Monday, January 27, 2014

the long, cold winter.

This is definitely a winter for the record books. I have never experienced such cold temperatures...every...single...day. Just about every other day, the schools send out an e-mail notification that school will be on a two-hour delay and tomorrow the schools aren't even going to bother opening at all.

In spite of the weather, the weekend was still a lovely one.  In fact, the weather helped make it a lovely one, which is hard to admit {because isn't it so easy to be miserable over cold, gray skies?}.  After dinner on Saturday night, when all was dark, I somehow decided I needed to get the family outside for some night-time sledding at the park across the street.  I have no idea what got into me, but I managed to guilt the two kids, and even Husband, into bundling up in their snow gear, grabbing the sleds, and heading out into the clear, crisp night air.  And wouldn't you know, that initial whining turned around real quick and we were laughing and having a grand old time.  And oh boy, the calorie-burning!  I had almost forgotten what that was like.  Husband kept asking me what had gotten into me and how I had come up with the idea to go sledding in the freezing cold dark and I still honestly don't know.  I guess I had a momentary lapse, whereby a most pleasurable mom took over my body. We simply shan't let these miraculous moments escape us unscathed.  Seize it.

Sunday was a surprise for Pittsburgh.  Everyone woke up innocently Sunday morning to head to church, or breakfast diners, or {for us} basketball games.  At noon, when we all came out of our respective buildings, we all found the roads completely covered in snow and even more of that stuff falling from the sky.  It was a mess and we were a mess and traffic was a slippery mess.  There was nothing to do but stop at Starbucks for hot cocoa and head home to shovel snow like the shoveling warriors we have become.

Be back tomorrow for the same story, different day, I am sure.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

more wear.


This outfit takes me right back to the Nirvana 90's.
My Seattle roots are showing.
I'm not sure what else to say here.
I mean, I thought the outfit had so much potential when I looked in the mirror.
But no.
Just no.  
Except for the PArty down t-shirt because paying homage to one's state is just too cool.
And Pennsylvania is cool.

J Crew Factory flannel
Party down t-shirt from Etsy
Hollister high-rise jeans
Anthropologie boots from days of yore.

pleated poppy


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

wear.


I've been all about the pajamas-as-daywear these past few weeks, but I did enjoy wearing this cute, little number for a little while yesterday... until it was time for me to don the snow gear, go outside, and blow the darn white stuff off the driveway.  We are getting very few breaks from the snow and absolutely no breaks from the cold this winter.  In fact, the kids are going to school two hours late this morning because of the negative temperatures and crazy-a$$ windchill factor.  It's not all bad, though.  I do appreciate the opportunity to get outside in the fresh, cold air and burn some calories, clearing the snow from the driveway.  And after it snows and the clouds finally disperse, that sunshine is extra brilliant, bouncing off the white-covered ground.  It's beautiful.  Beautiful like this vegan leather top from Anthropologie I found on super-sale.  Ba-bam!

Anthropologie vegan leather top
Hollister high-rise jeans
Boutique 9 boots from Gilt.com
Anthropologie cardigan

pleated poppy


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

for the birds.

These cardinals {and less colorful feathered friends}.  When did they become so fascinating?  What does this mean for me; this little obsession with birds?  Wait, don't tell me.  I don't want to know.  I frequently drive along a main road here in town and I suddenly noticed one day, after all the leaves had fallen from the trees, that someone had built a magnificent bird sanctuary behind their house.  There are bird houses everywhere, and benches for sitting and viewing, I imagine.
It looks dreamy.
It sounds dreadfully boring.
That's my future, isn't it?  
Sitting happily amongst the tall trees with my favorite pair of binoculars, my trusty camera, and maybe a bird journal.
A bird journal.

don't mind the streamers.

I've recently been very drawn to my dining room, so please don't mind all the photos.  This space is finally starting to come together {especially with the left-over, white party streamers, don't you think?} and I enjoy being in here; putting together a puzzle or studying or, you know, dining.  A snowy day just adds to the atmosphere and brightens the view through those sliding doors which, for me, makes the snow at least bearable.  I'm going to be honest.  I'm kind of over white, fluffy stuff and polar vortex-y type weather.  But I have sooooooooo very much longer to go until Spring, don't I?  Thankfully I have the little things in life that keep me sane through the long winter...

> I'm still studying up a storm.  Most weekdays I can be found hitting the books {or laptop} from 6:30am until I finally decide showering would be appropriate at 11:30am.  Any month now I will begin student teaching, so that will change things up a bit in a very good, less anti-social way, for me.  

> Husband found a way to watch the new season of Sherlock and so that has taken up a fair amount of winter.  We watched from the beginning of the first season all the way through.  And WOW!  I can't possibly love a show more...

>...unless we're talking Downton Abbey and I may not love it more than Sherlock, but it is definitely tied.  And it is definitely a wonderful way to make the winter weeks go by.  Other shows that Husband and I consider "date night" include The Blacklist and The Following.  Solo, I'm enjoying Castle and Sleepy Hollow.  I'm sorry, but if the Bachelor is on right now, I would have no idea.  I cannot stand that stuff, which is weird I know.  

> Basketball games and practices are aplenty these days and it truly is our primary form of entertainment right now.  It runs until March, which is just perfect.  I make it through basketball season, I make it through winter.  I win!

> Making travel plans {even if they're plans to travel to another cold place} seems to lift my spirits a little bit too.  My brain just really likes the idea of not being stuck in the same house, staring at the same snow.  Looking through a different window and some different snow actually sounds exciting.  So so so very exciting.  No really, I mean it.
Really.

What do you do to stay sane after the holidays are over and there is nothing left but bare trees, frigid air, and no hope left in the world?




Monday, January 20, 2014

how we feel about chocolate around here.


when i grow up i want to be just like my younger brother.



So, just a little background information: my brother is a middle school teacher/theater actor/graduate of clown college/world traveler/and parental favorite {why wouldn't he be?}.  He just has guts and I admire him tremendously.

P.S. Only kidding, only kidding about being the parental favorite.  I'm sure we're tied.  I produced three grandkids, after all.  :)

P.S.S. There are times when my bro looks so much like my dad in this video, it's crazy!



a very fun, busy weekend.


What a weekend!  And thank goodness for a Monday off {thank you, MLK, Jr.!}.  I am not going anywhere today.  :)

It was one of those weekends spent driving all over Pittsburgh, in 30 minute increments; McKenna and I yoyo'ed north and back on repeat, but all in good fun.  It's almost noon on a Monday and McKenna is still sound asleep in bed because in the last two days, she played three basketball games, had the "best slumber party ever," and jumped on trampolines for two hours with her friends yesterday.  Her energy AMAZES me!

According to McKenna, this was her best birthday party to date and that makes me feel so good.  She said her friends were so awesome and all got along so well - new friendships were made between girls who didn't really know each other... and that's the kind of stuff that makes McKenna's day.  And McKenna having a great group of sweet friends... that's the kind of stuff that makes her mom happy.

We finished off the weekend watching the Seahawks win the NFC Championship and that's when I finally got my exercise, jumping up and down for joy.  I am so very excited!!!  I have never really had a thing for football until this year.  I have always rooted for the Seahawks, but left the game-attending to Husband and Son.  This year though, I have hung on dearly to my fandom and worn my jersey with much pride, here in Pittsburgh.  I guess, for me, it feels like home in a way.  I have so many good memories of our time in Spokane and the drives we took across the state to see the Seahawks play.  Husband took Jackson to most of those games, which was so bonding, while I always had the games on at home, watching and texting Husband during big game moments.  Sometimes we all drove to Seattle together and the girls and I shopped, while the boys went to the game.  It didn't matter if you were at the game or not though, the whole downtown area was alive with Seahawks spirit.  When I did go to the game, I had the pleasure of watching Russell Wilson play when he was second fiddle.  The fans immediately fell in love with that guy.  Oh, if you could have heard us chant "Wilson!  Wilson!  Wilson!"  It was amazing.  Everyone just knew he was a star.  And that Seattle twelfth man is the LOUDEST, most insane thing you will ever hear!  There's a reason for the media hype...because it's true.  We take great pride in that.

Listen to me.  I sound like I dig football.  I guess I do.  :)
I'm going to ignore the media hype in regard to certain players and their after-game outbursts.  I'm just going to continue to enjoy this time, when Pittsburgh doesn't feel so very far away from Washington {and Oregon} and I can show my team pride.  The last time the Seahawks were in the Super Bowl, they lost to Pittsburgh.  I'd love to see them win!!!

Now, enough of the football.

Friday, January 17, 2014

wear.

I almost forgot what it was like to tripod-photograph myself.  That would have been a real shame.

Every night, this cardigan gets folded in half and tossed onto the trunk at the end of my bed.  It just makes it easier to wear again the following day...and the day after that {while I'm being honest}.  I can probably say the same of these high-waisted {fat-sucking} jeans, although they do get washed more often because I'm a hater of baggy denim knees.  During the winter, I just want to be warm and covered and comfortable and what you see, is what you get.  Shnazzy enough for spontaneous lunch dates with Husband, yet cozy enough to doze on the couch after studying.

Anthropologie cardigan.
Hollister high-rise jeans.
AEO guy's tee.
Boutique 9 boots.

mckenna turns a very chocolatey twelve.

Cooking gear for this newly-turned 12 year-old, who plans to one day open up her own bakery/restaurant!  She also received the cutest little sock monkey mittens from one set of grandparents and a giant 3D puzzle {that I have a feeling will soon take over my life} from the other set of grandparents.

According to McKenna, it was a fun day at school and everyone seemed to know it was her birthday, even the librarian!  Her friends sang to her at lunch and then again on the bus ride home.  Ah, to be twelve again.  I am just so happy for her.  She really is just a great kid and has made the coolest friends since we moved here.  Last year, her birthday party included only a few new friends and was more like a getting to know you party with cake and ice cream.  This year, it's all comfort and excitement with the same friends {and quite a few more} who she's gotten to know so well over time.  It's bound to be a fun party weekend, I have no doubt!

A very happy birthday to my little monkey-butt {who is not so little anymore}!



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