Thursday, February 28, 2013

the little things. literally.

Every morning, once the very last kid has walked out the front door, I begin my morning straightening routine.  I walk the house, picking up the random things that have collected in various areas.  Can you spot the hair brush in the above photo?  It's just something I do, like making the beds and opening the window curtains.  It's like my simple little mental to-do list that makes me feel like I'm accomplishing things first thing in the morning.  Some things find there way to the same exact spot everyday, while other items change spots daily {that darn brush}, and then there are surprise items that I have never seen before.  Of course, most things land on the kitchen counter.  I'm totally guilty there.

Nail clippers in the family room usually mean I need to vacuum.  

Collecting breakfast water glasses is a daily constant.

Jackson's 2nd bedroom has become the kitchen table.

And orange slinky and elastic hair band on the kitchen counter.

Always the toothpaste.  Always.

Laundry collections round out my mornings.  I can't miss a day or some kid will be desperately missing a clothing item.

Stuffed animals on the floor.

And my morning routine would not be complete without a clump of cat hair on the floor.

Do you have a morning routine?  Are there things about your routine that drive you nuts?  I don't mind the picking up so much, but I get annoyed that my two cats follow me around, especially when I'm working in the kitchen.  Every single morning they pace in the kitchen, waiting for me to make them a delicious dish, yet every single morning I make them nothing.  They never give up, do they?

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

you might be perimenopausal if...

Sorry boys, I'm about to go there.

You might be perimenopausal if...

... you break out into a sweat while putting on mascara.

... you find yourself in a desperate sprint to the thermostat after yelling, "Who turned up the damn heat?"

... you talk aloud to yourself for a good five minutes about how some people have no regard for normal house temperatures.

... you run five miles and gain 3 pounds all in one day.

... you can hardly get your rings on your swollen fingers one day.

... you suddenly can get your rings on but you can't stop peeing all the next day.

... you have zero tolerance for listening to other people's woes in life.  Suck it up, camper.

... you laugh one minute and then cry for the other forty minutes.

... do you know what crying does to these eyes the next day?

... you're happy when your husband goes out of town but you're miserably depressed without him.

... you're miserably depressed about a cookie.  And that other one too.

Sounds like fun, right?  Oh I am all kinds of entertaining right now.  In fact, I'm going to tag this post under "Family Fun."

what the family's been up to these days.

It's ugly out there, friends.  Simply ugly.  I've often thought about taking my camera outside to try to capture some winter beauty {in an effort to find the beauty in even the mundane}, but I'm sorry to say that there's nothing out there that impresses me.  It's just icky.

Rather than hang my mighty, round head in despair though, I thought I'd share the goods going on right now {before returning to my bed to weep for Spring}.  Family updates make everyone happy, right?

I'll start with me {I always do!}.  I'm currently feeling like I'm waiting for my life to start, only not as dramatically as that sounds.  I'm enrolled in an online Education program and am set to start on March 1st.  I've had experience with online courses, so I am looking forward to the convenience of doing my learning at home while the kids are in school.  I'm nervous though about writing papers and taking exams and all that timely stuff.  Before the move, I was a full-time student and I loved it and I did well and I balanced it all quite extraordinarily {if I do say so myself}.  But I've had 8 months of easy living, which is quite enough time to forget about studying and writing and cramming and test-taking.  I'm a little nervous all over again.  Plus I will just be at home, able to stay in my pajamas all day, working on my computer, having no social life.  That's my fear, anyway.  My goal, however, is to continue to get up, work out, get dressed, and get out to the library or coffee shop to do some studying sometimes.  I could easily become a hermit if I allowed myself, but I don't want that.  For the most part, I am excited to use my brain again and work toward my teaching degree.  It will be wonderful to work with kids again and feel like a real contribution to society once again.

Husband is slowly getting back into travel-mode, which I can only imagine is pretty sweet.  I love an opportunity to get out of town {even though he is working, obviously}.  He is flying back from Orlando right now and I'm trying not to think too much about how 80 degrees felt on his person.  When he's not working, he's busying himself with making summer travel plans for the family.  It turns out, I'll have a turn at Orlando too, this summer, when we all visit DISNEY WORLD!  It's only a 2-hour flight!!!  Woot woot!  Needless to say, we are all very excited about this family trip.  When Husband isn't busy planning trips, he can usually be found at a local restaurant with me, having a little lunch date.  We enjoy our lunch dates.

Elyssa is still plugging away at school and plans to graduate this Spring {with just one summer class to complete her AA degree} and then is off to the university.  Her goal is to live in the honors dorms and so she has put in her application for that.  It will be really weird to have her be away from home, but I am excited for her.  Last weekend I helped her hang framed photos on her bedroom walls, so I am taking that as a sign that she's not too ready to leave us just yet.  Plus the university is only 20 minutes away, so I imagine weekend trips home for laundry and lots of family dinner dates downtown.

Jackson finished his basketball season with the Champion play-off title.  I think he is forever done with competitive basketball, so this was a happy last finale.  He still plays video games and computer games and gets together with friends.  We just signed him up for a week-long Science camp {with a friend} for this summer.  He gets to stay in a college dorm and do all things science-y which is perfect for him.  He also is currently on a healthier-eating kick and has decided {along with me} to say bye-bye to sports drinks and aspartame.  He's drinking water for now, along with his rice milk.  The last thing I want him to do though, is focus too much on changing himself.  I want him to see what I see, which is a handsome, sweet, funny, caring guy.  We'll just eat a little healthier, work a little harder, and go from there.  Moderation.

McKenna is still plugging away at basketball and has been invited to continue playing on a Spring team.  Of course, she is like, "Can I think about it?"  It has been such a long season.  But the girl is good, so I am trying to be "encouraging."  We also just signed her up to go on a 5th grade overnight trip at the end of the school year.  Talk about fun - Gettysburg and Hershey Park!  Lucky!  She's kind of nervous to leave us for the night, but I'm enforcing this one.  It's not like I'm making her endure torture.  She WILL have fun.  And she needs the experience of being away from us.  I mean, she has been away from us plenty, but she still gets nervous and homesick.  But I'm kind of thinking it'll be hard to miss us when she's at an AMUSEMENT PARK!!!

I just realized that most of our updates have something we are looking forward to in the near future {as when it's NOT winter}.  I guess we are all kind of waiting.  Right now we just continue to plug along in school.  We stay inside by the fire.  We eat dinner together.  We watch some tv.  We do homework.  We pass time.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


On this day:

>> I ran 5 miles.  FIVE MILES, PEOPLE!  Don't worry, I wasn't wearing this outfit at the time.
>> Sunshine!  Warmth?  No, not really.  But sunshine!
>> Husband headed to Orlando.  80 degrees!  What does that even feel like?
>> I changed into warm sweats right after I took these photos.  It's just too cold for bare legs.  But as soon as it gets warm, this outfit is going out on the town.  :)

pleated poppy

tangy tomato brisket. so easy. so best ever.

This is the juiciest darn stuff in the whole darn world.  I'm salivating just looking at it.  Tangy Tomato Brisket from the Pioneer Woman.  It was so easy and so magical.  Just look at how the meat fell apart into complete heavenly tenderness.  It doesn't get any better than that.  I have been dreaming of this stuff ever since I first made it last week.

In one dream I ate it as-is, accompanied with garlic mashed potatoes and buttered corn.
In another dream I ate it in between two slices of grilled Texas Toast {but if I'm being honest, ANY bread will do}.
And in my last dream, I shredded it onto a stack of nacho chips piled with cheddar + jack cheese, black beans, sour cream, and sprinkled scallions.

My dreams are the best, aren't they?  I'm going to make them come true.  That's what I'm going to do.

Monday, February 25, 2013

my backyard the war zone.

These two rascals.  They wanted to airsoft battle with none of the pain.  I don't blame them, of course.  Extra padding?  Yes please.  We are all about safety up in this suburban crib.  Yo.

The cat though?  That scaredy feline wanted nothing to do with this activity.

And these two...?

Far more the peacekeeper types. 
Make love, not war.

most embarrassing photo just keeps getting better.

Remember this embarrassing story?  My funny brother posted this photo to my Facebook page.

I know he loves me.  

Even in his own special way.

real life.

Burnt buns.  Every time.  Just keeping it real.

waking up to sunshine.

Sometimes the sunshine gets me so excited that I feel like I need ten photos to properly capture it when probably one nice picture would do.  But it's sunshine.  


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