Saturday Reflections 01.13.2018

Well, it’s been a pretty quiet and uneventful week. Until today when I woke up to Greg being sick and our furnace dying. As it quickly feels like we’re about to freeze to death, I figured I should pump out this post! We’re anxiously awaiting from the service tech to see if he has the part we need (the “blower”) to get the furnace running again. If he doesn’t have it in the shop, it won’t be fixed until sometime Monday. It’s like one degree outside. We need it fixed NOW.

I should probably point out that we won’t actually freeze to death because we also have an attic furnace that heats the second floor of our house and it’s working fine. But our pipes in the basement and lower half of the house are going to need some heat! Or we’ll have a real mess on our hands!

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Anyway. This week! So on Monday morning Caden insisted that he was sick and needed to stay home. Does anyone else absolutely agonize about whether or not to let their kids stay home if they’re not showing any actual signs of being sick? I have the hardest time EVER making the decision when Caden says he doesn’t feel well. With Shepard it’s so easy. I only need to look at him for five seconds to see if he’s sick and he never has to say a word. Caden is much harder to read. Caden is a lot more cunning. Caden often manufactures an illness because he just doesn’t want to go to school. Caden will cry and refuse to get dressed so I don’t have any option but to let him stay home. And 95% of the time – he feels magically so much better an hour later. So I’m not usually a very nice mom when he tells me he’s sick. I get angry because I think he’s messing with me. But I also don’t want to send him if he’s actually possibly going to get sick at school! It’s a position I HATE being in. Even more so on days like this past Monday when I had a full day of errands meticulously planned out. But what can you? That’s why I’m a stay at home mom still, right? Need to accommodate the kids. So, we ended up having a very low key day. He was fine. We drank a bunch of lemon water. He read books for hours and hours. I worked. We made it through.

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I was able to run all my errands on Tuesday instead. That was pretty much my day.

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I’ve been continuing work in my bullet journal and Shepard requested that I buy him one. He wanted it dotted like mine, and purple. I was actually shocked to find exactly what he wanted at Michael’s for only $5. I got Caden one too, but Shepard has been a lot more excited about filling his in. I hit up all the craft stores that day and got us both a bunch of fun stickers.

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I spent Wednesday working pretty hard and then we had our at home date night. I feel like such a slacker wife. If I work all day I don’t have any time to come up with a good dinner plan. I wanted to try and make the night special, but I just felt bleh and stressed. So Greg offered to pick up Chinese food and then we made a puzzle together. We’re super exciting people.

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Caden had his first baked potato at Grandma’s house Wednesday night and brought home another one for breakfast on Thursday. I never make baked potatoes because they’re too bland and boring for me. But I guess I’ll have to figure out how to do it since Greg loves them too.

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Thursday afternoon we had an unscheduled early release due to “expected dangerous precipitation.” It was raining pretty hard. But it was also 47 degrees. So it all ended up being fine, my day just got cut short again. Annie was super cute when we picked them up from school that day, trying to cuddle on Caden’s lap. She doesn’t normally do things like that.

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On Thursday afternoon I FINALLY finished up the batch of dolls I spent two weeks working on. I’ve never felt so slow and behind on a batch of only seven dolls before! They were really tall which does make them a little more unwieldy to work with. Four of them were also custom orders, which I don’t like doing because they slow me down so much. Three of the four dolls required special fabrics and it was just a huge hassle. But they’re done. Hopefully I can start speeding up now. Cutting out those night and weekend hours is really cutting back on how many dolls I can make. I’m having a hard time coming to terms with it.

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But to cheer me up – more stickers! I’ve been trying to find cool sticker companies online and there aren’t many to choose from! I discovered Pipsticks which has a lot of tiny funky and unique stickers. And these I got from Violette Stickers. I love how vintagey and cute they are. They just make me extremely happy. I’ve always loved stickers and now I’m really excited to have a place to use them again!

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The boys working on their journals before school Friday. I spent Friday working again and then went out to dinner with a few friends. It was so nice to see them! And get out of the house for something fun.

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Later Friday night I decided to join this 24 in 48 readathon with my facebook book club group. The goal is to read 24 hours over the weekend, but really it’s just about the spirit of finding as much time as possible to dive into books. I knew there was no way I’d have time to read 24 hours, but I wanted to at least join in the fun. It’s exciting to see everyone’s posts and just feel part of a group of likeminded people. It doesn’t seem like I know many book lovers in person, to my GREAT disappointment.

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And now today! Where I was hoping to spend the majority of my day. It’s not really turning out that way. 🙁

So the furnace verdict that came while I was writing – the guy doesn’t have the part. And won’t have it until Monday. OR Tuesday. Seriously??? He brought over two space heaters and said they’ll heat the house enough that the pipes should be fine. So. That’s irritating. I’m kind of really ticked off. I guess it’s going to be a cold couple of days!!

Saturday Reflections 01.06.2018

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I just love January! Life feels so full of potential with all the chatter about fresh starts, goals, and positive life changes. I know most people drop their resolutions within a few weeks, but that doesn’t stop me from hoping my path for the year might be different.

One thing I don’t like about January – particularly this one – is how cold it STILL IS. It’s not like I’m a huge outdoorsman, but it’s driving me a little bit insane to feel so trapped in the house, never quite warm enough. I just want to take Annie for a twenty minute walk every day without feeling like we’re both about to fall over from frostbite. The good news is that it’s supposedly going to warm up next week. I’ll believe it when I see it!

Overall, it’s been a pretty great week. I love getting back on track after the chaos, excitement, and exhaustion of Christmas break. Seeing everyone head off to work and school and then coming back to a quiet house with just my pets? It’s the BEST. I had some lofty ambitions of really jumping into everything I’ve been slacking on the last few weeks, but I didn’t make much progress. But… I’m okay with it. I’m really trying to live by taking care of myself first. And this week I needed more life giving genuine down time than working myself ragged productivity.

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On Monday morning – New Year’s – we went to Greg’s parents’ for a game day. My parents came too. I was so tired from actually staying up until midnight, so I declined any actual game playing. But it was nice to just have a chance to sit and read without needing to really do anything for a big chunk of the day. The food was delicious too.

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This is the bottle of that $20 ice wine I got at Costco for New Year’s Eve, just fyi. 🙂 It was so good! Quite the splurge, but maybe worth making if it comes around every year. It has mango flavors in it, so I got the bottle to myself (Greg is allergic). And a bottle is about less than two glasses, so I was glad not to share!

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On Tuesday I was more than ready to run some errands and stock up on groceries. Christmas clearance was 90% off at Target and I was pretty excited to find some good stuff. I always want these scent things for my artificial trees, but it seems crazy to pay $7 on them full price. 70 cents I can handle! I also really wanted some white lights to hang inside our bay window next year so it looks like we did some house decorating from the outside – hopefully. We don’t have any outdoor outlets, so we can’t put lights up outside and our house looks so sad and un-festive. I put the tiny white lights around our bedroom and when they’re on it makes me ridiculously happy.

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Target also had Lego Brickheadz 50% off. I’ve been eyeing up these Belle and Beast figures for quite awhile and finally had an excuse to buy them. I made the boys build them for me and now they’re on one of my bookshelves.

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Wednesday was a teensy bit warmer in the morning and we were able to venture out to the dog park for half an hour. Visits have been pretty sparse these last few weeks! Walks have basically been nonexistent. It needs to warm up.

Both Wednesday and Thursday were supposed to be big work days, but I was still so busy doing things around the house I couldn’t afford much sewing time. Wednesday was actually the one really, really low day for me. I was giving myself too much to do, stressed out, upset about some friendship related things, and just not in a good place. So I devoted Thursday back to self care and taking time to read and relax and get my head back into a positive space. It worked.

Friday was a bummer day because I had to have two cavities filled. I’ve only had one cavity before and it was so tiny they didn’t even do any anesthetics. It was on the top of my tooth too and I didn’t realize how little of a deal that was compared to bigger cavities that form between teeth! Anyway, it was just a sucky hour and a half at the dentist, but I survived. I was more just annoyed about how long it took with the dentist constantly going in and out of the room to attend multiple people at once. Just get it over with! I rewarded myself with a Chipotle bowl to take home and have for lunch. It tasted like the best thing ever. Total Chipotle game changer for this devote taco eater too. Bowls are now my future. Especially when they travel so well to eat at home!

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This week has birthed a few new obsessions for me. One – cold brew coffee. In blue mason jars. With homemade creamer. Which is also stored in pretty blue mason jars in my fridge. I haven’t brewed any of my own yet, but I did get a bottle of Stok Not Too Sweet cold brew at the store and it’s delicious! And it actually wakes me up enough to not need a nap. I’m still loving my Keurig (the boys REALLY love it), but cold brew is probably going to be my new daily lunch beverage of choice.

This week I am also completely in love with my bullet journal. I seriously recommend that book Dot Journaling if you’re at all intrigued by the idea of bullet journaling, but are too overwhelmed by how complex the internet makes it out to be. It took me a few hours to set it all up, but I think I created a system where I’ll really get the most out of using it. I love it for daily to do lists and as many other lists as I want. But I also really like the habit tracking and actually using it as a real journal at the end of every day. And the creative options once you start! I’ve already ordered more stickers and washi tape because it’s just so fun to make it colorful and full of happy beauty. I think it’ll be a really great little outlet AND productivity tool this year.

I’m not sure I can call it an obsession yet, but another thing I started this week is a daily yoga practice. I’m following the free 30 day program for January by Yoga with Adriene. Early every morning I get an email with a few inspirational messages and a link to the day’s video. I leave it unopened until I’m ready to do it because unopened emails drive me insane. There’s no way I can forget or ignore the video. The first four days I did it first thing in the morning, which was great. Yesterday and today I had to put it off awhile and it made me a little stir crazy. I think that maybe, after only six days, I’m liking yoga! I really like Adriene. I feel like this is something I can maybe actually stick with. Not necessarily as a way to lose weight, but as a way to connect more with my body, stretch, and just overall feel better. I’ll keep you updated on how I feel after every additional week. I’m determined not to miss a day.

Anyway, despite the bit of depression I was struggling with on Wednesday, it was a pretty good week! Now today we’re working on finishing all the post-Christmas cleanup. Trees are down and I’ve been working on all the clutter. The boys are currently mini-golfing with the grandparents. Greg is crawling around hand scrubbing all the floors. And I’m hoping to spend the afternoon sewing. Not because I feel like I NEED to. But because that’s genuinely how I want to spend a chunk of my day. I miss it.

I hope you had a great week too!

Saturday Reflections 12.30.2017

So I sat down at my computer to write a post about my favorite books of the year. But I’m not really feeling it at the moment. I think I need to ramble a little bit about this Christmas vacation, something I didn’t plan on writing about at all this week. But here I am.

This has probably been the most uneventful Christmas break yet. We’ve all been tired and cranky and OH so irritable. The boys have been at each other’s throats and both of them are just a huge emotional meltdowns waiting to happen. Greg and I got in a massive fight about it on Tuesday, which certainly hasn’t helped make this week any better. Greg thinks Christmas is hard on them because I do too many things earlier in the month and that wears them out. Examples being a big St. Nick’s Day and Twinkle the Elf moving locations every day. (Which for the record, helps them wake up every morning of the month with a smile or laugh instead of whining and arguing about something.) I think they’re difficult at Christmas because we do way too many things in a very short time period and the expectations for them to be happy and excited is just too much pressure. This is the second year in a row of the huge extended family party happening on the 23rd. And both years it has really put a strain on all of us to be rested and happy on the 24th and 25th. The 24th is the most important and most exciting day in our holiday rush and I want to go into it being happy and relaxed. It’s just too much. I understand why the big party is that day with so many people traveling. But it a strain, especially on our child that doesn’t ever want to go anywhere for any reason whatsoever, especially day after day after day. Anyway, I’m sure it’s just a mix of everything. And all that stuff is fun! But it’s overwhelming. Especially for Caden. Which in turn makes it so much harder on the rest of us. Consider yourselves lucky that you don’t see just how hard it is to get him out the door – EVER.

At any rate, I had very low expectations for this week! I was highly looking forward to a week off of work to just read, rest, relax. And I did it! I think I’ve read four books in the last five days. I’ve also spent a huge amount of time setting up a new bullet journal for 2018, which I’m extremely excited about! I set up my regular calendars (two this year to hopefully increase my productivity!). And I did the bare minimum of household chores. I did go clearance shopping on Tuesday morning and we went to the dog park twice. But I’ve been a total recluse the rest of the time, which I’m kind of okay with! I feel bad because I did plan on taking the boys swimming, but the idea of going swimming when it’s negative temperatures outside was just more than I could handle. I actually wanted to go sledding, but it was just too cold. So home we stayed. Reading, playing video games, and snapping at each other over everything! Fun times. Fun, for real, but also….yeah. I’ll be very happy when Tuesday morning arrives!

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At the dog park on Wednesday. It’s been soooo cold this week. I’m normally okay with winter. I prefer winter weather to summer weather. I HATE being hot. But now that I actually have to go outside multiple times a day with Annie, winter is becoming a little bit brutal! Temperatures in the teens and twenties? Fine. But negative degrees with even lower wind chills? Not so fun. The one bright spot is this ridiculous looking coat from LL Bean which was worth every penny I spent on it. When I’m wearing my very warm boots there’s only about two inches between the two where my legs are chilled. But it’s otherwise pretty warm!

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Lots of time to play with new presents this week! The boys started their rock tumbler (the one thing I was excited about doing with them, but they did when I went shopping 🙁 ). They made rainbow slime. They’ve been doing multiple art projects, shooting nerf guns, playing with balls, reading, and of course playing video games.

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Shepard showing off his sign again. He’s been begging me to hang it outside so everyone knows he lives here.

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I wanted to keep my delivery person treat box out until the new year, but the squirrels caught on to me. This box was overflowing when I set it out that morning and half gone by the time I realized they were taking things. We’ve since found torn open bags of chips, granola bars, and cookies strewn all over the neighborhood. Our neighbors saw one running down the sidewalk with a peanut butter cup. Dang squirrels!

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This week I was desperately craving some home cooked food. I made a giant batch of chicken tamale chili one night and one of our favorites – PF Chang’s Copycat Mongolian Beef another night. I’m hoping in the new year I can be a lot better about making wholesome and delicious meals on a much more regular basis. AND enjoy it.

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Greg went back to work on Thursday and Friday. Thursday we had a super lazy day and the boys went over to their friend’s house for the afternoon. And Friday we went to the dog park and then out to lunch at Culver’s. It wasn’t much, but it was nice to get out of the house for a little bit and do something special. I planned on going out anyway, but they actually asked me before I could say anything. They don’t usually see going to a restaurant as a treat, so it was nice that in this circumstance they did.

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And today’s big accomplishment was getting haircuts. You would not believe how much of a fight one kid puts up about getting his hair cut (not the cute one making cocoa in his new pizza shirt). Like cutting the hairs on his head is literally the same thing as slicing him with a million knives. But it’s done.

And that’s been our week! Emotional, lazy, a little bit productive in creatively fun ways. I didn’t want to stress out about cleaning up or taking down the decorations. But as the break comes to a close I’m getting pretty antsy to move ahead into the new year. I’m excited to start sewing again. I feel fresh and ready to tackle some new projects. I’m hopeful that 2018 will be a much better year and I’m ready to get it started!

Saturday Reflections 12.23.2017

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Christmas is here! I was really hoping this last week would be totally stress free and relaxing. But that’s fairly impossible the week before Christmas, right? I’d say I had about an equal mix of doing way too many things I didn’t really feel like doing but needed to be done and some well deserved hours of self care. Overall, a pretty good week!

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On Sunday evening we went to see Santa at the Dodge County Airport. He came in very slowly on a little airplane. Caden was angry the first time he heard about it and angry about going because it HAD to be a fake Santa because Santa only comes in a sleigh with his reindeer. Shepard thought it was really awesome. Santa shook his hand when he walked through the building and he thought it was just the coolest thing that he touched Santa! The whole event was pretty packed, but everyone was in good spirits and it was a fun experience. We never take our kids to see Santa because they’ve always been terrified and I’m strongly against purposely scaring your kids for the sake of a picture. But I guess they’re old enough now that they’re only slightly apprehensive, and definitely not going to cry about it.

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I’m pretty sure this is the last year that Caden will believe in Santa. Side note on that – if you tell your kids the truth about Santa, can you PLEASE tell them not to go to school and tell all their friends??? I was absolutely devastated when my friend repeated the whole conversation she had with her mom about Santa not being real when I was nine. I get that it’s something kids will probably talk about regardless, but I hate to have my own kids heartbroken in the same way. There’s definitely been plenty of seeds of doubts planted in Caden’s mind this year from his friends. Greg’s starting to be bothered about flat out lying to him, but I want him to believe in the magic for as long as possible. It’s just never the same once you know the truth.

Anyway! Caden asked Santa for his own Nintendo Switch. Shepard asked Santa for an air hockey table. They’ve both spent the entire week talking about how of course Santa is going to get those things for them because it’s the first time they ever asked him in person for something. So….Christmas morning might be a bit of a disappointment! 🙁 At least Shepard has a birthday coming up and an air hockey table might be a possibility. A smallish one. Caden will just have to keep on dreaming!

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Monday was supposed to be my big baking day, but I definitely didn’t get as much done as I wanted. By the time I take the boys to school, take Annie to the dog park, get all the pets situated with food and water, and finally eat my late breakfast, it’s like half the morning is gone. And this Monday I also had to get some groceries and prep some food for the crockpot. I was ready for a nap by midday. Annie enjoyed the candle fire in my place.

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Tuesday was another crockpot meal. I should really try harder to do those more often. I hate giving up part of my morning on meal prep, but it certainly makes the afternoons so much easier!

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By later Tuesday night I finally finished all my baking and made up boxes for the neighbors. The boys and I snuck around leaving boxes on everyone’s porches. I picked seven of my favorite tried and true cookie recipes and realize that all of those only made really small batches! Almost everything I made was just about gone after divvying up between neighbors!

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I really don’t know what I did on Wednesday! I think I was scurrying around finishing up all the wrapping, working on laundry, running more errands. Shepard helped me make some Rudolph noses in the evening. I kept thinking I should do more baking, but it was pretty much the last thing in the world I felt like doing.

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Thursday was FINALLY my day of rest! I planned to spend the entire day lounging on my futon with my book and candles and soft music playing. It was great, but I also had a really hard time relaxing enough to enjoy it. I’ve been so amped up for weeks trying to get so much done. It was hard to properly enjoy a day with permission to just BE.

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I did enjoy the afternoon just staring at my pretty tree and gift piles! I really love our house, but especially this room, and particularly at Christmastime. It makes me so very happy. 🙂

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Thursday night I tried to get ahead of the game and work on a pizza braid that I’m bringing over to my parents’ for Christmas Eve. I love how it turned out! I wrapped it up and put it in the freezer to bake that night. Hopefully it survived!!

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Friday was pajama day at school. Trying to get a nicely posed picture with these three together is nearly impossible! Annie does NOT like to cooperate for posed pictures!

I spent Friday morning fighting the crowds at Target because the boys realized they didn’t pick out gifts for each other or Greg. Poor planning on my part, I guess. They just HATE going to stores, so I thought we’d skip it this year. But I want to encourage them gifting to other people instead of just thinking about themselves, so they each sent me with a list of what they wanted to get. I tried my best to find what they wanted. Next year we’ll make it a higher priority.

Then I met my mom at the theater to see Pitch Perfect 3! I thought it was really good! Not like an incredible movie, but definitely entertaining and light and happy. Just what I needed. We had a delicious lunch at Monk’s and then I headed home.

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Friday afternoon we had our family Christmas! We usually do it on the 23rd, but the last two years we’ve had big family parties that day so we moved it up a day. It’s kind of nice to have our family opening when the boys are still fresh and excited about everything. It gets a little overwhelming by the time Santa comes and they have their last gift opening. I’ll write more about this on a separate Christmas post in a few days. 🙂

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I was so happy to receive this letter from our mail carrier! It made me really glad I put out that box of treats every day. I’m glad she liked the chocolate covered peppermint topped candy cane Joe-Joe’s from Trader Joe’s! They were so good, which is why I gifted them to many people this year!

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And today we had Greg’s huge family party in Oshkosh. I’m told there were 49 people there! Always a fun time, especially the big present exchange/war.

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I came home after the party to check on Annie and do some final baking. I had to take pictures of everything I’m making ahead of time in case something disastrous happens by the time they’re baked and served! This is a cranberry, bacon, and brie wreath for tomorrow night.

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And a cinnamon braid wreath for brunch tomorrow. I also made another batch of cookies. That’s enough baking for awhile!

That was my week! I won’t be writing a Sunday Intentions post this week. I don’t have any priorities other than to just enjoy whatever comes in the following days. We have Christmas with both our families tomorrow. Santa on Monday and maybe some extra family time. Greg is taking vacation on Tuesday and Wednesday. I’m hoping to get a lot of reading in and hopefully some writing. Finally! I’m so behind on all the posts. Of course there’s also all that end of the year stuff swirling around in my brain about what I want to do differently next year. Lots to think about, lots to write about. We’ll see how much I get to. 🙂

Merry Christmas, everyone!!!

Saturday Reflections 12.16.2017

Whew, what a week. A week that turned out to be way more stressful and exhausting than I thought it was going to be. I’ve been feeling a lot more resentful and angry than full of cheer and holiday spirit. Christmas is SO MUCH WORK. I counted it out today, for the sake of venting about it, and realized I had to pick out, order or drive to a store and buy, wrap, and distribute gifts to THIRTY-FIVE different people. And every single person got more than one gift, even if it was just a variety of small things. That’s a lot of presents, guys. Presents that basically took me three entire days to wrap, from the wee hours of the morning to bedtime. Don’t get me wrong, I love gift giving. It’s my love language and I adore picking out the perfect gifts for people. But gifts for 35 people in just a few short weeks? That’s more than a full time job’s worth of work. And I’m feeling it. Mentally and physically. Leaning over a table wrapping for hours and hours pays a toll on your back! But mostly I’m just feeling resentful that any and all Christmas related things fall on my shoulders alone. It’s really dragging me down.

The real problem is that I started every day deciding what I would do for myself that day in the midst of the to do lists. Be it a nap, a long reading break, a trip to wander the antique store, etc. I had a plan in place every single day for self care that would not leave me feeling the way I do now. BUT I didn’t do it. Any of the things. So I have no one to blame but myself. I try to make self care one of my highest priorities in December so I actually enjoy the Christmas season. But this year I have real issues with my obsession for GETTING THINGS DONE first and foremost and above all else. It’s a problem. For the record, I’m starting this post on Friday afternoon – but I DO have a plan for tomorrow that I’m definitely going to follow through on. Hopefully by the end of the post you’ll see that I did it. 🙂

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Okay, venting over. The week wasn’t all bad. I don’t think I wrote about it yet, but last Saturday we had our Christmas date. Normally we go to State Street because I love to see all the pretty lights around the Capital. But it was so cold out that we planned a west side date instead. We saw Ladybird and both loved it!

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Then we had dinner at my beloved HuHot. So good! Afterward we wandered around Barnes and Noble for a long time. It was a very low key date, but I think it’s what we both needed. Because we started the date so early (we’re old people) we were home by 7 and watched the Psych Christmas movie.

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On Sunday morning I picked up the boys from Grandma’s and we came home and made our annual gingerbread houses. Twinkle (the elf) always brings a different variety of house each year. The boys have such a good time decorating them.

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Shepard was a little low on patience this year, but once he figured out how to make the strands of lights he was happy.

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I spent the entire rest of the day sewing like mad. I was bound and determined to meet my Tuesday deadline for getting all 30 dolls finished and listed. It was intense. I don’t want to spend December weekends working like that. So next year I hope to go back to taking the whole month off. We’ll see. 🙂

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Monday morning began with another snowfall. Shepard helped me shovel before school and I finished after I dropped them off. Annie loves to stay outside with us, but was super sad that her chain only reaches halfway down the driveway. She just laid there whimpering, even though I was only a few feet away!

Before jumping back into work, I met a few friends for coffee at a local shop. It was so nice! I hope that kind of thing happens more often. It was nice to have a really low key little get together. Even better that I didn’t have to organize it! Sometimes I feel like the only way I ever see people is if I’m the one to make it happen. Which sometimes makes me wonder if people actually want to see me!

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At least someone has been enjoying my cozy Christmas corner all week!

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To my absolute joy, I finished all 30 Christmas dolls by Monday afternoon. And because Greg was home sick (headache), he picked up the boys after school so I had just enough light to get them photographed and listed that night. So exciting! It’s so hard making such a giant batch of dolls at once because it feels like every step is excruciatingly long. But when I’m done? It’s the greatest sense of accomplishment. And when I sell 15 of those 30 dolls within two hours of listing them it makes me want to jump back into making more! 🙂

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Later Monday night we were dealing with a mini Rory crisis. He goes through these cycles where he likes to lick at and bite one of his nipples until it bleeds. The vet looked at it and thinks that he’s just an overzealous groomer. This time it was pretty bad because our entire bed was covered in his blood… So we had to create this makeshift diaper and then carry him around all night because he wasn’t able to walk in it. The bleeding eventually stopped and he’s fine now.

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Annie, who is not much of a cuddler, had to reclaim me during tv time that night by laying on top of me. She wanted Rory to know his place! She doesn’t realize Rory has been my baby for 12 long years before she came along!

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This post is making me think I might take too many pictures of Annie. 🙂 But she’s just so happy and cute all the time!

Tuesday I did have some down time. I sat at my computer all morning and then went grocery shopping. But I got some fun reading in, which feels like it hasn’t happened much lately.

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On Wednesday I set up this treat box for all the delivery people that aid in my online shopping addiction. I started seeing ideas for this online around Thanksgiving and just couldn’t deal with one more added thing to do. But next year I definitely plan to start earlier since that’s when the bulk of my shopping takes place. I’ve been enjoying sneaking peeks out the window after every delivery to see what people have taken.

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We were laughing that Annie was sitting so loftily on top of two stacked pillows. Shepard wanted a picture with her, but of course she immediately started moving all around. Too cute, though. Well, maybe not so cute to everyone else who is probably getting really sick of my onslaught of dog pictures every single day!

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I spent basically all day Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday wrapping presents. I did do some more shopping on Thursday. I keep thinking I’m done and then realize I need something else.

Every day this week I drove the boys to school so I could take Annie to the dog park immediately after. I’ve also driven to pick them up after school every day for like the last three weeks. I’m a little ashamed at how lazy we’ve gotten and winter hasn’t even technically started yet!! But it’s so annoying listening to them complain about the cold all the way to or from school. If I drive them then they’re just excited to get to school and play on the playground (where it’s apparently not cold). Plus it’s nice to get Annie to the dog park right away and just be done for the day. Also, one awesome thing about winter – I can wear half my pajamas and not have showered yet in the mornings and nobody knows! Being super bundled up has its advantages!! The disadvantage of going to the dog park at 7:45 am is that we’re either the only ones there or we’re only there with the regulars who have dogs that don’t like to play. Annie LOVES running full speed all around the park, but you can tell she really wishes a playmate would show up.

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Late Thursday night Greg saw the new Star Wars movie with his dad and friend. Then on Friday we all went to see it. We had dinner at Mod Pizza beforehand. So tasty!

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It probably wasn’t a great idea to bring Shepard to the movie. He got pretty squirmy about a quarter of the way in, trying to stay awake. Eventually he just curled up and went to sleep. Hopefully nobody noticed his snoring! Overall, I liked the movie! I’m not a major Star Wars fan, but it’s fun to go see the new ones.

Today I was determined to do some things for me. It’s been a long week of doing everything I had to do and not much I really wanted. I started the day checking out the Holiday Farmer’s Market in Madison. It was pretty nice! I just bought a couple of things. Then I did a little grocery shopping before meeting up with Brittany (my sister-in-law) to do a bit more shopping. Then I went home and took a very long nap. I think once again the week is catching up with me and I’m paying for it over the weekend. It also occurred to me that my allergies might be acting up. My eyes have been really puffy and itchy and that’s the most logical explanation, even though it’s an odd time of year to have them. Anyway, after my nap I ran over to the antique mall and found some fun treasures. Overall, a really good day! A day without responsibilities and to do lists was exactly what I needed.

And that was my week! Now most of the mundane and hard stuff is behind me, I’m really looking forward to slowing down and enjoying this next week!

Saturday Reflections 12.09.2017

December is flying by! Christmas is only two weeks away! How is that possible?! I’m starting to feel the panic setting in. Mostly because I’m not getting the dolls made that I wanted to. I’m SO DISTRACTED. There are just so many things grabbing my attention. Though I finally finished shopping for everyone last night, so maybe with that off my mind I can find some focus for the upcoming week. I really strive to sit back and enjoy December and it hasn’t happened yet. But I’m getting there. Hopefully.

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Anyway, I really tried to take each day this week one day at a time and solely focus on the one most important thing I needed to work on. Monday was a work day. I finished up three gift dolls, four dolls for the shop, and wrapped and shipped out a few gifts that needed to be mailed. I also had to wrap all the St. Nick gifts, which took way too long! Nothing terribly exciting, but it needed to be done!

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Tuesday was errands, dentist, and party prep. I have two cavities, which the dentist took great joy in announcing while trying to shame me for not flossing enough. They didn’t have an appointment available until January to get them filled, so I’m not going to worry about it right now. They were so busy that day and wait times were ridiculous. I was not happy considering how many other things I needed to do afterward. Shopping for the party, dinner, and making these cookies. They’re my favorite. SO GOOD. I can only make them for other people because nobody in my family will eat things with nuts on them and Greg won’t eat anything with extra salt on it. He is MISSING OUT.

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Wednesday was St. Nick’s Day! We were lucky that it happened to land on a late start day this year. Greg was hoping to open gifts with us before he left for work, but of course of all days, Shepard slept until 7:20! He’s usually up well before 6 (much to my annoyance!). The boys were all really excited about their gift piles. St. Nick brought everyone a book and a card game, as well as some mustards and sauces and jams and a variety of bath products. He brought me the book Dot Journaling and a blank journal. I’m hoping to give bullet journaling another shot in the new year. The boys opened Greg’s presents for him while they video chatted before school.

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Annie got a stuffed Christmas tree. I couldn’t believe how we opened the french doors and she immediately ran over and grabbed her toy! Zero sniffing around or investigating, she just seemed to know it was there waiting for her. She pulverized the toy in less than five minutes.

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Real smiles! Hooray!

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I made our favorite croissant treats for breakfast. I just buy a box of croissants from Costco and then slice them all open, put a layer of chocolate chips and flaky sea salt inside, close them up, brush on maple syrup, top with coarse sugar, and bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes. It really makes a normal croissant taste a million times better.

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After the boys went to school I spent the rest of the afternoon setting up for my FAVORITE THINGS PARTY. Also known as one of my favorite nights of the year! This is the third year I’ve hosted it and every year it gets bigger and more fun! The rules are pretty simple – bring three of your favorite things and at the party we each draw three names and have a big gift exchange. It’s so much fun to see what people bring. I also asked everyone to bring an appetizer or dessert or drink this year, so I wouldn’t have to provide that much food. I made the cookies and this cheese tray. I love making cheese trays!

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Annie was ready for the party in her ugly Christmas sweater!

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I didn’t get many people pictures, but I believe we had 16 people there this year. So much fun! So much delicious food too.

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Annie was the life of the party and trying so hard to stay awake!

I kept meaning to put together some gift guides this fall because I LOVE looking at gift guides. But of course I ran out of time. So I’ll just give you a mini gift guide of what I gave for my favorite things this year. You’re technically supposed to just give one thing, but I always like to make it a little bundle because it looks more special, and if the recipient hates one of the things she might still like the accompanying item.

my favorite things

  1. Only Love Today by Rachel Macy Stafford
    I love this book so much! I’m not done with it yet, but it’s the one part of my morning routine that I never miss. The book is divided into seasons and each season has 1-2 page chapters/essays/devotionals. It has a Christian perspective, but it’s not technically a devotional with a scripture base. It’s just so many amazingly insightful glimpses of what you could be doing to make your life happier, more joyful, more filled with the things that actually matter. I love this book. Get it for yourself, a friend, basically anyone.
  2. Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens
    I am obsessed with these pens! I use them to underline passages in the book, which is why I gave them with the book. Plus they look really good together with the similar colors! I also use them in my planner. Every week I pick out four colors and each color is meant for a different aspect of my life (commitments, to dos, blog posts, meal plans) in the planner. I’m a nerd.
  3. Tarte Quench Lip Rescue Lipstick – in Cherry
    My sister-in-law gifted me a huge lipstick sampler for my birthday, and this is the one that I absolutely fell in love with. I’m a bit of a lipstick junkie, but I’m really particular about what I like. It needs to feel nice on my lips and also been shiny and preferably sheer. This one fits all the requirements with the added benefit of tasting like peppermint. The Cherry color is my favorite. It looks really bright in the tube, but is much more subtle on the lips. I also love the Berry. I own Nude and Rose too and like them as well.
  4. Burt’s Bees Tinted Lip Balm – in Red Dahlia
    More like a chapstick than a lipstick, this one still provides a really sheer beautiful layer of color. My mom and I both fell in love with these this year and I think Red Dahlia is the favorite of both of ours. You don’t need to look in a mirror to put it on, so it’s a great addition to your purse anytime you want a tiny pop of color.
  5. Dr. Bronner’s Peppermint Organic Lip Balm
    Chapsticks are definitely my first love! I keep 2-3 varieties in no less than seven different locations around my house so I can always put some on. Dr. Bronner’s has been a new one I tried this year and really love.
  6. Merry & Bright Mugs
    I was so excited when the Heart & Home Collection was released at Target this fall. This mug was an instant favorite – and also nearly impossible to get. I tried to order one online at 5am the day they came out and they were sold out by the time I got to my cart. But persistence tends to pay off and from three separate orders I ended up with eight of them in my possession. I kept two, gave two for this party, and gave the other four as individual gifts. I love how cute and understated they are. They’re also small, which is something I prefer for my hot drinks of choice.
  7.  Frozen Bean Latte Frappe Mixes
    As a new coffee drinker, I decided to pick these up at Walmart one day. They’re surprisingly really tasty! They have an option to make cold in a blender with ice for a frappuccino, or hot like a latte. I’ve only done the cold method, but it’s great!

Okay, back to my week! Thursday was a total recovery day. I was so tired from everything. I spent most of the day just mindlessly looking at things online. I also ran to my favorite gift store to check out their Christmas decorations. I put zero pressure on myself to actually get anything done. Probably not how I really should have spent the day, but I needed it.

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Friday I was just all over the place. The deep seated need to FINISH Christmas shopping was pretty much prevailing over all other thoughts for the day. So I just pulled the trigger on a bunch of things I’ve been putting off. And other than a gift or two for one person who is causing me issue this year, I’m pretty much done!

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Annie had a playdate in the afternoon with my friend Kristin’s dog Rosie. They’d never met before, and hit it off pretty well!

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And the rest of the day was spent sewing. So many dolls left. Next Saturday is my hard deadline for finishing them. But I’d like to have them done on Wednesday. I’d really like to have them done on Tuesday! The sooner I get them done the sooner I can wrap presents, bake cookies, read books, write my backlog of blog posts, and just RELAX. But I need to get these done first.

Anyway, it’s time to get back to work! I have a few hours to sew this morning and then the boys are off on a sleepover and Greg and I are having a date day! We’re seeing Ladybird and eating – somewhere. Not terribly festive, but it’s just so cold out!

Hope you had a great week!

Saturday Reflections 12.02.2017

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Well, it’s been another full week of nothing really going to plan. Remember how I wasn’t feeling very well last Sunday? It turned out to be a major swimmer’s ear infection. I wasn’t able to get into the doctor until Wednesday morning and by then I was so swollen she couldn’t even see into my ear. Fun times. I’m finally starting to feel relatively normal today, but it’s been six days of trying to push through the pain to still be relatively productive, but also rest enough so I can get better. Balance is always the challenge!

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I spent Monday (very slowly) finishing up all the Christmas decorating. I was right – much easier to do when home alone! I perfected my cozy reading corner for full potential Christmas cheer. I haven’t had a chance to light up all the candles and just enjoy it yet, but I’m hoping at some point this weekend!

Tuesday…I don’t remember! I think I was in a lot of pain. But they couldn’t fit me in at the doctor, so I was just trying to survive the day.

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Wednesday I spent pretty much the entire day writing that blog post about Christmas books. Started at 4am, ended at 7pm. With some napping and cooking and kid and pet things in between!

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Side note – Rory’s been sleeping in Annie’s sewing room bed at night. She usually sleeps on the couches, but comes in by me when I get up. Her reactions to Rory being on her bed are pretty hilarious. She isn’t quite sure what to think about it.

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On Thursday I made a last ditch (yes, last ditch on November 30th because I avoid stores at all cost in December) shopping trip to find stocking stuffers and fun things for St. Nick’s Day. I usually have very good plans in place for these things every year but this year I’m just flailing. I LOVE giving gifts (top love language), but there are also like a million people that we need to get gifts for. Sometimes it’s a bit overwhelming!! But having that day out was useful. I even made spontaneous plans to meet Greg for lunch at Mod Pizza! I’m pretty sure that’s never happened before. It was really nice!

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The boys’ chromebooks came on Thursday. They’ve been saving their allowance to split the cost of one. We wanted to wait until Black Friday for a particular deal, much to Caden’s extremely impatient dismay. We surprised them by getting a second chromebook so they could each have their own. And hopefully avoid many future arguments and fights. Right now they’re super obsessed with them, but I’m hoping the novelty wears off at least a little.

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And Friday rung in December! Twinkle made his annual appearance with donuts and hot cocoa.

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After school, two months later than we usually do it, we attempted some family photos to use in Christmas cards. This is about how it went. At least we all look happy?! Until five minutes later when we were all either screaming or crying. Photo shoots are always so enjoyable. 😛 But after my edits this morning I was able to pull together a pretty decent card, I think! It’s a little grainy, a little dark, and features my pets more than my kids, but I think it turned out pretty great!

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Friday night the boys had their Christmas concert at school. It’s the first year in our four years at the elementary school that they’ve had a Christmas concert! They did really great! Shepard was pretty nervous, but he did well. And Caden! Caden was SO into it. It was seriously amazing. I think he’s much more of a natural born performer than I’ve ever given him credit for.

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We went to Culver’s for dinner before the concert and then back to our house afterward for ice cream. Except the boys really just wanted to show off their chromebooks to the Grandmas.

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And now today. Catch up day. I spent forever working on cards this morning, then did some sewing, then ran to the dog park for awhile. Shepard’s been in a horrific mood. He’s currently napping, which pretty much only means one thing – he has another migraine. Sometimes he tells us, but more often than not he tries to hide it because he doesn’t want to have to go to bed or miss out on anything. Twice in two weeks is not a good sign for the holiday season.

Anyway, back to work for me. The stress is really hitting me today with how much I need/want to get done in the next two weeks. I basically gave up two very valuable and necessary work weeks to Thanksgiving, Shepard being sick, me being sick. I didn’t even write ANY of my fun end of the month blog posts yet. I need to catch up. Lots of nights and weekends, which will hopefully pay off in me being able to take two weeks totally off at the end of the month. Busy busy!

Saturday Reflections 11.25.2017: Thanksgiving Week

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It’s been a rough week. I think I need to make an official hard pass to birthday parties (and all public places) the weekend before Thanksgiving. Every year that we go to one the boys end up sick for the holiday. Especially when they’re in public places with tons of kids. No specific person to blame, just too many germs. We might need to make that rule for all of December too. There’s too much at stake! At any rate, I think we all made the most of it. Fortunately nobody was stomach sick!! But Shepard especially was sick enough that he and I had to miss a few days of activities.

On Sunday, Greg was helping my parents paint their ceiling. The boys and I took Annie to a walk to the new playground the city just built. I’m a little bit annoyed that dog park work didn’t actually start their construction work until Monday. So Thursday-Sunday we COULD have been going to the dog park, but I was just assuming it was closed because that’s what the sign said on Wednesday! Oh well. I got a lot of walks in!

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Monday was a normal day. Everyone still relatively healthy, except for Greg and Caden having basic colds. I spent the day fun shopping. Which means going to stores that I don’t necessarily need to go to, but they’re still really fun for me. Kind of a self care type of day. My favorite stop was Trader Joe’s. I got so many tasty holiday treats!

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Shepard was up in the middle of Monday night moaning and crying and holding his head. Migraines strike again. He was feeling better in the morning, but still a little out of it. I let him stay home and after the medicine kicked in he seemed to feel a lot better. I took him back to school around 10:00 because he didn’t want to miss art or his class pumpkin feast.

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On Tuesday night we went over to the in-law’s house. All the siblings and significant others had arrived. We had a fun night playing games together!

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Wednesday was baking day. Also the day Shepard woke up with a fever and crying because his throat hurt so bad. He ran downstairs and went on the couch and as the early morning hours went on he was gasping for air and said he couldn’t breathe. I was ready to take him to the hospital! But he eventually fell back to sleep and seemed to be better after that. Ibuprofen has wondrous effects on sick children. He stayed home from school and was in pretty good spirits for most of the day.

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Meanwhile, Greg was trying to work and I was trying to bake. I had no problems with the caramel apple cheesecake, which was the slightly more intensive of desserts. But the butterscotch pumpkin pie! First of all, I didn’t have any pumpkin. Even though I’ve been to at least ten stores that sold pumpkin the last week. I just kept thinking I had a couple cans in the basement. Nope! So I had to run out into the insanity just to buy pumpkin. I made the filling and it only filled up this much of the crust! So I had to make another batch.

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There were plans in place for the entire family to go to EAA after the early release of school. But we didn’t think Shepard would be up for it – getting rest for Thanksgiving was a lot more important. So Greg picked Caden up and they joined everyone in Oshkosh for the rest of the day. Shepard and I decided to make some dog treats with the leftover pumpkin to bring to the dog park.

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The dog park was open after 4! First time there in a week, Annie had so much fun. And crazily, there was a cat at the park. At first he just walked right into the open area and all the dogs went insane. He just stood his ground. Then he went back through the fence and just sat on the other side for twenty minutes while all the dogs were barking at him. He finally climbed up this tree! I didn’t know cats could really climb that well. I wish I could have seen how he got down again!

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Back at home, Shepard hit the wall again. He refused to go to bed, but fell asleep on the floor. He slept there for a few hours before I worked up the energy to carry him upstairs.

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I finished my pie in the meantime. I also made crescent rolls, which I never took a picture of. And an appetizer. Basically I spent the entire day in the kitchen. I was ready to pass out by the end of the night. I think I went to bed at 8, right after Greg and Caden came home.

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Thanksgiving morning! Everyone was up early (except Greg), as always, and wanting to play video games. I said they had to make a list of ten things they were thankful for before they could play.

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I snuck over to the dog park with Annie. It was such a beautiful morning! We had a great time walking around. I couldn’t believe nobody else was there!

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We went over to Noe’s mid-morning. We took some family pictures and then did various activities together.

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Setting out the appetizers.

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I made this cranberry jalapeno cream cheese dip. It went over pretty well!

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Thanksgiving Mad Libs.

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Coding things, on the tv.

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IMG_3601 turkey

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It was a really great Thanksgiving! It was clear that Shepard definitely wasn’t feeling himself, but he wasn’t crabby or anything either. Everyone just relaxed and enjoyed the day. It’s not very often we’re all there at the same time. I had a really nice time. And the food was delicious!

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I left around 4:30 to take Annie to the dog park again. Then I made jalapeno popper dip and these cookies for Friday’s party.

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Unfortunately, Shepard’s cough was worse and he still had a fever, so he and I did not make it to any of the Friday festivities. There was another big family party. The boys were supposed to sleepover at Grandma’s. And Greg and I were going to his co-worker’s wedding. Instead I spent a good portion of the day looking up Black Friday deals! Shepard and I went to the dog park in the late morning, had lunch, and then took VERY long naps. We both felt much better afterward! We made pizza for dinner and then walked down to the Christmas parade. I feel like the parade gets shorter every year! But it’s fun to be in such a festive atmosphere. Shepard was so excited to see Santa!

Overall, it turned out to be a pretty nice day together. I’m disappointed I missed out on the wedding – mostly because it would have been a unique date night (the whole thing took place in a fancy steak house). Shepard was pretty upset about missing everything. But I’m sure Caden had a blast being the only kid getting full attention from everyone! The week definitely didn’t turn out as planned, but it wasn’t awful either. I’m just seriously thankful nobody was throwing up!!

Anyway, the rest of the day is filled with more festivities. Greg and Shepard are going to go pick up Caden and say goodbye to everyone. I’m going on a Wine Walk around town with my friends. I’ve never done it before, but it should be fun! It’s awesome the weather is pretty mild too. I also need to pack up a bunch of orders and get to the post office this morning. And we’ll spend the rest of the weekend decorating for Christmas!

I hope your Thanksgiving week went well!

Saturday Reflections and Sunday Intentions 11.19.2017

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This weekend is turning out to be even busier than I expected it to be! I somehow thought I’d get most of today to laze around with a book and candles again. Here it is 5pm and I haven’t even gotten to most of the more enjoyable things I wanted to do BEFORE lazy time today (like write!). Which is a little frustrating. But what can you do? Life just takes over.

This past week has been fairly uneventful. I’ve just been working away, trying to get things done so I can afford to take a breather this upcoming week. As always, I didn’t get as much done as I had wanted. Sewing feels like it’s taking me ten times longer than it used to. It’s really hard to just sit down and work when I’m constantly thinking about everything else. I’m really trying to get out of this mindset, but it’s tough. I’ve lived in this zone ever since Shepard started school full time. I feel like I need to prove my worth, or something like that. If I’m not getting enough done, then I’m obviously failing as a stay at home/work at home mom. It’s not like anyone actually says that to me, but I feel the pressure nonetheless. ALL. THE. TIME.

Anyway. Tuesday was our last day of yoga class. Or so I thought!! Apparently it’s actually an eight week class. But I was pretty psyched about it ending, so I decided we’re done. Shepard was being super uncooperative at the kid class again. I’m not sure what changed from the earlier weeks, but it’s just not worth bringing him back. And I can’t go this week anyway, so I’m done. It was definitely a good experience! I don’t LOVE yoga, but I did like most of it! I just wish the class were in the mornings. Or – A class was in the morning. I think I’d just do so much better with any type of exercising if I could get it done earlier in the day, rather than waiting for it to be the last thing I do that day. I never, ever want to leave the house in the evenings, especially for a class.

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Wednesday was our one big family meal together of the week. I’m really trying to make a conscious effort to enjoy cooking again. I used to love it! I used to really love to bake. So much so I was considering a career in it. And now? I dread being forced to stand in the kitchen while everyone is whining and starving every afternoon. But I want to enjoy it again. Even if I just focus on one or two big meals a week, I want to put the effort in and have fun doing it. So this week I made some steaks and hasselback potatoes, with chimichurri and rosemary focaccia bread.

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On Thursday afternoon, Caden had another therapy appointment, so I dropped him off there with Greg and then Shepard and I had a mini date. We went to St. Vinnie’s to look for Christmas things to go with my dolls. And then we had dinner at Taco Bell. Which was funny because Greg and Caden picked that for their dinner date too. They were coming in as we were leaving. And then they went to Math/Science night and Shepard and I went home.

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Friday was a big work day. I picked up the boys with Annie. The dog park is closed this week for repairs. I might drive over there tomorrow to see if there’s any update on when it will be finished. Annie REALLY needs that running around time every day. The long walks don’t really do much to settle her down. We’ve been walking twice a day, but she still has cycles of being crazy wound up.

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Saturday morning I finished up ten more Christmas dolls. This is my favorite. I love stockings!

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The boys and I were out and about for most of the day. We had our friend Bronson’s birthday party at Sky Zone. My kids are a year ahead and behind everyone that was at the party, so they just stuck together and at my side. Once they saw kids getting ICEEs, the just had to have one. So I made them share.

After that party we had a three hour time gap before our next party. It was too cold and rainy/sleety to do anything outside or just sit in the car playing tablet (which is what Caden really wanted to do). So we went to Toys ‘r Us to very slowly look at every toy in the store. Then we stopped at a fancy grocery store. I was hoping to actually get the things I needed, but it was too crowded and expensive, so we just looked around. And ended at Barnes and Noble, where they conveniently found Nooks and tablets to play on while I looked around.

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At 5, we went to my goddaughter McKenna’s and her little sister Alaina’s joint birthday party. My kids were having SO much fun playing on the air hockey table and with all the kids at the party.

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McKenna is five! She’s so sweet.

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The gigantic mint cake! It was a fun party! We got home around 8:45pm and I was totally beat. Exhausting day!

Sunday Intentions

So, moving on to the week ahead! It’s Thanksgiving! Which for us means a massive family week. My sister-in-law and her husband are in town for the week and they won’t be able to come this year for Christmas, so the pressure is on to spend every possible minute together! My other sister-in-law and her boyfriend will be here too. We have a lot of things planned!

Monday is still a free day. I think I might treat myself to some fun shopping in Madison. I’ve really been wanting to go to Trader Joe’s to check out their seasonal treats. It’s about an hour drive, so I don’t get there too often. But my all time favorite gift store is across the street, so I think it’s worth the trek.

Tuesday is a work day. I don’t expect to actually get much done, but I’ll hopefully get to something! When Tuesday afternoon rolls around I’m going to be done for the week. If I plan on sewing in between activities it’s just going to stress me out. So I’m officially on a sewing free vacation at 3pm on Tuesday. That evening we’re going to try and do some family photos for Christmas cards.

Wednesday the boys have a half day and then we’re going to go to EAA with everyone. I’ve never been there.

Thursday is Thanksgiving! My in-law’s host every year, and the last few years my parents and brother have been coming too. Which is really nice, having everyone together. Plus the whole not needing to eat two full Thanksgiving meals within hours of each other thing! I’m usually in charge of all the desserts, though this year other people wanted to make things too. I’m making two things and possibly some sort of rolls.

Friday we have another family get together. And then Greg and I are going to his co-worker’s wedding in the evening. The wedding and dinner/reception are all taking place at Fleming’s Steak House. Which is kind of funny to me. The boys will stay at Grandma’s and sleepover.

Saturday is the big Columbus Wine Walk. I’ve never gone before, but a few of my friends asked me to join in. All the small businesses in town will be offering wine and appetizers at each of their locations. We had to buy tickets in advance. I’m looking forward to it! I don’t get enough friend time.

And Sunday, hopefully, we’ll decorate for Christmas! I’m excited to get the trees up. Normally I’m one of those devout after Thanksgiving ONLY kind of people when it comes to Christmasy things. But this year I’ve already been listening to music for a couple of weeks, so I’m ready!

Top Priority: ENJOY MY BLESSINGS

I live in my head way too much. I let myself be ruled by my to do lists and sometimes have a hard time keeping my priorities straight. I like to accomplish things and sometimes just sitting around and chilling feels like a huge waste of potentially productive time to me. I’m constantly thinking about what else I need to be doing and it’s hard to let that go. But this week, it’s going to happen. I’m going to RELAX and ENJOY and LOVE and LAUGH. I’m fortunate to have family that lives nearby and wants us around. I’m blessed to have a supportive husband and two kids that are pretty great. I have a lot to be thankful for and it’s the week to really focus on that. Work can wait.

Second Priority: Annie

The downside of all this family time is that Annie is going to be spending a whole lot of time in her kennel home alone this week. 🙁 It’s been a pretty big source of anxiety to me this past week. I tried to talk to Greg about it and he basically said I asked for these problems by getting a dog. So. Annie is back to being MY dog and my dog alone and I have to deal with it. I’m planning on really long walks every morning. I’m hoping the dog park opens back up earlier rather than later, so we can go there too. And I’ll probably have to leave a few things early. I know, she’s just a dog. But she’s a super social dog that needs a ton of exercise and interaction and I don’t want to just ditch her for the entire week.

And that’s about it! There are certainly other things I’d like to do this week. Blog posts that never seem to find time to be written. But I’m not going to put the pressure on myself. If I get to it, I do. If I want to just spend a day enjoying the little things in life, I’ll do that instead.

Have a happy Thanksgiving week!

Saturday Reflections 11.11.2017

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Whew! This busy week of nighttime activities has come to an end. And I’m exhausted! My photo project the other day made me realize how truly active I am first thing in the morning. It makes sense why I crash every afternoon. And explains why it’s so hard to function at night. Five nights in a row is a lot of stuff. Hard for me to handle. But overall, it was a fun week! I’m just very, very tired today.

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On Sunday we celebrated my brother Tyler’s birthday. And spent lots of time with Hudson. 🙂

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I couldn’t believe how into the book he was! He’s only four months old!

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They have matching coats!

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Monday morning was an early one with daylight’s savings in full effect. The boys didn’t have school. They were dressed and playing a board game around 5:40. We celebrated the day off by going to Ponderosa with my parents for lunch and then wandering around Toyland at Fleet Farm.

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On Tuesday I was feeling really crappy and SO not in the mood for yoga. But I knew we’d be the only ones there this week and I couldn’t stand the thought of the teacher showing up with no students. So I compromised by only going to the kid class.

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Wednesday was supposed to be my one night home alone. Greg was seeing Thor with a friend and the boys were going to Grandma’s. So I decided to “celebrate” by spending the day out and about on some fun errands. I got a bunch of new Christmas fabrics and then had a late take out lunch from Panera. By the time my few hours alone rolled around I couldn’t really relax enough to enjoy it. There was so much to do. There’s always too much to do.

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I did finish up my first batch of Christmas dolls. This was my favorite one. I was really tempted to keep her. But someone bought it today.

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Thursday was my busiest day. I was doing that #ONEDAYHH photo project, so you can read about it there. It was a great day!

I was pretty wiped by Friday. I was hoping to work all day, but I just couldn’t find the motivation. I spent quite a large chunk of the day reading in bed. In the evening I went to the Peddler’s Barn sale with my mom, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law. I found a few fun treasures to go with my dolls. It was so cold and crowded! We had dinner at Culver’s afterward.

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This morning we were up super early again, so Shepard and I went to the Dane County farmer’s market. It was their last outdoor market. I was making a list of all the delicious treats I wanted to get since they won’t be available to me again until May! But we got there and only about 25% of the booths were there. 🙁 I’ve only been to the winter indoor market once and it seemed pretty lame. But I see they’ve moved to a bigger venue, so I’ll definitely have to check it out again this year.

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Since none of the other pastries and breads we wanted were available, we got a half priced loaf of hot and spicy cheese bread to try and warm up. So good, but not really worth it’s $12 full price.

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We stopped at Starbucks in Target on the way home for an extra treat. When we got home I dropped off Shepard and took Annie to the dog park for an hour. Got back again and Greg was still sleeping because it was the first time  probably ever that nobody woke him up. When he did wake up, I went back to bed! Busy morning. Cold morning! I’ve been working the rest of the day. Not really in the mood for it, but I’m trying to get ahead. Will it ever happen?

Anyway, I realized I should probably at least address my Sunday Intentions from earlier in the week to see if I actually did anything I wanted to do. I don’t know if I treated work as my highest priority, but I did put more time into it than in the past few weeks. I completed two batches of Christmas dolls, so that’s good. I did not learn any new blog things. I have a list of some things I want to talk to Greg about. We just haven’t had time. It’s a ships passing kind of week. And decluttering – I did enough that I at least feel better about the state of our house! I had the boys help me with some stuff on Monday morning. And I did some more before Katy came over for coffee on Thursday. Inviting people over is always the biggest guarantee I’ll actually clean things!

Well, I’m off to fold laundry that’s been piling up all week. I think I’m going to take tomorrow off from work and everything. I need a lazy day. Motivation is seriously lacking right now.

Hope you had a good week!