Friday Rambling {March 2016}

There is no real post today. This is just a random number of thoughts I was thinking about today as we try to finish the week off before spring break.

I was texting one of my besties two nights ago and it went something like this….

“Why is it that at the end of every day, I feel beat up? Like I am seriously beat up? I literally keep asking myself each night if I am getting the flu. ” (Which is my biggest fear right now after watching G get it.)

Her response was perfect.

“Because you work out, run two kids around, work full time and manage a house, etc… I feel that way every day too.”

After that response I found myself oddly at peace with the way that I feel right now and her explanation and just sat with it.  Instead of being cranky about it or feeling sorry for myself or even trying to rationalize it, I just sat with that response and accepted that’s life right now and it’s okay.

 

I heard a line in an interview yesterday from a candidate that I keep repeating in my head.  It’s a woman I have an indescribable amount of respect for as an educator.  She was talking about balance. She said…

“We need to do a little less, do it better and enjoy it more.”

I feel like I need to adopt this mantra going forward.  Such a simple statement and simple goal to have in mind.

 

My little family is so ready for a week in the warm weather and the desert.  I think it’s fair to say all of four of us are ready for a break.  I keep reminding myself that we get to move a little slower, be a little sillier, stay up a little later and take a breath from life as we know it.  I can almost feel the sunshine on my face, smell the sunscreen on my kids and my shoulders start to release from the load it’s carrying just thinking about it.

weather

 

 

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Real Talk

I really miss writing.  It’s cathartic and therapeutic. It’s a really great outlet for me to be real and put some things out there.  It’s also any easy place to hide and make life look like it is perfect.  It’s totally not by the way.

When I started blogging, right after we bought our first home in the city, I wrote because I loved having a space to document our new house and my first pregnancy.  I was naive about blogging, took terrible pictures (still do) and wrote just what was on my mind.  At the same time, I also got caught up in reading the popular blogs, mostly mommy blogs if I am bieng honest.  I was trying, not very hard, to be a “blogger” with these visions of it becoming something bigger, better, and more important.  And it never did.  I went from blogger to WordPress-even though I still have no clue how to use WordPress.  Most days, I am guessing it was just my mama reading.

And two kids later, a different house, a move from urban to suburban and a lot of other things along the way, I just kind of stopped writing for me.  And for my kids.  I still write them 2 letters a year.  But, I stopped documenting some of the little things that I want to remember.

But, here’s the thing.  I still miss writing.  In the summer, I find my mind restless because I am not writing.  About all kinds of things- food, photography, kids, life, exercise and just news.  So, I am going to give this writing thing a go… maybe not here.  Maybe not in this space- that part I don’t know about yet.  For now, I’m staying.   Regardless, I am going to start writing again for me- not worrying about who reads it or how many page views I get.  I am just going to write.

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Friday Randoms V.12

I made it. We made it. To one of the most glorious days of the year.  The last day of school before spring break. I am  committed  to traveling at spring break. To taking a week to get a away and find the sunshine.  I need it. Seriously, I need it. And my kids are so excited.  From a time perspective, it feels like a month away. And when we come home, it’s a 9 week push to summer.  All of this makes me happy.

Around the Internet…

I saw the link to this article in my Facebook feed.  To be honest, I am not the biggest fan of this blog writer but this article made me think.  What do my kids think? Am I the best party planner or the life of the party? I think I know the answer and it’s not the right one.  I think as the school year trudges on slowly, this week coming up will be a chance to be present and be the party.

I watched this video and was reduced to tears last night about. Love is so tricky. And it’s easy to love someone when things are good. But loving when it’s hard. Well, it’s just that. Hard. I dare you to watch this and not tear up.

What We Ate…

Sunday Night- Big Green Egg BBQ Ribs (3-2-1 method) with Brussel Sprouts and Bacon

Monday- Spaghetti with Shrimp

Tuesday- Leftovers

Wednesday- Chicken, Rice and Peas

Thursday – BRINNER (Glenn was gone and this is my go to)

Friday- NO CLUE.

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Friday Randoms V.7

Lots of radio silence on the blog right now. I am done apologizing for it when it happens. I love this space but when I don’t love it is when I feel the pressure to be here and that’s how it felt the past two weeks or so.

But, it’s Friday and I’m ready to get back in to giving you glimpses in to our life.

This article I think is such an important lesson in the use of social media. It was written for the New York Times, objective and sends such a clear message about the importance of understanding the impact of things posted online.   Added to that, when we were in Lake Geneva this past weekend, a dad we met at a bar told us if he could give us one piece of advice (he was there celebrating his 20-something son’s engagement) it would be to know your kids passwords to everything and to check social media constantly to see what they are posting. Not sure I agree on this one but still something to think about.

We all have a cold right now that just won’t seem to go away. I am the most worried about Cate who I feel like has had one since the middle of January.  With temperatures and wind chills insanely cold right now, I am counting the days down to spring break. 5 weeks. 5 weeks people. I can feel the sunshine on my skin.

Last weekend we snuck away for literally 24 hours with Glenn’s college friends (and my friends too) to Lake Geneva.  We don’t stay in the nicest place, or do anything fancy but it is always such a good time.  The people are just good people.  The time is so needed.  We laugh a lot, drink even more and just get to relax.

Brady has been really funny with words and language lately.  He sounds out everything. He enunciates words with major emphasis on every single syllable.  It’s hilarious and annoying.  Sometimes it’s the word you say. Other times it’s something he sees on tv or reads on a piece of paper.  But then, last night, out of nowhere he just started reading.  Reading people.  The words on his new pajamas.  And then the words on the tv.  My mind was blown. I screamed. He covered his ears and grinned.  It’s a milestone.  I’m happy since I love to read but so sad because it is just another indicator that the baby in him is long gone.

This was a really boring and uninspiring food week for us.  The freezing temperatures, nasty head colds and life just left me cooking some boring repeats.  I am already menu planning for next week and looking forward to trying some new recipes.

Stay warm and have a great weekend!

 

 

 

 

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Friday Randoms V.4

­­­­­­­Happy Friday! Oh my gosh this week has just been brutal. I don’t know what it is but I have to tell you I feel like I am just off. I am just not feeling it. I’m tired, grumpy and just feeling funny.  Maybe it’s been the start of a new semester, the weird schedules, and Cate being up a lot of nights this week.  I started to wonder if I was even getting sick maybe but I think I am just in a funk right now. Wah… I don’t know what it is but as I told Glenn I feel like I could complain for hours but I really have nothing to complain about.  Ugh…

If you follow me on Instagram you may have seen this. There is something so special about my Brady James.  Unprompted he showed this to his teacher and said it was a note for me.

BradyInsta12915

We have a lot going on this weekend but it should be fun stuff which makes me happy. Glenn and I are going to see American Sniper tonight and tomorrow he and I have date with our sweet girl while Brady is at a birthday party extravaganza. And then of course there is the Super Bowl. I am dying to make this Supreme Pizza Dip. I have a feeling it will be a hit!

I shared this article on my facebook page.  As an educator, I just don’t agree with PARCC testing.  As a parent I am teriffied.   I am soon going to become the mom of a kindergartner and the standardized testing world is problem my biggest worry if we navigate the public education system.  The only hope I have is this our school district.  This letter gives me some confidence that public school systems will join forces in eliminating our testing system.

Food for the Week

Monday- Spaghetti Squash Pizza Bake (it was delicious and even better as leftovers)

Tuesday- Sushi (Our cleaning ladies come and I refuse to cook in a sparkling kitchen)

Wednesday-  Skinnytaste CookbookSanta Fe Crockpot Chicken  over Rice

Thursday- Glenn was working late  so the kids had breakfast for dinner since they beg for Paw Paw’s pancakes and loved this new gadget!

Friday- Hmmmm…

Have a great weekend!

 

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Friday Randome v.3

Bad habits sure are hard to break! Almost went a whole week without posting here. Darn it.

Happy Friday folks! Hope you had a great week! With no school on Monday, this week felt really short and fast and I am still so looking forward to the weekend. We don’t have a lot going on this weekend which is just what I need.  Well, I am solo parenting but that’s not a big deal…

This week I reconnected with my yoga mat which I have really missed. I am not sure what it is but I walk out there in a better place mentally which is worth just about as much as the physical benefits to me.  Glenn will tell you the hour in yoga is cheaper than therapy and while he may not get it, he supports it because I come out of there with a clear head.  I am all of a sudden a fan of this Lucy tank- long enough that it covers my tush and lightweight. I snagged a couple on sale at Dick’s of all places.

I had the pleasure of jury duty this week which is just dumb. And inefficient.  I can’t believe the amount of sitting I did, was highly annoyed we were given a 2 hour lunch hour, forced to return for another hour and then dismissed for the day. So inefficient.  I am all about being a good citizen and doing my civil duty but good lord it was long day with no wi-fi.

I really have enjoyed this infographic. So interesting and I keep going back to it.  Maybe because all of a sudden food is becoming more important to me.

We had some good meals this week and after our outing to The Social Table, which I highly recommend, and I am inspired to cook.  I am not quite ready to start the #whole30 bandwagon but at least I am committed to getting home cooked meals on our plates and trying new things. I haven’t weighed myself but this is the best I have felt in a while about my body…

Sunday- Buffalo Chicken Wings on the Big Green Egg (the only wings I’ll eat now btw)

Monday- Maple and Mustard Glazed Salmon with Roasted Vegetables (so easy)

Tuesday- Tacos

Wednesday Night- Chicken and Potato Chowder and Red Lobster Cheddar Biscuits

Thursday- Ordered OUT

Friday- OUT

Have a great weekend. I am looking forward to sipping coffee, playing with my kids and maybe just maybe getting down some of our Christmas lights!

 

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What’ Your App?

So, last week one of best friends emailed me asking me if I knew that our favorite printing picture site, that our photographer Heidi Peters recommends, MPix just came out with an app for the android.  I quickly replied saying, yes that there already is an iPhone app which she didn’t know.  So, it got me thinking… we all probably have different or our favorite apps.  But, I’m guessing my favorite or one I use the most may be one that is not even on someone else’s radar.  So, here I am to ask – what’s your favorite app? Let’s eliminate iMessage and email because we all know that we use those the most.  And I’m guessing it wouldn’t be most people’s FAVORITE app just necessary right?

I’ll tell you mine. (In no particular order)

Instagram- I love the pictures, the filters, the community and the microblog world that exists on this tiny piece of the internet.  Also, I love the connection it has with so many other sites for prints etc…

MyFitnessPal- Such an easy website to look up calorie counts or see where my fitness progress is or was at.  I don’t use it consistently, but I honestly really love it.

Chase- How can you not love the option to pay your bills from anywhere or to pay a friend thru the Quick Pay option.

Feedly- My go to reading space. I have every blog I read categorized on this app and it is user friendly which is huge for me.

Honorable Mention- Facebook, Pinterest, Waterlogue, Cartwheel and Rhonna…

How about you? What are your favorites?

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Catching Up and Settling In

The lack of writing on this blog would tell you I have writer’s block. I don’t really if I am being honest. I actually have a lot to say and so many things I want to tell you about but for one reason or another I just haven’t had a chance to do just that. So, instead I am going to brain dump some things and then hopefully I will get moving on some other posts for you. And yes, I still have been getting dressed every day. I just haven’t remembered to take a photograph and blog about it. Life is just messy and good busy and I am content with that being the priority for now.

I put my camera down for a long time and now for the life of me, I can’t figure out how to get back in the swing of things. I feel like I am starting over. I am frustrated with focus issues and just basics when you shoot in manual. So, I can’t decide if I should toss in the towel or try to teach myself all over again.

I went to yoga sculpt a couple of weeks ago and one of my closest girlfriends said it best when she said, “It just felt good to sweat it out”. I don’t buy in to the breathing and quiet and ohm stuff but I sure do appreciate the fact that for one hour I was unplugged, focused on me and sweating at the same time.

The week of Thanksgiving was short so I knew we didn’t need a major grocery store run. So we went to Trader Joe’s. I am still not sure I totally get the love affair but I am starting to understand it. We had some good au gratin potatoes and some type of chicken stir fry that was okay too. I get it. It’s easy to prepare food and as a working mom I appreciate that.

The countdown to Christmas is on. And as much as it killed me, we  waited to decorate to “respect the bird”. I know my dad would be proud and I love the way our home looks!

Brady and Cate are emotional, playful, hilarous, mischevious, lovely and I am totally smitten with them. I can’t remember a time I have been so content in motherhood as I am now. Doesn’t hurt that Glenn is good at laughing with me when one throws an epic tantrum or yogurt is flying at the dinner table.

Are you ready to see our Christmas card tomorrow?

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Friday Already

Happy Friday friends! For some reasons the weeks just keep going by and before I know it summer is going to be here and life is going to be totally different. If we could just Mother Nature the memo that it is supposed to be spring not winter I think I could start smelling the BBQ grill, see the breeze ripple papers on our island with the windows open and see my kids running thru the yard as the sun starts its slow descent for the night. Here are some of the million thoughts racing in my head as the week ends.

~I am questioning what is up with Cate right now. She is fussy. Really fussy. She is 19 months old. She shouldn’t be right? Why? Why does she cry all of the time? Why does she want to be held all of the time? Why are simple things like brushing her teeth resulting in full blown tears and screaming? What is she needing or not getting at some point each day? My original instinct questioned if she was sick or not. Could be. But something just doesn’t seem right. Yes, she is strong willed and verbal.  Am I struggling with this because we never dealt with until now? I will take any suggestions or things to try.  Is it something we should take her to the doctor for? Is it normal? Looking for anything here people which could include a 12 pack of beer.

~ I am contemplating change. Change for me. Vague I know. But, I keep thinking about what change means for me, for my husband and for my kids. We are finding things are barely but starting to get easier. And with a change comes uncertainty, new routines, new roles and a new life.  I have spent a lot of time this week lying awake at night trying to decide at my core what I want, what I need and what I risks I am willing to take and I am just not sure. 

~ Do you sell things on Craigslist? I do. I get in these moods to sell all things in our house and I do. I sell anything I can and secretly do the touchdown dance the minute I have the cash in my hand from a sale. I buy nothing to this point on Craigslist but I just keep thinking that we have nice stuff in our house and even though I don’t want it anymore someone might.   Am I wrong? Is there something I should be buying off Craigslist?

~Lastly, this is TMI for some of you but I learned an important lesson yesterday when I was conditioning with the freshmen softball team. After two kids, jump roping just doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. Use your imagination and then know I sprinted to the bathroom….

Have a great weekend. We have no plans other than a dinner date tomorrow night. Hoping for some spring cleaning, relaxing, good food and some sleep! How about you? 

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Wednesday {My Monday}

Normally, Wednesday is hump day. That day of the week, where you start to see the weekend in the distance and if you are like me you give yourself a pep talk reminding yourself how much you have accomplished in the week, have left to get done and how good it feels to leave school on a Friday with everything in place for Monday.

Except this week, we didn’t have school Monday or Tuesday. So, here we are with it feeling like a Monday where drop offs take longer than usual, we are running late as we usually do on Monday and my to do list is just as long with less time to accomplish everything on it.  

So, I thought I would give you a good laugh, at my expense,  to start my week or get you through hump day. 

Some background information, our house has two heaters or zone heating as some people call it- a unit for our second floor and a unit for our main floor and basement. It is a luxury… I know especially since the wind chill this morning was -15 degrees. For the record, zone heat and A/C was a must on my list when we were looking for a house. 

For the past couple of weeks, I have been complaining that it is just plain cold in our upstairs.  My feet are cold when I walk across the hardwood floor; the toilet seat is cold in the middle of the night (tmi right?) and when you walk up our stairs you can just feel the air getting colder. 

The thermostat was set on a program from the previous homeowner.  We went with it because it was pretty much perfect.  But when I started complaining, Glenn would try to raise the temperature to 70, 71, 72 yet the thermostat would not go higher than 67 even if the heat ran 24 hours a day. Brrrr…. So, I was initially convinced it was our thermostat. So, I called the company four times in 24 hours and got nowhere. I did four different “fixes” and it was doing nothing but sitting on 67.  Glenn and I decided, really Glenn did, that  it was time to call a professional.  I think he was just tired of listening to me but of course it was now Sunday on a holiday weekend and the first time we had really frigid temperatures.  So, needless to say between the colds we all had which capped off seven days of ridiculous sickness in our house and the temperature upstairs I was grumpy.

Enter my mother in law.   We start to tell her our problems as we are researching companies that service our brands of heaters when she arrives on Sunday. And she asks a simple question, “Have you changed your filter?”  I look at Glenn who OF COURSE blames me and says, “She was supposed to call to have them maintenanced and didn’t this fall so no.”  Of course I was.

{Yes, I was in charge of this in our old house but I didn’t realize I was in charge going forward of all heat and air conditioning things.}

Glenn laughed the suggestion off but I was willing to try anything for warm night’s sleep. I felt so guilty that it was cold in our upstairs while our kids slept with colds, footed pajamas and big blankets.  So, as soon as they woke up, I climbed up the ladder in our sitting room (in our master suite) up to the attic.  I saw a filter.  So, I started to remove the old one and the dust was forming a cloud in the space. I put the new one in and I maybe said a quiet prayer for this to work. 

I threw the filter away, set the thermostat to 70 and went back to playing with the kids. We left and came home and BAM 70 degrees upstairs. It worked.  Who knew? Let this be the first of many lessons in home ownership I learn the hard way. And further proof that some days I am still not convinced I am old enough to own a home.

Happy Hump Day!

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