Monday Intentions 03.12.2018


I am slowly but surely regaining my mental faculties. Though it seems like I need to pay for every good day with a day of almost nonstop drowsiness. It’s kind of a bizarre frame of mind to be in. I don’t WANT to nap all day, but I can’t keep myself awake. And then the next day I’m super functional again. It’s weird. More ups and downs.

On a random note, I’ve been so obsessed with Mantra Bands for the last few months. I recently purchased my fourth one – in rose gold! (this is a big deal for me lol) – specifically to wear during this time of healing. Pictured above, it felt like the perfect reminder to myself that I don’t need to be able to walk in order to fly. I still have my wings! Being laid up right now totally sucks, but I am still capable of doing great things. Anyway, motivational reminders right on my wrist are pretty great.

So! This week! I meant to write a post yesterday, and just couldn’t get motivated. I felt pretty dull and mopey yesterday. But I guess things are looking up right now. I just had my second post op appointment to get my staples removed. It hurt SO much more than I thought it would! In this resting position, I’m in more pain than I’ve probably been in in a week. I hope it fades! According to the physician’s assistant I’m healing really well. Incisions look good, swelling is going down, bruising is pretty minimal. I’m still not weight bearing for at least another month, but I do get to start physical therapy in two weeks to keep my ankle from getting too stiff. The most exciting news is that I have to wait another day for my next shower, but I won’t have to use the leg bag anymore! I’m glad I had it these last two weeks, but it cuts my circulation off so bad and kind of ruins the joy of getting clean!

I don’t have any lofty ambitions for the week because rest and keeping my leg elevated are still the most important factors in getting better. But I do have a few goals for myself.

  1. Reach for a book instead of my phone.
    I’ve been wasting so much brain space looking at facebook and instagram over and over and over again. It’s really doing nothing positive for my mind because it only depresses me to see people out and about living their lives while I’m stuck at home.
  2. Finish three custom order dolls.
    Greg encouraged me to spend a little bit of time working yesterday, and I did. When I’m feeling great, I probably only have 1-2 hours left to complete three of the four dolls people paid me for before I got hurt (the fourth will require me to use the sewing machine, which I’m not sure I’m ready for yet). So if I get a burst of energy in the next few days I’d LOVE to get those finished and mailed.
  3. Write something every day.
    I’ve totally abandoned my bullet journal since I broke my ankle. So I’d like to make an effort to start writing in it every day again, even if only a couple of sentences. I’d love to catch up on blog posts too, but they’re easier to write on my real computer with my real mouse, so I’m not sure I’m up for the hours it will take to write those book posts. We’ll see.

There’s nothing terribly exciting on the calendar. Well, usually it’s holiday week with Pi Day on the 14th, Ides of March on the 15th, Guster Day on the 16th, and St. Patrick’s Day on the 17th. My neighbor brought over a pie this afternoon, so we’ll be set for Pi Day! I’m hoping by Saturday I might feel okay enough to make soda bread. Or talk Greg through making it. I don’t care about any other traditional Irish food, but I really want that soda bread!

I think Greg will go into work again on Wednesday, with my mom coming to babysit me again. 🙂 Maybe he’ll go Thursday too and I’ll try my hand at being alone. I think I can handle it. Getting food will still be tricky, but we have a pretty full fridge after the wonderful help of friends again, so I’m sure I can find something simple. We’ll get through this.

And that’s about it! Just trying to stay positive and drag myself out of the pits I inevitably fall into at least once a day. It’s hard feeling like such a burden. It’s hard giving up all my freedom. It’s hard knowing it takes me a ridiculous amount of time to do the simplest tasks I always took for granted in the past. But I’ll get there.

Saturday Reflections 03.10.2018


I think I’ve got a textbook case of roller coaster emotions this week. I’ve never felt so out of control and unstable. Having a broken bone and being completely laid up is SO much harder than I ever would have expected it to be. It SUCKS. But it also makes me incredibly thankful that I do not have a terminal case of feeling this crappy. It’s temporary. It feels like forever right now, but it won’t be. It won’t.

The good news is that I’m mostly out of that pain pill induced mental fog that kept me seriously drugged and mostly asleep that first week. The bad news is that I’m just clear enough to really want to do things, but still not be able to. I give myself a pretty small list of things I’d like to do each day and haven’t even come close to finishing anything. And I’m talking things like read a chapter in a book, write a short blog post, stuff three tiny custom order dolls that people paid me for two weeks ago and I really, really want to finish. It’s infuriating and completely depressing how little focus I have, how little energy for anything. The motivation is there – at least in the good moments – and then the limitations of pain pull me back. I hate it so, so much.

Physically, my ankle is doing a lot better. But it’s still taking a massive toll on the rest of my body. It takes monumental effort to get up the stairs once a day to shower. And because the mornings are just too busy with getting the boys to school and everything, I have to take most of my showers at night. I HATE taking nighttime showers. I wake up feeling like a disgusting greaseball anyway and then have to spend the entire day thinking my skin is just crawling with grime and my hair is a horrific mess. I don’t know how many weeks it will be until I feel comfortable enough to do all the shower things on my own. Right now I can’t even put the leg bag on myself, or stand up tall enough to hook up the temporary dog shower hose I have to use to wash myself, or even pick out new clothes for myself. I’m completely dependent on Greg.

The overall discomfort is probably the worst. While the pain in my thigh has subsided a bit, I feel like my hips and back are starting to get completely out of a whack. When I need to get up to use the bathroom in the middle of the night or later in the evenings, I can barely move myself. Every muscle aches fiercely. I’m so tired of sleeping on the couch every night, but it’s the only position I can sleep in for such long hours because the back of the couch is what props my foot upright so I’m not twisted and resting my leg on my incisions. There’s really no alternative for that when my ankle needs to be elevated so high all the time. But I’m not a back sleeper EVER and being forced into that position all day and all night with no reprieve really, really sucks.

Basically, I spend time every day feeling optimistic and hopeful. I convince myself that rest and healing is my absolute highest priority and even if I’m bored out of my mind, it will be worth it in the end. But almost every night, usually around shower time, I have a total meltdown. One night it was because my foot was so swollen I literally thought it was going to burst open. Greg had to very calmly talk me down. Most nights  my meltdowns are about how worthless I feel. I feel worthless when I’m running myself ragged day after day after day. Now that I’m doing nothing?? It’s SO hard to feel like I’m enough, just as I am, laying around on the couch sleeping half the day away. I feel fat and gross and helpless. Greg has been a saint for how much he’s had to deal with the last two weeks.


Looking on the bright side of things, I feel like we’ve had more family time than we’ve had in years. Usually, post broken ankle, I would spend basically every night and weekend in a different room of the house doing my own thing while Greg and the boys spent time together. Now I’m in the same room as them. I’m not usually doing anything, but I’m THERE. I’m available in a way I haven’t been in a long time. And I’m learning to appreciate it and them in ways I haven’t noticed in forever. It’s also been difficult because the boys, especially Shepard, continue to make it SO HARD on Greg. Arguing about literally everything. Throwing full fit meltdowns every time Greg puts an item of food in front of him. EVERY item of food. It’s overwhelming and exhausting for all of us. At least this didn’t happen during the summer and the boys still go to school every day! The grandparents have been taking them for extended time over the weekends too.

I don’t have anything super exciting to reflect on from the week, but there were some high points. On Wednesday, Greg went in to work for the first and only time since I fell and my mom came over to watch over me. She did a little light cleaning jobs I requested, went out and got me Culver’s for lunch, and kept me company during an afternoon of Great British Baking Show. She also stayed and made us a full and delicious dinner. The one night in two weeks all four of us sat down and ate without crying or screaming! It also gave Greg some extra time to do some shopping for essentials we really needed.

On Thursday, Laura came over to just hang out with me for a few hours. It was so good to catch up. On Friday night, Laura and Michelle both game over for our postponed Margarita Night. Greg helped with making the chicken meat and the three of us just got to sit and talk all night. It was so fantastic! My first night in two weeks without a meltdown. 🙂 Part of me is tempted to beg people to come visit me as often as possible because it’s a good distraction and a positive thing for me to look forward to. But part of me also hates people seeing me like this. And it’s so hard to ask people over when I can’t offer them anything and I have to spend the entire time trying to keep Annie from jumping all over them, without moving from my spot on the couch. Hopefully a few people will take pity on me and kind of invite themselves over in the next few weeks.


Basically my only real accomplishments this week have been internet related. I spent most of Wednesday making the perfect shopping lists for Greg. I had it all set up to do a grocery pick up at Woodman’s, only to find out you need to schedule more than a day in advance for a pick up. What?! It’s such a huge store in such a busy area! Why are they not prepared for same day pick ups, with six hours in between placing the order and when he would have got it?? So then I had to redo everything, doing a pick up order for some of the stuff at Target and making him a detailed list of where to find everything else in Woodman’s, because Greg never does the shopping, ever. It seems like such a small task, but it really wiped me out!

Thursday we got word from the insurance company that renting a knee scooter would cost us $5/day out of pocket. Presumably I’ll need one for a minimum of another month and it just made WAY more sense to buy a new one. Which is what the medical equipment rep actually advised us to do. So I spent hours on my phone reading reviews, comparing top ten lists, and watching youtube videos, trying to determine the best scooter to buy when I really have no idea how long I’ll need to use it. I ended up getting the same model that my mom rented after her foot surgeries. It came today! I’ve only used it a few times so far, but boy is it fast! It’ll take some getting used to, especially in small spaces. But I think it’ll be so much better than crutches in the long run. As I continue getting stronger every day, it’ll be such a help when I need to do things like get my own lunches and maybe start working again.

Today I spent a ton of time online hunting around for Easter basket fillers. One of my friends offered to do a Target run this week to pick up some smaller things, which is super nice! I’m working on a list for her. But I was also able to find some unique and useful items on amazon and a few other places today. I think after the Target fillers, I’ll be ready! Which makes me feel good because as I keep saying, gift giving is my love language and I NEED those Easter baskets filled well! What I’m not ready for is St. Patrick’s Day. And Pi Day. I’m not sure those holidays will be happening this year. 🙁

Anyway, that’s been my week. It is getting better. But sometimes I feel like it’s harder. There are just so many ups and downs multiple times a day. I’m trying to find ways to make these days count. I know I need to spend way less time staring at my phone. But it’s really been about the only thing I can do. I want to be at my computer, but it hurts my leg so much to be down. I have a laptop, but I can’t find a comfortable position to hold it while my leg is propped up. Which just leaves me with my phone. My lifeline to the world, but also the instigator of so many bad feelings about myself and my situation.

Okay, time to get back to the dreaded couch. New problem today – not being able to sleep. Every time I start falling asleep it’s like my brain has a tiny panic attack and I jolt back awake. I did switch to a different painkiller this morning and I’m wondering if that’s the culprit. I hope not. At any rate, after a whole day with no real napping, maybe I’ll finally pass out for the night!

The Story of My Broken Ankle


I think that I may have cursed myself in the last Sunday Intentions post I wrote. I was so optistimic about finally getting my life back in order, walking 10K steps a day no matter what, and getting in better shape overall both mentally and physically. Then Monday morning I broke my ankle and proceeded to have the worst week of my life, beginning a whole new chapter of my future centered around recovery and recovery only.

So on Monday, February 26th, the temperatures were rising and it looked like a pretty nice week. Annie and I walked the boys to school and continued on for about another two miles all around town. There were icy spots everywhere, but I was being extremely careful. I walked on the grass every time the sidewalk looked even a tiny bit slippery. I never took out my phone so I could stay completely focused on the steps in front of me. Then, about two blocks from home – on a hill – I slipped and fell anyway. I was on the grass next to a huge area of treacherous ice and still managed to slip on ice I apparently wasn’t aware was there. I twisted to try and catch myself and literally heard my bones snap as I fell to the ground.

I think for the first few seconds I was in total shock. It was an absolutely blinding pain and I had no idea what to do. I took out my phone and messaged Greg that I thought I broke my ankle. He said “seriously?” I said yes. And then the first passerby stopped his truck to come and see if I was okay, so I never responded to anything else Greg sent or when he called. Everyone kept asking who they could call to help me and I couldn’t think of anyone that could get there in a few minutes to drive me to the hospital. Greg was 50 minutes away at work. My mom would have been 30 minutes. After only two or three minutes, there were at least six strangers that had stopped their cars or came out of houses to see how they could assist. I just kept saying over and over again, “I think I broke my ankle!” I was still holding on to Annie and she was kind of going into panic mode too, not sure what to do. Someone called the ambulance and the next problem became what to do with Annie since I couldn’t take her to the ER with me. I called a friend whose house was in sight, but she wasn’t home. Then I called my neighbor and she was thankfully able to rush over and get Annie. In the moment, that was really my biggest concern.

Getting from the ground into the ambulance was a nightmare. I couldn’t move myself AT ALL. I almost passed out when I looked down at my ankle and realized it was facing the wrong direction. I was laying in the middle of all that ice, soaked because it was melting, and nobody had any kind of foothold to help me up. All the strangers ended up sliding a blanket under me and pulling my body further down the hill until the EMT could get his feet on solid ground and basically had to completely lift me up – not an easy feat. This whole time I was in the worst pain of my life, but also panicking that maybe I was making too big of a deal out of this? Did I really need an ambulance? I knew there was no way I was getting up and moving into anyone’s car, but it also seemed so unnecessary. And the expense! The EMT had my phone and he finally handed it back to me once they had me situated in the ambulance. So I finally answered Greg’s call, like twenty minutes after I first told him I was broken. He immediately left work, leaving his mom stranded because they carpool in her car, and managed to get to the ER about the same time I did. I had no idea I’d spend so much time in the ambulance before we even moved.

It took so long because they were taking my vitals and trying to put in an IV to give me morphine. My blood pressure was around 190/120. I was probably a little bit going into shock. They kept covering me in blankets, but I was also SO HOT. I also just felt disgusting because I hadn’t showered yet that day. I was wearing sweatpants, but only my pajama shirt. They tried to get an IV into both hand veins and failed. Finally gave up and put a shot of something else into my shoulder. And we finally drove the few miles over to the hospital.


At the ER, the nurses’ first order of business was getting me out of my clothes because they were soaked with icy water. Then they came in to take x-rays right away which felt like it was going to kill me. Even the tiniest minimal amount of movement sent shockwaves of pain through my body. This was my first broken bone and I had no idea it could hurt so completely. The verdict came pretty quickly that I dislocated my ankle (the reason it was facing way too far to the right) and broke at least three bones. They gave me something to put me to sleep for just a few minutes while they manipulated the foot back into the right position. Sometime during my x-rays, Greg showed up and that’s when I started losing it. I didn’t even cry or anything before that. In all the flurry and panic all I could think about is how completely my life just changed. Everything I hoped to accomplish in the next few months to even years of my life was ripped away from me with one stupid misstep on an icy path.

The good news is that everything at the ER went pretty quickly. My last experience there a few years ago was not so great because I kept getting pushed aside for more important cases. Maybe this time I was the most important. But we were back home with a splint and array of pain pills only two hours after the fall even happened. I proceeded to cry or sleep for the rest of the day, just mourning my foreseeable future and all that I’ve been looking forward to.


On Tuesday morning right away I had an appointment with the orthopedic surgeon’s office. The verdict there was that I’d need surgery, and as soon as possible. I was terrified that a surgery outcome was the worst possible thing that could happen, but he did a good job of convincing us this was a much better option in the long run. I’d get a plate and screws into the broken bones immediately setting them which would lead to a shorter recovery time. And better long term flexibility in my ankle. Because I wasn’t as swollen as expected and I didn’t have any skin blistering, surgery was scheduled for Wednesday at noon. Everything was happening so quickly!

On Wednesday we made our way back to the hospital to get checked in. Those few hours before it happened felt like forever. The nurses continued to have a really hard time finding workable veins for an IV. When one of them was digging around in my wrist it literally felt like she was chopping my hand off. It took all I had not to scream out. The doctor told me that because my ankle is in so much pain, my brain is kind of cutting that pain off and letting me feel all over pains so much more severely. I’d definitely say that’s been the case! In the end the anesthesiologist put the IV in back in the same place it was in the ER (which is apparently not something they like to do) and during surgery he moved it into my other arm. So basically my hands and wrists and arms are covered in holes and bruises.

The anesthesiologist came in to talk about my options for going under. He said the best option for pain management after surgery would be to give me a nerve block. So that’s what we decided to do and he put massive needles into my thigh and behind my knee, using an ultrasound machine to find the right nerves. Long story short on that – it didn’t work. So I was just given a general anesthetic and woke up in a complete panic attack after surgery because it hurt SO DANG BAD.

They said the surgery would be about an hour and a half, but ended up being two hours longer than that. So Greg was getting pretty worried out in the waiting room. But it sounds like everything went about as well as it could. I was just in horrible pain and in the recovery room until close to 8pm. The worst part is that I was pumped so full of fluids that I felt like my bladder was going to explode multiple times while I was still laying there. So I had to have Greg and two nurses help me get out of bed and pee in a portable commode. Hospital experiences are just so humiliating and confusing and I just wanted to go home.

The rest of the week was just trying to deal with all the random side effects of a broken ankle surgery that I never would have guessed would happen. The first night was the worst because I was having horrible muscle spasms in my thigh and hip. I thought it was from having my leg propped up so much, which is NOT comfortable in any way. The nurse told me the next day it was probably a result of the tourniquet being on my leg during the surgery.  I’ve also had horrible numbness and tingling in my feet. I was super constipated from the pain pills and Greg was feeding me two different recommended laxatives all week that must have built up and kicked in on Friday night, leading me to rush to the bathroom as fast as possible at least every hour. The anti-nausea meds they gave me with the pain pills ran out and by Saturday I started feeling really sick. I thought it was from the laxatives, but it only got worse every day. My hips have been so sore from hopping around the house and pulling myself up backwards to go upstairs. I have never felt so completely run down, filled with pain, out of control, and helpless in my life. My c-section recoveries were bad, but at least I had the joy of a new baby to ease the pain. This just feels so bleak.


On top of it all I’ve just been an emotional wreck. Greg has been amazing. His boss gave him permission to work at home as long as he needs to to help me out. But he also needs to do EVERYTHING else. He’s doing so much. And I just keep losing it. I joined a facebook support group of people with broken feet/ankles/legs. It’s been an encouraging resource, but also given me a lot more to worry about. It sounds like the majority of people have years of recovery before they feel normal. I don’t want to give up years of my life to this! I don’t want to gain any more weight because I can’t go anywhere else on my own. I’m devastated that I can’t even take Annie out to the bathroom, let alone bring her to the dog park or on walks for who knows how long. She’s so confused and still comes to me when she wants something and I can’t do a thing for her! Greg has been trying to get her a little exercise, but he’s also dealing with everything else. Including the boys who have NOT made this time easy. Caden’s been very helpful to ME, constantly asking if I need anything. But Shepard has been a nightmare and Caden spends just as much time screaming at Greg about all the things he’s not doing right. It’s so hard to just lay there and not be able to help in any way.

I’m trying not to dwell too deeply on it because it’s so depressing. But I missed the Vintage Shop Hop on Friday, obviously. I had to cancel my trip to DC in April to visit my best friend Dianne. It was the only vacation I had scheduled for the year and I was SO looking forward to. Fortunately, Southwest lets you cancel flights as long as they get to keep your money for a future flight. So I’m hoping I’ll feel well enough to reschedule around my birthday. But it’s devastating that I can’t go when I wanted to go. I’m worried about Easter and how I’m going to fill everyone’s baskets with cute and special things when I can’t go to any stores. It’s my right ankle that’s broken, so I have no idea when I’ll be able to drive again. I won’t be able to take the boys out or do anything with them over Spring Break at the end of the month. I might not even be able to walk without assistance by the time the farmer’s market starts up again. I don’t know when I’ll be able to take a little trip or go on a date or even be capable of doing anything by myself out of the house again. It’s horribly depressing. Especially with summer just a few months away. I want to be optimistic, but it’s hard not to only see the things I’m going to miss out on.  I don’t even know when I’ll be able to sew again. I can probably figure out how to work the sewing machine pedal with my left foot, but I still feel so fuzzy and out of it all the time. It’s been rough.


I had my first post op appointment yesterday afternoon. It was hard to feel positive because I felt SO SICK while I was there. Fortunately, he gave me a refill of the anti-nausea meds which really helps. But from what he said, everything looks really good. The surgery went well, the incision looks good (supposedly!). I’ll get my staples out next week and I might even be able to start physical therapy the next week. So in theory, it might be a smooth road ahead. But I don’t want to get my hopes up either.


I also switched over from the splint to the boot. No cast necessary. I’m not sure how I feel about the boot yet because it feels like it weighs thirty extra pounds. It was so hard finding a comfortable position last night to sleep. But I’m also allowed to take it off to ice directly on my foot, which feels really good. And it’s also giving me a little more stability to do things like sit upright at my actual computer for the first time in nine days and write this. My ankle definitely still hurts quite a bit, but I feel like the combination of all the random side effects and other sore muscles have been ten times worse than the ankle itself.

So that’s my story! We’ve had some wonderful help with people bringing over meals, so Greg hasn’t had to go to any stores or cook anything himself yet. It’s been great having him home because I don’t think I could manage on my own yet. Though I’m worried about him not being at work. He’s hoping to go in tomorrow while my mom comes over to babysit me. And I expect he’ll start going back regularly after my next post op on Monday. Hopefully by then I’ll feel good enough to be a bit more helpful. It’s hard to contribute to anything when I can barely move and also feel like I might throw up at any second. My mom brought over a shower chair, walker, and leg bag to wear when showering right away that first day which has been a lifesaver. I’d die if I had to go this long without showering. I’ve managed to crawl my way up the stairs almost every day to get clean which does a lot in boosting my mood. I have a couple things to look forward to in the next few days, so I’m not just stewing in depression. Every day is getting a little better. It’s just a journey. A journey I wish I didn’t have to take. But that’s life.

Sunday Intentions 02.25.2018


Well, I think my day of staying home from everything yesterday did me some good because I’m feeling much better today! I barely have a voice, but I’ve also barely been coughing. I guess it’s pretty fortunate my coughing spell only lasted three days. Greg has a cold now, but he’s not out of commission. And I think that MAYBE everyone will go off to work and school tomorrow like usual! Please??? I am SO ready for life to go back to normal!

I hesitate to show excitement over anything with my track record for the last month, but I think it’ll be a good week! Normal days – with me home alone! – and a smattering of fun things most evenings.

Greg just bought tickets for us to see Black Panther tomorrow night. I’ve definitely been hearing some great things about it. At the moment I feel pretty indifferent, but I’m always up for going on a date! I think we’re going to eat at Chipotle before the movie.

Wednesday is a late start and then we get a bonus (at home) date night this week. (Technically Monday is the bonus since my mom is babysitting and Wednesday is the Noe grandparents as usual. Though Shepard has been sick the last two Wednesdays, so we haven’t had any date nights in awhile.) I think Wednesday is supposed to be the warmest day of the week, so maybe we can go on a long walk or something beyond just watching tv together.

Thursday is Literacy Night at school for Shepard. I’ll probably take him by myself.

And Friday – one of my favorite days of the year! Vintage Shop Hop day. If you have any interest in vintage/antique/thrift/crafty type stores, this is the weekend for you! This is the fourth year my mom and I are doing it, the third year that my dad will chauffeur us around (which is much more fun than me stressfully trying to figure out where everything is!). I’m not sure what our plan of attack is yet. I don’t really have the stockpile of doll money I thought I’d be making this month, thanks to everyone’s illnesses. But it’s still fun to drive around and check out all the amazing stores in Wisconsin and Illinois. It’s also just really great to have a day off from all my regular responsibilities. Greg is an awesome husband, dad, and co-parent. But it’s still extra special to have a day where I literally don’t have to do anything except enjoy myself, no strings of guilt attached.

And Saturday is the postponed Winter Fun Day for school. If there’s snow, we’ll be sledding. If the snow is melted, we’ll be hiking. I took the boys last year and we had a good time. I consider any time we can do something not involving video games and my children are still smiling a big win!

Top Priority – SEW!!!

I seriously need to get back to work this week. I started back up on Thursday and put in a lot of hours on Friday and Saturday and a few this morning. I’m currently working on a few custom dolls and six little leprechauns! But I need to move on to Easter themed dolls ASAP. They’re always big sellers and I haven’t made a single one yet. With spring break the last week of March, I really need to get them all done in the next three weeks.

Second Priority – Blog Posts!

It’s also the end of the month and time for my long series of podcast, tv, movie, and book blog posts. Usually when I’m in the trenches with a pile of dolls it doesn’t feel worthwhile to stop and write a blog post. But it does my soul good, so I don’t want to put them off.

Third Priority – Walk More!

I really want to start exercising again. I did so great in January with yoga and totally fell off the wagon (with valid excuse!) this month. I was signed up to do a ten day Pilates challenge, but just couldn’t do it when I felt so crappy. So I want to go back to basics and start with making 10,000 steps a day one of my highest priorities again. If possible, I’d like to check out another new dog park at some point this week. Otherwise just start walking to and from school again, with extra morning walking. I need it.

Meal Plans

Monday – Chipotle!

Tuesday – Tacos

Wednesday – Red Pepper Pasta (costco)

Thursday – Thai Chicken Noodle Soup

Friday – Whatever Greg feeds the boys while I’m gone

Saturday – BBQ Pizza

Have a good week!

Saturday Reflections 02.24.2018


It has been a ROUGH WEEK. I am so over February. It was supposed to be such an awesome month that I was really excited about, but various forms of illness wrecked almost every plan I made. SO frustrating!

I don’t have a whole lot to report because I spent most of the week in bed or just laying around reading or watching tv or cleaning up after Shepard got sick.

On Monday, the boys didn’t have school, so I was really hoping to do some sort of fun activity. But Caden wasn’t feeling very well. He was iffy on Sunday too. Greg thought he was just jealous of Shepard’s party (which was definitely part of it), but I thought it was pretty obvious he wasn’t feeling well either. He never threw up or had a fever, just felt off. So we left Caden home and Shepard and I took Annie to the dog park for 45 minutes. That was the only noteworthy thing that happened on Monday! Oh, and my ear infection was still really hurting, so I took two naps. The boys took none.


On Tuesday, school was cancelled for an ice storm that never really played out. There was a ton of rain, though, and we were all going stir crazy so we went on a puddle walk. Except Caden’s boots leak, so he was whining the whole time and we only went like three blocks. Then with the promise of an entire afternoon to play video games, I bribed them into running all my errands with me. It REALLY needed to get it done and the weather was supposed to get worse as the day went on. We managed to drive to and from Madison, go to three stores, and sit at Costco long enough for them to eat a hot dog lunch, in exactly 2.5 hours. I think that’s a record! I should probably take them with me shopping every time because it completely eliminates my meandering and impulse buys because I’m desperately trying to get out of the store as fast as humanly possible. 😛


And then Tuesday night happened. Out of the blue, around 10:45, Shepard threw up in bed. He had been coughing on Monday and Tuesday, but hadn’t complained of any stomach pain. He proceeded to throw up over and over again the entire night. I didn’t sleep – at all. And I was basically wrecked on Wednesday. Greg took a sick day to take care of both of us. I spent the whole day in bed, with one quick venture out to the dog park in the afternoon. The entire park is solid ice right now. Not such a fun place to be.

Shepard was feeling better on Thursday and I was feeling worse. I’m still not quite sure what’s wrong with me, but I’m hacking up my lungs and my throat is on fire. I was feeling pretty crummy, but determined to actually get some work done. Shepard was still home from school.


I was so happy that both kids would be back at school on Friday! And then Shepard threw up again around midnight. He doesn’t even remember doing it. He seemed to feel totally fine Thursday night and all day Friday. But he had to stay home again. So, he is having a nine day weekend, as Caden complained to me all morning. I felt pretty miserable, but did manage to FINALLY finish a batch of dolls I started a week and a half ago. So it gave me a little ego boost to sell ten of the twelve I listed yesterday. This business always feels so much more worthwhile and like my efforts are validated when I actually MAKE SALES.

And today, more of the same. I’m currently home alone for like the first time in TWO WEEKS. How am I a work at home mom, during the school year, and I haven’t been home alone in weeks?! I’m supposed to be at a baby shower right now, but I deemed myself too sick and probably contagious to go. I was also supposed to make a dessert for that baby shower, but I ended up talking Greg through making it yesterday. His first time baking… Hopefully it tasted okay! He took the boys to some new arcade place in Madison for an outing. Caden was already complaining that they won’t have any VIDEO games there. But I think he’ll enjoy it. I’m proud of Greg for initiating an out of the house activity!

So that’s been my week. I did about a thousand loads of laundry thanks to Shepard’s inability to aim for a bucket. I finished twelve little dolls that should have been completed in two days, not two weeks. I kept my children alive. I managed to get Annie outside enough that she never peed in the house. And that’s about it! It could have been worse, I definitely realize that. But it was miserable and frustrating nonetheless. I really hope illness is behind us now and next week will be much better!!

Shepard’s 7th Birthday

20180217_121259 friend party cake

On Sunday my sweet and silly Shepard turned seven! We had a full weekend of celebrations. Unfortunately, we had three days after that of sickness. Caden just felt icky on Monday and Tuesday, Shepard got sick all night long last night and today. And I’m maybe sick? Maybe not? At any rate, I was up all night long constantly changing his sheets and his clothes because he was so out of it he kept throwing up in his sleep. I’m basically a zombie today, but I thought I’d try and accomplish one thing after laying in bed all day and write this post! Hopefully it’s comprehensible.

20180217_130713 balloon crazy

Shepard had five of his friends over on Saturday for a party. It got pretty crazy! Why do kids get so insanely wild at parties?!

20180217_133738 annie likes quinn

Annie was equally as wild, despite taking her to the dog park that morning.

20180217_132024 serving up punch

I usually make a bunch of themed snacks for kid parties, but was trying to keep things REALLY simple this time around, especially after my ear infection and all the annoying stuff that happened last week. We did make green punch, though!

20180217_132246 cheers punch

20180217_134101 big present

20180217_133611 annie wants presents

20180217_134159 minecraft stop motion

He got lots of cool gifts!

20180217_141402 candles on cake

Shepard was getting a little partied out by cake time and not so much in the mood for cooperating with smiles.

20180217_141813 cake bricks

Greg and I spent five hours on Friday getting these cakes together! It’s triple layers of chocolate fudge, funfetti, and white cakes cut out in circles and put back together to try and get a checkerboard (“minecraft brick”) look on the inside. Unfortunately the cake was falling apart, but maybe it still looked kind of cool? I thought it tasted good at least!

20180217_142016 gym teacher snaps

Apparently “talky hands” is what their gym teacher does and it’s hilarious. After cake everyone just ran around until they got picked up. It felt like a very long two hours to the adults (lol), but we made it through! Shepard enjoyed being the center of attention and showing off for his friends.

20180218_080353 birthday scone piile

And Sunday was his birthday! (He’s wearing the same clothes as Saturday because he still has a massive stubborn streak and refuses to wear pajamas at night.) I was going to make him funfetti scones because I thought they would look festive, but he caught me in time and demanded they be chocolate chip instead. They were quite tasty! We took this picture the exact minute he turned seven.

20180218_081433 reading cards

After breakfast he opened the gifts from  us. He was so hard to buy for this year! I ended up just picking out all kinds of small and super random things I thought he might enjoy.

20180218_081524 insert pizza

Like pizza themed clothing.

20180218_081707 tic tacs

And cherry cola tic tacs which are his fav. (My kids informed me yesterday I’m never allowed to say “favorite” – it always has to be fav.)

20180218_081709 tic tacs

20180218_081821 pizza socks

20180218_081847(0) dragonquest builders

20180218_081917 drawing book

20180218_081944 peregrine falcon

20180218_082011 falcon book

20180218_082136 washi tape

20180218_110738 chicken wings

The morning was pretty low key for the guys playing his new video game while I set up for the family party. I don’t really like having parties on my kids’ actual birthdays because I feel so absent from what they’re doing. I prefer making the day really be all about them and whatever they want to do. But February was so busy this year that having it on his birthday was really our only option. I don’t think he minded. I know it’s been an issue with Caden in the past, though, so I realllly try never to schedule them on the same day for him.

20180218_111000 green punch

Our usual green punch because it’s tasty and it’s Minecraft colors.

20180218_111805 chicken wings

When we asked him what kind of food he wanted at his party he answered with Ponderosa chicken wings. So wings we had! The in-law’s picked them up for us. They’re my favorite wings too, but such an odd choice!

20180218_111034 buffalo chicken dip

The rest of the “meal” was just an improvised selection of snack type foods. I converted a recipe gone wrong into buffalo chicken dip which I’m pretty sure nobody actually ate lol.

20180218_111814 pizza sliders

I was so excited to realize I had all the ingredients to make these pizza sliders. Shepard didn’t actually have one, but pizza IS his favorite food, so it was a little more on brand for his party. I’ve been wanting to make these forever. They were delish! (If you refer to the recipe, I did not add the sausage.)

20180218_111913 veggie tray

Veggie tray from Cindy. Gotta keep some healthy options!

20180218_114216 chinese salad

Chinese salad from my parents. Unfortunately my mom came down with a flu bug too and couldn’t come to the party. 🙁 All but one aunt and uncle weren’t able to come either, so it was a small party this year.

20180218_114223 chips and salsas

And some chips and salsas because they’re Shepard’s favorite snack.

20180218_114229 food begger

Annie begging for food because I’m standing in the cutting spot where I always hand her vegetables as I slice.

20180218_114247 salad and face timing

Facetiming with Aunt Sarah while he eats his salad.

20180218_115708 shepard and mom

The cake was a little worse for wear two days after making it. I really don’t like making it that early, but since I was basically making two of the same cake there was no other logistical way to do it. I think it still tasted pretty good.

20180218_120151 aunt amy

20180218_120715(0) uncle greg

A party isn’t complete without Hudson!

20180218_122334 making faces and feeding

Shepard trying to entertain Hudson while he eats.

20180218_122902 present pile

Present time!

20180218_123333 hudson hat

20180218_123345 hudson hat

20180218_123907 art box

20180218_124303(0) box opening

20180218_124402 farty facts

20180218_124410 donut pillow

20180218_124619 minecraft mug

20180218_124625 hot cocoa

20180218_124655 hudson's picture

Shepard thought it was just the most incredible and funny thing that Hudson drew him a picture on his birthday card!

20180218_124659 hudson's picture

20180218_124700 hudson's picture

20180218_124707 hudson's picture

20180218_125122 earaser maker

20180218_125328 hudson jumping

20180218_125640 air hockey

20180218_132334 cute hudson

20180218_132446 pay attention to me

Annie was being pretty naughty at this party too. I did NOT have time to take her to the dog park this time. She’s been super obnoxious lately. It’s frustrating to realize that she genuinely needs solid exercise 365 days a year no matter what the weather or what my schedule, or she’s going to turn into a psycho dog by the end of the day. It’s the one part of dog owning that weighs me down and I wish I didn’t have to be solely responsible for.

20180218_132731 birthday boy

Cake time! Being silly.

20180218_132816 birthday boy

20180218_132832 big blow

20180218_145139 drawing lessons

We spent the rest of the afternoon trying out Shepard’s presents and relaxing. It was a pretty low key day.

20180218_145801 partied out

And that was his birthday! I totally passed out both days after the parties. My ear infection didn’t start feeling remotely better until Monday night. I wish for once I felt healthy and energetic on Shepard’s birthday party weekend! Oh well, I’m not sure he even noticed the difference. 🙂 He was so busy playing with his new gifts and enjoying feeling like the special little boy he is! He continues to bring so much joy and happiness into my every day and I have no idea what I would do without him. Love that kid!!

Friday’s Early Saturday Reflections 02.16.2018

I decided to write this post a day early because tomorrow is going to be busy with Shepard’s friend birthday party and prep work for his actual birthday and family party on Sunday.

So! It’s been a doozy of a week. Sometimes I think that the more I hope for and look forward to something, the more likely nothing is going to go my way. It’s definitely been that kind of a week and I’m so over it. I don’t handle disappointment well. Especially when it means I have to give up something I was really looking forward to doing for ME. Every day this week has just been one thing after another. Disappointment after disappointment and piles of frustration and stress. This was supposed to be such a good week! The ONE week everyone was supposed to be healthy and happy. So of course nothing went to plan.


Sunday was good! We went to my parents’ house to celebrate my mom’s birthday. I had more Hudson time. 🙂 Need to soak up these visits before he’s mobile and wants nothing to do with being held!


It was a very low key and relaxing day. The guys mostly played video games and the women talked. I was really tired and just weary. Which was maybe an early indicator that I had an ear infection, I just didn’t really realize it until three days later. 😛


We gave everyone a little Valentine gift. Hudson got some Packer footballs which he very much enjoyed sucking on!


Caden did some more yoga with Hudson.


We had a delicious meal of grilled steak and chicken, baked potatoes, veggies, and spinach dip. My mom’s favorite Market Street Diner cake and a variety of ice cream for dessert.


One last selfie before we headed home.


I don’t think I did much the rest of the night. It was day three of having zero motivation for anything. Shepard wanted to have a selfie with me, so we were trying to get in a good position and Annie can running over to join in.


My cutie. 🙂

Monday morning began with massive amounts of arguing with Shepard who insisted he wasn’t going to school. Mondays have been pretty tough in general for them this last month or two. But it’s usually Caden putting up a bigger fight. I finally got it out of him right before we left that his tooth was really loose and he didn’t want to lose it at school. This was only his second loose tooth and he didn’t handle losing the first one well. Most kids are really excited about it and having the Tooth Fairy come. Shepard was devastated and then threw up after he lost his first tooth a few months ago.

Alas, we got to school. And then I had a coffee date with my friend Laura. It was so good to catch up! I hope we make it a more regular thing. As I’m always lamenting, keeping up with adult friendships is SO HARD. But also SO worth the effort. I need to try harder with a lot of people.


I spent Monday afternoon cleaning our bedroom. It’s part of a little project I’ve been doing this month – finding ways to show myself more love and respect. It’s been a really long time since I’ve gone through the closet and cleared out my makeup and jewelry areas.

On a whim, I decided to run all my grocery errands on Monday night. Which was very fortuitous of me because I ended up being stuck at home with sick kids on Tuesday and Wednesday! I was DEAD tired by the end of all the stores I needed to run to, but it was worth it to get it out of the way.


One of my stops – just for my own pleasure – was Barnes and Noble. I still had a gift card from Christmas and wanted to get it spent! Even though it just about killed me to pay twice the price of what it was on amazon, I bought my own copy of The Hating Game (it’s so good!!!), and the other two were bargain books that looked good. I read How Not to Fall this week – not terrible, but not really my kind of book.

Tuesday I was planning to take Annie to a new dog park and then get a lot of sewing done. I actually thought I’d be able to get some dolls made this week after all. HA! Instead, Shepard was sick. I’m not really sure what he had – it was just some sort of 24 hour stomach bug. Greg thought it might have been loose tooth related. He never had a fever. All I know is that every time I started trying to work on something he’d throw up again. He was in a nightmarish mood all morning and then he slept all afternoon. So the upside is that it’s the only day all week I actually got to have a nap too. And it felt more restorative because Caden had instructions to just come home on his own after school and I didn’t have to have that deadline weighing in my subconscious.

We were supposed to have an at home date night, but of course Shepard ended up needing to stay with us. So much for a romantic evening together! It was fine, just another disappointment. Marriage has felt really hard lately and I was looking forward to some time alone. Maybe next week.


Wednesday was Valentine’s Day and a scheduled late start. My original plan for the day was to spend the afternoon pampering myself with a face mask, bath, lots of reading time, a nap, and zero guilt about anything. I was REALLY looking forward to it. So of course the day was extremely chaotic and stressful. I planned on making donuts for breakfast, but felt that would be pretty mean to Shepard when he couldn’t eat them. Instead I made a Dutch Baby because Caden and I are the only ones that like them – and we love them! And they’re easy.


Shepard had crackers. I held my ground on Tuesday with him just needing to read or sleep while he was sick. But Wednesday when he was feeling better – but still couldn’t go to school because of the 24 hour rule – I was resigned to letting him just play games or do whatever. My brother was apparently off work that day because all morning the three of them were connected playing Minecraft together.


Annie had her first grooming appointment at 8:00 Wednesday. So even though school started later, I had to run out with her. I didn’t know how long it was going to take, so I hadn’t showered yet, still hoping to make the most of a relaxing afternoon. I kept waiting and waiting for the phone call. I took Caden to school at 10 and he felt “perfect!” Annie was finally done at noon, and by that point I was stressed and exhausted. She looked like a brand new dog! They cut off all the scruffy hair on her ears, neck, legs, feet, butt area, and tail. I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw her. I think she was mildly traumatized by the whole thing and spent the rest of the day sleeping.

So I FINALLY got to take a shower at 12:30 and was ready to snuggle in with a book. But two minutes after I got out of the shower I got a phone call from school saying Caden’s been laying in the office for 45 minutes and says he’s too sick to go back to class, so will I come get him. Of course I ran over there – in half pajamas with soaking wet hair. He said his tummy hurt. We got home and he immediately started excitedly talking to Shepard about what he and Uncle Timmy have been doing in Minecraft while he was gone. He proceeded to spend the entire afternoon running around the house, doing flips across the furniture, screaming at me about playing games, and was so clearly NOT SICK. He faked it! To come back home and play more Minecraft! I was furious!!! I’ve written before about how rarely I believe him when he’s sick because this is my proof that he basically never is! Lying at school to come back home is a whole new level. ARGH!


So anyway. I thought I could force everyone to take a nap, but they kept sneaking into each other’s rooms and coming into mine to throw their tablets in my face for the password. Naps did not happen for anyone. I was pretty much at my wit’s end by the time Greg got home from work.


This doesn’t look even remotely pretty, but I tried to still put a festive meal together despite it all. Greg and I had heart shaped ravioli, Caden had heart shaped pasta, Shepard had some pancakes brought over by Grandma the night before, and I made garlic bread, cheesy garlic bread (both because Caden won’t eat cheese), strawberries, and sparkling juice.


I attempted lava cakes for a fancy dessert. They were so much lighter in color than the blog recipe, so I’m not sure I did it right. I also think they were a little too lava-y. But they tasted okay.


Annie got some ice cream for a treat.


After dinner I gave everyone their Valentine’s. I gave Greg some dark chocolate hot cocoa k-cups (which was another huge ordeal because amazon sent me the wrong thing and it was a whole other headache I dealt with on Tuesday) and a bag of dark chocolate candies. The boys each got a few books and candy. I gave Caden a baked potato bag because potatoes are his new favorite snack. The cats got a self heating mat and Annie got a big ball and some treats.


Greg gave me a wallet. I’ve been wanting one for awhile. I kept buying prettier ones and they can never fit all my stuff. So I’m sticking with the same boring looking brand, yet super functional style that I already have.


Jack loved the mat! Rory was on it all day yesterday, so he approves too.


Kitchen clean up selfie. We almost survived the day. You know, Shepard has been sick almost every single Valentine’s Day he’s been alive. The one year he wasn’t sick was the year I spent half the day in the ER getting a cyst removed. We’re just doomed to have terrible Valentine’s Days every year!


The rest of the night was pretty uneventful. The boys had baths. I read. Shepard and I messed around with camera filters. Greg and I watched an episode of Breaking Bad. I went to bed at like 8:30.


I didn’t want to get too hopeful ahead of time, but Thursday went back to normal. FINALLY. Shepard lost his tooth at breakfast. I was a little worried he’d lose it at school and then throw up, so at least we got it taken care of at home! (He didn’t throw up, just fyi.) Since both boys missed their Valentine parties, they brought in their treats.


By Wednesday night I was pretty certain I had an ear infection. I had one two months ago so I’m pretty familiar with the symptoms by now. 🙁 So I spent the early morning trying to find a place to fit me in for an appointment. Why does it have to be so hard to make a doctor’s appointment?! Our clinic doesn’t even open until 1pm half the days of the week now. So frustrating. I ended up getting an afternoon appointment in Beaver Dam. But I was pretty determined to spend the morning doing something FOR ME. I think I might have lost my mind if I hadn’t. So! Annie and I went to Sun Prairie to check out another new dog park.


I ran a few quick errands while I was in Madison and then picked up a Chipotle bowl to bring home and eat. While I was getting my drink I knocked the bag to the floor and my salsa spilled everywhere. NOOOOOOOO. Chipotle salsa is basically my favorite food in the world. So yes, I scraped it up off the floor with a spoon and still ate it. No judging. It was MY floor, at least.


At this point I only had 20 minutes before I needed to leave for the doctor, so I had to rush through my delicious lunch. But delicious it was! If there was a Chipotle in Columbus it would be really hard to restrain myself from eating there like every day. 🙂


Oh, I also had a surprise Valentine gift from Laura on my porch when I got home! So that made me happy. 🙂 Thursday wasn’t all bad!

The doctor was pretty quick. Surprise, surprise, I have an ear infection. Again. Considering the entire left half of my face and throat are just throbbing in pain, I was pretty sure! So she called in the prescription and then I waited FIVE HOURS for it to be filled. I got the email it was ready and saw it was three times more expensive than the last drops I had (and ear drops are expensive!). So I called the pharmacy and explained how the doctor thought this would be cheaper and because it’s not, she’ll need to call the doctor back for a different prescription because I’m not paying that much. At this point it was 6:45 and the pharmacist says well, nobody will probably be there, do you really need them tonight? And I snapped back that YEAH, I do need them, I’ve been waiting five and a half hours for them, so tonight would be really nice. I was NOT happy. And she wasn’t too happy with my response. Anyway, twenty minutes before the pharmacy closed they called me back to say they got a new prescription and it was ready. Greg fortunately ran out to get it for me. Unfortunately, I also asked him to buy eggs so I could make cakes today, and he forgot. One track mind, men.


In the meantime, Caden was throwing fits, like most nights. There’s always something. (We’re a lot alike…) So he was in his room reading. Greg and Shepard went to Science Night at school. And I was working on Shepard’s birthday treat for his class. I made two batches of mega cookies. Exactly the same recipe, exactly the same amount of measured dough in each ball. And they turned out looking completely different. I didn’t have any more sprinkles to make a third batch, so I just packed them up and wrote an apology note to the teacher in case the total difference in appearance caused some fights between kids…


After Science Night, Shepard put together the treat bags for his party. So literally one thing is ready for the party.

And that’s basically been my week. If you made it through this entire long story of me venting and whining, you must really care about me! (lol) I realize this is not a positive post, at all. I was just SO excited about this week. And it seemed like literally everything that could go wrong did. From big things like Shepard being sick to small things like dropping my hot salsa on the floor. I think I burst into tears about at least something every single day this week. My neck and back still hurt almost three weeks later from that stupid puppy chow and now because of my ear infection. I feel like crap and there’s still so much to do and all the amazing down time I was going to give myself this week didn’t work out. I was doing this Self Love Experience to Be My Own Valentine and then all these other things beyond my control kept popping up and ruining my plans. It’s frustrating. I’m so tired. I’m so sick of winter. I need a massage.

Anyway. Friday today! I’m working on getting the house ready for Shepard’s birthday parties. We’re going very simple with food, so I really just need to make cakes. Though I need to get dressed to go buy eggs first… And I desperately need a nap and more ibuprofen. But we will survive! Shepard is pretty easy to please and I think he’ll be super happy just to have friends around tomorrow. I don’t need to kill myself trying to make everything perfect. It’s been a hard week and the shape of my house might reflect that. But I’m determined to give my almost 7 year old the best birthday weekend he can have. And next week MAYBE I can get back to my own agenda and actually have it work out!

Sunday Intentions 02.11.2018


The biggest week of our family’s winter is here! Hopefully I’m ready for it. Well, I can tell you at the moment that I’m definitely not. But by the end of the day I plan to be!

In about an hour we’re heading over to my parents’ house to celebrate my mom’s birthday. It should be fun! And filled with delicious food, like always.

Tomorrow I’m meeting a friend for coffee in the morning. I’m really looking forward to catching up!

Tuesday is errand day. So I need to have a very thorough plan and list of things I’ll need for the rest of the week. Hopefully I can accomplish that later this afternoon, but by tomorrow for sure.

Wednesday is Valentine’s Day! Hooray! I love little holidays. Basically any reason to celebrate something and hand out little gifts is pretty much the best day ever. The boys have a late start, so I’m planning to make a fun and festive breakfast. Though I also made Annie a grooming appointment for that morning because it was the first available opening when I called over a week ago. It’s her first official grooming. I thought I could get away without it, but she just keeps getting too many mats in her hair and they’re too close to her skin for me to fully cut out. So I guess she’s officially a dog that needs to be professionally groomed.

Once the boys are off to school I’m planning to just pamper myself the rest of the day. Read, take a nap, watch tv, basically whatever sounds good at the time. No to do list, no errands, no guilt. Actually, I’ll probably be spending it writing a blog post of something I’ve been focusing on the last few weeks.

Valentine dinner will be simple – Costco heart shaped ravioli for Greg and I and heart shaped pasta for the boys. I’m thinking I might do lava cakes for dessert.

Thursday and Friday I’ll be cleaning the house and getting ready for Shepard’s birthday parties. Thursday night is Science Night at school, whatever that entails. I might skip it to work on whatever Shepard decides he wants for his school birthday treat.

Saturday is when all the festivities begin! There’s a Lego Showcase at the library in the morning, where kids can bring in their best creations and show them off. Shepard seems excited about it, though he hasn’t started creating anything yet. I’m kind of hoping they decide to do it so Greg can keep them out of the house while I do last minute party set up. Shepard has his friend birthday party Saturday afternoon. It’s turned into a bit of an ordeal because another kid in his class is having a birthday party at the same time and invited all the same kids. I know at least one kid is cutting out halfway through Shepard’s party so he can attend both. I hope they’re not all planning that… It’s only a two hour party. I thought about changing the time, but…I planned his party first. Weeks ago. So we’re sticking with it.

And Sunday is Shepard’s 7th birthday! We’re celebrating with family on that day for a lunch party with a very eclectic mix of foods. And the rest of the day – whatever Shepard wants to do. I’m guessing it’ll be a lot of video games!

Top Priority – Stay Organized, Stay Calm, Stay on Top of Everything

Basically it’s a week of prep work to get ready for big events. I just want to keep on task so I’m not losing my mind with stress at any point this week! I need to remember to make a nice Valentine breakfast on Tuesday night, make Shepard’s school treat on Thursday night, make cakes and food on Friday and Saturday nights. I don’t even know what I’m serving or what I’m decorating with for either party really, so that’s what I need to plan out today. At least Valentine’s Day is a little easier, but I need to figure out my dessert plan and make sure I have the ingredients for that too.

Second Priority – Be My Own Valentine

I signed up for this Be Your Own Valentine Self Love Experience that starts tomorrow morning. I really have no idea what it will entail, but I want to make time each of the five days to do whatever it asks of me. I saw that there will be daily journal prompts, so I definitely want to make time to do those. I’ve really been trying to focus on self love and self care this whole month, so I’m excited to see if I feel any different about myself after this week long experiment.

Third Priority – Mayyyyyyybe Get Back to Work

I really slacked off this past week. I mean, I was doing other things. And I was lazy (refer to yesterday’s post!). So even though there’s twice as much going on this week, IF I can find any spare time at all, I’d really like to at least start some St. Patrick’s Day dolls. No pressure to finish, I just want to start them. When I have a project already in the works it’s so much easier to work on it off and on whenever I have a few spare minutes. If I have to start brand new, it’s so much harder to just sit down and do it.

Meal Plan

Monday – Spinach Salad with Leftover Grilled Chicken

Tuesday – Something Easy from My Freezers (Both of our freezers are completely full to the brim. I thought I was being so smart buying a lot of easy meals, but now I literally have no room for anything else. So I need to clean out a bit.)

Wednesday – Valentine Pastas, Garlic Bread, Lava Cakes

Thursday – Crock Pot Meal? Fast Food before Science Night?

Friday – Pizza…probably. Though I might also save it for Shepard’s birthday dinner.

Have a great week, everyone! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Saturday Reflections 02.10.2018


Happy Saturday! I almost forgot about writing today because I’ve been so enthralled with a delicious book. I started it around 10 last night and read until 12:30 – which is a feat in itself! Then I got up at 5 and did nothing but read until it was done (correction – I did spread nutella on bread so my children could eat and I took Annie outside, once). I’ve really been shirking my responsibilities, and I need to make up for it tonight. But – worth it.

It’s been a pretty up and down week. I did a lot of fun and happy things. But I also had an argument with Greg that have led us to almost a week of our typical style of silent ignoring each other fighting. I won’t get into it, but it’s been a pretty rough week emotionally. Which in turn puts a damper on any fun activities. Marriage is hard, guys.


Anyway! Last Sunday we had our Hudson sleepover. The boys were SO excited to have him come visit! Annie was fascinated by him. It was hilarious watching her because she really didn’t seem to know what to think about him. She was a little jealous, a little nervous, and a little excited occasionally thinking he might be there to play with her. He was pretty amazed by her too and grabbed at her face every time she got close. Fortunately she’s extremely tolerant of kids touching her and climbing all over her, all the time.


Hudson is seven months old now and at such a fun age! He’s so observant of everything around him.


We were instructed to try and give him some baby food, which was pretty entertaining! He really just wanted to play with the spoon.


Brittany (his mom) said his favorite thing to do is lay on the floor playing with his bare feet, so we had to have a round of that after every diaper change. Caden liked doing happy baby yoga pose with him.


The whole babysitting thing went super well except for afternoon nap time! Then we had two hours of screaming and definitely not wanting to sleep. Of course that was the time Greg decided to take the boys to his parent’s house for a Super Bowl party. So Annie and I did our best to keep Hudson happy.


Naptime stories. He really loves books!


Tummy time! (Outfit change after diaper blow out.)


So proud of himself for not staying on his tummy. 🙂


Annie feeling very needy.


Cousins back from their party in time to hang out and read some more books.


I was in the kitchen getting his bottle or something while they changed him. It was hilarious listening to the boys try and figure out how to lay out the pajamas to get him in them.


The night went very smoothly! We were a little nervous about having a baby overnight, but it was easy peasy. We set the pack and play up in Shepard’s room and Shepard went to bed first, so Hudson didn’t even know he was in there. He fell asleep so quickly and easily and was only up once in the night. I just fed him on the floor next to the bed, put him back in, and he fell asleep. AMAZING. Putting my own kids back to bed as babies was never, ever so easy. Not even once.

Shepard was the first one up (besides Hudson and I) and so excited to feed him his bottle.


There was no school on Monday and because it snowed so much, Greg decided to work from home. Then my mom came over to spend a little more time with Hudson and go to lunch with us.




Giving Hudson some goodbye cuddles. It was really fun! Hudson is a pretty easy going baby. The boys loved helping take care of him too. Around lunchtime we drove to Sun Prairie to hand him off to his other grandparents for his third night of sleepovers (first night was with my parents). Then we had lunch at Wendy’s and stopped at Market Street Diner for some nice desserts to take home and eat. We usually go to Ponderosa on this annual Monday around my mom’s birthday that we don’t have school, so this was our compromise since we had to drive in the opposite direction with Hudson.

Monday night the boys had conferences at school. Caden’s is student led so we don’t talk to the teacher at all. It just seems odd. He was in a pretty cranky and weird mood, so very slowly and in weird voices went through everything he had to show us. Shepard’s was also student led, but with the teacher still very involved. Sounds like they’re both doing very well!


On Tuesday morning I finished up my last batch of Valentine dolls. I think it was too late because I’ve only sold two of the six. That was the last time I worked this week. So many things going on! (And so many good books to read!) I’m basically giving up all hope of working next week too with even more things to get ready for. But I’ll be back with a vengeance the following week. I think I’m going to have to give up my no nights and weekends rule for awhile. It’s the only way I’ll catch up.


On Tuesday I also got my haircut! I’m so terrible at making hair appointments. They usually happen twice a year after I get desperate. I tried to make an appointment in early January, but they changed the system so I have to call the stylist directly. I’ve only seen this stylist once and felt pretty weird about calling her personal number. We played phone tag for a few days and I finally gave up. Finally last week I took a chance and TEXTED her. Anyway, it was good to get it done. 🙂

Wednesday was my big errand day. I was originally planning to take Annie with me and try out another new dog park, but it was so cold outside and I had too many places I had to go. I don’t feel super comfortable leaving her in the car unattended for more than like ten minutes max. I mean, this is a much bigger deal once it gets warmer out when I definitely wouldn’t leave her in a hot car. But I’m always paranoid someone will see her and report it or something.


Thursday was my mom’s birthday and we had an awesome double date planned. We met up at The Brunch Club in Madison so she could have one of her favorite restaurant meals of creme brulee oatmeal.


It was happy hour with $5 appetizers, so my dad got the cheesecurds and I had a fried chicken on a glazed donut with honey and sriracha for my meal, with a side of tater tots. Greg had the pancakes. My dad had a Reuben (not pictured). It was a good place to eat because it didn’t feel so loud and crowded and college kid infested the way every other downtown restaurant feels in Madison.


The main event was seeing the show Gobsmacked at the Overture. We didn’t really know much about it except that it’s a British group that sings acapella, does beatboxing, and some dancing!


The show was pretty good! I could have done without some of the bizarre theatrical elements, but the singing was good and the beatboxing was amazing! It was a great night! It’s fun (and very unusual) to do something just as adults with our parents. I feel like it’s something we never had much opportunity to do since we had kids so early. Anyway, Greg’s parents were back at our house taking care of the boys and Annie, which was so helpful!


I was feeling SO unmotivated on Friday. I was tired and cold and my stupid neck and shoulder and back still hurt so much. Dumb puppy chow! Greg worked at home like always and we had the furnace guy come to inspect and clean out both furnaces, which took about three hours. Fortunately, no extra repairs needed! I was pretty lazy all day and didn’t really get anything at all done. Sometimes I think Greg thinks I just live this life of leisure, which is usually so far from the truth when I’m falling into bed at night completely overwhelmed and exhausted by everything I’ve done and dealt with that day. But from all he’s seen yesterday and today, I guess sometimes I occasionally can be pretty lazy. 😛 Though I’m choosing to see it as taking care of myself before next week when I most definitely will be running around like a crazy person trying to take care of Valentine’s Day and all of Shepard’s birthday activities.

Unfortunately, my friend margarita night was cancelled on Friday night due to a kid flu. Obviously I get it, but I was so looking forward to hanging out with my friends. And it sounds like we won’t be able to reschedule for another entire month. I hate how hard adult friendships are. I miss connecting with people so much. I feel like I’m alone like 90% of my life. Especially on weeks that Greg and I aren’t talking much. I just wish it wasn’t so hard.


Anyway. I did have a lot of random conversations at the dog park this week. I’m usually a loner at the dog park too because I’m in a much younger age demographic than the majority of the dog park goers and never really know what to say to anyone. I believe it was Tuesday afternoon, I ran into a guy and his golden retriever that I’ve only encountered once before, last summer. And it was just as terrible as the first time our dogs met. It’s like this guy has never seen dogs play wrestle before and simply can’t fathom that it’s possible for a dog to enjoy it. His dog WANTS TO PLAY, but he totally freaks out and physically does everything possible to get Annie away from his dog. It’s just super frustrating because Annie ALWAYS leaves dogs alone that don’t want to play. His dog DOES. But he doesn’t get it. Anyway, my other two visits this week were much more cordial. I had a really nice conversation with a guy whose dog looks like she could be Annie’s sister. Their coloring is really different, but size, hair length, temperament, age, inconclusive history – all exactly the same. On Friday we met our first pure Australian Shepherd who also looked so much like Annie.


And that’s been my week! Oh, the book I read – The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. I put in a request with my facebook book club group for recommendations of swoon worthy books with a real love story component – not just mindless fluffy shallow “romance.” So many people recommended this that I immediately started reading it. It’s the PERFECT book to read around Valentine’s Day. I completely adored it.

Well, I better get back to work! We’re celebrating my mom’s birthday tomorrow and I still need to make some spinach dip and wrap a few gifts. Hope you had a good week!

Sunday Intentions 02.04.2018

Today officially marks the beginning of our winter busy season! There’s a lot of really fun things coming up that I’m definitely excited about! I’ve pretty much given up all hope of being super productive work-wise. There’s just too  many other things going on. But that’s okay. I’ll make up for it at the end of the month and through March.

Any minute now, Hudson is being delivered for his first cousin sleepover! The boys are so pumped up about it. I’m just excited because we haven’t seen him since Christmas! That feels like forever. It should be a lot of fun!

Tomorrow we’re delivering Hudson to his other grandparents and then going out to lunch. The boys are off of school because of conferences. Their conferences aren’t until evening, so we have the day free.

Tuesday I’m getting a haircut! I haven’t had one since August. It’s actually the best long lasting haircut I’ve ever had, but I could really use a refresh. Making haircut appointments is one of my most hated tasks ever, which is why I always put it off so long.

Thursday is my mom’s birthday and we’re celebrating by going on a double date! We’re going to eat dinner at one of her favorite restaurants and then see the show Gobsmacked. I don’t know much about it, except that it’s supposed to be acapella and beatboxing, so it should probably be awesome. 🙂

Friday night I’m going to a margarita night with a few of my friends! Last year I had a big Valentine party for all my friends, similar to my Favorite Things party. This year I just couldn’t figure out how to fit that in, so I’m kind of viewing this as a mini Galentine’s Day party, whether they realize that or not – ha!

Saturday is a little up in the air. I keep getting facebook notifications for some sort of Valentine holiday market, so maybe I’ll check that out. We’ll see. It’s a busy week!

And Sunday we’re having a birthday celebration for my mom. It’s at their house, so I don’t have to do much, but it should be fun! And the following week is all about Valentine’s Day and Shepard’s birthday.

Anyway, I don’t have any real intentions for the week other than to just enjoy it all! I’m not putting any pressure on myself to get a ton of work hours in. I’m just about done with six final Valentine dolls, so I’ll probably finish those up on Tuesday morning and just do what I can the rest of the week. I need to get Valentines figured out for the boys’ classes and a few little things I’ve put together for family. I also really need to sit down and figure out all the details for Shepard’s birthday parties. And shop for party favors, decorations, etc. I always feel so on top of things for Caden’s parties and Shepard’s always sneak up on me. I’m not even sure I’ve gotten enough presents for him yet. It’s been a tough year trying to figure out what he even likes anymore.

I honestly don’t have any meal plans decided yet. I used up all my food making energies last week! We’ll probably just have sandwiches or something after conferences on Monday. And Thursday and Friday we/I will be gone. So I really only need two meals…. I’ll figure it out. 🙂

Have a good week!