Currently and This Space {May2016}

When I originally started writing a blog, I think I was writing for one pure reason- that it felt really good. I was trying to remember things about having babies, buying houses and learning to navigate adulthood, what felt like an unfamiliar world. I used this space to record memories about my kids.  To write each of them letters that someday they can hopefully look back on and read when I’m not around or they just need to “feel me”.  I’m still adamant I’m going to get them on paper in a journal of some sort so they have them.

I didn’t care how good my pictures were as long as I had one of that exact moment I was trying to capture.  And I’m going back to that.  I no longer care who reads this as long as I have a space to write my heart on.

I find life going by at warp speed and suddenly I am trying to stop the train.  Hit the brakes with everything I have because I am afraid I am going to lose the memories of the little things that make this journey so incredibly worth it.

So, I am taking this space back to remember, to record and recount all those things.  Sure, I might tell you about some book I read or what we ate that was delicious (like the prepared fish taco mix from Whole Foods last night) but mostly this place is for my memories.

Currently…

Reading Angela Duckworth’s new book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance”.  It’s a really interesting read and as a teacher who believes in the comprehensive high school experience for a student it validates my belief that passion and hard work trump an “A” in an AP course.

Watching as Brady continues to gain a sense of independence that I am still wishing was a few years away.  He is choosing to play with friends anytime over us and all of the sudden he is starting to do his own thing.

“Brady- what do you want for breakfast?”

“Don’t worry about it mom. I’ll figure it out.”

SAY WHAT?

Listening to Cate as she lays on the couch with an iPad. The poor girl just falls apart the last week of school every single spring. Two years ago, she caught the stomach flu.  Last year she got Hand, Foot and Mouth and this year she has strep.  I smelled it on her the minute I got near when I picked her up sick from school.  The bright side, is this one can be fixed with meds. And fast.

Eating anything we can put on the grill at this point.  The reality of living in the Midwest is that we have to use our crock pot and our stove a lot in the winter when it is just too damn cold to cook but since the temperatures have finally gotten in to the 50’s we are using our grill for a change. Those fish tacos last night were awesome by the way.

Wearing almost a uniform these days. I live anything that is denim, stripes, gray and or black. I find myself wanting to buy other things but I have finally realized what does and doesn’t look good on me as I get older and the trends don’t seem to be as important. I am ready to live in workout clothes as summer approaches and the gym is in my daily plan.

Wanting to purge and organize and decorate and clean and redo spaces in our house.  I feel like 4 years later, our home could use some sprucing and updating. We have rooms that still haven’t been touched and walls that need love.  So, I am on a mission this summer to make decisions, pull the trigger and get things moving. I know I say this every year, but it’s time. I might even do a little DIY work in our mudroom. Anyone want to help?

Looking Forward To the end of the school year which is early next week. We have paid a heavy price for our school being under construction. We have had a 5 day week each week which is not typical for schools. But, the payoff is here because we are getting an extended summer that put us out in mid-May and not returning until late August. I need this break. My family needs this break so I can be a mom.  And I’m ready.

Thinking about the weeks to come and the anticipation of big life things. I have discovered my ability to cope is stronger than I thought yet it doesn’t dull the pain that comes with hard things. I wake up each day with a stronger sense of priorities than I ever have.  Maybe that comes with age and the not so easy things but I know that right now my family matters and past that I’m indifferent.  I go to bed thankful even on the hard days because I have learned we are living a lot of life right now and it’s the good stuff.  The stuff you remember on hard days and stuff that make you stronger.

Hopefully, I’m back in this space.  Kindergarten is coming to a close for Brady and our first year of JK is ending for Cate.  There is so much to remember and celebrate.

 

 

 

 

Currently {February 2016}

Currently….

Reading- I haven’t been reading a lot if isn’t for school.  I am hoping that as spring shows up and we head off to spring break, I might get a chance to dive into a novel.  For work, I am reading “Originals” by Adam Grant. It’s super interesting and totally different than his first book called, “Give and Take”.  I just started “The Ramblers’ for pleasure but I am struggling to keep my attention on it.

Watching- Billions and we finished Narcos.  I love me some “Brody” from Homeland.  I don’t find him attractive per se but I think he is so good on both shows. Some days I wonder if we need cable because we are starting to watch so much Netflix and premium channels like Showtime. I’m excited the Amazing Race is back on and Grey’s Anatomy is the show I just can’t quit.

Listening- to anything country right now especially playlists on Pandora. We have the Amazon Alexa and she works so well with Pandora.  Luke Bryan is coming to Wrigley this summer so I have been listening to his station for most of this month.  I need to get tickets to this show.

Eating- healthy healthy stuff like Plentifuls. My husband has really gone to eating super healthy and so our dinners are looking different and I honestly feel better than ever.  I am starting to believe that food is fuel. I still love salty chips and was introduced to Plentifuls. They are lentils turned in to chips. They are awesome and the perfect “fix” for my salty cravings.

Wearing- I haven’t gotten to a capsule wardrobe but the month of February I have pretty much stuck to grays and black.  Something about wearing the same colors takes the pressure off…I keep changing shoes and jewelry but it makes it so much easier. Also, I am planning clothes for the week on Sunday night and that makes the mornings so much easier.

Wanting- Some new spring stuff including a new swimsuit.  Every single summer, I vow I am going to get a new swimsuit. This is the year. I feel like I owe it to myself to have a suit I feel good in and love to wear. I look everywhere but can’t decide if I want a one piece or a tankini. Wondering if I can accomplish this before we leave.

Looking Forward To- I am  counting down to spring break. We are headed back to the desert and I’m ready to soak up some time with my favorite people and some sun.  We really need this right now… we need a break for the pressures of life and while I am worried about being gone, I know that my little family needs this week together. Maybe we will bring spring back with us.

Currently {November 2015}

Currently…

enjoying: the indian summer temperatures we have been blessed with this past week.  70’s in November is just gorgeous and perfect. The color of the leaves and trees, the crisp breeze and warm temperatures make the Chicago winter a faraway thought even though we know it could show up tomorrow. Seriously, this fall has been just awesome and this weekend was the perfect fall weather.  Even this week, we have been lucky to have the sun shining and temperatures totally enjoyable.

dreaming: of having a series of days where I have no schedule and responsibilities.  Seriously, I dream of reading when I want, organizing and purging our house, exericising when the sun is actually up for the day, shopping in stores without feeling rushed and preparing food and actually enjoying it while I do it. Does this exist?

loving: I am still loving Orangetheory.  I am a junkie to the place.  I miss it on the mornings I don’t go and feel like for the first time ever I have found a workout that works for me.  The last of the baby weight is finally gone and I finally have some confidence that I am on the right track. I find myself making better food choices as a result and even drinking more water. But most of all, I actually feel better than I ever have since having kids.

watching: my sweet buddy lose every ounce of baby and become a kid.  He ran off with friends on Halloween, would rather play with neighbors than us when we get home from school and seems so big to me all of a sudden.  He’s emotional, opinionated and funny.  I found him unprompted reading to Cate the other morning and playing a game with her after dinner.  He’s growing up faster than I care to admit and I think this is just the beginning.

reading: anything and everything.  I just finished The Kitchen House and started The Japanese Lover.  At school, I haveThe Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson.  I have stacks of magazines including Food and Wine and Cooking Light at home that I am itching to read  but for now they are staying put until I get some time to read.

quoting: the past president of Illinois Wesleyan Minor Myers who said, “ Go into the world and do well.  But more importantly, go into the world and do good.”  So true and so simple.  We met the family our senior class will build a home for through Habitat for Humanity and I found my eyes with tears.  Some days, I just feel like I or we don’t do enough for the people that need help.  Some days, I feel so fortunate for what I have realizing how easy it is to take for granted.  This family has adults who are employed, willing to do sweat equity to build their house and are humble enough to ask for help.  So we do and it is some of the best work I do as a teacher and the most gratifying.  My hope is that I teach my own kids about what it means to help others. It’s not Calculus but so important.

thinking: about my sweet girl Cate and what is going on in her brain.  School is not her favorite and I don’t blame her.  Lots of boys and one other girl makes the day hard.  But keeping it together all day, means all the emotion comes out in full force at night. The tears, the screaming and the fear of us leaving paralyze her.  She’s waking at night, scared to go to bed and is really taking a toll on all of us.  We are baffled as to what is really going on.  Is it the chicken or the egg or something different all together? What I know, is that I’m tired of the tears but sadder about her fears and willing to do anything to fix this.

drinking: one to many Moscow Mules on Saturday night.  I hate hard alcohol but I sure love that cocktail.  We were out until 2am and I can’t tell you the last time that happened.  The SoHo House is one of the coolest places I’ve been to and a night with my husband with zero responsibilities was totally worth it.  It was fun to a be a couple not mom and dad for the night.  Marriage can be hard and so easy to put to side in the grind of life, but every time I make it a priority I remember why it’s so important.

listening to: the new Adele song that I just can’t stop singing.  I really truly love her music and something about it just speaks to me.    I play it in my car and hum in my office constantly but it’s beautiful and she is one crazy talented lady.  Also, can we talk about the new Meghan Trainor and John Legend song? How catchy is that one too?

 

Currently v.5

Currently…

enjoying: the coziness that has come in our house with the COLD temperatures that have invaded the Midwest. There is something really attractive to me right now about curling up in a blanket, wearing an oversized fleece and waking up toasty warm under a down comforter.  I am not a fan of winter but I do love the warmth that comes over our house.

dreaming: about what our house is going to look like once we make a few small changes.  Our bed broke (a story for another day) so we ordered a new one, are going to paint up there and get some bedside tables. I bought a fiddle fig plant, bought a new light and am waiting for a side table to be delivered in our family room.   I am not a quick decision maker but I am starting to feel confident in my ability to bring a “vision” to life in our house slowly but surely.

loving: the play that my kids are engaged in right now. Brady is loving animal dominoes and I can’t say that I mind any time he wants to play.  We laugh, giggle and the strategy might not be there but he is having fun and learning.  Cate is obsessed with this cupcake game. I was, maybe am, so against the “princess” thing but this game about cupcakes (her obsession) for princesses is just so much fun.  Even if she is bossy while we build them.

watching: weeks of episodes of Grey’s Anatomy. I am so far behind on this season but I feel like I am committed to the show since I have been watching it for so darn long. For my sake, I hope this is the last season because I feel like I have a “commitment” to the show even though I don’t really care anymore.

reading: very little at the moment.  I am luck if I get a chance to read The Skimm in the morning right now. Seriously, I know you don’t want to hear “woe is me” right now, but I am just trying to get thru the day at this point and at night feel like I am playing catch up and don’t have time to settle in and read.  Hopefully over Thanksgiving I can find some time to settle in with a good read.

quoting: things that keep me motivated to workout.  My favorite lately is “Make time for it.  Just get it done. Nobody ever got stronger or got in shape by just thinking about it”.  I tell myself this at 7pm when I want to be on the couch with kids instead of heading to spin class or at 5am when the alarm blares in my ear for a strength class. I like the gym and the time for it is not always ideal but making it a priority and getting it done always feels better afterwards.

thinking: about the holiday season that is only a few short weeks away from us.  I think my kids are at really magical ages and this is when the holidays are so fun. Whether is it thankful gifts to teachers at Thanksgiving or watching Brady circle certain items in a toy magazine there is something so special about it.  I am slowly thinking about all the things I want to do this holiday season and trying to figure out how!

drinking: we have been out quite a lot in the past few weekends and my love for red wine is growing.  Before knowing my husband, I was not very adventurous with food and drink and as the years have started to accumulate I find myself gravitating to red wine and a good steak.  Two things pre my husband I would never eaten or drank.

listening to: the Serial podcast.  Who isn’t? I mean seriously, it’s so addicting and I find myself thinking about the characters, their stories and wanting to listen all the time. Do you listen?

 

Currently

Currently…

enjoying: the feeling that comes as fall has rushed it’s way in to our house. The decorations, smells, excitement over Halloween and the comfort that lazy mornings in bed with hot coffee bring to our routine. As much as I love Christmas, something about fall screams family to me and quiet memories.

dreaming: about the day that I feel like I have been enough to everyone and have a tank left to nurture myself.  Seriously, the quest to be it all is not easy and a consistent battle in my head.

loving: the series on A Bowl Full of Lemons which is 31 Days of Purging in October. 2 days in I was in good shape. Not so much anymore but I that hasn’t stopped me from saving a list of her purge day tasks in my feedly so I can complete each of them. Today, it is all about dresser drawers which may have to be tackled this weekend but I feel lighter already and know I need to do this.

 watching: leaves fall off the trees as fall has quickly arrived.  Cate declares that it is raining leaves and I watch my little girl in amazement of the crisp leaves fall off the trees on the street. Three is magical and monsterful all at once.

reading: any magazine that is getting delivered to my house. I am obsessed with Food and Wine and the minute my HGTV magazine shows up I am reading it.  I love Women’s Health, Real Simple, Rachel Ray, Cooking Light and Self. Tell me that I am not the only one that doesn’t love a new magazine curled up on the couch.

quoting:  nothing but Brady on repeat is quoting the guys from Monday night football who says “Come On Man” when going over the weekend lows from the NFL. The best part is that he says the statement in the right context every single time which is ever funnier.

thinking: about trying to carve out some time with people that mean a lot to me.  From my kids, to my husband, my mom and my friends I’m really evaluating how I spend my time and with who and hoping to be more intentional with my time.  Life seems to be at NASCAR race pace and since I don’t think it will let up I want to do what’s in my power to make sure that I spending my time with intention and purpose.

 drinking: lots of water including La Croix which is starting to win me over. It’s an acquired taste but I do like it to break up the monotony of the water I drink on a daily basis.

craving: my mama’s fresh, piping hot vegetable soup with crusty bread that just came out of the oven. Fall signals soups for days in my mind and I’m not picky about what kind.  We’re having homemade chicken noodle last nightt which is good start to soup season in my opinion.

listening to: anything that Sam Smith sings. Not surprising since I love Adele and some claim he is the male version of her. “Make it to Me” is constantly on repeat in my brain.

 

Currently v.3

enjoying: the feeling of getting a great workout in and following such inspiring people on Instagram. Fitness was/is such a big part of my life and I am glad it is slowly creeping back in.  So much so that I am researching the Whole30 and trying to make some major food changes when our kitchen renovation is done.

dreaming: about our kitchen renovation being done, long nights outdoors on our block, and the smell of grills in use and sweaty and sun kissed skin

loving: the enthusiasm Brady is showing for organized sports, Chicago sports and being involved in athletics

watching: The Amazing Race All Stars, Grey’s Anatomy and GAME OF THRONES (OMG Joffrey)

reading: I just finished Night Road by Kristin Hannah and literally cried through most of it.  Maybe because I see myself in the mother or because the plot centers on my biggest fear which is something happening to my kids.  I followed it up with Me Before You and found myself sobbing most of the way.  I am thinking I need an uplifting book next. Any ideas?

quoting:  my yoga instructor from Tuesday night when she asked us to set an intention for our practice. “Your mat is your space and it may be our only time alone- set intention. Be selfish and spend this time on you.” I am saying this daily at some point each day even if it while I take a couple sips of coffee alone in my office while doing nothing.   

Thinking: I need to get some things done around our house.  I need to decide on some colors to accent our new kitchen, start planning Brady’s new room and working on our outside.

eating: carrots, cliff bars, fresh fruit and yogurt and yes take out

drinking: skinny mochas or skinny vanilla lattes from starbucks since our kitchen in under construction and our coffee maker is not available for use.  I have missed my old friend Starbucks but not as much as I thought I would. 

craving: some time with friends, some time alone and a home cooked meal

listening to: Pompeii by Bastille and belting it out with kids in the car every morning. Totally my therapy right now.

Currently Vol. 2

enjoying: the feeling of getting a great workout in and following such inspiring people on Instagram. Fitness was/is such a big part of my life and I am glad it is slowly creeping back in.  So much so that I am researching the Whole30 and trying to make some major food changes when our kitchen renovation is done.

dreaming: about the toes in my sand in just over a week and that feeling that sets in a couple days after I get to Florida that allows me to unplug

loving: the sun setting later and the feeling in the air that spring is coming. I am a sucker for sunshine of my face and the warmth it brings

watching: The Amazing Race All Stars, Grey’s Anatomy and of course the NCAA tournament

reading: I just finished Night Road by Kristin Hannah and literally cried through most of it.  Maybe because I see myself in the mother or because the plot centers on my biggest fear which is something happening to my kids.

quoting: nothing. My brain is on overdrive right now so I just keep telling myself to get to next Friday. Nothing else matters.

thinking: about our upcoming kitchen renovation and everything that isn’t done, decisions that aren’t made and things that need to be purchased.  I am terrified of the dust, the lack of working kitchen with small kids for so long and all the hiccups we may encounter. I am excited to see the final project put that doesn’t calm any of my fears.

eating: nothing fabulous since we are leaving on vacation and trying to eat thru what is in our fridge and pantry with our reno also starting

drinking: coffee with vanilla creamer and some sugar, diet coke and lots of water with fresh fruit

craving: a glass of reisling, lemonheads and buffalo chicken dip (random right?)

listening to: Pompeii by Bastille and just singing, no shouting it in my head on repeat

Happy Friday! What are you up to?

Currently v.2

This blog has been silent for longer than I would have liked. But, what am I to do when the days consist of swimming lessons, softball coaching, and dinner making, grading papers, and trying to keep some sort of order in our house.   Sometimes, even the things that I mean to do go to the bottom of the list and sadly stay there.  Currently…

Eating… healthy. Seriously, with spring break just two weeks away, I find myself craving healthy foods like fruit and vegetables. I think it may also be related to Glenn and I exercising more and wanting to get back in to shape.  The years of being pregnant and nursing were hard on my body so healthy eating is just a start but I am loving feeling better, sleeping better not to mention my clothes fitting looser.

Drinking…water.  I find myself drinking a ton of water at school. We have a great water cooler and some days when I am just tired of sitting and staring at my computer screen, I walk to the teacher’s cafeteria to fill my cup with ice and water just as a way of taking a break.  Seriously, in a day I drink Starbucks and water…just waiting for summer so I can start sipping lemonade again!

Listening…to the buzz in my classroom as my students work on projects. I just got done watching two videos kids sent me about wealth distribution in America and real estate agents and the seller’s interest.  Both were fascinating but I think what is more remarkable is listening to kids talk about them and being excited about this stuff.

Reading… “The Shallows” by Nicholas Carr. With the unbelievable amount of technology that is being used and brought in to schools, I am furiously reading this book to understand some of the research related to what the internet is doing to our brain. Have you read it?

Come back next week. I will have an 18 month update on Cate and pictures from the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade and party at my brother’s house! I promise I will try to write more… Happy weekend!