Friday, December 13, 2013


How's this for a glimpse into my life: I'm home with 2 kinda sick kiddos today. M stayed home yesterday b/c of fever and cough and now her brother is home. He's not totally sick but sick enough that I didn't feel good sending him in but now that he's home, I'm seeing this as more if a mental health day. 

I'm currently trying to get them both to take a nap before school pick-up of A in an hour and a half. M willingly went to her crib after she saw H lay down, and I'm currently hiding in the bathroom while she puts herself to sleep for maybe the first time in a year. We typically hold her until she falls asleep and then transfer her to her bed, but she was fighting me so much that I just put her in the bed and patted her back a few times before saying I'd be right back. She's been quiet for 10 minutes so I'm hoping the coast is clear. 
Anywho, exciting stuff over here. Not sure how you are containing yourselves...

Full weekend ahead yet again but all fun and goodness at this time of year. Tonight our Advent calendar activity was to have a camp-out in the living room and watch a Christmas movie. Tomorrow we go watch a friend's daughter perform in a shortened version of the Nutcracker and then come home to bake cookies. J and I have one of several church Christmas parties in the evening and then Sunday is J's birthday! 
Lots of activities make me love the nights at home when we have nothing planned. Sitting in a cozy house with only the tree lights on is the best.
And this Cindy Lou Who impersonator is awesome too. She's practicing her ballet moves by the way. Oh and she DID put herself to sleep! Yay!!!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


The holiday season is picking up with events galore. This past weekend was pretty full, but I didn't really feel the Christmas spirit until A's dance recital on Sunday. It was a cold yucky day with rain that you wished would just turn to snow already, and we traveled uptown to see the recital. The city was lit up and it's always fun to walk around the fancy buildings with their decorated trees. A and other dancers did their routines to holiday songs and we watched the famous Singing Bears afterwards (which M loved this year!). Then we bundled up and came home for Ginger Peanut soup and a little tree decorating.
Our girl after her hip-hop recital

Yesterday we finished the tree and it is always so fun to see the kids pull out and remember their old homemade ornaments. M was good about the ornaments, she loved looking and so far hasn't acted interested in taking things off the tree. Also, so far, none broken this year! That may be a record for this family! 
We finished the night with Christmas donuts from Krispy Kreme (our Advent calendar activity of the day). 

Tonight J and I are headed to a fancy party of Sewanee alum, looking forward to attending a party hosted by one of the most well-known Charlotte families who also happen to own a chain of department stores...I may have to sneak some pictures :) 

Ok, off to do some shopping. We're almost finished which is a big deal for us to be so close to done this early! It's been fun and stress-free this year too thanks to a parishioner who watched the kids for us Saturday so we could have a day to shop (and we were able to go see Catching Fire too!). 

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Slow Down, shhhhh.

My favorite time of year is here. Advent. I'm hoping to blog more in the quiet times I have, or will make myself have, as we enter this season of intentional quiet and slowness. It's hard though, the culture tells us to rush, and be loud, and look in all directions. Even my driving time, which is usually a time to reflect (or get my to-do list in order), has become distracting with all the fun decorations. I love it of course, and we even purposely went driving around last night to look at the lights; but all these distractions of the cultural season just mean we have to be so much more intentional about making time for quiet and waiting.

It IS so hard though. This is the first quiet I've taken since Advent started on Sunday, and it's Thursday. But it's necessary. I know it's all just a little too much when I start criticizing everything in my head, and then I start messing things up: I burn the bacon, I get mad at the toddler for taking her hairbow out 8 times (um, just stop putting it back in dummy!), I pull-out in front of people. My mind is distracted and I have this longing to stay in and not talk to or see anyone. And then I realize I need to create, write, listen to music, go for a walk, knit, etc. As an introvert, these things are refilling my energy stores that have been depleated by daily life. By the exhausting task of talking to the grocery store check-out person, by Wednesday night church dinners, and by living with and loving on 3 young kids. All things I enjoy but things that wear me down. 

Trying to be better about the quiet and downtime with the kids too. Although they are quite a loud bunch. :)
These things are helping:
1.) No cable. We only use the Roku for tv watching now which means no commercials. Can I tell you how nice it is not to have commercials during this time of year? VERY.
2.) Limiting activities. We purposely didn't sign the kids up for too many activities for the Winter. H is done with golf and A is almost done with dance for the season. It allows us more time at home and together.
3.) Our advent calendar. I opted out of the "stuff" Advent Calendar this year. And went back to the envelopes with fun activities that we did a few years ago. This time though, A and H added their own ideas and they are really into it so far. Tonight's activity is to go shopping for the child we chose off the Angel Tree at church. 
4.) Following the Want, Need, Wear, Read guidelines for Chirstmas Gift ideas. It cuts down on the more, more mentality at this time of year. 
5.) Also, this new to us album and this old favorite. Good stuff. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

This post brought to you by the letter S (for Sesame Street, which is why I have a minute to post)

I love Friday mornings, not sure why, it just has a more relaxed feel to it. I used to treat myself to a coffee or breakfast out on Fridays after I dropped the kids, but now I have pumpkin spice coffee from Trader Joe's, so my coffee seems special enough. :)

Also, we are doing the Dave Ramsey program, Financial Peace University and while we budget "pocket money", it doesn't seem like something I want to spend it on right now.

Also, we're doing a low-carb thing and I really like it. It's more Primal than Paleo (we eat dairy), and I cheat a bit, but I figure I'm more aware and seeing results of this new way of eating, so again, it doesn't seem worth it to waste it on chick-fil-a.

I'm content drinking my pumpkin spice coffee with heavy cream and maple syrup and listening to Sesame Street in the background. That's the other thing about Fridays, we watch a bit more television, and when it's not on as much during the week, it makes it seem like a luxurious treat.

This week has been very positive after a few weeks of crazy. Last week was crazy, kids were out of sorts, I had strange migraines, weather was hot. It was just yucky all around. This week has been gloriously Fall-like, only 1 tiny migraine last night, and kids have been awesome. Hopefully we've gotten into a routine of sorts with morning and evening routines and homework. Those are usually where we struggle the most so I've posted their routines and put it in their hands to get it done. I find when we're having a rough week, I nag more and they respond by not listening, and so then I nag more. It's an ugly cycle. So I posted a list and made an effort not to talk/ask/nag.

We've also started a commission chore chart. They get money for completing extra tasks around the house. There are things they are required to do as part of the family, their morning and evening routines, putting their laundry away, etc. but these are extra things that they can choose to do if they want to earn some money. One thing I added on there was that they can earn money for doing the right thing in regards to school. I explained that this is their job right now; to go to school, learn, listen, and be responsible (bring all assignments home, stay on green on the behavior chart, etc.). So if this happens each day, they will automatically earn money for this task. Last week they were struggling with school things, H was on yellow one day and A kept "forgetting" her math homework. This week they've been perfect. Hopefully this will continue to make a difference.

Alright we've watched enough tv for the morning (although I really enjoy hearing Grover talking in the background), and A asked if I could please do laundry today because she has no pants, so I suppose I should honor that request. :)

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Random Things

We're getting in our school/Fall groove and things are going well: 

Both kids like their teachers and are positive about school. Little Bit starts a 2 day a week toddler program and my cast is coming off tomorrow! 

Here are some other things we've been enjoying lately:

*Our new Roku. We cancelled our cable and are finally able to catch up on some of our favorite shows. Currently we're into Orange is the New Black and Friday Night Lights. 

*My new iPhone, finally upgraded from the 3. Loving it. 

*Watching the oldest read to the youngest. Tonight she read 4 of our classic favorite picture books to her. The other night, this was the scene:
Makes my heart soar.

*Roasted broccoli, with lemon and Parmesan. 

*Walking to and from school. I seriously feel bad for the people sitting in the carpool line. If we weren't walking, how would *A* have noticed this guy?

*Less carbs. I'm not going whole hog on this Paleo thing but I am carefully considering when I eat carbs/wheat. My new routine is a smoothie for breakfast, salad for lunch, and normal dinner. But at some point in the day, I break this open for a little sweet fix. 
 Time for one of those now I think while I pack lunches. 3 kid's lunches is kind of a lot, I may need a glass of wine too. ;)

Friday, August 30, 2013


Because I'm still not fully able to type well, but my husband "suggested" I update my blog and informed me my title was showing up in Comic Sans (yuck!), I will sum up where we've been and what we've been doing:

Wedding in North GA: forced family fun that was actually fun!

Northern Michigan Vacay: AMAZING. 2 full weeks. Relaxing to the max. Oh, yeah and I broke my first bone, my wrist, dominant hand, hence the no blog update.

Broken Wrist Adventures: biking alone is so fun, until your wrist breaks. Multiple trips to "town", had to have 1st anesthesia. Ended up in a cast for 6 weeks, I get it off in 6 days, but who's counting?

Wild Goose Festival: More amazing. 1st family camping trip (minus the toddler), More later.

Summer Ends: We were sad but we were ready.

School Starts: Big kids at the same school for the first time ever. Still loving being able to walk to and from school. Can't believe we have a 3rd and 1st grader! Still getting attitude from the supposed "Monterssori" school. Kids and mama so happy to be back in the routine. Miss M misses her siblings.

And now it's Friday and we've finished our first week of school. The kids are positive and seem to love their teachers which I love. Hoping things stay this positive, it's going to be a great year, I can feel it!

More later, my wrist is throbbing and it's time to go enjoy the pool (or poolside as the case may be) before it closes this weekend. :(

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

We Like Water

All the pictures I've taken lately involve water in some way. It's been a mostly wet summer and we've been either getting rained on or swimming, so there's really not much else to take pictures of but water.
Today the kids played in the rain because there was really no other way to play outside.

Last week to cool off, they wanted to make body outlines on the wall using the sprayer on the hose. 
Here are the results, pretty cool huh?

And then of course, there's swim team. It was quite a season, full of rain delays and cancelled and rescheduled swim meets because of rain. We were assured this wasn't the norm, but it made an already exhausting swim season even crazier and we are quite happy to have it over with this week. 
The kids really thrived on swim team this year though. H went from *just* being able to swim 25 meters to winning his heat 3 times! A, who was on swim team in Sewanee, became quite proficient in butterfly, a new stroke for her this year. She swam freestyle, backstroke and butterfly at each meet and was consistently on a relay team; either for backstroke in the medley, or as part of the freestyle relay. She is a beautiful swimmer and it was a great thing to watch her thrive in this sport. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Pretty Perfect Monday

Kids slept in, and thus so did I. Let Mr. Man sleep in even more because he has been working all weekend.  Which is kind of half normal for a priest but being up at 5 both Saturday and Sunday, travelling to a bishop's consecration and back on Saturday, having a very full morning of church Sunday (preaching and celebrating all 3 services), plus an afternoon of minor league baseball game, and a Sunday evening of Superman makes for a very tired Daddy on the day after Father's Day. 

VBS is this week, so I dropped the big kids off and we went to brunch with Baby Girl. Ran a few errands, left Daddy and baby to a failed nap, went to Target, watched the Blind Side (which our kids LOVE), and decided I needed to make the perfect summer dinner. 

So, for dinner we had Tomato, Cucumber, Basil, and Feta Salad with Pesto Chicken Pasta. Our basil is growing like crazy and this batch of pesto plus about a cup chopped for the salad barely made a dent. The cucumbers were from my parent's garden, we've never had success with cucumbers but theirs are going crazy! My mom gave me 5 more today; more cucumber salad, yay! We had gotten a big bag of local peaches at the farmer's market Saturday, so for dessert we had whipped cream and sauteed peaches in butter and brown sugar with a little cinnamon (and a dash of scotch thrown in for the adults). So yum.

After dinner Daddy and the big kids played games while I kept M busy with a basketful of rocks. We love these big smooth rocks from Michigan and keep them on her level to put in a out of the basket to her heart's content. We probably did it for 15 minutes and she kept putting them to her cheek and saying "cold".

Big kids have been sleeping together at night since they don't have to get up early for school and they are currently talking and laughing in bed. So sweet. Baby Girl went down easy after her non-nap and now it's time to read and watch a little HBO on the iPad. 

See, pretty perfect Monday. 


Summer's in full swing around here. With the first week (and annoying transition/adjustment time of siblings being together constantly) under our belts, I think we're ready to dive in to summer. This week is a bit of the crazy with 3 swim meets (2 rescheduled from storms already), a baseball team party, and VBS, but we're taking it one hour at a time and trying to relax where possible.
Here are the end of Kinder and 2nd grade pics, the differences from the first day of school being mainly longer legs and shorter hair. Ok, we're off to the pool because we just can't seem to stay away!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Good Stuff

We've had some fabulously fun weekends around here lately. Full of family fun and early summer adventure. Last weekend I was fed up seeing everyone else's beach photos on facebook and feeling the NEED for the salt in my hair and sand in my toes, so we took a surprise day trip to the closest beach. We settled on Folly Beach which is hip and old-school all at the same time. I can't wait to go back. The kids were so excited to go on this little adventure and were so good in the car that they didn't even mind the extra 1.5 hours it took to get there due to Memorial Day traffic. They made videos the whole way there and slept the whole way home. They were in the water 93% of the time we were there (which was much warmer than I was expecting) and ate every single snack we brought. 

For dinner we went to a place called Surf Bar that I read good reviews of. Kind of an open-air dive but in a good way with surfboards lining the ceiling and dogs roaming the porch for scraps. They had great burgers and perhaps the best and most unusual cocktail I've ever had called The Painkiller. I have no idea what was in it or how to make it but it was creamy and slightly sweet but also savory and it had nutmeg on top! Yum.

Having the pool open on the weekend just automatically makes the weekends more fun. Usually Sunday afternoons means family rest time but while Daddy and M slept, I took the big kids to the pool. Now that they can both swim independently and well, this means I actually got to relax at the pool! 

I think it's a new Sunday afternoon ritual! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Alone Time

My parents offered to take Ms. Cutie-pie today so I could have some free-time before summer break hits. I have so far been enjoying gardening, catching up on e-mails and making coffee. I keep feeling like I'm forgetting something though. I'm off to shoe shop (not for me though, boo!), get lunch, and maybe a pedicure or a nap. :) Time is running out quickly though so I'm off.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Photography of late

I've been trying to advance my skills as a photographer, learning about light and aperture and white balance and shutter speed and focal point. It's fun and just when I think I've figured something out, I realize I still have so much to learn.
Here are some favorites from the last few weeks in a variety of lighting, actions, and settings.