13 Of My Favorite Things{A List}

Monday, August 24, 2015

1. Mini cinnamon-sugar Fair-style donuts
2. Book stores-especially ones full of old, vintagey books
3. Sparklers(even in August)
4. Farmer's market flowers
5. Donuts made in my kitchen w/chocolate icing from a tub
6. New school shoes(Bonus points for high-tops)
7. New art supplies
8. This podcast. Oh, how I love Elizabeth Gilbert.
9. Driving through the country at sunset
10. Lemon shake-ups
11. This magazine. Absolutely beautiful photography and words.
12. Vanilla candles
13. Brick roads


I could go on and on... But I'll stop there for today.
I'm still here. Still no laptop. Still only iPhone pictures.
Oh how I miss my big camera(although it seems to be on the fritz as well. When it rains, it pours, huh?)
I feel like I am missing a little bit of myself as silly as that may sound. It's true.

Happy, Happy Monday friends.

Summer Weekend In The Midwest

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

This past weekend was everything I LOVE about the Midwest in Summer time(except the humidity, not that, it's never on my list).
It is probably what you would imagine a stereotypical summer in the Midwest in the country would be, and you'd probably be right.
There was a family reunion, fried chicken, homemade peach pie, lots of cousins(first, second, third), a barn, a pond, kittens, swimming, cornfields, a peach tree, a tractor parade... and the list goes on.
We had family visiting from Alabama so we got to reap the benefits of them being entertained by other family members and it was good.
I forgot what a peach tree smelled like in Summer and I am happy I was reminded over the weekend.
We picked a whole bag of peaches to take home and also ate them warm, right off the tree.
The kids swam in a pool surrounded by cornfields under blue skies and just a few puffy white clouds.
The adults sat and watched them swim and talked about family and passed down stories. Sometimes it doesn't matter how long it's been since you've seen family or if the kids have never met, there is definitely a natural connection there. That's a pretty cool thing.

This weekend will be on my list of favorite Summer memories I think.
Simple. Happy. Grateful.
Nothing spectacular, just a really good time with some of my favorite people.


A Working Mama and her Summer Guilt

Saturday, July 25, 2015

When you are not working(outside the home) Summer vacation is exciting and carefree and wide open and, let's be honest, often overwhelmingly long when you have kids home all Summer. 
I know that. 
But, when you are working and your kids are on Summer vacation it just goes way too fast, 
it's a little depressing and often guilt-filled, when you are the mom.
So last week I decided I was taking a day off of work and the kids and I were going to do something fun.  My idea of fun might have been laying in bed with a really good book all day and not getting out of my pajamas, but we really needed to get away from home and do something fun together.
Two things on our Summer List were to have a picnic at Allerton Park and go to the swimming pool where my sister lives and my niece works.
Luckily it was a hot, beautiful day and we got to wander around the park, have a picnic, pick up my nephew to go to the pool with us, swim for hours and then spend the night at my sister's.
For my kids, that is seriously like their DREAM day.
This park is beautiful, we love coming here, there is so much to see.
The sunken garden is one of my favorite spots and the kids find a million different things to climb on in there, naturally. Statues, flower gardens, koi fish pond, the mazes, the mansion... we definitely didn't see it all this time.
This was a really good day, the three of us had a lot of fun together and my mama guilt was eased, if only for a few days. Hey, I'll take it. 
I gave up on the illusion of the "perfect summer" and marking everything off of our Summer Lists a  long time ago... there are no perfect Summers or even perfect days and we always want the opposite situation from the one we are in. Or I do anyway... And I know I am not the only one.
If I am working I wish I wasn't, if I am home, the kids are driving me nuts and I am secretly dreaming of all of the jobs I could have that day...Usually jobs where arguing kids aren't allowed and I am not cleaning up anyone's mess but my own.

{Charlotte on the high dive, she said it was mortifying but she kept doing it anyway}
We don't get a lot of whole days like this and even if we did, all days are not like this, but man am I glad to have one every once in a while.
Watching them go off the high dive even when they are scared too, down the slide 50 times, hang out with their cousins, watching them being so nice and sweet and helpful to each other with no fighting and little threatening on my part. That is a damn good feeling.
Many days it's easy to feel like you are barely keeping it together, that you are surely ruining your kids. It's nice to have a day when you honestly feel like you aren't doing half bad and that yes, even though you are working and they aren't doing exactly what you wished they were doing every day...It's still okay.


On Wednesday I got to tell the mama guilt to kiss my ass... what a nice feeling.

Happy Weekend!

One Hundred Days Without Pop

Monday, July 20, 2015

I can't even BELIEVE I just typed that. 
I have actually gone 100 days without pop(you say soda, I say pop...), as of last Wednesday, which means now I am at about 105 days.
I am seriously in shock because there's no way I thought I could do that... Like ever... 
No seriously, like ever-ever.
I know it sounds silly or like no big deal to people who don't get it, if you don't drink pop, just substitute your drink of choice/whatever habit you think you can't break and look at it from that point of view. My first goal was to make it for one week and then I just kept making another goal from there...
One week, thirty days, 45 days, until the next holiday, etc. until I got to 100 days.
Before I got to 100 days I told myself that once I made it there I would let myself have a Dr.Pepper(my drink of choice) and then only have them on occasion after that. I still haven't had one though.
I'm not even going to lie though, I have fantasized regularly about diving head first into a giant pool of Dr. Pepper. Naked.
For me, it's not like the desire to drink pop has gone away, it really hasn't and I don't think it will really.
It has lessened and obviously I know now that I can do it, but it still SOUNDS good.
You know how people will stop drinking diet coke or whatever and then they will be like;
"I never even wanted another one and now it's been 3 years...." Gag.
Yeah.... No. That's not me.
So I already drank a good amount of water anyway and I have just started drinking a lot more now.
I also make Crystal Light Peach Mango Green Tea because water just gets old all the time.
My new favorite and the reason I think I can go a while longer without drinking pop, is because of this, above.
THIS is what I have been missing, the fizzy carbonation and now I have it again in these La Croix drinks, they are just sparkling water with natural flavors and carbonation. Yum. Perfect.

So yeah, I am pretty proud of myself.
Usually I think I am going to try something like this and I last a week... maybe a little more, maybe less.
I always say that I have no will power and that I can't stick to anything... Because I usually can't...
But I just did.
My goal here wasn't to stop drinking pop forever, but to cut way back and to cut it out completely for a while because I thought that was necessary for me to be able to start having it only on occasion or as more of a "treat".
Before this I was not drinking it daily, maybe every other day to every few days, and just one a day when I did.
Now I would feel okay with myself if I did have a Dr. Pepper, i really would, but I think I am just going to hold out until I feel like I can't any longer, and I am just not there quite yet.


Now I am thinking about what else I can do or not do for the next 100 days... I am thinking seriously on this. I have a little more confidence in myself than before now.
Have you cut out something or started doing something daily instead,  like this before?
Broke a tough habit or added a new healthier/better one?
I'm gonna think on this one...

Happy Monday to you!

Life Lately In Pictures

Friday, July 10, 2015

Hey there and Happy Friday!
This was a short work week for me as I was in Chicago on Monday but sometimes those weeks feel
the longest. And this one definitely did. Sunday I was in Chicago for the last Grateful Dead show and I will write a post about that next week when I have time to process it all....Oh, what a night. 

I am still without my Macbook so blogging is sporadic and all my pictures here are iPhone pictures. 
Booo. Since I have nowhere to upload my pictures I just haven't even been getting my Nikon out at all
and I really miss using my real camera.

Things have been too busy and weekends have been too full to figure out what I am doing with my laptop- also a part of that is straight up denial mixed with a little bit of fear.
There's a pretty good chance I lost everything on it and that it's going to cost an arm and a leg to fix.
Life as a grown up. Ughhhh. It kinda sucks really.

Life lately has been busy and full and RAINY. It literally seems to rain every single day, and I am not even kidding about that. This mama needs the sun and hot weather and to actually be able to get into the swimming pool.
It has been filled with; music, books, friends, rain, donuts, work, Minecraft(and more Minecraft...and then some more), road trips and cloudy gray skies.

We are all trying to hang in there and hope that the forecast for next week looks better than it has in the last few weeks. The thing about working is that I am able to feel less guilty when I get to do fun Summer-like things with the kids after work, like swimming and picnics and short road trips and water slides, and so on. This Fall-like weather is not helping my mama and it's it helping us mark anything off of our Summer List either.

Hope you all have a great weekend- and I hope it is not raining where you are!

THIS Is Summer

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

This is Summer when you are 8-years old.
Just roller skatin' around the 'hood in your bathing suit like it's no big deal. 
Because it's not when you are eight.
Stopping for a popsicle on the front porch, using the broom to help slow you down when
you're going down the hill, dodging your brother's Nerf gun bullets. 

Hope you're enjoying these Summer days, too.

A Little Bit Of Everything

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Good morning. 
So it's Thursday which means it is almost Friday, which means... The weekend is just around the corner. That is a good thing because it's just been a bit of a rainy, dreary + somewhat depressing week and going back to work after a week off is never easy anyway.
I am up early this morning and let me just say that I am doing pretty damn good with the whole being able to get myself up and out of bed lately.
When I do get up early, I have been trying to get up by 5:20ish and I have to say that I feel really good when I do. It starts my whole day off right.
My next step is to actually get up, get out of my pajamas and exercise a couple mornings a week.
I'll get there, but man...that one is tough. Oh how I do love staying in my pajamas in my quiet house while everyone else is asleep.
This week there are so many little things and big things running around in my head- just life things.
Important and not important things, but there's a lot there, swirling around.
This is the time when I know it is good for me to get some quiet time to myself, to get some perspective. Away.
I thought vacation would do it- But come on now, what was I thinking?
Vacation is good for many, many reasons but rest, quiet and relaxation would not be one of them, unless you went on vacation alone. Right?
Last night Wyatt and I went to see Jurassic World, just the two of us.
Let me just say that this is not something I would normally go see, I actually don't even think that I have ever seen the first Jurassic Park all the way through- or maybe I have only seen previews?
Anyway, I knew Wyatt wanted to see it and it was a great night, just the two of us.
And the movie?
It was pretty entertaining and since it wasn't my usual kind of movie to see, I probably liked it even more.
Afterwards I asked Wyatt to indulge me in a country drive because it was almost sunset and I was looking for some wildflowers and it was the perfect evening for it. He did.
I love having time with just one of the kids, it's just different. And good.
He indulged me for quite some time and then of course I ended up driving wayyy farther than I planned to and eventually he put on his headphones and watched some of The Lone Ranger and I drove in silence for a while.
This beautiful sunset we saw and all the bunnies at sunset and driving down roads with cornfields on both sides and whatever was blooming that smelled so sweet.... was just perfect. All of it.
Last week when we were driving through the mountains I was so happy to see something other than cornfields and soybean fields and just something different. It was refreshing.
BUT last night I was happy to be able to see wide open flat land whee you can see the entire sunrise and sunset....and the fields and all of the memories I have attached to cornfields in general.
Silly childhood memories that make me smile.
On the hard days you have to look for little pieces of beauty where you can find it...
Even if that means in the tie-dye, sunburst oil puddle in the parking lot of the thrift store.
Gotta do what ya gotta do, right?

And lastly, my pitcher of wildflowers from the night before, cut hurriedly from the sides of the country roads.
These make me just too happy. I love the wildflowers that grow along the roadsides and if I lived in the country I would cut some for the house(and myself) every single day.
Also- If I keep getting up so early I think I am going to have to start having a second cup of coffee some days, usually I only have one.
By the time the kids get up and I am getting ready for work a few hours have passed already since my first cup and I find myself wanting a second.

If you are still reading here, thanks for reading.
Some days I have a million things to say, some days nothing, many days there are things I would like to share but don't... And still more days when I wonder if I want to continue writing/sharing here or not at all anyway.
Enough of my rambling though....
Have a great day!