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Showing posts from November, 2016

Day 335:

We had kind of a crappy day here and I'm tired. At the risk of falling woefully behind in my "daily" posts, I'm not going to publish any of the weekend drafts. Tonight I'm grateful that readership on ye olde blog is low. Forgive me reader, but I'm going to try to keep my eyes open for a chapter of Little Women and throw in the towel on this three hundred and thirty fifth day.

Day 334: Gunslinger

Hey hey hey! There's a new Garth Brooks album, Gunslinger, and it's available for $5 on Amazon music! Whoop! If you've learned anything about me and my love of music, it should be that I'm nothing if not a loyal fan.

There were only about 2 songs on his last album that I really loved, and yet, I simply could not resist $5 to hear what he's got out new. I've only listened 1.5 times through, but I like it so far. Some songs are pretty kitchy but there are a couple that I can see myself getting hooked on. It's been a long time since I had a new album, and I've been listening to a lot of old stuff with my CD Revival, so it was nice to have the comfort of the same old Garth with some new music today while I was trying to recover from Thanksgiving and get our home back in order.

Day 333: Soooo Pretty

Monday's gratitude was just the whole day. Well, everything except the constant rain.

The boys dropped me off at a friend's on Sunday night, where I co-hosted a Noonday Collection party with Monica, who has recently become a Noonday Ambassador. The pictures are actually from her first open house trunk show, but aren't the pieces so pretty? Soooo pretty.

We had a few no-shows and cancellations, but had a great time visiting with those who did come, and I tried everything on 12 times because I love it so much. I'm really glad my party was open during the Black Friday weekend and lots of people placed online orders for some great deals over the weekend. I realize this is Monday's post, but I was reveling in the glow of that great jewelry and the fun time all day Monday, too.

Monday was a "vacation" day for me, as my beloved had the boys and ran the household while I did all the things in Fargo. I got a bit of remaining Christmas shopping done, visited the m…

Day 329: Thanksgiving!

The tanksgiving!

I brought my trusty old laptop along this weekend with visions of crafting profound daily posts about my Thanksgiving thanksgiving, which I know was a totally adorable goal. I actually spent most of my weekend screen time shopping online and working on photo gifts for people and blogging didn't actually cross my mind more than once. I can't get the blogger app to work for anything except uploading my high quality photos, and so here I sit several days behind. Again.

We traveled for Thanksgiving, and Thursday actually went really well. We started the first leg of our journey by listening to a Jimmy Buffett concert on the aforementioned free XM trial. It was actually a fantastic way to start Thanksgiving.

Most of us are quick to proclaim gratitude for our family, friends, faith and for the things we need like food, clothing and shelter. And we should! But I don't know if I can say anything that hasn't been said about those things. When I think of my fami…

Day 328: Don't Act Like You're Not Impressed

Please enjoy these stunning #nofilter photos of the whole of our Thanksgiving decorations. (Insert laughing emoji). Holiday decorating isn't my specialty, but I got a couple of great printables via email newsletters from a couple of Etsy shops I follow. We're leaving for Thanksgiving anyway, but I figured I might as well put my $0.20 library printing to good use, right? 
Bullets of gratitude for today:  Thanksgiving printables. Duh!Sanguine matchmakers - I'm terrible at introducing myself to new people, but the gal who runs the play area where I take the kids most Wednesdays is great at finding common ground for two people whom she is introducing. I met another mom of 3 who just moved from Fargo. Yay! A couple of things didn't go my way today, and I handled it without throwing a tantrum like the big baby I usually am. This is big for me.Kids went to bed well tonight, despite being almost crazed with excitement for the weekend. Our apartment building reeked today and I …

Day 327: Book Recommendations!

I think I mentioned last week that I had finally gone through 3,000 pictures on my phone and done some organizing with the zillion screenshots I'd taken of all the things. One of the categories with the highest amount of screen shots was books. 
I started a list in Evernote when I read this blog post from Haley at Carrots for Michaelmas. I took her recommendations and read through the comments. Between these suggestions and all the random Instagram screen shots I took from my favorite moms, I compiled quite a list! And it is paying off!
I know there is value in letting the kids choose their own reading material, but only one can kind of read, and so they pick the first thing they see with a superhero or sports figure on it. The sports ones I can sometimes stomach (even the one about the rules of hockey), but the superhero ones they've picked have been painful. I keep hearing about how hard it is to get a book, specifically a children's book, published, but from what I'…

Day 326: XM

It's the time of year when the Sirius XM radio free trial abounds! We're too cheap to actually pay for it, so I love to live it up every Thanksgiving. Can I express pre-gratitude for XM on our 6-7 hour drive this weekend? Because I will.

The '90s on 9 and Prime Country channels are my favorite. Obviously. I mean, if you are one of the two people who reads these silly posts and doesn't yet know that '90s music is my jam,'ve been wasting your time even more than you thought.

My sister clued me in to the Garth Brooks channel, which she said was like Prime Country but with a little more variety. AND I love it. It's fun to hear his thoughts on the songs before they play, or to hear more background on his own songs.

Sometimes I feel like I should try harder to immerse myself in new music. I follow people's playlists on Spotify and all that, but sometimes I just want my musical comfort food, and it's almost always '90s. I'm in my mid-thi…

Day 325: I Like Homemaking

I like homemaking. There, I said it. Don't tell the new feminists!

I kid.

I'm no June Cleaver, presenting dinner hot on the table each evening clad in heels and pearls and never getting upset, but I'm happy to embrace my role as homemaker right now. This is not to say that I love all the cooking and cleaning and laundry and child-rearing duties that are mine. That's not exactly what I mean.

What I do love is the making of the home. I like organizing (or trying to) in order to make our home flow well for the way we use it. I feel satisfaction when my people have what they need when they need it - work shirts, winter boots, the purple marker, an occasional vegetable. I enjoy making my home comfortable and welcoming for guests. Procuring what we need and getting rid of what we don't brings me a sense of accomplishment. It's fun to do things like St. Nicholas Day chocolate coins for the kids and to help my family celebrate large and small events throughout the year…

Day 324: Movie Night!

We had family movie night last night. We chose Disney's The Emperor's New Groove based on a 17-second Google search of movies approved by my favorite bloggers.

There was a time not so long ago when I laughed at friends' family movie nights, thinking, "Yeah, that will never happen here." But it happened! We've done it before, but usually it lasts as long as the popcorn, which is about 45 minutes. Last night the big boys sat through the whole thing, and the toddler dumped out all the Duplos, snowballs and hockey equipment.

I got to thinking as we were all snuggled up on our comfy sectional about how our family has evolved. Whenever we're in a certain stage, newborn, infant, toddler, etc., it's hard to see outside of that particular stage. Many challenges and joys exist in each phase, and even though we know better, it can be difficult to see past those stages. I keep hearing "little kids, little problems, big kids, big problems" and so I know …

Day 322: Legos and Uno

I'm pretty bad at playing. I probably always have been. I did Barbies quite a bit when I was younger, but I did way more "school" (me being the teacher) or daycare or fashion designer (ha!). Mostly things where I could be the boss. Playing with the kids is something I'm generally terrible at. Driving a car around with a toddler gets boring after around 6 seconds. I can't keep up with all the strange rules in games the boys make up, so I don't last long at those.

The big boys are old enough now that we can actually play games and do more interesting things. We are huge fans of Uno up in here, unless the toddler is "playing" with us, which is a nightmare for everyone. Another thing I can usually be convinced to play is Legos. The boys have gotten a few of those little sets where they build a car or firetruck or helicopter, but most of our Legos are mine from my childhood, and some are my brother's which means they are super duper old. 
I saved th…

Day 323: T. G. I. F.

TGIF, man. For real. I've been up since 3:30 a.m. Things got a little crazy up in here, between the sleeplessness and the first day of awful wintery weather. No snow here yet, but it's cold and the wind is blowing about 200 miles per hour. I'm grateful we didn't get the 18-ish inches that my in-laws got yesterday and today, and praying that it doesn't storm over Thanksgiving weekend.

Like I said, I'm very tired. Please check out a blogger who can actually write words that make sense.

Here's my friend Matt's new blog, Geeky Catholic Dad. He's smart, funny, and insightful. Check him out. A couple of my favorite posts are today's Expecting A Child When You Have Children in Heaven and Praying With The Church.

Day 321: Seven! SEVEN!

My actual Wednesday gratitude was that the maniac toddler actually slept until 7. Praised be the Lord! He hasn't done that in a while, maybe since we moved 3 months ago. I'm not sure what it is, but 7 used to be his normal wake time and it's been 5:30-6 lately. My mood was greatly uplifted by this fact, but it's hard to say much more about it because we got up at 3:30 this morning. Someone drop off more coffee ASAP. 
Have I shared that my friend Kate, the world's best and luckiest thrifter started an Instagram shop? A few of us have been begging her to do so for a while and she finally did. Find her at @fmthriftandflip. She's amazing. 

Day 320: Nerd Alert!

Disclaimer: If you don't appreciate nerds, discontinue reading this post.

Like many of you, I store thousands of photos on my iPhone. With Christmas coming up, both sides of our family are working on annual photo books which require me to weed through my zillion pictures and get them uploaded to the appropriate book creation website.

I realized that in addition to pictures chronicling our family's life, I have many, so many, shots of funny memes I texted to friends and also more book recommendations than I could probably ever actually read. I also have a disproportionally high number of shots of the kids sleeping in weird places. Is that a thing?

Today I finished up a week-long escapade through almost 3,000 iPhone pics. I deleted duplicates, memes and screenshots that were past their prime, and saved almost everything else to Evernote or Pinterest.

I'm well aware that it's a silly thing, but it feels so good to have that project off my list. There's some sort of un…

Day 319: Naptime

I mentioned that everyone was tired from our weekend exploits all day on Sunday, and I have rarely needed naptime as much as I did on Monday. I didn't need a nap myself so much as I needed some alone time. I was feeling overwhelmed by a bunch of tedious little tasks I hadn't gotten around to, plus the typical Monday cleanup and organization our apartment sorely needs.

I'm so, so grateful that God made toddlers who need a mid-day siesta. I've heard legends of some kids #3's age giving up their naps, and I have to say, that's close to my worst nightmare. Sometimes we still make the big boys nap, though it's becoming more and more rare. Nap time is my saving grace.

On the 3 afternoons #2 has preschool, I can typically expect the maniac toddler to sleep until we need to pick up the big boys. Please don't get me wrong, I do love being home with the boys and spending our days together. I do. But I am a melancholic introvert and I need time to organize, rechar…

Day 318: Recovery

Sunday was a recovery day for us. I remember everyone being tired and crabby and being grateful that we didn't have anything going on. I laugh now at how I used to always want to be doing something. I loved a full calendar and doing all the things, even as an introvert. I still like planning things and having something to look forward to, but I am more grateful for our downtime.

I'm not sure if it's having kids or approaching my mid-thirties or just knowing myself better, but I need more introvert time now. One unexpected blessing from our move has been the increase in amount of "free" time in the evenings. I know it won't always be this way as the kids grow and get involved in activities and as we meet more people. But for now, I'm so happy to have it.

Introverts, know thy selves!

Day 317: A Happy Saturday

Saturday was a great day all around, and I'm hesitant to start typing because I could just give you boring play-by-play of all the moments I enjoyed so much and everything I felt gratitude for that day!

We were in Fargo (Moorhead, actually) for our monthly couple's group, Teams of Our Lady. We met at our good friends' house and our kids and theirs got along great being banished to the basement with a babysitter for 3+ hours. We enjoyed a fruitful meeting and discussion and a great meal.

In the afternoon, I helped a friend set up for her Noonday Collection debut trunk show. The jewelry and accessories were so beautiful and I had a blast trying on all the things and creating my wish list. I hadn't planned on really staying at all, then I thought I'd leave after setup, and then I ended up staying for the whole thing and I had a blast!

We ended up milking their hospitality for all it was worth, staying for supper and until bedtime so the kids would sleep on the way hom…

Day 316: November Weather

Friday was Veteran's Day, in case you forgot to check Facebook. I hope that one thing we can all agree on is that we are grateful for the sacrifice not only of our many amazing veterans, but also of their families - their parents, siblings, spouses and children who literally hand over their family members to us for our protection and well-being. 
Veteran's Day also meant no school. I stepped outside my usual cranky self, and tried to make it a special day, since #1 was home with us and we had no real plans. I let them do a little art box project I've been putting off lo these last six months, and we all actually enjoyed it. We baked and I didn't die of toddler "help." And I only got kicked in the face once! 
Even though this November has had SO many ups and downs already (*cough* looking-at-you-election-and-post-election-nonsense *cough*), November is still really killing it with weather. We took to a favorite park for a refreshing half hour or so on Friday,…

Day 315: Woefully Behind

I've fallen woefully behind, dear reader(s). My apologies. I've still been practicing daily gratitude, and even jotting things down in my planner to post about. We had a busy few days and I just haven't had time to think thoughts and make sentences.

On the daily, I'm overwhelmed by the sheer amount of paper littering my dining room table and our "art table" (dining room buffet). I have an OK system for the kindergarten and preschool things I want and need to keep, as well as my own reference materials, but the rest of the paper just buries me. The kids and I disagree somewhat on what needs to be kept, and they are all super offended if anyone touches a piece of paper that they have already touched, and it doesn't take long before you can't see any actual surfaces in our house.

Well, the other day I found this guy:

Looks like someone is ahead of the game on going by his last name! Maybe his future high school friends are reading this. 
I had a good chu…

Day 314: Read This Instead

The sun rose again this morning! Can you believe it?

There's much for me to be grateful for this morning. But instead of reading me, read this: 
The Greatest, Freest, and Most Decent. 

Day 313: 'Merica

Did you know it's Election Day? For whom should I vote? #jokes #nooneforpresident

I am grateful to live in a country where I'm free to vote and where I feel no danger at the polls. I am grateful for the freedoms and rights I've been given through the hard work and sacrifice of many others.

I'm glad my Norwegian and German and English and Irish ancestors moved here and settled where they did and that I've been given the life I have by my creator.

And even more so today, I'm grateful that my hope and my trust is not in worldly governments, in political parties and in popular or electoral votes. My hope is not in the president, it's in the King. I'm grateful for the communion of saints praying for us (and maybe rolling their eyes a little bit) and that I have the hope of heaven. I'm grateful for St. Teresa of Avila's wise words which have consoled me through several election cycles.

Also notable:

Wallflowers Pandora station. Right now it's play…

Day 311: Family visit and Offenses

My brother and his family stopped by yesterday unexpectedly and it was such a joy. We haven't had many visitors here and there's not much that excites the kids more than seeing their cousins. I've gone on and on about how great my nieces are, so I won't do that again today. Day 312's birthday festivities have worn me out and I'm heading to bed.

Today in linkdom: Most people won't read this but I REALLY WISH ALL OF THE INTERNET WOULD DO SO. I'm sorry to shout. Not that sorry. Check out Jenny's When we are offended.

Day 312: My Baby!

Our oldest guy turned six today! He and I butt heads all the time sometimes but he's a great kid and we had a wonderful day celebrating him today. Gifts are one of his love languages and he thanked me several times for the Twister Tracks we got him. He and his brothers ended the day by having a terrific time playing with them, so everybody won!

My husband and I were laughing at our six-years-ago selves tonight at dinner. Our first baby was born on Daylight Savings "fall back" night after 28-ish hours of labor (it sounds worse than it was... it just progressed very slowly so it wasn't hard labor for that long). We hadn't slept much at all, and having a baby is, um, pretty overwhelming. It's a gift we made it through those first few weeks, and as every parent says, I can't believe so much time has passed. We're a third of the way done with him! Ha!

I don't take the time often enough to really be grateful for each of our kids and for how God has wor…

Day 310: Comfort Zone!

Do you ever use the adjective "crusty" to describe something besides food? I used to say it a lot, usually meaning "bad" or some synonym of it. One of my friends when I was living in Florida was just astounded and grossed out by that usage, and it made me giggle. I've fallen out of the habit of using crusty, but when I think of my mood today, crusty is the word that comes to mind. (Sorry, Krystal!)

Anyway, we had an unexpected favorite friend dinner guest tonight as he was passing through for work, and it was so nice. He was our first non-family guest since moving here and there's something comforting about being the presence of people who know you pretty well. I suppose we didn't do anything or act any differently than we would have with anyone else, at least not intentionally. It's not that I'm out only to impress new friends, or treat old friends badly in some way, there's just a certain level of comfort there which is exactly what I need…

Day 309: Early Voting

Even though America gave us two deplorable and abhorrent presidential candidates, she does allow early voting and that is something I can get behind.

I voted across the street from school with a toddler and preschooler in tow. I much appreciate the complete lack of a line and of people acting really put out by the kids doing their thing while I filled in all the tiny circles. Early voting for President!

If I may, I would like to express ingratitude for all the celebrities and their followers who proclaim that everyone should "get out and vote!" while not ever encouraging anyone to actually understand for what they are voting. The presidential election isn't the only one going on and I'd be willing to bet many voters are grossly under-informed about the other races. How about we not vote for whatever our favorite celebrity endorses without checking into it? Okay? Great.

My preschooler gets to vote on Monday at school...for his favorite Pete the Cat book. I wish our vo…

Day 308: Weather, Links, and an Excuse for My Laziness

The weather just killed it again today. It's November 3 and the boys all wore shorts and t-shirts outside. I mean, they've been doing this for the last several weeks, but then when we get outside they have to pretend they aren't cold. Not today! Just enough warmth from the sun to feel good, but with enough chill in the air not to sweat. Delicious!

I've been meaning to share a couple of links, and of course I can't remember most of them right now.

Here's one: Why I'm Staying Off the Pill (Even Though Some People Think I'm Crazy

It's likely that only people who already know and understand Catholic social teaching with bother to listen to this, but this episode of Catholic Stuff You Should Know explained some concepts that, if Christians would understand and work toward, would change politics in our country for the better. Solidarity and Subsidiarity for the win! Politicks and Polikicks.

The Pioneer Woman Mercantile opened this week and I'm mildly …

Day 307: All Souls Day

Wednesday. Wednesday. I can't remember Wednesday. The toddler started an earache Tuesday evening and didn't sleep well, but my husband mercifully took the night shift with him. He (the baby, not the husband) whined and said "need you mommy" for most of the day. I'm aware that many parents and children are dealing with much worse, and I'm glad all he has right now is an earache, but that doesn't mean it's not tiring.

It was also All Souls Day, so the boys and I prayed briefly at church and at a local cemetery after school. It went better than expected, and we had a decent discussion about death and purgatory and praying for souls while we were there. The boys loved hearing the different names and years on the headstones, and they especially loved making me figure out how old everyone was. The weather couldn't have been better for November 2, so that helped, too!

Day 306: Halloween is Over

All Saints Day! Love me a good feast day. We went to school mass and the 4th graders did an adorable saint procession, which the little guys and I all loved.

On Tuesday most of my gratitude was that Halloween was over! Whoop!

Halloween is my least favorite holiday. Not for religious or any actual reason, but mostly because procuring costumes is a pain and dealing with a gazillion "can we have more candy?" questions every waking minute until the candy is gone gives me a headache. I'm a downer, I know. I do get pretty in to some other holidays, so it's acceptable that I lack any enthusiasm for this one. My Santa and two elves did turn out pretty great, if I do say so myself.

Day 305: That's What Neighbors Are For

I'm so distracted by the World Series, but I don't want to fall too far behind again! 

Monday's gratitude was for the kindness of neighbors. Specifically David and Mary.

My husband leaves early for work and about an hour later, I usher everyone outside to get #1 to school Well, Monday morning we discovered that the minivan was dead. Super dead.

I couldn't get a hold of my spouse; it turned out he was offsite so not checking his phone or email. We don't really know anyone in town I could call for a situation such as this. Things happened, thoughts were thought, and I eventually knocked on the door of our elderly(ish) neighbors two floors down to see if he could jump my van. I knew he had a truck and would likely be able to help me, but aside from saying hello, we'd not met.

Well, my pal David tried to jump the van but each time we connected the cables, the van alarm went off and that was super weird. So finally he just let me take his truck to school. I was defi…