Friday’s Early Saturday Reflections 02.16.2018

I decided to write this post a day early because tomorrow is going to be busy with Shepard’s friend birthday party and prep work for his actual birthday and family party on Sunday.

So! It’s been a doozy of a week. Sometimes I think that the more I hope for and look forward to something, the more likely nothing is going to go my way. It’s definitely been that kind of a week and I’m so over it. I don’t handle disappointment well. Especially when it means I have to give up something I was really looking forward to doing for ME. Every day this week has just been one thing after another. Disappointment after disappointment and piles of frustration and stress. This was supposed to be such a good week! The ONE week everyone was supposed to be healthy and happy. So of course nothing went to plan.

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Sunday was good! We went to my parents’ house to celebrate my mom’s birthday. I had more Hudson time. 🙂 Need to soak up these visits before he’s mobile and wants nothing to do with being held!

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It was a very low key and relaxing day. The guys mostly played video games and the women talked. I was really tired and just weary. Which was maybe an early indicator that I had an ear infection, I just didn’t really realize it until three days later. 😛

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We gave everyone a little Valentine gift. Hudson got some Packer footballs which he very much enjoyed sucking on!

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Caden did some more yoga with Hudson.

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We had a delicious meal of grilled steak and chicken, baked potatoes, veggies, and spinach dip. My mom’s favorite Market Street Diner cake and a variety of ice cream for dessert.

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One last selfie before we headed home.

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I don’t think I did much the rest of the night. It was day three of having zero motivation for anything. Shepard wanted to have a selfie with me, so we were trying to get in a good position and Annie can running over to join in.

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My cutie. 🙂

Monday morning began with massive amounts of arguing with Shepard who insisted he wasn’t going to school. Mondays have been pretty tough in general for them this last month or two. But it’s usually Caden putting up a bigger fight. I finally got it out of him right before we left that his tooth was really loose and he didn’t want to lose it at school. This was only his second loose tooth and he didn’t handle losing the first one well. Most kids are really excited about it and having the Tooth Fairy come. Shepard was devastated and then threw up after he lost his first tooth a few months ago.

Alas, we got to school. And then I had a coffee date with my friend Laura. It was so good to catch up! I hope we make it a more regular thing. As I’m always lamenting, keeping up with adult friendships is SO HARD. But also SO worth the effort. I need to try harder with a lot of people.

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I spent Monday afternoon cleaning our bedroom. It’s part of a little project I’ve been doing this month – finding ways to show myself more love and respect. It’s been a really long time since I’ve gone through the closet and cleared out my makeup and jewelry areas.

On a whim, I decided to run all my grocery errands on Monday night. Which was very fortuitous of me because I ended up being stuck at home with sick kids on Tuesday and Wednesday! I was DEAD tired by the end of all the stores I needed to run to, but it was worth it to get it out of the way.

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One of my stops – just for my own pleasure – was Barnes and Noble. I still had a gift card from Christmas and wanted to get it spent! Even though it just about killed me to pay twice the price of what it was on amazon, I bought my own copy of The Hating Game (it’s so good!!!), and the other two were bargain books that looked good. I read How Not to Fall this week – not terrible, but not really my kind of book.

Tuesday I was planning to take Annie to a new dog park and then get a lot of sewing done. I actually thought I’d be able to get some dolls made this week after all. HA! Instead, Shepard was sick. I’m not really sure what he had – it was just some sort of 24 hour stomach bug. Greg thought it might have been loose tooth related. He never had a fever. All I know is that every time I started trying to work on something he’d throw up again. He was in a nightmarish mood all morning and then he slept all afternoon. So the upside is that it’s the only day all week I actually got to have a nap too. And it felt more restorative because Caden had instructions to just come home on his own after school and I didn’t have to have that deadline weighing in my subconscious.

We were supposed to have an at home date night, but of course Shepard ended up needing to stay with us. So much for a romantic evening together! It was fine, just another disappointment. Marriage has felt really hard lately and I was looking forward to some time alone. Maybe next week.

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Wednesday was Valentine’s Day and a scheduled late start. My original plan for the day was to spend the afternoon pampering myself with a face mask, bath, lots of reading time, a nap, and zero guilt about anything. I was REALLY looking forward to it. So of course the day was extremely chaotic and stressful. I planned on making donuts for breakfast, but felt that would be pretty mean to Shepard when he couldn’t eat them. Instead I made a Dutch Baby because Caden and I are the only ones that like them – and we love them! And they’re easy.

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Shepard had crackers. I held my ground on Tuesday with him just needing to read or sleep while he was sick. But Wednesday when he was feeling better – but still couldn’t go to school because of the 24 hour rule – I was resigned to letting him just play games or do whatever. My brother was apparently off work that day because all morning the three of them were connected playing Minecraft together.

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Annie had her first grooming appointment at 8:00 Wednesday. So even though school started later, I had to run out with her. I didn’t know how long it was going to take, so I hadn’t showered yet, still hoping to make the most of a relaxing afternoon. I kept waiting and waiting for the phone call. I took Caden to school at 10 and he felt “perfect!” Annie was finally done at noon, and by that point I was stressed and exhausted. She looked like a brand new dog! They cut off all the scruffy hair on her ears, neck, legs, feet, butt area, and tail. I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw her. I think she was mildly traumatized by the whole thing and spent the rest of the day sleeping.

So I FINALLY got to take a shower at 12:30 and was ready to snuggle in with a book. But two minutes after I got out of the shower I got a phone call from school saying Caden’s been laying in the office for 45 minutes and says he’s too sick to go back to class, so will I come get him. Of course I ran over there – in half pajamas with soaking wet hair. He said his tummy hurt. We got home and he immediately started excitedly talking to Shepard about what he and Uncle Timmy have been doing in Minecraft while he was gone. He proceeded to spend the entire afternoon running around the house, doing flips across the furniture, screaming at me about playing games, and was so clearly NOT SICK. He faked it! To come back home and play more Minecraft! I was furious!!! I’ve written before about how rarely I believe him when he’s sick because this is my proof that he basically never is! Lying at school to come back home is a whole new level. ARGH!

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So anyway. I thought I could force everyone to take a nap, but they kept sneaking into each other’s rooms and coming into mine to throw their tablets in my face for the password. Naps did not happen for anyone. I was pretty much at my wit’s end by the time Greg got home from work.

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This doesn’t look even remotely pretty, but I tried to still put a festive meal together despite it all. Greg and I had heart shaped ravioli, Caden had heart shaped pasta, Shepard had some pancakes brought over by Grandma the night before, and I made garlic bread, cheesy garlic bread (both because Caden won’t eat cheese), strawberries, and sparkling juice.

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I attempted lava cakes for a fancy dessert. They were so much lighter in color than the blog recipe, so I’m not sure I did it right. I also think they were a little too lava-y. But they tasted okay.

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Annie got some ice cream for a treat.

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After dinner I gave everyone their Valentine’s. I gave Greg some dark chocolate hot cocoa k-cups (which was another huge ordeal because amazon sent me the wrong thing and it was a whole other headache I dealt with on Tuesday) and a bag of dark chocolate candies. The boys each got a few books and candy. I gave Caden a baked potato bag because potatoes are his new favorite snack. The cats got a self heating mat and Annie got a big ball and some treats.

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Greg gave me a wallet. I’ve been wanting one for awhile. I kept buying prettier ones and they can never fit all my stuff. So I’m sticking with the same boring looking brand, yet super functional style that I already have.

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Jack loved the mat! Rory was on it all day yesterday, so he approves too.

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Kitchen clean up selfie. We almost survived the day. You know, Shepard has been sick almost every single Valentine’s Day he’s been alive. The one year he wasn’t sick was the year I spent half the day in the ER getting a cyst removed. We’re just doomed to have terrible Valentine’s Days every year!

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The rest of the night was pretty uneventful. The boys had baths. I read. Shepard and I messed around with camera filters. Greg and I watched an episode of Breaking Bad. I went to bed at like 8:30.

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I didn’t want to get too hopeful ahead of time, but Thursday went back to normal. FINALLY. Shepard lost his tooth at breakfast. I was a little worried he’d lose it at school and then throw up, so at least we got it taken care of at home! (He didn’t throw up, just fyi.) Since both boys missed their Valentine parties, they brought in their treats.

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By Wednesday night I was pretty certain I had an ear infection. I had one two months ago so I’m pretty familiar with the symptoms by now. 🙁 So I spent the early morning trying to find a place to fit me in for an appointment. Why does it have to be so hard to make a doctor’s appointment?! Our clinic doesn’t even open until 1pm half the days of the week now. So frustrating. I ended up getting an afternoon appointment in Beaver Dam. But I was pretty determined to spend the morning doing something FOR ME. I think I might have lost my mind if I hadn’t. So! Annie and I went to Sun Prairie to check out another new dog park.

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I ran a few quick errands while I was in Madison and then picked up a Chipotle bowl to bring home and eat. While I was getting my drink I knocked the bag to the floor and my salsa spilled everywhere. NOOOOOOOO. Chipotle salsa is basically my favorite food in the world. So yes, I scraped it up off the floor with a spoon and still ate it. No judging. It was MY floor, at least.

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At this point I only had 20 minutes before I needed to leave for the doctor, so I had to rush through my delicious lunch. But delicious it was! If there was a Chipotle in Columbus it would be really hard to restrain myself from eating there like every day. 🙂

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Oh, I also had a surprise Valentine gift from Laura on my porch when I got home! So that made me happy. 🙂 Thursday wasn’t all bad!

The doctor was pretty quick. Surprise, surprise, I have an ear infection. Again. Considering the entire left half of my face and throat are just throbbing in pain, I was pretty sure! So she called in the prescription and then I waited FIVE HOURS for it to be filled. I got the email it was ready and saw it was three times more expensive than the last drops I had (and ear drops are expensive!). So I called the pharmacy and explained how the doctor thought this would be cheaper and because it’s not, she’ll need to call the doctor back for a different prescription because I’m not paying that much. At this point it was 6:45 and the pharmacist says well, nobody will probably be there, do you really need them tonight? And I snapped back that YEAH, I do need them, I’ve been waiting five and a half hours for them, so tonight would be really nice. I was NOT happy. And she wasn’t too happy with my response. Anyway, twenty minutes before the pharmacy closed they called me back to say they got a new prescription and it was ready. Greg fortunately ran out to get it for me. Unfortunately, I also asked him to buy eggs so I could make cakes today, and he forgot. One track mind, men.

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In the meantime, Caden was throwing fits, like most nights. There’s always something. (We’re a lot alike…) So he was in his room reading. Greg and Shepard went to Science Night at school. And I was working on Shepard’s birthday treat for his class. I made two batches of mega cookies. Exactly the same recipe, exactly the same amount of measured dough in each ball. And they turned out looking completely different. I didn’t have any more sprinkles to make a third batch, so I just packed them up and wrote an apology note to the teacher in case the total difference in appearance caused some fights between kids…

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After Science Night, Shepard put together the treat bags for his party. So literally one thing is ready for the party.

And that’s basically been my week. If you made it through this entire long story of me venting and whining, you must really care about me! (lol) I realize this is not a positive post, at all. I was just SO excited about this week. And it seemed like literally everything that could go wrong did. From big things like Shepard being sick to small things like dropping my hot salsa on the floor. I think I burst into tears about at least something every single day this week. My neck and back still hurt almost three weeks later from that stupid puppy chow and now because of my ear infection. I feel like crap and there’s still so much to do and all the amazing down time I was going to give myself this week didn’t work out. I was doing this Self Love Experience to Be My Own Valentine and then all these other things beyond my control kept popping up and ruining my plans. It’s frustrating. I’m so tired. I’m so sick of winter. I need a massage.

Anyway. Friday today! I’m working on getting the house ready for Shepard’s birthday parties. We’re going very simple with food, so I really just need to make cakes. Though I need to get dressed to go buy eggs first… And I desperately need a nap and more ibuprofen. But we will survive! Shepard is pretty easy to please and I think he’ll be super happy just to have friends around tomorrow. I don’t need to kill myself trying to make everything perfect. It’s been a hard week and the shape of my house might reflect that. But I’m determined to give my almost 7 year old the best birthday weekend he can have. And next week MAYBE I can get back to my own agenda and actually have it work out!

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Sunday Intentions 02.11.2018

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The biggest week of our family’s winter is here! Hopefully I’m ready for it. Well, I can tell you at the moment that I’m definitely not. But by the end of the day I plan to be!

In about an hour we’re heading over to my parents’ house to celebrate my mom’s birthday. It should be fun! And filled with delicious food, like always.

Tomorrow I’m meeting a friend for coffee in the morning. I’m really looking forward to catching up!

Tuesday is errand day. So I need to have a very thorough plan and list of things I’ll need for the rest of the week. Hopefully I can accomplish that later this afternoon, but by tomorrow for sure.

Wednesday is Valentine’s Day! Hooray! I love little holidays. Basically any reason to celebrate something and hand out little gifts is pretty much the best day ever. The boys have a late start, so I’m planning to make a fun and festive breakfast. Though I also made Annie a grooming appointment for that morning because it was the first available opening when I called over a week ago. It’s her first official grooming. I thought I could get away without it, but she just keeps getting too many mats in her hair and they’re too close to her skin for me to fully cut out. So I guess she’s officially a dog that needs to be professionally groomed.

Once the boys are off to school I’m planning to just pamper myself the rest of the day. Read, take a nap, watch tv, basically whatever sounds good at the time. No to do list, no errands, no guilt. Actually, I’ll probably be spending it writing a blog post of something I’ve been focusing on the last few weeks.

Valentine dinner will be simple – Costco heart shaped ravioli for Greg and I and heart shaped pasta for the boys. I’m thinking I might do lava cakes for dessert.

Thursday and Friday I’ll be cleaning the house and getting ready for Shepard’s birthday parties. Thursday night is Science Night at school, whatever that entails. I might skip it to work on whatever Shepard decides he wants for his school birthday treat.

Saturday is when all the festivities begin! There’s a Lego Showcase at the library in the morning, where kids can bring in their best creations and show them off. Shepard seems excited about it, though he hasn’t started creating anything yet. I’m kind of hoping they decide to do it so Greg can keep them out of the house while I do last minute party set up. Shepard has his friend birthday party Saturday afternoon. It’s turned into a bit of an ordeal because another kid in his class is having a birthday party at the same time and invited all the same kids. I know at least one kid is cutting out halfway through Shepard’s party so he can attend both. I hope they’re not all planning that… It’s only a two hour party. I thought about changing the time, but…I planned his party first. Weeks ago. So we’re sticking with it.

And Sunday is Shepard’s 7th birthday! We’re celebrating with family on that day for a lunch party with a very eclectic mix of foods. And the rest of the day – whatever Shepard wants to do. I’m guessing it’ll be a lot of video games!

Top Priority – Stay Organized, Stay Calm, Stay on Top of Everything

Basically it’s a week of prep work to get ready for big events. I just want to keep on task so I’m not losing my mind with stress at any point this week! I need to remember to make a nice Valentine breakfast on Tuesday night, make Shepard’s school treat on Thursday night, make cakes and food on Friday and Saturday nights. I don’t even know what I’m serving or what I’m decorating with for either party really, so that’s what I need to plan out today. At least Valentine’s Day is a little easier, but I need to figure out my dessert plan and make sure I have the ingredients for that too.

Second Priority – Be My Own Valentine

I signed up for this Be Your Own Valentine Self Love Experience that starts tomorrow morning. I really have no idea what it will entail, but I want to make time each of the five days to do whatever it asks of me. I saw that there will be daily journal prompts, so I definitely want to make time to do those. I’ve really been trying to focus on self love and self care this whole month, so I’m excited to see if I feel any different about myself after this week long experiment.

Third Priority – Mayyyyyyybe Get Back to Work

I really slacked off this past week. I mean, I was doing other things. And I was lazy (refer to yesterday’s post!). So even though there’s twice as much going on this week, IF I can find any spare time at all, I’d really like to at least start some St. Patrick’s Day dolls. No pressure to finish, I just want to start them. When I have a project already in the works it’s so much easier to work on it off and on whenever I have a few spare minutes. If I have to start brand new, it’s so much harder to just sit down and do it.

Meal Plan

Monday – Spinach Salad with Leftover Grilled Chicken

Tuesday – Something Easy from My Freezers (Both of our freezers are completely full to the brim. I thought I was being so smart buying a lot of easy meals, but now I literally have no room for anything else. So I need to clean out a bit.)

Wednesday – Valentine Pastas, Garlic Bread, Lava Cakes

Thursday – Crock Pot Meal? Fast Food before Science Night?

Friday – Pizza…probably. Though I might also save it for Shepard’s birthday dinner.

Have a great week, everyone! Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Saturday Reflections 02.10.2018

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Happy Saturday! I almost forgot about writing today because I’ve been so enthralled with a delicious book. I started it around 10 last night and read until 12:30 – which is a feat in itself! Then I got up at 5 and did nothing but read until it was done (correction – I did spread nutella on bread so my children could eat and I took Annie outside, once). I’ve really been shirking my responsibilities, and I need to make up for it tonight. But – worth it.

It’s been a pretty up and down week. I did a lot of fun and happy things. But I also had an argument with Greg that have led us to almost a week of our typical style of silent ignoring each other fighting. I won’t get into it, but it’s been a pretty rough week emotionally. Which in turn puts a damper on any fun activities. Marriage is hard, guys.

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Anyway! Last Sunday we had our Hudson sleepover. The boys were SO excited to have him come visit! Annie was fascinated by him. It was hilarious watching her because she really didn’t seem to know what to think about him. She was a little jealous, a little nervous, and a little excited occasionally thinking he might be there to play with her. He was pretty amazed by her too and grabbed at her face every time she got close. Fortunately she’s extremely tolerant of kids touching her and climbing all over her, all the time.

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Hudson is seven months old now and at such a fun age! He’s so observant of everything around him.

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We were instructed to try and give him some baby food, which was pretty entertaining! He really just wanted to play with the spoon.

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Brittany (his mom) said his favorite thing to do is lay on the floor playing with his bare feet, so we had to have a round of that after every diaper change. Caden liked doing happy baby yoga pose with him.

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The whole babysitting thing went super well except for afternoon nap time! Then we had two hours of screaming and definitely not wanting to sleep. Of course that was the time Greg decided to take the boys to his parent’s house for a Super Bowl party. So Annie and I did our best to keep Hudson happy.

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Naptime stories. He really loves books!

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Tummy time! (Outfit change after diaper blow out.)

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So proud of himself for not staying on his tummy. 🙂

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Annie feeling very needy.

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Cousins back from their party in time to hang out and read some more books.

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I was in the kitchen getting his bottle or something while they changed him. It was hilarious listening to the boys try and figure out how to lay out the pajamas to get him in them.

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The night went very smoothly! We were a little nervous about having a baby overnight, but it was easy peasy. We set the pack and play up in Shepard’s room and Shepard went to bed first, so Hudson didn’t even know he was in there. He fell asleep so quickly and easily and was only up once in the night. I just fed him on the floor next to the bed, put him back in, and he fell asleep. AMAZING. Putting my own kids back to bed as babies was never, ever so easy. Not even once.

Shepard was the first one up (besides Hudson and I) and so excited to feed him his bottle.

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There was no school on Monday and because it snowed so much, Greg decided to work from home. Then my mom came over to spend a little more time with Hudson and go to lunch with us.

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Giving Hudson some goodbye cuddles. It was really fun! Hudson is a pretty easy going baby. The boys loved helping take care of him too. Around lunchtime we drove to Sun Prairie to hand him off to his other grandparents for his third night of sleepovers (first night was with my parents). Then we had lunch at Wendy’s and stopped at Market Street Diner for some nice desserts to take home and eat. We usually go to Ponderosa on this annual Monday around my mom’s birthday that we don’t have school, so this was our compromise since we had to drive in the opposite direction with Hudson.

Monday night the boys had conferences at school. Caden’s is student led so we don’t talk to the teacher at all. It just seems odd. He was in a pretty cranky and weird mood, so very slowly and in weird voices went through everything he had to show us. Shepard’s was also student led, but with the teacher still very involved. Sounds like they’re both doing very well!

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On Tuesday morning I finished up my last batch of Valentine dolls. I think it was too late because I’ve only sold two of the six. That was the last time I worked this week. So many things going on! (And so many good books to read!) I’m basically giving up all hope of working next week too with even more things to get ready for. But I’ll be back with a vengeance the following week. I think I’m going to have to give up my no nights and weekends rule for awhile. It’s the only way I’ll catch up.

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On Tuesday I also got my haircut! I’m so terrible at making hair appointments. They usually happen twice a year after I get desperate. I tried to make an appointment in early January, but they changed the system so I have to call the stylist directly. I’ve only seen this stylist once and felt pretty weird about calling her personal number. We played phone tag for a few days and I finally gave up. Finally last week I took a chance and TEXTED her. Anyway, it was good to get it done. 🙂

Wednesday was my big errand day. I was originally planning to take Annie with me and try out another new dog park, but it was so cold outside and I had too many places I had to go. I don’t feel super comfortable leaving her in the car unattended for more than like ten minutes max. I mean, this is a much bigger deal once it gets warmer out when I definitely wouldn’t leave her in a hot car. But I’m always paranoid someone will see her and report it or something.

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Thursday was my mom’s birthday and we had an awesome double date planned. We met up at The Brunch Club in Madison so she could have one of her favorite restaurant meals of creme brulee oatmeal.

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It was happy hour with $5 appetizers, so my dad got the cheesecurds and I had a fried chicken on a glazed donut with honey and sriracha for my meal, with a side of tater tots. Greg had the pancakes. My dad had a Reuben (not pictured). It was a good place to eat because it didn’t feel so loud and crowded and college kid infested the way every other downtown restaurant feels in Madison.

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The main event was seeing the show Gobsmacked at the Overture. We didn’t really know much about it except that it’s a British group that sings acapella, does beatboxing, and some dancing!

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The show was pretty good! I could have done without some of the bizarre theatrical elements, but the singing was good and the beatboxing was amazing! It was a great night! It’s fun (and very unusual) to do something just as adults with our parents. I feel like it’s something we never had much opportunity to do since we had kids so early. Anyway, Greg’s parents were back at our house taking care of the boys and Annie, which was so helpful!

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I was feeling SO unmotivated on Friday. I was tired and cold and my stupid neck and shoulder and back still hurt so much. Dumb puppy chow! Greg worked at home like always and we had the furnace guy come to inspect and clean out both furnaces, which took about three hours. Fortunately, no extra repairs needed! I was pretty lazy all day and didn’t really get anything at all done. Sometimes I think Greg thinks I just live this life of leisure, which is usually so far from the truth when I’m falling into bed at night completely overwhelmed and exhausted by everything I’ve done and dealt with that day. But from all he’s seen yesterday and today, I guess sometimes I occasionally can be pretty lazy. 😛 Though I’m choosing to see it as taking care of myself before next week when I most definitely will be running around like a crazy person trying to take care of Valentine’s Day and all of Shepard’s birthday activities.

Unfortunately, my friend margarita night was cancelled on Friday night due to a kid flu. Obviously I get it, but I was so looking forward to hanging out with my friends. And it sounds like we won’t be able to reschedule for another entire month. I hate how hard adult friendships are. I miss connecting with people so much. I feel like I’m alone like 90% of my life. Especially on weeks that Greg and I aren’t talking much. I just wish it wasn’t so hard.

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Anyway. I did have a lot of random conversations at the dog park this week. I’m usually a loner at the dog park too because I’m in a much younger age demographic than the majority of the dog park goers and never really know what to say to anyone. I believe it was Tuesday afternoon, I ran into a guy and his golden retriever that I’ve only encountered once before, last summer. And it was just as terrible as the first time our dogs met. It’s like this guy has never seen dogs play wrestle before and simply can’t fathom that it’s possible for a dog to enjoy it. His dog WANTS TO PLAY, but he totally freaks out and physically does everything possible to get Annie away from his dog. It’s just super frustrating because Annie ALWAYS leaves dogs alone that don’t want to play. His dog DOES. But he doesn’t get it. Anyway, my other two visits this week were much more cordial. I had a really nice conversation with a guy whose dog looks like she could be Annie’s sister. Their coloring is really different, but size, hair length, temperament, age, inconclusive history – all exactly the same. On Friday we met our first pure Australian Shepherd who also looked so much like Annie.

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And that’s been my week! Oh, the book I read – The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I put in a request with my facebook book club group for recommendations of swoon worthy books with a real love story component – not just mindless fluffy shallow “romance.” So many people recommended this that I immediately started reading it. It’s the PERFECT book to read around Valentine’s Day. I completely adored it.

Well, I better get back to work! We’re celebrating my mom’s birthday tomorrow and I still need to make some spinach dip and wrap a few gifts. Hope you had a good week!

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Sunday Intentions 02.04.2018

Today officially marks the beginning of our winter busy season! There’s a lot of really fun things coming up that I’m definitely excited about! I’ve pretty much given up all hope of being super productive work-wise. There’s just too  many other things going on. But that’s okay. I’ll make up for it at the end of the month and through March.

Any minute now, Hudson is being delivered for his first cousin sleepover! The boys are so pumped up about it. I’m just excited because we haven’t seen him since Christmas! That feels like forever. It should be a lot of fun!

Tomorrow we’re delivering Hudson to his other grandparents and then going out to lunch. The boys are off of school because of conferences. Their conferences aren’t until evening, so we have the day free.

Tuesday I’m getting a haircut! I haven’t had one since August. It’s actually the best long lasting haircut I’ve ever had, but I could really use a refresh. Making haircut appointments is one of my most hated tasks ever, which is why I always put it off so long.

Thursday is my mom’s birthday and we’re celebrating by going on a double date! We’re going to eat dinner at one of her favorite restaurants and then see the show Gobsmacked. I don’t know much about it, except that it’s supposed to be acapella and beatboxing, so it should probably be awesome. 🙂

Friday night I’m going to a margarita night with a few of my friends! Last year I had a big Valentine party for all my friends, similar to my Favorite Things party. This year I just couldn’t figure out how to fit that in, so I’m kind of viewing this as a mini Galentine’s Day party, whether they realize that or not – ha!

Saturday is a little up in the air. I keep getting facebook notifications for some sort of Valentine holiday market, so maybe I’ll check that out. We’ll see. It’s a busy week!

And Sunday we’re having a birthday celebration for my mom. It’s at their house, so I don’t have to do much, but it should be fun! And the following week is all about Valentine’s Day and Shepard’s birthday.

Anyway, I don’t have any real intentions for the week other than to just enjoy it all! I’m not putting any pressure on myself to get a ton of work hours in. I’m just about done with six final Valentine dolls, so I’ll probably finish those up on Tuesday morning and just do what I can the rest of the week. I need to get Valentines figured out for the boys’ classes and a few little things I’ve put together for family. I also really need to sit down and figure out all the details for Shepard’s birthday parties. And shop for party favors, decorations, etc. I always feel so on top of things for Caden’s parties and Shepard’s always sneak up on me. I’m not even sure I’ve gotten enough presents for him yet. It’s been a tough year trying to figure out what he even likes anymore.

I honestly don’t have any meal plans decided yet. I used up all my food making energies last week! We’ll probably just have sandwiches or something after conferences on Monday. And Thursday and Friday we/I will be gone. So I really only need two meals…. I’ll figure it out. 🙂

Have a good week!

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Saturday Reflections 02.03.2018

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It’s been a pretty boring and uneventful week. I feel like I’ve been all over the place mentally and haven’t really succeeded at much. I didn’t even finish any dolls this week. I did make some creative dinners. I ran errands. I did laundry. I made three batches of puppy chow. Two of those were with Milky Ways (no peanut butter) so Shepard could bring them to school for a treat. But stirring that big and extremely thick bowl of melted candy bars two days in a row managed to completely throw out my neck and shoulder. So I’ve spent the last three days alternating between ice packs and heating pads, attempting to sleep when laying on my side makes my neck so much worse, and basically just doing a whole lot of nothing.

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That Thai salad I made on Monday went over really well with Shepard. It’s funny to me how much he LOVES salad, yet puts up a gigantic fight about eating vegetables in any other circumstance. So I’m trying to incorporate them more into our meals, except that Caden – who normally eats almost anything – refuses to touch salad. It’s basically impossible to make four people happy at once in any given meal.

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The chicken wing experiment for our date night actually went well! It’s the first time I’ve ever made wings at home that I wasn’t too grossed out to actually eat. They got sufficiently baked through, were crunchy, and flavorful. I especially liked the avocado cream dip that went with them. Greg didn’t try the dip because he won’t eat dip. 😛 He doesn’t eat salad dressing either. When we first met he didn’t even eat salsa or bbq sauce or any type  of dipping sauce. What a weirdo.

If you’re keeping track, my attempt to turn that jalapeno onion chicken soup into a tasty chicken tortilla soup was a big fat fail. Everyone else ate it, but I took one bite and the flavor was still so strong and completely off putting. GROSS. And I didn’t get a chance to make the pizza pinwheels on Friday because that’s when my neck was at its absolute worst. Instead I had a breakdown in the kitchen because I could barely move and hurt so dang bad. Greg made me go lay down the rest of the night.

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It was another really chilly week. We went to the dog park for about 10 minutes each on Tuesday and Wednesday. Not really enough to satisfy Annie. She did get some play time this morning.

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Shepard was “Super Star” at school this week. They assign the weeks alphabetically by first name, so he’s been waiting a really long time. We spent a ridiculously long time last weekend picking out which 10 photos he would bring to share with the class. Then we made the puppy chow because he wanted to bring in a treat. And on Friday Greg and I went into the classroom and Greg read a book and then we had lunch with him. I do not envy those lunchroom helpers! Managing masses of rowdy children is NOT in my skill set! But Shepard was so happy to have us there (despite the weird facial expressions). He’s a pretty great kid.

I guess my highest achievement for the week was actually writing all the blog posts I set out to write. I’m contemplating challenging myself to write something every day of February. But like I mentioned a few days ago, February is INSANE. So that’s probably an unrealistic goal. But maybe I’ll try my best!

Oh yes, and on Wednesday, I finished my 30 straight days of yoga! I was really proud of myself for sticking with it, even though there were MANY days it was basically the last thing I felt like doing. I learned a lot about stretching my body in new ways that would really make me feel better on a daily basis. But it also solidified my opinion on how much I HATE doing poses like downward dog and planks and anything else that puts a ton of pressure on my wrists. I had a lot of wrist pain in January. I also started having sciatic nerve pain again. I haven’t had that since last fall when I was walking a lot more. So yoga both helped and hindered me physically. But I’m glad I did it! I was hoping to maybe do some indoor walking challenges this month, but the whole thrown out neck and shoulder thing has put me at a bit of a standstill.

One thing I’ve spent a lot of the week thinking about is self care and self love and working on a list of things I can do for myself this month. I think I’ll wait to share about it on Valentine’s Day. I also joined a facebook group that’s going to share a five day “Be Your Own Valentine” challenge the week of Valentine’s Day. I’m excited to see what that will entail, staring on the 12th.

Well, that was basically my week! I spent today trying to catch up on doll making and reading a large portion of a great psychological thriller. I’ve been up since 3:30, though, with no nap, and I’m about ready to drop!

I hope you had a good week!

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11 Things That Are Saving My Life Right Now

Today I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy and a bunch of other bloggers, sharing a list of things that are saving my life right now. Winter in Wisconsin is long, bitter cold, and pretty dreary. When I heard about this link up challenge earlier in the week I knew I definitely wanted to participate with my own list.

So in no particular order,  here are all the random little things that are saving my life right now!

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1. My Cozy Reading Corner

As you can tell from a huge portion of my instagram pictures, I’m obsessed with this beautiful space in my house. I selfishly created it entirely for myself. It’s the one nook of the house that is almost always clean and tidy. It’s welcoming, it’s comfortable, it’s decorated in my favorite colors with lots of candles and twinkle lights. It’s my favorite place to read and chill out when I need some self care.

2. My Space Heater

It’s been COLD this winter. And it costs a lot to truly heat an old house. And we were without a working furnace for two and a half days in subzero temps a few weeks ago. My space heater that I literally carry with me from room to room has been a lifesaver!

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3. Books

Books are the love of my life. 🙂 I love to actually read, obviously. But I also love to read ABOUT books. I love Tuesdays when I can check out all the newly released books. I love listening to podcasts about books. I love going to bookstores and just browsing through them. I love collecting the huge amount of book emails I get, saving them for a day when I know I need a break from life and can just hunt through each email, adding more and more books to my To Be Read lists. Books are the best.

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4. Annie

She’s about the best companion a girl could ask for! I love having her present with me all day long. It warms my heart when I realize she’s in the same room as me about 99% of the time. She’s not super needy, she’s not super cuddly, but she wants to be near me at all times and it makes me happy. It’s because of her that I also spend WAY more time outside and enjoying fresh air more than I ever have before.

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5. Nap Time

I’m only slightly ashamed to admit that I take a nap probably six out of seven days a week. To be fair, I usually wake up around 4:30 and often start working at 5am. By noon my brain is pretty much shot. I thought that becoming a coffee drinker would eliminate this problem, but I still find myself pretty tired. By evening when I need to be my best self for my family, I’m often a nightmare to live with. So I’m starting to view my naps as a blessing and essential part of my life if I want to be happy and whole. My cats LOVE their daily cuddle time with me and it forces me to actually take a break from everything every afternoon.

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6. Bullet Journaling

I promise not to become one of those insane bullet journalers that only want to talk about bullet journaling. But it’s so exciting to me to finally find a system that legitimately works for me. I’ve tried so many planners over the years, trying to find some sort of balance between paper and digital. Bullet journaling has become my answer. It’s also become an awesome little creative outlet that I spend 5-10 minutes working on every morning and night. It’s given me a way to journal again, without spending too much time on it and hurting my hand. It’s also given me an excuse to buy stickers for the first time in 25 years. 🙂

7. Chapstick, Lip Balms, and More

I’ve been obsessed with chapsticks for as long as I can remember. I’m ALWAYS on the lookout for new brands and flavors. I seriously check out the lip balm section of every store I go into, always. I have seven different kinds on my computer desk right now. I have five different kinds on my writing desk. I have two in my purse. I have an entire drawer full in my bedroom. They’re useful and effective, but they’re also a fun little splurge of beauty goodness  that rarely costs more than a few dollars. I couldn’t live without them.

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8. Weekly Date Night

We’re very fortunate that our kids have all their grandparents living within 20 minutes of us. Greg’s parents take the boys for an evening almost every single week. More often than not, Greg and I just stay home, eat together, and then split to do our own things or watch tv together. It’s usually not terribly exciting, but it’s something I count on and look forward to every week. A night to make something for dinner that I know nobody is going to complain about. A night to actually talk to Greg and not be interrupted a million times. And sometimes an actual date out of the house on a weekday for no reason at all. It’s fantastic and something that I know not many people are fortunate enough to have.

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9. Podcasts

Podcasts make every mundane task SO much more bearable. Laundry, cooking, dishes, showers, walking, long drives, sitting at the sewing machine. I had no idea what I was missing out on until I joined the podcasting world a year and a half ago. Now I really don’t know what I’d do without that form of entertainment.

10. Self Care

I am all about the self care movement right now. I firmly believe that if I take better care of myself I am going to be much more equipped to take care of those around me. I love looking at self care from a mental perspective, but in the last few weeks I’ve been experimenting with some physical things too. 30 straight days of yoga, new skincare routines, an evening bath, etc. It’s FUN to take care of yourself. And it’s not selfish or self indulgent. It’s essential and completely worthwhile.

11. Chipotle Bowls

So once a week I have a big errand day in Madison. I try to do all of my out of town shopping in one day so I’m not wasting time multiple times a week. But going to store after store takes a lot of time and energy. I’m usually STARVING and fell into the habit of getting fast food that I’d scarf down on my drive home every week. But then I discovered just how good Chipotle Bowls are (versus hard shell tacos, which I’ve always gotten in the past, but clearly do not travel well!). I’m not sure I could argue a bowl from Chipotle is any healthier than fast food, but it feels like it is! It also teaches me a little discipline to shop as quickly as possible (sticking to my list!!) and then wait until I actually get home and put groceries away before I can sit down and truly enjoy and appreciate a well earned lunch.

I’d love to hear what’s saving your life right now!

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What I Read: January 2018

Yay, time to talk about books! I didn’t read very many books this month, mostly because two of them were super long. And I’m in the middle of about five books at the moment. So hopefully I’ll have many more to report on in February! Of the seven I read this month most were mediocre to relatively enjoyable. Nothing really blew me away. But it was definitely good to get back into regular books after reading mostly holiday themed fluff in the month of December.

Roomies by Christina Lauren

Roomies by Christina Lauren
Rating: 5 stars

This was a truly enjoyable book about a twenty-something girl who has an epic crush on an amazing guitar busker that she watches in the subway station every week. She has an MBA in Creative Writing, but works as a lower level runner at an off Broadway theater for her uncle because she’s too scared to make the leap to follow her writing dreams. In an interesting twist of circumstances she ends up marrying that busker so he can get a Visa and stay in the US to work as a soloist in her uncle’s successful musical. The book is a romance at heart, but it’s also a deeper portrayal of finding one’s identity and truly pursuing your passions so you can live a life of happiness and fulfillment.

Left Drowning by Jessica Park

Left Drowning by Jessica Park
Rating: 4 stars

I was ready to read another by Jessica Park after half a year’s break. Her book 180 Seconds was my favorite book last year and everything else I’ve tried has been a bit of a letdown. This was similar. It’s about a girl in her senior year of college who is suffering some major depression after the unexpected death of her parents. The first few chapters of this book are incredibly bleak. But she meets a guy – two guys actually, who turn out to be brothers. And then their other brother and sister, who all go to the same school as her. And she’s adopted into their unique family and her life instantly turns around. It’s almost like she’s a completely different person. As the book goes on you learn much more about the other family and why they don’t have parents either. It gets darker, again. Basically the book feels like it goes on forever. And there are way too many long and detailed sex scenes. There is so much angst between the characters and all their highs and lows. I enjoyed it overall, but I didn’t love it. There’s a second book which I’ll read at some point, but I wasn’t ready to jump right into it.

The Wife Between Us

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
Rating: 4 stars

This was a unique psychological thriller about a messed up man, the woman he left and the woman he’s about to marry. It was kind of a page turner, but at the same time I felt like I kept waiting for it to get really suspenseful and it never quite hit the mark. I enjoyed the book, but I also felt like Richard, the husband, was such an abstract character. You really don’t know that much about him when you’re only hearing from unreliable narrators.

Queen of the Tearling

The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
Rating: 3.5 stars

I have so many mixed feelings about YA dystopian type trilogies. I tend to love them, but there are just so many out there that it’s hard to keep them straight. And because of that I tend to avoid them. But this one was gifted to me, so I made it a priority to read this year. I thought it was pretty slow and boring at the beginning, but the characters really grew on me by the end. One thing that kept throwing me off is that it felt like it took place in the middle ages, but then you start getting references to present day pop culture and then you know the book actually takes place in the future. I think the second and third book delve more into the time period and “The Crossing” that happened to make their world more medieval. The storyline of this first book was intriguing, but not super exciting yet. I’ll be reading the second and third book some time in the next few months.

The Royal We

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan
Rating: 3 stars

I’ve heard so many good things about this 500 page book and really wanted to love it. And I did love it in the beginning! But it got SO muddled and depressing and long in the middle. I actually read half of this in November and decided to pick it back up to finish this month. It did get better, but I think because it felt so realistic and true to life that it was kind of a downer to read! I wish Prince Nick were more of a main character. The whole second half of the book he’s mostly away in the British Navy. Books are always so much more enjoyable when the two people in love are actually interacting with each other!

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily

The Love Letters of Abelard and Lily by Laura Creedle
Rating: 3.5 stars

This is not what I expected it to be. Told from the perspective of Lily, who has ADHD and impulse control issues. She falls in love with Abelard, who is on the spectrum, presumably with Asperger’s. At times the book is a little hard to follow because Lily goes on many little rabbit trails whenever her mind starts to wander. The two characters are perfectly suited for each other and manage to have a unique and unexpected romance that is mostly carried out through texts. I liked it as a whole. I just wish (as usual) there was more actual interaction between the characters.

The Heart's Invisible Furies

The Heart’s Invisible Furies by John Boyne
Rating: 4 stars

I’m part of the Book of the Month Club, which is a fun way to get new or early released hardcover books at a relatively cheap price. Last year, this was their book of the year. I heard so many rave reviews about how amazing it was that I gave in and ordered it for my January pick. Basically it’s the full life story of Cyril Avery, a gay man growing up in Ireland from the 1940’s to present day. It’s 600 pages long, but was a really fast read, especially the second half. The first section of the book is about Cyril’s biological mother as she’s kicked out of her family, church, and hometown as an unwed 16 year old pregnant girl. The only part that really bothered me about this book is that you become very attached to HER and HER STORY and then you know almost nothing about her the rest of the book because she gave Cyril up for adoption and the book is about him. I did really enjoy the story. But I do have a hard time with time jumps in any book because I hate what I’m missing out on. But the book was very well written, sad and disappointing at times, but overall a really great book.

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What I Watched: January 2018

I watched a ton of tv last month! And probably more movies than I’ve ever watched in a single month. Though four of the six were watched on New Year’s Eve, so they technically don’t even count. 🙂 It was a good month of visual entertainment, though.

TV – Alone

The Mayor

The Mayor

So I really enjoyed this little half hour comedy. But it’s been cancelled. I’m assuming halfway through the season since it hasn’t been back on since Christmas. I’m sad!

Shameless

Shameless

Still love it. Still recommend it. Still gritty and hard to watch sometimes, but the character development is fantastic.

Great British Baking Show

Great British Baking Show

I have to separate my watching of each season because I get too attached to the characters and can’t handle jumping right into a different set. So I watched the third season and it’s been my absolute favorite so far. This show is SO good! I especially loved the people on this season. Nobody annoyed me, even a little bit.

The Marvelous Mrs Maisel

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

I believe I binged this in two days of sewing. It was really enjoyable! I did find it a little odd that the show is supposed to be about Midge finding her voice in the comedy scene, and very little screen time is actually devoted to that. The characters and their fast talking rants were a little obnoxious (there’s a reason I hate Gilmore Girls). But overall, I’d definitely recommend this one!

The Good Doctor

The Good Doctor

I still love this show! Tear jerking goodness.

Last Man on Earth

Last Man on Earth

Is this over yet? Ugh, the annoying characters, the dumb sound effects, constantly introducing newfound characters and then immediately killing them off or making them disappear. I think this is the last season. I hope? I mean, I don’t need to keep watching. but I feel like I really have to follow through.

Fuller House

Fuller House

I caught up on the second half of season three. Seriously, some parts of this show are so ridiculously corny. I can’t stand all the live audience noises. But there are also so many little tidbits that legitimately make me laugh out loud. It’s worth sticking with. I’m glad DJ is switching her attention back to Steve. (Though watching them jump over a waterfall to catch a giant animated koi was possibly the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen on tv in my entire life!) He’s so adorable and dorky.

Modern Family

Modern Family

It suddenly occurred to me that I haven’t watched this newest season at all yet, so I had to catch up. I enjoy it! It’s never been one of my favorites, but it’s entertaining enough.

Life in Pieces

Life in Pieces

I think I enjoyed this show more when I first discovered it and binged. It’s so funny, though! I love pretty much everything about it.

The Resident

The Resident

New show alert! Another medical drama. But I really loved Matt Czuchry in The Good Wife and I’ve always been a fan of Emily Van Camp (Revenge is so good!). So obviously I’m going to watch a show that stars the two of them together! There have only been three episodes so far, but I really like it!

TV – Together

Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad

We finally finished up season one and started season two. I enjoy it, but it’s not a favorite.

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

This season is getting better. Not quite as depressing as how it started. But also, kind of ridiculous. Like when Nathaniel, Josh, and White Josh are dancing/striping/crying/singing? Bizarre.

Riverdale

Riverdale

Want to talk about bizarre and ridiculous? This show has gotten so weird! It just makes me laugh how dumb it is.

Superstore

Superstore

Is it just me, or are the laughs just not there anymore? I LOVED the first two seasons of Superstore. But the current season has been kind of a drag.

Flash

The Flash

Poor Barry, he can just never be free and happy! We’ve cut out all other superhero shows for now, but still plan to stick with this one.

Halt and Catch Fire

Halt and Catch Fire

Our new watch of the month. I have to say that I was SO CONFUSED like the first four episodes. It was just a crazy amount of nonsensical computer talk and it was seriously pissing me off how little I understood what was going on. But the characters seemed intriguing and Greg was into it and Lee Pace is hot, so I kept going. And by the end of the first season I was highly invested! We just started the second season and I’m a little sad at the changes so far. But I assume it’ll get really good again.

MOVIES

Captain Underpants

Captain Underpants

I was a little distracted on my phone while we watched this, but it seemed fairly amusing for a family movie. I think I was actually laughing more than my kids at the potty humor.

Boss Baby

Boss Baby

I thought this was a pretty good family movie too. A little dumb, but kind of funny too.

Logan Lucky

Logan Lucky

I was hoping to really love this because I adore Channing Tatum and Adam Driver. It was okay. I didn’t hate it. But I’d never watch it a second time.

Battle of the Sexes

Battle of the Sexes

Same goes for this one. I guess I didn’t realize quite what the movie was really about. But female empowerment and all that. It was enjoyable.

The Greatest Showman

The Greatest Showman

Definitely my top movie of the month! Top movie in a long time! I loved it soooo much. I get that in real life PT Barnum was probably a terrible man. But the movie, as a fictionalized piece of history, was fantastic. The music was incredible. Everything about it was just perfect. I’m SO glad I saw it in the theater. Love!

The Last Five Years

The Last Five Years

This was an intriguing movie that was almost entirely sung and had very little plot. It was a variety of scenes in no particular order portraying the love found and lost between two people, played by Anna Kendrick and Jeremy Jordan. Anna’s nonstop singing voice definitely got old. But I liked most of the movie – until the end. NOT happy with the reason they split up. The movie did make me a little envious of childless couples that just live for each other and their dreams, though.

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January 2018 Recap

This last month I’ve given bullet journaling my best effort. It has turned out to be an awesome way to record not only my to do lists and daily calendar, but also track my habits, activities, and moods. I have a page for tracking certain habits and then each day after my to do list, meal planning, and recorded work hours, I write some “notes” – or more accurately, journal entries. It’s been a fantastic way to start and end my day. I’ve gotten creative and extremely colorful with the addition of washi tape and random stickers, giving the journal the added benefit of being a little side art project that I do entirely for myself. It’s not very fancy, but it’s effective and useful. I can definitely see myself using this system forever. Someday I’ll take some pictures of it and share more about the system. But right now it’s 9pm and I’m utterly exhausted. Maybe next month!

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to write a little reflection post at the end of each month. Mostly for my own benefit to evaluate where I am with everything. I’ll try to keep it brief!

  • My biggest accomplishment is that I finished the 30 day yoga challenge!! I’ve never, ever done 30 days in a row of an exercise before. I’m quite proud of myself! I still don’t really think yoga is quite for me, but I’ve learned a lot that I can incorporate into my daily life. I think I’m going to try and keep it up with 1-2 days of yoga a week.
  • I walked Annie 9 times. Not the best track record for walking to school every morning the way we should be. It’s cold out!
  • I’ve taken Annie to the dog park 18 times. We definitely get our money’s worth out of that annual pass! You need to go 14 times a year to make it worth it. So I’m good!
  • I spent a portion of 12 days reading from my pile of nonfiction books. That was one of my biggest goals for this month and about halfway through the month I really petered out on doing it. Need to be better!
  • I created 28 dolls. I’ve sold 24 of them.
  • I worked 23 days. 76.5 hours. Averaging 19 hours a week. Which is about what I’m aiming for, though ideally I’d like to get closer to 30 hours a week. And hey! People are always asking me how long it takes to make a doll. It’s really hard to give an answer since there’s so much drying time in between things. Well, now I can say that it actively takes 2 hours and 45 minutes to make one doll. 🙂
  • I spent time with friends 3 days. 3 days in a 4 day period. But I was extra happy on those days.
  • I did some form of self care 20 days of the month. I didn’t record what activities, but they were mostly at times when I actively realized I was stressed out and chose to walk away and do something for myself. Usually reading.
  • I spent a lot of quality time with Greg and Shepard. There were definitely many days where I didn’t feel like I had any sort of deep connecting period of time with Caden. I’ll need to work on that too.
  • Overall, it was a pretty good month! I rated myself as “happy” most days. There were definitely stressful days in the mix, but I feel like the month as a whole was pretty good!

Goals for February

  1. ENJOY EVERYTHING. February is INSANELY busy this year. Shepard’s birthday and two parties. My mom’s birthday and a party. A concert to see. Babysitting Hudson overnight. Valentine’s Day and all the extra stuff that comes with it. A baby shower. Two late starts, two days off of school. Conferences. Science night. Winter Fun Day. It is going to be a busy, busy month. I want to enjoy it all and not be running around like a stressed out crazy person.
  2. PRIORITIZE LOVE. Mostly for myself. But also for my family and friends.
  3. KEEP EXERCISING. I think I’d like to do Leslie Sansone walking videos this month. It’ll probably still be too cold for long walks outside, so it’s a good month to keep doing videos inside. Maybe not every single day. But most days.

We survived January! Let’s celebrate February!

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What I’m Listening To: January 2018

Hello! It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post about my podcast addiction. While I still listen to at least one (often many!) podcast a day, I haven’t strayed very far from my tried and true favorites this month. There’s something very comforting in continuing to listen to the ones that bring me the greatest joy, rather than searching for new podcasts when I never really know what I’m going to get. I’m always on the lookout for new podcast recommendations, but then I’m too overwhelmed if there are hundreds of episodes to listen to. Do I start with the most recent or go all the way back to the beginning? Do I just look for a topic or guest that sounds most interesting to me? It’s very stressful making those decisions! I’m finding that I really prefer to invest my time listening to the ones that I absolutely love. At least until I catch up with all of them and am forced to try something new!

PODCASTS

Forever 35

Forever 35

That being said, I did find a new podcast this month that I’m pretty sure will become a favorite. It just started, so there are only four episodes to catch up on. Two friends, Kate and Doree, get together once a week and talk about all the different self care routines, beauty products, and more that they’ve been trying out. They are funny and entertaining and instantly make you want to be their best friend. I think it’d be the perfect podcast for any woman even the tiniest bit interested in taking care of herself.

The Popcast

The Popcast

I am 100% addicted to The Popcast. It’s my go to podcast, always. And amazingly, I still have over a hundred back episodes to catch up on and almost 200 Friend of the Show episodes. Because I love it so much I’m a “best friend of the show” Patreon supporter. It’ll be a sad day when I catch up completely and have to rely on actually waiting a week in between listening to Knox and Jamie! This podcast is seriously just so fun and entertaining. I’m even enjoying the recap episodes they’re doing on The Bachelor, even though I don’t watch the show, nor have I ever. Basically they can talk about any topic and I’m going to be interested enough to listen. I love it!

Front Porch

Front Porch with The Fitzes

This is the first podcast I listened to from the beginning and caught up with. Some episodes are better than others, but it never fails to bring me a few laughs. This past month they’ve been bringing in guests to talk about diversity, which has been interesting. Normally they just talk about whatever random things have been going on in their lives, which I like too. But it’s a good solid clean but funny listen.

Spilled Milk

Spilled Milk

Clean, this one is not! But it’s pretty dang funny. They’re up to 317 episodes and I’ve listened to all of them, in order. For awhile I was starting to think they really weren’t putting any effort into them anymore. But the last few have gotten better again. It’s a light and fun foodie type podcast if you’re interested in that type of thing!

Happier

Happier

I’m still not quite caught up with this, but I’m close! I’ve listened from the beginning and it feels like returning to old friends every time I turn it on. Sisters Gretchen and Liz always have something intriguing to talk about, always around the topic of happiness. It’s uplifting and inspiring content that always gives me something to think about and implement in my own life.

what should i read next

What Should I Read Next?

I really waffle back and forth on how much I like this podcast. I love listening to anything about books. But there’s just something about Anne that kind of grates on me. So I usually pick and choose depending on who the guests are and what the main book topic is.

the next right thing

The Next Right Thing

I like this podcast for early morning listening. It’s about easing yourself from the burden of decision fatigue and helping you always know what is the next right thing to do with your time, your life, your dreams. It’s really helpful advice that I try to take to heart.

MUSIC

Here’s a new one! I’m not hugely into music, but I do listen to it off and on when I need a break from podcasts. These are the songs that have basically been on repeat for me the last few weeks.

“Mad World” by the Riverdale cast

So they sang this song on Riverdale in the most awkward and uncomfortable tv scene practically ever made. But the song – on spotify – is so good! I’m obsessed with it. Though I only play it during the day so Greg doesn’t make fun of me. 🙂

The Greatest Showman Soundtrack

I loved this movie SO much. Especially because of the music! Every song is just so fantastic. I can’t stop listening to it. So good.

“Perfect” by Ed Sheeran

I adore this song. Particularly after watching the music video about a hundred times. Did you know it was written about his actual childhood love interest whom he has very recently become engaged to? So romantic!

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