Friday, January 31, 2014

How do you recharge?

My kids have been out of school for almost two weeks straight.  It has been like a second Christmas break.  And truly, for the most part, I have loved having them close, and not having to pack lunches!  I know I've allowed more technology time than usual, which is not good, but the snow has allowed for some good "playing outside" time, which is sometimes hard to get with these ultra-cold temperatures.  Having said all that, yesterday I almost cracked.  The two main boys in my life were just too much.

Davis made a bad choice and broke something so Adam wanted him to earn some money by *helping* me grocery shop.  Lucky me.

Adam had been hunting- apparently it's goose or duck or flying bird season- and while I am happy that he is having a great time, I am not happy that he complained about all the work he had to catch up on.

So as Davis and I started out to the car, he made an unnecesary, rude comment and I sent him back inside to tell his father that he would have to find another way to earn some money because I was taking some time to myself and would be back by 4pm.

I couldn't help but think back to a book I recently listened to in the car by Anita Moorjani where she explained the importance of recharging however it feels right to you.  So I thought about it and decided that today I felt like a Chick Fil A meal (with fries, no side salad!) and BOOKS... a trip to Barnes and Noble or the library.  The library was closer.

I had a list of parenting books I wanted to check out.  It's also my turn to choose our book club book, so I picked that out, too.  Guests on Earth by Lee Smith (bonus that she will be talking the week after we meet so we could choose to attend that).

I like to keep an amazon list of books in my cart (or in that I want to read, and then refer to it before I head to the library.  Delayed gratification is a good thing and buying books all the time -either e-books or traditional paper books- can be expensive and cluttering!

I don't think I knew that the library has COOKBOOKS!!!  I was in heaven!  I could have spent hours in that section alone, but I had to make my way to the darn parenting section!  And the parenting section did give me some much-needed perspective... so many parents are dealing with things MUCH harder and more complex than anything I can imagine.

Finally, I headed to Fresh Market because I was making dinner for a new mom.  Fresh Market has always been one of my happy places.  By the time I got home, I was rejuvenated, refreshed, and happy to see my people again.

My takeaway is this:  I definitely have no plans to read every single parenting book (or cookbook) I picked up, but when I properly recharge, I feel more balanced and like myself.  Keeping that inner balance is soul-satisfying.  How do you recharge?

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Chevron Wallpaper

My sweet friend and neighbor has done such a fabulous job of stenciling her two sons'  bathroom with a gray chevron design.  Tonight she hosted a party and wondered about some wall decor for over the kids' toilet.

My first thought was a white cardboard safari head like this:

$29.99 from Source
But, then, I'm not sure about how cardboard would hold up in a bathroom... These below are more $$ but also more "stylized"- not sure if that's a word, but I think I could move this version somewhere else in the house... maybe more like a piece of art...

$69.99 from Etsy Source
It is bright white, not sure why it's downloading gray...

Then, I saw these which I think would be great, too!

$6.99 from Etsy Source
Although, I would do a BIG, white matte and frame for this printable above.

$21 from Etsy Source
$17 from Etsy Source
Same here, I would do a big, white matted frame to provide plenty of white space between the art and the chevron design.

Basketball and Braces

Last night we went to our first University of Richmond Spiders basketball game.  It was fun and we definitely want to go back!  Afterwards, sweet friends had several families over for dinner and I brought my go-to appetizer Cheese Slaw.

This morning we took the kids to lunch after church and Davis showed his new grill work.  Braces before Mary Fowler- who would have thunk!?  Davis actually had an extra tooth up top (which we are told is better than being born with not enough teeth) so once his "shark tooth" as we lovingly called it, was pulled, they some rearranging to do.

While Mary Fowler and I were waiting in the ortho's office, we saw our friend Cami on the cover of Virginia magazine!  She is in Davis' class.  Virginia magazine is one of my favorites!

Here she is having hot chocolate at one of my favorite restaurants.  The Roosevelt in Church Hill has eclectic cocktails and food- and we love the vibe.  Actually, for my birthday in November, Adam had a small dinner party for me there although I don't think we remembered to take any pictures:)

Tonight I'm headed to my friend's Soup Swap- a first for me!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Snow Week!

Mary Fowler taking a ride

What fun it has been having an unexpected WEEK off of school!  Thursday, one of our sweet neighbors invited us to their house at Wintergreen.  It was very spontaneous and we had a great time! I haven't been on snow skis for a LONG time but, luckily, it kind of came back.  Mary Fowler loved it, and Davis did great, but took several breaks to climb snow mountains and slide down.

proof that mom does more than make hot chocolate

It was a wonderful last-minute trip.  

I also wanted to share my saving grace this week... labeling the technology chargers!!  When all the friends get together, black cords are everywhere.  I do love a label maker.

some names have been changed to protect the innocent

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Snow Day!

Last night after the kids were already asleep, we received the call that school would be closed!  I ran upstairs to surprise them, but they were O-U-T.  After trying to write my own big bubble letter sign (circa pep rally and sorority days) I ended up just printing these out.  This was the best news when I was a kid!

Davis has had his buds over to play.  And Mary Fowler and I keep catching sight of a cat in our backyard with no collar on.  He/She seems very skittish, but when she put a bowl of milk outside, it appeared from no where and drank it up.  We are supposed to have some really cold weather for the next few days, so we put an old heated blanket along with some other blankies in a cardboard box under the deck just in case it needs a warm place for a few days.  How do these animals survive winter??

In other "blast from the past" thoughts, we had dinner at a friend's house the other night and I could not stop staring at the *new* (old) Miller Lite cans!  I can only see my dad with this can... like he was the only one who ever drank a Miller Lite in the 70s and 80s...  well, he and Ron Burgundy... I had to text him immediately to show him.  I love it!

Monday, January 20, 2014

How Now Brown Cow?

What do you think?  Be honest, he looks sad, and very almost too colorful, doesn't he?

Well he's the first cow I've ever painted and Adam is so impressed he's got this guy propped up on the mantle of the family room.  Mary Fowler is not a fan... it's the sad look in his eyes...

My girlfriends and I wanted to try out Wine and Design and it was a lot of fun!  We went on a cold and rainy night and two hours later, we were walking outta there with our cows in hand!

You start with this pencil drawing they've done for you, and the rest is follow-along-instruction with the artist.  It was great fun,  and I am planning to get a group together for one of their paint-your-pet evenings.  I think Adam needs a portrait of his favorite gal...

Now... how to choose?  Which one looks easiest to paint?

Charlotte's funny, playful self?

fresh from the groomer?

her more serious, inquisitive side?

or her natural "just woke up look"?

Friday, January 17, 2014

Christmas Cookie Exchange Parties

At the last minute, my friend and I decided to host two parties- one for our girls, and one for us moms:)  It was so last-minute that I printed all the invitations, basically with leftover invites from years past.  

It felt so good to clean out some old stuff- definitely made me want to go back up to the attic and do some organizing and purging!  While it was labor-intensive, especially with so many different set-ups, I loved doing all the printing! I'll definitely do some more of that this year.  In fact, my sweet in-laws were visiting while I was in the process and they gave me $$ for Christmas to buy some more printing supplies... because they could see how happy it made me.  Sad, I know.

do you think i need some organization???

Well, we popped those invites in the mail and had to commit.

At the girls' party, they sorted into 4 teams and each built a gingerbread house.  It was lively, but I'm not sure I'd recommend that activity next year.  It was MESSY!  Even though they're in 5th grade, the process is just messy... those little candies were rolling everywhere...  and the icing!!!  

We also had a "selfie station." I hung a dollar store red tablecloth and gave them my phone to take picts.  I loved the photo booth props from that activity.  We used them at both parties- and it's a great way to get adults (who don't like their picture taken) to comply:) I still need to upload the picts to shutterfly and share with the girls.  I wish I could share here- but I'm feeling lazy and don't want to ask mom's permission.

The girlies also had a cookie exchange and they cracked me up trying every. single. kind.  There were definitely some little girls full of sugar when they left!

Of ALL the holiday cookie options, I love that my Mary Fowler chose to make the good ol' peanut butter kiss cookies.  I am one who always tries something new and tries to be impressive to make and she is like her daddy, sticking with the tried and true.  I love that about them!

For my "big girl" party:)  I made the traditional wedding cookie (never made them before) with a hershey kiss inside.  My aunt brought them to our family holiday party and they were so good!

I started tearing up while these were baking in the oven.  While I couldn't pin the glorious smell to any one person, it reminded me of Christmas!  Adam said it smelled like his grandmother's house.  I couldn't figure out if it smelled like my grandmother's, or a relative's house- but it immediately placed me at the holidays!  Just what cooking should do- bring back wonderful memories!  And I didn't over-cook them... they were divine!

I love that my aunt MaryAnn always makes the same assortment of cookies every, single Christmas, and I was thinking that our little family doesn't have a "traditional cookie" that we make each year... that was about the time that Davis came into the kitchen and proclaimed that the chocolate-kiss-filled Russian Tea (or Wedding) cookie should be our "Family Cookie."  Done and done!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Happy New Year!!!

I am always so happily surprised that, instead of feeling drained after the holidays, I feel REJUVENATED!

 I LIVE for Christmas and everything it entails, and yet, I was so excited for the New Year!

I love the one-word resolutions that a lot of people do and as I thought about my one word, I perused some of the Pinterest quotes I've saved...

love how "lose" is misspelled... or is it?

 I saw a common theme, and it is a topic that several friends have mentioned to me over the past year. 


I am a chronic over-thinker.  I can over think things to death!

Well, this year, I am going to make a concerted effort to ACT.... maybe even before I think:)
Just kidding- that's too scary.