (only???) hobby before having Ellis. 

Needless to say, having a baby has definitely affected how often we have been able to take trips and our destinations. Instead of spending time exploring Europe or having adventures in South America, we’ve been spending our vacations visiting family in Oklahoma. Definitely not complaining about visiting family (love you guys!), but sometimes we just miss experiencing new places! 

So, in an effort to get out of the house and take a (mini) vacation, we decided to rent a cabin (hence cabamping…cabin camping:D) about an hour outside of Houston to spend a few days at. 

We left the house around 2 o’clock pm on Friday hoping that Ellis would nap in the car. Success! By the time he woke up, we were pulling into the Blue Bell visitor center and ice cream parlor in Brenham, TX.

Reading about the history of the company was interesting, but what we really enjoyed was the ice cream parlor! Big scoops of ice cream were just $1! Continue reading

Five for Friday: It’s May!

1  I know I sound like a broken record, but I cannot get over the fact that this boy turns 1 in ten days. Ten days! All I can do is shake my head.

2  We finally saw the movie Hidden Figures and it is soooo good. If you haven’t seen it, you definitely should! I wish I could have been alive during the space race!

3  Tomatooooooes!

4  I’m super annoyed at something (birds, raccoon, our neighbor…I just don’t know), because THREE of our tomatoes have been eaten before I picked them. It’s the saddest thing to be patiently watching a tomato and waiting for it to get to the perfect level of ripeness only to go out to the garden one morning to find its remains lying on the ground. Something has to be done! 

5  We’re taking a mini family vacation this weekend. We’re staying in a cabin about an hour outside of Houston. I’m calling it cabamping…cabin camping:D and it should be a nice little break from the norm. I’m nervous about Ellis’ sleep, but oh well. We’ll survive!

Have you seen Hidden Figures? What did you think?  

Recent Reads 4: February’s Books

I mentioned in my last Recent Reads post that I have a goal of reading two books each month. I got a little behind in January and only read one book (The Road to Little Dribbling), but made up for it by reading three in February. Here they are!

Recent Reads


I started out February with Arc of Justice which was for a book club that I joined this year. We have only met once and it went pretty well, so I’m excited to see how our group evolves as the year progresses! 

This book is pretty heavy. It was definitely written by a researcher who felt like it was necessary to include EVERYTHING that was found during research for the book. Sometimes the added information was interesting, but sometimes it just slogged the plot down.

This book is set (mostly) in the 1920s and explores the progression of residential segregation. I’m going to be honest with you, history is definitely one of those subjects that I kind of just sailed through in school. And by sailed I mean I didn’t really pay attention, did all the work as fast as I could, and mainly spent lots of time staring at the clock. History CLASS isn’t really my thing, but just history in and of itself is pretty interesting. I learned a ton about racism and the journey that our country took out of slavery and into Jim Crow and it was honestly very educational. And long. This book took awhile to get through.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this one as I wasn’t very familiar with racism and residential segregation in the 20s. However, it’s not really one that I would recommend as just a good book for anyone. I feel like you might need to have an interest in history to enjoy this one. 


Parenting with Love and Logic is one that I knew I would enjoy. I always used Love and Logic principles in my classroom as a middle and upper school science teacher and rarely ever had disciple problems. The techniques are a bit different for parents, but I really feel like they will work well for Mr. Torres and I as Ellis gets older! 

I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who is interested in trying out some different parenting techniques!


And lastly, Lost in my own Backyard is a book that I’ve had in my bookshelf for who knows how long and I’ve just never taken the time to read it. It’s a small book about some of the features and hikes in Yellowstone National Park. I wasn’t a huge fan of the author’s writing style…it seemed a bit pretentious, but I’m a sucker for travel writing and especially travel writing about camping and backpacking:) 

Tim Cahill takes his readers through some of Yellowstone’s lesser known areas in hopes of encouraging all of us to get out and explore our own backyards…aka our national parks. After finishing this little book, I was ready to plan our trip to Yellowstone! 

Overall, I would recommend this one and I’ll most likely be checking out some other titles by this author:)

Five for Friday: The Garden

Hello and happy Friday!!

This year’s garden is up and running and is actually looking decent due to the fact that Ellis and I are always looking for things to do outside and have, therefore, been on top of the watering! It also didn’t hurt that I bought a soil test kit and actually paid attention to what kind of fertilizer the soil needed before planting everything:D

Here’s a look at what’s growing so far.

1 Of course, my very favorite vegetables to grow…tomatoes! I have four different types of tomatoes planted and the cherry tomato plant already has two baby tomatoes!

Continue reading

Recent Reads 3

One of my new year’s goals for 2017 is to read two books each month. Definitely achievable, but I probably average about one book a month, so it’s been good for me to stretch it a bit.

I actually only read one book in January (new year’s fail?), but made up for it by reading three books in February:D 

The road to Little Dribbling

Continue reading

Sunday, May 15, 2016

And just like that, we’ve been a family of three for nine months. Phew!

Having Ellis in our lives has brought us so much joy.

It’s definitely something different than just happiness, because it’s not all smiles and giggles all the time. It’s deeper and more complicated. I think that’s how joy is most of the time.

I actually started writing this post at the six month mark, but never got around to finishing it:P Soooo after three months of not blogging, here it is! Ellis’ birth story<3

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Evening: We planned to go out to eat for dinner after stopping by a going-away party for some friends. I was feeling a bit more pressure than usual in my lower abdomen, but felt pretty good overall. We ended up staying at the party a little later than we intended and didn’t leave until 7:00 pm. By then it was raining and once we got on the highway, I felt like I needed to be home asap. I didn’t even care about getting dinner. I was feeling really antsy and just wanted to get off the roads. 

Mr. Torres knew that something was up when I was completely uninterested in dinner and made the call to get all of our birth-day stuff ready to go before we went to bed…just in case! Continue reading