Currently (08.16.16).

22840421Reading several books tbh but the one I’m picking up most frequently these days is My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton and Jodi Meadows. It’s sort of historical fiction and sort of young adult fantasy and totally awesome. The writing is fresh and snappy and I love basically everyone in the book. Hysterical and thoroughly enjoyable. Featuring a reluctant king, an even more reluctant queen, a noble steed, and only a passing resemblance to actual history—because sometimes history needs a little help.

Eating this end of summer pasta dish tonight. We haven’t had it in awhile but it’s one of my favorite things to cook. Cherry tomatoes, summer squash, zucchini, eggplant and garlic all get together to top whatever pasta you have on hand. Easy to cook and so delicious.

Watching The OC on CW Seed. How have I never watched this? I’m obsessed with this kind of soapy teen drama that has such fun blast from the past cameos and a surprisingly meaty story line. Also hooked on The Great British Baking Show on Netflix. You can also watch online at pbs.com if you are ready to move onto other seasons.

Listening to whatever is on my phone’s playlist like Lost Boy by Ruth B which is my kids’ current fave song.

Thinking about getting rid of cable. I’ve been making spreadsheets and having lengthy convos with the hubs at night. We’re also trying to really up our diet and exercise game this fall.

Looking forward to school starting on Monday. I know a lot of my friends are ambivalent about the coming school year but I’m stoked to get back to a real schedule and looking forward to all the thing the new school year will bring. MM has a new teacher, I’m totally ready to start volunteering at the school again and getting into a regular exercise routine. We’ve had an awesome summer but it’s been long enough for me and I am ready for fall!

What have you been up to lately?

Save

What’s saving my life right now.

whats-saving-my-life

Anne @ Modern Mrs. Darcy was writing about the things that save her life during the busy, trying, stressful times of life – I don’t know about you, but for me that kinda describes all the days right now. As I continue to work extra hours at work, cart children to karate lessons, push them through homework and struggle to keep up with all of the homelife chores that are so easy to ignore – and then add in winter fun like scraping cars, shoveling driveways, searching for missing mittens and the like – yeah, it’s fun times.

Anne is right to say that it’s easy to think of all the things making life difficult.

“Even though most of us can easily articulate what’s killing us, but few of us pay attention to what’s giving us life.”

i.e. Sometimes we need to be reminded to stop and smell the roses. To see the things that are making our lives better and to acknowledge them. Anne has been making her list and now I’m going to do the same.

Here are some things saving my life right now.

  1. Almond milk steamers. And little frothing wands so that I can make them at home. And this. I gave up caffeine about a year ago and apparently now I’ve given up dairy (at least temporarily) so steamed almond milk is my new placebo and it’s ridiculous how addictive they are.
  2. After School Care. I’d have a hard time remaining gainfully employed without the amazing after school care program at my kids’ school which is affordable and acts as a bonus venue for my kids to do their homework without me having to nag over them for every little step. They still come home with plenty but it’s nice to get my breaks when I can.
  3. John Mayer. Some friends of mine were teasing me about my John Love the other day but I don’t care because I adore him and his music keeps me sane on the bad days and the good. I’ve been a fan for over 10 years now and I’m amazed at how his music stands the test of time with me. Between the lyrics, the awesome guitar playing and his copious amounts of live recordings – his albums are some of the only ones that pass the test of “but are all the songs good?” LOVE.
  4. Regular Game Nights. AKA Friends without Kids. It’s hard to make the commitment to get out and see my friends but we are blessed to have terrific friends that don’t have kids and thus can come to us and hang out until the wee hours playing Cards Against Humanity or Fluxx or watching Archer or whatever really. No baby sitter required.
  5. Other friends, too. I really am blessed with a great social circle. I am an active member of a book club, play team trivia at least once a month, and it’s all thanks to that meetup.com group that I joined when we moved here 5+ years ago when I was looking for friends for my kids but found friends for me instead. I am blessed to have met these amazing women and love that I can find the time to see them semi-regularly.
  6. A very helpful husband. I’ve got a guy who can fix anything, cooks way better than me (and cleans better than me, too). He can sew stuff that needs sewing, listen to me vent about xyz, tolerates my absolute lack of ability to wake up in the morning and is general good at everything and handsome, too. Yes, I won the lottery. No, you can’t have him.
  7. My kindle and the millions of other good books cluttering our home. I thrive on having a good book to lose myself in on a long day. Right now I’m losing myself in this and I’m obsessed. Obsessed.
  8. Fluffy blankets, space heaters and warm sweaters. I hate the winter and I live in Wisconsin. This is a vexing thing. Also, my otherwise perfect husband seems to run extremely warm and always wants the thermastat at temperatures that make my hands permanently feel like they are under ice water. Warm cozies go a long way towards surviving these maladies.
  9. Funny stuff and a sense of humor. I’m all about the funny right now. I’ve got enough drama for this lifetime so I’m trying to focus on entertainment that amuses rather than torments. I want silly celebrity memoirs, tv shows starring the funniest people that you’ve seen on SNL, songs by Meghan Trainor and friends that can make me literally LOL. Luckily I have access to all of these things.
  10. Not having to make even numbered lists. Whoops.

What things are saving your life right now?

Currently: December 4, 2012

Obsessing over: the final stages of Christmas shopping which will be followed shortly by Christmas present wrapping and stocking stuffing… Also working on Christmas crafts with the kids and a couple of Advent activities.

Feeling: overwhelmed a bit by a busy couple of weeks ahead of me not even just including the holidays but some more worky / important type stuff, too. Nothing terribly interesting just lots to do.

Working on: cleaning and then recleaning when my clean places get messy again. The never ending cycle that is motherhood.

Thinking about: how repetitive and bland these posts are starting to feel. Might be time for something new…

Currently Reading: The Story Sisters by Alice Hoffman which is fascinating and awful and beautifully written and depressing and … you get the idea, it’s one of those books. I’m still waiting for the upswing where maybe things start to get better but worried that there is no upswing.

Listening to: the hum of my space heater. Momma is cold but trying to save on the old gas bill.

Pinning (The Just One Pin Edition):

how to make a candy cane wreath @ really, are you serious? (we did this!)

Currently: November 26th

Obsessing over: my very, very full refrigerator and all of the leftovers we have to get through. After all of my worry over us not being healthy enough to get through Thanksgiving, we ended up being fully recovered by Turkey Day and spent Thursday and most of the weekend cooking away. In addition to our Thanksgiving feast we also made spoonbread, turkey soup, French Toast and bread pudding this weekend.

Feeling: excited about the upcoming holiday season and even somewhat on top of things.I’ve already finished shopping for Dan and the kids for the most part (still need to fill stockings, always the last straggling item) and ordered photo calendars for the grandparents and great-grandparents.

This weekend we are planning to put up our Christmas tree and I’ve got an advent book box all set to go (I’ve seen a lot of variations on this idea, mine is just a cardboard box filled with 24 Christmas stories of varying kinds – some old classics, some picture books with favorite characters and a few chapter books for MM). I was going to individually wrap them all but that sounded like a lot of unnecessary work.

So apart from stocking stuffers that pretty much leaves Christmas cards, some craft projects and holiday baking – and maybe a gift for MM’s teacher and some friends and neighbors. And again, I really am trying to keep it small this year. Remind me of that over the coming month when I turn into a holiday crazed mommy!

Working on: cleaning out my office and the basement, trying to organize some things that have gone ignored for awhile now and rethinking how we organize some areas that aren’t really working. Basically, my in-laws are coming to visit next month and I’d really like to have a home I’m semi-proud of before they get here.

Thinking about: bluray players – we picked up a rather inexpensive one several months ago and for the most part we’re happy with it, but it does seem a bit on the clunky side. The remote has never worked well and it makes odd clunking sounds when it is loading videos. Dan tried to tinker with the player to get the remote to work better and for the first time in at least 6 1/2 years he actually made it worse. This is unprecedented and frankly I blame the player. He has a few more tricks up his sleeve to try out but I’m seriously considering saving up for a better bluray player or perhaps getting him the PS3 that he has wanted for years now which also plays blurays. Anyone have a bluray recommendation or experience with the PS3?

Currently Reading: Our November book club pick, The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. I am nearly finished and stand a chance of finishing before our meeting on Wednesday but I’ll need to leave myself plenty of reading time for the next two nights if I want to finish and sleep at night. I really like the author’s sense of humor and writing style and found the concept of the book fascinating. I think it should make for an interesting book club discussion.

Listening to: Pocahontas in the background, one of BB’s new favorite movies (in addition to Tinker Bell, Snow White and Sofia the First – have you seen this on Disney yet? It is absolutely adorable and apparently it will be a new series in 2013 – very much looking forward to that, I recommend it for all your little princess lovers).

Pinning (The Holidays Edition): 

peppermint snow pie * how to tie a necktie * hot cocoa bar for Xmas morning * easy paper wreath

Currently: November 13th

The MM Edition

Typically my posts are just a smorgasboard of BB pictures since I’m home with her all week while the boys are at work and school, so I thought I’d mix things up and make the extra effort to take more pictures of MM and share them with you in this here “Currently” post – since, you know, these are the only things I seem to write these days.

little artist. on 365 Project

Obsessing over: how behind I am on NaNoWriMo. I started out strong the first week and then completely dropped the ball. I literally haven’t written at all in like a week and barely even felt guilty about it. The thing is, it’s not like I lost interest in the story, I just sort of rebelliously was like, “shut up, I don’t want to write every day and you can’t make me.” And then nobody made me. I wrote a couple hundred words today but it was hard to focus with my children yelping like wild animals in the next room and when they are not making noise, writing is like the last thing I want to do ironically. I think I need to divorce my DVR and Facebook if I intend to meet my word count. But then I thought? Imagine if I decided to be a rebel and write during OTHER months of the year, too, instead of stock piling all of my creative energies for one month of the year?

Feeling: the desire to start getting a little more active. No grand proclamations here, but it sure would be nice to make it to a yoga class this week and maybe get in some walking – though with the temperature drop this week, it’ll likely be an indoor walk. Baby, it’s cold outside!

Working on: my resume and dipping a toe into the job hunting world. I have been toying with the idea of looking for a part time writing / editing job or something similar, if I can find something in the telecommuting arena that uses my English Major Type Skills while allowing me to stay home with Small Child. I know that’s a pretty long shot, but since we aren’t hard up for money and I’m unwilling to put the Little Miss in daycare, I don’t mind being a bit picky. But cross your fingers and toes for me that I might actually find something that fits the bill.

Popcorn delivery! on 365 Project

Thinking about: the upcoming holidays and trying to keep it simple. I picked up “the big present” for each kid at Costco this weekend because they actually had the two things I had in mind. Dan and I are planning one similarly sized gift for each of us and then I’m thinking I’ll focus on stocking stuffers and some nice PJs / maybe robes and slippers to open on Christmas Eve. In previous years I’ve made the mistake of starting my shopping too soon and then continuing to shop all season whenever there were good deals. So I’m really going to focus on knowing when we’re done and not going overboard. I’m also not going to buy anything else until the kids write their letters to Santa sometime after Thanksgiving – we wouldn’t want to steal Santa’s thunder now, would we?

Currently Reading: Our November book club pick, The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. I’m a couple chapters in and really enjoying the author’s sense of humor and writing. He may be a self proclaimed “grump” but I find him very funny and clever – I’m enjoying the book a lot and I love getting to read about all these different countries he’s visiting – vicariously vacationing through other people is much cheaper than going to all those places myself.

Listening to: the kids building towers and being ridiculously noisy in the process. Is it bedtime yet?

Pinning (The Delicious Edition): 

almond cloud cookies by Joy the Baker * peppermint snow pie * salted whiskey caramels

A cold morning at the bus stop. on 365 Project

Currently: November 7th

Obsessing over: how maybe in a couple of days my Facebook feed will not be flooded with political posts. I have a lot of passionately political friends, but for the past couple of days it’s been verging on ridiculous. Hopefully maybe tomorrow we will all find something else to talk about.

That said, Congratulations Mr. President on another 4 years. My daughter stood outside in the cold for an hour in line with mommy and daddy to vote for you. Make her cold fingers worth it, please, and make us all proud!

Feeling: the holiday season start to swing into action. Halloween has come and gone, and now Turkey Day and Christmas feel right around the corner. I’ve been slowly planning both for awhile now but pretty soon I’ll have to actually decide which presents to buy and start wrapping. Not for awhile longer though, right?

Last weekend the kids went to Home Depot with daddy and grandpa who was in town visiting and made these adorable Turkey napkin holders at the Kids Workshop. This was BB’s first time at the workshop and apparently she LOVED it. We now have two orange aproned cuties eager to pick up the hammer and scare me half to death.

Working on: the photo book and calendar still. I am now up to July in the calendar and getting ready to start June in the photo book. I keep going back and forth about Christmas cards this year. I am thinking about going really old school and using regular old greeting cards and maybe printing out a cute picture of the kids, cause I did get some really cute ones with the Doctor Who costumes last month.

Thinking about: how low my word count is so far in NaNoWriMo. I’m at 7,230 right now, but should have hit 10,000 last night. It’s pretty hard fitting in writing time, keeping up with a 3 year old and 6 year old, keeping the house clean and family fed and finding some down time with my DVR. And I really really need to get rid of some of the clutter in the toy room aka Too Many Toys before Christmas comes and cripples me. Time for a purge! And oh yes, writing. Must write more. The good news is, I like how the story is going much better this year. I might actually finish it, it just might take me longer than 30 days.

Just Finished Reading: How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran, who is like the snarky, pervy UK version of Tina Fey. I really enjoyed a lot of her book and mostly enjoyed the rest. It’s a lot like the Bloggess’s book in that she holds NOTHING back, period, for better or worse. So read with caution, but by all means, read it. Tonight I’ll start our November book club pick, The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner.

Listening to: the hum of the heater keeping my home blessedly warm on another brisk November morning, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse keeping my daughter blessedly entertained so I can update my blog for once. I know, I’ve been a bad Bloggy Mommy. Did I mention I’m trying to write a novel and keep my children alive?

Pinning (The Turkey Day Edition): 

pumpkin bread * 20 things to do with the kids this month * pumpkin cream pie * Thankful Placemat