Sunday, January 27, 2013

Loving Ordinary

It doesn't take much for me to complain about the mundane of a typical day in the Wolfswinkel household. Anyone who knows me well enough knows that our mornings almost ALWAYS go to crap starting at about 6:47 a.m. beginning with kids who don't want to get up or conveniently forget the rule about no TV until after EVERYTHING is done, or decide they NOW want breakfast exactly 4.5 minutes before we are supposed to walk out the door. Yep. That's us. It is usually followed by regrettable yelling and screaming in the car about how I'm going to wake everyone up at least 30 minutes earlier and how I'm going to start taking bedtimes away in 15 minute increments if they don't get their crap together. And yes. Sometimes I accidentally say crap in the heat of the moment. They are never some of my proudest moments, and I always promise myself I'll try harder to be more patient the next morning. Being a working mom has it's perks (paychecks, getting out of the house, living the dream), but it also has it's downfalls (constant busy-ness, messy houses, never home, endless to do lists). I'm a whiner by nature. I hate to admit this because it's one of the qualities that on occasion make me want to stick a Free-to-a-good-home sign on my kiddos and set them on the curb, but I guess the apples don't far from this mama's tree.

Anywho, this is where I'm going with this story. I complain a lot about the normal things in my average, mundane, ordinary life. But lately, I've really tried to find the sliver of sunshine in an otherwise normal 24 hour period. I've vastly improved my patience level in the mornings over the course of the last week and a half, and it really does make my mornings go much smoother. I find that my attitude goes down in the dumps quickly during these cold winter months, and I thought I'd share some of the things that I'm loving about ordinary right now.

Sawyer comes and cuddles with me in the mornings for exactly 3 minutes when he wakes up. They are the most glorious 3 minutes of my entire day!
The sunrises in the morning on my way to work have been the most gorgeous things to witness lately. This picture doesn't do it justice, but man I'm so in love.
I have the best job ever. I was never meant to be a stay at home mom, but this right here tops the cake. I love coming to school every day doing what I love!! It hardly feels like work.
The icing on the cake is that I get to see my dad every single day I go to work. Talk about blessed.
On the rare occasions we don't have much to do at night or even if we have a few free moments right after school, I swallow up these moments of lounging on the couch cuddling with my littles.

He's the best cuddler there is.
Two days a week I get to shake my groove thing with my besties at zumba. It hardly feels like a workout and we have so much fun!
Bedtime routines at our house are a blast. Who doesn't love shadow puppets?!

I can hardly believe he's reading all by himself. It makes me one proud mama.

As I look back over this list, I realize how blessed I am and all that I have to be grateful for. Will I still complain? Probably. Will we still have crappy mornings rushing out the door to barely get to school on time. Definitely. But I am looking at my ordinary days with a different lens. A lens of gratitude and thankfulness and the realization that my littles won't be littles for very long. Sunrises won't come up at the exact same time I'm leaving for work pretty soon so I'm soaking it in. Bedtime routines will change because they will get older and shadow puppets won't be so cool anymore. But no matter what changes or what stays the same, I will enjoy these fleeting moments and grab tight. I will put these memories in a lock box and hang on to them tight. What are you loving about your ordinary life right now???

Monday, January 21, 2013

Impromptu is Our Middle Name

Spur of the moment, last minute, procrastinator, impromptu...all of these words vividly describe my personality, and typically, there is a negative connotation behind all of them. Take for example that my son will be done with wrestling after this weekend and I have yet to fill out the paper work and pay for him to participate. Thankfully, my dear cousin Heidi knows me and hasn't kicked us to the curb...yet. However, this weekend, we took impromptu to a whole new level. Like let's-get-away-for-the-weekend-and-leave-in-an-hour type of impromptu. Did I mention my hubby is a bit nuts? Because he is. And I love it. (Most of the time) So we left the dishes in the sink, the laundry overflowing baskets in our bedroom, messy bedrooms with unmade beds and toilets that needed scrubbing, and we high-tailed it out of town for a 24 hour getaway (Not unlike the small Minneapolis Getaway of October 2012 ;) ) The kids were all sorts of excited about's all we heard every five seconds the whole way down.
She looks so excited. Can you tell she's almost a tween. GAH!    

And while it was a short trip. It was oh so memorable. It wasn't without it's flaws, like let's say for example forgetting to take your son's medication makes for a VERY excited little boy who can't contain his enthusiasm and requires at least 5 reminders for every task. Dad was super impressed. (Not so much)
The kids were mesmerized by the view from our hotel. I'd have to say, mom and dad were a bit too. This is how the rest of our Saturday commenced: window peeking, swimming, hot tubbing, jumping on beds, and giggling until our sides hurt.

Watch me Dad!

Taking a little break from getting jammies on by jumping on the bed. No harm, no foul.

"I is so cold mommy"
We enjoyed the sleeping in and the long showers and the care free attitude because we had nowhere we had to be at that very moment. Note to self- when you take away a schedule, life it so.much.better. So a trip to Denny's and a hop, skip and a jump later, we were at the Mall of America ready to get our rides on. As much as I hate to see my kids growing up so fast, it has been so much fun to be able to do things as a family unit more and more. As Sawyer gets older and taller, his affinity for adventure does too. He was all in for this trip. Nothing scared him! Here are a few of our favorite moments from the day.
Waiting in line for Diego's bus!

Daddy and Sawyer waiting for the log ride!

First ride of the day- Ferris wheel. CHECK He loved waiting for Dan, Jaedyn and Carter to get into view and frantically wave, "Hi guys!!"

Sawyer building a HUGE tower with dad at Legoland

One of the few attitudeless pictures with my first born

Waiting for a table at Kokomo's. First off---wrong genders maybe? Secondly, this place does wonders to make your mind take you to a tropical place, especially an hour before you brave the -35 degree windchill on the way home.

We found the old home plate for the Twin's Stadium. My dad always has such fond memories. It was fun to be able to capture a snapshot of something that was so important to his childhood.

I promised him this would be the best ride the whole day. You wouldn't believe me by the looks of this picture, but I promise he told me it was his favorite.

I believe he's saying, "NO DADDY NO"

Bumper cars were a hit!

The only family picture we got, but it will do!
Minus a few bumps in the road like a daughter who acts like she's 16 once in awhile, repeating directions a million times, leaving a pillow at the hotel, and a hubby with a nasty migraine headache who wore headaches to drown out my singing the whole way home, I would say this impromptu getaway was a success.

So for us today, impromptu is positive. Impromptu means living in the moment. Impromptu means memory making with the people you love. Thank you John and Jean for the free passes. You helped us make some memories this weekend. Happy Monday!

Monday, January 14, 2013

October Happenings

I'd have to say that most of you who read this blog probably also have me on Facebook, so catching up on my life is probably pretty easy. I need to remember that this blog is a creative outlet for me and my family, a way to look back on "yesterday" and relive it all over again. With that being said, I apologize for repeating things you maybe already know! Over the last 5 months (since I've written last--OOPS), things have gotten 100 times better. I went from a scooter, to a walking boot, to my very own healed ankle! Who would have thought I'd be so excited to clean again! Without my amazing physical therapy team, I would NOT be where I am today. Thanks Steve, Kristi, Kristy, Julie, and the rest of  the team! I finally graduated right before January, and I'm enjoying the extra "free" time.

One of the things I promised my kids is that when I was boot free, we would do a short family get away that would have to compensate for no summer vacation. In October, we took a very impromptu trip to Minneapolis to the Waterpark of America. (And by impromptu, I mean, Dan called me Friday at 1:00 and said, "Come straight home after school, we are headed to Minneapolis tonight.") Usually, this would have thrown me for a loop. No time to get my ducks in a row, but oh how fun it was! We didn't get to Minneapolis until 9:00, but we got to our hotel, threw on our swimming suits and headed straight for the pool. Dan can be kind of a wuss ( ;) totally kidding if you are reading this dear!!), and decided the water was FAR too cold to actually get into, and since there was no hot tub, he would cheerfully sit on the side and cheer on cannonballs and judge breath holding contests and best splashes from the sidelines. One bonus of our little hotel stay was that they screwed up our room, so we were treated to complimentary nachos and drinks while we cozied up in bed to watch some late night TV. The kids were THRILLED we let them stay up until 11:30!

The Waterpark was SO amazing. Next time, we will plan ahead and make sure to get a room at the hotel it's connected at as well. Lucky for us, we have a fearless 3 year old who loves water slides and pretty much anything the big kids do. We spent a WONDERFUL day, going up and down waterslides. Our favorite? The family tube that shot all 5 of us down an exciting, screamtastic waterslide. It was so worth the 30 minute wait! Dan and Jaedyn tried out the bodyboarding pad. It was such a hoot to watch. I apparently don't have the camera skills my husband wishes I had, however. I was scolded horribly for not putting the video in the highest resolution, so it was a dud I was told. We hot tubbed, rode the waves and the lazy river and just enjoyed, for the first time in a long time, a weekend away. Just us. The icing on the cake was a trip to The Rainforest Cafe in the Mall of America- a place Dan and I have been to numerous times, but the kids loved the atmosphere, the jungle sounds, the fake thunderstorms with lightning to boot. It was so memorable. I enjoyed every minute!! And while it was a trip lasting almost exactly 24 hours, it was exactly what we needed to recharge our batteries!
This is really the only good picture I got on this trip. The one downfall of impromptu is that you forget things. :/
A few weeks later, Dan and I headed our itty bittys to Omaha for none other than the Red Hot Chili Pepper concert. We had planned this back in May for our October date night, and it aligned very nicely with Dan's birthday so with hugs and kisses and see you soons, we headed out, ready for a weekend where we could recharge OUR batteries. It had been such a long summer and we were so bummed about missing Cancun and all the summery goodness that we missed, we were ecstatic to be spending the weekend away doing some Christmas shopping (in October!! WHAT?), an outing to the comedy club for some laughs, some chocolate and champagne, sleeping in and playing RACKO in bed with our Starbuck's White Chocolate Mochas and not having to hurry...a bit.

I'm sorry sir...This is not a parking spot. And here's your sign.
Totally worth the splurge to be able to watch reruns of The Big Bang Theory in your bathtub. Yes please :)
Enjoying a night out in the Old Market
Racko and A White Chocolate Mocha....Heaven
Red Hot Chili Peppers
To top the weekend off, we screamed our lungs out with a bestie and her hubby and her friend and sang along to some of the greatest rock music ever made (in my humble opinion). And even though we didn't get home until 2 in the morning, it was so worth the half of a personal day I had to take to capture some new memories and rekindle some flames in a fire that was being smothered by broken ankles and back to school and the never ending list of to-do's that all too often never get done. And that my friends is how we do October.
Pre-voice losing
And for those of you thinking....uh's January 14...I know. But in good Mandi fashion, if it's not late, then it's not me. :) So with that, I will continue to catch up on November and December later, but for now...Peace out. Enjoy this cold day doing something warm and fuzzy or if nothing else wearing something warm and fuzzy!