Monday, April 30, 2012

early morning toodle-oo

  1. Up at 4:45am to deliver Husband to airport, by ground transportation- via me {yes, in my pajamas} & my minivan. 
  2. Creepy darkness of which I scurried through to safely reach the garage.  Mission to outrun the boogie man: success.
  3. A flash of that sexy grin, before being swallowed into the check-in line.
  4. Oh look.  It's getting light out.  That means I won't have to sprint at full-pace into the house, after pulling into the driveway {you totally know I did anyway, just in case}.

Goodbye, Husband!  Say hello to Boston for me!

the best job in the world.

Have you seen this yet?  It captures the spirit of motherhood beautifully.  There is no better, more fulfilling job out there, than being a mom.  And watching your child discover just how much they're capable of... that's priceless.  

I saw the look of pride when Elyssa was accepted into the Honors program at school and I continue to see that look with each report card.  Determination & Confidence.

I saw the joy in my son's eyes when he won a giant t.v. in a 3-point shootout, during half-time of a basketball game.  Practice & Passion.

I saw the satisfied look on McKenna's face when she realized how amazing she is at hip hop.  That girl can dance.  Natural talent & Spunk.

I wouldn't trade my job for the world.

Have a positively captivating Monday, my friends!


Sunday, April 29, 2012

guilty pleasures.

We have this cute girl to thank, for tonight's dinner plans:  Chuck E. Cheeses - where a kid can be a kid.  We have this tradition of going out to eat dinner as a family, every Sunday evening {on top of all of the other nontraditional eating out that we tend to do also}.  And I know for most parents, this loud, crazy pizza/game token joint might be a tad overwhelming.  And I totally used to think the same thing when our kids were much younger {and potty training and peeing down the indoor slide}.  But now that they are older, this is the go-to place where Husband and I have our best conversations, as the children would rather get their game on than listen to our boring discussions about money, work, and other people who aren't us.  Aaaaannnnnnddddd....the salad bar is amazingsauce!  Eggs AND thousand island dressing AND unfancy lettuce AND cheddar cheese!  I bet you're judging me by my salad choices right now, aren't you?  It's probably all true.

I'm off to go get my salad on!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

the tale of mr. moose.

It all started one afternoon, at Costco.  McKenna just had to have a Mr. Moose.  And Husband just couldn't say no to his little girl.

 And so they brought a moose home.  And he was big.

 The moose was awesome at first.  He received loads of cuddles.

The cat even thought Mr. Moose made a fine place to nap.

And when Husband started to travel to the N.E. for weeks at a time, his wife found great company in the moose, although the cat thought it a bit odd.

The wife tried to be accepting of all creatures, great and small, much to the dismay of her children. 

And then one day, she walked into McKenna's bedroom to see such a sad sight.  Poor Mr. Moose, head hung low, stuffed into the closet, like some kind of toy.

The wife remedied that sad situation straight away, though.  
Nobody puts Mr. Moose in the corner.

wistful portlandia.

A friend posted this on Facebook last night and I was mesmerized.  Portland, Oregon is my hometown.  I spent my entire childhood there; countless weekends clam digging on the coast, special hikes up to the top of Multnomah Falls usually in the rain, a Blazer game or two, night skiing on Mt. Hood, fishing and rafting on the Clackamas, hitting up the Waterfront Park festivals, and visiting the rose gardens and zoo. And I met Husband in Portland too, when he strolled into town.  We had our first kiss at Crown Point's Vista House {on our first date too!}.  I just reached right up on my tiptoes and gave that guy a smooch. 

Perhaps I'm feeling a bit nostalgic, now that I know I am about to get really far away from that place.  It wasn't a big deal at all {in fact it was very exciting} when Husband and I moved to Seattle in 2003.  It was almost like I hadn't moved at all, as I was doing that 2.5 hour drive to visit my family once or twice a month.  Then when we moved to Spokane in October of 2004, it felt quite a bit further away {a 6.5 hour drive} and the visits have grown further apart over our 7 years here.  Of course, as the children have gotten older, the schedules have become crazy-busy and it's harder to get away.  But we sure do enjoy the times we do get the opportunity to drive down and visit family.  It's always a hoot and it always fills me up with goodness.

Anyway, I obviously will always have a soft spot in my heart for Portlandia for nostalgic reasons. But it truly is a beautiful, eclectic place with something for everyone.  And if you don't mind the rain {because all of the rain rumors are true}, you should someday visit this wonderful city!  I'm going to have to sneak down there one more time before we head to Pittsburgh.

Happy Saturday!

Friday, April 27, 2012

when life hands you lemons.

We are coming up on a busy time of year.  Three out of the 5 of us have a birthday between May 29 and June 9, the eldest daughter is graduating from high school on June 10 {of which equals tons of senior picnics and breakfasts and celebrations}, and now the nice people who are buying our house would like to move up the closing date from mid-July to end-of-May.  saywhatnow?

As you can imagine, this completely puts a bump in our smooth transition, as we are planning to stay in Spokane until the end of June so the kids can finish the school year.  Honestly though, good problems, right?  Our house sold and that's the most important thing.  So, it looks like this family will be packing up and taking advantage of temporary housing for about a month.  An adventure!

As you can also imagine, the children of this family are not so amused with the date-modification.  Heck, if leaving your friends isn't hard enough, now you get to watch all of your bedroom collections be packed away into boxes, and then you get to cram into a hotel-complete-with-kitchenette for a WHOLE MONTH... with your whole fam-damily!  Cha-ching! I don't think so.

So, life handed us a lemon or two, what can we do?  Here's what I have been deciding over the last few days, as I bear witness to my children's sometimes crumbling emotions over the deal:  I'm switching my role as 'sympathetic mom' to 'encouraging mom.'  Encouraging mom can and will be empathetic, don't get me wrong.  And maybe on a really lucky day, one might find sympathy from me.  But what this family needs is some good, positive, we-can-do-this vibes.  I'm all for reflecting upon what we are losing and my children have EVERY right to experience their emotions of sadness, but I feel like it's not what we need to focus on.  We hardly need to feel sorry for ourselves.  We are a good, strong family unit and we are very fortunate in life.  This move could just as well be the bestest thing we ever do for our family.  Perhaps one day, after we are living in Pittsburgh for a while, a kid will look up to me and say, "I love my school and all of my friends.  I'm so glad we moved here."  So, rather than feel sad when I see my children sad and let the guilt eat me alive, I am going to remain positive and upbeat.  It's easy to turn into a pile of mush when kids are hurting, but I'm going to actually attempt to lift them up out of their despair... and hopefully lift myself up as well.  This move can be sooooooo fun and awesome and amazing!  If only we let it be that.

Let's turn those lemons into lemon bars!  Lemonade is so overly used!  And lemon bars are the BOMB!

P.S. So who's going to remind me daily of my new role, when the poop starts hitting the fan? 

a little bit of this and that.

Ahhh, Spring in Spokane.  One day I'm wearing flip flops and enjoying the sweet smell of the tulip blossom blooms... and the next day I'm in rain boots, watching the tulip petals fall to the ground in the swirling wind and rain.
Adios tulips!  It's been a swell two whole days!

I took advantage of Loft's 50% off pants sale on Wednesday.  Love the bright cheery colors that will go so swimmingly with my floral handbag.  Matchy-matchy much?  Yes, please.  I have come to know Spokane's one-and-only Loft store very well recently, and have become a huge fan of that place.  So, I am very happy to report that there are FIVE Loft locations in Pittsburgh.  Yes, yes, please!

Last night I parked behind this Pittsburgh Steelers fan {picking up yummy Round Table pizza for dinner}.  I think this driver might be a skosh jealous if he knew we were moving to that fine city he adores so much. And let me tell you, ever since we found out about our relocation, we see Pittsburgh signs/news/stories EVERYWHERE.  The universe is trying to tell us something, I guess.
Well, we hear you universe!  Loud and clear!

Oh, yeah.  Snicker doodles.  Fresh out of the oven.  It's been too long since I've baked any kind of treat and it was completely as amazing as it sounds, biting into a warm, soft cookie.  Delish.

And then a school-night sleepover that almost happened for McKenna.  Only her friend got homesick and well, wanted desperately to go home.  Not even a snicker doodle could convince her to stay.  
Don't worry, I've had enough experience over the years not to take this too personally.  Husband just enjoys wearing his Captain America costume around the house and there's not much we can do about that.

PS. Husband would like you to know that his wife totally makes this stuff up.  I tried to tell him you already know I'm joking, but he must completely doubt your intelligence. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

before you know it.

Little did I know that these would be the last last-day-of-school photos with all of my children included.  I really didn't think too hard on it when I snapped the pictures last June.  We were just busy celebrating the end of homework and studies and tests.  But today I placed an order for Elyssa's graduation cap and gown, and even though I have known this day was coming for a long while, it's kinda really starting to sink in.  My firstborn is graduating from high school.  Wow.  In reality, she has already been enrolled in college classes this year, so it's not like I'm dealing with this cold turkey.  But still, this is a major milestone in life.
Elyssa will graduate here in Spokane, continue college in Pittsburgh, and then she is free to spread her wings and fly... and plan to have us visit often.  Oh, the things this girl will do, I tell you.  She's going to make things happen.

Before you know it, they're all grow'd up.  Give those babies lotsa cuddles while you can.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

some randoms.


 This week's walk across campus was a thing of beauty.  I'm sure that's something only a 37 year-old college student would say.  While the younger kids were probably enjoying loud music, outdoor lunch, and flirting, I was taking photos of the tree blossoms.  So hip, I know.


Is that a happy cat or what?  And just look at that rockstar self-acclaimed tomboy.  She found out this week that her feet are as big as mine.  And that was pure happiness.

I know this still-life {by yours truly} doesn't appear funny as-is.  But I promise you that when Mr. Husband experimented with the position of which he was holding it in front of his person, the sound of my jaw dropping was immediately followed by side-splitting laughter.  


In real life this week:

1.  The only book I'm reading these days is a textbook.
2.  I colored my own hair {twice after accidental greenish tones}.
3.  I went *lazy-style on the pancakes-for-dinner {but I did add fresh berries in my defense}.

*By lazy-style I am only referring to the jug of pre made Bisquick in which I only had to add water and shake.  I might have been living in a cave as not to ever have seen this stuff before, but it's waaayyyy easier than cracking two eggs and adding milk and then actually stirring lumps that will never ever disappear, causing children to verbally alert the maker of the pancakes to the crazy amount of lumps that burst open into tiny powder explosions.  Buuuuutttt, pancakes for dinner in and of itself is not lazy and is quite lovely.

round button chicken

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

dreams really do come true.

The daffodils haven't bloomed yet.  Ahhh poo.  But they're going to very soon and it's going to be absolutely beautiful.  I know, because they've popped up every year since we've been in this house {thanks to the previous owner}.  This little backyard had not much to offer when we first moved in...and zero privacy.  We put our renovation monies into the inside of the house and had little left for any outdoor improvements.  So, we got creative and planted a long row of arborvitaes along the back fence {chain link}.  We called it our 5 year fence, meaning that in five years we would have privacy.  Well, it's been 7 years and we actually just now have complete privacy.  And now we're not even going to know what that's like.  Life is funny.

In all honesty though, way before we found out we were moving to Pittsburgh, we had set a deadline to put our house on the market by June 1st.  We had plans to get off this busy street.  And I know this because as I was perusing my calendar for upcoming dates, I saw a reminder to "sell the house!!!" on June One.  I was instantly taken back to the day I typed it on there, in a fit of ridiculous hysteria because I wanted to move so badly.  So, I guess if you throw a fit hard enough, your dreams really will come true.  Even if it means moving far across the country to get off your dumbbusy street.

Monday, April 23, 2012

weekending in lilac-land.

Welcome to River Park Square, the best mall in Spokane {aka the Lilac City}, in the heart of downtown.  This is the beautiful view, as one rides up the escalator to the movie theater on the top floors.  PF Changs is across the street to the right and Red Robin is on the left {total yum}.  It's not a giant mall, but it gets the job done {Loft, Gap, BR, Nordstrom, WHBM} and it's the best place to catch a movie in this town.  This time around, we saw "Chimpanzees."  Cute, but rent-worthy.

 Saturday's lunch called for Red Robin.  I had to make up for my Mozzy stick mishap.

First capri-wearing of the year, in bright green!  And first outdoor book-reading to boot!

 Florals are just starting to make their way out, as spied on my morning walk.

McKenna built her first fort of the season.  I cannot wait to create more of those cozy-type places this summer.

Such a beautiful Sunday to do absolutely not-a-thing.  I was so lazy, I made myself tired and had to take a nap.  Love.

I'm just taking it all in and trying to enjoy each day, one-at-a-time.  It won't be long until we leave Spokane and I want to grab up all of the good memories into my arms and take them with me when I go.

I hope your Monday was ravishing!



Setting the scene:  On the highway, family of five, driving into Idaho for a dinner at Texas Roadhouse.

Husband:  You know what?  I could totally be a truck driver.

Supportive Wife:  No way.  You totally could not.

Husband:  Why not?

Wife:  You wouldn't be able to wear your Indochino.

Husband:  Well, I said I could be a truck driver, not that I was actually considering becoming one.

*No truck driver's feelings were harmed in the making of this post.
**Indochino is a husband's dream come true, if he is a wearer of suits.
***I never dared imagine that I would post a picture of a semi truck on this here blog.

Breaker, breaker, breaker.

frankly speaking.

McKenna: an adorable 10 year-old who might as well be at least 12; lover of watching tv in mom's bed with mom; fan of all things hip hop dance, wearer of boys' skate shoes and anything of contrasting colors and patterns; socialite; adorer of family and bffs; enjoyer of independence and doing things her own way-or-the-highway.

This weekend, we went to pick up her friend for an overnight play date.  At the friends house, went the following conversation:

Friend's Mom: So, I saw the sold sign in front of your house!  Wow, that was fast, wasn't it?  How   
                           exciting!  McKenna, are you so excited that your house sold?

McKenna:  No.  

*awkward moment of understandable silence follows.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

april madness.

Spokane weather is glorious this weekend {albeit a fluke} and I am taking full advantage of the outdoors {right after I'm done typing this post}.  I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do, but whatever it is... it will be outside!  
Weather this good made me wonder what the weather is like in Pittsburgh today {because right now I am in a constant state of comparing the two cities}.  And for today... Spokane gets full points!...which is not quite the moving-motivator, but then again, today's 80 degrees is just a twist of fate {i guess}.

Spokane: Awesomeness!

Pittsburgh: Not Awesomeness.

See what I mean?


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