Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Enjoying and Happy Spring!

Last week was the first day of Spring! YAY!!! Even as I headed out the door to school that morning with frost caked on my windshield, I was reminded that Iowa doesn't always care about seasons. However, it's the mental shift in the calendar. Spring is coming, and with it, bright colors and green grass and playing outside and bike rides and colored chalk and walks and pounding pavement with my running shoes. I'm ecstatic to say the least. My soul can only take so much of this cold weather. In fact, at some point this winter, I've convinced my husband that Florida sounds pretty darn good. All of my real estate browsing in the Naples area has finally rubbed off as I got an e-mail from my husband the other day with this picture attached.

"What's in St. Petersburg?" I asked. Apparently, there was a salesman at DHI who lives in St. Petersburg. Dan got the scoop on the housing market and the pros and cons of Florida. I love that man. Even though we both know that moving to Florida will probably never happen anytime soon because we love our families too much to uproot our lives and move the equivalent of a 25 hour drive from the people we care about the most, it's fun for us to dream and spend two hours searching for real estate and jobs on any given evening. We may be a boring couple to some, but I'd rather be boring with him than "happenin" with anybody else. Alright, enough mush. BUT....on the plus side, Mr. Salesman said he'd put in a good word if Dan ever chose to make the move. Bonus? It's only 4 minutes from the beach. 

Drive to work sunrises are back. Last year, my kids were so annoyed with me because every single morning I would shout at them to look in their back window at the pinks and purples and oranges and yellows, and all the crazy designs God had painted in the sky. For awhile, every time I let out a squeal, they thought I was losing my mind, but after awhile, they just nodded and smiled. "Yep mom. That's cool." "Please don't pull over to take another picture, mom. We're late already."  I'm winning them over yet, though. Yesterday, Carter was the first to point out the beauty. :) It's the small things people.

March 21st was the 9th annual World Down Syndrome Awareness Day, and I couldn't be prouder to support my friends and my friends' littles who are so amazing. #bethechange

Our March date became a "family date". This year, I decided to incorporate some dates that included our family. I think it's super important to show your kids how necessary it is to take time out to "date" your spouse. They need to see that we carve out time to be with one another without the distraction of technology and other day to day things to really show each other we love spending time with them. We also think it's important to take time to do things as a family. We decided to go rock climbing because it was a first for the kids. After they realized it wasn't as hard as it looked, they really enjoyed it!! I sacrificed my rock climbing time so I could save money for a DQ stop on the way home. I'm nice like that. :)

Last Friday was Sawyer's Kindergarten Round up Day. He had been super excited for weeks to come to Carter and Jaedyn's school and see Mom and Grandpa, but when he woke up that morning, he crawled into my bed, climbed under the covers and stated so calmly that he would in fact NOT be going to Kindergarten because he has decided he is going to stay 4 forever. He thinks he'll keep his teacher and life will be just dandy. Panic stricken, I made Dan give him a 10 second pep talk before he headed out to work which didn't do much except make him more sure of his decision. However, by the time he walked into school, he was warming up to the idea of getting to be in this building with us every day. Mrs. Dahm and Mrs. Baker both told me he did such a great job, and he came home bubbly and excited that he had gotten his very own pair of scissors. I think we heard "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" story retold about 25 times that weekend. He's going to do just fine. I'm not sure I'm ready yet for him to be in Kindergarten. It seems so final. Like we are starting a new chapter in the Wolfswinkel household. In any case, it will be nice to have him with me every day!

Looking forward to summer so I can write more than once every other week! Hopefully I'll be back this weekend! Happy Hump Day!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Enjoying the Small Things

I've been so over this winter since the day after Christmas. I hate cold, and these negative temperatures have really brought out the worst in my seasonal depression. I'm sick of waking up to these temperatures to head to the gym.

Today was such a breath of fresh air...literally. I've been waiting to run outside again for weeks. My lungs just couldn't handle this below zero air any longer. So I sucked it up and surrendered to the treadmill. I never thought I'd say I woke up at 5AM on a Monday morning in -18 degree weather to run 4 miles on a treadmill, but it happened. Naturally, when the temperature hit 57 degrees today, I took full advantage. I ran 6 miles and walked 2 with a friend, and plan to keep hitting the pavement as long as these temperatures last. I am willing spring to come darnit. The flip flops may just make an appearance if this weather stays put!!!

Anyways, back to enjoying:

Saturday spa days

Jae woke me up last Saturday to enjoy a little pampering. She found a recipe for a natural honey/oatmeal mask and gave me a calming hand massage. It was heavenly. I reciprocated the gesture by throwing some warm towels and bath robes in the dryer, putting on some yoga music on pandora, dimming the lights, and giving them a little back massage. Who says a back massage from a four year old can't be fun?

Girlfriends and the Johnny Holm Band

Last  year over Valentine's weekend, my sister in law invited me to see a cover band with some of her friends from work. Another gal had to cancel, and they didn't want to sit on the ticket. I had never heard of the Johnny Holm band, and was a little leery when they started playing. There was A LOT of country music and not a lot of dancing going on, but by the end of the night, I didn't have a voice. When I got home, I raved about them to my husband and told him if they ever came around again, we'd be heading back. Well sure enough, they were back at the Shrine for Valentine's weekend again, and so Dan drove 3 of my girlfriends and myself to the concert. What a great night it was! I highly recommend J.L. Beers (downtown Sioux Falls) and the Johnny Holm band if you ever need some weekend fun!

This book: 14,000 Things to be Happy About

When seasonal depression gets the best of me, this is the best pick me up. I put in my headphones, play some Bon Iver and highlight away to my heart's content.

Playing cars

This boy would be happier with nothing more than an ice cream bucket full of matchbox cars and his car rug. Usually, I don't get the luxury of playing with him and  big brother, but on this particular day, I was cordially invited to spend some QT on their sacred play mat. It was fun listening to them play make believe. It's a very different than the way girls play, but I was honored nevertheless.

Date Night

I've loved this idea since I first saw it on pinterest. We have never been together just "Dan and I". We've always had at least one child in tow, and I've never regretted that. It does, however, make date nights harder to come by, and the easiest "go to" is typically dinner and a movie, locally even. This monthly date night thing has become something to look forward to, and I hope it will stick around year after year.

Since January's date night at the casino seeing Nicholas David was quite the spendy date, I decided to reel it in and make a date night in our February night out. Dan wasn't to thrilled at first. A "staycation" isn't nearly as thrilling as an overnighter at a casino, but I promised I would make it worthwhile. After a lot of thought, I decided to make it a Mexican theme night. My mom took the kids, and I got a hold of some Mexican posters and decorations from a colleague, and ordered Los Tulipanes for supper. We had some margaritas and watched We are the Millers (which partially takes place in Mexico). I created a movie theater basket with popcorn and candy he liked. I tried to make it seem as though we weren't even at home, and it worked. I think staycations will be happening a little bit more. It was fun!