Saturday Reflections 05.18.2019

This week has been CRAZY. I don’t know how people survive when they have chaotic and busy evenings week after week, year after year. This one week of having something going on every single night just about broke me. Well, this week plus all the busy weeks before it and the busy weeks ahead. I can’t handle it. It’s been a really fun week with a lot of fun activities. But I miss my quiet and boring life so much. Why did things get so insane this spring?! When did we become a family that only seems to be home to eat together once a week? I don’t understand. I’m so tired and stressed out and I know May is like this for everyone, but it’s just TOO MUCH.

On Monday night, Shepard had a soccer game. Greg and I missed his first one last week when we were flying home, so it was fun to watch them this time. At what age do kids start getting GOOD at sports? Just curious. 🙂 Watching them play definitely made me really appreciate Shepard’s coach! I’D be crying if we had the other team’s coach. We play the same team each time since this is just a small little fun league. Afterward Shepard grabbed this free desk from the neighbor and immediately had to set it up perfectly.

Tuesday was Greg’s 35th birthday. I got my hair cut in the morning, so I had to take some selfies. It doesn’t look much different, but it curled better than it’s been curling for awhile. I wish hair wasn’t so much work. I mean, I could just put it up every day, and I will once it gets hot. But I HATE how it looks in photos. Fat head, no hair.

We had a little pocket of time between Greg getting home from work and going out to dinner, so he opened his presents. I think he liked them! Chocolates, legos, a rice cooker, Guster tickets, honey.

Don’t forget the sunflower seeds!

More selfies.

The boys wanted Greg to ride in back with them on the way to the restaurant.

We had dinner at Sake House in Beaver Dam with Greg’s parents. He didn’t want to go back to Madison with all the crazy construction that started up a few weeks ago. The meal was good, though! He got a pile of fried oreos for a dessert. Overall, it probably wasn’t the most exciting of birthdays, but I think he enjoyed it. Hopefully.

On Wednesday after school I brought the boys to the dentist. Always an ordeal because our dentist office is SO disorganized. It drives me crazy every time we go. They’re all friendly and everything, but the appointments seem to take three times longer than they should because they never have the right things in the rooms, they’re always trying to multitask beyond what’s reasonable, and it’s just so dang chaotic. The boys even went with separate hygienists this time and their cleanings still took an hour and a half! Then they both cried all the way home because they were STARVING TO DEATH and they can’t handle eating a minute past 5:00, EVER, no matter how weird our evening schedule might be. I was hoping dinner would magically be ready when we walked in the door, but Greg was mowing the lawn because it was crazy long and when else would he have had the chance?! TOO BUSY.

After I was done literally tossing food at the boys, I had a few minutes to whip up the butterbeer Greg requested for his birthday dessert. I think it turned out pretty good!

The tiny amount of work I managed to do the first half of this week. I’m so behind. So, so, so behind.

I’ve had my eye on this book for a few weeks, but my facebook book groups started reading it and obsessing about it, so I decided to order it for myself. Seemed like the best week of all to jump into it. I’ve only read the intro so far, but I’m hoping it’ll help me. Though really, just May being over will probably help a lot. Two more weeks. I’m both excited and dreading it with all my heart.

It was raining on Thursday morning, so rather than trying to haphazardly fit in some work, I just read and took a nice nap in preparation for spending most of the rest of the day in Milwaukee. I left after lunch and stopped at stores in Johnson Creek, Hartland, and a few places in Milwaukee. I had a restaurant all picked out for dinner and then I noticed a new place called Cantina Milwaukee: Taco and Tequila Bar. So of course I had to go there instead! I guess I’m on a mission to try every taco restaurant I ever see in every city I ever visit! I was surprised to see the restaurant was relatively empty too, so I had plenty of time for a relaxed taco meal. I picked sweet plantain with jalapeno crema, Caribbean pork with mango avocado salsa, and a Gochuchang Asian fried chicken taco. The chicken taco was one of the spiciest things I have ever eaten. I was dying. And I live on spicy food.

I still had a little time to kill, so I found a bench near the river and just relaxed for awhile. I kept expecting a storm to blow in, but I got lucky!

My purpose for being in Milwaukee was to see the Happier Podcast live show with Gretchen Rubin and Liz Craft. Their podcast is one of the ones I’ve been listening to from the very beginning of my podcast obsession. I love it! It’s so positive and interesting and chock full of great tips for being happier. I was a little bummed I couldn’t find anyone to go with me, but the atmosphere of fans in the room was enough. I had so much fun!

The only downside to that trip – I couldn’t find my car afterward. I went to the exact spot I came out of a garage earlier, but the door was locked, so I had to find another entrance and it just messed me all up. I was seriously freaking out. But, I found it and made the long drive home.

I spent Friday morning working, FINALLY, and then I took a really long nap since I only got 4.5 hours of sleep the night before. I’m used to getting around 6 most days, which isn’t enough either, but 4.5 was pushing it! Then Greg took Shepard to soccer practice and I did some cleanup around the house. And then we all went to the school carnival. I had to check on my raffle baskets. They didn’t seem to have as many tickets as I was hoping. But hopefully whoever won them is very happy with all the goodies I put together! I think maybe one basket will be enough next year.

And finally today, the last in a long chain of busy, busy days. I went grocery shopping early and then to my goddaughter McKenna’s dance recital. I’ve never been to a recital before – it was so much fun! I loved all the colorful outfits! It made me really want to start going to all the local dance recitals filled with kids I actually know. It was a very lengthy event, though, and McKenna wasn’t feeling well so I didn’t get to see her afterward. Instead I had to go pick up some more cold groceries and head home.

Once at home I found out from Greg that I missed the police being here, asking about a string of car burglaries that have been going on in the area. So that was crazy. Then I tried to take a nap, but there was just too much going on. Right after I gave up, Shepard came running into the room crying and Greg took his hand away after a hug and saw he was covered in blood. So we rushed Shepard to the ER for a gash on his head and he ended up getting two staples. So now both of my kids have had staples in their heads. He was very brave, though, and got to pick out our dinner meal. He wanted Mod Pizza, but I seriously could not deal with leaving town again tonight, so we went with the local joint instead.

And now here we are. The week is done. FINALLY. Besides the boys – Caden especially – being pretty grouchy and difficult all week with the added pressure of needing to “be good” on Mother’s Day and Daddy’s birthday, it WAS a good week. I’m just really tired. And so behind on work and feeling very discouraged about ever being able to catch up with summer just two weeks away. And a garage sale two weeks after that with a MASSIVE load of work that will need to be done first. I just need to breathe.

Saturday Reflections 04.27.2019

I get daily emails from hope*writers with tips on focusing my writing. Today’s question was whether I want to be the kind of writer that writes for myself, or one that writes for others. I think this blog is pretty clear evidence that I mainly write for myself. I definitely appreciate those that read the bulk of my posts which are centered around my life and probably not that interesting to the masses. But then the end of the month rolls around and I desperately wish I had more readers to discuss books and tv and podcasts with me. And the occasional post where I pour my heart out on a topic that’s been weighing on me. The email I just received, however, told me that if I want it both ways I’m sure to be filled with disappointment in the long run. This is a tricky place to be, feeling called to write, but not sure how to find my direction or my audience for the things I truly want to write about. I’m curious to see if my attitude changes as I work through this direction course I’m doing. I wonder if the direction of my blog will start to change as well. It’s certainly something to mull over.

Anyway! It’s been a fast and fairly unexciting week around here. We had so many Easter leftovers that I decided to skip my regular errand running day, which turned out to be a good thing because I got a call from school that Shepard was sick. Apparently he was complaining about a headache, but it took them over two hours to call me about it. I have it written in all his health papers that if he ever says his head hurts he needs medicine and sleep IMMEDIATELY or he WILL throw up. But this is also the first time it’s ever happened at school, so whatever. He had so much sugar on Easter with almost nothing else, so I was not surprised in the least that it resulted in a migraine.

Even though it was migraine induced and therefore not contagious, because he did throw up at school (minutes before I picked him up – ugh!), he had to stay home on Tuesday too. He spent the day doing quiet activities while I worked like crazy. I thought it would be a great idea to organize all the dolls I want to make in the next month and then trace them all out and cut all the dresses, so I’d have a head start. Instead of feeling on top of the world over that choice, it just stressed me out SO MUCH. Because I really, really want to make these dolls in the next few weeks and I’m not so sure it’s logistically possible and I therefore just set myself up for failure. It also got me thinking about fifty other dolls I’d really love to make before the need for patriotic dolls hits (technically May is when everyone starts wanting them so I’m basically already behind). Needless to say, I was pretty stressed out on Tuesday. And really this whole week.

So of course instead of buckling down on Wednesday when both boys were back at school, I treated myself to a day of fun shopping! I went to all my favorite places and got some more things for my school raffle baskets (they’re going to be epic!). I also got a Starbucks coffee in the morning and Qdoba for a late lunch on my way back home. It was good to get out of the house and do something fun. Sometimes it’s really hard for me to just let go and enjoy anything. I need these occasional days away from it all.

I went to my last yoga class on Wednesday night. She said she was taking it easy on us, but I was shaking by the end! I’m glad I took the class, but I’m also glad it’s over. It was a good reminder of how amazing stretching and moving your body around really does feel. On those long sewing days I get so stiff and sore and yoga is basically the only solution. I just need to remember that!!

I spent almost all day Thursday at my sewing machine working on the doll making step I like the least before choosing the first set to start completing. Then the boys went with Grandma and Greg and I went on a date to Chili’s. It wasn’t really the most ideal time in the middle of a lot of eating out for other things and right before our vacation, but honestly, I’m sick of waiting for the ideal time for a date. It never comes. Everyone is getting busier and busier and ideal is a thing of the past. We had a gift card from a long time ago and I wanted to go out and use it!

I’m not sure if we’re the only ones, but Greg and I talk and connect like a million times more when we’re out of the house. Walks, hanging out at school functions, and especially on dates. When we don’t have all the distractions around us, we finally remember the other exists and have real conversations. It was great to get out. Unfortunately, another migraine hit Shepard on his way to Grandma’s and he slept almost straight through until Friday morning.

Friday was so chaotic and busy! Greg had a friend who drove cross country to go to a wedding and he stayed with us Friday night and will be back again Sunday afternoon. Greg took both Friday and Monday off of work to spend time with him. It’s something I was stressed about, so we were both working to get the house clean and ready for our very first houseguest. I also had like my fifth day in a row of starting to sew around 5am. My coughing is getting a little better, but now I’ve reverted back to my super early wake up times. I just can’t win!

Greg and Caden went to End Game with a few friends and I took Shepard to soccer practice. We were planning to go to a school science night, but I think everything that happened this week was really dragging Shepard down, so we ended up skipping it in favor of getting to Mod Pizza for a special dinner as soon as possible after soccer. Then we ran a few errands that will hopefully eliminate my need to leave town for anything else before our Colorado trip. It was a pretty late night. Not a great idea in retrospect because today Shepard is coughing almost as bad as he was a month and a half ago and he seems to have developed into a major cold overnight. But…it was a fun time together. I like hanging out with him out of the house too. He’s probably my best date because he’s always up for anything!

And back to today! I got VERY little sleep, got an impromptu breakfast ready for our guest, and then took Annie to the dog park for a long time. She’s been fairly neglected this week and it was showing! Then the four of us went to see End Game. It was good! I pretty uncomfortable for the entire last hour with a coffee filled bladder, and was getting pretty irritated by Shepard’s sniffling and refusal to even try to blow his nose, but the movie itself was really great! When we got back home Shepard and I both took naps. I was originally planning on getting a lot of sewing done today, but…I just don’t want to. 🙂

That’s it for this week! Hopefully I’ll be back tomorrow, but then nothing else until we’re back from Colorado!

Easter and Other Updates

Happy Easter Monday! I’m not really sure what that is, except that it’s on the calendars. Oh, it’s also Earth Day, so more appropriately – happy Earth Day! It’s been a really busy week with a jam packed holiday weekend. Lots of updates to life around here!

I forgot to mention in my post two Sundays ago that we were supposed to be at Great America that day for Greg’s employee appreciation day. But for the second year in a row the weather was horrible. They didn’t cancel it all together this year, but apparently only four rides were open and they shut down early. Such a bummer! We might be given free tickets to go at some point during the summer, but it’s always fun to go on the employee day when it’s a lot less crowded and they feed us an awesome lunch.

Shepard started soccer on Monday night. Unfortunately, he was the only one there! Apparently only he and his friend signed up for the 4:00 slot and his friend was sick. So the coach asked if we’d stick around for the 5:00 group which was a little bigger and then he spent an hour giving both boys a private lesson on all things soccer. They loved it. Caden was invited to play with them at the 5:00 time too. They decided halfway through the week to eliminate the earlier session entirely, which is kind of a bummer. They also extended it until 6:30, which is making our dinnertime a whole lot more complicated. But it’s only for a month, so we’ll deal.

Jack had another vet appointment on Tuesday to get his blood and urine rechecked after a few weeks on his prescription food. Apparently, this is common with kidney failure – he has very high blood pressure. So while his protein and kidney levels were stable enough that he doesn’t need medication yet, he DOES need to start taking high blood pressure meds. I was worried about shoving a pill down his throat every day for the rest of his life, but so far I’ve been smashing it into a soft cat treat and he gobbles it right up. Whew! The pharmacists at Walgreen’s thought it was hilarious that the prescription I brought in was for a cat.

Shepard had his open house at school on Wednesday night. It was cute to see him so excited to show off everything. He’s really come into his own this year. He’s grown up so much and even looks like a completely different kid!

The biggest news on Wednesday – for me, anyway – is that I signed up to go to a Hope*Writers conference in North Carolina this November! I’ve been aware of the Hope*Writers community for awhile and have had it at the back of my mind as a thing to join when I started feeling really serious about writing. Well, I’m starting to feel that way! The actual community is closed for new memberships at the moment, but the writing conference sounds AMAZING. It definitely felt a bit self indulgent to plan another cross country solo trip when I’m already going to Book Bonanza in Texas in August. But the more I thought about it the more it felt like the right decision. This is a valuable investment into my future and a career I have felt called toward my entire life. I still have a lot of details to work out, but I’ve bought my ticket and I’m really excited about it. I also signed up for a 90 day Directions course through Hope*Writers that is hopefully going to focus my writing and get me on the path I want to walk. I haven’t had a ton of time to delve into the coursework yet, but I paid to be in it, so I’m going to give it my best effort in the next few months.

Back to my reality career, I finished up these 12 little Mother’s Day dolls on Thursday. Most of them sold pretty quickly.

Friday was a pretty crappy day. First of all, there was a lot of pressure to make the day somehow special because it was the one and only day we got off for Spring Break after all the snow days this winter. Fortunately, Greg went to work at his parents’ house which eased up that extra layer of also trying to stay out of his way all day. Because it was so nice out, we went to the dog park for awhile and then got some Burger King drive thru food for an early lunch. Then I just gave in and let the boys play video games for awhile because I desperately needed to get stuff done. I’ll admit I had a pretty poor attitude the whole day. I was a little angry that I felt forced into having an egg dyeing party that I fully intended on not doing this year. I was resentful of how much work goes into parties and holidays and vacations and how little credit I get for doing all that work. Every once in awhile I just want to rant and scream about how it is not easy to make all of these things come together smoothly, even if it somehow appears that way. I’ve also just been terribly stressed out about my doll making plans for the next month. I want to have specials for my six year anniversary, I need to make more Mother’s Day and teacher appreciation dolls – for selling and for my kids’ teachers. I also offered to make raffle baskets for the school auction, which I LOVE doing, but the timing for it is just awful. Plus we have a six day vacation coming up very quickly, I need to have Mother’s Day gifts and Greg’s birthday gifts all settled before that. Greg is having a friend stay at our house next weekend, a friend I’ve never met and our first ever houseguest, and the logistics plus my messed up anxiety around having strangers in my space, has been difficult to wrap my head around. And there’s just a ton of end of the year things going on with school. Plus, you know, kids and pets and cooking and cleaning and laundry, and oh yeah, this intense writing course I just signed up for at the worst possible time of the year. It’s a lot.

But, I made it. A lot of the stress is entirely my own fault because I don’t like to do anything halfway or take the easy route when it comes to having people over. In general, I really do love having parties and the more the merrier. It’s the reason why I keep trying to gather people for taco nights and craft nights and then get so incredibly sad when nobody comes. But the exact timing of this late Easter and everything happening in the coming weeks was NOT GREAT. But it was worth it in the end.

Saturday was the big day! I was really excited about all the egg hunts this year because last year I couldn’t walk yet, so I didn’t do any of them. I seem to remember the year before that everyone was very uncooperative about going, so we skipped out. But this year, we were all gung ho! The boys and I started with the early Pick n Save hunt where there are the least amount of kids and the most and best candy.

I took Annie to the dog park after and Shepard showered and styled his hair…

Next we went to the Culver’s hunt and brought Willow along. She was with us for most of the day, which I really think helped Caden stay in a positive mood. He was SO much more into all of the festivities than he ever is. It was such a wonderful change! Willow and Shepard made out with a good amount of free ice cream tokens and Caden got as many large tootsie rolls as he could grab.

There was about a three hour gap between the second and third hunts, and I totally just chilled out and read and took a nap. I felt really guilty because the weather was gorgeous and basically the entire neighborhood was outside doing various yardwork and such. But I figured I put in my time on Friday and I just didn’t want to do any more work.

The big park egg hunt was insane, as usual! This was the first year the boys were in the same age group (for all of them), which was really nice! Caden still has one more year for the park hunt before he can do the Friday night flashlight egg hunt, which sounds awesome.

I got my homemade salsas and a few other snacks out for the party. Greg’s parents brought some Aldi pizzas for the main course. It was about the longest egg dyeing party ever because everyone came in batches over a number of hours, but it was fun! Caden and Willow were having the greatest time with their egg decorating. And then we had our usual egg pecking contest at the end. Willow was declared the overall winner.

Greg’s family stayed for a few more hours to play board games and I made a peanut butter pie. Super easy, but very indulgent.

We finished the night loading up baskets and hiding eggs. I bought some bigger baskets at Walmart this year so everything actually fit for once! Mine even looked a little bare! Though I realized later I had just gotten some new coffee on Saturday that I should have thrown in to fill it up. I love gathering stuff for baskets and stockings and any other holiday that might include a variety of unique goodies!

Easter morning was surprisingly relaxed! Caden and I were up first and Shepard slept till 7:30! Even Greg was up before that because he thought we were all waiting on him. (Like we usually are!) I had time to make two kinds of scones for breakfast before the boys were ready to hunt for their baskets. The pets found theirs first and were very happy! It was like the best day of Rory’s life getting a nice catnip stick to wrestle with.

We went over to Greg’s parents’ house mid-morning for an outdoor egg hunt. I can’t believe how great the weather was, especially considering it was snowing and below freezing just a week before! I always think it’s so fun to do the hunts outside.

Forced everyone into one family picture. The boys wouldn’t wear the nice polo shirts I bought them for the occasion (shocker), but they did agree to wear the Peeps shirts, which I wanted them to wear on Saturday and they refused.

We had a huge brunch after the egg hunt. Yum!

More board games.

It was a lovely first (second?) Easter celebration!

Next we went to my parents’ and the boys did a scavenger hunt to find their baskets.

MORE board games. 🙂 Caden’s really into them. I was just relaxing and watching Shepard shoot nerf guns outside.

We had a delicious Easter dinner! My dad heated up the ham on the grill with a glaze. Grills are just the best. I hope to have one again someday!

And we finished up the night with pie. Overall, it was a really nice day. It was actually a great weekend! I think it’s maybe the first holiday of all time that Caden was happy and engaged with no blow ups. Shepard was great too. Though he did eat WAY too much candy yesterday and came home from school with a migraine halfway through the day. After a long nap he’s already feeling a lot better, though.

Looking at the week ahead – still pretty busy. I want to plan out all the dolls I hope to make in the next month and get them traced and cut and ready to sew. That was actually my plan for today, but then I got way too distracted by a ton of other stuff. I was hoping to run a few errands tomorrow, but Shepard is probably going to have to stay home, so I’ll work tomorrow. I will. Wednesday is my last yoga class, which I fully intend on going to this time after three weeks off. And Friday is when our houseguest arrives, Greg and Caden and him are going to see End Game while Shepard and I go to soccer and out to dinner. And the four of us are seeing End Game together on Saturday. Meanwhile our Colorado trip is coming up really fast, so I need to finish making plans for that. So much going on!

Weekend Reflections and Intentions 04.14.2019

I’m going to try and keep this brief! I really want to put last week and all its negativity behind me. Having a pretty rough weekend has not helped matters any. So I’m just going to quickly skim over the highlights of last week!

We got our air conditioner installed on Monday! It was such a long day. I said last weekend that I was mentally prepared for them to be there all day working, but I didn’t expect it actually would take all day. This is seriously all my own issues with having strangers in my space, but it made for a really, really stressful day. But it was worth it to have a cooler house this summer!

Monday night was the big school board meeting. I don’t even want to get into this again. It was hard to be there and hard to deal with all the things that were said there.

I had a lot of errands to run on Tuesday. I was curious to find out that Costco on a Tuesday is SO MUCH less busy than Costco on a Monday. But Tuesday is stocking day at Target, and all those extra employees with all their huge carts of stuff in almost every aisle makes me a bit crazed. I think I’m going to stick with Mondays for errands whenever I possibly can! My week was off to such a distressing start that I rewarded myself with a special lunch at Tipsy Cow after my shopping was over. I also stopped at a Sun Prairie coffee shop for an iced salted caramel latte that was one of the best cold coffee drinks I’ve ever had. I might try and sneak over there tomorrow too to try something else.

Wednesday I really had to get back to work! I finished up two dolls that I didn’t think I was going to like, but ended up loving. I think it’s the mixed textures and colors of yarn. I should try to do that more often, so pretty.

I should note that the temperature reached 70 on Tuesday and we had every window open. The pets LOVED it, though it also made them a bit crazy after six months of being so cooped up. But Wednesday? 30’s again. And snow. NO.

It was pretty much a full blown blizzard right at the time school let out. I contemplated going to intercept the boys on their walk home, but chose not to. They ran all the way and thought it was about the coolest thing ever.

I made Shepard his favorite breakfast for his concert day Thursday.

We had dinner at Culver’s with Greg’s parents and then headed over to the elementary concert. Shepard did great! We were sitting so far back I didn’t even try to get a picture this year, but he was awesome. He looks so grown up in this picture with his nice shirt (should have seen the battle we had over that one!) and combed hair!

Friday I worked. Fridays are actually turning into my most productive day because of the peer pressure to stay on task with Greg also working from home. It used to really annoy me, but now it keeps me focused.

And finally Saturday was my Uncle Tom’s memorial service, so we were there for a big chunk of the day. It was a nice way to gather family members and remember our happiest memories of Tom. I hope that the service, as well as finally receiving the cause of death this week (heart attack), will help everyone gain some closure over his untimely passing and all the stress these last few months have held.

We went over to the neighbor’s later to play with the kittens. They’re definitely bigger than when we last saw them in January! But super cute and SO friendly. Shepard is absolutely in love with them.

I spent the rest of last night and all of this morning finishing a batch of more uniquely themed dolls. This was my favorite of the batch (the hair!).

Sunday Intentions

Moving on to the week ahead! I really hope it’s a lot more emotionally calm than this last week was!! I can’t handle much else. It’s going to be busy, though. Our schedule just keeps getting crazier and crazier from now until the end of the school year. Lots of fun stuff, but also, just…a lot.

I have tons of random errands to run tomorrow and then Shepard starts soccer after school. That’s every Monday and Friday for the next month. Caden still has Chess on Tuesdays. Shepard has an open house on Wednesday, so I won’t be going to yoga for the third week in a row. (Way too coughing sick last week to even attempt it.) Thursday, nothing! There’s no school on Friday – that one single day is our entire “spring break” this year. I’m hoping to convince the boys we should go out and do something fun, but I’m sure they’d rather just sit and play games all day. We’ll see how the weather is, I suppose. It’s supposed to be wet and rainy and gross all week. Saturday I’m hoping that at least Shepard will go to all three local egg hunts with me. It’s sad that they’ve just about outgrown events like that! But without Caden tagging along to make him think it’s dumb, I think he’ll still enjoy it. And we’re going to dye some eggs after the park hunt. And Sunday is Easter!

My highest intention for this week is to FEEL BETTER. This coughing thing is the worst. It’s a hundred times worse when I’m trying to sleep, but it’s pretty bad during the day if I’m actually needing to talk to people too. I want to try and keep prioritizing rest so I can hopefully get better completely. I really, really, really do not want to still be sick in just over two weeks when we head out on our vacation.

I’d also like to complete 12 small Mother’s Day dolls this week. If I want to try and do some Heartstring Annie 6 year anniversary specials the following week, I really need to get a few Mother’s Day dolls out there first.

And I want to get ready for Easter! I have boxes of decorations that I didn’t even open yet. Decorating is getting harder and harder for minor holidays because I just don’t have decorations out in many places anymore than can be swapped out over the seasons. Most available space is for books or electronics. I even ended up buying new Easter baskets the other day because they were so big (the Noe Easter Bunny brings a lot of stuffers!). But I want to get out the eggs – tomorrow – and make sure everything is set so I’m not stressing out on Saturday night when it’s time to hide everything.

Well, that’s about it! Hope you have a great week!

Saturday Reflections 04.06.2019

Here it is, Saturday again. This week went by so quickly. I just snap my fingers and the week is over. Then the weekends last FOREVER. I’ve been thinking a lot about why I dislike weekends so much. The dread usually sets in around Thursday afternoon and feel pretty down until Sunday night when I perk up again. I think what it really comes down to is that I spend almost every Saturday and Sunday feeling a nice overwhelming mixture of guilt and resentment. Guilt for the days I decide to lay around and read, or go out shopping, or not make a healthy and complete meal. Resentment for the days I try to get a lot of random household chores done and then notice everyone else is just laying around and having fun and it seems so unfair. Guilt because most weekends Greg actually does quite a bit of the more deep cleaning household chores. But resentment because he also stays in bed as long as he possibly can every weekend, leaving me to deal with all the inevitable morning arguments with the boys about games and food. And just anger at my children for always being so shocked that I ask them to help out. I don’t know why they just can’t get it through their heads that if they give us an hour of their time to help clean up the house, they’ll have so much more time for fun when it’s over. But no, everything’s an argument, everything is a battle. Everyone is ALWAYS HUNGRY. It’s completely exhausting.

Today is actually our last free Saturday until the middle of May, so I was determined to just go with the flow and take it easy. I was excited to spend extra time making cinnamon rolls as perfect as possible for breakfast. I let the boys play their games. Greg slept. And then I still ended up in a screaming battle with Shepard because he refused to help Caden carry my packages to the post office before it closed. A simple errand that would take them less than ten minutes after they just played three hours of games. But no, couldn’t do it, because Shepard doesn’t “have to” do anything. That one really pushed me over the edge and now I’m avoiding everyone after a massive mommy meltdown.

Anyway. It was all in all a kind of off week. I haven’t been feeling very well. There are so many little bugs going around. I’m not sick enough to be bedridden, but I feel crappy enough that I just plain haven’t wanted to do anything. I skipped out on yoga because that’s when I started feeling the worst and now I’ve developed Shepard’s mighty cough that mostly comes out when you’re trying to sleep. It sucks. It’s really going to suck if it hangs on for over a month the way his has.

Monday was my typical errand running day. I went to about twice as many stores as usual and still managed to have time for a power nap before the boys got home. Shepard had his well child doctor visit after school and he’s mostly healthy, just shorter than the doctor thinks he should be. So we’re supposed to be sneaking more calcium into his diet to try and get his bones to grow faster.

Tuesday was another unusually busy day. Annie had a grooming appointment, so while she was there I wandered around our closing Shopko, got gas, voted, and then walked around the thrift store until I got the text she was done. I was supposed to have lunch in Madison with a friend, but it ended up getting cancelled. A bummer, but I was a bit relieved too because that’s when I started feeling very run down. It was good to just read and rest in the afternoon.

I’m really ashamed to admit that I didn’t even realize this until mid-morning, but Wednesday was Jack and Rory’s 14th birthday! Somehow in transferring dates to my calendars this year, I missed writing it down. My poor boys did not get their usual birthday celebration, but Caden did give them a ton of treats to try and make up for it.

Thursday, more of the same. Felt crummy, couldn’t get motivated to do anything useful. I did make these homemade buttermints, though, that are amazing and addictive. I made a bigger dinner that night too.

On Friday I finally forced myself to sit down and finish these dolls. They all sold immediately again, which is awesome. I also had a nice coffee date with a friend, grabbed a bunch of chicken that was FINALLY on sale to stock the freezer, and then basically spent the entire rest of the day reading. Like until midnight. And then I coughed and coughed until five when I got up. Which is half of why I’m so crabby today.

Well, I guess it’s time to figure out lunch. I usually wait as long as possible on weekends in hopes that they’ll eventually make their own meals. Definitely wishful thinking! Last Saturday Shepard was crying and screaming “I JUST WANT REAL FOOD! MAKE ME A REAL FOOD!” I tried to step it up with dinner making this week, but once again it’s Saturday and I feel completely unmotivated to cook something “real.” It’s technically supposed to get quite warm today, though it’s cloudy and cool right now. I’m planning on heading out to do a little yard work. Not typically my thing, but I need to be productive, and be alone. More later – I will hopefully finally write my April goals post!

Saturday Reflections 03.30.2019

Hello! It is already Saturday evening. This day has flown by. Probably because of my hour of reading in bed and then two hour nap this afternoon. Lack of sleep is once again catching up with me. Shepard is still coughing at night. Greg is still going on his two plus week cold and blowing his nose at night. I’ve slept about every other night from sheer exhaustion, but the nights in between are rough. I hope that once spring officially comes around to stay, maybe things will get better?? Though I can already feel my own allergies starting to seep in, so soon I’ll be awake at night with a whole new set of problems!

Anyway! It’s been a pretty low key week. I ended up running my errands on Monday morning in pretty weird places – Trader Joe’s and a gigantic Monona Walmart I’ve only been to once before. Sometimes I get pretty tired of going to the same set of stores week after week, even though they generally have everything I need. Hopefully I finally got Trader Joe’s out of my system for awhile and I can stick closer to home for the next few weeks!

Tuesday – worked. Caden has Chess Club after school, so I surprised Shepard with a steaming cup of coffee for when he walked in the door. He was in such a good mood! His temperment lately is always one extreme or the other. He’s either the happiest kid you’ve ever seen, or the most outraged and stubborn one. He wore tank tops and shorts to school every day this week because YES 34 DEGREES IS WHEN YOU CAN WEAR SHORTS. It was in the 20’s almost every morning when we walked to school. I give up. If he’s cold, it’s not my fault and I’m not going to worry about it anymore.

On Wednesday I finished up a batch of springy dolls. I’ve decided my customers aren’t interested in Easter. Which is unfortunate, though I myself am not that interested in decorating for Easter either this year, so I guess I can understand. I think I’m going to focus on spring and random themed dolls for the next few weeks.

Yoga on Wednesday was pretty challenging again. So many poses that were really irritating my ankle. It’s so discouraging how one split second of stepping in the wrong place in the wrong way has managed to alter the course of my life. I keep thinking about the x-ray technician that told me it took a good five years for her broken ankle to feel back to normal. I was so upset at her for telling me that at the time when I was in so much pain, but now I’m starting to wonder if five years is even an optimistic outlook. I feel like I’m going to have this pain forever and it ticks me off! I think that in general yoga is really helping the rest of my body feel better, though. I’ve been doing it at home every few days, just on my own to stretch out tight muscles. I don’t think I’ll take this class again when the session is over, but I’m hoping to incorporate it a lot more often into my life at home.

Annie had her annual vet check up on Thursday morning. She’s just 1-3 pounds a teeny bit overweight, but I’m guessing it’s just from winter and months of barely getting any exercise. (Plus she’s been being SUPER naughty lately and stealing as much people and cat food as she can get away with when nobody is looking.) Otherwise everything else checked out perfectly. The vet was amazed at how great her teeth look. I also had them change the paperwork, so Annie now OFFICIALLY 4. 🙂

I finished up another batch of dolls on Friday morning. I just bought this fabric and wanted to use it right away. So cute! I’ve really been enjoying straying from traditional red striped legs and red hair these last few months. It’s so much more fun branching out to other colors. My customers seem to be pretty receptive to it too. Maybe it sets me apart from other dollmakers. This whole batch sold out within minutes. Always so validating and exciting when that happens! (Until I have to deal with all the disgruntled customers that missed out.)

We didn’t have anything on schedule for this weekend, so I convinced Caden to go on a lunch date with me. We went to Tex Tubb’s Taco Palace and Salsa Bar.

I’ve only been here once before, probably at least six years ago. Compared to the delicious array of tacos I had last Sunday at Bel Air Cantina, these were about twice the size, but also a lot less flavorful. The restaurant was also packed and we could barely hear each other or the waitress. We did enjoy the salsa bar, though! We both liked the salsa verde best. Overall, it was way too much food. And Caden had really no interest in being there with me. He did come willingly, but refused to do anything else I had suggested after and didn’t engage with any topic I tried to talk with him about. I’m still glad we went, but I wish I hadn’t wasted so much time driving that far into Madison just to eat and come back home.

Anyway, it’s been a pretty good week overall. My emotional state has leveled out a bit, I think. I’m still dealing with some stuff friendship wise that it’s hard to come to terms with. But…it’s okay. That’s life, right?

Saturday Reflections 03.23.2019

St. Patrick’s Day kicked this week off – usually one of my favorite days of the year. This year it was kind of a disaster, which is why I didn’t end up writing my usual Sunday post. I did manage to get everyone ready and wearing their limited amount of green clothing so we could go to the local Catholic school’s pancake breakfast. They cooperated for that. And then nothing else. The rest of the day was just a huge whopping disappointment. Greg was supposed to go to D&D, but it got cancelled. He was at the start of a bad cold that doesn’t seem to be any better a week later, so also – not in a very good mood. I had plans to take the boys for a late lunch at Bel Air Cantina. We were last there on my birthday and they both said it was the best restaurant they’d ever been to. Of course when I told them the plan they both immediately started arguing against it. After having such a terrible week already, I just gave up. I was so angry at them for NEVER EVER cooperating with something really special I had planned. Even as kids, their agenda is always going to be better with no room for compromise. I’m so sick of fighting it. Forcing them to do something they don’t want to do just makes everyone even more miserable. I was so upset the entire day and before they went to bed I tried to explain how much it hurts me when they do this and it just went over their heads. Between me not wanting to be near them and Greg being sick, they got to just play games all day – best day ever, right? Anyway, it’s done and over with now, but it sucked, big time.

After feeling so emotionally distraught the week before, this week I was all about making a cleaner and healthier space in my head, while also working on cleaning out my physical spaces. Monday was my usual errand running day and then I started working on cleaning most of my shelving units. I had planned to finally organize the family room – giving up on Greg ever getting around to it, despite how badly he wanted a room to do up himself. But of course after he saw that I bought bins to fix things on my own, he slowly started taking over. I don’t think that room will ever be the way I want it to be – not when it has to serve so many purposes. We get in the house through that door, all our outdoor gear and backpacks and dog stuff are piled around it, we eat in that room, do homework in there, we watch tv in that room, we play video games in that room, we charge all electronics in there, Annie’s kennel and toys and food are in there. It’s basically impossible for it to ever be clean and tidy and bright and happy, the way that I long for. I’d settle for something just a lot less clutter-filled. Probably won’t happen for 11 more years once kids are out of the house.

I wasn’t being especially efficient about it, but I spent most of the week just trying to declutter my own areas. I rearranged my bookshelves to make space for all the books I had piled around the living room. I filled up three boxes of books for a future garage sale. I’d like to eventually do a full out sewing room clean up, but that was way too overwhelming to take on this week. I also cleaned every single piece of bedding in the house, which took a solid day. And I gave myself some grace to just rest and read and take a few naps. Between Shepard having mysterious coughing fits all night and Greg blowing his nose all night, not a lot of sleep is being had this week.

Not to drag on with all of the sucky parts of life for another long weekend post, but it’s also been an extra hard week with the boys and their behaviors. I was listening to a podcast last night about the assumptions you make about people and one of the things that instantly jumped to my mind – I assume other people never have the kinds of temper fueled fights with their children the way that we do. I try not to write about it much anymore since my kids are old enough to find my blog if they wanted to and I should try to respect their privacy in areas like that. But…it’s been a really bad week, with both of them. Caden’s reverted back to behaviors we haven’t seen since last summer and years past. It’s so discouraging and I just don’t know what to do about it. The older, the bigger, the stronger he gets… I have no control.

Anyway. Let’s just say I was very excited to go to yoga on Wednesday night to get out of the house. The teacher said she was going a bit easier on us again, but this was the first class where I kept glancing at the clock because we seemed to be practicing forever. My ankles were already sore when I got to class, and so many of the poses were really irritating it. But I survived. My mom and I went out to a late dinner afterward, which was super delish.

One of the most exciting things that happened this week – IT WARMED UP! Just about all of the snow and ice are gone too! We walked to school every morning this week and it was amazing! We also went on evening walks a couple of times. Shepard’s new favorite thing is playing soccer or basketball at the middle school. So we’ve been walking over to watch. Annie loves it!

Another exciting thing that happened this week – we planned our anniversary vacation! I wasn’t sure if it would happen this year between busy life in general and our upcoming air conditioner purchase. But we decided to prioritize it and make it happen. And even though it’s not super ideal for our pet and child caretakers, we’re actually going in the beginning of May instead of putting it off until late July when it next made sense to go. We’re going to Colorado! Neither of us have ever been, or even know much about it, other than it’s really pretty! We’re spending five nights around Denver. It should be really fun! And it’s coming up so fast!

On Friday I forced myself to get back to work. After working all day I finished up four more Easter dolls. And came to the conclusion after three batches of mostly unsold dolls (after almost immediately selling out of all other batches this year), my customers don’t actually want Easter dolls. So that might have been my last, unfortunately. It could just be that I’m not promoting myself very well either. I’ve been in just a weird place with everything lately. I know I should try SO much harder to sell myself. It just doesn’t always feel like a priority.

Today is Annie’s 4th birthday! Technically, we have no idea when her birthday is, or how old she is. But two years ago today is the day she was found as a stray, so it’s the date on her paperwork. Technically also, the paperwork says she’s 5. But the two different vets who saw her gave the ages of 3 and 1, so we went with 2, making her 4 now. 🙂 It’s also Caden’s 10.5 birthday. We usually try to make half birthdays kind of special, but Caden ended up getting invited over to a friend’s house for a good chunk of the day. We might still go out to dinner, but I’m too nervous to break the news to them when they’re outside playing with their friends. It won’t be well received, treat or not.

We gave Annie a bunch of new toys and then Shepard, Willow, and I took her to the dog park for an hour. We haven’t been there all week because of the extra walks. It was the first time there in months with no snow or ice and Annie was in heaven! It was solid mud, but we went early enough in the morning that it was still frozen over from the night.

And that’s about it! Greg and I just finalized our car rental for our trip, so we’re officially set on everything except the details on what to do while we’re there. Any suggestions?! I have of course already looked up at least ten different restaurants. Always the highest priority!

Saturday Reflections 03.16.2019

I think I’ve cycled through almost every human emotion this past week. Elation, profound sadness, resentment, joy, fear, loneliness, confusion, anger. It’s been a weird week. A busy, emotional, weird week.

I was already feeling pretty off at the start of the week, so I decided to take Monday as a fun day for myself. I ran my necessary errands first thing and then drove around Madison to go to all my favorite stores. I treated myself to a delicious lunch at a restaurant I’ve been wanting to go to for ages. It was a super busy day, but it felt good to do something for me.

Even though I was completely exhausted, I decided to go to that first Scrabble Club meeting. I was on the fence about it, but decided I want to be known as a woman of my word and I said I’d be there, so I went. Shepard was in a pretty horrific mood (which is apparently the norm now that he’s eight), so I just took Caden. And it was so fun! I was nervous about playing with strangers, but I genuinely had a really great time. Caden liked it about half the time and then got fed up that he wasn’t playing with the adults. I wasn’t positive any other kids were going to be there beforehand, so I had him prepped for either scenario and of course he just assumed he’d be playing with the grown ups. Maybe next time. Though I also don’t really think he’s emotionally mature enough for it, as the biggest sore loser of all time. Greg and I played with him for an hour and a half long game on Tuesday night and he was throwing fits after every turn. So…I’m not sure he’ll be going to any more Scrabble Club meetings. But I definitely will! It was awesome just doing something FUN with a group of people.

Tuesday during the day was pretty uneventful. I worked. I spent a long time making a big dinner again. And Scrabble all evening.

Wednesday was probably my last day at the dog park for awhile. It was about 75% solid ice and 25% gushing mud. I can’t really pinpoint what exactly was wrong, but I was in a pretty terrible mood all day Wednesday. It was so gloomy outside too. I just want spring to really be here, without all this in between weather.

I changed things up and took a short morning nap because I had slept so poorly again. Jack and Annie were feeling pretty friendly!

Jack had his ultrasound on Wednesday afternoon. $450 to tell me what they had already assumed – he’s getting old and his kidneys are starting to fail. I guess I’m glad to know it’s not cancer or some kind of disease that would significantly shorten his remaining lifespan. But never fun to fork over that kind of money for anything. He’s trying out some prescription foods now. Poor guy was SO drugged when I picked him up. I waited until the boys got home so I could take them with to comfort him in the car. They both had a hand reached into the carrier to pet him on the drive back, it was really sweet.

I was rushing around to get my first Easter batch finished up and photographed and listed before heading to yoga. And then instagram and facebook broke down, much to everyone’s extreme annoyance.

Yoga was good! I liked it even more than last week. She said she was gentler on us. It didn’t really feel like it at the time, but I wasn’t as sore on Thursday as I was last Thursday. I still wish it didn’t take up my entire Wednesday evening, but I’m liking the class a lot.

Thursday I needed another break. And ACTUAL break, at home, with no responsibilities. I was planning on just reading and relaxing all day, but then I spent most of the day in the kitchen. Which was fine. It was Pi Day, I had to!

I made a grasshopper pie and then an apple galette since I knew three of the grandparents weren’t going to eat the mint one. Always need to make sure everyone is happy when it comes to dessert making!

We met Greg’s parents at Culver’s for an early dinner and then headed to Science Night at Shepard’s school. He partook in some of the activities and spent most of the time trying to hang out with his friends while ignoring the six of us that were there to be with him! Afterward we went back to our house to eat the pie.

On Friday, unfortunately, school was cancelled due to flooding and because the buses were needed to help people evacuate their homes. I read somewhere that this is the biggest snow melt in 130 years. Cities all over Wisconsin are flooded right now after a big spike in the temperature Wednesday and Thursday. It’s really sad how much damage all the flood waters are doing.

Meanwhile, Greg had three different air conditioning companies coming in all day to get quotes on installing a real a/c this year. They’re expensive! Plus because we have two furnaces we’d have to get two air conditioners if we want to cool the whole house. We’re not fully committed yet, but I think we’re going to get one this year for the main level and keep using window units upstairs at night. Maybe we’d get an upstairs unit a few years down the road.

We went on a walk Friday night to check out the flooded streets. Three of my friends live further down this street.

River Road, where we lived for five years in our apartment, has now been completely evacuated. The entire street is under water. We happened to get there right when a news anchor was live on the scene. The waters are expected to continue rising in the next few days. It’s really so sad.

Today there was supposed to be a Winter Fun Day for Shepard’s school, but it was cancelled since the road to get there is flooded and blocked off – plus most of the snow is gone. So we went on a date instead, since it was one of my goals for the month. Though it was actually Shepard’s idea. Totally out of nowhere the other day he announced he wanted to go to Mod Pizza with me. So we went!

We stopped at Marshall’s after – because I always have to go to Marshall’s. Then he insisted on looking for new shoes. He didn’t really NEED them, but Caden got new shoes earlier this week (he DID need them), and Shepard has been obsessing over it. So we went to Kohls and Famous Footwear and finally found some that he is very happy with. We finished our date at Target getting some Starbucks frappuccinos. It was a really nice little date!

So maybe I shouldn’t have started this post by telling you how emotional I was all week without ever explaining why. It’s complicated? I don’t know. I’m fed up with winter and ice and feeling trapped. I had to sign whatever the opposite of a DNR is for Jack when I dropped him off at the vet and it seriously freaked me out that he might die and I’d never see him again, or get terrible news when I picked him back up. We watched Pen15 all week, and it brought up so many emotions about childhood and friendship and loss and how desperately I miss that time in my life when I felt so connected and needed and wanted by my friends. I’ve also just been thinking about how much I emotionally depend on some people and the feeling is absolutely not mutual. And that makes me…weak? Pathetic? A total loser? I wish I were a stronger person on my own. The boys have also been insanely stubborn lately, arguing about EVERYTHING. I had a ten minute stand off with Shepard before our date because he refused to bring his coat in the car. It was 33 degrees outside and above freezing means no coat, don’t you know? He also informed me that when you turn eight you don’t need to listen to your parents anymore. We’ve also been talking about our so far nonexistent anniversary vacation this summer and I’ve been feeling very resentful about how hard it is to plan a trip when we have two kids and three pets and two different sets of grandparents to arrange everything between first. It’s the main reason I go on most trips by myself. SO MUCH EASIER. Anyway. That’s the gist of it. Or at least all the not so fun stuff.

And that was my week! More tomorrow. 🙂

Weekend Reflections and Intentions 03.10.2019

This past week has truly been an exercise on keeping myself focused on just one task or intention at a time. I’ve come to the realization that I’m a much happier person when I’m not trying to do a million things at once. Unfortunately, I’m really dropping the ball on so many things. Mainly, probably, all things social media. I have a sewing business that I should be whole heartedly promoting every single day. I don’t. I have this blog that if I truly wanted to grow, I’d be highly prioritizing my instagram account and start by actually letting my regular facebook friends know I do this. But, I don’t. It’s a little niggling thought that pops into my head a handful of times a day and I just dismiss it. I’m hoping that at some point in the future I’ll have more head space and actual time to make these things happen. For now, it’s more about survival, and all the smaller things just have to be ignored. It’s the only way I’m not going to burn out. And honestly, even saying that, I feel like I need to justify myself. I know that I do less than a lot of people. I’m often ashamed to admit things like how I take a nap almost every afternoon, or how I take random days off just to go to my favorite stores, or go on full blown vacations totally on my own. I hate people thinking I’m lazy or spoiled or entitled. I would like to think that I’ve grown enough as a person in the last few years to realize that I may not be amazing at everything, but I know how to focus myself and work incredibly be hard to be great at the few things I choose to direct my energy toward. This last week has really come down to picking and choosing where my time would best be spent. I think I had some really good days this week. And I had a few days where I was really stressed out and angry for not doing as much as I expected from myself. Always that search for the elusive state of complete balance. I’m doing my best.

Anyway. This past week. 🙂 On Monday, I finally got that cavity filled. I left early to do a bunch of errands and fully intended on taking myself out for a great lunch afterward. I somehow completely forgot that my mouth was going to get numbed at the dentist. The whole procedure was fast and painless, I just couldn’t feel my face for FIVE MORE HOURS. Which means I couldn’t eat or drink or talk. I really felt cheated out of a reward I was highly anticipating! I was also starving since I hadn’t eaten anything at all before the dentist and couldn’t feel my face until dinner. So annoying!

Tuesday was the first Chess Club at the middle school. When I first brought the idea up to Caden he immediately said yes and then immediately rethought it and refused. Too late, bud! He really needs some more social activities. He had such an amazing time last fall at lego league, but it’s not offered in spring. I think a lot of his refusal to check it out is that he didn’t know how to play. So Greg taught him on Monday night and on Tuesday morning he was all about it and taught Shepard. I thought chess was hard to play?! Apparently not to them! When I picked him up afterwards that day he was the happiest I’ve seen him in ages. He LOVED chess club and is now angry it’s not offered twice a week!

Every morning this week I took Annie to the dog park. I decided that even if it continues to be cold or icy or windy, we can spare 10 minutes of our morning there. The fresh air and sunshine do me good, and the chance to run around is great for her. Unfortunately, every single day the only other dog there is another dog named Annie who LOVES to steal things out of people’s hands and destroy them. Last week she shredded my newest and most expensive glove to pieces. A different time she full blown charged and jumped at my body to try and get my phone out of my hand. So now I have to stand there with my hands in my pockets and not even think about taking my phone out of my purse!

It was super chaotic after chess and art clubs, but I recruited Shepard’s help with dinner on Tuesday night. He went from whining about how starving he was to smiling and ready to help!

I wish I had taken a picture of our dish pile in addition to our finished dinner. It was pretty insane. But our curry turned out delicious and our homemade naan was amazing! Greg microwaved the rice and did all the dishes, so it was almost a full family effort. And it was fun! So much more rewarding to all work together to get a great meal on the table. I’m hoping I can get Shepard’s help a couple of times a week.

Have you heard of morning pages? I’m not sure who thought up the idea, but the point is that every single morning before you do anything else you write three pages of whatever comes to mind – a total mental dump which will better prepare you to deal with your day. I decided to give it a shot this week – except on my laptop instead of on paper. I actually think it really helped! I was super focused every day, plus it’s always so cathartic for me to write out what’s going on in my head. It’s a practice I’m hoping to continue in the next few weeks to see if it really changes things for me.

On Wednesday I was supposed to have lunch with my friend Katy, but we changed it to coffee instead. I slept very poorly the night before, so it was good that I had an afternoon to rest up for my first yoga class that night! Yoga was interesting. It was definitely a lot more intense than I was expecting. We found out after the class that the instructor and everyone else have been doing this together for seven years. So my mom and I were definitely the odd ones out. It was kind of disappointing since she clearly didn’t teach it as a class for beginners. But I think overall I did pretty well and I’m looking forward to the next one.

In between everything else I was working hard this week. Bound and determined to get these twelve St. Patrick’s Day dolls done. This is when the stress and anger came into my week. I know better than to make this many dolls at once. It’s so discouraging to me how long it takes to complete them. Instead of creative freedom, I start feeling like a machine just churning out mundane work. I still adore the finished product, but I don’t enjoy any of the process. Of course I had the great reward of selling eight of the twelve within just a few minutes of listing them. But that in itself is discouraging too. If I had more time, if I were faster, if I were getting dolls out every few days, I’d be making so much more money! I’d be keeping my customers so much happier. I’d actually be growing my business. I mean, it IS growing, I just can’t keep up with the demand. And I don’t know what to do about that when I’m also trying so dang hard to keep my life balanced between work and family and health and happiness. I’m only one person and I can only put out quality work at the speed at which I’m working now. And I have to accept that. But some days, it’s really hard.

We had our long awaited date night on Friday at the newish Sun Prairie restaurant Tipsy Cow. Unfortunately, being a Friday, during Lent, in Wisconsin, they had a Friday night fish fry and it was crazy packed. We were put at a table next to the bar with people standing all around us. It was so loud, we only saw the server when she took our order, and it wasn’t romantic at all.

Greg wanted to leave, but I really wanted to stick it out. And the food was great! The pretzel appetizer was so/so, but I thought my turkey sandwich and the fries and dip were delicious. It just would have been a lot better to go any other night of the week. We picked up some Dairy Queen blizzards on our way home and finished the night by watching Bohemian Rhapsody.

On Saturday we went to see Captain Marvel. I thought it was okay. But it was nice to do something as a family. The rest of the day was completely uneventful.

And today I met my friend Laura for a succulent planting fundraiser. We actually met up to do this last Sunday, but we got there too late and the plants were sold out. So we met again for their re-do event today and had a drink afterward. I really like how my plants turned out!

Sunday Intentions

This upcoming week is even busier, but hopefully the last kind of packed week for awhile. Though I keep thinking that and then the calendar just blows up!

Tomorrow is errand day, as usual. Though I might squeeze a few fun things in, depending on how I feel and if I actually get enough sleep tonight. Then we’re maybe going to go to a local Scrabble Night that’s starting up. It’s iffy because it doesn’t start until 7 and we’d have to bring the boys, so if they’re having a bad night then we can’t be taking them out. So maybe I’ll just go. Or…we’ll see. I’m feeling very noncommittal about all plans tomorrow beyond getting groceries because our fridge is once again empty.

One Wednesday Jack is going in for an abdominal ultrasound. His blood test at the vet last week didn’t raise any red flags, but we would like some answers about why he keeps losing weight and why he drinks water nonstop all day long. The vet said the ultrasound could show a couple of different things that couldn’t be tested in any other ways. And then I have yoga in the evening.

Thursday is Science Night at school. That’s the calendar that’s really blowing up in the next month and a half – school events. So many of them. It’s also Pi Day! So I better get planning out my pie. I realized the other day how little baking I’ve done lately. It used to be such a massive part of my life.

And Saturday, if we still have snow by then, is the rescheduled Winter Fun Day for Shepard’s school.

Lots to keep us busy this week. Lots going on at night. Which means I have to be really good about staying focused during the day. Besides tomorrow, I’m just planning on working hard again. I’d like to put out two smaller batches of Easter dolls this week. I think I can do it.

That’s about it! Thanks for sticking with me, even though this blog and writing regularly seems to be one of the things I just can’t get my act together on. I’m doing my best!

Saturday Reflections 03.02.2019

Look at this, I’m actually writing a Saturday Reflections post ON SATURDAY.

I am so behind, guys. These end of the month/beginning of the month blog posts really seem to pile up on me at the worst time. I mean, I know they’re coming. But with this week also being basically the first week all month I could WORK, it was really hard to prioritize blogging. It’s so frustrating. I know this whole thing is entirely voluntary and nobody is making me write but myself. I just like to be on top of things and it stresses me out to no end that I feel like I’m currently about six blog posts behind where I should be. But…this is my start. Well, technically, my book post a few hours ago was my start. I’m avoiding my end of the month February and beginning of the month March posts to just get right down to business with this last week of my life.

It was honestly a pretty crappy week. Or at least the first three or four days of it. I had a cold and it was only adding to all the sleep issues I’ve had these past couple of months. I was trying to work as much as possible, while also needing to run a bunch of errands, while feeling like crap and being totally exhausted. I was also dealing with some heavy misunderstandings and miscommunications with Greg, and if you don’t feel like you have your partner’s support through the rough times, the depression is only magnified. But I’m not going to dwell on that because I think we’ve resolved things. It just made the first few days of the week really, really hard.

I am definitely fed up with my sleep problems, though. Earlier this week I declared ENOUGH and took every measure I could think of to try and make it better. I started drinking a hot cup of chamomile tea every night and taking melatonin before bed. I forced myself to stay up until at least ten every night – for awhile I figured I should go to sleep as early as I felt like it to try and catch up, but that only resulted in me being fully awake by 3:30 or 4 every morning. I also bought lavender linen spray for my pillow. I ordered a new white noise machine/oil diffuser and diffuse sleep blends of essential oils every night. I guess it’s a little early to tell, but my efforts have been mixed. Last night I actually got a full eight hours of sleep, which is almost unheard of! But the night before was a very choppy five. I’m betting once I start getting more fresh air and exercise every day it’ll get better. Unfortunately, another polar vortex is hitting us tomorrow, so daily walks are still a distant dream.

I finally finished up some dolls on Wednesday morning – my first completed batch in weeks! It felt awesome to sell all seven of them within a few hours. But then I’m always brought down by the people who are angry they didn’t catch my announcement and missed out on a doll they wanted. I literally cannot make everyone happy, which SHOULD mean I don’t even try. But I like to make people happy. It really weighs on me when I can’t. Besides just writing, I feel incredibly behind on doll making. It’s so hard to accept my limitations as a solo artist with a very busy life. Especially with some big holidays coming up. I’m just now working on St. Patrick’s Day dolls, when I should be well into Easter. Especially since I didn’t make any Easter dolls last year so soon after my ankle break. My customers are so anxious for them. I also have a list of people who have contacted me in the last month about custom orders. I really hate custom orders. I try to avoid them for most of the year. But I know they’re waiting and I’d like to get to them soon.

Speaking of my ankle break – Tuesday was the one year anniversary of it happening, Thursday one year since the surgery. It really brought up a lot of PTSD feelings for me. Especially with the solid layer of ice covering every single outdoor surface. Even though I can walk again, I still feel so trapped by my circumstances. I don’t even remember the last time I walked the boys to school, or to the post office, or even around the block. I currently can’t even walk to my own sidewalk because the driveway is so icy. On Monday morning I slipped twice – at the post office and the gas station. Places I can’t avoid! I know part of all this is just in my head and my extreme fear of something like that ever happening again. But this also feels like a ridiculously hard winter. So much snow, so much cold, so much ice. It has taken its toll. Annie’s been pretty sad about it too. On Wednesday afternoon I got so fed up that I gathered up the boys and we all went to the dog park for twenty minutes, despite the cold and wind and ice. It felt so great to be outside. I miss it so, so much.

On Wednesday night I did something I feel like I should probably be doing a whole lot more often – I recruited Shepard’s help with dinner. My feelings on making dinner every night are pretty mixed. Some days I absolutely love it. Some days I get pretty resentful that it’s always on me. Shepard is always eager to learn new kitchen skills, so I finally took him up on it and taught him how to make tortillas. He also sliced up the peppers on his own. I don’t often have the patience for it, but I’d like to try a lot harder to teach him how to make more things. It’d be so awesome if in a few years he could take over dinner a night or two a week!

On Thursday I just remember being really busy! Two days later, I don’t even know with what!! But Shepard had an eye appointment after school – his vision is getting better, no new lenses (or patching) needed. We went to dinner at the bowling alley with Greg’s parents which was great.

And Friday was the big Vintage Shop Hop. It’s this huge event that over 500 stores in Wisconsin and Illinois took part in this year! I always go with my parents (except last year, right after surgery). I love the treasure hunt of finding unique things. My house seems pretty complete in terms of decorating, so this year I was on the lookout for doll accessories and inspiration. I think I was pretty successful! It was a good day, I just didn’t feel that great. Very little sleep combined with cold medicine that apparently gives me a stomachache and a headache that never went away.

After my much better night of sleep last night, my mom and I went out to a couple more local stores this morning. I wasn’t as successful, but it was still fun. Of course there are a million other things I could have been doing, but the shop hop only comes around once a year, so it was worth another half day of responsibility avoidance!

The only other big news of the week – I booked my flight to Texas in August! I bought my ticket to Book Bonanza way back in October, but I’ve been waiting on flights for logistical reasons. I then decided since this is currently the only vacation on the books for the rest of the year, I’m going to darn well make the most of it! So I’m extending the trip an extra two days and staying in a fancy downtown Dallas hotel. Even though it was totally unnecessary being five months away, I spent a good two or three hours this afternoon researching the best restaurant options to check out while I’m there. I am going to eat so much Tex Mex that week. It’s going to be AMAZING. I’m super excited about the whole thing!

And that’s about it for my week! Now that life is maybe settling down a bit, I can get back in the habit of writing when I’m supposed to write! After I catch up, hopefully in the next few days. 🙂