This Week Looked like...

Friday, April 17, 2015

This week looked like trees finally blooming and smelling of Spring
It looked like blue skies + sunshine
It looked like a cup of morning coffee on the front porch while the kids walk to school
It looked like after-school trips to the park
filled with
Roller skating, bike riding and walking on the bike trail

This week looked like playing with Stanley a lot in the backyard and open windows

This week looked like a really fun night at the Titanic Dinner(at my brother's restaurant)
with my mom, dad + sister

This week looked like coffee on the front porch kinda weather, like officially

This week looked like...
Playing baseball at the park and lots of games of catch in the backyard this week
This week also looked like both of the kids thinking maybe they wanted to really try to play baseball on a team this year and then realizing it's too late for that...
But there's always next year

This week looked like Frida Kahlo +  grocery store flowers

This week looked like swinging as high as he could...
It also looked like mommy still being needed for a little pushing still...
Which makes me really kinda happy

It was a good week and a beautiful week, too.
Hoping this awesome weather sticks around all weekend!

How was your week?
What are you up to this weekend? Hope it's a good one.


What Will They Remember?

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I wonder if you ever do this...?
Sometimes I wonder what my kids will remember most about their childhood, one day in the future when they are older, much older- adults or maybe even parents themselves.
When the time comes, I wonder how they would answer these questions;

"When I was a kid we used to __________"
"When I was I kid I loved it when we got to ____________"
"One of my favorite childhood memories is ______________"


You never know what they will remember most, what it will be... and I am pretty sure it won't be any of the the things I imagine it would be.
A couple of weeks ago we were watching a movie on a Friday night and we made chocolate milkshakes for the kids, in the fancy(or not so fancy, but not the regular old every day ones)glasses.
As I was getting the "fancy glasses" out of the china cabinet, I was reminded how my mom used to make us Coke floats on the weekends when we were kids and we used these certain glasses that we only ever used when we had Coke floats.
They were kept in a different cabinet than the usual dishes.
I still remember what they looked like and that the cabinet was one that slid open and it always kind of got caught and you had to close it and reopen it again before you could get your glass out.
My memory is not fantastic but I definitely remember that, it's a favorite for sure.

So you had better believe that the following Friday night while the kids were watching the original Karate Kid I made them Coke floats.
I said it was just like a Friday night in 1984.
And it may not ever be one of their favorite memories, even if I kinda hope it is, but it will always be one of my favorites as a mom.


Do you know how you would answer those questions? Could you answer right away or would you need to think about it?

Spring Break(But Not the Drunk, Wollering On The Beach Kind)

Thursday, April 2, 2015

It's Spring Break... and it actually feels like it, which isn't always the case here in the Midwest.
Not "feels like it" like we are going anywhere fun or "feels like it" might for
 college students wollering on the beach drunk for five days. 
Not that kind of "feels like it" and just for the record, both beach and beer  sound 
really, really good to me right about now but I am way too old for that mess. Way too old. 
And really, I never could do the whole day drinking thing anyway... I'll take my beer after 
5:00 pm thank you very much. Most days, most days.
This week the kids are on break from school and I have to work all week so I waited until this 
week to see what the weather was going to be like and then decided to take off Wednesday.
Luckily it was the nicest day so far and it ended up being in the mid-70's. It was definitely the
nicest, warmest day we have had since the Fall and it felt so good.
My day off with them yesterday consisted of a day trip to my parent's cabin...
Exploring the woods, air soft guns, ice cream, the playground, snacks and 
movies in the car on the way down... That was our day. 
I am so glad I grabbed my big camera on the way out the door because there was little 
signs of Spring all over the place down there and walking through the woods 
with my Nikon really is one of my most favorite things to do.
That's a little of what I saw walking through the woods and here's a bit of what we actually did,
via my iPhone. These kids of mine are always up for an adventure and are so easy-going
 and truly are just a lot of fun to hang out with. I think I am pretty darn lucky.
Oh, and Mater?
That was outside a junk shop on the way to see if one of my favorite little antique shops was open...
It wasn't... But Mater. He's always been my favorite from Cars. I loved this! 

So there ya have it... a little bit of our Spring Break... Not super exciting but good all the same.
And you'd better believe I'm opening a beer after I hit publish and make sure these children 
of mine are in bed. Hope you are having a great week or Spring Break, or maybe just an 
extra-long Easter weekend.

Happy almost-Friday! 

The Grateful Dead and Girl Scout Badges

Thursday, March 26, 2015

I had a moment the other day.
It was one of those strange moments where you can almost see yourself, sitting there doing what
you are doing, but from the outside.
I was sitting at the kitchen table listening to music on my little wireless speaker that plays music from my phone.
I was trying to sew patches on Charlotte's Brownie vest about thirty minutes before her Girl Scout meeting started. I was doing a pretty bad job of it, too. 
It's something I put off over and over- I do a pretty crappy job, I can never find needles, or the badges and mostly because I just know after I go through all the trouble to finally sew them on  I will find
out that I sewed them on in the wrong place. 
Because that's exactly the kind of thing I do. Like regularly. I'm that mom.

Charlotte was sitting at the kitchen table next to me writing a story that she kept hidden with her arm
so I couldn't read it.
I was sewing and listening to the variety(both good + bad) that Pandora was playing when a song came on, it was this song and I'm linking to it even though I'm sure no one else knows this song or probably cares, really.
But I love it and all of the sudden.... So MANY memories.
Me at 16 and 19 and 21 and 24.... and now.
I have so many tiny but vivid snippets of memories and sounds and smells and places tied to this song... to this band and to those years.
So many happy, carefree memories with good friends...
They all flashed through my mind in a matter of seconds, so many thoughts and feelings.

And then I looked back at Charlotte writing and down at the little Brownie vest I was(badly) sewing patches onto and it was a moment, a strange one.
A moment of then and now and how I am the mom now and where did that other person go, anyway?
The old me, the younger me.
Because if I'm honest, I wouldn't trade where I am now or go back to that time permanently for anything... but sometimes I miss that girl and sometimes I feel like I've lost her, some days she feels a life time away from me now.


I think in a matter of seconds I smiled, I felt like crying, I felt like dancing and I just wanted to freeze time right then and just enjoy doing exactly what I was doing.
And then Charlotte looked at me, covered her papers again to make sure I couldn't read anything
and I went right back to sewing with my crooked needle while trying not to look at the sink full of dirty dishes.
And the moment left just as quickly and unexpectedly as it came.

{Virtual Coffee} The "Come On Already, Spring!" Edition

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Good morning.
It's Tuesday morning again, how about some coffee?
Last Tuesday over coffee, I mentioned that I was on the couch under a blanket having coffee and I remember thinking, while I typed that, that I really hoped that by the next Tuesday(today) I would be out on the front porch having my morning coffee.
No such luck though as today is another dreary + cloudy day.
Maybe next week? Fingers crossed.

"So yeah, no nice + sunny Spring weather here this week although we did have some nice weather over the weekend. I think we are just all so over Winter and ready to be outside in the sunshine enjoying the weather and getting fresh air. It's near the end of March now... we are ready.

So if we were really having coffee this morning we would surely be chatting about what we did over the weekend, huh? How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?
We had a good weekend, it went too fast, just as every single weekend does, but good nonetheless.
Saturday morning I had to make a quick trip to the store for milk and toilet paper and I left with tulips for myself. Usually I buy myself the clearance bouquets but I decided I needed tulips this time, so I treated myself. I really wanted yellow but they didn't have any so I settled for pink.

It was just the kids and I this weekend and it was a full couple of days, we had a lot of fun.
Friday night we went bowling with my brother and my nieces, Saturday Charlotte had a new friend over to play and Saturday night Wyatt went to a birthday party sleepover.
Saturday night Charlotte and I snuck out in our pajamas to get ice cream and we took Stanley along for the ride with us and learned that he's really not the best car rider yet. Oh, Stanley.
Good thing that boy is so cute!

 {after we saw Cinderella}

Sunday afternoon Charlotte and I saw Cinderella.
Have you seen it? Do you have any desire to see it?
I liked it, we both liked it a lot and I think the original Cinderella has always been one of my favorite Disney movies since I was a child so I was curious how this new version would be.
I wasn't disappointed, Charlotte and I both liked it a lot.
More importantly than the movie itself, it was nice to go do something with just Charlotte and I...
If I'm honest I will tell you that sometimes in the back of my mind I think I had better do these things with the kids while I can because I am afraid one day I am going to wake up and they will be teenagers and want nothing to do with me(for a few years anyway)... Just like that.

Over coffee this morning I might just get a little deep on you about this whole motherhood thing.
It is exhausting. Mentally. I am always second guessing myself... 
And then in the next moment I believe I am doing ot just right... not perfect, but just right... 
The best I can.
Some days I worry over all of the little things- 
Why doesn't she ever seem to play with anyone at school?  Why isn't he 'getting' his math?
And the next moment I laugh it off knowing that she is good, she is awesome and her own person and she will be just fine. She is better than just fine. And so is he.
We bring all of our own insecurities into this parenting thing, even when we try not to.
Some days I want my kids right next to me forever and the next moment I want to get away from everyone and everything and think some thoughts all my own.
Please tell me that I am not alone... That this craziness of motherhood is universal.

My coffee is just about out and I think I have rambled on long enough....
I am thinking that today might require a second cup of coffee... this no sunshine thing is rough in the
mornings in a serious way.

Thanks for stopping by here today + thank you for listening to me this morning.
What is going on in your world today? This week?
Do you have a Spring Break coming up or have you already had it?
Somehow I just realized my kids are out of school all next week for Spring Break... Whoops.
I guess someobody hasn't been paying enough attention to the 1.5 million papers comingh home from school, huh?


Have a great Tuesday, friends.

{Virtual Coffee}

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

6:35 a.m.
It is still completely dark still at this time since Spring Forward happened...which is not my favorite thing ever, if you really wanna know.
Birds are singing though and that just makes it feel like Spring out there, even if I am under a big blanket drinking my early morning coffee on the couch.
I love that Spring just feels so close now.

Sometimes after a busy weekend, it's easy to feel, even a couple days into the week, like you are still trying to get caught up. That's exactly how I am feeling this morning.
Since I started working again, my struggle is always the same-- Feeling completely behind on everything at home AND not wanting to spend my entire weekend doing those things. Ha!
I know I need to start spending a little more time getting caught up on these things as well as some time on Sundays to do a little to prepare for the school/work week ahead.
I just need to make myself start doing it already, which is often easier said than done for me.

Do you use Sunday or the weekend in general to plan for the week ahead at all?

If we were really meeting for coffee this morning....
I would tell you that I got to see my three best girlfriends over the weekend.Two of them I have been friends with since junior high and the other since high school. That's a long time, huh?
The older I get the more I realize how absolutely important it is to have friends in your life that you can really and truly count on... and unfortunately, this doesn't always get easier the older you get, either.
My younger self would just die to learn of this... But i have to say that it's not as easy as I thought it would be by the time I hit 40, regarding many, many things and that includes friendships.
That being said, I am so thankful I have these friends that I have been through so much with.
I do wish that I got to meet up with these girls for coffee every week, it would be sooo awesome + 
the mini weekly therapy sessions would be so good for me. Sighhh.

Oh, you wanted a Stanley Update, did ya?
This past weekend was  b e a u t i f u l   and Stanley is loving this weather + being outside just as much as we are.
The kids have been really good about playing outside with him and taking him out, no matter how cold or how much snow we have... But it's just so nice now that we can leave the door open and he can go in and out when he wants.
Stanley is doing well and if we could just get him to sleep in one spot for the night and keep him from going from bedroom to bedroom waking us all up... That would be great.

Sunday we celebrated two of my niece's Birthdays, they spent lots of time outside, cake + ice cream,
The Wubble(having you seen those balloon/bubble things?) and lots of time to play with cousins.
Some days when I am so annoyed/over/tired of where we live, I remember that my kids live near their cousins and grandparents and family and nothing can ever replace all of these memories and the relationships they have...
That's what I will keep reminding myself.

This weekend I am thinking about taking Charlotte to see the new Cinderella movie.
Has anyone seen it? Thoughts?

Hope you all have a great day... Yesterday it was in the 70's and today it's just supposed to be in the 50's... But I'll take it! No snow, ice or freezing temps? 50 sounds just fine to me.
Tell me what's going on with you....what's new in your world?

Happy Tuesday!

Staying One Step ahead Of Mama Burn-Out

Thursday, March 12, 2015

This picture was taken last week when the kids and I were in St. Louis.
I am always on the lookout for these graffiti/art walls and the kids know how much I love them, so they are always quick to point them out to me when I am driving.
They are usually fairly cooperative when I do a u-turn and go back to take pictures and beg them to get in some of them for me, too. I said usually.

So this past weekend I realized something... it's kind of funny that it just hit me, but it did.
{But first- my PSA about taking time for yourself...}
Now if you have read here for very long you know I am a HUGE supporter + encourager 
of getting away from home by yourself- dinner, a movie, coffee, exercise, whatever. 
For a few hours, overnight, for a weekend... Whatever you can manage.
It's the recharge that I think everyone needs, everyone... 
But I'm talking specifically about moms here.

I know it's really easy to put yourself last and make sure that everyone else has everything they need and it is natural for us to be everything to everyone. It's also super easy to tell ourselves things like we don't care to do anything anyway and just generally talk ourselves out of it because
we actually feel guilty and feel that we are skipping out on our "jobs" when we get away...
"Things don't go as smoothly at bedtime/school mornings/homework, etc. when I'm not home...
my spouse can't do (blank) as well as I can, so it's better if I am at home..." etc.
At one time or another in motherhood we have all probably told ourselves these things, right?
But it's not true and I'm not buying it. And the amazing thing? Everyone survives at home just fine! And sometimes they have a lot more fun when mom isn't there(duh)... it's good all around for everyone, not just the mom. I promise. So I think you should be thinking about where you are going to get away to solo... and soon.

Back to my realization though...
This might sound completely contradictory to everything I just said, but I still mean
everything I said up there and I do make it a point to get away and I don't feel guilty for it.
I am a better mother for it and that is a fact.
So this past weekend I got away but it wasn't a solo or girlfriends get-away.
I realized that sometimes getting away with the kids is the best way to recharge, too.
With the kids... Yep, I said that- I know it's kind of opposite of what I just said.
 I have always loved doing short, spontaneous road trips with the kids, even if it is just
an hour away... But I don't often do them in the spirit of me "recharging" because sometimes it
feels like an oxymoron to say "recharging" and "with the kids" in the same sentence. Sometimes.
Those little get-aways are usually done for the experience, to break up the monotony of everyday work/school/home life + for us all to do something fun together...
But not for me personally to recharge, necessarily.

But this past weekend away, just the kids and I, was exactly that... a big, fat recharge for me.
It was just the timed I needed away, but with them. I realize this would not work for everyone, or have the same outcome, but with my kids being 8 and 10 and very easy-going, 
easy-to-please travelers, it was perfect. And it was a lot of fun.
There were no dishes, no dog messes, no laundry, nothing staring me down reminding me what 
all I should be doing. We weren't at home, there were lots of options for fun things to do
 and the weather was beautiful, the nicest yet this year. It was awesome. 

The kids got to go to an indoor trampoline park, to the Science center, a sculpture park... 
We went out for donuts + coffee in our pajamas Sunday morning and ate candy
 and watched movies in our hotel room at night. 
It was just the recharge I needed and just a whole lot of fun for the kids.


Are you able to recharge regularly and how do you do it?
What is your favorite way to recharge by yourself?