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Showing posts from August, 2016

Day 243: Minions!

I know I've been keeping it pretty lighthearted up in here, but that's just what I need right now.
Yesterday evening I walked 4 minutes to my local liquor store in search of some gin. I usually stay safe with Tanqueray or Beefeater, but there was a cute little handwritten note by this one announcing that it was made in Fargo. As a loyal former-Fargoan, I just had to try it. 
I've never considered myself a conniseur of anything, nor do I claim to have sophisticated tastes. But for what it's worth, I like it! I feel like it's sweeter than I'm used to and Ben says "less piney" but it makes a decent gin and tonic and that's all I need after a zillion fights and two zillion whines.

Day 242: Interwebs!

Do you see what I see? That's my phone, connected to the Internet. Whoop! It was supposed to be hooked up last Thursday but of course didn't work, so a technician came today and here we are, all ready to spend naptime not using up my whole data allowance. 
I realized I'm a member of the privelaged first world class, and that I technically  had access to the Internet on my phone anyway, by now I can do all the things on wifi. And since I basically manage my life online, this is big. Yay!
Also, isn't that wallpaper from so cute? I need that reminder often.

Day 241: The World Makes Sense Again

Can you see my praise hands? This was a most fulfilling and worthy way to spend naptime today. I should have taken a before picture so you could see the true horror that was the spice cabinet of yesterday. Suddenly I want to cook all the things. But we're having tacos for supper. At least I get to open it for the Wildtree Taco Seasoning. Isn't it beautiful?
The "As Seen on TV" (but not by me since we get one channel and rarely watch it) Spicy Shelf was an impulse Amazon buy for around $8. Worth it. 
Assembly,alphabetizing and gazing lovingly took me the exact length of Alan Jackson's The Bluegrass Album. Every time I listen to it, I wonder why I don't listen to it more. 
Happy feels, and 75 minutes till school pickup!

Day 240: A Day of (Mental) Rest

HI just looked and today's actually day 241. I knew I fell behind during the Big Moving Bonanza of 2016, but I'm shocked it's only one day! 
Today was a day of rest. Perhaps not physical rest (although 2/3 of the kids had nice long naps) since we were unpacking and organizing. But for me, getting unpacked and organized is mentally restful, and that can be as good for me as physical rest.
We got rid of the three boxes we had to step over to get from the living space to the hallway and I can see the top of the island. Praise hands! 
I went through the boys' school papers and the info we got when registering at church, and I feel at least somewhat prepared to face our first full week here. That's worth something.

Day 239: The Saints!

I do believe that the saints in heaven can hear our prayers and that they can intercede for us because of their closeness to God. But even if you don't, how cute are these? 

These are Tiny Saints charms (I'd totally link to their website if the blogger app wasn't crappy). I'm mildly obsessed with them. We went to the Catholic bookstore today and I let the big boys pick one out. One picked St. Patrick and the other picked Our Lady of Kibeho, because apparently he has a devotion to Rawanda that I didn't know about! They have little clips, so we'll be attaching them to their backpacks for school.
Mine is saints Zelie and Louis Martin, the parents of St. Thérèse of Liseiux. Aren't they adorable? I find them relatable as they are hardworking parents like we are. They are clipped on my purse and I am just delighted!

Day 238: The New Place

I finally got half the kitchen in our new apartment looking decent! It's a big win, as we are still stepping over boxes in the hall and moving piles around the table at meals. 

Despite the unpacking and organizing we have left to do, I feel pretty good about the place. It's a really nice 3-bedroom apartment and all the flooring, appliances and cabinet doors were replaced right before we move in. 
Looking at bags and boxes can be discouraging. The other day I actually asked my husband if moving boxes from the dining table to the kitchen island and back would be a legit plan of action for the remainder of our lease. I understood his laughter as a "not really." And so we continue to muddle through all the stuff we've managed to accumulate in the last 11+ years. 
All things considered, though, it's a nice apartment, the boys are generally happy, and we've gained three-ish hours a day of family time. I'll take that.

Day 237: K!

Yesterday my oldest started kindergarten! You'll find a zillion meaningful and poignant essays regarding sending kids off to kindergarten all over the Internet, but not here! 
I'm grateful our new town has a highly-recommended Catholic school and I'm also happy and relieved to be getting back into a family routine!

Day 236: A Regular Day

I used to want to do all the things and have all the plans. Now most days I want the opposite of that. 
Today was as close to a regular day as we've had at least in the month of August and oh, how I welcomed it back gratefully!
I had one near freak out this morning, which was remedied by a few texts and emails. The rest of the day was pretty low key and exactly what the boys and I needed. We ran a few errands, ate some ice cream and checked out a new-to-us park. I only shouted and made empty threats a couple of times. Like I said, regular day. 
Our oldest starts kindergarten tomorrow, so it'll be an exciting day around here!

Day 235: Harried

Today can best be described as harried. "Feeling strained as a result of having demands persistently made on one." Yes, that. 
We awoke in northern Minnesota, travelled to Fargo to continue working on the house, signed some papers, and packed like the Beverly Hillbillies into our van for the second leg to Jamestown. We wolfed down a Pop Tart and headed to our new school for Back To School night, where the 125-year-old building was a balmy zillion degrees. We ate cereal for supper and tried to unpack the boxes which seem to be multiplying faster than we can unpack. I am exhausted. 
My gratitude for today is that I plan to be snoozing in my own bed in a few short minutes. 
It's amazing the longing I feel for my own Simmons Beauty Rest after a few nights of terrible sleep elsewhere. We had vacation with great sleeping quarters, but a toddler who wasn't so interested, plus a night on the floor of an empty house. So I've got a deep desire to crawl into my own bed. Good n…

Day 234: Vacation Day!

Sun. Animals. Park. Fajitas. Playing. Swimming. Paddle boating. Reading. Family pictures. Laughs. Fishing. Drinks.

A great day of vacation!

Day 233: Dear Naps

My brother has a shirt that reads: Dear Naps, I'm sorry I hated you as a kid.
True statement! I guess I don't know whether or not I hated naps as a kid, but I do know that since high school I've been quite fond of them. I didn't need a reminder of our love relationship today, after being up 3 hours in the night with a toddler who couldn't sleep. The poor kid has been in a different bed every few nights this month so he's a little out of it. 
Mercifully, my husband offered to let me nap with the toddler, even though he was also exhausted from last night's shenanigans. Both of us fell asleep immediately. He awoke after an hour or so and went back to sleep in my bed. I don't sleep well with kids, I guess, and I struggled, unable to fall asleep after that first glorious hour.
So it wasn't the epic nap I'd hoped for but it certainly took the edge off and I'm grateful for it. Naps. They feel so good.

Day 232: vacation!

I didn't think now was a good time to take a short vacation. We've plenty going on with the move and impending closing on our house, school starting next week and all the other small things. Just packing for vacation almost pushed me over the edge. But now that we are here and I can't be at the house working or at the apartment settling, or running all the errands, I have realized that it's OK. It's fine for us to be here and postpone finding our new groove and getting into a routine for a couple more days. Providential timing.

Day 231: Thanks, YouTube!

Sorry for all the back-to-back music posts. When I was searching for Trip Around the Sun, the little sidebar showing other videos I might like suggested Chances Are, from the Hope Floats soundtrack. I had forgotten how much I loved that song. Yay! Thanks for the reminder YouTube!

Now I want to watch Hope Floats.

Day 229: They seem to like the place

I sometimes forget that, while this summer has been so stressful for my spouse and for me, it has also been stressful for the kids. They trust us wholly to lead them and protect them and guide them. The follow our lead blindly, and it's easy to forget what a responsibility we've been given with them.

Kids express and deal with stress in such a different way than adults do, and it's really easy to forget that transitions can effect them even when they seem not to know what is going on outside of what they are doing at this exact moment. Our kids have mostly handled the change well, enthusiastically helping speed clean when we had a showing, and being willing to donate extra clothes and toys we didn't need. They seem to sort of understand that we won't be going back to our old house and they accepted our new apartment so well.

I was super cranky the day we brought them here, and I didn't even really care at the time if they liked it or not, but they loved it. The…

Day 228: Help from G & G

I can't write anything good enough to express my gratitude to my parents, my siblings and their families during our summer house cleaning/selling/packing/moving adventure. The kids stayed at mom and dad's again for three or four nights while we moved. My parents fed them ice cream and juice boxes and my nieces spent hours entertaining them. Moving would have been so much more stressful with three little guys around trying to "help" and I'm just so glad it worked out that my parents and nieces could help, and that the rest of my family was around this summer when we needed them.

Living hours from our families can be challenging, but these times when they are willing to go out of their way for us are so gratifying. The kids have an absolute blast there and they love their grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins endlessly. It's fun to see their excitement about the time they get to spend there with the family.

Day 230: Trip Around the Sun

Yesterday was my birthday, and I meant to post this then, but I didn't have my computer and I can't figure out video embedding in the crappy Blogger app.

Day 227: Mine!

How great is this little glass? We received two of these great Kosta Boda Mine glasses as a wedding gift from a dear friend, Camrron. We used them some in the early days, but they were packed in the cupboards behind baby bottles and sippy cups and extra bibs and I'd all but forgotten them until the move. 
We unpacked a box I'd marked "drinking things" and through the great mercy of God, had on hand both an old bottle of Tanqueray and a new bottle of tonic water. I've been sipping from this beauty nightly since. You can order these online now, and I'm pretty sure I've seen them in that great little shop in the mall, Stabo. I'm pretty sure Cami actually brought them back from a trip to Sweden though. And if she didn't, I'm going to just let ignorance be bliss. Either way, I love this little glass. Please excuse me while I refill it.

Day 225: GPS

How grateful am I to live in a time and place where GPS can direct me where I need to go! I have always loved maps, but it's best just to have my trusty iPhone shout out directions to me when I need to get places with a minivan load full of children. 
Fargo is basically a straight up grid, and I like it that way. Main streets run north and south and mostly go all the way through town. Jamestown is cray. It's not that big of a place, so I know I sound like a dolt, but I think it's confusing. There are rivers everywhere, tons of dead ends, not to mention the curves and hills (not found in Fargo!). The streets and avenues are backwards both from the town I grew up in and from Fargo, where I've lived for the last 15+ years. It shouldn't be that hard of a concept to grasp, but I'm just totally bewildered by addresses here. 
We've been here four(ish) days and I can successfully find Cash Wise (grocery store), the church, and Walmart. So I'll survive! I'm …

Day 226: The Earbuds I Hate

Grateful for something you hate, eh?

I suppose hate is too strong a word. I dislike ear buds. They are uncomfortable and I much prefer my big ugly headphones. At any rate, they were in the car today and it's a good thing. 
I had a seemingly easy 3-hour drive with the kids today. Hour one was fine, mostly sleeping kids. Hours two and three almost drove me off the edge. They reached heights of whining, complaining, name calling, yelling, water-spilling, toy throwing madness I didn't know were even reachable. 
About 50 miles from our destination I spotted said earbuds, briefly questioned whether earbuds while driving were legal, and popped them in with my beloved iPod shuffle. Two of the first couple songs were "Angry All The Time" and "The Great Filling Station Holdup" which has lyrics that say I wish I were somewhere other than here. Down in some honky tonk, sippin' on a beer. Touché, iPod. Anyway, they blocked out the constant bitching from the back row…

Day 224: Moving Day. Again.

I have no idea how many days behind I am on ye olde blog. Yesterday the truck was loaded up and today it was unloaded, and I am exhausted, both physically and emotionally. 
I am really sad to leave Fargo. I have such great friends there, not to mention our great parish/school and all of the other things that make living there so comfortable for me. I do feel like God called us out of our comfort zone this year, although I don't yet understand why. That feeling that this was the right choice doesn't mean it was/is an easy choice. I tear up when I start thinking of all we are leaving behind, so I'll quit with the feels right there. 
The apartment is shaping up nicely. Here's a picture to prove it: 
Here's one that more accurately depicts how I feel: 
We're calling it a day. We should be relaxing with some prime time Olympics, but our antenna only gets Fox. Sad face. I'm going to catch up on my blog reading and enjoy a drink and a bootleg Chris Robinson + Marc For…

Day 223: Help!

If my sister-in-law hadn't come yesterday, I think it would have been the end of me! I acted pretty nonchalant, like I could take or leave some help. Turns out I needed to take it. We got to whole basement done, some errands and drop offs, and almost mostly sort of finished upstairs.

Like I said before, we don't have to be out of the house for 2 weeks, so we will have plenty of stuff to deal with here, but we should be mostly moved after the weekend. 
Not artsy, or classy in the least. But vast open spaces are good for people whose movers show up in an hour. 

Day 222: Moving

I'm not sure if I'd be doing a better or worse job of organizing and packing if I were pressed for time.

We've had what I think is the luxury of time leading up to this move. We don't have to move out and in on the same day, so we have some overlap for odds and ends and cleaning. We've had plenty of time to go through loads and loads and loads of stuff. I started packing a week or two ago, so at least half of our stuff is packed well. I'm pretty sure by noon tomorrow I'll just be frantically tossing stuff in random boxes. 
I'm grateful for much in regards to this move. My family has been a tremendous help with the kids. Dad and I delivered a ton of donations today in his truck. Our friends have stored stuff and let us hang out during endless showings and have just been really helpful and supportive in many ways. And we've had lots of time.

Day 221: Amazon Music + Facebook Live FOR THE WIN!

Warning: this blog post is even more lame than normal.

I'm packing today, or trying to at least. I find it so easy to become distracted when my task is as overwhelming as this one. It's a very good thing I got rid of so much stuff before we put the house up for sale, or I'd have drowned already.

One of the things getting me through the day is brought to you by the wonders of Facebook Live and Amazon Music. There is a Ryan Bingham show playing through Wednesday (I think). I'm an hour in and it's amazing. The music keeps me going, so long as I remember to stop watching! The sound quality is good for a live show. The covers he played had me ALLLLLLLL heart eyes. If you're a fan, or if you're not but you have 2 hours to kill and feel like checking out a good show, try this: If the link doesn't work you can find it on Ryan Bingham's Facebook page. Worth it.

Day 220: New Baby

Our dear friends had a son today! I knew there was about a 50/50 shot but I was still shocked, since they already have 2 girls. I was just giddy to get the news this afternoon and I can't wait to meet him. 
In other news, my pal Ashley B from a few posts back got her new name and officially started her novitiate this weekend. Praise God for Sr. Maria Benedicta of the Holy Name of Jesus!
The Lord is so good to us!

Day 219: Olympics

I love them! Olympics! Aaaaahhhhh! I so enjoy watching them, even (or especially?) the obscure events. My nephew asked me which Olympics I liked best and I gave him my honest answer: whichever ones are on! 
My favorite Olympic memory is living in a fraternity house with my beloved roommate in 2004. We watched all the hours of coverage we could when we weren't working. We became experts in everything, at a ton of Swedish fish, and left each other notes about what we missed (because our analog Nokias didn't text). 
Ok, I must get back to gymnastics coverage!

Day 218: Summertime!

Did you notice I was behind a day? I did, but I was trying to keep it a secret.

Then last night I watched this video. It made me smile all the smiles.

If you don't like it at least a little bit, I'm not sure we can be friends.

Day 217: Legendary!

The boys and I drove to my parents' again his weekend. I enjoyed the soothing sounds of James Taylor and the beautiful views of eastern North Dakota, a perfect combination in my humble opinion. 
I got to thinking about how much I love North Dakota. I'm what you might call a Statriot (it's a thing, per Urban Dictionary). I'm the result of some Scandinavians and Germans settling here a few generations back, and grateful for it. My parents love their winter home in Missouri, but this is home. We bitch about the weather almost non-stop, but I like to think it keeps the riffraff out. 
I love that ND is not densely populated. Whenever I think of moving somewhere with a more moderate climate, I realize I'd probably hate it because of all the people. Maybe not. But probably. People are (mostly) sensible and kind and hardworking here. I like to travel but I love coming home. 
People who don't think ND is beautiful, or that driving across it is too boring, maybe  just aren&…

Day 216: Zoikes!

I'm tired. It's late, and I'm likely to stay up an hour reading Theodore Rex anyway, so I'll make this quick. 

This happened today. I felt the opposite of grateful. 
I wasn't mad at the one-year-old culprit (per se), but the older brother who left a Sharpie within #3's reach. I love my kindle so much and, praised be the Lord, I was able to save it by gently but firmly rubbing it with a pencil eraser. You're welcome! I still get mad when looking at it, but it's usable and I'm not tearing into a 5-year-old's wallet to replace it. 
Also notable, we chose a mover and nailed down a date: one week from tomorrow. Zoikes! I feel like packing is a painstaking and torturous riddle, but it's going pretty well. As well as can be expected with three boys under five in tow, anyway.

Day 210: Ashley B

I've written and rewritten, and can't get it just right. This post was supposed to be for Tuesday, July 26. I wanted this post to be eloquent and well-written, but if I don't post it now, I might never remember to do it!

Background: My friend Ashley (my dear friend Monica's sister) lives in a convent in New Ulm, Minnesota, with the Handmaids of the Heart of Jesus. She was back home in Moorhead last week. She'll soon begin her two novitiate years, and she won't be home during their duration.

I had expected to see Ashley at a small-group meeting Monday night, and greatly enjoyed our visit there and lingering in the parking lot chatting afterward. Unexpectedly, Ashley, Monica and Monica's two girls joined the boys and I for lunch on Tuesday morning. The kids braved the humidity and ate picnic-style out on the deck while the grown-ups happily enjoyed the air conditioning. I really savored our conversation, casual and unremarkable as it was. I wavered between b…

Day 215: It's Here!

I got an email today that Theodore Rex ebook I checked out from the library is finally ready for me! Whoop whoop! I have 14 days until it expires. At least it's the two weeks when I will be supremely busy packing/moving/going away partying/road tripping/visiting/moving/unpacking. I guess I'll need reading to relax my brain a little. Yay!

Day 214: Book Reviews!

It wasn't actually on Monday (the day this post is for because I'm behind again), that I finished these two books, but I really enjoyed both of them and I just really wanted to tell you, loyal reader, about them.

Last week during a sprinkler/pool/garden digging session in the backyard, I finished Archbishop Charles Chaput's Render Unto Caesar. I picked it up at our parish's Lighthouse Catholic Media stand on a whim. The subtitle is Serving the Nation by Living Our Catholic Beliefs in Political Life, which actually didn't interest me much at all. I've been left cynical by the current state of American politics, although my reading up on Theodore Roosevelt piqued my interest in such matters just a bit. I figured with the ridiculous, awful election we have coming up that it wouldn't hurt to read a book with this title.

I don't feel adequately prepared to give a legit review of it, since I read it with 10,005 interruptions. I'm sure some paragraphs sent…