Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Perfectly Dreamy Saturday Night

Oh, Saturday night... you did me right.
If I could pick just a few of my favorite LITTLE things in life that just make me really HAPPY,  I 
Would include pretty much everything from the Hot Air Balloon Festival this weekend.
Honestly, the beautiful hot air balloons would be enough alone, but then there were the funnel cakes, lemon shake-ups and mini donuts.
The rides lit up at night, the Hot air balloons doing their light show at night.... all of it.
I'm pretty sure the cinnamon + sugar mini donuts are sent straight from heaven, by the way.

This night was so good and I'm glad it didn't disappoint because I had been looking 
Forward to it since we went last year.
Luckily I didn't have super high expectations though because when I do I am usually disappointed... which is just a silly thing we do to ourselves sometimes.

I considered riding the Tilt-A-Whirl for about a second before remembering I really
Didn't want to throw up my funnel cake- it was my supper and dessert.
This mama has developed herself a fairly weak stomach in my older age.
It's funny be cause I don't really enjoy the rides all that much but I love to see them.
And really  LOVE taking pictures of the rides and the carnival...  all of it.

The swings. AHHHH.... as if the swings aren't AWESOME enough...
The swings at night??
Seriously dreamy.
The sky was so pretty last night and a beautiful background for the balloon
and the rides both.
My kids loved the swings and even my boy who used to be really afraid of heights
rode the swings without hesitation and loved it.

I'm tucking these pictures and these memories away, thankful for a hot, sweet night
With my two favorite little people in the world.
There's really nothing better.

Hope you had a happy weekend.


Thursday, August 21, 2014

{ Thoughts On A Shattered World }

So I never really comment here on current events, politics, anything too controversial in the way of religion, my personal beliefs,
I just don't.
I do have strong opinions and beliefs and ideas, I just don't usually choose to share them here.
I do share them with my family and loved ones but that isn't normally what I choose to do in this space.

The last few weeks there has been so much in the news that has me shaking my head in disbelief, saddened and honestly
overwhelmed at society as a whole right now.
And people... and their thoughts + beliefs and comments... Wow.
Part of me wants to turn off the TV and look away from all social media and news right now and never, ever look back.
Like, ever.

I will leave the debating to the countless people that write so much better than I do, and are far smarter than I, who know their facts and have researched and have read article after article and watched and consumed and digested every little bit of news they can...
I can't do that.
I want to know and I want to understand... but I just can't do that.

Between Robin Williams and his battle with depression and anxiety, the beheading of an American journalist this week, from Syria
to Ferguson, Missouri.
Ferguson is about 2 hours from where we live so it feels personal.
Also, I am an American and a human and a mother... so it's all personal.
I am not here to give you my opinion or to convince you why I am on the "right side".
What I am here to say is that reading reactions and thoughts and words of others regarding all of these
issues/current events I just mentioned has me scared.
What is in store for our future and for our children's future?

As a mother and a woman who loves and supports and understands and cheer leads for other mothers,
I do not understand dismissing the pain and heartbreak of a mother of an eighteen year-old who was murdered.
Dismissing her grief and pain because of our personal opinions and beliefs on what is wrong and what is right.
A mother lost her child, like so many mothers do. Sadly.
Her pain is not different because what we believe about her child.
Or his actions.
Or what his future did or did not look like.

There are so many different issues here, so many layers.... I  am only addressing the fact that a mother lost her child and the reactions of so many people is truly appalling.
It scary, very scary.
I have read comments on social media that I cannot believe.
Many of them from friends and acquaintances.
Don't even get me started on how hateful people can be when hiding behind a screen... it's just
unbelievable to me.
Is this really how we feel about each other as humans?
So full of judgment and hate?
So lacking in empathy and understanding?
So unwilling to see things from the other side?

And if this is how things are and how people really are... what can I possibly do.
What difference do my thoughts and beliefs make?
How will things ever change?
This is what makes me want to bury my head in the sand so as to be oblivious to it all.
This all makes me feel so, so lost.

Thanks for listening to my jumbled, broken rambling tonight.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

It's Closing In....

My Birthday is Monday.
And although I like my Birthday, because who doesn't?... it also signals the beginning of the school year for us.
And more importantly, it means the end of Summer vacation.
This year we start school on my birthday.

As always, this Summer went by way too fast.
It was a weird Summer for sure- first, because it's the first Summer in years I have worked and second,
it has been an unseasonably cool Summer and for a good majority of it- just hasn't really felt like Summer.

While I can't say that I am ready for school to start and I can't say that I am absolutely not ready for it to start, either.
The school supplies have all been bought and I took the day off of work and the kids are definitely not dreading the beginning of another
year... But at the same time they don't seem as excited as usual for the start of a new year either.

I think that collectively we have this sort of "mehhh" feeling about all of it.

But like it or not, these strange, sometimes cool, often rainy and occasionally hot days of Summer vacation are coming to a close.
While it has felt beyond strange at times, it has also been bust and full, lazy and packed, fun and ordinary, typical and atypical--
all of it mixed up together.
I will most definitely miss that feeling of freedom and a different set of rules that Summer brings to our lives.

I have to admit, when I think about having a 2nd grader and a 4th grader,  my stomach drops a bit.
These years and days and Summers just don't slow down.


Have no fear, I will be back this week with my compulsory Back To School post along with everyone else whose children start back this week.

Happy weekend!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

St. Louis In Instagrams

Since I'll have more pictures from another little last minute Summer get-away to St.Louis next week, I thought of share
these from the end of July.  {I started this post back then...}


Last weekend we spent a very   H   O   T   and fun couple of days in St.Louis.
And when I say hot that doesn't even begin to describe the suffocating humidity, but even with that, it was so much fun.
Like sitting on a bench under a tree and having sweat run down you back all the way to your butt
kind of hot.
Yep, I said it. And yep, it happened.

Any little break from reality is always good as far as I am concerned though, even if it's only for a few days.
Weekend get-aways that are not too, too far from home are easy and not stressful and pretty much my favorite thing ever.

Just a few of my favorite things about this mini Road Trip... 

Stopping for donuts at Casey's on our way out of town
Little House On The Prairie marathons
Gas station snacks + candy
Looking for out of state license plates
Coffee for the road
Having actual uninterrupted conversations while the kids watch LHOTP with their headphones on


St. Louis in Instagrams.... 

The Missouri Botanical Gardens are beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
I want to go back for a day by myself, just me and my camera.
I think I could spend forever there if it wasn't 500*.

Beautifully amazing place. So cool. 
And the Lego sculptures were seriously one of the coolest things I have ever seen, like ever.
I need to do a separate post on that soon though.
I am definitely a Lego mom, but even if you aren't?
Amazing stuff.


Exploring the city....

Oh, St. Louis... I do love you.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Screaming Summer

This right here is Summer to me. 
Funnel cakes and lemon shake-ups, the rides and the colors.
The lights at night, the slides at the Carnival, figuring out how to use your tickets... 

Slow down Summer, we are not quite ready to see you go yet... 
We still have quite a bit to do!


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

{Virtual Coffee}

Good morning.
Happy, happy Tuesday to you.

It's Tuesday morning and nothing like a cool, random Tuesday morning to wake up and have coffee before everyone else gets up.
I said cool.... I did, like 60* cool.
In July.
Weirdest weather ever for July in Illinois.
They are actually saying that we are experiencing the coolest July in recorded history this Summer.
It's super bizarre and just doesn't seem right... I mean, don't get me wrong, these 75* days are beautiful but we really REALLY
want more swimming weather.

So grab yourself a cup of coffee and get comfy and let's talk all things   S U M M E R, because even
if it feels more Fall-like around here, it is Summer after all.
And seeing that we only have 3 weeks left of Summer vacation as of yesterday, we are squeezing every last bit of Summer
out of everything that we can.

Yesterday I ran into Walgreen's and found a clearance section of Summer/pool things marked 70% off!
I stocked up on chalk, goggles, diving toys and mask & snorkel sets.
I was so excited when I snatched up the mask & snorkel sets for 1.99 because it will be nice once the kids promptly lose/break
them knowing that I didn't pay much at all for them. Right?
So when I got home from work the kids didn't seem to care at all that it was in the mid-70's and breezy, they jumped right
in and gave those new masks a work out!

Don't you remember when you were a kid swimming no matter how cold the water was?
I do, I remember my lips turning blue and teeth chattering and still telling my mom I wasn't cold.
Those were the days....

To be honest, because I am working part-time now,  I am feeling like Summer has gone even faster than usual
and that there are still so many things we wanted to do that I know aren't going
to happen now.
Nothing too unrealistic really, but there are only so many hours in the day.
We have knocked plenty of things off of our list though and I off of my personal list as well.
Because yes, moms have lists, too and there are things I want to do, start, accomplish as well....
It's not all about the kids and their lists, y'all.

Saturday morning Charlotte and my mom and I went to the Farmer's Market and I was reminded why
I need to go every Saturday morning... for the  f  l  o  w  e  r  s   if nothing else.
Because really, huge sunflowers for $1 each?
Yes, please!
And this sweet little bouquet of flowers for $4... and succulents for $2.
We also got peaches and herbs and tomatoes but the flowers... sigh.

If we were really meeting for coffee this morning you would have to tell me all about your Summer so far...
Trips? Activities? Camps? School?
This year since having a babysitter for a few days a week I have been wishing a little that I had signed the kids up for a couple
of day camps, or 1/2 day camps just to keep them busy-- but I didn't.

Well, my cup is just about empty and it's time for e to get ready for work... it's Tuesday so the
kids get to spend the day with their grandparents today... so thankful for that!
No worrying about them sitting in front of the Wii/ipod/tv all day today anyway... whew.


Hope you have a great day and thanks for stopping by here today.
Now if only I was having a real live coffee date this morning... that would be perfect.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Perfect Summer Saturday Night

There are so many reasons to love Summer and Summer nights specifically. 
Too many to list really. 
Here is one of my most   f  a  v  o  r  i  t  e   ways to spend a Saturday night in the Summer...

Twinkle lights
Prayer flags 
Candles- lots of them
Glass of wine

Not pictured might just be my laptop and Season 6 of The Gilmore Girls. 
Just maybe. 
I'm still hoping to be Lorelei Gilmore when I grow up...
I'm a little afraid I'm running out of time though. 
Little bit.
Doesn't it sound just lovely ?

Happy Weekend to you !


A Look Back: