Friday, August 14, 2015

Summer 2015 in Review

For years now, I have ended every summer feeling frazzled and irritated, unrested and not ready to give up the break from work & school.  I've perpetually over-scheduled myself for years during the summer which means when the summer ends, I don't feel like I've had a summer at all. 

So this year, when summer began I made a specific point to NOT SCHEDULE ANYTHING for the entire summer.  I didn't want to plan on any day trips or museum visits or well...anything.  I wanted to finally find out what summer looks like when you don't have something written on every single day of the calendar.

Don't worry.  We didn't just sit in the house every day all summer long and never did ANYTHING.  We went swimming.  And ran errands.  And shopped a little.  And ate at restaurants.  And visited friends.  And watched movies.  But it was all done spontaneously whenever we felt like doing it.  And THAT, my friends, made all the difference in the world!  I couldn't do this year-round because I really thrive on having a schedule and a routine with structure.  But from now on this is what my summers will look like if I can pull it off!

The summer of 2015 looked like this for us:

The kids and I have watched 8 seasons of Friends.  (Season 9 is in the mail on its way now.  Yes I know it's on Netflix but I prefer to watch it on DVD because I have been collecting the seasons for years & want to be able to go back & re-watch or loan them to friends occasionally.)

Larry and I took a weekend trip away for our anniversary.

Sarah spent the night with friends several times and went on a weekend trip with a friend's family.

Sam has fished more times than I can count and has been to my parents' house to help kill and slaughter hogs several times.  {Yes, we're THAT country.}

I went to Dallas one weekend to see Kari Jobe and Christine Caine.

I've been to lunch with a couple girlfriends just because we could.

I did three days of in-service at my school in late July.

I've slept late and taken naps.  (Well, not LATE really, but later than I sleep during the school year.)

Sam went to athletic training camp 4 days a week for most of June & July, then began 2-a-day football practices last week.

Sarah started band 2-a-days the first week of August.

Savannah got a new job at a veterinarian clinic in June and loves it.  She has also done lots of sitting:  baby, dog and house.  She is working on applications for NEXT Fall's college choices.

Larry filled in for a pastor at a church in his hometown several times.

I subbed at the preschool where I used to work twice.

I got a new (to me) mini-van that I love.  In fact, I'm going to pick up the license plates for it tomorrow.

I've read several books.

It's been a lazy, fabulous, wonderful summer.  I will miss the leisure of sleeping later and having a lot of down time, but this summer of fabulousness is drawing to a close.  It's been a great one!  Until next year..........

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Stag Leap Country Inn -- Deer Haven cabin

Last year for our 20th anniversary, Larry and I went back to our first home: Nacogdoches, TX.  That is the small college town in east Texas where we lived when we got married.  You can read about that trip HERE.  We try to make an effort to take a short overnight or weekend trip every year for our anniversary, but after twenty years of the same basic trip over & over, we wanted to do something different.  {Usually, we go somewhere, stay in a hotel--almost always a Holiday Inn Express, visit 1-2 local sights & then come home.}  So this year, I asked around on Facebook to see if anyone could suggest a semi-local place to go that was a little different.  After lots of suggestions, I settled on a place that looked really neat.  Ironically, it was back in Nacogdoches, but the place we stayed couldn't have been more different than a Holiday Inn Express.

Friday, we left home about lunchtime and after a short stop for lunch on the way, arrived at Stag Leap in Nacogdoches.  It's about five miles out of town.  This sweet little sign greets you at the main house driveway.

The owners met us at the door of the main house to welcome us and gave us directions to our cabin, which was about 2 1/2 miles down the road, totally secluded from the rest of the world.  Seriously, friends, my troubles melted away when we turned down this driveway...

....and pulled up in front of this sweet little cabin.

This front porch.  Oh my soul.  That rocking chair was just about my favorite place to be all weekend, right beside my sweet husband who was fond of that swing.

On the side of the cabin, there was this little patio area with a grill, table and chairs, and a wonderful, deep jacuzzi.  Oh the time spent there, staring at the stars, relaxing!

The front yard area was spacious, tree lined and SO quiet.

The side and back yards were equally wide-open & peaceful.

The driveway leading to the property (which was closed by a gate at the end) is wayyyy over there.

Backyard views:

And later in the evening, the front yard & front of the cabin:

The interior did not fail to wow us, either!  The owners had come over a few hours prior & turned on the ceiling fans and A/C, which was so very welcome since it was 100+ degrees outside.  Everything inside looked just like (or even better!) than what we saw on the website.

The living room area:

This little book was by the phone.  It included brochures for all sorts of tourist attractions in town, maps to restaurants, schools, churches and just about anything else you could imagine needing during your stay.

There was a full-sized pull-out Murphy bed in this pretty cabinet.  (We didn't use it, but it was neat to see that it was available for guests if they had children with them.)

The TV came equipped with satellite TV, which was charmingly set to an easy-listening station when we arrived.  There was a loveseat, recliner and gas fireplace as well.

Also in the living room area, there was a chest full of board games.

And the TV cabinet was full of movies and books to enjoy during your stay.

The kitchen was awesome!  A fridge full of breakfast foods, cabinets full of dishes, towels, utensils, a sweet little dining set.  You could almost get away with never leaving the cabin all weekend!

As you can see in the pic above, the bathroom was right off the main living area.  Let's just pretend that the seat to the toilet is down.  :)

The bedroom was also right off the main living area, through a door to the right of the bathroom.  (There was also a door that connected the bedroom & bathroom.)  The chest at the foot of the bed held more blankets & sheets for the Murphy bed in the living room.  The armoire (see picture below) held pillows for the Murphy bed.

After a hot day out in town both days we were there, we enjoyed quiet evenings in the jacuzzi tub, playing games from the living room chest, swinging/rocking on the porch or just propped up in the living room watching TV and resting.

And the mornings were easy as there were canned cinnamon rolls ready to make provided in the fridge!  (I was reading the comments from previous guests in the cabin's guest book, and then wrote my own, while I enjoyed breakfast Saturday morning.)

This morning when it came time to pack up the suitcase and head home, we had a hard time saying good-bye to this quiet little retreat.  So peaceful, so relaxing, so perfect for a get away!  If you are thinking of travelling in east Texas and need a quiet haven, a private, secluded little peace of paradise, I strongly recommend that you take a look at Stag Leap, specifically the Deer Haven cabin where we stayed.  (They have several other cabins as well!)  You can find more info about them on their website.  You can find it here:

I told the owners I would be writing a blog review of our stay at their cabin when I got home & shared the URL for this blog site in my comment in the guest book.  I hope they find it and can share it with future guests!  If you came to this post due to that comment in the guest book or through the Stag Leap family, please comment or email me and let me know.  (Email address is at the top right of this page.)