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?

Spring Teaser + An Instant Mood Boost

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

I think it's pretty safe to say that the weather has a huge effect on all of us... I know for a fact it does on me and has for as long as I can remember.
Winters are rough(but I also don't think I would want to live where there was not a change in seasons, for the record) but the hardest part for me is the lack of sunlight.
I need the   s  u  n.  Like need it to stay sane and stable.
As wrong as it might be, during the frigid, dreary Winter moments I often fantasize about laying in a tanning bed. The light, the warmth of the fake sun.... Sigh.
Too bad it's not still 1991... So not fair.

I can tell a huge difference in my mood and energy when the sun hasn't shown itself for days and then on those super cloudy + dreary days, when the sun does break through the clouds, it's like
 an instant pick-me-up! I love it when that happens.

We were away over the weekend, just two hours South of here, and I think it got up to 60* on Saturday. SIXTY degrees. And since we just had temps around 10* within the last week, it seriously
felt more like an 80* Summer day. I cannot wait for temperatures in the 70-80's.
I didn'y say 90's just yet guys... I'm not crazy.

The kids walked around a park in short-sleeve shirts, they took their jackets off because
 they got warm playing... Spring really is around the corner, isn't it?
Just looking at these pictures makes me long for the sunnier, warmer days of Spring.

Now if only I could get used to this whole time change thing... Man.
I like this time change because of the extra hour of sunlight in the evening and obviously because
 it means Spring is in fact on it's way...
This is a tough one... that dumb hour really screws everything up, huh?


Does it feel like Spring yet where you are?
What are you looking most forward to this Spring?

It's Friday + I'm Excited About...

Friday, March 6, 2015

It's   F  R  I  D  A  Y   and we made it to the weekend, friends!
I'm so happy and the sun is shining and the day and the week went fast and I just plain love me some Friday!

Things I'm excited about...

+    It's still cold but super sunny today
+   Tomorrow it is supposed to be in the 50's.... FIFTY? You guys, that's 50* warmer than it has been some days lately. I.Can't.Wait.
+   The kids and I are getting away for the weekend starting tomorrow morning. Road Trip: two of my most favorite words ever. Like ever, ever.
+   The kids get to go to an indoor trampoline place tomorrow and they're so excited.
+    Charlotte has a drawing in a little art show this weekend and she's pretty proud of herself...
I'm excited and pretty darn proud of these kids and their creativity. It amazes me really.
+   Donut Shops. That's one of the things on our list for this weekend... to find a good donut shop. This mama is teaching these kids right... Or wrong? I'm going with right.
+   Hotel staying. Even when it's nothing fancy at all,  it's still fun... and not just for the kids.
+   Modern medicine. I hate it that my girl gets ear infections, but I'm super thankful that we have quick and easy access to a doctor's office and to medicine when needed.
+   Photo Booth apps. ^ That's what we did while we waited foreverrrr at the doctor's office this morning. Waiting is boring, fun photography apps are good.
+   Margaritas. I see a margarita in my near future.


What are you excited about/looking forward to this weekend?
I'll be back Monday with some snapshots from the weekend...I hope you have a great one + I hope the sun is shining where you are this weekend!

A Happy Monday, Indeed.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Today is a good day.
A sweet little baby girl was born to one of my most favorite people in the world today.
With a pretty much full week ahead of me, I am trying to figure out a way to get there(about an hour away) this week and I'm thinking it may call for a "sick day"....
Ahhh, time for some little baby girl shopping. Sigh. 

I drove by this house today and I think it's one of my very favorite houses.
It's not my usual kind of favorite houses.... But the yellow shutters get me every time.
They are just so  h  a  p  p  y.
And I think I might love it even more in the snow, maybe.

This is what we woke up to Saturday morning.
Over the weekend we got about 8 inches of snow... It was so pretty and so WHITE.
Really everything looks pretty when it's covered in snow, it was so thick on all of the tree branches.
We haven't had a lot of snow this Winter so the snow we have had I have actually enjoyed.
I would also be totally okay with it if that was our last big snow of the Winter.
But seriously, look how pretty it is.
I don't love Winter, it's most definitely my least favorite season, but I would be really sad if I didn't ever get to see snow or experience Winter.

Tonight I will be baking sourdough bread while listening to one of my favorite podcasts in the kitchen...
And then later maybe I'll have a glass of wine while I'm watching The Bachelor(hides her face in shame) after the kids go to bed...
I think I kinda love Mondays today.
Yep, it's a happy Monday indeed.


How was your day?
Your weekend?
Hope your week and month are off to a good start.