Home Sweet Hoyleton: Proximity

Something I love about Hoyleton is how close everything is. Now, you may say, "But Katie, Target is 35 minutes away!" Yes, Target and many things are 35-45 minutes away, but that says me money. Haha. Everything we need is within an hour of Hoyleton because we live about an hour from St. Louis. I love how close everything is when you put it into perspective and where we used to live.

I love that we live close to St. Louis. I spent a good deal of my life living in St. Louis and was born in the suburbs. I am a St. Louis girl at heart, so being close to my favorite city is a huge plus. I have family and friends in St. Louis that I get to see on a regular basis now. We were able to go on a short Labor Day vacation with family friends because we are close now. I love that we can go to a Cardinals game any time. Nate has a clergy pass that gives him two free tickets to any non-cubs, non-opening day, regular season game. It's pretty awesome. We already have plans for several games this coming summer. I love that I can take the kids to the awesome attractions that St. Louis offers for children such as the Zoo, Science Center, Magic House, sporting events and all other kinds of things.

Zoe at the Magic House

Nate and I on a Cardinals game date.

One of the greatest things about being close to St. Louis is being so close to St. Louis Children's Hospital. When we were in Texas we had to travel 3.5 hours to Zoe's urologist and now we only have to go one hour. Also, I was so glad that Zoe was able to have surgery at St. Louis Children's because our experience was fantastic.

What I really love when it comes to proximity and Hoyleton is the proximity to my friends. If we want to take Zoe to the park and get some friends to take along, our friends, the Kasten's live on our way as we walk to the park. It is not a hassle to plan a walk or park play-date at the last minute because there is no getting in the car and driving somewhere. We walk out the door and there are our friends. I love that if it is getting late or you aren't able to go out of the house it is easy and quick to borrow something from someone. I have needed so many things and its so easy to just call my neighbor instead of running out to get things. For instance, a few weeks ago, Zach had a fever and I couldn't seem to find any infant's ibuprofen in our house, so I called up a friend and had it in less than 10 minutes. That is less time than it would have been for me to run to the Walmart around the corner in McAllen. Either I or someone else has borrowed these things over the past year: an onion, loaf pan, flavor injector, corn starch, ice and I am sure there are other things. Even though the store is 15 minutes away, you usually don't have to go in an emergency because someone is happy to share what you need.

My friend Esther called me yesterday wondering if I had some paper plates and forks to send with my husband for the Elder's meeting because she had made them a cheesecake. She was busy running her son to extracurriculars yesterday and didn't have time to get those things to send with the cheesecake. I was happy to send along those things that I already had in my house. I think the proximity helps us all put less pressure on ourselves. We don't have to let other things suffer and run late to everything because we had to run to the store for something like paper plates. We aren't afraid to ask our friends to help us out in our time of need because we have been in the same boat and they would do the same for us. The fact I know I can lean on my neighbors from time to time helps me not to stress out quite as much.

Our proximity to the church is amazing, in that we live next door. Some pastor's families don't like this because it makes you open for people to drop in or look into your windows and know what you're doing all the time. I personally don't care if people know my business, I'm an open book for the most part so that part doesn't bother me at all. I love that I don't have to get the kids in the car to go to church or school. I love that Nate can spend more time at home before meetings at night because he just has to walk next door. It's also very convenient for when I hold parties for the kids at the school. I don't have to load up everything in my car and drive it there. I also can run home and grab anything I have forgotten.

So, even though we live in a tiny town in rural Southern Illinois, there really isn't a problem with things being 15 plus minutes away. We have St. Louis, a church, a restaurant (and bar) and each other. No problems here.

That's all for now. God is good.

Zach is 11 Months!

Zach is 11 Months Old. How did this happen? He is almost a full year. Why don't they stay cute little babies forever? We are in full swing for planning his first birthday party. The first birthday is a celebration of not only this sweet little child, but also, you kept your kid alive for an entire year! Congrats! I feel like it's more of an achievement with the first one because its the first time you've done it. However, I also feel like I forgot everything about newborns when Zach was born and was just as scared and clueless as the first time around. I will say though, I wasn't super stressed out if he didn't eat all of his bottle or poop every day because I knew he would eat when he was hungry and what goes in must come out. Anyway, he is 11 Months and he's cute as ever. He's starting to show his personality more and more every day. He does things like throws his pacifier when he's mad and laughs at his sister when she makes funny noises. Zach is getting to be more aware of what people are feeling. Zoe knocked her daddy over when he was sitting on the floor and Zach was afraid that he was hurt and started crying. He has also started to bond more with Daddy. He has been a Mama's boy pretty much since he was born and still is, but recently he has been noticing and wanting Daddy more and more. He saw Daddy from across the gym while we were walking one morning and started to get very excited. He loves his Dad. He took a few steps yesterday. Looks like we will have a walker soon!

Zach likes:

  • His Family
  • All Danger (stairs, hot things)
  • Putting EVERYTHING in his mouth
  • Meat
  • Laughing at his sister
  • Pulling Zoe's hair
  • Crawling really fast.
  • Hanging out with the walking ladies
  • Smartphones
  • His Pacifier
  • Taking a bath
Zach doesn't like:
  • Rinsing his hair in the tub
  • Getting his diaper changed
  • Changing his clothes
  • Getting in the car seat
  • Waiting on food
  • Being hungry
  • Getting his hands or face wiped
Zach is unsure of:
  • Squishy foods
  • Wind
  • Shoes

Hey Buddy, you're blocking the 11 months sign.

Oh sorry Mom, let me move over.

Yep, I'm cute.


Picture time!

Lemme see that sign.

I got it!

Okay, I'll sit for one.

How did he get this cute?

Mama's snuggler

Mama got flour on him when she was baking.

She's my mama.

Making a plan to mess with his sister.

Can't I drink this?

Hamming it up with Uncle Kurt

I'll take these, thanks.

So hard to be me.

I'll get this one.

First Spaghetti night.

Standing on dad with sister.

I can't even.

That's all for now. God is good.

Hopefully All Done...(Update on Zoe's Condition)

As many of you are aware, Zoe had surgery in November for a urinary condition called Vesicoureteral Reflux. If you have questions about what that is, you can look within my blog at these posts: Zoe: The Most Popular Baby in the Hospital or More Crazy Adventures for Zobug (Another Update). Since we had a follow up today, I thought I would share the story of her surgery.

Zach is 10 months!

Here we are at 10 months! Zach is getting bigger and the time I have to plan his first birthday party is getting shorter. I hate that there is a deadline ahead of me that pretty much means my boy isn't a baby anymore. WAAAHHHH. I mean *ahem* I am totally handling this with poise and not at all kissing his face all the time saying, "Be my baby forever, pleeeaasssee."

Zach is still crawling but man is he fast. He can cruise along furniture and can climb stairs. He cannot get himself down stairs, so they are dangerous right now. Because they are dangerous they are basically his favorite part of any building. I spend a lot of time sitting on stairs now when we aren't at home. 

Home Sweet Hoyleton: The Hoffman Supermarket

Hoyleton does not have a grocery store. For a Walmart or grocery store we have to drive about 15 minutes. There is, however, a closer option which is the Hoffman Supermarket. The Hoffman Supermarket is a small market that would be close to the size of a large convenience store. If you call it a convenience store, it will not end well for you. The Hoffman Supermarket is located in Hoffman, IL which is about 7 miles(minutes) northwest of Hoyleton. Hoffman's population is 491 a whopping 51 less people than Hoyleton.

So Katie, why is the Hoffman Supermarket a part of your Hoyleton blog series? That is an excellent question. You see, hidden inside of the Hoffman Supermarket is a pretty fantastic meat counter. The Hoffman Supermarket meat counter is the place to go for meat. Someone gave me a gift certificate, not card, certificate, for the Hoffman Supermarket and told me to go there for meat. I was a bit skeptical I mean would you look at that building and think that there are delicious pork chops inside? I certainly wouldn't. I quickly learned that this is definitely a "don't judge the book by its cover" situation.