name='p:domain_verify'/> Always A New Day : April 2018


The Ultimate Houston Summer Bucket List

I'm feeling SO much better these days - mama is getting her groove back! Time to make some plans - fun plans and not let life's stress dictate our days. My son has declared it's time to prepare our summer bucket list, and I agree! Each year, we try to come up with places to go and people to see. Some fancy because we have to drive into big H-town, and some local - and each place we've listed in today's post is a place we've visited once or twenty times.

Go grab your kiddos, that pen and paper, and get to creating your list. Houston peeps, we've got an ULTIMATE summer list of fun for you. And we extend that invitation to anyone who wants to come visit, too. Add our fun city to your travel plans this summer. We will excitedly be your tour guides!

Levy Park

Y'all! This park was the biggest hit of our spring break. Dog park, foosball, green fields for play, playgrounds, food trucks, giant Connect Four - you name it! You will find us here often.

Boardwalk at Towne Lake

I couldn't make a list without a place we visit weekly - check their events for kids' fun and even live music! You can shop, workout, eat, and grab the best coffee in town!

Goforth Park

Another park local to us on the Northwest side - a huge park, walking trail, and dog park, too. Pack a lunch and you have the best summer picnic.

Cy Fair Library

On Wednesdays, we read. We love story time on these days, and I love grabbing my latest book (My Summer Reading List is coming soon). Computers, puzzles, coloring, and more!

Hugs N Donuts

We ventured out to this little gem in the Heights over spring break, and there are no words for the Nutella Donut or the Thin Mints Donut. Worth a drive for these unique treats!

Biscuit Wall

While you're in town, snap a pic by this wall - a perfect shot for your kiddos or maybe even a little photo shoot just for you!

Zube Park

My local mom friends can attest to this park for the hot summer days. Two words - FREE SPLASH PAD. Hours of fun and makes for easy bedtimes. Winner winner!

Woodlands Children's Museum

Thanks to the Grand Parkway opening, getting to the Woodlands area is easy for us now. This small, but cool museum is perfect for all ages. I love its size so I can always keep my eye on my busy (and fast) little one!

Sweet Box Candy

Another small little gem we love! Remember all the fun candy you loved as a child? Think Gobstoppers, flavored jelly beans, and Gatorade gum. It's all here and then some. I usually take the kids as a reward and let them pick out 2-3 treats each. They can grab a little basket and fill it up. So much fun.

LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch

Again, thanks Grand Parkway for making it easy to see our Katy friends and frequent another fun family place. Shop til you drop, grab your coffee, and let the kids run around the green. Bonus if there's live music on the weekends!

Rosehill Beer Garden

Off Cypress Rosehill and 290, you will find the coolest joint that has livened up the NW side. Get there early and grab a crafted beer for happy hour. Then, let the kids swing, play horseshoes, washers, and get your grub on from the multiple food trucks. See you there!

Sugar Land Skeeters

We haven't been here in a while, but we are making a return trip this summer. Purchase a lawn seat and pack the bathing suits. Watch the game while the kids swim, play on the playground or splash pad, and make some fun summer memories.

Astros Game at Minute Maid Park

You can't come to Houston without seeing our World Champions! Get there early to play in Squeeze Play and watch our champs warm up. If you go on Tuesday, you can grab a $1 hot dog. And Friday fireworks over downtown are sure to liven up those summer nights.

City Centre

From Bellagreen to Sweet, you will cover all your cravings! Sit on Bellagreen's patio and bring the soccer balls while the kids play. The shopping is fab, too!

Star Cinema Grill

As I write this post, my boys are watching a movie at our new favorite cinema. The food is the best I've had in a movie theater. And the recliners?! YES, girl. Get cozy and enjoy the show!

Noah's Ark at the Quillian Center

We've been adding this awesome pool to our summer bucket list for years - since before my youngest joined the party. Pay a small admission and either pack a lunch or hit up their snack bar. There's a great small pool with slides for the youngsters as well as a bigger pool for the older ones. You can grab a season pass, too, if you frequent it as much as we do!


Houston friends, what else should I put on the list? And the invitation is open for you to join us as we get into summer. We can't wait for sleeping in and hitting our favorite spots.

If you need more summer boredom busters, check out these posts, too!
Summer Bucket List - Part I
Summer Bucket List - Part II

The countdown is on!


When Life Hands You Anxiety

I made a call about a month ago. It was a call I knew I needed to make, but of course, my anxiety pulled its usual tricks. He will think you're weird. You keep quitting. Nothing is going to help. With shaky, sweaty hands, I made the appointment. My reason - to follow up with my doctor on my medicine. The truth - I wanted out.

Sharing this part of my journey gives me anxiety (I know, shocker), but it's life for me. And, I am learning this road can be very long. Twists and turns, for sure. Road blocks and obstacles, at every turn. But, I am on this journey for the long haul, and I am still seeking the right mode of transportation to carry my heart, my grief, my worry, and my hurt. 

I head into the appointment scared out of my mind. Is this what you're suppose to do? Try one. Then another. One more. I often wish I could get a print out of my thoughts - it wouldn't be a fun list, but it could at least paint a picture of my anxiety. I could give a copy to my husband. My friends. And, I surely would give a highlighted and annotated version to my doctor. Then, maybe we could find the right fit. 

Just as he walks in, he gives me a hug. Heart slows a bit. Then, he asks how it's going, and I simply say, no. This one isn't right. My inward anxiety has been seeping back out. My thoughts have not made sense. I am scared, and I know we need another route. Plan B - or it might even be Plan M at this point - isn't my mode of transportation. Without hesitation, he agrees. He takes his time and we talk. We know exactly what needs to happen. 

We hug our goodbyes, and I leave with a slowed heart and hope once again. He tells me things that are almost a Godsend, and I know them to be true as soon as I get in my car. That call I made. The worry I felt. The sweaty hands and all. They all made sense soon after I left.

Anxiety isn't a one-size-fits all. It's not a one-day-fits-all. I won't be cured because leaving that appointment made me feel like a million bucks. I know those feelings are fleeting when you worry like crazy or when grief smacks you in the face without warning. But, I'd be a big liar if I said taking my needed transportation wasn't a requirement for me on a daily basis. It doesn't have to be for you or the next guy, but for some, we've tried it all to know we need it. Our family needs it. Our kids need it. 

When life hands you anxiety for all the reasons or for no reason at all, you don't just shake it off or quit because people tell you to. When life hands you anxiety, you don't need to cower or hide because your sweaty palms and fast heart rate tell you no one will get it. The truth is - so many of us do. You have a tribe. A tired yet fierce tribe who will nod their heads at what you think is a silly worry yet it's consuming your days. We know that when life hands you anxiety, it's unfiltered and messy. It's not easy, and it's never-ending. 

So, make the call. Take your sweaty hands and figure out how you will wind down those long roads. Just because it doesn't end as fast as you want or that your Plan B is now Plan C doesn't mean you're stuck or that you stink at figuring out life. There's a fit out there. I don't know if this new one is mine, but I won't give up until it feels right. 

And, I have a doctor and a tribe running along side me - pushing me through the muck, cheering me on when I feel my best, and reminding me that no matter the plan, I can do hard things when life hands you anxiety. 
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