Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

1. So, there you have it. Ron is 40. I'm sure that's very old to someone, but as someone who's been 40 for a few months now, it feels just about the same.

2. I am in desperate need of some new running shoes. The most recent pair gives me painful tingles in the feet after about two miles, so I've resorted to the older pair that probably has 700 miles on them. Not good either way.

3. So I'll add "go to running store" to my endless list of things I must get to before school lets out but that there currently doesn't seem to be enough time to do.

4. After Memorial Day the kids will have only 8 school days left! Very hard to believe the unofficial start to summer is upon us.

5. Especially since Sunday night we sat through one of the coldest baseball games in Little League history. Multiple layers were worn and coats were pulled out of storage. The players had fun and won their game.

6. Best way to warm up after said freezing cold baseball game? Hot toddy.

7. I am oh so near the end of Unbroken, and getting so excited to get to start a new book soon! What will it be?!

8. With the improving weather, the kids may yet get a chance to bike to school.

9. My daughter is currently outside crafting a fishing pole so she can go fishing with the loveliest 5 year old boy. One of her greatest qualities is her big kind heart.

10. My newest favorite picture of the kids!

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

1. It is 80 degrees here, no joke. And in 48 hours I'll be back in my fleece. I love you, Minnesota.

2. Costco has messed with my morning coffee again, and hopefully for the last time. I have once again brought home a half gallon of whipping cream instead of half and half. Who on earth needs an entire half gallon of whipping cream?

3. I am getting closer to having summer book lists ready!

4. On Saturday morning the kids woke up and brought me A Night Divided in bed and we finished it! Really excellent read aloud, and tonight we can start a new book!

5. Yesterday on my run I started listening to Trevor Noah's Born a Crime, which is truly excellent so far, but I can't recommend unless you'll promise to listen to it. His voice, and all of the languages he speaks, absolutely requires listening.

6. We are down to two more days of school this week, and then three, 4-day weeks.

7. Saturday night Ron and I are getting a date night! (Too bad the weather isn't going to be bright and sunny!)

8. Date nights sometimes mean celebrations and this one is in celebration of Ron's 40th! Yay we'll be the same age.

9. At the beginning of the school year I put some money in Alla's school lunch account in case she wants a few extras during the year. She rations it, and the money is usually gone by the end of the year. This was the first year I put any in Fisher's. Since he can't have school lunch anyway, I've never bothered. But this year I thought he might like a carton of milk here and there. The kid hasn't touched that money all year, and I'm beginning to wonder if it'll still be there in 9 years when he graduates from high school.

10. It feels like this today, so I'm going out to enjoy what's left of it!

Saturday, May 13, 2017


Guys, we have made it.

It's Mother's Day weekend.

Are you kicking up your feet yet? I'm not gonna lie, I like to take as much of the weekend as I can. Ron always travels the week before Mother's Day, so as a rule I am always earning my stripes this week. Taking both kids to events, finding friends (thank you!) to get one where she needs to go so I can take the other, watching three baseball games in four days, cooking dinner to eat at 5:00 so we can leave at 5:10, then getting another meal in them at 9:00 pm when we're home. Two months ago there was nothing on my calendar. I was eating bonbons. Now? We are sprinting through the week. Thank you, May. (Just kidding there, I don't like bonbons.)

On top of all that, I've been up til 12:30 every night this week checking blood sugars. Thank you, diabetes and baseball. So all of the above, plus less than six hours of sleep each night. Do any of you know me? Less than six hours of sleep is not my favorite. I don't know if I get Mom of the Year this year, but I am doing my best on less than six hours of sleep each night.

I am over the moon about this weekend. It's going to be 80 degrees. There are zero events we have to be at tomorrow. I might get to read my book. I might get to put flowers in the pots in our front yard. I might get to sleep in. I hope my kids come downstairs to snuggle me. I hope they bring our book. Maybe we will finish it!

I am so lucky that my own Mom lives close enough to celebrate the day with me! As my kids get older, I am baffled by the juggling she had to do raising us. My brother and I did completely separate activities, and never attended the same school! But we did all the things. She made sure of it.

I love being a mom, and often write about the little things being the big things, and take pictures of the day to day.

I also really love Mother's Day, because it's beautiful out and I genuinely feel celebrated and appreciated - thank you, Ron.

Get in the picture with your kids this weekend. But also, kick up your feet. Read a whole book. Plant a garden. Or don't. Do what you want, this ONE day of the year.

Happy Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 09, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Baseball season is in full swing. It's quite relaxing once we're there. Fun to watch, and really the first two hours I am able to sit all day.

2. Alla got her first pair of glasses!
3. The kids asked about their summer reading lists. Making those lists is one of my favorite things to do before the kids get out of school - I sit down with my Goodreads list, notes I keep on my phone, and reminders about what they read last summer. Luckily they don't get out of school until June 8th, so I have some time.

4. They have their eyes on the American Ninja Warrior gym as a reward for summer reading.

5. I did manage to order summer math books, so I'm on top of something.

6. Alla and I took a wonderfully fun polymer clay class this weekend (Groupon!) at Clay Squared in Minneapolis. We rolled, mixed, and made amazing designs. Highly recommend!

7. May is a crazy month!

8. That said, there is currently NOTHING on my calendar for Saturday. Nothing. I usually fill in weekend calendars with a few house projects, or a few things we can do on the weekend to make the week ahead a little lighter. I am understandably hesitant to mark up by beautifully clear Saturday.

9. I am halfway through Unbroken, and while I'm enjoying it quite a lot and so very wowed by the story, I'm also quite eager to get on with it and read something else.

10. I am itching to plant some dang flowers. The flower marts are open and tempting but I need more than 5 minutes in there to pick out what I need for my front planters at least. Perhaps I'll revisit #8.

Have a good week!

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

1. The first day of May didn't treat us well at all. It rained, snowed, didn't get much warmer than 40, and was just generally unpleasant. Today the sun is shining and we hear we're being treated to progressively warmer days all week! This weekend we are officially putting away the snow pants. (So go ahead and blame me if it snows again.)

2. The bad weather did, however, prompt me to make one more vat of vegetarian chili and cornbread, and since the recipe makes enough for about 85 bowls, I haven't had to cook for the past couple nights!

3. But. We are really looking forward to grilling weather, shorts and t-shirts, and reading on the deck.

4. Alla turned twelve, and I didn't die. In fact it was quite a lovely day (well, weather-wise, she'd have liked some sun and warmth), a low-key birthday celebrating her. We went out to dinner, then came home for cake and presents. We surprised her by putting a big gift in her room while she was in the shower that night - a desk! She's crafting up a storm there already.

5. She also got Wicked tickets for she and I for TONIGHT! So, I guess the birthday celebration continues!

6. Over the weekend Fisher played in the district chess tournament and won 5th place overall! This is an improvement of more than 20 places from last year, so he is over the moon. To show just how important chess is, he missed a baseball game on Saturday for this tournament, the culmination of chess club for this school year.

7. Alla won a button design contest at school for New Brighton's Stockyard Days! She came home when the contest was announced, and decided she was going to win. She worked so incredibly hard on her design, doing it over and over until it was just right. I was so happy when she told me!

8. We watched a really good movie for family movie night over the weekend - Greater. Highly recommend.

9.  Something to look forward to at the end of this week - Cinco de Mayo! Homemade, non-mix, non-neon margaritas for sure. After the baseball game. Yes, I think Fisher might actually have baseball weather this week.

10. Taking Alla to a fun polymer clay class this weekend at Clay Squared to Infinity! She doesn't know, but since this is right up her alley, she is going to be over the moon!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

1. This girl, on her birthday eve. Twelve tomorrow. Sheesh.

2. The weather was amazing over the weekend, and now it's pouring and temperatures are dropping into the 40s (if we're lucky) for the next few days. Really ready for just short sleeves.

3. Tonight was supposed to be Fisher's first baseball game of the season, and he was on the roster as a pitcher! We got an unexpected night off because #2.

4. Ah, well, no baseball meant an early night, which meant several chapters of A Night Divided.

5. Fisher is looking forward to the district chess tournament on Saturday morning.

6. The birds (robins and doves) have been flying around looking to settle in for weeks, but, sadly, we don't see any nests. I wish the bunnies weren't getting cozy. They are eating my hostas, which was not a problem before last year. I have no idea what to do.

7. The nice weather over the weekend caused us to feel like we should be doing something with our yard instead of just sitting there reading books. So Ron thatched and I cleaned out beds and raked up all the dead grass. We are starting to wake up our gardening muscles.

8. I picked up a very cute book yesterday that Alla read in two hours - A Boy Called Bat. I am now reading this one along with Unbroken, though not nearly as quickly.

9. We haven't watched the previous seasons of American Crime, but this season is very good.

10. We also watched CNN's new series, Soundtracks, which is terrific.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Ten on Tuesday.

I am unable to stop with the beautiful Florida floral photographs. We have nothing like this here. The locals probably thought I was nuts going around and photographing their very everyday, expected flowers.
1. Fisher got Unbroken for his birthday (the young adult adaptation), and is now insisting that we all read it. It's been on my list (and my actual bookshelf) for years, so I'm glad for the push to get to it.

2. A book I recommend to absolutely everyone, and the book I read on spring break - The Hate U Give. Don't say I don't read YA, or this subject doesn't interest me. If you are a human living in our world today, this is required reading. It is easily one of the best books I have ever read.

3. Alla has found a new series - The Keeper of the Lost Cities. If you have a voracious reader who also loves Harry Potter and The Land of Stories, this may get you a stack that will last a few days!

4. Fisher has earned the number one spot in his school chess tournament, and is very much looking forward to the district-wide tournament in a couple of weeks.

5. Lately we are having a heck of a time finding kid movies for our Friday nights. The library's movies are picked-over and scratched up, and Netflix's pickings are slim at best.

6. A favorite easy recipe: 2 bananas, 1 cup quick oats, 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Mash it, form it into cookies, bake at 350 for 15 minutes. You can even serve them for breakfast.

7. We have a small living room/entry way by American standards, so you'd think it'd be super easy to find a company who could rip out our mish mash of carpeting and tile and put in something else. But, as I have found with almost every other aspect of home improvement, it is not easy.

8. I am eager for it to warm up quicker, for the temperature to warm to that easy feel where you can sit outside and wear flip flops and not grab a sweatshirt. I think what I'm wanting is, Florida on spring break temperatures. But all the cool is bringing rain, and the rain is bringing green, and that at least gives some hope that warmth might be on the way.

9. Fisher is growing as fast as the grass, and is in dire need of new pants. I took some fleece sweat pants from Alla's closet that were 5 inches too short on her, set them in his closet, and now he has two new pairs. Sometimes, even with a girl and a boy, you can do this. If you don't let on.

10. Today I am enjoying the fact that we have a nothing-night. No activities, meetings, baseball, nothing. Going to make a real dinner. A hot dinner.