Thursday, April 30, 2015

Bag of Tricks

Yeah buddy! It's been an awesome week, full of sunshine, warmth and best of all....little wind! Yippee!! We are so enjoying this weather even though it's making us super antsy for summer. The count down is on. Only three Mondays left, and exactly a month from today.....FREEDOM! My kids and I look at the pool every time we come into town, waiting impatiently for it to be filled with water because once that happens, we know that summer days are a comin', and that most certainly means pool time!!

However, we all have our own little bag of tricks to get us through those moments that seem to draaag on. My bag includes many things, and since I'm so very ready to have the school year over, I tend to pull things from this bag often.

Escaping from reality:

Our annual shopping trip finally arrived last weekend. It couldn't have come at a better time. We were all in a funk and didn't have much money, but that didn't stop us from having a ball. Our favorite part is never the shopping anyways. We love relaxing by the pool on Friday, show and tell time on Saturday, going out to eat (duh), and singing ridiculously loud in the car. It's amazing how quickly the stress goes away when you are with those you love! We tried out a new restaurant this time also. If you ever get the chance to go to Benihanas, I totally recommend it. It's a Hibachi style setting and it's super fun when you are with a group of people! We had a ball. Not to mention, the food was  UH mazing!!

Getting my hair done:

Since I only get it done 4 times a year, I usually go big. I like different and change, and I love not knowing exactly what it's going to look like when it's done. After a whole lot of time (5 hours) of toning and cutting and laughing, we finally had an end result. Renee does a phenomenal job! I'm never disappointed. I'd recommend the Hair Clinic in Orange City any day!

Drop everything and go to the Park:

When I'm overwhelmed with the list of to-dos on my plate, which is all the time, I find that not doing any of it sounds like the best trick of all. Especially now that the sunshine is out and it is warm enough not to have a jacket on some days, the park sounds like a delightful place to be.

A little niece love

Making a change in the house:

My husband and I debated this for a long time. He has wanted hard floors in our living room forever. He loves the look. Our dog ruined our carpet. The list goes on. I love the idea of carpet because it has a more homey feel. It's warm in the winter and it's cozy. We agreed to get the hard floor, but save money for a LARGE area rug in the future. So, last minute, my boys wanted to go to my mom's overnight and Jaedyn was at her other grandma's, we decided to make a date of it. We went to Sioux Falls to get the floor and ate our body weight in Mexican at Chevy's. It was glorious. Not to mention, we didn't have kids running around while we were working on the floor the next day. Thanks Mom and Dave! My hubby did a great job despite having to start over twice. I love having a handy man!

So I suppose you could call this bag of tricks a bag of excuses not to get crap done, but regardless, it makes me happy. So there. Here are a few other things we are enjoying lately!

Early morning cuddles never go out of style. PS How come he looks so friggen old here?? NOT okay with it.

Trader Joes needs to make an appearance close by right meow. I'm always finding things that I love when I go there. These toasted coconut cookie thins dipped in yogurt are the

Mowing lawns, getting crafty, and making a "house" outside

Cousins shooting hoops

Annual fort making while mom's shopping

What a fun dad!

Last skating party ever! :( (Insert tears) The building will go up for auction next month. Why do all the good past times go to crap?

Random crazy face selfies are our expertise. No duck faces here.

A social butterfly and her friends. Deja Vu. This is me 15 years ago. ( I suppose it could still pass for my current status as well)
Looking forward to May- a trip to Florida for our 10 year anniversary, summer vacation, birthday bashes, lots of outside time, and softball/baseball!! Bring it on summer! We are ready and waiting!

Friday, April 10, 2015


    If I had to describe myself, I'd say I'm pretty vibrant. I love color. I love spontaneous. I love change (most of the time). My head is in the clouds often, and I'm a dreamer more than I am a realist. Dan's pretty good at keeping me grounded, yet he does a phenomenal job at keeping my dreams alive, and that's what I love about him. If you would have asked me 10 years ago whether or not ordinary was a good thing, I would have cringed and told you no. There wasn't any room in my vocabulary for such a word. It was very black and white.

However, since the years have gone by, I've recognized that like so many other things in my life, very little is black and white. Ordinary included. I have a whole other post in my head dedicated to being a great many things, and since I want to focus on ordinary, I will digress.... I want my kids to aim high, to be happy and successful, and know they are more than just ordinary. At the same time, ordinary is where it's at baby. It's been a really tough year for me. Not so much in the huge life changing aspect of things like death, loss of a job, marital issues or where finances are concerned, but more like the internal struggle I have every day about life in general. What's kept me grounded and centered in the chaos that goes on in my mind every day is my ordinary. MY ordinary. My home. My husband. My kids. Everything else can fall apart, but when those things come together, I have all I need to make it to tomorrow.
“You can find something truly important in an ordinary minute.” 
― Mitch Albom

This has been a week where I just feel very defeated. I feel tired. I feel exhausted. I feel hopeless. I feel everything. Everything. I am a fixer. I want to make everyone happy, and I want to be there when they need me. In fact, it's probably one of my greatest strengths. Showing up. And I've done a lot of it, and I'll continue to do it, but it's hard work. Sometimes showing up isn't what is needed, and I have to be okay with that too. Sometimes, you just have to step out of the ring, and find what grounds you.

So that's where I am today. I need to step out of the ring for a little break. I need to find my center. I need to be grounded.

 I come here to write things down so I don't forget them. I also write because it's therapeutic, and I'm kind of over writing about the crap. It doesn't feel good. Sure, it makes me relatable, and there are some who read it and probably think "Phew. I thought I was the only one." It feels good to know you aren't alone. I respect that. Community is a big deal to me, but I don't find happy when I stew about sad. I don't find positive when I'm stuck in the negative. If I want out of this funk, I have to find my way out. They make it pretty easy to find it.

“Do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
Such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
Help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
Show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
Show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
Show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
And make the ordinary come alive for them.
The extraordinary will take care of itself.”