August 2017

Happy Almost Fall!

Our August was fun and relaxing! Gavin celebrated his birthday in early August, and we took him to Dallas for a couple of days to have some family fun. I wrote about our Dallas trip here. We were home on Gavin’s birthday, so we celebrated the day with lots of pool time and by going out to eat.

The birthday boy - Gavin turned 3 years old! | rainerlife.com

For the solar eclipse, we went to the local science place. They were handing out viewing glasses and had a few informative and fun activities. Gavin had fun, but he didn’t really understand the whole solar eclipse thing. We also went to the science place another day when it was less crowded. Gavin loves playing with the different activities they have available for kids to learn new things.

Gavin at Discovery Science Place | rainerlife.com

Gavin at Discovery Science Place | rainerlife.com

Gavin at Discovery Science Place | rainerlife.com

A new bookstore opened in town at the end of the month. Of course, we were there on opening day and managed to find a few books to buy. I got a lot of reading done in August, and have started reviewing books here on the blog. I’ve been reviewing books on Goodreads, but wanted to start including some reviews here. I’m mainly posting reviews of new books here on the blog.

Half Price Books | rainerlife.com

Reading with Rocky | rainerlife.com

We also spent a lot of time at home this month. We enjoyed the pool on nice days. We played with toys inside when it was too hot or too rainy.

Gavin playing pirate | rainerlife.com

July 2017

Happy Dog Days of Summer!

Our July was great! Early in the month, we went to Germany. We stayed in Heidelberg for a week and had so much fun! I already wrote about our trip, so for more about what we did and tons of photos, click here and here.

View of Heidelberg and Old Bridge from Heidelberg Castle (Heidelberger Schloss) | rainerlife.com

Love locks at end of Old Bridge {Heidelberg, Germany} | rainerlife.com

Heidelberg Castle Illumination | rainerlife.com

Gavin with his first stamp in his passport! | rainerlife.com

Michael’s birthday was in July. We celebrated by hanging out at home around the pool and going out to eat.

Michael on his birthday | rainerlife.com

With our big trip early in the month, we took it easy the rest of the month. We took Gavin to see Despicable Me 3, and Michael and I went to see Wonder Woman. We did a lot of swimming and relaxing around the pool. Gavin and I went to the Center for Earth and Space Science Education to watch a couple of shows in their dome theater – Astronaut and Ocean Wonderland. I worked in the flower beds around the house. I’m working on the area around the pool. That’s about it for our July 2017.

Gavin playing robot in the pool | rainerlife.com

Gavin at CESSE | rainerlife.com

June 2017

Happy Summer!

Our summer has been pretty great so far! We’ve been spending more time outside and in the pool. I love summer time, and it’s so nice to have a pool to relax in during the warm weather. Oh, and we have a lot of pool toys… and we play with all of them. I think the pool will be getting a lot of use this summer!

Swimming pool | rainerlife.com

Gavin playing in the swimming pool | rainerlife.com

Gavin playing in the swimming pool | rainerlife.com

Gavin playing in the swimming pool | rainerlife.com

Pool time! | rainerlife.com

We’ve been staying busy around the house, mainly working on yard projects. I started adding landscaping near the pool. We had the pool installed last summer, but never got around to landscaping around it. Figured the only way I would get any of it done was to work on one small area at a time. To get started, I added a bed of mondo grass between the flagstone decking and the fence. I dug out the area, placed stone edgers in the pattern I wanted, filled the bed with soil, and planted mondo grass. Between the stone edging and pool decking, I put in a drainage pipe and covered it with rocks. The water already drains that way, so, hopefully, that will only improve the drainage and help prevent the flower beds from being washed out in heavy rains. I will install more drainage pipe and rocks to improve the drainage, but it’ll be a slow process… maybe I can finish in July. I also started adding a few plants behind the pool. This will be a pretty large area to plant, and I’m not completely sure what I want to put there, so I only did one small area. Also, it was harder to dig out because of all the rocks buried in the ground from the pool construction. The soil isn’t great, so I’m digging out the grass and weeds and adding better top soil. Our only non-yard project was when our AC went out early in the month… thankfully we have a home warranty and they got the new unit installed. We have two AC units, so it wasn’t too hot in the house, plus it was pretty nice weather the week we were without a working air conditioner.

Mondo grass bed | rainerlife.com

On Father’s Day, we go to BJ’s Restaurant & Brewhouse. The food is good, the beer selection is decent, and Michael gets a Father’s Day pint glass. He now has 4 – 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017. He got one in 2014 because we went on Father’s Day when I was pregnant with Gavin, and they gave him a glass since he was “almost” a dad. It’s now a family tradition.

BJ's Restaurant & Brewhouse Father's Day Pint Glass | rainerlife.com

We toured a local brewery early in the month. We’ve been to ETX Brewing several times, but never toured it… we always just get a pint and hang out for a bit. So, we wanted to tour the brewery, hear more about how they got started, and see how they brew their beers. It was fun to see their set up.

ETX Brewing brewery tour | rainerlife.com

ETX Brewing beer | rainerlife.com

For other fun activities, we go to the library, movies, and out to eat. Gavin enjoys storytime at the library, and he LOVES to look at books… he gets that from his mama. Michael, Gavin, and I went to see Cars 3. A fun movie that we all enjoyed. Now that Gavin is a little older, we can add taking him to the movies as a fun outing to do. We try to be home in the afternoon for Gavin to take a nap, which he only does a couple of days a week now. The photo below is after he convinced me to let him sleep in the “big bed” (mama and daddy’s room) and bring all of his stuffed animals to nap with him. He can be very persuasive!

Gavin at naptime | rainerlife.com

Gavin | rainerlife.com

May 2017

Happy Summer!

Michael, Gavin, and I started the month off with the quick family trip to Houston. You can read about our trip here. We had a great time, and it was nice to get away on a short vacation.

Gavin at Rocket Park | rainerlife.com

Gavin at the Houston Zoo | rainerlife.com

Gavin and I went to a Mother and Son bowling outing with some other mothers and sons from our church. It was Gavin’s first time bowling, and he wasn’t too interested in it. At first, he was excited and wanted to roll the ball. Of course, the ball didn’t go very far, so I had to help him with rolling the ball. It was fun, and it was nice to get out with other moms and kids.

Gavin picking a bowling ball | rainerlife.com

Darinda & Gavin at Mother / Son bowling | rainerlife.com

We celebrated Mother’s Day with a nice lunch out. It was a relaxing day, where we didn’t do much, but spent the day together. Those are great days.

Darinda & Gavin on Mother's Day | rainerlife.com

Gavin’s most recent soccer classes ended. He’s pretty good when he’s paying attention… it’s keeping the attention of a two-year-old that’s tricky. It’s been a good way for him to learn teamwork, while having fun with other kids his age. Since he’s not too interested in the classes, we’re taking a break from soccer for a while.

Gavin at soccer | rainerlife.com

Gavin with his Certificate of Completion for soccer classes | rainerlife.com

Gavin and I have continued to work in the flower beds around the house. We’ve made a lot of progress, even though it seems to be a never-ending job. Good thing I enjoy working in the yard!

Flower bed and pool | rainerlife.com

Hydrangeas | rainerlife.com

Daylilies | rainerlife.com

We had a quiet Memorial Day weekend around the house. We had Gavin’s Honey and Pappaw (my mom and stepdad) over on Monday. Michael grilled burgers and brats, and we all had a nice time visiting and enjoying some food and drinks. It was a cloudy and rainy weekend, but we did manage to get in a little pool time.

Pool time | rainerlife.com

Michael and I celebrated our 5th anniversary on May 19th! We went out to eat at a local Italian restaurant to celebrate. It was a pretty low-key anniversary celebration, but it’s been a wonderful 5 years. Below is a photo from our wedding day.

Our wedding day | rainerlife.com
Photo by Elizabeth McClung

April 2017

Happy Spring!

Michael, Gavin, and I started the month off with the Spirits of Oakwood tour. It’s a fun and informative tour that is held each year in conjunction with the Azalea Trails. Volunteers dress in period clothing portray local citizens that were buried in the cemetery. Sometimes the volunteer is a descendant of the person they are portraying, and they can give more information on the individual than you could find elsewhere. They change it up each year, so different locals are represented in the tour.

Gavin had his first haircut this month. He’s 2 1/2, so he went a long time before needing it cut. Michael cut Gavin’s hair, and did a great job!

Gavin's First Haircut | rainerlife.com

Gavin's First Haircut | rainerlife.com

One Saturday, we drove to Dallas to go to the vinyl record show. The show was located in the Richardson Civic Center, which is next to the library, so Michael and Gavin were able to go the children’s area of the library and play while I shopped. I found a lot of records to buy, so my little vinyl collection is starting to slowly grow. After shopping records, we went to The Flying Saucer restaurant to eat, and Michael and I were able to try some new beers.

Gavin at the Library | rainerlife.com

Beer Tasting | rainerlife.com

We had a happy Easter! It was a great day – Mass in the morning, lunch with family, and fun watching Gavin hunt for eggs and play with his Easter gifts. On Good Friday, Gavin and I dyed Easter eggs with his Honey. It was his first time to dye eggs, and I think he had fun. I figured he would lose interest, but he helped with all the eggs. On Easter Sunday, Gavin’s Honey and Pappaw hid the dyed eggs around their house for him to find that afternoon. Easter Sunday evening, I hid some plastic eggs around the yard for him to find. So, he had lots of eggs to hunt for, but I think he had fun doing it.

Dyeing Easter Eggs | rainerlife.com

Dyeing Easter Eggs | rainerlife.com

Dyeing Easter Eggs | rainerlife.com

Gavin at Easter | rainerlife.com

Hunting Easter Eggs | rainerlife.com

Hunting Easter Eggs | rainerlife.com

Hunting Easter Eggs | rainerlife.com

Hunting Easter Eggs | rainerlife.com

It’s crawfish season! We went to a crawfish boil at a local brewery, and enjoyed a couple of pints while there. Gavin and I love to eat crawfish! He ate more crawfish than I did, which is saying something, because I love boiled crawfish.

Boiled Crawfish | rainerlife.com

With this beautiful Spring weather, we’ve been spending more time outside. We’ve been playing outside and swimming in the pool. Also, I’ve been working in the flower beds around the house… weeding and spreading mulch. It’s always nice to get outside more, and now that Gavin is older, he can help me with some of the yard work.

Flower Beds | rainerlife.com

Flower Beds | rainerlife.com