Sunday, March 31, 2013

Easter Break and the Not So Unusual UNaccomplished To Do List

Although Easter break isn't technically over for the kiddos, it almost is for me. (Sad face) This is the last break before the end of the year, and it's almost time to hit the grindstone! I don't know about you, but I always have these elaborate big plans that I want to accomplish when we have big breaks...especially over a holiday. I know that trying to keep up with the Brown's (I think that's the saying?? Who knows...) has become a big deal in recent years, causing moms to stress themselves out with how much they are NOT going overboard like so and so did with their holiday plans.

I always have good intentions, and this weekend wasn't much different. We were going to dye Easter eggs, make Resurrection rolls, "Egg" people's houses, try out Grandma Pam's homemade roll recipe, and many other things. I'm also sure I am like most people in the "strive-to-be-mother-of-the-year" category when no matter how great your intentions, it is RARE that your to do list is accomplished by the end of the break. I can, however say that I do not get very discouraged when we don't accomplish everything because my kiddos are always having a great time.

I'm finding out that as my kids get older, hanging out with mom isn't nearly as cool as it once was. Where I used to take priority over everyone and everything else (except Grandma), I am now neck and neck with like 5th. Sad....I know. I'm starting to see myself more and more in my kids, especially Jae. I was definitely the social butterfly of my family growing up. There were few summer days when I wasn't out and about from sunrise to sunset with the exception of the 12 and 6 o'clock whistles. Friends were my life. I needed my friendships like a fish needs water. Watching Jae foster friendships and grow into the young lady that she is is worth far more than dyeing any amount of Easter eggs.

So we didn't dye eggs, but we did get to try out some new traditions that I think are quite fun (and a lot less messy).  I love holiday traditions, but Easter is one of those holidays that I wanted my kids to fully grasp. Even though my freak flag flies highest during Christmas, Easter has so much more of a sacred meaning, and so it becomes more of a holy freak flag kinda day. We don't believe in the Easter bunny at our house, mainly because sister's a little creeped out by giant bunnies. I can handle them on movies, in my TV screen, far away from me, but not in real life. It's one of the main reasons we don't go to Easter egg hunts in town anymore. (That and the crazy parents who shove toddlers out of the way to get their kids a couple flippin Easter eggs is quite frankly ridiculous) My feelings were reconfirmed when this picture was posted on facebook this week. Creepy much????
We do, however, do our own Easter egg hunts....with a twist. I found a printable on pinterest that allowed us to combine our holiday freak flag with a little bit of Jesus love. The kiddos loved it. It was a great way to incorporate the empty tomb and sharing it with our friends.
We also didn't make the Resurrection rolls I was dying to make again this year. :( That one made me a little sad, but Friday night's bedtime with my littles completely trumped all of the plans I had made.

It started with a little quality family bonding time. We were going to town to watch a movie, just the five of us, and low and behold....SOLD OUT. Ugh. So frustrated. Dan ended up staying in town to go to a movie with his buddy while we opted for our second choice.....Redbox, popcorn, and puffy bunny marshmallows. So we watched Rise of the Guardians. (Uber cute for freak flag fliers such as myself) PS. The bunny was manageable. Animation does wonders. When the movie was over, and we were getting ready for bed, we had a great conversation about Jesus, Good Friday, the Last Supper and Easter.

It began with Carter saying that Jesus was "like the best guardian ever". True dat! What followed was such a God thing. The conversations just flowed. We talked about how Friday was called "Good Friday" even though it was such a sad sad day. We discussed how he was crucified and rose again, and why we celebrate it. Even Sawyer piped in with a "Jesus on da cross. He lubs us". I just love bedtime for so many reasons, but even with talk time, heart checks, shadow puppets, bedtime stories, songs, etc....this one kinda topped the cake. It was amazeballs.

So along with remembering why we are actually on break (Thank you Jesus), we spent time with family and friends. We watched kids play. We enjoyed the much anticipated 50 and 60 degree days. We loved up new babies, we played with chalk, we went for runs, we lived our one wild and crazy life. The only casualty was a very large battle wound on Ten's forehead following a swingset collision. On the bright was shaped like an egg, so it totally matched the theme of the weekend. Girl likes to be in style.....Don't worry. It looked much worse than she lead on. I promise.

 After our family Easter, we cuddled up with the boys while Jae spent some quality time with Grandma, and watched our new Easter basket movies, and  then grilled for the first time this year....even though it was snowing. We're through with you winter. Take the hint!! Flip flops and capris are here to stay!
Why yes...that IS Full House season 1 in that basket. Glad you noticed. :)

As my break winds down and we start to prep for next week we are ending our night with the Bible miniseries that was on the History channel the last several weeks. I don't know if I'll be awake to finish the last episode since we had to catch up on one, but we'll get around to it! Tomorrow I will venture into a new challenge. I will attempt to make my mom's amazing homemade rolls. I promised Katie I would trade her a pan of rolls in exchange for her infamous Easter gorovei bread. She delivered. Please pray I will be able to as well!

I apologize for the lack of pictures. I put many of them on my camera and I haven't had time to upload or edit any. I also didn't take near as many as I thought I would! Here's to hoping you enjoyed your Easter weekend. Don't forget what Jesus has done for you.

John 3:16-17
"For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life. "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world should be saved through Him.

Friday, March 22, 2013

An Adoption Story

      When I was in high school, the TLC network on cable was becoming a pretty big hit. Everything was "a story": A Dating Story, A Baby Story, A Wedding Story, An Engagement Story, etc..... I'm not big on today's version of reality TV, but reality TV that was actually real- the kind where you could imagine what your life might be like in the future...the kind of reality that lets you dream....that kind I'm all over.
      For those that know me well, I'm a dreamer. My happiness comes from fantasizing about the future. Right now, I dream about vacations we'll take, the house we'll probably never build, the adventures our family will go on. Back then, though,  I dreamt about all the things these "stories" on this television network talked about: meeting the perfect guy, having a perfect engagement, planning the perfect wedding and having the perfect children.
     Funny how life works. Sometimes, especially when you are young and naive, you make choices that turn into responsibilities-bigger responsibilities than an 18 year old high school student should be able to handle. For me, these responsibilities crushed my perfect little plans of what my life should be like. I had wound up 18, pregnant, and with a boy who was no more ready to be a parent than I was.
       You find in moments like these, that everyone handles their own situations in a very different way. It's easy to get angry at another person's way of dealing with these curve balls, and try to make sense of it any way you know how. For a very long time, I didn't understand why I was the only parent who was madly in love with this 7 lb 3 oz bundle of joy. I didn't understand why my world was the only world that was wrapped around her, and why I was the only one thinking of her future and taking great pride in the fact that I was her protector. It was my job to keep her safe and raise her and keep her healthy. If I knew then what I know now....
     At first I clung onto the hope that this was just an age thing, and that it was just taking a little longer for him to get to the same place as I was. When that didn't happen, I began to think of what life would be like for us in the future. Were we mature enough to handle this? Was he the one I was supposed to marry? Were we just sticking together because we had a baby?
    It didn't take long for it to be abundantly clear that I was hanging around for all the wrong reasons, and the mommy guilt that followed was excruciatingly painful. What was I doing to her future by becoming a single mother? Would I be able to give her everything she needed or wanted? What kinds of questions would I need to answer later on about who he was and why he wasn't part of her life the way "normal" dads were apart of their children's lives?
    I have to be honest and say that I wrestled daily, sometimes hourly with these questions. This wasn't the life I planned for, and yet, this was the plan God had for our lives. Who was I to question the journey? God never said it would be easy. In fact, He made it perfectly clear that it would be hard, but he also said it would be worth it. And for the record, it so is.
      It's so funny how we make these plans for ourselves, and truly think that our plans won't get rocked by the One who is totally in control. Even better, when these plans you didn't make for yourself become the best freaking thing that ever happened to you, and the pieces of the puzzle just fit together so perfectly, you don't understand how you didn't predict this was coming.
      Guess what? That's exactly what He did. He rocked my world. He changed everything I had planned for my life, and made it better than all of the Dating, Engagement, Wedding, and Baby Stories put together. He gave me Dan. He gave me a daddy for my daughter, a best friend, a rock, a motivator, an encourager, a comedien and a companion. He gave me a young soul, much like myself, who sacrificed and worked hard to provide for our little family.

     Now,  I don't believe in soul mates. I think there are many people whom I could be married to and have a very good life. I do, however, think that God picked this man just for me. Not so I could have a good life, but so that I could have a GREAT life. I believe that the one who helped me create such a beautiful little lady has someone who fits for him so much better than I could have ever fit into his life. God did that. Sometimes I think....this whole stinkin world would be so effed up if I was in charge.
        When I look at my life now, I don't think about the scary questions I'll have to answer and all the things that could screw her up. I'm sure I do that enough to all of my littles on my own without anyone else's help. I always wondered how I was supposed to handle things as she grew up. Her grandparents and other family members were active parts of her life, and I knew that someday she was going to ask me why she had grandparents her brothers didn't have, and I would have little boys who would ask me why they couldn't go with "Grandma Patty or Grandma Tracy". And those things happened...they were inevitable pieces of Jae's puzzle that she had to put together. So I took the wise advice of my mama who said, "Answer the questions she asks you, honestly and gently and with grace, and don't give out more information than she is needing to know at that very moment."
      I've clung to that advice, and have needed to use it on many, many occasions. I needed it when out of the blue one day, my daughter asked me if she had another dad. (Um, hello big yellow bus.) She had heard it somewhere and was curious. So I gripped the edge of my seat and I explained to her in the best way I could how our situation came to be. And when I put my hands on her shoulders and looked her in the eyes and asked her if there were any other questions she had been wondering about, bracing myself for the dam I was about to break open, she said, "Nope, and I'll have a popsicle thank you very much." Well alright then....the massive conversation I had been preparing 7 long years for was over in 2 minutes. "The conversation" didn't take away the fact that Dan was her dad or that she still had more grandparents and aunts and uncles and cousins that loved her. It didn't damage her and it certainly didn't make her lose her sense of who she was. It didn't change anything.

    I'm convinced now more than ever that allowing his family to stay apart of her life was the best decision I ever made. It validated her importance in that family. I watch her face light up when she is invited to her cousins' birthday parties or sleepovers at Grandma Tracy's, and it makes me melt. She uses my phone and my facebook to send her grandma messages that tell Grandma how much she loves her. She scopes out church on Sunday mornings to find her grandma every single Sunday in hopes that it means this Sunday is a Grandma and Jaedyn day. Some people may find it weird that our family sits with my ex-fiance's mother in church, but for us this is normal and healthy and good. It reminds her that she's special, and that as unorthodox or non traditional as we may be, she is freaking loved. How can that ever be a bad thing?

     The relationship that has been formed between Jaedyn and Dan is one that only God could have built. You would NEVER know that she wasn't biologically his child. They are two peas in a pod. They both anticipate their day...the day when Jaedyn officially became a Wolfswinkel,  every.single.year. March 5 is a day they spend months planning and hours talking about.. Throughout the year, I'll frequently hear both of them say, "We need to keep this one in mind for our day."

      As much as life would have been easier had Jaedyn been "ours" from day one, the teachable moments and joy and self confidence boosters and happiness that having this other family stay connected to her life has brought upon her (and me) is worth so much more than I ever could have possibly imagined.
    If you would have told me 10 years ago that this is what my life would look like, I'd never have believed you. The journey has been amazing and inspiring. It reminds me that God is in control. It doesn't come without its frustrations or challenges, but I go to bed each night knowing that the decisions I've made for her and myself and our family have been the right ones.

    So if you are in this situation, and I know lots of you are where I am or where I've been at some point on this journey, don't give up hope. Know that you are not screwing up your children. Your motherly instincts are almost always, 99% of the times perfectly spot on. Whether they are telling you to stay or go, do what makes you happy or what is best for your littles, and listen to it. Follow that path. It's not easy...but I promise you IT'S WORTH IT!
 The Voice
There is a voice inside of you
That whispers all day long
"I feel that this is right for me,
I know that this is wrong."
No teacher, preacher, parent, friend
Or wise man can decide
What's right for you---just listen to
The voice that speaks inside

Monday, March 18, 2013

Pukey McPukeFace and a Little Randomness

I sit here in my big comfy chair, haven't had my cup of coffee yet. I'm a mess. I'm exhausted. I have three blog posts with titles that I haven't begun yet, but I have lots of jumbled up words in my head that will eventually make it from my brain to my fingers and onto this blog. Sleep has apparently been overrated this weekend as my boys haven't been sleeping in their beds terribly well, and both nights this weekend, I woke up with one leg off of my tremendously large California King size bed while feet were in my face and arms were around my neck. I presume it's because we moved them in together this weekend--we'll get to that in a moment. My mom, Jaedyn and I went to see Oz yesterday, and about half way through the movie, Jaedyn's face goes completely white and she asks me to take her to the bathroom. Can you guess what happens? I'll spare you the details. Let's just say: all over the trashcan. All over the wall. All over the toilet. All over her face. Awesome. Needless to say, I'm in my big comfy chair and not teaching sweet little 2nd graders because I am home with Pukey McPukeFace.

I'll try to pull apart our week and pick some highlights to share with you, but I need to get myself a cup of coffee, PRONTO! By this part in the game, you should know that we do things in a slightly unorthodox fashion. We rarely think before we act. This can be good and bad, but in this case, I'm hoping it was a good decision. We have two bedrooms upstairs. One is Carter's, and one is Sawyer's. We've talked for some time about putting Sawyer and Carter in the same room and turning Sawyer's room into the playroom. There are many reasons why the basement isn't working anymore, and so we've been trying to convince Carter that this was a good idea. Up until Saturday, he wasn't always so thrilled, but he decided that having his own place space upstairs trumped having to share your room with your little brother. We will see how this goes.

Dan decided that if we were going to go ahead with this, then we were going to cut the wall open for the closet like we did with Carter's room last year. This requires a demolition of sorts and A LOT OF CLEAN UP, not to mention dust and nails and copious amounts of work that I could do without. So demolish we did, and I have to say that I'm relieved that part is over, even if it will take awhile to get the doors put in. If Sawyer and Carter can't handle sleeping in the same room, at least he will have a better closet!
Behind the entire length of this wall is a beautiful closet that we could never get to because it had one door and no light.
This is only a small chunk of the demolition that was done. It took us 8 hours to demolish and clean up. LONG Saturday!

This is where we are at now. It's cleaned up. YAY! Now all we need is a little bit of sheet rock, some trim and a couple doors and voila!
Hopefully this is what it will look like! :)

Other exciting highlights of my week.....
*One of my besties from grade/highschool had her twins on Tuesday. Mama did a good job with Avery Maureen and Sadie Ann. 6 lbs 13oz and 6 lbs 14oz. I got to go visit mama in the hospital, but unfortunately I have yet to meet the pretty little ladies, so I have no pictures to share with you. (Next time!) There were lots of people who wanted to love them up in the NICU. I think Jills needed her hubby if she couldn't be holding her ladies, and so I didn't make him drag me back down there. They had tons of people who wanted to see them anyways, so I will just have to make another trip to visit. Darn! I've been held over with lots of pictures so that will suffice for now. It's absolutely amazing welcoming a good friend into mamahood. It's the best place to live!

*We had a couple days of spring teasing weather. 56 was the high, and it was magnificent. Windows down magnificent. I will be happy to trade in driving to work with a sunrise to having my windows down and welcoming Spring with open arms. Winter needs to LET GO. You've had your chance GONE, and take your chilly temperatures and crummy wind with you.!

At some point, I'll get you a meaningful blog post, but for today, I'm off to clean, sort and love up some littles. Enjoy your Monday!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Happiness is.....

Homemade rolls. Not just ANY homemade rolls. Mom's homemade rolls. There is very little in this world that is more delicious than mom's homemade carmel rolls. I remember waking up on Saturday mornings, lured to the kitchen with the mouthwatering scent of dough rising in the kitchen. Mom, of course, who had been up since 6:30 in the morning was slaving away, punching down the dough in the great big yellow bowl, cutting out a chunk, patting down flour on the table, rolling it out..... What followed next was a very "complex" process of buttering the dough just right, sprinkling just the perfect amount of sugar and cinnamon in the middle and rolling up that long piece of dough, cutting off the ends and evenly slicing it into 8 equal pieces. If you were patient enough to get to this point, the ugly end pieces that didn't fit in with the perfectly cut ones were yours to eat. If you were REALLY lucky, you got your own piece to roll out, butter and sprinkle for yourself. This memory will forever be stored in my bank as one of my childhood favorites. Thinking about it now, I don't even have the recipe in my own kitchen. I suppose that will be changing soon. It's high time we pass on this tradition to the Wolfswinkel Littles.
       For now however, we will welcome surprise pans of rolls in our van that required no slaving of our own. :)

So good. Sharing is not an option.

Spring Forecasts
Snow in November-Yes. Snow in December- better be. Snow in January-Duh. Snow in February-I can handle it. Snow in March- UNACCEPTABLE. As I'm typing this, I'm sitting inside my warm house on a Sunday morning looking out my window at the blizzard of sorts that is overtaking Hospers, IA.
 We are snowed in, and even though it's completely depressing that the snow is falling now as opposed to, I don't know, December when it should have fallen, I am enjoying the opportunity to sit with my clan of 5 in my big comfy chair, watching Beezus and Ramona, blogging, sipping my cup of coffee and watching my little men play cars and listening to them make up their own songs when they think no one is paying attention. That part is just heavenly. And I suppose bearable because this is in the forecast for next week.
Take that snow!

Lunch dates with special 2nd graders.
One of the things that second graders are expected to do at my school is read 10 books a month outside of school. We call it their yellow book, and the point is to encourage reading beyond the classroom setting as they get older. For some students, they take the challenge seriously, and not wanting their hard work to go unnoticed, I bargained that if any of my students read at least 30 books in any given month, I would take them out for lunch. One girl in particular, took the challenge and read 30 books in the month of February of all months. That's more than a book a night and in the shortest month of the year. Needless to say, I was one proud teacher. She chose a lunch date at Subway and it sure beat popcorn chicken and mashed potatoes in the school cafeteria. Way to go girlie!

Weekday Mornings
Our mornings are CRAZY here. We all love our sleep a little too much, and would rather sleep an extra couple of minutes than eat breakfast or apparently, stay sane, so our mornings are always rush, rush, rush. I know I've said it before, but those first three minutes are absolutely the best part of my morning. When my baby comes and cuddles with me, my heart just melts. It makes the rest of the morning of chaos well worth the effort.

Talk Time
We started a new tradition at bedtime in the Wolfswinkel household. It's called "Talk Time". I try to do it with each of my kids at least once a week, and they absolutely love it. We take 10 minutes and let them ask any questions they want. The questions have been about us when we were little and them when they were little. We want to encourage them to talk to us about things that are happening at school or things that they enjoy or things that bother them. I'm hoping to encourage an open relationship with my kids by doing this, and so far it's been a success. We added this to our bedtime arsenal of shadow puppets and heart checks. Bedtime is quickly becoming my favorite part of the day!

In other news, it's been a nice weekend over here. Friday night the guys had poker and so half of our lady clan sat around the house and watched two NW Iowa teams win their championship games. We followed it with One Tree Hill and lots of conversation and laughter while the kids played loudly in the basement. Saturday was busy, but good. It started off with Body Flow with a good friend, a baby shower, and finished off with evening at the Schelling household eating Taco Pie, making dream boards, playing cards and watching SNL.

I'm signing off. Comfy chairs and little people are calling my name! Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Love Wins

In the past year crappy things have happened. I suppose not unlike any other year, but this year they are happening to people I know and people I love, and yes, sometimes even to me. And you know what? They are happening OFTEN. Being a christian, my job is to let God take the wheel. My husband would say, "If you don't stop back seat driving, we're turning around and going back home. Shut up." Harsh, but true. I like to drive. It's freeing. I'm in control. I get to choose the music. I get to pick the route. It's all me baby. The pressure, however, is also on me. I need to keep my eyes on the road and keep us safe. People count on me. That's a scary feeling, and no matter how much I love to drive in the real world, I don't think I want that job in the metaphorical world.

Where are you going with this Mandi? Well, this past year has brought about a lot of garbage. People I love have gotten cancer, and people I know love people who have gotten cancer or died from cancer or kidney failure or pneumonia or insert disease here. Little ones are being left behind without mamas and daddies. Car accidents are claiming lives of babies and mommies and daddies and sisters and brothers. Broken bones ruined summers and falls and winters. Littles are being taken to Jesus far too soon in my humble opinion, bodies don't heal themselves and are forcing loved ones to prepare to say goodbye to family members. Marriages fall apart. Fires claim houses. A 22 year old becomes a widow. I don't even want to continue. It's sad. It sucks. It clouds my head and makes my heart ache and makes me question "Why God? much more than I'm sure he deems appropriate. I have a sneaking suspicion that our cozy little corner of the earth has sent up our fair share of why's lately. Of this I'm certain.

I don't deal well with sadness. I really don't. My experiences in the 27 years of life I've been on this earth have made me resilient and I hate to say it, a little hard. They've done a good job of making me push out the bad and only take in the good. Let me tell you, it's not as awesome as you think. Here's why. I've lost a lot of raw emotion out of this deal. I get sad, sure, but then I get angry, and I let whining and complaining and all of those annoying parts of my being take over, and what you get is a gal you'd really like to beat with a very large stick.

Here's what I've concluded. The people who are the happiest and healthiest in this life are the ones who let raw emotion fly. They break when they need to break. They experience every emotion painfully and beautifully. They let themselves question and reflect and wrestle with their own God, this life and all that happens in it. A blogger I'm fond of over at Momastery says that this life is brutiful. It's brutal and beautiful all at the same time. I like that word. It reminds me that bad things happen, but in the midst of the bad there is ALWAYS good. People come together to rally for those who are hurting. Meals are brought, cards are sent, prayers are lifted up and a community is formed. Whoever started, "It takes a Village" was onto something. Dude, community is powerful. Alone, grief rains down hard. It makes you want to hide under your covers in your feety pajamas with the doors locked, hair uncombed, living on nothing but cinnamon toast crunch and half a can of diet coke. But together....together is way better. Together,  we are mighty freaking Warriors. We carry on, head held high, holding up the person next to us when they are too weak to go on.  It's beautiful. It's brutiful. I'm aware I'm using this twice in a week, but it's totally worth the message.

"This is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen here. Don't be afraid."--Frederick Beuchner

Please don't think I'm oblivious. I know that community doesn't take away pain and frustration and anger and heartache and loss. It doesn't wrap them up with bright shiny paper and deliver them with a satin pink ribbon. No, it doesn't. It does remind us that this life is fleeting. It is short. God's in control. I don't know my expiration date, but I know I have one. I want to be the one who genuinely lives out the pain, but then gets back up. Carries on like a Warrior. I want to find the diamond in the rough. I need to see the good. I want to get the message out of life and suck out all the happiness I can find. I want to experience every emotion boldly and sincerely, without reservations.

So right now I am going to boldy and brutifully give and receive love. Lots of people need it. My job is not an easy one, but it is rewarding. I may not know you, and especially if I do, whatever muddy swamp you are stuck in right now, whatever mountain you are climbing, we're here. I'm here. Carry on Warrior.

"We can do hard things.
Love wins.
We belong to each other."

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Enjoying the Small Things

This week was filled with chaos. Parent teacher conferences killed me. By Tuesday night I was beat and I still had two days left to survive. I haven't been to zumba since last week Tuesday and so my ankle was stiff and much my pain pill didn't work. To top it off, we are trying to figure out how we are going to survive the next year with another $500 plus monthly payment. It was exhausting, but somehow, I managed to find the good....a lot of it. So here it goes:

This week I enjoyed.....

Spending a few hours catching up with one of my besties. We talked about life and enjoyed each other's company. It's not often I get one on one time with my friends so it was a real perk to my weekend, even if it was wayyy past my bed time. I don't think I've seen 3:00 AM in awhile.

Kids who belt out songs during church. As my kids get older and start to read, they are starting to participate more and more in the church service. Lately, when we sing during church, Jae and Carter each find me or Dan, stand in front of us, and pull their arms around their necks as they belt out praises to Jesus. Heavenly. 

Littles who fall asleep on me. My kids were never cuddlers or rockers, so when I get one of them to fall asleep on me, I'm in heaven.

Hot chocolate and marshmallows. It's been a pretty mild winter again this year, and while I'm not complaining, I like to have one good dumping, a blizzard even. Just enough for a snow day and some good old fashioned sledding. Well, we got a mini dumping (only about six inches), but it was enough for the kids to go to the big snow pile and do a little sledding and fort making. Nothing like a great big puffy heart marshmallow and some cutesy mini coffee mugs to make hot chocolate drinking a little party.

Early morning walks and Saturday morning coffee. Little is better than good long walks with your best friend and a warm cup of coffee. I HATE the treadmill, so I finally mustered up enough motivation to bundle up and head outside to get some fresh air. Let me tell ya, I never regret it. Not. Ever. I'm anticipating the next step which is preparing myself to run. I need to get back into training since I signed up for the Color Vibe in June. It's going to be symbolic of getting back on the horse. It will be a little more than a year from that day that I broke my ankle. I get butterflies in my stomach even thinking about it. It will be an exciting day!

Dutch babies. My good friend Robin introduced me to this little slice of heaven a few years ago. They are basically a baked pancake, but they are insanely delightful and so easy to make. We don't often get to have breakfast so when we get days off from school, it's always begged for. Here's the recipe in case you'd like to introduce this yummy goodness into your home!

6 eggs
4 tablespoons of butter
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup of milk
1 cup of flour

Heat your oven to 400 degrees, melt the butter in a 9x13 pan by placing it in the oven (unless you like burnt butter, keep your eye on it. It doesn't take long to melt)
Meanwhile, Whip your eggs together: add milk, flour and salt. Blend together and pour over the melted butter.
Increase the oven temperature to 450 and bake for 15-20 minutes, reduce heat to 350 and bake for another 5 minutes.
Top it off with some powdered sugar and voila!!
 Lazy Sundays. Sundays with no place to go and nothing to do are rare, but amazing! After a long week (or in this case before one) I love cuddling up on the couch watching HGTV and taking a nap with Dan and the kids. It's the small things people.

Pajama Glam Oscar Party minus the glam this year. Amy and I have decided that we would like to dress up in our pj's and wear costume jewelry while we sip on wine and see how many movies we've heard of. (Personally I would like to do this with the Grammy's. I seriously only heard of like 3 movies this year.) Anyways, I'm a firm believer that anything is a party if you make it one! Anyhow, I was caught off guard last week when I found out the Oscars were on exactly 32 minutes before they began. (I guess, the Oscars and the Golden Globes are two different shows. Who knew?) Next year....

A daughter whose growing up to become a thoughtful young lady. This morning I was woken up to this. Enough said.

If ever there is a bad day. It can always be fixed with Chinese and wine. Weird combination? Maybe, but tasty. In my opinion, everything goes with wine.

Thoughtful husbands. Or husband. Singular. Knowing I was going to be dead tired, Dan had drawn a bubble bath ready and waiting with a glass of orange julius waiting for me when I walked through the door. I even forgave him because it wasn't wine. ;) I only lasted about 10 minutes and fell asleep immediately after in the chair, but it was the thought that counted!

I hate pictures with the flash! I WILL learn how to use my camera this summer. Bucket list!
Impromptu dance parties. Really impromptu anything, but it's even better when it's in the middle of your cleaning party (see what I mean about the party thing?) . I was vacuuming when Sawyer taps me on the shoulder and says, "Mommy, dance with me." Who can say no to that? So dance we did. And we dipped. And twirled. And curtsied.

As I go back and reread this, I'm noticing a lot of references to wine. It WAS a long week. I'll try to reel it in next week. :) Happy weekend friends!!

“The greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.”
― Martha Washington