Saturday Reflections 02.24.2018


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

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

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


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


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

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


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

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

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

Friday’s Early Saturday Reflections 02.16.2018

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

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


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


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


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


Caden did some more yoga with Hudson.


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


One last selfie before we headed home.


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


My cutie. 🙂

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

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


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

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


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

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

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


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


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


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

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


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


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


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


Annie got some ice cream for a treat.


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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

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

Saturday Reflections 02.10.2018


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

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


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


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


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


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


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


Naptime stories. He really loves books!


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


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


Annie feeling very needy.


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


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


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

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


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




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

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


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


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

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


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


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


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


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


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

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


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


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

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

Saturday Reflections 02.03.2018


It’s been a pretty boring and uneventful week. I feel like I’ve been all over the place mentally and haven’t really succeeded at much. I didn’t even finish any dolls this week. I did make some creative dinners. I ran errands. I did laundry. I made three batches of puppy chow. Two of those were with Milky Ways (no peanut butter) so Shepard could bring them to school for a treat. But stirring that big and extremely thick bowl of melted candy bars two days in a row managed to completely throw out my neck and shoulder. So I’ve spent the last three days alternating between ice packs and heating pads, attempting to sleep when laying on my side makes my neck so much worse, and basically just doing a whole lot of nothing.


That Thai salad I made on Monday went over really well with Shepard. It’s funny to me how much he LOVES salad, yet puts up a gigantic fight about eating vegetables in any other circumstance. So I’m trying to incorporate them more into our meals, except that Caden – who normally eats almost anything – refuses to touch salad. It’s basically impossible to make four people happy at once in any given meal.


The chicken wing experiment for our date night actually went well! It’s the first time I’ve ever made wings at home that I wasn’t too grossed out to actually eat. They got sufficiently baked through, were crunchy, and flavorful. I especially liked the avocado cream dip that went with them. Greg didn’t try the dip because he won’t eat dip. 😛 He doesn’t eat salad dressing either. When we first met he didn’t even eat salsa or bbq sauce or any type  of dipping sauce. What a weirdo.

If you’re keeping track, my attempt to turn that jalapeno onion chicken soup into a tasty chicken tortilla soup was a big fat fail. Everyone else ate it, but I took one bite and the flavor was still so strong and completely off putting. GROSS. And I didn’t get a chance to make the pizza pinwheels on Friday because that’s when my neck was at its absolute worst. Instead I had a breakdown in the kitchen because I could barely move and hurt so dang bad. Greg made me go lay down the rest of the night.


It was another really chilly week. We went to the dog park for about 10 minutes each on Tuesday and Wednesday. Not really enough to satisfy Annie. She did get some play time this morning.


Shepard was “Super Star” at school this week. They assign the weeks alphabetically by first name, so he’s been waiting a really long time. We spent a ridiculously long time last weekend picking out which 10 photos he would bring to share with the class. Then we made the puppy chow because he wanted to bring in a treat. And on Friday Greg and I went into the classroom and Greg read a book and then we had lunch with him. I do not envy those lunchroom helpers! Managing masses of rowdy children is NOT in my skill set! But Shepard was so happy to have us there (despite the weird facial expressions). He’s a pretty great kid.

I guess my highest achievement for the week was actually writing all the blog posts I set out to write. I’m contemplating challenging myself to write something every day of February. But like I mentioned a few days ago, February is INSANE. So that’s probably an unrealistic goal. But maybe I’ll try my best!

Oh yes, and on Wednesday, I finished my 30 straight days of yoga! I was really proud of myself for sticking with it, even though there were MANY days it was basically the last thing I felt like doing. I learned a lot about stretching my body in new ways that would really make me feel better on a daily basis. But it also solidified my opinion on how much I HATE doing poses like downward dog and planks and anything else that puts a ton of pressure on my wrists. I had a lot of wrist pain in January. I also started having sciatic nerve pain again. I haven’t had that since last fall when I was walking a lot more. So yoga both helped and hindered me physically. But I’m glad I did it! I was hoping to maybe do some indoor walking challenges this month, but the whole thrown out neck and shoulder thing has put me at a bit of a standstill.

One thing I’ve spent a lot of the week thinking about is self care and self love and working on a list of things I can do for myself this month. I think I’ll wait to share about it on Valentine’s Day. I also joined a facebook group that’s going to share a five day “Be Your Own Valentine” challenge the week of Valentine’s Day. I’m excited to see what that will entail, staring on the 12th.

Well, that was basically my week! I spent today trying to catch up on doll making and reading a large portion of a great psychological thriller. I’ve been up since 3:30, though, with no nap, and I’m about ready to drop!

I hope you had a good week!

Saturday Reflections 01.27.2018

Is it just me, or is this month lasting forever? Fall always just flies by and then January hits and time seems to stand still. This has felt like such a long week! I’m feeling pretty frazzled and bleary eyed tonight, so this post might be a little rambly! Actually, every time the temperatures start rising this winter I feel like I’m getting an allergy attack. Can you get outdoor allergy attacks in the middle of winter? It coincides with the warmer weather every single time, so it can’t just be in my head, right?? At any rate, my eyes are very itchy at the moment.

Anyway, it was just a pretty normal week of me giving myself way too much to do and constantly wondering what I need to do differently to stop feeling so much dang struggle and strife every single day. I’m so tired of analyzing and judging myself, but I can’t seem to figure out how to stop. There’s just always SO MUCH TO DO. I’m trying to remember to take breaks and take care of myself and be okay with not getting it all done. But I have some serious workaholic and perfectionism genes that I just can’t seem to shake.


It was a good week for work, though I was making so many dolls at once that my hours and hours of sewing seemed to result in so little progress every day. That’s why I don’t like doing big batches. But I had so many prepaid custom orders and I wanted to knock them all out in one big shot.


It took me all week, but I managed to do it. I wish I could figure out how some of my dollmaker friends can produce so quickly. They must have superhuman sewing speed. I’m starting to think I should unfollow them on instagram, though. When I see them finishing tons of new dolls every single day it makes me feel like such a slacker! My best work is never going to be done fast, unfortunately.


I realized that on Friday when I spent 11 hours doing all the final touches is when I was genuinely having the most fun. Maybe because I finally saw the progress? They did turn out pretty cute!


I even made two to keep!


On Thursday I realized that I needed an actual break and decided to take Annie on an adventure. Earlier in the week a guy at the dog park was telling me about how amazing this Token Creek Dog Park in Deforest was. The Columbus dog park is pretty great, so it never even occurred to me to bring Annie other places. But I wanted to do something different, so we went to check it out.


I couldn’t believe how big it was!


Annie practically had the best day of her life running full speed through the park. There weren’t many dogs to play with, which was fine. I enjoyed hiking through it all and getting some fresh air and actual exercise. I decided to make it my mission to hit up all 22 Madison area dog parks over the next year. I even bought an annual permit to make sure it happens. Many more dog park adventures await!


On Friday Greg was able to go on a field trip with Shepard. It was the longest field trip either of my kids have ever gone on, almost the whole school day. They went to UW Space Place, ate lunch in the Capital, and finished at a Planetarium. Shepard was SO excited to have Daddy come with him. It took me half an hour to pack their lunches that morning because he had to analyze every single item we put in and if it could all fit in the same lunch box. It was pretty sweet, though. 🙂


Friday pizza night, of course.


This morning I decided we needed another adventure. Caden has screens taken away for the weekend which puts him in a pretty terrible mood. The only way to change his attitude is to distract him out of the house. So we went back to the Token Creek dog park! It’s about a 30 minute drive so we won’t really be going multiple times a week in the future. But I wanted them to see it and thought they’d enjoy stomping through all the half melted ice (their favorite winter activity). It was fun! We should have more Saturday adventures.

The rest of the day has been pretty laid back and then my sister-in-law and her boyfriend made a surprise visit for the evening. It was nice to catch up with them!

Anyway, it was a pretty good week overall. I’m just tired now. And itchy. And ready to go finish the 600 page book I’ve been working on. More tomorrow!

Saturday Reflections 01.20.2018

I survived the week! Barely. It has felt like a really long one. I’m back to feeling stressed out and overwhelmed by the sheer number of things that feel like they need to be done every day and how little time there is to do them. I’m exhausted. And a little cranky.


There were some good moments this week. The furnace was fixed! To the tune of $820. 😛 I guess that’s better than needing to buy a new furnace? Still stinks, though. Greg stayed home on Monday to deal with the furnace guy and because it snowed for 24 straight hours (yet there was school – even though last week they cancelled for rain on a 45 degree afternoon), and because he was still getting over his weekend flu. It was nice he was home because I had a full day of socializing! I met a few friends for coffee in the morning, which was great. And then Annie and I had a dog park playdate with Kristin and Rosie. I caught the perfect dog smiling moment! They play really well together – it’s adorable. It was also really great to have another day of friend time! I realize I’m much happier when I have more friend time in my life.

On Tuesday I decided I still needed a little self care time, so I went to see The Greatest Showman. I’ve been wanting to see it since it came out and things just kept coming up and I couldn’t justify the time it’d take to go to a movie by myself. I’m so glad I went, though, because I LOVED IT. It was SO good!


On Wednesday morning I finished up these cute little Cupid Raggedy Andys. I LOVE how they turned out! They sold almost immediately with lots of orders for more. It’s always great when I find something that my customers love, though it does overwhelm me a bit when I feel like I can’t keep up with demand. These were relatively fast to put together, though, so I’m currently working on a list of orders for more. Including two for myself!


On Wednesday night, Greg and I celebrated the 18th anniversary of when we met and were pretty much together from then on. (We were 15. I posted a picture on facebook and I feel like people probably thought I meant our wedding anniversary. We’re not quite that old yet!)

BTW – I wrote all about this anniversary last year. This year it just gets a paragraph!


We went to Chili’s for dinner and then came home and watched tv. We’re seriously really boring people these days. Case in point – the boys are at a hotel with the grandparents right now and we are home alone until tomorrow afternoon. I am in one room writing this post. Greg is in the other room working on taxes. BORING.


I’ve still been doing my daily yoga videos, but it’s kind of burning me out. I wish there were a few rest days, but I guess that ruins the momentum of 30 days in a row. I’ve made it through 19 straight days, so I’m not going to quit now. But I also don’t think this is really the exercise for me. I love stretching out and doing twists that make some of my aches and pains go away. But I’m also having some major wrist and hand pain because of the yoga, which is decidedly not fun. It’s great when I can get my video in right away in the morning, but I think every day this week it happened later and later at night. Then I just stress out about it all day.


On Thursday we kept the boys home from school so they wouldn’t get sick. The flu epidemic has hit Columbus. Or at least Caden’s classroom. His teacher said she was cancelling her regular lesson plans for the week because so many kids were out, so we decided to just keep them home. It was a pretty low key day of them playing video games and me working.

And Friday there just wasn’t school. I wanted to do something fun, so we went sledding and snowboarding and then out to lunch with my mom. I wanted to run to Joann’s for a few things and then the boys spent a long time playing on this gigantic parking lot snow mound. It was seriously huge. They probably could have played there all afternoon!


Today was/is the big Dells night. We met for lunch and then headed over to the hotel. The boys were super excited about this bunk bed and decided they’re both going to sleep on the top bunk. Can’t wait to hear how that goes!! Greg and I stayed to play in the game room with them for awhile (the only part of the hotel you don’t need a wristband for), and then left them for their night of swimming and rides. Hopefully they’re having fun! I suppose I should mention they’re with the grandparents. We didn’t just leave them there. 🙂

And that’s been the week. I hope next week I can be more accepting and content with everything. But I guess I’ll write about that tomorrow. Happy weekend!

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!


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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!


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.


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.


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


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.

20180101_101830 game day

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.

20180101_170301 ice wine

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!


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.


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.

20180103_075306(0) dog park

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!

20180105_133341 cold brew

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!


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!


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.


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


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!


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.


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.


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


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!


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.


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!


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.


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!


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!


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.


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.


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. 🙂


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!!


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.


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. 🙂


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!


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.


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.


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!!!