the 10 best things about being a kid.

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I hope that all of my American readers are enjoying a fantastic Thanksgiving today – and a fantastic Thursday to all of my readers regardless of geographic location.

I anticipate spending the day trying to make good choices at the dessert table and enjoying the company of our good friends who have graciously invited us into their home for the day. And probably telling our children to stop climbing that / eat your vegetables / no you may not have all the pie – that kind of thing.

Anyway, aside from being Thanksgiving, it’s also time for Mama Kat’s Pretty Much World Famous Writer’s Workshop. This week her prompts were:

Writing Prompts:

1.) 10 best things about being a kid.
2.) A Thanksgiving memory.
3.) A Happy Thanksgiving wish!
4.)You saw it on Pinterest…does it really work?
5.) Something you’re thankful for…might as well keep this going this month!

I’m a little “Thankful List”ed out, so I thought I’d write about something less festive and prompt #1 was calling to me.

Being a kid is totally the best. Here’s why…

  1. Kids don’t have to worry that much about managing their time wisely. If they want to spend five hours coloring or reading a book, nobody really cares. Their husband won’t come home at the end of the day and say, “What do you mean you’ve been playing barbies all day? Where’s my dinner?
  2. Kids don’t care where the other sock is. They just put on a mismatched pair and move on with their lives, no introspection required.
  3. Nap time.
  4. A kid can wear plaid pants, a floral shirt, striped socks and light up sneakers and everyone will agree that it’s awesome. Also – all the clothes fit. You almost never worry about an article of kids’ clothing being true to size or whether it will be flattering. On kids, everything is flattering.
  5. Remember when you were a kid and you got to see your best friends at school every day? Then when your a tween / teen you get to see them all weekend, too. I am lucky if I can hang out with friends once a week usually (though I do strive for more often when possible) and even then I may have to spend the whole time feeding a small child cheerios and changing diapers.
  6. Shorter books. When I was a kid, I could finish five books in one day, no problem. These days it takes me at least two weeks to finish a book and I have to go out of my way to find guilt free reading time, which usually means staying up reading before bed.
  7. Let’s not forget the obvious – when you are a kid you have someone else who cooks for you, cleans for you, organizes your schedule for you, makes dentist and doctor appointments for you, buys all your clothes and toys and reads you a story at night. Can you even imagine having someone do all those things for you now?
  8. Kids fit in all sorts of small spaces – they almost never have to squeeze into a chair or duck below branches. They have an uncanny ability to squeeze themselves into cardboard boxes or laundry baskets while playing games and their limbs seem to move in impossible directions to accommodate this hobby.
  9. When you are a kid people praise and applaud you for all sorts of things like successfully not peeing your pants, eating even just one bite of your vegetables, growing taller, participating in a mandatory sporting event (whether you do well or not), or pronouncing a word funny. The stakes for praise are unbelievably low when you are a kid – anything you do is extraordinary.
  10. When you are a kid, your whole life is in front of you and anything is possible. You could be an astronaut, a ballroom dancer, a world famous reporter, an author, a teacher, a doctor, a time lord, a fire fighter, a princess, a ballerina, a super hero or a ninja. Heck, you could be ALL of those things at the same time. Anything is possible and when you are a kid you feel no pressure to put any kind of logical thinking or hard work behind those dreams. Yes – an adult can do any of those things, too, if they try hard enough and put in the time, but when you are a kid it’s not actually about achieving those things, it’s just about the dream and in those dreams there are no limits. No dreary realities to contend with.

That’s my list – what would be on yours? What do you miss about being a kid? Let me know in the comments section below and don’t forget to link up at Mama Kat’s if you are playing along.

Mama’s Losin’ It

a little love for: mrs meyers orange clove scented countertop spray

mrs meyers countertop spray

I ran out of my favorite countertop spray cleaner recently and since I bought it 8 million years ago at a random store in a mall I never shopped at in Massachusetts, I didn’t have easy access to track it down again short of *gasp* going online. I probably would have gone online, too, except when I was at Target the other day I spotted this bottle of Orange Clove scented Countertop spray by Mrs Meyers (and if it’s not in stock at Target it looks like you can buy it right from Mrs. Meyers website, too!) and thought I’d give it a try.

Oh my gosh guys, LOVE. The scent of this spray makes me feel like a domestic goddess when all I’ve actually done is finally cleaned my darn counters. Sometimes when a scented cleaning product lingers it feels all artificial and invasive but in this instance I kind of wanted to just keep spraying it forever. Like probably my counters are still dirty even though they are all sparkly and grime free after the first go round? No? Guess I’ll just need to get them dirty again!

You guys probably already know that Mrs. Meyers makes tons of earth friendly cleaning products that contain natural essential oils to clean, degrease and remove odors, and that their products are cruelty-free and not tested on animals… and so on and so forth… I know I’ve seen their products in the store a lot but I haven’t bothered to test them out before because I tend to get stuck in a rut with my cleaning products and just keep buying the same brands.

But after trying this counter spray, I’m going to have to add Mrs. Meyers to my Welcome to Jen’s Rut list and try some more of their products. Being a nerd, I felt compelled to look at Mrs. Meyers website. How cute is their origin story?

Our products were inspired by Mrs. Thelma A. Meyer, an Iowa homemaker and mother of nine. It all started when one of her daughters was walking down a cleaning aisle, eyeing all the products with their harsh, stinky chemicals. Right then and there, she had an idea: “Let’s make cleaners that smell nice, like my mom’s garden, but still work like the dickens on daily dirt and grime.”

Looking at their website, I found a TON of scents that I’d never known they sold before as Target tends to just sell the three or four basic scents and the occasional seasonal scent. I’m dying to check out their rhubarb hand soap and I rarely turn down a lemon scented cleaner so the lemon verbena is one I’ll be checking out soon, too.

What is your favorite cleaning product?

What scents do you like best in your kitchen?

Nightstand: November 2013

my nightstand

Seriously guys, is someone messing with me? Did someone change the date on my computer (and cell phone, tablet, and page  a day calender)? HOW is it the 4th week of November already? It should NOT be possible, but since the impossible seems to have happened once again, let’s talk about the books on my nightstand, linking up with the lovely ladies at 5 Minutes For Books yet again.

Last month I read 5 books :

a classic, a book on writing, a YA dystopian book, a short memoir on potty training and a romance novel by an author I adore

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  1. Franny and Zooey by J.D. Salinger – Finished October 22, 2013 – I was on the fence about how many stars to give this one. I didn’t love it but I didn’t hate it. It made me think (a little bit) but also nothing really happens. In a nutshell, this is a book about two siblings who are so smart that they can barely function in normal society – they are just incapacitated by their own cleverness. 2/3rds of the book is literally the world’s longest lecture. Then there is a phone call and both Too Smart For Their Own Good characters seem to come momentarily to their senses and then it ends. It’s a short story, so it’s not a big time commitment and there were definitely interesting moments and thoughts. But it isn’t one I’d jump up and down to recommend.
  2. Short Story: From First Draft to Final Product by Michael Milton – Finished October 26, 2013 – I found this book to be very helpful. He has a lot of great tips and ideas and I love the concept of showing one of his stories through several stages of editing and giving examples of some great feedback that he got during the editing process. A useful, informative quick read. I made a lot of highlights to look back at later.
  3. Allegiant (Divergent #3) by Veronica Roth – Finished November 8, 2013 – I almost don’t even know what to say about this final book in the Divergent trilogy. It was fascinating, painful, daring, occasionally flawed, occasionally brilliant. A fitting end to her series all in all, though I imagine many readers take issue with a lot of Roth’s choices in this book, especially the ending, I do think it was the best ending for the story. My one real complaint is just that her decision to write from both Tris’s point of view and Four’s was not exceptionally executed. The two characters’ voices are not very distinct and it was easy to forget who was talking which made the first half of the book at least a little difficult to get lost in. All in all though, I did really enjoy it.
  4. Over My Dead Potty by Amy Sprenger – Finished November 10, 2013 – A nice short read with no shortage of laughs – great for anyone who is potty training, has potty trained or anticipates potty training a child. This is less a how to manual and more of a hilarious mini-memoir.
  5. Take Me, Cowboy by Jane Porter – Finished November 13, 2013 – I’ve come to trust Jane Porter to be one of those authors that will always deliver a good story and this book is no exception – it was a nice quick love story that definitely falls further into the line of “passionate romance novel” than most of the books that I read, but it was written so well that I didn’t mind one bit!

currently readingRight now I am reading two books:

This month my book club is reading Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. We’ll be discussing it in just two weeks and I’m only about 1/4 of the way through it according to my Kindle.

This book is intense and complex, with a plot and writing style that take a little getting used to. So for the first 25% of the book I couldn’t tell if I liked it or not and had a hard time committing to it, causing me to “cheat on it” with a lot of other books (read: the two books you see above after Allegiant and the book below that I’ll talk more about in a minute).

“What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right?

During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale.

What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?”

Somewhere around that 1/4 mark though the book started to settle into a rhythm or I got used to the rhythm it had been in all along. Either way, the book got better for me and I’m not longer quite so quick to put it down for a lighter read every night. Only some nights.

I’m also reading As You Do… by Richard Hammond, who you may know from Top Gear, a show that my husband adores and I occasionally enjoy watching with him, mostly for the antics of Richard Hammond. This book reads as though Hammond is actually standing next to you talking. His writing style is VERY similar to his talking style which I suppose could be a good thing or a bad thing but I consider it a good thing.

I’m not super far into the story but I am really enjoying it so far. It’s a collection of stories from his adventures on Top Gear and other ventures. I actually bought this book for my husband and he LOVED it so much that I felt inclined to read it myself. So far so good…

“The wry, honest and often hilarious chronicles of a very brave and clever TV presenter, Arctic explorer, and general drawer of the Short Straw..

He ranges widely over his life and times—a visit to Glastonbury with James May reminds of him of his early years of playing in a band and how and why he never quite made it as a rock star; the stunts and other perils that come his way like the Top Gear North Pole race (why is it Richard who is out in the howling elements in a dog sled while the others are in the heated cab of an all-terrain vehicle?), Africa where he falls in love with and repatriates a stray car, and the U.S. (once to be chased by rednecks in middle America, the other in pursuit of his hero Evel Knievel); his passion for cars, what he owns and why, and although he loves his wife why it is a toss-up whether he says hello to the wife or the cars first.

Balancing home and family with a crazy, peripatetic working life (or not, sometimes), the hamster is well and truly back on the wheel.”

So what’s next?
Some of the other books I’m considering reading before the end of the year are:

The Last Word by Lisa Lutz – the latest in a story about a zany family of private detectives – “Isabel Spellman is used to being followed, extorted, and questioned—all occupational hazards of working at her family’s firm, Spellman Investigations. Her little sister, Rae, once tailed Izzy for weeks on end to discover the identity of her boyfriend. Her mother, Olivia, once blackmailed Izzy with photographic evidence of Prom Night 1994. It seemed that the Spellmans would lay off after Izzy was fired for breaching client confidentiality, but then Izzy avenged her dismissal by staging a hostile takeover of the company. She should have known better than to think she could put such shenanigans behind her.”

Wish You Were Eyre by Heather Vogel Frederick – #6 in a series : “It’s a dream come true for Megan, who’s jet-setting to Paris for Fashion Week with Gigi. Meanwhile, back in Concord, Mrs. Wong decides to run for mayor, so Emma and Stewart team up to make her campaign a success. Jess and Cassidy are also hoping for victories, Jess in the a cappella finals with the MadriGals and Cassidy in the national hockey championships with her teammates. In the midst of it all, the girls—along with their Wyoming pen pals, who drop in for a visit over Spring Break—dive into Charlotte Bronte’s classic Jane Eyre. Some real life romance follows, as Becca may have found a Mr. Rochester of her own.”

Sherlock Holmes stories by Arthur Conan Doyle – After watching Sherlock on Netflix recently, I’m kind of obsessively looking forward to season 3 starting in the new year so it might be a good time to read some of his stories while I wait impatiently. My husband read a lot of them a year or two ago and I keep meaning to follow suit.

What’s on YOUR nightstand?

You can participate in What’s on Your Nightstand? in several ways. Choose what’s appealing to you:

  1. Take a picture or simply give a list of the stack of books that you are in the process of reading or planning to read (it might be on your nightstand, on a bookshelf, or like me, under your bed).
  2. Give short reviews of the book or books that you read this month.
  3. Tell about what you are reading and why. Did someone give it to you? Are you trying out a new genre at the recommendation of a friend (or website)? Did you stumble across a new author in a used bookstore?
  4. Write about your reading habits. When are you reading these books? Is one reserved for bedtime reading? Does one stay in your car to be read while you are waiting? Do you read just one book at a time?

However you choose to write about your nightstand this month, make sure you link up at 5 Minutes for Books!

What's On Your Nightstand

Nanowrimo: The Last Week.

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It’s the last week of National Novel Writing Month and I’m both optimistic, pessimistic and realistic all at once.

I’ve only written 26,874 – a little over halfway done with less than one week left to hit the challenge goal of 50,000 words and it’s Thanksgiving week to boot (and with Christmas coming I have a million other little goals to attend to in addition to my normal work load as a wife and mother and home keeper).

Is it possible that I’ll finish? Yes, I suppose, but it’s not very likely. Admittedly, this is my own fault. In addition to the normal writing struggles like word block and my already anticipated time constraints – like my husband’s birthday last week which saw me baking and cooking a special dinner for him – I also frankly just goofed off a bit. My sanity required it and I let it happen. Shame on me or good for me? I’m not sure.

So why am I optimistic when reality and pessimism seem to indicate that I won’t finish the challenge? I still think I’ll finish the book either way and at the end of the day, that is more important. If enjoying the holidays and keeping up with my LIFE mean that I don’t write 50,000 words in 30 days – I am totally at peace with that as long as I keep writing.

Are you trying to write a novel this month? How is your progress going? Do you think you’ll finish on time?

Where do all the missing socks go?

socks.

How is it that I can finish all of her laundry and find no matching socks at all? Surely there were matches at one point, but where are they now?

Buried under her bed, in the bottom of the couch or hidden in her toy box?These seem like the likely scenarios but what if they are:

Traveling in time and space?

Being eaten by the washing machine?

Eloping in Vegas?

Being sacrificed to the gods on top of a volcano in Pompeii?

Running away with the dish and the spoon?

Finding themselves in Bali?

On a road trip with some college guy they met in a bar?

Enrolling at Hogwarts School For Witchcraft & Wizardry?

On a top secret mission for the CIA?

Having a torrid affair with one half of a pair of tennis shoes?

Working as assassins for hire?

Performing in a puppet show on off Broadway?

Learning to do the hula in Hawaii?

Where do you think all the missing socks go?

fleeting, rushing moments.

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This month is rushing by faster than I can keep up with. Again. Still. I feel like I’ve been saying this all year. Every month I find myself writing, “Where did this month go? How is it over already?” Every day I look at my children and think “When did they get so big?”

When did her limbs get so long? How long has he been this tall? When did she learn to count this high? When did his vocabulary get so big? How do they keep on growing, faster than I can keep up with? Why didn’t I savor this moment longer and linger in these precious days?

My babies are getting bigger every day but they are also still pretty young, too, I suppose. Four and seven. It seems like just yesterday they were both being born, but I’ve been doing this parenting thing for almost eight years now so even though I still feel like a total newbie, I’m sort of an old pro.

Except in comparison to all those mothers of middle schoolers, teenagers or adults. To them, I’m sure, I ain’t seen nothing yet. I’ll be them someday though. In the blink of an eye they will be grown and gone, tweens then teens then adults and someday hopefully parents of their own small broods. I have lots of time left and no time at all.

The days are long and the years are short. It’s a cliche but it’s so true in these days that seem to drag on forever until I blink and it’s been weeks or months or years – these weeping angel days where time stops feeling linear and starts feeling wibbly wobbly… Fleeting. Rushed. Exhausting. Exhilarating.

Don’t blink.

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(yes, I’m a nerd, shut up)

The 8 Books Everyone Should Read.

One of Mama Kat’s prompts for this week’s Writer’s Workshop was:

List 8 books you’ve read that you think everyone should read in their lifetime.

A tall order? Perhaps, but I thought I’d give it a go anyway. I also blogged about something I am thankful for (hint: it’s his birthday today) at my personal blog. So if you’d rather read me gush about how amazing my husband is, feel free to check that out instead. No? You’d rather talk about books? Well alright then…

The “Classic” Book I Always Say Is My Favorite Book

gone with the windEveryone has that lofty literary novel that they like to keep in their back pocket when someone asks what their favorite book is because it sounds more impressive than that chick lit novel they may be obsessed with. As much as it’s a bit of a parlor trick, Gone With the Wind really is one of my favorite novels.

It is one of the few books that I can say is both my favorite book and my favorite movie – something that doesn’t happen often! This is a book that truly has it all: coming of age, epic love story, historical fiction, action and intrigue. A classic must read.

People really like to hate on Scarlett O’Hara but she is actually one of my favorite literary characters of all time. She is flawed but fierce and I cannot help but root for her to find her happy ending. This is a book I quote often and think of regularly.

The Love Story I Compare All Other Love Stories To

Pride & PrejudicePride and Prejudice is one of those stories that I think almost every living, breathing girl includes on their list of favorites – but for good reason.

This is a love story I never tire of hearing – whether it’s a tv adaptation, movie, web series or a story based off of it, however loosely. There is something deeply satisfying about seeing Elizabeth & Darcy finally come together at the end of this story.

Jane Austen has a lot of classic novels that have stood the test of time, but like millions of girls everywhere, this one is my favorite.

The Book About Food That Changed Everything.

Eating for BeginnersThere are a lot of books about food and eating – cookbooks that people swear by, research novels about why you should be vegetarian or carnivore or omnivore or fruitarian or only eat locally grown food or never eat at all. All of them have their place – but for me, this was one of those books about eating that really resonated.

Eating for Beginners reads like a good friend sharing her experiences and giving all the best information she can in the most accessible way. I love how expertly Rehak combines her parental anecdotes with tales of restaurant and farm life – with some fun recipes and silliness thrown in!

It had me laughing on a nightly basis, drooling over delicious descriptions of food, ear marking recipes and quoting passages out loud to my husband constantly! I am not exaggerating when I say I want to share this book with everyone I know!

The Coming of Age Story That Touched My Heart

Anne of Green GablesEveryone has their childhood fictional hero – mine is Anne of Green Gables. Her coming of age story is one that I think everyone can enjoy at any age. I didn’t discover her books until I was a grown up, but the little girl inside of me instantly loved her and found her to be a “kindred spirit”.

These books have a timeless quality that I don’t think will ever go out of style. This story begins with a young orphan who has never really had a forever home but always dreamed of one.

Follow the series long enough and you can experience everything from the antics of a young girl and her best friends, to finding true love, becoming a mother and much more. This is a series that will stay with you forever.

The Young Adult Series Everyone Should Read

3I struggled with which amazing young adult series I should mention here. The Uglies trilogy, The Hunger Games, Twilight, etc.? All have a place in my heart but I finally had to accept that if you can only read one of the amazing young adult series out there, it should be Harry Potter.

In much the same way that Anne of Green Gables is a coming of age story that any girl can relate to, Harry Potter delivers a similar kind of thing for boys – but this is not a boy’s story only.

This series combines coming of age with magic – it has multiple love stories, heroes and heroines to root for, complicated family stories, mentors that you will relate to the mentors of your own upbringing and school memories that we can all relate to – even if Harry’s are perhaps a little more action-packed.

And like most young adult series that come out these days – HP introduces the idea of sorting people into groups based off personality, interests and talents. The age old question of whether someone would be a Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw, Slytherin or Gryffindor is a favorite among HP fans and it’s a concept you will find in a lot of the YA series that have come out since and no doubt it’s a concept that has been around longer than I realize.

I think teens (and really all people) have a need to define themselves and to find a group of like minded people that make them feel like they belong. Eventually we also come to find that we can be friends with people who aren’t like us and that there isn’t one way to live and think. Harry Potter totally teaches us this lesson along the way of battling evil and saving the day.

That Recent Novel That I Can’t Stop Thinking About

You won’t be able to memorize the title of this story until you’ve read it to it’s entirety, but I don’t think reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is much of a hardship, really.

My book club read this a couple of years back and it was generally loved by all from what I remember. I’ve talked before about the concept of different types of readers. People who read for plot vs. people who read for prose. This is one of those books that I think will make both parties very happy.

A beautifully written book that tells an amazing story in an interesting way. I think the very best books have both things going for it and when I think of the books that have succeeded, this is often the first one that comes to mind.

The Parenting Book I Would Buy Any New Mother

bringing up bebeBringing Up Bebe is the book I wish I’d read before I became a mother for the first time, or even before I had my second child. Instead I read it when my youngest child was three years old, seven years after becoming a mother.

I’m so glad I read it. This is not a preachy book about the right way to parent. It is simply one American mother’s findings after raising her children in France and the differences she has noticed between your basic French parenting practices and American parenting in general.

There were aspects of French parenting that I thought made a lot of sense, some were surprising but great ideas and of course there were some that are just not for me – but I loved reading about how differently other cultures raise their kids and the potential pros and cons to different methods.

I think there is a lot of positive things to be said for French parenting and I’ve already implemented some of these ideas in my own life and I’ve shared the book with some new moms who found the practices for infants to be SUPER helpful. I loved the recipe for yogurt cake included in the book that a lot of french parents use when teaching their children to bake – my son and I made it for his birthday last year and it was delicious.

The Children’s Book I Love Most

winnie the poohDon’t get me wrong. I’m a big fan of Goodnight Moon and Curious George but there is something about Winnie the Pooh that I just adore.

Reading A.A. Milne is like listening to my grandmother tell a story. There is something very comforting and timeless in his story telling and the stories themselves are being told over and over again by those brilliant folks at Disney.

I read this book aloud to my son when he was five years old, a chapter at a time before nap times & bedtimes. While I’m not sure he understood the whole book as there were a lot of big words, he still really enjoyed it, especially since he knew all the characters from the tv show and movies. It was nice to share this with him and fun to watch the movies and see the adaptations of all the stories within the book. Even as a grownup though, I really enjoyed reading this and I have to say, Winnie the Pooh stories are something that never get old – that silly old bear continues to make me laugh and think even in my thirties, just like he did when I was five.

So those are the eight books that I settled on. The decision was NOT easy and there are a lot of other favorite books that I was tempted to call out. I found myself looking through dozens of titles and saying to myself, “I loved this, but would I recommend it to EVERYONE?” And that was my basic thought process that I used when deciding which books to mention.

What eight books would you recommend? Are any of your favorites on my list? Any books I didn’t mention that you think I would love?

Mama’s Losin’ It

Giving thanks for a wonderful husband on his birthday.

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One of Mama Kat’s writing prompts this week was “Something you’re thankful for.” Like any dweeby wife, my first thought of course was of my family – my amazing husband, my adorable intelligent funny kiddos, even my stupid slobbering dog who is occasionally pleasant to be around. I’m thankful for a roof over my head, enough heat and clean water to keep us comfortable, a refrigerator that stays stocked with enough food for us to eat, a healthy family (knock on wood) and you know, books. But the thing that really makes ALL of that possible and keeps me truly sane on even the most trying of days is that husband of mine.

The one who works 9 to 5 7 to 6 and rarely complains. The one who (tries) to remind me to eat healthy, be active, stretch once in a blue moon and take a deep breath before going off into the deep end of a mood swing. The one who cooks dinner when I’m too tired, keeps me in supply of books and coffee, wakes up early to help get the kids ready for school, makes a Tardis out of a cardboard box complete with working light on top, wrestles with the dog to help him burn energy, fixes things when they are broken, builds things when they are needed, takes out the trash, scolds my computer when it’s being naughty, and also frankly just rocks at being a husband, father and human being.

My husband is good at everything. It’s a fact. But he’s humble and doesn’t let it go to his head which is sweet of him. Don’t get me wrong – he’s human, probably. But I would be remiss if I didn’t brag every now and then about the fact that I won the husband lottery. I found a guy who understands how important communication, compromise, team work and awesomeness are to a healthy marriage. I found a guy who gets just as geekily excited about tv shows like Doctor Who and Sherlock, that awesome song I won’t shut up about or that cool board game as I do (Cards Against Humanity, anyone?). He only sometimes corrects my bad grammar and he doesn’t tease me absolutely relentlessly about my addiction to Project Runway / Top Model / The Next Singing Labradoodle Top Chef Model Competition (I would so watch that).

I am thankful for my husband who keeps all the pieces together. For being the peanut butter to my jelly. Today is his birthday and he’ll be no doubt helping get the kids to school, going to work like usual and then coming home to a rushed dinner before we go to a cub scout meeting and then put the kids to bed so they can get up at the crack of dawn and do it all over again. Probably without complaint. I’ll spoil him when I can with birthday gifts and praise – but in the meantime:

Honey,
Happy birthday – I love you so much!
Love,
Wifely
 

Mama’s Losin’ It

Proud Momma Moment.

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Last month MM won the 2nd Grade Courage Award at school. Each grade picks a student who exemplifies the school’s motto and is in general just a great role model. Hearing that my child was being rewarded with that honor made me some kind of proud. Of course I’ve always thought he was an awesome, extraordinary child – but it’s always nice to have people agree with me.

Here is the little speech that they gave about him at the assembly. I was so happy when they sent home a typed copy of it this week – I so wished I’d taken a video recording of the assembly so that I could have those words forever – this is almost even better:

The second grade courage award winner is a very creative and happy child who loves to learn and can be counted on to do the right thing at the right time even when no one is looking. This is a model for Triple PRT, showing peace by always being kind to friends and taking the lead on solving problems when they arise. This winner is always doing their best work, showing a high level of thinking during discussions. This student knows the purpose for being in school, always completing their work with excellence and thoughtfulness. Respect is shown to everyone who encounters this winner and they treat classmates the way they want to be treated. Only kind words are said to others by this second grader, even when others aren’t being thoughtful, and they treat every adult with respect as well. This winner can be counted on to be truthful in every situation, even if it means they need to admit a mistake they have made. Our team is proud to announce this month’s 2nd grade Courage Award Winner:

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