Multiples Illuminated – A Review

One of my goals in 2016 was to read more books. Not just blogs, not just Facebook updates, not just Instagram quotes, not just tweets…but actual books. I know as a society we are moving towards having the attention spans of gnats as we continue to gather information in such tiny bite sized pieces, but I long for the good old days of a heavy book in my hand while I lounge on the hammock in my backyard with a margarita. Okay, I don’t own a hammock nor have I ever made myself a margarita, but wouldn’t it be nice?

 

And I know who does not have time for all of that relaxation and hammock nonsense – mothers of multiples – that’s who. But they DO need to carve out some time for some good reading and resources. Which is why I’m writing this post.

 

You parents of multiples – lean in here, you are not alone. You have a community of help….

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One of my dearest friends and incredibly gifted writer(and mom of twins!), Alison Lee has co-authored and co-curated an incredible book with Megan Woolsey, that was just released in time for Mother’s Day – Multiples Illuminated A collection of stories and advice from parents of twins, triplets and more.

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Now, I don’t have twins or triples, but I have always been both fascinated and in awe of families who do. We all know how overwhelming just one baby can be – but to have two or three or more? Now that’s a lot of diapers and lack of sleep. So I LOVED the stories that are shared in this new resource for parents about to become parents of multiples.

 

What I loved about Multiples Illuminated was how it took you through the whole process of (perhaps) infertility and becoming pregnant, to finding out you are having more than one baby, pregnancy, (perhaps) a NICU stay, and coming home. And then how to survive those early days and nights(breastfeeding more than one baby as an example), and into the infant and toddler stages. I laughed, I cried, and I felt each story that I read in this incredible resource. The essays and the contributors are pure gold.

 

Multiples Illuminated also provides a place in each section for you to reflect and recall some of your worries and memories as a wonderful keepsake and journal on your own parenting of multiples journey. This will be a book that you keep by your bedside(or your hammock) for years.

 

If you or someone you know is expecting twins(or more), I completely recommend this book full of advice and incredible stories to you.

 

You can find out more at the Multiples Illuminated interactive website, order here, and also follow them on Twitter and Facebook as additional resources for your growing family.

 

***Disclosure: I was not compensated to read nor review this book in anyway. All words are my own. Now go buy the book, get a hammock, and read more. Drinks are optional.

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Where I Give 15 Fs About 2016

This morning I woke up the same way that I wake up every morning. The cat is licking my face as my alarm goes off. I wonder if she really thinks I’ll forget to Feed her. Have I ever Forgotten to Feed her? I Feed her and I make sure the coffee is ready and then I work-out. After my work-out I drink copious amounts of coffee as I watch the morning news. I catch up on Facebook and Instagram and email, and then I wait for the Family to wake.

Just hours into the New Year, 2016 Feels the same. The cat, the coffee, the news, the work-out and the being First up for like always a million mornings later. I like the comfort in the routine and Familiar. I am not beyond Feeling like a toddler in my need for the predictable. Yet I don’t want to get comfortable in other ways. I want to step out of my comfort(and honestly, control) zone to be better and experience new. Just don’t mess with the First hours of my morning.

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2015 brought some big changes in many areas – Friends, Family, Fitness, Finances…and honestly had me using the big F word more than usual. And if you know me and my love for the big F word – well, wow that’s kind of a big deal to use it even more.

 

I’m not making resolutions here, because eFF that – so instead I’m using 15 F words that will define my life living Forward in 2016.

 

Focus – Like how I started writing this blog post on New Year’s Day..and here it is Five days later and I’m Finally Finishing it. Yeah, I need to work on this one. This Focus of putting First things First and prioritizing and letting go of the crap that’s not important. But I won’t be able to really Focus until I Finish Breaking Bad. Check back with me in a Few days after I binge watch the Final two seasons. Just tell me that cute Jesse is okay.

Family – Numero uno. But I can’t do this until I get clear Focus, right. That’s why I have it listed as number two. Family First and always. I love my people and they need to know it more. I mean sure I clean the house and cook their meals and make sure they have Folders and clean clothes. And I give hugs and kisses and encouragement and love. But I need to be more present for them when we are together. Whether it’s the now old cliche of putting my phone down, or maybe even watching the Minions for the 153rd time.

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Fun – Which brings me to Fun. I’m the heavy in our Family. The enforcer of the chores and the discipline. I run a tight ship and have high expectations of everyone. This will not change. But I do promise to have more Fun this year and always. We can all wear dirty clothing for a day if it means a few hours of sledding. More yes and less no.

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Fitness – I qualified for the Boston Marathon and am running it in April. I’m currently in a boot – so no running which totally sucks, but I’m coming back even stronger than before…trust me. My Fitness goals in 2016 are to get back into running shape with overall health and Future in mind…strong core, strong body, good choices. And by the end of 2016 I want to be in even better overall health and in stronger shape than I am in now. My goal is to write more about my Fitness journey in 2016 too. Hold me to that one, okay?

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F(ph)otography – My camera has taken a bit of a hiatus in recent years. I’m giving myself the time to explore and get to know my Friend Canon again in 2016. I need to stop worrying about perfect and just shoot.

Food – I have always watched what I eat, but I’m bringing my Family more into this in 2016. In 2015 I started “new recipe” Wednesday with the family – I cooked something completely new each Wednesday, and it was a huge success(maybe I should’ve blogged about it), so 2016 is continuing that as well as Focusing on cutting out more sugar and meat and processed items from everything we eat.

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Future – No looking back this year. The best is yet to come. Let’s celebrate and make an impact where we can – in tomorrow…not yesterday.

Friends – This is a BIG one For me in 2016. The older I get the more I know how important true Friends are. Yet how difficult it is to Find Friends at this age. We aren’t having babies anymore, we aren’t in college anymore, and I don’t have a workplace that I go to where I’m heading out to lunches with adults. But it’s Finding those true and easy Friends – through school or activities or book clubs or Facebook…AND making the time to have coffee or wine or even a phone conversation. Let’s all make the time For Friends this year. Friends Feed our soul differently than work or Family. Let’s celebrate and make time for that.

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Finances – Our BIG commitment for 2016. We made some huge Financial decisions in 2014 and 2015 – and now it’s time to continue moving Forward to ensure our Future retirement(EEK) as well as the kids’ Future is Funded. We will hold monthly Family Finance meetings and Focus on what’s important with our Finances. Full transparency as we move Forward is key.

(non)Fiction – I WILL write in 2016. It might not be here always, but I will write. I want to write a children’s book that I’ve had in draft for almost three years, and I will pitch some articles this year. I have Found that the less I write, the more scattered and unhappy my brain gets…so I need to do this. And I will.

Facebook – And all social media. I Find it can be such a time suck because I love to see you all – your Families, your pictures, your lives..and I love to support you all…but I need more balance here. I have already stepped away quite a bit and will continue to Focus my social media time better in 2016.

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Fly – We WILL take a Family vacation in 2016. We WILL continue to show our kids the world in 2016. We WILL Focus on our Finances better so this is our yearly goal as a Family – to invest in our Fun, our Future, and our global views moving Forward.

(give)Forward – I have applied for a local volunteer position and intend to dedicate more of my time in 2016 to giving Forward to others(more locally) in 2016. “No one has ever become poor by giving.” – Anne Frank.

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(my aging)Face – Hey, guess what? I’m 47..and will be 48 in 2016. This happens. Yet, I like my Face in the here and now. I do. I like the lines that have come with time and experience. Even the lines on my arms and tummy – YES that happens too dear young people. But I love it. My Face scared me when I was 41-43 because I saw the changes from 37-39..but now, I think it’s kind of awesome. I don’t need to get carded. I can be somebody’s mom, and I can be old enough to be somebody’s mom in college, and I can be old enough to be your mom, or your grandma…and I’m totally zen with all of that. I take care of my body – good Food and Fitness..and well For my Face…not all the thousand dollar lotions in the world can stop time nor do I want to pay for treatments or surgeries or any of that Fake stuff. I own this Face and I love it – wrinkles, age spots, and randoms hairs and all. Also, wearing reading glasses on a date is incredibly sexy.

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F*ucks – And as with my Face..I just can’t give any F*ucks anymore with any bullshit. “I want real. I want true. If you don’t like me that’s on you.” – Tracy Morrison, 2016.

 

Happy 2016, my Friends. The best is yet to come.

“There is no passion to be Found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living” – Nelson Mandela

 

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47

My super power is being a conversation killer. I used to get offended when it would happen, but now I kind of laugh it off as their loss. Typically it’s nice to have nice chats with people. but sometimes people want to be a conversation killer when they’re talking to someone who is going on and on about Trump or something. So here’s my tip on ending a conversation dead it its tracks – when they ask what you do for a living, tell them that you stay at home with your kids. They will have nothing else to say to you. Ever. Every single time. It’s become almost a social experiment for me at parties. I love telling people that what I “do” is stay home with my kids. I mean because if I stay at home with my kids I must have nothing else to talk about.

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I could answer this question differently. I could say that truthfully I am a writer. That I am a blogger. That I run marathons. That I’m in sales. I’ve been in sales for nearly eight years – building a team and a business. But I do all of this from home…because my number one priority is still..and as it was when I quit my corporate job 10 years ago..to stay home to take care of my kids. This is my choice and I’m honored to have the option to choose this. I don’t miss corporate America. I don’t miss meetings. I don’t miss many many things. And even though I have a job and do other things that produce not only quality brain stuff – but also money, I will always tell you that I stay at home with my kids. And not just to have you walk away from me. Although sometimes…yay!

 

So this year I’ve been blogging less. I’ve been walking away from the parts of blogging that were not happy things for my brain anymore. And I’ve walked away from one of my bigger yearly projects because I feel like there is something else for me. During a very brief conversation with a friend Sunday night, we both asked each other what was next with our lives. I am 47 today..and she is about 10 years old than I am..and I LOVE that we are still asking that question. We are not washed up just because we are not in our 20s. We are not done just because we are middle aged. We are not disposable and not interesting because we’ve stayed at home with our kids for a time. We are not done reinventing ourselves. We are still defining our lives. Our long lives. Our meaningful lives. And we can still dream and become what we want to be when we grow up. And we both feel that in 2016 there will be some new definitions and clarity to what that is.

 

That is what being 47 is for me. It’s being open to new possibilities, to still defining what my now and future is, and to be okay if my chosen profession today is a conversation killer for you.

 

This quick conversation with this brilliant friend is exactly what I needed when I needed it. I believe it was not just fate that put us together in my dining room on Sunday night.

 

And as I was going back over our chat in my head, I jumped on Facebook. Within minutes, two of my dear friends posted similar sentiments that released me completely of something that has been weighing hard on me this year.

 

One posted “…I don’t care if people like me or not. If they don’t, that’s their problem, not mine.”

 

And the other “…I want to FOCUS on only the people who love me and seek out my company and stop chasing the ones who don’t care.

 

You can’t make people like you. And spending time on that is worthless. Focus your love and energy where it belongs. I’ve reconnected with a true old friend this year, and THAT is important and fills a heart.

 

This post is horribly written, and at 47 I just don’t have anymore fucks to give about it.

 

So I guess what I’m saying is that I’m not dead yet. And at 47 it’s okay to keep reinventing myself professionally. And personally, I will surround myself with the people who are good people and give some fucks about me in return and make relationships easy like they should be.

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It makes me laugh to think about how we always ask 17 year olds what they want to be when they grow up. What they want to study in college. Where they want to live. As 30 years later I’m still here deciding those things because why not. It’s a long and beautiful life with so much new and beautiful to experience. I will not settle. I will never stop exploring what’s next. And I will not focus on who I cannot change and who doesn’t want to be with me. I will focus more on who does. Those people right in front of me. I will never look past them.

 

47 is going to be a very good year.

 

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How To Get Your Kids Into The Holiday Spirit!

I’ve been doing this parenting thing for 13 year now, which makes me quite the expert. I laugh as I type this because we all know that parenting is basically making things up as we go along while we hope the kids don’t catch on to our big charade. Or maybe I just don’t know what I’m doing. Please don’t tell my kids.

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The holidays always highlight the biggest flaws in my parenting, when this should be the time for me to really shine. I mean how can decking the halls, cookie decorating, shopping, listening to holiday music, and visiting Santa become bad parenting moments.

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It’s because they are never perfect. And nothing shines a spotlight on parenting imperfection like the holidays. The stress, the pressure, the events, the busyness, the food, the lack of time – many parents reach their breaking points. My breaking point comes in small doses that I put into the loving way I talk to my kids.

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Here are 10 things to say to kids this month to really get them into the Holiday Spirit! It’s worked for us! No stress here at all…nope, no stress…

  1. Get out of bed NOW! We have to be first in line to see Santa or we are not going at ALL! You will never see Santa again. It’s either first or NOTHING!
  2. Stop touching your sister or Santa will leave nothing for you! COAL! COAL! Do you like coal???
  3. Oh great, the frosting is now brown, it’s like you HATE CHRISTMAS.
  4. NO COOKIES FOR YOU!
  5. The heavy ornaments go on the top of the tree, the light ornaments on the bottom. How many times do I have to say this? You don’t deserve to decorate the tree EVER!
  6. Just pretend to hang the ornaments on the tree so I can get the picture. You’re standing in the wrong place. THIS IS STAGED DAMMIT! DON’T MOVE!
  7. THE ELF WILL DIE IF YOU TOUCH HIM! DID YOU TOUCH THE ELF???
  8. No presents for you!
  9. Oh sure, eat all the chocolate while kids everywhere are starving. It’s like we are made of chocolate now.
  10. This is not suppose to be fun – it’s just a picture for Instagram! You’re a child – do you not understand a game of pretend?

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Okay, I need some stress relief. Let’s just look at cat and Christmas tree pictures…

 

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Five For Friday

I’m just sharing five Instagrams for this Friday. I thought I would have more time to write today, but instead we were crazy busy and this is the first time I’ve even opened my laptop.

 

I hope you all enjoyed time with family and friends yesterday and today.

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  1. We celebrated the last day of school before break with a big coffee! She likes coffee. I like that she likes coffee. Maybe she will never grow because of the coffee. Maybe she’ll be my baby forever.
  2. A little yoga after my run on Wednesday morning. Seriously perfect sunrise. I was nice to run when it wasn’t pitch black.
  3. Thanksgiving family selfie. Beautiful snowy day!
  4. My first run this year with icy roads. I love and hate the snow and ice. It’s beautiful but makes for a difficult run.
  5. We went to the MOA for Black Friday. Eloise turns 13 in 5 days so she got to pick out a few things for her birthday. We had such a blast. I am NEVER a Black Friday shopper – but this was worth it. Just me and Eloise and her friend. We laughed for hours.

Happy Friday Friends. xoxoxo

 

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It’s Late

It’s 8:30pm which means it’s super late. Super late. Like I should’ve been in bed an hour ago late. I mean it’s dark by 4:30pm so bedtime can’t be much later than 7:30, right? Please tell me I’m right. So why are all of my kids still up?

 

I was talking to a friend last week. This friend is still deep in the trenches of littles. She has a two year old, four year old and six year old. Bedtimes are still a very big deal in her house. The whole snack time, bath time, book time, bed time thing. I loved that routine until I didn’t love that routine anymore. I told her that soon…so very very very soon…the kids will go to bed after you do. In fact they will bathe themselves, then get their own snacks, put their own clothes in the hamper(if you are lucky), read their own books(any books they want…in fact big books that you don’t even understand), and then they will just turn off the lights when they are ready to close their eyes. Sometimes you mumble to them before you head off to bed, “Turn off the lights before you fall asleep, okay?” That’s the new goodnight routine. Even our six year old now showers herself, gets her own snack, and reads her own stories. But she does get an extra snuggle, a proper tucking in, and has to go to bed before us. Mostly.

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And soon, I know, I’ll be in bed before the kids get home. They’ll be out and I’ll be worried and sleeping with one eye open, listening for the door to open and close.

 

Just like it might be hard for her to imagine a life without a bedtime routine, it’s hard for me to imagine a life without the kids at home most nights. But it doesn’t matter if I can imagine it or not, it will still happen and I am always amazed by the relative ease of parenting transitions as fighting them is futile. Just like I can’t believe my once small child is taller than me. Or better at math. Or borrows my shoes.

 

But I have to go because it’s late. It’s 8:30 and everyone is still up and I know I need to the get the youngest to bed so I can get to bed. Or maybe I’ll just have her sisters give her that extra snuggle so I can go shut my eyes to be ready for tomorrow and the new changes it could bring.

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Five For Friday

I’m linking up with Angela again this Friday!

 

Five Instagrams For A Friday:

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  1. #prayforparis I took this shot of The Eiffel Tower on Valentine’s Day 1999
  2. We took a family hike on Sunday. It was 60 degrees in November in Minnesota – CRAZY!!
  3. Mad for Plaid! LOVING all of the Fall offerings from Aventura this season! Love being an ambassador for them. I have coupon codes too – so now is the time to shop!
  4. Physical Training is going well and I’m getting stronger and faster! LOVE my wrap from Momentum Jewelry – 26.2 #boston2016 here I come!
  5. The holiday line from Matilda Jane Clothing is just dreamy – and these girls aren’t too shabby either! And cooperating for Holiday pictures no less!

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Five Posts For A Friday:

A lot has changed and happened since I posted last Friday. The world weeps as extremists terrorize the innocent. We need to weep along with them, yet let them know that we are not afraid. And we must continue to help the innocent.

 

The world is suffering the worst refugee crises in decades. One mother writes here about why we must all help and why.

 

Angela wrote one of my favorite things this week – nighttime running safety. I’ve written how I am one of those who actually prefers not to be seen as I’m more afraid of being attacked than of being hit by a car – and run knowing that I yield and give vehicles the right of way. Now that we’ve moved out of the city though – it’s DARK out here and I’m running like a Glow-Worm to see and be seen. Love her tips.

 

My dear friend Jennie lives just outside of Paris. Her family is safe and I love what she wrote this week. We continue to send love to her, her family, and her friends.

 

My friend Arnebya is a true gem, a brilliant writer, and just all around kick-ass person. What she wrote here about searching for love as a young girl hit hard and close to home…and now as a parent..whew.

 

And the best news all week – drinking coffee makes you live longer! So I believe I will live to be 526.

 

Happy Friday!

 

 

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Physical Therapy For A Running Injury

Not much is more humbling than physical therapy. I’ve been in PT for six weeks now. Injured for eight weeks – but it took me almost two weeks to even get to the doctor as I was in complete denial that something was wrong. Even though my ankle hurt like hell. And I couldn’t walk. Or run. Or really talk without extreme pain. But instead I used meditation and prayer and acupuncture and denial. None of those really worked, so eventually I succumbed to modern medicine as I really really wanted to run again.

 

Has it been mentioned that runners are incredibly stubborn?

 

I laughed the first few times I went to PT as the exercises seemed so small and silly. But I did them as instructed. And each time she added more strength exercises – and stretching exercises – and we’ve worked on my form and my cadence. And now I pretty much just want to go to PT every single day as she knows so much. And I’ve truly found out that I know so little.

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You see I’ve done this running thing on my own for 20+ years  – without ever having a coach, a running group, a running friend, or even an online running community. Through my injury I’m meeting more and more people who all work together to lift up and support this community – through cheering, education, fun, and fitness.

 

However – with the good comes the bad…before PT I was just obsessed with running. Now I’m obsessed with EVERYTHING that has to do with good running…so how am I suppose to do anything but work on running better, running stronger, running faster, running more social. ALLTHERUNNING!!!

 

Has it been mentioned before that runners are crazy?

 

I’m 5 weeks out from the official start of Boston 2016 Marathon training -and I feel like I’m on a good path to make this training cycle good and healthy and injury free. Just don’t expect me to do anything but eat sleep and breathe running. Also, don’t let my PT person break-up with me.

 

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Kid Update #2

Mommy blogging again here today. Let’s talk about sweet Esther.

 

Esther is still sweet. Crazy sweet. Typical middle child sweet. I told her she needs to be louder and squeakier so we hear her more. But she isn’t. She lets her sisters be demanding.

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Esther asks for nothing.

 

She didn’t even get a birthday party this year as her day was mixed into packing and moving and the busy. I still feel the guilt. But Esther doesn’t complain.

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Esther is a cat lady in training. She loves the cats. She would have 40 cats if Jed would let her. She also constantly searches websites for dogs. She wants a dog. Maybe five dogs. And hamsters. And a guinea pig or two. Fish. More cats. She wants to be a vet when she grows up. I think she will just start her own rescue agency and rehome pets. Or just keep all 200 pets for herself. She’ll need lots of Febreeze in her house.

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Esther is still dancing. She is always smiling – whether she’s on stage or not.

 

Esther moved schools this year. She’s struggling a bit. She’s making friends quickly, but the schoolwork a bit more demanding. Esther would rather spend her time looking at animals online than studying for a history test. But she’s adjusting.

 

She has become even more interested in cooking this year. Her favorite shows are Master Chef Jr and The Pioneer Woman. She also watches HGTV with me and has great decorating ideas.

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Esther will be 11 this winter, but she still wants to snuggle with me and hold my hand. I’m wishing she stays little just a bit longer. I don’t think she is ready to grow up either. Eloise has always been in a hurry to grow up while Esther has always wanted to stay little.

 

Esther will take care of us when we’re old and need our diapers changed. She’ll put us up in one of her rooms with her 300 cats.

 

 

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Sundays

I had a hard time liking my family today. It can be hard to admit that sometimes. That no matter how much you love your family, sometimes…my god…

 

My husband frustrated me with his continued passive aggressive comments…and the dining room ceiling that is still not done.

 

My oldest for being OMG.SO.13. Seriously.

 

My middle for being lazy with her homework.

 

My youngest for whining more than she should.

 

One cat puked. Twice

 

The other cat bit my ankle. Four times.

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And yet – it was 60 degrees in a November, so we took a family hike to try to clear our minds and frustrations and attitudes.

 

And then I tried to take a 20 minute nap. But the cat wouldn’t get off me. He’s my least favorite today.

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I love my family. My family loves me. And I know there are days they don’t like me. Just like today they really got on my last nerve.

 

Tomorrow is thankfully another day.

 

It’s okay to be honest. Life isn’t Instagram-Perfect.

 

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Five Good Things On A Friday

I haven’t done a link-up in about three years – which is about three thousand years in blogging. But there is NO WAY I’m going to make it through November and 18 more days of blogging without a few link-ups, memes, and picture posts.

 

And this time I am actually thrilled to link-up for High Five Friday with Angela. She is an inspiration to me as a mom, athlete, and all around badass. I love following her on Instagram and on her blog. So go check her out. But come back here and say hi.

 

Five From Instagram. Here are five pictures from Instagram this week.

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  1. Family holiday picture outtake…I think Esther did a pretty dang good job behind the camera! Also…#manbun.
  2. My new Motivate Wrap from Momentum Jewelry. I LOVE it and haven’t taken it off in a week. I am thrilled to be a new ambassador for them!
  3. Ahem. Official confirmation of acceptance into the 2016 Boston Marathon!!!!!!!
  4. The view from my grandma’s hospice room in Duluth. She was moved to hospice on Monday. She is still holding strong, but prayers for peace would be loved right now.
  5. Typical morning in my family room – coffee, the morning news, and core work after my run. Trying to continue strengthening my core to be a stronger runner and avoid getting injured again.

You might want to follow me on Instagram as I do post more there than here or on Facebook.

 

Five Reads This Week. Okay – maybe some are from last week, but these are reads that I loved and you need to see.

  1. My dear friend Anna is HAVING A BABY! Do you know Anna? Everyone needs to know Anna. Her story. Her Family. Her book. I want Anna and her baby to be in my Five Awesome Things For a Friday every single Friday.
  2.  My friend Kerstin is 44 today! I love her list “What I know at 44.” It’s true that we never stop learning. I love that she never wants to work for someone else again. Amen, Sister! And Happy Happy Birthday!
  3. I adore Christine. Like I want to be college roommates with Christine. Do you think that is possible? I love everything that Christine writes, so I laughed a bit as I read her post about running with your significant other. Jed sometimes asks me if I want to run with him. Um, no…I don’t. I love you, but I don’t want to run with you. Ever. Is that weird? Read her post and you decide.
  4. I’ve become a bit obsessed with Fit Foodie Finds. Lee is a Minnesotan and is brilliant with her unique, healthy, and yummy recipes. I am totally making these Healthy Salted Caramel Cups this weekend.
  5. Get inspired by Kim Stemple who has a terminal illness and just ran the Marine Corp Marathon, yet gave her medal to her husband. Her organization We Finish Together has inspired thousands of runners to give their finishers medals to others.

Happy Friday – and leave a link to a favorite read this week!

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Company Is Coming!

Don’t you hate it when you hear a joke, or watch a show, or read a book and think “OMG that is ME!” And you are kind of embarrassed because this “you” is probably not “you” in the best light. It’s an exaggeration of some crazy things that you do or a crazy way that you act.

 

So when I watched this video today – I laughed so hard I cried. And peed. And then I watched it 25 more times, shared it on Facebook, made Jed watch it, and showed it to anyone who would give me two minutes of their time. The cats LOVED it.

 

BECAUSE IT IS SO ME. And most moms. He nailed it. THIS is the crazy cleaning we do when company is coming.

 

“Did you make you bed? Well we may as well just toss it out now as it’s too late!” “Push the chair in!”

Do you see yourself just a little bit in this video too? Or are you a little more relaxed with the “company cleaning?”

 

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The Haircut

I wanted a shoulder-length flirty type of haircut.

 

A haircut with bounce and life – to either look like that cute middle-aged blonde on Modern Family, or super flippy-flirty like Alice in the vampire movies.

 

And I think my stylist actual nailed the haircut. I love my  hair right now – it feels healthy, it’s a great length, and is easy to style.

 

But you know what…once you reach a certain age you look like a man no matter what you do. This is a truth I’m telling you right here sisters…so lean in….once you turn about 42 – your “man-genes” come out. Too much make-up=MAN. Too little make-up=MAN. Hair down=MAN. Hair up=MAN with a man bun.

 

So unfortunately, no matter how much I like my hair right now, when I look in the mirror and expect to see some cute 27 year old, instead I see Snape.

snape-harry-potter

Every morning I wave hello to Snape in the mirror. My husband wakes up with Snape. My kids have Snape as their mother.

 

I’ve turned into Snape. I’m worried that by the time I’m 70 I will turn into Sean Connery. At 90 – George Burns?

 

Okay “older” ladies – who is your man-doppelganger?

 

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The Party Room – Help Us HGTV!

Jed and I both laughed when we first walked through our new house. We had already walked through about 20 homes in our target (new)city and each home pretty much blended in with all the others – walls, bathrooms, kitchen, floors, yard. There were some houses we liked and some we didn’t like, but none of them felt like home.

 

But this house was different. And it was a house that we didn’t even want to go through when we saw it pop up one morning in our search. Yet after a few weeks we were intrigued. We walked in expecting to hate it and walk through quickly without a second thought. Instead we spent almost two hours walking through and around again and again and again – laughing and exploring. At one point I sat on the steps that lead down into the main family living space and knew that this house was “us.” It was just like us – old and a bit quirky. It had a unique layout and personality and it was truly one of a kind. We saw our family here – the rooms they would occupy, the meals we would share, the friends and family that would come to visit.

 

And it’s been exactly like that since we moved in about six months ago. This house became our home immediately.

 

Yet, since the home was built in 1961 – there are needed repairs and updates that will maybe, eventually get done. Most of the home though makes sense and we have design, improvement, and decorating ideas that will work with the home. But…there is one room that we are not sure what we can do with it.

party-room

We currently call it the “pool room” or the “party room.” It’s an 1100 square foot ROOM – yes a ROOM(not a whole house) that is interesting to say the least. It was built as an indoor pool room – it had a pool and half the ceiling is all sunroom type windows, and the rest of the ceiling and walls are cedar. 10 years ago they capped the pool with a raised platform and turned it into a party room(in fact all the furniture you see in these pictures is the previous owner’s items that they left for us). I’m sure we could hold a few hundred people in this room for graduations and baby showers. And it has been amazing to use for slumber parties and family holidays this year!

rec-room-redo

But we want to make it seem more finished and not so rustic and worn looking. I think we’ve decided not to convert it back into a pool(this is possible – we’d just have to get a new liner as they left the pool under the floor), so how to make it into a fun, functional, yet more aestectically pleasing family party/recreation room?

 

Ideas for flooring? Furniture? Walls? Get rid of the sunroom feel? OMG SO MUCH TO DO!!

 

I think I need to submit this to HGTV for some ideas as it’s overwhelming.

 

In the meantime – come on over for a drink as we’ve got the space!

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Cats In Costume

It’s Friday and only the 6th day of November with 24 days to go, and NaBloMeAgain is already giving me all of the guilt and crazy feelings, and empty head, and doubts. I just cannot imagine what November 26th will bring. Probably a one word post like…

 

THERE!!!

 

HAPPY?

 

WTF???

 

KALE!

 

CATS!!!

 

ALLTHECATS!!!(Totally is like ONE word!)

 

I’m already getting so desperate for content that I am considering doing several recipe posts. With pumpkin. Allthefuckingpumpkin.

 

Come read me next week for my Cooking With Cats series! Not that cats will be the ingredients….they will be the stirrers. But damn, no thumbs…

 

See, what can I write about? How I sold clothing? How I wore clothing? How I vacuumed. OMG I CAN talk about how I vacuumed because I just got a new vacuum and I love it! I must be almost 50, because I love my vacuum and tell everyone about it. I love vacuums, cats, and pumpkin recipes. My god. I might even take up knitting!

 

This will not end well.

 

I started this post with the simple intention to say “It’s Friday and I am DONE with this – so here are pictures of my cats in Halloween costumes.!”

 

In case you missed their pictures on Instagram – you’re welcome.

cat-halloween costumes

And Crabby Gabby is famous as she was featured on EOnline last week.

crabby-gabby

“How much do I hate you, let me count the ways…one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight…..”

 

Have a great weekend.

 

Oh wait – I have to do this again tomorrow….

 

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Midlife Band Names

We were discussing band names the other day. The girls were asking how some bands came up with their unique names. Like where did the name Imagine Dragons come from? The Beatles? The Bangles? The Stones?

 

I asked them what they would name their bands. Every answer had something to do with dance or cats. Mainly cats. So I thought I would make a list of band names that would fit my life right now.

 

The Hairy Armpits

The Stray Chin Hairs

The Gray Roots

The Minivans

Goldfish Under The Chair

8 Loads Of Laundry

Mismatched Socks

Yesterdays Mascara

Yoga Pants Forever

Breakfast For Dinner Again

The Cat Ladies

Fingerprints On Glass

Don’t Lick The Outlets

The Instagrammers

The Dishwasher Unloaders

The Vacuumers

The Feet Of The Crows

The Missing Glove Finders

Carpool Drivers

Netflix Bingers

Boo Boo Kissers

The Sensible Shoes

 

What would you name your band?

 

 

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In The Dance Basement

I now sit in the dance studio lobby 12 hours a week. And when I say dance studio lobby, I mean a basement hallway with screaming tweenagers everywhere.

 

AND I LOVE IT!

 

Things I do to pass the time in the basement:

  1. Gossip with other dance moms
  2. Think about taking the adult tap class – but never do
  3. Shop online
  4. Eat the remainder of my kids’ Jimmy Johns sandwiches FREAKY FAST
  5. Sudoku
  6. Drink coffee
  7. Gossip with the dance dads
  8. Homework help
  9. Read books
  10. Color
  11. Read gossip magazines
  12. Play Candy Crush
  13. Drink more coffee
  14. Think some more about taking a dance class
  15. Clean out my purse
  16. Think about doing work
  17. Work. Kind of.
  18. Drink some more coffee
  19. Manage my calendar
  20. Think about how much I actually love sitting in the dance basement with my people

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Do you spend HOURS and hours per week on the soccer sidelines or dance basement? What’s your favorite way to pass the time?

 

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